Category Archives: How the Qur’an defines faith

One truth?

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To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single People, but (His Plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. Q:5:48

This verse, in my opinion perhaps the most difficult verse in the entire Qur’an, indeed tells in a nutshell what belief in a Creator is and why it is so that the various believers do not come nearer to each other. The way of conduct and the open path refer to the relation between Allah swt and each individual of His creatures, but also between Allah and the entire community of men. Every person has his, her own relation with Allah, however, there also is a Scripture that not only addresses itself to the individual, but also to all those other people. Except for this Scripture Qur’an there are other scriptures, where communities other than the Islamic listen to. Therefor we may conclude: it is so simple, there is only one physical truth. Yet it is not simple, as man has received only a very limited view on this physical truth and has, however, obtained the right to make his own idea of it. So there is one truth and yet everybody has their own truth. Not is said here who precisely is correct. Not without reason Islam means peaceful surrender to God and man has received the needed tools from the Prophet, but also the option of choice. Precisely because we have only a limited view on the truth, there can never be compulsion in religion. The last Scripture the Qur’an contains the truth. Yet it may be so that other paths to this truth may be acceptable. And truly acceptable, not just second best. Allah knows truly in the end.

Then the second aspect is that discussions between believers and non-believers or otherwise-believers usually don’t lead to much result in the sense of convincing others of your being right. Islam has said: Allah decides whether a person believes and if so then what, or disbelieves. The separation of minds leads to different religious communities, but also to different individual religious views and those are usually strongly established within firm outlines. Discussions on faith therefor are not always and everywhere possible or desirable. People don’t come nearer to each other and it is better to respect that and find a common ground in earthly matters that are less far from every day’s experience.

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A few ahadith of the Prophet on signs of disbelief

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The Prophet of Islam saws has said a great deal on disbelief, its rewards in the hereafter and its symptoms. Mentioned above already we saw the major signs of disbelief like accrediting others in worship to Allah swt, or murder and violence. Here follows a first selection of the most representative and leading sayings by the Prophet on on signs of disbelief in daily life. About each of them a lot more can be added and this is done so in both the Qur’an al Karim and the ahadith. The three most obvious signs are oppression of others, committing the most clearly prohibited sins and dishonesty. Examples of oppression are not working for a living, taking and using other people’s land and property without their consent, to force others to return goods bought from someone else so as to buy your goods, or violence on the human body like mutilation or torture. Another example of oppression is slander and false accusation, avariciousness and ingratitude, especially to one’s own family, and misusing the property of those who cannot defend themselves such as minors. Examples of the most obvious sins are not only drinking, gambling and adultery, but also prostitution and selling products that are forbidden in the holy Qur’an like alcohol and pork fat. A big example of dishonesty is introducing new (or old!) customs into Islam that are not consistent with its principles. Other examples of dishonesty are trade with pre-knowledge and trade secretly apart from the regular market, selling goods without having the required expertise (‘a town dweller should not sell the goods of a desert dweller’), selling goods that not yet exist or selling goods below the agreed measure and quality. Nor is it a sign of honesty to have secret meetings between buyers or sellers away from the market: nowadays we would call it a cartel or secretive price deals. In business and private people display how much they truly fear Allah swt. In all this, Islam tries to balance rights and duties between people justly. The extent of forgiveness from others as regards the harm inflicted on them partly determines Allah’s forgiveness.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 9:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:

The Prophet said, “A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 28:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.”

Volume 2, Book 17, Number 121:

Narrated Masruq:

We were with ‘Abdullah and he said, “When the Prophet saw the refusal of the people to accept Islam he said, “O Allah! Send (famine) years on them for (seven years) like the seven years (of famine during the time) of (Prophet) Joseph.” So famine overtook them for one year and destroyed every kind of life to such an extent that the people started eating hides, carcasses and rotten dead animals. Whenever one of them looked towards the sky, he would (imagine himself to) see smoke because of hunger. So Abu Sufyan went to the Prophet and said, “O Muhammad! You order people to obey Allah and to keep good relations with kith and kin. No doubt the people of your tribe are dying, so please pray to Allah for them.” So Allah revealed: “Then watch you For the day that The sky will bring forth a kind Of smoke Plainly visible … Verily! You will return (to disbelief) On the day when We shall seize You with a mighty grasp. (44.10-16) Ibn Masud added, “Al-Batsha (i.e. grasp) happened in the battle of Badr and no doubt smoke, Al-Batsha, Al-Lizam, and the verse of Surat Ar-Rum have all passed.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 266:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

‘Ukaz, Majanna and Dhul-Majaz were market-places in the Pre-lslamic period of ignorance. When Islam came, Muslims felt that marketing there might be a sin. So, the Divine Inspiration came: “There is no harm for you to seek the bounty of your Lord (in the seasons of Hajj).” (2.198) Ibn ‘Abbas recited the Verse in this way.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 267:

Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir:

The Prophet said “Both legal and illegal things are obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So who-ever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and who-ever indulges in these (suspicious) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah’s Hima (i.e. private pasture) and whoever pastures (his sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment.”

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 286:

Narrated Al-Miqdam:

The Prophet said, “Nobody has ever eaten a better meal than that which one has earned by working with one’s own hands. The Prophet of Allah, David used to eat from the earnings of his manual labor.”

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 301:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abu Aufa:

A man displayed some goods in the market and swore by Allah that he had been offered so much for that, that which was not offered, and he said so, so as to cheat a Muslim. On that occasion the following Verse was revealed: “Verily! Those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths (They shall have no portion in the Hereafter ..etc.)’ (3.77)

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 360:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Do not go forward to meet the caravan (to buy from it on the way before it reaches the town). And do not urge buyers to cancel their purchases to sell them (your own goods) yourselves, and do not practice Najsh. A town dweller should not sell the goods for the desert dweller. Do not leave sheep unmilked for a long time, when they are on sale, and whoever buys such an animal has the option of returning it, after milking it, along with a Sa of dates or keeping it. it has been kept unmilked for a long period by the seller (to deceive others).

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 379:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

The Prophet said, “The selling of wheat for wheat is Riba (usury) except if it is handed from hand to hand and equal in amount. Similarly the selling of barley for barley, is Riba except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and dates for dates is usury except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount. (See Riba-Fadl in the glossary).

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 430:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “Allah says, ‘I will be against three persons on the Day of Resurrection:

1. One who makes a covenant in My Name, but he proves treacherous.

2. One who sells a free person (as a slave) and eats the price,

3. And one who employs a laborer and gets the full work done by him but does not pay him his wages.’ ”

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 414:

Narrated Hisham bin ‘Urwa from his father:

who heard Aisha saying, “The Holy Verse; ‘Whoever amongst the guardians is rich, he should take no wages (from the property of the orphans) but If he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labors)’ (4.6) was revealed concerning the guardian of the orphans who looks after them and manages favorably their financial affairs; If the guardian Is poor, he could have from It what Is just and reasonable, (according to his labors).”

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 628:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.”

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 629:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.”

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 634:

Narrated Salim’s father (i.e. ‘Abdullah):

The Prophet said, “Whoever takes a piece of the land of others unjustly, he will sink down the seven earths on the Day of Resurrection.”

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 637:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

The Prophet said, “The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome person.”

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 639:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:

The Prophet said, “Whoever has (the following) four characters will be a hypocrite, and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy until he gives it up. These are: (1 ) Whenever he talks, he tells a lie; (2) whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; (3) whenever he makes a covenant he proves treacherous; (4) and whenever he quarrels, he behaves impudently in an evil insulting manner.” (See Hadith No. 33 Vol. 1)

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 640:

Narrated Aisha:

Hind bint ‘Utba (Abu Sufyan’s wife) came and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Abu Sufyan is a miser. Is there any harm if I spend something from his property for our children?” He said, there is no harm for you if you feed them from it justly and reasonably (with no extravagance).”

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 655:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time, he is doing it, and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery.

Volume 3, Book 49, Number 861:

Narrated Aisha:

Allah’s Apostle said, “If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected.”

Volume 8, Book 82, Number 840:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “Avoid the seven great destructive sins.” They (the people!) asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What are they?” He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah; to practice sorcery; to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic law); to eat up usury (Riba), to eat up the property of an orphan; to give one’s back to the enemy and freeing from the battle-field at the time of fighting and to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.”

Volume 9, Book 83, Number 21:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet said, “The most hated persons to Allah are three: (1) A person who deviates from the right conduct, i.e., an evil doer, in the Haram (sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina); (2) a person who seeks that the traditions of the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance, should remain in Islam (3) and a person who seeks to shed somebody’s blood without any right.”

Source: University of Southern California USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts

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Signs of disbelief

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Do they exist: signs in everyday intercourse that indicate disbelief, even before grotesque acts of mischief have been committed or before the it has been acknowledged in the open? This is what Qur’an al Kerim says:

But never did a single one of the Signs of their Lord reach them, but they turned away therefrom. And now they reject the truth when it reaches them: but soon shall come to them the news of what they used to mock at. See they not how many of those before them We did destroy? Generations We had established on the earth, in strength such as We have not given to you for whom We poured out rain from the skies in abundance, and gave streams flowing beneath their (feet): yet for their sins We destroyed them and raised in their wake fresh generation. If We had sent unto thee a written (message) on parchment, so that they could touch it with their hand, the unbelievers would have been sure to say: ‘This is nothing but obvious magic!’ They say: ‘Why is not an angel sent down to him?’ If We did send down an angel, the matter would be settled at once and no respite would be granted them. Ik We had made it an angel, We should have sent him as a man. And we should certainly have caused them confusion in a matter which they have already covered with confusion. Mocked were (many) Messengers before thee; but their scoffers were hemmed in by the thing that they mocked. Say: ‘Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth’. Q:6:4-11

Or lest ye should say: ‘If the Book had only been sent down to us, We should have followed its guidance better than they’. Now then hath come unto you a Clear (Sign) from your Lord and a guide and a mercy: then who could do more wrong than one who rejecteth Allah’s Signs, and turneth away therefrom? In good time shall We requite those who turn away from Our Signs, with a dreadful chastisement for their turning away. Q:6:157

The day that certain of the Signs of the Lord do come, no good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before nor earned righteousness through its Faith. Say: ‘Wait ye, we too are waiting’. Q:6:158

They say: ‘We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth or thou have a garden of date trees and vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us, or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face. Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read. Say: ‘Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man, a messenger?’ What kept men back from Belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said ‘Has Allah sent a man to be Messenger?’ Say: ‘If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger’. Say: ‘Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: for He is well acquainted with His servants, and He sees (all). Q:17:90-96

When Our Clear Signs are rehearsed to them, the unbelievers say to those who believe: ‘Which of the two sides is best in point of position and fairer in assembly?’ Q:19:73

When Our Clear Signs are rehearsed to them, thou wilt notice a denial on the faces of the unbelievers! They nearly attack with violence those who rehearse Our Signs to them. Say ‘Shall I tell you of something worse than that? It is the Fire Allah has promised it to the Unbelievers! And evil is that destination!’ ! Q:22:72

They swore their strongest oaths by Allah that if a warner came to them, they would be more rightly guided than anyone of the nations. But when a warner came to them, it has only increased their aversion. On account of their arrogance in the land and their plotting of Evil. But the plotting of Evil will hem in only the authors thereof. Now are they but looking for the way the ancients were dealt with? But no change wilt thou find in Allah’s way: no turning off wilt thou find in Allah’s way. Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the End of those before them. Though they were superior to them in strength? Q:35:42-44

Sad. By the Qur’an, full of Admonition: but the Unbelievers in Self-glory and opposition. How many generations before them did We destroy? In the end they cried when there was no longer time for being saved! So they wonder that a Warner has come to them from among themselves! And the Unbelievers say ‘This is a sorcerer telling lies! Has he made gods into one God? Truly this is a strange thing!’ And the leaders among them go away ‘Walk ye away and remain constant to your gods! For this is truly a thing designed! We never heard of this in the last religion this is nothing but a made-up tale!’ ‘What! Has the Message been sent to him – among us?’ But they are in doubt concerning My Message! Nay, they have not yet tasted My Punishment! Or have they the Treasures of the Mercy of thy Lord, the Exalted in Power, the Grantor of Bounties without measure? Or have they the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all between? If so, let them mount up with the ropes and means (to reach that end)! Q:38:1-10

Seest thou not those that dispute concerning the Signs of Allah? How are they turned away. Those who reject the Book and the (revelations) with which We sent Our messengers, but soon shall they know. Q:40:69,70

Had We so willed, We could have shown them up to thee, and thou shouldst have known them by their marks: but surely thou wilt know them by the tone of their speech! And Allah knows all that ye do. Q:47:30

When the Hypocrites come to thee, they say ‘We bear witness that thou art indeed the Messenger of Allah’. Yea, Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His Messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars. They have made their oaths a screen (for their misdeeds): thus they obstruct (men) from the Path of Allah: truly evil are their deeds. That is because they believed, then they rejected Faith: so a seal was set on their hearts, therefore they understand not. When thou lookest at them, their bodies please thee and when they speak, thou listenest to their words. They are as pieces of timber propped up, they think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies; so beware of them. The curse of Allah be on them! How are they deluded! And when it is said to them ‘Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness’, they turn aside their heads, and thou wouldst see them turning away their faces in arrogance. It is equal to them whether thou pray for their forgiveness or not. Allah will not forgive them. Truly Allah guides not rebellious transgressors. They are the ones who say ‘Spend nothing on those who are with Allah’s Messenger, till the disperse (and quit Madinah)’. But to Allah belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth; but the Hypocrites understand not. They say: ‘If we return to Madinah, surely the more honorable will expel therefrom the meaner’. But honour belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers, but the Hypocrites know not. Q:63:1-8

Then will no intercession of intercessors profit them. Then what is the matter with them that they turn away from admonition? As if they were affrighted asses, fleeing from a lion! Forsooth, each one of them wants to be given scrolls (of revelation) spread out! By no means! But they fear not the Hereafter. Nay, this surely is an admonition: let any who will keep it in remembrance! But none will keep it in remembrance except as Allah will: He is the Lord of Righteousness and the Lord of Forgiveness. Q:74:48-56

And when it is said to them ‘Prostrate yourselves!’ They do not so. Q:77:48

Rejections of God’s signs and then ask for new ones, whether this be miracles, a new prophet or a new Scripture, is perhaps one of the most obvious examples of disbelief. Disbelief is dissatisfaction and it is not satisfied with what we possess and rejects this without a good reason as evidence. Furthermore, hidden disbelief or hypocrisy cannot be seen on a person’s forehead; it also exists within one’s own community and can only appear from conversation or behavior. Certainly the person who without justification pretends to be a believer, will not deal fairly with this, towards himself included. Loss of faith happens unnoticed, sometimes. That’s why one should be careful judging other people’s credentials. Unless beyond any doubt a desecration in the sense of committing injustice and disorder should be the case: then disbelief is self-evident.

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Knowledge according to some ahadith of the Prophet of Islam

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The following ahadith are a selection of many, very much identical ahadith on the subject of knowledge. They follow the pattern as set by the Qur’an al Karim: that is that man is born in islam, however, by birth he or she is also touched by Satan, like our first parents Adam and his wife. Like Adam and his wife man grows to awareness of his identity, but also of his own good and bad inclinations and actions. In our youth we are raised into a religion or philosophy that may very well divert from Islam. In Bible and Qur’an we find several comments on the spirit or holy spirit and its nature is known to Allah swt only, as stated by the Prophet saws. Gaining and spreading knowledge, however, is a part of true faith, like spending wisely out one’s own wealth. The Prophet mentioned on many occasions the signs of the Last Day as it approaches, however, he clearly stated that he nor any other creature knows when it is due. We should realize that the Last Day is always near within eternity.

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 71:

Narrated Muawiya:

I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “If Allah wants to do good to a person, He makes him comprehend the religion. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allah. (And remember) that this nation (true Muslims) will keep on following Allah’s teachings strictly and they will not be harmed by any one going on a different path till Allah’s order (Day of Judgment) is established.”

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 73:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud:

The Prophet said, “Do not wish to be like anyone except in two cases. (The first is) A person, whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it righteously; (the second is) the one whom Allah has given wisdom (the Holy Qur’an) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others.” (Fateh-al-Bari page 177 Vol. 1)

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 79:

Narrated Abu Musa:

The Prophet said, “The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah’s religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophets and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah’s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.)”

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 81:

Narrated Anas:

I will narrate to you a Hadith and none other than I will tell you about after it. I heard Allah’s Apostle saying: From among the portents of the Hour are (the following):

1. Religious knowledge will decrease (by the death of religious learned men).

2. Religious ignorance will prevail.

3. There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse.

4. Women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so that fifty women will be looked after by one man.

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 82:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Allah’s Apostle said, “While I was sleeping, I saw that a cup full of milk was brought to me and I drank my fill till I noticed (the milk) its wetness coming out of my nails. Then I gave the remaining milk to ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab” The companions of the Prophet asked, “What have you interpreted (about this dream)? “O Allah’s Apostle ,!” he replied, “(It is religious) knowledge.”

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 85:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “(Religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious scholars) ignorance (in religion) and afflictions will appear; and Harj will increase.” It was asked, “What is Harj, O Allah’s Apostle?” He replied by beckoning with his hand indicating “killing.” (Fateh-al-Bari Page 192, Vol. 1)

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 100:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al’ As:

I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray.”

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 127:

Narrated ‘Abdullah:

While I was going with the Prophet through the ruins of Medina and he was reclining on a date-palm leaf stalk, some Jews passed by. Some of them said to the others: Ask him (the Prophet) about the spirit. Some of them said that they should not ask him that question as he might give a reply which would displease them. But some of them insisted on asking, and so one of them stood up and asked, “O Aba-l-Qasim ! What is the spirit?” The Prophet remained quiet. I thought he was being inspired Divinely. So I stayed till that state of the Prophet (while being inspired) was over. The Prophet then said, “And they ask you (O Muhammad) concerning the spirit –Say: The spirit — its knowledge is with my Lord. And of knowledge you (mankind) have been given only a little).” (17.85)

Volume 2, Book 17, Number 149:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, “Keys of the unseen knowledge are five which nobody knows but Allah . . . nobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain.”

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 159:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the West: and when the people see it, then whoever will be living on the surface of the earth will have faith, and that is (the time) when no good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before.” (6.158)

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 298:

Narrated Abu- Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “No child is born except on Al-Fitra (Islam) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?” Then he rec

‘The religion of pure Islamic Faith (Hanifa),(i.e. to worship none but Allah), The pure Allah’s Islamic nature with which He (Allah) has created mankind. Let There be no change in Allah’s religion (i.e. to join none in Allah’s worship). That is the straight religion; but most of men know not…” (30.30)

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Knowledge is part of faith

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With the topic of knowledge versus faith we reach the point where the different minds separate. Is there a place for knowledge in the faith and what kind of knowledge should this be?

The Scripture is an important tool for man to get to know Allah swt, and serve Him the right way. We should know, however, that Qur’an holds verses of ambiguous meaning and incomprehensible texts, like the loose letters at the beginning of several chapters. People will never find out their true meaning, but who believes, can accept that not everything can be reached by our observation and will not invent unauthorized or unproved statements that had never been said. This is the essence of any faith. Faith and belief have scientific aspects, knowledge is part of faith, however, that doesn’t make faith science and vice versa. A good scientist, too, acknowledges that he or she doesn’t know everything and man doesn’t know everything. Knowledge of the final Hour, afterlife, future and death is out of man’s reach.

Knowledge has two sides: on the one hand there is knowledge that everyone possesses, is easily reproduced, because it answers to certain legalities and has been falsified by others, such as knowledge on nature and its systems. On the other hand there is knowledge restricted to only you. Or to the prophets only, because some of them had a direct line of information exchange with Allah swt, that was and is aimed at a bigger audience. This remains as it is. This last kind of knowledge deals with the relation between the believer and his or her God. Knowledge is part of faith, but much knowledge is personal and unprovable. The believer obtains this kind of knowledge through a kind of antenna, a tentacle, which has to do with both book obtained wisdom and natural ability, life experience and intellect. Can we form ourselves a databank with the things we know and experience we gathered and can we then make a link with belief in a higher power? Is there something like a personal connection with your creator in order to get to know Him. There is and therefor Qur’an points us several times at the importance of and obligation to gain knowledge, where not only study of scriptures, logic and empirical research on everything around us, but also travel are important tools. To meet cultural heritage, both in written form and historical buildings and archeological findings, are important for a believer. Travel as part of faith is a somewhat neglected aspect of Islam, with some obstacles, but later more on that. However, in the end not everyone is granted such knowledge, because not everybody believes in a god. Study and observation may lead to a metaphysical belief in a creator. For now I confine myself to the second aspect of belief: the more or less intuitive knowledge that is part of belief. What says Qur’an al Kerim of such knowledge?

ALM (Alif Lam Mim). This is the Book in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them and who believe in the Revelation sent to thee and sent before thy time and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true guidance) from their Lord and it is these who will prosper. Q:2:1-5

ALM. Allah! There is no god but He the Living, the Self-Subsisting, the Supporter of all. It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step) in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it and He sent down the Torah (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus). Before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the Criterion (Qur’an). Then those who reject faith in the Signs of Allah will suffer the severest chastisement and Allah is Exalted in Might, Lord of Retribution. Q:3:1-4

He is it Who has sent down to thee the Book: in it are verses basic or fundamental clear: they are the foundation of the Book: others are not entirely clear. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is not entirely clear, seeking discord, and searching for its interpretation, but no one knows its true meanings except Allah and those firmly grounded in knowledge say: ‘We believe in it, the whole of it is from your Lord’ and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. Q:3:7,8

There have been examples that have passed away before you: travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth. Q:3:137

The day that certain of the Signs of the Lord do come, no good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before nor earned righteousness through its Faith. Say: Wait ye, we too are waiting’. Q:6:158

They ask thee about the Hour when will be its appointed time? Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. None but He can reveal as to when it will occur. Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth. Only, all of a sudden will it come to you’. The ask thee as if thou wert eager in search thereof. Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with Allah, but most men know not’. Q:7:187

And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment; and He has created things of which you have no knowledge. Allah alone can show the right path but there are ways that turn aside; if Allah had willed, He could have guided all of you. Q:16:8,9

0 mankind! If ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you. And We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die and some are sent back to the feeblest old age so that they know nothing after having known and thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred, it swells and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth. This is so, because Allah is the Reality: it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who has Power over all things. And verily the Hour will come: there can be no doubt about it, or about that Allah will raise up all who are in the graves. Yet there is among men such a one as disputes about Allah, without knowledge, without guidance, and without a Book of Enlightenment, (disdainfully) bending his side, in order to lead astray from the Path of Allah: for him there is disgrace in this life and on the Day of Judgement We shall make him taste the chastisement of burning. (It is said) ‘This is because of the deeds which thy hands sent forth, for verily Allah is not unjust to His servants’. Q:22:5-10

Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before them? They were superior to them in strength: they tilled the soil and populated it in greater numbers than these have done: there came to them their messengers with clear (Signs): it was not Allah who wronged them, but they wronged their own souls. In the long run evil will be the end of those who do evil; for that they rejected the Signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule. It is Allah Who begins the creation, then repeats it, then shall ye be brought back to Him. Q:30:9-11

Among His Signs is this, that He created you from dust and then behold, ye are men scattered and among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know. And among His Signs is the sleep that ye take by night and by day, and the quest that ye (make) out of His Bounty: verily in that are Signs for those who hearken. And among His Signs He shows you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope and He sends down rain from the sky and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead: verily in that are Signs for those who are wise. Q:30:20-24

Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah. It is He Who sends down rain and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does any one know what it is that he will earn on the morrow. Q:31:34

The revelation of this Book is from Allah, the Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom. Verily it is He Who has revealed the Book to thee in Truth: so serve Allah, offering Him sincere devotion. Is it not Allah that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors others than Allah (say): ‘We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah’. Truly Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. Q:1-3

Say: ‘Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?’ It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition. Q:39:9

It is Allah that takes the souls at death and those that die not during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back but the rest He sends (back) for a time appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect. Q:39:42

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair, cell) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the Sight of Allah is the most Righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted. Q:49:13

Q (Qaf) Q:50:1

N (Nun) Q:68:1

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Some ahadith from the Prophet of Islam on what is faith

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‘Faith is a gift that not many people like to dispose of and that is the reason why the Islamic umma grew so rapidly’, according to Abu Sufyan, once one of the Prophets¬† major adversaries, when Roman ruler Heraclius asked him about this.

When considering Islam, most people think of the five pillars: the five aspects that the true faith ought to have. The Qur’an, the book of muslims, describes these five aspects, however, the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, mentioned them explicitly in one breath. Further we continually see the issues sincereness versus hypocrisy return as main items. A believer practices what lives in his heart and tries as consistently as possible to deal with this, without extremes and within the hope that reality may not be as harsh as prophecies predict it to be. Allah swt is willing to forgive faults and failure, except giving Him partners, however, we may not take an easy credit to that, for we don’t know what He will forgive. A believer acknowledges that there is much he doesn’t know, such as the future or Allah’s Judgement, but also that Allah knows all about him and deals with it carefully and prudently. To abstain from other major sins like murder, violence and dishonesty in general are part of faith. Apart from love for Allah swt, also love for the Prophet above all other is an aspect of true faith. The aspects of faith are mentioned by the well known and respected author of traditions Buchari:

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 7:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Allah’s Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle.

2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.

3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .

4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)

5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 8:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Haya (This term “Haya” covers a large number of concepts which are to be taken together; amongst them are self respect, modesty, bashfulness, and scruple, etc.) is a part of faith.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 10:

Narrated Abu Musa:

Some people asked Allah’s Apostle, “Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?” He replied, “One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 11:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:

A man asked the Prophet , “What sort of deeds or (what qualities of) Islam are good?” The Prophet replied, ‘To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not Know (See Hadith No. 27).

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12:

Narrated Anas:

The Prophet said, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 14:

Narrated Anas:

The Prophet said “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 15:

Narrated Anas:

The Prophet said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:

1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.

2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.

3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 17:

Narrated ‘Ubada bin As-Samit:

who took part in the battle of Badr and was a Naqib (a person heading a group of six persons), on the night of Al-‘Aqaba pledge: Allah’s Apostle said while a group of his companions were around him, “Swear allegiance to me for:

1. Not to join anything in worship along with Allah.

2. Not to steal.

3. Not to commit illegal sexual intercourse.

4. Not to kill your children.

5. Not to accuse an innocent person (to spread such an accusation among people).

6. Not to be disobedient (when ordered) to do good deed.”

The Prophet added: “Whoever among you fulfills his pledge will be rewarded by Allah. And whoever indulges in any one of them (except the ascription of partners to Allah) and gets the punishment in this world, that punishment will be an expiation for that sin. And if one indulges in any of them, and Allah conceals his sin, it is up to Him to forgive or punish him (in the Hereafter).” ‘Ubada bin As-Samit added: “So we swore allegiance for these.” (points to Allah’s Apostle)

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 21:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

The Prophet said, “When the people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of Hell will go to Hell, Allah will order those who have had faith equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed to be taken out from Hell. So they will be taken out but (by then) they will be blackened (charred). Then they will be put in the river of Haya’ (rain) or Hayat (life) (the Narrator is in doubt as to which is the right term), and they will revive like a grain that grows near the bank of a flood channel. Don’t you see that it comes out yellow and twisted”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 32:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three:

1. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.

2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise ).

3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest. (If you keep something as a trust with him, he will not return it.)”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 33:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:

The Prophet said, “Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up.

1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.

2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.

3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous.

4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 34:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 37:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 38:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights.” (See Fath-ul-Bari, Page 102, Vol 1).

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 42:

Narrated Anas:

The Prophet said, “Whoever said “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a wheat grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of an atom will be taken out of Hell.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 47:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel came and asked, “What is faith?” Allah’s Apostle replied, ‘Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.” Then he further asked, “What is Islam?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.” Then he further asked, “What is Ihsan (perfection)?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you.” Then he further asked, “When will the Hour be established?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents.

1. When a slave (lady) gives birth to her master.

2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah.

The Prophet then recited: “Verily, with Allah (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour–.” (31. 34) Then that man (Gabriel) left and the Prophet asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet said, “That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion.” Abu ‘Abdullah said: He (the Prophet) considered all that as a part of faith.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 48:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas:

I was informed by Abu Sufyan that Heraclius said to him, “I asked you whether they (followers of Muhammad) were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing. And in fact, this is the way of true Faith till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his (the Prophets) religion (Islam) became displeased and discarded it. You replied in the negative, and in fact, this is (a sign of) true faith. When its delight enters the heart and mixes with them completely, nobody can be displeased with it.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 49:

Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir:

I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honor. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pasture) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O people!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 50:

Narrated Abu Jamra:

I used to sit with Ibn ‘Abbas and he made me sit on his sitting place. He requested me to stay with him in order that he might give me a share from his property. So I stayed with him for two months. Once he told (me) that when the delegation of the tribe of ‘Abdul Qais came to the Prophet, the Prophet asked them, “Who are the people (i.e. you)? (Or) who are the delegate?” They replied, “We are from the tribe of Rabi’a.” Then the Prophet said to them, “Welcome! O people (or O delegation of ‘Abdul Qais)! Neither will you have disgrace nor will you regret.” They said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We cannot come to you except in the sacred month and there is the infidel tribe of Mudar intervening between you and us. So please order us to do something good (religious deeds) so that we may inform our people whom we have left behind (at home), and that we may enter Paradise (by acting on them).” Then they asked about drinks (what is legal and what is illegal). The Prophet ordered them to do four things and forbade them from four things. He ordered them to believe in Allah Alone and asked them, “Do you know what is meant by believing in Allah Alone?” They replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” Thereupon the Prophet said, “It means:

1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle.

2. To offer prayers perfectly

3. To pay the Zakat (obligatory charity)

4. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

5. And to pay Al-Khumus (one fifth of the booty to be given in Allah’s Cause).

Then he forbade them four things, namely, Hantam, Dubba,’ Naqir Ann Muzaffat or Muqaiyar; (These were the names of pots in which Alcoholic drinks were prepared) (The Prophet mentioned the container of wine and he meant the wine itself). The Prophet further said (to them): “Memorize them (these instructions) and convey them to the people whom you have left behind.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 51:

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

Allah’s Apostle said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 52:

Narrated Abu Mas’ud:

The Prophet said, “If a man spends on his family (with the intention of having a reward from Allah) sincerely for Allah’s sake then it is a (kind of) alms-giving in reward for him.

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 131:

Narrated Anas:

I was informed that the Prophet had said to Mu’adh, “Whosoever will meet Allah without associating anything in worship with Him will go to Paradise.” Mu’adh asked the Prophet, “Should I not inform the people of this good news?” The Prophet replied, “No, I am afraid, lest they should depend upon it (absolutely).”

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/003.sbt.html#001.003.130

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 654:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Yazid Al-Ansari:

The Prophet forbade robbery (taking away what belongs to others without their permission), and also forbade mutilation (or maiming) of bodies.

Source: University of Southern California USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts

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Evil and what to do against it?

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As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing. And on their eyes is a veil; great is the chastisement they (incur). Of the people there are some who say: ‘We believe in Allah and the Last Day: but they do not believe. Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realize not! In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: and grievous is the chastisement they (incur), because they lied (to themselves). When it is said to them: ‘Make not mischief on the earth’. They say: ‘We are only ones that put things right.’ Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize not. When it is said to them: ‘Believe as the others believe’: they say: ‘Shall we believe as the fools believe?’ Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know. When they meet those who believe, they say: ‘We believe’; but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: ‘We are really with you we (were) only jesting’. Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones. These are they who have bartered guidance for error: but their traffic is profitless, and they have lost true direction, their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in utter darkness, so they could not see. Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return. Q:2:6-18

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels; ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth’. They said: ‘Wit Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?’ Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?’ He said: ‘I know what ye know not’ and He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: ‘Tell Me the names of these if ye are right’, 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’. He said: ‘O Adam! Tell them their names’. When he had told them their names, Allah said: ‘Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?’ And behold, We said to the angels: ‘Bow down to Adam’: and they bowed down; not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: he was of those who reject Faith. And We said: ‘O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.’ Then did Satan make them slip from the (Garden) and get them out of the state in which they had been. And We said: ‘Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood – for a time’. Then learnt Adam from his Lord certain words and his Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. We said: ‘Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be Companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein. Q:2:30-39

It is We Who have placed you with authority on earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfillment of your life: small are the thanks that ye give! It is We Who created you and gave you shape: then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrated, not so Iblis; he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: ‘What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?’ He said: ‘I am better than he: Thou didst create Me from fire, and him from clay’. (Allah) said: ‘Get thee down from it: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).’ He said: ‘Give me respite till the day they are raised up’. (Allah) said: ‘Be thou among those who have respite.’ He said: ‘Because Thou hast thrown me out, lo! I will lie in wait for 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).’ (Allah) said: ‘Get out from this, despised and expelled. If any of them follow thee, Hell will I fill with you all. ‘O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy as ye wish: but approach not this tree, lest you become of the unjust.’ Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them: he said: ‘Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever.’ And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shameful parts became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies, and their Lord called unto them: ‘Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was avowed enemy unto you?’ They said: ‘Our Lord we have wronged our own souls; if Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost. (Allah) said: ‘Get ye down, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood, – for a time’. He said: ‘Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die: but from it shall ye be taken out.’ O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you, but the raiment of righteousness- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition! O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe see you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the Satans friends to those without Faith. When they commit an indecency, they say: ‘We found our fathers doing so’ and ‘Allah commanded us thus’: say: ‘Nay, Allah never command what is indecent: do ye say of Allah what ye know not?’ Say: ‘My Lord hath commanded justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return.’ Some He hath guided: others have deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the Satans in preference to Allah, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance. O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer; eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters. Q:7:10-31

Evil as the example are people who reject Our Signs and wrong their own souls. Whom Allah doth guide, – he is on the right path: whom He rejects from His guidance, – such are the persons who lose. Many are the Jinns and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle, – nay more misguided: for they are heedless. Q:7:177-179

Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn, from the mischief of created things; from the mischief of those who blow on knots; and from the mischief of the envious one as he practises envy. Q:113:1-5

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, the King of Mankind, the God of Mankind, – from the mischief of the Whisperer, who withdraws, – who whispers into the hearts of Mankind, – among Jinns and among Men. Q:114:1-6

Allah did indeed give His creatures enemies. Plants and animals are enemies to each other, because they feed from one and other. Men and spirits (jinn) the latter described in the Qur’an as a people endowed with¬† the possibility to choose between good and evil, have a moral enemy: the fallen angel Iblis, the only angel who did not obey Allah swt out of envy of man’s creation even though Allah asked him to do so. Iblis then became Satan and asked Allah’s permission to seduce man towards evil and obtained so, however, Allah swt immediately cursed Satan for this disobedience and destined him for Hell. Satan will succeed, however, in getting part of mankind on his side. Man, however, has natural enemies in both creation and in himself. Man has received natural evil from Allah swt with which he will hurt others, but mainly himself. Indeed to degrade to permanent disbelief and lock oneself from any belief is the first punishment a disbeliever incurs in this life already and the punishment in the Hereafter will then hit the person who disbeliefs and acts badly in this life. The person who does believe, knows that his or her assignment is to serve Allah with faith and good deeds and the person who does not believe, forgot this, either by choice or because of Satan. And Allah made these people immune to His message, unless they return to His path on their own accord. Repentance indeed is always an option. Furthermore, people were made enemies to each other.

The first man described as one to commit sin, is Adam. In Islam, he is considered the first prophet: he was the first man to learn the names of species and objects in nature around him. He also was the first to learn the difference between obedience and disobedience and to receive the very first test assignment. Adam did not fulfill it as required, a narration that differs from the Biblical version, where the woman was the first one to be seduced by the archetypical serpent and she then seduces the man to eat from the tree. Adam as the first prophet and mediator to Allah swt is the one held primarily responsible for this disobedience and the blame is not shifted to a female figure as initiator of evil. Qur’an does not state the number of people the first community of men consisted of, nor which people also were punished for the first disobedience: eating from the tree that was forbidden to eat from. Qur’an clearly states, however, that Adam and his wife were permitted to live in a garden richly provided with sustenance, as well as with the tree eating of which was forbidden. Man, however, is created as ‘vicegerent’ on Earth and his future life will be on Earth. Man would most probably have to ‘descend’ from the Garden anyway. Apart from the aspect of obedience to Allah, this narration has another aspect: that of man reaching maturity. Man gains awareness of his own identity in all its positive and negative qualities and wants to hide those that are for him alone, where the first people still realized that Allah swt sees and knows everything in them. As soon as man leaves the Garden, he is left to himself, though he has Allah’s guidance at his disposal. Man will have to listen to the voice of his or her conscience. Not stated, however, are the whereabouts of this Garden. Chapter 7 of the Qur’an makes clear that (also) man today can be seen as Adams descendant.

The Qur’anic chapters 113 and 114 are frequently used supplications in Islam against evil that a believer may recite, according tradition during sickness and before sleeping, or as a supplication intended to protect from any harm. Next question would be whether Islam has any further traditions concerning the issue of what might be belief or disbelief.

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