Shalamar Garden: Lahore, Pakistan

26.4.11

Photography : Ibn Hanif

The Shalimar Gardens , sometimes written Shalamar Gardens, is a Persian garden and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, modern day Pakistan. Construction began in 1641 A.D. (1051 A.H.) and was completed the following year. The project management was carried out under the superintendence of Khalilullah Khan, a noble of Shah Jahan's court, in cooperation with Ali Mardan Khan and Mulla Alaul Maulk Tuni.

The Shalimar Gardens are laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork. The gardens measure 658 meters north to south and 258 meters east to west. In 1981, Shalimar Gardens was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Lahore Fort, under the UNESCO Convention concerning the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage sites in 1972.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalimar_Gardens_(Lahore)




 








 


 


Photography : Ibn Hanif

The Voice of a Tiny Tendril



Although, I have a collection of more than three hundred nature photos captured with an ordinary digital camera but I love this photo the most because the message it holds is clear for me. I love this photo of a vegetable vine because of the questions that came into my mind when I looked at its tendrils. Tendril is a spring shaped organ of some climbing plants which helps them by climbing around suitable supports such as stums and braches of other plants. When we do a close observation of these vines and ponder on the purpose of tendrils we are amazed too see how important these tiny organs really are. Some fruits and vegetables that grow on these climbing plants are protected from having a direct contact with water and soil which otherwise can damage the leaves, fruits and vegetables. Questions being raised by the tiny tendrils are: Who told the vine to have such an organ which is vital for its growth and for the protection of its fruits. Farmer? Leaves? Fruit ? Soil or Water? And Who created them all?

Let's avail some time to ponder on the creation of this world.

[This post has actually been derived from my own reply to a comment: (I wonder why did you choose this photograph among those hundreds of photos :) any aesthtic reason or some personal association?).
Photograph: Ibn Hanif

Presenting The Story of Jesus (A.S) and Mary (A.S) from the Holy Quran

"O Muhammad, relate to them the story of Maryam (Mary) in the Book (The Qur'an) when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.[16] She chose to be secluded from them. We sent to her Our angel and he appeared before her as a grown man.[17]

She said: "I seek Rahman’s (Allah’s) protection against you, leave me alone if you are Godfearing."[18] He said: "Don’t be afraid, I am merely a messenger from your
Lord to tell you about the gift of a holy son."[19]


She said: "How shall I bear a son, no man has ever touched me nor am I unchaste?"[20] The angel replied: "So shall it be- Your Lord says: `It is easy for Me. We wish to make him a Sign for mankind and a blessing from Us’ - and this matter has already been decreed."[21]


So she conceived the child and she retired with him to a remote place.[22] The pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She cried in her anguish: "Ah! Would that I had died before this, and been long forgotten!"[23]


An angel from beneath the palm-tree consoled her, saying: "Do not grieve! Your Lord has provided a brook at your feet.[24] If you shake the trunk of this palm-tree, it will drop fresh ripe dates in your lap.[25]


So eat, drink and refresh yourself. If you see anyone, tell him: `I have vowed a fast to Rahman (Allah), so I will not speak to anyone today’."[26]
Carrying the baby, she came back to her people. They said: "O Mary! You have brought something hard to believe![27]


O sister (a woman from the noble family) of Haroon! Your father was not a bad man nor your mother an unchaste woman."[28] In response she merely pointed towards the baby. They said: ."How can we talk to a babe in the cradle?".[29]


Whereupon the baby spoke out: ."I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet.[30] His blessing is with me wherever I go. He has commanded me to establish Salah and give Zakah as long as I shall live.[31]


He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has not made me
domineering, hard to deal with.[32] Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I
shall die and the Day I shall be raised to life again."[33]

Such was Jesus the son of Mary, and this is the True statement about him concerning which they are in doubt.[34] It is not befitting to the majesty of Allah that He Himself should beget a son! He is far above this; for when He decrees a matter He need only say: "Be" and it is.[35].


Jesus declared, Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: therefore serve Him. This is the Right Way."36



Chapter: Maryam (MARY)
Verses :16-36
The Holy Quran"

Our Lord! You have not Created (all)this Without Purpose, Glory to You!

25.4.11



And Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things.




Most surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for people of intelligence.

Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and consider the creation of the heavens and the earth:

Our Lord! You have not created (all)this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.

Our Lord! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him; and never will the Zalimun (polythiests and wrong-doers) find any helpers.


Our Lord! Verily, we have heard the call of one (Muhammad Peace be upon him) calling to Faith: 'Believe in your Lord,'and we have believed.
Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and expiate from us our evil deeds. And make us die the death of righteous.

Our Lord! Grant us what You promised through Your Messengers and disgrace us not on the Day of Resurrection, for you never break (Your) Promise "

So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them),

"Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You proceed one from another. So those who emigrated and and were driven out from their homes, and suffered harm in My cause, and who fought and were killed (in My cause), Verily I will expiate from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under wich rivers flow (in Paradise) ; a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards."
Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you.
A brief enjoyment; then, their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.

But, for those who fear their Lord, are Gardens under wich rivers flow (in Paradise); therein are they to dwell (for ever), an entertainment from Allah; and that wich is with Allah is the Best for righteous.


Ref:
Meanings of the Quran
Chapter# :03
Verses 189-198

Photo: Ibn Hanif

Captured in Historical Shalimar Garden Lahore.

more flowers...

23.4.11











Deen-al-Fitrah: Religion of Nature

Praise be to Allah.

Islam continues to be successful in the developed world, and elsewhere, because its call is in accordance with the fitrah or natural inclinations of mankind, and it advocates the best of human values, such as tolerance, love, mercy, truthfulness and sincerity.

Islam educates people and lifts them up to righteous conduct, good manners and virtue. Its call is distinguished from others by its realism, balance and moderation. Islam pays due attention to both the soul and the body. It neither suppresses physical desires nor allows extravagance in this regard; it makes a distinction between the natural inclination to enjoy the pleasures of this world and forbidden desires that come under the heading of depravity and perversion.

People embrace Islam because they find security, comfort and peace in it, they see a cure for their problems in it, and through it they are able to get rid of their feelings of confusion, anxiety and loss.

Islam is the religion of the fitrah, the natural inclination or pattern on which Allaah has created mankind. For this reason, people of sound minds and upright inclinations embrace Islam, as Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

 “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘There is no child who is not born in a state of fitrah (i.e., Islam), then his parents make him into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian (Zoroastrian), just as animals produce whole animals (i.e., the animals are born perfect with no part of their bodies missing). Do you find any born with their ears cut off?’”

 Then Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

 “ ‘… Allaah’s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allaah: that is the Standard Religion…’ [The Holy Quran, al-Room 30:30 – interpretation of the meaning – Yusuf Ali’s translation].” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1359).



What is meant is that Allaah has created mankind with the potential to learn the truth, accept Tawheed (pure monotheism) and submit to Allaah. Their natural inclination is to learn Islam and love it, but a bad education, a kaafir (disbelieving) environment, their own whims and desires and the devils among jinn and mankind turn them away from the truth. Mankind is basically inclined towards Tawheed (pure monotheism), as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) reported that his Lord (Allaah) said: “I created all my slaves as ‘hunafa’ (pure monetheists), but the devils turned them away from their religion.” (Reported by Muslim). For this reason the one who becomes a Muslim after having been a disbeliever is described as having “reverted” to Islam, as this is more correct than saying that he “converted.” When Islam enters a country where there is no nationalism or great legacy of jaahiliyah (ignorance), it spreads quickly because of its strength and the small number of obstacles. You may also see that Islam is suitable for all people, educated and uneducated, male and female, old and young; everyone finds in it what he wants and needs. Those who become Muslim in developed countries realize what their country’s civilization and laws, which have been fabricated from men’s whims and desires, have done to them, and they realize the extent of the misery in which people in developed countries are living. They see how prevalent psychological illnesses, nervous breakdowns, insanity and suicides are, despite the technological advances and great number of discoveries and inventions and modern systems of management. This is because all of that is concerned only with the physical and the outward, but it neglects the inward and fails to nourish and nurture the heart and soul. Allaah says of these people (interpretation of the meaning): “They know only the outside appearance of the life of the world, and they are heedless of the Hereafter.” [al-Room 30:7]

Islam will continue to succeed, with the permission of Allaah, so long as those who work for its sake are sincere and its followers adhere to it and believe in it, and apply its laws.

The fact that there are those who are not committed or who fall short will not prevent Islam from succeeding, with the permission of Allaah, and nothing can distort its beauty. Its light will not falter because some people abandon it or fail to adhere to it. What Islam has given humanity in the way of progress and civilization, and lifting them up from the darkness of oppression and enmity, is pride enough.


Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid


Photograph: Ibn Hanif

Feel My Pain

22.4.11

Its a poem which a poetess  had written on my request. Please read it at her own blog and see how I see the recent invasion of my neighboring countries Afghanistan and Iraq  etc.

 

Will they not then consider the camels, how they are created? And the heaven, how it is reared aloft...

1 Has not there come to you the news of the overwhelming calamity?
2 (Some) faces on that day shall be downcast,
3 Laboring, toiling,
4 Entering into burning fire,
5 Made to drink from a boiling spring.
6 They shall have no food but of thorns,
7 Which will neither fatten nor avail against hunger.
8 (Other) faces on that day shall be happy,
9 Well-pleased because of their striving,
10 In a lofty garden,
11 Wherein you shall not hear vain talk.
12 Therein is a fountain flowing,
13 Therein are thrones raised high,
14 And drinking-cups ready placed,
15 And cushions set in a row,
16 And carpets spread out.

17 Will they not then consider the camels, how they are created?
18 And the heaven, how it is reared aloft,
19 And the mountains, how they are firmly fixed,
20 And the earth, how it is made a vast expanse?

21 Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder.
22 You are not a watcher over them;
23 But whoever turns back and disbelieves,
24 Allah will chastise him with the greatest chastisement.
25 Surely to Us is their turning back,
26 Then surely upon Us is the taking of their account. 

Or do they say: He has forged it? Say: Then bring a chapter like this and invite whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.

12.4.11

37 And this Quran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of that which is before it and a clear explanation of the book, there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the worlds.
38 Or do they say: He has forged it? Say: Then bring a chapter like this and invite whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.
39 Nay, they reject that of which they have no comprehensive knowledge, and the final sequel of it has not yet come to them; even thus did those before them reject (the truth); see then what was the end of the unjust.


40 And of them is he who believes in it, and of them is he who does not believe in it, and your Lord best knows the mischief-makers.
41 And if they call you a liar, say: My work is for me and your work for you; you are clear of what I do and I am clear of what you do.
42 And there are those of them who hear you, but can you make the deaf to hear though they will not understand?
43 And there are those of them who look at you, but can you show the way to the blind though they will not see?
44 Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves.


45 And on the day when He will gather them as though they had not stayed but an hour of the day, they will know each other. They will perish indeed who called the meeting with Allah to be a lie, and they are not followers of the right direction.
46 And if We show you something of what We threaten them with, or cause you to die, yet to Us is their return, and Allah is the bearer of witness to what they do.
47 And every nation had a messenger; so when their messenger came, the matter was decided between them with justice and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
48 And they say: When will this threat come about, if you are truthful?
49 Say: I do not control for myself any harm, or any benefit except what Allah pleases; every nation has a term; when their term comes, they shall not then remain behind for an hour, nor can they go before (their time).


50 Say: Tell me if His punishment overtakes you by night or by day! what then is there of it that the guilty would hasten on?
51 And when it comes to pass, will you believe in it? What! now (you believe), and already you wished to have it hastened on.
52 Then it shall be said to those who were unjust: Taste abiding chastisement; you are not requited except for what you earned.
53 And they ask you: Is that true? Say: Aye! by my Lord! it is most surely the truth, and you will not escape.


54 And if every soul that has done injustice had all that is in the earth, it would offer it for ransom, and they will manifest regret when they see the chastisement and the matter shall be decided between them with justice and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
55 Now surely Allah's is what is in the heavens and the earth; now surely Allah's promise is true, but most of them do not know.
56 He gives life and causes death, and to Him you shall be brought back.
57 O men! there has come to you indeed an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.
58 Say: In the grace of Allah and in His mercy-- in that they should rejoice; it is better than that which they gather.
59 Say: Tell me what Allah has sent down for you of sustenance, then you make (a part) of it unlawful and (a part) lawful. Say: Has Allah commanded you, or do you forge a lie against Allah?

60 And what will be the thought of those who forge lies against Allah on the day of resurrection? Most surely Allah is the Lord of grace towards men, but most of them do not give thanks.
61 And you are not (engaged) in any affair, nor do you recite concerning it any portion of the Quran, nor do you do any work but We are witnesses over you when you enter into it, and there does not lie concealed from your Lord the weight of an atom in the earth or in the heaven, nor any thing less than that nor greater, but it is in a clear book.
62 Now surely the friends of Allah-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.
63 Those who believe and guarded (against evil):
64 They shall have good news in this world's life and in the hereafter; there is no changing the words of Allah; that is the mighty achievement.


65 And let not their speech grieve you; surely might is wholly Allah's; He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
66 Now, surely, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's; and they do not (really) follow any associates, who call on others besides Allah; they do not follow (anything) but conjectures, and they only lie.
67 He it is Who made for you the night that you might rest in it, and the day giving light; most surely there are signs in it for a people who would hear.

The Holy Quran, Chapter : Yunus (Jonah) Verses: 38 - 67

Let not the strutting about of the Unbelievers through the land deceive thee...

196 Let not the strutting about of the Unbelievers through the land deceive thee:
197 A brief enjoyment! then their abode is hell, and evil is the resting-place.


198 But as to those who are careful of (their duty to) their Lord, they shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding in them; an entertainment from their Lord, and that which is with Allah is best for the righteous.

199 And most surely of the followers of the Book there are those who believe in Allah and (in) that which has been revealed to you and (in) that which has been revealed to them, being lowly before Allah; they do not take a small price for the communications of Allah; these it is that have their reward with their Lord; surely Allah is quick in reckoning.
200 O you who believe! be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful.


The Holy Quran, Surah Aal-e-Imran Verses 196-200







بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم

7.4.11





       یہ نغمہ فصل گل ولالہ کا نہیں پابند بہار هو کے خزاں هو لا الہٰ الاللہ      





Haram(Kaba) Azan view from inside the Cabin

Say: O followers of the Book! do you find fault with us (for aught) except that we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before....

6.4.11

44 Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light; with it the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews, and the masters of Divine knowledge and the doctors, because they were required to guard (part) of the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses thereof; therefore fear not the people and fear Me, and do not take a small price for My communications; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers.

45 And We prescribed to them in it that life is for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth, and (that there is) reprisal in wounds; but he who foregoes it, it shall be an expiation for him; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unjust.
46 And We sent after them in their footsteps Isa, son of Marium, verifying what was before him of the Taurat and We gave him the Injeel in which was guidance and light, and verifying what was before it of Taurat and a guidance and an admonition for those who guard (against evil).

47 And the followers of the Injeel should have judged by what Allah revealed in it; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the transgressors.
48 And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you; for every one of you did We appoint a law and a way, and if Allah had pleased He would have made you (all) a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore strive with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will let you know that in which you differed;

49 And that you should judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires, and be cautious of them, lest they seduce you from part of what Allah has revealed to you; but if they turn back, then know that Allah desires to afflict them on account of some of their faults; and most surely many of the people are transgressors.
50 Is it then the judgment of (the times of) ignorance that they desire? And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure?
51 O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.


52 But you will see those in whose hearts is a disease hastening towards them, saying: We fear lest a calamity should befall us; but it may be that Allah will bring the victory or a punishment from Himself, so that they shall be regretting on account of what they hid in their souls.
53 And those who believe will say: Are these they who swore by Allah with the most forcible of their oaths that they were most surely with you? Their deeds shall go for nothing, so they shall become losers.
54 O you who believe! whoever from among you turns back from his religion, then Allah will bring a people, He shall love them and they shall love Him, lowly before the believers, mighty against the unbelievers, they shall strive hard in Allah's way and shall not fear the censure of any censurer; this is Allah's Face, He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.

55 Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow.
56 And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.
57 O you who believe! do not take for guardians those who take your religion for a mockery and a joke, from among those who were given the Book before you and the unbelievers; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah if you are believers.
58 And when you call to prayer they make it a mockery and a joke; this is because they are a people who do not understand.

59 Say: O followers of the Book! do you find fault with us (for aught) except that we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before, and that most of you are transgressors?
60 Say: Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than this in retribution from Allah? (Worse is he) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine, and he who served the Shaitan; these are worse in place and more erring from the straight path.
61 And when they come to you, they say: We believe; and indeed they come in with unbelief and indeed they go forth with it; and Allah knows best what they concealed.

62 And you will see many of them striving with one another to hasten in sin and exceeding the limits, and their eating of what is unlawfully acquired; certainly evil is that which they do.
63 Why do not the learned men and the doctors of law prohibit them from their speaking of what is sinful and their eating of what is unlawfully acquired? Certainly evil is that which they work.
64 And the Jews say: The hand of Allah is tied up! Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out, He expends as He pleases; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord will certainly make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; and We have put enmity and hatred among them till the day of resurrection; whenever they kindle a fire for war Allah puts it out, and they strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief-makers.

Islam 101- What Do Muslims Believe?

Islam 101- What Do Muslims Believe?

Author: Laura Cosse'

Islam 101

What do Muslims Believe?

Islam is a religion that is, unfortunately, largely misunderstood in the west. One of the most common questions is regarding the beliefs of the Muslims; what do Muslims believe? In this article I will attempt to give a brief overview of what it means to be a Muslim. I am largely basing this article on a famous hadith, or saying, of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which I will put at the end of the article.

Islam has five pillars, five basic acts that one must believe and do in order to be a Muslim. The first is the declaration of faith, stating with complete belief and sincerity that “there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah (God) and that Muhammad is His prophet and messenger.” Islam does not accept any type of idol worshipping, whether that idol is a rock, a statue, a human being (like Jesus PBUH), or something a little less obvious like money, status or family.

After you have declared you worship of only God, you are then required to act on it. The second pillar is prayer, a Muslim is required to pray at a minimum of five times per day at specified times: dawn, mid-day, afternoon, sunset and evening. By this repetition we are constantly reminded of what is important which is God and working to gain a good place in the afterlife.

The third pillar is Zakat, which literally means purification. It is a tax that is paid by Muslims directly to the poor. It is different from income tax however, because Muslims are only required to pay 2.5% of their excess wealth that they have had in the bank for a full year. Also, unlike tithing, the money collected for Zakat is not permissible to be used to fund mosques, schools or any other public programs; the money is strictly for the use of the poor people. If every Muslim on the face of the earth actually paid their Zakat the way Allah commanded, that would be including kings and other incredibly rich, there would be no starvation in the world today.

The fourth pillar is fasting in the month of Ramadan from dawn to sunset. This act has many benefits, but the primary benefit is to soften the heart of the one who is fasting. Islam heavily emphasizes charity and feeding the poor and hungry, what better way to encourage a person to feed the hungry than letting them feel hunger too? Ramadan is a month of fasting and prayer, a time to re-dedicate oneself to Allah and Islam. Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur’an in Ramadan and increase in their good deeds and prayers. Everyone is required to fast except young children, old or sick people who would harm their health, a person traveling and a pregnant or nursing mother.

The fifth pillar is hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Every Muslim is required to make the hajj at least once in their life if they are physically and financially able. If you are not physically or financially able to go then you have no sin, but you should always be trying to find a way to make the pilgrimage. Also, since we never know when we will die, it is important not to put it off into the unforeseeable future.

The next important subject is faith; what is faith? According to the abovementioned hadith, or saying, of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), faith is believing in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the resurrection on the Last Day, and to believe in both the good and evil of divine destiny. That’s a mouthful, so what does it mean?

To believe in Allah, which is the Arabic name for God for Christians, Jews and Muslims, means to believe in him as He commands. Tawhid is a fundamental belief in Islam, which is the oneness of God. Muslims do not believe in a trinity, nor do they believe that God is everywhere. Muslims believe that God is one, indivisible, and that He is above the seven heavens. How? We don’t know. And, we don’t ask. God exists before and after His creations, God does not resemble any of His creation, and any image that you can imagine does not resemble God. But, Allah is everywhere in his knowledge: he sees everything, hears everything, knows everything, is omnipotent and omniscient.

Belief in the angels is another tenet of faith. Muslims believe that the angels were created from light, that they are completely obedient to God, and that they are eternal beings that had a beginning, like humans, and unlike God who has no beginning or end. Muslims do not believe that Satan was a fallen angel because angels are completely obedient to Allah. Rather, the Qur’an tells us that Satan was one of the jinn, another being that was created from fire. There are an inexhaustible numbers of angels, Muhammad (PBUH) said that there is a place where the angels go to pray, each day 70,000 angels pray there, never to return again, and this has been happening since the beginning of time.

To believe in His books means that Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the last in a series of revelations that God has given to mankind throughout history. Muslims believe that throughout time, a prophet has come, either with a written text or without, he has preached to worship God alone, then he has died and the information was changed by man over time or completely lost, which meant eventually and new prophet would be sent. This has happened 124,000 times since the creation of man according to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), but we only know the names of the 25 mentioned in the Qur’an. The previous books mentioned in the Qur’an are the Zabur which was given to David, the Torah which was given to Moses, the Injeel which was given to Jesus and the Qur’an which was given to Muhammad, peace be upon them all.

The messengers that we are required to believe in include the Biblical prophets, Muslims believe in Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Solomon, David, John, Enoch, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad just to name a few. Islam is not some new religion, it is the same religion taught by all of the prophets and messengers; worship only one God. It confirms the divine origin of the previous scriptures and corrects the manmade mistakes of those scriptures.

The fifth tenet of faith is belief in the Last Day, yowm al- qiyama in Arabic. Every Muslim believes that at the end of time every person will be resurrected and have to stand alone before God to be judged for what they did in their life. God is the only judge, even a Muslim isn’t guaranteed a free pass to Heaven. God may or may not forgive any person of any sin. But, God has promised that he will never forgive the sin of worshipping something or someone else, that is called shirk in Arabic.

The last pillar of faith is the belief in the divine decree, both the good and evil thereof. Muslims believe that Allah has a will, and man has a will, but Allah’s will overrides man’s. So, if a person wants to do something, if it has not been willed by Allah he will never be able to do it. Likewise, if a person tries to avoid a thing that God has willed, no matter how he tries he will not avoid it. A human does have his own will as well. It is up to us how we spend our time on earth, who we worship and what we believe. We will be judged according to our intentions on the Day of Judgment.

That is a quick overview of what Muslims believe. I hope that you have enjoyed this article. Please visit www.AdvocateIslam.com for more information. God bless!

On the authority of Omer1 (may Allah be pleased with him), who said:*

One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (i.e. Prophet Muhammed, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Resting his knees against his (the Prophet's) and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said:

O Muhammed, tell me about Islam.
The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the Zakat2 to fast in Ramadhan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House3 if you are able to do so.

He said: You have spoken rightly, and we were amazed at him asking him (the Prophet bpuh) and saying that he had spoken rightly.

He said: Then, tell me about Iman.4

He (the Prophet) said: It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.

He said: You have spoken rightly.

He said: Then, tell me about Ihsan.5

He (the Prophet bpuh) said: It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing him, and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you.
He said: Then, tell me about the hour.6

He (the Prophet bpuh) said: The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner. He said: Then, tell me about its signs.

He (the Prophet bpuh) said: That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, and that you will see the barefooted, naked, destitute herdsmen competing in constructing lofty buildings.

Then, he took himself off and I stayed for some time. Then he (the Prophet bpuh) said: O Omer, do you know who the questioner was? I said: Allah and His Messenger know better. He said: It was Jibril (Gabriel), who came to you to teach you your religion.7

The Messenger of Allah (bpuh) told the truth.
This Hadith was related by Muslim.

This Hadith was translated by Ezzeddin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davies (Abdul Wadoud), "An-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths." 1976. Dar Al-Manar.

1 Omer Bin Al-Khattab, the second Caliph.

2. Often rendered as alms-tax or poor due, it is a tax levied on a man’s wealth and distributed among the poor.

3. The Ka’aba and the Holy Mosque in Makkah.

4. Iman is generally rendered as religious belief or faith. However, being a fundamental term in Islam, the Arabic word has been retained.

5. In this context, the word ihsan has a special religious significance and any single rendering of it would be inadequate. Dictionary meaning for ihasan includes right actions, goodness, charity, sincerity, and the like. The root also means to master or be proficient at, and it is to be found in this meaning in Nawawi’s Hadith Number 17.

6. i.e. of the Day of Judgment.

7. This phrase has more than one interpretation. Among those given by An-Nawawi in his commentary is that slave girls will give birth to sons and daughters who will become free and so be masters of those who bore them. The word ama, normally translated as a slave girl, is also capable of meaning any woman in that we are all slaves or servants of God. The words thus have the meaning: When a woman will give birth to her master, i.e. a time will come when children will have so little respect for their mothers that they will treat them like servants. The commentators point out that there the word rabba (mistress) includes the masculine rabb (master).

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-articles/islam-101-what-do-muslims-believe-281000.html

About the Author

Laura Cosse' converted to Islam in 1996. She is the author of several Islamic children’s books and currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband and twin sons, Muhammad and Hamza. For more info and articles please visit www.AdvocateIslam.com

Islam 101- What is the Qur'an?

Author: Laura Cosse'

Islam 101

What is the Qur’an?
Islam is a misunderstood and often vilified religion here in the west. One of the most common ways of attacking the religion is by taking quotes from the Qur’an, the primary source of religious knowledge for Muslims, and trying to prove from a single verse that the entire religion is violent or hateful. Unfortunately, when a person who wants to attack Islam pulls a random verse from the Qur’an as “proof,” they do not take into account the context that the verse was given in, or the verses that come before and after it. Thus, they are often successful in making a benign verse seem barbaric and terrifying.

So what exactly is the Qur’an? Who wrote it? What does it teach? These are very common questions and I will attempt to give a brief overview of the Qur’an with the hope of being able to delve into further details at a later date…watch for those articles.

The word Qur’an is an Arabic word that means “recitation” or “something to be recited.” It is only in its pure form if it is in the Arabic language, any other language is only a translation of the meaning of the Qur’an, but not Qur’an itself. There is only one version of the Qur’an in the world, every single Qur’an from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia to the United States is exactly the same in the Arabic text, however, different word choices may have been used in the translation of that text. This is very different than the Bible which has the King James version, the Catholic version which include the Apocrypha, the Revised Standard Version which deletes such important verses as John 3:16 because it is an interpolation that was added hundreds of years after the Bible was written, and so on. The Qur’an has never had a single letter of the original Arabic changed, so it is still in its pure form, the only religious text in the world that can honestly make that claim.

The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) began to receive the revelations of the Qur’an when he was 40 years old. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the literal word of God, as taught to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the angel Gabriel, the angel of revelation. Muslims do not believe that it was written by a man, it is the actual word of God spoken directly to the prophet via Gabriel. Muhammad (PBUH) was an illiterate man who was not known for poetry or for having read any other religious scriptures. He was, however, well known for his honesty and truthfulness even before the first revelation was ever received, and was nicknamed “al-Amin” or “The Trustworthy.” He was always very religious and concerned about the Paganism that ruled Arabia in his time.

During the month of Ramadan in the year 610 CE, Muhammad (PBUH) had retreated to a cave outside of Mecca for meditation and prayer. It was here that the angel Gabriel first descended from Heaven and delivered the first Qur’anic verses, “Recite! In the name of your Lord who has created (all that exists).” The prophet later said that it felt as though he were being squeezed very hard so that he could hardly breathe. The word “Iqra” in Arabic can mean either “read” or “recite.” Muhammad (PBUH) replied to the angel that he could not read. The angel squeezed him harder and told him “Iqra!” and the first lines of Qur’an issued forth from the mouth of Muhammad (PBUH).

The Qur’an was revealed over a period of 23 years before it was completed. To fully understand the Qur’an it is important to know Islamic history since many of the verses were given in respect to various situations that the Muslims were faced with at a particular time. For instance, one of the most often maliciously misquoted verses in the west is from Surat at-Tauba, Ch. 9:10 which says, “Then when the sacred months have passed, then kill the non-Muslims wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform the prayer and pay charity, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

If you only read this one verse without taking the context of it, you will think Islam is a barbaric religion which commands Muslims to fight non-Muslims at all times. But, if you go back to the beginning of the chapter to verse 1, you will see that Allah is talking about fighting the Meccans who unilaterally broke the peace treaty that was in place with the Muslims. Therefore, because they broke the peace treaty, they will be given four months to travel the land freely and then they should expect that there will be a war with the Muslims. The next verse is amazing, it continues to say, “And if any of the non-Muslims seek your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and then escort him to where he can be secure.”

The verse is speaking about war, and a specific war at that. I believe that the most generous military general in the world today might say that if an enemy soldier in the battle field wants to surrender then let him go, but can you imagine any general today that would actually escort the enemy to safety? That is very noble indeed. So, I think you can see by this example how easy it is for someone, who is looking for something to support their negative assumptions, to misquote or quote out of context to prove their point. And surely this is true for any religious text, and possibly any text at all.

The Qur’an is different than the Bible or Torah when you read it. Rather than being written in the third person narrative, it is all the literal word of God being revealed directly to the reader. When you read the Qur’an it feels as though God is speaking directly to you, it is extremely powerful. It is broken up into “Suras” which is roughly “chapter,” and “Ayas” which is roughly verse. The word Aya in Arabic actually means “sign”, so the Qur’an is a book of signs for mankind.


Another major difference between the Qur’an and any other book is that it is not arranged in chronological order. Rather, it is basically arranged with the longer verses in the beginning and the shorter verses in the end, and this is not the order that they were revealed. Each year in Ramadan the angel Gabriel would have the prophet recite what had been revealed of the Qur’an so far. The year the prophet died Gabriel had the prophet recite the entire Qur’an twice and in the order that we find it today.

The society of Pre-Islamic Arabia was an oral one, poetry was to those people what television and movies are to the west today. A kingdom could be toppled by a verse, a leader overthrown. We see our media today is capable of the same things, we have in very recent times seen war proclaimed due to false statements made by influential (presidential) people to the media. Poetry had the same effect for the Arabs that the media has for us today. Thus, the Arabs were trained from early childhood to have great memorization skills, memorizing the tribal histories, poetry and folklore. It was easy for the early Muslims to memorize the entire Qur’an as it was revealed. To this day there are millions of Muslims around the world that have memorized the entire book, most of whom completed memorizing it by about age 10.

The Qur’an was written down as it was revealed by several of the companions of the prophet. They would write on whatever they could find, sometimes it was on stones and other times on pieces of leather. It was not collaborated into a book form until immediately after the prophet passed away. Then the first caliph, Abu Bakr, ordered all of the parchments to be collected and had a committee, headed by Zaid ibn Thatbit, read through all of the parchments with those who had memorized the Qur’an until they were satisfied that they had not missed any verses or written them down wrong. Then, the committee wrote down the Qur’an in one book.

The Arabs of that time were experts in poetry; they knew every type of prose and rhythm. The Qur’an was unlike any poem they had ever heard before, that is because it is not poetry, it is the word of God. The way that Ayas were put together and the vocabulary and rhythms used were something shocking to those Arabs; they were professionals in language and yet this book was far superior to anything a human had ever written. And, it was rhythmical and rhyming. To this day the Qur’an is used as the standard for grammar and linguistics; it is far above anything that has ever been written before or since. In fact, the Qur’an challenges any of those professional poets to create even one verse similar to the Qur’an, and in that they will be able to prove that it is not from God. But, though many tried, all were extremely unsuccessful. The Qur’an stands alone as an example of literary perfection.

The Qur’an is very explicit when it comes to describing Heaven and Hell. It often reminds the reader to remember God, do righteous good deeds and forbid evil, so that they may be recompensed in the next life. It calls for people to lead lives of high morality, to not steal, drink alcohol, have sex outside of marriage, murder, cheat, lie, oppress others or worship anything besides God. It calls for man to love for his brother the same that he loves for himself. It calls man to worship God and to think of God in each and every act, from eating to sleeping and from travel to work, you should always be thinking of God. It tells mankind, over and over, to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.

The Qur’an is a book of guidance for all of mankind. It is a complete manual for the life of a human being. It covers everything including politics, society, family life, warfare, welfare, commerce, worship, hygiene and much more. It also has many scientific miracles in it that are just being realized today, such as detailed embryology, the water cycle, geology, anthropology and much more. I will be doing a series of articles in the future on science and the Qur’an, God willing, please watch for those articles.

So, the Qur’an is often misunderstood and misquoted. I recommend that if you are seeking the truth of the life of this world and the hereafter, that you read the Qur’an. You can receive a free copy of the Qur’an from AMANA and many other organizations. You are always welcome in any mosque, so please visit and ask questions. You owe it to yourself and your family to read this book; it will change your life.

Peace be on you and yours.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-articles/islam-101-what-is-the-quran-280050.html
About the Author

Laura Cosse' converted to Islam in 1996. She is the author of several Islamic children’s books and currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband and twin sons, Muhammad and Hamza. For more info and articles please visit www.AdvocateIslam.com

Islam 101- What is the Qur'an?

Islam 101- What is the Qur'an?

Author: Laura Cosse'

Islam 101

What is the Qur’an?
Islam is a misunderstood and often vilified religion here in the west. One of the most common ways of attacking the religion is by taking quotes from the Qur’an, the primary source of religious knowledge for Muslims, and trying to prove from a single verse that the entire religion is violent or hateful. Unfortunately, when a person who wants to attack Islam pulls a random verse from the Qur’an as “proof,” they do not take into account the context that the verse was given in, or the verses that come before and after it. Thus, they are often successful in making a benign verse seem barbaric and terrifying.


So what exactly is the Qur’an? Who wrote it? What does it teach? These are very common questions and I will attempt to give a brief overview of the Qur’an with the hope of being able to delve into further details at a later date…watch for those articles.


The word Qur’an is an Arabic word that means “recitation” or “something to be recited.” It is only in its pure form if it is in the Arabic language, any other language is only a translation of the meaning of the Qur’an, but not Qur’an itself. There is only one version of the Qur’an in the world, every single Qur’an from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia to the United States is exactly the same in the Arabic text, however, different word choices may have been used in the translation of that text. This is very different than the Bible which has the King James version, the Catholic version which include the Apocrypha, the Revised Standard Version which deletes such important verses as John 3:16 because it is an interpolation that was added hundreds of years after the Bible was written, and so on. The Qur’an has never had a single letter of the original Arabic changed, so it is still in its pure form, the only religious text in the world that can honestly make that claim.


The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) began to receive the revelations of the Qur’an when he was 40 years old. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the literal word of God, as taught to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the angel Gabriel, the angel of revelation. Muslims do not believe that it was written by a man, it is the actual word of God spoken directly to the prophet via Gabriel. Muhammad (PBUH) was an illiterate man who was not known for poetry or for having read any other religious scriptures. He was, however, well known for his honesty and truthfulness even before the first revelation was ever received, and was nicknamed “al-Amin” or “The Trustworthy.” He was always very religious and concerned about the Paganism that ruled Arabia in his time.

They seek to extinguish the Light of Allah with their mouths , but Allah will perfect His Light...

4.4.11

They seek to extinguish the Light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His Light, much as the unbelievers may dislike it. It is He Who has sent His Rasool with the guidance and the religion of truth so that he may proclaim it over all religions, much as the Mushrikin (idolaters) may dislike it.

O believers! Should I tell you of a bargain that will save you from a painful punishment? It is to believe in Allah and His Rasool and strive your utmost in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your persons. That is best for you, if you but knew it. He will forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow, and will lodge you in beautiful mansions in the gardens of Eden, which will be a supreme achievement. And yet another blessing which you love: help from Allah and a speedy victory.

So O Prophet, give this good news to the believers. O believers! Be the helpers of Allah, just as Isa (Jesus) the son of Maryam said to his disciples: "Who will be my helper in the cause of Allah?" And the disciples responded: "We will be your helpers in the cause of Allah." Then a group from the children of Israel believed in him (Isa) and another group disbelieved. We aided the believers against their enemies, so they became victorious.

The Holy Quran , Surah: 61 Verses : 8-14

O My Lord!

2.4.11

O Allah! I ask of You integrity and soundness in my religion, my life, my family, and my possessions.

O Allah! Cover my shame, pacify my fears, guard me from what is in front of me and behind me, from what is on my right and on my left, over my head and under my feet.

O Allah! Grant health to my body. O Allah! Grant health to my hearing, O Allah! grant health to my sight. There is no deity except You. O Allah! I seek refuge in You from unbelief and poverty, and from the punishment of the grave. There is no deity except You.

O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no deity except You. You are my Creator and I am your creature. I try to keep my covenant with You and to live in the hope of Your promise as well as I can. I seek refuge in You from my own evil deeds. I acknowledge your favors to me, and I acknowledge my sins. Forgive me my sins, for there is no one who can forgive sins except You.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from worry and sorrow. I seek refuge in you from impotence and sloth, from stinginess and cowardice, I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from being humbled by men. O Allah! Make the beginning of this day good, the middle prosperous, and the end successful. I ask You to grant me the good of this world and of the Hereafter. O Most Merciful of all Who show us mercy!

O Allah! I ask of You to make me pleased with what you decreed for me return to good life after death, and I earnestly seek the pleasure of looking at Your Glorious Countenance and the craving to meet You, without distress or affection or misguiding trial. I seek refuge in You from oppressing others or being oppressed, from doing wrong or suffering wrong, and from committing an error or a sin which You will not forgive. O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the feebleness of old age.

O Allah! Guide me to the best of deeds and the best of morals, as none can guide to the best except You, and save me from bad deeds, as none can save me from what is bad except You. O Allah! Strengthen my faith, expand my living space, and bless me in my livelihood.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from negligence, degradation and destitution, I seek refuge in You from unbelief, wickedness, vanity and show, and I seek refuge in You from blindness, deafness and leprosy and bad diseases.

O Allah! Give me soul piety and my conscience purity. You are the Master of my soul and the Guardian of my conscience.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from a knowledge which does not benefit, from a heart which does not tremble, from an ego which not sated, and from a supplication which is not accepted.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I did and from the evil of what I did not do, from the evil of what I know and form the evil of what I did not know.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from a decline in Your favor, from a change in Your protection, form Your sudden punishment and all Your displeasure.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from ruin and falling, from drowning and burning, and from senility: I seek refuge in You from Satan’s beguiling me at my death, and I seek refuge in You from being bitten by venomous creatures. I seek refuge in You from greed, bad manners, bad actions, bad desires and bad diseases. I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt, from being humbled by people, and from the ridicule of enemies.

O Allah! Strength my religion which is my fortress, make this world a better place of sojourn for me, and grant me a good life in the Hereafter which will be my abode. Make my life increase in all goodness and my death a rest from all evil.

O Allah! Support me and help me, and do not let others overpower me, guide me and make the following of Your Commands easy for me.

O Allah! Make me grateful to You, mindful of You, full of fear toward You, devoted to obedience of You, humble before You, earnest in supplication, and penitent. My Lord, accept my repentance, wash away my sins, answer my supplication, establish my veracity, guide my heart, make my tongue truthful, and remove all ill-feeling from my heart.