IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
OUR AQEEDAH AND ITS COHESIVENES
The AQEEDAH of a Mumin constitutes the following believes or concepts :
1. Belief in Allah - Tawheed;
2. Belief in His angels - Malaikah
3. Belief in Scriptures - The Books;
4. Belief in the Messengers of Allah;
5. Belief in the Day of Judgment - Yawmul Qiyamah or Yawmul Akhirah;
6. Belief in the happening of things or events, whether good or bad, as pre-destined by Allah;
7. Belief in the Resurrection after death.
Now we will spell out some details of our belief.
I. IMAN OR BELIEF IN ALLAH - TAWHEED:
It is also termed as Iman Billah. It connotes that:
1. Allah is One and the most Exalted One.
He begets none nor He is begotten. Making any partner or associate, either in
His person or in His attributes, is a great and unpardonable sin. This is
called Shirk (making partners with Allah). He has no father, no mother. no wife
and no son at all;
2. Allah alone and none else is worthy of worship and devotion;
3. No one is His compeer or equal to His status ["Laisa Kamislehi" - Nothing is as His likeness. The
Qur'an 42 : 11 ];
4. Allah knows everything. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows what you do, openly or secretly or what lies in your heart and mind. He is the Knower and Listener. He is self-existent. He neither eats, nor drinks or sleeps. He is eternal. He was there when there was nothing and He will be, when there will be nothing. He is invisible but is present everywhere. He is closer than your jugular vein;
5. He is not only the CREATOR of this cosmos and what it contains but is its SUSTAINER and Law Giver. He is the controller and the Regulator of this universe - the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, planets and what lies beyond the ken of mortal eyes;
6. His authority is paramount. His sovereignty is Supreme, indivisible and inalienable over everything on the earth and skies. No human being, no parliament, no congress or monarch is above Him . His laws and directives are unquestionable and every one is subservient to Him;
7. He gives life and death to all the creatures. Allah created man in his best form and out of man created woman .He created this universe for them to use, explore and utilize for the benefit of self/mankind. All and everyone depends on Him and He depends on none;
8. Allah is the provider of Risqué (food) to all creatures, including human beings;
9. Allah created men and women with three strong urges of rest/sleep, hunger/thirst and sex and endowed them with a freewill to satisfy the urges the way they like. He has made it as a TEST to ascertain who is obedient to Him out of his or her own freewill on this earth and who is not;
10. Allah has given to both men and women a life whose span is not known, a time space within the span of life, talents and capabilities, resources, and harnessed this cosmos for them to explore and exploit for the benefit of self/mankind. These all are Allah-gifted TRUST ( Amanah) in our hands. You and me are only the TRUSTEES, not the masters as it is taken or understood commonly. Here lies the TEST. How can we use these God-gifted Amanah - the way you and me like or the way Allah likes or ordains? The accountability after death depends on the way the TRUST is used by the Trustees;
11. Allah, in His infinite mercy, arranged to send Guidance to humans, the TRUSTEES, through His appointed messengers in a continuous process to tell the humans how to live, act and behave on this earth and use the TRUST the way He likes or ordains;
12. Allah created angles, His most obedient agents, and assigned them with specific tasks to administer His kingdom of earth and heaven;
13. He has fixed a Day of Judgment, known to Him alone, when all human beings will be accountable to Him for their actions and deeds on this earth.
14. That Day of Resurrection is known to Allah alone. Bur it is inevitable. It is the Day of Al-Qayama. It will be sudden and catastrophic.
II. BELIEF IN ANGELS - MALAI'KAH:
Angels, as stated earlier, are the creation of Allah. They are made of light (NUR). They are invisible to human sight. They are neither male nor female. They do not disobey Allah and do not commit acts of sin. They are always busy in glorifying Allah, executing His orders and commands and carry out the directives which Allah assigns them without any if and but. They are the most dutiful agents of Allah.
No one except Allah knows the exact number of the angels. They are very large in numbers. They are everywhere. Even two angles are permanently sitting on the right and left of our shoulder and maintain a total, complete and comprehensive record of what we do on this earth. In the Qur'anic language, they are called "Kiramun Katebin", the sacred writers. They are attached to each individual. When a person decides to do something, the angles help him or her to get it done or thwart to get it undone. That is in terms of his or her destiny which is known to Allah alone but the individual is responsible for his or her decision and acts which he or she performs or does. He or she is not made responsible or accountable for the intentions or resolutions which he or she could not do or fulfill. This is Allah's kindness. The angles will produce the account of each man and woman on the Day of Judgment which will go a long way to decide his or her fate.
The four most renowned angels are :
1. Arch-Angel Gibril (Gabriel) - Who was commissioned to bring Allah's messages, Scriptures (the Guidance) to His appointed Prophets. He brought, revealed or delivered Torah to Moses, Zabur to David, Ingeel to Jesus and the Qur'an to Muhammad (Peace be upon all of them). Gibril is the most trusted and the most powerful of all angels of Allah. Rasulullah (S) saw him twice in his original form and shape. It was huge and covered the horizon from one end to the other. The angels can change their image and come also in human shape to fulfill their errands.
2. Isra'fil - Who is holding the trumpet to blow it on the Day of Judgment. This will herald the beginning of the Day. With the first blow of the trumpet, all the living creatures, including human beings, at that time will die. With the second blow, all will be resurrected and assembled for their accountability.
3. Mika'il - He is appointed to manage the rains and deliver livelihood to the creatures of Allah. In fact, he is the angel for the distribution of Risqué (provision) to all the animate objects of this cosmos. Human beings are the essential part of this scheme. The Risqué, for which every human being is always worried for, comes from Allah in the measures and quantities already fixed and allotted. None can increase or decrease it. This is a very essential part of Iman.
4. Izra'il - He is incharge of death. He takes out the souls from the creatures of Allah. When the appointed hour of death comes, he takes out the soul from the body. In consequence, death is pronounced.
Besides these prominent angels, the incharge of paradise is called Ridw'an and that of the hell is called Malik. Angels are the direct link between Allah and His appointed messengers. Iman in angels, therefore, must be observed beyond any shadow of doubt. But they are just Allah's agent and do not possess any power or authority other than what Allah assigns them. Attributing any other quality or expecting them to do intercession for humans, as was treated by the idolaters of Makkah, is a great sin. It has been pronounced as Shirk and Allah never pardons Shirk, i.e., making partners with Him
III. BELIEF IN THE BOOKS OF ALLAH - SCRIPTURES:
Allah [Subhanahu Wa Taa'la - (SWT)]
ordered Adam, Eve and the Devil (Satan), "Go down, all of you (to the
earth) from hence (paradise); but verily there comes unto you from Me a
guidance; and whoso follows My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them
neither shall they grieve".
" But they who disbelieve, and deny our revelations, such are rightful owners of the fire. They will abide therein".
(The Qur'an 2 : 38 -39)
This was a clear commitment from Allah, the Creator and the Sustainer of humans. Since that time, Allah (SWT) managed, in His infinite mercy, to maintain His undertaking with Adam/Eve and their prodigies. Adam was himself the prophet of Allah and he was guided how to live and behave on earth. When that guidance was lost or interpolated by man, Allah, as per His commitment sent the guidance afresh to the appointed messenger of the time. Thus, whenever the guidance was lost, distorted or innovated, Allah replaced it with a fresh and updated guidance for humans to live the way He likes in order to keep the abode of man in peace and save it from disorder and disbalances in the art of living and maintaining human relations and the relation with the Creator upright.
The most prominent of these Divine Books of Guidance were four. They were revealed to the prophets of the time one after the other as and when the guidance was needed by man and the human society. The rest of the books which might have come to other prophets are not known. They are totally lost in obscurity.
* The TORAH, The Old Testament, was
revealed to Prophet Moses [ Peace be upon him - (pbuh) ];
* The ZABUR , The Psalms, was revealed to Prophet David (pbuh);
* The INJEEL, The New Testament, was revealed to Prophet Isa or Jesus ( pbuh);
* The QUR'AN, the last and the final Book of Guidance was revealed to the last Prophet of Allah,
Guidance in the format of Scrolls (Sahifah) were given to Prophet Adam, Prophet Abraham and Prophet Shith (pbu them). Only their name is mentioned in Scriptures. The rest is not known.
IV. BELIEF IN THE MESSENGERS OF ALLAH:
It is Allah's tradition that He does not talk to His servants (humans) directly. He sends His guidance to mankind as how to live, act and behave while living on the earth, through His appointed messengers from amongst men. He has send the guidance to all the people of all ages and all the regions in a continuous process. These individual human beings who were selected by Allah to serve humanity are called the prophets and the messengers of Allah. A Muslim believes in all the prophets/messengers without any exception or any distinction. It is prohibited by Allah to discriminate in His prophets. One who does not believe in any of the prophets or denies any one of them, his or her Iman is not complete. Hence, he or she cannot remain a Muslim.
As the angels are the essential links between Allah and the Prophets, equally, the messengers formulate a strong bridge between man/woman and his/her Creator. The task of a messenger is not only to deliver the message or the guidance from Allah but to present an immaculate and perfect model of the teachings in his person for the people to follow. His practical life becomes the manifestation of the life-pattern which Allah expects from each human to lead on earth. The Messenger of the time explains the intricacies of the message, teaches Hikmah (wisdom) to his followers and purifies their character. That is why, the messenger is to be followed in totality. Believe in the prophets of Allah is, therefore, an essential part of out faith or Aqeedah
Thus, the Guidance which Allah promised to send to humans came in a continuous process. As a result, there is a continuity of His guidance and the continuity of the institution of prophethood is also established. It is because man should never have the plea to say at any time as what to follow, how to live, there is no guidance? This is Allah's arrangement for man to live in peace and harmony and lead a balanced life.
Though innumerable prophets were appointed by Allah at different time, place and ages but only a few of them are now known to human history. The known prophets of Allah are about twenty four in number. Their names have appeared in Scriptures one way or the other. The episode of their mission, the response of the people of the age and the result of their denial or acceptance are recorded somewhere in brief and somewhere in a bit detail in Torah, Bible and the Qur'an. The prominent amongst them are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Hud, Saleh, Shuaib, Zakariah, Yahya (John the Baptist), Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon all of them). The first was Adam and the last prophet is Muhammad.
Though a Muslim is to believe in all the prophets whether known or unknown, but he or she is to follow only the life-pattern of Prophet Muhammad (S) and be respectful to all. Prophet Muhammad (S) is the last prophet of Allah. No prophet is to come after him. Why? Because the guidance which came in the from of the Qur'an is in intact in its original form, free of any kind of innovation. Allah Himself took the responsibility to protect it from any kind of human innovation. The Qur'an is now the book of Guidance for humanity till eternity and the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the inspiring model for human beings to follow for all times to come. No prophet is to come now after him. This is the Iman of a Muslim. The stronger his Iman in Allah and His Prophet (S), the greater efforts he or she will make to follow the Book of Guidance, the Qur'an and the life of the guide, Prophet Muhammad (S).
V. BELIEF IN THE LAST DAY OF JUDGMENT OR YAWMUL - QIYAMAH
It is a pre-determined date but no one knows except Allah when it will happen. On that date, all the living creatures, including humans, will die. The entire world will perish. The mountains will blow like cotton puffs. The stars, the planets, the sun and the moon will all disintegrate. The earth will be stretched like a plain field. All and everything will be reduced to nothing. Angel Israfil will blow his trumpet on command from Allah. Its sound will be so loud, so thunderous and so horrible that no one will survive its shock and all will be dead. This is the inevitable. That will be the end of life on earth. Except Allah (SWT), none will exist on that Day. The authority on that day will be only in the hands of Allah and He will be the sole Master of the situation. That will be the day of accountability to Allah.
Though no-body knows when the Qiyamah will come but its approaching signs have been mentioned by Rasulullah (S). The signs are as follows:
* Sins will be committed in abundance;
* Disobedience to parents and harsh treatment to them will be rampant;
* Trusted deposits will be tampered with;
* Singing, dancing and revelries will be on increase by leaps and bounds;
* Younger generation will be abusing their forefathers;
* The uneducated or the ill-educated will become leaders;
* Shepherds and lowly placed persons will begin to build lofty buildings; and
* The incompetents will come to hold high offices.;
When such things start to happen, then, it can be concluded that the Day of Judgment is near. One must be fearful of that day and its horror. A Muslim must seek the protection of Allah from its harshness. May Allah protect all of us.
The belief on the Day of Judgment covers the following concept of Akhirah. It must, therefore, be clearly understood by the Muslims. Our entire attitude of life depends on it. It connotes:
1. That humans are not irresponsible
creatures. They are responsible to their Creator and Sustainer for all of their
actions and deeds on this earth.
2. The existing arrangement and management of this earth or universe is not permanent. It will come to an end one day which is known to Allah alone.
3. After the destruction of this world, another world, different from the present one, will be created by Allah and the entire mankind, from Adam to the last human born, will be resurrected. All will be gathered together for accountability before Allah and each and everyone will be rewarded or punished accordingly.
4. According to His decision, those who have committed good deeds on earth will be rewarded with Paradise and those with bad deeds will be thrown in the hell fire.
5. The criterion of success and failure is not the prosperity or the hardship of this life but the real success will be secured by those who come out successful on the Day of Judgment. The real loser will be those who will cut a sorry figure on that day.
As a result, a Muslim is supposed to struggle for whole of his or her life to come out with flying colors on the Day of Judgment. It will be possible only when he or she resolves to live and act only to seek His pleasure day in and day out.
VI. THE TAQDEER - DESTINY:
When Allah first created the Qalam (the Pen), He asked the Qalam to write. The Qalam wrote each and everything from the beginning to the end - how and what is going to happen. It is written in a Book with Allah. Its name is Lauhe Mahfooz or Ummul Kitab. It is the Ilm (knowledge) of Allah. It is the planning and the process of Allah through which He fashioned the earth and heaven to come into existence and created man and what is going to happen to him or this cosmos, including the earth. The knowledge perceives what is going to happen or who will do what. It is the destiny of each and every animate and inanimate object of this universe. It also includes the destiny of men and women.
But this pre-destiny has nothing to do with the freewill which Allah has endowed to humans. Men and women are free to do what they like to do on this earth to satisfy the demands of their urges to live, survive and promote their specie. The decision in each case will be theirs. They are free to strive, struggle and achieve what they prefer most. The angels of Qada and Qadar (destiny) will help each man and woman to attain their goal. But whether they will succeed or not is in the knowledge of Allah. This is his or her pre-destiny. He or she will be accountable for the goal or intention and efforts which he or she puts for it. If the intention, goal and objective is good, he/she will be rewarded whether he/she succeeds or not. If the goal or intention and efforts which he/she puts for that are bad, he/she will be punished , if he/she succeeds in it. Whether one will succeed or not is the knowledge or Ilm of Allah or He knows his or her destiny or fate which one will meet. The Ilm of Allah is not known to us. We are simply to make our efforts and leave the results in the hands of Allah. A Muslim remains satisfied with the result in either of the case. He or she always remain contented. A Muslim expresses this contentment by expressing thanks to Allah, if he or she succeeds and observes patience (Sabr), in cases where he or she meets failures. He or she clearly understands that either of the situation is from his or her Creator, Allah. This is called the pre-destiny of the individuals (his or her Qadar) as well as that of the nations whose rise and fall occurs due to their own follies and mistakes but it happens as per their destiny which is the knowledge of Allah.
A Muslim must have a confirmed believe in
his destiny but he or she must struggle consistently and persistently for the
betterment of this as well as the next world. This concept of pre-destination
emboldens him or her to struggle his or her utmost and leaves the results in
the hands of Allah., This will explain the situation where people make
life-long efforts but do not succeed because it was not in their destiny;
whereas there are many cases where people make little or no effort but their
life is adorned with success. That was their destiny or the will or the Ilm of
Allah. This increases the faith of a Muslim and Muslimah
in his or her Creator immensely.
VII. BELIEF IN RESURRECTION - THE LIFE AFTER DEATH:
On the Last Day of Judgment, when the first trumpet will be blown by Angel Isra'il, everything will be dead. When he will blow his trumpet second time, everything will come to existence. All humans will also come to life.. Then all will be presented to Allah on the plains of Resurrection. Each and every one will be put to account and each will be rewarded or punished accordingly.
This is the ultimate reality of life. This world is a place for actions and deeds. The next world is the place to harvest the crop which a person grows on earth. This is the logical conclusion of the life which a man or a woman passes on this earth. A man/woman commits a crime. The consequences of that crime may continue to bitter the life of millions for centuries together. Similarly, the consequences of a good deed may continue to benefit the human society for centuries together. The total effect even of one action, good or bad, cannot be measured till this world comes to an end and every one's account is closed with total debits or credits which he or she has earned on this earth. It is, therefore essential that one day is fixed when this world must come to an end. Everybody's account is thus closed. Allah presides over the final court of Justice, everybody is accounted for and full justice is delivered in either case. The evil-doers are brought to book and punished and the good-doers are well compensated for their good deeds, The resurrection on the Day of Judgment is the logical corollary of our existence on this earth. It is the demand of justice and fair play that a day is fixed where the evil designers are punished and doers of good deeds are rewarded.
The Arabs of the time of Rasulullah (S) were not prepared to believe in the resurrection after death. They used to come to the Prophet (s), showing him a sandy or rotten bone and ask him (S): Is this bone going to be resurrected; we cannot believe it. To them it was far from truth. Allah has discussed this question of the idolaters time and again in the Qur'an in various forms. Like the old Jahiliyah, the modern Jahilyah (ignorance) are not prepared to accept the concept of life Hereafter. To both of them, this is the only life. They do not believe in any life after death. As such, they do not feel accountable to any one for their actions and deeds. As a result, they become irresponsible and behave like a reckless creature on earth. In consequence, they fill the earth with disorder, chaos, disbalances and bloodshed. One who believes in the Day of Resurrection, he or she feels responsible and accountable to his or her Creator. They, in turn, fill the earth with peace and order and make the human society worth living.
Thus, one can see the contrast in life and in its pattern which the believe in Resurrection can make. One can imagine the difference of hell and heaven in its acceptance and rejection. This believe changes the concept of life altogether.
THE COHESIVENESS OF OUR AQEEDAH:
From the above discussion, it appears that all the beliefs are well integrated and interlinked. One stems out of the other. The basic concept is Tawheed, believe in Allah alone and in His supreme authority over this cosmos. He created a specie from light. It is called angels for the administration of His universe. He created another specie from clay. It is called man and from man created woman. He made man and woman as His vicegerents on earth. He or she is to live here and strive whole of his/her life to achieve His pleasure with three potent urges and one strong will to use the resources of self and this cosmos for the satisfaction of his/her needs and urges. Allah, in His infinite Mercy committed Himself to send to man His Guidance as how to live, act and behave on this earth to attain His pleasure. For this important communication with the humans, He fixed a tradition on His own accord that the guidance will come to humans through His appointed messengers from amongst the human beings, as and when it will be needed. But It is not a "free-lunch" from Allah. He appointed a day when the universe and what it contains will come to an end, Everything , including the humans will be dead. Then, they all will be resurrected and brought to book as how they passed their life on this earth, in His obedience for cultivating His pleasure or in rebellion against His authority. The concept of accountability stems out of the position which man holds on the earth and the Trust which Allah entrusted to him/her for his/her survival and maintenance on this earth. A reference to a Hadith will not be out of context which gives emphasis over the concept of accountability in Akhirah.
This Hadith is from Tirmizi, Number 305/306 (Vol. II) and is narrated by Abdullah ibne Maswood and Berzah AL- Aslami (may Allah be pleased with them) that Rasulullah (S) said that on the Day of Judgment no body will be allowed to budge an inch from the court of Allah unless he or she answers the following five questions:
1. About his/her age, how he/she passed
2. About his/her knowledge (Ilm), how he/she used it and brought into practice;
3. About his/her earnings, how he/she made it (through Halal or Haram means);
4. About his/her expenditures, how he/she expended his/her earnings, i.e., on what accounts;
5. About time, where he/she used it (and on what counts).
One can well imagine the difficult situation which will be confronted by each and every human being on the Day of Judgment. It will not be easy to answer these questions to Allah who knows everything which is open or secret. Presumable, the only answer on that day which will carry some weight will be that if one could say, " O Allah ! whatever You gave/entrusted me - life, time, talents/capabilities and resources , I put them all in Your way only to seek Your pleasure". That will be the simplest answer and that is the objective of life which a Muslim or Muslimah is to profess and practice and that is what his or her Aqeedah demands.
The above aspect presents the scenario of our Aqeedah. All the beliefs which I have discussed are interlinked. One stems out of the other. This creates a paramount vision for a Mumin to hold for his or her entire life. This is the axis on which hinges the life and total activities of a Mumin and a Mumina. It fixes the position of man/woman and that of a Muslim/Muslimah on this earth. It explains the objective for which this universe and the humans are created. Why they all short live for a brief period of life. Why one day this entire workshop of man on earth and this magnificent universe will suddenly come to a catastrophic end. Why the day of Resurrection is hidden and is known only to the Creator. In fact, it is an open TEST to ascertain who obeys Him out of his or her own sweet will and who disobeys Him as per his/her own choice. There is no coercion on this earth to follow Him and His Guidance under compulsion. The choice is of ours only. Man is free to accept Him as his Lord or reject. This lies in the domain of his or her freewill or free choice. The net result will be delivered and administered by the Creator in Akhirah. Heaven for the obedients and hell-fire for the disbelievers.
Form the above, one can easily conclude
that why one who believes and inculcates this Iman, brings these concepts into
practice, and makes this Aqeedah a motivational force in his or her life
develops an attitude of a responsible citizen, a loving father or mother, a
devoted husband or wife, a God-fearing human being, a careful and conscious
neighbor and very mindful of service to humanity. This Aqeedah creates a
society, a culture, a civilization and an Ummah of Allah-conscious people, the
only hope of mankind to attain peace on earth and create a society free of
exploitation and prejudices which we see around us. This is the message which
Muslims of America are to communicate to every man and woman of their country
in contrast to Godless and secular creeds which are rampant around them,
creating an irresponsible and reckless attitude of life in our countrymen and
women and advocating to maximize their personal pleasure and comfort in this
life. Those who hold these materialistic concepts do not believe in the life
Hereafter, behave like reckless creatures and in return fill the earth, the
abode of man, with disorder, confusion and bloodshed.
This is the theme of our Dawah efforts in this country. The concept of Tawheed, the concept of Amanah (Trust), the accountability on the day of Judgment and the need of the life of Prophet Muhammad (S) as a model and guide for the suffering humanity are the basic points which are to be presented to the people of the land in a very palatable and convincing manner. The Judeo-Christian society of
We will succeed in our Dawah efforts only when each and every Muslim of America becomes a true model of this Aqeeda in thoughts and practice. Muslims are to develop an approach to involve the Jews and Christians to a meaningful dialogue about the Aqeedah which is a common denomination of all Ibrahemic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The concept of Tawheed, the concept of prophethood and the concept of accountability in Akhirah, one way or the other, are common to all. Muslims of America are to take initiative and invite Jews and Christians for discussion about these paramount concepts in a friendly atmosphere. This is our supreme task as a Muslim and for that we are to present a character which is trustworthy and depicts these believes. We as Muslims are to profess, practice and demonstrate in our day today life what this Aqeedah demands. Only then, Allah (SWT), in His infinite mercy, will pave the way for useful, fruitful and effective Dawah contacts with the people of the land.
The mood of worships which will be the theme of our next study are nothing but provisions to develop, sustain and promote our relation with Allah and nurture the concept that we are for Allah and one day we all are to return to Him. The more we are stronger in our Aqeedah (believes) in depth, the stronger will be our Iman. The more our Iman is strong in depth, the more it will motivate us to invite the people of the land to the fold of Allah. The strength of Aqeedah is supreme. A Muslim wherever he/she is and in whatever circumstances he/she is placed, he or she struggles for the whole of his or her life for the propagation of the Aqeedah which he or she holds and sustains, even at the cost of his or her life.
May Allah make all of us truthful torch-bearers of our Aqeedah and give us Tawfeeq ( blessings) to practice and profess it in every action, in every move and in every walk of life. Ameen !
Shamim A Siddiqi