My Imam

Monday night not known for much excitement. Tonight would be different. About 20 people attending my daughter’s birthday party. Sitting in the living room having a serious conversation on how to solve global problems. Especially those relating to war and peace in the Arab world. Towards the end of the evening, a topic hits us like a jolt.

The remark from my brother that flew and hit me sharp in the head was this, “the world in the near future will not need any concept of God. It was required in the past. Humans gave him definition and meaning and it was required for the primitive society. But now with the advancement of science and technology, we no longer need to define or even believe in God anymore”.

The future as I see it belongs to the Corporate. That future has already arrived to a great extent. The One World government of Star Trek and almost every other SciFi movie attempts to paint that picture in our minds preparing us for the society waiting in the wings. In the One World society, what need would there be of God? The Board of Governors of the World Assembly would have very credible evidences to prove how religious differences caused the deaths of millions of young men and women. Heck, look at Yemen, Gaza, Aleppo, Kashmir, just to name a few place witnessing 21st century massacre due to their religious differences. It would make sense to rid the people of doctrines that promise to spill the blood of their children. Or would it?

Lets take a step back. I don’t want war. Don’t want to send my precious children to fight for stupid people whose ambitions swirl around their ego and greed. I also happen to understand how these “strongmen” will use the religious clergy to give their hidden ambitions a sacred color making their entry into the hearts of young idealists comfortable. Its always our loos, their big fat gain. Let them go to hell in the company of their zealots. Not falling for that balognese.

Without God, would the world really be a better place? Mankind would be risking its very civilization, its moral fabric, its just laws, its very promise for equality and justice would become a thing up for debate and discussion to be decided upon by a few powerful men of the “World Assembly”.

The poor and powerless nations and ethnicities should not expect to be at the negotiating table demanding for fair and equitable distribution of world resources so that all nations live on equal living standards. Dream all you want baby, its not a world of angels.

We don’t need another definition of God. We don’t need another religion. We could be better off without the “holy” men. How about coming up with a different “thought”?

A thought about how to erase the years of indoctrination of our minds by the preachers. Once we can do that, hopefully, w can come up with another thought, a dynamic and vibrant one that will hold the promise to take us where no one has gone before, to a level from where we can truly appreciate what God wants from His creation.

To my brother, I asked “isn’t it interesting how little we know about the Noble family of our Prophet? Is’nt his family the most revered family in all of Islam?”

Yes of course it is says my brother.

Then why do we know the least about them? We know more than we need to about the corrupt families of our times but we have been blind for centuries about the family which revolutionized the world. Isnt it really SHOCKING for a Muslim? Is there any reason why we should not know about the Noble Ahlul Bayt?

Here is a list of names up to the 5th Imam. More on the Imams and the Ahlul Bayt (Noble House of the Prophet) later on…

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Lady Fatimah (AS) + Imam Ali (AS) – 1st Imam

Imam Hassan (2nd Imam) | Imam Hussein (3rd Imam)

Imam Zaynul Abedin bin Hussein (4th Imam)  Imam Zayd bin Zaynul Abedin (5th Imam  |  Imam Muhammad al Baqer bin Zaynul Abedin (5th Imam also).

 

May the peace and blessings of ALLAH (SWT) be upon the noble Prophet and upon his pure and noble Family and upon the righteous companions. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Besten Lohn

Der Sinn des Lebens eines Muslims ist es, dem allmachtigen Gott zu dienen und dies auf genau die Art und Weise, wie es der allmachtige Gott von seinen Geschopfen, von seinen Dienern erwartet.

Durch diesen Gottesdienst mochte der Muslim den besten Lohn erreichen und das ist das Paradies. Uber das Paradies sagt der allmachtige Gott in einem heiligen Hadith:

“Der Prophet, Allahs segen und Heil auf ihm, sagte: Allah, der Allmachtigen und Hocherhabene, sagte:

Ich habe fur Meine rechtschafenen Diener (im Paradies) das vorbereitet, was weder ein Auge sah, noch ein Ohr davon horte, noch als Herzenswunsch eines Menschen vorstellbar war.”

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

“My house will be a house of prayer……You have made it a “den of robbers”. Luke Ch 19 v 45-47.

The Mighty Prophet of God, the Spirit of God, the Word of God, Jesus Alihi salatu wa salam, or Nabi Isa Alihi wa Salam rises above the boundaries and borders of humans. Jesus (Alihi Salam, Upon Him be Peace or AS) belongs to all humanity. Muslims have been commanded by God, in the Holy Quran, never to make any distinction between any of the Prophets (alihi Salatu wa salam, Peace Be Upon Them). Prophets were sent with a high Mission to establish the Justice of God on Earth and to correct our thoughts, concepts and morals.

I read the Gospel of Luke last night for the very first time. Movies I saw. Books I read, but reading the Bible was a first. How did I feel? Overwhelmed. I am truly amazed at how much Muslims and Christians have in common with respect to their Scriptures. In my simplistic understanding, Christians are followers of Jesus Christ (AS), and Muslims are followers of Prophet Muhammad (Sallillahu alihi wa alihi wa sallam or Peace Be Upon Him and His Family). It is my firm conviction that all the Prophets of God taught mankind to believe in only ONE GOD and to worship none other than the ONE GOD the Sovereign the Owner of the Universe. In Islam, this concept is known as Tawheed and it is the most important concept in Islam.

I chose to study the Gospel of Luke for a purpose. It seems to me quite strange that the followers of two Mighty Prophets (AS) should be fighting each other in so many different corners of the world. It would have been more justifiable if the Believers had teamed up to defend their communities from the attacks of disbelievers.

I would expect the followers of Muhammad (PBUH) to defend their Christian brothers, also known as the Nasarah or the Helpers in Islamic terminology, wherever they make up a minority position in any Muslim country. Similarly, I would expect the Nasarah to defend their Muslim brothers in Palestine, Yemen, Bangladesh and Kashmir. Unrealistic expectations I suppose. This got me reading up and slowly brought me to Luke.

Luke, chapter 19, verse 45-47, when Jesus (AS) enters the Temple, he does something quite remarkable. He drives the “sellers” out of the temple. Was this a spontaneous act or was it planned? Could it be that Jesus (AS) had identified the “sellers” as corrupt, impure, disbelieving, hypocritical pretenders who had effectively commercialized the faith of Jews and therefore these “robbers” had to be thrown out first.

So he organized his disciples and developed a strategy to rid the temple of the impure “robbers”. The plan worked perfectly. The “sellers” were driven out, the Messiah began his sermons, crowds came to listen to him. He did it, he got the attention of the common people. Jesus (AS) was a fine strategist. Wouldn’t you agree?

Coming back to the 21st century, we have a similar situation, where the wealthy elite “robbers” have commercialized the religious industry, just as they had done 2000 years ago in Jerusalem. They control prices, the production, demand, supply and movement of goods (including currencies) and are able to purchase priestly blessings for their “services” from their Chief Priests.

Common people mostly end up as hostages to the “robbers” also referred to as Capitalists and Monopolists in modern times. A case in point is the forbidden usage of Interest (also called Usury or Riba in Arabic). Why are Christian and Muslim priests silent on the topic of “interest” and money lending business model of Banks? Should they (the priests) not be educating the masses about the evil inherent in the principle of interest on money? Interest is the foundational pillar on which the monopolistic capitalist system stands. Are the Chief Priests in Manhattan and London protecting the “robbers”?

In Islam, it is even more explicitly forbidden in the clear verses of the Holy Quran. Yet we rarely hear the Muslim priests wanting to remove the curse of “riba” (interest) from the banking industry. Is the power of the “robbers’ too great to overcome or is there another transaction “behind the veil’ which we poor people have been blinded from?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cure for Mental Illness, Depression, and Sadness

In this post, I would like to invite you to read about something that will help you get over the depressive moods, the loneliness and the sadness inside you.

Many of us faced such situations in our lives when things just don’t happen as we wished they did. We loose loved ones, we loose jobs, we loose in business, we fail as artists, our writings look horrible, and the list can go on. Failure is the name of the face in the mirror. Depression hits us. We start to loose self esteem and confidence in ourselves. Its the kind of stage where one might question the very reason for his existence. It can get that serious, unless something is done to turn the situation around.

Remember the dementors. You cant beat them with your magic. The only thing that works against a dementor is your positive thought. Don’t have one? No problem, think about one, that will be good enough. Ok, make one up, that will also work.

The remedy for depression is one of Islam’s greatest gifts to mankind. And it was the Chosen One, al-Mustafa, Prophet of God, Peace be Upon Him, who taught us how to overcome mental depression, without any side-effects from drugs what-so-ever. But first, a little bit about my Master….

I believe, He is the Chosen One, the Leader of all mankind, the last of Prophet of God, Nabi-Allah, the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him.

You say, “we don’t believe in him. We think he borrowed his teachings from Judeo-Christian sources, our sources. He learned from a man named Waraqa, his wife’s Christian cousin and possibly a monk”.

Do you prefer rationalistic thinking over blind memorization of Opinions? If you do prefer to think, then allow me to introduce you to something that you might find useful.

 The idea of Prophethood and Revelation of Divine Scripture should not come as a surprise to any believer. You, the followers of Moses, believe in the noble Prophetic careers of Noah, Abraham, Isac, JAcob (Israel) and the 12 tribes. You, my Christian cousin, believe in Yahya (John), Zachariah, Joseph, Joshua, and of-course in Isa (Jesus). It is the exact same logical thinking that brings me to my belief in the Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (Peace be Upon Him and  peace be on all the Prophets – Alihi salatu wa salam, and on their families and companions). How would it be, if you accept the prophets mentioned in your Book whereas you deny the same rights to the last Prophet?  On what ground can you do that, or is that something you found in any of your scriptures? I doubt that.

Rather, I think your scripture tells you to follow and join the Saviour, the honorable one, upon his arrival, which has been prophesized in your Book as well as other Books dating back 7000 years..

You say only your Book is authentic, its Holy and its the real religion, while all other religious ideas are fake pretenders. On what logical ground do you suggest that the Old Testament is the word of God but not the Holy Quran?  Have you ever read the Quran? If not, then how can you tell whether the Book is from God or Man?

Only one who is arrogant, prejudiced and blind to reason would propose to accept his idea (about Revelations and Prophets) to be universally correct at the exclusion of all other thoughts and ideas. Use your senses. Evaluate the Message of Judaism, Christianity and Islam with an objective mind, just as you do for everything else anyway.

Our thoughts have a powerful ability to determine our feelings and emotional states and ultimately affect how we behave, for better or worse. Islam teaches us to direct the act reflection (tafakkur), or deep thought, towards the signs of Allah, the names and attributes of Allah, to his blessings and wonders, to hope in the Hereafter, and to optimism. By controlling our thought processes in a positive manner, we can increase the effectiveness of our prayers and worship as well as relieve ourselves from the anger, depression, and anxieties that worldly thoughts induce.

Contrary to popular belief, we have control over which thoughts we choose to follow. We may not have a choice over which particular thought occurs initially in our minds at a given time, but we do have a choice to either ignore it or pursue it.

Our voluntary thoughts are nothing more than inward statements. Hence, the rule is that we should only engage good thoughts or keep our minds silent.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَسْكُتْ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak goodness or remain silent.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6110, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Sometimes Satan will throw evil suggestions into our minds. These suggestions have no power over us unless we choose to act on them. If we follow an evil or negative train of thought, then it will lead us to a terrible end.

Thus, when we find ourselves caught up in a bad line of thinking, we need to immediately replace these negative thoughts with positive inward statements to cancel their effects.

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا

Follow a bad deed with a good deed and it will erase it.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1987, Grade: Sahih

Positive thoughts are those that produce good feelings, good deeds, peace of mind, gratitude, tranquility, contentment, and other positive emotional states. These are truthful thoughts about Allah, hope in the Hereafter, the prophets, our blessings, good deeds, and so on. They produce wisdom and enlightenment in the heart.

Negative thoughts are those that produce bad feelings, anger, envy, jealousy, hatred, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotional states. These are thoughts about the world, our wealth, our status, people we do not like or who have wronged us, and so on. The cause of these thoughts is an attachment to the delusions of worldly and materialistic life that cloud the heart and prevent its purification.

Abu Sulaiman, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

الْفِكْرُ فِي الدُّنْيَا حِجَابٌ عَنِ الآخِرَةِ وَعُقُوبَةٌ لأَهْلِ الْوَلايَةِ وَالْفِكْرَةُ فِي الآخِرَةِ تُورِثُ الْحِكْمَةَ وَتُحْيِي الْقَلْبَ وَمَنْ نَظَرَ إِلَى الدُّنْيَا مُوَلِّيَةً صَحَّ عِنْدَهُ غُرُورُهَا

Thought upon the world is a veil over the Hereafter and a punishment for the people. Thought upon the Hereafter produces wisdom and life in the heart. Whoever looks to the world as his protector will come to accept its delusions.

Source: Hilyat al-Awliyā 14447

Not all thoughts about the world are evil. Thinking about something Allah blessed us with in the world is good. And we have a duty to take care of our worldly affairs, meet our work obligations, pay our bills, fulfill our trusts, and so on. We should think about these things in so far as they are necessary and beneficial.

For example, we may need to think about how we are going to complete a work project. But perhaps at work someone said a mean word to us or did something to annoy us. If we constantly dwell upon that negative interaction, it will only cause harm to us and produce no benefit. It is an unnecessary worldly thought and should be dismissed.

In fact, a step on the road to excellence in Islam is learning to think about only those things that should concern us.

Ali ibn Hussein reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ مِنْ حُسْنِ إِسْلَامِ الْمَرْءِ تَرْكَهُ مَا لَا يَعْنِيهِ

Verily, part of perfection in Islam is for a person to leave what does not concern him.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2318, Grade: Sahih li ghayri

Ibn Al-Qayyim writes:

فأنفع الدَّوَاء أَن تشغل نَفسك بالفكر فِيمَا يَعْنِيك دون مَالا يَعْنِيك فالفكر فِيمَا لَا يَعْنِي بَاب كل شَرّ وَمن فكّر فِيمَا لَا يعنيه فَاتَهُ مَا يعنيه

The most beneficial remedy is that you preoccupy yourself with thoughts of what should concern you and not those that should not concern you. Thinking about what does not matter to you is the door of every evil. Whoever reflects upon what does not concern him, then he will miss what does concern him.

Source: al-Fawā’id 1/175

This means busying ourselves with worldly thoughts only to the extent necessary, and also learning not to worry about matters beyond our circle of influence or control. If we constantly worry or get upset by things we cannot change, that will take our attention away from what we can change.

After understanding the effects of positive and negative thoughts, we then need to direct our thought processes towards positive trains of thought and learn to dismiss negative thoughts before they take us into a downward spiral. Many of the Prophet’s companions considered the skill to direct thought in a positive way as the enlightenment of true faith.

Amir ibn Abdi Qais, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

سَمِعْتُ غَيْرَ وَاحِدٍ وَلَا اثْنَيْنِ وَلَا ثَلَاثَةٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُونَ إِنَّ ضِيَاءَ الْإِيمَانِ أَوْ نُورَ الْإِيمَانِ التَّفَكُّرُ

I heard from more than one or two or three of the companions of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, that they said the radiance or light of faith is in reflection.

Source: al-Durr al-Manthūr 3:190

Thinking about the blessings of Allah is itself an act of worship that leads to gratitude, contentment, and happiness. It takes no significant effort from us and yet it produces great results in our lives.

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

الْكَلَامُ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حَسَنٌ وَالْفِكْرَةُ فِي نِعَمِ اللَّهِ أَفْضَلُ الْعِبَادَةِ

Speaking in remembrance of Allah the Exalted is good, yet thought upon the blessings of Allah is the best act of worship.

Source: Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr 3:190

All of this points to the fact that the believers should be optimistic and not pessimistic or cynical. There are no omens in Islam (or signs that predict the future), but the believers are always expecting the best from Allah even if they do not know exactly how it will be.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا طِيَرَةَ وَخَيْرُهَا الْفَأْلُ

There are no omens, but the best of it is optimism.

They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is optimism?” The Prophet said:

الْكَلِمَةُ الصَّالِحَةُ يَسْمَعُهَا

A righteous word one of you hears.

In another narration, the Prophet said:

وَيُعْجِبُنِي الْفَأْلُ الْكَلِمَةُ الْحَسَنَةُ الْكَلِمَةُ الطَّيِّبَةُ

I am amazed by optimism, the good word, the kind word.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5422, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi 

Ibn Abbas reported:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَتَفَاءَلُ وَلَا يَتَطَيَّرُ وَيُعْجِبُهُ الِاسْمُ الْحَسَنُ

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was optimistic and he did not see evil omens, and he liked good names.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 2762, Grade: Sahih

Positive thinking and optimism are most important as they relate to our prayers, supplications, and acts of worship. A prayer or supplication that is offered with certainty that Allah will answer is far more effective and beneficial than a weak prayer. For this reason, the Prophet told us to pray to Allah in the certain knowledge that he will answer.

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِذَا دَعَا أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَعْزِمْ فِي الدُّعَاءِ وَلاَ يَقُلِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ شِئْتَ فَأَعْطِنِي فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ مُسْتَكْرِهَ لَه

When one of you supplicates, let him be determined in the supplication and he should not say: O Allah, give me if you will. There is no one to coerce Allah.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5979, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, the Prophet said:

ادْعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَنْتُمْ مُوقِنُونَ بِالْإِجَابَةِ

Call upon Allah with certainty that he will answer you.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3479, Grade: Hasan

This means we should pray while believing that Allah has already answered us in the best manner.

Ibn Hajar comments on this tradition, saying:

وَمَعْنَى الْأَمْرِ بِالْعَزْمِ الْجِدُّ فِيهِ وَأَنْ يَجْزِمَ بِوُقُوعِ مَطْلُوبِهِ

The meaning of determination is to be persistent in the supplication and to affirm that what is asked will occur.

Source: Fatḥ al-Bārī 5979

And An-Nawawi writes:

هُوَ حُسْنُ الظَّنِّ بِاَللَّهِ تَعَالَى فِي الْإِجَابَةِ

It is to have good expectations (ḥusn al-ẓann) that Allah the Exalted will answer you.

Source: Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2678

Once we make a supplication, we should affirm it in our hearts and minds that Allah has without a doubt already heard and answered us. Let the prayer sink into the bottom of your heart and penetrate your subconscious mind.

Sometimes the answer does not come the way we would expect. But as long as we pray for good and expect good, the answer has already been fulfilled even if we do not know how.

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو بِدَعْوَةٍ لَيْسَ فِيهَا إِثْمٌ وَلَا قَطِيعَةُ رَحِمٍ إِلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا إِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ إِمَّا أَنْ تُعَجَّلَ لَهُ دَعْوَتُهُ وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَدَّخِرَهَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ مِنْ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا قَالُوا إِذًا نُكْثِرُ قَالَ اللَّهُ أَكْثَرُ

There is no Muslim who supplicates to Allah without sin or cutting family ties in it but that Allah will give him one of three answers: he will hasten fulfillment of his supplication, he will store it for him in the Hereafter, or he will divert an evil from him similar to it.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 10749, Grade: Sahih

As long as we continue praying and supplicating, the answer is sure to come even if it is stored for the next life. In contrast, we are in danger of having our prayers unanswered if we get frustrated or stop praying altogether.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

يُسْتَجَابُ لِأَحَدِكُمْ مَا لَمْ يَعْجَلْ يَقُولُ دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي

Every one of you will have his supplications answered as long as he is not impatient and he says: I have supplicated but I was not answered.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5981, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi 

Many of us do not have our prayers answered because we do not pray in a good manner, we pray for sinful things, we do not expect good from Allah, or we simply give up. In this respect, the Prophet is the best role model for us to learn how to pray and what to pray for. The real secret of prayer, though, is that we will get good from Allah to the measure that we expect good from him.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace be and blessings on him, said:

يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا ذَكَرَنِي

Allah the Exalted says: I am as my servant expects me and I am with him as he remembers me.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6970, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, the Prophet said:

إِنْ ظَنَّ بِي خَيْرًا فَلَهُ وَإِنْ ظَنَّ شَرًّا فَلَهُ

Allah says: If he thinks good of me, he will have it. And if he thinks evil of me, he will have it.

Musnad Aḥmad 8833, Grade: Sahih

Our prayers need to be accompanied with certainty and conviction that our good expectations will be fulfilled. We have to constantly reaffirm and reinforce our prayers with the positive thoughts that Allah heard us and has already answered us in the best manner. Thinking well about Allah in this way is another step on the road to excellence in Islam.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ حُسْنَ الظَّنِّ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ حُسْنِ عِبَادَةِ اللَّهِ

Verily, thinking well about Allah is a part of excellent worship of Allah.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3970, Grade: Sahih

In sum, Islam teaches us to direct our thoughts towards what is good and to ignore bad thoughts. Like outward statements, thoughts we pursue are simply inward statements that should be good or at least neutral. If we entertain a bad thought, we should follow it with several positive inward statements to cancel its effect. Positive thinking should lead to an optimistic outlook and good expectations in Allah and his mercy. These good expectations are the inner secret that makes our prayers and worship most effective and fulfilling.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

Learning About Islam – What is Bismillah

IN the name of God (Bismillah), the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy! Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgment.
It is You we worship, it is You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path; the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone stray. (AL-Quran, chapter 1).

Seven Verses from the HOLY QURAN define the Islamic faith. Muslims memorize these seven verses (also called Ayats) in the original Arabic and recite it during prayers 5 times a day. For those of you who want to learn about Islam, and also for those Muslims who want to clarify thoughts on Islam, this is the starting place, the opening verses of the MAJESTIC AL QURAN AL KAREEM.

Lets get started. How do we know these Ayats were not made up by a man? What is the proof that the verses were “revealed” from the Heavens?
Belief can be of two types, either one believes its truly from the heavens or one believes it was written by a man or a team of men and women. Lets say we have the belief that it was written by humans. Fair enough, who were these men and women? Were they Arabs or non Arabs? Were they followers of One God or multiple gods? Did they have a portfolio of written or oral literature as was the custom in Arabia in the 6th century? It is very natural for humans to want to pen their names (real or fake) on their works, and even more so when they gather together to write the verses for a new religion. Who were these “humans” who acquired PhD level linguistic, historical, scientific, psychological and above all civilization knowledge. Surely they must have left behind track record of discussions and debates with their locals before embarking on such an advanced form of philosophical cum literary adventure that would go on to become a watershed in human history of civilization. I understand, for 1400 years not a single convincing idea could prove human intervention behind the formulation of the Ayats. So, lets leave it at that.

Wait a minute, what about the Prophet of Islam, the Holy Messenger Nabi Muhammad (sallillahu alihi wa alihi wa sallam, Peace be Upon Him, PBUH) wrote the verses. He (PBUH) recited the verses to his companions which makes the idea convincing that he must have drafted the verses himself. Lets look at that more closely. First of all, Prophet Muhammad (Sallillahu alihi wa alihi wa sallam) was known as the un-lettered prophet, that is at the start of his mission he had not acquired the skills for reading and writing. For 40 years he (PBUH) lived in Makkah with very high honor and prestige, he was called Sadeq and Amin (the truthful and the trustworthy) by the Makkans due to his honest personality without ever being credited for reciting any kind of poetry or prose, let alone writing Ayats of the highest classical (Fushat) Arabic language which would become the standard for Arabic grammar.

Would you believe it if I told you that the greatest work of English language was written by someone who was not only un-lettered but had never written or expressed English literary or grammatical skills ever in his life? Obviously not. You might call it an “obnoxious idea”. Lets be fair and apply the same thought for the author of the Verses above. It could not have been written by any man or woman, therefore the only author must be other than what we know or understand as humans. Lets stop here, and move on with the verses.

The opening verses have combined two important ideas of our age. Science and Philosophy. Science because we know from Quantum Physics about time, space and matter. The first cause behind these three has to be the will of God. It is only after the First Cause has been established that the process of matter and antimatter, evolution and the development of human civilization can be discovered scientifically. Let say then today is the very first day for the first cause, the starting point of Time itself, how would the beginning look like, what would it begin by, under whose authority would the beginning take place? These questions are generally asked for any major event. Its like a person while inaugurating a ceremony says “on the authority given to me by and so and so….”.

Should Time, space and matter (humans, the milky way, the solar system, the galaxies, the nebula etc) start its journey by the will of God, by the authority given to the properties of matter and atoms and by the Power of God, then it makes absolute sense that this journey should start by the name of God. That is “BISMILLAH”. the starting point of all that we know on Earth, in the Oceans and in Space.

Muslims will thus say BISMILLAH at the start of anything. At the time of waking up, before a meal, before starting a journey, before starting work, before getting into a transport, before take off, before reading and so on.

Thanks for reading. Take care…