What Do You Actually Know About Islam?

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Abdullah Al-Qenaei
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 24 | Size: 1 MB

Islam is a religion and a way of life. It means submission, devotion, and obedience to God, the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Therefore, a Muslim is someone who submits himself to God. That is the reason why every prophet and messenger of God and their followers were by definition ‘Muslims’, as stated in the Qur’an.

“Whoever submits His whole self to Allah and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” [The Qur’an, 2: 112].

Islam is the religion of God and the same message which all the prophets and messengers of Almighty God came with, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus and fifinally Muhammad – may the peace and blessings of God be upon them. Therefore, Muslims believe in, love, and respect all the prophets and messengers of Almighty God. “The messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; they all believe in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers; We make no difference between any of His messengers; and they say: We hear and obey, our Lord! your forgiveness (do we crave), and to you is the eventual course” [The Qur’an, 2:285].

Islam aims to preserve the basic rights of human beings, establishing security and peace in society and the world as a whole. Islam urges its followers to be kind, polite, decent, and good citizens in a society. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said : “The best among you are those who have the best manners and character” [Bukhari, 56].

What is Islam all about ?

Islam calls for, and nurtures a loving and direct relationship between ‘God’ and ‘humans’ with no intercessors or intermediaries “Surely to Allah alone sincere devotion (and obedience) is due” [The Qur’an, 39:3].

When you pray, you pray directly to God, and when you want to repent from your sins, you ask God directly for forgiveness.

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me” [The Qur’an, 2:186] and “And your Lord says, Call upon Me; I will respond to you” [The Qur’an, 40:60].

Islam is the religion of pure human nature and clarity. It urges and calls its followers to ask about all issues or problems they may encounter or endure, from the simple problems of their every day life to the deepest, most complex and also the most incomprehensible questions of their existence.

“So ask the people of knowledge if you do not know” [The Qur’an, 16:43]

‘People of knowledge’ refers to the experts in the various fields known for their expertise.

In Islam, the whole doctrine is clearly explained, therefore there are no obscure or mysterious components to the belief.

“Allah would explain to you and guide you by the examples of those who were before you, and would turn to you in mercy. Allah is Allknowing, All-wise. And Allah would turn to you in mercy; but those who follow vain desires would have you go immensely astray. Allah would lighten your (diffificulties): For man was created weak (in flflesh)” [The Qur’an, 4:26-28].

Islam is not a religion of monasticism or separation from the worldly life. On the other hand, it does not allow the uncontrolled indulgence of worldly pleasures and desires. It teaches us to nourish and satisfy our soul and spiritual needs as much as we need food and provision for our body. It is a complete social system which promotes a lifestyle based on moderation, embracing both religious and mundane affairs, and considers them complementary to one another: neither aspect should prevail at the expense of the other.

“But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and be kind as Allah has been good (kind) to you, and seek not mischief in the land” [The Qur’an, 28:77].

Islam places men and women all equal before their Lord regardless of their race, tongue, national origin, appearance, wealth and social status. The criterion for differentiation among them arises in their compliance with the divine regulations.

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily, the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware” [The Qur’an, 49:13].

The most pivotal benefifits that Islam provides for the individual are:

1. True happiness and inner peace.
2. Practical guidance in leading a good life.
3. A correct understanding of human nature.
4. Forgiveness from all previous sins.
5. The gateway to eternal Paradise.
6. Salvation from Hell-fire.

In order to gain such benefifits and much more, there is primarily one basic step to take: It is to bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger. This is what we call ‘Testimony of Faith’, which is the fifirst pillar in Islam. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Islam has been built on fifive (pillars), testifying that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, establishing the Prayers, paying the Zakat (the annual poor due), making the Pilgrimage to the House (in Mecca, once in a lifetime) and fasting in Ramadhan” [Bukhari, 8 – Muslim, 16]. It is important not to let our mind be framed by barriers or limitations that may discourage us, such as the use of the Arabic language. The meaning of ‘Allah’ is in fact simply ‘Almighty God’ and it is an exclusive title which no-one else besides Him has been given, in all of human history.

When I use the word ‘Allah’ I mean the same God that created Adam and Eve, the same God that sent prophets such as Abraham, Job, Lot, David, Jesus and Mohammad peace and blessings be upon them. I do not mean a different God than the God that spoke to Moses, and split the sea for him. I mean the exact same God that saved Noah in the ark and Jonah in the Whale. I mean the exact same God that created Jesus in the womb of Virgin Mary.

Even Arab Christians use the word ‘Allah’ when they refer to the Creator of the Universe. You can verify this in the Arabic translations of the Holy Bible. Continue reading

Why Do We Study The Prophet’s Biography?

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Yahya Bin Ibrahim Al-Yahya
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 18 | Size: 9 MB

Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) is the practical image of Islam. There is no way that one can get to know Islam without knowing Allah’s Messenger (PBUH); his guidance, work, instructions and prohibitions.

Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) made peace and war, settled and traveled, sold and bought, took and gave. He never lived alone, neither did he travel alone.

Muslims had weakened only because they failed to follow his pattern and guidance for the Almighty Allah said: ﴾Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much﴿ (Al-Ahzab:21).

Some Muslims went to the extent that they only read his biography (PBUH) during celebrations and forums without following his guidance. Some others read it either for obtaining blessings or for getting familiar with its events; wars, days…..etc. This happens due to one of two reasons:

First: their ignorance of the principal of following his pattern & guidance (PBUH) and not knowing that this is a necessity for achieving his love.

Second: their failure in perceiving the positions of guidance in his biography due to a weakness in their sense of conclusion or due to their lack of knowledge and readings. Here lies the importance of deriving the lessons and benefits from his biography (PBUH).

The biography of the Prophet (PBUH) is not meant to be taught for the pleasure of reading nor for the knowledge of a certain historic period and not for the love of studying the biographies of the grand and heroes. Such kind of superficial study is performed by non-Muslims. A Muslim should have various aims from studying his biography, among which are;

First: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) is the one to be followed for he is the example for all Muslims:

He is the legislator whom we are instructed to follow, for Allah says: ﴾Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much﴿ (Al-Ahzab:21); Allah (the Almighty) says ﴾If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance﴿ (Al-Noor:54); Allah also says ﴾He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allah﴿ (Al-Nissa:80).

And Allah also says ﴾Say if you really love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins﴿ (Al-Imran:31). He is the practical image and incarnation of Islam without whom we can not possibly know how to obey the Almighty Allah or worship Him.

From his biography the scholars derive the techniques of the Call and its phases. They also get to know the tremendous effort exerted by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) for the sake of raising the word of Allah and how he reacted in facing the hardships and obstacles that faced him.

# From his biography, teachers can derive the methods & techniques of education.
# From his biography, rulers can derive systems and methodology of leadership.
# From his biography, the ascetics can derive the meaning and essence beyond being an ascetic.
# From his biography, traders can derive the aims, systems and methods of trading.
# From it, those who are suffering can learn the highest degrees of patience and persistence, thus their determination can grow stronger and their trust in Allah increases knowing that the result will be finally in their favor.
# From it, the scholars derive knowledge which enables them to better understand the Book of Allah (Al-Quran) and the various sciences of Islam, among which are the abrogating and abrogated verses, the reasons behind the revelation of verses and many other knowledge.
# From it, the whole nation derives the morals, manners and merits.

Ibn Katheer said « a special care and attention must be paid to such type of study (the biography of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)) as it was narrated by Omar Al-Wakedi that Abdullah ibn Omar ibn Ali said that his father heard Ali ibn Al-Hussain saying: «we used to know the conquests of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) as we know the verses of the holy Quran».

Al-wakedi said, I heard Mohamed ibn Abdullah saying that he heard his uncle Al- Zuhri saying «in the science of conquests, lies both the science of life and that of the hereafter.»

Ismail ibn Mohammed ibn Saad ibn abi Wakkas said « my father used to teach us the conquests of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and repeated them to us saying: «these are the glorious deeds of your fathers so waste them not».

History had witnessed many kings, leaders, poets and philosophers but none of them had left behind such a biography and such pattern to be followed as it is with the Prophet’s. History had wiped off all their credit and the only thing left is some of their names.

Biographies of many grand people had turned out to be mere jokes throughout history. Where is Namroud who said to Ibrahim (PBUH) ﴾I give life and cause death.﴿ (Al-Baqara:258). Where is Pharaoh who said: ﴾I am your lord, most high.﴿ (Al-nazia’at:24), and what was his destiny» he who also said: ﴾I know not that you have an ilâh (a god) other than me.﴿ (AL-Qassas:38).

Those grand people of their ages are now being mocked by everyone; the young and the old, the knowledgeable and the ignorant, for if they had succeeded in deceiving their people at their time, their deception has been revealed and they became a mockery throughout time.

The biography of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) had provided the means for getting the people out of the darkness of polytheism and the corruption of worship to the light of monotheism and faith in Allah (the Almighty) who said: ﴾O Prophet ! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner And as one who invites to Allah by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light.﴿ (Al-Ahzab:45-46). Continue reading

What You Should Do In The Following Situations…

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Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 45 | Size: 1 MB

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.

The Muslim may be faced with a number of emergency situations in his life, where he needs an immediate answer as to how he should act in that particular situation. In most cases, however, it is not possible to look for or ask about the appropriate Islamic rulings at that time.

This proves the importance of learning about Islam and knowing the rules of sharee’ah, so that when a Muslim needs this information, he will have it at hand and will thus be able to save himself or his Muslim brother from doing something haraam or making a mistake. In so many cases, ignorance can lead to corruption of worship or – at the very least – acute embarrassment. It is unfortunate that an imaam may mistakenly stand up for a fifth rak’ah, and there may be nobody in the congregation or the mosque who knows what the rulings of sharee’ah say should be done in such a situation. Or a traveller who is intending to perform ‘umrah may come to the airport at the last minute, and suddenly discover that he has forgotten his ihraam garments, but he has no time to do anything about it, and there is nobody among the Muslim in the airport who can tell him what he should do in this emergency. Or a man may come to the mosque on an occasion when the prayers have been joined together because of rain: the congregation is already praying ‘ishaa’ but he has not yet prayed maghrib, so he is confused as to what he should do. In such a situation the people may embark upon a debate based only on ignorance, and so confusion will reign in the mosques. In many individual and personal matters, ignorance may lead to embarrassment and even sin, especially when a person is in the position of having to make a decision and he does not have sufficient knowledge on which to base that decision.

People in this world have prepared information telling people how to behave in emergency situations: what to do if fire breaks out, if someone is drowning, if a scorpion bites, if there is a car accident, if someone is bleeding or has broken a bone… All of these first aid procedures are well known; they teach them to people and hold special courses. How much more important is it, then, that those who are concerned with the Hereafter should learn and teach the rules of this religion!

At this point, we should note the importance of differentiating between hypothetical matters which rarely, if ever, happen, and matters which we know from experience do happen to people and are asked about.

With regard to the first type (hypothetical situations), asking about them is a fruitless waste of time, which is not allowed in Islam. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) warned us against this when he said: “Accept what I have left you with, for the people who came before you were only destroyed because of their excessive questioning and their disputing with their Prophets…” (Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim; this version was reported by Muslim, no. 1337, vol. 2, p. 975)

Commenting on this hadeeth, Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “These ahaadeeth indicate that it is forbidden to ask questions unnecessarily… or to ask questions out of stubbornness or an intention to mock.” (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukm by Ibn Rajab, 1/240, edited by al-Arna’oot)

This is how we interpret the words of a group of the salaf, such as the report that when Zayd ibn Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked about something, he would say, “Has it really happened?” If they said “No,” he would tell them, “Leave it until it really happens.” (Reported by Ibn Rajab, op. cit., 1/245; see also similar reports in Sunan al-Daarimi, 1/49, and Jaami Bayaan al-‘Ilm by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, 2/174).

With regard to the second type, matters that really happen, then it is good to ask about them. The Companions of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sometimes asked him about things before they happened, but it was so that they could act accordingly when these things did happen. For example, they asked him: “We are going to meet with the enemy tomorrow, and we do not have knives, so should we use dried sugar canes as weapons?” They asked him about the rulers who he had told them would come after him, and whether they should obey them or fight them. Hudhayfah asked him about al-fitan (times of tribulation) and what he should do at such times. (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom al-Hukm, 1/243). This indicates that it is permissible to ask about things which are expected to happen.

There follows a discussion about some issues that people are likely to face in real life. These are practical matters which have happened and could happen to some people. In each case, the answer is accompanied by a reference to the sources in the work of trustworthy scholars. There may be differing opinions in some cases, but the answer has been limited to one viewpoint, the one based on the soundest evidence, for the sake of brevity and ease of understanding. I ask Allah to benefit me and my brothers in Islam in this world and on the Day of Judgement. May He reward with good all those who share in this endeavour, for He is the Most Kind and Generous. Allah knows best. Continue reading

How Do We Believe In The Last Day?

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Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saleh al-Uthaimeen
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 33 | Size: 1 MB

This booklet is part of the Arabic book ‘Sharh Hadeeth Jibra’eel’ by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saleh al-Uthaimeen

“Faith in the Last Day is to believe that mankind will be resurrected and recompensed for their deeds.

It is to believe in everything that has come to us in the Book and the Sunnah concerning the description of that Day.

Allah has vividly described that Day such as the following verse:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ٱتَّقُواْ رَبَّڪُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ زَلۡزَلَةَ ٱلسَّاعَةِ شَىۡءٌ عَظِيمٌ۬ – يَوۡمَ تَرَوۡنَهَا تَذۡهَلُ ڪُلُّ مُرۡضِعَةٍ عَمَّآ أَرۡضَعَتۡ وَتَضَعُ ڪُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمۡلٍ حَمۡلَهَا وَتَرَى ٱلنَّاسَ سُكَـٰرَىٰ وَمَا هُم بِسُكَـٰرَىٰ وَلَـٰكِنَّ عَذَابَ ٱللَّهِ شَدِيدٌ۬

“O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgment) is a terrible thing. The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state. Yet they will not be drunk but severe will be the Torment of Allah.”  [Soorah al-Hajj (22): 1-2]

There are numerous descriptions of the Last Day in the Quran and the Sunnah that testify to the horror and terrible nature of this Day.

Faith in the Last Day is not limited to believing in the Day that will be established after resurrection, as Shaikhul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) writes in Aqeedah al-Wastiyyah, “Faith in the Last Day includes believing in everything that the Messenger has informed us about that will happen after death.”

The first stage after death is the fitnah of the grave. The people will face trial or will be tested in their graves regardless of whether one is buried in the ground or is thrown in the sea or is eaten by a lion or (his ashes are) dispersed in the wind. He will face this fitnah and he will be asked about three matters;

a) Who is your Lord?
b) What is your Religion?
c) Who is your Prophet?

A believer will reply, ‘My Lord is Allah, my religion is Islam and my Prophet is Muhammad .’ Then a caller will call from the heavens thatmyslave has spoken the truth. His gravewill then bewidened for him as far as his eyes can see. It will be furnished with furnishings from Paradise. A door will be opened into Paradise through which will come its fragrance and blessings. This condition is without doubt more complete than his condition in the world.

A disbeliever or hypocrite will say upon being asked about his Lord, Religion and Prophet, ‘Oh, Oh, I don’t know. I heard the people say something and I said it.’

Reflect upon what, ‘Oh, Oh,’ means. It indicates that the slave recollects something, tries to recall it but is unable to remember.

One’s inability to recall is more distressing than being completely unaware. If you are asked about something and you are unaware of it, you will say, ‘I don’t know.’ This is without doubt deficiency but it does not cause grief – but if you are asked about something and you knew it but you are incapable of recalling it – this causes grief. So the disbeliever will say, ‘Oh, Oh.’ – as if he remembers something – “I don’t know. I heard the people say something and I said it.”

The disbeliever will then be hit with a large iron hammer whereupon he will let out a scream the sound of which will be heard by everything except the jinn and mankind – because if they were to hear it, they would be struck dumb. It is narrated that if all the people of a city like Mina were to gather together to carry this hammer, they would not be able to.

It is obligatory to believe in the Fitnah of the grave because believing in it is part of faith in the Last Day. Continue reading

Are We Forced Or Do We Have Free Will

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Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saleh al-Uthaimeen
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 65 | Size: 3 MB

Shaikh Saleh al-Fawzan writes in Mujmal Aqeedah as-Salaf,

“Many groups have been misled in their understanding of Qadar (Predestination/Divine Decree). From them are the Jahmiyah and the Jabriyah who claim that the slave is forced in his actions and he has no control, ability or will. He is like a feather or a leaf which is blown by the wind.

Another group went to the other extreme and declared that every man creates his own actions. Allah has no will or control in the slave’s action. The slave performs his actions by his choice and power that is independent of the Will of Allah. Some of them exaggerated to the extent that they said that Allah does not know the thing before it occurs…

The first group (Jabriyah) affirmed the Divine Decree and exaggerated (in their affirmation of Allah’s Will) and thus robbed the slave from his will.

The second group (Qadariyah) exaggerated in (their affirmation of) the slave’s will until they denied the Will and Decree of Allah.

Both these groups are greatly mistaken and misguided.

The Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah is on the middle path – they affirm ability, choice and will for the slave but it is subservient to the Will and Power of Allah and the slave cannot do anything except by the Will of Allah. [end quote]

This booklet gives the reader a thorough understanding of how the will, choice and ability of the slave are subservient to the Will and Power of Allah in the words of the noble Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saleh al-Uthaimeen (rahimahullah)

Apart from explaining what it means to believe in the Divine Decree, the Shaikh has expansively clarified important issues related to the subject, like Allah’s Will for the occurrence of Kufr despite His Hatred for it.

Explanation of additional issues like – the sinner’s justification by predestination, Is it obligatory upon us to be pleased with what has been decreed? – make the book more comprehensive and beneficial for the reader.

We ask Allah to forgive our mistakes and make us amongst those who are patient and pleased with the Decree of Allah. Ameen. Continue reading

Why Do Muslims Fast?

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Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 11 | Size: 1 MB

Most of us who are fighting the battle of the bulge have experimented with some form of fasting, like an all fruit fast, a water fast or an sugar-free fast, you name it. But what many may find rather strange and intriguing is a whole nation of people; be it man or woman, old or young, rich or poor; going completely without food and drink from dawn to dusk for a whole month – Ramadan. What is the significance of Ramadan beyond shortened work hours? Is it not a very harsh practice? Is it merely a time when Muslims sleep and fast and hardly work all day; and eat, drink, enjoy and stay awake all night? What really is the spirit of Ramadan?

Fasting Prescribed in All Religions

In English “fasting” means to abstain from food or from certain kinds of food voluntarily, as an observance of a holy day or as a token of grief, sorrow, or repentance.[1] This practice can be found in most of the major religions of the world. For example, in Hinduism, fasting in Sanskrit is called upavaasa. Devout Hindus observe fasting on special occasions as a mark of respect to their personal gods or as a part of their penance. Most devout Indians fast regularly or on special occasions like festivals. On such days they do not eat at all, eat once or make do with fruits or a special diet of simple food.[2] For Jews, the day Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement”) is the last of the Ten Days of Repentance observed on the 10th of Tishri. It is forbidden on that day to eat, drink, wash, wear leather, or have sexual relations. In addition, prohibitions on labor similar to those on the Sabbath are in force.[3] It should also be noted that Moses (peace be upon him) is recorded in the Torah to have fasted.

“And he was there with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights, he neither ate bread not drank water.” (Exodus 34:28)

For Catholics among Christians, Lent is the major season of fasting, imitative of the forty-day fast of Jesus (peace be upon him). In the fourth century it was observed as six weeks of fasting before Easter or before Holy Week. It was adjusted to forty days of actual fasting in most places in the seventh century.[4] Jesus (peace be upon him) is recorded in the Gospels to have fasted like Moses.

“And he fasted 40 days and 40 nights, and afterward he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:2 & Luke 4:2)

It is in this context that God states in the Quran: “O believers! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you become more conscious of God.” (Quran 2:183)

Among the Best Righteous Deeds

Although in most religions, fasting is for expiation of sin or atonement for sin, in Islam it is primarily to bring one closer to God, as stated in the above-mentioned verse. Since, Godconsciousness is the prerequisite for righteousness, great stress is placed on fasting in Islam. Thus, it is not surprising to find that when Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was asked:

“Which is the best deed?” He replied, “Fasting, for there is nothing equal to it.” (Al-Nasa’i)

There are as many levels of fasting as there are facets to being human. Proper fasting should encompass all dimensions of human existence for it to have the divinely intended effect. The following are some of the major levels of fasting:

The Levels of Fasting

The Ritual Level

This level of fasting requires that the basic rules for fasting be fulfilled, which are avoiding food, drink and sexual intercourse between dawn and sunset for 29 or 30 days each year. On this level, one is basically following the letter of the laws regarding fasting without particular consideration for the spirit of fasting. It is the entrance level which must be fulfilled for the fast to be Islamicly correct, but the other levels must be added for the fast to have any real impact on the fasting person. Fasting on this level alone will not benefit one spiritually, except from the perspective of submission to divine instructions, if one chooses to follow the ritual consciously and not merely according to tradition. Thus, by itself, the ritual level will not purify one of sin or atone for sin.

The Physical Level

Fasting on the “physical” level causes the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst when the prophetic (Sunnah) way of fasting is observed. Prophet Muhammad used to consume a very light meal before the dawn (suhoor) and moderate meal (iftaar) to break the fast at sunset, while scrupulously avoiding filling his stomach. He is reported to have said:

“The worst container a human being can fill is his stomach. A few morsels of food to keep a person’s back straight are sufficient. However, if his desire overcomes him, then let him eat a third, drink a third and leave a third for breathing.” (Ibn Majah)

before beginning the sunset prayer.[5] This level allows the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst and thereby develops sympathy in him or her for those starving and dying of thirst in other parts of the world.

Medical Benefits

On the physical level, some chemicals in the brain that transmit messages and create feelings, called neurotransmitters, are affected by fasting. Fasting encourages the endorphin neurotransmitter system, related to the feeling of well being and euphoria, to produce more endorphins and, in fact, makes us “feel” better. This is similar to the effect of exercise (but without the physical work).It has also been noted by medical experts that fasting improves the physical health in numerous ways. For example, during the fast the body uses up stored cholesterol (fat) that is often deposited in the blood system, as well as in other fatty areas of the body. Thus, it helps to keep the body firm and minimizes the danger of heart attacks. The difference between the ritual level 1 and the physical level 2 is that a person dong only ritual fasting may eat large meals prior to beginning the fast and immediately upon ending the fast, and thus not feel any hunger or thirst throughout the whole month. However, like level one, if the fasting person does not incorporate the other levels of fasting, the fast will only be physically exhausting. The Prophet said:

“Perhaps a fasting person will gain nothing but hunger and thirst from fasting.”(Ibn Majah)

The Libidinal Level

The sexual instinct and drives (libido) are harnessed on this level of fasting. In these times where the media continually plays on sexual desires to promote and sell products, the ability to control these powerful desires is a plus. Fasting physically reduces sexual desires and the fact that the fasting person has to avoid anything which could stimulate him psychologically helps to further lower the libido. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:

“O youths, whoever among you is able to marry let him do so, for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. He who is unable to marry should fast, because it is a shield.” (Saheeh Al- Bukhari)

By restraining oneself from sexual acts which are permissible, the fasting person makes it easier for himself to restrain himself from forbidden sexual acts when he is not fasting.

The Emotional Level

Fasting on this level involves controlling the many negative emotions which simmer in the human mind and soul. For example, among the most destructive emotions is anger. Fasting helps to bring this emotion under control. Prophet Muhammad, said:

“When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, ‘I am fasting.'” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Thus, on this level, whatever negative emotions challenge the fasting person must be avoided. One must abstain from lewd conversation and heated arguments. Even when one is in the right, it is better to let that right go and keep one’s emotional fast intact. Likewise, the negative emotion of jealousy is reduced, as every fasting person is reduced to the common denominator of abstinence; no one is externally superior to another in this regard. Continue reading

How Do We Receive Ramadan?

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Mohammed Al-Hashmi Mustafa
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 37 | Size: 1 MB

A brief book about the virtue of Ramadan and the importance of making good use of all seasons of worship. This is through getting ready to do good deeds, making faithful repentance and intending sincere intention to change one’s conditions in Ramadan and what is after it. Continue reading

Why Do We Pray By Dr. Suhaib Hasan

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Dr. Suhaib Hasan
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 18 | Size: 1 MB

Why does Man need to Pray?. After a long and hectic day at work, how difficult it is for a tired person to stand on the prayer-mat and concentrate on his prayers to Allah Almighty. Snuggled in a warm and cozy bed, how difficult it is to get up at the call of Mu’adhdhin: “Come to prayer, come to success.” The famous doctor and philosopher Ibn Sina (Avicenna), recalls such a moment in his life. Once cold and icy night, he and his slave were resting in an inn in a remote part of Khurasan. During the night he felt thirsty and shouted out to his slave to get him some water. The salve had no desire to leave his warm bed, so he pretended not to hear Avicenna’s call. But finally after repeated calls he reluctantly got up and went to fetch the water. A little while later, the melodious sound of the Adhan filled the air. Avicenna began to think about the person calling the believers to prayer. My slave Abdullah, he mused, has always respected and admired me. He seizes any opportunity to lavish praise and affection on me but tonight, he preferred his own comfort to my needs. On the other hand, look at this Persian slave of Allah. He left his warm bed to go out in the chilly night, he made ablution in the icy water of the stream, and then he ascended the high minaret of the mosque to glorify He Whom he truly serves.

“I bear witness that there is none to be worshipped except Allah.” “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Tonight, Avicenna records, I learned the essence of true love; that love which results in complete obedience. The love of Allah demands total and unconditional obedience.

Allah almighty says:

“Say (O Muhammad (pbuh) to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.’ And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(The Noble Qur’an 3:31) Continue reading

Do You Intend To Question The Messenger

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Nouman Ali Khan

This is a great one hr lecture by Nouman Ali Khan with Q&A at the end. To view more shows like this please visit http://www.TheDeenShow.com

Nouman Khan began his formal Arabic training during his childhood schooling in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He continued his Arabic grammar study in Pakistan, where he received a scholarship for ranking among the top 10 scores in the national Arabic studies board examination. Under the guidance of Dr. Abdus-Samie, founder and formal principal of Quran College in Faisalabad, Pakistan, he developed a keen methodical understanding of Arabic grammar. He further benefited from Dr. Abdus-Samie by internalizing his unique teaching methods and later translating his work into English for the benefit of his own students. Nouman currently serves as professor of Arabic at Nassau Community College and has taught Modern Standard and Classical Arabic at various venues for nearly 6 years with over 700 students. His handbook published by the Bayyinah Arabic Studies Institute for ARA-201 is also being used as a class aide at the Jaamiah-Al-Uloom Al-Islamiyyah, Institute of Islamic Education in Ajax, Canada. Continue reading