Human Rights In Islam And Common Misconceptions

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Abdul-Rahman Bin Abdulkarim Al-Sheha
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 180 | Size: 1 MB

All Praise is due to Allah and may Allah exalt the mention of His Prophet and render him and his household, his Companions, and those who follow their way safe from every evil, and grant them security on the Day of Resurrection. Every society must ensure for its citizens the rights that guarantee for them their basic needs and security, and enable them to feel a sense of belonging and attachment to the larger social group. Individuals need to feel security and a sense of belonging in order to perform their tasks and duties in a satisfactory manner.

Presently, three distinct trends are discernable in our global society. The first trend exaggerates the right of the individual over the society. This trend gives the individual full freedom to do as he pleases with minimal restrictions. Unfortunately this leads to a chaotic social situation because when unlimited freedom is granted to the individual, selfish desires predominate and bring conflicting results. The entire society suffers immensely from greed and selfishness. This trend is found in the liberal democratic capitalist society.

The second trend, contrary to the above, advocates the rights of the society over the individual. The latter is stripped of his individual rights. Only rights that serve the ruling regime are granted to the individuals, according to the dominant ideology of the ruling class or group. This trend is prevalent in communist and totalitarian societies.

The third trend, ideally neither emphasizes the right of the society over the individual, nor the right of the individual over the society. Each is given its due right in life according to the given system. Rights and obligations are governed and controlled by strict rules and conditions. In this trend, the public interest is given priority over the interest of an individual only in case of a serious conflict.

In this booklet we shall address human rights in the light of perfectly balanced system of laws and principles of Islam. These rights are based on revelations from the Divine Book of Muslims, the Glorious Qur’an and from the Sunnah, the practice of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) the two main sources of Islamic life and jurisprudence. Both the Glorious Qur’an and the Sunnah aim to produce an ideal individual in an ideal society: all interact with each other to produce the harmony of the individuals with Allah their Lord and Creator, with themselves, others, the society in general, and other societies all over the globe.

We firmly believe that the application of the individual and social principles of the third trend, when guided by the perfect revealed law from Allah in the Qur’an and Sunnah, will definitely make humanity happier and more prosperous. The application of these principles will enable the society to achieve peace and security. These social rights and principles are not a result of previous experiences, social ideologies, temporary and immediate needs and/or political drives and motives: rather they are from the Beneficent and the Omniscient for man’s progress to happiness in this life and salvation in the Hereafter.

Our firm belief in the truth and justice of the Islamic rights and principles is due to the fact that Allah, the Most Merciful and only Creator of man, reveals them. He knows well what suits His creation at all times, what benefits or harms man, what makes him happy or sad, what makes him successful or miserable. By His knowledge and beneficence He has legislated what suits best and fulfills the essential needs of all His creatures on earth and makes their lives successful, secure and joyful.

The Glorious Qur’an, which was revealed and sent down unto Muhammad (PBUH) is the everlasting miracle that contains the basics of these essential rules. The Sunnah, the practices of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) which is the second source of Islamic law, contains the detailed revealed guidance. These rules and principles were set forth by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) some fourteen hundred years ago in the best form and manner and will remain relevant forever. Both, the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah (practices of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)) honor man and his individual rights in the society. These sources of Islamic law did not overlook the needs and rights of the society and the public interest. In fact, The Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur’an:

وَلَقَدۡ كَرَّمۡنَا بَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ وَحَمَلۡنَـٰهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ وَرَزَقۡنَـٰهُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَفَضَّلۡنَـٰهُمۡ عَلَىٰ ڪَثِيرٍ۬ مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَا تَفۡضِيل

{We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of Our Creation.} (The Noble Qur’an 17:70)

Man will only gain this honor and privileges when he fulfills his obligations and renders the rights due to their owners.

In order to execute the role of the special place on earth, there is a need for specific tasks to be performed by specific individuals. This concept is illustrated by the Almighty Allah in the Glorious Qur’an:

فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُڪِّرُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَنجَيۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ يَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلسُّوٓءِ وَأَخَذۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ بِعَذَابِۭ بَـِٔيسِۭ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ

{So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel against Allah’s command (disobey Allâh).} (The Noble Qur’an 7:165)

Some nations and international organizations, like the United Nations, call loudly to principles that seek to guarantee human rights. Islam established, within its enlightened Shari’ah (law and jurisprudence) many of these human rights some fourteen centuries ago. The rights enumerated by modern international organizations are characterized with deficiencies in conceptualization, flaws in formulation, and injustices in application. They are subject to political agendas, economic pressures and culturally biased viewpoints. They carry the residues of colonialism and imperialism. Such rights are often enumerated and established not for the interests of all humans, rather, to the benefit of certain governments, organizations and powerful special interest groups. This becomes more evident when, as we see all over the world, many of our fellow humans suffering from the worst atrocities, and yet, there is no organization to truly defend the poor and the weak. Glaring inequalities and abuses between nations and within nations are growing worse and worse even before our eyes, and the prescriptions for aid and development mire them deeper into misery as if they were meant to perpetuate their misery and servitude. Continue reading

The World Of The Angels

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Sheikh Abd al-Hamid Kishk
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 100 | Size: 5 MB

The World of the Angels is an example of traditional learning and its translation fills a much needed gap in aqida (beliefs) literature in the English speaking world Basing himself exclusively on the Quran and Hadith, Sheikh Kishk deals with every aspect of the angelic world. He goes from discussing the creation. tbnm and nature of the angels to enumerating their many different types and also explains their role in existence and the character of their interaction with the human race. An in depth understanding of the nature and activity of the angels is essential for the people of today. Particularly in the face of the onslaught of scientific materialism which has done so much to weaken the bases of belief in this time. This book should help a great deal towards this end.

About the Author:

The Egyptian sheikh Abdul Hamid Kishk passed away on the 6th of December 1996, at the age of 63. The Sheikh was very well known around the world for his fiery Jumaa khutbas and his outspoken stance against injustice and oppression in the Muslim world. Cassette recordings of his talks have been circulating throughout the world in Arabic speaking circles, and his knowledge, style and eloquence have driven many to change their lives. It is perhaps the mercy of Allah that he therefore passed away while in Sujood, on the day of Jumu’ah, as he prayed remembering the occasion of Isra’ and Mi’raj.

The Sheikh was born in 1933 in Shibrakheet, a small village near Alexandria, Egypt in a very poor family. His father passed away before Abdul Hamid reached schooling age. He joined one of the schools of Azhar and by the age of 8 he had memorized the Quran. It was at this time that he was inflicted by an illness which took his sight. However, rather than demoralize him, the loss of his sight encouraged him to learn more and persevere further.

He graduated as a scholar from the faculty of Usoul al Din in Azhar and was appointed as an Imam, giving kutbas all over Egypt. Around 1964 he took up the minbar of ‘Ain al-Hayat mosque in Cairo as his platform and started to speak vociferously about the social conditions in Egypt and the suppression of the Islamic Movement. This did not stop him from having distinctly spiritual approach to life, something which his speeches reflect. In 1966 he was arrested and was imprisoned and tortured for two years.

When Sheikh Kishk was released in 1968, he did not walk out of prison with his head bowed down to the Regime but he became even more critical and energetic. Though he was arrested and released many times after this, it was over the next 10 years that the most of his audio and video tapes were recorded, more than 2500 tapes are in circulation! His speeches became so popular that the Mosque was extended 3 times to accommodate the congregation. During 1981 and 1982 Sheikh Abdul Hamid was again imprisoned, but this time on his release he was forbidden to give any more speeches. Even this did not silent him, for upto 1996, this blind man wrote over 115 books and booklets, including a tafsir, (one of his books, on Angels, has been translated to English by Dar Al-Taqwa, London).

The inspiration he gave us all, the love and respect that people felt for him, will always keep his memory alive. May Allah forgive and bless the soul of Sheik. Continue reading

The Soul’s Journey After Death: An Abridgment Of Ibn Al-Qayyim’s Kitabar-Ruh

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Ibn Al Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 41 | Size: 12 MB

This important book covers an area about which most people have very little knowledge but which is at the same time, of vital interest to all human beings. It outlines what happens to the human soul from the moment of death until the arrival of the Day of Judgement.

It describes the death profess itself, the exact relationship of the soul to the body, the states of the soul after it leaves this world, and the nature of the ongoing relationship between the dead and those who are still alive. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah was born into a scholarly and virtuous family in 691 AH/ 1292 A.D. At that time Damascus was a centre of literature and thought. Many schools were located there and he studied and graduated under the protection, direction and sponsorship of his father. He was particularly influenced by his Shaykh and teacher Ahmad b. Taymiyyah, and also by Ibn ash-Shirazi amongst others. Layla Mabrouk, an eminent, contemporary, Egyptian scholar has skillfully abridged a classic work by the well know scholar. Continue reading

Mysteries Of The Soul Expounded

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Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 139 | Size: 7 MB

The subject of this treatise – the nature, essence, and circumstances of the human soul – is fascinating to people of all ages, faiths, and walks of life. It covers the issue of death and what happens after it.  Scholars of various schools of thought differ greatly regarding the nature and essence of the soul (nafs). Is it a part of the physical body or a non-essential characteristic  of it? Is it an entity consigned to dwell within the physical body?, or is it an independent essence in itself? Is the nafs the same as the rûh (spirit)? Finally, what happens to the soul upon death? Is it confined to its body and its grave? If not, is it free to move about in the unseen spiritual world and on the earth?

Therefore, in order to arrive at sound dependable conclusions regarding the soul, one must carefully read and analyze the available material and evaluate it according to stringent criteria. This is of utmost importance since it bears directly on one’s belief The author says ‘ In order to fuilfill this desire, I read extensively in this area from ancient texts as well as from the works of modern writers, Islamic and otherwise. During this extensive reading and research, I became convinced that Islaam, the only fully preserved, divinely revealed faith, had the true answers to man’s many questions about the human soul’

Abu Bilal Mustafa al-Kanadi, was born in Italy in 1950. At the age of 4 his family migrated to British Columbia. In 1972 he graduated from the University of British Columbia (Faculty of Arts) with a major in English Literature. He went on to study at the Simon Fraser University in the Faculty of Education, concentrating on the field of Special Education, he graduated with honours in 1974. It was during his last semester here that he embraced Islam. Having entered the fold of Islam he quickly developed a yearning to seek Islamic knowledge, and this quest lead him to Umm al-Qurra University in Makkah, where he completed the Arabic language program and went on to graduate from the College of Shari’ah after which he obtained a masters degree in Quranic Sciences. Abu Bilal has authored a number of works on various subjects and was actively involved in Islamic activities. In 1989 he passed away, and with his death, English speaking Muslims lost an important writer and thinker – may Allah have mercy on him. Continue reading

The Moral Foundations Of Islamic Culture

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Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 117 | Size: 1.5 MB

It is important to understand Islaam from a cultural point of view because the basis of much of the current turmoil within Muslim countries and conflict with their neighbors can be attributed to cultural clashes. Consequently, a clear understanding of culture and its derivatives is necessary to comprehend the relevance of Islaam to the civilization of Muslim peoples in the twentieth century and beyond. The word “culture” comes from the Latin cultura which is a derivative of the verb colere meaning “tending” or “cultivation.” It was first recorded in the Oxford Dictionary of English in 1510 as meaning: “training of the mind” or “manners.” However, culture in anthropological usage, may be defined as “the way of life of specific group.”

“Basically, the idea of culture arises from the observation that what human beings do and what they refrain from doing is, in part, a consequence of being brought up in one group as opposed to another. People have a social heredity as well as a biological heredity.” Biological heredity represents practices common to all human societies, like, sleep, marriage, care for children and smiling, while social heredity refers to customs which usually vary from one society to the next. A simple definition of culture would then be ‘the man-made part of the human environment.’ “Members of the human species are trained in the family and in their education, formal and informal, to behave in ways that are conventional and fixed by tradition.”

The culture of most of the world today is that of Western Europe and America. It was exported to the remainder of the world during the period of European colonization and continued during the neo-colonial era by way of indirect rule. In the twentieth century Western culture has been promoted on a massive scale through the far-reaching effects of the media. Today, it is not surprising to find in the pages of National Geographic pictures of South American Indian youths in loin cloth in the middle of the Amazon wearing baseball caps with a Nike logo or Mongolian horsemen in the middle of the Gobi Desert wearing striped Adidas sweat pants and Rebok trainers. Western culture now represents the dominant cultural influence in most countries, both non-Muslim and Muslim. And it is the natural conflict that arises from the clash of cultures, which dominate the social and political policies in both the West and the East. Harvard University Professor, Samuel P. Huntington summed up the essential issues of the cultural clash in his following observation.

“The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power. The problem for Islam is not CIA or the U.S. department of defense. It is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining, power imposes on them the obligation to impose that culture throughout the world. These are the basic ingredients that fuel conflict between Islam and the West.” Continue reading

The Concept Of God In Islam

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Hasan Abdul Hakim
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 14 | Size: 1 MB

The Concept of God in Islam: There is no God but Allah (SWT). The first part of the Muslim confession of faith (the Shahada) is the basis for the concept of God in Islam. The Muslim bears witness that: “There is no god but God”. or “no divinity but the (one) Divinity”. The revealed Scripture of Islam, the Qur’an, is like a vast commentary on this simple statement, drawing from it all its implications for human life and thought.  This book higlights Islams conception of diety through a concise look at Qur’anic verses and our everyday surroundings. Overall this brief book provides a good introductory guide to a muslims primary belief in God. Continue reading

The Two Eids And Their Significance

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Abdul Majeed Alee Hasan
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 20 | Size: 1 MB

‘The Arabic word “Eid” refers to something habitual, that returns and is repeated, thus stands  literally for a recurrent event. It also implies a place often visited by people, and the period of time in which a particular act is regularly performed. Likewise, each gathering that assembles regularly comes under the category,  ‘Eid’. Eids or festivals are symbols to be found in every nation, including those that are based on revealed scriptures and those that are idolatrous, as well as others, because celebrating festivals is something that is an instinctive part of human nature. All people like to have special occasions to celebrate, where they can come  together and express their joy and happiness.’ Continue reading

Introduction To The Study Of The Qur’an

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M. Mawdudi
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 13 | Size: 1 MB

We are accustomed to reading books which present information, ideas and arguments systematically and coherently. So, when we embark on the study of the Qur’an, we expect that this book too will revolve around a definite subject, that the subject matter of the book will be clearly defined at the beginning and will then be neatly divided into sections and chapters, after which discussion will proceed in a logical sequence. We likewise expect a separate and systematic arrangement of c and guidance for each of the various aspects of human life.

However, as soon as we open the Qur’an we encounter a hitherto completely unfamiliar genre of literature. We notice that it embodies precepts of belief and conduct, moral directives, legal prescriptions, exhortation and admonition, censure and condemnation of evildoers, warnings to deniers of the Truth, good tidings and words of consolation and good cheer to those who have suffered for the sake of God, arguments and corroborative evidence in support of its basic message, allusions to anecdotes from the past and to signs of God visible in the universe. Moreover, these myriad subjects alternate without any apparent system; quite unlike the books to which we are accustomed, the Qur’an deals with the same subject over and over again, each time couched in a different phraseology… Continue reading

Muhammad (PBUH) As If You Can See Him

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A’id ibn ‘abdullah al-Qarni
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 172 | Size: 10 MB

How many times have you heard the phrase, “Would you do that if the prophet was watching?”

This book challenges readers to think closely about this phrase, and describes the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from the first page of the book’s first chapter. In fact, the book is a message of love from a mere human being.. to the best of human beings.

Written by the best-selling author of Don’t be Sad and You can be the Happiest Woman in the World, Muhammad as if you can see Him is promised to have the same effect on readers as did ‘Aid Al-Qarni’s previous writings. Continue reading

Why Were We Created

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Dr. Bilal Philips
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 10 | Size: 1 MB

We have to answer the most fundamental question that every human being asks himself at some point in his or her lifetime. Not just Muslims, but every single human being. “Why was I created? Why am I here? What am I doing in this world? Why did God create me?” These questions, are questions which each and everyone of us reflects on at some point during their life. We have some answers, which are given generally, but usually these answers don’t satisfy us, they seem somewhat simplistic. We still wonder. “Why me? Why here?” I know all of you, generally speaking, in the back of your mind, you are saying “to worship Allâh, khallas (finish), what more is there to say? Why do we need to have a big long talk on why we were created, when we all know it is to worship Allâh?” But wait, if this is presented to a non-Muslim, the next logical question would be “why does Allâh want us to worship Him?” and then your stuck.

It means, in our own minds it is not really clear to us. Why did Allâh create us to worship Him? The question, why did Allâh create us, for some people, and we have to deal with those people around us, who don’t consider there to be any purpose in man’s creation because he is just a product of evolution that the forces of nature have produced him, and just as we don’t have apes, dogs or cows thinking about why they are here, then we don’t really have to think about it either. Of course that being the basis of the philosophy of western society, that man is without purpose, then the whole issue of government, morality etc has no basis in Revelation, there is no guidance there. The product of this is of course the corruption that we are living in.

For a Muslim, when we go in to this topic, we have to find our understanding in divine revelation and not human speculation. Because human speculation has no bounds, we can imagine all kinds of things, and is any of you have studied philosophy of religion, you can see how many opinions exist about the creation of man and existence. Because of the variety of philosophies, which are out there, no one can say this one is correct or that one is incorrect, because there is no guidance behind it. No divine revelation. It is only from divine revelation that we can determine the reality of our creation, because it is Allâh who has created us and he knows the purpose of our creation. We can hardly understand ourselves, much less try to understand the essence of things. So it is for Allâh to inform us through the revelation in the Qur’ân and the Sunnah which was brought by his last Messenger sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Messengers before. Now if we are to look, initially into revelation, to determine why was man created, there is a deeper question that we should be asking before that. “Why did God create?” Before we even get to man, why did god create, because man is not the greatest act of creation that we should be so focused on why man. No, because Allâh says:

لَخَلۡقُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَڪۡبَرُ مِنۡ خَلۡقِ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَڪۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ

“The creation of the Heavens and the Earth is indeed greater then the creation of mankind; yet, most of mankind know not.” [Sûrah Ghâfir, verse 57]

Man is not the greatest act of creation, this universe is far more complex and far more magnificent then man. So the issue of creation should then go to why create? As opposed to simply why create man?

Fundamentally, we can say that the creation is the natural consequence of the attribute of creator. Allâh is the creator. That is one of his attributes. That is what he has informed us. That being his attribute, the creator, the natural consequence or the product of this attribute is his creation. Continue reading