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

The Ruling On Meat Slaughtered In The West

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Imam ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 52 | Size: 1 MB

“…During my visits to the West, and when I am being served meals on planes or in restaurants in Europe or America, I would find that I was very hesitant to eat the food, and I wanted very much to search for halal food and find that pure bite to eat in order to protect any part of my flesh from being nourished on haram, as the Fire is more deserving of every bit of flesh nourished on the haram…”

This is a treatise that I had written a few years ago at the start of my frequent visits to the West – especially America – to attend student conferences organized by the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) that have been held until this year, and it is an annual conference that takes place during Christmas, which falls at the end of each Gregorian year. MAYA was the precursor to many Islamic organizations, and the Muslim Youth Association in America was formed from the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which initially was composed of just thirteen students in Chicago.

And this issue has concerned me on my travels, and I exhausted myself in investigating it. If there is anything I could forget, I could never forget my visit to Spain as I was making my way around Grenada and Cordova, as the Islamic awakening there had not yet led to any viable communities forming that could operate their own markets and shops, especially those for halal foods and meats. So, I would spend most of my trip eating roasted pistachios.

I dug deeply into this issue – and it deserves to be dug into deeply – as the West has its own system of life. Carcasses and pork are not considered prohibitions in their daily life. In fact, pork and lard are ingredients in many products and desserts, and the life of the Muslim in the West has become unbearable considering the temptations that surround him and the prohibited ingredients that are found in most foods – in many places, you will find that even bread is made with lard!

The problem also has spread to most of the Muslim lands, with the Muslim populations and nations importing meat from Communist and Western nations without giving any consideration as to the status of the permissibility of such meat. When concerns are raised here and there from those who are hesitant to eat imported meat, a simple seal is placed on the meat that says ‘Slaughtered Islamically.’ So, if a country does respond to some concerns, it sends an envoy from the Department of Commerce to the slaughterhouse to task the embassy in the country from which the meat is coming to supervise the process of slaughtering. The problem is that the issue usually means nothing to the diplomats who work in these embassies of the Muslim countries in the Western or Eastern world. They usually pay no attention to it, let alone spend all of their time in slaughterhouses making sure Allah is mentioned at the time of slaughtering, mentioning and exalting Him whenever another animal is slaughtered. To make matters worse, commerce officials in the Islamic world don’t care much for this issue as they consider it a manifestation of backwardness, closedmindedness, and strictness on the part of religious people due to their so-called extremism.

Also, what would you say if you knew that many commerce officials in some Muslim countries – those who are responsible for declaring what foods are religiously permissible or prohibited – are Christians who refuse to import products from the Muslim nation of Turkey, and accept only to import meat from the Eastern nations like Bulgaria? This is despite the fact that Turkish meat is generally cleaner and cheaper. Continue reading