What did Jesus really say?
A book by Dr. Mishaal Abdullah Al-Kadhi
Chapter 12 Islamic Faith: Some details
Most of the following is obtained from the book "The Muslim's Belief" by Shaik Muhammad ibn Saleh Al-'Uthaimin as translated by Maneh Hammad Al-Johani. Some modifications have been made. It contains some of the details of the Muslim's belief. As seen in the previous chapter, this is the second level of Islamic belief. It builds upon the basic foundation of "Islam" and is directly below the final level of "Ihsan" (excellence). It is of course by no means comprehensive:
1) Our Creed
Our creed is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and Fate whether good or bad.
Belief in Allah's Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes
Allah's Will: Universal and Legal:
We believe that His will is of two kinds:
The example of these two wills is a man who has a son. This man tells his son "do not play with electricity, it will hurt you." This man does not then tie his son to the bed-post in order to prevent him from electrocuting himself. If the son then disregards his father's warning then that is his choice. It can not then be said that the son only electrocuted himself because the father "wished" that he do so and had the father "wished" to prevent him from doing this then he could have tied him to the bed post his whole life.
From the above example, we see that it is possible for God to "will" that we do good but to not force us to do so even though that is within His power. Whatever we then choose to do, either good or evil, is then also only accomplished through God's "will" since He "allowed" us to do so and did not force us to do that which He commanded us to. In all cases, all things happen through the will of God, however, not all things that He wills are pleasing to Him.
More of Allah's Attributes:
We, as Muslims believe that God Almighty possesses attributes. These attributes are the epitome and ultimate in all that is good and desirous. Although we may use earthly terms to describe some of these attributes, still, a Muslim does not in any way compare any of these attributes to those of His creation. Some of these are:
Describing Allah by His Revelation:
We believe in all that He assigned to Himself or what His Messenger described Him with, of names and attributes; but we reject two concepts:
2) The Qur'an and Sunnah: Sources of His Attributes
All that we mentioned about Allah's Attributes whether briefly or in detail, affirmatively or negatively, is based on the Book of our Lord and the traditions of our Prophet. It also agrees with the practice of the previous generations of Muslims and the rightly guided scholars who came after them.
1. We believe it is obligatory to take the texts of the Qur'an and the Prophetic traditions concerning Allah's Attributes at their face value and interpret them in a way that is suitable to Almighty Allah. We reject the practice of those who twisted the meanings of these texts and understood them in a way that was not intended by Allah and His messenger.
2. We also reject the practice of those who made them devoid of their meanings as conveyed by Allah and His Messenger. We finally reject the approach of the exaggerationists who gave them a physical interpretation that makes Allah similar to some of His creatures.
3. We know for sure that what is revealed in Allah's Book and in the traditions of His Messenger is the truth. It does not contain any contradiction: "Do they not ponder over the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, surely they would have found in it much discrepancy." (4:82)
3) Belief in Angels
1. We believe in the existence of the angels of Allah and that they are "honored servants. They do not speak before He does, and they do as they are commanded." (21:26) Allah created them and they worship and obey Him. "Those who are at His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do they weary." (21:19)
2. Angels are concealed from us, we cannot see them. Allah may show them to some of His servants. The Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his real shape with six hundred wings that covered the horizons (Bukhari & Muslim). Gabriel also took the form of a handsome human being when he met Mary and exchanged conversation with her. He came to the Prophet while he was among his companions in the appearance of an unknown man who did not show any trace of long travel, with very white clothes and very black hair. He sat facing the Prophet: his knees to the Prophet's knees, peace be upon him, and his palms on the Prophet's thighs and talked with the Prophet. The Prophet later told his companions that the man they saw was Gabriel (Bukhari & Muslim).
4) Belief in Allah's Books
Known Books of Allah:
Among these Books we know the following:1. The Torah which was revealed to Moses, peace be upon him. It is the greatest among the Israelites' books. "Surely, We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; by its laws the Jews have been judged by the Prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah, the rabbis and the doctors of law because they were entrusted the protection of Allah's book and were witnesses thereto." (5:44).
2. The Gospel which Allah revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. It is a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it. "And we gave him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition to the God-fearing."(5:46) "And to make lawful to you certain things that, before, were forbidden to you." (3:50)
3. The Psalms which Allah gave to David, peace be upon him.
4. Tablets of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them.
5. The Glorious Qur'an which was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. It is "a guidance to the people, and clear signs of guidance and criterion between right and wrong." (2:185)
The Qur'an is Protected from Change:
The Qur'an is "confirming the scripture that was before it and stands as a guardian over it (rectifying mankind's tampering)." Thus, by the Qur'an Allah abrogated all the previous books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection from any play or mischievous distortion. "Indeed, We (God) sent down the 'Reminder' (one of the names of the Qur'an) and it is We who will guard it." (15:9). That is because the Qur'an is a proof against mankind till the Day of Judgment.
Previous Scriptures Changed:
The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period (and a specific people) that ended with the revelation of what abrogated them and exposed what had taken place in them of distortion and change. That is why they were not protected from corruption. They underwent distortion, addition and omission "Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings." (4:46) "So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, and then say, 'This is from Allah,' that they may purchase by it a trivial price. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings." (2:79) "Say, who sent down the Book that Moses brought as a light and a guidance to people? You make it into sheets of paper showing some of them and concealing much." (6:91) "And there is a group among them who twist their tongues with the Book, that you may think it is a part of the Book, but it is not part of the Book. And they say 'It is from Allah,' yet it is not from Allah, and they tell a lie against Allah and they know it." (3:78-70) "O People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you many things you had been concealing of the Book and forgiving much. [Indeed!] A light has come to you from Allah and a glorious Book, with which He will guide whoever follows His pleasure in the way of peace, and brings them forth from darkness into the light by His will." (5:15-16).
5) Belief in Messengers
We believe that Allah has
sent to His people messengers who were "bringing glad tidings and warning, so
that mankind might have no excuse against Allah after the messengers. And Allah
is Almighty, All-wise." (4:165)
The First and Last Messengers:
We believe that the first among the Messengers is Noah and the last is Muhammad, peace be upon them all. "We revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the Prophets after him." (4:163) "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets." (33:40)
The Best Messengers:
Messengers Are Human Beings:
Islam: The Universal and Final Message:
1. We believe that the Shari'ah (law) of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the religion of Islam which Allah has chosen for His servants. After the coming of Muhammad (pbuh), He does not accept from anyone any other religion, because Allah, the Exalted, said, "Surely, the true religion in Allah's sight is Islam," (3:19) and He also said, "Today I have perfected your religion for you and I have completed my favor upon you, and I have chosen Islam to be your religion." (5:3) And "whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers." (3:85)
2. It is also our belief that whoever rejects the universal message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, is rejecting the message of all messengers, even if he claims that he believes and follows his messenger. Allah the Exalted, said: "Noah's people rejected the messengers." (26:105) Thus, Allah considered them rejecting all the messengers despite the fact that there was no messenger before Noah. This is also clear from the following verses: "Those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and wish to make division between Allah and His messengers, and say: 'We believe in some and disbelieve in others,' wishing to take a midway course. Those indeed are the disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment." (4:150-1)
3. We believe that there is no prophet after Muhammad, Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him. Whoever claims prophethood after him, or believes in anyone claiming it, is a disbeliever because he is rejecting Allah, His messenger, and the Muslims' consensus.
The Prophet's Companions:
6) Belief In The Day Of Judgment
We believe in the Final Day, which is the Day of Judgment, when people will be resurrected alive to remain in the abode of eternal enjoyment or in the abode of eternal severe punishment.
Belief In Resurrection (for judgment):
We believe in Resurrection which is Allah's bringing to life all the dead when the angel Israfil blows the Horn for the second time, "And the Trumpet shall be blown and all who are in the Heavens and who are in the Earth shall be thunder-stuck except those that Allah shall spare. Then, it shall be blown again and they shall rise gazing around them." (39:68) People will stand up from their graves, answering the call of the Lord of the Universe. They are going to be bare-footed, and naked, "As We started the first creation, so We shall bring it back again. This is a promise from Us, We shall assuredly fulfill it." (21:104)
Belief in the Records & Scales:
We believe in the records of deeds that will be given to people in their right hands, or behind their backs in the left hands: "As for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and he will return to his family rejoicing. But as for him who is given his book behind his back, he shall beg for destruction upon himself and will burn in a Blazing Fire." (84:7-12) "Every man's work We have fastened on his own neck, and on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a book which he will see spread open, saying, 'Read your own book! Your own soul suffices this day as a witness against you.'" (17:13-14)
We believe that scales of
deeds will be set up on the Day of Judgment and no soul shall be wronged.
"Whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it." (99:708) "Those
whose scales are heavy, they are the successful; but those whose scales are
light, they are the ones who have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever. The
Fire will burn their faces, and their countenances are despondent therein."
(23:102-4) "He that does a good deed shall be rewarded ten times the like of
it, and he that does evil shall only be rewarded the like of it, and they shall
not be wronged." (6:160)
The Prophet's Intercession:
1. We believe in the special great Intercession of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He will plead with Allah, after His permission and on behalf of mankind, to judge among His servants when they suffer from worries and troubles which they cannot bear. They will first go to Adam, then Noah, then Abraham, then to Moses, then to Jesus in search of intercession, but all of them will refuse to provide this intercession due to the tremendous horror of that day. Finally, they will go to Muhammad, peace be upon him, and they will find intercession with him.
2. We believe in the intercession which concerns some believers who were to be taken out from the Fire. This mediation is granted to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to others among the Prophets, the believers, and the angels.
3. We believe also that Allah will save from Hell some people among the believers without the intercession of any one, but by His grace and mercy.
The Prophet's Pool:
We believe in the Pool of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the water of which is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey and better in fragrance than musk. Each of its length and width is the distance of a months travel. Its cups are as stars in beauty and number. The believers among the Prophet's followers come to take from this great cistern a drink after which they will never again be thirsty for all of eternity.
The Straight Path:
1. We believe in the Straight Path (Sirat) set up over Hell. People pass over it according to their deeds: the first of them as fast as lighting, then as fast as wind, then as fast as birds, and then as running men. The Prophet will be standing on the Path, saying, "My Lord, Save! Save!" Some people's deeds will fall short. Some of them will come crawling. At both sides of the Path there are hooks that are designed to take whom Allah wills: some are saved but bruised; others are thrown into Hell. (Bukhari & Muslim). We believe in all that is mentioned in the Qur'an or the Prophetic sayings concerning that day and its horrors, may Allah save us all from them.
2. We believe in the intercession (shafa'ah) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, for the people of Paradise to enter therein. This intercession is exclusively limited to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Belief in Paradise & Hell:
1. We believe in Paradise and Hell. Paradise is the abode of enjoyment which Allah, the Exalted, prepared for the righteous. The blessing they enjoy there, no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and no human being has ever imagined: "No soul knows what comfort is kept hidden for them, as a reward for that which they used to do." (32:17) Hell is the abode of punishment which Allah has prepared for the unbelievers and the evildoers. The torture and horror in it cannot be imagined. "Surely, We have prepared for the unjust a fire, whose pavilion encompasses them. If they call for help, they will be helped with water like molten copper which will scald their faces. How dreadful a drink and how evil a resting-place!" (18:29)
2. Both Paradise and Hell are existing now and they will never perish. "Whoever believes in Allah and does righteousness, He will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever. Allah had indeed made for him an excellent provision." (65:11) "Certainly, Allah has cursed the unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing Fire to dwell therein forever, they shall find neither protector nor helper. On the day when their faces are rotated in the Fire, they shall say "Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!" (33:64-6)
3. We confirm Paradise to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an or the Prophetic traditions either by name or description. Among those who are granted Paradise and mentioned by names are Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali and others who were specified by the Prophet, peace be upon him (Bukhari and Muslim).
4. We likewise confirm Hell to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet, whether in name or description. Among those who are mentioned by names to be in Hell are Abu Lahab, 'Amr Ibn Luhai Al-Khuza'i and others (Bukhari & Muslim). Confirmation of Hell which is based on description includes every unbeliever, polytheist or hypocrite.
Belief in What Happens in the Grave
1. We believe in the trial of the grave, which is the questioning of the dead person in his grave about his Lord, his religion and his Prophet. There "Allah strengthens those who believe with firm speech, in the present life and the Hereafter." (14:27) The believer will say: "Allah is my Lord, Islam is my religion, and Muhammad is my Prophet." The unbeliever or the hypocrite will say, "I don't know, I heard the people saying something and I said it."
2. We believe in the comfort of the grave for the believers. "Those whose lives the angels take in state of purity, saying 'peace be on you; enter Paradise for what you used to do." (16:32)
3. We believe in the punishment of the grave for the transgressing unbelievers: "If you could only see when the evildoers are in the agonies of death and the angels are stretching out their hands, saying, 'Give up your souls! Today you shall be rewarded with the punishment of humiliation for what you used to say untruly about Allah, and for scornfully rejecting His signs." (6:93) The sayings of the Prophet are numerous and well-known in this area. A Muslim must believe in all that is reported in the Qur'an and Prophetic traditions concerning the unseen matters. He should not contradict it by his worldly experience because the affairs of the Hereafter cannot be measured by the affairs of this life. The difference between them is very great. Allah is the source of help.
7) Belief in Fate and Divine Decree
We believe in Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah has measured and ordained for all creatures according to His previous knowledge and as deemed suitable by His wisdom.
Levels Of Belief In Fate:
Belief in Fate has four levels:
1. The first level is knowledge: We believe that Allah, may He be exalted, knows everything. He knew what had happened and what will happen and how it will happen. His knowledge is eternal. He does not acquire new knowledge nor does he forget what He Knows .
2. The second level is Recording: We believe that Allah has recorded in the "Secured Tablet" (al-Lawh al-Mahfudh) whatever is going to happen until the Day of Judgment. "Did you not know that Allah knows all that is in Heaven and Earth? Surely that is in a Book. Surely that for Allah is an trivial matter."(22:70)
3. The third level is Will: We believe that Allah has willed everything in the Heaven and Earth. Nothing happens except by His will; whatever He wills will take place; and whatever He does not wish will not take place.
4. The fourth level is Creation: We believe that "Allah is the Creator of all things; He is the Guardian over all things, and to Him belong the keys of the Heavens and the Earth." (39:62-3)
The fourth level include whatever Allah Himself does and whatever His creatures do. So, all that people perform of sayings, deeds, or omissions are known to Allah and He has recorded them, willed them and created them, "For those among you who wish to be upright. But you shall not will except as Allah wills, the Lord of the Worlds." (81:28-29) "And had Allah willed they would not have fought one against the other; but Allah does whatever He desires." (2:253) "Had Allah willed, they would not have done so, but leave them alone and their false inventions." (6:137) "And Allah created you and what you do." (37:96)
We believe, however, that Allah has granted humanity the power and freewill by which he performs his action. That man's deeds are by his power and freewill can be proven by the following points:
No Excuse in Fate for Sinners:
We believe that the sinner has no excuse in Allah's Divine Decree because he commits his sin by his freewill, without knowing that Allah has decreed it on him. That is, because no one knows Allah's decree before it takes place: "No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow." (31: 34) How can it be possible, then, to present an excuse that is not known to the person who is advancing it when he commits his offense? Allah invalidated this type of argument in His saying: "The idolaters will say 'Had Allah willed, we would not have been idolaters, neither our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything.' So did the people before them disbelieve until they tasted our might. Say: 'Have you any [true] knowledge that you can produce for Us? You follow nothing but assumption, and you are but lying." (6:148) We say to the sinner who is using Divine Decree as an excuse: 'Why did not you perform deeds of obedience assuming that Allah has decreed them upon you since there is no difference between them and sins in being unknown before they happened from you? That is why when Prophet Muhammad told his companions that everyone's position in Paradise or Hell has been assigned, they said: "Should not we rely on this and stop working?" He said: "No, work and every one will be directed to what he is created for." (Bukhari & Muslim)
We may say to the sinner who is trying to find excuse in Divine Decree: "Suppose, you want to travel to Makkah. There are two roads that may take you there. You are told by a truthful person that one of these roads is dangerous and difficult, the other is easy and safe. You will take the second one. You will not take the first road and say it is decreed upon me. If you did, people would consider you crazy.
We may also say to him: "If you are offered two jobs, one of them is higher in salary. You will certainly take the one with the higher salary. Why then do you choose what is lower in the Hereafter and use Divine Decree as an excuse?"
We may further say to him:
"We see you when you are inflicted with a disease, you knock every physician's
door looking for treatment and bearing whatever pain that may result from
surgical operations and the bitterness of medicine. Why do you not do the same
when your heart is spiritually sick with sins?"
8) Fruits of Faith
This sublime belief which includes those great principles bears numerous and useful types of fruits for whoever believes in it.
Virtues of Belief in Allah:
Belief in Allah, His Names and His Attributes instills in the individual Allah's love and His glorification that result in performing Allah's instructions and avoiding His prohibition which are the means of achieving ultimate happiness in this life and the Hereafter for the individual as well as the society. "Whoever, male or female, does righteous deed, while believing, We shall assuredly grant him a goodly life, and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds." (16:97)
Virtues of Belief in the Angels:
Virtues of Belief in the Books:
Virtues of Belief in Messengers:
Virtues of Belief in the Day of Judgment:
Virtues of Belief in Fate and Divine Decree:
Allah points to the last two virtues by the following verse: "No misfortune can happen on earth or in yourselves but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence, that is trivial for Allah; that you may not grieve for what escapes you, nor rejoice [excessively] in what has come to you. Allah does not love any vainglorious boaster." (57:22-3)
We pray to Allah, the Exalted, to reward us for this belief, to realize for us its fruits, to increase our blessings, to keep us on the Right Path to which He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him, He is indeed the Giver. Praise and gratitude be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and peace and blessings be on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and those who rightly follow them.
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