The people of truth… the Allah fearing (II)
Allah says: “It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe In Allah and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast In prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, In pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. such are the people of truth, the Allah fearing.” [al-Baqarah: 177]
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time.
In the week before the last, we saw what is expected of a true believer regarding his or her believe in Allah and the angels. Thus, we can now easily understand the meaning of Surat al-Ikhlas; the 112th chapter of the Qur’an in which Allah says:
1. “Say: He is Allah, the one and Only; 2. Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; 3. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; 4. And there is none like unto Him.” [al-Ikhlas: 1-4]
So also we can let know anybody in concise, the Islam’s concept of the angels as beings who never not eat, drink, sleep nor procreate; such weaknesses are lots lower animals and human race.
Today, by the leave of Allah, we will move to the next articles of faith as contained in this great verse; 177, thus: “to believe In Allah … and the Book…” [al-Baqarah: 177]
Allah, in His infinite mercy, and in line with His grace promised, sent over a period time, to different places, to guide His servants out of darkness into the light of Islam. Allah said to Adam at the time of his expulsion from the garden, thus;
“We said: “Get ye down all from here; and if, As is sure, there comes to you guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall They grieve.” [a-Baqarah: 38]
And: “O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you apostles from amongst you, rehearsing My Signs unto you,- those who are righteous and mend (Their lives),- on them shall be no fear nor shall They grieve.” [al-A'araf: 35]
Thus, Allah fulfilled His pledge by choosing from men Messengers and prophets, revealed to them His words of guidance, then sent them to the multitude to call them to the light. Those He wished to guide, were guided, and the rest went astray!
He revealed His messages to various Messengers and sent them to various peoples at various times. Some of the messages were regional, while others universal, transcending their initial spaces and times of revelations. The Qur’an which is the last and final in the series, remains the only authentic divine books available today, as against all the previously revealed before it. Allah, unlike the previous books, has not only promised to protect it from the atrocities of intruders, interlopers and trespassers, but also to preserve it from interfering with its contents and context, come what may.
The Quran mentioned all the revealed Books, as well as the precepts (Suhf) sent to various Messengers. It mentioned the Sahifa or scrolls given to Abraham; the Taurat given to Moses; the Zabur or the psalms given to David and the Injil which contained the revelation given to Jesus.
However, for wisdom and knowledge, all the revealed books sent by Allah to all the Apostles at various times and spaces; those we know and the ones we never know, were either perished or completely tempered, except the Qur’an. Unlike for the holy Qur’an, He did not promise to preserve the others. Allah says regarding the Qur’an:
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and we will Assuredly guard it (from corruption).” [al-Hijr: 9]
And: “No falsehood can approach it from before or behind it: it is sent down by one full of Wisdom, worthy of all praise.” [al-Fussilat: 42]
As for the rest of the Books, he says:
“It was we who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. by its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as In Islam) to Allah’s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book, and They were witnesses thereto: Therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not My Signs for a miserable price. if any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, They are (no better than) Unbelievers.” [al-Ma'idah: 44]
Thus, the compromises and the intrusions found in the previous divine Books were due to the lack of the human capacity and incompetence to preserve such invaluable properties in their memories for centuries without interpolations.
However, one’s believe in Allah will remain incomplete and inconsequential without believing in all the revealed Books in their original contents. Be aware that any doubt in any verse of the Qur’an, is the same as disbelieving in the entire revelations from Allah, and such is tantamount to disbelief or kufr! Allah says:
“After This it is ye, the same people, who slay among yourselves, and banish a party of you from their homes; assist (Their enemies) against them, In guilt and rancour; and if They come to you As captives, ye ransom them, though it was not lawful for you to banish them. Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? but what is the reward for those among you who behave like This but disgrace In This life and on the Day of Judgment They shall be consigned to the Most grievous penalty. for Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.” [al-Baqarah: 285]
The next item is to belief in all the messengers of Allah. He says: “to believe In Allah … and the Messengers…” [al-Baqarah: 177]
Messengers were choosing by Allah only. The criteria with which Prophets and Messengers were chosen was only known to Allah. He says:
“When there comes to them a Sign (from Allah., They say: “We shall not believe until we receive one (exactly) like those received by Allah’s apostles.” Allah knoweth best where (and how) to carry out His mission. Soon will the wicked be overtaken by humiliation before Allah, and a severe punishment, for all their plots.” [al-An'am: 124]
Similarly, no one has the knowledge of the exact number of Messengers of Allah He sent to various nations and tribes; from Adam (AS) to the last and final Messenger, Muhammad (SAW). The Qur’an has confirmed to us that we knew but few of Allah’s messengers It says:
“Of some apostles we have already told Thee the story; of others we have not;- and to Moses Allah spoke direct.” [an-Nisa'i: 164]
And: “We did send many apostles before thee: of them there are some whose story we have related to thee, and some whose story we have not related to thee. it was not (possible) for any apostle to bring a Sign except by the leave of Allah. but when the command of Allah issued, the matter was decided In truth and justice, and there perished, there and then those who stood on falsehoods.” [al-Ghafir: 78]
However, the Qur’an mentioned 25 Messengers with their names and locations. It is thus, incumbent upon every Muslim to believe in them regardless of their times, spaces and messengers. Allah says:
“The Messenger believeth In what hath been revealed to Him from His Lord, As do the men of Faith. Each one (of them) believeth In Allah, His angels, His books, and His apostles. “We make no distinction (They say) between one and another of His apostles” and They say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.” [al-Imran: 285]
One day I was charting with a Christian colleague about the various messengers of Allah. I told him that no Muslim is a true believer until he or she believes in all the previous Messengers of Allah, including Moses and Jesus! But, unlike the Jews and Christians who do not believe in each other’s Apostles, while each of you thinks and believe that he is alone on the right, and thus will inherit the kingdom of God in the hereafter. I went further to tell him that I, as a Muslim believe in Moses and Jesus as great Apostles of Allah. Therefore, if it is only the Jews who would be admitted into the kingdom of God, I will certainly enter with them because I believe in their Prophet. And if it is only you, the Christians who would be admitted for your belief in Jesus and his messages, I will also accompany you, without the Jews for their disbelief in Jesus! But if it is only we, the Muslims who would enter the paradise, both the Jews and Christians will go to hell fire, for their disbelief in Muhammad, the Prophets of the Muslims! Hence the need for every Muslim to strongly believe in all the messengers of Allah without any discrimination amongst them.
The messages of all Messengers and their religion were fundamentally the same Islam, because it came from One and the Same Source, to guide humanity to the right Path. All the messengers with no exception whatsoever were mortals, human beings, males and appointed by Allah to guide humanity.
Before I sign out in retreat for next Friday, I would like to request for your indulgence in arrears, over my break from the series Friday before the last, and our unavoidable absence during the last one. The former happened because of the innovative birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). I judged, autonomously, the need to remind the Muslims of its true position as nothing but transgressing the bounds of Allah, in its entirety. The later was due to the facts that we are but human beings!
May Allah guide onto the right path. Until next week, when we shall continue, Insha Allah!