Showing posts with label evil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label evil. Show all posts

Thursday, March 24, 2016

We Think We're a Big Deal, But, To Allah SWT, We Are Only Small

Can you see how perfect she looks from afar: Our joint home?

I tried a sketch of Earth seen from space, and this is what Earth could look like.

Look, how perfect she is. The colors of seas, deserts, woods, and the air around her. The Moon may be visible, too.

I want you to think about it. For good reasons, it all was mentioned in the Koran al Kerim:

'There are some who declare: 'We believe in Allah and the Last Day', yet they are no true believers. They seek to deceive Allah and those who believe in Him: But they deceive none save themselves, though they may not perceive it. There is a sickness in their hearts which Allah has increased: They shall be sternly punished for their hypocrisy. When it is said to them: 'Do not commit evil in the land', they reply: 'We do nothing but good'. But it is they who are the evil-doers, though they may not perceive it.' (2:8-12)

'Believers, Jews, Christians, and Sabaeans -- whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does what is right -- shall be rewarded by their Lord; they have nothing to fear or to regret.' (2:62 & 5:69)

'O ye assembly of Jinns and men! If it be ye can pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! Not without authority shall ye be able to pass!' (55:33)

'Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who have neither made war on your religion nor driven you from your homes. Allah loves the equitable. ...' (60:7)

'He created seven heavens, one above the other. His work is faultless. Turn up your eyes: Can you detect a single flaw?' (67:3)

These words are written for you too -- you, who reads them now. No matter if you're a public official, a politician, or an average citizen like me. No matter if you call yourself a Muslim or anything else. Make no mistake about it. It's not allowed to randomly blow up other people, nor to excuse those who do so. And, whenever you try and do such, you can't change the universe anyway. From another planet, you are hardly visible; you're not even a crumb in space. So don't wast your energy on causing death and destruction.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Do I want to distance myself from ISIS?

This Summer, the western world was shaken by two conflicts, one in Europe, Ukraine, and one, again, in Syria and Iraq. The latter, caused by the arrival of 'Islamic State', a new caliphate, raised some interesting questions to Muslims and those who care for Islam.

Truth is, firstly, both Sunni and Shiah traditions promise the return of a final Khilafah, which will restore justice and bring peace. Another truth is, that, also in Islam, every people has a basic right to found a new state according to its own founding principles, and every person may be elligible for high leadership, as described in Qur'anic verse 3:26. There's no exception to this rule for Islamic peoples. The first topic of interest is, whether it is indeed the promised final, infallible khilafah. Scholars of all main schools of thought in Islam agree, that the Imamah of infallible caliphs belongs to descendants of the Saudi tribe of Quraish. The caliph of Islamic State, however, is Iraqi and the Caliphate is situated in Syria and Iraq. Doubtful therefore is, that IS is the final khilafah as prophesied in the ahadith.

Now the second issue. The media report, that Islamic State kills those of its inhabitants who don't want to convert to Islam. Contrary to popular belief, Islam does not allow Muslims such killing. These ahadith reported by Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim (the two at the end) testify as such:

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 628:

Narrated Salim's father:

The Prophet sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to the tribe of Jadhima and Khalid invited them to Islam but they could not express themselves by saying, "Aslamna (i.e. we have embraced Islam)," but they started saying "Saba'na! Saba'na (i.e. we have come out of one religion to another)." Khalid kept on killing (some of) them and taking (some of) them as captives and gave every one of us his Captive. When there came the day then Khalid ordered that each man (i.e. Muslim soldier) should kill his captive, I said, "By Allah, I will not kill my captive, and none of my companions will kill his captive." When we reached the Prophet, we mentioned to him the whole story. On that, the Prophet raised both his hands and said twice, "O Allah! I am free from what Khalid has done."

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 687:

Narrated Jarir:

The Prophet ordered me during Hajjatul-Wada'. "Ask the people to listen." He then said, "Do not become infidels after me by cutting the necks (throats) of one another. "

Volume 9, Book 84, Number 61:

Narrated 'Aisha:

 A group of Jews asked permission to visit the Prophet (and when they were admitted) they said, "As-Samu 'Alaika (Death be upon you)." I said (to them), "But death and the curse of Allah be upon you!" The Prophet said, "O 'Aisha! Allah is kind and lenient and likes that one should be kind and lenient in all matters." I said, "Haven't you heard what they said?" He said, "I said (to them), 'Wa 'Alaikum (and upon you).

Volume 9, Book 84, Number 68:

Narrated Yusair bin 'Amr: I asked Sahl bin Hunaif, "Did you hear the Prophet saying anything about Al-Khawarij?" He said, "I heard him saying while pointing his hand towards Iraq. "There will appear in it (i.e, Iraq) some people who will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats, and they will go out from (leave) Islam as an arrow darts through the game's body.' "

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 184:

Narrated 'Abdullah and Abu Musa: The Prophet said, "Near the establishment of the Hour there will be days during which Religious ignorance will spread, knowledge will be taken away (vanish) and there will be much Al-Harj, and Al-Harj means killing."

Volume 9, Book 89, Number 329:

Narrated Jabir bin Samura: I heard the Prophet saying, "There will be twelve Muslim rulers (who will rule all the Islamic world)." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, "All of them (those rulers) will be from Quraish."

Book 032, Number 6327:

'Urwa reported on the authority of his father that Hisham b. Hakim b. Hizam happened to pass by some people in Syria who had been made to stand in the sun and olive-oil was being poured upon their heads. He said: What is this? It was said: They are being punished for (not paying) the Kharaj (the government revenue). Thereupon he said: Allah would punish those who torment people in this world (without any genuine reason).

Book 032, Number 6328:

Hisham reported on the authority of his father that Hisham b. Hakim b. Hizam happened to pass by people, the farmers of Syria, who had been made to stand in the sun. He said: What is the matter with them? They said: They have been detained for Jizya. Thereupon Hisham said: I bear testimony to the fact that I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah would torment those who torment people in the world.

Al Khawarij are those who think, that rebellion and revolution against leaders is allowed in Islam. Islam, however, asks us to consult with each other in a peaceful manner, as prescribed in Qur'anic verse 42:38, and to obey leaders, even if those aren't always just, as prescribed in verse 4:59.

More importantly, Qur'an itself forbids Muslims random killing of those who reject Islam or left it. Please see one of my previous entries on this blog, The Basics of Islam's Outward Boundaries. Qur'an as reference of judgement in Islam precedes any other scripture, unless explicitly stated otherwise... which isn't often the case. Unbelievers and apostates may be killed only if they kill and persecute believers themselves and neither offer peace nor enter Islam.

We could ask ourselves, if indeed #IS has the right to call itself an 'Islamic' State, if it radomly kills those who live in its newly conquered lands and don't want to convert to Islam or pay 'jizya' tax. How violent has the relation of local Muslims, Christians, Yezidi, and other groups been? If it wasn't violent, then IS has no case.

There's a third question of interest: Is any party allowed to retaliation? The answer to that one isn't simple. Islam allows the faithful retribution for those who were killed, according to these Qur'anic verses:

002.178 Surah 2 Verse 178

O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.

002.179 Surah 2 Verse 179

YUSUFALI: In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) Life to you, o ye men of understanding; that ye may restrain yourselves.

002.194 Sura 2 Verse 194

YUSUFALI: The prohibited month for the prohibited month,- and so for all things prohibited,- there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.

017.033 Surah 17 Verse 33

YUSUFALI: Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).

The law of equality prescribes, that any retaliation against other people's harmful behavior must be of equal value, law which may also be applied to offenses slighter than killing. This issue, however, touches the history between Islam and the West. IS may have a point, when it triumphantly announces killing of the British, American, and other western journalists or workers they captured. There's a long line of killing and retribution of killing in our joint western and middle eastern histories; recent history has shown a revival since the US-presidencies of the Bush family, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. And the Middle East has been of the receiving end, mostly, and grossly. Against the killing of every American or European, we've seen at least 10,000 Iraqi, Afghani, and other killings in the Middle East by western armies. And journalists or workers may be an interest party in this war. The temptation to retaliate may have been less, if the West had paid better compensation for the suffering and loss of property during colonial occupation, during bombardments, etc. Not without reason, Islam offers a way out of retaliation with forgiveness. At some time, the cycle of retaliations should end.

Then there's a fourth, final question, not a slight one either. None of us can effectively act, unless we know who we are dealing with. Rumor has it, that IS may be fake. There are plenty of videos circulating, saying that the beheadings of journalists are fake. Therefore, I looked at mainstream footing as these:

Don't worry--the images aren't scary, no one is actually beheaded in these videos

In this case, James Foley, I find the accusation credible. I see two different people here; obviously their voices and their facial movements differ. So what really happened to James Foley? And why the fake? Is IS real, at all? Why was its initial name changed, a name that reminded of forgotten Egyptian goddess Isis? I find the thought tempting, that this group may not at all be a Muslim group. They may be a group of provocateurs, enabling some parties a new war. What if the USA, Iran, any other country, have a hand in that? What must happen to all their military personnel, should war be over? Military personnel may suffer the same trauma as jihad travelers do, after all. Not to mention the tempting shine of the oil. The strangest aspect of it, is the anonymity of thousands of casualties resulting from bombardments versus the flagrant cruelty of one, or a few, beheading(s) of a journalist, who has a name and a face. It does make those 10,000 seem equal to this one person. And that fact, on the other hand, is exactly what Muslim extremists are fighting against, and they have a point here, too. The question is, really, who is the extremist here. The Americans and other westerners have dug themselves deep into the Middle East with their warfare. It's not easy to stop that. One may wonder, if the west is really fighting itself, before any one else.

Is there a solution to this latest problem? The only solution may be a full lock-up of the area occupied by IS, so that no one may enter or leave it, and aid and shelter for the many refugees. IS will have to leave the area, or it has to isolate itself. This will probably leave the least damage.

University of Southern California USC-MSA Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (Compendium of Muslim Texts)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Why-Questions For Ourselves

The oldest question in the world. It has general and personal aspects.

Honestly, I think we can't answer the general aspects. We don't know beyond doubt where we came from. Religions have all their own answers, sometimes in full contrast to one and other. I have gradually learned to rely on myself. "Why am I here", "Where am I going", are questions usually approached in a moral fashion by religions. It may be a help cord for humanity to hold on to, but is it an answer to the question? The role of humanity in the scheme of things on Earth, is seen as a task, by religions. And its future is determined by the way humanity carries out this task. The problem then lies, again, in the differing, sometimes contrasting answer furnished by religions. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism basically say, though in differing ways: The human soul is forever; its future in the afterlife is determined by how the living man or woman behaves during life. And there's an invisible, omnipotent creating God who creates, decides for and judges us, and everything else. But the stories of these religions are different, and so is their worship. Buddhism says: there is no invisible world behind this, this is all there is and has been, there is no creation, and the human soul isn't immortal. Personally, I think that all religions cast their light on an aspect of the truth that was revealed to their spokesmen, usually referred to as prophets. Why the stories differ, is an answer God only knows;) Or only some answers can be proved to be true or false. Islam still is my own religion, but I can't confirm that the prophet Muhamed, pbuh, really met archangel Gibryl, and that Gibryl truly came with God's word. We can't prove it, no matter how valuable and truthful its content may be. That is faith: Acknowledging something to be truthful or valuable, without having falsifiable evidence. The consequence is, that none of us have the right to forcefully impose our non-falsifiable convictions on other people. That also goes for atheists.

I think, that Buddhism has a point here, it's view can be retrieved with Ibn Rushd, for those who like to know if there's a parallel with Islamic views somewhere. I agree with them and think there was no first creation. Mass cannot have emerged from the non-existent. That's technically and absolutely impossible. Non-existence isn't empty space, because space is existence. Therefore, mass must always have been there, which doesn't mean there has never been empty space. Empty space is always mass-related. Like Ibn Rushd, I think, that God is working within the universe, as the force within it. God may be time, the law or force of nature, an abstract concept. God cannot be compared with anything at all, says the Qur'an. There's no god, there's just the law or force of nature, but that's not god, atheists say. When the Bible says, that "the earth was without form, and void", it may say there was a first creation of our present planet and the other celestial bodies, but Genesis leaves open whether it must have been a remould of something else, another mass. The story in Genesis may sound contradictory to scientific knowledge and even to itself. An aspect not irrelevant to the age-old question, is that other religions have their own stories, that may also be impaired and proven-untrue.

And then, how about thinking of where we're headed to. The afterlife. Is there nothing, or is there a retribution, where justice is restored? It's always been approached from a moral point of view, even by atheists. We should live righteous lives in order to attain a good afterlife. Or, vice versa, we don't need to... etc. The only thing not eagerly considered, is the possible preparation to a bad afterlife. A life in Hell. If Hell is forever, shouldn't we learn now how to live in pain, or at least in unpleasant conditions forever? Shouldn't we learn to accept evil as part of a whole that may have good in it, simply because the whole 'needs' this aspect. We're not taught to deal with an eternal painful retribution. (How we should, is another issue.)

All things considered, I think it's better to keep things personal. It leads to always-relevant and tangible answers to the age-old questions. Why am I here? Where do I go? I stick to things I know. I came from two parents and a long line of ancestors. I live here, because I was born nearby. I have children, they have my genes. Why do we live somewhere? Because of family, a partner, or friends cherished enough to be counted as family. Because I like the town I live in. Because of a job. But I think that most people tend to find their livelihood near family and friends. The chance is realistic, that I'll stay here too, because it's not easy to leave and then live away from family. Why do people leave the vicinity of family and friends? To be with a partner. It may be uniting with an existing partner, or traveling to a country or town where a partner is likely to be found. It may also be necessity. If it's impossible to find a source of income or affordable housing in the vicinity of family and friends. Yet, I think that most people hesitate to leave their country or city for work only, no matter how tempting the prospects may be. There should be someone or something else too, to make it worthwhile to live alone in an apartment far away from home. That's how it works for me. In all honesty -- a partner, or family and trusted friends somewhere else will make me move away more easily than only a great writing gig. The chances are realistic, though. And it's best to recognize that I'm not sure what will happen after death, and try to do my 'best' as is recognized as such in my community, including not causing harm to others.

With thanks to fellow blogger Izaakson.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A few ahadith of the Prophet on signs of disbelief

The Prophet of Islam saws has said a great deal on disbelief, its rewards in the hereafter, and its symptoms. Mentioned earlier, we saw the major signs of disbelief, like accrediting others in worship to Allah swt, or murder and violence. Here follows a first selection of the most used and leading sayings by the Prophet on on signs of disbelief in daily life. A lot more can be added about each of them, and in the Qur’an al Karim and the ahadith, many more texts are available. The three most obvious signs are oppression of others, committing the most clearly prohibited sins, and dishonesty. Examples of oppression are living on other people's money; taking and using other people’s land and property without their consent; forcing others to return goods bought from someone else so as to buy your goods; or violence on the human body, like mutilation or torture. Another example of oppression is slander and false accusation; avariciousness and ingratitude; especially to one’s own family; and misusing the property of those who cannot defend themselves, such as minors. Examples of the most obvious sins are not only drinking, gambling and adultery, but also prostitution and selling products that are forbidden in the holy Qur’an, like alcohol and pork. A big example of dishonesty is introducing new (or old!) customs into Islam that are not consistent with its principles. Other examples of dishonesty are trade with pre-knowledge and secret trade outside the regular market; selling goods without having the required expertise (‘a town dweller should not sell the goods of a desert dweller’); selling goods that not yet exist; or selling goods below the agreed measure and quality. It certainly isn't a sign of honesty to have secret meetings between buyers or sellers away from the market. Nowadays we would call it a cartel or secretive price deals. In business and private, people display how much they truly fear Allah swt. In all of this, Islam tries to justly balance rights and duties between people. The extent of forgiveness from others as regards the harm inflicted on them, partly determines Allah’s forgiveness.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:
The Prophet said, “A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden.”
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 28:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.”
Narrated Masruq:
We were with ‘Abdullah and he said, “When the Prophet saw the refusal of the people to accept Islam he said, “O Allah! Send (famine) years on them for (seven years) like the seven years (of famine during the time) of (Prophet) Joseph.” So famine overtook them for one year and destroyed every kind of life to such an extent that the people started eating hides, carcasses and rotten dead animals. Whenever one of them looked towards the sky, he would (imagine himself to) see smoke because of hunger. So Abu Sufyan went to the Prophet and said, “O Muhammad! You order people to obey Allah and to keep good relations with kith and kin. No doubt the people of your tribe are dying, so please pray to Allah for them.” So Allah revealed: “Then watch you For the day that The sky will bring forth a kind Of smoke Plainly visible … Verily! You will return (to disbelief) On the day when We shall seize You with a mighty grasp. (44.10-16) Ibn Masud added, “Al-Batsha (i.e. grasp) happened in the battle of Badr and no doubt smoke, Al-Batsha, Al-Lizam, and the verse of Surat Ar-Rum have all passed.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
‘Ukaz, Majanna and Dhul-Majaz were market-places in the Pre-lslamic period of ignorance. When Islam came, Muslims felt that marketing there might be a sin. So, the Divine Inspiration came: “There is no harm for you to seek the bounty of your Lord (in the seasons of Hajj).” (2.198) Ibn ‘Abbas recited the Verse in this way.
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 267:
Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir:
The Prophet said “Both legal and illegal things are obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So who-ever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and who-ever indulges in these (suspicious) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah’s Hima (i.e. private pasture) and whoever pastures (his sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment.”
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 286:
Narrated Al-Miqdam:
The Prophet said, “Nobody has ever eaten a better meal than that which one has earned by working with one’s own hands. The Prophet of Allah, David used to eat from the earnings of his manual labor.”
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 301:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abu Aufa:
A man displayed some goods in the market and swore by Allah that he had been offered so much for that, that which was not offered, and he said so, so as to cheat a Muslim. On that occasion the following Verse was revealed: “Verily! Those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths (They shall have no portion in the Hereafter ..etc.)’ (3.77)
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 360:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Do not go forward to meet the caravan (to buy from it on the way before it reaches the town). And do not urge buyers to cancel their purchases to sell them (your own goods) yourselves, and do not practice Najsh. A town dweller should not sell the goods for the desert dweller. Do not leave sheep unmilked for a long time, when they are on sale, and whoever buys such an animal has the option of returning it, after milking it, along with a Sa of dates or keeping it. it has been kept unmilked for a long period by the seller (to deceive others).
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 379:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
The Prophet said, “The selling of wheat for wheat is Riba (usury) except if it is handed from hand to hand and equal in amount. Similarly the selling of barley for barley, is Riba except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and dates for dates is usury except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount. (See Riba-Fadl in the glossary).
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 430:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Allah says, ‘I will be against three persons on the Day of Resurrection:
1. One who makes a covenant in My Name, but he proves treacherous.
2. One who sells a free person (as a slave) and eats the price,
3. And one who employs a laborer and gets the full work done by him but does not pay him his wages.’ ”
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 414:
Narrated Hisham bin ‘Urwa from his father:
who heard Aisha saying, “The Holy Verse; ‘Whoever amongst the guardians is rich, he should take no wages (from the property of the orphans) but If he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labors)’ (4.6) was revealed concerning the guardian of the orphans who looks after them and manages favorably their financial affairs; If the guardian Is poor, he could have from It what Is just and reasonable, (according to his labors).”
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.”
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 629:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.”
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 634:
Narrated Salim’s father (i.e. ‘Abdullah):
The Prophet said, “Whoever takes a piece of the land of others unjustly, he will sink down the seven earths on the Day of Resurrection.”
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 637:
Narrated ‘Aisha:
The Prophet said, “The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome person.”
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 639:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:
The Prophet said, “Whoever has (the following) four characters will be a hypocrite, and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy until he gives it up. These are: (1 ) Whenever he talks, he tells a lie; (2) whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; (3) whenever he makes a covenant he proves treacherous; (4) and whenever he quarrels, he behaves impudently in an evil insulting manner.” (See Hadith No. 33 Vol. 1)
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 640:
Narrated Aisha:
Hind bint ‘Utba (Abu Sufyan’s wife) came and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Abu Sufyan is a miser. Is there any harm if I spend something from his property for our children?” He said, there is no harm for you if you feed them from it justly and reasonably (with no extravagance).”
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 655:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time, he is doing it, and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery.
Narrated Aisha:
Allah’s Apostle said, “If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Avoid the seven great destructive sins.” They (the people!) asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What are they?” He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah; to practice sorcery; to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic law); to eat up usury (Riba), to eat up the property of an orphan; to give one’s back to the enemy and freeing from the battle-field at the time of fighting and to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.”
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet said, “The most hated persons to Allah are three: (1) A person who deviates from the right conduct, i.e., an evil doer, in the Haram (sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina); (2) a person who seeks that the traditions of the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance, should remain in Islam (3) and a person who seeks to shed somebody’s blood without any right.”
University of Southern California USC-MSA Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (Compendium of Muslim Texts)

Signs of disbelief


Do they exist: Signs in everyday life that indicate disbelief--even before grotesque acts of mischief have been committed, or before it has been acknowledged in the open? This is what Qur’an al Kerim says:
But never did a single one of the Signs of their Lord reach them, but they turned away therefrom. And now they reject the truth when it reaches them: but soon shall come to them the news of what they used to mock at. See they not how many of those before them We did destroy? Generations We had established on the earth, in strength such as We have not given to you for whom We poured out rain from the skies in abundance, and gave streams flowing beneath their (feet): yet for their sins We destroyed them and raised in their wake fresh generation. If We had sent unto thee a written (message) on parchment, so that they could touch it with their hand, the unbelievers would have been sure to say: ‘This is nothing but obvious magic!’ They say: ‘Why is not an angel sent down to him?’ If We did send down an angel, the matter would be settled at once and no respite would be granted them. Ik We had made it an angel, We should have sent him as a man. And we should certainly have caused them confusion in a matter which they have already covered with confusion. Mocked were (many) Messengers before thee; but their scoffers were hemmed in by the thing that they mocked. Say: ‘Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth’. Qur'an 6:4-11
Or lest ye should say: ‘If the Book had only been sent down to us, We should have followed its guidance better than they’. Now then hath come unto you a Clear (Sign) from your Lord and a guide and a mercy: then who could do more wrong than one who rejecteth Allah’s Signs, and turneth away therefrom? In good time shall We requite those who turn away from Our Signs, with a dreadful chastisement for their turning away. Qur'an 6:157
The day that certain of the Signs of the Lord do come, no good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before nor earned righteousness through its Faith. Say: ‘Wait ye, we too are waiting’.    Qur'an 6:158
They say: ‘We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth or thou have a garden of date trees and vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us, or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face. Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read. Say: ‘Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man, a messenger?’ What kept men back from Belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said ‘Has Allah sent a man to be Messenger?’ Say: ‘If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger’. Say: ‘Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: for He is well acquainted with His servants, and He sees (all).     Qur'an 17:90-96
When Our Clear Signs are rehearsed to them, the unbelievers say to those who believe: ‘Which of the two sides is best in point of position and fairer in assembly?’ Qur'an 19:73
When Our Clear Signs are rehearsed to them, thou wilt notice a denial on the faces of the unbelievers! They nearly attack with violence those who rehearse Our Signs to them. Say ‘Shall I tell you of something worse than that? It is the Fire Allah has promised it to the Unbelievers! And evil is that destination!’ ! Qur'an 22:72
They swore their strongest oaths by Allah that if a warner came to them, they would be more rightly guided than anyone of the nations. But when a warner came to them, it has only increased their aversion. On account of their arrogance in the land and their plotting of Evil. But the plotting of Evil will hem in only the authors thereof. Now are they but looking for the way the ancients were dealt with? But no change wilt thou find in Allah’s way: no turning off wilt thou find in Allah’s way. Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the End of those before them. Though they were superior to them in strength? Qur'an 35:42-44
SAD. By the Qur’an, full of Admonition: but the Unbelievers in Self-glory and opposition. How many generations before them did We destroy? In the end they cried when there was no longer time for being saved! So they wonder that a Warner has come to them from among themselves! And the Unbelievers say ‘This is a sorcerer telling lies! Has he made gods into one God? Truly this is a strange thing!’ And the leaders among them go away ‘Walk ye away and remain constant to your gods! For this is truly a thing designed! We never heard of this in the last religion this is nothing but a made-up tale!’ ‘What! Has the Message been sent to him – among us?’ But they are in doubt concerning My Message! Nay, they have not yet tasted My Punishment! Or have they the Treasures of the Mercy of thy Lord, the Exalted in Power, the Grantor of Bounties without measure? Or have they the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all between? If so, let them mount up with the ropes and means (to reach that end)! Qur'an 38:1-10
Seest thou not those that dispute concerning the Signs of Allah? How are they turned away. Those who reject the Book and the (revelations) with which We sent Our messengers, but soon shall they know. Qur'an 40:69,70
Had We so willed, We could have shown them up to thee, and thou shouldst have known them by their marks: but surely thou wilt know them by the tone of their speech! And Allah knows all that ye do.  Qur'an 47:30
When the Hypocrites come to thee, they say ‘We bear witness that thou art indeed the Messenger of Allah’. Yea, Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His Messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars. They have made their oaths a screen (for their misdeeds): thus they obstruct (men) from the Path of Allah: truly evil are their deeds. That is because they believed, then they rejected Faith: so a seal was set on their hearts, therefore they understand not. When thou lookest at them, their bodies please thee and when they speak, thou listenest to their words. They are as pieces of timber propped up, they think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies; so beware of them. The curse of Allah be on them! How are they deluded! And when it is said to them ‘Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness’, they turn aside their heads, and thou wouldst see them turning away their faces in arrogance. It is equal to them whether thou pray for their forgiveness or not. Allah will not forgive them. Truly Allah guides not rebellious transgressors. They are the ones who say ‘Spend nothing on those who are with Allah’s Messenger, till the disperse (and quit Madinah)’. But to Allah belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth; but the Hypocrites understand not. They say: ‘If we return to Madinah, surely the more honorable will expel therefrom the meaner’. But honour belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers, but the Hypocrites know not. Qur'an 63:1-8
Then will no intercession of intercessors profit them. Then what is the matter with them that they turn away from admonition? As if they were affrighted asses, fleeing from a lion! Forsooth, each one of them wants to be given scrolls (of revelation) spread out! By no means! But they fear not the Hereafter. Nay, this surely is an admonition: let any who will keep it in remembrance! But none will keep it in remembrance except as Allah will: He is the Lord of Righteousness and the Lord of Forgiveness.      Qur'an 74:48-56
And when it is said to them ‘Prostrate yourselves!’ They do not so. Qur'an 77:48
Rejections of God’s signs and then ask for new ones, whether this be miracles, a new prophet or a new Scripture, is perhaps one of the most obvious examples of disbelief. Disbelief is dissatisfaction, and it is not satisfied with what we possess and rejects this without a good reason, such as evidence. Furthermore, hidden disbelief or hypocrisy cannot be seen on a person’s forehead; it also exists within one’s own community and can only appear from conversation or behavior. Certainly the person who, without justification, pretends to be a believer, will not deal fairly with this issue, his own person included. Loss of faith happens unnoticed, sometimes. That’s why one should be careful judging other people’s credentials. Unless beyond any doubt, a desecration in the sense of committing injustice and disorder should be the case. In that case, disbelief is self-evident.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Evil and what to do against it?


These verses are defining of what Qur'an--also on many other places--has to say about evil:
As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing. And on their eyes is a veil; great is the chastisement they (incur). Of the people there are some who say: ‘We believe in Allah and the Last Day: but they do not believe. Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realize not! In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: and grievous is the chastisement they (incur), because they lied (to themselves). When it is said to them: ‘Make not mischief on the earth’. They say: ‘We are only ones that put things right.’ Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize not. When it is said to them: ‘Believe as the others believe’: they say: ‘Shall we believe as the fools believe?’ Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know. When they meet those who believe, they say: ‘We believe’; but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: ‘We are really with you we (were) only jesting’. Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones. These are they who have bartered guidance for error: but their traffic is profitless, and they have lost true direction, their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in utter darkness, so they could not see. Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return.
Behold, thy Lord said to the angels; ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth’. They said: ‘Wit Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?’ Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?’ He said: ‘I know what ye know not’ and He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: ‘Tell Me the names of these if ye are right’, they said: ‘Glory to Thee: of knowledge we have none, save what Thou hast taught us: in truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom’. He said: ‘O Adam! Tell them their names’. When he had told them their names, Allah said: ‘Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?’ And behold, We said to the angels: ‘Bow down to Adam’: and they bowed down; not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: he was of those who reject Faith. And We said: ‘O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.’ Then did Satan make them slip from the (Garden) and get them out of the state in which they had been. And We said: ‘Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood – for a time’. Then learnt Adam from his Lord certain words and his Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. We said: ‘Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be Companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein.
It is We Who have placed you with authority on earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfillment of your life: small are the thanks that ye give! It is We Who created you and gave you shape: then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrated, not so Iblis; he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: ‘What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?’ He said: ‘I am better than he: Thou didst create Me from fire, and him from clay’. (Allah) said: ‘Get thee down from it: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).’ He said: ‘Give me respite till the day they are raised up’. (Allah) said: ‘Be thou among those who have respite.’ He said: ‘Because Thou hast thrown me out, lo! I will lie in wait for them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor wilt Thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for Thy mercies).’ (Allah) said: ‘Get out from this, despised and expelled. If any of them follow thee, Hell will I fill with you all. ‘O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy as ye wish: but approach not this tree, lest you become of the unjust.’ Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them: he said: ‘Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever.’ And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shameful parts became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies, and their Lord called unto them: ‘Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was avowed enemy unto you?’ They said: ‘Our Lord we have wronged our own souls; if Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost. (Allah) said: ‘Get ye down, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood, – for a time’. He said: ‘Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die: but from it shall ye be taken out.’ O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you, but the raiment of righteousness- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition! O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe see you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the Satans friends to those without Faith. When they commit an indecency, they say: ‘We found our fathers doing so’ and ‘Allah commanded us thus’: say: ‘Nay, Allah never command what is indecent: do ye say of Allah what ye know not?’ Say: ‘My Lord hath commanded justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return.’ Some He hath guided: others have deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the Satans in preference to Allah, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance. O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer; eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters. Q:7:10-31
Evil as the example are people who reject Our Signs and wrong their own souls. Whom Allah doth guide, – he is on the right path: whom He rejects from His guidance, – such are the persons who lose. Many are the Jinns and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle, – nay more misguided: for they are heedless.
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn, from the mischief of created things; from the mischief of those who blow on knots; and from the mischief of the envious one as he practises envy.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, the King of Mankind, the God of Mankind, – from the mischief of the Whisperer, who withdraws, – who whispers into the hearts of Mankind, – among Jinns and among Men.
Allah did indeed give His creatures enemies. Plants and animals are enemies to each other, because they feed from one and other. Men and spirits (jinn), described in the Qur’an as a peoples endowed with  the possibility to choose between good and evil, have a moral enemy: The fallen angel Iblis (Lucifer), the only angel who did not obey Allah swt. He disobeyed out of envy of man’s creation, even though Allah asked him to do so. Iblis then became Satan and asked Allah’s permission to seduce man towards evil and obtained permission. Allah swt then immediately cursed Satan for this disobedience and destined him for Hell. Satan will succeed, however, in getting part of mankind on his side. Man has natural enemies in both creation and in himself. Man has received natural evil from Allah swt. With it he will hurt others, but mainly himself. Degradation to permanent disbelief and lock oneself from any belief, is the first punishment a disbeliever incurs in this life already. Punishment in the Hereafter will be the fate of the person who disbeliefs and acts badly in this life. The person who does believe, knows that his or her assignment is to serve Allah with faith and good deeds. The person who does not believe, forgot this, either by choice, or because of Satan. And Allah made these people immune to His message, unless they return to His path on their own accord. Repentance indeed is always an option. Furthermore, people were made enemies to each other.
The first man described as one to commit sin, is Adam. In Islam, he is considered the first prophet: He was the first man to learn the names of species and objects in nature around him. He also was the first to learn the difference between obedience and disobedience and to receive the very first test assignment. Adam did not fulfill it as required, a narration that differs from the Biblical version, where the woman was the first one to be seduced by the archetypical serpent. She then seduced the man to eat from the tree. Adam, as the first prophet and mediator to Allah swt, is the one held primarily responsible for this disobedience and the blame is not shifted to a female figure. Qur’an does not state the number of people the first community of men consisted of, nor which people also were punished for the first disobedience: Eating from the tree that was forbidden to eat from. Qur’an clearly states, that Adam and his wife were permitted to live in a garden richly provided with sustenance, as well as with the tree, eating of which was forbidden. Man is created as a ‘vicegerent’ on Earth and his future life will be on Earth. Man would most probably have to ‘descend’ from the Garden anyway. Apart from the aspect of obedience to Allah, this narration has another aspect: That of man reaching maturity. Man gains awareness of his own identity in all its positive and negative qualities and wants to hide those that are private, although the first people still realized that Allah swt sees and knows everything in them. As soon as man leaves the Garden, he is left to himself, though he has Allah’s guidance at his disposal. Man will have to listen to the voice of his or her conscience. Not stated, however, are the whereabouts of this Garden. Chapter 7 of the Qur’an makes clear that (also) man today can be seen as Adams descendant.
The Qur’anic chapters 113 and 114 are frequently used supplications in Islam against evil. A believer may recite them, according to tradition, during sickness and before sleeping, or as a supplication intended to protect from any harm. Next question would be, whether Islam has any further traditions concerning the issue of what might be belief or disbelief.