Tuesday, March 28, 2006

For GERMAN Readers

those readers who are interested to know about Islam in German language

Please have a look here WAY TO ALLAH

This is a project initiative to open a TV channel in German speaking European Countries specially Germany,Switzerland and Austria.
Inner Peace

Inner peace is the source of all peace. When a person is at harmony with himself, he is able to live in harmony with others.

Allah says: "When you enter houses, greet yourselves with peace." [ Sûrah al-Nûr: 61]

Believers recite the following words in all of their prayers: "Peace be upon us and upon Allah's pious servants."

In the Qur'ân, we encounter the word "self" being used in the context a group of people. Indeed, it is from the depths of the self that peace radiates forth.

Inner peace requires that a person's relationship with himself is clear, and that his goals and objectives are understood and at harmony with his inner being. Indeed, after knowledge of the Lord, the most important thing for a person to have knowledge of is knowledge of his self and how to perfect it and purify it. He needs to be sensitive to his own gifts and talents, aware of his weaknesses and strengths. Would he describe himself as patient or hasty, forthright or timid, tenacious or easily bored? A person needs to know the truth about himself so he can go make good progress in a direction where he can best capitalize on his strengths and potential.

This does not mean that a person must explore the nature of his existence and of the human soul. Such knowledge is outside of our grasp except for what is revealed to us in the sacred texts. Allah says: "They ask you about the soul. Say: The soul is from the affair of my Lord, and you have not been given of knowledge save a little." [ Sûrah al-Isrâ': 85]

At the same time, it is quite possible for a person to become acquainted with the dimensions of his personality, his latent talents, and his true nature. He can then use this knowledge to help him toward what is good and to safeguard him from misfortune.

Islamic Law takes a person's nature into account and often legislates in accordance with it without blame or reproach. This applies even to the Prophets and Messengers when they acted according to their instincts and their natures, for they were human beings, no more and no less.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "We re more deserving of doubt than Abraham was when he said: 'My Lord, show me how you resurrect the dead.' And (Allah) said 'Do you not believe?' And he said: 'Yes, but it is just to make my heart content.' And may Allah have mercy on Lot, for he had betaken himself to a powerful support. Had I languished in prison as long as Joseph had, I would have complied with their demands." [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

Abraham (peace be upon him) had sought after knowledge and desired to be acquainted with the true nature of things. This was just to satisfy his natural, human curiosity. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "I would have complied with their demands" he was alluding to our natural, human love of liberty and freedom and our loathing of being confined and having our potentials held back, especially for a long period of time.

Moses (peace be upon him) knew himself well, and he was frank about his feelings, speaking about them unequivocally and without shame. He spoke about his natural fears when he said: "And I had fled from you when I was afraid of you." And: "Our Lord! Truly, we fear that he will fall upon us or transgress against us." When a person knows himself in this way and accepts himself, it keeps him to what is within his natural capacity and his abilities and defines for him his goals so he can go forward with a clear vision.

Our submission should be to our principle and values in our heart, the values by which we relate to our Lord, and according to which we should speak and act. These true and established values should be the basis of our conduct. Otherwise, by always seeking to please this person or avoid that person's displeasure, our lives become nothing more than perpetual pretentiousness and flattery, in surrender to those around us so that we lose our individuality and our independence.

One aspect of inner peace is for our inner selves to be in harmony with our outward conduct. What we profess should be reflected in what we do. Allah says: "It is a grievous matter with Allah that you say what you do not do." [ Sûrah al-Saff: 3]

This requires us to be upright and correct in our approach. The Prophet (peace be upon him) defined what it means to be upright on the occasion when Sufyan b. `Abd Allah al-Thaqafî asked: "O Messenger of Allah! Tell me about Islam what will suffice me so I will not have to ask anyone else about it."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "Say: 'I believe in Islam.' Then be upright." [Sahîh Muslim]

Our worship should be in harmony with the way we treat others. Our worship should give direction to our affairs and make us uphold justice and honor the rights that other people have. We should not lead a double life, one persona for the mosque and an utterly different one for the outside world.

Many failures take place and reversals take place because of the abysmal state of those who live lives of outward piety accompanied by inward wretchedness. We really need to strengthen and deepen our faith, so that it can be a pillar to support us through all of life's trials and tribulations. We are faced with problems and disappointments at home, at work, and within ourselves, and our faith in Allah must be strong if we are to endure them and prevail. This faith must be accompanied by genuine devotion that emanates from deep within the heart before manifesting itself in our outward worship.

Inner peace requires our wants and aspirations to be in keeping with our abilities and with what is possible for us. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "O you who believe! Assume the works that you are capable of carrying out, for indeed Allah does not become disinterested until you do, and indeed the most beloved of works to Allah are those that are most constant, no matter how small they might be." [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

This applies to everything. In the pursuit of material gain, a person can destroy himself with avarice.

Inner peace in what we call towards. No one of us can expect the whole world to respond positively to what he advocates, nor is it right that it should. This did not even happen for Allah's select Messengers. Whatever one of us works for, there is always someone else working to the contrary and who may obliterate our achievements.

Inner peace requires being at peace with our own unique dispositions. A person cannot compel himself to assume what is alien to his nature or at conflict with it. He must be in harmony with himself. We can see how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), when he was served a spiny-tailed lizard to eat, refrained from partaking in it. Khâlid b. al-Walîd noticed this and asked if eating the meat of the spiny-tailed lizard was unlawful. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "No. It is just that it is not found in the land of my people, and I find myself disinclined to it." He did not eat it, simply because it did not agree with his disposition. It was not a question of whether or not its flesh was permitted by Islamic Law.

The same can be said for the Companions; each of them had his or her own unique disposition. Abû Bakr was different than `Umar. The question of ow to deal with the prisoners of war at Badr is a clear case in point Each of them offered an opinion that concurred with his own personality and outlook, as long as the matter was open to more than one point of view.

Abû Bakr was a man of gentleness and forbearance, and Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) acknowledged this about him. `Umar was forceful and strict, and likewise, Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) took this into consideration.

We must recognize our unique personalities and come to terms with them. We cannot force ourselves into a pretence of denying our individual qualities and temperaments.

`Umar b. `Abd al-`Azîz had said: "The most pleasurable of things is a personal predilection that is in accordance with Islamic teachings."

We must be at peace with what Allah decrees for us, though we should seek by way of Allah's decree to avoid the harm of Allah's decree. It is as `Umar had said when he avoided entering a plague-stricken region: "We flee from Allah's decree towards Allah's decree."

A believer is resigned to Allah's decree and accepts it fully, so much so that he does not want to hasten what has been delayed nor defer what has been hastened on. The terminally ill, those homely of appearance,, the feeble-minded, the bachelors and spinsters, the orphans, and all those who suffer from misfortunes – such people have a pressing need to come to make peace with what Allah has decreed for them, and then go forward with their lives, taking recourse to all practical means at their disposal while resigning themselves to that which is beyond their power.

Being fair and just is also an important factor in attaining inner peace. This requires us to do away with selfishness, vain desires, and avarice. `Ammâr, the illustrious Companion, used to say: "There are three things that if someone possesses them all he will have comprehended faith: applying justice to yourself, greeting the world with peace, and spending in charity under straitened circumstances." [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

When some of us disagree with one another, why do we not try to put ourselves in the other's place and try to see things from their point of view, and accept that for them at least what they accept for themselves? I am almost certain that there is no one on Earth who is truly fair with himself except the extremely few whom Allah graces with that ability. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "One of you sees the dust in his brother's eye but fails to see the crud in his own."

Inner peace also requires that we reconcile our minds to the knowledge of the unseen that the Messengers have brought us. That knowledge never contradicts with accurate scientific knowledge or with sound reason. We accept this knowledge of the unseen without allowing ourselves to succumb to the mindset of mythology that readily concedes every tale that is told without any discretion or discernment. Matters of the unseen are matters that are beyond the powers of the human mind to ascertain, while fables and myths are beneath the level of the human mind. We must employ reason and eschewing blind acceptance. Indeed, the mind is for discernment; it is not a mere repository for information.

The eminent jurist and legal theorist `Izz al-Dîn b. `Abd al-Salâm pointed out that questions pertaining to welfare and harm are discernable by reason even before the revelation of the Law. I would like to ad that these matters are still discernable to reason even after the Law has been revealed. This is how we understand the Qur'ân and Sunnah and how we weigh various legal rulings against one another. We take matters of welfare and harm into due consideration, neither deriding the true worth of our minds nor exaggerating our estimation of their powers and burdening them with matters that are beyond their scope. There are limits beyond which or minds must not transgress.

We must also bring under control the misgivings that our human minds can fall victim to and that can spoil our lives by troubling us in both our worship and our worldly affairs. Most of these things that disquiet us so much are psychological in nature. The best and most effective treatment for such misgivings is to force ourselves to ignore them, to simply refuse to give them the time of day. We must beseech Allah's to help us in this effort and seek refuge with Him in the manner shown to us by our Prophet (peace be upon him) by reciting Sûrah al-Ikhlâs.

We must each muster our inner strength and resolve not to heed the demands of our misgivings, especially regarding doubts about our purification. We should even consider the affliction of being beset by misgivings to be an exceptional situation that allows us license to overlook things until Allah reveals for us a way out of our difficulties. Allah knows the sincerity that is in our hearts and He helps those who are sincere.

Who is a Muslim?

It has remained the way of Allah that whenever a nation was to become corrupt, Allah would send a Prophet from amongst them who would show them the right path. Allah Taa'la sent many messengers into this world and many Prophets. The last Messenger who was sent onto the face of this world is our beloved Prophet who was given the Qur'an. The Qur'an was given to the Prophet (pbuh) for an important reason: Guidance for Man and Jinn.
Allah Taa'la says in the Qur'an:
"This is the book in which there is no doubt, it is the guidance for those who fear Allah."
So the Qur'an is a means of guidance for those who fear Allah. Who are the god-fearing? Allah Taa'la mentions in the Qur'an:
"Those who believe in the unseen and are steadfast in Salaah and spend out of what we have provided for them."
Allah Taa'la has described a god-fearing person as one who possesses these three qualities which have been mentioned above. When a person possesses three such qualities, he will become a true and complete believer.
Having strong faith in the unseen plays a major role in the heart, this is called Imaan. Performing Salaah and spending from what Allah has provided is from the actions of a Muslim. When a person has firm belief in Allah and the unseen, and then goes on to perform good deeds, he becomes a true Muslim.
From the Qur'an and Hadith, I would like to mention as many qualities and attributes a Mu'min should possess as possible.
May Allah make it easy for you and bless you. Ameen
Allah Taa'la mentions in the Qur'an:
"Successful indeed are the believers."
Allah Taa'la then continues and mentions those who are successful believers. He says:
"Those who offer their Salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Laghw (dirty, false, evil vein talk, falsehood and all that Allah has forbidden).
And those who pay Zakaat.
And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or (slaves) that their right hands possess, for them, they are free from blame.
But whoever seeks beyond that, those are the transgressors.
Those who are faithfully true to their amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts) and to their covenants.
And those who strictly guard their five compulsory congregational Salawat (prayer) (at their fixed hours).
These are indeed the inheritors who shall inherit the firdaus (paradise). They shall dwell therein forever."
Allah Taa'la has mentioned Salaah (prayers) and Zakaat which is obligatory for a Muslim to perform. These qualities have already been mentioned previously.
Here Allah Taa'la also says,
"And those who turn away from Laghw." (All that has been forbidden). (Vain Talk)
However, Allah Taa'la has made it cleat that a Mu'min (believer) is that person who refrains from sin. This is because when a person commits a sin he is either:
1) Engaged in other than the remembrance of Allah.
2) Is going against the order of Allah.
Many a time, it is better to stay quiet because one will save himself from sin, i.e backbiting, evil vain talk, falsehood etc.
Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) has stated,
"One who kept silent saves himself."
However, there is a very important point that needs to be mentioned. When there is a gathering or a conversation in which one is backbiting, it is necessary that we stop this action, why? Because we have been ordered to prevent evil. However, in such circumstances where one does not stop backbiting, it will become necessary that one walks away from such gatherings or conversations.
In another Hadith, our Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) has said,
"Part of someone being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him."
Allah Taa'la also mentions in the Qur'anic verses,
"And those who guard their chastity." (i.e private parts from illegal sexual acts)
Allah Taa'la further mentions,
"Those who are faithfully true to their amanat and their covenant."
An easy remedy for guarding ones chastity and to be faithful to ones amanat, his covenants and promises is to have the quality of Haya (modesty and shame).
When a person possesses such a quality, it will automatically stop him from committing such sins like adultery, theft and lies. He will think to himself that if tomorrow I am exposed, then what will people think of me?
Shame and modesty is such a vital article of Imaan that is why our Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) mentioned Haya (modesty) separately in this Hadith which is mentioned in Bukhari:
"Imaan is made up of 60 and 9 sectors and modesty is a sector of Imaan."
With the grace of Allah, I have mentioned eight qualities of a Mu'min. I would now like to mention another Hadith which is narrated by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim:
"A true Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims stay safe."
Our Prophet (pbuh) mentioned the tongue first. There could be many reasons for this. One reason is that it is very easy to harm someone with the tongue. You could say something which that person may not like. The second reason is the harm caused by the tongue is usually more severe than the harm caused by the hand. A person finds it difficult to forgive someone who's hurt their feelings more than someone who's actually hurt them physically. The wound of the body caused by a sharp object may heal but the wound in the heart caused by the tongue may never heal.
When a person safeguards his hands and tongue, he becomes a true Muslim.
We need to save ourselves from becoming a source of harm for others, and we need to adopt those good attributes into our lives which the Prophet (pbuh)brought to us, and which the companions adopted into their lives, which was partly the reason for their success.
Our Prophet( pbuh) has said:
"The most perfect believer is the one with the best manners."
The Prophet of Allah (swt) had the best characteristics and manners and through this, many non-Muslims converted to Islam just by looking at the actions of the Prophet (pbuh).
Therefore, we learn that good manners and good character has a great impact on other lives also.
"Verily the believer because of his good character attains the stage of the fasting one and one who stands in prayer during the night."
A part of good manners is caring and sharing. Most importantly with our neighbours and guests.
"That person will not enter paradise whose neighbour is not safe from his mischief."
As to showing manners and being generous to our guests, our Prophet (pbuh)has said,
"Whosoever brings faith in Allah and on the Last Day should be generous to his guest."
It is a great bounty that we have so many of our Prophets (pbuh) sayings in front of us which we can act upon. In the same way, we also have the noble Qur'an, the words of our master and The Creator: the words of Allah Taa'la.
Allah Taa'la says in the Qur'an:
"And the servants of the All Compassionate One walk on the earth with humility and when the ignorant people speak to them they respond with peace offerings."
Allah Taa'la is mentioning the true servants of Allah and the special slaves who will be rewarded with the highest place in paradise.
I will now translate the rest of the verses and pray to Allah that he makes it easy for us to practice upon these verses and makes us the true slaves of Allah. Ameen
"And those who spend the night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing.
And those who say 'Our Lord'! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily, its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.
And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).
And those who invoke not any other God along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.
The torment will be doubled to him on the day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace.
Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is most forgiving, most merciful.
And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds, then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance.
And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations etc) of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind there at.
And those who say, 'Our Lord!' Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of all the Muttaqun (the pious).
Those who will be rewarded with the highest place (in paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.
Abiding therein, excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.
Say (O Muhammed Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam to the disbelievers): My Lord pays attention to you only because of your invocation to him. But now you have indeed denied (Him). So the torment will be yours forever (inseparable, permanent punishment)."
In the closing verses of this Surah, Allah Taa'la mentions the quality of supplicating and repenting towards Allah.
Allah Taa'la mentions in another chapter of the Holy Qur'an in Surah Baqarah:
"Truly Allah loves those who turn unto him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves."
In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Allah Taa'la mentions in favour of those who repent:
"That those (angels) who bear the throne (of Allah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the oneness of Allah) (saying): 'Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow your way, and save them from the torment of the blazing fire!'
Our Lord! And make them enter the EdenParadise (everlasting garden) which you have promised them and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives and their offspring! Verily, you are the Almighty, the All Wise.
And save them from (the punishment for what they did of) the sins, and whomsoever you save from the sins (i.e pardon him) that day. Verily, you have taken him in mercy. And that is the supreme success."
Our Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) has stated:
"Supplication is the essence of worship."
This is due to two main reasons. First, by supplicating to Allah, a person fulfils his obligation of calling on Allah, which is understood from the verse,
"And your Lord says, 'Call on me, I will answer you (your prayer)." (Qur'an, Chapter 24, Verse 60)
This is worship in its purest form. Secondly, by invoking Allah, one realizes that only He can fulfil ones needs. The servant who calls upon his Lord abandons hope in everything else and turns his full attention to Allah, humbling himself in front of him. This is the essence of worship. Another desired result of worship is to attain reward from Allah, because there is such great a reward in supplication; it has been called the essence of worship.
Being on the topic of supplication, I end this article by praying to Allah and begging him that he gives me the guidance and ability to act upon every single aspect of Islam, the perfect way of life. Ameen