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29 Muharram 1436 AH  


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'BEING MUSLIM'


By FATHI YAGAN

Translated by N. MAHMOUD

The first condition for anyone to become a true Muslim is to have the right belief. My belief must be in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him. To be Muslim in my belief means:
1. I must believe that the creator of this universe is the Great, Wise, Capable, All- knowing and Self-subsisting God. The proof for that is this perfect and well arranged universe itself. If part of this universe was removed it would not be suitable for any life. Allah says,

"If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods beside Allah, there would have been confusion in both" (Qur'an: Anbiya'a, 22).

2. 1 must believe that Allah did not create this universe in play or in vain, because it is impossible for the Perfect to be seeking amusement. Allah says,

"Did you then think that We had created you in jest, and that you would not be brought back to Us (for account)?" (Qur'an: Muminun, 115).

3. I must believe that Allah has sent messengers to the people and has sent with them Holy Books. These are to tell the people about Allah and to teach them what He wants from them:

"For We assuredly sent amongst every people a messenger (with the command): 'Serve Allah and eschew evil'. Of the people were some on whom error became inevitably established" (Qur'an: Nahl, 36).

The last of those messengers is Muhammad, peace be upon him, whom Allah supported with the eternal miracle, that is the Qur'an.

4. I must believe that the reason for our existence is to know Allah and to obey and worship Him:

"I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve me" (Qur'an: Zariyat, 56).

5. I must believe that the reward for the believer is Paradise, and the punishment for the disbeliever is Hell:

"And warn (them) of the day of assembly, of which there is no doubt: (when) some will be in the Garden, and some in the Blazing Fire" (Qur'an: Shura, 7).

6. I must believe that human beings carry out good deeds and bad deeds by their own choice:

"By the soul, and the proportion and order given to it, and its en- lightenment as to its wrong and its right*.. Truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it" (Qur'an: Shams, 7-10).

"Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds (Qur'an: Muddathir, 38).

7. I must believe that legislation is for Allah alone and all we humans can do is to derive the rules and regulations from what He has prescribed.

8. I must think about the creation and not about the Creator Himself. I can know Allah from His Names and creation. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said,

"Think about the creations of Allah but not about His very nature (dhat), because you can never compass Him";

"There are ninety-nine names for Allah, he who remembers them will enter the Paradise, and Allah is one."

The characteristics of Allah are the perfection of godhood. In the Qur'an many or these characters are mentioned, for example, He is the Eternal, the Everlasting, the Absolute, the Unique, He begetteth not nor is He begotten, the Self-Subsist- ing, the All-Knowing, the Living. . . .

9. I must worship Allah, and only Allah. This is the message which Allah has sent with every prophet:

"For We assuredly sent amongst every people a messenger (with the command): serve Allah and eschew Evil" (Qur'an: Nahl, 36).

10. I must fear Allah, and only Allah. This fear should prevent me from doing any- thing not acceptable by Him.

"it is such as obey Allah and His messenger and fear Allah and do right, that will win" (Qur'an: Nur, 52);

"As for those who fear their their Lord unseen, for them is forgiveness and a great reward" (Qur'an: Muik, 12).

11. I must remember Allah all the time. This is the best treatment for our afflictions and distress.

"Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah. Aye! It is in the remembrance of Allah that do hearts find satisfaction" (Qur'an: Ra'd, 28);

"if anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of (Allah) Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one to be an intimate companion to him. Such (evil ones) really hinder them from the path, but they think they are being guided aright" (Qur'an: Zukhruf, 36-37).

This is a fact because the religious person never suffers from any psychogenic sickness and adherence to religion is enough to conquer any agitation, tension and disturbance.

12. 1 must love Allah. Love which makes my heart connected to Him. Love which excites me to do more and more good, and to sacrifice everything in His cause. Nothing should stop me from Jihad, be they vanities of the world, or close relationships. Allah says:

"Say; if it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, or the dwellings in which you delight-are dearer to you than Allah or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause, then wait until Allah comes with His judgement; and Allah guides not the rebellious" (Qur'an: Tauba, 24).

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said,

"There are three things; the one who possesses them surely will find the sweetness of belief: To love Allah and His Messenger more than anything else; to love anyone for the sake of Allah only; and to hate going back into infidelity as much as to hate going to Hell" (Related by Al-Bukhari).

13. I must put my trust in Allah in every work I do. This will encourage me to do everything no matter how difficult it is.

"And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him" (Qur'an: Talaq, 3).

Abdullah bin Abbas said: "One day I was behind the Prophet, peace be upon him, and he said to me:

Young man, I shall teach you some words (of advice): Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask from Allah; if you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if people were to get together to benefit you with something, they do so only with what Allah had already pre- scribed for you, and that if they were to gather together to harm you with something, they would do so only with what Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried" (Related by AI-Tirmidhi).

14. I must think Allah for His innumerable graces, his favour and His mercy:

"it is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing, and He gave you hearing, sight, intelligence and affections, that you may give thanks (to Allah)" (Qur'an: Nahl, 78) ;

"A sign for them is the earth that is dead. We do give it life, and produce grain therefrom of which you do eat. And we produce therein orchards with date-palms and vines, and We cause springs to gush forth therein. They that may enjoy the fruits of this (artistry): It was not their hands that made this. Will they not give thanks? (Qur'an: Ya-Sin, 33-35).

Allah has promised those who give thanks ever increasing grace and those who do not, ever increasing loss:

"And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): if you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed" (Qur'an: lbrahim, 7).

15. I must seek His forgiveness all the time. This will absolve my sins, renew my repentance and give me rest and tranquillity:

"If anyone does evil or wrongs his own soul, but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Him forgiving, Most Merciful" (Qur'an: Nisa'a, 110);

"And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins-and who can forgive sins except Allah?-and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in the wrong they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Garden with rivers flowing underneath, an eternal dwelling. How excellent a recompense for those Who work (Grid strive)" (Qur'an: AI-Imran, 135-1.16).

16. I must do everything with Allah in my vision and realising what He says in the Qur'an:

"There is not a secret consultation between three but He makes the fourth among them, nor between five and He makes the sixth, nor between fewer nor more but He is in their midst, wheresoever they be. In the end will He tell them the truth of their conduct on the Day of Judgement. For Allah has full knowledge of all things" (Qur'an: Muiadila, 7).

The Muslim
[December 1978-February 1979]















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