Saturday, July 24, 2021

Selfless Service to Mankind Paves the Path to Glory Here and Hereafter

 

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

24 July 2021

The Prophets, the Sufis and the Saints Spend Their Lifetime in Service to the People in Need

Main Points:

1.    Human being even after being divided into nations and communities are closely knitted families.

2.    No one of us is alike in social status and ethical standing but we are at service to one another to fulfil our financial and economical requirements.

3.    Selfless service opens the gate to spiritual development.

4.    The selfless service of the scientists spread the light of development throughout the world and made them immortal.

-----


Allah, the Forgiving, the Merciful has created human beings in a way that even after being divided into nations and communities are a closely knitted family. Allah, the Most Gracious says in the Holy Quran, ‘O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify one another. (Surah Al-Hujurat - 13)  — Mufti Taqi Usmani. We are asked to identify each other because every one of us is related to someone of us for the fulfilment of his needs in life.

No one of us is alike in social status and ethical standing but we are at service to one another to fulfil our financial and economic requirements. That is the norm. But there are people who serve others without any wish of return for their service. They are the closest to Allah who serve His creation and fulfil their requirements, morally, economically or physically, to the best of their ability without any wish of getting anything in return.

Being a service to others without a shadow of self is spiritually called a selfless service. All the prophets, Sufis and saints spend their lifetime in service to the people in need. It was their selfless service that introduced them to the divine world of close proximity to the Creator of this universe and spiritual ethos that helped them understand the problems of the people.

The way to close proximity with Allah through ‘selfless service' has not closed and will not close till the end of this world. Allah, the Forgiving, the Merciful says in the Holy Quran that we will be tested through our deeds of righteousness and the righteous of us will be forgiven. Consider the verse, ‘Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. (Al-Mulk: 1-2). Allah the Most Gracious loves them who love His creation, the human being, the birds and animals and everything that the environment has.

There was a time when the world was struggling to get a stronghold on the luxuries created by God. God blessed those who struggled for the betterment of society, not their 'self', with intellect and wisdom and they succeeded. The intellectuals who succeeded in the field of science, technology and medicine were those who had ‘service of humanity as their goal. They never invented things for their name and fame. Had they had their ‘self’ before the service to humanity, they would not have achieved what they did.  The selfless service of the scientists spread the light of development throughout the world and made them immortal. Allah, the Creator of Life and Death says in the Holy Quran:

....They love those who emigrated to them and find no hesitation in their hearts in helping them. They give them priority over themselves, even if they themselves are needy. Whoever is protected from his natural greed-it is they who are the successful.” (Qur’an: 59:9)

Slowly but steadily the materialistic approach towards everything crept into society and now it has taken the highest priority in the life of all and sundry.

This materialistic approach to life first of all devoid human life of all the divine and spiritual ethos. It created a hollowness in the mind that resultantly has ‘self’ before everything else. This phenomenon of selfishness in everything one does is devoid of all holistic rewards that had helped man achieve the unachievable. In the absence of all divine wisdom and intellect, all that man is achieving is creating havoc more than easiness and comfort for the human being. The weapons of mass destruction and human approach towards all the scientific inventions are not humane but inhuman. Specifying this mindset of the human being, the Apostle of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says:

“None of you will have complete Iman (faith) until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]

Quranic Verses Depicting How Service to His Creation is the Secret to A Rewarding Life

And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to poor, the orphan, and the captive, (Saying) “We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you. (Al-Insan: 9)

Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. (Al-Mulk: 1-2)

No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do (As-Sajdah: 17)

“Help one another in acts of piety and righteousness. And do not assist each other in acts of sinfulness and transgression. And be aware of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment” (Quran 5:2)

Ahadees Depicting the Virtues of Selfless Service

Prophet (SAW) said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother, what he loves for himself” (Bukhari and Muslim)

“Allah has said ‘I have prepared for My pious servants what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no human heart could ever imagine!” (Al-Bukhari)

“Every day the sun rises, charity is due on every joint on a person: administering justice between two people is a charity; assisting a man to mount his beast, or helping him load his luggage on it is a charity; a good word is a charity; every step that you take for prayer is a charity, and removing harmful things from the road is a charity.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Prophet said, “Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour, and anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously and anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) has stated: Fulfilling a need of a Mu’min brother is better than liberating a thousand slaves and giving a thousand horses (for jihad) in the path of God.

“At times, a person may ask me for a favour to which I do not respond so that one of you could intercede and thus earn a reward.”

(Narrated by Al-Nasā’i, on the authority of Mu’āwiya Ibn Abi Sufyān)

Selfless Service and Spiritual Development

For a truly successful life with a sense of achievement, one needs to have self-satisfaction. We have a subconscious mind that presents the true status of our happiness and sorrow. We call it our spiritual sense. Our spiritual self does not ever get affected by the outer world. It is satisfied if it is satisfied. It is happy if it is happy. Selfless service opens the door to spiritual development and we are thus able to know what exactly we are. Let us be among those whom Allah, the Most Gracious chooses to be at the service of others and be rewarded on the Day of Judgement. Consider the following Hadees:

There are certain people whom Allāh has created to be at the service of others – people whom others flee to for their needs. Such people will be safe on the Day of Judgement. (Narrated by Al-Haythami, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar)

And Allah Knows the Best.

---

Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.

URL:    https://www.newageislam.com/spiritual-meditations/selfless-mankind-hereafter/d/125121


New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism

Friday, July 23, 2021

Sectarianism Is Severely Condemned by God and Prophet

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

23 July 2021

The Holy Prophet Pbuh Called Ulema Promoting Sectarianism Dwellers of Hell

Main Points:

1. Quran prohibits Islamic teachers from mixing falsity in truth.

2. Hadiths predicts that in later years biased Islamic scholars will present wrong interpretation of Islam.

3. Quran says that those Islamic scholars promoting sectarianism are dwellers of Hell.

-----

Sectarianism is the major problem of the Muslim community of the world today. There are dozens of sects and sub-sects of Muslims. These sects have come into existence as a result of differing interpretations of Quran and Sunnah. These opposite interpretations of the nuances of Deen resulted in different ideologies and different ideologies formed the basis of Sects and sub-sects. The problem does not rest at mere ideological differences. It went beyond that. Believers in one sect started believing that all the other interpretations of Deen were wrong to the extent of becoming kufr and so the sect following that particular interpretation of Islam was Kafir.

Further, since some contextual war verses of the Quran allow Muslims to fight and kill Kafirs of the prophetic era, they apply those contextual war verses to those Muslims of the other sects whom they consider Kafir and declare that the followers of the other sects should be killed. This chain of misinterpretations forms a vicious cycle of hatred and violence among Muslims.

Since the authentic translations of the Quran were not available to the Muslims outside Arab in non-Arab languages for about a thousand years, the common Muslims relied on the religious teachers and scholars of their time for the interpretation of Quran and Hadith. Their stature grew so high that their interpretation and opinions of the Quran and Sunnah were taken as sacred and irrefutable. Since the Quran was not available to the larger section of Muslims, they believed the opinions of the teachers and religious scholars as the true interpretation of the Quran though some times the opinion of a particular teacher or scholar was based on his sectarian beliefs or wrong understanding.

In later years and decades, the differing views and opinions of different Islamic teachers and scholars formed the basis of different sects and sub-sects. Their opinions and interpretations assumed the status of Shariah though some of their opinions could not find support in Quran or hadith.

It is clear that all the sects and sub-sects among Muslims that we find today are the result of extremist or biased views and ideologies of Islamic scholars, not of common Muslims. And when the Quran condemns and curses those who created these sects, the Islamic teachers, thinkers and biased scholars are addressed. Even today, the common Muslims do not like and promote sectarian hatred leave aside violence and bloodshed.

There is a hadith which predicts the birth of Islamic interpreters who will present wrong and misleading interpretation of the Deen and lead people to Hell. The holy prophet pbuh says that in later era, Islamic scholars will mix falsity in truth. They will spread un-Islamic beliefs though they will be Muslims and will speak our language (they will quote Quran and hadith).

Huzaifa bin Yaman said, People would ask the holy prophet pbuh about virtues and positive issues but I would ask him about vices and negative affairs (that would come after him) because of the fear that I might get trapped in them. I asked him, 'O messenger of God! We were immersed in ignorance and evil, you came and through you He blessed us with this gift (of Islam). Will evil or vices again overtake us? He replied, 'yes'. I asked, 'Will truth prevail after that?' He replied, ‘Yes, but it will be shrouded in smoke.'(Truth will be mixed with untruth. It will not be pure truth).I enquired, ‘What do you mean by smoke?.' The holy prophet pbuh replied, ‘Such people will be born who will not follow my path. They will say something right and something wrong or bad'. I asked again, ‘Will evil prevail again?' He pbuh replied, ‘Yes, such people will be born who will be standing at the gate of Hell and invite people towards it. Whoever listened to them was pushed into Hell.’ I asked hams’ messenger of God! 'Please describe their identity'. He pbuh replied, ‘apparently they will be from among us (Muslims), they will speak our language.' I asked, 'What do you ordain for me if I am alive till that day?' He pbuh replied, ‘Hold on to the group of Muslims and their true imam.' I asked, 'But what (should I do) if there is no community (Jama’at) or imam.' He pbuh replied, '(If this happens) then keep yourself away from all the groups (sects) (in the forest) even if you have to feed on the roots of trees. That will be better for you.'(Sahih Bukhari; Kitabul Manaqib; 812)

This hadith is very meaningful and gives a clear picture of what's happening today. Every exegete or Islamic scholar has his own interpretation on matters of Deen and tries to impose it on others. This leads to severe and sometimes violent differences leading to fatwas of Kufr. This hadith also says that in later years, the interpretation of Deen will be shrouded in smoke. Amid different ideologies and interpretations, people will not have a clear picture of what true Deen is and will be confused. The hadith also clearly says that some Islamic teachers and scholars will present a totally wrong interpretation of Deen and will lead Muslims to Hell. They will, out of their sectarian bias, mix falsity in truth and distort the message of Islam. But ironically, almost every Islamic scholar or teacher has the firm belief that he cannot bre wrong since he has a certificate from a madrasa or an Islamic institution.

The Quran distinctly addresses these Islamic scholars in the following verse:

La Talbisul Haqqa Bil Batile Wa Taktumul Haqqa Wa Antum Ta'lamun (Al Baqarah: 42)

"Do not mix falsity in the truth and do not conceal truth deliberately."

In another verse, the Quran even declares such exegetes and scholars of Islam out of the fold of Islam because they created new sects within Islam and divided Muslims.

"Those who derived different paths in Deen and formed groups (sects), you do not have anything to do with them"(They are out of the fold of Islam). (Al An'am:159)

To conclude, the bane or curse of sectarianism that the Muslim community is plagued today with is the result of biased and extremist interpretation of Islam and so an honest initiative from our Islamic scholars can only rid the Muslim community of the horrors of sectarian violence and disunity.

----

S. Arshad is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.

URL:    https://www.newageislam.com/islam-sectarianism/sectarianism-god-prophet/d/125117


New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Messages from the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad Pbuh - An Elixir for a Decaying Human Society

 

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

22 July 2021

Prophet Muhammad Pbuh's Farewell Pilgrimage To Mecca For Haj Was Destined To Be A Momentous Historical Event

Main Points:

1.    The Last Sermon is a treasure of the ethics of Islam, a religion of peace and pluralism.

2.    The Last Sermon teaches the positive characteristics of human life here and heavenly life hereafter.

3.    The Last Sermon is a guiding light for a just and upright world society.

4.    Following the Last Sermon to bring back serenity and tranquillity in the world society is a must.

------

 

(Courtesy: Countercurrents)

-----

Prophet Muhammad Pbuh's farewell pilgrimage to Mecca for Haj was destined to be a momentous historical event. On the 9th of Zil-Hijjah, 10 AH (6 March 632), Prophet Muhammad Pbuh delivered a sermon that exhibited the ethics of Islam, a religion of peace and pluralism teaching the positive characteristics of human life here and heavenly life hereafter.

The messages delivered to the world by Prophet Muhammad Pbuh during his farewell pilgrimage of 632 AD are a guiding light for a just and upright world society. The commands and the advice are not meant for any particular community (Muslims) but it is addressed to the humanity (followers of all the religions and religious faiths) at large. The last sermon carries a cure to all the social ills that are diminishing the divine essence of life. Following are the messages from the Last Sermon that need our utmost attention being serenity to the world order:

Human Dignity; a Foremost Requirement for a Humane Society

The war being fought in various quarters of the world on lame excuses created by us have harmed the basic of humanity. These wars have lowered human dignity to the lowest ebb. People are dying of hunger, living in the most unhygienic conditions, children are being used as shields during the fights, women have lost their womanhood in the eyes of their abusers and no one seems to be aware of the situation as no one is even talking of these inhuman acts of the humanity.

The last sermon of the Prophet of Islam impressed upon its listeners to uphold human dignity as serving humanity is a charity that has to be rewarded at the Day of the Judgment with a heavenly abode in the hereafter life. Prophet Muhammad Pbuh said in his last sermon:

"Hurt no one, so that no one may hurt you"

If the world follows the golden words mentioned above the dying human dignity will find a breathing space that will create a world where people will live with the assurance of no hurt to their social feelings. Bringing the eroded human dignity back to life should be the world’s first concern.

The Rights of the Women

The world has various organisations that are fighting for the rights of women but to no avail. The rights of women are being abused in every stratum of society irrespective of the social norms they are living in. Prophet Muhammad Pbuh said:

“O People, it is true that you have certain rights concerning your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives, only under Allah's trust and with his permission."

The above-mentioned part of the last sermon is a reminder to the human being that women as wives have been taken by us with the permission of Allah, the Most Gracious, hence we must respect them. The Prophet of Islam further said, “I enjoin you to treat women well and be kind to them”

Economic Inequality

Economic inequality is a bane of society. The divide between the rich and the poor is growing at a speed that seems to be difficult to bridge. Islam has shown the path of economic equality by commanding charity, Zakat and Fitrah in favour of the poor of the society. The Holy Quran says:

وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱرْكَعُوا۟ مَعَ ٱلرَّٰكِعِينَ

“Establish prayer, pay alms-tax (Zakat), and bow down with those who bow down.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 43)

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِم بِهَا

“Take (O Muhammad s.a.w.), from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them to increase.” (Surah At-Taubah: 103)

The Holy Prophet of Islam in his last sermon commanded his follower in the following words:

“And give your wealth in Zakat”

The Curse of Discrimination

The curse of discrimination has epidemically spread all over the world society, irrespective of the educated, uneducated, rich or poor. Allah the Most Gracious says in the Holy Quran:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَٰكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

“O humankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Surah Al-Hujurat: 13)

In the light of the above mentioned Ayat, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in his last sermon:

 “All humankind is from Adam (AS) and Hawwa (AS). An Arab has no superiority over a non- Arab, nor does a non-Arab have superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action."

Religious Teaching Are the Torch Bearers of Dignified Human Life

In his last sermon, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) gave the message of happy tidings if life is lived on the path shown by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in his last sermon:

"O people, no Prophet or Messenger will come after me and no new faith will be born. Therefore, understand the words which I convey to you. I will leave two things; the Quran and the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray."

The holy Prophet of Islam asked people to spread his message to others so that they also could get the blessings of success on the enlightened path to life hereafter.

“All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; perhaps some of those who receive my words would understand them better than those who listened to me directly.”

The last Sermon Delivered by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) at His Farewell Haj Pilgrimage

The following sermon was delivered on the Ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (623AD) in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat in Mecca. It was the occasion of the annual rites of Haj. It is also known as the Farewell Pilgrimage.

After praising and thanking Allah the Prophet (SAW) began with the words:

"O, People! Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen carefully to what I am saying and take these words to those who could not be present here today."

"O, People! Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord and that he will indeed reckon your deeds."

"Allah has forbidden you to take usury, therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequality. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all interest due to Abbas Ibn 'Aal-Muttalib be waived."

"Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al-Harithiah."

"O, men! The unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade and to prohibit what Allah has made permissible. With Allah, the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, there are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban."

"Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will be able to lead you astray in big things so beware of following him in small things."

"O People it is true that you have certain rights concerning your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well never to be unchaste."

"O, People! Listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Haj if you can afford it."

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a White has no superiority over a Black nor a Black has any superiority over a White except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly."

"Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone."

"O, People! No Prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore O People! And understand the words that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray."

"All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly."

"O Allah, be my witness, that I have conveyed your message to Your people."

(At the request of the Prophet of Islam, the sermon was repeated by Rabiah (RA), who had a powerful voice.)

Following Ayat from Surah Al-Maidah was revealed during the last sermon that the Holy Prophet of Islam recited to the gathering:

"Today I have perfected for you your religion, and completed My blessing upon you, and approved for you Islam as religion" (Surah Al-Ma'idah:3)

Bringing Serenity and Tranquillity in the World Society

Our world today has fallen prey to inequality, hatred, supremacism and disrespectful attitude towards our fellow women folk among many other negativities of the social environment. And we, the human being are watching the happenings, helplessly, as if there is nothing we can do to bring the world order back to its humane face that is ingrained in our social fabric.

It is not only that we have forgotten the message of the Holy Quran and the Prophetic traditions but all the messages Allah the Most Gracious has revealed to human beings through His Holy Books and the prophets sent in all the communities.

Religious leaders like Prophet Muhammad, Pbuh (Prophet of Islam), Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism), The Buddha (founder of Buddhism), Zoroaster (founder of Zoroastrianism) and Rishabhanatha (the first Tirthankara), to name a few and scholars of every age and strata of the society have advocated pluralism and humane ethics, for the world to be a dwelling of peace, serenity and tranquillity. The world should follow them and be at peace with ourselves and others.

And Allah Knows the Best.

-----

Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.

URL:    https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-society/last-sermon-prophet-human-society/d/125114


New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism