Friday, 23 January 2015

ISLAMIC NOTES: Just An Invite to Islam -The Religion Of Peace From God Allah The Most Merciful

Dr. Norlain Khadija Dindang Mababaya

Islam is the Only Religion and Way of Life for Peace from Allah (The God). Non-Muslims, in general, have misconceptions about Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم   (Allah’s peace be upon him) and Islam. For years the prejudice against Islam (the so-called Islamophobia) has resulted in discrimination, hatred, violence and crimes against Muslims. Many non-Muslims, with their negative attitudes against Islam, and even vilification of Allah’s Messenger صلي الله عليه وسلم  have failed to understand and appreciate the beauty, rationality, practicality, completeness and excellence of Islamic teachings. For those who misunderstood the true divine mission of Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم  branding him  as “the Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion”  or those who associate  Islam with terrorism, let them know the truth - that is the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم   is not the “Founder of Islam” because Islam is the religion of Allah  (The God) which  He sent to His messengers and perfected  (Qur’an, Chapter 5: Verse 3) through Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم  the Seal of all the Prophets (Qur’an, Chapter 33: Verse 40).

For those who do not believe and worship Allah, know that Allah is an Arabic word that comes from two words: “Al” (meaning “The”) and Ilah (meaning “God”)?  Allah, therefore means “The God”. Allah is one of the 99 Beautiful Names and Attributes of God, the Creator. He is the only One whose name means “The God”.  He is the One Who is being worshiped at least five times a day by all Muslims in the world. He is being worshiped 24 hours in the Holy Mosque in Makkah by all races and nations worldwide who come for Umrah  or the minor Pilgrimage, which can be done at all times. He is the Only One Who claims to be the Creator and the One Who commands every one to worship no one but Him:
“That is Allah, your Rabb (Only God, Cherisher and Sustainer)! There is no god but He, the Creator of all things: so, worship Him (Alone) and He has power to dispose of all affairs.” (Qur’an 6:102-103)
Islam is derived from two root-words: one is salam, meaning peace and the other silm, meaning submission or obedience. By definition, Islam itself is peace as it means the peaceful and complete submission to the Will of Allah, and obedience to His Law, the Shari’ah (Islamic Law). Islam is the Deen (Religion and Way of Life) for Peace from Allah who is the Source of Peace. As the true and perfect Deen (Religion and way of life) from the Only True God, Islam, therefore, is a peaceful religion. One of the beautiful  names and attributes of Allah is As-Salam which means the Peace (That is the Source of Peace or the One Who gives peace). We read in the Holy Qur’an:
"He is Allah, besides Whom there is no (other) deity; knowing the unseen and the visible. He is the Mercy-giving, the Merciful! He is Allah, besides Whom there is no (other) deity, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Peace (the Source or Giver of Peace), the Secure, the Preserver, the Powerful,the Irresistible, the Grandiose: Glory be to Allah ahead of anything they may associate (with Him)! He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper, His are the Finest Names. Everything in Heaven and Earth celebrates Him. He is the Powerful, the Wise. (Qur’an, Chapter 59: Verses 22 to 24.)  
A Muslim is one who peacefully (willfully and sincerely) submits to the Will of Allah. In other words, he or she is one who obeys Allah’s Law, the Shari’ah, which is based on the Qur’an (the Divine Book of Allah) and the Sunnah (Tradition or Practice of Allah’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم  and the right deductions from these two revealed sources of guidance.
Both the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which includes the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم   ’s authentic Ahadeeth (Teachings and Sayings) serve as the two authentic and divine scriptures of Allah for the guidance of all mankind. Islam guides and trains Muslims to establish and promote peace with their Creator, with themselves, with their families, relatives, neighbors, friends and fellow human beings in and outside the community or society where they belong who go for peace. In fact, even when they read the Qur’an, Allah commands them to have peace. Likewise, whenever they mention and hear the name of the Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم  Allah enjoins them to send greetings of peace to His صلي الله عليه وسلم .  Allah the Almighty says:
“When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that you may receive Mercy.” (Qur’an, Chapter 7: Verse 204)
 “Verily, Allah sends blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels ask Allah to bless him. O you who have believed, ask Allah to send blessings upon him, and (you) greet him with peace.” (Qur’an, Chapter 33: Verse 56)
In their daily lives, Muslims as taught by the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  conclude their prayers at least five times a day with the words of peace saying:  السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته “May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon you”.  We read in the following authentic Hadeeth how Muslims send salam (peace) greeting to their fellow Muslims every time they perform salah (prayer):
Abdulah bin Mas’ud رضي الله عنه (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated, “We used to say the greeting, name and greet each other in the prayer. Allah’s صلي الله عليه وسلم  heard it and said: “Say ‘All the compliments are for Allah and all the prayers and all the good things (are for Allah). Peace be on you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings (are on you). And peace be on us and on the good (pious) worshipers of Allah. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.) So, when you have said this, then you have surely sent the greetings to every good (pious) worshipper of Allah, whether he be in the Heaven or on the Earth.” (Bukhari 2, Hadeeth 294)
When the Muslims meet their fellow Muslims, they greet them with the invocation of peace sayingالسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته  “May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon you”.  This greeting of peace, invoking Allah for peace is no doubt far virtuous than the greetings in the West like “Hi!”, “Hello!”, “Good morning!”, or “Good afternoon!”, etc. Muslims’ greeting of peace expresses supplication for peace and mercy from Allah, Who Alone is the Source and Giver of Peace.
Muslims who receive the greeting of peace are expected to respond with the same greeting of peace or even better. This is a divine commandment from Allah the Source of Peace. He says in His Book:
“When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting (of peace) still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes a careful account of all things.” (Qur’an, Chapter 4: Verse  86)
Muslims who know Islam learn to promote peace. They learn to extend and answer greetings of peace to their fellow Muslims as the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  taught the importance and virtue of the Islamic greeting as shown in the following authentic Ahadeeth:
Abdullah ibn Amr رضي الله عنه narrated that a man asked the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  “Whose Islam is good or what sort of deeds (or what qualities) of Islam are good.” The Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  replied, “To feed (others) and to greet (with peace) those whom you know and those whom you do not know.” (Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadeeth 11)
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  said, “The young should greet the old, the passerby should greet (with peace) the sitting one, and the small group of persons should greet the large group of persons.” (Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadeeth 250)
 Narrated Muawiya ibn Suwaid رضي الله عنه: “I heard Al-Bara ibn`Azib saying, ‘The Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  ordered us to do seven things and prohibited us from doing seven other things.” Then Al-Bara mentioned the following: ‘1. to pay a visit to the sick (inquiring about his health), 2. to follow funeral processions, 3. to say to a sneezer, “May Allah be merciful to you” (if he says, “Praise be to Allah!”), 4. to return greetings (of peace), 5. to help the oppressed, 6. to accept invitations, (and) 7. to help others to fulfill their oaths.’” (Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadeeth 625)
Abu Ayub Al-Ansari رضي الله عنه narrated that Allah’s Messenger صلي الله عليه وسلم  said, “It is not lawful for a man to desert his brother (Muslim) for more than three nights. (It is unlawful for them that) when they meet, one of them turns away his face from the other, and the other turns his face from the former, and the better of the two will be the one who greets (greeting of peace) to the other first.” (Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadeeth 100)
Anas رضي الله عنه narrated that whenever the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  asked permission to enter, he knocked the door thrice with greeting (of peace) and whenever he spoke a sentence (said a thing) he used to repeat it thrice. (Bukhari Vol. 1, Hadeeth 94 and Vol. 8, Hadeeth 261)
Sincere and practicing Muslims strive to follow the Islamic teachings of promoting peace as it is part of righteousness. They believe that by being peaceful they become among those who are righteous who deserve Allah’s rewards. Allah the Most Merciful will grant them His Mercy and attain eternal success in the Hereafter and enjoy everlasting peace. They believe in Allah’s supreme rewards for those who believe and do righteous deeds. Allah the Almighty says:
“This is the Way of your Rabb (only God and Sustainer), leading straight. We have detailed the Signs for those who receive admonition. For them will be a Home of Peace with their Rabb (only God and Sustainer). He will be their Friend, because they practiced (righteousness).” (Qur’an, Chapter 6: Verses 126 to127)
“But Allah does call to the Home of Peace: He does guide whom He pleases to a Way that is straight. To those who do right is a goodly (reward) -- Yea, more (than in measure)! No darkness or shame shall cover their faces! They are Companions of the Garden; they will abide therein (for aye)!” (Qur’an, Chapter 10: Verses  25 to 26)
Those who fulfill the Covenant of Allah and do not break the covenant; those who join together those things which Allah has commanded to be joined, hold their Rabb (only God and Sustainer) in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning; those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Rabb (only God and Sustainer); establish regular prayers; spend, out of the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): `Peace unto you for that you persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!’ (Qur’an, Chapter 13: Verses  20 to 24)
“The righteous will be amid Gardens and fountains of clear-flowing water. (Their greeting will be): `Enter you here in Peace and Security.’ And We shall remove from their departure any lurking sense of injury: (they will be) brothers (joyfully) facing each other on raised couches.” (Qur’an, Chapter15: Verses  45 to 47)
“Except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness: for these will enter the Garden and will not be wronged in the least Gardens of Eternity, those which (Allah) Most Gracious has promised to His servants in the Unseen: for His promise must (necessarily) come to pass. They will not there hear any vain discourse, but only salutations of Peace: And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and evening. Such is the Garden which We give as an inheritance to those of Our Servants who guard against evil.” (Qur’an, Chapter 19: Verses 60 to 63)
“Verily the Companions of the Garden shall that Day have joy in all that they do; they and their associates will be in pleasant shade, reclining on raised couches; (every) fruit will be there for them; they shall have whatever they call for; `Peace!’ -- a Word (of salutation) from a Rabb  (only God and Sustainer) Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, Chapter 36: Verses 55 to 58)
 "As to the Righteous (they will be) in a position of Security, among Gardens and Springs; dressed in fine silk and rich brocade, they will face each other; moreover, We shall wed them to maidens with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes. There can they call for every kind of fruit in peace and security; nor will they there taste Death, except the first Death; and He will preserve them from the Chastisement of the Blazing Fire as a Bounty from your Rabb (only God and Sustainer)! That will be the supreme achievement!" (Qur’an, Chapter 44: Verses 51 to 55.)
“And the Garden will be brought nigh to the Righteous, --  no more a thing distant. (A voice will say:) `This is what was promised for you for every penitent heedful one, who feared the Most Gracious unseen, and brought a heart turned in devotion (to Him): Enter you therein in Peace and Security; this is a Day of Eternal Life!’ There will be for them therein all that they wish and there is more with us.” (Qur’an, Chapter 50: Verses 31 to 35.)
In line with the above very inspiring Qur’anic verses, the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم , further encouraged Muslims to learn to spread the Salam (greeting of peace) and make it their day-to-day practice because they know that by doing so they earn rewards that entitle them to enter Paradise in peace. Here are some quoted teachings of peace from Allah’s Prophet صلي الله عليه وسل:
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Allah’s Messenger صلي الله عليه وسلم   said: “You shall not enter paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith) and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: (give currency to (the practice of paying salutation to one another by sayingالسلام عليكم  ورحمة الله وبركاته May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.” (Muslim, Hadeeth 96)
Abu Yusuf Abdullah ibn Salam  رضي الله عنه narrated that he heard the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  said: “O people! Spread the Salam (peace greetings), feed (the poor and needy), behave kindly to your blood relations, offer prayer when others are asleep, and (thus) enter Paradise in peace.” (Tirmidhi 849)
To promote peace, Islam teaches fair treatment, respect and justice in dealing with the people of the book (the Jews and the Chritians).  It prohibits Muslims from disputing and fighting with them. Allah the Almighty says:
“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. the food of the people of the Book (the Jews and the Christians) is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you n marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time, when you give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, taking them as lovers. If any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good). (Qur’an 5: 5)
“And dispute not with the People of the Book, except in the best way; unless it be with those of them who do wrong but say, “We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we submit (in Islam).’”(Qur’an 29: 46)
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them) in these circumstances), that do wrong.” (Qur’an 60: 8-9)
Likewise, killing innocent people is never allowed. It is more of saving lives not killing. Read how beautiful and serene Allah’s injunctions in the Qur’an:
 “…If anyone  kills a person, it would be as if he has killed the whole people, and if anyone  saves a life, it would be as if he has saved the whole people.” (Qur’an, 5:32)       
Allah the Most Merciful has prohibited the taking of life, which He has made sacred, except by way of justice and law (Qur’an 6: 151). A believer should never kill a believer; but (if it so happens) by mistake, then, compensation is due (Qur’an 4: 92). If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell (Qur’an 4: 93).
To promote peace and avoid any dispute, Islam enjoins mankind to observe the law of equality and justice as shown in the following Qur’anic injunctions and prophetic hadeeth:
 “In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) life to you, O you men of understanding that you may restrain yourselves.” (Qur’an 2: 179)
“Allah does command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; and when you judge between people that you judge with justice. Verily how excellent is the teaching, which He gives you! For Allah is He Who hears and sees all things.” (Qur’an 4: 58)
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. For not the lusts (of your departure), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (Qur’an 4: 135)
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety. And fear Allah for Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (Qur’an 5: 8)
“Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and giving to kith and kin, and He forbids all indecent deed, and evil and rebellion, He instructs you that you may receive admonition.” (Qur’an 16: 90)
Anas Bin Malik رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم  said: “The prescribed Law of Allah is the equality in punishment (i.e. Qisas).” (Bukhari, Vol. 6 Hadeeth 26)
Very clearly both the Qur’an and the Sunnah stress the importance of peace. Peace in Islam serves as one of the important keys to our peaceful entrance in Paradise. Therefore, we need to establish peace with Allah by submitting ourselves to Him in Islam. We need to establish peace within ourselves, our family members, relatives, neighbors, friends, the society or community where we belong and the rest of mankind in the international body-politic as a whole by knowing and applying the fundamental teachings of Islam and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم . Islam is a religion based on divine teachings, which we need to learn, apply and share to others in order to promote universal peace and enjoy everlasting peace in the eternal life hereafter. It is the only religion that Allah has chosen and perfected for us. It is the only religion that is acceptable to Him and hence, the only religion and way to peace both in this world and in the everlasting life hereafter. Allah the Almighty clearly says:
“...This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an 5: 3)
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).” (Qur’an 3: 85)
Think and reflect peacefully on the clear and enlightening teachings of Islam about peace.  Is there a god other than Allah (The God) whose name (one of the beautiful names) is As-Salam (The Peace)? Is there any religion other than Islam that comes from the word salam (peace)? Is there any religion other than Islam that enjoins its followers to greet each other with the greeting of peace? Is there any religion other than Islam that ends its daily prayers with the greeting of peace? Is there any religion other than Islam that teaches all virtuous teachings of justice and righteousness and forbids all evil deeds in order to establish peace with Allah and promote peace with His creations who go for peace? Is there any religion that promises all peaceful and righteous believers with everlasting peace? In short, Is there any religion and way of life that teaches about peace better than Islam? What does your religion say about peace in this world and in the eternal world?  For your eternal peace, join the millions of non-Muslims worldwide who peacefully reverted to Islam -- the Religion and Way of Life that enjoins mankind to promote peace with Allah and all His creations who go for peace. Verily, Islam is the peaceful religion from Allah (The God who is the Peace, the Source and the Giver of Peace) is the only way to world peace and eternal peace.