الأحد، فبراير 27، 2005

Islam - the Only, One, True Religion for all of Mankind

The True Religion

By Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about Islam is what the word "Islam" itself means. The religion of Islam is not named after a person as in the case of Christianity which was named after Jesus Christ, Buddhism after Gotama Buddha, Confucianism after Confucius, and Marxism after Karl Marx. Nor was it named after a tribe like Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the Hindus. Islam is the true religion of "Allah" and as such, its name represents the central principle of Allah's "God's" religion; the total submission to the will of Allah "God". The Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's will to the only true god worthy of worship "Allah" and anyone who does so is termed a "Muslim", The word also implies "peace" which is the natural consequence of total submission to the will of Allah. Hence, it was not a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) I in Arabia in the seventh century, but only the true religion of Allah re-expressed in its final form.

Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the first prophet of Allah, and it was the religion of all the prophets sent by Allah to mankind. The name of God's religion lslam was not decided upon by later generations of man. It was chosen by Allah Himself and clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man. In the final book of divine revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah states the following:

"This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion". (Soorah Al-Maa'idah 5:3)

"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah (God) never will It be accepted of Him" (Soorah Aal'imraan 3:85)

"Abraham was not a Jew nor Christian; but an upright Muslim." (Soorah Aal'imraan 3:67)

Nowhere in the Bible will you find Allah saying to Prophet Moses' people or their descendants that their religion is Judaism, nor to the followers of Christ that their religion is Christianity. In fact, Christ was not even his name, nor was it Jesus! The name "Christ" comes from the Greek word Christos which means the annointed. That is, Christ is a Greek translation of the Hebrew title "Messiah". The name "Jesus" on the other hand, is a latinized version of the Hebrew name Esau.

For simplicity's sake, I will however continue to refer to Prophet Esau (PBUH) as Jesus. As for his religion, it was what he called his followers to. Like the prophets before him, he called the people to surrender their will to the will of Allah; (which is Islam) and he warned them to stay away from the false gods of human imagination.

According to the New Testament, he taught his followers to pray as follows: "Yours will be done on earth as it is in Heaven".


Since the total submission of one's will to Allah represents the essence of worship, the basic message of Allah's divine religion, Islam is the worship of Allah alone and the avoidance of worship directed to any person, place or thing other than Allah.Since everything other than Allah, the Creator of all things, is Allah's creation; it may be said that Islam, in essence calls man away from the worship of creation and invites him to worship only its Creator. He is the only one deserving man's worship as it is only by His will that prayers are answered. If man prays to a tree and his prayers are answered, it was not the tree which answered his prayers but Allah who allowed the circumstances prayed for to take place. One might say, "That is obvious," however, to tree-worshippers it might not be. Similarly, prayers to Jesus, Buddha, or Krishna, to Saint Christopher, or Saint Jude or even to Muhammad, are not answered by them but are answered by Allah. Jesus did nottell his followers to worship him but to worship Allah. As the Qur'aan states:

"And behold Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary Did you say to men, Worship me and my mother as gods besides Allah He will say-"Glory to you I could never say what I had no right (to say')" (Soorah Al-Maa'idah- 5:116)

Nor did he worship himself when he worshipped but rather he worshipped Allah. This basic principle is enshrined in the opening chapter of the Qur'aan, known as Soorah Al-Faatihah, verse 4:

"You alone do we worship and from you alone do we seek help".

Elsewhere, in the final book of revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah also said:

"And your Lord says:"Call on Me and I will answer your(prayer)."(Soorsh Mu'min 40:60)

it is worth noting that the basic message of Islam is that Allah and His creation are distinctly different entities. Neither is Allah His creation or a part of it, nor is His creation Him or a part of Him.

This might seem obvious, but, man's worship of creation instead of the Creator is to a large degree based on ignorance of this concept. It is the belief that the essence of Allah is everywhere in His creation or that His divine being is or was present in some aspects of His creation, which has provided justification for the worship of creation though such worship maybecalled the worship of Allah through his creation. How ever, the message of Islam as brought by the prophets of Allah is to worship only Allah and to avoid the worship of his creation either directly or indirectly. In the Our'aan Allah clearlystates:

"For We assuredly sent amongst every people a prophet,(with the command) worship meand avoid false gods " (Soorsh Al-Nahl 16:36)

When the idol worshipper is questioned as to why he or she bows down to idols created by men, the invariable reply is that they are not actually worshipping the stone image, but Allah who is present within it. They claim that the stone idol is only a focal point for Allah's essence and is not in itself Allah! One who has accepted the concept of the presence of God's being within His creation in any way will be obliged to accept this argument of idolatry. Whereas, one who understands the basic message of Islam and its implications would never concede to idolatry no matter how it is rationalized. Those who have claimed divinity for themselves down through the ages have often based their claims on the mistaken belief that Allah is present in man. They merely had to assert that although Allah according to their false beliefs, is in all of us, He is more present in them than in the rest of us. Hence, they claim, we should submit our will to them and worship them as they are either God in person or God concentrated within the person.

Similarly, those who have asserted the godhood of others after their passing have found fertile ground among those who accept the false belief of God's presence in man. One who has grasped the basic message of Islam and its implications could never agree to worship another human being under any circumstances. God's religion in essence is a clear call to the worship of the Creator and the rejection of creation-worship in any form. This is the meaning of the motto of Islam:

"Laa Elaaha lllallaah" (There is no god but Allah)

Its repetition automatically brings one within the fold of Islam and sincere belief in it guarantees one Paradise.

Thus, the final Prophet of Islam is reported to have said, "Any one who says: There is no god but Allah and dies holding that (belief) will enter paradise".(Reported by Abu Dharr and collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).

It consists in the submission to Allah as one God, yielding to Him by obeying His commandments, and the denial of polytheism and polytheists.


There are so many sects, cults, religions, philosophies, and movements in the world, all of which claim to be the right way or the only true path to Allah. How can one determine which one is correct or if, in fact, all are correct? The method by which the answer can be found is to clear away the superficial differences in the teachings of the various claimants to the ultimate truth, and identify the central object of worship to which they call, directly or indirectly. False religions all have in common one basic concept with regards to Allah. They either claim that all men are gods or that specific men were Allah or that nature is Allah or that Allah is a figment of man's imagination.

Thus, it may be stated that the basic message of false religion is that Allah may be worshipped in the form of His creation. False religion invites man to the worship of creation by calling the creation or some aspect of it God. For example, prophet Jesus invited his followers to worship Allah but those who claim to be his followers today call people to worship Jesus, claiming that he was Allah!

Buddha was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic principles to the religion of India. He did not claim to be God nor did he suggest to his followers that he be an object of worship. Yet, today most Buddhists who are to be found outside of India have taken him to be God and prostrate to idols made in their perception of his likeness.

By using the principle of identifying the object of worship, false religion becomes very obvious and the contrived nature of their origin clear. As God said in the Our'aan:

That which you worship besides Him are only names you and your forefathers have invented for which Allah has sent down no authority: The command belongs only to Allah:

He has commanded that you only worship Him; that is the right religion, but most men do not understand ". (Soorah Yoosuf 12:40)

It may be argued that all religions teach good things so why should it matter which one we follow. The reply is that all false religions teach the greatest evil, the worship of creation. Creation-worship is the greatest sin that man can commit because it contradicts the very purpose of his creation. Man was created to worship Allah alone as Allah has explicitly stated in the Our'aan:

"I have only created Jlnns and men, that they may worship me"(Soorah Zaareeyaat 51:56)

Consequently, the worship of creation, which is the essence of idolatry, is the only unforgivable sin. One who dies in this state of idolatry has sealed his fate in the next life. This is not an opinion, but a revealed fact stated by Allah in his final revelation to man:

"Verily Allah will not forgive the joining of partners with Him, but He may forgive (sins) less than that for whom so ever He wishes"(Soorah An- Nisaa 4:48 and 116)


Since the consequences of false religion are so grave, the true religion of Allah must be universally understandable and attainable, not confined to any people, place or time. There can not be conditions like baptism, belief in a man, as a saviour etc., for a believer to enter paradise. Within the central principle of Islam and in its definition, (the surrender of one's will to God) lies the roots of lslam's universality. Whenever man comes to the realization that Allah is one and distinct from His creation, and submits himself to Allah, he becomes a Muslim in body and spirit and is eligible for paradise. Thus, anyone at anytime in the most remote region of the world can become a Muslim, a follower of God's religion, Islam, by merely rejecting the worship of creation and by turning to Allah (God) alone-It should be noted however, that the recognition of and submission to Allah requires that one chooses between right and wrong and such a choice implies accountability. Man will be held responsible for his choices, and, as such, he should try his utmost to do good and avoid evil. The ultimate good being the worship of Allah alone and the ultimate evil being the worship of His creation along with or instead of Allah. This fact is expressed in the final revelation as follows:

"Verily those who believe, those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures), the Christians and the Sabians any who believe In Allah and the last day, and work righteousness *hall have their reward with their Lord;They will not be overcome by fear nor grief (Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:62).

If only they had stood by the law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There Is from among them a party on the right course; but many of them follow a course that Is evil.". (Soorah Al-.Maa'idah 5:66)


The question which arises here is, "How can all people be expected to believe in Allah given their varying- backgrounds, societies and cultures? For people to be responsible for worshipping Allah they all have to have access to knowledge of Allah. The final revelation teaches that all mankind have the recognition of Allah imprinted on their souls, a part of their very nature with which they are created.

In Soorah Al-A'raaf, Verses 172-173; Allah explained that when He created Adam, He caused all of Adam's descendants to come into existence and took a pledge from them saying, Am I not your Lord? To which they all replied, " Yes, we testify to It:'

Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He is their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, "That was In case you (mankind) should say on the day of Resurrection, "Verily we were unaware of all this." That is to say, we had no idea that You Allah, were our God. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship You alone. Allah went on to explain That it was also In case you should say, "Certainly It was our ancestors who made partners (With Allah) and we are only their descendants; will You then destroy us for what those liars did?" Thus, every child is born with a natural belief in Allah and an inborn inclination to worship Him alone called in Arabic the "Fitrah".

If the child were left alone, he would worship Allah in his own way, but all children are affected by those things around them, seen or unseen.

The Prophet (PBUH) reported that Allah said, "I created my servants in the right religion but devils made them go astray". The Prophet (PBUH) also said, "Each child is born in a state of "Fitrah", then his parents make him a Jew, Christian or a Zoroastrian, the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have you noticed any that were born mutilated?" (Collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).

So, just as the child submits to the physical laws which Allah has put in nature, his soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allah is his Lord and Creator. But, his parents try to make him follow their own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of his life to resist or oppose the will of his parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allah does not hold him to account or punish him for this religion.

Throughout people's lives from childhood until the time they die, signs are shown to them in all regions of the earth and in their own souls, until it becomes clear that there is only one true God (Allah). If the people are honest with themselves, reject their false gods and seek Allah, the way will be made easy for them but if they continually reject Allah's signs and continue to worship creation, the more difficult it will be for them to escape. For example, in the South Eastern region of the Amazon jungle in Brazil, South America, a primitive tribe erected a new hut to house their main idol Skwatch, representing the supreme God of all creation. The homage to the God, and while he was in prostration to what he had been taught was his Creator and Sustainer, a mangy old flea-ridden dog walked into the hut, The young man looked up in time to see the dog lift its hind leg and pass urine on the idol. Outraged, the youth chased the dog out of the temple, but when his rage died down he realized that the idol could not be the Lordof the universe. Allah must be elsewhere. he now had a choice to act on his knowledge and seek Allah, or to dishonestly go along with the false beliefs of his tribe. As strange as it may seem, that was a sign from Allah for that young man. It contained within it divine guidance that what he was worshipping was false.

Prophets were sent, as was earlier mentioned, to every nation and tribe to support man's natural belief in Allah and man's inborn inclination to worship Him as well as to reinforce the divine truth in the daily signs revealed by Allah. Although, in most cases, much of the prophets' teachings became distorted, portions remained which point out right and wrong. For example, the ten commandments of the Torah, their confirmation in the Gospels and the existence of laws against murder, stealing and adultery in most societies. Consequently, every soul will be held to account for its belief in Allah and its acceptance of the religion of Islam; the total submission to the will of Allah.

We pray to Allah, the exalted, to keep us on the right path to which He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him, He is indeed the Most Merciful. Praise and gratitude be to Allah,the Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be on prophet Muhammed, his Family, his companions, and those who rightly follow them.

الأحد، فبراير 20، 2005

Accepting Islam Cleanses You From All Previous Sins

Question :

A brother of ours has recently become Muslim. During his days of Jaahiliyyah (ignorance – i.e., before he became Muslim), he earned a lot of money by dealing in drugs. He brought this money with him and opened a big bookstore and got married using this money. Recently he has been told that it is not permissible for him to give this money in charity, because Allaah is Good and only accepts that which is good, Our question is, what should he do with this money, and how sound is what he has been told?.

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.


Praise be to Allaah Who has guided him to Islam. We ask Allaah to make him steadfast and to guide him to that which is good for him in this world and in the Hereafter.


By His grace and mercy, Allaah has caused Islam to destroy the sins that came before it. When a kaafir becomes Muslim, Allaah forgives all that he did when he was a kaafir, and he becomes cleansed of sin.

Muslim (121) narrated that ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When Allaah put Islam in my heart, I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “Give me your right hand so that I may swear allegiance to you.” He held out his hand and I withdrew my hand. He said, “What is the matter, O ‘Amr?” I said, “I want to stipulate a condition.” He said, “What do you want to stipulate?” I said, “That I will be forgiven.” He said, “Do you not know that Islam destroys that which came before it?”

“Islam destroys that which came before it” means that it erases it and wipes it out. Stated by al-Nawawi in Sharh Muslim.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked a similar question, about someone who earned money by dealing in drugs before he became Muslim. He replied:

We say to this brother whom Allaah has blessed with Islam after he had earned haraam wealth: be of good cheer, for this wealth is permissible for him and there is no sin on him in it, whether he keeps it or gives it in charity, or uses it to get married, because Allaah says in His Holy Book (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning)”

[al-Anfaal 8:38]

i.e., all that has passed, in general terms, is forgiven. But any money that was taken by force from its owner must be returned to him. But money that was earned by agreements between people, even if it is haraam, like that which is earned through riba or by selling drugs, etc. it is permissible for him when he becomes Muslim because Allaah says, “Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven”. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas when he became Muslim: “Do you not know that Islam destroys that which came before it?”

Many of the kuffaar became Muslim after they had killed Muslims, but they were not punished for what they had done. So tell this brother that his wealth is permissible and there is no sin in it; he may give it in charity and use it to get married. As for what he has been told about it not being permissible for him to give it in charity, there is no basis for that. End quote.

Liqaa’aat al-Baab il-Maftooh, /373-374.

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

السبت، فبراير 19، 2005

Allah Bless America - With Islam

Allah Bless America - With Islam

By Shariffa Carlo

The other day, I attended an awards banquet for a Muslim organization. I was extremely surprised when I arrived. This was supposed to be a group of people, "doing the right thing" Islamically. They were supposed to be the religious Muslims, yet there they were, unveiled woman after unveiled woman. All the men were in Western suits, with barely a beard in the place. Other than the accents, there was nothing to distinguish these people from the non-Muslims. Had I seen it from far, I might have thought this was a group of non-Muslim Hispanics. Why do I bring this up? Well had it stopped there, it would have been bad enough, but these people took it to a higher level.

The ceremony itself was American figurehead after figurehead, from representatives, to mayors to Bank CEO's. Once, the local Police Commissioner "stopped by" to say hello, and they halted all proceedings to give him an opportunity to speak. This man was completely ignorant of Islam. Made an inane comment about Persian rugs, and how "his people" love our rugs. What really struck me about this is that the Muslims actually clapped when he said it.

These Muslims were like dogs at the feet of their master, waiting for any scrap he might throw from his table. It did not matter what he threw, they took it as a sign of love and affection. During the dinner, I had to actually step out of the place because, of all things, they had a singer. Now get this. He was singing "God Bless America"!!!!! God Bless America! I was flabbergasted. Here was a Muslim, singing a song about blessing America which was written by a Jew for a nation of Christians. How far we have fallen from that "best of Statures" in which Allah created us.

I am not saying that we should hate this land, the opposite. This LAND belongs to Allah, as do all the lands of this earth. We should work hard to make this land a Muslim land. What I am saying is that the way to do this is not by bending down to the feet of the non-Muslims and puckering up! We are not supposed to be clamoring after them, seeking their approval.

I told one of my friends that these people reminded me of an old Arabic story. There was this crow. He saw the beautiful peacok, with his feathers at full glory, and he wished to be one. He spent his days imitating the peacok's walk, his sound, and his dance. He tried desperately to imitate the fanning of that beautiful tail. Eventually, he realized that he had failed; yet, when he tried to go back to being a crow, he couldn't. He had forgotten how. Now, he was neither crow nor peacok. I was reminded of this by these people, but sadder still was the realization that in this situation, the peacok was actually trying to imitate the crow, hiding his beautiful feathers and trying to paint himself black. Allah guide us!

We need to realize that these people are not our friends. Have the tragedies in Bosnia and Kosova taught us nothing? Did we not learn from the fact that the moment they have the opportunity, they will exterminate us? Has the current suffering of the Iraqi people taught us nothing? Its time to open our eyes. Look to the behavior of the Americans in the past. They fight against a country, destroy it, and rebuild it in their own image. Look to Germany and Japan as the prime examples. All they need is to get their foot in the door. These people do not love us. Allah, the One Who knows the hidden secrets of man has warned us! Do we disbelieve him? Will we not heed His warning?

Allah says:

O you who believe! Do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people; they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand. Lo! you are they who will love them while they do not love you, and you believe in the Book (in) the whole of it; and when they meet you they say: We believe, and when they are alone, they bite the ends of their fingers in rage against you. Say: Die in your rage; surely Allah knows what is in the breasts. If good befalls you, it grieves them, and if an evil afflicts you, they rejoice at it; and if you are patient and guard yourselves, their scheme will not injure you in any way; surely Allah comprehends what they do. 3:118-120

We have beautiful examples of their hate for us. When I lived in South Carolina, a member of the State Board of Education, Dr. Henry Jordan, made the following statement when the board refused to allow Christian religious pictures in the public school hallways: He said, "Screw the Jews and KILL THE MUSLIMS" Now, imagine, Allah said that what they hide in their hearts is worse!!!! What do we need to start believing Allah?

Watch the Muslims being corralled into prison camps in the movie, "The Siege". This is our future, do not doubt it. This could happen to us just as easily as it happened to the Japanese in WWII. Just look at how they have treated us whenever there is a serious terrorist threat. They do not even wait until the facts are in. We are automatically the first suspects. They hunt us down all over the earth and bring us here - to America - for JUSTICE and the Democratic way! They have no concept of the word! Was it justice and Democracy, when during the Gulf war, Bush commented about the masses who were protesting their governments' involvement in Morocco. Bush said, "Do not worry about the people, the government is with us." Is it justice to allow the people of Iraq to suffer and die because they do not like Saddam? Is it justice to support dictators who kill their own people just because they support America?

America is not about Justice, it is about protecting its own interests world-wide. They did not rush in to save Kuwait because it was a matter of justice! They did it for the oil! They do care about us. They care about themselves, and they will squash us (or try to) like the bugs they see us as the moment they have the chance or the moment we get a backbone and try to establish ourselves. Do not doubt it.

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it! This is true. Look at the history of this nation. See how they deal with the world and learn! Allah has warned us. They are not our people. We are the Muslims, the greatest nation raised by Allah. Isn't it time we started acting like it? Isn't it time we stopped wagging our tails and started acting like men and women. Isn't it time we stopped acting like animals whose only purpose in life is eating, sleeping, procreating and dying? Isn't it time we started to worship Allah as He commanded us to, instead of trying to blend into these kafir nations where we reside, these kafir nations we are flocking to, these kafir nations we are praising and singing to?

Allah says, And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should worship Me. 51:56

We are not here for fun and games. We are not here to work towards blending in. We are here to worship Allah. That entails sacrifice and devotion to the way of Allah. It means turning away from all that is against the way of Allah. It is not having awards dinners where we throw away our hijabs, shave our beards, wear a suit and tie, sing the praises of this kafir system and applaud idiots who praise us for our rugs!

Allah Guide the Muslims! Allah Guide the Muslims! Allah Guide the Muslims! Ameen.

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