Thursday, September 24, 2009

Before You Regret

Article from

By Harun Yahya
Muslim Thinker - Turkey

{"Why should Allaah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allaah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing."} (An-Nisaa’ 4:147)

People are created with many weaknesses and imperfections. Throughout our lives, we forget many things and make countless mistakes. However through repentance, which Allah grants us as a great favor, it is always possible in this world to correct our mistakes. Indeed, the world is created just for this purpose: We are trained, put to test, and purified of our mistakes in this world. It is likely that we may deeply regret our mistakes or the way we have led our lives. However, it is always possible to make up for this regret. After having lived through this regret, we can ask for repentance and hope for Allah’s forgiveness.

In the Qur’an, Allah gives the glad tidings that He will forgive any sin provided one repents sincerely. Allah knows our inner thoughts and every word we keep to ourselves. He knows whether we are true to Him or not. Allah, in the Qur’an, describes His closeness to His servants:

{"Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance."} (Al-Israa’ 17:25)

Yet, another important fact surfaces here: After death, it is not possible to make up for the mistakes and sins committed in this world unless Allah wills otherwise. So not a single moment do we have to lose. Minutes pass by in a blink of the eye and with every moment passing, we draw even closer to death. Furthermore, we can never foresee when death will confront us. Its date, hour, and minute can never be known. We all will certainly die one day and will give an account of our deeds in the presence of Allah.

For this reason, man must always bear in mind that he may soon die. If he is not to regret in the Hereafter, he must reconsider his life. If it were the time to meet the angels of death right now, would you be able to give an account of all the years you have spent in this world? What have you done so far to earn the consent of Allah? Have you been meticulous enough in fulfilling Allah’s commands?

A person might not have an affirmative answer to any of these questions. But if he repents and sincerely makes an absolute commitment to live to earn the good pleasure of Allah, then he can hope for Allah’s forgiveness. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) frequently sought forgiveness from Allah:

“By Allah, I seek the pardon of Allah and return penitently to Him every day more than seventy times.”

We must take refuge in Allah, Who is Al-Ghaffar (The Forgiver, He Who is All-Forgiving), Al-Halim (Forbearing One, He Who is clement), and At-Tawwab (The Acceptor of repentance). Allah will absolutely give the rewards of those who persevere and often turn to Him. He will certainly forgive His servants who have faith and reward their good deeds according to the best of what they did. In one verse, Allah states this great glad tiding as follows:

{Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allaah (of good deeds) will remain. And those who are patient, We will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do. Whoever works righteousness - whether male of female - while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islaamic Monotheism), verily, to him he We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay then certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)} (An-Nahl 16:96-97)

Never forget that at any time any one of us might be caught by death and, though being full of regret, might not have again the opportunity to correct the wrongs we committed in the worldly life. For this reason, we should lose no time in asking for repentance from Allah and living by His commands and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This is the only way to be a servant upon whom Allah bestows His mercy and love. This is, again, the only way to attain Paradise, the eternal abode Allah prepares for His true believers.

* Excerpted with some minor modifications from the book Before You Regret.

Harun Yahya was born in Ankara in 1956. He studied fine arts at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan University and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, he has published many books on political, faith-related, and scientific issues.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Disbeliever's Good Deeds: Can They Take Him to Paradise?

Article from I was quite shocked when I heard stories about Muslims believing that even the Kaafir (disbeliever) will be able to enter Jannah (Paradise). Either the person is still ignorant about this fact or that he/she has been taught or have read the wrong form of Tauheed/Aqeedah (basic Islamic belief).

Name of Questioner: Abdol - Iran
Title: Disbeliever's Good Deeds: Can They Take Him to Paradise?

As-Salamu` alykum. I heard some Muslims saying that only good Muslims go to Heaven. But what about the other good people who are kind, generous, support the poor but are the Christians or Jews. Do they go to Heaven or not ?

Date: 18/Jun/2002
Name of Counsellor: IOL Shari`ah Researchers

Topic: Muslim Belief


Wa`alykum As-Salaamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we would like to thank you for showing keenness on knowing the teachings of Islam, and we appreciate the great confidence you have in us. We hope our efforts meet your expectations, yet we apologize for the late reply.

As regards your question, we’d like to make it clear that Allah Almighty never disregards any good deed, be it from a believer or a disbeliever; He gives good reward for it. But the point here is, as a believer does good deeds, he does so with certain belief that he will be rewarded in the Hereafter; i.e. whatever he does, it’s for the sake of Allah, and he will get its reward in the Hereafter. However, there are people who are good and benevolent by nature, and many of them love their brothers and sisters in humanity, despite that they are not believers.

Explaining the type of reward granted to such people, the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence makes it clear that there is surely a reward in this world for people who, despite lacking iman (belief), contribute to the progress of mankind, are good by nature, giving charity…etc.

But the criterion for getting reward in the Hereafter is belief.
This is based on the Hadith, in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, states: “Allah never disregards a good deed of a believer; he reward him for it in this world and in the Hereafter. As for a disbeliever, he is rewarded for the good deeds in this world so that when he is in the Afterlife, no more reward will be there for him.”.

In making this point more clearer, clarifying that Jannah (Paradise) is for believers, Sheikh Hamed Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, states:

“No one will enter Jannah (Paradise) except a believer. Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an,

{'And the dwellers of the Fire will call to the dwellers of Paradise: "Pour on us some water of anything that Allaah has provided you with." They will say: "Both (water and provision) Allaah has forbidden to the disbelievers.'}
(Al-‘Araaf: 50)

Also the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “You will not enter Paradise until you believe.” (Agreed upon hadith)

This is one of signs of Allah’s absolute justice, because when a disbeliever does something good in this world, he or she does it for the sake of a worldly gain, and it is granted to him/her. On the contrary, a believer does his or her action for the sake of seeking reward in the Hereafter, and it is on this basis he or she is granted reward according to his or her intention.

Thus, Allah gives everyone what he or she has striven for. The believer has striven and worked for the success in the Hereafter, and as such he or she is given the same recompense for his work. But as for the disbeliever, as long as his deeds do not spring from belief (part of which is believing in the Hereafter), then he or she is not admitted to Paradise. The Kafir, or disbeliever, does not seek or strive for what is in the Hereafter, rather he or she wants to attain the pleasures in this life such as seeking people’s admiration, peace of mind, etc.

If the Kafir wishes and really seeks the reward in the Hereafter, he or she would right away believe in Allah, the Hereafter, and follow the messengers of Allah and never disbelieve in any of them, because disbelieving in anyone of them would be counted as disbelieving in all messengers since the message they all brought is the same and each Prophet believed in whoever came before him and gave glad tidings to the Prophet who would come after him.

In brief, Jannah is only granted for those who strive for it and there are some conditions to be met for a person to be admitted to Jannah. Whoever works in this life for the sake of the Hereafter and fulfills the conditions of Jannah, he or she will be admitted to it. Conversely, those who fail to work for Jannah or work for it but do not fulfill its conditions will never enter it. This is the absolute justice of Allah, and Allah does not do injustice to any body.”

Shedding more light on this issue, Sheikh `Attiyah Saqr, former Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states the following:

“ In terms of the reward of the Hereafter, it is totally agreed upon that a disbeliever receives no reward in the Hereafter nor does a believer who offers good deeds out of showing off. However, when talking about the reward of this world, the case is different in the sense that every one is paid for his deeds whether bad or good. Thus, a disbeliever receives reward for the good deeds he offers in this world. Almighty Allah says:

{'And (remember) when Ibraahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allaah and the Last Day." He (Allaah) answered: "As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!"} (Al-Baqarah: 126)

Almighty Allah also says: {'Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therien, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire, and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.”} (Hud: 15-16)

All these Qur’anic verses make it clear that both a believer and a disbeliever get reward in this life for their good deeds. However, there is another reward for a believer in the Hereafter while a disbeliever is denied such a reward, due to his disbelief. Muslim reported that `Aisha, may Allah be pleased, asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:

“O Messenger of Allah! It was the trait of Ibn Jud`aan in pre-Islamic period to feed the needy and keep ties of kinship, will he benefit from these good deeds?(in the Hereafter)” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “No, for he never said: ‘My Lord! Forgive my sin on the Day of Judgment" i.e. he was doing all that while insisting on disbelief.”

Do keep in touch. If you have any other question, don't hesitate to contact us.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Missing Ramadhan already..

There are only 8 nights left.

How much have we done so far?

What are our plans within these last few days and nights?

Are we sure we'll meet the month of Ramadhan again next year?

Let's strive to increase in good deeds for these remaining days and nights..

It's never too late..

And it's always worth it!

Ijtahidu ya ikhwan!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Assumption is the root of all evil

I was reading bro Rizhan's blog entry about this topic and decided to share something.

Remember recently that a certain Muslim organisation tried to bring Dr Zakir Naik to Singapore but he was not granted a permit?

To be honest, I was disappointed that it didn't happen. Dr Zakir Naik is one of the better da'ies in the Muslim world, who's recognised worldwide and his talks are somewhat very inspirational, beneficial and even extraordinary, Masya Allaah.

Knowing this just added to the disappointment. Guess what was the first thing that came to mind? Maybe the government decided to do this because of this, maybe a certain Muslim body did that because of something else. However, they are all just maybes coming from me and and they remain as such.

Thankfully, I kept an open mind and decided not to make any conclusion on the matter until I get some facts about what really happened. And alhamdulillaah, I managed to get answers recently at an iftar-cum-open talk session between a main Muslim body and the Singapore Students of Al-Haramain Asy-Syarifain.

During the open dicussion, I decided to ask, why Dr Zakir Naik's talk was not approved to be held in Singapore and we all know the benefits he brings to Islam and the general public as a whole, while on the other hand, a certain 'Grand' Sheikh was allowed to come to Singapore and some of the things he does are not beneficial at all to the general Muslim community and some of the rituals he introduced to them are not even Islamic.

Firstly, about the Sheikh, we were told that he has been advised about certain things that he did for example, spreading his own opinions about Wahhabism to the general public which would only create division, hatred and confusion. And the reason he was allowed to come to Singapore, which in recent times, seems quite often, is due to the fact that it was a closed session and not opened to the public.

And we were told that even the controversial Ameenah Wadud, had came to Singapore recently and given a talk albeit in a closed session.

For Dr Zakir Naik, however, the organisers wanted it to be in public. For any talks to be held public, it will have to go through some bodies of the government and they will always be very strict, especially if the talk touched on topics such as different religious or racial issues. And of course with his speeches available on YouTube, I'm sure those government bodies have made a thorough research on the speaker. And we know how Singapore works especially on these sensitive issues.

Thus, this was why he was not granted permit to give a talk here. From what I understand, generally, the organisers had acted independantly and didn't seek advice from the main Muslim body. They didn't know about the government's stringent assesment before allowing talks like these to be held in public. What should have been done was for the talk to be held in a closed session as that would have definitely allow him to give a talk here.

This was the answer given to my query, being told to us from someone who holds quite a high post in the Muslim body, whom I respect and trust. Now that the Muslim organisation have known about it and have been advised about how to go about bringing personalities like Dr Zakir Naik here, I hope that they will invite him here again in the near future, insya Allaah.

{"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful."} (Suurah Al-Hujuraat 49:12)

And Allaah Almighty knows best.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sharing Session

Day and time check: Sunday, 9.30 am

I’ve just got back home since yesterday afternoon, feeling groggy, body starting to ache all over, however feeling quite fulfilled for the events that took place for the past few days. Alhamdulillaah. It has become a regular occurance, that each time I visit a different mosque for the night prayers, I’d bump into a friend or acquaintance. Yesterday was by far the most unexpected but at the same time a delightful experience.

My mosque-hopping escapades were mostly a spontaneous affair. Last night was no different. It was already about 5 p.m. and I thought since there would be a soccer gathering at ECP sports planet at around 11 p.m., might as well go to Masjid Kampong Siglap. As soon as I entered the mosque, I bumped into bro Ash-Shafi’ie, one of the Islaamic University of Madeenah undergrads who was attached for work there. While waiting for Isya’ prayers, I was thinking about where to have a bite after the night prayers before the soccer meet when I saw bro Khairu Rejal,

“Salam, apa ko buat kat sini bro?”
“Wassalaam. Ada program ah nanti lepas taraweeh 8 rakaat, join ah!”
“Program apa?”
“Ada sharing session gitu, join je”

Just before I entered the function room where the ‘sharing session’ was held, I bumped into bro Dzar, one of my current schoolmates. Then as I entered the room, I saw Dr Al-Bakri and went over to say Hi. Hm, event apa nie? Macam serious je, I thought. Only after further enquiry that I realized it was an iftar, tazkirah and qiyam program jointly organized by the different bodies of Muslim activists in Singapore. And I wasn’t part of any organisation, haha. Freelance lah. I guess being invited by Bro Khairu would make me part of SAFF eh? Boleh? I also met Bro Muhammad from NTU at the talk, who just recently got married. He was my bunkmate during NS. Small world uh.

The tazkirah session was short but enriching. Topic was Da’iyah and Tarbiyah, presented by Ustaz Zainal Arifin former mudir of Madrasah Aljunied. His knowledge is vast, Masya Allaah. Baarakallaahu feeh. The tazkirah session was too good to give it a miss that I decided to come a little late for the soccer meet. Ok lah, at least I’d still have 2 hours of soccer. But it was extended for another hour anyway. Hah.

Anyway, da’wah and tarbiyah is a responsibility of each and every Muslim. There are numerous references we can turn to in the Noble Qur’an and about the basis of da’wah by the Prophets and the importance of spreading knowledge from what we have learned and practiced. For example Allah Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an in these few verses for example;

{“(And remember) when Allaah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the news of the coming of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w and the religious knowledge) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it..”}
[Suurah Al-‘Imraan 3:187]. This ayat demands those who are endowed with knowledge should teach it. While the verses that follow show that it is Haraam to conceal it.

{“And who is better in speech than he who [says: ‘My Lord is Allaah (believes in His Oneness),’ and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allaah’s (Islaamic Monotheism)…” [Suurah Fussilat 41:33]

{“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad s.a.w.) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islaam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better…”} [Suurah An-Nahl 16:125]

There are also hadeeths mentioning the importance and excellence of tarbiyah (teaching).

`Ali said that the Messenger of Allah said to him: "If Allah guides a man through your help, it is better (for you) than red camels." [Bukahari and Muslim]
N.B. Red camels at that time were from among the people's most precious possession. He also said: Whoever acquires knowledge and keep it concealed Allah will bridle him with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection. [Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhi]

He also said: "Verily Allah, His angels, the inmates of the heavens and the earth, even the ant in its hole and the fish in the sea send salutation on the one who teaches good to the people." [Its chain is Hassan]. He said: "If the son of Adam dies, all his works is stopped except three. Charity that‘s continuous, useful knowledge or a righteous child who supplicates for him." [Muslim]

The messenger of Allah said: "Whoever guides or directs to good, then he gets the same amount of blessing as the one who does it." [Related by Muslim].

Since there was going to be another tazkirah session after fajr prayers by Ustaz Zainal Arifin, I decided to come back to the Mosque after the soccer meet. This time, the soccer meet was attended by lesser people as compared to last week. This meant more playing time for us and faster ‘pancit’ time. What to do? This is the reality of getting further from the tireless age of youth and the result of practicing a lifestyle of irregular exercise, tsk tsk. But it was still all good, merapatkan ukhuwwah antara kita, alhamdulillaah.

Back to the mosque, I realised that three other bros from the Islaamic University of Madeenah were at the mosque too, Wafi, Zainal and his brother, Umar. They were helping out for the RYC camp for youths. Masya Allaah, I met so many people in one place.

The morning tazkirah was mainly about the meaning and importance behind Suurah Al-Asr. Basically, it somewhat depicts the code of conduct, what the past Prophets and the early generation Muslims who strive in the cause of Islam hold on to. Ustaz also stressed on the importance of understanding ‘Aqeedah the way the salafussoleh (Prophet Muhammad’s companions and the two generations thereafter) believed. This is the basis for a Muslim. If one's understanding of ‘Aqeedah is strong and sound, then everything else will fall in place.

Another thing that I'm impressed apart from the ustaz's knowledge is how humble and approachable he is. He went around interacting with all those who were present irregardless of standing or age. He's like a fatherly figure to all of us.

Alhamdulillaah, for the opportunity and experience gained. Some of the things I’ve learned and experienced so far for this Ramadan while Mosque-hopping, would never have occurred if I had just stayed at home or remained in my area for night prayers.

We still have about 13 days to go, insya Allaah. Let’s try our best for these remaining days and nights of Ramadhan being firm and steadfast on the good that we have done so far and let's strive to increase our efforts and may we be blessed and granted the opportunity to meet the Night of Al-Qadr’(decree), a night better than a thousand months.

And Allaah Almighty knows best.