|Date:||Sat, 17 Aug 2002 09:39:06 +0000|
A lot of people search for happiness, but where we can find it??
What is the purpose of my life? What is the purpose of your life? What is the purpose of our lives? Such questions occur frequently to thingking people.
People answer these questions in different ways. Some people believe the purpose of life is getting wealthy. But these people what their purpose be after they have collected millions of dollars. So What? And then What? What will be their purpose after they get these millions of dollars? If the purpose of life is to become wealthy, there will be no purpose after becoming wealthy. And in fact, here comes the problem of some disbelievers or misbelievers. In some stages of their life. When they are collecting money is the target of life. When they collected the money which they have dreamt of, their life losses purpose and they live in tension and restlessness and suffer from the panic of nothingness.
Can Wealth be an Aim?
We often hear of a millionaire committing suicide. Sometimes, not the millionaire himself but his wife, son, or daughter. The question is this: can aiming at wealth bring happiness to the individual? In most cases the answer is NO. Is the purpose of collecting wealth is a standing purpose? As we know, the child of five years does not look for wealth: he prepares a toy to a million dollars. The adolescent of eighteen does not dream of wealth because he is busy with more important things. The old man of ninety years does not care for money, he is worried more about his health. This proves that wealth cannot be a standing purpose in all the stages of the individual's life.
Wealth can do a little to bring happiness to a disbeliever, because a disbeliever is not sure about his end or his fate. A disbeliever does not know the purpose of life. And if he has a purpose, this purpose is doomed to be temporary or self destructive.
What is the use of wealth to a disbeliever if he feels scared of the end and skeptical of everything. A disbeliever may gain a lot of money, but surely loses himself.
Worshipping Allah as an Aim
On the contrary, faith in Allah gives the believer the purpose of life he needs. In Islam, the purpose of life is to worship Allah. The term "Worship" covers all acts of obedience to Allah.
The Islamic purpose of life is a standing purpose. The true Muslim sticks to this purpose throughout all the stages of his life, whether he is a child, adolescent, adult, or an old man.
Worshipping Allah makes life purposeful and meaning especially with the framework of Islam. According to Islam this worldly life is just a short stage of our life. Then there is the other life. The first life and the second life are by the death stage, which is a transitory stage of the second life. The type of the second life a person deserves depends on his deeds in the first life. At the end of the death stage comes the day of judgment On this day, Allah rewards or punishes people according to their deeds in the first life.
The First Life as an Examination
So Islam looks at the first life as an examination of man. The death stage is similar to a rest period after the test, i. e., after the first life. The Day of Judgment is similar to the day of announcing the results of the examines. The second life is the time when each examinee enjoys or suffers from the outcome of his behaviour during the test period.
In Islam, the line of life is clear, simple, and logical: the first life, death then the Day of Judgement, and then the second life. With this clear line of life, the Muslim has a clear purpose in life. The Muslims knows he is created by Allah. The Muslim knows he is going to spend some years in this first life, during which he has to obey God, because God will question him and hold him responsible for his deeds, whether done publicly or privately, because Allah knows all deeds of all people. The Muslim knows that his deeds in the first life will determine the type of his second life. The Muslim knows that this first life is very short one, one hundred years, more or less, whereas the second life is an eternal one.
The Eternity of the second Life
This concept of the eternity of the second life has a tremendous effect on a Muslim during his first life, habecause the Muslims believes that his first life determines the shape of his second life. In addition, this determines shape of his second life. In addition, this determination will be through the Judgement of Allah, the All just and Almighty.
With this belief in the second life and the Day of Judgement, the Muslim's life becomes as purposeful as possible and as meaningful as possible. The Muslim's standing purpose is to go to Paradise in the second life.
In other words, the Muslim's permanent purpose is to obey Allah, to summit to Allah to summit to Allah, to carry out His orders, and to keep in continues touch with Him through prayer (five times a day), through fasting (one month a year), through charity (as often as possible), and through pilgrimage (once in one's life).
The need For a Permanent Purpose
Disbelievers have purposes in their lives such as collecting money and property, indulging sex, eating, and dancing. But all these purposes are passing ones. All these purposes come and go, go up and down. Money comes and goes. Health comes and goes. Sexual activities cannot continue forever. All these lusts for money, food and sex cannot answer the individual's questions to himself: so what? Then What?
However, Islam saves the Muslims from trouble of asking the question, because Islam makes it clear to the Muslim, from the very beginning, that the permanent purpose of the Muslim, in this life is to obey Allah in order to go to Paradise in the second life.
We should know that the only way for our salvation in this life and in the hereafter is to know for sure our Lord who created us, believe in Him, and worship Him alone.
We should also know our Prophet whom Allah had sent to all mankind, believe in Him and follow Him. We should, know the religion of truth which our Lord has commanded us to believe in, and practice it..
Those in search of truth
Who have an open mind and heart,
Islamic Education Foundation
To Convey the message of Islam
To Educate Muslims aboof Islam
To keep in close contact with new Muslims.
Offering Courses and presenting lectures about Islam in several languages.
Teaching Islam and Arabic.
Teaching new Muslims to receive the Holy Quran.
Helping Non- Muslims embrace Islam and complete the required procedures
Who is Jesus?
Without a doubt, you have often heard the claim that Jesus is God, the second person in the "Holy trinity." However, the very Bible which is used as a basis for knowledge about Jesus and as the basis for doctrine within Christianity clearly belies this claim. We urge you to consult your own Bible and verify that the following conclusions are not drawn out of context:
1. God is All Knowing.....but Jesus was not
When speaking of the day of judgment, Jesus clearly gave evidence of a limitation on his knowledge when he said, "but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the son, but the Father." Mark 13:32, and Matt 24:36. But God knows all. His knowledge is without any limitations. That Jesus, of his own admission, did not know when the day of judgment would be, is clear proof that Jesus is not all-knowing, and that Jesus is therefore not God.
2. God is All Powerful.....but Jesus was not
While Jesus performed many miracles, he himself admitted that the power he had was not his own but was derived from God when he said, "Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do..." St. John 5:19. Again he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." St. John 5:30. But God is not only all-powerful, He is also the source of all power and authority. That Jesus, of his own admission, could do nothing on his own is clear proof that Jesus is not all-powerful, and that therefore Jesus is not God.
3. God does not have a God.....but Jesus did have a God.
God is the ultimate judge and refuge for all, and He does not call upon nor pray to any others. But Jesus acknowledged that there was one whom he worshipped and to whom he prayed when he said, "l ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." St. John 20:17. He is also reported to have cried out while on the cross, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" Matt 27:46. If Jesus were God, then couldn't this be read, "Myself, myself why hast thou forsaken me?" Would that not be pure nonsense? When Jesus prayed the Lord's prayer (Luke 11:2-4), was he praying to himself? When in the garden of Gethsemane he prayed, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt." Matt 26:36-39. Was Jesus praying to himself? That Jesus, of his own admission and by his own actions, acknowledged, worshipped, and prayed to another being as God is clear proof that Jesus himself is not God.
4. God is an invisible spirit.....but Jesus was flesh and blood
While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice, Jesus himself said that this could not be done with God when he said. "No man hath seen God at any time." St. John 1:18. '"Ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape." St. John 5:37. He also said in St. John 4:24. "God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." That Jesus would say that no one had seen or heard God at any time, while his followers both saw and heard him, is clear proof that Jesus was not God.
5. No one is greater than God and no one can direct Him but Jesus acknowledged someone greater than himself whose will was distinct from his own.
Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus and God are not equal, and therefore not one and the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus himself who said in St. John 14:28, "My Father is greater than I." When someone referred to him as good master in Matt 19:17, Jesus responded, "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God..." Furthermore, Jesus drew clear distinctions between himself and God when he said, "I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself but He sent me." St. John 8:42. Jesus gave clear evidence of his subordination to God, rather than his equality with God,when he said in Luke 22:42, "not my will but thine be done" and in St. John 5:30, "I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which hath sent me." That Jesus would admit that he did not come into the world on his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he would acknowledge another being as greater than himself, and that he would negate his own will in deference to affirming the will of another, give clear proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and therefore Jesus is not God.
The Church recognizes the Bible as the primary source of knowledge about God and Jesus. But since the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is not the Supreme Being and the Supreme Being is not Jesus, upon what basis have you come to believe otherwise?
My brother or sister, the belief that the Supreme Being is a Trinity is false and completely inconsistent with the words of Jesus as presented in the Bible. God is one, not three. He is a perfect unity.
If you are interested in the truth about God and your relationship to Him, we invite you to investigate the religion of Islam.
What is the word of God about Jesus:
A. Regarding Sonship of Jesus:
That is Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth, concerning which they are doubting. It is not for God to take a son unto Him. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing he but says to it "Be", and it is. (Qur'an 19:34,35).
And they say, 'The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son.' You have indeed advanced something hideous. The heavens are well nigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains well nigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-Merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-Merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a servant (Qur'an 19:88-93).
Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, "Be", and he was. (Qur'an 3:59).
People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the Truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. and say not, 'Three', Refrain, better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be on Him - that He should have a son! To Him belongs that which is in the heavens and on the earth, God suffices for a guardian. (Qur'an 4:171)
B. Regarding Jesus being God:
And when God said. 'O Jesus son of Mary,did you say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God?" He Said, 'To You be Glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You knew it, knowing what is within my soul, and I do not know what is within Your soul; You know the things unseen. I only said to them what You did command me: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord." And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when You did take me to Yourself the Watcher over them; You are the witness of everything. (Quran 5:116,117)
C. Regarding Crucifiction of Jesus:
And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God'...yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they did not slay him of certainty... no indeed, God raised him up to Him; God is Almighty, All-Wise. There is not one of the people of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them. (Qur'an 4:156-159)
Islam, the Religion of Ease
Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, is the creator of mankind and therefore knows his nature more intricately than mankind himself. Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, has therefore chosen for us a religion best suited to the nature of mankind, a religion that goes neither to the extremes of hardship nor of laxity, but instead provides a middle path; in other words, a religion of ease. Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, said;
"Allah intends for you ease, and does not want to make things difficult for you" [2:185]; and "Allah does not want to place you in difficulty" [5:6].
Such easiness is well explained in the hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said, "Religion is easy..." [Bukhari], he also said; "The best of your religion, is the easiest." [Ahmad]
The easiness of this religion was put into practise by the best of humanity, the one who came to deliver the message, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, said;
"Verily there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves, it grieves him that you should suffer any difficulty, he is anxious for you, for the believers he is full of pity and merciful" [10:128]
This understanding is clarified in a hadeeth in which the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; " Allah did not send me to be harsh, or cause harm, but He sent me to teach and make things easy" [Muslim]. This understanding is further implemented by the mercy sent to mankind, Muhammed, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, in the hadeeth reported by his noble and pure wife, 'Aishah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, who said; "Whenever the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, has a choice between two matters, he would choose the easiest, unless it is sinful (act)" [Bukhari].
Many hadeeths have been reported on the matter of easiness: "Allah likes for this nation ease and hates for it hardship and adversity." [Tabaraani].
"We have been given a privilege over other nations... .we have been given verses that no one else has been given, the last two verses of Surah Baqarah(chapter 2)"Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear" After each statement, Allah responded by saying, "I did, I did, I did"" [Muslim].
To further emphasise this understanding to his companions, when once a Bedouin stood up and started urinating in the mosque, the people caught him; but he, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, ordered them to leave him and to pour a bucket or a tumbler of water over the place where he had urinated. The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, then said, "You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult" [Bukhari].
An example that illustrates this point is Salah, an act so important and vital to Islam that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer" [Muslim]. He also warned against leaving salah, even at the time of his death, in his very last breaths before departing from this world.
Yet in this worship Allah has also prescribed easiness. At first, the number of prayers was fifty in number, but they were reduced several times until they were five. Then it was proclaimed 'O Muhammad, the order is not changed. These five are (equal in reward) to fifty' [Tirmidhi].
Causes of hardship
If Islam is a religion of ease, why do we find many Muslims not practising it? Why do we find them doing very little of what they ought to be doing, and why do even those who practise their religion sometimes find it difficult?
There are reasons why the practice of Islam can becomes hard:
1) Lack of piety
When we speak about Islam being easy we are, in reality, speaking about the easiness of its acts of worship and morals. Religion by definition means commitment and an obligation to a master. Therefore, being a religious person means to be always aware that we are slaves to a master, Allah, subhanahu wata'aala.
From here we see the mistake of those who want 'ease' to mean 'doing nothing', just saying "I am a Muslim", committing themselves to nothing. It is obvious that they want it to be easy, but what exactly do they want? They want an easy life, a life without any religious practices.
The idle belief of 'existing only to live' has long ago been negated by Allah, subhanahu wata'aala. He said:
"Do you think you have been created for nothing and that you will not be resurrected and brought back to Allah again!" [23:115]. He also said: "Thinks man that he is left aimless?" [75:86].
Islam is easy to practice; but those who do not understand the reasons behind their existence, who do not understand the concepts of religion, but meanwhile are striving to secure themselves in this life; then surely they will find its practices difficult.
The easiness of Islam is felt in all of its commandments. Some people find this or that commandment hard to follow but this does not mean that the command is in itself hard; often it is the person who is the cause.
For example Salah, it is an easy act of worship, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, has made clear:
"And seek help in patience and prayer and truly it is (prayer) extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi'un (i.e. true submitting)" [2;45].
Prayer is an easy act of worship except, of course, for those who do not truly submit to their Lord; they will find it toilsome.
Why do they find it so? The answer is that it is not the prayer that is difficult, but it is the hearts of these people which have changed from good to bad, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, mentioned:
"Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up to pray, they stand with laziness " [4;142]; in another verse He subhanahu wata'aala, said; "And that they came not to prayer except in a lazy state " [9;54].
The rules of Islam did not come as mere do's and don'ts. Each obligation has wisdom and motivation behind it. It should make no difference to us if the wisdom for that particular practice is known or not, because if it is not known to us today, then if Allah wills, He will reveal it to future generations. What is primarily expected from us is to fully submit and implement every command.
For example, the giving of charity, which apparently decreases the wealth of the giver. Islam did not say "Pay charity, pay charity", as this would not motivate people and therefore make it difficult to act upon. Instead Allah says;
"Would you not like to give a loan to your Lord, and this loan will be paid back to you multiplied and you will be rewarded for it." [2:245]
The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "Verily, wealth does not decrease because of charity." [Muslim]
It seems Muslims often ask why this act or matter is Halaal or Haraam. With such an attitude they will never achieve their goal, because behind each injunction there is an aspect of wisdom. Without understanding this, practising Islam becomes a heavy burden. With strong belief, we do not even have to ask whether this or that is halaal or Haraam, but rather if it pleases Allah. Therefore we should take the rules seeking the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wata'aala,. If pleasing Allah subhanahu wata'aala, is, always, our aim, then undoubtedly the practice of religion becomes easy, no matter what apparent hardships we may encounter.
3) Inappropriate environment
It is true that sometimes we find it difficult to practise the religion, even those who are committed to it!
The reason behind this is that we are practising our religion in an non-religious environment. Islam is not meant to be practised while being immersed in a Kufr (disbelieving) society. Its practice will indeed be difficult in such an environment. Therefore, the difficulty cannot be blamed upon Islam as a religion, but rather on the circumstances of the society.
Returning to our example of prayer, we see that prayer by itself is easy, but if you have to stand alone to pray amongst non-Muslims, all of them watching you, it will suddenly become difficult. The obvious conclusion is that the prayer in itself is not difficult, but the environment has made it difficult.
Another example is that of a woman who wears hijaab and is happy to cover herself. If this were an Islamic society, it would have been difficult for her not to be covered, or for a man not to respond to the call to prayer and pray in a mosque. Thus difficulty is not the nature of our religion, but we are trying to be pure in a decadent and immoral environment. These realities are not unknown to Islam, because the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, already warned his companions some fourteen centuries ago, and by that has also warned us by saying, as reported by Abu Tha'laba, radiya Allahu 'anhu, " Ahead of you are days which will require endurance (in the practice of religion), in which he who shows endurance will be like him who grasps live coals. The one who acts rightly during that period will have the reward of fifty men who act as he does."
The hearers said, "The reward of fifty of them, Messenger of Allah!" He replied, "The reward of fifty of you." A companion said about this difference in reward, "Now you find people helping you to do good deeds, but then they will not find things to help them but they will find things to resist and oppose them." [Tirmidhi].
So Islam is the religion of ease. If we accept it as a religion to start with, then we should take it with its concepts, and practise it in a pure environment (as opposed to a corrupted and decadent one); it will then become an easier religion to practise.
As it is not possible to have a 100% pure society, we have to strive to achieve this by being surrounded by good Muslims. In doing this, the religion will loosen the burdens around it.
The easiness of Islam has even been testified by the enemies of Islam. This was apparent in the statement of the Jews at the time of the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, when a man and a woman from amongst them committed fornication. Some of them said to the others: "Let us go to this Prophet, for he has been sent with an easy law ". [Abu Dawood].
So may Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, make us amongst those who
"Listen to the word and follow the best thereof, whom Allah has guided and those are men of understanding." [39;18].
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