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by Dr. Umar Azam

‘Philosophy’ is a word which is derived from the Greek language ‘phil’ means, ‘loving’; ‘sophos’ means, ‘wisdom.’ In time, it has come to mean, ‘a set of ideas or beliefs.’ In the case of religion, it is those ideas or beliefs which control faith or Iman and action (righteousness). But how do we know what to believe? In other words, what do we believe (think is correct) or refute (reject as wrong)?

To have Iman, it is necessary for one to believe in the following model:

Allah> Angel (Jibareel> Message (Holy Quran)~ Prophet Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’aia Alaihi Wa Sallam)> Mankind> Accept (Believer)> Reject .(Dlisbeliver or Unbeliever).

This structure is the foundation of Islamic philosophy, where Islamic theories and doctrines come from. Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi a Saliam) claimed that he was a messenger"sent by God and also that the Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) brought God’s Message to him, If we believe Prophet Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallarn) and what was revealed to him, we are mu’min (believers), but if we do not, then we are kafirun (disbelievers).

If we believe, then what the Holy Quran says is true, because it has been revealed by none other than God. Therefore, here, I shall be citing evidence from the two main sources Of Islamic philosophy, the Holy Quran and the Fladith. I shall be using the English translations of the Quran by Yusuf Au and Arthur Arbeny. The Hadith’ are the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sailam) and, as far as possible, I will quote from Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, as these are two of the sources whose most of the isnads, or chains of transmission, are generally considered by scholars to be the most authentic.

A believer, generally speaking, is anyone who believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Day of Judgement, the Decree of Good and Evil and the Life After Death. He or she believes in all these concepts because they are key notions confirmed in the Holy Quran as realities.

The Holy Quran can only be from Allah Ta’ala because, in the Quran, it is stated that only Allah Ta’ala sends revelation. Thus, the Holy Quran is an evidence for itself:

And this is a book which We’ have revealed, bringing Blessings and confirming The Revelations which came before it. (V1,91), and so We have sent down the Book to you• 0’ Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam). (XXIX,47)

Prophet Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallarn) did see the Angel of Revelation (Jibraeel [A] {Gabriel)) during the ~transmission Of the Holy Quran: And without doubt he saw Him on the clear Horizon.(LXXXI,23)

The Holy Prophet (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sailam) delivered the revelation exactly as it came to him and did not alter it in any manner:

Say (O Muhammad (Sail Allau Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam))~ It is not for me, of my own accord, to change it. I follow nothing except what is revealed to me: If I were to Disobey My Lord, I should myself fear the penalt~) of a Great Day to come. (X,15)

The Holy Quran can only have come from God because man is not capable of producing. anything of a similar standard: Or they may say, "He forged it." Say (0 Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam):say to them bring Ye Ten Surahs forged like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever you can, other than Allah Ta’ala, if Ye,speak the Truth! (X1,13)

As well as man, Allah Ta’ala has created Jinn and Angels. As well as Earth, Allah Ta’ala has made infinite planets in the Universe. The Holy Quran is a Message for every place, time and Creature

Truly this is no less than a Message to all the worlds, with Benefit to whoever of you wants to take the straight Path. (LXXXI, 27-28)

So, what is the purpose of the Holy Quran? Verily this Quran does guide to that which is most right, (or stable), and given the glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteous that they shall have a magnificent reward; and to those who believe not in the Hereafter (It announces) !that We have prepared a penalty Grievous (Indeed). (VII,9-10)

The Holy Quran was a miracle because the Prophet (Sail Ailahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sailam) could not read and write, yet it was he who transmitted such a significant and complicated book: And you 0 Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam) were not able to recite a book before this Quran came, nor are you able to write it with your right hand. (IX- 48)

The Prophet (Sail Aliahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Saliam) is a universal messenger to humanity; what he taught must be followed by everyone throughout the world if they want to obey God: We have sent you only as a Universal Messenger to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), But most men do not understand. .(QCXXIV 28)

So, loyalty to the Prophet (SaIl Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sailam) is loyalty to God. If you follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam) and, the Revelation, you shall be successful after Death: But he who Obeys Allah Ta’ala and His Beloved Prophet (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Saliam), Allah Ta’ala Will admit him to gardens beneath which rivers flow; and he who does not, Allah Ta’ala Will punish him with a terrible punishment. (XLVIII,17)

It is often wrongly said that Prophet Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam) began a new faith called ‘Islam.’ This is wrong. Islam is a continuation of the same Message which Allah Almighty has revealed since the beginning of mankind:

Hence, Muslims believe in the Prophethood of all the Prophets such as Adam, Ibraheem, Isa, Nuh, Musa, Zakariyya, Suleiman and Daud (Peace be upon them all)

We have sent (O Muhammad Sail Ailahu Ta’aia Alaihi Wa Sallam)) revelation, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him; We sent revelation to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron and Solomain and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some Prophets We have already told you the story; of others, We have not and to Moses God spoke directly Prophets who gave good news as well as Warning. (IV,163-4)

So, Muslims believe in all the Prophets sent by God and mall the books revealed by Him; in fact, Prophet Muhammad (Sail Aliahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Saliam) was foretold by Jesus (Alaihi, Salam): And remember Jesus Son of Mary, said: "I am the Prophet of God, sent to you confirming the law which came before me, and giving good news of a Prophet to come after.me, whose name will be ‘Ahmed’. (LXI,6)

The Quran is the same Message as the Torah: And before this was the book of Moses as a guide and Mercy; and this book confirms (It) in the Arabic tongue; to admonish the unjust, and as glad tidings to those who do right. O(LVL 12)

Prophet Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sailam) is the last of the Prophets, the one who completed Allah’s Message to the worlds: Muhammad (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam) is the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah Ta’ala has full knowledge of All things. (XXIII, 40)

Assuming we believe that God exists and sends Revelations to mankind, the questions arise, Who or what is God? Why can’t we see him? What does he do?

God is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth (XIV 35) and He is invisible because our eyes are not capable of seeing Him .for we would then be destroyed by the NUR or light. Just looking at the sun for a prolonged period can blind person, so how much more powerful must be Allah’s Light? Also, our minds are not capable of understanding what God is like because this is outside our faculties: No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision; He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things. (VI, 103)

So, although God is invisible, the test is If we believe in Him or not, even though we cannot see Him: This is a book whereof there is no doubt, a Mercy to those who believe in the unseen. (11,1-3)

Although God is invisible, He is everywhere, all over the known Universe and elsewhere (II, 115),. Allah is the one who created us and we will die when Allah Ta’ala decides: It is God that Gives You Life ahd Death, and God Sees well all that you do. (III, 156)

We must be afraid of God and must not make God angry by being wicked. God does have anger: Show us the straight way, the way of those whom you have bestowed Your Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who do not go astray. (1,7).

It is only by understanding God that we can understand ourselves. Why are we alive on Earth? Who are we? Why are we going to die?

Before mankind was created, the angels and jinn did exist already. Allah Ta’ala Most High created the very first man, Adam (Alaihis Salam), out of clay, and breathed His spirit into him. Allah Ta’ala is the. Living (Al-Hayy) and is the only One capable of producing, originating, life: Behold! Your God said to the Angels: I am about to Create man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape; when I have shaped him (in the complete way) and breathed into him of My spirit, bow down to him. (XV,29)

The angels questioned Allah about man, saying that mankind would cause bloodshed on the Earth, whereas they did hymn Allah’s praises. But God had taught Adam (Alaihi Salam)) "the names of things" (rational knowledge).

All the Angels prostrated themselves before man, except the Devil (Shaytan, Satan), who refused OW 30-31) because he thought he was better than man, as he was made of smokeless fire, but man was formed of moulded mud. So the Devil was proud, thinking that he was better than man. Allah Ta’ala told the Devil that he was cursed until the Day of Judgement (IV, 34-35). The Devil asked God for permission to lead man astray until the Resurrection of man on the Day of Judgement, since man had been partially responsible for his downfall,

Allah Ta’ala gave Satan this permission and promised that whoever followed the Devil would go to the Fire, but the believers (the sincere and righteous servants of God) would be admitted to Paradise: Iblis said, 0 my Lord! Because You have put me in the wrong, I will make wrong seem right to mankind on Earth, and I will mislead all except Your servants, sincere and pure (by Your grace). (V 39-40)

Allah replied: You shall have no power over people , except those who put themselves in wrong and follow you. (XV,42) Allah Almighty told Satan that whoever followed him would go to one of the seven gates of Hell O(V 44), but the doers of good would be admitted to the Gardens and Fountains of Paradise, would be in peace and safety, would not grieve, nor he tired, would be an Thrones of Dignity, and would never leave Paradise ( XV, 45-48). So evil began with rebellion of Satan after the creation of man.

Every person who has ever existed will have to travel in the following sequence: Life on Earth> Death> Life in the Grave> Physical ‘waking’ ‘Spiritual sleep’ > Resurrection> Day of Judgement> Paradise> Hell.

If I were to ask an eighteen year-old, Were you alive twenty years ago? He or she would reply, No. If I then asked him or her, Are you going to be alive in another 150 years? the reply would again be in the negative (the world record for the longest human life is not far above 100 years). So, he or she is a traveller in time and space. He or she was not alive before and will not be alive on Earth again. So, our worldly life is only transient, a journey. It feels ~s if it is permanent, but really it is very brief, and temporary. In comparison to the perpetual life, after death, it is insignificant, Nothing: What is the Life of this world but play and amusement, but best is the Home in the Hereafter, for those who are righteous. Will you not then understand? (VI, 32)

This physical or material life tricks people into thinking that life on Earth is important:

You assembly of Jinn’s and men! Did there not come to you Apstols from amongst you, giving you my signs and warning you of the Day of Judgement? They will say, ‘We bear witness against ourselves’. It was the Life of the world that deceived them. So against themselves will they bear witness that they rejected faith. (VI, 130)

Mankind loves this world and all its comforts. People want to get rich, wear fashionable clothes, drive expensive cars and be employed in the most financially— rewarding jobs. There is great competition for status in this world, who is better than whom, better, richer, more famous. But the Holy Quran makes it very clear that those who believe must not prefer this world to the next:

The material things which you are given only the conveniences and glitter of this Life; but that which is with Allah Ta’ala (Paradise) is better and more enduring. Will you not then be wise? (XVIII, 60)

Unfortunately, people love this life and don’t watch how they behave, whether they do what God wants or not. Those who do not believe are at the greatest risk, certain risk, on the Day of Reckoning: As to the Sinners, they love the fleeting Life, and put away behind them a day that will be hard. (LXXVI, 27)

These who prefer this world and not the next, and exert. all their efforts for materialism will get the benefit of those efforts in this life, but will suffer in the next:

Those who desire the life of the present and its glitter to them We shall pay the price of there deeds there in, without decrease. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter except the fire. (XI,16)

In modern times, it has become fashionable to use words such as ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘bigot.’ But it is better to be a firm and obstinate believer in what one considers to be the truth, rather than keep an open mind, do the wrong things by following the ‘fads’ of society, and thereby end up in Hell. Hence, to view something with a’ certain conviction or bias is not wrong if it will lead to the desired result, and there is no more important result than attaining salvation.

Atheists, for example, do not believe in God because atheism has become a modem trend. Whereas in earlier times, and still today, Christians believed in an unseen God because they believed the Biblical Prophets, today atheists want proof before they will believe in God. Communists do not believe in religion because they think it is not divinely-revealed, but man-made , ideology! A fashionable atheist (and some leading Oxbridge scientists fall into this category!) doesn’t want to believe in God and religion because of bigotry. Therefore, he or she does not believe In the concept of’life after death.’ But what if God does exist and he, or she, is resurrected? Hell will be the punishment for disbelief So what use was his or her open-mindedness and trendy thinking if he or she has to suffer eternity in Hell? God is able to resurrect mankind because He is the Best of Creators: Man says: ‘What! When 1 am dead, shall I then be raised up alive?’ but does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing? Then, by Thy Lord, without doubt, We shall gather them together. (IX66-68)

They say: "What when we are reduced to bones and dust, should we really be raised up to be a new creation?! Say: "Even if you were stone or iron, or created matter which you think is the hardest to be resurrected yet shall you be resurrected’. Then they will say: "who will cause us to return back to life?’ say: he who created you first’. (VII, 49-51).

Here, Allah is saying that He has such Power that even if mankind was made of far chemically-tougher material than bones and raise mankind! The by the Angel Israfeel signal the Day of When those who did graves, they will be with fear: And the then behold, they are sliding down from their tombs unto their Lord; they say, ‘Alas for us! Who roused us out of our sleeping place?’ this is what thà all Merciful promised, and the Messengers spoke the truth. (LXXXV, 13)

Truly strong is the grip and power of your God. It is he who creates from the very beginning and he can restore Life. (LXXXV,13)

If a bigot believes in God, His Messengers and the Hereafter and prays, gives charity and looks forward to the next world, modern people. may consider him to be ‘backward.’ But he is the one who will be forgiven. He was mocked but will spend Eternity in Paradise. He is the real winner. A fad such as ‘open-mindedness’ when applied negatively to an issue as serious as ‘salvation’ is extreme folly! It boils down to this: are those who deny the Hereafter willing to suffer Hell for their beliefs? Logically-speaking ‘ even if there is no life after death (Allah forgive me!) those who do believe in it cannot be punished, as there will be no reckoning! But if we turn the preposition round, those who deny the Hereafter will surely be condemned, for there will then be a judgement.

As soon as you are born, it is like a time-bomb which has started ticking. You don’t know when you will die: Born> Nursery> School> College/University> Work> Retirement> X Death.

So the purpose is to find the right path in life, which is the religion of Islam. Do you a) believe or b) do righteousness in your limited time, while the time bomb is ticking.

If the bomb explodes and you die in unbelief, you are doomed - you will spend Eternity in Hell. If, or the other hand, you did believe and tried your best to do good deeds on top of that belief~ God will reward you and grant you Paradise by His Mercy.

Life on Earth: Model of Unbelieving

Satan > impedes spiritual side of man> Man does not believe> Convert> Death> Resurrection> Judgement> Paradise> Does not convert> Hedonism; pleasure-loving because too much importance attached to this life> Life passes by> Die in Unbelief> Resurrection> Judgement> Hell.

Examples of hedonism are drugs, alcohol, fornication, adultery, lesbianism, homosexuality. Hedonism has detrimental mental effects such as confusion (what is the meaning of life?), depression (we have everything we need such as money, family, career etc., so why are we still not happy?) and desperate actions which lead to tragedy (because one does not believe, if problems become severe, they are insurmountable, e.g. suicide, a person may gas him self to death with vehicle exhaust emissions because of business difficulties, or burn himself alive after his wife leaves him; newspapers frequently contain such news stories).

Life on Earth: Model of Believing (Rejection of Evil)

Satan> Iman (Belief in Allah and His Prophet)> Righteousness> Death>Resurrection > Judgement> Paradise? Minor evil deeds> Repent> Death > Resurrection> Judgement> Paradise> Major evil deeds> Death> Punishment (Life in the Grave, Eighth hell)> Intercession of the Holy Prophet (Sail Allahu Ta’ala Alaihi Wa Sallam)> Paradise. Science and Religion.

It is often said that there is a conflict between science and religion. In the present age, it has become a fashionable trend amongst some people to give scientists credit for capability, not to acknowledge God. But this is a most ridiculous logic. It is God Who has created all things, so whatever scientists use or benefit must have been put thereby God. For example, cloning needs the cells of a hair if it is to succeed and God created the initial hair. A lot is said for the potential of science in the future, but how far can man go? The future nuclear war is bound to destroy all technology, so civilisation will have peaked, and man will have to start all over again - only this time the Doomsday or Qiyamat will end everything once and for all. Therefore, science is only a transient and temporary issue. If anything, it is a ‘red herring’, taking one away from the remembrance of God and the reality of His power and His status as the Highest Authority. Man does not need to choose between God and science it is not an ‘either or’ question. Scientists can try to play God, but there is the One God and all science is subservient to Him, indeed has been created by Him.

Is Religion Old Fashioned?

In modem times, it is also fashionable to think of religion as being out-of-date, a thousand and more years old. But if the concern of religion is with death, the Judgement, and Paradise and Hell, that applies To the Future. In fact, there are, numerically, more future aspects of religion than past ones. The ‘past’ element is only that, throughout history, God has sent Prophets with a consistent message, believe in Him and do good, or prepare for the Fire. So how can religion be old-fashioned? But the tragedy is that precisely this type of thinking, that religion is outdated, has led people to their future doom over so many past years. These trendy people have now died and can no longer believe and change their thinking or do something about their lives, since they have completed, and failed miserably, their test.

Remembering God in Everyday Life.

While we are alive, we have to use the resources of the Earth for our existence. Whatever we utilise has been put at our disposal by God, since He is the Creator of both us, ourselves, and whatever we use. For example, people wear clothes, live in houses, eat and drink, and drive cars. We can make a list of each Item and a similar list of what has been used to make that item, or where that item has originated from. House> bricks> sand> cement> wood> trees> metal> mined, plastic> paraffin> oil wallpaper> trees, carpets> wool> sheep, Leather jacket> leather> cattle, Car> metal>ground

You won’t be able to think of even one thing without being able to trace its origin and link it to God!

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