The Explanation of the Fundamentals of Islamic Belief ()

Muhammad ibn Saleh al-Othaimeen

 

Explaining the Fundamentals of Faith: discusses the fundamentals of faith, by outlining and detailing the objectives of the Islamic ’Aqeedah. Numerous references are made to the Qur’an and authentic Ahadith, for establishing the sincere intention and worship to Allaah, liberating the mind and thought from the irrational and chaotic losses, establishing peace of mind and sound thinking, safeguarding the intentions, learning to establish a strong Ummah (community), achieving happiness in this life and the hereafter, and more.

|

 A Glimpse into the Islamic Creed

Written by His Eminence Shaykh

Muhammad ibn Sālih al-‘Uthaymīn

May Allah forgive him, his parents, and all Muslims

*

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

 Introduction

*

Praise be to Allah; we praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness, and repent to Him.We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our selves and from our bad deeds.Whoever Allah guides, none can lead astray, and whoever He leads astray, none can guide.I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partner,and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger and servant of Allah. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family, his Companions, and those who follow them rightly until the Day of Judgment.

The Science of Tawhīd (monotheism) is the noblest, most sublime, and most needed among all disciplines of knowledge, for it comprises knowledge of Allah Almighty, His names, attributes, and rights upon His servants, and because it is the path leading to our Lord and the foundation of His Legislations.

Therefore, all messengers unanimously called people to Tawhīd. Allah Almighty says:{And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that “There is no true god but Me, so worship Me.”}[Al-Anbiyā’: 25]Allah Almighty attests to His Oneness, and so do the angels and the people of knowledge. He says:{Allah witnesses that there is no true god but Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge - [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no true god but Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.}[Ᾱl-‘Imrān: 18]

Given this great status of monotheism, it is incumbent upon every Muslim to be keen to learn, teach, ponder and believe in it, so as to build his faith upon a sound foundation, reassurance and submission. Thus, he will reap its pleasant fruits.

It is Allah Who grants success

Author

*

 The Religion of Islam

The religion of Islam is the religion with which Allah Almighty sent Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) to conclude the religions thereby. He perfected it for His servants, completed His favor upon them with it and approved it as a religion for them. He does not accept any other religion from anyone. Allah Almighty says:

{Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And Allah is All-Knowing of everything.}

[Al-Ahzāb: 40]

And Allah Almighty says:

{...This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion...}

[Al-Mā’idah: 3]

And Allah Almighty says:{Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam...}[Ᾱl-‘Imrān: 19]And Allah Almighty says:{And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he will be in the Hereafter among the losers.}[Ᾱl-‘Imrān: 85]Allah Almighty ordained all people to take it as their religion. Addressing His Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), Allah Almighty says:{Say: “O mankind, indeed I am a Messenger of Allah to you all, to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and earth. There is no true god but Him; He gives life and causes death.” So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered prophet, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him that you may be guided.}[Al-A‘rāf: 158]In Sahih Muslim, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“By the One in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, there is nobody of this nation, be he Jewish or Christian, who hears of me and then dies without believing in what I was sent with except that he will be among the people of Hellfire.”

Belief in him is not mere believing, but believing, accepting, and submitting to what he was sent with. Abu Tālib did not believe in the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), even though he believed what he offered and testified that it was one of the best religions.

Islam includes all the interests covered by the previous religions, yet it has the advantage over them by being suitable for every age, place and community. Addressing His Prophet, Allah Almighty says:{And We have revealed to you the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it...}[Al-Mā’idah: 48]

Its suitability for every age, place and community means that adherence to it does not contradict people’s interests in any age or place; it even serves those interests. But this does not mean that it should be subject to every age, place and community as some want it to be.

Islam is the true religion, which Allah Almighty has promised its true followers that He will support them and make them dominant over all others. Allah Almighty says:{It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it.}[Al-Saff: 9]And Allah Almighty says:{Allah has promised those who believe among you and do righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security; for they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that - then those are the defiantly disobedient.}[Al-Nūr: 55]

Islam is a creed and a Shariah. It is complete in terms of its beliefs and laws:

1- It enjoins belief in the Oneness of Allah Almighty and forbids polytheism.

2- It enjoins truthfulness and forbids lying.

3- It enjoins justice and forbids injustice. Justice is to treat what is similar equally and differentiate between what is different. It is not the absolute equality, which is advocated by some when they say that Islam is the religion of equality in absolute terms. Indeed, treating different things equally is a form of injustice in Islam.

4- It enjoins honesty and forbids treachery.

5- It enjoins loyalty and forbids betrayal.

6- It enjoins dutifulness to one’s parents and forbids ingratitude towards them.

7- It enjoins upholding of kinship ties and forbids severing them.

8- It enjoins good neighborliness and forbids the opposite.

Generally, Islam enjoins every good manner and righteous act and forbids every bad manner and evil act.

Allah Almighty says:{Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that you may be reminded.}[Al-Nahl: 90]

*

 Pillars of Islam

The pillars of Islam are the foundations upon which it has been built. They are fivementioned in the Hadīth where Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Islam has been built upon five (pillars): testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, establishing prayer, giving Zakah, fasting Ramadān and Hajj.” A man asked: “Hajj and fasting Ramadān?” He replied: “No, fasting Ramadān and Hajj. That is how I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).”

1- As for the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, it is the firm belief which is expressed verbally through this testimony, as if the one who declares it has actually seen this truth. The testimony counts as one pillar, though it features a number of things:

It is either because the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) is a messenger from his Lord; so testifying that he is a servant and messenger of Allah is an essential part of the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah.

Or because these two testimonies are necessary for the validity and acceptance of good deeds. No deed is deemed valid or accepted unless it is done sincerely for the sake of Allah and according to His Prophet’s example.

With sincerity to Allah, the testimony of “there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah” is fulfilled, and with following the Prophet’s example, the testimony of “Muhammad is His servant and Messenger” is fulfilled.

One of the benefits of this sublime testimony is that it liberates one’s heart and soul from servitude to created beings and from following other than the prophets.

2- As for the establishment of prayer, it is to worship Allah Almighty by performing it in the most proper manner and at its due times.

Among its benefits is the feeling of relief and tranquility and avoidance of immorality and evildoing.

3- As for paying Zakah, it is to worship Allah Almighty by giving away the due amount from the properties subject to Zakah.

Its benefits include ridding oneself of miserliness and meeting the needs of Islam and Muslims.

4- As for fasting Ramadān, it is to worship Allah Almighty by abstaining from the invalidators of fast during the daytime in Ramadān.

Among its benefits is training oneself to keep away from pleasures so as to win the approval of Allah Almighty.

5- As for Hajj, it is to worship Allah Almighty by making the journey to the Sacred House to perform the rituals of Hajj.

Among its benefits is training oneself to exert financial and physical effort in obedience to Allah Almighty. That is why Hajj is a form of Jihad in the cause of Allah.

These and other benefits of such pillars make this Ummah a pure Islamic nation, espousing the true religion and treating all humankind justly and truthfully.This is because other elements of the Islamic Shariah go right only if these pillars are set right. Likewise, the conditions of this Ummah are good only if it adheres to this religion properly, and vice versa.For further clarification, read the verses that say:{And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning. Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep? Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were playing? Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except the losing people.}[Al-A‘rāf: 96-99]

Let us also ponder the history of the past nations. Indeed, history presents lessons for people of wisdom and offers insight for those who possess heedful hearts. May Allah help us!

*

 Foundations of the Islamic Creed

Islam is, as we have clarified earlier, a creed and a Shariah. We have previously referred to some of its laws and mentioned its pillars that form the core of its laws.

As for the Islamic creed, it is founded on belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and destiny: its pleasant and unpleasant aspects thereof.

These foundations are established in the Book of Allah Almighty and the Sunnah of His Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty says:{Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets...}[Al-Baqarah: 177]He says about destiny:{Indeed, We have created everything with predestination. And Our command is but one, like a glance of the eye.}[Al-Qamar: 49-50]As for the Sunnah, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) answered a question by Gabriel about faith saying:“Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and the destiny: the pleasant and unpleasant aspects thereof.”

*

 Belief in Allah Almighty

Belief in Allah comprises four things:

First: Belief in the existence of Allah Almighty:

His existence is established through innate inclination, reason, the Shariah, and perception.

1- As for how the innate inclination indicates the existence of Allah Almighty: Indeed, every created being came to existence with a natural belief in the Almighty Lord without any prior thinking or education. No one swerves from such innate inclination except one whose heart gets tainted with something that brings this about.The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Every child is born on Fitrah (state of sound innate inclination to monotheism), and it is his parents who make him Jewish, Christian, or Magian.”

2- With regard to the logical evidence for the existence of Allah Almighty: Indeed, all created beings, in the past or future, must have a Creator to bring them into existence. They could not have brought themselves into being. Also, they could not have come into existence by coincidence.

They surely did not bring themselves into existence, for nothing creates itself, as it did not exist before its existence; then how could it create itself?

It also could not come to existence by coincidence, for anything that exists must have a creator.Moreover, this creation, with its perfect system, coherence, harmony, and the correlation between its causes and effects and between all created beings, categorically affirms that it could not have come into existence by chance. If something exists by chance without any system governing its original existence, how could it have such a delicate system for its continued existence and development?!

Since these created beings could not bring themselves into existence and could not come to existence by chance, then there must be a Creator for them, and that is Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Allah Almighty points out this logical evidence and conclusive argument in Surat Al-Tūr saying:{Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?}[Al-Tūr: 35]In other words, they were not created without a creator, nor did they create themselves. So, it is a must that Allah Almighty is their Creator.That is why when Jubayr ibn Mut‘im (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) recite Sūrat Al-Tūr until he reached those verses:{Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and earth? Rather, they are not certain. Or have they the treasures of your Lord? Or are they the controllers [of them]?}[Al-Tūr: 35-37]

He said: “My heart has nearly flown. That is when faith first settled into my heart.” Jubayr was still a polytheist at the time.

Let’s clarify this by another example. Let’s say that someone tells you about a lofty palace surrounded with gardens beneath which streams flow, and the palace abounds with furniture and beds, and adorned with various forms of ornaments.Then he claims that this palace, along with the perfection contained therein, has created itself or has come into existence by chance, without a builder. You would surely belie him and consider his talk as nonsense.Similarly, it is unreasonable to believe that this vast universe, along with its earth, heaven, planets and its perfect conditions and system, has brought itself into existence or has come into being by coincidence!3- As for the proofs of the existence of Allah Almighty in the Shariah: all divine scriptures confirm this, and the just rulings they contain, which serve people’s interests perfectly, are also a sign that they have come from an All-Wise and All-Knowing Lord.Furthermore, the information contained in these books about future events, which reality later attested to its veracity, is also a proof that they have come from a Lord Who has power to make what He has told about come to pass.

4- As for the perceptible proofs of the existence of Allah, they have two aspects:

First: We hear and watch how the supplications of some people are answered and how relief comes to people in distress, which categorically proves the existence of Allah Almighty, Who says:{And Noah, when he called beforehand, so We responded to him...}[Al-Anbiyā’: 76]And Allah Almighty says:{When you asked help of your Lord, so He answered you...}[Al-Anfāl: 9]

In Sahih Al-Bukhāri, Anas ibn Mālik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “While the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was giving a sermon one Friday, a Bedouin entered and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, wealth has been destroyed and our children are hungry; pray Allah for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) raised his hands and supplicated Allah, then clouds like mountains appeared and he did not descend from his pulpit until we saw the rain dripping from his beard.

On the following Friday, that Bedouin - or he said someone else - stood up and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, buildings have been destroyed and wealth has drowned; pray Allah for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) raised his hands and said: ‘O Allah, (let it rain) around us and not on us.’ He did not point in any direction but the clouds dispersed.”

Answering supplications is something we continue to observe until today, when a supplicant resorts to his Lord sincerely and fulfills the requirements of a good response.

Second: The prophets’ signs, which are called miracles, and people watch or hear about are a conclusive proof of the existence of the One Who sent them, namely Allah Almighty, for they went beyond the scope of humanity, and Allah caused them to happen in support of His messengers.

An example is the miracle of Mūsa (Moses) (peace be upon him) when Allah Almighty commanded him to strike the sea with his staff, which he did and then the sea split into 12 dry routes and the water between them was like mountains. Allah Almighty says:{Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain.}[Al-Shu‘arā’: 63]Another example is the miracle of ‘Isa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) when he would give life to the dead and bring them out of their graves, by Allah’s permission. Allah Almighty quotes him as saying:{...And I give life to the dead - by permission of Allah...}[Āl-‘Imrān: 49]Allah Almighty says:{...And when you brought forth the dead with My permission...}[Al-Mā’idah: 110]A third example is when Quraysh asked Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) to bring forth a miracle, and so he pointed to the moon, and it split into two. About this, Allah Almighty says:{The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]. And if they see a miracle, they turn away and say: “continuous magic.”}[Al-Qamar: 1-2]

These perceptible miracles, which Allah Almighty caused to happen in support of His messengers, conclusively prove His existence.

The other part of faith in Allah is to believe in His lordship; i.e. He alone is the Lord, with no partner or helper.

The Lord is the One to Whom belong the creation, the dominion, and the command. There is no creator or owner of the dominion except Allah, and to Him alone belongs the command. Allah Almighty says:{...Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command...}[Al-A‘rāf: 54]Allah Almighty says:{...That is Allah, your Lord; to Him belongs sovereignty. And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed.}[Fātir: 13]

No one is known to have denied the lordship of Allah Almighty, unless he is an obstinate person who does not believe what he is saying. A case in point is Pharaoh when he said to his people: {...I am your most exalted lord.} [Al-Nāzi‘āt: 24]. He also said: {...O eminent ones, I have not known you to have a god other than me...} [Al-Qasas: 38]. Yet his statements were not based on a real belief.

Allah Almighty says: {And they rejected them, while their [inner] selves were convinced thereof, out of injustice and haughtiness...} [Al-Naml: 14]

Addressing Pharaoh, Moses said: {You have already known that none has sent down these [signs] except the Lord of the heavens and earth as evidence, and indeed I think, O Pharaoh, that you are destroyed.} [Al-Isrā’: 102]

Therefore, polytheists would acknowledge the lordship of Allah Almighty despite associating partners with Him in worship. Allah Almighty says:

{Say: “To whom belongs the earth and whoever is in it, if you should know?” They will say: “To Allah.” Say: “Then will you not remember?” Say: “Who is Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Great Throne?” They will say: [They belong] to Allah.” Say: “Then will you not fear Him?” Say: “In whose hand is the realm of all things - and He protects while none can protect against Him - if you should know?” They will say, [All belongs] to Allah.” Say, “Then how are you deluded?”}

[Al-Mu’minūn: 84-89]

He also says:{And if you should ask them: “Who has created the heavens and earth?” they would surely say: “They were created by the All-Mighty, All-Knowing.”}[Al-Zukhruf: 9]Allah Almighty also says:{And if you asked them who created them, they would surely say: “Allah.” So how are they deluded?}[Al-Zukhruf: 87]The command of Allah Almighty comprises the universal and Shariah-related affairs. Just as He is the Disposer of affairs in the universe, executing whatever He wills therein, according to His wisdom, He also rules it by prescribing the acts of worship and the rulings of dealings, in accordance with His wisdom.So, whoever takes besides Allah another legislator of acts of worship or a ruler over the matters of dealings has thus associated a partner with the Almighty Lord and he does not have true faith.

The third element of faith in Allah Almighty is to believe in His divinity; that He alone is the true deity worthy of worship, with no partner. A deity Who is worshiped with love and exaltation.

Allah Almighty says: {And your God is One God; there is no true god except Him, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.} [Al-Baqarah: 163]He also says: {Allah witnesses that there is no true god but Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge - [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no true god but Him, the All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Āl-‘Imrān: 18]And if someone takes another god for worship besides Allah, his belief in the divinity of Allah is false. Allah Almighty says:{That is because Allah is the Truth, and that which they call upon other than Him is falsehood, and because Allah is the Most High, the Grand.} [Al-Hajj: 62]Calling them gods does not grant them the right to divinity. Allah Almighty says about Al-Lāt, Al-‘Uzza and Manāh:{They are not but [mere] names you have named them - you and your forefathers - for which Allah has sent down no authority...}[Al-Najm: 23]Addressing his people, Prophet Hūd (Heber) (peace be upon him) said:{...Do you dispute with me concerning [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has not sent down any authority?...}[Al-A‘rāf: 71]Addressing his two companions in prison, Prophet Yūsuf (Joseph)(peace be upon him) said:{O [my] two companions of prison, are separate lords better or Allah, the One, the Prevailing? You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority...}[Yūsuf: 39-40]That is why the messengers (peace be upon them) used to say to their people:{...Worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him...}[Al-A‘rāf: 59]The polytheists rejected that, however, and took gods besides Allah Almighty – worshiping those false gods and seeking help and support from them.

Allah Almighty refuted their associating of partners with Him by two mental arguments:

First: Those gods which they took do not possess any divine attribute. They are created and can create nothing. They cannot bring about any benefit for those who worship them or remove any harm from them. They possess no authority over people’s life or death or anything in the heavens, nor are they partners in that.

Allah Almighty says: {But they have taken besides Him gods which create nothing, while they are created, and possess not for themselves any harm or benefit and possess not [power to cause] death or life or resurrection.} [Al-Furqān: 3]

And He says: {Say: “Invoke those you claim [as deities] besides Allah.” They do not possess an atom’s weight [of ability] in the heavens or on earth, and they do not have therein any partnership [with Him], nor is there for Him from among them any assistant. And intercession does not benefit with Him except for one whom He permits...} [Saba’: 22-23]Allah Almighty also says: {Do they associate with Him those who create nothing and they are [themselves] created? And the false deities are unable to [give] them help, nor can they help themselves.} [Al-A‘rāf: 191-192]

If this is the state of those false gods, then it is quite foolish and utterly erroneous to take them as gods.

Second: Those polytheists acknowledged that Allah Almighty alone is the Lord and the Creator in Whose hand is the dominion of everything and Who gives help and no help can be given against Him. This should entail their belief in His Oneness as deity worthy of worship, as they believed in Him as the One Lord.Allah Almighty says: {O mankind, worship your Lord, Who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous - [He] Who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him].} [Al-Baqarah: 21-22]

In another verse, He says: {And if you asked them who created them, they would surely say: “Allah.” So how are they deluded?} [Al-Zukhruf: 87]

Allah Almighty also says: {Say: “Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Or who controls hearing and sight and who brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and who arranges [every] matter?” They will say: “Allah,” so say: “Then will you not fear Him?” For that is Allah, your Lord, the Truth. And what can be beyond truth except error? So how are you averted?} [Yūnus: 31-32]

The fourth element of faith in Allah is to believe in His names and attributes.

That is to acknowledge the Names and Attributes that Allah Almighty established for Himself in the Qur’an or the Sunnah, in the fitting manner, without distortion, negation, describing their nature or likening them to others. Allah Almighty says: {And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His Names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.} [Al-A‘rāf: 180]

And He says: {...To Him belongs the highest attribute in the heavens and earth. And He is the All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Al-Rūm: 27]

He also says: {...There is nothing like unto Him: He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.} [Al-Shūra: 11]

Two groups have fallen into misguidance concerning this matter:

One group is the Mu‘attilah, who deny the Names and Attributes of Allah, or some of them, claiming that acknowledging them requires likening Allah to His creation. This claim is false for some reasons like the following:

First: It entails false requirements, like contradiction in the words of Allah, Who established certain names and attributes for Himself and said that there is nothing like Him.If acknowledging those names and attributes requires likening, this would also entail the existence of contradiction in the words of Allah.Second: It is not necessary that two entities sharing a name or attribute should be similar to each other. We see, for example, two persons sharing the attributes of humanity, hearing, seeing and speaking;but they are not necessarily like each other in terms of human meanings and in their hearing, seeing and speech.

Likewise, we see animals with hands, legs and eyes; but this does not necessarily mean they have similar hands, legs or eyes.

If there is a clear difference among the created beings in terms of the names and attributes they share, such a difference between the Creator and His creation is far clearer and greater.

The other group is the Mushabbihah, who confirm the names and attributes of Allah, yet they liken Him to His creation, claiming that this meaning is derived from the relevant texts, for Allah addresses His servants in the way they understand. This claim is false, for some reasons, like the following:

First: Likening Allah Almighty to His creation is established as false by reason and by the Shariah, and the Qur’an and the Sunnah would not indicate something false.

Second: Allah Almighty addresses His servants in the way they understand, in terms of the fundamental meaning; the reality and essence of this meaning, however, is part of the knowledge possessed by Allah Almighty alone concerning His Essence and Attributes.

So, if Allah establishes that He is All-Hearing, hearing is known in its fundamental sense; that is discerning voices and sounds. But the reality of this with regard to Allah’s hearing is unknown. In fact, the reality of hearing differs even among the created beings, and it is even far more different between the Creator and His creation.

And if Allah Almighty states that He has risen over the Throne, 'rising over' is known as a fundamental meaning, but what is unknown to us is the reality of His rising over the Throne, for such a meaning even differs among the created beings.Rising over a steady chair is not as doing so over an unruly camel. If this differs among the created beings, there is even a far clearer and greater difference in this regard between the Creator and His creation.

Belief in Allah Almighty in the way we have pointed out yields great benefits for the believers, such as the following:

First: Fulfilling belief in the Oneness of Allah, having no hope for or fear from other than Him and worshiping none but Him.

Second: Perfecting love and exaltation of Allah Almighty by virtue of His beautiful Names and sublime Attributes.

Third: Fulfilling the worship of Allah by observing His commands and avoiding His prohibitions.

*

 Belief in the Angels

Angels belong to the realm of the unseen. Allah Almighty created them and they worship Him. They possess nothing of the traits of lordship or divinity. Allah created them out of light and made them totally submissive to His commands and capable of executing them. Allah Almighty says: {...And those near Him are not prevented by arrogance from His worship, nor do they tire. They exalt [Him] night and day [and] do not slacken.} [Al-Anbiyā’: 19-20]

They are too many in number; only Allah knows how many they are. In a Hadīth narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that during the journey of the Mi‘rāj (ascension), the Ma‘mūr House (the house over the heavens parable to the Ka‘bah in Makkah, continuously visited by the angels) was raised the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) in the heaven, and in it seventy thousand angels pray every day, and when they come out thereof, they never come back.

Belief in the angels comprises four things:

First: Belief in their existence.

Second: Belief in those among them whose names are known to us, like Jibrīl (Gabriel); and those whose names are unknown to us, we believe in them as a whole.

Third: Belief in their descriptions which are known to us, like the description of Gabriel. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) related that he saw him in his real form and that he has six hundred wings, blocking the horizon.

By the command of Allah, an angel could turn into the form of a man.This happened to Gabriel (peace be upon him) when Allah sent him to Mary in the form of a man, and when he came to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) while he was sitting among his Companions; he came in the form of a man with a very white clothing and very dark hair, with no trace of travel apparent on him, and none of the Companions knew him. He sat in front of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), propping his two knees against the Prophet’s and placing his two hands over the Prophet’s thighs. Then, he asked the Prophet about Islam, faith, Ihsān, the Hour and its signs. After the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) had answered his questions, he went off, and the Prophet said: “That was Gabriel! He came to teach you your religion.”

Likewise, the angels sent by Allah to Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and Lut (Lot) (peace be upon both of them) were in the form of human beings.

Fourth: Belief in their actions which we know, like glorifying Allah and worshiping Him day and night without getting bored or tired.

Some of them probably carry out particular undertakings.

Examples include the following: Gabriel is the angel entrusted with divine revelation. Allah Almighty sent him with revelation to the prophets and messengers.

- Michael is the angel in charge of rain and plants.

- Raphael is the angel entrusted with blowing the Trumpet upon the coming of the Hour and the Day of Resurrection.

- The Angel of Death is the angel entrusted with taking the souls at the moment of death.

- Mālik is the angel put in charge of Hellfire and he is its guardian.

- The angels entrusted with embryos in mothers’ wombs. When an embryo reaches four months of age in its mother’s womb, Allah sends an angel to it and orders him to write down its sustenance, lifetime, deeds and whether it will be miserable or blissful.

- The angels entrusted with recording people’s deeds. Each person has two angels, one on the right side and one on the left.

- The angels entrusted with questioning the dead after they are put in their graves. Two angels come to the deceased and ask him about his Lord, religion, and Prophet.

Belief in the angels yields great benefits, such as the following:

First: Recognizing the greatness and power of Allah Almighty, as the greatness of a created being is a sign of the greatness of its Creator.

Second: Showing gratitude to Allah Almighty for taking care of humankind, as He entrusted all those angels with protecting them, recording their deeds and so on.

Third: Loving the angels for their worship of the Almighty Lord.

Some deviant people deny that the angels are bodies, claiming that they are the powers of good latent in the created beings. With this claim, they belie the Qur’an and the Sunnah, as well as the consensus among Muslims.

Allah Almighty says: {Praise be to Allah, Creator of the heavens and earth, [Who] made the angels messengers having wings, two or three or four...} [Fātir: 1]

He also says: {And if you could but see when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieved, striking their faces and their backs...} [Al-Anfāl: 50]

And He says: {...And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands [saying]: “Discharge your souls!...”} [Al-An‘ām: 93]

Allah Almighty also says: {...Until, when terror is removed from their hearts, they will say [to one another]: “What has your Lord said?” They will say: “The truth.” And He is the Most High, the Grand.} [Saba’: 23]

About the people of Paradise, Allah Almighty says: {...And the angels will enter upon them from every gate [saying]: “Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.”} [Al-Ra‘d: 23-24]

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying: ‘Allah loves so-and-so; so, love him.’ Gabriel would love him, and then Gabriel would make an announcement among the people of the heaven: ‘Allah loves so-and-so; so, love him.’ All the people of the heaven would love him, and then he is granted acceptance among the people of the earth.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri]

In another Hadīth, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“When it is Friday, the angels stand at every door of the mosque and record the people in the order of their arrival, and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit), they fold up their sheets and come to listen to the Dhikr.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri]

These texts explicitly indicate that the angels are bodies, not moral powers as claimed by misguided people. Muslims unanimously agree over the meanings of these texts.

*

 Belief in the Divine Books

Books are the plural of a book, which is a written text.

Books here refer to the scriptures revealed by Allah Almighty to His messengers as a source of mercy and guidance for His servants so that they can attain bliss in this life and in the Hereafter.

Belief in the Books comprises four things:

First: Belief that they were truly revealed by Allah Almighty.

Second: Belief in the books whose names are known to us, like the Qur’an, which was revealed to Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him); the Torah, which was revealed to Moses (peace be upon him);the Gospel, which was revealed to Jesus (peace be upon him);and the Psalms, which was revealed to Dāwūd (David) (peace be upon him). As for the books whose names we do not know, we believe in them as a whole.

Third: Belief in the authentic information contained therein, like the information told in the Qur’an and such information in the previous scriptures that has not been altered or distorted.

Fourth: Acting upon the rulings in them which have not been abrogated and accepting and submitting to them, regardless of whether we understand the wisdom behind them or not. All previous scriptures have been abrogated by the Noble Qur’an.Allah Almighty says: {And We have revealed to you the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it...} [Al-Mā’idah: 48]

Accordingly, we may not act upon any of the rulings contained in the previous books except for those which are sound and approved by the Qur’an.

Belief in the Divine Books yields great benefits, such as the following:

First: Recognizing the boundless care Allah Almighty shows to His servants, as He sent a book to every community to guide them.

Second: Recognizing the wisdom of Allah Almighty in His Legislation, as He legislated for each community what suited them.In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty says: {...To each among you have We prescribed a law and a way...} [Al-Mā’idah: 48]

Third: Showing gratitude to Allah Almighty for that.

*

 Belief in the Messengers

Messengers' is the plural of 'messenger', which refers to a person sent to convey a message.

Messengers here refer to those individuals to whom Allah Almighty revealed a legislation and ordered them to convey it to people.

The first Messenger was Nūh (Noah) (peace be upon him) and the last was Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

Allah Almighty says: {Indeed, We have revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him...} [Al-Nisā’: 163]

In Sahih Al-Bukhāri, Anas ibn Mālik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported in the Hadīth on the intercession that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“People would go to Adam asking him to intercede on their behalf, but he would excuse himself and say: ‘Go to Noah, the first Messenger sent by Allah...” mentioning the rest of the Hadīth.Allah Almighty says about His Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him):{Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but a messenger of Allah and the last of the prophets...} [Al-Ahzāb: 40]There was no community to which Allah Almighty did not send a messenger with a separate legislation or a prophet to whom the legislation of a previous messenger was revealed so as to revive it. Allah Almighty says:{And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger [saying]: “Worship Allah and avoid Tāghūt.”} [Al-Nahl: 36]

He also says: {...And there was no nation but that there had passed among them a warner.} [Fātir: 24]

And He says: {Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah ] judged by it for the Jews...} [Al-Mā’idah: 44]

The messengers are created human beings. They possess nothing of the traits of lordship or divinity. Addressing Prophet Muhammad, the master of all messengers and the noblest among them, Allah Almighty says:{Say: “I possess no power to benefit or hurt myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the unseen, I would have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil would have touched me.”} [Al-A‘rāf: 188]

He also says: {Say: “Indeed, I do not possess for you [the power of] harm or guidance.” Say: “Indeed, there will never protect me from Allah anyone [if I should disobey], nor will I find in other than Him a refuge.”} [Al-Jinn: 21-22]

They were humans with human traits, getting ill, dying, needing food and drink and so on. Describing his Lord, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) said:{And it is He Who feeds me and gives me drink. And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me, and He will cause me to die and then bring me to life} [Al-Shu‘arā’: 79-81]

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Indeed, I am a human being like you, and I forget as you forget. If I forget, remind me.”

In the midst of praising them and speaking about their highest ranks, Allah Almighty describes His prophets as servants to Him.About Noah, He says: {...Indeed, he was a grateful servant.} [Al-Isrā’: 3]And He says about Muhammad: {Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be a warner to the worlds.} [Al-Furqān: 1]

And about Abraham, Is-hāq (Isaac) and Ya‘qūb (Jacob) (peace be upon them), He says: {And remember Our servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - those of strength and [religious] vision. Indeed, We chose them for an exclusive quality: remembrance of the home [of the Hereafter]. And indeed they are, to Us, among the chosen and outstanding.} [Sād: 45-47]

He says about Jesus: {He was not but a servant upon whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.} [Al-Zukhruf: 59]

Belief in the messengers comprises four things:

First: Belief that their message was truly from Allah Almighty. Whoever disbelieves in the message of one of them has disbelieved in all of them.Allah Almighty says: {The people of Noah denied the messengers} [Al-Shu‘arā’: 105]. He considered them as deniers of all messengers even though there was no other messenger when they denied him.Accordingly, the Christians who denied Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and did not follow him are also deniers of Jesus, the Son of Mary, and do not follow him, especially as he gave them glad tidings about the coming of Prophet Muhammad, which only means that he was also a messenger to them, who would save them from misguidance and guide them to the straight path.Second: Belief in those of them whose names are known to us, like Muhammad, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Noah (peace be upon all of them).Those five are the Messengers with firm resolve, whom Allah Almighty mentions in two places of the Qur’an. He says:{And when We took from the prophets their covenant and from you and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus, the son of Mary; and We took from them a solemn covenant.} [Al-Ahzāb: 7]And He says: {He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].} [Al-Shūra: 13]As for those whose names are unknown to us, we believe in them as a whole. Allah Almighty says:{And We have already sent messengers before you. Among them are those [whose stories] We have related to you, and among them are those [whose stories] We have not related to you...} [Ghāfir: 78]

Third: Belief in the authentic information about them.

Fourth: Acting upon the Shariah brought with the one of them who was sent to us, namely the final Prophet, Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). He was sent to all humankind. Allah Almighty says:{But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full] submission.} [Al-Nisā’: 65]

Belief in the messengers yields great benefits, such as the following:

First: Recognizing the mercy and care Allah Almighty shows to His servants, as He sent the messengers to them to guide them to the straight path and illustrate to them how to worship their Lord. Human minds cannot reach this knowledge by themselves.

Second: Showing gratitude to Allah Almighty for this great blessing.

Third: Loving the messengers (peace be upon them) and revering and praising them in a befitting manner, for they are the messengers of Allah Almighty and because they worshiped Him, conveyed His message and gave sincere advice to His servants.

Stubborn people denied their messengers on the grounds that the messengers of Allah should not be humans. Allah Almighty mentions this claim and disproves it, saying:{And what prevented the people from believing when guidance came to them except that they said: “Has Allah sent a human messenger?” Say: “If there were upon the earth angels walking securely, We would have sent down to them from the heaven an angel [as a] messenger.”} [Al-Isrā’: 94-95]So, Allah Almighty disproved their claim by saying that a messenger should be a human being, as he is sent to the inhabitants of this earth, who are human beings; and if the dwellers of the earth were angels, Allah Almighty would have sent them angels as messengers, to be like them.The deniers of the messengers are quoted in the Qur’an as saying:{...“You are not but men like us who wish to avert us from what our fathers were worshiping. So bring us a clear authority.” Their messengers said to them: “We are only men like you, but Allah confers favor upon whom He wills of His servants. It has never been for us to bring you evidence except by permission of Allah...”} [Ibrahim: 10-11]

*

 Belief in the Last Day

The Last Day is the Day of Judgment on which people will be resurrected for reckoning and recompense.

It is called as such because there will be no day after it. The people of Paradise will settle in their places, and so will the dwellers of Hellfire.

Belief in the Last Day comprises three things:

First: Belief in resurrection, which is giving life to the dead when the Trumpet is blown for the second time. Then, people will rise, naked, barefooted, and uncircumcised, before the Lord of the worlds. Allah Almighty says:{...As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.} [Al-Anbiyā’: 104]

Resurrection is a firm truth established by the Qur’an and the Sunnah, as well as the consensus among Muslims.

Allah Almighty says: {Then indeed, after that you are to die. Then indeed you, on the Day of Resurrection, will be resurrected.} [Al-Mu’minūn: 15-16]

And the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “People will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment, barefooted, naked, and uncircumcised.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

Muslims unanimously agree on the truth of this day, which is entailed by wisdom, as Allah Almighty makes an appointment for His servants when He will recompense them over what they did with regard to His Legislation with which He sent His messengers. Allah says:{Then did you think that We created you aimlessly and that to Us you would not be returned?} [Al-Mu’minūn: 115]Addressing His Prophet, Allah Almighty says:{Indeed, He Who imposed upon you the Qur’an will take you back to a place of return...} [Al-Qasas: 85]

Second: Belief in reckoning and recompense: Everyone will render account for their deeds and be recompensed accordingly, as established by the Qur’an and the Sunnah, as well as the consensus among Muslims.

Allah Almighty says: {Indeed, to Us is their return. Then indeed, upon Us is their account.} [Al-Ghāshiyah: 25-26]He also says: {Whoever comes with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit], and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged.} [Al-An‘ām: 160]And He says: {And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.} [Al-Anbiyā’: 47]Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah will bring the believer near Him and shelter him with His Screen and ask him: ‘Did you commit such-and-such sins?’ He will say: ‘Yes, my Lord.’ Allah will keep on asking him till he will confess all his sins and will think that he is ruined. Allah will say: ‘I did screen your sins in the world and I forgive them for you today.’ And then he will be given the book of his good deeds. As for as the disbelievers and hypocrites, there will be a general announcement about them before all creation: These are the people who lied against their Lord. Indeed, the curse of Allah is upon the wrongdoers.”[Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was authentically reported to have said: “If someone intends a good deed and does it, Allah writes it down as ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he intends a bad deed and does it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.”

Muslims unanimously agree over the truth of reckoning and recompense for people’s deeds, which is entailed by wisdom, as Allah Almighty revealed the books, sent the messengers, obligated His servants to accept and act upon what the messengers brought to them, and made it a duty to fight those who oppose Him, rendering their life, progeny, women, and property violable.If there were no reckoning and recompense, this would be a frivolity above which the All-Wise Lord is far Exalted. Allah Almighty refers to this by saying:{Then We will surely question those to whom [a message] was sent, and We will surely question the messengers. Then We will surely relate [their deeds] to them with knowledge, and We were never absent.} [Al-A‘rāf: 6-7]

Third: Belief in Paradise and Hellfire and that they will be the eternal abode for the creation.

Paradise is the abode of bliss which Allah has prepared for the righteous believers, those who believe in what He obligated them to believe in, and who obey Allah and worship Him sincerely and obey His Messenger and follow him. It contains forms of bliss that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has imagined.” Allah Almighty says:{Indeed, they who have believed and done righteous deeds - those are the best of creatures. Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they pleased with Him. That is for whoever feared his Lord.} [Al-Bayyinah: 7-8]He also says: {And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.} [Al-Sajdah: 17]As for Hellfire, it is the abode of punishment which Allah Almighty has prepared for the transgressing disbelievers, those who disbelieve in Him and disobey His messengers. It contains forms of unimaginable punishment and torture.Allah Almighty says: {And fear the Fire, which has been prepared for the disbelievers.} [Āl-‘Imrān: 131]He also says: {And say: “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.} [Al-Kahf: 29]And He says: {Indeed, Allah has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a Blaze. Abiding therein forever, they will not find a protector or a helper. The Day their faces will be turned about in the Fire, they will say: “O, would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger.”} [Al-Ahzāb: 64-66]

Belief in the Last Day yields great benefits, such as the following:

First: The desire and keenness to do good in pursuit of the reward on that Day.

Second: The fear of doing and accepting sins, out of fear of the punishment on that Day.

Third: Deriving solace upon the occurrence of some worldly loss from the hope of attaining bliss and good rewards in the Hereafter.

The disbelievers deny resurrection after death, claiming that this is impossible to happen.

This claim is false, however, according to the Shariah, sense, and reason.

As for the evidence in the Shariah: Allah Almighty says: {The disbelievers pretend that they will never be resurrected. Say: “Yes! By my Lord, you will certainly be resurrected, and then you will be informed of what you did; that is easy for Allah.”} [Al-Taghābun: 7]All divine books agree on that.

All divine books agree on that.

As for the perceptible evidence: Allah Almighty made some of His servants see dead people being brought back to life. There are five examples of this in Surat al-Baqarah:

First: When the people of Moses said to him: {...“We will never believe you until we see Allah outright”...} [Al-Baqarah: 55]. So, Allah caused them to die and then brought them back to life.About this, Allah Almighty addresses the Children of Israel, saying:{And when you said: “O Moses, we will never believe you until we see Allah outright”; so the thunderbolt took you while you were looking on. Then We revived you after your death that you may be grateful.} [Al-Baqarah: 55-56]Second: The story of the dead man about whom the Children of Israel were in dispute. Allah Almighty ordered them to slaughter a cow and strike him with part of it, so that he would inform them of his murderer. About this, Allah Almighty says:{And when you killed a soul and disputed over it, but Allah was to bring out that which you were concealing. So, We said: “Strike the slain him with part of it.” Thus does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you might reason.} [Al-Baqarah: 72-73]Third: The story of the people who fled their homes in many thousands for fear of death. Allah Almighty caused them to die and then restored them to life again. About this, He says:{Have you not considered those who left their homes in many thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them: “Die”; then He restored them to life. And Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most people do not show gratitude.} [Al-Baqarah: 243]Fourth: The story of the man who passed by a dead village and deemed it unlikely that Allah might ever revive it again. Allah Almighty caused him to die for a hundred years and then brought him back to life. About this, Allah Almighty says:{Or as the one who passed by a township which had fallen into ruin. He said: “How will Allah bring this to life after its death?” So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years; then He revived him. He said: “How long have you remained?” The man said: “I have remained a day or part of a day.” He said: “Rather, you have remained one hundred years. Look at your food and your drink; it has not changed with time. And look at your donkey; and We will make you a sign for the people. And look at the bones [of this donkey] - how We raise them and then We cover them with flesh.” And when it became clear to him, he said: “I know that Allah is over all things competent.”} [Al-Baqarah: 259]Fifth: The story of Prophet Abraham when he asked Allah Almighty to show him how He gives life to the dead. Allah Almighty ordered him to slaughter four birds, divide them into pieces, and place them over the mountains around him. Then, He ordered him to call them, and behold! The pieces came together and hastened towards Abraham. Regarding this, Allah Almighty says:{And when Abraham said: “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” [Allah] said: “Have you not believed?” He said: “Yes, but only that my heart be satisfied.” [Allah] said: “Take four birds and commit them to yourself. Then [after slaughtering them] put on each hill a portion of them; then call them - they will come [flying] to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”} [Al-Baqarah: 260]

About this, Allah Almighty addresses the Children of Israel, saying:

{And when you said: “O Moses, we will never believe you until we see Allah outright”; so the thunderbolt took you while you were looking on. Then We revived you after your death that you may be grateful.} [Al-Baqarah: 55-56]

Second: The story of the dead man about whom the Children of Israel were in dispute. Allah Almighty ordered them to slaughter a cow and strike him with part of it, so that he would inform them of his murderer. About this, Allah Almighty says:

{And when you killed a soul and disputed over it, but Allah was to bring out that which you were concealing. So, We said: “Strike the slain him with part of it.” Thus does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you might reason.} [Al-Baqarah: 72-73]

Third: The story of the people who fled their homes in many thousands for fear of death. Allah Almighty caused them to die and then restored them to life again. About this, He says:

{Have you not considered those who left their homes in many thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them: “Die”; then He restored them to life. And Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most people do not show gratitude.} [Al-Baqarah: 243]

Fourth: The story of the man who passed by a dead village and deemed it unlikely that Allah might ever revive it again. Allah Almighty caused him to die for a hundred years and then brought him back to life. About this, Allah Almighty says:

{Or as the one who passed by a township which had fallen into ruin. He said: “How will Allah bring this to life after its death?” So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years; then He revived him. He said: “How long have you remained?” The man said: “I have remained a day or part of a day.” He said: “Rather, you have remained one hundred years. Look at your food and your drink; it has not changed with time. And look at your donkey; and We will make you a sign for the people. And look at the bones [of this donkey] - how We raise them and then We cover them with flesh.” And when it became clear to him, he said: “I know that Allah is over all things competent.”} [Al-Baqarah: 259]

Fifth: The story of Prophet Abraham when he asked Allah Almighty to show him how He gives life to the dead. Allah Almighty ordered him to slaughter four birds, divide them into pieces, and place them over the mountains around him. Then, He ordered him to call them, and behold! The pieces came together and hastened towards Abraham. Regarding this, Allah Almighty says:

{And when Abraham said: “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” [Allah] said: “Have you not believed?” He said: “Yes, but only that my heart be satisfied.” [Allah] said: “Take four birds and commit them to yourself. Then [after slaughtering them] put on each hill a portion of them; then call them - they will come [flying] to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”} [Al-Baqarah: 260]

These are concrete real examples proving the possibility of giving life to the dead. We have previously referred to the miracle of restoring the dead to life and bringing them out of their graves which Allah Almighty enabled Jesus (peace be upon him) to perform, with His permission.

As for the evidence of reason, it has two aspects:

First: Allah Almighty is the Creator of the heavens and earth and what lies in them. He created them originally, so He can repeat it. Allah Almighty says:{And it is He Who begins creation; then He repeats it, and that is [even] easier for Him...} [Al-Rūm: 27]He also says: {...As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.} [Al-Anbiyā’: 104]In response to those who deny that disintegrated bones can be restored to life, Allah Almighty says:{Say: “He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knowing of every creation!”} [Yasīn: 79]Second: Parts of the earth can be dead and arid, having no green trees, and then it rains and the earth quivers and becomes green and alive, growing all beautiful kinds. The One Who is capable of bringing such dead earth to life is definitely capable of bringing the dead to life. Allah Almighty says:{And of His signs is that you see the earth submissive, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and grows. Indeed, He Who has given it life is the Giver of Life to the dead. Indeed, He is over all things competent.} [Fussilat: 39]He also says: {And We have sent down from the sky blessed rain and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest and lofty palm trees having fruit arranged in layers - As provision for the servants, and We have given life thereby to a dead land. Thus is the resurrection.} [Qāf: 9-11]

{And it is He Who begins creation; then He repeats it, and that is [even] easier for Him...} [Al-Rūm: 27]

He also says: {...As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.} [Al-Anbiyā’: 104]

In response to those who deny that disintegrated bones can be restored to life, Allah Almighty says:

{Say: “He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knowing of every creation!”} [Yasīn: 79]

Second: Parts of the earth can be dead and arid, having no green trees, and then it rains and the earth quivers and becomes green and alive, growing all beautiful kinds. The One Who is capable of bringing such dead earth to life is definitely capable of bringing the dead to life. Allah Almighty says:

{And of His signs is that you see the earth submissive, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and grows. Indeed, He Who has given it life is the Giver of Life to the dead. Indeed, He is over all things competent.} [Fussilat: 39]

He also says: {And We have sent down from the sky blessed rain and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest and lofty palm trees having fruit arranged in layers - As provision for the servants, and We have given life thereby to a dead land. Thus is the resurrection.} [Qāf: 9-11]

Part of the belief in the Last Day is to believe in all what comes after death, like the following:

a- The trial of the grave: This is when the dead person is questioned after burial about his Lord, religion, and Prophet. Allah Almighty makes the believers firm with the firm statement. The believer will reply: My Lord is Allah, my religion is Islam and my Prophet is Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).And Allah causes the wrongdoers to go astray. The disbeliever will say: Huh, Huh, I do not know. The hypocrite or doubter will say: I do not know! I heard people say something and I said the same.b- The punishment and bliss in the grave: The wrongdoers, the disbelievers and hypocrites will be punished in the grave. Allah Almighty says:{...And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands [saying]: “Discharge your souls! Today you will be rewarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you used to say against Allah other than the truth and [that] you were arrogant towards His verses.”} [Al-An‘ām: 93]

And Allah causes the wrongdoers to go astray. The disbeliever will say: Huh, Huh, I do not know. The hypocrite or doubter will say: I do not know! I heard people say something and I said the same.

b- The punishment and bliss in the grave: The wrongdoers, the disbelievers and hypocrites will be punished in the grave. Allah Almighty says:

{...And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands [saying]: “Discharge your souls! Today you will be rewarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you used to say against Allah other than the truth and [that] you were arrogant towards His verses.”} [Al-An‘ām: 93]

About the people of Pharaoh, Allah Almighty says: {The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening. And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said]: “Make the people of Pharaoh enter the most severe punishment.”} [Ghāfir: 46]

Zayd ibn Thābit (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “‘Were it not that you would not bury one another, I would have prayed Allah to make you hear the torment of the grave as I do.’ Then he turned towards them and said: ‘Seek refuge with Allah from the torment of Hellfire.’ They said: ‘We seek refuge with Allah from the torment of Hellfire.’ He said: ‘Seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave.’ They said: ‘We seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave.’ He said: ‘Seek refuge with Allah from trials; apparent and hidden.’ They said: ‘We seek refuge with Allah from trials; apparent and hidden.’ He said: ‘Seek refuge with Allah from the trial of the Antichrist.’ They said: ‘We seek refuge with Allah from the trial of the Antichrist.’” [Narrated by Muslim]

As for the bliss in the grave, it is for the sincere believers. Allah Almighty says: {Indeed, those who have said: “Our Lord is Allah” and then remained on a right course - the angels will descend upon them [saying]: “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.”} [Fussilat: 30]

He also says: {Then why, when the soul at death reaches the throat, and you are at that time looking on - And Our angels are nearer to him than you, but you do not see - Then why do you not, if you are not to be recompensed, bring it back, if you should be truthful? And if the deceased was of those brought near to Allah, then [for him is] rest and bounty and a garden of pleasure.} [Al-Wāqi‘ah: 83-89]

Al-Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported a long Hadīth in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said that after the believer answers the questions of the two angels in his grave: “An announcer will announce from the heaven: ‘My servant has spoken the truth; so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him from Paradise and open a door for him into Paradise.’ So, some of its air and fragrance will come to him, and a space will be made for him in his grave as far as he can see.” [Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dāwūd]

Some people deviated from the right course and denied the punishment and bliss in the grave alleging that this is impossible, given that it contradicts the reality. They say: “If we open the grave and see the deceased, we will find him in the very state he was in and the grave’s area will be the same as it was.”

This claim is false, according to the Shariah, sense and reason:

As for the evidence from the Shariah: We have already cited the texts proving the truth of the punishment and bliss in the grave.

Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported: “Once the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) went through the graveyards of Madinah and heard the voices of two humans who were being tortured in their graves.” He mentioned the rest of the Hadīth and in part of it it stated: “One of them used not to cover himself while urinating and the other used to go about spreading malicious gossip.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri] A narration of Muslim stated: “One of them was heedless about preventing urine from getting on his clothes.”

As for the sensible evidence, we say, for example, that a sleeping person may see in a dream that he is in a spacious and pleasant place where he enjoys himself, or in a narrow and desolate place where he feels troubled; and he may sometimes wake up because of his dream.Nonetheless, he is still in his bed and his room and in the very state he has been in. In a sense, sleep is like death. Allah Almighty says:{Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term...} [Al-Zumar: 42]With regard to the evidence of reason: A sleeping person may see a dream that is consistent with the reality and may see the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) in his true appearance, which means he has truly seen the Prophet. This all happens despite the sleeping person being in his bed, away from what he sees.If this can happen in life, would it not be possible to happen in the Hereafter?

Nonetheless, he is still in his bed and his room and in the very state he has been in. In a sense, sleep is like death. Allah Almighty says:

{Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term...} [Al-Zumar: 42]

With regard to the evidence of reason: A sleeping person may see a dream that is consistent with the reality and may see the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) in his true appearance, which means he has truly seen the Prophet. This all happens despite the sleeping person being in his bed, away from what he sees.

If this can happen in life, would it not be possible to happen in the Hereafter?

As for the premise of their claim that if we open the grave, we will find the deceased in his same state and that the grave’s size has not changed, we can reply to this from a number of aspects:

First: We cannot oppose the teachings of Shariah by such suspicions whose falsity can be recognized by their proponents if they properly ponder the Shariah teachings. As the saying goes:

How often a person finds fault with something sound

On account of his own understanding that is unsound

Second: The conditions in the Barzakh (the interval between worldly life and the Hereafter) belong to the unseen and are not perceived by our senses. If they were perceived by senses, believing in the unseen would be meaningless and the believers and disbelievers in the unseen would be alike.

Third: The punishment or bliss and spaciousness or narrowness in the grave is only perceived by the deceased, not others; just as a sleeping person sees in a dream that he is in a narrow and desolate place or a spacious and cheerful one, though people around him do not see or feel anything about that.The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) would receive divine revelation while he was among his Companions. He would hear the revelation, while they would not hear it. It would also happen that the angel took the form of a man and spoke to him, while the Companions did not see or hear him.Fourth: People’s perception is limited. They only perceive what Allah Almighty enables them to, and they cannot perceive everything that exists. Indeed, the seven heavens, the earth and all that lies in them do really glorify Allah and praise Him. He hears that, and occasionally He lets whom He wills from among His servants to hear it.Nonetheless, this is screened from us. Allah Almighty says about this:{The seven heavens and earth and whatever is between them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting...} [Al-Isrā’: 44]Moreover, the jinn and devils go about the earth, and some jinn went to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), listened to his recitation of the Qur’an and then headed for their people as warners. Nonetheless, they are screened from us. Allah Almighty says about this:{O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.} [Al-A‘rāf: 27]As people cannot perceive everything that exists, then they should not deny certain unseen things established as true because they cannot perceive them.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) would receive divine revelation while he was among his Companions. He would hear the revelation, while they would not hear it. It would also happen that the angel took the form of a man and spoke to him, while the Companions did not see or hear him.

Fourth: People’s perception is limited. They only perceive what Allah Almighty enables them to, and they cannot perceive everything that exists. Indeed, the seven heavens, the earth and all that lies in them do really glorify Allah and praise Him. He hears that, and occasionally He lets whom He wills from among His servants to hear it.

Nonetheless, this is screened from us. Allah Almighty says about this:

{The seven heavens and earth and whatever is between them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting...} [Al-Isrā’: 44]

Moreover, the jinn and devils go about the earth, and some jinn went to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), listened to his recitation of the Qur’an and then headed for their people as warners. Nonetheless, they are screened from us. Allah Almighty says about this:

{O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.} [Al-A‘rāf: 27]

As people cannot perceive everything that exists, then they should not deny certain unseen things established as true because they cannot perceive them.

*

 Belief in Destiny

Destiny is the predestination by Allah Almighty for His creation according to His foreknowledge and wisdom.

Belief in destiny comprises four things:

First: Believing that Allah Almighty knows everything, generally and in detail, for all eternity, be it related to His actions or the actions of His servants.

Second: Believing that Allah Almighty had written that in the Preserved Tablet. About these two matters, Allah Almighty says:{Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed, that is in a Record. Indeed, that is easy for Allah.} [Al-Hajj: 70]

{Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed, that is in a Record. Indeed, that is easy for Allah.} [Al-Hajj: 70]

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Ās (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported: “I heard the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) say: ‘Allah had predetermined the destiny of the creatures fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth.’” [Narrated by Muslim]

Third: Believing that all beings come into existence by the will of Allah Almighty, whether this is related to His actions or the actions of created beings. Regarding His actions, Allah Almighty says:{And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses...} [A-Qasas: 68]He also says: {...And Allah does what He wills.} [Ibrahim: 27]He says in another verse: {It is He Who forms you in the wombs however He wills...} [Āl-‘Imrān: 6]. About the actions of the creation, Allah Almighty says:{...And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you...} [Al-Nisā’: 90]He also says: {...But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent.} [Al-An‘ām: 112]Fourth: Believing that all creatures are created by Allah Almighty with all their beings, attributes and movements. Allah Almighty says:{Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is Disposer of all affairs.} [Al-Zumar: 62]He also says: {...And He has created each thing and determined it with [precise] determination.} [Al-Furqān: 2]Addressing his people, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is quoted in the Qur’an as saying:{And Allah created you and what you do} [Al-Sāffāt: 96]

{And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses...} [A-Qasas: 68]

He also says: {...And Allah does what He wills.} [Ibrahim: 27]

He says in another verse: {It is He Who forms you in the wombs however He wills...} [Āl-‘Imrān: 6]. About the actions of the creation, Allah Almighty says:

{...And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you...} [Al-Nisā’: 90]

He also says: {...But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent.} [Al-An‘ām: 112]

Fourth: Believing that all creatures are created by Allah Almighty with all their beings, attributes and movements. Allah Almighty says:

{Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is Disposer of all affairs.} [Al-Zumar: 62]

He also says: {...And He has created each thing and determined it with [precise] determination.} [Al-Furqān: 2]

Addressing his people, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is quoted in the Qur’an as saying:

{And Allah created you and what you do} [Al-Sāffāt: 96]

Belief in destiny, in the way we have pointed out, does not mean one has no will or power over his voluntary actions. In fact, the Shariah and the reality confirm that he has that.

As for the Shariah, Allah Almighty says about people’s will:{...So he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return.} [Al-Naba’: 39]And He says: {...So come to your place of cultivation however you wish...} [Al-Baqarah: 223]About people’s power, He says: {So fear Allah as much as you are able, and listen and obey...} [Al-Taghābun: 16]He also says: {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned...} [Al-Baqarah: 286]As for the proof from reality, we can say everyone knows that he has a will and power with which he can do or abandon certain actions. There is distinction between such things that can happen of one’s free will, like walking, and those things that occur involuntarily like shivering. However, one’s will and power do exist by the will and power of Allah Almighty, Who says:{For whoever wills among you to take a right course. And you do not will except that Allah wills - Lord of the worlds.} [Al-Takwīr: 28-29]Since the entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty, nothing exists in His dominion without His Knowledge and Will.

{...So he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return.} [Al-Naba’: 39]

And He says: {...So come to your place of cultivation however you wish...} [Al-Baqarah: 223]

About people’s power, He says: {So fear Allah as much as you are able, and listen and obey...} [Al-Taghābun: 16]

He also says: {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned...} [Al-Baqarah: 286]

As for the proof from reality, we can say everyone knows that he has a will and power with which he can do or abandon certain actions. There is distinction between such things that can happen of one’s free will, like walking, and those things that occur involuntarily like shivering. However, one’s will and power do exist by the will and power of Allah Almighty, Who says:

{For whoever wills among you to take a right course. And you do not will except that Allah wills - Lord of the worlds.} [Al-Takwīr: 28-29]

Since the entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty, nothing exists in His dominion without His Knowledge and Will.

Belief in destiny, in the manner we have mentioned, does not give one an excuse to neglect his duties or engage in sins, and any such excuse would be false from a number of aspects:

First: Allah Almighty says: {Those who associated with Allah will say: “If Allah had willed, we would not have associated [anything] and neither would our fathers, nor would we have prohibited anything.” Likewise did those before deny until they tasted Our punishment. Say: “Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us? You follow not except assumption, and you are not but falsifying.”} [Al-An‘ām: 148]If they had had an excuse on account of destiny, Allah Almighty would not have let them taste His punishment.Second: Allah Almighty says: {[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Al-Nisā’: 165]If destiny were an excuse for the disobedient people, the excuse would not be rendered void by sending the messengers, for their disobedience after the messengers would still happen according to the Will of Allah.Third: ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “‘There is no one among you except that his place in Hellfire or Paradise is predestined.’ A man said: ‘Should we rely on that, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘No, Carry on doing good deeds for every one will find it easy to do such deeds (as will lead him to his destined place).’ Then, he recited: {As for he who gives and fears Allah} [Al-Layl: 5] [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim] [This is the wording of Al-Bukhāri]The wording of one of Muslim’s narrations reads: “For everyone shall find facilitation towards what he has been created for.” Thus, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) ordered us to work and not to rely on destiny.Fourth: Allah Almighty issued certain commands and prohibitions to His servants and has not charged them with anything beyond their capacity. In the Qur’an, He says:{So fear Allah as much as you can, and listen and obey...} [Al-Taghābun: 16]He also says: {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity...} [Al-Baqarah: 286]If people were forced to do what they do, they would thus be charged with something they could not get rid of, which is untrue. But when a person commits a sin due to ignorance, forgetfulness or coercion, he is not sinful, given this valid excuse.

If they had had an excuse on account of destiny, Allah Almighty would not have let them taste His punishment.

Second: Allah Almighty says: {[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Al-Nisā’: 165]

If destiny were an excuse for the disobedient people, the excuse would not be rendered void by sending the messengers, for their disobedience after the messengers would still happen according to the Will of Allah.

Third: ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “‘There is no one among you except that his place in Hellfire or Paradise is predestined.’ A man said: ‘Should we rely on that, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘No, Carry on doing good deeds for every one will find it easy to do such deeds (as will lead him to his destined place).’ Then, he recited: {As for he who gives and fears Allah} [Al-Layl: 5] [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim] [This is the wording of Al-Bukhāri]

The wording of one of Muslim’s narrations reads: “For everyone shall find facilitation towards what he has been created for.” Thus, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) ordered us to work and not to rely on destiny.

Fourth: Allah Almighty issued certain commands and prohibitions to His servants and has not charged them with anything beyond their capacity. In the Qur’an, He says:

{So fear Allah as much as you can, and listen and obey...} [Al-Taghābun: 16]

He also says: {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity...} [Al-Baqarah: 286]

If people were forced to do what they do, they would thus be charged with something they could not get rid of, which is untrue. But when a person commits a sin due to ignorance, forgetfulness or coercion, he is not sinful, given this valid excuse.

Fifth: The predestination of Allah Almighty is a hidden secret that none knows about until it happens, and one’s will to do something precedes the very action; so, his intent does not depend on knowledge of the divine destiny. Hence, he has no valid argument with regard to destiny, as he does not know it.

Sixth: People are keen to get what is suitable for them in their worldly affairs and they do not abandon it and take what is unsuitable on the grounds of destiny. Why then do some people abandon what is beneficial for them in religious matters and turn to what is harmful and cite destiny as argument? Both cases are alike, aren’t they?

Let’s take an example:

If there are two paths before a person. One of them leads to a country where there are chaos, killing, looting, violation of honor, fear and hunger. The other path leads to a country marked by order, security, blissful living and respect for people’s lives, honor and property. Which path would he take?

He would definitely take the second path leading to the country of order and security. No sane person would ever walk in the path leading to the country of chaos and fear, citing his destiny.Surprisingly, some people follow the path leading to Hellfire and abandon the path to Paradise and they cite destiny as their argument.Another example: When a medicine is prescribed for a patient, he drinks it although he does not like it, and he is forbidden from certain types of food for the sake of his health, and he abandons them, though he covets these foods. He complies because he wants to recover and be safe. Such person would not stop taking the prescribed medicine or eat the harmful food and say it is because of destiny.Why then do some people fail to observe the commands and prohibitions of Allah Almighty and His Messenger and cite destiny as their argument?Seventh: If a person - who cites destiny as the reason for abandoning his duties or committing sins - was attacked by someone, who seized his money or violated his honor and then said: “Do not blame me; what I did was due to the divine destiny,” he would not accept that person’s argument.Why does he not accept the use of destiny as an argument in the case of someone attacking him and he himself cites it as the reason when it comes to his transgression against the rights of Allah Almighty?

Surprisingly, some people follow the path leading to Hellfire and abandon the path to Paradise and they cite destiny as their argument.

Another example: When a medicine is prescribed for a patient, he drinks it although he does not like it, and he is forbidden from certain types of food for the sake of his health, and he abandons them, though he covets these foods. He complies because he wants to recover and be safe. Such person would not stop taking the prescribed medicine or eat the harmful food and say it is because of destiny.

Why then do some people fail to observe the commands and prohibitions of Allah Almighty and His Messenger and cite destiny as their argument?

Seventh: If a person - who cites destiny as the reason for abandoning his duties or committing sins - was attacked by someone, who seized his money or violated his honor and then said: “Do not blame me; what I did was due to the divine destiny,” he would not accept that person’s argument.

Why does he not accept the use of destiny as an argument in the case of someone attacking him and he himself cites it as the reason when it comes to his transgression against the rights of Allah Almighty?

It is related that a thief was brought to the Commander of the Believers, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (may Allah be pleased with him), who ordered that his hand be cut off. Thereupon, the man said: “Wait, O Commander of the Believers! I have stolen according to the destiny of Allah.” In response, ‘Umar said: “And we will cut off (your hand) according to the destiny of Allah.”

Belief in destiny yields great benefits, such as the following:

First: We rely upon Allah Almighty as we pursue the proper means. We should not rely upon the means itself, for everything occurs according to the divine predestination.

Second: One should not feel self-conceited upon achieving what he wants, for the achievement is but a blessing from Allah Almighty Who provided him with the means of success. Self-conceit would make him forget to show gratitude for this blessing.

Third: We feel at peace and mentally comfortable given our knowledge that everything happens according to the divine predestination; and so we do not agonize over the loss of something dear or the occurrence of something bad, for all happens in accordance with the destiny predetermined by Allah Who possesses the heavens and earth. Allah Almighty says about this:{No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being - indeed, that is easy for Allah - in order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like every self-deluded and boastful.} [Al-Hadīd: 22-23]The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “How wonderful the affair of a believer is! Indeed, all of his affairs are good for him. This is for no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is grateful to Allah, and that is good for him. And if something bad happens to him, he shows patience, and that is good for him.”

{No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being - indeed, that is easy for Allah - in order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like every self-deluded and boastful.} [Al-Hadīd: 22-23]

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “How wonderful the affair of a believer is! Indeed, all of his affairs are good for him. This is for no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is grateful to Allah, and that is good for him. And if something bad happens to him, he shows patience, and that is good for him.”

Two groups have fallen into misguidance concerning destiny:

First: The Jabriyyah who say that one is forced to do what he does and he has no will or power.

Second: The Qadariyyah who say that everyone has independent will and power and that the will and power of Allah has no impact on him.

We respond to the first group, the Jabriyyah, by the Shariah and reality:

As for the Shariah: Allah Almighty confirms that one has a will and desire and He attributes his deeds to him, saying:{...Among you are some who desire this world, and among you are some who desire the Hereafter...} [Āl-‘Imrān: 152]And He says: {And say: “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them...} [Al-Kahf: 29]He also says: {Whoever does righteousness - it is for his [own] soul; and whoever does evil [does so] against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants.} [Fussilat: 46]

{...Among you are some who desire this world, and among you are some who desire the Hereafter...} [Āl-‘Imrān: 152]

And He says: {And say: “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them...} [Al-Kahf: 29]

He also says: {Whoever does righteousness - it is for his [own] soul; and whoever does evil [does so] against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants.} [Fussilat: 46]

As for the reality: Everyone knows the difference between his voluntary actions, which he does of his own free will, like eating, drinking, buying and selling, and his involuntary actions, like shivering from fever and falling off a rooftop. In the first case, he is a willful doer under no coercion; whereas in the second case he has no choice or desire regarding what happens to him.

We respond to the second group, the Qadariyyah, by the Shariah and reason:

As for the Shariah: Allah Almighty created all things, and everything exists by His will. He reveals in His book that people’s actions occur by His will. He says:{...If Allah had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allah does what He wills.} [Al-Baqarah: 253]He also says: {And if We had willed, We could have given every soul its guidance, but the Word from Me will come into effect [that] “I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together.”} [Al-Sajdah: 13]

{...If Allah had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allah does what He wills.} [Al-Baqarah: 253]

He also says: {And if We had willed, We could have given every soul its guidance, but the Word from Me will come into effect [that] “I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together.”} [Al-Sajdah: 13]

As for the reason: The entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty, and humankind is part of this universe, and so they too belong to the Almighty Creator. A servant cannot dispose of anything in the dominion of his Lord without His Permission and Will.

*

 Objectives of the Islamic Creed

An objective is something one works for or strives to achieve.

Objectives of the Islamic creed refer to its noble purposes and goals, which are contingent on adherence to this creed. Such objectives are many including the following:

First: Worshiping Allah Almighty alone with sincere intention, because He is the Creator Who has no partner; so, His servants should devote their worship solely to Him.

Second: Freeing people’s minds and thinking from the chaotic confusion that comes as a result of the hearts being empty of this creed. One who has a heart empty of this creed is either one who has no creed in his heart whatsoever and is a slave to material things alone or one who wanders confusedly among erroneous beliefs and superstitions.

Third: Being mentally and intellectually at ease, having no anxiety within one’s soul nor turbulence in one’s intellect. This is because this creed links a believer to his Creator and makes him pleased with Him as a Lord, Disposer of affairs, Ruler and Legislator. So, he accepts destiny with a peaceful heart and feels a strong inclination towards Islam, accepting no other religion instead.

Fourth: Freedom of intentions and deeds from aberrations in worshiping the Almighty Creator or dealing with the creation. This is because one of the fundamental principles of this creed is to believe in the messengers, which includes following their example; and they were sincere in their intentions and deeds.

Fifth: Adopting a firm and serious approach, missing no opportunity to do good deeds, in pursuit of the divine rewards, and avoiding all areas of sinning, out of fear from the punishment of the Almighty Lord. This is because one of the fundamental principles of this creed is belief in the resurrection and reckoning for people’s deeds.

Allah Almighty says: {And for all are degrees from what they have done. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do.} [Al-An‘ām: 132]The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) urged the pursuit of this objective; he said: “A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in both. Adhere to whatever brings you benefit, seek the help of Allah and do not feel helpless. If something befalls you, do not say: ‘Had I done such-and-such, it would have been such-and-such.’ Indeed,'if' opens the way before the devil to act.”[Narrated by Muslim]Sixth: Building a strong nation that gives their all for the sake of firmly establishing their religion and deepening its pillars, not caring about what they may suffer in this process. Allah Almighty says about this:{The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.} [Al-Hujurāt: 15]Seventh: Attaining happiness in this world and in the Hereafter by reforming individuals and communities and winning rewards and honorable status. Allah Almighty says about this:{Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.} [Al-Nahl: 97]

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) urged the pursuit of this objective; he said: “A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in both. Adhere to whatever brings you benefit, seek the help of Allah and do not feel helpless. If something befalls you, do not say: ‘Had I done such-and-such, it would have been such-and-such.’ Indeed,'if' opens the way before the devil to act.”

[Narrated by Muslim]

Sixth: Building a strong nation that gives their all for the sake of firmly establishing their religion and deepening its pillars, not caring about what they may suffer in this process. Allah Almighty says about this:

{The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.} [Al-Hujurāt: 15]

Seventh: Attaining happiness in this world and in the Hereafter by reforming individuals and communities and winning rewards and honorable status. Allah Almighty says about this:

{Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.} [Al-Nahl: 97]

These are some of the objectives of the Islamic creed. We implore Allah Almighty to enable us and all Muslims to achieve them; verily, He is the All-Generous. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions!

Penned by

Muhammad al-Sālih al-‘Uthaymīn

*


A Glimpse into the Islamic Creed.................................................................................................... 1

Introduction................................................................................................................................... 2

The Religion of Islam..................................................................................................................... 2

Pillars of Islam.............................................................................................................................. 3

Foundations of the Islamic Creed................................................................................................... 5

Belief in Allah Almighty.................................................................................................................. 5

Belief in the Angels........................................................................................................................ 9

Belief in the Divine Books............................................................................................................ 11

Belief in the Messengers.............................................................................................................. 12

Belief in the Last Day................................................................................................................... 14

Belief in Destiny.......................................................................................................................... 20

Objectives of the Islamic Creed.................................................................................................... 25