Showing posts with label free will. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free will. Show all posts

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Death and the Purpose of Life

"Exalted is He who holds all control in His hands; who has power over all things; who created death and life to test you and reveal which of you does best- He is the Mighty, the Forgiving"-- (Surah Mulk, 67: 2-3).

"God has humbled the son of Adam with death, and has made the world an abode of life, then an abode of death, and made the Hereafter an abode of recompense, then an abode of eternal abiding" --- Prophet Muhammad (sa)  

As a religion, Islam is an appeal to the conscience of the humans to deploy their God-given Free Will to lead a clear and pure life in the path of God. It is an open invitation to everyone to recognize the true purpose of life- the Worship of the Divine to the exclusion of all other so called 'deities'- by purifying their souls, by getting rid of the spiritual and moral diseases that otherwise come in the way of such higher realization. And 'Muslims' are those who subordinate and surrender their personal needs and desires to conform to the Will and commandments of Allah and His Messenger and strive in His cause. The trade-off they have to make is between the chance gains of this life and the enduring rewards of the Hereafter. Hence, to live in obedience to the dictates of religion and to die in that state of submission to the Will of Allah, is a conscious choice that every true believer makes through her belief and practice in every day life. 

In his Friday Sermon of 20 July 2018 (06 Dhul Qaddah 1439 AH), Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius speaks about the transient nature of our worldly life to remind us about the inevitability of our accountability in the world to come. 

In this eloquent discourse steeped in Qur'anic wisdom and illuminating insights, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) provides a series of practical guidelines that followers of the Divine Path can keep in mind in their everyday life. For, everyone has to be prepared to face the record of their deeds on the Day of Resurrection. As Hadhrat Saheb (atba) notes, a believer can prepare herself for that ultimate reality of Facing God on the Day of Judgement in the following way: by recognizing the truthfulness of the Divine Messages and prophecies chronicled in the Qur'an and the Ahadith; by learning from the exemplary lives of the Divine servants of the past; by recognizing the value of invoking fervent prayers directed to the court of the Almighty for steadfastness and courage to remain in the spiritual path, and also by recalling the fleeting nature of life and the unavoidable journey to the grave after deathIt is also instructive to note that embracing the True Path/Faith is a favour that one does to one's own self and nobody else, and it is certainly not a favour to God. Our extolling God cannot add to His glory, nor does our disobedience to His Elects can take away of His grandeur and dignity. On the other hand, when you earnestly strive in the path of glorification and sublime obedience, God bestows purification and radiance to your soul in this very world- indeed happy endings are for the truly devout. Whether to remain in obedience to God and receive the benefits of enduring blessings, or to disobey the Divine commands in search of fleeting pleasures that will only bring ultimate loss- that is the choice that every human has to make in life, reminds Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba).  

Read the Friday Sermon Below: 

Recall Death

For all of us, our journey on earth is limited. Sooner or later we will have to return to our Creator and present ourselves before Him. Those who fear Allah the most have only one wish, which is, to stay in His obedience - the obedience of Allah - throughout their lives. This, in order to prevent them from dying while they were in disobedience of Allah because the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Every slave will be resurrected in the state upon which he died” (Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) here speaks of our state when we die either as a disbeliever or as a believer. Each individual must therefore seek by all means to hold firm to his faith, the true faith (i.e. Islam), throughout his life on earth so that when he dies, despite that his family may be crying over losing a loved one, but the person (now dead), will be happy to join his Creator. For this, he must:

(1) Believe in the word of Allah and Muhammad (pbuh).

It is so easy for us to believe in the words of people like us. If we are told that tomorrow there will be an increase in the price of fuel, how many of us will rush today itself to the gas stations to refuel?

In the fourth chapter of the Holy Quran, Allah says: “Allah! There is no god but He: He will surely gather you together on the Day of Judgment, about which there is no doubt. And whose word can be truer than Allah’s?” (An-Nisa, 4: 88)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

'No Compulsion in Religion', says Qur'an

Islam's normative injunctions are all designed to foster freedom and justice and to promote a just social order. Its moral universe is informed by the Living Presence of Allah (swt), to whom people are responsible individually and collectively as a group- sect, religion, tribe, clan, nation, community, etc. - and are bound to account for their acts and omissions on the Day of Judgement. Several verses in the Qur'an affirms the inherent freedom of choice in people: "Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. So can you (Prophet) compel people to believe? It is not for a soul to believe , save by God's Leave" (10: 99-100). 'Say, Now the truth has come from you Lord: let those who wish to believe in it do so, and let those those who wish to reject it do so' (18: 30).

Life in Arabia during the Holy Prophet's time also produced within its varied contingencies complex questions of freedom of choice in faith matters. Some of the Muslim parents had a dilemma: whether to force their children to join the then nascent Muslim community; or to respect the children's choice of joining their foster- parents' clan (Jewish tribe- Banu Nadir that was leaving from Madinah and some also wishing to join Christian merchants going to Syria). It might seem astonishing to some; but the Qur'anic verse-"There is no compulsion in religion" (2: 257) was  originally revealed to ensure the freedom of choice of the people who wished to leave Islam against the wishes of their Muslim families!

Even as Islam commands freedom of conscience and respects the right of people to make choices, it also allows resistance to oppression and injustice and to wage wars in self-defence in compelling political circumstances. What is not required or unjustified in general conditions of life, may gain validity of law and practice in exceptional circumstances. Necessity, proportionality, fairness and even-handed dealings are central to Islamic ethics, and the 'text' of moral injunctions need to be seen in the 'context' of the evolving circumstances of the Muslim life. Muslim Ulema who celebrate the 'cult of sword' in the name of Jihad/preaching of Islam are grossly misguided in reading the text without knowing its context. Their ill-considered views are detrimental to the fair name and legacy of Islam as a religion that appeals to human conscience and secular reasoning in equal measure. In his first Friday Sermon of the New Year- on 5th January 2018, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) expounds profoundly on freedom of choice from a Qur'anic perspective and corrects the doctrinal mistakes of the Muslim Ulema on this vital question.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

'Terror' is Not 'Jihad'


In this modern day and age, when the world has become considerably smaller because of the technological advancement of the various forms of media, a word has arisen clouded with doubt, distortion and mysticism from the East to the West, before finally gaining international attention. This word is Jihad”, or as it is better known in the West, ‘Holy War’. 

The actual root of the Arabic word Jihad’ is ‘Jahd’ which signifies endurance or rigorous conditions. Thus, in essence Jihad means to strive to the utmost for the achievement of a purpose and to leave nothing undone in its pursuance. Its Islamic conception is first introduced in the following verse of the Quran.

Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them. (22: 40).

This verse throws a flood of light on what the Islamic concept of Jihad actually purports and it clearly shows that Jihad is fighting in defence of Truth. But whereas Islam, like I have told you before, allows no aggressive war, it regards the waging of it to defend one’s honour, country or faith as an act of the highest virtue. According to Islam, man is God’s noblest handiwork. He is the cause of His creation, its aim and end. Therefore, it is only natural that the religion which has raised man to such a high pedestal should also have attached very great importance and sanctity to honour life. Of all things, man’s life, according to the Quran is most sacred and inviolable. It is a sacrilege to take it except under rare circumstances which the Quran has specifically mentioned in the following verses:

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Women's Rights; Men's Duties

"Womenfolk in Islam”

History is silent as to whether there was any distinction in status between the male and the female sexes during the beginnings of human civilization. In later days no doubt the female sex was regarded as inferior to the male and the idea of inferiority developed to such an extent that the male sex not only claimed a complete superiority over the female sex, but further arrogated to himself the right to utilise and employ the female sex as he liked.

Surveying the history of the world on this point we find that in pre-Christian Europe and Greece, which was the centre of light and learning for a long time and which provided philosophical and scientific inspiration to the Europe of later days, regarded woman as something definitely inferior to man. She was a subservient creature who had come into existence solely for the purpose of breeding citizens for the state and soldiers for the army. Their opinion of women was that these creatures were deprived of any good and was instead the sources of many evils. Such degrading conceptions led to a moral degeneration which ultimately ruined the Greek society. The names of virtuous women scarcely appear in Greek history.

In pre-lslamic Arabia, the general conception of womanhood was of such a degraded type that her very existence was considered ignominious for the family. Female infanticide was consequently practiced on a wide scale. Those women who, however, escaped early death were allowed to live only on sufferance. For, an Arab woman had no rights; she could not inherit property; her person formed part of the inheritance which came to the heir of her husband, and he was entitled to marry her against her will. Hence, there sprung up the impious marriages of their sons with their stepmothers and others of an even worse character. Polygamy was universal and quite unrestricted; equally so was divorce at least as far as man was concerned.

Prophet Muhammad (sa) on Women's Rights

Such was the condition of the female sex in the world when the Holy Prophet of Islam, the Perfect Man, Muhammad (pbuh) the Saviour of womanhood, stood up in Arabia and, through the Divine Revelation of the Lord of the Universe Who created both the male and the female and Who loves them equally, preached to the world that females were just like males and that they have equal rights, equal honour and an equal status in life.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

'Love One Another & Live in Harmony'

Islam & the Unity of Mankind

The Holy Messenger and transmitter of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and all his divinely-sent deputies in his Ummah till the Day of Judgement have the sacred duty to guide humanity as a whole towards Tawheed, i.e. Unity of Allah (Almighty God) and for that, human brotherhood is vital. If the body of the Ummah (i.e. the Muhammadan Ummah); nay, not only that, if the human body as a whole is divided, then that division will always cause fissures in faith and shall not be produce the excellent reunification of all souls on earth for the worship of one sole God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the very Source of all life.

Human brotherhood in Islam is that which sees to it that Islam is not biased in base sectarianism, pre-judicial superiority or wilfully divisive. It should crystal-clear that semantically Islam means peace. Islam connotes surrender to the Will of Almighty Allah, peace with the Almighty, peace with one’s self, peace with other’s self, peace with humanity at large.

There exists presently a deliberately machiavelic distortion of the true and holy significance of Islam. It results from second or third rate if not hearsay knowledge and it stems also from wrongdoings committed in the name of Islam. Western ideology has purposely fabricated its own image of Islam and is diffusing that image worldwide, thus creating a psychosis (a disrupted and deep fear) about Islam and Muslims. This perverted image of Islam has unfortunately been corroborated by ‘extremists’; term coined by the same western prejudice to tarnish the sound image of Islam.

Our world today forgoes peace because it is obsessed with superiority complex, ethnic manipulations, materialistic quest, pantheism, territorial claims, and egoistic tendencies.

Humanistic Teachings 

Islam teaches us to practice humanitarianism. We are all human beings who belong to only one class and one group. We belong essentially to the family of human beings without any discrimination whatsoever. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

What it means to be a 'Muslim' ?

What Is Islam?

Like I explained last Friday, the word ‘ISLAM’ comes from the Arabic root “silm” which means ‘peace’. But as far as people in the different countries who have accepted Islam wholeheartedly are concerned, as they are not well versed in the Arabic language, they may not fully comprehend the exact extent and the exact denotation of Islam. So I have been thinking that today in my sermon I shall continue on my explanation on what is Islam?

My dear brothers and sisters, Islam is what makes the heart pump and which reinvigorates both the body and soul of the human race, and every creature which is found in the heavens and earth. The beautiful panorama of the heavens and the earth which we see around us carries in its bosom the testimony that it is the creation of a Great Creator. 

The Universe' Set Pattern

The existence of order and design in the universe which modern science, through intense researches, has come to teach us leads us to believing in the existence of a Supreme power and a Supreme Intelligence who is responsible for this complex but orderly design, such a Supreme Being Who brought it into existence and supplied with it all that is needed for its life and growth. New researches have also enabled the discoveries of new galaxies which are sisters to our galaxy, such discoveries which enrich all the more the knowledge of science in respect to the grandeur of Allah and His vast power. Thus, we find that even modern science through its innumerable researches have come to prove the words of Allah, as established in the Holy Scriptures – especially the last Law, the Holy Quran – as true.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Divine Guidance and Free Will

Alhamdulillah Summa Alhamdulillah, Allah (twt) has given me this opportunity to continue the subject matter of last week’s Sermon on the need of the advent of a prophet of God, and the reality of the miracles and faith which are joined together for the realization of the designs of Allah.

Indeed God Almighty talked in the past, is talking even today to His humble servants and messengers. It is unbelievable that a Merciful and Loving God would remain unmoved at the sight of mankind floundering in error and worldliness and yet He would take no measures for their guidance and direction. So my dear brothers and sisters, if there is a God, He cannot permit this!

If He feels for His servants in their trials and yet makes no provision, we must conclude either that He has no power to guide mankind to the truth, or that to attain communion with God is not the object of man’s existence, and that man was created merely to eat, drink, and to lead a purely worldly and animal existence. But each of the alternatives previously mentioned is insupportable.

To imagine that He who created the universe has no power to provide means for the spiritual guidance of mankind is absurd. The Creator of the whole must have power to create a part. If we admit the existence of a Creator, we must admit that He has absolute power and that nothing is impossible unto him, and He can accomplish everything except whatever is incompatible with His holiness and perfection, nor can we imagine that man has been created merely for the purpose of a worldly existence for, in that case, we would be compelled to admit that an All-Wise and All-Knowing Creator has brought this huge universe into being to no purpose.