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June
29
2008
Islamic Creed- Creed and Quran Inimitability- Lesson (35-36): Constituents of Divine Assignment- Faith-related matters -2- Facts of The Faith- Tafakkur (Pondering over Creations) is an Act of Worship
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

The willingly and unwillingly acts in man's life:

 Dear brothers, this is lesson No. 35 of the series Aqeedah and Inimitability of the Quran. We are still tackling topics related to faith. The first fact is that man does deeds willingly by his free choice, but there are other systems in his body which work involuntary, like his heart beats, his breathing while he is asleep and other involuntary systems. Because of Allah's Mercy and Wisdom, He disburdens man from thousands of functions inside his body like the digestion process and other uncountable digesting, breathing and chemical functions which work involuntarily.

 All you have to do is to eat and that is it, then this food moves from one organ to another inside your body. After it goes to the stomach, it moves to the duodenum (small intestine), where the gallbladder contracts and discharge its bile into it, then the liver does its function and so forth. Allah the Almighty saved man all this trouble, and had He made you do these functions voluntarily, you would have spent 4 to 5 hours digesting your food after each meal. Also, had Allah made your heart beat voluntarily function, you would have never slept, because the minute you do, you will die, and had Allah made the respiratory system works voluntarily, you would have never put up with that. Uncountable functions in the body are done involuntarily like breathing, the heart beats and digesting, and Allah saved you that burden. On the other hand, Allah also gives you the free will to do deeds you choose yourself.

Man's actions are motivated by a vision, accompanied with tendency and love:

  The question now is, why do you choose to do certain actions, such as visiting someone, inviting him to your house, travelling to a particular country, getting married to this young woman, saying something which contradicts the reality? Our actions are done willingly, but what is the motivation of these actions? They are motivated by a vision, so why do you think the thief steals? He steals because according to his vision, he will have effortless hefty money, and he assumes that he is cleverer than all those around him, but he forgets about the fact that he will be punished for his crime when he is arrested by the police. Hence, every action is preceded by a vision and tendencies, which are related to one another. Your success lies in having the right vision. What does whoever deceives Muslims consider his deception? He considers putting a false brand mark, such as "Made in France", on his commodities and deceiving his customers making them believe that this commodity is made in such and such country, while they are made from the worst fabrics, , an intelligent job that will bring him a lot of money.

  Believe me dear brothers, every move, every stance, every word, every smile, every long face, every loud voice or every affection from your side is preceded by a vision which is motivated by tendencies and fondness. This is the first fact.

The foremost Divine Bestowal is the right insight:

  Who is the believer? He is the one whose vision is right, and by the way the utmost Divine Grace is the right vision. The usurer does not have such a vision, for he considers lending 1 million and receives them after a period of time as 1 million and 200.000 profits, but Allah says:

﴾Allah will destroy Riba (usury)﴿

[Al-Baqarah, 276]

  Allah's Means of disciplining His servants are endless. For instance, He waits for you to collect a lot of unlawful money, but out of sudden He destroys them on fire accident. Also, He waits for your wealth to be collected from unlawful recourses, then He gets them seized for a mistake you heedlessly commit. You should know that you are in the hand of Allah in every second of your life. Thus, the success of the believer, as I see it, is manifested in the right vision he has. Due to this right vision, he is not taken aback by surprises, he has no disasters, and he never does an action that causes his demise, because he realizes that all goodness lies in obeying Allah.

((Adhere to righteousness even though you will not be able to do all acts of virtue.))

[Ibn Majah, by Thawban]

 The believer believes that his safety lies in obeying Allah's Orders, his happiness lies in offering good deeds and his children's prosperous future lies in raising them properly,, for his vision is right. Accordingly dear brothers, when you come to one of Allah's houses (Masajid) to seek religious knowledge, you should know that you are doing a great deed which is called in economics investment, but your investment is of another kind. In fact, you invest your time in the Masjid for the purpose of knowing the truth in order to make all your actions, on the following day, accord with what you hear in that religious session.

 The majority of people walk willingly to their demise, because of a wrong vision they have. Man sometimes has thoughts that deviate him from the Method of Allah, and concerning this point let me tell you that the most foolish man on earth is the one who does not care about Allah's Orders, Prohibitions, Rewards and Punishment. Simply because he overlooks the Absolute Power (i.e. Allah) in Whose hand is everything including the universe. Moreover, he misleads himself by assuming that he is strong enough to take what does not belong to him, but the Divine severe Punishment is awaiting him. Therefore, when you insist on attending a religious session in which you learn the rulings of this great religion, you should know that you are guaranteeing, by this move, your own safety and happiness in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.

Ignorance is the reason behind man's deviation from Allah's Method:

  I can tell you about thousands of devastating problems the main reason of which is ignorance. The first Khutbah I delivered in this Masjid was in 1974, and I after I finished it, a man in his fifties came to me in the yard of the Masjid and wept in front of me. Upon asking him about the reason, he told me that his wife is cheating on him, I asked, "With who?" He answered, "With my neighbor", then I asked again, "How was your neighbor introduced to your wife?" He answered me, "He once paid me a visit, and I thought to myself that she should not stay alone in her room, so I invited her to sit with us. Apparently, he liked her and he was friendly with her in my absence when she once opened the door for him. Since that day the problem started." I said to him, "If you had attended one religious session to learn Shari'ah rulings, you would have known that it is forbidden in the first place to invite her to sit with you both." There are so many stories about the same problem. I believe that all calamities on earth since Adam till the Day of Judgment, have been caused by deviating from the Right Path of Allah, which in its turn is caused by ignorance, the fiercest enemy of man. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the main cause of the destiny of the people of Hellfire is their ignorance:

﴾And they will say: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!"﴿

[Al-Mulk, 10]

 Actions are always preceded by visions, and when you attend a religious session, your vision becomes right; you will be able to see the truth as truth and falsehood as falsehood, and you will realize that the Method of Allah is the best path to follow in order to gain safety and happiness. Due to Allah's Favor and Generosity, He helped us (as human beings), but how? Allah endeared faith to us and beautified it in our hearts and made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him) hateful to us.

 When man offers a good deed, he is at ease, and he radiates and rejoices, but when he commits a sin, he becomes instable, so where does that come from? It comes from Fitrah (an inborn natural predisposition which cannot change, and which exists at birth in all human beings. It is inclined towards right action and submission to Allah, the One Deity)which accords with Allah's Method. Thus, you are Divinely programmed to love whatever Allah orders you to do, and to hate whatever you are Divinely forbidden to do. In a Dutch hotel they hanged the following note over every bed, "If you could not sleep tonight, you should know that it is not due to our mattresses, for they are comfortable, but it is due to your so many sins".

The most miserable man is whose deeds are offered by doing harm to others:

  No matter how corrupted man is, he will be distressed upon disobeying Allah. Therefore, those, who build their career on hurting people, despoiling their money and terrifying them, are the most miserable people at their homes, because they become unstable due to their Fitrah because of which they realize that what they do is wrong. The self-reproaching which comes from Fitrah is very accurate.

 A brother told me that while a man was driving a car in a heedless speed about 2 o'clock after midnight in Beirut, he ran over a child. He could escape the punishment for his crime as none saw him, and the case was closed. However, the driver could not sleep for 40 nights thinking about his crime, so he visited a psychiatrist who advised him to pay the blood money to the family of the child in order to be able to sleep. The compunction is very strong in man because Allah says:

﴾But Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger) hateful to you. ﴿

[Al-Hujuraat, 7]

When vision is right, Aqeedah will be right and vice versa:

  Dear brothers, we are in dire need of rectifying our insight vision, because when we own the right vision, all our actions will become right, but when we have corrupted vision, all our actions will become corrupted, and rectifying our vision should be done in the light of the Quran and Sunnah. Allah says:

﴾And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).﴿

[Al-Ahzab, 71]

 The question is now, do you believe that obeying Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him, is a great achievement? Suppose that you are offered a bargain by which you can have hefty profits, but it consists of unlawful commodities or goods which might involve in corrupting the entire society, so when you kick this bargain and leave its profits, it means that your vision is right and it accords with Allah's Method, but if you see a fat opportunity in this bargain, and you justify your greed by saying, "Allah is full of kindness, and He is the Most Merciful towards mankind", or by saying, "Well, this is of umum al-balwa (unlawful widespread situation affecting most people and is difficult to avoid)", given man tends always to justify and philosophize his sins in a way Allah does not accept. If you insist on accepting such an unlawful bargain, you will fall in tremendous remorse upon receiving the Divine Punishment. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((If anyone loves for Allah's Sake, hates for Allah's Sake, gives for Allah's Sake and withholds for Allah's Sake, he will have perfect faith.))

[Abu Dawood, by Abi Umamah]

Your love should accord with Allah's Method.

Loving for the Sake of Allah manifests Tawheed:

  You should know that there is love for someone besides the love for Allah, and there is love for someone for the Sake of Allah, and the latter is a clear manifestation of Tawheed, whereas the former is a clear manifestation of Shirk. Loving for the sake of Allah is to love the Prophet, peace be upon him, to love his companions, to love their followers, to love the sincere scholars, to love the pious religious knowledgeable men and to love your family:

((Praise be to Allah who bestowed upon me the fondness for Aishah))

[Mentioned in the relic]

 Loving your wife is derived from the love for the Sake of Allah which accords with the Divine Method, because this wife is the Divine Honoring you got, and she is the one whom you are Divinely ordered to honor.

((Treat women in an honourable manner. By Allah, none but a noble man treats women in an honourable manner, and none but an ignorant man treats women disgracefully. They defeat the noble man, but they are defeated by the ignorant one, and I would rather be a defeated noble man than a defeating ignorant one.))

[Mentioned in the relic]

Whoever loves for Allah's Sake acts upon the Quran:

  Dear brothers, he, who loves, hates, gives, prevents, strengthens ties and breaks ties only for the Sake of Allah, namely, his standards and vision accord with the standards of the Quran, is on the Right Path. When two kinds of loves contradict one another, what should you do? Usually man follows the more effective love. For example a self-reliant young man, whose father is poor, will do his best to occupy high position leaving behind many things he loves such as having fun at nights with his friends. Accordingly, this young man managed to study at schools and university, and all his hopes are pinned on acquiring a high scientific degree which enables him to have a very high position and have a respectful income. As a result, he will have the chance to get married, to buy a house and to enjoy an exalted social standing. This is his ultimate love, which is to have a prosperous future, to be highly educated, to be well-known, to have a respectful income, a luxury house, a beautiful car parked in front of his house and a social standing and to meet his needs. This young man loves socializing with his friends, going for picnics and eating tasty food, but since his first love is greater, he will decline thousands of invitations and joyful stuff. Thus, his craving for a bright future, is greater than the temporary pleasures which will leave no effect after they are over.

 Let me give you another example about favoring things.
  Sleeping is endeared to man, but the love for Allah in the believer's heart is greater. Thus, he wakes up sometimes at 3:30 AM in summer, though he might sleep at 1 AM after midnight, because his love for Allah makes him wake up though he sleeps only two hours and a half.

  One more example about the things man loves is money. Someone's income may be little, but because of his love for Allah, he pays Sadagah from it regardless of the fact that he loves money, and he is in dire need of the amount spent on Sadaqah. The believer loves money just like any other human being, but his love for Allah is greater than their love for money, so he pays Sadaqah. In brief, if the believer's love for something contradicts his love for another, he strives for achieving what he loves most, and what he loves most is Allah, and this is the meaning of the following Ayah:

﴾But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.﴿

[An-Nazi'aat, 40-41]

 There is lust, and there is compliance to the Commands of Allah. Allah says:

﴾But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts.﴿

[Al-Qasas, 50]

﴾And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah? ﴿

[Al-Qasas, 50]

The necessity of having faith in man's life:

  Dear brothers, why faith is very important? A man from the common people has no health problem when he is young, he has a successful business and he has a hefty income. Therefore, he thinks that there is no need to be religious, and that all he needs is to rejoice what he has, to relax, to have parties and to travel. Thus, he offers his prayers improperly, and he hardly makes (Adhkar) invocations. Also, he enjoys life as he wishes, so he has no problem with sitting in a restaurant where wine is served and where women are half-naked, because he loves to enjoy life, and due to his poor religious knowledge, he thinks that there is no need of religion. This misunderstanding is resulted from his ignorance of the fact that Allah might make his life a living Hell whenever He wishes.

 As you know a clot that is as small as the tip of a pin might block one of his brain vessels and makes him paralyzed, blind or amnesic. Hence, man is in the Hand of Allah. The healthy coronary artery is the reason of man's zeal, but if it is narrowed, he will be put under the knife in an open heart surgery in order to implant a new one, and he will be lost in this big maze. When man feels any tumor in his body, he becomes sleepless thinking that it could be cancer which may cause his death. Actually, man is deluded when he thinks that he can dispense with Allah, forgetting about the fact that he is in the Hand of Allah at any moment, and so Allah might afflict him in thousands ways starting with his health, his work, his home, his wife and his children and ending with the street where he might be in a traffic accident which is enough to make any young man's life a living Hell as he might become paralyzed though he is only 26 years old.

 Life is paved with perils from far and wide, and he, who thinks that he does not need religion, is deluded. In fact, this is how the majority of people think, for most of them do not have anything Haram (forbidden), so it is fine for them to attend a party where sins are committed and where women are dressed indecently.. Most people say, "Well this is normal, and there is nothing wrong with it" whenever they commit a sin. What is the meaning of "This is normal"? Does it mean that it is permissible? This phrase is nowadays said to whatever man does, and this shocks me. Does this phrase mean that it is fine for your wife to expose her beauty in the street? Does it mean you are excused from applying Shari'ah? What does "This is normal" mean? Unfortunately, the majority of people say it. Allah says:

﴾He it is Who enables you to travel through land and sea, till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him Alone, saying: "If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful.﴿

[Yunus, 22]

Whoever recognizes Allah in his prosperity will be recognized by Allah in his adversity:

  A friend once said to me that he used to be a steward, and on one of the flights, the plane entered a cloud of an electrical energy which caused damage to the front of the plane, so the plane started shaking and crashing was 99% in the best expectations. As a result, the passengers started slapping their faces, tearing up their cloths, wailing and leaving their seats till they confused the pilot who was very angry and need quietness in order to act upon the crisis. He asked the head of the stewards (my friend) to calm the passengers down, but my friend failed to do so, so the pilot asked him to find the calmest passenger among them and to ask him to calm them down. My friend found a passenger who was very calm, but when he approached him, he found him fainted (and this is why he was calm). Such crises are so hard on people, so man should always remember that he is in the Hand of Allah all the time.

 Most people in Turkey abandoned Salah, and you could hardly find 7 or 8 people offering Zuhr Salah in Masajid, but after an earthquake hit Turkey, the Masajid were overcrowded with people. It is really a big problem to get closer to Allah only in adversities and hardships. I wonder why some people resort to Salah and get to know Allah when they are in danger only. Success lies in knowing Allah while you have good health, and when you are young, strong and rich, not when you are in hardship. A friend of mine told me about a flight which was heading to Moscow and on which there were 5 Russian atheist experts. Oddly enough, when the plane was about to crash, all of them resorted to Allah in their crisis.

 Man knows Allah in hardship, but in order to let Allah help you in your hardship, you should know him in your prosperity. To be honest with you I admire and appreciate the young men who attend my sessions and sit in the first row. Those young men come to the Masjid to know Allah while they have good health, and all they seek is knowing Allah, following His Right Path and knowing His Method, and this is the true success. Hence, knowing Allah in your best shape is the success itself, for everyone intends to know Allah after he is afflicted with an intractable disease, and he starts repenting, offering Salah and reciting the Quran.

Whoever thinks that he can dispense without Allah will be forsaken by Allah:

  Dear brothers, the second point is that do not think that you can dispense with Allah. Unfortunately, people resort to Masajid in crowds only when they are in hardship, under pressure, in crisis and in troubles, when they have so many obstacles, when there are few job opportunities, when houses are very expensive and when marriage is almost on hold. Their calamities pushed them to the door of Allah. On the other hand, there are rich countries where people are paid very well, everything is available, they all have cars, gasoline is cheap, food is affordable and all their needs are met. In such countries, you can hardly find 6 or 7 people offering Salah in the Masjid, because most people think that they do not need Allah (since everything is available). However, the more you dispense with Allah, the farthest you become from Him. The proof is in the following Ayah:

﴾Nay! Verily, man does transgress all bounds (in disbelief and evil deed, etc.)* Because he considers himself self-sufficient.﴿

[Al-Alaq, 6-7]

 The heedless person transgresses all bounds and this happens when he dispenses with Allah.

Man's need to security and satisfaction pushes him to have faith:

  When does man resort to religion? Before giving you answer, you should know that religion meets your basic needs. Do you know what the utmost need of yours is? It is security (and this need is met by religion). The world is full of worries because of the high prices, economic stagnancy, poverty, economic blockade, the worries about a third world war, air raids and high prices of oil. Hence, the worries are endless, but when man believes in Allah, he is promised to be granted security:

﴾(So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know."* It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.﴿

[Al-An'am, 81-82]

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 You are in dire need of security. Allah says:

﴾Has fed them against hunger, and has made them safe from fear. ﴿

[Quraish, 4]

 The utmost punishment to a society is:

﴾And Allah puts forward the example of a township (Makkah), that dwelt secure and well content; its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the Favours of Allah (with ungratefulness). So Allah made it taste the extreme of hunger (famine) and fear, because of that (evil, i.e. denying Prophet Muhammad) which they (its people) used to do. ﴿

[An-Nahl, 22]

 The mother of all graces in the worldly life is satisfaction:

﴾has fed them against hunger, and has made them safe from fear. ﴿

[Quraish, 4]

﴾And Allah puts forward the example of a township (Makkah), that dwelt secure and well content; its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the Favours of Allah (with ungratefulness). So Allah made it taste the extreme of hunger (famine) and fear, because of that (evil, i.e. denying Prophet Muhammad) which they (its people) used to do. ﴿

[An-Nahl, 22]

  Therefore, your basic needs include security, contentment, wisdom, happiness and other endless needs, all of which are met by having faith.

Having faith is a scientific, ethical and aesthetical rank:

 Having faith makes you the big winner. Nevertheless, faith is a rank that needs to be strived for. For example, the doctor who has a PhD degree in Mathematics absolutely knows the result of 6 multiplies by 7, doesn't he? He knows it for sure, because having PhD in Mathematics means that he studied geometry, algebra, modern and traditional mathematics, equations and astronomy, and he studied hundreds of books till he got his PhD at the age of 33. Thus, having PhD is a scientific rank. Much in the same line, faith is a rank reached by the believer. Allah had never taken an ignorant Wali (pious person), and if He had done so He would have taught him.

 Faith is an ethical and aesthetical rank, and it is impossible for the believer to lie, betray, deceive, plot or wrong others, because he is upright. I repeat again, faith is an ethical, scientific and aesthetical rank with which the believer rejoices his own way, for all his selections are exalted, pure, faith-oriented and lofty.

 Some people rejoice things like playing backgammon in a café where songs are loud, women are dressed indecently passing by the tables and wine is served. Is this a proper place for rejoicing? One can go for a picnic to have some fun, but it should be in a far quite beautiful place where there is lovely nature scenery and where your children and family are before your eyes. This is the right rejoicing, for it is free of sins. Hence, the aesthetical part of faith is that the believer's selections in life are very exalted, whether in celebrating ceremonies or in grieves. Also, his selections include all his activities and relations, so he never backslides due to his exalted level of faith which touches the horizon by its loftiness. Accordingly, when you say "a believer", this means that he has acquired an ethical, a scientific and an aesthetical rank.

Faith is all about following the Path of Allah:

  Dear brothers, in order to be a believer you have to fulfill certain requirements. Keep in mind that it is not enough to believe that there is Allah, because believing in Allah requires acting upon His Orders, which keep you close to Him. As you know Kufr is not only disbelieving in Allah, but rather it is disbelieving in Him and turning away from Him (disobeying His Orders and Prohibition). Whoever believes in Allah but disobeys His Orders and Prohibitions is like the lazy student who believes in the existence of his teacher, who is big, who has loud voice and who explains things, asks questions and gets answers from his students, but he (the student) pays no attention to the lesson, as he attends school just because he is afraid of his father. Therefore, he spends the time drawing and doing meaningless matters instead of listening to his teacher, but does this student not believe that this is a teacher? Yes, he does, but his carelessness is like Kufr, and it is not in the sense denying Allah's Existence, but in the sense of ignoring His Method, His Orders, His Prohibitions, the acts of worship and avoiding knowing what is permissible and what is prohibited. The one who falls short in applying religion will eat whatever he likes, meet whoever he longs to and take whatever attracts his attention. Moreover, he has no boundaries, he is undisciplined and he is corrupted. Hence, the reality of faith is to abide by the Method of Allah.

Reason is given to recognize Allah and heart to distinguish the right and wrong:

  Dear brothers, one more thing concerning the point I am discussing is that the Almighty Allah describes the heart as the means of understanding making it looks like the heart of the soul more than being the heart of the body:

﴾ They have hearts wherewith they understand not ﴿

[Al-A'raf, 179]

 Allah decreed that the mind is like a calculator with which you can figure things out. Thus, the heart is your means to establish a connection with Allah, to exalt, to purify your soul and to excel, whereas the means of pondering is our reasoning. Allah bestows reasoning and the heart upon us, and while the former is our means to know Allah the latter is our means to know the right and the wrong. Furthermore, you know Allah by using your reasoning in pondering over the universe, and you know your errors by your Fitrah which is installed in your heart. Accordingly, when you err you become upset, low-spirited and uncomfortable. This means things are very clear to the believer in his heart, reasoning, visions, approaching and avoiding. Faith is the most precious fortune man can ever own, and it is a scientific, an ethical and aesthetical rank.

 Dear brothers, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no believer commit violence))

[Musnad Ahmad, by Ibn Az-Zubair]

 Faith is like a restraint which prevents you from falling in big troubles, and it is your own guard. Our Master, Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth. Knowledge guards you, while you have to guard the wealth. Wealth decreases by spending, while knowledge multiplies by spending, and the results of wealth die as wealth decays. O Kumayl, knowledge is belief which is acted upon. With it man acquires obedience during his life and a good name after his death. Knowledge is the ruler while wealth is ruled upon. O' Kumayl, those who amass wealth are dead even though they may be living while those endowed with knowledge will remain as long as the world lives. Their bodies are not available but their figures exist in the hearts."

 Dear brothers, do your best to have faith, which entails attending religious sessions, offering the acts of worship, reciting the Quran and remembering Allah. When faith thrives in the heart, it will guard you and motivates you to offer good deeds. In fact, the fruits of faith are uncountable, and it is an honor for someone to be described as a "believer".

Success and extremism:

  Dear brothers, I always say that man is but reasoning that is nourished by knowledge, and with which man comprehends things, a heart that is nourished by affection, and with which he loves and a body that is nourished by food and drink, and with which he moves. Verify success lies in meeting the needs of your reasoning, heart and body altogether, while extremism occurs when you meet the needs of one part and neglect the needs of the other two parts, given there is a big difference between success and extremism. Our religion has no extremism since it is a religion from Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Tafakkur (pondering over Allah's Signs) is an act of worship:

  No one till now knows the limits of this extensive universe. Not to mention, you can only see close to 10.000 stars only, while there are more than 3.000 billion galaxies, and each one of them has billions of stars, and all these stars and planets are moving according to a very accurate system.

 Dear brothers, in the next remaining few minutes, I would like to discuss a neglected act of worship, which is overlooked by the majority of Muslims. Let me start with this question, what did the Prophet, peace be upon him, do in Makkah for 13 years? I would like to read the Suwar which were revealed in Makkah:

﴾ And by the sun and its brightness* And by the moon as it follows it (the sun)* And by the day as it shows up (the sun's) brightness* And by the night as it conceals it (the sun)* And by the heaven and Him Who built it* And by the earth and Him Who spread it* And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion* Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him; ﴿

[Ash-Shams, 1-8]

﴾ By the dawn* By the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah)* And by the even and the odd (of all the creations of Allah)* And by the night when it departs* There is indeed in them (the above oaths) sufficient proofs for men of understanding (and that, they should avoid all kinds of sins and disbeliefs, etc.)! ﴿

[Al-Fajr, 1-5]

 If you read the Suwar which were revealed in Makkah, you will notice that they are full of Ayat which revolve about the universe, but do you know why? These Ayat urge the Muslims to perform pondering (Tafakkur) as an act of worship which is kept in the shade despite the fact that more than 1000 Ayat in thr Quran in which the universe is mentioned. Man eats, drinks and offers his acts of worship, but he overlooks this great universe.

The universe is the manifestation of Allah's Existence, Oneness and Perfection:

  How can you get acquainted with Allah? Allah says:

﴾ No vision can grasp Him, ﴿

[Al-An'am, 103]

 How can we know Allah, then? Allah made this great universe the manifestation of His Existence, His Oneness and His Perfection. Everything in the universe leads you to Allah, provided you believe in Him, lest nothing in the universe will be useful to you. There are space stations and big space agencies whose employees see the movement of the galaxies in colorful photos on daily basis. In other words, they are watching Allah's Miraculous Creation every day. Also, there are people who use the electron microscope, and they can see the cell and unimaginable other tiny things which you cannot see with your naked eye. However, they will not make use of these wonders as long as they do not believe.

 A simple man can see the greatness of Allah in a brook. A Bedouin Arab was asked, "With what did you know your lord?"He replied, "The water indicates the brook. The tracks indicate the direction of the journey, while the dung indicates a camel. So, heavens possessing of such towers, and the earth with such paths, and the sea with such waves – would that not indicate (the existence of) the All-Wise the All-Aware?" I repeatedly mention the topic of "Taffakur", and I hope you accustom yourselves after this meeting to ponder over the food you eat. Have you ever thought about the glass of milk you drink?

 The cow eats grass, and unlike the machine which emits smoke and has noise, it does that silently. The cow produces about 40 to 50 kilograms of milk every day, so that you can make yogurt, butter and cheese, and other dairy products which are incredible. Whenever the Prophet, peace be upon him, drank milk, he used to say:

((O Allah, give us more of it))

 The glass of milk you drink comes from the cow which is a silent factory. Every mammary cell in the cow's udder, which has a dome shape and which is surrounded with a thick nest of blood vessels, act as if it were rational, for it takes from these blood vessels whatever it needs of sugar, protein, metals and semi-metals in order to make milk out of these substances:

﴾ from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers. ﴿

[An-Nahl, 66]

 The excretion and the blood have uric acid in them which is a toxic and a harmful substance to the body, but the mammary cell takes only the useful substances from the blood and leaves the uric acid:

﴾ from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers. ﴿

[An-Nahl, 66]

Livestock is one of the signs which indicate Allah's Greatness:

  Read the following Ayah:

﴾And the cattle, He has created them for you﴿

[An-Nahl, 5]

 "For you" means just for mankind. A Dutch scientist embraced Islam because of the cow.
Imagine that the baby cow needs only 2 kilograms of milk every day, yet the cow is able to give us 60 kilograms of milk daily, which means that the extra amount is for mankind, needless to say that the milk is a full nutrition, whereas the dairy products are daily food to mankind. In every house there is cheese, yogurt or butter, and these products are made from milk:

﴾And the cattle, He has created them for you﴿

[An-Nahl, 5]

 The cattle, the milk and the dairy products are miracles subjugated to mankind. The cow udder has a dome shape, and it is surrounded with a thick nest of blood vessels. The mammary cell is connected with these vessels upward, and it gives the drops of milk downward. It takes its needs from the blood, turning it to drops of milk which are stored in the udder.

 No one knows till now the mechanism of the mammary cell, and how it is able to choose the basic substances of milk from the blood. There are a lot of substances in the blood like proteins, fat, carbohydrates, lipids, metals, semi-metals an vitamins, yet the cell is able to choose these substances from the secretion and the blood, and it turns them into pure milk palatable to the drinkers.

 The big udder of the cow has a surrounded cover of skin which is able to hold 40 kilograms of milk without being torn. Also, there are two vertically crossed walls inside the udder which divide it into 4 equal chambers (known as quarters), each of which ends with a nipple. If 4 brothers are partners in owning a cow, each one of them will be able to have equal amount of milk because of these separated chambers.

Reflecting on heavens and earth makes man see Allah's Greatness:

  Dear brothers, milk is a sign before your eyes, so are cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. Who created them? Pay attention to the following Ayah :

﴾And the cattle, He has created them for you﴿

[An-Nahl, 5]

 This means that the cattle are created especially for mankind, so when you eat, drink and praise Allah after you ponder over all these graces, your praising will have a deep meaning then. Get yourself used to ponder over what you eat, such as the bread you have, and over the drinks you have, such as the sweet drinkable water, the milk and the yogurt, for pondering over the creation of the heavens and the earth enables you to notice the Greatness of Allah. The proof is in the following Ayah:

﴾Then let man look at his food* That We pour forth water in abundance* And We split the earth in clefts* And We cause therein the grain to grow* And grapes and clover plants (i.e. green fodder for the cattle)* And olives and date-palms* And gardens, dense with many trees* And fruits and Abba (herbage, etc.)* (To be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle.﴿

[Abasa, 24-32]

Reflecting on Allah's Creations leads man to the Glorified Creator:

  Dear brothers, ponder over everything, over your food and over your vehicle which might be 3 tons, yet it can run on an ascending road though it might be full of passengers with their luggage. Did you give a thought about this fuel which makes this vehicle move forward despite all this weight? If you think about it, you will find out that five strong men will not be able to move this vehicle forward on an ascending road not even for one meter, but Allah has given us the grace of gasoline and has given it the power to move all shapes of vehicles. What a power this fuel has!!!

 You have enormous number of graces, so accustom yourself to ponder over them while you are eating, traveling and looking at the creations of Allah the Almighty so that you will be able to establish a connection with Him:

﴾ Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding* Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. ﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 22]

Translation  : Noura Al-Sharabi
Edited by      : Kawthar Hajj Saleh