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February
10
2008
Islamic Creed- Creed and Quran Inimitability- Lesson (23-36): The Constituents of the Divine Assignment – Lust -9- The Lust for Money -3- The concept of money in Islam -1
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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.

A short summery of the previous lecture:

 Dear brothers, this is the 23rd lesson in the series The Islamic Creed and Quran Inimitability. Last lesson we tackled the subject of lusts, and we started with the lust for money. Allah the Almighty says:

(Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world's life;)

(Aal-'Imran, 14)

1- Every lust can be fulfilled by a pure and lawful way:

 In the previous lectures I mentioned that every lust Allah the Almighty has created inside man has a pure way through which it can be fulfilled lawfully (according to the teachings of Islam), which means there is no deprivation in Islam.

2- Lusts have a neutral nature:

 Lusts are neutral; they can be a means to exalt man's status in the Sight of Allah the Almighty (when they are fulfilled lawfully), or they can lead man to the lowest level (to the Hellfire when they are fulfilled unlawfully).

3- Money is the backbone of life:

 Also, I mentioned last lesson that money is the backbone of the lifeblood, and man is deeply attached to it. Therefore, spending money (on charity) is considered among the greatest acts of worship through which man gets closer to Allah the Almighty. Also, money can be the cause for human safety and happiness in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Furthermore, it provides the believer with great power; it enables him to perform unlimited number of righteous deeds. Also, I told you that money can be gained legally or illegally.

4- Every common interest among people is Halal:

 Then I mentioned that whatever mutual benefit between the segments and individuals of the society is Halal (lawful and permissible) since it is a common benefit. On the other hand, whatever benefit based on causing harm to others is Haram (unlawful and forbidden). Let me repeat these comprehensive and conclusive words: when a benefit is based on doing harm to others, then the money earned by this benefit is Haram. Actually, one of the biggest causes of safety, happiness and success is to eat Halal food, i.e. the food you buy with Halal money (the money you earn in a lawful Islamic way). The most serious matter in your life is to earn money lawfully. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((O Saad keep your food pure and Halal and you will become of those whose prayers are answered))

[At-Targhib wa'T-Tarhib, by Ibn Abbas]

5- Acting upon Islam in your everyday life

 This discussion leads us to the point that Islam is not only practised in the Masjid (mosque), since the Masjid is a place where Muslims learn about Allah's Commandment through some Islamic lectures such as our lecture today. Also, in the Masjid you reap the reward of your acts of worship (i.e. the spiritual delight one feels at mosques). It is exactly like the case of the sale agent who comes to the company at 8 am for example in order to receive the instructions of the general manager, after that he goes to his work, sells the goods, then he comes back to the company with the money he gets, and finally he obtains his reward.

 It is absolutely wrong to think that Islam is limited to the prayers you perform or the Islamic lectures you attend in the Masjid.
 Bear in mind that the Islamic principles and values should be applied by the doctor in his clinic, by the engineer at his office, by the teacher in his class, by the grocer in his shop, by the farmer in his field, etc… Thus, you should act upon Islam at your work, not only in Masjid, because the latter is a place where the Muslim learns about Allah's Orders and Prohibitions, and reaps the rewards of performing the acts of worship. Consider the following saying by a scholar which emphasizes the importance of avoiding ill-gotten gains, "Leaving a Daniq (a type of currency) of Haram is better than 80 Hijah (performing Hajj for 80 times) after embracing Islam."

 Unfortunately, some Muslims have superficial understanding of Islam; they mistakenly think that Islam is limited to ritual acts of worship, which makes it meaningless. Although the total population of Muslims in the world is one billion and a half, they are worthless in the Sight of Allah the Almighty, while each one of the noble companions was equal to a 1000 men. Let me tell you the following story: While our master Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, may Allah be pleased with him, was fighting in a decisive and fierce battle, he needed urgent reinforcement, so he asked the Caliph Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, to send him 50.000 soldiers more as he only had 30.000 ones, while his enemy's army were about 300.000 soldiers. However, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, sent to him only one companion; Al-Qa'qa' Ibn Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, carrying a letter from the Caliph. Our master Khalid was quiet astonished, so he asked him, "Where are the soldiers I asked for to support me in the battle." Amr answered, "I am the reinforcement." Our master Khalid was stunned, so he said, "Only you?!" Then he opened the letter in which the Caliph wrote, "By Allah Who sent His Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, with the truth, an army with the ranks of those like Al-Q'aqa' will never be forsaken by Allah." Indeed, they defeated their enemy.

 Unlike the noble companions, there are too many millions of Muslims in the world, but they are worthless. An Islamic country has an estimated population of 250 million people, nevertheless, they are worthless in the Sight of Allah the Almighty. Also, some Muslim countries are among the richest ones in terms of natural resources, but they are controlled by other powerful countries, they have local disputes and poverty prevails in them. In brief, we are oppressed, but do you know why? The answer to this question is mentioned in the following Noble Hadith in which the Prophet, peace be upon him said:

((O Saad keep your food pure and halaal and you will become of those whose prayers are answered))

[At-Targhib wa'T-Tarhib]

 During this nice meeting, I would like to focus on the most critical point in Islam; to earn money by Halal way and Halal job. Only then, your Dua'a will be answered.

 Dear brothers, there are many touching stories which show how Allah the Almighty grants success to the one who adheres firmly to His Orders and earns money lawfully. Of course there is no time to mention all these stories, but let me mention some of them. One of my brothers in faith, who is not an Islamic scholar or a religious man but rather an ordinary Muslim, asked his boss to give him a six-day leave, the latter was well known for being a high-strung person, so he refused that, but that man told his boss that he had spent that six-day leave when he had left his office every day for some minutes in order to perform Az-Zuhr prayer (the midday prayer) at a Masjid next to his office. After a month, he made some calculations and found that the time he had spent during this month out of his office was equal to six days, so he asked his boss to take off six-day paid leave out of his salary, in order to be quite sure that his salary would be pure and Halal. That boss got extremely astonished at his employee's behavior and asked him about that Masjid. It was called At-Tawosieah Masjid where I deliver a daily Islamic lecture. The manager was so heedless of Allah that he had never thought of entering a Masjid in his life before! However, after that incident, he started to attend my lectures at that Masjid. So what was the cause of that change? It was the uprightness and the religious commitment of that employee.

 Dear brothers, remaining steadfast upon the Path of Allah makes great Muslims.
  Let me tell you another story: The father of one of my brothers in faith traveled to Germany to attain a training course. He came up with brilliant ideas, and proposed making some changes in engines. After that, he was asked to visit another manufacturing house. His company gave him a compensatory time off for travel, to cover the travelling costs, so he traveled, stayed at a hotel and spent money on his basic needs (food and drinks), but he saved twice as much as what he had spent during his travel, so he gave back the rest to the company's general manager. The manager was quite astonished and told him that he had never heard of someone who got compensation for days off work then paid back the rest, but that man said, "It is you who has the right to take it, not me."

6- We do not practice Islam in our everday life:

 The Muslim who deserves to be granted Allah's Victory is the one who adheres firmly to Allah's Commandments, even if he does not have an outer Islamic appearance; even if he does not wear Islamic distinctive clothes (such as turban and robe). Unfortunately, when we consider the situation of most Muslims these days, we find that they think Islam is limited to ritual acts of worship such as the five prayers, so they do not act upon Islam in their everyday life, they extort each other's money, cheat one another, sell unlawful product, hide the defect of the goods while selling, and do many others sins related to buying and selling. Thus, their daily behavior does not show that they are real Muslims who firmly believe in the Hereafter, in the Day of Resurrection and Reckoning.

 I'd like to dedicate many lectures to talk about the subject of money, in order to define the Muslims' basic problem; Muslims mistakenly think that Islam is only applied in Masjid, while one should follow the teachings of Islam in his daily life. For example, the farmer should never add carcinogenic growth hormone which makes fruits bigger and better in order to increase his profits. This substance is carcinogenic is one of the universally banned and prohibited items which are not imported, but rather it is brought secretly. All the acts of worship performed by the farmer who uses such carcinogenic hormones are worthless in the Sight of Allah the Almighty.

 Also, in some food factories, carcinogen substances are added in order to give the products a light color and to increase the prices, so the owner pay no attention to Muslims' health, since his only interest is to make enormous profit. Surprisingly, the factory owner may pray in the first row of the congregational prayer, he may attend some Islamic lectures and may show deep admiration for the Islamic scholars. Do you think that admiring the religious lectures can make you any good before Allah the Almighty? Definitely, it cannot. I heard about a video shop owner who sells pornographic discs, but he always prays Az-Zuhr prayer (the midday prayer) in the Masjid! He is responsible for spreading moral corruption among the young people who watch such videos, and for destroying their families.

 Dear brothers, thinking that Islam is only related to performing acts of worship is a big mistake. You may ask yourself, "Why has Allah the Almighty abandoned us?" It is because we neglected Allah's Commands, and so we become worthless in His Sight. We mistakenly think that applying Islam is limited to offering the five prayers. Undoubtedly, Salah is the main pillar of Islam, but it should be based on adhering firmly to Allah's Command (so that it will prevent us from great sins and evil deeds). Allah the Almighty says:

(Recite (O Muhammad PBUH) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Quran), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.].)

(Al-Ankabut, 45)

 Do not think that Islam is limited to ritual acts of worship such as performing Hajj. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((As soon as a pilgrim sets out for Hajj with a provision which is unlawfully gained, and puts his foot in the stirrup (rides his mount) and calls out: 'O Allah! Here I am in response to Your call,' an announcer from the heavens above answers him back, saying: 'Your call is not accepted; nor are you welcome; your food is unlawful; your provisions are unlawful; and your pilgrimage is not free of sin and is unacceptable.))

[Mentioned in the tradition]

 Do not have superficial understanding of Islam; do not think that Islam is only about some rituals acts of worship, motions, and words repeated by the tongue. The reality (of Islam) is quite the contrary; it is to adhere to what Allah the Almighty ordered and to abstain from what He prohibited. Applying Islam can be manifested in dealing with other people (treating them humanly and kindly). One of my brothers in faith, who is mechanic, told me that before he repented to Allah the Almighty, he used to deceive others. Whenever he found a cut-off wire inside the engine of the car, he used to weld its two edges in no more than one second, then he demanded 5000 Liras fee for wrapping the engine. Then when the owner of that car came and found that the engine was fixed, he believed him and gave him that fee. However, when that mechanic reconciled with Allah the Almighty and repented to Him, whenever he welded a cut-off wire inside an engine, he only asked for 25 liras!

 Unless others get fairly surprised at your steadfastness, you are not considered a real believer. Unfortunately, some Muslims carelessly earn unlawful money, cheat others, conceal defects from the buyers, deceive them, and commit many other sins related to business transactions (buying and selling) which are widespread among Muslims. Nevertheless, they think they are righteous Muslims since they perform many acts of worship. For example, one of them may have offered many prayers and may have performed too many Umrahs ( Umrah is a pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Hajj). Even if one performs one million Umrahs, performs Hajj every year, or offers 100 Raka'ah in Salah every day, unless he adheres strictly to Allah's Commands, these ritual acts of worship will not benefit him.

 I'm trying to focus on Muslims' major problem; they do not act upon Islam in their everyday life. Each Muslim should apply Islam in his house; he should not turn a blind eye to the sins committed by his family, and he should advise his daughter not to wear indecently since he is the one who is responsible for her, who takes care of her, and who spends on her. Also, he should ask himself whether his wife befriends pious or bad neighbors, whether his work is lawful or not or whether he sells anything prohibited in Islam driven by the high demand for it. Thinking that Islam is limited to ritual acts of worship, not to the ways of dealing with others is a big mistake, and the one who thinks so has no comprehensive understanding of Islam. Let me repeat the saying I mentioned earlier, "Leaving a Daniq (a type of currency) of Haram is better than 80 Hijah (performing Hajj for 80 times) after embracing Islam."

 I'd like to affirm that when you adhere firmly to Allah's Commands, He will accept you as one of His pious worshipper no matter what your outer appearance is, i.e. whether you wear Islamic distinctive clothes or normal ones. Thus, the decisive criterion here is remaining steadfast on Allah's Path, otherwise one will never reap the fruits of the acts of worship because it is easy enough to have an Islamic outer appearance (to wear turban and robe, to grow bread, etc…). The main thing is to adhere to Allah's Order.

 I heard about an owner of a mixed swimming pool (where men and women swim together wearing swimsuits), is there a greater sin than this? Oddly enough, that person hold a ceremony in that place and invited many Islamic scholars in order to celebrate the birth of the Prophet, peace be upon him! This situation is a sign of Muslims' grave problem. On the Day of Resurrection, one will be asked two questions about his wealth; how did he earn it, and how did he spend it. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((O Sa'ad keep your food pure and Halal and you will become of those whose prayers are answered))

[At-Targhib wa'T-Tarhib]

 Once, I met the father of a friend of mine on the Eid (Muslims festival) who was 96 years old, yet he enjoyed good health. He sat down beside me and told me that he got blood and urine tests the day before, and all the results were normal. He said, "I swear to Allah that I have never eaten a Qirsh (smallest amount of currency) which is Haram in my life, and I have never committed something prohibited (in relation with women) either." It is said, "Whoever maintains piety throughout his life will enjoy good health."

7- Dear young people do not worry about your sustenance:

 Dear brothers, let me address the young people in particular: do not be anxious about anything in your life, and keep in mind that Allah is always with us, and Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, has power and control over all things. Therefore, do not feel hopeless because of bad situations, pressure of life, restrictions, low earnings, and rare job opportunities. Allah the Almighty says in His Noble Book:

(Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision).)

(An-Nahl, 97)

 Consider the following Noble Hadith in which Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, grants His worshippers a right on Him. the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(("O Mu'adh! Do you know what Allah's Right on His servants is, and what the right of His servants on Him is?" I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better." He said, "Allah's Right on His servants is that they should worship Him (Alone) and should not worship any besides Him. And servants' right on Allah is that He should not punish him who worships none besides Him."))

[Agreed upon]

 When your heart is full of deep faith, you will not experience emotional pain, sorrow, despair, or frustration, since you firmly believe that all your matters are under the Control of Allah the Almighty Alone; He will never let others have control over you. Allah the Almighty says:

(And to Him return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him (O Muhammad PBUH) and put your trust in Him.)

(Hud, 123)

 It was reported in the Noble Hadith that the Prophet, peace be upon him:

((The breeze of Paradise is in the youth.))

 Hence, fear Allah the Almighty, and He will make for you a way out from every difficult situation, and grant you sustenance from sources you never expect. Allah the Almighty says:

(And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty)* And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.)

(At-Talaq, 2-3)

 I swear by Allah, Who is the only Divine Deity, when one ponders over the above mentioned Ayaat (Pl. of Ayah; verses), his heart will be filled with absolute trust in Allah the Almighty to the extent that if there were no other Ayah in the Noble Quran except this one, it would be sufficient for him.

Halal money is based on mutual circulating benefit:

 Dear brothers, Halal gains are based on mutual benefit, unlike Haram ones which are based on doing harm to others. When someone deceives others by selling them faulty goods or low-priced goods at a high price, he makes profits, but he causes harm to others, in a way that looks like stealing their money. In economics, the total stock of money circulating in the economy of the society is called the money supply. According to Shari'ah (Islamic law) and the Divine Order of Allah the Almighty, money should be circulated among all social classes (not only the rich ones). Allah the Almighty says:

(In order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you.)

(Al-Hashr, 7)

 Let me repeat this point again: according to Shari'ah, the ordinary and normal situation is that money should be in circulation among all people. The proof of that is mentioned in the Noble Ayah below in which Allah the Almighty says:

(In order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you.)

(Al-Hashr, 7)

 In some backward communities, you may find a small group of fabulously wealthy people who buy the most distinguished and the most expensive commodities and goods, and one of them may hold his weeding party in a five-star hotel which costs a large amount of money, 85 million Liras, for example. On the other hand, the majority of people are poor, and many hundred thousand young people cannot afford to buy a tiny house (a one-roomed house) in the poorest district in the city in order to get married.

 The healthy and the normal situation which pleases Allah the Almighty is to have money circulated among all people, so that each one would be able to own a house, to cure his child in a hospital, to buy clothes for his children, to fulfill their basic needs, and so on…. Actually, when money is circulated among all people, Allah the Almighty will be pleased with us, but when wealth is owned by a small group of people while the majority are deprived of it, this is a bad situation that does not please Allah the Almighty.

How to make money in circulation among people?


  What makes money circulated among people and what hinders that? The lawful earning is based on making money supply in circulation among all people.
  To illustrate this precise idea, let me give you the following example. If you are a young man who holds a university degree in Business Administration and you want to work in business, but you have no money, then a man, who has reached the retirement age and has collected a good amount of money during his life by lawful ways, but he can no longer invest it due to his advanced age, comes to you and suggests a special kind of partnership in which he providers the capital to you for investment in a commercial enterprise (which is called in Islam ' Al-Mudarabah (speculation). This business contract is based on mutual benefit since he gains advantage from your experience, and you make benefit from his wealth.

 After agreeing on the enterprise you will buy a commercial store, which in turn will bring benefit to its former owner. Also, during the finishing work which includes tiling, painting, sanitary and electrical and decorating work, you will bring benefit to many craftsmen and workers. After that, when you want to start your work at that shop, you will need staff, warehouses, a vehicle, invoice book, some printing services, and so on… Automatically, you bring benefit to many craftsmen and workers, as I've just mentioned, and the profits are distributed between you and those who have offered some materials, experience, or services to earn fees. Accordingly, benefit exchanging will continue. Thus, making money through business keeps money in circulation among all segments of the society which coincides with Allah's Commandment; that money should be produced through business (not through money itself, such as in the case of usury). The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Verily, the best business is that of those merchants who do not tell lie when they speak, who do not betray trusteeships, who do not break their promises, who do not practice any procrastination in paying back their debts, who do not practice severity in demanding their claims, who do not exaggerate as to the quality of the goods they want to sell, and who do not underestimate the quality of the merchandise they want to buy.))

[Al-Jame' As-Saghir, by Mu'adh]

 On the Day of Resurrection, the honest trader; the righteous pious Muslim trader who sells high-quality goods at reasonable prices, will be in the company of the Prophets, peace be upon them, since he acts in a way that pleases Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, he calls people to Allah the Almighty through his actions not words. When you buy a good-quality product at a moderate price, you will spontaneously ask Allah to bless the seller and grant him success, and you will thank him from the bottom of your heart. Thus, when money is produced through business, it will be circulated among all sections of the society.
  Theoretically, if an Islamic bank accepts deposits, initiates some large-scale agricultural or industrial projects financed by the depositors' money, puts all profits together, and distributes these profits among the depositors according to their capital, this way is unquestionably permitted in Islam because it is based on Mudarabah. It is about receiving some deposits, investing them in huge commercial, industrial or agricultural projects, and distributing the profits between the bank and its depositors.

 Thus, every mutual benefit is permitted in Islam, while every benefit based on causing harm to others is prohibited. One of these harmful benefits is lottery in which only one person may win 50 million Liras while other people who participate in that lottery and buy its tickets lose. Thus, this benefit is based on causing harm to other people since the rest of the participants get disappointed after losing the biggest prize. Hence, when money is collected in a way that is based on causing harm to others, or in a fairly doubtful or unlawful way, it will not be blessed by Allah the Almighty, but rather it will be destroyed. Furthermore, taking a loan depends entirely on one's intention. The Prophet, peace be upon him said:

((Whoever takes the money of the people with the intention of repaying it, Allah will repay it on his behalf, and whoever takes it in order to spoil it, then Allah will spoil him.))

[Ibn Majah]

 This means whoever borrows money from others with the intention of investing it and making profit, this good intention is one of the reasons for being granted success. On the other hand, whoever borrows money from others with hidden intention not to pay it back but rather to deceive them claiming that he could not make any profit, Allah the Almighty will destroy him. Actually, Allah the Almighty has enacted set of precise rules in this world, and He is Well-Aware of all that you do.

 In conclusion, any benefit based on causing harm to others is prohibited in Islam. The clearest examples of that is theft, fraud, making false or misleading claims about the origin of goods by putting false labels on exported goods, such as claiming that an item is made in one of the leading industrial countries, like Germany for example, while it is made in one of the underdeveloped ones. This is a kind of cheating which will result in gathering money in the hands of few people while the majority of people will be deprived of it. Moreover, it is contrary to the Commandment of Allah the All-Wise which is based on making money circulated among all segments of society.

 Dear brothers, in this lecture we are tackling a fundamental topic that is related to the general issues in Islam (the ill-gotten gains) which includes many details, such as cheating which has many kinds. Cheating can be in the weight, the volume, the quality, or the origin of a product, it can be presented by deceiving others when delivering the goods, or by other countless kinds of cheating. Regrettably, you may find a Muslim who cheats others and deceives them. Yet, he feels no compunction, and he even regards himself as a righteous Muslim since he performs some ritual acts of worship like travelling to Makkah every year to perform Umrah, offering prayers in the Masjid, and so on… Moreover, upon entering into his shop, you would notice a plaque on the wall on which the following Ayah is written (thinking that it brings sustenance):

(Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad PBUH) a manifest victory.)

 Also, he may hang a plaque of Ayat Al-Kursi on a wall inside his house or a mini Quran in his car (to remain under the Protection of Allah the Almighty), while that person does not abide by Allah's Orders. I hope you fully understand what I mean.

Uprightness is basic for the validity of the acts of worship

 I believe that unless one maintains uprightness (while dealing with others), all of the acts of worship he performs, such as fasting, performing prayers, Hajj and Zakah become null and void. The proof of this point is found in the following story. During the era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, a man committed a major sin, and when Mrs. Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, knew about that, she said, "Tell him that he has invalidated his Jihad with the Prophet PBUH." Let me give you some examples of cheating:

 A cardiologist may advise his patient to undergo a surgery in order to place a special kind of stent in his arteries, but there is 20% possibility that this stent will begin to deteriorate after some years (A stent is a small mesh tube which is like a small spiral wire that is used to treat narrow or weak arteries), while there is another kind of stent in which the possibility of deterioration in only 3%. Nevertheless he advises his patient to put the former since he will get a commission of 10.000 Liras. It is my deepest regret to inform you that when he puts the patient's life at risk, all the acts of worship he has performed such as fasting, performing Hajj, paying Zakah, etc… become nullified since he benefits himself at the expense of others. This is one of the innumerable examples of cheating.

 Also, an attorney may be quite sure, according to the jurisprudence of the court of cassation, that his client will lose his lawsuit after some years, ten years for example. However, he lies to his client assuring him that he will win it, and he charges monthly or annually fees. After ten years, through which he might obtain considerable amount of money, 800.000 Liras for example, he simply tells his client that he can do nothing for him since the court judge has not given a fair sentence. Allah the Almighty knows his bad intention, and He knows that he lies to his client all these years, so Allah will make him lose all these ill gotten gains.

 Actually, when one earns Haram money, Allah the Almighty will let some calamities befall him in order to make him lose this Haram money, or he himself will be affected by these calamities. Thus, there is deep wisdom behind every calamity which befalls people, such as confiscating someone's money or goods, burning someone's factory or destroying his money and so on.., since Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, never punishes people for things they did not do. He says:

(Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.)

(An-Nisa', 147)

 Dear brothers, I consider the issue of money one of the most serious issues in Islam, so Muslim should be keen on getting money through lawful ways, even if he earns a low income since it will be blessed by Allah the Almighty. You may see someone who earns a low income, but he enjoys a state of inner peace, he lives a problem-free life, and Allah the Almighty protects his health as well as the health of his children and his wife. Moreover, he enjoys a good reputation, he manages his housing expenses; he buys goods at reasonable prices and spends his money moderately, and he is grateful to Allah the Almighty all the time. Thus, the simple life he leads is full of Allah's Barakah (Blessings). Actually, when Allah the Almighty grants Barakah in a small amount of anything, it becomes so great, but when a great amount of anything is deprived of Allah's Barakah, it will become valueless. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((O Saad keep your food pure and Halal and you will become of those whose prayers are answered))

[At-Targhib wa'T-Tarhib]

 The most crucial matter in Islam is to earn Halal income. Let me tell you the following story. A man was driving his new car which had a temporary number plate, (in accordance with our law, when one buys a new car, it has a temporary number plate according to which no one can ride it except the driver until the custom duties imposed on it are paid), and his wife and children were riding the car with him. Then, a police officer stopped him, telling him that it was a clear violation of the law, so he wanted to write a traffic violation ticket. First, that man tried to make the police officer more sympathetic to him, then he tried to pay him a bribe, but the latter refused that utterly and said to that driver, "Look at my rough hands! I work as a block worker at the afternoon (as a second afternoon job) in order to make a living through Halal way. I've repented to Allah the Almighty and I'll never take bribes anymore." That driver, who was a clothing factory owner, was deeply touched by that police officer's uprightness (his strict adherence to Allah's Order). Few days later, he came to that police officer and gave him some clothes to his family as presents for the Eid. Allah the Almighty is really Great; when you fear Him, He will honor you and shower His Countless Blessing on you. The only thing you should do is to fear Him. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Whoever abandons something merely for the sake of Allah, will in return receive things from Allah serving him better here and in the Hereafter.))

[Al-Jame' As-Saghir, by Ibn Umar]

 What does the true believer do when a considerable amount of Haram money is offered to him? He utterly refuses it and contents himself with a smaller amount of Halal money which is blessed by Allah the Almighty. With this little money he will enjoy good health since he buys food with Halal food, and he will lead a blissful life. Actually, seeking Halal earnings is not an easy task at the beginning, while it is so much easier to earn money through Haram means. For example, a poor woman, whose husband cannot make a living due to a health problem, may find herself obliged to work as a maid for 8 hours in order to earn 500 Liras, while a prostitute gains that amount of money in 5 minutes. Thus, the way to earn Halal money is hard at the beginning, while the way to earn Haram money is much easier. However, when you choose the former, you will be granted Halal money through easy way afterward.

 Dear brothers, I hope we all comprehend the reality of Islam; people will not get influenced by your religious commitment, your uprightness, virtuousness, and admonition unless you maintain uprightness when you deal with them, which is the essence of Islam. On the other hand, when you deceive others, defraud them, swindle them, lie to them, and exploit their wealth (while you pretend to be a righteous person), you will become worthless in Allah's Sight, and people will despise you. Actually, it is much better for man to fall from the heaven to the earth than to become worthless in Allah's Sight.

 Dear brothers, we are still discussing the subject of money, and I keep reminding you that uprightness (while dealing with others) is the essence of Islam, i.e. when one does not adhere to Allah's Commandments, his religion will become worthless, and he will never reap the fruits of performing the acts of worship, the peace of mind, emotional stability, spiritual tranquility, happiness, absolute trust in Allah the Almighty, boldness, self-esteem, dignity and clarity (harmony between inner intentions and outer actions). In conclusion, what is meant by religious commitment is uprightness (abiding by Allah's Orders). I ask Allah to grant me success to make it clear to you, through this lecture, that the essence of Islam is represented in Muslims' manner and religious commitment.

 It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, sent Abdullah Ibn Rawaha to Khaybar, to assess the division of the fruit crop between him and the Jews of Khaybar. The Jews collected for Abdullah pieces of their women's jewellery and said to him, "This is yours. Go light on us and don't be exact in the division!" Abdullah Ibn Rawaha said, "O tribe of Jews! I came to you from the most beloved person to me; the Prophet peace be upon him, and by Allah I hate you more than apes and pigs. Yet, it does not prompt me to deal unjustly with you. What you have offered as a bribe is forbidden. We will not touch it." They said, "By this justice, the heavens and the earth were supported, and by this high morals you, O Muslims, have defeated us."

The universe in an example of the great creation of Allah

1- Reflecting on the creation of the heavens and the earth:

 Dear brothers, let's turn to another subject, which is about a kind of contemplation that provides you with strong and substantial evidence of Allah's Greatness. It is contemplating on the creation of the universe. The word "the universe" is a contemporary term which is equivalent to the heavens and the earth in the Quran. Allah the Almighty says:

(Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth,)

(Aal-'Imran, 190)

2- What do we mean by the word 'universe'?

 Universe means everything it contains (that is created) other than Allah (the Creator). It includes celestial bodies; dim planets such as the earth and flaming stars such as the sun, etc…

3- What if the universe consisted only of planets?

 Pay attention to the following point: what if the universe only consisted of planets? There would be no life on the earth, because the temperature of the universe would be zero, or even 270 below zero. As a result, all atoms will become motionless. On the other hand, what would happen if the universe only consisted of flaming stars? There would be no life on the earth, because of the extremely high temperature. The temperature of the sun at its core is 27 million degrees Farenheit (F). Who made the universe consist of planets and stars? It is Allah the Almighty due to His Deep Wisdom.

4- What would happen if there were no circular motion in the universe?

 Let's us move to another assumption: what would happen if all objects in the universe; planets and stars, were motionless? According to the gravitational force between objects, each large object would attract the smaller one, but according to our assumption, the whole universe would turn into one mass. There are many billion galaxies in the universe, and each one contains billion planets and stars. What prevents the universe from turning into one mass?

 It is the circular motion of planets which produces a centrifugal force that is equal to the centripetal force. To make it clearer to you, consider the function of the washing machine; the spin dryer of a washing machine removes the excess water from the clothes by rotating at a high speed. This rotation creates a high centrifugal force which causes the water to be pulled out. Thus, the circular motion of the planets produces a centrifugal force that is equal to the centripetal force. If it were not for this planetary circulation, all the objects in the universe such as the earth, the moon, Mars, Jupiter, the sun, our galaxy, Polaris, the Andromeda, and so on would attract each other according to the gravitational force, and the whole universe would turn into one gigantic mass. Who has created the universe in such a great design which indicates deep wisdom? It is Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He.

5- The disparity between the melting points of matters

 As you all know, there are three states of matter; gas, liquid and solid. For example, the comfy chair you sit on beside a wooden table is solid, the water you drink is liquid, and the air you breathe consists of many gases. Who has created these states of matter and made them exist together? It is Allah, Glorified and Exalted Be He, has. In fact, each element has a special melting point; iron melts at around 2000 degree Celsius, while basalt rock melts at 3000 degree Celsius, and so on…. If it were not for this disparity between the melting points of elements, there would be only one phase of matter which would make life impossible. While we live in a world in which we breath air, eat food, drink water, and we make use of many hard materials such as iron

"in which is mighty power in matters of war, as well as many benefits for mankind"

(Al-Hadid, 25)

 as well as many soft materials. Who has created materials with different melting points making such great diversity? It is Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He.

6- The Divine Wisdom behind the earth's rotation:

 Pay attention to the following point: if the earth's axis (while it rotates around itself) were parallel to the plane of its orbit (while it revolves around the sun), there would be no succession of night and day; there would be an eternal night in one half of the earth in which temperature would dip to 270 degrees below zero, while in the other half of the earth, there would be an eternal day during temperature would reach 350 degrees. Accordingly, there would be no life on the earth.

 Also, if earth's axis were perpendicular to the plane of its orbit instead of being inclined at 23.5°, there would be no succession of the four seasons. In other words, there would be eternal summer in one half of the earth and eternal winter in the other half. In fact, seasons and seasonal conditions are opposites across the equator; while it is summer in the northern hemisphere, it is winter in the southern hemisphere, and vice versa. Thus, if earth's axis were perpendicular to the plane of its orbit instead of being inclined at 23.5°, there would be no annual cycle of seasons.

7- What would happen if the earth had the same size of the sun?

 In fact, the sun is large enough that approximately 1.3 million earths could fit inside, which means you weigh about 100 times more on the sun than you do on the earth! Imagine that the earth and the sun are exactly the same size, if you weigh 80 kg for example, then on the sun your weight would become 8 tons! Thus, who has created the Earth with such exactly proper size so that human beings will have reasonable weights? Who has made the earth rotate around itself once in 24 hours? On average, man may be able to work for 8 hours, then he will definitely feel tired and need to rest and sleep; all people go to sleep at night. However, what would happen if the earth's rotation around itself took one year? We would have the day for 6 months and the night for 6 months during which people would wake up and go to sleep in complete mess. Accordingly, night would be no more made for rest and the daytime would be no more made for earning a livelihood. Thus, who has made the earth rotate around itself once in 24 hours? Who made it revolve around the sun once in a year? Imagine that the revolution period of the earth around the sun were only one day, what would happen then? Each season would last for no more than 4 hours! So, think deeply over everything Allah the Almighty has created, and imagine what would happen if it were the opposite, then you will realize the greatness of Allah's Creation.

8- The importance of pondering over the creation of the universe:

 Dear brothers, pondering over the creation of the heavens and the earth is one of the greatest acts of worship, since it helps you recognize the Greatness of Allah the Almighty. He says:

(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, 190-191)

Translation  : Rana Saraqbi
Edited by      : Kawthar Hajj Saleh