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Islamic Creed- Facts of Faith and Miraculousness- Lesson(21-30): Establishing a relation with Allah is one of the bases of this great religion.
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

Knowing Allah is the essence of Islam:

 Dear brother, we are tackling lesson no. 21 of the series "Facts of Faith and Miraculousness", and I would like to remind you that last lecture we talked about contemplation considering it a major base of this religion. I explained to you previously that this religion contains innumerous details, but they are categorized in four major bases.

 The first base is Istiqamah (steadfastness). Unless you do not act upon Allah's Order, you will not reap the fruits of this religion. Moreover, as long as you do not act upon Allah's Order, religion will turn into a mere culture, like a piece of information you keep in your mind or you give it to other people. I mentioned before you very precise words, and they require your reflection. I said that one of you may have the ability to discuss religious issues for hours without preparing them earlier, to support his discussion by referring to sound religious text, to give a profound analyses, to tackle the raised issues skillfully and to use standard Arabic language. However, he is not considered someone who knows Allah since he commits sins, builds his glory by destroying sh3er, gets what is not his form sh3er by force, oppresses his wife or raises his children in a way that is not compatible with the Islamic teachings.
 Having the ability to read Islamic information, use your intelligence and good memory to memorize them and convey them to people excellently does not necessarily mean that you know Allah. Once Abdullah bin Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said to a shepherd (trying to test his faith) "Sell me this sheep, and I'll pay you the price you want!" He said: "It is not mine." Abdullah said: "Tell its owner that it died or that a wolf ate it and take its price!" The man said: "I swear by Allah that I need its price desperately, and if I say to its owner that it died or a wolf ate it, he will believe me, but how can I escape Allah's Torment then?!!!

 That shepherd fully understood the gist of this religion. When you refrain from earning ill-gotten money, hurting people, deceiving them, lying to them and doing harm to them, you'll be considered one of those who knows Allah no matter how you look like or how your appearance is:

((Allah does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds))

[Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Tirmizi by Abu Huraira]

((Piety is right here (and he pointed to his breast three times).))

[Muslim by Abu Huraira and Bukhari reported most of it]

Istiqamah guarantees safety and performing a good deed grantees happiness:

 In our last lessons I wanted to stop at the bases of this religion. I said that the first bases is Istiqamah, and I mentioned to you that it guarantees you your safety; you earn money from Halal resources, apply Islam in your house, have children who are raised according to the Book and Sunnah and have daughters who wear Hijab. All these things make you safe, but there is still something missing; it is happiness, and gaining it requires paying its price, which is giving. You can give sh3er from your money (such as Sadaqah), from your knowledge, from your power and so on. The main point is benefiting other people from the blessings Allah grants you and seeking the Hereafter through whatever Allah gives you. Only then you will rejoice and taste the sweetness of faith.

 Istiqamah is the first base in Islam, and it resembles the compulsory elementary and intermediate classes of your education. Can a student go the Faculty of Medicine to study there without getting the intermediate certificate? Absolutely not. In order to continue your study in the secondary school, at university, have the diploma, have the M.A and have the PhD you should pass the compulsory classes. Likewise, Istiqamah is compulsory to be able to reap the fruits of this religion.

 Istiqamah makes you safe, whereas by performing good deeds you gain happiness. I tackled these two bases in our previous lessons. Last lesson, I talked about the importance of contemplation. I said that you should get yourself acquainted with Allah, because it is the essence of this religion. If you know the Law-giver (Allah) and then the order, you will entirely be devoted to obey Him, but if you know the order and ignore the law-giver, you will try your best to avoid doing that order. Pay attention to this: whatever sin you commit results from the lack of knowing Allah, because if you know Allah, you will obey Him.


 We discussed last lesson contemplation the creation of heavens and earth, the signs of Allah in the horizons, the signs of Allah in mankind, the sings of Allah in the universe, the sings of Allah in His creations and the sings of Allah in the Noble Quran. Allah's signs in universe are manifested in His creations, so you should contemplate them, and His sings in creating are manifested in His Actions, so reflect on them:

(( Say (O Muhammad PBUH): "Travel in the land and see what was the end of those who rejected truth."))

[Al-An'am, 11]

 You will know Allah through pondering over His words in the Noble Quran, and through reflecting on His creations and actions. After knowing Him, you will be able to know everything, but if miss knowing Him, you will miss everything.

 This is a summary of the last three lessons.

Recognizing Allah's Lordship and graces by remembering Him in Salah:

 The major base that is left (to be tackled) in this religion is establishing a relation with Allah. In fact Salah is your means to establish this relation through standing, kneeling and prostrating while at the same time you are remembering Him:

((And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.))

[Ta-Ha, 14]

 You remember Allah through your Salah, better yet, there is a mutual remembrance between man and Allah through Salah. You remember Him recognizing His Lordship and graces when you reauthor " All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)", you recognize His Mercy when you reauthor " The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. " and you recognize His Sustenance and Protection, when you reauthor "The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection). After that you address Him by saying:

(( You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).))

[Al-Fatihah, 5-7]

 You invoke Him to guide you to the straight path. The following Ayah is an instruction to the believers:

((And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best.))

[Al-Isra', 53]

 This is an instruction; you kneel in your Salah carrying out Allah's order, and you prostrate in your Salah seeking Almighty Allah's help to enable to apply His commands. Thus, in every rak'ah (unit) there is a praise to Allah for His graces, Lordship and Mercy. Also, in every rak'ah you ask Allah to guide you to the straight path.

Salah is remembrance, presence of mind and intimacy:

 Whatever you say in Salah is a remembrance of Allah, but what about the remembrance of you from Allah's side? Allah's remembrance to you is manifested in granting you prosperity, security, wisdom, Divine content, tranquility and happiness.

 Performing Salah is a Divine command ordained by Allah the Almighty, so it cannot be mere repetition of an obligatory daily act of worship in which you only stand, reauthor Quran and perform meaningless moves, absolutely not. Salah is the pillar of this religion, the certainty one holds firmly to, the utmost act of worship and the believer's journey towards the Lord of heavens and earth. In brief, Salah is the means to establish a relation with Allah:

((And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.))

[Ta-Ha, 14]

 In order to remember Allah perform Salah:

((And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.))

[Ta-Ha, 14]

((God does not accept the Prayers of an individual until his heart achieves in it what his body has achieved.))

[Narrated in the Tradition]

Salah is a remembrance and a presence of mind:

((O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter,))

[An-Nisa', 43]

 Does whoever is absentminded in Salah know what he reauthors? He seems to be in a drunken state:

((O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter,))

[An-Nisa', 43]

 You should have a presence of mind when you reauthor Quran in Salah.

 Dear brother, Salah is remembrance, presence of mind and intimacy:

((Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!))

[Al-Alaq, 19]

 The state of being close to Allah is at its best when you prostrate. I repeat: Salah is remembrance, presence of mind, intimacy and cleanness.

Remembrance of Allah grants you wisdom and security:

 Dear brother, it is deemed impossible to perform Salah and be malicious to sh3er, lie to them, betray them, cheat them, act treacherously towards them or break your promise to them, because Salah is the means by which you purify your soul from wrongdoings. Moreover, while performing Salah you establish a relation with Allah the Absolute Perfect, so do you dare to lie while you are connected with Allah? Do you dare to betray other people despite your relation with Allah? Do you dare to cheat sh3er despite your relation with Allah? Can you take what is not yours despite such a relation?

((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]

 The scholars said that "is greater" in this Ayah refers to the remembrance of Allah, and Allah's remembrance to you during Salah is even greater than yours to Him, because when Allah remembers you, He bestows security upon you:

(((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 sh3er besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.))

[Al-An'am, 81-82]

 Also, Allah's remembrance to you grants you wisdom:

((And he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding. ))

[Al-Baqarah, 269]

Salah is the religious obligation which can never be waived:

 Dear brother, the obligation of Hajj is waived for whoever is poor and whoever is sick, Sawm is waived for whoever is on travel and whoever is sick, Zakat is waived for the poor, and the Shahada (bearing witness that there is no god but Allah Alone and that Muhammad, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, is Allah's Messenger) is performed once in a lifetime, so what is left? It is Salah. Salah is the repeated obligation which can never be waived. Hence four of the five pillars can be waived under certain circumstances, except Salah.

 Salah embraces the objective of Hajj, how? One of the objectives of Hajj which is achieved while performing Salah is directing oneself towards Makkah (the sacred House of Allah). Also, Salah embraces the objective of Sawm, how? One of the objectives of Sawm which is achieved while offering Salah is abstaining from eating, drinking, moving (except the movers one is required to do in Salah) and talking. Furthermore, Salah embraces the objectives of Zakat, how? To elaborate this point let me tell you about of a man who has a fruit juice shop in Souq Al-Hamidyah. This man uses to sell top notch fruit juice for a fair price, and his store is very popular. There are always about 20-30 people in the queue waiting to get their fruit juice cups, but when it is time for Zuhr prayer, he stops selling people fruit juice, closes his shop and goes to the Masjid to perform Salah. Can you notice the connection between Zakat and Salah in this man's behavior? If he had kept his shop open during the time of Salah, he would have sold for many people (and earn more money). However, he gives some of his time which is originally dedicated to work and earn money, to perform Salah.

 - Salah embraces the objective of Sawm, because it requires refraining from eating, drinking, moving and talking.
 - Salah embraces the objective of Hajj, because one who prays directs himself towards Makkah.
 - Salah embraces the objective of Zakat, because one gives some of the time he spends in earning money to offer Salah.
 - Salah includes Al Shahada because one says it in his sitting.

 Hence, Salah embraces Shahada, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj, and basically it is an act of worship.

 In another definition of Salah: Hajj is meant for Salah (in Arabic it means Silah.i.e have a connection with Allah), Sawm is meant for Salah and Zakat is meant for Salah, Allah says:

((Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them.))

[At-Taubah, 103]

Sins draw a veil between man and Allah:

 I am not exaggerating if I say that the religion is all about Salah. All your good deeds, your steadfastness, lowering your gaze, watching your language and all Prophetic social instructions are meant for Salah, how? You can't utter words which don't please Allah, and then offer Salah, because these words will draw a veil between you and Allah. He who tastes the sweetness of being connected with Allah knows that very well, and generally every person who has established a relation with Allah experiences the bitterness of being away from Allah whenever he sins.

 Suppose -Allah forbids- that a woman wants to buy something from a shopkeeper, and he sets his eyes on her beauty. When it is time of Maghrib Salah, he will definitely feel that a veil is drawn between him and Allah while he is performing his prayer, is not that true? If a seller doubles the price of his commodity making use of the customer's ignorance of its real price, or if that seller sells him a stagnant color of fabric saying that this is the best color in the market, do you think such a man will be able to offer Salah properly? He will feel that he is a liar and an opportunist. What he does is exploiting the customer's ignorance. Believe me, by Allah there is an accurate indicator inside everyone which makes him feel that a veil is drawn between him and Allah once he commits a sin.

 Let me tell you the story of a scholar who used to say to his fellow brother in faith that every good deed would bring a reward to its doer and every sin would bring a punishment to its doer, but once he sinned, and he waited for the punishment. A week passed and everything was well, his house, his wife, his kids and his car, then another week passed and a third one, and he wasn't punished. Consequently, he invoked Allah saying: "O my Lord, why didn't You punish me though I sinned?" He was inspired with the answer in his heart: "O My slave I punished you but you didn't know; did not I deprive you of the pleasure of Munajat (Silent supplication to Allah)?"

 The honest, chaste, righteous and pious believer establishes a relation with Allah with which he sees himself the happiest person on earth. He feels the love of the Creator of the universe towards him, he has a good connection with Him and there is an intimacy between him and His Lord:

((Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger (Muhammad PBUH)] and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Beneficent (Allah) will bestow love for them (in the hearts of the believers).))

[Maryam, 96]

 This intimacy disappears once a sin is committed. By Allah the only God, each one of you, including me, is fully aware of the axiomatic fact that whenever he commits a wrongdoing (a bad deed, a sin or a an act of disobedience), he will immediately fell that there is something wrong with his relation with Allah. For instance, a mother asks her son to buy her a medicine which she needs badly, but he says to her that all the drug stores are closed, and she says that it is okay. The son knows for sure that there are drug stores that stay open overnight, but he says to his mother that all drug stores are closes. Will he feel that he is connected with Allah when he offers Ishaa Salah? Absolutely not, because he refuses to serve her. On the other hand, if he says to her that he is willing to buy her the medicine and goes out asking all drug stores that stay open about this medicine, but he does not find it, can he perform Salah properly? Yes, he can. Even though he does not bring her the medicine, at least he does his best to find it.

Everyone should call himself to account:

 Everyone should call himself to account. Believe it or not, I am not exaggerating when I say that whosoever commits a mistake (whatever does not please Allah) a veil will be drawn between him and the Oneness and the Dayyan (The judge: i.e. Allah). It is the greatest punishment one will ever get:

(( Nay! Surely, they (evil-doers) will be veiled from seeing their Lord that Day.))

[Al-Mutaffifin, 15]

 Some people do hundreds of deeds which do not please Allah every day, and each deed is by itself a veil. Therefore, the more bad deeds you do the thicker the veil will become to such an extent that at a certain point it will be difficult for you to break through it.

 The believer, who looks after his heart, will look for the reason which causes him the feeling of being veiled from Allah. When he finds it, he repents from it and pays Sadaqah, so that he can be connected with Almighty Allah once again. Unlike this believer, he who has never tasted the sweetness of drawing closer to Allah, will say to you: "I am in a better situation than him." Who is able to feel the harm of being veiled from Allah? The one who tasted the sweetness of being close to Him. Someone may swear by Allah that the black treacle is the best sweet syrup in the world, and he is considered honest, because he has never tasted honey. Had he tested honey, he would have never sworn. Along with the same line, if someone has never tasted the sweetness of being close to Allah, he will never have the feeling that he is veiled from Allah, but whoever feels the sweetness of being close to Allah, will feel that he is veiled from Him as a punishment for every bad deed he does.

Istiqamah is the means of connection with Allah:

 I hope that the relation of each one of us with Allah pushes him to call himself to account. If someone asks you about something, but you refuse to answer him, if someone needs your help, but you do not help him, if someone needs your advice, but you do not advise him, if someone wants to borrow something from you, but you lie to him saying that you do not have it, you will be committing mistakes. Whenever you commit one of these mistakes you will feel that you are veiled from Allah. Therefore, your triumph lies in keeping the connection line between you and Allah connected.

 Which is better? To have an old phone with a connected line (by which one can make a phone call), or a very modern phone with a disconnected line? Of course the one with the connected line. Similarly, it is better to have a connected line with Allah that keeps you always connected. Istiqamah is what makes this line connected, whereas, lying to people, doing something bad, betraying sh3er or deceiving them, will draw a veil between you and Allah (damages this connected line with Allah).

 It is narrated in the tradition: (("O Lord, I sinned but You didn't punish me" The Lord said: "O slave, I punished you but you didn't know; did not I deprive you of the pleasure of Munajat? Is not that enough punishment?))

Islam is a set of morals and Salah is the entire religion:

 Dear brother, Istiqamah is a major base in this religion which guarantees man's safety, the good deed is also a major base in this religion which guarantees happiness and contemplation is a major base in this religion which increases your knowledge of Allah, but Salah is the entire religion.

 There is no goodness in a religion without Salah. Salah is the greatest act of worship in this religion. You feel at east when you deal with the believer, because he is trustworthy and honest.

 Imam Jaafar, may Allah be pleased with him, said

 ((O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds. breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness and integrity were well-known to us. He called us to worship Allah alone and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah. He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed.))

[Ahmad by Umm Salah, the Mother of Believers]

 Islam is a set of morals. How can someone who prays apply cancerous hormones to his fruits and vegetables to make bigger, heavier and more expensive? How can a prayer attract the customers to his beautiful agricultural products, although they are harmful and full of air within? Allah will never ever let you connect with him as long as you hurt His creations.

 Be practically religious and be aware of the fact that if you cheat sh3er, lie to them, deal with them cunningly, take what is not yours from sh3er and take advantage of the clueless customer in order to deceive him and sell him expensive commodity of a low quality, you will be able to perform Salah, to perform Wudu (ablution), to stand in your prayer and reauthor Al Fatiha, to kneel, to prostrate or to do any of Salah Arkan (moves). Yet, you will never be able to communicate with Allah.

 When you hurt Muslims, deceive them, take whatever is not yours from them and establish your business on corrupting the youth (lots of businesses are established on corrupting Muslims' conducts), you will be able to outwardly offer Salah. However, Allah will never ever allow you to be connected with Him as long as you do harm to His creatures:

((Whosoever deceives us is not one of us))

[Abu Dawood]

 He who deceives sh3er.

Every sin draws a veil between the sinner and Allah:

 He, who assumes wrongly that by offering Salah all his wrongdoings are erased, is misled. Unless you act upon Allah's Order, He will prevent you from connecting with Him. This point makes us linking the first base in Islam (Istiqamah) with the last one (Salah); as long as you are not acting upon Allah's Order, you are deprived of connecting with Him. Keep in mind whatever sin or wrongdoing you commit veils you from the Almighty Allah. Listen to the following Ayah which is a deathblow in this regard:

((Nay! Surely, they (evil-doers) will be veiled from seeing their Lord that Day.))

[Al-Mutaffifin, 15]

 Be strict on yourself when you deal with Allah. For instance, whenever you feel distressed while offering Salah, call yourself to account. Perhaps before Salah you said unpleasant words, or you were harsh on someone by talking to him arrogantly or by belittling him, so say to yourself, 'Allah has punished me by drawing this veil between me and Him.'

 Verily, the believer is precious to Allah; Allah may punish him by drawing a veil between Him and the believer, or He may punish him by afflicting him with a disaster, but whoever previously established a relation with Allah is so sensitive to such an extent that the veil is enough punishment for him. In this respect, consider the example of a father, who raised his son according to high standards, do you think he will hit him if he wants to punish him? No, he will not. Turning his face away from his son is enough punishment that will make the son cry. Unlike this son, the bad son sometimes needs to be hit in ordered to be disciplined.

 The Almighty Allah draws a veil between Him and the believer as a punishment to him. If someone is not impressed when he reauthors Quran, remembers Allah or offers Salah, then he is in a big trouble. He should call himself to account by reconsidering his income, his spending, the way he behaves in his house, the behavior of his daughters, the way he deals with his wife and his relations in order to know where the problem lies. This problem causes the veil between him and the Almighty Allah.

 To sum up, Istiqamah is a major base in Islam, offering good deeds is a major base, reflecting on the creation of heavens and earth in order to increase your knowledge of Allah is a major base and establishing a relation with Allah is a major base as well.

The scientific topic:

Some countries use the hawk as a national emblem:

 Dear brother, the scientific topic in this lesson is about something that attracts one's attention; it is about the hawk which most countries use as a national emblem. In our country Syria, in Egypt and in many other countries the hawk is used as a national emblem, but do you know why? It was mentioned in a research some of the characteristics of the Hawk. One of them is giving support to the members of its species, and it never lets them down. The hawk has a sense of honor; it protects other hawks and defends them. When it dispenses with something it leaves it. Because of all these positive characteristic, some countries use the hawk as a national emblem.

 Also, one of the characteristics of the hawk is the ability to learn. It rejoices when it feels that its trainer is satisfied. In Golf countries the hawk is very precious, and it is sold for very expensive prices seemingly because it has lofty traits. Among its positive characteristics is that the hawk doesn't accept humiliation as it has a sense of honor, and it can never take treachery. When it needs something, it takes it, and when it dispenses with something, it leaves it. Moreover, it treats the female hawk with kindness and courtesy, it loves its little hawks and it is jealous towards them I hope that Muslims follow the characteristics of the hawk. Notice what lofty traits it has!

 To summarize the characteristics of the hawk: it is supportive, it has a sense of honor and it is protective to its fellow hawks. When it dispenses with something it leaves it, it has the ability to learn and it rejoices when its trainer is happy with it. It never accepts to be humiliated or betrayed. When it is in need of something, it takes it, and when it dispenses with something, it leaves. It is kind to the female hawk and it loves its young ones, and it is jealous towards them.

Between the morals of the believers and the hawk’s manners:

 Did you know now why we use the hawk in our country as a national emblem? I hope that we adopt these traits. By the way the characteristics of the hawk are not a Divine assignment to it, but rather they are Allah's actions in His creations. This indicates that the hawk will not be rewarded for its actions and behavior, because he was created to behave as such. Your case as a man is different from the one of the hawk; you will be rewarded if you are honest, trustworthy, affectionate towards your family, kind to your wife and loving towards your children, because you succeed in accomplishing the missions you are assigned to do. Hence there is a big difference between the two cases.

 The bees' hive has an outstanding system, but this system is one of Allah's actions not something the bees strive to have. The society of bees is unbelievably disciplined and in order, and this is a Divine action not a Divine assignment. Allah orders us to be honest, so when we remain honest, we deserve a great reward. We, as human beings, have free will, and we are assigned by Allah to do certain missions. Thus, if we do what we are assigned to, we will exalt in Allah's Sight. Here lies the big difference; the characteristics of the hawk manifest Allah's actions in animals, while the morals of man manifest accomplishing the Divine assignment (worshiping Allah the Almighty). Allah the Almighty says:

((And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Taiyibat (lawful good things), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preference.))

[Al-Isra', 70]

Environmental disturbance is the outcome of changing Allah's creation:

 In a country, the farmers were very angry with the hawks, because they used to eat the chicks. Therefore, the government offered a reward to whoever killed a hawk. Few months later most hawks were killed, but rats started to show up in that country and they ate most of the crops. The people of that country were oblivion to the fact that there is a delicate environmental balance between all creations.

 Nowadays, there is a problem in farming, because plants are unbelievably infected by diseases which attracted the whiteflies. As a result, chemical pesticides are used to get rid of the whiteflies. We should always remember that Allah created a certain insect to feed on another one, so when we replaced natural pesticides (other insects) with the chemical ones, we have caused imbalance in nature. Therefore, keep in mind that changing Allah's creation is a sign of the end of the world.

 Dear brother, I invoke Allah to grant you and me conciliation and success.

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