In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Welcoming:Dear spectators, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatoh (may the Peace, Marcy and Blessing of Allah be upon you,) welcome to a new episode of the show “Faith is good conduct.”
Welcome to Dr. Muhammad Rateb An Nabulsi, the Professor of Scientific Miracles of the Noble Quran and Prophetic Sunnah in both the Faculty of Islamic Law and the Faculty of Fundamentals of Islamic Religion in Damascus.
The past three episodes in brief:We stopped last episode at the point when our Master Ja’far Ibn Abi Taleb told An-Najashi about Islam.
I would like to mention the main issues tackled in the last three episodes. Dr. Rateb defined good manners as: “discipline and giving,” and he said that the acts of worship should fulfill their purposes and should be fruitful, or else Allah shall make them as scattered floating particles of dust (according to the Hadith of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him.) The good manners lead to Birr (piety and righteousness), to Ihsan (performance of good deeds), to kindness and to whatever unifies the individuals of society and makes the society coherent. However, injustice and oppression disrupt this beautiful image of the solid society; the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((The Believer to the Believer is like a solid building, one part supporting the other.))
((The example of the Believers, in their mutual love and mercy is like the example of a body, if one part feels pain, then all of the body suffers in sleeplessness and fever.))Allah the Almighty granted the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, a medal of honor that none was granted, He says:
((And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character))Also, we referred to the interpretation of the following Ayah:
((And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently))Also, I would like to remind the spectators of what Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, said in the early stages the Revelation. She described the Prophet’s good manners, and believed that Allah would never let him down because of his noble traits.
We stopped where Dr. Rateb mentioned the Prophet’s order to his companions to migrate to Abyssinia after being oppressed in Mecca. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((Go to Najashi as he is a person renowned for justice and you will be safe in his kingdom.))As soon as the news spread in Quraish, the Dominants there decided to send their delegation in order to derange the migration of the companions and convince An-Najashi to hand Ja’far and all the Muslims who migrated with him to them. When the Muslims met An-Najashi, Amr Ibn Al A’as talked to An-Najashi telling him that those Muslims were bad people, so he tended to believe him. At that moment, Ja’afar stood to testify in the favor of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, saying his significant words to An-Najashi. Now, let us go back to this crucial event during which Ja’far summarized the religion, and with which you (Dr. Rateb) promised to start this episode.
1- True Islam should be sought from its pure sources:
Dr. Rateb:I would like to clarify a point to the spectators: if you intend to have a deep knowledge of this religion, you should seek its pure sources. If you take a look at the riverhead d of Barada (A river in Damascus), you will see how pure and fresh the water is, but if you come closer to its moth, you will see how black the water is. Along the same line, if you want to have a deep understanding of this religion, you should seek the pure source of it represented by the Noble Quran, the Sunnah and the Prophetic Biography.
2- “Tajdeed” is removing what does not belong to Islam:The most precise definition of “Tajdeed the religion” (updating the religious speech) is: removing what does not belong to Islam. Islam is tawqeefi ]It is not permissible to worship Allah, may He be exalted, through any act of worship unless this act of worship is proven in the Shar'i texts (Qur'an and Sunnah) to be an act of worship that was prescribed by Allah.[ This religion is from Allah the Absolute in His Comprehensiveness and the Absolute in His Knowledge. Therefore it is perfect.
((This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion))The elite of scholars differentiate between Islam and Muslims, between the religion and the religious people and between the concept and abusing it.
Cornerstones of good manners:We (as Muslims) need to go back to the pure sources of the religion. This companion (Ja’afar) got to the gist of this religion when he defined before the king (Najashi), he said:
((O King, we were ignorant people. We worshipped the idols. We ate dead animals. We did bad actions and abandoned our relatives. We mistreated our neighbors. The strong oppressed the weak. So Allah has sent us an Apostle. We know his ancestors and his truthfulness. We know that he is pure and trustworthy))Mr. Alaa’, (the interviewer) these actually are the cornerstones of good manners. The true believer should be honest when he talks to you, should be trustworthy when he deals with you and should be chaste when he is seduced. At top of the above mentioned traits of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, is his honorable lineage:
((We know his ancestors and his truthfulness. We know that he is pure and trustworthy, so he has invited us to worship the Only Allah.))The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, invited them to worship Allah Alone and to stop worshipping the idols that were made of dates. They used to eat those idols when they were hungry. Listen what the poet says describing the status of the idols they worshipped:
How dare foxes urinate on the head of the idol?!
Verily, he is low on whom foxes urinate!
((… so he has invited us to worship the Only Allah.))The universe is an indication of Allah’s Existence, Oneness and Perfection.
((He has ordered us to avoid what we and our fathers had worshipped.))We come to the method:
((He has ordered us to be truthful and to give the trusts to their owners. He has ordered us to visit our relatives, to be good neighbors, to stop bad actions and shedding blood. He has prevented us from atrocities, falsehood taking the orphan's money and speaking evil of the chaste women.))We have here good manners and a method. This method is based on giving, being disciplined, being kind and other morals which the Muslim should have. In this respect I would like to mention the Sahih (sound) Hadith of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him:
(((The superstructure of) Islam is based on five (pillars)))Islam is just like a superstructure which is based on pillars and consists of values. These pillars and values should have solid ground to keep firm. The morals of someone can be temporal; he pretends to be good to achieve his own worldly interests, so the minute his interests are endangered he turns into a beast. We are not concerned with this type of false morals in our program. Rather, we will focus on the morals which are the outcome of the connection with Almighty Allah:
((And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently))
((Good conducts are stored by Allah the Almighty, so whenever Allah loves one of His servants, He grants him a good conduct.))
Muslims’ traits are resistant to adversities:The devotional morals are the outcome of a strong, constant, and an unchangeable connection with Allah. They are resistant to circumstances, developments, suspicions and desires. We are concentrating in our meeting on these morals, not the ones of smart people, and those who are dressed up in good manners in order to achieve their own interests. You may find who are pleased with these false morals, but they are worthless in the sight of Allah.
The interviewer:They are unacceptable either.
Now, Dr. Rateb let us reauthor the following Ayah:
((As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And gives the lie to Al-Husna))
Islamic classification of mankind versus the worldly one:
Dr. Rateb:Mr. Alaa’, let me be objective and honest in this point: the man-made classification of people does not exist in the Divine Method. People are classified according to the backgrounds, cults, belongings, regions they live in (northern or southern and rural or urban,) colors, origins (Anglo-Saxon, Semitic or Aryan.) All these classifications are not accepted in Islam; the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((All men are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust.))
((Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious))People are subjects of discrimination according to the worldly man-made classification, but the latter is never adopted in Quran, so the question to be asked is: On what basis people are classified in Qur'an? Actually, the classification of people according to the Creator of heavens and earth is mentioned in the previous Ayah.
Groups of people:All people are classified into two groups:
The first group:The first group includes people who believe that they are created to be in Paradise, and that their existence in the worldly life is mainly to pay the price for Paradise. Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((Glorified and Almighty Allah says: “I have prepared for My pious servants which no eye (has ever) seen, no ear has (ever) heard and no human heart has ever perceived.”))Believing in Paradise and the Hereafter is an intrinsic part in the Muslim’s creed. Furthermore, believing in Allah and in the Hereafter are two pillars of faith that are mostly mentioned together in Quran. When man believes that he is created for paradise, this entails piousness of his part, refraining from disobeying Allah, and being openhanded with sh3er.
((As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna.))The order in the above Ayah is as follows: whoever believes that he is created for Paradise (Al-Husna,) will give in charity and keep his duty to Allah and fear Him. In another Ayah, Allah the Almighty says:
((For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise) and even more (i.e. having the honour of glancing at the Countenance of Allah))Believing in Al-Husna, makes the life of this person based on piety, submissive and giving:
((As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna.))Later on, I will talk about the fruit that this belief bears.
The second group:This group includes those who believe in the worldly life only. They are oblivious of what is after death. They think that the worldly life is their ultimate purpose and hope, so they neglect the Hereafter. Also, they assume that the rich and the powerful are already in Paradise (the paradise of the worldly life.):
((But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And gives the lie to Al-Husna))Whoever gives the lie to Al-Husan thinks himself self-sufficient, so he stops obeying Allah and builds his life on taking. Mr. Alaa’, I would like to give an example of giving; the ant has two systems, a sucking system and a pumping system, so if the full ant meets a hungry one, it gives it from its own gastric juice through the pumping system in order to feed it. The ant gives and takes, whereas whoever disbelieves in the Hereafter and believes only in the worldly life, builds his life on taking only. Unlike the disbeliever, the believer builds his life on believing in the Hereafter, and accordingly he gives and takes or even gives without taking.
Let us move to the two major groups of people which are enlisted in the above mentioned classification. The first group includes the Prophets, may Allah have peace and blessings upon them, and the other one includes the powerful.
Human beings are followers of either a Prophet or a powerful person:The history of humanity is full of powerful figures, but they used to take and they never gave. The powerful own the heads of people who are already oppressed, and they are praised when people meet them. On the contrary, the Prophets, may Allah have peace and blessings upon them, used to give and they never took. They won the hearts, lived for the sake of people, and are praised in their absence. Hence, people of all eras are followers of either a Prophet or a powerful man. He, who uses his perfection, knowledge, good manners, chastity, and generosity to affect sh3er, is a follower of the Prophets, may Allah have peace and blessings upon them, whereas he, who uses his power as a weapon against people, is a follower of the powerful. Your heroic act is manifested in being a follower of the Prophets, may Allah have peace and blessings upon them, wining the hearts, giving, and being praised in your absence. The following Ayah is very precise in terms of classifying people according to the Creator of people:
((As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And gives the lie to Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path for evil;))
A comment:The person who believes that he is created for Paradise, refrains from disobeying Allah, and builds his life on giving, will be granted the means to enter Paradise; he will be granted faith, health, power and money. When Allah decrees to grant His graces to one of His servants, He will facilitate for him the path to Paradise. The greatest Divine bestowal is that you are headed to paradise, and the most severe Divine punishment is to be headed to the path for evil.
((But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And gives the lie to Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path for evil;))
Money is worthless on the Day of Resurrection:When one thinks himself self-sufficient, refrains from being submissive to Allah and builds his life on taking and collecting tremendous wealth, Allah’s response will be as follows:
((And what will his wealth benefit him when he goes down (in destruction))In one second, man becomes a piece of news (he died), Allah says:
((and We made them as Ahadith (the true stories for mankind to learn a lesson from them))
Every man, no matter how long he has been safe, shall be carried to his grave.
So if you carry a deceased man to his tomb know that one day you will be so carried.
The interviewer:Is there any other classification? What about the man-made classifications that you have mentioned earlier?
Fragmentation is the very result of worldly classifications:
Dr. Rateb:These classifications, for which Allah has sent down no authority, reflect a status of benightedness. They are the main reason behind our dissension, weakness, backwardness and conflicts. Despite the technological advance, man hits rock bottom morally, socially and humanely. Believe it or not, the latest statistics have indicated that the cost of the weapons which are used to destroy people equals 5000 Syrian Liras per capita of the whole world. This amount of money is spent to destroy and impoverish mankind. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, described the end of days in the following Hadith:
Mu’ad Ibn Jabal reported that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((Count six signs, between now and the approach of the Hour (Qiyamah/Doomsday): my death, the conquest of Al-Quds (Jerusalem); a plague that will afflict you (and kill you in great numbers) as the plague that afflicts sheep; the increase of wealth to such an extent that even if one is given 100 hundred Dinars (Arabian currency), he will not be satisfied; then an affliction which no Arab house will escape; and then a truce between you and Banu Asfar (i.e. Byzantines) who will betray you and attack you under eighty flags. Under each flag will be twelve thousand soldiers.))
((By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, the world would not come to an end until a day would come to the people on which the murderer would not know as to why he has killed and the slain would not know as to why he has been murdered.))Thousands of innocent people are killed, Allah says:
((And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed?))Allah is my witness; whoever sheds a drop of blood unfairly, will be responsible for it on the Day of Judgment:
((Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, etc.) do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.))
The interviewer:Let us go back to the Quranic classification in this Ayah:
((As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And gives the lie to Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path for evil;))This classification of mankind consists of two groups only.
Some Ayat which prove the Quranic classification:
Dr. Rateb:The following Ayah gives us another proof of the Quranic classification which we have mentioned earlier:
((But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you))O Muhammad,
((then know that they only follow their own lusts.))There are two paths only, either you seek the path that leads you to the Divine Revelation and the Divine Method of the Creator of heaven and earth, or you seek the one that makes you a follower of your own lusts, desires and interests.
The interviewer:Dr. Rateb, it is well-known that man is the foremost creature (among all creations), the honored one and the one whom Allah gave a Divine assignment, Allah the Almighty says:
((And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam))And He says:
((Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah's Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).)Let us stop at this specific point; why is man honored by Allah? Why is he assigned by Him?
Man between Divine honoring and the Divine assignment:
Dr. Rateb:Let me first start with the following Ayah:
((Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah's Torment).)
Pay attention to this please: to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it
((But man bore it.))Man said: I am up to it. Once he accepted to bear it, he was addressed by Allah in the following Ayah:
((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.))
What is trust?Mr. Alaa’, man is the foremost creature, because he accepted to bear the trust. If you ask me: what is the trust? I will give you the most accurate definition: trust is man’s ownself, therefore, he was trusted with his ownself.
((Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds). And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allah has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism or by following polytheism, etc. or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds))Accordingly, he, who makes his ownself acquainted with its Lord, habituates it to obey Him and draws it closer to Him by doing good deeds, is purifying his ownself which is the price of Paradise. Consequently, he deserves Paradise.
Man is the only creature who undertook the Divine trust:Listen to the following Ayah:
((Indeed whosoever purifies himself (by avoiding polytheism and accepting Islamic Monotheism) shall achieve success, And remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord (worships none but Allah), and prays (five compulsory prayers and Nawafil additional prayers).)Allah says, “Shall achieve success”, for success, brightness, elevation and reasoning are achieved by purifying your ownself. I always say: Not every brilliant person is wise: a person who is very brilliant and owns a rare specialty, yet he disobeys Allah is not wise at all. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, once passed by an insane man, and he asked his companions a rhetorical question: “Who is he?” they replied: He is an insane person, to which he commented:
“No, he is not. This man is afflicted, whereas the insane is he who disobeys Allah.”Some people are outstanding, for they have the highest degrees in Nuclear Physics or Astrology, yet they are not wise, because unless one knows who has created him, what is after death, where he was before coming to this world, why he was brought to this life, and what it takes to acquire happiness and safety, he is not brilliant. Whenever I introduce the Creator of heavens and earth to people, I make them rejoice in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.
Bearing the trust makes man the foremost creature. Let me elaborate by giving you this example: if a father has ten sons and he says to them: “I will give each one of you a house and a monthly income but I will give half of my factory to the one who will travel abroad to get a Doctorate degree.” Now the question is: do we consider the ambitious son who accepts the challenge unjust and ignorant? No, of course we do not. On the contrary, we considered him just to his ownself, because he knows his abilities. However, if this son goes abroad and wastes his time in following his own lusts and committing sins instead of studying to get the PH.D, he is considered unjust and ignorant. There is a precise and an implied meaning in this Ayah:
((Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).)Does his acceptance to bear the trust make him unjust and ignorant? No by Allah; his ambition encourages him to bear it, and so be ranked over angles. Our master Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ((Angels were built of reasoning without lust, animals were built of lust without reasoning, whereas man was built of both, and when his reasoning takes over his lust, he will be in higher rank than angels…))
Man is up to the trust, so he bore it. There is an implied inquiry in the Ayah:
((Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).)He is not
((unjust (to himself))Nor is he
((ignorant (of its results).))Nevertheless, he will be as described in the Ayah if he follows his lusts and desires:
((Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).)He is considered unjust and ignorant, because he does not appreciate his ownself.
Mr. Alaa’, sometimes a man rejects something because he disdains it, but whoever rejects the religion, he disdains his ownself.
((And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim (Abraham) (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself?))Because man is the foremost creature he is honored by Almighty Allah.
The subjugation of universe to mankind:It is very essential to know that Almighty Allah honors man when He has subjugated to him the whole universe:
((And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him.))
The Subjugation for acquaintance and man’s reciprocation:Axiomatically the one to whom everything is subjected is more honored than the subjected objects. Allah subjected the universe to man for two main purposes: the first purpose is to guide man to Him, and the second one is to honor him. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((May this moon be bringing guidance and good.))He meant that this new moon would guide him to Allah and would be beneficial in many ways. Now, your reciprocation to the subjugation for acquaintance should be your belief in Almighty Allah.
Subjugation of honoring and man’s reciprocation:Your reciprocation to being honored is your gratefulness to Allah. Hence, when you believe and thank Allah, you will fulfill the purpose of your existence, and only then adversities of disciplining nature stop. Allah says:
((Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him ))
Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked Him and believed in Him:When you believe in Allah and thank him, you will achieve the purpose of your existence, so why should Allah punish you? Why should you be burdened? Why should you be worried? Why should you be frightened?
((Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him))Narrated Mu’adh, may Allah be pleased with him, saying: I was riding a donkey called Ofair with the Prophet, sitting behind him, when he said to me:
(("O Mu'adh! Do you know what Allah's Right upon His slaves is?" I said, "Allah and His Apostle know best." The Prophet said, "To worship Him (Allah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know best." The Prophet said, "Not to punish them (if they do so). I said, 'Messenger of Allah, shall I tell the people that so that they can rejoice?' He said, 'Then they will rely on it.'"))For this very reason, those who said:
(("We are the children of Allah and His loved ones."))Were responded to by the following:
((Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?"))The same goes for Muslims nowadays; when they mistakenly assume to be the nation of Prophet Muhammad, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, the Divine response to them is:
((Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created,))Imam Ash-Shafe’ee deduced from this Ayah that Allah never tortures those whom He loves. If Allah had accepted their claim of being the loved ones, he would have never tortured them.
The interviewer:I would like to clarify one point to the spectators, so they won’t be confused; man is the foremost creature in rank but not in existence on earth. There are other creations which were created before mankind but they are not honored like him.
Man is the foremost creature in rank not in existence:
Dr. Rateb:This can be clarified by referring to the saying of Imam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him: ((…and when his reasoning takes over his lust, he will be in higher rank than angels.)) The following Ayah confirms this meaning, Allah says:
((Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messenger Muhammad ) including all obligations ordered by Islam] and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures.))They are the best of all creatures.
As for the other party:
((They are the worst of creatures.))This Ayah needs another meeting to interpret.
Man is assigned by Allah to worship Him. We will tackle worshipping in our next meeting.
Conclusion and farewell:
The interviewer:We will tackle worshipping extensively in our next meeting. I would like to thank you Dr. Muhammad Rateb An-Nabulsi, the Professor of Scientific Miracles of the Noble Quran and Prophetic Sunnah in both the Faculty of Islamic Law and the Faculty of Fundamentals of Islamic Religion in Damascus. I would like to thank you dear spectators, and we promise you to continue this topic next week by which we will add a new color to the picture of “Faith is good conducts.”
Thank you very much, and see you in our next meeting insha Allah.