In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
One of the pillars of faith:
Belief in the Revealed Books:Dear brother, last lesson we finished with belief in the Messengers, peace be upon them. As you know the lessons of Islamic Aqeedah (Islamic belief) deal with the pillars of faith which are: belief in Allah, belief in the angles, belief in the revealed Books, belief in the Messengers, peace be upon them, belief in the Hereafter and belief in the predestination by Allah of all things, both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad. Today we are discussing belief in the revealed Books. As I have just mentioned, belief in the Books which Allah has revealed to His Messengers, peace be upon them is one of the five pillars of faith. In Surat Ash-Shura Allah addresses His Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, and orders him to believe in all of the revealed Books saying:
(So unto this (religion of Islam, alone and this Qur'an) then invite (people) (O Muhammad ), and Istaqim [(i.e. stand firm and straight on Islamic Monotheism by performing all that is ordained by Allah (good deeds, etc.), and by abstaining from all that is forbidden by Allah (sins and evil deeds, etc.)], as you are commanded, and follow not their desires but say: "I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book [all the holy Books, this Qur'an and the Books of the old from the Taurat (Torah), or the Injeel (Gospel) or the Pages of Ibrahim (Abraham)] and I am commanded to do justice among you, Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between us and you. Allah will assemble us (all), and to Him is the final return.)Pay attention to this: Say O Muhammad: "I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book", so it means we should all believe in them.
All believers of the Messenger's Message are concerned:Scholars of Usul Ad-Deen (the fundamentals of Islam) said, "Whenever the Messenger is addressed in the Noble Quran, all believers of his Message are concerned." In Surat An-Nisa' Allah addresses all believers saying:
(O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and the Book (the Qur'an) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him), and whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away)There is a confirmation in all the Ayat that you must believe in the Divine Books that Allah has revealed to all of His Messengers, peace be upon them. In Surat Al-Baqarah, Almighty Allah refers to the Aqeedah of the Messenger, peace be upon him, and the believers who believe in it. Allah says:
(The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, "We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers" - and they say, "We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all))It is obligatory to know that you should believe in Allah's Messengers and the in the Books, and that those who do not believe have strayed far away. When you say that you believe in a Book,, this entails that you follow whatever is mentioned in it, apply its rules to all aspects of your life, make it a reference in your transactions with sh3er, keep away from the forbidden things they are mentioned in it and consider it decisive in your life. If you do not, than what sort of belief is this? It is just a verbal belief, while the true belief should begin in the heart, and whatever is mentioned in Allah's Book should be manifested in all your actions, deeds and behavior.
When you buy an expensive electronic device, you'll be keen on following the instructions mentioned in its manual. These instructions include its use, the warnings, explanations of the functions of its parts, maintenance and so on. Therefore, you use it carefully to keep it working and avoid any problem that may occur to it, because you know this expensive device is the only available one, so what will you do if you know that this Book (Quran) which Allah has sent to you has precise instructions, clear orders, explicit hints, the ways which make you gain happiness in the worldly life and the Hereafter, clarifications, light, guidance, good tidings, explanations and details?
Undoubtedly, when you know that this Book (Quran) is from Allah, and that your happiness in the worldly life and the Hereafter depends on knowing it and acting upon it, you will act upon it. I would like to make the following point clear to you: someone mistakenly thinks that it is enough to say, "I believe in Allah, in the angles, in the revealed Books, in the Messengers, peace be upon them, in the Hereafter and in the predestination by Allah of all things, both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad". Hence, he earns ill-gotten money, gazes at women in a way that exceeds the limits permitted to him and lives a non-Islamic life, how can anyone call this a belief?
To be a believer entails believing in all the pillars of faith:The pillars of faith (belief in Allah, belief in the angles, belief in the revealed Books, belief in the Messengers, peace be upon them, belief in the Hereafter and belief in the predestination by Allah of all things, both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad) are considered one inseparable whole. Pay attention to the precise Words of Allah in the Noble Quran:
(A believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater, etc.), even though he pleases you)In some cases a father lets his daughter marry a rich dissolute man even though he knows that he is morally deviated, and he refuses the believing man, because he is poor. Whoever does that does not believe what Allah says in the above Ayah; He says that a believing slave is better than a bawdy Mushrik. The point is to believe in Allah's Book and turn your belief into action. I repeat again: belief in Allah, belief in the angles, belief in the revealed Books, belief in the Messengers, peace be upon them, belief in the Hereafter and belief in the predestination by Allah of all things, both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad from one whole unit. Hence, it is a serious problem if you believe in one pillar while disbelieve in the other. Let alone, believing in all the pillars save one make your faith unacceptable.
Disbelieving in one of the pillars invalidate you faith:I said earlier that disbelieving in one of the pillars nullify the whole Islamic Aqeedah you believe in. One of the Beautiful Names of Allah is Al-Haqq (the Absolute Truth) which is manifested in the Hereafter. Therefore, if you do not believe in the Hereafter, your faith is not true one. Also, if you believe in Allah and the Hereafter, but you disbelieve that this Book (the Noble Quran) is your guide to happiness, your faith is not true one.
I keep repeating over and over again: the pillars of faith are one whole which cannot be separated, and the faith of a slave is rejected if he does not believe in them all. Believing in Allah entails believing in His Book, and believing in Him requires believing in His Messengers, peace be upon them. As long as you believe that Allah is the All-Knower and the Most Merciful, then one of the sings of His Mercy is that He sent the Messengers, peace be upon them, to His slaves. Moreover, belief in Allah entails belief in the Messengers, peace be upon them, who Allah supported them by miracles. Belief in the Messengers, peace be upon them, in its turn entails believing in whatever they conveyed from Allah the Almighty. Accordingly the Aqeedah of the Muslim, which is considered invalid if his faith is not true, necessitates believing in all the revealed Books; he should believe in the things which are mentioned in general and he is ignorant of and in the details he is informed about. For instance, if you ask a brother in faith, "What do you know about Taurat?", he may answer, "By, Allah, I know nothing about it, but being a Book of Allah is enough reason to believe in it." Thus, the Aqeedah of the Muslim is to believe in the information which is mentioned in general and you are ignorant of and in the one you know in details. Syntactically kitab (the book) is the masdar (the verbal noun) of the verb kataba (wrote) which refers to an action that happens in a specific time; in the past katab (wrote), in the present yaktub (writes) and in the future aktub (I am writing). Unlike the verb (kataba), the masdar (kitab) refers to an action, but with no specific period of time. The other masdar of kataba is kitabah (writing), which originally means sticking the pieces of leather to each other while sewing. The process of writing is similar to the one of sewing; it involves writing letters next to each other to form a word, then writing words next to each other to form a sentence.
There are always in the books of Aqeedah and fiqh a linguistic definition and a terminological one. In linguistics kitab is the masdar of the verb kataba, while in terminology the kitab according to Shari'ah is a Word of the Words of Allah the Almighty. We say a Word, not the Word, because the Noble Quran, the Taurat, the Injeel, the Zaboor, the Pages of Musa and the Pages of Ibrahim are all the Words of Allah.
Hence, one of these Books, such as the Noble Quran is one of the Words of Allah which includes guidance and light, and it is revealed by Allah to one of His Messengers, peace be upon him, to inform people about it. According to Shari'ah, the Scriptures are called kitab. Almighty Allah says:
(Verily! This is in the former Scriptures* The Scriptures of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses).)Also, kitab refers to the Pages and the Tablets:
(And when the anger of Musa (Moses) was appeased, he took up the Tablets, and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord)
All the Scriptures and all the revealed Words which Allah sent down to His Messengers to inform people about in whatever language, whether these revealed Words are verbal or written, small of big, have the verbal inimitability or not are all called kitab according to Shari'ah. The main thing concerning this issue is people's need to the Divine Books. Like people who desperately need Messengers, peace be upon them, to inform them about the rulings of Allah's Shari'ah, the Messengers, peace be upon them, need Divine Books.
What are the purposes of the revealed Book?
1. The Divine Book is a reference for the Ummah:The first purpose is having the Divine Book which was sent to the Messenger, peace be upon him, as a reference for his Ummah. Consider the example of a teacher who teaches his students without having a book to teach from. Some students may listen to him and understand what he says, while the other may not. Therefore, when they go home and have no book to go back to in order to revise the information they are given, they will say "What did the teacher say?" Not to mention, students will argue about the information they are given; some interpret it the way they like, some exaggerate pieces of it, other students delete some pieces of information and some add other pieces. Thus, those who seek knowledge should have a reference book. People are in dire need to a book from Allah the Exalted in order to be the reference for the Ummah in all ages, and so they can get back to it to know about Aqeedah of this religion and its bases.
Today, our book is the Noble Quran, and one of its wonders is that it is timeless. Although the Prophet, peace be upon him, to whom Allah revealed this Book died 15 centuries ago, it is still in our hands including the Ayat of Aqeedah, the Ayat of Shari'ah, the Ayat of Halal and Haram, the orders and prohibitions, the moral lessons, the words of wisdom, the stories and so on. We need it badly, because it is our reference particularly after the death of Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him. Muslims need a reference book to get back to it to know the beliefs of the religion, its bases, principles and purposes. You should not say, "By Allah, O brother, that wali (a righteous man) knows al-ghaib (the unseen). Because you have a reference book to which you can go back to and read Allah's Saying:
(Nor (that) I know the unseen)You should stop him with this Ayah. Since the Prophet, peace be upon him, who is the Master of all creations and the beloved of Allah does not know the unseen, we should say to whoever claims that he knows the unseen, "You are a liar, because only Allah knows the unseen."
Also, a sorcerer may say, "Committing sins do not do any harm to me as I have exceeded such phase (the one of punishment).", so we say to him, "You are a liar, because Allah the Almighty says:
(Say: "I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the torment of a Mighty Day)These are some of the Ayat which are related to Aqeedah, and they tell us that the Prophet, peace be upon him, has limited capabilities; he has no idea about the unseen, and so he cannot benefit us or do harm to us. The materialistic benefit of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is based on Allah's Will. In the above Ayah, Allah tells us that the Prophet, peace be upon him, fear the torment of a Mighty Day if he disobeyed Allah, so whoever claims the opposite is a liar.
If someone tells you, "I will repent when I am on deathbed", say to him, "You are such an ignorant man." Allah the Almighty says:
(And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent;" nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.)Turning to Allah in repentance is not acceptable when death faces someone.
Moreover, someone may tell you, "I know a person who does not pray, and he disbelieves in Allah, commits sins frequently and defies Allah. Yet, his power increases, his position gets higher and his wealth increases. How can you explain this?" Tell him that the explanation is clear; Our Lord, the Exalted, says:
(So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows)Thus, the Noble Quran is a reference book through which we know the sound Aqeedah.
Someone may say, "I saw the jinn yesterday", which is untrue, because Allah says:
(He and Qabiluhu (his soldiers from the jinns or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them.)
What he says is an unacceptable lie. When people say things which are against Usul Ad-Deen or the sound Aqeedah, we should ignore what they say, such as when they say, "Entering Paradise has nothing to do with the good deeds you do in the worldly life." We say to those who claim that:
(Enter you Paradise, because of (the good) which you used to do (in the world))Our master Ja'far, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "enter it by My Mercy (Allah's Mercy) and divide it among you by your good deeds." An ignorant person may say, "Allah will not call us to account for all our deeds", while Allah says:
(So, by your Lord (O Muhammad PBUH), We shall certainly call all of them to account* For all that they used to do)Someone may say, "Do not worry about the bad deeds you do, because Allah is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful", whereas Allah the Almighty says:
(But those who committed evil deeds and then repented afterwards and believed, verily, your Lord after (all) that is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful)
(Declare (O Muhammad PBUH) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful* And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment)Whenever you hear a false idea which is satanically exaggerated, you should correct it with the Ayat. This is why the Quran is a reference book to us concerning our Aqeedah.
An ignorant man says, "How can we be punished after we are buried in our graves?" By the Lord of the Ka'abah, there is punishment after people are buried in their graves. Allah the Almighty says:
(The Fire; they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon, and on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment)
The torment is Hellfire:
(The Fire will burn their faces, and therein they will grin, with displaced lips (disfigured)* "Were not My Verses (this Qur'an) reauthord to you, and then you used to deny them?)Whenever a person deviates from the true beliefs and goes far from the sound Aqeedah, the Quran will be the reference. Therefore, if whatever a belief someone believes in is acceptable according to the Noble Quran, then it is correct, but if it is unacceptable, his belief is false.
The ignorant man says, "In some cases, Riba (usury) in necessary", but Allah says:
(Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqat (deeds of charity, alms, etc.)The Ayah is clear.
Almighty Allah mentions in the Noble Quran precise rulings on marriage, divorce, wills and inheritance, buying and selling and all other affairs to make the rulings of Allah's Shari'ah clear to people. Furthermore, He mentions the orders ordained to them, the prohibitions He forbids them from doing and the virtues and best qualities He urges them to have. Hence, the Noble Quran is a reference book regarding beliefs, bases, principles, purposes, Shari'ah rulings, duties, prohibitions and virtues. These are all mentioned in Allah's Book.
Muslims get back to the Noble Quran to know about the moral lessons, pieces of advice, words of wisdom, morals, good tidings and warnings, rewards and punishments and all other educational tools which guide us to the Right Path of Allah. Verily, it is a reference book. Allah the Exalted has made the Da'awah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, continuous through this Book. Besides, the scholars and fuqaha' get back to it to deduce the different rulings of Shari'ah from it. Allah the Almighty says:
(This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you)It means that Shari'ah has everything; the texts of it are complete and the texts of the Book are complete too. However, Almighty Allah assigned the mujtahideen (the plurar is Mujtahid: he is the one who is highly knowledgeable about the secrets of the Quran, is capable of ijtihad, and is the scholar of fiqh) scholars to deduce from the general rulings detailed ones in order to meet people needs. This is called qiyas (it is a method that Muslim jurists use to derive a ruling for new situations that are not addressed by the Quran and Sunnah, like many new developments of our age and like the customs of people not encountered in Arabia during the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him. By way of qiyas, these issues can be referred back to those that are explicitly mentioned in the sacred texts). In addition to qiyas, the Noble Quran, the Noble Hadith, and ijma' (the universal and infallible agreement of the Muslim community, especially of Muslim scholars on any Islamic principle, at any time) are all sources of Shari'ah.
2. The Divine Book revealed to the Messenger is the just judgment to his Ummah:At our time, no can go back to the Prophet, peace be upon him, (for advice and judgment) since he is no longer among us. Yet, the scholar can go back to the Book of Allah. The Messenger, peace be upon him, passed away 15 centuries ago, but the Book is still alive and it is in our hands. Thus, people need the divine Book that was revealed to the Messenger, peace be upon him, to be the just judge to his Ummah. Allah says:
(And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it complies with the Command of Allah)
For all cases, even the one which may seem very rare to you, you will find a ruling on it in the Quran. For example, if a conflict rises between spouses, you can go back to the Ayah in which Allah says:
(Appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's)Hence in all the cases which are related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, buying and selling the Quran is the judge. This means that the second purpose of the Divine Book which was revealed to the Messenger, peace be upon him, is to be the just judge to his Ummah regarding all the matters they argue about. Thus, the mission of the ruler is judging according to Allah's Book, and the true judge is Allah the Exalted Alone. People are supposed to give rulings in accordance with the ones mentioned in Allah's Book. This is confirmed by Allah's Saying:
(And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers - of a lesser degree)As I said earlier, spouses can go back to Allah's Book if they have conflicts.
Also, if two partners have disputes, and there is a contract, which was sealed and verified by a notary and was officially registered in the court, they can find the ruling on it in Allah's Book. Allah says:
(O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations)If you argue with your wife, then reauthor Allah's Saying:
(And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good)Concerning the misunderstandings between partners or neighbors, Allah says:
(Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allah Alone - Islamic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsan [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah's sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner])
Man should judge in accordance with what Allah has sent. He orders us to be just in treating our children, so the father should not deprive one of his children of the inheritance, while giving the other ones. I was told many stories about fathers who gave one of their children everything they had, but they deprived the sh3er of their wealth. Those fathers did not act upon Allah's Order, so they are unfair and impious. They should have known that the Book is the Judge.
If Muslims have disagreements between one another, they should go back to Allah's Saying:
(Mankind were one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed.)Scholars said about the interpretation of this Ayah, "People used to be one Ummah, and they worshipped Allah and treated other people kindly out of their Fitrah. However, when ignorance spread, false beliefs appeared, fulfilling forbidden lusts become irresistible and tribulations appeared, they needed a book to be their reference in giving the rulings.
If man performed his deeds and activities out of his Fitrah, he would know the truth, but because his Fitrah have been distorted by forbidden lusts, transgression and ignorance, the only just judge left to them is the Book.
3. The Divine Book preserves the beliefs, Shari'ah and the purposes of the religion:The third purpose is preserving the beliefs, Shari'ah and the purposes of this religion as the time of the Messenger, peace be upon him finished. After the Nobel Prophet, peace be upon him, passed away Muslims fell apart, accused one another of being Kafir and some of them deviated from the sound Aqeedah. Thus, there must have been a reference for all people and all different groups. This Book (Quran) is the reference for those who have strayed from the rulings of the religion. Almighty Allah has made the Divine Book guard the beliefs of people from any kind of deviation caused by those who intend to manipulate the religion, add to it things which do not belong to it and deviate it from the Right Path in order to satisfy their forbidden lusts and instincts. Therefore, people should not abandon Allah's Book, because it is the reference for their beliefs. Allah the Exalted has made it a reference for their Aqeedah.
The Book stops whoever has false beliefs, deviates, exaggerates, lets lusts control him, intends to submit religion to his worldly needs or wants to satisfy his worldly pleasures through religion, and It will return him to the Right Path. Having the Quran in the hands of the people who belong to the Ummah of the Messenger, peace be upon him, is just like having the Messenger, peace be upon him, who informed people about it when he was among them. Had the Divine Books disappeared with the death of the Messengers, peace be upon them, people would have changed their Da'wah and modified them a lot, because people by nature have different views and opinions. Not to mention, they would have been affected easily by lusts and desires. If a believer had blamed them for their deviation, they would have told lies about Allah saying that their claims had been derived from Allah's Shari'ah, and that they had been related to the religion. Because of all these, there must have been a controller which disciplines them and obliges them to go back to the sound texts.
4. Protecting the Prophet's Message and Da'wah:
Had we not had the Quran in our hands, we would not have been Muslims. What protects Aqeedah and Shari'ah of Islam? It is the Noble Quran; it is the disciplining tool and the reference.
The fourth purpose is: the Divine book (Quran) has preserved the Da'wah and the Message of the Messenger, peace be upon him, kept it going among people and given it the ability to spread all over the world. The Noble Quran is still in our hands, and the more man reauthors its Ayaht, the more he knows about Allah the Exalted. As you know the Prophet, peace be upon him, died while the Muslims were in the Arabian Peninsula. Nevertheless, after his death, the Muslims opened Egypt, North Africa, Morocco, Spain, the Levant,, Iraq, Turkey, India,, Pakistan, China and other countries. The reason behind the spread of this religion is the existence of the constitution (Noble Quran), which is considered a disciplining method and a reference book. Hence, no matter how far are the countries from the Arabia (where the Message of the Prophet, peace be upon him started), or how many years have been passed since Da'wah began, this Book remains a tool of spreading the Da'wah.
Summarizing the purposes of the Divine Book:Having the revealed Book in the hands of the Ummah, is equivalent to having the Messenger, peace be upon him, among us in regard with knowing Usul Ad-Deen, the rulings of Shari'ah, preaches, all moral lessons and etiquettes. After the death of Allah's Messenger, Muslims no longer have the good example to follow, but they still have the Legislation and the Method. Because of the purposes we have mentioned so far and out of the wisdom which only Allah the Almighty, the All-Knower, the All-Aware knows, Allah revealed to His Messengers, peace be upon them, His Books. These Books contain His Shari'ah, orders and prohibitions. Besides, they advise people, guide them, bring them good tidings, warn them, lead them to the Right Path and show them the rulings if they argue about certain issues. These points are extremely important in making people know how necessary it is to have Divine Books. Out of Allah's Mercy, Knowledge and Care to guide us, He sent us the Messengers, peace be upon them and revealed to them the Books.
Next lesson we will talk insha Allah about the Divine Books that we should believe in starting with the Noble Quran.