Academic Steps Trust - أمانة الخطوات التعليمية لتعليم اللغة العربية والإسلام

 

 

STEPS ON

THE STRAIGHT PATH

 

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

 

GOD has revealed the unbroken chain of belief and guidance through His Prophets to humanity. This book shows how previous Paths converge into THE STRAIGHT PATH. The writer approaches this subject through (a) objective writing and (b) group discussions to clear the mist of misunderstanding held by Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam.

This work attempts to unite the spiritual with the secular both in private and in public life after their long divorce. Religious belief is to be translated into moral action supported by all social systems; ethical, political, economic and in our duty towards God, to oneself and to others. All of these are sustained by a Divine Moral Decree that links the temporal world with the spiritual to save the welfare state of humanity and its destiny.

These writings hope to persuade Muslims, in particular the youth, to adapt a spiritual infusion, to safeguard their beliefs in relation to moral action. To non-Muslims and researchers in this field of study, it allows them to distinguish clearly the differences between Muslim thought, the behaviour of Muslims and Islamic theology and its conduct. It is also directed to assist students who need a reference book for use in Religious Studies and also as a source of reference in public libraries. It is an introduction to study the principles of Divine Decree in the Qur’an.

 

“And verily this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate from His way. This has He enjoined upon you, so that you might remain conscious of Him” [Qur’an, 6:153].

 

H.M.Abbara is an Educationist specialising in Moral and Religious Development.

 

 

Introduction to the Steps on the Straight Path

 

v    1st Step

v    2nd Step

v    3rd Step

v    4th Step

v    5th Step

v    6th Step

v    7th Step

v    8th Step

v   Introduction

 

And verily this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate from His way. This has He enjoined upon you, so that you might remain conscious of Him” [Qur’an, 6:153].

 

 

GOD has revealed the unbroken chain of belief and guidance through His Prophets to humanity. This book shows how previous Paths converge into THE STRAIGHT PATH. The writer approaches this subject through (a) objective writing and (b) group discussions to clear the mist of misunderstanding held by Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam.

This work attempts to unite the spiritual with the secular both in private and in public life after their long divorce. Religious belief is to be translated into moral action supported by all social systems; ethical, political, economic and in our duty towards God, to oneself and to others. All of these are sustained by a Divine Moral Decree that links the temporal world with the spiritual to save the welfare state of humanity and its destiny.

These writings hope to persuade Muslims, in particular the youth, to adapt a spiritual infusion, to safeguard their beliefs in relation to moral action. To non-Muslims and researchers in this field of study, it allows them to distinguish clearly the differences between Muslim thought, the behaviour of Muslims and Islamic theology and its conduct. It is also directed to assist students who need a reference book for use in Religious Studies and also as a source of reference in public libraries. It is an introduction to study the principles of Divine Decree in the Qur’an

H.M.Abbara is an Educationist specialising in Moral and Religious Development.

Acknowledgements

 

   Firstly I express my thanks to God for His help in bringing this book to fruition, and to the beloved Prophet whose life  has been an inspiration in me and in instilling in me the spirit of patience. Then my thanks to all the authors whose books I have referred to, and to the many scholars who have given me their advice and suggestions. I would especially like to thank the Islamic Research Academy of Al-Azhar Al-sharif, at for their encouragement to publish this work and which they have been kind enough to commend: “It is useful for those who read it and it is free from clashes between the view of Islamic principles and its teachings.” (Reference no.57 dated 24/03/1996). My thanks especially to Professor Muhammad Abu Layla; Head of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in English, at the Al-Azhar University, Cairo. I would like to convey my thanks also to the editors; to Daphne Buckmaster for typing and editing the first draft. Without her help this work would not have been fulfilled; to Jun-Angus for editing the final draft and for his many correction and suggestions; and to all those who offered their help and encouragement.  My special thanks to my wife and children for their support and in particular to my daughter who designed the cover.

   I realise that every writer views his work as incomplete; I therefore welcome any comments, suggestions and criticisms, to be considered for the next edition.

 

 

FOREWORD

   All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds from Whom we ask for guidance to The Straight Path. This is an attempt to explain the teachings of Islam to all those, Muslim or non-Muslim, who are interested to have a better understanding of Islam, together with knowledge of its practical advice as to how humanity can achieve a harmonious and civilised way of life.

   The intention has been to give a comprehensive overview of all that Islam teaches in all aspects of human life, spiritual and material, mental and physical, individual and social, at the local and international level.

The book is organised is such a way as to lead the reader progressively through the practises of Islam from the personal to inter-personal level. It starts with an examination of what religion is about and the basic beliefs of Islam, and then it moves on to discusses about the Qur’an and the prophets, the pillars of religion and society and finally it summarises the details of various systems which Islam has set up to ensure a peaceful and well-ordered life for all human beings.

   This book can also be used as a source of reference on the teachings regarding any particular aspects of life the reader may wish to find out about. Or it can simply be dipped into according to the reader’s own particular interests.

   The sections entitled “Discussion” are an attempt to give answers to questions and arguments that often arise in the minds of students of Islam. Many people come to the teachings of Islam only by hearsay, from its opponents, or as disconnected ideas from articles, speeches, broadcasts, etc. These partial sources have given rise to many biased attitudes and it is hoped that this comprehensive treatment will provide a more holistic view of Islam and thus shed light on all the details which otherwise would seem incomprehensible.

   We are very pleased to present the first book in its sufficiency. We pray to our Sustainer to guide us to the Right Way.

 

-- ABSTRACT:

 

An explanation of the diagram

 

       Knowing God exists is common sense although everyone has his own conception of God. God assigned His own agent, our spirit, the mind, to each human being. Yet, the mind without Right Guidance may grow with a wrong perception concerning God.

       God Revealed His messages through His Messengers; to Guide us along The Straight Path; to correct our perception about Him. Hence the Revelation corrects our vision and displays the true concept of God according to His own Revelations rather than through any other conceptions.

       In this book we examine the Qur'an and look at Islamic principles in relation to spiritual and temporal life. We discuss the pillars of religion and their connection with the pillars of Islam, of Belief, Perfection, Social life and then society itself. They are supported by the Islamic system and its rules, policies and basis of order.

       The political-system hinges on ethical and moral systems that are both supported by Shari’ah or Islamic Law; while the social and economic systems are based on family life and the individual, which are in turn strengthened by a system of Islamic education that teaches everyone their rights and duties as regards one another and in relation to God.

       Islam demands that everyone fulfils his duties towards himself to purify his spirit, and then to extend outward in purity by observing his duties to others. These duties tend to overlap. For example God will not accept the prayer of any one unless he frees himself from the oppression of himself and of others. The relationship of a true believer with others around him is of utmost importance.

       Islam is a unity of components and a true Muslim is one who can pass successfully through these parts without missing a single one. We invite you to read this book and understand the difference between true Islamic principles and false opinions, Muslims and non-Muslims, to distinguish between truth and falsehood.

The diagram omitted 

 

 

{In the Introduction an extra materials inserted. So it needs editing}

 

1st Step on the straight Path 

0.0  The Outline.

   We have adopted two approaches: firstly by means of description, and secondly by means of a theoretical dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims, in order to correct some misconceptions that exist as regards the principles of Islam. Islam being a unity, it is very difficult to describe all its parts separately. Nevertheless, we must separate its components to have access to its inner structure. Therefore, the chapters are separate but interconnected. We have structured the book as follows in our attempt to indicate the interdependence of the different aspects of the religion.

O.   The Introduction is the key to the subject. The accompanying discussion encompasses the Straight Path and its meaning. Then follows a brief resume of some of the books; written on Islam by both Muslims and non-Muslims, including Orientalists sources. We have attempted to define religion, religious belief and why people incline towards religion. Why does religious conversion take place within the same religion or to another religion? The relationship between religion and God's Decree leads us to discuss, "The Spiritual Moral Law" which is the constitutions of God’s Decree to control human behaviour and create a balance between good and evils in human life. God granted human mind and freedom but they abuse God’s trust, so, those who want to far in wrong way put stop on them, put them back or discipline through unexpected retribution.  

    The main subjects are discussed in the following chapters:

1.   God. Is called in Arabic Allah, is a noun stands by itself, it means the Divinity; the Oneness of God, cannot be made plural or altered to any other form as word god or gods, therefore, some Muslim do not use word god. Non-Muslims consider the word Allah is god of the Arab and Muslims sometimes confirm that by some attitude, while the first verse in the Qur’an, in starting the prayers is: “All Praise is due to God the Sustainer of all worlds (Mankind)”. Knowing God, His Existence, His Oneness, His Attributes through Him; as He revealed Himself through His Revelation to be a criterion of His inspiration, to define His incentive to non-Muslims from Satan stimulation. Then, the Man-God and Muslim-God relationships are discussed, together with their relationship with Sunnatu Allah; which is the constitution of the creation with theree dimension laws: A. the Nartural law, b. the law of the animate and c. the Spiritual Moral Law; (SML) to be in charge of human being behaviour. God’s Decree is passing the verdict according to the ‘Spiritual Moral Law’ which everyone has feeling of it, they call its decree verdict, fate, predestine or other ambiguous divinations. Muslims in spite the revelation they misunderstand it, as we will give explanation through the Steps. All Steps are illuminations on the Straight Path, starting with first Step:

2.   Islam. The original word denotes so many meaning but take as name of God’s Religion (Din) as He repeatedly call it. Is the original religion of God to humanity, revealed it through His prophets and finally to His last Prophet to cultivate Men to come into upright being. We try to define Islam and its teachings, which is comprehending life in its totality, spiritually and worldly. Muslims think that Islam belongs to them. Non-Muslims not only confirm that but also even add that it belongs to the Arabs. In fact, Islam belongs to God and all humankind belongs to Him. No one can monopolise it, but only the true believer is interrelated to it and to Him. Unfortunately, Muslims by their own thought and behaviour give wrong impression about Islam; they stand between Islam and non-Muslims who judge Muslims action in relation to Islam but in many issues are not. We will try to distinguish between who call Muslims by name and true believers or unfocused believers. Then we try to examine the relationship between Muslims and Islam. Then what Islam teaches? Then we refer to Islam and the Primordial norm. Finally we clarify further by our discussion. Islam is related to God’s Revelations and His final message in:

 

2nd Step on the Straight Path

3.   The Qur'an. An Arabic word means ‘recitation’ The Qur'an defines itself; it is the final Divine Revelation to mankind, combines the previous revelations and confronts by itself to prove that is the true Word of God in Arabic. It is a spiritual literature gives explanations to the spiritual consciousness within us and the spiritual world; it is the standard of true and false belief, spiritual guidance and moral, the Criterion of social life principles to maintain equilibrium in all affairs of human life. We try to examine that from different angles, i.e., its attributes, contents, its presentation, its spiritual teachings, its exegesis, all copies apart from Arabic are interpretation not translation, so we refer to translators’ testimonies and to evidence of its Divine Revelation, the natural, scientific, and historical evidence. It pointed out the Spiritual Moral Law in relation to law of Guidance and misguidance, law of belief and disbelief; consistent with law of cause and effect and its laws for human life, morally, socially, economically and educationally. Finally, we discuss these themes. We concentrate initially at start, on the Knowledge the Qur’an provides, such as:

4. The Creation and The Messages. The origin of man, the story of Adam and the conclusions we can draw from it, followed by the chain of the Prophets, in the discussion we refer to the creation and original of mankind, then prophets, their mission is one, their argument with their people and God’s Decree is a practical lesson for human being. We discuss the real identity of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Qur'an, which leads us to evaluate the relationship between the Qur'an and:

5.   The Prophet Muhammad. (Peace be upon him). His life, how receiving the Revelation, the Mission, his emigration from Makkah to Madinah and other aspects of his life; the Sunnah; his tradition practical and his saying; Hadith. Then the relationship between him and the Qur'an; we refer to the stylishness of the Qur’an and style of the Hadith. In the discussion we contest about the above topics and at last we dicussed “Islam is a continuous massage, then, the relation between revealed religion. We then attempt to demonstrate the relationship of the Prophet to the basic principles and pillars of Islam, which are:

 

3rd Step on the Straight Path

This Step started with the Basic Principles of Islam is like building up spiritual development and social life, which called pillar of: Faith, Islam, Virtue, Social life and Society they are maintained by Islamic systems   

6.   The Pillars of Belief, which consist of belief in: 1. God; the law of belief in God is depends on the purity of soul, spirit or with strong-minded to do so, so the gate of faith, to the sinful doing is closed; unless repent and determined. Therefore, the belief in God is not wish but a sincere will to disbelieve in lower self-desires, in immoral intention, action, purify the mind with willpower to do only good. 2. Belief in the Angels, believes in the spiritual world around us; as we believe in the weave sound around us but we cannot see. 3. The belief in the Prophets, the medium between God and mankind, they are the recipients of Revelation and that cause to believe in: 4. The Revealed Books to guide Human to the Right Way. In addition, the Law of guidance cannot be given only for those unadulterated. The main massage of God believes in Him and 5, The Next Life where the destiny of everyone is there. 6. The six article of belief is to believe in God's Decree, Qada’a and Qadar which denote namely, ‘fate’ or ‘predestination’; so, Muslim misunderstood the Qada’a and Qadar. the Qadar is the eternal “Divine Spiritual Moral Law”; (SML) and Qada’a is the “Divine Judgement; Decree” by SML on intention, saying and action of every human and that law is written in mind every human: “Whoever does what is just and right, does so for his own good; and whoever does evil, does so to his own hurt; and never does God do the least wrong to His creature” (Qur’an 41:46). God is the Sustainer of all believers and unbelievers, in meantime He Is maintaining goodness of life, He put stop on evildoer who exceed His boundaries to keep balance between good and evils, and He grantees a good life for true believers. These pillars are an essential part of the Islamic creed, and are supported by:

7.   The Pillars of Islam. The Profession of Faith that: 1. ‘There is no god worth to be worship except the Only One God’, worship denote, that every intention or action worldly or religiously, should be sincerely to God within His Law. 2. Performing the Prayers; five times daily is unavoidable to the communion with God; for moral and spiritual development. We take the prayer as a consequence, then, we refer to the six stages of Spiritual Development, which depends not only on the quantities of prayers but as well as on the qualities of prayers. A survey concludes that most of Muslims do not pray they are in stage (- 0); as a result they are namely Muslims; in Islam prayers is the indispensable starting point of Muslim. The majority of those who prays are fall in stage one or two; and few in stage three, for myself I could not pass this stage. Therefore, Muslims need more effort to gain spiritual development, to be with standard of their religion, I do not only mean spiritual development but it depends on moral development. From here you can distinguish between Muslims and using the word Islamic blindly which denote ‘Godly’. and  3. Paying the Poor Due; 2˝ of yearly saving; is called zakah; means purifying the soul from greediness supported by Sadaqah; charity as prove of purifying. 4. Fasting; is a training course, one month yearly; to discipline the mind, it is weakening the desire; giving rises to the spirit to gain inspiration, to come close to God’s consciousness. 5. The Pilgrimage; is a spiritual journey from place committed a sins to the place where the Qur’an has been revealed. The intention to make change in the subconscious programs to more spiritually orientated. Then the discussion makes these themes clearer. These impose religious duties and imply rules of conduct, the application of which is sustained by the pillars of perfection; next Step: constitution

 

4th  Step on the Straight Path

8.   The Pillars of perfection or Ihsan.

The stage of perfection; necessitate to achievement of performance the following steps:  1. A perfect Islamic society requires perfect Muslim, inward toward himself,  upward towards God, and that is required: 2. A virtuous individual pursues perfection through various procedures to ascend to high merit of this life and next life, and that demands: 3. Purifying the heart and mind, as the earliest revelation commanded the Prophet: “And thine inner self purify” (74:4) decontamination of the mind is demanding: 3. Right belief of the soul and spirit, its spiritual development depends on right knowledge The belief in Islam has many stages, increase or decrease depends on awareness of Sunnatu Allah and understanding its Decree, believing in its wisdom, no matter if the verdict was positive or negative according our judgement because we unaware of the consequences of its course of action. Belief is supp necessitate: 4. Virtuous action is the criterion of the right belief which is a stimulus to spontaneous moral behaviour. Right action is required: 5. Conscious intention for sake of God free from self-interest. These again requested to be free from: 5.1, Ostentation which necessitate that action morally or religiously to be carried out purely for nothing in return or to show off, and that required avoiding: 5.2. Hypocrisy, which takes upon oneself a false appearance, that causes the people, mistrust each others, so these are supported by: 6. God-consciousness, that true believer he is aware that God perceive his intention and action. Therefore, they live by within the Straight Path set up by: 7. God’ Guidance affirms unto true believers and lets go astray the wrongdoers, hem God’s Guidance permitted only for those who uncontaminated with sins of virus of thought or self-interested judgement such those who made verdict on behave of God to kill their opponents by name of Islam or makes unlawful as a lawful. All these statements are not left to the individual judgements but as defined by: 8. The Book of the Guidance; the Qur'an, the criterion of absolute right judgments, but so many Muslims twisted them, so the suffer the loss of trust of each others an God trust not the common one. That is followed by the Discussion which makes these main beliefs clearer. Hence, one's application and spiritual growth depend on the right environment which is maintained by the application of the pillars of social life:

9.    The Pillars of Social Life.

God does not only spiritual teaching or private piety as Sufism consider but as well as, spiritual exhortation with ordinance relating to the practical aspects of social life. Human needs support from compassionate God as well as from human care and only morality and spirituality can create right atmosphere. Islam lays down the main principles that make life secure and safe for every individual Muslim or not and to the whole community if they are Muslim or not. The fundamental objective of Islamic social life is affirmation restoration and consolidation of the dignity, integrity, and honour of the individual and the whole community. God regulates human life and defines basic human uprightness, so, its moral objectives are protection the indispensable feature of life. Starting with main objective: 1. Protection of life, God granted a life to an individual and nobody has the right to take human life including one own life. So these who kill by name of God they have no authority from Him but may be from Satan who inspire his followers. Defence of life is maintained by: 2. Protection of possession; God made the sanctity of life and the sanctity of property as one because a human nature is ready to sacrifice his life for his ownership, and the most important then the property is protection of: 3. The mind, is the credit of human if it abuse; it cause a cruelty to the person as a whole of mind, hence, protecting the mind, it is defending is belief, so, the third factors is: 4. Protecting the religion. God announce there is no compulsion in religion, He gives freedom to everyone to believe in whatsoever a person to cover his original believe in Him, as long as he lives morally right to pay tribute to others dignity. All trouble cause by violent behaviour not in favour of honour of person or his relative. So protection of: 5. The honour in relationship to sexual category, where the stimuli of human offensive comes from, so he God’s commandment: “And do not come near adultery- for, behold, it is an abomination and an evil way” (17:32). The violation of these subject matters directly or indirectly act is consider dreadful behaviour. Toward the end we have our normal discussion on these subjects. These basic principles of the honourable life are supported by the application of pillar of society:

10.  The Pillars of Society.

God care about the individual spiritual, moral, honour and then set up the pillar of moderate society to safeguard the life directly or indirectly by all means. The structure of Islamic societies builds up its Pillars on shoulder of their members, by submiting an application of its foundation and demands the society to do so. These groundwork starting with: 1. Justice is the prime principle of God’s Revelation for human to be applied in all direction; horizontal and vertical: A. inward, not to be injustice to himself with wrong belief and wrong behaviour. B. Upward to stand for justice for sake of God even when it is against one’s interests, C. Outward to treat others even more justly than himself, with altruism and D. Downward, that everyone in charge affairs of others, to be the civil servant justice, applied for all in accurate measure; as God command His Prophet to be just with non-Muslims as well. It is a complete structure which includes all aspects of performance in relation to prissily just to be done and injustice to be avoided by individual and communal, according to God’s measurement, not consistent with human ill desires or ill-defined will. Justice maintained by: 2. Equality to all mankind no difference between believers or not believers, there is no discrimination for any reason, equality is applied  for all incomplete justice in all affairs and that sustained by: 3. Consultation, individual, no matter if he is high qualified, still need advise in a matter related to the other rather than to judge things from his point of view. Consultation is sustained by: 4. Freedom; the consultation is the expression of the freedom in saying and in action within its limited which do not cause harm to others, otherwise it will abuse justice. If take for example, freedom of belief, everyone, has the freedom to become accustomed to any belief support justice and cause no harm to other directly or indirectly so an evil point of view should not primate to persuasion other to spread virus of though in the society. Freedom is bring to an end, when the freedom of other start, in regard behaviour also should not cause harm to others by any way, duty of believer to forbid evil and help other to turn away from it. Therefore, all member of the society to bound themselves into moral norm to be united, going in one direction and the most excellent upward toward God rather than downward of self desires. Therefore, the upright freedom is resulted in unity: 5. The Unity: In Islam God is One, His book is one, that means the criterion judgement is one and the objective is one, all that create a unity and harmony in life of the individual and the public life. All are united to do well and speak well of other and forbid evil. Solidarity exist in spirituality of true believers with compassionate and blessing of God, then we complot our discourse to clarify furthermore. Islam aims to unity through its systems. Hence, the structure of society is built on several systems, starting with the political system in ext Step:

 

5th.  Step on the Straight Path

   In previous chapters, we saw how the Pillars are standing firmly together the spiritual and social. Each one is link to others. These Pillars are supported by the following systems:

1.        Pillars of society supported by Islamic systems:-

2.       Political system supported by the Shari’a system.

3.  Shari’a system supported by the ethical system.

4.  Ethical system depends on the economic system.

5.       Economic system depends on the social system.

6.       Social system sustained by value systems

7.       Values systems supported by spiritual values

8.       Spiritual values depend on individual system.

9.       Individual system resulted from the education system

10. Education system sustains duties and rights systems.

11. Duty inwards towards oneself sustains by duty to God.

12. Duty up wards, to God sustains by duty outwards to others.

13. Duties and rights sustain by spiritual link, bond with God and a bond with others all link together.

The mindful of the society is the political system:

 

11.  The Political System.

The overall system is the political system which is in the charge of the society, which has the control over all other systems; leads it either to the prosperity or into destruction.

Islam considers the political system is the politeness of justice. The government to be given in trust by God and therefore those with authority have to judge between men in truth and justice: capricious judgement leads man away from the Path of God. Therefore, political system has duties to fulfil to up right the pillars of society as follow:

1. The pillars of the political system depends on loyalty to God

2. Loyalty to God sustained by administrating the Divine Law

3. The Divine Law sustained by the government as a trustee

3.       The government as a trustee maintained by the authority of  Muslims community

4.         Ummah authority sustained by consultation

6         Consultation sustained by justice

7         The justice maintained by equality ,

 8. Equality sustained by freedom

9.  Freedom maintained by:   10. Unity of the Ummah  

The political systems are sustained by:

 

12.  The Divine Law or Shari'ah System.

This is summarised in the Qur'an, translated into action by His Prophet and expanded by a consensus of opinion within the framework prescribed and is supported by the application of every individual. We study the source of the Shari’ah as follows:

These sources of Shari’ah are:

1. The application of the Qur’an supported by the Sunnah

2.  The Sunnah supported by Ijma’a, the consensus of opinion

3.  The consensus of opinion supported by Qiyas, analogy;

4.The Analogy, supported by Ijtihad, the exercise of judgement.

5. The exercise of judgement supported by a). Istihsan, equitable reference. B). by Istislah, unprecedented judgement, and, c). Al-Urf wa Aadat; traditional convention and well establishment moral practice. 

The application of Shari’ah is sustained by moral behaviour of the public and the private; maintained by:

 

13.  The Ethical System and its fivefold hierarchy of values: 1. The compulsory, 2. The lawful, 3. The preferable, 4. The undesirable and the prohibited. These values are supported by the pillars of Islamic morality: a. acquired moral knowledge, b. God-consciousness, c. purification of the inner self and d. development of the conscience. We will refer to them as well as to the human characteristics that result from them such as: happiness, reasoning, moderation, stability and wholeheartedness. In addition, there are other aspects such as a sense of obligation, responsibility, accountability and the making of moral efforts. The moral life is supported by the means of living, and by:

14.  The Economic System.

This is a comprehensive and complex system and we present it in its 3 main stages.

1. Production and enterprise are the lawful means. Islam clearly prohibits usury and interest, where the rich freeze their capital, which is the very means of production, in the bank or in a few hands. Wealth is the right of the individual and society in equal measure.

2. Consumption and distribution in lawful ways and in the prescribed manner, so that the less fortunate receive their rights; and

3. Economic growth and increase, which are the basis of the welfare of the individual and the society. Therefore, the economic system is supported by social system in next Step: 

6th  Step on the Straight Path

 

15.                         The Social System.  Islamic systems interact with each other. Thus the social system depends on: 1. The value system which is supported by: 2. The spiritual value, which is sustained by: the conduct value and good manners, which sustained by: Order values. Al that depends also on the value of relationship; with relations, relationship with neighbour; greeting. visiting, visiting the sick. Human relationship. It is sustained by:

16.                              Family System.  Family life is the basic structure of society. Marriage and family relationships are under religious influence and are maintained by prescribed duties towards children and parents. We refer to the status of women in Islam and also touch on the issue of polygamy. Is divorce allowed in easy stages? Then we will discuss matters relating to family life which is sustained by:

 

7th  Step on the Straight Path

 

17.         Individual system

The position of the individual and his responsibilities in Islam is very comprehensive; Therefore, Individual order maintained by purifying the inner-self;

Purification the heart, maintained by avoidance disbelief;

Disbelief is a chronic disease, cured by true belief;

True belief maintained by virtuous actions;

Virtuous Action maintained by pillars of Perfection (chapter.8 )

Pillars of perfection maintained by sincerity to God;

Sincerity to God sustained by sincerity to His book, His prophet to His creation, prayer, prayer of request, certainty of God’s Mercy, applying patience in affliction, gratitude to God; and trust in God these maintained by certainty of  knowledge;

Certainty of knowledge maintained by inviting to the way of God, enjoin right and forbid wrong, jihad, exert oneself to virtue which maintains by earning a living and managing virtuous life

Earn living maintained by accurate expenditure;

Expenditure maintained by avoidance greed;

Avoidance greed maintained by avoidance squander;

Avoidance squander maintained by avoidance ostentation;

Avoidance ostentation maintained by avoidance envy;

Avoidance envy maintained by purification from pride;

Avoidance pride maintained by avoidance of the lures of Satan;

Avoidance the lure of Satan maintained by Moral conduct;

Moral conduct sustained by keeping covenant;

Keeping covenant sustained by good word;

Good word sustained by good characteristic and courage;

Courage sustained by Moral application;

Moral application sustained by control desire;

Controlling desires maintained by control sexual desire

Controlling sexual desire maintained by control diet;

Controlling diet maintained by lawful diet;

Controlling lawful diet maintained by avoidance intoxication;

Avoidance intoxication maintained by avoidance suicide Avoidance suicide maintained by purity of heart;

Purity of heart is maintained by purity and cleanliness, from impurity recommended by Islamic teaching. 

Individual Order sustained by Education system, next.

 

8th  Step on the Straight Path

 

18.                           The Education System.

Part one: Islamic education has its own characteristics and aims to develop the total man. Unlike other systems of education, its objective goes beyond the teaching of social values and it develops the cognitive faculties. Islam aims to educate the two subconsciouses; a. the soul and its components, such as the emotions and the conscience which safeguards the primordial norm and lets the individual grow with a pure heart within himself. It gives him a pure social environment. B. Islam also educates and develops the subconscious mind; the spirit and its aspects, such as the mind, cognition, belief and God-consciousness. It teaches man to follow the guidance of God to gain wisdom and inspiration. Our study obliges us to refer to the educational problems of today's Muslim societies, on issues such as literacy, the curriculum, the teachers, praxis or practical issues, research and social issues, and to suggest steps which can be taken to solve these problems.

Part two:  we concentrate from Muslims point view on “Nurturing both of the subconsciouses; the subliminal in relation to the soul and in relation to the Spirit, the subconscious mind. We study the relationship function between body, soul and spirit. Protecting or forming the conscience and humanizing the subconscious and we refer to its aptitudes of the subconscious and how everyone using them to gain advantage of others? Then we study; subconscious influence by parents, so, we pointed out what are the parental requirements? which help them to instill the primary programs and to nurture the first stage of the subconscious. Then, we refer to “Parental cultivation and teacher orientation” in educating the subconscious, spiritually, morally, socially and to stand up for good life. for more details; please see the content.

Part three a paper I presented it to the National Conference on ‘Moral and Spiritual Education September 1993 University of Plymouth: “The Effectiveness of the subconscious on moral behaviour. We define the subconscious, it nature, contents, influence, and educating the subconscious in general

    Islamic education imparts knowledge of one's duties and rights: upwards towards God, inwards towards oneself and outwards towards others. Education maintained not by theory but by application of these duties. In brief these steps deal with matters such as:

1.  God’s Revelation about Himself through His Prophets and the;

2.   Muhammad as the seal of the Prophets’ the

3.   Messengers, Prophets are supported by the Divine Books.

4.   Divine Books are sustained by the Qur’an.

5.       The Qur’an is sustained by its pillars and systems:

6.       Pillars of faith are supported by pillars of Islam;

7.       Pillars of Islam have resulted in pillars of perfection;

8.       Pillars of perfection are supported by pillars of social life;

9.       Pillars of social life are supported by pillars of society;

10. Pillars of society supported by Islamic systems:

11. Political systems are supported by the Shari'ah system;

12 Shari'ah system is maintained by the ethical system;

13.       Ethical system is supported by the economic system;

14.       Economic system depends on the social system;

15. Social system is sustained by: Divine value system and its spiritual value which maintains the value relationship, national and international. The social system is sustained by:

16.  Family system, which is maintained by individual order:

17.  individual system is maintained by:

18.  the Education system which sustained by educating both of subconsciouses.

Duties and rights stand firm on the Pillars supported by Systems to build a substantial society that links the temporal world with the spiritual world to save human destiny.


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS for all Steps

Steps on the Straight Path

1st Step on the straight Path 

              Foreword.                                  page: 1

0.          Introduction.

     0.0    The outline.

     0.1    Preface.

     0.2    The Straight Path.

     0.3    The Books on Islam.

     0.3.1  Muslim Writers.

     0.3.2  Orientalism.

     0.4    What is Religion?

     0.4.1  Religious Belief.

     0.4.2  Why Do people Incline to religion?

     0.4.3  Religious conversion.

     0.4.4  Religion and God's Decree.

     0.4.5  The Spiritual Moral Decree and religion.

            References.

 

Chapter One.     God.                                page: 48

     1.1    God Revealed Himself.

     1.2    God's Existence.

     1.3    God's Names.

     1.4. God’s Decree; (Sunnatu Allah)

     1.4.1. The Law of Nature

     1.4.2. Law of living things.

     1.4.3. Law for Human (SML) 

                Spiritual Moral Law

     1.4.3. a. Human nature

B the natural environment

C. The Heredity of the Soul.

D. The Parent Simulation.

E. The social Tradition.

F. The he Development of the Spirit.

G. The Role of Education

l.4.4 Law of Decree  

A. God’s Decree defined in the Qur’an

B. The Constitution of executive

B.1 The Spiritual Moral Law. 

B.1.a Human life is between tow terms.

B.1.b the Night Decree is the Night of Verdict.

B.2. God’s Decree and the religious belief.

B.2.a The Spiritual Law.

B.2. b. The Freedom of the will

B.2.c. God’s Judgement

B.2.d. Faith is the will Power.

B.2.e Conflict and fighting

 

    1.5    Discussions.

     1.5.1  Oneness of God.

     1.5.2  God's Existence.

     1.5.3  God's Attributes.

     1.5.4  The Man - God relationship.

     1.5.5  Muslim - God relationship.

1.5.6. Sunnatu Allah; God’s Decree

6.A. Laws for Human

6.B.  the General Education is split ends

6.7. Decree Laws

7.a. The Qur’an is Disclosure of Sunnatu Allah.

7.b. Sunnatu Allah and religious belief

            References.

 

Chapter 2.          Islam.                    page:  

     2.1    Definition of Islam.

     2.2    Definition of (Dien,) religion

     2.3    What is religious belief in Islam.

     2.4    Who is the true Muslim?

     2.5    What Islam teaches

     2.6.1  Man's attitude towards God.

     2.5.2  Man's attitude towards the self.

     2.5.3  Man's attitude towards others.

     2.6.   Islam and the primordial norm.

     2.6.1  Islam and the needs of the psyche.

     2.7    Discussion.

     2.7.1  The Characteristics of Islam

     2.7.2  What is the teaching of Islam ?

              2.7.2.A Why Islamic principles?

               2.7.2.B What is human nature?

               2.7.2.C Why this life?

               2.7.2.D What is Human destiny?

     2.7.3   The relationship between Islam and Muslims.

             References.

2nd Step on the Straight Path

 

Chapter 3.          The Qur'an.                          page:

     3.1    The Qur'an is Divine Revelation.

     3.2    The classification of the Qur'an.

     3.3    The collection of The Qur'an.

     3.4    The Characteristics of the Qur'an.

     3.5    Makkah and Madinah Revelations.

     3.6    The objective of the Qur'an.

              3.6.1  The teachings of the Qur'an .

               3.6.2  The source of legislation.

     3.7    The exegesis of the Qur'an.

              3.7.1  Translation of the Qur'an.

              3.7.2  Translators' testimony.

     3.8.   Evidence of the Quranic Revelation .

              3.8.1  The natural evidence.

              3.8.2  The scientific evidence.

              3.8.3. The historical evidence.

     3.9.   Discussion.

     3.9.1  The Qur'an.

     3.9.2  Occasion of revelation.

     3.9.3  Abrogation.

     3.9.4  Understanding the Qur'an.

     3.9.5  The interpretation of the Qur'an.

     3.9.6  Translation of the Qur'an.

            References.

Chapter  4.       Creation and communication.           page:

     4.1    The story of Adam.

               4.1.1  Conclusions from the story.

     4.2    The chain of the Prophets.

     4.3    Discussion.

     4.3.1  The creation.

                 4.3.2  The origin of Humanity.

                 4.3.3  Characteristics of human.

     4.4     Prophets.

              4.4.1  The identity of Jesus in the Qur'an.

 

Chapter 5.        The Prophet Muhammad.           page:

     5.1    Muhammad.

     5.1.1  Childhood,

     5.1.2  Adulthood.,

     5.1.3  Marriage,

     5.2    The Revelation.

              5.2.1  The mission,

              5.2.2  The Boycott.

              5.2.3  The emigration to Abyssinia.

              5.2.4  The mission to Ta'if.

              5.2.5  The Night Journey.

     5.3    The emigration to Madinah.

              5.3.1  The Muslim Calendar.

              5.3.2  The settlement at Madinah.

              5.3.3  Building the Mosque.

              5.3.4  The society at Madinah.

              5.3.5  The Universality of the Message

              5.3.6  The farewell pilgrimage.

     5.4    The Tradition, sunnah, of the Prophet.

              5.4.1  Selections from Hadith.

     5.5    Comment on the life of the Prophet.

     5.6    Discussion.

     5.6.1  Early life of Muhammad.

     5.6.2  The Revelation and Muhammad.

     5.6.3  The authority of Muhammad

     5.6.4  The Night of Ascension.

     5.6.5  The place of Sunnah in Islam.

5.6.6  The authenticity of hadith.

 5.7       Islam as a Continuous Message.         page:

     5.7.1  Discussion on:

     5.7.1  The relationships between revealed religions.

     5.7.2  Fatherhood.

     5.7.3  Doctrine of salvation.

     5.7.4  Doctrine of original sin.

     5.7.5  The Divine Scripture.

                References.

 

3rd Step on the Straight Path

 

Chapters: 6-10.     The Basic Principles of Islam          page: .

Chapter    6.          The Pillars of belief.

     6.1    Belief in God.

     6.2    Belief in Angels.

     6.3    Belief in His Prophets.

     6.4    Belief in Divine Revelation.

     6.5    Belief in the Day of Resurrection.

     6.6    Belief in God's Decree.

              6.6.1  Meaning of Decree (Qadar).

              6.6.2  Meaning of Decree (Kataba).

              6.6.3  Meaning of God's Will.

              6.6.4  The Misunderstanding of God's Will.

              6.6.5  God's Knowledge and Decree.

     6.7    Discussion.

     6.7.1  The Belief.

     6.7.2  Belief Is the Source of Happiness.

     6.7.3  Belief in the Unseen.

     6.7.4  Belief in God.

     6.7.5  Belief in the Spiritual Beings.

     6.7.6  Belief in the Prophets and Revelation.

     6.7.7  Belief in Next Life.

     6.7.8  Belief in the Divine Decree 

         A. God's Guidance.

                B. God's Will and man's will.

         C. Fatalism. 

                D. Longevity and shortness of life

          References.

Chapter 7.         The Pillars of Islam                    page:

     7.1    The Profession of Faith.

              7.1.1  "No god but God".

              7.1.2  "Muhammad is the Messenger of God".

              7.1.3  No Intercession in Islam.

     7.2    Prayer (Salah).

               7.2.1  The times of prayer.

               7.2.2  Pre-conditions of Prayer.

               7.2.2  a) Purity, b) Ablution, c) Tayammum.

               7.2.3  Performance of Prayer.

               7.2.4  Congregational Prayer.

               7.2.5  The Superiority of Prayer.

     7.3    Zakah (alms).

     7.4    Fasting (Saum).

              7.4.1  The Night of Decree (Qadr).

              7.4.2  The Eid festival.

              7.4.3. Merits of fasting.

     7.5.   The Pilgrimage or Hajj.

               7.5.1  The Performance of Pilgrimage.

               7.5.2  The social significance of the pilgrimage.

     7.6    Discussion.

     7.6.1  Religious duties in Islam.

     7.6.2  The professing of faith.

     7.6.3  Preparation for prayer.

     7.6.4  The Importance of prayers.

     7.6.5  The Opening Chapter (Surat al-Fatihah).

     7.6.6  The Congregational prayers.

7.6.7. Stage of Spiritual Development ( of payers)

7.a. Prayer and religious development

7.b. Stages of Religious Development

7.b.0.  Stage Zero and under

1. stage one

2. Stage two.

 3. Stage three.

4. Stage four.

5. Stage five.

 6. Stage six.

     7.6.8  Alms and charity (Zakah and sadaqah).

     7.6.8  Fasting.

     7.6.9  Hajj or Pilgrimage.

            References.

4th  Step on the Straight Path

 

Chapter 8.     The Pillars of Perfection.             page:

     8.1    The virtuous individual.

     8.2.   Purifying the Soul.

     8.3    True belief.

              8.3.1  Quality of belief.

     8.4    Right action.

     8.5    Conscious intention.

               8.5.1  Ostentation (riy'a).

                8.5.2  Hypocrisy (nifaq).

     8.6    God-Consciousness (taqwa).

     8.7    God-Guidance.

                8.7.1  Divine Guidance in the Qur'an..

                8.7.2  Following the Qur'an.

     8.8    Discussion.

     8.8.1  Faith and action.

     8.8.2  Muslims' behaviour and Islamic judgement.

     8.8.3  Authenticity of belief and action.

     8.8.4  God's Guidance.

            References.

 

Chapter 9.          Pillars of Social Life.                   page:

     9.1    Protection of life.

     9.2    Protection of possessions.

     9.3    Protection of mind.

     9.4    Protection of religion.

     9.5    Protection of honour.

     9.6    Discussion.

     9.6.1  The sanctity of life.

     

Chapter  10.       The Pillars of Society.            page:

     10.1   Justice: (inward, upward, and outward.)  

     10.2   Equality.

     10.3   Consultation.

     10.4   Freedom.

     10.5   Unity.

     10.6   Discussion.

     10.6.1 The Pillars of Society.

     10.6.2 Justice.

     10.6.3 Equality.

     10.6.4 Freedom.

     10.6.5 Unity.

 

5th.  Step on the Straight Path

 

Chapters 11 - 16.   The Islamic System:      page:

Chapter   11.          The Political System.       Page:

11.1                 The pillars of Political System:

          1. Justice 2. Consultation 3. Equality 4. Freedom  5. Unity

     11.2   Administering the Divine Law.

     11.3   The Government as a trustee.

     11.4   Conclusion.

     11.5   Discussion on political orders.

            References

Chapter 12.         The Shari'ah System.              page:

     12.1   The Sources of Shar'ah.

               12.1.1 The Qur'an

               12.1.2 The Sunnah.

               12.1.3 The consensus of opinion (Ijma'a)

               12.1.4 Analogy (Qiyas).

               12.1.5 Ijtihad, the Exercise of Judgment .

     12.2   The constitution of Islamic Law.

     12.3   Discussion on Islamic Law.

 

Chapter 13.         The Ethical System.                 page:

     13.1   The basis of morality.

13.2                 The Source of Personal  Morality:

  A. Reciting the Qur’an  B. Studying it  C. Applying its wisdom

     13.3   The ethical standards.

                13.3.1 Ordinance, Fardh.

                13.3.2 Lawful, Halal.

                13.3.3 Prohibited, Haram.

                13.3.4 Undesirable, Makruh.

                13.3.5 Order without obligation.

     13.4.  Pillars of Islamic Morality.

                13.4.1 Acquired Moral Knowledge.

                13.4.2 God-consciousness.

                13.4.3 Purifying the inner self.

                13.4.4 Developing the conscience.

     13.5.  The direct pillars of Islamic ethics.

                  13.5.1 Happiness.

                  13.5.2 Just and reasoning.

                  13.5.3 Moderation.

                  13.5.4 Stability.

               13.5.5 Comprehensiveness.

     13.6   The criteria of Islamic morality.

                  13.6.1 Sense of obligation.

                  13.6.2 Sense of responsibility.

                  13.6.3 Sense of retribution.

                  13.6.4 Sense of moral effort.

     13.7.   Discussion.

     13.7.1  Islamic ethics.

     13.7.2  Islamic ethics and general ethics.

                 References.

 

Chapter 14      The Economic System.              page:

     14.    The Principles of Islamic Economics.

     14.1   Production.

               14.1.1 Usury and Interest or Riba

                14.1.1.A. The substitute of interest:  i. Competition    ii. Partnership     iii. Profitable [?]   iv. Co-Farming    v. Shares 

                14.1.1.B.  Free loan "al-Qard".

                14.1.1.C. The mortgage.

     14.2.  Distributions.

                14.2.1 Zakah, Poor-Due.

                14.2.2 Zakat al-fitr, compulsory charity

                 14.2.3 Expiation.

                 14.2.4 Family Support.

                 14.2.5 Sadaqah, charity.

                 14.2.6 Inheritance.

                 14.2.7 Insurance.

                 14.2.8 Waqf, endowment.

     14.3   Consumption.

     14.4   Development.

     14.5   Discussion.

     14.5.1 Islamic economics.

     14.5.2 Riba, interest.

     14.5.3 Distribution and Consumption

     14.5.4 Inheritance.

            References.

 

6th  Step on the Straight Path

Chapter 15.      The Social System.            page:

15.1                 The value System.

15.1.1                                                                                                                                                                     Traditional Values

15.1.2                                                                                                                                                                      Divine Values

15.1.3                                                                                                                                                                     The commandments Values:

God’s Covenant values     b. Forgiveness      c. Retaliation 

     15.3   The Spiritual values.

               15.3.1 The Spiritual Brotherhood.

     15.4   The Conduct Values.

                15.4.1 Interdiction Values.

                15.4.2 Manners Values;

                15.4.3 Good Manners.

              A. Greeting   B. Sociability C. Good words.

     15.5   The Value of Relationship.

               15.5.1 Relationship with Family Members.

                       2 Relationship with neighbours.

                       3 Visiting  .A. Visiting the sick.

                       4 Paying respect at a funeral.

                       5 Just of the peace relationship.

                        6 Cooperation.

                        7 Honest Relationship.

              8.Human rights dignified their relationship

              9.Charity is a right of others

              10 Peace Making. 

     15.6   Discussion

Chapter 16 The Family system

     16.1. Family Life

      16.2 Marriage 2.1 Marital Relationship

              2.2 Choice of Spouses

              2.2.A. The unlawful relations

                    B. Religious influence in Marriage

                    C. Criteria in Marriage: 1. Wealth, 2 Beauty

                         and love-match 3 Family status 4 Religion

                    D. Marriage with non-Muslims.

      16.2.3. Religious Family Law:

                  A. Right of Consent   i. Way of Consent.

                  B. Dowry, mahr  C. Marital Contract.

       16.2.4.The Wedding ceremony

       16.2.5 The permanence of Relationship

                5.A. Respect and Good Manners

                5.B. Duties and right between spouses

                5.C. The solidarity of the family

16.3   Duties of Children

16.4   Duty towards parents

16.5   Status of the Couple

             5.1. Physiology provide Responsibility 

             5.2. Responsibility and Employment

             5.3. Economic Status of Women

5.4.   Education Status of Women

5.5.   Intellectual status       =

5.6.   Political Status            =

16.6   Polygamy depends on: 1. Having children 2. Illness

                   3. Shortage of men  4.Diagreement 5. Discontent

                    6. Freedom restricted by lawful. 

                    7. The original is monogyny  

16.7   Divorce  7.1. Divorce Procedure

16.8    Discussion: Family life, Marriage, Arrange Marriage, Islamic Law, Women’s dress, Equity, Polygamy, Divorce.    

 

7th  Step on the Straight Path

Chapter seventeen  The Individual System

17.1           The Individual Order

17.2           Purification of the inner-self

17.3           Avoidance of disbelief

17.4           Response to the Call of God

4.1       Application of belief 2.Prayer of request  3.Applying patience in Affliction 4. Certainty of God’s Mercy 5. Trust in God 6. Gratitude to God

17.5           Certainty of Knowledge

17.6            Inviting to Way of God

17.7           Enjoining right and forbidding wrong.

17.8           Jihad, Exert oneself to virtue

17.9           Duty to earn a living

9.1     Limit of expenditure 2. Avoidance of squandering.

17.10.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of greed;

17.11.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of ostentation

17.12.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of envy

17.13.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of pride

17.14.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of the lures of Satan

17.15.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of theft

17.16.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of deception

17.17.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of embezzlement

17.18.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of Monopoly

17.19.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of murder

17.20.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of oppression

17.21.                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of avarice

17.22.                                                                                                                                                                       Telling the Truth

22.1                                                                                                                                                                       Evidence and testimony a. Bearing witness

22.2                                                                                                                                                                       Avoidance of false statement a. The oath

17.23 Avoidance of mockery

17.24 Avoidance of slander

17.25 Avoidance of backbiting

17.26 Avoidance of suspicion

17.27 Being truthful  1. Honesty

17.28 Purification of Moral Conduct

17.29 Keeping covenants and promises

17.30 Speaking no evil

17.31 Moral application

17.32 Having courage

17.33 Control of self-Desire 1. Avoidance of Unlawful sexual desire 2.Avoidance of intoxication

17.34 Controlling diet:     1. Slaughtering of animals     2. Animal slaughtered by Christian and Jews

17.35 Avoidance of suicide

17.36 Purity and cleanliness 1. Condition of water to be used, 2. Circumcision 3. Ritual cleanness for prayer: A. Ghusl, wish from impurity B.Ablution. C. Wiping the shoes     D. tayammum, dry wash F. place of prayer G Using toothbrush; muswak

17.37 Discussion: Individual Order.     

 

8th  Step on the Straight Path

 

Chapter 18 .         Education System.                page:

     18.1   The Duty to Acquire Knowledge.

             A. Religious affairs.

             B. Cosmology and wordily affairs.

     18.2   Religion and Science.

     18.3   Islamic Education.

      18.3.1 Defining Islamic Education,

      18.3.2 Characteristics of Islamic education.

      18.3 3 Objectives of Islamic education.

1.   The Elevation of the spiritual dimension

2.   The elevation of belief in God

3.   The elevation good conduct

4.   The elevation of the conscience

5.   The elevation of the personality

6.   The elevation of reasoning

7.   The engendering of comprehensive knowledge

8.   The development of morals

9.   The elevation of the children

     18.4   Educational problems.

     18.4.1 Literacy issues.

             2 Curriculum issues.

             3 Teacher issues.

             4 Practical  issues.

             5 Research issues.

             6 Environment issues.

     18.5   Discussion.

     18.5.1 Education order.

     18.5.2 Solving problems.

     18.5.3 Muslim children In the West.

            References.

raltion to the   

 (18.6. The Effectiveness of the subconscious on moral behaviour (in general term)

1. An attempt to define the subconscious

2. The nature of the subconscious

3. The content of the subconscious

4. The Influence of Subconscious

5. Nature and nurture of the Subconscious

5.1 Heredity. 5.2. Right Knowledge.

5.3. Right environment.

6. Educating the Subconscious in general. 

18. 7. Nurturing both of the Subconsciouses, of the Soul and the Spirit: (from Muslim point of view)

7. 1. The natural disposition

7.2. The liveliness of the body, soul and spirit.

7.3. The Heart combines both of the subconsciouses.

7.4. The brain function.

7.5. The Subliminal is the subconscious of the soul.

7.6. The subconscious mind.  

7.7 Environment and social influences.

7.8. Forming the conscience and the subconscious.

7.9. Humanizing the subconscious.

              7.9.a. Insight development.

7. 10. Function of the subliminal and the subconscious

                mind.

1.11. Personality and the attitude.

7. 12. The aptitude of the subconscious:

              A. Psychologist. B. Philosopher. C. Actor.                D. Pretender. E. Creative. F. Casuistry.

7.13. Parental endeavour requirement:

A. Caring. B. Marriage objective. C. Negative attitude. D. Harmony. E. Simulation. F. Naming. G. Moral virtue. H. Admiration with respect. I. Meeting and discussion. J. Educating of the emotion. K. Forming the habit. L. Just judgement. M. The Punishment. N. The Will. O. Suggestion and inspiration

P. Awareness is the insight development:

P.1. Way of life is facts. P.2. Life balance is by Sunnatu Allah. P.3. Life is sanctifying. P.4.Wisdom is light of life. P.5. Life is cultivation. P.6. Time is farm of life. P.7. Life is experience.p.8.The negative is the source of pessimistic.          

7.14. Parental Cultivation and Teacher Orientation:

A. Children development. B. Spiritual development. C. Spiritual programming.

D. Spiritual Education:

D.1. True belief. D.2. Rectifying Teaching within God’s Decree: in, livelihood, spine of life, Oneness of God…)  D.3. Projection is self-admiration. D.4. Faith is the source of life. (D.4a. Prayer, D.4.b. Learning the wisdom of the Qur’an . D.5. Teenage. D6. Delinquency. D.7. Sex Education….    

 

 

Chapter O -    Introduction.

 

"Say: The things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to God, for which he hath given no authority, and saying things about God of which you have no Knowledge" [Qur'an Surah,7: Ayah,33].

 

  

     Preface.

       As we know, everyone has his or her own unique personality and beliefs. Within the same religion, there are different degrees of belief: personal belief and common belief. It is very difficult to know what is in the heart of the believer, what sort of coding programme instilled in his subconscious mind, or the level of his belief. As a result, we are all prejudiced in favour of our own ideas and tend to react unfavourably to opposing ideas. We believe in what we have heard about, and our experience has taught us that information is often twisted, unwittingly or intentionally to serve the self interest of the individual or the society we live in.

     Writing about religion is a very easy task for the non-believer, who picks up a few topics and puts forward his or her interpretation of metaphysical or insubstantial ideas. Most people are interested to read about it to satisfy their imagination or their religious instinct, for their spirit is always trying to find the link that relates it to its Divine Origin.

    Writing about Islam is also easy for the non-believer, because there is such an accumulation of information from which to choose. On the other hand, it is the most difficult subject for a believer to write about, because he wishes to convey God's own words, and to interpret His message which is so deep and comprehensive for those who have the predisposition to understand. Therefore, God has warned people in the Qur'an that if they speak from their own ideas, it will be considered a great sin: "saying things about God of which you have no knowledge" [Qur'an 7:33]. 

    I take this responsibility therefore with great apprehension because of the need for a proper source of guidance to enable young Muslims and also non-Muslims to judge Islam according to its principles rather than by perceived actions of Muslims, or from the biased ideas of certain authors and the mass media.

    I have made a sincere effort to present the Truth to the best of my ability for the sake of Truth, and according to my knowledge. I have tried to explain the essential principles of Islam and to dispel the misinterpretations and misunderstanding caused unwittingly by Muslims or deliberately by non-Muslims. I have also tried to play the role of commentator as regards the teachings of the Qur'an and their practical application by the Prophet of Islam, who sought to manifest its reality in words and action. Therefore I seek the reader's indulgence as regards my shortcomings; although my hope is that he or she will ultimately reach his or her own conclusions with regard to the Truth.

     The chief intention has been to provide a basic framework of guidance for further reading in an area which is fraught for anyone who is interested in discovering the facts, particularly when the subject matter is written in a foreign language.

     This book is presented in two interconnected approaches. The 'text' resembles traditional Muslim writing and the 'dialogues' draw attention to the points at issue, some put by Muslims, and some by non-Muslims.

   We try to present the evidence from original commentators and primary sources and to disclose the facts with, we hope, accurate interpretations. The sincere aim is to provide the reader with two alternative viewpoints, both sides of the coin, and relevant and non-relevant ideas and claims about Islam. Thus the reader has a chance to distinguish between true Islamic teachings as revealed by God and practised by His Prophet Muhammad, and misrepresentations of it by others.

   It is hoped that this book will be generally useful for Muslims and non-Muslims, but particularly for the latter so that a distinction can be made between Islam and the Muslim practises. They can then examine for themselves the relationship between the two and perhaps be able to discern that not every Muslim's idea of Islam corresponds with true Islamic principles.

     The dialogues throughout the book take place between the following four characters, each carrying a different viewpoint so that different ideas can be raised. They are:

 

        ·A. Abbara: monotheist educationist who endeavours as faithfully as possible to present the Islamic position.

        ·B.   Badr: A Muslim who has had a secular education; he has acquired his own idiosyncratic ideas about the religion. He misunderstands Islamic principles but believes he is right.

        ·C. Charles: A non-Muslim; who has nonetheless conceptions of Islam from reading Western books on the subject.

        ·D.  Dina: She embraced Islam after much enquiry but has incoherent ideas about its real teachings.

 

     Broadly speaking, the views expressed by Abbara and Dina are rooted in Islamic teaching, whilst the views of Badr and Charles tend to have their origin in the opposite side of the argument.

 

   0.2  The Straight Path

"And (know) that this is the Path leading straight unto Me: follow it, then, and follow not other paths, lest they cause you to deviate from His way."       [Qur'an Surah 6:Ayah,153]

 

Abbara:  The Straight Path or Islam means the Religion of God through His prophets or the Way of life which leads to Him.

Dina:   But, as I know it, "The Straight Path" means "Islam".

Abbara: Islam is the Straight Path on which all the Prophets journeyed: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, John and Muhammad. It leads straight to God and all good believers endeavour to follow it. These are rules emanating from God to save mankind from all the problems faced by them individually or collectively.

Dina:   You mean it is the "Original Message" for mankind.

Abbara: Yes, but those who do not receive the message directly are not left to wander, uncertain of his way, because God gives each person a spirit with an inner sense of the primordial norm, whereby he may distinguish if he wishes, between right and wrong, truth and falsehood.

Dina:  Well, I came across a booklet called The Straight Path written by you. What is the relationship between these two?

Abbara:     The previous one was like a sandwich; this is more of a banquet. The Straight Path, as defined for mankind by God, has three dimensions:

1.   The Cognitive Dimension: As long as I am walking in this Path, I am guaranteed accurate knowledge and consistent judgement.

2.   The Practical Dimension: As long as I follow this Path, I am guaranteed safety in this world and the Hereafter.

3.  The Sacred Dimension: The believer will also receive inspiration and guidance, in the spiritual life as a consequence of the direct link between the believer and the Almighty. These are not mere superstitious notions but actual experiential truths as we will see later.

Charles:    If someone can gain all these advantages from following the Way, why do so many people, including Muslims, fail to take what you call the Straight Path?

Abbara:     The Straight Path gives an impression that it is an easy Path, but in fact, to believe in what is right and be perfect is to sacrifice all kinds of dubious beliefs and evil desires. It is the Way to God. It is to free one’s self from the burden of evil-doing and take on one’s responsibility towards God, towards oneself and towards others; through the steep uphill Path of virtue. Satan and his followers from Jinn and men stand in the Way; they try to make those that take this straight path slip along the way. This can be compared to a steeplechase, with barriers to cross and spiritual developments to fulfil. Only those who exert themselves will, with patience, embark boldly on this path to God. Many prefer to satisfy the desires of self-interest, taking the easy way in this life rather than to live faithfully to reach communion with God in the next life. Worship in Islam, ibadah, means ‘pave the way’ and ‘devote oneself to God by being virtuous’.

Badr:   Do you think we can hope to live for nothing? In an environment where everyone demands that his self-interest be put first?  Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

Abbara:  But not on the shoulders of others. Altruism lives in the heart of the true believers. They live for the sake of others.

Charles:    Does this book aim to convert people to Islam?

Abbara:     It is for Muslims who do not have an Islamic education. As I pointed out earlier, my duty is to present Islamic beliefs and practises to the reader, particularly to young Muslims born in non Islamic environments. But also for non-Muslims: to understand the difference between so-called Muslims and Islam. Nobody is able to change what printed in the subconscious of a person including the person himself will find so difficult and has no power over himself or herself to change his/her religion or.

Dina:   In my view, we should liken man's subconscious (mind) to a computer chip. It is programmed in childhood as a result of his activities and contacts, developed skills and social pressure, and so becomes an essential component of his or her personality. So, in the matter of religion, change is extremely difficult because the subconscious already has its ‘programmed chip'.

Charles:    Nevertheless, there are a lot of books in English on this topic, so why another one?

Abbara:     Some books are usually directed to serve the self- interest of the writer rather than the Truth. As we said earlier, they confuse Islam with what the Muslims do and always judge Islam by the action of its people. Other books usually contain a few pages about the pillars of Islam and the rest is devoted to the history of Muslims, or Muslim groups. For example, the Encyclopaedia of Islam has little in it about Islam, but is mostly concerned with the history of Muslims in different countries representing different cultures and illustrates thereby the behaviour of Muslims. The same applies to other books.

Dina:   No matter how much we talk about sincerity, our actions so often seem to demonstrate the opposite. Even our good actions are rarely free from ostentation and hypocrisy. Mere self-interest directs us to seek our own satisfaction, not to act in true faith, which directs the believer to live in God-consciousness. That it seems to me is the ultimate aim of Islam - how to live in this world in God-consciousness. I find it too difficult to find good books to satisfy my curiosity about Islam  

 

0.3. Books on Islam

                              "But they have no knowledge therein. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth." [Qur'an 53:28].

 

     Here we examine literature on Islam written in English. Most writers tend to write their impressions on Islam and put objectivity by the wayside.

    On the other hand, Orientalists, having been brought up in a different background and having a different perception of the subject write on Islam with their own peculiar inclinations and approach.  

 

0.3.1.  Muslim Writers

                                 "That is as far as knowledge they attain" [Qur'an 53:30].

 

Abbara:     I feel there are few books in English that give the reader an accurate idea about Islam; many give views about Muslims. Mostly, they concentrate on the principles of faith and under-value the practical side of Islam as a whole. They do not give the reader or researcher the knowledge that he or she is looking for. They may have excellent titles but the contents are not always related to them academically. Such books deter the inquirer from reading or searching for the Truth and may lead them to think that that is the essential aspect of Islam.

Dina:   I agree, I read so many books before I embraced Islam that confused me thoroughly. Most of them went round in circles or in different directions, repeating the same things in differing styles without a proper focus. Every author thinks he is doing well for the sake of God. If you have read one; you have read them all.

Abbara:     I confess I may have done the same, with little improvement. The shortcomings may be due to many reasons. This book as an introduction may benefit the reader and the writer.

Charles:    Could you explain why there is no advanced writing, in content and presentation, available in English on this subject?

Abbara:     It is very difficult to answer such a question; it is not connected with contemporary writers but goes back several generations. There is no doubt that writers develop their own writing from previous literature on their subject. This helps the mind to develop and be creative. Most books go around in circles because there has been limited research in this field and misunderstandings as well as interpretations may have been inherited from previous writers, as we will discuss later on. They have a different loyalty reflecting a different approach.

Badr:   If this is so, why do so many unqualified people take on this responsibility and write about Islam? 

Abbara:  As al-Ghazali says: "The seas of knowledge come from the Qur'an and the Qur'an is like a sea which has no shore." So many people seeking to establish a reputation in Islam or who wish to earn the respect given to people of religion - although in Islam there is no clergy – merely from memorising some verses from the Qur'an and some Hadith - sayings of the Prophet - they believe they can swim in that sea by so doing. All of us are swimming by the shore but none seem to be diving for the pearls. Even then some do succeed in picking up a few, but not enough to make an Islamic necklace genuine in its content and brilliant in its shape. I admit I am not a good swimmer, but as an educationist I can teach our children to swim rather than sink or merely wading in by giving them the basic principles.

Charles:    I agree with Frithjof Schuon, who says that: "The Muslim is, on the average, a hasty and careless writer by reason of a kind of religious ingenuousness and an impulsiveness that waits on inspiration; so it is not surprising that his writings should be full of all kinds of unmindfulness; books are rough drafts written for the sake of God, and it is up to the reader to sift out the pearls, and to forgive the weaknesses made public with pious immodesty." 2

Abbara:     There are a few good writers who are capable of going ahead of others and presenting an academic book in English, while in the Arabic language, such a problem does not exist; there are many good writers. When it comes to writing about Islam, it is not enough merely to master the language, or to have some knowledge of it, there is a prerequisite placed upon the writer by God as stated in the Qur'an, to "become men of God by spreading the knowledge of the Divine Writ and by your own deep study (thereof)". [3:79] The Muslim writer must have a deep knowledge of Islam otherwise; he or she commits a sin by writing without a proper grounding in this knowledge. I hope God will forgive me if I say something that does not comply with His Truth.

Badr:   Hence, "speak the Truth or keep silence".

Charles:    On the other hand there are many academic books in English about Islam that are devoid of emotional content or self-expression, whilst their presentation of Islam may be accurate, based on interpretations of accepted Muslim theologians.

Abbara:     Are you talking about non-Muslims or orientalists?

Charles:    Yes.

Abbara:.    Then we will have to carry this discussion further.

 

0.3.2  Orientalists

 

"Truly you are in a doctrine discordant, through which are deluded (away from the Truth) such as would be deluded, Woe to the falsehood- mongers." [Qur'an 51:8-10].

 

Dina:   Who are these orientalists, and how did they start?

Abbara:     The word generally refers to those Western thinkers who study the oriental regions of Asia. With regard to the Middle East it may go back to the early period of the conflict between Muslims and the West. These writers reflected their enmity and conflict in many books and materials that were full of legend, superstition, and misjudgement of Islamic theology. This heterodox writing aimed to protect Christians from Muslim influence.

                In later centuries, academics studied the Arabic language as a necessary tool for studying Islam in order to find out any possible weaknesses which could be used to its detriment and to establish confusion in the minds of readers. Many succeeded in the past, for "in corruption the best becomes the worst". The aims of the Orientalists, developed through the centuries to encompass political, commercial, scientific and missionary interests. Some misrepresented Islam, whilst others tried to be honest brokers. But all aimed to serve the society in which they were brought up in. By using the words like "academic", "scientific" and "research", they hoped to push off detractors. But some of them were not sufficiently educated to comprehend research rules; hence those books are full of contradictory information.

Dina:   What about modern orientalist?

Abbara:     Contemporary orientalists call that period a period of "error" or "ignorance" and admit readily that there has been a change in approach. Research materials are readily available for researchers, but they may still be in confusion regarding their authenticity. There are few who can distinguish between what is relevant and what isn’t, and they may have come to correct interpretations, although some may not have access to the foundations of Islam in its original language.

           In certain cases, they do not let Islam speak for itself, but describe its topology, anthology, anthropology and history based on their own interpretation. Sometimes they do not differentiate between Islam and the life led by Muslims; they relate their assumptions to Islam to this rather than to the religion itself. As a result their knowledge is not only superficial but is often based on unreliable sources or on unauthentic interpretations. But they put it forward as an Islamic, rather than a particular Muslim's point of view. Like those groups, using Islam as a means and kill by name of Islam, in other word by name of God, who create and they corrupt His creation. 

           Certain erroneous views are still held about Islam not only by non-Muslims but by Muslims as well. It is highly difficult to weed them out; therefore we will draw attention to them throughout our discussions here.

Charles:    But you cannot generalise. Gibb admitted it in his introduction to his book “Islam”, when he said "The discovery of new facts and the increase of understanding in every work of this kind reflects not only the factual knowledge but also the intellectual and emotional limitation of its period, even when every effort is made to eliminate prejudgement and prejudice. Most writers approach the subject of “Muhammadanism” from one or other of two opposite points of view, neither of which is free from conscious prejudgement nor fully adjusted to the prevailing intellectual climate."3

Dina:   He changed the title of his book from “Muhammadanism” in the edition published in 1949 to “Islam” in the edition of 1975. Here he made another mistake, because "Islam" is the religion of God and the book did not define Islam.

Abbara:     Nevertheless, some recent books - in spite of generally trying to improve their authenticity - still pursue the same theme but via a different approach in the name of academic research. For example some have chosen articles written by good Muslim writer whose ideas do not correspond with true Islamic theology. Or they have chosen articles which are full of errors or which belong to the heterodoxy, written by those claiming to be Muslims. In this manner they claim that they are letting Islam speak for itself, whilst in fact they are giving voice to ignorant Muslims who are trying to interpret Islam and speaking in the name of God from a basis of ignorance.

Dina:   In this regard, let Islam speaks for it self! The BBC World Service decided to make a series of programmes on ‘what Muslims really believe’. They focused on interviews with Muslims. They then published a book based on the programmes called Voices of Islam,4 by Professor John Bowker who is a highly respected lecturer. The content of the book is Muslim opinions about some articles of faith related to Islam; some opinions do not correspond with Islamic teaching. The voice of Islam; or the voice of God, is only the Qur’an and nothing else. Islam belongs to God and not to Muslims. Furthermore, in chapter one, he states; “We asked people, in different parts of Europe, what they thought of Islam. The answers were strong, to say the least, it started with one of the interviewees saying: ‘I find their religion very aggressive,” “I regard it as a very bigoted religion”. This gives a bad impression, saying it is Islam rather than Muslims that is behaving badly. The interviewers do not seem to have any idea about Islam, but they see Islam through the behaviour of Muslims. Of Muslims they said: “they burn books, they attack people, they don’t tolerate other people”. Therefore, the question should be ‘what do they think of Muslims? Not Islam?’ Such talk can make for an exciting programme but not necessarily an accurate book, especially one with such a misleading title.

Charles: The book in general gives a good account of Muslims who defended themselves from the many misconceptions about Islam. Professor Bowker, wrote an introduction for every topic from the Islamic point view, so the reader can judge for himself if the interviewer expresses Islamic thought or not.

Dina: But Professor Bowker saw the mistake and changed the title to “What Muslims Believe” in 1998. What I'm saying is if anyone studies Islam thoroughly he will see the truth of it.

Abbara: Similarly, there is a book entitled; “Islam: The Straight Path”,5 by John L. Esposito which says: “This exceptionally successful survey text introduces the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary resurgence”. Islam as he said is a straight path, that is, any Muslim who has deviated from it, is not following the Islamic Path. In it there’s some material about Islam as he understands it but the rest is about Muslims. Some topics carry misleading titles about Islam but in actuality are about Muslims. This makes me wonder if the book should be called: “Deviating from the Straight Path”.

           In his own way Esposito has mixed Islamic theology and its conduct with Muslim thought and behaviour. So, the reader believes what he or she is reading about Islam. The writer surely knows the real difference between Divine Revelation and Muslim behaviour.

Charles: He is not misleading the readers; Islam is a theory and its practice comes through Muslims; he therefore presents Muslim thought and action, so there is no misinterpretation. If Muslims behaved rightly then you would not feel that there was a misrepresentation.

Abbara: He presumably knows the truth is of what Islam is and what Muslims do.  He should not mix up between the two. The book’s title should relate to its contents. 

(This part needs editing as wil som other pages)

Dina: In the same way he formulated his book: “Makers of Contemporary Islam” Oxford University Press 2001. On the cover he mentioned some writers who called them ‘Muslims activist intellectuals and their place in history’. Muslims object calling Islam Muhammadanism or Muhammad is the founder of Islam and how he named them the makers of Islam, the content is about intellectual activities of people who have influence on their societies, he knows the fact, therefore, he should entitle the book: “maker of contemporary Muslims Societies” because their influence mostly limited to the society inhabited in, like Anwar Ibrahim political view appreciated by his country. Ismail Al-Faruqui inspire he is uppermost scholar; his intellectual has limited influence on Muslims intellects. I believe he knows the fact, the different between God, the Maker of Islam and those who make some influence in tier Muslims society.

Charles: but in the introduction he stated that ‘these people, their organization, and their modes of thinking have been part of the heart of what has come to be called the Islamic resurgence of the end of the twentieth century’ and that explained the title.

Abbara: Islam is belonging to God and His Book the Qur’an has details for every thing, so, the Muslims may are follower of the Islam not one of their performance can called Islamic, might be short of implicit and explicit authenticity and God approval; as result should not mix between Islam and Muslims. 

Dina: Unfortunately, most of the writer including Muslims the mix between Muslims and Islam.  For example, a title of a book “Karen Armstrong Islam A short History Weidenfel and Nicoloson (2000) the History of Islam is only the Qur’an which give unquestionable knowledge about all the Prophets of Islam from Adam into the Muhammad and after him start the history of Muslims not Islamic history. If one person killed unlawfully, the whole event is become un-Islamic. Therefore, should be entitled: “Muslim Societies a Short History” because Muslims societies coated Islam by their own tradition then call it Islamic or use Islam as a means to gain support of Muslims.  

Charles: Look like you are putting stop on people intellectual, everyone is expressing his idea in a way think is right. This book is generating benefit to Islam when the publisher stated’ ‘No religion in the Modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular Western imagination as an extreme faith that promotes authoritarian government, female oppression, civil war and terrorism’ this statement differentiates between Islam as a religion and those who use Islam for their own commission.

Abbara: We have no objection for anyone to say what she or he like, as they are highly intellectual, they should honestly define their work academically and differentiate between God’s religion and the shortcoming of Muslims in relation to His Religion.

Dina: The Academic work of David waines, surly appreciated, his book, “An Introduction to Islam”, “2nd 2003) Cambridge University Press. The title is related to the subject matter, in the first chapter, which called: “there is no God but Allah” addressed every page of the chapter, in spit a brief historical introduction, it fit the theme smoothly, he is truthfully present the spiritual teaching of Islam more accurate than some Muslims who give wrong impression of their interpretation to first chapter in the Qur’an; as an academic thinker he did not present their projection interpretation, he has written what will deservedly to be scholarly presented.

He open the introduction with verification related to our dispute, he wrote: “Religion is not a thing, but a happening and it is people who make things happen”. Admittedly, Muslims talk too much about Islam rather than to act, they did not us the religion for their right spiritual development which generate social civilization to show other the right Divine law. Admittedly, in the West through inspiration they applied God guidance in part of social life and the Muslim applied the other part in family life

The second chapter called it “Tradition in the making”. By this title he has the freedom to explain the prophet tradition and Muslim tradition.

Abbara: I agree on his good quality search, he made comprehensive survey into Muslims thought thorough history, may their thought correspoud to Islamic theology or not, as he be acquainted with, still my estimation should called it “An introduction to Muslims thought’’ rather than Islam.

Charles: surprise nothing can satisfy you! In this book he made a high-quality of survey of the Muslims thought which an interpretation of Islamic theology.

Abbara: for the reader any thing mentioned in it, will consider it Islamic, while lot of thought created by Muslims and related to Islam. In Islam is Allah is one and the Qur’an is one and the differences in thought invented by people not from Islam. There is no place her to open new dispute.            

         

Dina:   Similarly the BBC made a television series and a tie-in book called “Living Islam from Samarkand to Stornoway”6 by Akbar Ahmed. The title clearly indicates that it is about Muslims living in the world. While Islam’s spiritual values live in heart of believers who abide by them, the writer knows that most Muslims do not living according to Islamic demands.

           What I regard as most disturbing is a book called “The Prophet & Pharaoh,” by Gilles Kepel which looks at Islamic fundamentalism - more properly called ‘Islamicism’- in Egypt,7 and the cover photograph shows a Muslim as a prisoner. This gives a bad image of Islam and the prophet.

While in the same theme Caryle Murphy wrote her book: “Passion for Islam” Shaping the modern Middle East: the Egyptian Experience a Lisa Drew Book (2002) the title is correspond to the content, she did not accuse Islam or point hear figure for it by behaviour of Muslim who use Islam for their owns means but she says ‘The search by Egypt’s Muslims for modern understanding of the Straight Way is the essence of today’s passion for Islam.’ From chapter 1, “First Verses”.     

Charles: You see, this confusion in terminology has been found even among Muslims themselves not only now but also in the past. For example, Muslims modify Greek philosophy and called it ‘Islamic philosophy’, Islamic civilization, Islamic history and nowadays Islamic Movements, Islamic Museum, Islamic countries, Islamic society, Islamic Bank, Islamic port, Islamic militancy. Therefore, you can’t blame non-Muslims for doing the same.

Abbara:     You are right. There is no Islamic philosophy, but Muslim philosophers, and no Islamic history, but Muslim history, no Islamic nation but Muslim nations. All other terminologies are related to Muslims not Islam. If an Islamic bank belongs to Islam i.e. God I am not going to say that it means that it is a ‘Charitable Bank’ but it is a Muslims’ bank, it should help all Muslim societies to solve their problems by using its capital as a tool of production, for all, not only for the rich. It shouldn’t operate as Western Banks do.

   But Westerners, use the terminology to serve their interest. For example, in the early nineties a new phrase was used by mass media ‘Islam and West’ which imply a challenge between them, rather than to speak about Muslims and the West, because all Muslims countries have good relation with West but not with God. If by this they meant the fundamentalist groups then they do not represent Islam. They work against their own countries as well. ‘Islam and West’ - as we all know Islam is related to God, therefore it can only mean the challenge between the West and God not Muslims.

Dina: On the other hand, the book of Andrew Wheatcroft “Infidels: The Conflict between Christendom and Islam 638-2002” Penguin Books, 2003. An ill at ease title, it generate unconscious abhorrence to Islam or to Christianity, depend on the faith of the reader or between them. The cover is portrait of naked man is not related to religions. If Christianity and Islam are belong to God, God is One and His religion is one, no matter if both people change its direction, and only a few of them use this term cannot be generalised. The concept of the God’s religion is still to be in the right place from God to God. On other word, as long as Islam is not belonging to Muslims; hence, the title indicates that Christianity is in conflict with God. The Latinate word ‘infidel’ used blindly in old days against Islam, cannot applied to Muslims after the Christian realise that Muslim believe in God and it is not identical to Arabic word ‘Kafir’ its root, ‘kafar’ which denote ‘cover’; cover his original belief with another faith and that applied for everyone, such leader who says: ‘God inspire me to do so, he spreads corruption or kill by name of God and they claim that they are believers, in fact their true belief are covered, they worship their own desires supported by Satanic inspiration. 

Therefore, the title should not be “The Conflict between Christian and Muslims” if the war on ground of religion but the case is not so; it is not on ground of spiritual affairs but started on worldly goods, then the revenge take place between two sides. As a result should be entitled, “The Conflict between the interest a few from West and the East in the past”, in this century is the interest of mindlessness. The author is admitted that he insisted on that title; hence, for each stimulus is a respond, he is like pouring out the oil on the extinguish fire.          

Charles: the author pointed that, in the “Editorial Note” that the problem of such terminology may offend purists. The picture on the Cover is high quality of painting with high cost as well. The title may be misunderstood, but the content is all right as he stated in the preface and pave the way by the hospitality of Muslims, he treated by the two Morocco bothers, and pointed out that conflict was biased on ‘The connection between cause and effect. The deep cause seemed hidden beneath the normal explanations, underlying political and economic rivalries, personal ambitions and vanities chance accident.’ As you see he never mention religion, and clearly pointed out; ‘Since Edward Said eviscerated ‘Orientalism’, no one can write on these topics with insouciance. For me the focus on how hatred was communicated, rather than pursuing the why of insult and abuse’      

Abbara: we agree the content historical events from the point view of the writer, but as he said no one can be free for his subconscious; take for example, he addressed each page of lift hand side with word ‘Infidels’, while in first chapter, on the right hand side addressed each page with: ‘We Praise Thee, O God’ this projection thought indicate self-assurance that, ‘we are the good and you are the evil’ pointing the figure to the Muslims or in another word to Islam. You can read a book from its title not from the contents and the reader is influenced the headline not by the stuffing, as the news paper aiming at, because most of the people have a glance on the title and they have no time to read.    

In general in very religion there is group of fanatic and revolutionary not only opposite other religion but within inside of one religion.

Take for example, Robert Moray who founded the ‘Crusaders Club’ a fervent anti-Islam and that every membership to fulfil the pledge: “The religion of Islam stands to be the greatest threat against humanity that the world has ever known. I therefore agree with this statement…and will pledge my support… I stand firm with Faith Defenders” He did not realise that if he believe in God and how he be in meantime opposite God and His religion. In Muslims world you cannot find a group of Muslims opposite Christianity or Jewish religion but opposite the people who oppressed them and they take revenge by name of Islam.       

Charles: As you said Muslims use Islam as a shield, so, non-Muslim see Islam not those who hide behind it, as a result, they attack Islam rather than Muslim, They used God word in the Qur’an to kill so non-Muslims has right to accuse Islam rather than group of Muslim. Isn’t it?

Abbara: Unfortunately, spiritual teaching always twisted to be use to fulfil egocentric desires some religious group, but in every case somebody claims so, Muslims scholars make their comment mostly such accusation is un-Islamic, as we come cross such statements. Suppose in the West no body allowed to kill in a way of revenge of what is happening in the East. For example, any one given visa to enter a country he is obliged to apply the rules of that country, otherwise, he is deceiver, God will never accept any deeds from evildoer, listen to Gods Commandment: “Truly, Allâh defends those who believe. Verily! Allâh likes not any treacherous ingrate to Allâh” (those who disobey Allâh but obey Satan) (22:38 +) but if they went to fight the enemy face to face then He support them as He stated I next verse:

“Permission to fight is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged; and surely, Allâh is Able to give them victory” (22:39) the close sentence “ God is able to give them victory” is well-matched the first verse, but God pointed out His conditions that; “God does not love anyone who betrays his trust. So, some Muslims deceive themselves by using part of verse to justify their action. “they think to deceive God while only they deceive themselves, as we will explain through Steps on the Straight Path. 

Dina: No doubt when the author chose the title, is to serve his or her interest, for example Ann Elizabeth Mayer, her book “Islam and Human Rights”, Publisher, Westview Press, 1999, not related to Islamic Human Right.

Charles: But she in Preface admitted that the title is not right one, the contents are not relating to Islam but to Muslim.

Abbara: The Human right in Islam is not belonging to Muslim only, but to all humanity. It is enough one Commandment, summarize all human right, God says: “Always give full measure, and be not among those who (unjustly) cause loss to others; and weigh with a true balance, and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs; and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption,” (26:181-3). Muslim do not act upon that and non-Muslims take human right in Muslim’s countries and called it Islamic.   

Dina:  I quote Ibn Khaldun: "Untruth naturally afflicts historical information. There are various reasons that make this unavoidable. One of them is partisanship for opinions and schools. If the spirit (mind) is impartial in receiving information, it devotes to that information the share of critical investigation the information deserves, and its truth or untruth thus becomes clear. However, if the spirit is infected with partisanship for a particular opinion or sect, it accepts without a moment's hesitation the information that is agreeable to it. Prejudice and partisanship obscure the critical faculty and preclude critical investigation. The result is that falsehoods are accepted and transmitted."8

Badr:   Everyone must use his own judgement. There are many factors involved: inwardly, there is consciousness and what is imprinted in the subconscious, e.g. belief and quality of mind function; and outwardly there are factors such as environment, social factors, education and experience. Besides that, there is the personality and the way in which it is built up. All these no doubt have an effect on one's judgement.

Dina:   Frithjof Schuon says in the foreword of his book “Understanding Islam”: "This book is intended primarily for Western readers, given the language in which it is written and the nature of its dialectic, but there are doubtless some Orientals schooled in Western moulds - men who have perhaps lost sight of the solid grounds for faith in God and Tradition - who equally may be able to profit from it and in any case to understand that Tradition is not a childish and outmoded mythology, but a science that is terribly real." And the publisher Mandala Books comments, "Islam has been more misunderstood than any other religion".9

Abbara:     Actually it is not strange that orientalists have a different view from Muslims who believe that Islam is the religion of God; it would be quite amazing if they agreed with every Islamic doctrine. If they did so, they would become Muslims, and they would be no longer be Orientalists.  However, not all their works are to be rejected, every cloud has a silver lining. The problem is not with the virtuous person who tries to avoid imperfections and error but with those who are blind. As the Qur'an points out: "Verily, it is not their eyes that have become blind, but blind have become the hearts (spirit and mind) that are in their breasts". [22:46]. As they say, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Dina:   Some orientalists exceed their limits. They have made it their role to modify the axioms of Islamic theology and to try to persuade Muslims and non-Muslims that without doubt Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, was the author of the Qur'an, They say further that there is no relationship between Islam and God, and that it is a man-made religion, an accusation that is repeated over and over again, echoing what was said fourteen centuries ago by those who rejected the Mission in the first place. If the blind leads the blind, then both will fall into the ditch.

Charles:    This happens for every religion; you find some of the followers in the same religion rejecting its principles and trying to put forward their own interpretations and criticisms of others. Yet much can be known about a religion by those who’re outside it because they can do so by their reason and by their emotion and feeling.

Abbara:     No. From the outside you cannot fathom the depth of spiritual experience. Those erroneous views originate from a lack of true knowledge or religious experience as regards spiritual life, and the speakers speak from their own experience which may not apply to other religions.

Badr:   May I point out that the Orientalists often base their opinions on research, and what they say may be influenced by the kinds of references that they have come across; maybe also other factors related to their innate ability and tendencies. No one can monopolise an idea, everyone is free to interpret in his own way.

Dina:   Well personal motivation may be behind some writers. They think that Islam is like a candle that if it blown on will be extinguished; but as a matter of fact Islam is more like a charcoal fire that rekindles even brighter when you blow on it. This blaze of glory either hurts the attacker or lights up the way for a believer.

           In fact, my belief becomes stronger when I come across a naive and ignorant accusation. "They aim to extinguish God's Light with their utterances, but God has willed to spread His light in all its fullness, however hateful this may be to all who deny the Truth" [61:8]. We do not forget those writers who write justly for the sake of Truth. I love their writing more than that of some Muslims writers.

Charles:    Differences and divergences arise from development, cognition, knowledge and reasoning including spiritual growth. These help the mind to reach a higher standard of development and enable man to discriminate between facts and falsehoods and reach an accurate judgment relating to the truth. So differences will always exist between developed minds and those with limited knowledge. They are all looking for the truth but from different points of view. We must all pursue understanding.

Dina:   But the Truth is One, even though it has three dimensions. Everyone looks at one side of it and generalises about the others. It is realised by man from his natural disposition which is modelled on the primordial norm, environment and social influences affect our self-interest, particularly in relation to spiritual belief. There is a difference between mental knowledge of religion and experiential knowledge. For example a blind man enters a garden and experiences perfumes and textures; the gardener, however, is influenced by learned facts and regards it differently. The spiritual world is much more complex than a garden, for it includes external relations to the inner self. If a believer succeeds in communicating with God, he will receive enlightenment and his faith will become deeper, but he cannot explain it to others in ordinary language. So it is not easy for a non-Muslim to appreciate the Islamic faith and its wisdom for out side.

Badr:   This is the twenty-first century; communications and knowledge advance, no matter what anyone says about other religions, people are not affected much because educated persons rely on their own investigations to find out the truth. They examine, verify, and compare before they believe in anything as being the whole truth, and this is helped by the internet, this inter-linking of information. There are many non-Muslims who live in Muslim countries and vice versa and they themselves can easily distinguish truth from propaganda.

Dina:   But unfortunately Muslim conduct does not correlate with Islamic teachings.

Charles:    Most religious people are prejudiced in favour of their own religion and do not want to hear any facts that are contrary to their views. Sometimes they do injustice to others.

Dina:   Arguments between people in matters of religion should be for the sake of the truth, and not based blindly on prejudice towards any one belief. All people are created by one God from the same parents to live as one family on earth with peace, justice and understanding. No one should interfere with the relationship between God and man nor should anyone claim superiority over others. But it is very difficult for most of us to acknowledge a truth which is different from ours.

Abbara:     In this regard, Muslims are recommended to adopt what God demands of them in the Qur'an: “And argue not with the People of the Books, unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong, and say: ‘We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you Our God and your God is one, and unto Him we surrender’ ” [29:46].

           The reciprocal prejudice between Christianity and Islam goes back many centuries and always unjust propaganda is used. But mostly nowadays information is not accepted blindly without research into its relation to facts. Nevertheless, the roots of hostility are transferred from generation to generation either through the environment or by education, and now the mass media play their role in this battle too.

Charles:    Perhaps you are right, because always people confuse between religion, social concerns and politics, and sometimes religion is used as a means to political ends. But this was more so in the past than now.

Dina:   History repeats itself. I will give you an example of what a fourth-year pupil in a South Essex comprehensive school said, as reported by Richard Tames in the book “Approaching World Religion”; "I would like to go (to Saudi Arabia)... with a large armed force; blow up the wogs and take over the oilfields and bring the economic situation under control, so as to have more money to spend on arms to attack the Soviet Union. This would then possibly result in world peace and prosperity, thus enabling the rich Western powers to help the smaller under-developed nations. I would also put the smelly Arabs onto a world slave market."10

Abbara:     I have two objections to this quotation. First of all, it should not be used in a book such as World Religion in Education, as it is fuel for further hostilities.

Charles:    Tames quoted it to point out political feelings and to explain the way children think. Also the pupil’s statement was related to Arabs, not Muslims.

Abbara:     That is right. But as to the second objection, these ideas are imprinted on the minds of children by the environment, which indicates that there are still people who think with hostility towards others, rather than in a peaceful manner. These people could be Muslims, or people from former Soviet Union. The media and some writers always twist events or subject matter to suit their interpretations, which are again motivated by self-interest and what is hidden in their subconscious. But they think that they are telling the truth according to their own prejudices.

Charles: in the same way Islamic education, teaches children that the Muslims is the best; they are like angels and others are evils should be destroyed and if they do so, they go to paradise. The evidence is from those homicide bombers who kill people discriminately including Muslims.

Abbara: You want too far, you should not say Islamic education, which means God’s Teaching, God created mankind and sustained everyone, made their life is sacred without discrimination between those who believe in Him or not. You should say Muslim tradition education, no doubt there is no smoke without fire, and some teachers according to their wrong conception of Islamic teaching may inspire such Ideas.

Dina: unfortunately, all policies of education by means of projections and use the religion as channel to achieve patriotism. In the same way Muslim’s education, in fact ,reflect Muslims concerned rather than God’s Teaching, so, they should reviewed it to create real spiritual development as the objective of Islam is, in other word as God’s determination from the believers to be as good example for mankind. If there are true believers practicing Islam as meant to be, there will be many people will realise the truthful of God’s religion and Histeaching. 

Charles:    Human-beings are affected by their environment. In the same way as Muslims are when they write about the West, but we cannot generalise. This may be explained by looking at the intentions of people in every group.  I would like to quote from the London Guardian of 17th September 1979 in this respect: "Those who write these words either have no understanding or their pens are on loan to the enemies of Islam".

Abbara:     To my knowledge no Muslim writes about Christianity with hostility; if they do so they write with all respect to its principles. Maybe they differ about some matters of theology, which will be known and are stated clearly in the Qur'an, whereas some Western writers take a different approach and are without respect for the beliefs and creed of Islam and Muslims.

Dina:   And they misuse words about which they have a misconception, for instance, 'Muslim'. They give the impression that these people’s lives are dominated by a man-made religion. In fact, true Muslims live in communion with God and His Divine Law and God wants all people to live under His Law and exist in harmony with Him and His creatures.

Badr:   Nevertheless, arguments never cease about the Truth.

Abbara: Yes, disputes will continue about everything, even about the Truths revealed to them by God. As He states: "And had thy Sustainer so willed, He could surely have made all mankind one single community, but they will not cease to dispute" [11:118], and "...those who split up their religion and become mere sects, each party rejoicing in what it has" [30:32].

Dina:   There are many diverse opinions, and also false judgments based on inaccurate ideas that have been made about Islam, so much so that today it is very difficult to form an exact idea about Islam from Western literature such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  

Recently, one of politician leader said that Islam prevent development, rigid, there, is no development in Islamic courtiers since the fifteen century.

Abbara: He said is right but wished-for wrong.  He is right because Muslin since fifteen century left Islam as a means of development not only scientifically but socially and spiritually. The supreme pillar of Islam is justice, freedom and altruism; these are the foundation development of every society. Since theses principle knock down Muslims society backward in different direction.   

Dina: as ‘Blair's view that the root cause of the problem is a perverted interpretation of Islam which has gone unchallenged for too long.’ Islam does not need challenge or mindful understanding but need right spiritual development reflected on social development.  

 

Misunderstanding Islam

This par needs editing

Dina: Islam misunderstood by Muslim and their behaviours reflect the wrong ideas about Islam for non-Muslims, but those who have wrong intention have to be blamed for their activity by mixing the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while they know it. Islam is the religion of God for all who believe in Him. It is not belong to Muslims. Non-Muslims consider Islam, the religion of Muslim, but most of Muslims are lower than Islamic teaching.

Badr: Of course religion of Muslims! If we ask a Muslim, what is your religion? Obviously, his answered is ‘Islam’

Dina: No he should answer I am Muslims; as you can see most of Muslims do not apply Islamic teaching and majority do not perform prayer, while those who perform prayer, it have no real influence on their moral behaviour and moral judgement which makes non-Muslims have doubt about Islam and may he mull over to himself: is Islam a religion of God? All Muslims use the word ‘Islamic’ trade name without taking permission from God that they should apply His statements which is on top of their ambition.

Charles: I confuse between Islam and Muslims, to me, Islam is a religion of Muslims, and any aspects of their life is Islamic, that is all.

Dina: As we said: Islam is belong to God and we as Muslims everyone tries to correlate his intention and action with God’s religion, but mostly failed to do so in particularly in public life with absolute justice for all. As you can see some Muslims appointed themselves as God agents and kill by name His name. 

Abbara: Islam is the Qur’an which is represents God guidance for all human. Islam is a clear mirror but it cover by Muslims thought and actions, so non-Muslims cannot see its enlighten; only true believers can see the Right Way, while evildoers Muslims and non-Muslims cannot see through, because their mind are screened, so they understand it not, but, only reflected their image: “And when you recite the Qur'ân, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an invisible veil. And We have put coverings over their minds lest they should understand it (the Qur'ân), and in their ears deafness. And when you make mention of your Lord Alone they turn on their backs, fleeing in extreme dislike.(17:45). And some Muslims interpretation to some verse based of projection understanding and twisted the meaning from specific into general and from general into specific, so the use the flexibility of the Arabic language to serve their interests.

Charles: But you are not saying the whole truth, you quote what is supporting your line of reasoning. I heard in one of the debate programme on terrorism, on one of the satellite, a Muslim lecturer (on psychology) made her comment; ‘that the Qur’an is source of terrorism and teaches terrorism and quoted the following verse: “The recompense of those who wage war against Allâh and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter. (5:33). And she add, is such a punishment cannot be applied in this century?  

Dina: She quoted the verse in wrong contest with misunderstand. As you said she is Muslim but not true believer which God put on her insight an invisible veil so she understand not what God intended to. God’s commandment is the same in Old and New Testament; He proposed in this verse to stop terrorism by showing hard punishment for those “strive upon earth (to cause) corruption” who terrorise His creation or kill them, this verse is a comment on first murder take place when Cain killed Able. The previous verse explain that and stated: “Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!. (5:32) in spit that teaching; still many people; Muslim and non-Muslim spread corruption on earth. If you understand God’s wisdom you know why He mentioned children of Israel. In the Qur’an any commandments addressed for Muslim and other is meant to the Muslim.

Charles: Dumbfounded me in this incidence, but, I heard in BBC World, in ‘Hard Talk’, programme was about terrorism. The presenter was interviewing a Muslim cleric, when he asked him: Do you stop terrorist Muslim if you know he is going to do so? He did not answer that Question clearly, but he said in Islam the prophet commandment is: ‘help your brother oppressor or oppressed’ this indicate Muslims help each other as gang.  

Abbara: As we said Islam is misunderstood by Muslim, so, such misinterpretation is like disease; contaminated their mind and infected the mind of Non-Muslims. He said part of the Hadith; the saying of the Prophet indicates to stop terrorism when he said: “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one, people asked. O God’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” the Prophet said: By preventing him from oppressing others” on other version “by taking on his hand to prevent him from oppressing (i.e. from terrorism). Some Muslim they subdue Islam to their inters rather than submissive themselves to God’s commandments mostly ignorantly because they are far below the criterion of Islam.       

Badr: All Muslim, deposit the first article in their continuation is “the religion of the state is Islam”, but they do not apply its supreme justice within themselves and others, so, they gain the title Islamic county, state, regime and so on. Therefore, non-Muslims have no blame to accuse Islam.

Abbara: we agree that Muslims tradition taught as Islamic. So not only non-Muslims confuse but the Muslims teach some ideas Irrelevant to Islam so transmitted from generation to another as Islamic, and tradition by tame will be sacred and but accurately, God safeguard the Qur’an from changing, no matter if some twisted its fundamental teaching for their own understanding or a means to achieve their goal.

 

0.0.4. What is Religion?

 

                       "So worship God, offering Him sincere devotion. Is it not to God alone that all sincere devotion is due?"  [Qur'an 39:2-3]

 

Charles:    As far as scholars have discovered, there has never been any people anywhere at any time who were not in some sense religious. The argument about God goes back to the earliest time of man on earth.

     Theologians trace it back to Adam and the Prophets who came after him. Anthropologists point out that in primitive times, man believed that he was subject to forces controlled by spirits and that the spirits were pleased or angry at what man did. So they created a religion which included spirits or spiritual beings and a lord who could help man and prevent him from doing evil, and thus help him to avoid the consequences of evil, namely angering the spirits.

Badr:   Philosophies have incorporated the religious view in the sense of their concern with the reality beyond appearances, e.g. Plato's philosophy led to belief in God and Aristotle's God was thought of as a pure form, as First Cause and as proven. Some philosophers have supposed that at the dawn of human existence, there was a belief in a single God and that only later did there occur the development of belief in many gods, as well as in animism, a belief in souls or spirits, both in man and in other aspects of nature. Others have supposed an evolutionary development of religion, which only reached monotheism, considered to be the highest form of religious belief, after a long period of purification.

Dina:   Of course, everyone thinks about religion, because God’s agent is the sprit in us. Theologians have stated that religion started with the creation of man, when God created Adam He taught him what was good, and warned him against evil, and prescribed his duties towards Him and others. That Message of Islam has been continued by God's Messengers and Prophets after him who were sent to lead humanity on the Straight Path towards Him.

Charles:    All research in religion has to come to terms with the problem of defining the word "religion". The definition of it will differ from one religion to another, as they differ in their ideas focusing upon different aspects of the spiritual life and of belief in God and His Reality. Every religion has its unique aspect.

Badr:   Whatever the definition of religion, the same basic dimensions are involved and should be considered: religious belief, religious practice in relation to the individual and society, religious experience and religious knowledge. Also religion incorporates certain characteristic feelings, emotions and sentiments such as wonder, awe, and reverence. The difference between man-made religion and God’s religion is clear.

Abbara:     Religion in Islam consists of the duty of the believer is to create a link between the spirit and the Creator and to be sincere in his or her faith to God alone, turning away from all dubious beliefs and fulfil all the basic demands of religion: its religious duties, moral law, kindness towards all of God’s creatures as defined in the Qur’an, but unfortunately, Muslims in general, did not reach that decisive factor. 

Dina:       As long as life remains a mystery, the human spirit will turn to religion. In other words he turns to God according to the demands of his inner self, the religious belief.

 

0.4.1.  Religious Beliefs.

 

"It is He who has bestowed inner peace on the hearts of the believers, that they may add faith to their faith." [Qur'an,48:4]

 

Charles:    Religious belief is not an easy thing to define. Psychologists define it in general as a wide-ranging concept dealing with the content, ideas, dogma, and doctrines of religious faith. It involves some degree of personal commitment to such ideas and underlines the theological distinction between intellectual acceptance and faith. Although religious faith, according to psychologists, has an inner dynamism, it must be accepted as of a transcendental, self-involving kind, and there must be a depth to any attitude or disposition before it can be called religious.

Abbara:     such factors are related to general belief. The definition of Iman (religious belief) in Islam is a blessing of God’s Trust offered to those who are sincerely devoted themselves to it, to bear in their spirit and to reproduce itself by bearing the responsibility revealed by God. It is the spiritual power of mind and spirit, with deferent degrees; it increases through virtuous deeds with altruism for all and decreases through evil deeds. It is the life of the spirit and its growth, if the spirit looses Iman, the mind will be deviated from the Straight Path, even if the unbeliever feels himself to be a believer or he thinks so. It contaminates with various diseases and the most viruses are the ignorant, insensitivity and self-centredness which blind the insight and reasoning, as well as give access to the inspiration of Satan which he considers it from God, as a result, he bear in mind others are evils, so he does evils to them as worshiping God but in fact, he adore his desires.    

Badr: In your definition, indicate that only few have a right religious belief and the rest are either self-interest faith or social traditional faith, inherited from theirs ancestors.     

Dina: is like you born as a Muslim but you did not put up yourself with Islamic belief, and may you cannot do so, unless you purify yourself from wrong deeds and thoughts. .

Charles:    But researchers state that religious faith does not always come with a label which is specifically "religious", nor does it occur in a cultural vacuum. Consequently, it will always be coloured in some way by the historical, cultural, sociological and theological setting in which it takes place.

Badr:   Such background factors affect sectarianism, which develops when religious insights are associated exclusively with one particular doctrinal or theological phrase, such as "justification by faith", or with one particular theological view regarding religious practice. I believe that Muslims faith covered by their interpretation of Islamic belief and they try to define what is beyond our perception in a physical way, such as about the Paradise and Hell including God’s Judgement. 

Abbara:     Faith in Islam is not inherited like the title ‘a Muslim’ is, neither is it derived from social cultural influences, but it is given by God to the believers who want to believe. The sincerity of religious faith to God alone is repaid in the form of enlightenment of the spirit, giving it life, nourished by the light of the Qur’an to pursue its way successfully through the darkness of life. Muslims are like other human their perception understand physical more than spiritual, regarding what is behind our perception should believe in without trying to have image in our mind which is above our intellectual capacity.  

Dina:   Hence, religious belief is the demand of the spirit to communicate with its origin, with enlightenment from God for who deserve it. It helps the pure spirit to proceed in its spiritual development, while misconceptions cloud its way and divert it from the Straight Path.

 

0.4.2.Why do People Incline to Religion?

 

"Behold! thy Lord said to the angels, 'I am creating man... When I have shaped him, and breathed My Spirit into him..."  [Qur'an 15:28]

 

Charles:    As we have mentioned before, there has never existed people who were not in some sense religious, but why are we concerned about religion?  What is the reason for religion the belief in God or several gods?.

Abbara:  We have three elements: body, soul and spirit. Each one has its needs according to its primordial norm or disposition. The soul stands behind the body, creating the motivation or desire to fulfil its requirements, i.e., material nourishment. The spirit demands spiritual nourishment form God. Now, there’s healthy food and there’s bad food, our body is affected by what we eat. In the same way, if the spiritual nourishment is not right, that is, if ideas are poorly reasoned, inherited from ancestors or are a reaction to the environment, instead of being received by cognition from God, the spirit will suffer from illusion which disperses the qualities of heart (mind), intellect and spiritual experience. No matter how many imaginary ideas are involved to satisfy the soul, we always feel there is something missing.

Dina. You mention that the individual has three elements, but always theologians - including Muslims - psychologists and people in general speak about "body and spirit" or "body and soul", conceiving the soul and the spirit as identical. Could you distinguish between them and define the characteristics and function of each one?

Abbara:     If we think of a cart pulled by two horses, the body is the cart; the two horses represent the soul, while the spirit is the driver. The cart (body) has no choice. A struggle exists between the driver and the horses, (between the spirit and the soul). It is worth noting that we are sometimes dominated by our soul- the two horses each pulling in opposite directions, the good one to the right and the evil one to the left - and at other times by our spirit, alternating between one and the other, and there are few believers who are able to maintain a balance between the two, spirit and soul, and walk the Straight Path unerringly.

Badr:   Can you now define the qualities or characteristics of the soul and spirit?

Abbara:     We could say that the soul is the common denominator between human beings and animals, while the spirit is a special Gift from God to mankind so that he may live an honourable life. The soul is related to the genetic aspect of the body, and is inherited from parents, including their qualities. It goes back to the original couple Adam and Eve, on the one hand, and on the other, is related to natural disposition of the individual modified by his environment. All human beings originated from one single identity. The soul is equipped with a natural disposition, its heredity, a moral sense, a conscience, the emotions of fear, guilt, shame and anger, passions, desires and self interest, and it also has a moral inclination, kindness and faith.

     The spirit, according to Qur'an and Sunnah comes direct from God. The Prophet indicated that it joins the foetus one hundred and twenty days after conception. The faculties or characteristics of the spirit are: mind, intellect, rationality, cognition (i.e., reason and knowledge), comprehension, memory, true belief, God-consciousness, moral perception, wisdom and inspiration.

Badr:   Could psychologists, psychiatrists and researchers rightly analyse the human psyche and distinguish sheep from goats.

Abbara:     I do not expect so. All theories of psychology and mental ability should be reviewed. Recognising the spirit's function means putting aside the brain as the source of mental activity. Its function is to be a tool of the spirit, like the eyes, the ears, etc. If they continue to think that the brain and its cells, the totality of neuronal activity, the tissues, glands, etc., produce consciousness and intellect, rather than being mere agents, they will remain in the same vicious circle, trying in vain to solve the complex function of mind. They will fall into a confusion of contradictory theories. We may come back to this later, but here our concern is the spirit and its faculties.

Dina:    I notice that you related "faith" to the soul but you have related "belief" to the spirit. But, generally speaking, both "faith" and "belief" mean the same thing.   

Abbara:   Not really. Faith is connected with the soul. As we said earlier, primitive people invented a religion (or faith) to ward off evil, or to satisfy certain feelings and emotions, such as wonder, awe etc...Therefore, faith is related to self-interest, to protecting oneself, or satisfying one's desire for reverence, so it is related to the qualities of the soul. Moreover faith can exist between man and wild animals; or in any kind of philosophy or theory or convention.

      Belief is a quality of the spirit because it demands knowledge, reasoning, intellect and understanding. Belief as such is far away from most religious people, who follow religion blindly to satisfy themselves (their soul) in one way or another. But true belief cannot exist in the spirit unless it is in contact with the True God from whom it originated.

Badr.   I understand that our lives between the two forces of desires or passion i.e. of the soul, or intellect and rationality, i.e. of the spirit, as you said, so how can we maintain the balance between them?

Abbara:   We cannot live by our body, soul or spirit alone; there is a relationship between their power in the heart of believer and conflict in heart of unbelievers. If we follow the soul's demands, we are related to our animal side; if we apply ourselves only to the spiritual side, we relate to the angelic realm and our body will perish if it is not used for what it has been created for. So, a relationship must exist between the soul (the sentimental function) and the spirit (the conscious) as mediator and balance but this is not an easy task; it demands purification of the inner self by true knowledge through true belief and spiritual growth. This is the main reason why we are created for a definite term on earth.

Dina:     What can right belief provide?

Abbara:  It is difficult to answer this question. However, it is not a mere profession of belief that is needed, but right action, and this again depends on God-consciousness. Anyone who reaches this stage may gain inspiration, wisdom and moral guidance, otherwise he is following his lower desires.

Badr:  Whichever way you look at it, you find only passion, motives, volition and thought. There is nothing else to it. We can see the more religious are the more are spreading corruption on the earth.

Abbara:   This may apply to many people like you, who follow their desires because they miss the spiritual life and are not following in the way for which they were created, purifying the soul to develop the spirit. Many live in conflict between their spirit, which demands to be related to its origin, and their soul, which demands the fulfilment of its desires and its bodily needs, which again relates to the earth. Regard, the religious people mischief, they call themselves believers but their evil actions do not prove that. 

Charles: But, we found out that the Muslims are more than other religious people spread corruption on earth. If you make a survey about the most corruption religion, it will be Islamophobia is the winner.   

Abbara: We return back to what we are started. Islam is belonging to God who revealed it to the safeguard of all human if they adherent to His principles. Islamic belief is the power to gain good deeds and to avoid wrong deeds but if some religious use it in vice versa no blameworthiness on God or Islam in one hand and on the other hand, of course God has the power to control the behaviour of His creation, if a person or group exceed the boundary in evils; cause the evildoers to subdue one another by means of their evil doing. Therefore, every one doing evil the phobia from his inner self attacks him, and that applied into evil group as well. As a result if the term Islamophobis used in its original meaning; God horrified only the evildoer and give tranquillity to the virtuous.        

Dina:   We return back to our topic. A pure spirit links with an honourable mind and only he will be happy who has a soul free of evil. Then they have a significant relationship that can only be found in spirits of true believers.

Badr:     But most people nowadays reject belief because the behaviour of religious people.

Dina:  Do you know why?  The spirit - mind - always rejects by reasoning inadequate spiritual nourishment and most people encounter only ideas of religion which are far from the Truth. Those who come to know the true doctrines support them and cannot live without real spiritual development, aiming for the realm of those who will gain pure spiritual life for their eternal life, in the Hereafter.

Badr:  As we said before, religion is a "mystery", so many people try to satisfy their imagination by taking it up. When they are faced in life with an unexpected problem and if, by coincidence, they find a solution in religion, and then they will believe that religion can solve their problems. Other solutions create awe in their mind; they are frightened of evil things coming to them, or are God-fearing, so they take up a religion and worship a deity; whether it is true or not, they hold fast to it. Others uphold religion to gain respect, to show off to others that they are a "religious people" and to gain a reputation. In these ways most people follow religion not for the sake of God but for self-interests or self-satisfaction, directly or indirectly. Then it becomes a habit. There is no relationship therefore between their faith and action or between the soul and the spirit, according to your definition. 

Abbara:   Maybe you are right in your view. This is the religious level of primitive, ignorant, and hypocritical people. It doesn’t matter whether they’re in a jungle, in an underdeveloped country, or in the civilised world, such false piety is childish in attitude. But many believers progress from this first stage of religious development to higher stages according to their level of cognition - knowledge and reasoning - and understanding of true belief.

Charles:   Do you mean that most people do not have the right spiritual relationship with the Absolute?  

Abbara:    I cannot answer that, but you could probably conduct an investigation. Perhaps you should do a survey to find the relationship between the religious experiences people have and religious truth which is judged by reason and the application of its principles. Mostly, you will find that people speak about religion whole heartedly, but their actions do not prove that they have the Absolute Truth.

Badr:  But as we know, religion is only spiritual and not temporal!

Abbara:   That is what many people thought. God cares about all human affairs more than private spiritual enlightenment, so He not only provides us with a spiritual code but also a worldly code to regulate human matters with justice, and harmonize people's lives here, so that we may all enter His Heaven. That is why Islam was revealed to believe and do good.

Charles: is this a statement is to give confidence for conversion?  

 

0.4.3.  Religious Conversion

"And if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works have failed in this world and the next;" [Qur'an, 2:21].

 

Abbara:   We have said earlier that religious belief is part of the human heart; soul and spirit, in particular the mind, it is correlated with the soul at an early stage of childhood and may become part of the personality. But in a later stage of religious development, conversion may take place from the soul to the spirit; form sensation into consciousness. Here conversion happens within the same religion from the lower stage to the higher or from one religion to another. For example, children of Muslim parents will be Muslims. At a later stage they may convert to believers if they adhere to Islamic teachings, or they may be Muslims merely by name. If they are not educated in appropriate Islamic teaching they will be easy target for terrorists; true Islamic teaching is ammonise them against evils in private or in public or for public.   

Badr:   As long as faith is part of the personality how can a person change his characteristics and turn his thoughts in a new direction? I believe no one can do so unless he has a split personality.

Abbara:   People are interested in different aspects of religion. This goes back to their early childhood. Printed in their subconscious, which may be likened to a computer-chip, is an outline programme, so, although it is not easy for a religious man to change what has been pre-printed in his subconscious, he can nevertheless steer it in the right direction to correct his belief. The seeds of true belief are there, but they are overlaid by social traditions. When one has conscious knowledge, one discovers what one already has that, so the conversion works from outside to the inside; from the outer social aspect to what has been placed within oneself.

Dina:   May I add that people who convert from one faith to another need not go against their conscience, but they will feel different if they develop an innate belief in the True God, Who is the only One capable of providing spiritual communication.

Charles:  One common experience is usually referred to as conversion. It frequently represents the beginning of the religious life.

Dina:  What do you mean by "conversion"? Do you mean conversion from one religion to another or from within the same religion?

Charles: I mean both. Each experience of conversion is undoubtedly unique, and psychology suggests that these experiences can be in three broad categories: (1) sudden conversion; (2) gradual conversion; and (3) unconscious conversion.

Abbara:   It may be right to say so, but I go further. The first kind of conversion depends on an emotional shock. It happens to the young or uneducated person.  The second depends on understanding and reason. It happens when a person has examined and found out about the religion concerned. The third, unconscious conversion depends on the inner attitude and natural disposition of man towards religion and if he is pour enough may God welcome him if he will to.

Charles:  Generally, a person who becomes religious or ceases to be religious undergoes a profound transformation. Persons who have become converted to religion speak of the world as having taken on a fuller and richer dimension.

Dina:   Maybe you’re right. Those who are committed to religion emotionally are satisfying their soul, emotions only, while those who convert according to reason, spirit, discover the true religion which they have been searching for. Also, the person who converts through emotion may show a radical change of behaviour only for a short time, while in others, the change lasts for their whole life. 

Abbara:   Conversion, according to the Qur'an, should come out of free choice and spontaneous judgment and should never be through compulsion. "Let there be no coercion in matters of faith. Truth stands clear from error" [Qur'an,2:258].

Badr:    But in my opinion, behind every conversion is a reason and it is mostly self-interest. Always man puts his selfishness first, rather than true belief.

Dina:   Well, personally speaking, I have no self-interest, except in seeking the Truth. I have studied religion, seeking a reason for everything, investigating everything with an intense desire for the Truth. Truth always has a force of its own, which is normally accepted by the truthful without the support of a philosophical approach. I embraced Islam not by a sudden emotional impulse, but by reason. Reason comes first under God's Guidance.

Charles:   If your interpretation is right, then, why do so many Muslims become Christians?

Dina:  As Badr said it is mainly self-interest. But I will never believe that a true Muslim converts to another religion without self-interest, maybe he pretends outwardly while in his heart he still believes in One God. This is not so strange when one remembers that Islam is the natural religion that a child, if left to himself, would develop. His or her natural disposition directs him to the right religion, believing in One God.

Abbara:     The London Times of 10th November 1993 said that “Islam is wining converts in the industrial world because of its ability to adept to Western life and shed its outdated image as a purely Eastern religion. That is the conclusion of academics studying the rise of Islam in the West. The presence of Muslim converts in British society - many of them highly educated - can only assist the process of mutual understanding between the two cultures which the Prince of Wales celebrated last month. Only those who have crossed the divide can truly understand what lies on the either side.”

Charles:    As we have said, some convert to Islam for reasons of marriage, not for spiritual improvement.

Abbara:  God's Decree assists man according to his intention and inspires those who search for Him, "God is near unto those who have faith, taking them out of the deep darkness into the light - whereas near unto those who are bent on denying the Truth are the powers of evil, that take them out of the light into darkness deep."   [Qur'an,2:257].

 

 

0.4.4.Religions and God's Decree

 

"Say, 'what! Would you instruct God about your religion? But God knows all that is in the heavens and on earth?"  [49:16]

 

Charles:  All those who follow a religion even if it is a superstition or a heterodoxy, and whether they worship God directly or indirectly through an intermediary, or worship idols, spirits or spiritual beings or natural phenomena, have some religious experience which shows the curiosity of their minds.  They all may claim spiritual satisfaction from their own belief, and their religion is the only true one, and that other people have completely missed the truth.

Badr:    What a paradoxical statement!

Dina:      Don't be surprised by appearances.

Abbara:   As a matter of fact, each particular religion seems to be right, and helpful for its followers, since God's Decrees exist for all His Creation, with no discrimination between them, whether they are believers or not, they are still His servants [Qur'an 19:93] willingly or unwillingly, [Qur'an 13:15 & 16:48]. God never wills any injustice for His servant [Qur'an 40:31] He applies the law of justice to all human beings, to keep a balance between them, so that they may live in peace.

Charles:     What do you mean?

Abbara:   When God created the universe He made a physical law for each aspect of it, seen and unseen. Scientific discovery is now revealing that everything has an accurate measure. Secondly, for the animal kingdom every creature has been assigned its own rules and is guided by instinct, so that it may know its role and play it without exceeding its limits. This is clearly visible in everything around us; look for example to the animal kingdom they do not take more than they need for survival. They have an excellent family life; each one knowing its duties and rights and co-operates with others e.g., honey-bees and migrating birds, everything is organised to a precise degree.

Badr:       What has that do with religion?

Abbara:  Be patient. Thirdly, the universe is not a physical world only, but is spiritual as well, it is similar to sound waves around us, they are there but we cannot see it. The latest scientific discoveries show that there is a spiritual realm. So we are not only body and soul, but also a spirit. Is it likely that we, who have great freedom of choice, the main form of life in the universe, are left without a law to govern our will and behaviour?  

Dina:    There is God's Law, which He has revealed to his prophets and messengers.

Badr:    But there are many nations that have not received any Revelation.

Charles:   Our primordial moral sense is more effective than Revelation because all people have it while the latter relates only to those who follow His Guidance.

Abbara:    As we said before, one of the qualities of the soul is its "natural disposition" and the primordial spirit which God has instilled into us, and He does not allow any change to corrupt what He has created. No matter if the environment and social influences affect it, still they cannot change what God has put in us, that is, true ability to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. This is a great help to us. Beside that, the main quality of the spirit is its reasoning ability. When there is a firm relationship between these two, we can reach fair judgement. On the other hand, if we only follow our lust we cannot make fair judgements and we will diverge from the right moral behaviour, unless enforced law and order put us back on the right path. 

Charles:    What controls our freedom to do what we like without bearing in mind our responsibilities and limits?

Abbara:     Fourthly, beside the pure natural disposition and the power of reason I believe that God has appointed for human beings a Spiritual Moral Law the Decree pass the verdict in accordance with that law. so that they will be able to moderate and manage their lives. This Law is meant to foster good relationship between man and man, as God stated in the Qur'an; "Does man think that he is to be left (suda) to himself; to roam at will?" [75:36]. Is he or she to live without being held morally responsible for his actions?

     This word suda means, in Arabic, 'vainly, ineffectually, to no end’. A. Ali comments on this word that it has many implications. 1) Uncontrolled, free to do what he likes; 2) without any moral responsibility; not accountable for his actions;  3) without a purpose useless; and 4) forsaken."

Charles:  That is all too general, but what do you conclude from it?

Abbara:   First of all, this verse is addressed not only to Muslims, but to all mankind. Secondly, as we have said, the soul and the spirit play a role in everyone's life, so that everyone has a feeling about right and wrong. Thirdly, one unconsciously adapts one's behaviour according to the Universal Moral Law - the Spiritual Moral Decree - feeling that if one does not act according to it in private and in public, one will face a consequence, a punishment. So, one thinks twice before committing sin.

Charles:     So you believe that God appointed a Spiritual Moral Law to decree and govern the relationship between Him and his creatures?

Abbara:     Admittedly so. Suppose that feeling - of God’s retribution - is not there within the heart of everyone, then there will be no basis of morality to regulate people’s behaviour towards each other. They will behave with wild abandon, unless of course there’s a universal moral law, or codes of conduct laid down by the society or government in the same way that we comply with, say, traffic rules when driving.

Badr:         But we do differ in our social attitudes. 

Abbara:   There is no major difference in the main principles. If a society diverges from right moral values, that does not mean it is right. Many people still have strong feelings against those who have broken moral standards. No matter if society allows sex outside of marriage or do other wrong things, there will be many people in that society itself that will hold that that is wrong. Such pure natural feelings may be influenced to some extent by social life, but they will still be conscious of things that are virtuous. .

Charles:   So it is a matter of conscience, and conscience is related to parents and social influences. 

Abbara:    Not really. In fact, it goes beyond that. When anyone intends to do something evil, especially if his action will hurt other people, he hesitates and feels frightened, in spite of the fact that he may be away from the public eye, or even if his conscience is suppressed. He feels and expects retribution and that something bad will happen to him in return sooner or later. Why does he feel this?

Badr:   His natural feelings.

Dina:   His natural disposition or the primordial of the mind.

Charles:   His conscience, and the way he has been brought up.

Abbara:   Perhaps. But his natural feeling and disposition may be affected by social influences. His conscience may be desensitised after doing so many evil things, yet still something within him keeps warning him of the consequences of the evil action which he contemplates.

Badr:   In fact, his feeling is related to the natural law. The evil person's experience shows him that retribution will come one way or another. The fear of punishment will make him apprehensive of what the future will bring if he ignores the possible consequences of what he intends to do.

Dina:   We have come close to the point, but in theological terms, it is not natural law that controls public affairs, but the Spiritual Moral Decree that rules the individual from his inner self. This indirectly motivates man to create his own religion if no revealed one has come to him - to explain the unseen forces behind events, and to satisfy his need for a spiritual environment. But man usually follows his soul's insist, rather than his spirit’s demands.

Badr:   So he creates his deity because he is frightened?  But what is the relationship of this to the Spiritual Moral Decree?

Abbara:   Whether he follows the true religion or other deities, such as stones, statues, trees, moon or sun, idols or spiritual human beings, he always sets himself moral codes related to the Spiritual Moral Law. In other words, the Moral universal Law force people to believe in something to avid catastrophe; he takes it upon himself, by making promises and confirmations to his god, true or false, that he will never do harmful acts to others but will only do good.

Badr:         What does that indicate?

Abbara:   It indicates that unconscious motivation binds him to religion and that most people who have had religious experience find that the formula works and they believe that their religion is important and beneficial and increases their spiritual awareness. So they find it difficult to convert to other religions because their religious experience satisfies their faith. But, in fact, it is not their religion which aids them, but the Spiritual Moral Law which is appointed by God the Just, Who has given man the freedom of choice.  This is how a reasonable balance between human beings is maintained. It needs a probing mind to get to the depth of its principles as indicated in the Qur'an.

Dina:     The topic is most interesting. Can we go deeper into this Spiritual Moral Law and God’s Decree to make it clearer?

 

0.4.5.The Spiritual Moral Law and God’s Decree

 

                                  "Whoever does what is just and right, does so for his own good; and whoever does evil, does so to his own hurt and never does God do the least wrong to his creatures." [Qur'an 41:46]

Abbara:   In our discussion earlier, we reached the conclusion that God appointed His eternal Law; the Spiritual Moral Law (SML) to control human behaviour r by His Decree when He pass His verdict on human intention, say, and action to keep a balance among his creatures by way of retribution, so that the righteous, by their own efforts, will get the good results of their work. Those who do right make it for themselves, whether or not they believe in religion or in Him. God carries out His concluding judgment in the Hereafter.

Badr:  So man's religion springs from self-interest to protect and safeguard himself on the one hand and to benefit himself and gain an advantage on the other. So nobody takes religion purely for the sake of God.  

Dina:    Maybe you’re right, but you can't generalise. God stated in the Qur'an, "He who has denied the Truth will have to bear (the burden of) his denial, whereas all who did what is right and just will have made good provision for themselves." [30:44]

Charles:   Does this rule of the Spiritual Moral Law and its verdict of God’s Decree apply only to individuals or to society as well?

Abbara:   Both. If a ruler or anyone else spreads corruption, this corruption is not only an oppression but it is immoral, so when it goes beyond the limit, God will restore the balance in the end, as He states: "(Since they have become oblivious of God) corruption has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what man's hands have wrought; and so He will let them taste (the evil of) some of their doings, so that they might return (to the Right Path)." [30:41] This retribution applies to the whole community. God grant His compassionate specifically to the individuals, but adversity is visited on all, because they elected him or did not prevent him from doing oppression to others.

Charles:   From our experience not all people who do evil are punished, nor do those who do good things increase in goodness. The Spiritual Moral Decree is beyond our comprehension, but we can feel its existence by its function, which is similar to traffic signs; not every breaking of the rule will cause an accident. It may happen at the first violation, or it may occur after many violations.

Abbara:  God's Punishment does not always come from Him directly: “for, God’s are all forces of the heavens and the earth; and indeed Almighty, truly Wise!” (48:7), for example, He causes evil-doers to overcome each other by means of their evil-doing. The SML is difficult to define its very comprehensive. The Decree’s formula is not one of tit-for-tat, because God grants forgiveness for many things, as He states: "Now whatever calamity may befall you will be an outcome of what your own hands have wrought, although He pardons much. And you cannot elude Him on earth, and you will have none to protect you from God and none to bring you succour." [42:30-31].

Dina:   I have read A.Yusuf Ali's comments on these verses:  "All evil, all sorrow, all pain and affliction, are things not normal, things twisted from their pure and holy nature as created by God's Hand. As far as man is concerned, his misfortunes are but the consequences of the things he has done. He must bear personal responsibility for them, and not throw the blame on others."  [Note 4570

       And also, in this context, he wrote (Note 4571):  "Every evil deed or word or thought must have its evil consequences: but if God forgives anything - and He forgives much - let no one imagine that he has defeated - or can defeat - God's Will or Plan. The only help or protection that is possible is from God."

Charles:   But a lot of people do not believe in God, yet they get help.

Abbara:    Yes, as we have said before all people are His creatures, no one community may monopolise Him. He has no "chosen people" as in Judaism, or "beloved ones" as in Christianity, or "servants of God", as in Muslim thought. He is not prejudiced about anyone, including believers in this world; if anyone does well, he is paving a good path for himself. If a non-believer does well he will gain its rewards in this life. As for evil people what they have done will come back to them accordingly and the gain reward for their good doing in this life, than have nothing good left for their next life.

Charles:    But I know many evil people who enjoy their lives and nothing happens to them.

Abbara:     That is as the case may be. God grants delay. But it should not be overlooked that an apparently evil man may be good to his mother, or his children, or he may do evil to evil people. "And in this manner do we cause evil-doers to turn to each other by means of their (evil) doings." [6:129]

Charles:    In what other references do we find about SML and God’ Decree, apart from the Qur’an?

Abbara: No matter what the formula is, I believe the Spiritual Law covers all the intentions and actions of man, but it needs some comprehensive research to draw its principles out of the Qur'an, the Bible, the inspiration of God to wise men, philosophers, researchers, psychologists and others, who make use of this understanding and draw them out for the people, be it in poetry, literature, or by other means, so that they will understand the rules of life, all old lady express their feeling about it, and human experience is pointing the figure to it, at every event in private or in public.

Charles:    It is evident that individual sayings, discourses and poems emphasise the practical lessons of life which are learned from experience. The wise man is a righteous one, for uprightness of character brings the good life, whereas wickedness brings punishment.

Abbara:     But true wisdom and accurate principles are those revealed in the Qur'an, because no human ideas have intervened.

Dina:   Could you quote a few verses as examples to illuminate our discussion?

Abbara:  "Verily, God does not do the least wrong unto man, but it is men who wrong themselves" [10:44]. Man therefore can only blame himself for the results of his wrong doing. God cannot be blamed for man's suffering, nor does He deal unjustly with men. He has given him faculties and means of guidance by inspiration, if he has the right spirit to receive, and by Revelation. If man goes wrong, it is because he has wronged himself by deviating from the Straight Path, the One Path by which to live in peace in this world, as its straightness reaches to God.

Charles:   This may be true generally. But, I have a friend who has never done harm to another, to my knowledge, but who has contracted a serious disease.

Abbara:  God's Law is not just to keep a balanced relationship between people and Himself but also to help the individual to control his or her desires. No alcoholic drinks, no sexual relationship outside marriage, no smoking because it harms you, etc. God's Law does not protect ignorant people if they misunderstand the rules for keeping themselves healthy, by using wrong kinds of drugs, say. Furthermore, they may not seek guidance from Him in the form of a spiritual remedy which may help in his recovery, or guide him in a way that is easy to follow.

Dina:   As you know, the problems of society come from ignoring God's rules, SML, such the prohibition of sex outside marriage, and homosexual activity in particular. The catastrophe of our present time called "AIDS" is the product of the laxity of secular man-made laws which allow such practises or are lenient with it. They promote corruption on earth. God has warned mankind in the Qur'an: "Corruption doth appear on land and sea because of (the evil) which men's hands have done, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done in order that they may return." [30:41]. God gives man’s body an immunity from disease, but man, by his own doing, causes in himself a deficiency, so that his body's immune system is no longer able to fight certain infections and cancers. So man has wronged himself by breaking God's Rules.

Charles:    This reasoning may apply to adults, but what harm did new-born babies do to suffer the disease?

Abbara:   God, as we mentioned, governs the universe by natural law and everything works by cause and effect, but when man puts himself in charge of earth and makes his own laws as the basis of social behaviour, this unavoidably results in widespread moral decay and, consequently, social disintegration. He says: "But whenever he (evil man) prevails, he goes about the earth spreading corruption and destroying (man's) tilth and progeny, and God does not love corruption." [2:206].

Charles:    How does that answer my question?

Abbara:     The children are part of their parents. In this context, I refer you to the Bible's Commandments, which say: "For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God punishing the children for the sins of their fathers to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me." [Exodus 20:5]

Dina:   I have just read a report from the United Nations World Health Organisation about the degeneration in the life of youth, and that suicide and drugs are the main causes of death. They point out that 50% of accidents and 10 - 33% of suicides are of those who drink or use drugs. The first group follows what God has forbidden and the second are deprived of the happiness that comes from following the guidance provided by the Spiritual Law and so they commit suicide because life has become meaningless for them.

Badr:   We have discussed how the Spiritual Moral Law and God’s Decree apply to evil-doers and how they get their retribution according to their actions. This principle motivates man to be religious to avoid an expected punishment, but what about nations?

Abbara:     The Spiritual Moral Law is not for individuals only, but for humanity as whole. It applies to nations in their relation to moral justice not religion Its rules do not distinguish between those who believe and those who disbelieve. God has stated the general rule: "For never would thy Sustainer destroy a community for wrong (beliefs alone) so long as its people behave righteously (towards one another)" [11:117].

Dina:   In explaining this verse, Asad quotes Al-Razi as saying: "God's Chastisement does not afflict any people merely on account of their holding beliefs amounting to associating partners with God, or disbelieving, but only if they persistently commit evil in their mutual dealings and deliberately hurt (other human beings) and act tyrannically (towards them). Hence, those who are learned in Islamic law; fiqh hold that man's obligation towards God rests on the principle of (His) Forgiveness and Liberality, whereas the rights of man are of a stringent nature and must always be strictly observed." The obvious reason is that man is weak and needs protection. For that reason, God appointed His Unseen Law, "the Spiritual Moral Law and His Decree" which controls the relationship between His creatures.

Abbara:    Secondly, the relationship between God and man is private. His Guidance and Retribution, which He also provides, depend on belief and the devotion of man towards Him, and the final Retribution is in the Hereafter.

Charles:     We understand that our life is not only materialistic, governed by natural law, cause and effect, but also by Spiritual Moral Law and God’s Decree judge by that Law and Religious Law. These laws complement each other because the natural law of cause and effect is used by the spiritual law to fulfil its purpose, just as the spirit of the human being uses his bodily faculties.

Abbara:   From there we conclude that the consequences of evil will be shown in partial punishment. The ultimate object of God's Justice and Punishment is to reclaim man from evil, and to restore him to the pristine purity and innocence in which he was created. The evil introduced by his possession of a limited free will should be eliminated by the education and purification of his will. For with his will and motives purified, he is capable of reaching much greater heights than those creatures that are not endowed with any free will.

Dina:   I would like to say that to anyone who does good will come the benefits, and doing bad things causes will cause bad things to happen. God the Just loves all people to live in peace. If anyone does wickedness and destroys the peace of God, God may allow him to continue for a time, and then His Decree pass His punishment reaches him according to the circumstances of what he has done. He will get his due according to the God’s Decree judge by the Spiritual Moral Law in this life. In addition to that there is the religious rule for true believers who will invariably find happiness in this life and in the hereafter too. God says: “As for anyone - be it man or woman- who does righteous deeds, and is a believer withal, We most certainly cause to live a good life; and most certainly shall We grant unto such as these their reward in accordance with best that they ever did.” [16:97]

Abbara: We will carry on our discussion thorough each topic, may be more clearly identifiable  

 

 

 

 

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