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This page is for answers to questions people have raised about the lessons and on the message board.
Question: <Admin>
How do we deal with incest especially to those very young and vulnerable?
Answer: <Admin>
Incest and other sexual misdemeanors are prevented by early and continous marriage that provides mutual sexual satisfaction. Men who are hyperactive sexually, should either fast, or use their right to marry up to 4 wives. This is how Islam prevents zina and all other out of the marriage affairs. Societies that allow free interaction between men and women have very few cases of incest, but zina(fornication and adultery) is rampant. It is societies that managed to control zina that commit this terrible sin. Isn't polygamy preferable to uncontrolled sexual relations and incest? What do you think? Reply and give us your views.
Question: <sabi>
Response to lesson 26: Dear S_Ibrahim

I recently read your lesson 26, and I found it to be very interesting particularly as it is a subject that we are frequently in contention about. Considering the current state of the Islamic Ummah, I personally believe it is about time a message like this came out.

I agree that this obsession with national identity is one of the sole reasons for the disunity within our ummah. It has undermined the sacred brotherhood to the effect that man will lay down his life for his countryman, but is too afraid to bat an eye-lash when his muslim brother is being murdered in his own home. That isn’t right!

The really sad thing is, we’ve got our priorities crossed. We were not created Arabs and Asians and Americans and Africans and Europeans and Native Americans etc…! We aren’t even quite sure what color Adam was let alone what race he was. We were, however, created as Allah’s devotees on Earth. We were created MUSLIMS. Therefore if one wanted to be petty and speak genealogy, then logically your muslim brother is the one to whom your first loyalty belongs. We were created to serve Allah, and if someone deviates from that cause – no matter you are from the same country, then he can hardly be your brother now can he be? You aren’t going to run off with some random guy at the park just because he happens to be wearing the same color shirt as you!

However, there are some in the ummah, who some of us find impossible to call, brother or sister, because as you say they have humiliated and disgraced us. Taken away our self worth, insulted our brothers and sisters and made us know in every way that they could that we are not welcome.

And here it is that I disagree with you. Why would we want to know such people? Why would we care if they cross over? They could rot in her for all we care, and sometimes in our secret hearts we pray that they shall.

Of course such violent anger is not suitably Islamic, but I propose a compromise. I do not believe that we should have to accept them as brothers and sisters. They are muslims, and our compatriots, but a brother you trust with your life. Your honor. These? You don’t even trust to cook the food you eat.

You mentioned Bilal as a slave, he bore the ill will of the meccans, and I commend him, but I highly doubt Bilal would run up to any one of those people who mistreated him and ever call him brother. I don’t think he would have even looked at them.

When it comes right down to it, I don’t think that we should have to be the ones to always have to look the other way. Always sunnah councils us to forgive the transgressors, to not make a bad person make you bad. But why bother with all that energy? Why not just forget about them and leave them to their own devices.

We may learn to bear them no ill will but they shall not be brothers until, maybe until they learn what it is exactly they do to their fellow muslim.

Answer: <guest>
Assalam Alaykum

I fully understand your views and I think you are right most of the time.The only point Iwanted to clarify is that of attitude to a Muslims who practice color racism. We should not hate them or wish them bad because they are ignorant. We should pray for Allah to guide them and if they change we can embrace them. I however do not advocate going out of the way to make contact with a racist Muslim who has no signs of remorse. He is better left alone. This is because by being racist he denies a basic tenet of Islam that Allah created all human beings and that all Allah's creation is beautiful. If they look at any human as being lesser than perfect they have to make a choice between two beliefs either of which puts them outside the pale of Islam: (a) some Muslims were created by a different God (b) God makes mistakes in creation so that some Muslims are inferior and deserve being hated because of their race.

Question: <sabi>
Assalam S_Ibrahim,

But why call them ignorant? They are perfectly cognizant of what they are doing. In fact some of the worst racists are the ones who know the message of Allah and turn around and be racist anyway!
Answer: <Admin>
Assalam Alaykum,

Race and nation are a fire our enemies are fanning for us and unfortunately, we have caught on. It is burning wildly and is almost out of control in our Ummah. Our prophet, Muhammad (S.W.A) taught us that Shaitan was made from fire and when one is angry he/she should bathe and perform ablution. Sabi and all of you others who agree with her, if we respond to this crisis of discrimination in race and nation with anger, rejection and hatred, we are trying to extinguish fire with fire which makes more fire. Two wrongs cannnot equal to one right.

Hard as it is, the most efficient way to handle discrimination is to show love, kindness and care to those who discriminate. You may be surprised but the problem of discrimination has roots in those that discriminate. Many are the causes of discrimination and we cannot outline them all here. However, love, kindness and care are very good cures to this problem in general.

As you said sabi, we muslims have got our priorities crossed. I find this statement true and I am of the opinion that discrimination has a lot to do with it. So to put our priorities right, we have got to do something about discrimination. Our prophet taught us that charity begins at home. We cannot implement this hadith until we find it in our hearts to overlook the faults and forgive those who injure our pride.

"Why would we want to know such people?" (racists and nationalists), you asked. It is because to serve Allah (S.W.A) we have to serve our families, our brothers and sisters in Islam, all of humanity, and all other created beings, in that order; otherwise, we will get our priorities crossed. If we abandon or reject our brothers and sisters in Islam, we will not be able to execute our duty of service to Allah (S.W.A) properly. Remember, service is one reason for our creation. So, I say, we must choose unity, unselfishness, love for Allah (S.W.A) and for man, as opposed to selfish aggrandizement, unjust suppression of fellow men, and false worship (of men, material wealth, etc...). According to brother Yusouf Ali, (A.S), faith, duty, or religion is not a matter to dispute about. The formation of sects is against religion and unity. Hence, to preserve our religion, we must be steadfast in faith and unity among our fellow believers.

You suggested we treat those who injure us as compatriots, but it is not enough; we have to do as our prophet, Muhammad (S.A.W), directed us, "Be you brothers". Treat the muslims you termed as "impossible to call brothers and sisters" as a naughty and obnoxious brother. When he gets on your nerves you may wish he were never born. Nevertheless, if anything threatens his well-being you would jump to his rescue at a moment's notice.
This is what I am asking you to do. Treat all your brothers and sisters in Islam that injure you in the same way. You do not have to grovel over them; give them space if that is what they want. Ignore their excesses, but when they need you, it is your duty to protect their lives, property and honor - this is service to Allah (S.W.A).

You mentioned Bilal (A.S). Maybe he did not embrace those who mistreated him and remained disbelievers, but believers he bore them with patience and served Islam side by side with them.

Those who discriminate failed Allah (S.W.A)'s test. The dscriminated will fail when he or she gets angry, begins to hate, and cuts the bond of brotherhood. All in all our enemy, the evil shaitan, wins. The most efficient and suited person to correct this problem is the discriminated. It is too difficult, though not imposisble, for the discriminators to shed off the shell that blinds them on the virtues of those they discriminate. They are weak, sick and need the discriminated to treat them- that is showing them the virtues of being human. How can this be done? Well, the discriminated must not accept the ridicule for truth and then wither. The discriminated must control his/her anger and not hate and abandon his/her brothers. The discriminated must be extremely forgiving and must overlook the baseless ridicule. The reward for this tremendous trial and sacrifice is spiritual growth, wisdom, maturity and much more as it will please Allah (S.W.A).

For one to serve, worship, and obey Allah (S.W.A) properly, one must recognize the communitarian nature of Al-Islam. It is Allah (S.W.A)'s duty to judge and punish his servants as He pleases; it is our duty to obey, worship and serve Him. Let us not mix these two up.
Question: <Admin>
What is Iman?
Answer: <Admin>
Once a man asked the prophet (S.A.W), 'what is iman?'and the prophet replied, 'When your good deeds make you happy and your bad deeds make you sad, you have iman'

The prophet (S.A.W) cursed the one who takes a bribe and also the one who offers it.

----- Abu Daud & Ibn Majah
Question: <Imran Khan>

Eid Mubarak Everyone!

How come this eid isn't always celebrated as much as the other ones? We should remember the ways of our Prophet more, because he was the perfect human (or at least as perfect as they get).

Imran Khan
Assalam Alaykum, Imran,
I am very happy that you joined us. You are very welcome.
I believe that before Allah (S.W.A) the two Eids have equal importance. Peaple tend to celebrate Eidil Fitri more because of the end of fasting. This is no reason to think that Eidil Adhuha is in any way less important. It is very important as well because it reminds us of two great men who went an extra mile to obey Allah (S.W.A), Prophet Ibrahim (A.S)and Prophet Ismail(A.S). Prophet Ibrahim(A.S) was ready and willing to sacrifice his son, and the son was willing to lay down his life all in obedience to Allah)S.W.A).
Indeed, Imran, the Prophet's character was impeccable and well pleasing to Allah (S.W.A). He speaks:

"You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the last day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah (33:21)."
<Sabirah K>
Yup, Fitri gets the big celebration because we're very atached to our stomachs and when we can finally eat we celebrate.
Question: <hanifah>
If you are surrounded by gossipers. back stabbers and all how to you deal with them? Do you just say nothing while they say bad things or do you try to correct them?
Answer: <Admin> 
It is equally wrong to keep quiet or to correct them. keeping quiet implies support for what they are doing. Trying to correct them will elicit opposition because they do not want to know that they are doing something wrong. You have 2 choices either to pick on some word in their talk and divert the discussion to a different topic,or if you cannot do this, you have to go away.
The answer above is satisfactory if Hanifah was part of the group. Now, imagine that Hanifah is the victim of gossip, backbiting and back stabbing. What can she do?
Gossip, backbiting, backstabbing are all abominations before Allah(S.W.A), and He commands us to avoid such behavior. He speaks:

" Woe to every scandalmonger and backbiter(104:1)"

"Oh You who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former):Nor defame, nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one)after he has believed: and those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong(49:11)"

"Oh you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay! You would abhor it...But fear Allah: for Allah is oft -returning, most merciful(49:12)"

Backbiting is bad and so is suspicion. Allah(s.W.A) wishes us to think and talk only the best about one another.
However, if some people are mean and their favorite free time is spent in gossip, backbiting and backstabbing, this is what the victim should do.
1. Make sure that those who backbite you are not just shy persons who want to be friends with you but don't know how to start. If they are, then you just talk to them politely in a relaxed voice that " I heard you mention my name. Can I help you with something?" If it is the shy kind, they will reply, "No, no, we were just talking". They will not whisper about you again, but you also must continue to be friendly to them by, for example, greeting them.
2. If it is the mean people only bent to cause you pain, still relax, keep calm and do not get angry ever. Mean people derive joy from your anger because anger means that you are hurt, and your pain gives them pleasure. So they will continue to hurt you. Stay calm and ignore them so much so that it would as if you and them are not in the same room. Just erase them from your mind as long as they are still bad to you. When you do this ignoring really well, they will notice and either leave you alone or contact you in a more friendly manner.
For backbiting, backstabbing and gossip without any attack on the body or property, the advice above should do, insha-Allah.
In conclusion, Allah(S.W.A) speaks:

"And the servants of (Allah) most gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant ones address them, they say,"Peace(25:63)!"
Thank you, that was very informative! I think continuing to be friendly is the best idea. :)
I am glad you liked being friendly as an option to deal with bad people. In fact Allah(S.W.A) advises us to repel evil with that which is better, and being friendly does not only melt the meanness of the bad people, it also keeps your soul healthy. Allah(S.W.A) speaks:

"Repel evil with that which is better. We are well acquainted with the things they say(23:96)."

"Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel (evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and you was hatred become as it were your friend and intimate!(41:34)."

Those who patiently persevere, seeking the face of their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend out of (the gifts ) we have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the eternal home(13:22)".
Question: <Sabirah K>
Can you give a concise, but really really good explanation that one
would give a non-muslim to tell him/her why we wear the hijab?
Answer: <Admin>
All the peoples of the world dress to cover what they perceive as nakedness. Islam considers a woman's head naked when exposed to people that she can marry. Therefore, she covers it not to expose her 'aura' to those outside people. One may say, but I do not feel naked when I expose my head to anyone. It does not matter what we individuals feel when Allah (S.W.A), the all knowing, says it is the right thing to do. And as concerns the hair, every woman knows the importance of her hair on her head. Like all other parts of the body which can trigger Zina, the head, too, is ordered to be covered except for the face.

Muslim women and girls wear hijab to protect themselves from being molested.

"Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons: that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful (33:59)."
<sabirah k>
Hey S_Ibrahim,

not to disagree with the Qur'an or anything but I have to disagree with the whole being friendly to the backstabbers and the gossipers!!

First off, being friends with these people is like you're saying that you agree with their "evil", which, being a muslim you should NOT! And if you're friendly to them it is almost like a cowardly thing. Most people remain friendly to such individuals because they are afraid of what will happen if they aren't or they don't want to be backstabbed themselves, you know? No one should have to do anything out of fear.

Second off, if you hang out with known backstabbers and gossipers, even if you yourself aren't one, everyone will believe you are. It's like that quote that says,

"If you want to judge a man's character, look at his friends,"

My third point relates back to the Qur'an. Isn't there a hadith talking about, when you hang out with believers who are reading the qur'an (even if you aren't) and the angel comes down, when he goes back to report to Allah you will get the same reward that those who were reading will get.

On the flip-side if you were with disbelievers and the angel reports you, you may get the same punishment that they get. So if you have no plans to change these people, why bother sticking around them? They are ONLY going to drag you down with them.

Fourth point is also related to the Qur'an. There is another Hadith which says, if confronted by wrong doing, remove it with your hands, and if you can't do that, remove it with your mouth (speak out against it) and if you can't do that, reject it with your heart - but that is the weakest of the three.

Yup, that's it from me!

Assalam Alaykum, Sabira? Your discussion is very interesting and infact I am here smiling. I want you, though, my dear friend, to go back and read from where the discussion on the bad people started. Many questions you raised will be found there answered.
Not all bad people are equal in degree. Some really don't want to be bad, but situations force them. Do not fear to be friendly to those who give you a mean look. Just return them a smile; it may melt away their meanness.
I really want you to go carefully over the material already written on the bad people. Try to understand the stages of the relationship and how to deal with each stage. Today I intend to post the last stage question of this backstabbing problem. Don't miss it. Wassalam and thank you for your time.
What if the animosity between Hanifah and the backbiters escalates to property and/or bodily harm; what should she do then?
<sabirah k>
Then you call the police and hide! Actually no. In the first place you should not have stayed aorund long enough for that to happen. Second of all, if it already has happened you're only making it worse by being there. Third of all, if they are harming her she does need to call in some authority of some kind, and do it in such a way that she doesn't look like a tattle-tale (there is no reason to make them hate her more...)
At this stage, when bullying reaches throwing ball papers at the victim, the victim must let the teacher know that someone is making her/him uncomfortable. Make sure the teacher understands that you do not seek his/her help to punish the bullies, but you just wanted her to know. The teacher will automatically start to watch the behavior of the bullies toward you from the corners of her/his eyes. If the bullies go as far as slapping you on the head, then in the same manner let at least one administrator know about this situation. While playing or outside of the classroom, this administrator will be watching. Last but not least, learn from the bullies themselves. Bullies, most of whom are superior in strength, never ever act alone. They draw strength not from their muscles but from their numbers. Victims of bullying must learn this. Instead of running away from one another and remain solitary, form a united front of the bullied. If you do that, ( bullies are terrified of numbers because they know that there is great strength in numbers resulting from the solidarity of members) the bullies will think very hard before they do anything. If they do it anyway, never ever show them fear; be firm, and always stay near your support group. You and your support group should adopt and learn the Musketeer slogan 'One for all and all for one'. Bullies hate firmness and determination in their victims. These two factors will drive them away, and they might never find courage to challenge you to an open fight.
Question: <omar>
i would like to ask about the punishment murtards face on earth is it true that it is death?
Answer: <Admin>
Dear Omar,

Don't worry about attaining the death penalty for becoming a murtad in this world. The death of this world is actually one way of wiping out our sins, or purification or relief from pain. It is the hellfire that awaits the murtad in the hereafter, which is very certain, that you should be worried about. Normally, after excrutiating pain, either Allah (S.W.A) grants relief from the sickness or just takes the soul back to himself by causing its death. Hellfire, however, is different. It is being in this excrutiating pain forever without relief that death brings to the soul. In hell fire one will neither die nor live. I guess you haven't really experienced this pain, but if you ask a mother who has given birth to a child would know. The mothers reach this maximum pain right before the baby is born. When this excrutiating pain vanishes, then the baby is born. You are a man; you can just imagine it, but all women who have had or will have children will experience this excrutiating pain and they can you imagine staying in that pain forever? It is horrible!

I guess all sins are major and harmful... even lying. Besides, what is a NON major sin?
Answer: <Admin>
Dear Hanifah,

Lying is categorically mentioned in the Quran as a big sin. Other sins, being small or big, I want to refer you to lesson seven.
Answer: <theoriginalfish>
You know Curios, this question puzzled me for a very long time.. you will find many quotes warning you against it but the only way you learn how bad it is, is to actually stop even if for a week and just notice how needless it is and how much you respect yourself afterwards. I mean it makes matters so much easier, you learn to live with what you have and deal with problems so much more efficiently, it lifts your heart and eases you conscience!

But as a warning.. you might find you will adopt it as a long term proceudre, insha Allah.
i have a question about why allah gave us the urge to disbay but asks us not to do it? afater all he could simply make us unable to sin.
Answer: <Admin>
Omar, I have explained why man has the freedom to obey Allah (S.W.A) for the good of man or to do otherwise to man's suffering. It was, if your remember, I quoted in the lessons, man's choice that he was given this freedom to do as he pleases. All other creatures declined the responsiblity and they opted to obey willingly or unwillingly. Man chose the choice of freedom but Allah thought that man was foolish in so doing. As you can see it takes strong will power to obey Allah (S.W.A). Do you know how hard it is to wake up in the morning and pray? Do you know how hard it is to forgo buying your precious toy so that you can give the money as sadaqah to the blind man standing by the entrance of the mall? Omar, it is really hard to do the right thing, but we promised Allah we can try and that is all Allah wants and He is ready to help us all the way. That's why he says in his Holy book that if he doesn't help man to the right guidance, every one of the humans would have been for hellfire, meaning that doing right, that is what is true and what is just, is almost impossible without Allah's help. He also encourages us not to fear him, but to come to him and ask him to forgive us when we go wrong. He promised to forgive us as long as we come to him even if our sins were as many and as high as the clouds. That is a hadith. So Omar we have no choice, you may not remember but Allah does. Long before you were born you asked for your 'will' to choose between right and wrong. Do your utmost; push yourself to the limits and do what is right. It will illuminate your life right here in this world. It will protect your from harm. It will give you honor. You can have all you want if Allah thinks it is good for you. You can only have the purity of the above rewards if you surrender your will to the will of God, that is do only that which will please Allah and avoid anything, no matter how appealing, that will incur Allah's displeasure. You will have power. You will be rich. The only thing standing between you and all of those good things is you ability to tame your will to conform to the will of God. This means that you have no desires of your own outside that which is desired by God. This freedom to choose is only useful to humankind if it is used in accordance to the will of God. Otherwise man is a slave to all of that which is desired for itself. And this is really bad for man. Man is actually free when he manifests his will with the will of God. In here man will find satisfaction, contentment , happiness and real life.
Question: <Omar>
i was reading the news papers and i saw that 50 - 60 people were killed in the london bombings and it has benn the highlight of attention recently but then i saw a small article saying that 100 iraqis were killed yet they had no publicty or remorse when you compare it to the london bombings why is this, is someone conrolling the media?
Answer: <Admin>
Dear Omar,

Human kind is bleeding profusely - in the Philippines, in Myanmar, in South America, in Indonesia, in Europe, in the US, in Uganda, in Sudan, in Afghanistan, in Chechnya, in Bosnia, the whole of the Middle East - but most of all in Iraq, and in Rwanda.

It matters less intrinsically whose death recieves more publicity. The unbearable truth remains that prescious human life is lost. From Allah (S.W.A) we come and to him is our return, Ameen.

Question: <theoriginalfish>
Question 8 troubles me :-/.. I try and cross check most information, as in most religious and educational info, no matter who has told me.

Is it an islamic thing to be obliged to trust people with information? Is there evidence of this obligation in the Qur'an and sunnah? I just have doubt as to how they got the info and what info they initially had and how it was built upon.. ???
Answer: <Admin>
Dear theoriginalfish,

Really to tell you the truth I think that in this regardof knowledge the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) only trusted for us his Sunnah and the Qur'an. Anything we hear and we intend to put them into action must conform with the teachings of our prophet and the holy Qur'an.

Another thing, actually every man, God knows best, knows what is right and what is not. This is called Fitrah. We all know as much as anybody else could know. The only difference is that some people arrive or translate thougts into words faster than others. You will find out that the things you read about and you believe in them, even if you didn't know them before, will be more interesting and easier to understand. Book qualifications don't make people trustworthy. The only thing we can rely on and trust is people's faith, or belief, but this is hidden even from the possessor of faith itself. That is Allah forbids us to thinik of ourselves as more rightous than others. He says we don't know this. So if the owner of the faith cannot certify it, who are we to do so? All of this analysis leads us to trust ourselves the Sunna and the Qur'an. Many things you hear from people will be straight forward. What creates doubt in you, you have to verify it with Qur'an and the Sunna, or someone still can help you, but they have to support their evidence with those two sources - Qur'an and Sunnah.
Answer <Question 9>: <Hanifah>
Belief is just blindly agreeing sothing "is there" without a second thought. Understanding is actually knowing what and why you believe.
RE: Answer: <Admin>
Dear Hanifah,

Belief is not really blindly agreeing that something is there without a second thought. As theoriginalfish put it,

"Belief is when you have no tangible proof to the existence of something yet have a strong feeling it is right. So it's a mixture of what you understand plus some hope"

To add to theoriginalfish's definition belief, espescially in Allah (S.W.A) results from understanding the signs of Allah (S.W.A)'s creation that point to him, strong hope that He exists, as theoriginalfish put it, and it is just a gift from Allah (S.W.A) to us.
We believe not out of nothing. We believe out of understanding that comes from observing and studying Allah (S.W.A.)'s signs in his creations. Blind following is dangerous. Allah (SWA) praises those who understand. Figuratively , in Islam we are not allowed to close our eyes while praying. We have to look; we have to understand; We have to face Allah (S.W.A.) with a clear consious and a steady heart. Although our sense cannot help us to create the reality of Allah (S.W.A.) into a being we can relate to. studying and appreciating his design in nature helps us to strengthen our belief that he exists and that he is the greatest. Take for example, technology. We are in the age of technology. Man is witnessing almost everyday, miracles that man performs with technology. Nevertheless, wonderful as technology is, still Allah (S.W.A.) is the greatest.

Man makes technology but Allah (S.W.A.) made this ingenious man and the material man uses to develop technology. Therefore, not man, not technology, but Allah (S.W.A.) is the greatest for whatever miracle we might witness.
Question: <Omar>
Dose Islam condone terrorism?
Answer: <theoriginalfish>
I think you've worded your question funny.. If you're asking whether it condones indiscrimante murder, I'd say no, but that applies anywhere.
Question: <Admin>
9. What is the difference between belief and understanding?
Answer: <theorignalfish>
Belief.. is when you have no tangible proof to the existence of something yet have a strong feeling it is right. So it's a mixture of what you understand plus some hope? - wheras understanding something doesn't necessarily mean agreeing with it
RE: Answer <Admin>
Thank you original fish for the answer. You have added a dimension to the topic. Actually it is true that to understand something is not to believe in it, at least some of the time. And to believe as you said is to have a strong feeling that something is true and hope for the best.
Answer: <Bilal>
The difference between belief and understanding:

First and foremost muslims must believe in Tawheed. That is, belief in the oneness of Allah (S.W.A) as the sovereign ruler of the universe, belief in His attributes, and belief in his names. Thereafter we begin to understand our natural world based on Tawheed. All knowledge that must be sought and understood for the purposes of obedience, service, and worship of Allah (S.W.A) must be grounded in Tawheed - the way it is sought, and the way it is used. Any knowledge that denies or overlooks Taweed, is harmful and misleading to human kind. Hence we need to believe in Tawheed and then seek knowledge, understand it, and use it, in ways that please Allah (S.W.A).
Answer: <Curios>
The difference between Belief and Understanding is in my opinion:

You don't have to understand to believe, but to understand you have to believe.

Answer: <Admin>
Belief is a gut feeling. We just say we believe something is true or is a reality but we cannot prove it using our senses. Belief takes place in the soul. Our souls, or selves, the entity that defines who we are, the individual, the one that makes a distinction between identical twins, the spirit that takes us in sleep wandering in places far off, or places we have never been before, the 'I' which everyone knows has but no one has seen, touched or felt, is a sure sign to convince us that there is a knowledge beyond our senses and understanding. This is the knowledge of the unseen (2:3) and this is the truth, the reality we just have to believe in without explanations or proofs. Belief relies on trust.

Take for example, The pillars of Iman , that is believing that there is only and only one God, Allah (S.W.A), and that Prophet Muhammad (S.W.A) is his prophet and messenger; to believe in Allah (S.W.A)'s angels; to believe in Allah (S.W.A)'s revealed books; to believe in Allah (S.W.A)'s messengers; to believe in the Day of Judgement where man will be judged based on his actions or inactions on earth, and finally to believe in Allah (S.W.A)'s predetermination of events, good or bad.

Everyone who professes the religion of Islam must believe in these six pillars of Iman wholeheartedly. None of the above statements can be proven beyond doubt by science which uses the senses to garner knowledge. Nevertheless, we must believe in them if we are muslims. We must believe out of trust that emenates from examples or signs from the natural environment. We believe because of us. We know we are and therefore we must have come from somewhere. A diety must be responsible for our being. We believe because for ages truth and justice have always prevailed over falsehood. Therefore, we believe because truth and justice are stable and can be trusted with our lives and happiness. Hence we believe in Allah (S.W.A) who originates truth and justice. We despise falsehood which is fickle and always manages to spill disaster in our lives.

Understanding is the work of the mind. Understanding uses signs in nature and reasoning to construe reality. Understanding relies on observation, experimentation, deduction and induction, and learning from reading or being taught. Understanding relies on our senses. For example, we believe that Allah (S.W.A) is the greatest. From here the mind explores the natural environment, which is Allah's creation, for signs of his greatness. The conclusions we draw from studying the natural environment unveil the reality of Allah's greatness and existence, but still we can't see it, touch it or feel it.
So the learning, or understanding only reinforces and strengthens belief in Allah (S.W.A).

Understanding can be limited due to inability to control the occurence of events, inability to process information correctly, or even inability to manage information well and above all some information is just out of reach for human understanding. These factors keep us away from grasping reality fully with only our minds.

Therefore, believers in Allah (S.W.A) depend on both trust and understanding as a basis for belief in Allah (S.W.A), the only true reality.

When we are young, we must depend mainly on belief. Although our minds are active and fully developed, our lack of practical experience in the practical world limits our understanding of reality. We may for example pray, but it doesn't really feel anything special. We don't connect with the worshiped. It may feel like talking in a vacuum. Nevertheless we must continue to pray because we believe that Allah exists. He sees and hears us very well. It may be hard to trust without knowing for sure what to expect, but we must hang on because we believe that Allah (S.W.A) holds only the best plans for us and that truth always prevails and this truth comes from Allah. We must hold on belief and trusting Allah (S.W.A) stubbornly until at his own choosing he unveils the awareness of his reality to us. Don't give up worship; maybe at the moment it doesn't make much sense but later it will, and it is a very good experience when it does.

All we have to do in absence of miracles, is to long for Allah (S.W.A), place our hope in him, and trust him for protection and help. We must do this because we believe in his goodness and therefore we trust him. Believing in Allah or not to do so is the real test for teenagers; we want so much to experience the reality in a way we can understand, but it remains aloof. The test is, can we still believe and trust Allah (S.W.A) even if it were in a vacuum?

As we get older physically, mentally, and spiritually, all along remaining firm in our belief, Allah (S.W.A) improves our understanding. Here is Allah's promise to us:

"But to those who receive guidence, He (Allah (S.W.A)) increases the (light of) guidence, and bestowes on them their piety and restraint (from evil)." (47:17)

"Verily, those who say ('Our Lord is Allah'), and remain firm, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (46:13)

Understanding coupled with strong belief and trust that has been nurtured since childhood brings us very close to actually perceiving reality. This awareness of the reality is a reward by Allah (S.W.A) to those who believe and trust him.

In teenage, we rely heavily on our brains. We reason, we question, we argue, and as a result we become very skeptical and rebellious. At around the age of 15 years, scientists say that a human brain has fully developed. Probably that's why we feel the urge to use it ceaselessly doubting and questioning the status quo. We muslims must remember that our brains may ask what they may, but belief and trust in Allah remain unnegotiable. As regard Allah (S.W.A) and his religion, we believe first then we try to understand later. We must not encourage the brain questioning unanswerable questions about Allah (S.W.A) because if the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the prophet cannot provide answers, we may be led to rebellion and hence astray. This is how Allah (S.W.A) instructs us about the subject:

"Oh you who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause trouble. But if you ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: For Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Forbearing." (5:101)

The hadith below is from Imam Al-Nawawi's 40 hadith. It is hadith no. 30. It clarifies the matter more. It says:

The messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) "Allah the Almighty has laid down religious duties so do not neglect them. He has set boundaries so do not overstep them. He has prohibited some things so do not violate them. About some things he was silent out of compassion for you nd not forgetfullness, so seek not after them.

So dear brothers and sisters, continue to believe and trust in Allah (S.W.A) as experience slowly grows our understanding of the reality. The awareness of reality comes to people at different times as Allah (S.W.A) wills, but basically by the age of 40 years of age, the reality of Allah (S.W.A) is clear to many people. They know without doubt that Allah (S.W.A) exists and works in their lives without the need to prove it with their senses. The reality continues to get clearer with strong belief and trust.

Unfortunately if we denied Allah (S.W.A) in our formative years, that is childhood and teenage, the reality may never unveil itself to us. In the Holy Qur'an Allah (S.W.A) mentions in many places that He will veil the rejectors of faith in Him, and they wont see him; He will not talk to them; and He will not clean them; so for the rejectors of faith, the reality of Allah (S.W.A) will forever remain hidden.

It is the soul that deals with the matters of faith and belief. A strong mind that can explain the world of senses (nature) is very important to improve and strengthen the soul in its belief and faith. The mind though needs the soul for guidence. An unguided mind may meander in forbidden fields. The soul guides to Allah (S.W.A) - to truth and to justice - to that which is right. A mind being an information machine does not discriminate what it takes in. With a weak soul it will take in anything: useless, useful or even destructive information. Hence, true and useful understanding must be guided by a strong soul that has faith, that trusts, and that fully believes in its creator - Allah (S.W.A). The mind understands, and the soul believes, and together they worship, obey, and serve their creator.
Question: <Admin>
8. We must always cross-check what we hear from strangers with those for whom our trust is a natural obligation.

Who do you think these people are?
These are our guardians, our parents; our grandparents; people who are responsible for our well-being, our health, our education, and our spiritual well-being - our primary caregivers.

Question: <Admin>


5. State the argument shaitan used to swindle our father, Prophet Adam (A.S.), into disobeying his Lord. What can we learn from the experience?





The argument Shaitan used to trap our father is as the Qur'an explains:

"Then began Shaitan to whisper suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them (before): he (Shaitan) said: 'Your Lord only forbade you this tree lest you should become angels or such beings as would live forever' (7:20)

And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere advisor (7:21)"

These are some of the points we can learn from this experience:

Sometimes it is hard to distinguish a lie from the truth. People who lie to us are always camouflaged as friends or well-wishers. Therefore we should do the following to reduce the damage of this kind of deception.

1. We must always cross-check what we hear from strangers with those for whom our trust is a natural obligation. We must talk over evertyhing with them before we acto on strangers suggestions.

2. We must never be disloyal to our guardians in favor of strangers. Allah (S.W.A) appointed these guardians to care for us therefore they deserve our trust before anyone else if they are to discharge their duty effectively and efficiently.

3. We must hold on to doing right even if it is not in our favor. It is a sure way to defeat deception tinted with our self interest.

4. Think, think, and think some more before you act! Weight the pros and the cons before you do anything.

5. Let your actions and decisions be based on Taqwa (fearing Allah (S.W.A)'s displeasure or seeking his pleasure.

You are welcome viewers and members to add to what I have written here. Afterall many heads are better than one.




Question: <Curious>


You know I found out recently about something really weird. Christians have this thing called confirmation where they decide that they want to be christian or whatever. We muslims don't have anything like that.

And it got me thinking. Why don't we have a confirmation type thing? Or maybe we confirmed from the day we are born or...

Anyway, what do you think? Would you have wanted a confirmation?


Answer: Is there such a thing as confirmation in Islam as is in Christianity? The logic used in the word confirmation in Christianity does not exist in Islam. Curios, you said that confirmation in Chrisitianity is when a person chooses to be a christian or otherwise. Such a thing dont not - i repeat - does not exist in Islam.

Allah (S.W.A) says:

"The religion before Allah is Islam, (ubmission to His will): nor did the people of the book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any denies the signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account. (3:19)

"So if they dispute with you, say: 'I have submitted my whole self to Allah and so have those who follow me! And say to the people of the book and those who are unlearned, 'Do you too submit yourselves?' If they do, they are in the right guidance, but if they turn back, your duty is only to convery the message and in Allah's sight are all his servants. (3:20)"

So, Curios, you see, for muslims there is no better alternative religion than the one that commands total submission to the will of Allah (S.W.A). In fact a muslim who leaves Islam for any other religion is called a murtad. Allah (S.W.A) says he will reject and deprive of blessing the work of a murtad if he dies so, both in this world and in the hereafter his or her place of rest will be in hell. (2:217)

However, confirmation in the logic of affirming the truth of the unity of Allah (S.W.A) exists; and it is encouraged to be done very often. In fact it is advised that the words affirming the truth of unity of Allah (S.W.A) that is la-illaha-illalah-muhammada-rasullallah should be one's last words before death. So whenever you are near someone's death bed remind them to recite the confirmation.

Again Curios, everyday it is compulsory for a muslim to confirm his or her belief in the unity of Allah (S.W.A) nine times. Some blessed people can confirm more than the compulsory nine times embedded in the compulsory 5 prayers a day if they perform the non-obligatory prayers or just confirm out of habit to remember Allah (S.W.A).



2. Life is transitional and temporary


Life is transitional and temporary means that life as we know it now and its termination at death is not all there is to man’s existence. Life will show up again in a different dimension, which everyone only dreams about when we sleep. Sleep is the twin brother of death. Death defers from sleep for in sleep, one’s body is kept functioning when the soul exists and returns to Allah (S.W.A). At death, the body’s mechanisms are all shut down and the soul never returns to it. This is how Allah speaks about it.


“It is he who does take your souls by night, and has knowledge of all that you have done by day; by day does he raise you up again; that a term appointed be fulfilled; in the end onto him will be your return; then will he show you the truth of all that you did (6:60)


“It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (he takes) during their sleep; those on whom he has passed the decree of death, he keeps back (from returning to life). The rest he sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are signs for those who reflect. (39:42)”


In addition here are some verses that are in support of the assertion that life is temporary and transitory. Allah says:


How can you reject the faith in Allah? -Seeing that you were without life and he gave you life; then will he cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to him will you return (2:28)”


You shall surely travel from stage to stage (84:19).


What then is the matter with them that they believe not (84:20)?”


“Nay, you prefer the life of this world; (87:16)


But the hereafter is better and more enduring (87:17)”


Can we really afford not to submit our wills when we are certain that by all means we are to return to Allah (S.W.A) to answer for our actions and our inactions? We can’t afford to wait and see what actually happens. It is bad enough to live in this world a life style contrary to obedience, worship, and service to Allah (S.W.A). We must submit our wills to that of Allah (S.W.A) now before Mr. Death pays us a visit. When death approaches, it means that man has reached a point of no return. Nothing can stop him from going. Our good and bad actions’ book is closed, and man descends to another life to wait for judgment day.


Allah describes the drama of death for a person who rejected Him here:


Yes, when (the soul) reaches to the collar bone (in its exit) (75:26)


And there will be a cry: ‘who is a magician (to restore him?) (75:27)’


And he will conclude that it was (the time) of parting; (75:28)


And one leg will be joined with another: (75:29)


That day the drive will be to your Lord! (75:30)


So he gave nothing in charity, nor did he pray! – (75:31)


But on the contrary, he rejected truth and turned away! (75:32)


Then did he stalk to his family in full conceit! (75:33)


Woe to you, (oh man!), yes, woe! (75:34)


Again, woe to you, (oh man!), yes, woe! (75:35)


Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled (without purpose)? (75: 36)”


After death, it is all over for man. There is nothing he can do to change his record. He can only do one thing – wait.




1. How is life a test?


Once upon a time, long ago, Allah (S.W.A) informed the angels that He was going to create a man. The angels protested bitterly, arguing that man will make mischief and will spill blood. Besides why should Allah (S.W.A) create man when the angels sang his praises, the angels reasoned. Allah (S.W.A) replied to them that He knew something they didn’t know. Then Allah (S.W.A) proceeded to teach man the names of all things. He then asked the angels to name all the things, but they could not, and they had to admit that the only knowledge they had was what Allah (S.W.A) had given them, and that Allah (S.W.A) was the omniscient, the most wise. So, Allah (S.W.A), ordered Adam, that is the name given to the first man, to tell the angels the names of all things, and he did. Thereafter Allah (S.W.A) ordered the angels to bow before the prophet Adam (A.S). They all did except one high-ranking angel named Iblis (2:30 – 34)


Allah (S.W.A) says that Iblis refused because he was haughty and he become of those who rejected faith. Allah (S.W.A) asked Iblis what prevented him from bowing when He, Allah (S.W.A) had commanded him?  Iblis replied that it was because he was better than man, for Allah (S.W.A) had created him from fire free of smoke and man, Allah (S.W.A) had created from clay. Allah (S.W.A) renounced and dubbed him as the meanest of creatures. So Iblis begged Allah (S.W.A) to give him time till the Day of Judgment when man will be raised up from his death. Allah (S.W.A) granted him the time. Iblis said to Allah (S.W.A) that since Allah (S.W.A) had thrown him out of the way, he will lie in wait for man on Allah’s straight path (7:11-14).


From here Allah continues the story directly:


“Then will I [Iblis] assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left: nor will you find in most of them gratitude (for your mercies) (7:17)


(Allah) Said: ‘Get out from this disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow you – hell will I fill with you all’ (7:18)


Allah (S.W.A) gave Adam (A.S) his blessed home. At this time Allah (S.W.A) had made him a companion, Hawa (A.S). Allah (S.W.A) gave them leave to enjoy while in the garden and eat of the bountiful things in it any time they wanted. Allah (S.W.A) forbade them however, to eat of only one certain tree, for it would cause them harm and transgression (2:35).


Iblis on the other hand did not forget his disgrace and rejection by Allah (S.W.A) caused by man. He vowed to bring man down with him.


Here is the story again in Allah’s words:


“Then began Shaitan to whisper suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them (before): He said: ‘Your Lord only forbade you this tree lest you should become angels or such creatures as live forever (7:20),


And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere advisor (7:21)


So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tested of the tree, their shame became manifest, and they began to sew the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called on to them: ‘Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Shaitan was an avowed enemy to you?’ (7:22)


They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls and if you do not forgive us and bestow not upon us your mercy we shall certainly be lost (7:23).


(Allah) said: Get you down with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood for a time (7:24)


He [Allah] said: ‘Therein shall you live, and therein you shall die; but from it shall you be taken out (at last) (7:25).


So that was how man’s predicament began. These following verses will tell us how man’s life on earth is a test.


“Oh you children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness – that is the best. Such are among the signs of Allah that they may receive admonition (7:26)!


“Oh you children of Adam! Let not Shaitan seduce you, in the same way as he got your parents out of the garden, stripping them of their raiment to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where you can not see them: he made the evil ones friends to those without faith (7:27)


“Say: ‘My Lord has commanded justice; and that you set your whole selves (to him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon him making your devotion sincere as in his sight: such as he created you in beginning, so shall you return’ (7:29)


“Some he has guided: Others have by their choices deserved the loss of their way in that they took the evil ones in preference to Allah for their friends and protectors and think that they receive guidance (7:30).



Oh children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer. Eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters (7:31)


“Say: ‘Who has forbidden the beautiful gifts of Allah which he has produced for his servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which he has provided) for sustenance?’ Say: They are, in the life of this world for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do we explain the signs in detail for those who understand (7:32).


Say: The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds whether open or secret, sins and trespasses against truth or reason, assigning of partners to Allah, for which he has given no authority; and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge (7:33).


“To every people is a term appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation) (7:34)


Oh you children of Adam! Whenever there come to you messengers from among you, rehearsing My signs onto you – those who are righteous and mend (their lives) – on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve (7:35)


“But those who reject our signs and treat them with arrogance – they are companions of the fire, to dwell therein (7:36).


“Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects his signs? For such, their portion appointed must reach them from the book (of decrees): until, when our messengers (of death) arrive and take their souls, they say: ‘where are the things that you used to invoke besides Allah?’ They will reply, ‘they have left us in the lurch,’ and they will bear witness against themselves, that they had rejected Allah (7:37).


“He (Allah) will say: ‘ Enter  you in the company of the peoples who passed away before you – men and jinns – into the fire’. Every time a new people enters, it curses its sister people (that went before), until they follow each other into the fire. Says the last about first: ‘Our Lord! It is these that misled us! So give them a double penalty in the fire’. He will say: ‘Doubled for all’: but this you do not understand (7:38).


“Then the first will say to the last: ‘See then! No advantage have you over us; so taste you of the penalty for all that you did!’ (7:39)


For those who reject our signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle: such is our reward for those in sin (7:40).


“For them there is hell, as a coach (below) and folds and folds of covering above: such is our requital of those who do wrong (7:41)


But those who believe and work righteousness, no burden do we place on any soul, but that which it can bear – they will be companions of the garden, therein to dwell (7:42).


And we shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury – beneath them will be rivers flowing – and they shall say: ‘Praise be to Allah who has guided us to this (felicity): never could we have found guidance had it not been for the guidance of Allah: Indeed it was the truth that the messengers of our lord brought onto us.’ And they shall hear the cry: ‘Behold! The garden before you! You have been made its inheritors for your deeds of righteousness (7:43).


The companions of the garden will call out to the companions of the fire: ‘We have indeed found the promises of our Lord to us true: have you found your Lord’s promises true?’ They shall say: ‘Yes’; but a crier shall proclaim between them: ‘The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers (7:44).


To sum up the whole lot in a few words, the real test is, Can we manage to live this short life of ours in complete submission to Allah (S.W.A) and turn deaf to the callings of Shaitan and gallantly defy his cunning tricks? If we do, then we will be returned to our original home – paradise. Can we really do it? Can we resist the temporary sweet coated and mind blasting fun offered by the wrong ways for the everlasting serenity both in this world and in the hereafter? We must do our best!


 Those are the verses that related to my questions ‘How is life a test?’. Continue to read surah 7 from verse 45 to 53. These verses shed more light on the lives of those who would have passed the test of this life and those who would have failed. It is important we know all about it, so we can make our choices wisely.





So i get this email asking me to invite muslim teenagers to this new website called: Muslim Teen Chat... already the name sounds fishy, but I decide to give it the benifit of doubt and check it out. At first it seems well made and well intended - but i cant get over the name and wonder why call it that if there is no element of chat involved... then I see a link to message boards. Once clicked it takes me to what I feared - further links to other chat rooms, including Gay and Lesbian! What on earth is going on? This may never see light of day, but if the initiators of this site see this please reasses what it is your doing...I make no judgment for that has already been made my dear Brothers and Sisters! May Allah Protect us from such open unashamed indulgence in that which is wrong, ameen.
Answer: Dear Syed,
 I thank you very much for your contribution. It is this contribution I need from all of you members. Now, here are the answers to your worries. First of all, I truly think we teenagers, at this time, need to know where we are going. So that we start right as adults. Secondly, it is sad - this is a free website, and because it is free, the owners of tripod, have the right to advertise whatever they want on the site. But if I consider this, and I stop this program, a lot of good will be stopped. What I ask you, and all members, is to keep on this site when you come no matter what you see advertised. Just don't look! After all, you did not come for that. Ignore the adversitement and concentrate on our lessons and on our board and 'Question & Answer' pages. I have no power over the ads and over other people's boards. I can only answer for this site and the messages that are coming through it. Now for the name, 'Muslim Teen Chat', I meant it to be because I need you all muslims to come and talk freely on the board. 'Chat' is to talk, to talk freely to one another and discuss what is happening to you in your lives. From the board, I will gather all your chat and answer to your worries in the 'Question and Answer' page. There will be many issues that will arise in the lessons page, and I want you and everybody else to discuss these issues on the chat board. I will be monitering that chat and addressing the issues that are developping.

Don't worry, not many people are there at the moment because it is very new. Visit regularly, one day it will be fillled with young muslims like yourself. Come especially for the lessons which I intend to renew every two weeks.