Sunday, 3 February 2013

Pillars of Faith

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

I had wrote several posts about this. It is also mentioned in the sacred hadith or the Hadith Qudsi where it has the report for us about the conversation of prophet Muhammad s.a.w with Archangel Gabriel a.s who was in the disguise of a man when he met Muhammad s.a.w while he sat with his companions in Medina. The hadith was narrated by Abdullah Bin Umar r.a. This orthodox creed was taught by prophet Muhammad s.a.w himself where the Archangel Gabriel a.s put the highlights on them. It is not from any imam, sheikh or cleric conclusions on the Divine Path. 

We have faith in six matters which are...

1. The God the Highest.
2. The angels.
3. The scriptures.
4. Prophets and messengers of the God.
5. Resurrection and the hereafter.
6. Divine Predestination.

Faith in the God the Highest
How do we have faith in Him? We have faith in Him through the process of thinking. From the basis ones such as who creates the materials around them? They were created by human-being. Who gives them the energy, power and inspiration to create the stuffs? He is the One who gives them to human-being. Later, how the universe and everything in it come into the existence? People might conduct researches or proposed Big Bang Theory or studying astronomy and sciences or technology but then everything would eventually goes back to Him when the explanation goes to the infinity.

We have faith in the God the Highest through worship. The term in Arabic for worship is 'Ibadat which means we only submit ourselves as servants or slaves to the only Master, the only Lord, the only King, the only God. We do not serve other man-kind, colonial masters who happened to be fellow human-being, nor materials around us whether stones, rocks, tress, woods, nature forces which are generated by the God Himself, nor enslaving ourselves with worship to other fellow creatures for e.g genies, ghosts, spirits of creatures, sages, angels, money, property and others. How do we worship Him? Through the prescribed disciplines mentioned by the God the Highest through our noble teacher, Muhammad s.a.w and through the highlights from his explanations whether of his daily acts, movements, speeches and his silence or the sunnah.

We have faith in Him by obeying His commandments and trying as hard as we can to avoid ourselves from evil conducts for e.g adultery, telling lies, commit murder, commit suicide, eating filthy things and others. Matters about monotheism ideology being explained could be founded in many books but please... Never force anyone to accept the ways to explain it as a new form of Creed!!! They simply are explanations by some scholars as to make it easy for public Muslims to understand. Just don't confuse our mind with scholars thesis... The thing is very simple.

Faith in Angels

In Arabic, we call the angels as Malaak which literally means the Forces. Angels are unseen creatures. Just like the wind, we can feel their presence but we cannot touch them with our dermal receptor nor being seen with our physical eyes. They are created from the elements of light so that explains why human cannot touch them nor physically feel them. They have no gender, no desires which means that they have no choice like human-being except to perform worship for Him. They are strictly commanded to be free from errors and some of them have the roles as intermediaries or emissaries between the God the Highest to sages, prophets and messengers of the God from amongst the man-kind. For Muslims like myself, we have faith in them whether as an individual angel or a group angels from the Archangel Gabriel a.s to 'Ateed which is a kind of angel who writes every evil committed by human-being and genies.

There are angels who hold the Throne of the Lord, angels who chants prayers, angels with the task to torment sinners in the hell, angels who are not mentioned in the Glorious Quran, angels who protect the creations which also includes human-being. Human-being who is born will be accompanied by the unseen companies or qareen in the form of angels or demon. However, the word qareen is more synonymous to the demon while the angels are known as the guardian angels.   

Faith in Scriptures

There are four scriptures from the same source of revelation that we have faith in namely the Torah, the Psalter, the Gospel and the Quran. These scriptures were revealed to Semites prophets and messengers in the Semites' region in the Middle East. Some Muslims believe that the previous scriptures were tainted by human words when they were recorded again in the form of writing while for me, I am not thinking in the same way because only the God the Highest has the authority to reveal it. There are people who are good in twisting the man-made law, so does in the Divine Path because it is embraced by human-being. I just don't agree with some people who use these scriptures to prove or disprove others in their arguments but later saying that they are not the original ones. I am against this attitude. It is just the same attitude with some Christian preachers who were trained in their seminaries or Orientalist scholars of colonial period. So, outdated and lame... I am not impressed at all. By the way, Torah is known as am-Miqra in Arabic which means the Reading. The Old Testament part in the Bible recited by some Christians were from the translation of Greek texts used by Jews who lived in Roman territories since before prophet Jesus a.s was born.

Faith in Prophets and Messengers

We have faith in prophets and messengers of the God the Highest. They were appointed by the God the Highest and some of them were mentioned in our Glorious Quran while there were also prophets or sages being initiated in other regions.We have some knowledge about 25 main prophets as their names were mentioned by the God in the Glorious Quran. Some were not clearly mentioned because they were sages, prophets but not messengers of the God who constantly receive revelation and they only practice the revelation or inspiration and teaching it within their family, clan, tribe and nation. 

Faith in the Resurrection and Hereafter

We have faith in Resurrection where human-being and other fellow creatures would be resurrected by the God the Highest. There would be blows of trumpet by an appointed angel before everything in the universe tumbled upon one another and when everyone would be assembled in an extremely large place known as the place of assembly. We are not sure on the measurement of the place but it is a place and only He knows. Everything which includes the deeds while everyone was in this "world" would be calculated, scaled and measured. Human, genies and animals will be receiving the consequences of their acts. Human-being and genies will be receiving their record whether the good or evil record which will determine where they would be placed, the paradise or the hell.

Faith in Divine Predestination

This is also known as the Decree of the God. We believe that everything in the past, present and the future happens as written in the Preserved Tablet. A person's action is not caused by those written in the Preserved Tablet, however they are written in the Tablet since the God knows all occurrences since He is not bounded to any boundaries like the restrictions of time.

A person has the power of mind to choose, however the God created time and space. He knows more about the future than His creatures. What will happen has significance only to creatures, who are limited to time and space.

This faith is based on four things which are firstly by His knowledge where the God knows what His creation is going to do, through the virtue of His eternal knowledge, including in their choices that will take place. Secondly, by what has been written where the God has written everything that exists including the destiny of all creatures in the Preserved Tablet prior to creation. Thirdly, by His Will as what He wills happens what He does not will does not happen. We do not know what is His Will as we are ordinary human-beings. There is no movement in the heavens or on earth but happens by His Will. It does not mean that He forces things to happen the way they happen in the area of human beings' voluntary actions. It means that He knew what they will chose, put it down in the Tablet and lets it happen. He can always change it if He wants and it is His authority. Fourthly, by the creation and formation as the God is the Creator of all beings, it also includes the actions of His servants. Human-being, animals, machines, computer, nature forces and everything execute their actions in the sense which we can see but in the real sense, He is the Creator who Creates them and their actions. 

There are stages of what has been fated or decreed as well where the Predestination is determined and prescribed to the creation in the universe....     

1. His Decree which has been written in the Preserved Tabled before the creation of the universe is never changed and encompasses everything that will be.

2. The divine decree was there after the creation of man-kind. He took out all of the progeny of the man from the beginning towards the end of time, and asked them "Am I not your Lord?" and all of the man-kind responded "We bear the witness that You are our Lord". Then He decreed on whom shall go to paradise and whom shall go down the hell. 

3. The life-time decree as it occurs when a person is in the womb of his mother, specifically 120 days after conception. The God sends an angel to put a soul into the person, and the angel writes down the decree that the God has decided for the person such as his life-span, his gender, his sustenance or how much will he earn throughout his lifetime and whether he will be a dweller of the paradise or a dweller of hell, may the Lord makes us far away from His torments, amin!  

4. The yearly decree occurs during the Night of the Qadr just like He mentions in the simple Surat al-Qadr where He sends down His decree from the heavens to the earth. He destines the actions for e.g deeds, sustenance, birth, deaths and others of each of his creation for the next year. Qadr means something which has been destined.

5. The daily decree which refers to what He decrees in our daily actions.

These categorizations clear the idea of destiny. It is "possible" that the God sends daily or yearly decree dictating that a person will get a profit. But, due to his good deeds for e.g. maintaining the ties of kinship and Silat al-Raheem, the God sends another decree increasing the person's profit. The reversal of the two decrees is all within His knowledge and is recorded in the Preserved Tablet. A person himself has no knowledge of his own destiny nor of the God's decrees. But what he does know is that if he performs certain good deeds, then He will increase his sustenance more as compared to he does nothing or as compared to as if he commits evil deeds.

Related to this faith, many of us questioned our ustads about it but only when I studied it more thoroughly that I know more. We may change our destiny through supplications and prayers. Charity and worship are a source of an increase in ones sustenance as it also banish calamities. Sins and vices result in the decrease of sustenance where it also invites calamities.

Matters Damaging Faith

What will damage our faith? They are matters such as....

1. Polytheism... Arabic term for this is Shirk. In this sense, it means associating the Lord with other sub-powers for e.g angels, spirits of sages, nature forces, or saints in terms of worship. We never prostrate before them but only before the God the Highest. We recite prayers and supplications only in His Name and the Holy Attributes which He mentions in the scripture which is the Glorious Quran.

2. Vices and evil deeds... These happens when we break off from commandments for e.g disrespecting parents or hurting their feeling or committing adultery. We can use our common sense without having to create a long-winding list with reference to scripture or prophets' sayings to get to know what are vices and crimes. We possess mind to choose on what we desire for ourselves.

3. Superstitious or khurafat in Arabic. For e.g believing chain emails as something that could affect ones life if they are not circulated as what has been written by the first person who creates that silly email. Any act or deed which has no basis in scripture related to the warding off of bad luck or bringing auspicious situation are superstitions. 

4. Rejection or kufr for e.g a situation where someone rejecting prophet Muhammad s.a.w as the seal of prophethood for this closing period of the universe. There are two definitions for rejection which are the literal and the technical one as in the Divine Law term. Rejection is divided into two kinds which are the great ones and the little ones. The great ones are divided into five branches and resulting one who commits any of it as a non-Muslim while his previous meritorious deeds are vanquished. The little ones are in the form of crime acts just like in the penal code in most courts have in the world for e.g, stealing, murdering, massacring and others. These little rejections are sinful and still counted as the sins which makes one who commits them as eligible to be thrown into the hell.

5. Apostasy... This refers to the act of breaking the covenants, promises with the God and rebellious toward the commandments of the God the Highest which actually would result ones "soul" being polluted although he is knowledgeable about everything. It does not only happens to uneducated people but also to scholars when their soul is dimmed with the ignorance which are caused by environment and the failure to maintain their self-awareness. In our Medina tradition and history, some of the Jews who lived there together with Muslims were not mentally ignorant but their souls were tainted by their egoism. Just examples and they are subjects to my weaknesses... I am not a person who curse others as according to the trend. Other example, refusing to spend some incomes for the tithe as prescribed in the Pillars of Islam and minimal obligatory disciplines prescribed in the Glorious Quran and highlighted in the Sacred Hadith.           

These are actually simple matters which many of us including myself perhaps has overlooked or missed while they are very very very important. Before we go for whatever discussion on higher matters like the Sunnah or other petty matters like how we look like or whether to look like a trendy "preacher" or whether we should eat the Biryani with three fingers in the tray or countering Christians to gain glorious names when we defeated them in arguments as for example, these are the basis of our souls

These are the basis of Shari'a Islamiyya or the Divine Way of Islam. All of our "people" believe that we must be well-versed with the Pillars of the Faith and the Pillars of Islam besides constantly being committal to them before we go to preach others. When we talk about these matters, of course we are also talking about the "Sunnah" as we strongly emphasize on the Hadith Qudsi. When we are committal to these, we are also spreading the da'awa without having to discuss so much in the group or using posh words. I am sticking this in treatise section so it will make everyone easy to access it whenever he or she pleases...

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!  

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