Category Archives: Q & A

Correspondence with the late Brother Muhammad [I]

ADVICE TO A STUDENT IN AMERICA ON LIVING THE LIFE OF ISLAM

Assalam alaikum dear brother ___,

(From your email)
I realize that, of late, the level of purity in my thoughts and actions is
rapidly declining toward being more and more secular materialistic in
nature. I have a feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with me
because I can no longer pray in deep contemplation, don’t act in sincere
honesty for Allah, and do not seek guidance from only Allah. I strongly feel
that I am overly exposed to such a secular social lifestyle, and that there
is hardly anything I do/hear/see that has spiritual value. Even when I do
things that might be considered beneficial, it still seems to take me
further from Allah than closer to Him. Some of those actions include reading
world news, studying maths, being nice and helpful to others, reading books,
etc. I so desperately hope that I don’t do further damage to my soul. One
main consequence is that I cannot fully focus when I study.

This feeling that I have is totally new to me. I definitely had not expected
to be in such a predicament. Perhaps you notice a serious flaw in me? (End
of your email)

I feel really sad to hear how you have been feeling. During our many talks I
think it would be true to say we became friends, besides the fact that your
father is my good friend also. The loss of faith is just about the saddest
thing that can happen to a Muslim. I wish you could feel how much I love
Allah and the wonderful Islam He gave us as the right way of life. Few
Muslims would know how attractive the ideas of secular materialism can be as
I have had the opportunity to experience for myself. It was not for feeble
reasons I was so convinced God did not exist at the time when I had for
years been beguiled by the attractiveness and seeming rightness of the basis
for secular materialism. If I had not been an objective scientist in the
extreme I could never have been able to fairly and rationally observe that
the undeniable necessary logical implications of modern science,
particularly modern physics, pointed so powerfully to the fact that God must
exist.

You would have to have available to you all the facts that I have gathered
over the many years of study to know how certain I am now that what exists
to support secular materialism is so paltry as to be embarrassing, and how
the totality of the facts and their implications proving the rightness of a
spiritual God-centered world is so overwhelming there is not even faint hope
that the acceptance of secular materialism could ever rise again. Much of
what I know that provides me with the most high degree of certainty that
secular materialism offers nothing but a path to hellfire is in the subtle
interconnections of facts existing within the sphere of all true knowledge,
but still I guess I am a bit surprised that what you have had the
opportunity to learn from me, although must less than the whole, was not
sufficient to provide you with more protection from the seduction of the
secular world.

For myself I don’t worry that my obligatory prayers are seldom times of
“deep contemplation” since the true depths of my contemplation take place as
in my mind as I delve into the intimate actions of Allah as He creates,
sustains, and directs His physical creation. Also late at night I have
conversations with Allah that might seem to some to be more appropriate to a
totally free and open discussion of the very closest friends. I think
sometimes we have the expectations of others determining for us what should
be determined only by our own souls. Then we have the effects of the
“secular social lifestyle” which can be a major trial for Muslims anywhere
along the path of spiritual progression. I am now Blessed with the
opportunity to isolate myself from direct interaction with most of secular
society. At times when I did not have this opportunity I had many times of
doubt as to whether, regardless of how committed I was to Islam, that I
could resist all that a secular society offered. I have become a much better
person, and a much better Muslim as I have had less and less direct contact
with the secular world.

In answer to your question, I am most pleased to be able to say I see no
major fault in you at all. I have mentioned the one thing that could be
considered a flaw and which could cause you some difficulty and that is the
fact that I see you making assumptions that are not the assumptions of
highest probability given the available data. It is hard to say how that can
be corrected, it takes a lot of objectivity, logic, and a standard which
gives a good understanding of what is most likely given the nature of our
world. To me this standard is now Islam, which I am convinced is by far the
most comprehensively good and right system of thought that that has ever
existed. That is the fair, honest, and positively motivational world view I
am always taking about.

Sometimes it might be true that ignorance is bliss. By this I mean that for
any Muslim the cultural and spiritual shock of moving from a more or less
Islamic environment (such as Malaysia) to one of the most powerful secular
materialistic environments that has ever existed is always going to be very
difficult to deal with. For someone who has accepted the truth and facts of
Islam without question they may be able to fall back upon this unthinking
certainty as their armour against wrong thought and wrong influence, but to
someone who has been somewhat of an intelligent, independent thinker and has
asked hard questions about those things that others never questioned they
would not have the same safety of certainty to fall back on. A God-centered
spiritual life is increasingly difficult to successfully achieve in the
world we have today. Ultimately no one but you can decide to walk that path.
Please know how sincerely I can say this to you, “Life with Islam is so much
better than life without Islam.”

I wish I could do more, but I can only pray that you will find something in
this message that touches both your heart and your reason in such a way that
it makes your relationship with Allah, and your life in Islam a little
easier.

Wasallam my very dear brother and friend, may Allah Bless you and be with
you during these difficult times.

muhd

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Q & A: Why we should follow mazhabs

Question:

It says in the Quran that we should not create sects.So why is it necessary to follow one of the mazhabs?Why cant one just say I follow Islam as told by Prophet Muhammad(sw)?

Answer:

You may not know this, but qualified Islamic scholars are not expected to follow a madhab (a particular school of highly scholarly Islamic interpretation). It would be wonderful if every Muslim was sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to interpret Allah’s revelation so accurately that we knew in every situation what Allah would allow and what He would not allow. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of our Ummah. Since we are required to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah, but most of us are not qualified Islamic scholars, it is only reasonable to seek those Muslims of greatest knowledge for guidance. The four established madhab are based on the knowledge of some of the greatest minds in the history of Islam. It seems to me this explains fairly well why we need madhab.

The Answer Man

Follow-up question:

Why then do we have a permanent set of 4 choice of mazhabs only? Why can't there be more, or less. It is certainly not a divine decree that those 4 are the chosen ones, so why do we so strictly follow it?

Answer:

Many Muslims today ask a similar question, so it is obviously an issue of interest. To have four madhab is not by sacred law, but by well reasoned tradition. The scholars of the four madhab are considered to have been among the greatest in the history of Islam. Additionally they were much closer in time to the Islam practiced by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the companions than more modern scholars. It is believed there are no scholars alive today who equal the founders of the four madhab in knowledge of Islam, so no advantage could be gained by introducing another madhab. There have been other madhab in the past, and even today there a few minor, not well accepted madhab around. Perhaps in the future there will come a time when a scholar exists of such great knowledge that another madhab will come from his interpretations. It is not now as fixed an issue as it had been for many hundred years in the past as the door to ijtihad has opened a bit. What is important is how well we understand the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and it seems for that purpose the four existing madhab are quite excellent and sufficient.
For a more detailed and well written discourse please see:

Why Muslims Follow Madhabs , by Nuh Ha Mim Keller

http://www.sunnipath.com/Resources/PrintMedia/Articles/AR00000083.aspx

The Answer Man

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Q & A: Why does Allah need help?

Question:

I thought Allah was omnipotent, meaning all powerful. I thought Allah could do anything. If this is true why does Allah need the help of human beings to be his Khalifah "to ensure the Physical Creation unfolds rightly according to His Will"? I think this question is very important so can you please answer it?  

Answer:

You are right; Allah is omnipotent, all powerful. There is nothing Allah cannot do; therefore, Allah needs no help from anyone. The reason that Allah has created human beings to be His Khalifah (helper) is that for the completion of our spiritual advancement we need to be Allah's Khalifah. So rather than Allah creating us to be His Khalifah because He needs our help, Allah through His unparalleled Mercy has granted us the opportunity to be His Khalifah so that by successfully fulfilling the responsibilities of that most honoured role we may fulfill our spiritual destiny.

The Caliph

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Q & A: What is it that “Muslims” want America to be?

Question:

First off, I'm a non-muslim American. What is it that 'Muslims' want America to be? An Islamic state or
an isolationist state? If the answer is an Islamic state, it sounds as though I would be expected to
convert to Islam.

Answer:

Whether America becomes an Islamic state or isolationist is not really the issue, we just want America to quit all the many serious wrong things they do which are destroying human society and make America probably the most hated country in the history of the world. I don't think many Muslims would feel you have to convert to Islam to fix the 'problem' of America.

Muslims (and a lot of other people in the world) want America to quit exploiting the world's resources to satisfy their never ending appetite for more and more material pleasures. We want America which has about 5% of the world's population to be satisfied with only 5% of the world's resources (instead of the 40% they now steal from the rest of us). We want America to stop invading other countries. We want America to stop killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world. We want America to stop supporting corrupt and terrorist governments. We want America to stop polluting the world and bringing the planet to the edge of extinction. We want America to stop trying to bully every country to bend to its will. We want America to stop trying to destroy the belief in and practice of traditional Islam by the world's Muslims. And, we want America to stop imposing its sick culture on the rest of the world; their degraded culture which includes drug abuse, alcoholism, pornography, prostitution, adultery, divorce, promiscuity, homosexuality, lack of respect for parents and elders, Godlessness, and capitalistic exploitation.

You asked what we wanted so here is your answer. I suggest that if America will give all of this it will be a very good start and you won't even have to convert to Islam. Additionally, if America was to do all that was suggested terrorism throughout the world would disappear virtually immediately.

Man in Black

Follow-up:

1. "We want America which has about 5% of the world's population to be satisfied with only 5% of the world's resources (instead of the 40% they now steal from the rest of us)." I assume you are referring to oil here. If America and it's capitalistic partners (i.e. Western countries) stopped buying oil from "you", how would this effect your economy? And let's suppose America stops any and all aide to you?
Answer – Actually I am referring to virtually all of the world’s various resources where America uses between 20+% to 40% of each. But specifically regarding oil, it would harm your Western economies many times more than it would harm ours if you were to quit buying oil from us so please stop buying it from us as soon as possible. The so-called aid you refer to is like a thief who steals your wallet with thousands of dollars in it and says, “well I will give you five dollars back so you can get a taxi home”, no we would not be impressed by the thief’s so-called act of ‘charity’ and we are not appreciative of your so-called ‘aid’.

2. "We want America to stop killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world." Could you be more specific? Keep in mind, two wrongs don't make a right (at least that's what my mother always told me).
Answer – Well, during the 1990’s till today I would estimate that from American military attacks and the effects of embargos alone the average number of innocent people killed per year would be over 100,000. If we were to include all those who die due to the many and various effects of capitalistic exploitation of people in the world’s developing nations that number who directly and indirectly die from American actions and policies could go up to an average of at least 1,000,000 per year. And what do you mean “two wrongs don’t make a right”, did I say something to elicit such a comment, I don’t think so. I have not supported terrorist action regardless of all the harm caused by America because it is not allowed in Islam to do so.

3. "We want America to stop supporting corrupt and terrorist governments." Which governments are you referring to? I'm sure Israel is at the top of the list, but what others?
Answer – Isn’t Israel enough? But, lets not pretend naivety, I’m sure you can read history and the news as well as I can and must know the actual list of countries with corrupt and terrorist governments (in Central America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East) supported by America because it was in their perceived interests at the time is long indeed. And never forget it was America’s CIA that originally set up, funded, and trained Al’Qaeda when they were used by America to fight a proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan.

4. "We want America to stop polluting the world and bringing the planet to the edge of extinction." Why not China?
Answer – I thought your mother taught you two wrongs don’t make a right! Besides, the reason China and many other countries in the world are polluting now is to achieve for their people the criminal level of unnecessary material opulence that America has deluded the world into thinking is the only path to success and happiness.

5. "We want America to stop trying to bully every country to bend to its will." And this is not the case with Muslim (Islamic) countries?
Answer – No, it is not the case as Islam does not allow Muslims to bully others for any reason. America has been a bully in the world for as long as it has had the economic and military power to do so.

6. "We want America to stop trying to destroy the belief in and practice of
traditional Islam by the world's Muslims." Could you be more specific?
Answer – The Rand Corporation and Daniel Pipes recommendations, which have become official, well funded American policy is that Islam must be ‘fixed’ and that the only form of Islam acceptable to American interests is ‘secular’ Islam. ‘Secular’, an adjective denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis. That surely seems like an attempt to steal our religion from us to me.

7. "We want America to stop imposing its sick culture on the rest of the world; their degraded culture which includes drug abuse, alcoholism, pornography, prostitution, adultery, divorce, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc.." I'm not aware of any culture that does not have many of these problems. I believe most Americans would like to see these problems "corrected". In your view, how does America impose it's culture on the rest of the world?
Answer – You are right many countries do have these same problems, but they did not have these problems until the world’s diverse peoples were corrupted by American cultural imperialism. And, no one has ever enshrined the right to participate in these social perversions under the protection of law and have glorified these degraded social practices so widely and blatantly through the entertainment industry as America.

Actually I would prefer an Islamic America to an isolationist America. I think Islam is exactly what America needs, and Islam is totally consistent with all of the many wonderful values that America was founded upon and which I believe still reside deeply as a desire within the hearts of the American people. We consider the American people to be our dear brothers and sisters, so how could we hate you.

Man in Black

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Q & A: Comment on Public Morality

Question:

How do you really define public indecency in a pluralistic society such as malaysia?

Answer: 

The opinion at our website is that the rules for public indecency should be consistent with sharia. Hugging and kissing in public is not more or less indecent now than it has always been, only the feelings of the public as to how wrong it is perceived to be has changed due to the influences of secular materialism and Western cultural decadence. Human opinion does not determine right and wrong, only the Word of Allah can do that.

Basically there are two options, the lowest common denominator and the highest common denominator. The lowest common denominator would be according to the acceptable limits of the decadent Western culture derived from secular materialism; the highest common denominator would be according to the limits of the civilized Muslim culture derived from the sharia of Islam. This should not be presented as an issue of religion, it is a matter of high cultural morality versus low cultural morality. The non-Muslims in Malaysian society have as much to gain from the highest level of cultural morality as do the Muslims. We should always aspire to the highest and reject the lowest.

(Forum Editor) 

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Q & A: God Genes, Nature vs Nurture

Question:

I remember a few years ago reading TIME magazine stating the possibility that faith / piety of humans are hardwired into our genes. How true is this? And to what extent does our genes influence our behavior?

Answer:

With neither animals nor human beings has there ever been any evidence to say that the emotional type of characteristic such as faith or piety can be transmitted through the genes. Faith and piety seem to be completely outside the range of characteristics which could ever be transmitted through the genes. Faith and piety specifically seem to be related to the ‘ruh’, God consciousness, which Allah breathes into every human being as they are developing their physical body within the mother’s womb. The ruh is an aspect of the non-physical part of the human being, the aspect we normally refer to as spiritual. Instincts in animals are clearly transmitted through the genes. Some of these instincts have shown to consist of quite complex behaviours.

It would seem some human behaviours could fairly be categorized as instincts, and these are clearly passed on through genetic transmission. Unfortunately, due to the sophisticated learning patterns of human beings it is almost impossible to separate the genetic component of a behaviour from the learned component of a behaviour accept in a few of the most simple examples. Generally though, the more a behaviour involves intellectual and emotional components the less likely it is to be transmitted genetically.

It would be most helpful to view a developing human being as a blank page that will be written upon by the hand of the environment. That original blank page, while empty, is not level; it will consist of many ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’. Those hills and valleys show up as areas of attributes and deficits giving benefit or causing detriment on the physical and/or mental development of each new human being. Those hills and valleys are the aspects of the human being which are transmitted genetically from generation to generation.

The Answer Man

Follow-up question:

So, from what I understand from your post, the so-called god-gene creates an uneven surface on the part of the blank page of a newly created human being where it concerns their inclinations toward god?

Let me verify whether I understand you correctly.
The scientist posits a claim that faith in God is a behavior that people with a god-gene are inclined to have. Knowledge I gained on this website and your further clarification, however, states that faith in God is an essential part of human creation Willed by Allah, not related to a conditioning process or a genetic factor, though those two factors can affect that characteristic.

Answer:

You understand correctly as long as you realize the 'God gene' is transmitted according to the Will of Allah by messengers of light from outside the physical existence (the spiritual world) to the newly developing human being in the mother's womb. It is NOT carried in the chromosomes!

Faith is placed within every human being by Allah and is our 'fitrah'. Whether or not we express that faith is mostly determined by our environmental circumstances since in the issue of faith there is an extremely small genetic component. While I say this is true it is important to realize that our environment does not only consist of the two external sources of influence, the physical world and the social world (as is true for animals), but our human environment also includes our 'inner speech' that arises internally, primarily but not exclusively, from the thoughts in our mind. Allah places the same potential for faith in every human being, so if we want to see that most wonderful attribute manifested then we must create the environmental circumstances that make the expression of faith most likely.

Actually the whole process is quite a bit more complicated than that but what I have said is a simple version of the very complicated reality.

The Answer Man

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Q & A: What about those Ignorant of Islam

Question:

What will happen to those people who are living in ignorance of the truth. Those who have not recieved the message. The children born muslims unfortunately in kafir homes and are not aware of the truth behind this universe. Are they destined to burn as well as those who openly reject faith. I have some idea but I would like to hear the opinion of the Khaliph or his representitives that are educated in Islam.

Answer:

Whether what we commonly refer to as a ‘non-Muslim’ can enter paradise has long been a question for debate. Many scholars feel the answer is an unequivocal no, while others are not so sure. The Caliph is of course familiar with the Sura and hadith that some scholars take as absolute confirmation that a non-Muslim cannot enter Paradise; but having heard the Caliph speak on this matter quite a number of times I would say his position is that although it might seem quite clear to us who is and who is not a Muslim, that Allah may have a different criteria. Then there is the issue of Allah’s Mercy to be considered; a Mercy that is beyond our comprehension.

Given this brief information I think I could fairly say that the Caliph would not, in any usual sense of the terms, be willing to say without doubt that no ‘non-Muslim’ could ever enter Paradise. He would believe that only Allah could know the true answer to this question. The Caliph though, I am also sure, would believe that it would be in the best interests of every human being, in this world and in the afterlife, to become a believing and practicing Muslim.

The Answer Man

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