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THE PILLARS OF FAITH

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  • 1. -''l-'( ' -{/t-lt ,'7,,.8;1i' Ifi- fubr* &i&"aen U.'AtApa;p (lU #i*'vt* @dzt"t,A @M*,fi 0fffidh 7.-," f," 1.,^ i,- t^t--,-,- '!. )1.!J-)) : -!.!..t>>
  • 2. THE PII,I,ARS OF FAITH BJ fufrr Sfdkf Idft
  • 3. CONTENTS lntroduction, I God 2 The Hereafter It Angels l6 Books l8 '. N4essengers 20 Qadar 24 Conclusion . . 21 il1
  • 4. INTRODUCTION ' l ma n , Th e p illar s of F ait h, e n u me ra te d i n ma n y verses of th e Q ur ' an and s a y i n g so f th e Pro p h e t M u h a m mad, pe a ce b e upon him , are b e l i e f i n C o d , i n C o d ' s An g el s,H i s B o o ks, H is M es s enge rs ,i n th e H e re a fte r a n d i n Qadar (Destiny). heseare familiarterms; but the non-Muslim T r e a d e r w o u l d b e m i s t a k e ni f h e t h o u g h t t h a t t h e l s l a m i c co n ce p ts des ignat ed b y th e m a re th e s a m e a s th ose of o t h e r r e l i g i o n s a n d p h i l o s o p h i e s .l t i s h o p e d t h a t t h e f o l l o w i n g e x p o s i t i o n , h i c h i s i t s e l fm a d e i n t h e l i g h t o f t h e w Q u r ' a n a n d t h e s a y i n g s f t h e P r o p h e t , i l l m a k et h i sp o i n t o w clear. lt will also make clear the fact that the lslamic c o n ce p t of f ait h it s elf i s , i n ma n y w a y s ,d i ffe re n t fro m the popular Western one. In the West faith is usually c o n tra s t edt o r eas onan d k n o w l e d g e . Bu t a c c o rd i n g to the Qu r'a n tr ue f ait h is t ha t w h i c h i s b a s e do n k n o w l e d ge and s u p p o rted by ar gum e n t, An y b e l i e f w h i c h i s n o t s o based an d su p por t ed is c on s i d e re d b y th e Qu r' a n to b e mere c a p r i c e a n d w h i m w h i c h a t h i n k i n g p i e r s o nm u s t a v o i d . Tru e fa i t h c an t her ef or e b e g a i n e d th ro u g h re fl e c ti on and th e a cq uis it ion of k n o w l e d g e , a n d n o t b y b l i n d and irra ti o nal c om m it t m en t. A p e rs o n a rme d w i th s u ch an e n l i g h te ned f ait h c an e n te r w i th g re a t c o n fi d e n c e i nto ra ti o n a l dis c us s ion wi th p e o p l e w h o d o n o t s h a re hi s be l i e fsw it h t he hope o f s h o w i n g th e m th e i r m i s ta k esand w e a kn es s es and winnin g th e m o v e r to tru th . l f th i s paper he l p s to t ak e t he r ead e r a s te p i n th a t d i re c ti o n i t w i l l have ach i e ved it s pur pos e, a n d a l l p ra i s e i s d u e to Go d . -l-
  • 5. GOD Muhammad,peace be upon him, was sent to invite peopleto Cod and to teachthem how to performthe task for which they were created,namelyto worshipHim. Many of the peoplewhom he addressed a hazyideaof Cod. had $ome did believein Him, though they associated other lesser gods with Him, but a few of them were downright atheists, materialists, or whosecreed was,'we lirne and we die and nothingcauses deathexceptTime.' [fathiya, our XLV:241 Beforeinvitingsuchatheists Cod one mustfirst to convincethem that there is suchbeing."What reasondo you havefor believing thatthereis a Cod?" This, logically, is the first questionwhich a theisticview of life should address itselfto. The Qur'anic answerto it is given in the foflowing words: ". . . weretheycreated of nothing? weretheythe out Or (of creations themselves)ordid create heavens they the rnd earth." [ T u r , l l :3 6 J L The Qur'an is here saying that for everything like man that hasa beginning time,thereare only threewaysof in explaining how it cameto be. a. Eitherit is created, made,or caused nothingat all or by i.e. it cameout of nothing. b. Or it is the creatorof itself. c. Or it has a creator, cause,or maker, outside itself. The third possibility not mentionedin the quoted verse is but it is understoodbecausethe verse is addressed to peoplewho deny the existence a creatorand it istelling of them that if there is no creatorthen only two possibilities -2-
  • 6. remain. But the Qur'an does not go into the detailsof showingwhy the first two positionsare untenable.Clarity of expression often convinces peopfe of the truth or untruth of a statement.Mental seeinghere, more than physicalseeing,is believing(or rejecting). Thisis borne out in the caseof these Qur'anic words by a historicalevent. fubayr lbn Mut'im, until then, a non-Muslimwassent by Qurayshon a missionto the Muslimsat Madina.He says that when he arrived he heard the Prophet, who was leadingthe evening prayer,readingSuratal-turand when he reachedthe foregoingverses "my heartwasalmostrent asunder."tShortlyafter that fubayr embracedlslam. Why did this happento him?Probably because verse the made things clear to him for the first time. lt is for inconceivable somethingto come out of or be madeby nothing at all, he realized,and it is even more inconceiv- able that it should bring itselfinto being. Hencethe only conclusion is that it must have a creator outside itself. A thesis thereforuntenable it means denialofany is if the maker or cause whatsoever.But admitting that this is indeedso,one might stillwonderwhy shouldthatcaus or maker or creator be the God to whom Muhammadwas invitingpeople?Why shouldn'tit be one of the manyother gods in whom people believeor why shouldn'tit evenbe the "matter" of the materialists? Almost the entire Qur'an dealswith this questionbut we shalldo our bestto give a brief answer which would provide the reader with the basics the Qur'anic position-In a nutshellthe answeris of as follows: to explainthe cbming into being of temporal things, the creator (or causeor maker) for which we are -3-
  • 7. looking, must (logicallymust)havethe attributeof the Cod to whom Muhammad invites us. How sol The creator must be of a different naturefrom the things created because,if he is of the samenature asthey are, he will have to be temporal and therefore need a maker. lt follows that "nothing is like Him." [Shura, XLll: 11l.lfthe maker is not temporal then he must be eternal.But if he is eternal, he cannot be caused, and if nothing causes him to come into existence,nothing causeshim to continue to exist,which meansthat he must be selfsufficient.And if he does not depend on anything for the-continuanceof his existence, then that existence haveno end. Thecreator can is therefore eternaland everlasting:"He is thefirstand the last." [Hadid, [Vlt: 3l "All that dwells upon the earth is perishingr|t still abides the Faceof thy [ord, majestic, splendid." [Rahman,[V: 26-271 There are two ways in which causesproduce their effects. Eitherthey producethem naturally intentionally. or The maker that has the attributeswe haveenumerated cannot be a naturalcause.Because thingsof this world if flow from Him naturallyand spontaneousfy, they cannot be but of the samenatureas He is. And if like all natural causes causes He only under certainconditions, then His po*er is limited.lt followsthat He mustbe a wilful agent. But intentionimpliesknowledgeand both impty life.5o, that makermust be a fivingall-knowingagentwith a will that is absolutelyfree.ThusGod according the Qur'an to doeseverything with intentionand for a purpose. "Surely havecreated We everything {due)measure." in a9] LXIV: [Qamar, -4-
  • 8. "What,did you thinkthatWe created onlyfor sportl" you I M u ' m i n u n , X l l l :1 1 5 f X He is absolutely free to do whateverhe wills IHud, Xl: 1071 and is aware of every movementof His creation. "He knows what is in land and sea;not a leaffalls,but He knowsit. Not a grainin the earth'sshadow, a thing fresh not or withered,but it is in a Book Manifest.lt is He
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