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Islamic creed- Miscellaneous Topics- Lesson (05): Islam
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  


 Dear brother, we are still tackling the following Hadith, which I read twice during two lectures in a row, and I will read it for the third time so you will be aware of it:

((Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with them) said: Once we were sitting in the company of Messenger of Allah (PBUH) when there appeared a man dressed in very white clothes and having extraordinary black hair. No signs of fatigue of journey appeared on him and he was known to none of us. He sat down facing the Prophet (PBUH) leaning his knees against the knees of the Prophet (PBUH) and placing both of his palms over his two thighs and said, "O Muhammad (PBUH)! Tell me about Islam". He (PBUH)replied, "Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah; that you observe Salat (prayers), pay Zakat, observe Saum (fasting) of Ramadan and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) of the House, provided you have resources of making journey to it.'' He replied: "You have spoken the truth". We were surprised to see that he had asked him and confirmed the correctness of the answers. He then said (You inquire about something so you say he inquired about the Iman): "Tell me about Iman". He (PBUH) said. "It is to believe in Allah, and His Books, and His Messengers and the Last Day and that you believe in foreordainment, its bad and good consequences.'' He said, "You have spoken the truth.'' He then said: "Tell me about Ihsan.'' He (PBUH) said, "It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him; and although you do not see Him, He sees you". He said: "Inform me about the Hour (i.e., the Day of Resurrection)". He (PBUH) replied, "I have no more knowledge thereof than you". He said, "Inform me about some of its signs". He (PBUH) said, "They are - that a bondswoman gives birth to her own master, and that you will find the barefooted, naked, poor shepherds competing with one another in the construction of higher buildings". Then he departed. The Messenger of Allah kept silent for a while then he said to me, "O `Umar! Do you know who the questioner was"'' I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better". The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He was Jibril (Gabriel); he came to you to teach you your religion". ))


 As long as I remember, I talked about Ihsan (philanthropy) in the first lecture, and today we will talk about Islam, and this lecture will be of great importance, as Allah says in the last Ayahs of Surat Al Hujuraat:

"The Bedouins say: "We believe." Say: "You believe not but you only say, 'We have surrendered (in Islam),' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey Allah and His Messenger (), He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

[Al-Hujuraat, 14]

 This indicates that there are three phases: Islam, Iman (faith) and Ihsan (philanthropy), and speaking of which, I have to assure you that learning Islamic terminology is part of knowledge seeking, as the true Muslim should know what is Islam" What is Iman (faith)? What is Ihsan (philanthropy)? What is hypocrisy" What is Shirk (polytheism)" What is Kufr (Atheism)" What is Debauchery" What is sinning" What is deviating" What is piousness" And Terms like that.

Hidden Shirk (polytheism):

 Dear brother, these terms, which are repeatedly mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, should be crystal clear in your mind, for, defining these terms is an important part of Muslim’s ideology (creed).
 Consider the example of someone who assumed that Shirk is only about worshiping Buda for example, yet unknowingly he was deeply indulged in a hidden shirk which draws a veil between him and Allah the Almighty, and if only he had known that the hidden shirk is as serious as the apparent Shirk, he would have avoided it.

((Mahmood bin Lubayd reported that the Prophet PBUH said: "The thing I fear for you the most is ash-Shirk al-Asghar (minor polytheism)" The companions asked "Oh! Messenger of Allah PBUH, what is that"" He PBUH replied "Ar-Riya (showing off), for verily God will say on the Day of Resurrection when people are receiving their rewards, 'Go to those for whom you were showing off in the material world and see if you can find any reward from them."))

[Ahmad, as narrated by Mahmood bin Lubayd]

 “The thing I fear for my nation is hidden Shirk (or minor shirk)”, as in this case people are not worshiping an idol or a stone, yet they are longing for a hidden lust or doing deeds which are not in the cause of Allah, hence, the hidden shirk is so dangerous.
 Abandoning Salah is Kufr, yet it is just one of Kufr’s concepts, and the rich stalling in paying back your debt is an oppression, yet it is just one of oppression concepts, therefore, any deed which man might commit which contradicts with the Quran and Sunnah will put him in the category of practical Kufr, but we have other dangerous kinds of kufr, the “ideological Kufr” which is enough to cast him off Islam.
 We have the verbal and the practical Kufr (practical: like throwing the Quran on a table carelessly), Allah says:

"And whosoever honors the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart."

[Al-Hajj, 32]

 Therefore we have three kinds of Kufr: ideological, verbal, and practical which cast you off Islam. Whoever commits the ideological Kufr must reconsider embracing Islam again, like when one abandons Salah (prayers) out of denying it as an obligation, therefore, abandoning any obligation, any mandatory practice, any authenticated hadith, denying Allah’s knowledge, or denying a letter in Quran is an act of ideological Kufr.

Learning Islamic terminology is part of the religion:

 Some scholars said: Whoever slipped in kufr (unintentionally doing so) is not considered kafir, like that Bedouin who said out of joy when he met his stray camel: “O, Allah, you are my slave and I am your God”, as what he said is Kufr, yet he is not considered as Kafir (as he said so unintentionally). These kinds of concepts are very critical.
 It is prohibited, according to scholars, to say to someone in particular that he is Kafir unless he declared that publicly himself, and this situation is called in Islamic law Kufr Bawwah “explicit Atheism”, however, some Islamic groups hastily deliver rootless and not profound kufr accusations right and left, these kinds of acts are one of the Kaba’er (major sins):

((Whoever says: people are doomed, then he is dooming them))

[Muslim, as narrated by Abu Huraira]

((Whoever calls his [Muslim] brother 'kafir', it becomes definitely true to one of the two))

[Muslim, as narrated Ibn Umar]

((If a Muslim calls another kafir, then if he is a kafir let it be so; otherwise, he [the caller] is himself a kafir.))

[Ahmad, as narrated Ibn Umar]

 As I just said, awareness of Islamic terminology is part of the religion, like what is the definition of ideological Kufr" What is the meaning of practical Kufr" What is the meaning of verbal Kufr" What is kufr in general" What is Kufr in its narrow concept" Same questions should go for Shirk (Polytheism), Ilhad (Atheism), Fisq (deviation), Fujoor (Debauchery), Ma’syah (sinning), same also goes for Islam, Ihsan, and Iman.
 Every now and then, we should go in details in the respect of these terms. Last lecture, I mentioned lots of Hadiths about Iman (faith) and I said: These Ahadith have two missions, one of which is to measure and the second is to set up a purpose, how" You measure your faith against these hadiths, and if the hadiths apply to you, then it is a blessing ffrom Allah, but when your faith doesn’t level up with these Ahadith standards, then the role of the hadith is to become your target, you set up your purpose according to these measures and you aim at it.
The true believer doesn’t get a sound sleep while he is not sure if he is a true believer or not, and this is what is called the sacred worry in which one is worried out of fearing Allah, loving Allah, or striving to gain Allah’s gratification, and in which he keeps asking himself: Am I following what pleases Allah"
 The companions were in a continuous worry in respect to their faith to the extent that some followers of the prophet PBUH said: “Each one of the forty companions I met thought he was a hypocrite (because they hold themselves accountable)”, and you should know that only Iblis (Devil) is satisfied with himself.

The great stances of our master Umar:

 Our Master Umar, the giant of Islam, said: If Allah sent down a verse of the Quran saying that He will punish one of His creatures, I feared that it would be me, and If Allah said that He will have mercy on one of his creatures, I longed that it would be me, Hence, our Master Umar was between hope and fear.
 Once he said: I wish that the mother of Umar never gave birth to Umar, I wish she was barren.
 One day he spent the night guarding a caravan, then he heard the weeping of a child so he went towards him and told his mother: “Fear Allah and be good to your child” and he went back to his place. He heard the child crying again and told his mother the same thing and went back to his place. as narrated by the end of the night he heard him crying again so he told his mother: “You are a bad mother, your child did not sleep all night.” So she said: “I am trying to wean him but he refuses.” He said: “Why are you doing that"” She said: “Because Umar does not prescribe child support except for children who are already weaned.”
 Biography reported that he hit his forehead and said:” “Misery is for Umar. He has killed Muslim children.”
 So he considered himself as a killer, because he cut short this baby’s breastfeeding so that his mother will be paid the support for him.
 Once he entered the mosque to pray with his companions, he cried to the extent that no one could understand what he was reciting, and he used to say: “O Lord, did You accept my repentance so I would congratulate myself, or did You reject it so I would feel sorry for it”.
 When a messenger from Azerbaijan came to see him he hated to knock at his door at night, so he headed to the mosque where he found a man praying and crying, so the messenger asked: “Who are you May Allah have mercy on you"” to which Umar answered: “I am Umar” taken by surprise the man said: “Glory be to Allah, you are the prince of believers, praying right here and I hated to knock at your door because it is too late, Oh, prince of believers, don’t you go to sleep" To which Umar said: “If I slept all night, I would lose myself in front of my Lord, and if I slept all day, I would be abandoning my citizens, so he took his visitor home and asked Um Kulthum: “what do we have for our visitor to eat" Then he asked him: “Do you want to eat at my house or at the houses of the poor of Muslims"”, but why should the visitor go and eat in the houses of the poor, while he was at the house of the Caliph, but to his surprise, there was nothing in Umar’s house save bread and salt, and after he ate, drank and praised Allah for His blessings, he addressed his visitor by asking: What is the purpose of your visit", you came from Azerbaijan – which was one of the Soviet union countries, at that time it was under Umar’s ruling – He said to Umar: “I have a present sent to you from your governor there” Umar asked: “What is the present"” “it is a box of sweets” the messenger answered. Umar opened the box and tasted one piece then he asked again: “Can all the people afford to have this in their homes"” to which the messenger answered: “No this is for the special (rich people)”, so Umar took the bite out of his mouth and he wrote to the governor: “How can you care about Muslims if you don’t eat the same food they eat” then he continued: “Umar’s stomach is forbidden from tasting any food that poor Muslims can’t afford to eat” then he ordered that this present be delivered to the poor in the prophetic mosque.
 Once he forbade himself from eating meat for long months till his stomach gurgled (out of hunger), so he spoke to his stomach saying: “Gurgle or not, I swear to Allah I won’t taste meat till all Muslim children become full from eating it”.
 One day he saw fat camels. Upon inquiry he was told that they belonged to Abdullah, his son. So he called for him, and when he came to him he saw his father angry and Omar asked how the camel became so fat. Abdullah explained that when he originally purchased them, they were thin so he put it in the government grazing ground where they became healthy. – So where is the wrongdoing" Where is the law-breaking" – then Umar said to his son: “People might say: let these camels eat more as they belong to the Caliph’s son, let them drink more as they belong to the Caliph’s son, till they got fat, you son of the Caliph, do you know why they are fat" That is because you are my son. Then he ordered him to sell them and take only his capital money and give the rest to the Muslims’ treasury (exchequer).
 That is why he is one of the Caliphs to whom the history will testify to their justice and mercy. When Abu Bakr appointed Umar to be in charge for this Ummah (nation), some people blamed him saying: “you appointed a rigid man” to which Abu Bakr said: “Are you trying to fill me with fear, I swear by Allah, if He asked me on the resurrection day about the reason behind appointing Umar, I would say: O, Lord I appointed the most merciful man upon them, and that is what I know about him”
 Pay attention to his politeness with Allah, as he appointed Umar according to what he already knew about him (being merciful), but at that time he couldn’t predict the behavior that Umar might lead in the unseen future.

The true Muslim:

 This will teach us to testify to the things we know only, so be aware of the responsibility that lies on your shoulders when you are asked about someone (about his morals if he is getting married), and never say he is one of the kind, pious, pure, or like angels, as there is no way to tell if he has changed.

Love the person you like moderately
As he might be your enemy one day
And hate the person you dislike moderately
As he might be someone you like one day

* * *

 Let us get back to the main topic of this lecture, dear brother, terms are so many and this lecture is about Islam, so the question is: Who is the Muslim" The answer is: He is the one who submits fully to Allah’s method which includes all the do’s and don’ts, hence, when you carry out the orders, and stay away from the bans, then you are a true Muslim, but as for Iman (faith), that is another story.
 Iman is all about believing, connecting with Allah, and drawing close to Him.
 Whereas Islam is all about praying the five prayers, fasting Ramadan, performing Hajj, paying Zakat, lowering your gaze, avoid lying, backbiting, and deceiving, and it is also about carrying out Allah’s orders and staying away from Allah’s prohibitions.
 He, who commits major sins (Kaba’er) pretending to be a Muslim, is far from Islam. He, who doesn’t care whether his earning is Haram(illegal) or Halal (legal) pretending to be a Muslim, is far from Islam. He, who has relationshiips with women whether they are legal or not, is he a Muslim"
 Iman is a higher rank above Islam, whereas Ihsan ranks over them both.

"Abu Huraira reported that the prophet PBUH was once among people when a man came and said: “Tell me about Iman". He (PBUH) said. "It is to believe in Allah, and His Books, and His Messengers and the Last Day and that you believe in foreordainment, its bad and good consequences. He then said: '' O Messenger or Allah, tell me about Islam". He (PBUH)replied, "Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah; that you observe Salat (prayers), pay Zakat, observe Saum (fasting) of Ramadan and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) of the House, provided you have resources of making journey to it.'' He then said “O Messenger or Allah ell me about Ihsan.'' He (PBUH) said, "It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him; and although you do not see Him, He sees you". He said: " O Messenger or Allah Inform me about the Hour (i.e., the Day of Resurrection)". He (PBUH) replied, "I have no more knowledge thereof than you".

[Agreed upon, as narrated by Abu Huraira]

 To be a Muslim is to be submissive and obedient to Allah.
 Islam is all about submission and righteousness:
 Allah the Almighty said:

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error. "

[Al-Ahzab, 36]

 Islam is all about submission, and in order to reach the highest rank of this great religion, you should be righteous, for that, some said(and I ask Allah to forgive their misunderstanding): “righteousness is the end of the road”, but in fact it is the start, so I will say: you are not a Muslim unless you submit to Allah in whole, obey His orders, stay away from his prohibitions, and be submissive with all your senses, body, and actions.

((…Tell me about Islam". He (PBUH)replied, "Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah…))

[Agreed upon, Abu Huraira]

 Dear brother, don’t assume that Shirk (polytheism) is to worship an idol, no it is not that, Shirk is when you adopt a method other than Allah’s, when you apply rules other than those in the Quran, when you submit to a convention which contradicts with Allah’s book (the Quran), and when you give in to people’s pressure on you and you please them against Allah’s orders, in all these actions, you are worshiping other than Allah and you are committing Shirk.

The virtue of Salah in the Quran and the Sunnah:

 The prophet PBUH said:

((…Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that you observe Salat (prayers), pay Zakat, observe Saum (fasting) of Ramadan…))

[Agreed upon, as narrated by Abu Huraira]

"When you have finished As-Salat (the prayer - congregational), remember Allah standing, sitting down, and lying down on your sides, but when you are free from danger, perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as- Salat). Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours. "

[Al-Nisa’, 103]

((Uthman Bin Abi Al A’as reported that when the delegation of Thakeef came to the prophet PBUH, he allowed them to stay in the Mosque to sooth their hearts, yet they imposed as a condition that they won’t be trooped for battles, and they won’t be asked to pay 10% of their money, so the Prophet PBUH said: I grant you that you wont’ be trooped for battles nor will you be asked to pay 10% of your money, verily, there is no good in a religion without prayers))

[Ahmad, as narrated by Uthman Bin Abi Al A’as]

((Salah (prayer) is the pillar of this religion, whoever performs it, will be establishing for this religion, and whoever leaves it will be demolishing this religion))

[Tabarani, as narrated by Mu’az]

"Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!"

[Al-Alaq, 19]

"I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance."

[Ta-Ha, 14]

 “What you sense of your salah is what counts only”, “if only the prayer (person who performs prayers) knows who he is addressing, he will never turn away”, “Salah is the believer’s Me’raj (ascending path)”, “Salah is Tahoor (purity)”.

((Abu Malik Al-Harith bin Asim Al-Ash`ar (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Wudu' is half of Salah; the utterance of (Al-hamdu lillah - all praise belongs to Allah) fills the Scales of good actions; the utterance of (Subhan Allah wa Al-hamdu lillah) (Allah is far removed from every imperfection and all praise belongs to Allah) fills the space between the heavens and the earth, and Salat (prayer) is light; and charity is the proof of Faith; and endurance is light, and the Qur'an is a plea in your favor or against you. Every person departs; he either ransoms it or puts it into perdition".))


(("That you observe Salat (prayers), pay Zakat, observe Saum (fasting) of Ramadan and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) of the House, provided you have resources of making journey to it.'' He then inquired: "Tell me about Ihsan.'' He (PBUH) said, "It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him; and although you do not see Him, He sees you". He enquired: "Inform me about the Hour (i.e., the Day of Resurrection)". He (PBUH) replied, "I have no more knowledge thereof than you".

[Agreed upon, as narrated by Abu Huraira]

Islam is all about deeds and faith is in the heart:

 Every apparent act or word is an action of Islam according to the prophet’s explanation PBUH, hence, when one prays, performs Hajj, or pays Zakat will be practicing Islamic rituals, whereas all what involves with the heart is of Iman’s actions.
 The first and the most important act of Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah, but as you all know, repeating words sometimes voids them of their meaning and we are in dire need to restore the glamour, depth, and the serious content of these words. Allah the Almighty says:

"So know (O Muhammad) that La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes). "

[Muhammad, 19]

 Believe me dear brother, you will be in the highest rank, your problems will be perished, and nothing will matter any more when you know the meaning of “There is no God but Allah”.

But I hope to find sweetness in You (O Allah) when life becomes bitter
And I hope to find You pleased when people become angry
Let the connection between You and I, be fully built up
Even if it means ruin for my connection with the people
And I hope drinking of your amicability is accomplished
And drinking of Furat’s water is only mirage
* * *

Al Tawheed (Monotheism):

 Tawheed by definition is to see no one with Allah, to believe that Allah has the upper hand, to know that Allah’s Will controls everything, to be able to refer everything you are up against to Allah’s act, to seek no witness save Allah on your actions, to long for reward only from Allah, to ask no one’s aid save Allah, and to hold onto the truth.
 O Lord, don’t make us seek help but from you. Tawheed is to believe that Allah is the only Exalter, Abaser, Bestower of honor, Humiliator, All-Giver, Preventer, Withholder, Expander, Bestower of happiness, and The One who afflicts with grieves.
 Consider the example of a man who overheard bad news in the respect of his health, then he was told a joke, do you think he will laugh, never!!
 That is because only Allah is the One who lets you laugh, meaning, you laugh when Allah grants you a healthy body, an organized house, daily bread, enough income, and a good reputation, only then you will be able to laugh at a joke.
 Hence, only Allah who can hear you, wherever you are, is the One who deserves to be worshiped by you, where was our Master Younes" Almighty Allah says:

"And (remember) Dhan-Nun (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (i.e. the calamities which had befallen him)! But he cried through the darkness (saying): La ilaha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshiped but You (O Allah)], Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers."

[Al-Anbiya’, 87]

 One, sometimes, is somewhere where he cannot call anyone, no one to call or to get in touch with, and he/she can’t seek help of any of his friends, only then, Allah, the Dayyan (judge) is the only one to hear him/her.
 Therefore, the believer asks only Allah for four reasons: because Allah exists and is close, He is All-hearing, He loves his creations, and He is Mighty, and these Attributes are the reason that one should invoke Allah for. That is why “there is no god but Allah” is the first to be mentioned by the prophet PBUH.

One should draw irrefutable evidences only:

 Dear brother, no one on earth denies Allah’s creation of heavens and earth, and that is because no one can claim it. Who on earth can say: “I make the sun rise" Allah says:

"Have you not looked at him who disputed with Ibrahim (Abraham) about his Lord (Allah), because Allah had given him the kingdom" When Ibrahim (Abraham) said (to him): "My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death." He said, "I give life and cause death." Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "Verily! Allah causes the sun to rise from the east; then cause it you to rise from the west." So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah guides not the people, who are Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.). "

[Al-Baqarah, 258]

 He assumed, out of ignorance, that he gives life and causes death by killing one and condoning another one, so our Master Ibrahim taught us through this outstanding debate the following: if you don’t have a profound evidence which could be refuted by a comment, you should leave it and resort to another profound evidence, and for that, the king brought the conversation to an end (because he didn’t have another evidence) and asked another question: “Who is your Lord"”
 Allah says:

"Have you not looked at him who disputed with Ibrahim (Abraham) about his Lord (Allah), because Allah had given him the kingdom" When Ibrahim (Abraham) said (to him): "My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death." He said, "I give life and cause death." Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "Verily! Allah causes the sun to rise from the east; then cause it you to rise from the west." So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah guides not the people, who are Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.). "

[Al-Baqarah, 258]

 Do not use an evidence unless it is well-established, definite, and irrefutable, but when your evidence is a subject of refuting by any comment, then don’t use it, as you need a full comprehension in that case.

Ignorance about Islam is its worst enemy:

 Dear brother, Islam is all about being obedient, whereas Iman is all about knowing and connecting with Allah.
 You should put the time and effort to seek knowledge, as we never heard of someone who acquires Doctorate degree while sleeping or while working full time job in a factory, this degree needs devotion, time and effort, same goes with the acquaintance with Allah.
 Time is one of two: either invested or lost, accordingly, you are investing in the time you spend to attend a religious session.
 In the year 1974, I was taken aside by someone who started to cry and said to me: “My wife is having an affair every day since two years, and I have five children from her and I don’t know who is mine, and I am a rich man”, so I asked him: “Whom is she having an affair with"” to which he answered: “With the neighbor next door”, then I asked: “How was this neighbor introduced to your wife"” He answered: “Once he was visiting us so I asked my wife to attend the meeting saying to her you are just like his sister"” At that time I commented: “If you attended a religious session you would have known the Islamic stand in respect to mingling with women, and you would have never asked your wife to attend that meeting; your ignorance dragged you to this disaster.”
 Therefore, dear brother, Islam has so many aggressive enemies, Allah the Almighty said:

"Indeed, they planned their plot, and their plot was with Allah, though their plot was a great (one, still) it would never be able to remove the mountains (real mountains or the Islamic law) from their places (as it is of no importance)"

[Ibrahim, 46]

 However, this religion stands up to any plotting against it, as this religion’s enemies are so many, strong, shrewd, and planning day and night, yet, Islam’s worst enemy of all is ignorance.
If only each one of us knew this religion as it should be, he/she will be the greatest supporter, and he/she will submit to it by following its orders and staying away from its prohibitions.
Would you have any hard feelings against he who put a sign in a mine field that says: “no trespassing, mine field”" Or you will feel grateful" Believe me it will be the latter, as this sign is a guarantee for your safety not a restriction to your freedom.

Holding on to Islam is based on knowledge:

 Consider this second example: If you read a sign on a high voltage power line that says: “Don’t approach, high power, Danger of death”, will you assume that the ministry of power is restraining your freedom" No! They are after your safety, and same goes with this religion’s bans, they were set up to guarantee your safety.
 Consider this example as well: If a truck driver is carrying a load of five tons on his truck and he reached a bridge with a sign that says: “maximum load allowed is three tons”, and there is no one watching him, if he said to himself: “Is anyone watching" Are there any policemen on the bridge to issue me a fine" Well, the issue is more serious than asking those questions, as the consequences will be a punishment unto itself, as the bridge won’t be able to hold the truck weight and it will collapse and the driver will die. Same goes with the religion, as you should comprehend it as a guarantee for your safety, not a restriction to your freedom.

 Dear brother, the more you comprehend this religion, the more you hold on to it, as this religion is based on knowledge. You should learn. Everyone loves himself,
 If anyone of us was told by his doctor to change his house because it is not healthy (he should move to an apartment on the ground floor ), he will hire a broker to sell it though he spent a lot on its furniture, walls, bookcases, and balconies and that is because his health is dearer to him than the house, is that true or not"
 When you realize beyond doubt that this religion descended for your own interest, your own happiness, your prosperity in this worldly life and in the hereafter, you will hold on to it out of love not out of fear, and what a great difference between slaves, merchants and free men.
 Rabia Al Adawya, who was famous for her love of Allah, said: I didn’t worship You (i.e. Allah) fearing your hellfire, nor did I worship You longing for Your paradise, however, I realized that You deserve to be worshipped and thus I did.
 Hence, slaves worship Allah out of fear, merchants worship Allah longing for His paradise, and free men worship Allah because they know Him as He should be and obey His orders.
We need to have more knowledge, and that, precisely, needs striving, and the equation is as follows: knowledge plus self loving will turn into striving, exactly like when one is told by his doctor that salt will kill him (because of high blood pressure), he will eat without adding any salt though he knows that it won’t be eatable or tasty, and that is because he loves himself and knows beyond doubt that this advice is for his own safety. What a triumph you will achieve if you deal with the hereafter’s matters as you do with your worldly matters.
 Here are some of the orders that were set up by the religion for your own interest and safety like zakat (money related order), Salah (body related order), and Hajj (money and body related order), which is defined as: Hajj: is an act of worship restricted to a special time and place (Mecca in the first half of the month of Dhul-Hijjah) and it is a ritual that is performed by money and body alike.

The difference between compliance and flattery:

 The third important point in this lecture is about the assumption which some Muslims make, thinking that the religion is all about fasting, praying, performing Hajj and paying zakat, well, who told you so"
 Every order, either in Quran or Sunnah, is mandatory, hence, you are facing close to 20-30 thousand orders, and this is the religion. The religion is a whole method of life which starts when you wake up in the morning, bathing, praying, going out of your house, dealing with your wife, treating your kids, and selling.
 Trading alone is a serious matter, as there are three hundred kinds of sales (they are all considered as orders to follow), there are thousands of ways to earn ill-gotten money (they are all considered as prohibitions), there are deceiving, lying, and lot of prohibited kinds of sales.
 The pillars of Islam are not only five to be followed by you as a Muslim.
 I used to say, when the prophet PBUH said: “Islam is built upon five pillars” this statement is out of his eloquence, as he was the most eloquent among Arab (He described himself by saying: “I am the most eloquent among Arabs, but I am but a Qurashee). In this statement the prophet PBUH passed a compliment in a criticizing way, like when you say: this man is generous but he is brave (you are praising him in a criticizing way), or like when you say: this man is mean but he is coward (you are criticizing him in a praising way) like this line of poetry:

Their only fault lies in their swords
Which are broken-edged with striking hostile “squadrons”

* * *

 So when the prophet said: I am eloquent but I am from Quraish, and all people know that Quraish are the most eloquent among Arabs then he was praising himself in a criticizing way.
Accordingly, when the prophet said that Islam is built on five pillars, it means that this structure is more than only those five pillars.
 It is an individual obligation to know some facts about Islam:

((Islam is built on five pillars: the shahada (profession of faith) that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, salah (prayers), Zakah (alms-tax), sawm Ramadan (fast) and hajj (pilgrimage)))

[Agreed upon, as narrated by Ibn Umar]

 This Hadith as I said means that Islam is a structure like a sky scraper, a great one, and a cohesive one, so it isn’t about the five pillars only, Islam is about lot of things like being honest, righteous, and trustworthy.
 Therefore, it is wrong to think that Islam is only five pillars, it is thousands of orders, and each one of you should know that seeking religious knowledge is an individual obligatory upon every Muslim, and we have no choice in that respect.
 Consider yourself like a car driver, as he doesn’t have to know anything about the materials used to build the car, or how, but all he has to know is how to ride it and stop it, how to steer it right or left, and how to act when facing danger" These are the things which are an obligatory knowledge for a driver in order to avoid danger.
 Religion is the same so to speak, as there are matters that are necessary to know, and when you are ignorant of religious facts you will pay the price after a while.
 It is like the man who told me that his wife is having an affair, it was because he was ignorant of religious matters with relation to that. There is also like the man who traveled to Egypt and left his wife with his two brother in the house. then the disaster happened.

((Okbah Bin Amer reported that the Prophet PBUH said: “Beware of entering upon women.” A man from among the Ansaar said, “What about the in-law, O Messenger of Allah"” He said, “The in-law is death.” ))

[Agreed upon, as narrated by Okbah Bin Amer]

 A lot of dramatic stories that I hear, and I always say: “look for the sin as it is the reason behind every trouble”. Going against Allah’s method in earning money or having affairs with women is devastating, whereas when you follow Allah’s path you will be in a fortified fortress.

The true Muslim abides by the five pillars:

 One more rule, whoever testified with the shahada (profession of faith) that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, is considered as an authenticated Muslim, while he who performs the five pillars is a true Muslim.
 To elaborate I will say: if one dressed in a green suit and held a school bag and went to school, people will say he is a student (authenticated one), his father would not assign any chores to him because he goes to school, and he is not required to help his parents with the expenses because he is a student, but is he really a student" He might hate school and studying and won’t pass any exams because of this (so he is not a true student).
 He who testified with the Shahada and turned to Qibla (Mecca direction) shouldn’t be called kafir, and this is the widest circle of Islam, but when you go deeper in Islam and its orders and bans this circle narrows in the process.
 I used to give an example to elaborate on that; when you say human, you are including all the inhabitants on earth, when you say Muslim, you are including only one billion, when you say Arab Muslim, you are including only 150 millions, when you say educated Arabic Muslim, you are including only 20 million, when you say educated Arabic Muslim doctor, you are including one million only, and when you say an educated Arabic Muslim heart surgeon who lives in Damascus, you are including only two people.
 Adding characters will narrow the circle.
 Almighty Allah says:

"Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden). And those who pay the Zakat. And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors; Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts etc.) and to their covenants; And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours). These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever."

[Al-Mu’minun, 2-11]

 When Allah adds a quality, He will be narrowing the circle, like when He said:

"Verily, man (disbeliever) was created very impatient; Irritable (discontented) when evil touches him; And niggardly when good touches him;- Except those devoted to Salat (prayers)"

[Al-Ma’arij, 19-22]

 And Allah mentioned the characters of prayers.

Islam has apparent and hidden qualities:

 I meant to explain to you through this lecture the reality of Islam. One of the Ahadith which indicates the reality of Islam is what the prophet PBUH said:

((Abdu Allah Bin Umar, My Allah Be Pleased with both of them, reported that the prophet PBUH said: “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe, and the emigrant (muhajir) is the one who abandons what Allah has forbidden”))

[Agreed upon, as narrated by Abdu Allah Bin Umar]

 Of course Muslims’ reputation is what is meant here, hence, every Muslim should avoid hurting non Muslims as this will point fingers to Islam itself, while if he hurts another Muslim that will point fingers to him.

((Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A man asked Messenger of Allah (PBUH), "Which act in Islam is the best"'' He (PBUH) replied, "To feed (the poor and the needy) and to greet those whom you know and those you do not know.''))

[Agreed upon, as narrated by Abdu Allah Bin Umar]

 Islam is like a beacon on the road in order to spread light, and Islam has a soul and a structure as well. There are apparent deeds (tangible), and there is the spiritual concept in which lies the secret of Islam. Islam without love, without fear, and without motivation to obey is nothing but a dead body.

((Islam is based on eight shares, Islam, Salah, Zakat, Jihad, Sawm of Ramadan, and may be the eighth share is Hajj, and there is a share for calling to good deeds and preventing bad deeds, and whoever has no share has gone wrong ))

[Al Hakem, as narrated by Abu Huraira]

((It is from the excellence of (a believer's) Islam that he should shun that which is of no concern to him))

[Tirmizi and Malek, as narrated as narrated by Abu Huraira]

 Dear brother, in these three lectures we tackled Islam, Iman and Ihsan, and the latter is the highest of these ranks and is defined as follows: Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, but though you can’t see Him, He sees you, and the reward for Ihsan is to see Allah’s face on the day of resurrection because they worshipped Him as if they are seeing Him, so their reward will be to see him for real.

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