From an Islamic point of view, usury is a major social, religious and economic crime. It is one of the practices of Jahilayah (pre-Islamic era), it has drastic negative effects on the individual and society. Usury prohibited by Islam is divided into two categories:
The First: Riba an-Nasi’ah commonly practiced in Jahilayah, it means charging interest on the loan lent to an insolvent debtor. A person, for example, may lend another person a sum of money to be paid back on a specified date. When the date agreed upon is due, the creditor gives the debtor the choice either to repay the debt or defer repayment in return for charging additional interest on the principal. Continue reading
This city was filled with evil. Its residents waylaid, robbed and killed travelers. Another common evil among them was that men had sex with men instead of with women. This unnatural act later became known as sodomy (after the city of Sodom). It was practiced openly and unashamedly.
It was at the height of these crimes and sins that Allah revealed to Prophet Lut peace be uponhim that he should summon the people to give up their indecent behavior, but they were so deeply sunk in their immoral habits that they were deaf to Lot’s preaching. Swamped in their unnatural desires, they refused to listen, even when Lot warned them of Allah’s punishment. Instead, they threatened to drive him out of the city if he kept on preaching. Continue reading
From the perspective of humankind, the question “Why did God create man?” This implies “For what purpose was man created?” In the final revelation (the Quran), this question is answered without any ambiguity. Humans are first informed by God that every human being is born with an innate consciousness of God. In the Quran, God said:
“[Remember] when your Lord extracted from the loins of Adam’s children their descendants and made them testify [saying]: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes, we testify to it.’ [This was] in case you say on the Day of Judgment: ‘We were unaware of this.’ Or you say: ‘It was our ancestors who worshipped others besides God and we are only their descendants. Will you then destroy us for what those liars did?’” (Quran 7:172 – 173)
The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, explained that when God created Adam, He took from him a covenant at a place called Na’maan on the 9th day of the 12th month. He then extracted from Adam all of his descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out before Him to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them, face to face, making them bear witness that He was their Lord. Consequently, every human being is responsible for belief in God, which is imprinted on each and every soul. It is based on this inborn belief that God defined the purpose of mankind’s creation in Quran:
“I have created the jinn and humankind only for My worship.” (Quran 51:56) Continue reading
The first [rule of conduct]: that the food be lawful both in itself and in the means by which it was acquired; that it shall be in accordance with the Sunnah 1 and with piety. It should not have been gained through anything contrary to canonical law, nor through some evil inclination, nor deceit relating to debt – and agreeing with what will be presented in the Book of the Lawful and the Unlawful2 regarding the meaning of what is unconditionally good.
God has ordered the eating of that which is good (at-tayyib), this being the lawful. He has put the prohibition of ‘wrongful eating’ (al-akl bi’l-batil)3 before that of killing, in order to illustrate the gravity of that which is unlawful and the greatness of the blessing of that which is lawful. He said:
“O you who believe, squander not your wealth (la ta’kulu amwalakum) among yourselves in vanity … and kill not one another,” to the end of the verse (ta’kulu is from the same root as akl).
There are seven whom God will shade in His shade on the day on which there is no shade except His shade; a just imam, a youth who grows up worshipping God, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque when he leaves it until he returns to it, two who love each other for the sake of God and part on that, a man who remembers God when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears, a man who refuses the approaches of a noble, beautiful woman, saying ‘I fear God,’ and a man who gives charity and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives.
Is your heart attached to the mosque? What do you think about when you see your local mosque? What about when you see photos of mosques around the world? How do you feel? Are you reminded of beautiful architecture, towering minarets, and the melodic sound of the call to prayer? Do you imagine lines of the faithful believers praying in comfortable companionship? Can you hear the sounds of silence? Continue reading
In verse 15, God reminds us of the worth of this life as compared to the Hereafter. This life may have many wonderful things however what is waiting for those who are pious and remember Him is like nothing one can ever imagine.
3:15 Say, “Shall I inform you of something better than that? For those who fear God will be gardens in the presence of their Lord beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and purified spouses and approval from God. And God is Seeing (i.e. aware) of (His) slaves.”
For those who obey God and remember Him often, the ultimate reward will be everlasting gardens beneath which rivers flow. There will be rivers of milk and of honey, rivers of water so pure and delightful it will be like nothing that a person can imagine. Not only that, it will last forever. The enjoyment will not end. Prophet Muhammad adds to God’s description when he says, “It would be called out, ‘For you there is everlasting health, and you will never be sick. For you there is everlasting life, and you will never die. For you there is perpetual youth, and you will never get old. And for you there is everlasting bliss, and you will never be in want.’” Continue reading
79:35 The Day when man will remember that for which he strove,
79:36 And Hellfire will be exposed for [all] those who see –
79:37 So as for he who transgressed
79:38 And preferred the life of the world,
79:39 Then indeed, Hellfire will be [his] refuge.
79:40 But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination,
79:41 Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge.
(Quran 79:34-41) Continue reading
“O Mankind! Partake of what is lawful and good on earth, and follow not Satan’s footsteps: for, verily, he is your open foe and bids you only to do evil, to commit deeds of immorality, and to attribute unto God what you do not know.” (Quran 2:168-169)
God addresses all of humanity, the faithful and the faithless, to think about something we take for granted: food. God produces everything on earth: seeds, fruits, vegetables, and meats for human consumption, but forbids us relatively few things that are unwholesome. Some of the foods God has forbidden are the meat of dead animals, blood, and pork. Every food is lawful in God’s law except what He has forbidden, that has been stolen, or taken by breaking God’s law. The best foods for us are organic, natural, and wholesome – foods produced by God, but when people start altering the food chain, they produce new, unknown diseases like the mad cow disease. We need to be grateful for what God provides us. Continue reading
This chapter of the sacred scripture takes its name from the opening verse in which God takes an oath by Mount Toor. It is a mountain near the place that God spoke to Prophet Moses, peace be upon him.
What an honour it is for a person if God speaks to him directly! Sometimes one thinks, “Why does God not speak to us also?” The truth is that God speaks to all human beings through the Quran, yet most people ignore it! They do not take the time to find what the Quran says to them!
The purpose of God’s communication is to give us conviction in the truth of Islam and to guide us to the path of right conduct. When we listen to God’s words we are convinced that this world has not been created without a purpose. We understand that it is a test and there is a reward for the righteous and a painful end for those who deny the message. To ensure that we don’t take this warning lightly, God takes some powerful oaths:
“By the oath of Mount Toor (the mountain where God spoke to Moses) and the written book (that has the record of every person’s actions in this life) which is in an open manuscript (it will be available for reading on the Day when the dead will come back to life) and by the oath of the ‘The Frequently Visited House’ (refers to a place directly above the sacred Ka’ba around which angles go in circles) and by the oath of the “raised roof” (the sky) and by the oath of the swelling ocean.” (Quran 52:1-6). Continue reading
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is instructed in this verse to inform Banu Asad and all who would consider their acceptance of Islam a favour to others that the true motives and factors behind their actions and statements can not be hidden from Allah, so they should be honest and humble. The verse also contains a general reminder to the wise; nothing escapes Allah’s knowledge, therefore, the wise are those who are conscious of His presence at all times and act accordingly. They carefully perform all of their obligatory (fardh) duties, then they piously try to make up for the inevitable deficiencies by doing a host of voluntary acts of worship. These voluntary acts protect the obligatory duties from decay, for if someone who regularly does voluntary worship gets a bit lazy, he might neglect to do some of the voluntary acts but his obligatory acts of worship will remain intact. Whereas, if he did not have a protective shield of voluntary acts around his obligatory duties and he fell into a period of laziness, perhaps his obligatory duties might suffer. The more someone strengthens hisfardh by performing extra voluntary acts known as sunnah and nawafil, the more his life comes in conformity with the shari’ah, the will of Almighty Allah. Continue reading