When I was a child, my parents would always chide me for trying to drink my grandfather’s whisky. You can imagine, an active and inquisitive young child observing his grandfather sip this thick, gold, smooth liquid. I wanted some! However, every time I attempted to secretly drink the enticing beverage, I would get into big trouble. I never understood why, thus negative thoughts about my parents would race through my mind. Fast-forward many years: I now realise why they didn’t allow me to drink my grandfather’s whisky, it could have poisoned me. A 40 percent volume alcoholic drink would not have been pleasant on my young stomach or liver. However, when I was younger, I did not have access to the wisdom that formed the basis of my parents’ decision, yet I thought I was justified in my negativity towards them.
This sums up the atheist attitude towards God when trying to understand evil and suffering in the world (note: this doesn’t apply to all atheists). The above story is not intended to belittle the suffering and pain that people experience. As human beings we must feel empathy and find ways of alleviating people’s hardships. However, the example is meant to raise a conceptual point. Due to a valid and genuine concern for human and other sentient beings, many atheists argue that the existence of a powerful and mercifulGod is incompatible with the existence of evil and suffering in the world. If He is The-Merciful, He should want the evil and suffering to stop, and if He is All-Powerful, He should be able to stop it. However, since there is evil and suffering, it means that either He is not powerful, or He lacks mercy, or both.
The evil and suffering argument is a very weak one because it is based on two major false assumptions. The first concerns the nature of God. It implies that . The second assumption is that God has provided us with no reasons for why He has allowed evil and suffering to exist. This is not true. Islamic revelation provides us with many reasons for why God has allowed evil and suffering to exist. Both assumptions will be addressed below.Continue reading
Almighty Allah says (what can be translated as): “O you who have believed, do not make allies of a people with whom Allah has become angry. They have despaired of [reward in] the Hereafter just as the disbelievers have despaired of [meeting] the inhabitants of the graves.” (Al-Mumtahanah: 13)
After the previous command to the believers not to take Allah’s enemies and their enemies as allies and not to extend affection to them in the beginning of the Surah, Almighty Allah confirms this command by calling the believers not to make allies of a people with whom Allah has become angry and so they deserve to be deprived of Allah’s mercy. Allah orders them not to take friends from those disbelievers or tell them things that harm Islam and Muslims. Those disbelievers are hopeless of the reward and survival in the Hereafter because of their stubbornness and insistence on disbelieving and denying Allah’s Messenger, just as they are hopeless of meeting and seeing the dead in the Hereafter because they do not believe in the resurrection and judgment of the people by Almighty Allah. Continue reading
Investigating the manuscripts that make up the New Testament, one finds that the alleged “sonship” of Jesus is based upon the mistranslation of two Greek words—pais and huios, both of which are translated as “son.” However, this translation appears disingenuous. The Greek word pais derives from the Hebrew ebed, which bears the primary meaning of servant, or slave. Hence, the primary translation of pais theou is “servant of God,” with “child” or “son of God” being an extravagant embellishment. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, “The Hebrew original of pais in the phrase pais theou, i.e., ebed, carries a stress on personal relationship and has first the sense of ‘slave.’” This is all the more interesting because it dovetails perfectly with the prophecy of Isaiah 42:1, upheld in Matthew 12:18: “Behold, My servant [i.e., from the Greek pais] whom I have chosen, My beloved in whom my soul is well pleased …” Whether a person reads the King James Version, New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, or New International Version, the word is “servant” in all cases. Considering that the purpose of revelation is to make the truth of God clear, one might think this passage an unsightly mole on the face of the doctrine of divine sonship. After all, what better place for God to have declared Jesus His son? What better place to have said, “Behold, My son whom I have begotten …”? But He didn’t say that. For that matter, the doctrine lacks biblical support in the recorded words of both Jesus and God, and there is good reason to wonder why. Unless, that is, Jesus was nothing more than the servant of God this passage describes. Continue reading
Scientists say that there no equivalent to the perception capacity of the scent-sensitive cells in the nose. Furthermore, some researchers openly state the impossibility of developing an electronic device that can fully duplicate the human nose. Edward J. Staples, an expert in electronic sensor technology, is one who openly admits this. Another scientist, Professor W. James Harper, says, “An electronic nose is not a replacement for people—it is a supplement” emphasizing that the electronic nose can only be an adjunct.
His statement may be expressed by an analogy: A camera cannot replace the eye, only support it. The relationship between the human nose and its electronic counterpart is much the same.
George Aldrich, chemical specialist at NASA, stated in the 23 June, 2001, edition of New Scientist magazine that nothing could surpass the human nose. When asked why NASA did not use electrical equipment in olfactory tests, Aldrich’s replied, “. . . in my opinion, they don’t come anywhere close to the range of the human nose. There’s nothing better than the human nose.” Continue reading
The term “Allah” the Almighty is originally an Arabic word, which was used by the pre-Islamic Arabs. They believed in Allah, the Almighty, the supreme God and the one and only God. Some of them worshiped other gods besides Him, while others were polytheists worshiping idols.
Allah’s Existence and Attributes Continue reading
Alhamdulillahi rabbil-‘alamin was salatu was salamu ‘ala ashrifil anbiya wal-mursalin nabiyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma’in
Living in a time where the Muslims have been enthralled by the dunya (the worldly life) and distanced themselves from the scholars, the correct set of beliefs has become something unknown to the average Muslim. From the set of beliefs that many of the Muslims have strayed in, is the belief in predestination, otherwise known as al-qada’ and al-qadr. So in this short treatise the correct beliefs pertaining to al-qada’ and al-qadr will become clear to the reader, by the will of Allah, the Most High.
Every Muslim knows that the key to Paradise is the statement, “There is none worthy of worship except Allah.” Yet too many Muslims simply rely upon this statement and believe that as long as they have made this statement, nothing will harm them. They think they will be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah. There is no question that the mere saying of,” I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger,” is not sufficient for salvation. In fact, the hypocrites used to make this statement quite often yet Allah describes them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire.
As many scholars state, though, this statement or testimony is the key to Paradise. The famous follower Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked, ” Isn’t the statement of la ilaha illa Allah the key to Paradise?” He answered, “Yes, but every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not open for you.” That is, the statement must meet certain conditions. These conditions are what will differentiate the person who will benefit from his making of that statement from the one who will not benefit from that statement, no matter how many times a day he may have made that statement. Continue reading
1. Ignorance of the names and attributes of Allaah makes a decrease in faith inevitable, because if a man is lacking in knowledge of the names and attributes of Allaah, he will be lacking in faith.
2. Neglecting to think about the signs of Allaah in the universe and the signs of sharee’ah (i.e., verses of the Qur’aan and miracles of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), etc.). This causes a decrease in faith or at the very least it causes it to stagnate and not grow.
3. Committing sins, because sin has a profound effect on the heart and on faith. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The adulterer at the time when he is committing adultery is not a believer.” Continue reading
“O human being! What has beguiled you from your generous Lord, who created you, then fashioned, then proportioned you? In whatever form He pleased He constituted you.” (Quran 82:6-8)
The question in this verse is rhetorical. Its sense is: “Should you not thank God and extol His praises for these blessings?”
Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) said about God’s great favor upon him: “This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is grateful, he is grateful only for his own soul, and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-Sufficient, Generous.” (Quran 27:40)
God’s name al-Karīm has numerous connotations, among which are the following: Continue reading
The human mind is a true marvel, but in certain areas it is limited. God is different from anything the human mind can think of or imagine, so the mind will become confused if it tries to picture God. Nevertheless, it is possible to understand the attributes of God that do not require one to make any mental pictures of Him. For example, one of God’s names isal-Ghaffar, which means He forgives all sins. Everyone can understand this easily because that is how the human mind can think of God. Jewish and Christian teachings on God are confused partly because of incorrect understanding of this issue. The Jewish Torah teaches God is like man, Continue reading