Deeni Haneefa - The Upright Religion
Posted by: "Student ." email@example.com istudente
Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:43 am
All praise be to Allah, the Most High. Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon
the Prophets of Allah, especially upon our Holy Prophet, Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam).
"So set your face towards Deeni Haneefa,
Allah's Fitrah, with which He has created mankind.
No change let there be in Khalqillah,
that is the straight religion,
but most of men know not."
Assalamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
The world is comprised of a multitude of people; and the awareness of each individual is made up of the knowledge of his own personal experiences plus the experiences of other people amongst the current and the past generations. For example, to get the knowledge of today's Physics, a person has to either observe the universe for centuries, or alternatively he can open the book of physics and learn all those centuries-old- observations that the people of the past generations had been recording. We can actually save many years of our time by just going through the work done by the past generations of people. Isaac Newton said the same thing that whatever he was able to derive, it was due to the findings of the former scholars.
"If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants." — Isaac Newton
Every scientist will admit that whatever he currently knows was not possible if those people who came before him had not forwarded their findings to us.
This is how the world has been developing. And interestingly, every age has been claiming their period to be the 'Modern Age' and all previous ages to be 'Old Ages'.
The purpose of mentioning all this is to express the fact that just like the knowledge of worldly sciences and other kinds of art had been gradually progressing over time, the knowledge of religion had also been progressing in the same way. Over 0.124 million Prophets of Allah have been sent to earth. Allah has sent Prophets to every nation to teach people about their Lord Allah, but every nation could only understand this within the limits of their observational knowledge. For example, the people of Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) had seen all those great miracles that Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) had performed. Not just this, Bani Israel had even seen Pharaoh being destroyed in the river before their eyes. But because of their limited observational knowledge, most of the people of Musa ('alaihi salam) started to worship the sculpture of a calf, which was making a mooing sound, soon after they had seen all those miracles that their Prophet had performed.
Because of their limited observation knowledge, Musa ('alaihi salam) could only teach Bani Israel about Allah as much as they could bear it. In our time, an ordinary ten years old child, after observing things like TV, Mobile phones, and radios, will be able to understand that a sculpture that produces a mooing sound can never be called God. After the time of ProphetIsa ('alaihi salam), the collective conscious of mankind had increased to the level where mankind was in the position to learn and explore the Majestic Empire of Allah. This was the time of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam), the Last Prophet, the Seal of the Prophethood.
Allah has revealed in His last Revelation (Quran) through His last Prophet,all the things relating to His Majestic Kingdom for the people to know. However, we need to know one thing here that the knowledge taught by theProphets of Allah regarding Allah's Deen has always been the same. Every prophet has taught his people about the role of man on earth. The role of man has never been changed before us and it will remain the same till the last day. It's a great disappointment that even though there has been over 124,000 Prophets sent on Earth and every prophet has repeated the same message over and over again, yet man is unaware of his role on earth. Whoare we sitting on earth? We are creatures just like the sun, moon, trees, birds etc. What do we do here? The sun that we see in the sky knows its role as well as the moon, trees, birds; they all know what they have to do in this life. But man is ignorant even after inventing all kinds of machines, he is ignorant of his own Self.
An ordinary Muslim will say that the role of man on earth is to worship Allah by: praying Salah, paying Zakah, observing Sawm, performing Hajj, eating Halal, abstaining from eating Haram, and so on. But a large number of Muslims are already doing this, yet there is no improvement in our situation. We also hear some people say that we have to carry out the sixth pillar of Islam: Jihad. Again, it is not going to solve the problem. How can Muslims think that they will be able to face the forces of evil when they are not even able to slap that single Shaytan, which is sitting with us inspiring evil thoughts. Even if Muslims could get the upper hand by the Grace of Allah, they will quickly divide into groups and create much more destruction on earth than what is currently seen on it today. Just look at your own Muslim countries; there is hunger, indecency, and corruption. There is hunger & poverty not because Allah restrained His Blessings but because we are stingy and the love of this Dunya has polluted our hearts. We are following our own Laws (desires) and have no discipline at all. If we Muslims cannot take care of our own country, it means there is something seriously missing in our understanding of Islam.
The first thing taught by every Messenger of Allah was the foundation of Deen al-Islam. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam) sow the seeds of faith in the hearts of Sahabah by teaching them the foundation of this Deen. It was due to the effects of these seeds that Sahabah could quickly illuminate a large part of earth with the light of Islam.Interestingly, the knowledge of the foundation of Islam was taught before the teachings of the Pillars of Islam. The Pillars of Islam such as Salah, Zakah, Sawm, Hajj, Jihad were not prescribed during the initial period of Islam. In fact, the Commandments given to Bani Israel by Musa ('alaihi salam) were also given during or after the migration (Exodus), whereas the foundation of the religion was actually taught before Bani Israel left Egypt.
The foundation of Islam tells us about our role. Whereas, the remaining Islam is a collection of instructions that help us easily accomplish our role. Therefore, there are two components of Islam: (1) the Foundation, (2) and the Instructions. In fact, the instructions are the detailed exhibition (Tafseel) of the Foundation. It means that every single instruction given inIslam is based on the Foundation of Islam. And if anything collides with the foundation, that thing will not be considered as part of Islam. The foundation of Islam has always been the same since the very first day, but slight variations have been taking place (depending on the situations of thepeople) in the instructions (Shariah) throughout the coarse of time. Thefoundation is known as Deeni Haneefa, and not only humans but every kind of creature has to follow this Deen.
*Translit: * Fa-aqim wajhaka lilddeeni haneefan fitrata Allahil-latee
fataran-nasa 'Aalayha, la tabdeela likhalqi Allahi, thalikad-deenul- qayyimu
walakinna aktharan-nasi la ya'alamoona ¤
"So set your face towards Deeni Haneefa, Allah's Fitrah, with which He hascreated mankind. No change let there be in Khalqillah, that is the straightreligion, but most of men know not." [al-Room 30:30]
Deeni Haneefa is the Deen of Baba Ibrahim ('alaihi salam). Sayyidina Ibrahim ('alaihi salam) is the Imam of all religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity, so on) and the father of all the prophets that came after him. Since, Ibrahim ('alaihi salam) is the Imam of all people, the foundation of allreligions has also been Deeni Haneefa. The ayah quoted above from the Quran tells us that Human beings have been created to follow Deeni Haneefa. Since there can't be any change in Khalqillah (Allah's creation), therefore every kind of creature in the realm of creation is also created to follow the same Deeni Haneefa. If sun, moon, earth, air, water, and all kinds of other creatures don't follow this Deen then the whole universe will simply collapse. For example, the sun is required give light in all directions. Allah does not get any benefit from this sunlight. But the sun knows that it has a duty to provide such and such benefits to other creatures. If the sun does not fulfill its duties and it shows disobedience to Allah, all forms of life on planet earth will eventually die, leaving the planet dark, cold, and a big graveyard. If disobedience of a single creature (the sun) can cause huge destruction, just imagine what would happen to the universe ifeverything starts to abandon its duties by saying "Why should I be beneficial to you?".
Allah, being the creator, does not like His creations to oppose/hate each other. Deeni Haneefa is the system that creates harmony between the creations of Allah. For example, humans need fire, fire needs trees, trees need water, and so on. There cannot be harmony if creations disobey Allahand don't work together.
Man has been assigned the role of Khalifah. We have been created asVicegerents of Allah on Earth as Allah says "Huwa allathee ja'alakum khalaifa feel-ardi" [35:39]. We have to behave like a Big Brother by helping the fellow creatures with their needs. We have to, again, we have take care of those who are in need, who are hungry, who are sick, who are orphan, who have no shelter; regardless of whether the other person is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, regardless of whether the other being is a cat or a bird. These are the duties that are bounded upon every single human being whether he is living in an Islamic state or in a remote area. Any person who does not see the importance of these duties and considers his five times daily prayers to be more important than this work then have a look at the following ayah.
Allah says that turning of our faces towards east or west for prayer has novalue until we believe, and spend wealth out of love for Him on relatives, orphans, helpless, needy travellers, those who ask for and on the redemption of captives; and establish Salah (prayers), and pay Zakah... Here Salah is mentioned after stressing on the importance of performing other duties.
*Translit: *Laysa albirra an tuwalloo wujoohakum qibala almashriqi waal maghribi .... ¤
"Righteousness is not whether you turn your face towards East or West; but righteousness is to believe in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Booksand the Prophets, and to spend wealth out of love for Him on relatives, orphans, helpless, needy travellers, those who ask for and on the redemption of captives; and to establish Salah (prayers), to pay Zakah (alms), to fulfill promises when made, to be steadfast in distress, in adversity, and at the time of war. These people are the truthful and these are the pious." [al-Baqarah 2:177]
These are the things that every Muslim being the Khalifah of Allah canperform anywhere on Earth. The duties and functionalities of an Islamicadministrative state also commence from this same point. It is mandatory on the Islamic state to strive hard and provide all the necessities of life to its occupants. Not only this, it is the responsibility of the Islamic state to take care of even the animals and other creatures. Consider the statement of Sayyidina Umar (ra): "If a dog dies hungry on the banks of the River Euphrates (i.e. at a distant land), Umar will be responsible for dereliction of duty". To make the life on earth progress smoothly and in harmony, the state has to provide Justice and punish criminals for their misbehaviors.
But Muslims cannot force anyone to accept Islam, rather, a proper display of Islam will utomatically attract people.
Islam was delivered by the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in two forms: Foundation and Sharia (Instructions/ commandments) . We have already said that the instructions (sharia) is the detailed exhibition of the Foundation of Islam. Just like every thing that we see is made up of atoms, similarly every command or instruction given in Islam is made up of the components of Deeni Haneefa. To understand this in detail, we will disintegrate the Foundation into two components: Salah and Zakah. These two components are repeatedly mentioned throughout the Quran. *Here we have to take the conceptual meanings for Salah and Zakah*. Salah is that activity which takes the creature away from the creation and closer towards the Creator. We have been asked to perform Salah by emptying our mind from all kinds of worldly thoughts. In concept, Salah is that activity that strengthens the bond between the Creator and the creature. And, the conceptof Zakah is to build strong bonds between the creatures. In the realm of creation, every creature should keep good balance between these two components. For example, every single thing glorifies Allah (i.e. concept of Salah) as well as fulfills its duties by providing functionalities/ benefits to other creatures (i.e. concept of Zakah). Sun is glorifying Allah as well as providing sunlight to other creatures.
If we take a look at the Pillars of Islam in the light of this, we can see that the Salah, which we perform in the Masjid, is also formed by the two components mentioned above (Salah & Zakah). By performing salah in Masjid, we are strengthening our link with Allah Almighty (i.e. concept of Salah) as well as strengthening our bond with fellow Muslim brothers (concept of zakah). This is also same with Zakah (i.e. Alms), Sawm (Fasting), Hajj (Pilgrimage) , and Jihad. We learn the same thing in the following ayah of Surah al-Bayyinah:
*Translit: *Wama omiroo illa liya'budoo Allaha mukhliseena lahud-deena
hunafaa wa yuqeemoo als-salata wa yutoo alz-zakata wa thalika deenu al-qayyimati ¤
"And they were commanded nothing but to worship Allah, with their sincere devotion to Him, being Hunafa; to establish Salah; and to pay Zakah; and that is the infallible true Religion (Deen al-Qayyimah) . [al-Baiyinah 98:5]
In the nutshell, human beings have two sides: Soul and Body. Salah (i.e. concept of Salah) takes man closer to the senses of his soul. Zakah (i.e. concept of zakah) removes the restrictions enforced upon the human body and mind. With the combination of both, Salah and Zakah (hence the complete Deen), the human being rises to the greatest height that is termed as "Ahsani Taqweem". Ahsani Taqweem is that state of man at which Allah originally created it. Remember that man was created as the best creature having the best knowledge. So, with both Salah and Zakah, man becomes awareof that best form in which he has been created by Allah, while he is still on earth with his body walking around. However, if man is away from Salah or Zakah, he goes to the lowest of low (Asfala Safileen), darkness upon darkness. Because man was sent down because of following his selfish desire (to live forever and have an everlasting empire 20:120) by eating from thetree. Iblis was also sent down because of becoming proud and selfish. So how can Men and Jinns return back to their original state when they are still selfish. By Zakah, man helps others and gives preference to others over his own self and thus goes away from the selfishness (low desires, hawa).
*Translit: *Faamma man tagha ¤ Wa athara al hayata alddunya ¤ Fa inna
Al jaheema hiya al mawa ¤ Wa ama man khafa maqama rabbihi wa naha alnnafsa 'Aani
al hawa ¤ Fa inna al jannata hiya al mawa ¤
"Then he who had rebelled and preferred the life of this world, shall have his abode in hell. But he who had feared standing before his Lord and curbed his evil desires (hawa), shall have his home in paradise." [Naazi'aat 79:37-41]
*Trans: *Qul ta'alaw atlu ma harrama rabbukum 'alaykum .... laA Aallakum
"O Muhammad, say: 'Come, I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you: not to commit shirk with Him, to be kind to your parents, not to kill your children making the excuse of inability to support them - We provide sustenance for you and for them not to commit shameful deeds whether open or secret, not to kill any soul forbidden by Allah except for the requirements of justice. These are the things which He enjoined you so that you may learn wisdom. ¤ Furthermore, not to go near the property of an orphan except in the best way (to improve it), until he attains maturity. Give full measure and just weight - We never charge a soul with more than it can bear. Whenever you speak, be just, even if it affects your own relatives, and fulfill your covenant with Allah. These are the things which He has enjoined on you so that you may be mindful. ¤ He has also said: Verily this is My way, the Right Way; therefore follow it and do not follow other ways, for they will lead you away from Him. This is what He enjoined on you so that you may guard yourselves against evil.'" [An'aam 6:151-153]
We have briefly discussed the role of man on earth. This is not something that an individual Muslim cannot do. When individual Muslims will start to perform their duties, Allah will throw away those corrupt leaders and will replace them with good people because light and darkness cannot coexist. It is likely that Allah will destroy all the past efforts of Iblis (Satan) by sending down the rain of His Mercy, which will extinguish the fire that Iblis has been creating over many years. When a person repents to Allah asking forgiveness for his past sins, Allah forgives him; but this repentance actually annoys Satan because his past efforts have been wasted after the forgiveness from Allah has come. Allah has shown huge favors on the Nation of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam), and insha'Allah, Allah will continue to shower His Mercy as long as there is a single Faithful Muslim on Earth.
*May Allah accept our little efforts, forgive our shortcomings, and reward us by the scale of His enormous Mercy. Ameen.*
"Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honor, He is free from what they ascribe to Him!
Peace be on the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." Al-Quran [37:180-182]
wa Assalamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,
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