LET US CORRECT OUR ISLAMIC FAITH

دعونا نصحّح العقيدة الاسلامية

 

 

 

 

IMAN, ISLAM AND IHSAN
 
 
Written   By
 
 
Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri

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INTRODUCTION 

    

بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم  

 الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين


There are three primary sources of our knowledge, as follows.

Messengers of Allah (SWT) convey and teach people what is sent to them from Allah (SWT).

It is in Quran, O’ Prophet – SAWS convey and teach people what is sent down to you’ (Al-Ma’ida - 67).

Acting upon the commandments of Allah (SWT) they show to the people the operational and practical side of the religion by elucidating details of Islamic deeds.

It is in Quran - ‘ The Apostle Mohammad – SAWS is an exemplary model for - all of you’ . (Al-Ahzab -21)

Prophets cleanse, purify and reform people from their personal attention.

It is in Quran -  [Certainly Allah –SWT has done a favor on the believers when He sent to them an Apostle – SAWS, from among them, who reads them the divine verses and who purifies them and who teaches them the book and wisdom] (Aal-e-Imran – 164).

It is in Quran -  [He is the Lord, who has sent to the unlettered people, from among them, an Apostle, who reads to them divine verses and cleanse them and teaches them the book and wisdom.]  ( Al-Jum’a – 2 ).

It is in Quran -  [O’our Lord send an Apostle from among them from whom they could hear your book, who would teach them from the divine book and wisdom and purify their hearts.] ( Al-Baqra – 129). 

This was the supplication of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) while re-building Kaba’a; which Allah (SWT) fulfilled by sending Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) as the seal of Prophets.)

From the above, it is clear that Prophets’ undertake the following tasks.

They read out to people and teach what is sent down to them from Allah (SWT). This is Quran.

Becoming a practical example they educate people how to carryout Allah’s (SWT) commandments.  This is Hadith.

They cleanse and purify people’s hearts by their personal attention and training. This is Purification of Hearts (tazkia Nafs).

What is cleansing and purification of hearts ( tazkia nafs )?

It is turning people’s attention away from the darkness of materialism to the light of Islam.

What is light of Islam?

It is people’s training in (i) sincerity of heart (Ikhlas), (ii) wisdom (Hikmah) of actions, and (iii) Islamic vision.

What is Islamic vision?

As per the Hadith of Ihsan, (Bukhari wo Muslim) people are commanded to see Allah (SWT) while doing Obligatory Salah.

Can anyone visualize Allah’s (SWT) presence when his heart is covered with materialistic darkness?

No, you need Islamic light.  Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) trained his companions to see in Islamic light.

Once you get Islamic vision you become stead fast in faith and deeds and never lose the straight path of Islam.

What is Ihsan?

As per the Hadith of Ihsan, we are required to see Allah (SWT) while doing obligatory Salah.  It was Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) practice of Praying.

He also taught us to see and refrained us from arguing in the meaning of religions vision.

It was Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWS) training which helped his companions to acquire Islamic vision with which they visualized Allah’s (SWT) presence every where every moment.

It is in Quran – [ (He is) Existing everywhere every moment.] ()

It is in Quran – [ Wherever you are, He is with you.] (Al-Hadid– 4).

It is in Quran – [ You turn your face anywhere, you will find Allah-SWT’. ( Al-Baqra – 115 ).

It is in Quran – [Allah is the light (existence) of the Heavens and Earth.]  (An-Noor -35).

It is in Quran – [ We (Allah-SWT) are closer to you than your jugular vein’. (Qaf – 16). At another place in Quran – ‘He is in your own self, will you not then see’. (Az-Zariyat – 21).

 
Among Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWS) companions, some acquired proficiency in Quran teaching and reciting, like Hazrat Othman (ru) and Hazrat Abbas (ru).   Some acquired proficiency in the subject of Hadith, like Hazrat Abu Huraira (ra) and Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (ru).  Some became prominent in cleansing and purification of people’s hearts, like Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ru) and Hazrat Ali (ru).


In the light of Hadith of Ihsan, Muslims can be categorized as:

People of Iman – those who are good at faith but not good at Islamic deeds.

People of Islam – those who are good at Islamic deeds but not good in Islamic faith.

People of Ihsan – those who are good both in Islamic faith and deeds.


Who are Sheikhs of Ihsan?

They are friends of Allah (SWT).

It is in Quran - ‘Behold the friends of Allah –SWT! On them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. These are they, who have believed in Allah –SWT and are mindful of Him (the feeling of closeness of Allah –SWT) and (have consequently abstained from everything evil). To them tidings come (from Allah-SWT) of a happy life both in this world and in Hereafter. The Word of Allah –SWT is never revoked. This in itself is a great felicity’ (Younus – 62- 64).

It is in Quran - ‘Allah –SWT is the guardian of those who believe (in Him). He brings them out of darkness into light’. (Al-Baqarah – 257).

What is darkness?

Our excessive attention towards materialistic comforts.

What is light?

It is Islamic vision.

Teaching is different from training.  By teaching we increase people's knowledge.  But training we develop their skills.  Therefore, in addition to teaching of Quran and Sunnah; cleansing and purifying hearts of the people is important for every Muslim.  This insulates us from major sins, enlightens our hearts and exposes us to the truth of Islam.

It is in Quran - [ Allah (SWT) loves those who practice Ihsan.] (Al-Baqarah 2:195; Aal-e-Imraan 3:134, 148; Al-Ma'idah 5:13, 93)
 
It is in Quran - [ We have enjoined on man to behave with his parents with Ihsan.” (Al-Ahqaf 46:15)
 
It is in Quran - [ Those who spend (in the way of Allah-SWT) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress their anger and who forgives people; and Allah(SWT) loves Muhsineen (those who practice Ihsan).” (Aal-e- Imran 3:134)
 
It is in Quran - [ So, forgive them and overlook (their offensive behaviour), verily, Allah (SWT) loves Muhsineen.” (Al-Ma'idah 5:13)
 
It is in Quran - [Indeed, who maintains Taqwa and remains patient and steadfast, Allah (SWT) does not let those who practice Ihsan lose their reward.” (Yousuf 12:90)
 
It is in Quran - [Verily, Allah (SWT) does not let the Muhsineen (who practice Ihsaan) lose their reward.” (At-Towbah 9:120, Hood 11:115, Yousuf 12:56, 12:90)
 
It is in Quran - [We do not let the reward of one who performs in the most excellent manner be lost.” (Al-Kahf 18:30)
 
It is in Quran - [ Allah (SWT) is with those who have Taqwa and practice Ihsan.” (An-Nahl 16:128)
 
It is in Quran - [ Allah’s (SWT) Mercy is near those who practice Ihsan.] (Al-A’raaf 7:56)
 
It is in Quran - [ Yes indeed, who turns his face submissively toward Allah (SWT) and he practices excellently, his reward is with his Lord.] (Al-Baqarah 2:112)
 
It is in Quran - [Is the reward for excellence other than excellent.] (Ar-Rahmaan 55:60)
 
It is in Quran - [To reward those who do their best with what is the best.] (An-Najm 53:31)
 
It is in Quran - [For those who perform excellently is the best (reward) and even more.] (Yunus 10:26)
 
It is in Quran - [Who can be better in deen than him who turns to Allah (SWT) in submission and practices Ihsan.” (An-Nisaa 4:125)
 
It is in Quran - [And Practice Ihsan, Allah (SWT) loves those who practice Ihsan.” (Al-Baqarah 2:195)
 
It is in Hadith - the Prophet (SAWS) once asked him companions -  “Should I guide you to the qualities, because of which, Allah (SWT) raises people’s ranks?” The companions said yes.  Then the Prophet (SAWS)  said, “Be patient (forbearing) with him who treats you ignorantly; forgive him who is unfair to you; give him who deprives you; and, fulfill social obligations to the relative who is delinquent in doing his part.” (Reported from ‘Ubadah Ibn Samit in Targheeb and Tarheeb - reference  At-Tabarani)
 

It is in Hadith -  The Prophet (SAWS) said, “My Lord has commanded me nine qualities (as follows)  -

(i) Fearing Allah (SWT) both secretly and openly;

(ii) Saying only the words of justice both when angry and when happy;

(iii) Maintaining moderation both during poverty and affluence;

(iv)  Making up (social obligations and relationships) with a relative who shirks his obligation to me or breaks away from me;

(v) Giving even to the person who deprives me;

(vi) Forgiving him who is unjust to me;

(vii) Reflecting when I am quiet; remembering Allah (SWT) when I speak; and, learning lessons from what I see;

(viii) Enjoining good; and, (ix) Forbidding evil.”

(Reported by Abu Hurairah in Mishkaatul Masabih).
 
Balanced food and regular physical exercise is required to keep our body fit. Similarly, we need to balance our religious life with performance of daily obligatory prayers and keep all evil desires at bay.

Shaikhs’ of Ihsan teach you how to keep our desires at bay. This routine will make our soul (Rooh) stronger with which we become strong in both in Islamic belief and deeds.

Look at the strength of the belief of Prophet’s (SAWS) companions. Why they were like that? Because they were trained by Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).

When this training and daily routine became scarce and diluted, true faith slipped away from Muslims resulting in their steep downfall in the world.

What happened when this training became scarce? 

People started forming groups/sects away from the mainstream Islam.  The first sect which came into being was of Kharijis. Among other issues, Kharijis did not like the authority of Khalifa-e-Islam and started their independent groups.

Similarly, Shias did not like the sequence of Khilafah from Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ru), to Hazrat Omer (ru), to Hazrat Othman (ru). They claimed that since Hazrat Ali was the cousin of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) who was married to Hazrata Fatima (ru), the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), he should have been made first Khalifa. When it did not happen, they made their separate groups.

Other reasons for formation of new sects

Prominent Shaik’s of Ihsan who spent their lives tirelessly in cleansing people’s heart (tazkia nafs) throughout the history of Islam, were generally very famous. Many people visited them to get answers to their religious and other problems. Those who visited, gave a lot of respect not only to the Shaikhs, but to their children, family members and close associates.

Shaikh’s close associates failed to understand why they were respected in society.  Apparently, they were unaware of the fact that all people are equal in the eyes of Allah (SWT) and His Apostle Mohammad (SAWS). The standard of respect in Islam is Taqwa, religious virtue, abstinence from worldly desires. Looking at the respect they received from the people, they started thinking that they were important and sacred because of their close connection (nisbet) with the Shaikh. They thought their connection with Shaikh was sufficient for them to get salvation.

In spite of Shaikhs’ sincere efforts, they did not pay attention to the training, Shaikhs were giving to the people. As the crowd of visitors swelled, sheikhs got busier and found less time to pay active attention towards their families. In such a scenario, many people from outside benefited from Sheikh’s personal attention and training, but the close circle became captivated in ritual side of Islam and lost sight of the important aspect of Ihsan, (purification of their hearts).

What happened after the deaths of these Sheikhs? Their children got involved in unnecessary rituals and fell prey to worldly desires.

The situation became more pathetic in successive generations. Great grand children of the Shaiks of Ihsan, did not know what is Taqwa, what is Islamic training. They even lost interest in Quran and Hadith education and fell prey to worldly pursuits. Often they exploited people who came to them for religious and family problems. They proudly celebrated annual “Urs” of their Shaikhs and thought that Shaikh’s connection (nisbet) will take them into heaven without good faith and honest deeds.  Since they did not heed to the training of Ihsan when Shaikhs were alive, they were unable to provide answers to people as to why they were doing certain things, like Sama, “Urs”, etc.

The above situation continued for centuries.  When people could not get satisfying answers from the successors of prominent Shaikhs of Ihsan (who served Islamic nation tirelessly during their life times), they started thinking in different directions.  Some scrupulous selfish people took advantage of this situation and started founding new sects.

There are many reasons for people’s deviation from the straight path of Islam.  Some people hated the successors of prominent Shaikhs who were involved in all kinds of wrong doings in the name of religion.

Everywhere, in every era, we find some people indulging in excesses in society in the name of religion, community, group, region, etc. Rather than searching for truthful Shaikhs of Ihsan and get trained, some people alienated themselves from this important aspect of Islam and formed new groups.

In their attempt to remove a wrong from society, they committed a bigger blunder.

They should have corrected the ills of society without altering Islamic beliefs.

It is in Quran – ‘Hold on firmly to the rope of Allah and do not allow differences to occur among yourself ’. (Aale-Imran – 103).

The glaring example of this is Shaikh Abdul Wahab (1699-1792) who  developed grudge against Sunni rulers / Otomon empire  and founded a new sect.  He convinced Sauds about his new thinking.  When this Sauds expanded their rule to the whole of Arab Peninsula, they implemented Salafi dogmas developed under this sect and declared this was the real Islam.

When Sunnis, who were in majority in the Arab world at that time, objected, the monarchy ruthlessly eliminated them from their territory. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the conflict which continued for decades. They did not stop at that. They destroyed all traces and everything that was kept as legacy of Islam for centuries.

When we study Islamic history, we come to know that people’s anger against each other became the primary cause of founding of new sects throughout the history of Islam.

The current situation is very volatile. New groups, new jama’ats and new theories are coming into being on  weekly basis. The situation has worsened to an extent that we do not know who is real Muslim among this lot.

Whenever a new sect is formed, the founder of the sects and his close associates make sure that they identify themselves differently from other Muslim sects. They take lot of pain in alienating themselves from the practices of other sects.

When Wahabi movement succeeded in Arabia, they made sure that they differ with other sects, particularly, Sunnis (their main rivals) in all areas of religious practice.

Sunnis give a lot of respect to Prophet of Islam (SAWS), celebrate his Nativity (birth day), write poetry in his eulogy, arrange Sama programs, recite poetry (Na’at) in his praise in which sometimes music is used and often cry and rapture remembering their Prophet (SAWS). These practices are their show of love for their Prophet (SAWS). They consider their love of Prophet (SAWS) will indeed help them in getting his intercession (Shafa’a) and their ultimate salvation on the Day of Judgment. They arrange Zikr gatherings where they recite various names of Allah (SWT) in chorus in different styles, sometimes sitting in rows, sometimes standing in a circle etc.

These above practices were adopted by Shaikhs of Ihsan to cleanse and purify people’s hearts and to turn their attention towards Allah (SWT) away from the materialistic world.   Sunnis also respect Companions of the Prophet of Islam (SAWS) and well known Shaikhs of Ihsan. Whenever they cook special food, they recite certain verses of Quran before eating, and call it Fateha. They visit the graves of prominent Shaikhs and consider it to be good for their worldly and religious well being. They consider  all these practices are proved by Quran and Hadith.

When Wahabi sect came into power, they seem to have made detailed notes of the practices of other sects, particularly their rivals, Sunnis. They stayed away from all of these. Whatever Sunnis did was regarded as Shirk, biddah (innovation).

They interpreted Quranic verses and Hadiths to prove their contention. Prophet’s (SAWS) nativity celebrations were banned, graves of prominent As-habe Rasulullah, Prophet Mohammed’s (SAWS) family members and close relatives were razed to the ground and all places of remembrance of Prophet of Islam (SAWS) and his companions were destroyed.

In their attempt to equate all people, they started counting Prophets as mere human beings on par with masses. Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) eulogy, reciting of na’at in his praise was regarded as associating divinity with Prophet-hood. This was their way of purifying Islam.

When we read the history of Islam it looks that all these reforms were actually the acts of vengeance against other sects of Islam, particularly Sunnis.  Soon Wahabism spread leaps and bounds across Arabian Peninsula and Sunnis all over the world were divided into many sub groups.

Similar is the case between Shias and other sects. Whoever came to power, tried to cleanse their territory from other sects.   Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, etc., are great examples of this cleansing.   Previously Iran consisted of a sizeable Sunni population.  Now, they are no more. Shia influence also spread leaps and bounds across Arab world and we see many countries in Central Asia dominated by this sect.  In recent Shai-sunni scuffle in Iraq, Shias have taken control of Iraq and in this process, hundreds of thousands of people were killed in Iraq.  Similarly, entire Afghanistan has been Talibanized at the cost of hundreds of thousands of human lives.

Salafis, Wahabis, Shias, Sunnis and you name any sect, all have been divided into multiple sub sects/groups professing different ideologies and practices throughout the world.   Everyone thinks that their sect is on the right path and try to shift blame on other sects for the present state of affairs of Muslims in the world.  How can this be true?

It is in Quran ‘ These are those who ripped their religion and divided themselves into sects. Allah (SWT) has nothing to do with them. Their matter is with Allah (SWT) and then He will point out to them what (exactly) they were doing (in the World).’ (Al-Ana’am – 159).

The Sunnis may have faltered on the important aspect of Ihsan, but Wahabis went a step further and made it an unpardonable sin.  Similar is the case with other sects.

Imagine, if we ban physical exercise from a country, what will happen to its citizens. They all will fall sick and soon die of various ailments. Something similar has happened to Muslims.  Their souls are critically sick and they have lost track of the straight path. We need to do something about it soon so that we get back to the right path of Islam and acquire both, inner strength of religion, and outer strength, for peaceful living in this world.

O’our Lord ! call us not, to account, if we have forgotten or have fallen into error.

Our Lord ! Lay not on us a burden (of responsibilities) such as you have laid on those gone before us. Our Lord ! Lay not on us that which we cannot bear, and overlook our faults; and forgive us; and have mercy on us. You are our protector; help us then against the unbelievers.’ (Al-Baqara – 286).

O’our Lord give us good in this world, and good in the world to follow, and protect us from the punishment of Fire’. ( Al-Baqarah – 201).

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The primary requirement of righteousness  is Iman, the  proclamation of  Islamic testimony (شهاده).
 
There are two conditions of this proclamation; (a) knowing its true meanings and believing it in heart, and (b) confirming by mouth. 
 
Oral recitation/confirmation of Shahada is not sufficient for a person to be a Muslim, unless he knows the true meanings of Islamic Testimony  and believes in it. 
 
People belonging to various religions in the world accept that there is one God or one absolute reality and they all, one way or other, concede to the fact that Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the Prophet of Islam. Does this acceptance make them Muslims?  No, for the simple reason that the perception and comprehension of belief in Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and believe in Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is different from its generic understanding.  To understand it, and believe in it, makes a person Muslim. 
 
There are  two aspects of Islamic Testimony/Shahadah (شهاده) -  (a) belief in Allah - لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللّٰهُ  [There is no god except Allah], and (b) belief in Prophet - مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللّٰهِ  [ Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the Apostle of Allah.]
 
BELIEF  IN  ALLAH  (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ)
 
The word god is used by different people in different meanings.  A Muslim has to believe in Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) as the creator of this Cosmos and no one but Him can be worshiped.   Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is free from the considerations of body, form, shape, etc. Everything in this cosmos is His creation.  Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) creations are appearing in the cosmos in specific shapes/forms/characteristics as per their facts.
 
What are the beliefs that are contrary to Islamic monotheism?
 
(a) Some people associate divinity (اُلوہيت) with some human beings and call them God-men or Avataar.  Some people believe different gods for different works in this cosmos and they make pictures and mud/metallic idols of these gods and worship them.  Some people believe that god has a son and angels are god’s daughters. All these beliefs are polytheism, contrary to the Islamic belief of Monotheism.
 
(b) Some Muslim sects (Wahhabis and their like minded groups) believe that their God has a huge human like body with human like physical features.  He is sitting over the skies separated from his creatures.  This  belief is polytheism (شرک).  They have created an idol of a sky God in their minds and worship this idol claiming it to be Allah.  Why do they call it Allah?  Because God is translated in Arabic as Allah.
 
(c) Some Muslim sects (Devbandis and their like minded groups) believe that God can commit sinful acts. They believe that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) can lie, and to lie is within His powers.  They argue that when people can lie and it is in their power to lie, then to deny this power for Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is apostasy.  They claim that there is a difference between saying - ‘Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) lies’  or  Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) can lie -  and  they believe that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) can lie.
 
The above belief is Kufr because it sows the seed of suspicion about Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) perfection.  Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) omnipotence (قدرتِ اِلٰہی) is relevant to His knowledge.  Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) ‘will’ is the result of His wisdom, which in turn is dependent upon His knowledge.  A thing which is contrary to his ‘Wisdom’ will not appear.  To believe Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) can perform unwise deeds is equal to not believing Him Wise. Astaghfirullah.
 
The omnipotence (قدرت) of insane and mad is not subordinated to knowledge and wisdom.  The omnipotence of sensible, intelligent and wise  is subordinated to 'knowledge and wisdom'.
 
The irrelevance of 'omnipotence' of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) ' to baseless things (مُستحیلات) and forbidden things (مُمتنعات) does not indicate Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) powerlessness.  The powerlessness is indicated when the thing was possible in the first place. 
 
Can Allah create a 'resemble alike'?  This question is meaningless as a look-alike God is impossible and has no relevance to omnipotence. Can Allah commit suicide the way a human beings do?  This question is also meaningless.  Divine non-existence is impossible.  Can Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) create deficiency in Himself?  No, never.  Can Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) lie?  No. Never.
 
The creatures are subordinated to His omnipotence. Allah’s unity (ذاتِ الٰہی),  is not subjected to His omnipotence. His being is so essential and so exalted that He is beyond His own omnipotence.    
 
(d) Polytheism and Idol worship is contrary to Islamic monotheism. If a person recites Kalima Tayyiba orally/publicly and claims himself to be a  Muslim, but at the same time visits Hindu temples, Sikh Gurduwaras, Jew Synagogues, Christian Churches and participates in their functions and does not mind standing along with them in their worship in the name of Inter-faith,  is a  Muslim just for the namesake. There is a difference between the person who is  a real Muslim  and a person who is claiming to be a Muslims.  The person who claims to be a Muslim but acts like non-Muslims, is surely a hypocrite.  Since these so called Muslims are involved in, or participates/joins in worship other than Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ),  their  Islamic faith is only a lip service that will neither benefit them in this world, nor will be helpful in Hereafter. 
 
When these people who claim to be Muslims are questioned about their actions, they claim that they are doing it for peace and harmony among different sections of society.  Indeed,  it is a deception on their part.  They are fooling people for the sake of some political/material gains.  
 
It is in Quran -  لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ  [Make no excuse; you have done Kufr after your Iman.] (At-Tauba - 66). 
 
As far as working for peace and harmony in a multi-cultural society is concerned, this can be achieved in hundreds of other ways, without sacrificing your Iman.
 
We are discussing the essential requirement of Islamic faith.  It is important to note that we do not hate people on the basis of their sect, faith, or ethnicity.  Faith is a choice of every individual on this planet. They can choose any faith. To keep good relations with everyone is part of Islamic teachings. 
 
It is in Hadith – Ibn Abbas (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) reported, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ‘He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side is hungry’ ( Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra).
 
In the above Hadith there is no mention that your neighbor should be a true Muslim in order to help him/her in any manner needed.  He/She  can be anyone, belonging to any sect, faith and ethnicity. 
   
 
BELIEF  IN  PROPHET  MOHAMMAD  (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
 
A Muslim has to believe in Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) as the Servant and  Apostle of Allah and seal of Prophet-hood.  Meaning, he is the last and final Prophet to humanity. After him no one will come as a Prophet. Claim of Prophet-hood by anyone after Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is Apostasy. 
 
Prophet Mohammad’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), respect in the Cosmos is next only to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). He has a special status awarded to him by Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).  He cannot be equated or treated as a normal (sinful) human being under any condition. 
 
It is in Quran -  وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَاحْذَرُوا [And obey Allah and obey the apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and be cautious (about his status and respect in this cosmos)]. (Al-Maaida – 92).
 
It is in Hadith – Narrated by Ibn Omer and Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہما), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) told his companions, “ I am not like you.  I live with my Sustainer (رب) who feeds and provides me with drink. (Bukhar and Muslim).
 
Disrespect of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and his blasphemy in any form or shape, takes a person out of the fold of Islam. The entire Muslim Ummah has consensus in this regard.
 
 
 OTHER REQUIREMENTS  OF  RIGHTEOUSNESS (تقوه) 
 
The other requirements of righteousness  are as follows.
 
(i) The person should refrain from what is forbidden in Islam. 
 
(ii) Avoid issues which are doubtful which may lead  to committing sins. 
 
(iii) Avoid spending his time in wasteful avocations and evil considerations (thoughts). 
 
(iv) He should try to spend his time in remembering Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) to an extent that the thought of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) overtakes other irrelevant thoughts of the world. 
 
(v) He should try to give due right to everyone around him, including his own self, as per the commandments of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).
 
(vi) He should be alert in all his actions by realizing the presence of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) around him. If this is not possible, he should always keep in mind that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is watching all his actions in this world, and this is the elevated state of righteousness described in the Hadith of Ihsan.
 
Hadith of Ihsan -  Abu Huraira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) narrated -  One day while the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was sitting in the company of some people, (angel) Jibreel (عليه السلام) came and sat, folding his knees (like a student sits in front of a teacher) and asked, "What is faith?" Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, ‘Faith is to believe in Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), His angels, (the) meeting with Him (on the day of judgment), His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.’   Then he asked, "What is Islam?" Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, "To worship Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly, to pay the compulsory charity ‘Zakat’ and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan." Then he asked, "What is Ihsan?" Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, "To pray as if you see Him, and if you cannot see him then you must consider that He is looking at you." (Bukhari – part of the Hadith).
 
As per the above Hadith, there are three categories of people in Muslim Ummah.
 
(i) People of Iman - They truthfully believe in Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and His Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). People of  Sahih Iman will eventually get salvation.
 
(ii) People of Islam -  People who are not good at Iman and their believes come under the purview of apostasy / polytheism. They are faithless Muslims even though they recite Kalima Tayyiba verbally, claim themselves to be Muslims, and act upon Islamic deeds.
 
It is in Hadith - Abu Said Al-Khudri (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated - Allah’s Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ‘there will appear some people among you whose prayer will make you look down upon yours, and whose fasting will make you look down upon yours, and they will recite Qur'an ( in melodious voices and memorize it) but Quran will not go down their throats ( they will misunderstand and misinterpret the meanings of Quran) and will go out of Islam as the arrow goes out of the bow. (Bukhari )
 
Some people consider that people belonging to all Islamic Sect will get salvation on the day of Judgment.  Some will get instant salvation, the others will get salvation after they are punished for wrong Iman.   This is not a correct understanding because the first and foremost requirement is Sahih Iman.   A person who dies without the light of Iman in his heart, lived in darkness in this world, will remain in darkness in Hereafter as well. His Islamic deeds will not be useful for him in his salvation.
 
It is in Hadith -  Abu Hurairah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated that the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, 'Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts. (Muslims)
 
Meaning, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) looks at your Iman and intentions because all your outward deeds are dependent upon your Sahih Iman.  If you do not have Sahih Iman (correct Islamic faith) in your heart, all your good deeds go in vain.
    
(iii) People of Ihsan - Those who are good both in Iman  (Islamic faith) and Islamic deeds.  These are the people who are successful in both the worlds. They are the ones who will get innumerable bounties of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) in Hereafter.
 
It is in Quran -  إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ [ Allah is with those who are righteous (تقوه) and practice Ihsan. ] (An-Nahl - 128).
 
It is in Quran -  إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ [ Allah loves those who practice Ihsan.]  (Al-Baqara - 195;  Aale-Imraan - 134, 148; Al-Maidah - 13, 93).
 
Who are the people of Ihsan?  People of Ihsan are the friends of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). 
 
It is in Quran -  أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ - الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ - لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ [Behold the friends of Allah.  On them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.  These are they, who have believed in Allah and are mindful of Him and are abstinent (abstain from everything evil). To them tidings come. This in itself is a great felicity.  (Younus 62-64). 
 
Followers of Salafi/Wahhabi ideology do not believe in Awliya Allah and consider their pious graves as places of polytheism.  They treat them as idols worshiped by idol worshipers. The Muslims who visit their graves for barakah are called by these sects as ‘Grave worshipers’  They do not realize that it is the practice of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Sahabah who used to visit the graves of Muslims frequently, on regular intervals.  There are many Ahadith in this context in almost all authentic Ahadith books.  By doing blasphemy of Awliya Allah, followers of these sects surely invite the wrath of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
 
It is in Hadith - Whoever takes a Wali of mine (ولي الله) an enemy, I will wage a war on him (Bukhari, part of the Hadith).
 
The emphasis on ‘Wali of mine’ in the above Hadith shows that Awliya Allah (the people of Ihsan) are the chosen ones among believers and their disrespect, blasphemy and equating them with polytheists’ Idols may lead to dire consequences  in Hereafter.