SHAIKH MIR ASEDULLAH QUADRI
Al-Baqara | Sura # 2| 286 verses | Madinan
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful
Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 001الم [ Alif-Laam-Meem ]
'Alif-Laam-Meem' is known as ‘Solemn Verse' (Ayat-e-Muqatta'at - آیتِ مقطعات).Fourteen Arabic alphabets have been used, in varied combinations, in 14 ‘Solemn Verses' (Ayaat-e-Muqatta'at - آیاتِ مقطعات) in the form of initials of 29 Chapters (سورة) of the holy Quran. Alif-Laam-Meem ( الم ) is one of them.Since Quran is 'Mubeen' (الْمُبِينِ); its description is clear and manifest. The meanings of all the verses of Quran, including 'Solemn Verses' (آیاتِ مقطعات) are surely known to its principle addressee, ie., Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). It is also likely that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has informed the meanings of these Verses to some of his Sahabah and Awliya Allah.We believe in whatever is meant by the 'Solemn Verses' (آیاتِ مقطعات) by Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and His Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).Since we have been commanded to read the Quran carefully and try to understand the significance of every verse of the Quran, we do ponder over these verses. And when we think, by focusing our attention towards Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and His Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) for guidance, it comes to our mind that the 'Solemn Verses' (آیاتِ مقطعات) are actually the 'Solemn Titles of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) given by Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) throughout the Quran. Our understanding is based on the fact that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has addressed Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in the Quran by specific names, like Muzzammil (مزمل - O' beloved who covers self in a coverlet), Muddassir (مدثر - O' beloved, who covers self in a bed sheet). With this understanding, it is most likely that Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) other names / titles have been mentioned in Quran by denoting certain initials/alphabets.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 002ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ [This is the book in which there is no doubt; it is guidance to those who are righteous (Muttaqeen - مُتَّقِينَ).]
Two things have been mentioned in this verse, (i) Trust in Quran as the word of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), and (ii) Quran is guidance for those who are righteous (مُتَّقِينَ - who follow Islamic teachings sincerely).(i) Trust in Quran - It is part of the faith of Muslims to believe in the Quran as the word of Allah (كلام الله). The one who doubts in it, is not a Muslim.It is in Hadith - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ‘having doubt in the Quran is disbelieve. (Abu Dawood).It is a fact that the Quran is the word of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). It is the only book that has been kept in its original form for the past more than 1400 years. It contains 6236 verses which have been memorized by hundreds of millions of people in the world throughout the history of Islam. This book deals with all facets of human life. Quran challenges the entire human kind and Jinns to bring a single verse like it and none could do it yet. It is our belief that no one will ever be able to do it in future as well as Quran is the word of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).(ii) Who are righteous (Muttaqeen - مُتَّقِينَ)? They are the self restrained ascetics who follow Islam sincerely in all spheres of their lives.What are the requirements of 'righteousness' (تقوه) ?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 He 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 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 does? 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 participate/join 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. Rather they will be regarded as hypocrites.When these people, who claim themselves to be Muslims, are questioned about their actions, they say 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 can 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 circumstance.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 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 that 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. 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 Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). People of Sahih Iman will eventually get salvation.(ii) People of Islam - There are two types of Muslims under this category, (a) Who have Sahih Iman, and (b) the followers of deviant sects who do not have Sahih Iman.The people who are not good at Iman and their believes come under the purview of apostasy / polytheism / hypocrisy / blasphemy are faithless Muslims even though they recite Kalima Tayyiba verbally, claim themselves to be Muslims, and act upon certain 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 Sects 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 for 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 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 righteous (abstain from everything evil). To them good tidings come. This in itself is a great felicity. (Younus 62-64).Followers of Salafi/Wahhabi/Devbandi sects and their like minded groups do not believe in Awliya Allah and consider their pious graves as places of polytheism. 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, at 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 (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).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 HereafterJuz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 003
الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ [ Those who believe in the Unseen, establish Salah, and spend (righteously) from what We have given them. ]Three issues have been mentioned in this verse, (i) Belief in Unseen, (ii) Establishment of Salah, and (iii) Spending in Charity.(i) What is ‘belief in unseen’ (غَيْبِ)?The knowledge of unseen is a simple issue. The followers of deviant sects have made it complicated. Like, a Medical doctor knows many things about his profession which are not known to general people or people of other professions. For a doctor, the knowledge of about human ailments, their causes and cure will be treated as ‘Seen’. And for others this knowledge will be treated as ‘Unseen’. The issue is as simple as that.The above mentioned Muslim sects do not believe in the knowledge of Unseen of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). They say that knowledge of unseen is only related to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). They also claim that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is just like any other human being and to associate the knowledge of unseen with him is polytheism (شرك).We have discussed this issue briefly here to clarify doubts of the people in this context.The fact is, knowledge of unseen is only related to human beings. It is absolutely not related with Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knows about Himself and knows everything about His creations in this Cosmos. There is nothing 'Unseen' for Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). Therefore, whenever we talk about 'Unseen', it will be with reference to creatures and not with reference to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).It is in Quran - عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ [ Allah knows everything that is hidden and visible (to the human beings). (Al-Hashr – 22).The basic rule is Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knowledge is absolute, His own. The knowledge possessed by His creatures (humans, angels, Jins, etc.) is His bestowal to them.It is in Quran - قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا [They (the angels) said, Exalted You are (O’ our Lord), we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. ] (Al-Baqara – 32).The knowledge of unseen of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is definitely the bestowal of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).It is in Hadith - Amr Ibn Akhtab [Abu Zayd] al-Ansari (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) said : "The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) prayed fajr with us then climbed the pulpit and addressed us until the time came for Zuhr, then he descended and prayed. Then he climbed the pulpit and addressed us until the time came for 'Asr, whereupon he descended and prayed. Then he climbed the pulpit and addressed us until the sun set. He informed us about all that was to happen until the Day of Resurrection. The most knowledgeable of us is he who has memorized the most." (Muslim, Ahmed)It is in Hadith - Hudhayfa (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) narrated: "The Prophet stood among us (speaking) for a long time and did not leave out one thing from that time until the rising of the Final Hour except he told us about it. Whoever remembers it, remembers it and whoever forgot it, forgot it. All those who were present know this. Some of it I might have forgotten, then I see it (happen) and remember it just as someone would remember a man who had been away and then appears before him and he instantly recognizes him." (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Tirmidhi)Since Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the chief of the prophets, who is sent as a mercy to all the worlds till the Day of Resurrection, his knowledge about Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and this cosmos, and the things to happen in this cosmos, will indeed be comprehensive and complete.Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) hidden machinery is in operation. There are innumerable Angels, humans and other species working 24 hours of the day. And the single person who has access and command over this machinery (other than Allah) is (بِاذن اللهِ - with Allah's permission) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).It is in Quran - يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا [ Certainly We (Allah) have sent you (Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) as witness, deponent, the one who gives good tiding and as a fore warner.] (Al-Ahzab - 45).Who is a witness (as per the law)? He is the one who sees things from his eyes. Statement of a Deponent who has only heard about a thing is not acceptable in the Court of law.The above Quranic verse establishes the comprehensive knowledge of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) collectively and individually in the Cosmos.It is in Quran - إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا [Allah and His angels send blessings (and salutations) on Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) : O’ you who believe! Send your salutations and reverence on him, and salute him with all respect.] (Al-Ahazab – 56).The above Quranic verse is in present tense. It is not that the Durood was sent on Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) during his life time only. This is a continuous process. This establishes the fact that the life span of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is continuous within the framework of existence in different formats in this Cosmos.It is in Hadith - Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). When Allah's Apostle was asked since how long he is the Prophet of Allah?, He replied, ‘When Adam (عليه السلام) had not yet had his spirit joined to his body. (Tirmidhi).When we study the life of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), we realize that there are certain occasions when he said or acted as he was unaware of things. Why it is so?Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) represented humanity in all its formats. He showed happiness on certain things and displeasure on certain things. He showed fore knowledge of certain things and showed his unawareness of certain things. He pleaded with Almighty for His forgiveness. He walked in streets like normal human beings. He fought with infidels along with his companions and sometimes the results of the battles were inconclusive and sometimes he won. He became concerned when something went wrong with his family members or his companions and shared happiness with them on happy occasions.It is in Quran - ‘Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is an exemplary model (for all of you) (Al-Ahzab – 21).He is an icon of humanity. In other words, he is a perfect human being. Like him there is none. He represents various facets of humanity at various stages of his life. Sometimes, he shows utmost humility of a desperate human being and on other occasions, pointing his finger towards the moon splits it into two, which was witnessed by many from their naked eyes.It is in Quran - اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ - وَإِن يَرَوْا آيَةً يُعْرِضُوا وَيَقُولُوا سِحْرٌ مُّسْتَمِرٌّ [ 'The Hour (the Day of Resurrection) came near and the moon was split. And if they see any sign, then turn their faces and say this is magic perpetual'.] (Al-Qamar -1-2).One of the most important aspect of our Iman is utmost respect of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and deep rooted love for him in our hearts.We should be careful while describing about prophet, Sahabah, prominent Imams and Sufi Shuyookh of Ihsan and Awliya Allah. They are all virtuous and stand tall in Islamic Ummah. They are provided with special knowledge by their Lord which is unseen for general people. We should not rebel against their authorities in religion. If we do not keep these things in mind, we are sure to be doomed on the Day of Judgment.(ii) Establishment of SalahWhat is the difference between 'performing (doing) prayer' and 'establishing prayer'? Performance of prayer means doing a one time prayer or one day’s prayer or doing prayers occasionally; while establishment of prayer means, one performs 5 times prayers every day on regular basis, at regular timings, taking care of all its requirements scrupulously. Performance of prayer with all the attention, like one is seeing Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) or with utmost attention knowing well that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is seeing him. This aspect has been referred in Hadith of Ihsan reported by Bukhari, Muslim and other Imams of Ahadith.(iii) Spending in CharityWhat is the meaning of spending from the things Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has given? This covers Zakat. In addition, one should ensure that others are benefited from his/her knowledge, expertise, counseling, etc.It is in Quran - وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ ۗ [(They ask you O' Prophet ﷺ) "how much they are to spend (in Charity); Say: 'What is beyond your needs.'] (Al-Baqara - 219).This has been the practice of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), most of his Sahabah and Awliya Allah.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 004وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ [And those who believe in what is sent down upon you (O' Prophet ﷺ) and what was sent down before you (on other prophets) and they firmly believe in Hereafter.]Three important aspects of faith have been mentioned in this verse. (i) Believe in what is sent down upon Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), ie., Quran. (ii) Believe in what was sent down on earlier prophets, and (iii) Belief in Hereafter.(i) Belief in QuranIt is important that Muslims have absolute trust in the Quran as the word of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). Indeed the Quran is the word of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) beyond any iota of doubt.(ii) Belief in earlier scriptures.Belief in scriptures sent down on earlier prophets is also an integral part of Islamic faith. In this context, we believe in, and respect the following scriptures, that have been mentioned in Quran.(a) The Gospel (الإنجيل) revealed to Prophet Isa (عليه السلام).(b) The Torah (التوراة) revealed to Prophet Musa (عليه السلام).(c) The Psalms (الزبور) revealed to Prophet Dawud (عليه السلام).(d) The Scrolls (صحف) revealed to Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and other prophets.It is a fact that all the above scriptures have not survived either in their original languages they were revealed to their respective prophet, or in their content. Some translations are available which are not as per their original text. Also these translated versions have been changed successively over centuries. This is the reason that no two translated editions of Bible match with each other.(iii) Believe in Hereafter as taught to us by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is also part of Muslim belief.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 005اُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ [These are the people who are on the Guidance of their Lord and these are the ones who are successful (in both the worlds.]Who are the guided and successful people as per the above verse? Their details have been described in earlier verses. First they should not have any doubt in the Quran, which is guidance to sincere seekers of Islam. Then those who believe in the Unseen, those who establish prayers, and those who spend in charity. In addition, those who believe in the earlier scripture sent down on the earlier prophets and those who believe in the Resurrection and in the events of Hereafter as described in the Quran and Sunnah. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says these are the successful people in this life and in Hereafter.After describing about the people who are on the right path of Islam and who are successful in both the worlds, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) now describes about the people who reject faith in the following verse.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 006إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ [ Indeed those who have rejected faith, it does not matter whether you (O' Prophet ﷺ) warn them or not, they will not believe.]Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) provides sustenance to every human being. Everyone is being explained about Sahih Iman in this world. But, acceptance or rejection of faith depends upon the individual nature. This is the reason Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says that if it is not in a person’s nature to accept the faith, he will not do it.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 007خَتَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ [Their hearts and their ears are fastened by Allah's seal (because of their rejection of faith) and their eyes are veiled (due to their insistence on disbelief) and for them there is a severe torment. ]There is a series of cause and effect in the Cosmos. If you deny and reject faith, you will be left to freeze in the darkness. When you are frozen, your senses won’t function. This is the reason it is said that their ears, eyes and the faculty of senses are sealed in view of their rejection of faith. If you accept the faith and act upon the commandments of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), you will get the light and warmth of Iman in your heart with which you can walk on the right path and you will be rewarded with Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) bounties in this world and in Hereafter both.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 008وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ [Among them are people who say that they believe in their Lord and on the Last Day (of Judgment) even though they are not believers.]First Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) described the characteristics of the people who are believers, then he described the characteristics of the people who reject faith; and now in this verse Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is describing the characteristics of the people who are hypocrites, who claim they are Muslims, but in fact are not Muslims.It is important to note that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) treats hypocrites as a group among non-believers.There were hypocrites in the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) who used to say they were believers just like Muslims and they used to perform prayers along with Muslims, but in their heart they did not believe. Some of them worked as spies of Makkan pagans. They attempted to create doubts in the minds of Muslims by their manipulative talk.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 009يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّـهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ [ (These hypocrites) who like to deceive Allah and the believers; in fact are deceiving their own selves but they are not conscious about it.]The problem with the hypocrites was that, they believed in the deities/Idols who they worshiped before the advent of Islam. Most of them also held respectable positions in their pre-Islamic society. After becoming Muslims, they were treated on par with other Muslims. In Islam the respect and importance of the person is on the basis of Taqwa. The down-to-earth Islamic equality in treating human beings could not be swallowed by the hypocrites even though they recited Islamic testimony in front of everyone and started acting like Muslims. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says that these hypocrites consider that they are deceiving Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and Muslims by their diplomacy. But they do not understand that they are actually deceiving their own selves.There were hypocrites among Muslims all through the history of Islam. Even now there are some so-called Muslims who work for money and power and collude with political parties / politicians and mislead innocent Muslims. They should know that their manipulative diplomacy surely will bring disrespect and ignominy for them in this life and in Hereafter.In addition, there are some so-called Muslims who visit Hindu temples to perform Puja, and then go to mosque and perform Salah and then go to church and perform the religious service there. They also marry people belonging to different faiths. They claim that they are doing it for the sake of inter-religious harmony. There are some so-called Muslim religious scholars who encourage their followers to visit religious places of other religions and participate in services their in the name of Inter faith. These people should know that they what they are doing is hypocrisy. They can create harmony and love among different people without compromising their Iman and getting involved in open polytheism / apostasy.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 010فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ [ There is a severe disease in the hearts (of these hypocrites). And Allah increases their disease; for them is harsh torment due to their false assertions. ]What was the disease in the hearts of the hypocrites?It was Jealously towards Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and His companions. When Islam established its foothold in Madina and nearby areas, many people, including the leaders of Jews and non believers declared themselves Muslims halfheartedly. In the process, they lost leadership of their community. This was one of the reasons for their jealousy towards Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). They used to conspire against him and his companions secretly by joining hands with the enemies of Islam.An important thing to be understood here is, if you sincerely love Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and are honest in your Islamic deeds; guidance and stability comes to you from Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). If you are not sincere, this guidance gets stopped. This is the reason in verse # 2 above, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says, Quran is guidance for those who are righteous and sincere believers. Once the guidance is stopped in view of your insincerity and hypocrisy, all types of ailments of hearts, like jealously, desire for leadership, greed for wealth and lust starts increasing in the heart.There are some sects who compete with each other for the leadership of Muslim community. In their attempt for leadership and power, they have devised new religions for themselves in the name of Islam. They have changed Ahadith books of all important Imams of Ahadith, including books like Adab Al-Mufrad written by Imam Bukhari. They regard the pious graves of Sahabah and Awliya Allah as places of polytheism. They have destroyed all important traces of Islam in Hijaz and other places in the Middle east. Indeed, all these people have a disease in their hearts and there is no cure for it until they turn back to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and seek is forgiveness.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 011وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ [ When it is said to them (the hypocrites), do not spread disorder on Earth, they say they are the reformers.]The hypocrites in the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to be secretly in touch with the enemies of Islam and they thought that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) was unaware of their intentions and secret deals. The hypocrites were not interested in religion. They wanted to play around and wait for an opportune time to take over the leadership of the community. Meaning, they were the perpetrators of disorder in Muslim community. When their attention was drawn towards this behavior, they used to claim they were reformers.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 012أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُونَ [Yes (indeed), they are the people who spread disorder but they do not (have common sense) to realize it’.]Playing a double game with the intention to destroy a society in collusion with its enemies is indeed dangerous. These are the acts of disorder and destruction in the world. They are trouble makers in the world. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says that while they claim they are reformers, they are the real trouble makers and these are the people who destroy human societies. But they do not realize it.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 013وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ ۗأَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ [When it is said (to these hypocrites) to believe as (real) believers (do), they say that, shall we believe as the fools (Muslims) believe? Yes, Indeed, they themselves are fools but they are unaware of it.]The hypocrites during Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time used to say that Muslims are emotional fools. They do not know how to safeguard personal interest by cunning diplomacy.Muslims used to follow Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and would gather on his call to sacrifice their lives in the cause of Islam. They would not care about themselves or their families and their welfare in this world. This type of behavior of Muslims was strange for hypocrites, not in line with their living during pre-Islamic life. This kind of sincerity was not possible for them. They were experts in politics and knew how to safeguard their personal interests in dealing with people. The honest behavior of Muslims looked to them as foolish. This is the reason they used to call Muslims as fools. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says that in fact they themselves are fools and they do not know about it.The hypocrites behave the same way even now. They do not care about religion or welfare of Muslim society as a whole. These wolves in the guise of goats have damaged Islam and Muslims more than anyone else in the world throughout the history of Islam.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 014وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا إِلَىٰ شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ [When they meet believers, they say that we are (also) believers and when they meet with the leaders of disbelievers in secret, they say that indeed 'we are with you and we were just mocking the Muslims (by fooling them)'.]This is how the hypocrites used to behave during the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Their characteristics have remained the same throughout the history of Islam.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 015اللَّـهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ [Allah will surely throw back at them their mockery (they will be severely punished) as they will increase in their rebellion (never ever to realize their folly) and they will remain wandering in their folly.]A very important issue is cleared in this verse. Some people wonder why these hypocrites look successful and prosperous in this world. When they play around in the hands of the enemies of Islam and try to undermine their own community, they seem to acquire some worldly benefits, wealth and positions in Governments. The reason is Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has left them in the hands of the enemies of Islam and they get devoid of Guidance in this life. This, perhaps, is the biggest punishment of all for a person in this life as doors of salvation have been shut for him.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 016أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ فَمَا رَبِحَت تِّجَارَتُهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ [ These are the people who bought misguidance at the cost of guidance, and their deal neither resulted in any (kind of) gain nor it could lead them to the right path (of Islam).]People should read history of humanity and see what happened to the people who rejected faith and how the believers were rewarded. Look at the history of Prophets Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and Musa (عليه السلام) and see what happened to their enemies Nimrood and Pharaoh (فرعون).Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 017مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّـهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ [Their example is that of a person who kindled a fire and when it lighted the atmosphere around them, Allah took away the light and left them in darkness again with which they cannot see anything. ]The above verse depicts the condition of hypocrites. When they declare themselves Muslims, the light of Iman comes to their heart and they become capable of benefiting from it. This aspect is referred in this verse as ‘kindle of fire’. However, when they look at apostates and polytheists and meet with their earlier leaders, they get afraid of their worldly might and start supporting them. In this situation the Iman (Islamic faith) which had come to their hearts gets seized and they again start wandering in darkness of apostasy and they get subdued to all kinds of doubts about Islam. Why this happens? It is because of their ego and narcissism that has eluded their judgment and Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has caused it to increase in them.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 018صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ [They are deaf, dumb and blind and (as such) they cannot come back to the right path (of Islam).]As we have explained in the Tafseer of verse # (7) above, there is a sequence of cause and effect in the Cosmos. If you deny and reject faith, you will be left to freeze in darkness. If you accept the faith and act upon the commandments of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), you will get rewarded in this world and in Hereafter. In this verse Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says that in view of their dubious double face and ego, the hypocrites have become deaf, dumb and blind. Meaning, using these senses, they cannot come back to the right path of Islam. They have lost the path and have moved too far away in darkness.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 019أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِم مِّنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ وَاللَّـهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ [ Or their (hypocrites') example is that of the rain storm which is coming from the skies which has darkness, thunder and lightening. They thrust their fingers into their ears for fear of death; Allah encircles the disbelievers.]The hypocrites live in their egoistic and narcissistic dream world. But when the truth of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) reaches them, it is so hurtful that it feels like a thunder and dark cloud. Because they cannot face this truth, they shut their ears and eyes to it. But the truth encircles them from all sides nonetheless and they cannot escape it no matter how hard they try.An important issue to be understood in this verse is, hypocrites have been addressed as disbelievers.It is in Quran - إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا [Indeed, Hypocrites (will be) in the lowest depth of Hellfire and (O’ Prophet ﷺ) you will not find any helper for them. (An-Nisa - 145).Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 020يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ كُلَّمَا أَضَاءَ لَهُم مَّشَوْا فِيهِ وَإِذَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُوا وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ [ It is very likely that the lightning takes away their vision. Whenever there is a lightening, they walk in this light and when they get darkness upon them, they hold back. If Allah willed, He would have deprived them of their hearing and sight. Indeed, Allah has power over everything.]When there is lightening during a darkness of a storm, the atmosphere gets lighted in which a person can walk a few steps. When the lightening is over, darkness overtakes again, and it is difficult to move forward. This happens when the lightening strikes at a far off place. But if the lightening strikes nearby, it may cause damage to eyes and ears. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) gives this example to describes the state of hypocrites.Juz 1, Al-Baqara, Verse 021يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ [ O' People, be steadfast in your prayers to Allah who created you, and (created) those before you, so that you become righteous.]After describing the characteristics of the believers, the people who rejected faith and those who are hypocrites, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), commands people to be stead fast in their prayers. He reminds them that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has created them, and created the people before them. Their lives are a gift of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) which He gave them not as a reward of any good deed, but as His gift to them. Therefore, they should be grateful to Him for His bestowals. The best way to express gratitude is to pray earnestly. Their sincerity in prayers will help them become pious and in turn they will get more bounties from Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).