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  A Muslim vis-à-vis His Own Self

اذهب الى الأسفل 
كاتب الموضوعرسالة
أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn
مؤسس ومدير المنتدى
أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn

عدد المساهمات : 24299
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 A Muslim vis-à-vis His Own Self Empty
مُساهمةموضوع: A Muslim vis-à-vis His Own Self    A Muslim vis-à-vis His Own Self Empty21/07/17, 07:26 am

 A Muslim vis-à-vis His Own Self Why-the-muslim-world-should-embrace-secularism-1456230963-7576
(1) A Muslim vis-à-vis His Own Self
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explained that a person’s own self has a right over him.  Indeed, an individual has very important responsibilities with respect to his own self. Logically speaking, a person’s self has a right and duty to do what is best for it. It is only reasonable that a person should do what he can to keep his soul from being destroyed.

Furthermore, every human must realize that he did not create himself. He is not his own lord. He cannot even claim for himself the right to use his own self or body in any way that he wills, although this is something that one hears often nowadays. Islam teaches that humans have been created by an All-Knowing, All-Merciful God. Thus, even with respect to his own self, the human must obey its Creator and Lord. In turn, the Creator has actually commanded the human only to do what is best for its own self.

Actually, the Creator has shown him the way to save himself. This is achieved by exerting oneself to accept wholeheartedly what Allah has revealed and to do what is pleasing to the Lord. In the long-run, in reality, all of the guidance that has come from Allah—the religion of Islam itself—is simply for the benefit of the individual himself. Allah is neither benefited by being worshipped nor harmed by being belied. Thus, in numerous places in the Quran, Allah makes it clear that all of this merciful guidance is simply at the disposal of the humans for their own benefit: “Verily We have revealed the book to you in truth, for (instructing) mankind. He, then, who receives guidance benefits his own soul.

But he who strays injures his own soul. Nor are you [O Muhammad] set over them to dispose of their affairs” (39:41; see also, for example, 6:104 and 41:46); “Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit. Who goes astray does so to his own loss. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another nor would We visit with Our wrath until We had sent a messenger (to give warning)” (Al-Isra 17:15); “And whoever purifies himself does so for the benefit of his own soul; and the destination (of all) is to Allah” (35:18).

Everything explained in this book is actually for the individual so that he may fulfill his responsibilities toward his own self and establish the proper relationship with his Creator, God and Lord. Thus, all of this book that the reader is reading can be considered an explanation of this particular subsection.

Hence, in this section, the author would like to speak about a very particular aspect that demonstrates that Islam attends to the guidance of a human in every aspect of his life. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated while speaking to Abdullah ibn Amr, “Your body has a right upon you.

Your eye has a right upon you…”  Thus, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has explained many aspects of personal hygiene and practice that are in tune with the true nature of humans. In other words, the soul naturally recognizes that these are good and beautiful practices. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) therefore referred to them as sunan al-fitra or “the acts corresponding to the sound, adulterated nature of humans.” These acts are mentioned by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the following hadith: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Five are from among the natural practices: circumcision, shaving the pubic hairs, plucking the armpit hairs, clipping the nails and trimming the moustache.” 

In another statement, he said, “Ten are from among the natural practices: trimming the moustache, leaving the beard to grow, using the toothstick, [cleaning] by putting water in the nose, clipping the nails, washing the knuckles and finger joints, plucking the underarm hairs, shaving the pubic hairs, using water to clean the private part [after urinating].” Zakariyyaa then said, “Musab said, ‘I have forgotten the tenth, unless it is rinsing one’s mouth.’”  Although scholars differ as to whether these acts or obligatory or highly recommended, there is no question that if an individual truly wants to treat his self properly, with the proper hygiene and outward appearance, he will adhere to all of these practices that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has praised in these hadith.

In addition to such hygienic issues, Islam also guides the individual concerning his eating and drinking. For example, Allah has prohibited the consumption of alcohol: “O you who believe! Alcohol, gambling, idols, and arrows for seeking luck or decisions are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful” (5:90). Similarly, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “All intoxicants are forbidden.”  Allah has given instructions as to what types of foods may be eaten as well: “He has forbidden you only the carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah” (2:173); “Forbidden to you (for food) are: carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or on which Allah's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering), and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns - and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal - unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) - and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on stone altars. (Forbidden) also is to use arrows seeking luck or decision, (all) that is disobedience of Allah and sin” (5:3); “Say (O Muhammad): I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be carrion, or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork, etc.) for that surely is impure, or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or on which Allah's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But whosoever is forced by necessity without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, (for him) certainly, your Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (6:145).

In general, a Muslim can only eat meat slaughtered by a Muslim, Jew or Christian in specified manners. For that reason—without going into the debate that has spread concerning this issue—this author recommends that a Muslim not eat the meat that is sold in the supermarkets of the West. He should restrict himself to what is known as halal or zabihah meat (slaughtered by Muslims) or kosher meat (slaughtered by Jews).

(2) A Muslim vis-à-vis His/Her Parents
Allah has demanded that Muslims treat their parents in the best possible fashion. Muslims must be grateful people. They must be grateful to Allah and to all who do them well. After Allah, there is perhaps no one who deserves a person’s gratitude more than his parents. Thus, numerous verses of the Quran touch upon the question of the treatment of parents. Indeed, in more than one place, Allah has closely tied good behavior towards parents with the command to worship Him alone. Note, for example, the following verse of the Quran: “Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful” (4:36).

In this verse, Allah has combined His rights over His servants with the servants’ rights over each other. Among the servants, a person must treat the following five classes especially well: (1) those that are related to him, especially his parents; (2) those who are weak and in need; (3) those with whom he mixes and sees on a regular basis, such as neighbors; (4) those who come upon a person on a temporary basis, such as a wayfarer; and (5) the slaves that one possesses. In this last category, some of the early scholars also included what one possesses of animals.

Allah also says, “Say (O Muhammad): Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents…” (6:151); “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord!

Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.’ Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance” (17:23-25); “And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none but Allah (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents” (2:83).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also emphasized good treatment of one's parents, putting it after prayer in its proper time as a deed that is most beloved to Allah:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked, “What deed is the most beloved to Allah?” He replied, “Prayer in its proper time.” He was asked, “Then what deed?” He replied, “Being dutiful to one’s parents.” He was asked again, “Then what deed?” He then replied, “Jihad for the sake of Allah.”

Allah reminds the believers that their parents, in particular the mother, went through a great deal of hardship and effort to raise their child and therefore they are deserving of love, respect and gratitude in return. Allah says, “And (remember) when Luqmaan said to his son when he was advising him, ‘O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed.’ And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years ــــ give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination” (31:13-14); “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: ‘My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will)’” (46:15).

Thus, in particular, the mother is deserving of the greatest friendship and closeness from her children. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was once asked, “Who among the people has the most right for my good companionship?” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied, “Your mother.” The man asked, “And then whom?” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied again, “Your mother.” The man again asked, “And them whom?” the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) once again said, “Your mother.” The man asked once more, “And then whom?” This time the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Your father.”

Converts and Relations with Non-Muslim Relatives
The relationship between a new convert and his non-Muslim family and associates can be a difficult one. Many times there is open opposition from the non-Muslims. This is a great trial for the convert. He will obviously still have love for those people who were so close and good to him for many years. An example for the convert under such circumstances is the early converts to Islam in Makkah. These Muslims faced great opposition and many of them were even tortured due to their new faith. Eventually, the small Muslim community was forced to emigrate to different lands to protect their faith. However, they were patient and persevered, thereby pleasing their Lord. They understood that their newfound relationship with God must take precedence over ties with anyone in this world.

When a human meets Allah in the Hereafter, he will meet him as an individual, responsible for his own actions and decisions. The fact that others close to him disliked the truth is obviously not an acceptable excuse to abandon God's religion or even to compromise with respect to God's religion. If such were acceptable to Allah, He certainly would have made that an option for those early Muslims who endured torture and banishment from their lands. However, such an option was not given to them. Actually, such an option implies none other than the destruction of God's religion as there will always be numerous people who oppose the truth and God's way.

For most converts nowadays, by Allah's grace, the situation is not as strenuous as that described above. There is usually a mixed reaction to a person's conversion: The others respect his choice but may not be completely pleased with the choice that he has made. Under these circumstances in particular it is important for the individual to understand the limits of his relationships with those who do not belong to his faith, even though they do not openly oppose his new faith.

Blood relatives, in particular, still have rights over the new Muslim convert. Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that Asmaa bint Abi Bakr came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “My mother is coming [from Makkah] and wishes to see me although she is a polytheist. Shall I keep ties with her?” He replied, “Yes, keep ties with your mother.” Allah says in the Quran, “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity” (60:8).

Allah also says about non-believing parents in particular,
“But if they (the parents both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do” (31:15). Of course, the individual needs to protect his faith and if the parents are exerting undo pressure on their child, then the son/daughter may have to severe some of his ties with them. However, even then, he should try to do so in the most gracious manner.

A Muslim, by his very nature, is supposed to be grateful. The Prophet said, “The one who does not thank the people does not truly thank Allah.”  Thus, a Muslim will always remain grateful and filled with a “natural love” for his non-Muslim parents due to all the kindness and love they showed for him over the years. However, he cannot possess a “religious love” for their actions. That is, from a religious perspective, he can neither condone nor approve of their following a way other than the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Thus, he cannot have love for them for the way of life that they have chosen. Whenever there is a conflict between this natural love and religious love, the religious love must take precedence. As Allah has said, “O you who believe! Take not for supporters and helpers your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the wrongdoers. Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are the rebellious, disobedient to Allah” (9:23-24).

Thus, it is not the right of any Muslim to show any approval for their false forms of worship. Allah has guided the convert to the one and only truth and it should be his earnest desire that those close to him would also embrace the truth. While keeping cordial relations with all of those around him, the convert must be clear to himself and to others around him that he can neither approve of nor participate in any form of worship that he must now recognize as being false. A Muslim then is not allowed to celebrate Christmas, for example.  Their belief that this is a celebration of the birth of the son of God and the savior strikes at the very root of the Muslim's monotheism. A Muslim could not possibly participate in such a celebration. He also cannot wish that others enjoy such a celebration nor exchange gifts in joy for such an occasion.

Instead, he leaves the others to their forms of worship and celebration while making it very clear that participating in such practices would be nothing short of a compromise and contradiction of his new faith. With a calm and clear explanation, it would be hoped that those around him would respect and accept his decision to remain away from such religious practices that are not consistent with his new faith.

Part of keeping ties with one's relatives would include visiting them. Especially if part of the intention behind the visit is to allow one's relatives to see a Muslim and learn true information about Islam, there is no question that such visiting is sanctioned. The Prophet visited his polytheist uncle Abu Taalib while he was ill  as well as a young Jewish boy who was on his deathbed.  He would accept their invitations for meals. In fact, it is even confirmed that the Prophet visited Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salool on his deathbed, even though the Prophet knew that Abdullah was the leader of the hypocrites and an opponent of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

There are obviously some limits to what types of visits and what activities a Muslim can participate in. Among the common issues that arises for new converts is that of attending the funerals of deceased relatives. Based on reports from early Muslim scholars, the Muslim does pay his condolences to the family and is present during that time but remains distant from the specific acts of the funeral process, especially anything of a religious overtone.

The obvious goal is to remain away from any act that may contradict the Islamic faith in any way. When Ali's father Abu Taalib died as a non-Muslim, the Prophet told him to go and burry his father. Ali then did so.  There is also a report that ibn Abbaas, the Companion of the Prophet, was asked about a Muslim whose Christian father had died and he replied, “He should attend and bury him.”

When offering condolences to non-Muslims, one may wish them well, hoping that nothing but good reaches them and encouraging them to be patient. It is not allowed to seek forgiveness for those who, it is known, died while outside of the fold of Islam. Such has been prohibited in the Quran. Allah says, “It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's Forgiveness for the polytheists and idolaters, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)” (9:113).


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