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 The Special Rewards and Circumstances for the Convert

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

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مُساهمةموضوع: The Special Rewards and Circumstances for the Convert   The Special Rewards and Circumstances for the Convert Emptyالخميس 20 يوليو 2017, 8:04 am

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The Special Rewards and Circumstances for the Convert
There are some statements of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that demonstrate that there are some special rewards and circumstances for the Muslim convert.

In general, an individual will enter Islam while his past will be filled with both good and evil deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has explained what will happen to the individual with respect to those previous deeds.

Al-Bukhari records in his collection of authentic hadith: Hakeem ibn Hizaam said, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think about the acts of worship I used to perform in the pre-Islamic days of freeing slaves, keeping the ties of kinship and giving in charity? Will I receive any reward for that?” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told him, “You have embraced Islam upon what good you had in the past.”

One interpretation of this hadith is that the individual will be rewarded for the good that he did in the past and this reward is due to his embracing of Islam. It must be noted, though, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not explicitly tell him that he will be rewarded for those actions that he did before becoming a Muslim. In order for a deed to be acceptable to Allah, it must be done with the proper intention of pleasing Allah and with the certainty that it is correct according to Allah’s laws. These two conditions, obviously, are generally missing when discussing the deeds of disbelievers.
Hence, others interpret this hadith in different ways.

One explanation is that those good deeds have developed a good character in the person and demonstrates a leaning toward doing good that he will greatly benefit from by now being a Muslim. This tendency toward doing good may have been what led him to Islam. In fact, it may have been because of those deeds that Allah blessed him by guiding him to Islam. The hadith may also mean that the person will still be rewarded for those deeds but in this world. 

This is part of the great mercy and justice of Islam that He does not allow any good deed to go unrewarded. Although such good deeds done by non-Muslims may not meet the conditions of being rewarded by Allah in the Hereafter, Allah does not ignore them and gives to such unbelievers in this life. Hence, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The disbeliever is rewarded in this life by provisions for what he has done of good deeds.”

However, there is yet another statement of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that clearly states that if a person converts to Islam and does his best to complete and perfect his faith, he will indeed be rewarded for the deeds that he performed before becoming a Muslim. This seems to be a special bounty that Allah has chosen to bestow upon such people and Allah bestows His bounty upon whom He wills. The text of this hadith reads: “If a servant accepts Islam and completes his Islam, Allah will record for him every good deed that he performed before [his Islam] and Allah will erase for him every evil deed that he did before [his Islam]. Then everything after that will be according to a retribution. For every good deed, he will be recorded ten-fold up to seven hundred fold. And for every evil deed he will be recorded similarly [one] for it, unless Allah overlooks that for him.”

This hadith shows that a person will be rewarded for the good deeds that he performed before becoming Muslim. His evil deeds will also be erased after becoming Muslim. However, this is conditional. This is conditional upon the fact that he perfects or completes his Islam. That is, it is conditional that he remain away from the evil deeds after he becomes a Muslim.

This understanding is further supported by a hadith in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim in which ibn Masood asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) if they were to be held accountable for the deeds that they performed in pre-Islamic times. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told him, “As for the one of you who excels in Islam, he will not be held accountable for it. As for the one who does evil [with respect to his Islam], he shall be held accountable for what he did in pre-Islamic times as well as in Islam.”

There is also a hadith in Musnad Ahmad which states, while the Prophet (peace be upon him) was speaking to Amr ibn al-As, “O Amr, didn’t you know that Islam wipes away all of the sins that one performed before it.”  This hadith must be understood in the light of the previously mentioned hadith: if a person completes his Islam and excels in Islam, then all of his previous sins will be erased and overlooked. Otherwise, if he continues to perform such evil acts in Islam, his previous acts will not be overlooked.  However, this only applies to sins and evil deeds with respect to Allah. It does not include obligations that one still has to fulfill, such as debts or crimes that one may be punished for in this world.

Furthermore, there is even a stronger passage in the Quran. Allah says, “And those who do not invoke any other god along with Allah, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (25:68-70).

Some scholars feel that that verse implies that previous evil deeds will be turned into good deeds. However, some say that it means that the person will then do good deeds in this life. Yet others say that it means that in the Hereafter the evil deeds will be transformed and the person will be rewarded for them due to the worry and remorse that he suffered because of them after becoming a Muslim.

In sum, the new Muslim convert is facing a very great opportunity. He is being given the opportunity to have all of his previous ills and sins immediately cancelled while possibly still being rewarded for good that he did before embracing Islam. This is part of Allah’s grace and mercy. It is conditional though. The convert must take his Islam seriously, practice it properly and be a true Muslim while keeping himself from falling into the evils that he practiced before becoming a Muslim. If he somehow allows himself to fall back into his evil practices of old, he then loses a great opportunity that Allah has graciously offered him.

Finally, there is a verse in the Quran and another hadith that deals specifically with the members of the People of the Book who convert to Islam. These people believed in earlier books and earlier prophets and then took the further necessary step of also believing wholeheartedly in the final prophet and book that their own prophets and books alluded to. Allah says about them, “And indeed now We have conveyed the Word, in order that they may receive admonition. Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, - they believe in it (the Quran). And when it is recited to them, they say: ‘We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from those who submit themselves to Allah as Muslims.’  These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them” (28:51-54).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said, “There are three who will receive their rewards twice. [One of them is] a believer from the People of the Book who believed in his prophet and then also believed in Muhammad. He will receive two rewards…”

A Convert’s Wealth Earned Prior to Islam
When a non-Muslim embraces Islam, it is very likely that some portion of his wealth has come from sources that Islam considers illegitimate. For example, the convert could have money that resulted from interest-bearing transactions and investment, selling or serving alcohol and so on. What should the new Muslim then do with such wealth that is already in his possession?

The general rule is that any wealth that one has in one's possession at the time of conversion remains the property of the convert regardless of how that wealth was gained, as long as it was gained in a legal fashion according to the laws the convert was living by. The individual is not held responsible for his lack of applying Islamic principles prior to his conversion. Thus, for example, Allah says, “Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past” (2:275). This verse demonstrates that Allah overlooks the actions that one performs before the rulings reach him and he is obligated to follow such regulations.

Numerous people embraced Islam during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) yet there is no record of him asking any of them about the wealth in their possession and how they obtained such wealth.

Indeed, even marriages that took place before the conversion were not questioned or examined to see if their contracts met the Islamic standards. In fact, there are various reports that demonstrate that the Prophet explicitly approved of the converts keeping the wealth in their possession. Actually, the person earned such wealth believing that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. Hence, they are allowed to keep such wealth. Their case is different from a Muslim who knowingly deals in alcohol, for example. Such a Muslim, even after repenting from such an act, is not to keep that ill-earned wealth.

However, the situation is different if the convert has, at the time of his conversion, not yet received money that is from a source that Islam considers illegitimate. For example, the individual could have sold and delivered someone alcohol on July 1 but the agreement between them is that he is not to be paid until December 1. In the meantime, say in September, the one who sold the alcohol converts to Islam. It is possible to look at this and say that since the contract was concluded before his conversion, he is still entitled to this money, as this is wealth he earned before becoming Muslim.

However, the majority of the scholars state that he no longer has the right to that money. They quote, “Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past” (2:275) once again. Now, the admonition has come to him and he can only keep what he received earlier and must forego anything additional. Allah also says, “If you repent, you shall have your principle” (2:279). Thus, for example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) abolished all of the interest-bearing agreements during a speech in Makkah after many people had just embraced Islam. Hence, although those contracts were concluded before they had embraced Islam, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) clearly voided the forbidden aspect of the contract.

In sum, once an individual embraces Islam he should from that moment on forego and not accept any wealth that is earned through forbidden means, regardless of whether the contract for that wealth took place before his conversion. Actually, now the individual should believe that such money is forbidden and therefore he himself should no longer wish to receive it or benefit from it. Given the nature of contracts nowadays, he may not be able to cancel the contract. If he is forced to receive such money, he should give it away and free himself from it. (Many mosques have specific accounts for monies received through illegitimate means but which one is forced to receive, such as interest on deposits, and will use that money is very specific ways as recommended by the scholars).


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