48 Intoxicants and Gambling

When man becomes sunk in sinning, he begins to delude himself with self-deceiving arguments in favour of his conduct, justifying his actions as being within the law. He argues that liquor and gambling are not forbidden in the Holy Qiir'an. But the Qur'an speaks vehemently against these thing~.

They ask thee (O Our Apostle Muhammad) concerning wine and lots (games of chance); Say, in both these is great sin and also (some) profit for men; but their sin is greater than their profit. And they will ask thee (O Our Apostle Muhammad) what they shall spend (in alms);Say, "whatsoever can be spared"; thus doth God make clear for you the signs so that ye may ponder. (2:219)

O ye who believe! Intoxicants and games of chance, (dedications of) stones (ie. idols) and (divination by) arrows, are only an abomination of Satan's handiwork, so be ye away from it so that ye may be successful (5:90)

49 Niggardliness

A niggardly person regards only himself. Whatever he owns he will leave in this world and will leave it without spending his wealth in the right way and thus without earning good in the afterlife.

He who is niggardly is verily niggardly to his own self (47:38)

For God says:

Never shall ye attain to righteousness until ye give away (in the way of your Lord) of what ye love; and of whatsoever ye give, verily God knoweth it (3:91)

50 Behaviour Towards Parents

And thy Lord hath commanded that thou worship not (anyone) but Him, and show goodness to parents; if either or both of them reach old age with thee, utter not unto them (even so much a) "Fie", nor chide them, and speak unto them a generous word (17:23)

And We did enjoin upon man concerning his parents; his mother beareth him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning taketh two years (and) saying: "Be thou grateful unto Me and unto thy parents." (31:14)

51 Usury or Charging Interest on any Lending

Those who swallow interest will not (be able to) stand (in the Resurrection) except as standeth one whom Satan hath confounded with his touch; this because they say trade is only like (earning) interest, whereas God hath decreed trade lawful and hath forbidden interest, wherefore whosoever (after) the admonition hath come unto him from His Lord, if he desists, shall have what hath gone before; and his affair rests with God; and whoever returneth (to in even after the admonition), they are the inmates of the fire (hell), therein shall they abide. (2:275)

52 Life of This World

Verily the life of this World is only an idle sport and play. (47:36). See also 6:32, 29:64, 57:20

53 No One Knows where He will Breathe His Last

Verily, God is He with Whom is the knowledge of the Hour and He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth He what is in the womb. And knoweth not any soul what he shall earn on the morrow; and knoweth not any soul in what land he will die. Verily God is All-Knowing, All- Aware. (31:34)

54 Khatan: Circumcision

Circumcision in Islam is a tradition which is compulsory. Its origin lies in the time of Abraham, and was the token of Abraham's Everlasting Covenant with the Lord. It is said that the Holy Prophet and all the Holy 'mains of his House, the Ahlul- Bait, were circumcised. Older converts such as the earliest companions of the Holy Prophet were not circumcised and it was not insisted on for them.

Abraham:

This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you and thy seed after thee: Every man child among you shall be circumcised And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant between me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money to any stranger, which is not of thy seed. (Old Testament, Genesis 17:lO-13)

Isaac:

And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. (Genesis 21:4)

Jesus:

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (New Testament, Luke 2:21)

55 Following the crowd blindly

Man is warned against following the crowd and being influenced by numbers:

Indeed We have created for hell many of the jinn and the men; They have hearts (but) they understand not with them; they have eyes (but) they see not with them; and they have ears (but) they hear not with them; they are like cattle, nay, more astray; These are they, the heedless ones. (7:179)

56 Misappropriating the Property of Orphans

And give unto orphans their property, and substitute not (your) worthless things for (their) good ones, and devour not ye their property along with your own; for verily it is a great crime. (4:2)

Verily, those who eat away the properties of orphans unjustly, they swallow (only) fire into their bellies and anon shall they enter the blazing Hell-fire. (4:10)

57 Repel Evil with What is Best

Man should as far as possible be good and do good, and if any one does evil, return evil with that which is best. The best, a very comprehensive term, meaning as well as the situation demands.

And equals cannot be the good and the evil Repel thou (evil) with what is the best, when lo ! he between whom with thee there was enmity, shall be as though he were a warm friend. (41:34)

The best example of some one returning good for evil is seen in Amirul-Momineen Ali ibne Abi Taleb, who having commanded a drink to be brought to him immediately after being mortally wounded by Abdur-Rahman ibne Muljim, served it first to his assassin. Many similar examples exist in the glorious lives of the Holy 'mains, and even of their devotees.

58 Mischief is Graver than Murder

Mischief is more grievous than murder. (2:217)

59 Merciful Pardon in response to Sincere

Repentance Promised

Islam, while warning against the false belief in vicarious atonement, preaches the hope of a sure and merciful pardon by the All-Merciful Lord where there is sincere repentance, and so encourages man to forsake his evil ways and return to righteousness:

Say thou (O Our Apostle Muhammad), "O My servants who have been extravagant unto their own selves, despair ye not of the mercy of God; verily God forgiveth sins all together; verily He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (39:53)

60 Every One's Actions are Being Watched

And say thou (unto them), "Act ye as ye wil4 God beholdeth your deeds, and His Apostle and the believers and then ye shall be brought back to the Knower of the hidden and the manifest." (9:105)

The Omnipresence of God is indisputable, and the presence of the Holy Prophet is definitely declared But who else can be the Believers other than those who were purified by the Lord Himself ie. the Holy Ahlul-Bait? (33:33)

The above verse declares that, in every age, there will be a Believer (a member of the Ahlul-Bait), the Imam of the age. As it has been declared by the Holy Prophet:

Man Maata walam ya'rif Imama Zamaanihi faqad Maatameetatul jahiliah ("He who dieth without knowing the Imam of his age, hath died the death of the age of ignorance (as did Abu Jehaland Abu Lahab and the others of his kind.")

REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES RESULTING FROM THE Qur'anIC TEACHINGS

The wonderful transformation that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the Last Apostle of God, so successfully effected within the short span of only twenty-three years of his apostolic mission is, in itself, the mightiest of the miracles the world had ever witnessed. He successfully attacked every problem of wild barbarism and chronic paganism which prevailed at the time of his advent, and established a godly life of superb virtues through these changes:

1 Humanity was united under One God. 2 A death blow was dealt to the misconceptions about multiple deities. 3 All apostles of God were declared to be equally truthful, holy and sinless. Thus the Brotherhood of Religions was established. 4 Respect for the leaders of the other faiths was enjoined. 5 The truthfulness of all heavenly scriptures was declared, and respect and regard for all heavenly scriptures was ordained. 6 All kinds of worship of creatures other than the Creator was strictly prohibited. 7 All man-made distinctions of caste, colour and birth were eliminated. 8 Compulsory and regular congregational prayers (daily, weekly, and at other fixed times),

with the annual rehearsal of the Human Brotherhood at Haj, were prescribed and firmly established. 9 Uniform methods of prayer at fixed times, with the text of the verbal supplication to be recited, were prescribed to be strictly followed. 10 Idolatry of every kind was strictly prohibited and banned. 11 The rights of men and women were prescribed in detail and were effectively enforced. 12 The minimum amount of regulated charity was made compulsory. 13 Celibacy was condemned; marriage was encouraged and wedlock honoured. 14 The ways of a godly life in the world were demonstrated with practical examples to be followed.

15 Women were honoured; marriage was sanctified; parental rights were prescribed; widow marriage was legalised and commended. 16 Unlimited marriages and the institution of concubinage or having an unlimited number of wives was stopped and controlled. 17 Polygamy as a curative measure was made strictly conditional subject to a perfect equality among wives. 18 Women were given equal opportunity for spiritual elevation along with men. 19 The burial of female babies was stopped.

The value of daughters was made equal to that of sons. 20 Sobriety and temperance were ordained. The use of all intoxicants was strictly prohibited. 21 Distribution of property was prescribed in detail and strictly enforced. 22 Places of worship were declared open to all worshippers, without any monopoly for any individual or community. 23 Nude dances were stopped. Modest dressing was prescribed. 24 Seeking of knowledge was made compulsory for both men and women. Scholarship was encouraged and scholars honoured. 25 Gambling and all games of chance were declared to be crimes. 26 Adultery was declared to be the most abhorrent and the most severely punishable crime.

27 Slavery was abolished in the most practical and peaceful way. 28 The law of 'Maktabah' to help slaves to become liberated was enforced. 29 Usury was strictly prohibited. Lending without interest was highly commended. 30 A socialistic pattern of society was established through a commonwealth called 'Bait-ul-mal'. 31 The accumulation of wealth was controlled through the Laws of Inheritance and by an annual tax at a prescribed rate. 32 The hoarding of food grains and other foodstuffs was declared to be a punishable crime. 33 The just and correct use of weights and measured was ordered. 34 Cleanliness of body, thought, conduct and character was mandatory.

35 The varieties of food and drinks, and the limits of eating and drinking, were controlled.

36 Strictly regulated fisting was prescribed and made compulsory.

37 The protection and help of travelers was made obligatory and highly commended.

38 Patronage of orphans and the destitute was declared to be one of the great virtues.

**39 Forced conversion was prohibited.

40 People were given freedom to choose their own faith.**

These most ancient and basic works on Islam do not reveal any mention of Tahreef-Makani, or any addition to or subtraction from the present version of the Holy Qur'an which is in our hands. The only mention found in these basic authorities concerns Taweel (interpretation). In the Tenth Volume of the Biharul-Awar of Mullah Baqir Mujlisi, there is a discussion between Abdullah ibne Abbas and Ma'aviah. Ibne Abbas, in answering Amir Sham, who had commanded that praising Ali and the Ahlul-Bait be discontinued, does not speak of any distortion or misarrangement of the verses of the Holy Qur'an,

or of any addition or subtraction, but he questions Ma'aviah, challenging him on the interpretation of the verses of the Qur'an which expressly speak of Ali and the Ahlul-Bait. This is another clear evidence that the present Qur'an is the same collection as was made in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet at his command, and was the collection that was with Ameerul-Mo'mineen Ali ibne Abi Taleb, with the special explanatory notes from the Holy Prophet and by himself regarding the external as well as the internal meaning of the Word of God.

ONE OF THE MYSTERIES

One of the wonderful mysteries about the personalities of Muhammad, the A-c of God, his daughter Fatema, the Lady of Light, and the Eleven of the Twelve chosen successors (imams) from Ali-al-Murtaza to Hasan-Al-askari, is that all of them were martyred and none of the Holy Fourteen had had any education; and yet they were the fountainhead of a wonderful, divinely-inspired knowledge and were unequalled by any other than those of their own holy group.

Imam Hasan-al-Askari, the 11th Imam, was martyred in 260 A.H. The Abbasid Caliph Mo'tmad sent his men to kill the 12th Imam who, under divine inspiration, took shelter in the cave at 'Surra manra' and disappeared. Many great Sunni Scholars have also accepted this incident, namely:

1 Mullah Jami in his Shawahidun-Nubwwa

2 Abdul-Wahab Sha'rani in his Lawahaqul-Answar and in his Alyawa queet-Wal-Jawahir

3 Shaik-e-Akbar, Mohieddin ibne-Arabi, in his Futuhate- Makkiah

4 Khaja Parsa in Faslul-Khitab

5 Abdul Huq Mohaddis Dehlavi in A'immatul-At'har

6 Jamaluddin Mohaddith in his raudzatul-ahbab

7 Abu-Ahdullah Shami, author of Kifayatul-Tibyan-Fi- Akbare-Sahebuz-Zaman

8 Sibt-ibne-Jawzi in his Tizkirae-Khawasal-Umma

9 lbne-Sabbagh Nuruddin Ali Maleki in his Fusoolul- Muhimma

10 Kamaluddin-bin Talha Shafayi in his Matalebus-Su'ool

11 Shah Valiullah in his Fazlul-Mubeen

12 Shaik Sulaiman Hanafi in his Yanabiul Mo'addah

About the indefinite and extraordinary length of life granted to the 12th Imam, the great scholars have said that, when Muslims believe in the life of the holy prophets Jesus, Khizr, Idris and even the Dajjal, why should people wonder about the life of a Divine?

The Abbasid Caliphs

Until the Omayyids, there was one Caliph (Ruler) for the whole of the Muslim Empire, but with the start of the Abbasid Caliphate, the Spanish territory did not acknowledge the Abbasid rulers. Abdur-Rahman had established his hold on Spain, competing with the pomp and show of the Abbasid Court. The African positions were under different rebel heads. Thus, with the start of the Abbasid rule, there were many separate rulers in various parts of the Muslim Empire, each claiming to be the Caliph or the rightful successor of the Apostle of GOCL Thus the word, "Caliphate" and the title "Caliph" became openly identical with rulers of the Muslim States, but the people still considered the Caliphs as, not only their political lords, but as their supreme spiritual leaders. The Shias, the followers of Ali, though subjected to the most miserable persecution and painful torture, were always with the Holy Imams who were the source of spiritual knowledge.

The Abbasids, though related to Ali, as the issue of Abbas, the uncle of the Holy Prophet, were hostile to the family of Ali and Fatema.

The Abbasids ruled as kings until 656 A.H., when Mo'tasim, son of Mustansar, was killed by the Mongol King Halako, and thus the Caliphate at Baghdad came to an end. But one of the sons of Tahirbillah fled to Egypt and started a dynasty which ruled until 1517 ~D when Sultan Salim of Turkey conquered Egypt and founded the Ottoman Caliphate in Turkey which continued until 1922 A.D., when Mustafa Kamal Ataturk abolished it altogether. From that time there has been no Caliph. Thus the Caliphate 'started by man was abolished by man, while the Imamat, or the divinely commissioned succession from the Holy Prophet, continued and was acknowledged by the Muslim world as the Golden Chain of the divinely commissioned and sinless guides and Imams, guardians of the Holy Qur'an and its correct interpretation, and perfect models of Islamic practice.