Some Truths of Islam

1 The Whole Humanity is One Family

There could be no means for uniting mankind into one single brotherhood than by convincing them that all mankind is one family, children of the same parents.

Mankind was but one people; and God sent apostles as bearers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Book with the Truth that it might judge between men in that wherein they differed; and none differed therein; but those very (people) to whom it was given, after clear signs had come unto them, did revolt among themselves; whereupon God guided those who believed, by His Will, regarding that which the people differed about the Truth, and verily God guideth whomsoever He willeth to the Right Path. (2:213)

Besides this, there are other verses which declare that men and women were created from one single self It can easily be imagined how far the belief in the truth about the unity of the human race would go to sublimate the animal nature in man, to create in him the feliow4eeling for others of his kind and thereby establish a human brotherhood on earth. Unfortunately, in the West, the Christian world, there is racism, and in the East our Hindu brothers observe the caste system. The Holy Qur'an declares the unity of the human race and Islam lays great stress upon this truth.

2 The Mystery of the Individual Differences and the Unity of Purpose

Though man has been given physical and mental faculties necessary for his life and progress, not all men are gifted in equal measure. Some have certain gifts which others do not have. Some excel in physical strength while others are gifted with great mental powers. People differ in the level of intelligence and aptitude. Some are gifted writers, some are convincing orators, some are wonderful artists and some are enchanting poets, some are inventive scientists or mathematicians, and some are powerful administrators.

These are gifts of the Omnipotent Creator, intuitive mysteries with which the nature of man is endowed. The fact Seems clear that the members of the human race were destined to be dependent upon each other. If all had been endowed with exactly the same gifts, people would not have needed the help of each other and there would have been no social life upon earth. As man needs his fellow men, he also needs some one with special gifts to explain the very mystery of his life, the way to live, and life in the hereafter. Only those informed by the Creator Himself and chosen for this purpose fulfil this function, and they are the Apostles of God and the Imams (Guides).

3 From God alone can come Guidance

Man could not create himself He was created by a Self-Existing Sovereign Power, and Omnipotent Independent Authority. He was brought into an already-Existing world. Left to himself he could never have been able to guide himself. The ever-Extending universe with its astonishing energies, functioning in perfect harmony, indicates the causative will which is Omnipotent and All-Wise and with purpose. The knowledge of the purpose of creation is essential to man if he is to adjust himself to the harmony of his environment, talk from it and giving to it in return. Of the purpose in the creation of the universe, the Holy Qur'an says:

Thou who remember God, standing, sitting and reclining on their sides, think (seriously) of the creation of heaven and earth; saying, "O Our Lord! Thou hast not created (all) this in vain! Glory be to Thee! Save us then from the torment of the fire (Hell)." (3:190)

4 All Man-made distinctions annihilated

Islam demands the end of all man-made distinctions in human society. Such distinctions of caste, colour, community and race were outlawed in the declaration:

o ye people! Verily We have created you of a male and a female, and made you in nations and tribes, that ye may recognise each other; Verily the most honoured of you with God is the one of you who guardeth (himself) the most (against evil), verily God is the All-Knowing, the All-Aware. (49:13) The above declaration Clearly states that the distribution of the human family into tribes and families is only for identification, and the distinction within the human race shall be based only on the degree of piety and personal excellence of each individual, man or woman. 5 The Sources of Knowledge: man specially equipped Man has been blessed with special powers and faculties which no other creature on earth owns. But, like other animals, man has eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Through these doorways man acquires knowledge of the sensual world.

But man has the gift of special intellect by which he can ponder the mystery of life, choose his own way of life, and his welfare or perdition in the life hereafter. if man controls his sensual nature by the use of the great gift of conscience and reasoning he will succeed; if he allows his conscience to be ruled by degrading sensual forces, he will lose the game of life. This is the Test. 6 God is Nearest to Everything Man is warned that God is nearest to man, nearer thin his own Life-Vein:

And indeed We created man, and know We whatever thoughts whispereth he unto himself and We are nearer to him than his very life-vein. (50:16) 7 Man directed to seek the medium to reach the Lord O ye who believe! Fear ye God! And seek ye the medium of approach until Him. (5:35) 8 No Compulsion to Faith Since the Truth has been clearly revealed against falsehood, through the Holy Qur'an, Islam has sounded an open warning against compulsion to faith: No compulsion be in religion; Indeed truth has been made manifestly distinct from error; therefore he who disbelieveth the rebels (false deities) and believeth in God hath indeed laid hold on the strongest handle which cannot be broken; and verily God is All-Hearing, All- Knowing. (2:256)

9 Good and Evil promised to be Individually

Rewarded and Punished

Islam charges every individual man and woman with personal responsibility to make his or her own way to heaven or hell by being good and doing good, or by being evil and doing evil in this life. Life on earth has been said to be the season for cultivation of the life hereafter. As one sows here so shall one reap in the hereafter, in the life after death. As the right way to eternal bliss has been clearly shown, all have been warned through the following about the Day of Final Judgment:

On that day shall come out people (from their graves) in groups to be shown their (own) deeds. (99:6)

Then he who hath done an atom-weight of good shall see It. (99:7)

And he who hath done an atom-weight of evil shall see it. (99:8)

From this comes great encouragement to do good and to shun evil.

10 No Physical Eye can ever see God

Vision perceiveth Him not, and He perceiveth (all) vision; He is the Subtle, the All-Aware. (6:104) Hence, it is impossible to see God in Person at any time in this life or in the next.

11 The Word of the Holy Prophet is Final

And it is not for a believer, man or woman, to have any choice in a matter when God and His Apostle have decided the matter; and whoever disobeyeth God and His Apostle, indeed he hath truly gone astray. (33:36)

12 Speaking ill of the Holy Prophet

Those who speak ill of or hurt the Holy Prophet by acting against his will or command, or by hurting the Holy Ones or killing their issue, the Ahlul-Bait, the Holy Imams and their devotees shall be punished:

Surely those who hurt God and His apostle, God hath cursed them in this world and hereafter and he hath prepared for them a terrible chastisement

13 The importance of the Choice of a Leader

On the Day of Judgment every one will be called, along with his Imam, the leader whom he has followed in his life: Remember the Day (of Judgment) when We will summon every people with their Imam (leader); then whosoever is given his book in his right hand, these shall read books (with pleasure), and they shall not be dealt with in the slightest unjustly. (17:71)

who will be better than the Holy Ahlul-Bait whom God Himself purified (33:33)? The Imam is he who embraces all things. The Holy Prophet declared: "Ana Madeenatul wa Alliyyun Babuha." ("I am the City of Knowledge and Ali its Gate") Ali is the Gate of the City of Knowledge and the ever-triumphant Lion of God, a distinction held by Ali and by none other.

14 The Identification of a Genuine Heavenly Guide

If a man sincerely seeks the help of his Creator Lord to find a genuine heavenly guide, there is the Holy Qur'an, God's final word, to help him. It is the declared promise of the All-Merciful Lord to show the right way to those who seek him. The first condition is sincerity in seeking the divine help:

And those who strive hard for Us, certainly will We guide them in Our ways; and verily God is (always) with those who do good. (29:69) Say thou (O Our Apostle Muhammad!), "Of your associates is there any one who can guide unto truth?" Say thou, 'It is God alone Who guideth unto truth; Is then He Who guideth unto truth more worthy to be followed or he who himself goeth not aright unless he be guided? What then hath befallen you? How (ill) ye judge?" (10:35)

What! Is he who goeth along grovelling on his face better guided, or he who walketh upright upon the straight path?" (67:22)

Thus a genuine heavenly guide is he who never needs any education or guidance from any mortal in this world. He is sent into the world divinely conditioned with guidance as were all the apostles from God, the Last one of them the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the holy Thirteen of his godly family, ie. the Twelve Holy Imams and the Holy Lady of Light Fatema Zahra (the only daughter of the Holy Prophet, who was the wife of the first Holy Imam Ali ibne Abi Taleb, and the "mother?' of the other Eleven Holy Ones.)

15 Blind Following

Professing a creed, blindly following a crowd, or joining any religious order for any material benefit is quite different from adopting a faith with genuine conviction, knowing the truth therein after a thorough study of its fundamentals and reasoning them out against counter-arguments. Islam discourages any blind following, and abhors the exploitation of the ignorance of poor illiterates among the poverty-stricken masses of the slums, and is vehemently opposed to attracting any one or bribing any one with promises of material benefits or social or economic progress in order to swell the ranks of its adherents.

The only aim of Islam is to educate the members of the human family with the truth about the Absolute Sovereignty of the Only True God and the need for every creature to submit voluntarily to the All- Supreme Authority of the Creator Lord of the universe. Islam invites every awakened mind of the human world to a serious study of the mystery of the creation of life, the truth about the Omnipotent Originator, so that people may raise themselves from the abyss of material degradation and ascend to the heavenly heights of eternal spiritual bliss. Islam accepts only the independent judgment of the individual without coercion or pressure of any kind other than that of his own conscience.

16 Man charged with Personal Responsibility for being Guided Aright

Man had been deluded by the false belief in an unconditional escape from punishment for his wickedness by supposed atonement through man-made gods and goddesses. Islam dealt a death blow to such false imagination which allowed people to act without restraint in confidence of redemption. Islam charges man with the personal and individual responsibility for holding the right and correct faith and bearing his own burdens.

whosoever getteth guided aright, verily he getteth guided aright for his own self and he who goeth astray, verily he goeth astray against his own self nor shall the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another; And we chastise not (any people) until We raise an apostle (among them). (17:15)

And no bearer shall bear the burden of another; and if the heavy4aden one should cry for (another bearer to carry) its burden, (even) aught of it shall not be carried, and even if he be near of kin; Thou canst but warn those who fear their Lord unseen and keep up regular prayer; And whosoever purifieth (himself), he only purifieth for his own self And unto God (alone) is the destination (of all). (35:18)

17 The Individual Liberty or Freedom of Choice announced

Having shown the right way against the wrong one, every human soul has been given the freedom of choosing his own way to the life hereafter: Verily have We shown him the (Right) way, be he grateful or ungrateful (76:3)

Let those who blindly criticise Islam and its Holy Founder, attributing compulsion to the spread of the Qur'anic faith, dispassionately and impartially judge, in view of the above Qur'anic declaration and also verse 2:256 whether there be any room for doubt about the mission of the Holy Teacher.

18 The Individual and Personal Responsibility of every man and woman

Islam charges man with the individual responsibility to take the right path on earth, declaring that whatever a soul does, be it good or evil, it is for or against the soul itself:

whosoever getteth guided aright, verily he getteth guided aright for his own self and he who goeth astray, verily he goeth astray against his own self nor shall the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another; And we chastise not (any people) until We raise an apostle (among them). (17:15)

Whosoever doeth good, it is for his own self and whosoever doeth evil, it is against it; and thy Lord is not unjust unto the servants. (41:46)

whoever doeth good, it is for his own self and whoever doeth evil, it is against his own self then unto your Lord ye shall be returned (45:15)

19 The Qur'anic Formula for Following the Right

In a single sentence, the Holy Qur'an gives man the formula for a sure way to follow the Right path:

No compulsion be in religion; Indeed truth has been made manifestly distinct from error; therefore he who disbelieveth the rebels (false deities) and believeth in God hath indeed laid hold on the strongest handle which cannot be broken; and verily God is All-Hearing, All- Knowing. (2:256)

20 The Decree of the Holy Imam

The decree of the Masoom (the Sixth Holy 'main) with regard to Ijtehad is not the only tradition; there are, in fact, many undisputed traditions from other Imams establishing the institution of Ijtehad, prescribing the minutest details of its functioning, a brief outline of which is given below.

The decree of the Holy Imam is as follows:

Ammo Hawadisal Waqi'aat, Far 'jeoo ila ruwate Ahadeesenafa innahom hujati alaikum Wa ana Hujjatullah ("In all the events of life, refer ye to those who bear our traditions, they are the authority over you on my behalf and I am the authority on behalf of God.")

of the many declarations of the other Imams, two are outstanding. One is from Hazrate Imam Jafar ibne Muhammad As-Sadiq, known as the Maqool-el-Omar-bin Hanzala (the tradition of Omar ibne Hanzala); the other is from the Eleventh Holy Imam Husain al-Askari.

21 Taqleed

The best protection afforded to Shiaism against raids by Satan and his disciple missionaries is the ordinance about Taqleed (16:43), or to abide always by the A'li or the most learned one called the Mujtahid. This course always guides one to the right practice of the faith and protects him from committing any excesses and from onslaughts by Satanic forces.

Taqleed has also been misinterpreted in the innovation of the Mureeds with blind following of the Pirs. Be it known that being guided by a Mujtahid in practice of the faith has nothing in common with this blind following. Taqleed is used only of scholars who have reached the level of Itjehad (the ability to interpret the Holy Qur'an and the genuine traditions of the Holy Prophet). In matters of doubt about the practice of the faith, Furu-e-Deen or articles of faith Usool-e-Deen, following any one else is Haram (prohibited). For not every one can be expected to know all the minute details about the practice of the faith or correctly interpret the Holy Qur'an, the Hadith and the sayings of the Holy Prophet.

The highest authority in knowledge and piety need only be followed in the case of Fatwa or concerning the law; for the application of the law, to follow the Ijtehad is sufficient. Shiaism, the Islam-Original, has sounded a caution against the ruinous effects of unqualified administration of justice. The following is the decree of the Sixth Holy Imam, Jafar ibne Muhammad As-Sadiq, the Regulator of the Shia faith:

Any one who takes this seat, save a Prophet of God, or the Successor to the prophet, is an evil one.

This declaration warns that any unqualified one (lacking the authority from the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imam) who assumes the seat of Qaza'at (Justice) will be none but the evil one. Thus a Qazi (judge) must be a Mujtahid, qualified under the this declaration. While condemning the yielding to the rule of Taghoot, ie. authority without divine sanction, the Sixth Holy Imam said that, instead of submitting to such a tyrant, the people must seek the greatest scholar, who knows the traditions, the sanctions, the prohibitions and the rulings and accept him as Judge and Ruler. If he gives a ruling which is unacceptable, it will be an offence against God's Sovereignty, which is almost a Shirk (recognition of an authority other than God's.)

The definition and requirements of Ijtehad and Taqleed given below are those prescribed by the Masoom (the Twelfth Holy Imam), as ordained by the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnat which are an intrinsic part of the system of Divine Sovereignty and Absolute Theocracy within the meaning of the word "Islam", complete submission to the Absolute Sovereignty of God.

When the period of codification and consolidation of the Kitab and Sunnat was completed, the age of the Imamat serving that purpose came to an end. Thus the seclusion of the Twelfth Imam occurred, though his hidden existence continues as a link between God and His creation. The Imams declared the institution of Ijtehad as the sole directive authority on their behalf to lead men on the path of submission to God in all matters within the Kitab and Sunnat. In other words, Ijtehad and Taqleed are supplementary to Imamat, which is, in turn, supplementary to Risalat (Apostleship), which is the' manifestation of the Divine Sovereignty. There is no room for any individual view or choice, but the door is left open for any one, irrespective of race or place, to quality to the level of an Ijtehad.

22 The Definition of "Ijtehad"

Ijtehad literally means an effort to interpret and explain the divine orders, rules and regulations of the Holy Qur'an and the authentic sayings of the Holy Prophet and the apostolic Imams. It does not mean using one's discretion in the findings parallel to the Qur'an and the Sunnat. Any one who has the capacity to understand and interpret the divine laws, rules and regulations and is of outstanding learning, knowledge and piety, can be a Mujtahid. Any one who has not reached that level is a layman and must follow one who has reached that standard.

Where there are several men of equal standard, but who differ in their decisions, the layman can choose to follow any one of them, and where these Mujtahids differ in their accomplishments, the best among them should be followed. if one is better in knowledge and the other better in piety, the latter is to be followed.

In trying to find the best Mujtahid, the layman should refer to the evidence of competent and pious scholars of Islamic Theology. By the collection of these evidences, one can easily decide for himself who is the best. This is the best method used throughout history of the Niabat of the Imam after the Ghaibat There is no room for election or counting votes, nor is there any group to appoint an ecclesiastical head as in the Papal system of Christianity. Nor is it the Pin and the Mureedi practised by some sections of the Muslims as a parallel to Imamat The qualifications for Itjehad are recognised and measurable, unlike the qualifications for Piri which are neither fixed nor measurable.

It should be noted that the question of following the opinion of the best in knowledge and piety is confined to such questions in which Mujtahids differ; the question of which to follow does not arise in matters unanimously accepted by all Mujtahids.

For the administration of theological centres and other religious services, any pious Mujtahid is competent for the position, and if any pious Mujtahid offers to take on the task, another Mujtahid should not stand in his way, but should help him.

23 Mere Verbal Profession of the Faith is not Sufficient

Every one will be tried in his faith to prove to himself that his profession if bona fide:

what! Do people imagine that they will be let in by saying, "We Believe!" and they will not be fried? (29:2)

We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits; and give glad tidings to the patient ones. who, when misfortune befalleth them, say, "Verily we are God" and verily unto Him shall we return."

Those are they on whom are the blessings from their Lord and (His) Mercy; and they are the ones that are (rightly) guided (2:155-157)

24 The Real Islamic Piety Explained

To all hypocritical show of formal observance of the faith without sincerity in its practical expression, Islam has dealt a death blow in the following decree:

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards the East and the West; righteousness is rather one who believeth in God and the Last day and the angels, the Book and the Apostles, and giveth his wealth out of love for Him to the kindred and the orphans and the poor and the wayfarer and the need' and for those in bondage; and establisheth prayer and payeth the poor-rate; And those who fulfil their promise when they make a promise and the patient ones in distress and affliction and in the time of war; these are they who are the Truthful and these are they who are the pious. (2:177)

25 Man Should Always be with the Truthful Ones

Man was ordained to be always with the Truthful Ones, those who do not utter a lie. The great lie is Shirk, the belief that there is another besides God, or worshipping false deities. Who else can be the Truthful ones other than the Holy Ahlul-Bait who never in their lives bowed down to any besides God and are the ones whom God says He Himself purified (33:33).

O ye who believe! Fear ye God and be ye (always) with the Truthful ones. (9:119)

26 Taqiah

Hiding the faith, giving out a mere verbal profession to save one's life. This is a Qur'anic ordinance.

And said a man who was a Believer, from among the people of Pharaoh, who used to conceal his faith: "What! Slay ye a man for saying, 'My Lord is God" and indeed he hath brought unto you clear proofs (of his mission) from your Lord? while if he be a liar, on him will be his life; and if he be truthful, then will afflict you some of what he warneth you (with); Verily, God guideth not him who is extravagant (and a liar)." (40:28)

And there came a man from the remotest part of the city, running (and) said, "O Moses! Verily the chiefs are consulting to slay thee. Begone (from here at once)! Verily, unto thee lam of the sincere advisers." (28:20)

27 Intercession Available

Intercession for redemption against deserved punishment is available, not from false deities, but from those divinely qualified to do it:

who is he who can intercede unto Him but by His Permission? (2:255)

They shall not own intercession, save he who has made a covenant with the Beneficent God. (19:87)

On that day shall avail not intercession (of any) save (that of) whom hath permitted God, and whose word He is pleased with. (20:109)

Knoweth He what is before them and what is behind them, and they can not intercede but for him whom He approveth, and they, of His fear, tremble. (21:28)

And will avail not aught any intercession with Him save Of him whom He hath permitted (34:23)