Preludge

Eulogies and Glorifications:

Oh our Lord! It is incumbent upon us to express our thanks and gratitude to You that You have bestowed on us Your endless bounties and favors and blessed us with Your guidance to the only true religion (untainted and authentic faith enjoying the privilege of Your concurrence).

You have led us to the right path of Islamic Monotheism, made us one of the followers of the Prophet of Islam {Peace be upon Him}a , blessed us with an ardent favor to learn religion and have kindled a feeling of affection within our hearts for the people who observe religious norms in their day to- day lives. Oh our Lord! We beseech You to shower Your blessings and mercy on Your beloved Messenger {Peace be upon Him}, his family and progeny, his Companions and his successors.

We entreat you to include us too among them and give us strength to lead an Islamic way of life. Please make our ending on Islam and include our names within the list of Your obedient slaves.

Amin. (O Allah accept it)

Servant and servitude:

All the human beings are the slaves of Allah. The duty of a slave is to carry out instructions given to him and the one who shirks his responsibility is not a slave. The slavery or servitude is based on the correctness of Faith. The one whose Faith has deficiency, his service is regarded as unacceptable and whosoever is blessed with the correctness of Faith, even a small fraction of his service thus rendered is deemed creditable.

Hence, it is an obligation on every Muslim to strive to maintain his Faith (according to the exacting standards of Islamic Monotheism). Furthermore, one should accord the foremost preference to matters concerning the rectification of his Faith over the rest of the matters in his day-to-day life.

The prevalent conditions:

The present day situation is that the people have adopted different ways. Some of them pursue the traditions cherished by their forefathers, some swear by the methodologies devised by the saints, some proffer the self-proclaimed observations of the scholars as evidence whereas some merely run their own conjectures and poke their nose into the matters of religion on the pretext of using their intellect.

The best choice:

The best possible option is that we should regard Qur'an and Sunnah as a yardstick of excellence, refrain from interfering into the matters concerning the Islamic law by applying our intellect into it and must slake the thirst of our soul by resorting to these two affluents (i.e. Qur'an and Sunnah).

We must recognize the sayings of the saints, observations of the scholars and the customs observed within one's community in case the said things confirm to the standards set forth by Qur'an and Sunnah and likewise we should rejectfully shun them in case they do not.

It is not an uphill task to understand religion:

A myth which has gained much currency among the masses is that to have an understanding of Qur'an and Hadith is a difficult task for it requires a lot of knowledge and as long as we are ignorant, we can neither understand it nor we could act upon it. Only the saints and pious people possess the capability to act accordingly. This notion which is nursed by them is absolutely baseless because Allah the Exalted has stated that the verses of the Noble Qur'an are explicit and conspicuously clear as mentioned in the following verse:

{And indeed We have sent down to you manifest Ayat (verses) and none disbelieve in them but the Fasiqun (those who rebel against Allah's Command).}(V.2:99)

The above statement means that it is not difficult to understand them at all but it is difficult to act upon them as their compliance seems to be fairly hard on one's self and therefore the disobedient ones do not recognize them.

Why were the Messengers sent?

It does not require a lot of knowledge to have an understanding of Qur'an and Sunnah as the Messengers were sent to provide guidance and directions to the ignorant and the illiterates and to impart knowledge to the unlearned people as stated in one of the verses of the Noble Qur'an:

{He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His verses, purifying them and teaching them the Book and Al-Hikmah (legal ways). And verily, they had been before in manfest error.}(V.62:2)

This is one of the great bounties of Allah that He deputed such a Prophet who taught the unlearned, purified the impure, imparted knowledge to the ignorant, wisdom to the unwise and guidance to the delinquent.

Even after grasping the import of this verse, if some one still insists that it is the job of the learned to comprehend Qur'an, and the great saints to act upon it's teachings, it only tantamount to rejecting the above noted Qur'anic verse and depreciating this grand bounty of Allah. The fact is that by acquiring an understanding of the above, the ignorant persons become the learned ones and the delinquent ones turn into scholars by acting upon the teachings transcribed therein.

An instance of a physician and a sick person:

To elaborate it hypothetically, let us assume that on one hand we have an expert and wise physician, while on another hand, we have another person who is suffering from some kind of a horrendous ailment. By way of sympathy, a third person advises him to consult such and such physician for his treatment,

but this sick person observes that to approach this physician, and get treated by him is the task of those who are hale and hearty and as long as I am mortally sick, how could I possibly go to him for treatment? Won't you think of this person to be mentally decrepit as he does not recognize the efficacy of a doctor's treatment. A physician is meant to provide treatment to the invalids.

Does a person deserve to be called a doctor who claims to provide treatment only to the hale and hearty? Thus we may reasonably conclude that an ignorant and delinquent person equally needs to understand Qur'an and Hadith and act upon it fervently as does a saint and a scholarly person. It is an obligation on all and sundry to continue their pursuit of the knowledge concerning the teachings of Qur'an and Sunnah, put their heart and soul into understanding it, act upon it accordingly and mould their Faith within it's framework..

Monotheism and prophethood:

We must remember that lman (Faith) has two constituents:

a) To consider Allah as the only One, worthy of being worshipped.

b) To recognize the prophethood of Messengers of Allah.

To consider Allah as the only One, worthy of being worshipped, means that we should not associate partners with Him and to recognize the prophethood of the Messenger implies that we must follow him and act according to his instructions. The first constituent of Faith is to conform to the Islamic Monotheism and the second one is to comply with Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}.

The opposite of Monotheism is polytheism and the antonym of Sunnah is Bid'ah (innovation). It is obligatory on every Muslim to strictly adhere to the concept of Islamic Monotheism and to comply with the teachings of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}.One must abide by them and avoid slipping into the acts of Shirk (polytheism; i.e.

associating partners with Allah) or Bid'ah (innovating new things in religion). Shirk and Bid'ah may be considered as a termite that eats into the sinews of Faith and destroys it. As far as other vices are concerned, their commission only impedes the process of pursuing pious deeds.

Therefore, a person who is characterized by the qualities of being a monotheist, follower of Sunnah, averse to Shirk and Bid'a and whose accompaniment inspires an inclination towards compliance of Sunnah, is indeed a person who should be taken as a religious instructor and mentor.

On this treatise Taqwiyat-ul-Iman:

In this book entitled Taqwiyat-ul lman, we have compiled a few Qur'anic verses and Ahddith which elaborate the Oneness of Allah, compliance with Sunnah, and the vices of Shirk and Bid'ah. This has been translated into simple English along with short footnotes for the purpose of giving explanations so that everybody can benefit from it and whomsoever Allah wills, may be led to the Right Path. May Allah accept it as a means of our deliverance in the Hereafter. Amin.

It has been named Taqwiyatul-Iman which comprises two chapters. The first chapter consists of description concerning the concept of Islamic Monotheism and the wickedness of polytheism and the second chapter consists of compliance with Sunnah and the vices of Bid'ah.