Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tafkeer and exploitation of Qaul of Hazrat Umar

Question: Sectarian Muslims quote Hazrat Umar's saying, "We used to judge other by their outer behavior and used to leave what was hidden". Based on this they say that we too will declare Muslims as kafir, mushrik, munafiq, jahannami etc based on what is apparent in a person".

How should we respond?

Answer: What Hazrat Umar said was in the matter of judgement in worldly affairs. Similarly, even today, a qazi will judge based on external identity. If someone says that he is a Muslim then ruling, judgement, administration will be done based on that. For example, in your passport if you have mentioned your religion as Islam then you will be treated as Muslim for all administrative purposes. So rulings on worldly affairs will be based on what you claim. This is the context of saying of Hazrat Umar.

However, in the sight and records of Allah who is a Muslim, who deserves paradise, who deserves hell, who is munafiq - it is known only to Allah. And that is why there is a judgement day. If human beings start becoming 'malik e yaum i ddeen' then what is the need of God to do absolute judgement in akhirah?

This attitude of Muslims that we will give fatwa of kufr and shirk has lead to the cancerous problem of tafkeer wherein every Muslim group declares other group's Muslims as deviated and jahannami. Quran is free from such erroneous approach.

"By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me". Prophet Muhammad. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266

Following two events from the life of Hazrat Umar - further attests to our point:

A. One day while he was holding the office, caliph, Umar knocked at the door of Huzaifa, a
confidant of the Prophet. In a weary and gloomy mood he said to Huzaifa, “Swear in the name of Allah that you will speak the truth”. Huzaifa implored, “what are you going to ask, O Emir of Muslims”. Umar said, “No, swear first that you will give me a truthful account.” Then in a state of extreme commotion he said, “The Holy Prophet has told you the names of all the hypocrites of Madina. Speak honestly if my name figures in the list.”

This event clearly differentiates between "how people understand you" and "what is your exact status in the sight of God".

B. Hazrat Umar used to say: "Belief is the name of the intermediary state between hope and fear. If I come to know that every person except one will go to paradise I will have the fear of being that person; and if (I come to know that) every person except one will go to Hell, I will have the hope in Allah’s benediction of being that one lone person”.

Above words of Hazrat Umar - clarifies everything. The ultimate judgement is with Allah regarding who is momin, who is kafir and who is munafiq. We can just quote those qualities that are mentioned in Quran.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Does Quran 2:253 say that some prophets are greater than others?

Does Quran tell us to differentiate between prophets and revelations?
** By: Khurshid Imam **
Some muslims deduce from Quran 2:253 that some Prophets are greater than other Prophets. What is the Quranic position regarding this conclusion?
A. Can we differentiate between prophets?

God has clearly commanded the believers to not make any distinction among prophets and his revelations.

"Not we make distinction between any of them (prophets)". Quran - 2:136
"We make no difference between any of His messengers" Quran - 2:285
"Not we make distinction between any of them (prophets)". Quran - 3:84
“And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and not they differentiate between any one of them, those - soon He will give them their reward. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Quran - 4:152
"Do not make the prophets better than one another". Sahih Bukhari 2281
"Do not exalt me as the Christians have exalted the son of Mary. I am but a servant, so call me the servant of Allah and His messenger." - Sahih Bukhari 3261

B. Can we say that some of Prophets are better than others?

1. Nowhere Quran gives KULLI FAZEELAT [preference in totality in all aspects] to any prophet above others OR to any person above others. The ayah Quoted 2:253 itself gives the complete meaning if read carefully. 

2. Allah has preferred some prophets above other in SOME aspects only. Let us read the complete Ayah: “We preferred some of them (Prophets) to others, to some of them Allah spoke, others he raised to degrees and to Isa, the son of Maryam, we gave clear proofs and evidences and supported him with Ruh – Quddus” - Quran 2:253

3. Proof of this principle is already mentioned in this ayah 2:253 where Allah gives examples of preferences: 
A. that Allah spoke [directly] to MOSES. This preference was NOT given to other Prophets.
B. Same Ayah says that Prophet Jesus was supported by Ruh-ul-Quddus [The Holy Spirit]. Was this PREFERENCE given to rest all Prophets?

Note: It is a popular misunderstanding to consider Ruh-ul-Quddus [The Holy Spirit] and angel Jibrael as the same personality. Read this for details: Shab-e-meraj and the mysterious personality

4. Prophet Jesus could give life to dead, cure those suffering from leprosy. In this aspect Jesus was preferred over other Prophets. 

5. Solomon had authority over jinn, animal etc. In this aspect Prophet Solomon was preferred over other prophets.

6. “We have preferred some of the prophets above others and to David we gave Zabur”. Quran 17:55
Here Quran talks about a particular aspect of the revelation which was given to hazrat Daud but NOT to other Prophets.

7. Prophet Jesus was PREFERRED over rest of Prophets in a particular aspect - his miraculous birth. This PREFERENCE was NOT given to any other Prophet.

8. Similarly Quran 3:42 talks about Preference given to MARYAM with respect to being Pure and about the good news of giving birth to a prophet [Jesus] - This preference were not given to any other lady of the world.

Similarly if we read all such ayah that talks about GIVING PREFERENCE to someone over other then we realize that it is ALWAYS in some particular aspect and NOT kulli fazeelat.

9. "Allah has preferred Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above all the worlds." Quran 3:33-34 10.

“And Allah has preferred some of you above others in wealth and properties…”. Quran 16:71

Last but not least - Allah clearly tells believers to say that they do NOT differentiate between Prophets and REVELATIONS. Quran can NOT contain contradictory AYAH.
Important: It is important to note that in the sight of Allah - there will be variation in status of masses and Prophets. We do not know exact details. What we are commanded is that we should NOT differentiate between Prophets and messengers. This approach will foster universal brotherhood and love between different communities.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Who is ALIM in ISLAM

Who is ALIM in ISLAM?

By: Khurshid Imam

A. Introduction

Round the globe, Muslims believe that ALIM means a Religious Scholar. A person is considered an ‘Alim’ if he has studied at a ‘Madarsa’ and completed the course of ALIM. Common masses have been made to believe that they can’t go against an ‘Alim’. People surrender their thought process and reasoning power in front of statements coming from an ‘Alim’.

However, Quran uses this word in a different sense. ‘Alim’ as defined in Quran is different from ‘Alim’ of Muslim's present day perception.

B. How Quran has used the word ULEMA

Word ULEMA is plural for word ALIM. Root word: ayn lām mīm (ع ل م) occurs 854 times in Quran. It is used in the general sense of KNOWLEDGE. Nowhere Quran has confined this word for ‘theological knowledge’ alone. Knowledge in any field is referred as ILM.

For example, Quran uses the word ALEEM [derived from root word ILM] for magicians who were expert in the field of magic.

قَالَ لِلْمَلَإِ حَوْلَهُ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
[Pharaoh] “said to the eminent ones around him, "Indeed, this is a learned [word ALEEM is used here] magician”. Quran 26:34

Gaining knowledge is highly encouraged in the Quran and this is one of the parameter for better understanding of God and His majesty.

Quran has used the word "ULEMA" [Plural of ALIM] only two times.

First use of ULEMA in Quran:
 “Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby fruits of varying colors? And in the mountains are tracts, white and red of varying shades and [some] extremely black. 

And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allah, from among His servants, who have knowledge [ULEMA]. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving". Quran 35:27-28

In above two ayah, Allah has encouraged people to observe/ponder upon:
a. The process of rain formation and coming down to Earth [Its study is called meteorology or hydrology]
b. Production and growth of fruits of various colours. [It is about agriculture, farming, zoology, botany]
c. Mountains having different colors and presence of paths in the mountains. [It is Geology, Geography]
d. Different colors of human beings round the globe. [The branch of study of this field is called Phylogenetics]
e. Different colors of creatures spread across the earth. [Scientists, Ecologist]

The ayah continues and tells that THOSE who have DEEP KNOWLEDGE [ULEMA word is used] of above phenomenon will be able to appreciate and grasp the majesty of Allah.

In other words we can say that those who possess knowledge of meteorology, hydrology, agriculture, farming, zoology, botany, geology, phylogenetics, ecology and science are referred as ULEMA in this ayah.

Second use of ULEMA in Quran:
"And has it not been a sign to them that it is recognized by the scholars of the Children of Israel?" Quran 26:197

Second time – the word ULEMA is used for knowledgeable people among bani Israel.

C. Who are AHBAAR?

A very surprising fact is that Quran has used a different word for what people consider as ULEMA. Quran has used the word ‘AHBAAR’ to refer to people who are doctors of law [expert in interpreting religion] or theological scholars.

1. Quran 5:63 – So-called-scholars” [Ahbaar] were responsible for not preventing people from uttering sinful words and eating things forbidden.

لَوْلَا يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الْإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

“Why do not the rabbis and the doctors of Law forbid them from their (habit of) uttering sinful words and eating things forbidden? Evil indeed are their works.” Quran 5:63

 2. Quran 9:31 - People took these "so-called-scholars" as their lord in place of Allah.

اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا ۖ لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” Quran 9:31

3. Quran 9:34There are many so-called-scholars who unlawfully grab money, wealth from the people. Also these “theological scholars” prevent people from giving money in the way of Allah [by manipulating laws of scriptures]. There is severe punishment promised for these fake-ulemas.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

There are indeed many among the priests and theological-scholars, who in falsehood devour [eat] the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty.” Quran 9:34

D. Conclusion

·       Traditionally there has been veto power with theological class for interpreting, understanding, preaching, explaining and drawing conclusions on Deen of Allah.
·      Only those who have studied at a Madarsa are considered to be scholars or ‘ulema’.
·      Quran has used the word ‘ulema’ for those who are expert in any field.
·      Those who can interpret laws of religion are referred as ‘ahbaar’ in Quran.
·      Time and again Allah has warned reader of Quran to be careful of wrong doings done by so-called-scholars or ‘ahbaar’.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Eid Milad un nabi - an apology to Non muslims

Dear Non-muslim brethren

I apologize to you for all inconvenience caused due to the popular misnomer "Eid Milad un nabi". We all faced lot of problem in the form of heavy traffic Jam, disruption of smooth flow of traffic, noisy environment, blocking of road etc. You would have seen hundreds of hooligan type teenagers / youth carrying green color flag and relic of kaba on the road. You would have heard / read that  all this mess is because muslims are "celebrating" birth day of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) today which is 12th of Rabi-ul-awwal according to Hijri calendar.

Let me clarify to you :
1. On the scale of fact, 12th of Rabi-ul-awwal is NOT at all birth day of Prophet Muhammad. On the scale of ignorance and emotion - it can be any day.

2. Ibn e Ishaq - the famous historian was the first person to popularize this claim without any proof.

3. Neither Quran nor the book of Hadees says that Prophet Muhammad was born on this day.

4. Historians have held different views [2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 10th, 17th, 22nd] regarding date of birth of Prophet.

5. But, most important point is that word of Prophet Muhammad clearly rubbishes the claim of people regarding 12th Rabiulawwal being his birth day.

6. It was narrated that Abu Qataadah al-Ansaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said: “That is a day on which I was born and on it my mission began – or Revelation came to me.” Narrated by Muslim, (Book #006, The Book of Fasting, Hadith #2606).

So what is sure from islamic source is that he was born on MONDAY. Year and month of birth is agreed upon by all. So why they are waiting. We have calendars in place that can tell century old date and day. You will be surprised to know that if you track MONDAY will NEVER come on 12th Rabiulawwal.
Time and again experts have confirmed that 12th Rabiulawwal can NOT be date of birth because it never falls on MONDAY. It can fall on 2/3  9/10th  16/17 of the month [1 day + or - can happen because of moon position.]

Neither Prophet Muhammad nor sahaba and their subsequent generations ever believed or celebrated 12th as birth day. How and why this fabricated tradition was started - is beyond the scope of this article.

Conclusion: FACT and ACADEMIC RESEARCH never conclude that 12th Rabiulawwal is the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Masturbation and Islam

Question: //Bro, what’s your view on masturbation?//

Answer: As per my limited knowledge there is no principle of islam that deems masturbation as haraaam. I understand that Quran is silent on this issue. There are numerous issues in our day today life on which Quran / hadees is silent. In those cases we should ponder over it keeping in mind islamic priciples.                      

Practically speaking - this act can be a form of relieving or calming down sexual frustration. There can be N number of scenarios when one will be forced to do this act. Human being is different from machine. Human being has feelings, emotions, hormones, sex drive. They get attracted to opposite sex. If they live in a society where immoral acts prevail then their sexual hormones and such urge increases. If they cant get married because of some reason then this ACT is the only option.

Medically speaking - it is not harmful until done excessively.                      
The reference from Quran - that some people give to prove that this act is haram / makrooh - is irrelevant. That ayah has nothing to do with this act.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

परमेश्वर एक है अनेक नहीं-पण्डित श्री राम शर्मा आचार्य जी

परमेश्वर एक है अनेक नहीं

इस सृष्टि का स्रष्टा एक ही है | वही उत्पादन,अभिवर्धन तथा परिवर्तन कि सारी प्रक्रियाएँ अपनी योजनानुसार सम्पन्न करता है | न उसका कोई साझीदार और न सहायक |

सबका स्वार्थ संयुक्त है | एक कि सत्ता भिन्न-भिन्न प्रकार की हो गई और समझा जाने लगा जो जिस देवी-देवता कि पूजा पत्री करेगा वो उसी को अपना समझेगा और उसी की हिमायत करेगा | इतना ही नहीं जो अपने यजमान का उपेक्षा पात्र या विरोधी होगा उसे त्रास देने से भी न चूकेगा | यह मान्यता है आज कि बहुदेववाद की | इस प्रकार सृष्टा का ही खंड विभाजन नहीं हुआ वरन अपने अपने कुल वंश ग्राम नगर के भी पृथक पृथक देवी देवता बन गए और परमेश्वर का भी बँटवारा कर लिया गया | अनेको देवी देवता बन कर खड़े हो गए | उनकी आकृति ही नहीं प्रकृति भी अपने को न पूजने- दूसरे को पूजने पर वे देवता रुष्ट होने और त्रास देने पर उतारू होने लगे |

बहुदेववाद के आरंभिक दिनों में तीन हीं प्रमुख थे ब्रह्मा,विष्णु,महेश और उनकी पत्नियाँ सरस्वती,लक्ष्मी,काली | इसके बाद तो नित्य नए देवता उपजने लगे | देवताओं की संख्या अगणित हो गयी और देवियों की भी | उनकी चित्र-विचित्र फरमाइशें भी गढ़ी गई | इनमें से कुछ शाकाहारी थे कुछ मांसाहारी | कुछ क्रोधी कुछ शांत मिजाज़ | कुछ तो प्रेत पितर हीं देवी देवता बन बैठे | इनकी संख्या हजारों लाखों तक जा पहुंची | इस सन्दर्भ में पिछड़ी जातियों ने देव रचना का काम  बहुत उत्साह से बढ़ाया | शारीरिक मानसिक बीमारियों को उन्ही के रुष्ट होने का कारण माना जाने लगा | उपचार यही था कि किसी मध्यवर्ती ओझा के मार्फ़त समाधान करने के लिए उनकी रिश्वत का पता लगाना | इस समाधान में अक्सर खाने-पीने की वस्तुओं की याचना होती थी | विशेष कर पशु पक्षियों के बलिदान की | इनका कोई स्थान विशेष बना हो वहाँ पहुँचकर धोक देने की (प्रणाम करना ) |

घर में नई बहू आने या नया बच्चा पैदा होने पर कुल देवता कि दर्शन झांकी करने जाना भी आवश्यक समझा जाने लगा | इस प्रकार देवता का ‘मूड’ ठीक रखना भी हर परिवार के लिए आवश्यक जैसा बन गया | यह छोटी समझी जाने वाली बिरादरियों कि बात हुई | बड़ी बिरादरियों के देवता अपेक्षाकृत बड़ी शानदार ,ठाटबाट वाले बड़े देवी देवताओं के भक्त बनने में अपनी प्रतिष्ठा समझने लगे | उनकी पूजा पंडित पुरोहित द्वारा दुर्गा शप्तशती पाठ,शिव महिमा रुद्री आदि का पाठ, हवन पूजन जैसे उपचार और उनमें से अपने लिए जिन्हें चुना गया हो उनके दर्शन झाँकी करने का सिलसिला चलता | बहुदेववाद के पीछे अनेकानेक कथा कहानियाँ जोड़ी गई और उनकी प्रसन्नता से मिलने वाले लाभों का उनकी नाराज़गी से मिलने वाले त्रासों का माहात्म्य गाथाएँ गढ़ ली गईं | कितने ही देवताओं का किन्ही पर्व त्योहारों से सम्बन्ध जोड़ दिया गया | कईयों के स्थान विशेष पर जाना आवश्यक माना गया | इनमें से कुछ पुराने बने रहे और कितने ही नए बन कर खड़े हो गए | कई उपेक्षित होते चले गए और कई एकदम नए विनिर्मित होकर प्रख्यात हो गए |

तत्व-दर्शन और विवेक बुद्धि के आधार पर यह मानना पड़ता है कि परमेश्वर एक है | सम्प्रदायों की मान्यताओं के अनुसार उसके स्वरूप और विधान सही नहीं हो सकते | यह उनकी अपनी-अपनी ऐसी मान्यताएं हैं जो मानने वालों की निजी मान्यता पर अवलंबित है |

          व्यापक शक्ति को निराकार होना चाहिए | जिसका आकार होगा वह एक देशीय और सीमित रहेगा | कहा भी गया है “न तस्य प्रतिमा अस्ति” अर्थात “उसकी कोई प्रतिमा नहीं है” न स्वरूप न छवि | आप्त वचनों का एक और भी कथन ऐसा ही अभेद्य है | उसमें कहा गया है- “एकं सद् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति अर्थात एक ही परमेश्वर को विद्वानों ने बहुत प्रकार से कहा है | यहाँ पर सृष्टि व्यवस्था में साझीदारी करने वाले स्वतंत्र अस्तित्व के देवी-देवताओं से मुँह मोड़ लेना ही सत्य और तथ्य को अपनाने कि विवेकशीलता है |

           वेदमूर्ति तपोनिष्ठ पण्डित श्री राम शर्मा आचार्य जी (संस्थापक- गायत्री परिवार)
            ( स्त्रोत- अखण्ड ज्योति गायत्री परिवार मासिक पत्रिका, जून-1985)


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Can names of Allah be used for naming children?

Can names of Allah be used for naming children?

By: Khurshid Imam
A. Introduction

A general understanding of Muslims is that one cannot have names like Rahman, Raheem, Khaliq, Jabbar, Malik etc as these are names of Allah. If someone decides to name his infant as “Tawwab” / “Rahman” / “Kareem” then people oppose him on the ground that these are names of Allah and it’s incorrect to name someone in the name of Allah.

There are gross misconceptions among Muslims about the subject of ‘99 Names of Allah’. We will not discuss them here. Please read the article “What is the name of Allah” by Khurshid Imam to understand this issue.

The Quran mentions hundreds of attributes of Almighty God:
Al-Rahman = The Most Merciful. Al-Rahim = The Most Compassionate. Al-Basir = The Seer, The Insightful. Al-Khaliq = The creator. Al-Raziq = The sustainer. So on..

B. How do we understand an attribute of Allah?

We say that Almighty God is merciful, compassionate, creator, sustainer. However, at the same time we see that human beings too possess these qualities.

*Allah is MERCIFUL. A human being is merciful towards fellow human being, towards animals, towards other creatures. But there is absolutely no comparison between the degree of mercy of Allah and the degree of mercy of a human being.

Allah is AL-RAHMAN = Most Merciful.
Human being is RAHMAN = Merciful

The quality of “RAHMAN” i.e. MERCY in its highest sense refers to God alone.
Allah showers His mercy on His creatures spread throughout the universe, His mercy is evident in numerous forms, He showers his mercy even on those who disbelieve in Him, and His mercy in absolute sense is beyond our perception.

*Allah is CREATOR. A human being is also the creator of houses, machines, bridges and millions of other things. But there is absolutely no comparison between the degree of creativity- of Allah and the degree of creativity of a human being.

Human being is KHALIQ = CREATOR

The quality of ‘CREATIVITY’ in its highest form refers to God alone.

Allah created heavens and the earth and all that is between them, His creativity in absolute sense is beyond our perception.

Please note: In Arabic language when “Al” is added with a common noun then it becomes Proper Noun (One particular entity). So Khaliq refers to anyone who can create but Al-Khaliq refers to a particular Khaliq, i.e Allah.
Similarly we add “Al” with Raziq and it becomes Al-Raziq referring to Allah only.

* Allah sees, hears, and knows. Human beings also see, hear and know but these qualities cannot be compared with seeing, listening and knowing of Allah. The quality of seeing, hearing and knowing in highest form refers to Allah only. Allah sees, hears and knows everything that exists no matter how small or how big. Human beings do not possess this level of seeing, hearing and knowing.

* Allah is Al-Raziq. He provides sustenance to all those who need sustenance. Human beings also provide sustenance so human beings can also be called RAZIQ. Human beings provide sustenance to some of fellow human beings. But Allah is AL-RAZIQ – one whose sustenance providing quality cannot be compared with anyone. Allah has made arrangement of sustenance for animals, plants, insects, fishes, microscopic life and so on.

So, there is nothing wrong in naming someone as Khaliq, Raziq, Malik, Kareem etc. It becomes shirk only when someone compares a quality of Allah and says that this quality in SAME degree is applicable for anyone other than Allah.

C. Allah himself addresses human being with same name as His name.

فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ      So blessed is Allah, the best of creators. Quran 23:14
وَتَذَرُونَ أَحْسَنَ الْخَالِقِينَ  Do you call upon Ba'l and leave the best of creators. Quran 37:125 

Quran is telling that among many KHALIQ [note the plural word KHALEQEEN] – Allah is the best Khaliq.

The word(s) ‘raziqeen’ [many RAZIQ] appears 6 time(s) in 6 Ayah(s) in Quran
وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ  Jesus said ...".. You are the best of providers". Quran 5:114
Quran is telling that among many RAZIQ [note the plural word RAZIQEEN] – Allah is the best Raziq.

وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ وَمَن لَّسْتُمْ لَهُ بِرَازِقِينَ  And We have made for you therein means of living and [for] those for whom you are not providers. Quran 15:20

In other words, Ayah is saying that Allah provides sustenance to even those for which human beings are not RAZEQEEN.

وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ  And indeed, it is Allah who is the best of providers. Quran 22:58
وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ and He is the best of providers [RAZIQEEN]. Quran 23:72, 34:39
وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ  and Allah is the best of providers [RAZIQEEN]. Quran 62:11
There are many RAZIQ, among them Allah is the best RAZIQ.

There are many who do MAKAR, but Allah is the best of MAKEREEN. Quran 3:54; 8:30.
Wamakaroo wamakara Allahu waAllahu khayru almakireena.
Note: In order to have better understanding of this ayah please refer to the article: “Does Allah deceive? makar-Allahu
وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ . فَاصْبِرُوا حَتَّىٰ يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَنَا ۚ  be patient until Allah judges between us. And He is the best of judges [Hakemeen]. Quran 7:87

وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ   And He is the best of judges [Hakemeen]. Quran 10:109, 12:80
 There are many judges but Allah is the best Judge. So, a human being can be named as HAKIM.

وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْفَاصِلِينَ He is the best of deciders. Quran 6:57
 ۖوَهُوَ خَيْرُ النَّاصِرِين  But Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers. Quran 3:150

Note: I could not find NASIR as one of the attributes in popular ‘99 names of Allah’. But Quran has given this attribute to Allah.
وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْفَاتِحِينَ  Our Lord.. You are the best of those who give decision [MANY FATIH or FATIHEEN]. Quran 7:89
A man can be FATIH. Allah is Al-FATIH.

وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْغَافِرِينَ Moses said - … and You are the best of forgivers. Quran 7:155
Human beings forgive, Allah also forgives, but Allah forgives in the highest degree, Allah is AL GHAFIR.

وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْوَارِثِينَ And [mention] Zechariah, when he called to his Lord, "My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors." Quran 21:89
There can be many WARIS, but Allah is the best WARIS. So, one can have WARIS as name.
وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْمُنزِلِينَ and You(Allah) are the best to accommodate [us].' " Quran 23:29
وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ  and You are the best of the merciful.' Quran 23:109

Human beings as well as Allah are RAHMAN – they both are merciful, but there is no comparison in the degree of mercy. Mercy in its highest form refers to Allah alone.

وَقُل رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
And, [O Muhammad], say, "My Lord, forgive and have mercy, and You are the best of the merciful." Quran 23:118

D. Allah has used his attributive name for Prophet:

No wonder Allah has referred Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as RAUF and RAHEEM in Quran.
لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

"There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind [RAUF] and merciful [RAHEEM]." Quran 9:128

Important: Human being should not be assigned names that are specific only for Almighty God.

Many people say that one should be named as AbdulRahman instead of rahman, abdulKareem instead of Kareem, AbdulJabbar instead of jabbar because Rahman, Kareem, Jabbar etc are names of Allah. It’s good to have these names but it is NOT mandatory.
    AbdulRahman = Abd + Al + Rahman = Slave of Al-Rahman
    AbdulKareem = Abd + Al + Kareem = Slave of Al-Kareem
    AbdulJabbar = Abd + Al + Jabbar = Slave of Al-Jabbar.

In fact above said name are same as having name without “AL”.
You can name someone as AbdulRahman OR Rahman but certainly not Al-Rahman.
You can name someone as AbdulKareem OR Kareem but certainly not Al-kareem.
You can name someone as AbdulJabbar OR Jabbar but certainly not Al-Jabbar.

Author can be contacted:    WatsApp: +91-8884542768

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Shab-e-meraj and the mysterious personality

Shab-e-meraj and the mysterious personality

By: Khurshid Imam

Shab-e-meraj or the night of Journey is an important event in the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). ‘Shab’ in Persian means night and ‘mera’j means ‘ascension’ / ‘to gain height’ / ‘to rise high’. It refers to the journey which Prophet Muhammad ((Peace be upon him) undertook on a night and went to distant places in the universe.
This event is described in Quran (Word of GOD) as well as Hadith collection (books that contain words or actions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)).
The event in short is that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was taken to Jerusalam, Bayt al-Muqaddas. Later he was taken up in the universe. At the highest horizon he saw someone whose identity remains a subject of curiosity. Then he came back.

Some people say that this journey was merely a spiritual journey.
Some say that the whole event is allegorical and in actual sense nothing happened as understood.
Some scholars are of the view that whole event was a dream.

As per our best understanding the journey was neither purely physical nor purely spiritual. This event was not allegorical as is claimed by the Qadiyanis.
Many ayah related to this event make it clear that it was not a dream, rather it was a reality.

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِّلنَّاسِ
And We did not make the sight [vision] which We showed you except as a trial for the people .. Quran 17:60.

Arabic word ‘Ru’ya is used in Quran most of the time for ‘seeing’. A few times it is used for ‘vision’.  To translate ‘Ru’ya’ as ‘dream’ in above ayah [17:60] will be incorrect because Quran 53:11-13 proves clearly that it was not a dream.

مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ
The (Prophet's) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. Quran 53:11

أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ
Will you then dispute with him concerning what he saw? Quran 53:12

وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ
For indeed he [prophet] saw him at a second descent. Quran 53:13

Had the prophet seen all these events in a dream then it would make no sense:
1.     To say that his heart did not lie. It indicates that his seeing was in sync with the reality. His mind, his senses confirmed what he was seeing through his eyes.
2.     To emphasize so much that he saw something important.
3.     To make very clear that he saw something at his second descent.

We know from ahadith that before and after the event of meraj there were some changes done to his body. Why? So that he could undertake the journey across the universe. Normal human body could not have borne the heat and other other waves; hence some changes were required in his body.

Arch angel Jibriel along with two other angels visited the holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) one night, while he was asleep in the Hateem part of Ka’abah. The angel then operated upon his heart and body and made some changes; probably because the material body could not withstand the space travel with the required velocity without certain protection. The related part of the hadith (narration) reads:
 “... Jibriel among them took upon himself to make a cut from the throat down to a part below the heart of the Prophet till he emptied the chest and the stomach. Then with his hands he washed it with Zamzam water till the stomach was cleaned. Then was brought a golden tray in which was a golden light filled with faith and wisdom. Pouring it inside, the chest and the veins of throat were filled up. Then the opened part was closed...”. Sahih Bukhari

By incorporating the changes in the body system, his body was probably converted from material into Noorani (luminous) body to withstand the journey of space. It may be remembered that the material bodies of people destined for heavens would also be changed to luminous (made of light) bodies after the Maidaan-e-Hash’r (the place of the great gathering) before taking them to heavens”.

Also, after completion of this journey his bodily changes were reversed back to their original condition. So, journey of the Prophet was neither purely physical nor purely spiritual.

Neither Asleep Nor Awake:
“The Qur’an in Surah Israa, in which the advent is mentioned, indicates the state in which the Prophet was carried to his journey. It says; “... And we made not the vision which we showed you, but a trial for mankind..”. Quran 17:60

It was neither a dream nor the state of wakefulness in the material sense. The Qur’anic word for the vision is Ru’ya’ which is different from a dream. We find in one of the ahadith describing Me’raj thus:
“... They (the angels) came in such a state that the heart (of the Prophet) was seeing them. The eyes were asleep but the heart was awake. Likewise, the eyes of (all) the Prophets sleep but their hearts do not sleep..” (Bukhari; Kitab-ut-Tauhid; Narration of Abu Hurairah)

The above narration of Me’raj in Bukhari, which is a very lengthy one, ends with the following words; “..And when he (Prophet Muhammad) woke up, he was in Masjid-al-Haram (Ka’abah).”

So, the material body of the Prophet was in a state of sleep after the Me’raj, while during the vision his transcendental body actually visited the places and witnessed the signs of Allah. In sleep he was taken and to sleep he was returned before and after the journey. During the journey, he was not asleep. He saw and witnessed everything with a transcendental body and with eyes, which were not material. Such is the vision of Prophets.”

A normal physical entity even if it travelled at the speed of light could not have reached the first heaven even after 1400 years while the Prophet travelled across all heavens and reached beyond that within a very short period of time [some minutes or hour probably].  How is that possible?

Scientific discoveries have proved it to be theoretically possible. Answer lies in ‘wormhole’.
What is a worm hole? A worm hole is a conduit for connecting two extremely far locations in the universe. Though it is a theoretical possibility, as of now, the concept of worm holes allow for intra universe journey .i.e. journey across two universe or heavens.

“A wormhole is a theoretical passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. Wormholes are predicted by the theory of general relativity.

In 1935, physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen used the theory of general relativity to propose the existence of "bridges" through space-time. These paths, called Einstein-Rosen bridges or wormholes, connect two different points in space-time, theoretically creating a shortcut that could reduce travel time and distance.
Wormholes may not only connect two separate regions within the universe, they could also connect two different universes.
Scientists continue to explore the concept as a method of space travel with the hope that technology will eventually be able to utilize them.”

For more information on the subject, go through:

Based on wormhole, in 2014 a science movie named ‘Interstellar’ was made in which a crew of astronauts travels through a wormhole.

Scientists are looking into the possibility where an entity passes through wormhole and exits into a different universe. However, that is not practical as yet because of many factors. In future – it may be reality. Also, in such journey time will pass extremely slowly. Can this be said that journey of Prophet could have been through a worm hole?

There are many ayah of Quran that indicate about existence of wormholes or such ‘doors’ in the universe.

Quran and wormholes

Quran 15:14-17
وَلَوْ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَابًا مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ فَظَلُّوا فِيهِ يَعْرُجُونَ
Even if we opened out to them a gate from heaven, and they were to continue ascending therein.

لَقَالُوا إِنَّمَا سُكِّرَتْ أَبْصَارُنَا بَلْ نَحْنُ قَوْمٌ مَّسْحُورُونَ
They would only say: "Our eyes have been intoxicated: Nay, we have been bewitched by sorcery."

وَلَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا فِي السَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا لِلنَّاظِرِينَ
And we have placed within the heaven great stars and have beautified it for the observers (those who can see).

وَحَفِظْنَاهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ رَّجِيمٍ
And (moreover) we have guarded them from every cursed devil.

Quran gives clear indications of worm hole as ‘door in the heaven’ and says that one will continue to pass through it and rise. The traveller – one who passes through this worm hole or door of heaven – will be shocked to see the universe and how beautifully Allah has decorated it. The traveller will find it hard to believe as to where he has come in such short time and what he is seeing; he will feel as if he is intoxicated or bewitched.

وَفُتِحَتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ أَبْوَابًا
And the heavens shall be opened as if there were doors. Quran 78:19

Regarding the burraq or the means by which prophet was taken into space; it is not difficult to understand that the description of burraq given in hadith is to make people of that time understand the means of travel in simple language. Of course, people of that time would have not understood the exact mechanism of this journey, hence some aspects were told in simple terminologies that are captured in books of hadith.
Burraq word is derived from the Arabic word, ‘barq’ which means ‘light’.
Some terms used in ahadith are meant for making contemporary people understand in the way they would have understood better. For example, the use of the word “ant” in place of DNA in context with ADAM and his progenies. This topic is beyond the scope of this article.

With the passage of time, with more pondering over signs of God human beings keep discovering new things. Allah will continue to show his signs everywhere.

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ
We will show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth”. Quran 41:53 

D.   Whom did Prophet see on meraj - Allah or Angel Jibriel or someone else?

Some people say that the Prophet saw angel Jibriel on meraj. The Prophet had seen angel Jibriel on numerous occasions, so there was nothing extra-ordinary in seeing him on meraj. Some people say that the Prophet saw Jibriel in his ‘original form’ but this is without any proof, without any evidence. Traditions say that angel jibrael could not go beyond a certain point and when prophet ‘saw’ someone special then Jibriel was not with him.
It is an anticlimax of a very extraordinary miracle described with much importance by Qur’an and Hadith. Seeing Hazrat Jibriel, a frequent visitor to the Prophet (even in his original form) would not have been such a big event.

Some people mistakenly think that Prophet actually “saw” Allah. Both groups have their set of narrations for their support. Quran – the furqaan – clarifies when there are contradictory narrations. Nowhere Quran says that the Prophet saw Allah on meraj.

The ayah related to meraj event itself categorically rejects this idea.
لَقَدْ رَأَىٰ مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَىٰ   For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest! Quran 53:18

Allah is beyond comprehension. Prophet did not see Allah on meraj.

Quran 17:1 also says that Allah showed his ‘signs’ to the Prophet. 
لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا   … in order that We might show him of our signs.. Quran 17

Note: Allah communicated with the Prophet when he went for meraj. That does not imply that God lives above 7th heaven or at a particular place. God communicated with prophets when they were in different parts of the world.

Allah asked Prophet Moses to come to Mount Tur and communicated with him then that does not mean that Allah was present physically over mount tur. Allah communicates to his creatures but that does not mean God is present physically in any time and space. Almighty God is beyond time and space and He can’t be confined to it.

We (Almighty God) are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. Quran 50:16
Do we mean that God is ‘physically’ present near our jugular vein? The answer is ‘No’.

Let us analyze the ayah that talks about the Prophet seeing someone very important. Let’s name him as ‘mysterious personality’ for some time:
      1.    Whom did prophet see? Quran 53:1-14,18 
وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ   By the star when it goes down (or vanishes).
مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ  Your companion neither (has) gone astray nor has erred.
وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ  Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ  It is only a Revelation revealed.
عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَىٰ  He (Prophet) has been taught (this Qur'an) by one mighty in power [mysterious personality]
ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَىٰ  One of soundness. And he [mysterious personality] rose
وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَىٰ  While he [mysterious personality] was in the highest part of the horizon
ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّىٰ  Then he [mysterious personality] approached and came closer
فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَىٰ  And was at a distance of two bows' length or (even) nearer
فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَىٰ  So (Allah) revealed to His slave whatever He revealed
مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ  The (Prophet's) heart lied not in what he (Muhammad) saw
أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ  Will you then dispute with him (Muhammad) about what he saw
وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ  And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him [mysterious personality] at a second descent
عِندَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنتَهَىٰ  Near Sidrat-ul-Muntaha

Then Ayah Number 18 clearly says that Prophet saw ‘signs’ of Allah and NOT Allah itself.
لَقَدْ رَأَىٰ مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَىٰ  Indeed he (Muhammad) did see of the Greatest Signs, of his Lord (Allah).

     2.    Whom did prophet see? Quran 81:19-23

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ  Verily, this is the Word (Qur'an brought by) a most honorable messenger [mysterious personality]

ذِي قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِي الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ  Owner of power [mysterious personality], (and high rank) with (Allah), the Lord of the Throne

مُّطَاعٍ ثَمَّ أَمِينٍ  Obeyed and trustworthy [mysterious personality]

وَمَا صَاحِبُكُم بِمَجْنُونٍ  And your companion (Muhammad) is not a madman
وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ بِالْأُفُقِ الْمُبِينِ  And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him [mysterious personality] in the clear horizon

Yellow color text: Refers to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Green color text: Refers to the one whom prophet saw. Who is this ‘mysterious personality’?

Attributes of that ‘mysterious personality’ as per above ayaah are:
ü  Mighty in power [shaded ul qawa]
  ü  Most honorable messenger [rasul in Kareem]
  ü  Owner of the power [zee quwwatin]
  ü  Near to / with / closer to Allah
  ü  Trustworthy [Ameen]

Let us find from the Quran who is mentioned having the above mentioned qualities.
There is a personality in Quran called ‘Ruh ul quddus’ or ‘Ruh ul amin’ or the Holy Spirit. A big misconception is that people think that Holy Spirit and angel Jibriel are one and the same personality. There is no proof for this understanding. Quran has maintained separate personality of Jibriel and Holy Spirit. Proof for this subject is beyond the scope of this article. Holy Spirit and angel Jibriel both act as messengers for bringing the revelation of God. However, Holy Spirit is higher in rank and closer to Allah. Let us see the following ayaah for proof.

نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ  Ruh ul Amin [The HOLY Spirit] has brought it[revelation of God] down. Quran 26:193

قُلْ نَزَّلَهُ رُوحُ الْقُدُسِ مِن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ
Say! Ruh ul Qudus [HOLY Spirit] has brought it (the Qur'an) down from your Lord with truth. Quran 16:102

وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ
.. And We gave 'Îsa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), clear signs and supported him with Ruh ul Qudus [HOLY Spirit]. Quran 2:87

وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ
To Jesus- the son of Mary- we gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with Ruh ul Quddus [Holy Spirit]. Quran 2:253

رَفِيعُ الدَّرَجَاتِ ذُو الْعَرْشِ يُلْقِي الرُّوحَ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ
".. One who is owner of throne [Almighty God] raises in status does ILQA [to place to put, to reveal] to Al-Rooh [Holy Spirit]. Quran 40:15

From these ayaah we find that the description of Ruh ul Quddus or the Holy Spirit or Al Ruh or Ruh ul Amin matches exactly with the personality whom prophet saw on meraj. Prophet did not see Allah or Jibriel but Ruh ul Qudus or the Holy Spirit. ‘What is the significance of the Holy Spirit and what his relation with Prophet Muhammad is’ – this topic is beyond the scope of the present article.

1.     Shab-e-meraj or night of journey holds an important event in the house of Islam.
2.     Prophet did go to the highest heavens and communicated with Allah.
3.     The journey of meraj is within the gamut of possibilities for mankind.
4.    The journey was neither a dream nor purely a physical one; rather some changes were done to the body to make it possible.
5.    The Prophet did not see Allah on meraj rather he saw one of the greatest signs of Allah – Ruh ul Ameen or the Holy Spirit.
6.   With more discoveries and scientific advancement, exact mechanism of this journey will be understood better.

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