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references like these: They only are the true believers whose hearts feel submissive (and humble) when God is mentioned; and when the revelations of God are recited unto them, they (the revelations) increase and strengthen their Faith; and who trust in their Lord, establish the prayer (as enjoined on them) and spend of what We have bestowed on them (in the cause of God). Those are they who are in truth believers. For them are (high) grades (of honor) with their Lord, and a bountiful provision (Qur’ an, 8:2-4). And the believers, men and women, are protecting (and allied) friends of one another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey God and His Messenger. As for these, God will have mercy on them; verily God is Mighty, and Wise. God promises the believers, men and women, Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of God. That is the supreme felicity (Qur’ an, 9:71-72). The true believers are those only who believe in God and His Messenger (Muhammad) and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of God. Such are the sincere (Qur’ an, 49:15). Besides these Qur’ anic references, there are many relevant Traditions of Muhammad. For example, he says: None of you can be a true believer unless, he loves for his fellow believer what he loves for himself. Three qualities are the sign of sound faith, and he who acquires them can really feel the sweet taste of Faith. They are (1) to love God and his Messenger most of all, (2) to love his fellow man for the sake of God alone, and (3) to resent and resist returning to disbelief as much as he does being cast into fire. He who believe in God and Last Day of Judgement is forbidden to cause any harm to his neighbor, is to be kind to his guests – especially the strangers, and is to say the truth or else abstain. There are many verses and traditions like the ones cited above. But it should be borne in mind, however, that the given quotations are not and cannot be the exact words of the Qur’ an and Muhammad as they sound in the Arabic Text. The reason for that is simple. No interpreter, however learned and masterful he may be, can ever convey the spiritual power and charming appeal of the Qur’ an through any language. The Qur’ an is – and so God made it – inimitable, and it is beyond human imagination and power to produce anything like it. What is true of the Qur’ an in this respect is also true of the Traditions of Muhammad to a certain extent, because, after the Qur’ an, his words are the most conclusive and eloquent. The Concept of Righteousness (Birr). Islam always warns against superficial concepts and rituals, against lifeless formalities and non-effective beliefs. In one representative verse God explains the full meaning of righteousness as follows: It is not righteousness that you turn your faces (in prayer) towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last day, and the Angels and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your wealth – in spite of your love for it – for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God – minded (Qur’ an, 2:177). In this verse there is a beautiful and clear description of the righteous man. He should obey all the salutary regulations, and should make his sincere motive the love of God and the love of his fellow man for the sake of God. Here we have four elements: (I) our Faith should be true and sincere, (II) we must be prepared to show it in deeds of charity and kindness to our fellow man, (III) we must be good citizens by supporting charitable institutions and social organizations, and (IV) we must be steadfast and

Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II

Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II

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