THE DEVILISH SYSTEM IN THE SOCIETY OF THE IGNORANT

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THE ERROR OF ‘FOLLOWING THE CROWD’

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UNBELIEVERS HAVE SUBMITTED TO ALLAH IN THE FACE OF THEIR HELPLESSNESS

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SATAN’S DISTRACTION: SQUANDERING TIME

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MUSLIMS ARE CLOSELY CONCERNED WITH THE RISE OF ISLAMIC MORAL VALUES

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT FAITH…

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VULGARITY: A SNARE OF SATAN

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DIFFICULTIES ARE AUSPICIOUS AND SOURCES OF GREAT JOY FOR MUSLIMS

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HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF THIS?

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DARWINISTS HAVE DECEIVED THE WORLD WITH FRAUD

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DUE STRIVING FOR ALLAH’S APPROVAL

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Man strives hard to attain worldly favors, on which he sets his mind as being the ultimate goal in life. He does his utmost to gain material prosperity, recognition of social status or some other worldly benefit. For “a paltry price” (Surat at-Tawba: 9) that will slip out of his hands in a very short while, he makes an all-out effort.

Muslims, who aspire to a much greater reward, that is, to the approval of Allah and His Garden, also strive hard for their cause.
A believer strives with “all due striving” for the approbation of Allah and for the Hereafter. He “sells” his property and his life for the cause of Allah.

No difficulty a believer encounters in the way of Allah thwarts his commitment, provided that he has sold “his property and self” to Allah. Nothing but Allah’s approbation has any attraction for him. Aware that he is not the “owner” of his body and property, he never follows the vain desires of the self (nafs). Allah is the owner of his body and everything he owns, and they will be put to service in compliance with Allah’s will.

The only criterion for being a believer is to feel a sincere desire to seek Allah’s approval and not to refrain from making any sacrifices on the way of Allah when circumstances call for such sacrifices. Believers are those who are “purified with a pure thought, remembrance of the Home (of the Hereafter)” (Surah Sad: 46). A believer does not seek any benefit other than Allah’s approbation. He hopes to please Allah, have His mercy and attain Paradise, because “anyone, male or female, who does right actions and is a believer, will enter Paradise. They will not be wronged by so much as the tiniest speck.” (Surat an-Nisa’: 124)

Paradise is the abode of those who “believe with certainty” in Allah and the Hereafter (Surah Luqman: 4) and then “strive with all due striving” in the way of Allah. The end of those who “worship Allah right on the fringe of true faith” and place their trivial worldly interests right next to the pleasure of Allah is described thus in the Qur’an:

Among the people there are some who profess to serve Allah but who stand on the very fringe of good faith. If good befalls them, they are content, but if an ordeal befalls them, they revert to their former ways, losing both this world and the hereafter. That way true perdition lies. (Surat al-Hajj: 11)

Believers are covetous of the Hereafter. Allah promises believers a beautiful endless life in the hereafter. Our Lord promises believers that He will give a good life to His believing servants in this world, too. Yet this in no way means that they will not encounter any hardship and troubles in this world. The afflictions they encounter are devised to put them to the test and make them more mature.

The obstacles a believer encounters are ostensibly difficult situations; but once met with submission, Allah relieves him of all difficulties. For instance, when his people attempted to cast the Prophet Ibrahim (as) into the fire because of his faith, his response was the one peculiar to a Muslim; he favored being thrown into the fire over turning away from his faith or Allah’s commands. Being cast into a fire is the most terrible physical suffering that might befall any human being in this world. However, Ibrahim (as), who faced this trial from Allah in the most submissive manner, was saved from this seemingly trying experience by the will of Allah, and no harm came to him.

He said, “Do you then worship, instead of Allah, what cannot help or harm you in any way? Shame on you and what you worship besides Allah! Will you not use your intellect?” They said, “Burn him and avenge your deities if you are resolved to punish him!” We said, “Fire, be coolness and peace for Ibrahim!” They sought to trap him but We made them the losers. (Surat al-Anbiya’: 66-70)

Conclusively, no distress, difficulty or sorrow affect a believer who seeks Allah’s consent and observes His commands. This is demonstrated in the course of events by which Allah puts a believer’s determination, patience and submission to the test. These are outwardly troublesome and difficult events; but if met with patience and submission they allow the individual to discover Allah’s mercy. This aside, Allah informs us in the Qur’an that He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear:

Allah does not impose on any self any more than it can stand. (Surat al-Baqara: 286)

Allah does not punish a believer who duly serves Him, neither in this world nor in the Hereafter. On the contrary, He rewards him most bountifully both in this world and beyond:

When the righteous are asked, “What has your Lord sent down?” their reply is, “That which is best.” There is good in the world for those who do good, but far better is the reward of the life to come. How wonderful is the abode of the righteous: The Gardens of Eden which they enter, with rivers flowing under them, where they shall have whatever they desire. That is how Allah repays the righteous. (Surat an-Nahl: 30-31)

As a reminder from Allah, torment, difficulty and trouble are inflicted on those who fail to seek the approval of Allah, who do not demonstrate absolute submission to Him but rather observe the wishes of their own souls. When believers make a mistake, they consider the trouble and difficulties they suffer as a consequence as a merciful warning from Allah, carefully derive lessons from them, repent and amend their conduct. Unbelievers, however, never learn from the ordeals they undergo, thereby deserving eternal torment in the Hereafter.

LIFE IN THE SOCIETY OF IGNORANCE

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One of the most significant characteristics of someone who can appreciate Allah’s might and thus reorients all his deeds to earn Allah’s blessing, is his liberating himself from all beings other than Allah. Having his life focused on earning His approval and being a servant to Him, he develops a different outlook on the universe, which he knows is created and controlled by Allah. Since he considers Allah as the only god, the false deities surrounding him lose their meaning.

The lives of those lacking true faith, unlike those of the believers, are subservient to countless false deities. Such people devote their entire lives to gaining the approval of countless people, and when they seek help, it is from other people. In reality, however, the creatures an unbeliever idolizes in his mind are nothing but weak “servants,” just like himself. The deadlock these people face is related in the Qur’an as follows:

They have taken [other] deities besides Allah [Alone], hoping that they may be helped. They cannot help them, even though they are an army mobilized in their support. (Surah Ya Sin: 74-75)

Unbelievers base their entire lives on this very distorted rationale. There emerges from this another important difference between believers and unbelievers: Believers adopt the criteria laid down by Allah as their only guidance. They observe the commands of the Qur’an, the just Book and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas). Their religion is Islam, which is explained in detail in the Qur’an and is presented to us through the exemplary of the life of the Prophet (saas).

People who lead their lives in a state oblivious of Allah will surely accept the criteria laid down by the imaginary deities rather than the criteria set forth by Allah. Unlike Islam, the one and immutable law of Allah, theirs is a polytheistic religion. These people have various conflicting rules and goals imposed by society. This being the case, the polytheistic religions they abide by take various forms.

Some of them aim at money and power, while others desire a prestigious and influential status. Some aspire to find a “good spouse” and have a “happy family life.” This diversity that engenders different life styles and accordingly different “religions” is, in fact, based on the failure to grasp Allah’s existence and His limits.

However, man is, by nature, inclined to trust Allah and be a servant to Him. Unable to fulfill his infinite needs and desires by himself, by nature, he tends to turn to Allah alone. Accordingly, the nature of man is inclined to recognize Allah as his Lord:

So, as a pure and natural believer, set your face firmly towards the faith, Allah’s natural pattern on which He made mankind. There is no changing Allah’s creation. That is the true faith—but most people do not know it. (Surat ar-Rum: 30)

Said Nursi, the renowned Turkish scholar, explains how man fails to understand that his real duty is to be a servant to Allah and adds: “… They unwisely concluded that life is a struggle.”

This rationale, subscribed to by those who do not live according to the values of the Qur’an, is one of the fundamental tenets of their religion. It is due to the rationale in question that these people always suffer feelings of distress and tension:

– The majority of these people, unlike believers, are selfish, self-seeking people whose only concern is to benefit themselves.

– They lack the delicate disposition that develops with self-sacrifice. Their love is based on gaining advantage; they love a person not because of his good values or attributes but because it is in their interest to love him.

– Those whom they consider to be their loved ones, too, approach them with the same rationale, which creates a relationship bereft of loyalty. They always feel concerned about the potential unfaithfulness of their partners, since they know that at any time they may find others who are wealthier or more beautiful…

– They are consumed by jealousy, a trait that prevents them from taking pleasure in beauties and blessings. For example, instead of taking pleasure in someone’s beauty and saying “How beautifully Allah has created him or her,” they feel restless and ask, “Why am I not as good looking and beautiful as him or her?”

– They do not feel grateful to Allah or are not contented with their blessings. With such a disposition, they always want to possess more. This insatiable desire becomes a constant source of uneasiness.

– Unable to accept their feebleness and weaknesses, they do not ask for help from Allah. They assume they will get rid of their weaknesses if they turn away from Allah haughtily without asking Him for help. However, this is not the way to get rid of their weaknesses. At this time too, they turn to others and pin their hopes on them. Yet those they turn to are also weak individuals who only think about their own benefit. Moreover, they are far from being merciful and compassionate. This being the case, they often feel “depressed,” and lose their spirit through a failure to satisfy their expectations.

– They lack forgiveness and tolerance. For this reason, even a minor disagreement among them is likely to develop into a clash or conflict. Most of the time, each party makes it a matter of pride to refuse to accept being the one in the wrong. For this reason, they often feel distressed.

– They do not believe that they live in a world under Allah’s protection and control, but rather in a ruthless jungle where they have to “defeat” others to survive. According to their misguided idea, they assume they have to develop a tough, aggressive and egoist character to be able to survive in this “jungle.” Indeed, their attitude matches what they encounter. They are either, as the society of ignorance calls it, swallowed up, as in the example of the “small fish,” or they grow into a “big and cruel” fish and swallow others.

These laws apply to almost all societies where people do not experience true faith, and behave according to the mistaken morality described above. The Qur’an calls these societies “ignorant and behavent,” because they are entirely unaware of Allah and the Hereafter.

REFRAINING FROM IDOLATRY

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Very briefly, idolatry is associating other beings with Allah. Seeing this definition, some people may raise the objection, “We already do not associate a partner with Allah,” although it may actually be the case that they do. Their failure to grasp the meaning of idolatry accounts for such an objection. Indeed, the Qur’an relates the case of many people who associate partners with Allah—that is, who are idolaters—yet who never accept this situation:

On the Day We gather them all together, We will say to those who associated others with Allah, “Where are the partner-deities, for whom you made such claims?” Then they will have no recourse except to say, “By Allah, our Lord, We were not idolaters.” (Surat al-An‘am: 22-23)

No one must take it for granted that he is totally free from idolatry, but must always pray Allah to keep him from it. That is because idolatry is a great sin. When the Prophet (saas) was asked what the greatest sin was, he answered “To associate partners with Allah, while He has created you.” In the Qur’an, Allah states that He may forgive all sins and crimes, except for idolatry:

Allah does not forgive anything being associated with Him, but He forgives whoever He wills for anything other than that. Anyone who associates something with Allah has committed a terrible crime. (Surat an-Nisa’: 48)

The initial point of idolatry, which is such a great “sin and slander,” is ascribing the attributes of Allah to some other being in one’s mind. The fact, however, is that, the attributes (power, intelligence, beauty and so on) which we ascribe to other beings do not actually belong to them; they are endowed with them by Allah for a temporary and specified period of time. Assuming these attributes to “belong” to beings other than Allah simply means taking them as deities. This, in turn, is defined as associating the beings in question as partners with Allah, in other words, setting up partners with Allah.

Regarding Allah’s oneness and uniqueness, the Qur’an says the following:

Say: “He is Allah, Absolute Oneness, Allah, the Everlasting Sustainer of all. He has not given birth and was not born. And no one is comparable to Him.” (Surat al-Ikhlas: 1-4)

As stated in the verse above, Allah is the Provider of everyone; every being is in need of Him to exist. Nothing equals Him. Once this fact is denied and people start thinking that some beings can exist of their own accord without Allah’s sustenance, idolatry surfaces. With such a mindset, one forgets that every living thing is under the control of Allah. A false belief about the existence of some beings who do not need Allah emerges. The assumption that such beings can exist leads man to ask them for help, seek their consent and adopt their rules.

However, believers who do not associate partners with Allah turn towards only Him since they know that Allah has power over all things. The rationale of believers is stated in the Qur’an as follows:

You alone we worship. You alone we ask for help. (Surat al-Fatiha: 4)

Those who associate partners with Allah in fact turn towards beings that are not capable of helping them. That is because the beings they take as deities are also feeble servants like themselves. Of this Allah states the following:

Do they make things into partner-deities which cannot create anything and are themselves created; which are not capable of helping them and cannot even help themselves? If you call them to the right path, they will not follow you. It makes no difference if you call them or stay silent. Those you call on besides Allah are servants just like yourselves. Call on them and let them respond to you if you are telling the truth. (Surat al-A‘raf: 191-194)

Consequently, idolatry is a great slander, a great deception and a very unwise attitude. The unwise conduct of those who associate partners with Allah is described in the Qur’an as follows:

Mankind! An example has been made, so listen to it carefully. Those whom you call upon besides Allah are not even able to create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it. And if a fly steals something from them, they cannot get it back. How feeble are both the seeker and the sought! They do not measure Allah with His true measure. Allah is All-Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Hajj: 73-74)

Idolatry appears in different forms. Since people take beings other than Allah as deities, they seek their approval. People pin their hopes on these deities and accept their judgements as true. This is how a man becomes subservient to millions of imaginary deities. He hopes to find relief in these beings, who are as impotent as himself. However, one who associates partners with Allah is at an impasse and his loss is, therefore, very great. This fact is related in the Qur’an as follows:

… Associating others with Him is a terrible wrong. (Surah Luqman: 13)

Yet it must be said that such a man wrongs himself. That is because “Allah does not wrong people in any way; rather it is people who wrong themselves.” (Surah Yunus: 44).

THE PURPOSE OF A BELIEVER’S LIFE: THE APPROVAL OF ALLAH

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What makes a Muslim different from other people? Non-Muslims may answer this question in a number of ways; they may talk about cultural and moral differences, about “different outlooks on the world” or values which they deny outright. Alternatively, some may say the difference has its roots in the different ideologies which Muslims embrace. However, all these answers relate to “visible” differences that appear to be the consequences of a more fundamental one. Often, they fail to grasp the reasons underlying this difference.

There is one point to be stressed before proceeding to explain the basic attribute that makes a Muslim different: When we talk about a “Muslim,” we are not referring to someone whose ID card has the word “Muslim” written on it. Muslim is actually the name Allah gives to those who adhere to His religion. The basic attribute, referred to in the Qur’an, that distinguishes Muslims from other people is their being aware of Allah’s infinite might. Awareness of Allah’s infinite might does not in all cases mean affirmation of the existence of a Creator, however. In the Qur’an, Allah underlines this fact as follows:

Say: “Who provides for you out of heaven and Earth? Who controls hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who ordains all things?” They will reply, “Allah.” Say, “Then will you not fear Allah? Such is Allah, your Lord, the Truth, and what is there after truth except misguidance? How then can you turn away from Him?” (Surah Yunus: 31-32)

In the verse above, the questions are put to somebody who acknowledges the existence of Allah, accepts His attributes yet, despite all these attributes, has no fear of Allah and thus turns away from Him. Grasping Allah’s might is not only a matter of verbal confirmation. Believers are those who recognize Allah’s existence and His greatness, “are steadfast in their duty” to Him and re-orient all their deeds and conduct in the light of this reality which has become apparent to them. Others, on the other hand, are either those who deny Allah, or, as in the case of the people depicted in the above verse, those who do not perform their duty to Allah, despite their awareness of His existence.

A believer, however, is fully aware of Allah’s existence and might. He knows why Allah has created him and what His expectations are of him. For this reason, his basic aim in life is to be a servant with whom Allah is pleased. He employs all means to try to reach his goal, and strives to do so. This being the case, he resolves the mystery of death: for many it means nothing but the ultimate end but for him, death is not extinction, but a phase of transition to the real life.

Unbelievers assume death, which they take to be an incident that puts an end to their lives, to be a “self-generated accident,” just as they assume life to have emerged coincidentally and spontaneously. The fact is, however, that Allah creates life and likewise takes it away. Death, which is by no means a coincidence or an accident, is an incident that takes place by the law of Allah at a predestined moment and place.

A Muslim is a person who grasps that Allah has power over all things and that death is not an end but a transition to the real abode of man (the Hereafter). Aware of these facts, he carefully avoids building his life on a “crumbling precipice.” He turns to Allah, aware that He is the real Owner and Creator of life, death and what lies beyond. In this system created by Allah, he comprehends that wealth, social status or good looks are not the means that lead man to success; they are only “causes” operating under the rules laid down by Allah, which are effective for only a brief period of time.

The key to the system that Allah has created is the consent of Allah. That is because Allah guides only those who seek His approval.

…Allah will guide to the ways of peace those who follow what pleases Him. He will bring them by His will from darkness to the light, and will guide them to a straight path. (Surat al-Ma’ida: 16)

A Muslim is a Muslim because he seeks Allah’s approval. This is the most important trait that makes a Muslim different from all other people. Muslims see religion as a way to earn Allah’s approval, whereas the majority of people consider it to be a system of beliefs which occupies an insignificant portion of their lives.

Indeed, at this very point there emerges the distinction between real Muslims and those who imitate them (hypocrites). Muslims embrace religion as a path of guidance to the approval of Allah. For hypocrites, however, it is something from which they derive benefits. That is why a hypocrite’s prayers are of a “pretentious” nature (Surat al-Ma‘un: 6) while Muslims pray in humility (Surat al-Mu’minun: 1-2). Similarly, while Muslims spend their money in Allah’s cause, hypocrites spend to impress people rather than to earn Allah’s approval.
You who believe! Do not nullify your almsgiving by demands for gratitude or insulting words, like him who spends his wealth, showing off to people and not having faith in Allah and the Last Day. He is like a smooth rock coated with soil, which, when heavy rain falls on it, is left stripped bare. They shall have no power over anything they have earned. Allah does not guide the unbelievers. (Surat al-Baqara: 264)

THE CLAIM THAT ‘THE FIRST CELL FORMED IN MUDDY WATER’ IS FRAUDULENT

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According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, there is an imaginary “first cell” which came into being from the chance combination of inanimate substances. And according to Darwinism, everything began with this “first cell.” It is this imaginary “first cell” that, according to Darwinism, is the origin of all life, butterflies, birds, lions, eagles, whales, rabbits, deer and finally human beings who produce technologies, found civilizations, train professors, travel into space and study the cells they possess in the laboratory.


According to Darwinism, the origin of this imaginary first cell is; some  muddy water, time and chance! According to the religion of Darwinism , these three magical (!) and intelligent (!) forces somehow came together and produced a “CELL” that not even Nobel Prize-winning scientists can manufacture in laboratories equipped with 21st-century technology, the details of which human beings have researched for more than half a century in order to understand, and that possesses highly complex and perfect mechanisms, organelles and an irreducible complexity! Moreover, these three glorious (!) forces combined to give rise to all the glorious life we currently see on Earth. The religion of Darwinism seeks to convince people of this nonsense.

But this claim is a horrendous fraud and lie.

The fantasy of the first cell that came into being in muddy water, which was proposed by Darwin, matched the level of science and technology in the day of Darwin. Bearing in mind that Darwin thought the cell was a simple blob of liquid, this childish tale is something that might very well be expected from the knowledge and scientific understanding of the time. Furthermore, since people did not know what the cell was like, it was easy for them to be deceived with this lie. But the findings of the science of genetics have once again revealed that Darwinism is a gigantic lie. In the light of current knowledge and data, just one of the countless proteins in the cell is enough to refute the theory of evolution. Proteins are structures with a sublime complexity, which cannot possibly come into being by chance. They cannot even be manufactured using 21st-century technology in a conscious and controlled laboratory environment. To claim that such a structure formed by chance in muddy water is laughable and irrational in the face of science. The American academic philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer describes the impossibility of a single protein forming by chance in these words:

Consider the probabilistic hurdles that must be overcome to construct even one short protein molecule of about 100 amino acids in length. First, all amino acids must form a chemical bond known as a peptide bond so as to join with other amino acids in the protein chain. Yet in nature many other types of chemical bonds are possible between amino acids. The probability of building a chain of 100 amino acids in which all linkages involve peptide bonds is roughly 1 chance in 1030.

Second, in nature every amino acid has a distinct mirror image of itself, one left-handed version or L-form and one right-handed version or D-form. These mirror-image forms are called optical isomers. Functioning proteins tolerate only left-handed amino acids, yet the right-handed and left-handed isomers occur in nature with roughly equal frequency. Taking this into consideration compounds the improbability of attaining a biologically functioning protein. The probability of attaining at random only L-amino acids in a hypothetical peptide chain 100 amino acids long is (1/2)100 or again roughly 1 chance in 1030.

Third and most important of all, functioning proteins must have amino acids that link up in a specific sequential arrangement, just like the letters in a meaningful sentence. Because there are 20 biologically occurring amino acids, the probability of getting a specific amino acid at a given site is 1/20. Even if we assume that some sites along the chain will tolerate several amino acids (using the variances determined by biochemist Robert Sauer of MIT), we find that the probability of achieving a functional sequence of amino acids in several functioning proteins at random is still “vanishingly small,” roughly 1 chance in 1065—an astronomically large number—for a protein only one hundred amino acids in length. (Actually the probability is even lower because there are many nonproteinous amino acids in nature that we have not accounted for in this calculation.)

If one also factors in the probability of attaining proper bonding and optical isomers, the probability of constructing a rather short, functional protein at random becomes so small as to be effectively zero (no more than 1 chance in 10125), even given our multi-billion-year-old universe. Consider further that equally severe probabilistic difficulties attend the random assembly of functional DNA. Moreover, a minimally complex cell requires not 1, but at least 100 complex proteins (and many other biomolecular components such as DNA and RNA) all functioning in close coordination. For this reason, quantitative assessments of cellular complexity have simply reinforced an opinion that has prevailed since the mid-1960s within origin-of-life biology: chance is not an adequate explanation for the origin of biological complexity and specificity.1

Even if we were to assume the impossible, that all these complex structures did form by chance, Darwinists still have to explain the formation of a million pages-worth of information in such a glorious molecule as DNA. On this subject, as on every other regarding the cell and the origin of life, Darwinists have no account to offer. According to distorted Darwinist logic, the extraordinary information in a cell that emerged by chance in muddy water must also have come into being by chance through various external agents. There is no doubt that such a formation is impossible. The information in DNA is glorious information, created together with that DNA.

The Darwinist claim that the cell formed by chance in muddy water is an outdated belief left over from the time of Darwin, who thought the cell was simply some blob. However, no doubt that 19th-century superstition no longer applies today, when science and technology are so much more advanced. There are countless complex structures in the body that all require explanation, yet Darwinism is unable to account for the formation of even a single protein. But Darwinists behave as if they were unaware of those impossibilities. Evolutionist publications still describe this impossible emergence from muddy water, just like the tales in a child’s book of fairy stories. The aim is to deceive the mass of people with this account, which is unscientific, illogical and incapable of proof. According to the adherents of this false religion, the more people who believe in this fairy tale, the more people will fall under the spell of Darwinism.

But people no longer believe in these fake tales of Darwinists. Everything in creation exhibits the Sublime Might and Power of our Almighty Lord, the Creator of the universe and everything within it. In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah describes the sublime creation of the cell and man:

We created man from the purest kind of clay; then made him a drop in a secure receptacle; then formed the drop into a clot and formed the clot into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators! (Surat al-Muminun, 12-14)

No matter how facile an account of the glory of life on Earth those seeking explanations outside the Qur’an may offer, it is clear that what has been created is very great and majestic. And the theory of evolution has no means of survival in the face of this sublime creation. Almighty Allah describes the greatness of the works He has created in another verse:
The creation of the heavens and earth is far greater than the creation of mankind. But most of mankind do not know it. (Surah Ghafir, 57)


1  “Word Games: DNA, Design, and Intelligence” by Stephen C. Meyer, in Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design, ed. William A. Dembski, James M. Kushiner, Brazos Press, 2001, pp. 109-110 [emphasis added]

ALLAH (GOD) BREATHED HIS SPIRIT INTO MAN

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After trying to resolve the issue of how red is perceived inside the brain, how the sound of pleasant music is interpreted differently from chewing a steak and why even the most detailed fMRI provides no evidence regarding the interpretation mechanism involved, Jeffrey M. Schwartz, a neuroscientist and research professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, goes on to ask the following important question:

…why would studying brain mechanisms, even down to the molecular level, ever provide an answer to those questions?

The answer is this: Because the answer to the interpreting mechanism is not in the brain at all. It is impossible to come by the answers to questions regarding this mechanism by studying human cells, examining neurons or performing research at the molecular level. That is because what causes a person to perceive the outside world is not inside the human body. It is something outside the brain, neurons, cells or electric signals. It is the soul bestowed on us by Almighty Allah.

Reveals Allah in one verse:

… then [He] formed him and breathed His Spirit into him and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What little thanks you show! (Surat as-Sajda, 9)

People who fail to understand that it is the soul that perceives, and that it is independent of matter, are making a very important mistake: They face the possibility that the images they see exist on a screen in their brains. Yet when we consider that there is a screen in our brains on which the outside world exists, we also have no choice but to admit the existence of a little man watching that screen. And there must be another little man watching the screen in the brain of the first, and so on. But there is no screen and no other little man watching the events on it in the brain. The human brain is pitch black and silent. There is nothing there but neurons made up of proteins and electric signals moving very swiftly back and forth. It is impossible for those electric signals to see a flower, smell it, touch it, delight in it, see a ship sailing in the distance or enjoy the taste of a strawberry–all in a piece of flesh. It is impossible for them to experience a prolonged period of enjoyment of an orchestral symphony. It is obviously not electrical signals that produce such a lively, bustling, brightly colored, vivid, three-dimensional and perfectly sharp world. And there is also no doubt that it is not electric signals that cause one to rejoice or grieve, to feel excitement or concern, to remember and feel happy, or to miss someone and satisfy that longing. Even if the world’s most renowned professors were to work together, as Jeffrey M. Schwartz says, they still would not find this perception mechanism anywhere in the brain.

The self-conscious entity that says “I see” the images and “I hear” the sounds in the brain is the soul given to man by Allah. This is the reality that the materialist mindset is most unwilling of all to see revealed. The soul sees without the need for eyes, touches without the need for hands, hears without the need for ears, smells without the need for a nose and tastes without the need for a mouth. The soul is the only answer to the question of “who does the perceiving?” which scientists have been trying to resolve for years. Allah constantly shows images to the human soul and, day and night, whether in this world or in dreams, creates a whole world for them. Everything in that world has a perfect and flawless appearance. So much so that it is very difficult for us to realize that the sharp image and sensation of depth in front of us consists merely of an illusion and has no connection with the real outside world. This is the flawless, matchless, glorious work of our Almighty Lord, Who has the power to create infinite worlds in an area just a few centimeters in size whenever He chooses.

He is Allah – the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Hashr, 24)

A flawless image forms in our brains because Allah so wills. There are smells there because He so wills and we listen to and enjoy immaculate music because He so wishes. We also feel and recognize things by touching them because Allah so wills. The food we eat has flavor because that is what Allah wills. A whole world emerges in the human mind from nothing at Allah’s command. Our Lord creates a world from nothing in a person’s mind that belongs to that person alone, that only he can see and recognize. This world is not the outside world. It is impossible to have direct contact with the world outside. It is impossible, unless Allah so wills, for anyone to have direct experience of a world created for someone else. One can only live in and watch a world created for oneself alone by Allah. It is impossible to step outside it. In another verse, Allah reveals:

They will ask you about the Spirit. Say: “The Spirit is one of the commands of my Lord. You have only been given a little knowledge.” (Surat al-Isra’, 85)

i Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Sharon Begley, The Mind and The Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, Regan Books, 2003, p. 27

THE SOCIETY OF THE IGNORANT IMAGINES THAT THE EXPECTATION OF GAIN IS REALLY LOVE

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Unbelievers use ignorant criteria established by themselves in almost every aspect of life. The common feature of these criteria is that they are all constructed on each individual’s obtaining the greatest amount of worldly benefits possible. They do not love one another for their spiritual beauty, depth of soul or moral virtue and see them as blessings; they rather regard them as business objects by which they can secure the maximum gain. For that reason, whenever they make friendships with people, and choose friends or even spouses with whom to spend the rest of their lives, they look at whether they meet those criteria. For some of these people, certain spiritual attributes again based on worldly gain are of great importance. For example, they want other people to be helpful, loyal, mature, tolerant, forgiving, gentle, docile, understanding, reconciliatory and hard-working. Because these are all forms of behavior that will be of advantage to them. They may be irritable themselves, but they do not want other people to create any problems at any price. They will turn a blind eye to and be understanding of that all that person’s flaws.

Some people look for character traits such as these in their friendships in order to live comfortably and obtain benefits from other parties. But they do not actually want any of these attributes because they regard them as valuable. Indeed, the other party also exhibits these qualities in order to gain the approval of other people and other worldly benefits, not out of any fear of Allah.

Most of the people who assume the moral values of the society of the ignorant do not adopt any of these spiritual attributes that are based on ignorance. For this vast mass of people, what matters in the friendships they establish with people is their external appearance, wealth and prestige. The main criteria involved are this person having an impressive physical appearance, having a good place in society and doing the kind of work that will cause others to admire them. So long as these are present, the other person’s moral qualities are of no importance at all to them.

The fact that their selection criteria are limited to these is a small reflection of these people’s entire perspectives on life. It is a result of lives lead without the use of reason and conscience, never thinking of the transience of this world, of the eternal nature of the Hereafter or the proximity of death. They live literally like robots programmed by the system of ignorance, according to the prevailing criteria in society, never questioning them and never using their reason. They unthinkingly turn what they see in others into something for themselves. For example, in the same way that they look at the animal’s pedigree when buying a horse or wanting to have the best make when buying a car, so they behave according to that same perspective when choosing a friend or a spouse. For example, they will always say that they like someone who owns a very expensive, latest model of car, who is rich and popular and famous, more than anyone else and will prefer them to anyone else, even if their moral values are exceedingly poor. However, when this wealthy individual suddenly loses all those attributes they no longer feel any closeness to him, even though he still looks exactly the same in appearance. In the same way, they will never have any dealing with someone who is poor, who does an ordinary job that might embarrass them, even if that person is morally highly virtuous.

The fundamental reason for this behavior by the people in question is that rather than love, they look for money, prestige and comfort in their friendships or marriages. Because it is those things, rather than love, that they regard as essential if they are to make a success with those around them. They want the person with whom they will spend the rest of their lives to literally be a “money printing machine,” rather than someone they can find depth in and share loved with.  Indeed, the first thing they ask when they meet someone is “what line of work are you in?” When they receive the kind of answer they are looking for, they then immediately say that they like that person, and even feel a deep affection for them in their hearts. Occupation is one of the main factors in their being drawn to someone. However, if they later hear that that same person’s “firm has gone bankrupt,” they immediately drop them saying: “It has got nothing to do with that, but for some entirely different reason I have gone off them, and I therefore no longer want to have anything to do with them.”

So well-known is this perspective of people in the society of the ignorant that it is even made the subject matter of films. If you have a rapid look back over the films you have seen recently, you will notice that “moral virtue” is never the main idea in those films dealing with closeness between two individuals. Because film producers living within that same system know full well what matters they need to concentrate on. If they make a film totally revolving around moral virtue, the people in question will not be in the slightest bit interested in it. Film-makers know that the physical appearance of the people in the screenplay, their wealth, homes, cars, jobs and social prestige need to kept in the foreground. The people who watch these films will only be interested in the film if it concentrates on those things; and only then will the producers be able to make money.

However, films about personal relations concentrating on criteria such as money, appearance and occupation can attract the hoped-for interest, and as a result it is those films that attract the largest audiences.

In almost all films of this kind, one person inevitably buys gifts such as homes, cars or expensive presents for the other. Similarly, people with this kind of mindset also enjoy films in which someone buys expensive gifts for their family or prepares material surprises for them which will make them happy.  The more details compatible with the criteria of the society of the ignorant a film contains, the higher its ratings will be.

However, nobody will like or be influenced by films about the lives of people with no material means, who fail to make displays of love compatible with the criteria of the society of the ignorant and who regard moral virtues as more important than anything else.

This perspective of the society of the ignorant that we have briefly touched on here is of course a terrible error. The people in question imagine that all these material attributes they attach such importance to will be enough to make them happy. The fact is, however, that they can clearly see the false nature of this perspective in their own lives. Yet since many people do not make proper use of their consciences they continue living by the criteria of the society of the ignorant, despite being aware of the true situation.

The fact that money, physical attributes, occupation, prestige, and expensive and showy homes and cars do not bring happiness is a great opportunity for people, even if they have realized this through personal experience. Allah creates this unhappiness as a blessing for them in order for them to see the truth. As with everyone else, He causes them to feel that they can only experience true love and happiness through faith, love of Allah and by adopting the moral values of which He approves. If they listen to the voices of their consciences then they will enjoy love, happiness, and all forms of blessings and beauty both in this world, and in the Hereafter for eternity.

Otherwise, our Almighty Lord states that people who are passionately attached to the goods of the life of this world will never enjoy any beauty, but will be recompensed with suffering:

Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children:  like the plant-growth after rain which delights the cultivators, but then it withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Hereafter there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of the dunya is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid, 20)

MUSIC: A BLESSING FROM ALLAH

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A doorbell, footsteps, the honking of a car horn, paper crackles… We can tell where just about all the sounds we hear in our daily lives come from. Many sounds, apart from those that we associate with some previous events, have no effect on our souls. But this does not apply to every sound we hear.

Music is a blessing Allah created as a delightful pleasure for human beings. It is a miracle the way that people take pleasure from sound waves. Sound waves moving through the air are collected, and then converted into nerve impulses and transmitted to the brain. This sound being distinguished as music by the brain and perceived as something that will be enjoyable takes place by Allah bestowing the significance He chooses on the sound and depicting it to us as pleasurable. When the sense of hearing is examined in technical terms, the processes involved in hearing the sound of a creaking door and in listening to a symphony are exactly the same.  Vibrations between a frequency of 15 Hertz (the tone emitted by a 10 m organ pipe) and 20,000 Hertz are collected by the external ear and transmitted into the ear passage, finally arriving at the ear membrane. This membrane then causes the small bones in the middle ear to vibrate, and sound vibrations are converted into mechanical ones.  These mechanical vibrations cause the fluid inside an organ in the inner ear called the cochlea to vibrate. Tiny hair-like structures on the inner face of the cochlea convert these vibrations into nerve impulses and forward them to the brain, where they are interpreted.

It is of course impossible for the brain, a piece of flesh weighing around 1.5 kilograms, to produce meaning from these sounds or to know joy, excitement or peace. It is of course Almighty Allah Who creates sounds, gives them meaning and thus produces an effect in our souls. The way that such a flawless system is able to operate in a perfect fashion is one of the proofs of Allah’s existence and greatness. Allah produces music within the silence of the brain, and it is also He Who creates its impact. It is only by Allah’s will that the sounds of instruments playing one after the other produce pleasure, happiness and excitement in the human soul. This is a great mercy and blessing from Allah.
If you tried to number Allah’s blessings, you could never count them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nahl, 18)

Mankind! Remember Allah’s blessing to you. Is there any creator other than Allah providing for you from heaven and Earth? There is no deity but Him. So how have you been perverted? (Surah Fatir, 3)

MAKING A MISTAKE DOES NOT MEAN ONE WILL BE ANY LESS LOVED

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One of the most important characteristics of a Muslim is that, no matter what his circumstances, he always maintains a very positive state of mind. Muslims see the best and look for wisdom in everything. They never fall prey to despair, not even in the most difficult moments.  That is because they believe that Allah (God) is the Creator of all things, that He has the power to create whatever He wants by telling it to “Be!” They know that any negative-seeming situation is as a test from Him.  They immediately think of the good and the wisdom in that situation and recall the verse: “… it may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” (Surat al-Baqara, 216) Everything turns very positive for a Muslim with such a depth of soul. Whether it be trouble or difficulty, it is Allah Who bestows them on that person. He is believers’ one and only friend, helper and guardian. Everything that emanates from one’s friend is lovely and valuable. And everything Allah creates is for the best and contains much wisdom.

Allah teaches the souls of those believers who have a sincere and unsullied belief in Him throughout the life of this world to be worthy of Paradise. Every stage in this instruction is, by Allah’s will, a means whereby Muslims can take another step towards Paradise. Muslims acting in the light of the moral values of the Qur’an regard both events going on around them, their own situations and also their own moral development with the same maturity. They regard any moral deficiencies or behavioral errors that may occur as also being auspicious. Having faith does not mean making no mistakes. Allah creates human beings to be fallible, flawed and weak. Muslims make mistakes the same way as everyone else. But the difference between them and those people who base themselves on the criteria of the society of the ignorant is that when Muslims realize the correct course of action by way of their consciences, or even if they do not but are reminded of it by others, they do not deliberately insist on continuing with their errors. It is immediate repentance and sheltering in Allah and an intention not to repeat one’s error but to learn from one’s mistakes. This is a major indicator of a Muslim’s sincerity. Allah tells us how Muslims should behave in the face of their own mistakes:

Those who, when they act indecently or wrong themselves, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their bad actions (and who can forgive bad actions except Allah?) and do not knowingly persist in what they were doing. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 135)

Muslims are valuable entities bearing the Spirit of Allah. According to the Qur’an, it is improper for such people to exaggerate their mistakes and regard themselves as worthless because of them. It is Allah Who creates mistakes and causes people to commit them in destiny. Even before a person is born it is already ordained in destiny at what time, on what date and where they will commit that error.  Even if a person were to experience that moment a thousand times over they would still make the same mistake at the same time, on the same date and in the same place. It is therefore wrong for people to lack self-confidence because of errors they have committed. Muslims never, under any circumstances, pay any heed to the approval of other people. They never become preoccupied with such doubts as “I wonder what people will say? What will they think of me? Will they love me any less? Will their trust in me be damaged?” Muslims seek to earn Allah’s approval alone. In the event of an error or imperfection, they beg Allah to forgive them and hope that He will forgive their sins. They know that He is infinitely forgiving.  What matters is whether or not He approves of that person. The Prophet Abraham’s (pbuh) prayer, “[It is] He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning…” (Surat ash-Shu‘ara’, 82), is an excellent model on this subject.

Since Muslims have faith and trust in and rely on Allah, they always regard themselves as virtuous and valuable. They always have respect for themselves. They always remember Allah’s verse “Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You shall be uppermost if you are believers” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 139), which represents the way they look at themselves. Muslims want to be loved and trusted by other Muslims. But they also know it is Allah Who will create that love and bestow that feeling of trust in other believers’ hearts. They live in the comfort that comes from this submission to Allah. They know that other believers will not love them any less when they make a mistake or when their deficiencies are exposed. On the contrary, Muslims’ errors are instrumental in strengthening the love felt for those people. That is because the important thing is not the mistake, but the behavior in the face of it of the person committing it. Since Muslims fear Allah, they have uneasy consciences when they make an error. They immediately think as they are shown in the Qur’an and thus see the truth. They then feel regret for their mistakes and strive to make up for their mistake and to improve their moral values by seeking shelter in Allah. The more errors people commit, the more they are able to realize how weak they are. They attain a deeper understanding of how much they need Allah. This mindset increases a person’s submission to Allah and humility. And Allah creates feelings of sympathy and affection for that person in the hearts of other believers.

Although satan tries to whisper to people that they will not be loved, and strives to make them despair and lose enthusiasm and strength when they commit an error, what actually happens in a community ruled by the moral values of the Qur’an is the exact opposite of this.

The responsibility incumbent upon believers is to ensure that the moral values of the Qur’an rule their lives as much as possible and to seek the greatest amount of Allah’s approval in all they do at every moment of their lives. It is impossible, according to the moral values of the Qur’an, for anyone harboring such an intent and who lives for Allah in a determined and fixed manner, not to be loved or trusted. Faith requires that Muslims know this and that other Muslims will love them because of that faith. It also requires that they have trust that only Allah can create that love in others’ hearts. As Allah tells us in another verse from the Qur’an:

As for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will bestow His love on them. (Surah Maryam, 96)

BELIEVERS’ ENDEAVORS

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Allah (God) has given believers the intelligence and conscience with which to distinguish between right and wrong in order to enhance their love and fear of Him, their sincerity and their Islamic zeal.

Believers who use their consciences to the utmost extent aim to earn as much of Allah’s approval as possible in all they do during the course of the day, and regard every moment of their lives as another opportunity to draw closer to Him. Because they desire to live fully by the moral values of the Qur’an they place no limits on using their reason, conscience and power of love, which Allah has given them, to the fullest extent. As a result, they hope for the finest and fairest recompense in the Hereafter, as Allah reveals in a verse from the Qur’an:
Anyone, male or female, who does right actions and is a believer, will enter the Garden. They will not be wronged by so much as the tiniest speck. (Surat an-Nisa’, 124)

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