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People who live far removed from the moral values of the Qur’an live their lives according to the rules of the society of the ignorant. They even become so bound up in that life style that they are unaware of the harm that this secret devilish system does them.

Believers, however, live their lives according to the requirements of Qur’anic moral values. They devote their lives to Allah (God) and consider His approval in everything they do. But a very different life style to that of believers prevails in the society of the ignorant. People generally adopt a shared character and moral conception taught to them from childhood. They adopt this defective behavior, which is made up of thousands of unpleasant details belonging entirely to the society of the ignorant, and which definitely has no place in the moral values of the Qur’an, as a life style. Their perspectives, ways of looking at events, modes of speech, gestures and behavioral defects such as insensitivity, mockery or a propensity to gossip are all the same.

The transitory gains they enjoy from this system do not really make them happy at all. They merely cause them to live without love, respect, friendship, real joy and happiness in a wicked world dominated by constant stress, trouble, disorder and conflict. Yet people who live far removed from Qur’anic moral values are blindly devoted to this deception of satan’s. That is why they never abandon their insincere behavior, self-interest and attempts to establish superiority over other people. Since, unlike believers, they do not look at everything auspiciously they feel constant unease and never experience real and profound enjoyment of anything. Expressions such as, “I am not enjoying life,” or “I am fed up,” which they often use throughout the course of the day, make this state of mind crystal clear. But since believers submit to Allah at every moment and know that He creates everything for the best and that it contains much wisdom, they enjoy peace of mind in face of all that happens. Muslims live entirely divorced from this satanic life style of the society of the ignorant and live, with an unsullied faith, for Allah alone. These moral values stemming from believers’ faith are described thus in the Qur’an:

The believers are those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, whose faith is increased when His Signs are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord. (Surat al-Anfal, 2)

Believers are far removed from the satanic and sly life style of the society of the ignorant. Aware that they have come into this world solely in order to be tested, they live in the hope of attaining Allah’s Paradise and pleasing Him, by spending every moment on increasing their closeness to Him, reflecting more deeply, and behaving in the best manner when they encounter a situation that displeases them. Since they know they can only attain the true “salvation” that Allah has promised in the Qur’an through moral virtue and unsullied faith, they strive to live by the moral values of the Qur’an in the most perfect manner and to free themselves of all moral pollution. Our Almighty Lord reveals in the Qur’an that He will grant victory to those of His servants who live by those moral values:

Allah has promised the men and women of the believers Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever, and fine dwellings in the Gardens of Eden. And Allah’s good pleasure is even greater. That is the great victory. (Surat at-Tawba, 72)

It must not be forgotten that people can abandon anytime all the wrong attributes they have learned in the society of the ignorant, turn to Allah’s path, the one true path, and live the rest of their lives according to the moral values of the Qur’an. In the verse “And ask Allah’s forgiveness. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Surat an-Nisa’, 106), Allah promises to forgive the sins of those who repent and turn to good deeds. Everyone must live by the moral virtues of believers, freeing themselves from the life style of the ignorant that brings with it nothing but trouble, stress, unhappiness and loss. Freeing oneself from all behavioral defects that will not be pleasing to Allah and seeking refuge in Him will earn one both His approval and also eternal salvation. These glad tidings of our Lord are revealed as follows in the Qur’an:

Allah has prepared Gardens for them with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever. That is the great victory. (Surat at-Tawba, 89)


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Allah (God) has created people to be tested in this world. Some of these people believe, while the majority insist on not doing so. But Allah has also revealed that people should not be misled by the majority in the verse, “If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would misguide you from Allah’s Way…” (Surat al-An‘am, 116)

In the verse We created many of the jinn and mankind for Hell. They have hearts they do not understand with. They have eyes they do not see with. They have ears they do not hear with. Such people are like cattle. No, they are even further astray! They are the unaware.” (Surat al-A’raf, 179), we are told that many people are created for Hell. Therefore, the fact that there are a large number of unbelievers must not lead to laxity. That is because most of these people may have been created for Hell. (And Allah knows the truth.)
The characteristics of the people described in the verse as being created for Hell reveals the difference between them and believers.

Unbelievers literally seem to have no souls. “They have eyes they do not see with,” in other words, they fail to grasp the flawless might of Allah. “They have ears they do not hear with,” in other words, calls to believe have no effect on their hearts. In another verse, Allah reveals the hardness of soul of those who deny Him as follows:

Then your hearts became hardened after that, so they were like rocks or even harder still. There are some rocks from which rivers gush out, and others which split open and water pours out, and others which crash down from fear of Allah… (Surat al-Baqara, 74)

The awe-filled fear of the believers, on the other hand, is very strong, resembling rocks “which crash down from fear of Allah,” as described in the above verse. They live by the Qur’an for His approval, thinking only of His existence and not following the crowd. For that reason, their consciences are most transparent. Since they display moral values compatible with the Qur’an, Allah creates a deep love and joy in their hearts. They have “eyes” with which to see and appreciate the beauties created by Allah and “hearts” with which to increase their love of Him. Since they are aware that they will have to account for themselves to Allah all on their own, they spend every moment of their lives seeking His approval.


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In addition to Muslims, who sincerely submit to and believe in the prophets who communicate the faith of Allah (God), there are also unbelievers, who rebel, strive against the prophets and attack the faith of Allah. Some of these people who ignore and are ungrateful for the blessings that Allah offers them and who are unaware of the test in this world dedicate their lives to fighting against Muslims. They have literally become the slaves of satan. They blindly strive to prevent the dominion of Islamic moral values. They are unable to understand that these endeavors will wreak losses on them in this world and in the Hereafter. They imagine (surely Allah is above that) that they have not submitted to Allah and are in rebellion against Him. But with regard to helplessness they are obliged to live in submission to Him. They have no power to rebel on this matter. For example, Pharaoh, who ruled Egypt during the time of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), was obliged to eat the food provided by Allah. He had no option to prefer not to. Qarun, who by the mercy of Allah possessed great treasure, was unable to do without sleep because he had to submit to that weakness created by Allah. Pharaoh, Qarun and other proud, fanatical deniers were unable to elect not to become dirty, ill or old. They were condemned to live and die in the bodies created by Allah according to the destinies ordained by Him.

Allah gives unbelievers time in this world in order to further enhance their sufferings in the Hereafter. The reward awaiting unbelievers, who imagine that they are not submitted to Allah, is eternal torment in the Hereafter.

As revealed in the verse “Those who disbelieve should not imagine that the extra time We grant to them is good for them. We only allow them more time so they will increase in evildoing. They will have a humiliating punishment” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 178), the time extended to them is solely a means by which they can further approach that punishment.


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Squandering time and regarding it as something pleasant is an idea suggested to people by satan. In the society of the ignorant, frittering time away or “killing time,” as they put it, is very common. But believers must spend every moment of the time Allah (God) blesses them with to increase their proximity to Him, reflect ever more deeply and serve Muslims and Islam.

Someone who sincerely believes in Allah must keep away from empty pastimes that satan portrays as attractive in the life of this world. Only in that way can one properly reflect deeply with a clear mind. Believers are described as turning their backs on empty and worthless things in the Qur’an:

[They are] those who turn away from what is vain. (Surat al-Muminun, 3)

Time is very valuable for people in this world. People must spend every moment seeking the greatest measure possible of Allah’s approval. Just think, what if a person spends his time on hollow matters that will be of no benefit to him and if many things he thinks about are of no use or benefit in the Hereafter? A believer must be aware of the possibility of that at every moment and keep well away from ideas that are “pointless and unnecessary” but that satan portrays as very attractive and easy. Our Prophet (saas) said this on the subject:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet (saas) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: [They are] Health and free time for doing good.” (Sahih Bukhari)

People who fritter away their time never reflect deeply on death, Paradise and Hell in the way they should. Believers, on the other hand, never for a moment forget that death is rapidly approaching and that everything in the world is created as a test. They reflect on their countless weaknesses that Allah shows them every day and turn to subjects that will draw them closer to Him. For instance, let us consider someone who spends his life on empty purposes and who prefers the life that satan portrays as so attractive, even though he can see the genuine intellectual struggle being waged by Muslims to tell people of the moral values of the Qur’an. On the Day of Judgment, that person will be asked why he spent his time on empty matters when he could make efforts to that end. Believers must take pains to avoid such behavior by using their consciences in this world, before encountering such a situation on the Day of Judgment. As we are told in one verse of the Qur’an, “What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah – for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!’?” (Surat an-Nisa’, 75), believers must spend their lives preaching the word for Allah’s approval in a manner that He will be pleased with, reflecting deeply and spreading Islamic moral values. Otherwise, many things they think about during the course of the day and many worldly matters they concentrate on will be of no benefit to them. On the contrary, this wasted time they will be unable to account for may inflict great losses on them in the Hereafter. The important thing is for the believer to be aware of this and to squander not even one single moment. Believers who make such genuine efforts are referred to as follows in the Qur’an:
Give the good news to those who believe and do right actions that they will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them. When they are given fruit there as provision, they will say, “This is what we were given before.” But they were only given a simulation of it. They will have there spouses of perfect purity and will remain there timelessly, for ever. (Surat al-Baqara, 25)

As for those who believe and do right actions – We impose on no self any more than it can bear – they are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. (Surat al-A‘raf, 42)


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Every day we come across reports from all over the world about the rise of Islamic moral values. The ever increasing numbers of people converting to Islam, the development of Muslim countries, research into and acceptance of an interest-free economic system by all sorts of people, the rapid global spread of Islamic moral values and the turning toward Islam are important matters of the greatest concern to Muslims.

In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah (God) has promised to raise Islam, the final religion of truth, and give it sovereignty. Indeed, Muslims have been told, both in the Noble Qur’an and in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), the goods news that Islamic moral values will rule the world. One of the verses on the subject reads:

Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. “They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.” Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55)

This great promise of Allah’s occupies an important place in the life of Muslims. Indeed, Muslims personally feel and experience this promise of Allah’s in the Qur’an concerning the rise of Islam in everything that happens to them and every report they hear throughout their lives. It is impossible for them to turn their backs on these developments that are instrumental in believers increasing their enthusiasm and feeling a delightful fervor. That is because believers’ souls are created to feel excitement at the growth of the faith and spread of Islamic moral values. Allah, Who causes believers to love the faith and makes it a thing of beauty in their hearts, has also made the rise of the faith a cause of great joy in Muslims’ hearts.

… Allah has given you love of faith and made it pleasing to your hearts, and has made disbelief, deviance and disobedience hateful to you. People such as these are rightly guided. (Surat al-Hujurat, 7)

What concerns or delights people who live far removed from religion, however, is their own advantage or benefit. Even a very small financial gain in this world may cause them enormous joy and excitement. But believers never stoop to such superficial behavior. They always try to adopt the same moral values and behavior as those of the prophets. Their moral values are those of the Qur’an and cause them to long for the profound understanding and faith of the prophets. It is, therefore, always important issues such as the growth and rise of Islam and the interests of the faith that cause Muslims excitement and rejoicing. Believers follow such developments very closely, find out about them, tell other believers of them and take a close interest in them. Believers need all these things, which are delights they feel in their souls. Apathy in the face of the growth and rise of Islam is a characteristic of people who have failed to fully comprehend belief. This apathy and lack of interest create a serious emptiness in the souls of such people. Thus it is that they are as different from believers as night is from day. Developments that delight believers and are instrumental in their drawing closer to Allah and feeling even greater enthusiasm will, by Allah’s leave, continue at an ever greater pace and Islamic moral values will rule the world.


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A person comes across hundreds of things to distract his attention in the course of the day. During the busy daily life, it is only possible to deepen one’s faith and reflect with more certainty on the existence of the Hereafter by way of true faith. In particular, thinking about death and realizing that that one’s existence in this world will come to an end at a time appointed by Allah (God) and that one can embark on one’s eternal life at any moment take on a very distinct form in the mind.

That is because with death, many worldly things that had been of such value up until then, that had seemed so important and had such time expended on them, will lose all significance. The proximity of Paradise and Hell can be better realized with this seriousness of faith that thinking about death brings with it. One obtains a deeper understanding of the proximity of the Hereafter and that the world is merely a place of testing. People who do not understand faith as it requires have a vague view of death and the Hereafter in the life of this world. But when faced with death, this vagueness will become a sharp accuracy, and all these people will grasp the reality of the Hereafter in full clarity. This clear understanding at the moment of death is revealed as follows in the Qur’an:

The throes of death come revealing the truth. That is what you were trying to evade! The Trumpet will be blown. That is the Day of the Threat. Every self will come together with a driver and a witness: “You were heedless of this so We have stripped you of your covering and today your sight is sharp.” (Surah Qaf, 19-22)

The words “… You were heedless of this so We have stripped you of your covering…” in the verse are to be interpreted in terms of people living heedless of the transitory nature of the life of this world, the existence of the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment. At the moment of death, however, even someone who has never thought about Paradise and Hell during his life acquires a far sharper perspective and clear understanding. But that person’s test is now over and the verdict has been given. There is no way back. There is no possibility of one’s wish that “I have understood the reality, so let me start my test all over again” becoming a reality.

Since believers have a great fear of encountering such a situation in the Hereafter they spend their lives looking for ways to draw closer to Allah and have a deeper faith. Believers look only to Allah’s good pleasure, mercy and Paradise. Everyone must achieve a serious comprehension of the proximity of Paradise and Hell before the moment of death arrives, and must turn to our Almighty Lord.


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Satan attempts to prevent people abiding by Allah’s (God’s) will in a number of ways. One of these is to make people display the kind of behavior known as “vulgarity,” which prevents people exhibiting moral virtues compatible with the Qur’an.

What is “Vulgarity”?

All forms of behavior that conflict with the moral values of the Qur’an harbor an element of vulgarity. In the Qur’an, Allah praises moral virtues, self-sacrifice, humility and submission for believers and condemns selfishness, rebelliousness, bad temper, sentimentality and bad behavior. A Muslim closely bound to the Qur’an is very careful to abide by these commands of Allah’s. But people who have not applied the moral values commanded in the Qur’an to their lives may exhibit ignoble behavior. This behavior may appear when people’s lower selves are thwarted, when they regard themselves as being in the right, when they do not get their way, when they are troubled or when they think selfishly. For example, someone who works the whole day grumbling or complaining about things or watching to see how much work those around him are doing is behavior to which a believer who does everything for Allah’s approval would never stoop.

One form of ignoble behavior is failing to heed advice intended to call them to proper moral values when they have behaved in a manner incompatible with the Qur’an and comparing oneself to other people who display poor moral values and citing them as an example in order to supposedly prove oneself in the right. Sincere believers, on the other hand, know how to avoid future mistakes in the event they make any, heed the good advice and take devout believers as model.

In addition, a believer who fears Allah never forgets that everything is created in destiny and that he must place his trust in Him. He therefore never falls into sentimentality, imagines he has suffered an injustice or becomes angry. Since Allah creates all events, he always exhibits wise behavior compatible with the Qur’an.

The Solution: Noble Behavior Compatible with the Qur’an

As revealed in the Qur’an in the verse “… satan’s scheming is always feeble” (Surat an-Nisa’, 76), it is easy for a person to correct ignoble behavior once he fully abides by the Qur’an. Allah will show His servants who genuinely turn to Him the true path and bestow a feeling of security in their hearts. Therefore, believers must always place their trust in Allah, no matter what arises in their destiny, and must always persevere in behaving virtuously. Allah willing, it is enough to act in the light of one’s conscience, rather than feeling sorrow, becoming angry, thinking one has been disrespected, bothering with minor issues or comparing oneself with someone else possessed of very poor moral values, in order to live virtuously in a manner that will be pleasing to Allah.


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Allah (God) has revealed that He will test people with difficulties in the life of this world. These adversities and difficulties may afflict Muslims as well as unbelievers. But while they turn into a kind of suffering for unbelievers they are all incomparable beauties for devout Muslims who know that Allah creates all things for the best. Each of them is a blessing in this world and the Hereafter, a valuable instrument for deepening their faith and an opportunity for them to strengthen their joy, enthusiasm and the love and bonds between them. In one verse, Allah reveals that deficiencies and difficulties may come to both deniers and Muslims, and that He “deals out such days to people turn by turn”:

If you have received a wound, they have already received a similar wound. We deal out such days to people turn by turn, so that Allah will know those who believe and can gather martyrs from among you – Allah does not love wrongdoers. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 140)

Being tested by difficulties is an important part of the life of a Muslim. Throughout the course of his life, our Prophet (saas) was subjected to a great many slanders, threatened with death and oppressed many times by the pagans of Mecca, and eventually abandoned all he owned and migrated to Medina together with his companions. The Prophet Abraham (pbuh) was cast into the flames, the Prophet Joseph (pbuh) was left in a remote well and then spent years in prison, the Prophet Moses (pbuh) was oppressed by Pharaoh and traps were set to kill the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), but Allah thwarted all these snares laid for His messengers and turned all difficulties into beauties for His righteous servants. He describes in the Qur’an in detail how the unbelievers will set various traps for Muslims, intended to inflict difficulties on them. In one verse He reveals:

When those who are unbelievers were plotting against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you: they were plotting and Allah was plotting, but Allah is the Best of Plotters. (Surat al-Anfal, 30)

Troubles and difficulties such as killing, wounding, arrest, exile or imprisonment may arise at any time in the life of a Muslim. But all these troubles and difficulties are events that take place with Allah’s command, that work in Muslims’ favor right from the beginning, and that have been thwarted in destiny beforehand right from the very outset. And they are all sources of joy for Muslims. It is revealed in one verse how Muslims reply to threats and intimidation:

Those to whom people said, “The people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But that merely increased their faith and they said, “Allah is enough for us and the Best of Guardians.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 173)

Allah’s reward to these excellent moral virtues of Muslims is as follows:

So they returned with blessings and bounty from Allah and no evil touched them. They pursued the pleasure of Allah. Allah’s favor is indeed immense. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 174)

As revealed in these verses, Muslims’ faith is strengthened and the joy of belief increases in the face of adversity. Unbelievers intend evil for believers but, contrary to their expectations, their plans are always auspicious for and work in believers’ favor, being “blessings and bounty from Allah, and no evil touches them.” This is one of Allah’s manifestations of how the snares of the unbelievers will never succeed. Allah has revealed that it is the unbelievers themselves who will suffer the ultimate disappointment because of the traps they set:

They desired to trap him but We made them the losers. (Surat al-Anbiya’, 70)


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When we go out we see a great many striking details all around us. These include bright shop windows and sparkling goods made out of crystal adorning them. But have you ever stopped to think that when you look at a crystal glass, that glass is actually an image produced by electric signals flowing to the brain? The power in the brain perceives these low-voltage electric signals arriving at a pitch-black piece of flesh within the brain as the image of a colored, three-dimensional, sparkling and highly attractive crystal goblet.

In other words, you actually have direct experience, not of the true image of the crystal glass that exists on the outside, but of a copy image forming in your brain. You can never establish a direct connection with the original of the crystal glass on the outside. What you establish a connection with is electric signals coming from the glass and belonging to perceptions of sight and touch. The way the power in the brain perceives these as the image of “a perfect crystal goblet” is a metaphysical miracle. It is the soul, acting by the will of Allah (God), that perceives the electric signals in your brain as a three-dimensional and brightly colored world. Allah shows our souls copy images of the glass, shop windows, streets and the world we live in, the originals of which exist on the outside, in a miraculous manner. There is never the slightest break in the continuity of these images. We watch the world that Allah creates for us every single moment.


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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.


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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.


Posted under General

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).


Posted under General

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)