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Why Religion?

Discover Islam


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In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

All praise be to God, and all blessing and peace be upon our master Muhammad and on all his family and Companions.

  • Time has demonstrated that Paradise is not cheap, nor is Hell altogether futile.

  • The merits of the people regarded in the world as the elite lead them to haughtiness and oppression, whereas they should be inspired by those merits to be modest and self-effacing. Instead of arousing in mankind feelings of compassion and benevolence, the helpless destitution of the poor leads to their deeper captivity and subjection.

  • Honors and fineries are made presents of for the elite; shortages and defects and evil consequences are shared out among the common people.

  • The absence or the forgetting of an ideal leads minds to turn into themselves in self-interest.

  • The cause of all revolutions and societal corruption, and the root of all moral failings, are these two attitudes:

First: I don’t care if others die of hunger so long as my own stomach is full.

Second: You must bear the costs of my ease – you must work so that I may eat.

The cure for the first attitude is the obligation of zakat, the alms-tax prescribed by the Qur’an. The cure for the second attitude is the prohibition of all interest-bearing transactions. The justice of the Qur’an stands at the door of the world and turns away interest, proclaiming – ‘No! you have no right to enter!’ Mankind did not heed this prohibition and have suffered terrible blows in consequence. Let them heed it now to avoid still greater suffering. 

  • One who takes an [Islamically] unlawful route to a lawful objective is often made to attain, by way of punishment, what is opposite to his goal. The reward for an un-Islamic love, like the love of Europe, is the pitiless enmity of the beloved.

  • Whatever is past as well as [present] misfortunes should be considered in the light of Destiny, and what is to come, and sins and questions of responsibility, should be referred to human free will. In this way, the extremes of fatalism (jabr) and the denial of a role for Destiny in human actions (i’tizal, the view of the Mu’tazila) may be reconciled. 

  • One should seek solace neither in lamentations over one’s failure in regard to what one cannot do, nor in demonstrations of impotence in regard to what one can do.

  • The wounds of an individual life can be healed. But the wounds that have been struck against the dignity of Islam and the honor of the nation are too deep to heal.

  • It sometimes happens that a single utterance may drive an army to defeat, as a single bullet may lead to the deaths of thirty million people. (A bullet fired by a Serbian private at the heir to the Austrian throne became the final pretext for the outbreak of the First World War, which resulted in thirty million deaths.) Under the appropriate conditions a [seemingly] insignificant act may cause its doer to be elevated to the highest of the high, as it may cause him to be reduced to the lowest of the low, according to the circumstances and conditions in which it is done.

  • A single truth can bring down a whole heap of lies. Again, a single reality is to be preferred to a whole heap of fancies.

  • He who attends to the good side of everything contemplates the good, and one who contemplates the good enjoys his life.

  • What energizes people is ambition and hope; it is the absence of hope that demoralizes them.

  • This exalted State collapsed. It had carried through centuries of self-sacrifice the banner and burden of Islamic Caliphate, the collective duty to fight for the protection and independence of the Muslim peoples, for the exaltation of the Word of God. Its collapse will be compensated in the future with the general happiness and full independence of the whole Muslim world – for its collapse is a calamity that urges us to develop brotherhood, which is the essence of our life as Muslims.

  • A demonstration of how the wheel of time can rotate backwards: the beauties of civilization are ascribed to Christianity which has no share in them; Islam is accused of encouraging barbarism and regressiveness of which it is an enemy.

  • A fine diamond though tarnished is always preferable to a piece of glass no matter how it has been polished up.

  • Those who regard matter as the origin of everything have limited their intellectual capacity to what their eyes can see. But eyes cannot see the domain of the spirit.

  • When a metaphor is appropriated by the ignorant, they take it literally as the reality, which opens a door for them to superstitions.

  • To represent someone as better than the virtues with which God endowed him does him no favor at all. Better describe everything as it really is.

  • Fame gathers to the famous what they do not truly own.

  • The sayings of the Prophet, upon him be peace and the blessings of God, are the authority and source for Islamic life, and the inspiration of truths.

  • The revival of the religion means the revival of the nation. The being of the religion is the light of life.

  • The Qur’an is a mercy for mankind; therefore it urges a civilization which really secures the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

  • Western civilization in its present phase is founded upon five negative principles:

1. It is founded and rests upon power; power tends to oppression.

2. It aims at the realization of individual self-interests; pursuit of their self-interests causes people to rush madly upon things in order to possess them.

3. Its understanding or philosophy of the nature of life is struggle; struggle causes internal and external conflicts.

4. It unifies the mass of its people on the basis of national and/or racial separatism, fed by swallowing up the resources and territories of ‘others’; and racism leads to terrible collisions between peoples.

5. The service it offers to people is satisfaction of the novel caprices or desires it arouses in them; (whether the satisfaction is real or not) this service brutalizes people.

As for the civilization founded upon and sustained by Islam:

1. It rests upon right, not upon power; and right requires justice and balance.

2. It aims to encourage people to virtue, which is a spur to mutual affection and love.

3. Its understanding or philosophy of the nature of life is not struggle but mutual help, which leads to unity and solidarity.

4. It unifies people on the basis of a common religion in a common state, which leads to internal peace and brotherhood and a willing self-defence against external enemies.

5. Islam guides people to the truth. Therefore, besides encouraging them to scientific progress, it elevates them, through moral perfection, to the higher ranks of humanity.

Never break with Islam, for it is the guarantee of our survival; stick to it, heart and soul, or we shall perish utterly.

  • A general misfortune is the consequence of a failing in which the majority of the people have a part. While every misfortune is the consequence of a failing, it is also a door opening to a means of reward.

  • A martyr knows that he is still living. Since he does not experience the event of his death as death, he sees the life that he sacrificed for the sake of God as permanent and uninterrupted, indeed he finds it more refined.

  • The perfect justice of the Qur’an does not permit the taking of an innocent life, not even as a sacrifice for the whole of the rest of mankind. In the sight of Divine Power and Justice, a single life is equal in value to the life of the whole of mankind. Yet, there are people whose selfishness is such that they would, if they could, if the realization of their ambitions is frustrated, destroy everything, including the whole of mankind. 

  • Timidity and weakness give encouragement to the agents of external enemies.

  • A benefit certain to come should not be renounced for fear of a harm that is only suppositional.

  • Politics at the present time is a disease like ‘the Spanish disease’ so-called, syphilis.

  • It is not uncommon for the sanity of a lunatic to be restored by telling him repeatedly that he is sane; and a good man can become bad after hearing repeatedly that he is bad.

  • As long as an enemy persists in his enmity, his enemy is a friend. As long as a friend maintains his friendship, his enemy’s friend is an enemy.

  • Obstinacy in one’s cause can lead one to regard a devilish person as angelic because he assists and supports the same cause, and then to call God’s mercy on him. Equally, it can lead one to regard an angelic person as devilish because he opposes that cause, and then to call God’s curse upon him.

  • What is a cure for one condition may be a poison for another. Excessive doses of a medicine can create new illnesses.

  • A community among whose members there is solidarity is a means created to get moving those who lack movement; one among whose members there is jealousy is a means created to bring to a halt those who are moving.

  • The sort of superficial unity which lacks substance, depth and sincerity, in fact breaks up a community making it slighter and weaker, just as a fraction multiplied by a fraction makes the resulting sum smaller. (As everyone knows, a whole number multiplied by a whole number leads to a sum which is greater than the two numbers: for example, three times two is six; but a fraction multiplied by a fraction leads to a sum which is smaller: for example, a third times a third is a ninth.) Thus, a community that lacks a sound and sincere unity will grow weaker by mere multiplication of numbers, by mere growth of population.

  • Not affirming that something exists is often confounded with affirming that something does not exist. The absence of a sign or evidence that a thing exists may justify someone not affirming its existence if he is disinclined to accept its existence. But affirming the non-existence of something requires clear evidence that proves its non-existence. For not-affirming its existence is doubt; whereas affirming its non-existence is denial.

  • Even if doubt upon a point of belief were to bring to nothing a hundred proofs for it, the truth of that point of belief would yet remain intact since the number of proofs for it abound in their thousands.

  • One should follow the consensus of the majority of the Muslim ummah. Following such a consensus, the partisans of the Ummayyads finally joined the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah, though they had used to be, at the beginning, neglectful of the principles of Islam. But the Shi‘a, who had been strict in following the principles of religion, became in the end Rafizites in part, since they preferred to remain a small minority.

  • When the pursuit of what is better or truer leads to dissensions, consensus on what is good and true should be sought. Consensus on what is good and true is always preferable to dissension on anything more than that. Thus, what is good and true sometimes turns out to be better and truer than what, in the abstract, appears to be better and truer. So, let a man declare by all means that ‘My way is good and true’; but let him never claim that ‘My way is the only way, the truest and best’.

  • But for Paradise, the torment of Hell could not be perceived or known as such.

  • As time grows older, the Qur’an becomes younger, its secrets and signs clearer and better understood. As light may be mistaken sometimes for fire, so force of eloquence may lead some to find excess in it.

  • Gradations of heat are measurable because of their present contrast with cold; likewise degrees of beauty are known by the admixture of ugliness. The Eternal Power of God is an essential attribute of Divine Being, necessary to His Essence. Since impotence cannot dilute it, there are no degrees of the Power of God, everything is equal before It.

  • Consider: the reflection of the sun in both the whole expanse of the sea and in the smallest wave or bubble of it has the same identity.

  • Life is a manifestation of the Oneness of God and brings the multiplicity to unity.

  • Among the people, who the saints are; on Friday, the hour when prayers are most acceptable; among the nights of Ramadan, which the Night of Power (Qadr) is; among the Beautiful Names of God, the Greatest Name; in a life, the time appointed for its death – these are not known to mankind. And because they are not known, the rest are also esteemed and given importance. A life of twenty years with an unknown end is preferable to a life of a thousand years whose end is known.

  • The outcome in the world of the evils done in it are a demonstration that their punishment is to come in the Hereafter.

  • In the sight of Divine Power, the provisioning of a life is as important as the life. Provision is produced by Power, apportioned by Destiny, and given out by Grace (Favor). Life is the sure, certain outcome of particular circumstances and events, and so it is witnessed. But provision is not sure and certain, it is not something obtained within a certain time. Rather, it comes by uncertain degrees, leading man to contemplation. Those who appear to die of hunger die before the sustenance stored in the body (as fat, for example) is wholly consumed; thus, what they die of is the diseases caused by alteration or abandonment of the routine form of nourishment.

  • The carcasses of animals constitute the lawful sustenance of many wild carnivores. By consuming those carcasses they both feed themselves and cleanse the surface of the earth.

  • Two morsels of food, one priced at ten cents, the other at ten dollars, which, usually, do not differ in nutritional value. For the sake of the few seconds of pleasure it may give to the sense of taste (which is, as it were, the inspector and doorkeeper of the factory of the stomach), is it not the meanest form of waste to prefer the morsel priced at ten dollars?

  • When a pleasures draws you, you should say, ‘Enjoyed it already’. A man who adopted this principle did not spend the money which he used to build a mosque, now called the Mosque of ‘Enjoyed it Already’.

  • Where the majority of Muslims are not hungry, a life of ease may appeal to the imagination. But where the majority of Muslims are hungry, no Muslim can choose to live such a life.

Recommended Reading:
Seeds of Truth 1
Seeds of Truth 3

Last Updated on February 07, 2002

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