Harun Yahya - Quick Grasp Of Faith -3-
Quick Grasp Of Faith -3-

We have made the Qur'an easy to remember. But is there anyone who will take heed?
(Surat al-Qamar: 17)

question 67

Can one person bear another's burden and be punished for him or her in the Hereafter?

The Qur'an states that such a situation is not possible, for every person is responsible for his or her actions and will be judged in Allah's presence. This is so because Allah has given each person a conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong and always calls him or her to seek Allah's good pleasure. Furthermore, by sending a book to teach them what is right and wrong, and communicating His religion through His Messengers, He has warned all people against the punishment of Hell. Those who turn away from the truth after all of these warnings make their individual choices by their free will, reasoning, and desires. Each one of them will be held accountable for their ultimate decision. The Qur'an proclaims this, as follows:

No one can bear another's burden. If someone weighed down calls for help to bear his load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be his close relative. You can only warn those who fear their Lord in the Unseen and establish prayer. Whoever is purified, is purified for himself alone. Allah is your final destination. (Surah Fatir, 18)

In another verse, Allah informs humanity that those who drive people to wrongdoing by promising what they cannot deliver are liars, and warns humanity about them, as follows:

Those who do not believe say to those who believe: "Follow our way, and we will bear the weight of your mistakes." They will not bear the weight of a single one of their mistakes. Truly they are liars. (Surat al-`Ankabut, 12)

question 68

How can Islam and the Qur'an be conveyed to others?

Religion is best conveyed to a person by communicating it both verbally and physically. By explaining the religion's commands and the Qur'an's morals, and then living according to them, those who are not yet believers can grasp the truth's meaning far more accurately. Since sincerity is measured by the consistency of a person's words with his or her actual actions, the sincerity of the conveyor significantly helps the person to perceive the beauty of religion.

For example, if the person explains why self-sacrifice is a virtuous action and, on the other hand, exhibits selfishness, this will diminish the effect of his or her words and raise serious doubts about that person's sincerity. However, if a person displays good morals and invites other people to do the same, they will form a strong opinion about that person's sincerity and observe how the good morals that he or she mentions can be practiced in daily life. Likewise, if the person explaining modesty displays it in his or her actions, it becomes the best way to spread the religion. Allah reminds believers to do what they tell other people to do:

O You who believe. Why do you say what you do not do? It is deeply abhorrent to Allah that you should say what you do not do. (Surat as-Saff, 2-3)

question 69

Is there any limit to good morals? Can one say "that's enough" after attaining a certain level of good morals?

There are no limits to good morals. For every action and word, there is certainly a better one. One can never say "this is enough" or "this is the best." Furthermore, whenever people deem themselves to have reached a satisfactory level, moral and behavioral corruption sets in. Since they believe that they have no further need to renew themselves, they cannot benefit from any beauty or show any improvement in their characters. Allah points out that those who see themselves as sufficient are arrogant:

No indeed! Truly man is unbridled, seeing himself as self-sufficient. (Surat al-`Alaq, 6-7)

Thus people should always seek to improve themselves, because nobody can be sure of earning Paradise and Allah's good pleasure before Allah's decision about him or her is known.

question 70

How should Muslims spend their time?

In the Qur'an, the concept of "spare time" does not apply to the believers, for every instant of their lives is occupied. Those who are in awe of Allah and scrupulously abide by His commands strive to perform good deeds continuously in order to be among those closest to Allah. They spend their time worshipping Him according to the guidelines that He has laid out in the Qur'an. Finishing one thing, they embark upon another one in their eternal quest for goodness and beauty. There are no interruptions, pauses, or limits during these efforts, because the believers understand that they should spend every moment working to earn Allah's good pleasure and that they will have to account for every instant of their lives.

The Qur'an refers to these efforts, as follows:

So when you have finished, work on, and make your Lord your goal! (Surat al-Inshirah, 7-8)

question 71

Can any reward be expected from people in return for conveying the religion's message?

The believers convey this message in order to earn Allah's good pleasure and to fulfill the related Qur'anic command. In return, they expect no worldly wage, but only Allah's good pleasure and Paradise. All Prophets strove with this purpose in mind until the end of their lives; however, they never asked for any worldly recompense from the people and made it clear that they expected none. This greatness of spirit is exemplified in the Qur'an, as follows:

So heed Allah and obey me. I do not ask you for any wage for it. My wage is the responsibility of no one but the Lord of all the worlds. (Surat ash-Shu`ara', 179-180)

question 72

What does the Qur'an say about orphans?

It is commanded in the Qur'an to be good and compassionate towards orphans, for they have no parents to look after them or to ensure their education:

So as for orphans, do not oppress them. (Surat ad-Duha: 9)

In other verses, Allah commands people to respect their rights, set aside part of their goods and income for them, and to treat them well. Furthermore, He recommends that an orphan's assets be used justly, and that these should be returned when he or she reaches mental maturity.

Allah advises people to be careful and meticulous about an orphan's education so that he or she can be brought up as a good person and have the good morals of the Qur'an. He encourages the believers to provide orphans with protection and material assurance:

… They will ask you about the orphans. Say: "Improvement for them is best." If you mix your affairs with theirs, they are your brothers… (Surat al-Baqara, 220)

The believers always avoid being unjust with an orphan's property, because Allah defines the pitiless behavior of those who covet such property and benefit from it as a serious crime:

Give the orphans their property, and do not substitute bad things for good. Do not assimilate their property into your own, [for] doing that is a serious crime. (Surat an-Nisa', 2)

As a result of these verses, the believers protect the orphans' property carefully until they grow up and can take care of themselves, and then hand over all of their rights to them.

question 73

Is it proper to argue when one's knowledge of an issue is incomplete?

Allah advises people not to argue about issues of which they have no knowledge, because over everyone with knowledge is someone who knows better. People do not derive any benefit from arguing over things about which they are not knowledgeable. The best behavior in such a case is to consult those who are more knowledgeable in order to learn the correct information. The Qur'an reminds people not to pursue things of which they have no knowledge, as follows:

Do not pursue what you have no knowledge of. Hearing, sight and hearts will all be questioned. (Surat al-Isra':36)

question 74

What about people who warn others, yet do not personally practice what they recommend?

The Qur'an advises the believers to enjoin one another to do right and to forbid wrong. This surely pleases Allah. However, the really important thing is to do what they ask others to do, thereby setting an example in their own behavior and good morals. If somebody knows that a particular action is wrong and is disturbed to see someone else doing it, then he or she is equally responsible for abandoning this act and performing the right action. Allah reminds the believers of this, as follows:

Do you order people to devoutness and forget yourselves, when you recite the Book? Will you not use your intellect? (Surat al-Baqara, 44)

question 75

People, in general, pray only during times of hardship. What does the Qur'an say about this?

People who are far from the Qur'an's morals pray to Allah only when they become sick, or face hardship or some other "disaster." At these times, they understand how helpless they are. However, those who seek refuge in Allah at such times and pray to Him continuously to free them from their troubles and grant them blessings change the minute the situation is resolved.

They forget to pray to Allah and thank Him for His blessings. As soon as they are freed from their difficulties, they immediately reveal their insincerity toward Allah.

Their hypocritical and insincere manner is described in the following terms:

When the waves hang over them like canopies, they call upon Allah, making their religion sincerely His. But then when He delivers them safely to the land, some of them are ambivalent. None but a treacherous, thankless man denies Our Signs. (Surah Luqman, 32)

question 76

Has Allah sent a warner / Messenger to all nations?

The verse "There is no community to which a warner has not come" (Surah Fatir, 24), clearly states that Allah has done so. These Messengers explained Allah's religion to their people, as well as the rituals of worship that they should perform, gave them the glad tidings of Paradise, and warned them about the punishment of Hell. In addition, the Messengers have always been role models for their people, due to their meticulous fulfillment of Allah's religion, their good morals, and the intense awe of Allah that they feel. Another reason why Allah warns humanity through His Messengers is as follows:

Messengers bringing good news and giving warning, so that people will have no argument against Allah after the coming of the Messengers. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nisa', 165)

This is a manifestation of Allah's superior justice. On the Day of Judgment, no one will be able to say that he or she was not warned of Allah's punishment or had not been told of his or her responsibilities to Allah. In other words, everybody will be justly paid in full.

question 77

How does the Qur'an define "suspicion"?

Allah does not approve of people acting on suspicion and conjecture. In fact, He indicates in many verses that this is a characteristic of the societies of ignorance and that it benefits no one. Following His command to avoid suspicion, the believers do not base any of their ideas on unfounded information. All of their words and ideas always comply with the Qur'an's morals, are based on absolute evidence, and are just. They do not arrive at suspicion-based decisions about a person; rather, they ask his or her opinion or gather valid evidence.

The believers' awe of Allah causes them to pay serious attention to this issue. Knowing that they will be judged for each action in the Hereafter and doing their best to earn His Paradise, they are very careful and just in this respect. Allah defines suspicion in these words:

O You who believe. Avoid most suspicion. Indeed, some suspicion is a crime... (Surat al-Hujurat, 12)

question 78

Is it acceptable to defer one's acts of worship until old age?

Allah holds everybody who has a sound mind and consciousness responsible for living by the Qur'an's morals and for fulfilling the religion's commands. Those who perform acts of worship live a good life in this world and earn eternal life in Paradise. Intentionally deferring these prayers with such thoughts as "I'd better enjoy my youthful years, I can worship when I get older and thus earn the life in the Hereafter" may cause people to lose their lives in the Hereafter, for "There is no repentance for people who persist in doing evil until death comes to them and who then say: "Now I repent," nor for people who die as unbelievers. We have prepared for them a painful punishment." (Surat an-Nisa', 18) Also remember that no one knows when he or she will die. Thus, it is a great mistake to defer one's worship, for after death there are no more chances, regardless of the level of regret or of the desire to be sent back.

question 79

Is it acceptable to defer acts of worship, saying: "I have a pure heart"?

The world is a place of testing for everyone. Allah informs humanity of this fact in "He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action..." (Surat al-Mulk, 2). As a requirement of this test, people are accountable for every action and every act of worship that they actually perform or defer. In such a case, the chastity of one's heart alone cannot be a measure. No doubt this chastity, goodwill, and honest personality are valuable in Allah's sight, but the most significant sign of chastity and sincerity is the meticulous fulfillment of His commands. Therefore, no matter how benevolent they claim to be, people who do not perform the prescribed acts of worship, stand in awe of Allah, and do not take the Qur'an and His good pleasure as their measure will not meet with what they expect in the Hereafter.

Besides these, only the Qur'an can measure the "chastity of heart." In other words, people can say that they are chaste only if they are sincere according to the Qur'anic meaning of the term. Thus, it is senseless for them to claim to have a chaste heart based upon their own code of values or that of the societies of ignorance.

question 80

How does the Qur'an view the holy books that were revealed before it?

Allah revealed the Torah to Prophet Musa (as), the Psalms to Prophet Dawud (as), and the Gospel to Prophet `Isa (as) before He sent down the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad (saas). Each of these books were books of truth that conveyed the message of Allah's religion at a particular point in time. However, over time they were distorted by people who held mistaken and false beliefs and became mixed up with false information. Due to this development, humanity had no book of truth that conveyed the true religion, and so Allah sent the Qur'an to inform humanity of His religion once again. The Qur'an is protected until the Day of Resurrection by Allah, for "It is We Who have sent down the Reminder and We Who will preserve it." (Surat al-Hijr, 9)

question 81

Who are the "People of the Book"?

They are the Jews and the Christians, to whom the Torah and the Gospel were sent. But since these books have been distorted over time, Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (saas) to warn them, and the Qur'an as their holy book. Some of the verses related to them are as follows:

They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah's Signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. (Surah Al `Imran, 113-114)

Among the People of the Book are some who believe in Allah, in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before Allah. They do not sell Allah's Signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. Allah is swift at reckoning. (Surah Al `Imran, 199)

question 82

What is the point of not being punished immediately for one's mistakes?

The fact that their punishment is not immediate should not encourage people to be slack, for Allah gives people a specified time and thus tests them. He promises the life of Paradise to those who do good, and the life of Hell to those who do evil. This being the case, those who are not punished immediately should realize that Allah, out of His love and compassion, has given them time to repent. The Qur'an states:

If Allah were to take mankind to task for what they have earned, He would not leave a single creature crawling on it, but He is deferring them until a specified time. Then, when their time comes, Allah sees His servants! (Surah Fatir, 45)

question 83

Are people accountable for what crosses their minds?

Satan may fill people with all sorts of false hopes, whisper to them, or sow suspicious thoughts in their minds. If they are deluded by these whispers, believe in Satan, and comply with his whisperings, they may be responsible for their thoughts.

But if they realize that these whispers come from Satan and so seek refuge with Allah and exhibit good behavior, they immediately abandon such evil thoughts and replace them with good thoughts. As a result, the evil thoughts vanish. How the believers behave when Satan whispers to them is related in the Qur'an, as follows:

As for those who guard against evil, when they are bothered by visitors from Satan, they remember and immediately see clearly. (Surat al-A`raf, 201)

But it should also be noted that if people, despite being aware of the above, allow provoking whispers, doubts, and negative thoughts to cross their minds, they may be held responsible for these. Those who always think evil against the believers and seek to cause dissention among them also may be held responsible for their intentions, for "Say:'Whether you conceal what is in your breasts or make it known, Allah knows it. He knows what is in the heavens and what is on Earth. Allah has power over all things.' " (Surah Al `Imran, 29)

question 84

Is it acceptable to grieve when someone dies?

Allah has predetermined a certain lifetime for each person, and nobody can alter it. Thus, the believers should be pleased with the destiny that Allah has created, submit to this event, and trust Allah. Not doing so implies rebelling against the destiny that Allah has created, something that sincere believers would never do. Furthermore, deceased believers will meet with Allah's good pleasure and Paradise, and so will live a good life in great blessings that cannot possibly be compared with their lives in this world. Thus, there is no need to be sorry for the deceased believers; rather, we should be happy that they met such an honorable outcome. If the deceased did not use their lives to seek Allah's good pleasure, they will meet Hell in the Hereafter. Yet since this is also due to His will and justice, there is again nothing to be sorry about, for the deceased had knowingly chosen the path of unbelief despite being warned of the consequences of doing so.

In addition, it makes no sense to feel sorrow at one's separation from a loved one, for those who are still alive can strive sincerely for Allah's good pleasure and, as a result, can attain the eternal companionship of their loved ones in the eternal life of Paradise.

Therefore, since the believers hope that their deceased fellow believers will enter Paradise, they are not sorry when their companions die. In fact, the Qur'an advises the believers to be happy and to give one another the glad tidings of entering Paradise after death:

Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their wealth in return for the Garden. They fight in the Way of Allah, and they kill and are killed. It is a promise binding on Him in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his contract than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the great victory. (Surat at-Tawba, 111)

question 85

Is it proper to feel sorry for those who do not believe in Allah?

Those who are sure of Allah's existence and the Hereafter desire that other people grasp the truth and live by the Qur'an's morals, which is the most suitable way of living for human beings. Knowing that each unbeliever will meet with Hell's infinite punishment, the believers put forth their best efforts to lead the unbelievers to belief. But while each believer is responsible for conveying the message and for calling people to the truth, only Allah can guide people to the truth. Even if the believers convey the message all day and night, express themselves in the most impressive ways and give the most convincing examples, all of these efforts will come to naught if Allah does not guide the people being addressed. If Allah wills, He guides anyone He selects at any time. This is only by His will, and Allah is the best of judges because whatever He determines and decides is the best for humanity. For that reason, those people who refuse to believe despite the best efforts of the believers should not be a cause of sorrow. Knowing that submitting to His will is the right conduct, believers place their trust in Allah.

question 86

Who will bear witness to humanity in the Hereafter?

On the Day of Judgment, each person will meet every action that they performed and every thought that crossed their minds when they were in the world. As "... Allah is witness of all things" (Surat al-Hajj, 17) informs us, Allah witnesses everything that each person does in the world. The Qur'an mentions those who will serve as witnesses on that Day and provides some details about them, as follows:

When they reach it, their hearing, sight, and skin will testify against them concerning what they did. (Surat Fussilat, 20)

When all the Messengers are called together at a time appointed [to bear witness for or against those to whom they conveyed Allah's message.] (Surat al-Mursalat, 11)

How will it be when We bring a witness from every nation and bring you as a witness against them? (Surat an-Nisa', 41)

Today We seal up their mouths and their hands speak to us, and their feet bear witness to what they have earned. (Surah Ya Sin, 65)

Earth will shine with the Pure Light of its Lord, the Book will be put in place, and the Prophets and witnesses will be brought. It will be decided between them with the truth, and they will not be wronged. (Surat az-Zumar, 69)

On the Day We raise up a witness from every nation, those who did not believe will not be excused, nor will they be able to appease Allah. (Surat an-Nahl, 84)

On that Day We will raise up among every community a witness against them from among themselves, and bring you as a witness against them... (Surat an-Nahl, 89)

We will certainly help Our Messengers and those who believe both in the life of this world and on the Day the witnesses appear. (Surah Ghafir, 51)

Every self will come together with a driver and a witness. (Surah Qaf, 21)

question 87

How should one behave toward arrogant people?

One of the believers' most important characteristics is their resolute compliance with good morals and their beliefs, regardless of conditions, people, or environment. For that reason, when they encounter any arrogance in people, they do not fall into the same error as the person committing it; rather, they behave modestly and humbly and try to set an example for that person. Allah states that such behavior pleases Him, and that responding to bad behavior with good will influence that person:

A good action and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. (Surah Fussilat, 34)

question 88

Do such concepts as impatience and despair have a place in a believer's life?

Allah advises the faithful to be patient in times of difficulty, as follows:

O You who believe. Be steadfast, be supreme in steadfastness, be firm on the battlefield, and heed Allah so that hopefully you will be successful. (Surah Al `Imran, 200)

Allah advises believers to be steadfast when they face hardship. The believers use their intellect, as well as all material and spiritual means, and do their utmost to overcome difficulties. In addition, knowing that hardships are special conditions that Allah creates to test them and that there is an absolute good hidden behind these events, they trust Allah, for this is essential to their continued steadfastness. The believers' explicit trust that Allah creates every event with absolute wisdom, and that He will remove these difficulties by answering their prayers, prevents them from experiencing despair, hopelessness, and similar negative feelings.

In "Say: 'My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful,'" (Surat az-Zumar, 53) Allah commands the believers not to despair of His mercy, no matter what happens.