How do we realize the existence of
The plants, animals, seas, mountains, and people we see when we look
around, and everything else in the micro universe - living or non-living
- which we cannot see, are all obvious evidence of a superior wisdom which
has brought them into being. Similarly, the equilibrium, order, and perfect
creation present in the entire universe also prove the existence of a
supreme possessor of knowledge who has designed them perfectly. The possessor
of this wisdom and knowledge is Allah.
We realize the existence of Allah from the perfect systemsHe created
and the awesome qualities of living or non-living entities. This perfection
is highlighted in the Qur'an:
He created the seven heavens one above the other.
You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do
you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your eyes will become dazzled
and exhausted! (Surat al-Mulk: 3-4)
How do we know Allah?
It is again the perfect creation throughout the universe that introduces
to us the supreme power of Allah. However, Allah has principally introduced
Himself to us in the Qur'an, which He has sent down to people as a guide
to right living. In the Qur'an, all the supreme qualities of Allah, His
wisdom, knowledge, compassion, mercy, justice, omnipresence, His seeing
and hearing everything, His being the sole owner and sole God of the Heavens,
the Earth and all that lies between and His being the sole sovereign of
the kingdom are conveyed to us.
He is Allah - there is no god but Him. He is the
Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the Compassionate and Most
Merciful. He is Allah - there is no god but Him. He is the King, the Most
Pure, the Perfect Giver of Peace, the Trustworthy, the Safeguarder, the
Almighty, the Compeller, the Supremely Great. May Allah be exalted above
all they associate with Him. 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
What is the purpose of our creation?
Allah tells us the purpose for our creation as follows:
I only created jinn and man to worship Me. (Surat
As stated in this verse, the purpose of man's existence on Earth is his
being just a servant of Allah, worshipping Him and gaining His approval.
Man is tested on this subject as long as he is on this Earth.
Why are we tested?
Allah tests people in the world to distinguish the ones who believe in
Him from those who don't, and to determine which of the believers are
best in their behaviour. Therefore, it is not enough for an individual
to say "I believe". As long as one lives, his faith and devotion to Allah,
his perseverance in religion, in short, his steadfastness in being a servant
of Allah are tested in specially created conditions and environments.
Allah states this truth in the following verse:
He created death and life to test which of you acquitted
himself best. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Mulk:
How are we to be servant of Allah?
To be a servant of Allah means leading one's whole life for the purpose
of gaining Allah's pleasure and approval. It means trying to carry out
all actions in the best possible manner so as to gain Allah's approval,
fearing Allah alone and orienting all one's ideas, words, and deeds to
this purpose. Allah has brought it to our attention in the Qur'an that
being a servant to Him covers the whole life of the individual:
Say: 'My salat (prayers) and my devotions, my living
and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.' (Surat
Why is religion necessary?
What a man who believes in the existence of Allah has
to do first, is learn the orders of his Creator and the things that will
please Him, Who gave him a soul when he was nothing, made him live, eat,
and drink, and gave him health. Then he has to spend his whole life abiding
by Allah’s orders and seeking Allah’s approval. It is religion that shows
us the morals, behaviour, and way of life of which Allah will approve.
Allah has made it clear in the Qur’an that people who abide by religion
will be on the true path, whereas others will go astray.
He whose breast is opened to Islam is therefore illuminated
by his Lord. Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance
of Allah! Such people are clearly misguided. (Surat az-Zumar: 22)
How does one live one’s religion (deen)?
People who believe in Allah, and who humbly obey Him,
organize their lives in accordance with Allah’s recommendations in the
Qur’an. He who lives the religion leads his life, complying with the right
things his conscience inspires in him and abandoning everything bad that
his self, the negative voice within him, orders. Allah states in the Qur’an
that He created men with the predisposition to live their religion:
Therefore, stand firm in your devotion to the true
Faith, the upright Faith which Allah created for man to embrace. There
is no changing Allah’s creation. That is the true Faith, although most
people may not know it. (Surat ar-Rum: 30)
How can there be morals without religion?
In societies where there is no religion, people become
predisposed to commit all kinds of immoral acts. For instance, a religious
person would never take a bribe, gamble, feel envy, or lie because he
would know that he would have to account for these actions in the hereafter.
Yet, an irreligious person is prone to doing all these things. It is not
enough for a man to say, “I am an atheist but I don’t take bribes”, or
“I am an atheist but I don’t gamble”, because a man who does not fear
Allah and who does not believe that he is going to give an account of
himself in the hereafter may do any one of these things when the situation
or conditions change. A person who says, “I am an atheist but I do not
commit fornication” may do so at some place where fornication is considered
normal. Or a person who says that he does not take bribes may say, “My
son is sick and about to die, therefore I have to take the bribe”, if
he has no fear of Allah. In a state of irreligiousness, even theft may
be considered legitimate under certain conditions. For instance, people
of no religion may not consider taking towels or decorative accessories
from hotels and recreation centres as stealing to their own way of understanding.
However, a religious person does not display such immorality,
because he fears Allah and does not forget that Allah knows his intentions
as well as his thoughts. He acts sincerely and avoids sin.
A person who is distant from religion may say “I am an
atheist but I am forgiving. I feel neither vengeance nor hate,” but one
day some untoward event may cause him to lose his self-control and display
the most unexpected behaviour. He may attempt to kill or injure someone,
because the morality he adopts is one that changes according to the environment
and conditions of the place in which he lives.
Yet, one who believes in Allah and in the hereafter never
deviates from his good morals, whatever the conditions or the environment
may be. His morality is not “variable” but immutable. Allah refers to
the superior morals of religious people in His verses:
Those who keep faith with Allah and do not break
their agreement; those who join what Allah has commanded to be joined
and are afraid of their Lord and fear an evil Reckoning; those who are
steadfast in seeking the face of their Lord, and attend to their salat
(regular prayer) and give alms from what We have given them, secretly
and openly, and stave off evil with good, it is they who will attain the
Ultimate Abode (Surat ar-Ra’d: 20-22)
What would happen to the social system without religion?
In an environment without religion, the first concept
to be eliminated is that of the family. Values such as loyalty, fidelity,
allegiance, love, and respect, which sustain the family, are totally abandoned.
It must be remembered that the family is the foundation of society and
if the family collapses, so does society. Even the state and the nation
have no reason to exist, since all moral values that underpin the state
and the nation have been obliterated.
Furthermore, in irreligious societies, there is no reason
left for anyone to feel respect, love or compassion for anyone else. This
leads to social anarchy. The rich hate the poor, the poor hate the rich.
Anger develops against those who are handicapped or needy. Or aggression
towards different nations rises. The workers become aggressive towards
their employers and the employers towards their workers, fathers turn
against their sons and the sons against their fathers.
The reason for continuous bloodshed and the “third page
news” in the newspapers is irreligion. On these pages, every day, we see
news coverage about people who heedlessly kill each other for very insignificant
However, a man who knows that he is going to be accountable
in the hereafter cannot point a gun at somebody else’s head and shoot
him. He knows that Allah has forbidden men to commit crimes, and his fear
of Allah ensures that he will avoid divine retribution.
Do not corrupt the earth after it has been purged
of evil. Call on Him fearfully and eagerly. Allah’s mercy is within reach
of the righteous. (Surat al-A’raf: 56)
The cause for suicides being so common is also irreligion.
One who commits suicide in fact commits murder. For instance, someone
who attempts to commit suicide because his girl friend has left him should
ask himself these questions: Would he think of committing suicide for
that girl, if she became disabled, or became old, or if her face had been
badly burned? Of course, he would not; he overvalues her in his mind when
he sees her as elegant and healthy and he ascribes her as a partner to
Allah, thinking her to be more important than Allah, the hereafter, and
religion. He risks dying for her.
But someone who is guided by the Qur’an would never do
such a thing. He would not even give it a moment of thought. A believer
lives only for Allah’s approval and exercises patience in the face of
all the difficulties and problems Allah afflicts him within this world.
And he does not forget that he is going to be rewarded for his patience
both in this world and the hereafter many times over.
Stealing too is very common in irreligious societies.
A man who steals does not think of how much trouble he causes to the person
he steals from. He takes ten years of his victim’s earnings in a single
night and doesn’t worry about how much he will suffer. As he inflicts
pain on the other person, he may also feel pangs of conscience. But if
he does not, this is an even worse state of affairs. It means that the
thief has become hardened to committing all kinds of immoral acts.
In irreligious societies, values like hospitality, making
sacrifices for each other, solidarity, and generosity totally disappear.
First of all, people do not value each other as the human beings they
are, because they see each other as beings that have evolved from monkeys.
No one wants to welcome, serve, honour or offer nice things to anyone
he thinks has evolved from an ape. People sharing this thought do not
value each other. Nobody thinks about the health, welfare, or comfort
of others. They do not worry about anybody getting hurt nor do they try
to prevent such a thing. For instance, in hospitals people who are about
to die are left lying on stretchers for indefinite periods; nobody cares
about them. Or the owner of a restaurant operating under extremely dirty,
unhealthy conditions does not worry about the harm he may inflict on the
health of the people who eat there. He only cares about the money he is
making. These are a few examples that show up in our daily lives. Here,
the main logic is that people are good to each other only if they can
expect some profit in return. By the moral standards of the Qur’an, however,
people value each other as servants of Allah. They do not expect anything
in return for a favour; on the contrary, they try to gain Allah’s approval
by continuously doing good deeds, and compete with each other in doing
Which material and spiritual benefits does observance
of the morals of the Qur’an bring to society?
We have to note that religion, as referred to here, is
a moral way of life, pleasing to Allah and chosen by Him as being most
appropriate to the nature of all mankind. It is a way of life which is
free of all kinds of superstitions and myths, and is totally under the
guidance of the Qur’an.
Religion creates a profoundly, spiritual, peaceful, and
secure atmosphere of morality. The chaos of anarchy that causes great
damage to the state and the nation definitely ends because for fear of
Allah, people avoid unruliness and causing mischief. Also, people with
moral values stand up for their state and nation and do not stop short
of any kind of sacrifice. Such people always work for the welfare and
security of their country.
In a society where the morals of the Qur’an are practiced,
people are extremely respectful towards each other and everyone tries
to ensure the comfort and security of one another because solidarity,
unity, and cooperation are very important according to the tenets of Islam.
Everyone has to put the comfort and interest of others before himself.
The following is an example of the morality of believers:
Those who were already settled in Madinah, and had
adopted the Faith, before they came, loved1 those who came to them for
refuge and entertained no desire in their hearts for things given to the
(latter), but gave them preference over themselves even if they themselves
were needy. It is the people who are safeguarded from the avarice of their
own selves who are successful. (Surat al-Hashr: 9)
In an environment where people go in fear of Allah, everyone
works for the welfare of society. No one acts extravagantly; everyone
cooperates and works in solidarity watching out for the interests of the
other. The result is a rich society with a high level of welfare.
In such a society, moral richness as well as material
richness prevails. The state of chaos where all kinds of rebellious attitudes
are displayed totally disappears. Everyone behaves with restraint and
every problem is solved in a logical manner. All issues are resolved calmly.
Life is always lived in a peaceful atmosphere.
What are the benefits which observance of the morals
of the Qur’an brings to the family?
The morality of the Qur’an requires respect for the mother
and the father. Allah says in the Qur’an:
We have enjoined man to be good to his parents, for
his mother bore him with much pain and the period of his weaning took
two years: ‘Give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me shall all things
return. (Surah Luqman: 14)
In a home where the morals of the Qur’an are practiced
there are no fights, quarrels or conflicts. A highly respectful attitude
is displayed towards the mother, the father, and the other family members.
Everyone lives in a happy and joyful environment.
What are the benefits which observance of the morals
of the Qur’an brings to the state system?
Allah refers in the Qur’an to obedience as a positive
attribute. One who has the morals of the Qur’an would be entirely obedient
and respectful towards his state. In Islamic societies, everybody works
for the welfare of the state and the nation, never rebelling against the
state but giving it, on the contrary, spiritual and material support.
In societies formed by Allah-fearing people, judicial
cases would almost never come to court. Not even a thousandth of the legal
infractions that take place in today’s societies would be experienced.
Governing the state becomes much easier. Since the state
does not have to deal with cases of anarchy, terrorism, mischief, and
murder, all the power of the state is focused on the development and enhancement
of the country, on the domestic front and abroad, which results in a very
What are the benefits which observance of the morals
of the Qur’an brings to art?
People who comply with the morals of the Qur’an value
each other and try to make it possible for each other to live in an environment
that is agreeable and aesthetically beautiful in every respect. Because
of the longing felt for heaven, worldly means are fully utilized to create
the most pleasant and cleanest of atmospheres, which address the eye,
the ear, and all senses in the most beautiful way. Therefore, art and
aesthetics develop in all their aspects.
Moreover, a religious person has a clean conscience.
Thus there is no pressure on his mind and he can produce beautiful, unique
and original works of art. Also, people working with the desire to please
and present beautiful things to other religious people, act sincerely
What are the benefits which observance of the morals
of the Qur’an brings to the school system?
First of all, living the morals of the Qur’an brings
maturity and wisdom to children and youngsters. The insensitive, uncaring
behaviour prevalent among young people is not present in those who abide
by the Qur’an. The result is a good-natured, obedient, open minded, self-sacrificing
and productive generation. The dynamism, excitement, and aggression of
youth are all directed towards good deeds. A considerable assiduity and
intellectual power develop. In such an environment, students give great
importance to their education not only to pass examinations or escape
punishment, but to contribute to their state and nation.
Disciplinary incidents in schools become unheard of.
A very peaceful, constructive, and productive educational environment
is formed. Cooperation develops between teachers and students based on
obedience, respect, and tolerance. Also, students become extremely respectful
and obedient towards the state and the police. The student demonstrations
that we often see today do not take place, because there is no necessity
What are the benefits which observance of the morals
of the Qur’an brings to the work environment?
In societies where people lived by the morals of the
Qur’an, there would be mutual understanding, cooperation, and justice
in the work environment. Employers would care about the health of the
employees and maintain the working environment at the most sanitary level.
They would construct aesthetic and visually attractive work stations bearing
in mind that employees would necessarily be working in the same environment
over very long periods. They would pay them exactly what they deserve.
They would not let any employee to be mistreated. They would keep themselves
informed about the living conditions of the families of each employee.
They would act conscientiously and ensure the protection of the employees.
A situation where the powerful oppressed the weak would never develop.
Also immoral behaviour like malicious gossiping, and attempts to prevent
others being successful out of envy would never take place.
The relationship between the employees and the employer
would be based not on self interest and cheating but on cooperation and
trust. The employee would care about the interests of his company. He
would not behave extravagantly, thinking, “The boss is paying for it anyway.”
He would always do his best, and he would never be wronged because of
his good morals, but would be protected by his boss.
What is “ascribing a partner” to Allah, or idolatry?
Idolatry means considering a person or another being,
or a concept as equal to or higher than Allah in terms of estimating,
attributing significance, preference, and holding superior, and to act
with this distorted point of view. Allah describes this situation as “associating
with Allah any other God”. In other words, to claim that somebody or something
else has any of the attributes of Allah means ascribing a partner to Allah.
Allah has proclaimed in the Qur’an that idolatry will not be forgiven:
Allah does not forgive anything being associated
with Him but He forgives whoever He wills for anything other than that.
Anyone who serves gods other than Allah is guilty of a terrible crime.
(Surat an-Nisa: 48)
What is meant by “idolizing” something?
In conventional speech, “idolizing” only means worshipping
certain things or beings. Yet, this concept has a much wider meaning and
is not limited to past ages alone. In every age, there have been people
who have ascribed partners to Allah, adopted other gods and worshipped
idols or totem poles. It is not necessary for a person who idolizes something
to say “this is a god, and I worship this” about the thing he idolizes,
or to prostrate himself in front of it.
Idolatry is basically a person’s preference for something
or someone over Allah. For instance, preferring someone’s approval to
Allah’s approval, or fearing someone as one fears Allah or loving someone
as one loves Allah can serve as some examples.
In the Qur’an, Allah states that the idols that people
ascribe as partners to Allah will not be of any help to them.
Instead of Allah you worship only idols. You are
inventing a lie. Those you worship besides Allah have no power to provide
for you. So seek your provision from Allah and worship Him and give thanks
to Him. It is to Him that you will be returned.’ (Surat al-Ankabut: 17)
How is one saved from idolatry?
First of all, one has to confirm from his heart that
Allah is the only god, all power belongs to Him, and no being other than
Him can possess any power to provide help or cause harm. A person who
affirms these truths conclusively serves Allah alone and never ascribes
partners to Him. Allah advised people that they must turn completely to
Him to be saved from idolatry.
It is Him alone you call on and, if He wills, He
will relieve your affliction; then you will forget what you associated
with Him (your idols). (Surat al-An’am: 41)
The radical change experienced by a person who is freed
from ascribing partners to Allah and turns to Allah, first occurs in his
heart. The person who is saved from ascribing a partner to Allah gains
a totally different point of view and mindset. He now leads his life which,
until then, he had pursued under the sway of certain ideas and rules of
ignorance, as well as his own wishes and obsessions, for Allah’s approval
and pleasure alone.
What does it mean to seek Allah’s approval on the
What would you do if the place you lived in suffered
a flood disaster? Would you climb to the top floor and wait to be saved,
or would you climb floor by floor as the waters arose? While climbing
to the roof, would you use the stairs or the elevator? Obviously, the
wisest thing to do at such a moment would be to choose out of all the
alternatives that would save you, the one which would yield the fastest
result. Any other course would be quite out of the question. The person
in this situation would be considered to have done his best by reaching
the top floor in the elevator. This is “choosing the best course.”
The believer makes use of all his material and spiritual
means, every hour and even every second of his life in accordance with
the will of Allah. In doing so, if he is required to make a choice among
certain alternatives, he draws on his wisdom and listens to his conscience,
thus behaving in a way which would please Allah. This means that he acts
in compliance with Allah’s approval at the highest level.
What does having implicit faith mean?
Any individual would know without doubt that he would
be burned if he stuck his hand into a fire. He would never have to think
whether it was really going to get burned or not. This means that this
person has the implicit belief that the fire is going to burn his hand.
In the Qur’an, “implicit belief” is referred to as follows:
This (the Qur’an) is a clear insight for mankind,
and guidance and a mercy for people who believe with certainty. (Surat
“Having implicit faith” means believing in Allah’s existence
and uniqueness, the day of resurrection, heaven and hell with absolute
certainty, without any doubt, with full confidence as to their truth.
It is like believing in the existence of the beings around one, whom one
sees and talks to, and the intuitive knowledge demonstrated by the example
of the fire given above. Faith built on believing with certainty develops
in the individual a conscience which will prod him into spending every
moment of his life acting in a way that will please Allah.
How do I know which one of my actions will meet with
Allah always inspires the most proper course of action
through the conscience of one who fears Him. In a verse, Allah says:
You who believe! if you go in fear (taqwa) of Allah,
He will give you a criterion (by which to judge between right and wrong)
and will cleanse you of your sins and forgive you. Allah’s favour is indeed
immense. (Surat al-Anfal: 29)
It should not be forgotten that the first voice the individual
hears in his heart is the voice of his conscience which helps him to judge
between right and wrong, and it is this very voice which tells him the
behaviour that will please Allah. People who fear Allah arrive at the
truth by listening to the voice of their conscience.
Is there any other voice in a person’s heart apart
from that of his conscience?
All of the other alternatives that surface after the
voice of one’s conscience are the “voices of the self” that try to suppress
the conscience. The self tries with all its might to prevent one from
behaving righteously and to make one do evil deeds.
It may not do this very openly. It may outline certain
excuses which may seem sensible. It may cause one to say “all this will
come to nothing.” Allah states this truth in the Qur’an:
“By the soul and Him that moulded it and inspired
it with the knowledge of sin and piety: blessed shall be the man who has
kept it pure.” (Surat ash-Shams: 7-9)
As stated in the verse, man is a prey to sin but knows
he has a duty to guard against it. Man is tested on his choice between
good and evil.