The Divine Kingdom

A Brief Introduction to Islam
by Abdur Raheem AsSaranbi

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Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………………………... 3 Chapter 1: What is the Divine Kingdom……………...8 Chapter 2: The Kingdom and you………………….…45 Chapter 3: The Kingdom and the Family…………. 98 Chapter 4 The Kingdom and the Society………… 139 Chapter 5 Women in the Kingdom………………… 167 Chapter 6 Balance in the Kingdom……………..…. 204 Chapter 7 Reason and Science in the Kingdom…225 Chapter 8 Government in the Kingdom…………..265 Chapter 9 Economy in the Kingdom………………. 304 Chapter 10 Peace and War in the Kingdom……. 331 Chapter 11 Freedom in the Kingdom…………… ..348 Chapter 12 Mercy in the Kingdom…………… …….357 Chapter 13 Pillars of the Kingdom…………… …….365 Chapter 14 The Kingdom in the world today 375

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Introduction
All praise and thanks are only for Allah (swt). The One True God. The Lord and Master of the heavens and the earth. The Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. The Maintainer and the Nurturer of all that exists. The Being of utter Perfection and Majesty. The Being Who does not resemble the creation in any way. The Being Who is Pure and Complete in all His Names and attributes. He is the All Knowing, the All Seeing, the All Hearing, the All Able. All that happens is what He wills to happen and nothing happens except with His Will and by His Power. He is the Being of Absolute Tremendousness and Sublimity. He is not contained by time or space. Nothing limits Him in any way. No vision can perceive Him. No mind can understand Him. At every moment He is near to us. He is nearer to us than our jugular vein. He surrounds us and encompasses us in a way that our minds can never fathom but our hearts know for certain. Peace and prayers be upon His Final slave and messenger. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (saw). The greatest and noblest of all creation. The one who is the nearest to Him. The one who was chosen to carry His Message to all nations. The one sent to establish His Law upon the earth for all time. The one who will be a witness over all mankind on the Last Day. Peace and prayers be also upon his family, his companions and all those who follow in his path until the Last Day.

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To proceed. This book is an introduction to both Muslims and non-Muslims as to what Islam truly is. A very brief introduction. Because this religion is so vast that it can never be encompassed in any single work. Even if you were to write volumes upon volumes you will still not be able to encompass all of it. Such is its beauty. In that on one level it is so simple that even a layman or a child could easily understand it, and yet on another level it is so deep and profound that even if you spent your whole life studying it you will never be able to know all that there is to it. All of us who have committed ourselves to learning this religion will always be its students. We can never be masters of it. So in this humble work Insha Allah (God willing) I am going to present to you what little I know about this beautiful way of life. According to my understanding of it. What I present in this book is how I see this religion to be based upon what I have studied of it. Of course I could be wrong and I do not expect you as the reader to base your conclusions regarding this religion only on what I have said here. I encourage you to read other books. I especially encourage you to read the source books of this religion which are the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet (saw). I have tried to base every idea that I am presenting to you here only on these source books and not on my whims and desires. May Allah (swt) help me in that endeavor! May He allow me to speak only Truth!

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A question that may be asked by some is what makes me qualified to speak on behalf of the religion. The answer to this question is that in Islam there is no such entity as a clergy or a pope. There is no one single person or group of people who have the exclusive right to explain the religion or speak on behalf of the religion. This is the only religion that still has intact and complete all of its source text. Allah (swt) Knew that this would be the last and final revelation to mankind so He (swt) ensured that the text is protected and preserved. The Messenger himself told us that he has left among us two sources of light, if we hold fast to these then we will never be lead astray. Of course this is the Quran and his sayings or hadith. Now what I am presenting to you in this book is not from my own opinion. Rather it is only my understanding of the Quran and hadith. To the best of my ability I have tried to ensure that nothing in this book is from myself, rather I have tried to take only what is only from Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw). This book is only an explanation and a summary of what is already present in the sacred text. For every idea or concept that I present I will give examples of verses of Quran or hadith of the Prophet (saw) to support that idea. So that you can be certain that the idea is from Islam and not from my own opinion. And if you think that any idea which I bring here is not from Islam then I ask you to go to these source text and try to refute it. If you can I will gladly make the correction.

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Now the next question that you may ask is what was my intention in writing this book. What did I hope to accomplish by writing it? The reason for this book is because in my opinion today the majority of non Muslims, even the majority of Muslims, do not know what Islam truly is. We do not know the reality of this beautiful way of life that our Creator and Sustainer has sent down to us. We do not see Islam as the correct way of life to live. We do not see it as the solution to our problems. That is why today we are lost and astray. That is why today we are confused and miserable. Simply chasing after the material pleasures of this world. Simply living for the few joys that we can find in this world. This is also why in the world today there is so much injustice and corruption. So much decadence and wastage. Because our Creator and Sustainer has shown us the correct way to live but we have turned away from it. He has sent to us the guidance to follow but we have neglected it. Not only that but most of us today do not even know that it is there. We do not even know that we have this beautiful way of life to live. We are engulfed in darkness and we do not even know that there is a light. That is why I decided to write this book. To help open our eyes. To help us to find the path. Now I do not expect this book to be a solution to the problems of humanity. Islam is the solution. This book merely points the way to it. It merely attempts to uncover what has been hidden.

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I feel that the world today is desperately in need of the guidance to be found in this beautiful religion. The world today has become a very dark place and lonely place. We are all suffering have been deprived the guidance and the mercy and the justice of Islam. We do not even know the answers to the most fundamental of questions regarding our existence. We do not where we came from, we do not know where we are going, and we do not know what we are doing here. Only in Islam can the answers to these questions be found. Only in Islam can the solutions to all the myriad of problems which humanity is facing today to be found. Because there is more to this world than the material things. There is He. The Being of Majesty and Purity. The Being of Perfection and Light. The Being of Love and Mercy. Do you think that such a Being would simply create us and then leave us to be? Without communicating with us without showing us the true nature of our existence, without showing us the guidance on how to live? Of course not. He has spoken with us. He has told us of what we really are. He has shown us how to live. And this is Islam. That is why we are all in desperate need of discovering this religion. Of discovering the path back to Him. Now we as Muslims believe that there will be no more prophets or messengers, so we believe that the onus of taking this Message to mankind is upon us. This then was the only true intention that I had in writing this Book. It was to discharge this responsibility that I have.

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It was simply to do my part. And I hope and pray that my Lord accepts it from me. Of course it is not perfect. Of course there will be some mistakes in it. I ask Him to forgive me these and to accept it from me. I ask Him to make it easy for me. I ask Him to allow you to benefit from it. If there is anything good in this Book then it is from Allah (swt) and if there is anything evil then it is from myself and He (swt) is free from it. May the precious moments of our lives that we spend with this book be moments that He will accept from us! Moments that we will not regret! Abdur Raheem As-Saranbi January 2010 You will notice in this book that whenever we mention the Name of our Lord and Master, our God and Deity, we use abbreviation “swt”. This stands for Arabic words which give the meaning of “Purified, Glorified and Exalted be He”. And whenever we mention the Name of our Messenger and Leader we use the abbreviation “saw”. This stands for Arabic words which give the meaning of “Peace and Prayers of Allah be upon him”. The use of abbreviations instead of writing out these meanings was never meant to diminish their meanings. Rather it was used only for the sake of brevity. When you come to these you should read them out loud to give the Names of our Master and our Messenger the respect that they deserve.

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Chapter 1: What is the Divine Kingdom?
Allah (swt) says in the Quran…

[52:56] “And I have not created the Jinn and mankind except to live in slavehood to Me”. If only you would understand the meaning of this verse then you would understand what the Divine Kingdom is. You would understand what Islam is. This is one of the most important and comprehensive of verses in the entire Quran. In this verse Allah (swt) tells us the very reason why He (swt) created us. The very reason why we exist on this planet. He tells us here that it is only so that we can live in willing slavehood to Him. It is only so that we can dedicate ourselves to Him. Not only do we need to be His slaves but we need to be His

willing slaves. Meaning that we ourselves have to choose
to be His slaves. We have to choose to dedicate our lives to Him. We have to choose to submit to Him. Why is this? Why should we choose to be His slaves? Insha Allah this is what we will try to explain in this chapter. We will try to explain why He is worthy of our dedication why He is worthy of our slavehood. Without a doubt what He is asking of us is a lot. But if only you knew Him as He truly is then you would gladly give it to Him.

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When you see something to be grand, when you see something to be awesome, then does it not overwhelm you? Do you not feel the urge to glorify it and to praise it? For example you see the sun rising over the mountains, you see a majestic eagle spread its wings in flight, you see a spectacular waterfall, you see the ocean stretch out in the horizons. Does not this overwhelm you? Does not this overpower you? Now if you realize that all of this came from a Being Who is more Magnificent and more Beautiful and more Tremendous than all of these then what should be your relationship with such a Being? Would you praise Him? No, no that would not be enough. Would you glorify Him? No, that would not be enough. Would you worship Him? No, that would not be enough. Would you dedicate your entire life only to please Him? Yes, that is what He deserves. He deserves that we live in slavehood to Him. If only you would realize His Perfection and His Majesty, His Purity and His Sublimity, His Awesomeness and His Glory. If you would but contemplate on Him for a few moments then you would see how this is so. Just think about it for a moment. You know for certain that such a Being does exist. You know that this universe could not have come into existence on its own. You know that this Being cannot be limited or weak in any way. Because how could a Being Who can create a universe as marvelous as this be in any way limited or weak? How could He be anything less than perfect?

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Once you realize His Perfection then you must also realize His Majesty and Tremendousness. Just think for a moment on the Kind of Being that He IS. One Who is All Seeing. At every moment every vision reaches Him. There is nothing which happens in this world except that He Sees it. One Who is All Hearing. He Hears even the faintest of sounds. One Who is All Knowing. He Knows all that there was, all that there is, all that there will be, and all that could have been. He even Knows what is in the deepest recesses of your heart right at this very moment. He Knows everything about you and He Knows all that you are going through. He is also the All Able. The One Who has the Power to do absolutely anything. In order to accomplish something He (swt) does not need to exert any effort whatsoever. In an instant His Will is manifested into reality. These are only but a few of His attributes of Perfection. There are so many others. Some scholars have even said that He has an infinite number of Names. Among these is that He is the Most Loving. No one can love like He can love. He is Perfect in His Love. He loves you more than your mother or your spouse ever can. To an infinitely higher degree. How then can you not love Him? He is also the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving, the Most Just, the Most Patient, the Most Sublime, the Most Appreciative. Once you know that such a Being Exists. Once you realize that He is so close to you. How then can you forget Him? How then can you live in heedlessness of Him?

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This is exactly our problem today. We have forgotten Him. We have allowed ourselves to forget Him. Why is this? It is because we have become distracted. We have cut ourselves off from the real world. We have cut ourselves off from nature. We live in these cities. These artificial worlds. These virtual worlds. Filled with games and entertainment. Amusements and distractions. When was the last time that you saw a sunset? When was the last time that you saw an eagle spread its wings in flight? When was the last time that you saw a night sky filled with stars? When was the last time that you saw a beam of sunlight shining through the clouds? These are all signs which He has told you to look at. Which He has told you to contemplate upon. Why are you surprised that you have never found Him when you have not sought Him in the first place? Another reason for our heedlessness is this consumer society that we find ourselves in. We have busied ourselves with chasing after the material things of this world. Our only concern in life is how we can accumulate more of this world, or how we can increase our status in this world, or how we can satisfy our desires in this world, or how we can provide for our children. We have been given so much of the material things that we have forgotten how there is more to life than them. We simply cannot see beyond them. Our desire for them completely consumes our sight.

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Yet another reason why we have become so heedless of our Lord is because of the society and the environment that we find ourselves in. We as human beings are influenced by our environment. More so than we could possibly ever realize. Now let us look at this society that we as mankind find ourselves in today. Not only does this society promote materialism, not only does it promote hedonism, but it also heavily promotes individualism. It teaches you to only look out for yourself, it teaches you that you are the most important person in the world. How can a person who has such a thinking ever be close to Allah (swt)? How can such a person ever know Him (swt)? Islam as we will see Insha Allah is the suppression of the ego, it is the suppression of the self. Before you can truly know Allah (swt), you have to release all traces of arrogance and pride from your heart. You have to realize that you are not the most important person in the world. You have to see that this world does not revolve around you. If you cannot come to this realization. If all that you care for is yourself. Then the Divine will always be hidden from you. Even though you know that He is there you will still choose not to seek Him because you would rather serve yourself than Him. Even if He calls out to you, you will not respond to Him. This demon of the self is among the greatest and the worst of devils. And it is one which is rampant in our world. That is why so many of us have hearts which are so distant from Him.

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Allah (swt) also says in the Quran…

[17:43] “Exalted is He and High Above what they say by a great exaltation”.

[17:44] “The seven heavens and the earth exalt Him and so does whatsoever is in them, and there is not a single thing except that it exalts Him with His praise, but you do not understand their exaltation, but surely He has always been Forbearing Forgiving”. If you are still not convinced as to why we have to dedicate ourselves in slavehood to Allah (swt) then consider what He (swt) says in these verses. First He describes Himself by saying “Exalted is He and High Above what they say by a great exaltation”. Now what does it mean for Him to be exalted? Firstly we have to realize that the English word “exalted” is really a weak translation for the Arabic word Subhan. This word does not simply mean exalted rather it means to be utterly free and transcendent. So here Allah (swt) is

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saying that He is utterly free and transcendent and high above what the people say about Him. People today say much about Him. They speak without knowledge concerning Him. But most of what they say does not befit Him at all. He (swt) is high above what they say concerning Him. For example there are some who say that He does not exist, that is He is only a figment of the imagination and hopes of weak people. There are others who say that He is a human being. There are others who say that He is an animal. There are others who say that He is an idol. There are others who say that He has limitations and weaknesses in what He can accomplish. Meaning that perhaps He cannot do everything or see everything or perhaps He does not know everything. There are others who say that we cannot speak to Him directly in our prayers but rather we have to speak through intercessors and intermediaries. That we have to go to priests and saints and seek forgiveness of them, rather than directly from Him. There are others who say that while He may be the Creator and Sustainer, He has no say in our lives today. They say that we should be live as we please without having to even remember Him let alone serve or worship Him. That we do not owe Him anything. These are some of the abominations that the people have invented about Him. He tells us here that He is free from all such limitations. He is the absolutely Perfect and the Pure.

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We know that He does not resemble the creation in any way. Rather He is the Being of utter Perfection and Purity. There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him. No matter how you imagine Him to be He is different from that. But many people cannot come to realize this simple fact. They cannot realize how the Creator must be different from the creation. They cannot understand how the Creator just by His very definition of being a Creator cannot have the limitations and weaknesses of the creation. Because if He was like us then He would be a creation as well. But we know that He exists by seeing the limitedness in all created things and then realizing that there has to be a Being without such limitations. There has to be a Being of Perfection Who brought this universe into existence. But many people cannot come to this realization. That is why in their ignorance and folly they ascribe to Allah (swt) what is not befitting for Him. They liken to Him the creation. They speak the abominations which we mentioned previously. Here in this verse He (swt) completely annihilates such falsehoods. He (swt) declares that He is High Above and Free what they speak about Him. He is nothing like the limited and weak Being that they think Him to be. Rather He is the Being absolute Glory and Majesty. The Being of utter Perfection and Purity. That is why He is deserving of not only our worship, but He is also deserving of our dedication. Deserving that we submit ourselves to Him completely.

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In the second of these verses Allah (swt) says “The seven heavens and the earth exalt Him and so does whatsoever is in them, and there is not a single thing except that it exalts Him with His praise”. If you still do not realize the extent of His Perfection and Majesty then ponder over this fact. The sky that you see when you look above is only one sky. There are six other skies on top of it. Each heaven is much larger than the one below it. So as large as our galaxy may seem, as infinite and unending as the cosmos around our galaxy may seem, realize that this is only a tiny speck when compared to the heaven above it. And then that heaven is only a tiny speck when compared to the heaven that is above it. Now realize that each of these seven heavens themselves, as well as whatsoever is in them is always glorifying and praising Allah (swt). In addition everything in the earth as well as the earth itself is also glorifying and praising Him (swt). This is what He is telling us in this verse. Just try and imagine this reality. Every single thing in all of existence. The sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, the animals, the birds, the rocks, the mountains, the oceans, every object, every particle of matter within every object, every cell, every microbe, every atom. They are all glorifying Him and praising Him. Not just at one single moment, but at every moment. At every single moment of their existence they are praising Him and glorifying Him.

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Why are they doing this? Because they realize how Magnificent and Tremendous a Being that He (swt) IS. They can see how Awesome and Spectacular He IS. They do not live in heedlessness to Him like we do. They are not blind to Him like we are. They see Him for the kind of Being that He (swt) truly IS. They have drowned themselves in His Purity and Glory. They love Him. All that they care for is Him. They exist only for Him. Now of course the question that you may ask is that if every single thing in existence is exalting and praising Allah (swt) then why cannot we hear their worship? Why cannot we hear their hymns of praise? Why cannot we hear them declaring how Wonderful and Glorious He (swt) Is? He (swt) explains for us why in the verse “but you do not understand their exaltation”. We do not understand their worship. We do not understand how exactly they are praising Him and glorifying Him. He (swt) did not give them speech like He gave to us. Human beings are the only creation who have been blessed with the gift of speech. All of the other creation communicates in a different way. All of the other creation expresses themselves in a different way. And just because we with our limited senses cannot hear how exactly they are glorifying and praising Him does not mean that they are not. We often fail to realize how limited we really are, how limited our senses and perception really is. You cannot even see what is behind your back or hear a sound that is ten feet away

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from you, how then can you assume that you know everything that there is to know? There is so much going in around you at this very moment that you are not even aware of. So look now at your surroundings. What do you see? Perhaps you see a wall, perhaps you see a chair, perhaps a table, perhaps outside you can see a tree, some birds, the sky, the sun, the clouds. Realize that every single one of these things at this very moment is in a state of worship to Allah (swt). Not only is that chair worshipping Him, but every particle of matter within that chair is also worshipping Him. This is what is happening around you right at this moment but you do not even realize it. Such is how weak you are, and such is how Glorious and Tremendous He (swt) IS. So one meaning that we take from this verse is that every single thing is worshipping Allah (swt) but we do not understand how they are doing so. Meaning that they are communicating with Him, they are expressing themselves to Him, in a way that we cannot sense or perceive. In a way that we cannot understand. However there is another and even deeper meaning to this verse. And that is that their worship of Him is their slavehood to Him. Their glorifying Him is their dedicating themselves completely to Him. You see we are the only creation who sins. We are the only creation who lives in heedlessness of Him. We are the only creation who does not dedicate every moment of existence only to Him. As for everything else, they are His complete and utter

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slaves. At every moment they are remembering Him, at every moment they are trying to please Him, at every moment they are dedicated only to Him. So that chair worships Allah (swt) just by being a chair. Just by doing the job which it was created to do. At every moment it is worshipping Him just by being His slave. Just by doing the job that He created it to do. It does not wake up one day and say that it does not want to be a chair. No rather at every moment till the end of its existence, it will be His slave. The same is true for all the rest of creation. They have dedicated themselves completely to Him. But we cannot understand this. Because we are so full of ourselves. We have become so distant from Him. Finally in this verse Allah (swt) says “surely He has always been Forbearing Forgiving”. Why does Allah (swt) mention this fact to us after telling us how everything in existence is glorifying and praising Him? Why does He tell us this after telling us how everything has dedicated itself completely to Him? It is because He expects us to be the same way. He expects us to also glorify and praise Him. He expects us to also dedicate ourselves completely to Him. Not only because this is what everything else in creation is doing, but also because such is what He deserves. So Glorious and Tremendous and Magnificent is He (swt), that He deserves our dedication and slavehood. But there are many among mankind who choose not to give this to Him. There are many among mankind who choose to

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live in heedlessness of Him. For such people Allah (swt) is Forbearing and Forgiving. He is Forbearing in that He does not punish them immediately even though such is what they deserve. If you only know how Magnificent and Tremendous a Being that He (swt) IS then you will see. So Pure and Perfect is He, so Awesome and Glorious is He, that He cannot be forgotten. He cannot be neglected. He has to be remembered. He has to be glorified. He has to be praised. We do not give Him this right and the only reason why He (swt) does not punish us for this is because He is so Forbearing and Forgiving. So Forgiving and Forbearing is He that He has allowed us to go further and further into heedlessness and sin. Until we have reached the point where we not only do not remember Him, not only do we not worship Him, not only do we not dedicate ourselves to Him as He deserves, but many of us even deny that He (swt) Exists. Today in the world for the first time ever atheism and antagonism are becoming popular beliefs. This was never heard of before the twentieth century. In all the history of mankind there has never been a nation of atheists. This is because the Signs for Allah (swt) are every where in the universe around us. But today the people have become so attached to the material things of this world that they can not see these signs. So they go as far as to deny Allah (swt). And yet He (swt) is So Forgiving and Forbearing that He pardons them again and again. Even though could punish us right at this

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moment for our heedlessness and sins He gives us time until our death. When we leave this world, when we return to Him, then we will realize the consequences of turning away from Him. But while we are in this world we are all living in complete heedlessness. We have forgotten our Master. We have forgotten His right upon us to be worshipped and submitted to. We have busied ourselves with this world. Until we have reached the point where all that we care about is this world. We do not even have time to ask where we came from. We do not even have time to ask where we are going. Only because He is so Forbearing, only because His so Perfect even in His Mercy, have we gone so far astray. We only call out to Him when we need Him. At other times we allow ourselves to forget Him. We treat Him as if He is our slave although we know that it should be the other way around. He deserves that we remember Him. He deserves that we dedicate ourselves to Him. Because even in the good times. Even in the moments of contentment and felicity. We have to remember that it was He Who made it possible. He gave us this life. He clothed us and fed us and gave us to drink. He cured our illnesses. He took away our problems. So the very fact that we are in a state where we do not need to call out to Him should make us thankful to Him. It should make us want to dedicate ourselves to Him to show our gratitude. Just like the rest of creation is always doing.

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So before we can know what the Divine Kingdom is we first have to know the Divine. We first have to know Him (swt) as He truly is. He (swt) is not how most of us think Him to be. He is not a limited being. He does not have the weaknesses and the shortcomings that the created beings have. No, rather He is Perfect and Pure in every way. He is far above and transcendent beyond anything of this world. He is the All Seeing, the All Hearing, the All Knowing, the All Wise, and the All Powerful. He is Perfect in every single way. He is more Glorious and Tremendous than we could possibly ever imagine. That is why He (swt) is deserving of our dedication. He is more deserving than this world. Most of us give ourselves to this world because we are ignorant of Him. Because we are heedless of Him. But if we would only stop and think about Him for a moment then we would see Him as He truly is. We would see Him as the One deserving of our dedication. Only because of Who He IS. We would see that whatever chattels that we have attached our hearts to instead of Him pale when compared to Him. Whether this be our wealth, our children, our status, or even our desires and fancies. All of these pale in comparison to His Majesty and Beauty. That is why those who truly know Him are addicted to Him. They do not desire anything else from life except Him. At every moment they strive to serve Him. Seeking no reward from their actions except His Pleasure. All that they seek from life is Him.

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They love Him so much that if they know that they have pleased Him, if they can even have the hope that they have pleased Him then this is enough for them. They do not need any reward from this world whatsoever. This is the sublime station that all of the creation, with the exception of us humans, is at. This is the station that we also should all strive to reach. This is the station that He created us to reach. There is nothing sweeter than being at this place. In order to understand the Divine Kingdom we first have to understand this fact. We have to understand Him. In this book Insha Allah (God willing) we are going to show what a wonderful and beautiful place the Divine Kingdom is. But at the end of the day that is not the reason why we should yearn to live in this Kingdom. No, rather we should yearn to live in this kingdom only because it is His Kingdom. We should yearn to live in this kingdom because such is the place where we can glorify Him and praise Him as He (swt) truly deserves to be. The world today is a world of heedlessness. Even if you were to try and remember Him you would not be able to. There are so many distractions. There are so many temptations all around you. If you truly loved Him (swt) as He deserves to be then how can you be content in such a world? When all around you, you see what displeases Him. When all around you, you see the people living in heedlessness of Him. We learned from these verses how every single

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thing in the creation is praising and glorifying Him, how then can you be content living in a world where there are so many souls who are heedless of Him. Where there are so many souls who do not even remember Him, let alone glorify and praise Him as He deserves to be. If you truly loved Him then you would yearn to return to a world where He is Supreme once again. This then is the Divine Kingdom. It is His Kingdom. It is where we can submit to Him through every aspect of our lives. It is the place where in every single thing that we do can make manifest our slavehood to Him. This is the Divine Kingdom. It is a place of beauty and light. It is a place of peace and happiness. It is not the place which the enemies of this Message would have you believe that it is. It is not a place of oppression and suffering. On the contrary it is the place where all of mankind can know serenity. First and foremost because it is the place where they can know Him, and love Him and be near to Him. Just think for a second. Just for you to know that there is so Beautiful, and so Tremendous, and so Magnificent, and so Pure a Being. Does it not bring so much peace to your heart just to know that He Exists? Just to know that He is so near to you. In the end this is what it is all about. It is all about Him. How wonderful a place would it be if we could all know Him? How wonderful a place would it be if we call be near to Him? This is the Divine Kingdom. A place that once was and could be again.

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Now you would think that this would be reason enough for us to choose to fulfill the purpose of our existence. You would think that this would be reason enough for us live in a life of slavehood to Him as He created us to do. You would think that this would be reason enough for us to want to live in His Divine Kingdom. Just to make manifest our glorification and sanctification of Him on account on how Awesome and Pure and Tremendous He is. This should be reason enough. If we all thought for a moment on the Kind of Being that He IS. If we all reflected for a moment on His Perfection and His Beauty. Then this alone should be reason enough. But there is another reason as He tells us in other verses of the Quran…

[14:32] Allah is the One Who created the heavens and the earth, and He sent down water from the sky, so that with it He brings forth fruits as sustenance for you. And He has subjected for you the ships that run through the sea by His command. And He has subjected for you the rivers.

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[14:33] And He has subjected for you the sun and the moon, working continuously, and He has subjected for you the night and the day.

[14:34] And He has given you every single thing that you could have asked of Him, and if you were to try and enumerate His favors upon you, you will never be able to. Surely man is indeed constantly unjust and ungrateful. In these three verses our Master reminds us of another reason why we need to dedicate ourselves to Him. Why we need to choose to live in His Divine Kingdom. First He reminds us that He is the Creator of this universe that we know. He and He Alone. The word

khalqaha that He uses here does not just mean to
create, rather it means to create from nothing. This is the reality of what our Lord has done for us. In the beginning there was only Him. He (swt) has existed since pre-eternity. He (swt) has always been. He is the

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One Who brought everything into existence. This then is the other reason why we need to dedicate ourselves to Him. To show our appreciation for all that He has done for us. The least of which is His creating us. The least of which is His creating the universe around us. Just think about it for a moment. Were it not for Him (swt), you would not even exist at this moment. All that you are, all that you feel, all that you experience, it is all possible only because of Him. How then can you live in heedlessness of Him? How then can you forget Him? How then can you give Him anything less than your complete dedication? But your creation and your maintenance is only the least of His bounties upon you. In the remainder of these verses He enumerates for you His other favors upon you. Perchance that you may reflect. Perchance that you may show thanks. First Allah (swt) tells us how He has sent down water from the sky for us. You see the rain fall, but do you ever stop and ponder as to who is it that is making it to fall? For every effect there must be a cause. This is the most basic of principles in the operation of this universe. We all know this to be true. But whenever we see the rain, do we ever stop and think as to why it is falling? Do we ever wonder who is making it to fall? We may have learned in science class how rainfall happens. When the water vapor in the air condenses after a certain level of humidity is reached then the rain begins to fall. This is how it happens but do we ever stop to

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question why? Do we ever ask who is doing this? Science can answer the question of how but it cannot answer the question of why. It cannot identify the cause behind the effect, it can only describe for us the process. The cause of course is only Allah (swt). He (swt) is the One Who makes the rain to fall. He is the Power behind that action. He is the Power behind everything that happens in this world. There is no might nor power except in He. This means that every action, every motion, every event that happens in this universe is only by His Will and Power. They are all created by Him. Not just the rainfall rather every action that happens only happens by His Power. He is the Agent behind all motion in this universe. Even our own actions are created by Him. All that we have even in the actions that we do are our intentions. We have the intention to do certain actions but the action itself is only by His Power. So for example at this moment you have the intention to read this book. But you are holding it only by His Power. The light by which you read it comes from Him. He is the One Who is creating the image of these words in your mind. He is maintaining your body while you are reading. He is the One Who is giving you the comprehension of these words. It is all happening by His Power. He is the Real Power behind this universe. Just like He is the Power behind the rain that falls down. Just like He is the Power behind all that happens. How then can you live in heedlessness of Him?

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Of the many blessings and bounties that He has conferred upon us is water and this is what He brings our attention to in the first of these verses. How many are the benefits and blessings that we derive just from water? How many uses do we have for water throughout our daily lives? Just imagine one day if you woke up and found that there was no water whatsoever. Imagine one day if all the fresh water disappeared from the face of the earth. What then will you do? How then will you survive? Only then will you finally realize how weak you truly are. Only then will you finally realize how much you need Him. Today because water comes to us so easily, today because all that we have to do is open a faucet, we take it for granted. We forget how much we need Him (swt) to send down this water upon us. But just not imagine not having water to drink, just imagine not having water to clean yourself, just imagine not having water to cook with. You would not even last a day. How then can you choose to live in heedlessness of Him? How then can you not thank Him for this bounty that He (swt) has sent down upon you? How many times in a single day do you use the water that He has sent down for you? Do you thank Him for it? Do you even remember Him when you use or drink that water? Do you acknowledge even once that it was He Who gave it to you? How can you take so much from Him and give back nothing in return? How can you be so ungrateful? Is not such the greatest of injustices?

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After Allah (swt) reminds us of His blessing of water, He (swt) reminds us of his blessing of food. He tells us how from this water that He sends down He produces sustenance for us. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and the grazing animals. Everything that we eat, everything that we consume, is what He has brought out from the earth for us. And yet how often do we remember Him when we have a meal? How often do we come to the realization that this meal which we have before us is what He has given us? How is it that we can continue to eat, day in and day out, and not show to Him the proper gratitude? Have we become so deluded that we have forgotten that He is our Sustainer? Today most of us are so far from nature, we are so far from the real world. We live in artificial worlds called cities or suburbs. In order to get our food we only need to go the supermarket or to the restaurant. We purchase it and it comes to our dinner plates so easily. We forget the entire process that this food had to go through to find itself to our plate. We forget the rain that was sent, we forget the land on which it was grown, we forget the nutrients and minerals that nourished it, we forget the seed that was planted, we forget the plant that was grown, we forget the animal that was killed, we forget all this. Rather we just enjoy that food thinking that it fell from the sky just for us. Others who think Allah (swt) to be a distant and powerless god think that the earth produced that food, or “mother nature” or the farmer.

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We fail to attribute this bounty to its true Source. That is why here Allah (swt) reminds us. He (swt) reminds us that it is He Who provided us with this pure sustenance. It is He Who satiated our hunger. It is He Who gave us the strength to live another day. That is why He deserves to He be remembered. He deserves to He be worshipped. He deserves to He be submitted to. Not only should we be thankful to Allah (swt) for the pleasure that we took from that meal and that drink, but we should also be thankful for His allowing us to continue to live through that sustenance. When you realize the extent of what you owe to Him then how do you think you should show your gratitude? The next bounty of His that Allah (swt) tells us of are the ships that sail through the sea by His command. How much of a blessing and bounty are ships? Ships are what have brought worlds together. As we know oceans make up the bulk of our earth. How have we been able to cross these giant bodies of water? It is through this blessing of ships that our Lord has given us. Just think where we as mankind would be today if Allah (swt) had not given us this form of transportation. The new world would not have been discovered. We would still be confined to the home of our ancestors. We would not be able to travel to distant lands. We will not be able to meet new people. We will not be able to gain new experiences and knowledge. The world today would be a very different place, a much

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darker place, if Allah (swt) had not brought us together through this gift. Consider for a moment also how marvelous is the ship. It is so large yet it does not sink into the water. If you drop a small pebble into the water it would sink but not the ship. It sails seamlessly and effortlessly through the waters of the ocean. Even if you were to fill that ship with people and cargo it still would not sink. By the same token in today’s world, planes are also an amazing creation which allows us to cover great distances. They are so large yet they fly seamlessly through the clouds. How much then are we in debt? How much gratitude do we owe to our Lord for such bounties? We have become so accustomed to them that we take them for granted. We forget that we are not the sources of these gifts. We forget the One Who Is. Then Allah (swt) tells us how He has subjugated for us the rivers. Notice the beauty of the language, Allah (swt) does not simply tell us that He has given us rivers rather He tells us that He has subjugated them for us. He has made the rivers into our slaves. Is this not the case? Do not the rivers always flow in one direction? Do the rivers ever wake up one day and decide that they want to flow in another direction? No of course not. They always flow in the direction that their Lord has ordained for them. They have been made to do this for us. So that we can take numerous benefits from them. We know that throughout history and even today, rivers and waterways are used for irrigation. Our crops get

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water, their primary source of sustenance, through such rivers. So the next time that you have a meal realize that not only did the food come to you from Allah (swt) but even the water upon which it was nourished came from Him. Another benefit that we can take from rivers is transportation. Rivers are also a source of food. Rivers also carry away sewage and waste. Countless are the benefits that mankind has taken from rivers throughout the centuries. In fact if you were to study history you would find that almost all the major civilizations began from settlements that we neighboring rivers. These rivers allowed the people who lived around them to become strong. To the point that they grew from a tiny village into an empire than spanned across continents. If Allah (swt) had not given them those rivers, if He had not allowed them to grow, then they would not have become who they became. And we would not be where we are today. The world today would be a very different place. Once again we who live in cites, we who live detached from nature, detached from the real world, cannot fully appreciate this fact. We cannot appreciate how much it is that needs to be done only to produce the daily meals that we eat. How much it is that needs to be done only to produce electricity. But if only you would stop for a moment and think about it then you would see how much you are in debt to Allah (swt). You would see how much He has done for you. You would see how much you owe to Him.

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Allah (swt) also reminds us in these blessed verses how He (swt) has subjugated for us the sun and the moon. He describes the sun and the moon here as working continuously. Just like the rivers, just like the ships that sail in the sea, just like the rain, just like everything in the universe, even the sun and the moon have been made into our slaves. They have been subjugated into service for us. Here Allah (swt) describes how at every single moment they are working for us. They are always following a path. The sun always rises in the east, follows its course through the sky, until it sets in the west. Similarly the moon also follows a course. Beginning as a crescent then evolving into a half then becoming full then waning back into a half and then again a crescent until it becomes new once again. These are the paths that Allah (swt) has set for both of these celestial bodies. Do they ever deviate from these paths? Has the sun ever woken up one day and decided that it wants to rise from the West? Has the moon ever woken up one day and decided that it wants to begin as a full moon? No, rather they both follow the set course that their Lord has decreed for them. Not only do they both always follow this course but they are continuously following this course. At every moment the sun is moving along its path. At every moment the moon is changing phases. Neither of them take a break even for a day, even for a moment. They are always working. They are always in a state of servitude to Him.

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They do this because they recognize the kind of Being that He (swt) IS. They see Him in all His Glory and Majesty. In all His Purity and Perfection. So they annihilate themselves into Him completely. Desiring nothing at every moment except pleasing Him. Thus even though they have been subjugated into service for us they are serving us only as part of their servitude to Him. He has commanded them to work for us and that is why they do so. But really it is Him that they serve. It is to Him that they have dedicated themselves to. It is He that they yearn for. It is He that they love. This is true not only for the sun and the moon, but for all creation. Then Allah (swt) tells us how He has also subjugated for us the night and the day. The night and the day have also been made into slaves for mankind. Just like all creation Allah (swt) commanded them to serve us so that we can serve Him (swt). And we can see how this is true, the night and day exist for the benefit of mankind. How many are the benefits that we derive from the night? How many are the benefits that we derive from the day? How many are the benefits that we derive from the alternation between each of them? Allah (swt) has made the day bright for us so that we can work and so that we can go to school. So that we can go out into the world and seek of His sustenance. And He (swt) has made the night dark and still so that we can rest in it. So that we can sleep in it and so that we can meditate and remember Him in it. Even time as

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we know it, even the calendar as we know it, is only possible because of this constant alternation between night and day. In the end the time that we keep is nothing except counting the minutes remaining till sunrise or the minutes remaining till sunset. And this is so accurate that we base our entire lives around it. We set our clocks and watches to it. Think about it. Does not the day always come exactly when it is supposed to? Does not the night always come exactly when it is supposed to? Who do you think has made them this way? Of course it is Allah (swt). He has subjugated them to serve us, so that they always come when they are expected. So that they each are the way that they are. So that we can benefit from them in so many ways. In the final of these verses Allah (swt) says “And He has given you every single thing that you could have asked of Him”. In addition to all of the favors and bounties that He has already told us of, He tells us here how He has given us every single thing that we could ever have asked for. Now the meaning of this is that Allah (swt) has given us everything that we need to survive and prosper. Everything that we could possibly need He has given us. From the most basic of needs like food, water, shelter, and clothing. To means of transportation. Spouses and companionship. Children who will carry on after us. The means to trade and conduct business. He has given us medicines to cure our illnesses. He has alternated the night and day so that we

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can rest and we can out and seek of His bounty. He has given us minds and senses so that we may learn about the world around us. Through these we bring science, technology, and innovation. None of this, nothing of what we have accomplished as the human race would ever have been possible if He had not given us the means and the enabling grace. The means not only include our minds and senses but also the physical resources and materials of this world that we use. Man does not have the power to create from nothing, all that he can do is use what Allah (swt) has already given him from the things of the earth. And this is what we have done. We have studied the world around us. We have used the materials of this earth to bring forth all kinds of technology and innovation. Through these our lives in this world are improved, our lives in this world are made easier. So we are at a state where we have everything that we need. Everything that we could ask Him for. Now of course we cannot take from this verse the meaning that everyone will always have whatever that they desire. Such is not the nature of this world. Such can only be found in the Hereafter. Rather the meaning that we can take from here is that we all have what we need to survive. Our nature is that we like to focus on what we do not have and we rarely if ever look to what we do have. So this is what our Lord reminds us of here. He reminds us of all His blessings that we always use but forget. What we always take as granted.

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But of all these that Allah (swt) has given us, by far the greatest bounty and the greatest gift, is the guidance to Him. Because as we mentioned the very reason why we exist in this world is to serve Him. It is to dedicate our lives to Him. It is to strive at every moment only to please Him. This is how we will find true peace and tranquility. This is how we will find fulfillment for our existence. Because we were created for Him. So as long as we are distant from Him then we will never find completion for our existence. There will always be a hole within us. There will always be a yearning. There will always be an open wound. And the pain from this wound will bring us misery for our whole lives. The only way in which it can be healed is if we return to Him. But in order to make the journey back to Him we first need to be shown the way. We need Him to show us the way. Because how can we know how to please Him from our own minds? How can we know how to serve Him from our own minds? We do not know what pleases Him, only He (swt) Knows. So He must be the One to establish the path for us to follow. That is why the greatest bounty that He has given us is the path that leads to Him. That path is none other than this Din of Islam. This Din is a complete system that addresses every aspect of our lives. It shows us how we can serve Him in every moment of our lives. It shows how we can journey to Him in everything that we do. And what is there to life other than this? Once you know Him you will see this.

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Despite all that we have discussed so far concerning this verse, the heart of the verse, the main lesson in this verse is the words of our Lord when He says “and if you were to try and enumerate His favors upon you. you will never be able to”. So many are the bounties and favors that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us, that even if we were to try and enumerate them we would not be able to. Just think about the meaning of what He (swt) is saying here. He is saying that even if we tried our utmost to simply count all of the favors, big and small, that He has given us we would never be able to. Imagine if you spent your whole life just trying to count all of His favors. You did no other job except just sitting down and listing all that He had done for you, you dedicated yourself completely to this task, still you would not be able to do it. You would keep writing that list but still it would not finish. You would write one gift another and you would keep going until death took you. Even if all the oceans of the world were the ink that you used, even if all the trees were paper for you, still you would not be able to finish writing all of Allah (swt)’s favors upon you. You would exhaust your supply of ink and paper before you finished writing all of His favors. Not only could you not list all of His favors but you could not even list the magnitude of each favor. For example you know that your eyes are a great blessing that He has given you. But exactly how much of a blessing are they? How much easier is your

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life because you have them? How many pleasures and joys have you enjoyed because of them? How many hardships and sufferings have you been saved from? This is something that you can never truly comprehend. Ask someone who has lost this bounty, ask someone who has lost their vision, and perhaps they will be able to tell you. Even they will not be able to fully appreciate how tremendous of a gift this is. Even they do not recognize the true value of it. Only Allah (swt) Knows. Only He Knows just how much He has favored us. Only He Knows where we would be today were it not for His bounties upon us. Now you may be saying to yourself that this hard to believe. You may say to yourself that “yes He has given us so many gifts, but is it really that many? Is it really so many that it is innumerable? Almost infinite”. Yes it is and the only reason why you cannot realize this is because of your ignorance. It is because of your limited knowledge. You can never know how much He has favored you. You can never know how much He has given you. You can never know how much He has done for you and continues to do for you. As an example right now in your body He is active. He (swt) is digesting the food in your stomach, He is making the blood to flow through your veins, He is making your lungs to take in the air that is good and to remove the air that is bad. He is removing the harmful substances from your body. These are but a few of the processes that He is causing to happen in your body right at this

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moment. There are so many others that you are not even aware of. And if He were to stop even one of these then you would all fall down dead right away. And this is just when it comes to the functioning of your body, let alone everything else that He does for you, can you then imagine how vast are His favors upon you? In the final part of this verse Allah (swt) says “Surely man is indeed constantly unjust and ungrateful”. Despite all of the favors and blessings which Allah (swt) has given us, so many that it is even more than what we can count, we still do not do even begin to show to Him the gratitude that He (swt) deserves. So much is our ingratitude that this is how He describes us to be. He says that we are constantly unjust and ungrateful. Let us look carefully at what our Lord is saying here. First notice how the first description that He gives is that we are unjust. He does not first say that we are ungrateful, rather He first says that we are unjust. From this we should realize that by our failing to recognize all of His gifts and favors upon us and by our failing to render to Him the proper appreciation for them, not only are we being ungrateful but even more so is that we are being unjust. We are being unjust. We are being evil. We should always remember that one of the very Names of our Lord is the Most Just. Allah (swt) is the Most Just. In everything that He does He demonstrates for us His Justice. And in turn He (swt) also expects justice from His creation. From His slaves.

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He demands that we acknowledge what He has done for us. He demands that we show our appreciation. Not only in our hearts, not only through our words, but even in our actions. Our gratitude to Him must be manifest in our slavehood to Him. We have to dedicate our lives to pleasing to Him. This is how we can show the proper gratitude for all that He has done for us. Anything less than this would be insufficient. So much has He given us. So vast is His bounty upon us. That this is the only way in which we can thank Him. If we do not then not only would we be ungrateful, but we would also be unjust. We would be unjust to the One Who is the Source of all good in our life. To the One Who has given us everything. Including life itself. How evil is that? Notice also in the verse how Allah (swt) says that we are constantly unjust and ungrateful. This tells us that our evil is not only on one specific instance but rather it is a constant state which we are always in. At every moment of our lives we are being unjust to Him and ungrateful to Him. Why is this so? It is because at every moment we take of His bounties but most of the time we do not even remember Him in those moments let alone render Him thanks let alone dedicate ourselves in slavehood to Him. We take from Him but we do not give anything back to Him. We take more and more from Him without even realizing that it is from Him that we are taking. He is Aware of us at every moment. He gives us at every moment but we always forget Him.

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Just think about it. Every day of your life, at every moment, you breathe His air, you eat His food, you drink His water, your body is being sustained by Him, His earth holds you and makes itself habitable for you, and yet you do not even remember Him. You do not even recognize all that He is doing for you right at this moment. Rather you live in utter heedlessness of Him. Thinking about some other false god that you have dedicated your life to instead of Him. Sadly this is the condition that the vast majority of mankind is in. And this is why Allah (swt) describes us to be this way. He says that we are in a constant state of injustice and ingratitude to Him. How true is this for us all? This then is another reason why we need to dedicate ourselves to Him. This then is another reason why we need to return to Him. This then is another why we should want to live in His Divine Kingdom. Firstly as we mentioned previously it is because He deserves that dedication. On account of how Perfect and Pure He is. On account of how Glorious and Tremendous He is. On account of how Majestic and Awesome He is. Secondly as we have learned in these verses it is to show our appreciation to Him for all that He (swt) has done for us. It is to even begin to show our appreciation. Of course we can never truly thank Him enough. We cannot even praise or glorify Him enough. Not as He (swt) truly deserves to be. However it is a beginning. It is a start. We may not be able to do much. We may not be able to

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give Him much. On account of how weak and limited we are. But if we choose to live this life of dedication to Him then it is something. It is us telling Him how we have begun to realize all that He has done for us. It is us telling Him how we have begun to realize how Tremendous and Glorious He IS. Oh my Lord, I love you so much. I see how much you have given to me. I see how every moment of my life is only possible because of you. I see how You are the Source of every pleasure and joy in my life. You are the Source of every moment of my life without pain or misery. All that I am I am because of you. Even the good that I do is only from Your enabling grace. I also see how Beautiful and Magnificent you are. I see how Perfect you are. So I offer to you my Lord my life. I offer to you my Lord all that I have. I sacrifice all of my pleasures and desires for you. Or at least I promise you that I will try. I know that all of this is not much compared to what you have given me. I know it is far less than You deserve. But please accept it of me my Lord. I know it is not much, but I also know that part of Your Perfection is that You are Perfect in Your Mercy and Forgiveness. And because of only Your Bounty and Grace, and not from my own merit I ask You to accept it from me. I am thirsty for your Mercy. Like a person who has wandered the hot desert for several hours without a drink. I am yearning for you. You are my Beloved. All that I desire is to be close to you. All that I desire is to feel Your Presence

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close to me. This is the station that we all need to be in. This is how our hearts need to be at every moment. If we can understand this then we can understand the Divine Kingdom. The Divine Kingdom is where all of mankind can reach this station. The Divine Kingdom is where we can all come to this realization. The Divine Kingdom is where we can all make manifest our slavehood to Allah (swt). Our utter dedication of Him. Through every aspect of our lives as we will see Insha Allah in this book. If you love Him then you would yearn to live in this place. It is His Kingdom. Where He is the King and Sovereign. Where He is the Lord and Master. Where the people are truly dedicated to Him. All that they desire is to serve Him. All that they desire is to please Him. This is because they recognize all that He has done for them. And they see how Glorious and Tremendous He IS. And when they live this life of servitude to Him that is when they find true peace and contentment. Because such is what they were created for. They were created for Him and so with Him they find solace and joy. Do you not also want to live in this place? Just think about Him and you will see why it is the place for you as well. He is the Glorious and the Pure. He is the Source of all good in our life. He is the Source of our life itself. How then can you turn away? The Divine Kingdom is where we can find Him, it where we can be near to Him. Do you not want to go there? With this book your journey begins.

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Chapter 2: The Divine Kingdom and you
First and foremost we have to look at how each and every single one of us will be in the Divine Kingdom. Because as wonderful a place as it is, you first have to see where you belong in it. How do you fit in? What is there for you? What does the Divine Kingdom offer you as an individual? Why would you want to live in such a place? The first and foremost reason is because as we mentioned in the previous chapter that to live in such a place is what you were created to do. Allah (swt) created you to be His slave, to dedicate your life to Him. And the place where you can do this is the Divine Kingdom. The Divine Kingdom is the place where you make Him as your King and Master. Where you dedicate your whole life only to Him. Where you can serve Him through everything that you do. Thus can you find peace. Thus can you find contentment. Thus can you find fulfillment for your existence. How exactly can you find this? It is by knowing Him. It is by being near to Him. He is the Sublime and the Majestic. The Pure and the Beautiful. Once you know Him then nothing else will matter in your life. All that you will care for is being near to Him. This is what the Divine Kingdom offers you. It is the place where you can find true happiness. It is the place where you can fulfill the very purpose of your existence. It is where you can be near to Him.

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Now how exactly do you reach this sublime station? It is by realizing the meaning of the verse where your Lord commands you to say…

[6:162] Say “My prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are only for Allah, the Lord of all”. In this beautiful verse Allah (swt) shows you the path to the Divine Kingdom. He shows you what you need to do in order to reach this wonderful place. As you can see it is not just a certain set of rituals that must be followed or some processes that must be implemented. It is not simply the actions of the limbs or the words of the tongue. But more than that it is a state of heart. It is a viewpoint towards life. It is a realization that you do not exist for yourself anymore. Rather you exist only for Allah (swt). Your whole life is only for Him. Your only goal in life is to serve Him and to please Him. He is all that matters. At every moment you should be asking yourself what you could do at this moment to please Him. If you know that you have pleased Him then this should be all that matters. This is the thinking that you need to have if you want to call yourself “Muslim”. It should be ingrained deep within your heart. This is the first step in your journey to the Divine Kingdom. It is by realizing that your only goal in life is being near to Him. And you do this by trying to please Him and being pleased with whatever He gives you in life.

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Notice in the verse how Allah (swt) first commands you to say that your prayer and your sacrifice are for Him. Why is this? It is because in order to reach that sublime station where you live only for Him, first your prayer and your sacrifice must be for Him. And it begins first with the prayer. For us as Muslims there is nothing more important than our prayer. Our connection with Allah (swt) is through our prayer. Our Salah. So in order to reach the Divine Kingdom the first step in your journey must be your Salah. Not only do you need to make each of the five daily prayers on time but you must pray them all with humility and presence of heart. You have to remember your Lord in your prayer. Your body must tremble as you stand in reverence before Him. Your body and your soul must be dedicated completely to Him. You have to remember that Salah is your connection with Allah (swt). It is the time when you cut yourself off from the world completely and focus only on Him. That is why when you pray your mind should be free of everything except Him. Your focus should be on your prayer. Meaning that nothing should occupy your heart in these moments except Him. Just think for a moment, how can you dedicate your whole life to Him when even in your prayer you are heedless of Him. So it all begins with the Salah. You are nearest to Him when you are in prostration before Him. Your life should revolve around your Salah. It is way in which you ascend to Him.

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Once you are steadfast and constant in your prayer. Once your prayer is more than just movements of the body and words that are parroted. Once you make all of the actions in the prayer with presence of heart and humility. Then the next step in your journey to Him is that you must sacrifice for Him. Allah (swt) also tells you in the Quran that…

[3: 92] You will never reach goodness until you spend from what you love, and from whatsoever that you spend surely Allah Knows it well. In order to reach righteousness. In order to be close to Allah (swt). You first have to spend from what you love. You have to give up what you love. You have to give it up for Him. You have to demonstrate through your sacrifice your love for Him. You have to show that you care more for Him than anything of this world. Because how can you reach that sublime station where you have dedicated every moment of your life for Him if there is still a part of you that clings to this world? If there is still a part of you that loves something of this world more than Him. No, rather you must love Him more than anything else. That is why you must be willing to give up everything for Him. If you realize how Wonderful He IS then you will be willing to do so.

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If we study the past events which Allah (swt) tells us of in the Quran we can see several examples of such sacrifice. For example in the story of the prophet Ibrahim (as) (Abraham) we saw how he (as) was ready to sacrifice his own beloved son for Allah (swt). In the story of the prophet Musa (as) (Moses) we saw how he gave up a comfortable life with his family to walk the difficult path of calling to Allah (swt). In the story of Maryam (as) (Mary) we saw how she left her family and her people to go into the wilderness in order that she may be alone with Allah (swt). These are but a few of the many examples of great sacrifices that can be found in the Quran. So this is the next step in our journey to the Divine Kingdom. We have to give up what we love for Allah (swt). We have to demonstrate how we truly do love Him more than anything else of this world. And of course this is true. When we see how Magnificent and Tremendous He IS. When we see how Glorious and Pure He IS. When it dawns upon us how much He (swt) has done for us and how much we owe to Him, then how could we not love Him more than anything else? How could we not choose Him over everything of this world? We have to strive to reach that high station of the prophets and the saints who walked this path before us. We have to be prepared to give up everything that we love only for Allah (swt). It may seem difficult. The devil will make it look difficult. He will say that you cannot give up this thing that you love. He will make you think

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as to how difficult your life would be had you had to live without it. But as Allah (swt) has said in other verses, the plan of the devil is weak. If only you remember your Lord. If only you remember how He suffices for you in every situation. Then you would see how you can indeed give up that thing for His sake. So look now to your life. Try to find some actions which you may be doing that He (swt) may not be pleased with. Or else try to find something in your life which you have that He may not be pleased with. And then give it up for Him. Now we are not saying here that you have to give up everything that you love. If you look at the Divine Law that He has written for you then you would find that many are the things that He has made permissible for you and only a few are the things that He has forbidden. But if you find any of these things that He has forbidden in your life, such as drugs or alcohol, such as having relationships with the opposite gender outside marriage, such as taking usury, such as backbiting and speaking ill of others, such as hurting others with your words or hands, such as cheating or lying, such as breaking trusts and promises, such as gambling and excessive gaming, then try and give these things up for Him. It may be difficult, it may be something that you love to do, but still do it for Him. You know that it is not good for you in the first place. You know that He loves you more than you love yourself and so He would never legislate for you something that

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is hurtful to you. Whatever He has forbidden for you is what He Knows is evil for you. He does not want you to be miserable. On the contrary He wants you to be happy. So partake freely in all those things which He has made permissible for you. Find contentment in those things. Not just from those things themselves but also in the fact that these are what He has chosen to give you. And leave what He has forbidden. Leave them for His sake. Knowing that His Pleasure with you is much better than that thing which you are leaving. You love Him so much that He is all you need. This realization is Islam. So we see from this verse how sacrificing some of what we love is an important step in our path to the Divine Kingdom. When sacrifice is once again thought of as a virtue instead of as foolishness then think what a beautiful society that would be? Today we have all become extremely individualistic. Today we all like to hoard what we have been given. We do not like to spend unless it is on ourselves. Unless we can get some benefit in this world from our spending. We do not even like to give in charity unless we can deduct that amount from our taxes. We have forgotten what it means to sacrifice only for Allah (swt). But just imagine if we could be reminded once again. Just imagine if we could live for more than just this world. Just imagine if we were all in the habit of giving and seeking nothing from it except the Pleasure of Allah (swt). Imagine what a beautiful world that would be. How far are we today?

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Going back to the verse which we had been studying we see that the third thing which Allah (swt) commands us to dedicate to Him is our life itself. After our prayer is only for Him, after our sacrifice is only for Him, then we must strive to reach that level where our life itself is only for Him. As we mentioned the Divine Kingdom is not just a place, rather it is a state of heart. It is a station where we have resolved to live only for Allah (swt). At every moment we should ask ourselves what we can do at this moment to make our Lord pleased, what is the action which we can do at this moment with which He would be most pleased with. It is not about our pleasures and our desires anymore. Rather it is only about what will make Him pleased. This is what He asks of us in this verse. It is to dedicate our lives to Him. It is to dedicate our lives to pleasing Him. This is a step above worshipping Him. This is even a step above sacrificing for Him. Because when you reach this level then you are in essence giving to Him every moment of your life. You are in essence giving to Him everything that you have. You are saying that every moment of your existence is only for Him. This is a very high station. A station that few of us ever reach. But if we can even approach it. If we can even come close to it. Then we would see that we have journeyed to a much better place than where we are right now. So do not be daunted at how high you have to reach. But rather trust in Him and take your first step.

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Now realize that even to reach this sublime station we need His help. Because often times we ourselves do not know what will please Him. Often times for a given situation we do not know which choice would please Him. So not only should we strive to please Him, but we should also implore His help in our striving. We should realize that we will never be able to please Him. We will never be able to live for Him. Unless He first gives us His enabling grace and His guidance. So we should strive to live only for Him and we should ask His help in doing so. We are utterly dependent upon Him for everything. Even for our being good. Even for our fulfilling the purpose of our existence. However even though we depend upon Him to guide us, and we ask Him to guide us, this does not mean that we do not have any free will. On the contrary we do have this choice. The choice to choose whether we would serve Him or not. The choice to choose whether we would dedicate ourselves to Him or not. He has given us this honor, this privilege, this responsibility. But what we need to bear in mind is that even if we choose the correct path, even if we choose to dedicate ourselves to Him, we still would not be able to unless He first gives us the enabling grace. So the choice is ours to make but even if we make the right one we still need Him to show us the way. However if we choose the wrong path then He will allow us to go astray even though He could have guided us.

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And it also important to note that when we speak about dedicating our lives for Allah (swt) then this includes every action that we do. Even our interactions with others. Even our dealings with others. Even these should be part of our slavehood to Him. Meaning that we should deal with everyone in a way that is pleasing to Him. Our egos may tell us to deal with certain people in certain ways. They may tell us to look down upon some people and to mistreat them. We must fight this feeling and deal with everyone in the best of ways. With kindness and respect. With tolerance and forgiveness. Such was the way of the Prophet (saw). He (saw) even treated young children and slaves with dignity and respect. He (saw) forgave others the wrong that they did to him (saw) time and time again. Because he (saw) knew that he was not dealing with them for his sake or theirs, rather he (saw) was interacting for Allah (swt). When we are at this level. This level where we live every moment of our lives only for Allah (swt). Then we would have established the Divine Kingdom in our lives. Once we are at this state then we would begin to realize what a wonderful place this truly is. It is a place where we would never know sorrow or fear or apprehension or anxiety. Because we do not live for ourselves anymore. So we do not care about what may happen to us. We do not care about what we may lose. We do not care about what pain or humiliation that we may feel. Because it is not about us anymore, rather it is

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only about Him. In order to properly understand this we need only to look at an incident that happened in the lifetime of the Prophet (saw). Once he (saw) went to carry dawah to the people of Taif. He (saw) went to them to invite them to Allah (swt). To call them to the purpose of their creation. To return to what would bring them good both in this life and the next. He (saw) only wanted the best for them. But not only did they not accept him (saw), not only did they reject him (saw), but they treated him (saw) in the harshest and cruelest of ways. They threw stones at him in public. In front of all the people to see. So not only did he (saw) have to suffer great physical pain but there was also the psychological pain from being publicly humiliated. After this terrible incident. After he (saw) had escaped his tormenters. He (saw) raised his hands in prayer to his Lord and said “Oh my Lord, as long as you are not angry with me or disappointed with me, then I do not care for what the people may do to me”. These were the blessed words that he spoke. They reveal the state of heart that he (saw) was in. He (saw) did not care at all for what the people had done to him (saw). All that he (saw) desired was the contentment of his Lord. If he knew that Allah (swt) was pleased with him, then he (saw) was pleased. No matter how much discomfort he may have been feeling. No matter what the people may have said or thought about him. He (saw) did not even see the people anymore. He did not see the world anymore.

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Rather he (saw) only saw Allah (swt). He drowned himself in the Divine Light. Just imagine how wonderful your life would be if you also could Insha Allah (God Willing) reach this sublime station. You will not feel anymore pain. No longer will the demons of anxiety or sorrow haunt your heart. You will not be sad about what you may have missed or what you have not received. Because you know that what you got was only what He (swt) had written for you and what you did not get was what He never wrote for you. So because of your love for Him you are content with whatever of this world you have been given. You know that it is not about yourself. You know that it is only about Him. So for His sake you are happy with whatever He has chosen to give you. You are also not apprehensive or worried about the future. Because you know that there will only befall you what He has ordained for you. There will only happen to you what He allows to happen to you. Even the slightest of harm is only by His Permission. So you always trust in Him to keep you and your family safe. You know that He will never abandon you or forsake you. If you are sincere to Him then you know that He will only allow to befall you that which is best for you. You know that at every moment He is wrapping you in His Protection, in His Mercy, in His Love. So what reason then do you have to fear? When you know that there is so Tremendous a Being Who is always so near to you.

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Just think if you could live in this wonderful place. This place where there is no fear. This place where there is no anxiety. This place where there is no grief. This place where you always have peace and contentment. This place where you do not become angry or frustrated. This place where you are not always yearning for the material things of this world. This place where you have a motivation to be a better person. You have a motivation to sacrifice and to give. This place where you always have serenity and contentment. Just from feeling His Presence close to you. This is why we should all seek to live in the Divine Kingdom. Because it is the place in which we were created to live. Because it is the place in which we can be near to Him. Because it is the place in which we can find true peace and contentment. Now there are several dimensions to the Divine Kingdom. There are several manifestations of this place. But when it comes to you as an individual. When it comes to you as a person then being in this place means that you must submit yourself completely to Allah (swt). Your life must only be for Him. You should enslave yourself willingly and completely to Him. As long as you can do this, as long as you are in this state, then you are in the Divine Kingdom. Even if the world around you is heedless of Him you would have established the Kingdom in your life. You would have brought your body and your soul completely under His Dominion.

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Allah (swt) also says in the Quran…

[2:208] O you who have believed, enter into
Islam completely, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan, surely he is to you a clear enemy. In this beautiful verse Allah (swt) shows us the kind of submission that He expects from us. He shows us what should be our relationship to this beautiful Din of Islam that He has sent to us. He shows us how it is that we need to submit to Him. He shows how we need to live this way of life that He has sent to us. First of all notice how the command in this verse is not directed towards all mankind, but rather it is specifically directed to those who believe. Because in order to enter into this Din, you first have to believe. You have to believe in Allah (swt) as the one and only God and Deity worthy of worship. As the one and only Lord and Sovereign worthy of obedience. And you have to believe in the Prophet (saw) as the Messenger of this Entity. You have to believe with the utmost certainty and conviction that this man (saw) speaks only on behalf of Allah (swt). If you do not have this belief, if you do not have this conviction then nothing else that you do will ever be accepted. First and foremost you have to

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believe. Because how could you ever dedicate yourself to Allah (swt) if you doubt His Existence in the first place. How can you follow completely the guidance of the Prophet (saw) if you doubt that he (saw) is a Representative of the Divine? So it must start with your belief. Your journey to the Divine Kingdom must begin in your heart. You must choose to believe in this Message that your Lord has sent to you. Now be honest with yourself. Deep down inside you know that Islam is the Truth. You are certain that it is the Truth. So why then do you not accept what you can see to be true? You can see that this universe must have had a Creator. A universe filled with finite and limited things must have an Originator. A Source Who Himself is not finite and limited. How could it be that a universe filled with limited things, things which are not capable of creating themselves, how could such have come into existence by itself. Everything in this universe is finite. How then could it have existed forever? How could it have created itself? Similarly you know how no one has been able to produce a Book like this Quran in the last 1400 years. Allah (swt) has challenged all of mankind to produce even one chapter like the chapters in the Quran if they doubt that this Book is from Him. And no one in all this time has even come close to meeting this challenge. Does this not then show us that the Prophet (saw) is indeed the Messenger? That the words in this Book are not his own.

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Once you have believed then Allah (swt) commands you to enter into the Divine Kingdom. However He gives this wonderful place a better name than we ever have, He calls it Al Islam. Literally this means “The Surrender” or “The Submission”. This is the place which He commands us to enter. We need to enter it as proof of our belief in Him. Because how could you believe in Him as He truly is and then give Him anything less than complete submission? If you find that you are giving Him less than this, if you find that you are lax in your worship, then you have to question your belief. You have to work on strengthening your belief. Notice how Allah (swt) does not simply say to enter Islam rather He says to enter THE Islam. The definite article is used for something that is known. Something that is specific. So what Allah (swt) wants us to enter into is not just any Islam, but it is a specific Islam. Because anyone can come and say what they like and do what they like. They can live a life where they are simply following their desires. And then they can say that such is how they have submitted to Allah (swt). They can say that such is Islam. They can change our Din completely to make it compatible with the secular world and say that it is Islam. They can make up their own way of submitting to Him. Their own version of the religion. Such will never be accepted as we can see from here. Because Allah (swt) is not asking for just any kind of submission, rather He (swt) demands a very specific

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form of submission. And which submission is this? Of course it is the submission that He sent to us through the Prophet (saw). It is the specific Din that He revealed to us through the Prophet (saw). So we cannot submit to Allah (swt) in any way that we like. In a way that suits our desires or a way that suits the prevailing norms of society. Rather we have to submit to Him according to the sacred text of the Quran and Sunnah. We have to submit to Him according to the way that He wants us to submit to Him. Islam cannot go through a reformation. It cannot change according to time and place. It cannot change according to the whims of man. Because then man would be the lord. Is this what submission means? No rather Islam means to follow without question. It is the human which must submit to the Divine and not the other way around. Because He is the Creator and we are the creation. He is the Sustainer and we the sustained. So we have to take this Din as He gave it to us. We cannot change it. We cannot make our own version of it. Our Islam must be the exact same Islam of the Prophet (saw). Only such would be acceptable to our Lord as we from this verse. We do not care if some say that we are “fundamentalists” or “extremists”. Just like the Prophet (saw) it should only be His estimation of us that matters. We should care only for pleasing Him and not pleasing the people. Now ask yourself. Is He pleased with a partial Islam? A secular Islam? A moderate Islam? An Islam where you and the society live in heedlessness.

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No, what He wants is complete submission. Just look at the name that He gave to our religion. To our way of life. To our ideology. It means submission. It means surrender. This meaning is in accordance to what we have said so far. We have said that entering into the Divine Kingdom means that you do not live for yourself anymore rather you only live for Him. You have surrendered yourself completely to Him. You have submitted your desires and your wants to Him. It is not about what you want anymore. Rather it is about what He wants. So you are content with whatever law that He writes for you. You are content with whatever situation in life that He decrees for you. Not only do you accept His laws and decrees but you are pleased with them. You are pleased with them only because of your love for Him. So you do what He tells you to do with willingness and enthusiasm. For example if He commands you to pray, then you rush to prayer. If he forbids you from taking usury and free mixing with the opposite sex then you shun these abominations. You go out of your way to do what He commands and you go out of your way to flee from what He forbids. You find no reservations whatsoever but you accept with a full acceptance. Even if the society in which you live does not approve of some of His laws. Even if your own desires may not approve. You do not care. Your love for Him is far greater than your love for yourself or for the people around you.

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This is the station of a true believer. A true Muslim. This is what it means to submit. For example if He commands the men to fight, they fight. And if He commands the women to be covered and secluded, this is what they do. They submit to Him completely. They follow every law that He has written for them. They love Him so much. They have drowned themselves in Him. This is what Islam is. It is to submit to the Decree of the Divine with a complete submission. This is why a Muslim who repeatedly commits the major sins like drinking alcohol or committing fornication cannot be called a true Muslim. Because a part of him has not submitted. A part of him still rebels against the Divine. A part of him thinks that he knows better than Allah (swt). He thinks that can of beer or that woman is good for him despite the fact that his Lord has forbidden these. Or else he loves himself more than his Lord. The priority in his life is satisfying his urges rather than submitting to his Lord. By the same token a Muslim who finds faults or has reservations with some of the Divine Laws also has not perfected his submission. Those Muslims who question the laws related to the role of women, or the rulings on jihad, or the punishments for certain crimes. Some of these laws may not be acceptable by the society of today. So there are some Muslims who question these laws. There are some Muslims who say that Islam would do better without these laws. Even though these laws have clear evidences in the Quran

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and Sunnah they still question them. So they also have not perfected their submission. Just like the sinner they are also in a state of rebellion against the Divine. If they truly loved Allah (swt). If they truly only cared for Him. Then all that they would care about is pleasing Him. Even if it is difficult for them. Even if a part of them does not agree. They would struggle against this part for His sake. Through this struggle they would submit to Him. Through this struggle they would draw closer to Him. They would surrender their egos and themselves to Him. And then they would find peace. They would peace in knowing that He is all that matters. They would find peace in realizing that He always Knows best. In realizing that in whatever He legislates or decrees there is good even if they at that moment cannot see it. Notice also the beauty of the language in this verse. Allah (swt) does not simply tell us to accept Islam or to become Muslim. Rather He commands us to “enter into Islam”. Almost as if Islam is a house or a land into which we are being ordered to enter. Now think about it when you enter into a house or when you enter a new land then your entire surroundings change. Nothing was the same as how it was before. The temperature is different. The air is different. The lighting is different. The sounds are different. The winds are different. It is a completely new environment to where you were before. Such should also be the case when you enter into Islam. Such should also be the result of your becoming Muslim.

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It is more than just a few rituals that you start doing. It is more than just the way you eat or the way you dress. No rather your entire outlook towards life must change. Everything about you must change. You now have a new purpose in life. You now have a new reason for being. You are now a slave of the Divine. And once you are His slave then you are free from being a slave to everything else. Including your own lusts and desires. Once you are His slave then what you desire is only what He desires. At every moment the only thought that runs through your mind is what can I do now to serve my Master. What can I do now to please my Master. Everything that you do becomes part of your slavehood to Him. From your worship to your work to your dealings with other people to your eating to your drinking to your sleeping to even the way in which you use the restroom. Every action that you take you dedicate to Him. Every moment you seek to draw closer to Him. And through this slavehood you find contentment and peace. You find contentment and peace by knowing that He is near to you. By knowing that Hears and Sees all that happens to you. There is no more desire. There is no more despair. The cycle is broken. Everything has changed. The ego has been killed. You have drowned yourself in His Light and Glory. This is what it means to enter into the Divine Kingdom. It is a place more wonderful and amazing then you could ever imagine. But in order to get there an effort must be made. You have to live for Him.

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In the second part of this verse Allah (swt) commands us not to follow the footsteps of Satan. As we all know we as human beings have an enemy. A clear and open enemy. This is none other than Satan. The devil. However our perception of this creature is different than other religions. In Islam we do not believe in a conflict between heaven and hell. We do not believe Satan is in enmity with Allah (swt). There is no competition between him and the Divine. Because he could never win such a battle. How can the weak and the limited ever hope to oppose the Perfect and the All Powerful? Rather Satan’s enmity is with us. The conflict is between us and him. And the only power that he has over us is to suggest evil thoughts into our hearts. He cannot control us. He cannot make us to do the evil that he wants us to do. All that he can do is to try and entice us. He whispers into our hearts and tells us to do what will displease Allah (swt). When this happens then it is our choice whether to listen to him or not. Herein lies the battle. The struggle to resist his temptations. Now what does Allah (swt) mean in this verse when He tells us not to follow the footsteps of Satan? Does it literally mean that the devil has footprints which we should not follow? No, this is not a verse that can be understood literally. Most of the verses of Quran should be taken at face value, meaning that they should be understood literally. However when the literal meaning does not make sense, or when the literal meaning

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contradicts other verses then we have to take a metaphorical meaning or an understood meaning. Here we have to take such a metaphorical meaning because none of us can see the footsteps of the devil. He is a creature of the unseen realm so there is no one who can see him or his footprints. So we say that the “footsteps” here are the steps through which he misguides. The nature of the devil is that he works in steps. If you are a pious and devout worshipper then he will not come to you on the first day and tell you to worship other than Allah (swt). He will not come to you on the first day and tell you to fornicate or drink alcohol. Rather he will work in steps. On the first day he might ask you to just look at that girl. He will make excuses for you in your mind. After all she is so beautiful. After all you are just admiring the creation of your Lord. After all it is only a minor sin. Then once you have fallen for this trap, once you have looked upon her with lust, once he has struck you with this arrow, then on the second day he will come with a more powerful arrow. This time he will ask you to talk with her. Then after that he will tell you to flirt with her. Then he will tell you kiss her. Then you know after all that where it will end up. These are the footsteps of Satan. This is the way in which he tries to misguide the servants of the Divine. This is the way in which he tries to take them away from Allah (swt). So in order to save us from that fate Allah (swt) commands us here not to follow his footsteps.

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Thus we see the Mercy of our Lord. In that no only has He sent to us guidance but He has even given us means to remain upon that guidance. He has told us of the enemies and the traps that will take us away that guidance. Away from Him. For there is no greater loss that we could ever suffer in this world. There is no greater tragedy that could ever befall us than there is of becoming distant from Him. Once you have tasted Him then you know that there is nothing like Him. So even if you have submitted yourself completely to Allah (swt). There is still a chance that this devil will mislead you. There is still a chance that he will have you expelled from the Divine Kingdom. That is why you always need to be on your guard. You always need to be vigilant. You always need to renew your intentions. You always need to remind yourself that it is Allah (swt) Whom you serve. You always need to make certain that your actions are in accordance with His Law. You always need to resist the temptations. But even this struggle is part of your slavehood to your Lord. So even through this struggle you can draw closer to Him. You can show Him your love for Him. You can show Him how much you are willing to strive to make manifest your love for Him. The more that you strive the closer to Him that you become. So you see how even in the creation of this cursed creature there is a blessing for you. There is mercy for you. How much then is His Mercy for you?

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So we see from here how Islam is a complete way of life. It is more than just rituals. It is more than just beliefs. It is more than just ceremonies and celebrations. It is more than just morals. A Muslim should strive to remember Allah (swt) at every moment of his or her life. Not only on holy days, not only on special occasions, not only when they are in trouble and needs their Lord’s help. No, rather they should always remind themselves of the fact that they have submitted completely to Allah (swt). They must struggle to dedicate every moment of their lives to Him (swt). Because they know that He (swt) is more deserving of their lives. He (swt) is the Glorious and the Tremendous. He is the Perfect and the Pure. He is the Beautiful and the Majestic. This is what Islam means. It is to surrender to Him completely. How beautiful is this? How beautiful is it to have singular purpose to your life? How beautiful is it to always know what you must achieve? To never be lost or confused. To never be sad or afraid. To be always at peace because you know that no matter what situation you find yourself, it is what He has chosen to give you. So for His sake you accept it. For His sake you make yourself content with it. You do not care about pain or loss. You only care about Him. How beautiful a life is this? You cannot buy this peace with all the money in the world. You only have to choose Him over yourself. Why cannot you? You know He is more deserving of your life. How can you know of Him and forget Him?

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When we dedicate our lives to Him then we do not need to look for the results in our actions. We do not need to seek anything from this world. Rather if we know that we have done that action sincerely for Him. Then we can hope for His contentment. And His contentment is all that we need. Once we have resolved to live for Him, then He is all that we need. He tells us in another verse…

[62:10] Then when the prayer has been concluded, then disperse in the land and seek of the bounty of Allah and remember Allah much that you may be successful. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what we need to do when our prayer is concluded. There are five times a day in which we have to pray, but what do we do for the remainder of our day? How do we spend our time? This is what our Lord shows us here. He tells us here that when the prayer is finished, then we should disperse into the earth and seek of His bounty. Now what exactly does He (swt) mean by this? In order to understand this we only need to remember how everything of this world that we enjoy is only from His bounty. Every single thing that we take from this world is only what He has chosen to give us from His Mercy and Love for us. Now we know that when we are in our prayer then we have to

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literally dedicate ourselves to Him completely. We cannot speak, we cannot eat, we cannot rest, we cannot even move. We have to stand in one spot, fold our hands, and then bow, and then prostrate and then sit. We cannot consume anything of the world at this time except perhaps the air that we are breathing. But then when we are done with our prayer then we are free to consume of His bounty. We are free to consume whatever of this world that we please as long as it is permissible in His Law. We can eat of His foods, we can drink of His drinks, we can enjoy of His enjoyments. But while we are partaking of these bounties we have to remember Him. We have to remember Him a lot as He tells us to do here. We should remember Him as a way of showing gratitude for these bounties. Even for a drink of water. Even for a breathe of air. Even for a chair on which to sit. We should remember how all is only what He has given us from His Love and Mercy for us. Now the lesson for us in this verse is to see that not only is our prayer part of our slavehood to Him but even when we consume of this world then that also is part of our slavehood. It is also part of our worship. Because even when we consume of this world, even when we drink even a sip of water, we are still fulfilling the command that He has given us in this verse. We are consuming of His bounty. So even through this we can draw closer to Him. If only we would remember Him. If only we would show gratitude to Him for that bounty.

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Also notice in the verse how Allah (swt) commands us to remember Him in order that we may be successful. So the purpose of our remembering Him is so that we may be successful. Success here means both in this life and in the Hereafter. In this life when we remember Him then we will have peace and contentment. As He tells us in another verse…

[13: 28] The ones who believe their hearts are satisfied with the Remembrance of Allah, is it not that with the Remembrance of Allah that hearts are satisfied. In this verse Allah (swt) reminds us how our hearts can only be satisfied with His Remembrance. Our hearts were created for Him. They came from Him and they will return to Him. So only when they remember Him will they find contentment and peace. If they do not remember Him then they will always be in a state of yearning. They will always be in a state of despair. Because they have been denied what makes them whole. They have been denied what satiates them. I mean just think about it, how could you know that there is so Tremendous and Glorious a Being and not remember Him? And then when you do remember Him. When you remember Him in all of His Purity and all of His Glory, then how could all of your troubles not just

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fade away? When you drown yourself in His Purity and Light then how could anything of this world still concern you? You fall in love with Him. All that you desire is to be near Him. All that you desire is to feel His Presence close to you. Your worries mean nothing. Your fears mean nothing. Your anxieties mean nothing. All that matter is Him. Just knowing that He is with you, that He is near to you. This is all that you need. You drown yourself in Him. Another benefit of remembering Allah (swt) at every moment is that you can seek His help when you remember Him. Unlike most people Allah (swt) loves it when we seek His help. Firstly because His Nature is that He is a Being of Mercy and Love. And secondly because He is the All Powerful and the All Able. There is nothing that He cannot do and everything that He does is easy for Him. Why then should He not help us if we seek help from Him? Not should we ask His help to come out of difficult situations that we are in. But we should even ask His help in everything that we do. He has specifically told us to ask His help in all our tasks. From the small and seemingly mundane tasks to the large and seemingly impossible tasks. The Prophet (saw) would seek Allah (swt)’s help even for tying his shoelaces, just like he (saw) would seek His help to give the Muslims victory over an army that was twice their size. It did not matter for Him, it was all the same for Him. He is always able to do all things.

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In fact if we do not ask His help. If we are too arrogant and proud to ask His help, then He becomes angry with us. So why then can we not call on Him when we know that He is Able to help us and He wants to help us? Why do we not call on Him when we know that we are so weak and that we are nothing without Him? Why cannot we ask His help when we know that just our act of doing so will bring us closer to Him? We know that we do not even have the power to lift a finger except if it be by His will and permission. Why then can we not call on Him? If we have His help in what we do, if He gives us His enabling grace, then what is it that we cannot do? What is it that we cannot accomplish? Another way the remembrance of Allah (swt) brings success in this world is that by remembering Him we are saved from doing evil. By remembering Him we are saved from Satan. Why is it that we behave badly with people? Why do we mistreat people? Why do we hurt others and cheat others? Why do we do indecent actions? It is only because we forget Allah (swt). We forget our Lord and Master. We forget our very Reason for Being. We forget that right at this moment we are under His Gaze. When we forget Him then we think only about ourselves. Our only concern in life becomes our desires and our egos and our comforts. This is when Satan makes us to hurt others. This is when he makes us to do evil and injustice. This is when he makes us to violate the Divine Law.

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So just by remembering Allah (swt) we can be saved from this devil and his evil temptations. We know he flees whenever we remember our Lord and he comes close to us when we do not remember Him. How hard is it to remember Allah (swt)? It is only a thought that you need to bring to your heart. You do not need to even lift a finger. You just need to bring to mind this Beautiful and Tremendous Being. You just have to remind yourself of the fact that right at this moment He is so close to you and that He is watching you. He Knows all about you and all that happens to you. Just this thought is the most powerful of shields against your greatest enemy. Just this thought will bring so much tranquility and peace to your heart. How can you not love this religion when it has allowed you to have this thought? It is what has allowed you to be close to Him. Remembering Allah (swt) will also bring us success in the Hereafter. And that really is the true success. Nothing in this world can be considered as success when compared to success there. That is the true life. That is the life in which we will know true pleasure and true peace. Lasting pleasure and lasting peace. This world that we know was created only to be a place of testing. Allah (swt) tests us in this world with both pleasure and pain. Moments of ease and moments of hardship. If we are thankful to Him for the former and we are patient for His sake with the latter then we have passed the test.

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Then we will see our reward in the Hereafter. Allah (swt) will pay us back in full in the Hereafter for how we lived our lives in this world. If we worshipped Him in this world, if we dedicated ourselves to Him in this world, like He created us to do, then He will reward us with the best of rewards. Not only the Garden wherein is every kind of pleasure imaginable. The Garden in which we will feel no pain nor sorrow nor fear nor discomfort whatsoever. But even better than that is that He will reward us with a place close to Him. It is true that in this world when we remember Allah (swt) we are close to Him. But in the Garden He will grant us a nearness that is on an even greater level. A station that is even more sublime and more tremendous. And there the ecstasy that we will experience, just from being near to Him, is beyond description in words. But on the other hand if we fail to remember Him in this world. If we fail to dedicate ourselves to Him. Then we will not find success in the Hereafter. Rather we will only find torment and suffering. Of course there is the torment of Hell. A place created only to cause the maximum amount of pain and misery. But even greater is the torment of being distant from Him. The torment of being denied the beholding of Him. Even if you were blind to Him in this world, in the Hereafter you will realize how Wonderful and Majestic a Being that He is. You will long to gaze upon Him. You will long to be near to Him. Because you realize that only He matters.

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This is another beauty of our religion. It teaches us not to live only for this world. It reminds us of the life that will come after this. There is no religion where the Hereafter is described as vividly and in much detail as it is in Islam. In the Quran Allah (swt) has even described the cups with which we will drink. Such is the detail, such is the importance given to the next life. Why is this? It is so that our hearts would not be attached only to this world. It is so that we would know that there is something beyond this world. How wonderful is it to know that this is not the only life? How calming is to know that we will indeed have an existence after this short life? When we have this thinking then it saves us from becoming selfish. It saves us from being anxious or depressed or afraid. Because we know that this life is not the end. We know that no matter what happens to us in this world there will be a Hereafter. Even if we are made to lose something, even if we are made to undergo some suffering, we know that it is not the end. We know that for this slight pain that we feel, our Lord is rewarding us. He is keeping for us something wonderful. Something that will last forever. So why should we be sad for something that we lose in this world? Why should we hurt others and cheat others only for this world? This world was created only for a test. So all that we should be seeking from it are good deeds. Deeds that are pleasing to Him. If you know for one moment that you have pleased Him then it is enough.

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Imagine the kind of world that we could have if everyone could be inculcated with this certainty in the Hereafter. If all the people knew of this place which their Creator had spoken about it in His Book. How different would the world be? Would we still have such greed? Would we still have such hoarding? Would we still have such evil? If all of mankind had that certainty that they were going to return to Him and that they would be judged by Him. If we know for certain that our actions in this world are what will determine if it is eternal felicity or eternal torment. How different would we all be? How much better would we be? The problem with us today is that we are so full of ourselves. We think that this is the only life to live. So we make it our goal in life to enjoy ourselves as much as possible. We think that this is all that there is to living. Often times we do not care for others. We do not care for making the world a better place. We only care for ourselves. Our needs and desires. This is especially true in the age that we live in today. This secular society encourages individualism, it encourages hedonism and materialism. This is because the people have no concept whatsoever of a Hereafter. Not even in the schools are the children taught it. So they grow up thinking that life is only about looking out for yourself. Life is about getting as much as you can and enjoying yourself as much you can. If you do not then you are a loser. When the society feeds such thinking is it then a surprise the way the world is?

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But we also have to note that Islam does not tell us to focus only on the Hereafter and forget this world. Allah (swt) has told us in the Quran not to neglect our portion in this world. As you will see later on in our book Insha Allah, this is a religion of balance. It does not tell you to give up the world completely nor does it tell you to be consumed by this world. Rather here Allah (swt) has shown us what the right relationship that we need to have with this world is. We can consume of the world, we can partake of it, we can even enjoy ourselves with it but it has to be part of our slavehood to Him. Meaning that as part of our slavehood to Him we can partake of this world. As we mentioned in our Din everything is part of worship. So when we go out and work, when we do business, when we study, when we try to increase our wealth, all of this is part of our worship. But the key is that our intention in doing so should only be for Him. We should get wealth so that we can provide for our families and so that we can spend in His Cause. It should not be only for ourselves and our desires. So do not think that just because Islam places so much emphasis in the Hereafter that Muslims are ascetics and monks. Rather we believe that we should seek the good of this world and the good of the Hereafter. But in preparation for the Hereafter we do give up some of this world. We do prevent ourselves from cheating, hurting and doing the forbidden like usury and gambling. For we know that there is more to life than this world.

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But despite the fact that there is good for you both in this life and in the Hereafter what you seek in both is to be near Allah (swt). And once you are near, once you in His Presence, once you have entered His Kingdom, then you will know nothing but tranquility and peace. Because you would have found your completion. You would have fulfilled your purpose. You would have given your heart what satiates it. Him. This is the Divine Kingdom. It is the place where you can know Allah (swt) and be near to Him. You are near to Him when you remember Him and seek to please Him. You are near to Him when you dedicate yourself to Him. And as long as you are near Him then you are in His Kingdom. However in the life of this world you are always in danger of losing this sublime station. Even if you have sought Him. Even if you are near to Him. There is still a danger that you could fall. In this life you know that there is an enemy that is always trying to get you. He is always trying to take you out of the Divine Kingdom. He is always trying to take you out of that sublime station to which your Lord has raised you. So in this life you have to strive and struggle. Firstly you have to strive to remember your Lord. Then you have to strive to dedicate every moment of your life to Him. As long as you make this struggle, as long as you try, then you have to believe that He will not disappoint you. He will not abandon you. Remember that He is Perfect in every way. He is the All Hearing, the All Seeing, and the All

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Knowing. So He is fully Aware of you and all that you do. For even one more moment in your life in which you remember Him. Even one more moment in your life in which you strive to please Him. You have to be certain that He Knows about it. Not only does He Know about it but He will reward you for it. He will reward you both in this life and in the Hereafter. He says…

[99:6] So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it.

[99:7] And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. In these two beautiful verses Allah (swt) reminds us just how sensitive our scales are. We should all know that on the Day of Judgment Allah (swt) will set up scales for us. On one side of the scale all of our good deeds will be placed and on the other side will be all of our sins. Here Allah (swt) reminds us how they will tilt even for the smallest of good deeds and the smallest of sins. Even a moment of your life that you dedicated for Him and a moment of your life that you dedicated for other than Him can be seen on that Day. The Day of Judgment. The Day on which we will all be gathered before Allah (swt) and be judged for how well we fulfilled the purpose of our creation. Our entire lives have only been leading up to this Day. If we chose to

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fulfill the purpose of our creation. If we choose to live in the Divine Kingdom. If we chose Him then we would be pleased on that Day. But if we chose other than Him. If we chose ourselves and our desires then we would be terrified and miserable on that Day. But it is not only on that tremendous Day that we will see the results of our actions. It is not only on that heavy Day that we will be rewarded and punished. No even in this world. Even in this world we can see the fruits of our striving. The more that we struggle to remember Allah (swt) and to dedicate our life to Him the closer to Him that we become. But if we become negligent and heedless of Him then we are distant from Him. Can you not see how beautiful this is? The more that you strive for Him the closer to Him that you become. You can taste the reward of your striving right away in your nearness to Him. For the true believer there is nothing sweeter than being near to Him. There are yet other rewards that He will give us even in this world for our dedication to Him. These include an increase of faith and knowledge. He will also provide with the sustenance of this world. He will also give us acceptance for us among the people. He will cure us of our illnesses. He will take away our problems. He also answers our prayers when we call out to Him. These are but a few of the rewards that you yourself can find even in this world if you choose to live in the Divine Kingdom. If you choose complete submission.

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On the other hand if you do not choose His Kingdom, then He will punish you even in this world. He will punish you with a wretched and miserable life. A narrow and constrained life. Knowing nothing but this world. Desiring nothing but transient and ephemeral things of this world. You might think that this is harsh. But this is exactly what those who turn away from Him deserve. So Majestic is He. So Beautiful is He. That only the most vile and evil of souls would turn away. This then is your challenge. This then is your test. To see if you can choose Allah (swt) over yourself. But just think how beautiful this is. When you choose to become a slave of Allah (swt). When you choose to dedicate your life to Him. When you choose to enter His Divine Kingdom. Then never is even a moment of your life wasted. Never is even a moment of your life in vain. Because as we can see from here He (swt) counts all of your deeds. He counts every moment of your life. So if you dedicated that moment to Him, if you remembered Him in that moment, if you strived to please Him in that moment, then that moment alone is more valuable than the rarest of diamonds. Firstly because through that moment you drew closer to Him. Through that moment you ascended further in your journey towards Him. Through that moment you became one step closer to the Purpose of your Existence. Secondly because that moment counts as a reward for you. As we mentioned on the Day of Judgment, that tremendous Day when

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you return to Him, He will set up the scales for you. After these scales are set up then all of your good deeds will be placed on one side and all of your evil will be placed on the other. Now as we also mentioned these are the most sensitive of scales. Meaning that even something the weight of an atom will cause these scales to tip. Even a moment of your life, even the smallest of deeds will cause these scales to move. But if you strive to do good in this world, then this will work greatly in your favor. Because even that one moment in which you remembered Him, that one moment which you dedicated to Him, will be a weight on this scale. So it will bring you one step closer to the Garden and it will take you one step further away from the Fire. Now unlike the people of this world Allah (swt) is not concerned with the results. He only cares for the intention and the effort. In fact the results are something that only He can bring about. All that we can do is have the intention and make the effort. So if we only had the intention to please Him, if only we made the sincere effort, then we already have our reward. He will give us that weight on our scale of good deeds only for our intention and our effort. How wonderful then is this? It further shows how there is never even a moment of our life that is ever wasted. As long as we had the sincere intention and made our best effort then we already have our reward. Both in this life and in the Hereafter. Once we realize this then we would never

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regret even a moment of our lives. As long as we had our intention for Him and we tried our best then we would already have our reward. This is true for anything in life that we do. So for example suppose you wanted to pray in congregation in the mosque. You wanted to do this purely to please your Lord. You left your home with this intention. But now supposing that on the way you met with traffic and could not reach the mosque. At this point you might think that you have lost, you might think that you have missed your goal, but far from it. You should know that your Lord has already written a good deed purely for the intention that you made. Now this is true not only for the prayer, but for anything that you do. Even for something that may seem worldly. Suppose a wife intends to cook a meal for her family. She does it only to please her Lord. In this case even if that meal was burned she would be rewarded. When you dedicate yourself to Him you never have to be bored. Because even if you spent one moment remembering Him then you are rewarded for that. Just for remembering Him. Just for glorifying Him with your heart and your tongue. Who cannot do this? Anyone can do it at anytime. It is so easy to do and yet you can get so much reward because of it. How then can you ever complain of boredom? Even if you are just walking, even if you are just doing your worldly chores, even if you are just lying in your bed, you can still remember Allah (swt) and be rewarded for it.

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Not only can you remember Him at every moment but you can also dedicate all of your actions for Him. You can choose any action that you want as long as it is not forbidden and you can dedicate it to Him. Thus you can draw closer to Him through that action. As we mentioned this could be your working, your studying, your eating, your cleaning, your time with your family, anything as long as it is not forbidden. You can dedicate that seemingly mundane action for Him and draw nearer to Him. It is no longer mundane. You never have to lose even a moment of your life. You never have to have any regrets. You never need to feel sad about the past. You know that as long as you were pleasing Him then no matter what happened He would reward you for your efforts. Also you never have to worry about the future. Because you know that no matter what happens to you in the future, you could always remember Allah (swt). You could always worship Him. This is something that no one can ever take from you. Just think then what a beautiful life it would be. Such is the true happiness. True happiness comes not from the satisfaction of our carnal desires. It comes not from fulfilling our egos. Rather it comes only from knowing Allah (swt) and worshipping Him. When you glorify Him. When you celebrate His Majesty and Glory. When you submit yourself to Him completely. That is when you can find true contentment. It is in realizing your utter slavehood and His complete Mastery.

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Another benefit of dedicating your life to Him is that you will always find success no matter what you do. You never have to meet with failure, you never have to lose. This is because for any endeavor as long as you kept your intention sincerely for Him and you tried your best then you already have your reward. You have already succeeded in that. Because remember that you were not seeking any reward in this world for that action. Even though you tried your best you still did not act seeking this world. Rather you only sought Him. And as long as your intention was purely for Him and you tried your best then you know that He will reward you no matter what you did. As long as you have His contentment and you have entered His Garden then you have won. No matter what happens to you in this world, as long as you have Him you can be happy. These are a few of the benefits that come from walking this path. These are a few of the treasures to be found in the Divine Kingdom. We all search for happiness. We all search for a meaning for our existence. We all search for answers to the deep questions such as who we are, where we came from and where we are going. In Islam all of these can be found. This Din shows us that at the end of the day it is all about Allah (swt). We came from Him, we are going to return to Him, and in this life our only concern should be Him. This is how we can find true happiness. For every moment of our lives we strive to remember Him and

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please Him. We can pray to Him, we can sacrifice for Him, we can recite His Book, we can glorify Him with our tongues, or we can do any action whatsoever and dedicate to Him. If we can do this for Him then we can have the hope that we have pleased Him. And as long as we have the hope that we have pleased Him then nothing else should matter. As long as we have the hope that we have pleased Him then we also should be pleased. Even if we are in pain. Even if not all of our needs are met. It should not matter. The realization should dawn upon us that it is not about us anymore, rather it is only about Him. We should annihilate ourselves into Him. We should kill our egos and our desires and submit completely to Him. When we do this then we can find peace. When we do this then we can find contentment. This is the manifestation of the Divine Kingdom in the life of an individual. This is how you can enter this wonderful place. And you need to do this. Before you can establish it in the society. Before you can establish it in your own family. You have to establish it in your own life. Because how can you invite others to the Divine Kingdom if you yourself do not want to live in it? That is why the first step in our path to this wonderful place is that we ourselves must yearn to live in it. Not only because it gives us fulfillment and purpose. Not only because it allows us to know Allah (swt) and be near to Him. Not only because it is the key to salvation in the

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Hereafter and tranquility in this life. Not only because it allows us to live every moment to the fullest. Not only because it makes us into better people. Not only because it saves us from anxiety and depression. Not only because it allows us to live a life without regrets. But also because this Din even shows us how we should deal with ourselves. There are countless laws in our Din where Allah (swt) has even showed us what are the rights that our own selves have upon us. The rights of our souls and the rights of our physical bodies. Of course we cannot go into all of them here because the purpose of our book was only to give a brief overview of Islam. We can only show you the forest. If you want to see specific trees then it is up to you to make the extra effort. You should search for material which specifies and details those areas which we have touched on. The first right that your soul has upon you is that you must help it to find fulfillment. You must help it to reach the purpose of its existence. You must steer it away from the Fire of Hell and you must direct it towards the Gardens of Paradise. You must help it to know Allah (swt). Because when you commit sins, when you hurt others and cheat others, when you choose not to believe, when you live in heedlessness, then you are doing injustice to your own soul. And you have no right to do such injustice because that soul does not belong to you. Rather it belongs to Allah (swt). And is He (swt) a Being that you would want to do injustice to? You

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know how Majestic and Pure and Tremendous He IS. You know how much you should love Him. You know what He could do to you. So would you ever want to do injustice to Him by causing suffering to a soul which He created and which He sustains? Not only do you owe it to your soul to find for it salvation in the Hereafter but you also owe to it to help find for it peace in this world. Such perfect peace can only be found by being near to Allah (swt). When you are near to Him. When you remember Him. Then your heart is at peace. You know that there is this Tremendous and Magnificent Being. This Beautiful and Sublime Being Who is so close to you and Who loves you so much. Is this alone not enough to give you heart such peace? You also owe it your soul not to let it despair and be in sadness. Because our Lord has commanded us in His blessed Book never to give up on His Mercy. And He has specifically said that only the disbelievers give up on His Mercy. So it is a requirement of your faith to always hope for the best. To always think good of Allah (swt). We know from the sacred hadith that He will be towards us as we think Him to be. If we expect goodness, forgiveness, protection and mercy from Him then this is what He will grant us. But if we expect other than this then such is what He will allow for us. We also owe it to our souls not to allow them to fall into heedlessness. Into hedonism, into materialism, into gluttony and into sloth. These are the demons take us away from Him.

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We also owe it to our souls to help them to find the balance in regards to their relationship with their Lord. The balance between hope and fear. We should hope for mercy from our Lord and at the same time we should also fear His punishment. Only then will we remain attached to Him. Only then will we remain obedient to His Law. Only then will we journey closer to Him. Because if we have too much hope and not enough fear then we would convince ourselves that He will forgive us no matter what we do. If this becomes our situation then we might forget Him. We might allow ourselves to fall deeper and deeper into sin. We might start to care more about pleasing ourselves and satisfying our desires than serving Him. We will always make excuses for ourselves. We will think that we are so righteous. We will never check ourselves. If we keep on this path then before long we would have forgotten Him. We would be indulging in all that is forbidden thinking that He will always forgive us. This is not the path that leads to Him. Rather the path is one of obedience and submission. We need to always conform to His Law. We should seek to please Him in the way that He has taught us and not in the way that we have invented. We cannot live a life of following our desires, while neglecting Him and disobeying His Law, while thinking that He will forgive us. We just say to ourselves that His language is love. That He forgives all sins. Some say that He sent His son to be sacrificed for our sins.

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This is not the way. We need to fear Allah (swt). We need to have reverence and awe of Him. And this religion helps us to achieve this station. We are not like the Christians who say that God will simply forgive all sins if only we accept Christ as the savior. We are not like the Jews who say that they are the chosen nation whom God loves and so He pardons them their wrong and allows them to exploit non-Jews. No, rather we believe that Allah (swt) is going to question each and every one of us about our deeds. As we mentioned the scales on that day will be the most sensitive of all scales. They will tilt for even the smallest of deeds. So we always need to hold ourselves to account. We always need to check ourselves. This is thinking that this religion inculcates. This is what saves us from becoming unjust and evil. Saves us from ourselves. But at the same time we also cannot have too much fear. We cannot think that He will never forgive us our sins. And the reality is that we all sin. We all make mistakes. Such is part of what it means to be human. This He Himself has acknowledged when He told us how we all sin, but the best of us are those who repent. Those who admit our mistakes and try to be better. This is how we need to be. We need to have the hope that He will forgive us our sins. We can never give up on Him. No matter how far that we may become from Him, we always need to hope that we can journey back to Him. He will always accept if we return to Him.

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This then is what we need to do. This then is how we can stay true even to our own souls. If we but follow this guidance that our Lord has given us then we would know peace in this life and we would attain salvation in the Hereafter. We would fulfill the rights that even our souls have upon us. How wonderful then is this Din? How amazing is this Din in that it even shows us how to deal with our own souls? Not only do our souls have rights upon us but so too do our bodies. These physical bodies inside which we find ourselves are also a sacred trust that our Lord has given to us. So we have a duty to look after them. We are forbidden from injuring them or putting them through undue hardship. Suicide is a major sin in Islam as is causing any kind of physical harm to the body without reason. Thus part of our slavehood to our Lord is that we eat right, and that we exercise, and that we do what we can to avoid disease and injury. Personal grooming is also an important part of our Din. We are encouraged to clip our nails and shave our pubic hair. Even these mundane acts are a part of our slavehood to our Lord. In addition cleanliness is also part of our Din. The Prophet (saw) said that purity is a part of faith. As a manifestation of this we take ritual ablution for prayer at least five times a day. We are also required to bathe for the Friday prayer and after we have been intimate with our spouses. Even after we use the restroom we are required to clean ourselves properly, preferably with

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water. This is all part of our slavehood to Allah (swt). By doing these not only are we looking after our bodies, but even more importantly is that we are drawing closer to Him. See then how comprehensive is this religion, see how it addresses every aspect of our lives, see then how it guides us to our Lord at every moment of our lives. So why then can you not make the right choice? Why then can you not choose Islam? Why then can you not choose Allah (swt)? Why can you not choose to dedicate yourself to Him as He created to do? Although it may seem like a life of slavehood it is really a life of liberation. Because once you are a slave of His then you cannot be a slave of anything else. You are free of all desires and passions. You are free of all anxieties and fears. You are free of all sorrows. You are free of everything of this world except Him. How can anything of this world ever compare to Him? Why then can you not choose Him? Such is the true happiness. The happiness that comes from knowing that you have submitted to Him. The happiness that comes from knowing that you have fulfilled the purpose of our creation. The happiness that comes from knowing that so Magnificent and Tremendous a Being as He is there and that He is near to you. Just to know that He will be there to take care of you and to watch over you. To protect you and your family and those whom you care about. Just to know this. Such is a peace that cannot be bought with all the money in this world.

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This then is what we should all be seeking. If you have tried your best to please Him. If you have the sincere hope in your heart that you have pleased Him then this is all that you need. Just the thought that at this moment my Lord is looking down upon me and that He is pleased with me. This is all that you ever need. If only you realized the Being that He IS. If only you knew all that He has done for you. Then you would see how you do not need anything else but Him. You would see how the only goal that you should be seeking in life is His Pleasure with you. You only have to reflect on His Majesty and His Bounty on you and then you would see it. You would taste it. You would feel it. I want you to come to this realization. I do not want this to be just another book that you read. But I want this book to change your life. I want you to find Him through it. But no matter how much I may want to, no matter how much I may yearn to, I cannot make this choice for you. You must choose to want to live in the Divine Kingdom. But now that you have a taste for Him as He truly IS, how could you not? How could you know that there is a Being as Magnificent and Tremendous as He and still live in heedlessness of Him? He created you so that you could be near to Him. So that you could love Him and that He could love you. So that you could enter His Divine Kingdom. He is calling you to enter it. How then can you walk away? How then can you ever choose other than Him?

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Chapter 3: The Divine Kingdom and the Family
We saw in the previous chapter what Islam offers for you as an individual. This Din offers you the opportunity to find a purpose for every moment of your life. It provides answers to your deepest questions. It allows you to have a strong and personal connection with your Creator and Sustainer. With your Lord and Master. Such that at every moment you can remember Him. At every moment you can glorify Him. At every moment you can be with Him. When you realize that He is with you then you never have to be alone. You never have to be afraid. You never have to worry. This world will finally make sense. You never have to be shocked or depressed because of all the injustice that you see happening in the world. You know that it is all a part of His Plan. You know that soon a Day will come when He will do justice for everyone. If one person did even the slightest of wrong to another then he will have to answer for it. Everyone will be compensated in full for all that they went through and all that they did. How much does it soothe your heart to know this fact? That we are not alone. That there is something more than this world that we see. That there is more to existence than just the material and fleeting things. That there is so

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Majestic and Perfect a Being as He. How much does it satisfy your heart just to know that He is there? Not just to know that He is there but also to know that He is so near. And whenever you seek Him you can find Him. This is what Islam offers to each and every individual. But the extent of what this religion gives is more than this. In fact this is only the beginning. As we know Allah (swt) sent this Din as a complete guidance for all mankind. And this guidance covers every aspect of human civilization. As we also know we as human beings are social creatures. We all have a need to interact with others. To deal with others. Sometimes out of necessity but often times only because we feel like doing so. Now this guidance that Allah (swt) has sent covers this social aspect of our lives as well. In fact there are as many laws and guidelines in this religion addressing our interactions with others as there are for us as individuals, if not more so. But before we begin to look at this social aspect of Islam, before we begin to look at this aspect of Islam which teaches us how to live as more than just individuals, we need to make a comment. And that is that this aspect of our Din, this dimension of our Din, has been severely neglected in our day and age. By this we mean that today so much focus is given to Islam at an individual level and not enough on a societal level. To the point where many Muslims today think that the extent of the religion is only those laws that deal with

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one’s personal relationship with one’s God. They are not aware of the fact that how one deals with one’s family, how one deals with one’s peers, how one deal’s with the society at large is also a part of the religion. Meaning that on the Day of Judgment Allah (swt) will not just ask you about whether you prayed to Him or not but He will also ask you how you treated others. How you dealt with others. This also is part of your slavehood to Him. Allah (swt) has reminded us in our Din that the fundamental unit of our society is our family. So the soundness of our society as a whole rests on the soundness of all the families that our society composes of. Meaning that if the families are good and sound then the society as a whole will be good and sound. And if the families are corrupt then the society will also be corrupt. But now the question to be asked is how do families reach goodness? How can families be saved from corruption? Of course the answer is that it is by bringing them closer to Allah (swt). What is true for the individual is also true for the family and it is also true for the society as a whole. Goodness comes from nearness to the Divine. That is why in our Din the family has been given utmost precedence. There are so many the laws in the Din just for the protecting of the family. So among the most beloved of acts to Allah (swt) is our good treatment of our family. One of the best ways to draw nearer to Him is in being kind with them, looking after them, and keeping all our obligations to them.

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Allah (swt) says in the Quran….

[4:1] O mankind, have Taqwa of your Rabb, the One Who created you from a single soul and created from it its spouse, and spread from them both many men and women. Have Taqwa of Allah the One with Whom you ask, and have Taqwa of the family relations. Surely Allah has always been upon you Ever Watchful. This is one of the most beautiful and comprehensive of verses addressing family relations. In this verse Allah (swt) shows us the importance of family. He shows us how our dealings and interactions with our family is also part of our slavehood to Him. Notice first how the verse begins with Him (swt) addressing all of mankind. Not only the Muslims, not only the Arabs, but all of mankind. Every man, woman, and child. This should remind us once again of the universality of this Message. This Din, this way of life, this religion is one that the Creator of all mankind sent down to all mankind. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to hearken to its call. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to live according to laws and guidelines. If

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we choose not to then we will have to answer to Him on the Day of Judgment. Each and every single one of us will be brought before Him. Each and every single one of us will have to answer for how we lived our lives. How we spend every moment that He gave to us. We are all accountable. We are all equal in that accountability. All that any of us will have on that Day is the good that we did. We all have this burden on our necks. All of mankind. So first we should see from this verse how it is addressed all mankind. This in and of itself is among the greatest of proofs for the truthfulness of this Message. You see the Arabs at the time of the Prophet (saw) were a very isolated people. They did not have much interaction with the civilizations that were surrounding them. They always kept to themselves. So for a man among them to come and claim to be a messenger not just for them but for all mankind. Such was completely unheard of. It did not fit their race, their culture, their viewpoint towards the world. And yet this is just what Islam did. In a matter of only a few years it took a people who for their entire existence had lived in isolation and it shot them out at blazing speed into the world. In a very short time they went from being a people who no one had heard of, and those knew them looked down on them, to being a people who ruled the known world at that time. This was the change that Islam brought about in them. This was how it changed their very outlook towards life and the world.

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So first in this verse we see how our Creator is calling out to each of us. He (swt) is addressing each of us. He first commands us here to have Taqwa of Him. Now what does this word Taqwa mean? There is really no good translation for it in English. Among its meanings is to protect oneself, to be cautious, to be careful. It means the active measures that you take to protect yourself from something which you believe will harm you. For example when you lock the doors of your house at night to protect yourself and your family from intruders then this act can be called Taqwa. It is something active that you are doing to ward of something which you fear will harm you. Now what does it mean to have Taqwa of Allah (swt)? How can you protect yourself from Him (swt)? We know that He is the All Powerful and the All Able, so how could we ever hope to protect ourselves from Him? We cannot. The best that we can hope is to protect ourselves from His Wrath. From His Anger. And how can we do this? It is by pleasing Him. It is by being obedient to His Law. When Allah (swt) has sent down a detailed law by which we should live, do you not think that He expects us to abide by that law? Thus when He commands us in this verse to have Taqwa of Him it means that we should believe in the Message that He has sent and also that we must abide by His Law. By doing that we protect ourselves from His Wrath. From His punishment. Such is how He expects us to be. Obedient slaves.

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Notice also in this verse how Allah (swt) refers to Himself as Rabb. He (swt) is the Rabb of all mankind. Of this entire universe. Now this word also does not have a good English equivalent. This is because there are so many meanings which it gives and there is no single word in English which encompasses all these meanings. One such meaning of Rabb is Creator. He is the One Who created all that exists. He is the Source. He is the First Mover. Before there was even a particle of matter in this universe there was He. He is the One Who brought everything into existence. Every single atom that this universe is composed of. The countless number of them. He is the One Who brought them all into existence. They all have their origin in Him. Can you then even begin to realize how Tremendous He is? Rabb also means Sustainer and Maintainer. Not only did He create all that exists but at every single moment He is sustaining and maintaining everything. If He were to neglect the universe for even a split second, then everything would be unraveled. Everything would be destroyed. This is true even for you. Even you are in utter need of Him. At this very moment He is the One Who is causing the blood to flow through your veins. He is the One providing you with air to breathe. He is the One Who gives you food and drink and with all that you need for sustenance. If He were to neglect you for even a moment then you would be destroyed. Now what He has done for us and for our universe is that He has

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created us and that He maintains our existence at every moment. This is one dimension to the meaning of Rabb. But the other meaning is what we owe to Him in return for all this that He has done for us. As we mentioned previously what we owe is nothing less than complete dedication and slavehood. This then is the other meaning of the word Rabb. It also means Lord, Master, King and Sovereign. He is this for all mankind. For all creation. This is what we all owe to Him. In return for all that He has done for us we owe complete dedication. Allah (swt) also describes Himself in this verse as the One Who created us from a single soul. Of course the single soul here is referring to our father Adam (as). The father of all mankind. From just this one person Allah (swt) created all mankind. There are several lessons that we can take from just this fact. The first is to realize once again the Power of our Lord. What can you say about the Power of a Being Who can bring forth this vast creation of mankind, every single soul who has ever lived since the time of Adam and all those who will come till the Last Day from only a single human being. Billions and billions of human beings He created only from a single soul. Such is His Power. He created us and spread us all across this earth. To every corner of this planet. Until we became this great and vast civilization that we are today. It is all because of Him. It is all from His doing. All that we are today is what He made us into. All that we have accomplished is what He gave us.

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Can you even then begin to understand the extent of His Glory and His Tremendousness? How could you know that such a Being exists and still live in heedlessness of Him? How could you know of Him and still choose other than Him? No matter what the devil may try to tempt you with realize that it does not in any way compare to Him. There is nothing which compares to Him. Everything else pales in His Glory and Light. He is the One deserving of our dedication. He is the One deserving of our sanctification and worship. Not any human being. Not any animal or idol. No, rather all Divinity is only in Him. Our life is only this realization. Another benefit that we can take from His telling us how He created us from a single soul is to remind ourselves how in the end we are all one family. We all have the same parents. So we are all brothers and sisters. All human beings. We are all only family. One community. One nation. From this we should realize that the default relationship that we should have with one another is one of mercy and love. This is what Islam teaches. It teaches us to love all of our brethren in humanity. It does this by showing how we are of them and they are of us. So long before the hippies. Long before John Lennon. The Prophet (saw) brought this idea to the world. The idea of the brotherhood of man. The idea of the equality of man. The idea that all human beings, regardless of race or gender or stature, were equal before Allah (swt). Were all brothers and sisters.

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All mankind equal before Allah (swt). This idea was presented to the world 1500 years ago. Just imagine what a radical concept it was at that time. At that time it was considered the norm for one group of people to look down on another. Existence was defined by status. Men in their arrogance elevated themselves above their brothers. Some foolish men claimed that they were better based only on the color of their skin or only on their language or only on their nation or only on the fact that they were men. Islam came and completely destroyed such prejudices. Allah (swt) has told us clearly that we are all equal and that the only way in which any of us is better is only in nearness to Him. And this standard is something that is known only to Him. So we should treat everyone the same. We should treat everyone with dignity and respect. With kindness and love. How can you look down on someone who is just like you? How can you hurt or cheat someone who is just like you? The ways in which we are the same are far more than the ways in which are different. How then can we look down upon each other? It is like we are looking down upon ourselves. The root of this disease is arrogance. Because of our egos we think that we are better than our brethren in humanity. So we look down upon them. We may even despise them or hurt them. And the cure for this is Islam. Our Lord teaches us that we are the same. He also shows us why we have no right to be arrogant. Because we pale in His Glory.

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Now it is important to note that although we as Muslims consider all mankind to be equal, this does not mean we that we view everyone exactly the same. Because Allah (swt) also says in another verse that…

[49:10] Surely only the believers are brothers…. Now how do we reconcile between these two verses? In the first verse Allah (swt) showed us how all of mankind were our brothers and sisters, but here He says that only the believing men and women are our bothers and sisters. The way that we reconcile is by understanding that although all of mankind are our brethren, in addition to that and on top of that, we also have a special brotherhood that exists between our fellow Muslims. So yes all of mankind are your brothers, but the Muslims have a special relationship with you that is above this. You should love all mankind but you should love your brethren in this Din even more. Now this does not in any way mean that Islam discriminates against non-Muslims. This is because the invitation to enter into the folds of this religion is open for all mankind. So anyone who chooses to can get this special love from us. All that they have to do is accept this Message that their Creator has sent to them. We as Muslims want what is best for mankind. We want them to be guided to this Din. We want them all to join our

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brotherhood. This Message has been sent for all mankind. Allah (swt) is calling out to all the children of Adam and telling them all to return to the purpose for which He created them. When they do. When they accept this Message. When they acknowledge that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah (swt). When they acknowledge that there is no master worthy of slavehood except He. When they dedicate their lives to Him. Then they deserve from us a very special love. They become almost like our blood brothers and sisters. We would die for them. We would sacrifice for them. We will not be content and at peace until they are at peace. We all know the hadith where the Prophet (saw) has told us how the Muslim nation is like one body. Meaning that if one part of it is in pain then the whole body feels the discomfort. The whole body is not sound. The whole body is yearning to ease the pain of that part. It is because of this hadith and the above verse that we realize this special right that the believers have upon us. Because they believe in Allah (swt) as He should be believed in. Because they believe in the Prophet (saw) as the Messenger of Allah (swt). For this alone they deserve a special place in our hearts above the rest of our brethren in our humanity. Because they are nearer to our Beloved they also need to be nearer to us. How can we ever treat those who believe and those who do not the same? If we truly love Him, how can we not give a special place to those who have turned to Him?

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I personally have seen Muslims fall into two extremes in regards to this issue of how to perceive non Muslims. There are some who view all non-Muslims as disbelievers and as enemies. They think that our only relationship with them should be one of enmity and hatred. They have no problem cheating them, hurting them or even killing them indiscriminately. Such a view is totally wrong. It has no basis in Islam whatsoever. We saw from the original verse that we looked at where Allah (swt) reminded us how we as human beings are all brothers. Allah (swt) has also told us in other verses that the only ones who we should be at enmity with are those who are enmity with us. Those who are trying to hurt the Muslims. Those who are trying to expel the Muslims. Those who are trying to exploit the Muslims. Those who are trying to misguide the Muslims. Those who are preventing us from spreading Allah (swt)’s Message and from establishing His Law upon the earth. These are the ones who we should have enmity with. But for all other non-Muslims we should treat them as if they are our brothers and sisters. So the default relationship that we should have with everyone in humanity is one of mercy and love. If they are not opposed to Islam, if they are not harming Muslims, then they should see nothing from us except respect and kindness. They should see nothing from us except good. We should love them because they are our brethren. Because they are a creation of our Beloved.

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Another fact to consider is that today the vast majority of non-Muslims have not even received the Message properly. Allah (swt) has told us in several verses that He will not punish a people until He sends to them a Messenger. Only when they have clearly received the Message. Only when all the evidences and proofs have been properly conveyed. Only when they have been shown how this Message is indeed the Truth from Allah (swt). Only then can they be blamed for rejecting it. How then can we blame the non-Muslims of today for their disbelief? Have they been given any reason to believe? Have we propagated this Message to them? Have we shown them it’s Truthfulness? Or is all that they have heard about this Message the lies that have been fed to them by its enemies? All that the people know about this Din is that it is just like any other religion. It is just like the failed religions of the world. It has nothing to offer them. It has no proofs for its Truthfulness. It has no solutions to their problems. It does not show them a better way of life. This is what the majority of people today think. This is the perception that they have of this beautiful way of life that their Creator has sent to them. So if anyone we should blame ourselves for not conveying to them this Message properly. We should blame ourselves for not showing them what this Din truly is. We cannot just think that they are our enemies. We cannot just hate them only for not believing. They are still in state of innocence.

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Now at the same time we are not saying that all non Muslims are innocent. We are not saying that all non Muslims are not enemies of this Din. This Din does have enemies. It always had. It always had those who opposed it. Those who did not want to see it come to power. These enemies have been there ever since the time of the Prophet (saw). Actually ever since guidance was sent through messengers. So we cannot be gullible. We cannot be deceived. We have to realize that even at this moment they are making their plots. Their plots to silence this Message. Their plots to put out its Light. They do not want the people to return to their Lord. Rather they want them to be addicted to their pleasures and their fancies. This way they can exploit them. This way they can control them. This way they can do with them as they please. The world today is a very dark place. The people today are very distant from their Rabb. And there is a reason why it is so. It is because there are devils out there. Demons who are working to take the people away from Allah (swt). Working to make them heedless of Him. To forget Him. They are one reason why today we are so far from the Divine Kingdom. But we also have to remember that these enemies of Islam are only a very small percentage of the overall non Muslim population. So we cannot blame all the non Muslims for the actions of a few misguided individuals among them. Even if some among them may do this to us, we cannot do it to them.

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So it is wrong for us to think of all non Muslims as enemies. This is one extreme. However another extreme are those Muslims who do not make any distinction at all between Muslims and non Muslims. They think non Muslims to be the same as Muslims. They give no preference whatsoever to their brothers in faith. Such an attitude is also wrong as we can see from the second verse we looked at and also from several hadith of the Prophet (saw) where he (saw) has emphasized the unity of our nation and the special love that the believers deserve from us. A special love that is not given to those who do not believe in the Oneness of Allah (swt) and in the Prophet (saw). Now we are not saying that we should look down on non Muslims or think that we are better than them or exploit them or harm them in any way. All that we are saying is that they cannot have the same place in our hearts as the believers have. Because if we truly love Allah (swt) and have dedicated ourselves to Him, should not those who have also done so have a closer place in our heart. Is it not natural to love those who love whom you love? So our concern should first be for the believers. Once we have taken care of them, once we have seen to their needs, then we look to our brethren in humanity at large. This is what Allah (swt) wants from us. And at the end of the day such is all that should matter. It should always be about pleasing Him and not about pleasing ourselves or those around us.

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Going back to the original verse which we had been studying we see how our Lord commands us twice in the verse to have Taqwa of Him. He tells us twice to protect ourselves from His Wrath by doing the actions that are pleasing to Him. But a question to be asked is that why does He (swt) repeat the same command twice in a single verse. Was it not enough to give this command once? Why does He repeat it? There are two reasons. One is for emphasis. He wants to drive this concept of Taqwa deep into our hearts. You see He loves us. So He does not want us to suffer for no reason. He does not want us to do injustice to our own souls. He does not want us to become distant from Him. He does not want to punish us in this world or in the next. And He Knows that if we can Taqwa then we can saved be from His punishment. So He emphasizes for us again and again why we need to have Taqwa of Him. Why we need to remember Him at every moment of our lives. Why we always need to check our actions and make sure that they are what He is pleased with. It is so that we may be conscious of Him. It is so that we may be righteous. The true believer is one who always strives to maintain this Taqwa. That is why he thinks twice before doing a sin. That is why he thinks twice harming anyone or doing injustice to anyone. Imagine if all the people were like this? What kind of a world would that be? How much better of a world would it be than what we have today?

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The second reason why the command to have Taqwa is repeated is because it is connected with His saying “the One with Whom you ask”. Allah (swt) is the One with Whom we ask and that also is why we need to have Taqwa of Him. Now what does He mean by this phrase. This also needs some explanation. As we mentioned previously, He (swt) has sent down to us a complete guidance. Not just guidance on how we should worship Him, not just guidance on how we should treat ourselves, but even guidance on how we should deal with others. So in Islam each of us has certain duties and responsibilities that we owe to others, and at the same time each of us has certain rights that we can ask of others. Now when it comes to these rights that we ask of others, we have to always remember that we are asking of them in the Name of Allah (swt). Meaning that when we ask people to fulfill their rights upon us our asking of them is part of our slavehood to Him. And those who are fulfilling this request of ours do so as part of their slavehood to Him. Remember that in a true Muslim community everyone behaves with each other based upon their slavehood to Allah (swt). We ask others to fulfill our rights in His Name, and we ourselves fulfill our rights to others in His Name. Everything is connected to our slavehood of Him. So even in this asking, even in what we take from others, we need to have Taqwa. Meaning that we need to maintain this consciousness of Allah (swt). We cannot exploit others.

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We cannot take from them more than what they owe us. And at the same time we also have to make sure that whenever we take, we also give. We cannot keep taking and taking, we cannot keep asking and asking. Unless we also give. We have to always remember that we are dealing with that other person not for our sake or for their sake rather we are dealing with them only for the sake of Allah (swt). We seek to draw close to Him through our interaction. And we know that He is always more pleased when we give than when we receive. Take for example the husband and the wife. The foundation upon which any family is started is based upon the relationship between these two people. In Islam marriage is also part of our worship of Allah (swt). So there are detailed laws on how the husband should deal with his wife and also on how his wife should deal him. The most important rule that they must follow is that they must both be kind and forgiving towards each other. Their Lord wants them to be a comfort for each other. A source of peace and tranquility for each other. He also wants them to be supportive of each other. He wants them to help each other. To sacrifice for each other. To go out of their way to please each other. Family is of the utmost importance in our Din and family always begins with the relationship between husband and wife. They are the closest to each other. So they have to strive to help each other to reach Him and also to help their children to reach Him.

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In addition to kindness, forgiveness, and being a source of support, there are further rules that a husband and wife need to abide by. Among these is that they must be faithful to each other. They both have to commit that they are only going to be for each other. Not only should the husband not even touch another woman who is not his wife but he should not even look at such women or speak with them unnecessarily. Similarly the wife must commit that she would do the same. In addition to this there are certain rights that the husband can ask of his wife and there are certain obligations that he must fulfill towards her. Conversely there are certain rights that she can ask of him and there are certain obligations that she must fulfill for him. Of course the rights of one are the duties of the other. For example the wife has the right to ask her husband to provide for her. She is not obligated to work. Her maintenance and sustenance is the responsibility of her husband. So she can ask him to provide for her and she can also ask him to provide for their children. If he refuses or if he does not perform this task to the best of his ability, then he is sinning before Allah (swt). He is failing to fulfill a duty which He (swt) has obligated upon him. Similarly the husband has the right to ask his wife to look after his children and his home. He can also ask her to fulfill his desires. If she refuses then she is sinning before Allah (swt). So they both have duties that they owe to each other.

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Now in this verse where Allah (swt) commands us to have Taqwa of Him, He is specifically telling us to have Taqwa of Him concerning these relationships. Concerning these rights and obligations. What we ask and what we are asked of. So the husband cannot ask his wife of more than she can give, and he has to make sure that he is giving her all that she asks for. They both have to remember that it is not just about the two of them. No rather their entire relationship with other is based upon their slavehood to Allah (swt). They deal with each other, they interact with each other, they do everything with each other, only to please Him. The family that they build and raise is part of their slavehood to Him. They hope to please Him through it. They hope to draw closer to Him through it. Imagine if all husbands and all wives had this perception of their relationship. If it was not about competition. Rather if it was just about Him. How beautiful would such marriages be? Now this Taqwa needs to maintained not only in the relationship between husband and wife, but in every other relationship that a Muslim can have. It needs to be there in the relationship between the parent and the child. The relationship between siblings. The relationship between business partners. The relationship between the ruler and his subjects. The relationship between the teacher and his students. In any kind of relationship or interaction that you have with people, you have to try and maintain this deep consciousness of Allah (swt). You

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have to consider these interactions with as part of your slavehood to Him. No matter who you are dealing with, try and deal with them for the sake of Allah (swt). So just imagine how beautiful families would be, imagine how beautiful the world would be, if everyone behaved with each other with this Taqwa of Allah (swt)? If everyone based their relationship with each other upon their slavehood to Allah (swt). There would be no more egos. There would be no more conflicts and disagreements. There will be no more people trying to cheat each other and get the better of each other. Everyone will be thinking about what are their duties that they can fulfill instead of thinking about what are their rights that they can take. Based upon their love of Allah (swt). Based upon their fear and awe of Him. They will think twice about hurting others. They will think twice about cheating others. They will think twice about neglecting their duties to others. They will realize that at the end of the day it is not about them or the other party. Rather it is only about Allah (swt). If they have pleased Him then this should be all that they need. They do not need anything from the other party. They need only the Contentment of their Lord. This is all that they need from life. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if everyone dealt with each other in this way. Without a doubt we are all far from this station. But if only we would try to reach it. If only we would try to follow the guidance that our Lord has sent to us in His blessed

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Book. Then think how beautiful would the world be. A thousand miles begins with a single step. So even if we think that we can never reach this station we still have to try. Even if we try all our lives would be much better. Even if we try Allah (swt) would be pleased. Remember that with Him it is not about the results but it is about the intention and the effort. So if we just tried to be better for His sake. If we expected nothing back from the people, rather we sought our reward only from Him. Then think how much better the world would be. Allah (swt) also tells us in this verse to have Taqwa of the family relationships. This part of the verse is what we want to focus on in our study of this chapter. Allah (swt) is telling us here to be mindful of our family relations. To be careful of our family relations. To always be conscious of our family relations. The very same relationship of Taqwa that we need to have with Him we also need to have with our family relations. Meaning that we have to be careful of our duties to our family members. As we mentioned in Islam everyone has certain obligations towards their family members. The husband has an obligation to seek the sustenance of Allah (swt) for his wife and children by going out into the world and working. The wife has an obligation to look after her husband’s property, and their children. They both have an obligation to be kind to each other, to respect each other, to be honest with each other, to be a source of tranquility and peace for each other.

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Similarly children have an obligation to be obedient to their parents, and to follow the guidance of their parents. Parents have an obligation to be good role models for their children and to bring them in a proper way and to be there for them. Brothers and sisters, cousins and nephews, aunts and uncles all have similar obligations to each other. Family members in our Din are required to help each other and look after each other and be kind to each other. So you have a responsibility before Allah (swt) to not only care for your immediate family, but your extended family as well. This is what your Lord means here by having Taqwa of the family relations. Everyone has to do their part. Everyone has to cooperate to make the family strong. To make the family better. If anyone have any grudges then they should let it go for the sake of Allah (swt). So here Allah (swt) is telling all of us to be careful of these obligations. We cannot neglect them, we cannot be heedless of them. We cannot give anyone less than their due right. This is what this Din offers to families. Just imagine the kind of families that would be there in the world today if everyone followed this guidance? Would there be any family squabbles? Would there be any domestic violence? Would there be any broken homes? Would there be any single parents? Would there by runaway children? How beautiful a world would it be if we instead of thinking about our own selves and what makes us happy, we thought instead

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about Him? If we made even the very relationships that we have with others, especially our family members, into an act of slavehood to Him. Seeking nothing from that relationship except His Pleasure. Not asking or taking but giving. Not holding grudges but forgiving. Not exploiting but supporting. All only to seek His Pleasure. This is the sublime station of those who have realized His Majesty. Those who have realized His right to be served. Those who have realized that this world is very temporary and fleeting. You can establish the Divine Kingdom in your family by following the guidance in this verse. Every aspect of every interaction with your family members must be for His sake. You should seek to please them for His sake. You should forgive them for His sake. You should help them and support them for His sake. All that should matter for you is pleasing Him. Finally Allah (swt) ends this beautiful verse by reminding us how He “has always been upon you Ever Watchful”. There is no adequate translation for the Arabic word raqeeb that our Lord uses here. This word does not just mean to watch, but it means to watch most intently and closely. It means to watch without blinking or turning away. Such is what we should realize from this statement of His. It is that we are always under His Gaze. We can never escape Him. There is nowhere we can go where we can hide from Him. There is not a moment in our lives when His Gaze is ever lifted. He is always watching. He is watching

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closely every single thing that we do. Every action that we take. Every word that we speak. Every thought that comes into our heart. He Sees it as clearly as day. How then can we live in heedlessness of Him? How then can we forget Him? Even when we are dealing with others. Even when we are interacting with others. Even when we are dealing with our own families how could we forget Him? We cannot forget Him. We cannot forget the fact that He always has, always is, and always will be watching us. Even when we are not aware of His Gaze we should realize that it is there. He IS always watching us. If we truly knew Him as He is, if we truly loved Him as He should be, if we truly feared Him as He deserves to be, then how could we do what displeases Him while we know that He is watching us? How could we become angry with our spouses? How could we fail to be kind with them? How could we neglect our parents and fail to care for them when they reach old age? How could we shout at our children and be harsh with them? How could we neglect our relationships with our siblings and our cousins and fail to be in contact with them and fail to help them? All this we do when we forget Him. All this we do when we become heedless of Him. The cure for this disease is to remind ourselves. We have to remind ourselves of what He tells us here. Our eyes and our ears may show us the people who are in front of us, but our hearts should remind us of that Tremendous Being Who is even closer to us than they are. He is so

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near. And He hears, and He sees, and He remembers. If your love for Him is not enough to make you always treat them in a way that He is pleased with, then remember that one Day soon you will return to Him. You will be standing before Him and you will see the Garden to your right and the Fire to your left. And only He can decide which of these will be your final abode. Is this not enough of a reason for you to treat them as they should be? To give them the love and the respect that He expects you to? So whenever you are dealing with them, whenever you are speaking with them, realize His closeness to you. Realize His Gaze upon you. Realize that this world is very fleeting. Remember that the true life is the next life. Why then do you want to sacrifice your place in the Hereafter for some petty concern in this world? Why then do you want to ruin your relationship with Him only for this world? It is not worth it. He matters far more than this world. Now that we have seen how Islam brings peace and tranquility to the family. Now that we have seen how Islam brings justice and equity to the family. Now that we have seen how Islam brings kindness and love to the family. Let us also look at some the measures that this Din has given us to preserve the family. For people who live in the West, or for people who have been influenced by Western culture, there are some laws which Allah (swt) has legislated for women which may seem to them as harsh. Which may seem to them

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as curtailing the freedoms of women. These people would even see the laws of Islam as curtailing the freedoms of men. But little do such people realize that the reason why Allah (swt) has legislated such laws is to preserve and protect the family. Take for example the law which orders Muslim women to cover themselves. Take for example the law which tells Muslim women that they cannot travel for long distances alone. Take for example the law which prohibits men and women from free mixing. Take for example the law which prescribes a harsh punishment for adultery or fornication. What is the purpose of these laws? It is clear that one of the purposes is to protect the family. Because how are families broken? Why do divorces happen? One of the main causes is when either spouse is unfaithful to the other, or when either of them thinks that the other is unfaithful. If such infidelity, if such suspicion, does not lead to divorce at the very least it does lead to fights and arguments between the husband and wife. It leads to tension and pain in the household. What then will happen to the children? What then will happen to the society? Allah (swt) is our Creator and Sustainer. So He Knows us better than we know ourselves. He Knows what will save us from ourselves. That is why He sent us this beautiful Din by which to live. He sent us the guidance on how we should live. It is only because of our ignorance, it is only because of our short sightedness that we cannot see this.

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Just imagine how beautiful it would be if a wife was devoted only to her husband? If she only showed her beauty to her husband. If the only man who has ever touched her is her husband. And the same for the man to his wife. Imagine if the man never even looks at another woman beside his wife. If the only beauty that he has seen is her beauty. Just imagine this. Just imagine if neither of them has had any kind of relationship outside of their marriage. Not even before their marriage. They have only known each other. They have only touched each other. Imagine how beautiful such a relationship would be. Imagine how strong such a relationship would be. We do not have anyone else. We only have each other. We are going to be together forever. Our souls have been joined in the holiest of bonds. This should be the thinking of every believing man and woman. They should be devoted to their spouse. They should be only for their spouse. If for no other reason then purely as an act of slavehood to the Divine. They have come together in that blessed union under His Name. So their very marriage is an act of worship to Him. They know that their souls have been paired. They will be joined for all eternity. Not just in this temporary life that will end soon but even in the Hereafter. This is the kind of marriage which Allah (swt) has legislated. This is the kind of marriage upon which the Muslim family is built. The family upon which the Islamic society is based.

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Now ask yourself is this a marriage that would end up in divorce? Is this a marriage where the couple would argue about money? Is this a marriage where each partner would have any hatred for the other? Is this a marriage in which the children would hear any harsh words? Is this a marriage when the husband and the wife would not be looking forward to their reuniting whenever they are apart? This is one reason why such laws exist. It is strengthen the marriage, to strengthen the family. For us it is not about freedom. It is not about ourselves. Rather it is about submission. It is about Him. This is why He has placed so much emphasis on protecting the family. Why is the family so important in our Din? It is because the family is the training ground for the future generations of His slaves. The family is where the Muslims of tomorrow are brought up and prepared. As we all know children are born innocent. Their minds are a clean slate. The concepts that they will hold. The viewpoints that they will carry throughout their existence. What they will perceive life to be all about. All of this has not been formed yet. They have still to realize what the purpose of their existence is. How will they know? How will they come to realize? It will all come from what they learn. From what they are taught. From what they made to observe. And where does this learning, this teaching, and this observation happen? Of course it the home. Of course it is from their parents. First and foremost. That is why the family is so

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important. The first place of learning for a child is his mother’s lap. Even when he is so young. Only an infant. He is still observing her. He is still learning concepts and thoughts from her. He is still watching how she thinks and how she behaves. And as he becomes older he will continue to learn. He will observe more. He will take in more. Based upon what his parents teach him and also based upon how his parents themselves think and behave. So from where do you think that this child will learn his purpose in life? From where he learn that he was created only to dedicate himself to Allah (swt). Of course his uncles and aunts, and grandparents, and cousins and siblings are also a source of influence for him. But not nearly as much as his parents. This is why Allah (swt) has placed so much emphasis on the family. Especially on the bond between husband and wife. Because only if this bond is strong, only if this bond is based upon the slavehood to Him, can children be raised who will also be His dedicated slaves. Children who will fulfill the purpose of their existence. The Divine Kingdom is a beautiful place. But it is not a place that you can enter overnight. The journey to it is not easy nor is it quick. It takes time and it takes effort. Look at the beautiful example that we have of the Prophet (saw). How much time did he (saw) spend training his companions? Training them to enter the Divine Kingdom. Training them to establish it in the society. It took him (saw) years. Years to inculcate into

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them the concepts of Islam. Years to reach that state where they remembered Allah (swt) at every moment and sought to please Him at every moment. Years to attach their hearts to Him. If it took him (saw) years to take his followers to the Divine Kingdom when he (saw) was the Messenger of Allah (swt) then how could we expect our children to reach this place overnight? How can we expect our children to reach this place without any effort on our part? If we do not have a strong bond with our spouses, if we do not base our relationships on the slavehood to Allah (swt), then what hope is there for our children? We have to always remember that we exist in this world for a great purpose. We are not here to satisfy our desires, or to hoard wealth, or to compete with the neighbors, or to boast and brag. Rather we are here only to dedicate ourselves to Allah (swt). At every moment we should only be seeking to please Him. We should work to establish His Law on the earth and to take His Message to mankind. This is the way in which we should live our lives. But this is also not enough. Not only do we have to be His utter slaves but we have to make sure that our children are as well. All the future generations who come after us should make prostration to Allah (swt) till the end of time. If they do not because of our negligence of their training and culturing in the Din, then He (swt) will hold us accountable on the Day of Judgment. We will have to answer for this negligence.

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Especially when we consider the society in which we as a Muslim nation find ourselves in today. This society of heedlessness and sin. This society where almost everyone seems to have forgotten Allah (swt). What hope is there for our children? Where is their refuge from this world of decadence and corruption? Where can they go where they can be reminded of the Real and the True? Their only refuge is their homes. They need to have homes where the parents are devout worshippers of Allah (swt). They need to have homes where His Name is mentioned, His praises are sung, and His Book is recited. Only such a home can be a beacon of light for them in this world of darkness. Only in such a home can they be reminded of the true purpose of their lives. Only in such a home can they be reminded of Him. So the reason why the family is so important in our Din connects back to what we said in the previous chapter. It is all about Allah (swt). The very purpose of our existence is only to remember Him, to worship Him, and to serve Him. A good strong family is what can help our children to come to this realization. The family can train them. The family can culture them. The family can bring them to that sublime level where they dedicate every moment only for Him. But in order to do this the family itself must be strong. The family itself must be dedicated to Allah (swt). First and foremost the parents. They should have the strongest of bonds with each other and the strongest of bonds with Him.

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Now Allah (swt) has not only sent us guidelines on how spouses should deal with each other, but there are also rules on how every family member should treat each other. Among the most important of these are the duties of parents towards their children and the duties of children towards their parents. In Islam not only is the responsibility of the parents towards their children tremendous, but so too is the responsibility of the children towards their parents. To be dutiful, kind and respectful to one’s parents is among the greatest of obligations upon any Muslim. And to be disobedient to them, to hurt them in any way, or to be cruel or harsh with them is among the greatest of sin. In this as well we can see the Wisdom of the Divine Guidance that our Lord has sent upon us. Parents have a natural desire to look after and take care of their children. The maternal and paternal instincts are there in all parents. Only in the most decadent and corrupt and individualistic of societies would we ever find the strength of these instincts waning. In general it can be said that all parents have a desire to look after their children. We love our children, we want them to have the best, we want them to be happy. There is no one whom we are willing to sacrifice more for than our children. We work hard only in with a hope that they are provided for. So that their future may be bright. Many parents even sacrifice their relationship with Allah (swt) because of the love that they have for their children.

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They neglect their duties to Him because they are too busy working only in the hope that they provide for them. When we do this we forget that Allah (swt) is the True Provider. He is the One Who provides our sustenance and theirs. Most of us forget this fact and we continue to work hard for our children. Because we love them so much. But can we ever hope that our children will have this same desire to look after us when we become elderly? Do we ourselves have such a desire to look after our own parents? For most of us we do not. And this is because children rarely ever have the same level of love for their parents as their parents do for them. Of course they do love their parents but not nearly as much as their parents love them. Furthermore they do not have the desire to care for their parents as much as their parents had for them. That natural and instinctive desire is not present in children for their parents as it is the other way around. This is where the guidance from Allah (swt) comes in. That is where the Din makes all of our lives better. In this beautiful religion Allah (swt) commands us to look after our parents. It is an obligation upon all children to look after their parents. Allah (swt) tells us in the Quran why we need to do so. He reminds us of all that our parents did for us. He shows us the love that they had for us and how they sacrificed for us. He shows us how they provided us with everything that we ever needed and for so long. He shows us how they sacrificed and struggled for us.

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[31:14] And We have enjoined upon the human being in regards to his parents, his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning was in two years, so be grateful to Me and to your parents and to Me is return. This is just one of many verses where our Lord commands us to be kind and dutiful with our parents. Just look at the beauty of the language here. Just look at the depth of meaning. Allah (swt) says that He has enjoined upon the human being in regards to his parents, but He (swt) does not say what He has enjoined upon him. This is done so that it can include everything. Allah (swt) has enjoined all goodness upon us for our parents. So we have to be kind with them, we have to respect them, we have to look after them, we have to provide for them if they need us to, we have to do whatever we can to make them pleased. The only restriction is that we cannot do anything forbidden for them. We cannot disobey Allah (swt) even if they tell us to. But in every other way we should be obedient to them. Even when they are elderly and we are the ones caring for them. Notice also in the verse how He reminds us of all that they did for us. Especially our mothers. He shows us the pain they went through for us

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So He makes our righteousness towards them, our good treatment of them, our care for them an act of worship for which we would be rewarded. For which we would be drawn closer to Him. Thus motivating us to look after our parents and to be kind with them. How different is this from the world that we live in today? In the world that we live in today, no parent can expect their children to care for them. Once that child reaches the age of 18 then according to the secular law he has no obligations towards his parents whatsoever. Even though his parents cared for him, and looked after him, and raised him for his whole life, he still does not owe his parents anything. He can throw his parents in a retirement home or even out on the street and the parents cannot do anything about it. Such is the corrupt world in which we live today. But in the Divine Kingdom, Allah (swt)’s Law is that the children must care for their parents just as their parents had cared for them. The children have an obligation to provide for their parents to the best of their ability. If they do not then the parents can go to the State and demand their rights. They can demand that their children provide for them. Is this not how it should be? Do not the children owe it to their parents to look after them for all that they have done? Is this not what is just? Who else will care for their parents? That is why Allah (swt) legislated such laws. Realize that He is our Creator. So He Knows much better than we know ourselves.

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If you do not as of yet see the wisdom of these laws then realize that one day you soon will. A time always comes when the tables will be turned. Those children who were once infants in your hands and whom you cared for will be all grown up. Soon the time will come when you will be the one who will be frail and weak. You will be the one who needs looking after. You will be the one who even needs help using the restroom. When this happens would you not want your own children to care for you just as you had once cared for them? Why does some stranger have to come and help you? Why cannot it be your own flesh and blood? Why cannot your children spend for you just as you had once spent for them? Is this not how it should be? Allah (swt) says so. That is why He has created a beautiful cycle. Children caring for their parents just like their parents had cared for them. The parents do not need to worry about social security, or 401k, or a nest egg, or a retirement account. They can be certain that their children will spend for them. Their children will take care of their expenditures and their physical needs just as they had once done. First and foremost they will do so because they know such is pleasing to their Lord. If their parents had brought them up in the right way, if their parents had given them the right culturing, then they will know how nothing else matters except His Pleasure. But even if they do not, even if they are of an evil and selfish nature, those cruel souls who would abandon

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their own parents, then the parents have a recourse. The parents can go to the Islamic government with their grievances. The state can then force those evil children to give their parents their rights. To give them what Allah (swt) has obligated them to give them. And just think that if parents do not have to worry about building that nest egg then they have more time to spend with their children. They can make the bond between themselves and their children even stronger. Not only does this Din teach parents to be good to their children and children to be good to their parents. Not only does this Din teach a husband and wife to be good with each other. But it also promotes goodness between all family members. Between brothers and sisters. Between cousins. Between aunts and uncles. Our Lord teaches us that we should behave with all of our family members in the best way and we should consider this behavior as part of our slavehood to Him. Even if we may not particularly like a certain member of our family. Even if they may irritate us. We still need to behave with them in the very best way possible. If not for their sake then for His. If for nothing else then only as an act of slavehood and devotion to Him. Because we know that He is looking down upon us at every moment, we know that when we are kind with them, and when we respect them, and when we forgive them, and when we are humble with them, then He will be most pleased with us. This is what we seek. This is

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what we yearn for. Only His Pleasure. In order to attain this we are willing to kill our egos. In order to attain this we are willing to overlook and forget whatever wrong that they may have done to us. In order to attain this we will help them and give to them again and again, seeking nothing whatsoever in return from them. Rather we will only seek Him. All that we seek is that Divine and Pure Being. That Majestic and Tremendous Being. This is the sublime station that we should all strive to reach. Imagine if all families behaved with each other in such a way. Would there be any family squabbles? Would there be any problems with in-laws? Would there be any sibling rivalry? How beautiful would families be? How tranquil and peaceful would the lives of all people in those families be? And consequently how prosperous and productive would the society as a whole be? The resources of the society would not be wasted on alcohol and drugs. People would not need to search for means of escapism. Their families would not be a source of pain for them. A pain that they have to flee from. Rather they would find tranquility in their families. They would find support and help in their families. Things would be very different from how they are today. In our day and age, we have become so distant from our family members. Many of us could go for months if not years without even speaking with our own cousins or uncles, perhaps even with our own siblings or parents. Is this how it should be? Is this a

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behavior that is pleasing to Allah (swt)? Is it then any wonder why our families are no longer a source of comfort and support for us like they should be, but rather they are a source of pain and problems? A man should find peace when he comes home to his family, not the other way around. He does not have to leave his home or to reach for that bottle in order to cool his heart. Rather his family should cool his heart and he should cool their hearts. This is how it was meant to be. If only we would remember Allah (swt) when we deal with our family members, if only we would devote ourselves to Him completely like we know that He deserves from us, then we would find this peace. Whatever problems that we may be having with our family members would be solved. If only we would remember that in the end they do not matter, and we do not matter, rather all that matters is He. If only we would kill our egos when dealing with our family. If only we would forgive them their shortcomings and faults. We can do this by remembering Him. We should drown ourselves in our love for Him, and we should seek nothing form life except Him. This sublime station is the realization to all good. It is the key to the Kingdom.

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Chapter 3: The Divine Kingdom and the Society
As we mentioned previously we as human beings are social creatures. We do not live in isolation of each other. On the contrary we constantly interact with another. We all have relationships that we form with each other. Some of these relationships are temporary and some are permanent. Among the most important of these relationships are those between family members. The relationship between a husband and a wife. The relationship between parents and children. The relationship between siblings and cousins and uncles and aunts and nephews and nieces. These are relationships that form by blood and by marriage. Now as we saw in the previous chapter, our Lord and Master has sent to us guidance on how these relationships need to be formed and how they need to be conducted. Detailed laws on how we should behave with our family members. What are the duties and obligations that we owe to them and what are the rights and privileges that we can take from them. But as we know the relationships that we as human beings have are not limited to our family members. There are others whom we interact with and deal with outside of our family. We will learn in this chapter Insha Allah (God willing) how Allah (swt) wants these relationships to be established.

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[23:8] The ones who to their promises and their covenants they are always watchful. In this verse Allah (swt) describes the true believers. The role models whom all Muslims should aspire to. He (swt) describes them here as always watchful of their covenants and promises. Now what are the covenants and the promises that our Lord is speaking of here? As we mentioned above our society is formed based upon the relationships that we establish with people. There are relationships between family members which were already discussed, but there are also relationships that we form outside of our family. There are business relationships for example. People who engage in any kind of trade have a relationship with each other. There are political relationships. The ruler needs to have certain relationships with those underneath him. Anyone who is a leader of any organization or group has certain relationships that he needs to maintain with those under him. Then there is also the relationship between teachers and students, between employers and employees, between soldiers and their commander. Neighbors have a relationship with each other. Those who come together for any kind of social gathering have such a relationship. These are but a few of the relationships that each of us can have. There are many other examples. Now every party in

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such relationships has certain obligations that they need to fulfill with the other. They owe certain duties to the other party. This obligation is a covenant or a promise that they have. Here Allah (swt) describes Muslims as those who are always watchful of these covenants. As part of their servitude to Him, as part of their slavehood to Him, they are always watchful of these covenants. Meaning that they always stay true to their obligations in these relationships. Notice the beauty in the language of the verse. Allah (swt) does not simply say that they are honoring their trusts and covenants, rather He says that they are looking at these. Almost as if they are staring at their promises and their obligations. They are so careful to always do their part. They are so careful not to fall short. Why do they have such care? Only because of their love for Him. They know that He is pleased with them fulfilling their covenants and they know that He is displeased with their falling short. So they try their best to live up to all their obligations. They try their best to fulfill what the other party expects from them. What the other party wants from them. They do not do it for themselves rather they do it only for Him. How beautiful would the world be if everyone thought in this way? How beautiful would the world be if each of us behaved towards the other in this way? Whenever we have any kind of relationship with someone else, instead of asking what they can do for us we first ask what we can do for them. We view that

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relationship as a covenant, as a trust, as an obligation that needs to be fulfilled. We view fulfilling that relationship as an act of worship to the Divine. As an act through which we would be drawn closer to Him. So we try our utmost to fulfill it. We try our utmost to do our part. And we seek no reward from the other party. We seek no appreciation from them. Rather our reward is only from Allah (swt).All that we desire is nearness to Him. We have seen how Majestic and Pure and Tremendous a Being He IS. We have reached that sublime station where we do not desire anything except Him being near to us. Except Him being pleased with us. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if all the people had such a heart. Imagine how better a place the world would be. This is how it was meant to be. This is how He created us to be. He did not create us to forget Him. He did not create us to be heedless of Him. No, rather He created us to know Him and to love Him. To seek Him in everything that we do. Even in our interactions and dealings with others. So every leader will look to how he can best serve his people. Every business man will look to how he can best give to his customers. Every teacher will look to how best he can teach his students. Everyone will look to how best they can fulfill their obligations. Just imagine what a world that would be if everyone in the society behaved in such a way to each other. Today it seems like a distant dream. Today it seems so far away.

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This is because today we have all become negligent of Him. We no longer remember Him. Even those of us who call ourselves Muslims. We ourselves have forgotten Him. That is why when we deal with others, we no longer try our best to fulfill our obligations to them. We no longer look to what we can give to them. We no longer look to how we can fulfill their needs or take care of them. No on the contrary, we only concern ourselves with what they can do for us. We only look for what is in that relationship for us. We only look to our benefits. We only look for satisfying our desires. All that we can see is ourselves. We have become blind to Him, even though He is so Tremendous and so Magnificent. Even though He is so Pure, and so Beautiful and so Awesome. We have still forgotten Him. That is why we are in darkness. That is why our entire culture and our entire society has become so selfish. So self centered and self serving. So individualistic. Just look at what has happened to us now that we have done turned away from Him. Just look at what has happened to us now that we have become secular. Has not the society as a whole become individualistic? Everyone only cares for themselves. Everyone only seeks to serve themselves. They do not want to help others. They do not want to do anything unless there is something in it for them. This culture encourages such thinking. That is why you will see both individuals and nations behaving in such a way.

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Today not only do both people and governments act only to serve their own interests, but they will often even violate the rights of others and take from others in order to serve their interests. It is the law of the jungle. Strong prey on weak. So you will see nations invade other nations and occupy them only for oil. You will see a man rape a woman only to satisfy his desires. You will see people cheat and steal from each other. You will see them fail to keep their trusts to each other. You will see politicians and judges take bribes. These are just a few examples. You know that all this and more happens in this secular world. The world that has forgotten the Divine. This world where we have been taught that we are just monkeys. How then can you be surprised when the monkey lives by the jungle law? Thus one way in which Islam helps to build a better society is by teaching people not to live for themselves anymore. Many of us have probably heard the statement by the former United States president John F. Kennedy where he said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country”. This idea actually has its origins in Islam. This idea of self sacrifice. This idea of preferring the community over the individual. It is an Islamic concept. But what the president did not mention is why should we seek to serve our country instead of ourselves? Why should we seek to serve others instead of ourselves? Why should we look to needs of others instead of our

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needs? Our nature is that we are selfish creatures. Our nature is that we like to look out for ourselves. What then is our motivation to rise above this base nature? Is it merely our love for our country? Is it merely our love for our fellow man? Sometimes our country betrays us, sometimes it passes legislation that is not in our interests. Sometimes even those whom we help can turn against us. Sometimes they do not show us any kind of gratitude whatsoever. What then should be our motivation for helping them? What then should be our motivation for caring for them? Is it simply a selfless love that we have for others? Of course not. Such a love goes against our nature. That is why there only a very few people are truly selfless like this. These truly are souls whom Allah (swt) has blessed. But for the rest of us we are concerned only with ourselves. We want to get something for ourselves out of everything that we do. We do not want to help others and care for others if there is nothing in doing so for us. That is where the guidance from Allah (swt) comes in. It changes our base nature. It moulds our behavior into one that is more pleasing to Him. It teaches us that there is more to life than just this world that we know. There is more than just ourselves and our desires. There is He. And He is more Tremendous and Magnificent than we can ever imagine. He is the reason why we should ask what we can do for our country. He is the reason why we should ask what we can do for our

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brethren in humanity. So we should all learn to look beyond ourselves. And when we look beyond ourselves we should see that there is something more Sublime and Beautiful than anything of this world. Something more Awesome and Overwhelming than anything of this world. Something that is more worthy of our dedication than even our own selves are. We see that there is He. And He is the reason why we should look to beyond ourselves. He is more deserving of our dedication than we ourselves are. Than anyone else is. So see how the guidance of this Din can mould the perfect soul. See how the guidance of this Din can help us all to be the kind of soul whom we love but are not. That selfless soul. That soul which only cares for how it can make its Creator and Sustainer pleased. That soul which is always looking to what are the obligations and responsibilities that it has for others. This soul which is always trying to help others. That soul which is always trying to make the world a better place. Even if it means that it has to sacrifice. Even if it means that it has to go through some difficulty. Even if it means that it has to do without. It does not care. It only cares for Him. It only cares for being near to Him. This was the kind of soul that the Prophet (saw) had. This was the soul that he (saw) tried to mould in all those near to him. That was why in only a few years he and those around him changed the world forever. They changed the world for the better. Why cannot we today try to do the same?

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Another way in which Islam helps to create a better society is that it teaches us how all human beings truly are equal in every way. In his farewell pilgrimage, in the last public speech that he (saw) ever gave, the Prophet (saw) reminded us of this equality of all human beings. First he (saw) reminded us how we all came from the same parents. Of the fact that at the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters. Then he (saw) told us how no Arab was superior to a non-Arab, nor was any non-Arab superior to an Arab. He (saw) also said that no white was superior to a black and no black was superior to a white. Let us remind ourselves once again when these words were spoken. 1500 years ago. At that not only did Europeans not consider blacks as equal to them but they did not even consider them as human beings. They thought them to be some kind of animal or ape. They looked upon other races in a similar way as well. Europeans were not the only ones guilty of this crime. Even the Arabs themselves used to look down on non Arabs. Similarly other races used to look down upon those who were not from their race. Every race was taught to believe that it was superior. That it was the best. Of course this comes from arrogance and pride. When a soul becomes distant from Allah (swt) then all that it can see is itself. All that it can think of is itself. Every soul though that it was the best, and every nation thought that it was the best. Such is how distant they had become from the Divine.

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But then along came the Prophet (saw), along came this guidance that Allah (swt) had sent, which went as far as to say that one human being was not superior to another based on the color of his skin or the nation which he was from. Nor based upon the family to which he was born. Nor upon his position nor his wealth. Nor even on his gender. None of these mattered. None of these made any difference in the estimation of a person’s worth. Just imagine what a novel concept this was at that time. Just imagine what a revolutionary idea it was? How far away was it from what was the accepted norm at that time? This idea completely changed the world. Such that the world would never be the same after that. Such that even the world that we know today was because of that revolution. There is much that is wrong with the world today now that the Divine Kingdom is no more. But there are still some remnants of the Divine Kingdom left in the world today. Some small flickers of a light that once had shown so bright. Among these flickers is the idea that all human beings are equal. The founding fathers of the United States spoke of this concept in their constitution. They too were influenced by this idea. This idea that the Europeans brought back with them from the Islamic world after the Crusades. They wrote about it in their Constitution. But they never truly implemented it on a practical level. All of their slaves were blacks. Their women were never given the right to vote. They still

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stole land from the natives and killed them. So what they said with their words were not reflected in their actions. It is only in recent times that this idea has been begun to be implemented. Today, for the most part, it is not acceptable for one person to say that he is better only because of his race or his nation or his gender. From where has this beautiful idea come? From this beautiful Din of Islam of course. Only today is this idea beginning to be implemented in the West. But it had been present in the Islamic world for ages. Those days when the Law of Allah (swt) was applied correctly there was no slavery of one particular race, there was no oppression of women, there was no segregation based on race. All of these are foreign concepts to Islam. There is no text in the Quran or Sunnah which speak of these. Rather over and over again Allah (swt) has emphasized the equality of all human beings. However even if it can be argued that the acceptable norm in the society today is that all humans are equal, there are still many people do not subscribe to this notion. For example there are many whites today who think that they are better than blacks, and there are many blacks who think that they are better than whites. Similarly there are many people from one nation who think that they are better than people from another nation. Similarly there are many men today who think that they are better than women and there are many women who think that they are better than men. Why

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do they have such thinking? Why do they raise themselves above others? Is it based upon any evidence whatsoever? No it is only from their arrogance and their desires. They want to be superior. Or they want to think that they are superior. So they give themselves an excuse to have such a thinking. This excuse is their skin color or their gender or their nation or their status or their wealth. Such is how they can raise themselves and praise themselves above their brethren in mankind. But of course such thinking is utterly foolish. What makes you think that you are better than your brother or your sister? You both still have five fingers, you both still have two eyes, two ears, two hands, and two legs. You both bleed red blood. You both have the exact same internal organs. Biologically you are almost identical. And more importantly you both have spirits which came directly from Allah (swt). You both have the Divine Breath inside of you. So what makes you think that you are better than your brother? What gives you the right to discriminate against him and to exploit him and to hurt him and to steal from him and to deny him his rights? What makes you say that you will not give your daughter to him in marriage only because of his skin color or his tribe? What makes you think that you are better than him? It is only your distance from the Divine. You have become so far from Allah (swt). You have forgotten the True Purpose for your existence. You have neglected Him to such an extent that the devil has taken

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you to a very dark place. To a place where you can no longer see His Light. Rather you only see yourself. So instead of giving the praise and the glory to the One to Whom it belongs, you give it to yourself. You think that you are better than others only because of the color of your skin or the country in which you were born or the size of your bank account. You have forgotten that there is this Magnificent and Tremendous Being. You have forgotten how He is more Glorious and Pure than you could ever be. This is why you live in an illusion. This is why you oppress your brother. This is why you earn His Wrath. This is why you are in pain in this world and a greater pain awaits you in the next world. Sadly this is the situation of many people in the world today. And the reason for this is because we have become distant from our Lord. We have all forgotten Him. If only we would remember. If only we would implement the guidance that He sent us in our lives. Then the world would be a far better place. People would not oppress one another. People would not hurt one another. People would not look down on one another. We would be brothers as He created us to be. We would all care for one another and help another. We would all work for the betterment of our society. We would give more than we would take. We would learn to sacrifice and to be without. We would not live extravagant and lavish lifestyles. We would not waste our time in amusements and distractions. We would realize that the greatest pleasure lies in knowing

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that you have gained His Pleasure. There is nothing more satisfying than remembering Him, glorifying Him, and having the hope that you have pleased Him. But today most of us are very far from this station. Today most of us only care for ourselves and our pleasures. The only hope for us is to follow this Guidance that our Creator and Sustainer has sent to us. We have to implement the Divine Kingdom in our relationships with all mankind. We have to deal with all people in a way that He (swt) would be pleased with. Firstly we have to realize that they are our brothers and sisters. So we should love them as our brethren in humanity. We should want what is best for them. Then we should realize that we are not better than them in any way. The only way in which one soul can be better than another is in its nearness to the Divine. And this is something that is known only to Him. We can never know for certain how pleased Allah (swt) is with any person, even our own selves. Only the on the Day of Judgment, only on that Tremendous Day on which we return to Him, will we all find out. Until then it remains a matter of the unseen and the unknown. So we can never think that we are better than anyone, and we should always think that there is a possibility that the person whom we are dealing with and interacting with could be nearer to Allah (swt) than we are. So we should treat them with dignity and respect, we should teat them with kindness and mercy. We should go out of

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our way not to hurt them in any way, and we should forgive them for all their faults and shortcomings. We should forgive them for any wrong or injustice we think that they have done to us. We should respond to them whenever they reach out to us. We should always give them more than they give us. If they were to neglect us then we should not in turn neglect them. If they were to hurt us then we should not in turn hurt them. We should fulfill all of our duties to them, no matter how trivial or mundane these may seem. We should trust them and we should not doubt them for no reason. We should always think the best of them and all that they do. We should think that they love as us as much we love them if not more so. This is the guidance that Allah (swt) has sent to us on how we should deal with our brethren in humanity. This is the guidance that He has sent to us for creating a better society. But what is even better than these laws and these guidelines that He has sent to us is that He has also sent to us the reason why we need to follow them. The reason why we need to abide them. And that is He. In this Quran He has told us about Himself. He has reminded us of the fact that there is something far greater than this world that we know. And that is He (swt). When we realize Him then we see that it is not worth it to worth it to argue with others or to get angry with others or to cheat others or to hurt others for the sake of this world. Why do you want to sacrifice a station near to Him only for this world? Why

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can you not forgive your brother and be kind with your brother if you know that doing so will bring you closer to Him? Why do you want to keep hatred or malice towards anyone only for this world? Why can you not give up something of this world and share it with your brother if you know that doing so will bring you closer to Him? This is the beautiful guidance that Allah (swt) has sent to us. The guidance not only to a better life in this world. The guidance not only to the Garden in the Hereafter. But the guidance to Him. Once we know Him. Once we are close to Him. Then we will not see people anymore. The people will not matter anymore. Only He will. In everything that we do we will only see Him. So we will do everything for Him. This is the station of Ihsan which the Prophet (saw) taught us about. This is the absolute pinnacle in the development of the human. Some have made the argument that Islam destroys the native culture of a people and imposes upon them Arab culture. Of course this is not true. Islam does not in any promote Arab culture. It does not promote any culture, it doe not even promote any race over another. There are no text in the Quran or Sunnah which say that Arab culture or Arabs themselves are superior. On the contrary what we have seen is that Allah (swt) Himself in the Quran and the Prophet (saw) both have said that the most noble is the one with the most Taqwa. The one who fears Allah (swt) the most. The one who tries best to abide by the Divine Law.

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But it is true that Islam does promote the Arabic language. Because this is the language of the Quran. This is the language in which our Lord and Master has spoken to us. And this is a rich and deep language. The Arabs before Islam did not have great accomplishments. They were not known for advances in science or technology. But the one thing which they had, the one thing which they prided themselves, the one thing in which they can be considered more advanced than the other peoples of the world is language. They had the most advanced language of any nation. In this language they had so many ways of expressing themselves. They had so many different words for the same thing but each word gave a slight nuance of difference in meaning. This is why the Quran and other Islamic text cannot adequately be translated. There will always be a lot that is lost in translation. So in order to understand what you Master is telling you, in order for you to study His Book and journey close to Him through it, you need to learn the Arabic language. That is why Islam has always promoted the language. It facilitates a greater understanding of the text. It allows us to come closer to Him by knowing His Book. It also allows the people within the society to become more united. Language does not need to be a barrier anymore. Rather all peoples from all nations can communicate through a common medium. Just look to history and you will see how Islam united so many nations through its language.

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Another way in which Islam helps to create a better society is that it encourages you to reach the utmost of your potential. It encourages you to be the best person that you can be. It encourages you to strive for excellence in every thing that you do. It saves you from laziness and sloth. It saves you from mediocracy and indifference. This is something especially needed in our day and age. Today laziness and lethargy is a huge problem. Many of us, especially the youth among us, just do not seem to care. Life for our youth is just a malaise. Just an endless dream. They have no intention to make themselves into better people. They have no intention to contribute to the society around them. They just want to waste their moments away. Perhaps the only concern that they have is how they can satisfy their lusts and desires. How they can get that high, how they can satisfy that need, how they can quench that thirst. This is all that there is to life for them. They are just consuming the resources of this planet and not producing any good. Many of them even when they grow older they have no concern except movies, or games, or clubs, or girls. This is all that matters for them. Just their carnal desires. Just having fun. Just their own needs. They do not contribute in any way to the society, rather they are a drain on the society. They do not have any purpose for their existence. They do not have any reason for their living other than to serve their lusts. Such is what secularism had taught them.

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Islam came to change this mindset. Islam came to show them the true reality of their existence. It shows them how there is more to life than having fun. There is more to life than just you and what makes you happy. This world does not revolve around you. This world was not created only to serve you. Rather the purpose of life is Him. And the path that leads to Him is striving for Him. So we all should strive to remember Him at every moment. We should strive to thank Him for all His bounties. We should strive to praise and glorify Him as He deserves to be. We should strive to do what pleases Him. And what pleases Him is making ourselves into better people and the world around us into a better place. This is what He wants from us. He does not want us to be lazy and inactive. The Prophet (saw) used to seek refuge in Him (swt) from these, clearly indicating that they are undesirable traits. Rather He wants us at every moment to do something constructive. Something which will bring us closer to Him. Imagine if such thinking could be inculcated into our youth today. Imagine if everyone could have such a viewpoint towards life? How much better of would the society as a whole be? How much less crime would there be? How much less violence would there be? How much less wastage would there be? If all the youth became worshippers of the Divine instead of worshippers of themselves. Did you know that most of the helpers of the Prophet (saw) were youth? Most of them were under

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the age of 30. They were the ones who established the first Islamic society. They were the ones who started a revolution that changed human civilization forever. They strived far harder than any of us ever could. They stood up against torture and persecution far greater than any of us could ever imagine. And they were all youth. How many of our youth today have even a fraction of their strength? Even a fraction of their motivation? Even a fraction of their concern. They do not. And what is the reason for this? Of course it is because they have forgotten Allah (swt). Or rather it is because they have never been reminded of Him. They have never been taught His Din. Rather what they have been taught is that they are just an ape. This is what the secular society has taught them. Is it then any surprise why they are the way that they are? Why they are so lazy? Why they are so indifferent? Why they are so selfish? Why they are so extravagant? Why they do not care what happens to their brethren in humanity? Why often times they do not even care for their own family? Why they often times cause such mischief? It is because they have been taught that they are only an animal. They have been taught that the only purpose there is to life is satisfying their desires. They have been taught that all that there is to life is this material world. So you might as well enjoy yourself while you can, because soon you are going to be sick or old or dead. This is the viewpoint towards life that most of our youth have. This is the

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viewpoint that most of us have. Sadly even those of us who call ourselves Muslims. We have forgotten what the true purpose of life is. We have become so deluded with this world that this world is all that we can see. We do not want to strive for anything unless we can see some direct tangible benefit for that striving in this world. We have forgotten that the only reason behind each of our actions should be Him. Rather we only strive for this world. And many of us, especially our youth, do not want to strive even for this world. Rather for them it is all about enjoyment and amusement. It is all about having fun and satisfying their desires. They do not know of any purpose to their existence other than this so they see so no problem with just allowing the moment of their existence to pass away. There is so much good that they could do but they choose not to do it. They can be of such benefit to themselves and their society but they choose not to be. They just do not care. Because they are so full of themselves. And so all that they care for is pleasing themselves. Islam came to change this thinking. In this Din our Master shows us the true reality of our existence. He shows us the reason why He created us and placed us in this world. He shows us how precious every moment is. He shows us how every moment counts. He shows us how we need to strive to be the best at every moment. In two beautiful verses of the Quran He describes both the nature our existence and the nature of this world.

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[76:2] Surely We have created the human being from a sperm drop mixture in order that We may test him, so We have made him hearing, seeing.

[76:3] Surely We have guided him to the path in order that he may be grateful or ungrateful. In these two verses our Lord reminds us from where we came. He reminds us of our humble origins. He reminds us of how not too long ago each of us was just a drop of liquid. A drop that you could fit in the smallest of your fingers. A mixture of sperm and egg. From this insignificant liquid Allah (swt) created us into the full human beings that we are today. Just think then for a moment of His Power. Just think then for a moment of His Ability. Just think then for a moment of His Tremendousness. If He can create from that tiny liquid this complete human that you see in the mirror everyday. How can you know that there exists such a Tremendous Being and still live in heedlessness of Him? How can you know of Him and how He is and know of yourself and how you are and still be so arrogant? How can you still worry about yourself and serving your desires when you know that there is a Being such as He? The reason why we have arrogance in our hearts,

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and why our only concern is ourselves, is because we have forgotten from where we came and we have forgotten Him. If we would but remember, if we would but realize the true reality of our existence, then we would see that we are not worthy of our lives. Rather only He (swt) is. He is worthy of our dedication. Allah (swt) created us in order that we may come to this realization. Our life is a test to see if we can come to this realization. A test to see if we can realize how we are and how He IS. A test to see if we can give Him the place that He deserves based on that realization. He tells us in the verse that He created us from that drop into this full human being in order for this test. That is why He made us hearing and seeing. That is why He gave us our senses. That is why He gave us our intellects. That is why He gave us our bodies. That is why He subjugated everything on this planet into our service. For this test. To see if we would choose Him or choose ourselves. To see if we would dedicate ourselves to Him instead of ourselves. We know that such is what He deserves. But can we choose to give to Him? This is the test. He tells us in the second of these verses that He has guided us to the path. To see if we are grateful or ungrateful. The path of which He speaks here is His Path. The Path of slavehood to Him. The Path of dedication to Him. When you remember Him, when you try to please Him, then you are walking this path. But when you forget Him, when you become

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heedless of Him, when you do not care for Him, then you lose the way from this path. To walk this path is how you can be grateful to Him for all that He has done for you and all that He has given you. But if you choose to turn away from this path, if you choose only to live for yourself, then you are being ungrateful to Him. Then you have turned away from the Path. Today the vast majority of people are not even aware of this fact. They are not aware of the true nature of their existence. They are not aware of how precious every moment of their lives is. Imagine if you were taking an exam that was timed. An exam that would have consequences for the rest of your life. Passing this exam is eternal bliss and failing it is eternal damnation. Would you then be so foolish as to sleep during this exam? Would you be as foolish as to twiddle your thumbs and do nothing during this exam? Would you just daydream and amuse yourself? No, such would be utter lunacy. And yet this is what the vast majority of mankind is doing right at this moment. They are not remembering Allah (swt). They are not praising Him and glorifying Him as He deserves to be. They are not thanking Him for all His bounties. They are not striving to please Him. So they are in essence failing the test. They have gone far astray from the path. And dire are the consequences for this sad state of affairs. Firstly because Allah (swt) Knows best what is the fate that awaits these poor souls in the Hereafter. Secondly is the

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misery that they themselves are suffering in this world. They may be relishing themselves on the material things and the carnal pleasures but are they truly happy? Because their hearts have been deprived of Him, because their souls are empty of Him, they are truly in misery. They are in pain and they do not even know it. Thirdly because they do not contribute to the good of the society in any way, we all suffer from this laziness and inactivity. They are not out to help others. They are not out to make the world a better place. All that they care about is themselves. They do not want to strive to make themselves better. They see no reason to. They have no motivation to. Because they have not been given this guidance. They have not been show the Path. The Path where at every moment you strive. The Path where at every moment you try to do some good. You try to have some positive influence on yourself or on those around you. Imagine if everyone in our society began to walk this Path once again. How much better a world would it be? How much more productive would society be? How much more peaceful and tranquil? Just imagine if the people could be reminded of Him. Just imagine if the people could be taught to live for Him. Once you have committed to live for Allah (swt) then you do not care about anything else but Him. You do not care if you become hurt. You do not care if you are in pain. You do not care if you are deprived. You do not care if things do not go your way. So you do not

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become depressed over anything of this world and you do not fear anything of this world. At the same time you also have no reason to become angry because you know that whatever happens is only what He has decreed. You trust in Him to take care of you and your family. So you are not overly anxious or concerned about the future. You know that He will provide for you and your family if you are true to Him. The key to getting the sustenance of this world is pleasing Him. Because He is the true Provider. Pleasing Him is the key to all good, even the key to contentment and peace in this life. Imagine if all people were reminded of this fact. How beautiful would the world be? Would there by any crime in such a world? Why would anyone steal or hurt or commit any crime when they know that such is displeasing to Him? More than the police, the people would fear Him. They would know that there is nowhere they can hide from Him. Not only does He see their actions but He even Sees into their hearts. So why would anyone do any wrong when they know that it displeases Him? Evil only exists when He is forgotten. Would there be any wastage or extravagance in such a world? The problem with many of us today is that we think the very purpose of life itself is just to enjoy ourselves. Just to maximize our pleasures and minimize our pain. This is all that we think there is to life. Such is what the West has taught us. With such a thinking we like to consume more and more of this world. Most of us

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do not care about moderation. Most of us do not care about sharing. Rather we only care about the pleasure. Everything is about the pleasure, everything is about consumption, everything is about marketing, everything is about gorging ourselves. We have no time to think about Allah (swt). We have no time to think about others. So what results is a severe imbalance in the society. There are few of us who consume much more than what we need, and there are many of us who are deprived. Those few who have do not care for those who do not have. They have no reason to. They have been taught that they only need to worry about themselves. So the nature of people becomes that they like to hoard and they do not like to share. How much wastage is there in such a world? Moreover how much deprivation is there in such a world? Whereas in the Divine Kingdom the people are taught that they only live for pleasing Him and not pleasing themselves. So they should love to share. They should love to do without. If they know that such pleasing to Him. All that they care for is pleasing Him. Now we are not in any way being overly idealistic here. We are not saying that everyone in a secular society is heartless and selfish, and we are not saying that everyone who lives in the Divine Kingdom is selfless and pure. Human beings are of different natures. There are people who by their nature are selfish and arrogant, thinking only of themselves. And

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there are people who by their nature are generous and kind. Thinking of others before themselves. Such is the nature of people. Some are good and some are bad. So we cannot make a wide generalization about all the people in the West and all the people in an Islamic State. There are many people in the West today who are good and decent people. They would sacrifice for others, they would go out of their way to help others. Just out of their kindness and compassion. And it is possible that even in an Islamic State there are selfish and arrogant people. So we are not making a wide generalization here about all people. But what we are saying is that in general when people are reminded of Allah (swt), when they are shown how there is more to life than just maximizing pleasures and satisfying desires, then they are more likely to be generous. They are more likely to think of others. If for no other reason then at least for pleasing Him. The sad truth is that most of us are arrogant by nature, most of us are selfish by nature. But Islam came to change this thinking. It came to show us how there is more to life than just this world. There is more to life than just the transient thrills of this world. There is He. And He is so Glorious and Tremendous that He can make us to look beyond ourselves. Such is He. He can completely change the hearts. But first the people need to know of Him. They need to know that there is more to their existence than just themselves.

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Chapter 4: Women in the Divine Kingdom
I feel that it is needed to give a special mention to the place of women in the Divine Kingdom. The place of women in this beautiful Din of Islam that our Creator has sent to us. Because in our day and age the issue of women in Islam has been the subject of controversy and debate. This issue has been used by the enemies of this religion to attack it. To find fault with it. To drive people, especially women, away from it. They say that this religion oppresses women. They say that it takes away their rights and their freedoms. They say it marginalizes them and restricts them. They say that it gives women a position less than that of men. Of course all of these are lies. Of course all of these are fabrications. Part of a propaganda campaign that the enemies of this Din have waged. Part of their efforts to put out its Light. Part of their efforts to drive the people away from the Divine and towards the demons. But Allah (swt) will not let them. He (swt) will perfect and complete His Light even though they hate it. So by His Permission and enabling grace, I will attempt in this chapter to expose their claims for the lies that they are. I will try to show Insha Allah how Islam does not oppress or suppress women in any way. On the contrary Allah (swt) sent this Din in

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order to give women their freedoms and their rights. It came to show women their true place in society. It came to grant them contentment and peace. Women are every much the creation of Allah (swt) as men are. How then can anyone believe that He (swt) would love them less than He loves men? How then can anyone claim that He (swt) would give them a place less than that of men? Those who make such claims clearly demonstrate that they do not know Allah (swt). And if they do not know Him then who are they to speak about His Din? We have already spoken briefly on the Kind of Being that He IS. On how Tremendous and Magnificent and Glorious He IS. Could you ever believe that such a Being could be an Oppressor? Could you ever believe that such a Being could be Unjust in any way? How then could you ever believe that He would give to women an unfair place? How could you ever believe that He would ever take away their rights? No only men would do this. Men make mistakes. Men are arrogant and selfish. Men are narrow minded. But this Din is not from men. One of our goals in this book Insha Allah is to show you how this Din could not possibly have come from men. So perfect are its laws. So complete are its systems. So just and fair are its decrees. So simple are its beliefs. That it could only have come from the Divine. Women know that they live in a man’s world. Bearing this in mind if they would but study Islam and the place that it gives to

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them then they would see that it could not possibly be from a man. So much are they honored here. Now it is true that Islam grants women many rights, and freedoms, and privileges that no society or civilization ever has. Even the one in which we currently find ourselves in. But this should not be the reason why women should choose Islam. Rather He (swt) should be the reason. Because as we have mentioned before, in the end it is not about us but it is about Him. It is not about what makes us pleased but it is about what makes Him pleased. Life should not be about pleasing ourselves but rather it should be about pleasing Him. If our sisters can come to this realization then this in and of itself should be enough. They do not need to read any further in this chapter. All that should matter is Allah (swt). All that we should all worry about is pleasing Him and coming closer to Him. This fact alone should be enough. This fact alone should give contentment and peace. If Allah (swt) would have commanded our sisters to be the utter slaves of their husbands living their whole lives in the bedroom and the kitchen then they should be content wit this. Not for their husbands sake but for His. They should be happy with what He has decreed for them. Now of course He has not done that. He has given them as many freedoms and rights as He has given to the brothers, because He loves them equally as much as He loves the brothers. But this should not be the primary reason of our sisters choosing this Din.

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Rather the reason should be Him. It should never be about you. Rather it should always be about Him. The first realization that we need to come to is that in Islam men and women are equal in the one standard that matters the most. And that is in their nearness to Allah (swt). He says

[3:190] Their Lord responded saying “Surely I will never allow to be wasted the work of any worker among you from among the men or the women”. Although there is much benefit and many lessons that we can take from this verse alone, our focus for this chapter is the beginning of it. Allah (swt) begins this beautiful verse by telling us how He responded to them. He responded to those who responded to Him, to those who turned to Him, to those who chose Him. And how did He respond to them? He responded to them by His saying “Surely I will never allow to be wasted the work of any worker among you”. As we mentioned previously, the reason

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why we have been placed upon this earth is so that we may work. So that we may work to please Him. The Arabic word ‘aml which Allah (swt) uses in this verse does not simply mean any kind of work, rather it means a work which has a positive effect. It means an action from which good can be derived. An action that brings about some benefit. So we once again see how Islam motivates the human being to be a source of good. To be someone who brings about a positive influence in his society. Allah (swt) is the Bringer of Order to chaos, the Bringer of Light to darkness, the Bringer of Mercy to pain, the Bringer of Justice to oppression and injustice, the Bringer of Sustenance and Prosperity to poverty and need, and the Bringer of Knowledge to ignorance. If you can emulate Him in these attributes, if you can do His work upon the earth by helping to bring about these, then such would be an example of the work which He speaks of in this verse. For the believer his righteous actions are not only his prayer, and fasting, and pilgrimage. No, rather even his good behavior with the people is from his righteous actions. His fulfilling his trusts and obligations, and his being honest and fair, is from his righteous actions. His avoiding vices like lying, gambling, wine, adultery, and harming others with his tongue or his hand is also from his righteous actions. Even his work and his studies and his worldly chores can be from his righteous actions if he keeps the intention in doing these for his Lord. Meaning that he does these

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worldly tasks in order to please his Lord. In order to facilitate the remembrance and the worship of his Lord. So even these mundane tasks become part of his worship. Part of his slavehood to the Divine. And finally even his trying to bring a positive influence to the society around him by helping others and counseling others can be considered as part of his good deeds. Part of those works for which he will be rewarded. For which he will be brought nearer to Allah (swt). Now is it only for the men for whom this great reward has been promised? Is it only the men who have a chance to be near the Divine? Is it only the men who have been promised salvation in the Hereafter? No of course not, because Allah (swt) also says in the verse “from among the men or the women”. So what our Lord speaks of in this verse is not only addressed to the men of this nation but it also for the women. It is for all the women. Anyone among them who believes in Him and who strives to please Him can have this reward. Now the pronoun “them” which Allah (swt) had used at the beginning of the verse already included both men and women. Its usage is general so it encompasses both male and female. So there was no reason in this verse for Allah (swt) to mention women separately. They were already included since the beginning of the verse. But here in this verse Allah (swt) wanted to specifically emphasize how this reward is for the women as well as it is for the men. This Din is for the women as well as it

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is for the men. He is for women as He is for men. There is no sexism here, there is no discrimination here, there is no male chauvinism here. Our sisters are every much entitled to this great reward as our brothers are. They can be just as near to Allah (swt) as any one of us. They can reach a station of nearness closer to Allah (swt) than most of the men in this world if only they would turn to Him and choose to fulfill the purpose for which they were created. They are just as eligible for this sublime station of nearness to the Divine as any man is. They are just as eligible for being granted entry into the Garden as any man. So see how in this standard, in this aspect, they are absolutely equal with men. There is no preference or discrimination whatsoever. And you have to realize that at the end of the day, this is all that matters. All that matters is how we do on this test that we have been given. Because this life is very short. Before we know it will be over. Before we know all those things of this world which we used to worry and fret about will not concern us even in the least. Before we know it we will all be standing before our Lord on the Day on Judgment. At that moment all that will matter is whether He is pleased with us or not. Whether we have passed the test that He has given us in this world or not. In this regard, Allah (swt) clearly shows us in the Quran, how women are absolutely equal with men. Every woman is eligible for an equal share of reward as a man. For example if both a man and a woman make a

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prayer for Allah (swt). And then both had the same level of humility and concentration in their prayer. They both had the same level of sincerity and presence of heart in their prayer. Then Allah (swt) will give them both the exact same reward. Allah (swt) will not give the man a higher reward only because he is a man. There is no preference in this aspect whatsoever. When it comes to the weighing of deeds, when it comes to draw nearer to the Divine, when it comes to earning Paradise and being saved from Hell, when it comes to the very purpose for which we were created, women and men are equal in Islam. The evidence for this is not what I say, rather it is the very verse from the Quran itself which you saw. There are hundreds of other verses and also statements of the Prophet (saw) which give further evidence to this idea. How then can anyone claim that Islam discriminates against women? How then can anyone claim that women are less than men in this Din? Such ideas only come from those who are ignorant of this Din. Let us remind ourselves now of how this Book was revealed 1500 years ago. Let us remind ourselves of the prevailing perception that existed towards women in all civilizations at that time. Let us look at how women were treated both in Arabia and in the rest of the world. In Arabia at that time women were though of as a curse for the family. To the point where if a family had too many daughters then it was not uncommon for any additional infant girls who were born to be buried alive

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in the sands of the desert. Can you even imagine this? Such is how they looked down upon women. Allah (swt) categorically outlawed this evil practice, after Islam girls did not have to suffer this awful fate. But this practice shows how little that society thought of women. Not only did they consider women to be less than men but they barely even considered them to be human. This is not all that different from how the rest of the world at that time perceived them to be. Also the fact that Islam outlawed this evil practice. This practice that had been done by the Arabs for centuries, this practice that had become so much a part of their culture and way of life, the fact that Allah (swt) destroyed this practice, shows how He sent this Din to change their perception of women. He was showing them how women had every bit a right to live as men did. They were souls just like men were. They were also the creation of Allah (swt) and so they had every bit a right to everything in His earth as men do. Foremost among these is the right to live. Then of course the right to seek Him. The right to worship Him. The right to be near to Him. The right to find tranquility and peace through this nearness. Islam gave all these rights to women 1500 years ago. No other religion or ideology ever has or ever will. So in order to fully appreciate how much Islam has given to women, we have to realize how much other religions have not given them. As we mentioned in Arabia a woman at that time was nothing more than

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property. She had no legal status. She was sold into marriage by her guardians for a price, and her husband could terminate the union whenever he wished leaving her with nothing. Women were not allowed to inherit anything, rather they themselves were inherited. For example if a man were to pass away then his wife would become the property of his younger siblings. This was the situation of women in Arabia, and as we know their situation in the rest of the world was no different. In ancient India as well the woman was thought as the complete property of her husband. Just an object. To the point where when a husband dies, the woman was also expected to jump into the fire of his burning grave. She was forced to even if she chose not to. This was her status. This was how the society perceived her. This practice still continued in India up until only 300 years ago. The situation of women in Europe was no different. There as well women were looked upon as a curse. As a creature of evil. In the Judeo Christian traditions it is well known that women were blamed for the expulsion of Adam from the Garden. As a consequence of which she was looked upon as the source of evil in the world. The pain of childbirth that every woman goes through was thought of as a punishment for this sin. Such was the low place that she was given in their religion. Such was the excuse that men had to exploit her and oppress her. They made her to hate herself. They made to think that she really is evil. That God does not love her as

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much as He loves men. And so she should be content with a life of humiliation and subjugation. Not only were women in Europe looked upon as creatures of evil but just like in other parts of the world they also were treated as objects. Their husbands or their guardians could do whatsoever that they wanted with them. They were not allowed to own property or inherit anything. They were not allowed to attend services or even study their religion. Many priests in Europe did not even think that they had a soul. Meaning they had no place after this earthly existence. This poor treatment of women remained in Europe for centuries. Up until the late 19th century, more than 1300 years after the Prophet (saw) was sent, women were still not allowed to own property. They were still not allowed to vote or participate in government. They were still looked upon as less than a man. So in all honesty I must ask how dare they? How dare they accuse Islam of oppressing and suppressing women when their own history is so tainted? Why do they not compare how women lived in the Islamic world compared to how their women lived up until very recently before they make such accusations? All of their accusations come from ignorance. They do not know the place that Islam has given for women. They do not know how Allah (swt) has honored and liberated the woman from the shackles and chains that ignorant and arrogant men had placed upon her. From the shackles

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and chains that they continue to place upon her. The feminists are right in one thing that they say, and that is that the vast majority of religions and philosophies have been invented by men or tainted by the hands of men. This is true for all religions and ideologies today except Islam. Islam is the only religion that has not been tampered with. Even 1500 years after its revelation it is still in the pristine form that Allah (swt) revealed it to be. This cannot be said for the other religions. All the others are either invented by men or they have been tampered with by men. And that is why women have been subjugated and oppressed in them. Because the nature of man when he forgets the Divine is that he becomes selfish and arrogant. He only seeks to serve his own interests. That is why he invents ideas and concepts which put the woman underneath him. Where he can control her, where he can strip her of her rights, where he can make her hate herself, where he can take her as object, where he can do with her as he pleases. The only exception to this rule of course is Islam. This is a religion, this is an ideology, that is not from the corrupt mind of man rather it is form the Purity of the Divine. How then did Islam honor women? How then did Islam liberate women? How then did it give them dignity and allow them to be happy? First and foremost as we mentioned before and need to mention again it was by stating in the clearest of terms that when it comes to their standing with Allah (swt), when it comes

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to their worth as human beings, when it comes to their souls, they were absolutely equal with men. No other religion or philosophy or ideology in the history of human civilization ever gave to women such a status. Women also have a legal status in Islam equal to that of men. Meaning that all of the laws in Islam are addressed to women just as they are addressed to men. The command to pray, the command to fast, the command to make pilgrimage, the command to give charity, the command to be kind with the parents and relatives, the command to honor trusts, the command to avoid adultery, the command to lower the gaze, every single law to be found in the Quran is addressed to the sisters of this Ummah just as it is addressed to the brothers. There are only a very few exceptions to this rule. There are only a very few laws that are only for men and a very few laws that are only for women. And these few gender specific laws do not in any way give any kind of preferential treatment for men. Rather they are different only because the biological and the psychological nature of men and women are different. But the vast majority of the laws are exactly the same for both men and women. Both genders have an equal part to play in this Din. They both can be the slaves and the worshippers of Allah (swt). They both can draw near to Him through their remembrance of Him, through their worship of Him, through their dedication to Him. And in the end is this not all that matters? Let us remind

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ourselves of why we even exist in this world in the first place. It is only to discover Him and to love Him. In this regard men and women are absolutely equal. A woman can come as close to Allah (swt) as any man could. She too can journey to Him. She too can be near to Him. She too can find contentment and fulfillment in this world. She too can be rewarded with the Garden in the Hereafter. She too can be rewarded with the beholding of Him and a place near to Him in the Hereafter. What else could she need? Is this not the ultimate of happiness? The ultimate of fulfillment. Only those whose hearts are still attached to this world. Only those who cannot see past this world cannot realize this. This world is nothing my dear sister. This world is only a test. There is something far greater than this world. And that is He. If He has given you a chance to be near to Him. Then how could you still be angry with Him only because He has denied you this world? Do you want this world or do you want Him? If you choose the former then realize that you have already failed the test. It is true that what He asks of you is a lot. It is true that the sacrifices which He asks of you are many. But realize that the more that you give up for Him, the more that you do for Him, the closer to Him that you become. So how then can you complain and find fault with the laws that He has given you? They are not a punishment for you, rather they are a blessing. They are your chance to prove to Him how much you love Him.

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They are your chance to come nearer and nearer to Him. Why then can you not be pleased with Him? Another way in which Allah (swt) honored the sisters of this Ummah is that He (swt) gave them rights and privileges that they had never had before. The right to own property, the right to inherit, the right to conduct business and trade, the right not to be held accountable for the wrongs of their husbands or their fathers, the right to have a say in the election of political officials, the right to trial, the right to ask for a divorce, the right to choose a husband, the right to education. All of these rights and more Allah (swt) gave to women in Islam. These were rights that were never given to them before. These were rights that were not even given to women in Western societies until very recently. Does it seem strange to you to the sight of Muslim women in the marketplace engaging in business and trade? Does it seem strange to you the sight of them in the masjid listening to the sermon? Does it seem strange to you the sight of them in schools learning knowledge? Does it seem strange to you the sight of them teaching knowledge and having students of their own? Does it seem strange to you the sight of them on the battlefield in combat against the enemy? Does it seem strange to see them outside of the home? The propaganda that is being leveled against Islam today would make you think that our sisters were never in such situations. Yet this was how it was at the time of

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the Prophet (saw). This was how Muslim women who lived at the time of the Prophet (saw) were. So why should these images seem strange? Why should it seem strange for us to see Muslim women going out into the world and participating in their society? As we mentioned the main reason for this false perception that we have is the negative propaganda that has been fed to us concerning Muslim women. The enemies of Islam would have us to believe that Muslim women are like prisoners caged behind their veils. Caged in their homes. Caged by their husbands and fathers. Not able to do anything. Not to have a life of any kind. Not even to leave their homes. This is what they would have us to believe concerning our sisters. However it is important to realize that for the most part when they make such allegations their intention was never to look for the well being of our sisters. They are not truly concerned about the freedoms or the rights of our sisters. No rather their true intention is to attack the Din itself. Their problem is with Islam itself. They do not want to see this religion spread. They do not want to see it become dominant in the land. So they pick and choose some laws which may contradict with their culture and their values. And then they say that because of these laws Islam is oppressing women. Because of these laws Islam is evil. So you should stay away from it. You should not look into it. You should not even consider if it is the Truth or not. This was their intention

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all along. And that is why they try and create this false perception in our minds regarding our sisters. Now of course there are some who may bring the contention that this perception is not truly false. They would say that there are Muslim women who face the oppression that we have described above. What then is our response to such allegations? Our response is that such allegations are completely unfounded in Islam. There are no laws in this Din stipulating that the woman always has to remain in her home, or that she cannot conduct in trade, or that she cannot drive cars. There are no laws in Islam like this. However there may be some misguided Muslims who have imposed such laws upon women and claimed that these laws are from Islam in order to give them legitimacy. But the religion cannot be blamed for their evil. They want to control women, they want to keep women subservient to them. That is why they make such innovations in the Din. Another reason for their extreme reaction is that it is a response to the onslaught of Western culture into the Muslim lands. They see that the West is calling women to take of their veils. They see that the West is calling women to rebel against their husbands. They see that the West is calling women to leave their homes and be independent. Of course they see this is as a threat. This is yet another reason why they put restrictions and impositions upon women that Allah (swt) never did. And yet they claim that such is from Him. This is one of the

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greatest of sins in His eyes. Do you think that He will easily forgive those who speak lies on behalf of Him? Those who speak lies and say that it is from Him only to serve their own personal interests. Can you just imagine how much these people earn His Wrath? Can you even imagine the fate that awaits them in the Hereafter? So we should never find fault with Islam because of what these fools do. There is no evidence whatsoever in the sacred text which legitimizes their actions. The Prophet (saw) never treated women in this way. Allah (swt) would never want for His creation to be treated in this way. This is a religion of beauty and light. Not a religion of oppression and suffering. So what you may have thought is the place of women in Islam is nowhere near the Truth. Women in Islam have been given rights and privileges that no other religion has ever given them. They have been honored and elevated to a status which even the current secular society has not given them. In our Din they are the representatives of the Divine. All of this earth, this entire universe, has been subjugated for them. They have within them His Spirit. So they are among the greatest and most honored of all creation. Even more than that of the noble angels. This is the lofty position that Allah (swt) has given to women in our Din. But perhaps the greatest honor that He has given to women can be found in a hadith of the Prophet (saw). A man once came to him and asked him (saw) as to who

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deserves the best treatment? Who should this man take care of the most? Who should he love the most? Who should he look after and protect the most? Who should he always try to make happy? Who should he always forgive and overlook? And the Prophet (saw) replied by saying “your mother”. Meaning that always your mother is the one who deserves the best treatment from you. She is the one whom you owe the most to. She is the one who sacrificed the most for you. Through pain and hardship did she carry you. Through pain and hardship did she give birth to you. Through pain and hardship did she raise you. As we saw in the verse that we looked at Allah (swt) Himself acknowledges all of these sacrifices that our mothers have made for us. And as a consequence of which He commands us to treat them better than we treat any other human being. Even our fathers, even our spouses, even our children. No one deserves better treatment from us than our mothers. If this is not honoring women then I do not know what is. How can anyone be cognizant of this hadith and still accuse Islam of discriminating against women or oppressing them in any way? No on the contrary, Allah (swt) freed them from the shackles and chains that men had placed upon them. He did this first and foremost by showing them their worth. They are among the greatest of His creation. They are daughters of the one to whom the angels prostrated. They are representatives of the Divine on the earth just like men

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are. They are responsible just like men are for the greatest of duties ever placed upon any creation, that is to establish the Divine Law on earth and to take His Message to mankind. This is the sublime and great role that women have in Islam. They are not creatures of evil like the Jews and Christians say, they are not objects and slaves like the Hindus say. No rather they are every bit as honored in the Sight of Allah (swt) as any man is. He (swt) gave them this dignity and respect. He also gave them rights and privileges that they never had in any man made religion or ideology. And He made them queens upon the earth by commanding their children to be devoted to them. By commanding their children to always be obedient to them and to take care of them. If any child were to hurt his mother in any way, if he were to even disrespect her in any way, then he would be a sinner in the Sight of Allah (swt). He would make himself liable for punishment in both this world and in the Hereafter. Only because he hurt his mother, only because he was not obedient and devoted to her. Women are also entitled to the best of treatment from their husbands. The Prophet (saw) told the Muslim men that the best of them were those who were best to their wives and he (saw) said that he was the best to his wives. Meaning that it is a religious obligation upon the husband to treat his wife with kindness and respect. It is an obligation upon him to provide for her. To take care of her sustenance and her

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needs. She is not required to work. She can stay in the comforts of her home. Her husband is the one who has to go out into the world and work in order to provide for her. He also has to treat her as an equal and a partner. He has consult with her and seek her advice. He also has to be there for her as a source of comfort during difficult times. He has to counsel her and reassure her. He has to do what he can to make her happy. He has to respond to her when she calls to him. He even has to help her around the house if he can. These are but a few of the duties that Islam places upon the husband. These are a but a few of the ways that a sister can find peace if both she and her husband are His slaves. Always remember that this Din is from our Creator and Sustainer. The All Knowing. The Most Wise. The One Who is Perfect in every way. So He Knows each of us more than we know ourselves. From this we have to realize that what He legislated for our sisters, the place that He chose for our sisters, is what He Knows is best for them. It is what He Knows will bring them tranquility and peace in this life. It is what He Knows will allow them to enter the Garden in the next life. It is what He Knows will allow them to be near to Him both in this life and the next. And as we mentioned before, this is really all that there is to life. If a woman is a true slave of Allah (swt), if she has dedicated herself to Him like she knows that He deserves, if she has drowned herself in His Purity and Glory, then she should be

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content with whatever He has decreed for her. Because our life upon this earth is nothing but coming to that sublime realization. The realization that it is not about us rather it is about Him. He is all that matters. Our only concern in life is how close we are to Him. If we have pleased Him. If we have given to Him what we know that He deserves from us. Then just this knowledge alone should suffice us. This should be all that we need. When we give ourselves completely to Him. When we annihilate our egos in His Majesty. That is the key to gnosis. That is the key to finding fulfillment for our existence. If only our sisters can come to this realization then nothing that the feminists or the enemies of this Din ever say can sway them. They would know their purpose and they would ever be journeying. So yes it is true that Islam has given to women many rights and privileges. Yes it is true that it has honored her and dignified her. Yes it is true that in the Sight of Allah (swt) she is absolutely equal with a man. But that should not be her reason for choosing this Din. No, rather she should choose it only because she loves Allah (swt) and she wants to serve Him. We say this because even though Islam honors women and gives them so many rights, there are still some laws in this Din that some feminists today may have a problem with. There are still some laws that these feminists may question. Insha Allah we will try to show here how these laws do not discriminate or oppress women in any way.

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But no matter how many proofs and evidences we may bring the feminists will never agree. They will always claim that Islam opposes women. This is because the viewpoint from which they are looking at these laws is wrong. They are not looking at these laws from the viewpoint of a slave, rater think that they are in this world to serve themselves. All that matters for them is their desires and their needs. They have to be on top. They have to be superior. They have to be able to do everything a man can. Such is the arrogance that is in the hearts of these feminists. They have completely forgotten the Majestic and the Pure. They do not realize how contentment comes not from glorifying themselves and pleasing themselves, rather it comes from glorifying Him and pleasing Him. That is why they can never understand. They will always question and rebel. There are thousands upon thousands of laws in the Shariah of Islam. And all of these laws are the same for both men and women. But the enemies of this Din ignore all of these laws and they pick those few which are different for men and women. They focus upon these laws and they forget about all of the others. They pick these few laws and based upon these few they draw a conclusion for the Din as a whole. How can anyone do that? How can anyone pass a judgment for the whole based only upon their conclusions for a few? This is a clear fallacy in their reasoning. Would it be fair for us to say that all Germans are evil based only upon

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the actions of the Nazis? Would it be fair for us to say that all Christians are evil based only on the actions of the Crusaders or the KKK? How then can anyone say that Islam is a religion of violence and terror based only on the actions of a few misguided souls who say that they are Muslim? And how can they say that Islam discriminates against women by looking at only a few of its laws? And even these laws are not discriminatory in any way. They do not put down women in any way. If you would study these laws in detail you would see that there is a very good reason why Allah (swt) revealed them. But these people do not care for that. As we mentioned this is because their intention from the beginning was never to do a fair and unbiased study of this Din. No rather they have already perceived this way of life to be a threat. A threat to their way of life. Their life of heedlessness and gluttony. Their life of serving their desires and their egos. That is why they attack this Din. They do not want the Light to return. Now let us look in brief at some of these laws that they question. Let us look if they really are as evil and oppressive to women as they claim. Let us look first at the law of the Hijab or the veil. First we must realize that the veil in Islam is an obligation for all our sisters. There are several verses of the Quran which can be cited as evidence for this ruling. Among these is chapter 24 verse 31 and chapter 33 verse 59. In these verses Allah (swt) clearly commands all of our sisters to cover

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themselves completely. They are not to show any part of their body. They cannot even show the figure of their body. The most that they can reveal is their face and their palms. Now what is the wisdom behind this ruling? Why has our Lord commanded our sisters to cover themselves in such a way? First we have to remind ourselves once again that He is the Knowing and He is the Wise. His Knowledge and His Wisdom is Perfect and Complete. While our knowledge is very limited and most of us cannot be said to have any wisdom at all. So there is much that He Knows which we do not know. There is much that He comprehends which we could never comprehend. This alone should make us to realize that there are several wisdoms and reasons behind the ruling of the veil and all other rulings in Islam which we can never understand. Because our knowledge is so limited. We think that we know a lot but do not really know. This alone should be enough for you my dear sister if you are truly a believer. If you are truly His slave. But despite this fact, even with our limited knowledge and perception, if we look deeply into the nature of the human being and the nature of society, then we would see several wisdoms in the ruling of the veil. First and foremost we have to realize that men and women are different. This is a fact that no one can dispute. Biologically we are different. Psychologically we are different. Physically we are different. Emotionally we are different. Even if the West today claims to deny this

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fact, their actions even to this day speak to the contrary. Why do they still have separate restrooms for men and women? Why do they not let men and women compete in the same sports? Why is that the military and the police force and the fire brigade are all still compromised mostly by men? It is because deep down they also realize that men and women are different. There are some things which women can do better than men and there are some things which men can do better than women. Such is our nature. Such is how we have been created. We are just different. The law of the veil considers these differences. Now to understand the ruling of the veil you have to understand how Islam views the relationship between the man and the woman to be. If we study closely this relationship then we can see the reason why Allah (swt) made us different. In everything in this universe there is a purpose. In everything in this universe there is a wisdom. There is even a wisdom in this difference. Allah (swt) created men and women differently, yet He made our differences to complement each other and complete each other. Why is this? It is because the primary purpose of our relationship is to come together and build a family. This is the reason why women and men have been created differently. This is also the reason why men have been made to desire women, and women have been made to desire men. The very purpose of this desire, the very purpose of our

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relationship is so that we can come together and build a family. As we mentioned previously there is nothing more important in our Din than family. We believe that we as a human race exist upon this earth for a great purpose. We are not here simply to have fun for a few years and die. There is a far greater purpose to our existence than simply the satisfaction of worldly pleasures. We are here first and foremost to worship Allah (swt). To sanctify Him. To glorify Him as He deserves to be. Part of our worship of Him also is that we establish His Law upon the earth. That we be His representatives upon the earth. Without a doubt this is no easy task. Without a doubt this is a monumental task. Not anyone is able to undertake it. Not anyone is able to fulfill it. Only those who have been properly trained. Only those who have been properly cultured with the Islamic values and teachings. This is what our children need. They are our future. The future of our nation. Really the future of all mankind. Now where else would our children get this training if not from the home? The home is and always has been the primary source of influence for our children. It is the place where they can be reminded of Allah (swt). It is the place where they can be shown His Majesty and Light. It is the place where they can be taught of their duties and obligations to Him. This is why our families need to be strong. So that our children can have good homes where they can get this training. Now

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Allah (swt) has taught us that the reason why man and woman come together is so that they can start this family. So that they can build this home. Once we bear this in mind then the wisdom for the ruling for the veil becomes clear. We see why Allah (swt) ordered it. Ask any psychologist who studies sexual behavior and she will tell you that more often than not it is the male who initiates. It is the male who makes the advances. It is the male who goes after the female. And how does the male decide who to go after? The male is very visual and spatial. He likes to see. He likes to watch. So when he sees a woman who shows her beauty, when he sees a woman displaying her charms, having her body out in the open to see, that is when he is excited. That is when the sexual impulse within him is triggered. That is when he often makes his advances. And even if he does not make his advances the first time, he is still tempted. A fire within him is flared. This fire can often lead to trouble. It can often lead to adultery and fornication. It could even lead to rape. And if it does not end in this way then he is in misery because that need has not been satisfied. You see there are two kinds of needs that can be stimulated within a human being. The first kind is a need that comes from within. Meaning that the source of the stimulation is from within. And for this kind of need if it is not satisfied then it can lead to injury or even death. Examples of such needs are the need for food, the need for drink,

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the need for sleep, and the need to urinate or defecate. But there is another kind of need which is not stimulated from within, rather an external stimuli is required. And although this need can often flare as strong as the previous, the denial of the satisfaction of this need will not lead to any kind of injury or death. It may hurt the soul but it will not hurt the physical body itself. Examples of such needs are the need for money, the need for power, the need to sanctify something greater, and of course the need for sex. So the need for sex can only be externally stimulated. Meaning that you will not desire sex unless you see something or unless you remember something that you saw. Now recall what we said was the purpose of the differences between man and woman, recall what was the purpose of their coming together, recall what was the purpose of their desire for each other. It was only for the building of the family. Bearing this in mind is there then any reason for a man to be stimulated by any woman except his wife? Would it protect the family or harm the family if he is stimulated by anyone other than his wife? Of course it would harm the family. It can lead to adultery which will break the family. At the very least it will cause friction between the husband and the wife when he looks at another woman. As we know the nature of most women is that they are jealous. And they have every right to be. They have surrendered their bodies to their husbands. They have given their bodies to carry the children of

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their husbands? Why then should her husband look at anyone but her? Why should he touch any but her? That is why Allah (swt) revealed the law of the veil. It is to prevent this evil, it is to prevent this misery. Just imagine if either the husband or wife has an affair, just imagine if a divorce happens, just imagine if a child has to grow up without a father, how tragic would that be? How much would that child be lacking? How much more likely would it be that that child would be distant from Allah (swt) because it did not get the proper training at home? That is why Allah (swt) revealed the law of the veil. It is to protect the family, it is to protect the children, it is to protect this Din in the future generations of our nation. Now women are not like men in this regard. They are usually not the ones to make the advances. They are usually not as visual and spatial as men are. That is one reason why Allah (swt) did not order men to cover. Moreover men have to go out into the world and work. Men also have to go into the battlefield and fight. Just imagine how difficult this would be if they had to be covered from head to toe. Another reason of course for the ruling of the veil is to protect women. To protect them from the hungry eyes of men. Not just to protect them from being raped by these wolves but even to protect them from being hurt in any way. When a man sees a woman whom he fancies then we know what it is that he is after. But often times he will not tell her that, rater he

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will say whatever she wants to hear. He will tell her that he loves her. Then after he gets what he wants, he will leave her, he will abandon her. She has already served her purpose for him. He does not need her anymore. So he has already moved on to someone else. Someone younger, someone prettier. This is the nature of men. The veil protects our sisters from being used and hurt in this way. If he cannot see her beauty then he has no reason to go after her in the first place. Yet another wisdom that we can see behind the ruling for the veil is that it forces men to treat women as people and not as objects. For many men women are nothing more than objects. They cannot see them for anything other than their body. They do not respect them for anything other than their body. They do not see her as a person. They do not see her as a soul. So they never give her the honor that she deserves. Rather they always look at her as beneath them, as there to serve them. As just a tool to be used for their desires and their needs. The Hijab saves our sisters from ever being perceived as such. As just a sexual object. As someone who has no worth besides their body. Now our intention is not to justify any of the laws in Islam. As we mentioned these laws have to be followed regardless of if we find any reason for them or not. Because we are not abiding by these laws for our benefit, rather we are only doing so to please Him. As an act of slavehood to Him. To demonstrate our love

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and submission to Him. But as you can see from this example of the veil there are indeed wisdoms to each and every law that our Master has given us. Sometimes these wisdoms are obvious and sometimes they are not. But we must believe that they are there such wisdoms in every law of the Shariah. Because they are all from Him and He Knows what is best for us more than we do. And He would not legislate something for us unless it is what is best for us. For He loves us more than we could ever know. The men among us and the women among us. If our sisters will only realize this fact. If they will only realize how much Allah (swt) loves them and how much they need to love Him. Then they will not question any of His laws or commandments. Rather they will follow them all only to show their slavehood to Him. At the end of the day this is what it is all about. If you would realize this then you have already entered the Divine Kingdom. But today so few of us can see this. That is why we are all so far from this blessed place. We are so far from what brings us true peace and contentment. We are so far from Him and that is why we are in pain. Day in and day out we hurt because we are distant from Him. But if only we would discover Him then we would see that He suffices for us. Our sisters would see that He is enough for them. They would wear the Hijab only to please Him. They would remain at home to look after their children and raise them up to be His slaves only to please Him. They would make any sacrifice needed only to please

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Him just like the martyr gives his life on the battlefield. All that will matter for them would be Him. Before we leave this chapter we should discuss briefly the difference between women in the Divine Kingdom and women in this secular world that we find ourselves in today. Despite all the freedoms, and rights, and privileges that Islam gives to women, one might still bring the argument that in this secular world women are still better off. That they have more freedoms and rights than in Islam. Is this a correct argument to bring? Let us see the place that women have been given in the West. First of all does the West give to the woman the respect and the dignity that Allah (swt) has given to her? Let us start from the very core. What does the West tell the woman that she really is? What is the reality of her existence? The West says that she is nothing more than an ape. An animal that became a little too smart. So based upon this thinking they reach the conclusion that there is nothing more to her than just her body. She is nothing more than her physical body. She does not have a soul. And the West also tells her that her purpose in life is to accumulate as much money as possible and to satisfy her desires as much as possible. This is all that there is to life they say. Just an empty chase for the material things and carnal pleasures. When a woman is brought up with such thinking then she will allow others to use her in whatever way that they please. She will allow them to user her body only to sell a can of beer.

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They will strip her of all her clothes and her dignity, they will put her next to whatever object that they want to sell, take a picture of it, and then display for it all to see. For them she is just a tool. She is just an object that they are using to sell their product. So she is reduced to nothing more than her physical body. This is all that she is. To the world and to herself. Today women in the West not only show their bodies in order to sell a product, but they also do so just to get some respect and attention. They have no self esteem. They have no self respect. They think that all there is to them is their physical bodies. They think that the only way that they can have any worth is through their bodies. The more of their bodies that they show, the more men that they can make to look at them, the better that they are. This is how the West makes them to think. This is what it turns them into. Nothing but objects. Empty shells to be used and exploited for marketing. Having no true worth or purpose whatsoever. Is this progress? Is this freedom? Is this what will give these women happiness and contentment? Is this what will give them peace in life? Is this what will save them in the Hereafter? The West has also chased the woman out of her own home and forced her to work and toil alongside men. Forcing her to put her children in daycare. Preventing her from being with her children and preventing her children from being with her. Now there is no law in Islam which says that women cannot work,

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there is no law in Islam which says that women must always be in the home. Women may work if they please to and more importantly if they need to. But Islam does tell women that the best place for them is their homes. Allah (swt) is most pleased with them when they remain at home. To take care of their homes, to take care of their husbands, and most importantly to take care of their children. Young children need their mother, they are most comfortable with their mother, there is no one who can care for them like she can. As we mentioned before our children are the future of our nation. They will be the ones who will carry on our mission after us. The mission of taking the Message of Allah (swt) to the people and of establishing His Law upon the earth. The mission which our nation has been given the responsibility for since there will be no more prophets. That is why it is crucial that our children get the right upbringing and tutelage even from the youngest of age. Even from the youngest of age they need to be reminded of Allah (swt). They needed to be reminded of how nothing else matters except serving Him. Life is nothing but dedicating yourself to Him and trying to please Him and being pleased with whatever He has chosen for you. How simple a life is this? How beautiful a life is this? Who would not want to live such a life? But in order for our children to attain such a life they need their mothers. They need their mothers to bring them up with the love and the care that only their

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mothers can give them. They need their mothers to always remind them of Allah (swt). They need their mothers to teach them the Quran and the Din. This is why Islam encourages our sisters to be housewives. In our day and age this has come to be known as a derogatory title. A role to be looked down. Such that very few sisters aspire to it. But in fact it is the most honorable of professions. The sister who chooses this role is not only making a home for her family, but she is discharging among the greatest of responsibilities. She is training and preparing the future generations of our nation. Our children. Their personality, their thinking, their behavior will be shaped upon this upbringing that she gives them. What job could be more honorable than this? What job could be more important than this? A doctor, an engineer, a programmer. What could any man do in the workplace that could possibly compare with this? How can any sister abandon this role? But the West wants to deprive our sisters of this role, they want to deprive all women of this role. They tell women that what they need is to be independent. They tell them that what they need is to make more money. So that they can gather more material things for themselves. But they have forgotten that there is more to life than the material things. They have forgotten that the happiness of their family and the stability of their family is more important than keeping up with the Joneses. They have forgotten that pleasing Allah (swt)

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and submitting to Him is more important than dominating their husbands or trying to control their husbands. They have forgotten that their worth is not defined by how much material things that they own rather it is defined by how close they are to Allah (swt). He is the Real and the True. He is the Majestic and the Tremendous. How can this world in any way compare to Him? Why would you want to chase after this world when you can have Him? You have to choose Him over this world. This is the reason why you were created. Only to make this choice. Only to choose. So my dear sister do not be fooled by Shaitan and his tricks. Do not be fooled by the West. What they are calling you to is only the material chattels of this world. What they are calling you to is only to serve your own ego and desires. But you were created for a far greater purpose than this. A far more noble and sublime purpose. You were created to know Allah (swt), to love Him and to strive to please Him. How can anything in this world possibly compare to Him? If you know that you have pleased Him then what more could you possibly need? So put your trust in Him. Believe that He will give you what is best for you both in this life and the next. Believe that He will take care of you no matter what difficulty may come to you. Everything that happens in this world is only a manifestation of His Will. True contentment comes from realizing this fact and submitting to it.

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Chapter 6: Balance in the Divine Kingdom
Another beauty of this religion. Another wisdom that it offers us which no other religion or way of life ever has or ever will is Balance. The nature of man is that he falls into extremes. The nature of man is that he is reactionary. If he sees something that he does not like then he will respond by going into extreme. He will go all the way in the opposite direction. Islam came to save us from this evil. Islam came to teach us balance and moderation. Allah (swt) has told us in verse 143 of the second chapter in the Quran how He (swt) has made us into a balanced nation. Now what does it mean for us to be a balanced nation? It means that we follow a balanced path, a middle path, a path in between the extremes. You will find that this is true for everything in our Din. In our relation to this world, in our economic system, in our ruling system, in our social system, in our foreign policy, in every aspect of this Din you will find this balance. You see it is easy to fall into the extremes on any issue. What is truly difficult is to walk the middle path. To find that precise straight line in between the extremes. This is what is challenging. And yet this is what Allah (swt) expects from us. He wants us to strive to find this middle way. As part of our slavehood and dedication to Him.

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He tells us in His blessed Book…

[25:67] And the ones who when they spend, they never commit extravagance nor are they stingy but they are always constant in between these. In this beautiful verse our Master describes for us His dedicated slaves. Those who serve Him diligently. Those who always try to please Him and whom He is pleased with. He describes how they spend their money. He describes how they consume of this world. He describes their relationship to this world. You see when it comes to spending and consuming, in this world there are two kinds of people. Those who are extremely extravagant and lavish and those who niggardly and miserly. The former of these groups loves to spend. They spend for what they need and what they do not need. They spend just for the sake of spending. They get pleasure out of spending. Life for them is nothing but the consuming of the material things. All that they think about is what can they buy next. Their money is too heavy for them, if they have money then they have to spend it. They even buy those things which they do not need at all. Just for show. Just for their arrogance and pride. Just for the sake of buying. They think that all there is to life is consuming, all there is to life is gorging themselves. Brainwashed by the constant marketing.

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The later of these groups on the other hand hates to spend. They refuse to spend even when they need to. This group loves to hoard money. For them to part with even a penny is painful for them. They always look for ways of getting around spending. They always look for ways of getting by with what they have. No matter how much money they have stored away it is never enough for them. They are always afraid of poverty. So they cling tightly to every last penny that they have. They will spend only when they absolutely need to. Hoarding is an obsession for them. But the true slaves of Allah (swt). The ones whom He describes in this verse. They do not fall into either of these groups. They are neither extravagant nor are they niggardly. They do not spend for no reason and at the same time they do not hold themselves back from spending when they need to. Rather they are between these two extremes. They walk a middle path. A balanced path. Look at how beautifully Allah (swt) describes their station in this verse. He says that “they are always constant in between these”. So not only do they walk this middle path but they always walk it. They are constant upon this path. Meaning that they are careful not to fall into either extremes. They are always checking themselves. They are always evaluating themselves and their behavior. They are always asking themselves if they have left the middle path. Am I spending too much? Am I falling into luxury and

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extravagance? Do I really need this thing that I am planning on buying? Or else am I becoming too stingy? Am I preventing myself from spending even when I have a genuine need to? These are questions that the slaves of Allah (swt) are always asking themselves. They ask themselves these questions because they know that even their spending is part of their slavehood to Him. Even their shopping habits are part of their worship. They do not buy only to satisfy themselves or to fulfill their needs. No, rather even in their buying and selling they hope to please Him. They hope to draw closer to Him. So they always strive to achieve this balance. They always strive to walk this middle path. For His sake. Now how beautiful a life is this? How beautiful would it be if we could all be this way? The two extremes which our Lord speaks of in this verse, the two extremes which He condemns are both very real. There are many people today who fall into either of them. And both of these groups live lives of misery. Both of them are a detriment to the society. Luxury and extravagance, affluence and materialism are real problems in the world today. There are many people in the world today who simply consume more than what they need. They buy more than what they need. They eat more than their bodies need. They just eat for the sake of eating. Only for the pleasure. This is all that they think there is to life. It is not only the wealthy who are guilty of this crime. Even the middle class today, even the poor today, fall

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into this trap. But extravagance in Islam is a sin. Now what exactly is extravagance? How does the Divine Law define it? Firstly we should realize that if you spend even a penny on what is forbidden then it is extravagance. Any spending on that which is haram is extravagance. So if you spend only a dollar to buy a lotto ticket then that dollar was still spent in extravagance. That dollar was still spent in a way not pleasing to Allah (swt). However this is not the extent of the Shariah definition of extravagance. If you spend on more than what you need, something that is superfluous, something that is wasteful, something that is only for show or pride, then this also can be considered as extravagance. For example those people who buy giant SUVs even though they never plan to take their vehicle off road. They wasted money when they purchased their vehicle and they waste money every time that they fill it with gas. They do not care how much of this planet’s precious resources that they are wasting. They do not care how much pollution these vehicles are causing. They only care for themselves. They only care for satisfying their egos. They want to drive a vehicle where they can be high up. Where they can look down on others. Once again see how their thinking is only focused on what makes them feel good. They think that all there is to life is pleasing themselves. They do not care about wastage. They do not care about pollution. They do not care about the earth. They do not care about the future.

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There are so many other examples of wastefulness that we can see in the world today. Especially in the West. People have just become so attached to their pleasures and to the material things. That this is all that they can think of. This is what defines their existence. So the only way in which they can be happy. The only way in which they can find fulfillment is if they consume more and more. They live just for this consumer culture. They live only so that they can make money so that they can buy more things. This is all that there is to life. They are addicted to shopping. Addicted to this consumer lifestyle. Many of them cannot not even wait until they have money. Rather they borrow and they go into debt. They take out loans and they use credit cards. They take second and third mortgages on their homes. Just so that they can spend, just so that they can buy, just so that they can consume. It is quiet disgusting and pathetic. They keep on borrowing and buying until they fall further and further into debt. Soon they are working, they are struggling and toiling, not for anything tangible, but rather only to pay off the interests on their loans. But of course they never can. They just keep on buying, keep on consuming, and keep on borrowing. All the while the interest on their loans becomes compounded and they fall further and further into debt. Yet they do not stop. They keep on buying and spending and consuming, hoping that through this they find contentment in life.

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But of course they do not. Rather this lifestyle only leaves them feeling empty. It only puts them further into debt. It only sends them further into that abyss of misery and hopelessness from which so many of them do not return. As one modern economist said “”Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction and our ego satisfaction in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever-increasing rate”. This is how most people are in the West. This is thinking that comes from their viewpoint towards life. A viewpoint where Allah (swt) is forgotten. A viewpoint that tells them that they are nothing but animals. And what do they see animals always doing. Of course it is just eating, sleeping, and having sex. So this is what they think is the meaning of life. This thinking is what defines their culture. And this is the kind of culture that the West wants to promote around the globe. Even in Muslim lands. That is why they are sending their armies. That is why they are occupying our lands. So that they could make us to leave Islam for this life of decadence and gluttony. They call it freedom but it is enslavement. Enslavement to the passions and the ego. Enslavement to the material things of this world. Enslavement to everything other than Him. How can this be when we were created only for Him?

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Not only are the people in misery living such a lifestyle but just think how much is wasted. How much is wasted to satisfy their appetites? How much money? How many resources? How much in people’s time and efforts. How much even in waste management? Why could they not be content with what their Lord has provided for them? Why do they have to keep desiring more? How much do they spend on these unnecessary luxuries? They spend only to show off, only to satiate their egos, not for any genuine need. Would it not be much better for everyone if they put that money to some good use? If they spent it on the poor. If they spent it on supporting and building their communities. If they spent it on something constructive, something which will be of benefit to others. Now that would be something pleasing to Allah (swt). That would be something that would draw them closer to Him. But they have become so distant from Him that they have forgotten Him. To the point where they no longer even desire Him. So they gorge themselves on this world. Destroying themselves and this earth in the process. This is the sad state of affairs for many people in the world today. You yourself may know such people. You yourself may not be too far from this description. If you are then do not despair. The cure for this disease is this beautiful religion that our Creator has sent to us. If only we would remember the true purpose for our lives. If only we would remember how He is far More Glorious

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and Pure than anything of this world. If only we would drown ourselves in Him instead of in this world. Then we would be free of these shackles. We would see that there is more to life than this material world. We would see that there is He. Once we taste of His Purity. Once we witness His Majesty. Once we realize Him. Then we would see how all that matters in life is He. This is the cure for consumerism and extravagance. This is the cure for our pain. We are trying to fill our souls with this world when our souls were created only for Him. So only He can satiate them. On the other extreme are those who are niggardly and stingy. These are people who refuse to spend even when they have a genuine reason to. Such people also exist in the world today and they too are a problem for our society. They are a drain on the economy because their keep their money locked up in their vaults. Thus their money does not help to strengthen the economy. It does not support the businesses within the economy. Most of the people who are of this nature are not genuinely poor rather they fear poverty. Just like the former group these too are a people who are madly in love with this world. They love this world so much that they do not ever want to be in a situation where they would be denied it. They do not ever want to be poor. So even though they have a lot they just do not spend it. Rather they keep it for themselves. Thus no good at all comes from this money.

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It just increases the coffers of these misers. So the masses do not in any way benefit from it. The economy does not in any way benefit from it. The society does not benefit from it. It just sits in a vault and gathers dust. So much good is just kept away. The manifestation of the unfounded fear of a slave of this world. Islam is the cure for this wretched disease as well. Our Lord show us in this Din how He is the True Provider. Everything that we have of this world. Everything that we consume of this world is only what He has given us. It is what He has provided for us. Our sustenance does not come from our hands. It does not come from our money. Rather He is the Source of it, He is our Provider. Once we realize this fact then we no longer need to live in fear of poverty. We no longer need to fear for our sustenance of tomorrow. We can be certain that He will provide for us. He will provide for us and for our families. Because we know that He loves us and we know that if we remain true to Him then He will never forsake us. Such a belief can kill the miser within all of us. It can cure us of all anxieties and fears that we may have concerning our finances and provisions. Our hearts would be at peace. We would know that our Lord is there to take care of us. We would know that He is there to look after us and to keep us safe. As we learned previously our task in this world is to worship Him. Our task in this world is to live a life of servitude to Him. If we commit ourselves to this task then should we not

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believe that He will provide for us what we need in order to complete this task?\If a slave does everything for his master then would not that master take care of that slave? When we have this certainty that Allah (swt) is going to provide for us then we would spend. Not only would we spend on ourselves and on our families, but we would also spend on helping on others. We would help the poor and the needy, we would support good causes. We would not spend on extravagance, we would not spend just to please our egos, rather we would spend on those things which we know are pleasing to our Lord. Because remember that even our spending is part of our worship to Him. We do not need to cling to every penny because we know that penny is not our provider. It is only a means, but the true Provider, the true Sustainer for all creation is only Allah (swt). Everything comes only from Him. From the food that we eat, to the water that we drink, to the houses in which we live, to the transportation that carries us, to the various tools that we use, to the resources that we consume, to the very air that we breathe. All of it is only what He chose to give us. When we have certainty in this fact then we should not fear poverty because of our spending, and we should also not neglect our duties to Him for the sake of this world. We should not neglect the prayer, we should not even neglect the dawah, because we are too busy chasing this world. We have to believe He will provide for us if we remain true.

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This is one way in which Islam discourages stinginess and the hoarding of wealth. Another way it does so is that it even makes it a sin to hoard large amounts of wealth. Allah (swt) says…

[9:34] O you who believe, surely many of the priests and the monks would eat the wealth of the people without right and they would divert from the Way of Allah, and for those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah give them the news of a painful torment. In this verse Allah (swt) tells the believers how some of the Christian priests and Jewish Rabbis of those days would hoard the people’s wealth for themselves. They would take money from the people as charity and instead of using this money for a good cause they would keep it for themselves. They would hoard it in their coffers. Thus the people are deprived. The people remain in poverty. And all that money would just sit in the basement of the church. These priests were supposed to spend that money in the Way of Allah. Meaning to help the poor and to support the needy.

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But they would keep it for themselves. Allah (swt) shows us in this verse what a great sin that it was. And then He says that anyone who does what they did, anyone who hoards large sums of money in such a way without spending it would also be sinning. They should all be given the news of a painful punishment. Meaning that in the Hereafter a great torment awaits them for hoarding the wealth for themselves and denying it from the people. So you see how Islam kills this disease of miserliness. It prevents the situation of a few rich men hoarding up all the money for themselves and not spending it while all the people live in poverty. How many times has this tragic reality happened throughout our history? And it continues to happen today. When the people forget Allah (swt). When they fall in love with the material things. When they think that their very worth as a human being is defined by how much they have. This is what results. On the one hand the wealth just sits and does not benefit anyone and on the other hand the masses are exploited and poverty stricken. Many of them are denied work because there is no capital to invest. And even those who have work are not paid enough for their labor. This is the result of hoarding. Islam came to save us from this disease. Not only is it a sin to hoard but the Islamic Economic System also has means in place to prevent this hoarding. It facilitates the equal distribution of wealth among the people. Insha Allah we will discuss this in later chapters.

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Allah (swt) also teaches us balance in the very lifestyles that we live. You will find that in Islam there is the correct balance between the extremes of asceticism and hedonism. Both of these are extremes. Both of these displeasing to Allah (swt). Asceticism says that you should renounce the world completely. It says that you should not desire anything of this world. It says that desire leads to despair and so to end despair you must end desire. It says that this is the key to contentment and peace. The Buddhist monks are an example of those who live such a lifestyle. They give up all the pleasures of this world. They do not even sleep on beds, rather they sleep on the cold floor. They eat only a little, and only the most bland and simplest of foods. Just enough to survive. They do not have companionship, they do not marry, they do not have any children, and they do not have any kind of sexual relationships. They do not do anything for pleasure, on the contrary they go out of their way to avoid pleasure. They say that such a life brings them happiness. They say that such a life bring them peace. But of course it does not. Because they are denying their nature. They are denying who they are. How can they suppress these needs within themselves and still hope to be content? How can they deny who they are? That is why you will find that many of them were not able to be true to their principles. Many of them were not able to live such a life even after they had committed to it. They either left it completely or

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they betrayed it. Meaning that they cheated. They did something which went against their principles. Of course their reason for doing so was to satisfy these urges within themselves. A good example of this is all those priests who started molesting choir boys. They could not have women so they decided to satisfy their urges with these boys. Does this alone not show how such is not the correct lifestyle? Does this alone not show how we as human beings were not meant to live in such a way? Another extreme, and one that is far more common in our time, is hedonism. This is the opposite of asceticism. This way of life says that it is all about your pleasures and your desires. All that matters in life is satisfying your desires. Life is naught but an endless quest for the satiation of one’s carnal pleasures. The people who follow this way of life do not care what they have to do, they do not care even if they have to hurt others or hurt their own bodies. All that they care about is feeling good. All that they care about is getting that high and maintaining it. They think that this will give them contentment. They think that this is all that there is to life. But of course they are wrong. And they are in just as much misery as the former group if not more so. Just look at the lives of those who choose to live in this way. Ask any of them if they are truly happy. Ask them if they have that peace and contentment in their hearts. They do not even know what peace is because their hearts are always on fire. Fire from their yearning for

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their pleasures. Most of the time they are searching for that high, they are longing for it. And even in those few moments when they are given it, they are in misery because they know that it is going to end soon. They know that it is so fleeting. Such is the nature of this world. Allah (swt) did not create this world for us to find true contentment in it. To find true satisfaction in it. Those who may seek it will always be disappointed. They will always be in this fire of desire. And in this fire they burn. That is why so many of them are addicted to drugs and alcohol. That is why so many of them commit suicide. Those who are saved are only those who finally realize that such is not the correct way to live. So they abandon this way. They know that it is wrong. What then should be our relationship to this world? Should we abandon and forsake it completely like the ascetics have done? Or should we drown ourselves in it completely and seek nothing but it like the heathens have done? Neither. Allah (swt) teaches us in this Din that both of these extremes are wrong and so both of these need to avoided. Rather the correct path is the one which is in between these two. The correct path is that of balance and moderation. There is nothing wrong with consuming of this world. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the pleasures of this world. But the key is that we must do so only as part of our slavehood to Him. The Prophet (saw) has told us that the grateful eater is rewarded like the patient faster. What does this

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hadith mean? It means that we are rewarded even when we consume of this world as long as we do so with gratitude. First and foremost we must acknowledge in our hearts that it was Allah (swt) Who provided us with this provision. Then we have to express our gratitude to Him for giving this to us. Now our gratitude is not only through our words but more so it is through our actions. It is by increasing in our slavehood to Him. It is by increasing in our remembrance of Him. This is the mindset that we must have whenever we consume of this world. We have to realize that it was Allah (swt) Alone Who has given us this provision, be it food or drink or clothes or material goods or transportation or comforts or whatever it may be. Anything of this world that we use. Anything of this world that we derive benefit from. We have to realize that it was He Alone Who gave it to us. We had no part in procuring it. Then we have to ask ourselves what have we done for Him to show our gratitude for this bounty? Of course none of us cannot do nearly enough. We can never truly repay Allah (swt) for all that He has done for us. However this should not lead us to despair. Rather it should make us to increase in our striving. We should strive to please Him even more. We should strive to serve Him even more. Just in a sincere attempt to try and show our gratitude. Even though we can never thank Him as He truly deserves to be, we can still try. If we can at least do this it would still be much better than nothing.

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When we have such a mindset then the more that we consume of this world the closer to Him that we become. The more of this world that we consume the more gratitude that we will show. Just think about it. For every sip of cool water or hot coffee. For every morsel of delicious food. For every soft bed. For every comfortable couch. For the touch of your spouse. For the sight of your children. You should always remember that it was He Alone Who gave you all these things. Anything that makes your life happier, easier and more pleasant. Enjoying these things should not make you arrogant. It should not make you forget about Allah (swt). No on the contrary it should bring you closer to Him. If only at the moment when you receive that bounty you would remember how it has come to you only from Him. Just this realization. Just expressing your gratitude in your heart, and on your tongue and through your actions. This is what can save you from being drowned in materialism. What can save you from heedlessness. What can save you from arrogance and thinking yourself the best because of what you have been given. When we consume of this world as part of our slavehood to Him then this will also motivate us not to be extravagant or wasteful in our consumption. We realize that it is not merely about satisfying ourselves. It is not merely about feeling good. It is not merely about taking in more and more to satisfy our desires and egos. Rather we realize that even our eating, even our

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drinking, even our consuming of this world is part of our slavehood to Him. So we realize how there is more to this life than just consuming. There is more to this life than just making ourselves feel good. Rather the true purpose of our life is not to chase after this world. Rather the true purpose of life is Him. If we seek Him through everything that we do then this slavehood alone will give us contentment and fulfillment. More than the transient pleasures of this world ever could. More than anything of this world ever could. So we will not keep consuming only for pleasure, rather we would be balanced and moderate in our consumption. We will take only what we need. We may even indulge in some pleasures. But at the same time we realize this will not be all that there is to life. Rather life is about seeking Him and pleasing Him. And we also realize that the greatest pleasure, the supreme ecstasy comes only from knowing Him and being close to Him. So then He and not this world becomes the center of our existence. Whenever we consume of this world we remember Him because of it. We remember how it is He Who gave us that bounty of this world. We realize it is a manifestation of His love for us. Once we realize how much He loves us then we love Him even more. We yearn for Him even more. We seek to please Him even more by increasing in the good that we do. And this will draw us even closer to Him. And this will make us even more content. How beautiful it is?

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You will also find balance in how Islam views the relationship between man and woman. Allah (swt) does not want us to believe that love, or even sex for that matter, is something evil or something vulgar or something to be ashamed of. But He has taught us how it has its time and place. It is something blessed, it is something pure, as long as it is between a husband and wife. When the couple comes together in marriage, when they approach each other in the bedroom, then even this is part of their slavehood to Him. Because they are not doing so only to satisfy their urges. Although they do take pleasure from each other, and they are grateful to their Lord for this pleasure, it is not the primary purpose of their coming together. Rather they come together in order that they may have children. In order that they may raise a righteous family. One that will remember Allah (swt). One that will glorify Him and worship Him. One that will support His cause upon the earth. This is the primary purpose of their relationship. So although they enjoy each other, they realize that there is much more to life than the carnal desires. See then how even in the way we view sex there is balance. We do not think it to be evil and shun it completely like the Buddhist monks and Catholic priests and nuns do, and at the same time we do not live for it and do it in whatever way that suits our lusts like the heathens do. It has its time and place, and it is also part of our worship. So it is also a means to come closer to Him.

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Much more can be said on how Islam helps us to achieve balance. Some of which we have touched on already, some of which we will touch on Insha Allah in later chapters and some of which are beyond the scope of our book. In so many ways has this Din taught us how to achieve balance. In so many ways has it taught us how to achieve fulfillment and peace. Now do you think that such a beautiful way of life, a life that brings such harmony and balance, could have come from the mind of a human being? Could a human being living in the deserts of Arabia 1500 years have single handed come up with such a way of life? Of course not. How could it be that one man could know human beings so well? How could he know human behavior and human needs so well? How could he know how to help us achieve balance in every aspect of our lives? How could he 1500 years ago have come up with a system that brings such tranquility and completeness? If we compare the modern secular society of today with the Divine Kingdom then we see that there is no comparison. The Divine Kingdom is better in every way. Some of these ways we have shown you already, some more we will show in later chapters Insha Allah, but many more which we have not even touched upon. Could this Din then possibly be from a man? A Din which is superior in every way to the most modern and advanced of societies that humans could ever come up with.

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Chapter 7: Reason and Science in the Divine Kingdom
One of the main contentions that has been made against religion is that hinders science and progress. Is that it restricts the role of the mind. Is that it prevents thinking and reasoning. For this very reason many people especially today are against religion. For this very reason such people would like to do away with religion altogether. But is this bias true for all religions? Do all religions hinder science and technology? Do all religions restrict thinking and reasoning? Or is it just some religions? Of course it is just some of them. But the problem is that based upon these few religions people are then making a generalization against all religions.Insha Allah we will show in this chapter how Islam has never been guilty of this crime. Islam has never hindered science and technological innovation. On the contrary it has encouraged it and supported it. Islam has also never restricted reasoning and thinking. On the contrary our very beliefs are established upon the rational process. This is radically different from most other religions of the world. Especially Judaism and Christianity. These are the religions that have been guilty of this crime. These are the religions that have hindered science and caged the mind. So do not paint them all with the same brush in your ignorance.

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They are not the same. In the West science and religion have always been adversaries. It has always been believed in the West that reason and faith are not one and the same. Faith has always been though of as believing in something that you cannot sense. Something that your mind cannot arrive at by an empirical and rational study. Something that must be believed in and not questioned. This is the way of thinking that the Church has always preached. The way of thinking that the Church has always enforced. And how could it teach anything but this? We know how nonsensical and ludicrous their beliefs are. To believe that God is one yet at the same time He is three. To believe that He can become corporeal, and have flesh and bones, and feel pain. To believe that He can make mistakes. To believe that He forgets. To believe that He is limited in His Knowledge and Power. To believe that He is limited by time and space. How could such a description be fitting for the Creator and Sustainer of this vast and magnificent universe? Could any sane person believe that the One Who originated this marvelous universe, with all its intricate systems and varied creations, could possibly be that being who is described as “God” in the Judeo Christian books? Of course not, it is sheer lunacy. That is why the rabbis and the priests have always told the people to believe based purely on blind faith. To not question at all. To just accept without understanding in any way.

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This is the kind of thinking that took Europe into the dark ages. Even though science, and learning, and free thinking had flourished during the time of the Greeks and Romans, it all went away when Christianity descended upon the continent. After this thinking was discouraged, science was discouraged, research and innovations were discouraged. Because it was feared that if people were allowed to think freely then they would discover how ludicrous and how false are the teachings of the Bible. A good example of this was Galileo. He was the first one in Christian Europe to come forward with the idea that the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around. For this belief he was persecuted and condemned by the Church. Because it contradicts clearly what is found in Christian scripture. In the Bible it says clearly that the earth is the center of the universe and that all the planetary bodies revolve around it. This was why the Church discouraged reason and contemplation. Because they thought that if the people were allowed to think freely then it would damage their faith. It would lead them away from the religion. And then the Church would lose power over them. The Church would no longer be able to exploit them and control them. So the people were told that science was evil and that free thinking was evil. They were told that these were tools of the devil by which he leads would lead them astray. This sad state of affairs continued for centuries.

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It was only after the crusades. It was only after knowledge was brought back to Europe from Muslim lands that things started to change. After they had got this knowledge from the Muslims, after they had lost so many battles to the Muslims, after they had seen how progressed the Muslims were, that was when they finally realized how far the Church had lead them astray. They finally saw how wrong were the doctrines that they were made to follow. So they began to reject the teachings of the Church. They began to ponder and reason. With this began the scientific revolution. With this began the Renaissance. Only after this did Europe began to progress scientifically and technologically. Only after this did they begin to climb the ladder of material progress through which with the permission of Allah (swt) they arrived at where they are today. So they got to where they are today by rejected the Church, by rejecting religion. And many of them today still have a biased towards all religions because they believe that all religions will hinder science and progress. But is this a sound reasoning on their part or are they making an unfounded generalization? Insha Allah it is our intention in this chapter to show how it is the latter. It is our intention in this chapter to show how Islam is not an enemy to science. To show how Islam is not an enemy to reason. The very fact that the Renaissance began only as a result of the teachings that were taken back from Muslim lands should be evidence enough of this.

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The very fact that Muslims were progressed and that we made several technological advancements and scientific discoveries while Europe was in the dark ages should be evidence enough of this. But Insha Allah we will show you from a more fundamental level. We will show Islam teaches us to think and reason. Allah (swt) says…

[3:190] Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of night and day there are Signs for a people who reflect.

[3:191] The ones who remember Allah while standing and sitting and lying down, and they contemplate deeply upon the creation of the heavens and the earth “Our Lord You have not created all this in vain, Perfect and Purified are you, so save us from the torment of the fire”. What is the path to belief in Islam? How do we arrive at conviction in Allah (swt) and in this Message that He has sent? Is it based purely on blind faith like the other religions? Are we supposed to just believe and not question? Are we forbidden from using our minds?

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Are we forbidden from contemplating and reflecting? Are we just supposed to believe without knowing why we believe? All that we hold to be true is based on what we perceive, should then the greatest and most important of our beliefs be any different? In these two beautiful verses Allah (swt) answers these questions for us. He shows us what the path to belief in Islam is. He shows how we can arrive at the conviction of His Existence and His Oneness. He shows us how this is not a religion of blind following. He shows us how this is not a religion of believing without understanding. Rather our very faith itself comes out from rational thought and contemplation. Allah (swt) begins the first of these verses by stressing with the utmost emphasis and certainty that there are Signs. There are Signs in the creation of the heavens and the earth. But what are these Signs are for? Of course these Signs are for Him. When something is obvious then it is not explicitly stated. Such is among the beauties of the Quran. Allah (swt) tells us so much in it with so few words. So He tells us here how in the creation of the heavens and the earth there are Signs for Him. Now obviously the question to ask is where are these Signs? How exactly is the creation of the universe and all that is in it a Sign for the Divine? How can we arrive at certainty and conviction in His Existence and in His Perfection and Oneness by looking and reflecting on the universe around us?

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We know all that we know through our senses. From what we observe of the world around us. Can it not be the case then that we can know Him as well through our senses? Can we not discover Him through our senses? Of course we can, and this is what He tells us in this verse. If only we would look for His Signs then through His Signs we can know Him. Now He does not tell us here of any one specific thing being a Sign for Him, rather He says that the universe itself is a Sign. Specifically He says that the creation of the universe is a Sign. And this is something that we can all see. Each of us can see how the creation of this universe is a Sign for Him. How is this? It is by realizing how this universe must have been created and then by realizing its Creator. If we look at any single thing in this universe then we can see how that thing is a creation. What we have to realize first is that in the end a thing can only be two things. It is either the Creator or it is a creation. Every single thing we can put to this test. It is the either the Creator or it is a creation. We can also realize how there are certain attributes that the Creator must have and there are certain attributes that the creation must have. The Creator by definition cannot have any limits and cannot be controlled, while the creation does have limits and is always being controlled. Now if we study the universe around us then we can see how everything that we can perceive has the attributes of the creation and not of the Creator. Every single thing.

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Everything that we can see is in some way limited. Limited for the time in which it exists. Limited in the space in which it occupies. Limited in what it can do. Everything has such limitations, including ourselves. For example we can walk but we cannot fly. We live only for a certain period of time. Our bodies take up only a certain amount of space. Even in what we can do we have limits. We can only walk so far, we can only write so much, we can only read a certain amount in a given set of time. For example you would probably like to read this entire book in a second and still retain all that I have said in it. But you cannot do that. You have to read word for word, sentence for sentence, page for page. Only then are you able to grasp the ideas. Such is a limitation of your mind and your senses. These are limitations that we all have. We are all limited in so many ways. More ways than we could possibly ever imagine. Now this same example can be extended for everything else in the universe. Every single thing also has similar limitations. The fish can breathe in the water but not in the land. The animal can breathe in the land but not in the water. The rock is strong but it cannot move. The bird can fly but it is fragile. And even when it comes to what they can do, all creation has limits. For example the cheetah can run fast but even it has a limit to how fast it can run. Some animals live for over 200 years but even they eventually die. So everything is bound by limits. Boundaries that it cannot cross.

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Even something so grand and seemingly powerful as the sun has such limits. Among these limits are that it occupies a fixed amount of space. Among these limits is that it needs for certain chemical reactions to occur within it for it to continue to burn. And even though it emits vast amount of energy while burning, even this is only up to a certain limit. The heat of the sun, even though it is so much, only reaches so far. The power of the sun even though it is so much is still limited. That is why all of the planets further away from the earth are too cold to support life. Even on the earth in some places you would see the sun shining so brightly in the sky but the temperatures would be below freezing. Why is this? It is because even the sun has limits. All other celestial bodies have their limits. And this universe at the end of the day is nothing but a collection of celestial bodies. Is it not the case that the sum of all limited things is itself limited? If a part is limited then should not the whole be limited as well because the whole is nothing but the aggregation of parts? From the perspective of a single drop the ocean may seem infinite, but in reality we know that it is not. The ocean is nothing but a collection of drops. The number of these drops, as large as this number may be, is still finite. It still a set amount. So too is this universe. It is nothing but the composition of matter into various forms. This matter is composed of atoms, and the total number of these atoms at the end of the day is limited.

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So now ask yourself this. Is it possible for a universe that is filled with limited matter, a universe that is itself limited, to have created itself? Is this possible? How could something that is limited be the Creator? One of the essential attributes that the Creator must have is that He must be without limits. Without limits of any kind. If something is limited then by definition that thing cannot be the Creator. And from what we can observe of the universe around us, we can clearly see that all things have the attributes of the creation. All things are limited in some way. Not only does this show us how they are created but it also shows how they must have had a Creator. A Perfect Creator Who is without limits. A Creator Who does not have the imperfections and shortcomings that are present in all creation. A Creator Who has all the attributes of Perfection. One Who is All Knowing and All Able. One Who is All Seeing and All Hearing. One Who is Transcendent beyond time and space. You can come to conviction in this Truth if only you would contemplate on His Signs. If only you would contemplate on the creation of the heavens and the earth. This is what He is telling us in this verse. He is telling us to look to the universe around us. To ponder upon its nature. To realize that it could not have come into existence on its own. No, rather every single thing shows us how it must have a Creator. Every single thing is a proof for Him. Just by realizing how all things are limited we can be certain that Allah (swt) is there.

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In the next part of the verse Allah (swt) tells us how the alternation of the night and the day is also a Sign for Him. This is a phenomenon that each and every one of us can observe every day of our lives. Every morning we see the night change into day and every evening we see the day change into night. But how exactly is this a Sign for Him you may ask? How does the constant alternation of night and day show us that indeed Allah (swt) does Exist? That He is Perfect and that He is One. It does so by showing us the systems according to which the universe operates. It shows us how this universe is not chaotic and random. Rather it operates according to systems. According to laws. At every moment it is being governed and controlled. The alternation of the night and the day is the perfect example of this control, of this governance. Just look for a moment at the alternation between night and day. Does not the day always come exactly when it is supposed to? Does not the sun always rise exactly when it is supposed to? Does not the night always come exactly when it is supposed to? Does not the sun always set exactly when it is supposed to? Has there ever been even one day when the sun decided to set during the middle of the day or come up during the middle of the night? Does this not show us that the sun is being controlled? Controlled by a Power outside of itself. At every moment it is a slave to this Power. Doing only what has been commanded of it.

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Now this same example can be extended for all the rest of creation. It is not only the sun which is always being controlled by Him. It is not only the night and day. Rather it is all creation. All of creation is subject to laws which must be abided by. All of creation are His slaves. Take yourself as an example. Your body has certain needs. If these needs are not fulfilled then you will die. If ever you are denied food or drink or air then you will die. You cannot survive without these. So they are an example of a law that has been placed upon you. Neither you nor your body is capable of going over this law. It has been forced upon you by a greater Power. You cannot decide one day to no longer eat and still live. Your need for food is a law over you. There are countless other ways in which you are being controlled. There are countless other systems which operate within you and govern you. For example your heart is always beating. It always beats a specific amount. When you are at rest it beats a specific amount and when you are excited it beats a specific amount. It never beats slower when you are excited or faster when you are calm. No rather it always follows a set pattern. So too do your lungs, so too do your kidneys, so too does every part of your body. If you look at every thing in creation you will see such systems. You will see such patterns. Showing us how this universe not only has a Creator but also a Controller. A Controller Who is Perfect in every way. The perfection of the systems shows us His Perfection.

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Just look at the change between night and day. It is so accurate. It is so precise that we set our clocks to it. We run our lives by it. If this universe was just the result of an accident. Just the result of a huge explosion as they claim. Then could such perfect systems exist. Systems like the alternation of night and day. Systems like the precipitation system which brings the rain. Systems like the changing of the seasons. Systems like the movement of the celestial bodies. Countless systems. Too many for us to enumerate in our humble book. But all of them show how the universe is always being controlled. Always being operated by a Higher Power. A Power that is outside of itself. For example if you bring wood to fire that wood will always burn. That wood cannot prevent itself from burning. No rather it will always burn. You can repeat this experiment a million times but you will always come up with the same result. This shows how the wood has a law that has been placed upon it. A law that comes from outside of itself. A law that it can never break. Similarly every single thing in the universe has such laws. In fact science itself is nothing but studying these systems and patterns. This shows that Order is what rules the universe and not chaos. Just look at anything that happens in the universe today and you will see His Hand in it. You will see how it follows a set pattern. You will see how it is being controlled by a Power that is beyond itself. That is outside of itself.

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Our problem is that we take everything for granted. We just think that that is the way it is supposed to work. As we mentioned before science can answer the question of how but it cannot answer why. All that the scientists study are these systems of the universe. All the actions, all the events that happen in the universe are just these systems are operating. They all behave according to a fixed pattern. Does this not show us how there is more to this universe than just matter? Does this not show a Power? Does this not show a great Intelligence? Something far greater than we could ever realize the extent of it? Such is He. These patterns are but His Laws. These occurrences are but His operating the universe. So just look, think, and reflect. Then you by His Permission you will discover Him. Now can you see what is the place that Islam gives for the mind? Can you see what is the place that Islam gives for reason and the intellect? This is not a religion that suppresses your mind. This is not a religion that tells you not to think and reason. On the contrary hundreds and hundreds are the verses of the Quran similar to these two which we have studied. Verses which tell us to observe the universe around us. To reason and think. Allah (swt) is telling us to reflect and contemplate on what we can see of the universe around us? Could all these have come about if He (swt) was not there? Could such marvels and wonders exist if He was not there? Could even this universe exist without a Being

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like Him to have caused it? Of course not. If you see the beauty of this universe. If you see its grandeur and its vastness then you would know that such could not exist without Him. All that you have to do is think and reason. Allah (swt) is calling you to think and reason. To realize and to live by what you know is the Truth. But many people do not do this. That is why there are still so many of us who live in complete heedlessness of Him. That is why there are so many of us who deny Him. So many of us who think that we can live without Him. Because notice in the verse how He says that these Signs are only for a people who reflect. Only for a people who reason. Only for a people of substance. Only for a people of worth. Many of us are not like this. Many of us have no time to stop and look at His Signs. We are too busy chasing after this world. We are too busy thinking about our desires and our egos. That is why there are still atheists in the world. That is why there are still antagonists in the world. That is why there are still people who do not care for Him. Their problem is not that they are not convinced of His Existence. Their problem is that they are so full of themselves. They only care for themselves. Their egos and their desires. They would rather serve themselves than serve Him. So they deny Him. They come up with excuses to deny Him. Even though the proofs are so many. Even though they cannot explain the creation of this universe, and the patterns and systems in it. They still deny Him.

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But the people whom Allah (swt) describes in these verses are not like this. The consequence of their contemplation and their reflecting is that it brings them closer to Him. As He describes them in the second verse they are the ones who remember Him all the time. They remember Him standing, sitting, and while lying down. They not only remember Him in the place of worship or when they need Him. No rather at every moment they remember Him. As a result of their remembering Him they contemplate deeply on the creation of the universe. They look at His creation and they marvel at it. They think deeply about it. They are drawn closer to Him because of it. They say “Our Lord You have not created all this in vain, Perfect and Purified are you, so save us from the torment of the fire”. They are calling out to Allah (swt). They are making dua to Him. They are telling Him how He has not created all of this in vain. They realize how there is a purpose for the creation of so vast and marvelous a universe. It is so that we would be reminded of Him through it. When we see the sunset, when we see the birds in flight, when we see all the different kinds of animals, when we see the clouds, when we see the sun and the moon, when we see the stars, when we see all of this we would realize Him. We would realize His Perfection and His Oneness. And as a result of this realization we would be drawn closer to Him. We would love Him more. We would fear Him more. We would be in awe of Him more.

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So when they look upon Allah (swt)’s creation, they glorify and praise Him as a result of it. They declare His Perfection and His Purity. They know that only a Being of utter perfection. A Being without any flaws or weaknesses whatsoever could bring about such a creation. If that being had any kind of weaknesses then that being would not be able to create such a universe. Only He can because only He is absolutely Perfect in every way. This in and of itself is one of the strongest of proofs for the Truth of this Message. Islam is the only religion which portrays the Divine in this way. As absolutely Pure and Perfect. As not having any limits or weaknesses. All other religions place some kind of restrictions upon Him. For example the Christians say that he is a man and that he feels pain. The Jews say that he can make mistakes and that his knowledge is limited. How can this be the Divine? How can this be the Creator and Controller of the universe? Islam is not like this. Rather the Quran describes Him to be as we ourselves know that He is. As a Being Who is Perfect in every way. Only such a Being could have created such a universe. Only such a Being could answer our prayers when we call out to Him. Only such a Being is worthy of being worshipped. Worthy of being submitted to. So we can see from the universe around us that there must be a Perfect Creator and Controller, and then we find Him in the Quran to be described in this way. Does this not show us how this Book is indeed from Him?

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Finally in this verse notice how as a consequence of their remembering Him. As a consequence of their glorifying Him and submitting to Him, these believers ask Allah (swt) to save them from the Fire. What is the significance of this prayer? It goes back to their declaring how He has not created this universe in vain. He has created this universe with a purpose. That purpose is so that He will be remembered in it. That purpose is so that He will be worshipped in it. That purpose is so that He will be submitted to in it. For whosever turns away from this purpose. For whosever is arrogant and rebellious. Then what do they deserve other than the Fire? If you would realize His Majesty and His Glory and His Purity then you would see how only this can be the fitting punishment for them. Yes it is a terrible place. Yes it is a place of unimaginable pain and torment. But it is only what is fitting for them for their crime. For anyone to turn away from Him when the Signs are so obvious. When the Signs are there all over the universe. When every single thing in creation just by being what it is, is a Sign for Him. For the people to turn away despite all this, then what do they deserve other than the Fire? It is not a matter of doubt, even if some of them may claim that it is so. None of them truly doubt Him. They know He is there. But they have turned away from Him. They have filled themselves with their egos and their desires. That they cannot see Him anymore. Are not such the most evil of people?

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So we see from these two verses the special place that Allah (swt) has given to the mind. The mind is not something to be suppressed. The mind is not something to be controlled. Rather it should be set free so that it can contemplate and reflect. So that it can discover Him. This is the philosophy that our Lord teaches us in these two verses and in countless other verses of His Book. So when it comes to Islam you can throw away all of your preconceived notions. You can realize that this religion is not like the others. You are only being asked to believe in Him after you yourself are convinced that He is the Truth. And we are convinced that you will be convinced if only you would look to the universe with an open mind. If only you would throw away all of your bias against religion and all of the lies that you have been fed about evolution and the big bang. The powers be today which control the school systems of the world have created a curriculum which teaches the children to deny Him. They do not want the Divine Law to return. They want to keep the power for themselves. They want the world to remain in darkness so they claim that all religions are evil. They teach the children that somehow this universe created itself. That somehow something came from nothing. They cannot explain it. Their doctrine defines all reason and logic. It is even more ludicrous than that of the Church. And yet they teach it to the children. It is also what you have been fed. If you can let it all go then you will see.

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The Signs are so obvious, the Signs are so clear, who is it that would choose not to believe? The problem with the vast majority of mankind today is that they are ignorant. The Message has not been conveyed to them properly. That is why they live in heedlessness of Him. That is why they do not return to Him. But if only they can be shown the path, if only their minds can be cleared of all misinformation. Then without a doubt those of them who are sincere will return to Him. The Systems of Islam are so complete and comprehensive yet its Message is so simple. Your Lord is One, He is the Perfect and the Pure, He has given you everything, so dedicate yourself to Him. Seek only Him. Find purpose and contentment in just trying to please Him and being near to Him. This all that there is to life. The main contention that the atheists and those like them bring is that they cannot see Allah (swt). They claim that they have to sense something directly in order to believe in it. But this argument is childish and foolish. Because countless are the things which we all believe in that we have never seen directly. For example we all believe that we had a great great grandfather even though we have never seen him. We all believe that there is a country called China even though most of us have never been there. If we ever saw footprints in the sand we are certain that someone walked there even though we never saw that person. So it is possible to gain conviction by looking at Signs.

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If we can establish this fact then it is enough to break their argument. Allah (swt) can be known through His Signs. We do not need to look upon Him directly. And if you were to think about it, we as limited beings can never hope to gaze upon Him directly. How can we with our limited senses, with eyes that are so weak, eyes that cannot even gaze directly at the sun ever hope to look upon so Glorious and Tremendous a Being? So it is actually a mercy from Allah (swt) that He has not shown Himself to us in this world. But we also believe that in the Garden He will give the believers new bodies. These bodies will not have many of the limitations of our earthly bodies, and through these we will be able to look upon Him in the Garden. We do not know how this will be but we know that it will. And we know that it will be the greatest of pleasures and joys for the believer. Just to gaze upon the Divine. Just to behold Him directly. But those who chose to deny Him in this world. Those who chose not to believe in Him despite all the Signs around them. They will be denied the Garden and they will be denied this pleasure of beholding Him. And this alone will be the greatest of torments. The illusion that they had made in this world would be broken. They would finally realize that they are not the greatest. They would finally realize Him. And then they would realize that it is too late for them. They can no longer behold Him. They can no longer be near to Him. This realization alone will be a greater pain than the Fire itself.

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Now we know that Allah (swt) Exists. We also know that He is Perfect. And that He is One. The Creator has to be Unique because if there was another like Him, if there was another who shared His attributes then He would no longer be a Creator. He would no longer be Perfect. If there were another like Him then this would be a limitation upon Him and we know that He cannot have limits. So we believe that He is One and that He is Perfect. This is how our minds would think the Creator to be and this is also how He describes Himself in the Quran. So see how they match. See how the Quran confirms what we arrived at after contemplating on the universe. This in and of itself is one of the strongest proofs for the Truthfulness of this Message. One of the strongest of proofs for this Book indeed being from Him. In this Book Allah (swt) describes Himself as the Being that is absolutely Pure. The One Who does not have any flaws or weaknesses whatsoever. Is this not how the Divine should be? Could this magnificent a universe be created and sustained by any less of a Being? By a man or a cow as others claim? Could such perfect systems like the alternation of night and day, laws which never break, be possible if He were in any way limited? Every other religion places some kind of restriction on Him. Only the Quran describes Him as being Perfect in every way. In fact we are called to worship Him because of His Perfection. Just by reflecting upon this fact alone is enough for you to realize that this Book is from Him.

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Another proof for the truthfulness of this Message is the Quran itself. In this Book Allah (swt) challenges all of mankind. He tells us that if we doubt this Quran is from Him, if we doubt the Truthfulness of its Message then we should try to produce a Quran like it. If we are not able to write a Quran like this then we should try and write at least ten chapters from it and if we are even unable to do that then at least a single chapter. The shortest chapter of the Quran is only three small verses. Who is it that cannot write three small verses, if this feat could be done? The Arabic language is still alive. Anyone can learn it and anyone can try. The challenge is open for all mankind. It has been open for the last 1500 years. And yet in all that time no one has been able to produce that one small chapter. No one has been able to compose anything which is equal to the Quran in meaning, in poetic beauty, in eloquence or in expression. Many have tried but all have failed. In fact no one has even come close. Just think about it for a moment. Islam throughout the ages has had several enemies. Even at the time of the Prophet (saw) this Din had enemies. They all wanted to destroy it. They all wanted to prevent its Light from reaching mankind. Now the best and the easiest way for them to have achieved their goal is to produce that one chapter which was asked for. Yet no one was able to do it. They tried so many other ways but they did not try this because they knew that they could not do it.

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Does this not show us that this Book is indeed from Allah (swt)? How could a single man who himself could not read or write have written a Book that for 1500 years no one has been able to match even a small portion of? Even though so many have tried. Even though it is in the same Arabic language. Even though they had all the tools and resources at their disposal. Still they could not match it. How could this be possible unless this Book was from the Divine? Not only has no one produced a Book that is of equal literary quality to the Quran but neither has anyone produced a Book which changed society like the way the Quran has done. There have been revolutions in the past but nothing has even come close to the scale of change that the Quran brought about. Onto the society into which it was revealed, the Quran brought about a political revolution, an economic revolution, a social revolution, and a cultural revolution. Nothing was the same. This Book even changed what people thought to be the very purpose of their lives. It changed completely how they lived their lives. After this nothing was the same. They did not live for themselves anymore. Rather they lived only for Him. Such that even their work, even their eating, even their time with their family, even their using the restroom was only for Him. This Book changed the people to such an extent. It has also created more willing martyrs for its cause then any other book or thought ever has.

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If we would but reflect upon these facts then we would come to the obvious conclusion that this Book has to be from Allah (swt). It is just not possible for a human being to have composed such a Book. Such a notion defies all reason. Such a notion defies all these evidences that we can see. For the Arabs who lived at the time of the Prophet (saw), they only had to hear this Quran being recited and that was enough for them to know that it could only be from the Divine. They knew that the Prophet (saw) was not capable of composing such words. They knew that no mortal was. This was because they knew the Arabic language very well. They prided themselves upon their language. They cherished it more than anything else. They composed poetry for everything and anything. They truly knew how to express themselves through their language. So when they just heard the Quran they could see how it was on a level much higher than anything they had ever heard before. It was not poetry nor was it prose. It was completely different and yet it was so beautiful and mesmerizing. They could not get enough of it. Even the worst enemies of this Book, even those who made it their mission in life to oppose it, still had to listen to it again and again. They knew that it was the Divine Speech. But even for those of us who do not have this deep comprehension of the language, even we also can arrive at the certainty of its Truthfulness Insha Allah if only we would contemplate and reflect.

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Much more can be said on how the Quran is a Miracle. Including the way in which it uses words. The choice of words in each verse is precise and with purpose. Never is a word needlessly said in repetition. Never is one word used when another word would convey the meaning better. Today if anyone tried to “improve” on the Quran by changing words or even moving words around they would not be able to. It is already at its pinnacle. It is already at the peak. This also is a Sign of its Divine Origin. Because remember that the Prophet (saw) never had the chance to go back and review his work. As soon as the Quran came out of his blessed mouth, the companions rushed to record it and memorize it. So once the word was spoken there was no taking it back. How could then he (saw) have always known the best words to use and the best way to use them? It is impossible. All human writers make mistakes. All human writers need to review their work. But not so in this case. The Quran was perfect as it came out from the blessed mouth of the Prophet (saw). In addition to the Quran there are several other proofs for the Truthfulness of this Message. Including the very life of the Prophet (saw) himself. If you study the life of this man then you would see that he must be a messenger. He (saw) must have been supported by the Divine. There is no other way to explain how he was able to accomplish what he did. There is also no way to explain his selflessness and sacrifices.

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So several are the evidences by which we may know that Allah (swt) is there and that this Message is indeed from Him. But recall in the previous chapter how we spoke about balance. We said how in everything in this religion we can find balance. Now you should realize that even in the way we use our minds we can find this balance. So although Allah (swt) does encourage us to reason and ponder, to think and contemplate, if we study the text of the Quran and Sunnah, we find that this free thinking is only in specific spheres. One such sphere in which we are encouraged to use our minds as we saw already is in arriving at our beliefs. How do we know that Allah (swt) truly exists? How do we know that He is Perfect and Pure? How do we know that this Message is from Him? Of course it is by contemplation and reflection. When we look at the universe around us, when we see the limitedness of all things within it, when we see how everything is behaving according to a set pattern, then we know that there must be a Creator and a Controller. A Being Who is Perfect in every way. Similarly we can also know that this Message is from Him through our minds. We can see how this Quran describes Him to be as we would know Him to be. We can see how no one has been able to reproduce the like of this Quran in the last 1500 years. If we commit ourselves to studying the Quran we can see the depth of its meaning and mastery of its language. If we study the life of the Prophet (saw) we can see also.

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So one area in which we can use our minds, in fact we are encouraged and required to use our minds, is in arriving at our certainty and conviction in the Truth of this Message and the Truth of His Existence. This is an area in which blind following or blind faith is not allowed. Here itself you can see how this religion is different from all others. They require you to believe blindly we require that you do not. We require that you believe only after you yourself are convinced. Another area in which we are allowed to use our minds is to learn about this earth and this universe. To learn about it so that we can make our stay in it better. Once the Prophet (saw) was asked by some farmers on what is the best way to plant some seeds. He (saw) replied to them by telling them that they know best about the affairs of this world. Meaning that agriculture is not part of the religion. Rather it is connected directly with the functioning of this earth. So this is not an area in which we need to look for specific guidance from the Din. Rather we ourselves can study how the earth operates and we can come to best method on how to plant seeds. We can do research and we can come up with innovations. Of course this is not restricted only to agriculture, but it is applicable for any field. Any field that is connected directly with the operation of this universe. Any field whose data is tangible or sensible. Meaning that we can perceive with our senses that which we are studying.

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In any such area we can study ourselves. We can do the research ourselves. We can progress and evolve. Allah (swt) encourages us to. He has told us in several other verses how He has created every single thing upon this earth for us. He has created it for us so that we can benefit from it. He has created it for us so that we can make our stay on this earth better through it. So what should prevent us from pursuing advances in science and technology? What should prevent us from coming up with various innovations that make our lives better? From airplanes to cell phones to the printing press to the internet. All of these are welcome in Islam. All of these are permissible in the Divine Law. This world has been subjected to us so we may take from it as we please. We can study the systems that operate on this earth. We can use the tools and the resources of this earth to make our life on this planet better. All of these are permissible uses of the mind in our Din. Not only is it permissible but it is encouraged. There is a narration of once where the Prophet (saw) sent his companions to Yemen only to learn from its people, who were non Muslims at that time, what was the best way in which to make swords. This shows us that the physical sciences and technology are not part of religion. So we are free to pursue them as we pleased. We should learn as much as we can about this universe and how it operates in order to serve the Din and also to make our lives better. He wants us to be happy in this world as well.

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So realize dear reader that your fears are unfounded. Islam is not the enemy to science that Christianity once was. We as Muslims never had a Dark Ages. Rather out Enlightenment began when we implemented Islam in full. When we followed the teachings of Islam in full. We were once the pioneers and the leaders in science, technology and medicine. While Europe was in the Dark Ages we were in the Light. Our cities at that time were the most advanced in their infrastructure. Our medicine was second to none. Our scientists came up with discoveries and innovations that no one else ever had. Europe only began to get back on track after they learned from us. It is only when we left our Din that we began to backslide. It is only when we left this guidance that we became part of the Third World. This is the fault of some misguided Muslims and not of Islam. This Din has always taught us to use our minds to the utmost of their potential. To strive to be the best even in affairs of this world. We make no distinction between secular and sacred. Rather we strive in all areas to please our Lord. If only we as Muslims would return to implementing this Din in full. If only we would think and reason again as our Lord has commanded us to. Then Insha Allah we ourselves would see. Then the world would see how this is the Din of Light. This is the Din that came to give mankind a better life both in this world and in the next.

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So these are two areas in which we could use our minds. We can use our minds to contemplate on the creation and arrive at the certainty of Allah (swt)’s Existence, and we can use our minds to reflect on this Book and this Din and realize that it could only be from Him. We can also use our minds to learn about the universe around us, and then to make our stay here better through science and technology. The purpose of our research should not just be to satisfy our curiosity or to make a profit. Rather it must be for the betterment of all mankind. If this is our intention then there is nothing wrong with thinking and reasoning. But as we previously mentioned our Din is all about balance. So even in how we use our minds we have to maintain a balance. First when it comes to Allah (swt) Himself. We know that He Exists from the Signs in the universe around us. We also know that He is Perfect and that He is One. But can we know anything else about Him besides this based only upon our observation and contemplation? Can we know anymore about His Essence? Can we know about His attributes? No we cannot, how can we ever know for certain about what we have not sensed? How can we have any knowledge of what lies in the Unseen? We cannot. Our knowledge of His Existence is based on what we have sensed. We can see from how all things are limited that there must be a Creator Who is Unlimited. A Creator Who is Perfect in every way. This is what we can know about Him based on the Signs in this

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universe. But there is nothing in the universe which tells us any more about Him. This is why we need Him to tell us about Himself. We need Him to describe Himself to us. He is not how many have imagined Him to be. Rather He is as how He has described Himself in the Quran and Sunnah. He Knows Himself much better than we possibly can. So we need Him to give us the knowledge which our minds cannot reach, which our sense cannot perceive. This same rule applies for all matters of the Unseen realm. When it comes to how the angels look like, how Paradise will be and how Hell will be, when it comes to the terrors that will be unleashed on the Last Day. All of this we can never imagine, we can never know. Rather we need Him to tell us. And once He tells us then we have to believe in what He says even if it is a reality that we have not physically sensed. We can never dismiss what He tells us only because we ourselves have not directly sensed what He speaks of. For example there were some in the past who denied that angels exist. Even though they claimed to be Muslims they refused to believe in the angels. Why? Because they had never seen them. But these people need to be reminded how limited our senses are. They need to be reminded how there is more to the universe than what we can directly sense. There is an unseen realm. Part of our submission to Allah (swt) is that we believe in it even though we have not seen it. We believe in it because its source is authentic and verified.

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Another area in which we are not permitted to use our minds is in questioning the Divine Law. We can know of the Existence of Allah (swt) through our minds, we can know that this Message is from Him through our minds. Bt once we know of Him, once we have accepted His Message, once we have submitted to Him, then we cannot question anything that He tells us to do. We cannot rationalize or reason any of His laws and decrees. We cannot question why He has commanded us to pray five times a day. We cannot question why sisters have to cover. We cannot question why brothers must keep a beard. We cannot question why pork or alcohol is forbidden. We cannot look for reasons or justifications for these laws. Rather we must just submit. We must still follow these laws even if do not see a wisdom in them. We must still follow them even if we do not see a benefit in them for us. Because it is all about submission. We follow these laws not for our sake but for His. To please Him. To make manifest our love for Him. Through our following of these laws we are showing Him how we love Him more than ourselves. How we are willing to sacrifice for Him. We do not need any reason for doing what He tells us to do. Rather we do it only from our love for Him. We would do what He commands even if it is so difficult. The ultimate example of this was when Ibrahim (as) was told to sacrifice his own beloved son. Did he question or ask for a justification? Or was his response just I hear and I obey.

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The situation of the Muslim Ummah today has become so bad that we have actually reversed these two. Meaning that when it comes to our belief we follow blindly. We do not contemplate and reflect. Rather we believe just because we are told to believe. The consequence of this is that for many of us this is not even a real belief. We may say with our tongues that we are Muslim but this belief does not penetrate into our hearts. Deep in our hearts many of us have doubts. Is Muhammad (saw) really the Messenger of Allah (swt)? Does Allah (swt) even exist? Perhaps all there is to the universe is just matter. Perhaps we really did come from monkeys. These are questions that many Muslims ask themselves these days. Especially our youth. Our youth who have grown up in the West. Our youth who have been forced to get a secular education. The proofs for Islam have been given shown to them at an intellectual level. Whereas the “proofs” for falsehood have, so what then can you expect? That is why it is not surprising to see many youth who have left Islam completely. Many who have completely integrated themselves and assimilated themselves into this secular atheist culture. The blame for this should go first and foremost for us. We as their parents and guardians neglected them. We were so busy chasing after this world that we did not give them a proper upbringing. We did not teach them about their Din. We did not show them how this Message really is True. How He really is True.

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So we do not think when it comes to our beliefs. But when it comes to the laws of Islam, that is when many of us start to use our minds. We try to rationalize and justify the laws. We try to look for the wisdoms and purposes for the laws. We tell ourselves that if we can find that wisdom or that reason then that is why would follow the law. When we do this we miss the whole point. Remember that it is never about us, rather it is always about Him. We should not seek anything from the following of these laws but His Pleasure. In every single thing that we do. In every moment of our lives that we spend. If we can know that we have pleased Him in that moment then this alone should be enough for us. We do not need anything else. Sadly many Muslims have forgotten this fact as well. We have forgotten how the very purpose of our lives is slavehood to Him. Rather we think that we are on this earth to serve ourselves. We think that our religion is just a few rituals and a few morals. A very limited sphere of our hearts and our existence. So we do not want to do anything unless we can see a benefit in it for us. And if any of Allah (swt)’s laws are too difficult for us or if they do not yield any tangible benefit then we leave them completely. We justify for ourselves a reason not to follow these laws. In essence we have given ourselves a reason to rebel against the Divine. We think that we know more than Him. We think we know what is best for us more than He does.

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So we have to save ourselves from this mentality. We have to save ourselves from questioning. We should learn to submit. This also is part of our slavehood to Him. We have to always remember that He Knows what is best for us more than we ever can. So we should follow His laws even if we do not see a benefit in them for us. In fact we should follow His laws regardless of the benefit. We should follow His laws only to please Him. If this seems difficult for you then do not think of the law itself, do not think of the action itself. Rather think about Him. Think how pleased He will be with you when He Sees you abiding by His commandments. When He Sees you wearing the proper Hijab my sister. When He Sees you taking time from your work to pray my brother. Just think about Him. Just think how great it is to have the Pleasure of so Magnificent a Being. Insha Allah this is what will give you the motivation to submit. Some people may bring up the issue of Ijithad. They would ask if this is not using the mind in the area of Divine Law? Yes it is, but it is only in a specific area.

Ijithad is the process by which the Islamic scholar tries
to find the ruling for a particular situation. He is not justifying the law or reasoning the law but he is just trying to find the appropriate law for a given instance. This then is the only area where we are allowed to use our minds when it comes to the Divine Law. Only in finding its application for a given context. But once the ruling has been found we should always submit.

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And just as we should not question His Laws, we should also not question His Decrees. We should learn to make ourselves content with whatever He decrees for us and whatever He decrees for others. We should strive to make ourselves content. This striving also is part of our slavehood to Him. Whether times are good or they are bad we should be content. We should be content for His sake. We should be patient for His sake with whatever hardships that we find in our lives, and we should be thankful to Him for whatever good. So for any situation that you find yourself in realize that it was from Him, and make yourself content with it for His sake. For example if it is raining outside today remember that He brought that rain. If you find some pain or discomfort in your body then remember that He created that. If there is someone who annoys your or makes you upset then remember that He created that person and sent Him to you. In order to test you. In order to see if you would have patience for His sake. Similarly if you find some good in your life. If a new child is born into your family. If a work that you started came out right. Then realize that it was only from Him. He is the One Who facilitated this Bounty to find its way to you. For this you should be grateful to Him. This also is part of your submission to Him. You do not question or complain anything that He does to you. You realize that you are His to do with as He pleases. So with whatever He chooses to do with you, you always make yourself content.

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Just as we cannot question His Laws or His Decrees, we also cannot question anything that He does. Such also would be a forbidden use of the mind. For example we cannot question why He has created Hell. We cannot say that it is too harsh a punishment or too unjust a punishment. How dare we? Do we know the extent of the crime that those who turn away from Him have done to say that the punishment is too harsh or not fair? Is this something that we can judge? Of course not. So how can we question. We also cannot question why He sends calamities and pain upon people. We have to accept there is a reason which He Knows that we do not. And as part of our slavehood to Him we have to submit. But we should also remember that He is the Most Merciful, the Most Loving and the Most Just. So He will only punish and torment those who truly deserve to be. And as for good people, as for the innocent, if they are made to undergo any hardship then He will compensate them for it either in this life or in the next. Always remind yourself how temporary this life is. Always remind yourself how the next life is the true life. There is a reason behind any pain that anyone goes through. We may not always be aware of it because our knowledge is so limited. But He Knows. And soon a Day will come when He will compensate everyone for what they went through in this world. This life is only a test. If you realize this then you will realize why He has allowed there to be pain and suffering in this life.

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Another area in which Islam discourages us from using our minds is in those sciences not directly connected to the functioning of the earth. Science can be broken up into two broad categories. Those disciplines which are based on what is tangible and those disciplines which are based on what is intangible. Examples of the former of these are biology, chemistry, physics, zoology, medicine, earth science, computer science and mathematics. Examples of the latter are anthropology, sociology, psychology, the study of law, and the study of economics. The later are areas in which what you are studying is not tangible. Not quantifiable and measurable. Rather it is all based upon postulations and assumptions. Upon theories and guesses. There is no way to ascertain for certain the validity of anything that is said in these sciences. This is because we as humans gain knowledge based upon what we can perceive, on what we can sense. So if you cannot directly sense that which you are studying then how can you say for certain anything concerning it? How can you arrive at any knowledge which you can claim is definitive? For example we know for certain that two plus two is four. This is something quantifiable and measurable. But can we know for certain if it is best to legalize abortion or not. Which law will bring the most benefit for the people? Which law is most pleasing to Allah (swt)? This is something that we can never know. Our minds and senses are too limited.

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That is why in these areas rather than thinking and reasoning for ourselves, we have to go to the guidance which Allah (swt) has sent to us. He Knows what we do not know. He can See what we cannot see. Going back to the hadith of the Prophet (saw) that we looked at. He (saw) told us that we know best about the affairs of this world. This means the functioning of this earth. This means the tangible sciences. But it does not apply to those areas which are not directly connected with the physical universe. It does not apply to those areas which we cannot directly sense. Like government and economy. Like human behavior and psychology. For these areas we do not need to think and reason for ourselves. On the contrary Allah (swt) has already sent us the guidance. He has already told us how we should establish our government, how we should conduct our economy, and how we should behave with each other. Why should we try to come up with systems for ourselves when the Divine has already sent us a system? The Perfect System by which to live. Can we ever claim to know better than Him? How tiny is our knowledge when compared to His? He is the Knowing and the Wise. Insha Allah in the next chapters we will touch upon these systems that He has revealed. But from this chapter we should realize the proper place that our Lord has given for our minds. We should realize those areas in which we should be using them and those areas in which we should refrain from using them.

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Chapter 8: Government in the Divine Kingdom
Allah (swt) loves us. This is what we need to realize first and foremost. He loves us more than we could possibly ever imagine. So He wants us to be happy both in this world and the next. Even in this world He does not want us to suffer, He does not want us to be in misery. In His Book He taught us the prayer where we ask Him for goodness in this life and goodness in the next. Why would He teach us this prayer if He wanted us to suffer in this world? Why would He teach us this prayer if there was no good for us in this world? No, there is good for us in this world. We can find peace and prosperity here. All of us can. But only if we return to Him. Now we know that in this Din Allah (swt) has sent to us a complete guidance. He has shown us how we can achieve tranquility and balance in this world. He has shown this to us through the way in which we worship Him, the way in which we should interact with our family and with the people, the way in which we should marry and love, the way in which we should work and do business, the way in which we should consume this world, and even the way in which we should use restroom. If He has sent us guidance in all these areas, can anyone possibly believe that He has not sent us guidance on how to form a government?

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[4:65] No, by your Lord, they will not believe until they make you as a judge in all that they disagree among themselves and then they find within themselves no restriction from what you have judged and they submit with a full submission. Most Muslims will agree that Islam has a political dimension. They will agree that the ideal situation for us is to live under Islamic rule. But at the same time they will also claim that this is only a minor component of the Din. They will claim that there are much more important aspects to the religion than the government. Because of this they will say that we do not need to worry too much about the Islamic State today. They will say that we as a nation have more pressing concerns. Some of them have even gone as far as to say that we do not need Islamic rule and that we can be content living in a secular world. And then today there are even those who would deny that Islam has a political dimension at all. They say that this religion is nothing but rituals and morals. In this one verse Allah (swt) shows us how wrong all these fools are. Not only does He show us how this religion is political but He also shows how important this aspect of the Din is.

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Allah (swt) begins this verse by making a swear. He does not swear by the sun, or the moon, or the stars, or the night or the day like He does in other verses of the Quran. Rather here He (swt) makes a swear by Himself. He swears by Himself. He takes an oath by Himself. Can you even begin to realize how tremendous is this? Can you even begin to comprehend how important are the words that follow such an oath? How true are such words? How much He wants us to hearken to such words? If you have even a drop of faith in your heart then you should listen most intently. In this verse Allah (swt) is speaking to the Prophet (saw). He tells him (saw) that the Muslims will not be true believers until they do one thing. Meaning that their faith is not complete. Meaning that they cannot even be called believers until they do this thing. And what is this that they need to do? They must make the Prophet (saw) the judge in all of their disputes. They must refer all of their affairs to him (saw). They must make him (saw) as the only legislator in every sphere of their lives. Now of course the Prophet (saw) never spoke from his own desires. He (saw) did not speak based only on his reasoning and personal judgment. Rather he was always guided by Allah (swt). Whatever he (saw) called us to was only from his Lord. So really what Allah (swt) means here is that we will not believe until we make Him (swt) as the Judge in all affairs. We will not believe until we rule ourselves completely by His Divine Law.

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Not only must we rule ourselves completely by the Divine Law but we must not find any reservations in our hearts towards it. No, rather we must submit to it with the fullest of submission. Because submission to the Shariah is submission to Allah (swt) and turning away from it is turning away from Him. This is what it means to believe. This is what it means to have Iman. So those so called “Muslims” who do not call for Shariah, those so called “Muslims” who are content living in a secular world, even those who find some reservations in their hearts about implementing Shariah, cannot even be called Muslims according to this verse. They cannot even be called believers. Why? Because they prefer the law of man to the Law of the Divine. They prefer to be ruled by men than being ruled by Him. They are content living only a partial Islam. An Islam that is restricted only to the masjid. An Islam that is only a few rituals and morals. How can you give Him such a small sphere of influence? How can you only remember Him at the time of prayer but then forget Him at all other times? How can you not allow Him to have a say in your society and your relationships with the people and with the earth? How can it be that in your world what He abhors is permissible and rampant and you still sleep soundly at night? How can you presume to rule this earth when you know that it does not belong to you? Is this what it means to be Muslim? Does this sound to you like one who is madly in love with the Divine?

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So realize from this verse that the political aspect of Islam is no small matter. It is not a minor piece of the Din. No rather it is at the very core of the religion. Some scholars have even said that it is the very pillar of the Din. It is the base upon which all of the rest of Islam is established. Because you cannot implement most of the other laws in the Shariah without first having a government. You cannot have Jihad, you cannot have the punishments, you cannot properly collect Zakat, you cannot give all our children a proper education, you cannot have a social system to properly solve family disputes, you cannot have unity, you cannot bring an end to oppression, you cannot end innovations, you cannot properly convey the Message to mankind, you cannot even have Jummah unless you first have the government which administers and implements all of these. The Khilafah is the true Islamic government that rules completely by the Shariah in a country open for all Muslims. Without it then what kind of an Islam do we have? You have an Islam where the majority of Muslims do not even pray their five daily Salah. You have an Islam where the majority of mankind has not received the Message despite having all sorts of mediums for communication. You have an Islam where there is so much oppression and deprivation in the world even though this Din was sent as a Mercy to all mankind. You have an Islam where our children are leaving the Din in the thousands even though we have the Truth.

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So the Khilafah or the Islamic State is the system of government that Allah (swt) has legislated. It is every much a part of our religion as prayer, fasting and pilgrimage are. The evidence for this is the verse that we have quoted above. Another evidence as we also mentioned above is the fact that so many of the other rulings like Zakat, like Jihad, like the criminal punishments and the social system and economic system of Islam cannot be implemented unless you have a State. It is a maxim in Islamic Law that if an obligation can only be fulfilled with a specific precondition then that precondition becomes an obligation as well. For example since you can only make prayer with ablution, ablution also becomes an obligation. In order to fulfill the obligation of prayer. Similarly since all of these other obligatory rulings need the Khilafah, the Khilafah itself is an obligation. It is also a part of the religion. Another strong evidence is the actions of the Prophet (saw) himself. When he (saw) arrived in Madinah, did he (saw) restrict Islam only to the masjid? Only to rituals and morals, like we have done today? No rather he (saw) formed a government and made Islam into its basis. Meaning that he (saw) ruled the people as a statesman. He settled their disputes, he distributed the wealth, he formed treaties with other tribes. He appointed governors and administrators. All according to the guidance that Allah (swt) had sent down to him. If this is not political then I do not know what is.

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Let us now look briefly at exactly what kind of a government the Khilafah is. What we have to realize first and foremost is that it is a government in which the sovereignty belongs only to Allah (swt). He has told us in several verses of the Quran how the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs only to Him, and He has also told us how to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. He has also described Himself countless times as the King, the Master, the Lord, and the Sovereign. In addition He has also stated in the most explicit of terms that the rule is only for Him. All of these verses and more are a clear evidence showing us how only Allah (swt) can legislate. Only He has the right to put down laws for us to live by. Firstly because we ourselves belong to Him, and secondly because this world around us belongs to Him. We are His creation. At every moment we are in utter need of Him. As is the rest of creation. How then can we ever think that we are anything other than His utter slaves? How then can we ever think that we can live independent of Him? How then can we rule His earth as we please? Not only that but how can we know that there is so Magnificent and Pure a Being such as He and still live in heedlessness of Him? How can we not worship Him? How can we not submit to Him completely by making Him the complete Sovereign over every aspect of our lives? If we ever give to Him anything less then we have not given Him His right.

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So if we truly knew Allah (swt), if we remember all that He has done for us, if we remember how He is the Creator and Sustainer of this earth and not we, then we would see why He should be the Sovereign. We would see how anyone who has usurped this right from Him is among the most unjust. The Islamic State recognizes this fact and that is why all of the laws in this government come only from Him. Meaning that every single law must have an evidence in the sacred text that He has revealed. No one is allowed to bring any law from their own desires. Only He rules this blessed land. The head of the Islamic State is known as the Khalifah. He is the central figure of authority. He is the leader. But as we mentioned he cannot rule as he pleases. Rather every law that he brings about must have an evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. So in essence he is not really a legislator but he is only applying the laws that Allah (swt) has already revealed. He is merely interpreting the sacred text for a given situation that the State faces. In decided if something will be legal or illegal, in deciding the foreign policy of the State, in deciding domestic affairs of the State, he only goes to the Quran and Sunnah and searches these sacred text for the ruling. What he seeks is the Will of Allah (swt). He wants to know what is pleasing to Him because he knows that He (swt) is the True Master and King. He (swt) is the True Legislator for the State. So all the laws emanate from His Perfect Knowledge.

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Not only are the laws from Allah (swt) but so too is the very structure of the government itself. The political structure of the State is very simple. As we mentioned it is based upon what the Prophet (saw) himself implemented in Madinah. There is one central authority figure, the Khalifah. All of the legislation is what he brings forth from the revealed text. He appoints governors to rule on his behalf those provinces which are distant from the capital. He also appoints the judges in the courts. He represents the Divine on earth. Now of course the main contention that you might bring against having the power consolidated in one person is the possibility of corruption and tyranny. You might think that the Khalifah might abuse his power, you might think that he would use it to serve his own interests. You might think that there is no system in place to check his power. But on the contrary there is. There are several factors in place to check his power and prevent him from becoming corrupt. First and foremost as we mentioned already is the Quran and Sunnah. He cannot bring any law that he desires, he cannot issue any decree that he wants. Rather for everything that he does he must present his evidence. He must show the people how he believes that this is what Allah (swt) wants. Because in the end he also is a slave of the Divine just like we all are. He also has to answer to a Higher Authority. In the Islamic State everyone is aware of this purpose for our existence.

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So if the Khalifah was ever to fall out of line, if he was ever to use his position to serve his own interests rather than to serve Allah (swt) then it would be obvious. Because he would no longer be able to justify his actions with the Book of Allah (swt). He would no longer be able to find evidence to justify his policy. In such a case the people have recourse to take him to task. The people have the right to question him. The Prophet (saw) said that the best form of jihad is the word of truth spoken against an oppressive ruler. Is this not accountability? In fact the Divine Law mandates that there be a special group in place whose only role is this. The only function of this group is to oversee the ruler. To make certain that he is ruling according to the Divine Law. To check every law and decree that he brings and verify that it is indeed from the sacred text and not from his desires. So he can never go out of line. At every moment he is being checked by powers greater than him. First by the Quran and Sunnah itself. Then by this special group. This group knows their purpose and they know his purpose. They know that if he ever deviates from his purpose, then they have to question him. And he knows it as well. He knows that he will be questioned as to why he is not ruling by the Divine Law. If this group should ever fail in this duty then they will be the ones sinning before Allah (swt). They will be responsible for allowing their government to stray from its very purpose. And that is the slavehood to Him.

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And if it ever was the case that this group did fail in their duty of checking the Khalifah, then the onus falls upon the Ummah itself. The people have every right to question their ruler and ask him why he is not ruling them according to the Divine Law. The evidence for this is the hadith which we quoted earlier about the word of truth spoken against the tyrant being the best Jihad. So not only are the people allowed to keep their rulers in check but doing so is in fact among the most pleasing of acts to Allah (swt). Thus if they truly loved Him, if they truly feared Him, then they would have no hesitation in performing this duty. It would be an act of worship. There is also a narration where the Khalifah Umar (ra) once asked his own people what they would do to him if he ever failed to rule them according the Divine Law. They replied by saying that they would “correct” him with their swords. He (ra) then praised Allah (swt) for giving him followers such as those. Followers who would keep him in check. Followers who would never allow him to deviate away from serving Allah (swt) in his role. We have to remind ourselves once again that in the Islamic State everyone is aware of their purpose. Everyone knows that they are on this earth only to be a slave of Allah (swt). So when all the people themselves are living for this reason they will easily be able to see if their ruler ever deviates away from it. They will easily be able to see if he is not fulfilling this purpose in the laws that he brings. So they can see that they have to correct him.

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Even the way in which the Khalifah comes to power shows how he is not like a king or a dictator. He can only come to power after he has a mandate from the people. After the people give him permission to rule over them with the Divine Law. This permission is known as the bayah. The Khalifah must first get the bayah from the people before he can assume his position. It is an essence a contract. Each side has their duties. The duty of the Khalifah is that he must promise to rule the people only according to the Divine Law and that he must always look out for their interests and their well being both in this life and the Hereafter. The duty of the people is that they must listen and obey. They must not rebel against him unless he leaves obedience to the Divine Law. But if he does then they must check him. Thus in essence he is a servant of the people. His job is that he must rule over the people according to the Book of Allah (swt). He must apply Allah (swt)’s law over them. He must solve their disputes and conflicts according to the Divine Law. He does not have that position to serve himself. Rather he must serve his Lord by looking after his people. Realize how unprecedented a concept this is. Until very recently in our history we as mankind were mostly ruled by kings. Kings who did not have to answer to anyone. This idea of accountability for the leader. This idea that even the leader needs to serve the people. That he must justify his actions. This idea was completely unheard of before Islam.

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In this regard even the West owes its liberation to Islam. From where did Western thinkers like John Locke and David Hume get their ideas? The idea that the king needs to be accountable. From knowledge and the experiences that were brought back to Europe from Muslim lands after the Crusades. When Europeans were in Muslim lands they saw a system of government that was very different from what they knew back home. They saw how the Khalifah could not bring any law that he pleased. They saw how he was bound to the revealed text. They saw how the government itself served the people rather than oppressed them. This was what motivated them to start a change back home. This was what inspired the American and French revolutions. So it is true that there is much wrong with the world today. But what is right is because of what remains of the Light. The Islamic State while it lasted not only brought good to the Muslim lands but traces of its light and its justice spread to other parts of the world. Flickers of that light can still be seen today. There is much that is wrong with democracy as we will show shortly but what is right about it is that the people do have some say in the functioning of the government and the rulers are checked to some extent. This is from Islam. Only from Islam did the Europeans learn that the ruler’s power should not be absolute. Only from Islam did the Europeans learn that the purpose of the government should be to serve the people and to look after them.

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Now that we have shown how the Khalifah’s power is not absolute we have to say that there are several benefits to having the power consolidated in one person. Even Western political scientists will agree that the government which is most effective is one in which the power is centralized. When one person brings the laws. Because if power is distributed across several legislative bodies, across several lawmakers, then it becomes difficult for the government to operate. Each body tries to restrict the other. Each has their own agenda. In the end what happens is that the legislation which will benefit the people is not passed. That law is stuck in the halls of the senate or parliament. So people continue to suffer while their so called representatives bicker and argue. Even most of these representatives are not interested in serving their constituents. Rather all that they care for is getting reelected and serving the special interest groups which are feeding their pockets. The government functions on profits and not on justice. This is the consequence of the power being distributed across legislative bodies and also the consequence of a two party system. In the Islamic State we do not have a two party system. There is only one party. The party of Allah (swt). So we do not have the problem of each party competing with the other. Each party trying to block the policies of the other because each party has a different socio economic agenda and serves different interest groups and stakeholders.

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But in an Islamic State the Khalifah is always able to do what needs to be done. He is always able to bring the laws that will benefit the people. There is no two party system. Rather there is always one policy that the government follows, and that is what Allah (swt) has dictated in the revealed text. The government does not operate on the opinions of people which of course vary with each person, rather it operates on Divine Guidance. So it is guided in every policy that it undertakes, in every law that it brings, by the All Knowing and the Most Wise. So there is nothing which prevents it from functioning. There are no filibusters. There is no red tape. There are no lobbying or special interest groups. There is no politics. There is none of this wastage. There is just a government that works. There is a government that is able to take care of the people and solve their problems. Because the very purpose of the Islamic government is to look after the people. The government is not simply an entity that is there to prevent anarchy as it is in secular nations. Rather the very purpose of the government, the duty which Allah (swt) Himself has charged it with, is to look after the people. First and foremost to make certain that their faith is safe, then to make certain that their lives are safe, their wealth is safe and their families are safe. What government today can ever give you such a guarantee? What government can make the claim that it exists for this purpose? All they care for is making money and getting reelected.

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This fact reveals yet another weakness in non Islamic governments, and that is how the human being is not fit to be a legislator. The human being is not qualified to be a lawmaker. First and foremost as we mentioned before it is because he has no right to. This earth does not belong to him. So he has no right to rule over it as he pleases. Secondly because the nature of man is that he is selfish. The nature of man is that he sees first to his own needs. But someone who is in a position of authority, someone who is a position of legislator needs to look beyond his own needs. He needs to look to the needs of society as a whole. The needs of mankind as a whole. He needs to think of others before he thinks of himself. However most of us are not like this. Our nature is that we are selfish and arrogant. Our nature is that we want things for ourselves. And often times we are even willing to hurt others. We are willing to violate the rights of others in order to get what we need. We do not care if others are deprived. We do not care if others are in need. As long as we and those close to us have what we desire. Not what we need but what we desire. Such is the nature of most of us. If there is only one loaf of bread and our family needs it then we would take it. We would not think about sharing. We would not think about doing without a bit so that others could have. Many of us would not share even if we were able to. This is how dark the human heart can become when it deprived of the Divine Light.

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You might think that we are painting a very bleak and dark picture as to our nature, but this is in fact how we are. Just look to history. Just look at all the atrocities that have been committed. Just look at all the injustice and the oppression that has been done. Just look at all the wars that have been fought. Just look at all the blood that has been spilled. Just look in the twentieth century alone when secularism has ruled the world. Just look how much death and destruction was present. Just look at how many wars were fought throughout the world. Were these religious wars? No, on the contrary they were secular wars and their motivation was always power, land and wealth. From the World Wars to the Cold War to the Vietnam War to the Afghanistan War to the countless conflicts that took place around the world in this century. More often than not religion had nothing to do with these conflicts. Rather they were wars fought over power, resources and land. This clearly shows us that if left alone, if left without guidance, the human being will tend towards individualism. He will adopt an outlook that is very selfish. That only serves himself and his people. And he will very often oppress and harm others to get what he wants. He has no innate sense of morality. No innate sense of right and wrong. How then can such a creature be a lawmaker? How can he define good and bad, and right and wrong when he himself does not know what these are? These “morals” change for each person.

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I mean just think about it for a second. Can any of us sense the good and bad of an object? Can any of us sense the right and wrong of an action? For example take a pen or a book or any other object. You can see the color of that pen. You can feel the weight of that book. But is there anything which tells you if that book or that pen is good or evil? Is there anything which you can sense about these objects through which you can make the judgment of if they are good or evil? Similarly take the action of abortion. There are some people in secular societies who would call this action evil, and then there are others who would say that it is not. But upon what criteria are each of these groups passing their judgment. Is there anything inherent about the act of abortion itself by which you can judge if it is evil or not? No you cannot. There is nothing about the act itself which tells you if it is right or wrong. It all depends upon your perspective. It all depends on how you look at it. That is why people cannot come to a consensus on this issue. The same is true for countless other issues. They think that they know but they do not know. They think that they have knowledge that they do not really have. They think that the judgment which they are passing is fair and unbiased but it is not. It is based on their preferences and their experiences. It is based on their desires and their whims. What they see as good the other sees as evil. Because they have no criteria at all by which they are judging. By which they are legislating.

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So another reason why man cannot be a sovereign is because his knowledge is so limited. He cannot know for sure which law will benefit the people. He cannot judge what is good for the people and what is not. And even if he can somehow know what is right and what is good there is no guarantee that he will do it. Often times he will bring a law which harms most of the people and benefits only a few, only because those few are the ones financing his reelection campaign. And even if he is sincere there is still no guarantee he will bring the best law because he just does not know. He does not know what is good for the people. So often times he will bring a law which turns out to harm the society more than it helps. He will bring a law that causes more suffering and misery for the people and that does not solve their problems in any way. This would never happen in the Divine Kingdom because here Allah (swt) is the Legislator. He is the Source of all the laws. And the laws which He brings are the laws which will benefit everyone. Because He is the One Who Knows what is best for us. Does He not Know us the One Who created us? He Knows what will harm and what will benefit. Not just for few individuals, but for the society as whole. Remember that He is the Being of Mercy and Justice. So what kind of laws do you think He will bring? Do you think that He will oppress us in any way? Do you think that He will sell us out to some special interest group? Of course not.

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But such mercy and justice can never be found in lands where man has claimed sovereignty for himself. Several are the evils which are permissible in today’s secular society which we ourselves know are not good for us. A few examples of such are alcohol, usury, gambling, free mixing of men and women, allowing women to show their beauty in public, night clubs, fornication, homosexuality, prostitution and many more. We all know that these are evil. We all know that these are a detriment to the society. But because of our lusts, because of our greed, we make them permissible. However Allah (swt) Knows us better than we know ourselves. He Knows what is best for us more than we ever can. That is why in the Islamic State all of these evils are categorically forbidden. And all the people benefit as a result. But in secular societies these evils are permissible and as a result we can find many social ills rampant. Just a few these are homelessness, drug use, crime, mass poverty, suicide, alcoholism, drunk driving, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, rape, depression, broken homes, unproductive youth and many others. In addition just think how much blessing and light is deprived from the land. For the sole reason that in it what is displeasing to Him has been made permissible. When He looks down at this land and sees such evil then do you think that He will send down any good upon it. Do you think that He will put peace in the hearts of its people when they allow such evil?

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Such problems were never to be found in the history of the Islamic State. Allah (swt) cut these problems at their roots by outlawing their causes. And thus He created a more peaceful society. A more productive society. A society in which all peoples lived better lives. When it comes to the major crimes like assault, rape and murder you could on your fingers the number of times these happened the hundreds of years for which the Islamic State existed. Now compare this with the West where every day and every night dozens of these crimes take place. It is the norm. Why is this? Why is there so much pain and suffering? Because the land is being ruled by those who are not qualified to do so, by those who have no authority to do so. This misery and suffering is the product of democracy. It is the produce of man usurping the right to legislate for himself. Who gave you the right to rule this earth as you please? Did you create it? Are you the One Who sustains it? When you do injustice to Him by taking away what is His then what do you expect except pain and darkness? You tell the people to be lords when they were created to be slaves. You tell them to worry only about themselves when they were created to worry only about Him. What then can you expect except suicides left and right? Depression and mental disorders left and right. People losing themselves in games and amusements left and right. This is democracy. This is what they are trying to cram down our throats.

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And even though the Western governments may call themselves democracies we know that they are far from it. There is no government which is a perfect democracy. In the true sense of the word, “government for the people and by the people”. It does not exist. It simply cannot exist. In all these so called democracies, the government is not really run by the people but it is run by “representatives” of the people. And more often than not these representatives do not really represent their people. One reason is because the voter turnout in is extremely low. Sometimes as low as 20%. So the government is only representing 20% of the overall population. Everyone else is part of the silent majority, and they actually could not care less. They have their demons and their desires and these are all that they worry about. They are so addicted to the bestial pleasures and so attached to the material things that this is all that concerns them. They do not care what their government does as long as it does not take their demons away from them. They do not care for the injustice. And even those who are elected also often do not care for their people. They care getting reelected and staying in power. They care for serving the interests of their party and pushing forward its agenda. It is never about what benefits the people. It is never even about honestly representing the people. It is all about the self. Even for politicians who dare to call themselves “public servants”. The people only have the illusion of power.

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Another way in which the Islamic State is better than the nation states of today is that it is an open society. It is a society which invites others and asks them to come and be a part of it. Allah (swt) taught us that we are all brothers and sisters. We are all the children of Adam. So it is not right for us to break ourselves up into nations and tribes. Allah (swt) has told that the only reason why He has made us different in terms of or language and ethnicity is so that we may know each other. That we may recognize each other. If we all looked and behaved exactly the same then how could we ever differentiate ourselves. So these trivial differences in skin color and language should not be a reason for us to separate between ourselves. Rather we should all come together as the brotherhood of humanity that we know we are. The Islamic State recognizes this principle and that is why its borders have always been opened. There was never any immigration problem in the Islamic State. Anyone who wanted to could enter the county and be a citizen. Even non Muslims. Non Muslims for centuries enjoyed all the protection and the privileges that Muslims did. The State welcomed them because it was an opportunity to do dawah to them. To invite them into the folds of Islam. They were not coerced in any way, but they were presented with the Message. Presented with the chance to come back to their Creator. The chance to know peace in this life and to be saved in the next.

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So the borders of the Islamic State were always open. It was an open country. You never even needed a visa to enter. Because the earth belongs to Allah (swt). So how can one nation claim complete sovereignty over any part of it and deny it to others. Especially when citizenship into that nation is an exclusive right which is not open to everyone. Today this is just what all the secular countries have done. They have all closed their borders. Even for a country as wealthy and vast as the United States you would find that it is very difficult to get a visa. And immigrants living in these countries, those who do not belong to that exclusive nation, are treated as second class citizens. Not given healthcare, or education, or even the permission to drive a car. But what can you expect when you consider the foundation upon which these countries have been established? Secularism does not give you any sense of morality. Any sense of justice. Rather it teaches you to live only for yourself. It encourages you to be selfish. It is based on the law of the jungle. Dog eat dog. That is why each of these nations wants everything for itself and does not want to share with its brethren in humanity. Often times it will even hurt others only so that it can have. It would kill millions only so that it could save a nickel on a gallon of oil. It would perform genocide and ethnic cleansing. It would do all this and more. Because it believes that it is us vs. them. However in Islam it is not like this. We believe that every human has a right to this earth.

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Yet another benefit of government in the Islamic State is that it has been established to look after the people. The purpose of the government is to serve the needs of the people, not to oppress them or suppress them in any way. That is why not only does the government offer all social services like education and healthcare free to all citizens, but it also does not overtax them. How does it accomplish this? How is the State financed you might ask? Insha Allah we will discuss this in detail in the next chapter where we will speak on the Islamic economic system. But basically it is being have an economic model that is based on the distribution of wealth. A model that is based on the premise that there is more than enough wealth and resources on this earth to fulfill everyone’s needs. The problem today with non Islamic economic systems is that they allow the wealth to be concentrated in the hands a few and they leave everyone else with nothing. They do this because they assume that there are not enough resources to fulfill everyone’s needs. Allah (swt) sent this Din to change this misconception. He sent this Din to show us how we can all share. How we can all have enough. The Islamic government is built upon this principle. So it makes it a duty upon itself to take care of all those who are in need. This is why there was even a time in our history where you could not find even a single poor person in the entire country. There was no one in need. The State had provided for everyone.

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This is not a dream. This is not some fantasy utopia. This was a reality that existed in our history not too long ago. Do the research and find out for yourself. But do not look at the so called “Islamic” countries today for they are not truly Islamic. Meaning that they do not rule purely by the Shariah. Rather look a few hundred years into the past when Islam was implemented in full. Look at the kind of lives that people lead. Look how much peace and prosperity there was. It truly was a blessed land because He was pleased with it. Not only does the government in the Divine Kingdom take care of the people, but as we mentioned it does not oppress them in any way. Today all the secular countries in one way or another oppress their people. One way is that they fail to take care of their people. They just leave them be. Even if the people are starving, even if the people are homeless, even if the people are jobless and in poverty. The state does not make it a responsibility upon itself to provide for them. That is why in even the wealthiest of secular nations you will find up to 30% of the people living below poverty line. Once again the cause for this is the individualistic foundation upon which the secular society is established. It is really childish and at the same time barbaric. All for me and none for you. Another way secular governments oppress their people is by overtaxing them. Most workers have to give up more than half of their earnings only in taxes. And even then the government is still in debt.

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Because there is so much wastage and so much bureaucracy. Even though the government is supposedly there to take care of the people, the individualistic base upon which the secular society is formed prevents it from doing so. So the people who administer and run the government do not always do what is in the best interests of the people. They are often times corrupt. They take everything for themselves and leave nothing for the people. The people whom they are supposed to be serving and representing. Compare this with the Caliph Umar (ra) who would not even allow his own son to have an apple that was taken from the treasury of the State. He (ra) grabbed that apple from his son’s hand and when his wife questioned why he had done this, he asked her how he could stand before Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment if he had stolen from the people. But today our leaders steal from us left and right. There is corruption on such a mass scale. There is wastage on such a mass scale. And we say nothing. We are silent. Why? Because we have come to accept the status quo. We have come to accept a government that is so slow and so inefficient. Our standards for those who rule over us have become so low. Because we ourselves have forgotten Him. We ourselves have forgotten the duty that we owe to Him. How then can we expect it in others? This is why Allah (swt) Himself tells us in the Quran how it is only a people who are corrupt who will allow themselves to be ruled by tyrants.

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This is oppression. This is injustice. We may not think of it as so because our standards have become so low but it still does not change the fact that it is. Any government that enforces man made laws on its people, laws which will only bring suffering and misery for them, is oppressive. Any government that would deny its people the Mercy and the Justice of the Divine Law is oppressive. Any government that steals from its people is oppressive. Any government that will not take care of its people is oppressive. Because what should be the purpose of the government if it does not look after the people? Can we as human beings with an advanced a civilization as we have not at least look after our own people? How can we call ourselves progressed when our neighbors are starving? This is not something that we should be content with. The Prophet (saw) said that the man who goes to sleep soundly when his neighbor is hungry is not among the believers. That is why in an Islamic State it would be unacceptable to have poverty and suffering in our midst. We would not accept it. We would feel their pain. Because we have dedicated ourselves to Him we would not be so individualistic and selfish. We would really think about what others are going through. Their suffering would be our suffering. And we would expect our government to take care of them. We would not accept a government that does not. If we loved Him then we would demand to be ruled by His Law. We would demand His creation is taken care of.

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Only the Islamic government is free from all this evil. Only the Islamic government does not oppress or harm its people in any way. Not only does it not oppress its own people but it also does not oppress others. It does not oppress anyone. It does not harm anyone. Why? Because it only operates according to the Divine Law and this Law is a Law of Mercy and Love. Because He is the Most Merciful and the Most Loving. He has commanded us in His Book to respect all life. He has taught us how all life is sacred. He has told us how if we were to kill even a single soul then it would be as if we had killed all of mankind. He has shown us how it is a sin to even harm an animal without any due reason. He sent this Din only as a Mercy to all creation. So the government of the Islamic State is guided by this principle of mercy in everything that it does. That is why an Islamic government would never be responsible for the killing of civilians on a mass level like so many secular governments have done. In this century alone how many deaths have secular governments been responsible for? From Hiroshima to the Holocaust. From Bosnia to Rwanda to Kashmir to Iraq. Civilians have been killed in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Why is this? It is because there is no moral compass for a secular government. It has no true absolute sense of right and wrong. A secular government believes in the law of the jungle. It believes in survival of the fittest. It believes in us vs. them.

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They believe that we have to survive. We have to prosper. We have to make a profit. This is all that matters for them. It is our nation against your nation. It is us against you. This is the policy that motivates the secular nation state. This is why they cause so much injustice and suffering to others. This is why they steal from others. This is why they hurt and kill others. Now you may bring the argument that secular governments do not always behave in such a way. To this we respond by saying that even if there may be good and decent people within these nations, and even if they may not always act with such evil. We still have to remember the foundation upon which the government is established. This foundation has nothing in place to preventing such evil from happening. And that is the problem. That is how secular governments are radically different from the Islamic State. The Islamic State always has to justify all of its actions with the Divine Law. Thus the actions of the State are always restricted by the Divine Law. So the Islamic State can never drop an atom bomb, the State can never impose economic sanctions in which 20 million children are killed, the State can never commit ethnic cleansing, the State can never have apartheid, or segregation, or have concentration camps or arrest and detain without due process of law. The Islamic State can never do any such oppression whatsoever. Why? Because Allah (swt) has outlawed oppression in all its forms. He has forbidden us from harming any human

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being in any way without just cause. We believe that all life is sacred, and so life cannot be taken unless there is a specific instance which He Himself has defined in His Law. In other words if the Islamic State ever has to take a life it has to be for a very specific reason. A reason that Allah (swt) has defined in the text. Otherwise in everything that the State does it must seek to preserve life. It must seek to establish justice. It must seek to bring peace. It must be a manifestation of the Divine Will. A manifestation of Love, Mercy and Justice. Another contention that some people may bring against the Divine Law is that they would say that it is static. They would say that it is restricted to a particular time and place. They would question how a law and a system of government that was established 1500 years ago in the deserts of Arabic could be implemented in today’s modern world. The response to this is two fold. First we say that this system and this law is Divine in origin. It is from the All Knowing and the All Wise. So if He has declared that it is for all mankind, if He has decreed it to be implemented at all times and all places, then how could we ever doubt it? To doubt the Divine Law is to doubt the Divine. Do you think that the One Who Knows all would reveal a Law that is only applicable in a certain time period and then command it to be implemented at all times? If that is what you think then you cannot even be called a believer. Since you think that His Law is imperfect you think He is as well.

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So we have to believe as part of our faith that the Shariah will continue to be relevant and applicable for every generation of our nation till the end of time. We have to believe that no matter what problem we as a nation may encounter that there will be a solution for it in the Book of Allah (swt). We have to believe that it will always tell us what is pleasing to Him. For every situation. Although the text is finite its guidance is not. If you study Islamic law you will find how our scholars have been able to derive hundreds if not thousands of rulings from a single verse or hadith. This part of the Miracle in the text. Its depth despite its consciences. The Quran rarely about speaks about specific incidents rather it gives general principles and guidelines that can be applied to a wide array of situations. For example in one verse Allah (swt) tells us to travel in the earth. From this one verse our scholars have derived the ruling that all forms of transportation are permissible. Be this by car or train or plane of bus or anything else. Why? Because the text is general and so it can be applied to each of these. The next source of Islamic law is the hadith of the Prophet (saw). And this is even vaster than the Quran from a legal perspective. There are hundreds of thousands of sayings of the noble Messenger. Each of them can be applied to thousands of different situations. Now do you see the richness of the text? Do you see how it is an ocean of guidance that will never be exhausted? You only have to know how to look.

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The second response to the contention that the Divine Law is not applicable for today is the fact that the human being himself has not changed over time. The law first and foremost addresses the human. It solves the problems of the human. It resolves the conflicts arising between humans. This human has not changed over time. The same human that was present at the time of the Prophet (saw) is present today. He has the same needs. He has the same concerns and worries. He is still driven by the same instincts. For example the need for wealth, the need for power, the need for sex, the need to look after the family, the need for food and drink. These are needs which are present in every human being. Always have and always will be. So the law that Allah (swt) revealed at that time to address the human is every much applicable today. If you want further proof of this fact just study the Quran. Look at how this Book describes human nature. You will find it shockingly similar to people today. You will find it shockingly similar to yourself. Many people who have read the Quran have made the claim that they did not read this Book rather this Book read them. Meaning that it identified who they really were. It related to them their own personality and ways. For example Allah (swt) tells us how we are all always in a hurry, how we become overly arrogant when good comes to us and how we complain and fret for even the slightest difficulty. This is how we all are.

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This aspect of ours did not change over time. This behavior and mindset did not change. The Book addresses us as humans and as humans we have not changed. Only the technology that we use changed. They rode camels and we ride cars. But we both still use them to go out and provide for our families. We both still live in houses. Only the size of the house has changed. But the human as a creature with needs has not changed over time. Why then does his law have to? Are you still not convinced that we as Muslims need the Islamic State? Are you still not convinced that mankind needs it? Realize that the State is how the Din becomes alive. The State is how the Din has presence in the land. The State is how the people can always be reminded of Allah (swt). If you do not have the State, if they very system which operates the society is one of kufr, then how can the people remember Him? How can His Message be properly conveyed to mankind? How can there be established in the land that which is pleasing to Him. Remind yourself once again of the purpose of your existence. It is to dedicate yourself to Allah (swt) and to call others to this dedication. How can we as a Muslim Ummah ever achieve this purpose if we do not have the State? Realize that even the way in which we conduct our lives in this world is part of our worship to Him. Even our dealings and interactions, our business and our work, is part of our worship to Him. How then can we ever perfect this worship if we do not have the State?

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When the land is not ruled by His Law then you can be certain that He will not be in the hearts of people. Another important nature of ours that He identifies in the Quran is that we are forgetful and weak. We often forget. We often become distracted. We often become heedless. So even though Allah (swt) is so Magnificent and Glorious a Being, many of us would still forget Him. We would forget Him if we are left in a world that is heedless of Him. Can you then imagine the misery and pain that our hearts will be in? Can you imagine the evil and injustice that they will be capable of? Why does a human do evil? Why is he unjust? It is because he forgets the Divine. Forgets the One Who is watching Him. That is when he worries only about himself and his desires. So if it means satisfying himself he will often harm others, he will often take the rights of others. Because the secular society has taught that the only true purpose to life is serving himself. So he will rape and kill, he will plunder and pillage, he will cheat and steal. But if he can be taught from a young age that he has a Master. That his purpose in life is to serve this Master. That at every moment he is under the Gaze of his Master. That his salvation in the next world is dependent on how well he served his Master. Do you think that he would still commit crimes? Do you think that there would be any crime in that society? So yet another benefit of the Khilafah is that it has the primary deterrent to crime and that is the Taqwa of Allah (swt).

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This Taqwa can only be properly instilled in the people if there is a state. Because it must start with the education system. There can never be a proper religious education system if the government is secular. It is not enough to have a few private religious schools which only a small percentage of the children go to while all the rest go to public schools where atheism and secularism are taught. And the schools are only the beginning. Next the environment itself must be one which facilitates the remembrance of the Divine. Today where do the people have time to think of Allah (swt). When they are bombarded by marketing left and right. Today it all about consumerism and capitalism. It is all about selling your product. It is all about making more and more. Just this quest to obtain as much wealth as possible and to reach the highest rung possible in the social ladder has come to define our very existence. Why? Because this is what we have been fed by the media and by the culture. How can we change this? How can we show the people that they need to live for something greater? It is only through the government. Only the government can bring so comprehensive a change. Only the government can constantly remind the people of Divine. You might say that this is totalitarian, you might say that this is mind control. But realize it or not you are already being controlled. You are already being brainwashed. Only now it is by the devils. Those who are exploiting you and using you.

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Do you now realize now how critical it is to have the Khilafah? For all mankind in general. And especially for us as Muslims. Can you even begin to realize how difficult it is to practice the Din without the State? The Prophet (saw) told us all to give bayah to the Imam, how can we do this without the Islamic State? How can we make Allah (swt) as the complete Sovereign over our lives when there are men ruling over us? How can we avoid the forbidden like insurance and usury living in a kufr world? Today the entire economic system of the world is based upon these two evils which Allah (swt) has categorically forbidden. So we cannot avoid them even if we tried to. What then will be our station when we return to Him on the Last Day? How will we answer Him when we have such great sins on our necks? We cannot just blame it on the system if we ourselves were content with that system. We were content with it because we accepted it and did not try to change it. Furthermore if we are content living in a secular world then we would fall into the greatest of all sins, we would fall into Shirk. We would accept the sovereignty of men over us instead of Allah (swt). We ourselves might assume this position of a lord besides Him if we join the political systems of kufr. Just think them, it almost like you are prostrating before an idol or as if you have become that idol. Because you would be claiming for yourself a position that is only reserved for Him and that is Sovereign or Lawmaker.

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So if you truly love Allah (swt) then you will see the need for the Islamic State. The State is the ultimate manifestation of the Divine Kingdom. All the laws that the State legislates, all the principles which guide its policies, all the values that it conforms to comes only from Allah (swt). The State makes His Will into a living reality in the world. How could you love Him and not yearn for this? How can you love Him and be content when He is restricted to only a very tiny sphere in the lives of people? When there are so many people who live in heedlessness. Is this what He deserves? Only to be remembered for an hour on Friday and in Ramadan? Only to have a few rituals abide by His Law but have all the other aspects of life be governed by the laws of man? Is this what He deserves? We have discussed in this chapter several benefits to living under the State, but even if none of these were there. If for no other reason other than that here is where He can truly be your Sovereign. Where He can truly be your King. Even if it is just for this reason then you should still yearn to live here. You should yearn to have such a government ruling over you. Only because it is His government and you love Him more than anything else. So you love to be ruled by His Law. You love to be judged by His Justice. Not only because you know that it is what is fair and equitable, far more than the corrupt and selfish laws of man, but just because it is His Law. You love Him so you want to live in His world. In His Divine Kingdom.

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Finally before we leave this chapter I have to note that in my humble opinion, I believe that today there is no place in the world that can be called an Islamic State. There is no place in the world today which implements the Divine Law in totality like a true Khilafah should. This is because the Shariah is a whole and so it has to be taken as a whole. It cannot be implemented partially. Each of its laws are dependent on others. In fact in the Quran Allah (swt) curses those who would follow only a portion of the Book and leave others of it. So countries today like Saudi Arabia, like Iran, like Sudan, even if they may claim to rule by Islam, they are not true Islamic States. This is because they only implement Islam partially. They have some rules which conform to the Shariah but many others that do not. Their most flagrant violation of the Divine Law is that they only allow people from their nationality to be citizens. A true Islamic State should be a homeland for all Muslims. Not only those from a particular ethnic group or tribe. This is just one of the many principles of Islam which they violate while still claiming to be an Islamic State. They make such claims to fool the ignorant masses. To grant their government some form of legitimacy. But do not be fooled by them. Realize that these empty shells are nothing like what the true Khalifah was. The true Divine Kingdom was a beacon of light for all mankind. It carried the Message to all the nations of the world. Are they doing so?

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Chapter 9: Economy in the Divine Kingdom
The Islamic Economic system is one that is not overly complex like the Capitalist one. Rather it is based on five simple principles. If you can understand these principles then you can understand the Islamic Economic system. The first of these principles is the abolishment of usury in all its forms. Allah (swt) says in the Quran..

[2:276] Allah destroys usury and gives increase to charity. And Allah does not love every ungrateful sinner. Usury or interest is one of the greatest sins in our religion. As we know it is any loan in which the borrower must return to the lender more than the amount borrowed. Even if it is only the tiniest amount, the tiniest percentage of the capital, in Islam it is still considered as usury and so absolutely forbidden. The Prophet (saw) has told us that Allah (swt) has cursed the one who takes it, the one who gives it, and even the one who witnesses the contract between the two. Such is how displeasing this act is to Him. Look at the verse above. Look at how He (swt) describes it. He says that He destroys it. He annihilates it. And He describes those who deal in it as ungrateful sinners. Those whom He does not love in any way.

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There are several other verses of the Quran where Allah (swt) has condemned usury and explicitly forbidden us from dealing with it. In fact in one verse He even declares war with those who deal in usury. There are also several hadith of the Prophet (saw). In one hadith he (saw) said that there are over 70 different forms of usury, and the lightest of these in the Sight of Allah (swt) was still a greater sin than committing incest with one’s own mother. Can you then even begin to understand how displeasing usury is to Allah (swt)? In another hadith he (saw) told us that the people who engage in this sin will be punished even before they are made to enter the Fire. They will be punished even before the Day of Judgment begins. They will be punished in their graves. Serpents will be made to enter into their stomachs and these snakes will continue to bite them from the inside till the Day of Judgment. Perhaps for thousands and thousands of years. Nothing but torment and pain for all eternity. This is what awaits those who take and give usury. This is how displeasing it is to the Divine. Now ask yourself this question. We as Muslims who live in this secular world. This world based on a Capitalist economic system. A system that is built upon usury and has usury everywhere. How can we ever avoid it? How can we ever be safe from it? Even if we tried our best we would never be able to escape it completely. How then can we ever return to Allah (swt) if we were content living in such a world?

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Allah (swt) also tells us in this verse how He destroys and annihilates usury. So not only does He loathe those who deal in it, but He destroys it. Meaning that any wealth which has been touched by it will be ruined. Any economic system which is based upon it will be destroyed. At the time of the writing of this Book I can see how this is happening. I can see the deep financial crisis that has gripped the entire world. If anyone were to study the causes of this crisis, they could easily see that one of the main causes is usury. Analysts clearly show us how one of the main reasons of the crisis is debt. Both consumer and corporate debt. Both people and companies are overburdened by their loans. Specifically on the interest payments that they owe on their loans. So they have no money to spend. They spend what little money they have only for the exuberant amount of interest that they owe. So the economy becomes stagnant as consumer spending decreases. This causes companies to cut costs and lay off workers which causes the economy to suffer even more and the effect just keeps snowballing. But the root cause of it is the usury. People just borrowed more than that had the capacity to pay back. And the greedy banks instead of giving them any grace period only compounded and doubled the interest that they owe. They sent them further into debt and prevented them from spending on anything else. Thus the economy begins to unravel as Allah (swt) promised.

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If you were to just look at the concept of usury you would see how it is indeed a very evil practice. Because you are in essence charging for something which is not tangible, something which has no value. So in essence all the money that is spent on usury is money that is wasted. Because no good came out of that money. No benefit was derived. No service was performed. No good was purchased. The capitalists would argue that what you are paying for is the “time value of money”. They would say that “I could have done something with this money that I am lending to you and that is what you are paying interest for”. But this premise is false because it is based upon the assumption that something good would have come out of that money had the lender not given it out. It is based on the assumption that definitely he could have made a profit with that money had he not given it out. But of course we know that this is not true. There is never a guarantee that any business or enterprise will be successful. There is always a risk involved. There is always the possibility that the investment will be lost. Only Allah (swt) Knows the future. When we realize the fact that there is an equal chance of profit or loss, then the whole argument of the “time value of money” is lost. We realize that when you pay usury you are in fact paying for nothing. You are in fact getting exploited by greedy bankers. They suck in all the wealth of the people for themselves and they give back nothing.

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So the first principle upon which the economic system of the Islamic State is established is the complete abolishment of usury in all its forms. If you give out a loan then you can only ask for exactly how much you gave. Not a penny more. You cannot take money from the people for no reason. You cannot exploit them. You only get what you give. How simple a concept is this? How beautiful a concept is this? Through usury we have made our economic system so complex and convoluted when it really has no need to be. Money should only be for trade. When there is something tangible and definite that is exchanged between two parties. This is what our Lord has reminded us of in this beautiful religion that He has sent to us. You might ask then as to what should be the motivation for anyone to lend out money if they are not going to get anything out of it. This also is a false presumption. It is a thinking based upon individualism which this culture has ingrained into us. We mentioned before how in Islam, Allah (swt) has taught us to look to the whole before we look to the self. Self sacrifice should be part of our nature. We should be willing to give to others. For the good of our nation. For the good of mankind. And most importantly to seek His Pleasure. So when you lend out money and not take any interest for it you are getting back something. Something far greater than you could possibly ever realize. As He says in the verse He blesses charity.

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So your wealth will grow from His blessings. And that money you lent out will be fed into the economy of your society and it will come back to you and benefit you. Most importantly though you would have earned His Pleasure by doing an action that is pleasing to Him and thus drawn closer to Him. This really is all that there is to life. Life is nothing but the quest for Him. The quest to be near to Him. Those who realize this fact will have no problem in giving out loans and not taking any interest on them. It is only those who have forgotten Him. Those who have become blind to Him. Those who can only see this world. Those who are slaves to their greed. Only such people demand usury. As Allah (swt) describes them in the verse they are ungrateful sinners. They are sinners because they violate His Divine Law. They take usury even though they know that it is wrong. Even thought they know it is forbidden in the Sacred Law. They are also ungrateful because in committing that sin they are showing their ingratitude to Him. Who was it that gave them that wealth in the first place? Should they then not be grateful to Him and spend it in a way that is pleasing to Him? Should they not give it to others? But they do not. That is why they earn His Anger. That is why He destroys their wealth and strips of it of all blessings. But whereas those who give only to seek His Pleasure. He blesses their wealth. He causes their wealth to grow. He provides for them all that they need. He loves them because they give for Him.

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This then brings us to the second principle upon which the Islamic Economic system is established and that is charity. Charity in all its various forms. Numerous are the verses in the Quran where Allah (swt) has exhorted us to give in charity. To help those in need. To be a positive influence in the society. To not hoard and be stingy. This is one of the principles upon which the Islamic economic system is established. Imagine an entire economy. An entire society built upon this foundation. The mentality that it is better to give than to receive. The mentality that hoarding is evil. Such thinking comes from the realization that we as human beings do not truly own anything. Rather everything belongs only to Him. Whatever that we may have is only what He has allowed us to borrow on a temporary basis. He has allowed us to borrow it based on two conditions. The first is that we show gratitude to Him for it, and the second is that we spend from it on others. We spend only with the hope that through that spending we would draw closer to Him. Just imagine what a society it would be if this thinking could be ingrained in the minds of all people. If people were shown the virtue of giving. If people were taught to live for more than just this world. Would this be a world in which you see poverty on a mass level? Would this be a world in which you would see much extravagance and wastage? As we mentioned our nature is that we are selfish. Only with the Guidance can this nature be changed.

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Now of course we are not in any way saying that you have to give up all of your wealth in charity and live the life of a pauper. Recall how we established already that this Din does not call for a complete renunciation of the world. Rather Allah (swt) has shown us the way of balance. We can enjoy this world. We can seek this world. But the key is that we should not hoard it, we should not be consumed by our love for it. We should not allow it to distract us away from Him. Rather the more of this world that we consume the closer to Him that we must become. We must always remember that He is the true purpose of our existence and not this world. So even in our consumption we must draw to Him. And our consumption should also be in moderation. Because He has told us in several verses that He does not like the extravagant. He does not like those who consume in gluttony and excess. So in Islam we do not have to give up all of our wealth to the State like a Communist economic system. There is nothing wrong with private ownership. We can keep some wealth for ourselves. We can spend on our families. We can enjoy the bounties of Allah (swt). But we must also be in the habit of giving. We cannot hoard wealth. We also cannot spend on extravagance and unneeded luxuries. There must be that balance. You can keep some but you must also give. You can enjoy yourself but it has to be up to a limit. Always remember that there is more to life than just seeking material pleasures.

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This leads us to the third principle upon which the Islamic Economic system is based and that is the fair distribution of wealth and the prohibition of hoarding wealth. Allah (swt) tells us in the 7th verse of the 59th chapter the reason why He (swt) has legislated the obligatory charity. It is so that wealth does not become something that is circulated only among the rich. As we saw previously Allah (swt) does not like those who hoard all the wealth for themselves. Those who only care for themselves and leave their brethren in poverty. Wealth must be distributed among all the people. Everyone must get their fair share. Once again we have to remember how everything belongs only to Allah (swt). And He in His Wisdom has given to some people more than others. These have been given more either because of the talents that Allah (swt) gave to them, or because of the knowledge that He gave to them, or because of the opportunities that He gave to them. In any case He is the reason why they have. So they have an obligation to show gratitude to Him for this wealth. One of the ways in which they do this is by sharing with others and not hoarding for themselves. As we saw before to hoard large amounts of wealth is a sin and a crime in Islam. If the State discovers anyone who does this then the State can force them to spend their wealth. They have to spend it or else they have to give it up. They cannot allow it to just sit and collect dust in their coffers. Such Scrooges are most displeasing to Him.

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In response to such a law you may bring the argument that sometimes people need to save money. They need to save for a rainy day. For an emergency. For a time when they might be unable to work and support themselves. To this we say that the attitude of the believer is that he must put his trust in Allah (swt) and not live in fear. Only Allah (swt) Knows our future. Only He Knows what will happen to us tomorrow. And we have to believe that if we spend for Him and we spend our lives serving Him then He will never let us down. Remember that He (swt) is the True Provider. It is He Who provides us with all of our sustenance. We may take the means like doing business or going to work but we should never think that our sustenance come from our own hands. Rather we should always remind ourselves that He is the True Provider. He is the One Who gives us all that we have. So we should never think that just because we save some money today it means that we are guaranteed our provisions for tomorrow. And at the same time we should never think that just because we spend today it means that we will be poor tomorrow. Our spending or saving does not affect our sustenance for tomorrow. Rather we will only get what He has written for us. Once we have this certainty, once we have this trust in Him, then we would be saved from the fear of poverty. We would be saved from the miser that is within all of us. We would be willing to part with our wealth.

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Anyone who looks at the world today will agree that there is a huge disparity in the distribution of wealth. This disparity exists on a national level inside each country and also at a global level. In second and third world countries today you will find a few who are extremely wealthy and you will find the masses living in abject poverty. But even within the first world nations, the richest nations, you will find this disparity in wealth. For example in the United States it is estimated that the top 10% holds 85% of the wealth. The means that 90% of the population has to share only 15% of the nation’s wealth. Is this disparity not shocking? How could it be that so few have so much and so many have so little? In other most other countries of the world this imbalance is far worse. How could this be? It is because the Capitalist Economic System has no means in place for the fair distribution of wealth. They frown on any kind of state involvement in the economy. They say that the economy should be left as it is. Even if there are so many people in poverty, even if there are so many people suffering without food, shelter and medicine, they still say that the state should not get involved. In essence they are saying that these people should be left to suffer. They are saying that these people should be left to die. They believe in the survival of the fittest. They believe in the law of the jungle. They have such hearts because they have become distant from the Divine. They only care for themselves. They have neither compassion nor love.

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They would bring the argument that Capitalism is not perfect but it is the best that they can do. They would say that there are too few resources to meet the needs of all the people. As a result of which there will always be poor people they say. There will always be people who do not have. Such is the nature of this world they claim. They would claim that the only alternative is Communism where the state owns all the wealth and we have all already seen how this has failed as an economic model. But there is another way. There is the right way which Allah (swt) Himself has shown us and this is Islam. The Islamic Economic System is the balance between the extremes of Capitalism and Communism. Whereas the former focuses only on the individual and the latter only on the collective, this Din shows us the middle path in between. Unlike the Communists we do believe in the private ownership of property and free market enterprise. The human being should have the right to own property because Allah (swt) has told us in the Quran to seek out the portion of this world that belongs to us. But at the same time there must be a system in place to distribute the wealth among the people. Because even though the human is free to own, there should be a limit to how much he can own. He cannot keep everything for himself and leave others with nothing. He cannot be allowed to hoard wealth. To just let it accumulate in his coffers. At the same time when there are so many people who are suffering and in need.

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This is why Allah (swt) legislated a system by which wealth can be prevented from being hoarded. The first mechanism which facilitates this is the Zakat. As we know this is the tax of the Islamic State. This is the primary means of income for the State. This is also the means which the State employs to take care of the needy and the underprivileged. Now unlike in Capitalist systems this is not a tax that is levied upon income rather it is a tax upon savings. The only ones who are required to pay this tax are those who have savings in excess of a fixed amount for a time span of more than a year. And the tax itself is only a mere 2.5%. So for example if you held in your bank account an amount in excess of $5000 for a complete year only then would this tax be levied against you. You would need to pay only $125 from this $5000 at the end of the year. This all that you would be required to pay. This is the only tax in the Islamic State. Compare this to the West where most workers have to give up 50% of their income in taxes, while the state in return gives them nothing. Not even free healthcare. So with a tax system that is based on savings rather than on income, the State encourages its citizens to spend and not to hoard. Because the more that you hoard the more that you end up paying in taxes. Hoarding of wealth really is one of the main problems with the world economy today. There are so many extremely wealthy people who are just storing up their money and not spending it.

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They either do not spend their money at all or they spend it on useless luxuries and extravagance. Private jets, huge mansions, clubs and parties, drugs, we do not need to say more. You know about what we speak. You know the kind of lives that most of the super rich live. They think the only purpose of their existence is the satisfaction of their desires. They think they are the most important in the world. They think everyone must serve them and every thing should happen the way they want it to. They are so full of themselves. They cannot see anything else or anyone else. They cannot see Him. They just want to enjoy themselves and satisfy themselves as much as they can. Such is the only purpose of life. Such is what Secularism taught them. This is the mentality that Islam came to change. Allah (swt) shows us in this Din how there is more to life than accumulating wealth and enjoying ourselves. The purpose of this life is to worship Him. The purpose of this life is to glorify Him. Everyone needs to be made aware of this fact. Even the rich. That is why there are laws in Islam against the hoarding of exuberant amounts of wealth. You can save money, but it has to be up to a limit. After that limit is reached then you must spend it. You have to either invest it back into the economy where it will benefit others or you have to give to those who will. Allah (swt) does not like wastage, and money that is hoarded is money that is wasted. Rather He loves those who spend for Him.

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If only this was implemented in the world today then there would not be anymore poor people. The problem is not a lack of resources as they have fooled us into believing. There is more than enough on Allah’s earth for all of His slaves. Rather the problem is that a few of His slaves are keeping everything for themselves. The problem is in the unfair distribution of wealth. We are not like the Communists. We are not saying that the state must own everything and control everything. That was an extreme reaction to Capitalism and we are not a people of extremes. Rather people can own wealth and property. They can enjoy themselves in this world. But it has to be up to a certain limit. They also need to be made to share. The problem with the world today is that people just do not do that. They have been made to believe that this is the only life to live. So if only the people could be shown the Truth. If only the people can be reminded of Him. Reminded of how this life is only a test. If only they can be taught to share and to give only for His sake. If only they can be taught not to hoard and not to spend all that they have only on themselves because such is not pleasing to Him. Then just think what kind of a world it would be. If only the richest people in the world would give up only a portion of their wealth then it would eliminate all of the poverty in the world today. This is what Islam facilitates. It facilitates the fair distribution of wealth. It allows for all of Allah (swt)’s creation to share of His Bounty.

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The fourth principle upon which the Islamic Economic system is established is the distinction between the needs and luxuries. Another flaw of the Capitalist Economic System is that they do not make this distinction. They treat all goods and services as need. That is how they reach the conclusion that there are not enough resources to meet the needs of all people. However in one just one hadith Allah (swt) showed us how indeed there is a distinction. The Prophet (saw) told us how the son of Adam has no greater right than that of food, shelter and clothing. One meaning of this hadith is that it is the responsibility of the Islamic State to provide these for all of its citizens. Both Muslims and non Muslims. We can take this meaning because the Prophet (saw) referred to these three as the “right” of the son of Adam. Meaning that he should not ever be denied any of these. Another meaning that we can take from this beautiful hadith is that these three are the basic and fundamental needs of all human beings. All human beings need to have these three. They need to have these three. If they do not have these then they would die. Everything else beyond these are the luxuries. They are called as such because they are not required for the survival of the human. If he has these then they would make his life better but they are not needed for his survival. So in Islam we make the distinction between the needs and the luxuries. And what is the consequence of making this distinction?

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The consequence is that the State is allowed to provide all its citizens with their basic needs if they are unable to procure these for themselves. If you would just realize the simple fact that all that any of us truly need are bread and water, a roof over our heads, a shirt on our back and shoes on our feet. If we have these then we can survive. We can get by until we are able to earn a living for ourselves. When it comes to these bare needs, the State is fully capable of providing these for all its citizens. So there is no need for there to be any starving children. There is no need for any homeless people to be out on the streets. We only need to remind ourselves of what it is that people truly need. If we did then we can provide for everyone. No one has to suffer, no one has to live a life of misery, no one has to die. Now if people want more than these basic needs, if they want the luxuries then they have to work for it. The State is not obligated to provide these for them. And of course most people do want these luxuries. Most people do want a better life. Therein lies the incentive for them to work. Therein lies the incentive for them to strive in their work or in their business. So in Islam we do not lose that drive for innovation and excellence that comes from those who want to earn a better life for themselves. We encourage people to reach the utmost of their potential. To try their best. To be as efficient and productive as possible. Because if they do then they can seek all the bounties of their Lord.

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But for those people who find themselves in difficult situations. For those people who for whatever reason are unable to make a living. Perhaps they lost their job. Perhaps they had some injury or disability. Perhaps they are unable to work and they do not have anyone to provide for them. We do not leave such people out in the cold. We do not allow them to starve and die. Rather it is an obligation upon the State to provide for them. It is a duty enjoined upon the State by Allah (swt) Himself. So the State can never fail in this duty. If ever a crisis were to happen, if ever there were some kind of famine or other disaster, and there was a shortage of food and shelter, then the State must divert resources from all other sectors in order to take care of its people. No one must be allowed to die. No one must be allowed to suffer. Because this is a religion of mercy. We can also note about the needs of a human being that they never increase. Whereas the desires a human may have for luxuries may increase, his needs will not. He will always have the same needs. And this fact allows the State to continue to provide for him for an extended period if needed. If he truly has a reason that prevents him from working or doing business for a long time then he can be sure that the Khilafah will take care of him and his family. He does not need to be in fear of starving. He does not need to be in fear of being thrown out of his home. He does not need to be in fear of his unemployment or his welfare running out.

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Now do not ever think that just because there exists a mechanism for the distribution of wealth, and just because the basic needs of all citizens are taken care of, do not ever think that this will lead people to become lazy and complacent. Do not ever think that this will make people to rely on the state to provide for them. Such will never be the case. Firstly because as we mentioned previously if someone wants to procure the luxury goods, meaning anything that is beyond the basic needs, then they need to work. They need to pay for these themselves. The government will not pay for such luxuries. This is one incentive for them to work harder. Another incentive is that in Islam even our work and our business is part of our worship. Our Lord has told us in several verses to go out into the earth and seek of His Bounty. So even though He is the Provider, what is upon us is to seek that provision from Him. And we do this by making the effort. By going out into the world and working or doing business or learning. These are all ways of worshipping Him. These are all ways of coming closer to Him. So a true believer would strive even in this. He would strive even in trying to be the most productive member of the economy that he could be. He knows that laziness and inactivity, wastage and sloth are most displeasing to his Lord. So he tires his best to avoid these. He tries his best to contribute. And his primary goal in doing so is not in this world. Rather it is the countenance of his Lord.

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The final principle upon which the economy in the Islamic State is based is the proper utilization of land and resources. Once again Islam is based upon the premise that this entire earth belongs to Allah (swt), and we are only the caretakers of it. Once we realize this then we should realize that we cannot abuse the earth in any way. We cannot exploit or harm it in any way. Neither the earth itself nor anything upon the earth. We have a responsibility to put the earth to good use. We cannot allow any part of it to be wasted, we cannot allow any part of it to be ruined. It is a trust and so it has to be looked after. Based upon this principle there are several laws that can be extracted. One is that land must always be utilized for some beneficial reason. It is not permissible to have land that does not serve any purpose. If any land is privately owned, the owner still must put that land to use in some way. Either to produce crops, or to hold a building or beneficial structure, or even as a park or nature preserve. It does not matter what he uses it for but it has to be something which will benefit the people. If he does not, then the state can confiscate that land from him and give it someone who will. Just imagine how wonderful it would be if this law was implemented today. How much land is there on the earth today which is wasted? Just sitting while there are hungry people and needy people. Not being a benefit to anyone. Allah (swt) created this earth to serve all mankind. Only we prevent it from doing so.

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Another law which can be derived from this principle is the public ownership of natural resources. The Prophet (saw) said that the people share in three, these are water, pasture and fire. From this our scholars have said that all natural waterways like rivers, lakes, canals, and oceans cannot be claimed by any one person or corporation. The same can be said for natural resources like oil, natural gas and coal. These all have to be the property of the state. Only the state can ensure that these are managed properly. Only the state can ensure that these are distributed equally. Because if it was the case that a single person or corporation was allowed to own these then they could exploit the people by selling them these at high prices. Then they could become extremely wealthy while doing little effort on their part. This is not at all pleasing to Allah (swt). Our Lord does not like those who make large amounts of money without any effort on their part. The money that is blessed is the money that you worked hard to earn. And moreover our Lord does not like the people to be exploited and made to pay a lot for something that they need like fuel for their cars or gas to heat their homes. And He does not like those who claim ownership for something that they did not make or work at. The rivers, the lakes, the oil, all these belong to Him. He created them. He sustains them. How then can any one person claim ownership over them? How can only one person truly benefit from them and reap all their blessings?

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Just imagine today if all the Muslims got a share of the oil revenues that were coming out of the gulf states. Because indeed according to Islam that land and consequently that oil does belong to the Ummah. So imagine if every Muslim today got what they deserve according to the Divine Law. We can guarantee you that there would not be even one poor person in the Ummah. We can guarantee you that everyone’s needs would be taken care of. Such is the amount of money that is coming out from that blessed land. Such is the amount of money that those fools who call themselves Muslims are keeping for themselves. They spend this wealth on themselves and their desires when there are hundreds of children who die from hunger every single day. There are thousands whose needs are not meant and who are struggling just to survive. How can this be? How can a Lord Who is Merciful and Compassionate allow this to happen? Can you really believe that this is what He wants? This horrible condition that the world finds itself in today. With so much suffering and deprivation. Is this what He is pleased with? How can this be? Especially when we know that He has revealed a system for us to live by. The text is absolutely clear. These principles which we have shown you are there. This system was once implemented successfully and we saw the fruits of it. We saw a land in which there was no poverty. We saw a land in which the needs of everyone were met.

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So the blame cannot be upon Allah (swt). We cannot simply say that this is how He wants the world to be. We cannot say that we should just be patient with His Decree. We should be patient with His Decree but only after we have done our part. Would you ever tell someone who is sitting at home and who finds himself in poverty because he is not working to be patient with the Decree of Allah (swt)? Of course not. You would tell him to go out and do his part. To first take the means and then to rely on Allah (swt). In the hadith that many of us know the Prophet (saw) told us to tie the camel and then to put our trust in our Lord. So we have to take the means and once we have done so then we should rely on Him. We have to do our part first. Similarly we have to try and implement the system which He has revealed for us. We have to do what we can to work for the restoration of the Khilafah. When we fail to do so then we ourselves are the cause for our suffering. We are suffering because we are not living the life that He has shown us to live. We are suffering because we have not implemented the systems which He has obligated on us. We are suffering because we have made ourselves content with a man made system. A system in which man is the legislator. A system which comes from the desires and the greed and the lusts of man. A system where he keeps everything for himself. A system where he can enjoy himself and lavish in extravagance and flamboyance while his brother and his neighbor starve.

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There is nothing to put his greed in check. There is no one to tell him that what he is doing is wrong and unfair. This is because he has usurped the sovereignty from Allah (swt). He has dismantled the Divine System which allows for the fair distribution of wealth. He has claimed ownership over things which he has no right to. This is why there is so much suffering in the world. The Divine system which Allah (swt) sent down to take care of the people is not present. How then can you expect anything but this sad state of affairs? How can we be surprised? We have no one to blame but ourselves. We have to say again that the Islamic Economic system that we are presenting here is not Communism. Because some enemies of this Din would just say that what we are presenting here is just Communism wrapped in religious clothing. But of course they are wrong. There are several key differences between these two systems. The first and most important is that one is from the mind of man and the other is from the Divine. This is why the former failed after only a few years but the latter was successfully implemented for over 1300 years. The second important difference is that Islam allows and encourages private ownership. Countless are the verses where Allah (swt) has told us to go out into the world and seek of His Bounty. Countless are the hadith where the Prophet (saw) spoke of the great reward given to the one who works to gain his own provision. So even though the State does have

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mechanisms in place to ensure the fair distribution of wealth and to ensure that people are always taken care of, this does not mean that everyone will become lazy and rely on the State. No because the people will always be reminded and they will be taught since childhood that even their work and their trade is part of their worship. So in it they need to be honest, they need to be fair, and they need to try their best. They need to be as productive as possible. They need to come up with innovations and learn how to do things better. They need to excel in what they do. Because this also is a way through which they can draw closer to Him. And once they have been shown how Beautiful and Magnificent He IS. Once they have been shown how Tremendous and Glorious He IS. How could they not do everything that they can do seek Him and draw closer to Him? So while the Communists did have the right idea in that they sought to look after the people, they failed because they removed Allah (swt) from the equation. That is why both their people and their state eventually became lethargic and corrupt. But in Islam the people are reminded that it is all about Allah (swt). He is the reason why they should work hard and try their best. And He is also the reason why they should share. It is all about pleasing Him. In order to please Him they try to become better people. And in the process they make their society better. They will have a motivation to always strive. To always be better. And that is He.

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In this regard Islam is also different from the Capitalist and secular system. Because even there the people really have no motivation to work hard and strive in their work. The only motivation that they have is the monetary reward that they think they can get for their work. But at the same time if they believe that they can get the same amount of money by doing less work, perhaps even by cheating then this is what they will do. The goal in their minds is how they can get the most benefit by doing the least amount of work. The goal is getting more but giving less. They like to consume but they do not like to produce. But in Islam this is not the case. The believer loves his work because it is part of his worship. So just like he will not cheat the state and try to live off the state like in a socialist system, he will also not cheat his employers or his business partners like he would in a Capitalist system. Rather in Islam he will always work to the utmost of his capacity and he will always be honest. He will not think of his work as a task or a chore, rather he will take pleasure from it. Because He Knows that at this moment His Lord is looking down upon Him and He is pleased. This really is all that he needs. The contentment of his Lord. Just imagine how productive our economies would be if everyone had this mentality. Just imagine how much less wastage and corruption there would be. So see how Islam brings out the best of both Capitalism and Communism and it eliminates what failed in tem.

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How can we ever expect anything less when we know that this is a system which has been revealed by the Divine? We want all of mankind to realize this fact. We want them to realize that there is something better. Something better than this world where there are so few who have so much and so many who have so little. This world where there is so much suffering and deprivation. There is better. It is not a dream. It was a place that once existed and can exist again. What we need to bring it back is to return to Allah (swt). You see it is all connected. You cannot have the Islamic Economic system unless you have the Islamic government and you cannot have the Islamic government unless you have the Islamic nation and you cannot have the Islamic nation unless you have the Islamic family and you cannot have the Islamic family unless you yourself submit to Him. So yes it is true that the road is long, but remember that in the end it is not about the destination but it is about the journey. As wonderful as the Divine Kingdom is. As much prosperity and well being that it will bring for mankind. This should still not be the primary reason why we seek to live in it. Rather we should seek to live in it is because it is His Kingdom. It is the place where we can truly worship Him and dedicate ourselves to Him. And moreover it is how He wants the world to be. He loves all of us so He wants us all to be taken care of. Both in this life and the next. If you truly love Him then do you not want to live in His world?

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Chapter 10: Peace and War in the Divine Kingdom
If we ask non Muslims today as to what is their biggest reservation about Islam many would reply by saying that it is a religion of violence. They would say it is calls for terror and bloodshed. This is the image that they have about our Din. This is what has been fed to them by the media. This is why many of turn away from it without even looking into it. Of course this perception is absolutely false. It has no basis to it whatsoever. Insha Allah in this chapter we will show how this is so. Insha Allah we will show how not only is this a religion of peace but how it came to end all war and conflict. It came to bring peace and mercy to the world. After all what else can you expect from a way of life that has been revealed by Him? He the Being of Mercy and Love. He the Being of Purity and Light. How could such a Being ever reveal a religion of terror and violence? No, the real terrorists are those who would speak such lies. They are the ones who promote a way of life where you should live for yourself. A way of life where the satisfaction of desires and the quenching of egos is most important. They know that this religion is the Light that can shine through their darkness. That is why they are trying to put it out with their propaganda. But Allah (swt) will not allow it. He will perfect His Light.

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Now unlike some Muslims may have done, we are not going to lie to you and tell you that there is no war in Islam. We are not going to lie to you and tell you that this is a religion of pacifists who have never lifted a sword against anyone. Jihad or fighting in the way of Allah (swt) is an integral part of our Din. Countless are the verses of the Quran and the hadith of the Prophet which praise this noble act. In fact there is probably no act of worship that has been promised a higher reward. That is more pleasing to the Divine. So there is a place for Jihad in our Din. But it is not like how the enemies of this Message make it out to be. It is not the random and indiscriminate killing of civilians. It is not even like any war that you have known. It is a just war. A noble war. Insha Allah after this chapter you will see how this is so. But it does have a place in our religion. We are not going to lie to you and tell you that it does not. We are not going to change Islam it to conform into what your perception of a religion should be. Because that is not what Islam is. It is not like any other religion. All other religions have been tainted by the hands of man. So all other religions have been made to conform with a secular world. The world where man rules. But Islam is not like this. This Din was never meant to be compatible with a secular world. Because man was never meant to be a sovereign. This earth does not belong to him so he cannot rule it as he pleases. If you can understand this then you can understand the place of war in Islam.

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Allah (swt) says

[2:193] And fight them until there is no more temptation and the Din is only for Allah. In this beautiful verse Allah (swt) tells us the reason for war in Islam. He shows us why and when we have to fight. He says that we have to fight until there is no more temptation and the Din is only for Him. Now Insha Allah the key to understanding this command is in understanding what He means by “temptation” and what He means by “Din”. In order to understand these two words, we have to remind ourselves once again as to what is our purpose on this earth. What are we doing here? Why do we even exist? Of course it is only to worship Allah (swt). Only to dedicate ourselves to Him. This is reason why He created each and every single one of us. This is the reason why He created this entire universe. So that we could discover Him, love Him and enslave ourselves to Him. We all have to dedicate our hearts to Him. We all have to focus our energies only on Him. So Tremendous and Pure is He that such is what He deserves. Now a temptation is something that can seduce away from this purpose. A temptation is something that can seduce away from Him. A demon that could take our hearts away from Him.

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So we need to fight to remove these demons. To remove these temptations. This is the first reason why we fight. To remove anything that might impede the people from journeying to their Lord. Because He is a Being of Glory and Honor. He does not like to be forgotten. He does not like to be neglected. He does not like it when people dedicate themselves to other than Him. This is why He has commanded us to fight in order to remove these distractions. These may be false gods which are worshipped instead of Him like there were at the time of the Prophet (saw). At that time Arabia was filled with idols and Shaitan called the people to worship these idols instead of Allah (swt). That was why the Prophet (saw) and the Muslims had to fight. They had to fight until all these false gods could be destroyed. But what about our situation today? Today there are no idols yet we still so few people dedicated to Allah (swt). Most people, even those who call themselves Muslims, have dedicated themselves to other than Him. Why is this? What is Shaitan calling them to instead of Him? We believe that it is materialism and consumerism. It is hedonism and individualism. These are the idols of the modern world. They are the reason why people have turned away from Allah (swt). The people have attached their hearts to these instead of Him. So today we have to fight to slay these demons. These demons who call to darkness and evil. Who call to other than Him. How noble and honorable a war is that?

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The other reason why Allah (swt) commands us to fight in this verse is so that the Din could only be for Him. Now what is meant here by Din? So far we have used it synonymously with religion but we need to explain a bit further here. Because what you think of as religion may not be what Allah (swt) has defined religion to be. In Islam politics is part of religion. In Islam economy is part of religion. In Islam the way in which we deal with our family is part of religion. The way in which we deal with people is part of religion. The way in which we do business is part of religion. It is all connected. It is all part of our dedication to Him. It is all part of Din. So here Allah (swt) commands us to fight until this Din is only for Him. Meaning that everything and everyone should return to the way it should be. Everything and everyone should return to a state of dedication to Him. As He created us to be. Notice how the two reasons that He has given us to fight are closely connected. The way in which we ensure that the Din is only for Him is by removing all the temptations. We remove what distracts the people away from Him so that they can be dedicated completely to Him. So that everything and everyone can submit to Him. When the distractions are gone, when the temptations, that is when people will remember Him. That is when they will give Him the place that He deserves. To reach this goal we must fight. For Him.

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Now the first of these demons that must be destroyed is the government which does not rule by the Divine Law. Because such a government is what controls every aspect of the society. Such a government is what protects and establishes all of the demons which take the people away from Allah (swt). There is much that distracts the people away from Allah (swt) but it is all controlled and protected by the government. Think about it for a moment. This materialistic way of life. This consumer culture. Can you ever hope to change it without bringing a radical change to the economic system, to the education system, to the media? It is everywhere. You cannot remove it from only one place, rather you have to remove it from everywhere. And that is why you have to start at the base. You have to start with the government. You have to bring a complete revolution. This may sound to you as being very radical but this is what Allah (swt) wants. How can you expect such a Glorious Being to be content with the world as it is today? He does not deserve to be neglected, He does not deserve to be forgotten. He deserves that the people remember Him. He deserves that they dedicate themselves to Him. Now we are not saying that we should force the people to do this. We are not saying that we have to put a sword to their necks. It has to be something that they choose to do willingly. It has to be their choice. Our Lord has already told us in other verses how there can be no compulsion in religion.

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But what we are saying is that we should create an environment which is conducive for them to remember Allah (swt). An environment that is conducive for them to dedicate themselves to Him. Today this is very difficult. There are so many demons and false gods calling them away from Him. These demons make them blind to Him. They fill the hearts of the people when their hearts were created only for Him. So in order to save the people from this. In order to give them the chance to discover Him. We have to fight. Now tell us what could be a more noble war than this? A struggle for the Divine. To establish His Law upon the earth. To take His Message to mankind. To remove all the demons and distractions that take the people away from Him. We have already established in earlier chapters how important it is for us to worship Him. How important it is for us to dedicate ourselves to Him. If you realize this then you will see why we have to strive to remove those forces which keep the people away from Him. The problem today is not simply that the people have turned away from Him. Rather the problem is that there are forces which keep them away from Him. As you can see from the verse He Himself has identified these in the Quran and He Himself has told us to remove them. This then is the reason why we fight. Because He has told us to. And we love Him so much that we want the people to return to Him. We want them to give Him His right. We want the earth to be ruled by His Law.

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One of the most important means of facilitating this is Jihad. Jihad is what allows for the people to return to Him. Because it removes all that keeps them away from Him. First and foremost among these is the government that has usurped the sovereignty from Him. We can never create the Divine Kingdom on earth while there are secular governments who rule over it. How can you establish a foundation of light when underneath it there is a foundation of darkness? How can the people truly submit to Him when the very law by which they are ruled is not His? How can they ever give Him His right when the world around them is based in heedlessness. As we stated already man has no right to be sovereign. This earth does not belong to him so he cannot rule over it. Rather only Allah (swt) can rule. Only His Divine Law can be implemented on this earth. Because He created it and He sustains it. So He is its true Owner and Master. Its true Sovereign and Lord. If we truly love Him then we would strive to give Him back this right. To return His earth to Him. How can it be that we allow to exist on this earth what we know is hated by Him? Bars, alcohol, gambling, adultery, banks taking usury, all of these we know are hated by Him. And yet the laws of the governments whom we support allow these evils to be present. Are we not then responsible for them? What arrogance do we have? How could we have become so blind to Him? We have forgotten Him to such an extent to claim this position of sovereign for ourselves.

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Now that we have established the reason for Jihad, we come to the method. This is the area where there has been much confusion. There is the area where there has been many lies and misinformation. How do we achieve this lofty goal of bringing the people back to Allah (swt)? Is it by going and blowing up an airplane? Is it by kidnappings and beheadings? Can we a Muslim nation at this point take up any kind of armed struggle? No. Because if we study closely the method of the Prophet (saw). The one whose example Allah (swt) ordered us to follow. We will see that he (saw) never took up arms before the Islamic State was established. First he (saw) established the Khilafah through peaceful means. Not by forcing it upon the people. But by dialogue and interaction. By convincing them that this is what they needed. By showing them this is how they should live. By reminding them of Allah (swt). When they realized Him in all His Majesty and Beauty then they knew that they had to submit to Him. And they knew that an important manifestation of their submission is that they only had to live under His Law. This the Prophet (saw) did first. Before this, before Islam was established, he (saw) never took up arms. Even though he (saw) was capable of doing so. Even in Makkah, he had several powerful men in his movement. He had access to weapons. And the enemies of this Din were persecuting and torturing his followers. There was no one to stand up for them, no one to protect them.

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So the Prophet (saw) had the means and he had the reason but still he (saw) did not fight. Still he (saw) held back his hands and he ordered his companions to do so as well. Why? Because he knew that at that point fighting would not be pleasing to Allah (swt). He (saw) knew that his Lord did not want Islam to be established on bloodshed. Rather the Islamic State can only come when the Muslims themselves choose to bring it. When we decide that we need to live under the Divine Law. So this was what the Prophet (saw) strived to do. It was an intellectual struggle and not a military one. He (saw) strived to convince the people that they should return the sovereignty to Allah (swt). This was the first step. But then once the Khilafah was established. Once the sovereignty was returned to Allah (swt). Then Jihad became permissible. That was when he (saw) took up arms and ordered his companions to do so as well. From this we see that the Khilafah is a precondition for Jihad. In that we cannot have the latter without the former. So just like you cannot have prayer without ablution, you cannot have fighting without the state. Now at the point when the Khilafah has already been established then why do we still need Jihad? What is the point of fighting if a State is already there which rules by Allah (swt)’s Law? If there is already a place where the people can discover Him, be closer to Him, and live in His Kingdom, what then is the purpose of fighting?

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The answer to this question is two fold. There are two reasons why Jihad needs to be present even though the State is there. The first is to preserve and protect the State. For this a defensive Jihad is needed. A Jihad to protect the State from all its enemies who seek to destroy her. A Jihad to safeguard the lives of and the properties of her citizens. A Jihad to ensure that the Divine Law remains upon the earth. But can we be content to have the Divine Law confined to only one geographic locality? Can we be content to have only a portion of the earth under the sovereignty of Allah (swt) and the reminder under the sovereignty of man? Can we be happy if we ourselves submit to Allah (swt) but the rest of mankind lives in heedlessness of Him? Without hearing His Book or His Message? No of course no. All of mankind should properly receive this Message. All of them should be given a fair chance to journey to their Lord. All of them deserve to live in a world free of distractions and demons that call them away from Him. Our nature is that we are weak as Allah (swt) Himself told us in the Quran. We succumb easily to temptations. We forget. In order to save us from ourselves we need to live in an environment that will constantly remind us. Remind us of Him. All human beings deserve this chance. That is why the Khilafah cannot be confined to one place. Once established in a particular land it must then spread. It must spread to every corner of this earth.

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Another reason why the Khilafah cannot remain only in one land is because this entire earth belongs to Allah (swt). He is not only the Creator of Arabia or the Creator of the Middle East. No rather He created this entire earth. And at every moment He is sustaining it. He is nurturing it. If He were to turn away from this earth for even a moment then it would be destroyed. How then can we claim to rule over it with our own desires? How then can we neglect the Law and the systems that He has sent to us and rule instead by our laws and our system? Such is not acceptable to Him. That is why He has commanded for the Khilafah to spread. So that the entire earth can be brought back under His sovereignty. So that all people, and all lands can be ruled only under His Law. This is why an offensive Jihad is also needed. A Jihad that allows other lands to be liberated. To be free from the oppressive systems of man. To be brought under the Just System of the Divine. Now even this Jihad has its method and its rules. If we study the way of the Prophet (saw), we see that he (saw) first sent emissaries to the kings of the neighboring empires. He invited them to Islam. He asked them to return the sovereignty over their lands to the One to Whom it truly belongs. They could even keep their religion if they pleased. Even their people could keep their religion. But the sovereignty must be returned to Allah (swt). He deserves this and He will not tolerate for anyone else to have it.

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If the kings and the rulers were to accept this invitation then there would be no fighting. There would be no swords raised. Allah (swt) does not like violence. He does not like bloodshed. He does not like death and destruction. He does not want it to be used except as a last resort. When all else fails. When the kings become arrogant and stubborn. When they choose to keep the power for themselves. A power which they themselves know that they have no right to. Also when they prevent their people from receiving Allah (swt)’s Message. When they allow their people to live in a world where there are so many demons which take them away from Him. At that point they themselves have become demons. They themselves are preventing their people from being with Allah (swt). This is when they need to be fought. This is when they need to be removed. They brought this war down upon themselves when they chose to turn away from Him. Just try and comprehend the magnitude of their sin. First they have usurped the sovereignty away from Allah (swt). Then they have prevented their people from knowing Him. And then even when they are given the opportunity to correct their wrong, they refuse. Can you then realize how much injustice they have done to Him? When He is the One Who created them and He sustains them at every moment. How can you love Him and be content with what they have done? How can you love Him and not yearn to fight them? This is why we fight. We fight for Him. Against His enemies.

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This then is Jihad in Islam. It is the struggle for Allah (swt). The struggle to establish His Law upon the earth. The struggle to take His Message to mankind. The struggle to slay the demons which keep the people away from Him. There are many manifestations of this struggle. The material struggle with arms is but one of many. It is not used except as a last resort. And even then it has its rules and prohibitions. Foremost among these is that civilians are never to be harmed. There are authentic hadith of the Prophet (saw) where he explicitly forbade the killing of women, children and the elderly. There are other hadith where he (saw) also forbade us from killing merchants and monks. So anyone who is not a soldier, who is not holding arms, who is not physically preventing the Muslim army from entering the land, is not to be harmed. In Islam Jihad is only between soldiers in the battlefield. Such was how it was at the time of the Prophet (saw) and such is how it will be again when the Khilafah is reestablished Insha Allah. It is not bombings and beheadings like the media has made it out to be. If there are some misguided Muslims who do Jihad in this way it is their fault and not the fault of Islam. I absolutely condemn in the clearest of terms all such acts of violence directed towards civilians. I also do not support any violence or arms taken up at this point when there is no Islamic State. I think the text is very clear. The way of the Prophet (saw) is very clear. At this point the only Jihad is an ideological one.

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We have to show the people how our ideology is the correct one. We have to show them how this is the correct way of life to live. We have to show them how this is the way that will bring them peace and tranquility, justice and equity in this world. And this is the life that will save them from the torment and grant them the bliss in the next. We have to show them with our pens and our tongues. Not with bombs and machine guns. This is a religion of peace and love. It has been sent down by the Being of Purity and Light. The Being of Mercy and Love. Could you ever believe that such a Being would reveal a religion of evil? A religion where innocents are harmed. A religion where anyone is made to suffer for no reason. Of course not. It is only the enemies of this Din who are like that. They are the ones who carpet bomb entire cities. They are the ones who place economic sanctions which result in the deaths of millions of children. They are the ones who drop atom bombs on civilians. They are the ones who massacre thousands in cold blood like the Serbs did. They are the ones who have no rules by which they have to abide. Do you think that any soldier from a secular nation thinks about the Geneva conventions when he enters an enemy village? Where he finds therein women and children with whom he can do what he pleases? He has no fear of the One above him. He has not been given any rules for combat. So do you think that he will be just? Do you think he will be merciful?

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So we as Muslims do not like war. But at the same time we do demand that our Lord be given His right. Not only because this earth belongs to Him as do we, but also because such is what is best for us all. We have already demonstrated how humanity is suffering living under these man made systems. How there is so much deprivation and injustice in the world. Do you not want something better? Do you not want a change? How can you go to sleep soundly at night? How can you enjoy any pleasure when you know that there are so many of your brothers and sisters who are suffering? So many of your brothers and sisters who do not even have enough to eat. You may have always told yourself that you cannot do anything about it. This may have been a consolation in the past. But now that you know that there is something better how can you not yearn for it? How can you be content with the world as it is? How wonderful would it be if the Divine Kingdom were to return? How wonderful would it be if is dominion could spread to every part of the globe? Imagine an earth with no more borders. Such was how it was meant to be. Allah (swt) tells us in the Quran how all of mankind used to be one nation. United under the Divine Law. But then people broke away. People began to rule by their own laws. They started to differentiate based on tribe then on nationality. This idea of a nation state is a corrupt and evil concept. We as human beings do not need to be divided in such a way.

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We have far more in common than we are different. Why then can we not all be one nation? Under one flag? Living under one Law. His Law. How much better a place would the world be? A world where this country is not fighting that country over a tiny strip of land. This group is not fighting that group for a tiny strip of land. So much blood and so many tears only for some dirt. Such is how the world is today. From Palestine to Sri Lanka to Kashmir to Sudan to Iraq to Columbia to Laos to the Congo to Chechnya to Yemen to almost every part of the world. Even in the Western world you will find gang wars on the streets of the inner cities. No one is safe. Because we all still see “us vs. them”. We all still make some distinction between us and our brethren in humanity. And this is the source of conflict. Imagine if there were no more nation states. Imagine if the whole earth was one country. Would we still have wars? Would we have all this bloodshed and suffering that we have today? No of course not. That is why Jihad is a war to end all wars. It is a war to establish peace upon the earth for all time. This is a religion of peace, it came from the One Who is Peace, even its very name in Arabic means “peace”. Peace is what Allah (swt) loves. Because that is when the people can truly focus their hearts upon Him. That is when the people can glorify Him and praise Him as He deserves to be. That is when they have peace in which to worship Him. But in order to get this peace there must be a war.

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Finally let us compare Jihad with the wars that non Muslims have fought. Let us look at the reason for their wars. Have their wars been for so noble a purpose as calling the people to Allah (swt) and establishing His Law upon the earth? No, what we see is that they fight for land, they fight for oil, they fight for strategic control of waterways and canals. They fight for themselves. For their greed and their desires. For their pride and their glory. This is why they do not abide by the same rules of engagement as we do. They have no problem in killing civilians by the thousands. They have no problem in causing large scale chaos and destruction. Because all that they care about is getting what they want. And in order to do this they do not care who they have to kill or what they have to do. They will even drop an atom bomb and kill millions in an instant if they have to. But we are not like them. Rather we fight only for Allah (swt). So we always abide by the laws that He has sent down, even for combat. Because remember that for us even our fighting is part of our worship. And for this reason we never kill civilians. We never cause any unwanted destruction of property. We fight against only those who stand in the way of this Din and even then only as much is needed. What we want is only peace. What we want is only for the people to return to their Lord. For them to find true peace and happiness from being near to Him. This is what we desire for everyone. This is the purpose of war in Islam.

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Chapter 11: Freedom in the Divine Kingdom
The second contention that most non Muslims have against Islam is that it takes away freedoms. Freedoms and liberties are very important to people in the world that we live today. One of the principles upon which this society has been formed is the guarantee of these freedoms. So people do not like anything that restricts or curtails these freedoms in any way. They think that they have a right to do whatsoever that they please and that no one can take this right away from them. They want to be free. This is what is most important to them. They view anything that restricts their freedom as being oppressive. So many of them do not like Islam for this very reason. They think that this Din will strip them of these freedoms. How do we respond to this contention? How do we show them that their fears are unfounded? Firstly it is by making them to realize how the supposed freedom that they have in this secular world is only an illusion. No one is truly free in any society where there are governments and laws. The laws always restrict the freedoms of people. They would say that it is for the greater good of the society but they cannot deny the fact that their freedoms are still restricted by these laws. They cannot do whatsoever that they please. So they are not truly free.

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How many are the ways in which the freedoms of people are restricted in this secular world? Far more than we can imagine. Even more than Islam ever did. For example if two teenagers wanted to get married can they? The West would say no. They take away the freedom of this couple to come together and build a family. They thus encourage them to have illicit relationships and perhaps even children out of wedlock. If a man wanted to have more than one wife is he free to? No the state prohibits such marriages. Thus it encourages him to have an affair and keep a mistress. In Islam insurance is not permitted, so if a Muslim living in a secular county wanted to, can he choose not to have it? No rather the state forces him to have it. Are our sisters in France and so many other secular nations free to where the head scarf if they wanted to? No the state forbids it. Are you even free to speak whatever you want? No, even this the State restricts. If your speech is considered to be hateful to others, or not politically correct, then it will be censored. These days if your speech is thought to be a threat to national security you will also be restricted. Perhaps even arrested. Are you free to discipline your children how you want? Are you free to put a fence in your own backyard? Are you free to park wherever you want? Are you free to drive as you please? No all of these actions are outlawed. That is why secular laws are so complex and convoluted. These laws restrict the freedoms of people in so many ways.

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So realize now that freedom is and always has been an illusion. Man has never been truly free. As long as he has lived in any kind of society he has had to conform to its laws. These laws have always restricted his actions. These laws always took away his freedom. But is this necessarily a bad thing? Were we really meant to be free? Of course not. We as human beings were created for one purpose and one purpose only. To be slaves of the Divine. Recall the very first verse that we looked at in the first chapter. There our Lord clearly told us the reason why He created us and put us on this earth. It is only so that we could be His slaves. It is only so that we could dedicate ourselves to Him. We were not created so that we could live however we pleased to. Because we do not know how to live. We cannot judge what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. As we said previously we cannot sense the goodness or evil of an action or an object. Such is an ability that we do not have. So how can we be lords over others or even over ourselves? How can we legislate laws? How can we choose how to live? In our arrogance and ignorance we think that we know, but we really we do not know. We have no standard or criteria by which to determine what is right and wrong. And this is obvious just by looking at how secular law has changed over the years. What is acceptable at one time is not acceptable at another. What is good for some is not good for others. There is no consensus at all.

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Take any issue and you will find that there is disagreement on it. Even the most minute and the most detailed of issues you will find contention amongst the people. There will be some who oppose it and some who support it. Because there is no fixed criterion upon which they are judging. This is a flaw in their ideology that Allah (swt) Himself points out in the Quran.

[68:36] What is the matter with you? How are you judging? Each of them is judging by their desires and their experiences. And as we know this is purely subjective. Desires and wants change from person to person and experiences change from person to person. Some people would look at the issue of abortion and find no problem with it, others will say that it is the taking of life. Some people would support capital punishment while others oppose it Some people support gun control while others oppose it. Some are socialists while others are capitalists. On every issue they have contention. Because they themselves do know what is right. How then can they be legislators? How then can they be free? No rather freedom is only an illusion. Freedom is a deception of the devil to take us away from our true purpose. We were not created to live for ourselves. Rather we were created only to live for Him. And only in submitting to Him can we find true peace.

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How arrogant are we? How selfish are we? To think that we exist, and to think that this universe exists, only so that we could satisfy our desires and our egos and then die. Is this all that there is to our existence and the existence of this universe. Were the seven heavens erected? Was the earth spread out? Were the mountains pegged? Were the oceans filled? Were the rivers made to flow? Were the stars lightened? Were the sun and the moon made to run their courses? Were the winds sent? Was the rain made to fall down? Were the atoms to come together? Was every marvelous occurrence in this universe made to happen without purpose? Only so that you could eat, drink, urinate, defecate, copulate and die? Is that all there is to life? Of course not. How foolish and arrogant are we to think it so? No there is One much greater. There is He. He is the true purpose of our existence. If you would only realize this then you would realize that it is not about being free. Rather it is about serving Him. Being a slave to Him. This is how we find fulfillment for our existence. This is how we can be at peace. Although we may enjoy ourselves with the bounties of this world that He has given us, the true contentment in our hearts should come from His Contentment. Just the realization, just the hope, that He is pleased with me now makes me pleased. This is all that I need. So I strive to conform to His Law. I strive to be content with whatever He gives me in life. Because I realize it is not about me but Him.

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However we have to realize that even in this there needs to be balance. When we say that we have dedicated ourselves to Allah (swt) it does not mean that we live a life of misery. It does not mean that we have no freedom of choice whatsoever. We still have the freedom to do what we like as long as it is in conformity with His Law. So for example He has made all kinds of food permissible for us. The only foods forbidden are pork, carrion, and the meat of carnivores. Everything else is permissible. Now within these lawful foods you are free to eat whatever you like. You may like pizza, you may like burgers, you may like rice. It is your choice. You can eat whatever you like. You can also take as a profession in life whatever you desire. So you can be a doctor or an engineer or a businessman or whatever else you like. You only cannot work in an area which deals in the forbidden, like a usury collecting bank or in a store that sells alcohol. You also can marry who you want as long as your partner also believes in Him, and loves Him. So there is freedom and restriction. Such that a balance is achieved. In the areas where we can judge for ourselves He has allowed us to. Such as in the foods that we like, what we like in a spouse, what suits as a profession, the kind of clothes to wear, the type of house to live in, the model of car and so on. But in areas where we are not qualified to judge He has told us to submit to His Law. And just as we find contentment in choice, we also find it in submission.

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Related to the issue of freedom is the issue of tolerance. Some non Muslims bring the critique against our Din that it is intolerant of other religions and beliefs. How do we respond to this contention? First of all it is by reminding them how in our Din there is no compulsion. Allah (swt) has explicitly forbidden us from forcing anyone who is not a Muslim to accept Islam. So from this alone you can see the tolerance of our Din. If it is as intolerant as they claim then why were Muslims not forcing this Din on unbelievers like the Christians had done in so many instances? From the crusades to the conquest of the New World to the Spanish Inquisitions. Countless are the instances when Christians have forced others to accept their beliefs and threatened them with the sword if they did not. In Islam you will not find such. In fact when Jews and others were persecuted in Christian lands they would flee to the Islamic State. Here they found a land where they could practice their religion without persecution or oppression. The Khilafah protected them, treated them as citizens and it provided for them if they were in need. Nowhere in the Quran or Sunnah will you find any text calling for the oppression of non Muslims living in the Khilafah. On the contrary the Prophet (saw) said that whoever harms a non Muslim living under the protection of the State has harmed him (saw). Just look at the power of this hadith If any Muslim in any way, by hand or tongue, harms a non Muslim it is as if they harmed the Prophet (saw).

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The only restriction that was placed on non Muslims is that they were not allowed to openly invite others to their religion and they were not allowed to have any symbols of their religion displayed in public. They were also not allowed to have positions of political authority like judges or governors or the Khalifah. You might say that this is intolerance. You might say that this is treating them as second-class citizens. But we beg to differ. When it comes to political positions we have to remember that the Islamic State is ruled only by the Divine Law. So if a person does not believe in this law to be divine in the first place how could he ever implement it upon the people? When it comes to not allowing them to call to their religion, you really have to look from where we stand. Be in our shoes for a moment. We believe this Din to truly be from Allah (swt) the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. We believe that accepting this Message leads to salvation and turning away from it leads to damnation. How then can we allow anyone to call the people away from it? It is as if we are allowing them to invite people to Hell. How can we permit this? And moreover we love Allah (swt) more than anyone else. Do you think He is pleased when people leave submission to Him? When people choose to worship other gods besides Him? How then can we allow anyone to call to other than Him? These are the only restrictions which Islam has for non Muslims. If you still call this intolerance it is only because you do not know Him.

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Chapter 12: Mercy in the Divine Kingdom
Allah (swt) says in the Quran

This is a statement that Allah (swt) makes to the Prophet (saw) and also to all those who follow him. The reason why he (saw) was raised. The reason why this Message was sent. The reason why this Din was established was only as a mercy for all creation. Not just for Muslims, not just for mankind, but for all creation. Including the animals, the plants, the inanimate objects, and the earth itself. This was the only reason why our Creator chose to send this Message. This is the only reason why Islam exists today. Only as a mercy. As a complete mercy. As a Manifestation of His Love and Compassion for us. So every law in the Shariah is a law of mercy. Every decree is a decree of mercy. The very reason why the Islamic State exists is to that all creation could be shown mercy. This principle must guide every action that the State takes. Show me what government today, what government in the history of mankind, has ever been established on the foundation of mercy? You will not find any. Because all other governments, and all other religions are from the minds of man. But this is a religion and a state that is from the All Merciful. The Being Who is Perfect in His Mercy and Love.

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Now what are the manifestations of this mercy? One is that the outcome of implementing the laws of this Din is mercy. We have already seen how Islam is mercy for the individual, mercy for the family, and mercy for the society. For example Allah (swt) commands us not to harm our bodies for no reason. Drugs and alcohol are forbidden. Suicide is forbidden. We are also forbidden from losing hope in Divine Mercy and being depressed. We should also always trust in Him and not fear. He also commands to look after our families. Providing for them, caring for them, being with them, respecting them, showing tenderness and love to them, are all a religious obligation upon us. Such is how Islam is a mercy for the self and for the family. Similarly we are also obligated to be kind and respectful with all people. To treat all people with this mercy regardless of their race, gender, age, tribe or religion. Allah (swt) has shown us in this Din how we are all brothers and sisters. How we came from the same parents. So it is wrong for any one group among us to say that they are superior to another. The only way in which one human is better than another is in nearness to the Divine and this is something which is only known by Him. Allah (swt) also ordered us to honor our trusts and obligations with the people and not to cheat them in any way. We should also not harm them in any way. Not with our hands or our tongues. Even to backbite against someone, to speak ill about them when they are not present, is a grave sin our religion.

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Not only should we show mercy to all peoples but we should also show it to animals and to all creation. In our belief we are taught that all creation, even the supposedly inanimate objects, are sentient to some degree. Recall the ayah where Allah (swt) told us how everything in creation was glorifying Him and praising Him. This shows us that to some degree they are aware. They are aware of His Presence. That is why they are constantly worshipping Him. This is true not only for the animals and the birds but even for the plants and the rocks. They are all worshipping Him. How then should we who are also His devotees treat them? Of course it is with mercy and love. We should not harm them for no reason. We should not exploit them or overburden them. We should not do anything to them unless there is a good reason. It is even a sin and a crime in our Din to uproot trees or destroy them for no reason. This is just the beginning of the meaning of this verse. We could write pages and pages on exactly how this Din is a mercy to all the creation. But we hope you get the idea. The Prophet (saw) said that whoever wants Allah (swt) to show them mercy should show mercy to all who are on the earth. Not just Muslims but everyone on the earth. He (saw) also commanded us to treat all people in a way that we would like to be treated. Because even this is part of our slavehood to Allah (swt), even this is an act through which can draw neared to Him. He is a Being of Mercy so He loves it.

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The reason why we included this chapter in our book is to show once again how Islam is not a religion of terror and violence. On the contrary it is a religion of peace, mercy and love. This very verse is a testament to this fact. As are these hadith that we have quoted. As is the behavior of the Prophet (saw) if you study his life. As are the lives of those close to him (saw) and those who sincerely followed him (saw) if you would study their lives. As are the actions of the Islamic State when it was governed by those who followed the Quran and Sunnah if you study its history. Even in Europe they have heard of the mercy of Salahudin. The European crusaders came into Jerusalem slaughtering every one in sight including women, children, infants and the elderly. And consequently after that they were guilty of many more massacres. But when Salahudin retook Jerusalem from them he did so without shedding the blood of even one innocent. He also on several occasions allowed his prisoners of war to go free. Never did his enemies ever show such mercy. This is well known. This has been recorded even in the books of the Europeans. Similarly if you would read the accounts of non Muslims who lived in the Islamic State you would see how much they spoke of the mercy that they received. They were free to do their business, to live their lives in peace without anyone harming them or molesting them in any way, all the while they enjoyed the protection and the prosperity of the Khilafah. This is the mercy of this Din.

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Another manifestation of the mercy of this Din is its systems. Just look at the Islamic Economic system, how much of a mercy was it. Imagine a world without usury, a world without interest that is compounded over and over again. Driving the people further and further into debt. Imagine a world without this evil. How much of a mercy would that be? Imagine a world where the wealth is fairly distributed among all people. A world where the super rich are prevented from hoarding everything for themselves. A world where everyone is provided with their basic needs. Where there are no hungry and no homeless. How much of a mercy would that be. Just look at the Islamic Political system. A government that actually works. A government that actually takes care of the people. A government whose purpose is to look after the people. Imagine courts which are run on justice and not on bribes and influence. How much of a mercy would that be? Just look at the place that Islam gives for women. How much of a mercy is it for them? Imagine a world where they are not treated as objects. A world where they are not exploited for their bodies. A world where they do not have to be away from their children. A world where they are not struggling and suffering with men in the rat race. Imagine a world where we are saved from the demons of consumerism, and materialism and hedonism. A world where we are not bombarded with ads and distractions left and right.

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A world in which we have time to remember Him. This really is the greatest mercy of this Din. It allows us to know Him. It allows us to be near to Him. This in and of itself is the greatest mercy. Because just to feel His Presence close to you. Just to know that He is with you. For the believer this is enough to take away all his pain. This is enough to take away all his worries and anxieties. Imagine how much of a mercy is it just to know that Allah (swt) is with you, and that He will take care of you. To know that He is always there to hear your prayers and fulfill your needs. To know that He will protect you and keep you safe. To know that He will reward you for even the smallest of good that you do. When no one else appreciates you know that He is the Most Appreciative. If you live for Him then you will never be disappointed. Nothing that you ever do will ever be wasted. How much of a mercy is it just to realize this fact? How much of a mercy is it to know that any pain or difficulty you go through in this world will be a source of reward for you. It will be a means of your coming closer to Him. How much of a mercy is it to know that there is a purpose for your existence. How much of a mercy is it to know that there is a life after this one. How much of a mercy is it not to always worry about how much money you have in the bank account and about your provisions for tomorrow? How much of a mercy is it just to know Him? Just to realize that there is something far greater to life. This is what Islam offers for all mankind.

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How then can anyone accuse this Din of terror and violence? Those who do are either very ignorant about this religion or they have an evil agenda. In our opinion it is the latter. Because anyone who takes the time to study this Din will see what we have shown. They will see how this is a religion of peace and mercy. This should be clear for anyone who studies the Quran and Sunnah sincerely. But these people do not have this sincerity. They see this Din as a threat to their way of life. Their way where they exploit the masses and follow their low desires. That is why they make up lies about Islam. They feed the people propaganda so as to drive them away from it. What they do is that they take a few verses out of context and completely twist their meaning to suit their agenda. Their agenda of attacking this Message. One such verse is where Allah (swt) says to kill the unbelievers wherever they are found. Now of course this does not mean that all non Muslims should be killed wherever they are. If it does then how can you explain 1400 years of non Muslims living in peace in Muslim lands? How can you explain Salahudin? How can you explain the statement of the Prophet (saw) where he said whoever harms a non Muslim harms me? Clearly they have misquoted and misread the verse. That verse had a very specific instance for which it was sent and it was about a specific group of unbelievers. If you want more details on it please read the tafsir of Surah Tawbah which is free on my website quran-tafsir.org.

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But of course the enemies of Islam will never show you the right understanding of this verse. They will make you to believe that it is speaking about all non Muslims. So that you would think that this is a religion that hates. So that you would think that this is a religion of violence and destruction. How far is this from the Truth? How much are they misguiding you? Recall the first verse that we looked at. This Din was sent only as a mercy for all creation. We saw in how many ways it is a mercy. Of course this they will never speak of. They will just misquote text or even fabricate text. This is because they are a people who are so distant from the Divine. They are so full of themselves. They think that life is about serving themselves. They cannot understand submission. They cannot understand Him. And that is why they will never understand this Din That is why they will keep attacking this Din. But just think for a moment about Him. Think for a moment about the Kind of Being that He IS. Do you think that a Being of such Purity and Mercy could send down a religion like they have described Islam to be? So you see their problem is not really with Islam or with the Muslims. Rather their problem is with Him. They do not believe in Him as He should be, that is why they do not want to submit. That is why they would accuse the Light of being darkness. They are so blind that they cannot distinguish falsehood from the Truth. They have filled their hearts with their own egos when these were created only for Him.

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Chapter 13: The Pillars of the Divine Kingdom
The Prophet (saw) said in an authentic hadith that Islam is built upon five pillars. The first is testifying that there is no god worthy of worship, there is no being worthy of dedication except Allah (swt). The second is the five daily prayers. The third is the Zakat which is the obligatory charity. The fourth is the fasting in the month of Ramadan. And the fifth is the pilgrimage to the Sacred House in Makkah. As we conclude our book now let us look at each of these pillars. Unfortunately even in the understanding of these very fundamentals of Islam there have been confusions and misconceptions among both Muslims and non Muslims. The first of these is that people forget that these are only the pillars of Islam. Meaning that there is much to our Din than only these pillars. So yes these five are a very important part of our religion, but they are only a part. There is so much more to Islam than these five. Only some of which have touched upon on in our humble book. So for us government is part of religion. Economy is part of religion. Our good behavior with our families and with the people is part of religion. Our keeping our trusts is part of religion. Our honesty and integrity is part of religion. Our avoiding sins and evil is part of religion. Our balance is part of religion.

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When you restrict Islam only to these five then you give people only a portion of this beautiful guidance that our Creator has sent to us. What we have to realize is that there is so much more than these five. So much more. To the point where there is guidance in this Din for every moment of our lives. Even our very outlook towards life. The very viewpoints and concepts that we have. Even our emotions. Even our desires are guided by this Din. In all situations and circumstances we can remember Allah (swt). We can try to please Him and we can draw closer to Him. There is guidance in what has sent to us on how we can do this at every moment of our lives. So when you wake up in the morning, when you have your meal, when you use the restroom, when you go to work or school, when you do your daily chores, when you interact with the people, when calamities and difficulties big and small come to you, when bounties and gifts are given to you. In each of these situations you can remember Him. In each of these you can try to please Him and draw closer to Him. All of this is part of Islam. This religion is not restricted only to the five pillars. And yet there are many Muslims today who think that it is only these five. And so they live the rest of their lives in heedlessness. They live the rest of their lives as they please. These are the ones who believe that Islam can be compatible with a secular world. As long as they do these five, they think that they have done enough. They leave out everything else.

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Such thinking is one that Allah (swt) Himself condemns in the Quran. He condemns those who would only follow a part of the Book and leave out the other. He is most displeased with them. He promises them shame in this life and a painful punishment in the next. So we cannot restrict Islam only to these five. These are the pillars of the Din. They support it and hold it up. You have to take them but you also have to take what they are holding up as well. It has to be a complete package. Only such would be pleasing to Him. Now that being said we also have to realize the importance of these pillars. They are exactly that. They support and hold up the rest of Islam. Meaning that you cannot have every other portion of your Din if you do not have these five. If any of these were to be missing then your Din as a whole would collapse. That is how integral they are. That is how important they are. Insha Allah let us now look at each of these. The first is the testification of faith. You have to declare with your tongue that there is no being worthy of worship and dedication except Allah (swt), and that Muhammad (saw) is His Messenger and slave. It is only by making this statement while having conviction of it in one’s heart that one enters into this beautiful Din. This is all that you have to do to become Muslim. Just say these words while believing in them with your heart. Once you have done this then you are a Muslim. You are a part of our nation. You are a citizen of the Islamic State.

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The second pillar is the Salah. The five daily prayers. Five times a day we have to turn our bodies towards Makkah and we have to turn our hearts towards Him. We have to devote ourselves completely to Him in prayer. The first prayer is at dawn, the second at midday, the third in the late afternoon, the fourth at sunset, and the fifth at night. Each of these does not take longer than 15 minutes, but in that time we should be devoted completely to Him. We should strive to clean our hearts of all thoughts and distractions. We should focus only on our prayer. So that through it Insha Allah we can be connected to Him. We can draw closer to Him. First in the prayer we stand and we read from His Book. We praise Him and glorify Him. We acknowledge His position over us as Lord and Master. We ask Him to guide us to what is pleasing to Him. Just this alone, which is called the Fatihah, is one upon which we could write volumes and volumes. Such is the depth of meaning present in each of its words. Then we read some more Quran. Then bow before Him and declare His Majesty and Greatness. Then we prostrate twice before Him while declaring His Perfection and Purity. We also make supplication to Him while in the prostration. Then we sit and make more supplications for ourselves and for the Prophet (saw) and for our nation. These are the basic components of our prayer. But of course if you want more details you should consult the books of Islamic law or talk to a scholar whom you trust.

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But realize that there is far more to the prayer than simply movements of the body and words spoken. This is only the beginning. Far more important is the state of your heart. Your heart must be with Him. At every moment it must draw closer to Him. Either by praising Him or by asking of Him or by contemplating on His Book. Now it is true that this is a hard station to reach. For many of us our prayer becomes something routine. We say the words and do the movements but we do not remember Him. Our hearts are still with this world even while we are in prayer. This is what we have to strive against. We have to strive to perfect our prayer to make it into a means by which we draw closer to Him. This is the primary purpose of the prayer.

[20:13] Surely I am Allah, there is no being worthy of dedication but Me, so enslave yourself to Me and establish prayer for my Remembrance. In this beautiful verse Allah (swt) reminds us who He IS and He shows us who we are. He is Allah. The Being of Perfection and Majesty. The Being of such utter Tremendousness that we would be destroyed if it were ever unveiled upon us. All that we can do in response to such Glory and Purity is submit to Him completely. As He tells us here we should enslave ourselves to Him. Meaning that we should live a life of

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dedication and servitude to Him. And He also tells us here the purpose of our prayer. It is to remember Him. Often times we get caught up in the life of this world. This world distracts us from Him. So we need to remember Him. We need to remember our true purpose for being. That is why He has spread the prayer out throughout the day rather than having it be confined to one time. So that every few hours we would return to Him. Every few hours we would remember Him. If your prayer is not serving this purpose then it needs work. You need to make the effort to remember Him in your prayer. For his sake you must make the effort. The third pillar of Islam is the Zakat. This is the obligatory charity that we pay on our wealth. This pillar is one that needs the Islamic State in order to be properly implemented. Because it is the State who takes a portion of your wealth. It is in essence the tax that you pay. The State takes a portion of your savings and distributes it to those who are needy. Only those who hold a significant amount in savings, at least $5000 by today’s standards, for over a year are required to pay. This money is then distributed to the poor. To those who are unable to come up with their basic needs. As we said in our discussion of the Islamic Economic system, this facilitates the distribution of wealth and it prevents any one person from hoarding all the wealth. It also encourages people to spend and invest their wealth. Thus stimulating the economy and benefitting everyone.

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For the person who pays the Zakat it is means of his wealth becoming purified. It is cleansed from the sins of greed and miserliness. It is also cleansed from any minor sin that was involved when receiving it. Perhaps the business man unintentionally did not give his customer the exact full measure. To cheat in business is a major sin, but if it was done unintentionally then the Zakat will purify it. It is also a demonstration of gratitude to Allah (swt) for bestowing that wealth. So look how everyone benefits. The one paying comes closer to his Lord and finds contentment in it. The one receiving has his needs taken care of. The economy is strengthened because people are encouraged to spend and because people have money to spend. Now of course this 2.5% upon the savings is not the only form of charity in Islam. Anything that you can give in addition to this is also part of your worship. It is also a means by which you can draw closer to Him. He loves for us to spend on the needy and on our family. He also loves for us to spend on His cause. For calling the people to Him and working to establish His Law. And spending is not only in money. But even time and effort. The more that we spend the closer to Him we become. So how beautiful is this? We have the best of incentives to give. The best of incentives to sacrifice. And that is He. The more that we give the closer to Him we become And the more it dawns upon us how we do not matter and this world does not matter. Rather only He does.

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The fourth pillar of our Din is fasting in the month of Ramadan. As we know this was the month in which the Quran was revealed. This was the month in which this Din was sent down to mankind. This was the month in which the course of human history was forever altered. So the first reason why we fast in this month is to show our gratitude to Allah (swt). To show our thanks to Him for giving us this beautiful way of life. Now the way in which we fast is that from sunrise to sunset we refrain ourselves from food, drink and intercourse. But in the process of doing so we should also draw closer to Him. Because He tells us in the Quran that another reason for our fasting is so that we may gain Taqwa. This word has many meanings but among them is consciousness of the Divine. You have to be aware of your Lord, you have to be aware of His Presence so close to you. Your fasting should facilitate this awareness. Every time a pang of hunger strikes, every time your mouth becomes dry with thirst, every time that you desire your spouse, you should remember the One for Whom you are fasting. You should take pleasure in the fact that at this moment He is looking down at your efforts and He is pleased. So it is not just about refraining yourself from your appetites. But it is more so about drawing closer to Him. You starve your body so that you can feed your soul. To bring it to Him. So that by the end of Ramadan you are closer to Him than you were are at the beginning.

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The fifth pillar is the pilgrimage to the Sacred House in Makkah which is also known as the Hajj. This is a journey that is required of every Muslim who is both physically and financially capable of doing so. But there is so much more to the Hajj than just the journey itself. Its performance is fixed to a certain time and there are specific rituals that need to take place. Some have called it the monasticism of Islam. Because for those days when you are in Makkah you should give up the world completely. You have to sleep out in the open, you eat and drink very little, you have to do without all your creature comforts, you cannot even wear clothes with stitches. Although it is difficult you do so for Him. And thus you draw closer to Him. As you make your way there in the difficult journey. As you perform the rites in hardship you remember Him. You remember the One for Whom you are going through this discomfort. Hajj also is an opportunity to realize the unity of our nation. Because everyone comes together there as one. Rich and poor look exactly the same. We are all dressed in the same simple white dress. Thus we are reminded of how we are all one brotherhood. Hajj also reminds us of the Last Day. The Day on which we will be gathered onto our Lord. Because on that Day we see thousand of people gathered together in one place. Not having any possessions except the simple garment they were. So we are reminded of how one day soon our world will be gone. One day soon it will be only us and Him.

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What we should see in each of these five pillars is that they all remind us of Him. They all bring us closer to Him. That is why they are called pillars. They support and strengthen our life of dedication to Him. They hold up our Islam. When we make our testifcation we remind ourselves how we are dedicated to Him. We also remind ourselves that the method of this submission is by following His Messenger. When we make our prayer we turn our hearts towards Him and come closer to Him. Five times a day we renew our connection with Him. When we pay our Zakat we draw closer to Him by sacrificing some of our hard earned wealth in His cause. When we fast and when we do the Hajj we draw closer to Him through the difficulty that we undergo. So Insha Allah we should realize from this chapter the importance of these pillars and we should also realize how they are pillars. Just as we cannot neglect these pillars we also cannot neglect the rest of the Din which they hold up. We have to take it all as one complete package. We have to complete and perfect our submission to Him. We have to strive to remember Him at every moment. Only then will our Islam be complete. Only then can we truly be called Muslims. Only then will we by His Grace and Mercy find contentment and peace. Because you know that such is what He deserves. He deserves our entire lives, not just a few rituals.

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Chapter 14: The Divine Kingdom in the world today
As we mentioned previously there are several dimensions to the Divine Kingdom. There are several manifestations to it. At its grandest scale it can exist at a political and economic level. And the manifestation of this is the Islamic State or the Khilafah. This is the government which rules completely by the Divine Law. No legislation is passed, no judgments are made, no systems are implemented, except if they come from Him In this land the wealth and resources are fairly given to all of His creation according to His Justice and Mercy. Such a place does not exist anywhere in the world today. Even those countries who claim to be Islamic states are nowhere near what a true Khilafah should be. They implement only a portion of Islam and they leave out the rest. Islam was never meant to be implemented in such a way. Because the systems are dependent on each other. So if you have only a portion of it you really do not have anything. You have only a shell. Only a façade which you use to fool the masses and give yourselves legitimacy. This is what the leaders of these so called modern Islamic states have done. There is no true Khilafah. The Divine Kingdom does not exist at a geo-political level. And as a result of we can see the terrible condition that the world is in today.

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But before existing at a national level, the Divine Kingdom must also exist at a communal level, at a family level and at an individual level. These also are lacking from the world today. Do we as individuals submit to Allah (swt) completely? And consequently do our families? Do our communities? If we ourselves do not remember Allah (swt). If we do not behave in a way that is pleasing to Him. If we do not see our interactions to be part of our servitude to Him then how can we expect our families and those around us to? How can we hope to bring Islam into the lives of our families and our communities and into the world if it is missing from our lives? Islam is nothing but submission and dedication to Allah (swt). Today do we have this in our lives? How often do we remember Him over the course of our days? How many of our actions do we dedicate to Him? Do we even remember Him in our prayers? Do we even make our prayers? How then can we ever hope to bring the Khilafah? How can we ever hope to establish the Divine Kingdom on the earth when it is missing in our own lives? So it must start with us. Every tree starts as a seed in the ground. Only then does it grow. Only then does it branch out. Similarly for the tree of Islam to be established in the world it needs a seed. That seed can be you. But first you need to make a change. You have to dedicate yourself completely to Allah (swt). You have to desire nothing in life except His Pleasure. You have to be willing to sacrifice everything only for Him.

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Without a doubt this is a very high station to reach. But remember that even a thousand miles begins with a single step. So take that first step. Try to remember Allah (swt) at this moment. Remember that He is looking at you reading these words. Dedicate this action and these moments to Him. Tell yourself that the only reason why you are doing this is to please Him. Convince yourself of this fact. Remember that He hears the words in your heart. Remember that He Knows the sincerity of your actions. So do not allow even a moment to pass. Whenever you slip into heedlessness bring yourself back to Him. Try to keep your tongue moist with His Remembrance. Try to keep your limbs busy with doing actions pleasing to Him. This does not have to be only the ritual acts of worship, even your routine tasks throughout your day can be part of your slavehood if you dedicate those to Him. If you tell yourself that I going to work now for Him. I am studying this course for Him. I am cooking this meal for Him. I am cleaning this room for Him. Anything can be considered as part of your slavehood to Him. The only key is that the action cannot be forbidden in His Law and the intention behind it must only be for Him. Even your dealing with others can be part of your slavehood to Him. So you are always kind and respectful, you do your responsibilities to others, you keep your trusts to them, you forgive them any wrong they do to you, all for His sake. Even through your interacting with them you seek to journey to Him.

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Do not be disheartened or lose hope if you are not able to maintain this station in the beginning. For many of us including myself it takes a while. We also have to bear in mind the kind of world that we live in today. This world filled with distractions and temptations It is very hard for a soul to be dedicated to Allah (swt) in such a world. But even though it is difficult you should still make the effort. Remember that it is not about the destination but about the journey. Even if you are able to remember and dedicate yourself to Allah (swt) for only a few moments in your day, is that not better than not remembering Him at all? Now while we are working on ourselves, while we are trying to bring ourselves closer to Him, we also have to do dawah. We also have to bring others closer to Him as well. We should never have the mentality that we have to fix ourselves first before working on others. Allah (swt) has obligated us to do both. We ourselves will never be perfect. We ourselves will never be at a level where we are remembering Allah (swt) at every moment, we ourselves will never be a at a level where we never sin. So we will always need to work on ourselves. But at the same we should also try to bring others to Him. Because this also is part of our slavehood to Him. He has commanded us in several verses to call the people to Him and to command the good and forbid the evil. In calling them to Him we also can go closer to Him. We can remind ourselves that our efforts are only for Him.

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Now there are several ways in which we can do dawah. Several ways in which we can call the people to Allah (swt). We can show them the proofs and signs of His Existence and Oneness. The evidences for the authenticity of His Book. We can tell them of His Names. We can describe Him to them through these so that they realize how Wonderful and Glorious a Being He is. We can encourage them to do the actions that are pleasing to Him and we can dissuade them away from those which are displeasing to Him. We can teach them His Book and His Law and the way of His Messenger. We can tell them of the lives of those who were close to Him But an important part of our dawah should also be our efforts to reestablish His Law upon the earth. Because the Khilafah is the vehicle to carry His Message to mankind. Today there is no way that any of us by ourselves or even working as a group can reach all the people. We do not have the means or the resources. We can only reach a tiny fraction of the people. And moreover the world that we live in today. This secular world, this materialist world, this consumer world, is not one that is conducive to make the people want to accept the Message. So even if we were to convince the people, in such a world they might choose not to believe. This is also why even so many Muslims are very weak in their practice of the Din. Because this world has so many demons in it that take the people away from Allah (swt). So an effort needs to be made to restore the Khilafah.

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Not only so that the non Muslims can properly receive this Message. Not only so that we can all be saved from the temptations and distractions. But also because as we mentioned previously there are so many laws in our Din which cannot be implemented without the Khilafah. From Zakat to Jihad to Jummah to the criminal punishments to the family courts to the education system to countless others. As long as we live without the State we are living only a partial Islam. An incomplete Islam. An Islam that is no way pleasing to Allah (swt). And if we do not make some effort on our part to change the situation then we are responsible. Because Allah (swt) has commanded our Ummah as a whole to live under His Law. This is not a command that is only for the rulers or the scholars. It is a command for all Muslims. And the Prophet (saw) has said that when we are commanded with something we should try to do fulfill it to the best of our ability. So even if any of us are not able to bring the Islamic State, even if we cannot join a movement or group that is working towards this goal, we should still do what we can. We should still make our best effort. Allah (swt) will reward us for our intention and our effort, not for the results. The results are only in His Hand. He is the One Who will bring back His Kingdom to the earth. But what He wants from us is to make the effort. Just like He provides our sustenance and He guides us, but He wants us to make an effort to get these. When we try then He will give.

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Now what is it that any of us can do today to help bring back the Khilafah? Should we resort to violence? Is the Divine Kingdom to be restored on a bloody revolution where power is taken by force? Of course not. We showed previously through the example of the Prophet (saw) how the establishment of the Islamic State cannot be through force. Force can only be used after it has been established and when it seeks to spread to other lands. And even then only as a last resort. And even then according to specific rules such as civilians and non combatants never being harmed. But the establishment itself must be through peaceful means. It has to be through an intellectual struggle. We have to convince the Muslims, we have to show them how they need to live under Allah (swt)’s Law. This in and of itself is an effort that needs to be made. So this is something that we can all do. To whatever capacity that we can. Today most Muslims do not even know what the Khilafah is. They do not know how just and fair a government it is. They do not know how it has an economic system that can bring prosperity for all and take care of all. They do not realize how we as human beings are not qualified to legislate. They do not know how much of Islam we are missing without it. They do not realize how displeased Allah (swt) is with us when we live without it. So we need to show them. We have to convince the Muslims whom we know of these facts. This can be our dawah towards the Khilafah.

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But just as we remind them of the importance of living under the Divine Law we also have to remind them of Allah (swt). Because as wonderful a Din as this is. Even though it has the best political system, the best economic system, the best social system, the best treatment of women, the best treatment of family and relatives, the best treatment of people, the best balance between monasticism and consumerism, the balance between asceticism and hedonism, the most convincing arguments, the soundest proofs, the most complete yet simplest philosophy towards life. Despite all this such should not be the primary reason why we choose this Din. Such should be main the reason why we submit. Rather it should only be for Him. In the end Islam is all about Him. It is about discovering Him, knowing Him, loving Him, and journeying to Him. We journey to Him when we remember Him over the course of our lives. We journey to Him when we dedicate our actions to Him. We journey to Him when we interact with everyone for His sake. In the end this is what it is all about. It is all about slavehood and dedication to Him Trying to please Him at every moment and being pleased with whatever He gives us. Although this is a very high station to reach we should always be journeying towards it. There is no other purpose to life.

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May Allah (swt) reward you for taking the time to read this book. Please distribute it to others for dawah, and know that He will reward you for it. There are no copyrights on it. I only ask for your prayer for me and my family. If you have any questions, comments, or corrections please feel free to contact me at abdrahman11@gmail.com. You can find more books at my website quran-tafsir.org.

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