Uncreated Beings Besides Allah?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is questioned about the possibility of their being other creators besides Allah.

Are there other uncreated beings alongside Allah? Seeing as how the definition of god is the one who created the universe and creation, is it possible for there to be uncreated beings that Allah did not create? A being that created their own universe and creation. That is not regarded as god by us but regarded as god by their own creation that they have created.

I am asking this question because I have a thought going through my head that before the existence of any creation Allah had a quarrel with other uncreated things over who is more powerful. And that is why Allah has created the mankind and jinn to worship him; to prove to the other uncreated things that He is the most powerful.

I also go through thoughts that other uncreated beings alongside Allah do exist, but they all live in peace and that they all have created their own things and only the things they created regard them to be gods but not the things that the other uncreated things have created.

I know this sounds like it is against the teachings of Islam and I have tried to find anything that goes against this but I can neither find any convincing evidence against this claim or for it. The Qur’an mentions the impossibility of multiple gods in Sura al-Anbiya 21:22. But that only had to do with multiple gods creating the same thing.

My question is to do with multiple uncreated beings that create their own creation who are not regarded as god by the creation of other uncreated beings, but regarded as god by their own creation.

Please I would like for you to clear this up for me and give me an answer as soon as possible, because I am extremely confused and I need to desperately know what is the answer against this claim.

I also have other thoughts that Allah has sexual organs. I go through this thought because Allah mentions he has hands and a shin. I need to know what is the response to all of the above queries I have.

Dear questioner, I would strongly advise you to listen to this series of podcasts: Why Islam Is True.

Regarding your question, it is logically impossible that there be multiple creators because that necessitate a level of dependency in being or actions.

Were there other beings with the power to create and destroy, nothing would stop them from destroying each other, and then they wouldn’t have necessary existence. Similarly, if there were there beings with the power to create and destroy, the execution of such powers would be contingent upon the agreement of other such beings, and this would also be a dependency.

In short, the being that keeps everything in existence and keeps things the specific way everything is exists without any dependency whatsoever, and this dictates that it (He) be one.

As for His not having body parts, this also returns to His freedom of need: parts take up a certain among of space and this would entail that He needs space to exist. Verses that mention His hand or face are metaphorical. For more detail, please see Literalism and the Attributes of Allah.

Theologically, whenever anyone returns the whole of existence to one being, that being must be completely self-explainable: that it is and what is does cannot return to some other external determiner.

This is why the Big Bang cannot be the reason for the universe, Brahma, Jesus or, anything else apart from Allah as He is in the Qur’an.

Allah summarizes this beautifully in Sura al-Ikhlas 112: 1-4.

Say: It is the Allah is One, the One to Whom all else returns;
Never has He had children, nor was He ever born;
And there was [and never will be] anything equal to Him.

Again, listen to the podcasts and this will be more than clear, insha Allah.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Memorizing the Qur’an and Intercession

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked about a particular reward for memorizing the Qur’an.

Could you please clarify the scholarly position as to whether or not the person who memorizes the Quran might be able to intercede for ten family members.

Barak Allah fik.

Dear questioner,

Intercession on Judgment Day

Intercession is a general grace that Allah will grant for the righteous of His slaves. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, none will plead Allah for any right more than the believers will do on the Day of Rising in their plea for their brethren who are in the Hell-Fire. They will say, “Our Lord, they used to fast with us, and pray and perform Hajj.” It will be said to them, “Take out [from the Hell-Fire] whomever you used to know.” So their forms will be protected from the Hell-Fire, and they will bring out a great number of people. Then Allah Mighty and Majestic will say, “The angels have interceded, the prophets have interceded, and the believers have interceded, and none remains save the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” He will grab a piece of the Hell-Fire and take out from it a people who never did any good whatsoever. (Muslim)

So we can learn from this hadith and many others that righteous believers will be granted intercession for believers they knew, such as their family, in this life.

This applies directly to someone who learns and applies the Qur’an.

Interceding for ten people

As for the specific mention of intercession for ten people of one’s household, such a hadith does exist, but it is weak: Imam al-Tirmidhi and others narrate form the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace:

Whoever recites the Qur’an and memorizes it by heart, and deems licit what it make licit, and forbidden what it makes forbidden, Allah will enter him into Paradise and allow him to intercede for ten of his family members who had been condemned to Hell.

Tirmidhi notes that this hadith has not reached us through a sound chain of transmission.

Upshot

Regardless of the weak hadith, we hope and pray that we all memorize and learn as much of the Qur’an as we can, and apply it in our lives, and intercede for ten, twenty, a hundred Muslims of our families and ancestors who would otherwise be in the Hell-Fire for a long time.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Donating the Reward of Khatm al-Qur’an

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about donating the rewards for Qur’an recitation to the deceased.

I pray this note finds you in the best of spirits, insha Allah

My beloved mother passed away this year in March. May Allah grant her the highest station of Jannah, amin. As a tradition, all my siblings started a monthly Qur’an khatm to dedicate to her. One of my cousins is requesting that we donate this Qur’an khatm to her mother as well, i.e., adding two beneficiaries to one Qur’an khatm. I am totally willing to do this as long as this does not diminish my mom’s reward.

Question:

  1. Does adding another person’s name to the Qur’an khatm dedication list diminish the reward of my mother?
  2. What is the Hanafi ruling on donating one Qur’an khatm to multiple deceased members ?

Appreciate your guidance in this regard.

Jazak Allah khayr.

May Allah Most High grant your mother a tremendous forgiveness, and enter her into the gardens of the righteous forever.

It is permitted and praiseworthy to donate the reward of your recitation to your mother, to your cousin’s mother, and to any other Muslim likewise. Doing so will not diminish your reward, nor the reward of any of them.

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami was asked whether the reward of a recitation of the Fatiha at a graveyard would be shared between its inhabitants, or if each person would get the full benefit. He responded that a great number of scholars held the latter.

This entire matter is quite expansive by the Grace of Allah Most High.

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see Donating Reward to the Dead: A Detailed Answer.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Calumny and the Prophetic Response

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat details the evils of calumny and how to respond.

I want to know what Shari‘a says of a women who falsely accuses husband of impotence and rejects all medical evidence. Not only that, she has spread word about the impotence of the husband throughout the community, thereby bringing him into disrepute.

I pray you are well.

Calumny

What you are describing is calumny (buhtan). It is a serious sin. Sins against oneself are bad – but sins against others are much worse.

The Messenger of Allah said, “Five particular sins have no expiation: Worshipping another besides Allah (this can be extended to disbelief in general), unjustly killing a person, calumny against a believer, fleeing from a battle, and a false oath causing a believer to lose his property.” (Ahmad).

What is understood from the hadith is that good deeds, Ramadan, etc., usually expiate and remove sins from a believer – even if he does not repent from them. These sins, however, are not expiated automatically. Whoever commits them must repent from them specifically, otherwise he will have to answer for them on the Day of Judgement.

The Prophetic Response

The best thing you can do is to respond as the noble Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, did, with patience and forgiveness.

Abu Hurayra narrated that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace said, “No wealth has ever been diminished by charity; and Allah has never raised a servant due to his pardoning [those who wrong him] except in honor; and whoever humbles himself for the sake of Allah – Allah raises him.” (Bukhari). These are tried and tested truths – do your best to follow this advice.

You are not, however, expected to be a doormat to anyone. The believer does not allow people to humiliate him. If there is active harm coming your way from people you can do what you need to prevent it, and preserve your reputation. But beware of going to excesses in your response. We are human, and emotionally charged situations can take people there.

Get out of harm’s way, and keep forgiving internally to please Allah; and whatever happens externally will go in your favor – that I guarantee you.

May Allah inspire us to adopt the prophetic response in all situations.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Listening to Qur’an While Solving Math Problems

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked about listening to the Qur’an while doing something else.

I pray this note finds you in the best of spirits insha Allah

Alhamdulillah, I love Islam and try my best to practice it in the best way possible.

In my eagerness to do more at the same time, I sometimes listen to Qur’an while solving math problems. Is that permissible or it is against the adab of Qur’an?

Please advise.

Jazak Allah khayr

It is permissible, but the proper way to listen to the Qur’an is to give it your full attention and ponder on its meanings.

Allah Most High says, “So when the Qur’an is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy.” (Sura al-A‘raf 7: 204)

One of the scholars that I that asked about this was actually a mathematician and felt it farfetched that someone could ‘pay attention’ while working on something that is very mentally taxing.

Another quoted the verse of the Quran, “Never has God endowed any man with two hearts in one body.” (Sura al-Ahzab 33:4) That is to sat that one cannot focus on two things at the same time.

So, it is not the best way to listen to the Qur’an, but it is not forbidden and certainly better than listening to something inappropriate.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Pronunciation Errors in Prayer

Ustadh Farid Dingle clarifies questions about pronunciation in prayer.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

For almost a year now I have had a problem regarding the validity of prayers due to errors in pronounciation. I will therefore describe the situation in extensive detail so as to exclude any misunderstanding and to ensure an accurate ruling.

My mother tongue is a dialect of Arabic, my problem is not at all specific to the Arabic language. I am fully capable of soundly pronouncing all the letters of the Arabic alphabet. Rather, my problem is related to speech in general and occurs in other languages as well.

In the flow of speech, even at a very slow pace, I cannot maintain tight control over my tongue and thus there occur mistakes. There are four aspects of this problem: 1. parts of the prayer which require correct pronunciation, 2. types of errors, 3. methods of correction and 4. options for dealing with this difficulty.

Please, bear with me even if this seems somewhat banal, this has had a grave effect on me and I am unable to function properly without finding a decisive and precise solution.

Dear questioner,

Our religion isn’t like this. You are going too overboard.

Just focus on the meanings of the words you say in the prayer, and don’t worry about the rest.

When these thoughts get too much just say: audhu billahi min al-shaytan al-rajim, and just do what other everyday religious Muslims do.

You can study this topic in more detail in formal classes on fiqh, but don’t worry about your prayer for now.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

What Is the Umm al-Kitab?

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about the meaning of the term “Umm al-Kitab” and how it relates to the speech of Allah.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I hope this finds you in the best health.

My question is about the Umm al-Kitab which is mentioned three times in the Holy Qur’an. What is the Umm al-Kitab? Is it the same as the Lawh al-Mahfuz? Is it true that the Holy Qur’an we posses is a portion of the Umm al-Kitab which is a part of the pre-eternal speech of Allah?

Thank You.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Umm al-Kitab

The term Umm al-Kitab is mentioned a few times in the Qurʾan. The first time it is used, in Sura Aal Imran 3:7. It refers to the verses of the Qurʾan which are absolutely clear and decisive. It would be apt to translate this usage as “The Foundation of the Book.” This means that those verses – such as those which state that Allah is unlike anything else (Sura al-Ikhlas 112:4) – are the lens through which other verses are to be understood if one wants an accurate understanding of the meanings and message of the Qurʾan.

Other verses refer to the Protected Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mazfuz) as Umm al-Kitab, such as Sura al-Ra‘d 13:39. This is a creation in which knowledge of all of the events from the beginning of time to the Day of Judgement are recorded.

The Qurʾan is written in the Protected Tablet, and it was from there that it descended to the heart of the Noble Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

Allah’s attribute of Speech expresses the infinite knowledge He has in an unfathomable way. There is no beginning, no end, no letters, no words, etc. The Qur’an, which is written in the Preserved Tablet, points to some of what the attribute of Speech expresses, not all of it. (Alusi, Ruh al Maʿani; Sawi, Sharh Jawhara al-Tawhid; Fawda, al-Sharh al-Kabir ʿ ala Aqida al-Tahawiyya).

I hope this clarifies matters for you. May Allah benefit us through His blessed words in the life and the next. Amin.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Adab of Dua 21: Consistency, Praise, and Blessed Days

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me” (2:186). Yet, many of us wonder: Are my duas being answered? Is there a certain dua I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my duas have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of dua (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

This video covers the etiquettes of wiping the face after dua. Praising and thanking Allah when one’s dua is answered. Not allowing any day or night to pass without dua. And seeking out the chosen times of dua.

The text is divided into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

1. The reality of dua
2. Our being called on to make dua
3. The great virtue of dua
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of dua and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of dua
9. Explaining the religious ruling of dua
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is.

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The Reality and Etiquettes of Supplication

Why Allah? – Recapping the Live Seminar with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why Allah? – Why Muslims Believe and Why Belief Matters?

In this seminar, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explores these questions as well as other common and important questions that every Muslim should know the answer to. Why is there suffering when God is All-Merciful? Who is God?

WHY MUSLIMS BELIEVE IN ALLAH?

Shaykh Faraz started the seminar by highlighting the prophetic supplication known as sayyid al-istighfar, the foremost way of seeking forgiveness. Through it, there is a declaration of faith and affirmation of Truth. The supplication’s translation is as follows:

“O Allah, you are my Lord. There is no god but you. You have created me, and I am your servant—and I am upon Your covenant and promise as best I can. I seek refuge in You from the worst of what I have done. I fully admit to You Your blessings upon me, and I fully admit to You all my sins. So forgive me, for there is none to forgive sins but You.”

Listen to this podcast episode for a more detailed explaination by Shaykh Faraz on sayyid al-istighfar, the foremost way of seeking forgiveness.

Through this way of seeking forgiveness, we are affirming our relationship to God, which is a relationship between the created and the Creator. God is the One who creates us, sustains us and takes care of us. We admit our debt to God and our absolute neediness of Him. This is a statement of identity, and and an affirmation of why we believe.

WHO IS GOD?

Shaykh Faraz then posed the question to the audience: who is God?

After a brief group breakout and discussion between the attendees, some of the answers included: The All-Merciful, The Light of the heavens and earth, The Creator of everything, and many other answers.

Shaykh Faraz provided the classical definition and answer of who is God. God is the necessary existent. Everything is either possible, necessary, or absurd. Everything you see in this universe is merely possible. We could imagine that everything is on a scale of “to be or not to be”. The existence of possible things is granted by God.

God is the creator and sustainer. We don’t say that God is just the first cause, “He got the ball rolling”. Rather he created the ball and at every moment is sustaining the ball. This is expressed in Ayat al-Kursi: “the Living and Sustainer”. Therefore, He is the one and only necessary existent.

God is The One free of need of any other, whom all are in absolute need of. The One worthy of worship.

DO WE JUST BELIEVE BLINDLY?

Shaykh Faraz posed the question: what does it mean to believe?

Belief or faith is confirming something as true (tasdiq). The basis is that faith be certain (jazm), and therefore based on proof (dalil). Faith through mere following (taqlid) is acceptable but weak.

WHY DO WE BELIEVE IN ALLAH?

Shaykh Faraz then provided four main reasons to why we believe in God. Those reasons are built on rational proofs and are found in detail through the study of Islamic beliefs.

(1) Creation requires a Creator. Creation is a sign that points to the Creator.

(2) Necessity.Creation is merely possible (mumkin). Anything that is possible to exist, cannot be eternal, and requires a Necessary Being to bring it into existence. That Necessary Being, necessarily exists and is eternal.

(3) The inimitability of the Qur’an. The proof is in the Qur’an. The challenge to produce the like of it, even if a few verses. The Arabs were at the height of eloquence in the Arabic language, and yet couldn’t produce anything like the Qur’an in language or style. The Qur’an is also inimitable in it’s spiritual guidance, worldly guidance, and the scientific knowledge it contains.

(4) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). His well-documented life, person, conduct, example, teachings, guidance, inimitable virtue, purpose, excellence a, beauty, are all proofs. He is an embodiment of the complete human being. Rationally, he made a truth claim (‘I am the Messenger of God, and the proof is this Message.’) — and this claim was confirmed through the Qur’an and the miracles that occurred at his hands.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

(1) Why Islam is True with Shaykh Hamza Karamali – A YouTube Series and Podcast Show

(2) Suffering and Divine Wisdom by Shaykh Nuh Keller

(3) SeekersHub Online Courses on Islamic Belief

(4) The SeekersHub Answers Service

(5) The Qur’an – M M Abdel Haleem Translation and The Clear Qur’an

(6) Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings

WHAT ABOUT THE “PROBLEM OF EVIL”?

Shaykh Faraz then addressed what has been come be known as the “problem of evil”. The problem that many people perceive is that if we believe in Just Lord, why is there injustice? If we believe in a Loving Lord, why is there hatred? If we believe in a Good Lord, why is there evil?

He started off by saying that we don’t have a problem of evil in the Islamic tradition. However, first we need to understand the principles. What is good and evil?

If Bilal owns a tree, and he used some wood for a table, other for a toilet seat, and some as firewood, could the wood complain that this is unfair? No, because the owner has the right to do with what they own what they will. Likewise, God created us and owns us, and He can do with us whatever he wills. Yet, He has chosen to deal with us on the basis of mercy.

Also, it helps to understand that this world is not the end of things; there is a hereafter. So if a child dies, then they will enter heaven, which is infinite mercy. Oppressors that may seem like they got away, will be judged in the hereafter.

This world is a test. In that light, a believer is not concerned about the hardships of this world. A good student actually asks for a hard test so he is distinguished. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If God loves a servant he sends them tribulations.”

There is no problem because this life is a test. Human good and evil have worldly and Next-Worldly consequences.

So is God Good? This is putting a false dichotomy. We say that God is Merciful. There is the general mercy if creating and sustaining, and the specific mercy for those who respond to tests of life. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “How strange is the affair of the believer, for their affairs are all for their good. And this is for no one except for a believer. If pleasing things happen to them they have gratitude, and that is for their good. And if distressful things happen to them they are steadfast, and that too is for their good.”

THE REALITY OF CLOSENESS TO GOD

Finally, Shaykh Faraz highlighted some key fruits of belief and the reality of having closeness to God.We live blind, until we live our faith. What is reality: Allah is the Real. Who is more real, you or God? The Real comes before the created. Everything else only has reality through Allah giving it reality. True contentment comes from connecting with The Real who is closer to you than yourself.

“Allah is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth” [Qur’an, 24.35]

“Those who believe and whose hearts find contentment by remembering God. Truly, it is only through remembrance of God that hearts find contentment.” [Qur’an, 13.28]

Shaykh Faraz then provided five keys to nourish faith and with some parting advice and counsel.

(1) Learn your faith soundly.

(2) Live your faith in the community.

(3) Consult and seek certitude – if you have doubts, consult and seek answers, otherwise it may chip away at your faith, and ultimately your religion.

(4) Nurture your faith through devotion and service.

(5) Water with wisdom, the Qur’an and Sunna.

Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah for the fuel of faith is the remembrance of Allah.

 

VIDEO: Is The End of the World Near?

What are the signs of the end of times? How do we prepare? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin and Shaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari address the above questions and more in this month’s Focus On seminar.

Click here to receive access to the full video playlist.