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.

Will Hell Be Emptied?

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers a question on a hadith about Hell being emptied.

would like to know if the Hadith in Kanz al-Ummal vol. 14, number 39505 is authentic? It says that there will be one day when hell will be empty. Shukran for your answer!

Wassalam

Hell-Fire will last forever. This is an agreed upon tenet of faith.

The hadith #39505 in Kanz al-Ummal is:

There will come a day that Jahannam will be dried crops, reddened completely empty.

The source given is Tabarani. It seems like it could be a misprint, and the it is “and another [day] in which it is completely empty.” A similar hadith is found in Khatib’s Tarikh.

The editor of Juz fihi ma intaqa Ibn Mardawayhi min hadith al-Tabarani, Badr ibn Abdullah al-Badr, states that this hadith has been deemed weak by al-Haythami, and deemed fabricated by al-Dhahabi, Ibn al-Jawzi and al-Suyuti.

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.

Am I a Kafir for Not loving Allah?

Ustadh Farid Dingle advises on feeling no love for Allah and how to rectify this.

I used to love Allah but my iman got weaker and now I feel indifferent to Allah. I don’t love or hate Him. Partly because I used to blame Allah for things. This is a real lack of love, not just waswasa or a dip in iman.

Is it kufr to truly not love Allah? Please answer me immediately.

Belief in Allah means that you know He exists and accept it as a fact. This is called iman. If you do this, you are a believer.

Whether one fears, loves, reveres, or hopes in Him as you really should, is another issue. Worshipping Allah as you really should is called ihsan.

Please see Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s Commentary on the Hadith of Gibril for more detail.

It is not disbelief (kufr) to not love Allah, but it is sin and lack of ihsan that one must strive to work on. If you don’t feel like you fear or love Allah, at least act like you do, because the hand teaches the heart.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Thinking “The Almighty Has Children” and Rejecting It

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan makes clear the rulings on thinking thoughts unbefitting of Allah.

If someone were to bring to his mind the sentence “the Almighty has children.” At the same time he hates it and is disgusted by it, and doesn’t believe it or doesn’t hold that thought to be true because he is a Muslim by birth.

Don’t confuse with waswasa in the sense that it is not an unsolicited or unbidden thought, but with his own will he brings it to mind just like with his own will he imagines a green tree.

Would that be considered deliberately bringing kufr thoughts to mind and thus nullify his Islam?

Thank you for your question.

Intentionally drawing these thoughts to mind, while detesting them does not tantamount to disbelief. If your intention by drawing such thoughts to mind is to develop responses for them, or to break them down, then it may be praiseworthy. However, if this is not the case, it’s best that you refrain from doing so.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Passing Thoughts and Sins of the Heart

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if inappropriate passing thoughts about Allah are sinful.

Do demonic or comical thoughts about Allah take one out of the fold of Islam?

Actively bringing such an image or ideation to mind would be sinful. It merely coming across one’s mind has no ruling. Believing it would be disbelief.

Please also see Types of Thought, Blasphemy, and Sin.

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.


Losing Hope and Struggling with the Din

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question about struggling with one’s din, not feeling worthy of Islam, and losing hope and trust in Allah.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’ve been struggling with the din since Allah drew me back into the religion when a calamity had befallen me because there was no other way out. Since then I’ve been practicing. I think to myself, “Why me?” because I disobey Allah a lot and then I repent and then intentionally go back to it. This same cycle repeats over and over again. Eventually I give up. I start to pray less and fall into despair.

There are times where I also disobey my parents. I try my best to obey as much as I can but when it comes to matters which are prohibited in Islam I don’t listen. There’s a hadith that says, whoever is disobedient to their parents will never enter paradise. When I read this, I just start to give up and think to myself, “What’s the point? Might as well just go all out.”

This was one of the reasons why I nearly left Islam. I really don’t know what to do anymore.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an,

“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’”

“And return utterly in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.” (Sura al-Zumar 39:53-54)

And the Holy Prophet has said, Allah bless him and grant him peace, “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would do away with you, and bring a people who would sin and then they seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)

And he also said, “Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert on whose back is his provision of food and drink which is then lost. He, having lost all hope (to get that back), lies down in shade despaired of ever finding his camel; when all of a sudden he finds the camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then, out of boundless joy, blurts out, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ making a mistake out of extreme joy.’” (Muslim)

So we can learn from these divine teachings that we should not despair of Allah’s forgiveness, and that the cycle of sinning and then repenting, that sinning and then repenting again is part and parcel of our relationship with Allah, and that He loves us to repent to Him. All we have to do is keep striving.

Hope and Fear

In the verses above, Allah first reminds us of His mercy and then reminds of His punishment. This is a repeated theme in the Quran: always having hope, but not forgetting to fear Allah.

The Devil likes to trick us by making us give up hope, or by making us too hopeful. The way of safety is in between, with fear and hope always vying to control our hearts and always encouraging us to keep going.

Company

Allah Most High has told us, “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (Sura al-Tawba 9:119) And the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look well to whom he befriends.” (Abu Dawud)

This verse and hadith tell us that we have to be very careful about those with whom we associate, be it in friendships or in the virtual world. Often we get held back by the bad company we keep.

It is not a lack of loyalty to politely avoid your friends of the past who keep dragging one into sin. In fact it is from loyalty to Allah that one do that.

If you don’t change your environment to the extent you can, it is very, very hard to change your life and progress.

Persistence

You are not alone in your struggle. This is what all of us face in life on various different levels. We just have to keep working on ourselves bit by bit, trying our best, relying upon Allah, and seeking His forgiveness when we fall on our nose.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Prayers That Are Never Answered

Shaykh Farid Dingle is asked why it is that our prayers sometimes seem to not be answered and our lives are full of struggle when compared to others.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Why is it that I keep praying to Allah and my prayers (dua) are never answered? Even my non-Muslim friends’ lives are better than mine. Please advise.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

We must realize that sincere praying to Allah (dua) is a very great honour from Allah. Allah only allows us to pray to Him because He wants to give us something tremendous indeed.

Allah Most High says, “What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication [dua]?” (Sura al-Furqan 25:77) and, “I respond to the call of the caller when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:186)

How Allah answers our prayers

So our supplication (dua) is something great indeed, and Allah does answer us. However, this happens in one of three ways:

1. He gives us exactly what we asked for. This is the lowest of the levels.

2. He saves us from some affliction that would have befallen us.

3. And this is the highest level, He saves the reward of the supplication for the Afterlife.

The Prophet, Allah grant him blessings and peace, said, “Not a single Muslim prays for anything that is not a sin or a severance of family ties save that Allah gives him one of three things: He either gives him what he asked for immediately, or saves it for him for the Afterlife, of averts from him a calamity the likes thereof.”

“In that case,” replied the Prophet Companions, “we’ll make a lot of supplication.”

“Allah,” he replied, “is yet greater [in generosity].” (Ahmad)

Perseverance in Prayer (Dua)

The Messenger of Allah, Allah grant him blessings and peace, said, “The slave will be answered as long as he does not ask for anything that is a sin or a severance of family ties, and as long as he isn’t impatient.”

He was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what does it mean to be impatient?”

He replied, “He says, ‘I have prayed and prayed, and I don’t see how I have been answered!’ And so the slave gives up hope at that and stops praying [for what he was praying for].” (Muslim)

So we have to keep praying, even if we imagine that Allah is not answering our prayers.

How to Make Dua

Besides being consistent in one’s prayers, one should also make a prayer for whatever one needs at blessed times, like after praying the obligatory prayer or breaking the fast; one should face the qibla and be on ritual purity (wudu). One should also give charity before making the supplication.

And one should be careful about one’s income. If one’s income is not halal, one’s prayers will not be answered.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah the Almighty is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Verily Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers saying, ‘O Messengers! Eat of the pure and good, and perform righteous deeds.’ (Sura al-Muminun 23:51) Saying, ‘O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you.’” (Sura al-Baqara 2:172)

“Then he mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, was dishevelled and dusty, and who spread out his hands to the sky saying ‘O Lord! O Lord!,’ while his food was haram, his drink was haram, his clothing was haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how on earth should he be answered?” (Muslim)

Conclusion

So keep praying for whatever it is you need because Allah is answering your prayers, and He is with you when you call upon Him.

Allah Most High has said in a Hadith Qudsi, “I am as My slave thinks of Me and I am with Him when he remembers Me.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

If we think carefully, being with Allah is probably greater than whatever it is that we are asking Him for anyway. We should cherish the moments of genuine need and sincere prayer because one of the signs that Allah loves one is that one loves to call on Him in supplication (dua) in difficulties and ease.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Pledging Allegiance to Gain Citizenship

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasatis asked if pledging allegiance to a non-Muslim country in order to gain citizenship is a form of shirk.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a question regarding the pledging allegiance to US to get a citizenship. I live in US with my parents. My dad wanted me to get a citizenship after he got his. I did not want to get the US citizenship since I assumed it to be shirk. Today I got my citizenship.

Now my question is it shirk to pledge allegiance to non-Muslim state, to bear arms to protect it, etc? I would like to know the Hanafi view if possible. If yes, is there any hope for my tawbah to be accepted?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

It is not shirk to pledge allegiance to the US. Rather it could a praiseworthy act of worship with the right intention.

What Is Shirk?

Shirk, in short, is:

    1. 1. affirming the existence of multiple gods;

 

    1. 2. saying Allah is made up of multiple gods (like the concept of the Trinity in Christianity);

 

    1. 3. worshiping another with the intention of getting something from Allah though him;

 

    1. 4. thinking that causes bring about effects independent of Allah;

 

    5. showing off in acts of worship.

The first four take one outside of the fold of Islam, and the last one is an enormity from which one must repent, and not something that takes one out of Islam. Please take the time to study the Essentials of Islamic Belief when the course next opens. Having a solid foundation of what Muslims believe will save you from confusion on matters such as this.

Living in Non-Musim Countries

Merely living in a non-Muslim country, bearing its nationality, or eating its national dish does not entail shirk – nor does voting, whilst we are on the matter. All of these matters are permissible provided one is able to perform one’s obligatory religious duties, and that there is no real, palpable danger to one’s faith or that of dependents. Millions of Muslims live in non-Muslim countries, and despite the recognized challenges, many not only survive — they thrive in their faith.

Defending your home country from an aggressor would be obligatory wherever you lived if the need arose. Pledging to do this does not take one out of Islam.

Making a firm intention to live Islam and show its beauty to Muslims and non-Muslims is one of the ways to making your living in a non-music country an act of worship. Do so, and take the steps to make it happen in your own life and community.

(Kafawi, al-Kulliyat; Sanusi, al-Muqaddimat; Quduri, al-Mukhtasar; Abdul-Karim Zaydan; Buhuth Fiqhiyya Muʿasira).

May Allah allow us to thrive in our belief and practice wherever we are. Amin.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.