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Crisis of Islam or Crisis of Humanity? It’s all a cause of concern – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Does the modern condition reflect a crisis of Islam or a crisis of Humanity? “For the Muslim its all a cause of concern,” says ustadh Amjad Tarsin. Allah has placed mankind as representatives of the Cosmos; this noble station calls us to responsibility. These experiences call us back to reflect on our relationship with the Owner and Maker of the Worlds.

In one of the talks given in Melbourne as part of the SeekersHub Australia Winter 2016 Tour, “Give Light: Prophetic Action to Heal Ourselves and Our World”,  Ustadh Amjad conducts a timely discussion surrounding the incessant crises affecting our modern experience.
Violence, turbulence, natural disasters and systematic tension and breakdowns…what is going on? Is this a crisis of Islam or a crisis of Humanity? In reality, through a spiritual perspective the concern is one and the same; the state of the world is a reflection of the state of Humanity. The relationship between corruption and the human condition is a reflection of what we have caused with our own hands. Allah has placed mankind as representatives of the Cosmos; this noble station calls us to responsibility. These experiences  call us back to reflect on our relationship with the Owner and Maker of this world.
What is our relationship with Allah? Our modern perspective calls us to agitation and critique of religion; Why are people almost allergic to Faith? We as people connected to faith, what is our response in trying to contribute to healing and rebuilding of communities?

What are we doing in our own lives to show how relevant and beautiful faith can be especially in a modern and caught off society?

The Prophet ﷺ said that faith itself is 70 odd branches, the statement of ultimate reality is the testimony of faith and the lowest branch of faith is removing  something harmful off of the road. As believers we see the small gestures in life as reflections of faith : whether a smile on the face, or picking something off of the street; these reflect acts of faith.

“Our faith is not just reflected on the prayer rug; but reflected in every aspect of our lives,” proclaims Ustadh Amjad.

Truth in Allah will call us back; either He will guide you with Beauty and inspiration, or you will be confronted with tribulations and difficulty in order to move things around and for human beings to redirect themselves to God. Corruption has been reflected in the land and the sea, really so that we may return back to Allah.

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Cover photo by Dave Lo Sapio.

What Does the Verse 286 of Surah Al Baqara Mean ?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu alaykum
What does the verse 286 of Surah Al Baqara mean? Is it referring to spiritual aspect of hardship or does it refer to the physical aspect of it?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Allah Most High says, “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear: each gains whatever good it has done, and suffers its bad…” [2.286]
Suyuti explains, “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear, that is, what it is capable of bearing; each gains whatever good it has done, of good and its reward, and suffers its bad, of evil and its burden: no person shall be requited for another’s sin or for what he has not earned, even if he was tempted to do it.” [Tafsir Jalalayn]
Mufti Muhammad Shafi` writes in his Ma`arif al-Qur’an [1.722], “…thoughts that enter the heart without one’s intention and control, and are not translated into action, stand all excused in the sight of Allah Almighty. Deeds that are undertaken with choice and volition will be the only ones apprehended and called to account.”
Please also see: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment? and: A Time to Build: How Believers Respond To Trials and Tests
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is a 13 Year Old Who Carries Out Acts After Watching Pornography a Victim?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Recently, I was discussing a news article with someone very close to me. The article was about a 13-year-old boy who raped his little sister after watching pornography. I explained that I thought it was horrible.
The shock came when I added that I felt there were TWO victims in this crime. I felt that the main victim was the little girl, and she needed the help and support of her family/community. I also felt that the young boy was a victim, in that (1) he got a hold of pornography, (2) it took a hold of his heart to the extent that he “wanted to try it out,” (3) that he acted on his desires; ultimately committing a heinous crime. I added that I think he is old enough to be held accountable for the crime, and needed some serious help.
The person I was talking to became angry and said my thinking was [Islamically] unsound; even calling me a “pervert.”
la qadr Allah, but if anything like this had happened to one of my family members, I might not feel as merciful to the perpetrator… but I just want to know if my “mercifulness” is really perverted and unsound thinking, or if it is congruent with the teachings and conduct of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah upon him).
Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
We do not condone such actions, particularly if the person was legally an adult.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) “was sent a mercy to All creation, not only friend but also foe… He wanted the good for them. And the thing that saddens me as someone who teaches the religion, is how badly people misunderstand the prophetic guidance both non Muslims and Muslims themselves who don’t really appreciate the tremendous mercy that is the Messenger. His teachings and example are nothing but a manifestation of mercy. And any understanding of religion that is lacking in mercy is lacking in understanding and it is lacking in being true to the teachings of the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings.” [see: Celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s Birth – CelebrateMercy.com and an Interview with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance]
We hate the action, not the person. Thus, there wouldn’t appear to be anything inherently wrong in considering someone so young to also be a “victim,” yet whilst affirming that they need professional or medical help.
May Allah grant us all safety and well-being.
Please also see: Mercy, The Stamp of Creation by Dr Umar Faruq Abd’Allah and: Mercy Expressed in Active Concern: Remembering the Muslim Umma in One’s Prayers (dua) – Ma`ruf al-Karkhi
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Fitrah and What Happens to Children Who Die Before Puberty

Answered by Ustadh Ali Ataie

Question: There is a hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in which he mentions that every new child is born upon ‘fitrah’. Does this mean that every new child is already born Muslim? Or does it mean that every child is born with the natural disposition to believe in Allah but they will have to consciously make a decision to accept the truth once they are at the age of religious legal responsibility in order to be called a true Muslim. Also, what happens to the souls of the children of non-Muslims and Muslims who die before the age of puberty.

Answer: Bismillah,

Thank you for your question.

The Four Factors

According to classical theologians, such as Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (may Allah preserve his secret), there are four factors that establish takleef (responsibility) thus rendering it incumbent upon someone to follow the shari’ah and become Muslim. They are:

1) sound intellect (‘aql)

2) maturity (bulugh)

3) sound senses; meaning the person is not deaf AND blind (salamat’ul hawas) and

4) a sound prophetic summons reached him (balaghat hu al-da’wat al-sahih).

If one of these is not established then the person falls under the category of divine amnesty, meaning they are freed from the fire.

Fitrah and al-Islam

Every child is born into an innate state of purity (fitrah) that facilitates his acceptance of Islam as a religion when he matures. The deen is a conscious choice. The child is only a “Muslim” in the sense that he has not willfully disobeyed Allah (subhana-hu wa ta ‘ala) due to the lack of reaching his intellectual capacities. Al-Islam as a deen, however, is a conscious acceptance of the guidance brought forth by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). With this understanding, it is more proper to use the word convert rather than revert when a non-Muslim adult enters the religion.

Therefore, it is our belief that children who die before puberty (whether they were raised by Muslim parents or not) fall under the category of divine amnesty and will enter Paradise. And Allah knows best.