Issue 132 » August 24, 2001 -




Surah al-Naml
The Ants (27) - Ayah 65

"Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except Allah"

Iman (Faith) is the foundation of the Islamic society, and Tawheed (the belief in the Absolute Oneness and Uniqueness of God) is the very core of Islam. In order to safeguard a Believer and to keep the Muslim society purified of all the traces of Shirk (attributing authority or divinity to anyone other than God) and remnants of error, Islam makes a continuous struggle againts all superstitions or man-made beliefs that are a result of man's ignorance or arrogance.

A class of deceivers known as soothsayers, fortunetellers, or diviners existed in the Arab society during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him); they pretended to know the events of the past and the future through their contact with Jinns or through other secret sources. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) declared war on this deception, which had no basis in knowledge, divine guidance, or a revealed scripture. It is then that the Prophet recited the above verse to them, which was revealed to him by Allah: "Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except Allah..." [27:65]

Accordingly, the Unseen or al-Ghayb (all that is beyond the senses) is known neither to the angels, the Jinn, nor human beings. Acting on the command of his Lord, the Prophet proclaimed: "If I had knowledge of the Unseen, I should have had abundance of good, and no evil should have touched me. Truly, I am but a warner and bringer of good tidings to those who have faith." [7:188]

Once a delegation came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and, supposing him to be of those who claimed to have knowledge of the Unseen, they concealed something in their hands, and asked the Prophet to tell them what it was. The Prophet told them in plain words, "I am not a diviner. The diviner, the act of divination itself, and the soothsayers will all be in the Fire."

Islam's campaign was not confined to the fortunetellers and diviners, but included all those who go to them, ask their help, and believe in their superstitions and errors. The following two sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) should be enough for a reminder:

"The Salah (Prayer) of one who goes to a soothsayer, asks him something and believes in what he says, will not be accepted for forty days." [Reported by Muslim]

"Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and believes in what he says, has denied what was revealed to Muhammad." [Reported by Al-Bazzar]

Therefore, if after being aware of these clear and explicit statements of the Quran and the Prophet (peace be upon him), a Muslim still believes that some 'shaykh', 'pir', or 'mawlana' can foretell future events, secure for them 'good omens', guarantee them any good in this life or the Hereafter, cure some mysterious illnesses, or that they know the secrets of the Unseen, he or she has indeed denied what was revealed to the Last Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)!

[compiled from "The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam" by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, p. 238]


Justice and Forgiveness

Once the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was distributing money. Among the many people waiting for their turn was a Bedouin who was in great financial need. He wanted to be noticed, so he pushed people away and came right in front of Rasul Allah. The Messenger had a stick in his hand. Gently he tried to push this man away with the stick, but the stick scratched the Bedouin's face. Rasul Allah was very sorry. He said, "I have hurt you so you may take revenge" and he gave the Bedouin his stick and said, "You can scratch my face with it." The Bedouin was moved by Rasul Allah's justice. He replied, "O Prophet of Allah, Allah has allowed me to take revenge or to forgive. I forgive you." Rasul Allah was greatly pleased. [Abu Dawud]


Importance of Relationships

"Allah helps you through His Own aid and the group of Believers. And he has joined their hearts in love and affection. Even if you had spent whatever is on this earth you would not have been able to join their hearts in love. It is only Allah Who has done so." [Surah Anfal: 62-63]
  • The above verse is perhaps sufficient to indicate both the importance and the immensity of the task of interpersonal relations, brotherhood, love or whatever term we may wish to use.
  • What it emphasises is that after Allah, it is the joining together of the hearts in the bond of love which is the source of success and victory for Muslims.
  • Only two items are mentioned here and in this instance the mutual love and brotherhood ranks with Allah’s nusrat (help).
  • Allah says that there are a group of people who are like a wall of lead, deeply joined and fused with one another. Their hearts blend in harmony, their hearts beat in unison and their feet march in equal formation. One cannot find any place to divide them or create any dissension in them. "Truly Allah loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure." [Surah as-Saff: 4]
  • Proceeding from these basic premises is the fact that success depends on the collective strength of the individual and the collective strength depends on cohesion. The greater and stronger the cement that binds the individual constituents of the organisation together, the greater will be their strength. A man alone is very weak, in company he is very strong.
  • Even the modern psychological experiments have proved this. At one time the American Armed Forces commissioned a psychological study as to what makes people face such huge odds lying in trenches and facing bombardments. They found that it was not the love of the country or love of the flag but rather the social group formation that helps them stand together. One man will run away, if there are two they will stand together because each will be conscious that the other is here.

Basis of Relationships

  • The basis of this relationship, this brotherhood, is Iman and the Quran says "Those who are Believers (have Iman), they are Brothers to one another" [Surah Hujurat: 10] Therefore Iman and Brotherhood (ukhuwa) are linked with one another very closely.
  • One Hadith goes on to explain it more explicitly "You are not really M’umin, unless you love each other". Therefore here not only does it become a necessary conclusion of Iman but a necessary condition that one who does not love those with him as a M’umin’s is not truly a M’umin.
  • Another Hadith says "One who loves for the sake of Allah and if he dislikes or hates he does that too for the sake of Allah, so he completes and perfects his Iman". There is another Hadith which says "There are two types of Iman, one is Iman which is on our tongues. There is another Iman which goes deep into the heart, of whose taste, the sweetness we can feel within ourselves".
  • Another Hadith says "There are three things. Whosoever has these three things he will achieve the sweetness of Iman. That Allah and his Messenger he loves more than anything else and that he loves a man and loves him for nothing else but Allah". (third thing not relevant to topic).
  • This shows clearly that both for the perfection of Iman or the sweetness of Iman, those who believe in the same ideals must love each other. Iman is necessary not only as a condition of brotherhood, but the task of personal transformation and societal transformation also cannot be achieved without Iman.

... to be continued ...

[from "Interpersonal Relationships" by Ustadh Khurram Murad (rahimahullah)]

  • literally denotes the one who exceeds his legitimate limits.
  • In Quranic terminology, it refers to the creature who exceeds the limits of his creatureliness and arrogates to himself godhood (uluhiyyah) and lordship (rububiyyah).
  • In the negative scales of values, the first stage of of man's error is fisq (disobedience to God without denying that one should obey Him). The second stage is that of kufr (rejection of the very idea that one should obey God). The last stage is that man not only rebels against God but also imposes his rebellious will on others. All those who reach this stage are taghoot.
  • A prime example is that of Pharoah, about whom Allah commands Musa: idhhab ila fir'aun, innahu taghaa - go to Pharoah, verily he has trangressed all bounds (made himself taghoot)!