The message of the Quran is simple and clear. (3:138)” Here is a plain statement to men, a
guidance and instruction to the mindful!” What comes out clearly from the Quran is:
Faith or belief does not merely mean belief in God and the
Hereafter and Muhammad as the messenger of Allah, but complete faith in Allah
as the giver of the perfect religion to be followed in the best possible
manner. The kafaru are those who do not accept that Allah’s guidance is the
only guidance and therefore do not enter into Islam whole-heartedly. They
follow their own whims. The degree of kufr varies from a half-hearted acceptance
of Allah’s deen to total rejection.
(6:71) Say “Allah´s
guidance is the (only) guidance, and we have been directed to submit ourselves
to the Lord of the worlds;”
(2:208) O ye who
believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the
evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.
(7:30) Some He hath
guided: Others have (by their choice) deserved the loss of their way; in that
they took the evil ones, in preference to Allah, for their friends and
protectors, and think that they receive guidance.
(26:221) Shall I
inform you, (O people!), on whom it is that the evil ones descend?(222) They
descend on every lying, wicked person,(223) (Into whose ears) they pour hearsay
vanities, and most of them are liars.
also) the ´Ad and the Thamud (people): clearly will appear to you from (the
traces) of their buildings (their fate): the Evil One made their deeds alluring
to them, and kept them back from the Path, though they were gifted with
intelligence and skill.
(47:25) Those who turn back as apostates after
Guidance was clearly shown to them,- the Evil One has instigated them and
busied them up with false hopes.(26) This, because they said to those who hate
what Allah has revealed, "We will obey you in part of (this) matter";
but Allah knows their (inner) secrets.(27) But how (will it be) when the angels
take their souls at death, and smite their faces and their backs?(28) This
because they followed that which called forth the Wrath of Allah, and they
hated Allah´s good pleasure; so He made their deeds of no effect.
(2:257) Allah is the Protector of those who
have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. The patrons of the Kafaru are the evil ones: from light they will
lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the
fire, to dwell therein (For ever).
Taqwa is therefore important to ensure that we do not stray
from the straight path. It is only people of Taqwa who will be assuredly admitted
to Heaven because it is only these who are at all times mindful of the good pleasure
the Fig and the Olive,
the Mount of Sinai,
this City of security,-
have indeed created man in the best of moulds,
do We abase him (to be) the lowest of the low,-
Except such as believe and do righteous deeds: For they shall have a reward
what can, after this, contradict thee, as to the judgment (to come)?
not Allah the wisest of judges?
swears by the message brought by the prophets through the ages that there are
two types of people - those who abase themselves to become the lowest of the
low and those who rise above every other creation doing justice to their
creation in the best of moulds.
of Allah is born with instincts, desires and lusts. The only creation of Allah that
can free itself from its instincts, desires and lusts to become a moral agent is
man. This requires belief in Allah and following what Allah’s shows us as
those who remain slaves of their own lusts, desires and instincts, are the ones
who abase themselves below every other creation since man is capable of
excesses that no other creation is capable of. Those who free themselves from
their desires and lusts and even their instincts to become righteous and espouse
a higher purpose, do justice to the mould in which Allah created them. Should
Allah then not judge people by what they choose to espouse? Do we still doubt
the judgment to come?
Now who is really free and who is a slave?
righteous choose to become the slave of Allah by following every command of
Allah and this frees them from their desires, lusts and instincts. They are
driven by what is right and not what they desire.
The rest who
remain slaves of their own instincts, desires and lusts lack the freedom to practice
Man is the
only creation which can free itself from its instincts and desires to make
moral choices which is why Allah says that He has created man in the best of
moulds. Man is therefore the only creation which is provided guidance by Allah
on righteous conduct and will be judged by Allah on how we act on the guidance
The Quran presents evidence and arguments to support:
1. 1. Belief in Allah with all His attributes as the
Creator, Sustainer, Controller, etc.
2. 2. Negation of any other god besides the One and
3. 3. His divine plan for the guidance of mankind
through the ages and how this has unfolded
4. 4. His unfailing practice to reward the believers who
do good deeds and punish the rejecters of Allah’s deen who practice injustice
5. 5. His absolute control on all creation and
granting of limited autonomy to man making him a moral agent capable of making
moral choices freely.
Having made the path of Truth clear from the path of Error,
Allah also forbids compulsion in religion. Man is asked to freely choose to
follow the deen of Allah. While he is free to follow/not follow or follow
selectively, for the supreme success in this life and the Hereafter, Allah
informs us that Taqwa is required. Who is a Muttaqi? A Muttaqi is one who
chooses to follow all of Allah’s commands in the best possible manner, and scrupulously
avoid what Allah forbids. He is a person who has freely, without compulsion,
having understood the reality of Allah and His attributes, decided to repose
complete faith in Allah and His word in the Quran.
It has always been beyond man’s capacity to fully understand
all of Allah’s commands. Over the thousands of years of practicing Allah’s
commands, we know why the things that Allah commands are good and why what Allah
forbids are bad but not everything is clear nor does the Quran even attempt to
explain every command. For example, the Quran does not explain why eating of pork
is forbidden or why marrying into certain persons related by blood is forbidden
but not others and why marrying foster mother/siblings is also forbidden but
not marrying first cousins. If we can
figure out good reasons for these based on the biological sciences and/or the
social sciences well and good, and even if we cannot, we must still obey the
The meaning of Islam is submission and a Muslim is one who
submits completely to Allah without reservation like a slave. The triliteral
root ʿayn bā dāl (ب د ع) from which we get words such as abid, mean both
worshipper and slave and are used to mean both in the Quran. For example, in
verse 2:178, the word clearly means slave “ O ye who believe! the law of
equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the
slave (wal-ʿabdu) for the slave (bil-ʿabdi), .......” There are numerous verses in which
the Quran uses the same word for the worshippers of Allah. For example verse
2:186 “And when My slaves (ibādī) ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed
I am near........”. A Muslim is therefore one who submits to Allah and is a
dutiful slave of Allah.
The invitation of the Quran is therefore to use your
intellect and power of reasoning to accept/reject:
1. 1. Whether the Allah of the Quran exists
2. 2. Whether the Quran is the word of Allah
If the answer to the above two questions is yes, then decide
whether you want to be a Muslim which
means a slave of Allah willing to obey all of Allah’s commands in the best
possible manner and scrupulously avoid all that He has forbidden.
Between a Muttaqi Muslim at one end, and an open kafir at
the other end, we have in between those who are weak in practice but strong in
their convictions and admitting their weakness. These are also Muslims. And then
there are the hypocrites who are disdainful of the good Muslims.
The Quran makes clear what it takes to be considered a
Muttaqi. It is the Muttaqi who is guided
by Allah’s light and the others are in varying degrees of darkness. He has done
his thinking and decided to become a Muttaqi. Unlike the hypocrite, he does not have to
think each time whether to tell the truth or to lie. He chooses to speak the truth
every time and having done so, he no longer needs to re-think on the subject. The
hypocrites are reluctant Muslims who need to constantly think whether to act as
a Muslim or not. The kafir, the apostates and the hypocrites can only be expected
to take digs at the very meaning of Taqwa.
The following is a beautiful Surah contrasting a person with
Taqwa with another without.
A Muttaqi, by being heedful and devoted to Allah, shows complete
faith/trust in Allah. The one without
Taqwa on the other hand considers himself self-sufficient and therefore remains
heedless of Allah. Allah guides those with taqwa and they will be the ones who attain
complete satisfaction or all that they desire.
Surah 92 Al-Lail / The Night
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَىٰ
(1) By the Night as it conceals (the light);
وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّىٰ
(2) By the Day as it appears in glory;
وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنثَىٰ
(3) By (the mystery of) the creation of male and female;-
إِنَّ سَعْيَكُمْ لَشَتَّىٰ
(4) Verily, (the ends) ye strive for are diverse.
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَىٰ وَاتَّقَىٰ
(5) So he who gives (in charity) and seeks (Allah) (wa-ittaqā),
(6) And (in all sincerity) testifies to the best,-
(7) We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss.
وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَىٰ
(8) But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself
(9) And gives the lie to the best,-
(10) We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Misery;
وَمَا يُغْنِي عَنْهُ مَالُهُ إِذَا تَرَدَّىٰ
(11) Nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong
(into the Pit).
إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا لَلْهُدَىٰ
(12) Verily We take upon Ourselves to guide,
وَإِنَّ لَنَا لَلْآخِرَةَ وَالْأُولَىٰ
(13) And verily unto Us (belong) the End and the Beginning.
فَأَنذَرْتُكُمْ نَارًا تَلَظَّىٰ
(14) Therefore do I warn you of a Fire blazing fiercely;
لَا يَصْلَاهَا إِلَّا الْأَشْقَى
(15) None shall reach it but those most unfortunate ones
الَّذِي كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ
(16) Who give the lie to Truth and turn their backs.
(17) But those most
devoted to Allah (l-atqā) shall be removed far from it,-
الَّذِي يُؤْتِي مَالَهُ يَتَزَكَّىٰ
(18) Those who spend their wealth for increase in
وَمَا لِأَحَدٍ عِندَهُ مِن نِّعْمَةٍ تُجْزَىٰ
(19) And have in their minds no favour from anyone for which
a reward is expected in return,
إِلَّا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِ الْأَعْلَىٰ
(20) But only the desire to seek for the Countenance of
their Lord Most High;
(21) And soon will they attain (complete) satisfaction.