What’s Islam

  • How to Become a Muslim

  • Human Rights in Islam

  • Deceased and Janazah

  • Life after Death

  • Child Birth

How to Become a Muslim

All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Mohammad, His last messenger.

The purpose of this hand-out is to correct a false idea spread among those willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some people have a wrong notion that entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of higher ranking scholars or shaikhs or reporting this act to courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thought that the act of accepting Islam, should, as a condition, have a certificate issued by the authorities, as evidence to that effect.

We wish to clarify that the whole matter is very easy and that none of these conditions or obligations are required. For Allah Almighty, is above all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless, those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are advised to register themselves as Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, at this procedure may facilitate  them in many way including the possibility of performing Hajji (Pilgrimage) and Umrah.

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for all human-beings, then, one should pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The Holy Qur’an is explicit on this regard as Allah states:

“The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam” (Qur’an 3:19)

In another verse of the Holy Qur’an, Allah states:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah),

Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the

ranks of those who have lost (their selves i the hell fire). “ (Qur’an 3:85)

In addition, Islam is the only religion prevailing overall other religions. Allah states in the Holly Qur’an:

“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: ….” (Qur’an 5:48)

Mohammad, the Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), said:

“The superstructure of Islam is raised on five pillars: testifying that there is

no God (none truly to be worshiped) but Allah, and that Mohammad is the

messenger of Allah, performing the prayer, paying the Zakah (poor-due),

fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing Hadji”.

The Shahada can be declared as follows:

“ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH”.

The English translation is:

“I bear witness that there is no deity (none truly to be worshipped) but Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah”,

However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to only utter this testimony orally either in private or in public; but rather, he should believe in it by heart with a firm conviction and unshakeable faith. If one is truly sincere and complies with the teachings of Islam in all his life, he will find himself a new born person.

This will move him to strive more and more to improve his character and draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living faith will fill his heart until he becomes the embodiment of that faith.

What would be next after declaring oneself a Muslim? One should then know the real concept underlying this testimony which means the Oneness of Allah and meet its requirements. One must behave accordingly, applying this true faith to everything one speaks or does.

What do the words of the “Shahada” signify? The significant point which every Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (deity) to be worshipped other than Allah. He ? glory be to Him ? is the only true God, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship.

The second part of the Shahada “i.e., Wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadan abduhu wa rasuluh” means that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter. In fact, the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (PBUH) to believe him in what he has said, to practice his teachings, to avoid what he has forbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealed to him, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah.

What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service, showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah’s commandments both in utterances and actions of man whether explicit or implicit.

Worship falls into two categories:

1. Visible (manifest or outward)

2. Invisible (concealed or inward)

Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the two parts of the “Shahada”, performing prayers, giving Zakah (the poordue), recitation of the Holy Qur’an, supplication, adoring Allah by praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.

This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of the human body.

Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgement (in the Hereafter), in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Prophets of Allah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by Allah alone).

This type of worship does not involve movement of parts of the body, but it surely has bearing on one’s heart which subsequently affects one’s way of life.

It should be borne in mind that any worship not dedicated to Allah alone will be rejected as one form of polytheism, and this causes apostasy from the Islamic fold.

The next step for a newly revert to Islam is to purify himself by taking a complete bath. He should then resolve to comply with the principles and rules of Islam in their entirety. He should disown all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should reject evil and be righteous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous is one of the requisits of the motto of Islam ? that is, Laa Ilaha Illallah.

Allah states in the Holy Qur’an:

“…whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy Hand-hold, that never breaks…” (Qur’an 2:256)

We have to consider that when we declare from our heart that “there is no god (deity) worthy to be worshipped but Allah”, it implies on our part love, devotion, faith and obedience to the rules of Islamic legislations which are legally binding on all Muslims. It is a requirement of “there is no god worthy to be worshipped but Allah” to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the sake of Allah.

This is the firmest anchor of belief which materialise the meaning of “AL WALA” and “AL BARA”. It means that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practice, dissociate himself completely from the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in worldly and religious matters.

We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that may He cleanse the heart and souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless the community of believers.

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Human Rights in Islam

Since God is the absolute and the sole master of men and the universe, He is the sovereign Lord, the Sustainer and Nourisher, the Merciful, whose mercy enshrines all beings; and since He has given each man human dignity and honor, and breathed into him of His own spirit, it follows that, united in Him and through Him, and apart from their other human attributes, men are substantially the same and no tangible and actual distinction can be made among them, on account of their accidental differences such as nationality, color or race.

Every human-being is thereby related to all others and all become one community of brotherhood in their honorable and pleasant servitude to the most compassionate Lord of the Universe.

In such a heavenly atmosphere, the Islamic confession of the oneness of God stands dominant and central, and necessarily entails the concept of the oneness of humanity and the brother-hood of mankind.

Although an Islamic state may be set ;up in any part of the earth, Islam does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the geographical limits of its own state. Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be observed and respected under all circumstances whether such a person is resident within the territory of the Islamic state or outside it, whether he is at peace with the state or at war. The Quran very clearly states:

O believers, be you secures of justice witness for God.

Let not detestation for a people more you not to be equitable; be equitable ? that is nearer to godfearing. (5:8)

Human blood is sacred in any case and cannot be spilled without justification. And if anyone violates this sanctity of human blood by killing a soul without justification, the Quran equates it to the killing of entire mankind:

…. Whose slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, should be as if he had slain mankind altogether.

It is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded. Women’s honor and chastity are to be respected under all circumstances. The hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the Islamic community or are from amongst its enemies.

When we speak of human rights in Islam, we really mean that these rights have been granted by God; they have not been granted by any king or by any legislative assembly.

The rights granted by the kings of the legislative assemblies, can also be withdrawn in the same manner in which they are conferred.

The same is the case with the rights accepted and recognized by the dictators. They can confer them when they please and withdraw them when they wish; and they can openly violate them when they like. But since in Islam human rights have been conferred by God, no legislative assembly in the world or any government on earth has the right to abrogate them or withdraw them. Nor are they basic human rights which are conferred on paper for the sake of show and exhibition and denied in actual life when the show is over. Nor are they like philosophical concepts which have no sanctions behind them.

The charter and the proclamations and resolutions of the United Nations cannot be compared with the rights sanctioned by God; while the latter is applicable on every believer. They are a part and parcel of the Islamic Faith. Every Muslim or administrators who claim themselves to be Muslims, will have to accept, recognize and enforce them. If they fail to enforce them, and start denying the rights that have been guaranteed by God or make amendments and changes in them, or practically violate them while paying lip service to them, the verdict of the Holy Quran for such government is clear and unequivocal:

Those who do not judge by what God has sent down, are the dis-believers (5:44)

Human Rights in an Islamic State

1.  The Security of Life and Property:

In the address which the Prophet delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said: “Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection.”

The Prophet has also said about the dhimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim state): “One who kills a man under covenant (i.e., Dhimmi) will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise.”

2.  The Protection of Honor: The Holy Quran lays down?

i)   You who believe, do not let one (set of) people make fun of another set.

ii)   Do not defame one another.

iii)   Do not insult by using nickname.

iv)   Do not backbite or speak ill of one another (49:11 – 12)

3.  Sanctity and Security of Private Life:

The Quran has laid down the injunction:

i)   Do not spy on one another.

ii)   Do not enter any houses unless you are sure of their occupant’s consent.

4.  The Security of Personal Freedom:

Islam has laid down the principle that no citizen can be imprisoned unless his guilt has been proved in an open court. To arrest a man only on the basis of suspicion and to throw him into a prison without proper court proceedings and without providing him a reasonable opportunity to produce his defense is not permissible in Islam.

5. The Right to Protest Against Tyranny:

Amongst the rights that Islam has conferred on human beings is the right to protest against government’s tyranny. Referring to it the Quran says: “God does not love evil talk in public unless it is by someone who has been injured thereby.”

In Islam, as has been argued earlier, all power and authority belongs to God, and with man, there is only delegated power which becomes a trust; everyone who becomes a recipient or a donee of such a power has to stand in awful reverence before his people towards whom and for whose sake he will be called upon to use these powers.

This was acknowledged by Hazrat Abu Bakr who said in his very first address: “Cooperate with me when I am right but correct me when I commit error; obey me so long as I follow the commandments of Allah and His prophet; but turn away from me when I deviate.”

6. Freedom of Expression:

Islam gives the right of freedom of thought and expression to all citizens of the Islamic state on the condition that it should be used for the propagation of virtue and truth and not for spreading evil and wickedness.

The Islamic concept of freedom of expression is much superior to the concept prevalent in the West. Under no circumstances would Islam allow evil and wickedness to be propagated. It also does not give anybody the right to use abusive or offensive language in the name of criticism.

It was the practice of the Muslims to inquire from the Holy Prophet whether on a certain matter a divine injunction had been revealed to him. If he said that he had received no divine injunction, the Muslims freely expressed their opinion on the matter.

7. Freedom of Association:

Islam has also given people the right to freedom of association and formation of parties or organizations. This right is also subject to certain general rules.

8. Freedom of Conscience and Conviction:

Islam has laid down the injunction; There should be no coercion in the matter of faith.

On the contrary totalitarian societies totally deprive the individuals of their freedom. Indeed this undue exaltation of the state authority curiously enough postulates a sort of servitude, of slavishness on the part of man.

At one time by slavery was meant total control of man over man ? now that type of slavery has been legally abolished but in its place totalitarian societies impose a similar sort of control over individuals.

9. Protection of Religious Sentiments:

Along with the freedom of conviction and freedom of conscience, Islam has given the right to the individual that his religious sentiments will be given due respect and nothing will be said or done which may encroach upon his right.

10. Protection from Arbitrary Imprisonment:

Islam also recognizes the right of the individual that he will not be arrested or imprisoned for the offences of others. The Holy Quran has laid down this principle clearly: No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another.

11. The Right to Basic Necessities of Life:

Islam has recognized the right of the needy people that help and assistance will be provided to them: And in their wealth there is acknowledged right for the needy and the destitute.

12. Equality Before Law:

Islam gives its citizens the right to absolute and complete equality in the eyes of the law.

13.  Rulers Not Above the Law:

A woman belonging to a high and noble family was arrested in connection with theft. The case was brought to the Prophet, and it was recommended that she might be spared the punishment of theft.

The Prophet replied, “The nations that lived before you were destroyed by God because they punished the common-man for their offences and let their dignitaries go unpunished for their crimes; I swear by Him Who holds my life in His hand that even if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, had committed this crime, I would have amputated her hand.”

14.  The Right to Participate in the Affairs of State

And their business is (conducted) through consultation among themselves. (42:38).. (42:38). The shura or the legislative assembly has no other meaning except that: The executive head of the government and the members of the assembly should be elected by free and independent choice of the people

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Deceased and Janazah

There are five main points for the preparation of a Muslim’s body for burial; we present briefly the procedure involved in each of them.

1. Body Washing or “Ghusl”

Washing the deceased body is obligatory on Muslims; it is a Fard Kifaya, i.e., some members take the responsibility of doing it the need is fulfilled, but if no one fulfills it, then all Muslims will be accountable.

Washing can be carried out in the following way:

A man’s body should be washed by men and a woman’s by women,

  1. but a child’s body may be washed by either sex. A husband can wash his wife’s body and vice-versa if the need arises.
  2. Only one person is needed for washing with someone to help him.
  3. It is better to choose for this the person who knows best how to perform ghusl.
  4. Place the body on a high place, e.g., a table or something similar.
  5. Remove the deceased’s clothes (garments) leaving the private parts covered.
  6. Press the stomach gently and clean whatever comes out.
  7. For washing, use a piece of cloth or your hands.
  8. Only clean water may be used, add some scented oils (non-alcoholic) in the final wash. It is preferable to use warm water.
  9. Perform ablution (wudu) for the body, cleaning the teeth and nose from outside only.
  10. Wash tree times, but if the body is not yet cleaned, continuewashing five or seven times ? it must be odd numbers.Turn the body on its left side and begin washing the right side.Then, turn it on its right side to wash the left side. This is done in each wash. The first and the second washes are done with water and soap, while the last one with water and scent.
  11. Hair should be unbraided, washed and combed. For women, it mayagain be braided in three braids.
  12. Dry the body with clean cloth or towel.
  13. Add some perfume on the head, forehead, nose, hands, knees, eyes, armpits, and place perfumed cotton on the front and rear openings.

2. Wrapping (Kafan)

  1. It must be a clean piece of cloth (preferably white) to cover the whole body.

  2. Add some perfume to the kafan (non-alcoholic).

  3. Do not use silk cloth for men.

  4. Use three pieces for men, and five for women, (but each one must cover the whole body.)

  5. Tie the front and the rear with a piece of cloth (from the same kafan) in such a way that one can differentiate the head from the legs.

3. Prayers (Salat)

  1. It is better that those praying divide themselves into three rows facing the qibla with the Imam in front.

  2. Put the body (or bodies) in front of the Imam.

  3. The Imam should stand by the middle of the body if the deceased is a man and by the shoulder if she is a woman.

  4. If there is more than one body, then they should be put one in front of the other, those of the men nearest to the Imam and thoseof the women furthest from him.

  5. Having the appropriate neeyat in your heart, raise your hands in the usual manner and say, Allahu Akbar.

  6. Then fold and hold, your hands on your breast in the usual manner, the right hand on the left hand.

  7. Read al Fatiha quietly.

  8. Say Allahu Akbar without raising the hands.

  9. Pray for the Prophet in the same way as you do in tashahud.

  10. Say Allahu Akbar (don’t raise your hands).

  11. Make du’a for the deceased. for the deceased.

  12. Say Allahu Akbar (don’t raise your hands).

  13. Make du’a for the Muslims. for the Muslims.

  14. Say Assalamu Alaikum, thus finishing the prayer.

It is clear from this description that all this prayer is done while one is standing ? there is no ruku or sujud in it.

Du’a for the deceased may be chosen from the authentic prophetic du’as.

4. Funeral

  1. Procession: Mourners should walk in front or beside the bier. Those who are riding or driving should follow it.

  2. Silence is recommended.

  3. It is absolutely forbidden to accompany the body with music or crying.

5. Burial

  1. The grave should be deep, wide and well made. It is recommended that it consists of two excavations, one inside the other. It is recommended taht the smaller one called lahd be dug on the side of the larger one facing the qibla.

  2. It is in this one that the body is put.

  3. The deceased’s body should be laid on the ground with the facetoward the qibla, the direction of the ka’aba.

  4. While laying it say In the name of Allah, follow the way of Prophet.” (Arabic  —  omitted here.)

  5. It is not recommended to use a casket unless there is a need for it, e.g., if the soil is very loose or wet. A stone or bricks or some soil should be put under the deceased’s head to raise it up.

  6. Do not use a pillow or put anything with the deceased nside the grave. Cover the lahd with bricks so that they become like a roof for it.

  7. Pour three handfuls of soil.

  8. Fill the larger pit with soil It is preferable that each one of those present share in this by pouring three handfuls of soil.Raise the level of the grave a little less than one foot in a sloping way.

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Life after Death

The question whether there is a life after death does not fall under the jurisdiction of science as science is concerned only with classification and analysis of sense data.  Moreover, man has been busy with scientific enquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for the last few centuries, while he has been familiar with the concept of life after death since times immemorial.

All the prophets of God called their people to worship God and to believe in life after death.  They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all other beliefs meaningless.  The very fact that all the prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical question of life after death so confidently and so uniformly – the gap between their ages being thousands of years – goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by them all, was the same, i.e., Divine revelation.

We also know that these prophets of God were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life after death as their people thought it impossible.  But in spite of opposition, the prophets won so many sincere followers.  The question arises what made those followers forsake the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their forefathers notwithstanding the risk of being totally alienated from their own community?

The simple answer is:  they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the truth.  Did they realize the truth through perceptual consciousness?  Not so, as perceptual experience of life after death is impossible.

Actually God has given man besides perceptual consciousness, rational, aesthetic and moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness that guides man regarding realities that cannot be verified through sensory data. That is why all the prophets of God while calling people to believe in God and life after death, appeal to the aesthetic, moral and rational consciousness of man.  For example, when the idolators of Makkah denied even the possibility of life after death, the Quran exposed the weakness of their stand by advancing very logical and rational arguments in support of it:

And he has coined for us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: who will revive these bones when they have rotten away?

Say: He will revive them who produced them at the first, for He is the knower of every creation. Who has appointed for you fire from the green tree, and behold! You kindle from it.

Is not He who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the life of them? yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-knowing. (36:78-81) them? yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-knowing. (36:78-81)

At another occasion, the Quran very clearly says that the dis-believers have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on pure conjectures:

They say, ‘There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but Time destroys us’. Of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when our revelations are recited to them, their only argument is that they say, ‘Bring us our fathers, if you speak truly’’. (45:24-25)

Surely God will raise all the dead. But God has His own plan of things. A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and then again the dead will be resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the beginning of the life that will never end, and that Day every person will be rewarded by God according to his or her good or evil deed.

The explanation that the Quran gives about the necessity of life after death is what moral consciousness of man demands. Actually if there is no life after death, the very belief in God becomes irrelevant or even if one believes in God, that would be an unjust and indifferent God: having once created man not concerned with his fate. Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants whose crimes are beyond count: having killed hundreds of innocent persons, created great corruption in the society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc.

Man having a very short span of life in this world, and this physical world too being not eternal, punishment or rewards equal to the evil or noble deeds of persons are not possible here. The Quran very emphatically states that the Day of Judgment must come and God will decide about the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds.

Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, but it is coming unto you surely. (He is) the Knower of the Unseen. Not an atom’s weight, or less than that or greater, escapes Him in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear Record. That He may reward those who believe and do good works. For them is pardon and a rich provision. But those who strive against our revelations, challenging (Us), theirs will be painful doom of wrath. (34: 3-5)

The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. God will shower His mercy on those who suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing that an eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused the bounties of God, caring nothing for the life to come, will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Quran says:

Is he, then, to whom we have promised a goodly promise the fulfillment of which he will meet, like the one whom We have provided with the good things of this life, and then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be of those who will be brought arraigned before God? (28:61)

The Quran also states that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their passions and desires, make fun of virtuous and God-conscious persons. Such persons realize their folly only at the time of their death and wish to be given a further chance in the world but in vain.

Their miserable state at the time of death, and the horror of the Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to the sincere believers are very beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Holy Quran:

Until, when death comes unto one of them, he says, ‘My Lord send me back, that I may do right in that which I have left behind!’ But nay! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier until the day when they are raised. And when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of one another. Then those whose scales are heavy, they are successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding, the fire burns their faces and they are glum therein. (23:99-104)

The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the Hereafter, but also makes this world full of peace and happiness by making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities.

Think of the people of Arabia. Gambling, wine, tribal feuds, plundering and murdering were their main traits when they had no belief in life after death. But as soon as they accepted the belief in the One God and life after death, they became the most disciplined nation of the world. They gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality.

Similarly the denial of life after death has its consequences not only in the Hereafter but also in this world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all kinds of evils and corruptions become rampant in that society and ultimately it is destroyed. The Quran mentions the terrible end of ‘Aad, Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail:

(The tribes of) Thamud and ‘Aad disbelieved in the judgment to come. As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the lightning, and as for ‘Aad, they were destroyed by a fierce roaring wind, which He imposed on them for seven long nights and eight long days so that you might see the people laid prostrate in it as if they were the stumps of fallen down palm trees.

Now do you see remnant of them? Pharaoh likewise and those before him, and the subverted cities. They committed errors and they rebelled against the Messenger of their Lord, and He seized them with a surpassing grip.

Lo, when the waters rose, We bore you in the running ship that We might make it a reminder for you and for heeding ears to hold. So when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth and the mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single blow, then on that day, the Terror shall come to pass, and the heaven shall be split for upon that day it shall be very frail. Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall say ‘Here take and read my book! Certainly I thought that I should encounter my reckoning. ‘So he shall be in a pleasing life in a lofty garden, its clusters nigh to gather.

Eat and drink with wholesome appetite for that you did long ago, in the days gone by.’

But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he shall say: ‘Would that I had not been given my book and not known my reckoning! Would it had been the end!

My wealth has not availed me, my authority is gone from me. (69:4-39)


Thus there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death.

Firstly, all the prophets of God have called their people to believe in it.

Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.

Thirdly, history bears witness that whenever this belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in spite of the repeated warning of the prophet, the group as a whole has been punished by God even in this world.

Fourthly, moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of man endorse the possibility of life after death.

Fifthly, God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy have no meaning if there is no life after death

Child Birth

In Islam, following things are done at the birth of a child.

1. Pray so that the child becomes pious and good-natured.

2. Father or anyone says Azan in the right ear of a child and Iqamat (Takbir) in the left ear when the child is born.

3. Father, mother or anyone can chew a date and make a little juice. Then make the child suck it. Holy Prophet (PBUH) did the same at the birth of Hazrat Hasan (RA) and Hazrat Husain(RA)

4. By seventh day from the birth, child should be given a good name with good meaning. Since names influence the personality of the children, parents are recommended to choose names which praises the oneness and greatness of the Almighty Allah and express total allegiance to His Final Authority. e.g. Abdullah and Abdul Rahman etc. It is advisable to name after Prophets of Allah(AS), Sahaba(companions)(RA), Sahabyat(RA), saints and illustrious Ulama of Islam.

5. On seventh day, hair of the child should be cut by anyone such as a parent, a barber, or parent’s friend. No particular method is prescribed.

6. It is a sunnah to have Aqiqa on the seventh day depending upon the health of the child and the mother. It is an expression of joy on the part of parents, relatives and friends.

7. It is a duty of parents to provide good upbringing and education to the child.

What’s Islam

  • How to Become a Muslim

  • Human Rights in Islam

  • Deceased and Janazah

  • Life after Death

  • Child Birth

How to Become a Muslim

All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Mohammad, His last messenger.

The purpose of this hand-out is to correct a false idea spread among those willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some people have a wrong notion that entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of higher ranking scholars or shaikhs or reporting this act to courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thought that the act of accepting Islam, should, as a condition, have a certificate issued by the authorities, as evidence to that effect.

We wish to clarify that the whole matter is very easy and that none of these conditions or obligations are required. For Allah Almighty, is above all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless, those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are advised to register themselves as Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, at this procedure may facilitate  them in many way including the possibility of performing Hajji (Pilgrimage) and Umrah.

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for all human-beings, then, one should pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The Holy Qur’an is explicit on this regard as Allah states:

“The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam” (Qur’an 3:19)

In another verse of the Holy Qur’an, Allah states:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah),

Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the

ranks of those who have lost (their selves i the hell fire). “ (Qur’an 3:85)

In addition, Islam is the only religion prevailing overall other religions. Allah states in the Holly Qur’an:

“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: ….” (Qur’an 5:48)

Mohammad, the Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), said:

“The superstructure of Islam is raised on five pillars: testifying that there is

no God (none truly to be worshiped) but Allah, and that Mohammad is the

messenger of Allah, performing the prayer, paying the Zakah (poor-due),

fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing Hadji”.

The Shahada can be declared as follows:

“ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH”.

The English translation is:

“I bear witness that there is no deity (none truly to be worshipped) but Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah”,

However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to only utter this testimony orally either in private or in public; but rather, he should believe in it by heart with a firm conviction and unshakeable faith. If one is truly sincere and complies with the teachings of Islam in all his life, he will find himself a new born person.

This will move him to strive more and more to improve his character and draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living faith will fill his heart until he becomes the embodiment of that faith.

What would be next after declaring oneself a Muslim? One should then know the real concept underlying this testimony which means the Oneness of Allah and meet its requirements. One must behave accordingly, applying this true faith to everything one speaks or does.

What do the words of the “Shahada” signify? The significant point which every Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (deity) to be worshipped other than Allah. He ? glory be to Him ? is the only true God, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship.

The second part of the Shahada “i.e., Wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadan abduhu wa rasuluh” means that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter. In fact, the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (PBUH) to believe him in what he has said, to practice his teachings, to avoid what he has forbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealed to him, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah.

What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service, showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah’s commandments both in utterances and actions of man whether explicit or implicit.

Worship falls into two categories:

1. Visible (manifest or outward)

2. Invisible (concealed or inward)

Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the two parts of the “Shahada”, performing prayers, giving Zakah (the poordue), recitation of the Holy Qur’an, supplication, adoring Allah by praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.

This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of the human body.

Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgement (in the Hereafter), in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Prophets of Allah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by Allah alone).

This type of worship does not involve movement of parts of the body, but it surely has bearing on one’s heart which subsequently affects one’s way of life.

It should be borne in mind that any worship not dedicated to Allah alone will be rejected as one form of polytheism, and this causes apostasy from the Islamic fold.

The next step for a newly revert to Islam is to purify himself by taking a complete bath. He should then resolve to comply with the principles and rules of Islam in their entirety. He should disown all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should reject evil and be righteous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous is one of the requisits of the motto of Islam ? that is, Laa Ilaha Illallah.

Allah states in the Holy Qur’an:

“…whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy Hand-hold, that never breaks…” (Qur’an 2:256)

We have to consider that when we declare from our heart that “there is no god (deity) worthy to be worshipped but Allah”, it implies on our part love, devotion, faith and obedience to the rules of Islamic legislations which are legally binding on all Muslims. It is a requirement of “there is no god worthy to be worshipped but Allah” to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the sake of Allah.

This is the firmest anchor of belief which materialise the meaning of “AL WALA” and “AL BARA”. It means that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practice, dissociate himself completely from the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in worldly and religious matters.

We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that may He cleanse the heart and souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless the community of believers.

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Human Rights in Islam

Since God is the absolute and the sole master of men and the universe, He is the sovereign Lord, the Sustainer and Nourisher, the Merciful, whose mercy enshrines all beings; and since He has given each man human dignity and honor, and breathed into him of His own spirit, it follows that, united in Him and through Him, and apart from their other human attributes, men are substantially the same and no tangible and actual distinction can be made among them, on account of their accidental differences such as nationality, color or race.

Every human-being is thereby related to all others and all become one community of brotherhood in their honorable and pleasant servitude to the most compassionate Lord of the Universe.

In such a heavenly atmosphere, the Islamic confession of the oneness of God stands dominant and central, and necessarily entails the concept of the oneness of humanity and the brother-hood of mankind.

Although an Islamic state may be set ;up in any part of the earth, Islam does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the geographical limits of its own state. Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be observed and respected under all circumstances whether such a person is resident within the territory of the Islamic state or outside it, whether he is at peace with the state or at war. The Quran very clearly states:

O believers, be you secures of justice witness for God.

Let not detestation for a people more you not to be equitable; be equitable ? that is nearer to godfearing. (5:8)

Human blood is sacred in any case and cannot be spilled without justification. And if anyone violates this sanctity of human blood by killing a soul without justification, the Quran equates it to the killing of entire mankind:

…. Whose slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, should be as if he had slain mankind altogether.

It is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded. Women’s honor and chastity are to be respected under all circumstances. The hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the Islamic community or are from amongst its enemies.

When we speak of human rights in Islam, we really mean that these rights have been granted by God; they have not been granted by any king or by any legislative assembly.

The rights granted by the kings of the legislative assemblies, can also be withdrawn in the same manner in which they are conferred.

The same is the case with the rights accepted and recognized by the dictators. They can confer them when they please and withdraw them when they wish; and they can openly violate them when they like. But since in Islam human rights have been conferred by God, no legislative assembly in the world or any government on earth has the right to abrogate them or withdraw them. Nor are they basic human rights which are conferred on paper for the sake of show and exhibition and denied in actual life when the show is over. Nor are they like philosophical concepts which have no sanctions behind them.

The charter and the proclamations and resolutions of the United Nations cannot be compared with the rights sanctioned by God; while the latter is applicable on every believer. They are a part and parcel of the Islamic Faith. Every Muslim or administrators who claim themselves to be Muslims, will have to accept, recognize and enforce them. If they fail to enforce them, and start denying the rights that have been guaranteed by God or make amendments and changes in them, or practically violate them while paying lip service to them, the verdict of the Holy Quran for such government is clear and unequivocal:

Those who do not judge by what God has sent down, are the dis-believers (5:44)

Human Rights in an Islamic State

1.  The Security of Life and Property:

In the address which the Prophet delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said: “Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection.”

The Prophet has also said about the dhimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim state): “One who kills a man under covenant (i.e., Dhimmi) will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise.”

2.  The Protection of Honor: The Holy Quran lays down?

i)   You who believe, do not let one (set of) people make fun of another set.

ii)   Do not defame one another.

iii)   Do not insult by using nickname.

iv)   Do not backbite or speak ill of one another (49:11 – 12)

3.  Sanctity and Security of Private Life:

The Quran has laid down the injunction:

i)   Do not spy on one another.

ii)   Do not enter any houses unless you are sure of their occupant’s consent.

4.  The Security of Personal Freedom:

Islam has laid down the principle that no citizen can be imprisoned unless his guilt has been proved in an open court. To arrest a man only on the basis of suspicion and to throw him into a prison without proper court proceedings and without providing him a reasonable opportunity to produce his defense is not permissible in Islam.

5. The Right to Protest Against Tyranny:

Amongst the rights that Islam has conferred on human beings is the right to protest against government’s tyranny. Referring to it the Quran says: “God does not love evil talk in public unless it is by someone who has been injured thereby.”

In Islam, as has been argued earlier, all power and authority belongs to God, and with man, there is only delegated power which becomes a trust; everyone who becomes a recipient or a donee of such a power has to stand in awful reverence before his people towards whom and for whose sake he will be called upon to use these powers.

This was acknowledged by Hazrat Abu Bakr who said in his very first address: “Cooperate with me when I am right but correct me when I commit error; obey me so long as I follow the commandments of Allah and His prophet; but turn away from me when I deviate.”

6. Freedom of Expression:

Islam gives the right of freedom of thought and expression to all citizens of the Islamic state on the condition that it should be used for the propagation of virtue and truth and not for spreading evil and wickedness.

The Islamic concept of freedom of expression is much superior to the concept prevalent in the West. Under no circumstances would Islam allow evil and wickedness to be propagated. It also does not give anybody the right to use abusive or offensive language in the name of criticism.

It was the practice of the Muslims to inquire from the Holy Prophet whether on a certain matter a divine injunction had been revealed to him. If he said that he had received no divine injunction, the Muslims freely expressed their opinion on the matter.

7. Freedom of Association:

Islam has also given people the right to freedom of association and formation of parties or organizations. This right is also subject to certain general rules.

8. Freedom of Conscience and Conviction:

Islam has laid down the injunction; There should be no coercion in the matter of faith.

On the contrary totalitarian societies totally deprive the individuals of their freedom. Indeed this undue exaltation of the state authority curiously enough postulates a sort of servitude, of slavishness on the part of man.

At one time by slavery was meant total control of man over man ? now that type of slavery has been legally abolished but in its place totalitarian societies impose a similar sort of control over individuals.

9. Protection of Religious Sentiments:

Along with the freedom of conviction and freedom of conscience, Islam has given the right to the individual that his religious sentiments will be given due respect and nothing will be said or done which may encroach upon his right.

10. Protection from Arbitrary Imprisonment:

Islam also recognizes the right of the individual that he will not be arrested or imprisoned for the offences of others. The Holy Quran has laid down this principle clearly: No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another.

11. The Right to Basic Necessities of Life:

Islam has recognized the right of the needy people that help and assistance will be provided to them: And in their wealth there is acknowledged right for the needy and the destitute.

12. Equality Before Law:

Islam gives its citizens the right to absolute and complete equality in the eyes of the law.

13.  Rulers Not Above the Law:

A woman belonging to a high and noble family was arrested in connection with theft. The case was brought to the Prophet, and it was recommended that she might be spared the punishment of theft.

The Prophet replied, “The nations that lived before you were destroyed by God because they punished the common-man for their offences and let their dignitaries go unpunished for their crimes; I swear by Him Who holds my life in His hand that even if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, had committed this crime, I would have amputated her hand.”

14.  The Right to Participate in the Affairs of State

And their business is (conducted) through consultation among themselves. (42:38).. (42:38). The shura or the legislative assembly has no other meaning except that: The executive head of the government and the members of the assembly should be elected by free and independent choice of the people

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Deceased and Janazah

There are five main points for the preparation of a Muslim’s body for burial; we present briefly the procedure involved in each of them.

1. Body Washing or “Ghusl”

Washing the deceased body is obligatory on Muslims; it is a Fard Kifaya, i.e., some members take the responsibility of doing it the need is fulfilled, but if no one fulfills it, then all Muslims will be accountable.

Washing can be carried out in the following way:

A man’s body should be washed by men and a woman’s by women,

  1. but a child’s body may be washed by either sex. A husband can wash his wife’s body and vice-versa if the need arises.
  2. Only one person is needed for washing with someone to help him.
  3. It is better to choose for this the person who knows best how to perform ghusl.
  4. Place the body on a high place, e.g., a table or something similar.
  5. Remove the deceased’s clothes (garments) leaving the private parts covered.
  6. Press the stomach gently and clean whatever comes out.
  7. For washing, use a piece of cloth or your hands.
  8. Only clean water may be used, add some scented oils (non-alcoholic) in the final wash. It is preferable to use warm water.
  9. Perform ablution (wudu) for the body, cleaning the teeth and nose from outside only.
  10. Wash tree times, but if the body is not yet cleaned, continuewashing five or seven times ? it must be odd numbers.Turn the body on its left side and begin washing the right side.Then, turn it on its right side to wash the left side. This is done in each wash. The first and the second washes are done with water and soap, while the last one with water and scent.
  11. Hair should be unbraided, washed and combed. For women, it mayagain be braided in three braids.
  12. Dry the body with clean cloth or towel.
  13. Add some perfume on the head, forehead, nose, hands, knees, eyes, armpits, and place perfumed cotton on the front and rear openings.

2. Wrapping (Kafan)

  1. It must be a clean piece of cloth (preferably white) to cover the whole body.

  2. Add some perfume to the kafan (non-alcoholic).

  3. Do not use silk cloth for men.

  4. Use three pieces for men, and five for women, (but each one must cover the whole body.)

  5. Tie the front and the rear with a piece of cloth (from the same kafan) in such a way that one can differentiate the head from the legs.

3. Prayers (Salat)

  1. It is better that those praying divide themselves into three rows facing the qibla with the Imam in front.

  2. Put the body (or bodies) in front of the Imam.

  3. The Imam should stand by the middle of the body if the deceased is a man and by the shoulder if she is a woman.

  4. If there is more than one body, then they should be put one in front of the other, those of the men nearest to the Imam and thoseof the women furthest from him.

  5. Having the appropriate neeyat in your heart, raise your hands in the usual manner and say, Allahu Akbar.

  6. Then fold and hold, your hands on your breast in the usual manner, the right hand on the left hand.

  7. Read al Fatiha quietly.

  8. Say Allahu Akbar without raising the hands.

  9. Pray for the Prophet in the same way as you do in tashahud.

  10. Say Allahu Akbar (don’t raise your hands).

  11. Make du’a for the deceased. for the deceased.

  12. Say Allahu Akbar (don’t raise your hands).

  13. Make du’a for the Muslims. for the Muslims.

  14. Say Assalamu Alaikum, thus finishing the prayer.

It is clear from this description that all this prayer is done while one is standing ? there is no ruku or sujud in it.

Du’a for the deceased may be chosen from the authentic prophetic du’as.

4. Funeral

  1. Procession: Mourners should walk in front or beside the bier. Those who are riding or driving should follow it.

  2. Silence is recommended.

  3. It is absolutely forbidden to accompany the body with music or crying.

5. Burial

  1. The grave should be deep, wide and well made. It is recommended that it consists of two excavations, one inside the other. It is recommended taht the smaller one called lahd be dug on the side of the larger one facing the qibla.

  2. It is in this one that the body is put.

  3. The deceased’s body should be laid on the ground with the facetoward the qibla, the direction of the ka’aba.

  4. While laying it say In the name of Allah, follow the way of Prophet.” (Arabic  —  omitted here.)

  5. It is not recommended to use a casket unless there is a need for it, e.g., if the soil is very loose or wet. A stone or bricks or some soil should be put under the deceased’s head to raise it up.

  6. Do not use a pillow or put anything with the deceased nside the grave. Cover the lahd with bricks so that they become like a roof for it.

  7. Pour three handfuls of soil.

  8. Fill the larger pit with soil It is preferable that each one of those present share in this by pouring three handfuls of soil.Raise the level of the grave a little less than one foot in a sloping way.

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Life after Death

The question whether there is a life after death does not fall under the jurisdiction of science as science is concerned only with classification and analysis of sense data.  Moreover, man has been busy with scientific enquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for the last few centuries, while he has been familiar with the concept of life after death since times immemorial.

All the prophets of God called their people to worship God and to believe in life after death.  They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all other beliefs meaningless.  The very fact that all the prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical question of life after death so confidently and so uniformly – the gap between their ages being thousands of years – goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by them all, was the same, i.e., Divine revelation.

We also know that these prophets of God were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life after death as their people thought it impossible.  But in spite of opposition, the prophets won so many sincere followers.  The question arises what made those followers forsake the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their forefathers notwithstanding the risk of being totally alienated from their own community?

The simple answer is:  they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the truth.  Did they realize the truth through perceptual consciousness?  Not so, as perceptual experience of life after death is impossible.

Actually God has given man besides perceptual consciousness, rational, aesthetic and moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness that guides man regarding realities that cannot be verified through sensory data. That is why all the prophets of God while calling people to believe in God and life after death, appeal to the aesthetic, moral and rational consciousness of man.  For example, when the idolators of Makkah denied even the possibility of life after death, the Quran exposed the weakness of their stand by advancing very logical and rational arguments in support of it:

And he has coined for us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: who will revive these bones when they have rotten away?

Say: He will revive them who produced them at the first, for He is the knower of every creation. Who has appointed for you fire from the green tree, and behold! You kindle from it.

Is not He who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the life of them? yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-knowing. (36:78-81) them? yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-knowing. (36:78-81)

At another occasion, the Quran very clearly says that the dis-believers have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on pure conjectures:

They say, ‘There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but Time destroys us’. Of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when our revelations are recited to them, their only argument is that they say, ‘Bring us our fathers, if you speak truly’’. (45:24-25)

Surely God will raise all the dead. But God has His own plan of things. A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and then again the dead will be resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the beginning of the life that will never end, and that Day every person will be rewarded by God according to his or her good or evil deed.

The explanation that the Quran gives about the necessity of life after death is what moral consciousness of man demands. Actually if there is no life after death, the very belief in God becomes irrelevant or even if one believes in God, that would be an unjust and indifferent God: having once created man not concerned with his fate. Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants whose crimes are beyond count: having killed hundreds of innocent persons, created great corruption in the society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc.

Man having a very short span of life in this world, and this physical world too being not eternal, punishment or rewards equal to the evil or noble deeds of persons are not possible here. The Quran very emphatically states that the Day of Judgment must come and God will decide about the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds.

Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, but it is coming unto you surely. (He is) the Knower of the Unseen. Not an atom’s weight, or less than that or greater, escapes Him in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear Record. That He may reward those who believe and do good works. For them is pardon and a rich provision. But those who strive against our revelations, challenging (Us), theirs will be painful doom of wrath. (34: 3-5)

The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. God will shower His mercy on those who suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing that an eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused the bounties of God, caring nothing for the life to come, will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Quran says:

Is he, then, to whom we have promised a goodly promise the fulfillment of which he will meet, like the one whom We have provided with the good things of this life, and then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be of those who will be brought arraigned before God? (28:61)

The Quran also states that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their passions and desires, make fun of virtuous and God-conscious persons. Such persons realize their folly only at the time of their death and wish to be given a further chance in the world but in vain.

Their miserable state at the time of death, and the horror of the Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to the sincere believers are very beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Holy Quran:

Until, when death comes unto one of them, he says, ‘My Lord send me back, that I may do right in that which I have left behind!’ But nay! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier until the day when they are raised. And when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of one another. Then those whose scales are heavy, they are successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding, the fire burns their faces and they are glum therein. (23:99-104)

The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the Hereafter, but also makes this world full of peace and happiness by making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities.

Think of the people of Arabia. Gambling, wine, tribal feuds, plundering and murdering were their main traits when they had no belief in life after death. But as soon as they accepted the belief in the One God and life after death, they became the most disciplined nation of the world. They gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality.

Similarly the denial of life after death has its consequences not only in the Hereafter but also in this world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all kinds of evils and corruptions become rampant in that society and ultimately it is destroyed. The Quran mentions the terrible end of ‘Aad, Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail:

(The tribes of) Thamud and ‘Aad disbelieved in the judgment to come. As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the lightning, and as for ‘Aad, they were destroyed by a fierce roaring wind, which He imposed on them for seven long nights and eight long days so that you might see the people laid prostrate in it as if they were the stumps of fallen down palm trees.

Now do you see remnant of them? Pharaoh likewise and those before him, and the subverted cities. They committed errors and they rebelled against the Messenger of their Lord, and He seized them with a surpassing grip.

Lo, when the waters rose, We bore you in the running ship that We might make it a reminder for you and for heeding ears to hold. So when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth and the mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single blow, then on that day, the Terror shall come to pass, and the heaven shall be split for upon that day it shall be very frail. Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall say ‘Here take and read my book! Certainly I thought that I should encounter my reckoning. ‘So he shall be in a pleasing life in a lofty garden, its clusters nigh to gather.

Eat and drink with wholesome appetite for that you did long ago, in the days gone by.’

But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he shall say: ‘Would that I had not been given my book and not known my reckoning! Would it had been the end!

My wealth has not availed me, my authority is gone from me. (69:4-39)


Thus there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death.

Firstly, all the prophets of God have called their people to believe in it.

Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.

Thirdly, history bears witness that whenever this belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in spite of the repeated warning of the prophet, the group as a whole has been punished by God even in this world.

Fourthly, moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of man endorse the possibility of life after death.

Fifthly, God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy have no meaning if there is no life after death

Child Birth

In Islam, following things are done at the birth of a child.

1. Pray so that the child becomes pious and good-natured.

2. Father or anyone says Azan in the right ear of a child and Iqamat (Takbir) in the left ear when the child is born.

3. Father, mother or anyone can chew a date and make a little juice. Then make the child suck it. Holy Prophet (PBUH) did the same at the birth of Hazrat Hasan (RA) and Hazrat Husain(RA)

4. By seventh day from the birth, child should be given a good name with good meaning. Since names influence the personality of the children, parents are recommended to choose names which praises the oneness and greatness of the Almighty Allah and express total allegiance to His Final Authority. e.g. Abdullah and Abdul Rahman etc. It is advisable to name after Prophets of Allah(AS), Sahaba(companions)(RA), Sahabyat(RA), saints and illustrious Ulama of Islam.

5. On seventh day, hair of the child should be cut by anyone such as a parent, a barber, or parent’s friend. No particular method is prescribed.

6. It is a sunnah to have Aqiqa on the seventh day depending upon the health of the child and the mother. It is an expression of joy on the part of parents, relatives and friends.

7. It is a duty of parents to provide good upbringing and education to the child.

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