agree with above expression which describes the true meaning of what a
Mu'min/Muslim is. We also agree with the great Imam's assertion that none
of the people of the Qibla will become an infidel by omission of works/duties/deeds.
A person who has faith but omits to act is certainly a Muslim, although
a sinful one and it is entirely up to God to either punish or forgive him.
The foundation of Islamic
faith is belief in One Good God whose Unity manifests itself as the Unity
of Nature. Belief in such a unifying and preserving source of existence
is the only belief that Islam considers to be the essence of Truth and
of all true religion. It often couples with virtuous deeds as the minimum
requirements of well-being but virtue is more of a corollary of the basic
belief than something externally tacked on to it. The Prophet said that
a sincere belief in the Unity of God is enough to save man. At this his
companion Abu Zar was astounded that religion should be reduced to such
a minimum. But the Prophet obviously meant that degree of belief which
Socrates characterized as the Rational and True knowledge of the Good which
must result in good deeds, if the self is completely steeped in it and
identified with it. The Quran has bestowed full-hearted praise on the followers
of the religious systems who have these essentials in themselves; that
they believe in One God and are just and good in their lives. The Jews
and the Christians and even the Sabians are included as having been saved
beyond fear and grief, if they possess these essentials. Islam however,
did not content itself with the mere enunciation of a fundamental principle:
it applied that principle and showed the ways as to how it should work
(Islamic Ideology by Dr. Khalifa Abdul Hakim).
This Aqidah (belief/conviction)
is based on the true spirit of the teachings of the holly Qur'an. It is
the most essential cardinal belief of Muslims that Al-Qur'an is
the Word of Allah (God). Its author is God Himself. The Prophet Muhammad,
p.b.u.h. never speaks in the Qur'an. The Qur'an preaches Unity of
Mankind. It "brushes aside all distinctions of race and colour and every
hierarchical conception of life, social or political. It restores dignity
to man by placing him next to God and recognizes only righteousness as
the criterion of superiority of one over another. The Qur'an favours a
world order and universal brotherhood. The Prophet Muhammad transformed
that idea into an active reality in the life of his followers." (S. Athar
Followers of other religions
have misguided themselves by departing from the original teachings of their
scriptures and claiming for themselves a monopoly in salvation. For instance
the Jews and the Christians say that "none shall enter paradise unless
he be a Jew or a Christian." [Qur'an 2:111] Repudiating such claims
the Qur'an declares: "Nay -- whoever submits his whole self
, to God and is a doer of good -- he will get his reward with
his Lord; on such shall be no fear nor shall they grieve." [Qur'an
2:112] According to the Yusuf Ali translation/interpretation, the word
'wajhahu' used in the Qur'an implies the whole inner self or personality
of man in this context . The Qur'an categorically repudiates all ideas
of monopoly in truth or salvation. It therefore preaches and prescribes
tolerance. But this is not mere religious tolerance which is a very passive
or even a negative attitude. The Qur'an takes an active approach and issues
a positive injunction to extend the Brotherhood of Faith to all those who
have the essentials of faith although they may differ in their laws and
Islam is not only a spiritual
attitude of mind or a code of sublime precepts, but it is also a self sufficing
orbit of culture and a social system of well defined features. Belief is
the basis of the Code of laws, and the Code of laws is the result of belief,
for legislation without belief is like a building without a foundation
-- and belief without a Code of law to put it into effect, would be merely
theoretical and ineffective." (Mahmud Shaltut) Man therefore has a dual
responsibility to discharge according to the Qur'an: One is in relation
to himself, and the other is in relation to his external world. The discharge
of these responsibilities is aided by certain disciplines which are divided
into two categories: (i) prescribed disciplines, (or the so-called Pillars
of Islam) and, (ii) self-discipline embodying the ethical code.
Thus, it follows that
since the Qur'an (as interpreted, expounded and put into practise by the
Messenger of God, Muhammad p.b.u.h. himself in his capacity as the role
model for all Muslims and non-Muslims alike) plays such a pivotal and critical
role in the lives of Muslims (being a "guidance" for all of mankind), it
seems to be only a natural and logical starting point for this Web site
to make a standard English translation of the entire Qur'an available to
all our visitors. Al hamdu
li Allah we had the privilege of launching this on Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night
of Power) Hijrah 1420 (Jan. 4, 2000).
here for a fully bookmarked and searchable PDF version of the holy
into English by Yusuf Ali
here for another bookmarked and searchable PDF version of the holy
Qur'an translated into English by Marmaduke Pickthall
ease of use, we suggest you save this on your computer. It takes less than
3 seconds to save and only requires 821 KB of disk space)
free software (Adobe Acrobat Reader) to display PDF pages on your
our Links page for a Qur'an and Hadith Search Engine
as well as several translations of the Qur'an and also a Subject Index
and RealAudio recitation of the Qur'an.
are our mottos:
knowledge is an ordinance obligatory upon every Muslim"
seek refuge in God from useless knowledge" 
And these are our plans
we plan to do next will be to stimulate further interest in the intellectual,
philosophic and esoteric approach to the study of the teachings of the
Qur'an. We hope to fulfil this mandate of ours by presenting to our readers
reading materials such as essays, articles, discourses, book reviews, excerpts,
etc. etc. resourced from reliable sources in as objective and as simple
and understandable a manner as possible. Our ambitious undertaking has
not only been to separate the wheat from the chaff from a great deal of
printed material, but also to uncover hidden treasures by thrashing painstakingly
through the Internet jungle. That is a daunting task! (We suggest
you read this
external article.) We seek help and pray to Allah to grant us the ability
to do our duty and ask our visitors/readers for their generosity in overlooking
our shortcomings if we do not measure up to their high standards.
exponential growth of knowledge in this 'Information Age' is overwhelming.
A cacophony of misinformation blurs the boundaries between what is
and what is not genuine
knowledge. For this purpose we will, Insha Allah, be making full
use of linked articles, both internal and external, on the Internet. After
all, knowledge is not bounded by the limitations of time and space.
And it is in keeping with the true spirit of the Prophetic Tradition: "Seek
ye knowledge even [as far as] China" that
the full use of Internet technology must be brought into service for all
humanity. The simple accumulation of information does not necessarily qualify
as true knowledge. In addition there seems to be an ever increasing confusion
as to what the real meaning, purpose and parameters of education are. This
confusion is further compounded by the tendency to compartmentalize (and
hence divorce) knowledge into completely unrelated and artificially independent
categories. This has led to our inability to take a more holistic approach
to knowledge. According to the Muslim way of thinking, all knowledge, whether
secular or esoteric, is one. This means that the purpose of knowledge must
serve mankind as a whole entity. Therefore, knowledge must necessarily
attend to both man's material AND spiritual needs.
great scholar, Abdul Aleem Siddiqui, r.a. once
we survey the present-day state of affairs with profound insight, we shall
arrive at the inference that the world is in the firm grip of materialism
and instant self-gratification, and most think that mundane prosperity
and proficiency in secular knowledge to be the highest point of human progress.
Islam, in contrast, allots the place of preliminaries in the code of life
that it prescribes for the guidance of human beings, and a Muslim (an adherent
of Islam) is expected to utilize them as stepping stones in his or her
march towards spiritual progress. Their acquirement is from the first consecrated
to spiritual progress. The consecration is a double one. There is one advantage
of the pursuant freeing himself from the cares of the world. The other
one is that equipped with the knowledge of arts and science, he can respond
to the intimacy of nature greater and richer than himself, and joining
himself to the fellowship of a splendid society, he can trace his origins
and development through a series of evolutionary stages through the Almighty
Allah. This preference may be for any branch of knowledge and he may engage
himself in any walk of life which may vary according to his temperament,
inclination or capacity, all a part of the life-long process of his equipment
for "The Journey". For the journey he has undertaken is meant to
carry him to Almighty Allah, the Lord of all the Universe, i.e., the pinnacle
of secular perfection is the starting point of becoming a Muslim."
must not underestimate just how disruptive the following two situations
can be: (i) the spread of misinformation which blurs the boundaries between
what is and what is not 'knowledge', and (ii) Materialistic greed and need
for instant self gratification.
then, in order to maintain our sanity and survive the avalanche of 'junk
knowledge', we have no choice but to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Then again, it is also a fact that the average man, constricted by life-style
choices in this modern age, does not have much time left for intellectual
pursuits -- even if he has the capacity to think philosophically about
the ultimate problems of life (e.g.. man's position and the purpose of
his life on this planet and the context of the whole universe) etc. etc.
a part of our mandate "to promote interest in an intellectual, philosophical
and esoteric approach to the research, development and understanding of
Islamic culture and civilization," we hope (Insha'Allah) to help
modern man in three distinct ways:--
To undertake the task of separating the wheat from the chaff and restrict
our online published material only to the 'wheaty' kind --
only USEFUL KNOWLEDGE -- completely
discarding the useless kind, as well as the cacophony of misinformation.
Inform our readers/visitors as to what our criteria are for determining
what is useful knowledge and what is not. These criteria are set
out in an excerpt from the English translation of Imam Ghazzali's
famous work The Revival of Islamic Sciences
(Ihya-al-ulum al-din) from the chapter entitled "Book of Knowledge
[to come Insha Allah].
Offer the modern harried person a practical and sensible suggestion for
the study of the Qur'an -- before undertaking an in-depth and detailed
recommend the excellent book entitled "The
Message of Qur'an" by S. Athar Husain. This is a 300 page 'abridgment'
of the meaning of the Qur'an. It is done in a unique way. The novel features
are stated in the Forward as follows. "The author of this book has neither
attempted a translation of the Qur'an nor its exegesis. He has adopted
a novel approach. He has presented substance of every chapter and part
of the Qur'an and for this purpose has depended on standard translations."
author himself states at the end of the 'Introduction'
to The Message of the Qur'an that "The purpose of this book
is to highlight the ordinances and teachings of the Qur'an and to give
a sketch of its thought contents in its own words to stimulate an interest
in the reading of the full text and to serve as a sure guide in our daily
Helpful Hints . . .
closing let me add that friends, acquaintances and even strangers have
occasionally asked me: "There is so much to
read, what is the bare minimum that a busy person can concentrate upon?"
Without hesitation, my answer to all of them has been, "Apart from the
essential Qur'an and Hadith literature, all you really need is what my
teacher and spiritual mentor ( Dr.
M. Qadeer Baig, r.a., who was also a well known scholar and professor
at the University of Toronto) said to me (and he was instructed by his
great spiritual mentor, Hazrat Nawab Qadim
Hasan Gudri Shah Baba, r.a. on this same point) to fully digest
two well known comprehensive works :
Imam Ghazzali's "Ihya-al-ulum al-din" and
Shibli Nu'mani's "Sirat-un-Nabi."
I will take the liberty to add one more book that is more recent for one
to start with, and it would be useful like the first book: "Introduction
to Islam" by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah.
hamdu li Allah, these three great personalities have influenced
me more than anyone else. I take great pride in dedicating this Web site
to the cherished memory of those five great scholars and masters of exoteric
and esoteric knowledge.
other very good books which are useful for quick and easy as well as for
practical reference purposes on everyday questions are: "Everyday
Fiqh" (Vol. I and II) [click
here for several excerpts from Vol. 1 under the title of 'Hanafi Fiqh']
and "Etiquettes of Life
in Islam." All three books were written by
Muhammad Yusuf Islahi and translated into English by Abdul Aziz Kamal.
to the dilemma: "there is so much to read . . . what is the bare
minimum a person can concentrate upon?", in relation to Fiqh Ausath/Second
Fiqh/Sufism, I would highly recommend two books: (1) The Kashful Mahjub:
Unveiling the Veiled by Syed Ali bin Uthman al-Hujweri. Translation &
Commentary by W.B.S. Rabbani (which is a translation from the original
Persian that was written by Ali Hujwiri widely known as Hadrat Data Ganj-Baksh,
r.a. whose shrine is located in Lahore, Pakistan). (2) The Quranic Sufism,
by Dr. Mir Vali-ud-din (who is the late Professor of Philosophy from Osmania
University, Hyderabad Deccan, India). To give our readers a general idea
as to the extensive coverage and the academic integrity of the second book,
we are pleased to reproduce on this website an Introductory chapter entitled
"What is Sufism" and perhaps later
we will add one or two more chapters. Our readers will also note that these
books are also included on our Suggested
Reading List on our Sufi Website.
a select bibliography of Muslim authors click
The Canadian Society of Muslims