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Islam: A Scientific View of God's Message to Humanity

By Hassan Ali El-Najjar

Table of Contents  

I. A Scientific View of the Holy Quran   

1. Islam: A Brief Introduction    

2. Three Levels of Faith: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan    

3. The Scientific Evidence That God Exists and the Holy Qur'an Is His Message to Humanity    

4. Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an   

5. Humans, As God's Caliphs on Earth   

6. Adam's Contest With the Angels, and Getting Out of Paradise  

7. Worshippers By Choice Or Forced Slaves?    

8. The Relationship Between the Spiritual and the Physical Aspects of Islamic Teachings   

9. Spirit, Soul, Mind, Self, and Happiness from an Islamic Perspective  

10. Heart-Mind Relationship in the Holy Qur'an    

II. Islam: The Five Pillars of the Faith Structure  

11. Islamic Proclamation of Faith  

12. Performing Islamic Prayers  

13. Giving Zakat, Charity, The Third Islamic Duty  

14. Fasting and Ramadhan, Great Gifts from Allah to Muslims  

III. Iman: Allah, His Angels, Messengers, Messages, Latter Day, and Qadar  

16. Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran    

17. Angels  

18. Noo'h, Noah, in the Holy Quran     

19. Ibrahim, Abraham, in the Holy Quran

20. Moussa, Moses, in the Holy Quran  

21. 'Eissa, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Quran    

22. Muhammed in the Holy Quran   

23. Prophet Muhammed's Night Journey and Ascent to Heavens, Al-Issra Wal Mi'raj  

24. The Last Day: The Hour, Resurrection, Reckoning, and Judgment

25. God's Precise Measurement and His Just Decree, Al-Qadar Wal Qadha

IV. I'hsan: Watching Allah in What We Say and What We Do  

1. Introduction to Islamic Law, Shari'a, Part I, Prohibition, Don't Do, and Do Commands in the Holy Quran  

2. The La (No) Commands  

3. The Imperative Commands  

***

Articles with Islamic Perspective:

Health Care Crisis in the US: An Islamic Perspective

"Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns: An Interactive Lecture

Six Questions About Islam, Muslims and Jews

Five Islamic Issues: Predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days

Food Islamic Rules and Teachings
 

Are Muslim women second-class citizens  

The French Ban on Islamic Headscarf, an Interview with

Links to Islamic Topics 2007-2010

Links to Islamic Topics 2007

Links to Islamic topics 2006

Links to Islamic topics 2005

Links to Islamic topics 2004

Links to Islamic topics, 2003

2002 Links to Islamic topics  

 

Al-Haram Mosque in Makkah The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah . Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem

Islam:

A Scientific View of God's Message to Humanity

1

Islam:

A Brief Introduction

By Hassan Ali El-Najjar

Updated on the 23rd Day of Ramadhan, 1441 Hijriya, May 16th, 2020

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I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaitan (Satan)

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

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The word "Islam" means believing in Allah (The God) [1] to the extent of submitting your will to Him. In this sense, the Messengers of Allah such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ (Nooh, Ibrahim, Moussa, and 'Eissa), peace and blessings of Allah be upon them, pbbut all, as well as their righteous followers, are also considered Muslims. It is one religion, revealed to humans on Earth for thousands of years to guide them in this life and to reward them in the Hereafter. Muhammed, pbbuh, was the last of these Muslim Prophets and Messengers of Allah. [2]

The Arabic verb root of the word "Islam" is /salima/, meaning kept safe. The word "Muslim" is one of its derivatives. Prophet Muhammed, pbbuh, said, "The Muslim is the person from whose tongue and hand Muslims are kept safe." In other words, a Muslim does not harm people with his/her tongue or hand. Other derivatives of the verb include /aslama/, which means to submit, from which came the noun "Muslim," as in verse 2: 112. Moreover, one of its derivatives is the word noun /silm/, which means peace. Thus, Islam means peace, as mentioned in verse 2: 208. [3]

Finally, Islam is the first level of faith, the attainment of which is required to gain the mercy and contentment of Allah, in order for a person to live happily in this life and to enter Paradise in the hereafter. A higher level is Iman (faith or belief in the unseen), as we learn from verse 49: 14, and the highest is I'hsan (righteousness). These three levels of faith are presented in the second Chapter of this book, as the major components of a well-known Hadith, on the basis of which this book has been divided into three parts: an introduction, Islam, and Iman. Concerning Ihsan, it will be a separate book, insha Allah (God willing), because it is very much larger in size, containing the Commands of Allah, as revealed in the Holy Quran. [4]

Sources of the Islamic teachings: 

1. The Holy Quran

The Holy Quran (pronounced as two separate syllables Qur - an) is referred to, by some authors, as Koran but this is an inaccurate translation, as the letter Q is closer to the Arabic sound than the letter K. The Holy Quran is the first source of the Islamic teachings. It is the Book of God and His Message to humanity. It was revealed to Prophet Muhammed, pbbuh, in 23 years, starting from 610 AD, as mentioned in verse 53: 4-5. [5]

The Holy Quran was written by the scribes during the life of the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, as he received its verses, by inspiration through the Angel, Jibril (Gabriel), peace be to him. He would speak and they would write down the revelations. Then, they would read that which they wrote to him, and he would approve of it. He would also tell them about the order of Chapters and where to place the revealed verses.

By the death of the Prophet, pbbuh, some of the Holy Quran Chapters were in his house and others were in the houses of his Companions. The first Caliph, Abu Bakr, mAbpwh, collected all Chapters   in one Book. However, it was the third Caliph, Uthman, mAbpwh, who kept the Quraysh version of the Holy Quran and burned out all other versions, which were written in different dialects. The Uthmans version of the Holy Quran is the only one which Muslims have today. It has been guarded and kept safe from any changes or distortions, by the will of Allah, who stated that promise in verse 15: 9. [6]

The Holy Quran includes Gods teachings to humanity, including His commands and His prohibitions, the core of which were also revealed through His former Messengers. It also includes clarifications about the disputes between Jews and Christians, such as over the nature of Jesus and his Message to the Israelites.  

The first Arabic word uttered by the Angel Jibril, peace be to him, to Prophet Muhammed, pbbuh, was the command verb /iqra'/, which means "Read." This means that Allah, the Knowledgeable, wants His beloved human creation to be as knowledgeable as they can be, through reading, writing, and the accumulation of knowledge.

The Holy Quran in its Arabic original version, and its translations into other languages, can be found in many libraries and internet sites, such as www.tanzil.net, which has 18 different English translations, in addition to translations to other languages, and an Arabic search function. It also carries Quran recitations by 26 renowned reciters, so people can hear verses recited while looking at the written text.

Another important site is http://quran.ksu.edu.sa/  which carries the Quran Arabic text and its translations to various languages. It also posts the nine books of Sunna, which explain and authenticate Hadith. In addition, it has a research function, which allows access to the major interpretations of the Holy Quran by early Islamic scholars, including Bin Katheer, Al-Qurtubi, and Al-Tabari. [7]

2. The Sunna

The Sunna represents the second source of Islamic teachings, after the Holy Quran. It includes sayings (Hadiths) and actions of the Prophet, pbbuh, as well as his approval of peoples sayings and actions. It also includes his explanation of the Quran verses in more details. In addition, the Sunna contains his teachings and his lifestyle, which were examples for Muslims to follow in various aspects of life.

The Prophet, pbbuh, generally prohibited his Companions from writing down anything he said, except the Holy Quran, to avoid any possibility of mixing his sayings with Gods revelations. However, he allowed it later. Thus, some of the Sunna was recorded during his lifetime but the majority of it was collected and recorded a long time after his death. Actually, Muslim scholars have developed an independent discipline for that purpose, known as Hadith Science, which specializes in the collection, recording, scrutiny, authentication, and discussion of the Hadith. [8]

An example of how the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, explained and summarized the Holy Quran, to Gods worshippers, is the Hadith narrated by Companion Abdullah Bin (Son of) Omar, mAbpwt both. He said that he heard the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, saying:

"Islam has been built on five (pillars): The proclamation that there is no other god than Allah and that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying charity (Zakat), making the pilgrimage to the House (of Allah in Makkah), and fasting (during the month of) Ramadhan. [9] 

Thus, the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, summarized the five Islamic ways of worship (ibadat), in one Hadith, to make it easy on people. All of these ways of worship are mentioned in various chapters of the Holy Quran but the Hadith puts them together, emphasizing them as the five major and manifest Islamic obligations. For example, the proclamation of faith was mentioned in verse 3: 18 and verse 40: 33, prayers and charity (Zakat) in verse 2: 110, fasting in verse 2: 183, and Haj in verse 3: 97. [10]

3. Research by Islamic Scholars

Research by Islamic scholars has become the third source of Islamic teachings. Most of these scholars   are graduates of Islamic universities, who hold the highest degrees in Islamic studies. Thus, they are experts on the first two sources. They provide current interpretations of the Holy Quran, explain to the people the basic principles of their religion, and give rulings (fatwas) about new innovations, such as those which may happen in social, economic, financial, and medical aspects of life. For example, recreational addictive and harmful drugs were not mentioned in the Holy Quran. So, Islamic scholars pointed that there is more harm from using them than the sought benefits. As a result, such drugs should be treated the same way of treating alcoholic beverages. Allah, praise to Him, commanded Muslims to avoid them, in verse 5: 190, which was explained by the Prophet, pbbuh, as prohibition.  [11]

Since the last few decades of the 20th Century, a category of Muslim social and natural scientists has emerged, tasking itself of demonstrating that the Holy Quran is full of scientific evidence, which shows that it is the Word of God, and that nobody else could have produced it. Thus, they have contributed to deepening the faith and increasing the understanding of Muslims of their religion, on the basis of science and reasoning. This is of great importance, particularly because of the internet age, which has enabled anti-religion forces to spread their falsehoods easily. In addition, it is a creative way to call for Allah among non-Muslims, particularly those who are highly educated, and those who have left their religions because of the contradiction with reasoning and basic scientific facts. This book aims at achieving that goal, as demonstrated in its various chapters, particularly the third and fourth Chapters.

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Notes:

[1] Out of love and appreciation, whenever the name of Allah (God) is mentioned, Muslims follow it with the words praise to Him (subhanahu wa Taala). Whenever the name of the Prophet Muhammed is mentioned, Muslims follow it with the words peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This also applies to all Prophets and Messengers of Allah. The Companions of the Prophet are honored with the words May Allah be pleased with them. Appreciation for Muslim scholars is expressed with the words May Allah reward them better for their work.

"Allah" is the name which God has chosen for himself, as stated in verse 27: 9 of the Holy Quran. He is the Creator of life, Who is worshipped by His creation as an expression of gratitude for the blessings of life, care, provision, and promise of everlasting life in the hereafter for the righteous believers among them.

The word "Allah" means "The God," In addressing Him, a Muslim may say in Arabic "Ilahi" (my God). However, Muslims usually refer to God with the definite article, Al, contracted with the noun to become Allah, thus addressing Him with "Ya Allah" or "O Allah."

The definite article (the) in Arabic takes two forms: "El" and "Al." Almost all usage of the definite article in the Holy Quran is in the "Al" form. However, there are three words in the Holy Quran, which include the "El" form. These are used in reference to Prophet "El-Yas" (Elijah), his house (family) "El-Elyasin," and Prophet "El-Yassa' " (Eisha), with the Hamza under the Alef, for which the equivalent to the English vowels "E" and I (The Holy Quran, verse 6: 85 and verse 37: 130).

It is noteworthy that Christian Arabs also refer to God as Allah in their Bibles, prayers, and daily discourse. A famous Christian Arab phrase is "Allah Mahabah," or "God is love."

More about Allah can be found in Chapter 16: "Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran."

[2] The Holy Quran mentions that all Messengers of Allah and believers before Prophet Muhammed, pbbuh, were also Muslims, as stated in Verses 2: 132-133; 3: 19, 52, 67, 84; 7: 126; 12: 101; 27: 42, 91; 28: 53; 32: 12; 51: 36; 72: 14.

ٰ ٰ ( 2: 132).

And Ibrahim (Abraham) instructed his sons and (so did) Yaqoob (Jacob): "O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion. So, do not die except while you are Muslims" (Al-Baqara, 2: 132).

[3] The two verses and the Hadith about the meanings of Islam are as follows:

ٰ ( 2: 112).

Yes, whoever submits his face in Islam to Allah while being a doer of good, will have his reward with his Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve (Al-Baqara, 2: 112).

ۚ ( 2: 208).

O, you who have believed: Enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan). Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy (Al-Baqara, 2: 112).

This Hadith was narrated by Fudhala Bin Obaid, mAbpwh, and it was authenticated by Ibn Habban (4862).

The following two main sources have been used for the authentication of this Hadith and others, throughout the book:

 https://dorar.net  and http://hadith.al-islam.com/Loader.aspx?pageid=261

A third source is Riyadh Al-Saliheen by Imam Al-Nawawi, which was published in Damascus and Beirut, by Dar Ibn Katheer, in 1428/2007. It is also carried as a photocopy or as a print, in many websites, such as:

https://archive.org/stream/waq85745waq/85745#page/n518/mode/2up and https://ar.wikisource.org/wiki 

[4] Verse 49: 14 ranks Iman as a higher level of faith than Islam, as follows:

ۖ ٰ ۖ ( 49: 14).

The (Arabian) desert dwellers said, "We have believed (reached Iman)." Say, "You have not (yet) believed; but say (instead), 'We have submitted (entered Islam),' for faith has not yet entered your hearts (Al-Hujurat, 49: 14).

Abdullah, the Son of Omar, mAbpwt both, said that one day, the angel Jibril, peace be to him, came to the Masjid, and asked the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, several questions, and said that he was right in his answers. Among these were three questions about Islam, Iman, and Ihsan. The Prophets answers were as follows:

Islam is to proclaim that there is no other god than Allah and Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the Zakat (charity), to fast (during the month of) Ramadhan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House (of God) if you are capable to do so.

Iman is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in God's precise measurement and His just decrees on everything, including (what may be perceived as) good or bad.

I'hsan is to worship Allah as if you are seeing him, and while you do not see Him, He truly sees you.

This Hadith was recorded by Muslim: 8, Abu Dawood: 4695, Al-Tirmidhi: 2610, Al-Nissa-i: 4990, Ibn Maja: 63, and Ahmed: 367, with little difference between them. It is also number 17 in the Forty Qudsi Hadiths, collected by Imam Nawawi, and number 60 in Riyadh al-Saliheen, also by Imam Nawawi.

https://dorar.net/  and   http://hadith.al-islam.com/Loader.aspx?pageid=194&BookID=25

[5] Taught to him by one intense in strength (Al-Najm, 53: 5

ٰ ( 53: 5).

[6] Indeed, it is We who sent down the Quran, and indeed, We will be guarding it (Al-Hijr, 15: 9).

( 15: 9).

[7] These three renowned interpreters of the Holy Quran are known for their thorough knowledge of Arabic, as well as their comprehensive knowledge of the Holy Quran, Sunna of the Prophet, pbbuh, and his companions explanations. As a result, they provided more than one interpretation for a word or a verse. They would often mention their opinions about which interpretation they found closer to the meaning. Finally, they would not hesitate to criticize some mentioned explanations, particularly when these contradict with the Holy Quran, as its words and verses explain each other.

The complete works of these great Islamic scholars, who interpreted the Holy Quran in different centuries, are published on many websites, such as http://quran.ksu.edu.sa/tafseer/ .

A brief background about their birth, death, and interpretation books, can be found at: http://islamstory.com/ar/ -

Al-Tabari, Muhammed Bin Jareer was born in Tabarstan (Iran today) in 224 Hijriya / 839 Gregorian and died in Baghdad (Iraq today), in 310 H / 923 G. His famous interpretation of the Holy Quran is titled in Arabic as Jami Al-Bayan fi Tawil Al-Quran ( ).

Al-Qurtubi, Abu Abdullah Muhammed Bin Ahmed Bin Abi Bakr was born in Qurtuba (Cordova), Andalusia (Arab-Muslim Spain), in about 600-610 H and died in South Egypt in 671 H / 1272 G. His famous interpretation of the Holy Quran is titled in Arabic as Al-Jami Li Ahkam Al-Quran ( ).

Ibn Katheer, Isma'il Bin Omar was born in Busra Ash-Sham (Syria today), in 701 H / 1301 G and died in Damascus, in 774 H / 1373 G. His famous interpretation of the Holy Quran is titled in Arabic as Tafseer Al-Quran Al-Atdheem ( ).

[8] Allah, praise to Him, says: "Whatever the Messenger came to you with, take it; and whatever he prohibited you, abstain from it (Al-Hashr, 59: 7).

ۚ ( 59: 7).

Al-Irbas Bin Sariya, mAbpwh said that the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said, "You need to follow my Sunna (path) and that of the guided successors after me (Abu Dawood: 4607, Al-Tirmidhi: 2676, Ibn Maja: 42, Ahmed: 17145, Riyadh Al-Saliheen: 157).

: " " ( :4607 : 2676 : 42 : 17145   : 157).

In a Hadith narrated by Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri, mAbpwh, who said, the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, said (addressing the scribes):

"Do not write anything about me except the Quran, and whoever wrote anything other than the Quran, let him erase it, but narrate about me (verbally) and there is nothing wrong with that" (Muslim: 3004, Al-Zuhd Wal Raqa-iq: 5326).

: " " ( : 3004 / 5326).

Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Al-As, mAbpwt both, said that he used to write everything he heard from the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, in order to be able to memorize it. The Companions told him to stop doing that because the Prophet is a human being who may speak in normal times and when he is angry. So, I stopped writing but I told the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, about that. He said: Write down, by Allah, I only say the truth (Abu Dawood: 3646, Ahmed: 6510).

The Umayyad Caliphate started recording Hadith during the reign of Omar Bin Abdul Aziz, in 99-101 hijriya and that continued throughout the Abbasside Caliphate rule.

: . : () . . : " " ( : 3646 : 6510).

99-101 .

http://islamqa.info/ar/ref/22394  and  https://dorar.net/

Names of the twenty-three scribes, according to Ibn Katheer:

: ѡ :

.

: .

http://www.islamweb.net/fatwa/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=69904

[9] The Hadith was recorded by Al-Bukhari: 8 and Muslim: 16. The Hadith Arabic text is as follows:

: : " : " ( : 8 : 16).

The Sunna in its Arabic original version and its translations into other languages can be found in many libraries and internet websites, such as https://dorar.net/, which carries the Hadiths, the main Sunna books, and indexes of the Sunna subjects.

[10Here are the verses mentioning the five main Islamic ways of worship (The Proclamation of Faith was mentioned in verses 3: 18 and 33: 40, Prayers and Zakat in 2: 110, Fasting in 2: 183, and Haj in 3:197): 

ٰ ۚ ٰ ( 3: 18).

  ٰ ۗ ( 33: 40). 

  ( 2: 110).

 ( 2: 183).

  ۚ ( 3: 97).

Allah witnesses that there is no other god except Him, and (so do) the angels and those of knowledge. (and that He is) maintaining (creation) with justice. There is no other god except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise (Al-'Imran, 3: 18).

Muhammad is not the father of (any) one of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah and last  of the prophets. And Allah is, of all things, Knowing (Al-A'hzab, 33: 40).

And establish Prayer and give Zakat (Al-Baqara, 2: 110).

O you who have believed, fasting has been decreed upon, as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous (Al-Baqara, 2: 183).

And (due) to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House, for whoever is able to find a way to it (Al-'Imran, 3: 97).  

[11] Gods command of avoiding intoxicant alcoholic beverages is contained in verse 5: 90, as follows:

O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants (khamr), gambling, (sacrificing animals on) stone alters, and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Shaytan (Satan), so avoid it that you may be successful.

( 5: 90).

The Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, interpreted this verse (5: 90) as a prohibition of intoxicant alcoholic beverages (khamr), as he stated in the following Hadiths:

Abu Said Al-Khudri, mAbpwh, said that the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, said: Allah, praise to Him, has prohibited intoxicants (khamr). Whoever, hears about this verse and he has any of these, he should not drink or sell it (Muslim: 1578).

: " " (: 1578).

Anas Bin Malik, mAbpwt both, said that the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, ordered an announcer to announce that: Intoxicants (all forms of khamr) have been prohibited (Al-Bukhari: 2464).

: " " (: 2464).

Abdullah Bin Omar, mAbpwt both, said that the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, said: Every intoxicant is a (form of) khamr, and every intoxicant is prohibited (Muslim: 2003).

: " " (: 2003).

For more details about the prohibition of intoxicants (khamr), see ruling (fatwa) number 96868, issued by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf), in the UAE, at the following link:

https://www.awqaf.gov.ae/ar/Pages/FatwaDetail.aspx?did=96868

The renowned Islamic scholar, Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, mentioned that drug use is prohibited by the Sharia (Islamic Law), without any disagreement among Muslim scholars. One piece of evidence about its prohibition is that it does that which intoxicants (khamr) do. He mentioned Caliph Omars saying about it: Intoxicants are those which interfere in mental functioning (Agreed upon, Omar in Lulu wal Murjan: 1905, Abu Dawood: 3669).

Al-Qaradawi added that drug use is also prohibited on the basis of causing tepidity (lethargy), mentioning a Hadith narrated by the Mother of Believers, Um Salama, mAbpwh, who said that the Prophet, pbbuh, prohibited the use of substances which cause intoxication or tepidity  (Abu Dawood: 3686).

https://www.al-qaradawi.net/node/3657 

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About the Author and the Book:

The author of this book was born in Gaza, Palestine, in 1369 Hijriya (1950). He immigrated with his family to the United States in 1986, where he had his Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology and his Ph.D. in Sociology. He taught courses about these two disciplines throughout his career.
 
The authentic Quran Arabic text is used as a reference for the translation of the meanings of the Quran verses, particularly from www.tanzil.net.
 
The works of the three renowned Islamic scholars Al-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi, and Ibn Katheer, have been used throughout the chapters of this book, as these are the most credited interpretations of the Holy Quran, for their use of 'Hadith, companions' interpretations, and their thorough knowledge of the Arabic language.

 ( 61: 8).   

They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it (Al-Saff, 61: 8).   

 

Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.

editor@aljazeerah.info