In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
May peace be upon you with the Mercy and Blessings of Allah!
Dear brothers and sisters,
My topic for today's article is learning about the Attributes of Allah, Rabbul Alamin.
In Malay, we call this knowledge as 'Sifat 20' @ '20 Attributes' of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala that the Blessed Messenger Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam has shared with us.
In the world of Islam, seeking of knowledge is very much encouraged and there are plenty of revelations in the Blessed Holy Qur'an that enjoins us to seek such knowledge in order to add value and guide us in this earthly life to prepare us for the hereafter.
Knowledge in Islamic teachings in general can be divided into 3 major categories, namely :
- Usuluddin (Aqeedah @ Bedrock of Faith)
- Fiqh ( Shari`ah )
- Tasawwuf ( Spiritual Knowledge & Practices)
Every Muslim worth his or her name and faith must learn and understand the basics of Usuluddin, Fiqh and Tasawwuf in order to equip his or her self to live life as a true Servant of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala.
Without knowing or understanding any of the above mentioned fields of knowledge in Islam rends the believer incomplete or ill equipped to live as a Muslim or Muslimah in the truest sense of the word.
Whether one likes it or not, one will grow up from being a helpless baby into being a child, then become a teenager and from that stage of one's life to becoming an adult.
The young adult will eventually grow or age into being a mature person and finally reach the pinnacle of one's existence as an old man or woman ready to die and his or her soul return to Almighty Allah Azza Wa Jalla!
This is the reality of our existence here in the 3rd stage of our life. The earthly life. Yaum Al Duniyya.
It's important for each and every one of us who are Muslims to strive our level best to learn about the 3 branches of `Ilm @ Knowledge.
We can't afford to ignore any one of these 3 branches of Islamic Knowledge for that will render ourselves ignorant of the realities and needs to understand what we need to know of such basics of living life as per what Almighty Allah commands us to live our life according to His Decrees.
Usuluddin falls under Fardhu `Ain @ Compulsory Practices and is a must for any Muslim to learn about and be put to practice.
It is considered to be a major sin for any Muslim who chooses to ignore it. One can also be in danger of falling into Kufr @ Disbelief if one willfully chooses not to learn about it or denies it.
Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam is reported to have said : ' The earliest stage of faith is learning about Allah!'.
Anyone who tries to live life disregarding any of these aspects of the required understandings will only be living life incomplete and his or her deeds will be lacking the necessary qualities or merits.
One can even be in danger of turning into a Fasiq for denying any of the 3 branches of Islamic Knowledge. So, it's important for those who are Muslims to study and learn about all these important aspects of our Faith.
In Verse 29 Surah Al Kahf, Chapter 18 of the Holy Al Qur`anul Karim, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala reveals :
29. Waquli alhaqqu min rabbikum faman shaa falyu/min waman shaa falyakfur inna aAAtadna lilththalimeena naran ahata bihim suradiquha wa-in yastagheethoo yughathoo bima-in kaalmuhli
yashwee alwujooha bi/sa alshsharabu wasaat murtafaqan
29. Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!
Brothers and sisters,
From what I have come to learn and realize about the importance for any Muslim or Muslimah to understand the basics of Islamic knowledge, Usuluddin is the bedrock of faith and from it, stands the other two aspects of religious knowledge of Shari`ah and then Tasawwuf.
You can liken Usuluddin to be the foundation of faith. Just like erecting a building, the builder has to make sure that the bedrock of foundation upon which he drives in the piles for the structural layout needs to be on solid grounds to prevent a collapse of the infrastructure.
Same concept here. A Muslim needs to build up his or her faith upon solid beliefs and firm understandings of what he or she believes in?
There are just so many today amongst the Ummah who if questioned about the basics of his or her faith will stammer, fumble and mumble about what it is that they believe in?
They will be clueless as to what are the attributes of Almighty Allah that they swear they believe in?
The failure stems from their ignoring the importance of learning about Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, God Most Almighty, Most High whom they swear upon their life.
This is the reason why I am attempting to share what I myself have come to learn and am still learning to equip my own self better as to live the rest of my remaining life with a bit more understanding of my faith, Al Islam, Deenul Haqq.
Usuluddin is likened to be the bedrock of Islam. Shari`ah and Tasawwuf are the walls and fixtures of the infrastructure of our faith.
To strive and learn about all these important aspects of Islamic religious knowledge is fard' upon every Muslim capable of thought and understanding.
Do not worry about your not being a scholar of Islam or whatsoever for Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala knows best as to what we are capable of according to our own capabilities.
This is not an exercise to decorate oneself with worldly certificates or whatever but more of a personal quest to master or at least understand what it is that is expected of us to know about our faith?
Insya Allah, you will be able to appreciate Islam more when you start to understand at least the basics of why Islam allows this and forbids that?
It is all for our own good. To be able to live life with a bit more knowledge and understanding than just to blindly get up in the morning, live life without a purpose or know what the hell is going on, etcetera?
Let's get back to our study.
Usuluddin my dear brothers and sisters is the foundation of our faith. One's practices of Syari`ah and Tasawwuf would have no merit on their own if one does not have a solid bedrock of faith that is Usuluddin.
Matters concerning Usuluddin are :
1. Our trust and faith in Allah and His Attributes whether they concern His Attributes that are a must or those which are impossible or those that are considered as 'should be'.
2. Our trust and faith in the Prophets of Allah and their characteristics.
3. Our trust and faith in the Revelations of Allah such as the Kitabs of Zabur, Taurat, Injil and the Holy Al Quran Al Kareem which abrogates and replaces all those earlier revelations to becoming the Last and Complete Final Testament of Almighty Allah for all mankind.
4. Our trust and faith in the Malaikats @ Angels of Allah.
5. Our trust and faith upon the `Qada and `Qadar of Allah. `Qada and `Qadar is the destiny or fate decided by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala upon His entire creation.
6. Our trust and faith upon the existence of Paradise and Hell and other matters concerning the Spiritual Realm created by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala.
In the process of learning about `Usuluddin, one must make sure that one's heart is free from syak, zan and waham @ suspicions and doubts.
If there exists even an iota of such suspicions or doubts, the consequences of one's entire amals @ deeds being rendered obsolete comes into being.
One would have lost one's entire life's deeds due to the emergence of any of those characteristics of doubts which would have been seeded by either one's own ignorance or as the result of following or paying heed to another who chooses to plant such seeds of deviance and false teachings into the ignorant one.
We see this happening often here in our nation where false eachings or deviant sects come to be because there exists amongst the populace or the ummah of today, many who become easy prey to the designs and dictates of those who victimise the ignorants by pulling a fast one on them due to their failure to learn the basics of our faith here.
I seriously recommend those who feel that they are not that sure of what their faith is to go and learn from the many religious classes being carried out in the masjids of this nation for free.
I myself learned from such classes and also study from the many sources of Islamic knowledge here in Malaysia.
I ask the ulamaks and consult with them about matters that I need further clarifications.
Alhamdulillah, I am now able to be in direct contact with those who are the top scholars of Islam in our nation and am blessed to have their counsel and advice.
Dear brothers and sisters,
No matter how beautiful and disciplined one's ibadah @ act of faith is that is presented to Allah, if there exists an iota of doubt or suspicion in it, that act of faith or deed is thrown back at it's offerer for it does not pass the requirements of Allah.
Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala does not need false pretenses. He sees us through and knows exactly as to the stage of our faith and understanding when we are 'praying' to Him.
Have you not seen those who utter the Takbir in solah and then drop down their arms again and repeat such act again and again in order to streamline their physical act of raising the arms in At Takbir and try their level best to focus and coordinate their inner self towards being in tandem with what they are carrying out in prayer?
Just like that. He knows whether our ruuh is in line with what we are saying or thinking during our prayers?
This is just the same as in the acts of faith that we carry out within our lifetime.
Just proclaiming that we are Muslims without us following through with learning and understanding exactly what we profess is tantamount to putting up an act or theatrics!
Even if our prayers or religious practices come across as being perfect or look so, the deeds or amals rests upon the validity of one's Aqeedah @ Bedrock of Faith.
If one's Aqeedah is correct, then one's Shariat and Akhlak @ Tasawwuf will be the same. If however one's Aqeedah is not firm and correct, one's other deeds or acts of faith becomes void and obsolete.
Just like a tree. If it is healthy and is growing well, that is a sign that the tree has very firm roots and entrenched well in a fertile ground. The tree would be having healthy leaves, flower frequently and bear fruits that would attract all to it and be appreciated by every insect, animal or mankind if that tree's fruits and its other parts are of the edible kind?
The same goes for those amongst the Ummah who possess a firm and solid Aqeedah. Their syariat and akhlak would also be perfect and admired by all. They would be enjoining towards the good, advice towards the acceptable and forbid against the forbidden. Such a well grounded Muslim or Muslimah will be sought by all and their examples be taken as a standard to be observed and followed.
Amongst those whom I respect and ask for advice regarding Al Islam here in our nation is :
Professor Dato' Dr.Harun Din whom I respect very much for his tremendous levels of Islamic knowledge and who teaches about Islam like no other Malaysian ulamak.
He is very articulate, not prone to throwing tantrums and pontificate unlike many others who think that they are infallible.
Professor Dato Dr Harun Din would be my preferred Khalifah here in Malaysia if we ever get to establish it within his and our lifetime?
He is my preferred ulamak to rule over us for he is both a solid `ulul `amri worthy of my allegiance and support and a worldly wise scholar who knows how to conduct himself in the company of his peers and the ummah.
Professor Dato Dr.Harun Din is not one who is prone to making caustic remarks and condemn anyone unlike others who think that they hold the key to the doors of Paradise and can promise such entry to whoever votes for them?
Such is the importance as to why I support Professor Dato Dr Harun Din as my preferred leader?
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bless him with the best of this life and in the Yaum al Akhirah.
Ameen Ya Rabbal Alamin.
Dear fellow Muslims,
The importance for us who call ourselves as Muslims is to continuously learn and study about our faith of Al Islam.
I will share more about this subject for the benefit of all those who value `Ilm and appreciate it to enrich their life's and add value and quality to it.
Insya Allah, we will be amongst those whom Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala will shower us with His Taufik and Hidayah.
Ameen. Ya Rabbal Alameen.
To be continued. Insya Allah.