Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh
ياعلي (عليهالسلام) مدد
URGENT Funds Appeal – 11th August 2017
We are continuing with our fund raising campaign and request our sincere brothers and sisters to support as much as possible, a huge request to all to please participate and financially support this noble cause and give as much as you can afford in donations. No matter how small or large.
Sayedna Muhammad al-Mustafa (ﷺ) said, ‘The earth on the Day of Resurrection will be scorching, except for the shadow of a believer, for verily his charity will serve him as shade.’ (Usul al-Kafi)
We are working on getting the centre into the best condition possible for the busiest time of the year (Muharram) and have less than 45 days to do so. We require your funds in order to arrange for the carpets, toilets, air conditioning, audio system and other requirements of the Centre in preparation for Muharram.
A plea to all who have pledged to sponsor a Musala, please make payment ASAP to Treasurer Syed Zaheer Abbas. Please contact Syed Zaheer Abbas on 07737 073147 if you are unable to attend Jum’a but wish to make a financial contribution.
We have a target of £75,000 in order to be able to meet all obligations and complete the necessary work in the short timeframe.
Please notify all your friends and family and gather their support for your centre so that we can make the progress we urgently need.
Jazakh’Allah Khayr and May Allah (jjh) increase all of your rizk and barakah!
We remind you all of your responsibility to the Imam of the Time (ajf) – We will not be able to complete this massive task without your financial support.
If you need to be added to WhatsApp Alerts, please send us a WhatsApp message with your name on 07833 250207
Why is it necessary to have faith in God for the acceptance of our good deeds?
Today many people question the connection between faith and deeds. Some think that it is not necessary to have faith in order to perform good deeds. Although their view is correct to begin with, the problem arises in relation to the rewards of the hereafter. A person may feel content and self-satisfied from carrying out acts of goodness; however, his reward will only remain limited and temporary.
As for the issue of faith, one needs to concentrate on the bigger picture. The reason why we perceive faith necessary for the acceptance our deeds is because God has made it conditional. He did that to prevent the negative effects of disbelief from occurring and spreading and to maintain a balance and harmony amongst humans.
A good person may resort to disbelief without being conscious of its effects. At times, a specific sin weighs heavier on the scale than multiple good deeds.
Disbelief first divides humanity into two groups (believers and disbelievers). Then further offshoots (fake religions and sects) emerge from it. Thus, it becomes the "basis" of all our troubles due to continuous differences, confusion and rivalry.
Disbelief also disregards accountability for the sins in the hereafter, for there is no God to punish such sins. This leads humans to ignore divine punishments and drives them towards excessive sins without any remorse or guilt.
It compels people to make up their own principles and laws which conflict with God's decisions and rules. Worldly law makers being limited in knowledge cannot really perceive or estimate the gravity of a particular crime, the loss and suffering involved with it. So how can they be in a position to establish real justice?
Today the world is sinking day by day because of corruption and disorder not being overseen satisfactorily. This informs us that the standards and laws made by the people, are deficient and defective. If they cannot bring about real peace and prosperity, then the whole system becomes a failure.
Alternatively, if people had the correct faith in God and did what He desires, then surely there would be far less evil in our world. That is because faith teaches and encourages humans to be moral, upright and virtuous and promises them some sort of reward for their commitment and sacrifices. It also holds them responsible for any wrong that goes unpunished.
However, at this point, someone could object and argue that many religious countries are polluted with sins and evils, so how does faith solve our social and other issues?
We admit that many religious people have committed major crimes but we also support the fact that such people probably never got an opportunity to adopt an actual and sincere faith. For the stability of any structure, it is important that its foundation is sound and accurate. Faith cannot become firm through contaminated views and practices. It needs to be understood and practiced in the light of authentic and precise teachings of God. Most religious people regardless of their beliefs, have never understood faith as it should have been.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf) once asked his companions to define faith and they gave varying responses. The Prophet stated:
"The most firm faith is when one loves for the sake of God and hates for His sake. To befriend His friends and renounce His enemies."
If the religious people in question have committed evil deeds, then they have only opposed the above saying. If God hates evil, then how could have acted against His desire? Are we not meant to love for the sake of God and hate for His sake?
Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s), the natural successor to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf) and the inheritor of his knowledge explained that the structure of faith is supported by four pillars: endurance, conviction, justice and jihad (struggle). He then elaborated upon each pillar.
Without such supports, faith cannot become firm nor increase.
He has also stated:
Faith consists of appreciation of the heart, acknowledgement of the tongue and actions of the limbs.”
Knowing that most people do not seem to be living with the above examples; this only demonstrates that an individual may be seen as religious but it is not necessary that he or she will have correct and firm faith. Therefore, the objection raised is disregarded.
Anyhow, it is necessary for the humans to work towards adopting correct faith and living by it. Faith can only be determined from preserved and authentic religious scriptures and teachings. Unfortunately, the Bible and the all other former books have been tampered with and remain silent upon issues which are very much required today. The last revealed word, has been protected as promised by God and offers the necessary guidance one needs. Along with the Qur'an, we have the Prophetic sayings which explain its verses. We also have the explanations from the guides appointed by God after the final Prophet (pbuh&hf). Together we have a vast amount of knowledge available to us through which we could find solutions to all the problems that the world faces today.
So as a reminder, we would like to stress that whether we like it or not, our good deeds without correct faith, will do us no good in the hereafter. Such an example can be compared to the tree that has lost its roots and has no chance of producing fruit anymore.
Think about it!
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A MUSLIM AND A BELIEVER (Momin).
قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَإِن تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُم مِّنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ
The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You do not believe but say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts; and if you obey Allah and His Apostle, He will not diminish aught of your deeds; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Apostle then they doubt not and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah; they are the truthful ones.
(The Holy Qur’an, verses 14 & 15)
The above verse is clear in making a distinction between a Muslim and a Believer. It informs us that the two individuals are different to one another. One walks towards submission without faith, and the other submit to Allah with conviction and faith. Let's elaborate further on differences between the two:
A Muslim submits to the Will of Allah by simply declaring the Shahadatain (I bear testimony that there is no deity but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger). By this statement, he becomes pure and his interaction with other Muslims in marriage, consuming their slaughtered meat, etc., becomes legal for him.
A Believer submits with complete obedience to Allah, the all-Mighty, but through an unrestrained choice and will. In addition, he performs his deeds according to all commands of Allah, regardless of them being in his favour or not. He trusts Allah and follows Him without any hardness in his heart. This, more or less, is the meaning of a genuine believer – Mu'min.
From the above explanation, we can state that the main contrast between a Muslim and a Believer is that the former displays the external form of submission and the latter reveals both inner and the outer form of submission through his heart, tongue and actions.
Here is a Hadith reported from the Imams of Ahlulbayt (a.s) that defines the difference between a Muslim and a Believer:
أَلإِيـمٌانُ إِقْرٌارٌ وَ عَمَلٌ وَ الإِسْلاٌمُ إِقْرٌارٌ بِلاٌعَمَلٍ
“Iman is the confession (by the tongue) and acting (according to one’s responsibility) and Islam is confession (by the tongue) without acting.”
Reference: Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 68, Page 246.
A person who enters Islam, may resemble other ordinary Muslims, by keeping a beard or wearing islamic clothing, etc., but it is not necessary that his faith will be manifested through his outer appearance. It is the men of genuine faith whose Iman is reflected through their deeds and appearance.
It has been narrated by Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as) that he stated:
الإسلام يُحقق به الدم وتُؤدى به الأمانة ويستحل به الفرج والثواب على الإيمان
“Anyone who accepts Islam, his blood will be sanctified (he cannot be killed), anytime he gives you a trust, it must be returned and (sexual) relations are made permissible (after marriage) however the reward (from Allah) is limited to Iman (true faith).”
Reference: Al-Mahasin, Page 285
The Hadith informs us of another difference between a Muslim and a Believer. One cannot live as a Muslim and expect rewards in the Hereafter. A person has to work and labour to get his wage.
An additional difference between the two is that a Muslim may have erroneous views and still remain a Muslim, but a Believer cannot secure his faith with deviant beliefs. Faith protects a person from becoming misguided and the devil misguides those who have no faith, like the following verse states:
إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ.
“Surely We have made the Shaitans to be the guardians of those who do not believe (no Iman).” (The Holy Quran: 7:27)
The people of Islam (Muslims) and Faith are not equal. All Muslims are equal in status but Believers are of various levels. That is why it has been stated that a Muslim can sell his religion and soul but a genuine believer will never think of doing so. Thus, a believer (not a Muslim) has been described to be from the party of Allah:
لَّا تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُوا آبَاءَهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ أُولَٰئِكَ كَتَبَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَأَيَّدَهُم بِرُوحٍ مِّنْهُ وَيُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ أُولَٰئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّهِ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Apostle, even though they were their (own) fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith, and whom He has strengthened with an inspiration from Him: and He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein; Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him these are Allah's party: now surely the party of Allah are the successful ones.
(The Holy Quran: 58: 22)
With such differences shown, we can now express that it is due to the weakness of faith or having no real faith that many Muslims have transgressed and have caused mixed views to spread amongst the non-Muslims with reference to the religion of Allah. Islam is not evil, it is only misrepresented by some Muslims.
It should not be judged by their actions but perceived by the light of its own teachings.
Islam has over and over again given preference to the Believers over Muslims. Every Believer is a Muslim but not every Muslim is a Believer. Therefore, before praising or criticising an action of a Muslim, one should first observe whether faith has entered his heart or not. That is by sincerely comparing his deed to the verses of the Quran and the Hadiths related to the Islamic faith. If his act is in accordance to the commands of Allah and His Prophet (pbuh&hf) then he has acted as a believer and if it is contrary to their commands then he has acted as a mere Muslim who has transgressed.
However, all Muslims should strive to become believers and reach exalted stations. Being a Muslim is the first step, not the final destination.
Please see the below article from The Muslim Vibe.
Al-Baqi was once a cemetery of great beauty, with white walls and grand golden pillars surrounded by greenery. The cemetery is also known as Jannatul Baqi, meaning “The Garden of Baqi” and Baqiul Qarqad, which means “Baqi of the Boxthorn”. In the 1840s, the Ottoman Empire had recognized the importance of those who were buried, and built domes over their graves to acknowledge that the Prophet Mohammed’s family lay there. In the year 1925 it was demolished into nothing but rubble. The once magnificent cemetery was destroyed by the Saudi regime when they rose to power in the early nineteenth century, through the help of Great Britain.
They ordered the shrines of the family and companions of Prophet Muhammad in al-Baqi to be razed, in order to prevent ‘shirk’ and polytheism. Many Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, have protested against the Saudi regime’s destruction of Islamic heritage and has been raised a concern by academic, historians and Muslim scholars.
In the past decade, Saudi Arabia has built a lot of commercial developments in the Holy City of Makkah and Madinah, over sites of historical heritage which hold great value. The house of Lady Khadija for example, was turned into a public toilet. Buried in al-Baqi cemetery are the following members of the Prophet Muhammad’s family and household:
- Fatima Al Zahra, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad who is said to be buried there, although the location of her grave is unknown.
- Hasan Al Mujtaba, the son of Fatima and Ali ibn Abi Talib and the first grandson of Prophet Muhammad .
- Fatima bint Asad, the mother of Ali ibn Abi Taleb and the aunt of Prophet Muhammad .
- Ummul Banin, the wife of Ali ibn Abi Taleb and daughter of Hizam Al Qilabiyya from the Bani Kalb tribe.
- Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib, the son of the Chief of Bani Hashem and the uncle of Prophet Muhammad .
- Zainul Abideen, the son of Imam Hussain and forth grandson of Prophet Muhammad
- Roqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Zainab, the daughters of Prophet Muhammad and Khadijah.
- Ibrahim, the son of Maria Al Qibtiyya and Prophet Muhammad , who died in infancy.
- Halimah, the foster mother of Prophet Muhammad .
- Muhammad Al Baqir, son of Imam Zainul Abideen and fourth grandson of Prophet Muhammad .
- Atika and Safiyyah, the aunts of Prophet Muhammad .
- Jaffar Al Sadiq, son of Prophet Muhammad Al Baqir and fifth grandson of Prophet Muhammad .
- Aqeel ibn Abi Taleb, the elder brother of Ali ibn Abi Talib and cousin of Prophet Muhammad .
- Abdullah, the son of Jaffar Al Tayyar, husband of Zainab daughter of Ali ibn Abi Taleb and nephew of Prophet Muhammad .
- Many other scholars and companions of Prophet Muhammad.
Since the destruction of al-Baqi cemetery, the 8th of Shawwal has been a day of mourning for all Muslims. It was in the same year that the mausoleums in Jannatul al-Mualla where the Prophet’s mother Aminah bint Wahb, wife Khadijah Al Kubra, grandfather Abdul-Muttalib and other ancestors are buried in were demolished by the order of Ibn Saud.
Our history and heritage was destroyed 90 years ago and hasn’t yet been rebuilt since. Twitter has been thrumming with the hashtag #ReBuildBaqiCemetery. Thousands of tweets are protesting the demolition of al-Baqi cemetery and calling out for it to be restored to its former glory.