OnIslam.net

Seeking Answers in Your Heart

Question and answer details
Nambi
2011/06/17
Hello Sir, I would like to thank you for the service you are providing and also apologize for asking many questions but these are important to me and my family. 1- How will a person receive the message of the Lord? Should it be about Islam out of a deep feeling from the heart? 2- What if I am a good person, but I don't pray to the Lord? How will the Prayers help me in this life and hereafter? 3- What are the rights that Islam gives me as a father, and what are the rights of my daughter? I have heard that Islam teaches that when I take care of my daughter, I will enter the Paradise of the Lord. Then, why should I pray? 4- What will happen to a person after death? 5- The Quran mentions believers and non-believers of each prophet. Who are the believers of Prophet Moses? When people now try to misguide and hide many things to prevent us from the right path, are they called non-believers or the supporters of evil? And what will be their fate with the Lord? Who are the prophets in Islam? 6- How important is it to follow the correct path or the correct way of practicing the religion? I find many Muslims are misguided or practicing the religion wrongly. 7- When I am not obeying the instructions of the Lord, trying to ignore it, or being misled, will he be questioning me about it? 8- I have found that Islam is a complete system for us but what happens if I postpone converting to Islam?
Shahul Hameed
Answer
Salam, Nambi.

Thank you very much for your questions.

I wish to answer your questions in the same order you put them.

Divine Guidance

The heart, as the French philosopher Pascal once said, is capable of a reasoning that the intellect is not capable of. This means that sometimes, the heart knows better. The Prophet also tells us that even if people tell us the answers to our questions, we should also seek the truth in our own hearts.

Muslims believe that God created us with a natural inclination to believe in Him. However, this inclination is not a way of forcing people to believe, but rather, God (Allah) has also endowed humans with freedom. And so it ultimately depends on us, either to receive the divine guidance, or to reject it all together. But once we recognize the divine message meant for all humanity, there is no reason for us to pretend that it is not for us.

We should rather acknowledge the message as divine and embrace it with sincerity and devotion. Remember the First Commandment underscored by Jesus:

And one of the scribes…..asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?  Jesus answered: "The first is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12: 28-30)

"Islam" means wholehearted submission to the One True God. Obviously, what is expected from us is total and unconditional submission to God from the depth of our heart, i.e. with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength.

Significance of Prayers

You ask about a "good person" who does not pray. First, what do you mean by a "good person"? Who decides "good" or "bad"?

Imagine a dozen persons hailing from a dozen countries with different cultural backgrounds being asked to define "good" and "bad". Do you think they will agree on the nature of "good" and "bad"? Certainly not.

For this reason, Allah Almighty, Who knows His creatures more than anyone else, has sent us guidance so that we can learn how to know good from bad, without being influenced by our own prejudices. This means that God's guidance revealed to His prophets clearly teaches us how to be good people. And the first part of being good is to fully acknowledge our dependence on Allah Himself, which in turn means that we should constantly seek His help and guidance for everything.

As has been said by Prophet Muhammad, it is during the Prayers that a person is the closest to his Creator. The Prayer is our door to Allah's help and guidance, as well as the fount of His infinite mercy. It is the Prayers alone that can get us unfailing help and guidance in life and great rewards in the Hereafter.

Try praying the five daily Prayers on time on a regular basis, with a heart that is conscious of its Creator, and search honestly within yourself, asking: Do these Prayers have any effect on me?

The spiritual connection that you establish between your seeking soul and the Creator — who can answer your questions and give you peace and serenity — is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

Parents-Children Rights and Obligations

Islam allows a Muslim all the natural rights a father should get from the children, just as in the case of the mother. The father in the house is the head of the family. As he has responsibilities, he has rights too — rights he should get from his sons and daughters as well as from his wife, such as being loved and respected, and being cared for when burdened with illness or old age.

In fact, the glorious Qur'an speaks of the love and honor the children should give their parents.

(Thy Lord has decreed... that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your lifetime, do not say to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.  And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say, "My Lord! bestow on them Thy mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.) (Al-Israa'  17:23)

A daughter has the right to be looked after with affection and care. She should be given a good education, just as sons should be given. And when she grows up, it is the duty of the parents to help her choose an appropriate pious Muslim man as her husband.

The daughter should be given her share of inheritance and no injustice should be done to any one. The Prophet has particularly warned the believers against the unfair treatment of daughters by the parents. No one is permitted to act unjustly towards one's children.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, "Whoever has three daughters or three sisters, or two daughters or two sisters, and takes good care of them and fears Allah with regard to them, will enter Paradise." (Ibn Hibban)

Once again, Prayers are the way to Allah's help and guidance. They are part and parcel of the religion, strengthening us and enabling us to live our lives and take care of our responsibilities.

One cannot leave the Prayers under the pretext that he is taking care of his children and thus he is performing something worthy. Prayers are what connect us to Allah throughout the day.

After Death

By death, a person's soul leaves the body, and it is only the body that is washed and wrapped and buried. The soul remains in a sleep-like condition until the Last Day, when the Trumpet is blown for Resurrection. Then all the slumbering souls will rise in their bodies and appear before God, who is the Owner of the Day of Judgment.

Thereafter, God will judge each soul depending on its belief and actions. Those who accepted God's guidance and lived a good life following that guidance will be sent to Paradise, and those who fail in this will be sent to Hell.

Believers and Non-Believers

The Qur'an teaches that prophets were sent to different peoples in different stages in history. Each of these prophets had his followers and rejecters. Moses was a prophet sent to the people known as the Children of Israel. And among those people, there were some who earnestly believed in him and in the Torah he received from God. They lived by the Commandments God gave in the Torah, and they were the real followers of Moses, who were known as Jews.

Moses like other prophets from the Children of Israel had foretold about the coming of a messiah and of a last prophet. The expected messiah was Jesus, but most Jews did not accept him as the Messiah.

Similarly, when the Last Prophet appeared as prophesied by Moses and later by Jesus, some Jews and Christians did not believe in him. On the contrary, they conspired against him and his followers.

We may say that those who deliberately rejected the truth are non-believers. Those among them who plotted against the prophets and their followers, are supporters of evil too. As mentioned in the Qur'an, on the Day of Judgment, they will get the punishment they deserve as disbelievers and supporters of evil, as the wrath of Almighty Allah will be upon them.

If anyone "disbelieves" out of ignorance, Allah is Most Forgiving and Merciful. But those others who deliberately reject the Truth are indeed disbelievers. However, in these matters, as belief is mainly a state of being and belongs in the heart, only Allah can truly judge with fairness, as only He can know what is in the heart.

The Correct Way of Practicing Islam

Islam is a complete way of life. It is not about Prayers and religious observances only, although these do form an important part of life. Muslims should embrace Islam in their daily lives in their houses, workplaces, with their relatives, with their neighbors, even with those who oppose Islam. They should set examples for the true Muslims.

You are right, many Muslims are careless and wrong-headed. But this is no excuse for us to be disappointed. Instead, we must earnestly struggle to practice Allah's religion — Islam — in the correct way. In view of any lapses on our part, we must constantly seek His Forgiveness and Mercy. May Allah the All-Merciful guide us and help us all.

Ignoring Allah's Guidance

When a person deliberately ignores God, he will be questioned, no doubt. But if we really and sincerely accept Allah as our Lord and God, there is no question of deliberately disobeying Him. And if we forget or fall into error, we can always return in repentance to Allah, Who is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate, and the Most Forgiving. 

Postponing the Conversion 

When you have clearly stated that "Islam is the complete system for us," you have become a Muslim before Allah! Indeed, you are a Muslim!

What remains now is merely a formal statement necessary for "official conversion".

It is you who will decide whether or not to become Muslim. No one else can make this decision for you. The decision is yours.

Read more and more about Islam until you become 100 percent convinced that it is really the complete system of life chosen by Allah for us. As realization and conviction are the first steps in submitting ourselves to Allah.   

I hope this answers your questions. Please keep in touch.

Salam.

Useful Links:

Guidance… the Divine Gift!

The Dignity of Prayers

Birth… Death… to the Hereafter

Choosing the Right Path

Showing Kindness to Parents

Embracing Islam in Daily Life

When the Light of Faith Approaches...

The Right Time to Convert

Banner