23 October, 2018 | 12 Safar, 1440 H

"Silence saves you from regret"

- Imam Ali (as)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

Abstract

Islam is not just a religion of belief, but it is equally a religion of action. Without action and good works, one cannot be a Muslim. The two come together in ensuring the salvation of a person.

INTRODUCTION

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! Our last section has mostly been about the principles of faith in Islam. All of the usūl al-dīn we discussed had to do with centering and grounding a proper and correct religious worldview. This is important for it keeps our thoughts in line with the Truth and safeguards us from error.

 

But beliefs can only take us so far. Islam is not just a religion of beliefs, it is a religion of practice. Without practice, there is no Islam. In this lesson, we will overview the importance of works and practice in Islam. Religious practice in Islam is called ʿamāl.

 

BODY OF TEXT

 

And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. (Chapter 2, verse 25 of the Holy Qur’an)

 

One of the unfortunate calamities to befall religion during the Enlightenment period in the 18th century was having religion stripped of everything it had except for its beliefs. Indeed, this is how some forms of Protestant Christianity came about where they held that “belief” without works was sufficient for salvation.

 

There was, of course, a political reason why this happened. What we call the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) which offset a war between the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Church was really a war between the emerging modern nation state and the Catholic Church.

 

Over the centuries, the Catholic Church had consolidated most Western institutions and lands. Modern nation states were trying to grab these lands and institutions from the Church.

 

If you notice today, modern states control every aspect of your life, from how you give birth to how you die to how you raise and educate your children. As a new power, the emerging modern state wanted to take away everything the Church had. The war it waged against Catholicism was not just through rebellions and armed warfare, but it was also on ideological grounds.

 

Under the guise of the Protestant Reformation, and non-Protestant movements that were inspired by it, the new state argued that belief was the only thing that was needed in order to find salvation in the Hereafter. Belief in Christ was enough, one did not need to do good works and put faith into action to get into heaven.

 

The Enlightenment period that followed after this adopted this new view of religion as well. As the state attempted to isolate religion and clip it of its wings, all religion “was” was a set of beliefs and nothing more. By clipping its wings and privatizing it, the state made sure that religion could not interfere in the affairs of the government and the Capitalist elite. Action and works, on the other hand, was no longer to be determined by religion, but by the new, all-powerful, omnipresent State.

 

Although this view of a reduced religion might work with some forms of Christianity, or even some other religions, it is a hard sell for Islam.

 

First, Islam is not JUST a noun, it is a verb. This means that Islam is not just a belief, but an ongoing activity. Worship of God in Islam is a state of mind, and beliefs and actions are what produce states of mind. Being a Muslim is therefore not a private belief, but a constitutive activity in the world.

 

Now please pay attention. When we talk about putting faith into action in Islam, this is not an option. It is not a choice where one choses to do it or not, it is an obligation that is made directly by God upon humankind.

 

This is because accepting the shahāda is a covenant between man and God with a set of strict obligations and commandments to follow.

 

If a person has to abstain from pork or alcohol, and has to pray five times a day and fast during the holy month of Ramadan, he or she cannot exercise choice and decide not to do it. If one fails to do so, then he or she has disobeyed God, broken the covenant and fallen into a sinful state.

 

A sinful state is deviation from the Straight Path of Allah, and one will be held accountable before God on the Day of Judgment.

 

In fact, with some obligations, like the obligation to take care of one’s spouse, children, or not heeding prohibitions like abstaining from from alcohol, one may be punished in this world according to Islamic law.

 

From an outsider’s perspective, all of these may seem all too absolute and strict. But the idea of belief-in-action as a non-choice matter is for our own benefit and the benefit of the believing community. The objective of Islam is to reshape our souls and hearts; it is to purify them through proper discipline and rules.

 

Just like the kinds of foods we eat or the quality of exercises we do affect the health of our minds, foods and actions affect our hearts and souls. Pork, alcohol, fornication are not just breaches against God’s covenant, but they also destroy our spirits. Similarly, prayer, marriage, fasting, feeding the poor  etc. help purify them.

 

Obligations also help maintain a healthy believing community, that is, a Muslim community. Islam establishes a series of obligations between husbands and wives, parents and children, the rich and the poor, humans and the environment, the powerful and the weak, Muslim and non-Muslim, all so that there may be a proper equilibrium.

 

A healthy community (both spiritually and materially) is where a healthy spiritual heart grows in. Where there is rampant corruption, injustice, and oppression, growing in faith becomes a much more difficult task.

 

A final note here must not be forgotten. Anyone can claim to believe in God. Anyone can profess faith. But how can true faith be proven? How can it be demonstrated? It is when God gives us a series of obligations to fulfill, which, when we fulfill them, shows our devotion to God.

 

It is in the realm of action that a real Muslim and a real believer stands out, not in the realm of ideas and concepts only! If ideas and concepts were all that mattered, then the Devil would be the best of all believers since he knows the truth better than all regular human beings!

 

As you recall, Satan refused to bow down to Adam after God ordered him to do so, and it is in this realm of action that Satan’s true faith (or lack thereof) was shown.

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

Straight Path of Allah

The path of correct belief and action that lead to salvation

Islam

submission

ʿAmal

religious action, ritual

Q1

Can I be punished in the after life if I don’t perform my religious obligations?

Yes

Q2

What is one of the prime distinguishers between someone who is a real Muslim and someone who is not?

Putting belief into action.

Q3

Can I still be a Muslim if I don’t believe in religious obligations?

No

Q4

What is Islam?

Islam is a verb, and action; it means submission.

Q5

Is belief enough for salvation in Islam?

Belief must always translate into action. Without action, a person has no Islam.

Sharīʿa
Sharīʿa law
Shariah law
Islamic law
Prophet Muhammad
Islam
God’s will
good and evil
Muslim God
self-discipline
salvation
way
way of life
surrender to God
surrender to God’s commandments
covenant
ʿadāla
belief & creed
Faroo-e-Deen
God and His Justice
Islamic community
sins
Kalima / Shahadat
Islamic ummah

Further Reading from Islamiclibrary.com 

Islamic Laws by Sayyed as-Seestani 

Philosophy of the Islamic laws by Naser Makarem Shirazi 

The Five Schools of Islamic law by Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah