THE BIBLE SO MISUNDERSTOOD IT'S A SIN
Have you ever had these questions? Ponder the answers from God as stated in Holy Quran:
Why am I afflicted by trials? “Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.” Quran chapter 29 verse 2-3
Why don’t I get what I want? “…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” Quran 2:216
Why is this calamity so hard for me? “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.” Quran 2:286
Frustrated? “So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.” Quran 3:139
How shall I deal with hardship? “And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah].” Quran 2:45
What will I get in the end? “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise.” Quran 9:111
To whom shall I rely on? “But if they turn away, [O Muhammad], say, "Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no deity except Him. On Him I have relied, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne." Quran 9:129
I can’t bear with this problem! “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people." Quran 12:87
My twitter: Maharani Hasibuan
Please fill the blanks…
1. God (Allah) creates LAUGH and….
2. Allah causes DEATH ad gives….
3. Allah creates MALE and …..
4. Allah gives WEALTH and ……
Honestly, most of us will fill the blanks with the following answers:
1. CRY / WEEP
Are those answers correct? Let’s check them with the Qur’an, which is the manual book for human being. Does God have the same answers?
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَى
"And that it is He who makes [one] laugh and weep." (Quran chapter 53 verse 43).
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَمَاتَ وَأَحْيَا
“And that it is He who causes death and gives life.” (Quran 53:44).
وَأَنَّهُ خَلَقَ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنثَى
“And that He creates the two mates – the male and female.“ (Quran 53:45).
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَغْنَى وَأَقْنَى
“And that it is He who enriches and suffices.” (Quran 53:48).
It turns out that most of us answer the first three correctly and fill the fourth blank wrongly.
God’s answer for number 4 is not poverty but sufficiency. Praise be to God as He only enriches and suffices. He does not create poverty; He does not make people poor. That is not God’s attribute. One of the attributes of God is that God is The Most Merciful, so, it is impossible for God to do any harm to human being.
Actually, it is us, human being, who create poverty. Such condition happens out of many factors such as economic recession & economic injustice due to corrupt economic system and people’s laziness in making effort to get out of poor condition.
But, in reality, poverty often happens because we are not grateful for what we have. We always want more and more riches… We always want to buy more and more clothes, cars, jewelry, houses, etc. Ingratitude leads to never-ending desire for wanting everything more despite the fact that we don’t need them…
On the other hand, people who are grateful to God are always happy as they are contented all the time. They might not be rich but they don’t feel poor at all. In other words, they feel 'rich' inside (their soul).
Being grateful is one of God’s rule that must be obeyed. It is the act of worship and is the proof of our submission to God’s will. God says, “O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.” (Quran 2:172)
God doesn’t need to be thanked; God doesn’t need to be praised. Yet, God commands us to be grateful to Him because He knows that being grateful is good for our soul. When we are grateful to God, we feel peace, calm, and happiness in our soul. Being grateful brings so much spiritual benefit that money can’t buy.
“And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], "Be grateful to Allah." And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.” (Quran 31:12)
Poverty, both in spiritual and economical sense, is bad thing. On the other hand, God is the source of kindness. Thus, it is impossible that God, being The Kindest & The Most Merciful, bestow poverty for His servants.
God does not make people poor. God only gives wealth and suffices. Yet, if we are ungrateful to Him, ‘poverty’ will surely come.
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan
God commands us to ponder about all of His creation, including animals. In the Quran, there are many verses about animals. Some examples are:
“And your Lord inspired to the bee, "Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you]." There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” Quran chapter 16 : verses 68-69
“The example of those who take allies other than Allah is like that of the spider who takes a home. And indeed, the weakest of homes is the home of the spider, if they only knew.” 29:41
“Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.” 24:45
“And indeed, for you in grazing cattle is a lesson. We give you drink from what is in their bellies – between excretion and blood – pure milk, palatable to drinkers.” 16:66
Anyway, out of many verses about animal, I’d like to elaborate on the following in which God says:
“And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like cattle; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.” 7:179
Cattle, such as cows, indeed give benefits to human being through the milk, the meat, and even the excretion that we can use as natural fertilizer. However, unlike human being, animals don’t have hearts. That’s why, one type of animal behave the same way all over the world.
In the verse above, God says that there are people who use their hearts, eyes, and ears but still they can’t understand, can’t see or hear. What kind of understanding, seeing, and hearing that God wants? It is the understanding, seeing, and hearing God’s rules. If we use our hearts, eyes, and ears according to God’s will, it means we use them properly. People who don’t use them accordingly simply mean that they use the hearts, eyes, and ears based on their desires. And God says that such people are worse than cows. Why does God say that?
Observe the cows when they are queuing to be slaughtered for the meat. We will see that when one cow is about to be slaughtered or killed, then not far from that cow are other cows busy grazing or doing nothing, despite the fact that their turns to be killed are coming soon. The other cows have eyes but they don’t ‘see’ their friend is about to be killed, have ears but they can’t ‘hear’ their friend’s voice when it is dragged to be killed. They are so ‘brainless’ and definitely heartless that it is easy for them to graze or to relax while their friend is slaughtered and their turns are approaching.
Imagine if the scene above are for people! Imagine that my friend is about to be killed and my turn is right after my friend’s! How frightened, anxious, worried, and restless I would be. I would think of something to get away from it, to find a way to escape from death.
So, if we don’t use our hearts to grow God's consciousness, if we don’t use our eyes to see the greatness of God and ponder over it, and if we don’t use our ears to listen and to understand God’s commands, then we are WORSE than the cows. Being the same with cows might be good enough, but here God says that such people are worse than the cows! Can you imagine how low we can be in the sight of God…?
Submitting the using or function of our hearts, eyes, and ears to the wills of God will automatically drive to God’s conscious behavior or action and such action will definitely earn God’s reward, thus increasing the chance for heaven.
What is the consequence of being the same or lower than cows? It is God’s commands to use our hearts, ears, and eyes according to the rules of God, thus, if we don’t obey God’s commands, we are sinful and that will increase the chance for hell. The absence of God’s consciousness in doing daily activities will result in zero reward from God. Such activities might gain appreciation from human being but reward from people is vain in the hereafter.
God warns human being with punishment for not using our hearts and senses. God says, “And they will say, "If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze." Quran 67:10.
Human being is God’s most perfect creation because unlike other creatures, God bestows us with brain and heart that can think, feel, and make choices. We can learn from animals but let us not make ourselves the same level with animals.
My twitter: Maharani Hasibuan
God says in the Quran chapter 2 verse 208:
“O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.”
God commands the believers to enter into Islam completely. What does it mean? How to enter into Islam completely?
Islam is the last, perfect, as well as favored religion of God, as stated in the Quran chapter 5 verse 3: “…This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”
Since Islam is the last and perfected religion of God, the rules in the Qur’an are perfect as well for human being, covering all aspects in daily life. Some of important rules in the Qur'an are:
- rules concerning the acts of devotion or worship towards God such as praying 5 times a day, fasting, and performing pilgrimage to Mecca.
- Rule concerning our relationship with Prophet Muhammad. God has chosen Prophet Muhammad as a role model for all human being and God commands us to follow the moral values of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We must not follow the physical attributes of him as such thing is not universally applicable.
- Rules for human being when dealing with other fellow human being. I, as human being, need to obey God’s rules in how I interact with my parents, my children, my relatives, neighbors, friends, foes, muslims and non-muslims, government, the needy, orphans. In general, I have to be kind, honest, generous, and helpful, yet firm when it comes to the tenet of Islam.
- Rules for human being towards themselves. God does not allow us to destroy ourselves (physically and spiritually) and God forbids us for committing suicide.
- Rules in dealing with animals, plants, and environment, food, drink…
- …and many more.
Here are some commands of God in the Qur'an that human being need to obey:
Rules regarding interactions among human being, human being with nature/earth; and fundamental rule, the tenet of Islam, that we must not worship other than Allah (God):
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” (Ch.4:36)
“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” (Ch.17:23)O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.” (Ch.33:70)
“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (Ch.49:11)
“…So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].” (ch.3:159)
“… and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Ch.24:22)
“And do not deprive people of their due and do not commit abuse on earth, spreading corruption.” (Ch. 26:183)
“O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” (Ch. 4:29)
“The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” (Ch. 49:10)
Rules in inviting disbelievers to the way of God:
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” (Ch. 16:125)
“…And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [ Allah ]." (Ch.20:43-44)
Rules about food, drink, gambling, throwing lot:
“Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Ch. 5:3)
“O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. (Ch.5:90)
So, entering into Islam completely means following all the rules that God has made for us. Islam is not only about ritual worships such as praying 5 times a day, fasting, giving alms, and performing pilgrimage to Mecca. When I do the ritual worships, I earn reward. But when I lie, backbite, hurt other people, kill each other, damage the environment, or if I am stingy, arrogant, wasteful, envy of others, reluctant to help others, and so forth, which are all against the rules of God, then I earn sins, just like when I don’t pray or fast. Ironically, still many muslims don’t realize it. They think that ruining green environment or littering is not something sinful and will not be accounted for.
Whatever we do, we have to make sure that no God’s rule is broken. In the end, in the hereafter, our good deeds will be scaled against our bad deeds. God says:
“And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.” (Qur’an chapter 21 verse 47)
“And those whose scales are heavy [with good deeds] – it is they who are the successful.” (Qur’an 23:102)
“But those whose scales are light – those are the ones who have lost their souls, [being] in Hell, abiding eternally.” (Qur’an 23:103)
If the weight of good deeds exceeds the bad ones, then we deserve eternal heaven. If the opposite happens, then eternal hell is for us.
Common perception is that if a person does a lot of ritual worships, people will consider him as a pious man and he will surely go to heaven. But that perception or belief is wrong and is not in agreement with the Qur’an. Focusing on doing a lot of ritual worships doesn’t guarantee a person to enter paradise. On the other hand, a person doing a lot of kindness yet ignoring his interaction with God, then paradise is also not guaranteed for him. It all comes down to the scale of good deeds verses bad deeds in the hereafter.
The Qur'an, which consists of 6,236 verses, is indeed the manual book for human being. And Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the manifestation and reflection in how to implement the Qur'an completely and perfectly in daily life.
God commands human being to enter into Islam completely, to obey ALL God’s rules completely just like our role model, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). If we do that, and surely we are able to do it, undoubtedly the world will be in peace…
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan
What are human beings doing here on earth? What is the purpose of our existence in this world? What is the purpose of life? Many people try to answer this fundamental question. Some say, a human being exists to go through the normal cycle as a person, that is to grow, to reproduce, to educate his offspring, and finally to die. Some say that living in this world is to be rich, to be successful in career and family and have many children. Some say there is no specific reason why people live in this world, so they can do whatever they want to do.
In the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, the purpose of the creation of human being is clearly stated. But before going any further, let’s have a journey for a while… a journey that every human being did before he was born into the world.
All of us were in our mothers’ wombs before we were finally born. But what happened before that? In the Qur’an chapter 7 verse 172, God says regarding the existence of human beings prior to entering mothers’ wombs:
“And (remember) when your God drew forth from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants, and made their spirits testify concerning themselves, (saying): “Am I not your God (Who cherishes and sustains you)?” They said: Yes! We do testify!”. (This), lest Ye should say on the Day of Judgment: “Of this w re never mindful”.
So, human beings, in spirit form, already existed in the different world, that is the spirit (soul) world. It is the world where all the spirits of human beings bear witness that God is the Creator, Cherisher, and Sustainer.
After taking their oaths, the spirits (souls) of human beings were 'breathed' into the fetuses in the mothers' wombs, as stated by the saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
"Verily, each of you is brought together in his mother’s abdomen for forty days in the form of a drop of fluid. Then it is a clinging object for a similar [period]. Thereafter, it is a lump looking like it has been chewed for a similar [period]. The angel is then sent to him and he breathes into him the spirit."
And after staying for nine months in the mothers’ wombs, babies (human beings) are born into the world.
You see, what had happened in the spirit / soul world is crucial as the testimony of the spirits actually lays the basic foundation of how human beings are going to lead their lives in this world.
To emphasize the testimony of the spirits in the previous world, God clearly says the purpose of creation in the Qur’an chapter 51 verse 56:
“I (God) have only created jinns and men that they serve Me.”
While many people have different ideas of their existence, God The Creator and Sustainer, has made a clear purpose of why people live on earth, that is, to serve or worship Him. This, of course, entails consequences and obligations. Accepting and understanding that God created human beings just to worship Him means it is a recognition that God is The Master whose rules must be adhered to. We, human beings as the servants of God must obey what God asks us to do. Therefore, we have to find out what sort of deed that God loves and hates. We must know the dos and not-to-dos that we have to implement during their lives on earth.
Acknowledging the purpose of life is to worship God also implies that other things cannot be taken as god. For example, when a man works to earn money, he must do it in the corridor of God’s rules, meaning he must earn money honestly and in a good way. So, if there is a person earns money by corruption, money laundering, and cheating, it is clear that he has made money into his god. When a woman obeys whatever her husband says or asks, despite what he says or asks is against God’s rules, it means she has made her husband into god. And when some young people smoke and drink alcohol because they love them, it shows that they have taken their desires as gods to them.
Why is it that human beings have to serve God on earth and have to live by His rules? What is His plan for His servants? God obliges His servants to worship Him because there is judgment day waiting for them. God says in the Qur’an chapter 22 verse 7:
“And verily the day of judgment will come, there can be no doubt about it, or about the fact that God will raise up all who are in the graves.”
What will happen in the day of judgment? God further explains in the Qur’an chapter 21 verse 47:
“We (God) shall set up scales of justice for the day of judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account), and enough are We to take account.”
The day of judgment and the scaling of deed only lead to two places, heaven or hell. If a person’s good deed weigh more than the bad deed, surely he will end up in heaven forever. If it is the other way around, then hell is the place, forever as well. There is no turning back or switching places.
By revealing the purpose of creation in the Qur’an, it conveys that God wants His servants (human beings) to go to heaven. God’s willingness for us to go to heaven surpasses our own willingness to go there. And by fulfilling our purpose to serve God only, to obey God only, will lead to the ultimate happiness as God promises in the Qur’an chapter 4 verse 13:
“Those who obey God and His Apostle will be admitted to gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (forever), and that will be the supreme achievement.”
If human beings have the awareness of the reason of creation, then the best and the wisest thing to do is to live in accordance to God’s rules so that the eternal loss and suffering in the judgment day will not occur. Having the awareness to always obey God will surely end up in the ultimate victory and joy which cannot be replaced by even the most amazing thing that ever happen in this worldly life.
God (Allah) says: “I (God) have only created jinns and men that they serve Me.”
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan
All stories in the Qur’an have lessons that we can learn. What can we understand from the dialogue between Iblis (satan) and Allah (God)? Learning from Iblis is a way to help us understand that obedience is crucial in gaining the ultimate happiness. Let us start with Qur’an chapter 7 verse 11-13:
(11) And We have certainly created you, (O Mankind), and given you (human) form. Then We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was not of those who prostrated.
(12) (Allah) said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" (Satan) said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."
(13) (Allah) said, "Descend from Paradise, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased.”
God created the first human being, Adam, from clay and God created him in the best shape. God has destined that human being is the best form of creation. Yet, Iblis was created long before Adam.
When God asked Iblis to bow down to Adam, Iblis refused to do it. The reason is: Iblis felt that he was better than Adam as Iblis was made of fire and Adam was out of clay. However, if we think more deeply, that’s actually not the only reason we can derive. Before Adam was created, Iblis was already in heaven and Iblis worshipped God and devoted himself to God. But suddenly, God created a new creation called human being and God suddenly asked Iblis to prostate to the new creature whose devotion to God wasn’t yet known. If I were Iblis, I wouldn’t want to bow down to Adam as well.
Furthermore, since Iblis was created earlier than Adam, Iblis was senior and Adam was junior. If I were Iblis, I would argue, how come I have to bow down to my junior? It’s just not fair.
Superiority, seniority, and proven devotion are all very logical and acceptable excuses or reasons. But, why God still expelled Iblis from heaven and cursed him? What went wrong? Are the reasons wrong? No, the reasons are correct. What had gone wrong was that Iblis DID NOT obey the command of God. That’s the mistake. So, from the verses above we can learn that no matter what the reason or excuse is, if we end up disobeying God’s command, it is wrong and it is sinful.
In daily life, we often become Iblis, providing many reasons or excuses for disobeying God’s rules.
God commanded human being to pray five times a day, yet, many of us have many ‘logical’ and ‘acceptable’ reasons for not doing it. Some say, “I’m so tired today, I don’t feel like praying. Well, I think it’s alright. God is Merciful, though. God knows how tired I am…” and the excuse continues endlessly. Well, no matter how powerful the excuse is, if a person ends up NOT praying or disobeying God’s command, he is sinful.
God does not allow human being to drink alcohol. But many people end up drinking it with many excuses:
“My friend offered me that drink, I feel bad if I refused it, I was just being polite.”
“Oh well, one or two sips is alright. It won’t make me drunk.”
“Drinking wine moderately is good for our health, you know…”
And the list of excuses continues… Yet, please remember, no matter how good or noble his excuse is, if he ends up drinking alcohol (disobeying God’s rule), he is wrong, he is sinful.
God does not allow people to kill other people, except during the war in which there are God’s rules about war that must be followed. God says in the Qur’an, chapter 5 verse 32: “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption (done) in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, (even) after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.”
Then in the Qur’an chapter 4 verse 93, “But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.”
Also, Prophet Muhammad said the following:
“Whoever kills a person who has a truce with the Muslims will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.”
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.”
Many people who judge Islam by the followers think that muslims are terrorists because few of them do the act of bombing or killing innocent people. Those people call themselves the fighter of Islam and they claim that what they do is in accordance with Islamic teachings. They have many reasons to justify their actions and for some of us the excuses sound justifiable. Yet, killing innocent people is wrong, it is against God’s will, and it is a big sin. So, there is no excuse that killing innocent people is correct.
The dialogue between Iblis and God also conveys the message that human being have limited knowledge meanwhile God is The All Knowing. All God’s commands in the Qur’an, such as praying five times a day, not drinking alcohol, not eating swine, fasting, honesty, sincerity, generosity, modesty, believing God’s destiny, and so on, are for the sake of human being and we have to obey them without doubt. But we, people, often follow our ego and desire in our action, thinking that our desire is the right thing to follow. We, human being, often provide more excuses than Iblis did. We therefore often ‘beat’ Iblis in transgression. Corruption in every aspect, crimes, immoral behavior, ruining the environment are all forms of disobeying God’s commands in which people have many excuses in doing those things.
So, let’s stop following Iblis as it will ruin our souls and leads to total unhappiness in this world and in the hereafter.
Related post: Satan The Eternal Enemy
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan
Every person will experience hardship, calamity, disaster, unpleasant or sad incident in his or her life. There’s not a single human being free from such occurrence. Therefore, we must equip ourselves with thorough knowledge about it so that we can deal with it well. The Qur’an and hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s saying) are the best source to understand the concept of hardship or calamity.
What does Allah (God) say about hardship, calamity or disaster? God says in the Qur'an:
“And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” Qur’an ch. 42 verse 30.
“And judge, [O Muhammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you. And if they turn away – then know that Allah only intends to afflict them with some of their [own] sins. And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient.” Qur’an ch. 5 verse 49.
“What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.” Qur’an ch. 4 verse 79.
Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad said: “No fatigue, disease, sorrow, sadness, hurt or distress befalls a Muslim – not even the prick he receives from a thorn – except that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it.”
So, according to the Qur’an, there are at least three dimensions of the concept of hardship: first, hardship is a form of punishment from Allah (God) paid on earth because of the disobedience (of God’s rules) of the people. Second, it acts as the abolition of sins so that there’s no more sin to be accounted in the hereafter. Third, it is a trial from God to increase the degree of people in the sight of God.
Basically, nothing decreed by God – including hardship or calamity – is bad. God is The Most Merciful, The Most Gracious, The Purest, The Most Just. God’s decision is impossibly bad or earning sins. A wise man once said, “When God gives you comfort, pleasant things or grace, you can then feel God’s mercy. However, when God gives you hardship or calamity, God actually wants to bestow you wisdom.”
Experiences prove that hardship or calamity often invites wisdom meanwhile comfort or pleasure often leads to disobedient of God’s rules. Prisoners repent in prisons, people become stronger personalities when difficulties arise, family members reunited when disasters occur, we realize our mistakes when something unpleasant happen, and many more “good things” or blessing are actually there when hardship strikes. But, it depends on us whether we want to “see or feel” the blessing wrapped in unpleasant things. It depends whether we can take advantage of the hardship or not. If we understand the concept of it and behave according to God’s rules, we will surely be able to see the blessing and we will be the ones who are blessed. Yet, if we take hardship the wrong way, e.g. we blame God for what happens or complain about it, then our soul won’t be able to see the blessing and we will be the doomed ones. The analogy goes like this: what’s the use of a golden pen for those who cannot write.. Or what’s the use of a very good book for people who can’t read.. Having golden pen or good book without the ability of using them is just a waste of time and money.
It’s hard for us to reach wisdom when we are in comfortable, pleasant, fun situation. In such a situation, we often don’t realize that life is a test or trial from God. We often forget to behave according to God’s rules. Abundant wealth, perfect health, great family, rising carrier, popularity and so forth give more chance to arrogance, spending money on luxuries, unselfishness, dishonesty which are against the rules of God.
So, what is the best attitude, according to the Qur’an, in facing hardship or calamity? There is no other way in dealing with it than seeking refuge to God, submitting to God’s will, doing effort to make situation better, and don’t forget the promises of God as stated in the Qur’an as follows:
“Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.” Ch. 10 verse 44
“…And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants.” Ch. 41 verse 46
“Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom's weight…” Ch. 4 verse 40
“ …But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” Ch. 2 verse 216
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” Ch. 94 verse 5, 6
God manifests His love towards human being through hardship. That’s the way God works…
Allah (God) sent down the Qur’an as guidance for human being. The guidance consists of rules in how we, people, live on earth. But God knows that the written rules and laws are not enough for human being. An example is needed so that people don’t misunderstand the rules of God and people don’t apply the rules and laws in a wrong way. That’s why, God sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Messenger of God, as an example, a role model for all human being.
God says in the Qur’an chapter 33 verse 21, “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often". Chapter 21 verse 107, “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” Chapter 68 verse 4, “And indeed, you (Muhammad) are of a great moral character.”
From the verse above, it is very clear that Prophet Muhammad was sent for ALL people and also jinn. He was sent as a mercy for the world of human being and the world of jinn. In short, Prophet Muhammad was a mercy for the universe.
Since Prophet Muhammad is a role model for all people, it means that ALL people, regardless the gender, the colors, the nationality, the economy and educational status, should be able to follow him. What sort of thing in the self of Prophet Muhammad that can be followed by all people? Is it the way he dressed up? If that’s the case, then women couldn’t follow him. Is it the Prophet’s physical appearance such as having beard and mustache? If that’s the case, then women, children, and some unlucky men whose beards for some health issues can’t grow, couldn’t follow him as well. So, what is it that can be followed by all human being? As God says in the Qur’an chapter 68 verse 4, it is the morals of the Prophet. God sent Prophet Muhammad so that people follow the morals and characters of the Prophet.
During his life as a prophet, the enemies of Prophet Muhammad mocked at him, told lies about him, spitted on him, attacked him and tried to kill him. But there was no record of the Prophet being angry, uttering bad words or got revenge. He even prayed to God so that those people could comprehend the true teaching of Islam. From the biography of Prophet Muhammad we learn that during the Prophet’s life, he never got angry, he was never rude or impolite even to his worst enemies. He was honest until all people, including his enemies called him ‘the trustworthy one’. He was generous, sincere, and humble and had warm personality. He worshipped Allah, The One and Only God, and he didn’t take partners to God.
When Prophet Muhammad was performing shalat (praying) and was in the state of prostrating, the enemies threw him with camel dung! Yet, he continued praying until finish and after that he prayed to God for those people.
When Prophet Muhammad was thirty-five years old, the tribe of Quraysh decided to rebuild the ka`bah, because the flood had shaken its foundations and cracked its walls. When the rebuilding had reached the stage where hajr aswad (the black stone from heaven) had to be put in its place, a dispute arose and they began to argue fiercely ad each clan wanted the honors of carrying out the noble task of placing the stone.
The people were about to fight one another, when one of the elders suggested a solution: “Make the first person to enter the gate your judge,” he said. They all looked, and to their immense delight, Prophet Muhammad entered. “It is Al-Amin, the trustworthy one,” they cried, "We are content to follow his verdict." The Prophet saw what happened and asked for a piece of cloth. He then took the black stone and placed it in the centre of the cloth. Thereafter, he told each Quraisy leader to take a corner of the cloth and lift it together. They did this, bringing it close to its place. After that, Prophet Muhammad then put the black stone in its place with his own hands. Thus, a bloody conflict was prevented and the dispute was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
It’s recorded that once, there was a blind Jew to whom Prophet Muhammad regularly fed him with his own hands, putting the food to the mouth of the blind Jew. The man didn’t know that it was the Prophet who fed him. While eating from the Prophet’s hands, the man always mocked, insulted, and verbally abused Prophet Muhammad, yet, the Prophet didn’t say anything and kept on feeding him gently. When Prophet Muhammad passed away, a close friend of the Prophet took over the ‘job’. The blind Jew immediately sensed that the man who fed him wasn’t the usual man. “Who are you? You don’t feed me like the previous one. He was gentle in feeding me, unlike you!” he said. “Who was the man who used to feed me?” he further asked. The close friend of the Prophet cried and said that it was Prophet Muhammad who had been feeding him. The blind Jew was shocked, remembering all the bad things he said during that time. He cried, regretted what he had done, and converted to Islam…
God sent Prophet Muhammad as moral example for human being, so that we follow his morals and characters. Let’s contemplate.. If something is not used according to the purpose of why it is created, then damage will occur. Iron is used for ironing clothes. If the iron is not used for ironing, the iron will be broken. If we don’t follow Prophet Muhammad in the way he was supposed to be followed, there will be misunderstanding. Some people choose to follow the physical appearance of the Prophet. If there is a man dressed in long traditional Arab clothing and we ask him why he dresses like that and why he grows beard, he would answer, “This is the way of our beloved Prophet dressed up and he also had beard. We want to follow him.” It’s an intolerable answer as all the enemies of the Prophet also dressed like that and all had beard! There’s an idea that if we love someone so much, that it’s alright to imitate the physical appearance as close as possible. Again, such an idea is dangerous because when Prophet Muhammad is followed in the way he is not supposed to be followed, misunderstanding will surely arise. When such an idea is applied, a sense of pride, being exclusive or superior will appear and such characters are not the ones taught by Prophet Muhammad.
Belief determines action. The noble character of Prophet Muhammad is the result of what he had in his heart. Since his heart was full of beliefs according to the Qur’an or Godly beliefs, he simply behaved reflecting the beliefs. Characters such as honesty, kindness, trustworthy, fearless towards the enemy, are all the result or the fruit of Godly beliefs that he had. Thus, in order to follow Prophet Muhammad the way he is supposed to be followed, we must obtain as many Godly beliefs as possible.
Prophet Muhammad is a role model for ALL human being on earth and it is his morals and characters that we must follow. He was definitely a walking Qur’an…
What they said about Prophet Muhammad (http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/quote1.html):
Gibbon in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823
The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.
Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,' 1840
"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."
"A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world’s Maker had ordered so."
Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.
I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind…. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.
Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History,' New York, 1978.
My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level. …It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. …It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan