The Importance Of Knowing The Fundamentals Of Your Deen

Imaam Ibn ‘Abdil-’Izz Al-Hanafee (d. 729H) said:

“Knowledge of the fundamentals of the religion is the most noble branch of knowledge, since the excellence of a certain type of knowledge depends on what it is concerned with…

…The need of the servants for this knowledge is greater than every other need; and it is the most necessary of all things for them, since there is no life for the hearts, nor any delight, nor any tranquility, except through knowing their Lord, the (only) One to be worshipped, their Creator – with His Names, His Attributes and His Actions, and that He – along with all that – is more beloved to the person than anything else…”

[Sharhul ‘Aqeedatit Tahaawiyyah, p. 69]

Understanding Your Deen is most important.

And included among the fundamentals of the deen is knowing Allaah through His Names and Attributes & knowing the correct ‘Aqeedah.

The Creation of an Environmental Conscience (part 2 of 4): Man – God’s Steward on the Earth

By AbdurRahman Mahdi

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know. (Quran 2:30)

Our In habitat - Earth

Mankind, through the father, Adam, was sent to earth as its khalifah – a term which simultaneously means: successor, steward, trustee, viceroy, and guardian. That is, man was made responsible for utilizing the earth’s resources with due consideration; resources which God has subjected to his every need.

Man was made responsible for utilizing the earth’s resources with due consideration

“God is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down (rain) water from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command; as (likewise) He has made rivers to be of service to you. And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you.” (Quran 14:32-33)

Fruits of all kind for provision

Ships to serve Mankind by God's command

“See you not (O humanity!) that God has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent and hidden? Yet of mankind is he who disputes about God without knowledge nor guidance nor an illuminating Book!” (Quran 31:20)

Thus, the earth has been created with a definite cause and affect: to facilitate humans in fulfilling the purpose with which they were themselves created: to worship and serve their Creator.

“And I (God) created not the jinn (spirit-like creatures) and humans except they should worship Me (alone).” (Quran 51:56)

Although the creation of the heavens and the earth is actually greater than the creation of humanity in the Sight of God [see Quran 40:57], humans bear a responsibility that the heavens and earth do not. In fact, God did offer to entrust to the heavens and the earth moral responsibility. However, they understood the weightiness of what was being asked and so respectfully declined. Adam, however, accepted to bear moral responsibility on behalf of humanity. Alas! unlike their father, many of Adam’s descendants were and are unfaithful, incompetent and unwilling to remain true to their obligations.

The creation of the heavens and the earth is actually greater than the creation of humanity in the Sight of God

“Truly, We did offer the trust and moral responsibility to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of (failing to discharge) it. But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of the results).” (Quran 33:72)

When man does faithfully discharge his trust by obeying and worshiping God in accordance with his primordial nature, he attains God’s Pleasure and reward; when he does not, he is in need of His Forgiveness. Incidentally, the only reason a person does succumb to false and oppressive desires is because that person is allowing himself to be misled from his nature; straying away from the straight path and onto the crooked road taken by the enemy of God and man alike: Satan.

The straight path is the path prescribed by God

“He (Satan) said: ‘See! This one (man, Adam) whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring – all but a few!” (Quran 17:62)

“And he (Satan) said: ‘I will take an appointed portion of your slaves; I will surely mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and I will surely order them to slit the ears of cattle, and surely, I will order them to change the nature created by God.’ And whoever takes Satan as a protector instead of God has surely suffered a manifest loss. He (Satan) makes promises to them and arouses in them false desires; and Satan’s promises are nothing but deceptions.” (Quran 4:118-120)

So, after learning a most important reality about the natural environment and our place in it, which is that, other than mankind (and the jinn), all the creation, animate and inanimate, is inherently obedient to God and in harmony with itself, we also learn how man can reclaim his innocent natural state: by serving and obeying God. And from the great many and praiseworthy acts of obedience is our behaving responsibly with the world around us. A world that, for the purpose of this discourse, can be divided into two principle realms or resources: the subjects of the animal kingdom and their natural habitats.

We learn how Man can reclaim his innocent natural state: by serving and obeying God

“God is the One Who has subjected to you the sea, that ships may sail through it by His Command, and that you may seek of His Bounty and be thankful. And (just like) He has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favor and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply.” (Quran 45:12-13)

Signs for a people who think deeply

The Believer’s Attitude

Live Islam, Live in Peace!

In order to be a Muslim, that is, to surrender oneself to God, it is necessary to believe in the oneness of God, in the sense of His being the only Creator, Preserver, Nourisher, etc. But this belief, later called Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah, is not enough. Many of the idolators knew and believed that only the Supreme God could do all this. But this was not enough to make them Muslims. To tawhid ar-rububiyyah, one must add tawhid al-‘uluhiyyah. That is, one acknowledges the fact that it is God alone who deserves to be worshipped, and thus abstains from worshipping any other thing or being.

Having achieved this knowledge of the one true God, man should constantly have faith in Him, and should allow nothing to induce him to deny truth.

When faith enters a person’s heart, it causes certain mental states that result in certain actions. Taken together, these mental states and actions are the proof for the true faith. The Prophet said:

Faith is that which resides firmly in the heart and which is proved by deeds”.

Foremost among those mental stated is the feeling of gratitude towards God, which could be said to be the essence of ibada (worship).

The feeling of gratitude is so important that a non-believer is called ‘kafir’, which means ‘one who denies a truth’ and also ‘one who is ungrateful’.

A believer loves, and is grateful to God for the bounties He bestowed upon him, but being aware of the fact that his good deeds, whether mental or physical, are far from being commensurate with Divine favors, he is always anxious lest God should punish him and God gets unhappy with him, here or in the Hereafter. He, therefore, fears Him, surrenders himself to Him and serves Him with great humility. One cannot be in such a mental state without being almost all the time mindful of God. Remembering God is thus the life force of faith, without which it fades and withers away.

The Qur’an tries to promote this feeling of gratitude by repeating the attributes of God very frequently. We find most of these attributes mentioned together in the following verses of the Qur’an:

“ He is God; there is no god but He. He is the Knower of the unseen and the visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. He is God; there is no god but He. He is the King, the All-Holy, the All-Peace, the Guardian of the Faith, the All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the All-Sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate! He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the Almighty, the All-Wise” (59:22-24).

“ There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them, and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His throne comprises the heavens and earth. The preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious”(2:255).

People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth.

“ The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not “Three”. Refrain; better it is for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him — (He is) above having a son” (4:171).