Most Common Questions asked by Non-Muslims – 4

HEREAFTER – LIFE AFTER DEATH

 


Question

How can you prove the existence of hereafter, i.e. life after death?

Answer


1.   Belief in the hereafter is not based on blind faith?

Many people wonder as to how a person with a scientific and logical temperament, can lend any credence to the belief of life after death. People assume that anyone believing in the hereafter is doing so on the basis of blind belief.

My belief in the hereafter is based on a logical argument.


2.   Hereafter a logical belief

There are more than a thousand verses in the Glorious Qur’an, containing scientific facts (refer my book “Qur’an and Modern Science-Compatible or Incompatible?”). Many facts mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered in the last few centuries. But science has not advanced to a level where it can confirm every statement of the Qur’an.

Suppose 80% of all that is mentioned in the Qur’an has been proved 100% correct. About the remaining 20%, science makes no categorical statement, since it has not advanced to a level, where it can either prove or disprove these statements. With the limited knowledge that we have, we cannot say for sure whether even a single percentage or a single verse of the Qur’an from this 20% portion is wrong. Thus when 80% of the Qur’an is 100% correct and the remaining 20% is not disproved, logic says that even the 20% portion is correct. The existence of the hereafter, which is mentioned in the Qur’an, falls in the 20% ambiguous portion which my logic says is correct.


3
.   Concept of peace and human values is useless without the concept of hereafter

Is robbing a good or an evil act? A normal balanced person would say it is evil. How would a person who does not believe in the hereafter convince a powerful and influential criminal that robbing is evil?

Suppose I am the most powerful and influential criminal in the world. At the same time I am an Intelligent and a logical person. I say that robbing is good because it helps me lead a luxurious life. Thus robbing is good for me.

If anybody can put forward a single logical argument as to why it is evil for me, I will stop immediately. People usually put forward the following arguments:

   a.    The person who is robbed will face difficulties

Some may say that the person who is robbed will face difficulties. I certainly agree that it is bad for the person who is robbed. But it is good for me. If I rob a thousand dollars, I can enjoy a good meal at a 5 star restaurant.

   b.    Someone may rob you

Some people argue that someday I may be robbed. No one can rob me because I am a very powerful criminal and I have hundreds of bodyguards. I can rob anybody but nobody can rob me. Robbing may be a risky profession for a common man but not for an influential person like me.

   c.    The police may arrest you

Some may say, if you rob, you can be arrested by the police. The police cannot arrest me because I have the police on my payroll. I have the ministers on my payroll. I agree that if a common man robs, he will be arrested and it will be bad for him, but I am an extraordinarily influential and powerful criminal.

Give me one logical reason why it is bad for me and I will stop robbing.

   d.    Its easy money

Some may say its easy money and not hard-earned money. I agree completely that it is easy money, and that is one of the main reasons why I rob. If a person has the option of earning money the easy as well as the hard way, any logical person would choose the easy way.

   e.    It is against humanity

Some may say it is against humanity and that a person should care for other human beings. I counter argue by asking as to who wrote this law called ‘humanity’ and why should I follow it?

This law may be good for the emotional and sentimental people but I am a logical person and I see no benefit in caring for other human beings.

   f.     It is a selfish act

Some may say that robbing is being selfish. It is true that robbing is a selfish act; but then why should I not be selfish? It helps me enjoy life.

1.    No logical reason for robbing being an evil act

Hence all arguments that attempt to prove that robbing is an evil act are futile. These arguments may satisfy a common man but not a powerful and influential criminal like me. None of the arguments can be defended on the strength of reason and logic. It is no surprise that there are so many criminals in this world.

Similarly raping, cheating etc. can be justified as good for a person like me and there is no logical argument that can convince me that these things are bad.

2.    A Muslim can convince a powerful and influential criminal

Now let us switch sides. Suppose you are the most powerful and influential criminal in the world, who has the police and the ministers on his payroll. You have army of thugs to protect you. I am a Muslim who will convince you that robbing, raping, cheating, etc. are evil acts.

Even if I put forth the same arguments to prove that robbing is evil the criminal will respond the same way as he did earlier.

I agree that the criminal is being logical and all his arguments are true only when he is the most powerful and influential criminal.

3.     Every human being wants justice

Each and every human being desires justice. Even if he does not want justice for others he wants justice for himself. Some people are intoxicated by power and influence and inflict pain and suffering on others. The same people, however, would surely object if some injustice was done to them. The reason such people become insensitive to the suffering of others is that they worship power and influence. Power and influence, they feel, not only allows them to inflict injustice on others but also prevents others from doing likewise to them.

4. God is Most Powerful and Just

As a Muslim I would convince the criminal about the existence of Almighty God (refer to answer proving the existence of God). This God is more powerful than you and at the same time is also just. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“Allah is never unjust
In the least degree”

        [Al-Qur’an 4:40]

5.     Why does God not punish me?

The criminal, being a logical and scientific person, agrees that God exists, after being presented with scientific facts from the Qur’an. He may argue as to why God, if He is Powerful and Just, does not punish him.

6. The people who do injustice should be punished

Every person who has suffered injustice, irrespective of financial or social status, almost certainly wants the perpetrator of injustice to be punished. Every normal person would like the robber or the rapist to be taught a lesson. Though a large number of criminals are punished, many even go scot-free. They lead a pleasant, luxurious life, and even enjoy a peaceful existence. If injustice is done to a powerful and influential person, by someone more powerful and more influential than he, even such a person would want that person perpetrators of injustice to be punished.

7. This life is a test for the hereafter

This life is a test for the hereafter. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“He who created Death
And life that He
May try which of you
Is best in deed;
And He is the Exalted
In Might, Oft-Forgiving”
          [Al-Qur’an 67:2]

8. Final justice on day of judgement

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“Every soul shall have
A taste of death:
And only on the Day
Of Judgement shall you
Be paid your full recompense.
Only he who is saved
Far from the Fire
And admitted to the Garden
Will have attained
The object (of life):
For the life of this world
Is but goods and chattels
Of deception.”
          [Al-Qur’an 3:185]

Final justice will be meted out on the Day of Judgement. After a person dies, he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement along with the rest of mankind. It is possible that a person receives part of his punishment in this world. The final reward and punishment will only be in the hereafter. God Almighty may not punish a robber or a rapist in this world but he will surely be held accountable on the Day of Judgement and will be punished in the hereafter i.e. life after death.

9. What punishment can the human law give Hitler?

Hitler incinerated six million Jews during his reign of terror. Even if the police had arrested him, what punishment can the human law give Hitler for justice to prevail? The most they can do is to send Hitler to the gas chamber. But that will only be punishment for the killing of one Jew. What about the remaining five million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine Jews?

10. Allah can burn Hitler more than six million times in hellfire

Allah say in the Glorious Qur’an:

“Those who reject
Our signs, We shall soon
Cast into the Fire;
As often as their skins
Are roasted through,
We shall change them
For fresh skins,
That they may taste
The penalty: for Allah
Is Exalted in Power, Wise”
          [Al-Qur’an 4:56]

If Allah wishes he can incinerate Hitler six million times in the hereafter in the hellfire.

11. No concept of human values or good and bad without concept of hereafter

It is clear that without convincing a person about the hereafter, i.e. life after death, the concept of human values and the good or evil nature of acts is impossible to prove to any person who is doing injustice especially when he is influential and powerful.

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Most Common Questions asked by Non-Muslims – 3

 

VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISLAM AND THE ACTUAL PRACTICE OF MUSLIMS

 

 

 

Question:

 

 

 

If Islam is the best religion, why are many of the Muslims dishonest, unreliable, and involved in activities such as cheating, bribing, dealing in drugs, etc.?

 

 

 


1.   Media maligns Islam

  1. Islam is without doubt the best religion but the media is in the hands of the westerners who are afraid of Islam. The media is continuously broadcasting and printing information against Islam. They either provide misinformation about Islam, misquote Islam or project a point out of proportion, if any.
  2. When any bomb blasts take place anywhere, the first people to be accused without proof are invariably the Muslims. This appears as headlines in the news. Later, when they find that non-Muslims were responsible, it appears as an insignificant news’ item.
  3. If a 50 year old Muslim marries a 15 year old girl after taking her permission, it appears on the front page but when a 50 year old non-Muslim rapes a 6 year old girl, it may appear in the news in the inside pages as ‘Newsbriefs’. Everyday in America on an average 2,713 cases of rape take place but it doesn’t appear in the news, since it has become a way of life for the Americans.


2.   Black sheep in every community:

I am aware that there are some Muslims who are dishonest, unreliable, who cheat, etc. but the media projects this as though only Muslims are involved in such activities. There are black sheep in every community. I know Muslims who are alcoholics and who can drink most of the non-Muslims under the table.


3.   Muslims best as a whole:

Inspite of all the black sheep in the Muslim community, Muslims taken on the whole, yet form the best community in the world. We are the biggest community of tee-totallers as a whole, i.e. those who don’t imbibe alcohol. Collectively, we are a community which gives the maximum charity in the world. There is not a single person in the world who can even show a candle to the Muslims where modesty is concerned; where sobriety is concerned; where human values and ethics are concerned.


4.   Don’t judge a car by its driver:

If you want to judge how good is the latest model of the “Mercedes” car and a person who does not know how to drive sits at the steering wheel and bangs up the car, who will you blame? The car or the driver? But naturally, the driver. To analyze how good the car is, a person should not look at the driver but see the ability and features of the car. How fast is it, what is its average fuel consumption, what are the safety measures, etc. Even if I agree for the sake of argument that the Muslims are bad, we can’t judge Islam by its followers? If you want to judge how good Islam is then judge it according to its authentic sources, i.e. the Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith.


5.   Judge Islam by its best follower i.e. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh):

If you practically want to check how good a car is put an expert driver behind the steering wheel. Similarly the best and the most exemplary follower of Islam by whom you can check how good Islam is, is the last and final messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Besides Muslims, there are several honest and unbiased non-Muslim historians who have acclaimed that prophet Muhammad was the best human being. According to Michael H. Hart who wrote the book, ‘The Hundred Most Influential Men in History’, the topmost position, i.e. the number one position goes to the beloved prophet of Islam, Muhammad (pbuh). There are several such examples of non-Muslims paying great tributes to the prophet, like Thomas Carlyle, La-Martine, etc.

Answer:

 

Jizyah, Compulsion and Islam

Name of Questioner

Muhammad   – Singapore

 

Title

Jizyah, Compulsion and Islam

 

Date

28/Feb/2008

 

Question

Salam, I have a question regarding the history of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). For one of his dawah, Prophet Muhammad sent a letter to a country called Najran if I’m not wrong. They were mostly Christians and had received the Prophet’s invitation to join Islam. Please correct me if I’m wrong. What I like to know is that the Prophet told them they had to pay the jizyah if they didn’t join Islam. And if they didn’t want to pay, they would have to fight against the Muslims in a war.

 

Is this true? Would the Prophet use this kind of strategy to get people to join islam? Thank you in advance for answering.

 

 

Topic

Prophetic Ethics

 

Name of Counselor

Mohsen Haredy

Answer

Salam, Muhammad.

 

Thank you for your interesting question. Thank you also for your keenness to have a clear picture of the history of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

 

The ABCs of Dawah

 

Let me start with the last part of your question. Simply put, it is a fact that throughout his life, Prophet Muhammad never forced anybody to join Islam. He was applying the clear statement made by Allah in the Quran which can be translated as follows:

 

*{Let there be no compulsion in religion.}* (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

 

His dawah was based on calling people to Islam with wisdom and good exhortation. In doing so, he was following the divine order which reads:

 

*{Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner; surely your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who follow the right way.}* (An-Nahl 16:125)

 

Therefore, his mission was to let people know about his message and just to call them to follow it. Here ends his mission. The issue of guidance is always left to Allah Who guides whom He chooses. The Prophet was told in the Quran:

 

*{Surely you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases, and He knows best the followers of the right way.}* (Al-Qasas 28:56)

 

Najran’s Delegation

 

Concerning the specific incident you mentioned in your question, Najran is located south of Makkah towards Yemen. It included seventy three villages. They arrived in Madinah in the year 9 A.H. The delegation comprised sixty men. Twenty-four of them were of noble families. Three out of twenty-four were at one time leaders of Najran.

 

When that group of delegates arrived in Madinah, they met the Prophet, exchanged inquiries with him. When he called them to Islam and recited the Quran to them, they refused. They asked him what he thought about Jesus (peace be upon him. The Prophet , he waited a whole day till the following Quranic reply was revealed to him:

 

*{Verily, the likeness of Jesus before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’ — and he was.}* (Aal `Imran 3:59)

 

After long discussions with the Prophet, the chiefs of the delegation came to him and said: “We grant you what you have demanded.” The Prophet acknowledged that agreement and ordered them to pay jizyah. In return they will have the covenant of Allah and His Messenger. He gave them a covenant that provides for practicing their religious affairs freely. They asked the Prophet to appoint a trustworthy man to receive the money agreed on for peace, so he sent them the trustworthy man of this nation Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarrah to receive the amounts of money agreed on in the peace treaty. (Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum)

 

It is worthy mentioning here that Najran’s delegation stayed at the Prophet’s mosque. They were free to practice their Christian rituals inside the mosque while hanging the cross on their bodies. The Muslims were protecting and serving them as they were guests in the Prophet’s mosque.

 

The Dhimmah Covenant

 

The covenant that the Prophet concluded with Najran’s delegation was the first to include the word dhimmah (pledge of security).

 

The covenant granted them protection that embraces their property, their souls, their land, their religion, those of them who were present or absent, and all that which they possessed, whether ample or little. No bishop, monk, or priest shall be removed from his office. No army shall enter their land. If anyone of the people of Najran demanded their rights, justice must be given to him. Neither shall they oppress nor shall they be oppressed.

 

Today, there is no place for the word dhimmah. It can be replaced by citizenship. And the term ahl al-dhimmah can be replace by the term citizens.

 

Jizyah

 

As we have seen the covenant did not mention the jizyah. Muslims were paying zakah which was used in all sorts of services and social welfare. It was fair to make non-Muslims pay jizyah. So, it was a compensation for not going to war as it was not fair to ask these non-Muslim citizens to fight with Muslims against fellow believers of their same religion.

 

The Companions and Successors absolved non-Muslims who participated with Muslims in defending their country from the tax. Because of this, Suraqah ibn Amr absolved Armenians from paying jizyah in 22 AH, as did Habib ibn Maslamah Al-Fahri with the non-Muslims of Antioch. The Companions of Abu Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarrah, with his approval and the Companions’ approval, absolved a non-Muslim community on the Turkish–Syrian border known as Al-Jarajimah. (Dr. Mohammad Salim Al-Awa, A Lecture delivered at the Arab Christian Media Men Conference, The Middle East Council of Churches, Beirut, Oct. 10, 2002.)

 

In today’s world, non-Muslim citizens living in Muslim countries perform military service and protect their nations. Therefore, it is not obligatory on them to pay jizyah.

 

Non-Muslim Minorities

 

In Muslim countries, non-Muslim citizens are guaranteed the freedom to practice their religion. Their places of worship are protected and no one is allowed to attack them.

 

Non-Muslims are our neighbors, classmates, co-workers, etc. Muslims are to treat them gently. There is much to agree on with non-Muslims. Islam does not disrespect anyone for whatever reason. We have a saying in Islam attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet’ cousin, that says: (People are of two types, either those who are brothers in faith or those who are brothers in humanity.)

 

So, Muslims are the brothers of non-Muslims in humanity regardless of their different beliefs.

 

The Quran recommends Muslims to show non-Muslims who are not at war with Muslims kindness. We read what means:

 

*{Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you in the matters of your religion and those who did not expel you from your homes, that you show them courtesy and kindness and act justly with them because Allah loves those who are Just.}* (Al-Mumtahanah 68:8)

 

This is what Islam teaches Muslims. If some Muslims are not practicing this, then the problem is with the Muslims’ understanding of Islam not with Islam itself. Islam should not be judged by the bad practice of Muslims.

 

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

 

Salam.