Islamic Culture and Religious Studies Volume 1

Islamic Culture and Religious Studies0%

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Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
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Islamic Culture and Religious Studies

Author: A Group of Shia Scholars
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
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Islamic Culture and Religious Studies

Islamic Culture and Religious Studies Volume 1

Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

Islamic Culture and Religious Studies Book - 1

Author: A Group of Shia Scholars

www.alhassanain.org/english

Notice:

This version published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Chapter One 7

TAWHEED: Knowing God and Worshipping Him 7

Lesson 1: The Best of Lessons 8

A Holy Verse 9

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT … 9

Think and Answer 9

ANECDOTE: FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE SUN 9

Lesson 2: Perfect Harmony of The Universe is A Sign of? 10

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 11

Think and Answer 12

Introduction to Chapter Two 13

MA'AD 13

The Life in the Hereafter 13

Lesson 3: Harvest Period 14

The Will of a Martyr' 14

A Holy Verse 16

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 16

Think and Answer 16

Lesson 4: Transition To The Next World 18

FOLLOWERS OF THE HEREAFTER 19

A Holy Verse 19

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 19

Think and Answer 19

ANECDOTE PRAYER OF THE PIOUS 20

Introduction to Chapter Three 21

NUBUWWAH 21

Seeking guidance from our Noble Prophets 21

Lssson 5: A Lesson On The Peak Of The Mountain 22

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT … 26

Think and Answer 26

Lesson 6: Prophets: The only Perfect Guides on the Secret Journey 27

UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS OF PROPHETS 27

DA'WAH OF PROPHETS 28

AKHLAQ OF AMBIYAH 29

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 29

Think and Answer 29

Lesson 7: If You Do Not Value Allah (S.W.T.)'S Blessings 30

GUIDANCE FROM PROPHETS 30

A Holy Verse 31

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 31

Think and Answer 31

ANECDOTE 31

THE FIRE AND THE FIREWOOD 31

Lesson 8: Foundation Of Tawheed 33

DA'WAH TO ALL 33

WHY VISIT THE HOLY KA'ABAH? 33

A Holy Verse 34

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 34

Think and Answer 34

Introduction to Chapter Four 35

THE HOLY PROPHET (S.A.W.W.) OF ISLAM 35

HIS SEERAH AND STAGES OF DIVINE PROPAGATION 35

Lesson 9: Da'awah For The Near Ones To Islam 36

The Second Invitation 37

A Holy Verse 38

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 38

Think and Answer 38

Lesson 10: The Universal Message 39

A Holy Verse 40

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 41

Think and Answer 41

Lesson 11: Rejection All Kinds Of Selfish Motives 42

A Holy Verse 43

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 44

Think and Answer 44

Lesson 12: If My Mother Is Terribly Upset…? 45

A Holy Verse 46

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT … 46

Think and Answer 46

ANECDOTE 47

Introduction to Chapter Five 48

ALL ARE EQUAL IN THE DIVINE SYSTEM OF LAW AND ORDER 48

Lesson 13: Srirtual Role Models 49

The Infallible Imams 49

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 50

Think and Answer 50

Lesson 14: Brotherhood 52

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 53

Think and Answer 53

Lesson 15: Hard Work and Independence 54

FRUITS OF HARD LABOUR 55

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 56

Think and Answer 56

Introduction to Chapter Six 57

IMAMAT AND LEADERSHIP 57

Lesson 16: The Two Weighty Things 58

A Holy Saying: 59

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT … 59

Think and Answer 60

Lesson 17: Why Ali Ibn Abi Talib As Imam? 61

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 63

Think and Answer 63

Introduction to Chapter Seven 65

AHKAM (LAWS) AND EBADAH (WORSHIP) 65

Lesson 18: Taklif and Taqleed 66

SOME OF THE MASA'ILS CONCERNING TAQLEED 66

IDENTIFYING AN A'ALAM MUJTAHID 67

Think and Answer 67

Lesson 19: Wudhoo and Tayyamum 68

PERFORMING WUDHOO 68

TAYYAMUM 68

PERFORMING TAYYAMUM 68

IMPORTANT NOTES 69

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 69

Think and Answer 69

Lesson 20: Ghusle - Jum'uah 70

PERFORMING GHUSLE-JUM'UAH 70

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 70

Think and Answer 71

LESSON 21: HOW SHOULD WE PRAY? 72

METHOD OF PRAYER 72

DIFFERENCES IN THE WAJIB SALAAT 73

THE TIMINGS OF PRAYERS 73

Think and Answer 73

Lesson 22: Praying Salat in Congregation 75

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT… 76

Think and Answer 76

ANECDOTE 77

Prayer of the Mercy-Seeking Servant 77

Introduction to Chapter One

In The Name Of Allah (S.W.T.), the Beneficent, the Merciful

TAWHEED: Knowing God and Worshipping Him

A Human being is constantly in search of knowing the Truth. He explores different ways in which to confirm his beliefs and when he succeeds in going back to his FITRA (Nature), he eventually reaches the point where he realises the need of a Master and Creator - Allah (S.W.T.).

In the Islamic beliefs (Aqaidi-Islami), 'To Know God' is one of the fundamental issues for Muslims. It is only after proving His existence that a Muslim can believe in His divine system of Law and Order. All other moral, spiritual and religious values are included in the essence of Tawheed (Oneness) of Allah (S.W.T.).

In order to understand Tawheed and be able to submit to Him, it becomes necessary for us all to undertake the spiritual journey towards Imaan (Faith) and Taqwa (Piety). A person might believe that this is a difficult path to walk on but it not impossible. All it requires is a strong urge to know the great Maker of the Universe!

We must remember that by learning the true Islam, we will be able to practise its valuable teachings.

It is necessary for us to understand that if we want to reach perfection in both Imaan and Amal-e-Saaleh (Good Actions), we have to study the lives of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) and Infallible Aimmah (a.s.).

In this book, each and every chapter is directed towards appreciating the deeper meaning of Tawheed (Absolute Oneness of Allah (S.W.T.)). The ideas and rules we will study are all ways in which to discover the truth and when we learn Akhlaaq (Moral Excellence) it is because our good conduct will allow us to reach out to other people around the world and call them back to the Truth.

We need to strive to have a deep understanding of our Lord. We also need to reflect upon the teachings of the Holy Qur'an. Remember, our main aim in studying the following chapters is to create a strong bond with Allah (S.W.T.)!

May He make us all successful in this aim. Ameen.

Lesson 1: The Best of Lessons

My class teacher is one of the best teachers in our school. She is kind, friendly and has the most beautiful smile! She always makes sure that we understand what she is teaching and never gets angry no matter how many questions we ask! Mrs. Jawad is my favourite teacher!

Before she begins any lesson, Mrs. Jawad always recites Bismillahir Rahmaan Rahim. It is a verse from the Holy Qur'an meaning 'In the Name of Allah (S.W.T.), the Most Kind, the Most Merciful' and when we hear it reminds of our Creator and our purpose in studying. This makes it easier to concentrate and understand what she is teaching us. Isn't it amazing what strength one Holy verse can give us?

The other day, Mrs. Jawad asked us, "Children! Do you think it would be a good idea to study about ourselves?"

We all replied, "Yes!"

She smiled and told us, "Well then, let's go out and investigate the Human Body!" How excited we were as we gathered our books, drawing papers and pencils! Soon we were set to go. As we walked out of the school gates, we met a builder and his crew at work.

We greeted the men and then Mrs. Jawad drew our attention to the tall building next to our school and said, "Look at the building. See all the construction work? Come a little closer and see how the bricks stick to one another and form strong walls.

Isn't it amazing? You can obviously see that the workmen are very skilled and the design must be that of a gifted architect. This is just an example of the talent it takes to plan and create anything. When the building is completed, it will look even better that it does today!"

As we were studying the building in a new light, she continued, "Did you ever think of your own bodies and how delicate everything inside you is? What about the various processes that go and the parts that work like big machines every second? Think about it for a moment…

"Can you remember the names of each and every organ of your body? Can you imagine the cells that are within your body? You all know that cells cannot be seen by our naked eyes, they can only be seen through a microscope because they are so tiny, and yet, they are so important that without them we would not be alive!

"My dears! Do you know how each cell works? Do you know that each one has its own unique shape and function? Yes! It does! The white blood cells and the red blood cells are different but at the same time, they work together in perfect harmony and do their task so well, it is mind-boggling!"

By now, we were all captivated by what she was saying and each one of us was straining to hear her soft voice above the noises from the construction site. Mrs. Jawad looked at all of us and asked, "Have you thought about the more complex systems in your body, like the nervous and digestive systems?

Have you ever thought of how many muscles contract and expand in our bodies when we perform the simplest actions? How about the hundreds of messages that are sent to the brain all the time, which allow us to co- ordinate our actions so easily? Sub'haana-Allah! Glory belongs only to Allah (S.W.T.)! "Isn't it really amazing how complex our bodies are and how they work! When you hurt yourself, the cells in your body immediately react to cure the wound!

"Therefore, dear children, what do you understand from all this? What do you learn from comparing the construction of the building with your bodily functions?

Don't you think that just like the building there is a Master Planner behind the workings of your body? And is this Planner anyone other than the Supreme Creator who has designed everything - big and small - so perfectly in the universe?

"When we realise and appreciate Allah (S.W.T.)'s favours, then we understand that it is our duty to show obedience and gratitude to our Merciful Creator.

"Children! I am very happy that we had this lesson today. I hope what we have learnt will show you the importance of a Creator. Through such simple examples we can increase our faith and certainty in our Supreme Lord, Insha Allah."

After this we all headed back to class filled with thoughts about the wonderful things Allah (S.W.T.) has created, most importantly, ourselves!

A Holy Verse

The Qur'an says:

"And in the earth are signs for those who are sure in conviction, and also in your ownselves; will you then not see? …"

Sura Zaariaat, Verses 20 & 21

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT …

1. We, as Allah (S.W.T.)'s creation, must try to learn about and investigate the human anatomy.

2. We need to find out more about the functions of various cells in our body.

3. As Muslims, it is our duty to Allah (S.W.T.) is to:

a) Show thanks for His countless favours and

b) Try to follow His divine path even in simple ways.

Think and Answer

Name the smallest organ in the human body.

Name 5 different body cells and describe their characteristics and functions.

How would you recognise your Creator from the examples discussed in the lesson?

What is our duty towards our Kind Lord?

ANECDOTE: FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE SUN

A young man once asked a Wise Teacher, "Why is it that the sun is so bright and charming and yet no one has ever fallen in love with it?"

The Wise Teacher replied: "It is because, it is seen every day in most places. Where it is not seen often, it is really loved and anxiously awaited."

Lesson 2: Perfect Harmony of The Universe is A Sign of?

My uncle Ali is a farmer. He loves his job and works tirelessly day and night on his land. "Farming is the best of occupations," he often says.

It was a fine morning in spring, when my uncle asked us to join him and our Aunt Sarah for a picnic. Fatemah - my sister - and I were very excited to visit them at their farm. What an awesome sight! The flowers and the roses in full bloom were beautiful. The air was fresh, the sun was bright and the sky a clear, cloudless blue. Everything seemed perfect for our picnic that day.

Uncle Ali was sitting in the middle of their small garden preparing hot cocoa as we played around him when suddenly heavy, grey clouds appeared from nowhere! The sky turned dark and angry and it began to pour! By the time we managed to grab our things and rush to the cottage, we were totally drenched! What a drastic change in the weather!

Once in the cottage, we quickly changed into dry clothes and then stared out the window at the sheets of rain as they fell. We felt let down and began to complain about the storm that had ruined our picnic.

I went to sit next to Uncle Ali who was setting up the hot cocoa again and grumbled, "Uncle, why of all the days did it have to rain today?"

Fatemah, who was still at the window, turned when she heard my question. "Oh, Hassan! Why do you ask such silly questions! It's raining and our picnic is spoilt, what does it matter why it rained?"

Aunt Sarah came over and put her arm around Fatemah. "Don't worry, dear," she consoled her. "Be patient and I'm sure the storm will clear."

Uncle Ali then spoke again as he poured out the hot milk into four mugs. "In the meantime, why don't I answer the question you asked, Hassan? It was a very good one…"

We always enjoyed the stories that Uncle told us and so we huddled under the blankets Aunt Sarah brought and with mugs of steaming cocoa we settled down around him. He began:

"Children, tell me, do you think we would be able to get food, milk, vegetables, fruits and other things without rain on the earth? The wonderful rain makes the crops that we eat grow and also nourishes the plants that feed the animals. From the animals we then get meat, milk and the other products we use in our daily lives. What would happen to farms and cattle without rain? And what about drinking water? Without rain, we would have a difficult time finding water to quench our thirsts with! Rain helps us to get the basic necessities of life, without which we would certainly die."

"I can understand that we need rain." I replied. " But, why did it have to rain today when we had planned to play outside and have some fun?"

Uncle Ali smiled again, " Hassan, that is the Will of Allah (S.W.T.). He knows best whether the land needed rain or not. Surely you couldn't expect him to put off what others need just because of our fun? It is at times like this when He wants to see our patience and calmness."

I realised how unreasonable I had been. Embarrassed, I looked at the floor. Suddenly, Fatemah asked, "Aunt Sarah, how does rain fall and where does it come from?"

I was interested in knowing this too, so both Fatemah and I listened quietly as Aunt Sarah explained the wonderful system of the water cycle. At the end she recited verse 164 of Sura Baqara that says:

"Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alteration of night and day, and in the ships that sail in the sea with that which is of use to men, and in the water which Allah (S.W.T.) sends down from the skies thereby giving life to the earth after its death, and scattering therein (every kind of) animal, and in the changing of the winds and the clouds controlled for service between the heavens and the earth:

surely there are signs (of Allah (S.W.T.)'s Rule) for the people who understand." As we thought about the verse, we realised that Almighty God has designed this magnificent universe through His Power and Knowledge and He controls everything.

Uncle Ali was very happy to see that we were so interested in what he and Aunt Sarah had said. "Keep it up!" he told us. "You have been able to learn a lot of things today. Now you can understand that Allah (S.W.T.) works in mysterious ways, but always for the good of His creatures."

We smiled at him and thanked him and Aunt Sarah for telling us all the amazing things they had.

"Look the sun is out again!" Fatemah exclaimed, pointing out the window. She was right! The rain had stopped and the sun was shining through the clouds that were already clearing up. So we were able to have our day out after all and lucky enough to have learnt more about Allah (S.W.T.) at the same time! Alhamdulillah! Allah (S.W.T.) worked in a mysterious way to teach us more about Himself!

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…

1. One of the most amazing things in the world is the water cycle. A simple explanation of the cycle is as follows:

The sun heats the surfaces of large bodies of water and this cause evaporation to occur. When the warm air filled with this moisture rises up to the sky, it cools in the low temperatures there, forming what we call clouds. Winds normally blow these clouds inland and when the temperatures are low enough for the moisture to turn back into water, it falls to earth as rain. Some of this rain gives the soil important nutrients and revives the plants and the rest falls back into the oceans and rivers.

Then the cycle begins again! Can you imagine what perfect planning is required to make sure that all these different forces of nature work in perfect harmony and co-ordination?

2. From the above we can see that Allah (S.W.T.) in His perfect Knowledge and Wisdom controls all the universal systems for the well being of His creations. This is why we need a Creator who is absolutely perfect and independent. Allah (S.W.T.)'s work is all in perfect balance.

3. Whatever is in the Heavens, and the Earth and other extra-terrestrial worlds, are the glorious signs of Allah (S.W.T.). We only need think about them to realise it. So next time, you find yourself looking at the world around you, stop for a few minutes and try to see Allah (S.W.T.)'s signature in the wonders you see!

Think and Answer

1. Give some examples of God's perfection and how He controls the world.

2. How can you learn and appreciate Allah (S.W.T.)'s Greatness?

3. Why did Uncle Ali have to explain to his niece and nephew about the formation of rain and its importance to the earth?

4. What do you understand from verse 164, Sura Baqara in the Holy Qur'an?

5. How does the above-mentioned verse show us Allah (S.W.T.)'s Power and Greatness?

Introduction to Chapter Two

In The Name Of Allah (S.W.T.), the Beneficent, the Merciful

MA'AD

The Life in the Hereafter

There is a great need for us to understand that human beings are created for a sacred goal in this world. This is the world for actions and it is our continuous purpose to try and understand the philosophy of this life.

Here are a few fundamental points that we must know to begin with:

1. We as human beings have not been created in vain and have a specific, sacred goal in life.

2. All other creations in this universe have been made for the purpose of serving human beings and also to beautify the awesome universe.

3. In this world, we have been given an opportunity to sow the seeds of good actions. Our harvest will follow in the life after death and the hereafter. All actions - whether good or bad - performed by human beings will receive their deserving compensation. The good deeds that one does will turn into beautiful rewards. On the other hand, when a person does anything bad he will obviously reap punishment in the life of the hereafter.

In this chapter, we will study about the nature and the need of the great event of the Day of Judgement. We will also familiarize ourselves with what Allah (S.W.T.)'s plan for this Day is.By knowing, appreciating and fully understanding the holy aims of Allah (S.W.T.), we will be better equipped to serve Him in the best possible manner.

In our discussion, we will study the meaning of death and the concept of Shahaadat (Martyrdom). Are they different names for the same thing? Hardly! Martyrdom is a most noble choice made by those who wish to taste the sweetness of Shahaadat.

Through all this, we will see that those who work hard in this life and try to do good will definitely see the results of their efforts. One may not see the fruits immediately but it is important to fully trust Allah (S.W.T.) and place our hope and confidence in Him.

Finally, we will read parts of the "Will of a Martyr". In this, we will see how a martyr prepares himself to remain firm and take up all sorts of challenges just to gain the nearness of Allah (S.W.T.).

Lesson 3: Harvest Period

Summer was leaving and the warm colours and chill breezes told us that autumn was around the corner. The week before school opened, Uncle Ali invited us to join him on his farm for the long weekend.

We started our journey early in the morning. By the time we reached the orchards, the sun was high and bright and the sky was clear. As we walked past the trees towards the cottage, we could see large, ripe apples ready for picking. The other trees in the distance looked equally heavy with healthy fruit.

Uncle Ali had seen us arrive and he opened the door before we even had a chance to knock. "Welcome!" he said heartily. "I see you are nice and early."

After the usual greetings and hugs, we settled down to breakfast all together. Aunt Sarah set down a large tray, full of fresh, rosy red apples, on the table and then went to fetch the tea. Uncle Ali smiled warmly at all of us and then gestured towards the fruit.

"I thank Allah (S.W.T.) for accepting my hard work and rewarding me with good results this year. The trees in the orchards are full of similar colourful gifts from the Almighty." Then he looked at Fatemah and me and asked, "Do you remember the last time you came over in spring?

Do you remember how annoyed and upset you were because of the sudden rain? Well, I am sure you have realised that if it hadn't rained during last spring, we wouldn't have seen our plants grow and our trees wouldn't have had such lovely fruits.

When you eat and enjoy the juicy apples, let it remind you of the rains!" We nodded as we reached out for an apple each. Neither of us had forgotten what Uncle and Aunt had taught us that day and we hoped we would get a chance to learn something new on this visit too.

As we munched on our apples and waited for the tea, Uncle Ali gave us some magazines to read. We pored over them while he and Daddy talked. I was going through one of the magazines when I came across a page that read: '

The Will of a Martyr'.

I was reading the article and did not notice that Aunt Sarah had brought the tea. Seeing how engrossed I was in the magazine, she called out "What are you reading, Hassan? Why don't you read it aloud to us."

"It is a very interesting article about martyrdom," I replied. "This is how it begins: 'And do not think those who are slain in the way of Allah (S.W.T.) are dead, nay, they are alive and Allah (S.W.T.) sustains them…' That is an ayat from the Holy Qur'an, isn't it?" I asked after quoting the verse.

"Yes, it is," my aunt agreed. "What else does the article say?"

"Well, it is a Martyr's will that he left behind for his mother. It is too long to read out entirely but I liked one particular paragraph," I answered. "Listen to this:

'… How beautiful it is to become a Shaheed in the way of Allah (S.W.T.). Its fragrance is like a tulip. Yes! It is indeed a road of resistance and patience in defending Islam and its enemies. One may become a Shaheed by seeking God's guidance and the teachings of the Holy Qur'an.

In case I am blessed with such an honourable status - that of a shaheed - my deepest congratulations will be to my beloved mother as it is she who taught me and encouraged me to follow that sublime path. Indeed! I shall be received as a special guest of Allah (S.W.T.).'"

There was a moment of silence when I finished reading out the passage. How beautiful it sounded and what confidence the Martyr had in Allah (S.W.T.). Rather than sounding scared of what was to face him, the Martyr spoke with eagerness to meet this fate! I wondered at his attitude.

Even as we sat down to eat, thoughts about what I had read kept running through my mind. Finally, when we had eaten and my mother and aunt were in the kitchen, I sat down near Uncle Ali. Seeing that he was not very busy, I asked him softly, "Uncle! I have been thinking during breakfast. Tell me, how does a person attain martyrdom and seek Allah (S.W.T.)'s pleasure in the way of Islam?" My Uncle looked intently at me.

"Hassan, in order to find an answer to that, you must first ask yourself some important questions. Ask yourself, who are you? Why were you born? What is the purpose of this life? Why do you have to work so hard in this world and expect the results much later, that is, in the Aakhera? Why has Allah (S.W.T.) created some things that the naked eye can see and others that cannot be seen nor perceived?"

He paused for a while to let the questions sink. Then he continued, "Allah (S.W.T.) has created all these things - seen and unseen - so that as human beings, we may benefit from them not only physically but also spiritually because they remind us of His Blessings and allow us to realise His Greatness.

"When we understand what a Magnificent Creator He is, we then seek nearness to Him and want to please Him because He deserves to be pleased. This makes us prepare more eagerly for death and the life after death.

"You see, Death is the next stage of life, leading us to another world, which is eternal. Do you think that all our actions and good deeds in this world will go in vain? Aren't we going to earn the fruits of our hard work in the next world? Doesn't this encourage us to find out more about death itself? For a true believer, the life after death is the best place since it allows him to be closer to Allah (S.W.T.), which is his dearest wish. This is why he looks forward to it so much."

As Uncle Ali finished speaking, I finally understood why the Martyr sounded so happy and confident. Fatemah who had also been listening came up and tugged at Uncle's sleeve. " But Uncle! What exactly is Martyrdom?" she asked.

"What an excellent question!" Uncle exclaimed smiling as he lifted her up on his lap. "My dear Fatemah, Shahaadat - which is the Arabic word for Martyrdom - in its true sense means 'to give away one's life for the pleasure of the Creator'. A person who chooses to face all the difficulties that come his way and fights against the enemies till the last moments of his life is a 'shaheed'.

"A martyr is a person who knowingly walks on the path towards death with a deep love for Allah (S.W.T.) and yearning to meet with His Lord. A shaheed looks forward to achieving the highest stage of shahadah. Paradise (Jannah) waits for such people and they will keep the company of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) and Aimmah (a.s.) in the hereafter.

"We need to remind ourselves from time to time that this world is for performing our good deeds. Our actions should be such that our Creator, Allah (S.W.T.), is proud of and happy with us. Remember that only those who work sincerely for His sake and thank Him for His countless blessings will be rewarded! We must be careful of our deeds and stay away from forbidden acts that displease Him.

"When we all rise and face accounting on Yawmul-Hisaab - the Day of Judgement - it will be a terrible time! That day will be equivalent to 50,000 years! Those of us who had been good in this world will be happy on that day but those who had been bad will curse themselves then!"

"Oh!" cried Fatemah. "Then I am going to try and be the best girl!"

"That is wonderful to hear!" Uncle smiled. " Now, let us go and enjoy the fresh air and pick some apples for you to take home!"

Aunt Sarah and Mummy joined as we all walked out to the orchards to pick fruit. As we walked Uncle advised us saying, "Always keep alert to the Glory of Allah (S.W.T.) because He has said in the Holy Qur'an:

"The sun, the moon, the planets are all in motion, O men! Then wake up from the deep sleep of negligence."

A Holy Verse

The Qur'an says:

"Every soul shall taste death, and then they will return back to us." Sura Ankabut, Verse 57

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…

1. Our Almighty Lord, Allah (S.W.T.), is the Creator of everything: big, tiny or even microscopic. Not only that, He created even those things that the human being cannot see! He is the Maker, the Planner and the Creator. All this, He has created for a purpose.

2. Human beings, in particular, have been created to seek obedience from Allah (S.W.T.) and to follow His chosen path. This world is the place for putting our total faith in Him and performing actions that would please our

Lord, the hereafter is the eternal world for getting our rewards or punishment according to what we did.

Think and Answer

1. Pretend that you are trying to relate what you have just read to a friend. Explain Uncle Ali's discussion about Shahadah and the hereafter with the children.

2. Why do you think we have to wait for so long to get the results of our actions i.e. until the Day of Judgement?

3. What are the wonderful blessings of God in the hereafter, and who would deserves these blessings?

4. What is the status of a shaheed in this world and the next?

5. This world is the passageway for the next world. What does this mean?