Islamic Culture and Religious Studies Volume 3

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Islamic Culture and Religious Studies

Author: A Group of Shia Scholars

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Islamic Culture and Religious Studies

Islamic Culture and Religious Studies Volume 3


Islamic Culture and Religious Studies Book - 3

Author: A Group of Shia Scholars


This version is published on behalf of

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Introduction To Chapter One 8

TAWHEED (Monotheism) 8

Munaajat Sing to the Lord 8

Lesson 1: Cause and Effect 9

The Non-Physical State 9

A Holy Verse 11


Think And Answer 11

Lesson 2: Proofs About The Existence Of God 12

1. BURHANI NAZM (Systematic Proof) 12

2. BURHANI ILIYYAT (Proof of Cause and Effect) 12

A Holy Verse 13


Think And Answer 13

Introduction to Chapter Two 14

MA'AD 14

The Life in the Hereafter 14

Lesson 3: Qiyamah (A Day Of Judgement and Accountability) 15

A Holy Verse 17


Think And Answer 17

Lesson 4: Paradise and Hell 19

Jannah (Paradise) 19

Jahannam (The Dreaded Hell-Fire) 21

A Holy Verse 22


Think And Answer 22


Introduction To Chapter Three 24


Lesson 5: Prophets 25

Three Fundamental Principles 25

Characteristics Of Prophets 26

1. Ability to Communicate with God 26

2. Ismat (Infallibility) 26

3. Faith in the Eternal Message 26

A Holy Verse 27


Think And Answer 27

Introduction To Chapter Four 28

PROPHET MUHAMMAD (s.a.w.w.) 28

The Last Messenger of Allah (S.W.T.) 28

Lesson 6: The First Pledhes To The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) 29

The First Pledge Of Aqaba 29

The Propagation Of Islam In Medina 30

The Second Pledge Of Aqaba 30

A Holy Verse 31


Think And Answer 31

Lesson 7: The Plot Of The Mushrikeen 33

Muslims Migrate To Medina 33

The Plan 33

A Holy Verse 34


Think And Answer 34

Lesson 8: The Hijra Of The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) 35

A Holy Verse 37


Think And Answer 37

Introduction To Chapter Five 39


Lesson 9: Ijtihad and Leadership 40


Think And Answer 41

Lesson 10: The Public Treasury 42


A Holy Verse 45


Think and Answer 45

Lesson 11: Jehad in Islam 46

The Principles of Jehad (Holy War) 47

Defensive Jehad (against External Threats) 47

Jehad against Internal Threats 47

A Holy Verse 48


Think and Answer 48

Lesson 12: Anger and Its Control 49


A Holy Verse 51


Think And Answer 51

Lesson 13: Family Life in Islam 52

The Rights Of Children Upon Their Parents 52

The Rights Of Parents Upon Their Children 52

The Role of Hejab (Modesty) in the Family 52

The Ideal Family 53

A Holy Verse 54


Think and Answer 55

Introduction To Chapter Six 56


Lesson 14: The Treasure Of The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) 57


Think And Answer 59

Lesson 15: The Aimmah (A.S.) Vs. The Opperessor 61

1. Imam Ali (a.s.) 61

2. Imam Hassan (a.s.) 61

3. Imam Hussayn (a.s.) 61

4. Imam Sajjad (a.s.) 62

5. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and 6. Imam Jaffer Sadiq (a.s.) 62

7. Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) 63

8. Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) 63

9. Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) and 10. Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) 63

11.Imam Hassan al-Askari (a.s.) 63

12.Imam Muhammad Mahdi (a.s.) 63


Think And Answer 64

Lesson 16: The Shia and The Ahle-Sunnah 66

Succession after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) 66

I. The Sunni point of view 66

II. The Shia point of view 66

The Muslims Against Kufr 67

A Holy Verse 68


Think And Answer 68

Introduction To Chapter Seven 69


Lesson 17: Taharrat (Cleanliness) 70

1. Rain Water 70

Situation No. 1 70

Answer 70

Situation No. 2 70

Answer 70

Well Water 70

Situation No.3 70

Answer 70

2. EARTH 71


Situation No.1 71

Answer 71


A Holy Verse 72

Think And Answer 72

Lesson 18: Ghusul (Taking Bath) 73

I. Ghusle Tartibi 73

Conditions regarding Ghusl 73

Ghusl Al-Irtimasi 73

Think And Answer 73

Lesson 19: Tayyamum 74

Conditions regarding Performance of Tayyamum 74

Conditions regarding Replacing of Wudhoo with Tayyamum 74

Things that can be used for Tayamum 75

Lesson 20: Conditions For Dress During Prayers 76

I. Taharat (Cleanliness) 76

Situation 1: 76

Situation 2: 76

Situation 3: 76

Situation 4: 76

II. Mubah (Permissible) 76

Situation 1: 76

III 76

IV 76

V 76

Situation 1: 76

Situation 2: 77

VI. The clothes of a man who is praying should not be made of silk 77

Situation 1 77

Situation 2 77

Situation 3 77

Think And Answer 77

Introduction To Chapter One

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

TAWHEED (Monotheism)

In the past two books, we have studied the need for a God to be accountable to and spoken of the importance of believing in the Oneness of God, which is the foundation stone of our faith.

In this first chapter of our third book, we will begin our study by looking into the concept of 'Cause and Effect'. After this, we will discuss how to prove the existence of God.

These are extremely important topics that cannot be taken lightly. We should keep in mind that in order to make any progress in gaining the pleasure and nearness of Allah (S.W.T.), we must first be willing to put the effort towards achieving this aim. We must open our hearts as well as our minds to receive this information and only then will we be able to convert Imaan (faith) into Yaqeen (Conviction).

Munaajat Sing to the Lord

O my Merciful Lord! Whose sweet name all tongues mention, The entire world is warm and bright because of Your warmth and wonderful lights.

We need only to glance at the mountains, jungles, deserts and oceans, To find You more visible than visibility itself! You are hidden from our eyes, but our eyes have gained sight from You. I sacrifice my life, my self, to You O Lord, who is hidden and invisible. In the heavens above and the earth, O Lord, how can I describe the beauty that you have created?

Birds came to being because of You, colored flowers and beautiful gardens came into existence at Your command. The universe enjoys the sounds of waterfalls and You are the spring of it The world accepts orders from You alone, because You are the continuous Cherisher of our needs.

You are ever generous, independent, merciful,

One who solves every soul's problems and caretaker of us all.

You are the most kind; You are the Best of all bests; You give company to every heart, and every spirit derives its purity from You.

You are Ever-Forgiving and Merciful.

O Lord, enlighten my spirit through Your divine light, make my tongue busy with Your dhikr (remembrance)

O my Lord, free my inner spirit and make my heart anxious to meet You! 1

Lesson 1: Cause and Effect

You walk past a tree and see the leaves on its branches gently stirring as the wind kisses them. Your eyes appreciate the beautiful scene but consider this - what about the underlying message of this simple natural phenomenon? Looking at the same event through an angle other than that of visual appreciation, we can see that when we see leaves moving we immediately register that this movement is a result of the wind blowing against them.

Therefore, it would be correct to say that the wind is the Cause of the stirring of the leaves i.e. if the wind did not blow, then it would not Result in the leaves moving.

Thus, we can call the actual movement of the leaves - Ma'lool (Effect) and the wind itself - Ellat (Cause) Let us look at another example that has been made famous in scientific history. We all know the story of the famous philosopher/scientist who sat under an apple tree. As he pondered, one apple suddenly dropped to the ground.

He picked it up, looked at it, smelt it and then wondered to himself 'Why did the apple fall down?' From this simple and obvious question, the man went on to discover the force of gravity, which is today one of the most important aspects of physical science. Here we can say that the falling down of the apple was the Ma'lool and the gravity of the earth was the Ellat.

Let us look at a third example to make things even clearer. Imagine that you have sat down in a room with your back to a wall. Strangely, as you lean back, you feel heat emanating from the wall and wonder to yourself what the cause of the heat can be. Seeking your answer, you leave the room and try to search for what is on the other side of that particular wall.

When you reach there, you see a heater attached to it and everything falls into place! Now you understand what the cause of the heat is and the hot wall is no longer a mystery. In such a case, the heater is the Cause and the warm wall is the Effect. If there had not been a heater then the wall would not have been warm.

All this shows us that cause and effect are two halves of a complete relationship. Without a particular cause, its effect would no longer exist. Therefore we can conclude that in our world full of existence, there is an underlying system based on the theory of cause and effect.

The Non-Physical State

Cause and effect do not always manifest themselves in the visual or physical world as in the examples above. Sometimes we can see only the cause and sense the effect, at others it may be the opposite i.e. we sense the cause and see the effect.

For example, move your hand. This movement of the hand is the effect of your willing the action to happen. If you did not want your hand to move then it would have remained stationary. Thus, your will becomes the unseen cause.

The same would be with look at something. The looking is an action, which can be classified as an effect. You are the cause of it. If you did not initiate it, then the looking could not have been.

You listen to what your teacher is saying. This listening is an action based on you. Your listening exists only because you do. It is an effect of your existence - which is the cause in this case. From these examples, we can further see that the effect is based on and related to the cause.

You look after your friend and take care of him. The caring that you show is related to your self. If you are not there, your kindness to him will not be there. Similarly, your knowledge is related to your existence. If you are not there, your knowledge and any actions resulting from it will also cease to be.

There is a special connection between your knowledge, your kindness, your Iraada (Willingness) and your self. All these qualities are related to and in need of you. This special relationship is called Eliyyat (Cause and Effect).

Your actions are related to you and their existence is from your own existence. You are the one who moves, who writes, who walks, who talks, who thinks, who understands, who shows love, who knows and decides. All these actions are effects and you are the cause of them all. Because of you, they exist.

In his life, man will always consciously or subconsciously work with the knowledge he has of causes and their effects. When he finds himself thirsty, he looks for water to quench his thirst. When he feels the pangs of hunger, he eats. When he feels cold, he lights a fire. He does all this because experience has taught him that water is the cause of removing thirst, food is the cause of appeasing hunger and fire is the cause of bringing warmth.

Even in our daily lives, we react by searching for causes e.g. when we hear an noise, we look around for its source (cause) because we know that it could not exist without one; when we enter a dark room, we immediately search for the switch to turn on the lights.

Doctors study the causes of diseases in order to find cures to them. To explain to others what you have in mind, you have to speak. Cause and effect is a common sense that is part and parcel of our lives. Every human being is aware of this issue and he understands, accepts and he bases his life on it naturally.

If a human being is not able to understand this issue or does not accept it, then life for him would be impossible. Insaan (human being), by nature, looks for the cause of all that he sees. He constantly asks himself: Why are the leaves moving? Why did the apple drop down? Why is the wall is warm? Why this? Why On the other hand, from this same theory, a human being expects something to happen (effect) from every occurrence (cause) in life. He expects the sunrise to bring light, the fire to give heat, the water and the food to remove his thirst and hunger.

Seeing that even the simplest of all structures in this world survives on the Law of Eliyyat (Cause and Effect) we find ourselves wondering about the larger order.

We ask ourselves: If even a passing noise or a feeling requires a cause to exist then what of the universe and everything in it? What is the cause of the heavens and earth, the stars and the sun? What brought human life and its complexities into existence?

From these questions, it is a simple step to understanding and accepting that the cause of such a fantastically complicated system as our universe must be an entity that possesses flawless Intellect and limitless Power.

This Cause would have to be able to bring into being all the forms of animated and unanimated matter and arrange them in a logical form within a self-supporting structure. This Entity would have to possess qualities far above and beyond those of the most powerful creation that resulted from Its Will.

Such an Entity would then not fall into the worldly category of cause but would be better defined as Creator. This Creator is Allah (S.W.T.). All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Independent, Eternal. He encompasses everything and all things need and rely on him to be. Just as our simple qualities rely on our existence to be, our entire selves rely on Him to exist. We are at His Mercy.

When we realize exactly how helpless we are in front of Him, we then can appreciate His kindness and generosity to us. Despite having the power to destroy us if He so wishes, Allah (S.W.T.) looks upon us with patience, love and forgiveness.

Thus, He is worthy of being Master and we should be proud to call ourselves His slaves for even this is a status far above that which we deserve. Only when we understand this unique relationship, will our souls truly humble themselves before him in gratitude for His countless favors and take His guidance as a way of life with which to live.

A Holy Verse

"Surely Allah upholds the heaven and the earth lest they come to the knot. If they should come to the knot, there is none who can uphold them..." Sura Fatir, Verse 41


1. There is a special connection between all things that exist in this world. That connection is called Elliyat - the cause and the effect.

2. The universe is a huge collection of existences each of which has a cause.

3. The existing universe and everything in it is referred to as Adillat (proofs) of the existence of Allah (S.W.T.) Who, Himself, is needless of a cause.

Think And Answer

1. What is the connection between cause and effect?

2. What is the specific term used for the theory of cause and effect?

3. Mention a few things that rely on you for their existence and you are the cause of them. Do not use the examples given in the text.

4. Mention few natural reactions that prove that human beings understand how the theory of cause and effect works. Try to use examples from your daily life that have not been mentioned above.

5. What do we mean when we say the role of cause and effect is a universal phenomenon? Explain two proofs to support your answer.

Lesson 2: Proofs About The Existence Of God

Burhan (Proof) is a powerful tool of explanation. It helps to clarify important concepts and removes doubts. So far we have talked about two different kinds of proof about the existence of God.

i)Burhani Nazm (Proof of Systematical Creation) - we have discussed this in the previous books when we looked at the solar system and the water cycle.

ii) Burhani Eliyyat (Proof of Cause and Effect) - which we have talked about in the previous chapter. Let us now compare these two proofs.

1. BURHANI NAZM (Systematic Proof)

This proof is based on the systematic way that the universe is formed. When we observe the world around us, we find that there is an order to the way every component of it works. Each part is related to the other in some way to form a whole.

There is absolute co-ordination between all the areas. From this perfect co-operation within the system, we can deduce that there is one power that possesses all the knowledge required to establish this organised system i.e. Nazm.

Therefore, we can further conclude that the universe is created by an Almighty God, Who has absolute control over it. According to this proof, we can clearly see that Maker of the worlds is one who is All Aware. The result is this uniquely designed system that is governing the whole universe.

2. BURHANI ILIYYAT (Proof of Cause and Effect)

In the previous lesson, we looked at the universe, not as a whole but in its separate parts. We tried to look at the components of world we live in not as fractions of a whole but as existing entities in themselves.

From our discussion, we concluded that nothing is self-existent and every thing requires a cause. All things need what we call Ellat (Cause). We then said that as this world is a collection of existences or Effects, so naturally they must be the result of a Cause.

The proof of Iliyyat is based on this. Since the world itself is a collection of complex existences, there can be no doubt that it needs a very great source for its own existence. That great power is Allah (S.W.T.).

Both Burhani Nazm and Burhani Iliyyat are supposed to clear our minds and awaken our hearts to the realities that surround us. By pondering upon these proofs, we strengthen our own Imaan in the Almighty God.

It is in the Fitrah (Nature) of human beings to be aware of the existence of the Almighty. Those who seek to further intensify their faith rise to the heights of Yaqeen (Certainty) about Him. The issue then becomes so clear in their eyes, that they no longer require any proof about the existence of God.

In all difficulties, they seek refuge in Him, knowing that their very existence depends upon Him. They never lose hope or experience fear because they know every other creation, however powerful it may seem, needs Allah (S.W.T.) to be and is under His Command and Iraadah (Will). Such people do not bow down in front of anyone except the Almighty. They do not accept the superiority or wilaaya of anyone but those from God.

A Holy Verse

"Your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who brought them into existence." Sura Ambiya, Verse 56


1. Burhani Nazm states that the world is a systematic creation working in perfect harmony. The source of such a system should be a supreme, powerful, knowledgeable and mighty God.

2. Burhan Illiyat defines the fact that everything has a cause and an effect. This universe is an effect and every effect needs a cause therefore the cause must be a magnificent, absolute entity i.e. the Almighty (S.W.T.)

3. Those who are truly aware of the Creator are so certain in their faith that they do not need proof of His existence.

Think And Answer

What does proof mean? When is it used? So far how many proofs do you have on the existence of God? Explain the proof of designed system in your own words. Explain the proof of cause and effect in your own words.

Why do we need to prove the existence of God? Does the human being with a pure nature need any proof about God? Explain your answer.

Introduction to Chapter Two

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


The Life in the Hereafter

In our previous discussions, we have tried to study the reason for the creation of human beings. We have seen that nothing in this world was created without an aim and we also discussed a little about the Day of Judgment. Let us now look deeper into the philosophy of Ma'ad.

The Day of Judgment is a day of Accountability. During the course of this chapter, we will learn about Paradise and Hell. When we study what we know of Jannah (Heavens) we can appreciate the marvels and favors of Allah (S.W.T.) upon His obedient servants. We can also learn of the plight of the dwellers of Hell who will receive Allah (S.W.T.)'s severe punishment. We know that all this results from the deeds we perform in this world. The choice of eternal bliss or eternal punishment is ours.

The aim of studying these important issues is to create an internal awareness, a sort of alarm bell in our minds that will encourage us to think of the results of our present actions and help us to stay on the Right Path.

Lesson 3: Qiyamah (A Day Of Judgement and Accountability)

Let us reflect on the verses of Sura Naba (The Great Event) from the Holy Qur'an:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Merciful

1. Of what do they ask one another?

2. About the great event

3. About which they differ?

4. Nay! Nay! They shall soon know;

5. Nay! Nay! They shall soon know;

6. Have We not made the earth an even expanse?

7. And the mountains as projections (thereof)?

8. And We created you in pairs,

9. And We made your sleep to be rest (for you)

10. And We made the night to be a covering

11. And We made the day for seeking livelihood

12. And We built over you seven strong (heavens)

13. And We made a shining lamp

14. And We send down from the clouds water pouring forth abundantly,

15. That We may bring forth thereby corn and herbs,

16. And gardens dense and luxurious

These beginning verses of Sura Naba (The Great Event) speak of the wonderful creations of Allah (S.W.T.) i.e. the heavens, earth, universe, the rise of day and fall of the night, rain, water, plants, trees etc. From these descriptions, we are reminded of His favours on us. We also realize how grateful we must be to Him. The surah then continues on a different subject:

Surely the Day of Decision is (a day) appointed: The day on which the trumpet shall be blown so you shall come forth in hosts,

And the heaven shall be opened so that it shall be all opening, And the mountains shall be moved off so that they shall remain a mere semblance (of what they were).

Allah (S.W.T.) has given great emphasis on the appointed Day of Judgment. He keeps reminding us that He created human beings with an aim and that we will one day have to answer for our success in pursuing and achieving this goal. The final verses of the surah deal with Jannah and Jahannam:

Surely hell lies in wait,

A home for the rebellious,

They will live therein for ages

They shall not taste therein coolness nor drink

But boiling and intensely cold water,

Requital corresponding (to their evil deeds).

Surely they feared not the account,

And called Our communications a lie, giving the lie (to the truth)

And We have recorded everything in a book,

So taste (that which you have earned)! For We will not add to you aught

but chastisement,

Surely for those who guard (against evil) is achievement,

Gardens and vineyards,

And those showing freshness of youth, equals in age,

And a pure cup,

They shall not hear therein any vain words nor lying.

A reward from your Lord, a gift according to a reckoning:

Lord of the heavens and the earth and what is between them, the

Beneficent God, with Whom none can converse.

On the day when the spirit and the angels shall stand in ranks; they shall

not speak except he whom the Beneficent permits and who speaks the

right thing.

That is the sure day; so whoever desires may take refuge with his lord.

Surely We have warned you of a chastisement near at hand, the day when man shall see what his two hands have sent before him and the unbeliever shall say: 'O! Would that I were dust!'

We know for a fact that those who have obeyed the commands of Allah (S.W.T.) and performed good actions will witness a happy ending in the hereafter. Those who have strayed from the right path and have disobeyed the Islamic commands will indeed face a miserable ending. The doers of good and evil will be separated from each other and each group will be given the recompense they justly deserve.

A human being has to understand and analyze his purpose of life. This will increase the value of the blessing that is life and will inspire him to make the most of it in perfecting himself. Volumes of traditions, sayings and comments have discussed the reality of the Day of Judgment and the Ma'soomeen (a.s.) have warned mankind of the severity of disbelief and choosing the path of damnation.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) has said:

" Four things will be questioned on the Day of Judgment:

1.How a person spent his life 2.How he utilised his physical body for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.) and Islam.

3.In what manner a person attained his wealth and how he used it.

4.Love of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) and his pure family (household)."

In another hadith, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) says: " Whosoever hurts another human being, even if it were with a physical stick, will be beaten in the same manner, on the Day of Judgment." He has also said:

" I swear by Allah (S.W.T.), punishment in the hereafter is more severer than the calamities of this world."

The Day of Qiyamah will truly be a trying time. All people will rise up and stand in front of the Almighty for the accountability of their deeds. A man will complain about issues concerning his personal life e.g. concerning his wife and if she tries to deny the truth, the angels will seal her mouth, so that she cannot speak and instead her limbs will bear witness to her actions.

Likewise, if a wife complains on that day, lamenting to the Lord: "My husband used to burn the house with his rage" then the body parts of the man will bear witness against him if her claim is true.

It will be a day of ultimate Justice and all will be faced with their actions in this world. Those who usurped the rights of the others and oppressors will have to face a similar fate as that which they inflicted upon the innocent.

Our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) is a Mercy to the Universe and he does not wish for any single soul to be punished in the hereafter. Yet, he has reminded us over and over again of the reality that we will have to face. In one of his hadith, he says: "God! Show mercy upon the people who have usurped the rights of others before they depart from this world. May they fulfill the dues they have taken from the oppressed and seek forgiveness for their actions. For on the Day of Judgment, there will be no money debts, only actions will speak (either good or bad) and accompany human beings.

"If a person does not have any good actions, he will indeed face bitter consequences and will be answerable on that great Day. It will be the Day that will advocate true Justice, none will be able to speak against the Justice. Only Truth shall prevail. For the true believers there is no choice except to attain taqwa." Our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) then warned Believers to give utmost importance to:

(a) Salaat (Prayers)

(b) Akhlaq (Moral Excellence)

Although we know that each individual is accountable for his actions, we must realise that our perception is flawed and refrain from judging others. Our vigilance should concern only our own actions and not that of others. For them Allah (S.W.T.) is Judge as He is for us. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) told us: "Account yourselves before you account others."

A Holy Verse

"O Dawood! Surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice and do not follow desire, lest it should lead you astray from the path of Allah; those who go astray from the path of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment because they forgot the Day of Reckoning." Sura Su'ad, Verse 26


1. A human being has been created with a purpose in life. He has been created for a holy aim and through this aim he will be able to achieve salvation in both this and the next world.

2. Qiyamat is a Day of Accountability for all actions. Human beings will be judged according to their deeds. The pious will enjoy Jannah (Garden of Bliss). Sadly, a Kafir (disbeliever) will not even smell the scent of paradise but will be banished to never ending punishment in Jahannam.

3. People will complain about each other on the Day of Judgment. However, the accused will not be allowed to speak and instead the parts of his body will be witness to his actions. No one will bear the burden of another and no soul shall be able to deceive or cover his misdeeds

4. Allah (S.W.T.) will bestow the rights of the oppressed on them and allow them to avenge their oppressors of this world.

Think And Answer

Define the Day of Separation?

Why is Qiyamat known as the Day of Accountability?

List four issues that will be raised on that day?

What is our duty, according to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.)'s saying, concerning the rights of people?

Why is this day known as Yawmul Hisaab?

name with your reasons.

Give the meaning of the What are the actions that can be taken in preparation for the hereafter? Mention and explain