FAQ in the category of Guidance - Aberration

1 What is criticism? What are the rules and principles in criticism? What kind of things should a person who criticizes and who is criticized pay attention to?

Criticism means to show the fault and defect of something, to reveal the beauties in a word by eliminating the mistakes in it. A person who criticizes is called a critic. The word criticism is defined as to study or examine a person, a work of literature or art, an issue in order to find the mistakes in them and to show them.

As it is seen, criticism is interfering in something that has faults, defects or drawbacks and trying to bring out the correct and faultless form of it. 

First and foremost, in principle, the criticism should be correct and positive, and it should have the consent and pleasure of Allah as an aim.

Open and honest communication is one of the most important conditions for the healthy and constant human relations. People should be able to exchange their knowledge, feelings, opinions and ideas about one another without any hesitation; they should be able to talk by trusting themselves and the people they are talking to and should be able to trust those that they listen to.

One of the most important reasons of the problems that are observed in social life and working places is the absence of open and honest communication due to the lack of trust. When people tell the truth, they usually receive reactions and they regret having told the truth. Generally, they avoid having an open and honest communication with others and telling the truth because they are worried that something like that will happen.

Doubtlessly, there are styles, types and levels of criticism that have different effects. Destructive criticism, which aims at characteristics of personality, offends a person in the presence of others, freezes a person suddenly, exhausts one’s hopes, desires and excitement, is an evil-minded attack rather than criticism. If criticism is made in order to destroy, exterminate and eliminate, it turns to an aggressive act and probably starts the continuously increasing process of a negative conflict.  

Real criticism is a form of communication that guides, supports, gives moral support and inspiration, contains constructive and positive statements and that should be among real friends. The understanding that will enable such a communication depends on the formation of a criticism culture.

Criticism should have the understanding of establishing healthy and constant relations and maintaining those relations. Similarly, a healthy and useful criticism should include listening to messages that include good-willed, guiding, supportive and ameliorative expressions and suggestions patiently and tolerantly, and it should bring about changing and improving oneself based on that criticism. In this sense, what is important in criticism is not the person who criticizes or criticized but the issue, situation or characteristic that is criticized.   

Tolerance, patience, understanding, effective and empathetic listening are necessary for a true and healthy criticism, and it should be related to the ideas and issues based on respect and politeness. Criticism of people and personal characteristics usually include rumor, accusation, complaint, attack, emotional harassment and similar qualities; they have no place anywhere.

What are the things that should be paid attention to in criticism? Who is criticized and how?

- As a general principle, it is necessary not to aim a person; however, if the harm inflicted on people is based on the respect shown to a person rather than that person’s strong ideas, sometimes it may be necessary to criticize that person.

- If the ideas of a person, no matter what the position of a person is, do not comply with the creed of Islam/Ahl Sunnah, it is necessary to show that they are wrong.

- The level of criticism should not break down the relation of respect between the person who criticizes and the one who is criticized. That criterion is valid for both the members of the family and the outsiders. Accordingly, the criticism of the father by the son, the teacher by the student and the older brother by the younger brother should be made with a careful style. If people like us are to criticize great mujtahids like Imam Azam, Imam Shafii and great mujaddids like Imam Ghazali and Imam Rabbani, it should definitely be in a level that will not exceed the limits of respect towards them. 

- To overlook all of the good deeds of a person by exaggerating a fault shows that the criticism is not scientific but rancorous. 

- It is almost impossible for a person who has feelings like envy, jealousy and covetousness and look at other people from that point of view to mind the consent and pleasure of Allah.

- Thoughts like beating the person opposite you, to prove that you are strong enough to criticize a great personality, to have the vision of a new mission before the public and to try to be famous are elements that prevent scientific, hearty and mental criticisms; and they prevent just criticism.

- The person who criticizes should check his information source. The criticism of a person whose information source is not sound cannot reach its target. The following is stated in the Quran: “O ye who believe! if a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.” (al-Hujurat, 49/6). The person who is criticized may have been slandered; his words may have been distorted or at least they may have been misunderstood. Therefore, one should be very careful about the news of the information sources that are fasiq (sinners) and munafiq (hypocrites); one should always bear in mind that the news they give might be distorted.  

- Let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. (see al-Maida, 5/8). Accordingly, when one criticizes, he should criticize justly and in order to make a right to be revealed; criticism should not depend on injustice and personal interests.

- Criticism should be constructive. Criticism that is not constructive is either curse or fighting. If criticism is harsh and hurts people, it is regarded to have turned to fighting. People who fight try every means to answer the people against them. When the Quran lists the characteristics of people who fight or dispute, it attracts attention to how meaningless it is to dispute without knowledge, guidance or a book of enlightenment. (al-Hajj, 22/3,8).

- The person who is criticizing should stop criticizing when the person who is criticized personalizes the issue and starts self-defense. 

- It is in compliance with the high ethics of the Prophet to take human psychology into consideration and to criticize without mentioning the name of the person when necessary and to enable the person who is criticized to receive what interests him and to improve his situation.

- One should use a constructive style when criticizing; he should know that it is necessary to approach people with a winning and attractive tongue not with an offensive tongue. It is a tongue that the tongue of the body, speech and heart work in cooperation. The Quran witnesses that Hazrat Prophet dealt gently with the believers when he criticized them. (Aal-i,İmran, 3/159).

- Criticism should not be confused with curse, sarcasm, contempt and attacking one’s personality. The more sincere criticism is, in other words, the more it aims the consent and pleasure of Allah, the more productive it will be. The person who is criticized should understand the good will of the person who criticizes and should see his sincerity. Otherwise, the person who is criticized can take the position of defense. The Quran never approves of the partners that polytheists accept as god; it never accepts any possibility of truth about them. In every occasion, the Quran expresses the meaninglessness of the beings that are accepted as god apart from Allah. However, the Quran curses and prohibits cursing them. (al-An’am, 6/108).

From the point of view of the person who is criticized;

- It is necessary not to be disturbed by criticism. Confident people are not disturbed by criticism; on the contrary, they are happy to hear it. They may benefit from it. Often, so many misunderstandings are clarified thanks to criticism, and criticism can cause the formation of new friendships.  

- The person who is criticized should focus on the issue first if he is looking for the truth no matter what the style of criticism is. If he is involved with the person who criticizes, he will overlook the issue and will prevent his belief from increasing.

- Criticism is not made only towards others. A person should criticize himself/herself too. It is called autocritique or self-criticism. Self-criticism can be used for groups and societies, too; in this case, it indicates groups or societies that check themselves before their friends (other groups and societies) and try to find their own faults and eliminate them. The Quran warns us in a very nice way by telling us to forget to practice it ourselves while enjoining right conduct on other people. (al-Baqara, 2/44)

To sum up:

1. It is necessary to search first and to criticize later. Criticism without searching is affected by emotional fluctuations naturally.

2. It is necessary to criticize the behavior and attitudes not the personalities. Criticism that is directed at the personality will not be of any use and it will cause new forms of grudge and animosity to start.

3. It is necessary to listen to the other party. The criticism made without heeding the opinions put forward by the other party and with prejudice will deteriorate the problem let alone solving it.

4. It is necessary to put forward solutions. Sheer criticism will be harmful not useful.

5. Self-criticism is necessary before criticism. A person who is aware of his own faults and weaknesses will criticize mercifully and will deal with the other party more tolerantly.

6. One should be impartial while criticizing. Partial criticism will increase corruption and nurture violence. Instead of making discrimination by saying “we” and “they”, we should base our criticism on the criteria of “truth” and “righteousness”. 

7. It is necessary to benefit from criticism. When one heeds criticism and personalizes the criticism, his thoughts will have new dimensions and depth.
If we criticize by putting ourselves in the place of the person we criticize, it will be regarded as criticism made for the sake of Allah and His consent; it will also be regarded as tabligh (conveying the message of Islam), which is a kind of worshipping.

2 Life Insurance is harram or halal?

For the answer please click on the link given below.

Is life insurance and share market permissible in Islam?

3 flipping a coin to make a decision

In order to deal with a subject, even if it is not sin to flip a coin, it is not right. Our religion advises those who are unsure about doing something, to consult someone who is expert on that subject. Also, performing the Salat of Istikhara is advisable. Resulting in a bad condition by flipping a coin is not a good thing for a Muslim. But, in the state of urgent, we advice you to consult your heart.

4 Can a man marry a girl elder than him?

Yes, it is. The Prophet (pbuh) married women elder than him (like Khadija) as well as women younger than him.

5 Forgiveness
The atonment for the oath breaking is to feed 10 people at least two times in a day. If you feed them only one time do it one time more and ask for forgivness from Allah,then there is nothing else that you have to do.

6 It is said that good people always win, however, it seems that the good ones always lose. Bad people always win both materially and spiritually. What is the reason of this?

This sentence is true in general. However, it may not be valid at all times. For example, some troubles and bad things may happen to a good person in this world. In the end, that person will get the reward both in this world and the hereafter in return for these troubles. It may seem that evil ones win and good ones lose but when the result is observed, it will be understood that the good ones win. Our creator Allah (SWT) promised this to us.

The story between Hz. Abraham and Namrud is a good example for us. Although Namrud won at the beginning, he lost it forever. 

This world is a place of service and hardship, not a place of reward and comfort. The real duty of man is to know his Lord and to live according to the criteria He imposed. And this is done through worshipping.

Worshipping is divided into two:

1- Positive worshipping

2- Negative worshipping

The positive worshipping, as we know, includes salah-obligatory prayer performed five times a day-, fasting, etc. The negative worshipping, on the other hand, is the great good rewards that man gains when he accepts his weakness and poverty, and takes refuge in his Lord and shows patience when he faces  diseases, calamities and natural catastrophes.

On the other hand, it is the prophets - primarily our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) - and pious people, who are the beloved servants of Allah, that have encountered the hardest of the troubles. If troubles were evil, as it is supposed, then Allah would not inflict these troubles on His most beloved ones. As it is stated in the hadith:

“The ones who are subject to the troubles and hardships most are the most virtuous ones and best of the humanity.” (1)

The reason why Muslims face troubles and calamities more is that the punishment of the mistakes they have done in this world will be given here and not left to the Hereafter. As the big mistakes and murders are handled in big courts and small ones in small courts, the mistakes of the believers whose sins are few are cleansed in this world with various troubles and calamities, and not left to the Hereafter. However, the mistakes of the disbelievers are postponed to the eternal place of punishment, Hell, because the troubles and calamities of this world would not suffice.

(1) al-Munawi, Fayzu’l-Qadir, 1:519, no: 1056; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 3:343; Bukhari, Marda: 3; Tirmidhi, Zuhd: 57; Ibn Majah, Fitan: 23; Darimi, Riqaq: 67; Musnad, 1:172, 174, 180, 185, 6:369.

7 What are the things that should be taken into consideration while having fun?

When entertainment is mentioned, amusing activities, competitions and music that enable people to have good and joyful time, come to mind first. When we categorize entertainment as licit and illicit, we mean activities with which soul as well as heart and spirit are amused naturally by “licit entertainment” and, we mean activities that are contrary to what the Sustainer of the universe commanded and that only the soul is delighted by but not heart and spirit by illicit entertainment.

As an explanation for this categorization; Badiuzzaman, an Islamic scholar, classifies joy is in the meaning of entertainment into two types and says, “One stimulates the desires of the soul while the other joy silences the soul and urges the spirit, heart, mind, and subtle faculties to attain sublime matters, to their original home.

Click here to read the article

What is enjoyment? Why has it been given?

8 Is it always so difficult to be on the right path? Why do some people have more problems and why is their testing more difficult?

Since people were not created in the same nature, it is the necessity of the divine wisdom that their testing will be different. There are thousands of feelings and emotions in man. For instance, the feeling of compassion in women is more than in men. Thus, it is understood that the divine wisdom necessitates different testing.

The more difficult the testing, the more reward is given. When a person gets 50 in a difficult test and another person gets 100 in an easy test, their level may be the same though their marks do not seem to be the same. One of them may look superior to the other in terms of quantity but they may be equal in terms of quality. Sometimes one misfortune a person suffers may make him get more rewards than a person who suffers ten misfortunes. What matters is to be able to understand the inside of the affair.   

One of the most manifest realities of the universe we live in is the relativity of its realities. This universe is not a place that can be easily and definitely divided as either black or white, either beautiful or ugly, either good or bad and either bright or dark. On the contrary, black and white, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, bright and dark have degrees.

The question, ‘why was the universe created like that?’ has been answered commonly as follows by the honest hearts and straightforward minds for centuries:  Because the aim of the creation of the universe is realized only through such gradualism. This universe was created by a Being that wants to see and show His beauty, His absolute and limitless names and attributes; man, who was created by Him so that he will realize this aim, can fulfill it only in a world of relativity and gradualism.  For, man has limits originating from the fact that he is a creature; his knowledge, perception, point of view, will, power, etc. are limited. Therefore, he cannot comprehend the Being that created him and the universe through his knowledge, will and power. He cannot recognize and describe the truth when he sees it in its absolute and limitless form. In that case, instead of seeing the truth in its absolute form, he is exposed to blindness caused by dazzle; similarly, when we look at the sunlight, our seeing capacity decreases and our eyes are blinded. Therefore, Lord of Majesty, who created man and the universe, created the world by hiding the appearance of His strength and his grandeur; that is, He made his absolute names and attributes be manifest in a relative and gradual way.

That is the cause of the existence of opposites in the universe. The Being that created this universe created it in a stunning variety by mingling the opposites like beautiful-ugly, good-bad, benefit-harm, perfect-incomplete, bright-dark; He enabled us to to recognize his absolute names and attributes through that relativity.   

Therefore, man can classify the beings in the universe in terms of, say, beauty through adjectives like very beautiful, beautiful, not bad, ugly and very ugly. When man moves one step further, he has a property that makes him notice the beautiful aspects in the things that he does not regard as beautiful.   

When we have a look at the world of humanity, we see different reflections of that relativity that surrounds the universe among human beings. People are not equal to one another in terms of strength, mind, emotions, ethics or beauty. People show a variety of opposites between strong and weak, clever and stupid, good and bad, emotional and indifferent, beautiful and ugly, etc. There are people that serve as models of high ethics for the whole world and there are people that everybody avoids due to their immorality. There lived people about whom sagas were written; on the other hand, there lived people who could not even move their fingers. There were people who were so beautiful and people who were notoriously ugly.

Man does not object to the nice and beautiful aspects of this painting of gradual manifestations very much. His mind admits this mystery of relativity but the conscience of man asks questions regarding the negative aspect of this painting.

The testing of man starts at this point.  He either realizes that this ephemeral world is a testing hall and tries to recognize his Lord and to worship Him with the tools and abilities given to him or cannot take that step and is drowned in the sea of questions.

We should state that God treats man with His mercy. For instance, the people who were not informed about the true religion will be saved. The troubles and illnesses that a person suffers in this world will be atonement for his sins. Every affair whose inside we cannot understand will be in favor of man. God promises Paradise to people who see it and do not rebel against Him.  

9 What is major and minor “Kufr” (unbelief)? Will you explain it by giving examples? How can we protect ourselves from all kinds of unbelief?

In Islamic resources, there exist the concepts of “major shirk (polytheism), minor shirk (hypocrisy)". There exist no concepts of major unbelief-minor unbelief. The concept of minor unbelief has been put forward recently.

What is expressed as minor unbelief in the question is generally used in the sense of “ingratitude”. This word is preferred so that warnings will be more effective in terms of guidance.

As far as we know, according to the information in the Islamic resources, the concepts of “unbelief based on creed and unbelief based on deeds” are appropriate. 

It is not appropriate to name unbelief based on creed as “major unbelief” and unbelief based on deeds as “minor unbelief”. According to those people who have those claims, unbelief based on creed makes that person exit Islam. Unbelief based on deeds does not make that person exit Islam. Such a category reminds the resuscitated views of the school of “Murjia” rather than Ahl as-Sunnah.

Belief and unbelief are elements regarding the heart. Deeds are things that make creed (belief) and unbelief appear with its outward dimensions. For instance, it is decided that a person who performs prayers has belief in his heart. It is decided that a person who worships idols has unbelief/polytheism in his heart.

If a person shows attitudes that necessitate unbelief in terms of creed or deeds, it is enough for that person to become murtad (to exit Islam). A person who utters a word or does a deed that necessitates unbelief no matter whether it is in terms of stubbornness, mocking or creed he becomes a murtad/unbeliever. A person who regards alcoholic drinks as halal, who does not accept daily fard prayers, who curses Allah, prophets and angels is regarded the same. (see al-Fiqhu’l-Islami, 6/183-184).

Islam decides and judges based on the outward appearance. That is, the belief identity of a person can only be determined through his words and deeds. The aim and intention of a person in his inner world and heart is something between him and Allah. Therefore, if there is something that necessitates unbelief in the words and deeds of a person, this person is regarded as an unbeliever in terms of outward appearance and law. There may not be such a state in his inner world and intention. We will not be responsible for that decision because we cannot know his inner world. It is something between Allah and that person. Today, there are many people who are Muslims in terms of their intentions and hearts but who are unbelievers in terms of their outward appearances and words. It originates from ignorance.

Answering the question, "Unbelief is an attribute of the heart. So, how can wearing “zunnar” (a rope girdle worn by eastern Christians and Jews) and the hat, which is compared to it, be unbelief?”, Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states the following, shedding light on the issue:

The Sharia acknowledges the outward signs of hidden matters. It even recognizes apparent causes that have no reason. Therefore, since some girdles hinder bowing in prayer and some hats prevent prostration, it deems the wearing of them a reason for unbelief.

Similarly, they both infer the renouncing of worship and imitation of unbelievers, betokening appreciation of their outlook and nationality. Since the hidden matter is not decisively disproved, judgment is made according to its outward signs. (see İşaratu’l-İ’caz (signs of Miraculousness, the interpretation of verse 6 of the chapter al-Baqara)

10 Do we have to tell someone that I have prayed?

Although not doing worship (which is far away from pleasing Allah) at other times and doing it merely in order to show it to someone else and to get an advantage is called “hypocrisy” (riya). One who worships in order to please Allah does not commit hypocrisy because s/he does not do it for a worldly benefit. In addition, the thoughts that come to mind in this respect are the delusions of Shaytan (Satan). It is not right to think of these respects and give up worshipping.
The test and trial never finish. We will carry on struggling with our soul (nafs) and Shaytan until the death occurs. No matter how much, a person grows up spiritually, the test will go on and his rank will increase. One should always be between a state of hope and fear. S/he should have a conscious heart in order to struggle to live in the right direction without falling into arrogance. Shaytan (Satan) strives much more with those whose spiritual side is strong. The more they struggle, the more they develop spiritually. Troubles are like nourishment for a person to develop spiritually. It is not compulsory to tell others that we worship, but in order to prevent misunderstanding,, to say “I have performed” is not hypocrisy.

11 What is the reward for being a means for the guidance (becoming a Muslim) of a person?

"By Allah, if Allah gives guidance to somebody through you, it is better for you than possessing red camels."Bukhari 7/3468, Muslim 2406/34

Allah will make a person successful in the way of guidance if he tries and acts in accordance with rules. What a person needs regarding the issue is to seek the causes and means. The Quran encourages people to look for causes that will lead them to the truth as follows: "O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive (with might and main) in His cause." (al-Maida, 5/35) Our Prophet (pbuh) led his Companions and ummah in the way of guidance until he died. After him, the inheritors of the Prophet (pbuh), that is, Allah's friends, saints and scholars, walked toward their Lord using different ways and methods; they led people to the way to the truth and guidance.  

The Messenger of Allah gives the glad tidings that a person who causes something good to be done and calls people to guidance will be given a great reward by Allah: "A person who calls people to guidance will be given the same amount of rewards as the people who follow him are given without their reward being decreased. A person who calls people to the wrong way will be given the same amount of sins as the people who follow him are given without their sins being decreased." (Ibn Majah, Sunnah 14) That is, a person who starts the establishment of a charity, contributes to it and takes part in the campaign to educate the future generations will be rewarded for what he has done and his book of deeds will never be closed.

People who cause others to find the right path will be rewarded both in the world and in the hereafter; this honor they gain will be an unending capital for them. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah summoned Hz. Ali during the most critical points of the battle in Khaybar, gave him the standard (flag) and gave him some very important advice: "O Ali! Proceed and do not hurry. When you enter their territory, call them to embrace Islam and inform them of Allah's Rights which they should observe, for by Allah, even if a single man is led on the right path (of Islam) by Allah through you, that will be better for you than nice red camels." (Bukhari, Maghazi 39) On another occasion, he said, "more valuable and better than everything on which the sun set!" (Khudari, Nuru'l-Yaqin, p. 255) As the Prophet (pbuh) indicates, this shows that a believer who aims to attain the consent of Allah will regard it an indispensible, great virtue and responsibility to work hard not only for his salvation but also for the salvation of the humanity with a devoted spirit. The sacrifices and efforts of the Companions regarding the issue are proverbial.

To sum up, the guidance of a person definitely depends on the permission and wish of God Almighty. It is not possible for anybody to give guidance unless He wishes and gives consent. A person can be given guidance only through His mercy and grace. However, Allah gave the glad tidings that He would accept the prophets He sent, divine revelations, the holy things of the religion and His beloved slaves as a means of guidance. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) worked very hard and made great efforts throughout his life for the guidance of people because the eternal happiness or grief of a person is dependent on the fulfillment and quality of this duty.

The Prophet (pbuh) worked so hard and ambitiously regarding the guidance of people that he was appreciated by Allah as follows due to his enthusiasm:
“Thou wouldst only perchance, fret thyself to death, following after them, in grief, if they believe not in this Message.” For, to give guidance is not within the scope of the authority of the Prophet (pbuh); it is a divine grace and deed depending on the absolute will of Allah.  In the eye of the Messenger of Allah, causing the guidance of a person is more valuable than the most valuable thing in the world. The Messenger of Allah educated his Companions with such a spirit of devotedness and consciousness of duty and showed them the duty of conveying the message of Islam to everybody (leading them to guidance) as the highest aim.

Prof. Dr. Osman Güner, (Ondokuz Mayıs University, Faculty of Theology)

12 What does Shirk al-Khafiyy (hidden polytheism) mean?

Shirk means associating partners with Allah. There is open/visible shirk and hidden/secret shirk. The open one is the one that is known like believing in three gods or accepting idols as intercessors in the presence of Allah.

As for the hidden shirk, it is generally divide into two: The first one is to forget the consent of Allah, to show off and to act hypocritically or to give importance to satisfying the desires of the soul. The second one is to give too much importance to beings, which function as a means in the creation of things, and to think that they have the power to influence.

There is also another kind of the hidden shirk, which is veiled; it takes place in the realm of feelings and heart, not in the realm of deeds. The more man makes progress spiritually, the more veiled the shirk gets.  

To give too much importance to causes/means is also regarded as hidden shirk. If the rate of the cause in the realization of something is one percent, and if it is given the value of a hundred percent, ninety-nine of percent of it is regarded as hidden shirk. If man is too confident and puts all of his faculties under the command of his soul, it is also regarded as hidden shirk. 

An example about the issue: Only Allah is al-Jabbar (the Compeller) and al-Mutakabbir (the Greatest). If a person uses the wealth, strength and knowledge granted to him by Allah to oppress the slaves of Allah in His presence, it means he wants to be like al-Jabbar and al-Mutakabbir and commits hidden shirk.

The Messenger of Allah stated the following about “Falak”:

“It is a dungeon in Hell; those who are jabbar and mutakabbir are imprisoned there; Hell takes refuge in Allah from it.” (Daylami, 3/217; Kanzu’l-Ummal, h.no:2954; It is stated that this narration is weak. see Shawkani, 5/640-641)

However, our soul wants the place from which Hell takes refuge in Allah. Only this is enough to show that the soul is much more dangerous than Hell. However, we do not want to understand it because of the soul. The following is stated in another hadith:

“If a Muslim shows respect to a person due to his wealth, two thirds of his religion disappear.” (However, the narration is weak. see Bayhaqi, Shuab, 12/373)

In Islam, to love for Allah is essential. To love a rich person who gives zakah and does charity is to love him on behalf of Allah and it is not included in the scope of the hadith. The love that is prohibited here is loving a person through humiliation by being heedless of Allah.

Islam is the religion of oneness. The Owner of this universe is one. All good deeds are in His treasure. Islam teaches us not be so much grateful to the sun for its light, to the field for its crops and to the rich for their wealth. Everybody and everything is a cause and means. All boons come from the Lord of the earth and sky.  

If a poor believer who learns this lesson shows too much respect to a rich person as if he is giving his sustenance, his belief of oneness, that is, accepting Allah as one, may be harmed. A person is loved for his attributes like belief, ethics, virtues, knowledge, understanding and honesty whether he is rich or poor. Richness alone is not a criterion of loving a person.   

When a rich person reads this hadith, he will not rub others' nose in. He will not expect too much respect for his good deeds, favors and charity. Otherwise, he knows that he may harm the honor of the people along with their religion.

13 What should man do in order to get rid of heretic thoughts?

A scientist said,
“'Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough, and I will move the world.”

We think every religious person should say,
“If I have enough belief in my heart, I will move the troubles that are as big as the earth.”

We regard it useful to show the levers in items without lengthening the word with philosophical aspects.

- First of all, it is necessary to diagnose the “heretic thought” well. Is it really a problem that emerges from our mind and brain? Or, are they the imaginations that pass through our mind? As it is known, a curse that is imagined but not uttered is not a real curse; and the imagination of unbelief is not unbelief. A snake in a glass bottle cannot bite us even if we touch the bottle; similarly, the snake of unbelief and heresy that is seen on the screen of imagination of a person will not bite that person.

- If we decide that the heretic thought in question is not an imagination but a real illness, it is necessary to find its source in order to be able to treat it.

- It can be said that the source of such doubts and heretic thought movements is ignorance. Then, it is necessary to treat it. Thousands of scholars who read Risale-i Nur Collection approve that Risale-i Nur Collection is the primary resource in this century related to belief and eliminating those doubts.

A person living in this century sees a doctor when he has flu; then, it is great heedlessness for him if he does not see a wise doctor due to the illness of heresy caused by various positivistic and materialistic philosophical movements. This doctor can be books or some people whose knowledge we rely on.

- It is necessary to pray Allah to be saved from doubts in addition to applying to spiritual doctors. Allah tests a person’s insistence and seriousness in order to assess his sincerity regarding the issue. Therefore, one should not hurry by saying, “I have not received a positive answer to my prayers and begging.”

- If this heresy is related to sins, not related to faith, its cure is to strengthen belief, to know that the result of a worldly pleasure of one minute is years of pangs of conscience and to remember frequently the reality of death, the transience of the world and the reckoning in the hereafter. To replace the bad environment with a good one, to repent to Allah and ask for forgiveness, to perform five daily prayers in time – and if possible in congregation – can be thought as a junction leading people to the true path from a wrong one.

14 Does Allah expect a person who he knows that will not obey Him to obey?

- Ibnur-Ravendi is a Shiite person known for his beliefs and views that can cause a person to exit the religion of Islam.

- Since Allah’s knowledge is pre-eternal, ignorance cannot penetrate into it.

It is obligatory for Allah, who is the owner of this endless knowledge, which encompasses the past and the future, both in terms of intellect and religion, to know who will obey Him and who will not.

However, testing takes place based on the knowledge of those who take the test, not the one that gives the test.

In other words, those who are subject to testing have to take the test personally so that the test will be fair.

For instance, a teacher knows with his foresight, experience and extra sensory perception that a student will fail but will it be appropriate for him to say to that student, “you do not have to come to school because I know that you are going to fail” and make him fail at the beginning of the year “instead of the end of the year”?

It will not be appropriate because it will be unjust to grade that student without seeing how he will perform.

It is clear that a teacher that has such knowledge will not have any EXPECTATIONS that this student will be successful.

A person who looks at this example carefully will see the answer to the question.

To sum up, with His pre-eternal knowledge, Allah knows those who will not obey Him.

However, He will test them too so that justice will be realized. Nevertheless, He will not expect that they will obey Him because He knows that they will not obey. For, such an expectation clearly contradicts definite knowledge.