FAQ in the category of Human

1 What is the place of positive thinking in our religion; how does it affect our lives?

It is not true that we will absolutely experience goodness and favor every time we have good thoughts and we will absolutely experience badness every time we have bad thoughts. That issue is a reality confirmed by life.   
However, thinking about bad events that may happen to us in the future now is extremely wrong, because getting anxious by thinking about a bad thing that we do not definitely know whether it will happen to us or not is also wrong in point of reason and wisdom. Moreover, the future does not exist at this moment; therefore, there is no evil that may happen in the future (now). Thinking about a non-existing trouble in a non-existing time implies giving the two non-existent things the color of existing and falling into distress that should not happen. Whether that distress happens in the future or not, feeling pain and misery through thinking as if it has already happened is not a reasonable attitude.       

However, contrarily, there is no harm in thinking now about a favorable thing that may happen in the future; besides, it serves as a synergy that gives peace to life. Even if it does not happen in the future, it has not much side effects as long as there is not an extreme optimism that causes a serious disappointment.   

As Islam wants us to think positively, it aims to keep us away from experiencing troublesome situations, living in a hopeless course, and imaginations and thoughts that make us live a dog’s life and demoralize us. The matter has another dimension that is more important; to sum up:       

A person who always thinks about bad things in his mind and imagines that bad things will happen to him thinks unjustly and unfavorably about Allah. A person, who has good thoughts, thinks favorably about Allah, because everything comes into existence through the creation of Allah. It is important in point of the criterion of justice that Allah gives the bad things a person fancies as a punishment to the person who thinks unfavorably about Allah and bestows goodness as a reward for his good thoughts to the person who thinks favorably about Allah.      

In a Divine Hadith, the expression “I am according to how my servant thinks of Me” (Bukhari, Tawhid, 15; Muslim, Tawba, 1 takes place). In other words, I treat to my servant in the way how he thinks of me, what he hopes from me and how he sets his hopes on me. So, those who come with a great hope to the door of mercy of the Almighty Creator –generally- do not return empty-handed.
According to some scholars, that hadith points that servants must have good thoughts of Allah especially in the following subjects:
When a servant prays, he believes that Allah will accept his prayer. He believes that Allah will accept his repentance and forgive him when he repents sincerely. He believes that the worship he performs sincerely will be accepted by Allah. As those positive thoughts are goods opinions of Allah, thinking opposite is having bad opinions of Allah, and it means to be hopelessness and it is a big sin. (See Ibn Hajar, the explanation of the hadith mentioned above)
Positive thinking has a great effect on our lives. Positive thinking has positive effects not only on the person himself but also on the others.
Having good thoughts is concerned with seeing the good in things. For, a person who sees the good in things has good thoughts. And he who has good thoughts receives pleasure from life.
Good thoughts reveal the clarity and the purity of one’s spiritual world; bad thoughts reveal the dullness of the spiritual world and can be the cause of not having a clear and concrete personality for the person.

Questions on Islam

2 What does Islam say about "Dental Health"?

"Cleanness" is an important aspect of Islam. Please read the article given below.

MISWAK, TOOTHBRUSH, CLEANING THE TEETH

The part cut from the branches of a fruitless, fragrant tree called arak, which is very beneficial and which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised seriously and which functions as a toothbrush. A tiny branch of tree used for cleaning the teeth. The plural form of miswak is “masawik”. Siwak is synonymous with miswak and it is mentioned more in hadiths. Its plural form is “aswika.”

The religion of Islam gives great importance to cleanness and deems cleanness as a sign of faith. It is possible to find commands and advices pertaining to keeping the body, the place where prayer will be performed, the workplace or the house, even the shady spots or similar picnic places where people settle down in order to rest clean. Some points about cleanness of the body, which emerge from the human nature and which the previous prophets have performed, are mentioned. Cutting the nails, removing the hairs in the armpits and the groins, shortening the long parts of the moustaches, being circumcised and especially keeping the teeth clean are among them. (For the cleaning pertaining to human nature see Muslim, Tahara, 56; Abu Dawud, Tahara, 29; Tirmidhi, Adab, 14; Nasa’i, Zinat,1; Ibn Majah, Tahara, 8; Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV, 264, VI, 138).

Cleaning the teeth also takes place among the practices of the previous prophets. “Four things are from the practices of the prophets: the feeling of modesty (chastity), scent, cleaning the teeth and marriage” (Tirmidhi, Nikah, 1; Ahman bin Hanbal, V, 421).

Siwak and miswak used for cleaning the teeth also have an aspect pertaining to worship. According to Hanafis (a school of Islamic jurisprudence named after Imam Abu Hanifa), it’s a sunnah (a practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) of the wudu (ablution) and according to Shafi’i (a school of Islamic jurisprudence named after Imam Shafi’), it’s a sunnah of the salat (prayer). In that way, every time wudu is done or every salat time before salat, cleaning the teeth was aimed every day regularly.

As it is related from Aisha, the Messenger of Allah stated the following: “The merit of the salat performed after using a miswak is seventy times of the salat performed without using a miswak.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, VI, 272). Since the hadith is not very clear, the school of Hanafi states the merit occurs by using miswak while doing the wudu and the school of Shafi’i states the merit occurs by using miswak before the salat.

In another hadith, the attention is attracted to cleaning the teeth besides salat as follows: “If it would not be difficulty for my ummah (community), I would order them to use miswak before every salat.” (Bukhari, Jum’a, 8, Tamanni, 9, Sawm, 27; Muslim, Tahara, 42; Abu Dawud, Tahara, 25; Tirmidhi, Tahara, 18; Nasa’I, Tahara, 6, Mawakit, 20; Ibn Maja, Tahara, 7; Ahmad bin Hanbal, I, 80, 120, II, 245, 250, 259, 287, 399, 400, 429, 433, 460, 509, 517, 531, IV,114, 116, V, 193, 410, VI, 325, 329). On the other hand, several hadiths were related about the Prophet’s using miswak while doing wudu. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who had spent a night with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said the following: “Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) got up near the end of night. He went out, looked at the sky and then he recited those two verses of the Surah (chapter of the Holy Qur’an) Al Imran: “Behold in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are indeed Signs for men of understanding, Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the thought): Our Lord! You have not created this in vain! Glory to you, give us salvation from the penalty of the fire.” (Qur’an, The Family of Imran (Al Imran); 190,191 (3: 190,191)). Then he returned back home. He used miswak to clean his teeth and he did the wudu. He stood up and performed the salat. Then, he lay down on his side. Then, again he got up and went out, he recited the same verses by looking at the sky. Then he returned and cleaned his teeth by using miswak again, he did the wudu, then he stood up and performed the salat.” (Muslim, Tahara, 47, Musafirin, 183, 191; Abu Dawud, Tahara, 30; Ahmad bin Hanbal, I, 275, 350, V, 312).

It is observed that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to use miswak without pertaining to wudu or salat, especially he used to be careful at cleaning his teeth before reading the Noble Qur’an. The purpose at using miswak is cleaning the mouth. That general purpose is pointed in the following hadith: “Use miswak. Certainly, miswak is a cleansing for the mouth.” (Bukhari, Sawm, 27; Nasa’I, Tahara, 4; Ibn Majah, Tahara, 7; Darimi, Wudu, 19). It is narrated that the Prophet did not use to go to bed without taking his miswak with him and when he got up in the morning, the first thing he used to do was cleaning his teeth. (Abu Dawud, Tahara, 30; Ahmad bin Hanbal, I, 373; Darimi, Salat, 165). Some Companions told they could not count how many times he used to clean his teeth with miswak in one day (Ahmad bin Hanbal, III, 445, 446).

On the other hand, it is told that the Prophet asked some Companions who entered into his presence with yellow-colored teeth. “It is amazing, how you can walk around with yellow colored teeth. Clean your teeth by miswak.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, I, 214).

All those hadiths and practices of the Companions demonstrate that cleaning the teeth is an important way of getting cleaned which should be heeded not only during wudu, salat or reciting the Noble Qur’an but also in terms of health and while entering the society. Considering miswak’s that general cleansing aspect, the Islam scholars attracted attention that in five situations, cleaning of the teeth is mustahab (recommended). Those five situations are as follows: a) When the teeth become yellow, b) When the smell of the mouth changes, c) When someone wakes up, d) When someone stands up for salat, e) While doing the wudu. The cleaning of teeth before reading the Noble Qur’an and entering the presence of the society were added to them. (Ibn Abidin, Rad al- Mukhtar, Istanbul, 1984, I, 116; al- Fatawa al- Hindiyya, Beirut 1400/1980, I, 7).

It was determined that the origin of miswak, the arak tree, contained some florin materials useful for the teeth health, gave nice scents to the mouth and had some benefits for the stomach. On the other hand, if there is no miswak, teeth should be cleaned by a toothbrush and by some toothpaste or soap prepared in conformity with Islamic measures, and if those do not exist, either, teeth should be kneaded by fingers and cleaned by water. Cleaning our bodies and mouths through wudu before performing salat and reciting Qur’an, and being careful about cleanness, which is deemed as a sign of faith, when entering into the society attract Almighty Allah’s love as stated in the hadith “Certainly, Allah is clean and He likes cleanness.” (Tirrmidhi, Adab, 41) Besides, Muslims take necessary measures for their health in terms of preventive medicine that way.

Islam Fiqh Encyclopedia  

3 What is the importance of taking care of girls (daughters)?

There exists a custom of Ignorance (Jahiliyya) whose coldness we still feel today: to despise girls (daughters). That rude and ugly custom was very common in Arabia during the time when our Prophet lived. The Bedouins of the desert regarded it a great disaster when a girl was born. They thought she would be a bad girl and they felt ashamed about it. As it is described by the Quran very well, when they found out that they had a daughter, their faces darkened, they were filled with grief and tried to hide themselves from other people with shame due to that bad (!) news. Then, they tried to decide whether to retain her by risking contempt and shame or to bury her in the dust. (see an-Nahl, 16/58-59) When they decided to bury their daughter, they took the innocent child to the desert, thrust her into the grave that they dug with their hands and threw lots of sand on her; then they returned their homes as if nothing had happened.

The custom that did not comply with humanity at all was regarded as quite natural in some regions. Before the marriage, both parties talked about the issue and decided who would bury the baby, the mother or father, if it was a girl. If the mother undertook the task of burying the baby, she would commit the murder in front of many women who would gather to see it. 

Thank God, Islam emerged and it destroyed that ugly custom.

The following is stated in the Quran, “To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills (and plans). He bestows (children) male or female according to His Will (and Plan). Or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren whom He will: for He is Full of knowledge and power.” (ash-Shura 42/49-50)

It is always possible that man become happy when he receives a divine mercy and show ingratitude when he faces something that he does not like. Those verses mention a very obvious example of the attitude in the society during the time when the Quran was sent down, and the understanding regarding having children and the gender of children. Instead of attributing the birth of a child and its gender to the will and power of Allah, the Arabs of the Era of Jahiliyya regarded it a matter of praising and being praised, blaming and being blamed and they acted as if they attributed it to human beings. Actually, that consideration, which was seen in various communities and which has affected people openly or secretly in some communities today, was condemned by the Quran.

In those verses, two issues, one regarding belief, the other regarding ethics attract attention:

It can be said that the following message is aimed to be given: No being or phenomenon in the universe can be thought of being outside the sovereignty of Allah; it should not be forgotten that the results that seem to be the products of human will and effort like having children and determining the gender of children – including the effects of medical intervention – are not independent of the divine will and that they take place within the framework of laws imposed by Allah.  

The ethical message aimed to be given along with the message about belief is as follows: as it is understood from the words in the 49th verse, since every child, whether male or female, who is born is the gift and bestowal of Allah, having both sons and daughters or being infertile depends on the divine will, having or not having children, having male or female children should not be a matter of praising or criticizing, or a matter of superiority or inferiority.  If a person has children, who are defined as the allurement of life in some verses, his duty should be to thank Allah who bestowed him that gift; if he has no children despite having tried the legitimate means of having children, he should show patience – taking into consideration the fact that people are not given equal things in terms of bounties like health, body, etc in the life of the world, which is a field of testing.  

It is natural that a person wants to have children and experience the happiness of it, and the religion does not criticize it. However, if someone sees something that he desires to happen regarding having children or any other issue as indispensable for his life and happiness, it will mean he claims to know better what is good or bad for him. It is obvious that such an attitude is wrong, and it means not consenting to the divine determination.

One of the warnings given by the Quran to prevent people from making such a mistake is as follows: "Fighting is prescribed for you and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth and ye know not.” (al-Baqara 2/216)

Furthermore, in such a situation, it is more reasonable and a more convenient way for the happiness in the world and the hereafter for a person to try to share the bounties and opportunities he has with others for instance to experience the happiness of taking care of abandoned children and to expect the reward for it from Allah instead of conditioning himself for asking an event that is beyond his power and will to happen, and destroying his life. (see Kur’an Yolu, Heyet, the interpretation of the relevant verses)

Accordingly, it is necessary to ask a good child from Allah instead of a boy or a girl and it is necessary to thank Him whether He gives a boy or a girl or both and to pay attention to their material and spiritual training and nurture.

A child is entrusted to a person by Allah. It is the duty of the adults to take care of children and to bring them up. It involves years-long patience to nurture and educate them. It involves more care and attention to bring up and train girls.

A child can be taken care of and brought up in two ways. The first is to meet his/her material needs and the second one is to nurture him/her spiritually and train him/her well.

The nurture of the girls goes on until they get married to honest men. According to what the Messenger of Allah points out, it goes on even after they get married. Therefore, there are narrations that a person who trains and nurtures his daughter, sister or the daughter of somebody else religiously will enter Paradise:

"A person who nurtures three daughters, trains them well, marry them and treats them well will enter Paradise." (Abu Dawud, Adab, 120, 121)

"If a person has three daughters or three sisters or two daughters or two sisters and meet their needs and fear Allah about them, he will enter Paradise." (Tirmidhi, Birr 13)

"On the Day of Judgment, I will be together with the person who brings up and nurtures two girls until they become adults." (Muslim, Birr, 149; Tirmidhi Birr, 13)

"If a person suffers due to her daughters but takes care of them, her daughters will be barricades that will save him from the fire of Hell." (Bukhari, Zakat, 10, Adab, 18; Muslim, Birr, 47 See also Tirmidhi Birr, 13)

The girls or daughters that are advised to be nurtured may be a person’s own daughters, his sisters, the children of his wife that he married afterwards even daughters of others who need protection. Being close relatives or not is not important. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah gave the following good news regarding the issue: “A person who takes care of and protects his/her or somebody else’s motherless or fatherless child will be together with me in Paradise.” (Bukhari, Talaq 25, Adab 24)

Accordingly, to take care of girls and to nurture them is an act that pleases Allah and His Messenger. The parents that take care of their daughters and enable them to be trained in accordance with Islamic principles will be neighbors of the Messenger of Allah in the hereafter.

A narration reported from Hazrat Aisha, our mother, is as follows: A woman came to me along with her two daughters and wanted something from me. There was nothing but a single date at home. I gave it to the woman. Without tasting the date, she divided it into two and gave it to her daughters. Meanwhile, the Prophet (pbuh) came along. When I told him what happened, he said:

"If a person has troubles due to her daughters but takes care of them, her daughters will be barricades that will save him from the fire of Hell." (Bukhari, Zakat, 10, Adab, 18; Muslim, Birr, 47)

Hazrat Aisha reported: A poor woman came to me along with her daughters. I gave her three dates. She gave a date to each of them and then she took up one date and brought that to her mouth in order to eat that, but her daughters expressed desire to eat it. She then divided the date that she intended to eat between them. This (kind) treatment of her impressed me and I mentioned that which she did to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). Thereupon he said: Verily Allah has assured Paradise for her, because of (this act) of her, or He has rescued her from Hell-Fire.” (Muslim, Birr 148)

In the previous hadith, it is seen that Hazrat Aisha gave one date but in the following hadith she gave three dates. It means in her house that sometimes there was no cooked meal for three months and that often there was nothing to eat, there was one date at that time and then she found two more dates. Or, maybe that event took place twice.

What did our Prophet mean using the word “troubles” in his statement in the hadith: “if a person has troubles due to her daughters but takes care of them”?

If there are several daughters in a family, it may be a reason for trouble or discontent for them. Issues like taking care of, educating and marrying them may cause financial difficulties. Especially if that family does not want daughters, the burden may get heavier. Therefore, our Prophet declared that bringing up and nurturing daughters and helping them until they get married would save people from the fire of Hell.

Another form of having troubles due to daughters is the existence of material or spiritual in diseases in one ore several of them. In that case, taking care of them and their treatment may cause many troubles. People who regard that situation as a testing by God Almighty and shows patience without rebelling Allah due to that hard testing, they will be saved from the fire of Hell – according to what the Prophet said.

According to the hadith, a person who bring up and nurture two normal, healthy daughters will be a neighbor of the Messenger of Allah. Then, those who take care of daughters with problems will definitely reach that happiness earlier than them and more than them.

What a great and lofty feeling mercy is..

The compassion of the mother who gave the date to her daughter without tasting it though she was hungry too is so lofty and noble. And what about the mercy of Hazrat Aisha, our mother, who gave the three dates that were in the house without even thinking about it? 

The following hadith of our Prophet, who states that the endless salvation will be through mercy, is so meaningful: “Allah shows mercy on those who show mercy on others. Show mercy on those who are on the earth so that those in the sky will show mercy on you....” (Tirmidhi, Birr 16; Abu Dawud, Adab 58)

O our Lord! Put the feeling of mercy in our hearts too!..

4 harun yahya
We don not make comment about individuals. But the Illustrious Practices of the Prophet (PBUH) is clear. If one acts in accordance with the Illustrious sunnah, he is on the right path, otherwise he is not.

5 ghusl

Yes, they are considered as body. They must be washed too. For more information click on the link given below.

How to perform ghusl (full ablution)

6 Is it true to believe that there is Evil Omen?

Evil Omen: It is a state or situation that is thought to have been present in something and that is claimed to have caused things go wrong.
Many people and communities in different ages believed that there existed evil omen in some things, animals and natural happenings that they saw around. There are many people in our age that have not been freed of that belief of evil omen. Those people believe that things that they define as having evil omen will harm them. They always try to keep away from them. Those who have the concept of evil omen that has no religious or scientific ground are in fear and worry in all phases of their lives.  
As a matter of fact, there is no evil omen in anything
. Nothing has good luck naturally. Evil omen does not exist; even if it exists, it is in the interpretation and understanding of people. The phrases like “it brought good luck”, “it brought bad luck” etc that are widely used by people are all thoughts and apprehension.
Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith
that there was no evil omen in Islam; the best thing is good omen (interpreting that something good will happen)" (Bukhari, Tib, 54), stating that that harmful habit does not exist in Islam. In another hadith, he said,: "There is no evil omen in things; there is no evil omen in the month of Safar; there is no evil omen in the hooting of an owl.
" (Muslim, Salam, 102)
The following can be said after that explanation: It is definitely not right to believe that there is evil omen in the lunar and solar eclipse, barking of the dogs, hooting of the owls, cats and dogs passing in front of a person walking, walking under a ladder, the number thirteen, starting to do something or starting a journey on Tuesday, looking in a mirror at night or cutting nails at night, etc. There is neither good nor evil in things like that. If it is necessary to make interpretations about something, it is necessary to interpret it in the good way as our Prophet recommends.  

It is not something new that man attributes some meanings to the attitudes and actions in their natural course. Those beliefs and convictions that intensified especially in the age of idolatry became interestingly popular in the communities that were not idolatrous. The interpretation evil omen regarding the hooting of an owl, sounds of dogs, involuntary actions of the body like twitching of hands, arms, brows and eyes, ringing in the ears unfortunately spread partially to the communities that have the belief of oneness.
It does not comply with the belief in and reliance on Allah not to work on Tuesdays saying that “Tuesday is my unlucky day”..., to beat one’s chest by saying “my left eye twitched; so something terrible will happen to me”..., to have the unnecessary feelings of terror because “an owl hooted on the roof of my house; my house will be destroyed soon” ..., to act like a doomsayer by saying “I heard the dog of such and such a man howl; somebody from his family will die”... and to have similar superstitions and wrong beliefs as a lifestyle. “Allah has made everything which He has created most Good.” (Sajdah, 32/7)
Dependence on events should not get ahead of dependence on Allah. With which correct belief can we associate the words of a Muslim, “my left eye is twitching, something bad will happen!”, the acceptance by a Muslim that lack of marble in the construction of a building is evil, the listening of a Muslim to the hoot of an owl as if it is giving the news of death, believing in it and expecting that something bad will happen, forgetting of a Muslim trusting and relying on Allah and not asking the good from Allah? How can we combine those attitudes with the belief of oneness?
A Muslim never interprets anything as evil omen and negative, not even a dream. It is a point of view. Islam introduces us that net view. Everything happens through the power of Allah and there are one or more than one aspects of goodness in everything.
A Muslim interprets everything as good; he desires good things; he goes to bed and gets up wishing good things. He asks good things from Allah.  
As a matter of fact, by saying, “
Rudeness is evil omen and politeness is good omen” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/2144) or “Using obscene words is evil and bad temper is evil omen” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/1736), our Prophet states that evil omen and good omen should be looked for in our conscious acts and that it is possible to avoid the actions and attitudes like spoiling our business, nurturing enmity, increasing hostility, harming peace and fraternity, that is, attitudes like rudeness, using obscene words and being bad-tempered that will bring evil omen.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) points out that if we attribute evil omen to our actions and organs, it is our own fault by saying “The organ of a person both with the evilest omen and the best omen is his tongue between his two jaws.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/1640 ;) The Turkish proverb, “A sweet tongue will take the snake out of its hole” (English equivalent=A soft tongue breaks the bone) interprets that hadith to a certain extent. That is, good omen and skill depends on the soft tongue; evil omen originates from the rude and biting tongue. Good omen depends on kindness and evil omen depends on disrespect, lack of love and intolerance.
It means, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says that if we are to use the concepts good omen and evil omen,
we should use them to express our actions that are based on our own wills and desires and that it is possible to learn a lesson from it and to improve our acts; otherwise, he does not approve of us using the concept “evil omen” in our daily lives and carrying it to our heart as if accusing the power of Allah and as if dissociating the events from the power and will of Allah.    
Our Prophet attracts our attention to those meanings with his following bright hadith:
*“
When you have an opinion about something, do not regard it as true. When the devil throws the feeling of envy into your heart, do not oppress people acting upon that feeling. When you think that something has an evil omen, do not abandon what you are doing by paying attention to that thought. Trust Allah. When you weigh something to sell, weigh it a bit extra.” (5- Jamiu’s-Saghir, 1/405)
*“
A person who abandons doing something with the thought of evil omen is regarded to have associated partners with Allah
.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 3/3646)
In conclusion, it can be said that the events related to the creation that our eyes and ears perceive are the reflections of the rings of the chain of creation that Allah willed, ordained, arranged and created. Even if they are evil or we think that they are evil, even if we are afraid of or terrified by them, we should interpret them as good, regard them as good omen and think about them to be good things. We should not interpret events as evil. If we are to interpret the meaning of twitching of the eyes or a part of the body, ringing in the ear, whether they take place on the right or left side of our body, we should interpret them in a good way. We should not interpret them in a bad way. We should trust Allah in any case.

7 Can you explain the role of “khalifah” (vicegerent) attributed to man by the Quran from an ecological point of view?

Man is the vicegerent of Allah on earth (al-Baqara 2/ 30) and he is not left uncontrolled (without purpose) (al-Qiyama 75/ 36) according to the statements of the Quran. What is meant by the word vicegerent is to improve the world for and on behalf of Allah, to rule people, to apply the orders and recommendations of Allah among people, animals and non-living things.   

The wise power that created nature created all of the means in it abundantly enough to meet the normal needs of all of the beings. “And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favors of Allah never will ye be able to number them: verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.”1

The only being that can consume things beyond his needs excessively without knowing any limits in extravagance is man. On the one hand, the Sublime Creator gave man an ambition of excessive consumption in order to test him but on the other hand, He gave man the duty to limit his desires in accordance with his needs through the mind He gave man and the light of the religion He sent. As a matter of fact, while meeting his needs, man paid attention not to disturb the balance of the living and non-living nature that surrounded him and even tried to protect it as long as he used those two means properly; thus, he became mercy for his environment. However, in the communities where science and technology have developed unprecedentedly, religious life and the feeling of deep responsibility gained through religion have weakened; on the other hand, in this period, which is called “the age of intelligence”, the mind has been seen as a simple tool for serving man’s desires of domination and hedonism; man has been blinded to such an extent that he cannot see that the conditions for man’s existence are being eliminated. Therefore, man cannot notice that his vital connections with nature are being cut off. Consequently, man has dragged the world into disasters from global warming to environmental pollution and to the destruction of species in order to satisfy his excessive desires that have been freed from religious and ethical bonds and his desires of consumption and domination.

When it is taken into consideration that the ecological balance was disturbed, that the environment was destroyed and that living species were made extinct in a very short time, 30-40 years, due to the desire of excessive consumption, it is clearly understood how valuable the importance that religions give to restricting desires is in terms of both environmental ethics and other issues and how vitally important it is in terms of nature and humanity. As this main problem exists, that is, as long as man sees satisfying his desires as the first goal in life and as long as the systems, arrangements and rules regarding man are designed in such a way to encourage him to reach that devastating goal directly or indirectly, the positive effects of all of the other measures taken for the environment will be temporary and misleading; such unproductive measures will perhaps prevent real measures from being seen.      

When the Islamic teaching and its manifestations in the civilization of Islam are studied thoroughly, it can be said that this teaching has established a trilateral relation between man, nature and environment and therefore man is burdened with responsibilities from three sides toward nature.

1. Ontological relation

It is necessary to look for the basic approach and principles of Islam regarding the environment in the relationship that it proposes to be established between Allah, man and nature. Islam is a religion of unity, as it is widely known. Ontologically everything is based on One (Allah). According to its deep expression in sufism, everything consists of the manifestation of His attributes of jalal (majesty) and jamal (beauty). Therefore, nature is the “signs of Allah”, the indications and evidence of His existence and power. He is the owner of man, nature, the environment, the skies and the earth, and the reason of existence for everything.  Therefore, those who harm the things we have just mentioned are regarded to have harmed His works. Since all of the beings are his “signs”, what breaks off the existence breaks off Him; what breaks off Him breaks off the existence. As Ghazali examines and explains in the chapter allocated to love in his immortal book “Ihya Ulum ad-Din”, in the real sense of love, a person who loves Him loves the beings and a person who loves the beings loves Him. All beings go to Him; therefore, all loves go to Him, too. Man becomes a part of unity when he establishes his connection, which exists ontologically, with Him and the beings ethically. The issue is expressed as follows: in a hadith: “Show mercy to those on earth so that those in the sky will show mercy to you.”2. The origin of man is soil; the one who created man is Allah. Then, man needs to love the Creator, the soil, the beings on and in the soil and in the world. He needs to show this love by his attitudes and deeds that show respect to Allah and mercy to the beings around. Islamic scholars gather all of the orders of Allah in two principles: “respect to the orders of Allah and compassion for the beings that Allah created.”

That short explanation shows that unlike the approach of the modernist mentality that breaks off the ontological bond between man and nature and therefore eliminates the ethical responsibility of man toward nature, the spirit (man) that the Quran educates does not regard himself outside nature and as an alien or enemy that he declares war against and tries to conquer, invade and use as he wishes and as an enemy that he punishes when it does not obey him. On the contrary, in his opinion, nature is a friend that he shares the destiny of being a slave, 3 a guide that takes him to the secret of the existence of Allah.4 Therefore, he has responsibilities toward nature. The greatest unluckiness of the last few centuries has been the development of the science and technology in conditions and media that are away from such a noble and ethical spirit.

2. Administrative relation

As we have stated in the beginning, the Quran states that man was created as “the vicegerent on earth” 5 and this expression is usually interpreted as “being the vicegerent of the Creator, that is, ruling the world in compliance with His laws”. The attributes of the Creator mentioned in basmala, which is the first verse of the Quran, and in the chapter al-Fatiha, which is the first chapter of the Quran, are “ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim” (the All Merciful, the All Compassionate); those two words tell us that His mercy and compassion encompass all of the beings. Accordingly, the first duty of the vicegerent, which means “the being in charge of executing His laws on earth” is – as it is pointed out in a hadith 6 – to take that encompassing mercy and compassion and reflect it on the beings. This is the fundamental mission of man on earth and what beautifies man, makes him effective and makes him “created in the best mold” as it is expressed by the Quran and “the most honorable creature” as it is mentioned in the Islamic thought is the same mission. The superior faculties like the mind and intelligence that distinguish man from all of the other living and non-living beings were given to man so that he will understand and execute this mission correctly. There are many verses in the Quran that point it out and that criticize man because he does not use those faculties correctly.

3. Interest relation

In many verses, it is stated that many natural beings and happenings were given to his service, that is, they were created in appropriate way for him to use. However, man is asked to pay attention to two criteria while making use of them. The first one is to make use of nature in a legitimate way; the second one is not to act like a harmful creature to break and harm the order that Allah has established in nature. This issue is emphasized in many verses and hadiths mentioning that man needs to check his desires, not to deify his soul, to avoid extravagance, to try to feel contented and not to go to extremes.

The global environmental problems that are seen today show clearly how important those Islamic principles that we have tried to present briefly are for global issues like natural balance and healthy environment. In the past, there were some periods when some human communities violated those principles, deviated from the mission of vicegerency, disobeyed Allah and harmed human beings, other beings and the natural environment. However, because of Western modernism and its encompassing effect on all of the cultures in the process of globalization through positivist man, who is a product of Western modernism, and his approach to the world, for the first time in the known history of man has man entered into a process of breaking off the bond of oneness between him and nature and Allah. He claimed that he would dominate, overcome and use nature as he wishes to the extent that he is freed from the domination of Allah. In parallel with this, he broke off all of the ethical bonds that the divine law imposed for his benefit and discarded them. Thus, he claimed that he would be free by disobeying Allah and that he would prove his power by using nature as he wished and oppressing his fellow beings that were weaker than him. He idolized his soul and started to be a slave of his soul and worship its desires and wishes; he made it the sole goal of his life to satisfy the desires of his soul, to establish domination and take pleasure. As a philosopher puts it, the fetishistic characteristic of goods enslaved today’s man. A disease of addiction that put man into the service of goods and made him inferior to goods has encompassed man. 

Modern man uses the achievements that he thinks he has gained against nature in order to satisfy two coarse feelings: domination and pleasure, from which the real ethical problem of man regarding nature originates. The Quran attracts attention to this problem of man by using the definition, “takes his desires for his god” 7. Thus, man has become the only earthly being that is at odds with nature because of deifying his desires.  He dared to fight against nature by using the scientific and technological achievements that he has gained; in this war that is still going on, man is burning, destroying, polluting, consuming, killing and eliminating his environment to the extent of his power in order to satisfy his desires of domination and pleasure.

The natural disasters that we call as environmental problems are the harbingers of the fact that, on the one hand, man is being enslaved though he thinks “he is becoming a master” and the fact that, on the other hand, he is approaching defeat though he thinks “he is overcoming nature”. “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil).” 8

In the main interpretations of this verse regarding “mischief appearing on land and sea” in tafsir resources, the increase in misfortunes like land becoming infertile, water being polluted, spring waters diminishing, famine, fire, flood and deaths, the disturbance of the natural balance and the consequent problems related to the environment and health are mentioned. There are also some interpretations that the mischief and corruption in the society are meant by the verse. It is possible to deduce both meanings from the verse. All of them are an inevitable result of the unheeding and even rebellious attitude of man against Allah and the ethical and moral laws and values imposed by Him and  the consequent excessiveness like the desire of consumption.9 “If the Truth had been in accord with their desires, truly the heavens and the earth, and all beings therein would have been in confusion and corruption” 10

While interpreting this verse, one of the scholars the century XI, reminds us that if each man (or community of man) had been able to attain his personal desires, the order of the world would have been upside down due to those selfish desires – since other people would have wanted to be rich, to hold the highest ranks and to have limitless property in the world.11 The same author reminds us that the fundamental mission of man, who was created as the vicegerent on earth, is not to cause mischief on earth but to improve it, that is, to preserve the balance in the living and non-living nature and therefore to maintain his consciousness of slavery and heed the warnings of the Quran.12

Footnotes:

1) Ibrahim 14/34.

2) Abu Dawud, “Adab”, 58; Tirmidhi, “Birr”, 16.

3) The verses stating that the heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory, prostrate Him, that is, they share common things with man in terms of worshipping (see 16/49; 17/44; 22/18; 55/6; 57/1; 62/1).

4) Many verses showing several natural events and happenings as proof for the existence and power of Allah (for instance, see al-Baqara 2/164; Aal-i Imran 3/190; al-An’am 7/133; ar-Rum 30/20-25, 46; Fussilat 41/37-39; ash-Shura 42/29, 32; al-Jasiya 45/4-6).

5) For instance, see al-Baqara 2/30; al-An‘am 6/165; Fatir 35/39.

6) Bukhari “Adab”, 19; Muslim, “Tawba”, 17.

7) al-Furqan 25/43; al-Jasiya 45/18.

8) ar-Rum 30/41.

9) see Kur’an Yolu, Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı Yayınları, Ankara 2006, IV, 322-325.

10) al-Mu’minun 23/71.

11) az-Zari‘a ila Makarimi’sh-Shari‘a, Cairo 1985, p. 108.

12) ibid, p. 249-250.

Mustafa Çağrıcı/ Mufti of İstanbul

8 Is it permissible to shave beards in upward direction?

If there aren't any health problems for you, there is nothing wrong in shaving beards in upward direction.

Please read the article given below;

The principles, pillars and regulations brought by The Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, embrace all dimensions of life. From worshiping to actions, from good morals to individual and social life...

The life of The Prophet is the most beautiful example and a clear sample for believers. This is expressed by our Lord in the Qur'an as follows: “Assuredly you have in God's Messenger an excellent example to follow for whoever looks forward to God and the Last Day, and remembers and mentions God much.” 1

There are some sunnats (practices) of The Prophet that are in the form of his natural actions. Among these his clothing himself, eating and drinking, cleaning himself can be counted. Most of those fall into the group of rules of conduct. By following these sunnats, believers embellish their actions.

Some of those natural sunnats are narrated by our mother Aisha (The Prophet's wife) from Allah's Messenger (PBUH) as follows:

Ten things are from the natural human disposition (fitra): shortening the mustache, growing a full beard, using miswaq (to clean one's teeth), taking water into the nose, cutting nails, washing between fingers, cleaning armpits, shaving pubic hairs, istinja (cleaning one's private parts after defecating and urinating) and istibra (after urinating, walking 30-40 steps or waiting for some time so that remains of urine are removed and ablution can be taken).” 2

Those fitri (necessitated by creation) sunnats that everybody must at certain times carry out are both means of cleaning and The Prophet's practice. By carrying out those duties, a person both performs his/her bodily duties and obtains spiritual reward having followed the sunnat.

Among the sunnats mentioned, growing a full beard and shortening mustache carry special importance as regards outer appearance. While saying “Grow a full beard and shorten your mustache” our beloved Prophet explains the wisdom behind it with the words: “Act in opposition to idolaters.” 3 This is because at that time idolaters would shave their beard and grow their mustache as much as possible.

As a measure of growing a full beard, scholars of Islam state that more than one pinch should be cut (it should not be longer than the amount one can hold between fingers). Caliph Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, saw a person who grew a long beard and told him to cut what was more than one pinch. Abu Hurayra, a great Companion, may Allah be pleased with him, would also hold his beard and would cut what was more than one pinch. It is narrated that Abdullah Bin Umar also acted in the same way.

As is explained in the books of fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), the suitable form of beard is growing it on both sides of the face and on the chin, which is called “ariz”. If beard is grown only on the chin, the sunnat is not practiced.

The real intention of the believer in growing beard and in performing other sunnats is to follow the example of The Prophet and to imitate him. The aim of a Muslim is to comply with the sunnat in all respects as much as possible. However, to attain that (to abide by the sunnat in all aspects) is peculiar to some elect people named “akhass-i hawass”. Only those who achieve the rank of mujtahid and wali can enter that group. However, even if everybody does not practice the entire sunnat, they must be in favor of it, must accept it, and they must endeavor with a sincere intention to practice it. However, though we should have this intention and perseverance, we don't have the right to accuse, despise or to look down on those who do not or cannot practice some sunnats as is required by some other purposes, as if they committed grave sins.

We should view the topic of beard in the same way. Growing a full beard is a sunnat of The Prophet which he both practiced and advised in his hadiths (fiili; qawli). By practicing this sunnat, the believer turns his habitual action into a kind of worship, and obtains a great reward. Though there are mujtahids who say that those who don't grow beard are held responsible, some scholars say that it is makruh tanzihan (non-prohibitively disliked) to cut one's beard, and even some of the modern scholars of Islam say that it is permitted to do so.

Bediuzzaman, a great scholar of our time, says: “Some scholars have said 'It is not permitted to shave the beard off.' With that they mean to say: 'It is forbidden to shave the beard off after letting it grow.'But of course, the one who does not let beard grow at all, abandons a sunnat.” 4

In this case, those who shave their beard after letting it grow are held responsible according to the scholars of Hanefi, Hanbali, and Maliki sects, whereas according to the scholars of Shafii-Gazzali, Ibn Hajar, Ramli, Rafii, and Nawawi- by doing so, such people perform a makruh tanzihan (something disliked but close to cleanliness/permission). In that matter those who follow the sect of Shafii, are not held responsible. 5

Just like it is an Islamic act to be in favor of practicing this sunnat, to congratulate those who practice it and to respect them; similarly, it is not an appropriate action to despise and scorn those who do not grow a full beard or abandon that sunnat because of an excuse and to take this as a grave mistake. Especially, it is not something that reasonable Muslims would do to harm the bonds of solidarity and brotherhood among Muslims because of that matter.

It is an expression of respect toward the sunnat for those growing a full beard to take care of it according to the sunnat. As for the mustache, the religious measure is; hairs should not cover the upper lip; mustache should be as long as each person's eyebrow's hairs and should not exceed the level of the lips. The scholars who followed the hadith “Shorten mustaches” shortened their mustaches so much that their skin under mustache could be seen.

Sources:

1. The Qur'an, Al-Ahzab, 33:21 2. Muslim, Tahara : 56; Nasai, Zinat: 1.
3. Bukhari, Libas: 64.
4. Risale-i Nur, Emirdağ Lahikası, p. 48:49.
5. Mazahibu'l-Erbaa,2 :44-45; Ianatu'l-Talibin, 2 : 340.

Mehmed Paksu, Helal Haram, Nesil yayınları, Istanbul, 1998, p. 157-160

9 Is there a market for (physical ) appearance in paradise? If so, how should it be apprehended?

We should state that in reality there are two different hadiths from two different sources on the issue of “market for appearances” According to the hadith in Tirmidhi reported by Imam Ali, Prophet Muhammad ( pbuh) said: ' In Paradise, there is a market, wherein there will be no buying or selling, but will consist of appearances of men and women. If a man desires one of those appearances, he will have that appearance.' (Tirmidhi, Paradise 15)

In Muslim, Anas b. Malik reported that Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: In Paradise, there is a street to which the people of Paradise go every Friday. The north wind will blow and scatter fragrance on their faces and on their clothes and add to their beauty and loveliness, and then they will go back to their family after having an added luster to their beauty and loveliness, and their family will say to them: By Allah, you have been increased in beauty and loveliness after leaving us, and they will say: By Allah, you have also increased in beauty and loveliness after us. (Muslim, Kitab al-jannah 13).

One of the most obvious facts of the universe that we live in is the quality of relativity of facts. This universe is not a place for absolute, precise and sharp distinctions such as either black or white, beautiful or ugly, good or bad, dark of light. On the contrary, there are grades of black and white, beauty and ugliness, the good and the bad, the light and the darkness.

There is a common answer by sound hearts and truthful minds to the question of why this universe was created in this way: This is because the purpose of creation of the universe comes into reality with such grading. This universe was created by an Excellency of Great Power who wants to see and show His own beauty, His absolute and infinite names and attributes; and man that He created to make this secrecy come into existence can only do this in a world of relativity and grading. Because man, as a creature, has his limits as a result of his creation: his knowledge, perception, conception, his will and power are limited. So, he cannot surround and cover the Excellency who created him and the universe with his absolute knowledge, will and power. He cannot recognize and define the reality when he comes across with it in an absolute and limitless form. In this case, in spite of seeing the reality in a definite form, he becomes exposed to blindness out of a dazzling as if our capacity of sight does not increase but our eyes go blind when we look directly at the sun. This is because of this secrecy that The Excellency of Great Power who created the universe and the man, carried out this creation by ‘hiding in the intensity of His manifestation and concealing in the magnificence of His grandeur’, and displayed His names and attributes in a relative and graded form.

This is the very reason why the universe contains these contrasts. The One who created this universe, created it with an extreme variety of mixture of contrasts like good - bad, beautiful - ugly, useful - harmful, perfect - imperfect, dark – light, etc. ; and provided us with the opportunity to get to know His definite names and attributes by means of this relativity.

Man’s categorization and grading of the things that exist in the universe as for example “very beautiful – beautiful – average – ugly – very ugly” in terms of beauty is owing to this reason. Certainly, even in things that man does not regard as beautiful from one step away, he sees a nice feature that helps him to make the beauty in beautiful things be noticed as a criterion of comparison.

When we look at the world of human beings, we can see the different reflections of the grading that surrounds the whole universe among people as well. Humans are not equal to each other in terms of intelligence or emotion, or in terms of morals or beauty. Between opposites like strong and weak, good and bad, sensitive and insensitive, beautiful and ugly, man displays different oscillations. There are people who serve the whole world as good examples of high ethics, there are also people whose low ethics the whole world avoids. There are people whose power is deemed legendary whereas there are ones who are too weak even to move a single finger. Just as there have been ones whose beauty has been widely-spoken, so too have there been people whose ugliness is well-known.

No disapproval does man show for the eye-catching beauty side of the picture of this grading manifestations. In contrast, even if his mind accepts this wisdom of relativity, his conscience keeps asking questions about the “negative” side of this picture. Since being a wise, good and even stronger person depends on his using his ability and capability well and to some extent depends on his will, it can be comparatively easy for him to answer the question of conscience to this point. However, since especially beauty is not something that can be obtained, then there remains the question “What sin did the ugly people commit?” Moreover, although people are able to better their intelligence, knowledge, manners and their morals by endeavor, beauty is not something that they can obtain by hard work and that they can improve. Plus, surgical operations with esthetic purposes, even epilating eyebrow hairs is not accepted by Allah and His Prophet ( pbuh).

By looking at the history of humankind, even the time in which a person lives, he can find examples of a range of realities which might help them ease the weight of the burden of this question that is disturbing their conscience. For instance, any person can find people whose beauties have turned out to be a catastrophe for them or people whose lesser beauty have become a source of happiness. The number of people who look very good but unhappy is not less than the number of people who are happy with their less good-looking appearance. Likewise, numerous people lacking sufficient development of their some other humanly abilities and skills due to the excessive emphasis on their beauty by their own selves and by people around them. Anyone can encounter people who are defined as beautiful but bad-tempered, beautiful but spoiled, capricious, difficult to get along and many more “buts”; there must be such a great number of people who do not care to improve their mental skills as a result of the emphasis on beauty and self-confidence that beauty grants them that there is an example of expression “dumb blonde” which is widely-renowned. Even though “beautiful” people especially good-looking blondes are not actually lower-leveled in their mental skills and intelligence, it is naturally meaningful that this expression is renowned.

On the other side of the picture where the ones with lesser beauty and even the “ugly” ones are, it is possible to come across with very opposite sights to this. A fact that we are familiar as much as the ones who lose with their beauty is the presence of the ones who benefit from their “lesser beauty”. The ones with “average” beauty, and even the ones who some regard as “ugly” are more worthy of being preferred compared to many good-looking people, based on either their high ethics or good manners. The number of friends that a “not good-looking” person with high ethics has is definitely more than the number of a good-looking but bad-tempered person’s friends. The number of he people whose lack of beauty led them to advance more in science, in art, in spiritualism cannot be underestimated or ignored. In the same way, there must be as many people who are content with the appearance Allah created, and are thankful of not being very beautiful.

In short, neither beauty alone is sufficient for people, nor being of lesser beauty. On the contrary, the life progress of people from good to bad is shaped according to their evaluation of the way Allah created them.

Nevertheless, this fact does not completely remove the question out of a person’s conscience even if it diminishes much of its severity. Firstly and foremost, the presence of people with good looks, intelligence and with high ethics makes this question linger from the point of view of people who have average beauty and who can be considered “ugly” as well.

A less reputed hadith which has been hidden from our eyes (we do not know why) about the life in the hereafter from our Prophet (may peace be upon him) who has been the best example to humanity in terms of both beauty and mind and morals in this world, provides us a permanent answer to this question. According to what we have learnt from this hadith, ' In Paradise, there is a market for the ones who are content with the appearance which Allah created, and who do not rely on their beauty or complain about their ugliness; and for who can find their humanly maturity according to the appearance Allah created in this world and who try to do deeds according to the purpose of their creation will be welcome. There will be no buying or selling. It will consist of appearances of men and women. If a man desires one of those appearances, he will have one of that appearance.

This hadith presents an astounding emotional expansion, relief and profundity to the ones who comprehend the creation of people in different appearances according to the wisdom of gradability in the creation of this world yet envy the appearance of the ones who are better-looking than them, or who regard themselves as good-looking and feel sorry for those who are not.

As this hadith on “market for appearance” sets us to think, in this mortal world, it all comes down to the fact that we should depend neither solely on beauty nor on insufficient beauty. What is essential in this world where we are tested is about beautifying our essence and doing good deeds in order to win Allah’s contentment, the Lord Who created us and this universe.

Once we can agree with Him and make him content with us, He will welcome us to His paradise where the “market for appearances” is and provide His men and women with the beauty which He did not bestow in this world due to many reasons.
How joyful are the ones who do not take their beauties as an excuse for forgetting or who do not complain about their ugliness and who render their spirituality with good deeds and deserve to be customers of the market for appearances.

Metin Karabaşoğlu

10 About love

Yes, they are allowed to pray for it. However, they are not allowed to have wishes and desires contrary to Islamic ethics.

11 What does it mean to love and to hate for the sake of Allah? What should one understand from it? How should one love and hate for the sake of Allah?

Our prophet (pbuh) states in his hadiths: “Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then hating it in his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.

Islamic scholars, when interpreting this hadith, point out to that our Prophet addresses this hadith to all classes of our community. And they interpret this hadith accordingly. In this case, “changing with hand is the duty of government, army and the police. To change with tongue is the duty of education system, teachers and religious functionaries. And hating in heart is the duty of ordinary citizens” said they.

As “hatred” may mean treating the people who commit bad deeds like enemies and hating them by heart, it is generally interpreted as treating hostilely. However, this seems to contradict to our religion’s other principles based on love. While some young people said that they applied the Prophet’s hadith as “change with hand”, some said “hating in heart” is for the hostility between relatives. However, this is not how it should be.

It is essential to treat a bad behavior towards us with a good behavior in order to prevent badness. Quran the Glorious states: “The believers are not else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren” (al-Hujuraat, 10) “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a bosom friend.” (Fussilat, 34) “Those who spend freely (of that which Allah has given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loves the good’ (al-i-Imran, 134).

In the light of these verses, we need to resort to Bediuzzaman in order to reveal the truth by finding out something moderate between preventing evil deeds and hating by heart.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi wrote the “Letter of Brotherhood” on this issue. Bediuzzaman suggests us a few principles:

First Principle: A person’s own thoughts and opinions cannot be measure to evaluate others’ opinions. If one evaluates others’ opinions according to his/her own views, it is inevitable for him/her to wrong.
Second Principle: It is right that all that you say should be true, but not that you should say all that is true. There are different perceptions and behaviors, the reasons of which we cannot know, in the community. In this sense, a judgment, which is true under some circumstances and according to a person, may be wrong under different circumstances. A judgment made without figuring out the real reason may be deceiving.
Third Principle: Emotion of hatred exists in true nature of human beings. If you wish to nourish enmity, then direct it against the enmity in your heart, and attempt to rid yourself of it. Be an enemy to your evil-commanding soul and its caprice and attempt to reform it, for it inflicts more harm on you than all else. Do not engage in enmity against other believers. It is wrong to respond someone who is hostile to us with hostility. If you wish to defeat your enemy, then respond to his evil with good. For if you respond with evil, enmity will increase, and even though he will be outwardly defeated, he will nurture hatred in his heart, and hostility will persist. But if you respond to him with good, he will repent and become your friend. It often happens that if you tell an evil man, "You are good, you are good," he will become good; and if you tell a good man, "You are bad, you are bad," he will become bad. Hearken, therefore, to these sacred principles of the Qur'an, for happiness and safety are to be found in them: “Those who witness no falsehood, and, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with honourable (avoidance) (al-Furqan, 72). “O ye who believe! Truly, among your wives and your children are (some that are) enemies to yourselves: so beware of them! But if ye forgive and overlook, and cover up (their faults), verily God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (at-Taghabun, 14).
Islam bases relationship between believers on affection and love. A true believer’s heart is a heart freed from all kinds of hatred, enmity, jealousy and conspiracy. The word Islam literally means safety, security, trust, welfare and peace. A person who fulfills the requirements of the Islam must be like this too. A true believer’s duty is to provide peace, welfare and love. Everything must be loved because they are Allah’s art and masterpieces.
When someone asked our Prophet (pbuh) “which deed is more beneficial in Islam?” he replied: “giving others food, saluting people you know and do not know”.
Love and affection are the essence of the universe and the reason for its existence. However, everything should be in accordance with some principles. Anything that is unprincipled is harmful. Pleasantness is hidden in principles. “Loving and hating for the sake of Allah” is pleasant when it is principled and towards whom deserves it. Everything must be loved because they are Allah’s art and masterpieces. Hating for the sake of Allah cannot be towards humans as humans are Allah’s greatest sign and the most perfect art. It is towards humans’ negative features and evil feelings. For this reason, a true believer takes pity on them and tries to improve them. Therefore, hatred and enmity are for infidelity, attributing partners to Allah and other immoral features derived from these.
Allah the Most Supreme created human as kind beings. For this reason, when our Prophet (pbuh) saw a Jewish man’s coffin, he stood up for respect. When people asked him why he did so, he replied: “He is a Human”. Our Prophet’s love and respect for humans is that supreme.
Bediuzzaman who learnt from our Prophet’s (pbuh) teachings, said “We are guardians of love, we have got no time for enmity”. This is the reason of masters such as Mawlana and Yunus Emre, who learnt from Islam.
Limits and Principles of Tolerance
It is necessary to establish limits of tolerance carefully. Tolerance towards people and tolerance towards infidelity, haram, enmity and distortion must not be confused. Those who made infidelity and distortion a part of their personality and who are well-known for these personality traits must not be tolerated. Approaching to people who brag about their infidelity like Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab means to tolerate infidelity and cruelty.
“Abu Jahl” means the father of ignorance and rudeness. He wasted his life being an enemy of our Prophet’s and Islam. It is ensured that “he is the Pharaoh of the prophet’s followers” by Prophet (pbuh)’s words. In spite of this, our Prophet did not allow anyone to talk behind Abu Jahl in order not to offend his son Ikrimah, who converted to Islam after the conquest of Mecca and rendered great service to Islam. “Do not offend their children by criticizing their fathers and speaking unnecessary words about them” ordered he. However, this does not mean tolerating or showing affection towards Abu Jahl. This is for the sake of Ikrimah who is a muslim.
Allah the Most Supreme states in Quran “say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.”
Believers’ love towards Allah is greater than that of them. Only if those cruel people could understand today that all power and might belongs to Allah and Allah’s wrath is so violent, like they will understand it when they face the punishment. As stated in Quran “On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love”, Allah indicates that things that belong to world and to finiteness are not worthy of love.
And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they love Allah
True believers do everything in accordance with Allah’s content. For this reason, they love for the sake of Allah and hate for the sake of Allah. In fact, Allah the Glorious states “You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their (own) fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith, and whom He has strengthened with an inspiration from Him: and He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein; Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him these are Allah's party: now surely the party of Allah are the successful ones.”
Loving for the sake of Allah does not include infidelity and cruelty and those who have these traits and similarly tolerance is not for them either. The main principle in Islamic jurisprudence is this: “Tolerating cruelty is cruelty and tolerating infidelity is infidelity”. For this reason cruel people and those who insist on infidelity and who try to destroy truth, denying it consistently cannot be loved, as they cannot also be tolerated. Allah the Glorious threatens those who incline towards cruelty with violent punishment, let alone the cruel ones.
Again, Allah the Glorious addressed to the believers in the following verse of Quran: “Say: My Lord has enjoined justice, and set upright your faces at every time of prayer and call on Him, being sincere to Him in obedience; as He brought you forth in the beginning, so to Him shall you also return. Some He has guided. Others have (by their choice) deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the evil ones, in preference to Allah, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance.” (al-Ar’af, 7/29-30).
Allah’s another name is “Aduw”. Allah is the enemy of infidels. It is stated in Quran: “Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.” Our Prophet states in his hadiths that “One who Allah dislikes the most is the one who becomes infidel though being a believer before. The one with whom Allah gets angry the most is the one who goes too far in enminity. The one amongst slaves Allah dislikes the most is the one whose clothes are better than his/her deeds. They dress up like prophets but they behave like cruel sinners”. It is expressed in these hadiths that a true believer must love faith, not infidelity and enmity and must hate them.
The relation between believers is based on love:
Allah the Most Supreme lists His true slaves in Quran as in the following verses: “Those who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good” and “And those who will not witness vanity, but when they pass near senseless play, pass by with dignity.”
True believers love each other for the sake of Allah. They do not love for a special interest. For this reason, their love will not decrease if they cannot make a profit from it. If someone treats them unfairly, they forgive it and approach to this fault with tolerance, the way it already should be. However, if someone is wrong or falls into an error willingly or unwillingly, the true believer’s way of helping him/her must be saving him/her from this wrongness and guide him/her to the right way. It would be betraying the misguided person to say to him/her “you are doing right”. A true believer gives advices for the sake of Allah to the ones who do wrong and insist on doing so; he/she does not begrudge him/her his/her advices and prays for his/her success. However, if he/she tries to stray him/her from the right way too, he/she keeps away from him/her. He/she hates his/her error, not his/her personally. That’s to say; he/she recognizes the error and avoids it verbally, emotionally and physically. A true believer does not like sins, unfairness and enmity but hates them.
Brotherhood and friendship has got an important place in Islam. However, this friendship and brotherhood do not require tolerating errors; contrarily, a true friend is the one who protects his/her friend from errors and helps him/her through the right way. Three things are of great importance for humankind. First is a friend who will direct us to right way when we stray. Second is halal earning. Third is praying with a community, which will redeem sins. Nevertheless, these three things are very hard to find in the last days of the world. Our Prophet (pbuh) stated that “halal earning and a sincere friend are rarely found in the last days of the world”.
Allah the Most Supreme states in Quran “But those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith,- show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls,- they are the ones that achieve prosperity.” and extols Ansar (people of Madina) for these good manners of theirs.
Our Prophet (pbuh) said: “You shall not enter Heaven unless you have Faith and your Faith is not complete until you show love towards one another.” He also said in another hadith: “Whoever has three things discovers the sweetness of faith: that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than all else, that he loves another only for the sake of Allah, the Most High, and that he hates to return to disbelief as he would hate to be thrown into Fire.”
Allah the Glorious states in a verse: “So fear Allah, and keep straight the relations between yourselves”; “The believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy.”
Conclusion:
Hating in heart means to hate the sin, not the sinner. It is established by the verses that those who accept Allah’s oneness and admit it sincerely are Allah’s friends and are close to Allah. Whoever treats a friend of Allah’s hostilely, Allah is that person’s enemy. In this sense, hatred and enmity towards a believer is not permissible no matter how sinful he/she might be.
Abu Derda suggested us a principle by saying “Do not swear to your brother/sister; praise to Allah who saves you from falling into the same error with him/her. Also do not hate your brother/sister, but hate his/her evil deeds”. Bediuzzaman said Nursi, because of all of these, said “It is not time of enmity and hostility anymore. What is the worthiest of love is the act of loving and what is the worthiest of hatred is enmity.”
M. Ali Kaya

12 What is Talebearing? What does Islam say about it? What is the difference between Backbiting and Talebearing?

To tell someone something that someone else said about him or to inform someone about something that someone else did against him claiming to have seen or heard it.

Backbiting is talking about someone. The fact that what is talked about does not interest the person one is talking to or whether what one says is true or not does not change the act of backbiting. If what is said is a lie, then it is both backbiting and slandering. If what is said is true, it is backbiting.  In talebearing, what is said interests the person that one is talking to, such as: "He said this or that about you or he did this or that against you”. It does not matter whether the person one is talking to is an ordinary person or an important person with authority.  Accordingly, informants and informers are also talebearers. However, bearing testimony for the sake of Allah is exception; it is not regarded talebearing.

In Arabic, or to put it better, in hadiths, two different words are used for the concept talebearing: namima and qatt. A person who does it is called a nammam or qattat. Although Sufyan considers qattat to be synonymous with nammam (Tirmidhi, Birr wa Sila, 78), Hafiz al-Mundhiri say those two words have different meanings. According to him, nammam is a person who reports what he himself has seen or heard to the relevant person. Qattat is someone who reports the words that he has heard from others (Targhib wa Tarhib, trns. A.M.Büyükçınar, V, 386).

In Islam, talebearing is not tolerated and it has been mentioned both in verses and hadiths:

The word humaza in the verse "Waylun li kulli humazatin lumazatin" (Humaza) (Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter") means talebearing rather than gossiping (Imam Ghazali Ihya, Trns. A.Arslan, VI, p.545); it was expressed by many scholars. Those two words were used as synonymous and complementary in the form of "hammazin" and "mashshain bi namimin" and it was stated that hammaz people who talebear should not be heeded or paid attention.  (al-Qalam, 68/11).

There are some hadiths that were reported by many people and that are present in almost all sound and esteemed hadith books. For instance, in the hadith “talebearers will not enter Paradise” the word talebearer is used as nammam in some and as qattat in others. (Tirmidhi, Birr wa Sila, 78).

The hadith mentioning that one of the two people who suffer torment in grave suffers due to not avoiding the splashing of urination and the other suffers due to talebearing is present in many hadith books.  (Sahih Bukhari Mukhtasar Tajrid Sarih, hadith numbered 163).

Ghazali regards telling other people who might be interested the things or words that the doer or speaker does not want others to know even if they are good acts or words not crimes or sins as talebearing. He mentions three separate effects that encourage people to talebear: wanting to do wrong to the person whose words are reported, aiming to ingratiate oneself with the person the word is reported to or having the habit of talking just for the sake of talking. 

However, there is one type of talebearing that should not be regarded as talebearing and that should not be blamed as it is stated by our Prophet in a hadith,” A person who mediates between people and reconciles someone with another and reports people’s words for a good purpose and tells concealed lies for a good purpose is not a liar.”  (Tajrid Sarih Translation, hadith numbered 1156). It may resemble talebearing in form but it is completely different from it in terms of intention and purpose.

Zübeyr YETİK

13 How can I be freed from those spiritual troubles?

You should apply to an expert and religious psychologist. You should perform the prayers that you missed. You should do your best to perform your prayers. You can be freed from those spiritual troubles through performing prayers.

Please click on the link given below;

How should we see the illnesses like depression and stres from the point of view of religion, how shoul one be traeted spiritually?  Are there any hadiths of our Prophet regarding the issue?

14 Can you give information about eating little, talking little and sleeping little?

Eating little, sleeping little and talking little are the habits of the righteous persons. Eating a lot, sleeping a lot and talking a lot unnecessarily result in heedlessness. Falling into heedlessness is a big loss.
Eating much fills the heart with gloom.
It weakens mental activities. 
It makes the body clumsy.
It causes sleeping a lot.
It increases the sensual desires.
Eating when you are full is an illness upon illness. 
A Muslim person should be moderate about eating and drinking as in every subject and refrain from eating and drinking extremely and greedily. The friends of Allah, the righteous and the scholars who act in accordance with their knowledge ate once or twice a day.
Eating twice a day: once in the morning and once in the late afternoon is a favorable habit.
It is necessary to prevent the stomach from haram (prohibited) and unreliable foods and drinks.
Ibrahim Hakki of Erzurum states the following in his book called “Marifetname”: “The Saints said, ‘Eat the quantity that will carry you, never eat the quantity that you will carry. Eat to the extent that you will be regarde to have eaten the food. Do not eat to the extent that you will be regarded to have been eaten by the food. If you eat it, all of it will be light and life. If it eats you, it will be trouble for you.’”   

We should get into the habit of eating little in order to prevent the excessiveness of our souls and in order that our spiritual worlds will have love and whisper the melodies of love and observe beyond the veils of mystery that are opened in the early morning. We should transfer our savings we have gained through eating little to the needy and to charitable institutions.   

Eating little is something and benefiting from the bounties Almighty Allah has created for human beings is something else. That is, as Muslims, we will definitely benefit from the food and drinks Allah has given and bestowed and we will eat and drink in a way that will keep our bodies energetic, healthy and strong so that we can serve our Lord and serve in His way. However, we will not squander and will not eat and drink fully lest we should harm our bodies and spirits. We will not let haram and unreliable food into our stomachs. 

Hazrat A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates as follows:
“Allah’s Messenger’s stomach had never been full. He never complained about it to anybody. He liked being poor more than being rich. Even if his stomach was bent because of hunger, that situation would not prevent him from fasting the next day.
However, he could have asked all of the fortunes of the world from his Lord.
Indeed, the Makkah Valley was turned into gold and was offered him but he said: “No, my Lord! Let me be full one day and be hungry the next and supplicate you when I am hungry and thank and praise you when I am full.” (Tirmidhi)

The criterion for sleeping little is sleeping as much as needed and that is about four or five hours.
Talking a lot is also harmful. A person talking a lot loses his esteem among people and a person saying too many words cannot refrain himself from telling lies. It is necessary to gain the habit of talking when someone’s turn to talk comes and when he is asked a question. We should either tell the truth when we talk or we should keep quiet.

As it is seen, the Prophet (may Allah’s peaces and blessings be upon him) and the persons following his holy trails have never esteemed the world and refrained from eating a lot, sleeping a lot and talking a lot that prevented themselves from worshiping peacefully,
Remembering Allah,
Being awake in the early morning,
And having comfort and peace in their hearts; and they never esteemed them.

15 Is it a sin to fall in love?

Falling in love is not a sin. According to a hadith, it is stated that someone who fell in love with a woman and died concealing his love without telling anyone about it is considered to be a martyr. As you know, love is not emotional, out of the soul, but it is the name for the excessive affection out of the heart. For this reason, falling in love is not something one can control. It is religiously permissible that you think of her or that thoughts about her come to your mind. However, it is wrong to love her so much as to sacrifice blessed things. You stated your thought about her and asked for her permission to marry her. We believe that there is no use in insisting on it if she has refused your proposal because then it seems she has made her choice. We cannot foresee what will be good for us. There is a possibility of regretting the things that we are craving. So, it is the best to pray for the things that will be good for us and to maintain patience if we do not get what we want.

Maryam’s (Mary’s) mother had expected a baby boy. Yet, Allah gave her a girl and she was so upset about it. If we could ask her now whether she would prefer “dozens of boys or only one girl, Maryam”, she would have surely chosen Maryam because her daughter became the mother of a prophet.

So, this is how we had better act. 

16 Could you please explain and tell the difference between "Karamah" and "Istidraj" ?

WONDER-WORKS (Karamah)

Karamah literally means something precious, superior, nice and generosity. As an Islamic term, it means “a supernatural event which happens through a believing righteous person”.

Some scholars considered Allah’s all kinds of endowment on saints a wonder-work, regardless of the condition of supernaturality (Sayyid Sabiq, al-Aqidatu’l-Islamiyya, Beirut, (nd), p.24). What is meant here by “supernatural event” is an event which happens outside the general laws of nature.

Indeed, the system and plan that are dominant over the universe is more marvelous than supernaturality. For this reason, Allah, the Glorious, suggests the system and plan in the universe as evidence to His oneness by saying “If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides God, there would have been confusion in both! But glory to God, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!” (al-Anbiya, 21/22). People attach more importance to wonder-works than those perfect laws ruling in universe because they have become too familiar with them as they observe them every day.

As the creator of the natural laws is Allah, it is also in His power to change them. “To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and God hath power over all things” (aal-i Imran, 3/189). In this sense, we should consult to the book sent by Allah to us in order to determine the possibility of supernaturality.

Scholars specially cite the 24th-26th verses of chapter Maryam, 16th-17th verses of chapter al-Kahf and 37th verse of chapter Aal-i Imran as evidence to wonder-works. (see: Razi, at- Tafsiru'l Kabir, Tahran (n.d.), VIII, 30; AbusSuud, Irshadu'l-Aqli's-Salim, Cairo (n.d.), II, 31; Tabatabai, al-Mizan fi Tafsiri'l-Qur'an, Qum (n.d.), III, 174-175)

The fact that one of Prophet Solomon’s viziers brought Bilqis’ (or Balqis; queen of Sheba) throne from Yemen to Palestine in a blink of an eye (an-Naml, 27/40) and the story of “ashab-al kahf (inhabitants of the cave)” told in chapter al-Kahf are examples of righteous people’s wonder-works (al-Kahf, 18/9-25). The fact that fresh dates dropped when Maryam (Mary) shook a dead date tree is a wonder-work of hers. (Maryam, 19/19).

The narrations about the issue in hadiths are as follows:  Abd b. Juwain talked with a child in cradle (Bukhari, Anbiya, 48). The narrative of a cow talking with its owner (Bukhari, Anbiya, 54). Umar shouted out from Madinah to Sariyah, the commander of Islamic army in Nahavand saying that “go up to the mountain” and commander Sariyah heard it (Ajluni, Kashfu’l-Khafa), II, 380-381).

Allah, the Glorious, says in a verse in the chapter Aal-i Imran: “Right graciously did her Lord accept her: He made her grow in purity and beauty: To the care of Zachariah was she assigned. Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Mary! Whence does this come to you?" She said: "From God: for God Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure." (Aal-i Imran, 3/37).

In this verse, a boon bestowed upon Mary is told about. What we should ponder over is from whence this boon may have come. Was it natural, that is to say; in accordance with natural laws, or was it through a supernatural event? The expression style of the verse and Zachariah’s prayer mentioned in the verse prior to this one support that the boon was bestowed in a supernatural way. If it was not through a supernatural way, it would be meaningless to mention this to extol Mary (Razi, ibid., VIII, 30; Alusi, Ruhu’l Maani, Beirut (n.d.), III. 144).

As for the issue of Zachariah’s prayer, Prophet Zachariah was old and his wife could not give birth anymore (Aal-i Imran, 3/40). However, when he witnessed the boon bestowed upon Mary, he prayed as “Lord, give me a pure generation. You hear the prayers” (Aal-i Imran, 3/38). It is meaningful that he prayed for having a pure generation right away after seeing it. As is told by many interpreters, when he witnessed that wonder-work created for Mary, he desired to have children though his wife was too old and he prayed for it (Fakhruddin ar-Razi, ibid, VIII, 30; Abu Suud, II, 31).

Moreover, the word “boon” is mentioned as “nakra (indefinite)” in the verse and it indicates to honor that boon. That is to say, it indicates that the boon is so unordinary and unexpected (Razi, ibid, VIII, 30; Abu Suud, ibid, II, 30).

In conclusion, it tells about supernaturality. It is possible for a saint to have a supernaturality, that is, a wonder-work. However, the reality of wonder-works does not require that every saint should have a wonder-work. Saintliness does not need supernaturality (Ibn Abi'l-Izz al-Hanafi, Sharhu Aqida fi't-Tahawiyye, Beirut 1392 p. 561). In fact, most of the companions of the Prophet do not have wonder-works (Muhammad Fakhr Shaqfa, at-Tasawwuf Bayn'l Haqq wa'l-Khalq, Syria 1971, p. 103).

Wonder-works, apart from being real, have been given different meanings, far away from its origin, because of people have too much interest in such events; and they use the wonder-works for propaganda of their sheikhs. When axioms mentioned in the Quran and sunnah as proof to the wonder-works are analyzed, it can be seen that such wonder-works occur when saints encounter some difficulties and that such occurrences do not happen all the time. Moreover, occurrence of such a wonder-work is neither under saints’ control nor do saints have the knowledge of them. When they occur, they occur to ease or abolish saints’ troubles; as a way out.

Doubtlessly, one of the dangerous misinterpretations of wonder-works is the thought that saints predict future and ghaib (unknown) and that they read people’s minds. 

Wonder-works and predicting the unknown:

Ghaib means unknown. The verse the translation of which is “No one can know but Allah” points out to this reality.

It is indicated in the 26th verse of the chapter al-Jinn that ghaib can be known only by Allah. However, in the following verse, it is said that He will give information about past and future to His slaves whom He has chosen. That means that Allah’s beloved slaves can know the unknown as well.

In this sense, we should understand the statement “No one can know ghaib but Allah” as “no one can know unless Allah lets them know”. In fact, our Prophet informed about some events that happened in the past and some that will happen in the future, with the permission of Allah.

Yes, Allah can let a beloved slave of His (a prophet or a saint) know the unknown if He wills. Those honorable people can inform about an event through an inspiration in their hearts. That is to say, Allah can let some people know before an event happens. It is also evidence of Allah’s free will. If we say that no one else but Allah can know and claim that prophets and saints cannot know the unknown, we will have harmed the truth of the verse and we will have admitted the idea that Allah’s will is restricted from the beginning. And it contradicts our belief.

Revelation is sent only to prophets. On the other hand, inspiration is given to Allah’s beloved slaves.

Another idea regarding the issue is that a saintly person can sense some things about another person as the hadith of our Prophet “Beware of a true believer’s perception because he/she observes through Allah’s light (Tirmidhi, Tafsiru surah, 15/6) indicates. As a matter of fact, when a man who looked at a woman while walking in the street went over Hazrat Uthman, he said “one of you is entering and there is a trace of visual fornication in his eyes”. Then, the man asks: “Is revelation still coming after the Messenger of Allah?”. And Uthman says: No, but a true believer has a strong perception” (Nabhani, Hujjatu’l-lahi ala’l-Alamin, p. 862).

When evaluated from this point of view, it is necessary to determine the limits of knowing the unknown very well. We can say according to the criteria given above that we cannot consider a person to be a saint just because he displays supernatural events. And we cannot consider his supernatural events as wonder-works. First of all, we must take that person’s degree of closeness to Allah’s laws and his loyalty to Islam into consideration, and then we can make a judgment about them accordingly. A person who claims to have wonder-works without a lawful reason is not regarded positively but negatively. However, the greatest wonder-work is being on the path of Allah’s laws.

When one talked about wonder-works near Abdullah at-Tustari, he said: “What wonder-work? What verse? There are some things that Allah reveals when their time comes. However, the greatest wonder-work, be sure of it, is replacing one’s own bad features with good ones.” Abu’l Hasan Ash-Shazali says on the issue: “Real wonder-work is being on the right path, and making that path to the most mature level. It is based on two things. It is enabled by really believing in Allah and complying with Allah’s Messenger’s teachings. A person’s duty is to endeavor to gain them. A person must have only one aim: to reach those two goals. However, as for wonder-works which are regarded as supernaturality, it is not esteemed by scholars because it occurs through the ones who have advanced on the path and sometimes occurs as a result of istidraj (supernatural event through the hands of an unbeliever).”

Moreover, Allah’s saintly slaves do not esteem wonder-work or wonder-works which happen through a righteous slave and do not accept those wonder-works as indications of those people’s superiority. On the issue, Imam Yafii says: “A person through whom wonder-works happen is not necessarily a saint. It cannot be said that it is evidence to their superiority over other people; such kind of a claim cannot be put forward. There are some people who do not show any wonder-works yet they are more virtuous than and superior to those who show wonder-works. As a matter of fact, a wonder-work may have occurred in order to improve its owner’s belief. It can be evidence to that person’s righteousness and virtuousness. However, the wonder-work is not necessarily evidence to his/her superiority. Superiority can be gained only by believing as if one has seen God and by recognizing Him” (see: Abdullah al-Yafii, Kitabu Nashri’l-Mahasani’l-Ghaliyya, p.119).

To sum up the issue of wonder-work, it is a blessing Allah gives to His beloved slaves and it is an inspiration which He evokes in their hearts.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WONDER-WORK (KARAMAH) AND ISTIDRAJ

Allah bestowed upon His prophets wonder-works in order to prove that their prophethood is right and similarly he bestowed some marvelous events called “wonder-works” upon His saintly slaves. Wonder-works shown by a saintly person is the indication of the truth of the Prophet’s prophethood. It is because the wonder-work of a saint is considered to be the wonder-work of the prophet that the saint follows.

There are some events which can be shown as examples of wonder-works: the River Nile overflowed when Umar’s letter was thrown into it. While Umar was reciting a sermon on minbar (pulpit) in Madinah, he shouted out “O Sariya, beware of the mountain” to the commander of the army which was at a distance of one month and Sariya heard it, and the army escaped from that danger.

Wonder-works can be seen with people who recognize Allah with all of His attributions, worship Him faultlessly, avoid sins, do not incline to unlawful means of delight and do not indulge in heedlessness. The marvelous events which are seen with people who do not have those qualities and even live a life which totally contradicts them are not wonder-works but “istidraj”.

Istidraj means marvelous events done by people who are apparently infidels or sinful according to their own will. (1) As a matter of fact, in a hadith written in the explanation of al-Fiqhul-Akbar, the following is stated about the issue:

“When you see that Allah gives a confirmed disobedient person whatever he wants, it is istidraj.” (2)

The reason why Allah gives those who rebel against Him whatever they want is to increase their punishment not because they have got truth. As a matter of fact, Satan is allowed to travel around the world however he likes; Pharaoh and Namrud were given a lot of boons on the earth because it would cause them to increase their rebellion so that they will have more punishment in the Hereafter. In a verse, the reality is indicated by the statement “Those who reject Our Signs, We shall gradually visit with punishment, in ways they perceive not”. In fact, another meaning of istidraj is that it leads a person to his/her desire slowly, while throwing him/her into a disaster without warning.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi who says “Wonder-work and istidraj are opposite to each other in meaning” explains the issue as follows:

“A wonder-work is an act of Allah’s, like a miracle. And the owner of the wonder-work knows that it is from Allah and also knows that He oversees him. His belief in Allah increases. However, sometimes he is aware of his wonder-works with the permission of Allah and sometimes he is not. The latter is better and safer for him.”

Istidraj consists of revealing the unknown during unawareness and displaying weird acts. However, the ego and the arrogance of the person who shows istidraj grows so much that he starts to recite the verse, the translation of which is ‘This fortune is given to me only because of a knowledge that I have’ like Qarun because he attributes the istidraj to himself and his own power.

“However, if that evolvement is due to depurating of his lower-self and enlightening of his heart, there is not a significant difference between the owner of istidraj and owner of wonder-works.”

Those who totally reach non-existence in Allah’s existence can also reveal unknown events with Allah’s permission. And they perceive events with their senses which have become non-existent in Allah’s existence. It is obviously different from istidraj. In fact, the brightness of the secrets revealed cannot be compared to the darkness of hypocrites.” (4)

On the other hand, istidraj is closely related to witchcraft. The experts of istidraj show what was not done through witchcraft as if it was done. For instance, though they do not eat glass and do not jab enormous needles on their bodies, people think they do so. As it is also stated by Imam Rabbani, this verse clearly describes the position of istidraj people:
And they think that they have something (to stand upon). No, indeed! They are but liars! The Evil One has got the better of them: so he has made them lose the remembrance of God. They are the Party of the Evil One.” (5)
In conclusion, we can say that marvelous things such as eating glass or jabbing enormous needles on their bodies done by people who do not obey Allah and desire things which Allah forbade, are not wonder-works but just istidraj. And even if they obey Allah, Imam Rabbani considers their works as istidraj because they do it in order to show off and become famous. A real saint shows a wonder-work when needed as a kind blessing from Allah, not to show off.
In this sense, we should not esteem the low ones who do such things in order to deceive people, gain some interests and gain a fake fame. Those works of them should not be confused with saints’ wonder-works.
1. Muwazzah Ilm-i Kalam, p. 176.
2. al-Fiqhul Akbar Aliyyu’l-Kari Explanation Translation, p. 195.
3. al-Araf, 182.
4. Mesnevî-i Nuriye, s. 208.
5. al-Mujadala  18-19.
6. Imam Rabban, Maktubat, 2. V, 99. maktub.

17 Is Psychological Violence forbidden (haram)?

Psychological violence is disapproved in Islam; because psychological violence includes behaviors such as not showing affection, humiliation, continuous criticism, jealousy, embarrassing someone in front of others, hurting one’s honor, threatening and restricting one’s freedom of thought and attitude; none of which can be approved in Islam.

18 Can you explain the methods of overcoming excitement and of becoming successful? (Social Phobia)

Everything that we do for the first time causes excitement and fear. At the time of fear, excessive cortisol is secreted into the circulatory system, parallel to the agitation felt. It hinders the flow of ideas. The individual loses his positive feelings at that moment. In some cases, hands and even the whole body tremble. Heartbeat and blood circulation speed up. It becomes hard to control one’s actions. If this problem happens in a more severe way than that, one cannot keep eye contact with others; his head trembles, he feels as if his brain has been disconnected from the outer world. At times of fear, one feels the flowing of anxiety within oneself. In order to be saved from that situation immediately, one becomes obliged to escape from there and to give up what he wanted to do there. Moreover, anxiety or fear causes the speaker to lose credibility.

In some people, the feeling of fear has developed much. Anxieties that are frequently felt aggravate one another more and more, and the ability to feel anxious develops: One starts to feel anxious even because of the smallest problem. Excessive fear and anxiety is extremely harmful to the nervous system.
All successful speakers undoubtedly felt excited when they came in front of the public. Without an exception, everyone can overcome fear and anxiety. However, in order to do that, one should revise all of his/her beliefs and should do a set of exercises. The reasons for fear are explained below one by one.

THE REASONS FOR FEAR

Among the basic reasons for fear, we can count a childhood full of oppression, chronic stress and illnesses, staying in an antisocial environment for a long time, believing in failure, weakness of memory, and running out of words.

A Childhood Full of Oppression

Such things as excessive family authority, oppression, violence, and beating can be experienced during childhood and youth. If it continues for a time with a degree beyond normal, it causes a profound introversion and lack of courage in the psychology of the individual. The child loses his/her self-confidence in an environment of oppression and violence. His/her personality develops on the one hand as reactionary, on the other as dependent on others. A continuously insulted child develops an image of failure in his/her subconscious. Under normal circumstances, it is not possible to eradicate that image without exercising a special effort. If you have excessive excitements that have somehow developed, you should eliminate them with radical changes.


Continuous Stress and Illnesses


Occasional, even if severe, stress and illnesses do not cause a negative chronic effect on one’s psychology. Furthermore, if they happen for short durations and cease, they can increase joy and excitement of life.
However, if stress (and the illnesses that produce stress) is experienced for a long time even if slightly, a situation like this unfolds: The hormone of cortisol is continuously secreted into the circulatory system of blood. This secretion turns the body into a dump in a short while. Stress tenses the body and readies it against attack. Therefore, if this pollution is not cleaned with suitable methods, the nervous system, which is under excessive pressure, becomes tired. If this tiredness continues without interval, it may cause even the death of a person. The body takes an automatic precaution against this situation. The chain of command between the brain and the body is weakened. This is because the person has such a way of thinking that it produces tension and harms the body. In that case, in order to save the body from death, the brain, in a way, numbs the body; it relaxes and becomes relieved. However, this relaxation deeply harms the flow of ideas at the same time. In this process, the flow of ideas becomes blocked; retention weakens; forgetfulness arises and the person becomes depressed with his inner problems.

All of those mentioned above cause the individual to lose self-confidence and to become dissociated from people. This way, the aspects of fear, namely failure, blaming and despising oneself, show up.
However, the fact that illnesses cause stress stems from the way one thinks. If one sees illnesses as an opportunity to mature oneself, one’s body may suffer, but one may not experience harmful stress, as one’s psychology will be sound.

Antisocial Work Environment


There are certain occupations and work environment which cause people to stay away from the society. For instance, those who are to stay and work in front of the computer stay away from the outer world to a great extent. Their brains are thoroughly caught in the cyber world provided by the computer. Certain factory works may imprison one in front of a counter. Also, guards who work at night and sleep during day have a somewhat antisocial flow of life. However, such professions as management, marketing, teaching and emceeing encourage people to be social.


When people confine themselves to the jobs that lead them away from the society, their minds get used to this environment. Their abilities of conversing with different people weaken. Their conceptions become limited by their own criteria. They get bored of socializing and conversing with people. Their personalities develop in a circle of introversion and individuality; therefore, when they need to say something in front of a crowd, they feel grave fear and excitement. However, those who take up different hobbies and do extra social activities can prevent that unfortunate flow of life.

Belief in Failure

Even if any one of the above-mentioned conditions is not present, people may be scared to speak in front of a crowd. An important reason for that is the settlement of the image of failure in minds. The meaning that humans attach to each behavior is sent to the subconscious as a command. Not everyone who has set out to accomplish something can do so. It is just natural for every one of us. Nevertheless, when they do not get the desired outcome, some people come to a hasty conclusion that they failed and they accuse themselves. Those accusations are repeated many times, and in the end the individual unknowingly dictates the judgment “I am unsuccessful” to his/her subconscious. It is a big limitation because once the individual makes this belief automatic, it causes him/her to become unsuccessful in almost every endeavor he takes. Our brain tries its best to affirm whatever we believe.

Even if the person who settled the belief “I am unsuccessful” in his/her subconscious takes action saying, “Maybe this time I can accomplish”, s/he often feels the apprehension “What if I cannot succeed”. This anxiety impoverishes his/her attention and occupies the mind with negative results. Those possible negative results weaken the will to resist and to persevere. The individual feels feeble. This lack of power and the worry that is brought with it leads one to the point of giving up. Thus, one really becomes unsuccessful. On the other hand, it is a success-requiring courage to be able to speak in front of a public. As the belief in failure ruins courage, the individual cannot speak before a crowd. Even when the possibility of failure comes to mind, s/he feels a deep fear or anxiety.

Having Nothing to Say

The last factor which prevents one from speaking in front of a public is having nothing to say. Of course, if we do not know what to say, we get stuck while speaking. We often experience it. Therefore, if we are not sure of our ideas, we cannot dare to speak.

There may be many reasons why one does not have anything to say, and it is a common problem. In the first place, it stems from the fact that one is not a good reader. People obtain 80% of their knowledge through reading. The knowledge of those who do not read at all is very limited. In addition, those people cannot produce new meanings and perspectives by relating their pieces of knowledge to each other. However, people may have personal experiences from ways other than reading. They might have thought upon those experiences. In that case, they have knowledge. The one who does not have anything to say is the person who is interested in very few subjects, and even uninterested in anything other than himself/herself. An utterance can be uttered only if it concerns others. Those who do not care about others and do not ponder over general problems do not exercise their brains enough. Therefore, if such people are asked to speak, they feel worried about what to say. This worry destroys their courage to speak.

Inability to Control Memory

A very weak memory is one of the most important causes of the loss of self-confidence and of avoidance of speaking. This is because the speaker does not dare speak as he thinks that his memory will not help him, and that he may forget what he is to say. Actually, those who have a weak memory exhibit the symptoms of an evident illness. In general, though, weakness of memory is not a symptom of an illness but that of a mental laziness. Mental laziness stems from lack of concentration. Moreover, lack of concentration originates from tension or stress. Therefore, the more one relaxes, the more concentration one has; this increase makes it possible for memory to function properly.

A person who has mentally and emotionally focused on the topic that he will deliver a speech about can certainly talk about it. Still, we will briefly dwell on certain techniques which empower memory and cause it to be of more help to us. Those who wish to attain a perfect memory should know that they can develop their memories with diligent work to the level they desire in a short time.

Disappearance of Fear

It is true that if you have not spoken in front of thousands of people for hundreds of times, you will feel excitement each time. Sometimes this excitement becomes so insurmountable that they cannot force you to the pulpit even with chains.

Be confident of yourself. You will overcome fear and excitement very easily. If you really desire it, know right now that when you come in front of public, your heart will be in peace and your eyes will shine.

You will organize your efforts under three main parts. Do not forget. Fears are the result of the automatic programs fixed in your mind. When the occasion comes, these programs start functioning just like a phonograph record. If you do not damage or do not put a new one instead, the older one continues to play. The worst of all, the records you play all the time become even stronger and deeply rooted each time you play them.

We will eradicate our fears by working in three main areas. The first one is the area built with words. Words form one dimension of ideas. If we have fears, they are woven with words. We will solve this part with “the System of Sentence Suggestion”.

The second dimension of our ideas is formed by images. How do you imagine yourselves? As a person trembling out of fear? As a courage incarnate, head upright and with a smile on your face? The saying, “Man is what he thinks.” is true. Let us change this saying: Man is how he sees himself the most in his imagination. We need to change the image films about ourselves. Let us name this work as “Image Suggestion System.” While trying to overcome fear, we will use a third dimension, ‘behavior.’ All of the ideas which are composed of words or images turn into actions when they are repeated. Actions are behaviors and attitudes. The real stimulator of the molds in our minds is the attitudes we take. This is because when the idea turns into attitude, all our perceptions start to function. While you are behaving, you hear, see and touch what you do. Let us refer to the work we undertake in this section as “the Behavior Suggestion System.” Now you are ready to build your great, pride-inspiring personality. If you continue working with us sincerely, you will notice the excitingly fast change you will undergo. Let us get started:

Sentence Suggestion

The most important factor conducive to the continuance of fear and anxiety of speaking in front of people is the belief system. Every piece of information we take in and every experience we have affect our belief system and reshape it. In this section, we will relate the outstanding ones of these beliefs.

- I am not skilled enough.
- The people who achieve it are far superior to me.
- Until now, I have always been unsuccessful.
- While there are others, it is not up to me to do that work.

You may have these basic beliefs to a great or small extent. They are absolutely incorrect beliefs for everybody. However, most of the people are doomed to pass their lives vaguely as they have acquired those incorrect beliefs. When we pay attention, we see that beliefs always verify themselves., All material and spiritual powers try to confirm whatever we believe. Now, we will explain why the beliefs mentioned above are not true. Please read these explanations again and again. Even if you memorize these explanations, continue to read them whenever you have the opportunity. Here the objective is not only to learn. The main objective is that the true belief is attached to your subconscious. This is because your beliefs are the words that you repeat to yourself for many times. Now you need to replace them with the true beliefs by repeating them to yourself. If you read these explanations enough, and if you continue to think about them whenever you have the opportunity, in a month, your new beliefs will be saved in your subconscious. If you want to change faster, you should use the system explained in teletherapy cassettes every day.

In accordance with the sentence suggestion system, we will give new sentence commands which will reshape your subconscious quickly. Already, the patterns in our subconscious were comprised of such sentence commands. In order that the commands are established strongly, they must possess certain characteristics. We can list them as follows:

1. Deep Relaxation:

You should relax all your muscle systems. In a seminar, the presenter will show you how to relax deeply. The more deeply you relax, the deeper and more permanent your commands are established.

2. Sentence Structure

The structure of the sentence must be simple enough. You should build short sentences. The sentence should only be in the present continuous tense. The subconscious takes the words uttered in the past or future tense for past or future time. The past is always past and the future is always future. The subconscious does not understand the negative commands or it understands them on the contrary. It only processes positive commands.
3. The Continuity of Development
The sentence structure should include the continuity and betterment of the development. Based on the repetition of any event, the state of betterment should be expressed. Let us criticize the suggestion sentences below accordingly:
- As a person who wants to be successful, I develop every day and proceed to perfection step by step and quickly. (This sentence is too long; the command gets lost.)
- I am not smoking. (The tense is correct, but the sentence is in the negative.)
- I will study hard. (There is no condition for development. There is a mistake of future tense. Even if centuries pass, the subconscious always postpones the command to the future.)
- I am smiling more every day and every breath. (The length is appropriate. The continuous tense is correctly used. The development is linked to every day and every breath. This is the best way of sentence suggestion. Say, “Every morning, I’m getting up fresher.”

While building suggestions, you may encounter hardships in removing the negative structures.
How will you remove the old ones?


I am getting angry-----------------------------------I am not getting angry.
I am smoking. ----------------------------------------I am not smoking.
The solution is not using the expressions in the negative. Rather, you need to choose the opposite positive expressions.
You want not to be angry--------------------------I am becoming more peaceful.
You want not to smoke---------------------------I am quitting smoking.

In this section, we first need to eradicate the incorrect beliefs that hinder our success. Then, we will build the idea-foundations of correct beliefs. Then we will exercise to encode these idea-foundations to our subconscious.

DESTRUCTIVE BELIEFS

I Am Not Talented Enough


You have also been given a life a day of which is 24 hours, just like Edison and Einstein. You also carry in your skull a wonderful mechanism of brain which is composed of the same billions of neurons as other people. You were sent to the world with the only developed talent to suck milk just like everyone and learnt everything else in the world. You possess such a great potential that even if you perform millions of works, you use only about one or two thousandth of your brain’s capacity. Nobody was created with more talents than yours. And you were not created with more talents than anyone. Then, why do some people climb up to peaks? Why are such things as sympathy, charisma, richness, fame and the like possessed only by certain people? If you are a physicist, why are you not an Einstein or Abdussalam? If you are a littérateur, why can’t you surpass Shakespeare who still remains to be bright deep in the history?

The only means that makes one potentially superior is “knowledge” and “education” based on knowledge. If you observe yourself, you will see that you do not have any skill that is not based on knowledge. Is it not interesting that the first command in the Qur’an addressed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was illiterate, is “read” in other words “learn”? Today we acquire 80 % of what we know by reading.
You are so superior that you do not deserve to be degraded to dragging yourself in floods of ordinariness. It is up to you to reach the “great you” living in your dreams. Nobody can add one more minutes to his/her daily 24 hours. However, you can do ten day’s work in one day. How much investment did you make in your personal talents?
You can hear various voices of opposition in your mind; do you take our assertions lightly? Then take a look at the explanations below:

- The People Who Accomplish This Work is Much Superior to Me


You are misleading yourself. Anthony Robbins says he once thought like that, too. He was working as a servant in a hotel at the age of about 20. He was poor and without education. When he had enough of the suffering already, he decided to change his life from scratch. He first attended a fast reading course and in a couple of years read 700 books.
Today, the same man is the person who earns millions of dollars each year and is renowned across the world. Even professors who spent their years in education started to take lessons from and to recommend the books of that man who did not receive further education and whom they firstly did not take seriously. What changed his life in only ten years and in such a way? He set out solely to succeed and the fate brought him success. We should comprehend the reality that he comprehended.

We should know these: There are billions of neurons in the human nervous system. Our brain which is composed of neurons can process 30 billion bits of knowledge in a second. In any normal brain, the potential number of pattern or connection is expressed as 10 million kilometers of zeros following the number 1. Each neuron in our brain has a capacity of saving one million bits of information. Every healthy individual has this awesome potential and we, humans, make use of approximately only 1 % of our potential. And the remaining great capacity is at our disposal, waiting to be explored.

 
Edison, who is the possessor of about 200 inventions, attaches 99 % of success to work and study, and 1 % to intelligence. It does not mean that intelligence is unimportant. Rather, it means that the only way that intelligence can develop is work and study.

Indeed, those who succeed in it are superior to you. Nevertheless, this superiority does not stem from their being born superior to you. They became superior only through work and study. Everybody recorded in history as superior became superior merely by working diligently; in other words, they improved their brain capacity that they used.
Although you do not have any difference to others, if you confine yourselves not to be superior, this belief structure that you form will prevent you from being superior all your life.


-Until Now I Have Always Been Unsuccessful


In order to discover electricity, Edison, too, had to wait for years and make thousands of experiments. One of the presidents of the United States had to enter many elections for years and to lose in order to become the president in the end. Life always brings about success to those who persevere on their objectives.

You need to remove the word “failure” from your vocabulary. There is no such thing; there is no failure for the one who continues the initiative; rather only getting one more step closer to success each time. Everything called failure is the discovery of another way which could not lead you to success. Every event thought as failure is full of invaluable lessons for us. If you did not check the results of what you did, you will judge it as a “failure” and will quit working. If you do not have a compass at hand, your only way to success is trial and error. However, now you have the compasses bequeathed by those who reached success.
You need not only remove the word “failure” from your vocabulary, but also change the meanings that you attached to that word as “I got one more step closer to success.” When you do that change, you will see that, in reality, this is the truth itself.
If you cannot forget that word, you will definitely use it; do define failure correctly. There is only one failure in reality: Abandoning working, trying, and initiating.


It is not up to me to do this work while there are others
If everybody thought like that, we would stay in the dark at nights now. The people who changed lives of every one of us did not think this way. The people who say that this work is my responsibility in the first place are the ones who actually do that work. The people who show difference are those who take on responsibility willingly. Is everything that you use the products of others? Why do you not produce it yourselves? Once you say that the responsibility of this work lies on my shoulders, you will see that you will instantly be made the leader of that work. It is an established rule. There is no harm to you, even if others perform the same work that you do. If you, too, do it, that work will reach perfection. In any way, if you use your sentiments strongly and work more diligently, you will rise to be a leader of others doing that work, too. 

There are two kinds of people in the world: The ones that lead others and the ones that are led; producers of ideas, and the followers of the produced idea. Those in the first category are less than 10 % of the whole humankind. Only through a change of belief and perspective, you can enter the first group.
If you still say, “I cannot do it”, then you should know that you do not want to do. In other words, you want to say, “I do not want to do”. There is nothing to do for the person who does not want to do though he knows that he can do. Our Creator did not give anybody the right and power of interfering with the wills of people who know what they can do.

EXERCISE: FEAR-SENTENCE SUGGESTION


1. After reading the suggestion sentences below, examine the following explanations. Firstly, we should establish the belief foundations for suggestion sentences.

a) My Great Skills Are Developing Every Day


You will tell this sentence to yourself millions of time. Please first dedicate some of your time to yourself. Look back into your whole past. Whatever you have accomplished until now, whether small or big, even a very small experience you have had, write it down on your notebook. You will see that you, whom you looked down on, have already accomplished great things. You have quite different experiences than a shepherd who does not have any cultural experiences. By thinking about them, you will tell yourself how much potential for talent you possess.

b) Each day I am continuing to be more superior

You will repeat this belief millions of times, too. Do not forget that you already say to yourself thousands of things about yourself every day. You often told your previous experiences to yourself with the meanings that you attached to them. Now you are changing their meanings and telling them to yourself again. Think about the pasts of the people who succeeded. They did not come to the world as a Martian or as a creature of another sort. At first, they did not know how to read and write, like you. They also grew up in their mothers’ lap. Besides, if we were deprived of a mother’s lap, it means that we have more chances of becoming superior. The greater soldier is the one who reaches victory in spite of harder conditions. If you have suffered more from poverty, illnesses or pain than the people that you know to be successful, it means that your soul is more excited and ready. They will push you up on the way to be more superior to others. You should see the change in your sentiments brought about by this new inner speech.

c) Each day I am continuing to be more successful


Please look into your past. Compare the “you" ten years ago to the “you” five years ago, and to the “you” today. This way of comparison should be established as a habit. There should always be points that you should pay attention to and in which you become superior even a bit. Do not fall into the terrible mistake that many people make. You will compare yourself not to others who have many opportunities, but compare yourself to the you who have more opportunities today than yesterday. You become superior in comparison to yourself. In which fields and how much? In order to see your strengths, you can look at those below you, but never search for superiorities in yourself by looking at those who are superior to you. Otherwise, you will turn the process of improvement into that of regression. You should look at those who are superior to you only when you think about where to climb. This look will push you up. You should see that progress of yours millions of times. Do not forget, our brains cannot differentiate between the outer reality and our reality that we imagine. In other words, just like seeing an orphan baby makes you sad, imagining one makes you sad, too. We cannot control the outer reality but we can shape the reality in our imagination however we like, and we can change it instantly. As we want to change right now, the first thing to do is to change our imagination.


d) I am doing any work that I am faced with right away


Do you have a problem in front of you that needs to be solved? You take action right now. If there is no problem, then you should search for it because especially in this age, we cannot find any place without a problem. There are many duties that we can undertake. Even if we do not undertake the responsibility by looking for it, most often it is presented to us as an opportunity. Most people reject such opportunities as drudgeries. We should know that there need not readily be a financial return for everything we do. The most important reward is the invaluable experience that we acquire. Even if you cannot carry out the work good enough, you should know that nobody did a work perfectly the first time they tried.

Is there a need to help a blind person walking on the street by holding his/her arm? Should a deputy be warned on a subject? Should one caress an orphan’s head? Should the livelihood of your family be taken care of? You may continue the list. Why should someone else but you undertake them? Moreover, someone else is bound to carry them out rather insufficiently. Only this attitude and the repetitions in accordance with this attitude improve you. No single work is drudgery. Even if you make unpaid apprenticeship, the experience you get will one day prove to be invaluable and if you are looking for payment, you will see that you have improved to take the reward of years’ experience overnight.

Of course, we do not mean that you should endeavor to do any work rashly. We mean that you undertake every opportunity which will help you to become “the you whom you wish for” and to develop your skills which are needed for you to become that person.
2. Practice the following suggestions after deep relaxation. Repeat each suggestion ten times in your mind.
- I love my friends more every day.
- Every day my self-confidence and bravery increase. Every day I speak on the stage with increased confidence.
3. Say the suggestion sentences below in a seminar setting (or with your friends in a different place) out loud, first altogether; then one by one.
- My self-confidence is increasing.
- My bravery is increasing.
- I am feeling the strength given by my Creator.
- I am overcoming all handicaps.
- I am getting stronger.
- I love  you all.
Image-Suggestion
Most of the suggestions are comprised of the images (visualization) that we form in our minds. Sometimes the effects of images are hundreds of times more than words. You see yourself in your mind. You are defining the ideal you that you want to reach. You will build that person. You will form your future. You are the hero of what films in your imagination? What sorts of roles do you sketch for yourself? Humans rehearse first in their minds what they experience. What kind of a “you” are you rehearsing to act in the future?
In the image-suggestion system, you will rehearse the you who overcome your fears. In your imagination, you will touch the you in the future. You will see yourself. You will feel your fears. You will hear yourself. You do not have to use this technique only to overcome fear and excitement. This exercise will help you with all the skills that you want to improve.

EXERCISE: FEAR-IMAGE-SUGGESTION


1. You are in front of the public: You will close your eyes (Of course, now they are open in order to read how it is done.) You imagine yourself on the stage. There are thousands of people in front of you. They are applauding you with excitement. See them. The lights are focused on you. The flashes of cameras are shot on you. See the video cameras turned to you and the cameras taking your photos. See the whole hall, the great hall. See yourself on the pulpit.
Hear all voices there; applauses, whistling, flashes, and the microphone in your hand… You are saying “Thank you; thank you.” Hear the echo of your voice. Say: “I am pleased to be in your presence. I love you.” Your voice is waving; you hear it. The place is warm. Feel the temperature. Pay attention to your heart. You are extremely calm. You have the microphone in your hand. You are holding it close to your mouth and feel it. Your heart is calm. You are happy. You start speaking with excitement. They applaud you. You see them.
Look at the front rows. The heads of the state and the deputies are sitting there, watching you. You are speaking as if dominating them, your head upright. You are happy, brave and you are smiling. (The visual simulation explained in this section will be applied by your seminar presenter with music on.)

2. Imagine yourself as arguing with Bill Clinton.
3. Imagine that you are speaking in a panel discussion on TV. Live all details.
4. You are addressing deputies in the Parliament pulpit.

Behavior-Suggestion


All behaviors that we exhibit become a part of our character in time. They become automatic. If we change our behaviors, then we also change the sentiments that we attach to them. Sentiments and behaviors always come side by side. If you behave as if you are afraid, you become afraid; if you become afraid, you behave as if you are afraid. What if you behave as if you are not afraid? Even if you are afraid, you will see that your fear is quickly gone. Put aside your feelings and proceed in the face of anything that you are afraid of as if you do not fear it. Now we will carry out certain behaviors that fear does not let us do, increasingly from the weak to the strong. By destroying forms of behavior, we will actually destroy our fears which cause these forms. However, we should pay attention to doing these exercises especially in front of a group of people.


EXERCISE: FEAR-BEHAVIOR-SUGGESTION


1. First, stand up and applaud yourself as a group for having chosen the eloquence seminar. Standing, tell your name, surname and duty. Applaud all your friends.
2. Stand in the first row in groups of four people. (One minute per person) explain how you learnt about the seminar and what your goals are for taking part in it? Everybody asks the coach a brief question. (During each speech, applauses, exclamations, and loud bravos are exhibited.)
3. Climb onto a high place one by one. Say the following sentences aloud and sit down. (Applauses)
”I am brave. I trust myself. I am talented like everybody. I will succeed. Trust me, friends!”
4. Make sticks out of newspaper. Stand up, and crying out the sentences below with gusto, beat the table with the stick again and again.
 “I am destroying the handicaps within myself. I do not know failure. I am very strong.”
5.  In pairs, debate the topic below harshly (sitting and standing):
”Light is more important than earth.” “Earth is more important than light.”
“Intelligence increases thanks to knowledge.” “Knowledge increases thanks to intelligence.”
6. First, everyone practices laughing and shouting where they sit by increasing their voices. Afterwards, in groups of four people and finally one by one, they continue this exercise.
While laughing, expressions like these are used: Look at that; ha ha ha; look, ho ho ho ….
While shouting: Get out of here! Get out, I do not want to see you, get out! …
7. Walking exercises:
Shoulders upright, looking forward, walking with firm and orderly steps…
Walking with one hand in the air, then with both hands, then clapping hands in the air and facing the group…
Walking by moving the whole body, bending side to side and facing the group…
Hands behind, walking while facing the group (tongue out; if you find it too difficult to do it, with the funniest expression you can make.)
8. Singing a Song:
Certain songs will be sung in a group atmosphere, both as a group and individually, mumbling and aloud, sitting as a group and standing one by one. (The seminar presenter will present the necessary pieces to the students with lyrics.)
Memory Factor
In order to affect our memory, there are four main areas which we can emphasize. The degree to which we can dominate these areas determines the power of our memory. As the main theme of our book is not “memory training”, we will not present detailed information about this topic. Here are important factors:
1. Biological-Psychological Soundness: This is about the overall management of our body. The bio-chemical equilibrium of our body seriously affects our memory. Furthermore, the way we manage our spiritual state does critically affect our memory, too. For more information about this topic, refer to the explanations in the second section of the book titled “Happiness Development Approach”.
2. The Level of Relaxation: The gravest enemy of memory is tension. Stress caused by tension slows and even prevents the flow of ideas. The more tension, the less concentration. The less concentration, the more harm done to the memory. If you practice the deep relaxation exercises taught in our seminar once every day (30 minutes), you will observe a noticeable change in 20 days (See the Addendum). We can say that the easiest way to make your memory stronger is deep relaxation.

3. Belief Style: Do you believe that you have a bad memory? If your answer is “yes”, be sure that your memory is bad because even if you have a perfect memory foundation, if you believe that you do not, your loyal friend subconscious will do whatever it can to make your memory just like you believe it to be. If you want to be mad, there is a very easy way of being so. Tell yourself every day that you are mad. 
How do we develop the belief that our memory is bad? On the days that we are tense and worried, the idea flow of our brain slows down. At such times, bad memory becomes obvious. We start to feel worried and to tell ourselves that our memory is bad. Then some of our friends whom we love but who harm us direct weakening suggestions to us: “How can you forget? You seem to age, I guess. You, too, have become forgetful, haven’t you? Be careful not to forget that, too.” Hearing such remarks repeatedly, we become fully conditioned to forgetfulness. When such expressions are repeated, firstly they cause suspicion. Then they turn into opinion and afterwards into belief. Finally, they become quite strong, nearly as much as faith. Eliminating them becomes as hard as removing veins from the body.
If you have such a belief - it might have developed consciously or subconsciously -, you should eliminate it right away. Learn the reasons for the weakening of memory. If you think that your memory is in good health and it continues to improve, you will reverse the process. First, you become suspicious of your former belief. Afterwards, this suspicion turns into an opinion. Once you believe that you have a strong memory, be assured that your brain will work as best as it can to confirm this belief of yours.
4. Memory Techniques
 Until now, many scientific researches have been carried out on memory, and especially Western researchers have developed original memory techniques. Actually, those memory techniques are as old as human history. In the past there lived people with super memories. However, we can say that we have just reached the system which can easily be used by everyone. You can also become a memory master by working on those techniques adequately.
We know that one of the renowned memory trainers is Dominic O’Brian and another one is Tony Buzan. In Turkey,  having a perfect memory himself, Melik Safi Duyar accomplished a praiseworthy service by presenting the known memory techniques to the Turkish public. Though, apart from these people, there are many others who make startling shows with their incredible memories, works authored by these people will provide us with adequate information about memory techniques.

A point should be made here. One who does not know how to relax deeply cannot really benefit from the other two factors. When you accomplish deep relaxation, the natural rhythm of your brain’s functioning does not leave much necessity in normal life for memory techniques.

In this book, we do not give detailed information about memory. Nevertheless, you can find certain books related to the topic in the Addendum of the book. In order to solve the problem of remembering that you may face during conversation, study your topic and eradicate tension. You will see that your memory will not leave you alone and without help. Here you will only be given a couple of exercises.


EXERCISE: FEAR-MEMORY


1. Deep Relaxation and Suggestion


Having done the deep relaxation explained in the Addendum, repeat the following suggestions in the suggestion part.
- Every day my memory is improving.
- Every day I remember better.

2. Perform Sensory Animation


Perform sensory animation in your mind by using your senses. The more you improve your talent of sensory animation through ample exercises, the more strongly information is retained in your brain. Such exercises, samples of which are given below, will improve your ability of insight. You will have reinforced the information in your memory well through such an animation in the exercise that you will do before attempting to speak.

Visual Animation


The image of a mother who is looking for her lost child, the color qualities of the image formed by the Sun while rising and while setting, the image of the light reflecting on  flowing  water, the image of a storm, your image in high school, images of flowers, of insects, cars…
Audio-Animation
Thunder, sounds of animals, wind, buzzing of flies, sound of an airplane, shouting with hatred, crying, laughing…

Animation of Touch


What does your hand feel when you slap; what does your finger feel when it is burnt; what do you feel when you squeeze iron, when you cut yourself, lie on a soft bed, kiss a kid?...


2. Scan Your Previous Knowledge


Who were your teachers in your elementary, secondary and high school years; which classes did you take, what sort of environment did your school have; what special memoirs do you have? Sit down, give yourself the command to remember them and wait.
 

Author: Muhammet Bozdağ

19 Sometimes I happen to think of horrible things. I cannot help it. Is it sin?

Responsibility is only for voluntary acts. In other words, if man does something with his own will, he assumes the responsibility as well. The things that recur to the mind, is not something man thinks of willingly. That is, you do not make up your mind to think about bad things and then do it right away. Therefore, there could be no responsibility for this. Knowing that these are the scruples of the Satan, one must not dwell on them.

The Satan may say to man evil things in a corner of his heart, which is the means to diabolical suggestions. That heart shows worry in the face of these evil words and thought is a proof that man does not do that intentionally. For example, if a man watches the beauty of sky through his dirty binoculars, neither the watcher nor the watched would be smeared with the dirt of these binoculars. Now that this kind of words and thoughts comes from the Satan, it would do no harm to us. The actual harm is to try to drive it away by unnecessarily fighting with it and to be seized with fear by supposing it to be detrimental.

Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)

20 Are prophets' body decayed in their graves?

Abu’d Darda reported:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stated the following: “Recite a lot of ‘salawat’ (a prayer in which God is asked to bless the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants) on Fridays. The salawat recited that day are witnessed; angels witness them. Whoever recites a salawat for me, I am informed of it before its recitation finishes.”  
Thereupon, I said: “Even after you have died?”
“Yes, he said, even after I have died. For this reason, Allah, the All-Mighty forbade the earth to decay the bodies of the prophets. The Prophets of Allah are always alive, and they are blessed with sustenance.” (see Abu Dawud, salat, 207; Nasai, Jumua 5, 45; Ibn Majah, Janaiz 65; Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV, 8)
After explaining the virtues of the day of Friday, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) advised his Ummah (Community) to recite a lot of salawat on that day in order that they could benefit from those virtues. And he said that these salawat would be reported to him. Thereupon, sahabas (the Companions of Our Prophet) found that information strange when they first heard it and they asked Our Prophet (pbuh) how these salawat would be reported to him “after decaying and disappearing,”.   
Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) answered the question that his Companions asked in surprise as follows:
“The earth is unable to decay the bodies of the prophets.”
So, this shows that prophets are alive in their graves. Certainly, this is an exceptional occasion which is within Allah’s power. And Hazrat Prophet reported it as mentioned above. Therefore, the believers believe it so. As it is narrated with an assumption proof, denying it does not necessitate kufr (unbelief) but denying it does not gain a person anything and deprives him from many things. (see al-Manhal, IV, 186-187; Sunan-i Abu Dawud Tarjama and Sharh, Shamil Publications, 4/126-127)  

21 The Dzikir

As each door has a special key, the door of the Compassion of Almighty Allah has its special key, either. The mystery of His Clemency and Compassion is hidden under these defined numbers.

Also we count during dzikr, since our Prophet did count (after salah 33 times Sobhanallah, 33 times Alhamdulillah, 33 times Allahuakbar and etc...) and in many other prays He (pbuh) specified numbers.

22 How can we know whether Allah (SWT) is pleased with us?

Being a faithful person means living a life that Allah is pleased with. As loving Allah (SWT) and knowing that He is pleased with us is something abstract, it is difficult to understand it. A person can say, “I love Allah (SWT)”. However, as this is an expression of our feeling, we should show this with our actions.

On the other hand, is Allah pleased with us? What kind of servants are we in His sight? They are issues that are difficult to comprehend. There should be a way to understand it.

In the following verse, our Creator, Allah, informs us both the way of making sense of our love for Him (SWT) and understanding whether He is pleased with us or not:

“O Muhammad say: If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you.” (Surah Aal-e-Imran, 3/31)

If you pay attention, you will see that the indicator of our love for Allah (SWT) is living Islam by following the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). If we live a life by following our prophet, we can easily say that Allah loves us.

For example, how is your love for your parents understood? If you perform their wishes and leave what they do not love, then your love for them is understood. Even if they do not utter this, we can understand that they love us, too. If just the opposite is the case and you say; “I do not do what do they say but, look at my heart, I love them very much”, how can you convince others?

So, Allah (SWT) created our prophet as a model and He showed the examples of all kinds of beauties on him. Then, He said, 'if you love Me, follow Prophet Muhammad, whom I sent you as a messenger. In this case, you can understand that I love you.'

To sum up: The indication of Allah’s love for us is how much we resemble Prophet Muhammad. We can decide according to this.

The Qur’an and the Sunnah (All traditions and practices of Muhammad, PBUH) is a guidance for all humanity including you and us. That is, following the Qur’an and Sunnah, taking them as a guide and reading the books about belief by contemplating. That is, if you can find books on belief which is about the Qur’an or be with the people who contemplate and comment on these subject on belief and benefit from them, this would be useful both for your world and the hereafter.

Praying five daily prayers on time, avoiding to commit major sins and performing the tasbihat (Reciting the following: "Subhanallah" ("Glory be to Allah") 33 times, "Allahamdu Lillah" ("Praise be to Allah") - 33 times, and "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is greatest") - 33 times) after the end of each obligatory prayer will enable you to develop spiritually.

23 What should young people who suffer from shyness do and what should they do in order to gain self-confidence?

-Confidence or shyness is related with the issue that someone will face. There is a proverb “Man is the enemy of what he does not know”. Thus, at first we should have the knowledge that can be used in front of the people we will confront.  

-This shyness can either be by birth or develop by the effect of the environment where that person was brought up. At first, it is appropriate for him/her to have experience in small and sincere environments. 

-Cicero who could not talk properly before became one of the best preachers of the world after his persistent trials for having a good speech and his efforts by putting small pebbles into his mouth shows that faith will move mountains.

-Changing an opinion with another one is a perfect desire provided that the new idea is more powerful than the old one. Rutherford says, “The cure of laziness is working, the cure of selfishness is self-devotion, the cure of unbelief is obeying the commands of Allah (SWT) and the cure of shyness is facing the frightening thing from the front.”

-Man is in the presence of Allah wherever he is. If shyness is a good and necessary behavior, then Allah (SWT) is the most worthy of it. Man should always be afraid of not being worthy of Him with his/her manners, words and every state. And he should fear him and avoid making mistakes. Anyone who has this understanding can act easily while he/she is with other creatures because there is no place and moment that he is not in the presence of the Creator, Allah. Why does he refrain from acting or saying something which is proper to be done in His presence while he is with other created beings by His permission?

It is appropriate to say the dua (prayer) that Hz. Moses did for this purpose: “Rabbish rahli sadri wa yas-sir li amri wahlul uqdatan min-lisani yafqahu qawli” (Moses) said: "O my Lord! Expand me my breast; Ease my task for me” (Taha, 20/25-28)

24 I am afraid of darkness and jinn. What would you advise me to do?

A Muslim is a person who has creed. He knows that there is a Creator, who always sees and protects him, and thus he becomes free of all kinds of grief and fears. He knows that no one can harm him unless Allah wishes.

It is permissible to pray and to write verses and hadiths on things and to have them on one’s body in order to be protected from things like fear and evil eye. Abdullah bin Umar reported the following from the Prophet (pbuh): “I take refuge in the words of Allah, who is free from imperfection, from the wrath and torture of Allah, from the evils of His slaves, from the delusions of the satans and from their visiting me." Then nobody can harm him. Abdullah bin Amr taught it to his children who reached the age of discernment, and wrote it on something and hung it around the neck of his children who did not reach the age of discernment (Abu Dawud, Nasai, Tirmidhi).

Our Prophet recommends reading the chapters al-Falaq and an-Nas in order to be protected from the evil of the jinni satans.

Please click on the link given below;

How should we take refuge in Allah from the wickedness of jinn?

25 What is the importance of meeting other people’s needs and being good to them?

It is one of the most important duties of a Muslim to do other people favors and not to hurt them. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: A Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe.” (Bukhari, Faith, 3-4; Muslim, Faith, 64-66).

The Prophet also said: “The best friend in the sight of Allah is the one who is good to his companions; and the best neighbor in the sight of Allah is the one who is good to his neighbors.” (Bukhari, Faith, 31; Tirmidhi, Goodness, 28). 

The believer is a person who waits for every opportunity to do favors and who does favors without a single minute of hesitation whenever s/he has got the opportunity and who has put his/her heart and soul into doing favors. Besides, according to a believer, favors can be done not only to human beings but also to animals and plants. In this sense, feeding a hungry animal or watering an almost-faded plant are favors, too. 

The Prophet gives the following example about favors and evil things done to animals: “A prostitute was forgiven by Allah and put into Heaven, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that and put her into Heaven." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Anbiya, 54/538; Muslim, Salam, 153-155) 

On the other hand, the Messenger of Allah gives the second example as follows: “A woman entered (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth. And the cat died of hunger and that woman went to Hell because of that.” (Bukhari, Musaqat, 9; Muslim, Salam, 151-152). 

Favors and kindness that are done to human beings - which are the most honorable of all creatures - are so precious that they cannot be compared to those done to other beings and are superior to them. In a Quranic verse, people to be good to are listed in accordance with their importance as follows: “Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are of kin, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious.” (an-Nisa, 4:36) 

When the verse is carefully examined, we see that we are ordered to do favors and kindnesses to a wide range of people including the whole society after we are warned that we must not attribute partners to Him and must worship sincerely. First, being good to parents, to relatives, to the orphans and the poor are listed. Then, being good to those who are in our neighborhood, who are our relatives, being good to who live away from us or those who are not our relatives, or to those who are not Muslims are listed. 

Commentating on the verse in question, The Late Elmalili mentions the following hadith in the section related to neighbors:

“Neighbors are divided into three. First, if the neighbor is a relative and Muslim, he has got three rights: right for being a neighbor, right for being a relative and right for being a Muslim. Second, he has got two rights if he is not a relative: right for being a neighbor and right for being a Muslim. And the third one has got one right: right for being a neighbor. This is a neighbor who is either a Christian, or a Jew or an unbeliever.” That is to say, even if the neighbor is a follower of another religion or an unbeliever, it is his right for being a neighbor to be treated well. The best goodness that is valid in all corners of the world and in all kinds of situations is a believer’s representing the virtues he has got in the most appropriate and beautiful way and showing these virtues and beauties in his personal life, domestic life and social life. We are then ordered to be good to our friends in the verse, and our best and closest friends are our spouses. Actually, they are called friends for lives. Our spouses are followed by our other friends. 

As already known, all kinds of kindness and favors done to relatives are called “sila ar-rahm” (reunion with relatives). Sila ar-rahm covers many types of kindness and favors from complimenting them, smiling at them, saluting them, asking their news to wishing the best for them, visiting them, meeting their needs, sharing their sorrows and giving them financial support. Especially in our day, ways of kindness and favors have been forgotten and almost all relations with relatives have been broken off. 

Unfortunately, in our day, when parents and grandparents grow old to be unable to meet their daily needs on their own, they happen to find themselves in rest homes for the aged. These places are called “rest” homes; yet how can one be restful in a place where their children and grandchildren are not and they cannot see their children that they brought up with utmost care and cannot say “I am a parent, too”, where they cannot see acquainted people who look at them with affectionate and respectful eyes, where never a plate for them is placed on the dinner table and where generally their news is not asked at all? We designed a fake peace in our minds and said that those places are peaceful and we insisted on it, too. And we keep forcing them to feel that fake peace that we think there is and we seem to say: “They just eat and drink and sleep, how nice! What else could one ask for?” However, a human being is not a creature that can find peace in eating, drinking, and sleeping without doing anything else. Human being is a creature that is interested in his environment, in nature and in close contact with his children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Yet unfortunately, today we have confined him to eating, drinking and sleeping. 

These institutions are needed by some of us and are necessary, or course. They are places to find peace in for those who have got nothing left that will keep them in their homes anymore. Yet, those who send their aged ones away from home should think once again whether these places provide them with peace really. 

Another group of people that we should help is said to be people stranded on their journey at the end of the verse stated above. The word “ibn sabil” in the Arabic origin of the text covers both stranded people and people who are our guests. The verse orders us to be good to slaves finally. However, thanks to Allah, there is no slavery today. 

In short, when we consider the verse with a wide point of view, it is possible to say that we must be good to almost all people, regardless of religion, language, race and culture. In fact, we have adopted the understanding of waiting for an opportunity to do a favor to someone who has been bad to us and thus, instead of punishing that person because of his badness, directing him to think over what he has done, to regret it and to be good, from this verse and the likes. 

The spirit of the good deeds: Pleasing Allah 

Allah placed in hearts of all people the feeling of being good to other people. In this sense, every individual has got the potential to be good. This is a necessity of human disposition. However, there is a significant difference in terms of virtuousness between being good because of the potential of being good that Allah placed in everyone and being good as a result of contemplating Allah the Glorious. Just as one should love or dislike for the sake of Allah, so too will being good for the sake of Allah earn believers thawabs and also being good for this reason adds a different depth to deeds. 

Let us make the subject more concrete with an example: A believer can save an ant from a difficult situation with the potential of goodness present in his disposition. It is impossible to say that it is not thawab. However, being good with the feeling and thought of “There is a potential of goodness in me. But, my Allah, I am doing this just to please You.” adds a different depth to goodness. Therefore, the reason for our goodness is the spirit of our goodness; actually this is the same about all or worships, too. This is also called “ikhlas.” 

Let us finish our words with a hadith which puts Allah’s wide mercy and good will into words:

“Doubtlessly, Allah created the good and the evil and then declared them. Now, whoever wants to do something good yet does not do it, Allah records one thawab for it. If he wants to do that good thing and does it, Allah records it by folding it tenfold and seven hundred folds. If he wants to do something good and does not do it, Allah records one thawab for it. If he wants to do that bad thing and does it, Allah records it as one sin.” (Bukhari, Riqaq, 31; Muslim, Belief, 207) 

Note: This article was taken from Diyanet Avrupa magazine, issue June 2008. 

Assist. Prof. Mustafa Unver, 19 Mayıs University, Faculty of Theology

26 Is it appropriate to say my fears came true?

Man has intuitions called foresight or extra sensory perception. It can also be called the sixth sense. Therefore, some things can be felt just before they happen with the permission of Allah. However, it is necessary to be very careful about it because those feelings that come in the form of warnings or glad tidings can sometimes be manipulated by Satan. That is, with the delusions of Satan, the mechanism of producing groundless suspicions existing in man can produce groundless fears; some suspicions can turn to obsessions and man’s life can be awful.

Therefore, it is permissible to regard something as good luck or lucky in Islam but it is not permissible to regard something as bad luck or unlucky. Regarding something as good luck or lucky gives happiness to life. The feeling of bad luck makes one’s life awful.

To sum up, a person who thinks about good things sees everything as good and takes pleasure from life. A person who thinks about bad things imports evil things into his spirit and adds poison to his life. We should not forget that the wheel of fortune turns based on the wisdom of Allah not based on our groundless suspicions.

27 Could you please describe the characteristics of a Muslim According to the Qur’an?

A person who lives in accordance with the Qur’an will devote his/her love for the ones who also live in accordance with the Qur’an; that is to say, for believers. Believers have some characteristics due to their belief in Allah and that make them worthy of being loved. A believer will search these characteristics in other believers and will love them as a result of seeing them. The more these characteristics exist in someone, the more his/her love increases.

We can list the main characteristics of a believer that are informed by Allah in the Qur’an as follows;

• Believers worship only Allah. There is no other being that they accept as god in their minds. (al-Fatiha, 1-7; an-Nisa, 36)

• They fear Allah. They avoid doing something that Allah has forbidden and that is contrary to His consent. (Aal-i-Imran, 102; Ya Seen, 11; at-Taghabun, 15-16; az-Zumar, 23)

• They trust only in Allah. (al-Baqara, 249; at-Tawbah, 25-26)

• They fear none but Allah. (al-Ahzab, 39)

• They thank Allah. Therefore, it does not cause them any sorrow or boasting whether they are in trouble or in welfare economically. (al-Baqara, 172; al-Isra, 3; Ibrahim, 7)

• They have absolute belief in Allah. They never have any feelings like abandoning seeking the consent and pleasure of Allah. They continue to work for Allah with more enthusiasm and excitement every day. (al-Hujurat, 15; al-Baqara, 4)

• They hold fast by the Quran. They arrange all their acts according to the Quran. They immediately abandon an act that they understand to be contrary to the Quran. (al-Araf, 170; al-Maida, 49; al-Baqara, 121)

• They always mention the name of Allah. They know that Allah sees and hears everything; they always remember the endless power of Allah. (Aal-i-Imran, 191; ar-Rad, 28; an-Nur, 37; al-Araf, 205; al-Ankabut, 45)

• They know that they are weak before the presence of Allah. They are modest. (However, this does not mean to seem weak in the presence of people and to present downtrodden attitudes.) (al-Baqara, 286; al-Araf, 188)

• They know that everything comes from Allah. Therefore, they never make a fuss when something happens; they act coolly and trust in Allah. (at-Tawbah, 51; at-Taghabun , 11; Yunus , 49; al-Hadid , 22)

• They tend toward the hereafter; they determine the hereafter as the real target. However, they also make use of the bounties of the world; they try to form an environment that is similar to that of Paradise in the world. (an-Nisa , 74; Sad , 46; al-Araf , 31-32)

• They accept only Allah and believers as friends and confidants. (al-Maida , 55-56; al-Mujadala , 22)

• They are clever. They are always careful and alert since they always have the consciousness of worshipping. They always serve believers and the religion of Islam cleverly. (al-Mumin , 54; az-Zumar , 18)

• They always struggle with their thoughts and ideas against deniers and especially the leaders of deniers with all their strength on behalf of Allah. They continue their struggle without losing heart. (al-Anfal , 39; al-Hajj , 78; al-Hujurat , 15; at-Tawbah , 12)

• They never avoid telling what is right. They never ignore telling the truth due to their fear of people. They never care what the deniers say about them; they do not heed their mockery and attacks; they do not fear those who condemn or blame them. (al-Maid , 54, 67; al-Araf , 2)

• They call people to the religion of Allah in many ways and convey them the religion of Allah. (Nuh , 5-9)

• They are not oppressive. They are merciful and lenient. (an-Nahl , 125; at-Tawbah, 128; Hud , 75)

• They never lose their temper; they are tolerant and forgiving. (Aal-i-Imran , 134; al-Araf , 199; ash-Shura , 40-43)


• They are reliable people. They present strong personalities; they inspire confidence to the people around them. (ad-Duhan , 17-18; at-Takwir , 19-21; al-Maida , 12; an-Nahl , 120)

• They suffer compulsion and oppression. (ash-Shuara, 49, 167; al-Ankabut , 24; Ya Seen , 18; Ibrahim , 6; an-Naml ,49, 56; Hud , 91)

• They put up with difficulties. (al-Ankabut , 2-3; al-Baqara , 156, 214; Aal-i-Imran, 142, 146, 195; al-Ahzab , 48; Muhammad , 31; al-Anam , 34)

• They do not fear oppression and being killed. (at-Tawbah , 111; Aal-i-Imran, 156-158, 169-171, 173; ash-Shuara , 49-50; as-Saffat , 97-99; an-Nisa , 74)

• They suffer the attacks and traps of the deniers and they are made fun of. (al-Baqara, 14, 212)

• They are under the protection of Allah. All of the traps that are set up for them are eliminated by Allah. Allah protects them from all kinds of slander and traps; He makes them superior. (Aal-i-Imran, 110-111, 120; Ibrahim , 46; al-Anfal , 30; an-Nahl , 26; Yusuf , 34; al-Hajj , 38; al-Maida , 42, 105; an-Nisa , 141)

• They are cautious against the deniers. (an-Nisa , 71, 102; Yusuf , 67)

• They take Satan and his followers as enemies. (Fatir , 6; az-Zukhruf , 62; al-Mumtahina, 1; an-Nisa , 101; al-Maida , 82)

• They struggle against munafiqs (hypocrites); they do not sit together with hypocritical people.  (at-Tawbah , 83, 95, 123)

• They prevent the oppression of the deniers. (al-Ahzab , 60-62; al-Hashr , 6; at-Tawbah , 14-15, 52)

• They conduct their affairs by mutual consultation. (Shura, 38)

• They do not envy the luxurious lives of unbelievers. (al-Kahf , 28; at-Tawbah , 55; Taha , 131)

• They are not affected by wealth and ranks (posts). (al-Hajj , 41; al-Qasas , 79-80; an-Nahl , 123)

• They pay attention to their worshipping; they perform daily prayers, fasting and similar worshipping carefully. (al-Baqara , 238; al-Anfal , 3; al-Muminun , 1-2)

• They act not in accordance with the majority but with the criteria of Allah. (al-Anam , 116)

• They try hard to be close to Allah and to become a believer to serve as an example. (al-Maida , 35; Fatir , 32; al-Waqia , 10-14; al-Furqan , 74)

• They are not affected by Satan. (al-A'raf , 201; al-Hijr , 39-42; an-Nahl , 98-99)

• They do not imitate their parents blindly. They act in accordance with the Quran. (Ibrahim , 10; Hud , 62, 109)

• They avoid extravagance. (al-Anam , 141; al-Furqan , 67)

• They act chastely and get married in the way as Allah wants. (al-Muminun , 5-6; an-Nur , 3, 26, 30; al-Baqara , 221; al-Maida , 5; al-Mumtahina , 10)

• They do not go to the extremes in the religion. (al-Baqara, 143; an-Nisa , 171)

• They are altruistic. (al-Insan , 8; Aal-i-Imran, 92, 134; at-Tawbah , 92)

• They pay attention to cleanliness. (al-Baqara, 125, 168; al-Muddaththir , 1-5)

• They do not backbite believers and do not search for their mistakes. (al-Hujurat , 12)

• They avoid being jealous. (an-Nisa , 128)

• They ask forgiveness from Allah. (al-Baqara, 286; Aal-i-Imran, 16-17, 147, 193; al-Hashr , 10; Nuh , 28)
 

28 Worshipping (Performing Salats (Prayers) by Sitting

“A sick person is responsible for performing salats in accordance with his strength. For example, a sick person, who is not strong enough to stand or whose standing is considered to cause his sickness to increase or to get longer, performs his salat by sitting.” As it is seen, sitting is more favorable but sitting on a chair is all right. 

Standing is one of the fards (obligatory deeds) of salat and it is called qiyam. Therefore, salat performed by sitting by a person who has enough strength to stand is not acceptable.

Only a person who is ill and cannot stand or who cannot sit down easily can perform his salat by sitting or by not standing. 

If a person is so ill or so old that he cannot perform his salats by leaning against something It is makrooh (abominable)for a person who has enough strength to do so. 

Our Prophet (pbuh) performed nafila (optional) salats on his camel and paid attention to perform fard salats on the ground; and he pointed out that they could be performed on the camel if it was not possible to perform them on ground. 

Conditions such as the ground’s being muddy, the caravan’s not waiting, the bad-tempered riding animal’s escaping… are shown as excuses for not getting off the animal. 

From this point of view, it can be said that there is no drawback for someone, who has difficulty in sitting on the ground or standing, to perform his salat on a chair.

It is very important to be tranquil while performing salat. If someone is in pain while sitting on ground and he will be comfortable on a chair, he can perform his salat by sitting on a chair.

He performs his salat by implying when he performs his salat on a chair. 

Implying means pointing with the head instead of ruku (the bowing position during the salat (prayer)) and sajda (prostration) in salat. Someone performing his salat in this way bows his head slightly for ruku and he bows his head more for sajda. It is not permissible for someone who cannot put his head on the ground to raise something up to his head and perform sajda on it. Such a person performs his salat by implying. Someone who cannot perform his salat by sitting performs it by implying while he is lying on his back. A person who has enough strength to stand but does not have enough strength to make ruku and sajda can perform his salat by implying while standing or sitting; but it is more proper for him to imply by sitting. Salat cannot be performed by implying with eyebrows or eyes. Someone who does not have enough strength to imply by his head does not have to perform salat.

29 Does committing sins have an effect on people’s achievement or failure in their deeds?

It would not be right to say such a thing as a certain rule in this issue because Allah may make deeds of pious ones difficult in order to keep them away from worldly unpleasantries. He can also let deeds of those who are disobedient to Him progress very well – just as a promotion (which is one’s reception of Allah’s favour even though they do not deserve and in spite of their lack of capability, and whereby their approaching to punishment of God because of their progressive denial or commitment of evil deeds).

Besides, He can also make the work of people whom He likes much useful and beneficial as an instant reward for the good deeds whereas He can make the others’ work whom He dislikes to fail as an instant punishment. 

Again, He can send misfortunes to people whom He likes and dislikes and get their deeds troubled in order to test them.
 

When we consider the issue in the light of this information pointed out in the Qur’an, it would principally be wrong to link the matter to whether one’s worldly deed going alright or not, to whether they are pious Muslims or not. 

In addition, there is evidence with much experience for the fact that deeds of believers turn into failure because of their sins as a warning.

Finally we can say that it would be a big mistake to link piety and serving for God to the matter of whether deeds are going alright or not. In God’s sight, no deed is acceptable unless it is done for the sake of God. 

There are some great lessons that we should take from this verse : 

“Among people are also many a one who worships God on the borderline (of faith), in expectation of only worldly gains. If any good befalls him, he is satisfied with it, but if a trial afflicts him, he turns away utterly, reverting back to unbelief. He (thereby) incurs loss of both this world and the Hereafter. This indeed is the obvious loss.” ( The Qur’an, Al-Hajj, 22:11)

30 What does it stem from that nations have properties and national characteristics different from each other?

It is true that nations have different characteristics. However, this difference seems to be related more to psychological and sociological factors developing in accordance with the environment, besides genetic factors. Below are some points indicating that this should be the case:

a. In the first place, as all humankind is the children of Adam and Eve, they have shared genetic structure that they inherited from them.

b. As the grandchildren of Prophet Noah, people of all races are cousins. This is the proof that all races share many common characteristics.

Another very important factor in the difference of nations is the social environment. There is a saying, “A person who falls in with bad companions gradually acquires their bad habits.For instance, those who have grown up in an environment fostering knowledge, engage in working to achieve it, thinking the value that knowledge provides one with.

For example, for Jews, the love for knowledge emerged somehow as a social phenomenon and other Jews brought up in that atmosphere followed that tradition, too. Since olden times, the Jews who have “bragged about” being the grandchildren of prophets against unbelievers have tried to retain this “superiority” by passionately engaging in science, economy and ruling which would make them different from others. Not able to realize their ambitions of rule because of other circumstances, they have made much progress in various sciences which they saw as vital for the ideal of world domination. However, because of their excessive fondness for the world, the same Jews have a rather fearful characteristic, afraid to be separated from the world that they are so fond of with death.

However, Turks, for instance, because of the dynamism provided by the nomadic lifestyle, because of the desire to find country and the necessity to maintain life, have become brave, dynamic and dashing in general. This sociological phenomenon brought about to their society bravery and the desire to dominate others.

c. People of the same race living in different environments show very different characteristics, which underlines the effect of social circumstances on human psychology. Today, people of different nationalities in the US can come up with quite successful scientific innovations, sharing the circumstances there. Their compatriots, on the other hand, though not mentally inferior to them, cannot accomplish this in their own country.
 

d. Today, characteristics of communities are paid much attention and importance, rather than the characteristics of races. For instance, there are enormous differences between the characteristics of Muslim Turks and Non-Muslim Turks. The Religion of Islam changed the ignorant Arabs of the Age of Ignorance to masters of thought for the world. Indeed, in the Islamic terminology, nations are divided into two: the nation of Islam and that of unbelief. Many factors can be pointed out in this subject. As we think, some windows are already opened which will shed light on the issue and which do not transgress their aim and intention.

Questions on Islam

31 What kind of harms does pessimism cause people?

There are some gloomy, pessimistic people who have got quite negative expectations about people, incidents and future. They often say, “I am very unlucky; things never go well with me; even in my happiest times, I experience something very sad shortly after. I have always been betrayed by people whom I trusted; nobody ever got to understand me; everybody has tried to use me. Whatever I try, I ruin it.” Everyone must have met at least one person like this in their lives.

So, what is wrong with such people? Is there really a black cloud following them secretly? Why do they always fail or lose? Why cannot they find what they are looking for in anyone and why do they always complain? And how can we help them?

I have had many patients who came to me with such complaints and most of them had depression. These people, whom I took pity on at first, had something that disturbed me. I thought that they themselves also played a role in their own misery, but how? I failed to describe it. The idea flashed in my mind while I was reading a research paper on alcoholism. You know, it is the cliché motto of alcoholics: “I drink because of a reason.”

A research was carried out to test the validity of this motto. Sad incidents experienced in the last six months by people who began to drink again because of stress they received although they had quit drinking alcohol were investigated and were compared to the similar incidents experienced by the control group which did not have alcoholism problem.

The result is very interesting: There is almost no difference. That is to say, problems of those who say “my problems make me a drinker” are not much tougher than non-drinkers. So, what does it mean? It means that the problems do not stem from what these people experience, but from the way of seeing their experiences.

After that, I began to evaluate my patients from this point of view. It was really so. Those people saw incidents which could be experienced by anyone in the worst way possible and tortured themselves indeed.

Even when they experienced something very nice, they saw the darkest side possible or delayed their happiness saying, “let us wait and see, sure something wrong will turn up soon.” And they always complained: “I have never had a nice day; I have always been knocked for six.”

And then I remembered a description of the sign Sagittarius (as I was also interested in astrology): “A typical Sagittarius person is both optimistic and lucky.” And I also remembered a description of Capricorn: “They are pessimistic and not so lucky. They succeed only after lots of troubles and efforts.” Let us put astrology aside, could there be a relationship between pessimism and unluckiness and between optimism and luckiness?

I conducted an imaginary experiment. I chose two people: Mr. Optimistic and Mr. Pessimistic. They applied for a job position in a company. Mr. Optimistic was joyful: “This job is just for me. They will certainly employ me. This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. I will just outstand and be promoted soon.” However, Mr. Pessimistic was in a different mood: “No, they will not employ me. Why would they choose me? Even if they employed me, I am sure something wrong would turn up. They would not like me and I would be restless.”

The result was so obvious from the beginning that my imaginary experiment lasted very short. Mr. Optimist would be employed and be promoted soon. And, on the other hand, even if Mr. Pessimist was employed, he would say “I knew it” because of the first problem he encounters and would resign. He would always experience problems in his professional and social life and would complain about his “bad luck”: “Everything turns up wrong for me”.

Yes, this was the point. It must also have been the reason for most people’s depression: Seeing things in a wrong way, as if from behind “black glasses”, always expecting negative things to happen and demoralizing himself and thus inviting negative things to happen, in a sense. Then I discovered that this point of view had already been formulated as “Cognitive Theory of Depression” and was already adopted. Cognitive therapy was already the “trendiest” and effective method of psychotherapy.

One’s negative ideas of himself, his neighborhood and future, groundless generalizations, negative expectations and automated thoughts had to be realized and changed under control.

Actually, we have been reading this formulation in the interpretations of the Quran without much emphasis on it for years. As in the comparison of two brothers who walked into a garden stated in the “Eighth Word”, “A person who thinks positively, sees positively and he who sees positively enjoys his life. He who thinks negatively sees negative images and misses the joy of life.”

Eventually, I found the truth, after a long time though. And, I had to show it to my patients, too.

“Look, Mr. Mahmut, problems you have experienced are not so different from those which anyone experiences indeed. However, you see only the dark side and never look on the bright side of things. You make generalizations out of negative details and say “everything is wrong.” Moreover, as a result, you either overlook or miss good things.”

“For instance, remember what you experienced in our previous conversation. What did you tell me? You, as five friends, were chatting nicely. Then one of your friends said something to you, which suggested a sort of mockery to you and you were very offended. Then you became introvert and kept saying, “nobody loves me” to yourself, which let you down even more. However, during chatting, those people treated you nicely for a long time and even complimented you. However,  you, because of just one word, forgot all good words and tortured yourself. You remember, don’t you?”

Yes, this world is not Heaven; but it is not Hell, either. Yes, humans are not angels, but they are not demons, either. Actually, not everything is necessarily either white or black. Remember, there are shades of gray, too. I do not mean that everything is beautiful.

Of course, there will be ugly and sad things as well since this world is not Heaven. Nevertheless, we should look on the bright sides so that we can keep our spirit high and find more beauties. And we, as human beings and not angels, are supposed to make mistakes and commit faults for sure. However, even the most sinful people have certainly got lots of virtues and talents. We should try to see them, too (both in ourselves and in others).

Make some effort; I recommend a kind of fight with your mind and soul.

You should think not how it comes up in your mind, but how it is supposed to be. You should take control of negative thoughts that come up in your mind automatically. You should question yourself to determine whether proofs support your depression or you reach wrong conclusions by sticking to a small part of the whole and making generalizations out of it.

If you like (as you are a religious person), you can put it into practice like this: How would our Prophet (pbuh) think if he were in this situation?

Would he demoralize himself with negative thoughts or would he be grateful by looking on the bright sides of things?

As a hint, I would like to remind you a hadith: One day while the Prophet (pbuh) was walking around Madina with his Companions, they came across a corpse of a deceased dog. The companions said: “How bad it has gone, it smells really awful…” Yet the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Look at its teeth, how beautiful they are!”

I would say in conclusion: In order to avoid depression, we should arrange not only our behaviors but also our thoughts in accordance with the sunnah. Then we can see the beauties in life and lead a joyful life.

In short, “khuz ma safa, da’ ma kadar.” (Take what is cheerful and leave what is sorrowful.)

Yusuf Karaçay, Zafer Magazine

32 music in islam

Almost everybody agrees that human has two basic components: Soul and self. First, we need to distinguish between soul and self and point out how they two appear, and then answer the question.
Science cannot carry out experiments about soul and self. On the other hand, it can get some results indirectly, through examining the effects that these two leave on human. What psychology and parapsychology do today is this anyway. For instance, drawing conclusions about dreams on body examinations, which take place while sleeping can be considered among this type of indirect examinations.

Human soul constantly longs for his homeland, the hereafter and yearn for it. Yet for a certain time he cannot do it since he is confined to his bodily-cage. On the other hand, the self continuously seeks comfort and welfare and instills them into man’s will. As a result, man is under the influence of these two elements. Whichever appears dominant, s/he is forced to that way.
As for music, whatever music which addresses man’s agreeable feelings, brings about decrease in his worldly lusts, and an increase in seeking the hereafter further, we can say that this kind of music is beneficial. However, whatever music which addresses man’s carnal desires and keeps him/her away from his/her lofty feelings, it is clear that this kind of music is not any nourishment to his/her soul, but poison.

As for your question , when you sing or listen to a song, if it makes you feel religiously and makes you remember that the world is fleeting and mortal, and if it reminds you that the death is possible to come any minute and one day you are going to depart from this life and will perish, and if it reminds you the fear of Allah ,the love of Allah  ... it can be said that this kind of singing or listening is permissible, not haram.

However, if the music, song ... you listen to or sing incites your these lofty emotions badly and reminds you sadness and despairs of life and if it reminds the pains that come from leaving your beloved friends, and if it pushes you to saturninity, pessimism ... and if it leads you to sexual desires ... this kind of singing or listening is Haram, not permissible.

33 Why lying face down is forbidden in Islam?

It is not haram (forbidden) to lie facedown. However, our Prophet (pbuh) did not find it appropriate to lie facedown. Our Prophet awoke someone who slept like that in the mosque and said, "To lie down like this is a form of lying down that Allah does not like. (Abu Dawud, Adab, 95; Tirmidhi, Adab 21)
As it is seen, our Prophet (pbuh) did not find it appropriate to lie facedown and stated that it was a form of lying down that Allah did not like. (See İbrahim Canan, Kutub-i Sitte Tercüme ve Şerhi, Akçağ Yayınları: 16/168)
Therefore, it is not haram or a sin to lie facedown – without the intention of resembling non-Muslims – but it is contrary to good manners and causes deprivation from the reward of sunnah.

34 Can the Word life be Untroubled?

There were communities where people lived in love and tolerance. However, we have no information whether there was a period when all humanity lived in such an environment.

Since Hz. Adam, human history has been continuing with a struggle between the good and bad. The good and evil-spirited humans have always been struggling with each other. This will continue till the Doomsday.

This life is like a dungeon for believers when compared with the life at Paradise. In a dungeon, it is not possible to think that the troubles will end. What is important is our attitude towards troubles and calamities.

35 circumcision
36 How do we evaluate the subconscious from an Islamic point of view? What are the ways of cleaning our subconscious which is dirtied under the oppression of the age and unbelief?

Subconscious can be compared to a container. We have been adding sour buttermilk into this container up to now. If we want to add fresh and good buttermilk instead of that bitter one, we need to clean it out. The process of cleaning can be achieved in two ways.

The first One: The container starts to spill over upon adding the fresh buttermilk and the sour buttermilk flows slowly from the edge of the container and finally disappears; the later added fresh and good buttermilk replaces the old one.   

The Second One: Emptying the container completely and adding fresh and good buttermilk instead of the old one.

The former is appropriate to the method of gradation and evolution. In the latter, the sour buttermilk is forced to be spilled over in a while upon a strong will and determination or an external intervention.  

Similarly, it is possible to revise the subconscious container that we have filled it along life time with indecent dreams, nasty visions, unnecessary knowledge and wrong information in two ways.

The First Way: Trying to fill our subconscious with decent dreams, good visions, necessary knowledge and true information that the universal moral principles of Islam provides. The most appropriate and compatible way for the rule of gradation is to make the mind be cleaned from those worn-out and nasty things gradually.

The Second Way: Emptying these things with a reaction which can be considered a kind of shock therapy. It can be achieved as a result of a calamity, an illness that shatters the habit of the body or a warning that will wipe off the old knowledge or gaining a new perspective that shows the nastiness of those nasty vision and information clearly by the blessing of Allah (SWT).    

We can compare the subconscious mechanism to the hard-disk of a computer. In order to clean the files that were affected by viruses, you can either use antivirus software or format the hard-disk and install the new information of clean files. As it is given in the examples given above, formatting the subconscious hard-disk completely in a while is a slightly difficult method. For this reason, it is needed to close the door to the virus infected information and fill the hard-disk with the new files by extending the work over a period of time.

That is to say, on the one hand we will close the hard-disk of our subconscious to the indecent dreams, nasty visions, unnecessary information and wrong knowledge. On the other hand, we will let the flow of good dreams, good visions, necessary knowledge and true information. This is possible with a strong faith and sincere taqwa.

So to speak, the antivirus of subconscious pollution is firstly ma'rifat-ullah (knowledge of Allah), the true belief and a strong taqwa that comes from that belief. It is because, a believer who knows Allah (SWT) well does not allow any vision that is accepted as disrespect to interfere in his/her thoughts. He/she does not allow the love, compassion and greatness that he/she feels towards his/her Creator to be offended. He does not accept to have any thoughtless information and remain indifferent to his Creator that he/she believes to be always with him/her with His knowledge and power.

In conclusion, a true belief on the way of Ahl-i Sunnah and a fortified taqwa and sincere deeds can have an unworldly operation against the pollution of subconscious and unconscious.

37 Can you give some information about overcoming anger and about brotherhood of Islam?

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, says “The greatest wrestler is the one who defeats his/her evil commanding soul when angered.” And our greatest enemy is our own evil commanding souls.

In order to conquer anger, one

1. should not follow the evil commanding soul's and Satan's lead,
2. should be silent when angry,
3. should get ablution when angry,
4. should change one's place when angry,
5. should convince one's soul by reading about religious and faith-related subjects,
6. should pay attention to such duties as supplication, exalting Allah, worship, prayers, fasting and stick to them,
7. should compensate for the damage and apologize, when one harms someone with no right,
8. should think about death often,
9. should know that the beauties given to us are Allah's trusts and should act accordingly,
10. ...

Anger is among moral deficiencies. Rage which is at the extreme degree of the human power of anger is a disaster. While angry, one cannot think properly. One cannot act with reason. The deeds performed with anger are always the deeds that are regretted afterwards. For this very reason it is said in the proverb: “Whoever stands up with anger sits down with damage.”

We often hear people who commit murder with a momentary rage. Anger leads to unrest and problems in houses and in workplaces. One should endeavor to conquer one's anger by utilizing one's willpower, and should try to forgive those who anger one. Allah Most High says in The Qur'an:

They spend (out of what God has provided for them,) both in ease and hardship, ever-restraining their rage (even when provoked and able to retaliate), and pardoning people (their offenses). God loves (such) people who are devoted to doing good, aware that God is seeing them.” (The Qur'an, Al-'Imran, 3:134)

Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, said to a man who came to him and asked his advice: “Do not be angered!” and he repeated that for a couple of times. (Riyazu's-Salihin, I, 80).

It is necessary to invoke Allah and to ask for the removal of anger. Upon seeing an angry person, The Prophet (PBUH) said:

I know of a word such that if this man says it, his anger will surely vanish. This word is: Auzu billahi minash-shaytanirrajim.” (I seek refuge in God from Satan the rejected/stoned) (Muslim, Birr wa Sila, 109)

In another hadith (saying of The Prophet) it is stated:

The strong and heroic wrestler is not the one who defeats everybody. The strong and heroic wrestler is only the one who, at the time of anger, is in possession of one's soul and conquers one's anger.” (Muslim, Birr wa Sila, 107)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in another one of his hadiths:

If one conquers one's anger though capable of doing what anger leads to do, Allah calls for him on the day of resurrection before people's eyes and grants him the permission to choose whoever he wants among the Houris (pure companions of Paradise).” (Riyazu's-Salihin, I, 80)

In the Qur'an, the anger that unbelievers feel toward believers is often mentioned. Believers, on the other hand, are the ones who conquer their anger.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advised seeking refuge in Allah as the remedy for anger and pointed out that the will power that human attains by educating oneself will save himself/herself from getting angry. Again The Prophet saw anger as a sign not of power and strength but of weakness and incapacity.

Anger is a sign of not being able to control the soul. The end of those who cannot control their souls is disillusionment. A Muslim should perform his/her deeds not with anger but with prudence, patience and mildness.

38 How can we keep modesty and self-confidence in balance?

There is not a contradiction between modesty and self-confidence as long as we do not base these two virtues on wrong sources. As far as we can comprehend, both modesty and self-confidence of a person who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment are shaped in accordance with Allah, because what enables one to be modest is the awareness of being a servant to Allah and what enables him to have self-confidence is his trust in and nice feelings for Allah, whom he serves.

Accordingly, modesty which originates from a believer’s awareness of being a servant to God is not a symbol of stinginess, clumsiness and weakness. Besides, self-confidence which one feels in himself as a result of help that he expects from Allah is not an indication of conceit and arrogance.

The message “Trust in Allah” which is reminded quite often in the Quran teaches us that the source of a believer’s self-confidence is Allah.

In this verse: “… and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in God; for God loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Aal-i- Imran, 3:159), modesty and self-confidence are suggested together. Actually, it is a proof of a very nice modesty that the Prophet (pbuh), who is a spiritual and material head of state, consults other people – in issues about which there is no revelation - and it is an indication of self-confidence that he does not hesitate but locks on his target, with trust in Allah, which reinforces his faith in Him, once he has decided on what to do.

The limit of self-confidence must be drawn in two ways.

The first one is the physical limit: Man that lives in a physical world is right to have a feeling of self-confidence which is earned by following the prevailing laws in Allah’s circle of causes, which is a manifestation of the name al-Hakim (the Perfectly Wise). However, having self-confidence without acting in accordance with these causes does not result from reality but an imaginary delusion.

The second one is the spiritual limit: As long as one’s self-confidence originates from his trust in Allah, it is a feeling that is worth praise. In parallel to the weakening of his relationship with Allah, this feeling of self-confidence turns into pride that flatters his lower-self and results in a groundless feeling.

It is possible to evaluate the limit of modesty in two ways:

The first one is the modesty which develops in relation with Allah. The modesty which originates from this awareness of being a servant to Allah and from comprehending Allah’s greatness, the modesty of those who do not think they have got anything special – independently – is worthy of praise.

The second one is the kind of modesty that those who do not have a close relationship with Allah and which stems from excessive dependence on causes and not thinking of Allah, who has got the control over and the key to everything, is an outcome of heedlessness and it is better to call it flattery rather than modesty. One who has got this kind of modesty never hesitates to trample his dignity and honor, and to show weakness for any trivial reason in order to reach his goal.

Moreover, modesty means weakness, and self-confidence means arrogance under different circumstances. Whereas seriousness of an authority while working and self-confidence stemming from this seriousness is worthy of praise, it is nothing but self-conceit if he behaves the same way at home. Similarly, whereas his modesty when he is with his children and family is a virtue worthy of praise, it is weakness rather than modesty if he shows the same modesty at work.

39 How can we keep modesty and self-confidence in balance?

There is not a contradiction between modesty and self-confidence as long as we do not base these two virtues on wrong sources. As far as we can comprehend, both modesty and self-confidence of a person who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment are shaped in accordance with Allah, because what enables one to be modest is the awareness of being a servant to Allah and what enables him to have self-confidence is his trust in and nice feelings for Allah, whom he serves.

Accordingly, modesty which originates from a believer’s awareness of being a servant to God is not a symbol of stinginess, clumsiness and weakness. Besides, self-confidence which one feels in himself as a result of help that he expects from Allah is not an indication of conceit and arrogance.

The message “Trust in Allah” which is reminded quite often in the Quran teaches us that the source of a believer’s self-confidence is Allah.

In this verse: “… and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in God; for God loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Aal-i- Imran, 3:159), modesty and self-confidence are suggested together. Actually, it is a proof of a very nice modesty that the Prophet (pbuh), who is a spiritual and material head of state, consults other people – in issues about which there is no revelation - and it is an indication of self-confidence that he does not hesitate but locks on his target, with trust in Allah, which reinforces his faith in Him, once he has decided on what to do.

The limit of self-confidence must be drawn in two ways.

The first one is the physical limit: Man that lives in a physical world is right to have a feeling of self-confidence which is earned by following the prevailing laws in Allah’s circle of causes, which is a manifestation of the name al-Hakim (the Perfectly Wise). However, having self-confidence without acting in accordance with these causes does not result from reality but an imaginary delusion.

The second one is the spiritual limit: As long as one’s self-confidence originates from his trust in Allah, it is a feeling that is worth praise. In parallel to the weakening of his relationship with Allah, this feeling of self-confidence turns into pride that flatters his lower-self and results in a groundless feeling.

It is possible to evaluate the limit of modesty in two ways:

The first one is the modesty which develops in relation with Allah. The modesty which originates from this awareness of being a servant to Allah and from comprehending Allah’s greatness, the modesty of those who do not think they have got anything special – independently – is worthy of praise.

The second one is the kind of modesty that those who do not have a close relationship with Allah and which stems from excessive dependence on causes and not thinking of Allah, who has got the control over and the key to everything, is an outcome of heedlessness and it is better to call it flattery rather than modesty. One who has got this kind of modesty never hesitates to trample his dignity and honor, and to show weakness for any trivial reason in order to reach his goal.

Moreover, modesty means weakness, and self-confidence means arrogance under different circumstances. Whereas seriousness of an authority while working and self-confidence stemming from this seriousness is worthy of praise, it is nothing but self-conceit if he behaves the same way at home. Similarly, whereas his modesty when he is with his children and family is a virtue worthy of praise, it is weakness rather than modesty if he shows the same modesty at work.

40 Is Man a Thinking Animal?

Actually, the word “haywan” (animal) means “alive/living or creature with a spirit” in Arabic. As for the word of “Thinking”, it means “creature that has mind-reasoning”. Within this context, according to Aristotle’s view, man is called “thinking animal” that is “a living thing with a mind who thinks.”  

However, from the point of view of the value that the Qur’an gives man, it is not appropriate to call man “a thinking animal” because man is a creature who was created in the best stature (ahsan taqwim), vicegerent on the earth, equipped with superior qualities over all other creatures and has been favored with Allah’s thousand and one names and a practitioner of His orders and prohibitions on the earth.

The expression “Thinking or talking animal” is far away from defining man because man is not only a creature who thinks but also a supervising officer whose imagination is extensive, an owner of a mind mechanism, capable of traveling on the sea, land and sky and establishing communication with Allah (SWT) via angels/revelation, favored with inspiration and equipped with sixth sense.

41 What is the point of view of our religion about the peace-giving and healing effects of the precious stones?

There are some written works about the precious stones, stating that the Quran mentions “pearl, coral, ruby” they tried to determine a value for them. The matter stated in the question is probably, not the “material value of the stones” but the  “healing effects” of them.

From this point of view, we do not know any certain stone whose value is especially and clearly emphasized in our religion. However, we do know that people make medicines from the mines, plants and animal products and we use them. They have been found to have healing effects depending on experience and their healing effects have been scientifically and logically explained. However, those drugs are mere causes; the real healer is only Allah. It is blasphemy and infidelity to attribute the healing really to the drugs.
If those precious stones have also scientific, experimental and logical stories, then there is no drawback to using them –appropriately- like other medicines. Of course, as it is the case in medicines, attributing the recovery to an object other than Allah is obvious infidelity and considered to be associating partners with Allah.

42 What is the wisdom behind feeling pain when we cut or hit ourselves or when we have a headache? Why did God give us this feeling of pain?

Surely, there is a lot of wisdom behind this and we can consider some of it as follows :

Human body is the most precious being in the universe. Pains are signals which inform us about the events against the body. The intensity of these signals are related to the significance given to our bodies.

This marvelous masterpiece is entrusted to us. A majority of illnesses and accidents are caused by humans’ misuse. In order to make people to keep their bodies that are entrusted to them safer, God gives them pain when the body is injured so that they will be more careful.

Feeling of pain is more in humans - compared to other living creatures. It is even said that the feeling of pain by an animal which is being slaughtered is slight and it diminishes after a short while. This is because pain is a universal biological law and it is within a general frame of the divine principle called sunnatullah. This shows that pain in humans means more than a biological law. And that is the level of value of humans who are subject to trial. Feeling of pain on the one hand tests humans’ patience and on the other hand it takes their pulse of surrendering and on another hand, it earns thawab to those who feel pain.

Furthermore, biological pain, sorrow, psychological depression, and distress in worldly life are some kind of signals which inform people of the pain in the prison of Hell. Comparing things they see to which they do not see, humans begin to perceive and comprehend things they do not see as if they can see them. From this point of view, it is understood that in the grave and in the hereafter, so to speak, it is enough for one as punishment – God forbid – that one single tooth aches this much. So, these pains allow us to be careful regarding the issue.
 

On the other hand, situations like this which remind us of how important health is are significant warnings which remind us that we should care for our bodily and spiritual health in order to attain the prosperity of both worlds.

43 Could you please give information about Resentment?

Being crossed, to sulk, the state of offence; not talking to someone.

The state of resentment is considered valid in Islam, taking into consideration that there can be controversy on any issue between believers; however, it is stated that it must not last more than three days. (Bukhari, Adab, 57, 62; Muslim, Birr, 23, 25).

It is for ordinary daily issues. Moreover, there is a kind of resentment called “breaking relations off with someone” which is done against rebels and ones who insist on committing sins. There can be no resentment among Muslims who live in Islamic countries. If there is resentment, the following order of Allah’s must be applied: “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive Mercy.” (al-Hujurat, 49/10).

The Prophet (pbuh) says:

It is not permissible for a one to be crossed with his/her brother/sister more than three days. When two believers come across each other, they turn their faces away. However, the better of those two Muslims is the one who greets the other first.” (Tajrid-i Sarih Translation, XII, 145).

As for breaking the relations off with someone, it is a kind of behavior against cruel ones. None of the Muslims talked to three people called Ka’b ibn Malik, Murara, Ibn Rabi and Hilal ibn Umayya for fifty days with the order of the Prophet because they did not attend the war in Tabuk; they did not even salute them and they did not respond their salutations. They did not smile at them and they were totally expelled. Kab, who could not attend the war of Jihad against infidels, tells about the sad event that he experienced as follows:

“… Then the Messenger of Allah forbad believers to talk to us. Nobody talked to three of us who did not attend the war. We were excluded by everyone. At that time, the earth seemed so small and meaningless to me…” those people regretted what they had done and repented when they were expelled from the community. Finally, Allah, the Glorious, forgave them and sent down this verse about them:

“(He turned in mercy also) to the three who were left behind; (they felt guilty) to such a degree that the earth seemed constrained to them, for all its spaciousness, and their (very) souls seemed straitened to them,- and they perceived that there is no fleeing from God (and no refuge) but to Himself. Then He turned to them, that they might repent: for God is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (at-Tawbah, 9/118).

After that verse was sent down; those three people, who were expelled from the community, reunited with them in great joy. (to read the entire text of the hadith and the event, see Bukhari, Maghazi, Ghazwah Tabuk).

The event shows that Muslims form a unity in Islamic community. They hold on to Allah’s orders in unity. The ones who oppose to the unity of religion are expelled from the community. This event experienced by Ka’b and his friends also indicate to the importance of a sincere communication system in Islamic communities, to the clearness and preciseness that should be in believers’ concept of community, who are connected to each other with brotherhood and friendship, to the importance of facing up the responsibilities of faith, appreciating the orders and the importance of obeying without any objection within the lawful limits and how one becomes regretful when expelled by other Muslims.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) forbade Muslims to hate each other, to break the relations off with each other and to mock at each other (Bukhari, Adab 57; Muslim, Birri 24, 28; Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 54). Knowing that there will be some controversy amongst people in Islamic community, the Messenger of Allah ordered believers not to stay crossed with each other more than three days. The Messenger of Allah indicated that it would cause believers to feel hatred for each other if they stayed crossed with each other more than three days and that controversy would eventually even lead to conflicts.

Resentment may occur due to anger and words uttered in an argument between unconscious believers who cannot control what they say and what they do, and it can also occur due to gossip, fighting and swearing one another. There is controversy among believers today because the differences in sects, characters and views have turned into narrow-mindedness and fanaticism in our day. In conclusion, whoever complies with the way of The Messenger of Allah has to abandon ignorance, rudeness, narrow-mindedness and fanatical adherence. Muslims who comply with it can never stay crossed with each other. (also see: Taqwa, Sulh, Hasad, Kibr, Adab, Akhlaq).

Sait KIZILIRMAK

44 What is nafs (lower-self)? What can we do against this enemy of ours and how can we protect ourselves from it?

Nafs is described in various forms such as the very self of something, its true nature; soul, heart, life; the self which consists of soul and body or the soul which is the administrator of the body; a sense which is the beginning of lust and wrath; and an essence in human which contains negative characteristics in itself.

Nafs al-Ammara (forcing self) is a deteriorated personality which is into doing forbidden (haram) things, which loves profligacy, which is heedless and so poor that likes dirt and dirtiness, which is lazy and hesitant in doing good things and, impulsive and brave in doing evil things.

This question needs to be analyzed at length but in summary. That is to say; explanation of some features of nafs and how these features can be improved will shed light on the issue.

1- The most significant feature of nafs is that it does not want to recognize its Lord. In this sense, its improvement can only be done by contemplation (tafakkur). That is to say; it can be done by seeing Allah’s greatness and magnificence which He makes manifested everywhere. Allah is the owner of every place. He is the organizer of everything and also He is the creator of everything.
2- Nafs has got some lustful feelings which can be corrected only by fasting and worshipping.
3- Nafs has also got a feeling of wrathfulness. The correction of this feeling can be possible by contemplating its own end. That is to say; “I am strong right now, I can harm anything and anyone, however, after a while I will be weak and old. Allah will make strong men be unfair to me, because He is fair. Therefore, I should hold my wrath back.”
4- It is possible for nafs to lead the mind to demagogy by misusing it. It can be corrected by gaining knowledge and reading right books.

Those who understand disciplining of nafs as “killing nafs” avoid everything and anything that their nafs loves. As a result of this, they do not love the world, they are unambitious, and they are not obsinate or angry at all. Though accepting that it is also a way of disciplining nafs, we consider that it is better to direct nafs to goodness instead of killing it. The former resembles decreasing the amount of bad-tempered horse’s food and trying to rule it by starving it. The latter resembles giving its food normally and reaching the goal in a shorter time and with a strong horse by disciplining it nicely.

Yes, the world has got good aspects to like and also bad aspects to dislike. There are times when one should be ambitious and times when one should be unambitious. There are conditions under which obstinacy is favorable and conditions under which it is unfavorable. Sometimes anger is good and sometimes it is bad.

It is favorable to love the world considering it as the mirror reflecting Allah’s names and a field for the hereafter (1). It is unfavorable to like its ways which serve human beings’ unreasonable desires and which make them heedless (2). Ambition for knowledge and service is favorable; and ambition for fame, property and position is unfavorable. Obstinacy in truth is favorable and obstinacy in falsehood is unfavorable. It is favorable to feel anger for unfair and cruel people, yet it is unfavorable to feel anger for true believers.

In conclusion, it is better to direct the feelings and desires which already exist in the essence of nafs towards goodness than killing it; that is, silencing it forever (3). And it is possible by finding an appropriate place for nafs’s desires and wishes and directing it towards good things; just like building a dam on a river which harms its environment by flooding, and utilizing it for irrigation.

Sources
1- Ajluni, I, 412
2- Nursi, Sözler (The Words), p.584
3- Nursi, Mektubat (The Letters), Envar Publishing, Istanbul, 1993, p. 33-34

Şadi Eren (Assist. Prof.)

45 How long can a person stay impure?

Our scholars warn us that we must not delay making ghusl so much as to expire the time of a daily prayer. Not to make ghusl although the time for a prayer expires means to miss a prayer. It is not permissible to miss a prayer without an excuse.

Therefore, a person who needs to make ghusl can do the necessary things before making ghusl, can do the cleaning and even cook but he/she needs to make ghusl as soon as possible; one must not delay making ghusl so much as to expire the time of a daily prayer.

For more information please click on the link given below;

Why is being janabah haram forbidden? Why are men regarded dirty? Is it haram for a junub person to eat and drink?

46 Could not Allah create a couple like Adam and Eve instead of marrying of the children of Adam, namely the brothers and the sisters with each other?

Allah, certainly could create thousands of Adams and Eves as He has created a distinct Adam and Eve/ a former father and mother for every kind of animals/ living beings which have hundred thousands of species.
He could apply the same method here, too. However, the Divine wisdom adjudicated in that way and has created a single Adam and Eve. Certainly, this reality has much wisdom. One of them may be the concept of oneness (tawheed). Allah has created the human beings, who He has selected as a caliph to Himself on the earth, in a way that would bear the symbol of the oneness of Himself. That symbol is the oneness of Adam who is the first human. According to the rule “A single act can arise only from a single doer”, the existence of Adam who is a single human is the indicator of the oneness of his Creator, Allah. Likewise, the nucleus of the cosmic mess of the universe is a single substance. Today, some experts say that is the hydrogen atom.    
Moreover, after having seen such negative effects of racism in the community of humans although they all come from the same Adam and Eve, it is difficult even to imagine the seriousness of the situation in case that human beings would come into existence from different Adams and Eves. Therefore, the Divine ordinance has found it suitable to create them from a single family.
On the other hand, something’s being halal (permissible) or haram (prohibited) depends on Allah’s order. If He lets it, it becomes halal, and if He prohibits it, it becomes haram. As He is the Owner of the properties, we are to believe in Him and obey Him. That is a requirement of faith and submission.

Editor's Selected Link

How did the children of Adam marry each other?

47 How do you view Muslims' addiction to football?
Addiction to football does not befit any person, let alone an alert Muslim. Unfortunately, while some Muslims do not see any badness in addiction to football, which apperantly seems just normal but actually causes great damage, the alert people who aim to exploit Muslims do not spend even one minute of their lives on football.
Football, other similar means of entertainment, and TV programs that feature anti-Islamic elements are means of exploitation that prevent humans from thinking and that numb their minds.
If we ask how much time one spends on football on avarage, with a rough reckoning, the answer is about two hours or more. This includes watching football games, following relevant news, and talks on football with friends. If these people read books for two hours instead of spending this time on football, most probably we would have been in a different position as a country.
Unfortunately, we are far back in the list of reading books in the world. According to a survey, one Japanese, one of the firstcomers in reading books, reads about 25 books a year, while in our country, Turkey, one of the least readers, six Turks together read about one book a year. Should we laugh or weep at this situation?
Our religion forbids extravagance. One of the biggest forms of extravagance is wasting time. Human's most important capital is his/her life. At the time of Caliph Uthman, when the interest in pigions grew very much in Madina, Caliph Uthman, who analyzed the issue, defined busying oneself with pigions as killing the precious time with a trivial thing and immediately enforced a prohibition and punished the people who wasted their time.
Football has many wordly harms; it is obvious that it wil leave human in loss in the hereafter, too. People who pass their short life in this world with trivial and useless things will surely find themselves in great disappointment in the eternal life due to that wasted time.
In the Al-Asr Surah, God Almighty swears on time and says:
1- By Time,
2- Most certainly, human is in loss,
3- Except those who believe and do good righteous deeds, and exhort one another to truth, and exhort one another to steadfast patience. (Al-Asr Surah, 103:1-3)
The most valuable capital human has is his/her life. S/he will earn what s/he can with it. And this life is just a certain part of the time. For human, time is but his/her life, even but the moment s/he is in at the present time. Each moment passed without profit is a loss and disappointment derived from this beautiful capital.
Nevertheless, a life recurrently lost over years will be saved from this loss, if one succeeds in performing a beautiful deed, in the last instant, that will earn him/her the eternal paradise. This way, human finds in each second of his/her life a chance to make up for the past loss to a certain extent. Likewise, this point is highlighted in the Qur'an:
“It is He Who has appointed the night and the day to succeed one another, providing a sign for whoever desires to reflect and so be mindful, or desires to be thankful.” (Al-Furqan Surah, 25:62). In this sense, sufis said, “Sufi must be the son of time; in other words, he must know the value of his life and especially of the instant that he is in and must try to gain what profit and goodness can be derived from it.”
The people who don't believe in the Hereafter say that today has no tomorrow and just opposite to what is stated above, they aim at the joy of this world by saying “The day is today, the hour this hour; we should do right now what we are going to do.” Though they have different intentions, they both like to say:
“Learn the habits of the century, the language of the time,
Look at the human nature, speak in accordance with the time.”
This is because time is the material to use in order to earn, to consume, for profit or for loss. Time is such an occasion; life is a capital with its each instant exposed to both profit and loss. In short, there are many purposes in swearing on time, pointing to its value, and emphasizing the value and the nature of life.

48 Marriage
You should act not in accordance with her past behaviours but in accordance with her present behaviours.  If you get on well with eachother and don't have big problems past behaviours of any of you musn't be taken into consideration.  Everybody had made many mistakes and wrong doings in their past life. If s/he repented of her/his faults then there shall not be any problem. Also, seeking the past faults of the wife or husband will not be advantageous for the family life. Our prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recommend us for not to dig up the faults of anybody.

49 patience

Yes, one who is patient can get closer to Allah Almighty. In regard with patience in the Holy Qur’an it is stated that:

“O you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (Al-Baqarah, 2/153)

The end of patience is peace and progress. Patience is bitter, but the result is sweet.

Our Prophet (pbuh) implies the importance of patience as follows:

“Those who are patient reach accomplishment.”

“Patience is the key of success.”

“Patience is a light.”

“Patience is a treasury among Paradise Treasuries.”

“There is so much auspicious in being patient during the hardship.”  

50 Were there any prophets among the Jinn who lived before the creation of Hz. Adam’s offspring?

Although there is no certain verse or hadith on this subject, as a general principle of Islam, sending prophet to Jinn before Hz. Adam is seen as a requirement of men and jinn being subjected to testing together. 

For example, this verse ; “I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.” (Surah adh-Dhariyat 51/56) shows that  just like men, Jinn are also subjected to testing. 

 The verse; "but the Word from Me will come true." I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together."(as-Sajda, 32/13) shows that Jinn are also going to be punished.

Also, the verse (al-Anaam, 6/130) “O ye assembly of Jinns and men! came there not unto you messengers from amongst you setting forth unto you My Signs, and warning you of the of the meeting of this day of yours?" shows that Jinn are also going to be questioned about prophets that were sent to them.

After Hz. Adam, prophets that were sent to Jinn were the prophets that were sent to men. The majority of scholars hold this view. According to this, before Hz. Adam, there had to be prophets from Jinn directly because, as it is stated in the verse “nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent an messenger (to give warning).” (al-Isra, 17/15) there is no responsibility for men and Jinn unless prophets are sent to them.

51 Taking in an abused child.

It is a very big virtue to help and look after those who are in need. And it has a great good deed. It also prevents disasters that will happen to. However there are some points to be attended to according to Islam.

A woman can not touch and show her private parts except hands and face, be together with someone whom is legally possible to make a nikah with. It must be paid attention to these issues. If there is such a possibility, taking in becomes haram. If there is no drawback in these respects, it is not haram.

52 marriage of non muslim niece

Only if your husband will walk her down to the aisle, there is no drawback. But, he should not join any Christian activity. If his niece will be happy and the relative ties won't end up and the intentions are not bad, there is no drawback in such a matter acording to Islam on the condition that the limit of Islam is not exceeded.

53 Why was Hz. Adam sent to Paradise instead of the Earth? Had Hz. Adam not sinned, would he have stayed in Paradise?

Man’s actual homeland is Paradise. While once Hz. Adam had been in Paradise with Hz. Hawwa (Eve), Allah (SWT) had not created them to stay there. On the contrary, He created them for reproduction and hereby for testing which has a great purpose. For this reason Allah (SWT) had let them sin.   

Allah (SWT) put this into practice with His wisdom in order to show to the father and mother of humanity that the actual homeland is Paradise and that this world life had just been created for a temporary land of test.

Allah had also created angels who have no ability to sin and animals that have no responsibility.

Other than these two creatures, He created man who can be both so perfect as to surpass angels and so mean as to be inferior to brainless animals. Satan was created to show what kind of characteristics such a creature has.

For example, gold and copper are heated on fire in order to discriminate between them; similarly, Allah createdSatan from fire in order to discriminate the good and ill natured habits of the creature named human being and let it be discriminated between good natured Hz. Abu-Bakr and ill natured Abu- Jahl.

Besides, the seeds in the barn must be put into soil so that they can be trees. Seemingly, underground is dark and boring. However it is the way of being a tree. A tree does not appear even if the seed stays in a barn for thousands of years.

As you see, Allah (SWT) had sent Hz. Adam from the barn of Paradise to the field of the earth. In order for him to return back to the paradise Allah tested Hz. Adam with the fire of Satan so that he would return to Paradise in the form of a tree.  Then, He buried Adam into to the soil of worshipping. Our situation is just like this.

One of the events that occupies man’s mind and exhausts it is the expulsion of Hz. Adam from Paradise, his being sent to the earth and Satan’s causing this event. A question like this comes to the mind of some people: “If the Satan had not existed, would Hz. Adam have stayed in Paradise and would we have been there?”

Let us look at the dialogue between Hz. Allah (SWT) and angels before the creation of man. It is narrated in the Surah of al-Baqara as follows: “Behold thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said "Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not." (The Surah of al-Baqara, 30)

As it is seen in the interpretation of the verse, before creating Hz. Adam, Allah (SWT) had informed that He was going to create mankind on the earth. That is, He had informed that people would live on earth instead of Paradise. Satan’s deceiving of Hz. Adam is only a reason for his being sent to the earth. 

On the other hand, unlike angels, man has been given nafs (evil-commanding soul) and carnal feelings. Man had to be sent to the earth and given some responsibilities and tested so that the reflections of these feelings would be seen, so that  he would be assessed as worthy of Paradise or Hell after being tested and tried.

It is very important in what sense the words are used in the Qur’an. When it is thought that the prophets are innocent, it is clearly understood that this is not a conscious disobedience.

As a matter of fact, while this event is narrated in the previous verses, it is stated that Hz. Adam had forgotten this promise: “We had already beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and We found on his part no firm resolve.” (Taha, 115)

That is, the behavior of Hz. Adam is not consciously executed aiming to oppose the order of Allah. That is why it is possible to understand the meaning of the verse not as disobedience but as follows: “In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the Garden: thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced.” (Taha, 121)

54 Could you give information about hatred and resentment among Muslims?

Human beings have to live within communities because of their nature. Their happiness and tranquility are related to the community’s happiness and tranquility. Personal tranquility and happiness is almost gained through communal tranquility and happiness. Human beings feel the need for sharing the problems they have encountered with the other members of the community. They may not be able to get over some of the problems they have encountered with their own endeavor and abilities. At this point, the members of the community, which Allah adorned with different abilities, like a garden of flowers, step in.

A community is like a body that consists of organs which own different mission and abilities. Though the organs’ functions are different from each other, it cannot be said that one of them is inferior to others. The organs may have a meaning only when they come together for a mutual specific purpose and aim. Coexistence may have a meaning only when the community displays “oneness” with all groups of it- scholar and ignorant, the rich and the poor and so on.

In this sense; the Prophet’s following hadiths: “the believers are like the parts of the body in relation to each other in matters of kindness, love and affection. When one part of the body is afflicted, the entire body feels it; there is loss of sleep and a fever develops.” (1) and “A believer to another believer is like  a building whose different parts enforce each other.” (2) are the main arguments which can shed light upon our understanding of community.

Every believer should revise again their point of view on other Muslims under the light of the Prophet’s sayings above. We think that Muslims who break the relations off with their Muslim brothers/sisters for the sake of simple interests with corrupted and almost idolized ideas and values of our day, who find happiness in others’ sorrow and who become sorrowful because of hatred in their hearts when others are happy, who decide on their words and whom to salute according to some political or religious groups, should revise their attitude in this sense.

Groupings, separations and resentments which lead to enmity damage both our religious and communal life whether their origin is religious or political. Living in a community has got some rules and principles of course. Those rules and principles are called law or religious and ethical rules according to their functions. It would be an apprehension, which will not be more than a dream, to presume or expect that each member of the community is equally attentive following the principles and rules in question. In fact, historical process is the primary and the clearest evidence of this.

As e result of violating rules and rights or intellectual controversy among people which can be seen in the community, people break the relations off with each other temporarily or permanently. In other words, they sulk and become crossed with each other. It occurs almost in all communities. Of course, the relations are expected to be warm and sincere among Muslims in the Islamic community which is described as the community of brothers and sisters for different reasons in verses and hadiths.

However, Muslims are human beings too. They may have crossed or offended each other for various reasons. What is essential in this situation is for every member to try to establish the concept of brotherhood and principles of brotherhood again, instead of causing this offence and resentment to go further. In fact, Islam have taken some precautions and offered some ways in order to abolish such unfavorable events. Our religion Islam, which accepts the reality of the state of resentment, advises us not to make the resentment between believers go further and this state should not last for more than three days. (3)

If there is resentment between people, the following order of Allah’s must be applied:

“If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; But if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: For Allah loves those who are fair (and just.) The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive Mercy.” (4)

That verse points to the procedure to be followed for the physical, social, cultural and psychological conflicts which can occur between the members of community. Firstly, it is essential to try to make peace between conflicting parties. Public sanctions are applied against the party who does not comply and pursues the conflict. In other words, the whole community breaks the relations off with that person.

Justice is the irrevocable principle and order for solving conflicts between people, as it is so in all issues. The Prophet says: “It is not permissible for one to stay resentful with his/her brother/sister for more than three days. When two believers come across each other, they turn their faces away. However, the better of those two believers is the one who greets the other first” (5).

Again, the Prophet points out to the disapproval of resentment in religion and to unworldly dimension of the issue with the following saying of his: “Deeds are presented every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim or every believer, except for those who are forsaking each other and those who attribute partners to Allah. He says to angels [about them]: ‘Leave them until they make peace.’” (6) The hadith expresses how Muslims who break the relations off and become crossed with each other are treated in the presence of Allah and eventually it calls Muslims to be in peace all the time.

The sanction mentioned by the Glorious Prophet is a kind of sanction that every Muslim, who hopes for forgiveness, lives with it and it is a sanction that cannot be despised. Moreover, there is a kind of resentment called “breaking relations off with someone” which is an attitude and sanction done against rebels and ones who insist on committing sins.

The example of the issue can be seen in the following application of the Messenger of Allah. None of the Muslims talked to the three people called Ka’b ibn Malik, Murara, Ibn Rabi and Hilal ibn Umayya for fifty days with the order of the Prophet because they did not attend the war in Tabuk; they did not even salute them nor replied their salutations. They did not smile at them and they were totally excluded. Kab, who could not attend the war of Jihad against infidels, tells about the sad event that he experienced as follows:

“… Then the Messenger of Allah forbad believers to talk to us. Nobody talked to three of us, who did not attend the war. We were excluded by everyone. At that time, the earth seemed so small and meaningless to me…” those people regretted what they had done and repented when they were expelled from the community. Finally, Allah the Glorious forgave them and sent this verse about them:

“(He turned in mercy also) to the three who were left behind; (they felt guilty) to such a degree that the earth seemed constrained to them, for all its spaciousness, and their (very) souls seemed straitened to them,- and they perceived that there is no fleeing from God (and no refuge) but to Himself. Then He turned to them, that they might repent: for God is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (7).

After that verse was sent down; those three people, who were expelled from the community, reunited with them in great joy. (8).

That event shows that Muslims form a unity in the Islamic community. They hold on to Allah’s orders in unity. The ones who oppose to the unity of religion are expelled from the community.

The event experienced by Ka’b and his friends also indicates the importance of a sincere communication system in Islamic communities, the clearness and preciseness that should be in believers’ concept of community, who are connected to each other with brotherhood and friendship, the importance of facing up the responsibilities of faith, appreciating the orders and the importance of obeying without any objection within the lawful limits and how one becomes regretful when excluded by other Muslims.

The Lord of the Universe (pbuh) forbade Muslims to hate each other, to break the relations off with each other and stay resentful with each other with the following words: “Do not break the relations off with each other, do not hate and do not begrudge each other. O you the slaves of Allah! Be brothers/sisters. It is not permissible for a Muslim to stay resentful with his/her brother/sister in religion more than three days” (9)

Moreover, there are other sayings of the Prophet’s which emphasize that resentment is disapproved by religion: “Whoever leaves his/her brother/sister in religion and stays resentful with him/her for one year, he/she gains sins as if she/he killed him/her” (10). “Whoever leaves his/her brother/sister in religion more than three days and dies before making peace, goes to Hell” (11).

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) forbade Muslims to hate each other, to break the relations off with each other and to mock at each other (Bukhari, Adab 57; Muslim, Birr 24, 28; Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 54). Knowing that there will be some controversy amongst people in Islamic community, the Messenger of Allah, ordered believers not to stay resentful with each other for more than three days. The Messenger of Allah indicated that it would cause believers to feel hatred for each other if they stay resentful with each other more than three days and that controversy will eventually even lead to conflicts.

Our religion Islam, which advises balance on every issue, advises being moderate in friendship, love and hatred too. The verse: “Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!” (12) clearly expresses the way to be followed and the attitude to be taken in love, hatred, friendship or enmity.

Resentment may occur due to anger and words uttered in an argument between unconscious believers who cannot control what they say and what they do, and it can also occur due to gossip, fighting and swearing one another. There is controversy among believers today because the differences in sects, characters and views have turned into narrow-mindedness and fanaticism in our day. Eventually, people who share or are supposed to share the same ideals face painful scenes. Humankind should pay attention to the Prophet who was sent to establish tranquility and happiness both in our day and in the past.

It is necessary to refrain from behaviors and words which can cause resentment among Muslims. In spite of everything, if resentment happens among them, they should try to get over it and make peace. Islam, which advises people to make peace in almost every issue (13), of course, calls other Muslims for duty of making peace between believers who are offended by each other (14). In this sense, it should be kept in mind that making peace between people who are offended or crossed with each other is a religious and moral duty.

Though the verse in the Quran “Peace is always good” (15) is demoted to a specific issue, the message it gives is general. The primary preference of Islam almost in all issues is peace. Allah the Glorious indicated that peace and agreement is a favorable act both primarily in family affairs and in social life (16). For this reason, we should take the verse “Fear Allah and make peace” (17) as a principle of our lives. While advising Muslims to act as peacemakers, The Prophet (pbuh), in person, made peace between Muslims who were offended by each other and who could not get on well.

The Messenger of Allah asked his companions: “Do you want me to tell you about something better than fasting , praying, and alms-giving?” They responded: Yes, O Messenger of Allah” The Prophet continued: “It is making peace among people, since conflicts among people will lead to corrupt religion”. (18) And another day, the people of Quba near Makkah fought and stoned each other. On hearing this, the Prophet suggested his companions: “Will you come with me and make peace between them” and he went to Quba. (19). In another hadith, he said: “He is not a liar who reconciles between people and narrates something good or says something good.” (20)

As already known, lying is considered amongst the major sins in Islam. The permission to lie in order to reconcile between spouses or other people shows what an important religious and moral duty the peacemaking is. Resentful Muslims should take into consideration that staying resentful for more than three days is prohibited in Islam and that our ancestors said: “Resentment between Muslims last until a muslin cloth dries” and they should consider the useful attempts of others to reconcile between them a reason to make peace.

In theQuran the following is stated: “in most of their secret talks there is no good: But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (Secrecy is permissible): To him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall soon give a reward of the highest (value).” (21). The verse indicates that we should carry out the duty of peacemaking without expecting an interest, only for the sake of Allah and that only such a peacemaking can have a moral value.

While our religion considers peacemaking a great virtue, it considers tale-bearing a major sin. (22). The Prophet said “Tale-bearers cannot enter Heaven” (23) and he pointed out that this behavior is a major sin in terms of religion. However, it is expressed that telling things which are not true in order to reconcile between resentful spouses or other people is not considered lying; because, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “He is not a liar who narrates words or tells lies for goodness in order to reconcile between people” (24).

Muslim, narrates the following addition from Umm Kulthum, the translation of which is as follows: “I did not hear that exemption to lie was granted in anything that the people speak but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband for the sake of the continuation of the family. ” (25)

The Prophet said, according to a hadith Abu Dawud narrated in his Sunan: “I do not consider a person who lies only to reconcile between people as a liar” (26). The statement “it is not considered lying to lie in order to reconcile between people” in the hadith means “there is no sin in this lie”, because, lying is still considered to be lying in these hadith yet it is indicated that there is not a sin recorded for that kind of lying.

Doubtlessly, a lie is lie regardless of why it is told, whether to reconcile between people or for another reason. However, that lie is not considered to be a sin because it is not intended to deceive people. Moreover, people who tell such kind of lies are considered to have done a virtuous thing with the words of the Prophet and gain rewards (sawabs) as if they fasted, prayed or gave alms. (27).

Islam always invites its followers to unity. That unity is advised to be based on Allah’s religion. The verse “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you) and be not divided among yourselves…” (28) emphasizes the issue. It indicates how the community of ignorance, which displays a picture of a community corrupted in all ways, was enlightened and elevated to a model community with teachings of the Quran (29). Besides, Islam expresses that it is against all kinds of separations- religious, ideological or political. It does not approve of separations, resentment and conflicts among its followers even if they are personal. (30). This is because, such separations mean the end of a community.

In the Quran, the separations and groupings are emphasized to be the main reasons for community to lose it strength or to disappear. The following verse expresses that reality: “And obey Allah and His Messenger; and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart…” (31).

In conclusion, human beings need unity and togetherness. That unity and togetherness are needed more in our day. One of the factors damaging unity and togetherness is breaking the relations off with people. Members of the community should aim to give an end to possible resentments in the community in a reasonable way, instead of instigating. Muslims should always keep in mind that their real duty is to make peace, not to instigate.

Footnotes:

1- Bukhari, Salat, 88; Muslim, Birr, 65.
2- Müslim, Birr, 18.
3- Bukhari, Adab, 57, 62; Muslim, Birr, 23, 25.
4- al-Hujurat, 9-10.
5- Bukhari, Adab, 62, Isti’zan, 9; Muslim, Birr, 23, 24, 28.
6- Muslim, Birr, 36. See also Abu Dawud, Adab, 47.
7- at-Tawba, 118.
8- Bukhari, Maghazi, 79.
9- Bukhari, Adab 57, 58, 62;Muslim, Birr, 23, 24, 28.
10- Abu Dawud, Adab, 47.
11- Abu Dawud, Adab, 47.
12- Fussilat, 34.
13- al-Baqara, 208; an-Nisa, 114; al-Anfal, 1, 61; al-Hujurat, 9-10.
14- al-Hujurat, 9-10.
15- an-Nisa, 128. For similar verses see, al-Baqara, 208;Nisa, 114; al-Anfal, 1, 61; al-Hujurat,9-10.
16- an-Nisa, 128.
17- al-Anfal, 1.
18 -Tirmidhi, Sifatu’l-Qiyamah, 56.
19- Bukhari, Sulh, 2.
20- Bukhari, Sulh, 1.
21- an-Nisa, 114.
22- al-Qalam, 10-14.
23- Bukhari, Adab, 50; Muslim, Eeman, 169170.
24- Bukhari , Sulh, 2; Muslim, Birr, 101.
25- Muslim, Birr, 101.
26- Abu Dawud, Adab, 50.
27- Abu Dawud, Adab, 50.
28- Aal-i Imran, 3103.
29- Aal-i Imran, 103.
30- See Aal-i Imran, 105; al-Anfal, 46.
31- al-Anfal, 46.

55 How can you interpret this dream?

We don't interpret dreams; we hope your dream is auspicious, God willing. This is because the interpretations of dreams change according to the state of those who have them. Therefore, instead of books of dream interpretation, we recommend asking and receiving interpretations from people who are trustable in knowledge and deed.

Those who see beautifully think beautifully; whoever thinks beautifully has beautiful dreams; and whoever has beautiful dreams enjoys his/her life.

According to Islam, there are three kinds of dreams:

1- Salih (benign) dream

2- Dream from the Satan

3- Dream caused by events one experiences

Trustable dream is the state of penetrating the events yet to happen before they occur through natural ability. The Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, say about this: “The dream of believers is one part of the forty six parts of prophethood.”

The dream from the Satan is the apprehension that the Satan inspires in man's heart during sleep in order to scare and cause man to despair. The Prophet says: “If one of you has a dream that s/he likes, it is from Allah. Let him/her offer thanks to Allah for that and let him/her tell his/her dream. If s/he has a dream that s/he doesn't like, it is from the Satan. Let him/her seek refuge in Allah from its harm; and let him/her not mention it to anyone. Otherwise it will harm him/her.”

As for the dream caused by one's experiences; when one busies oneself with something and cares much about it, one will have dreams about it. The Prophet says in one of his hadiths: “Dream is of three kinds: The salih (benign) dream from Allah which gives glad tidings; the dream from the Satan which causes sorrow; the dream caused by man's talking to himself about something and imagining.”

The verse mentioned in Yusuf Surah about Joseph's dream, peace be upon him, and the hadiths mentioned above express that meaning. There are rightful ones in dreams. But it cannot be said that every dream is right and every interpretation is correct. It is not right to act in accordance with dreams and to base one's decisions and actions on them. Even the books of fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) express: Although the Satan cannot assume the image of The Prophet, even if The Prophet commanded in one's dream on the 29th of Shaban that the next day was the first day of Ramadan, so one should fast; even in that case one cannot act in accordance with that dream. This is because, dream is neither knowledge, nor can it be grasped. (Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar, II. 300 )

Acting in Accordance with Dream and Inspiration

Dreams and inspirations can be from Allah; or from the Satan and the evil commanding soul. Therefore, they must be well differentiated. The scholars of Islam state that in such matters, if the following conditions are met, one can act accordingly, but that it is not right to force anybody.

1- The dream or the inspiration must not be of the kind which waives a command of our religion or which makes a prohibition of our religion lawful; in other words, it must not be against the religion and the sunnat.

2- The dream or the inspiration must be from such people as Abu Hanifa, Shafii, Imam Rabbani, Imam Gazali whom everybody trusts. Everybody should accept that that person does not ever tell lies and that he knows and follows the principles of the religion thoroughly.

3- The knowledge obtained from dreams or inspirations must not be accepted as commands of the religion. They can only be accepted as advice. Dreams and inspirations are warnings and guidance. They cannot be binding and forcing. Just as those who comply with dream and inspiration cannot be blamed, those who do not comply with it cannot be blamed, either.

56 What are the things that we idolize in ourselves?

Anything except Allah that we become a slave of is an idol of our soul. That idol may sometimes be money, sometimes post, sometimes influence, sometimes fame, sometimes knowledge, sometimes physical beauty, sometimes nobility, sometimes academic career and sometimes wealth.
As a principle, anything that leads us away from our Lord or that becomes a partner in the love and respect that we have to show Him is a kind of idol.
Actually, the loves and respects that are located in our heart as a reflection of our love and respect for Allah are like traffic signs that take us to Allah. Love of the Prophet, love of religion, love of the Quran, love of the saintly slaves of Allah, respect shown to them and love of one’s family are among those loves and respects.
To read and love the world as a divine letter of Allah and to see and love it as the field of the hereafter is not against the love of Allah; on the contrary, they are each a fountain of love that consolidates His love. They are each a reflection of the love of Allah.
Man comes to this ephemeral world with some feelings. The feelings that are inherent in him give vitality, action, color and meaning to the world life. However, if they are left uncontrolled and are not directed through religion, ethics, science and knowledge, that is, if they are not maintained in the legitimate area, they will bring about many harmful outcomes. At least, they may cause man to choose matter as an aim and idolize matter in a sense. They will direct all of a person’s desires, energy, thoughts and talents to that way.
If the mind, combined with the religion, turns our feelings and thoughts to the good, true and nice way, that is, to the legitimate way, and if it establishes the connection of servitude and divinity between the creature and the creator, man is saved from being a slave or a satellite of his feelings. Thus, he realizes that the bounties of the world are tools for the real life and that the real aim is to attain Allah as clean by using those tools in the way of divine consent.
In this framework, there are many lessons to be taken from the following verse: “Seest thou such a one as taketh for his god his own passion (or impulse)? Couldst thou be a disposer of affairs for him?” (al-Furqan, 25/43).
That verse, which summarizes and criticizes the mentality of the Makkan idolaters, includes very significant and illuminating lessons in the universal plan; it indicates a general weakness of the mankind.  As a matter of fact, in every period of history, and even today, the main problem of man is to regard his bodily desires, material interests and ambitions of rank and post as more important than the light of the mind and wisdom, true and healthy thought, judging by the criteria of truth and justice and to arrange one’s life in accordance with those criteria.
That verse reveals very well the psychological mood of a person who tramples all of the unchangeable measures, known criteria and established principles with a very profound example. A person who is in such psychological mood surrenders to his desires, becomes the slave of his ambitions and worships his own self. If he clashes with his excessive ambition that he has turned into a god and that he has surrendered to, it means he will not comply with any criteria, will not know any limits and will not heed any rules of logic.
As for Islam, it wants to save man from the slavery of idols and his soul, the domination of the wrong beliefs and to make him a slave of Allah and to make him bow down in His land…

57 Is it appropriate to remind others the favors to which they had been done, to rub it in?

The definite sign showing that financial help, charity and alms were carried out for the sake of Allah is not to expect any material interest from the person that had been helped, not to put him under an obligation, not to hurt him and to act as if nothing had happened.

"Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury,― for them their reward is with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (al-Baqara 2/262)

It is explained in verses and hadiths that it is a sin to remind one the favors he had been done to and that the reward of the favor would be annulled if someone did so:

"O ye who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury― like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in Parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil; on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not those who reject faith." (al-Baqara 2/264)

The Prophet (pbuh) says,

"There are three groups of people with whom Allah would neither speak on the Day of Resurrection, nor would look at them nor would absolve the and there is a painful chastisement for them. They are the draggers of lower garment, the recounters of obligation the sellers of goods by false oath." (Muslim, Iman, 171; Abu Dawud, Libas, 25)

This attitude of some people who dare to put people under obligation when they give something away to people, to rub it in and to hurt people is likened to the attitude of those who do not believe in Allah, who spend their money to show off or to receive some material interest; if believers try to put people under obligation when they give something away to people, to rub it in and to hurt people like the unbelievers who spend their money to show off, they will be deprived of the rewards of those charities.  

58 Are there any places where being cross with somebody is permissible?

The period of being cross with a Muslim is at most three days. It is not permissible to be cross with a Muslim longer. Therefore, a Muslim must not be in cross with another Muslim more than three days even if he is right. If a person wants to talk a person who is cross but if the other person does not want to talk, the responsibility of the person who wants to talk is removed. The one who does not want to talk becomes responsible.

There is a strong and unbreakable bond among the people who believe in the same Allah, same Prophet and the same holy things and who support the same cause of belief. It has a different loftiness since there exists the consent of Allah and love of religion in the foundations of this unity.

People born of the same parents are regarded as brothers; similarly, people who believe in the same lofty values are regarded as brothers. This kind of brotherhood, which is usually more important than kinship brotherhood, is a grant and bounty of Allah to us because when the light of belief does not settle in hearts, people become enemies to each other. What brings the together is only a divine power. As a matter of fact, this truth is stated as follows in the Quran:

And hold fast, all together by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love so that by His Grace, ye became brethren...”1

The most important responsibilities that this brotherhood encumbers upon a believer are loving each other for Allah, helping each other when necessary and not to deny any support to them. They should not have the feelings like hatred, jealousy, backbiting, obstinacy, hypocrisy and enmity that harm the bond of brotherhood. However, since man has a soul, since he has some feelings due to his power of passion and since he is always followed by devils of human and jinn, the feeling of love in his heart is overshadowed and feelings of hatred and enmity try to replace them.

When a person is exposed to such things, he needs to remember the importance of spiritual values and to compensate them as soon as possible. Otherwise, a tiny stain in the heart can gradually grow and cover the whole heart. The recommendation of our Lord to believers in such a situation is as follows:

The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers: And fear Allah that ye may receive Mercy.”2

Besides, it is cruelty and injustice for a Muslim to bear hostility, hatred and grudge against his Muslim brother. It is necessary to heed the following statement so as not to be exposed to such sorrowful situations:

See now what a great sin is rancor and enmity toward a brother believer! If you were to say that ordinary small stones are more valuable than the Kaa’ba and greater than Mount Uhud, it would be an ugly absurdity. So too, belief which has the value of the Kaa'ba, and Islam which has the splendor of Mount Uhud, as well as other Islamic attributes, demand love and concord; but if you prefer to belief and Islam certain shortcomings which arouse hostility, but in reality are like the small stones, you too will be engaging in great injustice, foolishness, and sin!.”3

Although one tries not to have any feelings that harm love, sometimes resentment and anger take place between brothers. The Prophet warns his ummah regarding the issue:

It is not halal for a Muslim to leave his brother for more than three nights. When they meet, they both turn their faces away. The best one of them is the one that greets first.”4

Imam Muslim mentions that hadith under the heading, “the prohibition of being cross with someone for more than three nights unless there is a religious excuse”. In the explanation of the hadith, the following is stated: “Man has a soul so he may be cross with his brother; however, it must not last longer than three days. It is mubah to wait for three days since the issues causing disagreement and resentment will soothe in three days.”

Under the heading, “the permissibility of being cross with a sinner”, Imam Bukhari reaches the conclusion that it is permissible to be cross with someone for a period of time when there is a justifiable excuse by giving some examples from the history of Islam. As a matter of fact, the Prophet did not talk to Kab bin Malik and his two friends, who did not take part in the Battle of Tabuk, for about fifty days and asked the Companions not to talk to them until they repented. Awni, who wrote a book explaining Bukhari, reaches the following conclusions while explaining the hadith of Kab:

It is permissible not to greet a person who commits sins and to leave that person for three days and not to answer him when he greets.”

Awni states the following while explaining the heading, “the permissibility of being cross with a sinner”:

It is permissible to be cross with and not speak to someone who commits a religious sin for a while based on his situation and the degree of his sin. If that person has committed a major sin, it is necessary to be cross with him, not to approach him and to stop talking to him.”5

In this case, it is regarded permissible to stay away from someone who insists on committing bad deeds that Islam prohibits because it will be a kind of punishment for him.

Besides, it is permissible for a believer to keep away from and to stop talking and meeting a person who can harm his religion, honor and property and who can prevent his religious activities because such a person is not included within the scope of the hadith that prohibits  being cross with more than three days.

Footnotes:

1. Aal-i-Imran, 103.
2. al-Hujurat, 10.
3. Mektubat, p. 243.
4. Muslim, Birr wa’s-Sila: 25.
5. Umdatu’l-Qari, 22: 144.

Mehmed Paksu

59 How should we see the illnesses like depression and stress from the point of view of religion, how should one be treated spiritually? Are there any hadiths of our Prophet regarding the issue?

Answer 1:

Depression is one of the most common diseases of our age. The uneasiness or, to use the frequently used word, the stress that causes that disease brings along many other diseases; it can cause cardiac diseases and many similar diseases. When its reason is examined, it is seen that the delicate balance among the cells are influenced directly by the stress.

For instance, our immune system protects us from many diseases including cancer. A healthy immune system is only possible through a lifestyle that is free from stress. When we have no troubles or apprehensions, our lymphocytes struggle against infections, rheumatic diseases and even cancer and overcome them.  

Praying Allah and trusting in him is necessary for it. Doubtlessly, a person who always prays Allah and who is aware that anything that happens to him is a special test from Allah and who trusts in Allah will overcome the trouble more quickly. The attributes of our Exalted Lord, who eliminate the troubles and answers our prayers are stated as follows in the Quran:

" Or, who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Little it is that ye heed! (an-Naml, 62)

Our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) stated that stress caused illnesses as follows in hadiths:

"Whoever has a bad temper keeps his spirit in trouble; whoever has a lot of grief makes himself ill."

"Various types of anxieties bring about various types of illnesses."

"There is nothing worse and fiercer than anxiety in the creatures of God Almighty."

"God Almighty did not create an illness (trouble) without a remedy. Whoever finds out about that remedy, recovers; whoever cannot find out about it, lives with that illness. However, death has no remedy." (For hadiths, see Önder Çağıran, Tıbbi Nebevi, 1st Impression, Boğaziçi Yayınları, İstanbul 1996)

Troubled, or in today’s words, stressed life is a result of the life of people who do not believe or who live far away from the high ethics that belief gives man. Today doctors state that it is necessary to have a tranquil and peaceful constitution, and an easy, secure psychology free from anxiety in order to be protected from the effects of stress. A tranquil and peaceful psychology is only possible through practicing the high ethics of the Quran. The promise of our Lord for his believing slaves is stated as follows:  

"Whoever works righteousness, man or woman and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions." (an-Nahl, 97)

"Say: "It is Allah that delivereth you from these and all (other) distresses..."    (al-Anam, 64)
Answer 2:
As a matter of fact, depression, which is described as: “the state of hopelessness that a person falls into when he cannot realize his targets, cannot protect the nice things he has or he notices the probability of losing those kinds of things”, can be said to be the problem and even the “fate” of the people not only in this age but throughout history.

Man is “week, poor, ephemeral and mortal; unlike animals, man is aware of that fact.” He wants everything but he cannot own anything in its real sense; He is afraid of and influenced by everything but he cannot dominate anything; he knows that everything is mortal that everything will end one day even in his best times; so, in my opinion, it is amazing when he does not fall into depression not when he falls.

It usually happens due to heedlessness. He tries not to think about the things that he is afraid of; he consoles himself with the things that he seemingly owns; he tries not to remember death and separation. However, when some inevitable incidences destroy the heedlessness, the postponed fears and hopelessness flood the body and he falls into depression.  

Depression almost seems to be a natural outcome of being a human being. As a matter of fact, the researches show that depressive findings (sleeping disorder, common groundless physical complaints, frequent crying, hopelessness about future, lack of self-confidence, exhaustion, not enjoying life, etc) are present in 60% of people in various levels. As a psychiatrist, when people whom I am introduced to say jokingly, “in fact, I need to see you”, it seems to me that they confess that truth insensibly.

Is it not possible to overcome depression, which is such a common and general annoyance? Is there not a remedy for those troubles of weakness, poverty and mortality? There is, of course; and he who looks for it will find it; if he looks for, of course. Besides, people generally make a mistake when they think that the problems of weakness, poverty and mortality that are very disturbing at the beginning are unsolvable and imagine that they do not exist.
When a trouble is visible, it can be solved; however, someone who closes his eyes and consoles himself with imaginations cannot possibly find a solution. Only a person who carefully listens to the warning, “laugh at the death like a man; listen to it and find out what it wants” and who says, “yes, I am weak, poor and mortal; they hurt me a lot but what can be the remedy of those problems?” can approach the solution. It certainly means to suffer somewhat but there is “no gain without pain”.  

Let us ask the question in a different way. Is a patient who says, “Everything is in vain; what I want does not happen; we will die in the end; life is meaningless” more consistent or a consoler who says, “take it easy; let it go; do not think about them; do not think deeply”? Is it not inevitable for those people who use the logic of the ostrich to fall into the same pit of depression when their heads hit the wall?

As a matter of fact, are we all not in a tiny room with walls made of mirror? Since all walls are made of mirror, the intertwined images make us feel as if we are in a larger room; however, do we not understand that we are in a tiny dungeon when we hit the wall with our heads? Do our imaginations not fly away then? Do we not lose our sleep? Do the sweetest situations not give us pain? Does the polish of the false paradise in the world not crack with each death, loss and grief?  
I never forget a piece of news that I read in the tabloid supplement of a newspaper. A group of artists went on a picnic in order to have a very enjoyable day. The article that described the entertainment in detail ended with the following sentence: “When the day ended, everybody was very sorry because a very nice day had ended.” How strange! Isn’t it? Even the best things give pleasure only when they are being experienced; when they end, they are replaced by pains. “Loss of the pleasure is pain.

I remember one more thing; when I was young, I used to listen to the commentary of the football matches of my favorite team on the radio with excitement; what I hated most while I was listening to the commentary was the words of the commentator, “the last 15 minutes of the game”, “the last 10m minutes”, etc. It gave me pain to hear that the thing that I took pleasure from was going to end soon. To know that something nice will end destroys the pleasure taken from it at that moment. “To think about the loss of the pleasure is also pain.”

Some of you may say, “Yes, you are right but give us the remedy if you know it” but we should not forget that it is a dangerous deception to talk about the problems superficially and to try to find solutions without realizing the seriousness of the problems. Therefore, we should continue some more. Let us think about a young man. There is someone that he loves very much and he imagines a happy future with her. However, he notices that the sentence, “We will be together forever, my darling” is a lie. Let alone forever, it is doubtful whether they will be together for a year. He will be separated from the person that he loves so much sooner or later. He will probably have to do with a togetherness that will probably not be correspondent with his imaginations and ideals. He tries to console himself by giving his heart to her overlooking those facts. How long will it last? 

Let us imagine a mother. Her child, for whom she can donate her life, can face an illness or a misfortune any time. Even if she guards her all the day, a tiny microbe can make her beloved child ill, cripple him/her or kill him/her. What can console her? Let the professors and philosophers speak and answer that question!

No, what they will say is, “they are the harsh truths of life; you will accept it. Occupy yourself with other things; take up hobbies. Try to be happy with what you have succeeded and what you have; realize yourself, etc.” We want to ask using the words of Badiuzzaman: Can someone condemned to death take pleasure from the decoration of the dungeon? Can a spirit that can only be satisfied with a paradise as large as the world be deceived by villas whose water and electricity can be cut off? 

However, for a man who looks at things through the glasses of belief, the following expression in the verse is valid: “la khawfun alayhim wa la hum yahzanun” (on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve).
A person having real belief loves the people he loves for Allah. His darling is the reflection of Allah’s mercy and beauty. He has the hope of living an eternal and peaceful life together with them without being separated from them in the everlasting life.
When he is separated from his beloved ones, he consoles himself by saying, “separation is temporary”. He entrusts his beloved ones to the mercy and protection of Allah, Who is the best of the protectors and the most merciful of the merciful ones.
He sees misfortunes, disasters, illnesses, as divine warnings and kaffarah adh-dhunub (sin eliminators) thanks to what he learns from the Quran.
When he earns or loses worldly goods, when re reaches a rank or falls down from a rank, he says, “it is He Who gives and it is He Who takes”; he aims the ranks of the hereafter and the eternal rewards, which are the permanent and real goods and ranks.
He welcomes temporary troubles and problems by saying, “since this world is a temporary place of testing, there will be some discomfort in the testing.”
He says, “This world is a waste book”; he does not blur his mind with the dirt and confusion that he cannot correct; he becomes busy with keeping his own book of deeds clean. 
He says, “Let us see what God will do; whatever he does, he does well.”; he watches it all through the window; he does not go inside.
If he has fallen into sins, heedlessness and disobedience, he says, “it is wrong to abandon hope from the mercy of Allah”; he opens a new page by entering through the door of repentance, which is always open. He finds the real peace and happiness in this world.  

The way to get rid of depression, which is not the disease of this age but all ages, is to pay attention to the message coming from beyond ages.

60 Do I have to continue talking to someone who hurt me after forgiving him/her?

The state of resentment is considered valid in Islam, taking into consideration that there can be controversy on any issue between believers; however, it is stated that it must not last more than three days. (Bukhari, Adab, 57, 62; Muslim, Birr, 23, 25).

It is for ordinary daily issues. Moreover, there is a kind of resentment called “breaking relations off with someone” which is done against rebels and ones who insist on committing sins. There can be no resentment among Muslims who live in Islamic countries. If there is resentment, the following order of Allah’s must be applied: “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive Mercy.” (al-Hujurat, 49/10).

The Prophet (pbuh) says:

It is not permissible for a one to be crossed with his/her brother/sister more than three days. When two believers come across each other, they turn their faces away. However, the better of those two Muslims is the one who greets the other first.” (Tajrid-i Sarih Translation, XII, 145).

It means that you made peace with that person if you greet him/her or respond to his/her greeting when you come across each other. You do not need to continue talking at other times.

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61 Is there any human who fears so much?

The First Answer
There may be someone who fears extremely. However, if fear and love stand in balance, in place and merely is it for Allah, there is no drawback in it. Otherwise, the former leads a person to despair and the latter to arrogance, that is to say, relying on one’s own deeds. They harm a person both in the world and in the hereafter.
It is Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) who loves and fears Allah the most (Bukhari, Adab, 72; Muslim, Fazail,35).  
The bounty of fearing has been given to man in order to ensure the continuation of his life. That is to say, it has been given to man in order to prevent the obstacles that will threaten his life and hinder its continuation so that he can be safe, by taking measures against coming troubles. In this respect, to fear events or people whom we are not sure about is the result of that feeling.
However, abusing that feeling, that is, being scared of everything is not a something right, either. Our Prophet (pbuh) said that:
“O Allah, I take refuge in You from cowardice.” (Muslim, Translation, VII, 188). That hadith shows that cowardice is regarded among bad traits.
A cowardly person fears anything by being the captive of his imagination, suspicion and thoughts. His cowardliness makes him an unreliable person. He cannot be involved in hard dealings such as war and journey that require being patient and determination and cannot undertake a task against enemies.
Cowardly people’s lives, properties and honors are always in danger. They need to be friends with brave people and go with them in order to be saved from that bad trait. Thus, they can overcome this fear and can be protected from its evils.
Education has a great effect on being reared as a coward. So, mothers, fathers and teachers should be very careful. In order to raise the children as brave they should not full up the child’s mind with the tales about bogies and monsters, but with the stories of bravery and heroism.   
One of the Companions of Our Prophet (pbuh) Bara b. Azib said: “When the war became hot, we used to take courage from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)because he was an example of courage.” (Y. Kahdahlavi, Islam with Hadiths, III, 1213). It is a known fact that Our Prophet was very brave and his companions followed him. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) even used to pray as “O Allah, I take refuge in You from being a coward.”
A cowardly person cannot be successful in life. He cannot protect his rights and oppose the difficulties and obstacles appearing in front of him. What is needed for a person is to be courageous. There should be neither unnecessary recklessness nor cowardliness in our life.
However, not to fear from the creatures of Allah is a good character for a Muslim.It is also a virtue to fear from Allah at the same degree.
Allah, the Almighty states the following in the Qur’an:
“...Know that it is Allah Whom you should more justly fear, if you believe!” (The Qur’an, Al-Tauba, 9/13).
“... therefore fear not men, but fear Me.” (The Qur’an, Al-Maida, 5/44).
“The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and pay Zakah, and fear none (at all) except Allah.” (The Qur’an, At-Tauba, 9/18).
“It is such as obey Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah and do right, that will triumph.” (The Qur’an, An-Nur, 24/52).
“(It is the practice of those) who preach the Messages of Allah, and fear Him, and fear none but Allah. And enough is Allah to call (men) to account.” (The Qur’an, Al-Ahzab, 33/39).
A believer is the one who pins hope on Allah as much as fears Him because Allah, Almighty reveals the following in the Qur’an:
“Truly no one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith." (The Qur’an, Joseph, 12/87).
Therefore, as cowardice is not suitable for a Muslim, he should not fear the blame of any blamer and those who are against Islam, but should fear merely Allah.
The Second Answer:
In the religion of Islam, love and fear of Allah are proportional. A believer who fears the torture of Allah takes refuge in His compassion just like a child who fears his mother’s slap and takes shelter in the bosom of her. Allah states in the Qur’an that He will torment people regarding some issues. It is in order to make them gain high positions and enter Paradise and avoid committing forbidden deeds. It is exactly like the attitude of a father who, for the sake of his child and his future, arranges a convenient place for his child who does not study in order to make him study and during his child’s upbringing period, in order that his child will not become miserable in the future who scolds and scares his child and if necessary slaps his child who is addicted to playing...
Besides, Allah informs Muslims after those torture verses that He is extremely forgiving and merciful and those who repent and correct their behaviors will be exceptional from this threat in order that they will not fall into despair.
Here are some verses concerning the issue:
“That Allah may reward the men of Truth for their Truth, and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (The Qur’an, Al-Ahzab, 33/24).
“(With the result) that Allah has to punish the Hypocrites, men and women, and the Unbelievers, men and women, and Allah turns in Mercy to the Believers, men and women: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (The Qur’an, Al-Ahzab, 33/73).
“Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.” (The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah, 2/225)
“In that will they dwell; nor will their punishment be lightened, nor respite be their (lot); Except for those that repent (even) after that, and make amends; for verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (The Qur’an, Al-Imran, 3/88-89).
“(But) the Chastisement on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy,- Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such  persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (The Qur’an, Al-Furqan, 25/69-70).

62 Obeying the Rahmaniyat Laws

People do not know the true nature and characteristics of prayer. The Almighty Allah has manifestations of his names through Rahmaniyat (holistic mercy that encompasses all beings, mercifulness) and Rahimiyat (individual mercy that addresses every being one by one, compassionateness). As a result of the manifestation of Rahmaniyat, Allah has laid down laws to govern the universe and this life. All beings, including humans, are subject to those laws. Positive sciences have their topics as one of those laws or some positive sciences have emerged because of those laws. Applying to a means for a desired result or a farmer plowing a field, a patient applying to a qualified doctor and using the prescribed medicine and a student studying for success are all prayers. That kind of a prayer is seeking refuge in the Rahmaniyat of Allah and obeying the Rahmaniyat laws. Those kinds of prayers are generally (not all the time and surely) accepted. As a manifestation of the same Rahmaniyat laws, there are also prayers made with the tongue of need. Hunger draws us to eat and fatigue to rest and sleep. We are drawn to listen to the demands of our body. As an example, the appetite to be full and to rest which is expressed through being hungry, thirsty and tired are innate prayers of our body and they are generally accepted.

There are times when faced with the laws of Rahmaniyat, we are depressed; the means we have applied to obtain the desired results do not come to fruition; medicine becomes helpless against sicknesses. In these kinds of circumstances, we look for a power above all of the means. Allah the Almighty reminds us of his existence and that He has power and authority over all things so that we do not remain stuck with the means too much and associate partners to him.Allah also reminds us so that we will not start to feel too proud and think that we have power over all things. In addition, Allah wants us not to fall into despair and knows that He is not there only with manifestation of his Rahmaniyat and laws but also with the personal manifestations and laws. So, we are directed to the fact that we can and should turn towards Him.

These prayers are also never rejected but because we cannot encompass our past, present and future all together, we look at everything with regard to this world and not the infinite life. So, perhaps we can sometimes wish for things which will be bad for us rather than good because we cannot perceive comprehensively what is good or evil for us. Allah the Almighty, on the other hand, wishes the best for us. In addition, although we are individuals, we are related to our environment and all kinds of times and spaces in varying degrees. We cannot comprehensively conceive it either but Allah does; and He acts in accordance with His divine wisdom (Hikmat). For this reason, when we pray orally, sometimes He gives us what we want, sometimes he gives us just the opposite, sometimes nothing at all and sometimes He leaves it to the Hereafter. There is also a method of praying because we are not addressing an ordinary superior but rather the creator and manager of all worlds and the sultan of eternity.

 

 

63 What are the things that are not shown patience and consent?

As a moral concept, patience, has the meaning of resistance, endurance lexically, means not to complain to anyone but Allah (SWT), not to grumble or groan about the calamities that befall, but thinking the worldly and otherworldly benefits on the face of difficulties and unpleasant things that are difficult to endure so as not to derogate the psychological balance.

Patience starts after man has done everything necessary.

While consent means “being content, satisfied with, accepting and choosing” lexically, in Islamic Sufism, it is defined as peace and silence of heart on the face of fate’s bitter consequences.

Generally, consent expresses not to protest the decree and qada. It is not necessary to accept a wrong thing because giving consent to cruelty is cruelty and giving consent to unbelief is unbelief.

It is not appropriate to show patience and consent oppression and injustice, to an illness without seeking treatment and to poverty without working and to similar problems without trying to escape from them.

64 How should our relations with non-Muslims be?

The religion of Islam gives importance to man. Islam has opened its bosom of compassion to everybody, whether a believer or unbeliever, without discriminating between believers and unbelievers, Islam states that all human beings are valuable and that they are vicegerents on the earth and that all people descend from Adam and Eve and that they were created in groups so that they would know each other and strengthen the ties among each other. Islam encourages people to treat everybody, whether they are believers or not, and even every living creature well. The Prophet (pbuh) says,    

"It is rewarding to treat every living creature well." The following is stated in a verse:

"Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just."

The Prophet (pbuh) says there are three kinds of neighbors: A neighbor who has one right (the one with the least rights), one who has two rights and one who has three rights over you. The neighbor with one right is the one who is a non-Muslim. The one with two rights is the one who is a Muslim. One right is for Islam and one right is for being neighbors. The one with three rights is one who is a neighbor, Muslim and a relative. One right is for Islam, one for being neighbors and one for being relatives.  (From Bazzar and Abu Naim).

As it is seen, a person is respected even if he is not a Muslim. Let alone violating his rights, it is necessary to help him, to treat him well and to avoid any words or acts that will hurt his feelings.  

The religion of Islam gives great rights and freedom to non-Muslims living under its rule.

l- They are free in their beliefs and worshipping. They can worship as they wish. Their crosses and worshipping places cannot be touched. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Leave them alone with their worshipping.” If the wife of a Muslim is non-Muslim, she can go to church or synagogue. Her husband cannot prevent her. He can accompany her to the church to protect her if necessary.  

2- If what is forbidden in our religion like pigs is not forbidden for them, it is not permissible for Muslims to touch them.  

3- They are free in their personal affairs like marriage, divorce, alimony, etc. 

4- The religion of Islam gives them the right to debate within the framework of the mind and logic. It is necessary to avoid any words or acts that will hurt their feelings during the debate. Allah states the following:  “And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation) “(1).

5- Islam regards it permissible to eat the meals prepared by Christians and Jews and to marry Christian and Jewish women. Allah states the following regarding the issue:

“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time― when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues. If anyone rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good). " (2)

6- It is permissible to visit non-Muslims and ask about the health or condition of them.

7- Doing business with (buying and selling) non-Muslims is permissible just as it is permissible with Muslims.

8- It is sunnah to give food, etc to neighbors; therefore, if a Muslim sacrifices an animal, he can give some of its meat to his non-Muslim neighbors.

9- It is permissible to give presents to or to receive presents from non-Muslims. Before Makkah was conquered, there was a great famine there. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) sent 500 gold coins to be given away to the poor people of Makkah. (3)

How is it possible to make agreements with Jews and Christians despite the verse: “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors”?

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states the following in his answer to some people who oppose the military alliances and trade agreements with Christians by misinterpreting the verse:  “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors”:

“...being friends with them is to obtain the good parts of their civilization and developments, and to maintain public order and security, which is the most important principle of the happiness in the world. That kind of friendship is not included in the Quranic prohibition.” Münazarat

In the explanation above, it is stated that the happiness in the world depends on public order and security. It is  understood better today, when anarchy and wars oppress and terrorize the world, how appropriate that explanation is.

In the Nur Collection, “generosity towards friends and forbearance towards enemies “ is advised. The reason why many people in Europe and America today embrace Islam and obtain the bounty of guidance is peace not war.  

Our religion regards it permissible to marry a Jewish or Christian woman. It is permissible to make friends with them. Hereby, we introduce our religion to them.

1-al-Ankabut. 46

2-al-Maida. 5

3-Ibn Abidin v. 2. p. 67

65 What does it mean to love one’s child, a friend, and parents for the sake of Allah? What are the criteria of loving for the sake of Allah?

Love is universe’s both light and source of life. As humankind is the most comprehensive fruit of the universe; a love so great to cover whole universe is hidden inside the heart which is the seed of this fruit. Only the owner of infinite perfection (i.e. Allah) can deserve such an infinite love.

To whom shall we direct our love?

We should direct our fear and love to such a being so that our fear turns into a delicate submission, and our love turns into a noble happiness. Yes, fearing of Allah who is Wrathful means to find a way to His mercifulness and seek refuge in there. Fear is like a whip which directs us to His merciful embrace. It is like a mother frightening her child so that the child will return to her. Such a fright feels quite delightful to that child. However, if we gather all mercy from all mothers together, they are equal only to a small bit of Allah’s mercy. We can say fearing of Allah is so delightful. If there is such delight in fearing of Allah; so there should be an infinite delight in loving Allah. One who fears only Allah is freed from all other fears. Similarly, if one loves for the sake of Allah, his/her love for any creature will not be sorrowful.

A human being firstly loves his/her own self, then family and relatives, then nation, then all living beings and lastly the universe. This is related to all of these stages. One’s beloved things leave him/her one by one and most of them upset and hurt him/her. If we are logical enough, we should gather all of our loves that we have given to other things and give them the One who really deserves them so that we will get rid of these troubles. “Infinite love” is only worthy of our “Lord who is infinite and everlasting”, and such a great love is only exclusive to Him. It is unfairness to Allah for us to fill our hearts, which can embrace the whole universe and which are created to love the Lord, with love of finite earthly things. If we give our love to its real owner, then we can love everything without any sorrow in the name of Him and since everything is a mirror reflecting Him. Otherwise, love can turn out to be the most sorrowful state though it is indeed one of the most delicate boons.

We cannot waste our love only for our own selves. We cannot make our own selves our god and our lover. We cannot sacrifice everything for our own selves. We cannot attribute to them a kind of godliness. One’s own self is like a mirror reflecting our Lord’s acts, names and attributions. We should tear egotism in our self away and see “He” (i.e. Allah) hidden inside it and understand that all the loves scattered all over the universe are indeed created correspondingly to His names and attributions. If we misuse this love, for other things, we will suffer from it in the end; because, “an unlawful love misused is a merciless trouble”. Our Lord’s slightest love towards us can be larger than the universe. Nothing can be equal to His slightest love.

However, there must be indications of that we love our selves, world, Prophets, friends, parents, spouses, children and all other beautiful things for the sake of Allah. So, how shall we love these?

We should love world and creatures living on it with respect to their relation with Allah and whole universe, not with respect to their own features. That’s to say; we should say “how perfectly created is this!”, instead of saying “how beautiful this is” when we see something beautiful. And we should not let any other love get into the depths of our hearts.

Loving one’s self means to take pity on it, discipline it and protect it from harmful desires. If you loved in this way, your lower-self would not rule over you and would not make you a captive of its desires. Maybe you would rule over your lower-self. You would route it to Allah, instead of meaningless desires.

Sometimes, love for prophets and saints become useless. You should not love them in this way. Do not be one of those who go too far in love and attribute “godhood” to them. Such a love will result in punishment in the Hereafter and those whom they loved so much will sue them!

One should love his/her spouse because of his/her nice personality and his/her being a source of mercy and a gift from Allah. If you treat your spouse with sincere love and mercy, he/she will treat you with sincere respect and love too. This state will continue improving as you both grow old. Then life will pass in happiness. Otherwise, if you love your spouse only for his/her physical beauties, that love will deteriorate soon and eventually you will not get on well.

Love towards parents is considered a prayer if you love them for the sake of Allah. You wish them to live a long life sincerely. You try to render service to them sincerely so that you would gain more rewards (sawabs) because of them. If the essence of this love consists of finite worldly pleasures and interests, you begin to be disturbed by the fact that “they are still alive” with the most nefarious feeling when they grow old to be more dependent on you. You start to fight for their inheritance while they are still alive and you wildly wait for them to die, who are the reasons that brought you on earth. However, the criteria of loving parents for the sake of Allah are rendering more service to them and wishing a long life for them when you are not dependent on them anymore.

Your love towards your children is unconditional and sincere. It is an inexpressible love and a unique blessing to love these cute, sweet beings who Allah entrusted to you to raise. You neither suffer too much from their problems nor wail for their death, because your love comes from Allah.

If your love for your friends is for the sake of Allah, you will benefit from this unworldly love and spiritual contact forever because separation or death cannot hinder your friendship and your unworldly relations. If this love is not for the sake of Allah, a delightful reunion of one day results in a sorrowful separation of a hundred days.

In conclusion, we should love for the sake of Allah and put our hearts into things that our Lord appreciates.

We recommend you to read this article:

Shall we not love our world?

We read the wise advises which masters of morals gave about forgetting love of creatures and loving the Creator instead. These advises are evaluated in a wrong way by some people and those people choose to live a hermitage which is totally against Islam’s sociable essence.
Master Bediuzzaman states that this world has got three faces and two of them are worthy of love, in order to warn us against falling into such error. These faces which are worthy of love are that world is “a mirror reflecting Allah’s names” and is “a field for the Hereafter”.

These limited minds of people cannot completely perceive Allah, who does not resemble His creatures and whose all attributions are infinite. However, they admire the perfection of His names and attributions when they think about the universe, which is a miracle of His might and art, and the creatures living in it. In this sense, of course one should love this world which guides him/her through knowing the Lord.

Again, human beings are travelers to the eternity. The seeds of all kinds of happiness in the Hereafter are hidden in worldly life. The more seeds one plants and the more he/she takes care of them, the more gainful he/she will be in the Hereafter. In this sense, of course one should love the world which is the field of Heaven.

The third face of the world is “loving lower-self’s unreasonable desires”. Quran verses and hadiths which teach us that world is a game and pastime point out to world’s third face. A hadith which is like a sea of wisdom is as follows:

“I liken the world to the situation of a traveler who has a rest in a tree’s shadow on a summer day. This traveler stayed under the tree for a while and after a short time he left.”

Our guide of righteousness enjoyed the divine merit and love as perfectly as a mortal could reach on this world, in his life which cannot be considered long. He also catered for all the requirements of the eternal life perfectly and having educated a hundred and twenty four thousand companions (apostles) each of whom are a star in the sky of humanity, he passed away to the eternal world.

This is our guide to whom we shall try to resemble! And this is our divine aim for which we should sacrifice our all. If we can perceive this aim completely, we will consider it the most significant gain on this mortal world to conduce someone to find the right way. That person will be an everlasting treasure for us and a good inheritor for our unworldly life. In fact, the prayers that person performs will add more to our sawabs. However, our inheritors of property are not like that. Benefits of alms and charity that they will give are only for themselves, except the charity that they will do especially on our behalf. And we can expect this only from our children. Good deeds of our grandchildren do not affect us. I have never seen someone who gives food to the poor or sacrifices an animal on his/her grandfather’s behalf.

As this is the way around, let’s do good deeds on this world and make sacrifices by ourselves. Let’s send everything we will need from this world to the Hereafter while we are alive so that we will not look for them hopelessly in the Hereafter.

Those masters walked on the world; they never got into it; at the same time they did not forget about boons of this world. However, they led a life bearing in mind that they did not come to the world just for benefitting from its boons. As they are already on earth, they tasted a few bits from the boons and continued to walk on…

What is world? We are inborn with a tendency to love the world; so why is loving world prohibited?

The world literally means “the nearest” and “the lowest”. Both are true. We are preparing for the Hereafter on this world. If we can watch this sky close over us with wisdom, we will be a candidate for watching the world below with awe when we are in Heaven. If we can contemplate about trees, flowers, rivers near us; it will be possible for us to enter gardens of Heaven.

If we can take this defected worldly life, which is full of pains, sorrows, exhaust and some of which passes asleep, out of our hearts, we will be able to reach that divine life, that unique happiness, true humanity and real delight.

Our Lord informs us of the fact that this world is nothing but a game and pastime (An’am, 32). Only kids play such games and only raffish people are satisfied with pastime.

When a kid grows up to be an adult, quits playing with his/her toy houses, which he/she built and impaired a lot of times, and seeks for an eternal home. And again when one grows, pastime is replaced by working and gaining knowledge in his/her life.

We are warned to pay attention to the fact that the world has got three faces, in Nur (divine light) Collection: “being a mirror reflecting divine names”, “being a field for Heaven” and “being a playground for revelers”.

The world’s third face of being a playground is this: the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states “People are asleep; when they die, they wake up” and puts the heedlessness of those who play with the third face of the world into words quite well.

When this hadith and Bediuzzaman’s pray “show us the originals and sources of the boons, examples and shadows of which you have shown to us” are juxtaposed, we can come up with this meaning: A person can eat and drink in his/her dream. Those foods satisfy him/her in dream. This is like a shadow fed on another shadow. However, when that person wakes up, he/she understands that he/she is hungry and starts to seek for his/her real food.

People who pass their time with worldly things and forget about real happiness are satisfied with shadows too. They will wake up when they die and perceive that the real satisfaction is only in the Heaven. However, it will be too late for most people and they will have already missed the chance.

What is important is to “die before death” and comprehend that world is like a shadow when compared to the Hereafter; and order our lives according to this consciousness. Those who reach this consciousness are not deceived by the third face of the world, care for the first two faces, enhance their merits and increase their sawabs.

It is obvious that a world, in which days are followed by nights, youthfulness is pulled back by agedness, health is surrounded by diseases and the destination is death, cannot be a place of happiness.
The Messenger of Allah states swearing:

I swear to Allah, world is like dipping a finger into the sea when compared to the Hereafter. See what will you have? What will your finger take from sea?

Eternal happiness is a sea and boons of the world are just wetness on the finger… Those who do not drown in this wetness, who do not get wet in this slight humid, find the sea. Those who are not deceived by finite things reach to the infiniteness.

If you are looking for infiniteness in this finite world, infiniteness is in absence. Make your id absent (control your lower self) so that you can be infinite” Words

The ones who are aware of that they are travelers pay attention to their destination, not to the vehicle or the seats they are sitting on. Their hearts beat for this destination and their mind is always busy with that place.

They consider the world a field of Heaven and attach great importance to it for this reason; however, they keep in mind that a field is not a place of fun. Despite of all the pains they suffer, they focus on the destination and say “everything will be over in the evening and I will have comfort and ease when I reach there”.

Those who live in this way find happiness and welcome death with a smile. They leave the field easily because they did not put their hearts into this field.

World and Hereafter, which seem so far away from each other, indeed wander together in our inner world, world of senses, square of mind and world of deeds.

Every act of ours, every thought and every love either belongs to the world or to the Hereafter. We take our every step either towards Heaven or Hell. Each of our words either leads us to happiness or to disaster. Every minute of our lives is a seed for one of these destinations.

World and Hereafter are two destinations. The more one loves one of them, the less he/she thinks of the other.

Those who quit wandering around as they wish on this world will fly to from one place to another in a blink of an eye in the Hereafter.

Those who limit their food to halals in the world will benefit from Hereafter’s boons infinitely.

Those who avoid useless knowledge carefully in this world will gain a sea of knowledge in the Hereafter. Those who know when to speak and when to keep silent on this world will have pleasant conversations and hear nice words in the Hereafter.

Those who are not taken away with people’s temporary compliments will have Divine mercy and grace in the Hereafter.

Every excessive desire which one quits on this world will return to him/her as a unique happiness there. A person who sends some things from this world to the Hereafter throughout his/her life, will move to the Hereafter eventually and see its fruits.

We read the wise advises which masters of morals gave about forgetting love of creatures and loving the Creator instead. These advises are evaluated in a wrong way by some people and those people choose to live a hermitage which is totally against Islam’s sociable essence.
Master Bediuzzaman states that this world has got three faces and two of them are worthy of love, in order to warn us against falling into such error. These faces which are worthy of love are that world is “a mirror reflecting Allah’s names” and is “a field for the Hereafter”.

These limited minds of people cannot completely perceive Allah, who does not resemble His creatures and whose all attributions are infinite. However, they admire the perfection of His names and attributions when they think about the universe which is a miracle of His might and art and the creatures living in it. In this sense, of course one should love this world which guides him/her through knowing the Lord.

Again, human beings are travellers to the eternity. The seeds of all kinds of happiness in the Hereafter are hidden in worldly life. The more seeds one plants and the more he/she takes care of them, the more gainful he/she will be in the Hereafter. In this sense, of course one should love the world which is the field of Heaven.

The third face of the world is “loving lower-self’s unreasonable desires”. Quran verses and hadiths which teach us that world is a game and pastime point out to world’s third face. A hadith which is like a sea of wisdom is as follows:

“I liken the world to the situation of a traveler who has a rest in a tree’s shadow on a summer day. This traveler stayed under the tree for a while and after a short time he left.”

Our guide of righteousness enjoyed the divine merit and love as perfectly as a mortal could reach on this world, in his life which cannot be considered long. He also catered for all the requirements of the eternal life perfectly and having educated a hundred and twenty four thousand companions (apostles) each of whom are a star in the sky of humanity, he passed away to the eternal world.

This is our guide to whom we shall try to resemble! And this is our divine aim for which we should sacrifice our all. If we can perceive this aim completely, we will consider it the most significant gain on this mortal world to conduce someone to find the right way. That person will be an everlasting treasure for us and a good inheritor for our unworldly life. In fact, the prayers that person performs will add more to our sawabs. However, our inheritors of property are not like that. Benefits of alms and charity that they will give are only for themselves, except the charity that they will do especially on our behalf. And we can expect this only from our children. Good deeds of our grandchildren do not affect us. I have never seen someone who gives food to the poor or sacrifices an animal on his/her grandfather’s behalf.

As this is the way around, let’s do good deeds on this world and make sacrifices by ourselves. Let’s send everything we will need from this world to the Hereafter while we are alive so that we will not look for them hopelessly in the Hereafter.

Those masters walked on the world; they never got into it; at the same time they did not forget about boons of this world. However, they led a life bearing in mind that they did not come to the world just for benefitting from its boons. As they are already on earth, they tasted a few bits from the boons and continued to walk on…

Please click on the link given below;

What does it mean to love and to hate for the sake of Allah? What should one understand from it? How should one love and hate for the sake of Allah?

66 How can we show patience against the issue of which we do not know the hidden side?

Even though showing patience against trouble and unpleasantries is hard for humans to do, it contains consequences which will engender spiritual progress in the hereafter.Patience is deemed as a way of worshipping like the Prayer and fasting, and those who show patience are praised by God and are given joyful tidings of great rewards as stated in the Qur’an: ” O you who believe! Seek help (against all kinds of hardships and tribulations) through persevering patience and the Prayer; surely God is with the persevering and patient. ( the Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2:153). “We will certainly test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits (earnings); but give glad tidings to the persevering and patient” ( the Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2:155)

Since humans are unable to know the future, it is also impossible for them to know the hidden side of the events that happen to them. God wants us to give in to Him against the unpleasantries of which we do not know the hidden side and to believe that everything that comes from Him will end well. He gives good tidings that those who believe in this will be rewarded with entering Paradise.

67 Can you give information about adoption? Does the child who is adopted become a stranger to the adoptive mother when he grows up? And what is the religious decree to remove that state?

Adoption, the tradition of joining somebody else's child into one's own family, has been present in all ages of history. Especially, in the Age of Ignorance before Islam, that tradition was more prevalent. Whoever wished joined anybody he chose into his own children and announced that he adopted that child. Then he would say to the adopted child: “You are my son; I am an heir to you and you are to me.” Thus that child would be accepted as his own son. As well as a member of the family, he would also share the rights and duties of the family members and would carry the name of the family. One who adopted was deemed the father of the child. And the wife of the adopting person took the place of the child's mother. The wife of the adopted son was accepted as the daughter-in-law of the adoptive father; therefore, it was not possible for him to marry his daughter-in-law after they got divorced.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, took Zayd b. Sabit as an adoptive child. Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, was sold as a slave at an early age and Hadija, may Allah be pleased with her, bought him. Then she gave him to The Prophet as a gift. Zayd was in the service of The Prophet. One day, Zayd's father and uncle came to ask for him in return for salvage money. Our Prophet set Zayd free and let him decide. But Zayd preferred The Prophet to his father and uncle and wanted to stay with him. Thereafter The Prophet set him free from slavery. Addressing the present crowd, he said: “Bear witness! Zayd is my son; I am his heir and he is mine.” Thus, his father and uncle left, pleased. From then on, Zayd became the adoptive son of The Prophet. He was then called “Zayd son of Muhammad”. 1

When the rightful religion came, the traditions and habits practiced in the Age of Ignorance started to change one by one; people were shown the legal path and falsehoods and injustices were replaced by essentials of rightness and justice. One of the habits of the Ignorance was the institution of adoption as it was practiced then.

Allah Most High abolished that practice which is contrary to the human nature, through both open command and exemplifying it on His Prophet.

The translation of the verse about this subject is as follows:

Nor has He made your adopted sons your sons (in fact). Those are only expressions you utter with your mouths, whereas God speaks the truth and He guides to the right way. Call them (the children you have adopted) after their (real) fathers: doing so is more equitable in the sight of God. If you do not know who their fathers are, then (they are) your brothers in religion and your protégés (so observe the duties of brotherhood between you and them). However, there is no blame on you because of the mistakes you may make unintentionally (in naming them), but what your hearts have premeditated (matters greatly). God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.” 2

Thus with this verse the tradition of adoption was abolished. That illegal tradition was ordained to be forbidden. For through adoption neither one becomes a real son/daughter, nor the adopting person becomes a real parent.

The Prophet was informed of Allah's commands about that prohibition and about the fact that no child becomes a real son by saying “You are my son.” It was explained that it is religiously legal for the adoptive father to marry the wife divorced by the adopted son. 3

Adoption is forbidden in our religion as it entails the following drawbacks: First, by bringing someone else's child to the state of one's own child in an illegal way, an unjust and affected conduct is performed. To accept a stranger child as a son or daughter is to change the fitrah (innate disposition). To tamper with the lineage which is accepted as sacred leads to oblivion of the real parents of the child.

Second, when that child grows up, the points of privacy inside the family will not be complied with. The rules governing such points as hijab (covering one's parts), looking and touching will not be followed. If the child is a male, then he will be together with all the girls of the family; if female, then she will live with all the male members of the family. However, whether male or female, neither the housewife is his/her mother, nor the relatives of that family are the family of the adopted child; they are no different from strangers. When they grow up, they will always be faced with forbidden actions as long as they are inside the family.

Another drawback is, the adopted child will share the inheritance. Thus the more close relatives will be deprived either partially or wholly of the inheritance. The inheritors whose rights are violated will view that child with enmity. For the adopted child does not in reality have the right for share in the inheritance.

So, due to all those drawbacks, our religion does not advice adoption. However, aside from the mentioned adoption, it is a virtue for somebody to take the child of a relative or a friend under his/her protection, to take and love a homeless and orphan child like his/her child, and to feed, look after him/her, to educate and to support his/her education. However, in that case, too, s/he must not register the child all to himself/herself, must not transfer the rights of the son/daughter to him/her, and must pay attention to the matter of privacy. Nonetheless, if one wishes, one may donate some of one's money to the child while alive. Or one may state in one's will that some of one's property be given to the adopted person. Indeed, in many of his hadiths, The Prophet gave the glad tidings of Paradise to those who looked after homeless and orphan children. 4

The Result:

This topic has three important aspects:

1. As the adopted child, if female, will be outside of the protected limits to the adoptive father, and if male, he will be so to the mother, it is not permitted in view of the possibility of being together alone. This problem may be overcome by suckling the adopted child. As the adoptive mother will be milk mother, and the adoptive father milk father, there will be no religious drawback.

2. Adoptive parents may not show the mercy and compassion that the real parents of the child would have shown. For this reason, there is the responsibility of depriving the child of his/her real parents. And this is an important point for the child. But this may not be a problem for orphans.

3. The inheritance of the adoptive parents will be left to the child. However, that inheritance is supposed to be left to the relatives. And this is to give the right of others to the adopted child, which is not permitted. As a solution for that, the real inheritors may be asked for their acceptance/waive of right or the adopted child may legally be deprived of the inheritance.

Based on those three reasons, we can say that adoption is not right. Provided those three obstacles are religiously solved, then it is not forbidden to adopt a child, God willing.

Sources

1. Usdu’l-Gaba, 2: 225.
2. The Qur'an, Al-Ahzab, 33:4-5
3. The Qur'an, Al-Ahzab, 33:37
4. Muslim, Zuhd: 42

68 What can we do to eliminate the feeling of obstinacy ? Is there a special prayer that can make someone give up obstinacy ?

We do not know a special prayer that can make someone give up obstinacy.  

Instead of eliminating a nice feeling like obstinacy, it is better to channel it into good ways. For instance, “I will never skip a prayer; I will never be cross with anyone”.

What are the inborn characteristics of man and how should he use them?

Man has thousands of feelings. We ask you to refer to the large books explaining those characteristics. It is possible to use a feeling in both a good way and a bad way.

1- Each feeling that has been given to man does not aim to take man away from Allah. On the contrary, their aim is to make man closer to Allah and to improve him. Those who do not know this aim claim that man must be freed of those characteristics. As a matter of fact, something like that is impossible for some people.

However, most of our scholars think that those feelings were given to us to make us improve. It is necessary to turn these feelings away from the ephemeral and unimportant things and to direct them toward permanent things.

For instance, the feeling of thinking about the future is present in everybody. A person can only think about the world life, which is not under guarantee. And he can work to obtain it. However, that feeling was not given to man for it. Then, it is necessary to direct that feeling toward a more valuable thing. It should be thinking about the hereafter. Instead of being in a situation like that which will make himself responsible, man should aim to be a beloved slave of Allah.

Yes, man has the feeling of obstinacy. When he devotes that feeling to the worldly affairs, he will insist on doing unimportant things. And, He will receive sins. However, if he uses that feeling in a way that Allah wants, he will transform it to worshipping as follows: A Muslim will say, with this feeling, “I am obstinate; I will never miss a morning prayer; I will never be angry with any Muslim; I will worship such and such times every day.” 

Ambition also has two similar levels. One of them leads man to sins, the other to worshipping. Allah does not like the part that is related to sins; if man uses it in the good way, it will be welcomed. For instance, a person is always very ambitious and tries to obtain money and property but does not pay zakah (alms); that feeling (ambition) will lead him to destruction. If a person does not avoid doing anything in order to obtain the post that he targets and if he becomes so ambitious as to sacrifice his holy things, that feeling of ambition is not good for him. Allah damns the person who has that feeling. However, the feeling of ambition will be the sultan among all feelings if a person uses that feeling as follows: “I will use it to save the belief of people, to be useful for people, to elevate my post in the hereafter and to reach the consent and pleasure of Allah.”

From this point of view, we can say that every feeling and trait given to man is good and nice.

2- In a sound hadith, the following is stated, “Every newborn child is born on the innate nature (Islam). Then his parents change him into Christianity, Judaism, or Magianism” (and today into ……..isms).

a. Every person is spotless, clean and suitable for belief and Islam in terms of his/her nature.

He is spotless, clean and suitable for belief and Islam in terms of his/her nature, that is creation; like a spotless white sheet of paper on which everything can be written or a tape on which nothing has been recorded before, paste that can be shaped easily, mineral ore ready to be cast or a sapling that can be bent…  

Pure and clear spring water is clean in terms of its source and nature; it is appropriate to assume a state that is very useful and healing; or it can be turned into a different state by being mixed with dust and soil. Similarly, a newborn child is apt to accept the truths based on the laws of nature and creation and to refuse elusiveness and heresy. Therefore, whatever you tell the children aged between 5 and 15, they record it in their memories and place it in their hearts on behalf of belief and Islam. For instance, when you say, “A village cannot be without a headman; a pin cannot be without a master; then, that huge universe cannot be without an owner; its owner is Allah”, the receiver in front of you is so spotless and he/she is in such a suitable frequency that he will record anything you say without any interference. The vacuum of creation, the magnetic field of nature attracts the message. We see such faces that we say, “that person has a clean nature, high ethics; he is an appropriate and positive person“.

b. Clean and benign nature can be contaminated and blunted by unbelief and sins.

By going into unbelief and denial, man closes his eyes to the universal evidences, suppresses his conscience, blunts his nature; he deprives himself of all of the sources of light and buries himself in darkness; thus, he smears the clean nature with black stains that Allah dislikes. However, man preserves his nature, which is clean, with belief and deeds and maintains his uprightness. Then, belief is original and unbelief is incidental. The nature of man, which is clear in the beginning, is contaminated afterwards. If the original state of the nature is not preserved, supported and if necessary measures are not taken, a person can become a Christian, Judaist or Magian, or any member of the currents of unbelief that can be thought of.   

c. When the clean nature is spoiled by being contaminated, man obtains a second nature. 

The young bird that comes out of the egg is a bird even if it cannot fly. It is apt to fly naturally. When we see it run, spring and try to fly in the period of growing up, we say, “this bird is going to fly”. However, if an external cause interferes and eliminates the bird’s ability to fly, the bird cannot fly. Unbelief is like that, too; breaking the wings of a bird that is apt to fly or crippling it means blunting its nature and making it unable to fly with a second nature. A person whose nature is blunted due to the misuse of the will, external reasons and motives obtains a second nature, contaminating his clean and benign nature. We say, “this is a bird; it can fly” when we look at the first state of the bird; similarly, we say, “this is a Muslim; he/she will be a Muslim, for a newborn child”. However, some adverse winds blow toward that child in the course of time; and if he uses his will to help those winds, then, his extremities are broken; the seed of his creation is buried in the darkness of unbelief; it cannot receive sufficient heat, light and rain to germinate, burgeon and become a tree that can bear fruit. Then, he obtains a new nature in the darkness.

d. Two issues related to destiny will always come before us about the topics that we have mentioned above: external causes and will. 

Every newborn child is born on the innate nature (Islam) but the will uses the external effects like parents, friends, the environment, the community and school favorably or unfavorably and interferes the nature positively or negatively. In the destiny, all of them are taken into consideration and that person is recorded as sa’id (happy: Paradise-bound) because he will preserve his nature or as shaqi (unhappy: Hell-bound) because he will blunt his nature and plunge into unbelief.

3- Man has been created for some lofty aims like the following: To use the attributes like knowledge, will, sight and hearing that have been added to the human spirit as a divine grace as a means of knowing the attributes of Allah. To evaluate in a good way those windows of knowledge that are opened in his spirit to know the divine attributes.

- To use the faculty of the mind in the scope of wisdom, the faculty of the lust in the scope of chastity and the faculty of the wrath in the scope of heroism. 

- To love only Allah and to love the other creatures on behalf of Him and because they are mirrors of His names, because they indicate His perfection and because they inform us of His beauty.

- To have the consciousness that “man has been created appropriately for all kinds of worshipping” and to try to benefit from the bounties of all kinds of worshipping in the best way.

- To turn the faces of the heart, secret, spirit and even the mind and other faculties that have been given to him to the eternal life. Thus, to keep each of them busy with the worshipping peculiar to them. 

- To open one of the treasures of the mercy of Allah with each of his feelings and to benefit from it in the best way and to give thanks generally.

- To meditate on the power of Allah, by taking his weakness, the mercy of Allah by taking his poverty and the perfection of Allah by taking his deficiency into consideration. To know that his Lord has endless perfection, mercy and power and that his own soul has endless weakness, poverty and deficiency.

- To stand in the presence of Allah by cleaning his spirit from sins and his body from all kinds of dirtiness and spots.

- To present himself in the best way for the observance of the angels and spiritual beings since he is the perfect work of Allah.

Man has been created for the lofty aims like the ones above but many people have forgotten about them and try to live a comfortable life in the world by being heedless of those aims. Although he has the ability to represent the worshipping of the whole universe, he tries to win the courtesy of a group of people around him and he makes it his aim to make himself liked by them.

After a while, he and the other people pass away and all of those aims are buried in the ground together with his body and disappear.

69 Could you give information on apprehension of future and livelihood (rizq)?

Such feelings have been given to human beings not only for worldly life but also for succeeding in otherworldly life, which is the true destination of ours. This apprehension must primarily felt for succeeding in otherworldly life.

Working within the permitted limits is accepted as worship. And acting in accordance with causes is a supplication in a sense. However, one must recognize what he gets at the end of his work as a kind offering and help from Allah. Working and thoughts which do not comply with these two criteria are wrong. For this reason, fearing that one will not earn enough to live by is inappropriate. Our responsibility is to work and who will let us succeed in our works is Allah. This is the philosophy we should adopt.

Of course, we should think of our future. However, this should not cause apprehension and distrust in Allah’s mercy. We should give attach more importance to our future in otherworldly life than to our future in worldly life.

On the other hand, resigning oneself in Allah’s hands (tawakkul) does not mean “not working”. Resigning oneself in Allah’s hands means being pleased with what Allah gives after attempting at causes (doing whatever we can) and taking all the necessary precautions. A person who does so lives a peaceful life and does not make his soul suffer from apprehension of livelihood. The following hadith of the Prophet is a significant source of hope for such person: “If you resign yourself in Allah’s hands sincerely, He will give your livelihood, just like He gives to birds.”

Resigning oneself in Allah’s hands never prevents one from working and attempting. Allah the Supreme states in Quran: “Man can have nothing but what he strives for” (al-Najm, 39).

One day, a man came up to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: “Shall I resign my camel in Allah’s hands by untying or by tying it?” and the Prophet said: “Tie you camel and then resign it in Allah’s hands” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 60) and so determined the appropriate way of resignation in Allah’s hands most clearly.

70 Will you explain the verse: "Say: I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth" (al-Araf, 7/188)? According to that verse, does the human will have no importance?

Man or jinn wills and Allah creates. It means nothing takes place without the will of Allah in the sense of creation. Satan chose to rebel and not to prostrate using his own will, and Allah created his choice.

Say: I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as God willeth” (al-Araf, 7:188) emphasizes creational willing. According to that verse, does the human will have no importance?

Allah has got two ways of willing.

First: Creational willing.

Second: Juridical willing.

Juridical willing: Allah shows through the prophets He sent what he likes and dislikes. This will of His manifests Allah’s orders and prohibitions. The Quranic verse which is translated as “If ye reject (God), Truly God hath no need of you; but He likes not ingratitude from His servants.” (az-Zumar, 39:7) indicates this “juridical will” of Allah’s.

The feature of this willing is that it is an order which only shows Allah’s contentedness and satisfaction and which does not include enforcement. The Quranic verse “The truth is from your Lord: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” (al-Kahf, 18:29) emphasizes people’s freedom in the presence of this willing. This freedom is also a requirement of the testing which people are put through.

Creational willing: This kind of willing means Allah’s creating, making and inventing. This willing is a reflection of might; it is creative, forcing and it cannot be opposed. It is possible to see the most gnomic statement about this willing in the verse which is translated as “Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, "be", and it is!” (Ya Seen, 36:82).

The verse which is translated as “Say: I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as God willeth” (al-Araf, 7:188) emphasizes creational willing.

As explained above, creational willing cannot be opposed or avoided as it is the last decision of Allah. However, it does not mean that it does not leave any options for human beings and forces them into things which they do not want to do with their own free-will because besides this kind of willing, there is also juridical willing. For instance, a murderer wants to kill someone without a fair reason; he puts his will into action and shoots the man to death. It happens in spite of Allah’s juridical willing which does not give consent to and which forbids that act. However, that man will not die and nobody can kill him unless the creational willing, which is the last decision of Allah, allows it.

When one evaluates the truth from this point of view, it will be seen that there is not a statement which restricts people’s freedom, in the Quranic verses regarding Allah’s creational willing. To sum up, human beings do something good or evil using their own free-will, power and self-control. And Allah creates the thing one wants to do if He wills to create it.

2. In the verse above, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) is ordered to say clearly that he can obtain what is good for him and be protected from what is harmful for him only by the will and wish of Allah; the Messenger of Allah fulfilled that order; thus he informed people, without having any complex, that his means and abilities were limited with what Allah gave him because he was a human being and that he did not have any extraordinary power on his own. Thus, he showed his sincere allegiance to Allah indirectly and displayed an exemplary attitude as to what kind of consciousness of servitude man needs to have in the presence of Allah.   

To know when the Doomsday is means to know the ghaib (unseen, unknown). A person who knows the ghaib may have the power to know what will bring good and what will bring bad things for him in the future and may act accordingly. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated that he did not have such a power and that his main function was to convey people information containing good news and warning in such a way to help them.    

As it is seen here, our Prophet (pbuh) did not like to be attributed some qualities independent of the bounties and grants of Allah; he always emphasized that his duty was to be a good servant to Allah, to fulfill his duty of prophethood and conveying the message of Allah fully and to try to help people find the guidance. Regarding the issues like life in the hereafter, Hell, Paradise, angels, devil, which are in the scope of the ghaib and which are beyond man’s knowledge, he informed people as much as Allah let him know based on His permission; however, since he was not given any information about when the Doomsday would strike, he was ordered to tell people that he did not have any information about it.    

It is not stated in the verse that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) does not know anything about the future by any means but it is stated that he knows nothing about the future except what Allah informed him. Not everything relating to the future is regarded as the ghaib; man can have some definite information about the future and can know something based on his information about the laws of Allah regarding the universe called the laws of nature, his experience and his mind. What is emphasized in the verse is not that the future is completely dark for human beings but that man cannot have any knowledge about the beings and events and about what is useful and what is harmful unless Allah lets him. (Kur’an Yolu, Diyanet ??leri Ba?kanl??? Yay?nlar?: II/504.)

3. In another verse regarding the issue, the following is stated: "But ye will not, except as Allah wills; for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom." (al-Insan, 76/30)

While in the previous verse in the same chapter, it is stated that a person who wills will take the path to his Lord, in the 30th verse, it is stated that Allah will encompass those that He wills with His mercy. That is, sincere believers surrender themselves to the will of Allah with all of their belongings.   

We were not created based on our own will; we were not born in the country where we were born based on our own will, either; the family and the environment that we belong to were not chosen based on our own wish and will. They all took place with the manifestation of the divine will. Everything takes place in accordance with the plan He has made in the pre-eternity based on His infinite knowledge and His will. 

After coming to the world and reaching the age of “responsibility”, that is, the age of discretion, our wills start to take part in our lives. We are desired to be led by being notified with divine commands. At this point, we need to stop and think. After the notification and being shown the right way, a person is let choose using his own will; on the other hand, God’s will prevails as it is stated in the verse “But ye shall not will except as Allah wills”. We see the conclusion that “man is bound by the divine will within a certain limit”. A person can find the right path if He wills, but if not, he cannot. In this case, what are people held responsible for? If we just look only at the outer appearance of the verse without analyzing the indicated meaning, we might think that the claims of the Qadariyyah and Jabriyyah schools turn out to be correct. However, the matter is of ultimate importance and subtlety. It is hard to come to a conclusion unless its wisdom is comprehended. As it is stated in the 30th verse, Allah tells us about the limit of possibility and will that He has put between Him and His servants; in other words, the border of the right path. Unless a person reaches the level of that border with the help of his mind, intelligence and will, and religious advice and knowledge, Allah will not manifest His supreme will; and for this reason, the door of guidance path will not open for him.

Do we not encounter this limit regarding almost every matter? Without plowing and without any strife, by only sprinkling seeds onto dry soil, how can we expect yield from these seeds? People are obliged to do what they are expected to regarding this matter, and then, the rest depends on the divine will. At that point, we cannot will unless God Almighty wills. Unless He manifests His guidance and help, we cannot enter the right path and cannot benefit from the thing we have started. 

We can summarize the issue as follows:

There is no such a decree like compulsion or invalidity of human will. What this is all about is the situation of crossing the limits of possibility and will that we have mentioned above. When that limit is reached, the divine will and guidance of the Almighty God play their roles above all sorts of will; He opens the door of guidance for the ones whom He wills or He does not open it for those whom He does not will. The door of guidance will not open for the ones who have not been able to use the will, and as a result, who will not be able to take themselves to the mentioned border.

The statement “You cannot will unless Allah wills” describes the ability to choose and to wish which Allah has installed in the creation of human; no extra meaning is included because bestowal of this kind of ability on the humankind is emphasized in a number of verses in the Qur’an with definite and clear expressions. Thus, we can count this as a strong principle of Islamic teaching. Moreover, the one who desires this will and ability to be available in man is Allah, the Exalted, Himself. For this reason, the choice of guidance or deviation by a person is within this extent. That is to say, as far as we comprehend, there is no contradiction. The fact that the verse consoles the Prophet (peace be upon him) due to negative reactions he received, that the deniers are described as “evil ones” as if it was their basic quality is a strong clue of their deviation from guidance and deserving Allah’s punishment because of their evil intentions and unjust deeds. And it stands as a message for us to interpret the statement “He takes the ones whom He wills to a right path” as “the ones with well-intentions and who desire to enter the right path.  

If Allah had not granted us will in this world as a requirement of the position and the trial of this world and if He would not have let us choose whatever we wanted, then nobody would have had this kind of right to choose. O people! That is, you should know that your ability to choose denial or rebellion depends on God’s permission, too. If He had taken hold of the rope around your necks from the time you were born onwards, like He did with angels, mountains, rocks, sky, the moon, stars, the sun and plants and so on, in other words, if you had been created without your wills, none of you would have had the right to choose whatever you wanted.

Only man is provided with this opportunity. Freedom of rebelling and challenging has only been given to man based on Allah’s law. Therefore, the obedience of man is much more different than other creatures. That is, man’s obedience to Allah is different from the slave’s obedience to his master. Since freedom to rebel has been granted, man’s obedience is a lot more precious. Angels, mountains, skies, stars, the moon, animals and plants are also Allah’s servants but their obedience is their nature.

71 To what extent do we have power/will on our lives?

It will be useful to summarize the issue in a few items:

a. Allah has a universal will that is valid everywhere. It is the indispensable condition of being the Creator, Lord and divinity.

He is Allah who creates both good and evil in terms of fate. However, those who are tested are not puppets. They also play a role in the bad events that they experience. What one should be careful about is this: there are two aspects in every event which interest people:

First: Points related to Allah’s creation. That is to say; both good and evil are the creations of Allah. That is what Allah’s Oneness requires.

Second: Points related to occurrences and inclinations which are related to people’s earning and in which there is no act of creating and things which are reasons for Allah’s creation. That partial free will must be given to human beings so that they can be tried with their free will and they can be held responsible of the consequences. Therefore, it has been given to human beings so that justice can be practiced.

When we evaluate the issue from that perspective, we will realize that it is not as it is seen. For instance, if there is an illness, its creator is Allah. However, its aspects which do not indicate creation belong to human beings. For example, drinking cold water while one is in sweat is a fault of the person and he is responsible for being ill as a result. He is responsible for having sore throat and catching cold. Nevertheless, He is Allah who creates the illness. A virtuous person, like Prophet Abraham, thinks that badness belongs to him in terms of being a reason and goodness belongs to Allah in terms of being a creation; and says: “And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me.” (ash-Shu’ara, 26:80).

We can divide the fate into two: forced fate and voluntary fate.

“We cannot have any effect on forced fate. It is totally out of our free-will. Our forced fate includes our place of birth, our parents, our shape, and our inborn skills. We cannot determine them. And we are not responsible for that kind of fate.

The second kind of fate is voluntary fate. Allah knows with His infinite knowledge and ordains whatever we will decide and whatever we will do.

The true meaning of fate is the fact that Allah knows what happened and what will happen. We should pay attention that it does not ignore free-will. To know and to do are different. The one who knows is Allah and the one who does is His servant. Let us give an example regarding the issue:

Our Prophet informed us and gave the good news about the conquest and the conqueror of Istanbul hundreds of years ago. When the time came for it, it happened as he had told us. Now, was Istanbul conquered because the Prophet said it would be or did the Prophet said it would be conquered because he knew it would? Then, would it still have happened if Mehmet the Conqueror had not worked and had not prepared the army for it? So, it can be said that Allah knew that Mehmet the Conqueror would work and conquer Istanbul and informed His Messenger about it.

Human beings’ free-will which is called partial control causes many significant things benefiting from the laws ruling in universe, although it seems insignificant.

Imagine that the top floor of an apartment building is full of boons and the bottom floor is full of tormentors; and a person is in the lift of this building. This person was informed about the state of this building before. He will reach the boons if he pushes the up button and he will be tormented if he pushes the down button.

In this case, what the free-will of the person does is only to decide which button to push and then push it. And the lift does not work with that person’s free-will and power, but it works according to certain physic and mechanic laws. So, the person goes to the top floor or to the bottom floor not with his own power. Nevertheless, he is the one to decide where the lift will go, with his own free-will.

Everything one does with his own free-will can be evaluated according to this criterion. For instance, Allah the Glorious stated that it is sinful to go to a pub and virtuous to go to a mosque. And we are free to go whichever one we want, just like the lift in the example given above.

If human beings are “leaves blown by the wind”, if they do not have the ability to choose, if they are not responsible for what they do; then what is the significance of crime? Does a person who says “what is my fault” not resort to court when he is wronged?

However, in this sense, that person should have thought like this: “that man put my house on fire. He defamed my honor, killed my child but he has got excuses. It was his fate to do those things, what could he do, he could not have acted otherwise.”

Do people who are wronged really think so?

If man were not responsible for what he did, words like “good” and “bad” would be meaningless. There would be no need to appreciate heroes and to despise traitors. Both of them would have done the things unwillingly. However, nobody can claim like that. Everyone admits in their hearts that they are responsible for what they do and they are not leaves blown by the wind.

72 Is it true that the names of the people given to them and the food that they eat affect their disposition (fitra)? Is there any relation between the name and the person named; the food and the one who eats it?

ANSWER 1:

Although it is not a general rule that is observable at everyone, we can say that, generally, there is a relation between the individuals’ lives and their names. As if appropriate names have been decided to be given to individuals. Although some part of this relation is observable in some people, it may be unobservable in others.

For example, the fact that the name of our prophet is MUHAMMAD shows the strong relation between His name and being an individual who is praised by the angels in the skies and people on earth. That his lifeline always deserves to be praised is an obvious example for the relation between the name and individual. (See. Al-Qurtubi, XVIII/84)

We see that Prophet Muhammad (BPUH) replaced some names that have not a decent meaning and those that associate bad things by the names that have good meanings. This also shows the relation between the name and bearer and the existence of its effect on people.

In the hadith resources, the list of names includes so many names that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not find decent and changed.

In conclusion, we can say that, names have an impact on their bearers and it can be said that there may also be a psychological interaction between the name and its owner because, in respect of the meanings of names as good and bad notions, they associate some characteristics and feelings; they affect people psychologically, and this may cause a prejudice for the bearer of this name.

In addition to this, it might not be true to consider this as an unchanging rule for all people and all situations because, we have no opportunity to tell that all people who have names which have bad meanings are bad people or who have names which have good meanings are good people.  (see Niyazi Beki, Kur’an’da İsimlerin Esrarı)

ANSWER 2:

It has been scientifically proved that the kinds of food that man eats has separate effects. It is a well known fact that human body needs proteins, minerals, vitamins, etc. It is natural that the foods and fruits have an effect on the biological system of the human body along with on the psychological and emotional system of the human body because a human comes into existence by body and soul. The absence of interaction between this material body and spiritual system cannot be thought.

The advice of our prophet (PBUH) to the young people to perform fasting is to show that there is an effect of foods on human emotions. (Bukhari, Nikah 2) As it is known, the characteristics such as lust and rage that man has exist in animals, too. These two senses are manifest differently in different animals. It is also known that the components that affect the biological structures of these animals also affect their emotional structures. Thus, it is a requirement of the human body’s nature to generate similar effects on their structure when people eat the same things.

A person’s eating habits and the foods that he eats is really a broad subject which should be analyzed in depth. The spiritual side of a person develops when he/she eats halal foods and has a balanced eating habit but in the opposite case an individual’s spiritual aspects do not develop so much. For example, fast food which belongs to the European culture, that is, the culture of eating hastily affects the family relations in a negative way. On the other hand, in the Muslim culture, the food is eaten within the family and together. This is an important factor for the communication within the family and its development.

That is, whether the food is halal or not and the way of eating food is an important element that shapes man and consequently the community. Eating habits and the content of the food have important effects on the indulgence of the Europeans in materialism and naturalism.   

It should not be forgotten that the kinds of food that Allah has made halal will not have a negative effect on the body of a healthy person if a person acts in accordance with the command of the verse, “…eat and drink: but waste not by excess…”(al-Araf, 7/31). We think the explanations made in some resources regarding the issue are exaggerative.  

73 How can we think of good things about people?

When a righteous believer evaluates people and events, he tries to have good intentions as much as possible and interpret things favorably. Having good intentions and thoughts are indications of a person's inner goodness and benevolence. Hz. Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

"A Muslim who has the following three properties has no treason and grudge in his heart: doing sincere deeds for Allah, having good intentions for all Muslims and advising them, being in unison with Muslims in terms of thoughts and practice."(Ibn Majah, Muqaddama, 1 8).

Wishing good things for people, leading them to good deeds are among the basic duties of Muslims. Hz Prophet (pbuh) asked allegiance from people by making them promise "that they will have good intentions for all Muslims", attracting attention to this issue. (Bukhari, Iman, 42). However, what needs to be paid attention to here is the phrase "all Muslims".  It is the duty of a Muslim to wish good things for all Muslims without any exception and to have good thoughts about them.

A Muslim should be mature and perfect in his acts and deeds toward unbelievers and polytheists in terms of human relations in order to make their hearts soften toward Islam; his heart should not love them and their bad habits.

One of the attributes of righteous Muslims is not have bad thoughts and be suspicious about people. The following is stated in the Quran:

"O ye who believe! avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin."(al-Hujurat, 49/12).

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated the following about suspicion and talking about bad and untrue things behind people's backs, defining suspicion as the falsest talk:     

"Beware of suspicion (about others), as suspicion is the falsest talk." (Bukhari, Wasaya, 8, Nikah, 45, Muslim, Birr 28)

A true Muslim does not utter words that suggest lies. 

A Muslim should decide about people based on what he sees: He should keep away from slandering others based on thoughts, suspicion, gossip and apprehension. It is not among the ethical attributes of a Muslim to reveal people's secrets, to interfere in others' privacy and to talk about the chastity of others. However, a Muslim acts based on what he sees. He narrates what he sees. He does not decide based on suspicion and doubt. Hz.Umar b. Khattab (r.a) stated the following:

"During the period of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), people decided based on revelation. Now, revelation has ceased. We will make decisions based on what we see. We will protect those who do us favors and let them come near us. What he hides does not interest us. Allah will call them to account due to what they hide. We will not trust and approve those who do bad deeds to us even if they say their hearts are clean."(M. Y. Kandahlawi, Hayatu's-Sahaba, trnslt by A. Meylani, IV, 253)

Therefore, a conscious and muttaqi Muslim always keeps the following verse in his mind when he utters a word and makes a judgment:   

"And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)."(al-Isra, 17/36)

A Muslim does not speak against others. He believes that every word he utters is recorded by an angel:

"Behold two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and note them), one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it)."(Qaf, 50/17, 18)

A Muslim who is conscious of these orders fears the responsibility of every word that he utters. Therefore, we see him utter all of his words very carefully. For, he knows that the word he utters may make him elevate to the rank of his Lord's consent or lower him to the bottom layers of Hell. The Messenger of Allah states the following regarding the issue:

"A person utters a word that pleases Allah and he can never guess the high level it will elevate him to. Allah writes His consent for him up to the day when he meets Allah. A person utters a word that attracts Allah's wrath and he cannot guess the level that this word takes him down to. However, Allah writes wrath against him up to the Day of Judgment due to this word." (Bukhari, Riqaq, 23; Muslim, Zuhd, 49, 50)

A Muslim who is muttaqi (fears Allah) and whose heart is clean does not listen to people's illogical words and does not heed the rumors, gossips and suspicions that he hears; in addition, he does not report what he hears from other people before he makes sure that they are true; on the contrary, he knows that reporting others what one hears before finding out that they are true is regarded as haram by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh); he acts upon the following principle: "It is enough as a sin for a person to report whatever he hears to others."

(Şâmil İslam Ansiklopedisi)

74 Are mental patients going to enter Paradise?

Arasat is the place where people will gather on the Resurrection Day, in other words, it is the place of resurrection and Great Gathering on the Day of Judgment immediately after the resurrection. All people and jinn will gather in Arasat with the permission and order of Allah (SWT). All people will be there, including clever ones, mental patients, unbelievers, believers, cruel ones and oppressed ones. It is the place of resurrection and Great Gathering where the reckoning and the Great Judgment will take place. The oppressors often from this world with honor and the oppressed ones leave with abasement. There will be a day on which the oppresses will be resurrected and gathered in abasement and the oppressed ones will be resurrected in honor; and both of them will be judged and the absolute justice will be realized. All of these will come true with the permission of Allah (SWT) in Arasat. (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Sözler, (the Words), 54)

A’raf lexically means peak, high places, top of great towers or walls. Regarding our issue A’raf means high places, hills, towers and walls between Paradise and Hell. In this sense, 'A’raf' is a term in the chapter of al-Araf Qur'an. 'A’raf' became the name of this surah because of the explanations about A’raf in it. Allah (SWT) states the following in the Quran:

"Between them shall be a veil, and on the Heights will be men who would know everyone by his marks: they will call out to the companions of the Garden 'peace on you' they will not have entered, but they will have an assurance (thereof.)"

When their eyes shall be turned towards the companions of the Fire, they will say: 'Our Lord! send us not to the company of the wrong- doers.'

"The men on the Heights will call to certain men whom they will know from their marks, saying: 'Of what profit to you were your hoards and your arrogant ways? Behold! Are these not the men whom you swore that Allah with his Mercy would never bless?' 'Enter ye the Garden': no fear shall be on you nor shall ye grieve."  (Al-Araf, 7/46-49)

Who are the people of A’raf? What kind of people will be in A’raf? And how long will they stay at A’raf?

Since those people who did good deeds go to Paradis, and those who did bad deeds go to Hell, it is easier to guess who the people of A’raf are: They are the people in-between.

How is it possible to be in-between in terms of deed?

People who died without being informed about the message any prophets might be in this group; likewise, it is stated that polytheists or unbeliever's children who died very young will be in this group. In addition, the believers whose good deeds and bad deeds are equal are among the people of A’raf. Moreover, there is a view stating that the people who are not held responsible like mad people will be at A’raf, too. That is, the people who do not have belief in Allah in their hearts, but have not denied Allah (SWT)', those who have not worshipped, but have not disobeyed Allah, and who have not done any good or bad deeds along with those whose good deeds and sins are equal are estimated to be among the people of A’raf

Nevertheless, it will be appropriate to accept the term "A’raf" as mutashabih (allegorical) and leave the truth to Allah's knowledge and judgment because there is no clear verse or hadith about who the people of A’raf are. Moreover, there is no explanation in the verses above about who will be the people of A’raf. Only the existence of A’raf is absolute and it is certain that A’raf is a place between Hell and Paradise.

However, the scholars who accept that people of A’raf consist of the people whose good deeds and bad deeds are equal say that they will not stay at A’raf long. According to Imam Ghazali, the people of A’raf are the people of salvation and they will get rid of Hell; after staying in A’raf for a while, God Almighty inshaallah will take them to Paradise because there is no place except Paradise and Hell on the Day of Judgment.(Ihya, IV/57)

In verses and hadiths, it is heralded that some of the people of Hell will come out of Hell and go to Paradise after they are burned for some time depending on their sins. For instance, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) explains the state of the last person who comes out of Hell and will go to Paradise as follows: in a hadith reported by Ibn Masud and included in Bukhari and Muslim:

"He will come out of Hell crawling, and Allah will say to him,

'Go and enter Paradise.' He will go there but he will see it full.

Thereupon, he will say, 'O Lord, I have found it full.'

Allah will say,

'Go and enter Paradise, and you will have what equals the world and ten times as much.' On that, the man will be surprised and say,

'Do you laugh at me though You are the King of the realms? Are you making fun of me?"

Ibn Masud says, "I saw Allah's Messenger (pbuh) smiling so much that his premolar teeth became visible. He said,

'He is the person with the lowest in degree amongst the people of Paradise.'" (Muslim, Iman 310)

Since the person who will be the last to come out of Hell and the last to enter Paradise will have what equals the world and ten times as much, the people of Araf who have not entered Hell and have not been punished by Allah are hoped to enter Paradise in a better position.

So, mental patients will enter Paradise with the permission and favor of Allah.

75 Will you explain in detail the following statement of Hz. Ali? "You think you are a small thing but the biggest realm is hidden in you."

Allah created the universe, became manifest on the universe with His names, decorated the palace of the universe with the adornments of His one thousand and one names and decorated man, who is in the center of this palace and to whom this palace and its inhabitants serve, with all of the decorations of this palace.

The being that decorated the universe withHis one thousand and one names decorated man like a small sample of the universe with the same adornments.

Man is a small realm. He is the minimized sample of the realm. Allah placed everything existing in the universe in man in the form of essence. The essence of everything in the universe is virtually in man. If the universe is minimized, it becomes man; if man is maximized, he becomes the universe.

A sample of the tremendous activities in the universe takes place in man. There is a continuous activity in our body. We always breathe in and out; our brain works continuously; our hair keeps growing; our cells change all the time. (Does the universe not change its inhabitants all the time?)

As the fingers of a baby grow, the branches of a tree grow. When we lose our hair, we feel the season of fall. Many creatures die in fall; similarly, and many people die in fall.

(From the example in the vision): Man's hair reminds forests. Our body hair indicates plants. The blood in our vessels indicates the rivers that flow; the liquids in our mouth and ear indicate sweet and hard waters. The curved places in our body indicate mountains, and the flat places indicate plains, and so on.

Yes.

The universe was created as man was created.

Man has youth and old age; so does the universe. The universe will also die as man will die.

That is, man is a small realm.

The universe is a servant of man. Man was created in the center of the universe and the universe was made man's servant.

As the Quran describes, the earth was laid like a bed for man and created like a cradle in which man can feel peaceful. The sun was given the duty of a lamp and a stove; the stars are like candles; they are given to man in the darkness of the night.

This universe, whose harmony is kept in balance all the time with its air, sun and soil, is a servant, mount, bed, table and world market for man. It has been furnished and decorated like a palace and put under his command. Man has not been left without appetite at the tables of the palace of the universe; he has been given endless needs so that he will benefit from all tables.

Thus, Allah Almighty has attached all of the ends of the boons in the universe to man. That is, man has been created in a form that is related to all parts of the universe. Are we not interested in an incident near us as well as the research about Mars?

Yes. We are related to the whole universe. The universe was created for us with its mountains, stones, stars, flowers, corals, in short, everything. Our hearts were created in a way that can love the whole realm.

We perceive the universe as a whole and love it like that. Can you imagine a world without the azure blue sky and the flowers on the earth?

76 What is the reason why Eve (Hawwa) was created after Adam?

Men and women are necessary for the continuation of the human species.  Allah created Hz. Hawwa as a spouse for Hz. Adam. 

Adam (pbuh) was settled in Paradise. He walked around there for a while without a spouse with whom he could be consoled. Once, he fell asleep; when he woke up, he saw a woman whom Allah created from his rib. He asked, "What are you?" The woman answered, "I am a woman." He asked the woman why she was created. The woman said, "So that you would be consoled with me."

Meanwhile, the angels saw them and asked Adam who the woman was in order to test his knowledge. Adam said he was "Hawwa" They asked him why he gave her this name. He said, "Because she was created from a living thing. (Ibn Kathir, "Tafsiru'l-Qur'ani'l-Azim", I/112)

77 How did the human species reach today?

The first man is Hz. Adam. Human beings reproduced from Hz. Adam and Hz. Havva (Eve). Hz. Havva always gave birth to twins. One of the twins was male and the other female. Hz. Adam married the twins born at the same time off with the twins that were born before or after them.

The issue of of Hz. Adam's children marrying to one another according to the religion:

All prophets from Hz. Adam to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) taught people the true religion. The principles of belief, which are the basics of the religion, always remained the same. However, the affairs related to worshipping and the world, which is called shrai'ah, underwent some changes based on the necessities of the age and the requirements of the people. Allah Almighty sent a different shari'ah to every nation taking their lifestyles and interests into consideration. The following is stated in verse 48 of the chapter al-Maida regarding the issue:  

“To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way.”

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi explains the issue as follows:  

“Sacred laws change according to the ages. Indeed, in one age different prophets may come, and they have come. Since subsequent to the Seal of the Prophets, his Greater Shari’a is sufficient for all peoples in every age, no need has remained for different laws.” (Sözler (Words), p. 454)

Hz. Adam is the first man and the first prophet. Allah sent and taught him a religion and shari'ah. Allah Almighty rendered it halal for Adam's children to marry one another due to a necessity.  

For, it was necessary for the human species to reproduce. Since there were no other human beings, the siblings had to marry one another as a necessity. This practice continued for a while; when the number of the human beings increased, there was no need for such a practice; thus, this application was abolished afterwards.   

(Mehmed PAKSU, Meseleler ve Çözümleri-2)

78 What does the satisfaction of the heart mean? How does the heart become satisfied?

The heart is called “the mirror of samad”. As-Samad, that is, the One whom everybody needs and the One who does not need anybody or anything, Allah.

The only prescription for the satisfaction of the heart is as follows:

“...for, without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction." (ar-Ra’d, 13/28)

The vast heart of this weak and poor man, who needs the stomach and the food sent to it, seeing and the light ensuring it, the mind and the meaning the satisfy it, in short, so much material and spiritual food, can only be satisfied by dhikr, that is, mentioning and remembering Allah, who is the Creator and Owner of all of the creatures. Then, when man remembers anything/anybody other than Him, he will have remembered creatures; when he loves anything/anybody other than Him, he will have loved ephemeral beings. They are much lower than the heart in terms of honor and value. That lofty heart cannot be satisfied with those low things; therefore, man is always disturbed by them. Boredom, restlessness, depression stress, etc are the cries of hunger and screams of death of the heart.

The simple things of this ephemeral world cannot satisfy man, who is the fruit of the universe and traveler of Paradise.

A lofty prescription from Nur Collection:

“That is to say, belief necessitates affirmation of Divine unity, affirmation of Divine unity necessitates submission to Allah, submission to Allah necessitates reliance on Allah, and reliance on Allah necessarily leads to happiness in this world and the next.” (Sözler (Words), Yirmi Üçüncü Söz (Twenty-Third Word))

That is, the first condition of the happiness in both the world and the hereafter and the remedy for all spiritual illnesses is belief. A person who believes becomes aware that he is not without an owner and guard. This alone is the greatest bliss. A person who attains oneness attains the ease of attributing everything and every incident to Allah.

No incident can wound, no pain can hurt and no sorrow can blacken the spirit of man, who surrenders to his Lord and who is conscious of how vital it was to be entrusted to the mercy of his Lord in the uterus.

Finally, man, who attains the spirit of "tawakkul (reliance on Allah)" useshis partial free will, which is a special grant of his Lord to him, on behalf of Him and based on His consent, relies on Him and shows consent to all of the predestination of Him. Happiness in both worlds, that is, happiness in the world and the hereafter depends of these four principles.

Stress is the sad ending of those who seek peace and ease outside this circle.

Two views: On the one hand, murderers of faith, enemies of chastity, in brief, evil groups, who work continuously in order to destroy man; pubs that market poison, gambling houses that have dirty air, fashion groups that are enemies of modesty, novels and stories that seduce young minds, obscene images and scenes that gnaw at the spirit by invading screens, bad news that harms the heart by giving hopelessness, fights that never end, murders, traffic accidents, slanders, casting aspersions, lies and backbiting.

On the other hand, ruined families that have lost the relationship of respect and love; household expenditures that increase with extravagance due to the nuisance of tradition and keeping up with the Joneses, payments of installment that make man lose sleep.

Man, who is weak, poor and ephemeral in the presence of so many material and spiritual problems, most of which were caused by man.  

And illness, old age and death which always interpret the hadith “There is no comfort in the world.”

This scene is the clearest indication that the heart cannot be satisfied by the world and a pioneer of guidance that turns man's glance to somewhere else.

There is really no comfort in the world. For, the structure of this world of testing is not suitable for it. There cannot be comfort in a test. Since man is the fruit of this universe, there are samples, traces and shadows of elements in human body and incidents in his spiritual world.

You cannot observe a continuous spring in the world or in man's inner realm. It also has its winter, summer and fall. Its weather is not always calm. It has lightning, storms and hurricanes. You cannot always see it bright. It has darkness, shade and clouds. The crops in them are not of the same type. There are flowers, fruits and thorns.Its field is not smooth. There are mountains, cliffs and streams.

If we fully convince our heart about it, our view on incidents will change and we will get rid of groundless sorrows, excitements and pessimism to a great extent.

All of them are witnesses that there is no comfort in the world. However, we should not confuse comfort with happiness. There is no comfort in the world but there is peace and happiness. These concepts are related to the spirit, not the body. Spirit becomes peaceful and happy with belief, righteous deeds, piety and high ethics.

79 What is man (human being) according to Islam?

Man has a unique place in the vast realm of beings. He is Allah's most beautiful work of art in terms of his spirit and body. The creation of man with these characteristics is expressed as “the best of moulds” (1) in the Quran.

Man, who is created in the best way is the vicegerent on earth. (2) That is, man is the caliph and sultan of this palace of the world that we live in. Wherever a president goes, journalists follow him. They record whatever he says. Similarly, man, who was sent to the world as the vicegerent, is followed closely by the angels “kind and honorable― writing down”. (3) These angels write down every word he utters and every deed he does. (4)

Man is the carrier of the great trust. (5) The heavens, earth and mountains lack the ability to carry the trust of Allah despite their size. They can only be a page of meditation for man. The following sacred hadith confirms this meaning:

“Neither the heavens nor the earth could take Me in but I settled in the heart of My believing slave.” (6)

Neither mountains nor deserts show the sun with its perfect form. However, a small mirror reflects the sun clearly. We can understand the settlement of Allah inthe heart of His believing slave through that example. That is, the heart of a believer is a sensitive and transparent mirror that can know Allah. This is why the heart is also called “the thing that ALLAH looks at” (7).

Man who is small in terms of his body is spiritually a realm. This reality is expressed as follows:

“Just as man is a small world, the microcosm, so is the world a large human being, the macroanthropos.” (8)

Man has the samples of everything that is the world. His spirit points the realm of spirits, his memory to the preserved tablet and his imagination to the realm of similitude.  The elements in man are the elements in the universe. The hairs on his body have traces of trees on the earth, his bones of stones and rocks, the blood which flows in his body and the fluids which issue from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth of the spring and mineral waters of the earth. (9)

Man is the most honorable creature.

“We have honored the sons of Adam.” (10)

The verse above declares this. Attention is drawn to two bounties that are given to man as samples of this honor in the following part of the verse:

1. Man is carried on the land and sea,
2. He is given the best (cleanest) sustenance.

Animals like horses and camels are bigger than man but they serve man. A big camel kneels down before a small child and lets him ride it. Besides, vehicles like cars and trains and sea vessels like boats and ships are among the bounties indicated by this verse.  

The issue of man being sustained by “tayyib (clean)” foods is really a thought-provoking incident. Animals that eat green grass or yellow hay produce milk and present that nice drink to man. They even give their lives to man. A chicken that eats all kinds of grains on the ground gives man a delicious gift like an egg. The honeybee visits all flowers and gives man honey, which is curative.  

The states like that show what a delicate and coddled being man is. Allah, who is the Lord of human beings, looks after them very well and feeds them. In fact, man himself is a poor being.

“O ye men! It is ye that have need of Allah.” (11)

The verse above draws attention to this aspect of man. Yes, man needs Allah even if he is the richest person in the world. He needs Allah' creation, sustenance and land of eternity.  

What a great grace it is for such a poor being becoming an addressee of Allah. Some people of high ranks avoid talking to people of low ranks but the Lord of the realms chooses man as His "special addressee". He addresses human beings as “O man! O sons of Adam! O believers!” in the Quran.

Man's nature is like that when viewed under the light of the verses of the Quran but those who do not look with the light of the Quran cannot see this nature. Some think he is a mass of matter while others regard him as an animal a bit higher than monkey; yet others regard him as an “economic being”.

Footnotes:

1. at-Tin, 95/4.
2. al-Baqara, 2/30.
3. al-Infitar, 82/11.
4. Qaf, 50/18.
5. al-Ahzab, 33/72.
6. Ajluni, Kashful-Khafa, II/195.
7. It is an expression deduced from the following hadith: “Allah does not look at your bodies and shapes but He looks at your hearts.” Muslim, Birr, 32. Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 9.
8. Said Nursi, Lem’alar (Flashes), p. 79.
9. ibid, p.337.
10. al-Isra, 17/70.
11. Fatir, 35/15.

80 Will you give information about the incident in which some people were transformed into monkeys and the name of the nation?

The meaning of verses 65 and 66 of the chapter of al-Baqara mentioning the incident of transformation into monkeys is as follows:

"And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath; We said to them: ‘Be ye apes despised and rejected.’ So We made it an example to their own time and to their posterity, and a lesson to those who fear Allah."

According to the explanations of Ibn Kathir, Fakhri Razi and Abussuud, this incident is a kind of wrath inflicted upon Sons of Israel due to their disobedience to Allah. God Almighty rendered Saturday holy to Jews. He ordered them to abandon worldly affairs and to worship. Accordingly, He prohibited things like trade, shopping and hunting on Saturday. However, a tribe that lived during the era of Hz. Dawud and that lived in Madyan, according to another narration, in Ayka, did not obey this prohibition. This place, which was near the sea, became full of fish in only one month of the year. There were so many fish that the sea became invisible. This state was not seen in other months. It happened on Saturdays. When they went to the sea on other days, they could not find even one small fish. God Almighty tested them through it.

The Jews resorted to a trick in order to benefit from the fish that appeared on Saturday. They formed ponds close to the sea; they made canals between the sea and the ponds, causing the fish to enter ponds on Saturday. They started to fish on Sunday. First, they did it secretly. Then, they started to do it openly. They even started to sell the fish in the market. The tribe of Baqiyya among them warned those who did so and said that those who did this, which was prohibited by Allah, would face a disaster and that they would see the bad ending of this fraud, which they did out of their greed.

They answered these warning as follows: "We have been doing it for a long time. Allah has allowed us to succeed. We have not faced any disasters up to now." However, they still feared a misfortune that could hit them. When the tribe of Baqiyya woke up one morning, they could not see anybody from them. They felt that a misfortune had hit them. When they went to their houses, they saw that their doors had been locked. When they entered the houses, they found them in the form of monkeys. They had been transformed into monkeys. Even the women and children were like that. They lived for three days without eating or drinking anything. They did not have any children during these three days. All of them died three days later. 1

There are some scholars who say that those people were transformed into monkeys spiritually. A person who is deprived of the virtue of humanity is spiritually an animal according to his deeds though he is a human being in form.

According to the explanation of Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, the difference between a man and a monkey does not consist of hair and tail; there exists the difference of intellect, reason and ethics. All of the skill of a monkey is imitating. If a person lights a fire in front of a monkey repeatedly and teaches it to get warm, and then if he takes it to the countryside and leave some matches and wood in front of it, it is not possible for the monkey to burn the wood alone. The people whose spirituality has been eliminated are like that. They do not think about anything except blind imitation. They may seem human beings at first glance but they are actually monkeys. They break hazelnuts and eat them but they cannot plant a hazelnut tree. 2

The lesson to be taken by humans from this incident is as follows: The people who disobey Allah are regarded to have lost their human feelings. They live as humans in appearance but they are spiritually animals due to their deeds.'

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi probably received inspiration from those verses when he meant the people who lose their humanity under the mask of civilization:

"If the inside of most of these civilized people are turned out, they may seem to be wearing skins of wolves, bears, snakes, pigs and monkeys." 3

Footnotes:

1. Tafsiru Kabir, III/109-110; Tafsiru Ibn Kathir, I/106.
2. Hak Dini Kur'ân Dili, I/379.
3. Tarihçe-i Hayat, p. 116.

81 What does Hz. Adam and Hz. Hawwa's getting down to the world with enmity mean? Who are the enemies mentioned in the phrase: "get down with enmity between yourselves"?

The meaning of verse 24 of the chapter of al-Araf is as follows:

"(Allah) said: "Get ye down, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood― for a time."

The people meant by the phrase "Get down, with enmity between yourselves" in the verse areHz. Adam, Hz. Hawwa (Eve) and Iblis/Satan. They are three people; therefore, the verb “ihbitu (get down)”, which is a form of imperative used for at least three people, is used. However, the real enmity is between Hz. Adam and Satan. Hz. Hawwa is subject to Hz. Adam. Therefore, in verse 123 of the chapter of Taha, the verb is used as ”ihbita” which is a form of imperative used for two people. (see Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

Besides, this meaning includes wars, all kinds of fights and enmities in the world.

"..We said, 'Get down' so that some of you will be enemies that will oppress and transgress others, so that the earth will be a temporary place to live for a while (that is, until you die) and so that you will deserve to live there..."(see Elmalılı, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

Adam and Hawwa did not insist on obeying Satan and they repented to Allah by noticing their sins; and as it is stated in verse 37 of the chapter of al-Baqara, Allah accepted their repentance and sent them to the world, which is a place of testing; it was ordained that human beings would scatter on earth and settle there, take shelter, live, die and be resurrected there. Thus, it is understood from this verse and the other related verses (see al-Baqara 2/36, 38; Taha 20/123) that Adam and his wife were expelled from Paradise due to a sin they committed and that this incident affected the fate of human beings. 

Conflicts and enmities were ordained as a part of the worldly life like brotherhood and friendship.It can be thought that the enmity here can express the eternal enmity between man and Satan, the disagreements between the wife and the husband, and the conflicts among the descendants of Hz. Adam and Hawwa. Therefore, according to an interpretation, they, including Iblis, were addressed as "Get down!" For, no enmity could occur in Paradise, which the Quran describes as "darussalam" (land of peace).

Doubtlessly, Hz. Adam and Hawwa's being pure and sinless in Paradise was not based on will; therefore, it did not have an ethical value - even if it is not regarded as a bad state - ; it had an instinctive characteristic. However, it is understood that, along with the prohibition "...do not approach that tree...", they were given the power of will and preference whether to obey the prohibition or not; thus, the father and mother of the human beings moved to the phase of acting consciously and willfully from the phase of acting instinctually with incident of eating from the forbidden tree; they realized their bad deed and asked for forgiveness; then, they were forgiven. In this case, the process that started with the first sin and continued with the expulsion from Paradise indicates an elevation for humanity in terms of ethics, not a decline; it also indicates the beginning of a species that is different from other beings, that is called "man", that can act freely and make mistakes but that can realize his mistakes and apologize and ask for forgiveness and that can show the consciousness and will of tending toward good deeds. (see Kur'an Yolu, Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı, the explanation of the relevant verse)

This verse and similar ones states that Hz. Adam, Hawwa and Iblis were sent down to the earth from high ranks due to disobeying Allah's order and that an enmity started between them. It is also reminded that they will live on earth, die there and be gathered there again and scattered.

Enmity will occur among people; and enmity between humans and satans and jinn will not disappear.

82 "Paradise is under the feet of mothers." Is this hadith valid for all mothers?

The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

"The mother is in the middle of the doors of Paradise." (Ibn Hanbal, V, 198);

"Paradise is under the feet of mothers." (Nasai, Jihad, 6)

“Paradise is under the feet of mothers.” The hadith does not mean that all mothers will go to Paradise. It indicates the respect that children should show to their mothers rather than the state of mothers. In this sense, as long as it is not contrary to the commands of Allah, it is an important key to Paradise to obey all mothers, to show respect to them; and in this sense, Paradise is under the feet of all mothers.

Allah states the following in the chapter of Luqman:

"And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), ‘Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents’: to Me is (thy final) Goal.

But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did." (Luqman, 31/14-15).

As it is seen, Allah, the All-Compassionate and All-Merciful invite a child to be respectful even to the mother and father who compel him to associate partners with Allah, to get on well with them and not to hurt them as long as they live.

From this point of view, we can say that, according to Islam, a woman’s place as a mother is one thing and her place as a person is another. A person becomes and goes to Paradise or becomes bad and goes to Hell; a person can have high ethics or can be immoral; a person can be irreligious or religious. There is no difference between a woman and a man in this regard.

“If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (an-Nisa, 4/124)

We see this fact in the verse above and that they are equal in terms of worshipping and personal rights.

However, a woman has the right to be respected, loved and helped as a mother and a man as a father by their children all the time no matter whether they are religious or irreligious.

In both the chapter of Luqman and the hadith in question, mothers are shown positive discrimination - as the modern term expresses.

To sum up, children's responsibility toward their parents is based on a relationship beyond religions. Parents' responsibility toward Allah is based on the relationship of worshipping within the framework of religion.

for more information, please click on the link given below;

If one's parents are sinners, how can that person obey them? What are the boundaries of obeying parents?

83 Is it sin to sleep by lying face down? What are the manners of sleeping?

It is not haram to lie face down. However, the Prophet (pbuh) did not find this style of lying appropriate. The Prophet awakened a person who lay like that in the mosque and said,

"Lying like that is a styleof lying that Allah does not like." (Abu Dawud, Adab, 95; Tirmidhi, Adab 21)

As it is seen, the Prophet (pbuh) did not find lying face down appropriate and stated that it is "a style of lying that Allah does not like". (see İbrahim CANAN, Kütüb-i Sitte Tercüme ve Şerhi, Akçağ Yayınları: XVI/168)

Therefore, it is not haram or a sin to lie face down – without the intention of resembling non-Muslims – but it is contrary to good manners and it causes man to be deprived of the thawab of sunnah.

Islam has determined all of the principles of good manners including when it is appropriate to sleep, when it is wrong to sleep, what to do before sleeping and what to do after waking up. 

First, let us have a look at the “sorts” of sleep. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, who says, "Sleep is of three sorts" states the following as an interpretation of verse 4 of the chapter of al-Araf, which ends as follows: "or while they slept for their afternoon rest."

Sleep is of three sorts:

THE FIRST is `Ghaylula'. This is from pre-dawn to forty-five minutes or so after the sun has risen, the time when prayer is lawful but reprehensible. Sleep at this time is contrary to the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH), since according to Hadiths, it leads to a decrease in one's livelihood and to be its being unfruitful. The time most appropriate for preparing to labor for one's sustenance is when it is cool. When this time has passed, a lethargy descends. It has been established through numerous experiences that just as this is detrimental to that day's labor and indirectly to one's livelihood, so also is it the cause of unfruitfulness.

THE SECOND is `Faylula'. This is from the afternoon prayer till sunset. This sleep leads to a diminution of life, that is, it makes life that day shorter and makes it pass in a state of semi-sleep due to drowsiness, thus causing a physical deficiency to life. So too in an immaterial aspect, since most of the results of that day, material and immaterial, become apparent after the afternoon prayer, to pass that time in sleep as though prevents those results being seen and makes the day as though not lived.

THE THIRD d is `Qaylula', which is in accordance with the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH). It is from mid-morning to just past noon. This sleep is part of the Practices since it allows a person to rise at night to pray. So also in the Arabian Peninsula to rest from work at noon when it is intensely hot is the custom of the people and of the area, so has further strengthened this Practice of the Prophet (PBUH). This sleep increases both life, and sustenance. For half an hour's Qaylula sleep is the equivalent of two hours' sleep at night. That means it adds one and a half hours' to a person's life every day. It saves one and a half hours from the hand of sleep, the brother of death, and makes it live, adding it to the time of working for one's livelihood. (Lem'alar, Yirmi Sekizinci Lem'a, Dördüncü Nükte, (Flashes, Twenty-eighth Flash, Fourth Point) p.269)

That is,it is not a good thing to sleep from the time the sun rises to about forty-five minutes after the sun rises. What is essential is to go to bed early and to get up early. One should not sleep after performing the Morning Prayer; he should read the Quran, hadith, tafsir, catechism and then start to work.

The Prophet stated the following:

"There is abundance and success in the early hours of the morning." (Lawaqihul-Anwar, Sha'rani, p. 295)

The wisdom behind the unfruitfulness and failure that has recently increased gradually should be sought under the light of the hadith above.

Unfortunately, television faces man as "the enemy of going to bed early". It is necessary to overcome this fierce enemy, to go to bed as early as possible, to get up for tahajjud prayer, to get up for the morning prayer in a vigorous way before sunrise and to start work after that without sleeping again. Our grandfathers and grandmothers, whom we saw as vigorous and hardworking people, did like that. When this nice habit disappeared, health, abundance and peace disappeared too. 

It is necessary not to sleep between the afternoon (asr) and the evening (maghrib). Everybody experienced the harm of sleeping in that period. A person who sleeps and gets up during that period becomes dopy; he cannot come round easily.

To sleep for a while after the noon prayer (qaylula) is very useful.

When Going to Bed

Let us have a look at what is necessary to do before sleeping at night.

* It is necessary to put out the fire before going to bed. Today, it is necessary to check whether, the oven, stove, boiler, central heating, etc is off or not. If central heating boiler, etc is not safe, it is better to turn them off before going to bed.

Hz. Salim reported the following from the Prophet (pbuh):

"When you go to bed at home, cover and put out the fire."(Ramuz, II/467-4)

In particular, those who use wood and coal burning stoves should be very careful.

* One should make wudu before going to bed.

According to what is reported from Bara bin Azib, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"When you go to bed, make wudu as you do for prayer (salah) and lie down turning to your right side. Then, prays as follows:

'O Allah! I have submitted myself to You. I have committed my affairs to You. I have relied on You since I fear and love You. I take refuge only in You. My salvation depends on you. I believe in the Book You revealed and in the Prophet You sent.'

"If you do so and die during the night, you will die as a Muslim. Let this supplication be your last words before sleeping." (Muslim, Dhikr: 56)

* There are several prayers to be read before going to bed.One should read the one(s) that he can read easily. For instance, the Prophet (pbuh) prayed as follows: "O Allah! Protect me from your punishment on the day You resurrect your slaves!" (Günlük Hayat, II/158)

The Prophet (pbuh) also recommended reading the chapter of al-Fatiha and another chapter (Ramaz, I/26-1) and saying,"La Ilaha Illallah, Wahdahu La Sharika Lah, Lahu'l mulku wa Lahu'l Hamdu wa huwa Ala Kulli Shay'in Qadir (There is none worth of worship but Allah alone, Who has no partner, His is the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is able to do all things)" and "La hawla wala quwwata illa Billah (There is no might and no power except by Allah's leave)" and saying "Subhanallah" 33 times"Alhamdulillah" 33 times "Allahu Akbar" 34 times (totally 100)

Hz. Huzayfa reports the following about how the Prophet (pbuh) prayed before going to bed and what he said after waking up:

"When the Prophet went to bed, he would read the following du'a (prayer):

'Allahumma bi'smika amutu wa ahya' (O Allah! I die with your name and revive with your name). When he woke up, he would read the following du'a: 'Alhamdulillahi'lladhi ahyana ba'da amatana wa ilayhi'n-nushur' (Praise be to Allah, who revives us after killing us and to whom we will return)" (Shamail-i Sharif, p.281)

* It is sunnah to get up for tahajjud after sleeping for a while. This is the custom of righteous people. This prayer will be your light in the grave.

* One should not put his hands in any plate, glass or jug without washing his hands three times after waking up. (Ramuz, I/30-2)

* One should not lie face down.The Prophet prohibited lying like this. The Prophet awakened a person who was sleeping like that in the mosque and said, "Lying down like this is a kind of lying that Allah does not like." (Abu Dawud, Adab: 95)

- What should one do when he has a dream?

Dream is a part of sleep. Almost everybody has dreams. What is necessary to do when one has a dream? The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following regarding the issue:

"When one of you has a dream that he likes, he should not tell it to anybody except the ones he loves. If he sees a dream that he does not like, he should spit three times to his left side and take refuge in Allah from the outcast Satan and his evil. He should not tell anybody about this dream. In that case, the dream cannot harm him." (Günlük Hayat, II/245)

- What are the basic rules regarding manners of sleep?

Allah Almighty granted us sleep to enable our bodies to rest. Sleep is a great bounty. If you ask a person who suffers from insomnia (sleeplessness), you will understand how valuable sleep is. 

- It is necessary to use the night well, which is the most appropriate time for sleep. One should go to bed early and get up early as much as he can.

- He should make wudu before going to bed and pray Allah; he should praise and pray Allah when he wakes up.

- One should turn to his right side when he lies down and put his right hand under his right cheek. (Even if he turns and changes his position afterwards, this sunnah is regarded to have fulfilled.)

- He should not lie face down.

- If he has a bad dream, he should spitthree times to his left side and take refuge in Allah from Satan. He should not tell anybody about this dream.

- He should try to get up for tahajjud prayer and make this his habit.

- He should go to bed early so as not to miss the morning prayer.

- He should not sleep again after the morning prayer if it is possible and he should start work.

84 What is the criterion for man to love himself in Islam? How can a person love his self by separating his soul?

The heart was created to love. Therefore, man loves all nice and perfect things in which he is interested. He loves life, the world, high ethics and his friends as well as flowers and stars. While he loves the people that lived centuries ago and that served humanity greatly though he did not see them personally, he also loves a person who helps him.

Then, what is the reason why this enthusiastic feeling that is so vast as to embrace everything was given to man?

"The inner heart is the mirror of the Eternally Besought One and pertains only to Him." (Nursi, Badiuzzaman Said, Sözler (Words), p. 598. İstanbul, 1980)

As it is expressed in the statement above, the real purpose of the creation of the heart, which is a place of love, is to love Allah. For, man was created as the vicegerent on earth by his Creator. Allah created the vast universe in order to realize this wisdom and displayed the unique manifestations of His perfection and beauty in the exhibitions of this realm. Thus, He wanted to see the manifestations of His perfection and beauty with His own eyes and in the appreciation and orientation of conscious beings. This issue is expressed as follows in a sacred hadith:

"I created the creatures so that they would be a mirror to me and I would watch my beauty in that mirror." (Nursi, Badiuzzaman Said, İşâratü'l–İ'caz, p. 17. İstanbul, 1959)

Allah Almighty, who loves His beauty and perfection and who created this huge universe in order to make His conscious guests love Him, expects them to love Him.  Human beings, who have attained the honor of being Allah's guests, have the duty to observe the magnificence and beauty in the divine manifestations seen in the exhibitions of the universe and to announce their admiration to the whole universe.

Spirits, who are in love with beauty and perfection in terms of their nature, are inclined to be affiliated with the eternal and permanent Owner of those unique beauties with endless love. This fact is expressed in the statement that the heart was created for eternal love.

Love exists in the essence of Islam. One of the most beautiful feelings Allah Almighty placed in human spirit is love. Man knows, loves and should love himself as an art of Allah. It is the indication of using the material and spiritual instruments given to him by Allah in the way of Allah. The same thing is valid in the love of the world.

When we look at the world in terms of its connection with Allah's love, we see that the world has three faces as Badiuzzaman Said Nursi puts it.

- Its First Face looks to Allah Almighty’s Names and is a mirror to them. This face of the world is worthy of love because it is a stage of Allah’s endless manifestations of beauty and a means of loving Him.

- Its Second Face looks to the hereafter and is the field for the hereafter. The bliss of the otherworldly life is gained in this world. This face also deserves to be loved.

- Its Third Face looks to man’s ephemeral desires. It is temporary and deceptive. To love the world with this face alienates man from Allah and his purpose of creation, dragging him to a disaster. The ephemeral world will not remain with us; it will soon escape and leave. However, when we love the first two faces, our love of Allah will increase. (see Nursi, Badiuzzaman Said, Sözler (Words) Otuz İkinci Söz)

85 Will our sins and thawabs (rewards) be evaluated based on the time when we live?

Yes, it will have some effect. The reward for the righteous deeds performed under hard conditions or avoiding committing sins under these conditions will be different from those under normal conditions. Therefore, the decree that a person who does not commit major sins and who performs fard worshipping will attain salvation at the end of time when it is difficult to practice religion exists in religious books.

86 Will you give information about man being superior to all creatures/created beings?

Allah created man in the perfect form, gave him superiority over all creatures and made him the vicegerent of the universe. Man needs to maintain this superior characteristic by belief and worshipping. Otherwise, he will lose this vicegerency by falling to the rank of asfal as-safilin (the lowest of the low) and will be lower than animals as the Quran puts it. Belief elevates man to a rank higher than angels but unbelief takes him down to the lowest of the low, to the bottom of Hell. 

As a matter of fact, Allah uses the phrase "ahsan at-taqwim (best of the molds)" for man. That the phrase "the best" is used for man means there is nothing better than him.

What does “man being created in the best of moulds” mentioned in the Quran mean?

Stone and soil. Neither nose nor thorn will grow in one of them. The other is a candidate for yielding fruit, becoming man.

Stone can neither go down nor go up in terms of value and honor. However, soil is not like that. If vegetables and fruits grow in it and if they become building blocks in human body, soil attains the highest rank called “ala al-illiyyin (the highest of the high)”.

There is also the other side of the coin. Thorns, snakes, scorpions can also come out of soil as a result of different phases. Thus, the superior talent goes down to the lowest of the low. Stone remains in the peak compared to it.

The Lord of the Realms states the following:

“We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.” (at-Tin, 95/4)

And man keeps the seeds of so many beauties with this superior creation. He is a candidate for understanding, believing, doing deeds, loving, showing compassion and being enlightened. Prophethood emerges from this lofty nature. Saints are the fruits of this nature. Scholars, pious, righteous and generous people, just rulers are all different fruits of this lofty nature at different phases.   

“Allah hath purchased of the Believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise).” When the verse above is interpreted in Risale-i Nur Collection, an example is given and the following message is included in the example:

“As for the machinery and the tools in the workshop, they will be used in my name and at my workbench. But the price and the fee for their use shall be increased a thousandfold.” (Sözler (Words))

In a talk, I asked my friends about the price of soil and water and I could not get an answer. When I asked them about the price of bananas, they told me a high price. When soil and water enter a tree, which is a factory of Allah, they come out as bananas and have a high value. Similarly, we give grass to a living factory called cow and we get meat and milk. Sugar beet comes out as sugar from the factory and pollens become honey in the hive.

If man takes lessons from endless paintings of teaching around him and puts his soul and wealth under the command of his Lord, he will attain that rank called the highest of the high and get the honor of becoming a person of Paradise.

When we say soul, we understand man's personal being and when we say wealth, we understand the things entrusted to his personal being to use. In other words, “soul” represents the internal boons granted to man and “wealth” represents the external boons. Both of them are tools of testing that can elevate man to the highest of the high or that can reduce him to the lowest of the low.

Acting upon the fact that the verse starts with soul, let us deal with our soul a bit. The human mind is suitable for being used in anything from physics and chemistry, trade and agriculture to gambling and robbing. Some of them elevate him while others lower him.  

Man's heart is like an ocean. It is open to so many positive and negative things from belief and unbelief to justice and cruelty, modesty and pride, obedience and disobedience, love and hatred and pardoning and revenge. The heart has the biggest share in man's elevation to the highest of the high or falling into the lowest of the low.

The faculties and feelings related to the heart are more than the organs of the body. They either elevate man to high ranks or make him fall into pits.

Let us start with love. With this feeling, man loves either his Lord and Creator or his soul and interest. The former is elevation and the latter is decline.

Another one is “the feeling of anxiety”.  Man becomes worried about material and worldly problems and desolates his soul because of them. Or, the anxiety of the journey of this world ending in Hell makes him work hard and pray. The former is the highest of the high and the latter is the lowest of the low.  

Our five senses should also be evaluated like this. Man can do good deeds or commit sins with them. Good deeds will lead him to the highest ranks and sins to the worst tortures.

The following statement in Risale-i Nur Collection gives a great lesson of reality: “Unbelief destroys human nature, and transforms it from diamonds into coal.” That is, man was created with a nature of diamond expressed as ahsan at-taqwim. If he leaves the line of Allah's consent and true path, he is punished and thrown into the lowest of the low. This falling is symbolized as coal. According to the statements of scientists, the building blocks of diamond and coal are the same; only the form of crystallization is different. Two different natures occur from this difference. Fruits that are opposite to each other can emerge from the same human nature like different words that are written from the same letters: believer-unbeliever, righteous-sinful, just-cruel, modest-conceited, etc.

According to this example,

•Ahsan at-taqwim is “the state of being created with the nature and ability to write the best.”

•Ala al-illiyyin is “the rank of those who can succeed it.”

•Asfal as-safilin is “the big fall and decline of those who write in a wrong way.”

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says, “The world is the field of the hereafter.” Then, man needs to attain the honor of “ala al-illiyyin” in this world even if like a seed so that this manifestation will be apparent in the hereafter as that lofty rank. Similarly, man will deserve “asfal as-safilin” with the sins he commits so that this deserving will cause that horrible torture.

To sum up, both lofty and vile men grow up in this world. Everybody either attains bliss or falls into torture in the hereafter based on their deeds.