The followings are the questions that I have received so far from the readers, along with their answers:
Part a: What do you believe about God (if we understand correctly, the Moslem name of the Supreme Being is Allah)?
Part b: What is he like? Does God, or Allah, have any form or image? Has he ever been seen?
Part c: Do you ever use the expression, "Father in Heaven?" Do you refer to Allah in the male gender - he?
Question 2: Where did we come from? Did we, in any form, exist before our birth here in earth? Was our total beginning right here on earth, with the birth of earthly parents? If we did exist, in any form, spirit, intelligence, or otherwise, what do you understand that existence to have been like?
Question 3: What is the true purpose of life? Why are we here on earth? For some, of no religious faith, our birth and our purpose here would be simply, we guess, nothing more than something of biological origin -- just simply live and fend for ourselves, perhaps with greater success than those who have gone before us. Is there any Divine purpose underlying our existence? To repeat, why are we here?
Question 4: Where are we going after this life? Is there life beyond our life here on earth? If so, what will it be like? What do you know about it? Will we know each other? What about our husband and wife and family relationships here on earth - will they continue beyond this life?
Question 5: In Islam it is believed that Judas was crucified and not Jesus.
Question 6: I have been looking up several sites on the Islamic faith. I have read that Joesph plays a role in this faith but I can not find out exactly what it is. If you can help --- What is the importance of the Prophet Joesph in the Koran?
Q1. A) What do you believe about God (if we understand
correctly, the Moslem name of the Supreme Being is Allah)?
B) What is he
like? Does God, or Allah, have any form or image? Has he ever been
C) Do you ever use the expression, "Father in Heaven?" Do you
refer to Allah in the male gender - he?
A. What do you believe about God (if we understand correctly, the Moslem name of the Supreme Being is Allah)?
Allah is one of the Creator’s names; He has many other names, like Ar-Rahman, Al-Malik, Al-Quddos, As-Salam, Al-Mo’amen, etc., as He said:
(Quran 17:110) Say "Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent), by whatever name invoke, for to Him belong the Best Names"...
22. He is Allah Whom none has the right to be worshiped but He, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
23. He is Allah Whom none has the right to be worshiped but He the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him.
24. He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
B. What is he like? Does God, or Allah, have any form or image? Has he ever been seen?
(Quran 42:11) " ... There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer."
(Quran 112:4) "And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him"
Nothing is like Allah, He was never seen and it is impossible for the human mind to imagine Him, as He said (Quran 20:110) "... And they (Allah’s creatures) do not compass Him (Allah) with knowledge". The believers will see Allah after they enter paradise and that will be their greatest reward as Allah said (Quran 75:22-23) "Some faces that Day shall be shining, looking at their Lord (Allah)". C. Do you ever use the expression, "Father in Heaven?" Do you refer to Allah in the male gender - he?
No we don’t call Allah "Father", we only call Him with the names that He called Himself with, as Allah said (Quran 7:180) " And for Allah belong (all) the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie (or deny or utter) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do".
We use the pronoun He not to refer to a gender, since Allah is High above
having a gender or any other attribute similar to His creatures; but in Arabic
there is just two singular pronouns "Howa (he) and Heya (she)" there is no "it",
Allah used the pronoun "Howa (he)" for Himself, that’s why we use it, we do not
mean that Allah has a gender. We use "Howa (he)" for the moon and "Heya (she)"
for the sun, we use "Howa (he)" for the angles too, and all these have no
gender. You will also see that Allah used the pronoun "Nahno (We)", for Himself
because one of the usages of the pronoun "Nahno (we)" in Arabic is to indicate
the greatness of the person, while in English it only refers to a group.
Q2. Where did we come from? Did we, in any form, exist before our birth here in earth? Was our total beginning right here on earth, with the birth of earthly parents? If we did exist, in any form, spirit, intelligence, or otherwise, what do you understand that existence to have been like?
Allah said in the Quran (23:12-16):
12. Verily We created man from a product of wet earth (clay).
13. Then placed him as a drop (of sperm) in a safe lodging.
14. Then We fashioned the drop into a clot, then We fashioned the clot into a little lump, then We fashioned the little lump into bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators!
15. Then Behold! After that you surely will die.
16. Then, on the Day of Resurrection you will be raised (again).
Allah created our father Adam from clay, we did not exist in any form before,
we were nothing, but it is in the power of Allah to do what ever He wills as He
said: (Quran 16:40) Verily! Our Word unto a thing when We intend it, is only
that We say unto it: "Be" – and it is.
Q3. What is the true purpose of life? Why are we here on earth? For some, of no religious faith, our birth and our purpose here would be simply, we guess, nothing more than something of biological origin -- just simply live and fend for ourselves, perhaps with greater success than those who have gone before us. Is there any Divine purpose underlying our existence? To repeat, why are we here?
Created the Universe and Why?
(Quran 51:56) I have not created jinn nor men except to worship Me.
We are here to worship Allah, that’s why He created us, He does not need us to worship Him (He is free from all needs), but He wants us to and that satisfies Him. The angles worship Allah day and night, but they don’t have any choice like us, they don’t eat, drink or have any other enjoyments as we have, the only thing that they enjoy is worshipping Allah, their worship to Allah is an act similar to our breath, it comes naturally with out any effort, but our worship to Allah is by choice, we choose to worship Him and we make efforts for that and that’s what satisfies Allah more than the angles or any other creatures worship.
We worship Allah for couple of reasons:
First because we love Him, He gave us all the bounties that we have our sight, hearing, feeling, thinking, provisions, etc. So the least we could do to thank Him is to worship Him. As Allah said: (Quran 3:31) Say (O Muhammad): "If you love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful"
Second, we hope to gain Allah’s Mercy and enter Paradise, by our worship we seek His Mercy.
Third, we fear His severe punishment (Hell). As Allah said: (Quran 17:57) " ... they hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily, the Torment of your Lord is something to be afraid of."
Fourth, we obey His order to worship Him alone. As Allah said: (Quran 2:21)
"O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before
you so that you may become pious. Who has made the earth resting place for you,
and the sky as a canopy, and sent down rain from the sky and brought forth
therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto
Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be
Q4. Where are we going after this life? Is there life beyond our life here on earth? If so, what will it be like? What do you know about it? Will we know each other? What about our husband and wife and family relationships here on earth - will they continue beyond this life?
Allah will resurrect us after our death; we will either live in paradise forever or hell depending on our deeds in this life. We will know each other’s, the people of paradise will have their family relationships, but the people of hell will curse one another even if they were husbands and wives, because they would blame each other’s for being in hell.
68. And the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except those whom Allah will. Then it will be blown a second time and behold, they will be standing, looking on (waiting).
69. And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord (Allah, when He will come to judge among men) and the Book will be placed (open) and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not be wronged.
70. And each person will be paid in full of what he did; and He (Allah) is Best Aware of what they do.
71. And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not the messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Verses of your Lord, and warning you of the Meeting of this Day of yours?" They will say: "Yes, but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!"
72. It will be said (to them): "Enter the gates of Hell, to abide therein. And (indeed) what and evil abode of the arrogant!
73. And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: "Salamun Alaykom (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein."
74. And they will say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the (pious good) workers!"
75. And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (of Allah) from all round, glorifying the praises of their Lord (Allah). And they (all the creatures) will be judged with truth, and it will be said. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alameen (all that exists).
1. When the Event (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) befalls.
2. And there can be no denying of its befalling.
3. It will bring low (some); (and others) it will exalt;
4. When the earth will be shaken with a terrible shake.
5. And the mountains will be powdered to dust.
6. So that they will become floating dust particles.
7. And you (all) will be in three kinds (i.e. separate groups).
8. So those on the Right Hand (i.e. those who will be given their Records in their right hands), Who will be those on the Right Hand? (As a respect for them, because they will enter Paradise).
9. And those on the Left Hand (i.e. those who will be given their Record in their left hands), Who will be those on the Left Hand? (As a disgrace for them, because they will enter Hell).
10. And those foremost [(in Islamic Faith of Monotheism and in performing righteous deeds) in the life of this world on the very first call for to embrace Islam,] will be foremost (in Paradise).
11. These will be those nearest to Allah.
12. In the Gardens of delight (Paradise).
13. A multitude of those (foremost) will be from the first generations (who embraced Islam).
14. And a few of those (foremost) will be from the later time (generations).
15. (They will be) on thrones woven with gold and precious stones,
16. Reclining thereon, face to face.
17. They will be served by immortal boys,
18. With cups, and jugs, and a glass from the flowing wine,
19. Wherefrom they will get neither any aching of the head, nor any intoxication.
20. And fruit; that they may choose.
21. And the flesh of fowls that they desire.
22. And (there will be) Houris (fair females) with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious),
23. Like unto preserved pearls.
24. A reward for what they used to do.
25. No Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk) will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech (like backbiting, etc.).
26. But only the saying of: Salam!, Salam! (greetings with peace) !
27. And those on the Right Hand, Who will be those on the Right Hand?
28. (They will be) among thornless lote-trees,
29. Among Talh (banana-trees) with fruits piled one above another,
30. In shade long-extended,
31. By water flowing constantly,
32. And fruit in plenty,
33. Whose season is not limited, and their supply will not be cut off,
34. And on couches or thrones, raised high.
35. Verily, We have created them (maidens) of special creation.
36. And made them virgins.
37. Loving (their husbands only), equal in age.
38. For those on the Right Hand.
39. A multitude of those (on the Right Hand) will be from the first generation (who embraced Islam).
40. And a multitude of those (on the Right Hand) will be from the later times (generations).
41. And those on the Left Hand Who will be those on the Left Hand?
42. In fierce hot wind and boiling water,
43. And shadow of black smoke,
44. (That shadow) neither cool, nor (even) good,
45. Verily, before that, they indulged in luxury,
46. And were persisting in great sin (joining partners in worship along with Allah, committing murders and other crimes, etc.)
47. And they used to say: "When we die and become dust and bones, shall we then indeed be resurrected?
48. "And also our forefathers?"
49. Say (O Muhammad): "(Yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times.
50. "All will surely be gathered together for appointed Meeting of a known Day.
51. "Then moreover, verily, you the erring-ones, the deniers (of Resurrection)!
52. "You verily will eat of the trees of Zaqqum (a horrible tree in Hell).
53. "Then you will fill your bellies therewith,
54. "And drink boiling water on top of it,
55. "So you will drink (that) like thirsty camels!"
56. That will be their entertainment on the Day of Recompense!
16. (The disbeliveers say:) "What! When we die, and become dust and bones, shall we (then) be raised up (again)
17. "And also our fathers of old?"
18. Say: "Yes, and you shall then be humiliated (on account of your evil)."
19. It will be a single (compelling) cry (i.e. the second blowing of the Trumpet); and behold, they will be staring!
20. They will say, "Ah! Woe to us! This is the Day of Judgment!"
21. (It will be said,) "This is the Day of Sorting Out, whose truth you (once) denied!"
22. (It will be said to the angles) "Assemble those who did wrong, together with companions (wives), and the things they worshipped-
23. "Besides Allah, and lead them to the Way to the (Fierce) Fire!
24. "But stop them, for they must be asked:
25. "What is the matter with you? Why do you not help each other?'"
26. Nay, but that day they shall surrender,
27. And they will turn to one another, and question one another.
28. They will say: "It was you who used to come to us from the right side (and beautify for us the sins)!"
29. They will reply: "Nay, you yourselves were not believers
30. "And we had no authority over you. Nay! But you were transgressing people
31. "So now the Word of our Lord has been justified against us, that we shall certainly (have to) taste (the punishment of our sins).
32. "We led you astray: for truly we were ourselves astray."
33. Truly, that Day, they will (all) share in the Penalty.
34. Verily that is how We deal with criminals.
35. For they, when they were told that there is no god except Allah, would puff themselves up with Pride,
36. And say: "What! shall we give up our gods for the sake of a Poet possessed?"
37. Nay! He (Muhammad) has come with the (very) Truth, and confirmed (the Message of) the messengers (before him).
38. You shall indeed taste of the painful torment;-
39. And you will be requited nothing except for what you used to do (evil)
40. Save the chosen Servants of Allah (the believers);-
41. For them there will be a known provision (in Paradise),
42. Fruits (Delights); and they (shall enjoy) honor and dignity,
43. In Gardens of delight (paradise),
44. Facing each other on thrones (of Dignity):
45. Round them - will be passed a cup from a clear-flowing fountain,
46. Crystal-white, of a taste delicious to the drinkers,
47. Free from headiness; nor will they suffer intoxication there from.
48. And besides them will be chaste women, restraining their glances, with big eyes (of wonder and beauty).
49. (Delicate and pure) as if they were (hidden) eggs (well) preserved.
50. Then they will turn to one another and mutually questioning.
51. A speaker of them will say: "I had an intimate companion (on the earth),
52. "Who used to say, 'what! Are you amongst those who bear witness to the Truth (of the Message)?
53. "'When we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed receive rewards and punishments?'"
54. (The man) said: "Would you look down?"
55. So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.
56. He said: "By Allah! You have nearly ruined me
57. "Had it not been for the Grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell)!
58. "Is it (the case) that we shall not die,
59. "Except our first death, and we shall not be punished?"
60. Verily this is the supreme achievement!
61. For the like of this let workers work.
62. Is that (paradise) better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum (a horrible tree in Hell)?
63. Truly, We made it (as) a trial for the wrong-doers.
64. Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-Fire:
65. The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils:
66. Truly they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith.
67. Then on top of that they will be given a mixture made of boiling water.
68. Then their return is to the (Blazing) Fire.
69. Truly they found their fathers on the wrong Path;
70. So they (too) were rushed down on their footsteps!
71. And truly before them, many of the ancients went astray;-
72. But indeed We sent among them, warners (Messengers);-
73. Then see what was the end of those who were warned (but heeded not)
Q5. In Islam it is believed that Judas was crucified and not Jesus. A) Why is it that Islam holds this belief? B) Do you believe that Jesus’ disciples knew that it was Judas on the cross and not Jesus? And if Jesus’ disciples knew that it was Judas, C) how did the Christian scriptures come to say with such consistency that it was Jesus who was crucified?
A. Why is it that Islam holds this belief?
Islam holds this belief because this is what the Quran mentioned, the Quran did not mention Judas by name but the Hadeeth, which explains the Quran, mentioned him. For more information see Jesus and Mary in the Quran.
B. Do you believe that Jesus’ disciples knew that it was Judas on the cross and not Jesus?
I am not sure if Jesus’ disciples knew what happened for Jesus or not, but there are many facts that they knew, yet they are not mentioned in the current popular Christian scriptures, one of the major facts is that Jesus was born with no father - just like Adam. See the following Q&A.
C. How did the Christian scriptures come to say with such consistency that it was Jesus who was crucified?
This question will drive me to dig into the history of the Christian scriptures...
Any Christian scholar of Christian history will readily confirm that after the famous council of Nicea (325 AD), the church of St. Paul (The Roman Catholic Church) selected out of the over three hundred Gospels in their possession the four that most closely conformed to their doctrines. All others were ordered completely destroyed because they were considered "Apocrypha" (which actually means "hidden from the people"). Some of these were written by disciples of Jesus (pbuh), and not disciples of disciples, who had never met Jesus (pbuh), such as Paul. If these destroyed Gospels were not more authentic than the current selection then they were at least of equal authenticity. The church also ruled that all Gospels written in Hebrew were to be destroyed. An edict was issued that anyone found in possession of an unauthorized Gospel would be put to death. Countless numbers of Christians were then systematically killed as heretics and burned at the stake if they maintained their belief in the divine Unity of God and did not conform to the innovative teachings of Paul. It is well known that this practice continued until at least the year 1616 AD.
Fortunately there was one Gospel -that I know of-, which was saved although it does not agree with the teachings of St. Paul, this Gospel is the Gospel of Barnabas, there is one copy of it in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and another one in the British museum. A new printing has been made off of these copies and it is available today. This Gospel agrees with the Quran and mentions Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by name.
Some quotations from the Gospel of Barnabas:
In reply to a question by Philip, Prophet Jesus said: "God alone hath no equal. He hath had no beginning, nor will he ever have a end, ... He hath no sons, nor brethern, nor companions." (Gospel of Barnabas: 17).
"... Verily ye have erred greatly, O Israelites, in calling me, a man, your God. ... I confess before heaven, ... that I am a stranger to all that ye have said; seeing that I am man, born of a mortal woman, subject to the judgment of God, suffering the miseries of eating and sleeping, of cold and heat, like other men, Whereupon when God shall come to judge, my words like a sword shall pierce each one (of them) that believe me to be more than man," (Gospel of Barnabas: 93).
Q6. I have been looking up several sites on the Islamic faith. I have read that Joesph plays a role in this faith but I can not find out exactly what it is. If you can help --- What is the importance of the Prophet Joesph in the Koran?
There is a whole surah (chapter) in the Quran about Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) peace be upon him, you can read the translation of its meaning from In general, the Quran has stories about the other prophets to give a reminder and a lesson about them for the people to follow their example in calling to the sake of Allah (God) and to learn from their wisdom.
About Prophet Yusuf peace be upon him there are many lessons taken from his story, I will touch briefly a few of them here:
The first lesson is about raising children. The parents must be fair with them, because in the story the brothers of Yusuf were jealous from him and his other young brother because they felt that their father Prophet Ya’qub (Jacob) preferred him more, so they tried to kill him. Although Yusuf’s brothers were also very righteous but their feelings that their father loved their brother more than them, caused them to hate and harm him.
The second lesson is that some dreams that we see while we are sleeping have real meanings and may come true, look at the verse 4 from this surah (chapter) it contains Yusuf’s vision and verse 100 describes how it became true, also read verses 36 to 41 it describes how Prophet Yusuf was able to interpret the meaning of the dreams of his two fellow prisoners, also verses 43 to 49 describe the dream that the king of Egypt saw and how Prophet Yusuf interpreted it.
The third lesson is about Prophet Yusuf’s love and fear to Allah, when the
woman whom he was in her house asked him to commit the sin with her, he refused
although she had power over him and she was young, beautiful and wealthy while
he was youthful and single. She tried to force him, as she said to the other
women who cut their own hands when they saw his beauty: "if he refuses to do
what I order him, he shall certainly be cast in prison, and will be one of those
who are disgraced", but Prophet Yusuf said: "O my Lord! Prison is more to my
liking than that (committing sin) to which they (the women) invite me to." Then
Prophet Yusuf peace be upon him
was imprisoned for few years, just because he refused to commit the sin. This shows how the true believer acts when forced to do something wrong.
The fourth lesson is about how to call to the sake of Allah (verses 36-41), when the two prisoners asked Prophet Yusuf peace be upon him to interpret their dreams he told them first: "No food will come to you as your provision but I will inform its interpretation before it comes", then after he got their attention he started by calling them to his creed the monotheism he said: "This is of what my Lord has taught me. Verily I have abandoned the religion of the people who believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter. And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allah. This is from the Grace of Allah to us and to mankind, but most men thank not. O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible? You do not worship besides Him but only names, which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgment) is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him, that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not." Then after calling them to his religion, he interpreted their dreams, he said: "O two companions of the prison! As for one of you, he will pour out wine for his master to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified and the birds will eat from his head. Thus is the case judged concerning which you both did inquire."
Well, these are some of the lessons learned from Prophet Yusuf’s story, if you need more details or if you have any other questions please feel free to ask, and I will do my best to answer you as soon as I can. May Allah guide us to His straight path.