"O my soul, it is only a few days, bear them patiently.A lifetime seems long but a flitting reverie"

~Imam Shafi~
" “The heart will rest and feel relief if it is settled with Allah and it will worry and be anxious if it is settled with people.” – Ibn al-Qayyim"....Say : "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge" (Qur'an - 12:108) "Say: we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Qur'an, Al-Imran 3:84) . "And if he (Muhammad SAW) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah),We would have seized him by the right hand;And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta),And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him" (Qur'an,Al-Haqqah 69:44-47) "Do they not ponder the Quran! If it were revealed from a source other than Allah,certainly they would have found,many contradictions."[Holy Quran 4:82] " O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, and you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did)" [Holy Qur'an, 84:6] Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." ~Holy Quran 6:164 Imam Malik (rh): “Do not look to the sins of people as if you are Lords, but look to your own sins as if you are slaves. Have mercy on the people of affliction and praise Allah for your well-being, and never say, ‘This person is from the people of Hellfire, and this person is from the people of Paradise.’ Do not be arrogant over the sinners, but rather ask Allah to grant them hidayah and rashad (i.e. guidance).” Ibn Kathir (Ra) narrated: كان نقش خاتم عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه : كفى بالموت واعظاً ياعمر “The engraving on ‘Umar ibn al Khataab’s(Ra) ring was: “Sufficient is death as an admonisher O Umar”. ["Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaaya]. "When you fear the creation, you run away from it, but when you fear the Creator, you feel close to Him,& run towards Him.".Ibn Qayyim . "Allahumma la‘aisha illa‘aish-al-Aakhirah": 'There is no life but the life of the next world' "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". (Quran 15:99) “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran: 29:69] "... And my success is not but through Allah . Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return." ~ Al Quran 11:88
"Nothing in this world is really useful to you unless it has some utility and value for the next world"-Imam Ali(R)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Are you a Submitter (Muslim) or are you a Believer (Mu'min)?

There are only 2 categories of people defined in the Quran, who will enter heaven. Allah tells us these 2 categories in (49:14).
The Arabs say, 'We believe.' Say: 'You do not believe; rather say, "We submit"; for belief has not yet entered your hearts. If you obey God and His Messenger, He will not diminish you anything of your works. God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.' (49:14).
"We then vacated from it all the believers but we only found in it one house who had submitted." (51:35-36).
Now that we know that there is a difference between Muslim and Mu'min, the next couple of posts, (above this post), will be looking at the description of these 2 categories. From the above, we can establish that Belief (Mu'min) comes after submission (Muslim).
Description of a Muslim (Submitter).
Let's have a look at the description of a Muslim.
"And who speaks better than he who invites to Allah while he himself does good, and says: I am surely of those whosubmit?" (41:33).
1. They say that they submit.
2. They Invite to Allah.
3. They do Good Deeds.
"And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims." (46:15).
1. They say that they submit.
2. They repent.
3. Are appreciative for God's Favours.
4. Want to do Good Deeds to please Allah.
Say: "I have been given divine inspiration that your God is One God. Will you then Submit?"
1. Belief in One God.
As simple as it may sound, to believe in The God without committing shirk, is the most difficult thing to do on the planet because we have attached to and have moulded around so many innocent seeming sinful idols.
"God will deprive anyone who associates anything with God of Paradise and his dwelling will be fire. The unjust people have no helpers." (5:72).
Shirk nullifies any good deeds and ends with a person in hell. Allah tells us in (30:30) to Accept the natural calling which He has planted into the creation of Mankind and devote yourself to monotheism.
You don't need the Quran to be a Muslim; you have to follow your naturalinstinct. No one can deny this on Judgement Day. As you will see, the requirements of being a Muslim are requirements that humans naturally think about and know what is morally correct.
2. Doing Good Deeds.
Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason." And do not approach the orphan's property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember. (6:151-152).
1. Don't associate anything with God.
2. Honour Parents.
3. Don't kill children (born or unborn) because of fear of poverty.
4. Don't commit gross sins whether openly or privately.
5. Do not kill a soul.
6. Do not touch orphan money and be fair with them.
7. Give full weight and measure.
8. Be just in bearing witness.
9. Fulfil your oaths.
I repeatedly witness disagreement regarding Hajj, Salah, Fasting,Messengers etc, between so many different sects and Quran alone followers. Notice above that to be a Muslim, you don't have to do any of these. Instead the above can be agreed on as something we already know morally. We feel what is right and what is wrong. Why we go against that natural questioning feeling? Well that's another story.
To be a Muslim (Submitter), a person only needs to reflect within themselves. The traditionalists have mixed up the Muslims and Mu'mins.
"Do not Obey the Disbelievers and Strive against them with the Quran a great striving." (25:52)
Description of a Believer (Mu'min).
"The believers are those who believe in God and His Messenger, then have not doubted, and have struggled with their possessions and their selves in the way of God; those -- they are the truthful ones." (49:15).
1. Have Faith in God and His Messenger.
2. Attain status of having no doubt.
3. They strive with their money and lives in the way of Allah.
4. Are Truthful.
"Those only are believers whose heartstremble when Allah is mentioned, and when His Ayats are recited to them they increase them in faith, and in their Lord do they trust. Who establish Salat and spend out of that We have provided them.
" (8:2-3).
5. Hearts Tremble when they hear Allah's name.
6. Faith is strengthened by hearing God's words.
7. They Trust in God.
8. Establish Salah.
9. Spend out of what God has provided for them. (Zakat).
The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination." (2:185).
10. Believe in His Angels.
11. Believe in His Books.
12. Believe in all His Messengers.
14. They Hear and Obey.
15. They seek Forgiveness.
Why become a believer?
"When it is recited to them, they say, "We believe in it. It is the Truth from our Lord. WE WERE MUSLIMS BEFORE THIS". (28:53).
Being a Muslim is simple compared to being a Mu'min. Being a Muslim will get you into Heaven so why does one strive to become a Mu'min?
"Such are the true believers. Their reward from their Lord will be high ranks, forgiveness, and a provision." (8:4).
"These will receive DOUBLE REWARD for their forbearance, replacing evil by virtue, and for their spending for the cause of God." (28:54).
You get one reward for being a Muslim and one for being a Mu'min. This is how you attain a higher rank in Heaven. As a Muslim you make it to Heaven but in the lower Heavens. As a Mu'min you make it to the higher heavens, closer to Allah.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Characteristics of a Believer

Believers have some characteristics due to their belief in Allah and that make them worthy of being loved. 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. 
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)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Miracles In The Quran

Are There Really Miracles In The Quran?
No one can deny these miracles in the Quran. Perhaps they may choose to ignore the significance (Prophet Moses made his staff turn into a snake by Allah’s leave and Pharaoh still did not believe; so I’m under no illusion this will turn the hardcore atheist into a believer). But no one can state that these facts are not true or were just made up.
Quran Miracle #1: Dhul Qarnain Using Copper To Construct His Wall
In Chapter 18 (Surah Al-Kahf) Allah tells us the story of Dhul Qarnain. He was an ancient ruler that some have hypothesized to be either Alexander the Great or Cyros the Great. I won’t go into too much detail right now because I’ve already made a detailed video about his exploits.
Allah tells us that Dhul Qarnain was hired by a group of people to help them against a couple of warmongering tribes called Gog and Magog (Yajuj wa Majuj). The Quran even gives us some very specific details about the construction of this wall:
Bring me sheets of iron” – until, when he had leveled (them) between the two mountain walls, he said, “Blow,” until when he had made it (like) fire, he said, “Bring me, that I may pour over it molten copper.”
Chapter 18 Verse 96
Just stop a minute and think. Have you ever wondered why this much detail was given to us in the Quran? Allah could have just said “Dhul Qarnain built a wall and it kept Gog and Magog out” and that would have been enough for most of us.
Well, when I decided to look further into the properties of iron and copper, I learned some interesting things.
We all know that iron is one of the strongest metals on the planet. But despite its strength, iron rusts when exposed to water.
Copper on the other hand, is a relatively soft metal, and an excellent conductor of electricity. But the most amazing thing about copper is that it does not rust when exposed to water! In fact, the British Navy used to coat the bottom of their ships with copper.
Another thing about copper is that it produces a green, protective layer after long exposure to oxygen (oxidization). The famous Statue of Liberty in New York City is made of copper. It used to be the reddish color we all associate with copper. But it turned green after a few years of being out in the open.
So Dhul Qarnain built his wall using iron blocks, heated them up until they became one solid wall, and then poured molten copper over it to keep it from rusting. After a few years, the copper exterior turned green and blended in with the natural color of the earth, making it nearly impossible to find nowadays.
I don’t know about you, but I find it amazing that the building of such a perfectly powerful structure was described in the Quran.
Quran Miracle #2: Pharaoh Was Worshiped As A Deity
There are several verses in the Quran that show the King of Egypt (Pharaoh) during the time of Moses, actually thought he was a god. He and his people literally believed he was divine and should be worshiped.
He (Pharaoh) said, “If you take a god other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned.”
Chapter 26 Verse 29
And Pharaoh said, “O eminent ones, I have not known you to have a god other than me.
Chapter 28 Verse 38
And he (Pharaoh) said: “I am your Lord the Highest.”
Chapter 79 Verse 24
This may not seem like a big deal to us these day because it’s common knowledge that the ancient Egyptians worshiped their Pharaohs. Modern archaeologists have explored the pyramids and other Egyptian ruins, translated the hieroglyphics, and have a very good understanding of their religion.
But how did Prophet Muhammad know this? How did he (pbuh) know this specific information?
And he did not get it from the Bible because it’s not in the Bible. Nowhere in Exodus does it state the Pharaoh was worshiped as a deity by the ancient Egyptians. In fact, the biblical story of Moses does not emphasize any attempt by Moses to teach Pharaoh to worship Allah.
In the Bible, it’s all about letting the the Children of Israel out of slavery.
It is miraculous that the Quran tells us this specific bit of information about the Egyptian faith that could not have been known at that time. After all, the events of Moses’ (AS) time happened almost 3000 years before Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born. The language and culture of ancient Egypt were lost and unknown by the time Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came on the scene.
We only have this information because of extensive exploration of Egyptian ruins and the discovery of the Rosetta Stone (1799 CE).
Quran Miracle #3: Referring To The Hyksos King As “Azeez” And Not Pharoah
One of the most idiotic lies made against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is that he fabricated the Quran from his knowledge of the Bible. Those who make this claim always ignore the fact that the Quran does not copy any of the historical errors of the Bible.
One such error is the title given to the King of Egypt when Prophet Yusuf (AS) arrived there as a slave. Here’s what the Bible says:
When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
Genesis 41 New International Version
However, it is well known now that during this time, Egypt had been conquered by a group of people called the Hyksos. The Hyksos ruled Egypt for about 200 years before being expelled by the Egyptians.
Even though the Hyksos ruled Egypt, their rulers did not take the title “Pharaoh.” This was a title reserved only for Egyptian kings of Egyptian descent. The Egyptian priests (crucial to anyone wanting to rule Egypt) would have never given this title to foreign rulers.
When Prophet Yusuf/Joseph (AS) and his family entered Egypt, the Hyksos were in charge. As we know from the Quran, Yusuf (AS) gained favor with the King of Egypt by correctly interpreting his dream and saving the land from famine.
And the king said, “Bring him to me; I will appoint him exclusively for myself.” And when he spoke to him, he said, “Indeed, you are today established [in position] and trusted.
[Joseph] said, “Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian.
And thus We established Joseph in the land to settle therein wherever he willed. We touch with Our mercy whom We will, and We do not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.
Chapter 12 Verses 54-56
Prophet Yusuf’s (AS) family joined him soon afterwards and the Children of Israel prospered and benefited from their close relationship with the Hyksos.
Many years later, the Egyptians overthrew the Hyksos and regained control over Egypt. The Israelites were seen as co-conspirators and were enslaved by the Egyptians. And hence, by the time Prophet Musa (AS) is born, they were under severe persecution from the true, Egyptian Pharaoh.
The point is, that if Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was copying from the Bible, he would have made the same mistakes the Bible made i.e. calling the Hyksos king “Pharaoh.
But he did not. Allah revealed the truth and referred to the King of that time as “Al-Azeez” (The Master) or The King.
Quran Miracle #4: Sending Down Of Iron
I have to admit, I did not discover this miracle from the Quran on my own. I actually first heard of it from a lecture by Bilal Philips.
Allah tells us in the Quran:
And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.
Chapter 57 Verse 25
Pay particular attention to the opening phrase “We sent down iron…”
You’ve probably read this verse a hundred times and never thought about it. Allah really did “send down” iron to us. He uses this same phrase when speaking about rain:
Do you not see that Allah has sent down rain from the sky and the earth becomes green? Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted.
Chapter 23 Verse 18
Just like Allah has sent us rain from above, He has also sent us iron from above. I mean literally, from above.
And there is no way Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could have known this during his time.
And speaking of meteorites
Quran Miracle #5: Shooting Stars Not Called Stars
Most Muslims know the Islamic purpose behind so-called shooting stars. These are used by the Angels to chase the Jinn who are trying to steal secrets from the heavens.
Now, there’s no way I can prove this scientifically, and that’s not my purpose. But I do want you to consider a few facts.
1.        We all know that shooting stars are not really stars at all. They are really meteorites.
2.        The ancient Arabs, like just about everyone else in the world at that time, really did think they were stars.
3.        However, nowhere in the Quran does Allah refer to these “shooting stars” as stars!
If Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had made up the Quran from his head, he would have called shooting stars “stars” like everyone else did.
After all, they certainly do look like stars. And everyone else around him were calling them stars.
But the Quran never refers to them as stars. Instead, Allah uses the phrase “lamps” or “flame.
And we used to sit therein in positions for hearing, but whoever listens now will find a burning flame lying in wait for him.
Chapter 72 Verse 9
And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with lamps and have made (from) them what is thrown at the devils and have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze.
Chapter 67 Verse 5
I believe this is another amazing fact that the Quran has right when the average human of the time would have made a mistake.
These miracles from the Quran should bolster your faith and strengthen your desire to please Allah. His Messenger (pbuh) has brought us the truth and we would be foolish to ignore these obvious facts.
Please share this article with as many people as you can, Muslim and non-Muslim. You never know who may read this and be guided to righteousness because of it. Sometimes small actions yield big results.
And Allah knows best.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


“Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers (Mu’min): men and women, the Qanit: men and the women, the men and women who are truthful, the men and the women who are patient, the Khashi`: men and the women, the men and the women who give Sadaqat, the men and the women who fast, the men and the women who guard their chastity and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.”
Surah Al-Ahzab (33:35)

Interpretation of the meaning (Tafsir Ibn Kathir):

“Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers (Mu’min): men and women…” indicates that Iman (of Mu’min) is something other than Islam (of Muslim), and that it is more specific.

“the Qanit: men and the women,” Al-Qunut means obedience during quite time. As explained by
“Is one who is (Qanit,) prostrating himself or standing in the middle of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord…” (39:9)

“To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are Uqnuti (Qanitun) to Him.” (30:26)
“O Maryam! “Uqnuti to your Lord and prostrate, and bow with Ar-Raki`in (those who bow).” (3:43)

“And stand before Allah Qanitin” (2: 238).

So, beyond Islam there is a higher level to be reached, which is Iman, and Qunut stems from them both.

“the men and women who are truthful,” – This refers to their speech, for truthfulness is a praiseworthy attribute. Some of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were never known to have lied even once, neither during Jahiliyyah nor in Islam. Truthfulness is a sign of faith (Iman), just as lying is a sign of hypocrisy.

“the men and the women who are patient,” – This is the attribute of those who are steadfast, which is patience in the face of adversity and knowing that what is decreed will inevitably come to pass. So, they face it with patience and steadfastness. Patience is the most difficult when disaster first strikes, then after that it becomes easier, and this is true steadfastness.

“the Khashi`: men and the women,” – Khushu` means serenity and tranquillity, deliberation and dignity and humility. What motivates a person to be like this is the fear of Allah and the awareness that He is constantly watching.

“the men and the women who give Sadaqat,” – As-Sadaqah (charity) means doing good to people who are in need or who are weak and have no means of earning a living and none to financially support them. They give them from the excess of their wealth in obedience to Allah and as a good deed to His creation.

“the men and the women who fast” – it purifies it and cleanses it of things that are bad in both physical and Shar`i terms. Fasting is also one of the greatest means of overcoming one’s desires.

“and the men and the women who remember Allah much” – an example of a hadith that the Messenger of Allah said: “If a man wakes his wife at night and they pray two Rak`ahs, they will recorded that night as being among the men and the women who remember Allah much.”

“Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.” Here Allah tells us that for all of those mentioned in this Ayah, He has prepared for them forgiveness of their sins and a great reward, meaning, Paradise.

So, beyond Islam there is a higher level to be reached, which is Iman.

The Reason for Revelation:

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, the wife of the Prophet said, “I said to the Prophet , `Why is it that we are not mentioned in the Qur’an as men are’ Then one day without my realizing it, he was calling from the Minbar and I was combing my hair, so I tied my hair back then I went out to my chamber in my house, and I started listening out, and he was saying from the Minbar: “O people! Verily Allah says: (Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers: men and women…)  to the end of the Ayah.” This was also recorded by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Jarir.

Islam means total obedience and submission to Allah, observance of His orders and avoidance of His prohibition; bringing one's likes and dislikes into harmony with the Divine Will.

As for Iman, it is related to heart. It is the belief of the heart in Allah; He is the Lord of the worlds; no one deserves to be worshipped except Him.

Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Islam (means what a Muslim acts) in public and al-Iman is (what one believes) in the heart" . [Reported by Ahmad from Anas Ibn Malik (Radiya Allahu Anhu)]. al-Sheikh Shakir , while commenting on the book of al-Tahawiyah creed, said: 'This Hadith has authentic narration'.

Thus, a person has to know that there is no true Iman without Islam, and vice versa. In other words, belief without action is of no use, nor is action without belief of any value.

Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "al-Iman consists of more than seventy parts, the best of which is the acknowledgement of the fact that "La Ilaha Illa Allah", and the lowest of them is removal of a thing causing harm from a thoroughfare" . [Reported by Imam Muslim ].

 In Sunan Tirmidhi, Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe, and the believer is the one with whom the people trust their blood and their wealth.”
In other words; a Mu’min is a level higher than a Muslim.

A Muslim is by definition one who submits his will to Allah and adheres to the principles of Allah’s religion. We therefore believe that all Prophets were by definition Muslim.

When his Lord said to him (Abraham), “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.” [Quran 2:131]

A Muslim is  the one who accepts Allah as the One and Only God who is worthy of worship and that Muhammad (pbuh) is the last and Final Messenger.

There is also however a difference between a Muslim (One who submits) and a Mu’min (One who believes). As Allah states in the Quran:

“The bedouins say, “We have believed.” Say, “You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran 49:14]

To attain the status of a true believer in Islam one must strive to attain true faith. This is exemplified through the Quran and many of the Hadith ( Narrations) of Muhammad (pbuh).

“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely,The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend. Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision.” [Quran 8:2-4]
In the Hadith of Muhammad (pbuh) we also find

“No one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

“The most perfect believer in faith is the one who is best in moral character. The best of you are those who are the best to their spouses in manners.” [Al-Tirmidhi 1082].

“A true Muslim is one from [the transgressions of whose tongue and hands, all other Muslims are safe; And a true Mu’min is one from whom people’s lives and wealth are secured;” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

“None of you will truly believe until I am more beloved to him than his father, his son and all of mankind.”  [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].