Basic Teaching Of Islam


Lecture given by:
Shaheed Ayatollah Dr.Beheshti

Preface to the 4th Edition

The present book is part of the invaluable legacy of the
martyr Ayatollah Dr. Beheshti. Despite its briefness, it successfully
presents the principles and outlines of ISLAMIC CODE OF BEHAIVIOUR. The
attractive comprehensiveness of the book together with the need to
illuminate the high station of that great Islamic figure, impelled the
Islamic Propagation Organization (IPO) to present a re-edition of the work
which was first published by The Islamic Center of Hamburg. I.P.O.

International Relation Dept.

4th Ed. 1991, (1411 A.H.)

1. Introduction

Dear Ladies and gentlemen: Let me greet first those who-
free from arrogance and prejudice- seek the truth, those who humble
themselves in its presence regardless of what the truth may be, those who
do not blindly oppose it when it requires apprehension and when it ought
to be embraced, those who carefully and wisely investigate each problem
and having in good conscience evaluated it follow nothing but the
best.

Koran says:

"And thus preach joy to My servants.

Those who
listen to the word and follow the best of it.

Those are the ones
whom Allah has guided and they are the wise people."
(39:17-18)

You have invited me to talk to you about Islam today. The
actual reason seems to be that you have heard of "Islam" and
thereby have been urged to seek further knowledge and learn of its truth.
Let me give you good tidings: should you set out on this highway with
sincerity and thus follow it, the gateway of a true understanding of Islam
will be opened up to you and you shall pursue your course smoothly. I
shall attempt in short a talk to explain the cornerstone of Islamic
teachings and some of its fundamental features.

It will be your turn to consider matters carefully and if
you come across anything you would like to understand more throughly, do
not hesitate to set forth your questions. The subject will be much
clarified in the process of question and answer. In order to banish any
lingering restraint you may have at question time, let me tell you that I
am as keen to hear you as you are at the moment to hear me. May I finally
add that what I may relate about Islam is confined to the results of my
personal inquiries, and I have not relied upon inherited beliefs and
dogmas or upon the ideas of other thinkers.

I have primarily relied upon the Koran which is the
sacred text of all Muslim, a book revealed to Mohammad (SAW) so that it
may be available to all men at all times and is the most fundamental
source of acquaintance with Islam. A book which in myriads of copies has
been available to all peoples throughout the centuries. The question
results, if one can rely on a better and more trustworthy source to get
acquainted with Islam.

If we are of the opinion that Koran can be considered the
most important Islamic source, it does not mean that sources, for example
Hadith (statements or actions of the Prophet (SAW), handed down to us),
are absolutely of no value. There is no doubt that a remarkable portion of
Islamic teachings ought to be understood by means of these sources. But
Hadith and similar sources are only valuable, if they report truly on
statements or actions of the Prophet Mohammad(SAW).

Doubtful traditions are therefore no acceptable source to
us. In order that the false and doubtful traditions exercise no
disadvantageous influence on Islam, the principles of this religion demand
all traditions- Hadith, etc.- be first compared with Koran, thus
eliminating such relevant points which do not comply. Therefore, everybody
who wants to realize a true investigation of Islam and its principles must
consequently first throughly know Koran in each and every respect and
compare each and every theme in tradition, history and similar fields with
the same.

(2) Only One God:

The cornerstone of Islam is "Tauhid", i.e. Monotheism. "Tauhid" means belief in only one God and that
existence in general-- among other things the order of nature--is a manifestation of His grand design, as well as turning to God in prayer and glorification, away from worshipping any other.

The first article of faith is: "La ilaha,illa-llah"

-- "There is no God but Allah."

And the first step towards Islam: "Ashhadu an la ilaha
illa-llah"

-- "I testify that there is no God beside Allah."

Not only my tongue but also my heart and inner light all
proclaim that there is no other than the Creator of the world who is
worthy of adoration.

All the other teachings of Islam are founded upon this
and have their sources here. Accordingly Islam proclaimed monotheism to be
the path to salvation: "Qulu la ilaha illa-llah,
tuflihu"

--"Say: There is no God but Allah, and thereby you will attain salvation."

This means: Say and act sincerely, and believe with all
your heart that apart from the only Creator of the world there is nothing
worthy of adoration and this shall be your path to salvation.

(3) Correct Knowledge of God

Islam has attached importance, more than anything else,
to the proper knowledge of God, free from any aberration. It is chiefly
here that Islam is outstanding. Consequently, in the course of my talk
will have to be a basis for your future acquaintance with Islam, I shall
attend to this feature.

(4) The Invisible God

The only God to whom Islam invites everyone is
inaccessible to the senses. He is beyond the reach of eyesight nor is He open to touch.

Koran says in this respect:

"No vision can grasp Him but His grasp is over all vision.

He is above all comprehension yet Omniscient." (6:103)

Vision does not penetrate beyond colour and figure but
God has neither one nor the other . His glory is beyond the reach of
vision and other senses in general.

(5) God Unlike Anything Else

We generally have a mental picture of things we know, for
example: flowers and fruits, hills and dales, sun , moon and stars and
human being as well. But what about God? Can we also form an image of
Him?

Never!

Because our notions are a result of our experiences, or
constructions out of our experiences or of analysis carried on by our
restless mind, yet having their roots in things we have come to know
through our senses.

In this respect Koran says:

"The Creator of the heavens and of the earth. He has
created pairs of yourselves as well as pairs of the animals-thereby He
multiplies you.

Nothing is like onto Him and He is the All-hearing, the All -seeing." (42:11)

Yes , God can be represented neither in form of a painting nor a statue. He can also not be conceived.

(6) God, The Omniscient, The Mighty

On various occasions, Koran mentions different and absolute attributes for God:

"He is the Creator, the Omniscient, the All-hearing, the All-seeing, the All-guiding, the Supporter, the Forbearer, the Amiable, the Always-forgiving, the Self-sufficient...

a God who knows our most secret thoughts, Listens to the prayers of all His servants, grants each and everyone his due; a God who is nearer and more gracious to us than any other being."

 

(7) Praise of God

Since man's mind has more to do with relative ideas, that
is to say his ideas are of relative things, even in the understanding of
those of His attributes which the Koran mentions, man is liable to go
astray and fall into error. It is owing to this shortcoming of the human
mind that there are many verses in the Koran which attribute to God purity
from imperfections which have their seat in the native deficiency of our
thoughts.

 (8) Praise of God

Since man's mind has more to do with relative ideas, that
is to say his ideas are of relative things, even in the understanding of
those of His attributes which the Koran mentions, man is liable to go
astray and fall into error. It is owing to this shortcoming of the human
mind that there are many verses in the Koran which attribute to God purity
from imperfections which have their seat in the native deficiency of our
thoughts.

(9) Has God Any Children?

Among these erroneous ideas is the notion that God has
children. There are people who believe that Jesus-peace be with him- is
the son of God. There have also been people and perhaps there still are,
who fancy that angels are God's daughters.

In this respect the Holy
Koran says:

"... And they falsely, having no knowledge,
attributed to Him sons and daughters. Praise and glory to Him!

He is
far above whatever they attributed to Him. The Creator of the heavens
and the earth, wherefrom could He have a child, when He has no
consort?

And He has created everything and knows everything.
That is God , your Lord! There is no God but He, the Creator of all
things. Then worship Him and He is the Guardian of all things."
(6:100-103)

"And they say: 'Allah begot a son.

Praise and glory be to Him! Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on the
earth, everything renders worship to Him." (2:116)

The Koran warns us against considering angels and
apostles as God's offspring. They are His bondsmen, though admittedly
eminent among them. But by no means may they be considered as His
children. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Hud, Saleh, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob,
Shoaib, Moses Joshua, Enoch, John, Jesus, Mohammad, and the other apostles
are like us in so far as they are men and God's servants. He has created
them as He has created others. Should those who say that Jesus is God's
son mean that God is a father as we are to our children, then their
characterisation of Him is improper.

God is elevated above such immature fancies. On the other
hand, if they mean something different they should use a different notion
to express it, rather than the misleading term "Son of God"

(9) The Danger of Comparison (Anthropomorphism)

Using such expressions as "Son of God" always involves
the danger of the only God, to Whom nothing is alike, appearing to men as
a magnified human being living beyond the clouds. This is the danger of
anthropomorphism which is a stumbling block on the path of a correct
acquaintance with God, deviating the course of men's thinking.

The unfounded and fanciful beliefs of many believers and
the weak objections made by many agnostics and atheists are nearly
entirely the result of these unfitting ideas which are in turn produced by
the anthropomorphising imagination of man. Believers create in their fancy
something they call God and worship this image, and unbelievers
considering this product find it an idea without any foundation and
thereupon reject to believe in His existence at all. But truly, both are
in error.

The only God to Whom Islam invites all men to believe and
to worship is neither this nor that but far above such false images. It is
for these considerations that one of the primary teachings of

Islam is a total abstinence from comparison
(anthropomorphism).

(10) Islam and The Relation between
God, Man and The Universe

Islam considers a correct acquaintance with God as being
related to a proper understanding of man and universe. According to its
teachings the better our knowledge of man's nature and being , the more
perfect our knowledge of God and the truer.

--"Whoever knows himself knows His Lord."

This also holds true of creation in general. A better
understanding of the creatures is a real help towards better understanding
of God, the Creator. On the other hand, any kind of deep-rooted error or
unfounded fancy about man and universe, particularly God's relation to
man, universe and to angels leads to an erroneous idea of God, the Maker
because the knowledge of cause and effect are intimately related.

There are many verses in Koran inviting man to reflect
upon himself and the universe in order to acquire a better understanding of God.

Thus two pertinent verses of Koran read as follows:

"In the creation of the heavens and the earth , and
in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of
understanding (definite) proof."

"Who think of Allah, standing, sitting and lying and
think about the creation of the heavens and the earth...."
(3:190-191)

It is easy to deduce from these verses the close
correlation:

Recognition of God/cognition of man and universe.

The 91st verse of the 6th sura reads as follows:

"They did not esteem Allah according to His value
when they said:

'Allah has not sent anything down to man ', Say, who
then has sent the book which Moses brought as a light and guidance for
mankind, but you have made of it sheets of paper which you show while
you conceal much."

A group of Jews who had dealings with the Meccan's heard
that a messenger had arisen from among the Koreish saying: 'God has
revealed to me so that I may rise up against those who take partners unto
Him, and to rise up against ignorance and oppression. I have been ordained
by Him to place within the reach of men the divine truths, so that all may
know God and the right way of life, pleasing Him , and to deliver them
from error'.

Accepting the truth that Mohammad was the prophet of God
was for many reasons unpalatable to those Jews, so that they attempted to
sabotage the progress and spread of Islam from many directions and
eventually decided to fight Islam. They employed various methods in their
struggle. One way was to cast doubt in the humble minds of the Arabs.
Among other things, they said that it is impossible that God should reveal
His message to a man and it has not been known of God that He has done so.
In reply to this the Koran says:

'What about the book brought by Moses? From where did it
come to him? Is it not true that exactly like the Koran it was sent down
as a revelation on one who had been chosen for prophecy, so that he may
guide men'.

Verily, Moses too was a man to whom a Holy Book had been
revealed as well, and that illusory claim-'God never sent a revelation to
man'- is based on ignorance. The unwise claim by the Jews was directly
related to the problem of the revelation, but Koran has considered it as a
result of their wrong conception of God.

(11) Man and Universe (RECOGNIZE YOURSELF!)

Islamic teachings say: "Oh man ! O you, who from time to
time forgets his noble station bowing down in fear to sun, moon, stars,
mountain and wind, and in whose sight they appear so great and powerful! O
You, whose mind and soul have been conquered by the majesty and grandeur
of the rich and mighty gaping at them in awe, taking them to be divine
Gods, worshiping them in humility and enslaving yourself to them!

Wake up from your deep sleep! No earthly or heavenly
thing has ascendancy over you! You have not recognised your worth and have
cast yourself for no price at their feet! Arise! Learn of your strength
with which God has endowed you and employ your faculties rightly! If you
attend to God's bidding, you will see that you are neither as little nor
those as great as you fancy."

(12) Dominating Nature

Islam has openly proclaimed that man's true worth lies in
the measure he has conquered nature and tamed it. The 20th verse of the
31st sura reads as follows:

"Have you not seen that Allah has subjected to your
(use) everything, all things in the heavens and on the earth and has
made His bouties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and
unseen ?..."

Moreover verses 32-34 of the 14th sura have the following
wording:

"It is Allah who has created the heavens and the
earth, sent down water from the sky, brought out fruits therewith to
feed you; rendered ships to your service that they may sail through the
sea according to His will and He subjected streams and rivers to
you."

And He has subjected sun and moon to you, both
diligently pursuing their courses. And the day and the night has He
subjected to you and He has given you all that you ask for. And if you
count the favours of Allah, you won't be able to number them. Verily, man
is unjust and ungrateful."

These verses and many others point to the possibility of
man to dominate nature. Fourteen centuries ago man had progressed only so
far as to control sheep and cattle, camel and elephant. He had learnt to
use their milk and meat and hide, ride them or bear his cargo on their
backs. He had learnt to conquer somehow the restless sea, ride its billows
in small or large vessels and cross that seas with his merchandise. He had
also learnt to harness turbulent rivers and by building dams or
channelling off their angry waters drive them to serene orchards and
fields.

But did man always have control of such things? There was
a time when even such paltry things were beyond his reach. On the
contrary, fearing all or some of them, he could not muster courage to face
them.

In the course of time he came to learn that he had no
reason to fear them and casting off his irrational fear, his inner
faculties opened up and in the light of labour and thought, he conquered
and came to master them. Now the Koran inspires man to consider his area
of influence wider. Let man know that day and night, the sun, moon and
stars and in a word Nature in all its majesty is awaiting his conquest, on
condition that he does justice to himself and does not give in to
ignorance and lust, on condition that he does not strike the wrong path
but chooses the straight road which God has set before him and that he be
not thankless to his Creator.

 (13) Man And God (RECOGNIZE YOURSELF ONCE AGAIN!)

Although Islam inspires man with the fire of conquest, it
Warns him at the same time:

"Oh man, let not your feeling of increasing strength lead
to vanity, the other extremity of the middle way! Once again consider
yourself how, despite your might , you are like a bubble riding the seas.
It will not be long before you lose your youth and freshness, your will to
work and power to think. Despite your search for strength through art and
science, from time to time you still suffer illness and weakness or old
age and uselessness, so that you cannot drive away a mite from yourself.
Do you know to what this change points?

It points to the fact that though We spoke of your high
station, you are part of the universe in which nothing owes its life to
itself nor is anything in it everlasting, and everything in it a ray of
God the only lasting thing, independent of all else. Hence, never banish
from your soul the thought of Him, on Whom you depend for your life and
your very existence. Make your bond with Him secure and attempt to get
closer to Him."

(14) Approaching God

How can we draw near to God?

God's perfection and
existence know no bounds, while the existence of all other beings,
however, is relative.

The relative beings of our universe are on the path of
evolution and through their inner light seek perfection. Seeking
perfection is to search for God. The more one acquires relative
perfection, the nearer he gets to God, the Absolutely Perfect.

Man is also one of those beings who of their inner light
seek perfection, but however hard he may try he cannot cast off his
relativity. He can but keep on the path and increase his measure of
perfection and thus approach God, the Absolutely Perfect.

This is the
true meaning of approaching God in Islam.

According to the teachings of Islam any act of worship in
general may be considered as a means of approaching God only if it helps
man on his path to perfection or maintains the development he has already
attained.

 (15) Prayer

God is available to all men, at all times, in all places.
Anyone may turn towards Him and seek His help.

Verse 186, sura 2 reads as follows:

"And when My servants ask thee concerning Me: I am
indeed close (to them). I respond to the prayer of every petitioner,
when he calls on Me."

The basic condition of prayer is that man turn to God in
all sincerity.

It is only then that God will answer his prayer,
regardless of time and place and needless of intercession.

(16) Sin, Repentance, And Remission

Sinners may also turn away from sin at any time and place
and take the path of goodness and expect God's mercy and they need nothing
and nobody else to have recourse to.

In this respect Koran says:

"Say: 'Oh, My servants who have transgressed against themselves!

Despair not of the mercy of Allah. Allah forgives all
sins- He is oft forgiving, most merciful.>>

"Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His
will, before the punishment comes on you, and ye shall not be helped any
more."(39:53-54)

(17) God And Universe

The universe and all it contains is a creation of God.
The laws governing the universe, including the laws of nature, are God's
laws and the ways and habits, ordained by Him. Among the verses of the
Koran we find that events generally attributed to nature (and from one
point of view this is true) are considered as God's work.

Verse 32, sura 14 says in this respect:

"It is Allah Who has created the heavens and the
earth, sent down water from the sky, brought out fruits therewith to
feed you, rendered ships to your service that they may sail through the
sea according to His will and He subjected streams and rivers to you."

Such verses teach us that according to the Islamic notion
the natural order is not in opposition to God and His laws. Rather, it is
regarded as part of creation and God's divine order. Hence, belief in God
and His infinite power does not imply an attitude of disregard towards
nature.

Neither should man's belief in God's infinite power
result in holding him back from its scientific understanding or practical
acceptance of nature nor should concern with nature result in a disbelief
in God. The scientific knowledge of a believer in God is similar to the
scientific knowledge of a disbeliever, both in theory and in practice. In
understanding nature and harnessing its forces they both proceed hand in
hand. They differ only in so far that the man of science believing in God
does not imprison himself within the bounds of nature although he is
engaged in scientific research and technical application. For him, nature
is a mirror in which he sees God, its Creator.

The disbelieving man of science on the other hand is so
engrossed with nature that he cannot penetrate its veil and reach beyond
it to its Creator.

(18) Miracles

Even believing in miracles does not affect the work of a
Muslim scientist, because they are extremely rare accurrings in keeping
with their particular order only when necessary. The ratio of these events
to natural ones is less than even one in a billion and it is an accepted
principle in the methodology that such exceptions do not affect the value
of a scientific law or its technical application.

Therefore, belief in miracles does not imply a rejection
of nature and vice versa.

(19) Servants Of God

Nature and its numerous active elements serve God. The
staggering order of nature is an emanation of God's will. All nature
phenomena, results of causes, actions and reactions of a material and
natural kind are at the same time a ray of God's omnipotence, omniscience
and His divine will because natural causes are at God's command
eternally.

(20) Endless Universe

Verses from the Koran openly proclaim that the world in
which we live is endless.

"If you count God's blessings, you shall never
number them." (16:18)

Further, God is incessantly in the act of creation,
increasing creation as He wills.

"He increases in the creation as He will. Allah has
power over all things."(35:1)

Therefore, man's progress in science and technology with
an eye to using the limitless resources of the universe can never come to
a halt and the door of work and endeavour will always be left open.

 (21) Fate And Free Will

The teaching of Islam concerning free will,
predestination and immortality lays great stress on strengthening man's
will to work and try correctly against a background of correct thinking,
using up his immense capacity for knowledge, correct judgement and
initiative which God had endowed in him , on the one hand and increase his
capacity of endurance and resistance against difficulties and
tribulations, normally occurring in life on the other hand.

Such teachings are opposed to all manner of indolence,
and fatalism when man is faced with natural and social difficulties, and
frowns upon those who are not robust and possess no self-assurance when
facted with the bitter facts of life.

 

(22) Islam, Modern Science, And
Technology

From what has already been discussed it is quite clear
that Islam is not only not opposed to scientific and technological
progress, on the contrary, it encourages it, laying stress only on two
points:

1. Scientific, technological and social progress shall
not result in man waxing proud and thereby disregarding his Creator.

2. This endeavour and progress shall be utilized to
better the condition of men and never be used in propagating sin or to
buttress the foundations of cruelty and oppression.

(23) Prophecy

Man's thought soars above the clouds in problems
concerning nature and he can expect increasing progress of his faculties.
It is precisely for this reason that God's messengers have had no special
functions there. But in order to solve problems beyond the realm of
nature, and to gain an insight into the after life and man's ultimate goal
, he is surely in need of guidance from God.

The God gives men and the guidance He sends down upon
them is through men to whom He makes revelation, ordaining them to guide
their fellows and to teach men what has been revealed to them. They are
the prophets.

The teachings of the prophets are neither the result of
scientific research nor that of personal experience, but God's teachings
which are sent down to them through revelation.

"And He does not speak out of caprice. It is nought
but a revelation revealed, taught him by one terrible in
power."(53:-3-5)

(24) Right Estimation of The Prophets

The Koran from time to time reminds us that the prophets
are men in their substance and they are distinct from others owing to
their ability to receive and pass on revelations in order to lead men. In
other aspects they do not differ from other human beings. Exactly like
others, they are born, eat, drink, sleep, procreate, rear children, and
live their span of life, and then pass away.

The Koran says of Mohammad(pbuh):

"Say, I am only a man the like of you, it is
revealed to me that your God is the only God, so whoever, he hopes for
encounter with his Lord, shall work righteously, and in the worship of
his Lord admit no one as His partner."(18:110)

Islamic teaching concerning all messengers of God, among
them Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus is the same. They are all men
raised to the station of prophecy and their only distinction is that they
receive God's revelations to hand over to their fellowmen.

 

(25) Miracles by Prophets

Koran speaks, too, of miracles worked by the prophets ,
but in many verses it is stressed that to work miracles is not left at
their discretion.

They do not possess an extra faculty to those we own,
thus working miracles on request.

Those opposed to Islam constantly
requested miracles from the Prophet.

They would say that if he was
truly a prophet of God he ought to be able to do extraordinary things
without further ado.

The Prophet would reply: "It is not left to me to perform
miracles at your caprice."

The miracles you have heard of God's prophets are God's
works performed exceptionally when conditions have rendered them
necessary, regardless of the personal inclination of the prophet
concerned.

Accordingly, miracles do not raise a prophet above the
station of other men. See Koran, sura 6, verse 109, sura 17, verses 90-93
and many other verses.

(26) Science-Reason And Revelation

Before coming to know the prophets of God we have only
one source of knowledge, experiment and thought, science and reason. Once
we have known the messengers of God and got sure that they utter nothing
but from God we have gained a new source to realize the truth, i.e. the
teachings of the prophets which originate from the revelation. Man has no
better source of acquainting himself with God, the problems of the
hereafter and a way of life both pleasing his God and resulting in eternal
happiness.

 

(27) Believing in And Honouring All
Prophets

The Koran openly proclaims that Islam is not the creed of
Mohammad (SAW) alone; it is the religion of all the prophets of God.
Because Islam, which means surrendering to the truth, is accepting the
teachings of God, acquaintance with God and obeying Him and being aware of
selfishness and bias in these matters. Accordingly Islam is not only the
creed of the prophets but it is the religion of men seeking the truth.
This is why Muslims respect all prophets, and their scriptures, and
believe in them.

Koran says.

"The messenger believes in what was sent down to him
from his Lord, and the believers; each one believes in God and His
angels and in His books and His messengers (and says): 'we make no
distinction between any one of His Messengers; and they say: 'We hear
and obey. Our lord, grant us Thy forgiveness; unto Thee is the
homecoming!"(2:285)

(28) Deviation

The teachings of the messengers of God were gradually
tainted by impure hands and various superstitions introduced. Matters
would go so far that even qualified scholars were not able to distinguish
the true teachings of the prophets after hard labour and scholarship
because those ignorant friends as well as foes with ill intentions had
tampered with the sources of religion and even with the divine scriptures.

Under such conditions the only remedy was to send a new
prophet to whom revelation would be made again and thus the divine truths
would be made available anew. The Koran has in the course of relating the
stories of most prophets explained this point.

(29) Mohammad(SAW) And The Koran

This state of affairs was renewed in the seventh century.
If anyone sincerely sought after the teachings of Abraham, Moses and Jesus
or the other prophets of God, it was no longer possible for him to attain
to the truth. because there was no reliable source at hand. Neither the
Pentateuch had a clever history nor the Gospels or the teachings of the
other prophets.

These books had been tampered with and this had rendered
them valueless. At this time Mohammad(SAW) was raised by God to accept his
revelations and hand the them over to mankind. According to the
unquestionable evidence of history, the verses of the Koran which
Mohammad(SAW) as prophet delivered from God had an entirely new and
miraculous style which was inimitable. This feature was effective in
guarding the Koran from alteration. Moreover, these verses, named the
Koran, were made available to everybody and spread rapidly.

This rapid spreading of Koran during 1334 years since the
death of Mohammad(SAW) has also protected the Koran from all the causes of
alteration and tampering. It is today available slightest difference in
its innumerable copies. Having such a source book of high authority is a
distinction of Islam not shared by any other religion, making it possible
for anyone at any time and place to understand it directly and
immediately, protecting himself from any error in its understanding.

(30) The Afterlife

One of the teachings of the prophets is that man's
existence does not cease with death. Death is only the end of the period
of man's struggle and endeavour. During this period he has to find out for
himself with his own judgement the right path from the wrong and decide
upon his course. He finds his conditions during this period in a state of
flux and seeks to preserve it, if good, and to alter it for the better, if
bad. With the advent of death, change gives way to eternity. From then
onwards his state is unalterable; it will be what he has made of it in his
period of evaluation and endeavour and the afterlife is where he achieves
the fruit of his struggle during the previous period. This is Islamic
teaching about life and death and the hereafter.

Koran says.

"On that day shall men be scattered and see their
works, and who has done an atom weight of good shall see it, and who has
dane an atom weight of evil shall see it."(99:6-8)

(31) Paradise And Hell

What is paradise? It is the eternal home of the blessed
and the blissful and of peace, a home which the righteous have prepared
for themselves during their lifetime by honesty and sincerity and God
pleasing endeavour.

What is hell?

The abode of eternal pain and punishment which evildoers
have built for themselves by taking the wrong path, doing evil and
oppression and spreading wrong doing.

(32) Other Teachings of Islam

What has been said heretofore are the basic teachings of
Islam. Islam has a lot of detailed teachings in other fields. On the one
hand they depend on these basic teachings and on the other hand on
individual, family and social needs of men spiritually as well as
physically.

Prayer, fasting, the Hajj pilgrimage, struggle and
endeavour in making known God's religion and relieving His servants from
oppression, supervising government, attempting to establish a just and
true social and economic order, love of fellow-men and helping the needy
and helpless, orphans and the poor, truth and honesty, purity and a
constant effort in attaining physical and spiritual hygiene from some
aspects of this teaching.

Their detailed description cannot be expected in one or
two short talks. I hope by means of numerous talks or printed information
about Islam, which we will place at your disposal, you will get acquainted
with them(*).

(*) This concludes the lecture
that was given by the martyr Ayt. Dr.

Beheshti to the "Epiphany Community Hamburg" on October
14, 1965 and to the students "Corps Rhenania Hamburge" on October 29,
1965.

 

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