A Simple Test of Faith -- Do You
in the Quran?
If we were to conduct, today, a questionaire survey of Muslims all over the world in order to test the "level" or "extent" of their believe and faith in God's final revelation, the Quran, how do you think they would fare? And, more importantly, how would YOU fare?
So, to find out, let's begin by answering the following simple questions, shall we? All you have to do is give a simple "Yes" or "No" answer. Think and ponder over the questions carefully -- take your time -- and answer as sincerely as you can:
Questions of Faith
Question 1: Do you believe that God is the author of the Quran? "Yes" / "No".
Question 2: Except for the previously revealed Scriptures known and unknown to us, is God the author of any other book apart from the Quran? "Yes" / "No".
Question 3: Since the death of Muhammad, has God authored any other book(s) apart from the Quran? "Yes" / "No".
Question 4: Do you believe that God is the best of all judges? "Yes" / "No".
Question 5: Do you believe that God is the ultimate Lawmaker? "Yes" / "No".
Question 6: Are laws and rules, derived outside of the Quran, which are meant to regulate and facilitate everyday human conducts and affairs including religious affairs, which clearly contradict the Quran, acceptable? "Yes" / "No".
Question 7: Can laws and rules, derived outside of the Quran, abrogate or over-rule the Quran? "Yes" / "No".
If your answers to the above questions were "Yes", "No", "No", "Yes", "Yes", "No" and "No" -- congratulations, for you just got yourself full marks (100%) for the "level" of your belief and faith in God's final words to mankind, the Quran.
Well, on paper at least, you got perfect faith.
Now, don't pat yourself on the back just yet because these, as I stated earlier, were indeed simple questions. You would agree with me that any ahmad, abdul and muhammad (read: tom, dick and harry) too would have got full marks for this test.
Final Simple Test of
Ooops! Sorry that I forgot to inform you that that was only a "preliminary" test of faith. It's, as Coke's rivals would have put it ... not the real thing!
All right. Here goes. You will agree that it is only fair that we subject all forms of outward and verbal attestations of faith to some sort of "physical endurance test" in order for us to be sure that "what you speak accord to what you actually do", right? Simply put, passing this final test means you got real faith ... failing it means ... well, you're a fake!
Ahhh! How appropriate. With Ramadan fast approaching, this couldn't be a more timely test of YOUR faith. Let's see whether its made of much sturner stuff or not.
In the Quran, God, with His infinite mercy, details down all manner of laws and injunctions for the good and benefit of mankind. One of these, relate to fasting. God says, "O You who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God..." [2:183].
As regards to the time of fasting itself, God says, "...and eat and drink until (hatta) the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at day-break (min al fajr), and then resume fasting until night (al layl)..." [2:187].
So God, in the Quran, ordains that those of us who have attained to faith should fast from day break and continue fasting until the night. Day-break (fajr) is that time which is slightly later than what we know as "subuh" because at "subuh" it is still very dark and one is unable to distinguish, at this much earlier time, the white thread of light from the dark thread of night. Night (layl) occurs when the sun has completely disappeared past the distant horizon so as to envelop the day in complete and total darkness. Again, this means a time which is slightly later than what we know as "maghrib".
These are, indeed, part of God's laws and God's words in the Quran which we now invite you to reflect upon. These verses are clear in itself and contain no allegorical parts to it.
Your final test is therefore, if you contend that you have attained to true faith, to observe fasting throughout this year's Ramadan by adhering to the times (from fajr to layl -- from daybreak to night) as God has ordained you. Can you follow this simple and unambigious instruction?
We wish you all the best ... and please remember, in particular, the answers you have given to Questions 5, 6, and 7 above.
God is ever watchful over all of us and all that we do. Have a blessed Ramadan.
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