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Teaching of the Quran
1.Introduction
2. Doctrine of God
3. Doctrine of Revelation
4. Doctrine of Judgment
5.Doctrine of Salvation
6.Law of the Life
7.Attitude to other Faiths

 
 
 

 IV. The Doctrine of Salvation.


1. The Nature of Man.


Man was created of fine clay, for the service of allah Allh, to die and rise again; he is created in trouble, being mortal and inconstant when tested with good and evil. He can only will as allah Allh wills, for the human race was drawn forth from the loins of Adam to make a covenant with allah Allh; He has balanced the soul and inbreathed it with wickedness and piety; one keeps his soul pure, another corrupts it. Man was created good, but brought very low; he fell through the temptation of iblis Ibls but received guidance from allah Allh, who makes his burden light because he was created weak. Man has failed to accept the revelation of allah Allh; when in trouble he cries to Him, but when helped forgets Him. He is capricious, covetous, proud, and universally sinful. Mankind are descended from one pair, and were originally of one religion (ummah). Articulate speech was taught him by allah Allh, who subjected all things to him and feeds him through the bounties of nature. Man springs from earth and returns to it, and, like all other things, to allah Allh. The quran Qurn thus represents man as universally sinful in act, but this comes of his weakness, not from a sinful taint. Man is prone to sin, but not of sinful nature. He has lost Paradise, but be is not radically estranged from God.


2. Sin.


The principal terms for this are khatiah khatiah, (Hebrew khet Khet) ithm (Hebrew asham shm) and dhanb. The last of these occurs thirty-eight times and refers chiefly to ceremonial offences. Ithm occurs twenty-nine times and largely in the same sense. khatiah Khatiah occurs only five times. It comes nearest to the idea of sin as a missing of the mark or standard set up by God. The teaching of the quran Qurn about sin as such is very sparse. Certain sins, such as pride, covetousness, etc., are denounced on occasion, but the sin which comprehends all others is shirk = association, namely, of other deities with allah Allh. That is unpardonable. Ceremonial offences are generally connected with things or actions which are haram arm, that is devoted. They may be specially devoted to God's service, and so their sacredness must not be invaded; or they may be banned as evil and therefore shunned (see p. 70). Moral and ceremonial sins are subject to the same penalties. Sin, in the main, is disobedience to the command of allah Allh. Believers generally are to confess their sins, as muhammad Muammad and other prophets have done, and they will find that Rabb is merciful to those who avoid great sins and commit only venial faults.


3. The Nature of Salvation.


The word najat najt = salvation occurs only once in the quran Qurn. In 40 44 a man of Pharaoh's people who has believed the message of Moses appeals to his fellows: "O my people! Why should I call you to salvation, and you call me to the Fire?" The idea here is that of deliverance from Hell. Salvation includes not only pardon but also acceptance, both these being granted on the Day of Judgment. Its positive aspect is the reward of faith and righteousness by the delights of Paradise. In effect it is deliverance from the results of sin by obedience to allah Allh (islam islm). Inasmuch as sin in the quran Qurn does not include a taint of nature, but only a proneness to wrong actions due to the weakness of man, its conception of salvation does not include the element of regeneration.


4. The Conditions of Salvation.


These are Repentance, Faith and Good Works, the last branching out into the five religious duties. "Such as repent, believe and act aright, these shall enter Paradise"(19 61 and often).
Repentance is turning from sin to allah Allh, with the desire for pardon, of which it is a condition. It includes a regret for the offence and amendment of life. Death-bed repentance is not accepted. The faith which is a condition of salvation is specifically "belief in what is revealed to muhammad Muammad" (47 2). It is necessary for Christians, Jews and Sabeans no less than for pagan Arabs. The real believer (mumin mumin) is he who practises his faith; such as have left their homes and fought in the way of allah Allh and harboured and helped the prophet (8 75). allah Allh will put away the guilt of the worst actions and reward the best actions of those who believe; they will be pardoned and accepted at the Judgment and will receive their reward at the Resurrection. The love of allah Allh will then be manifested to righteous believers, but faith will not avail if postponed till the Day. Forgiveness and acceptance are determined purely by the prerogative of allah Allh. His justice and mercy are not opposed, for both are equally swayed by His power.
The ruling feature of the virtues specially commended in the quran Qurn is avoidance of excess. Some follow evil, some take a middle course, some excel in merit, and it is good that those who can should excel. Liberality without profuseness; kindness to orphans and poor without waste; making the best of men as one finds them; justice in dealings, truthfulness in witness, faithfulness to engagements, patience and endurance, obedience to those in authority, limitation of sexual indulgence to legal wives and concubines, are specially mentioned. Good works do away sins and make the doer righteous. They are summed up in obedience to allah Allh and the Apostle.
The main outline of these duties is in substantial agreement with the teaching of Christ in Mt. 6: prayer as an offering to God; fasting as control of self; and alms-giving as due to one's fellow-man, are inculcated as primary. They are preceded by confession of the faith and supplemented by the command to meet annually at a central shrine for worship and sacrifice. The individual faith and practice of the Muslim is thus linked up with a perpetual celebration of the world-wide unity of believers.
din
The Five Pillars of Religion (Dn).


(1) The first duty, confession of the faith, is not explicitly mentioned in the quran Qurn, nor does the book contain any definite command to the followers of muhammad Muammad to preach his doctrine. The accepted way of propagating it in the outer world was by the sword, and there is a command to let religious instruction follow warfare (9 123). But muhammad Muammad himself being commanded to preach and to magnify the name of allah Allh, and he being a noble pattern to believers, their duty was obviously to confess the faith which they had exercised, and the kalimah or watchword for the purpose is taken from two clauses of the quran Qurn.


(2) Prayers (salat alt) are very often coupled with Alms as means of salvation and as incumbent on Muslims. Spontaneous prayer is dua du, set prayers are salat alt. Abraham offers dua du that his posterity may observe salat alt (14 42). Before him salat alt was taught to Adam and commanded to Moses. It is practised by muhammad Muammad according to divine command and he leads in prayer; it is of the essence of religion for Muslims, and it keeps them from obscenity. As for its manner, the Face of allah Allh is everywhere, but believers should always turn towards the Sacred Mosque (the kabah kaaba Kabah at Mecca). Prayers are to be preceded by washing with water, or if that cannot be got by scouring with sand. The ritual is to be regularly and strictly observed, except on certain occasions of danger or sickness. Muslims are not to pray when drunk or polluted, nor yet either too loud or too low. They should wear goodly apparel in the mosque, and during the Friday noon prayer-time work is to be suspended. Prayer is a prescribed duty for stated hours, before sunrise, at noon, after sunset and at night. The marks of their prostration should be seen on believers, and in observing prayer they must beware of sloth and neglect of almsgiving.
Of spontaneous prayer we read that allah Allh is the hearer of dua du: it is to be offered to Him only, for idols cannot hear. allah Allh does not grant the prayer of the double-minded (cp. Jas. 1 7 f). Prayer for the faithful departed may be offered, but not for unbelievers in hell.


(3) Almsgiving. -Two principal terms are used for this in the quran Qurn: zakat zakt = cleansing, and sadaqah adaqah = righteousness. Speaking of almsgiving generally we find it constantly coupled with prayer as a mark of the true believer. Alms are to be given from the believer's superfluity, yet "ye cannot attain to righteousness until ye expend in alms of what ye love" (3 86). They are to be given especially at the time of harvest, and bestowed on relatives, orphans, the poor and travellers.
zakat Zakt is used to signify the alms of obligation which are levied on various kinds of property and income at a fixed rate. The quran Qurn specifies levies on money and produce. The need of this assessment was in evidence at the outset of muhammad Muammad's career owing to the poverty of many believers. It afterwards became established as the basis of the revenue of his theocracy, side by side with the spoils of warfare. zakat Zakt is essential to religion and a chief mark of true piety. It has, as its name implies, a cleansing effect, and brings pardon of sin. It is to be exacted from defeated foes who accept islam Islm and thus become brothers in. the faith. It is a loan to allah Allh (cp. Prov. 19 17), who will repay it doubly with a divine usury; it is a seed which brings forth seven hundred fold.
sadaqah adaqah (tsadaqah Tsadqh, dikaiosune, righteousness) is the name given to freewill offerings. They are to be given to the poor, to converts, to captives, debtors, fighters for the faith and travellers: also in expiation for neglect of pilgrimage duties; they are to be offered before an interview with the prophet, and are a subject of complaint against him. sadaqah adaqah should be given with kind speech and pardon, without upbraiding, from the earnings of the faithful and not from inferior things, nor yet wastefully. To give publicly is good, to give secretly is better. Payment of alms by way of fine may still be meritorious; regarding the "Hypocrites" of Medina the command comes: "Take from their wealth alms to cleanse and purify them thereby" (9 104).


(4) The Fast (saum aum). -Fasting in general is mentioned both as a work of piety and as penance for offences. Mary, the mother of Jesus, vows a fast at the time of His birth. It is exacted as an expiation for homicide, for a mistaken oath, for killing game at the close time of Pilgrimage, for illegitimate divorce. In 2 179-183 the yearly fast is finally set for the entire month of ramazan Raman, in which the quran Qurn was first revealed, to begin as soon as the new moon has been observed. The sick and travellers are excused, provided they fast later when able. Those who are fit to fast but do not may redeem it by feeding a poor man. Food and drink and marital intercourse are permitted from after sunset till dawn. Complete abstinence, with frequent visits to the mosque, must continue through the whole day.


(5) The Pilgrimage. -The quran Qurn distinguishes (2 192) the Lesser Pilgrimage (umrah umrah = visitation, i.e. of the Holy Places) from the Greater Pilgrimage or hajj ajj (Hebrew hag ag, i.e. Festival Procession). The umrah umrah may be performed at any time. The hajj ajj is to be undertaken at the time of the new moon (of the month dhul Dhl hijjah ijjah, the twelfth of the Muslim year). The pilgrims are to shave their heads, and to bring a gift to the Sacred Mosque. Till the day of sacrifice they are to neglect their persons; then they are to pay their vows and make the circuit of the Ancient House (the kabah Kabah). The processions are to extend to safa af and Marwah (two mountains near Mecca where idols used to stand) and also to Mount arafat Araft. The rite of sacrifice is to be performed on the tenth day, and directions are given for slaughtering the camels, or other lawful animals, after invoking the name of allah Allh over them. Pilgrims unable to arrive in time may send a beast to be sacrificed on their behalf. The flesh is to be eaten by the worshippers and distributed to the poor. It is not the flesh or blood of the sacrifices that is acceptable to allah Allh, but the piety of the worshippers. The pilgrimage is an observance due to allah Allh which may not be slighted, but it is not forbidden to make it an occasion of trade, though hunting during the sacred days is forbidden. After the sacrifice the pilgrims should remain to worship allah Allh at least two days. Only Muslims may visit the kabah kaaba Kabah.


5. The Way of Salvation.
Besides the five fundamental religious duties which are conditions of salvation the way of salvation is summed up in two main conceptions. Subjectively, as affecting the personal attitude of the believer, it is the practice of taqwa taqw, or piety; objectively, the thing which must regulate his whole life is islam islm or acceptance, both active and passive, of the will of allah Allh.
A. Piety. -The meaning of taqwa taqw is fear (i.e. of allah Allh) or abstinence, from idolatry or evil of any kind. Its attitude is expressed in the words, commonly used in any sudden calamity: "Verily, we are allah Allh's and verily, to Him do we return" (2 151). Even now He is nearest of all, for He comes in between a man and his heart. Piety is to believe in the truth, to be sincere in worship, to choose the next life rather than this. Not the flesh and blood of sacrifices reaches allah Allh, but piety; the best garment is the raiment of piety. The pious are the meek, patient, truthful, lowly, charitable, penitent, harmless, forgiving, prayerful, considerate, just. They practise devotion, moderation, purity; not in superstition, but in the fear of allah Allh. Their hearts repose in the thought of allah Allh; they meditate in silence morning and evening, and say of their purposes: "If allah Allh will." Their hearts thrill with fear at the mention of the name of allah Allh, and faith increases with the recital of His signs (the verses of the quran Qurn). Piety is both the easy way and the steep way, it is obedience to allah Allh and the Apostle, to be shown in family life by men and women alike.
B. islam Islm is the word chosen by muhammad Muammad to sum up his idea of the true religion which is offered by allah Allh and accepted by man if he is wise. The word signifies submission, resignation or acceptance, in each shade of meaning denoting the true attitude of man towards allah Allh. islam Islm is the faith of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus; the sons of Jacob at his death confessed themselves Muslims; believers have been called Muslims by allah Allh ever since Abraham; acceptance of islam Islm is demanded by the Law and the Evangel; faithful Jews and Christians were Muslims before the quran Qurn was given: now they and the Sabeans have only to add faith in the quran Qurn. islam Islm is belief in all the prophets; it is the "Baptism (sibghah ibghah) of allah Allh." He opens the heart to its reception. Muslims are those who have heard the call and believed, setting their faces towards allah Allh with self-surrender and following muhammad Muammad; they are the best of ummahs (religious communities). islam Islm is both a rule and a higb-road; it must be proclaimed in its entirety, and so accepted, for it is the only acceptable religion, now truth is come and falsehood has vanished. It is the easy way, but believers must fight strenuously for its defence and propagation. It will be victorious over every other religion and spread to other lands, for it is a message for mankind. Toleration is enjoined for a time, but afterwards abrogated by the command to do battle with infidels, whether idolaters or people of Scripture. Exile and warfare on behalf of islam Islm will be abundantly rewarded, but apostasy from it leads to hell.