A. To welcome the month is good ‘alhumdulliah’ and prophet (saw) used to inform the people about this blessed month. Hadith (Musanand Ahmad, vol. 2, page 230, hadith 7148, repeated in Sunan Al Nasai) “The prophet (saw) always used to tell the people when the month was approaching. “O people the blessed month of Ramadan is approaching you and Allah (swt) has prescribed you to fast in this month. “Ramadan Mubarak” is mostly said in Indian sub-continent, by the Indians and Pakistanis. Mubarak means “barakat” (blessing) as it is actually an Arabic word. But when used by Indians or Pakistanis, it is a type of congratulation. Like someone passes an examination people congratulate by saying “Mubarak” in Urdu. So when Ramadan comes, they say “Ramadan Mubarak”. According to me it not a “bidah” (innovation). It is good they are calling this month a blessed month. What word you choose is “mubah” (optional) like in Indian subcontinent people say “Ramadan Mubarak”, in gulf countries people call it “Ramadan Karim”. So all these words are good, holy month, blessed month. So people should wish each other and remind each other of this blessed month.
A. First thing we should do is to thank Allah (swt) for making us witness this blessed month once again. Thank him for his mercy and ask for his forgiveness so that all our previous sins are forgiven. And we have to thank him for all the “niyamat” he has given us and blessings and all the love. Allah says in Quran (Surah Al-Baqara, Ch. 2, V. 185): “Ramadan is the month in which Quran was revealed as a guidance for mankind and signs for guidance and judgment between right and wrong.” And Allah firther says in the Quran (Surah Al-Baqara, Ch. 2, V. 183): “O you who believe, fasting was prescribed to you as it was prescribed to people who came before you so that you may learn self restrain.” Word used is “tatakoon”. So that you learn God Consciousness, piety, righteousness, “taqwa” is increased. This is the month in which a person can become more righteous. This is the time when our “taqwa” can be at the height. This month is a sort of annual training. Like a machine requires servicing. If you allow me to call a human being the most complex machine in the world, doesn’t it need servicing? It is spiritual and moral training for human being. Purification of body, mind and soul. Increase our taqwa, increase our patience. And we can derive the benefits and guidance from the Quran.
A. There is hadith in sahih al bukhari (vol. 3 book of fasting, hadith 1969) “aisha (r. a) related that the prophet (saw) never fasted a complete month except in Ramadan and he didn’t fast in any month as many days as he fasted in the month of shabaan” thus from this hadith we come to know that prophet (saw ) used to welcome or prepare for the month of Ramadan by fasting many days in the previous month, i.e. the month of shabaan. And further if you read in Tirmidhi (Book of supplications, Hadith 5431) which says that Talha (r.a) says on the authority of his father that whenever the prophet (saw) saw the new moon he always used to pray to Allah (swt) and say “O Allah bless us in this month (and he used to mention the name of the month) keep us stead fast in faith in this month. This is how prophet (saw) used to pray to Allah (swt) whenever he used to see the new moon. It wasn’t specifically only for the new moon of the Ramadan but it was for all the new moons he used to see. He used to mention about coming of this blessed month to the people. Prophet (saw) addressed the people in hadith (Musanad Ahmad, vol 2, page 230, hadith 7148) “O people this blessed month is approaching you and Allah (swt) has ordained on you to fast in this month. Gates of the heaven will be opened in this month and gates of hell will be closed and the devil will be chained, and in this month there is a night which is better than a thousand months and whosoever is deprived of Allah’s (swt) blessing in this month, he is truly the deprived person.
The Muslims prefer calling the Supreme Creator, Allah, instead of by the English word ‘God’. The Arabic word, ‘Allah’, is pure and unique, unlike the English word ‘God’, which can be played around with.
If you add ‘s’ to the word God, it becomes ‘Gods’, that is the plural of God. Allah is one and singular, there is no plural of Allah. If you add ‘dess’ to the word God, it becomes ‘Goddess’ that is a female God. There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. Allah has no gender. If you add the word ‘father’ to ‘God’ it becomes ‘God-father’. God-father means someone who is a guardian. There is no word like ‘Allah-Abba’ or ‘Allah-father’. If you add the word ‘mother’ to ‘God’, it becomes ‘God-mother’. There is nothing like ‘Allah-Ammi’, or ‘Allah-mother’ in Islam. Allah is a unique word. If you prefix tin before the word God, it becomes tin-God i.e., fake God. Allah is a unique word, which does not conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with. Therefore the Muslims prefer using the Arabic word ‘Allah’ for the Almighty. Sometimes, however, while speaking to the non-Muslims we may have to use the inappropriate word God, for Allah. Since the intended audience of this article is general in nature, consisting of both Muslims as well as non-Muslims, I have used the word God instead of Allah in several places in this article.
God does not become a human being:
Some may argue that God does not become a human being but only takes a human form. If God only takes a human form but does not become a human being, He should not possess any human qualities. We know that all the ‘God-men’, have human qualities and failings. They have all the human needs such as the need to eat, sleep, etc.
The worship of God in human form is therefore a logical fallacy and should be abhorred in all its forms and manifestations.
That is the reason why the Qur’an speaks against all forms of anthropomorphism. The Glorious Qur’an says in the following verse:
“There is nothing whatever like unto Him.” [Al-Qur’an 42:11]
India is often called the land of ‘god-men’. This is due to the abundance of so-called spiritual masters in India. Many of these ‘babas’ and ‘saints’ have a large following in many countries. Islam abhors deification of any human being. To understand the Islamic stand towards such pretenders to divinity, let us analyze one such ‘god-man’, Osho Rajneesh.
The first criterion is “Say, He is Allah, one and only”. Is Rajneesh one and only? No! Rajneesh was one among the multitude of ‘spiritual teachers’ produced by India. Some disciples of Rajneesh might still hold that Rajneesh is one and only.
The second criterion is, ‘Allah is absolute and eternal’. We know from Rajneesh’s biography that he was suffering from diabetes, asthma, and chronic backache. He alleged that the U.S. Government gave him slow poison in prison. Imagine Almighty God being poisoned! Rajneesh was thus, neither absolute nor eternal.
The third criterion is ‘He begets not, nor is He begotten’. We know that Rajneesh was born in Jabalpur in India and had a mother as well as a father who later became his disciples.
In May 1981 he went to U.S.A. and established a town called ‘Rajneeshpuram’. He later fell foul of the West and was finally arrested and asked to leave the country. He came back to India and started a commune in Pune which is now known as the ‘Osho’ commune. He died in 1990. The followers of Osho Rajneesh believe that he is Almighty God. At the ‘Osho commune’ in Pune one can find the following epitaph on his tombstone:
“Osho – never born, never died; only visited the planet Earth between 11th December 1931 to 19th January 1990.”
They forget to mention that he was not granted visa for 21 countries of the world. Can a person ever imagine ‘God’ visiting the earth, and requiring a visa to enter a country! The Archbishop of Greece said that if Rajneesh had not been deported, they would have burnt his house and those of his disciples.
4. The fourth test, which is the most stringent is, “There is none like unto Him”. The moment you can imagine or compare ‘God’ to anything, then he (the candidate to divinity) is not God. It is not possible to conjure up a mental picture of the One True God. We know that Rajneesh was a human being, having two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth and a white flowing beard. Photographs and posters of Rajneesh are available in plenty. The moment you can imagine or draw a mental picture of an entity, then that entity is not God.
Many are tempted to make anthropomorphic comparisons of God. Take for instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous body builder and Hollywood actor, who won the title of ‘Mr. Universe’, the strongest man in the world. Let us suppose that someone says that Almighty God is a thousand times stronger than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The moment you can compare any entity to God, whether the comparison is to Schwarzenegger or to King Kong, whether it is a thousand times or a million times stronger, it fails the Qur’anic criterion, “There is none like unto Him”.
Thus, the ‘acid test’ cannot be passed by anyone except the One True God.
The following verse of the Glorious Qur’an conveys a similar message:
“No vision can grasp Him
But His grasp is over
All vision: He is
Above all comprehension,
Yet is acquainted with all things.”
The Most Concise Definition of God
“Say: He is Allah,The One and Only.
“Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.
“He begets not, nor is He begotten.And there is none like unto Him.”
The word ‘Assamad’ is difficult to translate. It means ‘absolu
te existence’, which can be attributed only to Allah (swt), all other existence being temporal or conditional. It also means that Allah (swt) is not dependent on any person or thing, but all persons and things are dependent on Him.