Ask Dr Bilal


A: Salvation basically means if you are going to heaven or hell. As a Muslim, we can never specify about any individual whether he or she is going to heaven or hell, because we really don’t know what their actual relation with God is. God may forgive some things that we might think unforgivable.

If I ask you that if you have understood both Islamic and Christian teachings, or you think you have, then why is it that you will not convert to Islam? You might say it depends on your family. If you say that you couldn’t deal with the pressure that would come with conversion to Islam, then I would say that you are going to be responsible for the choice you have made before God. Because obviously if you believe that Islam is in fact the truth and you did not accept it because of your family, then it simply means that your family has become more important to you than God.

This is exactly what happened in the case of the uncle of Prophet Muhammad, Abu Taalib, who had raised the Prophet. On his death bed, when he was invited to accept the faith, his other brothers told him that he would dishonor and disgrace the tribes if he did so. Therefore he decided to go with the custom and the culture of the people though he knew it was wrong. The Prophet himself said, “The one who is least punished in the Hellfire is Abu Taalib.”.  He would have the least punishment of the people of hell but he would be in hell, thinking at the same time that he is receiving the greatest punishment than anybody else.


So, to say would you achieve salvation or not, I would like to get to the bottom of where your concepts lie. If you say that you believe that Jesus was God, and you die in that state then you would be lost because from the Islamic perspective, God is God, man is man. Man is a creation of God. For God to become man is for God to become His own creation. Human beings cannot become God because they have been created and they have beginnings and they have ends. God has certain attributes which are unique to Himself, which distinguish Him from His creation. So if you die believing that God was an animal, a rock, a star or a human being, then you have lost all, unless you were from those people who did not receive the true message of the Prophets, i.e, of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc, or you were retarded or in some part of the world where the message never reached. In this case the Muslim belief is that at the time of resurrection you will be brought back separately along with those who did not hear the message of the Prophets, and you would be given the message and the instructions to follow. Those who follow would go into Paradise, and those who did not would go into Hell.


Q: How do we recognise the creator and what qualities should we look for which are specific to the Creator alone?

A: We know intrinsically who God is though people may try to convince us to believe in many concepts which are not true. God is not born, for if He was born then the one who brought Him to life is a greater being than Himself. Those beings which are born and came into existence without prior existence cannot be God. He is One and Only, the First and the Last there was nothing before Him and will be nothing after Him. God is not attributed with weakness and hence it is illogical to believe in this.


Q: What is the necessary factor for patience?

A: “Surely, Allaah is with those who are As‑Saabiroon (the patient).”

The fundamental principle is that of knowledge. One needs to have knowledge to be patient. If one has knowledge of Allah and how He deals with his creatures, he could be patient. Patience becomes difficult for those who do not have knowledge of Allah.

Suhayb said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” 


Q: What is the meaning of Allah being ‘Self Sufficient’?

A: Allah is the Self Sufficient.” 

Everything turns to Him and needs Him. He needs nothing. Some people ask that if God created everything, who created God? We understand for one to be the true God, He must be uncreated. The unique attribute of God is that He is uncreated and He didn’t need anyone to bring Him into existence. Hence, once you ask ‘who created God’, then you are actually saying that when God didn’t exist, someone else created Him, then there must be someone who must have created the one who created God, and so on and so forth. Where do we end up? God is the one who needed no Creator because He has no beginning and no end. So, اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ reinforces that everything and everyone depends on Allah and He doesn’t depend on us. Our worship doesn’t improve Him or benefit Him in anyway. It benefits us. We don’t worship God because He benefits from it, just as He is not harmed by our lack of worship.

Q: What is the meaning of قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ ?

A: قُلْ means, “Say”

هُوَ اللَّهُ means, “He, Allah”

أَحَدٌ means, “Is uniquely One.”

It is important to specify ‘uniquely one’ and not just ‘One’. When we say He is uniquely one, it means His oneness is absolutely unique and there is none like Him. When Christians try to explain how He could be three in one, they have to use examples from the things of this life. They give the example of water. Just like water exists as a liquid, a solid and a gas (water-vapor), in the same way, God can be father, son and Holy Ghost. This is wrong, because you are making God like His creation.

They also have the ‘egg theory’, saying that God is like an egg. According to this, just like an egg has a shell, white and a yolk, all three together make the egg, and similar to this is the trinity of God. If that is the case, their God is not unique because he is like an egg! So when we say that Allah is uniquely one, it means that we cannot describe Him in terms of His creation. His characteristics and attributes are beyond those of creation. They are absolute and infinite. Our created attributes are all finites. They are within a created world, and are governed by laws which Allah has put in this world. 


Q: When did racism first originate?

A: We find in Qur’an that Allah identifies the beginning of racism – in the creation of Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ.


“And [mention] when we said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.”

When of Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ was created, the angels and Iblees (Satan), leader among the jinn, were instructed to bow in recognition of Adam’s special place with Allah. Iblees refused and when he was questioned as to why, he said,

“I am better than that man (Adam) that you want me to bow before, because you created me from fire and you created him from clay.”

That is the expression of racism which is written in the Qur’an. It is mentioned as something evil, which led to Allah’s eternal curse on Satan. Pride based on racial/tribal origin is a cursed state, displeasing and hated by Allah. That is how it is mentioned in the Qur’an.


Q: What is the reason for the Ummah’s deviation?

A: Narrated Thawban: The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: ‘The people will soon summon one another to attack you just as people, when eating, invite others to share their dish. Someone asked: Will that be because of our small numbers at that time? He replied: No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and hurl wahn (enervation) into your hearts. Someone asked: What is wahn (enervation) O Messenger of Allah: He replied: Love of the world and dislike of death.’ 

These people are not mentioned for us to just scorn them, but for us to understand our own weakness by being too absorbed in worldly things. There is also a warning from falling into the traps which Jews & Christian have fallen into.

‘Amr Bin ‘Auf narrated: “Allaah’ Apostle (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) sent Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarraah to Bahrain to collect the Jizyah. Allaah’s Apostle (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) had established peace with the people of Bahrain and appointed Al- ‘Alaa bin Al-Hadrami as their governor. When Abu ‘Ubaidah came from Bahrain with the money, the Ansaars heard of Abu ‘Ubaidah’s arrival which coincided with the time of the morning prayer with the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam). When Allaah’s Apostle led them in the morning prayer and finished, the Ansar approached him and he looked at them, smiled on seeing them and said “I feel that you have heard that Abu ‘Ubaidah has brought something?” They said, “Yes, Allaah’s Apostle!”

He said, “Rejoice and hope for what will please you! By Allaah, I am not afraid of your poverty but I am afraid that you will lead a life of luxury as past nations did, whereupon you will compete with each other for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them.”

In a hadeeth narrated by Abdullah ibn ‘Umar the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) warned the Muhaajiroon of five things:

1. Fornication and adultery- and this has not happened without new diseases befalling people because of it;

2. Corruption in weighing and measuring- and this has not happened without famines and drought following, and rulers oppressing people;

3. Withholding of charity- and this has not happened without the seizure of rain, that, were it not for the animals, rain would never come upon the land;

4. Breaking the covenant with Allah and His messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and this has not happened without the enemy taking charge of them and taking their possessions by force;

5. Rulers who do not rule by the Book of Allah- and this has not happened without Allah making them fight amongst themselves.

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The Hour will not come until some of my nation will join the pagans and worship idols, and there will be among my nation thirty liars all claiming to be a prophet and I am the last of the prophets, there is no prophet after me.” 

It is narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Allaah has cursed people who have taken the graves of their prophets as places of worship.’