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Dr. Yasser

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary explains the word “protection” as “the act of protecting somebody / something; the state of being protected”.

The same dictionary defines “Religion” as “the belief in the existence of a god, and the activities that are connected with the worship of them, or in the teachings of a spiritual leader”.

The word “Deen” in Arabic means “Religion” in its most general sense, the plural of which is Adyaan.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) said:

إِنَّ ٱلدِّينَ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡإِسۡلَٰمُۗ

“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam”. (Aale ‘Imraan 3:19)

Then the intended meaning of “al-Deen” is the religion of Islam as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) has declared in His holy Book – Quraan.

How to protect the religion?
1. Belief in the foundations of the religion

The great Sahaabi (Companion) of the Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), Hadhrat ‘Umar bin al-Khattab reports: Once we were sitting in the company of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), when there appeared a man dressed in very white clothes and having extraordinary black hair. No signs of fatigue of journey appeared on him and he was known to none of us. He sat down facing the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) leaning his knees against the knees of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) and placing both of his palms over his two thighs and said: “O Muhammad! Tell me about Islam”.

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) replied: “Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; that you observe Salaah (Prayers), pay Zakaah (Charity), observe Sawm (Fasting) of Ramadhaan and perform Hajj (Pilgrimage) of the House, provided you have resources of making journey to it.”

The man said: “You have spoken the truth.”

We were surprised to see that he had asked him and confirmed the correctness of the answer.

The man then enquired: “Tell me about Imaan.”

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day and that you believe in preordainment (destiny), its bad and good consequences.”

The man said: “You have spoken the truth.”

He then enquired: “Tell me about Ihsaan.”

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “"It is that you should worship Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet (know that) He sees you.” (Muslim)

2. Adherence to the foundations of worship
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah Ibne ‘Umar reports that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: (The superstructure of) al-Islam is raised on five (pillars), testifying (the fact) that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is His bondsman and messenger, and the establishment of Salaah, payment of Zakaah, Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) and the Sawm of Ramadhaan.” (Muslim)

3. Seeking knowledge
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) said:

وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدۡنِي عِلۡمٗا (114)

“Say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.’” (TaaHaa 20:114)

Hadhrat Anas bin Malik narrates that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: ”Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim.” (Ibne Maajah)

4. Teaching the religion
We are encouraged to spread the teachings of Quraan -- final revelation i.e. Islam by word and by deed. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) said:

ٱدۡعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِٱلۡحِكۡمَةِ وَٱلۡمَوۡعِظَةِ ٱلۡحَسَنَةِۖ

“Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good counsel.” (an-Nahl 16:125)

Hadhrat Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri reports that the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “Beware of sitting on roads (ways).”

The people said: “We have but them as sitting places.”

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “If you have to sit there, then observe the rights of the way”.

They asked: “What are the rights of the way?”

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:

غض البصروکف الاذیٰ ورد السلام ٰوالامر بالمعروف والنھی عن المنکر.

“To lower your gaze (on seeing what is illegal to look at), and removal of harmful (objects), returning Salaam (Greetings), enjoining good and forbidding wrong”. (Bukhari and Muslim)

5. Defending Islam
Hadhrat Nu`maan bin Bashir reports that the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper (deck). Those who are in its lower (deck), when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them: `If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm you.’

If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe”. (Bukhari)

This Hadeeth tells us what may be the ultimate consequence of committing forbidden acts, if not restricted. The best way to preserve Islam is by learning it, teaching it, spreading it and defending it.

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