AlhamdulilLah, I've to agree with Ustaz Zhulkeflee when he said that although I've had the privilege being a born Muslim and was taught the basics of Fardh Ayn, I need to get re-acquainted with this essential knowledge at a deeper level to deepen my conviction towards total servitude to Allah's will.
Ustaz started the class by highlighting that Islam's definition of Ad-Deen is different from conventional perspective, it comes from the root word "Daana" (owe allegiance, be indebted) as in "Dainuunaa" (last judgment) and "Maddanna" from "Tamaddun" (civilisation).
It is clear that as vicegerent of this earth, just like our forefathers from the time of Prophet Adam AS, we are endowed with hukum taklifi (accountability) so we have to have syukur (feeling of indebtedness) for every second that Allah SWT breathe roh (life) into us, something we take for granted, among other things like the functioning of our 5 senses, the roof over our head, etc.
"The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His will): nor did the people of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account." [Surah ale Imran: 10]
I've learnt that al-Islam is a proper noun, revealed from Allah SWT to Adam AS, established by previous Prophets which culminated to Prophet Muhammad SAW, the seal of prophethood.
"And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline): He has chosen you and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector― the― Best to protect and the Best to help!" [Surah al-Hajj: 78]
Muslims are the ones who submit or willingly surrender to Allah's will. We are neither Muhammadans nor Mussalaman, unlike Judaism whose name originated from Juda/Jacob or Christianity whose name originated from Christ (Christos, Hebrew for Messiah).
Allah is also a proper noun in the Arabic language, a name which denotes the One and Only God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, with countless attributes beyond compare as outlined by the 99 attributes (image) above.
Origin of Kaabah
[Source courtesy of Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail]
What interests me most was when Ustaz shared the sirah on the origin of the Kaabah, the sirah of Prophet Ibrahim AS, how his firstborn, Prophet Ismail AS is the lineage where Prophet Muhammad SAW originated from (the genealogy can be traced eighteen generations back) while his second born, Prophet Ishak AS is the lineage where the Bani Israel originated from such as Prophet Ya'qub AS, and Prophet Yusuf AS, Prophet Musa AS and Prophet Isa AS. And in their prophecies, they mentioned the "awaited prophet", e.g.:
"The LORD said to me (Musa): What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." [Deuteronomy 18: 17 - 20]
Ustaz also touched on the sirah of Prophet Noh AS (the flood of Noah has wiped out the original Kaabah and it was rediscovered during the time of Prophet Ibrahim AS, subhan Allah!). I was touched by the dua by Prophet Ibrahim after he built the Kaabah - "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Truly! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage – Hajj and ‘Umrah), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. Allah, accept all our deeds from us and multiply our rewards. Truly, You and Only You are the Al-Samee’, Al-’Aleem."
Ustaz ended the lesson by touching on the changing point on earth i.e. the Qiblah, from Jerusalem (Israel) to Kaabah (Mecca). Can't wait for the next lesson where Ustaz will talk about the history of purifying Mecca with the birth of our beloved Prophet SAW :)