View Full Version : Living The Quran
27-Mar-2004, 07:35 PM
Al-Nahl (The Bees)
Chapter 16: Verse 97
Paradise in This World
"Woever does righteous deeds - whether male or female - while a believer, We shall certainly give them a good life and We will certainly grant them their rewards in accordance to the best of what they used to perform.”
In his commentary to this verse, ibn Katheer notes that this means that whoever performs the righteous deeds, which are acts of obedience in accord with the Quran and the Sunnah, will be given a good life in this world and in the Hereafter he will receive rewards according to the best of what he used to perform. He stated that "the good life" implies all forms of contentment and tranquility. Such has been reported from Ali, ibn Abbas, Ikrimah and Wahb ibn Munabbih. It is also recorded from ibn Abbas that it means happiness.
Due to the misconception as to wherein lies the true happiness of this life that many are of the false impression that it is impossible to "enjoy" or be happy in both the life of this world as well as that of the Hereafter. In reality though, by concentrating one's intention on the Hereafter, the matters of this world become much "easier" and less tense. Allah thereby increases one's happiness in this world.
The real rest and the real happiness can only come to those whom Allah blesses with such a blessing and which is received when one purifies one's soul and worships Allah alone with a true and complete form of worship. When a person accomplishes these matters, he becomes overcome with a joy that never leaves him and that is difficult to put into words.
Ibn Taymiyyah attempted to express the joy that he felt from his faith in Allah and the deeds he performed. He once said, "In this world there is a Paradise that whoever does not enter it will not enter the Paradise in the Hereafter." He also said, "What can my enemies do to me? Certainly, my paradise and garden are in my chest."
"Purification of the Soul" - By Jamaal Al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 476, 477
02-Apr-2004, 11:27 PM
Al-Zukhruf (The Ornament)
Chapter 43: Verses 20-21
"("Ah!") they say, "If it had been the Will of (Allah) Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped such (deities)!" of that they have no knowledge! they do nothing but lie! What! Have We given them a Book before this, to which they are holding fast?”
Throughout the history the ignorant always blamed God's Will to cover up their deviation and error. They argued that their worshipping of idols and angels became possible only because Allah allowed them to do so. Had He not willed so they could not have done it; and then it had been a practice with them for centuries and no torment from Allah had descended on them, which meant that Allah did not disapprove of their practice.
This argument, however, is wrong. For it is not only shirk which is being committed in the world, but countless other crimes like stealing, robbery, murder, bribery, etc. also are taking place, which nobody likes. Then, can it be said by the same reasoning that all such acts are lawful and good only because Allah is letting them happen in His world, and when He allows them to happen, He must have approved of them also?
The means of knowing what Allah likes and what He hates are not the events that are happening in the world, but the Book of Allah, which comes through His Messenger and in which Allah Himself states as to what beliefs, what deeds and what morals He likes and what He dislikes. If these people have a Book, which came before the Quran, and which tells that Allah has appointed the angels and idols also as deities beside himself and that they should worship them also, they should cite it. The truth is that they have no authority of any divine book; the only authority they have is that it has been the practice since the time of their forefathers.
"The Meaning of The Quran" - By Syed Abul Ala Maududi, Vol. 4. pp. 576, 577
11-Apr-2004, 12:16 AM
Chapter 13: Verse 22
"Those who remain patient only to seek the countenance of their Lord.”
Even the most persistent people realize that there is a limit to the endurance and patience based on faith in gods other than God and which are rooted in materialism, which is exhibited for worldly ends. Beyond that limit they are not prepared to go. But patience which is firmly rooted in Tawhid and which is dedicated, not to worldly pursuits, but to God, the Lord of the worlds, is far stronger and enduring. It becomes a treasure-house of strength which all the world’s difficulties combined are not able to exhaust.
The ability of one who does not surrender himself to God to be patient is limited. Although he may be able to withstand bombs and bullets with absolute steadfastness, he may not be able to resist the stirrings of carnal appetite when he is confronted with an opportunity to satisfy his lusts.
By contrast, Islam insists on patience (and patience of a high order) throughout man’s entire life and develops in him the ability to face not only dangers, trials and difficulties, but onslaughts of greed, fear, suspicion and desire. In short, Islam makes the whole life of a Believer a life of patience and perseverance (sabr).
Such a person does not yield to evil in thought or deed, no matter how pleasing the prospects and how tempting the invitations. Abstaining from evil and practicing goodness and virtue throughout one’s life for the sake of consequences in the Hereafter constitute what is called Islamic patience. Patience may and does express itself on a limited scale in the lives of disbelievers. But its complete expression takes place only when one is committed to God alone.
“The Islamic Movement: Dynamics of Values Power and Change” - by Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, p. 98
17-Apr-2004, 05:51 PM
Al-Araf (The Heights)
Chapter 7: Verse 37
To Testify Against Oneself
"Who is more wicked than one who invents lies about God or denies His revelations? These shall have whatever has been decreed to be their lot [in life]. When Our messengers come to carry off their souls, they will say: 'Where, now, are those whom you used to invoke besides God?' They will reply: 'They have forsaken us!' Thus, they will bear witness against themselves that they had been unbelievers.”
This is a scene of death as it overwhelms those who fabricate claims against God, alleging that their inherited concepts and philosophies and the traditions and laws they enact for themselves have been sanctioned by God. Such people deny God's revelations when they are conveyed to them by His Messengers although these contain a perfect divine code. Thus, they prefer their suspect, unconfirmed knowledge to the confirmed truth of God's revelations.
The angels come to gather their souls and cause them to die, at which point the angels ask them: what happened to the fabricated claims you used to emphasize? Where are the gods you invoked and worshipped, which caused you to turn away from the truth conveyed to you by God's messengers? Where are they now at this very critical point in time when your lives have come to an end, and you find no one to give you an extra hour beyond the deadline appointed to you by God?
They have only one answer to make. It is a clear, unambiguous and factual answer: They have simply gone away, far away. We do not know where they are, nor do they have a clear way of returning to us. Lost indeed are those whose gods cannot find them or who cannot help them in their hour of need. Worthless are the gods who know no way to reach their servants when they need them the most. Their reply them was a clear acknowledgement of being in the wrong.
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 6, pp. 90, 91
24-Apr-2004, 08:30 PM
Al-Nisa (The Women)
Chapter 4: Verse 105
Bringing about an Islamic Society
"We have sent down to you the Book in truth, that you might judge between men as guided by Allah.”
Many writers, such as ibn Taimiyyah and the famous sociologist ibn Khaldoon, state that humans are social creatures. Regardless of the extent to which such statements may be correct or incorrect, it is clear from the Quran that every human being is part of a greater society and is not an island unto himself.
The guidance of the Quran produces not only the Islamic individual with respect to his worship and character, but beyond that it also guides humans in their relationship to one another such that they create a society based on mutual understanding, rights and responsibilities all according to the guidance of the Creator, the All-Wise, the All-Knowing. Allah has made it clear that one of the purposes for which He revealed the Quran is so it may be the law of the land and used to judge what is right and what is wrong.
Some characteristics of the Islamic Society:
- This society will be unique, based on the clear guidance from Allah. It will have its own principles and values that it will do its best to propagate and uphold. It will be something distinct from the way of ignorance or non-Godly societies that this world has seen and is witnessing.
- The sole raison d'etre of such a society will be to worship Allah and serve His cause. It will stand for truth and justice in every realm of life and throughout the world.
- Its members work together to eradicate evil and promote good. They not only purify themselves but they do their best to purify everyone in their society as a whole.
- But this proper Islamic society which the Quran can guide humans to not only spreads good and eradicates evil from within but it also feels the responsibility of spreading the word of Allah and the true submission to the one and only God to the rest of the world.
Hence, when a person reads the Quran, he must realize that the Quran is showing him or guiding him to his rights and responsibilities as a member of his own society and even his responsibilities towards all of mankind. When the person reads the Quran in this light and attains this guidance from the Quran, his behaviour and actions will change such that he becomes beneficial and helpful for his own society and the world as a whole: calling people to the way of Allah and helping to establish the Quranic commands in this world.
"How to Approach and Understand the Quran" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 136-139
01-May-2004, 07:39 PM
Al-Araf (The Heights)
Chapter 7: Verse 156
Mercy and Justice
"With My Punishment I visit whom I will; but My Mercy extendeth to all things. That (Mercy) I shall ordain for those who do right, and practise regular charity, and those who believe in Our Signs.”
Imam al-Ghazali said: "The Divine Mercy is perfect, in the sense that it answers every need. It is universal in the sense that it spreads alike over those who merit it and those who do not merit it." To despair of Allah's mercy is one of the major sins, for Mercy is one of Allah's Attributes, praise be to Him, and to doubt whether He will show it implies disbelief in this Divine Attribute.
The Mercy of Allah is infinite and His Compassion unlimited. But that should not lead one to complacency and self-satisfaction. A man commits sins and says: "Allah is Merciful" and instead of repenting and reforming his life, he often continues to lead a life of disobedience. Such an attitude is dangerous. A Muslim should lead a life expecting Divine Mercy and at the same time be conscious of Allah's Judgement.
According to the Quranic concept of Allah, there is no conflict between His Mercy and His Justice. His Mercy does not abrogate His Justice. On the contrary, His Justice means Mercy. In the sight of Allah, Glory be to Him, good and evil, justice and injustice, morality and immorality are not the same. To accept anything different would devalue righteousness, goodness, and morality and is tantamount to injustice. It is for this reason that Allah's Mercy demands that there should be the Day of Judgement when those who followed the Path of Righteousness will be rewarded and the evil-doers punished.
However, as human beings are prone to sin, it is only Allah's Mercy that can lead to their redemption and salvation. Thus, His Mercy covers everything in this Universe.
“Key to Al-Fatihah” - by Abdur Rashid Siddiqui, pp. 8, 9
08-May-2004, 08:14 PM
Chapter 65: Verse 3
Relying on Allah
"...And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him…"
When a person knows that Allah is able to do all things, that He alone makes choices for His slaves and runs their affairs, that the way He runs His slave’s affairs is better than the way the slave would do it for himself, that He knows better about the slave’s interests than the slave does, that He is more able to achieve them, that He is more sincere and more merciful towards His slave than the slave is to himself; and also knows that he cannot progress or regress any further than the limits that Allah has decreed for him, for nobody can change the will and decree of Allah – when a person knows all this, he submits himself to his Lord and hands over his affairs to Him. He gives the burden of his needs and interests to the One who is not concerned about how heavy or great the burden is. Allah will take care of it, instead of him, and will show him His kindness and mercy, without the slave getting tired or worried, because all his concern is now focused on Allah alone. He knows that Allah has guaranteed to take complete care of the one who puts his trust in Him, so he trusts Allah and has confidence in His promise. Thus his heart gains indescribable strength, his worries and anxiety disappear, hardship is replaced with ease, sadness turns to joy and fear turns into a feeling of security.
But as for the person who insists on running his own affairs and making his own choices, whose concern is only for his own share and not for his duties towards his Lord, Allah will leave him alone with the choices he has made, so he will be surrounded by concerns, worries, distress, grief, fear, exhaustion and depression. His thoughts will be confused, none of his deeds will be pure and none of his hopes will be fulfilled. He will gain no respite, and will enjoy no pleasure. He will never feel joy or contentment. He will be labouring like a working-animal, with no hope of gaining anything that could help him in the Hereafter.
“Dealing with worries and stress” - By Mohammed Salih Al-Munajjid
17-May-2004, 11:41 PM
Al-Buruj (The Constellations)
Chapter 85: Verses 12-15
"Verily, Your Lord's grip is exceedingly strong! Behold, it is He who created in the first instance, and He it is who will bring forth anew. And He alone is Truly-Forgiving, All-Embracing in His love, in sublime almightiness enthroned."
There are places and ways of worship for each of the various religions. Islam, however teaches that worship is exclusively for the One, true God, that succour is to be sought from the One God, and that the ultimate return of all creation is unto the same One God. The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, was the finest person ever to acquaint mankind with the One God, to evoke in them love for Him, and to impart to them the knowledge that their Lord is more merciful to them than a parent to its child, and more caring than the most intimate companion.
Islamic way of instruction is to combine attributes of awesomeness and attraction. In fact, man cannot do without this combination. The world is full of Pharaohs seduced into tyranny through the exercise of power, beggars in need of aid, and people gone astray in search of guidance. In the above Quranic verses there is something for each group.
Those aspects of the mission of Muhammad which evoke love for the Almighty, and establish within the hearts of men love for one another are as an all-engulfing flood, unparalleled in history.
When a problem confronts us, and we are unable to decide how to resolve it, should we not turn to our Lord? Ask Him to set us in the right direction? After all, no one can be closer to us than He is. So why do we ignore Him?
“Remembrance & Prayer” - By Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 122-123
23-May-2004, 01:22 AM
Al-Anam (The Cattle)
Chapter 6: Verse 50
Hidden Treasures of Allah
"Say: I do not tell you that the treasures of Allah are with me or that I know the Unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel; I follow only what is revealed to me."
Soothsaying and fortunetelling are things that belong to the realm of occult and have no religious or scientific basis. About the astrologers (manajjimun) it is correctly said, “They are liars even if what they say turn out to be true.” Whatever they say is based on illusion and imagination and not any solid knowledge. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade Muslims from going to the fortunetellers. It is reported by Abu Hurayrah and Hasan (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet said, “Whosoever went to a soothsayer or fortuneteller and believed in him, he disbelieved in what is revealed upon Muhammad.” (Reported by Ahmad)
Believing in those who foretell the future constitutes Kufr (disbelief). Islam's campaign was not confined to the soothsayers and diviners but included all those who go to them, ask their help, and believe in their superstitions and errors. The Prophet said, "The prayer of one who goes to a soothsayer, asks him something and believes in what he says, will not be accepted for forty days." (Reported by Muslim)
One should avoid going to fortunetellers even for amusement purpose, because this might lead to believing in them or supporting them in their falsehood.
However, scientific predictions on the basis of calculations and analysis, which are required for all future planning, and preparations do not come in the prohibition of fortunetelling or soothsaying.
IslamOnline.net Fatwa Section
29-May-2004, 05:06 PM
Al-Baqara (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 213
Single Community, Divergent Views, Divine Standard
All Mankind were once one single community. Then God sent forth Prophets to give them good tidings and warn them, and with them He sent down the Book, setting forth the truth, to judge between people over all on which they differed.
Single Community – Single Start
Humanity emerged as a single community, living according to the same code and upholding similar beliefs. The Quran asserts here that mankind shares the same origin and that we are members of the same human family. Such was the will of God to instil the family principle in human life and establish it as a cornerstone of the human community. There was a time when this early group remained close-knit and uniform in its outlook and understanding; however, with time the people had to scatter in various directions, thereby evolving their lives in different ways. New trends, fresh ideas and advanced social norms arose which, as God knew, would be useful and advantageous to human society.
Different Communities – Various Prophets
With progress and diversity came differences, disagreements and divisions. New beliefs, traditions and ideologies came into being that were accepted in various degrees by the communities. It was then, that God in his infinite wisdom sent down prophets to the various communities to convey the promise of success and to warn against deviation. The propensity to differ and disagree is fundamental to the human disposition, and essential for the fulfillment of man’s role as God’s Khalifa (vicegerent) on earth.
A Single Standard
However, it is essential that there should be a proper and valid standard by which differences and divisions may be judged and evaluated. Can human beings come up with such a standard that would serve as a reference point for all mankind throughout time? Such a responsibility requires an infinite and comprehensive knowledge of past, present and future events, not restricted by the limitations of time and space. It also requires perfection, total self-sufficiency, and freedom from all needs, instincts, ambitions, desires and fears that constrain and control human beings. Hence, the source of such a Standard can only be God.
And He has sent us that standard, in the form of the Book, whose message the Prophets have conveyed time and time again. The later part of the ayah affirms that this Book, the revelation of God to mankind, has come with the definitive and absolute truth. This book is vital in determining the source of human values, thought and understanding, and for defining the laws that govern human relations. Without this authority society would be at a loss, life would descend into chaos, confusion and strife, and mankind would know no peace or happiness – much like it is, in today’s world.
In The Shade of The Quran - by Sayyid Qutb, Vol 1, pp. 312-315
05-Jun-2004, 09:48 PM
Chapter 10: Verse 3 (partial)
Three-fold meaning of Ibadah
http://youngmuslims.ca/ymfn/images/quran-issue277.gif (http://184.108.40.206/cgi-bin/linkrd?_lang=EN&lah=7a242fc56d45cc5203ef8b8350e20e34&lat=1086431897&hm___action=http%3a%2f%2fquran%2eal%2dislam%2ecom% 2fTargama%2fDispTargam%2easp%3fnType%3d1%26nSeg%3d 0%26l%3deng%26nSora%3d10%26nAya%3d3%26t%3deng)
Such is Allah, your Lord; do therefore serve Him.
Since all authority rests solely to God, it is incumbent upon man to serve Him exclusively. God's lordship embraces the three-fold attributes of His being:
1. the Sustainer,
2. the Master, and
3. the Sovereign.
In like manner, the term ibadah embraces the three-fold corresponding implications that man should:
2. serve, and
3. obey God.
Ibadah in the first sense, implies that since God alone is the Sustainer, it is to Him that man should offer his thanks, it is to Him that he should address all his prayers, it is to Him that he should bow in love and devotion and reverence.
In the second sense, ibadah denotes that since God alone is the Master, it behoves man that he should live as His slave, that he should not act independently of, let alone in defiance of Him, that he should refuse to be the slave of anyone other than God, both in thought and in deed.
In its third sense, ibadah means that since God alone is the Sovereign, man should obey His command, follow His Law, and abstain from arrogating sovereignty to himself or anyone other than Him.
Towards Understanding the Quran (http://220.127.116.11/cgi-bin/linkrd?_lang=EN&lah=78d92314af04ff4f80c6539e05d389b0&lat=1086431897&hm___action=http%3a%2f%2fsoundvisioncanada%2ecom%2 f%3f3397%2fShop%2fpview%2easp%3fItem%3d420%2d004) - by Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 4, pp. 7,8
12-Jun-2004, 11:55 PM
Fatir (The Creator)
Chapter 35: Verse 32
Do we feel up to the task?
Then We made those of Our servants whom We have chosen the inheritors of the Book. Some of them have done themselves injustice, some have been temperate, and some, by God's leave, vie with each other in doing good: this is the supreme virtue.
Several communities had been charged with carrying God's message, the Israelites being the last of them immediately to precede the Arabs. The Israelites, however, proved unworthy of that trust. They were forever to forfeit that honour, which the Arabs then came to inherit.
The verse points out that the Arabs themselves had divided into three categories: those who rejected God's revelation, those who accepted it but did not fully observe its teachings, and those who adopted Islam and totally dedicated themselves to it.
Future generations will be judged according to which of these three groups is the dominant one. If either of the first two prevails in a society, the omens for its salvation would not be very good. The whole of the community might, in such a case, incur God's displeasure or punishment.
We must fully credit the earlier generations of Islam for their sincere effort towards the establishment and propagation of Islam all over the world. However, we must also recognize that the Arabs were soon to relapse and revert to their old habits, deviating from God's true path and neglecting their obligations towards Islam. More recently, some Arabs have replaced Islam with Arab nationalism, abandoning their loyalty to God. The verse poses a challenge for Muslims today. Would they, as they read these words, really feel up to the task? Will the Muslims then take heed?
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - by Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 476,477
20-Jun-2004, 02:32 AM
Chapter 42: Verse 40
To Testify Against Oneself
"And the recompense of injury (Sayyiah) is punishment (Sayyiah) equal thereto, but whoever forgives and amends, his reward is due from Allah, for Allah loves not those who do wrong."
While Islamic Shariah (law) is under fire in the media and among 'academics' for inflicting 'cruel punishments', it is important not to lose sight of some noble principles set by the Quran that regulate the punishment and reform of criminals in the society. The images of flogging and beheading, often taken out of context and exaggerated, have greatly enhanced misconceptions surrounding the Islamic justice system.
Shariah & Protection of Human Rights
Since Islam places immense emphasis on fulfilling social obligations, it only punishes those crimes that violate the human rights. One of the golden principles of penal law in Islam is the right of Retribution (Qisas). When a person causes physical harm to a fellow human being, Islam gives the injured party the right of equal requital. This procedure is persistently labelled by critics as primitive and uncivilized. In the Islamic view of history, however, what is primitive has never been necessarily uncivilized, because human nature, inclinations, and divine guidance have always remained the same.
Retribution: Its Purpose
Khurram Murad in his book Shariah: The Way of Justice explains: In the eyes of the Quran, the right of retribution belongs to individuals, and not to society or state; this simple shift in responsibility results in a profound change in the whole system of implementing justice. Instead of starting an irreversible process of trial and punishment (involving so much time, financial support, and efforts for years), Islamic law initially leaves the ground open for settlement between individuals, without the interference by impersonal bureaucratic machinery, though under no circumstance can the individual take the law into his or her own hands.
1- If the victim/injured chooses to demand compensation, it has to be equal to the loss incurred, and could never be more. This concept is quite contrary to our own judicial system in the West, where millions of dollars are often claimed by the victim in law suites for relatively small injuries or injustices.
2- Islamic law prefers that victim forgives the criminal. Thus under Qisas, punishment is avoidable, because "whoever forgives and amends, his reward is due from Allah..." The ideal way is not to seek vengeance at all, but reconciliation and make offender realize the gravity of his or her offence.
It is also important to note, as Abdur-Rahman Doi in Shariah: The Islamic Law points out, the Quran generally adopts the same word for the punishment (retribution) as for the original crime. Thus in the above quoted verse, both the crime and punishment are called Sayyiah (evil); in chapter 2:194, the word used is I'tida (aggression). The use of the same word for both crime and punishment indicates that punishment itself, though justified by the circumstances, is truly speaking nothing but a necessary evil.
26-Jun-2004, 08:46 PM
Al-Imran (The House of Imran)
Chapter 3: Verse 138
Guidance for the Open-minded
This (i.e. Quran) is a plain Statement to mankind, a Guidance (Huda) and Admonition (Mauizah) to the God-fearing.
True Purpose of Quran
The Quran is not simply a book of laws--of dos and don'ts-- but it is foremost a book of Tarbiyya (improvement and training), and a book that develops and allows people to grow spiritually and morally.
That's why Allah describes the Quran in this verse as Mauizah, which involves warning the person about the consequences of his actions and it involves, as the English expression states, "putting the fear of God in him", as well as making his heart soft and submissive to the Truth.
Hence, the Quran is a book that is meant to reform the individual, either changing him if he were void of guidance or improving him if he already was walking along the Straight Path. It brings him out of the death of Jahiliyya (Ignorance) to the life if Islam-- a message that imbibes in him the feeling of love, fear, and responsibility to Allah (Taqwa).
The Linguistic, Unique, Revolutionary Style of Quran
It is interesting to note that after every law stated in the Quran, Allah closes the relevant verses with remembrance of Allah and promises of rewards for those who stay within His limits.
The following four are the characteristics of the Quranic style that make it a revolutionary message for all those are Conscious of God:
~The Quran presents what actually happens as if the reader is witnessing the event itself by exposing all of the important aspects in a clear, vivid manner.
~The Quran does not discuss essentially related matters in separate chapters like what one finds in science and philosophy books, but everything is tied together and presented as one unified, related whole.
~ At the same time, though, the Quran stresses various aspects of life in balance or proportion, as they deserve in Allah's sight
~ The Quran gives reality a life or breathing spirit that allows the Quran to influence the heart, soul, emotions, and intellect of the reader.
Message of Quran is Clear to the Open-minded and God-conscious
There are many people who know the Truth but who, nevertheless, remain immersed in falsehood either because they yield to their own desires and temptations, or because they fear to share in the hardship which the followers of Truth may have to endure.
"How to Approach and Understand the Quran" - Jamaal-ad-Din Zarabozo
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Syed Qutb Shaheed
11-Jul-2004, 01:39 AM
Al-Imran (The House of Imran)
Chapter 3: Verse 104
To Attain Felicity
Let there arise out of you a group of people, who invite others to all that is good (Khayr), enjoin what is right (Ma'roof) and forbid what is evil (Munkar). They are the ones to attain felicity.
Before this verse Muslims have been commanded that 'they develop the Taqwa (consciousness) of Allah in its totality, live and establish Islam till last breath of their lives, struggle against evil and injustice (Baatil) with unity, hold on to the rope of Allah's guidance tightly, and avoid all sorts of disputes and sectarianism amongst themselves' (verses 102-103). All these qualities described above are directed towards their personal lives. However, these commands are followed by a program or guidance on their social or community life:
(1) they must call people to good (Khayr),
(2) enjoin what is right (Ma'roof),
(3) and forbid evil (Munkar).
The concept of 'Calling people to Good (Da'wah ilal Khayr)' is not limited to a few aspects of life. In fact it is a comprehensive term which means revolutionizing or reforming the social, moral, political, and spiritual spheres of life, both at individual, as well as at the collective level.
"Ma'ruf-o-Munkar" - Syed Jalal-ud-Din Omry, pp. 19-21
11-Jul-2004, 01:44 AM
Al-Maun (The Small Kindness)
Chapter 107: Verses 4-7
The Prayer in Vain!
So woe to those who pray, and are forgetful of their prayer. Those who show off and deny help to others.
Forgetfulness in prayer
1. Forgetfulness implies abandoning, and that can be either intentional or unintentional. If it is intentional, that is deliberate; if it is unintentional, it is forgetfulness (sahw) for which there is no responsibility.
2. It is impossible for the forgetful person to be responsible because he does not understand the requirement. If the person had an intention to leave the prayer, he is censured when the time of the prayer comes, whether if he was heedless at that actual moment or if it is simply his habit to omit it. This does not include the one who overlooks something in his prayer.
3. It is impossible to be completely free of forgetfulness. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forgot in his prayer as did the Companions. If someone does not ever forget in his prayer, this could be an indication that the person does not reflect and understand his recitation. His concern is only for the number of rakats. The only thing that made the Prophet forget in his prayer was reflecting on what was greater than it.
Those who show off
Ibn Wahb said that Malik said that these are the hypocrites who make a show of their prayer. A hypocrite shows people that he is praying in obedience to Allah, but he is praying out of taqiyya (dissimulation). A fasiq prays so that he will be accepted as someone who prays.
The reality of riya (show off) is to seek this world by worship. Its basis is to seek to enjoy a position in people's hearts. The beginning of it is good reputation, and he desires to obtain rank and praise by that. The second level is showing off by wearing short clothes and coarse clothes to give an appearance of asceticism in this world. The third is to show off by verbal expression by displaying anger against the people of this world and admonition while he actually regrets not having wealth and their worship. The fourth is making a public display of the prayer and sadaqa or making the prayer appear good so that people will see it. It is also making the prayer long.
Denying help to others
Maun is derived from the verb help (a'ana). It means to assist with strength, tools and means to make something easy.
Some scholars have considered Maun to exclusively refer to Zakat, like Imam Malik. Yet, others like ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) considers this to be in reference to what one individual lends to another.
“Ahkam al-Qur'an” - Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-'Arabi. Taken from Aisha Bewley’s website.
20-Jul-2004, 12:52 AM
Al-Baqara (The Cattle)
Chapter 2: Verses 278-279
Bank Interests in the Eyes of the Shari`ah
"O you who believe! Fear Allah and give up what remains of your demand for usury if you are indeed believers. If you don’t, take notice of war from Allah and His messenger. But if you turn back, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly and you shall not be dealt with unjustly."
Islam prohibited depositing one’s wealth and taking specified increase without the risk of either loss or profit making. Therefore, the type of investment allowed is where a person deposits money in an account and shares both the risk of making profit or losing. This is the definition of the Islamic investment method. The interest on bank accounts is unlawful or haram because such interest is an increase of money made without effort or trade.
Interest is unlawful, so taking it and paying Zakah would not purify the money. Because it is unlawful, you should donate it to the poor or to charitable projects and organizations. Interest is not the property of either you or the bank. It is the property of the public and should be spent on public projects. This is the rule for unlawful money in Islam. We should not leave it for the bank. This will strengthen banks that deal with usury.
Someone may say that the money deposited is at risk of being lost if the bank declares its bankruptcy. This situation does not invalidate the rule. Rules in Islam are not built on exceptions and this is an exception. Usually, whoever deposits his money makes money. They don’t lose. If they do one time, this is a deviance from the rule.
Someone may also say that the bank trades with the deposited money. The answer is yes. However, when you deposited your money, have you entered a commercial contract with the bank? Of course not! If you entered in a partnership contract from the beginning and the bank lost and declared bankruptcy, then the rule is different. However, depositors usually demand their money when a bank loses and banks do not deny them that right. They usually pay it back even if they declare bankruptcy on the payment basis. Depositors usually do not look at themselves as responsible, as partners in the loss. They demand that their money, even if it has interest with it, be paid fully even though the bank has declared its bankruptcy.
The repentance meant here is keeping original capital and refraining from taking any increase made without effort or joint investment.
"Bank Interests in the Eyes of the Shari`ah" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, IslamOnline.net
24-Jul-2004, 04:31 PM
Al-Shuara (The Poets)
Chapter 26: Verses 78-82
Simplicity of the Divine Guidance
"He is the One who created me and He gives me guidance. When I am sick He restores my good health; He will cause me to die and He will bring me back to life. I also hope that, on the Day of Judgement, He will forgive me my misdemeanours."
As we read the above statement of Prophet Abraham, we can clearly see how simple and straightforward were the teachings imparted to him by God. The more one reads the philosophers' attempt in trying to explain and understand life and existence, the more one is struck and impressed by the simplicity of divinely-revealed religious belief.
Out of all the beings worshipped in the world, there was only One being in whose worship Abraham saw his own good - worshipping his own Lord, God, the Lord of the Universe. Abraham explains in a few sentences the reasons why only God, the Lord of the Universe, ought to be worshipped:
1. Abraham's first argument was that he considered no one other than His Creator to be worthy of worship. How could any other being who had nothing to do with creating him, said Abraham, have any claim on his devotion and worship?
2. Had God left man to himself, after creating him, and had He not been concerned with his needs, there could have been some reason for turning to someone else for support. But along with creating man God took upon Himself the responsibility of guiding, rearing, caring, and protecting him and tending to the fulfilment of all of his needs. Then what can be an act of greater ignorance, folly and thanklessness than to bow one's head in devotion before others than God and to call upon any others than God to relieve distress and provide aid?
3. Man's relationship with God is not confined to this world alone. It does not start at birth nor does it end when he breathes his last. For what happens after death is also entirely in God's Hand. Hence, those who worship anyone other than God are inviting their own doom. What could be more unfortunate than to turn to others than God for support and help when it is God alone Who decides what treatment will be meted out to each person?
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 7, pp 76-78
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, p 398
31-Jul-2004, 10:17 PM
Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)
Chapter 8: Verse 12
The Noble Creatures
"Remember your Lord inspired the angels (with the message), 'I am with you: give firmness to the believers."
A fundamental belief that forms a cornerstone for the purification of the soul is the belief in the angels. The believer knows that there are angels with him all times, recording every one of his deeds. The believer already knows that Allah is aware of everything that he does. But that belief about Allah may be somewhat abstract or theoretical to have any strong effect on the individual. When he further knows that there are noble creatures that are specifically meant to be in his company alone and recording his deeds alone, this has a further reinforcing effect on him. This also reinforces that fact that there is some weight or ramification to every deed, good or bad, that he performs.
However, a believer's belief in the angels goes much beyond that. The believer knows that the angels are noble creatures who support and aid whatever is true and just. Therefore, whenever the believer decides to perform a good deed, stand up for the truth and sacrifice for what is right, he knows that there are creatures in this world who are going to support him and help him in his cause, like the angels supported and helped the believers in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
"Purification of the Soul" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, pp 169-170
09-Aug-2004, 11:46 PM
Al-Naml (The Ant)
Chapter 27: Verse 4
Stumbling in Perplexity
"As for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds appear attractive to them so they stumble around in perplexity."
This is the Law of Nature devised by God. Such is human psychology that when a man thinks that the results of the struggle in this life are limited to this world only, when he is not convinced that there is another Court of Law in which the whole of his life will be judged and a final verdict passed on his performance, when he is not sure that there will be another life following the present one - a life wherein he will receive the true measure of reward and punishment in consideration of his deeds - he is bound to develop a materialistic worldview. All discussion concerning the conflict between Truth and falsehood, between God's Unity and polytheism, between good and evil, and between morality and immorality appear to him as meaningless. Whatever can bring him pleasure, enjoyment, material betterment and luxuriant living, and whatever can endow him with power and authority will seem good to him, regardless of all moral and philosophical considerations. His only goal will be the pursuit of worldly advantage and this will make him wander around in every direction.
Seized with this behaviour, a man's evil deeds become attractive and charming. Making evil deeds attractive is sometimes attributed to God and sometimes to Satan. When it is attributed to God, it means, as in the above context, that whoever accepts such an attitude to life, naturally becomes infatuated with it. By contrast, when it is attributed to Satan, it means that Satan presents those people who subscribe to a materialistic worldview with an imaginary picture of a seductive heaven and continually prods him, saying: "Go ahead, you are doing well." (see for instance Surah Al-Ankabut 29: 38)
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 7, p 137
14-Aug-2004, 09:22 PM
Chapter 47: Verses 22-23
Preserving Kinship Ties
"Then, is it to be expected of you, if ye were put in authority, that ye will do mischief, in the land, and break your ties of kith and kin? Such are the men whom Allah has cursed for He has made them deaf and blinded their sight."
A Muslim's kindness, respect and good treatment are not limited just to his parents, spouse and children, but extend to his relatives, all of whom he should treat well. In the Quran, the word used is arham (literally, "wombs"), which refers to relatives to whom a person is linked by ties of blood, whether they are his heirs or not.
Islam has recognized the ties of kinship in a way that is unparalleled in other religions or "isms"; it enjoins Muslims to uphold the ties of kinship and condemns the one who breaks this tie.
For the true Muslim, the fact that rahm is often mentioned in the Quran in conjunction with belief in Allah and good treatment of parents, is enough to confirm its status and importance. Hence kind treatment of relatives comes one degree below to the kind treatment of parents on the scale of human relationships as defined by the Quran; from there, kindness and respect extends to encompass all those needy members of the greater human family.
Upholding the ties of kinship is one of the major principles of Islam, one of the fundamentals that this religion has promoted from the first day the Prophet, peace be upon him, began to preach his message. It is one of the most characteristic features of Islamic law.
"The Ideal Muslim" - Muhammad Ali Al-Hashmi, pp 127-129
22-Aug-2004, 05:47 PM
Al-Hujurat (The Dwellings)
Chapter 49: Verse 13
"O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you"
There are several principles, which this verse presents:
1) This message is not just for Muslims only because Allah is addressing all of humanity. While Muslims are one brotherhood, this is part of a larger brotherhood of humanity.
2) Allah is telling us that He has created us. Therefore He knows the best about us.
3) He says that He created us from one man and one woman meaning that all humanity is from the same origin.
4) It also means that all human beings are created through the same process, not in a manner in which some are created with a better mechanism than others.
5) Allah is the One who made human beings into different groups and people.
6) These differences are not wrong, rather a sign from Allah ("And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors. Verily, in that are indeed signs for those who know" [Quran 30:22]).
7) Note that no word equivalent to race is used in this ayah or any other verse of the Quran.
8) Islam, however, limits the purpose of these distinctions to differentiation and knowing each other. This is not meant to be a source of beating each other down with an attitude of ‘my group is better than your group' or false pride as is the case with tribalism, nationalism, colonialism, and racism.
9) The only source of preference or greatness among human beings is not on a national or group level, but it is at the individual level.
10) One individual who is (higher in Taqwa), more conscious of his Creator and is staying away from the bad and doing the good is better, no matter what nation, country or caste he is part of. Individual piety is the only thing that makes a person better and greater than the other one.
11) However, the only criterion of preference, Taqwa, is not measurable by human beings. Indeed Allah is the One Who knows and is aware of everything so we should leave even this criterion to Allah to decide instead of human beings judging each other.
"Islam's manifesto of Universal brotherhood of human beings" -SoundVision.com
27-Aug-2004, 10:41 PM
Al-Zalzalah (The Earthquake)
Chapter 99: Verses 7-8
Atom's Weight of Deeds
"Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it."
An atom's weight
The early commentators on the Qur'an explain this phrase as "a mosquito" or "a particle of dust" which could be seen only when exposed to the light of the sun. These were the smallest things they could think of, and which may be referred to as an "atom". But now we know that the word "atom" refers to a definite thing which is much smaller than that "particle of dust" seen in the sunlight. For the particle of dust can be seen by the human eye while it is impossible to see the atom, even with the help of the most powerful microscopes in laboratories. It is only "conceived" by the scientists. None of them has seen it either with his eyes or with his microscope. All that they have seen is its effects.
The Precious Deeds
This atom, or what is similar to it in weight, whether good or bad, will be brought forth and shown to its doer, who will then receive its reward or punishment. At that time man does not undervalue any of his actions and deeds, whether good or bad. He does not say, "Oh, this is a trivial thing which has no weight or consideration". On the contrary, his conscience will be as sensitive to everything he has done as an accurate scale registering even the weight of an atom favourably or unfavourably.
The Believing Heart
There is nothing parallel or similar to this measure in this world, except the believing heart. For the believing heart is sensitive to even an atom's weight of either good or evil. But there are some hearts in this world which are unmoved even by mountains of sins and crimes. They remain unaffected while suppressing fountains of good which are far firmer than the mountains. These hearts are conceited in this earth but on the Day of Judgement they are crushed under their own burdens.
"In The Shade of the Quran" - Syed Qutb, Juz 30
16-Sep-2004, 02:28 PM
Al-Isra (The Ascension)
Chapter 17: Verse 1
"Glory to (God) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, - in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).”
It is not known exactly when the Night Journey and Ascension took place, but it was certainly before the Hijrah (emigration from Makkah) to Madinah. It was said to have happened either three years or 18 months before the Hijrah.
Al-Isra was a land-to-land journey that Allah Almighty caused His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to make from Makkah to Jerusalem, that is, from Almighty Allah's Sacred House to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Al-Miraj was a land-to-heaven journey from Jerusalem to the heavens. It was a journey to a place that no human being other than the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had ever reached [or has reached since]. It was a journey to the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary, whose place only Almighty Allah knows.
Such two journeys were a turning point in the Prophet's life and in the course of his call in Makkah, especially after all the suffering he (peace and blessings be upon him) had faced at the hands of the Quraysh.
Allah Almighty wanted Al-Isra and Al-Miraj be an alleviation and relief to His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He Almighty wanted to tell His Prophet that if the people of the earth had let him down, the people of heaven were there to support him; if the people of the earth had rejected his call, Allah Almighty would receive him and His Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) would follow him and he would be their imam.
We must believe that Allah Almighty is with us and that He Almighty will grant us victory and make Islam prevail, as He, Most High, always supports the true believers.
That journey was an honour and compensation to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) from Almighty Allah. It was also a preparation for him to the following stage of his call. A few years later, he (peace and blessings be upon him) would migrate to Madinah, where he (peace and blessings be upon him) would lead a life of strife and jihad and confront the Arab tribes and other parties that would stand as one man against his international call.
Prophet Muhammad's being received by other Prophets of Allah Almighty in Al-Aqsa Mosque and his leading them in Salah (ritual Prayer) there indicates that leadership was moved to a new nation and to a new Prophethood.
"Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj: Everlasting Lessons" - By Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
16-Sep-2004, 02:36 PM
Al-Nahl (The Bees)
Chapter 16: Verse 97
The Objective of Tarbiyah
"Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to him we will give a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions."
No doubt, all parents would like to see their children achieve success and happiness in their lives. Similarly, all sincere Muslim parents would like to see themselves and their children admitted to paradise in the hereafter. One gains no benefit in achieving success in this life and loss in the hereafter. Indeed, the correct Islamic tarbiyah obtains felicity in this life and in the hereafter.
The objective of tarbiyah is to raise children with values and means that will help them to be righteous and happy. What do we mean by righteous and happy?
Righteousness encompasses all great and good values. It is the embodiment of exalted moral and ethical principles, and manifests as a balanced and moderate life, reflecting positively on the individual's behaviour.
Happiness, real happiness, stems from within and results from strong faith and knowledge of the purpose of existence. It is knowledge of the reality of this life, and its true value compared to the hereafter. Man's happiness comes from clearly perceiving life's meaning and understanding the human being's true mission in this life in general and his mission as a Muslim in particular.
During the process of tarbiyah, these two qualities cannot be separated. The righteousness of the child will be the cause for his or her continuous happiness in this life and the hereafter. At the same time, a person's happiness demonstrates that he or she understands Islam properly, thus guaranteeing the joy of a wholesome and fruitful life. It guarantees peace of mind, body, and soul.
"Parenting In The West" - Ekram and Rida Beshir, 3rd Ed. pg 1.
28-Sep-2004, 12:03 AM
Al-Nur (The Light)
Chapter 24: Verse 19
Punishment for the lover of Indecency
"Verily, those who love that indecency should spread among the believers deserve a painful chastisement in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah knows, but you do not know."
Those who engage in fabricating and publicizing shameful allegations so that Muslim society succumbs to immoral ways and its moral structure in undermined, deserve to be punished.
The words used in the verse embrace all the various forms that might be used to spread moral corruption and lewd behaviour including those means employed to awaken sexual passion, be they poetry, song, fiction, pictures, plays and drama. These also include clubs and hotels which provide dancing and other forms of obscene entertainment involving the mixed participation of men and women.
The Quran declares such people to be criminals, those who deserve punishment not only in the Hereafter but also in this world. It is, therefore, the responsibility of an Islamic State to extirpate all the means which promote obscenity. The penal law of an Islamic State should declare these as cognizable offences since the Quran characterizes them as crimes against public order. In the same vein, the Quran prescribes punishments for all those who are guilty of such offences.
Man might not know, but God certainly does, the adverse effects such acts have on society. Muslims should, therefore, trust God and devote all their energy and resources to putting an end to the evils which have been identified by Him. These are not minor offences which might be overlooked. Rather, they are grave and those guilty of them should be severely punished.
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 6, pg 212-213
28-Sep-2004, 12:07 AM
Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
Chapter 22: Verse 78
Striving for Allah
"And Strive for the sake of Allah as you ought to strive."
Al-Raazi has quoted the great mujahid and scholar Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak as interpreting, "strive as you ought to strive" as meaning, "Struggling against the soul and desires." The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "The true Mujahid is the one who strives against his own soul."
The soul is not inherently evil. However, the soul has both propensities in it: it can turn toward good and it can turn toward evil. Hence, the individual has to work to extinguish or greatly weaken the evil propensities. This is a type of struggle, and, hence, it is a kind of jihad.
In fact, there are various types of jihad. Unfortunately, many times people go to extremes by stressing one at the expense of others. For example, there are many in this world today who stress jihad against the disbelievers. At the same time, they fail to recognize the importance of jihad against any evil inclinations in the soul. On the other hand, some stress jihad against the soul and ignore, downplay or deny the validity of any other form of jihad.
One of the greatest foundations that can assist one in striving against any evil desires or inclinations in his soul, or evil forces around him is having a noble and supreme purpose. That is, if one keeps in mind his goal in life, setting the goal in front of him, he will recognize those acts that veer him away from that goal.
"Purification of the Soul" - Jamal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 343-350
06-Oct-2004, 12:10 AM
Al-Rad (The Thunder)
Chapter 13: Verse 4
"And on the earth there are many tracts of land neighbouring each other."
God has caused the various regions of the world to differ from one another despite their contiguity. These regions differ in many respects - in their configuration, in their colour, in their component elements, in their characteristics, properties and potentialities, in the produce which they yield and in the chemical and mineral deposits which are hidden under their surface.
The variation and diversity thus found abounds in wisdom and leads to countless benefits. Let us disregard for a moment the benefits inherent in this diversity in respect of other species of creation and simply consider the benefits which accrue to human beings. In this regard it will be noted that there is a very close correspondence between the diverse interests and purposes of man and the diversity which characterizes the different regions of the world. The result of all this is manifest in the growth and efflorescence of human culture and civilization.
It would be bold and impetuous for anyone to brand all this as the outcome of mere coincidence. On the contrary, common sense suggests that all this indubitably represents the careful and benevolent planning of the All-Wise Creator.
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 4, pp. 223-224
11-Oct-2004, 12:24 AM
Al-Baqarah (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 183
Making Taqwa a Potent Force
"O you who believe! Ordained for you is Fasting as it was ordained to those who came before you, so that you might develop taqwa."
Fasting, in one form or another, has always been an important and often necessary part of religious life, discipline and experience in every faith. As a means par excellence to come nearer to God, to discipline the self, to develop the strength to overcome the temptations of flesh, it needs no emphasis. Yet Islam turns Fasting, as it does every other act of worship and devotion, into something different and unique, the life-giving centre of life.
How does it impart new meaning and force to Fasting?
Put simply: by prescribing for it the time of Ramadan. This may sound like making things too simplistic, or trivializing the important. But Ramadan is no trivial event. For it is the month ‘in which was sent down the Quran: the Guidance for mankind, with manifest truths of guidance and the Criterion sole purpose is to prepare us for receiving the Divine guidance, for living the Quran, for witnessing the Truth and Justice that it perfects, for striving to make the word of God supreme.[/COLOR]
[B]How is this purpose achieved?
The fruit of Fasting ought to be that rich inner and moral quality which the Quran calls taqwa. The most basic condition for being guided by the God, too, is taqwa. The significance is plain to see. Fasting, linked to Ramadan in which Allah’s guidance came down, generates a taqwa which becomes directed on the supreme goal of entering the world of the Quran and of living therein, instead of being a spiritual ecstasy to be frittered away in the delights of soul. It becomes the key with which can be unlocked all the doors leading to the blessings which the Quran has to offer; honour, prosperity and freedom from fear and anxiety in this-world; success, Paradise and God’s good pleasure in the life-to-come. No time for Fasting other than Ramadan could have made taqwa such a potent force.
More importantly, the fulfillment of being guided by the Quran comes about when we strive to discharge the mission it entrusts to us. For, having the Book of God — a weighty word — places on our shoulders a heavy responsibility: to hear is to make it heard, to know is to act, to have is to share, to say shahadah is to do shahadah. This means an unflinching pursuit to create a new self within us, and to create a new world of Quranic ideals outside us.
This is the sole purpose for which a new Ummah was created and charged with the mission of bringing man to God by witnessing to His guidance. Otherwise, when the Quran came, the world was not devoid of godly men who fasted, and stood in prayers before God, and wept.
"No Time Like Ramadan Time" - Khurram Murad
17-Oct-2004, 09:49 PM
Al-Naml (The Ants)
Chapter 27: Verse 64
Ancient Pagan Philosophy
"Surely worthier is He who created and is capable of creating anew; He who provides you with sustenance from heaven and from earth. What? Another god besides God? Say, 'Show me your proof, if you are truthful.'"
No such proof has been forthcoming. To deny the existence of God is a syndrome, not a philosophy or a science. It is a by-product of arrogance and fanciful theorization, and cannot be accredited with any logic or intellectual respectability. Contemporary scientific materialism is a rehash of ancient pagan philosophies. Its danger lies in the fact that it has come to be considered as science, purported to be based on evidence and tangible proof. This thinking is the underlying cause behind today's global malaise which is leading humanity to disaster.
Muhammad was instructed to rebut such arguments and to bring people face to face with the reality of the hereafter. His mission was to give the world a civilization with a strong faith in God, built on authentic revelation, whose people are taught and prepared to face accountability in the hereafter. Islam has established a society whose laws, relationships and behaviour are shaped by the belief in the hereafter. It is not for nothing that Muslims stand up to face God in prayer five times a day every day of their lives.
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, p. 410
23-Oct-2004, 12:44 AM
Al-Anam (The Livestock)
Chapter 6: Verse 133
The Self-Sufficiency and Mercy of Allah
"Your Lord is Self-Sufficient, full of compassion."
The Quranic statement: 'Your Lord is Self-Sufficient' signifies that God is in need of nothing from anyone, that none of His interests will be jeopardized by disobedience to Him, and that no benefit will accrue to Him from obedience. Even if all human beings became disobedient, God's dominion will not shrink. Nor will His dominion expand if everybody were to become obedient and serve and worship Him as they ought to. God is dependent neither upon their show of veneration nor upon their offerings. He lavishes His limitless treasures on human beings and seeks nothing in return.
The other statement, namely that 'Your Lord is full of compassion', has been made to emphasize two things:
First, that when God urges human being to follow the Right Way, and asks them no to do anything in conflict with Ultimate Reality, He does not do so because their good behaviour benefits Him or their misconduct hurts Him. He does so because good conduct is beneficial to man himself, as evil conduct in harmful to him. Hence it is out of sheer benevolence that God urges man to develop righteous conduct, for it will raise him to great heights, and He urges him to avoid evil conduct because it will lead to his own degradation.
Second, that God is not unduly stern in judging man. He gets no pleasure from punishing people. God is highly compassionate towards all His creatures and governs with utmost mercy and benevolence. Hence, He constantly forgives the sins of people. He grants respite to the sinners in order that they may take heed, understand things properly and reform themselves. Had He been excessively stern, He could even have obliterated them instantly and raised up another people. He could have put an end to humanity and brought into being an altogether different species of creation.
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 2, pp. 275-276
31-Oct-2004, 05:13 PM
Al-Araf (The Heights)
Chapter 7: Verse 172-173
The Covenant Made During Pre-Creation
“When your Lord drew forth from the loins of the children of Adam their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves. (Saying): 'Am I not your Lord?' They said, 'Yes, we testify to it.' (This) in case you say on the Day of Judgement, 'We were unaware of this'. Or in case you say, 'It was our ancestors who made partners (with Allah) and we are only their descendants. Will you then destroy us for what those liars did?'”
These verses confirm the fact that everyone is responsible for belief in God and on the Day of Judgement excuses will not be accepted.
Since Allah made all human beings swear to His Godhood when He created Adam, this oath is printed on the human soul even before it enters the fetus in the fifth month of pregnancy. So when a child is born, it has with it a natural belief in Allah. This natural belief is called in Arabic the 'Fitrah'. If the child were left alone, it would grow up aware of Allah in His unity, but all children are affected by the pressures of their environment whether directly or indirectly. So, just as the child's body submits to the physical laws which Allah has put in nature, its soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allah is its Lord and Creator. But its parents try to make it follow their own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of its life to resist or oppose its parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allah does not hold it to account or punish it for this religion. When the child matures in youth and clear proofs of the falsehood of its religion are brought to it, the adult must now follow the religion of knowledge and reason.
The covenant which every man made to Allah during pre-creation was that he would recognize Allah as his Lord and not direct any form of worship to others besides Him. This covenant is fulfilled by sincerely believing in Tawheed (Allah's Unity) and putting that belief into practice in daily life. Tawheed is put into practice by avoiding all the acts of Shirk (setting up partners with Allah) and by closely following the last messenger whom Allah sent as a practical and living example of life based on the principle of Tawheed. Because man has declared that Allah is his Lord, he must then consider righteous deeds to be only those defined by Allah and His prophet (SA) as being righteous, and evil deeds likewise.
"The Fundamentals of Tawheed" - Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, pp 45-53
[Submitted by Zeeshan Mahmood, Mississauga, Canada]
07-Nov-2004, 04:04 PM
Al-Baqara (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 286
The Prayer of the Righteous
“On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray: ) 'Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us; our Lord! lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector; help us against those who stand against Faith.'”
Allah does not place upon anyone an unbearable burden. This demonstrates Allah's kindness, compassion and generosity towards His creation. Although Allah will question His servants and judge them, He will only punish for what one is able to protect himself from. As for what one cannot protect himself from, such as what one says to himself, or passing thoughts, one will not be punished for that. It should be stated here that to dislike the evil thoughts that cross one's mind is a part of faith. If we perform good deeds, then we will be rewarded and if we perform bad deeds, then we will be punished.
In this verse, Allah has also directed the believers to supplicate to Him. He has promised that He will answer the believers' supplication. When we supplicate to Him as mentioned:
1) We are asking Him to forgive us for forgetting an obligation or falling into a prohibition or making an error whilst being ignorant of the proper ruling on an issue,
2) We are asking Him not to require us to perform the difficult deeds that had to be performed by previous nations. Allah has abrogated the burdens placed on previous nations through the Law that Allah has revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) , the Prophet of mercy.
3) We are asking Him not to place on us any obligations, hardships or afflictions which we cannot bear.
4) We are asking Him for His pardon, His protection and His mercy and by doing this, we are asking Him for the three things that we need after committing an error: We need Allah's pardon so that we can be saved from punishment, we need Allah's protection so that our sins are not exposed to others and we need Allah's mercy so that we do not fall into error again.
5) We are affirming that He is our supporter and helper. Our total reliance and trust is in Him, we seek all help from Him and there is no power or strength except from Him.
6) Finally, we are asking Him to give us victory over the disbelieving people and to make us prevail over them in this life and the Hereafter. They are the ones who reject Allah's religion, deny His Oneness, refuse the Message of His Prophet, worship others besides Him and associate partners with Him.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
21-Nov-2004, 10:03 PM
Chapter 19: Verse 59
Slide Towards Decline
“They were succeeded by a people who neglected the Prayers and pursued their lusts. They shall presently meet with their doom.”
Negligence and abandoning Prayer are the very first step in a people's slide towards their decline. For Prayer is the primary link between man and God. Prayer keeps a person constantly in touch with God, during all hours of the day and night. Prayer prevents a person from moving away from a life of devotion, worship and obedience of Him. As soon as this bond is broken, man increasingly begins to draw away from God. This may even happen to such an extent that not only is man's relationship with God reduced to naught on a practical level but also on an intellectual level. It is for this reason that the Quran expounds here a general rule: that the corruption in a nation which originally followed a Prophet began the moment that nation abandoned Prayer.
Following one's lust and desires rather than truth and justice naturally results from the weakening of one's God-consciousness. When a person becomes heedless of God and abandons Prayer, he comes increasingly into the grip of his own carnal desires. Eventually, he becomes impervious to all God's commands despite the fact that these had earlier shaped his morality and conduct. Instead, bit by bit, he begins to follow, all those ways which conform to his own likes and dislikes.
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 5, pp. 165-166
21-Nov-2004, 10:07 PM
Chapter 14: Verse 13
The Politics of Provocation
“But they who denied the truth spoke thus unto their prophets: 'We shall most certainly expel you from our land, unless you return forthwith to our ways.'”
The enemies of Islam determined very early on to prevent its gaining currency by whatever means they deemed necessary. Had those means included a point for point debate on the relative merits of each religion, Islam would gladly have welcomed the opportunity to explain itself, secure in the knowledge of the ultimate result. But no. The matter went the way of the politics of arrogance and provocation; the only kind of politics in which the powerful seem to have any proficiency.
These were the politics which left the Prophet, for all his patience, no alternative but to stand up in defence of his mission and of those oppressed souls who were forced to suffer along with him because they dared to believe.
Suppose that you were walking outside at night with a torch in your hand to light the way for you, or for anyone else who wanted to go your way. If there happened to be still others for whom it was somehow distasteful to follow you, or walk by your light, then they would certainly be welcome to take any direction they wished, avoiding the pitfalls and obstacles as best they could. But what is one to do if those who prefer to remain in the dark attempt to break your torch, and put out its light? Have you not, then, the right to defend the light that guides you and so many others along with you?
Muhammad, upon him be peace, never did anything more than that. Indeed, those who advocate the politics of torch-breaking are the most virulent of all people in their loathing of Muhammad and in the abhorrence of the message he brought to mankind. These are the people who know in their hearts that that light is their greatest enemy because it reveals their deception.
"Remembrance and Prayer" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 170-171
05-Dec-2004, 09:07 PM
Al-Layl (The Night)
Chapter 92: Verses 4-11
Diverse Striving, Diverse Rewards
"Surely your striving is diverse. For him who gives and is god-fearing, and believes in that which is the Best, We shall smooth the way to perfect ease. But as for him who is a miser and deems himself self-sufficient, and calls the Best a lie, We shall smooth his way to affliction. His wealth will not avail him when he falls headlong."
Men have diverse temperaments, environments, concepts and concerns, so much so that every man seems to be a distinct world by himself living in his own, special planet. The striving of human beings is diverse; the roads they follow lead to different ends. Their striving varies in essence, motives, directions and results. Hence, their reward is also diverse. Good is not the same as evil, following the right guidance is unlike wrong-doing, and righteousness is different from corruption. Generosity and god-fearing are unlike hoarding and conceit. The faithful are unlike those devoid of faith. Variance of ways necessitates variance of destinations. The reward is also appropriately different.
This is a fact, but along with it there is another general fact which applies to all beings and their different worlds. It groups them in two distinct classes and two contrasting positions. It assigns to each its distinctive label: "who gives and is god-fearing and believes in that which is the Best;" and, "who is a miser and deems himself self-sufficient and calls the Best a lie."
These are the two positions at which the disparate souls line up where all the diverse striving and the divergent ways of life end. Each group has its way in this life smoothed, all obstructions removed. He who is charitable and god-fearing and believes in the ideology which has the Best as its title has indeed done his best to purify himself seeking right guidance. Hence, he deserves the help and grace which Allah has, by His own will, committed Himself to provide. For without this grace man finds himself absolutely helpless. He whose path to perfect ease and comfort is made smooth by Allah achieves something certainly great, and achieves it with ease in this life. He lives in ease. Ease flows from him to all around him. Ease becomes characteristic of his movement, action and handling of all things and situations. Success coupled with quiet contentedness becomes the distinctive mark of his life, all its details and its general aspects. He attains the highest grade of all, in the sense that he joins the Prophet as recipients of Allah's promise to His messenger: "We will indeed facilitate for you the way to perfect ease." [Al-Quran 87:8].
He who sacrifices nothing of himself or his wealth, professes that he is in no need of His Lord or His guidance and disbelieves in His message and religion, makes himself most vulnerable to evil. He deserves for so doing that everything should be made hard for him. Hence, Allah makes easy his path to affliction, and withholds from him all kinds of help. Allah makes every stride he takes really hard, drives him away from the path of the right guidance, and leaves him to traverse the valleys of misery, although he may imagine himself to be taking the road to success. How greatly mistaken he is! He loses balance so he tries to avoid falling only to go down heavily, and finds himself further away from the path set by Allah, deprived of His pleasure. When he falls headlong eventually he can make no use of the wealth he has hoarded and which has caused him to imagine himself in no need of Allah or His guidance. Facilitating evil and sin is the same as facilitating the way to affliction, even though the sinful person may be successful and prosperous in this life. For is there any affliction worse than Hell? Indeed, Hell is affliction itself.
"In The Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb
05-Dec-2004, 09:29 PM
Al-Maida (The Table)
Chapter 5: Verse 105
Examining our own conduct
“Believers! Take heed of your own selves. If you are rightly guided, the error of he who strays will not harm you. To Allah will all of you return; then He will let all of you know what you did.”
What is stressed here is that rather than occupying himself unduly with examining faults in the belief and conduct of others, a man should pay greater attention to a critical examination of his own conduct. His primary concern should be with his own faith and conduct. If a man is himself obedient to God, observes his duties to Him and to His creatures including his duty to promote what is good and forbid what is evil, and lives according to the dictates of righteousness and honesty, he has fulfilled his obligation and if others persist either in false beliefs or in moral corruption their errors cannot harm him.
This verse in no way means that a man should care only for his own salvation and should remain unconcerned with the reform of others. Abu Bakr removed this misconception in one of his sermons when he remarked: 'You recite this verse but interpret it erroneously. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say that when people see corruption but do not try to change it; and when they see a wrong-doer commit wrong but do not prevent him from doing so, it is not unlikely that God's chastisement will seize them all. By God, it is incumbent upon you that you bid what is good and forbid what is evil or else God will grant domination upon you to those who are the worst among you. They will greatly chastise you and then when your righteous ones pray to God, their prayers will not be answered.'
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 2, p. 200
25-Dec-2004, 12:58 AM
Al-Maida (The Table)
Chapter 5: Verse 7
Examining our own conduct
]“And remember God's favour to you [the believers], and the covenant with which He bound you when you said, 'We hear and we obey.' Fear God, for God knows what is in people's hearts."[/COLOR]
The 'favour' mentioned here denotes illuminating the Straight Way, and entrusting to the believers the task of guidance and leadership of the whole world.
Doubtless, the relationship between God and humankind is a serious and solemn one which calls for sincerity, tenacity, and diligence. An essential corollary of true faith in God is to take one's obligations towards Him seriously and hold them in high regard, and discharge them fully to the best possible standard. God has taken an undertaking from the Muslims that they will believe in His oneness, submit to and serve Him alone. Having become Muslims, they have pledged to promote and spread His religion, to be a good and faithful example to others, and to teach and dispense virtue and goodness to all.
Muslims are not the first group of humans to undertake such far-reaching and binding obligations towards God, for they had been preceded by others, namely, the Jews and Christians.
There are people (nominal Muslims) who, no matter how much piety and sincerity they try to convey, or no matter how religious they might claim to be, are always betrayed by their attitudes and actions. Their contrived devotion to Islam leads some of them to censure and condemn more severely Muslim believers who commit minor misdemeanours than they would unbelievers. In the minds of such people, the very concept of right and wrong is confused and turned upside down. They would show more tolerance towards the infidel enemies of Islam than they would towards some Muslims. Such insensitivity is totally alien to Islam.
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, pp. 90-92
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 2, p. 140
28-Dec-2004, 03:54 PM
Al-Naba (The Tiding)
Chapter 78: Verses 9-11
A Truce for the Human Soul
“And (We) made your sleep a cessation of activity. We made the night a mantle, and appointed the day for gaining a livelihood."
God has willed that sleep should overpower man and make him lose consciousness and activity. When asleep, man is in a state which is unlike life and unlike death. It ensures rest for his body and mind and compensates both for whatever effort they have exerted during wakefulness. All this happens in a way the true nature of which man cannot conceive. His will plays no part in it and it is impossible for him to discover how it happens. It is one of the secrets of man's constitution and of all living creatures, unknown except to the Creator Who has made sleep essential for life.
Sleep does not merely satisfy some of man's physical and mental needs. It is, indeed, a truce for the human soul from the fierce struggle of life. Sometimes, when one is low-spirited, mentally exhausted, possessed by fear and alarm, sleep may overpower one, for a few minutes perhaps, and bring about a total change in one's condition. Sleep does not merely renew one's strength, but it may revive one in such a way as to wake up a new person altogether.
Cessation of activity and consciousness through sleep is a prerequisite for the continuity of life. Yet it can be given only by God. It is mentioned here by way of inviting man to contemplate his own creation and constitution.
God's perfection of creation has provided a correspondence between the movement of the universe and that of living creatures. As man requires sleep after his day's work, so God has provided the night as a covering mantle for man to enjoy his slumber. Day is also provided as a period of activity for man to pursue his livelihood. Thus perfect harmony is established. The world is perfectly suited to the creatures who live in it, and God's creation is endowed with those characteristics which fit in easily and gently with the universe. What perfect planning by a scrupulous Designer!
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 18, pp. 15-16
01-Jan-2005, 01:07 AM
Chapter 20: Verse 120
Making forbidden things attractive
Then Satan whispered to him, saying: 'O' Adam! Shall I lead you to the tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?'
One of the ways in which the Satan deceives man and makes falsehood attractive to him is calling forbidden things, which are acts of disobedience towards Allah, by attractive names to deceive people and confuse them about what is really true, as he called the forbidden tree the tree of eternal life, so as to make the thought of eating from it attractive to Adam. He kept claiming that this was the tree of eternal life, and that eating from it would make him live forever in Paradise, or would make him one of the angels, until Adam obeyed him, and was subsequently expelled from Paradise.
Look at the friends and supporters of the Satan today, how they use the same means to mislead people: those who adhere to and promote communism and socialism claim that these are the only ways which will rid mankind of confusion, anxiety, ruin and hunger; those who call for women to come out clothed but naked in the name of freedom, and those who call for facile acting which stamps on people's honour and morals, and violates sacred limits in the name of art; those poisonous ideas which promote depositing money in interest-based banks in order to earn profits in the name of development and high profits; and those who claim that adhering to religion constitutes bacdwardness and stagnation, and who described those who call people to Islam as crazy or agents of the east and west, etc.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: "From Satan his followers learned the method of calling unlawful things by names which people find attractive. So they called wine the mother of joy, and they called intoxicants morsels of delight, and they called riba (usury) business dealings, and they called taxes the rights of the authorities, and so on ... "
This is a dangerous path for if falsehood is make to appear attractive to a person he will pursue it with all his strength, to achieve that which he thinks is right, even if it will lead to his doom.
"The World of the Jinn and Devils" - Umar S. al-Ashqar, pp. 104-107
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10-Dec-2007, 02:59 PM
10-Dec-2007, 10:01 PM
Yeah, and very old too :rolleyes: :)
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