Living The Quran Living The Quran

Al-Tawba (The Repentance) - Chapter 9: Verse 92 (partial)

"... They turned back with their eyes overflowing with tears of sadness ... "

Grief is anguish over something that has elapsed, or regret over something that cannot be had.

It consists of three levels:

The first level is grief of common people; which is grief over negligence in carrying out one's devotion, embroiling oneself in alienation and over days that are lost.

The second level is the grief of people of willpower; it is grief over the suspension of time because of spiritual dispersion, over being side-tracked from contemplation and over being consoled from grief. For the people of distinction, the station of grief is in no way their own.

However, the third level of grief relates to those who are saddened by obstacles rather than concepts, by the opposition against the aims and by objections against stipulations.

Compiled From:
"Stations of the Wayfarers" - Abdullah Al-Ansari, p. 64

Understanding The Prophet's Life Understanding The Prophet's Life


Conflict validates the ego, and it is the reason why people do things believing they are sincere. Shidad bin Aws called this "hidden desire". For instance, a liberal politician fancies himself to be an advocate of democracy and open dialogue when opinion is moving according to his interests, but when opinion goes the other way, he starts appealing for a crackdown or military intervention. In the same way, an Islamist politician prides himself in being an upholder of people’s rights and an advocate of moderation. However, as soon as he is put to the test, as soon as his professed values conflict with his vested interests, all that goes away. 

We might say that our disagreements do not affect our love for each other, but when disagreement actually happens, we are all too often prepared to lash out against each other with ferocity. 

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "I guarantee a house on the outskirts of Paradise for someone who gives up an argument even if he is right, and a house in the middle of Paradise for one who abandons lies even when joking, and a house in the highest part of Paradise for one who makes his character excellent." [Abu Dawud] 

It is also related that he said: "Whoever leaves off arguing even though he is right, Allah will build him a house in the middle of Paradise." [Tirmidhi] 

The ego does not permit anyone to bring it down. It has its own way of guarding itself against being violated. When someone criticises or insults me, it is taken as an attack on the ego which responds by trying to repair the damage either by constructing justifications and defences for itself or by lashing back with insults against the other party. It does not matter whether the other party is right or wrong. The ego’s job is to protect the person’s self-identity more than reality will allow. 

Compiled From:
"An Accomplished Actor" - Salman al-Oadah

Blindspot! Blindspot!

Food Choices

The common reality of the current state of our halal meat is not a pretty picture. Industrialized farming practices do not follow Islamic guidelines. Often times we fail to draw a distinction between zabiha and halal. The two are not synonymous.  Halal in its entire depth covers more ground than hand slaughtering in the name of Allah. It is also the manner in which an animal lives. A natural life in natural conditions, with a natural diet. It's also pertinent that the animal doesn't see another animal slaughtered. If these requirements are not met, how can we be certain the meat we are eating is halal?

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known for his simple and often meatless diet. With colonization came the correlation between meat and wealth. Along came the factory farming industry with its policies that make life challenging for small farmers and impossible for voiceless animals.

Capitalism is a profit driven concept that puts our ethical compass on the back burner. It's a system that will try to mislead us by using deceptive terms that are shrouded in mystery like free-range, which doesn't mean free at all. However, we can do our best to take a stand against injustice.

With every dollar you spend, you vote for what manufacturing policies you support. Grocery shopping is when our food choices are entirely in our hands. This is when I choose to be as vegan and cruelty free as possible because my Islam teaches me respect for animals. I cannot and will not finance an industry with my purchases that perpetuates cruelty. We don't have to fund and condone abhorrent farming practices. We have an abundance of choices here. Let's make the right ones.

Compiled From:
"Confessions of a Muslim Vegetarian" - Zehra Abbas

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