Living The Quran Living The Quran

Source of Power
Al-Fatir (The Originator) - Chapter 35: Verse 10

"Whoever desires might and glory should know that all might and glory belong to God alone. To Him ascends all good words, and He exalts the good deed. For those who plot evil there is severe suffering in store. All their plotting will come to nothing."

Might and glory belong totally to God. No one else possesses a shred of either. Therefore, if anyone wants them, and they are incidentally expressed in one Arabic word, izzah, which combines both and adds connotations of dignity, then they should seek them from their only source: God Almighty. They cannot be found with anyone else. This is an essential truth of Islamic faith which establishes values, standards, judgement, behaviour, ways and means.

This is the reason good words and right actions are mentioned here for a purpose: it is a reference to the means by which might and glory are assured for those who seek it from God. Good words and good deeds which are allowed to ascend to God where they are received with honour that reflects on the speaker who says the good word and does the good work.

True izzah, combining all connotations of dignity and glory, is first established in one’s heart before it takes any form in the outside world. When it is so established, the person concerned rises above all considerations that cause humiliation and prostration before anyone other than God. He rises first of all above his own fears, desires and ambitions that may be gratified by others. When he has done this, no one will ever be able to humiliate or subjugate him. People are only humbled by their desires, fears and ambitions. Should these be held in check, that person will retain his glory and dignity in all situations and with all people. This is indeed true might, glory and dignity.

True izzah is not stubbornness that seeks strength through falsehood, or tyranny that uses brutal force to silence others, or an overwhelming upsurge motivated by desire, or a blind force that pays no heed to right and justice. It is none of this. It is the ability to rise above one’s own desires, rejecting fetters and humiliations, and refusing to submit to any other than God. It also means submitting only to God, fearing Him alone and obeying Him in all situations. It is through submission to God alone that our heads are raised high, and through fearing Him that we can stand up to whatever He disapproves of. This then explains the relation between the good word and deed on the one hand and might, glory and dignity on the other.

The opposite picture is then given. Those people who plot evil will see that their plots and schemes yield no fruit and end in failure, and that they will endure severe suffering as a result. These people plot evil because they are after false power and imagined glory. They may appear to have power at their command, but it is the good word and deed that ascend to God and through which we receive izzah in its full sense. Evil schemes and plots cannot achieve this, even though they may occasionally be coupled with physical power. Their assured end, however, is ruin and severe suffering. This is God’s promise that never fails.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade Of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Volume 14, pp.  207-209

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

Test and Punishment

The sacred texts make it clear that the people who are tested the most in their lives are the prophets and then the righteous according to their degrees of piety. When people’s faith gives them great fortitude, they are tested more. When that faith is weak, the tests are lessened. 

Sad b. Abu Waqqas asked the Prophet: “Which people have the greatest trials?” 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “The prophets, then the righteous, and then the people according to their degree of goodness. Each person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he has great religious fortitude, his trials are increased, and if his religion is weak, his trials are lightened. A servant continues to be tested until he walks upon the Earth without sin.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]

Anas relates from the Prophet: “Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]

Allah’s wrath is connected to being impatient with one’s trials, not with the sickness or calamity that constitutes the trial itself. Even in cases where it might be suspected that the calamity is Allah’s punishment, it always comes as a consequence of the sinful deed.

Illness and failure have their tangible worldly causes that are easy to discern. These normal happenings befall saints and sinners alike. All people, believers and unbelievers, are tried with sickness and misfortune, which increase or lessen with respect to people’s caution or recklessness, and the decisions they make to reach their goals. The difference is that when believers face misfortune, it either purifies their hearts and absolves their sins, or it raises their status in the Hereafter. 

Therefore, how can we differentiate between tribulations that come to us as tests of our faith and those that come as punishments for our sins? 

The basis for doing so depends on what happens after the calamity befalls, not before. If those faced with a calamity are patient, accept Allah’s decree, and seek His forgiveness for their sins, then this is a sign that their trial was in order to raise their status with Allah and cleanse them of sin. If, on the other hand, they grow despondent, bitter, and succumb to evil deeds as a result, then this is a sign of being denied Allah’s grace. 

Compiled From:
"Our Beliefs about the Pain in Our Lives" - Salman al-Oadah

Blindspot! Blindspot!

Sympathy of the Masses

Every movement, no matter its goals, exists primarily to arouse the sympathy of the masses. Men with beards and guns aren’t the most sympathetic of figures. Even without witnessing gory images of victims and attacks, people will cross the street in order to avoid a dude who’s carrying an AK- 47 and walking like the Terminator. But a smiling young woman with a cool and witty sign is a different story. You want to join her, because it’s hard not to be swept up in her energy, commitment, and enthusiasm. Just take a look at the YouTube videos of Manal al- Sharif, the brave Saudi woman who defied her country’s ban on female drivers by making instructional videos of herself behind the wheel. You watch them and suddenly you want to ride shotgun in the car with her.

If you have machine guns and tanks on one side and tens of thousands of people marching with flags, signs, and flowers on the other, there can be very little confusion about who’s the beauty and who’s the brute. Martin Luther King, Jr., understood this principle well. “There is more power in socially organized masses on the march than there is in guns in the hands of a few desperate men,” he wrote. “Our enemies would prefer to deal with a small armed group rather than with a huge, unarmed but resolute mass of people.

With armed resistance you have to be careful, because the sword cuts both ways. One side shoots and bombs and kills, the other side shoots and bombs and kills back, and good luck figuring out who’s to blame and who’s simply practicing self-defense. There’s a real danger to a movement that becomes violent, and it’s that violence makes it hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Compiled From:
"Blueprint For Revolution" - Srdja Popovic, pp. 203, 204

Bookmark and Share Subscribe

Prayer Times

Join us on Facebook