Today's Reminder

March 27, 2023 | Ramadan 5, 1444

Living The Quran

Welfare of Humanity
Al-Maidah (The Table Spread) Sura 5: Verse 45

"We decreed for them in it (Torah): a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and a similar retribution for wounds. But for him who forgoes it out of charity, it will atone for some of his sins. Those who do not judge in accordance with what God has revealed are indeed wrongdoers."

Security and stability are basic human needs and are equally as important as food, clothing and shelter. Without security and stability, a human being is not able to properly conduct his daily life and contribute to the development and advancement of society. The ultimate objective of the Islamic legal code is to secure the welfare of humanity in the world and to build a civilization wherein every human being can live in a climate of peace, justice and security. This is a civilization that allows a person to fulfil his every spiritual, intellectual, and material need and cultivate every aspect of his being.

To safeguard human life, property and honour, Islam has prescribed punishments for those who commit crimes against these. These seemingly harsh punishments for murder, theft, fornication and rebellion are prescribed by the Creator and handed down through the teachings of all His prophets. On the one hand, these punishments are the just rewards for the crimes, and on the other, they also serve as deterrents to others to refrain from committing anti-social acts. In the case of personal injury, the victim has the option of foregoing the right of retaliation. This good by him may atone for many of his sins.

It is instructive to note that although the right of retaliation and the law of retribution are prescribed, the Islamic approach is to reform the individual and so it addresses the innermost soul of man and what motivates him. In this way, it tries to deter him from disobedience and make him obey Allah. The following passage on this issue by Sayyid Qu?b is very pertinent: "In the final resort, it is fear of God and consciousness of Him that work on man's conscience, both in public and in private. They are the motives that deter man from committing evil when no other human being sees him and when he is certain that he cannot be brought before the law in this life. Important and necessary as the law is, it cannot replace fear of God, because what escapes the hand of the law is far greater than the number of cases that are brought to justice. No human soul and no society can remain good if it relies only on the law without adding to it the fear of a higher, divine authority that works on human conscience."

Compiled From:
"Treasures of the Qur'an: Surah al-Fatihah to Surah al-Mai'dah" - Abdur Rashid Siddiqui

From Issue: 973 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Practical Evidence

It is preferable to use the lucid, yet simply-worded blessings for the Prophet which have been passed down to us by the first generations of Muslims, rather than the affected, difficult formulas for which missals have been written, group recitations convened, and names for the Prophet invented - names for which Allah has revealed no legitimation. Surely it is not the mere repetition of eloquent phrases that is important. What matters is one's acknowledgement of the favour done by the Prophet, upon him be peace, for the betterment of the believers, one's appreciation of the jihad he waged against the forces of ignorance, and one's allegiance to the nation which he founded in the name of ultimate truth.

This is the real meaning of seeking blessings for the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace. And only those who give practical evidence of their appreciation of this meaning will receive the rewards promised to those who seek blessings for the Prophet, upon him be peace. Certainly those self-acclaimed 'lovers of the Prophet' who hollowly echo set phrases, yet who are unable to stand in defence of the Sunnah, cannot ever be eligible for such rewards. It is with regard to the defenders of the faith, those who truly appreciate the Prophet, upon him be peace, that this hadith is related:

Whosoever seeks blessings for me will be blessed ten times over by the Almighty.

Abdullah ibn Masud related that the Prophet, upon him be peace, said:

On the Day of Judgement, the people most deserving of (a relationship with) me will be those who have most often sought blessings for me.

Compiled From:
"Remembrance And Prayer" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 104-105

From Issue: 706 [Read original issue]


Controlling Your Impulses

Man is an amazing creature! We splice genes, build skyscrapers 100 stories high, and fit a thousand million transistors on a silicon chip the size of a fingernail.

I have a friend, Erik Weihenmayer, who climbed Mount Everest - blind! I've read about Joan of Arc, the courageous 14-year-old French girl turned warrior, who saved France from its enemies and was later burned at the stake. I remember watching the TV news coverage of a plane crash in an icy river, and seeing a man pass the lifeline again and again to others until, exhausted and freezing, he sank below the surface, giving his life for people he didn't know. These are examples of the triumph of the human spirit.

So, when I hear someone say, "Teens are going to have sex because they can't control their hormones," I want to throw up. I mean, c'mon. It's not like we're a bunch of dogs in heat. If we can split the atom, we can control our urges. We're human beings, not animals, after all. And we have the freedom to choose.

There are three notable things about our sex drive. First, it is strong. Second, it is constant. And third, it is good. Without it, no one would want to settle down and have children and the world would soon run out of people. It just needs to be used at the right time and with the right person, and it needs to be controlled, just like any other impulse.

I mean, what kind of world would we have if we responded to every passing urge? If you got angry with someone, you'd simply punch'em. If you felt like sleeping in, you'd skip school or whatever and sleep in. Heck, if I gave free rein to my urges I'd weigh 420 pounds, because my instinct is to eat everything I see. But I have to control myself because I don't want to weigh 420. Shouldn't we apply the same logic to our sex urges?

It takes a little discipline, but it's well worth it. As business philosopher Jim Rohn puts it, "We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons."

I just don't buy the idea that waiting to have sex is unrealistic. It's not unrealistic. Millions of teens worldwide have waited and are waiting and so can you. Self-control is stronger than hormones.

Yes, your sexuality is an important part of your life. But it's not the be-all and end-all of your existence, as our culture may lead you to believe. There are more important aspects to little ol' you than your sexuality, like your intellect, your personality, your hopes and dreams. As one teenage girl put it, "We are so much more than our urges."

"The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" - Sean Covey, pp. 198-200

From Issue: 467 [Read original issue]