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Today's Reminder

September 21, 2020 | Safar 3, 1442

Living The Quran

Al-Ahqaf (Sand Dunes)
Chapter 46: Verse 9

A Plain Warner
"Say: I am not the first of God's messengers. I do not know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow what is being revealed to me. I am only a plain warner."

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not a totally new phenomenon: he was one in a line of God's messengers. His situation was the same as all messengers who preceded him. He was an ordinary human being whom God knew to be suited to deliver His message. Therefore, he gave him His revelations and the Prophet carried out God's orders. This is what a Divine message is like. When a messenger of God feels this bond, he does not ask God for proof, nor does he request anything special for himself: he simply moves on to deliver God's message as it is revealed to him. He gets on with the task of delivering his message, not because of any knowledge he has of the realm that lies beyond human perception, nor because of any information given to him about what will happen to him, his people or his message. He simply follows instructions, trusting his Lord, submitting himself to Him. The future is unknown to him; its secrets are with his Lord and he does not seek to know them. He has all the reassurance he needs, and he realizes that the proper attitude for him is not to look beyond the limits of the mission he has been assigned.

Those advocates of Islam endowed with profound insight into its message follow in the footsteps of the Prophet and find the same reassurance. They carry on with their advocacy of the Divine message seeking neither personal gain nor self interest. They do not know what the future holds for it or for them. They do not ask their Lord for evidence; they have all the evidence they need in their hearts. Nor do they pray for any special favour; it is sufficient favour for them that they follow this line. They discharge their duty, and this is enough for them. They do not overstep the fine line God has demarcated for them.

Source:
"In The Shade Of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 15, pp, 343-344

From Issue: 490 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Perfect Muslims

Bukhari records that God's Messenger, peace be upon him, said: "The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe. The Emigrant is one who emigrates from what God forbids."

This hadith describes the ideal or norm by beginning with the Muslim, as opposed to a Muslim. In this way, our Prophet draws attention to the qualities of perfect Muslims, not to those who are only nominal Muslims.

Our Prophet mentions the tongue before the hand, for slander, gossip, and insult often do far more damage than physical violence. If people can refrain from verbal assault, they can more easily refrain from physical assault. Moreover, self-defense against physical violence is often easier than that against gossip and slander.

Emigration means more than leaving one's family, house, possessions, and native land for the sake of God. To be capable of the latter, one must emigrate from the material to the spiritual dimension of his or her being, from worldly pleasures to an altruistic life, and from selfish aims to living for a Divine cause. Therefore, obeying Divine prohibitions is directly related to being a good Muslim and to sacrificing one's life in the service of people purely for the sake of God.

Compiled From:
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 104, 105

From Issue: 654 [Read original issue]

Cool Tips!

Lonely Ramadan

For most Muslims, Ramadan is family time. You get up together, eat Iftar together, pray together, etc. But what if you don't have your family near you?

Waking up in a lonely apartment and eating food you've sometimes burnt in an effort to catch Suhur in time are some of the realities of being a single Muslim in Ramadan. But there are ways to make Ramadan special when you're on your own. Here are few ideas.

1. Establish a Suhur telephone tree
Get a couple of friends together and establish a telephone tree to wake each other up for Suhur. Establish a time to call and a schedule of who will call whom. Make it a little exciting by adding some funny phrases every week that will really wake everyone.

2. Invite people over for Iftar
Even if even you couldn't eat the food the last time you cooked, invite people over for Iftar. Make it a potluck, order pizza or if you can afford it, get it catered. The food isn't the thing. The blessing is in the company, and you'll be rewarded for feeding everyone. Make sure to especially invite those who are away from their families.

3. Attend prayers at the local mosque/MSA
Even if the Imam's recitation isn't the best and the behavior of other Muslims can be more than annoying, try to attend Tarawih prayers organized by your local mosque or your Muslim Students' Association (MSA). While praying alone in peace and quiet is great, praying shoulder-to-shoulder with other Muslims with whom you have nothing in common except your faith is a unique and uplifting experience.

4. Keep the Quran playing when you are alone
It's often tempting to keep the TV or radio on when we're alone to avoid the silence. This Ramadan, find a Quran reciter you like and play their recitations during those moments when you want to fill your place with some sound. Choose selections you'd like to memorize, like the 30th part of the Quran.

5. Take care of others
Know a new person at the school/office? Is a friend who lives nearby having problems with their spouse? Or is someone you know having money problems? This Ramadan, reach out with an attentive ear, a generous hand, and most importantly, an open heart to others. Don't let these small opportunities for gaining blessings slip you by.

6. Pick and pursue Ramadan goals
Choose at least three goals to pursue this Ramadan. Whether it's curbing a bad habit or starting a good one, doing this will help you focus and work harder this month to change for the better. It takes 21 days to establish a good habit. With Ramadan, we've got 30. Why not make the best of it by picking up the good? 

Compiled From:
"A single Muslim's guide to Ramadan" - SoundVision.com

From Issue: 694 [Read original issue]