December 07, 2023 | Jumada I 24, 1445
Near at Hand
Al Naba (The Tiding) - Chapter 78: Verse 40 (partial)
In the Quran it is said that divine chastisement is near at hand. This statement was made over fourteen hundred years ago, and countless people had died prior to its revelation. Moreover, even now it cannot be said with certainty that the Last Day will occur after how many hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. Given this, how can this chastisement be described as something "near at hand"?
Time is actually relative to man's life. As long as he is alive, he is fully aware of it. After his death, only his soul survives, which does not any consciousness of time. So, when man is resurrected on the Day of Judgement he will think that he has been woken up only after a few hours' sleep. It will not occur to him that he had been lying dead for thousands of years.
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Part 30, p. 16
From Issue: 646 [Read original issue]
Dua for others
It is not that we have forgotten dua completely; we refer to it regularly. But, our ideas and practice regarding dua have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed --- an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of dua is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation.
What a tragedy, for dua is the most potent weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of ibadah or worship. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, dua should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between.
We should ask for all of our needs: those related to this world as well as those related to the Hereafter. Those who only concentrate on the former are, in effect, announcing that they don't care for their life in the permanent abode. They should blame nobody but themselves for the total ruin in that world that Qur'an assures us awaits them. Those who only concentrate on the later are also showing lack of balance, for we need Allah's help to lead a good life here as well.
We should make dua not only for ourselves but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and other benefactors, and destitute and struggling Muslims everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The Prophet said: "The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Aameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.'" [Sahih Muslim]
"The Power of Dua" - Khalid Baig
From Issue: 522 [Read original issue]
The emotion that underlies our obsession with blaming and finding fault is anger. In our shame-and-blame culture, visible anger is everywhere. Political talk shows have become screaming matches. A short drive to the grocery store becomes an obstacle course of raging, finger-flipping drivers. Angry public outbursts directed at strangers and customer service people are becoming more commonplace.
Anger can be motivated by many different experiences and feelings — shame, humiliation, stress, anxiety fear and grief are several of the most common triggers. The relationship between shame and anger is about using blame and anger to protect us from the pain caused by shame.
Anger is not a "bad" emotion. In fact, feeling anger and appropriately expressing anger are vital to relationship building. Lashing out at others when we are in shame is not about "feeling anger." When we are doing this, we feel shame and mask it with anger. Furthermore, shame-motivated anger and blame are rarely pressed in a constructive way. Shame floods us with emotion and pain and the shame/blame/anger instinct is to pour it all over someone else. If one of our primary shame screens is anger and blame, it is essential that we understand and acknowledge this coping strategy. Next, we need to find out how, when we recognize that we are in shame, to calm down and stay mindful.
"I Thought It Was Just Me" - Brene Brown, pp. 213, 214
From Issue: 1056 [Read original issue]