March 27, 2023 | Ramadan 5, 1444
Living The Quran
Flee unto God
Al-Dhariyat (The Scattering Winds) Sura 51: Verse 50
"So flee unto God. Truly I am a clear warner unto you from Him."
So flee unto God may mean, "Flee from the Punishment of God to His Mercy through faith in Him, follow His Command, and work in obedience to Him"; or "Flee from obeying Satan to obeying God"; or "Flee from ignorance to knowledge". According to Ibn Abbas, this verse means, "Flee from sins and take shelter with God through repentance." Others understand it to mean, "Be cautious of everything other than God, because whoever flees to what is other than Him does not benefit from it".
Regarding the reasons one must flee unto God, al-Qushayri writes, "The human being is in one of two states: either the state of coveting something or the state of dreading something, either the state of hope or the state of fear, either the state of attracting benefit or the state of repelling harm. So his fleeing must be to God, for the one who benefits and the one who harms is God." Al-Qushayri goes on to say, "It is incumbent upon the servant to flee from ignorance to knowledge, from caprice to reverence, from doubt to certainty, and from Satan to God. It is incumbent upon the servant to flee from his actions that are a trial to his actions that are sufficient; and from characterizing Him in terms of God's Wrath to characterizing Him in terms of His Mercy". From this perspective, the command to flee unto God is placed after the creation of all things in pairs to emphasize that one cannot flee to anything other than God, since all things perish, save His Face.
"The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary" - Seyyed Hossein Nasr
From Issue: 1031 [Read original issue]
Understanding The Prophet's Life
Re-kindling The Vision
The starting point for inspiring and reviving a people is to cultivate in them a clear vision of Islam; a vision of what is required to be accomplished. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, frequently made attempts to keep his Companions' minds focused on the vision of Islam. He took every opportunity to remind them of their purpose and objective. As an example, he advised one of his Companions, Khabbab Ibn al-Arat, when he complained about the persecutions the Muslims faced in Makka, during the early years of their mission, with the following words:
"By Allah, He will complete this mission until a rider will travel from Sana to Hadramawt (both are places in Yemen) and will have no fear but of Allah, and no worry but about a wolf that might harm his cattle - but you make haste." [Bukhari]
This saying presents the vision of Islam for society and reminds Muslims that they must keep on working, irrespective of the adversities, for a better society that ensures peace and justice for all people.
"Building A New Society" - Zahid Parvez, p. 100
From Issue: 498 [Read original issue]
Gloomy weather hampers our mood, in turn makes us think more deeply and clearly. Humans are biologically predisposed to avoid sadness, and they respond to sad moods by seeking opportunities for mood repair and vigilantly protecting themselves against whatever might be making them sad. In contrast, happiness sends a signal that everything is fine, the environment doesn't pose an imminent threat, and there's no need to think deeply and carefully.
Mood states are all-purpose measurement devices that tell us whether something in the environment needs to be fixed. When we're facing major emotional hurdles -- extreme grief, an injury that brings severe pain, blinding anger -- our emotional warning light glows red and compels us to act. For most of the time we sail smoothly through calm waters, allowing much of the world to pass by unnoticed.
"Drunk Tank Pink" - Adam Alter, p. 220
From Issue: 818 [Read original issue]