March 27, 2023 | Ramadan 5, 1444
Living The Quran
Al-Anam (The Cattle) Chapter 6: Verse 25 (partial)
"... and the disbelievers among them dismiss what you tell them as nothing but old tales."
We have all heard educated person refer to the Quran as something out-of-date. This is not a phenomenon peculiar to our age. Even in the days of the Prophet there were people who found nothing new in the Quran. They used to dismiss the earlier revealed books in a similar fashion. It is customary with a certain kind of people that whenever they are invited to the path of righteousness they say, 'we have heard all this before. You are saying nothing new.' As if for a statement to be true it must also be new and whatever is old must necessarily be false. Truth is eternal. It does not change though our understanding of it might change with the passage of time. Those who instruct people in the light of divine guidance present universal truths. But there are people who pride themselves on the originality of their minds and are prepared to ignore the universal in their anxiety to produce something novel or unique.
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol 2, pp. 223, 224
"Translations from The Quran" - Altaf Gauhar, pp. 103-105
From Issue: 716 [Read original issue]
Understanding The Prophet's Life
"Relief accompanies difficulties" - Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) [Nawawi]
It is the way of Allah - based on His infinite wisdom - to have mankind pass through stages in their lives. In general, people go through good times and they go through hard times. Naturally, it is when they go through hard times that they face the most psychological stress.
We should know that whatever hardship or difficulties we face will come to an end soon. It, therefore, behoves us to be patient and to have good expectations concerning Allah. Allah is the Most Merciful of those who are merciful, even more merciful than a mother towards her small infant. We should realize that the Merciful will not leave us in that situation for long if we are patient for the sake of Allah.
If a person lives a life of ease only, it becomes simple for him to forget about Allah. If a person is rescued by Allah in his darkest hour, that person should never afterwards forget Allah and what Allah has done for him. Indeed, there should be a close bond forged that may not have existed had Allah not tried His servant.
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, pp. 784, 785
From Issue: 808 [Read original issue]
A Question of Dignity
Soon the Olympic Games will be taking place in China. Sports and politics must not be mixed, we are told, as if China’s stance were not political! The Chinese, in fact, have adopted a policy that intertwines and confuses the two. But it is impossible to celebrate a political authority or a government, impossible to participate in “sport”, when an entire people is oppressed, when its existence is denied, when it is humiliated by that same government. Markets and economic interests, the forces that have already purchased such a deafening silence, can no longer justify our cautious calculations as we confront the shameful images that have come to us, for so long, from occupied Tibet.
We cannot allow ourselves to be misled by eminently political and symbolic gestures presented as “purely sporting” or “purely cultural” (is it not striking to see some of those who criticized us for promoting a boycott of Israel—whose government continues to oppress the Palestinians—at the Paris Salon du livre and the Turin Book Fair, using precisely the same arguments in denouncing China?). They are fooling no one. Our duty is one of coherence: no more selective criticism, no more cowardly silence; there can be no culture, no sport devoid of ethics, stripped of their dignity. Boycotting the Olympic Games, as long as the Tibetans are being crushed, is a question of human dignity and intellectual decency.
It is no longer enough to philosophize, to expostulate, in our carpeted offices, our salons, our universities, on the benefits of “non-violence” and the greatness of soul of its spokesmen and leaders while, though our political cowardice and our economically motivated hypocrisy, we seemingly spare no effort to drive to violence resisters who have nothing left to lose, who have already lost everything.
These words are written for the women and men of Tibet, for those who are still standing upright, for my friends in the resistance who have taken the decision to accept no longer the silence of complicity, to countenance no selective denunciations. Whatever the price to be paid.
With you, our world is less ugly, our humanity not so sad.
"The Tibet Boycott: a question of dignity" - Tariq Ramadan
From Issue: 473 [Read original issue]