Today's Reminder

December 07, 2022 | Jumada I 13, 1444

Living The Quran

The Worth
Fatir (Originator) - Chapter 35: Verses 34 (partial)

And they shall say, "Praise belongs to God, who has put away sorrow from us."

O Chevalier! The worth of the antidote is known by the snake-bitten, the worth of burning fire is known by the moth, the worth of Joseph's shirt is known by grieving Jacob. When someone is deluded by his own safety and is given the antidote, how will he know its worth? If you want someone to know the worth and gravity of the antidote, you need him whose spirit has reached his lips.

A poor man is needed, broken-hearted, suffering pain, and burdened with grief to know the worth of this caress and the exaltedness of this address: "Praise belongs to God, who has put away sorrow from us." Wait until tomorrow when that wounded-hearted poor man is placed on the throne of joy in the palisade of holiness while the serving boys and servants act like his slaves to spread the carpet before the seat of his good fortune. The night of tribulation will have come to an end, the sun of felicity will have risen from the horizon of generous giving, and the Exalted Presence will set forth for him the gentle favours of generosity. With the tongue of joy and coquetry, he will say, "Praise belongs to God, who has put away sorrow from us."

O indigent man! This world is the world of metaphor. It is clear what realities can be unveiled in the world of metaphor. It is obvious what can be painted on a gnat's wing. This world is a prison. What marks of prisoners can be given but sorrow, grief, and longing? For these grief-stricken ones, the day of the bazaar and the time of access will be tomorrow when the concealed gentlenesses and treasuries stored in the Unseen will come out from the covering of jealousy unscathed by hands and untouched by minds. A vast capacity will be given to the poor ones so that they may drink the wine of vision cup by cup, or rather, ocean by ocean. They will be shouting out, "Is there any more?" [50:30]. And praise belongs to God alone.

Compiled From:
"Kashf al-Asrar wa Uddat al-Abrar" - Rashid al-Din Maybudi. pp. 411, 412

From Issue: 1027 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Anger and Misfortune

Patience is of two kinds: patience in anger and patience in misfortune. As al-Hasan said: "A creature can swallow no bigger draught than the draught of forbearance in anger, and the draught of patience in misfortune." That is because the principle is patience with what causes pain. The man who is brave and courageous is one who patiently endures the cause of pain.

If the painful thing is one that can be got rid of, it stirs up anger: if it is something that cannot be removed, it causes grief. This is why the face turns red from anger, due to the excitation of the blood in one conscious of his power, whereas it turns pale with grief due to the depression of the blood in one conscious of his impotence. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought the two together in the authenticated Tradition related by Muslim on the authority of Ibn Masud, who said: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Who is considered a raqub among you?' They said: 'One to whom no children are born.' — 'That is not a raqub! A raqub is a man who receives nothing from his children. What is considered a suraa among you?' We said: 'One whom men cannot throw down.' — 'Not so, a suraa is one who controls himself in anger.'" Thus what he mentioned includes both patience in misfortune and patience in anger.

Compiled From:
"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiyah, p. 107

From Issue: 834 [Read original issue]


Social Message

Being responsible before God for one’s own person and to respect creation as a whole, one should offer to all people on the social level the means to fulfill their responsibilities and to protect their rights. So the social message of Islam is born in all people’s consciousness of their obligations to make it possible on the collective level to organize structurally the protection of the rights of all. We may here point to seven for which respect is essential:

1. The right to life and the minimum necessary to sustain it. Every being must have the right, in any society, to the minimum amount of food necessary to live. And we are speaking of living, not surviving. A social organization that does not provide its members with this minimum undermines their integrity as created beings who have to give account of themselves before the Creator.

2. The right to family. Each person has the right to enjoy a family life, and so society, through responsible policies, should make it possible for all people to live with their families in a healthy environment that includes : (1) psychological preparation to assume the responsibility (e.g., opportunities to meet a suitable spouse, premarital counseling, a support system, role models), (2) caring for children (their physical/ mental wellbeing), (3) and ways to keep preserve the family during turmoil. We complain about parents who do not know how to bring up their children, who, as we say, “give up on it,” when they have not been given the means to live and simply be recognized as a mother or father.

3. The right to housing. This right follows directly from the one before. Housing is the first prerequisite for family life, and Islam insists heavily on the sanctity of private space. A society should provide each of its members with a roof; it is a prime responsibility. It is essential to think of adequate local structures: living five or eight to a room is not establishing a household-it is constructing a prison, arranging a suffocation, creating future ruptures and tomorrows full of isolation and marginalization.

4. The right to education. To be able to read and write, and to find through education the ways to identity and human dignity, is essential. A society that does not meet this right has lost its sense of priorities; to put it more clearly, a society that produces illiteracy, whether absolute or functional, scorns the dignity of its members and is fundamentally inhuman.

5. The right to work. People must be able to provide for their needs. For this reason, work, like education, is one of the inalienable rights of a social being, and all people should be able to find their place in the society in which they live. A society that prevents people from working is one that does not respond to the elementary social contract.

6. The right to justice. Justice is the foundation of life in society. This principle of justice applies to all-rich and poor, presidents and populace, Muslims and non-Muslims. It is essential that the social structure guarantee respect for the rights of each person, and this must be expressed in two ways: obviously, judicial power must apply the laws fairly to every member of society, but it is equally important that society be stretch itself to meet all the organizational requirements necessary for the provision of the rights we have already mentioned.

7. The right to solidarity. One cannot have a sense of the Islamic religious world without directly encountering a concept that makes the duty of solidarity central to a living expression of the faith. To be before God is to be in solidarity. One’s duty before God is to respond to the right of human beings. It is the responsibility of each person to participate actively in the life of society.

The various rights referred to do not cover all the factors involved in the individual and social arenas, but they give a clear enough idea of the basic directions that social action should take. The “way of faithfulness” on the social level is a path that should take us daily a little closer to the ideal of justice, which is essential and foremost, and the whole of human activity, in all its parts, must hold to it steadfastly.

Compiled From:
"The Social Message of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan

From Issue: 926 [Read original issue]