Today's Reminder

July 08, 2020 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 17, 1441

Living The Quran

Al-Araf (The Heights) - Chapter 7: Verse 188

"Say, 'I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am but a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.'"

The Prophet, peace be upon him, is the leader of all the Prophets. Many miracles are ascribed to him and people learned the religion from him. People acquired piety and righteousness by following his prescribed path. In this verse, Allah instructed him to give people an account of his helplessness making it clearly known to the people that he is neither capable of exercising any authority nor possess any knowledge of the unseen. One can easily derive from the fact that as long as he does not even possess an authority to gain a certain advantage for himself or to ward off an evil from inflicting him, how could he benefit or harm someone else.

The knowledge of the unseen is one of the Attributes of Allah and the Prophet is His Messenger. The mission of a Messenger is to warn people about the dire consequences of bad actions and to give people glad tidings about virtuous deeds.

The Prophets do not enjoy the distinction of having been awarded the keys to the unseen to the effect that they may have knowledge of someone's innermost feelings or could make predictions about whether or not someone is going to be blessed with a child, whether one's business is going to yield profit or incur a loss, or whether someone is going to emerge victorious in a battlefield or face a defeat. As far as the above things are concerned, everybody is equally unaware about them regardless of his status. However, certain remarks which are made in reference to a certain context out of one's wisdom do sometimes come true and sometimes they don't.

Compiled From:
"Taqwiyat-ul-Iman" - Shah Ismail Shaheed, pp. 74-76

From Issue: 756 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Unfair Status

Abu Hurayrah reports that the Prophet said: 'The people who will be close to me on the Day of Resurrection are the God-fearing, even though a certain lineage may be nearer of kin than another. Let not other people come to me with their good deeds and you come carrying stuff of this world on your necks. You will appeal to me, saying: "O, Muhammad!" and I will say: "No, this way and that way", (turning away both left and right)'. [Bukhari]

Islam emphasizes that all human beings are equal. They are equal at the point of birth and equal on the Day of Judgement. They are given the same duties and promised the same reward. Thus, their equality in God's sight is complete. People, however, create all sorts of standards to raise some people high and keep others down. Islam does not recognize any such standards. The only criterion that raises some people above others is their being pious and God-fearing, provided always that they maintain this throughout their lives. This is stated clearly in the Quran. The Prophet (peace be upon him) further emphasized it in a number of statements and traditions.

This hadith describes the Prophet's attitude to people's situations on the Day of Judgement. Those whose life is characterized by fearing God and piety will be the ones who bring forward their deeds hoping for a rich reward from God. They are certain to have the Prophet's support and God's reward. They are the ones to be given a position close to the Prophet, because their actions in this life confirm what they profess of accepting the Islamic faith and implementing it.

The Prophet acknowledges that kin relationships may bring some people closer to others. Thus some people might be closer to the Prophet by virtue of blood relations, but he warns here that it is actions that count on the Day of Judgement. He further paints a very vivid picture of those who rely on being related to him for their salvation on the Day of Judgement while not doing enough to save themselves. They come carrying stuff of this world on their shoulders. This is a reference to anything, material or not, that people gain unfairly in this life. As they have to account for it, they carry it on their necks.

The Prophet further warns that those who profess to follow him will appeal to him for help, but he will not be in a position to help them. He will simply turn away because he cannot help anyone except those who, in this present life, truly follow him. They might commit some sins, but they always seek God's forgiveness and try to rectify their deeds. It is such people that hope to benefit by his intercession on their behalf. As for those who deliberately wronged others and got away with things to which they had no rightful claim, persisting in their misdeeds and showing no sign of repentance, they will carry their heavy burdens and they will have no one to support them as they face God's reckoning.

Compiled From:
"Al-Adab al-Mufrad with Full Commentary: A Perfect Code of Manners and Morality" - Adil Salahi

From Issue: 1034 [Read original issue]


Weeping During Recitation

It is an attribute of those with profound knowledge of God, and a distinguishing feature of God's righteous devotees. God Most High said, They fall down upon their faces weeping, and it increases them in humility (Quran 17: 109).

Many hadiths and accounts from the Righteous Forebears have been related concerning this. Among them is from the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself: "Read the Quran and weep. If you do not weep, cause yourself to weep." [Ibn Majah]

Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, prayed the Morning Prayer in congregation and read Surat Yusuf. He wept until his tears flowed over his collarbone.

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali said, "Weeping is recommended while reciting [the Quran] or witnessing [its recitation]." He said, "The way to achieve this is by bringing sadness to mind by pondering the threats and warnings, the covenants and agreements that it contains, and then contemplating one's shortcomings with their regard. If this does not bring to mind sadness and weeping, as it does with elite worshippers, then one should weep from the lack of it, since it is among the greatest of calamities." [Ihy Ulum al-Din]

"Etiquette with the Quran" - Imam al-Nawawi, pg. 45

From Issue: 496 [Read original issue]