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Today's Reminder

December 07, 2022 | Jumada I 13, 1444

Living The Quran

The Provision
Hud - Chapter 11: Verse 6 (partial)

"And there is not a creature treading the earth but that its provision depends upon God."

The provision that one receives is called rizq. Rarely does God use two very similar names that evoke one attribute. When it comes to provision, God is al-Raziq and al-Razzaq, both names referring to Him as the provider. We creatures are known as marzuq, that is, the beneficiaries of God's provision. Some scholars say that provision is anything from which a person derives benefit. Others say it refers to all the material possessions one has. The dominant opinion is the former, as referred to in the verse.

God divides the provision of people into two kinds: inner (batini) and outer (zahiri). The outward provision includes such things as food, shelter, and well-being. Inner provision includes knowledge, good character, contentment, and similar qualities. Even the people in a person's life (friends, teachers, spouse, family, and so on) are considered provision.

Along with the provision that God gives, He also has given the means (asbab) by which one must seek out his provision. There should be no confusion about the means of attaining provision and the provision itself. When one starts to believe that his or her provision is in the hands of another person, this creates a breeding ground for diseases, such as coveting what others have, doing whatever it takes to get it, and becoming angry when one does not receive what he or she expects.

Compiled From:
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 79, 80

From Issue: 611 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Farewell Sermon

On the ninth day of Dhul-Hijja in the tenth year of hijrah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) addressed 144,000 pilgrims on the Mount of Mercy (Jabal ar-Rahmah). He spoke in short portions, and men around him repeated his words so that everyone throughout the valley could hear his speech.

The content of the message was powerful and intense, and the Prophet began by stating that he did not know whether he would again meet the pilgrims "in this place after this year." Then he reminded them of the sacred character of the place and month, as well as of that of their lives, their honour, and their belongings. He explained that the period of ignorance had come to an end, and so had its practices, its rivalries, and its conflicts based on power and profit. Henceforth, all Muslims were united by faith, fraternity, and love, which were to transform them into witnesses of Islam's message. They must under no circumstances accept being "either oppressors or oppressed." They were to learn of the equality of all people in front of God and the necessary humility because "you all descend from Adam and Adam was created from dirt. The most noble in the sight of God is the most pious. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, except by their intimate consciousness of God [piety]." The Prophet reminded all the Muslims to treat their wives gently and added: "Be intimately conscious of God as regards women, and strive to be good to them." Then he added, as if to show the Way and its conditions to all the faithful present and all those who were to follow his teachings through the ages: "I have left among you what will, if you keep to it firmly, preserve you from error: clear guidance, the Book of God and His Prophet's tradition." After each teaching he reminded them of, the Prophet added: "Have I conveyed the Message? O God, be my witness!" At the end of the sermon, the pilgrims answered: "We bear witness that you have faithfully conveyed the message, that you have fulfilled your mission, and that you have given your community good advice." Then the Prophet concluded: "O God, be my witness! ... And let whoever is present convey this message to whoever is absent."

The Prophet was indeed a witness in front of the spiritual community of Muslims. In communion with them, at the heart of the pilgrimage - which itself requires simplicity and the unity of human beings before their Creator - the Messenger recalled the essential point in the One's message: the absolute equality of human beings before God, regardless of race, social class, or gender, for the only thing that distinguishes them lies in what they do with themselves, with their intelligence, their qualities, and most of all their heart. Wherever they come from, whether they are Arabs or not; whatever their color, black, white, or any other; whatever their social status, rich or poor; whether they are men or women, human beings stand out by the attention they show their heart, their spiritual education, the control of the ego, and the blossoming of faith, dignity, goodness, nobleness of soul, and, for coherence's sake, commitment among their fellow human beings in the name of their principles.

Compiled From:
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Tariq Ramadan, pp.196, 197

From Issue: 658 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

What’s in it for Me? Five Advantages of Hijab

  • I can’t be messed with! Hijab protects me – Hijab identifies a Muslim woman as a person of high moral standards to reduce her chances of being harassed.
  • I am liberated from slavery to ‘physical perfection’ – Society makes women desire to become ‘perfect objects’. The multitudes of alluring fashion magazines and cosmetic surgeries show women’s enslavement to beauty. The entertainment industry pressures teens to believe that for clothes, less is better. When we wear Hijab, we vow to liberate ourselves from such desires and serve only God.

  • I don’t let others judge me by my hair and curves! – In schools and professional environments, women are often judged by their looks or bodies—characteristics they neither chose nor created. Hijab forces society to judge women for their value as human beings, with intellect, principles, and feelings. A woman in Hijab sends a message, “Deal with my brain, not my body!”

  • I feel empowered and confident – In contrast to today’s teenage culture, where anorexia and suicide are on the rise, as women attempt to reach an unattainable ideal of beauty, Hijab frees a woman from the pressure to ‘fit in’. She does not have to worry about wearing the right kind of jeans or the right shade of eyeshadow. She can feel secure about her appearance because she cares to please only Allah.

  • I feel the bond of unity – Hijab identifies us as Muslims and encourages other Muslim sisters to greet us with the salutation of peace, “Assalamu Alaikum”. Hijab draws others to us and immerses us in good company.

Source:
"Hijab: Fabric, Fad or Faith?" - Young Muslims Publications

From Issue: 485 [Read original issue]