Today's Reminder

March 27, 2023 | Ramadan 5, 1444

Living The Quran

Revelation and Poetry
Ya Sin (Ya Sin) Sura 39: Verse 69

"We have not taught the Prophet poetry; nor is it fitting for him [to be a poet). This is but a reminder and a Quran making all things clear."

God in all His limitless glory denies that He taught His Messenger the art of poetry. Since God did not teach him this, he will not learn it. No one will ever get to know anything other than what God teaches them. The verse also makes it clear that poetry is not suitable for God's Messenger.

Poetry takes a different line from that of prophethood. Poetry is an interaction which may change from time to time. Prophethood, on the other hand, means revelations bestowed from on high, outlining a firm system and a clear code that should be implemented as it conforms to God's law, which operates throughout the universe. Unlike poetry, it does not change to suit moods and desires.

Moreover, prophethood means constant contact with God, learning directly from what God reveals and an untiring attempt to mould human life in a way that pleases God. In its highest standards, poetry expresses a human longing for what is perfect and beautiful, but it remains a human effort confined within man's capabilities and limitations. At lesser levels, poetry is an expression of reactions and desires that may be strongly carnal. Indeed, prophethood and poetry are far apart: one is at best a longing that issues from the earth while the other is true guidance from on high. The role of revelation is to be a reminder as it works on the mind keeping it alert, and the Quran is to be recited.

Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, pp. 224, 225

From Issue: 952 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life


Those who don't know him and haven't studied his life, often think of Prophet Muhammad's teachings to be full of negative or harsh messages. Many seem to be fixated on his sayings about the Day of Judgement and Hellfire, while conveniently ignoring his vocal messages of glad tidings and productive work.

Prophet Muhammad was a beacon of hope for those around him. His ever-beaming smile would exude optimism. His words, whether of warning or of good news, inspired positive action.

Here is a selection of some powerful sayings of the Prophet to help us stay positive and productive in all circumstances.

1. Optimism is from Allah, Pessimism is from Satan

O son of Adam! You are free to choose from what befalls you in your life, between despair and hope, pessimism and optimism. However, you shall find your hope and optimism with Allah, and your despair and pessimism with Satan, 'in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits' [Al-Mujdilah: 10].” (Bukhari and Muslim).

2. Strong Believer Doesn't Make Excuses

The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although there is good in each. Desire that which will bring you benefit, and seek help from Allah and do not give way to incapacity. If something happens to you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such-and-such.’ Rather say, ‘The decree of Allah. He does what He will.’ Otherwise you will open yourself up to the action of Shaitan” (Muslim).

3. Hope Prevails Over Fear at the Time of Death

Once our Prophet, peace be upon him, went to a young man who was on his death bed and asked him 'How do you feel?' The young man said, 'I have much hope from Allah but I also fear for my sins'. The Prophet said, 'The believer who has these two ideas simultaneously at such time, Allah fulfils his hopes and grants him security from fear' (Tirmidhi).

4. Be Positive & Productive till Your Last Breath

If the Day of Resurrection were established upon one of you, while he has in his hand a sapling (small plant), then let him plant it.” (Ahmad).

Compiled From:
"12 Sayings of the Prophet to Inspire Optimism" - Taha Ghayyur

From Issue: 884 [Read original issue]



Through service we make the world a better place. Jesus served in many ways. Most faiths are dedicated to service, in fact. Charity, or zakat, is a pillar of Islam: Muslims give a percentage of their belongings to the poor and make regular donations to those in need. The Mishna, which contains Jewish oral law, underlines the importance of helping. The Torah mandates responding to the needs of the poor and the sick, be they Jews, strangers or enemies. Everyone is obliged to do tzedakah, or righteous deeds, to help repair the world.

It's one thing to encourage service, it's another thing to actually serve. What good are scriptures and hymns if we neglect to live their messages? There are compelling reasons for religious leaders to encourage youth to get out in their communities. A landmark study in 2007 found that the best way to deepen a teen's faith is by presenting them with opportunities to help people in need. Teens reported that service infused their lives with purpose and meaning, which in turn influenced their faith. Hands-on work was revealed to be far more influential than filling pews, reading scripture or participating in church retreats. The deepest connections are established when youth meet and work with the people they're helping. The degree of influence such experiences have on shaping faith increases with involvement. Level 1 might be to pitch in with adult mentors on a fence-painting project. Level 2 could be to help at a shelter or soup kitchen. Level 3 would involve ongoing connections - Meals on Wheels, for example - in which the volunteer establishes a relationship with the person her or she is assisting.

Compiled From:
"The World Needs Your Kid" - Craig Kielburger, Marc Kielburger and Shelley Page, pp. 273, 274

From Issue: 645 [Read original issue]