Slanderous Reviler, Cruel Jokes, Appreciate The Scenery

Issue 548 » September 25, 2009 - Shawwal 6, 1430

Living The Quran

Slanderous Reviler
Al-Humazah (The Slanderous Reviler) Sura 104 : Verses 1-4

"Woe to every slanderous reviler, habitual defamer, who hoards wealth and incessantly counts it! He thinks his wealth will immortalize him. Most surely, no, indeed! He will be hurled in the Crusher."

When good and evil contend in the world, both seek to win hearts. Good hurls statements of truth at falsehood in the open court of public opinion and depends upon the sincerity of people to recognize its legitimacy and to make the necessary sacrifice to undo the powers of corruption. Evil tries to crush good by perverting its message and maligning its messengers, anticipating that people will side with power, self-glorification, and vilification of "the other," and have faith in false hope that the obduracy will keep them secure against change, admitting wrongfulness, and implementing justice.

When God commanded Muhammad, peace be upon him, to announce his prophethood to his people and declaim the Quran among them, the Makkan elite perceived his message of human equality before God as a threat to their standing because they believed that their personal status and the fortunes they had amassed directly resulted from the imbalanced mores of tribalism and the culture of idol-worship. Several notables among the Prophet's clan of Quraysh went to the nearby city of Thaqif and conspired to revile the Prophet and those who followed him. The Prophet had long enjoyed a reputation for impeccable honesty and trustworthiness among the character-conscious Arabs, which the power-elite feared might lend credence to his call. Their purpose was to kill Islam in its cradle by giving it an aura of dishonour and associating it with conflict. This, they hoped, would rile people in the name of tribe and tradition and mire them in irrelevant debate in order to keep them from an actual examination of the principles of Islam as a religion and from comparing it with the conventions and explanations of their parochial paganism, and thus discourage conversion to Islam or cause new converts to renounce it.

The above verses informed such avid opponents of truth that the fleeting pleasures of the world they so dearly loved would pass away. Then the Resurrection they belied would transpire, and God's Judgment would bring them to eternal woe.

Compiled From:
"The Gracious Quran" - Ahmad Zaki Hammad, pp. 291, 292

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Cruel Jokes

One day the Prophet, peace be upon him, was on a journey with his Companions. Each one of the Companions had with him his belongings including weapons, sleeping mats and food. They stopped over at a place and a man amongst them fell asleep. His friend turned to a rope he had and took it jokingly. When the man woke up and found the rope missing from his belongings, he was terrified and began looking for it. Thereupon the Prophet said, "It is not allowed for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim." (Abu Dawud)

Similar is the case with someone who jokes with you thinking that you will be happy, whereas in reality, he only harms you, or even worse, fills your heart with fright and anxiety. For instance, he notices that you have just parked your car outside a grocery with the engine running, so he comes and drives off in your car, causing you to think that your car has been stolen - obviously as a joke. The one on the receiving end of such jokes may respond courteously and may even laugh at the joke, but the fact remains that the joke was still cruel.

Compiled From:
"Enjoy Your Life"- Muhammad 'Abd Al-Rahaman Al-"Arifi, pp. 399, 400


Appreciate the Scenery

The most beautiful thing about beautiful scenery is that it usually inspires us. It has us connecting so many dots and feeling such harmony. If a husband has just had a big fight with his wife, a walk in the fresh air would likely have him come back home calmer, and more ready to find a solution. If a family wants to spend quality time together, have fun, and make memories that would last for generations, they might go on a camping trip together. A stressed employee might take lunch in the park because the natural surroundings might mean a tranquil break in the day. A student who takes a year off for traveling before beginning university can open up his/her horizons and have the experience help decide what he/she really wants for the future.

At times, people will look into life-coaching or help when they feel like something in their life needs to change. They may feel that they're just going around in circles and all the scenery looks the same, and it isn't of the inspiring variety. They know they need goals, they know they need a point B, they know they need a vision for their lives, but for some reason, they haven't been able to define it. They haven't discovered what would make them love their life and savour everyday simply because they're working towards the realization of that vision. And they're hoping that a coach will tell them what their vision should be.

Sorry to say it, but that's a futile hope. Vision comes from within you. You decide. Others may influence your thoughts about it, perhaps even help you mould it, but, at the end of the day, it is you who has to live it. And if you've decided that it is not a fun one, that it is a futile waste of your time and might cause complete and utter misery, then it's a dumb vision to hold on to because you'll never do anything about it. You'll need to: "Get a life! Get a vision!"

When you finally find your 'right' vision, your life will never be the same. You'll have such purpose and drive, that you may wake up in the mornings much earlier than usual and perhaps even without the aid of an alarm clock.

If you can dream it, if you can picture it, if you can visualize it, you're on your way to yours. There's something so liberating about finally connecting to that dream. I can't tell you what that feels like, but I pray that you find it soon. Or maybe you've already found it, but have buried it somewhere beneath responsibilities or life's tasks that consume your time. Or maybe you're frightened of failure, or maybe even success. But if you don't do this, not much else will seem important. You set a vision so that you can start appreciating the scenery. And the waves upon your feet.

Compiled From:
"Release Your Inner Queen of Sheba!" - Heba Alshareef, pp. 76 - 78