Consultation, Forbidden Acts, Persistence
Issue 786 » April 18, 2014 - Jumada al-Thani 18, 1435
Al-Nahl (The Bee) Chapter 16: Verse 43 (partial)
The Quranic principle of consultation although primarily addressed to the Muslims, does not exclude the non-Muslim citizen from the scope of its application, nor indeed from the ranks of the consultative assembly (majlis al-shura). Thus, the non-Muslim may be elected to the consultative assembly, and may represent his or her own community. The above verse authorizes non-Muslim participation in consultation pertaining to community affairs outside of the scope of religion.
The right to criticise government leaders and express an opinion critical or otherwise, in public affairs, or indeed to formulate a response to a statement or opinion expressed by another individual is, once again, the right of every citizen, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
However, matters which pertain to the dogma of Islam, or those which are regulated by the direct authority of the Quran or Sunnah, criticism, either from Muslims or non-Muslims, will not be entertained, as personal or public opinion does not command authority in such matters. Islam is basically a religion of authority, and the values of good and evil, or rights and duties are not determined by reference to public opinion, or popular vote, although these too have a certain role to play in the determination of the rulings. But, this need not diminish in any material sense the substance of the freedom of expression that the individual must enjoy under the shariah.
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 106, 107
"What I have forbidden you, stay away from. What I have ordered you to do, do as much of it as you can." (Bukhari, Muslim)
If fulfilling an order becomes very difficult upon a person, he is, in many cases, excused from fulfilling that command. This is an implication of this hadith. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has left no such room for indulging in forbidden acts. Even if it is difficult upon a person to refrain from a forbidden act, he must do so. He cannot use "hardship" or difficulty as an excuse to fulfill his desire by performing a forbidden act.
This hadith, in hand with other evidences from the Quran and Sunnah, have led most scholars to conclude that it is more important to remain away from forbidden acts than it is to perform the ordered deeds. This does not mean that one may be lax in performing what has been ordered. However, it does mean that one must be even more careful and stringent when it comes to avoiding the forbidden acts.
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 519-526
If you have ever experienced a nightmare, you will realize the value of persistence. You are lying in bed, half awake, with a feeling that you are about to smother. You are unable to turn over, or to move a muscle. You realize that you MUST BEGIN to regain control over your muscles. Through persistent effort of will-power, you finally manage to move the fingers of one hand. By continuing to move your fingers, you extend your control to the muscles of one arm, until you can lift it. Then you gain control of the other arm in the same manner. You finally gain control over the muscles of one leg, and then extend it to the other leg. THEN—WITH ONE SUPREME EFFORT OF WILL— you regain complete control over your muscular system, and “snap” out of your nightmare. The trick has been turned step by step.
You may find it necessary to “snap” out of your mental inertia, through a similar procedure, moving slowly at first, then increasing your speed, until you gain complete control over your will. Be PERSISTENT no matter how slowly you may, at first, have to move. WITH PERSISTENCE WILL COME SUCCESS.
There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:
1. A DEFINITE PURPOSE BACKED BY BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT.
2. A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION.
3. A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
4. A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS WHO WILL ENCOURAGE ONE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH BOTH PLAN AND PURPOSE.
These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life.
"Think & Grow Rich" - Napoleon Hill, pp. 159- 169