Mutual Loss, The Framework, Veils of Destiny

Issue 961 » August 25, 2017 - Dhul Hijja 2, 1438

Living The Quran

Mutual Loss
Al-Taghabun (Mutual Loss) Sura 64: Verse 9 (partial)

"The day He will gather you together: on the day of gathering, that will be the day of mutual loss."

It has been said that Yawm al-taghbun is one of the names of the Day of Judgment. This refers to the gain of one at the loss of another on that Day. The fortunate ones will see themselves escaping the places of the wretched ones that they would have inherited, had they been wretched ones; and the wretched ones will see the places of the fortunate ones escape them that they would have inherited, had they been the fortunate ones. Thus, it will be a mutual loss. (Zamakhshari)

The utter loss of the disbelievers will become evident on the Day of Judgment when they are deprived of eternal delight because of their abandonment of faith. Moreover, believers will realize a certain 'loss,' as well, because they will then realize their missed opportunities in life for increased righteous works. (Al-Khazin)

Perhaps in plain terms, since everyone will lose something or the other of his good deeds to others, as a penalty for wrongs done, it will be a day of mutual loss for all.

Compiled From:
"Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, p. 293
"The Gracious Quran" - Ahmad Zaki Hammad, pp. 271, 272

Understanding The Prophet's Life

The Framework

At-Tirmidhi transmitted from al-Harith al-Awar: "I went by the mosque and found the people there delving into hadiths. I went to Ali and told him. He said, 'Are they really doing that?' 'Yes,' I said. He said, 'As for me, I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "It will become a trial." I asked, "What is the way out of it, Messenger of Allah?" He replied, "The Book of Allah contains news of what was before you, reports about what will come after you, and judgement of what is among you. It is a Decisive Word and is not a joke. If any tyrant abandons it, Allah Almighty will crush him. If anyone seeks guidance from other than it, Allah Almighty will misguide him. It is the firm rope of Allah. It is the Wise Reminder and it is the Straight Path. It is that which sects cannot make deviate and which cannot be disordered by tongues. Scholars can never have their fill of it and it does not wear out by repetition. Its wonders do not end. When the jinn heard it, it made them say, 'We have heard a most amazing Recitation. It leads to right guidance, so we believe in it.' (72:1) Whoever utters it is truthful. Whoever acts by it is rewarded. Whoever judges by it is just. Whoever calls to it is guided to a Straight Path.' Take it for yourself, Awar.'"

A religious judgement cannot be made on the basis of one hadith separate from others. One hadith must be added to other hadiths and then the combined hadiths compared with what the Quran indicates. The Quran is the framework within which hadiths are acted upon and it must not be overstepped. Anyone who claims that the Sunna overrules the Book or can abrogate any of its rulings is deluded.

Compiled From:
"The Sunna of the Prophet" - Muhammad al-Ghazali


Veils of Destiny

Time has been created by God for people such that everyone recognises its nature and importance according to his own knowledge. Only God is not bound by time. Time simply does not apply to God. It is only a human reality, and God decreed that goals should take time to be achieved. We cannot change the world or even change ourselves in a moment. This will never happen. You may try to learn the Quran by heart as fast as you can. But you should not memorise the Quran in a week or a month. And if you commit it to memory in a month, you will forget it all in a month or even less. We must let things take their necessary time and surrender to God's laws and destiny. In fact, people who try to make abrupt changes in themselves or the world around them often fail and most likely despair!

Muslim jurists state the following maxim: "A person who hastens something before its due time will be punished by being deprived of it." In other words, if one ignores the fact that time is needed for any significant change in this world, one not only delays the desired change but will most likely lose it forever.

Among the veils of destiny that every Muslim must also note is what scholars call the "duty of the time" (wajib al-waqt). Throughout one's life, there are different stages that carry with them different duties and responsibilities. For example, at one stage, you must work hard to earn money to get married. This might take much time and effort for a while. At another stage, you might have to look after young children or elderly parents, and take care of their affairs. At a later stage of life, when children are older and more independent, you may have financial security, but will have to work hard to achieve a certain higher goal or fulfil your duties in a public service office, for example. At a different stage, the duty of the time might involve travel in pursuit of knowledge, or perhaps, God forbid, taking a long break for health reasons. In all of the above cases, you cannot pierce through the veils of destiny. When you are sick, you cannot behave as you did when you were healthy, and when you are seventy, you cannot behave as you did when you were forty!

This is an important step on the path to God: always pay attention to the duty of your time, as much as you understand it. Believe in God's wisdom in everything He gives or takes away, and surrender to the laws of the universe and the veils of destiny.

Compiled From:
"A Journey to God: Reflections on the Hikam of Ibn Ataillah" - Jasser Auda