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Today's Reminder

February 21, 2020 | Jumada II 26, 1441

Living The Quran

Gradual Way
Al-Rum (The Romans) - Chapter 30: Verse 39

"Whatever you give to people in usurious hope that it may return to you increased through the goods of (other) people, will bring no increase in God's sight. Whereas whatever you give in charity seeking God's 'Face' (His approval and good pleasure), for those there is increase (of recompense) multiplied."

Islam never aims to favour hypocrisy and hypocrites. So before establishing a law, first it trains and prepares hearts and minds in its favour or against it. This is why the Prophet's Companions could easily accept any commandment when it was revealed. To this end, Islam followed a gradual way in establishing its legal code. In Makkah, it prepared hearts and minds for its future injunctions. For example, throughout the Makkan verses it propounded many rules only as moral values; many of these would later become laws in Madinah. It also followed a gradual way in prohibiting such established vice as drinking alcohol and transactions involving interest.

This verse is the first to be revealed on the way to the decisive prohibition of transactions involving interest, with the aim of encouraging Muslims to avoid it. Some people would give gifts or similar things to others, particularly the merchants and money-lenders; this was not done with a pure intention, but with the hope or aim that it might come back to them, increased in value. That is, those who took these "gifts" would use them in their trade for profitable transactions, and return the "gifts" with the extra amount or value to the original owner.

Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, p. 842

From Issue: 844 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Treaty

The Prophet viewed all treaties very seriously. He never broke a promise he gave to anyone, nor would he violate a treaty that had been concluded and witnessed by both parties. For example, a few moments after concluding the ?udaybiyah peace agreement with the Quraysh, a Muslim who was imprisoned and tortured in Makkah arrived and sought refuge with the Muslims. His father was the Quraysh negotiator of the agreement. He demanded that the Muslim, Abu Jandal, should be handed over to him. The Prophet requested him to allow his son to stay with the Muslims. In his appeal to the father, the Prophet said: "The ink has not dried yet on the agreement document." The father adamantly refused. The Prophet consoled Abu Jandal and handed him over to his father, telling him: "It is not right for us in our faith to go back on our pledges." [Ibn Hisham]

The Prophet's strict observance of commitments that he had made under treaties was mirrored by a serious view of any violation of treaties by the other side. Each one of the three Jewish tribes that were party to the Madinah convention was expelled from Madinah when they violated its terms and adopted a hostile attitude.

When the overwhelming majority of the population of Arabia had adopted Islam, it was God's decision to claim the entire Arabian Peninsula as a land of Islam. Therefore, all treaties that did not specify an expiry date were declared abrogated, with a notice of four months to provide the people concerned with some time to determine what they wished to do. The treaties that specified a date of expiry were to run to the end of their terms. The Prophet made the required announcement on the grand day of pilgrimage, so that it would be known to all tribes at the same time. Thus, everyone was clear about their prospects and the options available to them, and they could make their decision with full recognition of the consequences.

Compiled From:
"Muhammad: His Character and Conduct" - Adil Salahi

From Issue: 930 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Distress

At the core of all harmful emotional symptoms lies distress or anxiety, al-gham. It is like the root with the rest, its branches. It is the starting point of all symptoms and their augmenter. For example, before he experiences rage and anger, a person first feels anxiety and distress concerning the situation that triggers the anger. Similarly, it is distress or anxiety over a fearful situation that precedes the symptom of fear and terror.

The opposite state of this distress is happiness and joyfulness which is also the root cause of all the positive emotional states that a person experiences such as tranquility, pleasure and delight. Thus anxiety, distress and happiness are the opposite poles of the root causes of all pleasing and tormenting symptoms. Therefore distress and anxiety are the most powerful causes of the psychological illness of the soul and joy and happiness are the main basis of its health. Thus, if one is keen concerning the sustenance of one's soul, then one should do one's best to shield it from distress and to lead it to joyfulness in the same manner that one who is keen with regards to his physical health will avoid those things that would lead to disease and take those that would enhance one's health.

Compiled From:
"Abu Zayd al-Balkhi's Sustenance of the Soul: the Cognitive Behavior Therapy of a Ninth Century Physician " - Malik Badri, pp. 35, 36

From Issue: 974 [Read original issue]