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Today's Reminder

September 25, 2020 | Safar 7, 1442

Living The Quran

Faith in Action
Al-Baqarah (The Cow) Chapter 2: Verse 143 (partial)

"God will never let your faith go to waste."

This sentence has usually been interpreted to mean: "God will never let the Prayers you did turning to the Bayt al-Maqdis go to waste." However, it also conveys more general and important truths, such as:

  • Faith cannot be separated from action. One's way of life and acting demonstrate whether one is a believer or not.

  • The Prayer has an essential relation with faith. The Prayer, together with the intention in it and the way of doing it, is a definite sign of the character and depth of one's faith.

  • Good deeds or actions done only for the good pleasure of God and based on faith will profit in the Hereafter. Whatever is done as a requirement of faith never goes to waste provided one preserves one's faith and goes to the other world with that faith strong and intact.

Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 73

From Issue: 603 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Memorable Night

On the memorable night of Isra (Night Trip) and Miraj (Ascension to heaven) the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sleeping in the house of his cousin, Umm Hani. Said Umm Hani: "The Messenger of Allah spent the night in my house. He performed the Nigh (Isha) Prayer, then he slept, and we slept. Just before dawn we woke the Messenger of Allah, but when he performed the Dawn Prayer and we prayed with him, he said: 'O Umm Hani, I have prayed the Night Prayer with you in this valley, as you have witnessed, then I went to the House of Jerusalem and prayed therein, and I have prayed the Dawn prayer with you now, as you see.' I said: 'O Prophet of Allah, do not tell it to the people, they may belie and harm you.' He replied: 'By Allah, I will tell it to them.'" [Ibn Hisham, Ibn Saad]

Question may arise whether the Prophet'sIsraandMiraj was spiritual or physical or both. We can only say that if one's belief in the free, limitless power and potency of God is firm and unshakable, then the question at issue loses much of its interest. Whether the Night Trip or the stupendous Ascent were spiritual or physical, the two events were of the greatest significance and confirm that this honour upon the Prophet by his Lord acclaims him as a Divine Prophet.

Its impact upon Makkah was enormous. Some persons, who lacked belief and imagination and therefore could not conceive of the possibility of the two unusual events, became so shocked that they reportedly lapsed into apostasy. Only Abu Bakr refused to be overwhelmed by the extraordinary nature of the two achievements. When he was first told about the incident, he replied, 'By Allah, if he had said it, he must be truthful for I have believed him in his claims that revelation descends upon him from Heaven during the night. This latter matter is by far greater than what you are now wondering about.' Abu Bakr's reply showed his acute perception and natural common sense. Because of this incident, Abu Bakr was called 'As-Siddiq' - the one who affirms the truth.

Compiled From:
"The Makkan Crucible" - Zakaria Bashier, pp. 187 - 189

From Issue: 840 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Angelic Level

The goal of Fasting is the acquisition of one of the qualities of God, Great and Glorious is He, namely steadfastness (samadiya), as well as following the example of the angels by abstaining as far as possible from the desires of the flesh, for they are immune to such passions. The human status is superior to that of the animals, since man is able by the light of reason to tame his lust; yet it is inferior to that of the angels, in that he is subject to carnality and put to the test in combat with its temptations.

Whenever man falls prey to lust, he sinks to the lowest of the low and joins the animal herd. Whenever he curbs his desires, he ascends to the highest of the high and attains the angelic level. The angels are near the presence of God, Great and Glorious is He, so those who follow their example and model themselves on their character will likewise draw near to God, Great and Glorious is He. To resemble one who is near is to be near. This nearness, however, is not spatial but qualitative.

Compiled From:
"Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship" - Imam al-Ghazali

From Issue: 999 [Read original issue]