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Today's Reminder

January 19, 2020 | Jumada I 23, 1441

Living The Quran

Al-Ankabut (The Spider)
Chapter 29: Verse 56

Spacious Earth
"You servants of Mine who have believed! Spacious is My earth; worship Me alone, then."

This verse is addressing the believers who suffer persecution at the hand of the unbelievers, who aim to prevent them from worshipping God. It tells them to try to flee from persecution so that they can truly practise their faith. This is given in the form of a loving address that touches one's heart.

The Creator of these hearts who knows all their feelings, fleeting thoughts, perceptions and ideas address them with love, inviting them to emigrate for the sake of their faith. These words, right from the onset give them a feeling of their true status, linking them to their Lord: 'Servants of Mine!'

This is the first caring touch, while the second is felt in what comes next: 'Spacious is My earth." You are My servants, and this is My earth, which is spacious and can comfortably accommodate you. What keeps you, then, in a hostile place where you are oppressed and persecuted on account of your faith, and where you cannot worship God in freedom? Leave this narrow and restricted place and find somewhere else in My spacious earth, to enjoy freedom of worship.

Sorrow at leaving one's own homeland is the first feeling which stirs in the mind of one who is invited to leave his home. Hence, these words stress closeness to God and the earth's spaciousness. Since it is all God's earth, then the place to be loved most is that where one enjoys freedom to worship God alone.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 13, pp. 340, 341

From Issue: 528 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Transformation

The hearts of all humans are between the fingers of Allah, and He turns them in any way that He desires. The Arabic word for heart, qalb, comes from the root qalaba, which means to change, alter, transform, or convert. The heart is constantly changing, and the greatest fear is that it would change from belief to disbelief. Even the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to supplicate for an obedient heart, saying: "Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between two fingers of the Compassionate, like one heart. He turns that to any direction He likes." Then the Messenger of Allah said: "O Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Your obedience." [Muslim]

Guidance from Allah helps people to be sincere to Allah, both in their hearts and in their actions. It helps them to be steadfast and patient in times of adversity, and grateful in times of abundance and blessings.

The guidance that Allah provides come in many forms, but it is primarily through influencing the heart and soul of the individual.

Compiled From:
"Psychology from the Islamic Perspective" - Dr. Aisha Utz, pp. 116-117

From Issue: 890 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Demonstrations

“Is it Islamic to demonstrate?” I thought such a question was outdated but it does not seem to be the case, as some people claim to be scholars and confuse minds.

Some are asking for verses and prophetic traditions (ahadith) that would allow demonstrations. Actually the onus of real proof lies with those who forbid it. The first principle in Islam, in social affairs, is permission and it is for those who prohibit protests to provide us with a verse or a clear tradition (hadith) banning demonstrations. It simply does not exist!

Some “scholars of power”, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt (and indeed historically under all despots), produce fatwas, with questionable interpretations and biased positioning, stating that the leaders (whoever they are) must be obeyed and therefore demonstrations are prohibited. Serving the despotic powers and States, installed and paid by them, these “scholars” produce legal opinions tailored for power. These are not Islamic fatwas by scholars, but political fatwas by courtiers.

What the Prophet (peace be upon him) said is pretty clear: “The best jihad is a word of truth before a tyrant, a despot.” [Abu Dawud] This is exactly what those protesting in the streets are doing… they are speaking a word of truth where they live, where they are able to do so. It is a noble action, sometimes very brave because of the risks involved, and it is an action that is sometimes more a duty than a right.

We shall remember Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) before Pharaoh: “Tell him gentle words, perhaps he will remember or he will be moved, shaken.” [Quran 20:44] There is a way of speaking: with firmness and gentleness, with courage and without violence. Gentleness and non-violence are indeed true courage: no insults, no vandalism, no racism. Dignified and powerful speech by women and men respecting themselves and their cause. As for those who vandalize or shout racist slogans, they express more their personal frustrations than they defend a cause. Or they are manipulated, or they are infiltrators trying to ruin the cause.

We should not be naive when organizing events: it is imperative to give every effort to be both heard and never instrumentalized or exploited. This is a requirement and a responsibility, but we must never be silent. In all circumstances, we need to remain wise and courageous. Simply put, … wise, and courageous.

Compiled From:
"Demonstrations are Anti-Islamic?" - Tariq Ramadan

From Issue: 803 [Read original issue]