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Today's Reminder

March 05, 2021 | Rajab 21, 1442

Living The Quran

Personal Dignity
Al-Imran (The House of Imran) Chapter 3: Verse 84

"Say: We believe in God and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and in the scriptures that God sent to Moses and Jesus, and the Prophets. We make no distinction between them and we are Muslims."

The Quranic recognition of the truth and essential unity of the revealed faiths is not confined to Christianity and Judaism but extends to all the Prophets preceding Moses and Jesus and their teachings. Thus it is stated that belief in all of them is an integral part of the Muslim faith.

Affirmative references to other revealed religions is one of the major themes of the Quran. These recur in several places in the Book and they consistently confirm that Islam does not deny the followers of other faiths the freedom, both within and outside the territorial domain of Islam, to choose, retain and practice the religion they wish to follow. This is precisely the conclusion that commentators have drawn from the totality of the Quranic evidence. Referring to these verses, Fathi Uthman writes that 'Islam rejects compulsion even if it be the only way to Islam itself ... for worshipping God and the enforcement of His law cannot be properly achieved unless man is free from fear ...'.

The Quran is most explicit on the dignity and nobility of man, both individually and collectively, and it repeatedly expresses the theme that a person's dignity is ultimately related to his or her freedom - particularly freedom of conscience. In sum, the Quran is consistent in its affirmation of the freedom of belief and it fully supports the conclusion that the objective of the Shariah cannot be properly fulfilled without granting people the freedom of belief, and the liberty to express it.

Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 102, 103

From Issue: 790 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Importance of Appearance

The Muslim personality is a distinct one due to its unique code of behaviour and manners. Your appearance, taste, manners, and character reflect your personality. Our master, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, directed the blessed companions by saying, "You are on your way to meet your brothers, put on a nice dress and fix your saddles so you appear distinct among people as a mole [on a beautiful face]. Allah likes neither roughness nor tough manners." [Muslim]

When the Prophet said: "He will not enter Paradise who has a grain of arrogance in his heart," a man asked: "A man may like his dress to be nice and his shoes to be nice?" The Prophet answered: "Allah is beautiful and likes beauty. Arrogance is to deny rights and look down upon people." [Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad]

Shaikh Ibn Taymiyah said that the beauty that Allah likes includes nice clothes. Hence it could be said that Allah all nice things. Therefore, a Muslim ought to be recognized by neat dress, cleanliness and graceful manners.

Compiled From:
"Islamic Manners"- Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda, p. 25

From Issue: 553 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Rowboat

A new impetus must be generated that applies the Islamic spiritual paradigms as forces of social movements. The consequences of this are a new world order that incorporates the meaningfulness of the lives of everyday citizens, be they Muslim or not. This impetus has few exemplaries visible among those who are projected as Muslim leaders most dedicated to Islam. This reflects that elitist-mass-level dichotomy. The elites are preoccupied with establishing ever more authoritative control over the masses — while neglecting the mass-level input. The masses act with a totally unviable sense of reality, including those who presume the spiritual worth of Islam is only in the mosque or halqah as they continue to act with a world in such bleak disarray. If the world itself is going to hell in a rowboat, the best we can do is focus on saving our own souls for a glorious afterlife. I find this arrangement untenable. If Islam is not generated as a human-level concern and a mode of daily operations for the overall improvement of the quality of all aspects of life on the planet, then we will all go to hell in the same rowboat with the rest of the world. It's as simple as that.

As an obedient servant of Allah (abd), the goal of the traditional ascetic mystic, one can attain the level of active participant and full agent (khalifah) only in coordinating worldly affairs. The formulation of a thought system meant to enhance the overall quality of everyday life for all of God's creatures must become the immediate articulation for a long-term goal. It cannot and will not be done by taking refuge in the mosques as a spiritual buffer against a beleaguered world. I cannot adhere to or even believe that Islam was intended for such a dichotomy.

Compiled From:
"Inside The Gender Jihad: Women's Reform in Islam" - Amina Wadud, pp. 260, 261

From Issue: 1046 [Read original issue]