July 27, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 17, 1442
Al-Ahzab (The Confederates) - Chapter 33: Verse 21
Striving with the energy of hope is more exalted than being compelled by fear. This is especially true when the benefits of one's acts touch the lives of others, which is the case with sadaqa (charity) for the needy. There is so much hope in Islam, its creed and ethos are rife with optimism and buoyancy. Planting a tree from which birds eat reaps the planter reward so long as that tree stands. Hope is light!
An act of worship done for the love of God is a higher station than those acts done out of fear of Hellfire. This is a common understanding among scholars throughout the ages. This view does not belittle the fear of punishment, but it does assign a higher station to guiding one's conduct out of awe of God and a heightened sense of His majesty and greatness.
"Purification of the Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 156, 157
From Issue: 766 [Read original issue]
Closest to God
Sujud (Prostration) is the noblest posture that a worshipper can be in, for it is the epitome of humility and submissiveness. And how can it not be, when a person in prostration lowers her face - the most noble and sacred part of her body - to the dust, seeking the pleasure of her Lord? This is why this posture is the most beloved by Allah, all Glory and Praise be to Him. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
"The closest any worshipper can be to his Lord is while he is in prostration, so increase your duas in it." [Muslim]
For this reason, the Prophet, peace be upon him, was prohibited by Allah from reciting the Quran while in a state of ruku or sujud, and he in turn, prohibited the Muslims from this also. Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said:
"I have been prohibited from reciting the Quran while in ruku or sujud, so during ruku, glorify your Lord, and during sujud, exert yourself in making dua, for it is very likely that you will be responded to." [Muslim]
"Dua: The Weapon of the Believer"- Yasir Qadhi, pp. 125, 126
From Issue: 696 [Read original issue]
Trust in Muhammad
The Night Journey experience, presented in classical accounts of the Prophet’s life as a gift from God and a consecration for the Messenger, the Elect (al-Mustafa) was a real trial for Muhammad and those around him. It marked the boundary between those believers whose faith radiated in their trust in this Prophet and his message and the others, who were taken aback by the improbability of such a story.
The trial that Muhammad’s Night Journey presented for his fellow Muslims occurred at a moment when they were struggling with a most difficult situation. Tradition reports that a few Muslims left Islam, but most trusted Muhammad. A few weeks later, facts confirmed some elements of his account, for instance the arrival of caravans whose coming he had announced (having seen them on his way back) and of which he had given a precise description.
Muslim scholars have, from the outset, pondered the question of whether the Night Journey was of a purely spiritual nature or whether it was also physical. The majority of scholars consider that the journey was both physical and spiritual. All things considered, however, this question is not essential in the light of the teachings that can be drawn from this extraordinary experience undergone by the Messenger.
All Revelation reached the Prophet in the course of his earthly experience, with the exception of the verses that establish the fundamental pillars of faith (al-iman) and the duty of prayer (as-salat). The Prophet was raised to heaven to receive the teachings that were to become the foundation of Islamic worship and ritual, al-aqidah and al-ibadat, which require that believers should accept their form as well as their substance.
Unlike the field of social affairs (al-muamalat), which calls for the creative mediation of people’s intellect and intelligence, human rationality here submits, in the name of faith and as an act of humility, to the order imposed by Revelation: God has prescribed requirements and norms that the mind must hear and implement and the heart must love.
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Tariq Ramadan
From Issue: 891 [Read original issue]