August 16, 2022 | Muharram 18, 1444
Chapter 14: Verse 22 (Partial)
No one professes, at the doctrinal level, that Satan is a partner of God in His divinity. Nor does anyone worship Satan. In fact, so far as verbal expressions go, people generally curse Satan. Ironically, the same people who curse him, also follow his ways, at times consciously, and at other times unconsciously. It is precisely this which has been termed as associating Satan with God in His divinity.
Polytheism does not merely assume one form, viz. associating others with God in matters of belief. There is also another form which consists of exalting someone to a position where it becomes imperative to follow him without any sanction for it from God, or even in opposition to God's command. Such an act, according to the Quran, is tantamount to setting up a partner to God in His godhead. A person who follows someone in this unreserved fashion is guilty of setting up a partner to God even if he keeps on abusing and cursing him. Even if such a person is not treated on a par with those who commit polytheism at the doctrinal level, nevertheless his act will be considered highly reprehensible.
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 4, pp. 265-267
From Issue: 484 [Read original issue]
Once the Prophet (peace be upon him) served a guest from Yemen a bowl of milk. When he finished drinking it, the Prophet asked him if he wanted more. The man said he would. This went on until the man drank seven bowls of milk, which was far more than what he needed. But when this man became a Muslim, the Companions noticed that he drank only one bowl of milk. The Prophet told them, "The disbeliever eats with seven intestines, while the believer eats with one." [Tirmidhi]
People eat much more now than ever in history, especially when it comes to meat. In the past, meat was eaten infrequently even by people of means, who ate meat once or twice a week. The poor ate meat once or twice in a year, mainly around times of Eid celebrations. Convenience stores and vending machines are all over the place. This abundance was unheard of not too long ago. All of this has virtually turned people into grazing animals, which is anathema to spiritual wellness.
There is now a callous relationship between human beings and their meals, an insensitivity to the flesh they eat and the source of their nutrition. The combination of overeating and a breakdown of meal manners impairs a person's ability to build fortitude. A Muslim begins each meal in the name of God. The purpose of this, in addition to sanctifying a mundane act, is to consciously remember the source of the provision.
"Purification of the Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 146, 147
From Issue: 858 [Read original issue]
Dialogue is not enough. Even if it is rigorous, even if it is necessary to give time to knowing, trusting, and respecting each other, even if we should take on ourselves the widest possible responsibility to report back, it is only one stage or one aspect of the encounter among the various religious traditions. It is urgent that we commit ourselves to joint action.
In dialogue, we soon realize that we hold a great number of convictions and values in common. We understand very quickly that we are facing the same difficulties and challenges. But we very rarely move outside these circles of reflection. Together we say "God," awareness, spirituality, responsibility, ethics, solidarity, but we live and experience, each one on one's own, the problems of education, transmission of spirituality, individualism, consumerism, and moral bankruptcy. In philosophical terms, we could say that we know one another in words but not in action. Our experience convinced us not only that this path is necessary but also that it is the only way to eventually change minds and build mutual respect and trust.
Acts of solidarity take place from within each religious family, but the examples of shared initiatives are rare. People sometimes invite others, but do not act in collaboration. One of the best testimonies that religious or spiritual tradition can give of itself lies in acts of solidarity between its adherents and others. To defend the dignity of the latter, to fight so that our societies do not produce indignity, to work together to support marginalized and neglected people, will certainly help us know one another better, but it will, above all, make known the essential message that shrines at the heart of our traditions: never neglect your brother in humanity and learn to love him, or at least to serve him.
"Western Muslims And The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 211, 212
From Issue: 806 [Read original issue]