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Today's Reminder

February 29, 2024 | Shaʻban 19, 1445

Living The Quran

Goodly Word
Ibrahim (Abraham) - Chapter 14: Verse 24

"Hast thou not seen how God has struck a similitude? A goodly word is like a goodly tree, its root set firm, its branches reaching into heaven."

The pure words and true speech of a person of faith are like a pure tree that gives forth good fruit. A pure tree in fine soil and pleasing water gives forth only sweet fruit. This is why God says, "And the goodly land, its plants come forth by the leave of its Lord" [7:58].

The pure soil is the soul of the person of faith, the pure tree is the tree of recognition, the pleasing water is the water of regret, and the sweet fruit is the formula of tawhid. Just as a tree sends down roots into the earth, so also recognition and faith send down roots into the heart of the person of faith. Just as the branches bring forth fruit in the air, so also the tree of recognizing tawhid brings speech to the tongue and deeds to the limbs, and both rise up. This is why the Exalted Lord said, "To Him ascend the goodly words, and He uplifts the wholesome deed" [35:10].

A tree is sustained by three things: roots sent down into the earth, a trunk standing in place, and branches lifted in the air. The tree of recognition has three things perfectly: attesting in the heart, acting with the limbs, and speaking with the tongue. The Prophet said, "Faith is recognizing with the heart, assenting with the tongue, and acting with the body." [Ibn Majah, Tabarani]

Compiled From:
"Kashf al-Asrar wa Uddat al-Abrar" - Rashid al-Din Maybudi. p. 269

From Issue: 1018 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

The Inner Power

Intention is the first step in the rational method of developing our innate power of free will, because it is intimately related to our freedom of choice and action and as such forms the very basis of our accountability. Intention is an inner power that abhors imposition of any limitation on its freedom.

One's intention is an integral part of one's life and no other man, however powerful, has any power whatsoever over another person's intention. The last resort of a Muslim when he is overwhelmed by difficulties is to save himself from the displeasure of Allah, the Exalted, by submitting his every intention to Allah.

In a sound hadith we read that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Whoever among you sees an evil should try to change it with his hands. If he is not able to do so, then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do even that, then with his heart, and this is the weakest form of faith." [Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Majah]

By understanding and following this psychological or inner mode of behaviour, a Muslim is able to achieve two things. He can:

1) Hold fast to the strong unbreakable rope of Allah, and
2) Preserve his freedom of choice and abide by his cherished beliefs.

Compiled From:
"Freedom and Responsibility in Quranic Perspective" - Hasan Al-Anani, pp, 170, 171

From Issue: 503 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Shariah and Fiqh

Fiqh is the legal science and can sometimes be used synonymously with Shariah. The two are, however, different in that Shariah is closely identified with divine revelation (wahy), the knowledge of which could only be obtained from the Quran and Sunnah. Fiqh has, on the other hand, been largely developed by jurists and consists of rules which are mainly founded on human reasoning and ijtihad. Shariah is thus the wider circle, and it embraces in its orbit all human actions, whereas fiqh is narrower in scope and addresses mainly what is referred to as practical legal rules (al-ahkam al-amaliyah). The path of Shariah is laid down by God and His Messenger; the edifice of fiqh is erected by human endeavour.

Muslim scholars have generally regarded fiqh as understanding of the Shariah, and not the Shariah itself; a certain distinction between them had thus existed from the formative stages of fiqh. Note, for example, that the leading schools of law that were developed in the first three centuries were all known as the schools of fiqh. They were not known by any such terms as the Hanafi Shariah, or Shafii Shariah but consistently as Hanafi fiqh, Shafii fiqh and so forth. The underlying message was one of unity in reference to Shariah but of diversity with regard to fiqh.

Compiled From:
"Shariah Law - An Introduction" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 15, 16

From Issue: 540 [Read original issue]