Today's Reminder

August 16, 2022 | Muharram 18, 1444

Living The Quran

Al-Balad (The City) - Chapter 90: Verses 8-10

"Did I not give him two eyes, a tongue and two lips, and did I not guide him to [discern] the two paths?"

What you say reveals how happy you are. More than that, what you say can bring about your happiness or undermine it.

The eye sees, the ear hears, and the tongue gives it expression. Based on this, a person chooses what will either be good or bad. Your happiness and sadness do not depend on what you see and hear other people doing. It is your reaction that counts, what you do and say in response.

Do not entertain useless arguments. Say what is good. Expect what is good. Anticipate it. Do not let your thoughts run after fears, suspicions, and misgivings. When your friend tells you that you seem uncomfortable, respond that you are happy. Let your positive response improve your mood and make you happy for real. Do not weigh yourself down with negative thoughts. Do not call yourself a loser, an idiot, or weak-willed. Do not think that the doors of opportunity have been slammed in your face or that your life has no point. Make it your habit to say things that are positive, wholesome, and good, like Allah instructs us to do in the Quran. The people around you should only hear warm, agreeable and hopeful words from you.

You have what it takes. Pray to Allah with hope, keeping in mind that you are strengthening your abilities, building confidence in your future, reinforcing your will, and expecting the best from your Lord. Fire up your imagination by envisioning what you hope to achieve. Even if you sometimes lapse into your old ways, do not get frustrated. Say to yourself that you will try again and get it right.

Compiled From:
"The Language of Happiness" - Salman Al-Oadah

From Issue: 880 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Ethic of Action

Al tawhid commits man to an ethic of action; that is, to an ethic where worth and unworth are measured by the degree of success the moral subject achieves in disturbing the flow of space-time, in his body as well as around him. It does not deny the ethic of intent, but demands fulfillment of its requirements as the preliminary prerequisite for entering into the fulfillment of those of the ethic of action. He must enter the rough and tumble of history and therein bring about the desired transformation. He cannot lead a monastic, isolationist existence except as an exercise in self-discipline and self-mastery.

You will recall that the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to retire, to isolate and discipline himself, especially before revelation. Indeed, it may be said that revelation was the climax of his tahannuth [worship, avoidance of sin]. However, it was Allah Who ordered him not only to go down, but also to outwit his opponents when they plotted to kill him, to build a community, to emigrate, to build a state, to promote and govern the material life of his people. Our Prophet faced reality, political, economic, military reality and made history. He was husband and father, tradesman and provider, statesman and judge, military leader, and prophet, all at once. The revelation which came to him and of which he was the first embodiment left nothing without guidance or direction. Islam is a religion of action, and action is public and societal whereas an ethic of intent is personal and has no need to go out of conscience.

Compiled From:
"Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life" - Ismail Raji Al-Faruqi, pp. 163, 164

From Issue: 732 [Read original issue]



Israf signifies extravagance and wasteful use of what is otherwise permissible. Three factors are used to identify actions that fall within the boundaries of waste: Firstly, permissibility in Shariah, which means that forbidden acts exceed the limits even if there is no extravagant monetary spending. Secondly, rational judgment, which proscribes spending considered as being wasteful and foolish—such as destroying one's wealth for no good purpose. Thirdly, societal norms, which indicate the limits of normal expenditure from that which is excessive and wasteful—and this can vary from individual to individual. Permissible levels of expenditure on the personal as well as family levels are consequently not the same for everyone in a given society. One individual may spend his money in a certain way that will be considered as israf, while another individual may do the same but will not be considered wasteful.

Imam Sadiq is also reported to have said: "Many a poor people might be more extravagant than the wealthy!" It was asked of him: How can this be so? The Imam replied: "The wealthy spends out of what he has but the poverty-stricken individual spends beyond his financial position."

Compiled From:
"The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam: The Qur'anic Principle of Wasatiyyah (Religion and Global Politics)" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, p. 147

From Issue: 1004 [Read original issue]