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Today's Reminder

September 21, 2020 | Safar 3, 1442

Living The Quran

Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
Chapter 22: Verse 41

Islamic State
(They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.

These are the characteristics of those who help God and who are deserving of God's aid and support. When power is bestowed on them, rather than being like those who engage in evil deeds and who strut about arrogantly exulting in their power, such people concern themselves with such noble tasks like establishing Prayer. Likewise, rather than squandering their wealth on luxury and self-indulgence, they use it in the way of Zakah. Again, they use their power to promote goodness and to remove evil.

This verse succinctly states the basic objectives of the Islamic state. It also clearly expresses the main characteristics of its functionaries and rulers. Anyone who wants to comprehend the nature of the Islamic state will be able to do so with the help of this single verse.

It is God Who decides to whom governance of a territory should be entrusted. People who are intoxicated with power are prone to misunderstand that it is they who decide the fate of people. But God, Who has the power to transform a tiny seed into a huge tree, and Who conversely, can turn a huge tree into a pile of ashes, also has the power to strike a fatal blow and make an example of those who, by their acts of repression, struck terror into the hearts of people making themselves appear too welll entrenched to be removed from power. On the other hand, He can also raise the downtrodden to heights of power that none can dream of.

Source:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 6, p. 46

From Issue: 476 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Safety of The People

Anas ibn Malik reports: There was some alarm in Madinah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) borrowed a horse belonging to Abu Talhah, which was named al-Mandub. He mounted the horse and went. When he returned, he said: 'We have found nothing [to worry about], and we have found this horse to be like a sea'. [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah]

This highly authentic hadith shows how alert the Prophet was to any danger that threatened his community. Here we see him rushing to its source, not waiting for anyone to join him, borrowing a horse in order to be able to move speedily, and returning to reassure his people once he had established that there was nothing to worry about. What local leader would do this today, let alone the leader of any state? More likely, present-day leaders would go in the opposite direction. The safety of the leader is considered as far superior to the safety of the community. Even in the most caring systems, the safety of the leader is given paramount importance, although he may take measures to ensure the safety of his people. The Prophet, however, was the one to move first thereby demonstrating to his successors that it is their duty to ensure that the people are safe.

When the Prophet reassured his companions that there was no danger, he immediately moved on to divert their attention from the cause of the alarm, so as to bring them back to normality. He thus spoke of the horse he had borrowed, describing him as highly useful and likening him to a sea, in so far as it flowed smoothly.

Compiled From:
"Al-Adab al-Mufrad with Full Commentary: A Perfect Code of Manners and Morality" - Adil Salahi

From Issue: 1023 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Seeking Reputation

Seeking reputations entails informing others of one's acts of obedience after they had been performed free of blemishes.

This results from some causes of showing off. A good deed becomes corrupted when telling others of it. But should you repent, [the deed's goodness] is restored.

Similar to this are deeds done so that others may hear about them. The one who does this is also considered a seeker of reputation, according to those with insight.

The great brigand [al-Shizaz] who robs all of these wayfarers is covetousness.

This is the cause of every iniquity, such as backbiting, lies, preoccupation of the heart during one's prayers, and insincere praise of others. Indeed, one will inevitably resort to hypocrisy as a result of it.

If one recognizes that [creatures] are incapable of benefitting anyone even themselves, then [covetousness] wanes.

Compiled From:
"Purification of the Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, p. 74

From Issue: 549 [Read original issue]