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Today's Reminder

June 02, 2023 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 13, 1444

Living The Quran

Pure Happiness
Yunus (Jonah) - Chapter 10: Verse 4 (partial)

"He originates all His creation, and then brings them all back to life so that He may reward, with equity, those who have believed and done good deeds. As for the unbelievers, they shall have a scalding drink and a grievous suffering for their unbelief."

Administering justice to all is in itself one of the aims of original creation and bringing all creatures back to life. Similarly, giving pure happiness and enjoyment without any unwelcome consequences to spoil its effects is another aim of the process of creation and resurrection. This is the utmost point of perfection which humanity can reach. Such a zenith cannot be attained in this life on earth which is always mixed with worry and distress. No happy experience in this life is free of a hiccup or an unwelcome aftermath, except perhaps for pure spiritual happiness which is very rarely experienced by human beings.

Had the inevitable termination of the happiness of this world been the only feeling people acknowledge, it would have been enough to make it imperfect and incomplete. In this life, humanity does not attain its highest potential, which implies getting rid of its weaknesses, shortcomings, and their consequences, as well as an enjoyment that is free of fear, worry, and apprehension of quick termination. Such happiness, graphically described in the Quran, is attained in heaven. As such, it is only proper that one of the aims of creation and resurrection is to enable those human beings who follow divine guidance, implementing the right code of living, to attain the highest standard of humanity.

The unbelievers have put the divine code of living aside and have chosen not to move along the way that leads to the attainment of human perfection. According to the laws of nature that never fail, their deviation keeps them well short of that level of perfection. As Shaikh Rashid Rida says, they will have to suffer the consequences of their errant ways just like one who violates the rules of health: he suffers disease and debility and they suffer distress after distress. The end result will be unmitigated misery, in contrast to the pure happiness the believers enjoy.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 9, p. 35

From Issue: 877 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Elevated Faith

Scholars indicate that Iman is not constant. Our level of faith increases with obedience to Allah and decreases with disobedience. As believers, we should pay attention to our level of Iman, being aware of when it increases and decreases and striving to be in a state of elevated Iman as much as possible.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that: "Every heart has a cloud covering it, with the similitude of a cloud covering a shining moon. It suddenly becomes dark when the cloud covers, but its brightness returns once the cloud has passed." [Al-Hilyah]

In this hadith, the Prophet presents an analogy. Our hearts are likened to the moon; just as the moon is sometimes covered by clouds that conceal its light, the heart is sometimes covered by clouds of sin that cover its light. At other times, the clouds go away, and the light shines again in the heart. The light increases when we strive to engage in acts that will increase our Iman.

The Prophet explained: "Faith wears out in the heart of any of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts." [Al-Hakim]

Compiled From:
"Psychology from the Islamic Perspective" - Dr. Aisha Utz, pp. 64-65

From Issue: 892 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Body and Soul

This world is a stage or market-place passed by pilgrims on their way to the next. It is here that they are to provide themselves with provisions for the way; or, to put it plainly, man acquires here, by the use of his bodily senses, some knowledge of the works of God, and, through them, of God Himself, the sight of whom will constitute his future beatitude. It is for the acquirement of this knowledge that the spirit of man has descended into this world of water and clay. As long as his senses remain with him he is said to be "in this world"; when they depart, and only his essential attributes remain, he is said to have gone to "the next world."

While man is in this world, two things are necessary for him: first, the protection and nurture of his soul; secondly, the care and nurture of his body. The proper nourishment of the soul is the knowledge and love of God, and to be absorbed in the love of anything but God is the ruin of the soul. The body, so to speak, is simply the riding animal of the soul and perishes while the soul endures. The soul should take care of the body, just as a pilgrim on his way to Mecca takes care of his camel; but if the pilgrim spends his whole time in feeding and adorning his camel, the caravan will leave him behind; and he will perish in the desert.

Compiled From:
"Alchemy of Happiness" - Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali

From Issue: 954 [Read original issue]