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Today's Reminder

June 19, 2024 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 12, 1445

Living The Quran

Brutal Threats
Al-Shuara (The Poets) Chapter 26: Verse 29

"[Pharaoh] said: If you ever serve a god other than me, I will most certainly have you imprisoned."

Tyranny does not fear anything more than the reawakening of people's hearts. It does not hate anyone more than an advocate of clear vision and right thinking. Its main opponent is the one who tries to awaken people's consciences. When Moses touched people's hearts with his description of God Almighty, Pharaoh was extremely angry. He ended the argument with a clear threat of force, which is the ultimate recourse of all tyrants, when they feel that any counter argument is too powerful.

Such is the argument and the evidence supporting it: a clear threat of imprisonment. The prison is available and the measure itself has been taken against others. It is a measure that exposes the weakness of falsehood when it faces the overwhelming power of the truth. Tyrants know no other way.

Nevertheless, Moses did not lose his composure. How could he have when he is God's Messenger, enjoying the support God has promised him and his brother?

Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 13, p. 26

From Issue: 595 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Visiting Graves

Abdallah ibn Buraidah reported from his father that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "I had forbidden you to visit graves, but now you may visit them. It will remind you of the Hereafter." [Muslim, Ahmad]

Aishah also reported: "I asked: 'What should I say when I pass by a graveyard, O Messenger of Allah?' He replied, 'Say, "Peace be upon the believing men and women dwelling here. May Allah grant mercy to those who have preceded us and those who are to follow them. Certainly, Allah willing, we will join you"'." [Muslim]

Imam Malik and some Hanafi scholars, and, according to one report from Ahmad, most of the scholars hold it permissible for women to visit graves. This is based on the preceding hadith from 'Aishah, "What should I say to them, O Messenger of Allah when visiting graves?" Abdallah ibn Abi Mulaikah is also reported to have said, "Once 'Aishah returned after visiting the graveyard. I asked, 'O Mother of the Believers, where have you been?' She said: 'I went out to visit the grave of my brother Abd ar-Rahman.' I asked her: 'Didn't the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, prohibit visiting graves?' She said, 'Yes, he did forbid visiting graves during the early days, but later on he ordered us to visit them'." [Al-Hakim and Al-Baihaqi]

Anas reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a woman crying by the grave of her son, and said to her, 'Fear Allah, and be patient.' She replied, 'What do you care about my tragedy?' When he went away, someone told her, 'Indeed, that was the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.' The woman felt extremely sorry and she immediately went to the Prophet's house, where she did not find any guards. She called out: 'O Messenger of Allah! I did not recognize you.' The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'Verily patience is needed at the time of the first affliction'.'' [Bukhari and Muslim] This supports the argument in favour of the permissibility of women visiting graves, for the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw her at the grave and did not show his disapproval of it.

The purpose of visiting graves is to remember the Hereafter, which is something that both men and women need. Men are by no means more in need of this reminder than women.

Compiled From:
"Fiqh-us-Sunnah" - As-Sayyid Sabiq

From Issue: 816 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Engaging with Values

Values are qualities or principles that people consider to be important and wish to personify. Our values help define the kind of person we want to be and the kind of life we want to live. When we live in accordance with them, our values influence our priorities, our thinking, our choices, our decision-making and our actions. When our actions are in alignment with our values, we do better and we feel better.

The way to genuine contentment and satisfaction isn’t through pleasurable experiences that depend on external circumstances. It is an inside job. It comes from making choices that are healthy and helpful, and in alignment with our values. When our actions are consistent with our values we participate in life in a way we can feel good about, regardless of external circumstances. Conversely, when our behavior violates our values it’s almost impossible to feel good about ourselves—no matter the outcome or external circumstances.

When you understand this, you understand that how you live your life is what’s most important because it is the source of true contentment. When people’s actions honor their values, they do the right thing—regardless of criticism or praise, pain or pleasure, loss or gain. And, in turn, they still feel much better about themselves.

But to live in a way that respects your values, you need to know what your values are. When was the last time you thought about your values? This is not something most people do unless a significant event (usually an extremely negative, painful or traumatic event) shakes them up so much they feel compelled to consider their life’s meaning and purpose. When this happens, a crisis can become an opportunity to think deeply about what their values are and what kind of life they want to live.

Even though values are often fairly stable it is not unusual for them change over time. As we progress through life and have new and different experiences, some values become less important to us while others become more so. This is one reason why it is helpful and healthy to regularly consider what is truly important to you. Even if you believe your values haven’t changed over the years, it is still helpful to engage in the exercise of values clarification.

As what’s important to you changes, so does your definition of success—and your personal values. That is why keeping in conscious contact with your values is a lifelong practice, but is especially valuable to engage in now.

Compiled From:
"Values Can Be a Conduit to Recovery" - Dan Mager

From Issue: 957 [Read original issue]