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Today's Reminder

January 26, 2021 | Jumada II 12, 1442

Living The Quran

When God Intervenes
Ta Ha (Ta Ha) Chapter 20: Verse 72 (partial)

"Decree, then, whatever you are going to decree. You can only decree on what pertains to this worldly life."

It was God who conducted the battle between faith and tyranny. The believers were not required to do anything other than follow the inspiration received by Moses and to move out at night. The believers were no match for the unbelievers in terms of material power. Moses and his men were weak and powerless, while Pharaoh and his army held all the material power. Hence, a battle between the two parties could not take place. Therefore, God took over, but only after the truth of faith was fully engrained in the hearts of those whose only strength was that which they derived from faith. Thus we see the tyrant delivering his threat and warning the believers of doom and the believers, with their hearts full of faith reply with the above verse.

The simple truth of the matter is that when the battle between faith and tyranny reached this level in people's hearts, God himself took up the banner of truth and hoisted it high, leaving the banner of falsehood trampled upon.

When the Children of Israel accepted the humiliation Pharaoh imposed on them, by virtue of his persecution campaign, killing their men and sparing their women, God did not interfere on their side. They simply accepted their subjugation, fearing Pharaoh and his power. But when faith was paramount in the hearts of those who believed in Moses and his message, and when they were ready to withstand the torture with their heads held high, declaring their rejection of Pharaoh and their belief in God, then God intervened and conducted the battle. Thus, victory was achieved on the battlefield as it was earlier achieved within their hearts and souls.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 11, pp. 431, 432

From Issue: 770 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Prophet's Community

The Prophet (peace be upon him) highlighted certain actions and made it clear that a person who resorts to them does not belong to the Muslim community. These are actions that are treacherous, hostile or unbecoming. One such action that is universally known by all Muslims is cheating, because the Prophet says: 'Whoever cheats us does not belong to us'. [Muslim]

The Prophet also makes it clear that a person whose attitude is such as to try to cause injury to a group of believers does not belong to that community of believers. Abu Hurayrah reports that the Prophet said: 'Whoever bears arms against us does not belong to us'. [Bukhari]

This is easily understood because a person who carries arms against a group of people certainly has no love for them and does not consider himself as belonging to them even though he may be related to them by blood. This applies in a wider context, to one who carries arms against a group of Muslims, in his own community or in a different community, and is thus pronounced as not belonging to the community of Muslims, i.e. he is not a Muslim. How could he belong to them when he is ready to fight them with arms?

All these hadiths that place certain individuals outside the Muslim community point out certain odious, contemptible or evil practices which cannot be associated with the Prophet, his message, or Divine faith. Hence, the Prophet always described them as not belonging to him or to his community. Only what is good, respectable and beautiful belongs to him.

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

From Issue: 1059 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Mission

We are probably deluged with more images of pain than any previous generation; they are beamed into our homes nightly on the evening news. It is easy to get compassion fatigue and tempting to dismiss these spectacles from our minds, telling ourselves that there is nothing we personally can do and that this misery has nothing to do with us.

Instead of steeling ourselves against the intrusion of other people's pain, we should regard our exposure to global suffering as a spiritual opportunity. Make a conscious effort to allow these television images to enter your consciousness and take up residence there. Extend your hospitality to them, and "make place for the other" in your life. It is a powerful way of developing "concern for everybody." If a particular image speaks to you strongly, focus on it; there may be a special reason for this. Bring this image deliberately to mind at various times in the day. Summon it when you are feeling sorry for yourself - or during a moment of happiness, when you are filled with gratitude for your good fortune. Make a friend of the distressed person, so that she becomes a presence in your life: direct your thoughts of loving kindness and compassion to her during your meditation.

But it cannot stop there. We must act practically to alleviate the pain of others. We cannot allow ourselves to feel paralyzed by the immensity of global misery. We cannot all rush off to foreign parts. Indeed, there is no need to do so: we will find plenty of opportunities on our own doorstep. Suffering is not confined to distant parts of the globe. Because we have a self-protective tendency to keep suffering at bay, we sometimes fail to recognize the signs of poverty, loneliness, grief, fear, and desolation in our own city, our own village, or our own family. So look at your world anew and choose your mission. There is a need that you - and only you - can fulfill. Do not imagine that you are doomed to a life of grim austerity or that your involvement in suffering will drain your life of fun. In fact, you may find that alleviating the distress of others makes you a good deal happier.

Compiled From:
"Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life" - Karen Armstrong, pp. 167-169

From Issue: 778 [Read original issue]