Darkness to Light, Lustful Gaze, Religion and State
Issue 535 » June 26, 2009 - Rajab 3, 1430
Living The Quran
Al-Ahzab (The Confederates)
Chapter 33: Verse 43
From Darkness into Light
"It is He who bestows His blessings upon you, with His angels, so that He might take you out of the depths of darkness into the light."
People are reminded of God's grace and the care He takes of His creation and the favours He bestows on them. Yet He is in no need of them while they need His care and blessings.
All glory to God who bestows great favours and doubles them over and over again. Yet He also remembers His weak servants who have no real power of their own and whose life is only transitory. He remembers them, taking care of them and blessing them together with His angels. One can hardly imagine it, when one knows that the whole earth with all the creatures living on and in it is no more than a tiny particle in relation to the great galaxies of the universe.
God's light is one, comprehensive, continuous. What does not belong to it is darkness, which differs and has several depths. If people stray from God's light, they have only darkness to live in. Nothing can save them or bring them out of this darkness except God's light that enlightens hearts and minds, filling souls and guiding them to what suits their nature. The grace God bestows on them and the angels' blessings and prayers for them are what takes them out of the darkness into the light. This is what happens to them when their hearts open up to faith.
"In The Shade Of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Volume 14, pp. 92, 93
Understanding The Prophet's Life
Many of us who are used to watching Sinbad or Temptation Island, or are addicted to Hollywood/Bollywood movies, or enjoy the company of people of opposite gender, may wonder what’s wrong with lustfully staring at the attractive features of the opposite gender? Perhaps one saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sums it all:
"The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Shaytan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for the fear of Allah, will receive from Him (Great and Gracious is He) a faith, the sweetness of which he will find within his heart." (al-Haakim.)
Therefore, a secret lustful look at a person of opposite gender has been compared by the Prophet (pbuh) to an arrow from Shaytan that:
- poisons our hearts
- ruins our intentions
- gives rise to false hopes and desires
- distorts our perception of 'reality'
- deprives us from enjoying and concentrating in Prayers
- gives rise to constant feeling of guilt and depression
- sometimes leads to sleepless nights
- renders our heart weak for continuous Shaytanic attacks
- promotes hypocrisy
- weakens our memory
- eventually leads to Zina (adultery)
- above all, diminishes our love for and fear of Allah
"Watch Out for The Arrow" - Young Muslims Publications [Download and Distribute]
Religion and State
"Human beings require cooperation for the preservation of the species, and they are by nature equipped for it. Their labour is the only means at their disposal for creating the material basis for their individual and group existence. Where human beings exist in large numbers, a division of activities becomes possible and permits greater specialization and refinement in all spheres of life. The result is umran (civilization or culture), with its great material and intellectual achievements, but also with a tendency toward luxury and leisure which carries within itself the seeds of destruction."
- From 14th-century Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah
On of Ibn Khaldun's best-known studies relates to the rise and decline of civilizations, and it is this that laid down the foundations of social science, the science of civilization and sociology. He explains how civilization and culture breed their own decline. They have a natural development into luxury, which produces moral laxity and depravity, until decay sets in, ending the dissolution of the formerly healthy society, which gradually becomes corrupted and hurries to its extinction.
He saw that society or civilization had a cyclical nature. It rose up because of a common need for protection and domination, reached a peak when the social bonds were at their strongest, before declining, and perished when group support and social bonds became diluted because of unhealthy competition and corruption at times of prosperity.
In Ibn Khaldun's mind, the only thing that could counteract the disintegrative forces, inherent in every nation, was religion. He said that Islam gave a community a lasting spiritual content, a complete answer to all problems of life; that it furnished the complete answer to his empirical inquiry into the organization of the human race. He saw religion as an absolute necessity for a really united and effective state.
"1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World" - Salim T S Al-Hassani, pp. 275 - 277