Brutal Threats, Absolute Confidence, The Desire for More
Issue 595 » August 20, 2010 - Ramadan 10, 1431
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?
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 13, p. 26
The Messenger's knowledge of God can never be equaled. As a result, he was the foremost in love of, and paradoxically, in fear of Him. He was perfectly conscious that everything depends on God for its existence and subsistence. Things exist and the universe operates according to the laws established by God and the fulfillment of prerequisites. Fully aware of this, the Messenger did what he had to and then, combining action with prayer, left the result to God with absolute confidence.
His supplications have been transmitted to us. When we read them, we see that they have deep meaning and accord exactly with the surrounding circumstances. They reflect profound belief, deep sincerity, absolute submission and complete confidence. One example is given below:
The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to pray the following, even though he was sinless: "O God, put between me and errors a distance as great as that which you have put between East and West. O God, cleanse me of my errors as a white garment is cleansed of dirt." [Bukhari, Muslim]
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 279, 280
The Desire for More
A disease that has spread throughout the world today is "the desire for more." Advertising and other aspects have made humans believe that many things are necessities today that one cannot live without. Through the fast, the believer is able to put quite a different perspective on the abundance of goods, including food and drink, that he surrounds himself with.
It is interesting to note that the fast of Ramadan was not made obligatory until the second year after the Hijrah. Sulaiman Nadwi notes that this may be significant in the fact that during the Makkan stage, in which time the Muslims were very poor and faced starvation on occasion, Allah did not require them to fast. It was only after the obstacles were removed and the material situation of the Muslims began to steadily improve, when worldly luxuries could become available to them, that Allah obliged the Muslims to fast the month of Ramadan. If this fact is admitted, it should once again cause one to consider the situation in which many Muslims of today are living. Indeed, the luxuries are there and readily available to them. Unfortunately, many Muslims have succumbed to the diseases of wallowing in these luxuries. This era is perhaps an especially important time to reflect on the importance of the fast and the many lessons it has to offer for the purification of the soul.
"Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 247, 248