The Expectation, Speaking Ill, Real Power

Issue 690 » June 15, 2012 - Rajab 25, 1433

Living The Quran

The Expectation
Al-Taghabun (Mutual Loss and Gain) - Chapter 64: Verse 16

"Therefore, remain God-fearing as best as you can, listen, obey and be charitable. That will be best for you. Those that are preserved from their own meanness are the ones who will achieve success."

In this verse we see an aspect of God's care as He restricts what is expected of the believers to that which remains within their power and ability. He knows the limit of what they can do in obedience of Him. Limits cannot be set on obeying an order to do something. Therefore, what is within one's ability and power is sufficient. On the other hand, prohibition cannot be divided. It is required in full.

They are also called upon to be generous in what they donate. Normally, they spend their money on their own needs. God instructs them to spend in charity what is good for themselves. Thus, when they are charitable, they are actually spending their money on what is good for themselves. The verse also depicts meanness as a plague, one they must try to get rid of. He is happy who manages to achieve this.

God thus teaches us to rise above our weaknesses and shortcomings and how to aspire to the sublime, trying to be like Him, albeit within our limited abilities. God has breathed of His spirit into man, so that man will always aspire to achieve this ideal, within the scope of his nature and ability. Therefore, the sublime remains open for man always to aspire to. He can try to rise step after step so that he can meet God presenting what He likes him to present and what earns him His pleasure.

Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 17, pp. 59, 60

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Speaking Ill

Verbal abuse of others and talking harshly to them is not permissible. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is on record as saying: "One guilty of speaking ill and calling nicknames will not enter Paradise." [Abu Dawud, Bayhaqi] In a similar vein is the following hadith: "On the Day of Judgement the worst men in my sight will be those who talk in a vain and obscene manner, and who blow their own trumpet and make a false claim about their knowledge." [Tirmidhi] He also made the following observation: "A true believer does not reproach. He is also not guilty of cursing, uttering obscenity or talking ill of others." [Tirmidhi] What is important is that one should not attack others' honour.

Compiled From:
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, p. 22


Real Power

One of the issues that fuels our uncertainty about power is the fact that there are at least two forms of power -"power-over" and "real power." Unfortunately, when most of us hear the word "power" we automatically jump to the concept of power-over - the idea that power is the ability to control people, take advantage of other or exert force over somebody or something. We think of power as finite - there's only so much, so if I'm going to get some, I'm forced to take it away from you.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines power as "the ability to act or produce an effect." Real power is basically the ability to change something if you want to change it. It's the ability to make change happen. Real power is unlimited - we don't need to fight over it because there is plenty to go around. And the great thing about real power is our ability to create it. Real power doesn't force us to take it away from others - it's something we create and build with others.

Compiled From:
"I Thought It Was Just Me" - Brene Brown, pp. 24, 25