Place of Sleep, Tenderness, Collectivity
Issue 761 » October 25, 2013 - Dhul-Hijja 20, 1434
Place of Sleep
Ya-Sin (Ya-Sin) - Chapter 36: Verse 52
This statement reveals two facts concerning life in the grave. One is that compared with the dread of the Resurrection and the Place of Supreme Gathering, and the punishment in Hell, the suffering in the grave will be like a sleep tormented by nightmares.
The other is: Ali, the Fourth Caliph, may God be pleased with him, says that the life of the world is sleep, and people wake up when they die. So, from the perspective of the truths of faith and the truths concerning creation and life, the worldly life is like a dream. When people die, their seeing and perception will be much keener. Compared with the eternal life in the other world, life in the grave is like a dream during sleep. All truths will be manifested in all their clarity in the Hereafter.
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 912, 913
A text is narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad from Anas, he said: "There was a slave woman from among the slave women of Madinah and God's Messenger took her by the hand and he did not take his hand from her hand while she went with him wherever she wished to go." Al-Bukhari narrated it with the wording: "There was a slave woman from among the slave women in Madinah, and she took the Messenger of God by hand; then she walked off with him wherever she wished."
The hadith demonstrates the extent of the Prophet's, peace be upon him, humility, courtesy and tenderness: though she was a slave woman she clasped him by the hand and she consulted with him through the city streets of Madinah, so that he decided for her certain needs. He was of extreme modesty and great in character, he did not want to hurt her feelings by withdrawing his hand from her hand. Rather, he shaded her, moving along with her in this situation until she was finished with the judgment of her need.
"Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, p. 165
It is impossible to live, to bear witness, to pray, to fast, to make the pilgrimage alone, apart from other people and thinking only of oneself. To be with God is to be with other people: to bear the faith is to bear responsibility for social commitment at every moment. The teaching that must be understood from zakat could not be more explicit: to possess is to have the duty to share. It is impossible shamelessly to accumulate possessions in the name of personal freedom when it leads to exploitation and social injustices; it is impossible, too, to forget the interests of society as a whole and consider only one's own. Of course, people are free, but they are responsible for this freedom before God and other people. This responsibility is undeniably moral: according to this morality, to be free means to protect the freedom and dignity of others.
The four practical pillars of Islam have this double dimension - individual and communal. The essence of Islamic teaching lies along this path between these two extremes: either to put first individuals and their own interests and so create a a social space that may turn into a jungle, no matter how lofty the speeches that may be made, or to give priority to the group and to the society and to deny the specificity, the hopes, and desires of each individual by creating a structure that binds and alienates, no matter how many plans there may be for development. A difficult balance, but it is the only way to respond to the demand of the Creator, who expects each person alone to bear responsibility for his or her community life.
"Western Muslims and The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 181, 182