Natural Path, Heavenly Mercy, Antidotes

Issue 982 » January 19, 2018 - Jumada al-Awwal 2, 1439

Living The Quran

Natural Path
Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 51

"It is Allah Who is my Sustainer and your Sustainer. So worship Him. This is the straight way."

This represents the correction of the oft-repeated phrase "my father and your father" used in the Gospels. The Quran corrects this mistake and explains what Jesus had stated was in fact "Allah alone is my Sustainer and your Sustainer, so worship Him and Him alone." But instead of following this clear and explicit teaching, the Christians put on it an essentially allegorical and unclear interpretation. The word ab in Hebrew is used both for father and sustainer or nourisher and the word ibn is used both for son and for abd meaning a servant or a slave. Obviously, when a word is thus used in a possible dual sense, its actual sense at a specific place can be determined in the light of its context alone.

When the Christians adopted the creed of the divinity of Jesus, they used whatever material they could lay their hands on to support their creed, ignoring its context and original signification. Later, when the original Injil was lost and was replaced with translations only, the meaning and interpretation of everything underwent a drastic change and distortion. However, despite all these distortions, there are still in the Injil indications that clearly show that whenever Jesus uses the word ab for Allah, he invariably means rabb or Sovereign Sustainer. In fact at some places, by using other synonyms of this word, he makes his message amply clear. For instance, he is reported to have said: "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'" (John 20: 17).

From this statement, it is quite clear that Jesus uses the word ab for Allah in order to emphasise Allah's providential care and compassion for His creation and definitely not to trace his lineage to Him. Moreover, Jesus also states that Allah is his God as well as the God of all.

The straight path to Allah is to accept Him as the Sovereign Sustainer of all, ours as well as of all others and to worship and adore Him alone. Those who have introduced crookedness in it and have consequently strayed into labyrinths of error, polytheism and unbelief - are lost. There is no crookedness in this path and it leads directly to Allah. The use of the indefinite form - siratun mustaqimun (straight path) - underlines the importance and pre-eminence of this natural path.

Compiled From:
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah Ali Imran" - Amin Ahsan Islahi

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Heavenly Mercy

When one's knowledge and awareness increase, he will find himself in situations in which he becomes involved in many social matters and starts to learn about people's secrets, faults, and problems. This happens when he is consulted about a problem or becomes an arbitrator in certain disputes at the level of the individual, family, or society. Another source of knowledge is experience and insight that one gains over time; this allows one to judge people's nature and real character based on their outward appearance and what is between the lines of their speech or writing.

Learning people's secrets and their weaknesses is a form of power over them. A believer who happens to learn people's secrets should also learn how to deal with them.

First, one should not feel that he is authorised by God to act as a judge or have any illusion that he is on a great mission to establish justice based on the secrets he came to know.

Second, one must have heavenly mercy on others involved in the secrets. Heavenly mercy requires that one should not reveal people's faults. God is the One who conceals people's faults. A man called Maiz came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) confessing that he committed adultery. Hazzal, the Companion, said: "I saw him and ordered him to confess." The Prophet then said, "It would have been better for you if you had covered him with your robe, Hazzal." [Abu Dawud]

It is a major sin to reveal people's faults or use their faults against them. The Prophet is reported to have said: "A believer who conceals the faults of others in this world, God will conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection." [Muslim]

Compiled From:
"A Journey to God: Reflections on the Hikam of Ibn Ataillah" - Jasser Auda



Allah Most High has created man in a way that would not entirely save him from all sorts of physical or psychological maladies. However, He has also created, out of His mercy and compassion, an antidote for each one of these disorders. But He has spread out these antidotes and curing agents in all kinds of plants and animal parts as well as what He has created on top of the earth and under its surface. Not only that, but He has subjugated some of His servants to look for these medicines and bring them to the traders and merchants from far-flung places; from land and sea, from the shores of rivers, the tops of mountains, deep valleys and bottomless oceans.

Furthermore, He has designated some of His slaves to specialize in the profession of medicine that can utilize these therapeutic materials in helping the sick. There should be no doubt in the mind of any astute observer that the origin of this medical profession is a heavenly Divine revelation or at least it is an inspiration that is comparable to Godly revelation. By this Divine inspiration, these physicians were given the intelligent ability to combine the ingredients of these therapeutic potions into predetermined weights, precise quantities or fixed volumes. They must also be revered for documenting their medical knowledge in books that continue to serve future generations.

Accordingly, the great services of both the ones who bring the medicinal plants, the therapeutic animal parts or minerals from every corner of the earth, as well as the physicians who astutely combine them to treat the sick, must be appreciated and not be considered as meaningless or fruitless. In fact the fruits of these professions are a gift provided by Allah, Most High and Gracious, to promote the health of His slaves and creatures with the inspiration and support He has bestowed on these qualified experts. Thus, for every kind of disease, illness or disorder, there must be an antidote that would cure it if given in the correct manner.

The antidote in this respect is just like food to the hungry or water to the thirsty. This is so because the One who created the food and water is the same God who created the medicines and antidotes. Both are agents for human well-being and safety. And just as food would satisfy the hungry and water the thirsty so that they become satiated, suitable medicine is bound to bring about healing and the patient will regain his health and will no longer need to take the medicine.

Compiled From:
"Abu Zayd al-Balkhi's Sustenance of the Soul: the Cognitive Behavior Therapy of a Ninth Century Physician" - Malik Badri, pp. 67, 68