Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday Nasihah - Working for Living,Relating to Neighbours,Accountability

Living The Quran
Working for Living
Al Furqan (The Criterion) - Chapter 25: Verse 8 (partial)
"Or why has not a treasure been granted to him? Or he should have a garden to provide his sustenance."
An absurd objection focused on God's Messenger, peace be upon him, walking about the market-place earning his living: his position as Messenger would have been recognized had he been granted great wealth to save him the trouble of so working for his living.
But God willed that His Messenger should not have treasure or garden, because He wanted him to be a perfect example to be followed by his community. He was to fulfil the great task of delivering his message while he worked, earning a living at the same time. Thus, none of his followers could argue that the Prophet was freed from the responsibility of work, and thus was able to devote all his time to his message. None would take this as an excuse for not fulfilling his duty towards the divine message. We see clearly that the Prophet worked for his living while he also worked for his message. It is right, then that every one of his followers should do the same, so as to fulfil his own task towards the divine faith.
Wealth was later given in abundance to the Prophet so as the first experience should be completed and the example he provided be perfected. He did not allow such wealth to become his preoccupation, preventing him from the fulfilment of his task. Indeed, his generosity was so superior that is was likened by his Companions to unrestrained wind. He provided a perfect example in resisting the lure of wealth so as to enable his followers to look at affluence in the proper perspective. Thus, no one could say that Muhammad was able to fulfil the duties of his message because he was poor, having no preoccupations of wealth, free from the task of looking after it. Instead, he fulfilled his duties in both situations of poverty and affluence.
Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 12, p. 388

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Relating to Neighbours
Neighbours have rights, be they Muslims or non-Muslims. The Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "He is not a true Believer who eats his fill while his neighbour is hungry." (Bayhaqi.)
Thus, the quality of our Din (Faith) and fate in the Akhira (Hereafter) will also be determined by how well we fulfill your obligations towards our neighbours. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, a man said:
"O Messenger of Allah, such and such woman has a reputation for engaging very much in Prayers, Fasting and Almsgiving, but she hurts her neighbours with her tongue quite often." He said, "She will go to Hell." Then he said, "O Messenger of Allah, such and such woman engages in only a little Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving and gives just a few pieces of cheese in charity, but she does not hurt her neighbours with her tongue." He said, "She will go to Paradise." (Ahmad, Bayhaqi.)
One class of neighbours is our relatives. Another class are those who are not our relatives and the third class of neighbours are those who sit with us, even for a few minutes. This third class of neighbours is a very wide group and includes those who sit by our side. If we are travelling in a taxi, bus, train or aeroplane the person who is sitting by our side is our neighbour. If we are in the office, our co-worker is our neighbour. If we are at school, our classmate is our neighbour. The Prophet gave a comprehensive account of our duties towards our neighbours when requested to do so by one of his Companions:
If he asks for a loan, you should give him a loan; if he wants your help, you should help him; if he be sick, you should go to see him; if he be needy you should try to fulfill his need; if he gets good news, you should congratulate him; if any calamity befalls him, it is your duty to console him; if he dies, you should attend his funeral; you should not raise your walls to such a height that they obstruct the ventilation of your neighbour's house, even if he is willing; do not tantalise your neighbour with the smell of your delicious food unless you send a portion of it to him; if you bring fruit into your house then send some to your neighbour; otherwise, keep it hidden from your neighbour, and you should also be careful that your children do not take some out, else the children of your neighbour may feel disappointed. (Tabarani)
Compiled From:
In the Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, p.125
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Accountability is the willingness to acknowledge that we have participated in creating, through commission or omission, the conditions that we wish to see changed. Without this capacity to see ourselves as cause, our efforts become either coercive or wishfully dependent on the transformation of others.
Community will be created the moment we decide to act as creators of what it can become. This is the stance of ownership, which is available to us every moment on every issue, even world peace, the overdependence on fossil fuel consumption, and the fact that our teenagers are slightly self-centred.
This requires us to believe in the possibility that this organization, this neighbourhood, this community is mine or ours to create. This will occur when we are willing to answer the essential question, "How have I contributed to creating the current reality?" Confusion, blame, and waiting for someone else to change are defences against ownership and personal power. This core question, when answered, is central to how the community is transformed.
Compiled From:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, p. 127

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