Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Caught Unawares
Al-Naba (The Tiding) Chapter 78: Verses 21-23
"Surely the Hell is an ambush, a resort for the rebellious; therein they shall abide for ages."
The word mirsad (ambush) denotes a spot which is especially chosen to entrap game; a spot where it is caught unawares. Hell is described as an ambush because God's rebels, being unaware, are fearless of it. As a result, they strut about, considering the world to be simply a den for their own self-indulgence, altogether incognizant of the possibility of being caught and punished. Thus Hell, being hidden from their eyes, is like an ambush wherein they are likely to be entrapped.
The word ahqab (ages) used here denotes long periods of time, each period following the other in succession. Some misconstrue this word in the sense that while life in Paradise will be eternal, it will not be so in Hell. For these periods, no matter how long they are, will come to an end at some point. It is both unfair and reprehensible that a Quranic verse be interpreted in a sense that runs contrary to the thrust of other Quranic verses. On as many as 34 occasions, the Quran specifies that the inmates of Hell will remain there for ever. In three instances, the point is further reinforced, adding that it will be their eternal abode. By the same token, the pious will have Paradise as their eternal abode.
Compiled From:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Part 30, pp. 10, 11

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Other-World Consciousness
The Muslim community is not a community of people drawn together for any commercial or other material purpose. Fundamentally they are and remain a religious community, a brotherhood of faith, moved by an awareness of God, and of the Hereafter. This other-world consciousness has been emphasized over and over again by the letter and spirit of the Quran, and recounted endless times in the sayings of the Prophet. When he ordered the building of his Mosque, he said:
'I want it to be a simple building, like the thatching of my brother Moses. But in reality this world is more transient than would deserve even such a simple building - wa al-Amr a'jal min dhalik (the matter is more transient than that)'.
This other-world consciousness in Islam must not be lost sight of. The whole community must be made continually aware of it. The establishing of the prescribed five daily prayers, and the fact that they commence at dawn and finish at night is a most effective instrument for doing so. The very chant that the Prophet chose to sing and repeat while the Mosque was being built is a reminder of just this:
'O Lord! There is no worthwhile living but one oriented towards the Hereafter.'
Through the constant, strict observance of the five daily prayers performed at the Mosque under the leadership of the Prophet, the community of believers in Madinah was transformed into a society of thoroughly spiritualized people. They became so thoroughly permeated by the Quranic and Prophetic light, energy and vitality, that they were themselves transformed into a great reservoir of light, energy and vitality. They became a society of special persons, whose essence was spiritual energy and whose inward constitution was wholly dominated by God-consciousness.
Compiled From:
"Sunshine At Madinah" - Zakaria Bashier, pp. 78, 79

Religious Shows
On Television, religion, like everything else is presented as an entertainment. Everything that makes religion an historic, profound and sacred human activity is stripped away; there is no ritual, no dogma, no tradition, no theology, and above all, no sense of spiritual transcendence. On these shows, the preacher is tops. God comes out as second banana.
This fact has more to do with the bias of television than with the deficiencies of these electronic preachers, as they are called. It is true enough that some of these men are uneducated, provincial and even bigoted. What makes these television preachers the enemy of religious experience is not so much their weaknesses but the weaknesses of the medium in which they work.
Not everything is televisable. Or to put it precisely, what is televised is transformed from what it was to something else, which may or may not preserve its former essence. For the most part, television preachers have not seriously addressed this matter. If the delivery is not the same, then the message, quite likely, is not the same.
There is no religious leader - from the Buddha to Moses to Jesus to Mohammed to Luther - who offered people what they want. Only what they need. But Television is not well suited to offering people what they need. It is 'user friendly.' It is too easy to turn off. As a consequence, what is preached on television is not anything like the Sermon on the Mount. Religious programs are filled with good cheer. They celebrate affluence. There featured players become celebrities. Though their messages are trivial, the shows have high ratings, or rather, because their messages are trivial, the shows have high ratings.
There is no doubt that religion can be made entertaining. The question is, By doing so, do we destroy it as an "authentic object of culture"? The danger is not that religion has become the content of television shows but that television shows may become the content of religion.
Compiled From:
"Amusing Ourselves to Death" - Neil Postman, pp. 114-124

No comments:

Post a Comment