Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Preserving Life
Al-Maidah (The Table Spread) Chapter 5: Verse 32 (Partial)
"... he who slays a soul unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading mischief on earth shall be as if he had slain all mankind; and he who saves a life shall be as if he had given life to all mankind."
The Guidance:
No human being has any right by himself to take human life in retaliation or for causing mischief on this earth. Therefore it is incumbent on every human being that under no circumstances should he be guilty of taking a human life. If anyone has murdered a human being, it is as if he has slain the entire human race.
The Prophet, may God's blessings be on him, has declared murder as the greatest sin only next to polytheism. The Tradition of the Prophet reads: "The greatest sins are to associate something with God and to kill human beings."
In the Quran and the Traditions of the Prophet the word 'soul' (nafs) has been used in general terms without any distinction or particularization. Therefore the injunction to not kill does not refer only to the persons belonging to one's nation, the citizens of one's country, the people of a particular race or religion. The injunction applies to all human beings and the destruction of human life in itself has been prohibited.
The Reason:
The survival of human life depends on everyone respecting other human beings and in contributing actively to the survival and protection of others. Whosoever kills unjustly is thus not merely guilty of doing wrong to one single person, but proves by his act that his heart is devoid of respect for human life and of sympathy for the human species as such. Such a person, therefore, is an enemy of all mankind. This is so because he happens to be possessed of a quality which, were it to become common to all men, would lead to the destruction of the entire human race. The person who helps to preserve the life of even one person, on the other hand, is the protector of the whole of humanity, for he possesses a quality which is indispensable to the survival of mankind.
Compiled From:
"Human Rights in Islam" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol.2, 155-156
"Mumbai - Islam's Reputation is at Stake" - Salman al-Oadah
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Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Conquering Death
The Day of Judgement, though it is to be feared, must also inspire in us a desire and eagerness to meet Allah. Sayyida Aisha reported that the Prophet said:
"Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet with him; and whoever dislikes the meeting with Allah, Allah also dislikes the meeting with him."
Our eagerness and desire to meet Allah should therefore, be echoed in all our Prayers. The Prophet Muhammad used to supplicate repeatedly:
"O Allah, I ask you for a soothing life after death, and I ask you for the pleasure of looking upon Your Face and for the yearning to meet You, free from suffering distress or from trial that leads one astray. O Allah, adorn us with the ornament of faith and make us guides and rightly guided." (an-Nasai.)
This desire to meet Allah will calm our fear of death, which is only a natural instinct. Even the Prophet Musa, on whom be peace, out of fear ran away when he saw his staff turning into a serpent. Fear, though, can be conquered with dhikr, doing good and keeping ever before us, our meeting with the Lord and Master of the Day of Judgement.
Compiled From:
"In The Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, pp. 143-145
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The Journey Motif
Islam is a religion that is built upon the notion of journeying, making one's way through this world and back "home" to God. The journey motif touches almost every aspect of the Muslim's life. One example is the Islamic code of ideal living, the shariah. The word comes from and old desert word that describes the trampled path that leads to an oasis or water hole. By extension, then, the shariah is the way that leads to water, to life, and to the refreshment of the whole person. It is the way walked by others before and the way that others will walk after us.
According to the specificities of the Islamic shariah, this path or way of life includes a command to make a journey to God's "house" in Mecca, where Abraham and his son Ishmael erected the first temple or "house" for the worshiping of one God. And so, to celebrate the pilgrimage is to commemorate Abraham's journey from his home in Mesopotamia to the west, where he made his home and fathered two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. To celebrate the pilgrimage is to commemorate the journey of Ishmael and his mother, Hagar, in the desert wilderness where they miraculously found water in the form of a well/spring that gushed out of the arid, rocky ground when Hagar had given up all hope of life.
As a practical act and pillar of Islam, the pilgrimage is full of ancient and often perplexing actions, some of which may strike us as curious and others as bewildering. It is important to stress, however, that the experience of the pilgrimage is itself a journey, and no pilgrim's experience of the rites is ever separate from the journey.
In Arabic, the word for pilgrimage (hajj) is related to the word for "proof" (hujjah). Contemplating this connection, Muslim masters speak of the life-change that comes when one completes the journey. Pilgrims are meant to return reborn, with a certitude and commitment that they did not know before. We witness this in the conversations we have with those who have gone, in the testimonials we read from those who have made the journey and completed the ancient rites. They may put on their old clothes when they have finished, but many claim that these clothes belonged to someone else, to someone they used to be prior to the experience. While the rituals themselves are integral part of the hajj, often the journey itself proves to be the most transformative aspect of this fifth and final "pillar" of the faith.
Compiled From:
"In the Light of a Blessed Tree" - Timothy J. Gianotti, pp. 58-62
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