Monday, November 12, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al-Rahman (The Beneficent) Chapter 55: Verse 60
"Is there any other reward for benevolence (Ihsan) than benevolence?"
Benevolence is a general term, which means according to the Prophet, "to worship God as if you see Him."
Benevolence consists of three levels:
The first level is benevolence in intent, by refining it through science, confirming it through resolve and purifying its condition.
The second level is benevolence in (spiritual) states, by maintaining them out of concern, disguising them out of consideration and adjusting them to bring about their true fulfilment.
The third level is benevolence with regard to the Moment, by never separating yourself from contemplation, viewing no limit to your fervor and making your migration towards the True One permanent.
Compiled From:
"Stations of the Wayfarers" - Abdullah Al-Ansari, pp. 142-144

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Blaspheming Time
A negative and evil attitude to be avoided is that of casting blame on Time, and constantly complaining over its injustice and severity. This harmful attitude encourages people to consider Time as an oppressive opponent, an enemy lying in ambush for them, or an unjust ruler who punishes the innocent and pampers the culprit - who favours one over the other without any reason save caprice.
All these are symptoms or manifestations of the doctrine of fatalism, through which individuals and societies seek to shirk responsibility for their actions by blaming others, or blaming Time, predestination, luck, circumstances, etc.
Rather than adopt this superficial and irresponsible attitude, people of piety and good sense try to carefully consider what misfortune has befallen them, or what blessing has been withdrawn from them, and analyse it according to the causes and effects inherent in the operational laws of Allah in creation. For Time is no more than a receptacle, a medium which captures and accommodates events as they come to pass by the will of Allah, in accordance with His laws and universal principles. This is the meaning of that sound hadith reported by Muslim from Abu Hurairah: "Do not blaspheme Time for Allah is Time", that is to say, it is Allah Who lays down the natural laws for its operation.
For this reason, it is more appropriate that people, in their attempt to correct a deviation and reform society, should direct blame to themselves, instead of blaming Time.
Compiled From:
"Time In The Life of a Muslim" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 99-100

The Community Story
The media takes its cue from citizens and makes its living from retribution. The public conversation most visible to us is the interaction between what we citizens want to hear and the narrative put forth by the media. But it is too easy to blame the media for valuing entertainment over news and for selling fear and problems over generosity and possibility. It is more useful to see that the media is a reflection of who we, as citizens, have become.
The news is most usefully understood as the daily decisions about what is newsworthy. This is a power that goes way beyond simply informing us. The agenda in each story defines what is important, and in doing this, it promotes an identity for a community.
This means the real importance of the media is not in the typical debate over the quality, balance, or even accuracy of what is reported. These vary with the channel, the network, the newspaper, the Web site. They vary with having the resources to get the whole story, the market segment it is aiming at, and its editorial agenda. What is most important, and the power that is most defining, is the power of the media to decide what is worth talking about. As British newspaper pioneer Lord Northcliffe once said, "News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising."
The media's power is the power to name the public debate. Or, in other words, the power to name "reality." This is true for the mainstream as well as online media.
The point is this: Citizens have the capacity to change the community story, to reclaim the power to name what is worth talking about, to bring a new context into being.
Compiled From:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, pp. 45, 46

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