Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Faith and Reason
Al-Alaq (The Blood Clots) - Chapter 96: Verses 1-5
"Read. In the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot of blood. Read. Your Lord is the most Bounteous, who has taught the use of the pen; has taught man that which he did not know."
The first revelation was a remarkable event: it was the first contact between Earth and Heaven since, six hundred years earlier, Jesus Christ had preached the Gospel to the world. These initial verses of the Quran did not command obedience to God nor His glorification, nor attainment of His nearness, nor even rejection of idolatry or the rites and customs of paganism. These were left for later occasions.
It was the beginning of an era which saw the most unprecedented and concerted efforts being made for the promotion of learning. It was the era in which Faith and Knowledge joined hands to create a new civilization. It was an age of Faith as well as of Reason.
The command to read and acquire knowledge was to be executed under the guidance of a divine messenger and in the name of the Lord so that man proceeded ahead in his journey in the light of God's knowledge and the certitude of faith. The reference to the creation of man from a clot of blood was meant to point out that man should not exceed his limits, nor feel exultant on capturing the forces of nature, since this was to come about with the acquisition of knowledge.
The pen was honoured by being mentioned in the revelation since it has always been the most important tool of learning. Thereafter the revelation referred to the teaching of man by God - for God is the ultimate source of all knowledge which could enable man to know what is unknown. All the discoveries made in any field have come from this ability of man to learn and extend the horizon of his knowledge.
This was the starting point of the revelation to the Prophet of Islam, which had a deep impact on the subsequent course of attaining knowledge, preaching God's message and changing modes of thought. It made knowledge a fellow and ally of religion that could always help man in solving new social and cultural problems. Religion, on the other hand, was thereafter never frightened or timid in the face of knowledge.
Compiled From:
"Islam and Knowledge" - Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, pp. 2, 3

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be please with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "There are four qualities, whoever is given them has truly being given the best in this world and the next. They are: a grateful heart, a remembering tongue, an enduring body, and a faithful wife."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Allah is pleased with His slave if when he eats something, he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks something, he thanks Allah for it." (Muslim)
Abu'd-Dunya narrates that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "Speaking of Allah's blessings is gratitude and ignoring it is ingratitude (kufr). The one who does not give thanks for a small blessing will not give thanks for a great blessing, and the one who does not give thanks to people will not give thanks to Allah. To be with a group is blessing, and to be alone is a punishment."
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: "If any of you would like to see the great blessing of Allah on him, then let him look at those who are less fortunate that him, not those who appear better off than him."
Compiled From:
"Patience and Gratitude" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, pp. 65, 66

AIDS is seen as a disease almost exlusively resulting from inadequate and/or deviant sexual behaviour (which is not true). Women, men, and children have been infected through mere blood transfusions, dirty hypodermic needles, or born with it because the mother herself was infected.
Reminding society and people at high risk about moral principles and their spiritual outcomes is necessary and helpful in terms of prevention, but it cannot resolve everyday situations. Once the disease has been diagnosed and one considers the actual day-to-day behaviour of women and men - leaving aside questions of guilt or blame - appropriate social, economic, and ethical measures must be taken to fight the disease. Above all, HIV-infected patients should not be the objects of accusations and made to feel guilty, so that they are compelled to become invisible, to constantly lie, to hide from their families, their society, and their community (or be rejected by them). Society must go further and dare to tackle the position of AIDS patients in contemporary societies: we cannot accept the employment, housing, and societal discriminations that stigmatize the sick and marginalize them all the more.
Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 179, 180

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