Living The Quran Opportunity Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 210
they waiting for God and the angels to come down to them in the shadows
of clouds? The matter will have been settled then. To God shall all
The verse condemns those who
waver and are reluctant to submit and come into the fold of God's peace.
It questions their motives and the reasons that hold them back, and
asks whether they will remain fixed in their obstinacy until such time
as God, flanked by angels, should appear to them in person. In other
words, are they waiting for the fearful Day of Judgement to arrive? That
day will indeed come, and the surah moves at once to that momentous day
to tell us that everything has been settled. Time has come to a stop.
The opportunity to believe and repent has gone for ever. No one could be
saved now, as all stand facing their Lord to whom "shall all things
This is an illustration of
the Quran's unique and effective style, which brings to life the scenes
it describes, and makes the reader or listener feel and see and hear
what is going on as if it were happening now.
How much longer will they
dither when the chance to come into the fold of God's peace is calling,
and the final judgement is so close? God's invitation is a promise of peace and happiness both in this life and the life to come.
Charity or sadaqa is the giving of one's wealth to others for the sake of Allah. The Prophet, peace be upon him, described charity as a burhan. Burhan
are the rays that are emitted by the sun. Part of their significance is
that they clearly and unequivocally point to the existence of their
source, the sun. That is why a "proof" or "definitive argument" is
called a burhan. It unequivocally points to the truth of what it is being used to prove.
The Prophet has befittingly called charity a burhan
or demonstrative proof. This has been explained in more than one way.
These explanations are not contradictory and they all could have been
meant by the Prophet when he made the statement.
One explanation of this hadith is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was alluding to the fact that sadaqa is a sign of one's true belief. By its nature, wealth is something beloved to a human being. Giving
up part of one's wealth for the sake of Allah is a much
greater sign of one's faith than mere lip service.
In general, hypocrites are not willing to give in charity
(unless to be seen) for they are not willing to part their
A second explanation is that a person's sadaqa will be a proof for him on the Day of Judgement
when he is asked about his wealth and how he used it in this life. He
will rush to his charity and seek refuge in it in the same
way that one rushed to a proof for support and help.
Compiled From: "Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 884, 885
Blindspot! Origin of Love
If you read the Quran, you
will find confirmation of the place from which pure, noble love
originates. You will find it discussed in:
1. The context of da'wah, the purpose of which is to rekindle and arouse human hearts: Say, if you want to love God, then follow me and God will love you. (3:31).
2. The description of believers: Those who have attained to faith in God, are most strong in their love of God (2:165).
3. The description of the relationship between the believers and their Lord and Sustainer: He Loves them and they love Him (5:54).
4. The discussion of good and evil: Indeed God loves those who do good (2:195), and He does not love the aggressors (2:190).
Compiled From: "Islam: The Way of Revival Vol 1" - Watering the Seeds of Love: Sa
Living The Quran Initiative Al-Imran (House of Imran) - Chapter 3: Verse 133
quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden
whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth,
prepared for the righteous."
There is a big difference
between production speed and productivity. Hastiness is blameworthy. We
can hardly find the word used in the Quran without a negative
connotation attached to it. However, being quick to act is not the same
as hastiness. Allah praises those who show initiative in the above
Being quick here refers to taking initiative and getting things done instead of dragging your feet and procrastinating.
This is not to be confused with hastiness, which is to try and get too
many things done in too little time, which is the inevitable result of
poor planning and procrastination.
Khalid ibn Amr relates that he heard the Messenger of God, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) saying: He who believes in God and the Last Day should honour his guest as he deserves.
He was asked: ‘And what does he deserve, O Messenger of God?' and he answered:
"A day and a night of what he deserves, and hospitality for three days. More than this is charity." (Bukhari, Muslim).
As the above-mentioned
Hadith indicates, guests are to be welcomed. But this openness and
generosity should not be abused so as to be a burden on the hosts.
This factor should be
taken into consideration for those of us who come from families back
home who may not be well off financially. We should act wisely and judge
for ourselves how long is too long for our hosts.
One of the best things you
can do for yourself when you fail is to learn to laugh. I love the
comment made by a humourist who said he spoke for an organization
where they always rated the previous meeting's speaker in their program
using little bells. Speakers who received a standing ovation got four
bells next to their name. Those who were above average got three. Merely
average speakers got two bells, and poor speakers got one. The
humourist said that when he spoke to them several months ago, they
awarded him the no-bell prize.
There isn't a person alive
who wouldn't benefit from a good laugh, especially when he's done
something really stupid. When you take your mistakes too seriously, then
everything seems to become life-and-death. When that happens, you sure
die a lot. The way to solve that is to keep your sense of humour no
matter how bad things get.
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Living The Quran Rights of Men Hud (Hud) - Chapter 11: Verse 117
your Lord would never destroy human habitations
wrongfully, while their inhabitants are
The verse implies that Allah
does not destroy a people even if they commit
association in His divinity so long as their dealings
between themselves are carried out in justice. It is only when they
begin to wrong each other on a large scale that they meet
with their destruction. Hence it is said that a dominion lasts despite disbelief but not despite justice. [Zamakhshari, Shawkani]
God's chastisement does not afflict any people merely on account of their holding beliefs amounting to shirk or kufr,
but afflicts them only if they persistently commit evil
in their mutual dealings, and deliberately hurt other
human beings and act tyrannically.
Hence those who are learned in Islamic Law hold that men's
obligations towards God rest on the principle of [His]
forgiveness and liberality, whereas the rights of man
are of a stringent nature and must always be strictly
observed - the obvious reason being, that God is almighty
and needs no defender, whereas man is weak and needs
protection. [Razi, Asad]
It is imperative that
there should always be a good number of righteous
people in every society. A community that is
prepared to put up with everything except a
group of righteous people in its midst is
certainly destined for self-destruction. God's
final decision, whether to punish a community
or not, depends on the extent to which that
community possesses the elements that would
enable it to respond to the call of truth.
If we truly love the
society we live in and don't want the punishment of God
to come down upon us, we should try our best to
develop a group of people who will call people
to do good and forbid them from evil.
"Ishraq Al-Maani " - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, Vol. 5, pp. 294, 295
"Towards Understanding the Quran" -
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, vol. IV, pp. 138, 139
Understanding the Prophet's Life Seeking God
path to God is only illuminated when a person
recognizes the central place of God, Allah, in
his or her own life and strives hard to develop
his or her self accordingly. The Messenger of
Allah, (peace be upon him) said, "If
someone wants to know what position he enjoys in the sight
of God, he has to only look at what place he gives
to God (in his heart and life)" (Hakim).
the Believer, the most coveted goal in life is to seek
the good pleasure of Allah and Janna (Paradise).
Know, however, that attaining the pleasure of
Allah takes precedence over seeking Janna but
the two are closely connected. Paradise can
only be attained through seeking Allah's pleasure,
and when Allah's pleasure is gained, we will indeed be granted
The alternate to attaining Paradise in the Hereafter is to be placed in Jahannam (Hellfire)
and to receive punishments. Hellfire is for
those who seek as their ultimate goal in life,
not the pleasure of Allah or Paradise, but the
enjoyment of worldly gains. The pursuit of
worldly gain is but a mirage. All worldly gains
are left behind when you die. All that remains on
earth is bound to perish, while Allah and His good pleasure
will remain for ever!
Compiled From: "In The Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, pp. 1-3
Blindspot! Established Order
The time has come to
reconcile ourselves with the depth and breadth of the Islamic
civilizational tradition and its wealth of meaning that establishes
rules in the light of the objectives of dignity, freedom, justice and
peace. The Muslim peoples of today urgently need to reassert
themselves. Crucial to the process are spirituality and mysticism: not
those of a certain form of Sufism that, not wishing to “take part in
politics,” ends up playing the game of powers (and colonisers), but
of the quest for self that an authentic Sufism never separated from
human, social and political (by way of wise and just government)
considerations. It is not enough to affirm that freedom must come
before the “Sharia”; what is lacking is a thoroughgoing reflection on
freedom in the modern age, and the superior objectives (maqasid) of
the Path (ash-Sharia) that supersede its reduction to a body of
regulations presented as God’s intangible laws. What ash-Shatibi
provided us with, in his synthesis of the “objectives of the Sharia" -
which is actually a “philosophy of law" - must be thought for the
notion of freedom: we need a
“philosophy of liberty” that cannot be constricting, reactive or
dogmatic but must be broad, holistic and liberating, valid for women
and men alike.
There is a sore need of
young scholars (ulama) of both sexes, of intellectuals who will show a
modicum of courage. While respectful of the message and the immutable
rules of practice, they must imperatively seek reconciliation with
the intellectual audacity of those who have given the age-old Islamic
tradition its strength. Against the institutions that have often
shaped them, that are under state control and intellectually enfeebled
(such as al-Azhar or Umm al-Qura today), the young Muslim generations
must free themselves, make their presence felt and give new meaning
to the dynamics of a civil society that is no longer a passive
onlooker, or simply complain, and display their indignation, or
explore new ways of acting, new and alternative visions. Yet they must remain faithful to themselves, while resisting the established order.
Living The Quran Fuad Al-Sajda (The Prostration) - Chapter 32: Verse 9 (partial)
"... He endows you with hearing, sight and insights: (yet) how seldom are you grateful."
The Quran recognizes that an
empirical attitude is an indispensable stage in the spiritual life of
humanity and thus it gives equal importance to all the facets of human
experience as yielding knowledge of the Ultimate Reality which reveals
its symbols both within and without. According to the Quran, to secure a
complete vision of Reality, sensory perception must be supplemented by the perception of Fuad or the heart as
revealed in the above verse. The heart provides inner intuition or
inner experience that brings us into contact with aspects of Reality
other than those open to the senses. Mystically information is
disseminated to the mind. It is a mode of dealing with Reality in which
sensation, in the physiological sense of the word, does not play any
The region of inner
experience, for the purpose of knowledge, is as real as any other region
of human experience and cannot be traced back to sensory perception.
The immediacy of inner experience resembles our normal experience and
belongs to the same category. Unfortunately, living the present world of
naked materialism, we have assumed, without criticism, that knowledge
of the external world through sensory perception is knowledge.
Understanding the Prophet's Life Reciting Quran
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "One who
recites the Quran in a loud voice is like one who gives alms openly
and one who recites the Quran quietly is one who gives alms secretly."[Abu Dawud]
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas, "The Prophet's recitation was loud enough for one who was in the inner chamber to hear it when he was in the house." [Abu Dawud]
The Prophet, peace be upon him, once went out at night and
found Abu Bakr praying in a low voice, and he passed Umar ibn
al-Khattab who was raising his voice while praying. When they both met
the Prophet together, the Prophet said: I passed by you, Abu Bakr,
when you were praying in a low voice. He replied: I made Him hear with
Whom I was holding intimate converse, Apostle of Allah. He (the
Prophet) said to Umar: I passed by you when you were praying in a loud
voice. He replied: Apostle of Allah, I was awakening the drowsy and
driving away the Devil. The Prophet said: Raise your voice a little,
Abu Bakr, and he said to Umar: Lower your voice a little. [Abu Dawud] Compiled From: "Prayer At Night" - Sunan Abu Dawud
Even if one tries his best to
follow all of the steps and means that help one purify his soul, the
nature of man is such that, in general, he is bound to falter every now
and then. When a person falters and sins, though, that is not the end of
the matter. As long as he has not reached the moment of death, the door
to repentance will remain open to him. He need not despair - as long as
he brings himself to account and repents to Allah for the sins and
transgressions he has committed.
The true repentance includes:
1. Stopping oneself from the sin that one is committing
2. Feeling remorse
3. Having the sincere intention to never again return to performing that sin
4. If the sin also involved the rights of other humans, one must also rectify the wrong that he has done
Ibn Taymiyyah points out that
repentance is not just from the performance of evil deeds but also from
the lack of performing the good deeds.
Compiled From: "Purification of the Soul" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 380-382