Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Allah's Attributes
Al-Shura (The Consultation) - Chapter 42: Verse 11 (partial)
"There is nothing that is similar to Him"
Since Allah's Attributes are unique, it is not possible for mankind to understand the exact nature of Allah's Names and Attributes, even though it is possible to understand the concept that any Name or Attribute refers to. For example, Allah has described Himself in the Quran as al-Hayy, which means, 'The Ever-Living.' Mankind understands that Allah is Ever-Living; that He was always with life, and will always be with life. He also understands that, even though he himself is alive, the life that he has is very different from the one that Allah describes Himself as having, for man's life was given to him, and it shall be taken away from him, in contrast to the characteristic of life that Allah describes Himself with. In addition, man does not have the power to create life, unlike Allah. So man has the characteristic of life, and Allah describes Himself as having the characteristic of life, but the actuality of the two characteristics differ as much as man differs from the Creator. Therefore, mankind understands the concept of Allah's name al-Hayy, but can never understand the actuality of it. The same analogy applies for the other Names and Attributes of Allah.
Compiled From:
"An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran" - Yasir Qadhi, pp. 30, 31

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
The Noble Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Make matters easy, not difficult" [Muslim] and "You are sent to facilitate matters and not make them difficult." [Tirmidhi]
In this age of ours, people are in dire need as could ever be for facilitation, out of mercy for them. Their determination has weakened and they have become reluctant to pursue good activities while the obstacles in the path of goodness and their desire for committing evil has increased.
It is therefore more advisable to give people the license of facility instead of ordering them to follow the strictest rules. This is what the Prophet did with the people who had just entered Islam, or with the bedouins of the desert. The Prophet used to accept those who vowed not to perform more than the basic faraidh and not perform the voluntary acts of ibadah; the Prophet used to say of them: "He will be successful if he is truthful (in what he said)" or "He will enter Paradise if he keeps his promise" or "If anyone of you want to see one of the people of Paradise, let him look at this man."
The Prophet adopted such an attitude towards such people because of his kindness and consideration of their difficult circumstances.
Compiled From:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp.140, 141

Textual literalism is not necessarily connected with intolerance, political radicalism or violence. On the positive side, the insistence of the Salafiyya on comparing societal practices with the practices of the early Muslim community allowed for the abandonment of some unjust customs, like the exclusion of women from the mosque. On the other hand, this approach can degenerate into a simplistic and literalist reading of the Quran and the Sunna. In particular, literalistic readings often diminish the relevance of historical context for understanding the true meaning of the Quran and the Prophet's Sunna. Such readings also give little attention to the need to reconcile particular rulings with general principles and values articulated in the Quran and the Sunna. Finally, literalistic readings can efface the role of the human interpreter. Decrying "man-made" institutions, literalists seem unaware of their own roles as human interpreters when they select particular passages to justify their positions.
At the same time, we must also recognize that many Muslims who practice what might be called a "liberal" reading of the Quran can be as intolerant of other opinions as their ideological opponents. Intolerance is rooted in the belief that one's own reading is obviously correct, whether that reading is based on a literalistic approach to the text or on a conviction that (one's own) reason is such a perfect instrument for assessing truth, justice, and fairness that interpretations in conflict with that assessment are dismissed out of hand. This attitude is not just intolerant, but, in contemporary scholar Khaled Abou El Fadl's words, "authoritarian." He says, "Authoritarianism is the act of 'locking' or captivating the Will of the Divine, or the will of the text, into a specific determination, and then presenting this determination as inevitable, final, and conclusive."
Compiled From:
"The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life" - Ingrid Mattson, pp. 212, 213

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