Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al-Araf (The Heights) - Chapter 7: Verse 188
"Say, 'I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am but a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.'"
The Prophet, peace be upon him, is the leader of all the Prophets. Many miracles are ascribed to him and people learned the religion from him. People acquired piety and righteousness by following his prescribed path. In this verse, Allah instructed him to give people an account of his helplessness making it clearly known to the people that he is neither capable of exercising any authority nor possess any knowledge of the unseen. One can easily derive from the fact that as long as he does not even possess an authority to gain a certain advantage for himself or to ward off an evil from inflicting him, how could he benefit or harm someone else.
The knowledge of the unseen is one of the Attributes of Allah and the Prophet is His Messenger. The mission of a Messenger is to warn people about the dire consequences of bad actions and to give people glad tidings about virtuous deeds.
The Prophets do not enjoy the distinction of having been awarded the keys to the unseen to the effect that they may have knowledge of someone's innermost feelings or could make predictions about whether or not someone is going to be blessed with a child, whether one's business is going to yield profit or incur a loss, or whether someone is going to emerge victorious in a battlefield or face a defeat. As far as the above things are concerned, everybody is equally unaware about them regardless of his status. However, certain remarks which are made in reference to a certain context out of one's wisdom do sometimes come true and sometimes they don't.
Compiled From:
"Taqwiyat-ul-Iman" - Shah Ismail Shaheed, pp. 74-76

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Austere Living
One day Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, came into the house of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to find him lying on a simple mattress which left its marks on his body. Umar started to sob.
'Why are you crying, O Umar', said the Prophet.
'I thought of Caesar and Chosroes sitting on thrones of gold, wearing silk. And you are the Messenger of God, yet here you are sitting on this simple mattress.'
'O Umar', said the Prophet, 'are you not satisfied that they have this world and we have the next?'
So simple and austere were his living habits that he went half-hungry most of the time. Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported that for three consecutive nights, a fire was not kindled in the homes of the Prophet because there was nothing to be cooked. When asked how they managed, she said they depended on water and dates (the two blacks).
Where is the basis for the image of a self-indulgent, luxury-loving ruler with his 'harem' which some critics of the Prophet have contrived to draw for him?
Despite the austere simplicity of his life, the Prophet's homes were by no means unhappy or devoid of pleasure and delight. It is a great tribute to the personality of the Prophet that those homes, lacking any comfort or even abundance of food, were yet full of love and happiness.
Compiled From:
"Sunshine At Madinah" - Zakaria Bashier, pp. 154, 155

Educating the heart, the mind and the imagination in order to train ourselves to see better, hear better, smell better, taste better and touch better is one of the requirements of the autonomy and freedom that lie at the heart of modernity, of advanced technologies and of the globalization of the means of communication. In an age of global communications, anyone who has not been trained to be critical of information is a vulnerable, fragile mind who is open to all kinds of potential manipulations. We also need the time to distance ourselves, to analyse situations and to evaluate critically what we perceive. Nothing is easy. This spiritual exercise is crucially important because it gives meaning to the most elementary actions in life: seeing, hearing, touching ... and thinking, praying and creating. Spirituality consists in the added meaning that is inherent in even the simplest human actions. It may take the form of faith, thought, art or love, but it always involves a choice, an act of the free will, as opposed to emotion which is a passive reaction, imposed and sometimes uncontrolled: an ocean of difference between the two. Emotion is to spirituality what physical attraction is to love.
Compiled From:
"The Quest for Meaning" - Tariq Ramadan, p. 126

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