Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Hajj Experience
Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) - Chapter 22: Verses 27-28 (partial)
"And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men; they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; That they may witness the benefits for them."
Allah had commanded Abraham to make a general proclamation of Hajj, the first reason given for this commandment is that they may undertake the journey and assemble here and witness with their own eyes that it is intended for their benefit only and its advantages can be noticed only when a man personally experiences it by performing the task himself. It is narrated about Imam Abu Hanifa that until he had performed the Hajj he was doubtful as to which act of worship was superior among the worships of Islam. But when on performing the Hajj he witnessed the numerous benefits hidden in it, he unhesitatingly declared that Hajj is superior to all.
The word "benefits" is in the indefinite, implying all types and numerous forms of benefits. Most notable among these benefits are the purification of the soul, refinement of character, refreshing of one's spirit and the spiritual training that takes place in the most honourable land on this earth.
Compiled From:
"Let Us Be Muslims" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Chapter 6
"Purification of the Soul" - By Jamal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 251-263

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Wiping Away Sins
"Whoever performs the Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not commit any lewdness or evil returns like the day in which his mother gave him birth." [Bukhari, Muslim]
"Whoever Observes fast on the Day of Arafah, I expect Allah to forgive his (her) sins that were committed during the preceding year, and the sins that will be committed in the year after."[Muslim]
Sins can be forgiven at any place, no matter where the person is: it is not essential to be at Arafah or Kaba, but because many benefits, blessings, and heartfelt feelings which these Symbols, places and the rites of Hajj produce - which are not found anywhere else - they provide a better environment for asking for forgiveness with sincerity of heart.
These are the places where the blessings and mercies of Allah descended on the prophets, where the prophets were showered with Allah's light of guidance, where the Signs of Allah and His prophets are found everywhere, where in the past Allah's devotees have conversed with Him, and where all the pilgrims assemble, pray, cry and lament together for forgiveness. The environment and atmosphere of these places surely help the pilgrims to pray from the bottom of their hearts with the result that the prayers are accepted.
But making amends is bound to certain conditions and depends on the removal of certain obstacles both within and without the action itself. If the servant could be certain that he had met every condition and eliminated every obstacle, then [certainly] such an act would atone for the sin.
But what about an action which is [itself] entirely or mostly enveloped in negligence, lacking in the sincerity which is its core and spirit, and performed without respect for its requirements or value? What can this action amend? In fact, there are countless things which invalidate or spoil devotional practice. It is not so much the action itself as the effort to keep it pure of the things that spoil and annul it.
One could hope for atonement if in undertaking a devotional act the servant was sure of its outward and inward requirements had been fulfilled; that there were no obstacles to the act's atoning quality; and that he himself did not annul it with feelings of self-importance, ostentation, or the expectation of something in return [from people].
Compiled From:
"Worship In Islam " - Sulaiman Nadwi, pp. 275-276
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, p. 8

Common Compassion
We must get to know about our neighbours in the global village and realize that our own tradition is not alone in its pursuit of the compassionate ideal. The comparative study of other religion is not designed to dilute your appreciation of your own or to make you convert to another tradition. Ideally it should help you to see the faith that you are most familiar with in a different, richer light. Each of the world religions has its own particular genius, its own special insight in the nature and requirements of compassion, and has something unique to teach us. By making room in your mind for other traditions, you are beginning to appreciate what many human beings, whatever their culture and beliefs, hold in common. So while you are investigating the teachings of your own tradition, take time to find out more about the way other faiths have expressed the compassionate ethos. You will find that this in itself will enable you to expand your sympathies and begin to challenge some of the preconceptions that separate us from "the other."
The sages, prophets, and mystics of religious traditions did not regard compassion as an impractical dream. They worked as hard to implement it in the difficult circumstances of their time as we work today to find a cure for cancer. They were innovative thinkers, ready to use whatever tool lay to hand in order to reorient the human mind, assuage suffering, and pull their societies back from the brink. They did not cynically throw up their hands in despair, but insisted that every person had the ability to reform himself or herself and become an icon of kindness and selfless empathy in a world that seemed ruthlessly self-destructive. We need that energy and conviction today.
Compiled From:
"Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life" - Karen Armstrong, pp. 63, 64

Maintainer's Message
We wish you a happy and joyous Eid. May Allah accept our worship and sacrifices during the blessed days of Dhul-Hijja. May Allah accept the Hajj of the pilgrims and return them home safely. Eid Mubarak.
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