Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran Living The Quran

Al-Ahzab (The Confederates) - Chapter 33: Verse 21
"Indeed, in the Messenger of God their is an excellent model for you - for whoever is hopeful of God and the Last Day and remembers God much."
Striving with the energy of hope is more exalted than being compelled by fear. This is especially true when the benefits of one's acts touch the lives of others, which is the case with sadaqa (charity) for the needy. There is so much hope in Islam, its creed and ethos are rife with optimism and buoyancy. Planting a tree from which birds eat reaps the planter reward so long as that tree stands. Hope is light!
An act of worship done for the love of God is a higher station than those acts done out of fear of Hellfire. This is a common understanding among scholars throughout the ages. This view does not belittle the fear of punishment, but it does assign a higher station to guiding one's conduct out of awe of God and a heightened sense of His majesty and greatness.
Compiled From:
"Purification of the Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 156, 157

Understanding The Prophet's Life Understanding The Prophet's Life

"For as long as a person lies or justifies a lie, his (or her) name is recorded before God as one of the liars." [Ibn Hanbal]
Imam al-Ghazali elaborates: 'Lying is forbidden in all things except when it is absolutely necessary. I must, therefore, be avoided at all times even in one's imagination and self-suggestion. One ought to make a deliberate effort not to sow the seeds of falsehood in one's thoughts, and to try to avoid it at all times.'
Among the instances when telling a lie may be necessary, is when it helps to save an innocent life. For example, if someone is trying to capture and kill an innocent person and asks another of his whereabouts, the respondent may tell a lie in order to prevent bloodshed. In the sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him, three other instances when lying is permissible are noted: firstly, when it helps to remove hostility and create harmony between two parties; secondly, when it is done in order to mislead the enemy in warfare; and lastly, a man is allowed to praise and encourage his wife in order to please her, even if the speech so uttered is not literally true. [Al-Maqdisi]
Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, p. 122

Blindspot! Blindspot!

Idolatry has always been one of the pitfalls of monotheism. Because its chief symbol of the divine is a personalized deity, there is an inherent danger that people would imagine "himself" as a larger, more powerful version of themselves, which they could use to endorse their own ideas, practices, loves, and hatreds - sometimes to lethal effect. Once a finite idea, theology, nation, or ideology is made supreme, it is compelled to destroy anything that opposes it. We have seen a good deal of this kind of idolatry in recent years. To make limited historical phenomena - a particular idea of "God," "creation science," "family values," "Islam" (understood as an institutional and civilizational entity), or the "Holy Land" - more important than the sacred reverence due to the "others" is a sacrilegious denial of everything that "God" stands for. It is idolatrous, because it elevates an inherently limited value to an unacceptably high level. Atheists are right to condemn such abuses. But when they insist that society should no longer tolerate faith and demand the withdrawal of respect from all things religious, they fall prey to the same intolerance.
Compiled From:
"The Case for God" - Karen Armstrong, pp. 321, 322
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