// Living the Qur'an
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« on: Dec 31, 2007 08:19 AM »


Al-Baqarah (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 44


Double Standards
"How can you bid others to piety and forget yourselves even while you are reciting the Book? Do you not understand?"

This may have well been directed at the Jews of Madinah on certain specific occasions, but it applies to all believers and religious leaders of all groups and generations.

When religioius teaching becomes a mere "profession" it loses its fervour; those who take it up begin to say things they do not believe and their actions tend to become divorced from their words. This can lead them to twist facts and compromise ideas and principles to serve their interests and desires. Their rulings, pronouncements and opinions, or fatwas, may sound convincing but they are far removed from the spirit and the letter of the religion.

The double standards of those who claim to represent a certain religion or ideology not only harm them personally, but also undermine the ideas and the religions they are advocating. They confuse people and weaken their trust and confidence in the religion, so that they lose interest in it. When people lose trust in their preachers, the preachers become even more diffident and arrogant.

When they are not uttered with sincerity and conviction, words lose their impact. A man's beliefs are meaningless unless his actions and behaviour become a practical translation of those beliefs. When a man's conduct reflects his words, no matter how plain and ordinary these words are, people will trust him and take him seriously. His words draw their power and effect from the sincerity and honesty with which they are being uttered, not from the rhetoric or eloquence in which they are delivered. They assume a force of their own.

Source:
"In The Shade Of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 1, pp. 62, 63

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 03, 2008 01:51 PM »

Al-Furqan (The Criterion)
Chapter 25: Verse 43


Enslavement
"Seest thou such a one as taketh for his god his own passion (or impulse)? Couldst thou be a disposer of affairs for him?"

Greatest Loss

No person can suffer any loss greater than the loss of his humanity and sinking to the level of animals. But this is what inevitably happens when a person does not submit to Allah alone, and falls into submission to his whims and desires.

Enslavement at the Hands of the Ruling Class

Moreover they fall victim to all kinds of servitude to other people - such as the worst kind of enslavement to rulers and presidents who direct their affairs according to laws they make up themselves, with no control and no aim apart from protecting the interests of the legislators themselves - whether that is one ruler, or a ruling class or a ruling race. An examination of the human race as a whole will reveal that this phenomenon applies in the case of every man-made ruling that does not stem from Allah alone or act within the framework of the Shariah of Allah.

Not only about Law-making

Enslavement to people take other subtle forms also. We may quote as an example enslavement to fashion designers. How much power do these people wield over the masses! The fashion dictated by the designers in clothing, cars, architectures, decor and parties, etc. is a harsh kind of enslavement, which no ignorant man or woman can escape or think of going against. It is this pervasive enslavement that pressures us to stay in line with latest and coolest cell-phone or gadget. It is the same enslavement that forces us to live a shop-aholic mall culture to stay in tune with the latest designer fashions, hair style or like. And examples go on and on. If the people of ignorance were to devote to Allah even a part of their submission that they show towards the designers, they would become devoted worshippers. What is this, if it is not enslavement?

Source:
"The Ideal Muslim Society" - Muhammad Ali Al-Hashmi

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 29, 2008 01:09 PM »

Yunus (Jonah)
Chapter 10: Verse 58


Rejoice!
"Say: "In the Bounty of Allah. And in His Mercy, in that let them rejoice": that is better than the (wealth) they hoard."

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Hasan have said that the words "bounty," and "mercy" allude to Islam and Quran (Ibn Jarir). Ibn Kathir adds: When the Iraqi tribute arrived at Madinah Umar came out counting the camels, but gave up because of the huge numbers. One of his slaves remarked, "This is by Allah's bounty and mercy." Umar reacted, "You have lied. Allah has said in reference to the Revelation, "Say: "In the Bounty of Allah. And in His Mercy, in that let them rejoice": that is better than the (wealth) they hoard." Rather, this is what they (the people like to) amass."

The textual term for rejoice, "farh" is used for over-joyousness and is normally disapproved of. It also bears an element of boastfulness. Nonetheless, here, the blessing of the Quran and Islam is so great that the faithful might indulge in over-joyousness.

Source:
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, Vol. 5, p. 195

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 04, 2008 11:10 AM »

Al-Nisa (The Women)
Chapter 4: Verse 31


Major Sins
"If you avoid the most serious of what you are forbidden, We will erase your bad deeds, and shall cause you to enter an abode of glory."

In this verse, Allah Almighty has guaranteed the Garden of Paradise to those who avoid the major sins.

A Muslim should steer clear of all sins, major and minor ones. A faithful Muslim takes care of every utterance or deed, avoiding anything that makes him subject to the punishment of Allah and His Wrath.

Definition

The major sins are those acts which have been forbidden by Allah in the Quran and by His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in the Sunnah, and which have been made clear as forbidden by the actions of the first righteous generation of Muslims, the Companions of the Prophet.

Commonplace Examples

Associating anything with Allah; [/b]Murder; Abandoning the Pillars of Islam (i.e. Salah, Zakah); Showing disrespect to parents; Committing adultery; Committing sodomy; Dealing in riba (interest); Lying about Allah or His Messenger; Being proud and arrogant; Falsely accusing chaste women (i.e. of committing fornication or adultery); Consuming what is unlawful; Committing suicide; Giving and accepting a bribe; Showing off; Betraying a trust; Recounting favours;Swearing; Lamenting, wailing, tearing the clothing, and doing other things of this sort when an affliction falls; Treating one's spouse, servant, the weak, and animals badly; Offending one's neighbour; Giving short weight or measure; Persistently missing Friday Prayer without any excuse; Spying for the enemy of the Muslims against Muslim's interest.

Of course, there is a gradation among them, since some are more serious than others. From the text of the Quran we know that a person who associates anything with Allah (and dies on it) will not be forgiven and will remain in Hell forever. As one may notice that even though some of these actions are known and understood to be from the major sins, there are certain actions that we take very casually which have indeed serious repercussions since they also are considered to be from the same category. The full list enumerates other items, which are commonplace among the Muslims of today. May Allah protect us from these Sins.

Source:
IslamOnline.com

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 07, 2008 12:05 PM »

Al-i-Imran (The House of Imran)
Chapter 3: Verse 165 (Partial)


Individual Responsibility
".. do ye say? "Whence is this?" Say (to them): "It is from yourselves: for Allah hath power over all things."

The Basis

The individual is, without doubt, a part of society and an essential aspect of the Islamic way of life.

Indeed, the very idea of the resurrection and the judgment in the Hereafter is founded on the concept of individual responsibility. The same can be said for our creation.

When we observe itikaf in the mosque, one aspect of the wisdom behind our doing so might be so we can restore to ourselves our awareness of our individual responsibility. This is because itikaf frees us from the outside pressures of our group affiliations and of society as a whole, pressures that normally weigh heavily on our thoughts. When we observe a retreat in the mosques, we as individual Muslims can restore the health and natural state of our minds.

The Crisis

Each individual has to wrestle with most of the concerns that people generally have. When a Muslim faces problems without the awareness of individual responsibility that Islam seeks to cultivate in him, that person finds it easy to foist the blame on outside influences. He starts talking about globalization, Zionism, hidden hands, and shadowy powers playing some clandestine game. He might blame the government, the scholars, fate, or history for whatever crisis he faces.

He will never think of blaming himself. He takes his own innocence for granted. His views and opinions are always right. He knows it all. If only everyone else would follow his lead, everything would be alright.

We might find this same person incapable of solving his own domestic problems, unable to put one and one together to make two, inexperienced, unschooled, and indecisive. He might be incapable of overcoming his bad habits and character flaws.

This is a great personal failing and it contributes the general crisis facing the Muslims today and contributes nothing to the solution.

The Responsibility

Individual responsibility varies from person to person depending on the importance of that person’s position in society, his knowledge and his expertise. Individual responsibility exists within a historical context and is not something that just appears overnight. Responsibility means having to bear burdens, fulfill obligations, uphold rights, and do what is proper.

Though individual responsibility is by definition focused on the individual, it reaps rewards for society as a whole. The individual obligations discussed in the classical books of Islamic Law are nothing other than individual responsibilities. All of those obligations are prescribed to develop a person’s Islamic character so that the person can make a positive contribution to society.

The Way Out

Therefore, in order to solve the problems of the world, we have to start by rectifying ourselves as individuals. The first steps on the long road to reforming society are the steps we take to reform ourselves.

We are easily distracted by the general problems and crises that erupt around the world and forget about the serious problems that exist within our own selves. We neglect the important task of developing ourselves and our thinking – which will contribute to solving our general problems. All of the individuals that make up the organizations, institutions, and nations of the world they have considerable power to make a difference, though they may be unsung by history and unknown in the media.

Islamic civilization is not to be credited only to the caliphs and rulers, but to all the workers, artisans, thinkers, planners, and investors who built that civilization, though history might only remember the names of the rulers associated with it.

The meaning of individual responsibility is embodied in the teachings of the Quran and Islamic thought. It is the essential building block of society. A building is made of many individual bricks.


Source:
"Individual Responsibility" - Salman al-Oadah

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 09, 2008 08:25 AM »

Al-Baqara (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verses 78-82


Engrossed in sin
"Then there are among them some un-lettered people who have no knowledge of the Book but depend upon empty hopes and are guided by mere conjecture and guesswork. So woe to their learned people, who write the law with their own hands and then say to the people, "This is from Allah," so that they might gain some paltry worldly end. This writing of their hands will bring woe to them and what they gain thereby will lead to their ruin. They also say, "The fire of Hell is not going to touch us, and even if it does at all, it will be only for a few days".

Say, "Have you obtained a promise from Allah which He would not break? Or, do you attribute to Allah things you do not know? Why will not the fire of Hell touch you? Whoever earns evil and becomes engrossed in sin shall be doomed to Hell and abide therein for ever. Only those people who believe and do good deeds, will be the dwellers of the Garden and live there for ever."


The ayahs above were revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Medina in support of his mission to aid him in his dealing with the Jews of Medina. But the sad reality is that these Ayahs reflect the condition of the Muslims today. As many commentators of the Quran have mentioned in the past, these stories of the Children of Israel are for us to reflect on and to improve our own situation.

The Average Joe

Among the Jews of Medina there were some who were ignorant of the Scriptures, unaware of the principles of faith as enunciated by God in His Book, unaware of the rules of conduct that He had laid down, and of the teachings which are of fundamental importance for man's salvation. Because they lacked this knowledge, they fabricated a whole religion out of their desires and fancies, living in a paradise built on false hopes and illusions.

Is not this the situation of the Muslims today? Most of us do not access the scriptures with understanding, nor do we refer to the Islamic guidelines in our day-to-day activities. We attribute our success to our own abilities, and blame our failure on others. God seldom plays a role in our lives. On top of that we have decided what Islam should be all about and concentrate on propagating our beliefs as that of Islam's.

The Scholars

The next set of ayah refers to what their learned people did. They were not content with misinterpreting the Word of God. They also interjected into it their readings of the Scriptures and their explanatory comments thereof, stories from their national history, superstitious ideas and fancies, philosophical doctrines and legal rules. The result was that the Divine and the human became inextricably mixed. They claimed, nevertheless, that the entire thing was divine! Every historical anecdote, the interpretation of every commentator, the doctrine of every theologian, and the legal deduction of every jurist that managed to find its way into the Bible became the 'Word of God'. It was thus obligatory to believe in all that, and every deviation from it became tantamount to deviation from the true faith.

Is this not also a reflection of a large section of our “religious” men? Truly, we are blessed in that throughout the ages we have had scholars who have stayed true to Islam and preserved it for us. But there are still many innovated practices, false beliefs, and likes which have crept into our religion because of “so-called” scholars who have taken advantage of our naivety to exploit us.

Few Days in Hell

There was a general belief among some Jews and their religious leaders that they felt sure that no matter what they did, they would remain immune from hell-fire just by virtue of being Jews! The worst they could conceive of was the possibility of a transient punishment before they were transported to heaven.

Is this not exactly how most Muslims view Hellfire? It is common to meet people who are happy to rely on their belief that ultimately they are going to Jannah since they were born-Muslims. As such, many refuse to change their sinful ways since to them the punishment of hell-fire will only be temporary. Yet, they choose not to remember the description of the hell-fire and incredible punishment that the resident of the Hell-fire will go through. It is delusional belief that Shaitan wants us to perpetuate so that we do not correct our wrongs in this life.

Source:
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 14, 2008 01:58 PM »

Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
Chapter 22: Verse 73


Feeble Efforts
"O men! here is a parable set forth! Listen! Those on whom, besides Allah, you call, could not create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose. And if the fly would snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to get it back from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition."

Had man created himself, he could at least lay claim to chalking out his own course of life using his own mind and without the help of Revelation. But is he able to create anything at all?

Man did not create himself. He did not create his mind nor did his mind create him. The Creator of man and his mind is Allah. Revelation describes and explains things that man must know but are beyond the direct access of his mind. The human mind has certain limitations and it is futile to try to go beyond them. These are the areas where man needs help and guidance. An example of this is the question of accountability, human obligation, and other related issues. All these require legislation. Man tried to legislate on his own but strayed off course. This is where the Quran and Sunnah come in to explain, elucidate, and guide.

Man tried to find answers to some basic questions concerning his will and freedom, but became lost in the meanderings of his labyrinthean ideas, especially between the extremes of fatalism and freewill.

Source:
"Freedom and Responsibility In Quranic Perspective" - Hasan Al-'Anani, pg. 19

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 19, 2008 03:36 PM »

Yunus (Jonah)
Chapter 10: Verse 85 (Partial)


Encountering Oppressors
"Our Lord! Do not make us a trial for the oppressors"

The supplication of these devout youths covers a very wide range of meanings. Whenever a people rise to establish the truth in the midst of prevalent falsehood, they encounter oppressors of all sorts. On the one hand, there are protagonists of falsehood who would like to crush the standard-bearers of the truth with all the force at their disposal.

There is also a sizeable group of people who claim to champion the truth but who, despite their claim to be its devotees, are so cowed by the all-round supremacy of falsehood that they look upon the struggle to make the truth prevail as an unnecessary, futile and absurd pursuit. Such people are inclined, in order to somehow justify their insincerity to the cause of the truth, to prove that those who are engaged in the struggle to make the truth prevail are in fact in error. By so doing they seek to calm the uneasiness felt by their conscience concerning the desirability of struggling for the cause of the truth.

Over and above all these are the common people who observe, as silent spectators, the encounter between truth and falsehood, and ultimately support the party which appears to be winning regardless of what aspect that party supports.

In this scenario, every reverse that the votaries of the truth suffer, every affliction or hardship that they endure, any mistake that they commit, and any weakness that they show becomes a cause of trial for all these groups.

If the votaries of the truth are crushed or defeated, the protagonists of falsehood jubilantly claim that it was they, rather than those whom they opposed, who were in the right.

The lukewarm supporters of the truth would cry: 'Look! Did we not foretell that the conflict with such mighty forces would merely result in a loss of many precious lives, that it would be an act of sheer self-destruction, an act of wanton suicide, which has not been made incumbent on us by the Law of God. So far as the fundamental requirements of faith are concerned, they are being fulfilled by the performance of basic religious duties and rituals. As for the rulers, however oppressive they may be, they did not prevent them from performing those duties.'

As for the masses, their attitude is that the truth is known by the fact that it achieves victory. Hence, if a group comes forth as triumphant, the fact of its triumph proves that it was in the right. Similarly, if in the course of a struggle, the protagonists of the truth commit any lapse or betray any weakness in the face of heavy odds, or if even a single person succumbs to any act of immorality, this provides a good many opponents with a pretext to cling to falsehood. If the struggle meets with failure, people are so wont to lose heart that it becomes extremely difficult for any similar movement to rise for a very long time.

Viewed against this background, the prayer of the companions of Moses (peace be on him) appears very meaningful: 'Our Lord! Do not make us a trial for the oppressors.' This prayer sought from God His grace that would protect them from their shortcomings and weaknesses, and would render their struggle successful in this world in order that their very existence might become a blessing for fellow human beings rather than a means, in the hands of oppressors, to inflict harm.

Source:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, pp. 59-60

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008 01:52 PM »

Al-Asr (The Declining Day)
Chapter 103: Verses 1-3


Declining Day
"I swear by the declining day, that man is a certain loser, save those who have faith and do righteous deeds and counsel one another to follow the truth and counsel one another to be steadfast."

This short surah of three verses outlines a complete system for human life based on the Islamic viewpoint. It defines, in the clearest and most concise form, the basic concept of faith in the context of its comprehensive reality. In a few words the whole Islamic constitution is covered and in fact, the nation of Islam is described in its essential qualities and its message in one verse only: the third. This is the eloquence of which Allah alone is capable.

The great fact which this surah affirms is simply that throughout the history of man there has been one worthwhile and trustworthy path - that which the surah indicates and describes. All other paths lead only to loss and ruin. As it says in outline, that path is first the adoption of faith, followed up with good deeds and exhortation to follow the truth and to steadfastness:

1. What does the adoption of faith then signify? Faith is the characteristic by which the minute, transient human being attains closeness to the Absolute and Everlasting Originator of the universe and all that exists in it. He thus establishes a link with the whole world, which springs from that One Origin, with the laws governing it and with the powers and potentialities created in It. As a result, he breaks away from the narrow boundaries of his trivial self to the broadness of the universe, from his inadequate power to the immensity of the unknown universal energies, and from the limits of his short life to the "Eternity" that Allah alone comprehends.

2. Godliness is the second quality of dignified humanity. This quality determines for man the source from which he derives his concepts, values, criteria, considerations. doctrines, laws and whatever brings him into relation with Allah, the world at large and with human beings. Thus, equity and justice replace personal desires and self-interest. This strengthens the believer's realisation of the value of his way of life and keeps him above ignorant concepts, values and interests and above all strictly mundane values.

3. A third quality of faith and dignified humanity is the clarity of the relationship between the Creator and the created, the restricted creature is connected with the Everlasting Truth without any mediator. It supplies man's heart with light, his soul with contentment and gives him confidence and purpose. It eliminates from his mind perplexity fear, anxiety and agitation as well as unlawful haughtiness on earth and unjustifiable tyranny over people.

4. Steadfastness along the path ordained by Allah is the next quality of such humanity. This must be maintained so that good does not occur casually, incidentally or without deliberation but springs from definite motives and heads towards certain aims. People united for Allah's cause collaborate. Thus, with a single definite purpose and a single distinguished banner, the Muslim community is raised. This is true for all generations that are similarly welded together.

Consequently, whenever two companions of the Messenger of Allah were about to depart from each other, they would read this surah, after which they would shake hands. This was indicative of a pledge to accept this doctrine fully, to preserve this faith, piety and a willingness to counsel each other to follow the truth and remain steadfast. It was a mutual compact to remain good elements in an Islamic society established according to that doctrine and to preserve the foundation of this society.

Source:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008 02:05 PM »

Al-Insan (The Humans)
Chapter 76: Verse 2


The Gifts
"Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight."

We are not like the trees and animals that the object of our creation be fulfilled on the earth itself, and we should die and perish here after we have played our appointed role over a period of time according to the law of nature. This world is neither a place of punishment for us, as the monks think, nor a place of rewards as the believers of the law of transmigration think, nor a place of entertainment and enjoyment, as the materialists think, nor a battlefield, as the followers of Darwin and Marx think, but in fact it is a place of test and trial for us. That which we regard as our age, is in fact the time given to us for the test. Whatever powers and capabilities we have been given in the world, the things that have been placed under our control and authority, the various positions and capacities in which we function, and the relationships that we enjoy with others, all these are the countless papers of the test and this test continues till the last breath of our lives.

The result is not to be announced in this world but in the Hereafter when all our answer-books will be assessed, decision will be given whether we have come out successful or failed. And our success or failure wholly depends on what we thought of ourselves while we functioned here and how we answered the papers that were given to us here.

The word sami (hearing) and basir (seeing) in the original actually imply being "sensible and intelligent". These words of the Arabic language are never used with respect to the animal although it also hears-and sees. Thus, hearing and seeing here do not imply only the powers of hearing and seeing which have been given to the animals too, but those means through which we obtain knowledge and then draw conclusions from it. Besides, since hearing and seeing are among the most important means of knowledge for us, only these two have been mentioned briefly; otherwise it actually implies giving us all those senses of the body by which we gather information.

Then the senses given to man are quite different in their nature from those given to animals, for at the back of every sense he has a thinking brain, which collects information gained through the senses; arranges it, draws conclusions from it, forms opinions, and then takes some decisions which become the basis of his attitude and conduct in life. Hence, after saying, "We created man in order to try him," to say, "therefore, We made him capable of hearing and seeing" actually contains the meaning that Allah gave us the faculties of knowledge and reason to enable us to take the test. Obviously, if this were not the meaning and the meaning of making man hearing and seeing just implied the one who could hear and see, then a blind and deaf person would stand exempted from the test, whereas unless a person is utterly devoid of knowledge and reason, there can be no question of his being exempted from the test.


Source:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2008 12:24 PM »

Lukman
Chapter 31: Verse 32


Honourable Nature
"Whenever the waves, like giant shadows, engulf them, they pray to God in all sincerity and devotion. But no sooner does He bring them safe to land, some of them hold back their belief. None will deny our revelations except the treacherous and the ungrateful."

Human beings are overwhelmed by God's grace and generosity. We live off the earth He has created; we breathe the air He has made available; we eat the nutritious food He has provided. Many, of course, forget all this and behave towards God as if He does not exist at all. Nevertheless, these very people would run to God in times of hardship, but as soon as they are out of danger, they revert to their disgraceful attitudes.

Gratitude is a sign of common sense and an honourable nature. When God praised Noah, He described him as "a thankful servant" (al-Isra: 3), and He praised Abraham as "grateful for his Lord's favours." (al-Naml: 121).

When Prophet Muhammad was asked why he devoted so much time to prayer and dedication to God, he replied: "Should I not be grateful servant of my Lord?" We must be made aware of these facts and exhorted not to abuse the favours God has bestowed upon us.

Source:
"Thematic Commentary on The Quran" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 504, 505

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2008 10:47 AM »

Al-Naziat (The Setting Stars)
Chapter 79: Verses 40-41


True Remembrance
"But unto him who shall have stood in fear of his Lord's presence, and held back his inner self from base desires, paradise will truly be the goal."

How numerous the tongues that move with the name of Allah! But how meagre the benefit! An how rare the hearts that become genuinely humble at the mention of Allah! Yet how desperate the need of the world for those rare hearts!

Undoubtedly, the ruin of religion comes about when it digresses into empty words and forms. And the mission of religion will not have been accomplished until the day it creates in all men living conscience, pure mind and hearts that aim in awe at countenancing the divine. That is what true dhikr is!

Accounted among the influences of this kind of dhikr is that it curbs man's appetite for wealth. Thus, those who remember Allah are never obsessed by greed for more and more, and are certainly never demeaned by greedy or covetous constitutions. Rather, they earn their money honourably, and spend it on their legitimate needs without ever thinking to hoard or accumulate it.

Source:
"Remembrance And Prayer" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, p. 159

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2008 11:44 AM »

Al-Saff (The Ranks)
Chapter 61: Verse 4


Collective Work
"Allah loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure."

It is not enough for Islam's wellbeing that volunteering individuals should work separately and in scattered areas, though their efforts will be added to their balance on the Day of Judgment, for Allah shall not waste the effort of a man or woman, and everyone shall be rewarded for his deeds according to his intention and perfection of his work.

Individual work, under the contemporary circumstances of the Muslim Nation, will not be enough for bridging over the gap and realizing the aspired hope. Collective work is a must, and it is ordained by religion and necessitated by reality.

Religion advocates "the sense of congregating" and opposes "straying". Allah's hand is with collective effort, and he who strays shall stray into Hell. It is only the stray sheep that the wolf devours. A believer to another believer is like one firm brickwork - each part supporting the other. Cooperation in righteousness and piety is one of the obligations of religion; and the mutual teaching of truth and patience is one of the preconditions of saving oneself from loss in earthly life and the Hereafter.

The sheer state of affairs makes it impossible for a fruitful work to be done individually. It takes two hands to clap, and one is weak by himself, strong by his fellows. Great achievements are only made through concerted efforts, and decisive battles are won only through the unity of hands.

Source:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2008 07:35 AM »

Hud
Chapter 11: Verse 63


Intrinsic Impossibility
He (Salih) replied, "O my people! do ye see? if I have a Clear (Sign) from my Lord and He hath sent Mercy unto me from Himself, who then can help me against Allah if I were to disobey Him? What then would ye add to my (portion) but perdition?"

Although this dialogue is related in the context of the story of Salih (peace be upon him) and the leaders of the Thamud, its implications have - as is always the case with Quranic stories and parables - a universal, timeless import. The stress here is on the intrinsic impossibility of reconciling belief in the One God with an attribution of divine or semi-divine qualities and functions to anyone or anything else. The subtly-veiled suggestion of the Thamud and its rejection by Salih has a bearing on all religious attitudes based on a desire to "bring God closer to man" through the interpretation of alleged "mediators" between Him and man.

In primitive religion, this interposition led to the deification of various forces of nature and, subsequently, to the invention of imaginary deities which were thought to act against the background of an undefined, dimly-perceived Supreme Power (for instance, the Moira of the ancient Greeks). In higher religious concepts, this need for mediation assumes the form of personified manifestations of God through subordinate deities (as is the case, in Hindus, with personification of the Absolute Brahma of the Upanishads and the Vedanta in the forms of Vishnu or Shiva), or in His supposed incarnation in human form (as represented in the Christian idea of Jesus as "God's son" and the Second Person of the Trinity). And, lastly, God is supposedly "brought closer to man" by interposition of hierarchy of saints, living or dead, whose intercession is sought even by people who consider themselves to be "monotheists" - and this includes many misguided Muslims who do not realize that their belief in saints as "mediators" between man and God conflicts with the very essence of Islam.

The ever-recurring Quranic stess on the oneness and uniqueness of God, and the categorical denial of the idea that anyone or anything - whether it be a concrete being or an abstract force - could have the least share in God's qualities or the least influence on the manner in which He governs the universe aims at freeing man from the self-imposed servitude to an imaginary hierarchy of "mediating power", and at making him realize that "wherever you turn, there is God's countenance", and that God is "always near to the call of whosoever calls unto Him."

Source:
"The Message of the Quran" - Muhammad Asad

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008 07:40 AM »

Hud
Chapter 11: Verse 87


Stale Obscurism
They replied: 'O Shuayb! Does your Prayer enjoin upon you that we should forsake the deities whom our forefathers worshipped, or that we should give up using our wealth as we please? Do you fancy that you, and only you, are forbearing and right-directed?'

This, in fact, is a taunting remark. Remarks which are expressive of the same spirit are heard today among every group of people who are heedless of God and who are engrossed in sin and evil.

Prayer is the first and the most obvious symbol of man's religious orientation. That orientation is often looked upon by the irreligious people as a manifestation of mental derailment rather than what it actually is - an act of worship. Irreligious people are also aware that those who become religiously committed are not content merely with self-reform. Such people are wont to go a step further and strive to reform others. Not only that, but it even becomes difficult for such people to refrain from criticizing attitudes opposed to religion and morality. Hence, irreligious people feel jittery because they fear that Prayer is not simply performed as a religious ritual but that it may even lead to scathing criticisms of every immoral aspect of social life. It is for this reason that Prayer is often singled out for every kind of taunt and reproach.

The Islamic view is that all worship except the worship of God is erroneous. It is erroneous because worshipping any other than the One True God is supported by nothing - neither reason, knowledge, nor revelation. Moreover, God should not only be worshipped in the limited sphere of life called 'religion'. God's worship should extend to all aspects of life - social, cultural, economic and political. For all that man has in the world belongs only to God. Man, therefore, has no right to consider any aspect of his life to be independent of God's guidance.

The contrary of this is Jahiliyah (Ignorance). According to this view, man ought to observe the customs and usages he inherits from his ancestors, and he ought to do so merely because they come down from the past. This world-view considers religion to be confined to the domain of ritual; the ritual of worship. As for the ordinary affairs of worldly life, man ought to act as he pleases.

It is thus quite clear that there is nothing so 'modern' about the tendency of driving a wedge between the religious and secular spheres of life. For some three and a half thousand years ago the nation of Shuayb was as emphatically insistent on slitting life into two water-tight compartments - the secular and the religious. There seems little justification, therefore, to characterize the attitude of the present-day secularists as something altogether novel, as an attitude that has emerged in modern times as a result of the cumulative intellectual progress of mankind. Far from it, the new-fangled ideology which is being played up everywhere for its freshness and newness is, in fact, the same stale, old-fashioned obscurism which characterized Jahiliyah several thousand years ago. Likewise, the Islamic defiance of, and opposition to, Jahiliyah is also a perennial reality of human history.

Source:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 4, pp. 125, 126

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 02, 2008 09:06 AM »

Hud
Chapter 11: Verse 113


Co-operating with wrong-doers
And incline not to those who do wrong, or the Fire will seize you; and ye have no protectors other than Allah, nor shall ye be helped.

The word 'rukun' (translated as 'inclination' here) that has been forbidden here in this verse is to approve the transgressions of the tyrants, show consent to their ways, express approval before them or others, and to co-operate with them in their affairs of wrong-doing, befriending them, visiting them and putting up appearances like them. (Zamakhshari, Razi, Shawkani)

According to Ibn Abbas, may Allah be please with him, the allusion is to any wrong-doers be they believers or disbelievers - for, in understanding the Quran, what is of consideration is the generality of the application and not the specificity of the occasion. (Shawkani)

Once Muwaffiq (the caliph) was praying behind an Imam who recited this verse. He became unconscious. When asked about it he said, "Allah threatened those who incline towards those who do wrong. What about the wrong-doers then?" (Zamakhshari)

Razi clarifies and Shawkani seconds him strongly that so far as dealing with the ruling class in order to avoid a harm feared of them, or to draw a quick rightful advantage is concerned, there is no harm in that and it would not amount to inclination that is forbidden.

Source:
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, Vol. 5, pp. 289, 290

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 04, 2008 12:11 PM »

Al-Tawbah (Repentance)
Chapter 9: Verse 72


Physical Delights
God has promised believing men and believing women gardens through which rivers flow, in which they shall abide forever, and wonderful mansions in the gardens of Eden, as well as greater pleasure and blessings from God. That is the most supreme triumph.

The needs of the body are limited and easy to satisfy provided people can avoid extravagance and self-indulgence. Various talents and endeavours are rewarded in various forms and in different degrees. Some people appreciate what they receive more than they appreciate the giver. From our own experience, we know that the recognition and honour (such as the Nobel Prize, for instance), bestowed upon scientists and achievers mean very little to some unless complemented by substantial financial rewards. However, others direct their gratitude to the giver regardless of the value of what he gives them.

True believers adore God for His own sake and accept whatever He ordains for them, whether good or bad. However, as humans and believers, we need to experience the pleasure of reward, and ought not, therefore, to be so insincere as to claim that we are not seeking the material pleasures of Paradise but only to be with God and to enjoy the glory of His company!

Believers will indeed have the honour and the privilege of seeing God Almighty in person, but they will also enjoy the physical delights of being in Paradise, and there is no contradiction between the two.

Source:
"Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 614, 615

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 06, 2008 06:40 PM »

Al-Rad (Thunder)
Chapter 13: Verse 3


Tauhid, Resurrection, Accountability
And it is He Who has spread out the earth, and fixed the immovable mountains in it, and made the rivers flow on it. He has created in pairs every kind of fruit, and He covers the day with the veil of night. Surely there are great Signs in these for those who reflect upon them.

After citing some heavenly Signs in support of the doctrines of Tauhid and the Hereafter in previous verses, a few Signs are being cited from the earth for the same purpose. Briefly the following are the arguments for Tauhid, Resurrection and Accountability:

(1) Tauhid: The fact that the earth is closely connected with the heavenly bodies (which help create life on it), and the fact that the mountains and the rivers are so inter-related with that life are clear proofs that all these things have not been created by separate and different gods nor are being governed, by gods with independent powers and authorities. Had it been so, there could not have been so much harmony, congruity, accord and unity of purpose among them; nor could these relationships have continued for such a long time. For it is quite obvious that if there had not been One All-Powerful and All-Wise God, it could not have been possible and practicable for different gods to sit together and evolve out such a harmonious system of the universe without any discord or conflict between its myriad's of bodies.

(2) Resurrection: This wonderful planet, the earth, is itself a great proof that its Creator is All-Powerful and can, therefore, raise the dead whenever He will. For it is floating in space round the sun and it has high mountains fixed in it and has large rivers flowing on its surface: it produces countless fruit-bearing trees and it brings about the cycles of the day and the night with precise regularity.

All these things bear witness to the boundless power of its Creator. It would, therefore, be sheer folly to doubt that such All-Powerful Creator is incapable of raising mankind to life after death.

(3) Accountability: The earth, with all its wonderful and purposeful signs, is a clear evidence of the fact that its Creator is All-Wise. Therefore it cannot even be imagined that He has created man, His noblest creation, without any purpose. Just as His wisdom is apparent from the structure of the earth, its mountains, its rivers, the pairs of its trees and fruits, its night and day, so it is quite obvious that it has not been made the habitation of man without any purpose, nor will it be brought to nought without the fulfilment of that purpose. Clearly mankind shall be accountable to its Creator for the fulfilment of that Divine purpose.

Source:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #18 on: Jun 09, 2008 05:28 PM »

Al-Anfal (Spoils of War)
Chapter 8: Verse 46 (Partial)


Causes of Failure
Do not dispute with one another, lest you lose heart and your moral strength.

People fall into dispute when they have different authorities which they look to for leadership and guidance, or when desire is the ultimate factor that shapes people's views and ideas. When people obey only God and His Messenger, the main cause of dispute between them disappears, no matter how much their views differ over the question under discussion.

Having different views is never a cause of dispute and conflict. What causes conflict is desire, making everyone insist that his view is the one to follow, even when it appears to be wrong. Desire causes 'self' to be placed in opposition to 'right' and attaching more importance to self in the first place.

Source:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 7, p. 158

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #19 on: Jun 12, 2008 03:51 PM »

Yusuf (Joseph)
Chapter 12: Verse 55


Civil Servant
(Joseph) said, "Give me charge of the treasures of the realm; I am trustworthy and competent."

It is important to note here that Joseph, peace be upon him, had pointed out both moral as well as the corporeal qualities that were necessary to qualify him for the post he had agreed to accept. In other words, he was not merely a virtuous and trustworthy man, but was also competent and capable of assuming fully his responsibilities over the state's resources. Moreover Joseph was able to propose himself for a role in public office because there was no other person in Egypt at the time as suitable and qualified for the post as he was. The public interest could only be best served by appointing a strong and honest person to take up the responsibilities that the position demanded.

Seeking leadership or public office is a grave matter if undertaken for reasons of self-aggrandizement and greed for power, privilege or domination. History is replete with the examples of many great nations that have been led to ruin and humiliation by despotic and power-hungry individuals.

Source:
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, pp. 244-245

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #20 on: Jun 14, 2008 10:12 AM »

Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
Chapter 22: Verse 41


Islamic State
(They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.

These are the characteristics of those who help God and who are deserving of God's aid and support. When power is bestowed on them, rather than being like those who engage in evil deeds and who strut about arrogantly exulting in their power, such people concern themselves with such noble tasks like establishing Prayer. Likewise, rather than squandering their wealth on luxury and self-indulgence, they use it in the way of Zakah. Again, they use their power to promote goodness and to remove evil.

This verse succinctly states the basic objectives of the Islamic state. It also clearly expresses the main characteristics of its functionaries and rulers. Anyone who wants to comprehend the nature of the Islamic state will be able to do so with the help of this single verse.

It is God Who decides to whom governance of a territory should be entrusted. People who are intoxicated with power are prone to misunderstand that it is they who decide the fate of people. But God, Who has the power to transform a tiny seed into a huge tree, and Who conversely, can turn a huge tree into a pile of ashes, also has the power to strike a fatal blow and make an example of those who, by their acts of repression, struck terror into the hearts of people making themselves appear too welll entrenched to be removed from power. On the other hand, He can also raise the downtrodden to heights of power that none can dream of.

Source:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 6, p. 46

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #21 on: Jun 16, 2008 04:30 PM »

Al-Shams (The Sun)
Chapter 91: Verses 7-10


Self-Liberation
By the soul in the body (al-nafs) and what has balanced it (given it form) and inspired [both] its licentiousness and its intimate sense of God (its piety). He who purifies it will certainly be happy and he who corrupts it will certainly be lost (crushed).

Muslim spirituality is the work the consciousness of the believer does on the self in order to be liberated from all forms of worship of things other than the Transcendent and to find the way to the original breath (fitra) and its purity. This way toward the One is difficult and demanding, because human nature also tends to be drawn to the contingent realities of the world. Caught between longing for the Most High and the attraction of the world, the believer's first experience of awareness is of facing an internal conflict. The choice is between liberating one's self or losing one's self and drowning in the varieties of life.

Islamic teaching has given us concrete tools to help us succeed in this work on ourselves and to arrive at a balance. The daily requirements of Muslim practice give us the direction and the first steps along the way to this freedom. Awareness of the Presence and of the closeness of the Very Near One moves toward the centre, the heart of the same community of faith, through the five daily meetings in prayer, the weekly gathering of that community of faith, the purifying tax on one's possessions (zakat), the fasting for a full month of the year, and the making of the pilgrimage once in a lifetime (if one has the means). By meditating on these requirements, we discover that they really are demanding and operate on several levels: the memory (for people are so inclined to forget); on the management of time (the daily rhythm of prayers and other practices throughout the year); on the individual and communal aspects of being before God(communal prayer, giving zakat, and so on); and on the division of efforts among the various elements that constitute the human being (heart, spirit, body, possessions).

Source:
"Western Muslims and The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 119-121

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #22 on: Jun 21, 2008 09:48 AM »

Yusuf (Joseph)
Chapter 12: Verse 110


Lofty Affair
Till, when the Messengers despaired (of their people) and thought that they were treated as liars, then came Our help, and whom We would was saved. And Our wrath cannot be warded from the guilty.

This is Allah's way with regard to the Mission brought by the Prophets: there can be no escape from hardships and inflictions until nothing of the strength and energy is left for expenditure. It is only when every apparent means to which people cling, and depend on, have disappeared, that help comes, relieving those who deserve to be relieved, while others - the criminal minded, and the arrogant ones - have the destruction delivered on themselves, with no help and relief from any quarter.

This, in order that help and relief from Allah does not become cheap and the Mission and the Call treated lightly. The call to truth is a lofty affair that stands to transform the lives of the people. It must, therefore, be saved from false callers: those who cannot bear the hardships that accompany it. The false ones soon realize what it means to be in the field, and, usually, abandon it sooner than one would expect. Help comes to those who remain on the tracks, without losing heart, despite their realization that after all, Allah's help might not come during their own lives. But, a day will arrive, after a long or short struggle, when Allah will intervene, send His help, and the masses will enter His way of life enmasse.

Source:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 23, 2008 03:42 PM »

Luqman (Luqman)
Chapter 31: Verse 17


Calling with Patience
"My dear son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient in what befalls you. That is the weightiest of tasks."

The prerequisite for calling to Allah is knowledge. This applies to calling non-Muslims to Islam, calling Muslims to strengthen their faith, and calling sinners away from their misdeeds. A caller must know what a Muslim believes and what is commanded of a Muslim and what is forbidden.

While engaged in the work of calling to Allah, other conditions must be present. These conditions are those of kindness, gentleness, and sensitivity towards those being addressed.

There is one condition that the caller must fulfill afterwards – patience. The caller must endure the abuses of others, their cold indifference, and their rejection. A caller must also bear patiently with those who respond positively and not expect too much at once.

We see all of these conditions fulfilled in the practical example of Luqman giving advice to his son in the above verse.

Source:
"Prerequisites & Conditions for Islamic Workers" - `Abd al-`Azîz b. `Abd Allah al-Râjihî

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #24 on: Jun 25, 2008 04:52 PM »

Al-Nisa (The Women)
Chapter 4: Verse 3 (Partial)


Polygamy
"If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then (marry) only one."

From this verse a number of facts are evident:

   1. That polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted.
   2. That the permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of
       passion.
It is rather
       associated with compassion toward widows and orphans, a matter that
       is confirmed by the atmosphere in which the verse was revealed.
   3. That even in such a situation, the permission is far more restricted than the normal
       practice which existed among the Arabs and other people at that time
when many married as
       many as ten or more wives.
   4. That dealing justly with one’s wives is an obligation. This applies to housing,
       food, clothing, kind treatment etc., for which the husband is fully responsible. If one is not sure of being
       able to deal justly with them, the Quran say: “then (marry) only one.”

This verse, when combined with another verse in the same chapter (Quran 4: 129), shows some discouragement of such plural marriages. The requirement of justice rules out the fantasy that man can “own as many as he pleases.” It also rules out the concept of “secondary wife,” for all wives have exactly the same status and are entitled to identical rights and claims over their husband. It also implies, according to the Islamic Law, that should the husband fail to provide enough support for any of his wives, she can go to the court and ask for a divorce.

The verse says “marry,” not kidnap, buy, or seduce. What is “marriage” as understood in Islam? Marriage in Islam is a civil contract which is not valid unless both contracting parties consent to it. Thus no wife can be forced or “given” to a husband who is already married.

It is thus a free choice of both parties. As to the first wife:

   a. She may be barren or ill and see in polygamy a better solution than divorce.
   b. She may divorce him (unilaterally) if he is married to a second wife provided that the nuptial contract
       gives her the right of unilateral divorce (Ismah).
   c. She can go to court and ask for a divorce if there is evidence of mistreatment or injustice inflicted upon
       her.

Source:
"Polygamy in Islamic Law" - Jamal A. Badawi

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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