// Living the Qur'an
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« Reply #25 on: Jun 27, 2008 10:07 PM »

Al-Rad (Thunder)
Chapter 13: Verse 23 (Partial)


Together in Eden
"Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring."

Parents, spouses and the offspring, although righteous, might not deserve the same rank and level of Paradise, but in honour of the exemplary soul, would be allowed in the same rank and level.

In fact, Ibn Abbas has said that they could be very ordinary believers. Wahidi has pointed out that if they happen to be believers of the same quality, then their entry would be on their own merits and cannot be considered a favour shown. Therefore, they would have to be of lower status granted a Paradise of higher rank, for the pleasure of the higher rank of the person in discussion. Further, as Razi has pointed out, the rule is both for man and woman, husband and wife: whichever is of higher rank will have the other with him or her in Paradise in honour of his or her true faith and righteous deeds.

Source:
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, Vol 6, pp. 101, 102

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 #26 on: Jun 30, 2008 04:41 PM »

Al-Isra (The Night Journey)
Chapter 17: Verse 16


Crime of Luxury
"And when it is Our will to destroy a town, We command its luxury-loving citizens, and they deal corruptly in it; thus the sentence upon it is justified, and We destroy it utterly."

Luxury is the cause of destruction in the course of history, as it is the cause of audacity. And equally certainly, luxury is a reason for punishment in the world to come, because it results in grave sin. But, it is not only the individual who loves luxury who will suffer destruction and punishment; the community that permits the existence of such luxury will be similarly afflicted.

The 'will' here referred to in the verse is not predestination in the commonly accepted sense, but rather the law of cause and effect, or of reason and result. If there are luxury-loving individuals in a community and the community allows them to remain so, doing nothing against them; if it refrains from checking the causes of luxury; if it leaves the luxury-loving to pursue their corrupt way; then all these factors, because of their very existence, are causes that will inevitably result in the destruction and the downfall of the community. Such is the meaning of 'will' in this verse. That is to say, the results are related to the reasons, and the effects must follow where the causes occur; for such is the normative pattern which Allah has laid down for the universe and for all life.

There must be some outlet found for excessive resources. Generally, these outlets are trivial and take their form from the period and the social environment; but there comes a time when they pass this limit of triviality and take the form of license and depravity, both physical and mental, impeding not only themselves but also their followers in pursuing the way of truth; for so long as there are such, there will be weaklings who will flatter their pride, minister to their desires, and lose their personality like insects. Nor, is there anything strange in this; for lovers of luxury must have their easy, perverse, and sickly life; they must gratify their desires and have their pleasures; they must have around them followers and courtiers who are submissive.

This is what Islam sees in the crime of luxury; it is a crime that is basically individual, but when the community submit to it and does not check such an evil with hand and voice and heart, then it is a crime that produces its own fruits. The disease extends to the whole body of the community and issues ultimately in its destruction.

Source:
"Social Justice in Islam" - Sayyid Qutb, pp. 156-160

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 #27 on: Jul 03, 2008 02:45 PM »

Al-Kahf (The Cave)
Chapter 18: Verse 28


The Path full of hardship
"And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His presence: and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this life; and pay no heed to one whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his won desires, and whose [transgressions] have gone beyond all bounds."

Muslims should never forget that they are striving for Allah, the Almighty. The path to Allah is long and full of hardship. Heaven is surrounded by unpleasant obstacles while Hell is surrounded by everything pleasant to human lusts.

The road is difficult for those who fear to lose their money and secure future. The end of the road can never be reached by those who love leisure and pleasure, by the narrow minded and weak, the impatient and stingy, the arrogant and lazy, and by those who refuse to support what has been decided in the community.

The path of Islamic activism purifies and liberates a person and teaches one to be strong. It is a path of blessings and honour, but it requires patience and endurance, honesty, and sincerity. A path with these characteristics can be traversed only by those who are confident of the truth, and who rely on Allah always and everywhere.

Source:
"To Be A Muslim" - Fathi Yakan

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 #28 on: Jul 05, 2008 09:18 PM »

Ibrahim (Abraham)
Chapter 14: Verse 22 (Partial)


Polytheism
"Do not blame me but blame yourselves. Here, neither I can come to your rescue, nor can you come to mine. I disavow your former act of associating me in the past with Allah."

No one professes, at the doctrinal level, that Satan is a partner of God in His divinity. Nor does anyone worship Satan. In fact, so far as verbal expressions go, people generally curse Satan. Ironically, the same people who curse him, also follow his ways, at times consciously, and at other times unconsciously. It is precisely this which has been termed as associating Satan with God in His divinity.

Polytheism does not merely assume one form, viz. associating others with God in matters of belief. There is also another form which consists of exalting someone to a position where it becomes imperative to follow him without any sanction for it from God, or even in opposition to God's command. Such an act, according to the Quran, is tantamount to setting up a partner to God in His godhead. A person who follows someone in this unreserved fashion is guilty of setting up a partner to God even if he keeps on abusing and cursing him. Even if such a person is not treated on a par with those who commit polytheism at the doctrinal level, nevertheless his act will be considered highly reprehensible.

Source:
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 4, pp. 265-267

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 #29 on: Jul 16, 2008 05:51 PM »

Al-Isra (The Night Journey)
Chapter 17: Verse 82 (Partial)


Healing and Mercy
"We send down (stage by stage) in the Quran, that which is a healing and mercy."

The results of researches conducted over a group of volunteers from the USA who were subject to a recitation of the Quran were striking. A trace of a tranquilizing effect was recorded on 97% of the participants. Although many of these volunteers did not know Arabic, they nonetheless experienced involuntary physiological changes that led to notable alleviation in the acuity of tension they were observed to possess in their nervous systems prior to the experiment.

Furthermore, an EEG experiment during the Quran recitation revealed that the encephalic waves moved at a slower pattern, indicating a state of deep calmness. Non-Arabic speaking people felt assured, quite, and relaxed when listening to the Quranic verses, in spite of their inability to understand their meaning. This is one the miracles of the Holy Quran.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, revealed this miracle by saying, "People assembled in one of the houses of Allah (Mosques), and who recite and study the Book of Allah, find that a tranquility prevails over them, and that mercy encompasses them, and that the angels surround them, and that Allah mentions them in the presence of those near Him."

Source:
"Medical Miracales of the Quran" - Dr. Sharif Kaf Al-Ghazal. The Islamic Foundation, UK. p. 104-105.

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 #30 on: Jul 26, 2008 03:36 PM »

Al-Naml (The Ants)
Chapter 27: Verse 18


Communication
Then, when they reached the valley of the ants, an ant said, 'Ants! Enter your dwellings so that Sulayman and his troops do not crush you unwittingly.'

The Quran supplies an interesting piece of information when talking about Prophet Sulayman's (peace be upon him) armies and mentions that there is an advanced "communications system" among the ants.

The scientific research made on ants in this century has shown that there is an incredible communications network among these creatures. In an article published in the National Geographic magazine, this point is explained:

     Huge and tiny, an ant carries in her head multiple sensory organs to pick up chemical and visual signals
     vital to colonies that may contain a million or more workers, all of which are female. The brain contains half
     a million nerve cells; eyes are compound antennae act as nose and fingertips. Projections below the
     mouth sense taste; hairs respond to touch.

Even if we do not notice it, the ants have quite a different method of communication in virtue of their sensitive sensing organs. They employ these sense organs at every moment of their lives, from finding their prey to following each other, from building their nests to fighting. They have a communication system which astonishes us, as human beings with intellect, with their 500,000 nerve cells squeezed into their bodies of 2 or 3 millimetres. What we should keep in mind here is that the half a million nerve cells and the complex communication system mentioned above belongs to an ant which in bulk is almost one millionth of a human being.   

The ants, who constitute an orderly social structure with these various responses, lead a life based on mutual news exchange and they have no difficulty in achieving this correspondence. We could say that ants, with their impressive communication system, are hundred percent successful on subjects that human beings sometimes cannot resolve nor agree upon by talking (e.g. meeting, sharing, cleaning, defence, etc.)

Source:
"The Miracle in The Ant" - Harun Yahya, Chapter 2

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 #31 on: Aug 04, 2008 07:17 PM »

Al-Mujadila (She Who Pleaded)
Chapter 58: Verses 1-2


God Hears and Responds
"God has heard the words of she who disputes with you regarding her husband and made her complaint to God. God hears your conversation. Verily God is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. Those of you who shun their wives by zihar - they are not their mothers. Their  mothers are only those women who gave birth to them. Indeed they utter words that are unjust and false; but God is Absolving of Sins, All-Forgiving."

It may have been anger that made Aws ibn Samit reject his wife Khawla bint Thalaba with the vulgar expression, "To me, you are like the backside of my mother." Whatever the reason, after so many years of marriage, these words reduced Khawla to the status of his mother's behind (completely devoid of sensual sensation). Moreover, according to Arab custom, there was no way to revoke the declaration of zihar. Henceforth, it was prohibited for Aws to touch Khawla, yet she was not free of the marital bond. Sympathetic family and friends had no power to override such norms and customs. Khawla's only chance was to appeal to a power higher than social custom and patriarchal authority. And so, Khawla complained to God.

Complaining to God is not difficult; the challenge is eliciting a satisfactory response. In what Marshall Hodgson termed the "Irano-Semitic" tradition, the expected response from God entailed not only spiritual comforting but also social transformation. At the individual level, God could send a sign: a kind stranger with food and comforting words, the sun breaking free of the rain clouds, a heavenly vision appearing in a dream. Transforming society, on the other hand, required a different kind of intervention. It is for this purpose that God sent prophets with authority to speak on His behalf, empowered to overturn the existing social order.

When Khawla first went to the Arabian prophet to complain of the injustice done to her, she was disapointed. Muhammad indicated that existing customs remained normative unless God revealed a new ruling, and the Prophet had received no revelation about this issue. Khawla did not give up hope, for she knew that this custom was unjust; she continued to complain to God, and waited near His Messenger, expecting him to receive a revelation. With the above revelation God confirmed Khawla's conviction that what had been done to her was unjust and was to be prohibited by law.

Source:
"The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life" - Ingrid Mattson, pp. 1-2

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 #32 on: Aug 09, 2008 10:00 PM »

Al-Ankabut (The Spider)
Chapter 29: Verse 3 (Partial)


God's Justice
"Allah will most certainly ascertain those who spoke the truth and those who lied."

When one reads this verse, a likely question that arises is: since God knows fully what everyone's conduct will be, what is the point in testing him? The answer is that as long as a person does not commit a certain action, irrespective of his ability to do so, the dictates of justice require that he should neither be rewarded nor punished. One person might be potentially trustworthy and another potentially untrustworthy. However, unless they act in one manner or the other, it is discordant with God's justice to reward or punish them only on the basis of His knowledge of those actions that will take place in the future.

God, no doubt, has knowledge of both the past and the future, yet this does not have a bearing on the manner in which He will dispense justice. He does not punish anyone simply because he is inclined to steal or because he is likely to steal in the future. Rather, His punishment is contingent upon the person actually stealing. By the same token, God does not bestow His rewards on someone just because they will grow into excellent believers or as excellent fighters in God's cause. On the contrary, this person too only earns his reward by dint of his actually having sincere faith and striving in God's cause.

Source:
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 8, pp. 7-8

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 #33 on: Aug 14, 2008 06:28 PM »

Ghafir (The Forgiver)
Chapter 40: Verse 56 (Partial)


Puffing Up
"And they have pride in their hearts and will fail to reach it"

When a man feels superiority over others and with this a sort of inward elation, this is called pride. It differs from vanity in as much as vanity means consciousness of one's elation while pride requires a subject, an object and a feeling of elation. Suppose a man is born solitary in the world, he may be vain but not proud, because in pride man considers himself superior to others for certain qualities of his self. He allots one position to his self and another to others, and then thinks that his position is higher, and is therefore elated. This "puffed up" feeling which imparts a sense of "touch me not" is called pride.

lbn Abbas says that the above sentence in the Quran means that the thought of inward greatness will be denied to them. This thought is the source of inward and outward actions, which are so to speak the fruits of it.

A proud man will not tolerate any other to be on equal terms with himself. In private and in public he expects that all should assume a respectful attitude towards him and, acknowledging his superiority, treat him as a higher being. They should greet him first, make way for him wherever he walks; when he speaks everyone should listen to him and-never try to oppose him. He is a genius and people are like asses. They should be grateful to him, seeing that he is so condescending. Such proud men are found especially among the 'Ulama'. Sages are ruined by their pride.

Virtues are the doors of Paradise, but pride and self- esteem lock them all. So long as man feels elated he will not like for others what he likes for himself. His self-esteem will deprive him of humility, which is the essence of righteousness. He will neither be able to discard enmity and envy, resentment and wrath, slander and scorn, nor will he be able to cultivate truth and sincerity, and calmly listen to any advice. In short, there is no evil which a proud man will not inevitably do in order to preserve his elation and self-esteem. Vices are like a chain of rings linked together which entangle his heart. Therefore, an atom of pride is Satan's spark, which secretly consumes the nature of the sons of Adam.

Source:
"Ihya Ulum-ud Deen" (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) - Abu Hamid Al-Ghazzali

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 #34 on: Aug 16, 2008 10:44 PM »

Al-Ahqaf (Sand Dunes)
Chapter 46: Verse 9


A Plain Warner
"Say: I am not the first of God's messengers. I do not know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow what is being revealed to me. I am only a plain warner."

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not a totally new phenomenon: he was one in a line of God's messengers. His situation was the same as all messengers who preceded him. He was an ordinary human being whom God knew to be suited to deliver His message. Therefore, he gave him His revelations and the Prophet carried out God's orders. This is what a Divine message is like. When a messenger of God feels this bond, he does not ask God for proof, nor does he request anything special for himself: he simply moves on to deliver God's message as it is revealed to him. He gets on with the task of delivering his message, not because of any knowledge he has of the realm that lies beyond human perception, nor because of any information given to him about what will happen to him, his people or his message. He simply follows instructions, trusting his Lord, submitting himself to Him. The future is unknown to him; its secrets are with his Lord and he does not seek to know them. He has all the reassurance he needs, and he realizes that the proper attitude for him is not to look beyond the limits of the mission he has been assigned.

Those advocates of Islam endowed with profound insight into its message follow in the footsteps of the Prophet and find the same reassurance. They carry on with their advocacy of the Divine message seeking neither personal gain nor self interest. They do not know what the future holds for it or for them. They do not ask their Lord for evidence; they have all the evidence they need in their hearts. Nor do they pray for any special favour; it is sufficient favour for them that they follow this line. They discharge their duty, and this is enough for them. They do not overstep the fine line God has demarcated for them.

Source:
"In The Shade Of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 15, pp, 343-344

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 #35 on: Aug 25, 2008 07:44 PM »

Al-Ankabut (The Spider)
Chapter 29: Verse 46 (Partial)


Religious Discussion
"Say to them: "We believe in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to you. One is our God and your God; and we are those who submit ourselves to Him."

In this verse God indicates to the expounders of Truth how they can engage in refined religious discussion with others by offering an example. They are told not to make the erroneous position of the other party the starting point of such a discussion. Rather, the discussion should commence with identifying and highlighting the elements of truth that are common to both parties. In other words, commonalities rather than differences should be taken up first.

It is also pertinent to remember that the People of the Book, unlike the Arabian polytheists, did not deny revelation, messengership and the Hereafter. Rather, they affirmed these truths as did the Muslims. The Muslims were, therefore, directed that if they encountered the People of the Book they should expound their standpoint: that they believed in the same God in Whom they believed, and that they too were committed to obeying Him. They were also to make it clear that they were bound to follow all the directives and commands that came from God, be they those that came to the People of the Book or to the Muslims. They were also required to clarify that they were devout servants of God rather than worshippers of any particular country, nation or race.

Source:
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 8, pp. 48

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 #36 on: Sep 01, 2008 01:47 PM »

Al-Muminun (The Believers)
Chapter 23: Verse 71


Impartiality of Truth
"If the Truth had been in accord with their desires, truly the heavens and the earth, and all beings therein would have been in confusion and corruption! Nay, We have sent them their admonition, but they turn away from their admonition."

Islamic thought, with its approaches and concepts springing from belief in Allah and His oneness, includes a very basic assumption in the way it looks into any field of knowledge. This general and basic assumption is that truth and reality, right and wrong, and good and evil are in fact neutral realities which must be understood in the light of both the nature which Allah has created in humankind and the revelations which He has sent to guide them. From this standpoint, the Muslim mind is a scientific one which seeks knowledge on its own terms and according to its own objective rules, rather than on the basis of whim or presupposed notions. For this reason the efforts of the Muslim mind will not be wasted and will not go astray.

The objectivity of truth and reality is a living and dynamic concept in which relations are regulated by the fitrah, the natural laws of the universe, and values that distinguish between right and wrong. This concept is one that ignores the sophistry of diseased minds that cry out in the name of knowledge and free inquiry, and then attempt to belittle society's most basic standards of decency. Such minds do not balk at defending even the most disgusting perversions, and presenting them in such a way that they appear to be the rule rather than the exception. Such thought and blind methodology will never result in anything other than perversion, corruption, and deviation that further tear the fabric of society and destroy its family structure.

Source:
"Crisis In The Muslim Mind" - AbdulHamid A. AbuSulayman

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 #37 on: Sep 07, 2008 04:28 PM »

Al-Ankabut (The Spider)
Chapter 29: Verse 45


Empowering
"Surely, Salah prevents indecency and evil."

If we look deep into our daily lives and diagnose the causes of our spiritual, social and psychological illnesses, we will realize that probably something as uplifting, revolutionary, and empowering as Salah is missing.

If we realize the potential role of Prayer in changing our lives and as a constant source of hope, we would regret missing even a single Salah.

Today we have indeed come to treat the Prayer (Salah) as something insignificant in our lives. Very often we hear our elders say, "I will start praying when the time comes." Others, specially the younger Muslims, do not find much comfort, and joy in their Prayers. Due to our treatment of Prayer as a burden, our love and passion for the Prayer has vanished. Our hearts have become hardened, and we have become a depressed and defeated people. As a result, many are searching for 'cures and remedies' to the distress in our lives, through any means available, but are unable to find any because they have ignored the greatest medicine - Salah!

Remember, Salah is an obligation. Whether your heart is attentive or not, it must be performed. You cannot give up Prayer because to you it appears useless. There is punishment for a Prayer not performed. It will be a witness against you rather than a witness for you on the Day of Judgment. Don't give up the obligation but try to infuse it with the purpose it seeks to serve - remembrance of Allah.

Source:
"Salah: The State of Mind" - Young Muslims Publications

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 #38 on: Sep 14, 2008 09:54 AM »

Al-Rum (The Romans)
Chapter 30: Verse 8 (Partial)


Proofs Within
"Do they not reflect on themselves?"

Man's own being and the position he enjoys has been presented as a proof of the imminence of the Hereafter. Man is, after all, distinguished from all other creatures by the following three features:

    i. Innumerable objects on earth and its environs have been yoked to man's service and
    man
has been vested with a wide range of abilities so that he can make use of these.

    ii. Man has been granted freedom to choose his course in life. But once he makes
    the choice, he is enabled, by the nature of things, to pursue his choice and, in so doing, can use the
    resources which God has created.

    iii. Man has been inherently endowed with moral consciousness. Thanks to
    this, he can instinctively differentiate between good acts and evil acts.

These innate traits indicate that at some point in time man should be called to account; that he should be asked how he used the abilities, power and authority that were granted to him in the world and how he exercised his free-will to choose between good and evil. It is also evident that the appraisal of man's performance is possible only after the term granted to him to act comes to an end. Furthermore, this can only happen when the actions of not just one individual or nation, but of all human beings, come to a final end. This, because an individual's death or even the disappearance of a whole nation does not bring about an end to the total effects of a person's actions.

Thus, there will be an Afterlife in which everyone will be judged in the light of his life's record and be recompensed in accordance with his performance.

Source:
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 8, pp. 75, 76

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 #39 on: Sep 20, 2008 12:31 PM »

Al-Shura (The Consultation)
Chapter 42: Verse 36


Everlasting Success
"What you are given (here) is a provision for the life of this world and what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe, and who put their trust in their Lord."

Opportunities are numerous and varied, but our course in life will depend on how we utilize such opportunities. The attractions of life are numerous and they come in many forms and varieties. They are made available by Allah to see how well we choose and manage our affairs in His cause, and how we apply His guidance.

Man is full of ambitions, desires, needs, and demands. A person may go after social enhancement, power, money, fame or self-service and attain well. But whatever the outcome of his toil, man's success has no permanent value except for what is done for the cause of Allah.

Allah provided numerous attractions for all of us, to be utilized and enjoyed. But this is truly a small measure if we are to compare it to what lies ahead in the heavenly bliss of paradise.

Since our life is limited, what we utilize and enjoy is for a limited time. And if all that we see on earth is only a small measure compared to what is in Paradise, try to imagine how enormous the available attractions are in Heaven!

But the marvellous Paradise is for those who qualify. It is for those who earn it. They are the believers, since through the belief in Allah they will be on the right path. It is a faith directed to noble goal - Allah, and Allah's service, with no strings attached. Such a believer puts his trust in Allah and totally relies upon Him. Such a staunch believer deserves the bounty in Paradise.

Source:
"Quranic Selections Explained" - A.S. Hashim, Vol 4, pp. 69-70

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 #40 on: Sep 27, 2008 03:27 PM »

Al-Qadr (The Power)
Chapter 97: Verse 3


Seeking the night of power
"The Night of Power is better than a thousand months."

Laylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.

There is no consensus of the Ummah over when the night of Qadr occurs. Imam Razi has a few novel points to offer on why that is the case:

Allah concealed its knowledge from His slaves since His rida (approval and pleasure) is concealed in devotions to Him, and in concealment of the night is the cause of increase in devotions. This is following His general method: He concealed His friend (waliyy) among the people in order that all people might be respected; He concealed His response to supplications in order that they might resort to it oftener; He concealed His Great Name (Al-Ism al-A'zam [some scholars believe that Allah is the Ism al-A'zam. YMFN ED]) in order that all of His Names might be revered; He concealed the accepted prayer in order the people pay special attention to every Prayer; He concealed the time of death in order that the people never be oblivious of it.

Again if the night of Qadr been known, the sins of the sinners in that night would have weighed heavily upon them, since, to commit sins on a known blessed occasion is greater in enormity than when committed on the same blessed occasion but without the sinner knowing that it is a blessed occasion.

Three Ways to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr

1. Performing Night Prayer (Qiyam)

It is recommended to make a long night prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadiths, such as the following:

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever stands (in qiyam) in Laylat ul-Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad]

2. Making Supplications

It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that she asked Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), "O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?" And he instructed her to say: 'Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafu annee - O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love to forgive. So forgive me.'" [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmithi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani]

3. Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship

It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: "When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Source:
"Tafsir Ishraq al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer
“How to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr” – Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen al-Albani

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 #41 on: Oct 07, 2008 10:54 AM »

Al-Rum (The Romans)
Chapter 30: Verse 30 (Partial)


True Nature
"adhere to the true nature on which Allah has created human beings."

All human beings have been created with that true innate nature which prompts them to believe that the One True God alone is the Creator, the Lord and the only object of worship and obedience, requiring them to adhere to that attitude. Should they decide to consider themselves invested with sovereign authority, they would be deviating from their true nature. Likewise, should they decide to submit to the authority of any other than the One True God, they would again be deviating from the true nature with which they were born.

This truth has been elucidated in several traditions narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him). According to a tradition, narrated by Ahmed ibn Hanbal and Nasai, the Muslims killed a large number of their enemies in a battle, including children. On learning this, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was infuriated and said: "What happened to the people today that they exceeded all limits in killing so much that they even killed children?" Thereupon someone pointed out that those killed were, after all, the children of polytheists. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "The best among you are the children of polytheists. Every living being is born with a true nature until he starts speaking and then his parents turn him into a Jew or a Christian."

Source:
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 8, pp. 99, 100

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 #42 on: Oct 11, 2008 12:41 PM »

Fussilat (Clearly Expounded)
Chapter 41: Verses 19-20


Unusual Witnesses
"On the day when God's enemies will be gathered together before the fire, they will be driven onwards until, when they reach it, their ears, their eyes and their very skins will bear witness against them, speaking of what they used to do [on earth]."

These verses tell the unbelievers of God's power over their own selves. They have no authority over themselves, and no part of them is beyond the reach of His power. Even their ears, eyes and skins obey God. They too disobey them so as to be witnesses against them on the Day of Judgement.

There is a great surprise in this very difficult situation in which the unbelievers see their own senses and faculties obeying God and doing as they are bid. In this situation they are branded as 'enemies of God'! They are herded together, from all generations, like a flock of sheep, and driven to the fire. When they stand close to it and the reckoning begins, they find themselves facing witnesses whom they did not reckon with. Their tongues, long used to lie, fabricate falsehood and engage in ridicule are now tied, while their ears, eyes and skins rebel against them obeying their Lord. They report on what they used to consider secret. They used to hide themselves, thinking that God would not see them conceal their intentions and crimes. But they did not try to hide themselves from their own ears, eyes or skins. How could they, when these faculties are part of them? Now, these publicize what the unbelievers thought to be concealed from all creatures and from God Almighty as well.

Source:
"In The Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qurb, Vol. 15, pp. 109-110

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 #43 on: Oct 21, 2008 08:30 AM »

Al-Imran (The House of Imran)
Chapter 3: Verse 54


The Best Plotter
"They plotted, God also plotted. God is the best of plotters."

This verse is referring to the efforts of the Jews contemporary to Isa (Jesus), may Allah be pleased with him, who hatched a plan against him to have him executed.

Makr: The expression used for the unbelievers as well for Allah is the same but the meanings are different. Makr on the part of man is secretive plotting or scheming with mischievous intentions. Allah also plots to frustrate the plotting of His subjects. But His slaves remain completely in dark about what He plans and how He intends to accomplish it.

However, Allah's plotting and scheming is entirely within the norms of justice. His plotting is based on wisdom and hence entirely beneficial to man as well as to an unknown number of His creations.
Therefore, He is the best of plotters.

Compiled From:
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, Vol 2, p. 50

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 #44 on: Oct 25, 2008 05:04 PM »

Al-Baqarah (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 264 (partial)


Learning Discretion
"O you who have attained to faith! Do not deprive your charitable deeds of all worth by stressing your own benevolence and hurting [the feeling of the needy], as does he who spends his wealth only to be seen and praised by men, and believes not in God and the Last Day."

Throughout the Quran humankind is asked to find the measure in which it will give and to remain discreet and respectful of others. Indeed, one's way of giving is in itself a testimony of faith: if you have no need to be seen by others, it is a sign that you know God is always with you. Discretion also safeguards the dignity of those you help.

This duty to be discreet is more important than it may appear: it bears the mark of respect for people's dignity in all circumstances, even the most intimate. The aim is to prevent evil, to give before the poor need to beg, and to try to avoid being seen by anyone so that no one has to be embarrassed or look the other way for no reason. When society does not give what its members are entitled to have, the more affluent among them must express the greatness of this principle of dignified generosity. The Quran constantly paints this landscape, which must not be forgotten in our personal economic management.

Compiled From:
"Westerm Muslims and The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 180-181

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 #45 on: Nov 01, 2008 07:37 AM »

Al-Nahl (The Bees)
Chapter 16: Verse 126


Just Retribution
"If you should punish, then let your punishment be commensurate with the wrong done to you. But to endure patiently is far better for those who are patient in adversity."

When the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw the mutilated body of his uncle Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him) after the battle of Uhud, he said that he would mutilate 30 of the enemy. The Sahabah said they would carry out a slaughter never seen before by the Arabs. This verse was revealed to address that sentiment.

Aggression is an action that must be repelled with similar force in order to preserve the dignity of the truth and to ensure that falsehood does not triumph. Response to aggression, however, must not exceed the limits of repelling it. Islam is the faith of justice and moderation, peace and reconciliation. It repels any aggression launched against it or its followers without committing any aggression against others.

This is indeed part of the method of advocacy. To repel aggression within the limits of justice preserves the dignity of the Islamic message so that it suffers no humiliation. A humiliated message has no appeal for anyone. Indeed no one will accept that humiliation be suffered by a divine message. God does not permit His message to suffer humiliation without repelling it.

Yet at the same time that the rule of equal punishment is established, the Quran calls on believers to endure with fortitude and to forgive. This applies in situations when the believers are able to repel aggression and to eradicate evil. In such cases, forgiveness and patience are more effective and of greater value to the Islamic message. Personal position or prestige is of secondary importance when the interests of the message are better served by forgiveness and endurance.

In the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, we have the best example. He and his companions were tortured, killed and driven out of their homes by the Makkans but they forgave them and accepted them as brothers after the opening of Makkah. The Prophet, peace be upon him, also taught soldiers to kill only combatants and not to destroy crops, kill Priests and Monks or destroy houses of worship. At the same time, warfare is allowed and fighting to protect one's family, property or life is a type of Jihad. We have to maintain our balance and not fight evil with evil or commit atrocities to respond to atrocity. We have to be patient and wait for the victory given by Allah to our struggle.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 11, pp. 115-116
"Questions and Answers" - Abdullah Hakim Quick

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 #46 on: Nov 08, 2008 10:18 AM »

Al-Sajdah (Prostration)
Chapter 32: Verse 22


Most Unjust Criminals
"And who is more unjust than he who is given good counsel through the Signs of his Lord and yet he turns away from them? Surely we will exact full retribution from such criminals."

"The Signs of the Lord" are quite pervasive and cover a pretty wide range. If one bears in mind the Quranic descriptions of these Signs one will find they fall under the following six categories:

    i. The Signs found in the wide expanses of the heavens and the earth and in the overall
    system underlying the workings of the Universe;


    ii. The Signs manifest in man's procreation, his structure, and his existence as a whole;
   


    iii. The Signs found in man's intuition, in his unconscious and subconscious, and in his
    moral conceptions;


    iv. The Signs in the human experience of history;

    v. The Signs manifest in the earthly and heavenly calamities that befall man, and
   


    vi. Finally, the Signs that God has sent down through the agency of His Messengers in
    order to apprise man, in a reasonable and persuasive manner, of the truths that are corroborated by
    these Signs.


Taken together, these Signs consistently and emphatically impress upon man that he is neither without any God nor is he servant of a multiplicity of gods. Thus, all possible measures have been taken by God to direct man to the Right Way. So if man then turns a blind eye to all these Signs it would be no exaggeration to say that none is more criminal than man himself.

Compiled From:
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 8, p. 174

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 #47 on: Nov 14, 2008 08:43 AM »

Al-Ahqaf (Sand Dunes)
Chapter 46: Verse 20 (partial)


Overindulgence
"The unbelievers shall one day be brought before the fire of hell and be told, 'You have squandered away the good things in your worldly life and enjoyed them to the full and today you shall be rewarded with ignominious punishment...'"

It is reported by Ibn Atiyyah that this verse had left a strong impression on Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph. As the head of an expanding Muslim state Umar was a model of simplicity and austerity. On entering Syria with the victorious Muslim army, he was greeted by the leader of the expedition, Khalid ibn al-Walid, who offered him a sumptuous meal. His immediate response was: "If this is what we eat, what about the destitute Muslims who died without having had their fill of barley bread?"

Khalid replied: "They shall have Paradise!" Umar, it was said, broke down crying, saying that in that case the poor Muslims were the winners!

It is true to say that God does not forbid the enjoyment of the good and lawful things, but seeking luxury and affluence could lead to a life of extravagance and overindulgence resulting in preoccupation with one's pleasures and desires and negligence of one's duties and responsibilities.

Compiled From:
"A Thematic Commentary on The Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, pp. 559, 560

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 #48 on: Nov 22, 2008 09:20 AM »

Saba (Sheba)
Chapter 34: Verse 8 (partial)


Window of Hope
"It is those who do not believe in the life to come who are suffering torment as they have gone far in error."

The torment may refer to their punishment in the life to come. Since it will inevitably overtake them, then it is as if they are already in it, just like they have gone irremediably into error.

But the statement may be understood in a different way, which suggests that those who do not believe in the life to come live in torment just as they live in error. This is a profound statement. A person who spends his life without belief in a second life suffers mental torment, as he lives without hope of justice, fair reward or compensation for what happens in his life.

Indeed human life is full of situations and trials which man cannot face properly unless he looks up with hope for justice and reward for good action and punishment for those who do evil. There are things that one cannot do or bear without looking up to God, hoping to earn His pleasure in the life to come, when nothing large or small is overlooked. Whoever is deprived of this window of hope, which brings comfort and satisfaction, undoubtedly lives in torment as well as in error. Such a person suffers all this in the present life, before suffering punishment in the hereafter for his misdeeds which brought about his present life's suffering.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 14, p. 139

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 #49 on: Nov 29, 2008 07:00 PM »

Al-Ahzab (The Confederates)
Chapter 33: Verse 35


Equal Footing
"For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward."

Initially, Quranic verses used only the masculine plural form to refer to the women and men in the new faith community. For years, "believers" (al-muminun), and "the truthful" (as-sadiqun), either referred specifically to men or to the men and women who constituted the Prophet's first Companions. Once, a woman (or several, according to the different traditions) asked the Prophet why women were not explicitly mentioned in the revealed message. The Book - which, while revealing a universal message, also included responses to the questions asked by the Men around the Prophet - was later to mention women and men distinctively, as in the above verse.

This evolution of the message is part of divine teaching in the process of revelation carried out over twenty-three years: the faithful are thus led to evolve in their understanding of things and critically reconsider some of their cultural or social practices. The status of women, who were sometimes killed at birth because of the shame they might bring, was to be reformed in stages, as verses were revealed.

It thus appeared more and more clearly that the Quran's message and the Prophet's attitude were apt to free women from the cultural shackles of Arab tribes and clans and from the practices of the time. The Creator addresses women as being on an equal footing with men, their status as beings and believers is the same as men's, and the requirements of worship are absolutely identical.

Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 209, 210

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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