October 22, 2019 | Safar 22, 1441
Al-Qalam (The Pen) Sura 68: Verse 4
"Most certainly, yours is a sublime character."
The whole universe echoes this unique praise of the Prophet (peace be upon him). No writer can describe the value of this testimony by the Creator of the universe; no imagination can give it its words. It is a testimony by God, according to His own measure, given to His servant, in His own words. A sublime character has, according to God's measure, its own unique value which no other creature can imagine.
This testimony confirms Muhammad's greatness in several ways. First of all, by the fact that it is God's own testimony, given in His majesty, and appreciated by the whole universe and echoed by everyone on high. Secondly, his greatness is seen by virtue of the fact that Muhammad was able to receive God's testimony, live with it and know who was saying it. It was God Almighty, in His absolute power and knowledge, that stated it. The Prophet knew his own position in relation to such absolutely great power. He could appreciate this position as no one else could. The fact that Muhammad held his position firmly as he received this word, from its sublime source, without being crushed by the pressure it brought on him, and that he remained calm and stable is the best evidence of his own greatness.
There are many reports about the Prophet's greatness given by his Companions. Indeed, his practical conduct is better evidence than anything reported about him. However, this testimony, given by God Almighty, is greater still than any reported evidence. The message of Islam is so perfect, beautiful, comprehensive and truthful that it could only be delivered by a man who deserved such testimony from God, and by one who would receive such divine testimony with confidence. At the same time, however, God remonstrated with the Prophet for some of his actions but all the while imbibing the same confidence and reassurance. He declared both aspects to all people, hiding nothing. In both situations, he was a noble Prophet, an obedient servant and a trusted deliverer of the divine message.
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 17, pp. 180-181
From Issue: 671 [Read original issue]
Khusamah (Argumentation), accompanied by a violation of the right of another and comprising discourteous and hostile speech, is undoubtedly reprehensible and must be avoided. The enormity of such argumentation is accentuated in the Hadith where the Prophet, peace be upon him, proclaims, "The most disliked of men before God Most High is one who is most stubborn during argumentation." [Tirmidhi]
This Hadith primarily applies to those who engage in disputes either in pursuit of falsehood, or over matters of which they have little knowledge. For example, the disputant may be a lawyer who has not studied a case, or has studied it and knows his side is in the wrong but still chooses to fight for it. Also included in this category are people who deliberately defend false views and beliefs in order to influence the feeble minded.
An individual who disputes on behalf of a good cause, and yet exceeds the limits of propriety by engaging in abusive language, is also blameworthy, although to a lesser degree than the one who argues in pursuit of falsehood.
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, p. 153
From Issue: 623 [Read original issue]
When we hear the word diversity, we typically think of racial and gender differences. But there is so much more to it, including differences in physical features, dress, language, wealth, family, religious beliefs, lifestyle, education, interests, skills, age, style and on and on.
The world is fast becoming a great melting pot of cultures, races, religions, and ideas. Since this diversity around you is ever increasing, you've got an important decision to make regarding how you're going to handle it. There are three possible approaches you can take:
Level 1: Shun diversity
Level 2: Tolerate diversity
Level 3: Celebrate diversity
Shunners are afraid (sometimes even scared to death) of differences. It disturbs them that someone may have a different skin colour, worship a different God, or wear a different brand of jeans than they do, because they're convinced their way of life is the "best," "right," or "only" way. They enjoy ridiculing those who are different, all the while believing that they are saving the world from some terrible pestilence. They won't hesitate to get physical about it if they have to and will often join gangs, cliques, or anit-groups because there's strength in numbers.
Tolerators believe that everyone has the right to be different. They don't shun diversity but don't embrace it either. Their motto is: "You keep to yourself and I'll keep to myself. You do your thing and let me do mine. You don't bother me and I won't bother you." They see differences as hurdles, not as potential strengths to build upon.
Celebrators value differences. They see them as an advantage, not a weakness. They've learned that two people who think differently can achieve more than two people who think alike. They realize that celebrating differences doesn't mean that you necessarily agree with those differences. In their eyes, Diversity = Creative Sparks = Opportunity.
So where do you fall on the spectrum? Take a hard look. Think about a group that has contrary religious belief to yours. Do you respect their beliefs or do you write them off as a bunch of weirdos?
The truth is, celebrating diversity is a struggle for most of us, depending on the issue. For example, you may appreciate racial and cultural diversity and in the same breath look down on someone because of the clothes they wear.
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - Sean Covey, pp. 184-185
From Issue: 686 [Read original issue]