January 31, 2023 | Rajab 9, 1444
Idols of the Heart
Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 165 (partial)
As humans, we are made to feel love and attachment towards others. This is part of our human nature. While we can feel this way about another human being, five times a day we enter into a meeting with our Lord and Creator. How often have we ever felt the whole world disappear while in His presence? Can we really claim that our love for Allah is greater than our love for anyone and anything else?
So often we think that Allah only tests us with hardships, but this isn't true. Allah also tests with ease. He tests us with naim (blessings) and with the things we love, and it is often in these tests that so many of us fail. We fail because when Allah gives us these blessings, we unwittingly turn them into false idols of the heart.
When Allah blesses us with money, we depend on the money rather than Allah. We forget that the source of our provision is not and never was the money, but rather it was the giver of that money. Suddenly we're willing to sell alcohol to avoid losing money in our business, or we need to take out loans with interest to feel secure. In so doing we are foolishly—and ironically—disobeying the Provider in order to protect the provision.
When Allah blesses us with someone that we love, we forget that Allah is the source of that blessing, and we begin to love that person as we should love Allah. That person becomes the centre of our world—all our concerns, thoughts, plans, fears, and hopes revolve only around them. If they are not our spouses, we are sometimes even willing to fall into haram just to be with them. And if they were to leave us, our whole world would crumble. So now, we have shifted our worship from the Source of the blessing to the blessing itself.
"Reclaim Your Heart" - Yasmin Mogahed
From Issue: 851 [Read original issue]
A person always strives to protect the valuables that he has, and takes every precaution that they are not taken away from him. And without a doubt, the greatest blessing that a Muslim has been given is the blessing of Iman (faith), and hence why he should continually ask Allah to protect his Iman.
Umm Salamah once asked the Prophet, peace be upon him: "O Messenger of Allah! Why is it that most of your dua is (the phrase), 'O He who turns the hearts! Make my heart firm upon your religion (Deen)'?" So the Prophet responded:
O Umm Salamah! There is not a single person of the Children of Adam except that his heart is between two of the Fingers from the Fingers of Allah. So whoever Allah wishes, He establishes and makes firm (the heart on His obedience), and whoever He wishes, He leads astray. [Tirmidhi]
"Dua: The Weapon of the Believer"- Yasir Qadhi, p. 220
From Issue: 672 [Read original issue]
Trust in Muhammad
The Night Journey experience, presented in classical accounts of the Prophet’s life as a gift from God and a consecration for the Messenger, the Elect (al-Mustafa) was a real trial for Muhammad and those around him. It marked the boundary between those believers whose faith radiated in their trust in this Prophet and his message and the others, who were taken aback by the improbability of such a story.
The trial that Muhammad’s Night Journey presented for his fellow Muslims occurred at a moment when they were struggling with a most difficult situation. Tradition reports that a few Muslims left Islam, but most trusted Muhammad. A few weeks later, facts confirmed some elements of his account, for instance the arrival of caravans whose coming he had announced (having seen them on his way back) and of which he had given a precise description.
Muslim scholars have, from the outset, pondered the question of whether the Night Journey was of a purely spiritual nature or whether it was also physical. The majority of scholars consider that the journey was both physical and spiritual. All things considered, however, this question is not essential in the light of the teachings that can be drawn from this extraordinary experience undergone by the Messenger.
All Revelation reached the Prophet in the course of his earthly experience, with the exception of the verses that establish the fundamental pillars of faith (al-iman) and the duty of prayer (as-salat). The Prophet was raised to heaven to receive the teachings that were to become the foundation of Islamic worship and ritual, al-aqidah and al-ibadat, which require that believers should accept their form as well as their substance.
Unlike the field of social affairs (al-muamalat), which calls for the creative mediation of people’s intellect and intelligence, human rationality here submits, in the name of faith and as an act of humility, to the order imposed by Revelation: God has prescribed requirements and norms that the mind must hear and implement and the heart must love.
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Tariq Ramadan
From Issue: 891 [Read original issue]