Life-long Commitment, Profiteering, Mercy Factor

Issue 991 » March 23, 2018 - Rajab 6, 1439

Living The Quran

Life-long Commitment
Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 23: Verse 102

"O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam."

There is a world of difference between fearing Allah and fearing others. That is why we are commanded to fear Allah as He ought to be feared. Firstly, because no one else has any valid claim to obedience from humans as Allah alone has. Secondly, all the limits and laws stipulated by Allah and the punishment prescribed for their violation are only for the benefit of human beings in this life as well as in the life to come. Abiding by these laws does not benefit Allah. Only human beings gain and benefit from the faithful observance of these laws and commandments. Thirdly, Allah watches over human beings and He is well aware of whatever they do, even of the secret thoughts hidden in their breasts. Fourthly, there is none who can save revolting people from the grasp of Allah and from His punishment both in this life and in the hereafter: the guilty will be consigned to an abiding torment. Unless a person is fully aware of all these aspects, it is difficult to appreciate the real significance of fearing Allah, and indeed of fulfilling one's obligations towards Him. This is the basic error of those who are scared of others and, and as a result of this fear, turn their backs on Allah and His Shariah. They simply fail to realise the vast difference between the hostility of humans and the wrath of Allah.

Fearing Allah is not for a temporary phase or limited to a transient period. Rather, it is a life-long commitment and this is how one ought to live and die. It is a continuous struggle that begins with birth and ends only with one's last breath on earth. If its continuity breaks even towards the very end of one's life, one could lose everything. The wording of the verse indicates that this path is far from being smooth and easy. In this path, there are many ups and downs, twists and turns. A wayfarer treading this path is bound to face hardships, trials and temptations. At every turn, his enemies lie in ambush to rob him of his faith, to conspire and plot, to distract and deflect him from his goal. Greed and sometimes fear may assail him to block his way. Only those who successfully go through all these phases, facing all these temptations and hardships with fortitude and with undiminished faith in and commitment to Allah, are the ones who are sincere in their life-long commitment until the last moment of their lives on earth.

Compiled From:
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah Ali Imran" - Amin Ahsan Islahi

Understanding The Prophet's Life


While freedom of trade and competition in the marketplace is guaranteed by Islam, it severely condemns hoarding in order to make a high profit or withholding the commodity from the market so that it becomes scarce. Hoarding and manipulating the prices at the expense of public interests are very strongly denounced in Islam. Hoarders seeking speculative gains cause an artificial crisis in the economy and thus affect the whole society. Those who accumulate wealth at the cost of others have a parasitical, cruel nature that exploits people.

Concerning hoarders, the Prophet said: "Those withholding goods until the price rises are sinners." (Muslim.) In another Hadith he said, "Whoever stocks a good essential for people for forty days is far from God, and God 's mercy is far from him." (Ahmad.)

Compiled From:
"Cleanliness In Islam" - Remzi Kuscular


Mercy Factor

Cold utilitarian logic, rational self-interested deduction, instinct, and perhaps even simple whimsy and self-indulgence, when needed, will always supply human beings with good reasons to kill. Aside from that, the state, any political entity that represents the elite, and often the loudest and most obnoxious elements within a society will often want to possess the power to kill. If power, in general, is intoxicating, this kind of power - the power to kill - will often serve as a sort of hallucinogen, giving whoever possess it an ultimate sense of control, and a false sense of security. It could even allow those who lost a loved one to overcome a sense of violation and vulnerability, and think that the execution of the offender will somehow restore balance to their lives and more importantly, to the life of the victim of murder. We often treat the victims of murder as if they continue to live, and as if killing the offender will restore some of life that was unjustly taken away from them. But like so many other short order fixes and instantaneous solutions, the costs associated with seeking after the immediate and gratifying, turn out in the long term to be oppressively prohibitive.

Executions are too serious a business to be left to the vagaries of societal whimsies or even logic and rationality. More particularly, the infliction of death is too grave a matter to entrust to the state, especially the authoritarian and despotic state. When confronted with something so laden with meaning and consequence as human life, it seems that what is needed is not logic, rationality, or instinct but magnanimity (ihsan). In the case of Islam, this magnanimity is captured and augmented by the mercy factor. The balance of justice, ethics, and, indeed, existence (al-mizan) is restored through the pursuit of the mercy factor, and not by enforcing the paradigm of strict retribution, or a life for a life, and an eye for an eye. Contrary to the message conveyed by the practices of several predominantly Muslim countries that supply some of the highest rates of executions in the world today, the Islamic vision of justice is not founded on vengeance and retribution. The Islamic vision of justice is premised on mercy and compassion, and the absolute sanctity of human life. Regardless of the moral achievements and failures of the past, the burden is always on Muslims to strive continuously towards a greater fulfillment and attainment of the Divine charge, and to achieve new levels of magnanimity and sanctification of human life. It is exactly the magnanimity and sanctimony of human life that perhaps today calls upon us, Muslims, to reconsider the morality of the killing state.

Compiled From:
"The Death Penalty, Mercy and Islam: A Call for Retrospection" - Khaled Abou El Fadl