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Today's Reminder

March 02, 2021 | Rajab 18, 1442

Living The Quran

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

From Issue: 471 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Easier Options

The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “The best of your religion is the easier options therein.” [Bukhari]

Thus, when there are different answers to the same question and when easier options may be available in the practice of a religious duty, judgment, fatwa, and ijtihad, the easier option should be preferred.

The Prophet’s widow Aishah reported that the Prophet was always inclined toward preventing hardship and lightening the people’s burdens as far as possible. Thus, she reported that, “he [the Prophet] did not choose but the easier of the two options so long as it did not amount to a transgression.” [Muslim]

The Prophet has also advised the believers to take advantage of the concessions God has granted to them, for “God loves to see that His concessions are taken, just as He loves to see that His commandments are obeyed.” [Al Albani]

The purport of this message is illustrated in another hadith text with regard to fasting (of Ramadan): “It is not a virtue to observe the fast when one is travelling.” [Mishkat]

Compiled From:
"The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam: The Qur'anic Principle of Wasatiyyah" - Hashim Kamali

From Issue: 847 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Self-Criticism

According to the Quran and the prophetic tradition, the default feeling of a believer should not be self-righteousness. This is what the Prophet taught his Companions. Hudhaifa, one of the Prophet's Companions, had knowledge about the names of the ten hypocrites of Medina who were unknown to the other Companions. Umar b. al-Khattab used to ask Hudhaifa if his name was among the ten hypocrites! Why did Umar ask Hudhaifa this question? Clearly, he did this because he did not feel self-righteous at all. In fact, it shows a high level of self-criticism that is rare to find.

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq used to say: "I would not feel safe from God's deep devising even if one of my feet was in Paradise." Why did Abu Bakr say this? Because he thought that he does not deserve Paradise as a guaranteed reward from God. This is Abu Bakr, about whom Umar said: "If the faith of Abu Bakr is put on one side of the scale and the faith of the nation of believers is put on the other side, the side of Abu Bakr will outweigh the other side."

A feeling of self-righteousness is the origin of all sins. If one feels self-righteous and thinks that he has secured an exclusive or special status, surely he will start to feel that he cannot make mistakes. But if you fear God and think that you are the least of the believers, you will avoid committing evil deeds. The sense of self-righteousness is the origin of every forbidden lust of arrogance, miserliness, greed, extravagance, and so forth. If we avoid this feeling, we will keep away from falling into these lusts. This was the practice of the prophets, messengers, and righteous people.

However, the virtue of self-criticism should not turn into self-destruction. Self-destruction happens when a person blames himself so harshly that he begins to feel desperate. For example, if a person continues to tell himself that he is no good, he has never done a sincere good deed, and so forth, he will eventually feel hopeless and abandon everything. This course of action is unacceptable. Moderation and balance are virtues that lie between two vices; blaming oneself until one feels desperate and not blaming oneself at all until one becomes conceited. With moderation, our inner self will improve and we will advance in the course of our spiritual journey to God.

Compiled From:
"A Journey to God: Reflections on the Hikam of Ibn Ataillah" - Jasser Auda

From Issue: 969 [Read original issue]