Today's Reminder

August 16, 2022 | Muharram 18, 1444

Living The Quran

Al-Imran (The House of Imran) - Chapter 3: Verse 32

"Say, 'Obey God and the Messenger.' If they turn their backs, God does not love the unbelievers."

In his commentary of the verse Imam Ibn Kathir says that his verse indicates that to disobey God's Messenger is to reject the faith. God does not love anyone who may be described as an unbeliever, even though he may claim to love God.

In his well-known biography of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim writes: "There are well documented reports of many a person from among the people who follow other religions or idolaters who have admitted that the Prophet was a messenger from God and that whatever he said was the truth, but they nevertheless did not become Muslims by that mere admission. When we consider this fact we are bound to conclude that to be a Muslim is much more than the mere knowledge or even the admission of the truthfulness of the Prophet's message; that knowledge and admission must be combined with conscious obedience of the Prophet and the implementation of his religion in every aspect of life."

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 2, p. 66

From Issue: 757 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Personal Interest

As part of sincere relations one should take a keen interest in the personal matters of one's brothers. One should enquire after their welfare and express a keen interest in them. This persuades them of one's sincerity and strengthens the bond of fraternity. While instructing his Companions, the Prophet (peace be upon him) told them:

"As you enter a social relationship, you should find out another's name and the names of his father and tribe. This will cement your relationship." [Tirmidhi]

Knowledge of another person's personal details promotes close relations. The above hadith both underscores and reinforces this rationale.

Compiled From:
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, p. 44

From Issue: 600 [Read original issue]


Gifts and Capacities

People and families are a pool of gifts and capacities, not a series of needs and deficiencies. Their suffering is an effect of their isolation and their being labeled. The struggle in their life is to find a way to use their gifts. In the way we traditionally deliver service, by raising money for and valuing their deficiencies, we reflect and reinforce the cause of some of their troubles.

We still call citizens who seek help "cases." People who serve them are called "case workers." What does it mean when someone is labeled a "case"? Lawyers, social workers, human service workers in general dehumanize those they are committed to serve by naming them cases.

Human services also relate to citizens through diagnostic categories. We are only interested in their needs and deficiencies. If a family or person has no pressing needs and deficiencies, nothing can be categorized, we have no interest in them. Perhaps we should develop diagnostic categories for people's gifts. Right now we have only crude positive labels: high-school graduate, economic status, size of family, job experience. Suppose we named people in categories, such as: a connector, knows everyone in the neighbourhood, street-level entrepreneur, fashion plate, compassion for those in need, lights up a room when they enter, creative speech, practical intelligence, risk taker. The shift is to focus on gifts and capacities.

Compiled From:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, pp. 169, 170

From Issue: 857 [Read original issue]