December 07, 2023 | Jumada I 24, 1445
Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage) - Chapter 22: Verse 28 (partial)
The benefits that pilgrims receive are manifold. The pilgrimage is a season of trade and worship, and a conference where people get to know each other and establish close cooperation. It is a religious duty in which objectives pertaining to this life converge with those that pertain to the life to come. Near and distant memories of true faith are also grouped together. Business people find pilgrimage to be a high season for their merchandise. Pilgrims come from every country and area of the world bringing with them their best goods that have different seasons. This makes the pilgrimage an all-embracing exhibition and an annual international market place.
It is at the same time a season of worship, when souls feel their purity as they sense that they are close to God in His Sacred House. People's spirit roam around the House, recalling memories that are associated with it, and see near and distant images.
But the pilgrimage is also a conference at which all Muslims gather. In it they find the beginning of their community, going back ages in time to none other than their first father, Abraham (peace be upon him). There at the Pilgrimage they find the force that brings them all together, their qibla to which they all turn as they stand up in prayer. They also find the banner under which they unite, namely, the banner of faith under which all distinctions of race, colour or nationality are non-existent. They sense their power, of which they may often be oblivious; that is the power of their unity, which is capable of sweeping everything before it, when they are united by faith alone.
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 12, pp. 124 - 126
From Issue: 810 [Read original issue]
Blessings in Food
The two Shaykhs have narrated from Ibn Abbas who said, "God's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, 'When one of you eats, let him not wipe his fingers until he has licked them or had them licked.'" Muslim narrated from Kab ibn Malik who said, "I saw God's Messenger eating with three fingers, and then he finished off licking them". He has also narrated from Jabir that God's Messenger commanded licking the fingers and the bowl, he said: "Surely you do not know in which part of your food the blessing is".
One who looks at on the wording of these hadiths will not understand other than that eating with three fingers, and licking them after eating, and licking the bowl or cleaning it out or wiping it, is the sunnah of the Prophet. So he may, at times, look with disgust at someone eating with a spoon because, in his opinion, that person is opposing the sunnah, behaving as unbelievers do! The reality is that the spirit of the sunnah that should be taken from these hadiths is his modesty, his acceptance of God's blessing in the food, and the anxious wish that he should not leave from that blessing anything to be wasted without benefit, such as the remnant of food left in the bowl, or the morsel that falls from some people and they are too proud to pick it up, showing themselves as being in affluence and plenty, and distancing themselves from looking like the poor and indigent, who strive for the smallest thing, even if it be a crumb of bread.
If the Muslims would act upon it, we would not see the waste that is met with every day – rather, at every meal – in every wastebasket and rubbish bin. If the Muslim community calculated the level of this waste, its economic value every day would amount to millions or tens of millions. Then how much would it be by month or in a whole year? This is the inner spirit behind these hadiths.
"Approaching the Sunnah" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 142, 143
From Issue: 784 [Read original issue]
Ownership is the decision to become the author of our own experience. It is the choice to decide on our own what value and meaning will occur when we show up. It is the stance that each of us is creating the world, even the one we have inherited.
This requires us to believe in the possibility that this organization, this neighbourhood, this community is mine and ours to create. This will occur when we are willing to answer the essential question, "How have I contributed to creating the current reality?" Confusion, blame, and waiting for someone else to change are defences against ownership and personal power.
A Subtle denial of ownership is innocence and indifference. The future is denied with the response, "It doesn't matter to me - whatever you want to do is fine." This is always a lie and just a polite way of avoiding a difficult conversation around ownership.
People best create that which they own, and cocreation is the bedrock of accountability. The ownership conversation most directly deals with the belief that each of us, perhaps even from the moment of birth, is cause, not effect.
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, pp. 127, 128
From Issue: 622 [Read original issue]