December 05, 2021 | RabiÊ» II 29, 1443
Words Unlike Others
Al-Alaq (The Blood Clots) - Chapter 96: Verses 1-5
"Read! In the name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who created. Created man, out of a leech-like clot. Proclaim! And your Lord is Most Bountiful. He Who taught [the use of] the Pen, Taught man that which he knew not."
Appearing before Muhammad (peace be upon him) suddenly one day while he was secluded in a cave, Jibril commanded him to read; he replied that he did not know how to read. The angel repeated his demand thrice, and received the same confused and frightened answer thrice, before revealing to this unsuspecting Prophet the very first verses he was to hear of the Quran.
Shaken from this unexpected encounter and carrying this greatest of burdens, Muhammad returned trembling to his wife Khadija and implored her to conceal him, till some measure of calmness had returned to him. As an Arab he was familiar with all sorts of Arabic expressions, with poetry and prose, but nothing bore resemblance to these verses; he had heard something the likes of which he had never heard before. These ineffable Words, this Quran, became the first and greatest miracle bestowed upon him. In another time and place Moses had been granted his own miracles - light emanating from his hands, the transformation of his stick into a slithering snake - as signs of his prophethood. Compare that to the subtlety of Muhammad's case: in the solitude of a mountain cave an angel beckons an unlettered man to read. His miracles included no snakes, no plagues, no curing of lepers or raising of the dead, but Words unlike anything that had ever fallen on human ears.
"The History of the Quranic Text" - Muhammad Mustafa Al-Azami, pp. 47, 48
From Issue: 875 [Read original issue]
Measure of Greatness
In society, each person has a window (status) through which he or she looks out to see others and be seen. If the window is built higher than their real stature, people try to make themselves appear taller through vanity and assumed airs. If the window is set lower than their real stature, they must bow in humility in order to look out, see, and be seen. Humility is the measure of one's greatness, just as vanity or conceit is the measure of low character.
The Messenger, peace be upon him, had a stature so high that it could be said to touch the "roof of the Heavens." Therefore, he had no need to be seen. Whoever travels in the realm of virtues sees him before every created being, including angels. In the words of Said Nursi, the Messenger is the noble aide-de-camp of God. He lowered himself to stay in the world for a while so that people might find the way to God. Since he is the greatest of humanity, he is the greatest in modesty. This follows the well-known saying: "The greater one is, the more modest one is."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, never regarded himself as greater than anybody else. Only his radiant face and attractive person distinguished him from his Companions. He lived and dressed like the poorest people and sat and ate with them, just as he did with slaves and servants. Once a woman saw him eating and remarked: "He eats like a slave." The Messenger replied: "Could there be a better slave than me? I am a slave of God." [Haythami]
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 297, 298
From Issue: 694 [Read original issue]
[... continued from previous issue]
‘Khalifa’ is a representative, delegate, vicegerent, and ambassador. A ‘khalifa’ must only exercise delegated power on behalf of a sovereign and not follow his or her own whims. A ‘khalifa’ establishes the commands, wishes and guidance of the one who sent him or her. Given how Allah does not establish His divine way of life among humans directly, those who fulfil that responsibility and establish the divine way of life are considered as the ‘Khulafa’ of Allah.
We know that those who try their utmost to establish the divine way of life are the Ansarullah (helpers of Allah). Ansarullah may or may not be successful in establishing the divine way of life. However, if the Ansarullah become successful in establishing the divine way of life then they reach the station of Khulafaullah. Only through the establishment of divine way of life can the station of Khulafaullah be achieved.
When Allah decided to send humans to the earth He mentioned to the angels that He wanted to send His ‘khalifa’ to the earth [Baqara 2:30]. Being a ‘khalifa’ is the ultimate success of a believer in this world. Allah loves those who strive to reach this station of being His ‘khalifa’. Therefore, those who do not strive for this station have failed themselves. The Ansarullah who are striving to establish the divine way of life have the opportunity to reach the station of Khulafaullah.
One cannot reach any of the four stations offered by Allah at the expense of ignoring the rest. In reality, the true station of a believer is to be close to Allah and gain His pleasure. Only those who try to please Allah by reaching the station of Ibadullah, Waliullah, and Ansarullah are granted the station of Khulafullah as a reward of their struggle in this world. May Allah give us the ability to reach all of the four stations.
“Four Stations of Believers” - Ghulam Azam
From Issue: 775 [Read original issue]