November 20, 2019 | Rabiʻ I 22, 1441
Al-Sajda (The Prostration) Sura 32: Verse 14
These words are spoken by God or by the angels who serve as the keepers of Hell to the disbelievers as the latter enter Hell. This is one of several verses that speak of the disbelievers being forgotten by God. Such verses mean that they are cast out of God's Mercy or into the state of punishment since God does not "forget". Many understand such verses to mean that disbelievers are left to wallow in the punishment of the Fire, but it also speaks to the importance for one's spiritual life of remembering the meeting with God and thus death. In this regard, the Prophet is reported to have said, "The intelligent person is one who knows his soul and works for what follows death." And when asked, "Who is the most intelligent of believers?" he replied, "The most frequent in remembering death, and the best prepared for what follows it, they are the most intelligent."
"The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary" - Seyyed Hossein Nasr
From Issue: 1038 [Read original issue]
Importance of Appearance
The Muslim personality is a distinct one due to its unique code of behaviour and manners. Your appearance, taste, manners, and character reflect your personality. Our master, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, directed the blessed companions by saying, "You are on your way to meet your brothers, put on a nice dress and fix your saddles so you appear distinct among people as a mole [on a beautiful face]. Allah likes neither roughness nor tough manners." [Muslim]
When the Prophet said: "He will not enter Paradise who has a grain of arrogance in his heart," a man asked: "A man may like his dress to be nice and his shoes to be nice?" The Prophet answered: "Allah is beautiful and likes beauty. Arrogance is to deny rights and look down upon people." [Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad]
Shaikh Ibn Taymiyah said that the beauty that Allah likes includes nice clothes. Hence it could be said that Allah all nice things. Therefore, a Muslim ought to be recognized by neat dress, cleanliness and graceful manners.
"Islamic Manners"- Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda, p. 25
From Issue: 553 [Read original issue]
Jafar al-Sadiq said once to a devout atheist, "Have you ever been on the sea?" The atheist told him of one time when he was on a ship during a storm that tore apart his ship and drowned the sailors on board. "I was left clinging to a board. Then the ocean took the board from my hands, and I was left with nothing. An ocean wave then carried me to the shore, and I survived." Jafar said, "When you first boarded the ship, did you place trust in that ship? Didn't the sailors also? Then God took those away from you; then you put your trust in the plank. And when you lost that plank, where did you place your trust? Did you hope that you would survive?" The man told him, "Yes, I did have hope." Jafar al-Sadiq said, "There must be an object of hope. Who did you hope for?" The man didn't know how to answer. So Jafar told him, "The one who took away all your means and saved you despite them - that was God."
Even believers become complacent about where they place their trust. We often trust the material things around us, the shelter, the stream of paychecks, cupboards full of food, and so on. We can forget that all of this can be swept away, leaving us with the realization of our only true dependency. How many times have we seen storms take away everything from people: their homes, cars, clothing, and savings?
There is an overriding religious ethic in Islam whose truth is self-evident. If people are serious about living the covenant with God then there is no choice but to keep our trust in God alive and to affirm our faith and belief in Him. This is not an activity for one day of the week or special sacraments performed a few times a year. This is not the way humans were made. We require a constant and conscious connection with God the Exalted. Supplication is an excellent way to enliven our spiritual growth. When we ask of God, we should do so with trust and certainty that God will answer it.
"Purification of the Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 179, 180
From Issue: 781 [Read original issue]