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Today's Reminder

July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443

Living The Quran

Busy with Service
Al-Nahl (The Bee) Sura 16: Verse 2

He sends down the angels with the spirit from His command upon whomsoever He will of His servants: "Give warning that there is no god but I, so be wary of Me."

The reality of the spirit is that within which is the life of the heart and the life of the religion. It is the beauty of the Quran's exaltedness, which reached Mustafa from the Divine Presence with the attribute of the message by the emissary Gabriel.

But you should know that this pavilion of the submission is set up only on the plain of godwariness, for He says, "There is no god but I, so be wary of Me."

The reality of godwariness is the heart's purity of everything other than the Real. Just as submission is obligatory for the world's creatures, so also godwariness is obligatory. When the foundation of the religion was put down, it was put down on godwariness, for everyone who became a possessor of friendship became so through godwariness. "Surely His friends are only the godwary" [8:34]. Tomorrow the friendship of the next world will be assigned to those who are called godwary: "The outcome belongs to the godwary" [7:128].

The first condition of godwariness is that you be the guardian of your own heart and do three things: You do not give yourself over to wishing, you avoid everything that is not approved, and you not be heedless of the Real for one moment.

God's mercy be upon those chevaliers who do not turn away from serving the Real to serving the creatures! Every single part of each of them is busy with service, and all their moments are immersed in observing the rightful dues of the Real. None of their parts is free to serve the creatures, none of their moments is wasted in antagonism toward the creatures.

Compiled From:
"Kashf al-Asrar wa Uddat al-Abrar" - Rashid al-Din Maybudi, p. 274

From Issue: 1057 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Correcting Wrong

Abu-Said Al-Khudri, may God be pleased with him, said that he heard God's Messenger, may God's peace and blessings be upon him and his family, say, "If you see something wrong, you must correct it by hand. If you can't, you must correct it by condemning it verbally. If you can't, you must correct it by rejecting it in silence, for this is the weakest form of faith." Reported by Muslim.

The saying of the Prophet, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, "correct it," is an obligatory order for correction that's agreed upon unanimously by the nation. It is corroborated by the Qur'an's and Sunna's call on people to enjoin others to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong. It's also an advice, which is a form of the religion. Muslims are obligated to enjoin others to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong. If they perform that and people don't obey, they're not to blame. They can't force them into submission.

Also, enjoining people to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong is fard kifayah. If enough people offer the advice, it absolves the rest. If no one offers the advice, everyone bears sin except those with an excuse. It can also be fard ayn for an individual when this individual is the only one who knows of a certain wrongdoing or when this individual is the only one who's in position to correct a wrongdoing. It's also fard ayn for those who find their spouses, children, or servants (bondmen) committing sin. Scholars said that even when individuals think that their message will not be heeded by people, they still have to enjoin them to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong.

Scholars said that for people to enjoin others to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong, they don't have to be perfect, i.e. doing what is right and refraining from doing what is wrong. They have to enjoin others to do good deeds even when they themselves aren't doing what is right and refraining from doing what is wrong. That is so because people are obligated to do two things. First: They are obligated to enjoin themselves to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong. Second: They are obligated to enjoin others to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong. Performing only one of the two doesn't absolve someone from the other.

People should order others to do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong amiably in order to make it easier for them to accept the message. Imam Al-Shafii, may he rest in peace, said, "Those who advise their brothers and sisters in private, help them and beautify them. And those who advise them in public, shame them and besmear them."

The statement of the Prophet, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, "correct it by hand ... correct it by condemning it verbally ... correct it by rejecting it in silence," shows the order of the steps to be taken to correct a wrong. "Reject it in silence" means hate it within yourself. This doesn't physically correct a wrong but that's all that can be done under the circumstances. The statement of the Prophet, may God's peace and blessing be upon him, "the weakest form of faith," means the least rewarding.

Compiled From:
"Ibn-Daqiq's Commentary on the Nawawi Forty Hadiths" - Ibn Daqiq Al-Eid

From Issue: 1038 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Seven Perils of Consumerism

Consuming is far from harmless. A lifestyle focused on consumption does the following:

1) Wastes your time—When you flip flyers, search aisles and wait in checkout lines, you lose precious time. When you own a bigger house, an extra car and more appliances, you organize more, clean more, repair more—and lose more precious time. Consumerism steals your time to relax with family, engage in worship or help the community.

2) Distracts you from your goal—Our routines absorb us each day as we earn, buy, store, clean, organize and discard “stuff”. We have little time to contemplate why we perform these tasks and possess these items. Slogans of “Buy now! Enjoy now!” emphasize instant gratification and obscure the deeper purpose and priorities of our lives. We rarely remember to show gratitude for what God gave us. The more we ‘consume’, the more consumerism distracts us from our goal of pleasing God [Quran 102: 1-2].

3) Increases your needs—As you own more, your needs increase. A bigger house requires more furniture, more curtains, more decorations and more cleaning supplies (maybe even a maid!). Now you need to work longer hours to maintain your bigger house. When you work longer hours, you have less time so your needs increase again—you now need outside food, more childcare, a dishwasher, and a vacation to escape the stress! Consumerism traps us in a cycle of ‘own more, need more, work more’.

4) Enslaves you—The fashion industry, with the media’s help, creates, sells and alters styles to keep you spending. If you follow the latest trends, wear what’s ‘in’ and avoid what’s ‘out’, ask yourself why. Are you letting wealthy fashion and media leaders control your wardrobe and your wallet?

5) Creates more responsibilities—Are you ready to account for everything you consume—how you bought it, how you used it, how you shared it? [Quran 102:8] As you own more, you increase your burden of responsibility.

6) Weakens your health—Juliet Schor, in “Born to Buy”, shows that children who lead a consumeristic lifestyle, spending more time watching television and shopping, face greater health problems such as obesity, depression, and low self esteem.  Even adults who are responsible for more financial and physical wealth suffer greater stress and stress-related diseases. A simple lifestyle, with meaningful physical and mental activities, can protect your health.

7) Destroys our Environment—An individual in a developed nation consumes three times as much meat, nine times as much paper, and eleven times as much gasoline as an individual in a developing nation. This materialistic lifestyle sucks up natural resources and dumps tonnes of waste on the planet. Where does our garbage go? Many toys, electronics, and household items North Americans consume and discard ends in piles on landfill sites in developing countries where the toxic chemicals seep into water and soil. Each item we consume involves consequences we rarely consider.

Source:
"Unclutter Your Life: Reclaim Your Mind, Body and Wallet" - Shehnaz Toorawa

From Issue: 471 [Read original issue]