December 05, 2021 | Rabiʻ II 29, 1443
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 74 (partial)
'... and verily of stones there are some from which gush forth rivers, and verily there are of them some that cleave asunder and water issueth therefrom, and verily there are of them some that fall down in awe of Allah ...'
The above is a beautiful description, in parable, of three grades of a righteous people:
a) those who do universal good, such as the Prophets (like big rivers in their beneficence.)
b) those whose outlook is not so broad, yet who do immense service within their limited sphere, such as the saints (awliya) and martyrs (shuhada) (like smaller streams and rivulets); and,
c) those who are true and faithful at least to their own selves; the general community of the faithful (like stones which are impressionable)
"The Glorious Qur'an: Text, Translation & Commentary" - Abdul Majid Daryabadi
From Issue: 637 [Read original issue]
When you imagine something, an image from the studio of your mind is brought to life on the stage of your inner vision.
When you imagine someone greedily sucking on a sour lemon, his face all puckered up, your salivary glands become active. This is a physical reaction to a stimulus coming directly from your mind. Likewise, if you imagine beautiful and provocative sights, they will produce effects on your body as if you were looking at those things. When you talk to someone on the phone you never met, your mind automatically constructs an image of that person based on the timbre of their voice. When you imagine a loved one you miss very much, your mind might wander to that far-off place where they are, so you will fancy yourself sitting and talking with the one you love, oblivious to everything that is around you.
Think about what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Have you considered if there was a river at the door of your house that you bathed in five times a day, would any dirt remain on you?" His Companions concurred that no dirt would remain. Then he said: "The five daily prayers are the same. Allah wipes away our sins with them." [Bukhari, Muslim]
Can you read this without imagining yourself going out your front door and finding a river crossing your path? If this never happened to you before, then let it happen now. The time that you have for yourself is precious. You do not have to spend it all sitting in the cage of your circumstances, as if your mind was a prisoner behind the iron bars of the moment at hand.
When you read in the Qur’an about the delights of Paradise and the punishment of Hell, does no image come to mind? What then moves us, when we read these verses, to turn to Allah in remembrance and devotion, when nothing in the Hereafter resembles the things of this world except in name?
Every change in life requires imagining it first. Imagination is the secret means that transports us to our goals. It enables the mind to absorb the stresses of life and conceive of a better future, empowering us to surmount our obstacles and solve our problems.
You must first imagine the circumstances that you want for yourself and society. Then you must take an appropriate course of action. Your goals are essentially what you imagine your future to be. Our dreams and aspirations have their origins in our imaginings. The imagination works upon the heart and the mind.
If you come to the point when you cannot imagine a world any different than the one that surrounds you, then your life will become tiresome indeed. All progress starts with the imagination. It is the only way to reach beyond the closed doors of the future.
"Imagine" - Salman al-Oadah
From Issue: 742 [Read original issue]
Islamic work has been the scene of spreading hardline ideas that now govern the relationship between men and women, adopting the strictest opinions to be found on this issue. The basis in ibadah and religious learning was participation and there never existed in Islam a mosque that had been reserved for women alone or not visited by men. Women attended the sessions in which the Prophet taught Muslims the Deen. They also participated in (or at least attended) the Juma prayers, the two Eid prayers and the congregational prayers together with men. They asked questions about various matters without being prevented from learning the Deen because of their shyness.
The problem of women's Islamic work is that it is men who direct it, not women; and men are careful to maintain their grip on it and thus not giving the chance for female leadership to emerge. Men impose themselves on women's Islamic work, including even women's meetings, as they exploit the shyness of practising Muslim women and never allow them to take command of their own affairs. In this way, no female talents are given a chance to prove themselves in the pursuit of the Islamic Movement or to be seasoned by experience and struggle and learn from the 'school of life' by trial and error.
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 91-94
From Issue: 677 [Read original issue]