Issue 126 » July 13, 2001 -




Surah al-Maidah

The Table Spread (5) - Ayahs 101,102

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 "Believers! Do not ask about the things which, if made clear to you, would vex you; for, if you ask about them while the Quran is being revealed, they will be made manifest to you. Allah has pardoned whatever happened in the past. He is All-Forgiving, All-Forbearing. Indeed some people before you had asked such questions and in consequence fell into unbelief."


  • Many secrets are wisely hidden from us. If the future were known to us, we would not necessarily be happy. If the inner meaning of some of the things we see before our eyes were disclosed to us, it might cause a lot of mischief.

Examples of Unnecessary and Irrelevant Inquiries 

  • People used to ask the Prophet (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) many questions which were of no practical relevance to either religious or day-to-day affairs. Once, for instance, a person asked the Prophet (saw) in the presence of a crowd: "Who is my real father?"

  • Likewise, many people used to ask unnecessary questions about legal matters. In the Quran, for example, Hajj had been declared obligatory. A person who became aware of this, came to the Prophet (saw) and inquired: "Has it been made obligatory to perform it every year?" To this, the Prophet (saw) made no reply. On being asked for the third time, the Prophet (saw) said, "Woe to you! Had I uttered 'Yes' in response to your question, it would have become obligatory to perform it every year. And then you would not have been able to observe it and would have been guilty of disobedience." [al-Bukhari, Ahmad, Malik]

Prophet's Warning and its Implications

  • The Prophet (saw) once said, "God has imposed upon you certain obligations, do not neglect them; He has imposed certain prohibitions, do not violate them; He has imposed certain limits, do not even approach them; and He has remained silent about certain matters - and has not done so out of forgetfulness - so do not pursue them." In this Hadith an important fact has been called to our attention. In matters where Allah has chosen to lay down certain injunctions only broadly, without any elaborate details, or quantitative specifications, He has done so not because of neglect or forgetfulness, but allows us latitude and ease in following His commandments.

Purpose of the Verse and Its Neglect Today 

  • The people referred to in this verse are the Jews, and the Muslims who followed in their footsteps and left no stone unturned, despite the warnings contained in the Quran and in the sayings of Prophet (saw).

  • Now there are some people who make unnecessary inquiries, cause elaborately prescribed, inflexibly determined and restrictive regulations to be added to the Law. Some others, in cases where such details are in no way deducible from the text, resort to analogical reasoning, thereby turning a broad general rule into an elaborate law, full of restrictive details. Both sorts of people put Muslims in great danger, especially in the area of 'Aqeedah (belief).

  • That is exactly why it would be foolish to pry into things too deep for us to understand, either individually or collectively. When foolish questions are asked by people with a weak faith, and no answer is available, it further weakens their faith with all sorts of doubts.

[compiled from "Towards Understanding the Qur'an", by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Vol. II, p. 197-8]


Protecting Your Eyes This Summer

  • As temperatures soar and sweat pours down our faces this summer, it is essential to remember this: protect your eyes, and I am not talking about wearing sunglasses. I’m talking about lowering our gazes.

  • In our culture today, as the temperature increases, so does the amount of exposed skin on people’s bodies. Although this is very distressing and disturbing, it has become a fact of life. In fact, those of us, especially our sisters wearing Hijab, who cover to guard our modesty are seen as strange!

  • Yet, covering, not exposing the skin, is an advice currently being given by the United States Department of Health And Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They have sponsored a campaign called "Choose Your Cover", encouraging people to protect themselves from skin cancer. 

  • One of the recommended methods is wearing clothing that covers skin and protects against the sun's UV rays. The campaign’s section on clothing notes that "a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with a thick weave provide the best protection."

  • And lest we forget, before global warming and skin cancer warnings were ever issued, most of the Muslim and non-Muslim men and women living in the scorching deserts or cities and villages of Africa and Asia, which experience tremendous heat in the summers [if not most of the year] did NOT emerge from their homes virtually naked!

  • In fact, they covered themselves more to protect themselves from the sun. 

... to be continued ...


[by Dr. Hesham Abdullah from http://www.soundvision.com/misc/summer/summer.shtml

Thank you Sr. Aisha Islam for the suggestion!]


:!: Importance of Collective Work and Effort :!:

  • It is not enough for Islam's well-being that volunteering individuals should work separately in scattered areas, though their effort and work will be rewarded on the Day of Judgment by Allah, for Allah does not disregard the effort of anyone, man or woman. Every individual will be rewarded for his actions according to his intention and perfection of his work. "So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it." [Surah al-Zalzalah:7]

  • In the contemporary circumstances of the Muslim Ummah, individual work will not be enough for bridging the gap and realizing our aspired hope. Collective work is a must, as it is ordained by Islam and necessitated by reality.

  • Islam calls for jama'ah (organized and collective work) and opposes isolation and straying as Allah's hand is with the jama'ah and he who strays will stray into Hell. Remember, it is only the stray and isolated sheep that the wolf attacks. A prayer is not valid if the worshipper performs it separately from the congregation or stands ahead of the line. A believer to another believer is like one firm building, one strengthening and supporting the other.

  • Cooperation in righteousness and piety is one of the obligations of the Deen, and the mutual teaching of truth and patience is one of the preconditions of saving oneself from loss in this world and the Hereafter [Surah al-'Asr].

  • Great achievements are only made through concerted efforts, and decisive battles are won only through the unity of hands, as the Quran says: "Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in rows (ranks), as if they were a solid structure." [Surah al-Saff: 4]

[compiled from "Priorities of the Islamic Movement" by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, p.28]



Once a group of Muslims came across Hussayn ibn 'Ali (radhi Allahu 'anh), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu 'alayhi wasallam), and found him crying. He was a very young child at the time so the people inquired: "Ya Hussayn, why are you crying? You are so young!" Hussayn (ra) replied: 


"I started to ponder on the fire that the people build. And I came to the realization that in order to start a fire, you need the smaller, weaker pieces of wood. So I started to think about the Fire of Allah (the hell-fire), and I became scared that if I die as a young man, not having lived a righteous life, then Allah will use ME to start the fire of hell, just as the small pieces of wood are used to start the fire in this dunya! Hence, I started crying."


[related by Imam Suhaib Webb in his talk "Zina - the disease with a thousand faces" at Young Muslims, now available for viewing online in RealMedia video format http://www.saimum.net/ym/zina.rm ]