Issue 127 » July 20, 2001 -




Surah al-Maidah

The Table Spread (5) - Ayahs 3

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


"Today, I have perfected for you your religion, 

and I have completed My favour upon you, 

and I have approved of Islam as your Way of Life (Deen)."


  • It is reported that this verse was revealed during the last Pilgrimage (Hajj) of the Prophet (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam). The Farewell Address (khutbat-ul-wida') of the Prophet Muhammad was heard with intent and solemnity. His manner of delivering it, the gravity and the profoundity of his voice, and his repetition of the main messge, all helped to impress upon his audience that it was indeed a serious speech, and raised the feelings of his companions to an extraordinary mood of thoughtfulness and expectation.

Mixed Feelings of Joy & Sadness

  • Ibn Katheer, on the authority of Bukhari and Muslim, states that this verse, signifying the perfection of Islam and completion of the Message, was revealed on the Day of 'Arafah, just before the Prophet delivered his farewell address.

  • The Muslims rejoiced. Yet this joy was checked by an underlying feeling of unease and anxiety. What next? What was to become of the Prophet, who had already hinted that he might never be at that occasion again?

'Umar sobbed passionately!

  • Upon hearing this verse, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhi Allahu 'anh) sobbed passionately and then burst into tears. He understood the sad news (of the end of Prophet's life) implicit in it.

  • People crowded around him asking in surprise, "What is the matter, O 'Umar?" He replied, "After perfection, there is nothing but bereavement (and imperfection)!"

Perfection of Religion

  • 'Perfection of the Religion' mentioned in this verse refers to making Islam a self-sufficient system of belief and conduct, and an order of social life, providing its own answers to the questions with which a human being is confronted. Therefore, in no circumstances does one need to look for guidance to any extraneous sources outside of Islam.

  • The statement: 'I have completed My favour upon you, and I have approved of Islam as your Way of Life (Deen),' means that, since the Muslims had proven by their conduct and their striving that they were honest and sincere about the commitment they had made to God in embracing Islam, He had accepted their sincerity and blessed them with an environment in which they were no longer yoked in bondage to anyone but Him.

  • The importance of this favour, this concept, and this verse could be judged by the statement of a Jew to a companion of the Prophet: "Had this verse been revealed to Moses, that day would have been a day of Eid (celebration) for us!"

  • Hence, the question that faces me and you today is: what have we done to 'deserve' Islam? where do we stand in comparison the ones whom Allah loved? And how sincere are we about sacrificing whatever it takes to make Allah's Deen the highest concern in our lives?

[compiled from "Sunshine at Madinah" by Zakaria Bashier, p. 128-9 and

"Towards Understanding the Qur'an", by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Vol. II]


Adultery of the Eyes from Quran and Sunnah

  • It is in this instance, surrounded by half-naked people, that we must have the courage to follow the command of Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and lower our gazes.

  • Allah says: "Do not go near fornication and adultery, it is an abomination and an evil way." [17:32]. This sin is so hateful in the sight of Our Lord, that He commanded us to not even go near it!

  • Despite what anyone may say, looking upon that which one is not supposed to is going near adultery. For an illicit affair begins with a lustful glance. Allah wishes for us not to commit this ugly sin, and thus He commands us to lower our gazes: 

"Tell the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And tell the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty…" [24:30-31]

  • Lowering the gaze does not mean keeping our eyes constantly on the ground and not looking up at all. It is turning our faces away when we see a less-than-decently-dressed woman or man walking on the street in the middle of July.

  • The Prophet further explained to us Allah’s command. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said "the adultery of the eyes is looking (at that which is not allowed)" [Bukhari]

  • Also, on the authority of Jurayr who said: I asked the Messenger of Allah about accidentally looking at something that is not allowed and he said "Turn your eyes away!" [Muslim]

  • In another Hadith on the authority of Abu Sa’eed, the Prophet said "A man should not look at the 'awrah of another man, and the woman should not look at the 'awrah of another woman" [Muslim]

  • Thus, our Prophet even instructed us to lower our gaze when looking at members of the same gender in some cases.

... to be continued ...


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

Thank you Sr. Aisha Islam for the suggestion!]


:!: Responsible Leadership based upon Shura :!:

  • Collective work (jama'ah) should be organized and based on a responsible leadership, a solid foundation and clear perceptions that define the relationship between the leadership and the grassroots according to fundamentals of obligatory shura (consultation) and compulsory obedience.

  • Islam recognizes no collective work that does not have a system. Even a small scale collective prayer is based on organization, for Allah does not look at the row which is not straightened, and the rows are to be closed. No gap should be left in a row for it will be filled by shaytan. Each person stands shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot. There is unity of movement and appearance as much there is unity of doctrine and direction: "Do not differ so that your hearts may not differ!"

  • The Imam is required to oversee the alignment of the row behind him until it is straightened and without any gaps, before starting the prayer, and he advises the worshippers to 'be responsive to the [guiding] hands of your brothers'. The prayer in congregation requires a measure of flexibility for harmony of the rank as a whole.

  • Then comes the obedience to the Imam: "The imam is appointed to be followed, if he says 'Allah Akbar' then say 'Allahu Akbar', if he bows, bow, if he prostrates, prostrate. If he recites, listen to him."

  • Nobody is allowed to break the line or precede the Imam in bowing or prostrating so that he does not upset the harmony and create an irregularity in such an organized and coordinated structure. He who does that should fear that Allah will transform him (metaphorically) into a man with a donkey's head.

  • However, should the Imam make a mistake, it is the right, even a duty, of those behind him to rectify his mistake, whether it is the result of impropriety or forgetfulness, whether it involves word or deed, or happens in recital (of the Quran) or in other fundamental parts of prayer.

  • Even women in the back ranks in prayer are allowed to clap their hands if the Imam makes a mistake, so as to attract his attention to the mistake.

  • Congregational prayer is a miniaturization of the overall Islamic congregational system and of what the inter-relation between the commander and the troops should be like: there is neither infallible leadership nor absolute, blind obedience!

[compiled from "Priorities of the Islamic Movement" by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, p.29-30]



"The heart and core of the Prophet's message is clear. So are its implications. That uluhiyyah (godship) and rububiyyah (lordship) of Allah are not mere ideas or theories. Let us live for Him under Him. Let us love what He loves and hate what He hates. Let there be no territories carved up, no frontiers set up, in serving Him. Let us passionately involve ourselves in our society to do His Will, but still more passionately let our hearts yearn for His pleasure. Similarly, let the life of the Prophet live again in our lives. Let his message, his conduct, his goals, be our message, our conduct, our goals. So also, let nothing motivate us but an intense longing to please our Lord in the world to come, and let that expectation give a decisive shape to our life here. The hope of a meaningful future must induce us to confront the risk and overcome the tribulations that lie in living by His will in the totality of existence. We, as Muslims, have but one option: to strive to change the world to the model given to mankind by the Prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him."

[Ustadh Khurram Murad, rahimahullah]