Issue 129 » August 3, 2001 -
The Livestock (6) - Ayahs 125, 126
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"Thus, it is a fact that whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast for Islam; and whomsoever He wills to let go astray, He causes his breast to become strait and contricted, as if he were climbing towards the heaven. Thus does Allah lay the curse (of hatred of Islam) on those who refuse to believe even though this Way is the Straight Way of your Lord... "
This verse beautifully sums up the true concept of Guidance (Huda) that is the focus of so many Quranic passages and Prophetic statements. It is important to understand what Guidance means and what "true guidance" really is since we ask Allah for it at least 17 times a day, every time we recite Surah al-Fatiha!
Guidance is a Favour from Allah
The most important realization a Muslim can have is that their being guided to Islam is Allah's greatest favour upon them. It is a favour that no other soul, no amount of wealth, success, or worldly happiness could have brought upon them.
Once 'Abdullah ibn Abbas was asked about the verse "And in Allah's Rahmah and in His Fadl let them (the Believers) celebrate" and he replied "Allah's mercy (rahmah) upon us is that He has revealed the Quran and His blessing (fadl) upon us is that He has made us of its people!"
Guidance is Only from Allah
In the above verse, Allah clearly states that whomsoever He, and He alone, wills to guide will be guided; and whomsoever He, and He alone, wills to fall into misguidance will be misguided.
This should scare us. It tells us that no matter how much we think we are "guided" and "headed in the right direction", if that Guidance is not from Allah, it is useless and is in fact a misguidance.
The Prophet related to us Allah's words in a Hadith Qudsi: "O My slaves, all of you are misguided except those whom I have guided!" This also means that Guidance should only be sought from Allah since He is the only One able to provide it.
Then Allah tells us how He guides those who are favoured, "He opens his breast for Islam".
This means that the one who is guided is completely convinced of the truth of Islam, experiences more peace and tranquility in the performance of the duties that Allah has assigned for him, gains deep understanding of His Religion, and his heart and mind are freed from doubts and uncertainties regarding it.
In short, his or her Iman (Faith) in Allah is made intense and his heart is softened by the love and awe of Allah. These are the signs of true guidance!
But those who are left to stray, "He causes his breast to become strait and constricted". For this person, Islam feels like a chore, an unnecessary meaningless hardship, he feels restricted and suffocated by it until he is left in confusion and doubts regarding Allah and His Deen.
Guidance: Deserve it not just Desire it!
If guidance is Allah's greatest favour upon us and if only He can provide it and since not being guided is a fearful state, then how can one receive Guidance? Simple: through the sincere and dedicated study AND practice of what Allah has commanded us to do in the Qur'an as exemplified by the Prophet to the best of our abilities. This is the necessary condition. The excuse "but if Allah wanted He could have guided me!" is not appropriate. Remember: "Verily, Allah does not guide the wrongdoers."
JIHAD OF THE EYES
:!: Lowering the Gaze but Not Being Anti-Social :!:
- Lowering our gaze does not mean we should be rude or anti-social. Summer is definitely a time to go out, have fun, and even make Da'wah (inviting others to Islam).
- You can, for example, hand out brochures at public places and parks.
- The Prophet used to present the message of Islam to people that had come for the yearly "Ukaz" festival, which did include un-Islamic activities like drinking and gambling.
- However, this requires faith, self-control and discipline. This must never be used as an opportunity to indulge in these sins.
:!: The Gaze is Part of a Muslim's Character :!:
- A Muslim is decent and pure. This means all of his or her body must be decent and pure. A natural consequence of this is lowering the gaze.
- Allah tells us: "O you who believe! Do not follow Satan’s footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will command what is shameful and wrong..." [Quran 24:21]
- Looking at another man or woman in an indecent manner is following in Satan’s footsteps.
- It all begins with a lustful glance. Such a glance leads to lustful talk and flirting, then meeting… and we are all aware of what comes next!
- Let us stop Satan in his tracks and lower our gaze.
- Let us start today, during these hot summer months. Yes, it is very difficult and it takes discipline and faith.
- Yet, whenever we struggle to please Allah, He will reward us several times over in this life and the next. Remember: if you stay away from and leave a Haram for the sake of Allah, Allah will give you the same thing or better in a Halal way! Plus, you will have His Good Pleasure.
- It is truly a Jihad. But, it is a Jihad worth undertaking, and we will be all the better for it, insha-Allah.
[by Dr. Hesham Abdullah from http://www.soundvision.com
you Sr. Aisha Islam for the suggestion!]
THOSE WHO WERE PROMISED PARADISE
@ What Will You Do Then? @
When the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) appointed Muadh ibn Jabal (radhi Allahu 'anh) as governor of Yemen, he asked him, "How will you decide the affairs of the people?" "O Rasul Allah, I will decide according to the teachings of the Quran," replied Muadh.
"And if you do not find an answer in the Quran," the Prophet asked him, "what will you do then?" "I will seek the advice from your Sunnah (tradition), O Rasul Allah," replied Muadh.
The Prophet asked him again, "And if you do not find an answer in my Sunnah, what will you do then?" Muadh replied, "I will then use my best judgement (ijtihad)."
Rasul Allah's face gleamed with joy. He then remarked, "Blessed be Allah, who has given this wisdom to a messenger of His Messenger!"
Points to Remember: This conversation illustrates the method and concept of decision making on the part of a leader, specially whenever he or she is faced with new circumstances and challenges of the society.
[Taken from "Stories of the Sirah: The Teacher of Mankind", by Abidullah Ghazi & Tasneema Ghazi, p. 18]
Literally, means placing a thing where it does not belong.
Technically, it refers to exceeding the right balance and hence committing wrong or injustice.
Often used to mean oppression and subjugation in the Qur'an and Hadith .e.g. "rabanna dhalamna anfusana" which is translated "Our Lord, we have surely wronged/oppressed our own souls!" referring to the fact that sinning is an injustice to ourselves first and foremost.