Issue 135 » September 14, 2001 -
The Deceivers (83) - Ayahs 29-33
"Verily, the criminals used to laugh at the Believers. And whenever they passed them by, used to wink at each other (in mockery). And when they returned to their own people, they would return laughing (at the believers). And when they saw them, they used to say: 'Certainly these people are astray.' Yet they (the disbelievers) were not sent as watchers over them (the believers)."
The wicked people laugh at the Believers and the people of principles in this world in many ways: 1) They laugh to themselves at others' Faith, because they consider themselves superior. 2) In public places, when the righteous pass, they wink at each other and insult them. 3) In their own houses and gatherings, they run them down and ridicule them. 4) Whenever and wherever they see them, they reproach them with being fools who have lost their ways, when the case is actually the opposite.
In the Hereafter all these tricks and faslehoods will be shown for what they are, and the tables will be reversed. The current times are indeed difficult for the Believers all over the world. It is certainly the test of their Faith, as they are being ridiculed for being terrorists and fanatics.
But we should remember, when the conditions change and when a Muslim loses his physical power and is conquered, one's consciousness (taqwa) and faith (iman) does not depart from him, which is the source of one's superiority. If one remains a Believer, he or she looks upon his or her conqueror from a superior position. One remains certain that this is a temporary condition which will pass away and that faith will turn the tide from which there is no escape. Even if death is his portion, he will never bow his head. Death comes to all, but for him there is martyrdom.
The society may be drowned in lusts, steeped in low passions, rolling in filth and dirt, thinking that it has enjoyment and freedom from chains and restrictions. Such a society may become devoid of any clean enjoyment and even of lawful food, and nothing may remain except a rubbish heap, or dirt and mud. The Believer from her height of morality and dignity looks at the people drowning in dirt and mud. She may be the only one; yet she is not dejected nor grieved, nor does her heart desire that she take off her neat and immaculate garments and join the crowd. She remains the uppermost with the enjoyment of faith and the taste of belief. And how sweet this Faith is?!
The believer holds on to his religion like the holder of a precious pearl, in the society devoid of religion, of character, of high values, of noble manners and of whatever is clean, pure and beautiful. The others mock his tenacity, ridicule his ideas, laugh at his values, but this does not make the Believer weak of heart: and one looks from his height dignity and sympathy at the misguidance of those who mock, ridicule and laugh.
This is the logic of this world, the logic of those of any age or any place who cannot see the higher horizons. It is the wisdom of God that belief remains independent of the glitter and glamour of worldly allurements, such as closeness to the ruler, favor from the government, popularity among the people or the satisfaction of desire. Indeed, the Believer does not borrow his or values, concepts and standards from people, but takes them from the Sustainer of the people, God, and that is sufficient for the Believer.
The person who takes a stand against the direction of the society - its common mode, its values and standards, its ideas and concepts, its error and deviations - will find himself or herself a stranger, as well as helpless, unless his or her authority comes from a source which is more powerful than the people, more permanent than the earth, and nobler than life. Let falsehood have power, let it have its drums and banners, and let it have its throngs and mobs; all this cannot change anything of the truth. He or she is a Believer, and whatever be the conditions and the situation, he or she cannot exchange error for the truth. Indeed, God does not leave the Believer alone in the face of oppression to whimper under its weight, to suffer dejection and grief, but relieves him of all this with the message:
"Do not be dejected nor grieve; you shall be the uppermost if you are Believers!" [13:139]
[compiled from "The Noble Quran" by Shaykh Abdullah Yusuf Ali,
and "Milestones" by Sayyid Qutb, pp. 274-279]
GLIMPSES OF THE PROPHET'S SEERAH
The Prophet on War
"Whoever is killed while attempting to protect his belongings is a martyr; whoever is killed while attempting to protect himself is a martyr; whoever is killed while attempting to protect his religion is a martyr; and whoever is killed while attempting to protect his family is a martyr." [Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisa'i, Ibn Majah]
The Prophet (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was asked which among the following is truly fighting in the Cause of Allah: a man who fights so that he may be called brave, one who fights in revenge, or one who fights to be called a good believer by people? He replied: "(Only) he who fights so that Word of Allah is exalted is in the Cause of Allah." [Bukhari, Muslim]
Whenever the Messenger of Allah appointed a commander over an army or an expedition, he told him to remain conscious of Allah in his inward self and to remain concerned for the care of the Muslims who were with him. Then he would say:
"Strive in the Name of Allah in Allah's Way! Fight those who disbelieve in Allah: campaign, but do not indulge in excesses, do not act treacherously, do not mutilate, and do not slay children." (also, "women and children" in other narrations) [Muslim]
[from "Peace in Islam" and "Jihad in Islam" both by Imam Hasan al-Banna]
QUOTES TO PONDER UPON
It is Time for The West to...
This is indeed the time when the way of life enunciated by the Qur'an and preached by the Prophet of Islam should be presented to the West. Its people should be told that this is the panacea and the elixir for which their souls are thirsting.
They should be informed that Islam offers pure practical wisdom and provides a perfectly sound starting point for thinking and theorization. It offers the knowledge that is capable of shaping individual character in the most perfect way. It offers to men a spiritualism that is not meant for monks or other recluses but constitutes a source of solace and peace of mind for men of the world who are involved in the struggle for life.
It offers to mankind sublime and stable rules of law and morality which are based upon a comprehensive knowledge of human nature and cannot be distorted in the pursuit of selfish ends. It offers sound and salutary principles of culture and civilization which override the unnatural distinctions of class and the artificial ethnic division, and seek to organize mankind on purely rational foundations.
Moreover, these principles help to bring about a sound and peaceful atmosphere of justice, equality, generosity and fair mutual dealings. This atmosphere rules out any conflict among individual or classes over their respective rights or interests: on the other hand it ensures ready and wholehearted cooperation among all groups and individuals in the promotion of private happiness and public welfare.It is time that the nations of the West were warned of the impending catastrophe and told, that, it they want to avert the disaster and save their culture from destruction, they should rid themselves of all the prejudices and hatreds that they have inherited from the religious bigots of medieval Christendom, and which they have retained in spite of having discarded all the other legacies of the Middle Ages. They should approach the teachings of the Qur'an and the Prophet of Islam with an open mind, grasp and assimilate them, and accept them.
[from "Sick Nations of the Modern Age" by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi]