Issue 139 » October 12, 2001 -
Surah al-A'raaf (The
Chapter 7 : Verses 57,58
"And it is He Who sends forth winds as glad tidings in advance of His Mercy, and when they (the winds) have carried a heavy-laden cloud, We drive it to a dead land, then We send down rain from it and bring forth therewith fruits of every kind. In this manner do We raise the dead, so that you may take heed.
As for the good land, vegetation comes forth with abundance by the command of its Lord, whereas from the bad land, only poor vegetation comes forth. Thus do We expound Our Signs in diverse ways for a people who are grateful "
It is necessary to grasp the subtle points being presented in this beautiful triple-parable of the Quran, in order to appreciate the full picture of what is being said here:
1. The reference to rain and its advantages is intended to bring into focus God's power, and to affirm life after death. It makes us think: If we can see and experience things coming to life from death, such as vegetation growing after rain on a dead land, how can we doubt our resurrection on the Day of Judgment? The question of resurrection and accountability was something that bothered many of the disbelievers of Makkah as it bothers others today.
2. Moreover, it is also intended to draw our attention in allegorical, albeit graphic, terms to the blessings of prophethood (Risalah), and how it leads humanity to distinguish between good and evil, between pure and impure. The intimation of Divine Guidance through the Prophets is compared to the movement of winds, the appearance of rain-laden clouds, and the fall of life-sustaining drops. In the same way as the rainfall causes dead earth to be revived and makes the hidden treasures of life burst forth from its womb, so the impact of the Prophets also brings dead humanity back to life, causing the hidden goodness in women and men to burst forth.
3. This allegory also hints at another important fact. In the same way that only fertile soil profits from rainfall, so only people of righteous nature can take benefit from the blessings of prophethood. As for the wicked, they are like a wasteland, as this verse suggests. Rainfall can cause such a land to bring forth only thorny bushes and cacti. Similarly, when the evil people come in contact with the teaching of the Prophets, the hidden evils of their nature come into full play.
This allegory is followed in the Quran by a graphic account with illustrations from history showing that whenever the Prophets preached their Message, people split into two camps. The righteous receive the blessings of the Prophethood and flourish, bringing forth the fruit of their goodness. As for the wicked, once the criterion provided by the Prophets is applied, their impurities are fully exposed.
[compiled from "Towards Understanding the Quran"
by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Vol. III, pp. 36-37]
GLIMPSES OF THE PROPHET'S SEERAH
With those who are tried...
When the persecution of Muslims in their homes in Makkah became so severe that they were in a state of desperation and hopelessness, some of them approached the Prophet in weakness. Khabbab ibn al-Aratt (radhi Allahu 'anh) reports:
We complained to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) as he was reclining under the shade of the Ka'bah saying: "Will you not ask for victory for us? Will you not pray for us (for ease) ?" The Prophet said: "There were such people before you that a man would be seized and a pit would be dug for him in which he would be thrown, then a saw would be brought and placed over his head and he would be cut into two, and his flesh would be combed away from his bones using iron rakes - still nothing would turn him away from his religion. By Allah, He will complete this Mission (of Islam) until a rider will travel from Sana to Hadramawt (two distant cities separated by treachorous terrain) and will have no fear but of God ... but you wish to make haste!" [Bukhari]
Such was the enduring patience, strength and foresight of the Prophets, their Companions, and their followers. Surely, all of our trials and hardships today are but a tiny portion of what those before us have overcome. We must remind ourselves that Allah has promised to 'perfect His Light' and 'complete His Mission' for which He does not require our "help" nor are His plans thwarted by any event or person. It is only our salvation from the hardship and punishments in this life and the hereafter that hang in the balance if we fail to fulfil our mission and purpose as Allah's Khalifahs (representatives) on earth! And there is no obedience to God that does not require sacrifice - so then what is a little pain, suffering, anguish, harrassment, injustice for a Muslim when he or she is prepared for the ultimate sacrifice!
22 SYMPTOMS OF WEAK FAITH
Series continued from YMFN Issue #138
In previous issues, we discussed the phenomenon of weak faith that has become widespread amongst Muslims, saw that the root cause of this weakness of faith, doubt in the mind and inability to remain steadfast in the practice of Islam is a hardness of the person's heart due to forgetfulness of Allah.
We began to look at signs and symptoms of weak faith that one can use to assess whether he or she suffers from this spiritual disease. They include:
3) Not doing acts of worship properly: The person's mind constantly wanders and they fail to concentrate properly when praying, reading Quran, making du'a (supplication), etc. He or she does not think about what they are saying, and they recite the words as a matter of boring habit or routine, if they do these regularly at all. Nor do they think about the meaning of what they are uttering, nor why they are uttering them, and Allah "does not accept the du'a of one whose heart is heedless of Him” as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said. [al-Tirmidhi]
4) Not being moved by the Verses (ayaat) of the Quran: by its promises of Paradise or its warnings of Hell, nor by its commands and prohibitions, nor by its vivid descriptions of the Day of Resurrection, nor by Allah's Call to His Love and Pleasure nor His reminders of trials and punishments. The one who is weak in faith gets bored when he hears the Quran being recited, and cannot continue reading it. Whenever he opens the Quran, he soon closes it again.5) Not focusing on Allah when remembering Him (dhikr) or making supplication (du’a): so any dhikr becomes difficult and monotonous for him, and when he raises his hands to make the supplication, he quickly lowers them again. Allah has described the hypocrites as follows "..and they do not remember Allah except a little." [4:142]
...to be continued...
[from "Weakness of Faith: Causes and Cures" by Shaykh M. Salih al-Munajjid]
QUOTES TO PONDER UPON
"I am amazed at your state! The skies are irradiant because of you, but you have ceased to be. How long will you lead a life of ignorance and degradation? It was from you that the world received its mental and spiritual illumination. You served as a minaret of light during the dark night of the past. The 'luminous hand' (of Moses) was present in your sleeve! But, today, you have shut yourself up in a narrow shell and seem to have forgotten that you can break it. You were present before the world was created and will remain after it has ended. You are afraid of death while death itself should be afraid of you. Death is not lying in wait for you but it is the other way round. Man does not die with departing of the soul. He dies when faith goes out of him and belief deserts his heart!"May Allah give us the wisdom and courage in the manner of the Beloved Messenger of God - Muhammad (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam), to provide comfort, guidance and leadership to all of humanity.
[qoute from the famous Muslim poet Muhammad Iqbal
in "Glory of Iqbal" by Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (rahimahullah)]