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Issue 150 » December 29, 2001 -

General

QURAN
Translation:

Surah al-Rum (Rome)
Chapter 30: Verses 50-53

"Just observe the signs of Allah's Mercy, how He brings back life to the dead earth. Verily, likewise, He will bring back the dead to life: He has Power over all things. And if We (but) send a wind due to which they see (their crops) turn yellow, they become even more firm in their disbelief (and ungratefulness).

(O Prophet,) you can not make the dead hear you, nor can you make the deaf hear your call, when they show their backs and turn away. Nor can you take the blind out of their deviation and guide them aright. You can only make those people hear you who believe in Our Signs and bow down in submission."

Commentary:

Here a parable has been presented to make people understand that just as dead earth comes to life, all of a sudden, by a shower of rain sent by God and swells with vegetation and plant life, so is the case with the dead hearts and minds of humanity. When God sends a shower of His Mercy in the form of Revelation and Prophethood, it also gives new life to mankind and causes it to grow, develop, and flourish.

In other words, God is saying to us: "Therefore, if you take full advantage of this opportunity, the barren land will bloom by Allah's mercy and the whole advantage will be yours. But if you don't take adavantage of this message, you will only harm your selves.Then no regret will avail and no opportunity will be provided to make amends."

In these verses Allah is highlighting the subtle characteristices of believers and non-believers. That when God showers rain and the crops of people begin to bloom, the belief of the believers and righteous in God is further strengthened. On the other hand, if a frosty wind or heat wave ruins the vegetation after they had begun to bloom due to the showers, the disbelievers become even more firm in their ungrateful attitude.They start cursing God, blaming Him for all their misfortunes.

Given the context of this chapter, it may also imply that when the Messengers of God bring the messages of Mercy to the people, they often do not listen to them and reject the blessings. Then after that when God imposes tyrants and despots upon them in consequence of their disbelief, who persecute these people severely and destroy their humanity, the same people start blaming God for creating a world full of tyranny.

In the end, Allah warns the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) about those whose consciences have become dead, whose moral selves have become devoid of life and dignity, and whose self-worship, self-delusion, stubbornness and obstinacy have destroyed their capacity to understand and accept the Truth. They are those who have eyes, but they do not 'see', have minds but do not 'think', and have ears but are not 'willing to listen'. It is in this context that God reminds the Prophet (pbuh) about his role: to guide people to the straight path and be a Messenger of Mercy to all those who are willing to listen, reflect, and see; you cannot force anyone to think or see, as there is no compulsion in Islam.

[compiled from "Towards Understanding the Quran" by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi and "The Holy Quran" by Abdullah Yusuf Ali]

UNDERSTANDING OUR TEENS

This series seeks to analyze some of the negative aspects of the 'teen culture', which go against our Islamic values and traditions. Every Muslim parent and teacher needs to recognize that not actively participating in your teen's lifestyle is not an option.

[!] This Life Alone [!]

Perhaps one of the most destructive concepts in Western cultures is the focus on short-term gratification. This is a major cause for all of the other destructive concepts prevalent among the teens today. This concept almost completely does away with a focus on the consequences of one's action and so people have no limits. They basically follow whatever path will lead them to their most immediate desire, giving little thought to the future and its effects on others, and no attention at all to hereafter. This lack of a sense of ultimate responsibility and accountability for an action, makes it easy for people to cheat or lie without feeling guilty. If they feel that they do not have to answer to any serious authority in the long-run, that they are not actually accountable for what they do, they may do anything. Once this basic concept of responsibility for one's actions is changed, the rest follows easily.

In contrast, Islam teaches people that this life is only a test or a period of sowing the seeds, the fruits of which will be produced in the Next Life. It's also in the Next Life where people will be questioned about every single action they did in the present life and will be rewarded or punished accordingly.

[compiled from "Muslim Teens: Today's Worry, Tomorrow's Hope"
by Dr. Ekram & Mohamed R. Beshir, pp 14]

22 SYMPTOMS OF WEAK FAITH

Series continued from YMFN Issue #149

Following are some of the signs and symptoms of weak faith that one can use to assess whether he or she suffers from spiritual death or disease:

18) Lack of concern for the Muslimsí affairs and lack of any involvement, whether it be by making Dua, giving charity, or helping them. Such a person has a cold attitude towards the oppression, suppression and disasters suffered by his Muslim brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, and is content merely with his own safety. This is the result of weak faith, because a believer is the opposite of that. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The believerís position in relation to his fellow believers is like that of the head to the body; the believer feels the pain of his fellow believers as the body reacts to the pain suffered by the head." [Musnad Ahmad]

19- Malicious enjoyment of the failures, losses or disasters suffered by oneís brothers in Islam, when the blessings that they had enjoyed are taken away, or when the thing that made another person appear more distinguished than him is gone.

...to be continued...

[from "Weakness of Faith: Causes and Cures" by Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid]

QUOTES TO PONDER UPON

"Islam does not get its name from its laws, orders, or prohibitions, nor from the efforts of the body and soul it claims, but from something that encompasses and surmounts all that: from a moment of cognition, from the strength of the soul to face the times, from the readiness to endure everything that an existence can offer, from the truth of submission to God. Submission to God, thy name is Islam!"

[Alija Ali Izetbegovic in "Islam Between East and West", pp. 292]