Issue 153 » January 18, 2002 -
Surah al-Maidah (The Table)
Chapter 5: Verses 41
"O Messenger! Do not be grieved on account of those who compete with one another in disbelieving: even though they may be those who say with their mouths: 'We believe' but their hearts have no faith (iman)..."
@ Commentary @
Revealed in Madina this verse refers to those who devoted all their capacities and efforts to ensure that the status quo ante of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) remained intact, and that the reformative mission of Islam should fail to set right the corruption that had come down to them from the past.
In Today's Context
In today's world we have some among us who claim to be Muslims but act contrarily to the injunctions of Islam. Some even go beyond transgression and spread mischief on earth. They spread false teachings as Islamic and try to innovate in matters of worship. It hurts us greatly to see such 'Muslims'.
It is Natural to be Hurt but ...
A sincere person must feel heartbroken when he or she sees persons of low moral character, driven by ignorance, blind selfishness and bigotry, resort to vile methods in opposition to his or her mission, which is actuated by charity and goodwill towards humanity. Hence the purpose of God's directive here is not to ask the Prophet (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and his followers to abstain from this natural feeling of grief but rather that he should not allow such feelings to undermine his morale and that he should persevere in his task.
Some Characteristics of such People
The later portion of the ayah and what follows it give some characteristics of such individuals of low character:
- They lie about their faith
- They are eagerly turned to falsehood
- They spy on other people
- They pervert the words of Allah, taking them out of context in order to distort their meaning
- They only accept from the teaching of Islam what they like
- They are listeners of falsehood
- They devour unlawful earnings
Reward of such People
Because of the excessive evil acts of such people Allah will let them fall into errors and he will not purify them.
[compiled from "Towards Understanding The Quran"
of Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi, Vol II, pp. 161-163]
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.
[Stress in School: It's Natural!]
"Most people say that when entering high school you begin to feel lot of stress. You are in a new school, you are the youngest, and you don't know many people. For me, however, that was not at all the case. I mean, sure it feels a little strange and it's going to take sometime to get used to, but for me, I think I felt the most stress when I was entering grade 8. Now, this was also very strange, because I knew everybody in my class well, I was with all my friends, and I knew the teachers and the building like the back of my hand.
"Yet from the first day of the school, I came home crying hard and this ended up being a recurring pattern that went on for several months. No one could understand why; I had my friends, my grades were great, and I had an amazing teacher, but to me the reason was clear: my friends were all changing!
"Now, popularity was their ultimate goal in life. Schoolwork and good grades were no longer their number one priority, and I was completely confused because, just two months ago in grade 7, these same people had been good. My friends had also decided to expand their vocabulary a little and swear.
"I guess that to many people, this problem that I faced in grade 8 would be nowhere near a dilemma, but for me, I knew that the solution couldn't simply be to act like them. This was not just because I'm very "religious" and it would go against everything I was taught, but because it didn't look or feel right. It didn't look or feel natural; it was so obviously superficial!
"So for a few months, I experienced major loss of appetite and some weight loss. I would also experience some pretty bad headaches that came from crying too much and the symptoms of stress were clear. However, now that I look back on those depressing days, I realize that I have actually triumphed, because if I had given in to save myself some stress, I may have become a shallow stereotypical teen: a fashion slave who's biggest fear is whether or not she'll be popular, someone who will do anything 'socially accepted', and look like the girl on the cover of the teen magazine."
Narrated by two sisters from Ottawa: Sr. Hoda Beshir & Sr. Noha Beshir
[compiled from "Muslim Teens: Today's Worry, Tomorrow's Hope" by Dr. Ekram Beshir and Mohamed R. Beshir, pp 24-25]
Note: If you are a young school/university student, or you were one some time ago, and would like to share your thoughts and challenges faced in your academic and social teenage life, and how you dealt with them using your moral and Islamic principles, please do share them with our readers. We would love to hear from you!
SHARIAH: THE WAY OF JUSTICE
[ The Problem with Shari'ah? ]
Adroitly manipulated exposure to the imagery of a whip cracking on a naked back and a veil enshrouding a woman’s face has led many to believe that the Shari'ah , the divine code of Muslim conduct, is in reality no more than a collection of values and practices that are primitive, uncivilized and barbaric. What to a Muslim is the object of his longing and endeavour has been very subtly projected as a relic from the dark ages which enslaves the woman and inflicts punishments on the criminal which are cruel, inhuman and degrading.
The Qur'an most certainly does prescribe corporal punishment for certain serious social crimes and it does lay down the principle of retribution, or qisaas; it is very emphatic, too, about the crucial role of the family in human society and therefore insists on assigning different well-defined roles to men and women; and it does lay down many other regulations and laws and expects Muslims to obey the eternally valid injunctions of God and His Prophet.
But will these and similar provisions of the Shari'ah really plunge society back into darkness? Are they inhuman and barbaric? Are they an indicator of Islam's inability to keep pace with the demands of human progress? The issues need to be examined seriously to determine the place and valued of the Shari'ah and its provisions in the ultimate order of human civilization and happiness.
The need for this examination is especially acute in the view of the dogmatic position adopted by the West on these questions. A host of Western writers have said it, and the media continue to harp on the same theme: unless Islam is prepared to relent on these and other legal provisions of the Shari'ah "there can and will be no accommodation; only a continuation of Western rejection of Islam". Such vehemence makes one wonder whether the loud chorus about the Shari'ah, and such of its specific provisions as pertain to women and punishment, is in all cases the result of genuine misunderstanding and moral indignation, or whether the issue is merely being used by some as a whipping-boy to settle scores with Islam – old and new?
No apologies or excuses are needed to explain away or make acceptable to the West what has been so clearly laid down by the Qur'an and the Prophet in this regard and what has been so consistently accepted and adhered to by Muslims. There should be no place in dialogue with the West for such tortuous, self-deprecating arguments as: 'polygamy is permitted, but the conditions of justice attached to it makes it effectively prohibited'. Or: 'Corporal punishment is prescribed but hedged in with such unworkable requirements of evidence that it is virtually impossible to carry it out. Or, at least, it cannot be carried out unless an "ideal" just society is established, when it will in any case become unnecessary'.
Why those who advance this specious logic should think that God would lay down things which were impossible to practice is not made clear. As if He does not know how to say what He means, and say it clearly! Such excuses are unfair to the Qur'an and the Prophet, and an affront to their wisdom, and at the same time illogical and implausible to the unconvinced.
... stay tuned for a new series beginning next week on Shari'ah ...
[compiled from "Shari'ah: The Way of Justice" by Ustadh Khurram Murad (rahimahullah)]
QUOTES TO PONDER UPON
The cravings are cold of the uproars old,
As blood of Muslim is now a days cold.
My faithless trend the idols hail.
Yet my Allah-hoo’s fire is cold like hail.
['Allama Muhammad Iqbal in "Armaghan-e-Hijaaz" 1938]