Honoured By God, Daily Obligation, The Cornerstone
Issue 710 » November 2, 2012 - Dhul-Hijja 17, 1433
Honoured By God
Al-Dhariyat (The Scattering Winds) Chapter 51: Verse 56
The Quran does not entertain the religio-philosophical doctrine which hopelessly underrates human nature. Nor would it endorse the humanistic dogma which arbitrarily and unreasonably overestimates the nature of man. The Quran states very clearly that man is created by God only for the service and worship of the Creator. This is no oversimplification of the matter. It means that the ultimate goal of man is the manifestation of the excellent attributes of God. This applies, without any exception, to every man in every walk of life. Accordingly, there is no racial superiority or caste system and no room for the concept of the Chosen and the Gentile, the privileged and the doomed. With this sense of assured equality, man embarks upon life to play his role.
The role of man is no less and no more than that of God's vicegerent on earth. Again, this is no joke or simple flattery. It is a role which binds man with commitments to fulfill and with responsibilities to meet. It is a demanding yet highly rewarding role, whereby the main objective of man is to implement the Law of God and serve His cause. This role commits man to great tasks, but at the same time, it confers on him yet greater honour and privileges. It takes into consideration the fact that God has honoured man, and that he is trustworthy and capable of noble achievements.
Islam: A Way of Life and a Movement, "Islam and Humanity" - Hammudah Abdalati, p. 103
One of the daily obligations which it is not permissible for a Muslim to either forget or neglect, is his obligation of service towards the society, assisting its individual members to accomplish their needs, and facilitating their affairs.
The Two Sheikhs have reported from Abu Musa, from the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: "'Upon every Muslim there is (an obligation of) charity." The Companions said, "O Messenger of Allah! What then happens if he does not have the means?" He said, "He should do some (manual) work, so that he benefits himself and gives out (his surplus in) charity." They said, "What if he cannot work?" He said, "He should assist someone in dire need." They said, "And if he cannot?" He said, "Then let him command what is good." They said, "And if he cannot?" He said, "Then let him avoid evil, that indeed is charity."
This charity, or social levy, is an obligation each day upon every Muslim. Furthermore, it has been most reliably transmitted that this charitable duty is incumbent upon every single limb or organ of a Muslim each day. With such an injunction a Muslim turns out to be a spring from which flows goodness, welfare and peace to whoever and whatever is around him.
"Time In The Life of a Muslim" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, p. 44
Hijrah stands unshakably as the cornerstone of Islam in history, for it was only after the Prophet made his historic migration to Medina that Islam, as a complete religion and way of life, came into full realization. For this reason, Muslims have regarded the year of hijrah as the first year of the Islamic calendar.
Unable to transform Meccan society from within, Muhammad, peace be upon him, found himself forced out by increasingly threatening and hostile opposition. Escaping the pursuit of his hostile relatives and other Meccan enemies, he and Abu Bakr eventually arrived in the oasis town and so began what was to be the most formative period of Muhammad's prophetic career. Now for the very first time, the community was free to assemble and establish the complete and comprehensive way of life. For the very first time, the Prophet was able to lay foundations for a more organized and systematic expression of monotheism, foundations that - for many - are believed to manifest the ultimate synthesis of politics and religions in Islam. Every argument and line of reasoning within contemporary Muslim discussions and debates across the globe traces back to Medina, to the Prophet's legacy and to its relevance for the contemporary world. Medina, then, is not so much a historical reality as it is a living archetype for Muslims of every place and time.
"In the Light of a Blessed Tree" - Timothy J. Gianotti, pp. 101-113