Utter Humility, Beautiful Thoughts, Trust in Muhammad

Issue 891 » April 22, 2016 - Rajab 15, 1437

Living The Quran

Utter Humility
Al-Araf (The Heights) - Chapter 7: Verse 94

"And We did not send a Prophet in a town but We overtook its people with distress and affliction in order that they might humble themselves (reach a state of tadaru)."

Some might ask why, if we are indeed on the side of God, does victory not come easily. Some might wonder why God doesn't just give the righteous victory without immense struggle and sacrifice. The answer to this question is given by God in the above verse.

Here Allah says that the purpose of the affliction is to reach a state of tadaru. Tadaru is humility before God — but it is not just humility. To understand the concept of tadaru, imagine yourself in the middle of an ocean. Imagine that you are all alone on a boat. Imagine that a huge storm comes and the waves become mountains surrounding you. Now imagine turning to God in that point and asking for His help. In what state of need, awe, dependency and utter humility would you be in? That is tadaru. Allah says He creates conditions of hardship in order to grant us that gift. God does not need to make things hard for us. He creates those situations in order to allow us to reach a state of closeness to Him, which otherwise we'd be unlikely to reach.

Compiled From:
"Reclaim Your Heart" - Yasmin Mogahed

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Beautiful Thoughts

The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) once stated that, "a believer’s silence should be reflection (tafakkur) and his speaking should be wisdom." [Musnad]

Taking this radiant statement into consideration, we can say that thinking, imagining, and shooting for good things will be counted as worship for a believer. Even though busying ourselves with seemingly impossible thoughts normally means wasting our energy, if a person cherishes a wish to transform the color and pattern of the world into a more beautiful and vivid one, even the dreams and imaginings of that person will take on a hue of worship. Thus, what befalls on believers is to become oriented to such beautiful considerations and lead their lives accordingly.

Someone’s turning his life into a delightful melody and spending his life as if he were walking through the corridors of Paradise depends on his thinking beautifully. However, one’s thoughts also could take people to negative ways, such as hedonism and bohemianism, unless he uses it in a positive way. Also, even imaginings and conceptions that are not channeled toward goodness can make one face such negativities. For this reason, believers must continuously be preoccupied with thoughts that take root in their values, overflow with them, continuously read and think, and feed on their essential sources without leaving any voids in their life. At the same time, they must give their willpower its due to such an extent that they always remain close to the feelings and thoughts that are not granted a visa by their pure conscience.

If they are prone to negative winds in spite of all their efforts, they should — as advised by the Messenger of God — try to free themselves from that atmosphere immediately. Otherwise, a person who sets sail into dreams that might corrupt the purity of his mind sometimes may go too far and not have the opportunity to return to the shore (of safety). Therefore, if one does not control the feelings of grudge, hatred, vengeance, and lust, they might break down barriers and thereby cause them to take wrong decisions and commit evil acts. One must give their willpower its due on one hand and ask protection from God on the other. Those who can achieve this will lead their lives in a greenhouse of Divine protection. But still one should never forget that even the most upright people might topple over, and thus we must never give up our vigilance. When we stumble and lose our balance, we must turn to our Lord and ardently pray like our forefather Prophet Adam did, then straighten up, and turn toward Him again.

Compiled From:
"Chastity of Thoughts" - Fethullah Gulen


Trust in Muhammad

The Night Journey experience, presented in classical accounts of the Prophet’s life as a gift from God and a consecration for the Messenger, the Elect (al-Mustafa) was a real trial for Muhammad and those around him. It marked the boundary between those believers whose faith radiated in their trust in this Prophet and his message and the others, who were taken aback by the improbability of such a story.

The trial that Muhammad’s Night Journey presented for his fellow Muslims occurred at a moment when they were struggling with a most difficult situation. Tradition reports that a few Muslims left Islam, but most trusted Muhammad. A few weeks later, facts confirmed some elements of his account, for instance the arrival of caravans whose coming he had announced (having seen them on his way back) and of which he had given a precise description.

Muslim scholars have, from the outset, pondered the question of whether the Night Journey was of a purely spiritual nature or whether it was also physical. The majority of scholars consider that the journey was both physical and spiritual. All things considered, however, this question is not essential in the light of the teachings that can be drawn from this extraordinary experience undergone by the Messenger.

All Revelation reached the Prophet in the course of his earthly experience, with the exception of the verses that establish the fundamental pillars of faith (al-iman) and the duty of prayer (as-salat). The Prophet was raised to heaven to receive the teachings that were to become the foundation of Islamic worship and ritual, al-aqidah and al-ibadat, which require that believers should accept their form as well as their substance.

Unlike the field of social affairs (al-muamalat), which calls for the creative mediation of people’s intellect and intelligence, human rationality here submits, in the name of faith and as an act of humility, to the order imposed by Revelation: God has prescribed requirements and norms that the mind must hear and implement and the heart must love.

Compiled From:
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Tariq Ramadan