Action and Reward, Good Path, Avoid Harming

Issue 896 » May 27, 2016 - Shaban 20, 1437

Living The Quran

Action and Reward
Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) - Chapter 8: Verse 53 (partial)

"This is because God would never alter the favours He bestows on a community unless they change what is in their hearts."

This verse confirms the essential aspect of fairness in God’s treatment of human beings. He does not deprive them of any favour He has granted them unless they change their intentions, attitudes, behaviour and general situation. By doing so, they deserve that God should alter what He has given them by way of testing them and withdrawing the favours and blessings He has bestowed on them. They have shown no gratitude for such blessings and favours. On the other hand, God bestows a great honour on man when He makes His will applicable to man on the basis of man’s own actions. A change in the fate of human beings depends on a practical change in their own intentions, behaviour, practices and general situation. All this they choose for themselves. Moreover, human beings are given a great responsibility, commensurate to the great honour God has granted them. They can ensure that the grace and favours God grants them remain permanently with them and that they are given an increase of this by knowing, appreciating and showing gratitude. On the other hand, they can ensure that all these are removed from them if they behave with arrogance, deny God’s favours, entertain evil intentions and adopt deviant practices.

This great fact is central to the Islamic concept of man, how God’s will applies to him as well as his relationship with the universe and what takes place in it. Here we see the position of honour granted by God to man and we appreciate the latitude man has been given in determining his own destiny and shaping the events that take place around him. He is indeed an actor who makes his contribution by God’s permission. Indeed the working of God’s will takes place through his deeds and actions. Thus man is freed from the humiliating state of passivity imposed on him by materialistic philosophies which regard him as a passive creature who has no influence on the major trends that continue their inevitable movement with total disregard to him and his actions. These include economy, history and evolution. According to these philosophies, man has no option other than to submit to these trends with all humility.

The same fact makes it absolutely clear that there is an inevitable relationship in human life between action and reward. It also gives us a clear idea of God’s absolute, unfailing justice that transforms this relationship into a law set into operation by God’s will. It ensures that not a single one of God’s servants will suffer the slightest injustice.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 7, pp. 141, 142

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Good Path

Sunna literally means “a conduct and a good or evil path to be followed.” This is the meaning used in the following hadith: "Those who establish a good path in Islam receive the reward of those who follow it, without any decrease in their reward. Those who establish an evil path in Islam are burdened with the sins of those who follow it, without any decrease in their burden." [Muslim]

This term, Sunna, has different terminological connotations according to each group of Traditionists, methodologists, and jurists. Traditionists view it as including everything connected to the religious commandments reported from the Messenger and categorized, according to the Hanafi legal school (followers of Abu Hanifa), as obligations, necessities, practices particular to or encouraged by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as recommended and desirable. Methodologists consider it to be every word, deed, and approval of the Messenger as related by his Companions. Jurists, who approach it as the opposite of innovation in religion, consider it a synonym for hadith. They use it for the Prophet’s words, deeds, and approvals, all of which provide a basis for legislation and categorizing people’s actions.

Derived from the word haddatha (to inform), hadith literally means “a tiding or information.” Over time, it has assumed the meaning of every word, deed, and approval ascribed to the Messenger. Ibn Hajar says: “According to the Sharia, the Hadith is everything related to the Messenger.” Another literal meaning is something that takes place within time. This is why some scholars of fine discernment write that hadith is that which is not Divine, eternal, or without beginning in time. This fine line separates Hadith from the Quran, as the latter is Divine, and eternal, and without beginning in time. The Messenger distinguished his words from the Quran: “It is two things only, nothing else: the Word and guidance. The best word is the Word of God, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad.” [Ibn Majah]

Compiled From:
"Messenger of God" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 315, 316


Avoid Harming

Just as doing every act for the sake of Allah is the very essence of true faith, avoidance of causing hurt to anyone is the gist of Allah’s commands. Whichever principle of the Shariah you might ponder over, you will find this factor common in some form or the other: the hudud punishments, the rules regarding divorce, the principles of commercial transactions and social intercourse. This is a very pervasive principle, so much so that it extends even to very minute matters. Hence people have been told not to conceal anyone else’s objects even by way of a practical joke, or even point a weapon at anyone, nor to occupy the seat of someone who has gone away for a short while, nor to jump over other people’s heads to find a place in the front rows of a congregation; nor to peep into other people’s homes, nor pry into the affairs of others, nor read someone else’s mail, nor get up at night in a way that would disturb others. Indeed, the principle is of such wide-ranging application that it is simply not possible to enumerate all such instances. Simply stated, make this principle your guiding light and the scale of all moral judgment: that you shall not cause any injury to anyone by your words or deeds. In dealing with others this should be your guiding principle.

Very often we are not cautious enough in the words we utter. Restrain yourself from speaking or acting in any manner hurtful to others. Of course, the exception will be when others might be hurt in the course of our doing something in order to fulfil a requirement of the Shariah and there is no way to avoid such a course of action. Even then do seek pardon from Allah.

Compiled From:
"Dying and Living for Allah" - Khurram Murad