Believers' Souls, Unlawful Charity, Superstitions

Issue 920 » November 11, 2016 - Safar 11, 1438

Living The Quran

Believers' Souls
Al-Tawba (The Repentance) - Chapter 9: Verse 111 (partial)

"Truly God has purchased from the believers their souls and their wealth in exchange for the Garden being theirs."

Al-Razi notes that a subtlety of this verse is that in this profound transaction God is both the buyer and the seller, akin to the way an adult would transact the affairs of a helpless infant. He goes on to note that in the verse God affirms that the immortal substance of a human being "owns" both its ephemeral body and its worldly property, and that by giving both of these over for God's use this immortal substance purchases, as it were, the Garden. This does not change the fact that God is beyond any need for such transactions, and that the wording of this verse is meant as a kindness, a gentleness, and an act of subtlety on the part of God.

Compiled From:
"The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary" - Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Unlawful Charity

The prime role of Islam is to help human beings obtain a "second nature," and the major portion of building the Muslim personality comes from the Islamic fundamental of "purification". God's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "God Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good," [Muslim, Bukhari] and that "God does not eliminate an evil with wickedness" [Bukhari]. Since money earned through unlawful means is unlawful, spending such money is also unlawful. If such money is given as charity, this will not be accepted from the donor by God. In fact, this very act doubles the sin rather than preserving the giver from the severity of their sin. For, the person who gives unlawful money makes a good and pure practice of Islam impure with their unlawful earnings, and there will be no blessing or abundance in money earned through such unlawful means.

It is the right and duty of every person to consider not only the rights of other individuals, but also the rights of society in general. Any violation of personal or communal rights, no matter how it happens, will in fact lead to the violator perishing in the Hereafter unless they repent and pay for the private or public rights of others while in this world. God's Messenger did not perform the funeral prayer of someone who had violated the rights of others before his death. The Islamic faith, therefore, maintains both the personal interests of individuals and the collective interests of the people as a community.

Compiled From:
"Cleanliness in Islam" - Remzi Kuscular



Two kinds of "superstitions" are to be found: the first, science trying to explain man's inner life; and the other, religion trying to explain natural phenomena.

When explaining the world of spirit, science analyzes it objectively by turning it into an object, into a thing. when explaining nature, religion personalizes it - that is, turning it into nonnature. We are faced with misconceptions of the same kind, but in a "reciprocal," reversed relation.

Accordingly, a religion which wants to replace free thinking with mysticism, scientific truth with dogmas, and social actions with ceremonies must inevitably clash with science. On the contrary, true religion is compatible with science - a kind of theism known by many great scientists.

Moreover, science can help religion in suppressing superstition. If separated, religion pulls toward backwardness, and science toward atheism.

Compiled From:
"Islam Between East and West" - Alija Ali Izetbegovic, pp. 265, 266