The Most High, Prayer Breaking, Recognizing Creativity

Issue 932 » February 3, 2017 - Jumada al-Awwal 6, 1438

Living The Quran

The Most High
Al-Ala (The Most High) - Chapter 87: Verse 1

"Glorify the Name of thy Lord, the Most High."

The Most High can be understood to modify Lord or the Name, though most prefer the former. When Most High modifies Lord, the verse is simply an injunction to glorify God. When it modifies the Name, the verse is understood to provide instruction regarding the manner in which one should glorify God, meaning that one should refrain from associating the Name of God with any other thing or that one should praise God with the Names that God has revealed. It is said that when So glorify the Name of thy Lord, the Magnificent (56: 74) was revealed, the Prophet told his Companions, "Enact it when you bow [in prayer]," and when the present verse was revealed, he said, "Enact it when you prostrate". Muslims thus say "Glory be to God, the Magnificent" three times when bowing in prayer and the formula "Glory be to God, the Most High" three times when prostrating.

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

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Prayer Breaking

Those among the adherents of hadith who fall short, stop at Traditions without any knowledge of their reality or scope, and then they unconsciously stir up controversy which envelops the entire deen. Take, for example, things which interrupt the prayer. They hold to the hadith which says that the prayer is interrupted by a woman, donkey or black dog passing in front of the person praying. The bulk of fuqaha reject this hadith and find evidence in other hadiths which state that the prayer is not interrupted by anything and that the Messenger, peace be upon him, used to pray with his wife Aisha lying in front of him, just as Ibn Abbas went in front of a group who were praying while riding his donkey and their prayer was not invalidated. White and black dogs are the same.

Shaykh Ahmad Shakir mentioned this matter in his appendix to al-Muhalla of Ibn Hazm in the context of a narrative which says "I heard Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz reporting from Ayyash ibn Abi Rabia who said, 'One day while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was praying with his companions, a donkey passed in front of them. Ayyash exclaimed, 'Glory be to Allah'. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished the prayer, he said, 'Which of you said "Glory be to Allah"?' Ayyash answered, 'I did, Messenger of Allah. I heard that donkeys break the prayer.' The Messenger of Allah said, 'Nothing breaks the prayer.'" Ayyash had heard that the presence of a donkey breaks the prayer. Ayyash was one of the earliest Muslims who made the two Emigrations. Then he was forced to remain in Makka and the Messenger of Allah used to make supplication for him in the qunut prayer, as is confirmed in both Sahih collections. He knew the first rulings but then was absent when they were abrogated, and so the Messenger of Allah informed him afterwards that the prayer is not broken by anything.

Compiled From:
"The Sunna of the Prophet" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali


Recognizing Creativity

One way to foster creativity is for managers, educators, and parents to understand the kinds of behaviours and attitudes creative people exhibit, and to recognize and support them. In other words, we have to recognize what creativity looks like in the wild—in the people we manage, in our children and students, and even in ourselves:

Big-picture-thinking: Creative people think abstractly, looking past the concrete details of the current situation and seeking new solutions. However, with their optimism and curiosity, they are sometimes seen as dreamy and unrealistic.

Spontaneous: Creative individuals tend to be flexible and act fast on new opportunities, approaching them with an open mind and a playful perspective—which can come off as impulsive.

Playful: Creative people tend to be lighthearted and have a drive to explore the world. On the other hand, this can also be seen as mischievous.

Resilient: Creative people can pick themselves up after a failure and bounce back from challenges, refocusing on new ways to overcome adversities. Sometimes, this comes across as combative.

Autonomous: Creative people often strive for independence in their thoughts and actions, relying on intrinsic motivation to pursue their goals. At times, such individuals can seem out of control.

Defiant: Creative people have a tendency to reject existing norms and authorities in pursuit of their own goals. This allows them to see what others cannot see and develop solutions that push boundaries, which can seem rebellious.

Risk-taking: Fuelled by their optimism, many creative people are willing to forgo security in favour of uncertain rewards. To the average person, this may come across as reckless.

Daydreaming: By daydreaming, creative individuals are able to envision new perspectives and solutions—but along the way, some of their ideas might seem delusional.

Compiled From:
"How to Combat America's Creativity Crisis" - Michael Ruiz