February 22, 2024 | Shaʻban 12, 1445
Al-Furqan (The Criterion) - Chapter 25: Verses 75, 76
"These will be rewarded for all their patient endurance [in life” with a high station in heaven, and will be met there with a greeting of welcome and peace, and there they shall abide; how goodly an abode and how high a station."
The Arabic text uses the term al-ghurfah, which is translated here as ‘a high station in heaven’. The term may be taken to mean in this context either heaven, or a special place in heaven. Linguistically speaking it means, ‘the room’, which is a more honourable place than the reception room where Arabs normally received their guests. True servants are received in this high position with a warm welcome, on account of their patient endurance of whatever they had to put up with in order to maintain their sound qualities. What is implied here is recognition of the strong will- power needed to restrain desire and resist temptation. This is not easy to do without a good degree of endurance that can only be shown by someone who is deservedly mentioned by God in His book, the Quran. In contrast to hell from which they pray to God to save them, God rewards them with heaven. There they are in the best state, enjoying God’s favours and blessings.
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 12, pp. 446, 447
From Issue: 826 [Read original issue]
A man might look calm and composed on the outside, but be a raging volcano within. If you can keep calm when you are angry, then you have genuine self-control.
We should always be just and balanced in what we choose to say, whether we are happy or upset, whether we like what is happening or detest it. Calm manifests itself in our tone of voice, in the words we choose, in our gestures, our facial expressions, and our deportment.
We should keep in mind that our worship is not restricted to prayer, fasting, and the pilgrimage. Life itself is worship. We need to conduct ourselves accordingly.
Abu Hurayrah relates that a man approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! There is a woman who is well-known for how much she prays, fasts, and gives in charity, but she abuses her neighbours with her tongue.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “She is in Hell.” [Musnad Ahmad and Sah?h Ibn Hibb?n]
Self-control means to refrain from responding recklessly to what goes on around us. It means to condition ourselves to respond appropriately according to our personal past experience and what we learn from the experience of others.
Composure resides in the fraction of a second between the provocation itself and the gut reaction to it. This is why the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Patience needs to be exercised when calamity first strikes.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahi? Muslim]
We need to deal with every provocation in our lives as if it is being monitored by a hidden camera waiting to record our reaction to it and broadcast that reaction to the world. This will make us react more judiciously and help us learn to control ourselves. This is because we know that composure and self-control are praiseworthy qualities, while reacting recklessly is a sign of feeblemindedness and weakness of character.
"Keeping Calm is a Skill" - Salman al-Oadah
From Issue: 810 [Read original issue]
Christmas is an annual Christian religious holiday commemorating the birth of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him. For many Muslims who even do not celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it becomes an issue of what stand they should take.
There have been a number of legitimate criticisms of the holiday from Muslims and non-Muslims based on theological and cultural considerations. However, this cannot be used to disregard the holiday as merely an exercise in ancient pagan practices or excessive consumerism. Muslims have to remember that for many practicing Christians, Christmas really is about Jesus.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was so accommodating of Christians that according to the two earliest Islamic historians, Ibn Saad and Ibn Hisham, the Prophet even allowed a delegation of 60 Byzantine Christians from Najran in Yemen to worship in his own mosque in Madinah. Lead by their bishop (Usquf), they had come to discuss a number of issues with him. When time of their prayer came, they asked the Prophet's permission to perform this in the mosque. He answered, "conduct your service here in the mosque. It is a place consecrated to God."
God expects us to stay away from mocking the religious beliefs of others, no matter how much we disagree with them (Quran, 6:108).
This may not be an occasion to emphasis the differences as much as the commonality of our beliefs, unless someone is really asking you about them.
Remember that respect does not mean compromise. You have freedom of religion given by God to believe in what you believe in. But in a world where conflict is increasing, a Muslim should be a bridge- builder and a peacemaker. It was due to the Muslim practice of Islamic ideals of respect and tolerance that the key of the holiest Christian Shrine in Jerusalem, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, remains entrusted with a Muslim family, as it has been for over 1400 years.
These are the lessons which need to be learned by those extremists who attack Christians during their worship in Nigeria and those extremists who burn Masjids in the USA.
"Treating Christmas with Respect" - Abdul Malik Mujahid
From Issue: 717 [Read original issue]