January 24, 2021 | Jumada II 10, 1442
Faith in Action
Al-Baqarah (The Cow) Chapter 2: Verse 143 (partial)
"God will never let your faith go to waste."
This sentence has usually been interpreted to mean: "God will never let the Prayers you did turning to the Bayt al-Maqdis go to waste." However, it also conveys more general and important truths, such as:
- Faith cannot be separated from action. One's way of life and acting demonstrate whether one is a believer or not.
- The Prayer has an essential relation with faith. The Prayer, together with the intention in it and the way of doing it, is a definite sign of the character and depth of one's faith.
- Good deeds or actions done only for the good pleasure of God and based on faith will profit in the Hereafter. Whatever is done as a requirement of faith never goes to waste provided one preserves one's faith and goes to the other world with that faith strong and intact.
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 73
From Issue: 603 [Read original issue]
Sharing the Feeling
It is reported by Ibn Abbas that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions came to Makkah, they were weakened by the fever in Yathrib. Thereupon the idolaters said "A people weakened with fever have come to you and they are afflicted with evil." Allah, the Almighty, informed His Prophet (peace be upon him) about their saying. So he commanded them to jog through the first three rounds of tawaf around the Kabah, and to walk between its two corners. When the idolaters saw the Muslims jogging, they said: "Are those the people you said are weak because of the fever? They are stronger and sturdier than us!" Ibn Abbas added: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not command them to jog all through the seven rounds in order not to overexert themselves." This was reported by Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud, whose wording is given here.
Umar was of the opinion that jogging be stopped as there was no longer any need for it after the Muslims had become strong and powerful. But he decided, however, to leave it (in its original form) so that the future generations of Muslims could share a form and a feeling similar to that observed and felt by early Muslims. Muhibbuddin At-Tabari said: "Sometimes certain instructions are prescribed in the religion for a specific reason, and later even though that specific reason no longer exists yet the instructions still remain valid."
Zaid bin Aslam reported from his father that he said: "I heard Umar ibn Al-Khattab saying: 'Why jog around the Kabah today? Why uncover our shoulders (in tawaf)? Allah has made Islam strong and powerful, and banished disbelief and the disbelievers, yet we shall never abandon what we used to do in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him)."
"Fiqh-us-Sunnah" - As-Sayyid Sabiq
From Issue: 805 [Read original issue]
A new impetus must be generated that applies the Islamic spiritual paradigms as forces of social movements. The consequences of this are a new world order that incorporates the meaningfulness of the lives of everyday citizens, be they Muslim or not. This impetus has few exemplaries visible among those who are projected as Muslim leaders most dedicated to Islam. This reflects that elitist-mass-level dichotomy. The elites are preoccupied with establishing ever more authoritative control over the masses — while neglecting the mass-level input. The masses act with a totally unviable sense of reality, including those who presume the spiritual worth of Islam is only in the mosque or halqah as they continue to act with a world in such bleak disarray. If the world itself is going to hell in a rowboat, the best we can do is focus on saving our own souls for a glorious afterlife. I find this arrangement untenable. If Islam is not generated as a human-level concern and a mode of daily operations for the overall improvement of the quality of all aspects of life on the planet, then we will all go to hell in the same rowboat with the rest of the world. It's as simple as that.
As an obedient servant of Allah (abd), the goal of the traditional ascetic mystic, one can attain the level of active participant and full agent (khalifah) only in coordinating worldly affairs. The formulation of a thought system meant to enhance the overall quality of everyday life for all of God's creatures must become the immediate articulation for a long-term goal. It cannot and will not be done by taking refuge in the mosques as a spiritual buffer against a beleaguered world. I cannot adhere to or even believe that Islam was intended for such a dichotomy.
"Inside The Gender Jihad: Women's Reform in Islam" - Amina Wadud, pp. 260, 261
From Issue: 1046 [Read original issue]