April 14, 2021 | Ramadan 2, 1442
Tried and Tested
Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verse 155
Though caused by the hostility and machinations of enemies, these trials are governed by sunnatullah or the law laid down by Allah in order to sort out the true from the false and truth from falsehood. That is why these trials are attributed to Allah, Who says emphatically, "We will test you." The followers of truth according to Allah's decree, are definitely tried and tested. It is only through these tests that the capabilities of people flourish and develop, and the true and the false among them are set apart and fully distinguished. Without undergoing such a test, no group can qualify to receive Allah's infinite blessings in the Hereafter.
In this connection, the first test mentioned is fear, which means fear of assault or attack by enemies. This fear is qualified by the phrase bi shay in min (with something of). This is clearly meant to encourage the Muslims by telling them that they will be tested with such a state of fear, it will nevertheless not be more than necessary to test their resolve and patience. Therefore, instead of losing heart, they should face these tests with fortitude and steadfastness.
The word ju or hunger in the text refers to the economic hardships and the state of fear that the Muslims could face in the event of an economic embargo against them by their allied enemies. The separate mention of 'goods and 'fruit' may be explained by the fact that the main wealth of Arabs consisted of either camels, sheep and goats for which they used the term 'goods'. But fruits, especially dates, had a special place in the desert conditions of Arabia and so this is mentioned separately from 'goods'. The verse concludes with good news for those who despite all these hardships and tests, remained firm and steadfast, without wavering or showing any weakness in their commitment to truth. This glad news, as is apparent from other places in the Quran, includes success both in this life and in the life to come.
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah al-Fatiha and Surah al-Baqarah" - Amin Ahsan Islahi
From Issue: 943 [Read original issue]
A text is narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad from Anas, he said: "There was a slave woman from among the slave women of Madinah and God's Messenger took her by the hand and he did not take his hand from her hand while she went with him wherever she wished to go." Al-Bukhari narrated it with the wording: "There was a slave woman from among the slave women in Madinah, and she took the Messenger of God by hand; then she walked off with him wherever she wished."
The hadith demonstrates the extent of the Prophet's, peace be upon him, humility, courtesy and tenderness: though she was a slave woman she clasped him by the hand and she consulted with him through the city streets of Madinah, so that he decided for her certain needs. He was of extreme modesty and great in character, he did not want to hurt her feelings by withdrawing his hand from her hand. Rather, he shaded her, moving along with her in this situation until she was finished with the judgment of her need.
"Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, p. 165
From Issue: 761 [Read original issue]
Polish for the Heart
Transformation sometimes begins with a fall. So never curse the fall. The ground is where humility lives. Take it. Learn it. Breathe it in. And then come back stronger, humbler and more aware of your need for Allah. Come back having seen your own nothingness and His greatness. Know that if you have seen that Reality, you have seen much. Deprived is the one who has never witnessed his own desperate need for God. Reliant on his own means, he forgets that the means, his own soul, and everything else in existence are His creation. Seek God to bring you back up, for when He does, He will rebuild your ship. The heart that you thought was forever damaged will be mended. What was shattered will be whole again. Know that only He can do this. Seek Him. And when He saves you, beg forgiveness for the fall, feel remorse over it—but not despair.
Ibn ul Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on his soul) has said: "Satan rejoiced when Adam (peace be upon him) came out of Paradise, but he did not know that when a diver sinks into the sea, he collects pearls and then rises again."
There is a powerful and amazing thing about tawbah (repentance) and turning back to Allah. We are told that it is a polish for the heart. What's amazing about a polish is that it doesn't just clean. It makes the object that is polished even shinier than it was before it got dirty. If you come back to God, seek His forgiveness, and refocus your life and heart on Him, you have the potential to be even richer than if you'd never fallen at all. Sometimes falling and coming back up gives you wisdom and humility that you may never otherwise have had.
"Reclaim Your Heart" - Yasmin Mogahed
From Issue: 971 [Read original issue]