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Today's Reminder

July 31, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 21, 1442

Living The Quran

Virtuous Knowledge
Al-Jathiya (The Kneeling One) - Chapter 45: Verse 16-17

"And so it was that We granted the Children of Israel the Book (of scripture), the power to act, and the gift of prophethood. We also provided them with wholesome (food) and favoured them above all others in the universe. We also gave them clear directions in all their affairs, but it was only after they received such knowledge that they fell into competing groups, due to arrogant jealousy among themselves. Their Lord will judge between them concerning these points of difference on the Day of Judgment."

Besides the sciences of philosophy and physics there are traditional and religious sciences, all of which are required to lead mankind to happiness and prosperity. In many instances, however, this has not been the case. The study of physical sciences has not always been put to good use; man has conquered space and is now almost fully able to see creation in action, as in the case of conception and the growth of human fetuses and embryos, but many people continue to deny God and insist that there is no creator.

This is a salient feature of modern civilization in the East as well as in the West, and this anomaly we see with respect to empirical sciences can also be found among students of religious sciences. Becoming rigid and fossilized, they have lost their appeal and ability to influence human thought and world events. Religious books have become hollow volumes and most of the regression and corruption we witness in the world can be blamed on institutionalized religion and religious leaders and their followers.

As a result of their corruption, the elders of Israel could be said to have been the first to belie Socrates' assertion that 'virtue is knowledge' because, as the verse points out, they abused and misrepresented the knowledge they had been given.

So long as religious knowledge does not lead to purity, honesty, and justice, it is of little use or value. Today, there are men of religion as well as men of secular sciences who are totally corrupt but who might otherwise have served humanity very well indeed.

Compiled From:
"The Holy Quran: Guidance for Life" - Yahiya Emerick, p. 360
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 552, 553

From Issue: 687 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Difficult Patience

The degree of difficulty in abstaining from some things depends on the strength of one's motive and one's ability to do the action in question. Whoever has no motive to kill, or steal, or drink alcohol, or whatever, and at the same time is not able to do it, will find it very easy to exercise patience in abstaining from those things. Whoever has a strong motive to commit a wrong action and has the means to do so, will face great difficulty in exercising enough patience to abstain. Therefore, it is very difficult for a ruler to refrain from committing injustice and oppression, and it is difficult for a young man to refrain from fornication, and it is difficult for a rich man to refrain from pursuing physical desires and pleasures.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Allah will commend a young man who never behaved in an ignorant way." [Ahmad] In another hadith, he referred to those who will be shaded in the shade of Allah's throne for their perfect patience - such as the patience of an absolute ruler in being just in all situations, regardless of his own feelings, and the patience of a young man in worshipping and obeying Allah and suppressing his own whims and desires, and the patience of the man who stayed in the mosque, and the patience of the man who gives sadaqah in keeping his sadaqah secret, and the patience of a man who resists the temptation of a woman of beauty and high status, and the patience of two men who meet for the sake of Allah and part for the sake of Allah, in keeping their relationship for the sake of Allah, and the patience of one who weeps out of fear of Allah, in keeping that secret and not telling others about it. All of these are among the most difficult types of patience. Therefore, the punishment of an old man who commits adultery, a king who tells a lie and a poor man who is arrogant is more severe, because it is easy for them to keep away from such wrong actions, and does not require much in the way of patience. Their attitude indicates that they are wilfully rebelling against Allah.

Compiled From:
"Patience and Gratitude" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, pp. 37, 38

From Issue: 780 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Political Fiqh

The Islamic Movement should seek to rectify the defective, strange concepts and decisions that we read and hear, and the methodologies of deduction that are even stranger and more peculiar.

These peculiar concepts, rules and methodologies are most evident in political fiqh, which has not received in the past the same degree of attention devoted to the fiqhs of worship, transactions, marriage etc.

The political fiqh of today is afflicted with much misconception and ill judgments, and its basics are so much varied in the minds of Islamists that the rules applied by some may be far from those applied by others like east is far from west.

We have seen some people who regard shura [consultation] as mere informative, not a compulsory duty, we have seen others who vest the head of state with the right to declare war and conclude treaties without consulting the representatives of the nation, and we have seen still others who consider democracy as a form of unbelief.

We have also seen those who believe that woman has no place in Islamic politics and that her only place is her father's house, from which she may only go to either of two place: her husband's house or her grave. To them, woman has no right to vote in any elections, let alone run in the elections for local governments or the Parliament.

There are also those who see political plurality as an arrangement that is rejected by Islam, and believe that no parties, groups or bodies that have any political views or affiliations should be established in a Muslim state.

I was dismayed when some brothers showed me a treatise that some zealous advocates of the Call had written under the title "Monotheism Is Against Membership Of Parliament", for I saw that as a peculiar confusion of issues of practice with issues of doctrine. Issues of practice deal with right and wrong, not belief and unbelief, and they are part of Shariah politics where ijtihad is rewarded twice when it is right and once when it is wrong.

The same mistake was made by the Kharijites in the old days when they branded Imam Ali lbn Abu­Talib as an unbeliever on account of a worldly matter related to politics that they had turned into a doctrinal issue, saying "He had given people control over the Religion of Allah, and none but Allah shall have judgment". The Imam's reply to their allegation was most eloquent, as he said, "A word of right intended to establish wrong"!

Source:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

From Issue: 502 [Read original issue]