loading

Today's Reminder

June 15, 2024 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 8, 1445

Living The Quran

Operating the Divine Will
Al-Qamar (The Moon) Sura 54: Verse 50

"Our command is but once, like the twinkling of an eye."

It takes just a signal or one word and everything, great or tiny, is done. In fact there is nothing to distinguish great from tiny; it is all part of how human beings see things. Nor is there a question of time, not even the twinkling of an eye; it is merely a metaphor to help people understand. Time is no more than a human conception that arises from the position of the earth and its rotation. As far as God and His plans are concerned, it has no significance.

The command is given just once and this entire universe comes into existence. Similarly, any change in it can be accomplished. Just one command and it will all go away as God wishes. In everything, the command is given once only: bringing anyone into life, taking it here or there, causing it to die, bringing it back in some shape or form, resurrecting all creatures from all generations to gather them for the reckoning and reward. It is a once only command that requires no effort or time, because it comes from the Almighty in due measure and with perfect ease.

Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 16, p. 271

From Issue: 577 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Consultation

The Messenger's wisdom was demonstrated when he consulted his Companions. This practice is so important in Islam that he never reached a decision, especially in public affairs, without it. Sometimes he even held counsel about his personal affairs.

When the hypocrites questioned and accused Aisha's fidelity, the Prophet, peace be upon him, consulted some of his Companions like Umar and Ali. The Messenger, who once said: "Whoever takes counsel does not regret it in the end," [Haythami] always consulted those who could give informed advice on a particular matter.

During his life, all Companions continually promised to follow him in every step he took, and to carry out all of his orders. Despite this, the Messenger consulted with them about almost every community-wide matter so that this practice would become second nature.

Compiled From:
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 265- 267

From Issue: 612 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Service

Through service we make the world a better place. Jesus served in many ways. Most faiths are dedicated to service, in fact. Charity, or zakat, is a pillar of Islam: Muslims give a percentage of their belongings to the poor and make regular donations to those in need. The Mishna, which contains Jewish oral law, underlines the importance of helping. The Torah mandates responding to the needs of the poor and the sick, be they Jews, strangers or enemies. Everyone is obliged to do tzedakah, or righteous deeds, to help repair the world.

It's one thing to encourage service, it's another thing to actually serve. What good are scriptures and hymns if we neglect to live their messages? There are compelling reasons for religious leaders to encourage youth to get out in their communities. A landmark study in 2007 found that the best way to deepen a teen's faith is by presenting them with opportunities to help people in need. Teens reported that service infused their lives with purpose and meaning, which in turn influenced their faith. Hands-on work was revealed to be far more influential than filling pews, reading scripture or participating in church retreats. The deepest connections are established when youth meet and work with the people they're helping. The degree of influence such experiences have on shaping faith increases with involvement. Level 1 might be to pitch in with adult mentors on a fence-painting project. Level 2 could be to help at a shelter or soup kitchen. Level 3 would involve ongoing connections - Meals on Wheels, for example - in which the volunteer establishes a relationship with the person her or she is assisting.

Compiled From:
"The World Needs Your Kid" - Craig Kielburger, Marc Kielburger and Shelley Page, pp. 273, 274

From Issue: 645 [Read original issue]