Today's Reminder

September 21, 2023 | Rabiʻ I 6, 1445

Living The Quran

Sublime Character
Al-Qalam (The Pen) Sura 68: Verse 4

"Most certainly, yours is a sublime character."

The whole universe echoes this unique praise of the Prophet (peace be upon him). No writer can describe the value of this testimony by the Creator of the universe; no imagination can give it its words. It is a testimony by God, according to His own measure, given to His servant, in His own words. A sublime character has, according to God's measure, its own unique value which no other creature can imagine.

This testimony confirms Muhammad's greatness in several ways. First of all, by the fact that it is God's own testimony, given in His majesty, and appreciated by the whole universe and echoed by everyone on high. Secondly, his greatness is seen by virtue of the fact that Muhammad was able to receive God's testimony, live with it and know who was saying it. It was God Almighty, in His absolute power and knowledge, that stated it. The Prophet knew his own position in relation to such absolutely great power. He could appreciate this position as no one else could. The fact that Muhammad held his position firmly as he received this word, from its sublime source, without being crushed by the pressure it brought on him, and that he remained calm and stable is the best evidence of his own greatness.

There are many reports about the Prophet's greatness given by his Companions. Indeed, his practical conduct is better evidence than anything reported about him. However, this testimony, given by God Almighty, is greater still than any reported evidence. The message of Islam is so perfect, beautiful, comprehensive and truthful that it could only be delivered by a man who deserved such testimony from God, and by one who would receive such divine testimony with confidence. At the same time, however, God remonstrated with the Prophet for some of his actions but all the while imbibing the same confidence and reassurance. He declared both aspects to all people, hiding nothing. In both situations, he was a noble Prophet, an obedient servant and a trusted deliverer of the divine message.

Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 17, pp. 180-181

From Issue: 570 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Sharing Sunna

The Sunna is the window opened on the Messenger of God, the sacred way leading to the blessings of Islam. Without it, Muslims cannot implement Islam in their daily lives or establish a connection with the Messenger. The Prophet, peace be upon him, encouraged Muslims to learn, implement and share his Sunna, saying:

"May God make radiant the face of the servant who has heard my speech and, committing it to memory and observing it in daily life, conveys it to others." [Ibn Maja]

The Messenger spoke distinctly and sometimes repeated his words so his audience could memorize them [Bukhari]. He taught them supplications and recitations that were not in the Quran with the same care and emphasis as he taught the Quran [Muslim]. He continually urged his Companions to spread his words and teach others what they knew. If they did not, he warned them: "If you are asked about something you know and then conceal that knowledge, a bridle of fire will be put on you on the Day of Judgment." [Tirmidhi]

Keeping these words and warnings in mind, the Companions strove to record the Sunna. They then lived their lives in accordance with Islamic principles and commands, and conveyed what they knew to others. They formed study and discussion groups to refine their understanding.

Compiled From:
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 327-329

From Issue: 703 [Read original issue]


Divine Measurement

Islam divides daily life into two spheres: what we have control over and what we do not. We have no control over the circumstances developing around us. The car breaks down; we get laid off at our job; an earthquake topples the city; we bump into a long-lost friend; and so on. These things just happen. We couldn't prevent them because we didn't know they were coming. Islam says all of these things are a test for us. They were predetermined challenges or merely things that, because of a complex confluence or events, just happened. They were a part of our Divine Measurement (Qadr).

Even though we often have no control over what happens to us, we do have control over how we feel and respond. When a tragedy strikes, do we blame God? When we see a diamond, does covetousness well up within us? When someone does evil to us, do we reciprocate or forgive? When we are alone, do we feel lonely or jubilant? Islam says we have control over our feelings, emotions and personal actions. Our test lies in how we respond to what happens around us. Do we exercise patience with life's challenges or do we panic and create disorder in our lives and in others? Now if we really think of the complex web of actions and reactions that go on every day in all of our lives, we can begin to appreciate how little our capacity is compared to God's.

Compiled From:
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam, 2nd Edition" - Yahiya Emerick, p. 103

From Issue: 623 [Read original issue]