July 05, 2022 | DhuĘ»l-Hijjah 5, 1443
Al-Maidah (The Table Spread) - Chapter 5: Verse 54 (partial)
Love is the attachment of the heart, in exclusive fashion, between zeal and intimacy and in giving and withholding.
It is of three levels:
The first level is love that puts an end to suspicions, imbues the service with pleasure and provides comfort in misfortunes.
It is love that buds from observing the Grace, is consolidated by adhering to the Sunnah and grows as a response to poverty.
The second level is love that causes one to favour the True One above anyone else, to persevere in praising His Name and to attach to the heart His Contemplation.
It is love that emerges from observing the Attributes, looking into the Verses and adhering to the Discipline.
The third level is love that captivates and takes the breath away, focuses on the intimation and cannot be limited by descriptions.
This love is the pinnacle in this matter; outside it are loves that tongues proclaim, that mankind claims and that minds prescribe.
"Stations of the Wayfarers" - Abdullah Al-Ansari, p. 162-164
From Issue: 899 [Read original issue]
Many of us who are used to watching Sinbad or Temptation Island, or are addicted to Hollywood/Bollywood movies, or enjoy the company of people of opposite gender, may wonder what’s wrong with lustfully staring at the attractive features of the opposite gender? Perhaps one saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sums it all:
"The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Shaytan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for the fear of Allah, will receive from Him (Great and Gracious is He) a faith, the sweetness of which he will find within his heart." (al-Haakim.)
Therefore, a secret lustful look at a person of opposite gender has been compared by the Prophet (pbuh) to an arrow from Shaytan that:
- poisons our hearts
- ruins our intentions
- gives rise to false hopes and desires
- distorts our perception of 'reality'
- deprives us from enjoying and concentrating in Prayers
- gives rise to constant feeling of guilt and depression
- sometimes leads to sleepless nights
- renders our heart weak for continuous Shaytanic attacks
- promotes hypocrisy
- weakens our memory
- eventually leads to Zina (adultery)
- above all, diminishes our love for and fear of Allah
From Issue: 535 [Read original issue]
Gifts and Capacities
People and families are a pool of gifts and capacities, not a series of needs and deficiencies. Their suffering is an effect of their isolation and their being labeled. The struggle in their life is to find a way to use their gifts. In the way we traditionally deliver service, by raising money for and valuing their deficiencies, we reflect and reinforce the cause of some of their troubles.
We still call citizens who seek help "cases." People who serve them are called "case workers." What does it mean when someone is labeled a "case"? Lawyers, social workers, human service workers in general dehumanize those they are committed to serve by naming them cases.
Human services also relate to citizens through diagnostic categories. We are only interested in their needs and deficiencies. If a family or person has no pressing needs and deficiencies, nothing can be categorized, we have no interest in them. Perhaps we should develop diagnostic categories for people's gifts. Right now we have only crude positive labels: high-school graduate, economic status, size of family, job experience. Suppose we named people in categories, such as: a connector, knows everyone in the neighbourhood, street-level entrepreneur, fashion plate, compassion for those in need, lights up a room when they enter, creative speech, practical intelligence, risk taker. The shift is to focus on gifts and capacities.
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, pp. 169, 170
From Issue: 857 [Read original issue]