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Today's Reminder

June 25, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 15, 1442

Living The Quran

The Day of Mutual Loss
Al-Taghabun (Loss and Gain) Sura 64: Verse 9 (Partial)

"The Day He shall gather up all of you for the Day of Gathering (taghabun) ..."

Ghabn, the root of the word taghabun, literally signifies fraudulently acquiring a thing at less than its market value. In other words, it denotes "cheating," "deceiving," or "defrauding" in buying or selling. In extended use, it may indicate "overreaching," or "overcoming" someone or something in an engagement. When buyers and sellers engage each other in the act of ghabn, it is called taghabun, thus becoming "mutual" cheating or defrauding.

The Quran uses this in its extended sense as one of the names of the Day of Judgment because the believers will, on that Day, "overcome" the disbelievers in attaining Paradise. Therefore, in the great engagement between the faithful and the faithless, the disbelievers will become the ultimate losers. The believers' delight assured perpetually, nonetheless, they themselves also will wish that they had striven harder in life with sacrifice and good deeds, to have earned even higher stations in the Garden.

Al-Khazin in his commentary explains this verse: "The utter loss of the disbelievers will become evident on the Day of Judgment when they are deprived of eternal delight because of their abandonment of faith. Moreover, believers will realize a certain 'loss,' as well, because they will then realize their missed opportunities in life for increased righteous works. It is also said that many of the haughty, the mighty, the rich and the famous - who are deficient in goodness - will come to stunning disillusionment when they find themselves surpassed by the truly righteous and virtuous who were deemed humble in life."

Compiled From:
"The Gracious Quran" - Ahmad Zaki Hammad, pp. 271, 272

From Issue: 555 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Training Anger

A man asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, "Give me advice." The Prophet said, "Do not become angry." The man asked again, and the Prophet repeated his advice. For a third time, the man asked the question, and the Prophet said again, "Do not become angry." [Bukhari]

According to scholars like Imam al-Nawawi and others, when the Messenger of God said, "Do not become angry," he meant do not allow anger to lord over oneself and cause the loss of one's comportment. In other words, do not become anger, its embodiment, such that people only see your rage. Instead, control your anger and never lose control.

Anger is something that needs to be trained, not abolished, for if people completely suppressed their sense of anger, many of the injustices of the world would not have been opposed and tyranny would have gone unchecked. Without anger, people would go around with complete impunity and commit heinous acts without resistance from the people. Corruption would cover the face of the earth.

A person who has no feelings about oppression, wrongdoing and disbelief is, in fact, an impotent person emotionally. It has been said, "Evil flourishes when a few good people do not do anything to oppose it." Thus response to injustice and oppression in a civilized way is the appropriate expression of anger. Being neutral to injustice is equal to contributing to injustice.

Compiled From:
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 102-103
"Anger and Dejection--An Islamic Perspective" - Shahid Athar

From Issue: 727 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Standing at Arafat

When you behold the thronging crowds, hear the loud voices speaking in many tongues, and see the various groups following their Imams through the ritual observances, matching their actions to theirs — recall the site of the Resurrection, the gathering of the communities with their Prophets and leaders, each community following its Prophet, aspiring after his intercession, all wavering with equal uncertainty between rejection and acceptance. After that recollection, set your heart on supplication and entreaty to God, Great and Glorious is He, that you may be resurrected in the company of the mercifully successful; make certain your hope of being answered, for the place is noble and mercy reaches all creatures from the majesty of the Divine presence through the venerable hearts of the mainstays of the earth.

The standing-place is never devoid of a generation of the saintly and holy, nor of a generation of the righteous and magnanimous. When their aspirations are joined, their hearts devoted exclusively to humble supplication and entreaty, their hands raised to God, Glorified is He, their necks outstretched and their eyes turned heavenward, as they aspire of one accord in quest of mercy, do not suppose that He will disappoint their hopes, frustrate their endeavour or begrudge them an overwhelming mercy. That is why it is said that it is a most grievous sin to be present at Arafat and to imagine that God, Exalted is He, does not forgive one. It would seem that the conjunction of aspirations, and the strength derived from contiguity with the saintly and holy people assembled from all quarters of the earth, constitute the secret of the Pilgrimage and its ultimate purpose, for there is no way to obtain the mercy of God, Glorified is He, in such abundance as by the conjunction of aspiration and the simultaneous mutual support of all hearts.

Compiled From:
"Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship" - Imam al-Ghazali

From Issue: 1012 [Read original issue]