Today's Reminder

December 05, 2021 | RabiÊ» II 29, 1443

Living The Quran

Al-Saff (The Ranks)
Chapter 61: Verse 4

Collective Work
"Allah loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure."

It is not enough for Islam's wellbeing that volunteering individuals should work separately and in scattered areas, though their efforts will be added to their balance on the Day of Judgment, for Allah shall not waste the effort of a man or woman, and everyone shall be rewarded for his deeds according to his intention and perfection of his work.

Individual work, under the contemporary circumstances of the Muslim Nation, will not be enough for bridging over the gap and realizing the aspired hope. Collective work is a must, and it is ordained by religion and necessitated by reality.

Religion advocates "the sense of congregating" and opposes "straying". Allah's hand is with collective effort, and he who strays shall stray into Hell. It is only the stray sheep that the wolf devours. A believer to another believer is like one firm brickwork - each part supporting the other. Cooperation in righteousness and piety is one of the obligations of religion; and the mutual teaching of truth and patience is one of the preconditions of saving oneself from loss in earthly life and the Hereafter.

The sheer state of affairs makes it impossible for a fruitful work to be done individually. It takes two hands to clap, and one is weak by himself, strong by his fellows. Great achievements are only made through concerted efforts, and decisive battles are won only through the unity of hands.

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

From Issue: 468 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Paltry Sins

Sins are of varying degrees. One thing, though, is certain: every sin is potentially dangerous and harmful for the soul. The "smaller" sins in particular can be extremely dangerous because many have a tendency to downplay small sins and regard them as insignificant. Hence, the Prophet (peace be upon him) specifically warned all believers about those "insignificant" sins. He stated, "Be aware of the paltriest of sins. They are like a people who stop in a valley and one of them comes with one stick of wood and another with one more until their bread is well cooked [due to the intensity of the fire]. When the person is taken due to his paltry sins, they destroy him." [Tabarani, Baihaqi]

In other words, a person's small sins keep building up like twigs on a fire. After some time, even though each of the twigs is quite small in and of itself, the fire is big and can burn with great intensity.

Compiled From:
"Purification of the Soul" - Jamal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 404

From Issue: 804 [Read original issue]


Why We Need Anger?

Although anger clearly has some connection with hostility and aggression, they are not the same. Hostility is an attitude of ill will, aggression refers to behaviour that is always meant to hurt, whereas anger is an emotion - plain and simple. Anger is neither a positive or negative emotion; it is the way we handle our anger - what we do with it - that makes it negative or positive. For example, when we use our anger to motivate us to make life changes or to make changes to dysfunctional systems, anger becomes a very positive emotion.

When we express anger through aggressive or passive-aggressive ways (such as getting even or gossiping), it becomes a negative emotion. So why do we need anger at all? Why not simply work toward eliminating it from our lives entirely? The reason is that there are many positive functions of anger:

  • It energizes and motivates us to make changes in our lives.
  • It serves as a catalyst for resolving interpersonal conflict.
  • It promotes self-esteem - when we stand up for ourselves, we feel better about ourselves.
  • It fosters a sense of personal control during times of peak stress.
  • Expression of anger can actually promote health. Women with cancer who express their anger are found to live longer than those who express no anger.
  • As uncomfortable as anger is for many of us, it can be preferable to anxiety, as it lays the blame outside ourselves.

If we find constructive ways of releasing anger and safe places to let it out, it can become a positive force in our lives, creating energy, motivation, assertiveness, empowerment, and creativity.

Compiled From:
"The Nice Girl Syndrome" - Beverly Engel, pp. 165-167

From Issue: 650 [Read original issue]