December 07, 2023 | Jumada I 24, 1445
Worship and Faith
Al-Qadr (Power) - Chapter 97: Verse 2
When we look today in retrospect, after the lapse of numerous generations, at that glorious and happy night, imagine the fascinating celebration the world then witnessed, and ponder over the essence of revelation and its far-reaching effects on human life and values, we appreciate how great this event was. We can then understand, to some extent, why the Quranic reference to that night is made in such an equivocal way: "Would that you knew what the Night of Power is!"
Humanity, out of ignorance and to its misfortune, may overlook the value and importance of the Night of Power. When humanity does so ignore it, it loses the happiest and most beautiful sign of grace that God bestowed on it. It also suffers the loss of the real happiness and peace gifted to it by Islam, namely, the peace of conscience, family and society. What it has otherwise gained of material civilization is inadequate compensation for its loss. Humanity is miserable in spite of higher production levels and better means of existence. The splendid light that once illuminated its soul has been put out; the happiness that carried it high up to the Supreme society has been destroyed; the peace that overflowed in people’s hearts and minds has disappeared. Nothing can compensate for the happiness of the human soul, the heavenly light and elevation to the loftiest ranks.
We, the believers in Islam, are commanded not to forget or neglect this event. The Prophet has taught us an easy and enjoyable way to commemorate it, so that our souls may always be in close communion with it and with the universal event that it witnessed. He has urged us to spend this night of each year in devotion. He said: “Seek the Night of Power in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim.] He also said: “Whoever spends the Night of Power in worship, with a pure motive of faith and devotion, will have all his past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim.]
Islam is not mere formalities. Hence, the Prophet specifies that the consecration of that night must be motivated by faith and devotion. This would make its consecration by any individual an indication of his or her full awareness of the far-reaching effects of what took place on that night.
The Islamic method of education and character building links worship with faith and establishes truth in our hearts and consciences. By this method, worship is considered a means for maintaining full awareness of this truth, its clarification and firm establishment in our minds, hearts and souls. This method has been proved to be the best for the revival of this truth so that it has an unfailing influence on people’s behaviour. The theoretical understanding of this truth cannot, on its own and without worship, establish it or give it the necessary impetus for its operation in the life of the individual or society. This link between the anniversary of the Night of Power and its consecration in faith and devotion is a part of the successful and straightforward method of Islam.
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 18, pp. 280-281
From Issue: 850 [Read original issue]
Broadly speaking, Islam pursues its social objectives through reforming the individual in the first place. The individual is thus seen as a morally autonomous agent who plays a distinctive role in shaping the community's sense of direction and purpose. The individual is admittedly required to obey the government but he obeys the ruler on condition that the latter obeys the Shariah. This is reflected in a renowned hadith that
there is no obedience in sin, obedience is only in righteousness. [Tabrizi]
We may also quote here two other hadiths that substantiate the moral autonomy of the individual. In one of these Abu Dhar al-Ghifari reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered him to
tell the truth even if it is unpleasant. [Ahmad]
and in the other he declared that
the best form of jihad is to tell a word of truth to an oppressive ruler. [Ibn Majah]
The dignity and welfare of the individual is of central concern to Islamic law. The five essential values of Shariah on which the ulama are in agreement, namely faith, life, intellect, property and lineage are all premised on the dignity of the individual, which must be protected as a matter of priority.
"Shari'ah Law - An Introduction" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 61, 62
From Issue: 533 [Read original issue]
A Quick Checklist Of Ramadan
- Make a resolve to win the maximum favour of Allah: perform extra voluntary prayers (Nawaafil), make frequent Du'a and increase remembrance (Dhikr).
- Try to recite some Quran after every Prayer. In fact if you read 3-4 pages after every Prayer you can easily finish the entire Quran in Ramadan! Study theQuranic Tafseer (commentary) every morning.
- Invite a person you are not very close with to your home for Iftar, at least once a week. You will notice the blessings in your relationships!
- Bring life to your family! Everyday, try to conclude the fast with your family and spend some quality time together to understand each other better.
- Give gifts on 'Eid to at least 5 people: 2 to your family members, 2 to your good friends, and 1 to a person whom you love purely for the sake of Allah.
- Commit to an Islamic study circles to enhance your Islamic knowledge and practice. Plan to complete reading a book on Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life in these 30 days.
- Donate generously to the masajid, Islamic organizations, and any where people are in need. "This is a month of sharing!"
- Share Ramadan and its teachings of love & patience with your neighbours. Learn how at http://www.soundvision.com/info/ramadan/
- Initiate a project to promote or revive a ‘forgotten’ social cause in the Muslim and non-Muslim community: fight against racism, AIDS, drugs, cancer, smoking…etc.
- Did you know, our society, which constitutes only 20% of world’s population, actually consumes 80% of world’s resources! Volunteer at food bank or Anti-Poverty campaign, while fasting!
- Seek the rare and oft-neglected rewards of 'the night better than a 1000 months', Laylatul-Qadr.
- Weep in private for the forgiveness of your sins: It is the month of forgiveness and Allah's Mercy! It's never too late.
- Learn to control your tongue and lower your gaze. Remember the Prophet's warning that lying, backbiting, and a lustful gaze all violate the fast! Abandon foul language forever.
- Encourage others to enjoin and love goodness, and to abandon everything evil. Play the role of a Da'ee (one who invites to Allah) with passion and sympathy.
- Experience the joy of Tahajjud prayers late at night and devote yourself purely and fully to Allah in the I'tikaf retreat during the last 10 days of Ramadan.
From Issue: 543 [Read original issue]