Today's Reminder

July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443

Living The Quran

Secret Schemes
Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 54

"And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned (makr), and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.'

The word makr means a secret scheme to cause harm to someone. It has come to connote a negative sense as resorting to secret scheming against someone and betrays the weakness of the schemers. As it is usually the weak who fall back upon makr or secret schemes, its negative sense became more pronounced, and the term was taken to convey essentially a negative aspect. Wherever it is used, the assumption is that it must be in a negative sense. This is far from being true. At times, one has to resort to secret scheming to counter the schemers or to punish them. Any open action against the perpetrators of secret scheming can easily be depicted as unjust and an act of aggression. Most people who are unaware of the real facts may also be led to believe that the perpetrators were justified in their actions.

Similarly, secret scheming is necessary at times to forewarn a conspiring enemy that others are not unaware of his machinations and that these will be severely resisted. This not only shames such conspirators but also acts as a strong deterrent against any future trouble on their part. The secret planning referred to in this verse with regard to Allah is precisely of this nature and is aimed at countering the hostile conspiracies rendering them ineffective and harmless. Such countermeasures often take the enemies unawares, leaving them stunned, while at the same time relieving others of trouble and harm. This is referred to in the verse by the words "and the best of planners is Allah".

Compiled From:
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah Ali Imran" - Amin Ahsan Islahi

From Issue: 986 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Fasting in Shaban

Ayesha said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast a complete month except for Ramadan, and I have never seen him fast more in a month than he did in Shaban." [Bukhaari, Muslim]

Usamah ibn Zaid inquired: "O Messenger of Allah, I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Shaban." The Prophet responded: "That is the month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting." [An-Nasaa'i, authenticated by ibn Khuzaimah. Hasan according to al-Albaani]

Narrated Abu Hurairah, Allah's Messenger said: "When the month of Shaban is halfway, do not fast." [Reported by the five, Ahmad disapproved it].

As-San`aanee says in Subul us-Salaam: "One can fast provided he has to observe a compensatory fasting (in lieu of the Fard - obligatory ones) or the other prescribed ones which may be categorised as Wajib (compulsory). However, the volitional fasting is prohibited lest one should be subjected to exhaustion and weakness that may in turn render the Ramadan obligatory fasting difficult for him."


From Issue: 590 [Read original issue]


Perfectionistic Parents

Instead of receiving encouragement and support from their parents, children of perfectionistic parents tend to receive only criticism, demands, and sometimes ridicule. Consequently, they often grow up feeling inadequate, incapable, awkward, or inept. Since they receive little praise or constructive guidance, their self-esteem is usually very low, and they have little faith in their own abilities. They are often overwhelmed with anxiety whenever they have to perform in any way, and this sets them up for failure. In addition, people raised by perfectionistic parents tend to suffer from any or all of the following problems:

  • A sense that they are valued for what they do instead of for who they are (doing versus being)
  • A tendency to be self-critical, never satisfied with themselves or their performance
  • A tendency to doubt themselves and to second-guess
  • An inability to identify and express their emotions
  • Compulsive behaviours (extreme dieting, overexercising, excessive cleaning)
  • Depression

Compiled From:
"Healing Your Emotional Self" - Beverly Engel, p. 51

From Issue: 676 [Read original issue]