June 25, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 15, 1442
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 152
Can you imagine a more gratifying state than this, where when you remember Allah, the Creator, Sustainer and Lord of the Universe, He remembers you in return?
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining and who reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth are highly commended in the Noble Quran. They are wise in that they fill their hearts with the remembrance of God in every moment, in every circumstance and in every posture of their lives.
Said ibn Jubayr has said: "Whoever did not obey his Lord, did not remember Him, irrespective of how many rosaries (tasbih) he did, how much he chanted the greatness of God, and however much he recited the Quran."
Abu Uthman was asked: "Why is it that we remember Allah but do not feel its sweet effects on our hearts?" He said, "Thank Allah that He has at least inspired a member of your body to His obedience."
Alusi says: "There are three ways of realizing 'Dhikr' (remembrance). First: with the tongue, which is to say thanks, chant Allah's Glory, sing His Greatness, to recite the Quran etc. Second: with the heart (and mind) which is to think and discover the wisdom behind various obligations of Islam, to contemplate over the rewards and punishment in the Hereafter, to understand the Attributes of Allah, and unravel Divine secrets. And third: to keep every limb and joint of the body engaged in acts approved by Allah, and restrain them from prohibited acts."
The exhortation to remember Allah at all times is a reflection of Allah's all-embracing and overwhelming love for us. The door to Allah is always open to us: Remember Me and I will remember you. We need only find our way to and through that door. Strive then, to fill all your moments, all your thoughts and all your actions with Allah’s remembrance.
"In the Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, pp. 21-25
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, vol. 1, p. 184
From Issue: 644 [Read original issue]
Love in Public
Some people say: “Talk of love is meaningless when the world is suffering from so much war and bloodshed.”
But it is not unlikely that the very same person who is saying that is cradling a child in their arms or taking a cup of something to drink with affection from the hands of the one they love. If they are not doing so, then they should be. Love is not a defect. It is not a deviant feeling. People should not be told to forget about it and bury it.
Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) home was permeated with pure love, even in the most trying times and during the most severe challenges. Aishah would still say to her husband: “By Allah! I love you and I love to be near you.” He would stay close to her, even in public, like the time the Ethiopian acrobat troop performed in the mosque, and she watched them while leaning against him lovingly. [Bukhari, Muslim] She wanted the people of Madinah to see how close to him she was.
Even when the time of death approached him, he sought permission from the rest of his family to spend those final days with her in her chambers. She said: “The Prophet died resting in my arms.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
The Prophet was not shy to show his love in public. He did not consider it a weakness or a deficiency.
Homes that are bereft of love are emotionally cold places, where relationships are wooden and mercy is in short supply. Harshness and bitterness are the order of the day, and sometimes even violence. They do not show mercy nor do they wish for mercy to descend upon them. They might justify their austerity with false religious zeal. However, the best guidance is that of our Prophet, and his home was full of love and warmth.
Prophet Muhammad used to pray to Allah to bless him to love in a way that pleases Him and that will not distract him from remembering Him. He said: “And I ask You to bless me to love You and to love those whom You love, and to love the deeds that will bring me closer to Your love.” [Musnad Ahmad]
"Our Societies Should Not Fear Love" - Salman al-Oadah
From Issue: 874 [Read original issue]
An Islamic Economy?
There is no "Islamic economy." What can be found in the Islamic Universe of reference is a series of principles outlining an ethics, a general philosophy of the economy's goals, but there is no such thing as an economy that is "Islamic" by essence or through some specific disposition. There is no "Islamic economy," therefore, but an "Islamic ethics" of the economy. What has been represented, and is still being represented today, as an "Islamic economy" is in fact a set of principles and techniques (rejecting interest - riba, imposing a purifying social tax - zakat, risk sharing - musharakah) that are applied within the classical economic system and are supposed to represent an alternative.
By giving the label "Islamic economy" to a set of techniques based on two or three general principles totally out of touch with the framework of ethics and the general philosophy of Islamic teachings on the subject, one manages to propose formal, technical adjustments without questioning the higher goals of economic activity. The perversion goes even deeper and is particularly dangerous: this "Islamic economy," along with its sister "Islamic finance," suggest a series of reforms of the techniques and modalities of transactions at the heart of the classical system, which they do not question in its essence, but which on the contrary they confirm both in its philosophy of productivist profitability and in its global domination.
Presented in this way, the great catchphrase "an Islamic economy" is far from being an alternative. At best it is simply a "marginal option" whose function is insensibly to confirm the preeminence of the "mainstream" - that is to say, the liberal market economy. We are here at the heart of an in-depth debate: are we speaking about an adaptation reform, which - in its undeniable movement - confirms that to which it adapts, or are we trying to undertake a transformational reform that questions existing practices and suggests other ways in the name of the higher goals of ethics? In other words, we should be less pompous and bombastic in our rhetoric and more ambitious and bolder in our fundamental reflection and our practical, concrete proposals.
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 242, 243
From Issue: 523 [Read original issue]