July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443
Al Insan (Man) - Chapter 76: Verses 25-26
The Prophet is told these are the means to maintain the bond with God who gave him the Quran and who entrusted him with His message. He is the source of all power. The way ahead is long, the burden he carries is heavy, and he needs much support. Now, the support is identified as maintaining contact with God by glorifying Him through the long night. Thus, the servant meets his Master alone, speaking to Him directly, looking up to Him for favour and support, feeling His compassion that removes all trouble and relieves exhaustion. His power will transform His servants' weaknesses and lack of numbers. When they shed their earthly burdens and look at the great task entrusted to them, they will think little of all the hardships they are going through and their resolve to get on with the task ahead will be that much strengthened.
God is ever merciful. He entrusted his servant, the Prophet, with His message and revealed the Quran to him. He is aware of the hardship he would meet along his way. Therefore, He did not leave him without support. On the contrary, He gave him the support and help He knew to be most useful and effective along his difficult journey. This remains the support needed by all advocates of the divine message, regardless of time, circumstance or place. It is the same message, with the same circumstances, facing the same unyielding opposition by falsehood, and for the same reasons. Falsehood employs the same tool and means against it. Let, then, the means the truth employs be the ones God knows to be the most effective.
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 17, pp. 417, 418
From Issue: 647 [Read original issue]
Paradise without Reckoning
The son of Abbas, may God be pleased with them both, said: "The Prophet, God bless him and give him peace, came out to us one day and said: 'The communities were paraded before me. There passed before me a Prophet accompanied by one man, a Prophet with whom there were two men, a Prophet who had a small group with him, and a Prophet unaccompanied. Then I saw a multitude so great that it darkened the whole horizon and I hoped that it might be my community. But a voice said: 'This is Moses and his people.' Then I was told to look, and I saw a multitude so great that it darkened the whole horizon. Then I was told to look again, this way and that, and I saw a multitude so great that it darkened the whole horizon. 'These,' I was told, 'are your community, and together with these there are seventy thousand who will enter Paradise without a reckoning.' Then the people dispersed without receiving an explanation from him, so the Companions of the Prophet, God bless him and give him peace, conferred together and said: 'As for us, we were born in polytheism, but we came to believe in God and His Messenger. But these must be our children.' When the Prophet heard of this, he said: 'They are those who do not take omens from birds, do not cauterise themselves and do not steal, but put their trust in their Lord.' [Bukhari, Muslim]
"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiyya, pp. 75, 76
From Issue: 779 [Read original issue]
We have to come from somewhere. We may try to forget, regret or try to erase the fact or we may, on the contrary, make an effort to reclaim our origins, homeland or traditions, but our personal or family past will always be an important part of our being and our identity. Whether we like it or not, we belong to our memories. Life is short, and none of the important events we remember will ever disappear; images return or fade away, echo and mirror one another, speak with one voice or clash in the midst of our joys, pain, doubts or hopes. We are always looking for 'something' in the light of our past-belonging, because we want to rediscover certain joys, a few habits and a friendly or loving presence, or because we want to avoid suffering, abandonment, disappointment, pain or violence.
What are we looking for? Probably for well-being, peace, reassurance, harmony and love. Our past sometimes helps us and sometimes hinders us. We always have to revisit the past, understand it, disentangle it, tame it and forget it, but we can never really flee from it. We have to live with it and come to terms with it. We know that we have to seek and, basically, to find. Sometimes we do not even know what we are looking for, and other times we know exactly what we have to find, but cannot find it. And sometimes we have already found what we are still looking for. This is disturbing and difficult. And as we wander, we really want to belong to ourselves, to be ourselves and to feel that we possess ourselves.
"The Quest for Meaning" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 161-165
From Issue: 628 [Read original issue]