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Today's Reminder

December 05, 2021 | Rabiʻ II 29, 1443

Living The Quran

New Leadership
Al-Isra (The Ascension) Chapter 17: Verse 1

"Glory to (God) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, - in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things)."

It is not known exactly when the Night Journey and Ascension took place, but it was certainly before the Hijrah (emigration from Makkah) to Madinah. It was said to have happened either three years or 18 months before the Hijrah.

Al-Isra was a land-to-land journey that Allah Almighty caused His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to make from Makkah to Jerusalem, that is, from Almighty Allah's Sacred House to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al-Miraj was a land-to-heaven journey from Jerusalem to the heavens. It was a journey to a place that no human being other than the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had ever reached [or has reached since]. It was a journey to the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary, whose place only Almighty Allah knows.

Such two journeys were a turning point in the Prophet's life and in the course of his call in Makkah, especially after all the suffering he (peace and blessings be upon him) had faced at the hands of the Quraysh.

Allah Almighty wanted Al-Isra and Al-Miraj be an alleviation and relief to His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He Almighty wanted to tell His Prophet that if the people of the earth had let him down, the people of heaven were there to support him; if the people of the earth had rejected his call, Allah Almighty would receive him and His Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) would follow him and he would be their imam.

We must believe that Allah Almighty is with us and that He Almighty will grant us victory and make Islam prevail, as He, Most High, always supports the true believers.

That journey was an honour and compensation to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) from Almighty Allah. It was also a preparation for him to the following stage of his call. A few years later, he (peace and blessings be upon him) would migrate to Madinah, where he (peace and blessings be upon him) would lead a life of strife and jihad and confront the Arab tribes and other parties that would stand as one man against his international call.

Prophet Muhammad's being received by other Prophets of Allah Almighty in Al-Aqsa Mosque and his leading them in Salah (ritual Prayer) there indicates that leadership was moved to a new nation and to a new Prophethood.

Compiled From:
"Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj: Everlasting Lessons" - By Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

From Issue: 589 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Evil Inclinations

A very important aspect in the jihad against the evil inclinations of the soul is the repelling of any evil thoughts that pop into one's mind. Evil ideas occur to everybody. The important thing is to cast them out as soon as they appear and not to allow them to grow and flourish until the person himself begins to desire or intend to do that evil act. When caught in their early moments, there is no sin upon the person for what occurred in his mind. A hadith, recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim, states:

"Verily, Allah has overlooked for my nation what their souls think about as long as they do not act on it or speak about it."

As one allows the evil thoughts to persist, the stronger they become and the more difficult they are to overcome and defeat. If the individual allows them to grow until they become true wants and intentions, then he may commit a sin depending upon the entire situation and what he does afterwards.

Compiled From:
"Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, p. 348

From Issue: 705 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Point of View

Sometimes people who try to explain what lies behind certain Islamic legislation or aspects of Islamic worship, put their points of view very forcefully, implying that they have understood everything there is to understand. This is not the proper way to explain Quranic statements and Islamic legislation, except where the reasons for such legislation are expressly stated in the Quran or the Sunnah. It is always preferable to state our point of view adding that it is all that we have been able to understand of the wisdom behind a certain piece of legislation. The possibility cannot be excluded that there may be other reasons behind it which we have not been able to determine. In this way, we assign our human mind to its proper position with respect to Quranic statements and Divine legislation.

For example, it has often been said that the purpose of having ablution (wudu, ghusl) before prayer is to maintain cleanliness. It may be true that cleanliness is intended through ablution, but to emphasise that it is the only reason why ablution is required before prayer is to follow an approach which is neither correct nor safe. Indeed, there came a time when some people suggested that there was no longer any need for this "primitive" method of cleanliness when we live in a clean environment, with people taking care of their daily cleanliness. If ablution had been legislated for this purpose, then it would no longer be necessary before prayer. However, when we look at the alternative for ablution (tayammum) it becomes evident that it does not serve the purpose of cleanliness at all. There must be some other purpose behind ablution. Perhaps ablution has been ordered as an intermediary step taking us away from our daily preoccupation in order to prepare us psychologically for prayer, which is a great meeting with God.

If we try to determine the wisdom behind every aspect of worship or piece of legislation, according to a rational analysis or in line with what contemporary science may reveal, stressing always that this is the only reason for it, we move away from the proper method of understanding religious statements and Divine legislation. We, thus, open the way to sophistry and futile argument. In addition, we leave ourselves open to mistakes, especially when our analysis is based on what contemporary science and research reveal, when it is always changing or amending what it used to consider a proven fact.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 3, pp. 159-161

From Issue: 678 [Read original issue]