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Today's Reminder

July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443

Living The Quran

Insult
Surah al-Imran (The House of Imran) Chapter 3: Verse 186 (partial)

"And you shall certainly hear much that will insult you from those who received the Scripture before you and from the polytheists. But if you persevere patiently and guard against evil, this will be the best course with which to determine your affairs."

This passage was revealed in Medina, and it leaves little doubt that the Prophet, peace be upon him, and his Companions often encountered insulting and irritating incidents at that time. Given the nature of the Prophet's mission and campaign, opposition verging on insult and abuse from the disbelievers was by no means unexpected. It would be neither feasible nor wise, under such circumstances, to have been too preoccupied with prosecution and punishment. This is precisely what the Quran has recommended and also what the Prophet actually did. But the juristic doctrine that was later developed followed a different course, one which moves more along punitive lines, rather than those of patience and perseverance.

Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 244, 245

From Issue: 734 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Optimism

Those who don't know him and haven't studied his life, often think of Prophet Muhammad's teachings to be full of negative or harsh messages. Many seem to be fixated on his sayings about the Day of Judgement and Hellfire, while conveniently ignoring his vocal messages of glad tidings and productive work.

Prophet Muhammad was a beacon of hope for those around him. His ever-beaming smile would exude optimism. His words, whether of warning or of good news, inspired positive action.

Here is a selection of some powerful sayings of the Prophet to help us stay positive and productive in all circumstances.

1. Optimism is from Allah, Pessimism is from Satan

O son of Adam! You are free to choose from what befalls you in your life, between despair and hope, pessimism and optimism. However, you shall find your hope and optimism with Allah, and your despair and pessimism with Satan, 'in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits' [Al-Mujdilah: 10].” (Bukhari and Muslim).

2. Strong Believer Doesn't Make Excuses

The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although there is good in each. Desire that which will bring you benefit, and seek help from Allah and do not give way to incapacity. If something happens to you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such-and-such.’ Rather say, ‘The decree of Allah. He does what He will.’ Otherwise you will open yourself up to the action of Shaitan” (Muslim).

3. Hope Prevails Over Fear at the Time of Death

Once our Prophet, peace be upon him, went to a young man who was on his death bed and asked him 'How do you feel?' The young man said, 'I have much hope from Allah but I also fear for my sins'. The Prophet said, 'The believer who has these two ideas simultaneously at such time, Allah fulfils his hopes and grants him security from fear' (Tirmidhi).

4. Be Positive & Productive till Your Last Breath

If the Day of Resurrection were established upon one of you, while he has in his hand a sapling (small plant), then let him plant it.” (Ahmad).

Compiled From:
"12 Sayings of the Prophet to Inspire Optimism" - Taha Ghayyur

From Issue: 884 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Prologue in Heaven

Culture began with the "prologue in heaven." With its religion, art, ethics, and philosophy, it will always be dealing with man's relation to that heaven from whence he came. Everything within culture means a confirmation or a rejection, a doubt or a reminiscence of the heavenly origin of man. Culture is characterized by this enigma and goes on through all time with the steady striving to solve it.

On the other hand, civilization is a continuation of the zoological, one-dimensional life, the material exchange between man and nature. This aspect of life differs from other animals' lives, but only in its degree, level, and organization. Here, one does not find man embarrassed by evangelical, Hamletian, or Karamasovian problems. The anonymous member of society functions here only by adopting the goods of nature and changing the world by his work according to his needs.

Culture is the influence of religion on man or man's influence on himself, while civilization is the effect of intelligence on nature, on the external world. Culture means the "art of being man"; civilization means the art of functioning, ruling, and making things perfect. Culture is a "continual creating of self'; civilization is the continual changing of the world. This is the opposite man-thing, humanism against chosism.

Religions, creeds, drama, poetry, games, folklore, folk tales, mythology, moral and aesthetic codes; elements of the political and juridical life affirming a personality's value, freedom and tolerance; philosophy, theatre, galleries, museums, libraries - this is the unbroken line of human culture, the first act of which has been played in heaven between God and man.

Compiled From:
"Islam Between East and West" - Alija Ali Izetbegovic, pp. 44-45

From Issue: 996 [Read original issue]