loading

Today's Reminder

December 05, 2021 | RabiÊ» II 29, 1443

Living The Quran

Superficial Attraction
Mariam (Mary) - Chapter 19: Verse 73

"When Our revelations are recited to them in all their clarity, the unbelievers say to those who believe: 'Which of the two sides has a better position and a superior community?'"

The elders of the Quraysh at the time of the Prophet used to listen to God’s revelations being recited to them, but then they would behave arrogantly towards the believers, branding them as poor and weak, and boasting about their own wealth and petty social values. Had the message preached by Muhhammad been any good, would his followers be those who had no power or influence in the Quraysh society? Would they have met in a humble place like al-Arqam’s house? Would his opponents be those who enjoyed all the luxuries and social prominence?

Such is worldly logic, advanced by those who have no aspiration to any truly high horizon. It is divine wisdom that keeps faith free of all adornment and superficial attraction, offering no temptation. Thus, only those who take it for its real value, without hope of immediate gain, will accept it. By contrast, those who are after wealth, worldly interests, pleasures and the like will turn away from it.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 11, pp. 370, 371

From Issue: 812 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Keeping Calm

A man might look calm and composed on the outside, but be a raging volcano within. If you can keep calm when you are angry, then you have genuine self-control. 

We should always be just and balanced in what we choose to say, whether we are happy or upset, whether we like what is happening or detest it. Calm manifests itself in our tone of voice, in the words we choose, in our gestures, our facial expressions, and our deportment. 

We should keep in mind that our worship is not restricted to prayer, fasting, and the pilgrimage. Life itself is worship. We need to conduct ourselves accordingly. 

Abu Hurayrah relates that a man approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! There is a woman who is well-known for how much she prays, fasts, and gives in charity, but she abuses her neighbours with her tongue.” 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “She is in Hell.” [Musnad Ahmad and Sah?h Ibn Hibb?n

Self-control means to refrain from responding recklessly to what goes on around us. It means to condition ourselves to respond appropriately according to our personal past experience and what we learn from the experience of others. 

Composure resides in the fraction of a second between the provocation itself and the gut reaction to it. This is why the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Patience needs to be exercised when calamity first strikes.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahi? Muslim

We need to deal with every provocation in our lives as if it is being monitored by a hidden camera waiting to record our reaction to it and broadcast that reaction to the world. This will make us react more judiciously and help us learn to control ourselves. This is because we know that composure and self-control are praiseworthy qualities, while reacting recklessly is a sign of feeblemindedness and weakness of character. 

Compiled From:
"Keeping Calm is a Skill" - Salman al-Oadah

From Issue: 810 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Huri

It is clear that the term huri, used in the (idhafah) construction hur-al-ayn, meant something specific to the Jahili Arab. She was 'so called by the Arabs of the desert because of her whiteness or fairness or cleanness'. She was a woman of 'clear complexion and skin'. The descriptions given of the huri are specific and sensual—youthful, virgin females with large dark eyes, white skin, and a pliant character—'while nowhere ... are found similar descriptions detailing, if not the beauty, at least the modest or even perhaps hidden assets of earthly wives'.

The specific depiction here of the companions of Paradise demonstrates the Quran's familiarity with the dreams and desires of those Arabs. The Quran offers the huri as an incentive to aspire after truth. It is impossible to believe that the Quran intends white women with large eyes to represent a single universal description of beauty for all humankind. If we take these mythological depictions universally as the ideal female, a number of culturally specific limitations are forced on the divergent audiences of the Quran. The value of these particulars is extremely limited.

The Quran itself demonstrates the limitation of this particular depiction when the community of believers in Islam had increased in number and established itself at Madinah. After the Makkan period, the Quran never uses this term again to depict the companions in Paradise. After Madinah, it describes the companions of Paradise in generic terms like azwaj.

Compiled From:
"Quran and Women" - Amina Wadud, pp. 54, 55

From Issue: 927 [Read original issue]