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Today's Reminder

December 05, 2021 | RabiÊ» II 29, 1443

Living The Quran

Bribery
Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verse 188

"And do not eat up each other's property unlawfully, nor use it as a means of access to rulers so that you may eat up part of others' property depriving them of their right wrongfully while you know it is wrong and unjust."

This verse sheds light on various aspects of bribery. Firstly, bribery is one of the major means of usurping others' rights. That is why it is specially mentioned immediately after the prohibition of unlawfully grabbing others' wealth. The reason for this is quite clear. The law, the most important means of protecting others' rights, depends for its efficacy largely on the honesty and integrity of rulers, the guardians of the law. If they are somehow corrupted, that would mean that people's rights are then up for sale and anyone who has money can buy them. Bribery is obviously a most effective means of corrupting rulers.

Secondly, the most effective factor in the spread of corruption rests within society itself. When people are inclined to usurp others' rights they resort to bribery to get their way. Rulers, in turn, become so addicted to it that they would not render to people even their normal rights without the lure of a bribe. That is why Islam first and foremost admonishes people against corrupting the custodians of law. Islam is so sensitive in this regard that it considers it undesirable for rulers to receive gifts from the public. This is obvious from various statements of the Prophet, peace be upon him, on this subject because this is yet another backdoor to corruption and bribery.

Thirdly, bribery is an obvious wrong. This fact is supported by human reason and by the convention (maruf) universally accepted by all societies. All religions and laws are agreed on its prohibition - hence, the concluding words: wa antum ta lamun (while you know it is wrong and unjust).

Compiled From:
"Pondering Over The Quran: Surah al-Fatiha and Surah al-Baqarah" - Amin Ahsan Islahi

From Issue: 1003 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Blessings in Food

The two Shaykhs have narrated from Ibn Abbas who said, "God's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, 'When one of you eats, let him not wipe his fingers until he has licked them or had them licked.'" Muslim narrated from Kab ibn Malik who said, "I saw God's Messenger eating with three fingers, and then he finished off licking them". He has also narrated from Jabir that God's Messenger commanded licking the fingers and the bowl, he said: "Surely you do not know in which part of your food the blessing is".

One who looks at on the wording of these hadiths will not understand other than that eating with three fingers, and licking them after eating, and licking the bowl or cleaning it out or wiping it, is the sunnah of the Prophet. So he may, at times, look with disgust at someone eating with a spoon because, in his opinion, that person is opposing the sunnah, behaving as unbelievers do! The reality is that the spirit of the sunnah that should be taken from these hadiths is his modesty, his acceptance of God's blessing in the food, and the anxious wish that he should not leave from that blessing anything to be wasted without benefit, such as the remnant of food left in the bowl, or the morsel that falls from some people and they are too proud to pick it up, showing themselves as being in affluence and plenty, and distancing themselves from looking like the poor and indigent, who strive for the smallest thing, even if it be a crumb of bread.

If the Muslims would act upon it, we would not see the waste that is met with every day – rather, at every meal – in every wastebasket and rubbish bin. If the Muslim community calculated the level of this waste, its economic value every day would amount to millions or tens of millions. Then how much would it be by month or in a whole year? This is the inner spirit behind these hadiths.

Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 142, 143

From Issue: 784 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

The Peace Maker

For the Prophet, peace was not a strategy he employed, it was the goal of his peace movement. He preached peace and justice leading to the establishment of a peace sanctuary in the city of Madinah where even animals cannot be harmed, hunting unless for food was forbidden and trees cannot be cut.

When preaching, he would ask individuals and tribes for just two things: believe in One God and work with him to establish peace and prosperity in the land.

A commitment to peace was a way of life for our beloved Prophet. The Prophet was described by his wife Aisha as a walking Quran, a person who embodied the Message of God, the One Who brings peace to hearts and nations. He was known for reconciling people at war and individuals in conflict. Even when he established the peace sanctuary of Madinah he developed written documents which Muslims call the first surviving written constitution of the world. It gave full religious rights and internal autonomy to it's Jews and Christians. He declared in that written constitution that Muslims, Jews and other signatories of that document constitute one ummah (ummatun wahidatun), one nation in the modern sense of the word.

God's choicest peace and blessings be upon the Prophet. We love him and follow him in our daily lives. Sallallahu Alaihe wa sallam.

Now it is our duty, as believers in God, to create a common agenda for the peace movement for our times so that the prophetic mission of encouraging people to establish justice continues in the future.

Compiled From:
"The Prophet, The Peace Maker" - Abdul Malik Mujahid

From Issue: 1027 [Read original issue]