June 10, 2023 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 21, 1444
Living The Quran
Al-Isra (The Ascension) Chapter 17: Verse 59
"Moreover, nothing keeps Us from sending forth more of the miraculous signs that the disbelievers demand, except Our knowledge that the earliest generations of humanity belied them all. For We gave to the people of Thamud the miraculously created she-camel, brought forth before their very eyes, and still they wronged her. Nor do We send forth miraculous signs except to put the fear of God in people's hearts."
The more something transcends the "normal," the greater its controversy, and the less people will believe it really happened. Yet, the human being does not tire - rather, insists! - on the miraculous when it comes to religion.
What people do not realize, or tend to forget, is that the miraculous comes not only as an affirmation of the truth of God, but as a test of people's faith in that truth that brings about their divine denunciation if they fail to believe after having witnessed it or after they have received its account through a valid report, such as through a subsequent Prophet or a revealed Book of God.
This is the meaning of the example in the verse just cited, that of the miraculously created she-camel sent as a sign to the ancient people of Thamud. When a miracle occurs, one party accepts it, but another always rejects, and each group exerts itself in its argument to vindicate or debunk its occurence.
Science has many more believers today in its "miraculous" possibilities than does religion. They tend to reject reports about miracles that happened in the context of religion, considering them superstitions that do not correspond with what they believe they know about the laws of physics, forgetting that we know little, indeed, about the universe. There are also sincere men and women of religion who seek to interpret these miraculous events in a manner that accords with the sensibilities of the modern mindset, preferring to explain them by the serendipity of certain "scientific" events or to interpret them as allegorical or spiritual in their "real" meaning.
Yet the Quran tells us three things: (1) it happened; (2) it happened with precisely this intent, that is, to test the faith of people; (3) the outcome of the miraculous on the mind of the skeptical has usually just the opposite effect than it ought to have on a rational creature; namely, the narrowing of belief in their breast, which leads to greater sin.
"The Gracious Quran" - Ahmad Zaki Hammad, pp. 212-214
From Issue: 703 [Read original issue]
Understanding The Prophet's Life
"Allah is helping the servant as long as the servant is helping his brother." [Muslim]
If Allah is helping a person, is there anyone or anything that can repel Allah's help? Is there any greater help than the help that can come from Allah? How can one achieve that magnificent help? It is by turning to his brethren and helping them. As he helps his brothers, Allah will help him.
This hadith gives a picture of what the ideal Islamic society should be like. It is a society in which its members help and assist one another. The different members of society should be working together and helping one another for everything that is good and righteous. They should help each other fulfill their needs and they should assist each other to make life easier for all.
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, pp. 1325, 1326
From Issue: 792 [Read original issue]
Integrity is another word for honesty, with a twist. It means being true to what you know is right and being honest with everyone, including yourself. You don't cheat on tests, you don't lie to your parents about what you did last night, you don't talk nice to someone's face and rip on them behind their back. People with integrity are whole or complete, like an integer in your math book. They know where they stand and stand there.
How is integrity a source of self-worth? Having it leads to inner peace. And if you have inner peace you can handle most anything, even mean girls, heart-wrenching breakups, and major embarrassments.
Now, if you're like most other teens, you'll make mistakes and have to work on this integrity thing. No one's perfect. So, if you mess up, make up. Never try to cover up a mistake. It only makes things worse. NBA coach Rick Pitino said: "Lying makes a problem part of the future; truth makes a problem part of the past."
"The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" - Sean Covey, p. 277
From Issue: 567 [Read original issue]