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Today's Reminder

July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443

Living The Quran

Hurtful Speech
Al-Nisa (The Women) Chapter 4: Verse 148

"God loves not the public utterance of hurtful speech except by one who has been wronged. God is ever Hearer and All-Knowing."

This verse is perhaps one of the most far-reaching of the Quranic enactments which offer guidelines on the restrictions that may be imposed on freedom of speech.

Words uttered in public which hurt another person by violating his/her honour or causing him/her physical harm or loss of property, whether directly or indirectly (such as by abusing his close relatives or homeland), are all covered by this verse. Hurtful speech, in this text, comprises that which is addressed to an individual, to more than one person, or to the community at large. Furthermore, the text is broad enough to comprehend all modern methods and facilities which are used for publicity and broadcasting.

In their commentaries on this verse, the commentators (mufassirun) indicate that the text here denounces the utterance of offensive speech absolutely, that is, regardless of the end it may serve or the context in which it may occur. The text does not, for instance, draw any distinction as to whether the speech so uttered consists of truth or falsehood, or whether it contemplates any kind of benefit. The only exception here is made for a person who has been wronged, and his/her cry for justice must be granted a hearing even at the expense of it being hurtful.

Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 167, 168

From Issue: 592 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Compassion

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stated, "He is not of us who does not have compassion for his fellow beings".

It is interesting to note that when it comes to Hadith like this dealing with human behaviour, we never stop to think that our children and family members are also our fellow human beings and that these golden rules must also be applied to them.

Compassion is only one component of the concept of mercy (Rahmat) the others being kindness, respect, and of course love. Remember the displeasure of Prophet Muhammad when a Bedouin told him how he had never kissed any of his ten children.

Source:
The Positive & Negative C's of Islamic Parenting Shahina Siddiqui

From Issue: 475 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Comprehending Allah's Names

When we beseech Allah by His names, we should do so with dignity, composure, and understanding.

There are two ways that we call upon Allah. The first is to beseech him with our petitions, to entreat him with the concerns we have about our worldly lives and our hopes for the Hereafter. This is what we usually understand by supplication (dua).

The second way we call upon Allah is through our devotions. We do so by invoking His names in our remembrances, by meditating upon the meanings and significance of those names. We do so by praising Him and glorifying Him as His noble attributes warrant through devotion in our prayers, our remembrances, and in our God-consciousness.

Ibn al-Qayyim observes: "Allah is Knowing and He loves those who have knowledge. He is Beautiful and He loves beauty. He is Merciful, and He loves those who show mercy. He is Kind and He loves those who show kindness to others."

When we take to ourselves something of the light of Allah's beautiful names by learning what they mean and developing ourselves and our temperaments accordingly, then we have truly comprehended His names.

It is as Ibn al-Qayyim explains, that Allah is Oft-Pardoning and He loves to pardon. Therefore, He rewards and blesses those of us who pardon their fellow human beings. He is Generous and loves for us to be generous as well. He is the Concealer of Faults, and He loves it for us to conceal the faults of those who might have wronged us. He is Merciful, and He shows His mercy especially to those of us who are merciful to others.

One way that we call upon Allah's names through our devotions is by reading the Quran. This is because the Quran is full of the mention of His names. We also do so when we call up their meanings in our minds so that they become a constant part of our lives. In this way, we become more fully reliant upon Allah, more penitent, more mindful of our conduct, and stronger in faith. These are all ways in which we bring Allah's names to full realization in our lives.

Compiled From:
"Calling Upon Allah with Our Words & Deeds" - Salman al-Oadah

From Issue: 550 [Read original issue]