June 25, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 15, 1442
Al-Naba (The Tiding) Chapter 78: Verses 21-23
The word mirsad (ambush) denotes a spot which is especially chosen to entrap game; a spot where it is caught unawares. Hell is described as an ambush because God's rebels, being unaware, are fearless of it. As a result, they strut about, considering the world to be simply a den for their own self-indulgence, altogether incognizant of the possibility of being caught and punished. Thus Hell, being hidden from their eyes, is like an ambush wherein they are likely to be entrapped.
The word ahqab (ages) used here denotes long periods of time, each period following the other in succession. Some misconstrue this word in the sense that while life in Paradise will be eternal, it will not be so in Hell. For these periods, no matter how long they are, will come to an end at some point. It is both unfair and reprehensible that a Quranic verse be interpreted in a sense that runs contrary to the thrust of other Quranic verses. On as many as 34 occasions, the Quran specifies that the inmates of Hell will remain there for ever. In three instances, the point is further reinforced, adding that it will be their eternal abode. By the same token, the pious will have Paradise as their eternal abode.
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Part 30, pp. 10, 11
From Issue: 702 [Read original issue]
Creation is filled with signs that tell of the goodness and generosity of its Creator, and it is hence a sacred space: respecting it is akin to charity (sadaqah) or invocation. One day, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, passed Sad ibn Abi Waqqas, who was performing his ritual ablutions, the Prophet said to him: "Why such waste, O Sad?" "Is there waste even when performing ablutions?" Sad asked. And the Prophet answered: "Yes, even when using the water of a running stream." [Ahmad, Ibn Majah]
Water is essential element in all the teachings and ritual practices, for it represents the purification of body and heart, of physical outwardness as well as spiritual inwardness. But the Prophet taught Sad and his other Companions never to consider water, or any other element of nature, as a simple means towards their spiritual edification; on the contrary, respecting nature and using it moderately was already, in itself, a spiritual exercise and elevation, a goal in their quest for the Creator.
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Tariq Ramadan, p. 202
From Issue: 534 [Read original issue]
Compassion is the essence of self-esteem. When you have compassion for yourself, you understand and accept yourself the way you are. You tend to see yourself as basically good. If you make a mistake, you forgive yourself. You have reasonable expectations of yourself. You set attainable goals.
Compassion is a skill. That means you can improve it if you already have it, or you can acquire it if you don't. The next time you hear your inner critic chastising you about something you did or did not do, counter this negativity by telling yourself something like "I'm doing the best I can," or "Given my circumstances, this is all I am capable of at this time." Learning to be compassionate toward yourself will also help you make contact with your sense of self-worth.
"Healing Your Emotional Self" - Beverly Engel, p. 134
From Issue: 693 [Read original issue]