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Today's Reminder

June 25, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 15, 1442

Living The Quran

Al-Qasas (The Story)
Chapter 28: Verse 50 (partial)

Capriciousness
"And who is further astray than one who follows his own whim without guidance from God?"

Physical action depends on one's capacity. When the desire and repugnance of the heart are complete and perfect, and the creature acts upon them to the best of his ability, he receives the reward due to one who performs perfectly. For there are some whose love, hatred, desire and repugnance are purely personal feelings, not in accordance with the love and hatred of God and His Messenger.

The basis of capriciousness is selfish love and hate. This in itself is not blameworthy, since it is beyond our control. It is blameworthy to act upon it. Love and hate lead to the acquiring of tastes when their objects are present, to passion, desire and so on. To follow these without the sanction of God and His Messenger is to follow one's whim without guidance from God. Worse, things may escalate to the point where one makes a god of one's whim. Capriciousness in religious matters is more serious than following the whims of the flesh, since the former is the condition of the unbelievers.

This is why those who depart from the requirements of the Quran and Sunnah - whether scholars or ordinary people - are classed as People of Caprice, just as they were named by the early believers. For whoever does not follow knowledge follows his own whim. Religious knowledge is possible only through God's guidance.

Compiled From:
"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiya, pp. 83-85

From Issue: 531 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Intention

Causes are not made victorious through the efforts of fame seekers, but through the efforts of those who were described in a hadith to be "righteous, pious and quiet ... those who if they are present are not known and if absent, not missed, and those whose hearts are the lamps of guidance." [Al-Hakim]

Allah the Almighty does not accept a deed with shared objective, nor a heart with shared beliefs. We might say that we seek to establish an Islamic community, and Islamic State or an Islamic ruling system or that we work for restoring the integrated Islamic way of life, or any other short or long term objective, but our goal in all this should be to gain the Pleasure of Allah so that He may count us among His righteous servants.

Compiled From:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, p. 103

From Issue: 764 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Personal Accountability

One reason why taking responsibility and holding ourselvs accountable is challenging is that we live in an increasingly victimized society. To practice accountability is essentially a 180-degree turn from this basic, overwhelming cultural phenomenon of victimization. As the Russian proverb says, "Success has many fathers while failure is an orphan."

On the other hand, this is also a reason why taking responsibility is so powerful in building trust. While victimization creates dependency and distrust, accountability creates independence and trust. And the geometric effect is powerful. When people - particularly leaders - hold themselves accountable, it encourages others to do the same. When a leader says, "I could have done that better - and I should have!" it encourages others to respond, "Well, no, I was really the one who should have noticed that. I could have supported you more."

This is also true in a marriage or a family. When someone says, "I'm sorry I spent that money impulsively. That wasn't in harmony with our agreement," or "I shouldn't have yelled at you. That didn't show respect," or, on the other hand, "I committed to you that I'd be there, and I was," that acknowledgement of accountability encourages others to be accountable for their own behaviour. It also creates an environment of openness and trust.

Compiled From:
"The Speed of Trust" - Stephen M. R. Covey, p. 203

From Issue: 757 [Read original issue]