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Today's Reminder

July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443

Living The Quran

Fine Address
Al-Zumar (The Throngs) Sura 39: Verse 53

"Say: [Thus speaks God]: You servants of Mine who have transgressed against their own souls! Do not despair of God's mercy: God forgives all sins; He alone is Much-Forgiving, Merciful."

It is divine mercy that will erase every transgression, whatever it happens to be. It is an invitation to all those who have gone far into error and led a life that has taken them far astray, telling them hope still remains available and God's mercy and forgiveness are not far from them. God is most merciful to His servants. He knows their weaknesses and the factors that work on them, whether these are within themselves or in society. He is aware that Satan sets traps for them at every corner, using a great variety of forces, never tiring of his attempt to seduce them. Moreover, God knows that man can easily fall when he lets his bond to the truth weaken, and that his desires and aspirations can easily disturb his equilibrium, pulling him this way or that, leading him into error.

As God knows all this about man, He provides him with ample help, opening the gates of His mercy. He does not take him to task for his sin until He has facilitated for him all the ways and means to rectify his error and mend his ways. Nevertheless, when man goes deep into sin, thinking that he is totally rejected by God and that all is lost, he hears at this point of utter despair a fine address expressing the unlimited mercy available to him

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 14, pp. 359, 360

From Issue: 958 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Among People

The Prophet, peace be upon him, never regarded himself as greater than anybody else. Only his radiant face and attractive person distinguished him from his Companions. He lived and dressed like the poorest people and sat and ate with them, just as he did with slaves and servants. Once a woman saw him eating and remarked: "He eats like a slave." The Messenger replied: "Could there be a better slave than me? I am a slave of God." [Haythami]

One time when he was serving his friends, a bedouin came in and shouted: "Who is the master of this people?" The Messenger answered in such a way that he introduced himself while expressing a substantial principle of Islamic leadership and public administration: "The people's master is the one who serves them." Ali says that among people the Messenger was one of them. When he and Abu Bakr reached Quba while emigrating to Madina, some Madinese who did not know what the Prophet looked like tried to kiss Abu Bakr's hands. The only external sign distinguishing one man from the other was that Abu Bakr seemed older than the Messenger. [Ibn Hisham]

Compiled From:
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, p. 298

From Issue: 634 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Beyond Headlines

When you see violence in other parts of the world portrayed on the evening news, do you look at the rage and hatred in people's faces, or do you ask yourself about the distress that has inspired this anger? Make a habit of looking behind the headlines to the ordinary people who are affected by a crisis. Remember that they did not choose to be born into that part of the world. Like you, they simply found themselves in a particular situation and may have been forced to conduct their lives in a context of violence, deprivation, and despair.

We know from our own experience that deeds have long-term consequences. We are all affected, consciously and unconsciously, by the unkindness, neglect, contempt, and violence we have endured in the past. This is also true of whole nations: persecution, chronic warfare, bad governance, exploitation, marginalization, occupation, humiliation, enslavement, exile, impoverishment, and defamation all leave psychic scars that persist long after the event. They affect the way the new generation is brought up and can infiltrate the religious, intellectual, ethical, and social development of a country. People who have been taught to despise themselves cannot easily respect others. Those who have been brutalized by hatred, persecution, or oppression cannot cultivate the trust that makes it possible to reach out to others. We should ask whether our own nation has contributed to the problems of a particular region and realize that, in our global world, if we ignore the pain of a people, it is likely that at some point this negligence will rebound on us.

Compiled From:
"Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life" - Karen Armstrong, pp. 150, 151

From Issue: 769 [Read original issue]