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Today's Reminder

July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443

Living The Quran

More Than An Act
Surah Baqarah (The Cow) Chapter 2: Verse 37

"Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful."

Quranic concept of Taubah is essentially an intimate, personal act. Indeed, it is more than an act. It reflects a moment of decision when one makes up one's mind to break with a course of action and simultaneously adopt another course.

Taubah is not merely the negation of the past; it is essentially a contract with the future. Taubah is personal in that no one else needs to know about it. You do not have to go into a confessional to make a clean breast of all your sins, nor do you have to appear in sack cloth and ashes to convince any authority that you have truly turned penitent. While punishment relates to the act of wrong and satisfies the social conscience, taubah deals with the wrongness of the act and satisfies the conscience of the individual concerned. Taubah is the result of man's understanding of the wrongness of an act and his determination not to repeat the act. Once he has come to this decision he turns to God for mercy and forgiveness.

This process of repentance and forgiveness started with Adam. When Adam violated the covenant he found himself exposed. He desperately tried to cover himself but was transfixed as it were, by a cosmic eye. In mute helplessness he turned to God for mercy.

Compiled From:
"Translations from The Quran" - Altaf Gauhar, pp, 153, 154

From Issue: 725 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Flat Belly

The vast majority of diseases are related to our diet and the Islamic lifestyle as prescribed by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is an ideal course of prevention for many diseases, including those of the heart. The Prophet disliked excessive eating. He lived with a flat belly and he died with a flat belly. He is reported to have said:

"No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few morsels are enough for the son of Adam (human being) to keep his back upright. But if he must eat more, then he should fill one-third of his stomach with food, one-third with drink and leave one third-empty for the air (for easy breathing)." [Al-Tirmidhi]

It is important to exercise moderation in our eating habits. Limiting the consumption of food results in a tender heart, a strong intellect, a humble self and it weakens desires. Excessive eating brings about the opposite of these praiseworthy qualities.

Two of the most important aspects of Islam are Salah and Dhikr and these are equally important as part of a healthy lifestyle as the Prophet advised:

"Dissolve and digest your food through the process of remembrance of Allah and offering of prayers." [Abu Nuaym]

It is for this reason that the five obligatory prayers are arranged as they are. Traditionally, the Dhuhr and Isha prayers are offered after a meal and these are longer, allowing us to gently exercise the body and prevent us from sleeping immediately after meals. The wisdom behind this was explained by the Prophet:

"Do not go to bed immediately after the meals; it will harden your heart. Avoid any hard or large quantum of exercise immediately after meals; it will also cause damage." [Abu Nuaym]

The quality of the food we eat affects both our physical and spiritual health. It is important to eat pure food that has been obtained using Halal income.

Part of the reason that the hearts of Muslims are destroyed is because we are no longer careful about choosing food that is pure. Instead of eating homemade food filled with barakah, we prefer fast food, which in the words of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, is "made with haste and waste, two attributes of the devil."

It is important for us to be conscious of the purity of the food we are eating for the sake of the physical and spiritual health of our hearts.

Compiled From:
"The Intelligent Heart, the Pure Heart"- Gohar Mushtaq, pp. 40-42

From Issue: 817 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Remembrance

Remembrance gathers what has become dispersed, disperses what has become gathered, makes near what has grown remote and removes what has grown near.

It gathers together what has become dispersed within the servant: his heart, will and intention. For these to be separated, dispersed and dissipated is the worst of all torments, while in their union is happiness and life itself.

[Conversely], remembrance disperses that which has accumulated within the servant. Cares and woes, sadness and disappointment at not getting his share or at not getting what he seeks; greater and lesser sins and burdens all fall away, crumble and vanish.

Bringing nearer what is remote refers to the next world, which both the Devil and illusions render seemingly distant. For the servant who keeps to remembrance, it is as if he enters the next world and dwells there. When the next world is close to his heart, this one will grow distant; whenever that level is nearer to him, this one withdraws. And there is no way to this except through constancy in remembrance. And God is our helper.

Compiled From:
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, pp. 81, 82

From Issue: 545 [Read original issue]