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Today's Reminder

June 25, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 15, 1442

Living The Quran

Relying on God
Al-Kahf (The Cave) - Chapter 18: Verses 23 - 24 (partial)

"Never say about anything, 'I shall do this tomorrow,' without adding, 'if God so wills.'"

It is impossible for man to know what may happen in the future. Hence, he should not give any definitive judgement of it.

Every action a human being does or omits to do, indeed every breath a human being takes, is subject to God's will. The curtains hiding the future are stretched in full so as to hide everything beyond the present moment. Our eyes cannot discern what is behind that curtain, and our minds are finite, no matter how advanced our knowledge may be. Hence a human being must never say that he is definitely doing something tomorrow unless he attaches his intention to God's will. This is because tomorrow belongs to the realm that lies beyond the reach of human perception. As such, only God knows it. Hence, we do not make any assertion about it.

This does not mean that man should be fatalistic, giving no thought to the future and making no plans for it. He should not live for the present moment, cutting himself off from his past and future. No, this is not what the directive implies. Rather, what is implied is that every human being must make an allowance for what God may will in his case. It may well be that God may decide something different to what he intends. Should God help him put into effect what he intends, then all well and good. But if God's will moves in a different direction, he should not despair or be sad. All matters belong to God at the beginning and at the end.

What this means in practice is that every person should think and plan as they wish, but they must always remember to rely on God's help and guidance. This should not lead to laziness and disinterestedness. On the contrary, it should give us more strength, confidence, reassurance and resolve. We submit to God's will because it is beyond our knowledge until God makes it known.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 11, pp. 251, 252

From Issue: 808 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Double Standard

In the Shariah of Islam the haram has universal applicability; here there is no such thing as that which is prohibited to a non-Arab but permitted to an Arab, nor anything which is restricted to a Black but allowed to a White. For in Islam there are no privileged classes or individuals who, in the name of religion, can do whatever they please according to their whims. Muslims do not have any privilege of making something haram for others while it is lawful for themselves; this cannot be, for truly Allah is the Lord of all, and the Shariah of Islam is the guide for all. Whatever Allah has legislated through His Shariah is lawful for all human beings and whatever He has prohibited is prohibited to all human beings until the Day of Resurrection.

As an example, stealing is equally haram for the Muslim and the non-Muslim; the punishment for it is the same, regardless of the family or the origin of the thief. The Prophet (peace be on him) firmly enforced this rule, proclaiming, "By Allah, if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off." (Reported by al-Bukhari)

The tendency to use a double standard, one for one's "brother" and another for a "foreigner" or outsider, is a characteristic of primitive ethics. It can never be ascribed to a divinely revealed religion, for high morality — that is, true morality — is distinguishable by its universality and comprehensiveness and by its lack of a double standard. The distinction between us and primitive peoples is not in the existence or absence of a moral code but in the enlargement of the area of its application.

Compiled From:
"The Lawful and The Prohibited in Islam" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 29, 30

From Issue: 883 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Awareness

Surrender (Islam) is a designation attained by all who testify with their tongues that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. It pertains to this worldly life, and to ruling and interactions which have to do with its adherent’s connection to the rest of the Muslims: he may marry from them, inherit from them, be prayed over and buried in their graveyards, and so on the for the rest of the outward laws. It also requires adherence to the other pillars: prayer, the alms, fasting, and the pilgrimage.

But the reality of this, and its fruits in the heart and in the Hereafter, depend on this adherence to the pillars being sincerely devoted to God Almighty, without any ostentation, hypocrisy, pretention, self-satisfaction or arrogance. This can only be attained when the Muslim adheres to the pillars of Islam whilst being in a state of awareness of God Almighty with love, desire, fear and hope. This is the meaning of excellence (Ihsan).

Faith (Iman) is belief; and this belief might be knowledge, witnessing, or true certainty. Certainty has three degrees and levels: the knowledge of certainty (`ilm al-yaqin), the vision of certainty (`ayn al-yaqin) and the truth of certainty (haqq al-yaqin). Yet faith on the level of the knowledge of certainty is itself dependable and acceptable; for knowledge pertains to the mind’s perception, and its certainty is attained by the heart’s assurance and firm belief.

To have knowledge of the articles of faith, and for the mind to accept them, is the lowest level of faith, and is enough to make the morally responsible person a believer (mumin); yet faith at this level is exposed to disturbances, and could be beset by the gales of doubt, disturbed by the winds of uncertainty, or uprooted by the hurricanes of trial and misfortune. To ascend, however, to a higher level than the knowledge of certainty makes faith firm and stable so that it is impervious to backsliding. This can only be attained through a feeling of awareness of God’s signs which are manifest in existence; and one of the clearest of these signs are those that exist in the soul of man. It can also be through awareness of how God is watching over the believer’s heart. This is the level of excellence, which is to worship God as though you see Him; for if you see him not, He assuredly sees you. Assuredness is a state of the heart which has to do with certainty and awareness of God’s presence. Consequently, when excellence is actualized it brings perfection to the realm of action. In this way, the connection between surrender, faith and excellence can be clearly seen.

Compiled From:
"The Concept of Faith in Islam" - Habib Ali al-Jifri, pp. 23-25

From Issue: 873 [Read original issue]