Successful Community, The Best of Men, Comprehending Allah's Names
Issue 550 » October 9, 2009 - Shawwal 20, 1430
Al-Furqan (The Criterion) Sura 25: Verse 20 (partial)
If wealth and property are amassed as a result of the capabilities and striving of the people, then some people amass lot of riches and some people get only the bare necessities. And this cannot be objected to. The question regarding misfortune and ungratefulness arise when these people live a life away from the society, when they are concerned only with meeting their own personal needs and for providing for their own pleasures and luxuries, when Allah has caused the people to live together, and has declared this togetherness of theirs, instead of differences in their circumstances, a severe trial for them. This provides a test for their faith and an opportunity for proving their worth.
A community can be successful in this field of life only when the relationship among its individuals is strong and firm. No individual of the community should be so deprived that he may be facing a life of starvation and no wealthy man of the community should be so greedy that he may be spending his wealth only for his own personal pleasures and luxuries.
To achieve this high objectives Islam has framed very strong laws. Peoples' hearts have been prepared to indulge in righteous and virtuous deeds, and they have been tempted to co-operate with each other, help each other and act righteously. It explained to them that the benefit of spending in the cause of Allah is not only derived by the poor and needy persons but the givers of charity also achieve the invaluable riches of peace and satisfaction; their hearts are protected from the earthquakes of rancour and jealousy, and they are saved from the adverse consequences of selfishness and narrow- mindedness.
"Muslims Character" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali
The Best of Men
Violence against women is not an Islamic tradition. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) instructed Muslims regarding women, "I command you to be kind to women." He said also, "The best of you is the best to his family (wife)". The Quran urges husbands to be kind and considerate to their wives, even if a wife falls out of favour with her husband or disinclination for her arises within him. It also outlawed the pre-Islamic practice of inheriting women as part of the estate of the deceased.
Prophet Muhammad said, "Do not beat the female servants of Allah;" "Some (women) visited my family complaining about their husbands (beating them). These (husbands) are not the best of you" and "[is it not a shame that] one of you beats his wife like [an unscrupulous person] beats a slave and maybe sleeps with her at the end of the day." (Riyadh Al-Saliheeen, p137-140). In another Hadith the Prophet (pbuh) said, "...How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?..."(Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 8, hadith 68, p.42-43).
Domestic violence is preventable by building our Iman (faith), remembering and implementing the commands of Allah and the example of His Prophet. Marriage preparation education and premarital counselling can help future spouses learn skills that will assist them in developing a healthy, violence-free family life.
Anger management, communication skills, stress management, decision making and problem solving skills are also very important life skills that can help to prevent domestic violence.
"Domestic violence hurts Muslims too: Stop the hurt now"- Aneesah NadirAl-"Arifi, pp. 440, 441
Comprehending Allah's Names
When we beseech Allah by His names, we should do so with dignity, composure, and understanding.
There are two ways that we call upon Allah. The first is to beseech him with our petitions, to entreat him with the concerns we have about our worldly lives and our hopes for the Hereafter. This is what we usually understand by supplication (dua).
The second way we call upon Allah is through our devotions. We do so by invoking His names in our remembrances, by meditating upon the meanings and significance of those names. We do so by praising Him and glorifying Him as His noble attributes warrant through devotion in our prayers, our remembrances, and in our God-consciousness.
Ibn al-Qayyim observes: "Allah is Knowing and He loves those who have knowledge. He is Beautiful and He loves beauty. He is Merciful, and He loves those who show mercy. He is Kind and He loves those who show kindness to others."
When we take to ourselves something of the light of Allah's beautiful names by learning what they mean and developing ourselves and our temperaments accordingly, then we have truly comprehended His names.
It is as Ibn al-Qayyim explains, that Allah is Oft-Pardoning and He loves to pardon. Therefore, He rewards and blesses those of us who pardon their fellow human beings. He is Generous and loves for us to be generous as well. He is the Concealer of Faults, and He loves it for us to conceal the faults of those who might have wronged us. He is Merciful, and He shows His mercy especially to those of us who are merciful to others.
One way that we call upon Allah's names through our devotions is by reading the Quran. This is because the Quran is full of the mention of His names. We also do so when we call up their meanings in our minds so that they become a constant part of our lives. In this way, we become more fully reliant upon Allah, more penitent, more mindful of our conduct, and stronger in faith. These are all ways in which we bring Allah's names to full realization in our lives.
"Calling Upon Allah with Our Words & Deeds" - Salman al-Oadah