God's Will, Worldly Affairs, Islamic Calendar
Issue 609 » November 26, 2010 - Dhul-Hijja 20, 1431
Al-Fatir (The Creator) Chapter 35: Verse 8 (partial)
"God leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills."
God has two kinds of Will. One is His (pre-eternal) Decree concerning the creation, including responsible, conscious beings. This Will, called Mashiah, is absolute with regard to things and unconscious beings, while it takes into consideration the (future) will of responsible, conscious beings. That is, God knows beforehand in what way those beings will use their free will and decrees accordingly. God's other Will (iradah) entails what He demands from His servants and denotes those things with which He is pleased.
In this verse God leads astray whom He wills means that He lets go astray those who choose to follow Satan and the promptings of their carnal soul, with the result that they follow their fancies and personal ideas and commit evil deeds that, though not based on true knowledge, seem just to them. As for, He guides whom He wills, this denotes those who choose to resist the temptations of Satan and their carnal soul, and instead follow the guidance that God sends through His Messengers, and they see as good whatever God decrees as so.
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, p. 896
"You know better the affairs of your worldly life." [Muslim]
The above hadith is one on which some people base their evasion of the legal injunctions in the spheres of economics, civic and political duties, and the like, because these matters - so they claim - are among worldly concerns, and we know them better, and the Messenger, peace be upon him, entrusted them to us! But is this really what the noble hadith intends?
By no means. Among the purposes with which God sent His messengers is that they should stipulate for the people the principles of justice, the balanced norms of equity, and the regulations of the rights and duties in their worldly life, so that their standards should not clash, nor their ways differ. [Quran, Al-Haidid, 57:25]
So texts of the Book and the Sunnah have come which order and regulate everyday concerns - selling and buying, partnership and mortgaging, leasing and lending, and other matters - to the extent that the longest verse in the Book of God was sent down on the arrangement of a matter that is slight among the worldly matters, namely the writing down of debts. [Quran, Al-Baqarah, 2:282]
This hadith is interpreted by the occasion that prompted it, namely the incident of the pollination of date-palms. The Prophet's indication to the people about this was his conjecture, for he was not an agriculturist, he had grown up in a valley not endowed with crops. But the Ansar supposed his opinion to be by way of a revealed or religious command, and so they abandoned pollination. Its effect was bad for their yield.
"Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 126, 127
- Umar ibn al-Khattab established the Islamic Calendar uniting the different dating methods of his time by counting back to the year of the Hijrah (migration to Madina) to determine when to start.
- 16 July, 622 CE = 1 Muharram, 1 AH
- Islamic Calendar begins with sacrifice (hijrah of the Prophet and the Muslims to Madina) and ends with sacrifice (hajj, hijrah of Hajira).
- Not from someone’s birthday, or some king or ruler’s orders, but from the foundation of the Islamic community - on brotherhood and unity we begin and end.
- Lunar: Based upon the moon - accurate, close, visible, reminder of the beauty, order, submission of Allah’s creation but also its imperfection, its rise and fall, it needs the sun to shine. We interact with the signs of Allah when we look for the new moon every month, it is not passive time-keeping and time-passing, it’s natural. Animals, sea-creatures, oceans, plants, even human cycles are lunar timed.
- We rotate through the seasons - dynamic, perpetual. Summer is not just in June. Eid is not just in winter. A nation of all times and all seasons, we remain steadfast no matter what the season.
- Note the meaning of the names of the months:
- Muharram ["Forbidden" - it is one of the four months during which time it is forbidden to wage war or fight]
- Safar ["Empty" or "Yellow"]
- Rabi al-Awwal ["First spring"]
- Rabi al-Thani ["Second spring"]
- Jumada al-Awwal ["First freezing"]
- Jumada al-Thani ["Second freezing"]
- Rajab ["To respect" - this is another holy month when
fighting is prohibited]
- Shaban ["To spread and distribute"]
- Ramadan ["Parched thirst" - this is the month of Islamic daytime fasting]
- Shawwal ["To be light and vigorous"]
- Dhul-Qida ["The month of rest" - another month when no warfare or fighting is allowed]
- Dhul-Hijja ["The month of Hajj" - this is the month of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, again when no warfare or fighting is allowed]
- Nadwi: "The Islamic Era did not start with the victories of Islamic wars, nor with the birth or death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), nor with the Revelation itself. It starts with Hijrah, or the sacrifice for the cause of Truth and for the preservation of the Revelation. It was a divinely inspired selection. God wanted to teach man that struggle between Truth and Evil is eternal. The Islamic year reminds Muslims every year not of the pomp and glory of Islam but of its sacrifice and prepares them to do the same."
- We look at history through the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the greatest life ever lived, everything is either before or after Hijrah. “Allah has renewed time”, it’s a universal new beginning in the history of man and civilization with the Hijrah of the Prophet and our forerunners at its centre piece.
"Making Resolutions That Matter" - YoungMuslims.ca