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Worship Forever, Encourage, Eradicate Domestice Violence

Issue 663 » December 9, 2011 - Muharram 14, 1433

Living The Quran

Worship Forever
Al Hijr (The Rocky Tract) - Chapter 15: Verse 99

"And worship your Lord until there comes unto you [the hour that is] certain."

The correct concept of worship or Ibadah is very comprehensive. Ibadah is, as ibn Taimiyyah stated, "a noun comprising every word or deed, internal or manifest, that Allah loves and approves. This includes prayer, zakat, fasting, pilgrimage, speaking the truth, fulfilling trusts, doing good to parents and relatives, keeping promises, enjoining good, forbidding evil, jihad, good behaviour towards neighbours, orphans, the poor, travelers, animals, remembering God and reading the Quran and so on." Al-yaqeen or "the certain thing" in this verse is a reference to death.

It is not uncommon to find people engaged in what they call "purification of the soul," while they do not pray the five daily prayers, fast the month of Ramadan and so forth.

One argument that is heard to justify the above way of living is that the ritual acts of worship, such as prayers, fasting and so forth, are only meant to help in purifying one's soul. Once one has actually purified one's soul, he is no longer in need of performing those types of acts. In other words, those acts are simply for some type of common folk who have not reached the enlightened and purified stage of those who do not pray or fast.

This is a fallacious argument for many reasons. First, those ritual acts of worship are not simply means to achieve a better end but they are also goals in and of themselves. In other words, in themselves they are acts of worship and good deeds that every human must perform. Second, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the most noble of all humans and he never stopped performing those ritual acts nor did he ever hint that he or anyone else would ever be excused from performing them. In fact, in this verse Allah reminds him that worship continues till death.

Third, the soul passes through different stages and is always volatile. A person's faith is susceptible to increasing or decreasing. There is no evidence that there is a certain plateau that one may reach that ensures that he will never go back again to a lower level. There is also no evidence that there is a certain plateau beyond which one cannot improve himself further. Hence, the soul is always and forever in need of the acts of worship and other facets that keep it purified and along the Straight Path or that move it closer to Allah and His pleasure.

Compiled From:
"Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 120-124

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Encourage

Bukhari and Muslim report from Ibn Masud that God's Messenger said: "A man (or woman) is with him (her) whom he (she) loves." This hadith is a source of hope and consolation for those unable to adhere completely to the Divine Commandments. Those who love the Prophets and pious people will be in their company in the Hereafter. Therefore, whoever desires this should love them sincerely and follow them as best as they can. Those who love the enemies of God will be with them in Hell.

Nuayman, a Companion, could not stop drinking alcohol. He was punished several times. Whet yet another Companion reproached him, God's Messenger warned that Companion: "Don't help Satan against your brother! I swear by God that he loves God and His Messenger." [Bukhari] Thus, those who are trying their best to reform themselves, as long as they continue to perform their obligatory duties and try to refrain from major sins, should be encouraged, not reprimanded. This is a prerequisite of their love for God and His Messenger.

Compiled From:
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 101. 102

Blindspot!

Call to Eradicate Domestic Violence

As Muslims, we base our ethics and behaviour on the teachings of the Quran and the authenticated example of the Prophet Muhammad, who never hit a woman and taught the men that “the best amongst you is he who treats women the best”. The Quran unequivocally emphasizes the sanctity of all life, forbids all forms of coercion in matters of religion, and reminds us all that each of us is accountable for our actions directly to God, the only Judge.

There is no room within these teachings for any person, by virtue of gender or position within the family, to seize control over the life and bodily security of another. Domestic violence and, in the extreme, practices such as killing to “restore family honour” violate clear and non-negotiable Islamic principles.

Let us declare our commitment to intensify our efforts to eradicate domestic violence from our communities through:

  1. Working within our community and with other communities to raise awareness of harmful (and sometimes lethal) attitudes that lead to this violence.

  2. Working within our communities to raise awareness about the serious psychological, judicial, social and religious consequences of such practices, through Friday sermons, public lectures, workshops, and other means.

  3. Morally opposing the use of the word “honour” when describing such killings to ensure no positive connotation is implied directly or indirectly in connection to such heinous crimes.

  4. Working with community leaders and Imams in order to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary resources and training so that they can offer mediation, conflict resolution, and domestic violence counselling in a manner that reflects professional standards, contemporary research, and religious scholarship.

  5. Educating parents and youth about existing resources that can help them deal with intergenerational conflicts and misogynist leanings far before it gets to the point of violent confrontation.

  6. Teaching parents and youth how to deal with intergenerational conflicts and misogynist leanings.

Compiled From:
"Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence"