Posts Tagged ‘Believers’

Quran Reflections – Juz Nineteen‏

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Juz Nineteen


وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا. يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا. لَّقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا
And (be mindful of ) the Day the wrongdoer will bite his hands saying, “ Would that I had taken a path along with the Messenger! Oh, woe to me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for a friend! He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allāh) after it had come to me! Ah! Satan is but a traitor to man! (Al-Furqān 25:27-29).

This is direct reference to the case of ʿUqbah ibn Abu Muʿayṭ, who accepted Islam then turned back and even spat on the face of the Prophet ﷺ under the pressure of his friend Ubayy ibn Khalaf. Both of them reached an evil end.

But the wording is general and is a reminder that we should never accept as friends those people who may lead us away from the path of the Messenger ﷺ. If we do we’ll get nothing but regrets in the end. We should choose friends who will be a positive influence on us, whose friendship will make it easy for us to follow the path of piety and righteousness. A hadith makes it very clear: “Everyone is influenced by his friends, so watch out whom you are befriending.”

The Qur’ān and Us

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
And (on that Day) the Messenger will say: “O my Sustainer! Behold, (some of) my people have come to regard this Qur’ān as a thing to be shunned” (al-Furqān, 25:30)

The reference in my people (qawmī) is to the mushrikīn of Quraysh. But the general wording should give pause to the Muslims whose behavior fits the description. Today we have severed the link between the Qur’ān and our daily life. We do not read it, try to understand it, reflect on it, and make it the guiding light for the individual and collective affairs of our life as we ought to do. To the extent that we are deficient in these obligations, we are liable to be accused as mentioned here. May Allāh protect us from the Qur’ān and the Prophet ﷺ becoming our accusers.

Portrait of Believers

This sūrah ends with another snapshot of the character of believers. As mentioned  in  the  reflections on  Sūrah al- Mu’minūn, these should not be seen as so many disjointed commands, but as pointers to the desirable personality. These are the people who can affectionately be called the servants of the Most Merciful.

It is also to be noted that the qualities are listed not as goals but accomplishments. These āyahs are not saying, “O believers do this.” Rather they are saying, “Believers are already doing this.” At other places in the Qur’ān believers have been praised for virtuous acts though they were not commanded to do them anywhere in the Qur’ān. Reflecting on this will enlighten us about both the role of the Prophet ﷺ and that of the Companions. The Companions  either learned these qualities directly from the Prophet ﷺ or as a result of Prophetic training, they developed that mindset that automatically led them to the praiseworthy course of action.

They walk humbly.
They avoid arguments with the ignorant people.
They spend the nights in worship of Allāh.
They follow the path of moderation in economic matters. They are neither spendthrift nor stingy.
They respect sanctity of life.
They do not commit fornication or adultery.
They do not bear false witness.
They do not turn deaf and dumb to the words of Allāh.
They seek and pray for raising a family based on piety and virtue.

Pharaoh and “Political Islam”

قَالَ لِلْمَلَإِ حَوْلَهُ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ. يُرِيدُ أَن يُخْرِجَكُم مِّنْ أَرْضِكُم بِسِحْرِهِ فَمَاذَا تَأْمُرُونَ
He (Pharaoh) said to the chiefs around him “This man is certainly an expert sorcerer”. He wants to expel you from your land with his sorcery. So what do you suggest?” (Ash-Shuʿarā’ 26:34-35)

The encounters of Prophet Mūsa with the Pharaoh are reported in several places in the Qur’ān including  here.  It is obvious that both Pharaoh and his expert  advisers were looking at the “problem” of Prophet Mūsa as a political problem. For them it was all about a power struggle. They painted Prophet Mūsa as the leader of a “political Islam” that threatened to drive them from power and fashioned their strategy and propaganda campaigns accordingly. In  sūrah Taha we see them calling Prophet Mūsa as a threat to their superior lifestyle. “Said they, ‘Certainly, these two are sorcerers who wish to drive you out from your land, and do away with your excellent way of life.’”

This preoccupation with political analysis became the big barrier that kept the Pharaoh and his advisers from seeing the Truth.


Quran Reflections – Juz Ten‏

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Juz Ten

Nurturing Īmān Before Issuing Commands

This juz begins with the following āyah:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ إِن كُنتُمْ آمَنتُم بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا يَوْمَ الْفُرْقَانِ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
And know that whatever spoils you receive, their one fifth is for Allāh and for His Messenger, and for kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you do believe in Allāh and in what We sent down upon Our Servant on the Decisive Day, the day when the two forces encountered each other. And Allāh is powerful over everything. (Al-Anfāl, 8:41)

This is an answer to the question which was mentioned right in the beginning of sūrah al-Anfāl itself, forty āyahs ago. That āyah said:

“They ask you about the spoils. Say, “The spoils are for Allāh and the Messenger.” So, fear Allāh, and set your relations right, and obey Allāh and His Messenger, if you are believers.”

The question was about the distribution of the spoils of war. In the tribal society the soldier who laid his hand on the spoil kept it. The rules were to be changed now. But it is extremely significant that after mentioning the question, the answer was delayed while mention was made of the special favors of Allāh that led to the decisive victory in the highly unequal battle of Badr for which Muslims were not even prepared. Mention was also made of the qualities of the true believers, whose hearts tremble upon the mention of the name of Allāh, whose īmān increases upon listening to the Words of Allāh, and who put their trust in Him.

The ruling regarding distribution was given after the minds had been prepared to accept it. Today a mention of rulings—in all areas of life—elicits  arguments instead of compliance because of the lack of this preparation. Unless Islamic education carefully nurtures īmān and creates strong conviction  about  Islamic beliefs and  teachings, simply imparting knowledge of commandments will not  change the behavior. Today the sources of this nurture are neither in the formal education nor in the environment created by the media. Parents and educators can continue to ignore this point only with disastrous results.

The Wealth of the Hypocrites

فَلَا تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُم بِهَا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَتَزْهَقَ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَهُمْ كَافِرُونَ
Let not, then, their wealth and their children excite your admiration. In fact, Allāh intends to punish them with these in this lowly life and that their souls should depart while they are disbelievers. (At- Tawbah, 9:85)

Sūrah Tawbah contains much commentary about the hypocrites. This āyah is also about them. The hypocrites were men of wealth and position. In fact their possessions, and their undue love for them, were the main cause of their hypocrisy. This āyah reminds us that the wealth of a hypocrite or non- believer should never engender envy in the believer. We must not be dazzled by the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Net worth estimates should not excite us. Accounts of the richest men should not attract us. If we realize the troubles in the Hereafter caused by disbelief, we’ll feel pity rather than envy.

Hypocrites versus Believers

الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتُ بَعْضُهُم مِّن بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمُنكَرِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَقْبِضُونَ أَيْدِيَهُمْ ۚ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
The hypocrites, males and females, are all alike. They enjoin vice and forbid virtue and withhold their hands (from doing good). They are oblivious of Allāh, and so He is oblivious of them. Surely, the hypocrites are the sinners. (At-Tawbah, 9:67)

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
The believers, male and female, are protectors one of another: they enjoin virtue and forbid vice and establish Ṣalāh and pay Zakāh and obey Allāh and His Messenger. On them will Allāh pour His mercy. Surely, Allāh is Powerful, Wise. (At-Tawbah, 9:71)

These two verses compare and contrast believers and hypocrites and invite deep reflection. More often than we realize we are engaged in persuading others or are being persuaded by them about big and small things in life. It is a very powerful force. That is why marketers yearn for word of mouth  publicity and  powerful media machines long for becoming the talk of the town.

Concerned with good as it is, Islam gives this tremendous social force a purpose. It must be used for promoting good, truth and justice and checking evil and injustice. That is the essence of amr bil maʿrūf wa nahi ʿanil munkar. And the Qur’ān declares it as the defining mission for this Ummah. A believer may commit sins, but he cannot be on the side of promoting them. In the Islamic society sin is a private weakness, not a public cause.

Today we seem to be doing exactly the opposite. There are Muslim women who have been pressured out of observing hijab by friends and relatives. Men and women are enticed into riba transactions by family and friends. All innovations (bidʿah) and  false social practices continue  under  social pressures. Bribery, backbiting, corruption, indecency, and dishonesty flourish under social approval. It is frightening to see how our real life matches the description given for the hypocrites. For we are warned that if we persuade others to commit a wrong we’ll add to our burden of sins by the same amount. It is one thing to commit a wrong out of weakness. It is totally different to advocate the wrong and willingly multiply our burden of sins.


The Mothers Of The Believers

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
The Mothers Of The Believers

The Mothers Of The Believers

English rendering of a classical work on the lives of the virtuous wives of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant hime peace). Also found in this book is the rights and dues afforded to the Mothers of the Believers, their rank, the homelife of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant hime peace), the Wisdom in his marrying multiple women, and the ruling of hijab. Mention is also made of other women related to the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant hime peace) such as his daughters, grand-daughters etc.

The author: He was Imam Hafiz Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, Shaykh of Hijaz. he was known as Muhibuddin and his kunyah was Abu Ja’far or Abu ‘Abbas. He was born in Makkah, however his ancestral land was Tabaristan, and therefore, his ascription was both Tabari and Makki. He followed the Shafi’i school. Born in 615 AH, he studied and grew up in Makkah to become a great and commanding scholar. He has many valuable books to his name. He raised aloft the standard of learning till his death in 694 AH. He died and was buried in Makkah.

# Cover: Hardback
# Author: Imam Mohibbuddin Tabari
# Publisher: Darul Isha’at
# Pages: 264
# Size: 23 x 15 cm

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