Sunday, January 11, 2004

Living the Qur'an

Al-Araf (The Heights)
Chapter 7: Verse 189

All Created From One Soul
"It is He who has created you all from a single soul, and out of it brought into being its mate, so that he might incline with love towards her.”

It is thus a single soul and a single nature, although it has different functions for the male and the female. These differences also serve as a means to make a man incline with love towards his wife and find comfort with her. This is the Islamic outlook on the nature of man and the role of marriage. It is a complete, integrated and honest outlook stated by this religion over fourteen centuries ago when other religions that had deviated from the right path used to consider the woman as the root of human misery. She was looked on as a curse, an impurity and a tool for seduction that man should guard against as much as he could.

The original purpose of the meeting of a human couple is to provide love, comfort, and a settled happy life, which provides an ideal setting for the rearing of young children. It is in such a happy and loving environment that a new human generation is prepared to take over the task of promoting and adding to human civilization. The meeting of a human couple is not meant only to satisfy a fleeting desire or give a temporary pleasure. Nor is it made the basis of a quarrel, or a stage for a conflict between rules and specializations, or for a duplication of such rules and specializations. Ignorant communities, past and contemporary, have often fallen into such traps.

Source:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - By Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 6, p. 297

go to the top ^ Understanding the Prophet's Life
Husn al-Khulq

"The best part of faith is to possess beautiful manners." [Al-Tabrizi, Mishkat, vol. 1, hadith no. 46]

"I have been sent in order to perfect moral virtues." [Al-Tabrizi, Mishkat, vol. 3, hadith no. 5097]

"The essence of virtue is manifested in good behaviour, whereas sinful conduct is that which makes you feel uncomfortable, and you yourself dislike others knowing about it." [Muslim, Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, p. 476, hadith no. 1794]

On of the major themes of Islam's teaching in the sphere of social behaviour is husn al-khulq, that is, pleasant behaviour and dignified social encounter. Husn al-Khulq is a comprehensive term that may be said to consist of three component parts relating firstly to thought and intention; secondly to speech and conduct; and thirdly to honouring certain individuals and personalities in particular.

It would appear that the personal judgement and conscience of the individual involved is the foremost indicator of husn al-khulq. Thus it is implied that if one feels unhappy about one's own conduct, one is likely to have behaved contrary to husn al-khulq.

Source:
"The Dignity of Man: An Islamic Perspective" - By Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 73, 74

go to the top ^ Blindspot
Reviewing the Past

It is necessary to study the events of the Past, to learn from the fate of its various nations, and to take heed of the events visited upon them by Allah in His Wisdom and Supreme Justice.

Yet another reason for looking into the Past is in order to benefit from the heritage that has been handed down to posterity by its ancestors: the heritage of knowledge, literature and the arts, from which we take what is suitable for our time and circumstances.

It is improper to reject and ignore that which is old on the simple pretext that it is old, as there are things for which old-age is a merit and distinction and which, by their very nature, are not open to regeneration. Does not the superiority of the Quran lie in the fact that it is the Word of Allah whose newness is ever so fresh, and does not wear out with the passage of Time and the centuries? Does not the superiority of the Kaba arise from the fact that it is the "Ancient House" to which pilgrimage has purposely been made annually over successive centuries? The Quran does not transform anew, nor does the Kaba, nor do facts and reality.

The advocates of reform overstated their case when they discarded all antiquity and welcomed every reform, despite the fact that there are old things which are most useful and new things which are extremely harmful.

Oldness and newness are relative terms. Many a time, a thing that may be old in the opinion of some people may be new to others; and many a time, a new thing in a given environment, may be old in another. Moreover, the new does not remain new and ageless forever; that which is old today was new yesterday, and that which is new today will become old tomorrow.

Source:
"Time In the Life of a Muslim" - by Yusuf Al-Qaradaawee, pp. 69-71

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