Saturday, March 13, 2004

Living the Quran

Living the Quran
Ash-Shura (The Consultation)
Chapter 42: Verse 36

True Reliance
"Whatever ye are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with God is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord”

Here, trust (tawakkul) in Allah has been regarded as an inevitable demand of the faith and a necessary characteristic for success in Hereafter. Tawakkul means:

1. That man should have full confidence in the guidance of Allah, and should understand that the knowledge of the truth, the principles of morality, the bounds of the lawful and the unlawful, and the rules and regulations of passing life in the world, that Allah had enjoined, are based on the truth and in following them alone lies man's good and well being.

2. That man should not place reliance on his own powers and abilities, means and resources, plans and schemes and the help of others than Allah, but he should keep deeply impressed in his mind the fact that his success in everything, here and the Hereafter, actually depends on the help and succour of Allah, and that he can become worthy of Allah's help and succour only if he works with the intention of winning His approval, within the bounds prescribed by Him.

3. That man should have complete faith in the promises that Allah has made with those who would adopt the way of faith and righteousness and work in the cause of the truth instead of falsehood, and having faith in the same promises would discard all those benefits, gains and pleasures that may seem to accrue from following the way of falsehood, and endure all those losses, hardships and deprivations that may become his lot on account of following the truth steadfastly.

From this explanation of the meaning of tawakkul it becomes obvious how deeply it is related with the faith, and why those wonderful results that have been promised to the believers who practice tawakkul cannot be obtained from the mere empty affirmation of the faith.

"The Meaning of the Quran" - By Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 4, p. 547

Do not be a mimicker

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"And let no one among you be an imitator of others."

Do not transform yourself into someone who you are not: do not mimic others. Many are those that feign to forget their own voices, movements, idiosyncrasies, and habits, in order to imitate others in their ways. Among the consequences of such behaviour are artificiality, unhappiness, and a destruction of one's own entity.

From Adam to the last born baby, no two people are exactly the same in appearance. Why then should they be the same in mannerisms and tastes?

You are unique - none had been like you in the past and none shall be like you in the future. You are totally different from X and Y, so do not force upon yourself the blind following and imitation of others.

Be as you were created and do not change your voice or modify your walk. Cultivate your personality by following what is found in revelation, but do not render your existence void by imitating others and depriving yourself of your individuality.

In terms of characteristics, people are like the world of trees and plants: sweet and sour, tall and short, and so on. Your beauty and value is in preserving your natural state. Our varied colours, languages, talents, and abilities are signs from our Creator, the Almighty, All-Glorious, so do not disbelieve in them.

"Don't Be Sad" - By Aidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni, pp. 39-40

The Cycle of History

'Islam is going into the books and the Muslims into their graves,' said Hasan al Basri some thirteen centuries ago - and yet since then the world has witnessed many flowerings of Islam in many different times and places, and although today the practice of an unadulterated Islam by a community of Muslims, in the same manner as the first community which formed around the Prophet Muhammad in Madina al-Munawwarra some fourteen centuries ago, appears to have all but disappeared off the face of the earth, yet it still survives and flowers in its season. Winter can only be followed by summer, and contraction can only be followed by expansion. And so today it would appear that an increasing number of people are accepting Islam, just as yesterday it seemed that an increasing number of people were abandoning it. It must always be remembered that there is no blame in this ever-changing process. It is Allah Who decrees what happens, not people.

"Making History" - by Ahmad Thomson, p. 14


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