Monthly Archives: May 2008

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice”

By Sheikh Sâmî al-Mâjid, professor at al-Imâm Islamic University, Riyadh

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 135]

Human life on Earth will neither prosper nor enjoy stability unless it is established upon a foundation of justice. All of the sacred scriptures call people to being just. The crux of Islamic law is the realization of justice.

Allah says: “And the word of your Lord has been accomplished in truth and justice; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. ” [Sûrah al-An`âm: 115]

All people instinctively crave justice for themselves and despise being oppressed. In spite of this, far too many people treat other people unjustly. Too many people fail to be offended when injustice is perpetrated against their fellow human beings.

If Muslims really understood the how important justice is to the objectives and purposes of Islam, then the first quality of religiousness that would appear in a person who has renewed his commitment to his faith would be that the person would act justly. We would only see people who were just, and who were upright and in their dealings with others.

Likewise, if the Muslims realized how heinous a crime oppression is in Islam, they would be quicker to repent for oppression than many of the lesser sins that they shed tears about.

It is a great pity that many of the people who repent for their sins and renew their commitment to Islam change everything in their lives except for their conduct towards others. They are just as unfair, as cruel, and as inconsiderate of the rights of others as they ever were. This comes as no surprise, since their understanding of Islam is focused only on the rights their Lord has over them, and is blind to the rights of their fellow human beings. As a consequence, their “uprightness” is only seen in the practices concerning their direct relationship with their Lord.

The resurrection and judgment in the Hereafter is a manifestation of divine justice. Justice starts in the Hereafter when retaliation is formally carried out between all the creatures that have been gathered after the resurrection. Even the animals will be recompensed. The hornless sheep will get its redress from the horned sheep that abused it. This justice will be fully realized when all legally accountable beings sent forward to their final destinations.

Would it be just for our Lord to let the deeds of those who engage in making things better for others and the deeds of the cruel and iniquitous simply get absorbed into the Earth after the people who carried out those deeds are placed in their graves? Would it be right that those who were good and honest find the same end as those who were treacherous and oppressive? The dictates of justice demand that there will be a judgment in the Hereafter.

There is no meaning to honor without rights. A human being who lives without rights lives without dignity. Allah has honored Adam’s descendant, so He is not pleased when they are oppressed and their rights are violated.

Justice is the most essential of human rights from which all other rights are derived. Only within the context of justice can other human rights be upheld and guaranteed. All other rights are qualified in one way or another. They all have their limits, the frontiers beyond which the exercise of those rights transgresses upon the rights of others. For instance, people do not have unbridled freedom to do whatever they like.

This is not the case with justice. It is the only right that is absolute. There are no exceptions to it. It is the right of everybody to be treated justly and everyone’s duty to be just. Justice is the right of relatives and strangers. It is the right of the rich and the poor. It is the right of friend and foe. It is the right of people who share one’s religion and of those who disbelieve in it. It is everyone’s right in times of war just as much as it is in times of peace.

Allah says: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 8]

He says: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 135]

This verse shows us that we should not be unjust to anyone, rich or poor. We often think of this in the context of the poor, since they often suffer injustice at the hands of those who have wealth and power. However, the verse is also telling us that we should not allow our sympathies for a poor person cause us to be unjust to others for the poor person’s sake. This is why Allah says: “…for Allah can best protect both.”

Justice is not necessitated by love. We do not treat people justly because we like them or are partial to them. If that were the case, there would be no need to command justice, since people are naturally just to those they favor. We need to be commanded with justice when dealing with those we have no favorable feelings towards.

Justice is necessitated by nothing other than our shared humanity. We must be just towards all human beings, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Justice is the greatest means of ensuring human dignity and human rights. Justice is what people ask for and expect from each other, regardless of their affiliations, loyalties, affections, and prejudices.

Justice is not something that exists only in the courtroom. It is not something only judges decide. It is the way we as people should conduct ourselves with each other in the course of our daily lives. We should instill it in our children from the time they are small. It should be the first manner of conduct that our preachers and Islamic workers should call people towards. All people should be embraced by it without exception. No one is above justice. No one is excluded from it and no one is exempted from it.

[Islam Today]

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Courage

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
Mark Twain
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 – 1910)

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Longevity, Negativity, and Positive Thinking

Now we obviously know the benefits of eating well and exercising regularly. There are thousands of books, websites, videos, etc. all dedicated to fitness and nutrition. No one is denying the importance of these two elements. Many seem to overlook another piece of the puzzle however. In the quote above, it was also mentioned that the man lived with a lack of stress.

The idea of living a life without stress and negativity isn’t new. Remember this entry? Jack Lalanne emphasized the importance of regular exercise, good nutrition, and positive thinking. Unfortunately, many people in this world seem to overlook the role of positive thinking. Just because you exercise and eat well doesn’t mean that you are a good person. Exercising doesn’t put you in a higher class. You could still be a complete assh*le regardless of your fitness habits.

We all know some negative people. These people bitch and moan about the world to whoever is willing to listen. They complain about the government, gas prices, the economy, their job, their life, their neighbors, other drivers, their pets, other pets, etc. It is a never ending whine-fest about how bad the world is and how bad their life seems to be within it. I’ve come across these people at the gym. As stated above, the fact that you exercise doesn’t mean jack!

Now back to the whine-fest… What purpose does the whining serve? Does it bring about change? Or does it simply bring everyone else down around you? Think about it… I’m not happy about the rising gas prices, but what good is it going to do to cry about it all day? Will I wake up tomorrow and find free gas in my car? I doubt it.

So why waste your time complaining about the world every chance you can? Don’t you have anything positive to say? If not, why don’t you shut your mouth? Have you ever thought that maybe some of the people that you whine to don’t want to listen? Perhaps they don’t want to be tainted by your constant negativity?

We all know that there are problems in the world. Go watch the evening news. There are some true scum bags in the world. I don’t need to be reminded of it every minute of the day. Sure, there are assh*les out there, but there are also plenty of good, honest people. Why not focus on of the good? I don’t need a doctor to confirm that constant negativity and stress are far from healthy. Mr. and Mrs. Negative need not spread their poison to others. Stop feeling so bad about yourself and the world around you and do something positive with your time… because guess what? That time will expire at some point. That is one guarantee that I can make to everyone on this planet. Time is limited, so stop wasting it by bitching and moaning about everything that is wrong with the world.

Life is what you make of it, so start making it more positive. You’ll be a healthier (in many ways) person because of it.

Ross

Source: Ross Training

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Understanding Our Love for Allah & for His Messenger

`Abd al-Rahmân al-Barrâk, professor at al-Imâm Islamic University

All praise is due to Allah.

Allah says: “Say (O Muhammad): If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.” [Sûrah Âl `Îmrân: 31]

This verse affirms the believer’s love for Allah as well as the relationship between that love and the believer’s love that a believer has for the Messenger. There are other verses that add to this understanding

For instance, Allah says, confirming that our love for Him is the essence of our faith: “O you who believe, if any from among you turn back from his faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as who will love Him.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 54]

Allah also says: “Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your spouses, or your kindred, the wealth that ye have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, or the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah or His Messenger, or striving in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision.” [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 24]

This verse show the honor of having sincere love for Allah and for His Prophet (peace be upon him). The love that a believer has for Allah must be greater than anything. The love that a believer has for Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) should be more than that for any other created being, such as love for family, children, parents, and others.

In an authentic hadîth, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No one truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his son, his father and all other people.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (14) and Sahîh Muslim (63)]

In another hadîth, it reads: “If anyone possesses three qualities, he will experience the sweetness of faith: That Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anything else, to love someone only for Allah’s sake, and to hate relapsing into unbelief as he would hate being thrown into the fire.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (15) and Sahîh Muslim (60)]

The meaning of love is clear. On a most obvious level, it is an emotion, the emotional opposite of hate. It is a function of the heart. Our love for Allah, moreover, is the essence of our worship, since pure and sincere worship means complete love together with the complete humility. The worshipper’s faith in his Lord and his knowledge of Him vary with the degree of the love and honor in which he holds his Lord. The worship which is prescribed by Allah depends on the true state of the heart.

Our love of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is quite different. It follows as a consequence of our love for Allah. We love the Prophet (peace be upon him) because he is the Messenger of Allah, because he is the best in character, because the most sincere and kindest person among all human beings. We love him for what he brought us: the guidance and the true religion. We must love him more than we love any other created being, but still it is from the type of love that we have for a created being, and not the love that we have for the Creator. It is as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No one truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his children, his parents, and all other people.”

Love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a sincere love inspired by knowledge of his great character and his kindness, and by an appreciation of his efforts and sacrifices in calling to Allah and advising the people.

Allah says: “Now there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that you should suffer, ardently anxious is he over you: to the believers is he most kind and merciful.” [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 128]

Therefore, the love we must have for Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) must both be genuine.

The difference between the two is that the love we have for Allah is for His very being, His essence. It is enriched by our knowledge of Allah’s most beautiful names and His supreme attributes that inspire reverence, awe, and feelings of glorification, humility and submission to His greatness. This is the love we have for Allah: a love of reverence, veneration, and awe. This is exclusively for Allah and must never be given to any created being.

Our love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) comes as a consequence of our love for Allah. In other words, we love the Prophet (peace be upon him) because he is the Messenger of Allah, and the kindest, most gentle, and ethical human being there ever was. He was kinder and more merciful to people than their own parents are to them. It is obvious that the right of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be loved, respected and honored, is more than that of parents.

This is a weighty love indeed, since we know that Allah holds in honor the rights of the parents and mentions being kind to them along with His own rights upon us.

Allah emphasizes just how important their rights are by making mention of their rights at the same time that He orders us to worship Him. Allah says: “Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good to parents.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 36]

He says: “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 23]

May peace and blessing be upon the Prophet Muhammad and upon all the other Prophets.

 

 

[Islam Today]

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Shaykh `Ali Laraqi – Marital Relations

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Source: Muslims of Norwich

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