Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Yusuf (Joseph)
Chapter 12: Verse 86

Complaining only to Allah

"I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah ... "

Man needs to obtain his provision and other needs, and to protect himself from harm. In both cases, he should call on Allah. He should not ask for provision from anyone other than Allah, and he should not complain to anyone other than Allah.

In the Quran, Allah has mentioned goodly forsaking, goodly forgiveness and goodly patience. It was said that goodly forsaking is to forsake or boycott without doing harm; goodly forgiveness is to forgive without rebuking; and good patience is to be patient without complaining to any other person or created being. When Ahmad ibn Hanbal was sick, he was told that Tawus used to hate the sound of a sick person's groaning, and would say, "this is a complaint," so Ahmad never groaned until the day he died.

Complaining to the creator, on the other hand, does not contradict the idea of goodly patience. For Yaqub said: "Patience is most fitting (for me)" [Yusuf 12:83], but he also said, "I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah ..."

Umar ibn al-Khattab used to recite Surahs Yunus, Yusuf and al-Nahl during Fajr prayer. When he reached this ayah. he wept so much that his sobs could be heard in the last rows of the congregation.

Musa used to pray: "O Allah, to You be all praise and to You (alone) do I complain. You are the (only) One Whom I ask for help, in You I seek refuge and upon You I rely. There is no strength or power except you."

“Al-Ubudiyyah: Being a true slave of Allah” – Ibn Taymiyah, p. 79

Understanding the Prophet's Life
The Power of Peer Pressure

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, said:

"A man will follow the religion of his friend so you should all look into whom you choose for friendship."
[Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi]

Before the advent of the television and the globalisation of youth culture, family traditions, religious values, and the school environment were the strongest influences on the minds of young people. Today, the media is constantly feeding the eyes and ears of the youth with its own sense of beauty and modern lifestyle. Fashion designers set the styles and willing young consumers fall prey to constantly changing pop culture. Clothing, running shoes, cell phones and cosmetics have become symbols of material success and nobility. Peer pressure has become so powerful that a great percentage of the family budget goes towards trendy shoes and designer clothing.

Muslim youth need to re-analyze their friendships and make the right choices. Do the people we associate with lead us to prayer, fasting and righteousness or do we feel embarrassed to practise our faith in their presence?

"The Forty Ahaadeeth on Islamic Revival" - Abdullah Hakim Quick, pp. 49-50

Cool Concepts!
Cowardice Vs. Courage

Whenever the Quran encourages Jihad and expresses approval of it, while rebuking those who flinch from it and shirk it, cowardice is always the culprit. For the well-being of mankind, be it religious or worldly, cannot be complete without courage and generosity. The All-Glorious has explained that when someone turns his back on Jihad, God puts another in his place to perform it (Quran 9: 38-39, 47:38).

In courage and generosity for God's sake the greater merit belongs to those who take the lead (Quran 57:10). Courage does not reside in physical strength. A man may be physically strong yet faint at heart. Real courage is stoutness of heart and constancy. For fighting requires a body strong and fit for the task, but also a heart that is stout and skilful in battle. The commendable way to fight is with knowledge and understanding, not with the rash impetuosity or one who takes no thought and does not distinguish the laudable from the blameworthy. Therefore, the strong and valiant is he who controls himself when provoked to anger, and so does the right thing, whereas he who is carried away under provocation is neither courageous nor valiant.

"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiyah, pp. 105-106

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