Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Living the Quran
Al-Hashr (The Gathering)
Chapter 59: Verse 19

Safety from Forgetfulness of God

"And be not like those who forget God and whom He causes to forget their own souls: truly those are corrupted'"

Constancy in remembrance of the Lord (Exalted) brings about security from forgetfulness of Him. This forgetfulness is the cause of the servant's misery both in his worldly life and on the appointed Day. This is because forgetfulness of his Lord ... leads to forgetfulness of his own soul and its welfare.

If a servant forgets his own soul - turning away from it, disregarding what benefits it and becoming engrossed with other things - then its ruin and corruption are inevitable. It is the same as if he had a field of grain, an orchard or anything else that depended on his care, and he neglected it, forgot about it, buried himself with something else and disregarded what it needed. This is where someone else could take his place.

But what about the misery, ruin and destruction of his own soul? If he ignores his soul, forgets it and gets distracted from its good; if he fails to care for it and gives up seeking what is beneficial to it, the what more can he expect than ruin, destruction and loss?

"The Invocation of God" - By Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, pp. 54, 55

Understanding the Prophet's Life

Forming A Leading Generation

The greatest single achievement of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is to secure the long and successful continuance of Islam by educating a whole generation of men and women to establish it so firmly. To succeed in this activity of education, he needed the best insight and wisdom, and knowledge of the dispositions and manners of particular individuals. Three important features of the Prophet's teachings are especially worth noting.

Firstly, he placed due emphasis on individual education and did not restrict himself to general, collective guidance. Reform of the individual was the essential foundation for reform of the community: virtue and right guidance spread outward from each virtuous and right-guided individual to influence the community which in its turn offers the best environment for other individuals to realize their potential for virtue and right guidance.

Secondly, the Prophet picked the moment when, as well as the person whom, he would seek to improve. If there is inward readiness for it, acquisition of knowledge is easier, more enduring and more fruitful. In the same way as watering a thirsty land is more profitable than pouring the same water on impermeable rocks, so attention needs to be paid to the occasions and circumstances in which guidance is presented.

As well as teaching the right person at the right moment to the right degre, the Prophet encouraged consistency and regularity in good acts. A strenuous act of virtue soon disappears as a gesture, whereas a little good done regularly brings greater benefit for longer. That is surely the meaning of the authentic hadith: 'The acts most pleasing to Allah are those which are done regularly, even if they amount to little.' [Bukhari, Muslim] Sustained good deeds have an assured, solid increase - just as drops of water may accumulate into a river or ocean.

"Muhammad: The Perfect Model for Humanity" - Mustafa Ahmad al-Zarqa, pp. 30, 31


When Facing the Pressure

In our teenage culture, which exaggerates the idea of personal freedom and excessive entertainment, you are exposed to Peer Pressure. Here are some tips when you are facing the pressure:

Think about the consequences of every action. Use wisdom, not emotion.

Say ‘No’ with courage. Make it clear how you feel about the situation. Explain why. It may be an opportunity to invite your friends to the Islamic way of life.

Use Humour. Throw out a funny line to ease the tension and show how you feel! “I don’t drink. I can’t afford to kill my brain cells. Unfortunately, I only have a few left as it is!”

Suggest a better idea. “Why don’t we play some hockey, instead of watching that movie? It’ll save us some money too!”

Remember Allah, your best Friend! He is there to help you. The Prophet told his close companion: “By Allah! Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will replace it with something better than it!”

"Cool or Fool: Choosing The Right Friends" - by Young Muslims Publications

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