Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Living the Quran
Al-Zumar (The Crowds)
Chapter 39: Verse 42

Good Night's Sleep

"Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and that which has not died, in its sleep; He withholds that against which He has decreed death, but releases the other till a stated term."

When a believer contemplates on the above verse, he cannot help but feel that his life, from one moment to the next, is a gift from the hand of the Lord of All the Worlds.

It may be that when he lays himself down for the night, he will rise again only on the Day of Resurrection. In this event, the believer's only request is for mercy. But if he rises to live another day, then his only wish is to live under the protection of Allah.

When a believer closes his eyes and prepares to go to sleep, he abandons his will for a period of absence that may either be short or long. Indeed, there are many who deliver themselves to the unknown. But the believer is the one who commits himself to the keeping of his Lord, and entrusts Him with all his affairs!

Quite often what happens when a person prepares for sleep is that his mind is still occupied with thoughts of what he gained or lost during the day, or what mistakes he may have made, or what successes he may have had. One of the functions of the dua before sleep which the Prophet taught us is to relieve us of those worries, to enable us through our feelings of awe and longing to reach our resting-place at the side of Allah.

"Remembrance & Prayer" - By Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 37-39

Understanding the Prophet's Life
The Lamp of the Faith

Aamir ibn Abd Qais stated, "I heard more than one, two or three of the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, 'The Lamp of the faith or the Light of the faith is al-tafakkur (contemplation and reflection).'" [Ibn Kathir]

In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, contemplation and reflection is one important tool of purification (and an act of worship in itself) that is often neglected. Indeed, it seems as though Satan and his troops have a major plan for the humans of the Twenty-First Century: keep them so busy and preoccupied that they have no time to reflect upon what they are truly here for, what they should be doing and what their priorities should be.

One of the greatest blessings that Allah has bestowed upon humans is the human mind and its ability to reflect and understand. When a person uses that mind in the proper way and according to its potential he should be led directly to the truth of God's oneness and a strong desire to worship the one God.

"Purification of the Soul" - By Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 326, 327

Weak Determination

It may be described thus - a person accepts the call of a mission with earnestness. In the beginning, he shows much passion towards it. But his interest fades with the passage of time. He then shows no sign of interest in that mission nor retains any sincere attachment with the group engaged in the mission; which he had joined willingly.

The first sign of weak determination is the attitude of dodging work. One tries to escape from taking up responsibilities. He begins to avoid the employment of his time, labour and money in the way of his mission, and begins to give preference to every other worldly interest in comparison to the cause he had adopted as aim of life.

It is not a serious matter if a person gets lazy in due course and becomes inactive, but once a weakness gets the upper hand, other faults begin to show themselves.

- The person invents different pretexts for this inaction and comes up with lame excuses. This sets the stage of moral degradation for the person.
- The person finds fault with the attitude of others only to hide his own drawbacks. This betrays moral bankruptcy.

Every individual and group taking up the mission of reform and reconstruction should remain aware of the danger of weakness of determination and get ready for its eradication as soon as initial signs of the vice appear.

"Islamic Movement: Pre-requisites for Success" - by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, pp. 52-62

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