Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Living the Quran
Ibrahim (Abraham)
Chapter 14: Verse 10

Get Forgiven

"He calls you that He may forgive you.”

No matter how hard we try it would not be possible to abstain totally from sin. So we should not lose heart because of our sins. We should be quick in seeking forgiveness.

Allah calls us in the morning so that the sinners of the night may come forth; He extends His Hand in the evening that those who have trespassed during the day may come and seek His forgiveness and He may forgive them.

We should recite istighfar frequently. We should not let the frequent repetition of our sins keep us away from seeking pardon. Sinning repeatedly and then seeking forgiveness just as frequently does not come within the definition of a state of deliberate insistence upon sin. It is sinning with impunity and then not attempting to seek forgiveness, and attempting to explain our sins away that comes within that meaning of insistence on sinning.

"Dying and Living for Allah" - By Khurram Murad, pp. 72-74

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Strengthening the Will

There are a number of ahadith exclusively concerned about developing and strengthening the human will. Abu Bakr and Umar relate from Anas ibn Malik that the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to pray: "O Allah, I seek refuge with You from incapacity and laziness, and from cowardice and old age, and I seek refuge with You from the afflictions of life and death and from the punishment of the grave."

Supplication for protection against incapacity and helplessness can only create a psychological aversion to these weaknesses in the mind of a Muslim and induce him to gain strength and ability. In fact such a prayer opens up before a person the practical way to realize his cherished goals and expectations in life. It coordinates and harmonizes a person's skills and abilities for the realization of his dreams.

The sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, exemplifies a perfect harmony between supplication and its practical manifestations. Once a Companion from among the Ansar came to the Prophet and complained to him about his needs and poverty. Thereupon the Prophet taught him in a practical way how to overcome his difficulties and live up to the higher ideals of supplication wherein a Muslim seeks refuge with Allah from incapacity and laziness. He bought him an axe by auctioning his few belongings and advised him to cut wood and sell it.

"Freedom And Responsibility" - By Hasan Al-Anani, pp. 204-205

The Absence of Political Culture

To consider the recent history of Muslim countries before and after colonisation, we have the right to ask whether there really exists a political culture at the populations level. For decades these peoples have very often been subjected to dictatorships and their opinions have never been decisive for the orientation of national politics. Independence has not changed much the data of the problems. This we can see today, and if we take into consideration the frightening rates of illiteracy in these societies, we have the right to ask how a process of popular participation can be put in place.

We can minimise this problem. In truth, it is of prime importance. Willing to apply the principle of shura on a national plane presupposes that the people are ready for it. To put it plainly, this presupposes that we multiply the experiences of participation on the local level and the level of neighbourhoods and countrysides in order to enable the people to take charge of themselves. In this sense, social work and literacy campaigns are of prime importance today, as they were yesterday; remember that after the Battle of Badr, the Prophet (peace be upon him) freed each prisoner who taught ten Muslims to read and write.

"Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity" - by Tariq Ramadan, pp. 120-121

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