Monday, April 26, 2004

Living the Quran
Al-Nisa (The Women)
Chapter 4: Verse 105

Bringing about an Islamic Society

"We have sent down to you the Book in truth, that you might judge between men as guided by Allah.”

Many writers, such as ibn Taimiyyah and the famous sociologist ibn Khaldoon, state that humans are social creatures. Regardless of the extent to which such statements may be correct or incorrect, it is clear from the Quran that every human being is part of a greater society and is not an island unto himself.

The guidance of the Quran produces not only the Islamic individual with respect to his worship and character, but beyond that it also guides humans in their relationship to one another such that they create a society based on mutual understanding, rights and responsibilities all according to the guidance of the Creator, the All-Wise, the All-Knowing. Allah has made it clear that one of the purposes for which He revealed the Quran is so it may be the law of the land and used to judge what is right and what is wrong.

Some characteristics of the Islamic Society:

This society will be unique, based on the clear guidance from Allah. It will have its own principles and values that it will do its best to propagate and uphold. It will be something distinct from the way of ignorance or non-Godly societies that this world has seen and is witnessing.

The sole raison d'etre of such a society will be to worship Allah and serve His cause. It will stand for truth and justice in every realm of life and throughout the world.

Its members work together to eradicate evil and promote good. They not only purify themselves but they do their best to purify everyone in their society as a whole.

But this proper Islamic society which the Quran can guide humans to not only spreads good and eradicates evil from within but it also feels the responsibility of spreading the word of Allah and the true submission to the one and only God to the rest of the world.
Hence, when a person reads the Quran, he must realize that the Quran is showing him or guiding him to his rights and responsibilities as a member of his own society and even his responsibilities towards all of mankind. When the person reads the Quran in this light and attains this guidance from the Quran, his behaviour and actions will change such that he becomes beneficial and helpful for his own society and the world as a whole: calling people to the way of Allah and helping to establish the Quranic commands in this world.

"How to Approach and Understand the Quran" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 136-139

Understanding the Prophet's Life
False Pride Condemned

It is narrated by Abdullah b. Masud that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "He in whose heart is as much as a grain of false pride will not enter Paradise." A man remarked: "O Messenger of God! A man likes his garment to be beautiful and his sandals to be beautiful. Would it be considered as arrogance or haughtiness?" He replied: "No, not at all, indeed God is Beautiful and He loves beauty. Arrogance is to disregard what is right and true, and to hold people in contempt."

The Quran and the Traditions strongly condemn arrogance and pride. Instead, Islam teaches its followers humility and expects them to perform acts in a humble way. Pride is an exclusive attribute of Allah which none can share with Him.

Islam does not believe in hasab (ancestral glory) or nasab (pedigree) and has wiped out these false concepts of honour and respect. The one who is most God-conscious is most honourable in the Sight of Allah. All greatness is for Allah Who is Eternal and Everlasting. Everything else is bound to perish sooner or later. In this Tradition, we are told that a vain and conceited person will not enter Paradise.

The Messenger remarked that displaying beauty, however, should not be confused with arrogance and false pride. He further explains that Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. The word 'Beauty' used in the Tradition covers all beautiful things of life.

In the end, the Messenger defined 'al-Kibr' or false pride, as disdaining or not submitting to what is true and right and despising people and thinking less of them.

"A Study of Hadith" - By Khalid Mahmood Shaikh, pp. 98-100

Cool Bits!
When Does Reason Begin To Work?

Intellect depends on perception by the sensory organs. It draws its conclusions from the information supplied by them. Intellect is a faculty which infers from the perceptions received by man. It is unavailing where perceptions fail to supply any information because human reason has nothing to fall back upon except these impressions. It is a reality of which intellectuals generally are not aware. They think that intellect is something self-sufficient, i.e. it functions on its own without assistance from outside faculties. Modern philosophy has, however, established that intellect is useless without the help of the five senses and it cannot exist independently.

"Inviting to the way of Allah" - by Sayyed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, p. 76

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