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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Believers: The Qur’anic Model

The Qur'an

According to the Qur’an, a believer is by definition someone who stands out for his good deeds.

Successful are the believers. Those who humble themselves in prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are keen on acts of charity; who guard their private parts except with their wives and those who their right hands own. In their case they are free from blame. But those who seek beyond that, they are transgressors. (The believers are) those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants, those who guard their prayers. They are the inheritors of Paradise. They shall dwell in it (forever). (Al-Mu’minun 23:1-11)

It goes without saying that the Qur’an is the Book of guidance par excellence, instructing man how to live his life. As part of its grand plan of instruction, the Qur’an spells out concisely the definition and outstanding features of believers, which are embodied most clearly in verses 1-11 of Surat Al-Mu’minun.

Significantly enough, the surah itself is entitled Al-Mu’minun (Believers) and it opens with the passage under discussion here. As to the importance and excellence of these particular verses the following hadiths further clarify the point.

It is reported on `Umar’s authority in the “Musnad of Imam Ahmad” that once after receiving a fresh part of divine revelation, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) made the following supplication in the presence of those Companions sitting around him:

“O Lord, grant us increase and do not afflict us with decrease. Exalt us and do not abase us. Bestow upon us and do not deprive us. Grant us superiority over others and do not deprive us. Grant us superiority over others and do not make others superior to us. Be pleased with us and bless us with Your pleasure.”

He then added:

“I have just now received such verses that whoever acts upon these will go straight to Paradise.”

He then recited this passage from Surat Al-Mu’minun which had then been revealed to him. More importantly, the following hadith throws ample light on the significance of the passage.

On being requested to describe the Prophet’s conduct, which would serve as a model for subsequent generations to emulate, ‘A’ishah, the Prophet’s wife, replied that his conduct exemplified what is stated theoretically in the Qur’an: “His character was that of the Qur’an.” (Ahmad, Muslim and Abu Dawud) . To illustrate her point further, she recited these verses of Surat Al-Mu’minun. (Kitab At-Tafsir, An-Nasa’i’s Sunan)

On studying these verses one can form a clear idea of the Qur’anic model of believers. This passage describes both their sound beliefs and right conduct. The first and foremost point is that the Qur’an accords equal importance to both creed and deed. Both of these should be sound and wedded to the goal of pleasing Allah.

Belief which is not supported by right conduct and by the same token, good deeds which are lacking firm belief in the articles of faith prescribed by the Qur’an, are not acceptable.

According to the Qur’an, a believer is by definition someone who stands out for his good deeds. This amalgam of sound beliefs and right conduct alone ensures success in this world, and more particularly, in the everlasting Afterlife. The Qur’an assures abiding success to those who display the seven characteristics as outlined in this passage.

Another amazing feature of this passage is that it covers the entire gamut of both individual and collective life. Furthermore, it takes into account major social, sexual, moral, economic and spiritual activities. This concise passage thus instructs man in all the important spheres of life, enabling him to profess and practice life as a believer. Implicit in it is also the truth that the profession of Qur’anic beliefs invests man with excellent conduct and perfect morals and manners.

The connection between belief and conduct is logical, rather inevitable. Any flaw in one’s conduct betrays some weakness in one’s faith. Otherwise, in the scheme of things ordained by Allah, sound beliefs must result in excellent conduct.

This explains why the passage opens with the assertion that believers are destined to achieve success. This Qur’anic proclamation does not hinge on any partisanship or jingoism. It rather states the law of nature that true believers, in view of their perfect conduct, which is expected of them, are bound to attain success.

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The article is an excerpt from Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s book “The Qur’an: Essential Teachings”, published by the Islamic Foundation.

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The Believers: The Qur’anic Model (2/2)

prayer

For believers, belief and prayer infuse into them such a sharp and keen sense of responsibility and accountability that nothing vain distracts them.

The Believers: The Qur’anic Model (Part 1)

Successful are the believers. Those who humble themselves in prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are keen on acts of charity; who guard their private parts except with their wives and those who their right hands own. In their case they are free from blame. But those who seek beyond that, they are transgressors. (The believers are) those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants, those who guard their prayers. They are the inheritors of Paradise. They shall dwell in it (forever). (Al-Mu’minun 23:1-11)

It emerges that believers are those who are characterized by, at least, seven features. Belief should imbue them with these seven outstanding traits, observable in their individual and collective life. As already hinted at, these encompass a wide range of human activities. Significantly enough, this account commences and concludes with a pointed reference to salah (prayer).

Believers are distinct in terms of their total devotion to prayer. It forms the very pivot of their existence. At one level, prayer signifies their complete surrender to their Creator, their willingness to lead life in accordance with His directives and their concern for their moral and spiritual sustenance and growth.

On the singular importance of prayer, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is on record as saying, as reported by Anas: “Prayer is the joy of my eye.” (Ahmad and An-Nasa’i)

Not only do believers offer prayer, they do so with the utmost humility. In other words, humbleness towards their Lord and towards fellow human beings is their mark of distinction. Prayer moulds them into better human beings who are considerate and conscientious. The Qur’anic expression khushu` literally means humbleness.

This should characterize the believers’ prayer, as is emphasized in several hadiths. Outwardly they should appear humble towards Allah while offering prayers.

Moreover, this quality should pervade their hearts. At one level, it underscores their full attention and devotion to various postures within prayer, avoiding any contact with or interest in anything outside prayer while so engaged.

In the broader context, however, it points to turning to Allah in all matters of life. Only His pleasure engages them and on a constant and consistent basis. It also ensures their utmost sincerity. It trains them to display total commitment to any task which they undertake.

Since only such acts catch their attention which seek to please God, their mindset and their entire way of life are God-oriented. And this is what makes their lives and of others in their company full of peace and cordiality.

As a result of their engagement with prayer, the second feature special to believers is their aversion to anything vain. Whatever does not contribute positively to their moral and spiritual development and to the betterment of the society which they erect, does not evoke their interest.

The Qur’anic expression employed, taqwa, is pregnant with meaning. Apart from ruling out evil in any form, it strikes a fatal blow to all such pursuits which have only entertainment value.

For believers, belief and prayer infuse into them such a sharp and keen sense of responsibility and accountability that nothing vain distracts them. The Qur’an does not negate the point that the world or human society is or can be altogether free from vanities. Believers, however, make a point of passing it by.

Almost the same truth is reiterated in Surat al-Furqan:

Those who witness no falsehood, and, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with honorable (avoidance). (Al-Furqan 25:72)

In sum, prayer turns them into such decent and God-conscious people that they disregard everything which may distract them from God’s way. Avoidance of vain talk and fruitless pursuits is thus their second prominent feature. The importance of this may be appreciated best in the larger social context. If such restraint is observed, it makes social life immensely meaningful and genuinely rewarding.

Another trait of believers is their constant and consistent engagement with acts of charity. This may obviously refer to their hearty payment of the obligatory zakah. Or it may be construed in a general, wider sense of contributing to all such projects which aim at ameliorating the condition of the poor and the underprivileged. Throughout, their main concern is to purify themselves and attain the heights of self-development. Included therein is the development of their morals and manners and the purification of their wealth.

Qur'an

Whenever they pledge a trust or are assigned with some responsibility they conduct themselves honorably.

In turn, it renders them as devout individuals who care for their fellow human beings and the wider community. Not only do they make a point of cheerfully paying the compulsory zakah, they also participate wholeheartedly in all such projects which bring peace and joy to members of their society.

Thus the quality of both individual and collective life is enhanced. A way of life with abundant charity promotes the virtues of hospitality and generosity, creates an atmosphere conducive to cordial social relations and a sense of fraternity and helps ease the tensions arising out of class and financial distinctions. Believers thus create a society which is largely free from inner conflicts and dissensions.

That believers guard their private parts is, once again, a virtue of immense value for both their individual life and for society as a whole.

Studied together with the next verse which clarifies that they should only have sexual relations with their wives and the women whom they legitimately possess brings to the fore the healthy Islamic stance on sexual conduct.

Islam recognizes sex like any other natural function of men and women. It does not prescribe abstinence from sex as a prerequisite for spirituality. Nor does it regard sex as something dirty or shameful.

The significance of this Qur’anic stance comes out more clearly when one compares it with the Christian attitude. In Christianity, sex even within wedlock is seen as an obstacle to achieving salvation. (For details see the Bible: Mt. 22:30 and I Cor. 7:32-34.)

Islam strikes a balance in terms of sanctioning sexual ties within marriage on the one hand and on the other, condemning all forms of extra-marital sex as a cardinal sin which incurs God’s wrath. In the passage under discussion believers are projected as men and women with this balanced, moderate approach towards sex.

Under the sobering influence of Islamic teachings in general and of prayer in particular, believers display exemplary restraint in satisfying their natural sexual urges. In so doing, they do not exceed limits. In essence, a note of moderation permeates the conduct of believers, be it with regard to sex or any other human activity.

The next two traits of believers relate to transactions and their sociocultural, moral and economic life. Whenever they pledge a trust or are assigned with some responsibility they conduct themselves honorably.

Being ever-conscious of their trust to God, it is not surprising to find them so particular about discharging their obligations. Their honesty and fair dealings in monetary and contractual matters contributes to producing and sustaining cordial, friendly social relations, characterized by mutual trust, welfare and sincerity. As a result, the life enjoyed by them is peaceful and fulfilling.

Anxiety or the constant threat of betrayal and the rat race in a cut-throat world does not haunt them. On the contrary, their community life is imbued with acts of charity, sexual restraint, good will and fellow-feeling.

Closely related to honoring trusts is the virtue of keeping promises, which also characterizes believers. They are ever true to their word to their Creator and to fellow human beings in terms of fulfilling the duties which they owe to God and to their social contacts, starting with familial ties and extending to wider community roles.

In so doing, they sacrifice their self-interest. Rather, they lead a life full of self-abnegation and altruism.

It goes without saying that such an attitude cements and reinforces strong family and community relations, which become marked by trust, love and understanding.

In his sermons addressed to the Companions during his Prophetic career the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made a point of exhorting believers to keep their trusts and promises. He made it plain that one without this virtue cannot be taken as a believer.

This Qur’anic account, mainly of the conduct of believers in their individual and collective life, is rounded off with a pointed reference to their religious observance. They are particular about offering prayer on time and do not miss it. While at the beginning of the passage humility in prayer is mentioned, the concluding note speaks of punctuality and keenness in offering prayer.

They are so diligent in the performance of this duty that they do not miss out any of its components. More significantly, they try their level best to internalize the essence and spirit of prayer in their conduct, as a result of which they grow into perfect human beings. Not only do they observe their religious obligations, they also acquit themselves well of their social role, as a responsible, faithful members of their community.

Believers possessing these traits are promised the inheritance of Paradise, the highest reward imaginable for man. They deserve this in view of their achieving the standard expected of them by God. In essence, the Qur’anic passage holds out a mirror for us to soul-search and a model to emulate.

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The article is an excerpt from Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s book “The Qur’an: Essential Teachings”, published by the Islamic Foundation, 2005.

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Social Relations: Lessons from the Qur’an

Allah being man’s Creator knows best what might damage cordial social relations, as a result of weaknesses in human nature:

The believers are brothers in faith. So make peace and reconciliation between your brethren. And fear Allah so that you may receive His mercy. O Believers! Let not some men among you laugh at others. It may be that the latter are better than the former. Let not some women laugh at others. It may be that the latter are better than the former. And do not criticize one another, nor call them by offensive nicknames. It is bad to commit sin after professing belief. And those who do not repent are wrongdoers. O Believers! Avoid suspicion as much as possible. For in some cases suspicion is a sin. And do not spy on and backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of your dead brother? You would abhor it. And fear Allah. Allah accepts repentance and is Most Merciful. O mankind! We have created you from a single pair of a male and female. And We have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. The most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things. (Al-Hujurat 49:10-13)

The passage above goes to great lengths in identifying and remedying these human failings.

Against Ridicule

Mention is made first of the fairly common tendency of laughing at others. Both men and women are equally prone to doing this.

Strikingly enough, the Qur’an addresses both men and women separately, asking them to desist from it. For the men or women so ridiculed may be better than those scoffing at them. What actually accounts for issuing this directive separately to men and women is that Islam does not envisage any intermixing of men and women.

It does not, therefore, admit the possibility that men may mock women and vice versa. For they should not and cannot gain such acquaintance with the opposite sex, as may result in taking them as the butt of ridicule and mockery. Repetition of the directive is also aimed at emphasizing the evil of such a practice.

Laughing at others may take many different forms, as is pointed out thus:

Copying someone’s voice, laughing at his words, face or dress, and making gestures so as to attract attention to others’ weaknesses. The underlying idea behind this act is to express one’s superiority by undermining the prestige of others.

This is regarded as character-assassination in Islam, and is abhorred in the same way as physical attack and persecution.

Since mocking others amounts to attacking their honor and prestige, it is bound to strain social relations. The victim too might even resort to revenge. As a result, the social fabric is damaged, giving rise to many more evils.

Islam therefore, strikes at the root of this common human failing of laughing at someone else’s expense.

Not to Slander

Another habit that deals a severe blow to mutual love and understanding is the tendency to criticize and blame others for offences, both real and imaginary. Needless to add, acrimonious remarks made against others are always counter-productive. The blame game is endless, with each party projecting the other in the worst possible light.

Far from promoting the Islamic value system, this tendency creates fissures and ruptures in community life. Such actions and reactions run counter to the Islamic ideal of Muslim brotherhood. At another place too, the Qur’an condemns the practice of slandering:

Woe to every kind of scandalmonger and backbiter, who piles up wealth and lays it by, thinking that his wealth will make him last forever. By no means! He will surely be thrown into that which breaks to pieces. And what would explain to you that which breaks to pieces? It is the fire of Allah kindled to a blaze. (Al-Humazah 104:1-6)

Using offensive nicknames is a variation of slander. The Qur’an makes a point of prohibiting this as well. For, like mocking and slandering others, it disrupts cordial social relations. The victim may avenge himself or he may harbor ill-feelings against those who show disrespect towards him. In either case, social relations are bound to be affected.

quran_prayer beads

Not only does Islam proclaim the sanctity of human life, property and honor, it also expects every member of the community to uphold the same.

God-Consciousness

The Qur’an is so particular about maintaining and promoting social harmony that it mentions, one by one, these irritants and urges man to shun them.

For curbing these the Qur’an goes a step further in asking man to be conscious all along of the All-Hearing, All-Seeing Allah and of the terrible consequences of such misdeeds in the Hereafter.

At the close of the verse these misdeeds, which harm fellow human beings, are branded as acts of wickedness. Muslims are reminded that after having professed belief, they should have nothing to do with any wicked act. As for those who refuse to pay any heed to these warnings and persist in such misdeeds, they are dubbed as wicked.

The note of warning is clear and emphatic. Little wonder then that one comes across several reports about the Prophet’s Companions that they made a point of shunning such behavior. `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud is on record as exclaiming: “I dread laughing at even a dog, lest I be turned into a dog.” (Al-Qurtubi)

Verse 12, “O Believers! Avoid suspicion as much as possible. For in some cases suspicion is a sin. And do not spy on and backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of your dead brother? You would abhor it. And fear Allah. Allah accepts repentance and is Most Merciful (Al-Hujurat 49:12), marks the extension of the same moral code.

The focus shifts to those weaknesses which generally creep into a community as a whole and its behavioral pattern. Once again, the objective is to promote good social behavior among members of the community and also towards others who are not part of the faith community.

The directive starts by striking a blow at the root cause of all quarrels and conflicts – suspecting others and ascribing bad motives to all of their actions. If one does not check this tendency, it might make one’s own life miserable.

While one should be on one’s guard regarding one’s interests and not act in a gullible way, one should not take everyone as an enemy. Suspicion breeds hostility which eventually results in severing ties and relationships.

The Qur’an dubs such suspicion as a sin for it prompts one to doubt someone else’s integrity and to interpret an action in the worst possible terms.

Closely related to suspicion is the human weakness of spying on others in order to find out their secrets. Also included under this heading are the following: “Bugging, reading someone’s letters, peeping into someone’s house, investigating someone’s financial, private and family affairs.”

Collective Responsibility

Not only does Islam proclaim the sanctity of human life, property and honor, it also expects every member of the community to uphold the same. Accordingly, it forbids any interest in others’ personal and private lives. The Prophet brought home the above point thus:

“Do not speak ill of fellow Muslims. Do not look for their failings and weaknesses. For one who looks for their weaknesses, his failings are identified by Allah. Such a person is destined to be disgraced.” (Al-Qurtubi)

The Islamic norm that one’s personal life should not be probed unnecessarily is illustrated best by the following incident in the early history of Islam, involving a person of such exalted stature as the Caliph `Umar.

Once on his nightly inspection round the Caliph ‘Umar passed by a house, resounding with song and music. He jumped over the wall and found inside the house a man in a drunken state in the company of a woman who was playing music. Enraged, the Caliph asked the man to explain his misconduct.

However, the man retorted thus: “O Caliph, if I have committed one sin, you stand guilty of three. Allah has forbidden us to spy on someone. Yet you did the same. He has commanded that one should enter a house after securing permission. You have violated this. Moreover, you have invaded my privacy.” The Caliph realized that in his zeal to check evil he had not followed the social norms spelled out in the Qur’an. He, therefore, did not press charges against the person.

However, he instructed the latter to lead his life in accordance with Islamic morals and manners. The latter assured him that he would mend his ways.

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The article is an excerpt from Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s The Qur’an: Essential Teachings, published by the Islamic Foundation, 2005/1426 H.

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How to Live the Qur’an

By Ahmad Kutty

the Qur'an

We cannot expect to benefit from the Qur’an unless we pay undivided attention to it.

The Qur’an is Allah’s choicest gift to humanity. It is the miracle of miracles testifying to the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the eternal source of divine guidance, healing, light, mercy.

It is glad tidings for the Allah-conscious, and a warning for the heedless and the insolent. It contains inexhaustible wisdom; it is the quintessence of the knowledge of both ancients and the moderns, the decisive criterion; spirit from Allah, and revelation from on high on the heart of the Messenger.

Finally, it is our rope of salvation, pleader for us or against us on the Day of Final Reckoning. It is therefore imperative that we respond to the Divine Word most appropriately.

Here are a few tips to help us benefit from the Qur’an optimally:

1- Visualize the Grandeur of the Word and the August Majesty of Its Speaker

In order to properly benefit from the Qur’an, it is imperative that our mind and heart be filled with a deep sense of reverence and awe for the mighty Word and its Author, the Creator and Sovereign Lord of all beings, a Word, about which Allah says: “Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain you would see it humbling itself, breaking asunder for awe of Allah.” (Al-Hashr 59:21)

2- Keep Your Presence of Mind

We cannot expect to benefit from the Qur’an unless we pay undivided attention to it; so it is imperative that we dispel all distractions. One may do well to take the necessary steps to induce proper concentration, such as purifying oneself both physically and inwardly, sitting comfortably in a relaxed manner, etc.

3- Reflect

Since the main purpose of reading the Word is none other than reflecting on the message, we ought to reflect upon it. `Ali said, “There is no good in worship without knowledge; there is no good in reading without reflection.”

That is the reason why we read in the sources that the Prophet, Companions and As-Salaf As-Salih (righteous early Muslims) often would repeat the same verse continuously in order to better reflect upon the deeper meanings of the verse.

4- Remove Veils and Obstacles

Often one is prevented from attaining due reflection because of the many veils and obstacles that stand in the way of appreciating the Qur’an, veils such as the following:

(1) Obsession with external rules of recitation/articulation of sounds to such an extent that one is totally pre-occupied with them and is thus distracted from paying due attention to pondering the meanings;

(2) Blind imitation of a particular sect or school or ideology and being fanatically attached to it so that one’s own preconceived biases or prejudices prevent one from perceiving the deeper meanings of the Word;

(3) Persistence in sins or pride whereby the mirror of one’s heart becomes rusted so that it is incapable of gaining true spiritual insights;

(4) Clinging to a particular work of tafseer (exegesis of Qur’an) so dogmatically that one holds the false view that the author has exhausted the entire meanings of the Qur’an in his exposition, no matter how articulate and profound he may be, for the Qur’an is inexhaustible in its depth.

5- Identify with the Meanings of the Verses, Respond to Them Sensitively

When reading the verses about attributes of Allah, bring to mind Allah’s incomparable nature and absolute uniqueness. When reading the verses that speak of Allah’s creation, think of the manifestation of divine power as revealed in His work, thus being led to recognize Allah’s might and glory.

When reading the verses describing Paradise, cherish such ardent fervor for it that you spontaneously seek Allah’s mercy. When reading descriptions of Hell, you should tremble and pray that Allah keeps you safe from its torments.

6- Visualize that Allah is Speaking to You Directly through the Qur’an

As the late Dr. Iqbal said, “No advice from anyone benefited me as much as I benefited from the advice of my mother who told me, ‘My son, when reading the Qur’an, visualize in your mind that Allah is speaking to you through it!’”

This is why Muhammad ibn Ka`b Al-Qurazi, one of the scholars of the generation after the Companions of the Prophet said, “Whoever has received the Qur’an, Allah has certainly spoken to him!”

7- Be Sensitive

Imam Al-Ghazali says: In order to benefit from the Qur’an, three of our faculties must participate in the act of recitation, namely, the tongue, the mind and the heart. Thus the tongue articulates the sounds, the mind translates the meanings, and the heart becomes sensitive and receives admonition or counsel.

8- Develop in Yourself the Qualities of the Servants of the Merciful

The ultimate objective of the revelation is to transform our inner personalities in such a way that we personify the ideals and ethics of the Qur’an. This is why the Prophet was described by `A’ishah as a walking Qur’an.

So one must read, reflect on the message, and act accordingly as the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did, thus combining knowledge with practice.

9- Salute the Messenger, the Medium of the Word

We cannot detach the message from the Messenger, for he alone is the interpreter par excellence of the Word and its living exemplifier.

Therefore, we ought to consistently send salutations of peace and blessings on him. For without a deep love for the Messenger, we cannot truly appreciate the revelations sent down by Allah to him through the medium of Angel Jibreel.

May Allah forever shower His choicest blessings and peace on His Servant and Messenger Muhammad, his family and Companions. And may He grant us all the honor of joining their august company after we depart this transient world. Ameen.

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Source: islamqa.com.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty is a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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Citizenship in Islam: Rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim (1/3)

By Editorial Staff

Citizenship in Islam Rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim

A Muslim is asked to give his Muslim brother a helping hand and stand with him until he accomplishes his matters.

Rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are some of the first principles Islam came to instill.

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions migrated to Al-Madinah, they had to encounter new, even, strange situations. It was similar to the conditions of refugees nowadays although being quite different.

The concept of migration itself was extrinsic to Arabs who have been known to their strong fidelity to their tribes and chieftains. A great deal of Arabs activities, such as marriage, residence, social relations, and litigation were pure tribal. The loyalty to tribe knew no limit to the extent that the history of Arabia recorded long destructive wars that remained for tenths of years and killed hundreds of people, such as the wars of Da`is wal-Ghabra’, and Al-Basus, because of tribal issues.

However, the approach of Islam was completely different. It toned the equity between people, loyalty to Islam, the universality of Islamic messages, the submission to the rulings of Islam alone, the formation of a new social system of equal rights and duties, and the elimination of the improper customs and conventions of the pre-Islamic period.

When Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived at Al-Madinah he established the concept of Islamic brotherhood in its best sense. He (peace be upon him) confirmed up the brotherhood of Islam between the Muslims of Al-Madinah and the migrants, which remained a lasting basis for the Muslim community ever. A Muslim became a brother of a Muslim, regardless of their homeland, tribe, color, gender, and economic level.

This relationship for a Muslim should be stronger and more preferred than any other relationship. It stems from the Islamic creed and touches on the belief of God himself. Almighty Allah blamed those who have loved the hostile non-Muslim fathers and brothers as they have set themselves against Allah and His Messengers:

You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those – He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. (Al-Mujadalah 58:22)

Then, He (Glory be to Him) praised the Muslims of Al-Madinah for their perfect application of the principle of Islamic brotherhood with their fellow Meccan Muslims. He says:

And (also for) those who were settled in al-Madinah and (adopted) the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give (them) preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful. And (there is a share for) those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts (any) resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.” (Al-Hashr 59:9-10)

This concept of brotherhood was consolidated by the revelation. The Qur’an always uses the word brother, in the singular or plural forms, referring to Muslims:

The believers are but brothers. (Al-Hujurat 49:10)

And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful. (Al-Hujurat 49:12)

O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. (Al-Baqarah 2:178)

Brotherhood in the Sunnah

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Do not desert (stop talking to) one another, do not nurse hatred towards one another, do not be jealous of one another, and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to stop talking to his brother (Muslim) for more than three days.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.” (At-Tirmidhi)

In these quoted texts, Islamic brotherhood in all its meanings is highlighted. A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim in the full sense of the word with full rights and duties. A true Muslim cares for his Muslim brother, visits him, shares happiness with him, consoles him in case of grief, and cooperates with him in the goodness. In the following lines, we will try to find out these mutual rights between the Muslims and each other as substantiated by the Qur’an and Sunnah.

1- Right of Support

A Muslim is asked to support his Muslim brother and not to disappoint or relinquish him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) maintained that the Muslims should be a means of support and help to their fellow Muslims. Abu Musa? (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.” He (peace be upon him) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Moreover, the Prophet gives orders to support the Muslim brother, even in case of his wrongfulness in which case the support is different. This is clarified by the hadith narrated by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Support your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed”. A man enquired: “O Messenger of Allah! I support him when he is oppressed, but how can I support him when he is an oppressor?” He (peace be upon him) said, “You can keep him from committing oppression. That will be your support to him”. (Al-Bukhari)

2- Right of Help

Among the rights of Islamic brotherhood is to give your Muslim brother a helping hand and stand with him until he accomplishes his matters. A Muslim person should feel that is not alone in this life but rather every Muslim everywhere is his brother who supports, helps, cares for, defends, likes, assists and looks after him.

Ibn Abu Ad-Dunya narrated from Ibn `Umar that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The most beloved of people to Allah is the one who brings most benefit to people, and the most beloved of deeds to Allah is making a Muslim happy, or relieving him of hardship, or paying off his debt, or warding off hunger from him. For me to go with my Muslim brother to meet his need is dearer to me than observing i`tikaf (seclusion) in this mosque – meaning the mosque of Madinah – for a month… Whoever goes with his Muslim brother to meet his need, Allah will make him stand firm on the Day when all feet will slip.” (At-Targhib wa At-Tarhib)

The hadith states that causing good to a Muslim brother, helping them carry out their matters, paying off their debt, relieving them of hardship, etc. are on the top of the God-pleasing deeds. Also, the most beloved ones to God are those who undertake the rights of brotherhood perfectly.

To be continued..

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Source: The-Faith.com

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Citizenship in Islam: Rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim (2/3)

In a previous article, we mentioned two of the rights of the Muslim upon his Muslim brother. We highlighted the rights of support and help that are highly confirmed by the Qur’an and Sunnah. In this article, we will explain the rights that Islam has imposed upon Muslims towards each other.

Rights of the Muslim

The Muslim is the one who protects the honor of his fellow Muslim.

Rights of the Muslim

Right of Justice

A Muslim is not allowed to oppress anyone. This is totally prohibited in Islam. Allah has repeatedly stated in the Qur’an that wrongfulness is forbidden and that He does not like the wrongdoers:

But as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, He will give them in full their rewards, and Allah does not like the wrongdoers. (Aal `Imran 3:57)

Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet saying among what he narrated from Allah, the Most High, that He has said, “O My slaves, I have made oppression unlawful for myself and I have made it unlawful among you, so do not oppress one another.” (Muslim)

Yet, wrongfulness, which is already prohibited, is more prohibited when it occurs between two Muslims. Ibn `Umar that the Prophet said, “A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Right of Concealing the Faults

A Muslim should care for his Muslim brother. He should not uncover his faults, search to know them or encroach upon his brother’s privacy. He should be a means of protection of the dignity and honor of his brother. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever covers (the sin of) a Muslim, Allah will cover him (his sin) in this world and in the Hereafter.” (Ibn Majah)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned against searching for others faults. Narrated Abu Barzah Al-Aslami: “The Prophet said: “O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house.” (Abu Dawud)

However, this does not mean letting a Muslim go ahead in committing sins where he should be advised and warned of their evil outcome.

Right of Protecting Honor

The most emphasized right of a Muslim upon the other Muslim is to preserve his honor and reputability. This right is stressed by the Prophet, and its violation is graver than anything else. Narrated Sa`id ibn Zayd: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The most prevalent kind of usury is going to lengths in talking unjustly against a Muslim’s honor.” (Abu Dawud)

Also, the Prophet stressed that the honor of a Muslim brother must be kept untouchable and inviolable for the other Muslims. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah said: “The blood, honor and property of a Muslim is inviolable for another Muslim.” (Muslim)

In another hadith, as the Prophet gives the definition and description of a true Muslim. He (peace be upon him) maintains that the Muslim is the one who protects the honor of his fellow Muslim. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one from whom the people’s lives and wealth are safe.” (An-Nasa’i)

Right of Supplication

One of the indications of a Muslim’s love for his Muslim brother for the sake of God is to supplicate God for him, especially in his brother’s absence. This supplication is hoped to be answered by God. Abu Ad-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: ‘Ameen! May it be for you, too’.” (Muslim)

The above hadith highlights two things: the supplication of a Muslim to his Muslim brother in his absence is certainly answered, and that the angels will respond to his supplication by saying “Ameen” and implore God to give the questioner the same thing he requested for his brother, which is expected to be answered as well.

Right of Preserving the Properties

The Prophet has maintained that it is not permissible by any means to encroach upon other’s properties, even if they are non-Muslims. However, this impermissibility becomes more established if it is between Muslims. Almighty Allah says,

O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only (in lawful) business by mutual consent. (An-Nisaa’ 4:29)

The verse shows us that using up a Muslim’s properties is not allowable in Islam. In his Farwell Hajj, the Prophet declared in his well-known sermon as narrated by Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “Delivering the sermon during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the day of Sacrifice at Mina, the Messenger of Allah said, “Verily your blood, your property and your honor are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this town of yours. Verily! I have conveyed this message to you.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Also, the Prophet (peace be upon him) made it directly that it is a mutual right between Muslims. Abu Hurairah (peace be upon him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Every Muslim’s blood, property and honor are unlawful to be violated by another Muslim.” (Muslim)

Right of Patience

The life troubles and conflicts naturally bring about undesired situations and problems. Therefore, patience and forbearance are always required. The Prophet explains that a Muslim who mingles with people and endures their harm is better than the one who does not mix with them and does not bear the harm.

Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said: “The believer who mixes with people and endures their harm is better than the person who does not mix with people nor endure their harm.” (Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)

Right of Advice

Offering advice is highly appreciated in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) made it the core of religion. On the authority of Tamim ibn Aws, “The Prophet said, “The Religion is advice.” We said, “To whom?” He (peace be upon him) said, “To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.” (Muslim)

Offering advice expresses love and caring for the other and sincere desire for bringing good or removing evil from them. The Prophet made it a right of the Muslim upon his fellow Muslim. Also, Jarir narrated: “I gave pledge of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah on the observance of prayer, payment of Zakah, and offering advice to every Muslim.” (Muslim)

                                                                                                                                                               To be continued…

Read also:

Citizenship in Islam: Rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim (1/3)

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Source: www.the-faith.com.

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For a Merciful Society: Rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim (3/3)

This is the third and last article of the series of the “Rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim”. We will continue this interesting topic about the mutual Islamic rights between Muslims and one another.

muslim

All texts of revelation have stressed good treatment, kindness and cooperation.

Right of Kind Treatment

A Muslim is always required to deal with others with high morals and pleasant manners. He should not indulge in ill actions or behaviors with other Muslims or non-Muslims. IbnMas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet also warned against cursing or fighting a Muslim because these actions are contrary to the peaceful message of Islam. IbnMas`udreported: “The Messenger of Allah said, “Reviling a Muslim is fusuq (disobedience of Allah) and killing him is (tantamount to) disbelief.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Right of Good Neighborhood

All texts of revelation have stressed good treatment, kindness, cooperation, sharing happiness and sorrow, and mercifulness to neighbors. This right has been repeated in revelation to the Prophet once and once again until he thought that there will be a share of inheritance to the neighbors.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Gabriel impressed upon me (the kind treatment) towards the neighbor (so much) that I thought as if he would soon confer upon him the (right) of inheritance.” (Muslim)

Right of Visiting

The right of visiting between Muslims is most required in case of sickness or troubles. It was narrated that ‘Ali said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

‘Whoever comes to his Muslim brother and visits him (when he is sick), he is walking among the harvest of Paradise until he sits down, and when he sits down he is covered with mercy. If it is morning, seventy thousand angels will send blessing upon him until evening, and if it is evening, seventy thousand angels will send blessing upon him until morning.’” (IbnMajah)

Also, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah said, “A believer owes another believer five rights: responding to greetings, visiting him in illness, following his funeral, accepting his invitation, and saying ‘Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you),’ when he says ‘Al-hamdu-lillah(Praise be to Allah)’ after sneezing”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Right of Greeting

It is an act of Sunnah and a right of the Muslim upon his Muslim brother to greet them when they meet. Abu Hurairah (peace be upon him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

“A Muslim has six duties towards other Muslims: When you meet him, you should salute him; when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he asks for your advice, give it to him; when he sneezes and praises Allah, say May Allah have mercy on you; when he is ill, visit him; and when he dies follow his funeral.” (Muslim)

Once a person asked Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him):“What (sort of) deeds in Islam that are good?” He replied, “To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you don’t know.” (Al-Bukhari)

Right of Accepting Invitation

It was narrated in Al-Bukhari and Muslim that Abu Hurairahsaid: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: ‘The rights of a Muslim over his fellow Muslim are five: returning greetings, visiting the sick, attending funerals, accepting invitations, and saying Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah confer His mercy on you) when he sneezes.’”

Therefore, accepting the invitation, especially in occasions like marriage celebrations, are required upon the Muslim towards his Muslim brother. Some scholars considered this as an obligation upon the Muslim in case he or she is invited, provided that the place is devoid of sins such as music.

Right of Attending Muslim Funeral

The Prophet impressively clarifies that it is a right of a Muslim, even in case he is dead, to follow his funeral until he is buried. In the aforementioned hadiths, the Prophet said:

“A Muslim has six duties towards other Muslims: When you meet him, you should salute him; when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he asks for your advice, give it to him; when he sneezes and praises Allah, say May Allah have mercy on you; when he is ill, visit him; and when he dies follow his funeral.” (Muslim)

Attending the funerals of Muslim is of great reward. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: “Whoever follows the funeral procession of a Muslim out of faith and in the hope of reward, then offers the funeral prayer for him and waits until he is placed in his grave, then he will have two qirats, each of which is like Mount Uhud. Whoever offers the funeral prayer for him then returns, he will have one qirat.” (Al-Bukhari)

Saying the Dhikr of Sneezing

Among the mutual rights between Muslims is to say “Yarhamuka Allah” (may Allah confer mercy upon you) in case the Muslim is sneezing. Al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurairahthat the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“When one of you sneezes, let him say, ‘Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah),’ and let his brother or companion say to him. ‘Yarhamuka Allah” (may Allah have mercy on you).’ If he says, ‘Yarhamuka Allah,’ then let (the sneezer) say, ‘Yahdikum Allah wayuslihubalakum (may Allah guide you and rectify your condition).’”

 

Read also:

Part 1

Part 2

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Source: www.the-faith.com

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The Muslim: The True, The Best & The Ideal

`Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him), said, “The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands Muslims are safe. And the Muhajir (immigrant) is he who abandons all what Allah has forbidden.” (Al-Bukhari)

muslim

The best Muslim is defined as he who offers food to the needy and greet every one with peace.

The hadith implies that the perfect Muslim is he who refrains from abusing people physically, verbally, and mentally. In return, people will trust him and feel secure and comfortable when dealing with him.

The Basic Islam

The basic Muslim as mentioned in other traditions is he who fulfills the five pillars of Islam: testifying that there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is His messenger, offering prayers in time, gave obligatory charity (zakah), fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing pilgrimage to Mecca if one has the means to afford it.

The True Islam

The above hadith defines the Muslim as he from whose tongue and hands Muslims are safe. Scholar of Islam say that hadith refers to the perfect or true Muslim.

The true Muslim is he who, in addition to believing and performing all the pillars of Islam, refrains from harming anybody either by words or actions.

It stresses that the real Muslim avoids causing any kind of harm to people. In other words, one cannot be a true Muslim unless his religious practices of Islam are reflected in his dealings with people in real life.

The true Muslim does not only meet the basic requirements but also is always striving to be a peaceful person who respects the rights of people and refrains from causing any sort of harm, damage, or injury to them either by words or actions.

But he who practices the pillars of Islam and various acts of worship, but at the same time, he treats people with bad manners and pays no respect to their rights, is unable to understand the reality of Islam. Such a person has indeed failed to realize the significance of the acts of worship and the wisdom and spirit behind them.

The Best Islam

Moreover, according to other traditions, the best Muslim is defined as he who offers food to the needy and greet every one with peace.

`Abdullah ibn `Umar said that a person asked Allah’s Messenger, “Which Islam is the best?” He replied, “To offer food and greet with peace those whom you know and those whom you don’t know.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Offering food symbolizes benefiting people by actions; food is mentioned here because it is easy and available, everyone can donate some food. Greeting people with peace symbolizes benefiting them by nice, encouraging, and supporting words; peaceful greeting is mentioned because it is simple and no one has an excuse not to do it.

Accordingly, the best Muslim is he who does not only abstain from harming people but also is doing his best to be beneficent to people as much as he can by words and actions.

The Ideal Muslim

The ideal Muslim not only acts with people with kind, pleasant, peaceful, and respectful manners; and is beneficent to them but also keeps himself away from nonsense and useless words and actions. He does not waste his time and/or efforts in vain actions and purposeless speeches. The

Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Part of someone’s being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The True Muhajir

The Prophet gave orders to his Companions to migrate to Madinah to escape the persecution of Quraish. They migrated to Madinah gradually and secretly; they left behind their houses, wealth, and possessions for supporting Allah and his Messenger.

The immigrant was honored for his great sacrifices and given the title of “Muhajir”. And he was promised a great reward from Allah. The immigration had stopped after the conquest of Makkah.

The hadith defines the true Muhajer as the one who, in addition to migrating from his homeland to the land of Islam, keeps himself away from all sorts of evil practices; and abandons whatever Allah has forbidden.

But he who migrated from his homeland to the land of Islam, and but does not refrain from indulging in sins and misconduct, has indeed failed to achieve the purpose behind his migration.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s  “The True Muslim” , published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

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Islam: The Religion of Nature

By Muhammad Al-Ghazali

Islam has called itself a ‘Natural Religion’ which is free from all these impurities :

Islam The Religion of Nature

Islam has called itself a ‘Natural Religion’ which is free from all impuritiesز

So (O Prophet) set your face steadily and truly to the faith. (Establish) Allah’s nature on which He has framed mankind. There is no change in what Allah has created; that is the standard religion; but most among mankind do not understand. (Ar-Rum 30:30)

The function of the eye is to see until there is some disturbance in it. The ear hears the sound till it becomes deaf.

The function of the nature is to follow the right path, and to rush towards it with such alacrity as the water rushes down from a height, unless it is overcome by corruption and wickedness, which may take its reins in hands and turn it away from the path of righteousness and blessings.

The disturbing things, which corrupt nature are sometimes the result of the past centuries or sometimes they are the creation of the lowly environment and ha bits and customs, or both these things together are responsible for the disturbances.

These things are a great danger for the nature of man. They cause a variety of diseases in it. The real jihad of a reformer is to fight these inhibitions and customs and to weaken their strength. He tries to relieve nature of these dangers in order that its original purity may be regained and it may be able to fulfill its real responsibility.

Islam has given a full clarification of this method.

After explaining the natural religion in the above quoted verses, the Qur’an says immediately thereafter :

Turn back in repentance to Him, and fear Him; Establish regular prayers, and be not you among those who join gods with Allah, those who split up and become sects, each party rejoicing in that which is with itself. (Ar-Rum 30:31-32)

Remaining on the Right Path

To encourage faith in place of disbelief, righteousness in place of wickedness, to adopt the policy of fearing God, in place of disturbed thoughts in respect of Allah the righteous people’s unity of thought and action-these are the manifestations that show that man has remained on the righteous nature. This has been clarified in the following verse of the Qur’an:

We indeed created man in the best of moulds, then we have abased him to be the lowest of the low, except such as believe and do righteous deeds. (At-Tin 95:4-6)

What is the best mould or form of man? The understanding of Truth and adopting it, fulfillment of its requirements and meeting of its demands.

This is called the attachment to virtuousness and decency, and consideration of these two good qualities in man’s individual and collective life is the real achievement. And attempts to make them operative in all the departments of life is the real mould and form.

But there is a very large number of people who do not reach this high level. They remain attached to the earth only.

They follow their own desires, and express disobedience of God’s commands. In this way they fall to the lowest level

The Qur’an has called this “Asfala safileen” (lowest of the low), to which Allah has thrown such people.

To throw the men of such nature to the lowest level is according to the divine law regarding guidance and transgression. And these laws are true and based on justice. The Qur’an mentions them as under:

And Allah will not mislead a people after He has guided them, in order that He may make clear to them what to fear (and avoid)-for Allah has knowledge of all things. (At-Tawbah 9:115)

In Surah Al-A`raf this law of guidance and transgression has been mentioned thus:

Those who behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance of right-them I will turn away from My signs; even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them; And if they see the way of right conduct, they will not adopt it as the way of error is the way they will adopt; for they rejected Our signs, and failed to take warning from them. (Al-A`raf 7:146)

Who is it then that remains on the ‘best mould’ and keeps himself away from the indignities of the world? In the verses of the Surah At-Tin occurring immediately after those quoted above the answer is given:

Except such as believe and do the righteous deeds. (At-Tin 95:6)

Thus, the outcome of faith and the righteous deeds is the excellence of moral character.

There Is a Counter to the Wicked Nature

Islam’s stand ,in relation to man’s pure nature and its strength and firmness has been discussed. As regards its dealings with the devil-like natures, that has also been made clear. Islam warns mischievous-natured people. It entrusts its reins in the hands of the healthy intellect; it encourages it to bow down to the pure nature and to surrender itself to Allah.

The prophet has hinted at some of these kinds of natures :

“The son of Adam reaches the old age and two of his habits do not leave him. One is greed and the second is the unending succession of hopes.” (Muslim)

“The worst evil found in man is the frightening cowardice and the un-dignifying miserliness.”(Abu Dawud)

“If the son of Adam is given a valley of gold, he will desire to have another one. And if the other is also given, he will be greedy to have the third one. The hunger of Adam’s son will not be satisfied except when his remains are mixed with the dust. And the one who turns to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance.” (Al-Bukhari )

The Qur’an has mentioned some of the habits:

Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet, women and sons; heaped up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence) ; and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in the nearness to Allah is the best of the goals ( to return to ). (Aal `Imran 3:14)

The first thing Islam wants man to pay attention to is this that to run after the carnal desires of the self and to follow its unending demands will never satisfy self and make it contented. Truth and right path will not be acceptable to it.

The condition of the self is that when its one desire is satisfied, it immediately demands to have some other desire satisfied. It is always busy in eating, drinking, and having a good time, and greedy with desire to have more and more of everything. It has no hesitation in committing sin and acts of aggression and cruelty.

Therefore, Qur’an has forbidden men to follow the desires that have been considered haram (prohibited):

Nor follow you the lusts (of your heart), for they will mislead you from the path of Allah; for those who wander astray from the path of Allah, is a penalty grievous, for that they forget the Day of Account. (Saad 38:26)

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The article is excerpted from the book  “Muslim Character” , an American-English translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s Khuluq Al-Muslim

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Practical Steps to Memorize the Qur’an

Realize it’s a spiritual and physical project. It’s a miracle and blessing from Allah (Exalted be He) that you’re able to absorb the Qur’an. If you want to take advantage of this blessing, you should be in a position to receive it and therefore strive physically to achieve it and strive spiritually to get the maximum benefit.

Qur’an

Make sure that the intention you are making is only for the sake of Allah.

1-  Sincerity

The first matter you have to pay attention to is your intention (if you intend good you will get good). Make sure that the intention you are making is only for the sake of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He),  to seek His pleasure so that insha’Allah, with His mercy, we will be rewarded in the Hereafter.

Remember that it is not to show off in front of others that you have memorized a lot. Sincerity is not a one-time factor rather it’s a continual battle that you always have to renew.

2-  Consistency

The more frequently you memorize, the easier it becomes. It is very essential to be consistent, and not to skip even one day. There is no weekend in worship. The bare minimum that one should memorize is at least 3 lines, 5 is more ideal. If you are consistent, insha’Allah, you will be able to be a Hafiz (one who memorizes the whole Qur’an) in 5-6 years

3- Timing

The first thing you should do in the day is memorize – even do so before your breakfast, because this is your spiritual breakfast. The best time to memorize is right after Fajr.

4- Atmosphere

Have a secluded place to go to and memorize in a place that is quiet. You just can’t memorize properly with distractions, so turn off all your devices (like cell phones).

5- Familiarity

Start at the same time, at the same place and use the same mushaf every day. You need to have your own copy of the Qur’an, it will later become so dear to you.

6-  No Magic trick: repeat, repeat, repeat, over and over again. It is just repetitive recitation and/or listening that will help to memorize.

7- Memorize with the meaning: read the translation before you start and try to match the Arabic words with their meanings.

8- Surround yourself with recitation: listen to the Qur’an. Before you start memorize, listen to what you are about to memorize. Sh. Husary is highly recommended.

9- Find a recitation buddy: get a friend, a family member or someone you know who will listen to your recitation every day. Ideally, get someone who is also memorizing to create a peer pressure system.

10- Recite daily in your salah what you have memorized. If you forget one portion, you will immediately rush towards the Qur’an and correct your mistake and you will never do this mistake again.

11- Triple daily dose:

a-  New memorization at your assigned time of the day

b- Revision of the previous 7 days, just before you start the new memorization: This is because the fastest thing you forget is the new memorization.

And doing so, will also build the connector between the old ones and the new portion you are going to memorize. Plus, it will be a good warm up for the brain when you recall from your memory and recite, before you go into the real exercise of doing the new memorization.

c- At a later/another time of the day, revise those before the recent 7 days. The bare minimum should be 4-5 pages.

12- Do not jump around

Be consistent. Don’t try to go to another surah if you find it difficult and stick to the order. That way, you will have the satisfaction of having completed a juz’ rather than leaving some portions here and there.

13- The three chunks

Start from the back. Shorter surahs will bring you a big boost. You should divide the memorization of the Qur’an in three parts:

  1. a) Juz’ 28, 29, 30 or just Juz’ 29, 30
  2. b) Surat Al-Kahf till Juz’ 28
  3. c) Surah Al-Baqarah to Surat Al-Kahf

Why?

But, why should we strive to memorize the Qur’an in the first place, and where then should we begin?  In this video Sheikh Yasir Qadhi reflects on these points…

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Source: Muslimmatters.org

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