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Recipe for Innocent Immaturity

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of yearning
  • 1 cup of solitude
  • ½  cup of nonsense, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of heartbreak
  • 3 cups of wisdom
  • ½ cup pain-of-loss
  • 3 large Seeds of Faith, cracked and well beaten
  • 2 sticks of Once Upon A Time, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of childhood
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered crazy
  • A dash of Happily Ever After (or to taste)

 

Method:

  1. Sift yearning and solitude into a large mixing heart.
  2. To the heart, add the sticks of Once Upon a Time gradually until consistency is lumpy; firm when squeezed together, but remains loose.
  3. Add to the heart the Seeds of Faith and blend with a dream-mixer on low speed until smooth.
  4. To the heart, blend in childhood, then let stand in the refrigerator for approximately 20 to 25 years, perhaps a little longer depending on your fridge.
  5. Remove from fridge and allow batter to come to room temperature.
  6. While batter is thawing, add heartbreak to a saucepan and simmer until it thickens to a syrup.  Allow to cool.
  7. Begin to blend in the heartbreak to the batter, little by little, at medium speed.  This is the most vital ingredient.

    NB:  BE SURE NOT TO ADD TOO MUCH HEARTBREAK ALL AT ONCE OTHERWISE THE BATTER MAY CONGEAL AND LOSE UNIFORMITY.

  8. With a mixing spoon, turn into the batter the pain-of-loss.  The batter should now have the consistency of dough.  Knead the dough well, pounding it and flipping it over and over several times.
  9. Add wisdom to the dough very slowly, continuing to kneed and pound, as necessary.
  10. Knead and pound the dough some more, and then some more.  And when you think you’ve finished kneading and pounding the dough, knead and pound some more.  This is also crucial.
  11. Place the dough into a deep baking pan, greased with a little Once Upon A Time and well powdered with crazy so as to avoid the dough sticking to the pan and burning.
  12. In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, toast the finely chopped nonsense until golden-brown.
  13. Sprinkle over the top of the dough some of the toasted finely chopped nonsense and save the rest for garnishing later.
  14. Bake dough at 350 degrees Celsius for 5 years.  Some ovens may take a little longer.
  15. Once the loaf-cake is done, remove from oven and cool completely before garnishing with the remaining toasted nonsense and sprinkle with Happily Ever After to taste.

 

Serves exactly 2 people.  Loaf may require frosting depending on the audience being served.

 

 *****

 

You ask me why I behave so immaturely most of the time; why I speak with a repulsive stutter of nonsense and utter craziness.  The answer is that this ‘immaturity’ is the desperate clinging on to whatever childhood innocence I can recollect to shield me from Maturity that is a bullying bombardment of heartbreak and pain-of-loss.  I quiver at the thought of losing someone yet again, so I block myself off to the opportunity, regardless of how much I’d like to move on with the dynamic of life.  Catch-Twenty-Two of Khan-flict.

If you dare to crack my shell of immaturity that I so often retreat into, you will find a dusty, untouched library of wisdom that goes by ignored simply because not very many people bother to read anymore.

This is my damage.  What’s yours?

(C)

O My Dear Beloved Son

O My Dear Beloved Son, read this supplication at different times and especially after your prayer:

O God, I ask of You complete blessings, lasting protection from sin, comprehensive mercy, acquisition of well-being [in this world and in the next], the best provision, the happiest life, the most complete favour, the most generous blessing, the sweetest grace, and the closest gentleness.

O God, be for us and not against us.  O God, seal our lives with happiness and good fortune, realise our aspirations accompanied with further increase.  Combine our mornings and evenings with safety and make Your compassion our mercy and last resort and pour the best of Your forgiveness over our sins and favour us with the reform of our defects.  Make piety our provision and grant us interpretive judgment in Your religion, and make us depend on You and have confidence only in You.

O God, make us firm on the path of steadfastness, and safeguard us in this world from matters that will bring shame on the Day of Judgment, and lighten for us the burden of our sins, and grant us lives of the righteous, and protect us from the evil of the evil ones.  Save our necks and the necks of our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters from the fire of Hell by Your compassion, O Most Powerful One, Most Forgiving, Most Generous, Concealing of our faults; O You, Most Knowledgeable, Most Overwhelming, O God! O God! O God!  By Your Mercy, O Most Merciful of the merciful, O First before the firsts, Last after the lasts, O Possessor of Strength, Everlasting, Compassionate to the destitute, Most Compassionate of those who are compassionate.  There is no god but You, glory be to You, verily I am of the wrongdoers.

And may God bless our Prophet Muhammad and his Family and Companions.  All praise belongs to God, the Lord and Cherisher of all the worlds.

~ Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Dear Beloved Son, 24th Counsel)

Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and his Progeny

The Book of Genesis tells us that Abraham was childless, without hope of children, and that one night God summoned him out of his tent and said to him: “Look now towards heaven, and count the stars if thou art able to number them.” And as Abraham gazed up at the stars he heard the voice say: “So shall thy seed be.” [ Genesis 15 : 5 ]

Abraham’s wife Sarah was then seventy-six years old, he being eighty five; and she gave him her handmaid Hagar, an Egyptian, that he might take her as his second wife. But bitterness of feeling arose between the mistress and the handmaid, and Hagar fled from the anger of Sarah and cried out to God in her distress. And He sent to her an Angel with the message: “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.” The Angel also said to her: “Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.” [ Genesis 16 : 10-11 ]  Then Hagar returned to Abraham and Sarah and told them what the Angel had said; and when the birth took place, Abraham named his son Ishmael, which means “God shall hear”.

When the boy reached the age of thirteen, Abraham was in his hundredth year, and Sarah was ninety years old; and God spoke again to Abraham and promised him that Sarah also should bear him a son who must be called Isaac. Fearing that his elder son might thereby lose favour in the sight of God, Abraham prayed: “O that Ishmael might live before Thee!” And God said to him: “As for Ishmael, I have heard thee. Behold, I have blessed him… and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.”
[ Genesis 17 : 20-21 ]

Sarah gave birth to Isaac and it was she herself who suckled him; and when he was weaned she told Abraham that Hagar and her son must no longer remain in their household. And Abraham was deeply grieved at this, on account of his love for Ishmael; but again God spoke to him, and told him to follow the counsel of Sarah, and not to grieve; and again He promised him that Ishmael should be blessed.

Not one but two great nations were to look back to Abraham as their father -two great nations, that is, two guided powers, two instruments to work the Will of Heaven, for God does not promise as a blessing that which is profane, nor is there any greatness before God except greatness in the Spirit. Abraham was thus the fountain-head of two spiritual streams, which must not flow together, but each in its own course; and he entrusted Hagar and Ishmael to the blessing of God and the care of His Angels in the certainty that all would be well with them.

Two spiritual streams, two religions, two worlds for God; two circles, therefore two centres. A place is never holy through the choice of man, but because it has been chosen in Heaven. There were two holy centres within the orbit of Abraham: one of these was at hand, the other perhaps he did not yet know; and it was to the other that Hagar and Ishmael were guided, in a barren valley of Arabia, some forty camel days south of Canaan. The valley was named Becca, some say on account of its narrowness: hills surround it on all sides except for three passes, one to the north, one to the south, and one opening towards the Red Sea which is fifty miles to the west. The Books do not tell us how Hagar and her son reached Becca; perhaps some travellers took care of them, for the valley was on one of the great caravan routes, sometimes called “the incense route”, because perfumes and incense and such wares were brought that way from South Arabia to the Mediterranean; and no doubt Hagar was guided to leave the caravan, once the place was reached. It was not long before both mother and son were overcome by thirst, to the point that Hagar feared Ishmael was dying. According to the traditions of their descendants, he cried out to God from where he lay in the sand, and his mother stood on a rock at the foot of a nearby eminence to see if any help was in sight. Seeing no one, she hastened to another point of vantage, but from there likewise not a soul was to be seen. Half distraught, she passed seven times in all between the two points, until at the end of her seventh course, as she sat for rest on the further rock, the Angel spoke to her. In the words of Genesis:

And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her: What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise and lift up the lad and hold him in thy hand, for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.
[ Genesis 21 : 17-20 ]

The water was a spring which God caused to well up from the sand at the touch of Ishmael’s heel; and thereafter the valley soon became a halt for caravans by reason of the excellence and abundance of the water; and the well was named Zamzam.

As to Genesis, it is the book of Isaac and his descendants, not of Abraham’s other line. Of Ishmael it tells us: And God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer. [ Genesis 21 : 17-20 ]  After that it scarcely mentions his name; except to inform us that the two brothers Isaac and Ishmael together buried their father in Hebron, and that some years later Esau married his cousin, the daughter of Ishmael. But there is indirect praise of Ishmael and his mother in the Psalm which opens How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts, and which tells of the miracle of Zamzam as having been caused by their passing through the valley: Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well. [ Psalm 84 : 5-6 ]

When Hagar and Ishmael reached their destination Abraham had still seventy-five years to live, and he visited his son in the holy place to which Hagar had been guided. The Koran tells us that God showed him the exact site, near to the well of Zamzam, upon which he and Ishmael must build a sanctuary [ Quran 22:26 ]; and they were told how it must be built. Its name, Ka’bah, cube, is in virtue of its shape which is approximately cubic; its four corners are towards the four points of the compass. But the most holy object in that holy place is a celestial stone which, it is said, was brought by an Angel to Abraham from the nearby hill Abu Qubays, where it had been preserved ever since it had reached the earth. “It descended from Paradise whiter than milk, but the sins of the ‘sons of Adam made it black.” [ Tirmidhi, saying of the Prophet Muhammad ]  This black stone they built into the eastern corner of the Ka’bah; and when the sanctuary was completed, God spoke again to Abraham and bade him institute the rite of the Pilgrimage to Becca – or Mecca, as it later came to be called: Purify My House for those who go the rounds of it and who stand beside it and bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto men the pilgrimage, that they may come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel out of every deep ravine. [ Quran 22 : 26-27 ]

Now Hagar had told Abraham of her search for help, and he made it part of the rite of the Pilgrimage that the pilgrims should pass seven times between Safa and Marwah, for so the two eminences between which she had passed had come to be named.

And later Abraham prayed, perhaps in Canaan, looking round him at the rich pastures and fields of corn and wheat: Verily I have settled a line of mine offspring in a tilthless valley at Thy Holy House… Therefore incline unto them men’s hearts, and sustain them with fruits that they may be thankful. [ Quran 14:37 ]

~ Martin Lings, Muhammad (saw) – his life based on the earliest sources

O You Who Have Believed…

A few weeks before Ramadan, I attended an invigorating Friday sermon by Shaykh Alaa Elsayed in which he mentioned the seriousness of taking heed of the words of the Quran, especially with Ramadan around the corner.

One statement he made really moved me.  It was concerning the Day of Judgment.

On the Day the blast of the Horn will convulse creation, there will follow it the subsequent one.

Hearts that Day will tremble.

[ 79 : 6-8 ]

Paraphrased, he said that:  The Quran will be the foundation of our account on the Day of Judgment.  On that day, when you stand alone before God , The Exalted and Most High, He will begin to question you about your deeds in contrast to the commands sent down in the Quran – the most pressing of which are those that address the Believers.

“O You who have believed…”

He then encouraged all of us to read through the Quran and make two lists; one of all of the commands to do and participate in, and another list of all of the commands calling for avoidance and prohibition.  Then, read and reflect upon the lists and realize that these are the least of the things we shall be judged against.

The thought of the Day of Judgement was enough to humble me.

Listed below are the passages that I could find of all of the statements addressing those that have Believed.  There are at least 84; perhaps I may have missed some.  Some of the verses cannot be taken at face value; many of them must be read and understood in context with the verses that precede and follow them, as well as with the Seerah, incidents that happened to have taken place with and around the Prophet Muhammad when those specific verses were revealed to him (upon him and his family and his companions and his followers be infinite Blessings and Peace of God, Most High).

May Allah (swt) make us from amongst those that sincerely Believe, obey and adhere to His commands, so that when the Day of Reckoning is upon us, it will be one of pleasure followed by admission to Gardens of Paradise as opposed to one of great remorse and a procession of painful punishment into the Hell Fire.  Ameen.

O You who have believed!

[Saheeh International Translation]

  • 2:104
    O you who have believed, say not to the Messenger of Allah words of ambiguous import, but words of respect, and hearken to him:  To those without Faith is a grievous punishment.
  • 2:153
    O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
  • 2:172
    O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
  • 2:178
    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. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.
  • 2:183
    O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous
  • 2:208
    O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
  • 2:254
    O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers – they are the wrongdoers.
  • 2:64
    O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a [large] smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] anything of what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.
  • 2:267
    O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.
  • 2:278
    O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.
  • 2:282
    O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah , his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses – so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon. And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term. That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. And take witnesses when you conclude a contract. Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you. And fear Allah . And Allah teaches you. And Allah is Knowing of all things.
  • 3:100
    O you who have believed, if you obey a party of those who were given the Scripture, they would turn you back, after your belief, [to being] unbelievers.
  • 3:102
    O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].
  • 3:118
    O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason.
  • 3:130
    O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.
  • 3:149
    O you who have believed, if you obey those who disbelieve, they will turn you back on your heels, and you will [then] become losers.
  • 3:156
    O you who have believed, do not be like those who disbelieved and said about their brothers when they traveled through the land or went out to fight, “If they had been with us, they would not have died or have been killed,” so Allah makes that [misconception] a regret within their hearts. And it is Allah who gives life and causes death, and Allah is Seeing of what you do.
  • 3:200
    O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.
  • 4:19
    O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.
  • 4:29
    O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.
  • 4:43
    O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.
  • 4:59
    O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.
  • 4:71
    O you who have believed, take your precaution and [either] go forth in companies or go forth all together.
  • 4:94
    O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah , investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
  • 4:135
    O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
  • 4:136
    O you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah , His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.
  • 4:144
    O you who have believed, do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case?
  • 5:1
    O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts. Lawful for you are the animals of grazing livestock except for that which is recited to you [in this Qur’an] – hunting not being permitted while you are in the state of ihram. Indeed, Allah ordains what He intends.
  • 5:2
    O you who have believed, do not violate the rites of Allah or [the sanctity of] the sacred month or [neglect the marking of] the sacrificial animals and garlanding [them] or [violate the safety of] those coming to the Sacred House seeking bounty from their Lord and [His] approval. But when you come out of ihram, then [you may] hunt. And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgress. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
  • 5:6
    O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.
  • 5:8
    O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
  • 5:11
    O you who have believed, remember the favor of Allah upon you when a people determined to extend their hands [in aggression] against you, but He withheld their hands from you; and fear Allah . And upon Allah let the believers rely.
  • 5:35
    O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means [of nearness] to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed.
  • 5:51
    O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.
  • 5:54
    O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
  • 5:57
    O you who have believed, take not those who have taken your religion in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor the disbelievers as allies. And fear Allah , if you should [truly] be believers.
  • 5:87
    O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.
  • 5:90
    O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.
  • 5:94
    O you who have believed, Allah will surely test you through something of the game that your hands and spears [can] reach, that Allah may make evident those who fear Him unseen. And whoever transgresses after that – for him is a painful punishment.
  • 5:95
    O you who have believed, do not kill game while you are in the state of ihram. And whoever of you kills it intentionally – the penalty is an equivalent from sacrificial animals to what he killed, as judged by two just men among you as an offering [to Allah ] delivered to the Ka’bah, or an expiation: the feeding of needy people or the equivalent of that in fasting, that he may taste the consequence of his deed. Allah has pardoned what is past; but whoever returns [to violation], then Allah will take retribution from him. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Owner of Retribution.
  • 5:101
    O you who have believed, do not ask about things which, if they are shown to you, will distress you. But if you ask about them while the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be shown to you. Allah has pardoned that which is past; and Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.
  • 5:105
    O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do.
  • 5:106
    O you who have believed, testimony [should be taken] among you when death approaches one of you at the time of bequest – [that of] two just men from among you or two others from outside if you are traveling through the land and the disaster of death should strike you. Detain them after the prayer and let them both swear by Allah if you doubt [their testimony, saying], “We will not exchange our oath for a price, even if he should be a near relative, and we will not withhold the testimony of Allah . Indeed, we would then be of the sinful.”
  • 8:15
    O you who have believed, when you meet those who disbelieve advancing [for battle], do not turn to them your backs [in flight].
  • 8:20
    O you who have believed, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn from him while you hear [his order].
  • 8:24
    O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.
  • 8:27
    O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know [the consequence].
  • 8:29
    O you who have believed, if you fear Allah , He will grant you a criterion and will remove from you your misdeeds and forgive you. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty.
  • 8:45
    O you who have believed, when you encounter a company [from the enemy forces], stand firm and remember Allah much that you may be successful.
  • 9:28
    O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise.
  • 9:34
    O you who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of Allah . And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment.
  • 9:38
    O you who have believed, what is [the matter] with you that, when you are told to go forth in the cause of Allah , you adhere heavily to the earth? Are you satisfied with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But what is the enjoyment of worldly life compared to the Hereafter except a [very] little.
  • 9:119
    O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.
  • 9:123
    O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous.
  • 22:77
    O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good – that you may succeed.
  • 24:21
    O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan – indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
  • 24:27
    O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.
  • 24:58
    O you who have believed, let those whom your right hands possess and those who have not [yet] reached puberty among you ask permission of you [before entering] at three times: before the dawn prayer and when you put aside your clothing [for rest] at noon and after the night prayer. [These are] three times of privacy for you. There is no blame upon you nor upon them beyond these [periods], for they continually circulate among you – some of you, among others. Thus does Allah make clear to you the verses; and Allah is Knowing and Wise.
  • 33:9
    O you who have believed, remember the favor of Allah upon you when armies came to [attack] you and We sent upon them a wind and armies [of angels] you did not see. And ever is Allah , of what you do, Seeing.
  • 33:41-42
    O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance and exalt Him morning and afternoon.
  • 33:49
    O You who have believed, when you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, then there is not for you any waiting period to count concerning them. So provide for them and give them a gracious release.
  • 33:53
    O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking to remain for conversation. Indeed, that [behavior] was troubling the Prophet, and he is shy of [dismissing] you. But Allah is not shy of the truth. And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.
  • 33:56
    Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.
  • 33:69
    O you who have believed, be not like those who abused Moses; then Allah cleared him of what they said. And he, in the sight of Allah , was distinguished.
  • 33:70
    O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.
  • 47:33
    O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.
  • 49:1
    O you who have believed, do not put [yourselves] before Allah and His Messenger but fear Allah . Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
  • 49:2
    O you who have believed, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lest your deeds become worthless while you perceive not.
  • 49:6
    O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.
  • 49:11
    O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.
  • 49:12
    O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. 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.
  • 57:28
    O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
  • 59:18-19
    O you who have believed, fear Allah . And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah . Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.  And be not like those who forgot Allah , so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.
  • 60:1
    O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah , your Lord. If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, [take them not as friends]. You confide to them affection, but I am most knowing of what you have concealed and what you have declared. And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.
  • 60:10
    O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith. And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them. But give the disbelievers what they have spent. And there is no blame upon you if you marry them when you have given them their due compensation. And hold not to marriage bonds with disbelieving women, but ask for what you have spent and let them ask for what they have spent. That is the judgement of Allah ; He judges between you. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
  • 60:13
    O you who have believed, do not make allies of a people with whom Allah has become angry. They have despaired of [reward in] the Hereafter just as the disbelievers have despaired of [meeting] the inhabitants of the graves.
  • 61:2
    O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do?
  • 61:10-11
    O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment?  [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you should know.
  • 61:14
    O you who have believed, be supporters of Allah , as when Jesus, the son of Mary, said to the disciples, “Who are my supporters for Allah ?” The disciples said, “We are supporters of Allah .” And a faction of the Children of Israel believed and a faction disbelieved. So We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became dominant.
  • 62:9-10
    O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.  And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah , and remember Allah often that you may succeed.
  • 63:9-11
    O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that – then those are the losers.  And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, “My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.”  But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
  • 64:14-17
    O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon and overlook and forgive – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.  Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah has with Him a great reward.  So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah ]; it is better for your selves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.  If you loan Allah a goodly loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. And Allah is Most Appreciative and Forbearing.
  • 66:6
    O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.
  • 66:8
    O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, “Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.”

The Jewel of Creation (saw)

 

In a world of confusion, misunderstanding, chaos, pain, and anguish… along with a network of decisions that are made on a daily basis; the human being is in a constant need of assistance.  What is the best course of action to take?  What is the right thing to say?  The human is endlessly searching and hoping that they speak and do the best.

This human yearn for guidance results in the adherence to various institutions or ideologies.  Part of God’s immense Mercy is that He sends this guidance in the form of human messengers and revelation.  Were God to have sent an angel or other-worldly form of guidance, mankind may not have felt that they could reach the ultimate perfection found within  an angelic guidance.  Yet indeed, humans should, and can!  The whole point of existence is to strive on the path of human perfection.  A life without struggle is indeed a boring and dull life.  Whether you call the final goal, nirvana, sage-hood, enlightenment, or vicegerency, the goal is the same:  to be liberated from mundane mirage and released into Divine Reality.

Islam holds the view that there have been approximately 124 000 perfected humans that have exemplified wise actions and beautiful character.  Amongst these humans (messengers of God, prophets) mentioned in the Quran are Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus, and finally Muhammad (May God grant them peace).  Other scholars have speculated that Buddha, Lao Tse, and Confucius have also been prophets.  It is interesting to note that Islamic scholarship accepts all prophets previous to Muhammad while no other religion accepts the Islamic Prophet.  Thus there is an obvious, inherent universality and tolerance in the Islamic faith:

To every people was sent a Messenger:  when their Messenger comes before them the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged. [ Quran 10:47 ]

Say:  We have faith in God, and in that which has been sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, and that which was give to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets by their Lord.  We make no distinction among any of them, and to Him we have submitted.  [ Quran 2:136 ]

He has sent down upon you the Book with the truth, confirming what was before it, and He has sent down the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, as guidance to the people.  [ Quran 3:3 ]

Through his actions and speech, each prophet of God has embodied his respective divine revelation.  Therefore, prophetic example is the best source of guidance for social matters and is worthy of emulation.  For Muslims, this means following the example (Sunnah) of the last Messenger of God to mankind, Muhammad (May God grant him peace).

In present times people emphasize obligations toward God (prayer, fasting) over obligations toward God’s creations (good manners, kind treatment).  In part this has had the affect of driving people away from revelation and prophetic example.  In fact, obligations toward other creations have traditionally been emphasized in the past.  Al-Hidaya, the Muslim Hanafi school of law’s most famous book, devotes 75% of its contents towards the obligations due to people, and spends only 25% of its contents towards obligations due to God!  According to Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar, this is due to the fact that on the Day of Judgment, God may forgive the sins we commit between us and Him, but God will not forgive our sins between us and others until the person(s) we have wronged against forgive us first.

For the Muslim, one of the fundamental questions is:  How did Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions exert the best possible character and carry out their obligations toward others in the most perfect manner?  One way of solving this mystery is to dive into the prophetic wisdom embellished within the sayings and written down actions of Muhammad:  the ahadeeth.

The ahadeeth that have emanated from Muhammad’s mouth (peace and blessings be upon him) is proof of his beyond this world wisdom and compassion.  To Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the best father, the best brother, the best husband, the best teacher, the best leader, the best humanitarian, the best friend, and the best human.  “I have not been sent except to perfect character”, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said to his followers.  Even after his death when Muhammad’s followers were free to say anything about him (pbuh), not one of them uttered a negative remark.  His nickname, Al-Amin (the Trustworthy), which was given to him as a youth was never invalidated.  Even his wife, Aa’isha (may God preserve her), a companion who witnessed his character within the privacy of the home and in the publc realm, proclaimed that, “His character was the Quran.”  This historical fact is phenomenal; which modern-day wife can proclaim that her husband has the same beauteous character outside as the does within the home?  The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) companion, ‘Amr bin al-‘As (may God preserve him), also affirmed Muhammad’s sincerity:  “We saw everything the Prophet (pbuh) taught us embodied in his own character.”

Although in the later years of his life the Prophet was respected far and wide, he continued to live humbly:  “The Prophet (pbuh) used to mend his own shoes, sew his own clothes and work in his own house just as one of you would work.  He acted like a common man – he patched his own clothes, milked his own goats and engaged himself in routine work.” [Tirmidhi]

This provides evidence that his desire to transmit revelation was not for material gain.  Muhammad’s (pbuh) humility also permeated his actions with others.  He never chastised those who desired to serve him.  A voluntary servant of the Prophet (pbuh) said, “I served the Prophet (pbuh) for ten years, and never said to me ‘Uf’ (a word signifying harshness or impatience) and never blamed me by saying, ‘Why did you do so or why didn’t you do so?'”

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also never publicly humiliated people for minor sins.  Once a man entered the Prophet’s Mosque and urinated.  A few of the companions became extremely upset and at least one was ready to physically reprimand him, yet Muhammad (pbuh) remained calm and told them to be patient.  The Prophet (pbuh) gently took him aside and explained to the man who urinated that mosques are sacred places and must be kept clean.  Due to Prophet’s (pbuh) noble manners, the man cried out, “Oh God forgive me and Muhammad and no one else!”  The Prophet (pbuh) just laughed and said, “You are limiting God’s vast mercy.”  This statement also demonstrates Muhammad’s (pbuh) sense of humour.  Indeed, he once said, “I joke, but always truthfully.”

Muhammad (pbuh) was the first man to verbally condemn racism based on skin colour when he explicitly said that there is no difference between a white and a black man except by piety and good action.  This is extremely progressive and astounding for his time period of seventh century Arabia, especially considering that America had massive racism only 50 years ago and that this world is still suffering from it.  Those who disbelieve in Islam should hold high regard and esteem for the speaker of this brilliant statement.

There are just a few endless reasons why thousands of people were willing to call him, without any doubt, the Messenger of God.  Indeed, a man of such high character caliber could not have been insane, or worse, invented falsehood:

You are not, by the grace of your Lord, mad or possessed.  Nay, verily for you is a Reward unfailing;  And you stand on an exalted standard of character.  Soon will you see, and they will see, which of you is afflicted with madness. [ Quran 68: 2 – 6 ]

May the Peace and Blessings of God be forever with the Prophet, for without him, this world would lack the most precious gems of wisdom.

~ Haseena Sahib