Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
How wonderful is this?!
We are getting so much done, and it doesn’t seem too difficult when we do just a little, every day. Gaining a better understanding of the entire Arabic Qur’an is within our reach! But there is a wonderful ‘side-effect’ to that, a Positivity which Readers may have started to notice. Some are beginning to share their experience with us, sending in their comments and helping to advance this endeavor.
Thank you, and please continue to spread this to others. We need the energy.
1. Today’s Reading (verse 116) begins by telling us that indeed, nothing will ever help the Deniers- 'Allatheena Kafaru' (see definition Jan 29). Being Deniers (of God and the Afterlife), what they spend is intended for this Present Life (Immediate Life) alone - and their rewards will therefore remain here exactly as they had always intended (verse 117). It is only fair that they get no benefit in the Everlasting Life which they were bent on denying. Yusuf Ali says in his note 439: The essence of charity is faith and love… you wronged your soul, and it suffered the frost. Your base motive brought you no good..” Muhammad Asad says in his note 86: “… the tilth of a believer is never completely lost in its entirety, for even if it is seemingly lost, there remains to him the expectation of a reward in the life to come for his patience in adversity.”
2. In verses 118-120 the Qur’an issues another warning to those who have attained Faith, NOT to take as their confidantes or ‘Intimates,’ people who do not share their high standards or moral strength. ‘Min doonikum’ means of those ‘lower, or less than you in worth or strength.’
Intimate friendships and confidentiality should only be between us and those whom we can fully trust; those who share our standards (no matter what they call themselves). The verse continues in its description of people whom we should be most wary of, those whose hearts/minds hide resentment, and who desire to see nothing good granted to us (see M. Asad’s note 87).
The last part of verse 120 tells the Faithful that the cunning/guile of the resentful people will not harm them in the least –IF they remain indeed patient and aware. We know that the Prophet and his companions heeded those warnings and obeyed those directives. Qur’anic Readings will provide ample proof that his openness to others, and his leniency were unmatched, peace upon him (remember the Christians of Najran conducting their own prayers in his mosque?).
3. There is no such restriction on other, non-intimate relations. To the contrary: those who have attained Faith should, in fact, always be making new relationships, keeping the channels of communication and exchange open, and allowing for their own growth as well as that of others.
We will discuss this a little here (in our last Poll, readers voted that they’d like to discuss how Qur’an relates to Life). Therefore, with regard to channels of communication, if not for the opening of such channels with strangers, Islam would never have reached the Far East as it did. Wherever honest and open-minded merchants took their wares and spread their prayer-carpets facing Mecca, there we find today the largest gathering of Muslims. It is no secret that such merchants understood their Faith better than we do, and modeled their leniency after the Qur’an’s directives and our Prophet’s behavior in ways we often find hard to emulate today.
Isn’t it reported that Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, said, “A Believer who socializes with people and patiently puts up with their injury, is of a higher reward -is a better person- than he who neither socializes with people nor patiently puts up with their injury”? (Saying appears in two wordings, see below*.)
We need to know that, so as to counter the negative portrayals of his Legacy. We need to strengthen ourselves and our families with knowledge and then face the world with confidence.
Living in a bubble is a TRAP for the Faithful, who often become hermit-like and stunt their growth, many of them losing their children to the world outside their doors. This is a major problem faced by Muslim communities in the west, and is addressed in the writings of Dr. Jeffrey Lang. We will try to discuss these issues.
4. “Remember that morning…”
Verses 121-127 discuss the Battle of Uhud (historical reference Y. Ali’s note 442; M. Asad’s note 90). Unlike the Battle of Badr, the Faithful were not victorious in this battle due to the archers’ premature departure from their assigned posts.
5. Verses 128-129 tell Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him that it is none of his concern whom God ultimately forgives or whom He causes to suffer, for they (the Meccan Deniers) are wrongdoers.
Remember when we said on Jan. 12th that there are verses in the Qur’an where the 'voice' of God is easily identifiable- dutifully received by His Messenger and then transmitted to the world? These are such verses, where God clarifies, encourages and warns, and His Messenger delivers.
To God belong all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and He is indeed Forgiving and Unceasingly Compassionate (Raheem).
6. Verses 130-132 mention Usury again. The previous time was in our Posting of Jan 27th which began: “Those who devour/gorge themselves on usury …” (Do go back to it.) We discussed ‘riba’ then and said that (HQ3:130) specifies the exorbitance of usury. We spoke of the poor, of Islamic Banking and the Vatican’s opinion on that, and mentioned Professor Muhammad Yunus’ innovative concept of ‘Micro-credit,’ by which he helped millions of poverty-stricken people become self-sufficient. Visit his organization and check out the video on the official selection for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, "TO CATCH A DOLLAR" Muhammad Yunus Banks on America (posted today Right side-bar).
The Qur’an here tells us quite clearly that if we desired ‘falaah,’ which is to prevail as a community and succeed in life (definition Feb.5th), we should be Aware of God and NOT devour/gorge on interest, doubling and redoubling our wealth at the expense of others.
We should be Aware of the Fire that is prepared for the Deniers.
We should consciously obey God and the Messenger -as pertains to the Message- (see 'obey' -طوع- Postings of Feb 4th,5th) if we indeed DO seek God's Mercy.
Our next Reading is from HQ 3:133-148.
*"المؤمن الذي يخالط الناس ويصبر على أذاهم أعظم أجرا من الذي لا يخالطهم ولا يصبر على أذاهم"
وقال حجاج "خير من الذي لا يخالطهم.."
الراوي: عبدالله بن عمر؛ المصدر: مسند أحمد - الصفحة أو الرقم: 7/94
خلاصة حكم المحدث: إسناده صحيح
خلاصة حكم المحدث: إسناده صحيح
وبرواية ابن ماجة بسندٍ صحيح عن ابن عمر.