Friday Nasiha: Weekly Reminders For Success

Friday Nasiha - Weekly Reminders for Successful LifeIn the name of Allah, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Peace be with you
السلام عليكم

Living the Quran
The Light
Surah Al-Nur, The Light, (Qur'an, 24:35)
"God is the Light of the heavens and the earth."  (Qur'an, 24:35)

Scholars, such as the eleventh-century philosopher al-Ghazali understood this "light," or "noor", to be the true quintessential light or the definitive source of all light in the universe. He goes on to explain that to describe God as Light puts Him above everything else in existence and points to His power to create living matter out of dark nothingness. The evidence of God's existence and power is so overwhelming and pervasive in the physical universe as well as in our own everyday lives, that only the ignorant or the arrogant can be blind to it.

Others interpret 'light' as the guidance God infuses into the hearts of believers that gives them the ability to discern right from wrong, good from evil, and gives them a strong belief and confidence in their faith and what they profess to be true.

On closer reflection, the two meanings of the word "noor" will be found to be complementary. As one marvels at the light observed in the physical world, it leads to guidance being imbued inside one's heart, drawing one closer to God. Those who fail to be aware of God and deny or ignore His power and role in the world will be deprived of the privilege of God's Light and guidance, no matter how materially fortunate or advanced or successful they may be.

Compiled From:
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 380, 381

Understanding the Prophet's Life

Khusamah (Argumentation), accompanied by a violation of the right of another and comprising discourteous and hostile speech, is undoubtedly reprehensible and must be avoided. The enormity of such argumentation is accentuated in the Hadith where the Prophet ﷺ (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) proclaims,
"The most disliked of men before God Most High is one who is most stubborn during argumentation." [Tirmidhi]

This Hadith primarily applies to those who engage in disputes either in pursuit of falsehood, or over matters of which they have little knowledge. For example, the disputant may be a lawyer who has not studied a case, or has studied it and knows his side is in the wrong but still chooses to fight for it. Also included in this category are people who deliberately defend false views and beliefs in order to influence the feeble minded.

An individual who disputes on behalf of a good cause, and yet exceeds the limits of propriety by engaging in abusive language, is also blameworthy, although to a lesser degree than the one who argues in pursuit of falsehood.

"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, p. 153

Divine Measurement

Islam divides daily life into two spheres: what we have control over and what we do not. We have no control over the circumstances developing around us. The car breaks down; we get laid off at our job; an earthquake topples the city; we bump into a long-lost friend; and so on. These things just happen. We couldn't prevent them because we didn't know they were coming. Islam says all of these things are a test for us. They were predetermined challenges or merely things that, because of a complex confluence or events, just happened. They were a part of our Divine Measurement (Qadr).

Even though we often have no control over what happens to us, we do have control over how we feel and respond. When a tragedy strikes, do we blame God? When we see a diamond, does covetousness well up within us? When someone does evil to us, do we reciprocate or forgive? When we are alone, do we feel lonely or jubilant? Islam says we have control over our feelings, emotions and personal actions. Our test lies in how we respond to what happens around us. Do we exercise patience with life's challenges or do we panic and create disorder in our lives and in others? Now if we really think of the complex web of actions and reactions that go on every day in all of our lives, we can begin to appreciate how little our capacity is compared to God's.

Compiled From:
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam, 2nd Edition" - Yahiya Emerick, p. 103


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