Random Thoughts and Notes No. 476-500

476.    An admonishment: We should take a lesson from all people who have strong beliefs- they are relentless in trying to voice their opinions about such beliefs, to let others know about these beliefs, and to change the geopolitical landscape towards the principles they believe in. They do not simply keep it to themselves; in their understanding, they are doing ‘Amr bil Ma’ruf and Nahy ‘anil Munkar’ – enjoining the ‘good’ and forbidding the ‘evil’ (so what is our problem in doing this based on the truth and correct principles which Islam has provided us with?)

477.    The Prophet (ﷺ) said that his Shafa’ah (Intercession) is for those who commit major sins in His Ummah. We should ponder for a moment on his (ﷺ) love for those who at least profess/accept the Shahadatayn. (i.e. because we would have expected his intercession to be for those who had already achieved quite a lot of good in this life, and only needed a better position, but as mentioned in the narration, it is for those who have committed major sins and are deserving of Hellfire due to their actions).

478.    One issue concerning why many cannot change their behavior for their own good in the Hereafter is because they have no sense of urgency: In a way, they are not sure that the Hour is coming swiftly towards them; otherwise, they would definitely change their routines and lives immediately.

479.    Consider how the Prophet (ﷺ) talked to Ibn ‘Abbas (RAA) when the latter was 10 years old, not about games and children’s endeavors, but about Qadr, one of the most important issues which affects all of us every time. Thus, he did not belittle this young Sahaabi’s intelligence nor dismiss his capacity to understand complex and serious issues.

480.    With respect to acts being judged by their Maqsad, we see that the Faqeeh has to be cognizant of the different intentions and goals that people may have even while committing the exact same outward action. An example is the act of killing with its jurisprudential nuances of premeditated murder, act of rage, unintentional murder [the distinctions being based on the intention and the weapon used in the act of killing].

481.    Some people talk a lot about how, due to Maqaasid ash-Shariah one can for example, rent a cheap apartment far away from the Masjid (since preservation of wealth is a goal of the Shariah). However, these people fail to realize that among many scholars the first goal of Shariah is to protect the Deen of the person, even to the point of [as an example] waging Jihaad in the sense of Qitaal against the enemies of Islam (i.e. risking one’s life to protect the Deen of Islam).

482.    The Muwatta of Imam Maalik (RA) was the first book to be given the title “أصحّ كتاب بعد كتاب الله” (“The most correct book after the Book of Allah”).

483.    There are five major maxims of jurisprudence to keep in mind: 1) Actions are judged by the intention behind them (here talking about the practical Niyyah or the practical manifestation of the Niyyah, in things such as Muaa’malaat). 2) Certainty is not dispelled by doubt 3) Hardship begets facility 4) Harm must be removed 5) Custom is used as one of the bases of judgment.

484.    Seeking Paradise without actions is a sin in itself, and if buttressed by a belief in its irrelevance, could be blasphemous. The reason is that in this latter case the person might practically be telling Allah that the person is the one setting the rules for entry into Paradise, while this is totally contrary to the revealed reality.

485.    People should understand the huge care that the Prophet (ﷺ) will have for the rest of humanity and for the believers – consider that even friends and family members will not care about one another, and other Prophets (Alayhim as-Salaam) will care about themselves as is clear from the Qur’an and the Ahaadeeth – but only Muhammad (ﷺ) will say that he is up to the task for supplicating for the commencement of the Day of Judgment and of people entering Paradise [both as products of his intercession with Allah the Exalted – so there is the love of Allah for Muhammad (ﷺ), and the love of Muhammad (ﷺ) for humanity and his Ummah].

486.    In connection with the arrogant person who thinks he is in charge of Heaven and Hellfire, it seems that, and Allah knows best, we have one of the secrets as to why people do go to Hellfire: This is the nature of the person at the time of dying, that he is arrogant and does not accept the Existence of Allah insofar as Allah is the Being who uniquely controls the fate of all creatures, as the One whose Orders determine who enters Paradise and Hellfire; thus, it seems that in here we have an important intersection between arrogance of the slave, fate/destiny as commanded by Allah, and the Normative Orders given by Allah [This definitely needs much more consideration and explanation, but it seems to be an important initial point].

487.    There are different levels of interpretation of the Qur’an: This is why we have the Qur’anic Ayah ‘كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ’ (trans. ‘Everyone upon the earth will perish’) to signify the ephemeral nature of the world. As understood by some Awliyaa’, they also take it to mean that they will use everything transient and vanishing in this world in order to reach Allah, who never goes away.

488.    We know of the Hadeeth about the works of the Children of Adam whose recompense continues even after their death. This applies even while the person is alive. We should not belittle or ignore things like teaching people how to pray and how to carry out their obligations, teaching them obligatory knowledge in general, and so forth. All that is passed down of this knowledge to others, its recompense will also be written down for the one who originally taught it. So it is not (for example) that only by writing a book which will be read after we die we are going to gain benefit in the Barzakh and the Akhirah.

489.    We need to be creative as well as knowledgeable when dealing with the Shubuhaat [doubtful points] of the disbelievers, because the opponent has many ways of clouding the important issues and of using circumlocution when addressing or debating matters.

490.    We should take heed of the story of Imam Ibn ‘Uyaynah (RA) and the one who left him (i.e. left the teacher) due to the rudeness of the teacher; the question becomes, have they actually left the immense benefits awaiting them due to this relatively minor issue of perhaps a one-time rude episode? We can only say: Praised be Allah, they have lost a lot of goodness in here.

491.    We need to develop the skills necessary to know how to read and interpret signs. As an analogy, in the Arabic language, if we don’t know grammar, the sentence makes no sense; likewise if the signs of the approach of Qiyaamah are not understood, everything that occurs will pass by without us understanding its significance. This has to keep in mind the importance of recognizing the signs, but also avoiding exaggeration in what is considered a sign.

492.    The current world order has learned how to hypnotize people with terms like new, improved, and progress, thus promoting change for change’s sake – while Islam is more geared towards Thubut (stability).

493.    With regards to scientific models, they will always be modalized. Thus, one cannot say that science is effectively mapping the ‘Divine’, no matter what some people say. Some try to do a sleight of hand by saying that certain phenomena have come from ‘nothing’ but their own research betrays this, since they try to find the parameters of ‘something’ to hold on to in order to make models, graphs, equations, etc. If they seriously thought it was nothing, they would just give up and say that science has turned out to be either a failure or inadequate for the realm under discussion.

494.    (As was mentioned) If one rejects the totality of the Ahaad Sunnah, it is the same as rejecting the Mutawaatir Ahadeeth, that is, it is the same as rejecting Islam.

495.    Very important point: At the time of death, the only bond that is important is the bond of Imaan (belief); in and of themselves, bonds of blood are worthless at this point. This is why a Muslim child is not allowed to pray for disbelieving parents who have died since in the end, only bonds of Imaan are important, bonds of blood are temporary, ephemeral rulings to move along in life (and there are other rulings of Islam which come to the fore in such a circumstance). Often there is a connection with the Afterlife, this is true, but there may also be a disjunction.

Related to the above, bonds of blood are related to the Earth, we come from Earth and back to dust we return. But the bonds of Islamic brotherhood are otherworldly; this is why we will be raised with our brothers in faith in the next world. This is also the basis of saying there should be unity between Muslims, since we are dealing with Muslims as a collective and the non-Muslims as another collective in the ‘sphere of eternal realities’. This is the truth of the Divine ‘intervention’ through the sending of Messengers (Alayhim as-Salaam), and the effect it has in this world and in the next.

496.    Muslims were traditionally not obsessed with theology of the hair-splitting kind. The reason being, this type of hair-splitting often leads to heresy or to claiming people disbelievers based on a different formulation of a religious principle or doctrine, perhaps as little as one sentence or one word of difference between authors.

497.    Be sure that anyone who claims to be the Mahdi (RAA) is not the Mahdi (RAA); this is clear from various traditions asserting to the way in which Divine Approval for the Mahdi will be made known, and all of them mention his initial skepticism of this title being his.

498.    One sees that traditionally, Muslim Ulamaa’ were cautious with regards to accepting every technological innovation unquestioningly. This is why we had Fataawa against printing the Qur’an (since Muslim Ulamaa’ considered it sacrilegious to ‘smash’ the Qur’anic text even if huge number of copies would result cheaply from mass-printing). We see the wisdom of this mentality today: the written text of the Qur’an is widely available but is deprecated unfortunately in the minds of many Muslims, to the point that people sleep on the Mushaf as if it were a pillow, one finds Mushafs shredded in Masaajid, etc.

Why? Because some are thinking at some subconscious level that there are many other copies of the Qur’an, so they need not ‘bother too much’ if one copy is mistreated or destroyed. This happens, while the Islamic laws are quite strict about those who mistreat the Qur’anic text with such careless abandon. Thus, it is paradoxical that we are enraged against those who ridicule Islam, the personages and symbols of Islam (which is a correct rage in itself), while many Muslims unfortunately excel in ridiculing the symbols of Islam under a different guise. All in all, the old, supposedly outdated Fataawa were formulated with the correct mentality behind them.

499.    If one has no overarching metaphysical principle, then one wonders if that person can live above the level of beasts. Even if his metaphysics is naturalistic in essence, still he will have some outlook – thus, it is a misdirection to say that only ‘religious persons’ have a metaphysical view of life or ‘codified mores’, and so forth. (The implicit accusation is that religious people are ‘bigots’, but this is a very inaccurate depiction).

500.    Many of us depreciate the substantial historical lessons we see in the Qur’an and the Ahadeeth, as lessons only for awe and to say how great the people of the past were. Fine, this is part of the purpose of these stories, but more than that they are meant as blueprints for our own lives. Human nature basically remains the same over millennia, and just as there were enormous obstacles against those who submitted to Allah back then, there are obstacles for Muslims today.