Random Thoughts and Notes No. 676-700

676.    (As was mentioned): In surah az-Zumar (Chapter 39, Verses 71-75) there is a differentiation in the state of the dwellers of Paradise and those of the Hellfire. In the first case, it is an honor granted to them, in the latter it is debasement. This is also pointed out by the construction of the Verses themselves, where the gates of Hellfire are opened quickly for the disbelievers as a torment and humiliation, but the gates of Paradise are opened with glory as an honor for the believers.

677.    One of the answers about eternal reward for temporal actions is that the intention of the believer or disbeliever is taken into account. Thus, it would be the intention upon which they died and hoped to believe in and carry out “eternally”, thus the punishment is meted out accordingly.

678.    It is said, and as mentioned in a narration, that the first knowledge to go is that of Faraidh (Islamic Inheritance Law).

679.    (As pointed out) The mirage mentioned in Surah an-Nur (Verse 39) is a reference to delusions people run after which have no reality behind them, such as wealth, power, etc.

680.    (As mentioned) Jahannam has many names and the 7 levels of Jahannam are in accordance with names mentioned in the Quran, such as Jahannam, Ladha, Hawiyah, Sa’eer, Saqar.

681.    According to Sunnism (or in many schools thereof), in both theology and spirituality, the name and the named are taken to be one – this highlights that the process of naming even in our daily lives is a very crucial endeavor.

682.    There is the outward form of things which is delusion, and the inward form which gives counsel towards knowing Allah, as He is the Real.

683.    (As it was mentioned, while it is known that this interpretation would be opposed by some, but it will be presented) Regarding the verses of ‘Abasa and the “rebuke” of the Prophet (ﷺ), this is a rebuke of the form, not of the reality. Anyway, we say that teaching the Muslims is of a lower status than inviting non-Muslims to Islam – so this is choosing the better over the good anyway. But the rebuke is of the appearance, while in the internal realities the Prophet (ﷺ) was correct in the decision he took.

The issue with Adam (Alayhi as-Salaam) is somewhat similar, in that the form seems wrong, but internally he was ordered to commit these acts. It is like the case of Khidr (Alayhi Salaam) as mentioned in Surah al-Kahf. Also the words ‘Asa and Ghawaa are used in the Lughawi sense in the Verses, not in their technical Shar’i sense.

684.    We have to know our situation while traversing the spiritual path: in the beginning stages of our path to Allah, it might be necessary to maintain distance from people, but as we move forward and gain experience, the rulings will change as well and more interaction could be part of the path itself.

685.    The place of Adab (propriety) in Islamic knowledge is like a plate and food, one should clean the plate before placing the food on it, otherwise problems will arise and this would not at all be the proper way to eat.

686.    There is Adab in all cultures whether that is the United States, the United Kingdom, India, etc., even if some of these peoples seem bereft of culture to an outside visitor. We as Muslims should not look down on the proper propriety of such cultures and we should follow such decorum as much as feasible.

687.    People are faced with different Fitan (trials) with respect to their minds: For example, some are too lazy to find out the truth, while others are too smart/academic and think the idea of Divine Guidance is preposterous; or in their mindset, they consider it intelligent to know every position but to adopt none; or they feel a need to find ‘nuances’ to every established position/creed to the point of rendering said creed irrelevant. Thus, we should find out what might be our problem/trial before it compromises our path to Allah.

688.    Adornment is in everything in the world, for it points to Allah, His Paradise, and His Fire; here Zeenah (adornment) is used positively, and we have to understand what Zeenah actually means (i.e. in terms of declaring Allah, His Attributes, and His Actions).

689.    Some of our opponents talk of the “Peaceful Jesus” versus the “Warmongering Muhammad”. There may be considerations regarding each Prophets’ (Alayhim as-Salaam) Shariah with regards to warfare, yet one of the important things is that at the End of times the Biblical Jesus comes with fire and brimstone, while Muhammad (ﷺ) as shown in Islam makes long supplications to Allah for relief of all Muslims and even non-Muslims on the Day of Judgment, in various times and for various reasons. (This might be seen as a simple argument, but it is effective against some of our opponents).

690.    (As was mentioned) The narration of fastening the camel and trusting in Allah (reliance on Him) is a summary in 2 phrases of all Islamic Metaphysics and Cosmology.

691.    An important matter: We Muslims do want ‘strong Imaan’ but this is to be a strong Imaan about the correct Islamic beliefs, not just random strong Imaan in any set of beliefs – like we see today in terms like liberation or justice or freedom vaguely put forward, even if many people (even nominal Muslims) have very strong emotions about these issues. (Yet, as far as Islam is concerned, these terms and concepts are to be circumscribed by the Divine Revelation.)

692.    Often one is attributed to their place, and it could have important religious implications. An example is the Ashab al-Kahf (Companions of the Cave) who left behind everything for their righteous faith, and were attributed to the place they fled to.

693.    Fearing the Hellfire is a valid motivation for good actions, yet loving Paradise is a higher motive; and even higher than both is love for Allah, even though this last motivation (considered in itself) is difficult for most to act upon. Now, we should not be fooled by those who claim to act based on their love for Allah, yet indulge in breaking the Shariah – this is not love for Allah, this is love of the lower ego, since the true lover of Allah rushes to do exactly what Allah has commanded him to do.

694.    We as Muslims do affirm with certainty the Ahkam ar-Rububiyya (that is, the rulings related to Divinity such as what it necessary, possible, and impossible to attribute to Allah) while at the same time saying that knowledge of Allah’s Haqiqah (i.e. His True Nature) is definitely beyond us.

695.    Important point mentioned: One may be arrogant towards the troubles of rich and famous people, looking down on them or making fun of their problems. Yet, we must think, what would be our situation if we were laden with that much money, power, or fame, is it not likely we might have failed that test? This is very much a possibility, as we see of people who suddenly become rich, yet their lives spiral out of control.

Thus, we have to be careful of this self-righteousness of the materially less well-off towards the rich and famous, as it has its own dangers and is religiously forbidden, just as looking down on the oppressed or materially less well-off is forbidden.

696.    The general rule is: No one can succeed in reaching the end of the path towards Allah except through the company of one who has already succeeded. This is why generally a human teacher is required (and not only in spirituality, but in all Deeni endeavors).

697.    (As was mentioned) One should see his friends and brothers as better than himself, based on Yaqeen (i.e. “my knowledge is that you are certainly better than me”). Only then will he benefit from his friend or brother throughout his spiritual journey.

698.    The person should beat his inner desires (Nafs/Hawa) into submission. One problem for many of us is that we take a conciliatory approach towards our base desires and thus put ourselves on the path to endless personal, social, and Deeni problems. Had we been more serious, we would have seen the Nafs as only an enemy to be defeated, not a colleague to be compromised with.

699.    Never underestimate the importance of the community; logical arguments will only show the person what true knowledge is, but they may not be enough to push the person towards following this proper course of action, if the peer group is not aligned with the conclusions he has reached individually. The peer group, often in a casual manner, may even be able to make the individual abandon following through on his rational and correct conclusions.

700.    A thing to consider: Why is it that children from a small age are made to learn civic history and patriotism, even though they definitely do not understand the underpinnings of the nation they are a citizen of, plus they don’t even have basic comprehension skills to grasp what they are memorizing of the “achievements” of their nation-state’s founding predecessors?

The reason such a path is followed is that at the end, the society needs order and compliance, this is why. And this is also why those who complain about Muslim parents teaching their children to be Muslims miss a very important point about passing essential principles and beliefs from generation to generation. If the principles are essential and important enough, every effort will be made to inculcate such beliefs and values from an early age, not wait until the person is 25 or 30 and then wait to see what happens.

(As an aside, in this context a “child” is not only the 7 or 8 year old, but even when he is 14, 15, sometimes even up to 40 and 50 years of age or until death, he remains a “child” in this regard, unable to critically analyze the underpinnings of his citizenship/nation-state).

 

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