Random Thoughts and Notes No. 901-925

901.    Reason is the method of using the intellect in coming to trust knowledge of how things actually are. As far as we are concerned, if properly used, it is not a foreign un-Islamic Greek, Chinese or Western import, but a matter of how Allah has ennobled human beings and how they are to use this blessing given to them.

902.    A paradox of modernity is how it calls to freedom and diversity even in thought and speech, yet it enforces uniformity; this is due to how modern governments can feel more at ease with cookie-cutter types of people. Many modern Muslim movements have sadly made this mistake as well, forgetting the real pre-modern diversity amongst Islamic civilizations (India, Spain, Morocco, Egypt, all uniquely distinct yet normatively Islamic).

903.    We say: The Qalb (not only the ‘Aql) is the organ through which the person gains understanding of higher realities. This is because understanding truth is not only a mental rational exercise, but one of openings through the spiritual heart as well.

904.    We Muslims need to become more like those people who when one sees them, Allah is remembered. Anything else of information, or big refutations, or activism, is of little consequence without proper character and adherence to Islam.

905.    (As mentioned) Sometimes we should stop trying to do PR for Islam; many are in fact ‘getting in the way of Islam’ with their own overzealousness.

Comment: This can mean many things, one of them is a ‘caller to Islam’ distorting the true Islamic rulings and teachings (mostly watering them down) in order to convince a listener to accept Islam. This is not calling to Islam, this is calling to one’s self, and is disastrous if not corrected immediately.

906.    The Companion ‘Adi (RAA) was a great peace-maker. In the Ridda wars his diplomacy saved many lives, as he would negotiate with the tribes that had apostatized, telling them to come back to Islam, and his position had a great effect on the tribes and their decision to come back to Islam.

Comment: So one thing was the well-known position of ‘Adi (RAA) and how he used it to avoid bloodshed. And the other point is that the first goal then is for Islam to prevail, and if it can be achieved without the spilling of blood, this is the best outcome.

907.    The Muslims’ principles should be very strong. Consider that the world around us will change, so discussions and arguments of today may become irrelevant after 20-30 years and the powerful entities and interests of today may be irrelevant after some time. So the advice is for us not to be become so glued to only one type of argument for or against a topic with regards to Islam, since in all likelihood what is argued for today will not be considered relevant in a few years’ time. However, the fundamental principles of Islam will remain the same throughout, and we should never forget or compromise on these.

908.    (As mentioned) There are always many injustices and evils taking place all over the world. This is for granted, yet there is a choice as to which ones we focus on, or are made to focus on due to the media, social networks, etc. It is a natural consequence of who we are and is strictly speaking not a “conspiracy”, yet don’t be fooled into thinking that everything under your feet or in your narrow locality is extremely good and that problems only exist outside, in the “other”.

909.    (As mentioned) Philosophy consists of ontology, epistemology, and ethics (how one lives his life). Previously, philosophy and theology were intertwined, but when separation of these started to take place in Europe, this is when they basically stopped believing in God.

Comment: The effects of this separation are quite well-known and far reaching. Yet, it is still astounding to see that nowadays the reach and concern of “fundamentalists” in the Western arena is whether taxes can pay for lunches in religious schools and other similar petty issues. This, while theology as a subject is left to collect dust on bookshelves, and at most is read and discussed by a relatively tiny percentage of the populace.

910.    No people go astray except that Jidaal (needless argumentation) becomes very prevalent amongst them, and Barakah is removed. Remember that knowledge of the exact time of Laylatul Qadr was taken from the Prophet (ﷺ) due to a very small argument that erupted just as he (ﷺ) had come to inform the Muslims of the exact time of this Blessed Night. (So one can only imagine what important knowledge is being taken away from us Muslims in these times of ours).

911.    (As mentioned) The general rule is that we should cut off relations with evil doers, yet in some cases certain people (who have the aptitude and strength to do so) may need to maintain relations, since rectification of the wrong takes precedence over isolation from it.

912.    Argumentative people don’t keep their objections only to [those they consider to be] deluded within the ambit of Islam – that is (in their minds), mostly scholars who are holding on to views they think are “outdated”, “harsh” or “irrelevant”. No, rather such objections might explicitly go all the way up to Allah and his Messenger (ﷺ). Why is that so? Because they like to find faults with anyone and anything that has or could have a voice of authority over them. So contemplate over this angle of the issue before engaging in arguments with random people.

Granted that there are other types of argumentative people as well, but the above is definitely one sort of person encountered nowadays.

913.    We have details (very fine details) of thousands of Companions (RAA), their lives and sayings; compare this with many other religious traditions, where the religious group was initially very small, and/or was under fierce persecution for decades or centuries during its crucial formative period, not allowing for the collation and organization of the religion and the sayings and lives of its original figures and principal transmitters until a long time after its founding. So with all this, it cannot be said that the history of Islam is the same as that of other ways and religions.

914.    (As mentioned) A crude example to help people understand is, if we visualize Deen as an x-y axis, the vertical relation is with Allah, and horizontal relationships are with people.

915.    (As mentioned) Note that Surah al-Kafirun is in fact helping us to avoid useless arguments, even with our staunchest enemies.

916.    In the Dunya, no one likes to have just enough to survive. Rather, everyone tries to go a little ahead at the very least in their worldly affairs to have enough money and resources to be able to enjoy a more or less comfortable life if they can. So how is it that for the Akhirah we slack so much, trying to find every excuse to stop doing recommended acts, even obligations?

And to top it off, we might then claim that we are truly doing our best to act out our beliefs and that we are very sincere in our Islam. Subhanallah, how is this a reasonable thing to say?

917.    (As mentioned) In Islamic terminology, the Masaakeen and Fuqaraa’ are known by their extreme need for food (either for the next meal, or for tomorrow’s meals – they don’t know how they will be able to acquire these next meal(s)).

918.    Oppression starts at home. Yes, it is true that it exists in many places around the world, but one should look at an evil like oppression closer to home as well. It is easy to say that such and such a leader is corrupt and oppressive, since he is far away, and reasonably nothing can be done by a single person far removed from the levers of power. But at one’s home, one may see certain manifestations of this very same type of Thulm (oppression) taking place, and in here one can absolutely do something within one’s own self and with family and friends (especially if the Shariah has granted them authority to be in charge and proactively change things for the better).

919.    The foremost of disbelievers, Abu Lahab, could have become a pretend Muslim and the pagan Qurasyhites would have accepted his plan to undermine Islam. It ultimately goes back to the ‘Ijaz [miraculousness and incapacitation] of the Qur’an that such a plot was never envisioned.

920.    In the Qur’anic presentation of the word ‘أبتر’ in Surah al-Kawthar, one note to consider: The enemies of Allah are not mentioned by name, not in this Surah, nor in any other place in the Qur’an: Not Abu Lahab, not Fir’awn, not Abu Jahl, these are not their personal names.

921.    (As mentioned) The word جار  (Jaar – neighbor) may also refer to the one who protects us, it can also refer to the spouse. So put these two matters together and important realizations will ensue.

922.    Highness reached by the creation in Allah’s Sight is as He chooses. This is why lowly mud was to be prostrated to by fire and light which are (supposedly) rationally or figuratively closer than mud to the Divine Light. But this is where rationality in its simple sense is shattered.

Comment: Obviously the commandments of Allah aren’t ‘irrational’, it is just that gross rationality and solely rational methods do not apply in such cases.

923.    (As mentioned) The Prophet (ﷺ) is told, in Surah an-Nasr, to do Tasbih and Istighfaar, not to remind people coming unto Islam of his enormous patience and forbearance with them for over 20 years in spite of the trouble many of them gave him (ﷺ) – yet the message is that it all goes back to Allah.

924.    (As mentioned) Different definitions of Bid’ah are based on how we understand the origin of the action in question. Some ‘Ulamaa say if it has an Asl in the religion it is a good Bid’ah, some say that in such a case it is not a Bid’ah at all.

925.    There is indeed an emotional attachment to the true relics of Islam, if these are destroyed or their importance is downplayed, people’s Iman could indeed be in jeopardy. No one should count this off as “worshipping relics” or have bad thoughts about the faith of Muslims – rather the true symbols pointing to Islam and its greatness should be handled with due reverence.