Sunday, 19 October 2014

Qur'an: Forgiveness, Paradise

"And race one another towards Forgiveness from your Lord
and towards a Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth,
prepared for the righteous..."

(Al-Qur'an, Surah Aal Imran, Verse 133)

Interesting that the mention of Forgiveness in this verse precedes the mention of Paradise. Perhaps this is to suggest that seeking God's Forgiveness is the way to Paradise, that entry to Paradise is impossible without humility before God, that Forgiveness tilts one's balance of deeds to be worthy of Paradise...

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Qur'an: You are the best of communities

"... you are the best of communities raised for mankind:
you order what is right, forbid what is wrong,
and believe in God..."

(Surah Aal Imran, Verse 110)

If there's anything that singles you out as a community
it is your camaraderie
in establishing what is right and proper
and your assisting each other
in steering clear of the wrong and improper.
And your belief in God.

And there is nothing intrinsic within you
neither your blood line nor your skin colour
that warrants you for merit
except this.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Qur'an: Unity

"... Hold onto the rope of God, all of you,
and be not divided.
And remember the blessing of God upon you:
When you were enemies to each other
and He brought your hearts together
and you became, by His grace, brothers..."

(Al-Qur'an,  Surah Aal Imran, Verse 103)

The rope of God,
the connecting link,
between the believers and their Lord,
and the believers one to another,
it is the Qur'an.

And in the Qur'an is their unity,
and in their unity is their strength.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Qur'an: Spending the cherished

"You shall never attain righteousness
until you spend from what you love.
And whatever it is you spend,
God is fully aware of it."

(Surah Aal Imran, Verse 92)

Spending the cherished:
to give away what one likes and holds dear,
preferring another over one's self,
knowing with certitude that God recompenses.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Umar: Spiritual well-being

"Pay a great deal of attention to your heart.

Talk to your troops, exhort them
and remind them of the importance of good intentions
and of checking on themselves.

Patience, patience.
For the help of God comes
in accordance with how much one checks himself.

Ask God to keep you safe and sound,
and frequently repeat the words:
'There is no power and no strength except with God.'

Fear God and put your hope in Him,
and do not take anything for granted..."

(Snippets of Umar ibn al-Khattab's advice to Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas [may God be pleased with them both] when he appointed him commander over the army in Iraq)

Umar: The visible and hidden signs of faith

"The signs of faith are instilled by God in the heart;
some are hidden and some are visible.

As for that which is visible,
it is when the one who praises a person
and the one who criticises him
on the basis of truth
are the same to him.

As for that which is hidden,
it may be manifested in wisdom
flowing from his heart on his tongue
and people's love for him.

Indeed you can think of your status before God
by checking your status before the people who are with you..."

(Snippets of Umar ibn al-Khattab's advice to Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas [may God be pleased with them both] when he appointed him commander over the army in Iraq)

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Ja'far Ibn Abi Talib's summary of Islam for the Negus

"... we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality,
worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals,
committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds,
breaking the ties of kinship,
treating guests badly
and the strong among us exploited the weak.

We remained in this state until God sent us a Prophet,
one of our own people
whose lineage, truthfulness and integrity were well known to us.

He called us to worship God alone
and to renounce the stones and the idols
which we and our ancestors used to worship besides God.

He commanded us to speak the truth,
to honour our promises,
to be kind to our relations,
to be helpful to our neighbours,
to cease all forbidden acts,
to abstain from bloodshed,
to avoid obscenities and false witness,
not to appropriate an orphan's property
nor slander chaste women.

He ordered us to worship God alone
and not to associate anything with Him,
to uphold Salah,
to give Zakah,
and fast in the month of Ramadan.

We believed in him
and what he brought to us from God
and we follow him in what he has asked us to do
and we keep away from what he forbade us from doing..."