Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Beauty of Patience: Yusuf (as) in the Qur'an

Patience of the Prophets

Since the dawn of time, Allah has sent prophets in all ages and to all the nations of the world. A line of prophets came, all ennobled by the Messenger of Messengers, the Beloved Muhammad (pbuh), all of whom had endured countless hardships, all of whom had experienced the greatest difficulties during their prophetic mission. All of them had to face the fiercest and most murderous enemies, who erected themselves as a metal barrier on the way of these prophets during their stay on this earth.

But all had the same feeling, the same reaction: patience, trust in Allah Ta’ala and faith. In addition to the prophets, some of their wives have had the misfortune to experience the worst difficulties too. They also showed an unshakeable patience.

Today I will relate to you a little about the sad story of Hazrat Yusuf - Joseph (as). Being a young and handsome boy, he was betrayed by his own brothers and then by the wife of the Prime Minister of the King of Egypt. Imprisoned, he lost neither hope nor patience. His father Yaqub - Jacob (as) had to suffer the worst difficulties because of the abuse caused to his beloved son. He also showed patience and guided by his faith (Iman) and the divine revelations, he relied on Allah Ta’ala. This patience led father and son to reason, victory and family reconciliation.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Divine Messages and the Fate of Choices

Acceptance & Rejection of the Divine Message

The Holy Quran makes religious progress dependent upon revolution. It says: And in no way do We send the Messengers except as bearers of glad tidings and as Warners. So those who believe and reform themselves, upon them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve. But as for those who reject Our signs, punishment will touch them for their defiant disobedience. (Al-Anam 6: 49-50).

That is, whenever We send a Messenger, he always proclaims two things: (i) he condemns the existing order to death; (ii) and in regard to the system he originates himself he proclaims, without ambiguity that it would be established in the world in its purity, without change or adjustment under any pressure to make it acceptable to this or that people. Those who submit to the system, and mould themselves in conformity with its requirements, survive and prosper, but those who do not do so, they gradually fade out of existence.

When a revolution occurs in the religious sphere, in Islamic terminology it is called 'Qiyamah'. Another expression used for it is Khalq-us-Samawat-i-wal-Ardh, i.e. the creation of a new earth and a new heaven. Still another name for it in the language of the Holy Quran is Al-Sa'ah.

The word 'revolution' which is roughly translated from the Arabic term 'Inquilab' and described in the context which I just mentioned, refers primarily to the moral and spiritual reformation of oneself, not a political revolution to overthrow a government as may be popularly thought these days by the use of the word.

Hence, when a group of individuals or a society have reformed themselves, a revolution in the noble character of man and his dealings with other people and with God is observed. Thus, a condition in the world existed in which the reformation of oneself was demanded to set things right in the affairs of man.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cyclone Ockhi: Divine Signs in Our Times

Nature's Fury, Shattered Lives 

Innal-Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raajiuun. 
To God we belong and to Him we shall return.

That’s the defining thoughts for everyone who face the trial of misfortune and loss. 

Tragedy has come home to people in our land this week. Cyclone Ockhi, the most devastating cyclonic storm in the northern Indian Ocean region since 2015 has struck many lands in its tentacles: the coastal regions of Sri Lanka, the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Lakshadweep Islands, and also the Maldives.

Nature’s fury in the form of bad winds and cyclonic storms has taken away the lives of scores of people; hundreds of fishermen are missing after the storms, with no information about their whereabouts and search and rescue operations by the Indian agencies still ongoing till now. Beyond the shattered lives, possessions and property worth millions and millions has been destroyed. The damage to electricity transmission lines, agricultural crops, roads and passageways will continue to leave a chain of negative effects on the everyday life world of the affected regions and peoples for the months to come.