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Joined: 20 March 2004
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| Topic: Leadership
Posted: 19 January 2007 at 12:15am
Hajj Abdal Haqq Bewley
And remind them. For truly reminder benefits the muminun. I did not create either jinn or man except to worship Me. I do not require any provision from themand I do not require them to nourish Me. Truly Allah, He is the Provider, the Possessor of Strength, the Sure. (51:55-8)
These few ayats from Sura Adh-Dhariyat are vast in their implications for us – if we were really to digest them and take them on we would find in them sufficient guidance to take us safely through the whole of our lives in this treacherous and ensnaring dunya existence. We have only been brought into this world for one reason: to worship Allah. That means in practical terms to take on His deen as laid down for us definitively for the last time by His Messenger Sayyidina Muhammad, salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He is the one who has reminded us of why we are here and the one who showed us how to put Allah's guidance into practice. All of us know this. All of us say this. But there is no use in words without action. And no use in actions without sincerity. And no use in sincerity unless it is embodied in our lives. Sincerity – ikhlas – means believing in and acting for Allah alone. Allah ta'ala follows up the ayat telling us why we have been put here with two ayats which let us understand what this in fact involves. As can be seen these refer to provision and this is because this is a matter which lies at the very heart of ikhlas. If we really do have ikhlas we know in the depths of our being that Allah, our Lord, truly does have power over all things and, therefore, that our provision is His affair alone and this in turn will give us absolute trust in Allah and remove from us all anxiety about getting what we need. In other words, our hearts will be free of preoccupation with seeking provision and able to fully focus on our true purpose in life – that of seeing Allah's deen fully implemented in ourselves and the world around us.
Unfortunately this is not the case with most of us. For the great majority of us our main preoccupation is the same as that of animals – procreation and provision, begetting and nurturing families and going after what we need for our survival in this world. This is what in fact occupies our minds and hearts most of the time and as Allah makes clear to us we only have one heart and it cannot face two directions at once. This means, then, that, whatever we may say or even think, the reality is that in a deep sense many of us are not doing what we were created for and have not, in fact, properly understood the Message which the Prophet, salla'Llahu 'alayhi wa sallam, delivered to us. Indicating this propensity the Prophet, salla'Llahu 'alayhi wa sallam, told us,
'Islam began as a strange thing and will become a strange thing again as it began. So blessed be the strangers.' He was asked, 'And who are the strangers?' He replied, 'Those who put things right when people are corrupt,' or in another variant, 'Those who put right my Sunna which people have corrupted.'
Many Muslims have diminished the meaning of the Prophetic Sunna and their understanding of it is restricted to following certain aspects of the personal behaviour of the Messenger of Allah, salla'Llahu 'alayhi wa sallam. These are certainly part of the Sunna but its definition is, of course, far wider than that and in fact comprises the whole implementation of Allah's Guidance to us as contained in the words of His Book and realised for us by the Prophet, salla'Llahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and his Companions in every aspect of the life of the first Community in Madina. It is certainly this wider understanding of the Sunna which now needs to be put back in place in this time when, for the first time since that first Community, there is nowhere in the world governed according to laws of Allah.
In order to do this we must first and foremost base ourselves, as they did, firmly on the great source of guidance, Allah's Book, the Encompassing Ocean, the Noble Qur'an itself. Sayyidina 'Ali, karama'Llahu wajhah, said:
'I heard the Messenger of Allah, salla'Llahu 'alayhi wa sallam, say, "There will be fitna." What will bring us out of it, Messenger of Allah?" I asked. He replied, "The Book of Allah which contains the news of what came before and information about what is still to come and gives you the means of judging between yourselves. It is decisive and is no jest. Any tyrant who abandons it will be destroyed by Allah. Anyone who seeks guidance from any other source will be misguided by Allah. It is the firm rope of Allah. It is the Wise Remembrance. It is the Straight Path. It is that by which opinions are prevented from deviating. The tongue is never confused by it. Scholars can never exhaust its meanings. It can never be rebutted, no matter how strong the refutal. Its wonders will never run dry. It is that about which, when the jinn heard it, they said, 'We have heard a most amazing Recitation. It leads to right guidance so we have iman in it.' Anyone who speaks by it speaks the truth and all who act by it are rewarded. Those who are called to it are called to a straight path."'
So this is a step which everyone of us can and must take. Each one of us must make the Qur'an our own. We can do this by learning to recite it correctly and increasing in our recitation so that no day goes by without our reciting a portion of it. We should continually add to what we know of it by heart so that there is never a time when we are not memorising some sura or passage from it. We should ponder its meanings as it instructs us to do, so that its ayats begin to unfold for us, its wisdom and guidance begin to permeate our daily existence and so that it becomes an integral part of the texture of our lives as it was of the lives of the first Community. Then with our hearts filled with its light we will be enabled to act upon it as they did with an ikhlas born of true appreciation of Allah's absolute power and true reliance on Him so that, as theirs were, our actions will by Allah be effective and, as they did, we will be able make Allah's word uppermost in the world once again. Allah ta'ala says:
Say: "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is always bound to vanish." What We send down in the Qur'an is a healing and a mercy to the muminun, but it only increases the wrongdoers in loss. (17:81-82)
"I am a slave. I eat as a slave eats and I sit as a slave sits.", Beloved, sallallahu alyhi wa-sallam.
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