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    CarelessMan, LikeWolves, GuestManners, MuslimUnity


    Living the Quran

    Surah al-Infitaar
    (Chapter 82: The Cleaving)
    Verses 1-8

    "When the heaven is cleft asunder, and when the stars have fallen and scattered,
    and when the seas are burst forth, and when the graves are overturned,
    then a person shall know what he has sent forward and what he has left behind.
    O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Most Generous?
    Who created you, fashioned you perfectly, and gave you due proportion.
    In whatever form He willed, He put you together."

    When people visualise the universe undergoing a change so violent that it leaves nothing in its familiar shape and condition, their feelings tend to pull them away from anything which gives them a sense of security, with the exception of Allah, the Creator of the universe, the One Who lives on after everything has died and withered away.

    Man's heart is thus made to turn to the only true being Who neither changes nor dies, to seek His support and security in the face of the general upheavalwhich destroys everything that seemed once to be permanent. For nothing lives forever except the Creator Who is the only one worthy of being worshipped.

    After this opening which alerts men's senses and consciences,the surah, by means of a gentle complaint coupled with an implicit threat, touches the hearts of men who busy themselves with trivialities. It reminds man of Allah's very first act of grace towards him, namely, his moulding in such an upright perfectly proportioned shape. Allah could have easily given him any form He wished. Yet man is ungrateful!

    The address appeals to man's most noble quality, his humanity, which distinguishes him from all creatures and assigns to him the highest position among them. This quality represents Allah's gracious blessing to man and His abundant generosity to him.

    This appeal is immediately followed by a gentle complaint: "What has lured you away from your gracious Lord?" What makes you neglect your duties to your Lord and behave impudently towards Him when He has given you your humanity which raises you above all His creation and provides you with the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

    It is an address which appeals straight to man's heart. He listens to the complaint of Allah when He reminds him of His grace while he continues with his erring ways and impudent behaviour towards Him.

    Indeed,man should reflect deeply over his creation, his physically and physiologically perfect constitution. Reflection should prompt him to show his genuine gratitude, deep respect and real love to Allah, his gracious Lord, Who has blessed him with such constitution, perfect, upright and handsome. But man does not need more than to realise the source of this complaint and what attitude he adopts when he stands before his Lord to be absolutely overwhelmed by shame: "O man! what lures you away from your gracious Lord, Who created and moulded you and gave you an upright shape. He can give you what ever form He wills."

    [compiled from "Fi Zilaal il-Qur'an" (In the Shade of the Quran) by Sayyid Qutb]

    Prophetic Guidance

    "Two hungry wolves sent against a sheep will not do more damage to it
    than a man's eagerness for wealth and prestige does to his or her religion."

    [Reported by Ahmad and Tirmidhi]

    The Prophet (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was explaining that the damage done to a person's religion (deen) by his eagerness for accumulating wealth and attaining prestige is no less than the damage done by two hungry wolves to a flock of sheep. This is quite obvious, for if a human's faith is sound, he will not have an eagerness or anxiety over these secondary things. Once the heart has tasted the sweetness of true servitude to Allah and love for Him, nothing else will be dearer to him than that and nothing else will take priority over Allah in one's life.

    How many times do we find ourselves having to chose between obedience to Allah and doing that which we know to be right or following our desires in pleasing others or self-gratification by means that are prohibited? Surely the two choices are not equal and a person of character is content with the former in all circumstances.

    Let us remember this hadith the next time we 'sacrifice' some duty of Islam for some worldly gain, the next time we are 'prevented' from praying due to our 'busy schedule' or embarrasment amongst people, the next time we are so 'blinded' by our devotion to our career, academic or leisure pursuits that we forget our responsibilities towards our familes, communities, and most fundamentally, our own preparations for the akhirah (life hereafter).

    What good is all that if one was to lose his or her connection with Allah and closeness to Him and hence any hope of inner peace or spiritual contentment?

    [some parts excerpted from "al-'Ubudiyyah" (True Servitude) by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah]

    Personal Development

    Visiting and Receiving Guests

    If you are travelling to visit someone, or if you are about to receive guests, make sure that your hands, feet, and socks are clean and that your appearance and clothing are neat. Even if those in question are your parents, relatives, peers, or friends of a different age. Never neglect or underestimate the importance of your looks, for that could certainly dull the pleasure of the meeting, marring the enjoyment of those you meet. To look neat while visiting or being visited is an instinctive trait in addition to being an Islamic manner! Do not ignore this aspect just because you think the person visiting you is too close to you to be offended or repelled by your dirty attire or unpleasant smell.

    In this regard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) directed his companions upon returning from a journey: "You are on your way to meet your brothers, so put on a nice dress and fix your saddles, so that you appear distinct among people as a mole (on a face). Allah likes neither roughness nor rough manners". [Muslim]

    Imam al-Bukhari reports a Muslim from the best generations, Abul Alia al-Basri, saying, "Muslims wore their best when visiting each other". Similarly Thabit al-Banani, the student of Imam Anas bin Malik, once said, "When I used to visit Anas, he would call for a perfume and run it along his cheeks". [Majma' al-Zawaid] Accordingly, if you are visited at home while in casual clothing, as it sometimes happens, you should change for your visitors. This will enhance their respect for you and they will appreciate your hospitality. It is, after all, the Adab (manner) of the early Muslims!

    Moreover, do your best to bring gifts to those receiving you, and likewise present your guest with gifts. A gift, however symbolic, will greatly enhance the pleasure of such a meeting. The joy of seeing your beloved ones will be vividly remembered for many years everytime your gift is seen or used! That is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) strongly recommended us to "Exchange gifts, exchange love". [Bukhari]
    [compiled from "Islamic Manners" by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda (rahimahullah)]

    "I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has a grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path. (The truth)"

    "...Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds" (6:162)

    [This message has been edited by Sadiaa (edited March 22, 2002).]

    I was gonna go crazy reading all these 'other' posts.

    Thank you!

    Jitna Diya Sarkar Nay Mujko, Itni Meri Auqat Nahi, Yeh Saab Tumhara Karam Hai Aqa, Mujh Mein Aisi Koi Baat Nahin.

    Pray OR v tt T FRgv M, Ak Y T FRgv M Ol Hope To Th Hv.
    Rabul MashriqaiN wal MaghribaiN


      JazakA'llah sister. Thats one thing learnt for today.