Building a society characterised by solidarity
December 09 2021 10:27 PM
HIA masjid

From a social perspective, the teachings of Islam aim to bring together all Muslims to be a unified entity, in conformity with the words of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, (may Allah exalt his mention): “The example of the believers as regards their mutual love and compassion is like that of a single body. If any of its parts aches, all the other parts share in the sleeplessness and fever.” [Muslim] The strong among them support the weak, and the rich help the poor. Social solidarity manifests in the Muslim community such that its objectives and implications are realised. There are many Shari‘ah (Islamic Jurisprudence) texts and provisions describing the Muslim community and how it should embody the spirit of solidarity.
There are multiple objectives for such solidarity that incorporate all the needs of the individual and the community, whether material or moral. Social solidarity means that Muslims should work together, each through his position and status, to preserve the public interests of the community as a whole and the private interests of the individuals, so that everyone in the community would feel that his rights are fulfilled and he, accordingly, is eager to fulfil his duties and obligations towards other members of his community. The scope of this solidarity then expands to encompass all people (not limited only among Muslims). Allah, the Exalted, Says (what means): {O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.} [Qur’an 49:13] Allah, the Exalted, honoured Man and commanded us to treat all children of Adam accordingly (with respect). He Says (what means): {And We have certainly honored the children of Adam.} [Qur’an 17:70]
From day one, the teachings of Islam laid emphasis on fostering human ties, strengthening social bonds, and establishing equality among all people so that each and every Muslim would feel the bond of brotherhood with his fellow Muslims. Islam also established a social safety net on the basis of solidarity to enhance the moral and physical building of the individual and community. It laid the foundations of the righteous Muslim individual, the virtuous family, and the integrated society to ensure the establishment of the Muslim community that provides security and safety for all its members.
The circle of this solidarity begins with every Muslim individual as he refines his own ‘self’, takes care of it and rectifies it, directing it to what is good for himself and for all people, and then he tends to the bonds that connect him with the members of his family. Each family member bears his own responsibilities and shoulders his duties, acting upon the words of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,: “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects.” [Al-Bukhari] A man is a guardian in his family; he has rights and duties, and the same applies to the woman who has her own rights and duties. This critical task begins from the very moment a man chooses his prospective wife; he should choose someone from a righteous family to be a good building block for their family and be able to provide their children with a good upbringing that pleases Allah, the Exalted. This is why the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, said: “A woman is married for four [reasons]: her wealth, her noble descent, her beauty, and her religion. So win the religious woman – otherwise, you will be a loser.” [Al-Bukhari] The marital life should be founded on mutual kindness, as Allah, the Exalted, prescribed, acting upon the instructions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, when he said: “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.” [At-Tirmithi]
As for the process of raising the children and taking care of them, it is a joint duty of both parents. Allah, the Exalted, Says (what means): {O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones…} [Qur’an 66:6] This includes directing them from an early age towards what benefits them in their worldly lives and the Hereafter, starting with the acts of worship and all good deeds. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, said: “Command your children to perform prayer when they are seven years old, and beat them (for abandoning it) when they are ten.” [Ahmad]
When these teachings are instilled within the individual at a young age, he has successfully taken the first steps in the right direction and recognised his position and status in his community. Islam is keen to foster solidarity among the Muslim individual and his community and harmoniously preserves both the private and public interests to ensure that neither would undermine the other. An individual interacts and co-operates with other members of his community to maintain this harmonious balance. Allah, the Exalted, Says (what means): {And co-operate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.} [Qur’an 5:2] On the other side, the community is responsible for preserving the private rights of the individuals, and this contributes to maintaining public order for the sake of the community and all its members.
The scope of such solidarity is not confined to the interests of the individual, the community, or even the country, but rather extends to include other communities and future generations, as confirmed by the words of Allah. He Says, (what means): {And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.”} [Qur’an 59:10] This is how the humanness of man that Allah, the Exalted, intends for us Muslims is realised, and it is how the enjoined solidarity is realised with its temporal and spatial dimensions.
One of the most important manifestations of solidarity which Islam is keen to instill in our communities is how to treat the elderly and take care of them, starting with one’s parents, acting upon the verse that reads (what means): {And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months.} [Qur’an 46:15] Also, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, said: “He is not one of us who is not merciful to our youngsters and does not respect and honour our elders.” [At-Tirmithi] Then comes the duty of caring for the orphans, the poor, and the needy, and supporting them. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {They ask you [O Muhammad] what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”} [Qur’an 2:215]
This can be achieved by providing job opportunities for all members of the community rather than concentrating the employment opportunities in specific segments or groups, eliminating the obstacles hindering the poor, and empowering them to break free from the feelings of inferiority to their peers.
Another important manifestation of solidarity in Islam is the enjoined kindness towards neighbors by keenly fulfilling their rights and preserving their interests. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, said: “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.” It was asked, “Who is he, O Messenger of Allah?” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, said: “The one whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil.” [Al-Bukhari]
Another manifestation is honoring guests and offering them hospitality, and this applies to your private guests or those visiting your country, such as tourists or expatriates (guest workers). You should be hospitable to them all; the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be hospitable to his guest.” [Al-Bukhari]
There are many ways by means of which the members of the community can contribute to the realisation of this solidarity, including: Zakaah, charity, expiation, Waqf (Islamic endowment), Wasiyyah (will), ‘Aariyah (gratuitous loan of non-fungible objects or property), gifts, grants, and others. There are also other means which the government is responsible for, including: carrying out public projects, building infrastructure for the cities and villages, providing job opportunities for all members of the community, facilitating the fulfilment of people’s needs, organising transportation and communication means, and the means of individual solidarity among the members of the community such as facilitating the establishment of centers for collecting and distributing Zakaah and facilitating their work, acting upon the verse that reads (what means): {Take [O, Muhammad] from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [the blessings of Allah] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.} [Qur’an 9:103]
These were some of the features and manifestations of social solidarity in light of the teachings of Islam, and there is no doubt that this topic deserves more detailing, but brevity is the soul of wit, and less is always more; and Allah Knows best.

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Acting upon the Qur’an
It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said:
“The Qur’an has been revealed in five divisions: the lawful, the unlawful, the precise (in meaning), the unspecific (in meaning), and the examples. Act upon the lawful, avoid the unlawful, follow the precise, believe in the unspecific and take lessons to learn from the examples.” [Al-Bayhaqi]
No doubt, the lawful is evident in the Book of Allah Almighty; Allah Almighty says (what means):
{… and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil.} [Qur’an 7:157]
{… marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one.} [Qur’an 4:3]
{It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations].} [Qur’an 2:187]
Similarly, the unlawful is evident: Allah Almighty has made unlawful the evil things, as shown in His saying (what means):
{So avoid the uncleanliness of idols and avoid false statement.} [Qur’an 22:30]
{Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows.} [Qur’an 5:3]
The precise includes those Qur’anic verses of well-established meaning which give a specific legal rule like Allah’s saying (what means):
{Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.} [Qur’an 4:11]
{[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands.} [Qur’an 5:38]
This should be followed and acted upon as mentioned in the hadith.
The unspecific includes those Qur’anic verses whose meanings seem ambiguous to some people, like the letters in the opening of some Surahs such as: {Alif Laam Meem}, {Saad}, {Alif Laam Meem Saad} and the verses of subtle meanings, like Allah’s saying (what means): {The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established.} [Qur’an 20:5] The establishment (istiwa’) in general is known; but we do not know how it takes place for Allah Almighty is not like any of His creation because there is nothing like unto Him. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, ordered us to reflect upon the creation rather than the Essence of Allah Almighty. Despite the fact that many Qur’anic verses whose meanings seem ambiguous to some people are indeed precise and definite to those well-established in knowledge, and some verses which are unspecific and indefinite at a particular time may seem precise and definite at another time. It is incumbent upon the believer to believe in them all and not delve into their subtleties without knowledge.
The examples in the Noble Qur’an from which one should take lessons to learn and receive instruction are, in part, reported from previous nations and, in part, similitudes of concrete things such as Allah’s saying (what means): {The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing.} [Qur’an 2:261] Allah multiplies good deeds, each one by ten to seven hundred times, as He pleases, to whomever He pleases, in the same way as He extracts seven hundred grains from a single seed; and Allah has power over all things. It is due on the believer to take lessons to learn and receive instruction from those examples.
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa, may Allah be pleased with him, that he was asked whether the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, left a will, and he answered in the negative. He was asked how leaving a will was prescribed on the people whereas the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, himself did not do it. On that he said: “The will of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, is his advice to us to hold onto the Book of Allah Almighty.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasa’i and Ahmad]
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, was not to advise his Ummah to do anything after him better than to follow the Book of Allah Almighty. It is the Book which contains the will of Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, to his Ummah after his death in which Allah says (what means): {And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them? Indeed in that is a mercy and reminder for a people who believe.} [Qur’an 29:51]
The rest of the will left by the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, is his hadiths and Sunnah, reported from him by the noble Companions may Allah be pleased with them. Writing a will in the question refers to the statement of Allah (what means): {Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.} [Qur’an 2:180] Similarly, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, commanded that he who has any wealth or debt worthy of bequest should make a will without delay since death is nearer to mankind than the strap of his sandal.
It is narrated on the authority of Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: Once, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, addressed us with a khutbah (sermon) in which he praised Allah and lauded Him as befits His majesty and then said: “The best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The worst deed is the introduction of new practices (which are not of the religion), and every religious innovation is misguidance.”
Whenever a mention was made of the Final Hour, his eyes would become red, his tone loud and he would show anger as if he were warning us against an army, saying: “The Hour is about to attack you in the morning or in the evening. I have been sent (as a Prophet) ahead of the Hour as (close to each other as) such,” beckoning with his index and middle fingers. “He who leaves an estate, it belongs to his heirs, and he who leaves a debt or children (in helplessness), it is my responsibility to pay it off and bring them up.” [Ahmad]
One of the main foundations of belief is to have faith in the Book of Allah and in its being the truest speech. Whoever has doubt in the truthfulness of anything thereof or takes another book than it and gives it preference over the Book of Allah Almighty or believes that it is truer than the Book of Allah is indeed a disbeliever and an apostate. Next to it in the obligation of following is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,.
Religious innovation is any practice introduced in the religion which violates the Noble Qur’an or the Prophetic Sunnah or any of their principles. This definition is clarified by another hadith narrated on the authority of ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, in which the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, said: “He who innovates in this matter of ours (the religion) anything that is not of it, (his deed) should be rejected.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah] To introduce into the religion anything that is not in it is indeed a religious innovation; whereas to do anything that is in the religion is not a religious innovation. For example, to dash the malicious allegations of the enemies of Islam with new arguments is of the religion and not included in the hadith of religious innovations: it is, rather, a good act. In this way we could know whether an invented practice is a good act or an evil religious innovation.

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Gems from the Treasure of the Book of Allah
The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “The best amongst you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” [Al-Bukhari]
What is the Qur’an?
The Qur’an is the Book of Allah, which He chose to be the Final of the Heavenly Books. He, the Merciful and Most High, revealed it to Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, as the source for the Last Religion and a guidance for mankind. Its revelation was a turning point for humanity; it was the power that changed the world, shifted the flow of history, saved and reformed humanity, so much so that the entire existence appeared as if it had been recreated anew.
The Qur’an is the strongest evidence in support of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, and his greatest sign. It is the proof of his prophethood and trustworthiness. Allah, the Most Exalted, Says in the Qur’an (what means): “They (unbelievers) want to extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths. But Allah will perfect His light, even though the unbelievers may detest it. It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, so that he may exalt it over all religions, much as the pagans may dislike it.” [Qur’an 61:8-9]
The Qur’an is the guidance that mankind needs to achieve freedom, happiness and success, in this life and the next.
The Qur’an is a complete and comprehensive Book.  It deals with the issues man needs, not only for salvation in the Hereafter, but also to achieve peace, justice and prosperity in this world.  These issues are discussed in the Qur’an in three main categories: Theology, Fables and Wisdom, Islamic Law (or Shari’ah).  Thus, it provides the basic principles, vision and knowledge necessary for planning and leading a good life. All this is packaged in a very comprehensive approach to living that combines the pursuit of worldly affairs as well as those of the Hereafter. Allah Almighty Says in the Qur’an (what means): “And seek by the wealth provided for you by Allah the eternal abode (the Hereafter) but do not forget and (and forsake) your share of this world.  Be kind and good (to others) just as Allah was kind and good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” [Qur’an 28:77]
The Qur’an has an inimitable style and format that has never been seen or experienced in any other book or methodology. The richness of its text and the discourse it offers are unprecedented and unmatched in their eloquence, proficiency, fluency, conformance and harmony. Not only is the Qur’an a linguistic masterpiece and magnum opus par excellence, it is indeed a miracle in the fullest sense of the word. Those reciting it never become weary of it and those who ponder upon its meanings do not doubt it; rather, they always discover fresh insights and knowledge. It guides those seeking guidance and increases those who believe in it in faith. Its first parts resemble its latter parts and it can only be likened to itself in its unparalleled beauty.
The Qur’an is free from contradictions and those who understand the Arabic language and contemplate upon its chapters and verses will find harmony between its various parts.  Allah, the Most High, Says (what means): “Why do not they contemplate the Qur’an?  And if it were from other than Allah, they would have found in it numerous discrepancies.” [Qur’an 4:82] Indeed, every time the disbelievers tried to raise issues of contradictions in the Qur’an, Muslim scholars proved beyond doubt that no part of the Qur’an belies or contradicts another. The reason is that what may appear as a ‘contradiction’ in the Qur’an is actually what the Qur’an calls Muhkam (clear) and Mutashabih (unclear) verse. This is actually a part of the Qur’an’s textual strength and miraculous composition. 
The Qur’an restores soul calmness
The Islamic Medical Sciences Organisation declared the striking results of a study conducted by Dr Ahmad al-Qadhi over a group of volunteers from America who were subject to a recitation of the Holy Qur’an. A trace of a tranquilising effect was recorded at a whole rate of 97%. Although many of these volunteers do not know Arabic, yet involuntary physiological changes that led notably to alleviate the acuity of tension they had before were observed in their nervous systems.
Furthermore, an experiment of EEG during Qur’an rehearsal revealed that while listening to Qur’an, the encephalic waves moved from the fast pattern of vigilance (12-13) wave/ second to the slow pattern (8-18) wave/ second; indicating the state of deep calmness. Non-Arabic speaking persons felt reassured, quiet, and complacent during the process of listening to Qur’anic verses, in spite of their inability to understand the meanings. This is one of the miracles of the Holy Qur’an.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,, revealed that miracle when saying;
“No people assembled in one of the houses of Allah (mosques), and recite and study the Book of Allah (among themselves), except that tranquility would prevail over them, mercy would encompass them, the angels would surround them, and Allah would make a mention of them in the presence of those near Him (angels).” [Muslim]

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