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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 28 June 2008 at 11:47pm

The Path to Paradise: Creating the Balance

Islam does not subscribe to the type of asceticism where we purify our hearts and yet remain immersed in political, economic or social corruption. Purification  must encompass our entire life, the privacy of our thoughts as well as their social manifestations in our daily life.

Everything must be in conformity with Allah's will.

This will of God also requires you to seek and maintain a delicate balance between the various obligations that demand your attention; between your obligations to Allah, your obligations towards others and your obligations towards yourself.

The Prophet advised us against extremism of any kind. It is reported that he said to Abdullah ibn Amr,

Have I heard right that you fast everyday and stand in prayer all night? Abdullah replied, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah"  The Prophet said, "Do not do that. Fast, as well as eat and drink. Stand in prayer, as well as sleep. For your body has a right upon you, your eyes have a right upon you, your wife has a right upon you, and your guest has a right upon you." (Muslim)

Unless you approach purificationas an all-embracing process, you will find that your life is compartmentalized, certain parts impeding the development of others. This can only result in a life of disharmony and unhappiness.

Approached as a comprehensive and all-embracing process, however, you will find that each part of your life will complement some other part.

This should, God willing, make your struggle on the path to God and Paradise easier and full of grace. As you struggle to make headway on the path to God, always remember that you have an excellent example before you. This is the example of the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 02 July 2008 at 12:52am

Social Responsibility in Islam

Social responsibility in Islam is understood to mean that the individual members of society work together to fulfill the general needs of society as well as the individual needs of its members and that they work together to protect society from harm.

Each member of society is aware not only that he has rights, but also that that he has responsibilities towards others, especially those who are incapable of fulfilling their own needs. These responsibilities entail providing for the needs of these people as well as protecting them from harm.

The Scope of Social Responsibility in Islam

Muslim society is one that applies the belief system and laws of Islam, as well as the methodology, value system, and codes of behavior that Islam espouses. These are all articulated by the Qur’ân and Sunnah and exemplified by the Prophet (peace be upon him), his Companions, and the Rightly Guided Caliphs.

When society adheres to these principles and values, social responsibility becomes a tangible reality, every aspect of which is fulfilled.

This is because Islam pays careful attention to society-building, providing a number of texts and legal injunctions to bring about the society described by Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) when he said: “The believers, in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other, are like a single body; if one limb feels pain, the whole body becomes feverish and restless.”

Therefore, social responsibility in Islam is not based on material interests, even if such interests form an integral part of it. It extends far beyond such concerns to embrace all the needs of society and its members, whether they are material in nature, spiritual, intellectual, or otherwise.

In this way, all the fundamental rights of both the individual and society at large are attended to.

Likewise, social responsibility in Islam is not only with regard to other Muslims; it extends to all of humanity, irrespective of their different beliefs and ways of life. Allah says:
Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you because of your religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily Allah loves those who deal justly.
This mutual responsibility exists because of the honor and dignity of every human being. Allah says:
And indeed We have honored the descendants of Adam and carried them on land and sea, and We have provided them with all the good things and have preferred them over much of what We have created.

The Domain of Social Responsibility in Islam

Islam considers social responsibility to be one of its fundamental objectives. It extends to all of humanity, believers and disbelievers alike. Allah says:
O mankind. We have created you from a male and female and made you nations and tribes so you could come to know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah are the most righteous.

Social responsibility encompasses everyone by degrees. It starts with the Muslim and his personal sphere of life, extends to his family, then to the society that he lives in, and finally to all the diverse societies that exist on Earth.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 July 2008 at 1:08am

The "Science" of Decision-Making

There are many aspects of decision-making that we need to consider:

1. Having options is demanding. When there is only one choice – when there is only one road to take, it's easy – we do not have any decision to make. There are no demands on our minds, no resolutions to be responsible for, and no cause for seeking advice. ...

2. Sometimes when faced with a dilemma, we need to determine what option we are obliged to choose. We need to understand our decision in the context of our duties and obligations. This becomes difficult when certain options present us with unpleasant consequences. ...

3. At other times, there is no dilemma, no question of duty, but there is still a need to determine which option is the best. The question may not always have a clear answer.

We may be faced with a choice between a number of desirable options. We might decide which of these options is most pleasing to Allah, or which is more beneficial to the people. ...

4. The "science" of making good decisions is multidisciplinary. There have not been many books written in the field of Islamic Law devoted exclusively to the topic of decision-making. However, we see the topic being explored in a number of other specialized areas of research.

5. There are many branches of Islamic Law where issues related to decision-making are explored in depth. This is the case for any branch of law that deals directly with issues of public welfare...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 05 July 2008 at 4:56pm

Forgiveness Vis-ŕ-Vis Repentance

Asking for forgiveness of God is a regular aspect of worship for believers. People can ask forgiveness of God all day long for all their sins, whether deliberately or unintentionally committed. Moreover, as well as asking for forgiveness for themselves, they can also do it for other believers, as stated in the Qur'an.

In Arabic, the word for "asking for forgiveness" is istighfar which is "asking for God's attribute of Ghafir, or He who forgives.

Thus, asking for forgiveness of God is like pledging to purify one's self and hence seeking refuge in the mercy and grace of God.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 07 July 2008 at 11:47pm

Get a Good Teacher!

Advice from American convert Abdul-Lateef Abdullah to fellow new Muslims

My advice to you as a new Muslim is to find and learn the deen from a teacher. In my year and a half of being Muslim (I'm 28 years old), one of the most important experiences for me has been the guidance and support of a very knowledgeable and pious teacher.

Islam is a not a religion of self-interpretation. It is a straight path based on knowledge that must be acquired. It is a lifestyle that has to be adhered to, and is unfortunately being influenced by many negative elements, both within and outside Islam.

Although many new Muslims, especially in the US, choose to teach themselves Islam through books, lectures and videos, there are many pitfalls to doing this that should be avoided. Without a teacher or a guide, one who armed with the combination of knowledge and experience, the pitfalls of the ego and desires can confuse and lead us astray quite easily.

Self-teaching is a western phenomenon, and because many of us are brought up in the west, we assume we can apply our cultural norms to Islam as well. However, Islam is not of the west, thus, our western norms cannot be applied to it with much success.

For centuries, classical Islamic education was taught through direct contact with teachers. This is how wisdom, not just knowledge, was acquired. You cannot gain wisdom from just reading. ...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 09 July 2008 at 6:20pm

Does God Need Our Worship?

Q: If Allah is free of all wants, why does He ask us to worship Him?

A: Allah said:

*{To Allah belong all things in heaven and earth: verily Allah is He (that is) free of all wants, worthy of all praise.}* (Luqman 31:26)

This verse tells us that Allah has no needs; that He is completely independent and free. So it was not out of any necessity on his part that He created the humans and asked them to worship Him.

 

And yet He created them, because He is the Creator par excellence. And it is part of His creative plan that He created beings who can understand and appreciate His creative power, along with countless insensate beings and inanimate things.

 

Allah on His own chose to be Merciful, Bounteous, Loving and Forgiving. And all these are qualities that require that there be beings who should receive His mercy, His bounty, His love and His forgiveness.

 

Maybe that is why He created such beings; who out of their gratitude to Him are asked to willingly, and not out of compulsion, worship Him. This was never a need on the part of Allah.

 

Nor can any of His creation provide him or help him with anything. As all beings came into existence out of Allah's own will and whatever they possess by way of ability or power — and indeed their very existence — was given to them by Allah the Almighty Himself. ...

 

http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1203759226133&pagename=IslamOnline-English-AAbout_Islam%2FAskAboutIslamE%2FAskAboutIslamE

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 July 2008 at 12:14am

Pearls of Wisdom in Islam:

Hold Your Tongue

Speaking little and listening much are virtues and signs of maturity. The desire to make oneself heard at all times is a sign of spiritual imbalance and shamelessness, even if some explain it away as a form of insanity.

Any words spoken should be directed toward solving a problem or answering a question. In either case, the one who asks the question and the one who listens to the answer should not become bored.

It is natural that one speak only when necessary, and keep silent when words are out of place. However, it is always better that those words which are of great benefit to others should take precedence.

Nevertheless, this depends on acquiring good manners and perceiving the virtue of keeping silent. Such wisdom is reflected in a beautiful proverb: Those who speak a lot make many mistakes.

People reveal themselves through their words, and manifest their spiritual rank through their manners. Those who act as though they are the only ones with the authority to speak inevitably become disliked and are condemned by their friends.

As a result, any valuable words they might express are rejected out of hand. As a corollary, these truths are not accorded the respect they deserve.

Holding the tongue, like eating and sleeping only a little, always has been a golden rule followed by men and women of perfection.

Those who wish to develop their spiritual faculties are advised firstly to hold their tongue and to refrain from idle talk. They should not say whatever comes into their heads ...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 July 2008 at 4:32pm

"No God but God"

The statement by which a person enters into Islam is "There is no God but Allah." By making this declaration, we profess Allah's lordship over all Creation as well as His exclusive right to be worshipped. We then turn all of our strengths – those of the mind, the heart, and the body – to glorifying and praising Him.

Our bodies, and the atoms that make them up, already glorify their Creator, whether we acknowledge it or not. However, we are given the choice when it comes to our minds, our hearts, and our deeds. We can willingly turn to Allah and embrace the message that he sent to us with His messenger, or we can remain heedless.

We as human beings are blessed with a natural inclination to recognize our Creator and to worship Him. We instinctively feel the need to do so. Therefore, when we worship our Lord, we are in harmony with our own natures and with the rest of Creation.

As for someone who worships something other than the Creator, that person is taken by the tides of worldly existence and his soul is torn by it. ...

http://www.islamtoday.com/showme_weekly_2006.cfm?cat_id=30&sub_cat_id=1939

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 14 July 2008 at 5:27pm

"…and He put love and mercy between your hearts"

"And among His Signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." [Sűrah Rűm: 21]

We should think about this verse of the Qur'ân. We should consider it well. What does it tell us about married life?

The verse tells us quite clearly that the marital relationship is to be established on a basis of mutual understanding, compassion, and love. Moreover, this relationship is a reciprocal one. It is not one-way. This relationship something that both the husband and wife must maintain together with closeness, affection, softness of heart, and mutual caring. This is the way that the "tranquility" mentioned in the verse is realized.

The measure of marital success is in the harmony and openness of the marital relationship. Its failure can be measured in the degree of discord and emotional imbalance it suffers from.

Marriage is one of the noblest of human relationships. It is the very foundation of society. Allah has established a strong foundation for this relationship.

Love and affection are translated into action through kindness of expression, leniency in conduct, sincerity, mutual respect, and other behaviors. Tranquility comes about through their familiarity for one another, their natural sense of ease and comfort in being together, their need for each other. ...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2008 at 5:07pm

“Allah forgives all sins…”

Allah says: “Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Sűrah al-Zumar: 53]

This verse speaks about those who repent. It tells us that any sin, no matter how major, is expiated by sincere and proper repentance.

There are conditions for repentance to be sincere and proper. The first of these is that the penitent person desists from the sinful act. The second is that he feels deep and genuine regret for having committed the sin. The third is that he resolves in his heart never to return to the sin again. Finally, if the sin caused a transgression against the rights of another person, he needs to do his best to make amends.

When Allah sees this sincere repentance from one of His servants – a servant who truly turns to his Lord in fear and hope – He not only forgives the sin, but replaces those sins for good deeds to the servant’s credit. This is from Allah’s infinite grace and munificence.

http://islamtoday.com/showme2.cfm?cat_id=37&sub_cat_id=1195


 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 26 July 2008 at 8:40am

A Life of Remembrance

Allah, Most Gracious and Loving, commends:

(Remember Me and I shall remember you. Be grateful unto Me and deny Me not) (2:152)

Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining and who reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth are highly commended in the Noble Quran. They are wise in that, they fill their hearts with the remembrance of God in every moment in every circumstance and in every posture of our lives.

 

The exhortation to remember Allah at all times is a reflection of Allah's all-embracing and overwhelming love for us. The door to Allah is always open to us: (Remember Me and I will remember you) (2:152). We need only to find our way to and through that door. 

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 27 July 2008 at 4:59pm

‘Going Green’ in the 6th Century

Prophet Muhammad: the Environmentalist

Creating a Balance

 

Concern and care for the environment is also a teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and therefore a duty on all Muslims.

 

Prophet Muhammad guided mankind to an ideology in which the human need for development has underpinnings of justice, generosity and good governance. Therefore, human progress must be fair to all concerned, be it man, woman, animal, or plant.

 

Prophet Muhammad encouraged simplicity of life. This trait is a good example he set for us in "going green". This means no fancy jargon or complex techie thingies that might save energy but cost the world. We should seek just simple doable solutions to problems that were once avoidable but today are at least still controllable. Three paradigms seem central to the Prophet's explanation of humanity's relationship with the environment.

 

Humility: An understanding that all of creation belongs to God.

 

Justice: Deeds must be just and fair to all concerned.

 

Sustainability: Avoidance of all extravagances and measured use of any natural (or other) resource.

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2008 at 12:48am

Reliance on Allah

 

Self-confidence is borne from the believer's intimate knowledge and understanding that Allah is ever ready to assist those who strive and struggle in His way. Self-confidence comes from depending upon Allah and knowing that He is there to help you, protect you and shower His mercies upon you:

 

{So he who gives (in charity) and fears(Allah) and [in all sincerity] testifies to the best – We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss.} (Al-Layl 92:5-7)

 

Self-confidence also emanates from knowing that Allah in His infinite mercy has equipped you with all that you require to undertake the tasks set before you. It is not characteristic of the One that is Most Just and Most Merciful to prepare you for a task without equipping you with the necessary tools.

 

Self-confidence is thus borne of total reliance and trust in Allah. It is knowing that at every step of your journey, Allah is there assisting you.

 

Hold Your Head Up High

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2008 at 1:12am

“The most honored of you with Allah…”

“O humanity! We have created you of a male and a female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another.

Lo! The most honored of you with Allah are those who are the most God-fearing. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.” [Sűrah al-Hujurât: 13]

Islam declares all ideologies that summon to bigotry, racism, tribalism, or ethnic chauvinism to be false. Islam calls upon us to abolish bigotry from our hearts. There are no grounds to discriminate between people on the basis of race, ethnicity, or language.

Islam teaches us that people are as equal as the teeth of a comb.

The superiority of one person over another is only by virtue of a person’s superior deeds, not because of that person’s lineage or pedigree. What matters most is a person’s righteousness and conduct. It is related to us from the Companions that: “Whoever has shortcomings in his deeds will find no compensation for it in his lineage.” [Sahîh Muslim (4867)]

Allah created all of us from a single soul: “O humankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women.” [Sűrah al-Nisâ’: 1]

Yes, there are differences between people as individuals. Though all of us descend from one set of parents, each of us is unique as a person. We all have different appearances, complexions, and degrees of beauty. We differ in physical strength, in our preferences, and our dispositions. We are identical to each other only in our basic makeup and our natural human instincts. We differ greatly in our individual characteristics.

Allah has blesses us all differently. Some people are wealthy while others are poor. People have different ancestries and backgrounds. Nevertheless, all of us were created for the same purpose – to worship our Creator. Allah says: “I created neither the Jinn nor humanity except to worship Me.” [Sűrah al-Dhâriyât: 56]

Therefore, in spite of our diversity in our personal traits and circumstances, the criterion by which some of us are superior to others is the criterion of piety. Allah says: “The most honored of you with Allah are those who are the most God-fearing.” Sűrah al-Hujurât: 13]

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