By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
07 October 2017
(Co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah
Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009.
This is in sequel to the reflections on
institutional Zakat in Part-12 of this series.
Human mind is constantly stalked by evil
thoughts and there is a perpetual tug of war between depravity (Fujurah) and
moral uprightness (Taqwa) in man’s sub-conscious mind (Nafs) (91:8, Reflection
7). The depravity of mind can trigger a whole series of mental defilements such
as anger, jealousy, greed, arrogance, hatred and contempt of others, cruelty,
vengeance, and other negativities, and disturb the equanimity of mind and keep
it locked in futile thoughts with adverse impacts on personal, social and
family life and in the overall well-being of the community.
The Qur’an regards this theme so weighty
that it raises it with the Prophet in its following very early passage (verse
74:5) that commissioned him on his Prophetic mission:
“O you enwrapped (Mudaththir) (in
your thoughts) (74:1)! Arise and warn (your people) (74:2). Magnify your Lord
(74:3). Purify your inner self (literally, ‘cloak’) (4).Shun all defilements
(74:5). Do not bestow favour, seeking gains (6). And turn to God in patience”
A broad cross section of Qur’anic verses is
listed below under appropriate headings to bear out the crux of the Qur’an’s
counselling against the defilements of mind
Anger and Forgiving People:
upright (Muttaqin)] are those who spend (in charity) in (times of) plenty as
well as hardship, restrain anger and forgive people for God loves the
“When you are
greeted with a greeting, return it with a more courteous greeting or (at least)
its like. Indeed God takes account of everything” (4:86).
Talking Evil Of People:
“God does not
love of evil talk in public except by one who has been wronged. (Remember,) God
is All-Knowing and Aware” (4:148)
servants to say what is best - for verily Satan sows dissension among them, for
Satan is an open enemy to man” (17:53).
“And do not
walk arrogantly on earth - for you can neither cleave the earth apart, nor
reach the mountains in height” (17:37).
to his son): ‘Do not turn your cheek away from people (in scorn), nor walk
arrogantly on earth. Surely God does not love any arrogant boaster (31:18).
Therefore, be modest in your bearing, and keep your voice low; (and remember)
the harshest of sounds is the braying of an ass’” (31:19).
Be Discerning Against Slanderous News:
believe, if a wicked person comes to you with a (slanderous) news, verify it,
otherwise you may ignorantly harm (other) people, and become regretful for what
you have done” (49:6).
Avoid Excessive Suspicion:
believe, avoid excessive suspicion, for suspicion in some cases is a sin; and
do not spy (over others), nor backbite each other. Would any of you like to eat
the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it! So heed God and (remember,)
God is Most Relenting and Merciful” (49:12).
“Woe to every
backbiting critic (104:1), who amasses wealth, and keeps counting it (and does
not spend in charity)” (104:2).
Conduct Oneself Graciously At Places Of Worship:
to Be Lavish In Eating and Drinking
Adam, conduct yourselves graciously [literally “‘hold on to your God given
endowments (Zinat)] at every place of worship. Eat and drink - but do not be
wasteful for He does not approve of those who are wasteful” (7:31).
In a very restrictive sense fine clothes
are also God’s endowments, and accordingly the verse has been traditionally
rendered to imply the wearing of one’s best dress at every place and occasion
of prayer. Such an interpretation is not tenable as this will be discriminatory
against the poor who may not have any fine clothes to wear.
This all may be of little interest to any
modern reader for none of the listed biddings or prohibitions can help him to
advance in the rate race for wealth, power and social status, or add glitter,
glamour or celebrity air that are most sought after in this era. As for the lay
Muslims long ‘Bayans’ (sermons) and stories of the prophets, saints, Sufis, and
accounts of their miracles and other similar narratives may have far greater
appeal than the cut and dry pronouncements of the Qur’an. But those few of any
religion or no religion that may care to heed at least some of them may be
rewarded with ineffable, peace, harmony and tranquillity in life that money,
power, position, glitter, glamour and celebrity air cannot buy.
Part Twelve of
Qur'anic Message - Part-12: Institutional Zakat - The Bedrock of Islamic
Socialism Feeds Islamic Capitalism in This Era – God Witnessing
Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of
Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth
study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored
the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif,
Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and
authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana
Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.
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Indeed, the act
of Zakat and Sadaqat purifies one’s soul and mind.
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي
سَوْآتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا ۖ وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ
اللَّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ
O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed
raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But
the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of
Allah, that they may receive admonition! (7:26)
Raiment of righteousness/taqwa! What a beautiful way of putting
across that taqwa will both protect us from shame and adorn us on the Day of
Judgment! The context of wearing clothes to cover our modesty and as an
adornment has been used to drive home a much higher truth!
my stint in the Middle East, my children used to write lovely letters; “Dad we
miss you”, “With love and prayers” etc., etc., Yet I was not a happy father,
for, my wife had already written to me that my children did not speak to each
other. Similarly Allah will not be happy
when we turn to Him and magnify Him, or praise Him, ceaselessly, while we do
above article is really good, provided we know what sinful thing is. Many of us
do not know that looking down at another person with supremacism or calling
‘Kafir’ is a sin; or looking down at women as slaves, or embracing two, three
wives and praise Allah is sin.
President Lincoln burn the hearts of American slave masters by using the golden
rule. “As I would not be a slave so I would not be a Master”
(Mr. Yunis ) has done an excellent job; but he should also include the sinful things
that afflicts our societies. Lest we cannot differentiate Rasoolallah Khomeini,
Abubucker al Bagdadi, bin Laden, who prayed five times a day and praised Allah
ceaselessly, and other people.
ONLY A GOD OF MORAL PERFECTION IS GOD