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Islam and Spiritualism (07 Oct 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Reflections on Qur'anic message - Part-13: Broader Dimension of Zakah - ‘Purifying ‘One’s Thoughts by Dispelling Defilements of Mind



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” (74:7).

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

1.       Restraining Anger and Forgiving People:

“[The morally 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 compassionate” (3:134).

2.       Courtesy in Greeting:

“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).

3.       Against 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)

4.       To Speak Graciously:

“Tell My servants to say what is best - for verily Satan sows dissension among them, for Satan is an open enemy to man” (17:53).

5.       Shunning Arrogance:

“And do not walk arrogantly on earth - for you can neither cleave the earth apart, nor reach the mountains in height” (17:37).

“(Said Luqman 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).

6.       To Be Discerning Against Slanderous News:

“You who 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).

7.       To Avoid Excessive Suspicion:

“You who 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).

8.       Against Backbiting:

“Woe to every backbiting critic (104:1), who amasses wealth, and keeps counting it (and does not spend in charity)” (104:2).

9.       To Conduct Oneself Graciously At Places Of Worship:

10.     Not to Be Lavish In Eating and Drinking

“Children of 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 the Series:

Reflections on Qur'anic Message - Part-12: Institutional Zakat - The Bedrock of Islamic Socialism Feeds Islamic Capitalism in This Era – God Witnessing

http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-spiritualism/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/reflections-on-qur-anic-message---part-12--institutional-zakat---the-bedrock-of-islamic-socialism-feeds-islamic-capitalism-in-this-era-–-god-witnessing/d/112736

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.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-spiritualism/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/reflections-on-qur-anic-message---part-13--broader-dimension-of-zakah---‘purifying-‘one’s-thoughts-by-dispelling-defilements-of-mind/d/112801

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   5


  • Indeed, the act of Zakat and Sadaqat purifies one’s soul and mind.


    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 10/14/2017 4:05:02 AM



  • 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!


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/9/2017 3:16:06 AM



  • During 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 sinful things.

    The 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.

    American 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”

    Mohammad (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


    By Royalj - 10/8/2017 10:28:22 PM



  • Excellent selection of quotes against defilement of mind.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/7/2017 11:02:42 AM



  • Excellent reflections!
    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 10/7/2017 9:30:11 AM



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