REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummah.com/reflections

Quarterly: Issue No 13

Muharram 1421

 

GREAT ADVICE OF CALIPH UMAR (R.A.)

 

After receiving the surrender of Jerusalem and completing the tour of Syria when Caliph Umar (radiyallahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) was returning to Madina Munawwarah, he led the prayer at Jabiah. On this occasion he delivered an address which is  reserved in history. The major part of his address was:


"O People!  I counsel you to read the Quran. Try to understand it and ponder over it. Imbibe the  teachings of the Quran. Then practise what the Quran teaches. The Quran is not theoretical; it is a practical code of life. The Quran does not bring you the message of the Hereafter only; it is primarily intended to guide you in this life. Mould your life in accordance with the teachings of Islam for that is the way of your well being. By following any other way you will be inviting destruction.  Fear Allah (The One True God), and whatever you want, seek it from Him. All men are equal. Do not flatter those in authority. Do not seek favours from others. By such acts you demean yourself. And remember that you will get only that which is ordained for you, and no one can give you anything against the will of Allah. Then why seek things from others over  which they have no control? Only supplicate Allah for He alone is the sovereign.


"And speak the truth. Do not hesitate to say what you consider to be the truth. Say what you feel. Let your conscience be your guide. Let your intentions be good, for verily Allah is aware of your intentions. In your deeds your intentions count. Fear Allah, and fear no one else. Why fear others when you know that whatever sustenance ordained for you by Allah you will get under all circumstances? And again why fear when you know that death is ordained by Allah alone and will come only when He wills?


"Allah has for the time being made me your ruler. But I am one of you. No special privileges belong to a ruler. I have some responsibilities to discharge, and in this I seek your co-operation. Government is a sacred trust, and it is my endeavour not to betray the trust in any way. For the fulfilment of the trust I have to be a watch-man. I have to be strict. I have to enforce discipline. I have to run the administration not on the basis of personal attitude or way of behaviour; I have to run it in public interest and for promoting the public good.  For this we have the guidance in the Book of Allah. Whatever orders I issue in the course of day to day administration have to conform to the Quran. Allah has favoured us with Islam. He sent to us His Messenger Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam – Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him).  He has chosen us for a mission. Let us fulfil that mission. And that mission is the propagation and promotion of Islam. In Islam lies our safety; if we err then we will be doomed."

 

THE SIMPLIFIED FIQH

 

The well-known Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, has spoken about the new direction which he is calling for in the study of Islamic Fiqh. He said the Fiqh that he is calling to is not the Fiqh that is taught at Shari’ah and law colleges, that is concerned with knowledge of the Shari’ah rules and its detailed proof, such as the rules concerning articles of worship, dealings, rules of divorce, and others. But it is a Fiqh that emanates from the Qur'an itself, which comprises various kinds of Fiqh, foremost among which are the verses that have been revealed by Allah and the Prophet's Sunnah, relating to the universe, the society, and the family. He said: "Our world is not moving haphazardly, but rather according to Divine Laws that are not subject to change," adding that this is what Allah has said in the Qur'an.


In a discourse with the Kuwait-based publication "AL’AALAMIYA," Dr. Qaradhawi said among the things that the Fiqh he is calling for relates to the maintenance of balance in all things, particularly in matters relating to human interest. He said people should not sacrifice the higher interests for the sake of minor gains, or permanent interests for the sake of temporary ones, or fundamental ones for ones that are of minor importance.


Turning to the topic of the "Fiqh of Balance" and "Fiqh of Priorities," Sheikh Qaradhawi said the latter was based on the former, and means that we should understand what things are more important than others, and that we should not put things upside-down. Sheikh Qaradhawi then touched on the Fiqh of differences of opinion, and said that it is not possible for all the people to have a consensus of a uniform opinion on any particular matter. Hesaid those who wished to impose a single opinion on the Muslim Ummah would only exacerbate (worsen) the differences among the people. He added that those who wanted to eliminate all the sects not only did they not succeed, but, on the contrary, they helped in only increasing the number of sects by adding new ones. He said there is no way of eliminating differences of opinion, and added that it was, in fact, a religious, linguistic, human, and universal necessity.


Sheikh Qaradhawi commented: "This is the type of Fiqh that I am calling for, and I am working toward including it in my encyclopaedia 'The Simplified Fiqh,' and in my opinion we should continue to strive to find out more and renew the Fiqh." He said if the scholars of gone by era had lived during our times and witnessed what we are witnessing, they would have changed much in their pronouncements and their efforts, as did those who came after them but who were closer to their era.

 

CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES in the Muslim world

 

The following two messages reveal Christian Missionaries efforts made in the Muslim world.  These messages come straight from Christian web sites.
Message Number 1:

 

Christian Daily News

Mission Briefs (excerpt)

April 18, 2000

http://www.christiandailynews.org

SAN JOSE, Calif. (USA) -- Religion Today reports that ministry organisations such as California-based Partners International have jointly formed and support the Institute for Islamic Studies for Latin Workers in an undisclosed nation. The ministry trains Latin American workers to minister in North African and Central Asian nations, where U.S. workers often are forbidden. The institute has about 80 students and two teams of missionaries have already been sent to Muslim nations, Partners said.  Three more teams are scheduled to go next year.

 

Message Number 2:

 

"Partners International"

http://www.partnersintl.org/news/hilites.html

PROGRAM FOCUS

As Partners continues to strengthen its alliances with more non-western missions in the least Christian regions of the world, the strategy of our Latin American partners reaching North Africa and Central Asia dovetails perfectly with this strategy.


Many agencies, including Partners, came together to help form The Institute of Islamic Studies for Latin Workers. With the new workers that have been recruited to study at the Institute, the ministry has grown by 90 percent (a total of 75-80 Latin workers).  Teams have been deployed into two new countries, and three more countries will be entered by 2001. Work in the Muslim world will continue to be expanded through training on practical aspects of work among Muslims, as well as conferences, which are scheduled in Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil. Most important of all, thousands of Muslims will hear the “Good News” for the first time in their lives.

 

REACHING THE SEA PEOPLE

Along the coasts of Malaysia, in the shadow of Singapore-the world's busiest harbour-the Orang Laut (Sea People) make their houses of scrap plywood, above the waterline on posts. Allah has called a Tamil Malaysian worker, Charles, to visit these people on a daily basis. He alone has been ministering to them for ten years in every capacity- from doctor to pastor. Neither local Christians nor churches will help because they cannot relate to the desperate plight of the people. Charles pastors a church in each of the four villages where he is working.  He has also convinced parents to allow their children to attend school and break the cycle of illiteracy that has isolated them for years.


KINGDOM HARVEST IN INDIA

Although North India has always been highly resistant to the gospel, our partners are now working in 34 districts of 11 Indian states. They are rejoicing that in the midst of increasing persecution, 5,000 people are currently awaiting baptism. Government opposition to the faith has also united churches of all denominations. New alliances are being forged as the Spirit gathers all His people.

 

ISLAM ON THE INTERNET

 

Beware of the disadvantages of accepting Islam from the internet. For example, how does one evaluate the authenticity of the  information on a web page?  This is not an easy task and one must be very careful before accepting, or rejecting what they read on the internet.  Get help and guidance from your local reliable Ulama before accepting any information from the web.  Some reliable individuals have taken the time to scan the internet and compile numerous web sites which can be trusted, but even this cannot be guaranteed.

Another problem is that, although the internet has given us a voice in cyberspace, it has also given our enemies a voice and they are taking full advantage of this. There are many web sites which openly attack Islam in a hateful way, and these are almost impossible to control.  Additionally, there are numerous Christian web sites which target Muslims for conversion. These sites are very sophisticated and if one is not grounded firmly in the teachings of Islam, one can be easily misled by their words.

 

 

Covering head in Salaah

 

For men, the covering of one's head during Salaah is a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and one should act upon it to the best possible extent. However, it is not a mandatory condition for the validity of Salaah therefore, the obligation is discharged without it, though devoid of the blessings of Sunnah.  We should try our best to make our Salaah as close to the Sunnah as possible.  Even a slight carelessness may deprive us from the barakah and reward which every Sunnah may bring to his true follower.  Therefore, we should not take this matter lightly.