Quarterly: Issue No 11
LOVE – basis of Prophet’s Society in Madinah Munawwarah
Islam established Madinan society on the basis of love and mutual support, as is mentioned in a hadith: 'the believers, in their love, mutual kindness, and close ties, are like one body; when any part complains, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.’ (Muslim). Affection, compassion and keeping in touch formed the basis of the relationship between the members of the Muslim society, be they old or young, rich or poor, rulers or subjects.
The teachings of Islam support the concept of spreading love in the society, as is mentioned in the hadith: ‘None of you truly believes until he wishes (loves) for his brother what he wishes (loves) for himself’ (Hadith recorded in Bukhari and Muslim). The believers may live in a society free from selfishness and exploitation, where they could help each other to face the problems of life, so that ‘whosoever helps his brother, Allah will help him’ (Hadith recorded in Tirmidhi and Imam Ahmad). ‘Allah will help his servant as long as His servant helps his brother’. (Hadith recorded in Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).
The relationships among believers rest on mutual respect. The rich man does not look down on the poor, nor the ruler on the subject, nor the strong on the weak. ‘It is evil enough for a man to humiliate his Muslim brother;’ said the noble Prophet (Muslim).
The relationship between a Muslim and his brother could be weakened or broken at the moment of anger, but this should not last for more than three days: ‘It is not lawful for a Muslim to forsake his brother beyond three days’ (Bukhari and Muslim).
The foundations of love are supported by the giving of presents and charitable gifts. ‘Give gifts to one another and love one another’. The rich give money for the service of society and fill the gaps which could appear in its economic structure as a result of unequal distribution of wealth. The rich person pays out the zakaah due on his wealth as an obligation to Allah, and supports the needy with his wealth. On the other hand, the poor do not resent the rich for any increase in their wealth, because this increase will come back to them in goodness and support.
The rich Sahaabah realized that they were responsible for the wealth which they had acquired. If they found a need which the state was unable to meet, or had not noticed, they sacrificed their wealth in order to fill it. It is an historical fact that 'Uthmaan gave as sadaqah a huge caravan - 1,000 camels bearing wheat, oil and raisins-to the poor Muslims, when an economic crisis hit Madinah during the caliphate of Abu Bakr al Siddeeq, and the merchants had offered him five times its original price as profit. The merchants asked: ‘Who has offered it to you when no one came to you before us, and we are the merchants of Madinah?’ Hazrath Uthman (radiyallahu anhu) said: ‘Allah has given me ten times its worth'; and he shared it among the poor Muslims.
There are many similar stories in the biographies of the Muslims who were our pious and righteous predecessors. For this reason the class mentality, and hence, the class conflict, did not appear. The people were not grouped according to their economic interests to fight those above and below them. The Islamic society did not witness any conflict between the classes and does not recognize any superiority of the rich over the poor, nor of the ruler over the subject. From the outset, it did not recognize any differences between men based on their color, race, or origin. The Muslims are as equal as the teeth of a comb. Nobody is better than anyone else except in Taqwah (the consciousness of God). The Islamic society is open to all and the opportunities for development and earning a living are equal for all its members. There are NO social differences and segregation of whether one is a Urdu-speaking, Gujerati-speaking or Memon. All are equal in the sight of Allah. A poor man was never prevented from marrying a rich woman, nor was a weak man ever prevented from rising to the highest post in the nation or the highest rank in the leadership of the society. There is no class which could prevent any of its members from rising further. If the Islamic society had been destined to continue its scientific and civilizing progress, and to lead humanity today, the advantages of Islam for building a strong society based on mutual love and support would have become clear. Hatred, conflict and social differences are destined to result in destruction.
If that was the practice of Muslims in Madinan society during the lifetime of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), then why is it different today. Let us follow the basic principles of the Sunnah first before we claim to be followers of the Sunnah. May Allah guide us to follow the true spirit of the Sunnah. Ameen!
Surah Al-Zalzalah (EARTHQUAKE)
When the earth is heavily shaken with its final earthquake, and the earth casts forth its burdens and man cries out: what is the matter with her?! On that Day, she will declare her information (about all that happened over her of good and evil) at the inspiration and command of your Lord. (1-5)
On that Day, men will appear in scattered groups so that their deeds can be shown to them. Then whoever has done the smallest bit of good will see it, and whoever has done the smallest bit of evil will also see it (6-8).
This Surah depicts the reality that a day will definitely come when every deed done by man will be brought to light. All his actions will be exposed and nothing will remain hidden. Whatever good or evil he had done even where no one could have seen him will be placed in front of him, and he will be rewarded or punished accordingly. On that day, each man alone will stand answerable for his own deeds. No other person will in any way be able to help or support him nor will anyone be present to intercede for him.
To elucidate this fact, this Surah draws a graphic picture of the tremendous devastation which will take place on that day. As a result of this devastation, everything buried in the earth will be cast out. The earth will then narrate its story at the intimation and command of Almighty Allah, enabling its inhabitants to have a clear idea of all what they had said or done upon its surface or had hidden beneath it. After this, every person will see the smallest good he had done as well as all his evils, however imperceptible they maybe.
During the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), those who used to deny the Day of Judgement had basically three misconceptions. Firstly, they had extreme doubts about the destruction of this world. Secondly, they reckoned that it was not possible to keep an account of all the deeds of each and every person. Thirdly, they were of the opinion that even if the above two were true there was no need for them to be fearful because the deities they had associated with Allah would intercede for them and would save them from any punishment. They went as far as to believe that these “intercessors” would even win for them a high rank and status in the Hereafter.
All these three misconceptions are dealt with in this surah, and their hollowness is categorically exposed.
What does the verse ‘When the earth is heavily shaken with its final earthquake’ really mean? What is really being implied here is that the extent to which the earth will be shaken cannot be imagined today. The actual way in which it will reel, totter and stagger as pre-ordained by the Almighty Allah is an event beyond imagination. But one thing which is absolutely certain is that all this is bound to happen. Therefore, it is in the well being of a person to remain alert about its arrival and not spend his life remaining unmindful to it.
And the earth shall cast forth its burdens. The word thiql means "weight" or "burden". Here, its foremost connotation are the dead who have been buried in the earth and who will be thrown overboard by the Final Earthquake on the Day of Judgement. Refer to other verses of the Quran to substantiate this:
It will cast out whatever is inside and become empty.
(Al-Inshiqaaq : 4) and
When the graves will be spewed out. (Al-Adiyaat : 9)
And man cries out: What is the matter with her?
This is a description of how the terrible situation will affect men's senses. Struck with consternation they will cry out: What is happening to the earth, why is it wobbling about and not coming to an end and why is it throwing out everything within it? This tension will also grip the evil doers when they will observe the record of their deeds. In the words of the Quran, they will exclaim:
What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers.
(Al-Kahf : 49)
On that Day, she will declare her information at the inspiration and command of your Lord. When the Day comes, the earth will narrate an account of all the good and evil deeds done upon it. It is indicated at other places of the Qur 'an that the limbs of criminals will be given the power of speech by Almighty Allah on the Day of Judgement. Their own limbs will testify against them, and even their skins and the hairs upon them will bear witness against them. In the words of the Qur 'an the criminals will inquire from their skins:
And they will say to their skins: ‘Why do you testify against us?’ They will reply: ‘Allah has caused us to speak…’ (Fussilat : 21)
Whatever a person does in this world is either done upon or beneath the earth. As such, it must be regarded as the greatest witness to all his deeds. Just as the Almighty Allah will endow man's limbs and organs with the faculty of speech to narrate his life's record and bear witness against him, the earth also will be made vocal by Him so that it may also recount its history. It is clear that the earth will rehearse everyone's record at the command of Allah only. Whatever will happen on that Day will happen because Almighty Allah will order it and everything will be compelled to obey Him.
On that Day, men will appear in scattered groups so that their deeds can be shown to them.
On the Day of Judgement, people will emerge from their graves in various groups according to their deeds, I.e. a group of mushriks, a group of drunkards, a group of adulterers etc. without having their family about them. None of their tribesmen or relatives, comrades or supporters will be present with them. Also, they will be without the pomp and show and the worldly riches they had amassed. Even the deities they had associated with Allah will not be present to intercede for them. Everyone will stand alone to reckon with the results of his own deeds. This particular aspect has been highlighted in other places of the Quran as well:
And every one of them will come to Him (Allah) alone. (Maryam : 95)
And truly you have come to Us alone, as We created you the first time. (Al-An’aam : 94)
Then whoever has done the smallest bit of good – will see it, and whoever has done the smallest bit of evil - will also see it.
No doubt, every person will see both his evil and good deeds before his Creator. After being adjudged according to the principles of the Glorious Quran, people will either attain eternal salvation or be doomed forever on the basis of the following Quranic verse:
Hence, whose scales are heavy will dwell in
May Allah give us all the guidance to be consistent in doing good deeds and keep us away from the evil ones. Ameen! Only the mercy of Allah can help us to amend our lives and keep us away from the abyss of Hell.
Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
There are three things which, when they are present in anyone, will cause him to taste the sweetness of Iman (faith): that Allah and His Messenger be dearer to him than everything else; that he should love others for the sake of Allah alone; that he should hate to return to kufr (disbelief) after Allah has rescued him from it just as he would hate to be cast into a blazing fire. (Bukhari & Muslim)
Whoever is made happy by his good deeds, and sorrowful by his evil deeds, is a believer. (Abu Daud).
Recently, some Westernized ‘scholars’ are saying that the Tilaawah of the Quran is not necessary. They are playing verbal gymnastics with the words of the Quran without any careful attention to the basic rules of Arabic grammar. Such ‘scholars’ are guilty of deliberately making TAHREEF (change) of the Kalaam of Allah by incorrectly translating verse 121 of Surah AI-Baqarah Yatloonahoo Haqqa Tilaawatihee as follows:
Those who follow it as it ought to be followed (incorrectly translated). Even a beginner of Arabic grammar will tell that the word TILAAWATUN can never be used in the sense of following. The word TULUWWUN is used in the sense of following. Therefore the words of the above verse
YATLOONAHOO HAQQA TILAAWATIHEE
can only be translated as "those who recite it as it ought to be recited" or "those who recite it with a right which its recitation demands".
These ‘scholars’ also make statements that the purpose of the Quran is believed by Muslims to be fulfilled merely by Tilaawah. Any educated Muslim is fully aware that the Quran contains the commands of Allah; and that every effort must be made to read and understand the commands of Allah and put them into practice. But this does not annul the meritorious act of making the Tilaawah of the Quran. The Holy Quran is not just an ordinary Book of Law but is the very Speech (Kalaam) of Allah. Making Tilaawah of the Quran also brings great reward.
Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has emphasized the great merits of reciting the Quran. Many authentic Ahadeeth can be quoted to substantiate this fact. Therefore the act of reciting the Quran is undoubtedly a great deed for which there is great "sawaab".