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Understanding Islam



A commentary to Maulana Imran Hosein’s interpretation of the verse. Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Friday, 18 Dhul-Hijjah 1436

Verse 51 of Surah al-Maidah:

Being a commentary to Maulana Imran Hosein’s interpretation of the verse. 

By: Hasbullah Shafi’iy

Introduction

Sayyiduna Umar radiyallahu anhu, in his six-line description of the Quran that we are unable to discuss here except one particular word that is relevant to our subject, most aptly said that the Quran is Barakah. Now, this is not a simple word at all. This word may be registered amongst the most frequently used vocabulary of any Muslim from any part of the world, but only that the meaning of this word is simply untranslatable into any other language, at least not into English. The meaning of this word can only be understood and explained by analogy or events.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu anhu, gripped by the pangs of hunger, was waiting in Masjid an-Nabawi for someone to come, one who could understand his state and feed him. Embarrassed to ask directly for food, he had asked both Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna Umar (r.a.), “Iqri’nee,” which request could either mean “recite to me (from the Quran)” or, “take me as a guest.” Not realising his state, both of them had sat him down in the Masjid and had recited the entire Surah al-Baqarah and Surah Aali ‘Imran respectively one after the other. The poor companion of the Prophet (s) had to listen to the long recitations bearing the pains of his shrinking stomach. Now he was desperately hoping for someone else who could come and perceive instantly the other meaning of the word “Iqri’nee.”

There came the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, the noblest of all the Arabs in language. When Abu Hurayrah requested, “Iqri’nee” hesitantly, about to faint, fearing the same would happen again, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam smiled and affirmed him that he would not recite the Quran to him like Abu Bakr and Umar but would rather take him as a guest. However, the Messenger of Allah (s) commanded Abu Hurayrah to go and fetch all the As-haabus Suffah, Companions of the Verandah, the poorest of the residents of Madinah, eighty of them, for the meal at his home. So it was done. But what was there at the house of the Messenger of Allah (s)? What could anyone expect in that house of light but Barakah? It was but one small container of milk. Abu Hurayrah was worried he would not get any of the milk. He therefore queued first in the line, but the Prophet (s) gave the container to the others first. This is a recorded miracle of the Prophet (s) witnessed and experienced by all eighty of them that the container passed around and all of them drank from it and when it finally ended up in the hands of Abu Hurayrah, he too drank from it once, then the Prophet (s) told him to drink more and he too drank a second time and as the Prophet (s) told him to drink more he drank from it a third time. Finally, he could not drink a fourth time because he was already full and his stomach could not take anymore. But there was more milk in it.

By Allah, if the entire Madinah was there that day at the Prophet’s house, all of them would have drunk from it and milk would still have remained in the container. This is Barakah. So is the Quran. The Quran remains one Book but does flow infinitely. In fact, every verse of the Quran remains one but meanings flow infinitely because it is from Allah who is the Infinite.

There is not a single exegete (mufassir) of the Quran who would have dared say that he had already exhausted the full commentaries, interpretations and meanings of the Quran and that therefore nothing else could be added to them. That would reflect the meanings of the Quran as finite. How in that case could 20,000 Tafaaseer have been published so far on the meanings of the Quran? No one of the 20,000 different authors ever claimed that no one could add on to the commentary he had himself given and then put a full stop to the science of Tafseer. New knowledge comes out from the Quran and what meanings flow out from the Spring of the Quran – the Spring of Allah’s Kalam – has no limit. It continues and will continue forever till the Last Day.

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The Qur'an, the Family and Crime Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Saturday, 26 Ramadaan 1429
This is the last of four Ramadan Special essays published by Jama Masjid, San Fernando, and written by Islamic scholars Imran N. Hosein and Siddiq A. Nasir, that turn to the blessed Qur'an in an attempt to respond to rampant crime. Rallies, marches, changing Ministers of Government and Police Commissioners, etc., can never be a substitute for knowledge. The previous three essays focused on: 'Crime and the Secular Society', 'Crime and the Economy' and 'Crime and the Philosophy of Punishment'.

WHAT IS FAMILY? 

The "Family" has been under a devastating, multi-pronged attack for many decades by the secularism-based prevailing culture.  "Family" used to be understood as the social unit based on the union of a male and a female, married to each other, and the offspring they beget or adopt (even if death of one of the partners, or divorce, subsequently, takes place). 
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The Qur'an, Secularism and Crime Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Saturday, 26 Ramadaan 1429
Who decides what is right and what is wrong?  The society?  Religion?  The Government?  I  myself?
And now we see a shift, in contemporary society, from principles of right and wrong to choices, decisions and risks, and therefore to subjective personal decisions, with little regard for wider consequences.  No longer is "man the measure of all things" - I am the measure of all things.  We need to carefully examine this shift because it constitutes one of the main underlying causes of crime.  One of the obvious solutions to crime would therefore be the concerted effort to reverse this shift. 
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The Qur'an, crime and a philosophy of punishment Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Saturday, 26 Ramadaan 1429
This is the second of four Ramadan Special essays published by Jama Masjid, San Fernando, and written by Islamic scholars Imran N. Hosein and Siddiq A. Nasir, that turn to the blessed Qur'an in an attempt to respond to rampant crime. Rallies, marches, calls to change Ministers of Government and Police Commissioners, etc., are never a substitute for knowledge. The first essay focused on 'Crime and the Economy', and the next two will focus on 'Crime and the Secular Society' and 'Crime and the Family'.

Those who proclaim 'God's Supremacy' in their Constitution ("Whereas the People of Trinidad and Tobago have affirmed that the Nation of Trinidad and Tobago is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God .  .  ."), and then proceed to defy Him by rejecting His Law and by substituting in its place their own contrary law as 'supreme law', are a people who knowingly commit blasphemy. That is precisely what this Caribbean State has done in Art. 2 of its Constitution: "This Constitution is the supreme law of Trinidad and Tobago, and any other law (including God's Law) that is inconsistent with this Constitution is void to the extent of the inconsistency."
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The Qur'an, Crime and the Economy Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Saturday, 26 Ramadaan 1429
  This is the first of four Ramadan Special essays published by Jama Masjid, San Fernando, and written by Islamic scholars Imran N. Hosein and Siddiq A. Nasir, that turn to the blessed Qur'an in an attempt to respond to rampant crime. Rallies, marches, changing Ministers of Government and Police Commissioners, etc., can never be a substitute for knowledge. The next three essays would focus on: 'Crime and the Philosophy of Punishment', 'Crime and the Secular Society' and 'Crime and the Family'.
Economic ghettos now spawn, to a very large extent, the present endless nightmare of gang and drug warfare, armed robbery, kidnapping, and wanton senseless murder. Those ghettos will dramatically increase when the US dollar collapses totally and the TT dollar faithfully follows its monetary Massa in that collapse. Inflation will increase dramatically, and so too will crime! 
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A Great Book on Islam! Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Wednesday, 01 Sha'ban 1428

 

“As matters stand in the Muslim world today, it is the decline of religious leadership from the Islamic standard in a serious measure that constitutes a major cause of its inability with regard to its emergence from the abyss into which it has been descending since some time. The remedy for the situation is obvious.” - Fazlur Rahman Ansari, ‘The Qur’anic Foundations and Structure of Muslim Society’.

 

The Quranic Foundations and Structure of Muslim Society (in two volumes) was written by the distinguished Islamic scholar and Sufi Shaikh, Maulana Dr. Muhammad Fadlur Rahman Ansari (1914-1974), and was first published in Pakistan in 1973 just a few months before his death in 1974. It is not only a masterpiece of modern Islamic scholarship, but it also courageously identifies serious deficiencies in contemporary Islamic scholarship as one of the major causes of the decline of the Muslim world. The author of the book, who holds a doctorate in philosophy, was a graduate of Aligarh Muslim University, India, where he studied philosophy and religion. He derived his Islamic philosophical and spiritual thought from the outstanding Islamic scholar, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, as well as from his spiritual mentor, Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddiqui, and the great teacher who taught him Islam at the Aligarh Muslim University, Professor Syed Sulaiman Ashraf.

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Why do Muslims Pray Five Times a Day? Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Wednesday, 01 Sha'ban 1428
The Catholic Prime Minister of the Caribbean island of St. T Vincent is reported (Trinidad Guardian, May 8th, 2004) to have entered into the Mt. St. Benedict (Catholic) Monastery in Trinidad for a spiritual retreat during which “ he would join the monks in praying five times a day”. There are many people in the Caribbean who have chosen to become Muslims by proclaiming that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. When they do so they are taught, first of all, to pray ‘five times a day’. What is the origin of ‘five times’ daily prayers? We feel certain that there will be many, apart from the Prime Minister and the monks in the monastery, who will find this subject to be of compelling and abiding interesting.
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The Eid of Sacrifice Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Wednesday, 01 Sha'ban 1428
Selfish people cannot sacrifice, and hence cannot truly love. True love always requires sacrifice. The greater and more profound the love – the greater the sacrifice it commands. In this sense it is only the brave and courageous, only those who can ‘give’, and ‘take’ nothing in return, who can truly love, for only they can truly sacrifice. What do they know of love who only ‘take’, and ‘give’ nothing in return? In fact, loving a woman is like loving God, which makes the subject easy to understand. He who can sacrifice can also be faithful, whereas he who cannot sacrifice can surely betray! It is in this context that we can now understand the implications of those memorable words: “If you love me, then keep My commandments”. Sacrifice was thus instituted as an integral part of the religious way of life, for Abraham, the Prophet, truly loved his God, and when Allah Most High tested that love with the supreme sacrifice, it was love that strengthened him and gave him ‘wings with which to fly’ to fulfill the divine commands.
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Ashurah in The Qur’an Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Wednesday, 01 Sha'ban 1428
The Qur’an has described the event when Moses (‘alaihi al-Salam) was ordered to flee by night from the eastern delta of Egypt where the Israelites had all assembled, towards the sea, and beyond that to the Holy Land “which Allah had given to them”. Pharaoh pursued and caught up with them as they approached the sea. They were now trapped, and he was certain that he would succeed, once and for all, in destroying those who resisted his imperial rule, and who bowed to a God other than himself. Allah Most High ordered Moses (‘alaihi al-Salam) to strike the water with his staff, and behold, the waters miraculously parted to make a way for the believers to cross the sea to safety. The same sea drowned Pharaoh - the mighty, arrogant godless oppressor, and his power drunk-army when they attempted to cross. Muslims around the world will fast for two days this week to commemorate that event of Ashurah.
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Islam Rejects the False Doctrine of The Fatherhood of God Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Friday, 27 Rajab 1428

In a Christmas and New Year’s message published in the ‘Trinidad Guardian’ (December 25th, 2005) the misguided head of the ASJA (an acronym for a Muslim Organization in Trinidad and Tobago) declared:

“Once more, as we approach the end of another year and the great event of Christmas, we join with the rest of society and particularly our brothers and sisters of the Christian faith in celebrating this joyous season. Certainly, the Muslim community recognizes the common beliefs and practices that we share and which are the embodiment of the respective faiths that are represented in this blessed country and emanate from the central doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of mankind.”

Although some time has passed since the publication of this strange statement, the leadership of ASJA appears to have made no effort to retract or modify it in any way. Nor has there been any response to it so far from the many scholars of Islam in this country, or from the leaders of the Muslim community. This could perhaps be so because many people, very sensibly, no longer read the daily newspapers. But it could also be the result of either unwillingness or incapacity on their part to recognize anything so profoundly wrong and dangerously misguided in that message as to warrant a response.

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Neither Friends nor Allies Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Wednesday, 10 Rajab 1428
The Qur’an firmly prohibits Muslim friendship and alliance with a Jewish-Christian alliance. Yet around the world of Islam today most governments violate that divine prohibition. They, their supporters and followers, pay a price for such conduct. They lose their Islam and become, instead, part of the Euro-Jewish/Euro-Christian alliance that is waging war on Islam. It is the first such alliance ever to have emerged in history, and it wages that war on behalf of the Euro-Jewish State of Israel. Both the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah Most High be upon him) have provided information that makes it possible for us to locate Gog and Magog within the ranks of those two actors, i.e., Euro-Christians and Euro-Jews, who wage that war on Islam.
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THE RETURN OF THE ISLAMIC KHILAFAT Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Sunday, 22 Rabi'ul Awal 1426

A strange ‘obsession’ with Islam explains the Euro-world order’s relentless war on Islam and the ‘biting’ questions that continue to be posed concerning the continuing failure to establish constitutional democracy in the Muslim world.  
We believe that an explanation of that strange ‘obsession’ is located in Islam’s view of the End of History, and, in particular, in the prophecies in both the Bible and the Qur’an concerning Gog and Magog.

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THE MARRIAGE OF A MUSLIM PRINCESS Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Sunday, 22 Rabi'ul Awal 1426

She was as beautiful as a Princess from Sudan, this Muslim girl of African origin from Deigo Martin who was married at the San Fernando Jama Masjid last Friday to the distinguished Afro-Surinamese Islamic scholar and my beloved brother, Shaikh Ali Mustafa Seinpaal. In fact she had an African name which meant ‘queen”.

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Appearance and reality in the life of Mary's son Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Sunday, 22 Rabi'ul Awal 1426
‘Jesus in the Qur’an’ is someone in whose birth, life, and departure from this world, ‘appearance’ and ‘reality’ constantly and amazingly differed from each other. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him, and upon all other prophets) described his eventual return as one in which ‘appearance’ and ‘reality’ would again amazingly differ.

And since his return would mark the end of history, the implication is that only those with religious insight can penetrate the ‘reality’ of the world today, its looming political and economic slavery, globalization, etc., - as we now approach that dramatic end.
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