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Offline Mubashir

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Rationalizing the sorry state of Ummah by the Quran
« on: April 04, 2013, 12:33:16 AM »
Dear All, Salam

Strange indeed is the response of some of us when we point out some success stories in the West on good governance, science, technology, medicine, ethics, accountability, justice system, cleanliness, equality, social welfare systems, etc.

They response by quoting verses from the Quran that say:

2:212 Beautified seems the life of this world to the rejecters, and they ridicule the believers who uphold Permanent Values and look beyond instant gains. Those who live an upright life will be higher in degrees on the Day of Resurrection. Allah provides without stint to His creation according to His Law that does not discriminate between people. He is the Sustainer of all humanity (114:1)

3:14 Beautiful for mankind is love of the joys that come from women and children, and heaps of gold and silver, and branded horses, and cattle and well-tilled land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode. (Believers in the Divine Laws see this comfort as the means to a higher Goal --- Service --- Self-actualization --- Paradise)

(O Messenger) Say, "Shall I inform you of something better than these, with which those who walk aright will be rewarded by their Lord? Gardens with flowing streams beneath, where they will live forever with spouses of spotless character and the Blissful Approval of Allah. Allah is Seer of His servants."

In other worlds, Muslims must not seek excellence in this world and live like beggars, not contributing towards science, medicine, technology, good governance, proper justice system, social welfare, etc. etc.

Nice way of rationalizing azaab like conditions and giving them a religious twist to make people feel better!!

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Rationalizing the sorry state of Ummah by the Quran
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 02:03:28 AM »
Dear Mubashir,

May peace be with you.

If seeking earthly delights were a cardinal sin, Prophet Solomon would not have asked for it.

"He said: My Lord! Forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any after me. Indeed, You are the bestower"

There is nothing wrong with seeking God's bounties on Earth, we just need to keep balance and contribute back to society with what we have been blessed with and thank our Lord for His bounties.

"They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers and statues, basins like reservoirs and boilers built into the ground. Give thanks, O House of David! Few of My slaves are thankful."

"Indeed! Abraham was a nation obedient to God, upright, and he was not of the polytheists. Thankful for His bounties / favours. He chose him and He guided him to a straight path. And We gave him good in the world, and indeed, in the Hereafter he is among the righteous."

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline optimist

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Re: Rationalizing the sorry state of Ummah by the Quran
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 12:04:44 PM »
Nice way of rationalizing azaab like conditions and giving them a religious twist to make people feel better!!

Wa' alaikumussalam,

This is what happens when Muslims consider the Quran just as a "religious book".  Here is a verse from Quran; Muhammed Asad translation.

"God has promised those of you who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds (‘saleh’ deeds) that, of a certainty, He will cause them to accede to power on earth, even as He caused [some of] those who lived before them to accede to it; and that, of a certainty, He will firmly establish for them the religion which He has been pleased to bestow on them; and that, of a certainty, He will cause their erstwhile state of fear to be replaced by a sense of security – [seeing that] they worship Me [alone], not ascribing divine powers to aught beside Me. But all who, after [having understood] this, choose to deny the truth – it is they, they who are truly iniquitous! (24:55). 

‘saleh’ deeds mentioned in bracket mine.   Here is another similar verse;

"And We have already written in the Book of David, after the reminder, that My righteous servants (saleheen) shall inherit the Land (21:105). 

It is the law of Allah that the saleheen are the most capable people who can rule and inherit the earth over and above all other people.   It is a pity, that the term ‘saleheen’ --- and subsequently, terms like ‘saleh’ deeds  have been misinterpreted by traditional people to mean something very close to the English terms pious, piety, etc.  But, in the Quranic sense, ‘saleheen’ are people who have the ability and capability to perform a particular task; ‘saleh’ deeds are acts which develop one’s capabilities. Therefore, ‘saleheen’ inheriting the control of the Earth refers to people who have the double-edged ability of establishing a sovereign state, and maintaining it to establish the Quranic  society (a heaven on earth) for mankind. When a group of people have the physical qualities required, they can establish sovereign states --- but minus the Quran, they can be only ruthless like those of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt or even the present-day materialistic empires of the world.   

In the verse quoted by brother Joseph Islam 38.035, the prayer of Solomon,   "He said: My Lord! Forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any after me. ", and here it does not mean prophet Solomon just prayed and sat idle and the Kingdom came to him without any effort.   One has to work for it to achieve the goal.  The power of rule on earth can be received only as a result of one’s deeds (24:55).   By praying to God (by calling out to Him) Solamon wanted to arouse the qualities within himself that will help him attain his goal.  The words in his praryer shows his passion to build a nation no one can build ever.  He set a great dream in front of him and worked to achieve the goal.  Here is one comment from Iqbal, the poet and a great thinker from one of his works about the power of prayer;

"Prayer, then, does not change the order of things, but it changes people and people change things. As Sura Ra’d 13:12 states “Verily God will not change the condition of men, till they change what is in themselves.” [59] Prayer purifies, enlightens and at last transforms those who submit themselves to it.[60]“Such prayer - prayer which changes both the man who prayes and the world he lives in - is not achieved without concentrated effort.”[61] But once a human being has made this effort and attained spiritual perfection, then he/she is asked - even by God - what he/she desires as his/her destiny."

[59] The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, p. 12.
[60] Underhill, E, Worship, London, 1941. p. 18.
[61] Herman, E, Creative Prayer, p. 38.

The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal