Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Spend from your wealth

Multiple times in Quran there is mention of spending from the wealth. Maulana Azad's translation of Surah Baqrah: 254 -
O Muslims, Do not spend all that We have bestowed on you exclusively on the promotion of your own personal comforts. Spend something out of it in the way of God also before the transitory life given to you comes to an end, and the coming Day stares you hard in the face. On that day, there will be no give and take to obtain salvation; and neither friendship nor intercession will avail. On that day, the righteous deeds alone which one has done here can effect salvation. And remember, those who refuse to believe in this will certainly bring ruin upon themselves.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dargahs

Mazars and dargahs are graves of pious Sufis and important people of yesteryears. Muslims should visit them as we are asked to visit graves to remind us about the ultimate reality-death and life after death. I visit dargahs to remind myself of the history of Islam in India and sacrifices made by so many to make Islam integral part of India. I wrote about my experience after visiting Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin in 2008. Finding India in a Sufi Dargah. I have met people who go to dargaahs to ask for favors. There is no doubt that is shirk. And why go to someone or someplace when Allah says he is very near to us:
And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way. [Al Baqarah: 186]
So do visit dargaahs but not for asking for favors.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Piety and activism

Conventional thinking is that piety is becoming gosha-nasheen, removing yourself completely from the world and becoming one with Allah. This verse in Surah Baqarah explains piety: "It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the Allah-fearing." [Surah Baqarah: 177] Islam has a strong social justice and activism theme in its teachings which is clearly visible in Prophet's life. We need to focus on it and build movements and networks to achieve social justice for as many people as possible. Peace will follow justice.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Count your blessings

Count your blessings, is an old saying. Allah also wants us to remember and recall His favors upon us.
Therefore, as for the orphan, do not oppress (him). And as for him who asks, do not chide (him), And as for the favor of your Lord, do announce (it). [Surah: 9-11]

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Feeding of the poor

Nay, but ye (for your part) honour not the orphan. And urge not on the feeding of the poor. And ye devour heritages with devouring greed. And love wealth with abounding love. [Surah Al-Fajr (17-20)]