Monday, March 03, 2008

Mammon ...

Sometimes the most poignant maxims come as jokes. I came across this ad on the internet and while I laughed at the joke, I couldn't help but reflect on the deeper meaning. Curiosity killed the cat, but Mammon killed the human race.

Monday, February 18, 2008

On Success ...

Success gurus are usually a disappointment, since most of them do not draw their inspiration from the Qur'an. They focus on worldly success - fame and fortune - and forget that success is with God only. The Qur'an has several verses that outline the characteristics of successful people. The following two verses are important from an aqeedah point of view:

Those who follow the Messenger [Muhammad], the Ummi Prophet whom they find written in the Torah and the Gospel with them, he enjoins upon them that which is virtuous and forbids them that which is evil; he allows them all that is good and forbids for them all that is foul. And he releases them from their burdens and from the shackles that were upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honor him, assist him and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful. Say: "O humankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of God - to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped but He; It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in God and His Messenger, the Ummi Prophet who believes in God and His Words, and follow him so that you may be guided." (Qur'an, 7:157-158)

Study of these two ayats reveal the following noteworthy points:
  • The Ummi Prophet. The word ummi has been mistranlsated to mean unlettered. It is ridiculous and blasphemous to assume that God chose to lead the whole world a man who does not even know how to read and write. The word ummi is a derivative of the Arabic um, which means mother, and is used here to mean leader. The phrase ummi Prophet means leading Prophet.
  • The Prophet has been mentioned in the Torah and Gospel. E.g., Bible of Barnabas.
  • The Prophet enjoins the virtuous and good and forbids the evil and foul. This is an obvious distinction between the humanist/agnostic and the Islamic conception of what is good and what is not. For, in Islam, what is good is DEFINED by what the Prophet has enjoined or allowed and what is not good is DEFINED by what the Prophet has forbidden.
  • The Prophet releases people from their burdens and shackles. The shirk police may note that God has attributed the release of burdens and shackles to the Prophet and not directly to Himself. Anyways, I once came across a blog of a Christian woman who felt she was in shackles and wanted to get released from her shackles. She had adopted agnosticism but was not quite happy with that. Hopefully, she will come to the true path ...
  • Those who believe in him. Belief is in the Prophet. Merely saying, "I believe in God" is no belief.
  • Those who honor him. Note that there is a special mention of honoring the Prophet. This mention is apart from the mention of believing in him and also apart from the mention of following him. Those people who think that saying nasheeds, etc is shirk may please take note of this. Also, those who apparently follow all other aspects of Islam but do not take time out to honor the Prophet are NOT among the successful people.
  • Those who assist him. If you spent all your life pursuing a successful career, or being a successful parent, or being a successful spouse, but did not spend time to ASSIST the Prophet, then you are not a successful person.
  • Follow the light which has been sent down with him. Follow the Qur'an and the Prophetic method.
  • All worship is due to God. So those people who ignorantly think that Muslims worship the Prophet may please take note.
  • Life and death are from God. And not from the assassin's bullet (which does not mean that you are not responsible if you kill somebody).