Islam – Religion of Action Not Just Philosophy

Islam is a din of action not just philosophy. It is more than the decadent acquisition of knowledge. Many times we as Muslims describe the key tenets of our faith as abstracts: taqwa, ihsan (for a definition of taqwa, see the Glossary), etc. And yet, these two words, as they are used in the Qur’an are often in the imperative form: in other words, taqwa and ihsan are things you do, not simply think.

Who are the people of taqwa? God says:

لَّيْسَ ٱلْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا۟ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ ٱلْمَشْرِقِ وَٱلْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ ٱلْبِرَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْءَاخِرِ وَٱلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةِ وَٱلْكِتَٰبِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّۦنَ وَءَاتَى ٱلْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ ذَوِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَٱلْيَتَٰمَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَٰكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَٱلسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَى ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱلْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَٰهَدُوا۟ ۖ وَٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ فِى ٱلْبَأْسَآءِ وَٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَحِينَ ٱلْبَأْسِ ۗ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا۟ ۖ وَأُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُتَّقُونَ

“Goodness does not lie in turning your faces to the East or to the West. Rather, those with true devoutness are those who believe in God and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and beggars and to set slaves free, who establish prayer and pay zakah; those who honor their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast even in poverty, illness, or duress. Those are the people who are prove truthful. They are the people who have taqwa.” Qur’an, 2: 177.

Likewise, regarding ihsan, God says:

وَٱبْتَغِ فِيمَآ ءَاتَىٰكَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلدَّارَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةَ ۖ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ ٱلدُّنْيَا ۖ وَأَحْسِن كَمَآ أَحْسَنَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَلَا تَبْغِ ٱلْفَسَادَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُفْسِدِينَ

“Seek the abode of the Next World with what Allah has given you, without forgetting your portion of this world. And do good as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek to cause corruption in the earth. Allah does not love corrupters.” Qur’an, 28: 77.

A lack action, something we are guilty of as a community, is one of the things the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم warned us about:

النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏”‏ خيركم قرني، ثم الذين يلونهم، ثم الذين يلونهم‏”‏ قال عمران‏:‏ فما أدري قال‏:‏ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مرتين أو ثلاثاً ‏”‏ ثم يكون بعدهم قوم يشهدون ولا يستشهدون، ويخونون ولا يؤتمنون، وينذرون ولا يوفون، ويظهر فيهم السمن

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: said, “The best of you, are my contemporaries, then those who follow them, then those who will come after them. (‘Imran said, I do not know if he said this twice or thrice). Then, they will be followed by those who will testify but will not be called upon to testify; they will betray the trust, and will not be trusted. They will make vows but will not fulfill them, and obesity will prevail among them.” Related by ‘Imran bin al-Husayn as well as Ibn ‘Umar from Ibn Hibban amongst others.

Truthfulness is not simply a state of mind but also what one does. Both the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and Abu Bakr رضى الله عنه had titles, based on their actions:

  • Abu Bakr was “al-Siddiq” because he did actions of trustworthiness and came to be known by them/كيف سمّى أبا بكر “الصديق”؟ قد تصدق
  • The Prophet was called “al-Amin” because he was reliable, trustworthy and saw to others/كيف سمّى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ قد أمن وأمّن

And with God is all success.

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Towards a Sacred Life Style-Loving the Prophet

Marc and Adnan

The following is a short video and full-length audio of a talk I delivered at Drexel University with Adnan Zulfiqar on loving the Prophet صلى الله عليه وصلم.

ذكر عبد الله بن بشر أن رجلا قال يا رسول الله إن شرائع الإيمان قد كثرت عليّ فأخبرني بشيء أتشبث به – قال لا يزال لسانك رطبا من ذكر الله – روى في الترمذي

‘Abdullah bin Bushr mentioned that a man said to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم “O Messenger of God, indeed the conduct of faith has become too numerous for me therefore instruct me with something I may cling to”. He said صلى الله عليه وسلم: “Do not stop your tongue from being moist in the remembrance of God.”

Extra Reads

Sherman Jackson’s Towards Empowering the Common Muslim.

Muslim Chaplaincy at Drexel University

Marc Manley – Muslim Chaplain at Drexel University

It is with great pleasure and honor that I announce the piloting of a Muslim chaplaincy at Drexel University. The MSA at Drexel has been working tirelessly to bring this about and the University has stepped forward in the momentous occasion to support the Muslim student body. My duties with be in will be assisting the University and the MSA as chaplain for the next few months in getting this position off the ground. We’re hoping it will lead to the permanent establishment of a Muslim chaplain program at Drexel so please stay tuned for future fundraising activities.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers,

Update:

My tenure as Muslim Chaplain at Drexel came to an end this summer. It was a great opportunity to help the Muslim community move in a new and bigger direction. I pray that Allah will continue to bless their successes in this life and the next.

Drexel MSA Fast-A-Thon

The Drexel MSA would like to invite you to its Ramadan Fast-A-thon that will be held on August 20th. The goal of the Fast-A-Thon is to introduce Ramadan to the general public as a month of reflection on the world and religious activities that are meant to help achieve peace and tranquility. Also, it shows one of the meanings of fasting that is exemplified in recognizing the value of simple things, such as food and water, being mindful of their source, and also experiencing the difficult situations of people all over the world who are hungry due to lack of food. For this purpose, the money fundraised during the event will go to a charity organization, helping to alleviate hunger and homelessness in Philadelphia. The guest speaker will be none other than yours truly.

The event will take place in City View Room on the 6th floor of MacAlister (33rd st and Chestnut) from 7:30pm to 9:30pm on Friday, August 20th. To pledge to fast, please follow the link:

Update

Drexel’s MSA will be hosting its annual Fastathon this Friday, August 20th. Money raised at the event will go towards helping Pakistan’s flood victims. If you’re in Philadelphia this Friday, please consider supporting them in their effort.