Saturday, 10 January 2009

The Decree: Part 2

The ‘Kindered’, the Miskin and the Wayfarer
AS I write today we witness the massacre of our brothers and sisters in Palestine by an aggressive and arrogant enemy, Israel who are supported by the global super powers. The chaotic and heart breaking brutality have moved many of us to the extent that we have been very generous to donate thousands of pounds to help the people of Gaza. It is around this theme that I wish to write the second part of my writing. The first part was published in the last issue titled: Worship Allah alone and be Kind to the parents.
Islam, I argued in the last article, is a code of life. It is not a mere religion affecting certain aspect of our life, but in fact, Islam is a way of life which encompasses and ought to control all aspects of human affairs, if one is to claim to be Muslim. Such acceptance of Islam which genuinely drives us in all our affairs shall bring peace and happiness. It is for this reason that Islam is termed to mean submission and peace i.e. though total and unconditional submission to the will of Allah, one may gain peace and tranquillity in life here and hereafter. But this concept of total submission is vague and meaningless unless explained in more details giving clear guidelines about practical aspects of our lives. The first and most important aspect of human life is the relationship between parents and children. IN the last issue, I have outlined Islam’s view about this noble relationship clearly spelling out the dos and don’ts. In this article I move on to the next set of principles that Allah outlines in the Qur’an. He says:
“And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan (Devil - Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord”
(The Quran 17:26, 27)
Human relationship is extremely important in building a peaceful society where mutual respect, tolerance and justice form the core. After the parents, the most important people are the relatives, neighbours and those we come across in our daily lives, the wayfarers, who we meet at work, during travelling etc. Each of these categories of people has a right on us. As Muslims, we are fortunate because Allah, the most powerful, have told us what are the rights that they have on us. He outlines the laws of inheritance for example in another part of the Qur’an where Allah outlines how our estate should be distributed once we leave this earth. If we follow what Allah outlines for us, this will make us happy, help us avoid being involve in conflicts, avoid hard feelings etc. When we fail in doing so, we may suffer from loss of bonds, anxiety, insecurity and many other issues. Those of you who are aware of your relatives, friends and other having property etc in your country of origin you must have come across the stories where the relatives there occupies the entire property depriving the actual owner his rightful ownership and control. This kind of incidents are not far and few but in fact very common which often result in severing ties with otherwise close relatives and of course the stress and mental torture. Why this happens? Answer is simple: we fail to follow the guidance offered to us out of kindness by our Lord, Allah the Almighty. This is with regards to our kinsmen, those with whom we have blood relations. But Allah here outlines another category of people who have right on us: the Miskin or people in need.
We are familiar with the concept of Zakah which we normally give to the poor at the end of Ramadan. But besides, we have a responsibility to offer our support and help to the needy at all times. Of course our support must be proportionate to our ability. We must be generous but generosity does not mean that we ought to accept poverty and hardship for ourselves by giving to poor. Generosity is about being kind and big hearted resulting in donations and kind words when we have the ability to do so. When we have the mean to be generous but we chose not to be, Allah warns us. He says:
“And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty”.
(The Qur’an 17:29)
Clearly from the verse above we can see that Allah encourages us to be generous when we can and not be miser, nor he wants us to be so generous that we invite severe poverty for ourselves. When Allah says ‘do not do’ something, it becomes and obligation for us to avoid doing that thing: for if we fail in our obligation decreed by our Lord, we are indeed among the most unfortunate ones.
Living in the UK, we do not often come across people who are so poor that they need our generous financial support. But we come to know millions of people from around the world of people via various charities and media who are in dire need of support where a pound of our contribution can feed a family for one whole day. We have the ability to spare some money and we can reach to them through numerous organisations. It would be utterly unacceptable for us not to contribute towards their plight. Given the killing spree prevailing in Gaza at the moment by the Zionist war mongers, we ought to extend our generosity and donate abundantly.
I soon shall conclude, but let me make two other points which I have indirectly touched upon. Allah points to two kinds of people who he dislikes: the spendthrifts who he said to be the brothers of Devil and the misers. Dealing with spendthrifts, those who waste money or abuses it, it may be helpful to remember that in the UK billions of pounds worth of food is being wasted every year. Think about this, a billion pound can change a poor country, yes one whole country. So with the money we waste on food which we do not eat, we can change the lives of the millions of destitute people, orphans and others. We all should therefore be extra vigilant and be not a wasteful person. For if we become among the evils, we are doomed to go astray.
For the misers, who are stingy and not spend at time of need despite having the ability, Allah indeed dislikes them, and those Allah dislikes are doomed to be failure too. So the message today is that we must guard the rights of others on us and be kind to the needy. We need to widen our heart to the greatest length possible. If we do so, Allah says:
Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves. (The Quran 17:30)
May Allah enlarge all provisions for us, Ameen! (To be continued)


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