Living The Quran Door of Hope Al-Imran (The House of Imran) - Chapter 3: Verse 135
who, when they commit a gross indecency or wrong themselves, remember
God and pray for the forgiveness of their sins - for who but God can
forgive sins? - and do not knowingly persist in doing the wrong they may
Never does Islam slam
the door in the face of a weak sinner leaving him lost in the
wilderness. Never does it let him feel permanently rejected, afraid to
turn back. On the contrary, it holds for him the prospect of
forgiveness. It shows him the way and holds his trembling hand,
steadying him and giving him the light he needs to return to his secure
refuge. It only requires one thing of him, namely, that his heart and
soul are not so hardened so as to make him forget God. As long as he
remembers God and keeps alive in his conscience the voice of guidance
and maintains in his heart the yearning for God's grace, the light will
shine again in his soul and the seed of faith will burst forth with a
Islam knows that side by side with man's weaknesses and carnal
desires there exist strength and sublime aspirations. For this reason,
Islam is sympathetic to man in his moment of weakness, places him back
on his way to a higher horizon, as long as he remembers God and does not
knowingly persist with his wrongdoing. Thus, Islam combines its call to
man to aspire to a higher horizon with its mercy and compassion,
knowing man's weakness and capability. It ensures that the door of hope is always open in front of man as it motivates him to exert his utmost in his aspiration towards the sublime.
Understanding the Prophet's Life Creator of Marvels
Imam al-Bayhaqi relates a statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in which he said, "God makes every maker and what he makes."
In reality, God is the creator of the marvels that people admire and
attribute to the glory of humankind, forgetting that it is God who
created the ones who produced these marvels. Realizing that God is the
source of all blessings prevents vanity from entering the heart.
There is foolishness in being vein about what one has
accomplished, given its ephemeral nature. But when one is thankful to
God and acknowledges and praises Him as the source of this goodness,
then the accomplishment outlasts our earthly lives and the memories of
people, for God preserves it.
from one's ignorance of two matters: God alone is the Fashioner and the
Giver of Blessings and we human beings are incapable of accomplishing
anything without God's will and blessings. If one accomplishes
something, let him or her remember God and be grateful, and not swagger
with haughtiness. When the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a reflection
of himself - and he was a beautiful man - he would make the following
supplication: "O God, as You have made my countenance most excellent, make my character most excellent."
Imam Mawlud said that to rid oneself of vanity (or prevent it from
entering one's heart), reflect long and hard on the fact that all
blessings are entirely from God and that we cannot produce any benefit
or harm without His permission.
Blindspot! Summons to Action
The fundamental message of the Quran was not a doctrine but an
ethical summons to practically expressed compassion: it is wrong to
build a private fortune and good to share your wealth fairly and create a
just society where poor and vulnerable people are treated with respect.
There was no question
of a literal, simplistic reading of scripture. Every single image,
statement, and verse in the Quran is called an ayah ("sign," "symbol," "parable"), because we can speak of God only analogically. The great ayat
of the creation and the last judgment are not introduced to enforce
"belief," but they are a summons to action. Muslims must translate these
doctrines into practical behaviour. The ayah of the
last day, when people will find that their wealth cannot save them,
should make Muslims examine their conduct here and now: Are they
behaving kindly and fairly to the needy? They must imitate the
generosity of Allah, who created the wonders of this world so
munificently and sustains it so benevolently. By looking after the poor
compassionately, freeing their slaves, and performing small acts of
kindness on a daily, hourly basis, Muslims would acquire a responsible,
caring spirit, purging themselves of pride and selfishness. By modeling their behaviour on that of the Creator, they would achieve spiritual refinement.