Even in Times of Distress Always Compassionate

In The Name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

p/s : diambil dari laman web rakan ana..hayatilah...

By Sheikh Sayed Qutb

"...It is by Allah's grace that you have dealt gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard- hearted, they would surely have broken away from you. Therefore pardon them and pray for forgiveness for them and consult with them in the conduct of public affairs. When you have resolved about a course of action, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him...."
(al-`Imran 3:159)

In the middle of Surat Aal `Imran's comments on the events of the battle of Uhud and the attitudes of the Muslim community and other groups towards the way events developed prior to and during that battle, a few verses are included about the noble personality of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and how important his status as a prophet is to the life of the Muslim community. That demonstrates much of the grace Allah has bestowed on the Muslim nation. While the Prophet's personality is the known theme of the verses, certain lines are explained of the Islamic method in organizing the Muslim community and the basis of this organization, as well as some basic elements of Islamic philosophy and its importance to human life generally.

Our examination of these verses show that fundamental facts are explained in a few words. We can appreciate the great aspect of divine grace that is represented by the powers of personality with which the Prophet has been equipped. He had an easy, gentle, lenient, and compassionate nature that attracted people and established real unity between them. We also find in this short passage, the basic principles that govern the life of the Muslim community, namely, consultative government. We have here a clear order to implement this principle of consultation. It is worth to note that this order is given at a time and place when consultation appears to have led to bitter consequences.

Coupled with the principle of consultative government is the principle of firm resolution and unhesitating implementation of discipline adopted after consultations. To these two principles is added the most important value of placing our trust in Allah. There is a distinct conceptual, practical, and organizational complementarity provided by all these three principles. Moreover, the essence of Allah's will and pre-destination is explained here. All matters start with Him and return to Him. His will is supreme in conducting events and determining results.
The passage also warns against treachery and greed, and it distinguishes between those who follow what pleases Allah and those who incur His wrath. That provides a criterion with which to evaluate winnings and losses. The passage is concluded by emphasizing the great bounty Allah has bestowed on this nation that has taken the form of the message conveyed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Compared to this bounty, all material gains appear so small and all suffering appears to be easily tolerable.

"...All these points are discussed in six verses, the first of which is the subject of the commentary:
(It is by Allah's grace that you have dealt gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would surely have broken away from you. Therefore pardon them and pray for forgiveness for them and consult with them in the conduct of public affairs. When you have resolved about a course of action, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him....."

(al-`Imran 3:159)

At this point, the surah addresses the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who must have had an uneasy feeling towards his people. They were very enthusiastic to go out and meet their enemy outside Madinah. Shortly afterwards, confusion crept up in their ranks and one third of the army withdrew even before the battle started. Later, they disobeyed his express order, leaving their positions and yielding to the temptation of the loot. They weakened when they heard the rumor of his death. Defeated at heart, they turned back on their heels, leaving him with a handful of his Companions and allowed him to be wounded. He remained steadfast at their rear calling them to persevere, while they paid no heed to anyone.

The divine address provides consolation to the Prophet and tells Muslims of Allah's limitless grace, manifested in sending them the Prophet. It reminds them that Allah has shown them great mercy in giving the Prophet a compassionate nature that makes people's hearts turn towards him. The purpose of this address is to enhance the Prophet's leaning towards compassion so that he overcomes what he felt as a result of their actions. On their part, they would realize how important to them is the fact that the Prophet is so compassionate. The divine address tells the Prophet to pardon his Companions and to pray Allah to forgive them. He is also called upon to take counsel with them on how important matters should be dealt with, in the same way as he used to consult them. The consequences of that particular instance must not be allowed to suspend or cancel the principle of consultative government, fundamental to Islamic life.

(It is by Allah's grace that you deal gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would surely have broken away from you. ) Allah's grace was indeed shown to the Prophet and his Companions. It is demonstrated in the fact that the Prophet himself (peace and blessings be upon him) had a compassionate nature that prompted him to take a lenient and gentle attitude towards them. Had he been hard-hearted, he neither would have won the hearts of people, nor would they have gathered around him.

People always need compassion, care, a cheerful face, and patient forbearance which is not exhausted by people's ignorance and weaknesses. People need someone with a big heart to give them all it can and ask them nothing, to share with them their worries, without burdening them with its own worries. They need someone whom they always expect to be caring, sympathetic, loving, content, and forbearing. Allah's Messenger had all these characteristics, and these were the distinctive aspects of his life among his Companions. He never took for himself anything of the enjoyments of this world; on the contrary, he gave them all that he possessed with a smile and a cheerful heart. His forbearance, compassion, care, and sympathy were extended to all. Everyone of those who came in contact with the Prophet was full of love to him, because of what the Prophet generously gave him of his love.

All that was by Allah's grace that He extended to the Prophet and his followers. Allah reminded them of this grace at that particular moment in order to build on it something that is essential to the life of the Muslim community. (Therefore, pardon them and pray for forgiveness for them and consult with them in the conduct of public affairs. )

We have here a distinctive order: (Consult with them on the conduct of public affairs. ) This principle — basic to the Islamic system of government — is established here, even when Muhammad, Allah's Messenger himself, is the one who conducts public affairs. This is then a definitive statement that leaves the Muslim community in no doubt that consultation is a central principle to the Islamic system of government. Without it, no system is truly Islamic. What form this consultation takes and how the principle is implemented are matters which can be adapted to the prevailing conditions of any particular society. Any form or mechanism which ensures that consultation is really, not superficially, practiced is acceptable in Islam.


* This article is based on the author's work Fi Zhilal Al-Qur'an (In the Shade of the Qur'an), here excerpted with kind permission and with slight modifications from www.islamicvoice.com.
Sayed Qutb (1906-1966) was a prominent and influential Muslim intellectual and writer. He wrote many books about Islam and its distinctive features as a comprehensive way of life. Among his most important works is his exegesis of the Qur'an In the Shade of the Qur'an , which was widely welcomed among Muslims and established itself as one of the best references in Qur'an exegesis.



By the heavens with constellations; by the Promised Day; by the witness and the witnessed; doomed were the makers of the pit, abundantly supplied with fuel, as they sat by it and watched what they did with the Believers. They were outraged with them only because they believed in God, the All-Powerful, the All-Praiseworthy, He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heaven and the earth. And God is Witness over everything. "Indeed, for those who persecute the believing men and women, and later do not repent, is the penalty of Hell; for them is the penalty of burning. As for those who believe and do good deeds, there are Gardens through which rivers flow, and that is the great triumph. "Most certainly, strong is the grip of your Lord. It is He Who originates and repeats. And He is the Forgiving, the Loving, the Lord of the Throne, Performer of what He desires."

(Al Buruj 85:1-16)

The story of the Makers of the Pit as told in the chapter "Al-Buruj" ("The Constellations") requires deep thought by those among the Believers, to whatever time and place they belong, who invite people to God. The story, with its introduction, description, comments and moral, as related in the Qur'an, points out some profound truths concerning the nature of the Call toward God, the reaction of people to this Call, and the consequences which are possible in the vast scope of this Call-the scope whose vastness encompasses the whole world, this life and the life beyond it. The Qur'an through this story, points out to the Believers the road which lies before them and prepares them to accept with fortitude whatever comes their way, as yet unknown to them, with the permission of the All-Wise God. This is the story of a group of people who believed in God and openly proclaimed their belief.

They encountered tyrannical and oppressive enemies who were bent upon denying the right of a human being to believe in the All-Mighty, the All-Praiseworthy God. They intended to deprive man of that dignity which has been bestowed upon him by God and without which he is reduced to a mere plaything in the hands of tyrants, to be tortured, burned alive, and provide entertainment to his tormentors by his cries of agony. But the faith in the hearts of the Believers raised them above all persecution. Belief triumphed over life. The threat of torture did not shake them, they never recanted, and they burned in the fire until death. Indeed, their hearts were liberated from the worship of this life.

Neither the love of life nor the fear of an agonizing death could make them yield to accept dishonor. They freed themselves from this earth and all its attractions, triumphing over life through a sublime faith. Against these believing, righteous, sublime and honorable souls were pitted arrogant, mischievous, criminal and degraded people. And these criminals sat by the pit of fire, watching how the Believers suffered and writhed in pain. They sat there to enjoy the sight of how fire consumes living beings and how the bodies of these noble souls were reduced to cinders and ashes. And when some young man or woman, some child or old man from among these righteous Believers was thrown into the fire, their diabolical pleasure would reach a new height, and shouts of mad joy would escape their lips at the sight of blood and pieces of flesh. This hair-raising incident shows that these rebellious people had sunk to those levels of depravity, seeking pleasure through torturing others, which are not even reached by any wild beast. A wild beast kills its prey for food, never to derive pleasure through tormenting it.

The same incident also shows the height to which the spirit of a Believer can soar, liberated and free - that height, the attainment of which has been the highest honor in all generations and in all periods. By earthly reckoning, tyranny triumphed over faith, and this faith, although it reached its zenith in the hearts of this righteous, noble, steadfast and sublime group, had no weight in the struggle between tyranny and faith. The traditions relating to this incident, like the text of the Qur'an, say nothing concerning whether God punished these tyrants in this life for their crimes as He punished the people of Noah, the people of Hud, the people of Salih, the people of Sh'uaib, and the people of Lot, or as He caught Pharaoh with his army in all his splendor and power. Thus from the earthly point of view, the end was pitiful and tragic. But did this matter finish here? Did the group of Believers, with all the sublimity of their faith, vanish - vanish in the pit of fire with their torments? And did the group of criminals, with all the depravity of their crime, go unpunished?

From the earthly point of view, this tragic end troubles the heart! But the Qur'an teaches the Believers something else, reveals to them another reality, shows them another scale with which to weigh all matters, and enlightens them concerning the scope of the struggle. Life's pleasures and pains, achievements and frustrations, do not have any great weight in the scale, and do not determine the profit or loss.

Triumph is not limited to immediate victory, which is but one of the many forms of triumph. In the scale of God, the true weight is the weight of faith; in God's market the only commodity in demand is the commodity of faith. The highest form of triumph is the victory of soul over matter, the victory of belief over pain, and the victory of faith over persecution. In the incident described above, the souls of the Believers were victorious over fear and pain, over the allurements of the earth and of life, and they gained such victory over torture which is an honor for all mankind for all times-and this is the true victory.

All men die, and of various causes; but not all gain such victory, nor reach such heights, nor taste such freedom, nor soar to such limits of the horizon. It is God's choosing and honoring a group of people who share death with the rest of mankind but who are singled out from other people for honor -honor among the noblest angels, nay, even among all mankind, if we measure them by the standards of the total history of generations of men. It was possible for these Believers to save their lives by giving up their faith; but with how much loss to themselves, and with what a great loss to all mankind?

They would have lost and would have killed this great truth, that life without belief is worthless, without freedom is degrading, and if tyrants are allowed to dominate men's souls as well as their bodies, then it is entirely depraved. This was that noble truth, the great truth, which the Believers realized while they were alive on the earth; they realized and found it while the fire was licking them and burning their mortal frames. This noble truth triumphed over the torment of the fire. The scope of this struggle is not limited to this earth or to this life. The observers of this struggle are not merely a generation of men. The angels are also participants in the happenings on earth; they observe them and are a witness to them, and they weigh them in a scale which is other than the scale of a generation or even of all generations of men.

The angels are noble souls who number many times more than the people on the earth. Without question the praise and respect of the angels is far greater in this scale than the opinion and judgment of the people on the earth. And then there is the Hereafter. That will be the real sphere which is adjacent to the earthly sphere and is not separated from it, in actuality as well as in the believers' perception of this reality. Thus the struggle does not end here, and the real decision cannot be reached here. Any judgment based on that part of it which took place on earth is therefore incorrect, as this judgment will concern only a small and rather insignificant part of this struggle.

by :

Ikhwanul Muslimun (hidayahnet@yahoogroups.com)