Do not be wasteful and extravagant [17:26]

In Sura Israa (17:26), Allah says: And do not squander wastefully.

Reflection: In this verse as in other places in the Quran, Allah [swt] is commanding us not to be extravagant or wasteful.

Islam encourages to be balanced in all aspects of life, including how we spend money and resources. And even, as in this verse, in giving charity. While it is encouraged to use and enjoy the bounties and blessings that we have been given, this needs to be done mindfully and with a concern for the welfare of society, which uses the same resources and of the planet, which bears the brunt of our overconsumption.

Interestingly, there is not a set amount or a clear boundary that distinguishes extravagance from normal spending. The injunction not to be extravagant or wasteful does not relate to the quantity of spending but rather to improvidence or wastefulness. Scholars explain that since all of us have been blessed with differing amounts of resources, and so what is extravagance for one person may not...

Continue Reading...

The six principles of healthy discussion

Today, let us review and remind ourselves of the principles of healthy discussion and debate from the Quran which we have been exploring over the last few days.

1) Use wisdom and good admonition and dispute with them in a manner that is best [Holy Quran 16:125]

The first principle we discussed was an overarching injunction to use “hikmah” [wisdom] and “ehsan” [beauty, goodness, virtue, excellence] when giving advice or debating with others.

2) Establish common ground [Holy Quran 29:46]

The second principle we explored was to find areas of agreement and establish common ground. We discussed how this serves as a strong foundation to build trust and relationship amongst people and lays the groundwork to work towards common causes and mutual benefit.

3) Use logic and appeal to reason [Holy Quran 36:77-79]

Using the verses of Sura Yaseen as an example, we discovered how the Quran uses logic and reasoning and rhetorical questions to help readers reflect and come to...

Continue Reading...

Respond rather than react [41:34]

We have explored this verse from Sura Fussilat from many different aspects. Today’s exploration will be in line with our theme of using verses from the Quran to guide us when we find ourselves in the midst of an argument.

Despite our best intentions, things can get heated when we are in the midst of a conflict. It is hard to hear things that go against our belief system. It is so easy to take things personally. Others can say things in a way that triggers us and potentially make us lose our emotional balance.

This verse from Sura Fussilat advices us to not react when others fall short of respectful conduct.

Repel [evil] with what is best. [If you do so,] behold, he between whom and you was enmity, will be as though he were a sympathetic friend [Quran 41:34].

Scholars explain that the absence of a direct object after repel in the above verse means that the verse is open to many meanings and possibilities: we can repel anger with patience, error with truth, ignorance with...

Continue Reading...

Present a balanced perspective [2:219]

When we are in the midst of a conflict or a dispute, we tend to focus only on our side of the argument, ignoring or rejecting what merit or truth may be found on the other side.

And when we do this, the other side gets more focused on proving us wrong and highlighting their arguments.

Discussions and arguments like these seldom if ever, result in a deeper understanding. And they almost never result in any one side giving in to the other.

The Quran teaches us another way:

they ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “There is a great sin in both of them, and some benefits for the people, but their sinfulness outweighs their benefit” [Quran 2:219].

This is such an interesting verse and one from which we can learn a lot.

Although the Quran is unequivocal in its discouragement of using intoxicants and gambling, it acknowledges that there is some merit and attraction in them.

To someone who is inclined towards intoxicants and/or gambling, they are engaging in these because they...

Continue Reading...

Do not offend your opponent [6:109]

Do not revile those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they should revile God out of enmity, ignorance. [Quran 6:109]

This verse from Sura Anam cautions believers not to turn to offence and aggression in the midst of an argument, especially on matters of faith. It also provides a solid reason why it is not a good idea to do so: because such behaviour will most likely lead to a retaliation of like for like.

When we are in the midst of an argument, it can be easy to become triggered and angry. If we sense we are losing an argument, we can become aggressive, attacking that which is most sacred to the other in an effort to prove our point, hurt the other or to defend ourselves.

Such tactics never work. Behaviour like this will lead to a tit for tat competition that will only increase anger, bitterness and hostility between the arguing parties.

A verbal assault has the same impact on our physiology that a physical attack does. When human beings are thus attacked, their rational...

Continue Reading...

Appeal to reason and ask [rhetorical] questions [36:77-79]

One of the methods frequently used by the Quran to convince the reader of its arguments is the use of logic and rhetorical questioning. Researchers into Quranic linguists assert that such rhetorical questions are used in more than a thousand verses of the Quran and each use is an invitation for the reader to shift their thinking paradigm.

Let us remind ourselves that a rhetorical question is one that is asked without expecting or needing an answer but for the sake of emphasis or effect. Linguists say that a rhetorical question is “a forceful statement which has the form of a question but which does not expect an answer.’’ i.e., the rhetorical question has an interrogative structure but does not seek information. The speaker has some purpose in his mind, either to give a command or to make a statement indirectly.

In the Holy Quran, Allah [swt] uses such questions to
emphasize a point,
to show the logic of the argument
and to jolt the reader into reflecting
to help the...

Continue Reading...

Establish common ground [29:46]

Continuing with our series on inspiration from the Holy Quran for engaging in discussion and dispute, the verse today is from Sura Ankabut where Allah (swt) says:

And dispute not with the People of the Book, save in the most virtuous manner, unless it be those of them who have done wrong.

And say, "We believe in that which was sent down unto us and was sent down unto you; our God and your God are one, and unto Him are we submitters." [Holy Quran 29:46]

This verse is an injunction to the Prophet and Muslims to not argue with Jews and Christians, except in a beautiful manner that calls them through God's signs and draws evidence from God's proofs or in a manner that invites them to good, as in the verse we discussed yesterday [16:125: Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation. And dispute with them in the most virtuous manner] which taught us that even if others speak poorly, Muslims should still speak well.

Today's verse from Sura Ankabut adds another principle...

Continue Reading...

How to debate and dispute [16:125]

Today we start a series on verses from the Quran that guide us how to discuss, debate and disagree with people.

In the following verse from Sura Nahl, Allah says:

Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation.

And dispute with them in them in a manner that is best [16:125]

4 commands are given to the Holy Prophet [as] in this verse.

  1. "(0' Prophet!) call (mankind)..."
  2. " the path of your Lord..."
  3. "...with wisdom and good admonition..."
  4. "...and dispute with them in a manner that is best..."

Scholars explain that "To call... with wisdom" may mean 1.

That the one inviting towards God should use knowledge, reason, and understanding to attract people towards God. He should appeal to the natural instinct and the intellect of human beings.

People are more likely to respond to arguments which are rational and logical.

Hazrat Luqman (as) when advising his son, said: My son, learn wisdom and you will become noble, for verily wisdom directs towards religion

  1. that people...
Continue Reading...

Offer a sincere greeting [4:86]

Before we dive into today's reflection:

Wishing you and your loved ones a Blessed Eid. May all of our efforts be accepted by the Beneficent inshallah and may we be guided to continue some of the good habits and efforts that we undertook this month. Ameen.

I am so grateful that you decided to join us on this month long journey of reflecting on some verses from the Quran and I am deeply appreciative of your attention. If you have found these beneficial, I would love to hear how and what specifically. If you have any suggestions for improvement, please do share those as well. If you have missed some or would like to review them at any point, the posts are archived on the blog, the podcast and YouTube (links below).

Some of you have reached out to request that we continue beyond the month of Ramadan and so inshallah, we will continue with these brief reflections once a week so please look out for those.

For those who would like a deeper dive into the Quran, we have been running a Quran...

Continue Reading...

Practice integrity between speech and action [61:2]

Here is today's reflection from the Quran:

In Sura Saff (61:2), Allah says: O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do?

And He continues in the next verse: It is most hateful to Allah that you should say that which you do not do (61:3)

In reference to this verse, Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (as) says: A promise of a believer is an oath, although it does not have a kaffära (penalty) for breaking it. Whoever fails it has failed Allah and is the subject of dislike by Allah.

Reflection: One of the qualities of the faithful is that there is integrity and harmony between their speech and their actions. This means that they can be counted on practice what they preach, to tell the truth and to carry out what they promise or intend to do.

Scholars explain that to promise a thing which one intends not to do is a sign of hypocrisy whilst to promise and intend an action but be unable to carry it out is a sign of weakness.

Being your word then, that is carrying out what you pledge...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.