Monthly Archives: April 2014

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad on Our Planet

Rendering thanks for God’s gifts has always meant, for the Muslim, maintaining a reverential attitude towards the natural world, which is the garden, reminiscent of the Edenic archetype, into which man has been set. In Islam the world is not ‘fallen’, not intrinsically evil; instead it is a perfect book of ‘signs’ which religion teaches man to read. Because of the Qur’ānic emphasis on the beauty of nature as a Divine revelation, Islamic man has always ‘walked gently upon the earth’, as the Qur’ān puts it. This harmony of man and nature is an idea alien to the Western heritage, both Hellenic and Christian, and this is one reason why the aberration which is modernity appeared only in the West. In a few short generations, kāfir civilisation has ravaged the earth, poisoned its air and seas, killed thousands of species of birds, animals and plants, and now promises to bring about our own extinction by destroying the ozone layer.

[Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, The Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith: Translated, with an Introduction and Notes, The Quilliam Press, London, 1996, p. 25]

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Imām Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī on Good Deeds

O disciple, advice is easy – what is difficult is accepting it, for it is bitter in taste to those who pursue vain pleasures, since forbidden things are dear to their hearts. [This is] particularly so for whoever is the student of conventional knowledge, who is occupied with gratifying his ego and with worldly exploits, for he supposes that his knowledge alone will be his salvation and his deliverance is in it, and that he can do without deeds and this is the conviction of the philosophers. Glory be to God Almighty! This conceited fool does not know that when he acquires knowledge, if he does not act on the strength of it, the evidence against him will become decisive, as the Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘The man most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection is a scholar whom God did not benefit by his knowledge.’ [1]

 

[1] Ismā‘īl ibn Muḥammad al-Jarrāḥī, Kashf al-khafā’ wa muzīl ’l-ilbās, vol, 1, p. 145, ḥadīth 376; also ‘Alā al-Dīn al-Muttaqī al-Hindī, Kanz al-‘ummāl, vol. 10, p. 187, ḥadīth 28977

 [Imām Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, Letter to a Disciple: Ayyuhā ’l-Walad, translated by Tobias Mayer, Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 2005, p. 6]

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