Striving to earn the halal
By: Khalid Baig
Source: Al Balagh
According to Abdullah ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Seeking halal earning is a duty after the duty.” In other words, working to earn a halal living is itself a religious obligation second in importance to the primary religious obligations like prayers, fasting and hajj.
This brief hadith contains three very important messages. First, it points to the Islamic way out of the apparent dichotomy between the material and the spiritual worlds. We often see them working in opposite directions whereby indulgence in the material world does lead one away from the spiritual world, and spiritual upliftment seems to accompany a tendency to distance oneself from the material pleasures. There is a tension, but is there necessarily a conflict?
Is it possible to resolve the conflict in a way that one can take care of both? Or are they mutually exclusive? This has been a central question for all religions and many in the past suggested the second answer, proposing monasticism as the ideal for the humanity. Unfortunately, not much humanity is left when one moves too far in this direction. One can read today the horror stories of Christian and Hindu monks, among others, who tried to seek spiritual purification this way.
As a reaction, others took the other course, making material pleasures the goal of this life. The materialistic western civilization today is the prime example of that. Its toll on human spirituality and morality is well known and is a constant reminder that something is wrong with that approach as well.
In between the two extremes Islam points out the Straight Path. Man is both a material and a spiritual being. The solution does not lie in denying the material needs and desires but in denying their claim to primacy. They are part of being but not the reason or goal of being. As long as they are kept in place, they are an important part of our life. The problem is not money but the love of it. Wealth itself is not bad. In fact, Qur’an refers to it as “…your wealth which Allah has made for you a means of support.” [Al-Nisa, 4:5]. And another hadith praises the merits of “the halal wealth of a pious person.” The effort to earn a living is not only not against spirituality, it is a religious obligation!
But this earning must be through halal (religiously lawful) means. This is the second message of this hadith. Our obligation is not just to make money but to make halal money. This is a broad statement that is the basis for Islamization of a society’s economic life. Not every business idea or possible business enterprise is good for the society. And the decision regarding right and wrong here cannot be left to the so-called market forces. Right and wrong in the economic life, as in all life, must be determined by a higher source. The Shariah guides us as to the halal and haram business enterprises and practices, and at both individual and
The ultimate lesson of Qurbani
By: Jamiatul Ulama
Source: Jamiatul Ulama
Islam is submission. As Muslims we submit, surrender and hand over ourselves to the Divine command of Allah Most High and the perfect Sunnah of Nabi (ﷺ). In our Imaan, we submit and surrender our intelligence and understanding to believe in Allah Most High and in the unseen, as explained to us by Nabi (ﷺ).
In our Salaah, we submit and surrender our physical limbs and place them down before Allah Most High. In fasting we submit and surrender our desire to eat and drink for the pleasure of Allah Most High. In Zakaat and qurbaani we submit and surrender our wealth for the pleasure of Allah Most High. In Haj we submit and surrender to the command of Allah Most High by sacrificing our health, wealth, time and homeland; and we present ourselves in the blessed lands in search of the grace and mercy of Allah Taala.
A Muslim is an embodiment of submission.
The days of Haj are with us. Those who undertake this momentous journey will be constantly reminded of Sayyidina Ebrahim (ﷺ), his wife Hazrath Hajra (ﷺ) and his son Hazrath Ismail (ﷺ). The Ka’ba Shareef that the Haji will perform tawaaf of was built by this illustrious father and son. The seven rounds between mount Safa and Marwa are the living reminder of the anxious running at that very pace by Hazrath Hajra (ﷺ) in search of water for her infant son. The precious water of zam zam makes one ponder over the thirst of Hazrath Ismail (ﷺ) and the extreme concern of his mother – until finally this miracle was granted to them. These are but just a few of the reminders of this illustrious family. Nevertheless, one tremendous lesson that shines extra-ordinarily in the lives of these great personalities is the level of their unquestioning submission to the command of Allah Most High. In these blessed days of Haj we should be learning especially this lesson from them and enacting it in our lives.
Consider the command of Allah Most High to Hazrath Ebrahim (ﷺ) to leave his wife and infant child alone in a barren land. No amount of human intelligence can fathom the wisdom behind this command. A solitary innocent woman and an infant child being left alone in a desert without any apparent means of survival is something that seems senseless. Had it been one of our liberal thinkers of today, he would have readily “re-interpreted” this command of Allah Most High. Many would have at least asked: “But why must I do this?” Hazrath Ebrahim (ﷺ) however responded very differently. He responded by doing exactly what he was told. Without any question he leaves his wife and child in the barren land and quietly turns to return. He lived up to his declaration which the Glorious Qur’an has preserved for eternity. Allah Most High says: “And remember the time when your Lord said to him (Ebrahim ﷺ) ‘Submit!’ He (Ebrahim ﷺ) replied “I have submitted to the Lor
Erdogan slams US as lira recovers from dip
By: Ece Goksedef
Source: Middle East Eye
ANKARA – As the Turkish lira pulled back from an overnight record low, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the US of seeking to stab his country in the back and promised the currency would return to “rational” levels.
Recovering from a dangerous tailspin, the lira rose from 7.24 against the dollar in Asia Pacific trade on Monday morning after Turkey’s central bank pledged to provide liquidity and cut lira and foreign currency reserve requirements for Turkish banks.
However, Erdogan, who has blamed his country’s economic woes on foreign interference, said he expected attacks on the economy to continue.
The currency has lost more than 45 percent of its value this year over worries about Erdogan’s influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation, and worsening ties with the United States.
The president, who has called himself the “enemy of interest rates”, wants cheap credit from banks to fuel growth, but investors fear the economy is overheating and could be set for a hard landing.
The crisis has been precipitated by an intense souring of relations between Washington and Ankara, with Turkey’s jailing of a US pastor and purchase of Russian air defence systems, as well as America’s refusal to extradite a Turkish cleric accused of plotting a coup, driving a wedge between the NATO allies.
In a statement released early Monday, the central bank promised to provide banks with “additional liquidity”, and said it “will closely monitor the market depth and price formations, and take all necessary measures to maintain financial stability, if deemed necessary”.
One of the measures to be implemented by Turkey’s central bank is cutting the lira’s reserve requirement ration, a cash buffer held by banks, by 250 points for all maturity brackets and lowered reserve requirement ratios for non-core FX liabilities by 400 basis points for maturities up to three years.
These moves will free up 10 billion lira, $6 billion and $3 billion equivalent of gold liquidity in the financial system, the bank said.
Ercan Uysal, an independent economist, told Middle East Eye that the central bank’s measures are positive steps – in the short term at least.
“The steps and announcements by the central bank and the treasury and finance ministry aim to relax the liquidity and the banking system in the short term, and I believe these measures will help to slow down the lira’s plunging,” he said.
“This will positively affect the Turkish lira, but these are only short-term solutions. In the longer term, they have to take other decisions to solve the problems on economy and foreign policy.”
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Secular Democracy and Relative Morality
Is Secular Democracy an advance in political science or a regression to unfettered oligarchy and debauchery in disguise.
I was just scanning through Twitter posts when I came upon this post:
"Can you name the Muslim world’s first secular democracy? The brief but inclusive Azerbaijan Democratic Republic shows that innovation can come from where it’s least expected.”
Two million Hajjis expected for this year’s Hajj
By: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
An estimated 2 million Muslims will gather in Saudi Arabia next week for the hajj, which will feature the return of pilgrims from Iran, whose government boycotted the event in recent years after a 2015 stampede that killed hundreds of Iranians.
One of the five pillars of the world’s fastest-growing religion, the hajj this year runs from August 19 to 24 and is expected to draw 2 million of the world’s estimated 2 billion Muslims.
Every Muslim is required to complete the hajj at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.
By August 16, more than 1.6 million people had already arrived in Saudi Arabia. Thousands could be seen arriving in Mecca, with groups from different countries wearing distinct colors to set them apart.
Some pilgrims pushed their elderly relatives on wheelchairs, while others stopped to call family members back home on video chat or buy ice cream as temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius.
For many pilgrims, it is their first time away from home.
This year, the Saudis launched a “smart hajj” initiative, with apps to help pilgrims with everything from travel plans to medical care.
Two million Hajjis expected for this year’s Hajj
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