Monday, April 23, 2012

Begging is Not Commended

God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, declared:
'A giving hand is better than a receiving one.'
Although Islam recommends helping the poor and encourages the wealthy to spend for the poor out of their wealth, it does not commend begging and requires fit and able people to work for their livelihood. It regards working for one's own and one's family's livelihood as of equal value with worship of God.

Once a poor, well-built man came to God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and said:
— I am a needy, poor man. Please help me with charity.
The Messenger asked the man:
— Do you have anything in your home?
— Yes, I do. I have a long robe which I cover myself with when sleeping. Also, I have a wooden cup for drinking out of.
The Messenger told the man to fetch the robe and the cup. When the man came back with these two things, the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, asked those near him:
— Who would like to buy these things?
One of those present offered one dirham for them, another offered two. The Messenger gave this money to the poor man and said:
— Spend one of these two dirhams to meet your urgent needs, and with the other buy a rope and axe and come straight here.
The man did as the Messenger told him to. The Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, told him:
— Go and cut some of the dried branches of the date-palms outside Madina. Take them to the market and sell them. Continue doing this for fifteen days and come here again.
The man who had thought himself unable to do anything for his livelihood left the city and cut dried branches off the date-palms that had no owners. At the end of the fifteenth day a well-dressed man came to God's Messenger. The Messenger asked him:
— How are you?
The man replied:
- Praise be to God, O Messenger of God! I have earned ten dirhams. With some of that money I bought back the things I had sold and met the needs of my family. As for the remnant, I bought this garment that you see.
The Messenger responded:
— It is much more esteemed for one to earn one's livelihood by carrying wood on one's back than by begging.

From: The Way to Truth 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Racial Equality

Once Abu Dharr, an Arab from the tribe of Ghifar, became angry with Bilal of Abyssinia, the freed slave of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with them. The dispute intensified until Abu Dharr in his fury said to Bilal, "Son of a black woman!" Bilal complained to the Prophet, peace be upon him, who addressed Abu Dharr saying, "Did you call him a name reviling his mother? It appears that you still have traces of jahiliyyah [ignorance] in you!" Abu Dharr thought that jahiliyyah was a kind of sexual immorality or moral deviation and thus said, "At this old age, O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet said in reply, "Yes, they are your brothers." Abu Dharr regretted what he had said and repented, and out of extreme repentance and humility requested Bilal to trample his face with his feet. This is the point which marks the line of demarcation between knowledge and ignorance. In other words, racial equality demarcates the real human civilization and the civilization of the jahiliyyah.
The civilization that does not make one race superior over another, or one colour over another is the civilization that the noble and intelligent humans build, and thus conscious noble humanity is pleased. The civilization which gives superiority to whites and degrades the black so that only the whites are happy and the coloured are in misery takes humanity back to the blind and dark ages. "You have traces of jahiliyyah in you" is a description of the jahili civilization which calls for racial discrimination and this is what Islamic Civilizations has fought in all fields of life - in the mosque, in the school, in the court, in the leadership and with friends and foe alike.
Compiled From:
"The Islamic Civilization"- Mustafa Sibai, pp. 66, 67


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