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 (5) Ease and Absence of Hardship in the Law

اذهب الى الأسفل 
كاتب الموضوعرسالة
أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn
مؤسس ومدير المنتدى
أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn

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(5) Ease and Absence of Hardship in the Law Empty
مُساهمةموضوع: (5) Ease and Absence of Hardship in the Law   (5) Ease and Absence of Hardship in the Law Empty20/07/17, 06:41 am

(5) Ease and Absence of Hardship in the Law Law
(5) Ease and Absence of Hardship in the Law
One of the clearest aspects of Islamic Law is the goal of bringing about ease upon the humans and avoiding hardship for them while maintaining positive results for all. Hence, this is not a goal independent of all other goals. In other words, there are a myriad of goals, such as mercy, justice, equity, balance and so forth. Within the context of meeting those goals, though, Allah, in His Mercy and Wisdom, has laid down a law for humans that provides ease for them and is free of any unwarranted hardships. 

Numerous verses of the Quran point to this very important feature of Islam. For example, Allah says, “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned” (2:286). This is part of Allah’s great mercy, as no one could hold Allah responsible if He burdened humans with actions beyond their capacity. Allah also says, “Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you” (2:185). Allah also says, “Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favor on you that you may be thankful” (5:6). In yet another verse, Allah says, “Strive hard in Allah's Cause as you ought to strive. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” (22:78).

Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as a mercy for all of mankind, as noted earlier. Part of his role was to relax some of the laws put on the previous peoples due to their recalcitrance or put on them by their own religious leaders and scholars.

Thus, Allah describes the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the following fashion: “Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Gospel—he commands them for what is good and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful all good matters, and prohibits them as unlawful all filthy matters; he releases them from their heavy burdens and from the fetters that were upon them. So those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful” (7:157). Thus, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said, “I have not been sent with Judaism or Christianity but I have been sent with the true monotheism and easy religion.”

This principle of ease and removing hardship is exhibited throughout many branches of Islamic law. Even becoming a Muslim requires no special indoctrination or ceremony. In fact, it does not even require anyone’s approval or supervision. With respect to the acts of worship, one finds numerous rules demonstrating this principle.  For example, an individual is not required to perform the pilgrimage to Makkah if he does not have the means to do so—in other words, if it would be too much of a financial burden.

The traveler is allowed to shorten and combine his prayers in order to lessen his burden—but he still must perform the prayer as that effort is definitely beneficial for him. With respect to the fast of Ramadan, those who are traveling or ill can delay their fasts and make up those days after the month is finished. Those facing starvation are allowed to eat foods, such as pork, that are normally forbidden. Of great importance is the issue of repentance. In Islam, repentance never requires one to go to a priest and beg forgiveness for one’s sins. It is simply a matter of faithfully returning to Allah and attempting to redress any wrong one has done.

For the new Muslim, it is important to realize that the relaxation in the laws under certain circumstances does not open the door to them to relax any law for themselves in the name of the fact that the religion desires ease. Such laws must be based on the Quran and Sunnah and will be known to those who are knowledgeable. Furthermore, as mentioned in a footnote earlier, it is referring to unwarranted hardship or effort. The effort or “hardship” required to perform prayers five times a day, fast for a month, and so on, are, in general within the means of most humans and the great benefits they should produce are well worth their effort.

(6) A Strong Relationship between the Creator and the Created
The goals and the teachings of Islam go well beyond any legal issues in this world. Islam seeks to create a certain type of individual, an individual who has a strong and proper relationship with Allah. There are a number of important points related to this feature.

First,
in Islam, the Muslim has a direct relationship with Allah. Allah says, “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them): I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright” (2:186). Allah also says, And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation)” (40:60).

Thus, there is no priestly class in Islam. The individual prays directly to God without going through an intermediary. When a Muslim seeks forgiveness, he seeks it directly from God with no human having the authority to tell him if his repentance is sufficient or accepted by God. When a Muslim is in need, he turns directly to God, without having to put his trust and reliance in anyone other than God. When a Muslim wants to read the revelation and guidance from God, he goes directly to the Quran and Sunnah, being able to read them directly by himself. 

There are no demigods or clergy that he has to go through. Everything is actually between the individual and his Lord. This direct relationship with Allah is very empowering and reassuring. There is none other than Allah that he is worshipping and there is none who can interfere with his worship of Allah. Under all circumstances, Allah is available to him and he can turn to Him at any time to ask for help, guidance and forgiveness.

This direct relationship with Allah extends to all of an individual’s deeds. The Muslim knows that Allah not only sees his outward actions but that Allah is also fully aware of every intention and feeling that is in his heart. Thus, due to his direct relationship with Allah, the Muslim attempts to perform every deed with the intention of pleasing God. In this way, even the most mundane activity can become an act pleasing to God, if done with the right conditions in the heart. The Muslim sets upon his day, via his close relationship with his Lord, by ensuring that he performs acts that are permissible in the sight of his Lord. 

That is the Muslim’s goal and intention and as he is conscious of this goal, he is pleasing Allah by the simplest of deeds. Thus, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Everything you spend for the sake of Allah will be rewarded, even if it were a morsel you put in your wife’s mouth.”

When one understands this concept of his close relationship to God and the ability to the transform even mundane activities into acts that are pleasing to God, his whole outlook and behavior completely change. He begins to perform each act differently, realizing that he is doing it for the sake of God.
Unfortunately, there are many in this world who are completely negligent of this point.

In Madaarij al-Saalikeen, ibn al-Qayyim stated, “The most exclusive [group of] people who get close to Allah are those who change the nature of their permissible deeds into acts of obedience to Allah.” He also said, “The customary-mundane deeds of those people who truly know Allah are acts of worship [for them] while the ritual acts of worship are customary deeds for the masses.”  What he said is very true.

Unfortunately, many among the masses of Muslims approach the prayers, fasting and other deeds as common daily practices that they must perform simply because it is part of the culture or way of life. They have no strong intention in their hearts or feeling of doing the act for the sake of Allah. If the quality of the act is poor, it does not matter much to them because they are doing it just to finish.

Hence, these important rites of worship become simply customary with no meaning or effect to them. The one who truly knows Allah is at the opposite extreme. Even the “mundane” deeds he performs are filled with purpose and intent. Hence, they become acts of worship that are pleasing to Allah. Thus, for example, even when a person goes to sleep he does so with the intention of reviving himself such that he can work again for the sake of Allah. Thereby, his sleep even becomes an act of worship of Allah.

Actually, one can take this discussion even one step further. Allah says in the Quran, “Every moment He has a matter to bring forth” (55:29). In other words, at every moment, Allah is creating, distributing, providing, bringing forth life and death and so on. However, in general nowadays, the individual does not see Allah behind all of these actions around him.

The individual today has become desensitized and thinks that all of these things simply occur on their own due to some independent laws of nature. In reality, that is not true. These “laws of nature” are nothing more than Allah’s activity at every second and moment. In numerous places in the Quran, Allah asks humans to observe the cosmos around them. For example, Allah brings the reader’s attention to the tiny bee or the movement of the shadows.  

Muhammad Qutb notes that Allah’s goal was not to present a scientific lesson in such passages. They are to awaken the human to what is really going on and to tie his heart and everyday activities to his Lord and Creator. Qutb writes,

Humankind’s concentration on the apparent cause has distracted them from seeing the greater reality behind it: the will of Allah who says to something, “Be,” and it is. They ignore that greater will and call the laws, “natural laws” and they say that they are fixed and inevitable. They are stupefied by such limited experiences and therefore Allah is actually distanced from their hearts. 

This is where the Quranic expression begins, taking them from where they are stupefied and distanced from Allah and taking them back to Allah…

Qutb then writes,
Science tells us, based on the outward causes that we see, that the existence of the sun and the rotation of the earth around it is the cause of the “movement” of the shadows. But the Quranic expression tells us that it is the will of Allah that moves the shadows in the first place and then the sun is placed as a guide for the shadow. Thus, the apparent cause is not the original source but actually comes afterwards… Indeed, it comes later, by the word “then”, after Allah decided this matter by His will, saying to something Be and it is.

In fact, Qutb argues, the end result of this Quranic approach is very clear. In reality, the knowledge that one has about, for example, the bee or the shade does not change upon reading the verses in the Quran in which Allah points to these two. One’s knowledge does not change but, he argues, the individual changes. Qutb states,

Did your information about the shadows or bees change when you read these verses? Certainly not! The information in itself was not new. It was known beforehand. However, that was a knowledge that was a dead, cold, still and unmoving information. But the Quran brings this information and presents it in an emotional or moving setting, in a miraculous fashion, that changes one’s perspective as if it were not what we knew beforehand. The information did not change but we are the ones who changed…

For the new Muslim, this may be a completely new way of looking at the world and may take some adjustment. Many non-Muslims do not see God’s involvement in this world and therefore they do not feel any direct relationship with God. As the new Muslim ponders over the Quran, this feeling may develop within him. He will see Allah’s working in everything around him. This will remind him of Allah and he will no longer be negligent of Allah and his duty toward Him. He will be then, God willing, leading his life in a manner very different from before his conversion to Islam.


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