Reason and Revelation by Khalid Baig

American economist Robert Samuelson recently made an interesting observation about the American society in his Newsweek column: "America's glories and evils are tightly fused together." Quoting sociologist Seymour Lipset, he asserts that America's economic vitality and progress come from the same source as do crime, family breakdown, inequality, and vulgarity. Freedom and individualism have fired economic advance, yet have also inhibited social control. But why the qualities that bring the best in a nation also should bring the worst in it? Is humanity doomed by having its vices and virtues so intricately mixed?

Samuelson does not probe the issue. Instead he seems to be happily resigned to it. "We are burdened as well as blessed by our beliefs," he says. Economics, we may be reminded, is the dismal science.


The Angel of Mountains Was Ready to Crush

`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked the Prophet (PBUH) "Have you ever experienced a day harder than the day of the battle of Uhud?'' He replied, "Indeed, I experienced them (dangers) at the hands of your people (i.e., the disbelievers from amongst the Quraish tribe). The hardest treatment I met from them was on the Day of `Aqabah when I went to Ibn `Abd Yalil bin `Abd Kulal (who was one of the chiefs of Ta'if) with the purpose of inviting him to Islam, but he made no response (to my call). So I departed with deep distress. I did not recover until I arrived at Qarn ath-Tha`alib. There, I raised my head and saw a cloud which had cast its shadow on me. I saw in it Jibril (Gabriel) (PBUH) who called me and said: `Indeed, Allah, the Exalted, heard what your people said to you and the response they made to you. And He has sent you the angel in charge of the mountains to order him to do to them what you wish.' Then the angel of the mountains called me, greeted me and said: `O Muhammad, Allah listened to what your people had said to you. I am the angel of the mountains, and my Rubb has sent me to you so that you may give me your orders. (I will carry out your orders). If you wish I will bring together the two mountains that stand opposite to each other at the extremities of Makkah to crush them in between.''' But Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "I rather hope that Allah will raise from among their descendants people as will worship Allah the One, and will not ascribe partners to Him (in worship).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Chapter 252: Some Verdicts Pertaining to Supplications

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Chapter 252
Some Verdicts Pertaining to Supplications


1496. Usamah bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who is favoured by another and says to his benefactor: `Jazak-Allah khairan (may Allah reward you well)' indeed praised (the benefactor) satisfactorily.''

Commentary:  If one is unable to return someone's kindness with kindness, he should say, "Jazak-Allahu khairan (may Allah reward you well).'' This means: "I am unable to reciprocate your kindness. May Allah grant you the best reward for it.'' Obviously there is no match for the reward that one gets from Allah. For this reason the Prophet (PBUH) said that it was the best of the praise for a benefactor.


1497. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Do not invoke curses on yourself or on your children or on your possessions lest you should happen to do it at a moment when the supplications are accepted, and your prayer might be granted.''

Commentary: Almighty Allah always listens to everyone's prayer but He has fixed certain times when He grants more prayers addressed to Him. Therefore, one should never curse oneself or one's own children or one's own business, etc., lest this is done at the time when prayers are accepted by Allah and then one has to regret it all his life.


1498. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "A slave becomes nearest to his Rubb when he is in prostration. So increase supplications in prostrations.''

Commentary:  This Hadith points out the exellence of supplicating while prostrating in Salat, as one gets closer to Allah in this position.


1499. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH), "The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): `I supplicated my Rubb but my prayer has not been granted'.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The narration of Muslim is: "The supplication of a slave continues to be granted as long as he does not supplicate for a sinful thing or for something that would cut off the ties of kinship and he does not grow impatient.'' It was said: "O Messenger of Allah! What does growing impatient mean?'' He (PBUH) said, "It is one's saying: `I supplicated again and again but I do not think that my prayer will be answered.' Then he becomes frustrated (in such circumstances) and gives up supplication altogether.''

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that one should continue beseeching Allah without ever thinking that in spite of praying for a long time, his prayer has not been granted. One should never allow frustration to overcome in his mind. If a person's supplication is not granted for a long time, there would be certainly some good for him in that delay the reason of which is known to Allah Alone. It is, therefore, essential that he should never cease to pray whether his prayer is granted or not. Persistence in prayer is certainly beneficial to him.


1500. Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked: "At what time does the supplication find the greatest response?'' He (PBUH) replied, "A supplication made during the middle of the last part of the night and after the conclusion of the obligatory prayers.''

Commentary:  "Al-'Akhir'' is the characteristic of "Jauf'' and in the present context it means the late hours of night. "Jauf'' can also mean here "middle'', that is in the later-half of the night.

In other words, if the night is divided between two equal parts then it (Jauf) would be the middle of the second part. In either case it is the time of the night which in other Ahadith has been termed as the third part of the night. It is the time when Almighty Allah comes to descend on the sky of this world.

Prayers are also granted by Allah after the obligatory Salat.


1501. `Ubadah bin As-Samit (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whenever a Muslim supplicates Allah, He accepts his supplication or averts any similar kind of trouble from him until he prays for something sinful or something that may break the ties of kinship.'' Upon this someone of the Companions said: "Then we shall supplicate plenty.'' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Allah is more plentiful (in responding).''

Commentary:  We learn from this Hadith that prayer (supplication) is beneficial to us in any case, because Almighty Allah either grants the prayer we make, or if the supplication is not being accepted, He removes some future trouble that was destined for us, or He grants us in full in the Hereafter.

A Muslim should never feel shy of praying to Allah. In fact, he should persistently pray because there is no end to His Treasures.


1502. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to say when he was in distress: "La ilaha illallahul-Azimul-Halim. La ilaha illallahu Rabbul-`Arshil-`Azim. La ilaha illallahu Rabbus-samawati, wa Rabbul-ardi, wa Rabbul-`Arshil-Karim. (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Incomparably Great, the Compassionate. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Rubb of the Mighty Throne. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Rubb of the heavens, the Rubb of the earth, and the Rubb of the Honourable Throne).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The only medicine in a time of distress is the remembrance of Allah Whose Help alone should be sought. This Du`a contains words which glorify Allah and exalt Him far above all else. It is desirable to recite these words when one is in distress as this is exactly what the Prophet (PBUH) used to recite in such situations.

Short Quotes


"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you" [Qur'an 3:159]