Inspirations from the Quran - Introduction to the Contributors

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INTRODUCTION

Human memory is greatly enhanced by linking it to an easily recollectable event. This may be demonstrated by the fact that most of our recall of the Jumu’ah khutba hinges on the anecdotes related by the khateeb. By conveying the motivational life experiences of well-known scholars and community leaders, based on their inspiration from specific Quranic verses, it is hoped that this will serve as an impetus for Muslims to imbibe and live by the word of the Quran. Insha-Allah, readers will be able to implement this Divine inspiration in their lives benefitting them in this life and the hereafter.

 

Contributors:

 

 

SHEIKH ABDURRAGHIEM HASAN SALIE

IMAM ACHMAD CASSIEM

 

PROFESSOR EBRAHIM ARNOLD

 

IMAM ABDUR RASHIED OMAR

 

ADVOCATE HISHAAM MOHAMMED

 

MRS NURUL MINTON

 

SHAFIQ MORTON

 

MOULANA RAFIQ SHAH

 

WASEEM ABRAHAMS

 

MUHAMMAD WEST

 

 

 

SHEIKH ABDURRAGHIEM HASAN SALLIE

 

Sheikh Abdurraghiem Hasan Sallie was born in Johannesburg and moved to Cape Town when he was twelve years old to reside with Sheikh M Salligh Abadie. Of the eight years under Sheikh M Salligh Abadie and his tutor the late Sheikh Achmat Behaardien, he spent three years in Makkah. As a young man and an avid scholar who was Hafiz Quran, he specialized in Islamic Jurisprudence under Sheikh M Shakir Gamieldien. He has written twenty-nine books and is currently writing his thirtieth book on Islamic Legislation. (Sheikh is suffering from ill-health and humbly requests the readers’ duah).

 

Inspirational Verses

The verses of the Holy Qur’an that had a profound effect and influence on my life and perception of the Holy Qur’an are the Verses 190-195 of the Surah Al-i-‘Imran. This came about when I, as a young man, studied tafsir Al Qur’an under my mentor, the late Sheikh Muhammad Shakir Gamieldien. One morning as my mentor was analyzing the verses of this Surah to bring out its inner meaning and in order to conceptualise and perceive the wisdom of each syllable in Allah’s Words; a beautiful feeling of peace and serenity ignited a spark of inspiration in my soul to gain more knowledge.

 

Let me quote the verse below that would better illustrate the love that it engendered in me to improve and expand my knowledge.

 

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

 

Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.

 

Men who [make dhikr] remember Allah, standing, sitting and lying down on their sides and contemplate about the creation in the heavens and the earth, [saying]:

“Our Cherisher! You have not created [all] this without purpose! Glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.

Our Cherisher! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, truly, You have disgraced him; and never will the wrong-doers find any helpers.

Our Cherisher! Verily, we have heard the call of one [Muhammad] calling us to Faith [saying]: Believe your Cherisher! Forgive us our sins and expiate from us our iniquities, and make us die [in the state of righteousness] in the company of the righteous [believers].

Our Cherisher! Grant us what You did promise unto us through Your Messengers, and disgrace us not on the Day of Judgment, for You never break [Your] Promise.”

 

So their Cherisher accepted of them [their supplication and answered them], “Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, whether male or female. You are [members] one of another, so those who emigrated and were driven out from their homes, suffered harm in my Cause, and who fought, and were killed [in my Cause], verily I will expiate from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow [in Paradise]: a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards.”

 

Surah 3 (Al-i-‘Imran), Verses 190-195

 

When I read the line ’these are indeed signs for men of understanding’ it dawned on me never to stop studying Allah’s deen. This verse made me realize that knowledge encompasses all fields of religious and secular learning and information, which must be supported by correct mental analysis and accompanied by careful consideration and intense concentration in order to arrive at a clear, honest and factual conclusion. This also made me realize that if I was to gain an understanding of anything I had to develop a perception of what was conclusive and definite such as the Words of Allah.

 

Alghamdulillah, Allah has inspired me to investigate some of His signs in order to appreciate and realize His great Power and His complete Will. I became incredibly motivated, through these verses to study the 850 Ayah on Science in the Holy Qur’an.

 

Through nature Allah has imbued me with the ability to recognize Him, and appreciate His Mercy. Through the intellect and spirit with which Allah has blessed me, I have been able to aspire to reach higher levels of spirituality and be able to share this with my fellow Muslims.

 

And finally, when the above verses were revealed, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Accursed are those who constantly read this and do not ponder over it.”

(Reported by ‘Ibn Marduyah and ‘Abd bin Humaid)

 

And Allah knows Best.

 

 

 

 

 

IMAM ACHMAD CASSIEM

 

Imam Achmad Cassiem is the founder member of the Qibla Movement and the IQRAA Foundation. He is currently the Chairperson of the Islamic Unity Convention and teaches Humanology at the College of Cape Town. He has written six publications namely Quest for Unity, Iqra - freedom from ignorance, Begging Bowl, two essays - The Intellectual Routes of the Oppressed, and Islam Strive over Apartheid.

 

Inspirational Verses

 

 

“Say: The Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new, nor restores anything”

Surah 34 (Saba), Verse 49

 

 

 

“And say: Truth has (now) arrived and falsehood perished, for falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.”

Surah 16 (an Nahl), Verse 81

 

Take the concept of truth out of science, then there is no science; take the concept of truth out of ethics, then there is no ethics; take the concept of truth out of history, then there is no history; and take the concept of truth out of education, then there is no education.

 

Freedom to seek the truth must not be compromised otherwise genuine liberation is compromised. The first right of every human being is the right to seek the truth.

My first obligation is to verify the truth and my second obligation is to acknowledge the truth, understand it and implement it.

 

 

 

“And cover not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth when you know (what it is)”

Surah 2 (Al Baqara), Verse 42

 

 

 

PROFESSOR EBRAHIM ARNOLD

 

Prof. Ebrahim Arnold is the Chairperson of the Department of Accounting at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He is a Chartered Accountant as well as a consultant specializing in Forensic Auditing. He has served various organizations in his capacity as a community activist. He is a dedicated Islamic scholar who is often invited to deliver talks and khutbahs.

 

 

Inspirational Verse

 

I was sitting next to someone in the Masjidul Haraam; (I think he was from Libya,) and he kept on reciting the following verses:

 

 

 

wa mai yattaqqil laaha yaj ‘allahu magrajaw, wa yar zukuhu …

 

And whosoever has Taqwa (i.e. keeps his duty to Allah), Allah will make a way out for him, and will provide for him from where he never could imagine. And whosoever places his trust in Allah He (Allah) will suffice for him.

Surah 65 (At-Talaq), Verses 2-3

 

He repeated these verses so many times that I memorized it immediately. At the time I was not particularly conscious of its meaning, but these verses were to play a major role in my life after I performed Hajj.

 

Many things have happened which cannot be recounted in this short time. I will mention a few. I studied under the late Sheikh M Salligh ‘Abadie for two and a half years for four mornings a week, while being self-employed. Truly Allah (swt) provided for me and my family during that time (and still does) “from where I could never imagine.”

 

During the course of my career I encountered many challenging situations and many strong or highly placed individuals, be it for fraud, abuse of power, racism, civic matters, drug-peddling etc; and I can truly say that Allah (swt) sufficed for me against all odds in these situations. Alhamdu-lillahi rabbil ‘alameen.

 

May Allah (swt) help us to be of the Muttaqoon (those who aspire to, and keep their duty to Allah (swt) and the Mutawakkiloon (those who place their trust in Allah (swt).

 

 

 

 

IMAM ABDUR RASHIED OMAR

 

Imam Abdur Rashid is Co-Director of the Kroc Institute’s Program in Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding and an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame, USA. He is the former Imam of the Claremont Main Road Masjid.

 

The greatest passion of my life is to foster cordial and convivial relations between Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists, people of all of the world’s religions and of no religion. The genesis of this interreligious passion was inspired and nurtured by my participation in the anti-apartheid struggle. My interreligious encounters have positively transformed both my own personal religious perspective as well as the way I view others. The litmus test of good religion for me is the extent to which you are able to embrace “the other” as an extension of yourself. I would like to share this illuminating experience with the world and am a passionate advocate of interreligious and intercultural education and dialogue. I firmly believe it can make a major contribution to a more peaceful and just world.

 

Inspirational Verses

Among the numerous verses of the Glorious Qur’an that have served and sustained me in this endeavour is the following Ayah from Surah Yunus.

 

 

“If your Lord had so desired, all the people on the earth would surely have come to believe, all of them; do you then think, that you could compel people to believe?”

Surah 10 (Yunus), Verse 99

 

The above verse establishes the principle of freedom of belief and thought in Islam. At the conclusion of the verse, the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) is himself reproved for transgressing this principle by being over-enthusiastic in convincing others with regard to the truth of Islam. Thus, the Qur’an stresses that the differences in beliefs, views and ideas of humankind is not incidental and negative but represents a God-willed, basic factor of human existence.

 

A denial of the right of others to hold beliefs and views that are different and incompatible to one’s own is tantamount to a denial of God himself. The challenge, for Muslims, is to amplify the Qur’anic teachings on religious pluralism and work hard to make it an integral part of the fabric of contemporary Muslim culture.

 

 

 

ADVOCATE HISHAAM MOHAMED

 

HISHAAM MOHAMED is the Western Cape Regional Head of Justice and Constitutional Development. He is responsible for a staff of 2000, a budget of R280m and the management of the Directorates of Human Resources, Corporate Services and Legal Administration. He is a father of three and enjoys the hands on approach to any situation and is actively involved with his children and the community. His eldest son attends an Islamic Primary School and Hishaam ritually oversees his homework.

 

 

Inspirational Verse

 

 

 

 

 

“So glory to Him In Whose Hands is the dominion of all things:

And to Him will ye be brought back.”

Surah 36 (Yaa Sin), Verse 83

 

 

I grew up in a challenging era which has created the consciousness of always wanting to bring happiness to the marginalised and the poor, especially women and children. My strength and courage is particularly derived from Surah Yaseen, which entrenches the willpower to challenge insecurities that exists. This verse reminds us that we are only answerable to Allah and all things are created by Allah. Our purpose on this dhunya is to serve Allah to the best of our ability.

 

 

 

MRS NURUL MINTON

 

Ms Nurul Minton is one of the founding members of the Islamic Social and Welfare Association (ISWA) which was established on 28 August, 1986. ISWA was started in response to concerns about the social problems in the community, especially the breakdown in the family as a result of divorce, drug and alcohol abuse. Its main objective is to provide a professional social work service within the Islamic framework.

 

At the age of thirty-eight Mrs Minton started studying Social Sciences through Unisa and completed her Diploma in Community Development at UCT when she turned forty three. Her education was complimented by five years of studying Shariah Law on Marriage under the guidance of Sheikh Faiek Gamieldien and Sheikh Hashiem Julies. She recently passed with distinction at Damelin College where she studied a certificate course Train the Trainers.

 

 

Inspirational Verse

 

 

 

Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?

Surah 55 (Ar-Rahman), Verse 13

 

This Surah was always recited by my father while I was growing up and it plays a pivotal role in my decision making.

 

The Surah informs us by implication, of our negative traits, that we can be arrogant and selfish and also Allah challenges us in this surah to be appreciative.

 

Think of the favour of oxygen given to us by Allah and also the favour of sunlight, as examples. Think of one grape seed and how many bunches of grapes are produced from it. Thank Allah for the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) which is an endless favour bestowed upon us from Allah.

 

 

 

 

 

SHAFIQ MORTON

 

Shafiq Morton is a well-known photo-journalist with nearly thirty years experience. He was one of the pioneering forces behind the creation of Voice of the Cape, where he is currently a presenter of the late afternoon DriveTime Show. He is the author of “Notebooks from Makkah and Madinah” – a devotional travelogue, which is due to be released soon. He is busy writing his second book, “Welcome to Israel”.

 

 

 

Inspirational Verse

 

 

 

 

“O Mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other (not despise each another).”

Surah 49 (Al-Hujarat), Verse 13

 

When I embraced Islam all those years ago, the country was in the throes of apartheid and aflame with hatred. Through all the chaos, as well as some of the (disappointing) hypocrisy in the struggle, the sublime truth shone resplendent.

 

For me, as I looked upon the devastation. I realised that the Quran had the answer to apartheid! Whilst this verse stands out in Surat ul-Hujarat, the whole chapter is my favourite because in it are the Ayaats of adaab (behaviour and conduct). The point is that we are informed how to get to know each other – never to raise our voice above the Prophet’s [SAW] and to be ever aware of our creator, Allah (swt).

 

Additionally, the chapter gives advice that while wickedness must be combated, any person receiving news needs to confirm its source, a warning to those working in the media that dire consequences face those who wilfully abuse their position.

 

 

 

MOULANA RAFIQ SHAH

 

Moulana Rafiq Shah was the Regional Chairperson for the Muslim Youth Movement (MYM), Kwazulu Natal and also its National Treasurer. He was also the Imam of the Raza Mosque in Phoenix, Durban and recently relocated to Cape Town to serve on the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Defence (Democratic Alliance).

 

He holds a BA Honours in Psychology, MTh (Pakistan), MA Islamic Studies (Oriental College) and a Higher Diploma in Comparative Religious Studies.

 

 

Inspirational Verse

 

 

 

By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages)

Verily Man is in loss

Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.

Surah 103 (Al Asr), Verses 1-3

 

In this verse Allah says that we cannot run a race against time, we will lose because time searches out and destroys everything material. It is the spiritual part of us that conquers time - ‘Verily, man is in a state of loss’. If one makes a study of the human history and civilization filled with examples of people or nations who were at their zenith of power, wealth and influence, who then lost everything namely Nimrod, Pharoah, People of Noah, Aad and Thamud.

 

The question arises why were they destroyed? The answer is that they did not possess the four qualities which guarantee success as mentioned in the third Ayah. The four conditions for success is faith, good deeds, truth and patience.

 

 

 

WASEEM ABRAHAMS

 

Waseem Abrahams, 21 years old, is one of three South Africans currently studying Uloom Al Shariah at the Ummul Qura University in Makkah. He attended Darul Islam in Surrey Estate and then studied Hifz for three years under the guidance of Sheikh Serag Johaar. He enjoys visiting the Haram and swimming in his free time.

 

Inspirational Verse

 

 

 

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So ask those who know, when you do not know (or in doubt)

Surah 21 (Al-Anbiyaa), Verse 7

 

 

The Ayah explains that if we do not know we should ask those who have knowledge (and if we have the knowledge we must teach those who are in search thereof).

 

In Surah Az-Zumar Allah, in His infinite wisdom, elevates those with knowledge and says;

 

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“Say! Are those who know the same as those who do not know?”

Surah 39 (Az-Zumar), Verse 9

 

The answer is most definitely, NO! The knowledgeable are most certainly not the same as the ignorant. The wahi of Rasoolulaah (saw) revolutionalised an ignorant society into a knowledgeable one.

 

I am driven by my quest to be of those people with some knowledge. In my instance, I am specifically concentrating on Uloom Al-Shari’ah (sciences of Islamic law). This quest for knowledge demands very many sacrifices, for instance when one pursues knowledge abroad, one has to leave behind one’s family, friends and the relative comfort of one’s home. Sometimes one must also be concerned about your own food preparation or the rent that has to be paid. Despite all this, the objective of attaining a little bit more knowledge of Allah’s divine law is enough incentive to continue.

 

Each scholar, irrespective of his field of study, form the building of the ahl al-thikr.

 

It is my fervent duah that Allah (swt) guide and help us in our endeavours of seeking and searching for knowledge. May Allah be satisfied with all of us, Insha-Allah.

 

 

 

MUHAMMAD WEST

 

Muhammad West, 18 years old, is the Ameer of the Learner Shura Council at Islamia College in Lansdowne. After completing Grade 11 in Saudi Arabia at the Al Manarat High School he returned to South Africa to matriculate. His parents, both teachers, are still residing in Saudi Arabia. “The only difference to the schooling in Makkah to South Africa are the sciences and English language which are more advanced in Makkah,” remarked Muhammad. After matriculating he would like to study Business Science at the University of Cape Town or Shariah at the University of Medina. He enjoys hanging out with friends, go-karting, swimming, playing cricket and soccer.

 

Inspirational Verse

 

 

 

 

‘And strive hard in Allah’s Cause as you ought to strive (with sincerity and with all your efforts that His Name should be superior). He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islamic Monotheism to mankind by inviting them to His religion of Islam), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship. It is the religion of your father Ibrahim. It is He (Allah) who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the Quran), that the Messenger (SAW) may be a witness over you and you the witness over mankind! So perform salaah, give zakaah and hold fast to Allah (have confidence in Allah, and depend upon Him in all your affairs). His is your Maula (Patron, Lord), what an Excellent Maula, and what an Excellent Helper!

Surah 22 (Al Hajj), Verse 78

 

How valued would you feel if the president or the king, hand picks you? Here this verse shows us that the All Powerful, All Mighty Himself selects us. We feel insignificant, just a number amongst the million other Muslims.

 

This verse also highlights our true place in the world as the world leaders and examples to mankind. Then with the same breath, the verse also says not to fear this daunting task as Allah does not overburden us. The verse concludes wonderfully with the hope that Allah is always on our side.

 

 

 

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