Hazardous Path

Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 52

"When Jesus became aware of their unbelief, he asked: 'Who will be my helpers in Allah's cause?' The disciples said: 'We are Allah's helpers. We believe in Allah. Do bear witness that we have surrendered ourselves to Him.'

The word hawari (disciple) seems to have been imported into Arabic from Hebrew. There is disagreement among the lexicologists about its true signification. In our opinion, it means a well-wisher, supporter and a helper. Just as the word ansar is used for the first Muslims who helped and supported Prophet Muhammad's call in its initial stage, hawariyyun is used for the disciples of Jesus who believed in him and supported him steadfastly. He taught and trained them with great love and care. They carried his message to all the cities and towns in the land and they are mentioned in great detail in the Gospels.

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Welcome Ramadan

Ramadan is undoubtedly great and blessed, but not everyone who happens to live it is automatically entitled to get the blessings it brings. What is going to be your share from the treasures of Ramadan? Like the fertile soil, you may become soft-hearted and moist-eyed, sow the seed of belief and determination inside yourself, and add to your capabilities. Thus, a seed will grow into a sapling, and a sapling into a tree. The tree will be laden with the fruits of good deeds, and you will reap the fruit — the fruit of eternal bliss. Just like the farmer, as you sow so shall you reap; and the more you toil, the more you shall get. But if you remain hard-hearted, like the farmer who slept when it was time to wake up and work, then the blessings and goodness of Ramadan and Tarawih (night prayers during the holy month) will pass without benefiting you, just like the downpour that does not benefit the rock.

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God's Power

The cause of covetousness, according to Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq, is heedlessness (ghafla). A person permits himself to forget that blessings are from God alone. No good or harm can come to one except by God's leave. This level of heedlessness is not a casual lapse of memory. People can become so terribly preoccupied with seeking things from other people, they become heedless of God's power and ownership. When this happens, a person opens his or her heart to all kinds of spiritual diseases. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Know that if an entire nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if [an entire nation] were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God had already prescribed for you." [Tirmidhi]

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Fold of Peace

Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verses 207-208

"And there is a kind of man who would willingly sell his own self to please God. And God is gentle to His servants. O you who believe! Enter the fold of peace, all of you. Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you a manifest enemy."

Self-surrender is the most basic concept of faith, it is the condition of placing total trust in the certainty of the existence of God and recognising that one is the creation of a Merciful and Compassionate Creator. The consequence of such consciousness is giving one's self over completely to doing what God has commended, trying to live in this world to earn one's place in Paradise in the Hereafter. The 'fold of peace' is then a state of personal certainty and acceptance, a coming to terms with one's true nature. It is also recognition of the real nature and purpose of the world in which we exist. It is the state of being that one should strive to achieve, a state of being in stark contrast to the arrogant, worldly, domineering and destructive populism; dedicated commitment to working peacefully being the best way to make a better world based on justice, equity and dignity for all.

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Efforts

Whatever of Allah's blessings you receive - His forgiveness, His rewards, His pleasure, and eternal comfort - all will be by dint of your own effort. You will receive these because of your actions. This will be the reward of your own striving. Life is the most precious thing of all. Assume full responsibility for it. Just as a shopkeeper tends his store, a businessman takes care of his trade, or a farmer carefully looks after his farm, you too should take the reins of your life in your hands. So, do open and close the shop at the right times, settle the accounts on a daily basis, and tend to your farm. When you strive to set yourself and your life right, when the desire to succeed here and in the Hereafter overwhelms you, Allah will keep on opening new avenues of growth and progress for you.

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Century Welfare Association

Let Our Deeds Speak For Us.

Founded January 1969