Law and Authority
Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 104
"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting all to what is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. Such are the ones who shall prosper."
This is the commandment to the Muslim community to establish a system that is essentially based on holding fast to Allah's rope or covenant and is a necessary prerequisite to help people to abide by its demands. For this purpose, the Muslims are instructed to appoint a group from among them to enjoin maruf or good, or the noble conventions of society, and to forbid munkar or evil as defined by the Islamic Shariah. The way the imperatives — enjoining and forbidding — are used concerning good and evil clearly indicates that this task is to be carried out not by mere verbal advice and admonition, but must also be enforced by law and authority. This is impossible without political power vested in such a group. If the purpose were to accomplish the task of enjoining good and forbidding evil by advice and propagation of dawah only, the words yaduna ila-l khayr (inviting to good) should have sufficed and there was no need to add ya muruna bi-l maruf (enjoining or commanding what is right).
Israf signifies extravagance and wasteful use of what is otherwise permissible. Three factors are used to identify actions that fall within the boundaries of waste: Firstly, permissibility in Shariah, which means that forbidden acts exceed the limits even if there is no extravagant monetary spending. Secondly, rational judgment, which proscribes spending considered as being wasteful and foolish—such as destroying one's wealth for no good purpose. Thirdly, societal norms, which indicate the limits of normal expenditure from that which is excessive and wasteful—and this can vary from individual to individual. Permissible levels of expenditure on the personal as well as family levels are consequently not the same for everyone in a given society. One individual may spend his money in a certain way that will be considered as israf, while another individual may do the same but will not be considered wasteful.
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.
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.
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]