Drill and Upbringing
The most striking and wonderful things that old books can offer us are the stories about conversion and moral revival. The worst sinners and tyrants turned overnight into humble martyrs and defenders of justice. It is always a spontaneous event; there is no process of reforming or influencing. The question is one of a move in the depths of the soul, of an experience existing together with an energy of a completely inward nature which by its own force completely changes a man. This transformation belongs to man and that is why there is no process, casualty, conditionality, causes, and consequences, or even a rational explanation. The essence of this drama is freedom and creativity.
An enormous courtyard and in the centre, a hollow cube. Nothing more! You suddenly tremble! Wonder, amazement! An empty room, that is all. Is the qiblah of our faith, our love, our formal prayer, our life and our death just this? A pile of dark, rough stones, placed upon each other, spaces unevenly and inexperiencedly filled between with mortar, nothing more!
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Pride and arrogance are characteristics of camel herders, while modesty and gentleness are the characteristics of shepherds.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Counselling and Uplifting
- Counselling (Nasiha)
It is reported in Sahih Muslim that Fatimah bint Qays mentioned to God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) that both Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and Abu Jahm had proposed to her. The Prophet said to her: "Abu Jahm never puts his stick down, whereas Muawiyah is a mere wandering pauper." This statement does not imply that it is not permissible for a woman to marry a poor man. It simply means that Fatimah bint Qays sought the advice of the Messenger of God, who advised what was best for her.
God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) had qualities and was in different positions which required him to act in specific ways or make specific statements. It is, therefore, our duty to be aware of the situation and take it into account when seeking enlightenment to help us solve the multitude of problems that have always troubled many people and caused much confusion. The Companions used to make a clear distinction between the commands of God’s Messenger that ensued from his position as legislator (maqam al-tashri) and those that did not. When they were not sure about a certain matter, they sought clarification about it.