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Thursday 23rd Nov 2017

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Home Ramdaan Kareem Taraweeh Reflections - Juz 21
Taraweeh Reflections - Juz 21

Sūrah ar-Rūm

This sūrah begins with two predictions. One was for the victory of Romans over the Persians after they had been nearly vanquished by the latter. Simultaneously, it was predicted, Muslims would gain victory over the Quraysh. Both would take place in less than a decade. Both looked impossible at the time. Both came to pass as predicted. In this alone there is ample proof for open minded people that the Qur’ān is the Word of Allāh.

Limits of Scientific Knowledge

يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ
They know but the outer surface of this world’s life, whereas of the ultimate things they are utterly unaware. (Ar-Rūm, 30:7)

This is a general comment on the limits of human knowledge acquired through sense perception and logical reasoning—in other words, scientific knowledge. This knowledge is based only on the observable phenomenon, whether observed with the help of instruments or without. But there is much more to life than the observable spectrum. The victory of Romans over the Persians within a decade, was beyond all human calculations.

Realizing the limits of human knowledge is a prerequisite for opening our hearts and minds to revealed knowledge. As we are reminded elsewhere in the Qur’ān: “of knowledge it is only a little that has been given to you.” Without this realization, the  scientific knowledge—though useful and important in its limited scope—acquires a place in our life for which it is not qualified. It then leads to the disaster called scientism, when it becomes the final judge and arbiter of everything in life. This āyah is a powerful tool to break that hegemony of science.

Music and Distractions

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ
But there are, among men, those who purchase distracting amusements, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allāh and throw ridicule (on the Path): For such people there is a disgraceful punishment. (Luqmān, 31:6)

This includes all distractions—music, video games, movies, television entertainment programs—that fit the description in terms of their effect. There is a place for recreation in life, when its purpose is to rejuvenate us and prepare us to better face the serious tasks in life. But when recreation becomes a goal in itself and a means of diverting us from the Path of Allāh then it is a curse. This is one of the āyahs that show the prohibition of music and all other distractions in Islam.

Today the human weakness to fall for such diversions has been exploited in an unprecedented manner with the help of machines. When music could only be produced by a live person working in real time, no one, no matter how rich, could surround himself with music at all hours of the day and night. Today no one is safe from it at any hour of the day or night. No place or time is immune.

Probably that explains why we see such an increase in the occurrence of disasters, both  natural and man-made, today. The disasters are reminders so we leave our state of forgetfulness and turn to Allāh. The disasters have increased because the distractions have increased. May Allāh protect us from both.

 

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