The Sign of the Camel

Jabir (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that when the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) passed by what used to be the dwellings, al-Hijr, of Thamud, he said: “Do not ask for signs. The people of Salih had asked for that. (So they were given the sign of a she-camel which) used to come out from this way (and he pointed to an opening) and returned from that. They transgressed the command of their Lord and hamstrung her. (The procedure was that) she drank water from the well one day and they drank her milk the next day. (They did not value this favour) but hamstrung her and so were seized by the blast which Allah the Glorious sent to them from the sky – all except one of them who was in the Haram.”

He was asked who that person was, and he said: “He was Abu Righal. When he came out of the Haram, he too suffered the same punishment that had befallen his people.” [Musnad Ahmed] Continue reading “The Sign of the Camel”

Your Wishes Take Nothing Away From the Ocean

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah, Most High said, ‘O My slaves! If the first of you and the last of you, the living among you and the dead among you, the fresh among you and the dry among you were to gather together upon one plateau, and each person among them were to ask for his utmost desire, and I were to give each what he asked for, that would not diminish from My sovereignty, except as if one of you were to pass by an ocean and dip a needle into it then remove it. That is because I am the Most Liberal without need, the Most Generous, doing as I will. I give by My speech and I punish by My speech, whenever I will something I only say, “Be” and it shall be.’” [Jami at-Tirmidhi] Continue reading “Your Wishes Take Nothing Away From the Ocean”

Adhaan in Wilderness

Abu Saeed al-Khudri (radi Allahu anhu) said to Abu Sa’sa’ah: “I see that you love sheep and the wilderness. If you are with your sheep or in the wilderness, say the Adhaan for your prayer, and raise your voice when doing so, for as far as the Muezzin’s voice reaches, there is no Jinn, human, or thing but it will bear witness for him on the Day of Resurrection.” Abu Saeed (radi Allahu anhu) said: “I heard that from the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam).” [Bukhari] Continue reading “Adhaan in Wilderness”

What is beauty?


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By: William C. Chittick

Anyone with the vaguest knowledge of Islamic culture knows that it has produced extraordinary works of art and architecture — Persian miniatures, the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra. Few are aware, however, that this rich artistic heritage is firmly rooted in a worldview that highlights love and beauty.

The link between love and beauty is clear. We love what we find beautiful. Beauty attracts, ugliness repels. Nor are beauty and ugliness simply physical characteristics. We all know people who are outwardly attractive but personally repellent, and vice versa.

Beauty makes a massive appearance in love poetry like that of Ibn al-Farid, Rumi, Yunus Emre, and countless others. Their verses stir up wonder and delight by evoking the beautiful characteristics of the beloved. Continue reading “What is beauty?”