Orland Park Prayer Center

The Prayer Center of Orland Park

Morality is the foundation and the underpinning of Islamic Sharia’. Quran does not divide the society into racial, ethnic, or socio-economic classes. Quran aims at establishing moral classes based on the high values derived from the Beautiful Names of Allah; and characterized by the ethical conduct and the good manners of their members. The readers of Quran are invited to join these classes and adopt their described habits. Hence, you find the detailed description of: The believers (المؤمنون), the Praying believers (المصلين), the God-conscious (المتقين), the Righteous ((الأبرار, the Companions of power and resolve (أصحاب اليمين), and the Worshippers of the Most Merciful (عباد الرحمن).

Today, I want to speak to you about another moral class: The Upholders of Justice (الذين يأمرون بالقسط من الناس)

“As those who deny the signs of Allah, and in defiance of the truth, they slay the prophets, and slay those who command Justice from among the people, announce to them a grievous penalty.” [3:21]

It is interesting that Quran does not qualify this moral class by any qualifier except that it is formed from the people. The upholders of justice belong to the masses and not the elites. They are not prophets but they are mentioned beside the Prophets. They follow the footsteps of the Prophets by owning the problems of their communities. They struggle to establish and uphold justice. They may face the same destiny of some Prophets. They may be assassinated and slain for no crime they committed. Their only “crime” is their fight against injustice. Quran is saying: The upholders of justice and the Prophets are on the same axis, and those who assassinate the upholders of justice are not different from the people who assassinated the Prophets before and covered-up the truth.

If we put the issue of assassination of Prophets under the microscope of Quran, we find that the implications are not confined to the time and place of this horrible crime.

“When it is said to them: believe in what Allah has sent down, they say: we believe in what was sent down to us. Yet they reject all besides, even it is the truth confirming what is with them. Say: Why then have you slain the Prophets of Allah in times gone by, if you indeed believe.” [2:91]

Please, pay attention to the underlined phrase in the form of a question! This phrase must stop any reader of Quran who has minimal knowledge of the Arabic language and ask the question. If (من قبل) means before or in times gone by, the verb mentioned in this phrase is expected to be in the past tense. Why is it mentioned in the present tense تقتلون? This may sound paradoxical. In fact, Quran wants to tell us the following: Although the crime of assassination or slaying of Prophets was committed in the past, its implications and consequences continue into the present and the future.

This horrible crime will not pass without penalty. The penalty is from Allah and it will come in different ways: “…announce to them a grievous penalty.” [3:21]

“They are those whose works will bear no fruits in this world and in the hereafter, nor they have anyone to help.” [3:22]

Did the assassination and slaying of Prophets stop the Divine message from reaching all the corners of the globe? Prophets assassinated were replaced by other Prophets and Messengers. Today four out of seven billion people living on this planet are followers of Jesus and Mohammad (ﷺ). As for the upholders of justice, there are many who are ready to replace them and continue their mission. The model of the prayer of Mohammad (ﷺ) sheds light on this matter. When the Prophet would stand up for prayer, he would ask those with great abilities of leadership, judgement, and management to stand in the first line behind him.

(ليليني منكم أولو الأحلام و النهى)

This is the Prophetic model for the succession of Imams and leaders. If the Imam is unable to continue the prayer for one reason or another, the community must be ready to provide not one Imam or leader, but potentially many.

By Dr. Walid Khayr


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