The writer, Zishaan E Fatima Karim is a writer and a poet, passionate about making a difference and believes in beginning at the roots. She has a Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood Education and 4 decades’ experience in teaching as a Madrasah teacher. She also writes children’s stories and creates comic strips & video stories for little children. She facilitates Teaching Skills Practice programs under the MCE of WF and Leadership and Mentorship Development Programs under CBG of AFed. “Small changes by many people equals a Big Change,” is her motto. With that, she anticipates the reappearance of Al Hujjah (atfs) and wishes to be a part of his system of governance.
Community as per Quran and Hadeeth
hat is a community?
‘Though personal identity is truly important, it is essential for a community to likewise have an identity that is shared by other members of the same group, and to work in a united way for the same causes.’ Dr Shomali
As per the Oxford Dictionary,
- a community means a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
- the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
Islam uses the words QAWM/ UMMAH/ AS’HAB for a community.
Nuh (as) says;
He said: My Lord! Surely my people have rejected me!Surah Ash-Shuara, Verse 117
Our Prophet (saww) shall say:
And the Apostle cried out: O my Lord! surely my people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing.Surah Al-Furqan, Verse 30
So, in both these cases of complaints, the community or people are referred to as QAWM.
No people can hasten on their doom nor can they postpone (it).Surah Al-Hijr, Verse 5
Here the word used for people is UMMAH. There are several verses of the Holy Book narrating stories of various people who disbelieved in the message and are called As’haab based on what their identity was. For instance, As’habus Rass. The Companions of the Rass were a community in the Azerbaijan region. The root meaning of Rass is a well or water pit, but some scholars have stated that Rass was the name of a river or the city itself.
Or As’habul Ukhdood. People of the Ditch.
The term “Ukhdood” means a groove in the ground or a trench It refers to the ditches which believers were put in and set afire because of their faith. Those believers who were killed in this way were called “Ashab al-Ukhdood” (People of the Ditch); however, some believe that Ashab al-Ukhdood actually refers to those disbelievers who tortured believers. Our point of discussion is People, and so we will only focus on the word ‘As’hab’
Community, as per the Holy Qur’an, is a group of people who either reject the message of Allah or accept it, in unison. They were then either blessed altogether or underwent chastisement in this world, as a whole.
After that brief introduction of having seen various translations of the words people or community as per the Qur’an, let us move on to the topic of discussion. “WHAT MY COMMUNITY MEANS TO ME”
At this point, it is important for me to identify myself and determine what it is that bonds me to my community. What is that strong factor, that allows me to be a part of my community?
- Is it my beliefs?
- Is it my rituals?
- Is it my creed?
- Is it my values?
- Is it my birth within it?
Identity is an important tool to focus on in life. The Human is a social being and being a part of a group satisfies his inner self and gives him a sense of belonging. It also allows him to have support in bad times and company in good ones.
Islam also recommends community life where we have several examples of recitations that indicate this vital element. For example, even if one is praying salah alone in his room, he would say “Guide us to the Right Path” in his recitation, as a reminder that he is an integral part of his community.
That reminder serves as a direction to guide me towards my responsibilities as a member of the community.
O you who believe! save yourselves and those that are dear to you from fireSurah At-Tahrim, Verse 6
This verse directs us to stick to the Right Path and enjoin others towards it, forbidding all evil that comes along the way so that we are all saved from His Wrath on the Day of Judgement.
As of today, we are a community that awaits the reappearance of our Imam (atfs). It is an honour for us to hold hands and support one another in preparing the path. Through proactive Intidhar, we need to strengthen the bond among members and strive to save ourselves and other members of the community from swaying away from the path, on which lies our own salvation.
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