“Yûsuf’s story was meant to comfort the Prophet, but it was also meant to bring relief to the believers. The Companions were suffering through mental, physical and emotional persecution. It was incredibly painful and difficult for them and they asked the Prophet for stories; they were looking for uplifting. And that comfort came in the form of the story of Yûsuf, revealed to Prophet Muhammad.
Yûsuf was abandoned by his brothers: Not only did they contemplate murdering him, but they also forced their young brother into a well and deserted him. He was sold into slavery. He consistently dealt with the flirtations of his master’s wife, culminating in her unabashed calling him to have a sexual relationship with her. He was the subject of gossip in an entire town; he dealt with the interest of an entire group of women; he was thrown into jail and then forgotten there. He dealt with trial upon trial, test upon test. When one difficulty passed, in its place came another. And yet, in the end (as we will discuss, inshâ’Allah, in this tafsîr series), he not only became a ruler, but also he was reunited with his entire family in love, in dignity and honor, and in wholesome acceptance by the very brothers who forced him out of their lives.”
“by Ibn al-Qayyim, translated by Dr Ovamir Anjum. Widely read and admired among contemporary Arabic readers for its piercing spiritual and psychological insight, literary charm and its potential to bridge the Sufi and Salafi divide, Madârij has received little attention in Western scholarship, the most comprehensive treatment of it (prior to Livnat Holtzman’s excellent edited volume A Scholar in the Shadow), being Joseph N. Bell’s monograph on Hanbalite spirituality, which establishes Madârij as one of Ibn Al-Qayyim’s last and most mature spiritual writings. Given its liminal location in Sufi as well as Salafi tradition, Madârij offers valuable insights into the conceptual history of Sufism, and sheds light on some elusive debates on the nature of Islamic spirituality. The purpose of this Introduction is to delineate the main project of the Madârij, reflect on the nature of the well-known relationship of Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah’s spiritual vision to that of his teacher, Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728/1328), and on the nature of the much-debated relationship of these figures to the historical discourse of Sufism.”
Should it bother us that we speak of Allah as He”; would there be anything wrong with speaking of Allah as “She”? Some Feminists have done just that. Maybe you have come across the Feminist-inspired slogan that reappears from time to time: “Pray to God—She will answer you”—suggesting a maternal protection and caring emotional bond. But do we really want to imply that God is female or feminine rather than male/masculine?