APM: The Forerunners, Metamorphoses, and The Obscurer
On 03/05/2024 | 0 Comments
sent by Zaahied Sallie



Competitiveness underpins much of modern culture. To stand on the top rungs is attractive, and many joust for this space. 

Allah does not encourage people to develop a competitive streak. Even though there may be some benefits, the harm far outweighs the good. However, Allah motivates competitiveness of a limited and specific nature: ‘Vie with one another in good works’ [2:148]. Thus, everything outside this taxonomy is mere play: ‘Know that this worldly life is no more than play, amusement, luxury, mutual boasting, and competition in wealth and children’ [57:20]. 

Within this category, Allah has placed a distinctive group, the forerunners: ‘Those who gave and fought before the triumph are not like others: they are higher in rank than those who gave and fought afterwards’ [57:10] and ‘Who strive in God’s way without fearing anyone’s reproach’ [2:148].

Many ‘Whites’ in South Africa fall under this category. They stood against Apartheid when it was unpopular to do so. These stalwarts sacrificed much. Some even made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. With them is the highest rank. Those ‘Whites’ who joined the struggle post-apartheid do not share in the same degree. It was easy to fall in step after the victory came.

The laggards in verse 57:10 refer to the Makkans who embraced Islam after the conquest of Makkah. Yet, they will also share in the goodness as Allah, the Most Generous, promises in the same verse.

Also, in the forerunner field are those demonised for their fight for Palestinian justice and liberation from Israeli tyranny. Most activists face persecution for their stance on Palestine. But a time exists in the not-too-distant future when society will treat those supporting Apartheid Israel as social pariahs. One day, when victory comes for Palestinians, and it will, many who were antagonistic towards this cause will sincerely shift their position. And others will only do so because they are yeoman following the Zeitgeist.

There is also a fourth class who will neither be forerunners, laggards, nor yeomen but a perfidious group encased in a veneer of fellowship. They are the hypocrites who will hide what’s truly in their hearts. Of them, we should be wary. They are amongst us even now.

So, compete to be one of the forerunners, striving for goodness, forbidding injustice, and doing so without fear of retort.

The Prophet (s)


The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: ‘God sent me to the world to perfect human character.’ The Muwatta of Imam Malik

It should be in the spirit of the above prophetic tradition that we embody the following wisdom:

‘The wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit—until he can admit and accept what he finds and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.’ Bill W, Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

The Obscurer

For the better part of my life, I would try to escape the gravitational pull of my tumultuous past. There existed a time too distant to remember when a sequence of events, mystifying to be discerned by such a young mind, warped my observable lens. Throughout my life, I failed to grasp a clear vision of my life’s universe. Only once recalibrated would my mind’s telescope see things anew.  

When we view our history as absolute, we obscure the present.

We, therefore, must review it impartially and courageously and rewrite it truthfully if we are to forge a new matrix from which a healthier and honest present life can flow.

Until next week, InshaAllah

Zaahied Sallie

Author of The Beloved Prophet – An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme

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