(Beneficial, Suitable And Healthy Actions)
There is a serious misunderstanding about what is the meaning of AS-SAALIHAAT, a word which normally comes after Eemaan in Qur’an. Mostly it is translated as ‘righteous or good deeds’. Let us, however, go to an authentic Arabic dictionary, al-Mu‘jam al-Waseet, and find out the meaning of this word. The meaning is: salaha ash-shai’u: kaana naafi‘an aw munaasiban (to be useful, to be appropriate).
Unfortunately, the ‘good’ and ‘righteous’ have again invariably implied only rituals. The real meaning of the word needs to be (re)discovered. It is far from being confined to rituals. It encompasses the entire life wherein Ramadan is only once in a year, Zakaah once annually, Hajj once in the lifetime and Salaah is hardly a couple of hours out of 24 hours. What about the rest of the hours, months and years?
There is a soring need to take this word in the right context and liberate it from its limited meaning. All the beneficial, appropriate and suitable acts as per the situations and circumstances will fall under AS-SAALIHAAT which Qur’an stresses upon numerous times.
But how shall we be able to carry out the ‘beneficial, suitable and healthy actions’? Not without some qualifications. What are those qualifications? The ‘modern education’ alone may not be able to give complete answers. A blend and dissolution of duality of knowledge will.
Dr Wasim Ahmad
Department Head of Islamic Studies
Preston University Ajman
PO Box 20488, Ajman – UAE