Maktub

February 10, 2012

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations – such is a pleasure beyond compare. – Kenko Yoshida

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Madinah

May 28, 2010

You Are Our Master in Both Worlds

You were a ruler; we came under your command
You are our king, promised from eternity
We were just a few; we have realized our goal with you
You are our Sultan in both worlds.

We have forgotten our past kings
You are the pupil of our eyes.
Forgive us our mistake, o intercessor
For the sake of our thousand-year strive.

We have transgressed much, no good deeds we have
We have become spoiled, counting on your nearness
We are rich at heart, but not covetous
A morsel of your intercession would suffice for us.

Almost no one will listen to, alas!
Our wish, so pure
In spite of your illiteracy, O Messenger of God
You are the only one to read our heart

Rosewater flasks have dried
Our tears haven’t stopped; mercy!
The cinders of incense burners have cooled
Hearts are burning with your love

No poet of ours is like Labid, or Hasan
And no poem do we have like Burda or Muallaqa
Except for the history written
By the Ottomans with rubies in red.

Cannot live without you, the children of Ertugrul
Turks will give up their lives, but not the beloved
We are eternally servants of Haramayn
Even if we die, our souls will guard your tomb.

~ Lt. Idris Sabri – Ottoman soldier defending Madinah in WWI

Perseverance.

May 25, 2010

Umm Salamah and her story

A story of patience, trials and testing times. The hijrah of Umm Salamah and her husband though was not as easy as they had imagined. In fact, it was a bitter and a painful experience. The fruits of making supplication at times of hardship (from below: O Lord give me something good from it..) and the results of trust in Allah.

Let us leave the story now for Umm Salamah herself to tell …

When Abu Salamah (my husband) decided to leave for Madinah, he prepared a camel for me, hoisted me on it and placed our son Salamah on my lap. My husband then took the lead and went on without stopping or waiting for anything. Before we were out of Makkah, some men from my clan stopped us and said to my husband:
“Though you are free to do what you like with yourself, you have no power over your wife. She is our daughter. Do you expect us to allow you to take her away from us?”
“They then pounced on him and snatched me away from him. My husband’s clan, Banu Abdul-Asad, saw them taking both me and my child. They became hot with rage.
“No! By Allah,” they shouted, “we shall not abandon the boy. He is our son and we have a first claim over him.”
They took him by the hand and pulled him away from me. Suddenly, in the space of a few moments, I found myself alone and lonely. My husband headed for Madinah by himself, and his clan had snatched my son away from me. My own clan, Banu Makhzum, overpowered me and forced me to stay with them.
From the day when my husband and my son were separated from me, I went out at noon every day to that valley and sat at the spot where this tragedy occurred. I would recall those terrible moments and weep until night fell on me.
I continued like this for a year or so until one day a man from the Banu Umayyah passed by and saw my condition. He went back to my clan and said:
“Why don’t you free this poor woman? You have caused her husband and her son to be taken away from her.”
He went on trying to soften their hearts and play on their emotions. At last they said to me, “Go and join your husband if you wish.”
But how could I join my husband in Madinah and leave my son, a piece of my own flesh and blood, in Makkah among the Banu Abdul-Asad? How could I be free from anguish and my eyes be free from tears were I to reach the place of hijrah not knowing anything of my little son left behind in Makkah?
Some realized what I was going through and their hearts went out to me. They petitioned the Banu Abdul-Asad on my behalf and moved them to return my son.
I did not now even want to linger in Makkah until I found someone to travel with me, and I was afraid that something might happen that would delay or prevent me from reaching my husband. So I promptly got my camel ready, placed my son on my lap and left in the direction of Madinah.
I had just about reached Tan’im (about three miles from Makkah) when I met Uthman ibn Talhah. (He was a keeper of the Ka’bah in preIslamic times and was not yet a Muslim.)
“Where are you going, Bint Zad Ar-Rakib?” he asked.
“I am going to my husband in Madinah.”
“And there isn’t anyone with you?”
“No, by Allah. Except Allah and my little boy here.”
“By Allah, I shall never abandon you until you reach Madinah,” he vowed.
He then took the reins of my camel and led us on. I have, by Allah, never met an Arab more generous and noble than he. When we reached a resting place, he would make my camel kneel down, wait until I dismounted, lead the camel to a tree and tether it. He would then go to the shade of another tree. When we had rested he would get the camel ready and lead us on.
This he did every day until we reached Madinah. When we got to a village near Quba (about two miles from Madinah) belonging to Banu Amr ibn Awf, he said, “Your husband is in this village. Enter it with the blessings of God. ”
He turned back and headed for Makkah.

Their roads finally met after the long separation. Umm Salamah was overjoyed to see her husband and he was delighted to see his wife and son.

Great and momentous events followed one after the other. There was the battle of Badr, in which Abu Salamah fought. The Muslims returned victorious and strengthened. Then there was the battle of Uhud, in which the Muslims were sorely tested. Abu Salamah came out of this wounded very badly. He appeared at first to respond well to treatment, but his wounds never healed completely and he remained bedridden.

Once while Umm Salamah was nursing him, he said to her:

“I heard the Messenger of God saying. Whenever a calamity afflicts anyone he should say, “Surely from Allah we are and to Him we shall certainly return,” (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon). And he would pray, “O Lord, give me in return something good from it which only You, Exalted and Mig hty, can give.’”

Abu Salamah remained sick in bed for several days. One morning the Prophet came to see him. The visit was longer than usual. While the Prophet was still at his bed-side, Abu Salamah passed away. With his blessed hands, the Prophet closed the eyes of his dead companion. He then raised these hands to the heavens and prayed:

“O Lord, grant forgiveness to Abu Salamah. Elevate him among those who are near to You. Take charge of his family at all times. Forgive us and him, O Lord of the Worlds. Widen his grave and make it light for him.”

Umm Salamah remembered the prayer her husband had quoted on his deathbed from the Prophet and began repeating it, “O Lord, with you I leave this my plight for consideration . . .” But she could not bring herself to continue … “O Lord give me something good from it”, because she kept asking herself, “Who could be better than Abu Salamah?” But it did not take long before she completed the supplication.

The Muslims were greatly saddened by the plight of Umm Salamah. She became known as “Ayyin al-Arab”–the one who had lost her husband. She had no one in Madinah of her own except her small children, like a hen without feathers.

Both the Muhajirun and Ansar felt they had a duty to Umm Salamah. When she had completed the Iddah (three months and ten days), Abu Bakr proposed marriage to her, but she refused. Then Umar asked to marry her, but she also declined the proposal. The Prophet then approached her and she replied:

“O Messenger of Allah, I have three characteristics. I am a woman who is extremely jealous and I am afraid that you will see in me something that will anger you and cause Allah to punish me. I am a woman who is already advanced in age and I am a woman wh o has a young family.”

The Prophet replied:

“Regarding the jealousy you mentioned, I pray to Allah the Almighty to let it go away from you. Regarding the question of age you have mentioned. I am afflicted with the same problem as you. Regarding the dependent family you have mentioned, your family is my family.”

They were married and so it was that Allah answered the prayer of Umm Salamah and gave her better than Abu Salamah. From that day on Hind al Makhzumiyah was no longer the mother of Salamah alone but became the mother of all believers, Umm al-Mu’mineen.

Lives of Man.

December 10, 2009

Lives of Man: By Imam Abdullah al-Haddad.

(Supplemented by: Imam Al-Ghazaali’s  “The Remembrance of Death & the Afterlife)

-Ustadh Usama Canon. 

Five Stages of the Human Being: –12.04.09

1st Stage: Life before conception, the world of the spirit.  “Alastu bi Rabbikum?”- Am I not your Lord?

When Allah azawajaal stood over all of the souls (which were to ever come into the world) which He made come out of Adam (as)’s back, He had them all before him and asked them to witness his Lordship over them.

( Negating & affirming, emptying & fulfilling) 

2nd Stage : Life on Earth: a very small slice of your true LIFE. 5 stages, childhood, youth, adult, seniority, decriptude.  

3rd Stage: the moment of death. Munkar wa Nakir, the questioning angels of the grave.

~! Malik, the guardian of Jahannam (who has a finger for every inhabitant of Hell) fears Munkar wa Nakir.  

4th Stage: Yawmil Qiyamah: reunion of the soul & body.   

Rasulullah salaalahu alaiyhe wasaalim: The final Prophet, the final chance, the Last opportunity.  

When a man repeatedly asked the Prophet (s): When is the hour? His only answers was: What have u done to prepare for it?  

Khawf: afraid of the unknown

Khashya: fear based in knowledge.  

We should have khawf. ”I didnt want to put my foot down, bc I did not know if Allah is pleased with me.”

SubhanAllah the khawf in Him, the desire for His pleasure.  

Have Khashya before giving into your Nafs-al Amara (Lowest Soul). And when you do give in to it, and are in a state of regret and repentance, remember abundantly His Rahma at the time you need it.  

If u want to know how you’re going to die, just look at how you’re living.  

The Day of panic, naked bodies running for shade. Prepare for it through Istighfaar, which should lead to Raja (hope).   

‘You never seen a hearse pullin a Uhaul’ 

Nobody will get into Jannah through his deeds. But only by His mercy. ~! The Mercy of the All-Merciful, Most Merciful.  

Ummati Ummati ya Ghafuur. Only Rasulullah alaiyhe salaam, will be calling out like this on the Day, not another Nabi will be. 

The Pen, the first of creation, was told to write, “Write! Write of a disobedient nation, and a forgiving Lord.

…SubhanAllahu aleeul adheem. Ya Arhamir Raahimin. 

If you have an inspiration to do a good deed & you don’t find proof for it in the Quran & Sunnah, it’s from Shaytan. You can’t make the haraam halal through intention! 

Yawmil Qiyaamah: -12.05.09 

——— The 7 pple who will be shaded on the day when no shade exists:

1. A just leader, the rulers are the mirror of the people, everybody is an Imam in some capacity, you are at least an Imam over your 7 limbs, your hands say to you every morning, ‘Oh servant of Allah, fear Allah.’ h/O Most of us are going to be an Imam of other people.  

”A man is someone who gives more than they take & produces more than they consume.”

”Each of you is a shepherd & each of you will be asked about his flock.”:Hadith 

2.Allah will judge u based upon how just you are. You prove that through how you treat those who are under you.  

3.He will shade the one who grew up in the worship of Him. There are 3 things, loving Allah & His messenger more so than anything, loving another only for the sake of Allah, the 1 whose qalb is attached to the Masjid.  

4. Two finite beings love 1 another for the sake of the Infinite, their love becomes infinite.

You love ALL Muslims for the sake of Allah, but that doesnt necessarily mean u have to be close with all of them, you should just love them.  

Muhabbah will benefit w.o Iman, but Iman will not benefit w.o Muhabbah. You cannot benefit from Iman without knowing & experiencing Muhabbah. (We love them for their Imaan, whereas our Imaan expounds & expands through that love.) 

In Jannah u will be with the 1 whom you love. 

Look at all non Muslims as potential Muslims, & therefore love them accordingly. 

5.A man who gets seduced by a woman, and says I am afraid of Allah, is saved from the Hell Fire.  

6.A man who remembered Allah alone & his eyes overflowed with tears. The Prophet alaiyhe salaam wept so profusely during sajdah that he sounded like a pot boiling.

   

7.A man who concealed his charity so that his left hand did not know of his right. Give & dont worry about it, dont sit & calculate it. When you’re in a family whose not as practicing, when u become stronger in your deen and stray from their ways, then just make sure to have patience & adhaab with them, bc its a crucial point of proving yourself to them.  

Allah attached His ridaa to the ridaa of your parents. 

When the Prophet [saw] sent Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal to call people to Islam, he said to him: “Invite the people to Tawheed. Invite them to: Laa Ilaha IlAllah.” 

“Every one of you will address their Lord, with no interpreter between the two. Allah [swt] will address the people. This is when the Judgement will occur. The saabiqoon will be at the forefront. These are the people who will not be judged. Allah [swt] will save them from the accounting. May Allah [swt] make us from amongst these people. Ameen. 

In Surah Waqi’ah, Allah [swt] mentions the three types of people on the Day of Judgement:

  1.  
    1. As-saabiqoon: those in the forefront
    2. As-haab ul Ameen: the people of the right hand
    3. People of the left hand: Others will receive their book from the left hand, or behind the back. May Allah [swt] protect us from being amongst these people.

We understand what it means to have a “record”. We can understand what it means to be called to account, and have all of our deeds presented before us. But think about the Imaan the sahabah must have had in the accountability. See, people nowadays can record things on camera. They can record their good deeds (ex: helping the poor) or their sins (ex: drinking). So we are able to understand what it means when Allah [swt] tells us that our deeds- good and bad- will be shown to us. Think of a video presenting all your deeds to you. You can’t deny the deeds when they’re shown to you. You will be forced to admit them, even if your mouth lies and denies the sins. Each one of us will see our lives moment by moment. So do you have more certainty that the Creator will show you your deeds, or are you more confident in a video camera? SO KNOW AND BELIEVE THAT ALLAH [SWT] WILL SHOW YOU YOUR DEEDS ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT.  

The Prophet [saw] said: “Protect yourself from the fire- even if it be with half of a date.”Someone asked Aisha [ra]: “Is there a reward for half of a date?” Aisha [ra]: “Think over how many atoms are in this date.” — Lesson: Do not belittle your deeds. 

What has Allah hidden? Allah [swt] has hidden things from us, for our own good! 

1. He has hidden Laylatul Qadr within the nights of Ramadan. Why has Allah [swt] hidden this day from us? There is wisdom in Him hiding it. If we knew what day Laylatul Qadr was (if it was DEFINITELY the 27th night of Ramadan) then we would only worship Him that night. But because the night is hidden, we are motivated to worship him every night- seeking the blessing of this night. 

2. He hid the awliya (friends of Allah [swt]) amongst the creation.  

    The Prophet [saw]- If Allah [swt] loves a servant,  He says to Angel Jibra’eel: O Jibra’eel, I love so and so. So Jibra’eel announces in the heavens and the earth: Allah [swt] loves so and so. So on the earth love for him is written amongst the people. [Imam Maalik] 

The people on earth love him, because Allah [swt] loves him. Think about it. This person fulfills his rights, is just, is kind to the people, etc. When you obey Allah [swt], you are good with the people.  There is also a narration that states:

There are no forty people, except there will be an awliya amongst them. 

Maybe someone amongst you is from the awliya. But you will never know for sure. Know that the awliya tend to know each another. So what’s the lesson? Don’t judge. He hid the awliya, so you don’t belittle people. You don’t know who is close to Allah [swt], and you don’t know who is praying Tahajjud in the middle of the night. Only that person, and Allah [swt] knows. Be worried about your individual relationship with Allah [swt]. 

Allah [swt] loved Sayidina ‘Umar [ra] even when he was worshipping idols. You see here that Allah [swt] is the only one worthy of judging because only He knows where we are at this moment, and where we will be in the end. 

3. Allah [swt] has hidden His pleasure in good deeds. Allah swt is pleased with us when we do good deeds, but we don’t see his pleasure- so this motivates to do more, because WE DO NOT KNOW what Allah [swt] has accepted, and what he has not. 

There was a prostitute who saw a thirsty dog. She took her shoes, put water in it, and gave it to the dog. The woman was granted Jannah. Allah’s pleasure was hidden in that good deed. 

4. Allah [swt] hid His anger in the acts of disobedience. We don’t see Allah’s anger, when we disobey him! So there is time to repent. We are in a state of fear and hope- which we ought to be in. 

There are a lot of ways to disobey Allah [swt]. He can forgive all, besides shirk. But there are some things for which Allah [swt]’s wrath will stay. Such as the following hadith:

Some of you will say a word, he doesn’t even realize it, but that ONE WORD will send him 70 years in the depths of the fire. 

Hadith: The feet of a man will not move on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about:

  1. His youth, and how he spent it:
    Seven people are shaded on the Day of Judgment. One of these people is a youth who spent his youth worshipping Allah [swt]. Nowadays we have this idea of “teenagers”; and teenagers don’t have to be held accountable for anything. This is a modern idea. Kids are lazy, and think they’re not accountable for anything till their “adults”- till their 18. But in Islam, once you reach puberty, you’re held accountable.  
    People say: After I get married, I’ll start living my life? But you have a life to live now, before you’re married. Live it for the sake of Allah [swt]. 

2. His life, and how he used it:       

Remember that your lifespan is your capitol.        

Hasan al Basri: O Son of Adam, you are but a number of days.        

We have a beginning, we have a few days, and we have a end. 

3. His wealth, how he earned it, and how he spent it: 

Imam Ali said: Look at how wretched wealth is. You are accountable for your halaal wealth. And if you get it from a haraam source it is ‘iqaab. You are punished for it.       

So either way- with wealth, its merely another burden on your back.

Allah [swt] says, in Surah Yaseen

“Today we’ll seal their mouth, and their hands will speak to us. And their feet will bear witness to what they used to do.” 

A hadith mentions: Everybody is an imam over something. We are first imams of our limbs. So we LEAD our limbs to actions. We are accountable for the haraam we do. We were the imams of our actions, our limbs. 

“Open your hands and close your mouth.” Don’t be just words, be action! 

The earth is there to testify for us or against us. The earth praises Allah swt. The trees, the rocks- all the inanimate objects. The earth is happy when we praise Allah swt on it. It is unhappy when we disobey Allah swt on it. The earth is happy when we make sajdah on it. 

Some of the salaf- if they did bad deeds in a ceratin place, they would go back and do a good deed in the same place, so the earth does not testify against them, but in favor of them.  

On the Day of Judgment, we will ask our skins- why are you speaking against me? How can our skin possibly speak? The unimaginable will happen on that Day.

Hadith: Allah [swt] will ask a person about their sins. And the person will keep confessing his sins until he feels lost. Then Allah [swt] says: I covered your sins on the earth and I will cover them on this Day. 

Allah [swt] will even veil the angels from your sins, if he chooses. 

Repentance: You have to have a good opinion of Allah [swt]. He wants you to repent. He doesn’t want to hold you to account for you sins. So repent. He is happiest when his servants repent. 

The most distressing time is when Allah [swt] tells the fire to come forth. The people will fall to their knees when they hear/see the fire. Even the messengers of Allah [swt] will be scared.

The fire has been ordered to obey the Prophet [saw]. Every creature is given its due.  

We do not believe that justice will be apportioned in this world. There will be no ultimate justice on this earth.  Ultimate justice will be manifested on the Day of Judgment, as Allah [swt] is the most Merciful. Allah [swt] says: Become dust to the animals. And then the kaafir will say: O how I wish I was dust.  

Abu Bakr [ra] would say: ‘I wish I was created a rock’ Why? Because of how much he feared the Day of Judgment and having to stand before Allah [swt]. 

Anybody that goes to the fire, he goes there because of God’s Justice. Anybody who goes to the Jannah, they will go there because of Allah [swt]’s mercy. We don’t hope for justice though, we hope for Allah’s mercy.  ————–

Hell-fire

Umar [ra]: If everybody was going to paradise except for one person I would think that one person would be me. If I knew only one person was going to Jannah, I would hope that one person was me.       

Subhan Allah. He had the perfect balance of hope and fear! 

People- be like the earth. It will be more pleasing to Allah [swt]. Be humble. If you think anyone is worse than you, then you have KIBR.

With Allah [swt], we only know what we have done; we don’t know what others have done.  

Paradise 

There will be gardens underneath which rivers flow. Those who have taqwa are driven to the gardens in groups. These people will say: Alhamdulilah to He who has given us what he has promised us, and has let us inherit the earth.

[Surah 33-75?] 

What is paradise?

Jannah; it is all that which no eye has ever seen, that which no ear has ever heard. Imagine what could be in paradise, imagine right now. Now erase that, bc it is greater than that. 

Subhan Allah. May Allah [swt] make us amongst the dwellers of Paradise. 

Allah [swt] connects his “masheeha”  to your “iraada”. 

Ma-she-haa is His Will. This is where the word “Mashallah (whatever Allah wills)” derives from.

Iraada is desire. **So Allah [swt] WILLS whatever you DESIRE, in Jannah. 

There are levels in Paradise, and the highest level in Paradise is Jannatul Firdaws. 

Imam al-Ghazaali: The reason Allah [swt] talks about worldly, sensual pleasures in the Qur’aan is because these are things we can relate to.  Otherwise, we would have no other means by which to imagine, comprehend Jannah.  

What is the height of Paradise?  Seeing Allah azawajaal.

You think of eyes when you think of seeing. You think you’re going to see Allah [swt] with your eyes? Eyes can not encompass Allah [swt]. You’ll see Allah [swt] with your entire being. You see Allah [swt] on that day with every atom of your being.  

There are people who see Allah [swt] once in Jannah, and some people see him once a year. And there are people who see him once a week. Some people see Allah [swt] constantly forever more. This is terms of eternity though! 

Our responsibility is to be upright. You do your duty, and let Allah [swt] -your Master will do His job.

How do we love Allah [swt]? 

By Allah, the beloved is not mentioned in a gathering, except that the lover is overwhelmed by his mention. This is how you know you love Rasulullah [saw]. You would be overwhelmed when his name is mentioned! 

The greatest sign of love is you follow his example.  Lovers obey their beloved. 

You claim to love Allah swt, yet you disobey Him.  

If you want to stop sinning. Just stop. STOP it. Don’t think too deeply into what should I do, how do I do it…what if I do it again? Just stop, and start from there. 

Allah [swt] is not rushing to take us to account. The angel on the left shoulder waits 6 hours before writing the bad deed. Waiting for what? Your repentance!

Alhamdulilah, Allah swt did not give disobedience a smell. For how badly would our sins smell then? Who would be able to be around us? This would be as they would call it: When shit hits the fan- Sin will smell.

If you’re in a situation where you know you need to be doing better, think of fear. Fear Allah [swt]. Allah [swt] will be patient. He IS the Most Patient. 

Alhaumma salli ‘alaa Muhammad wa ‘alaa alihi Muhammad. 

haqq-361

Nouman Ali Khan:

  • The Qur`an illustrates various paths, journeys to the one truth: La Ilaha IllAllah. These paths are psychological in nature, spiritual in nature, etc.
  • Of the paths portrayed in the ayat of the Qur`an, the one in Surah Fatihah is the most eloquent and the most praised path to God.
  • It is part of our creed to believe that all children have been created with a soul. In Arabic: ruh, fitrah. The fitrah is the disposition within all humans that compels them to be in servitude to a Creator.
    • Therefore, one part of our relationship with our Rabb- our Lord- is already innate within us. It is something we do not need to learn; the part that compels us towards acknowledging Him and His Greatness.
    • We see our fitrah at play in our daily lives. They are present within the ethical values that all humans- regardless of race of upbringing- hold universal. For example, a man in China, and another in India will both agree that lying is wrong. Even if they were never taught this. Lying, stealing, backbiting– these are actions based on ethical values we hold to be wrong. Why? Because our fitrah leads us to these conclusions. Therefore a man in a remote village will agree to this, and so will a posh upper-class lady from the city.
    • Other examples: if someone does you good, you want to show them gratitude; if you see something beautiful, you appreciate it, etc.
  • Of the most important ideas/concepts we all share as humans (because of fitrah) is the idea of hamd: thanks, gratitude, and appreciation. We all, as humans, share the need to show gratitude- but to who ultimately?
  • When we ponder over our existence, our being…our need to show thanks to someone burdens us. The perfection, the beauty we witness on the Earth and in ourselves compels us praise ‘something.’ When we praise the sky and say: “wow, the sky is so beautiful”, or when we praise the ocean and say: “wow, the ocean is so vast and beautiful”, we understand that though we are praising, and attributing beauty to the sky and the ocean– they are not deserving of this praise. But the One that has caused the sky and ocean to be the way they are is deserving of this praise. Even when you see a beautiful painting, you realize it is not the item that is ultimately to be praised, but the person behind it is the one who deserves praise.
  • We realize- Subhanallah- there are so many things we do not deserve, we have not earned. Have you earned the five fingers on both of your hands that allow you to complete the most basic of activities…have you earned the functioning lungs within your body that allow you to live every extra second with every breath…have you earned both your eyes that allow you maneuver each and every second throughout the Earth…have you by your own virtue earned any of your limbs…? What have you earned? Yet you still enjoy all this and more.
  • SubhanAllah, do you not feel the need to show gratitude for all this– but to whom?
    • You may initially thank your parents, but who do you ultimately praise for all this?- your Rabb.

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

All praise is due to Allah SWT, the Lord of All the Worlds.

  • Allah swt first introduces himself to us as: Allah.
  • In Surah Fatihah, we praise Allah swt –our Rabb. Neither the word alKhaliq, nor the word alQudus is used, but the word Rabb is used.
  • Rabb: In language, some words are indicative of a relationship. When we hear child, we think parent. Student? Teacher. Husband? Wife. But words such as wise, what do we think? We don’t think of a compliment. If someone’s an owner, what do they own? If someone’s a Lord…who are they a Lord over? Rabb, too, implies a relationship of sorts.
    • Rabb: master
    • `abd: slave
  • Do these two terms sound positive? No, they bring about negative connotations. We think of tyranny and injustice when we hear the words master and slave. For one, this is due to the fact that we live in America, a country which has had to deal with the terrible past of slavery. But this is how Allah swt introduces himself– as the master; not the Provider, nor the Creator.
  • Why does he introduce Himself with the word Rabb? Because in doing so, we realize: He’s not only my Creator and Provider, but He is my master.
  • Servant vs. Slave:
    • Servant comes from the word service. Think in worldly terms. When you have a job, you provide one service. If you’re an accountant, you’re going to have your 9-5 job and that’s that. You are not required to provide any other services to the firm, except those that go under your accounting job profession. If you’re told to clean the floors, and be a janitor, you can refuse to do so–why? Because that’s not the service you provide; you’re an accountant. And if it’s the weekend and you see your boss at a barbecue, do you still have to listen to him and follow all his orders as if he’s your boss at work? No– why? Because his authority over you is limited. It is limited by time and place.
    • What is slavery? If you are a slave, your boss, the authority over you has no time limits, nor any other restraints. The state of slavery is a constant state; it is not conditional.
    • This is where slavery to God is unique. No one willingly becomes a slave to any human being or object. But people willingly become slaves to their Lord.
  • A question many people struggle with is: Why has God put so much misery on the Earth for humans to deal with? The answer: Do you have a contract with your Lord? Do you have a contract which states what he is obligated to give you….your eyes, your legs, your health, your wealth, your limbs? No, there is no contract stating that you are obligated to have anything. So why do you feel that God is obligated to give total happiness and joy to the world and it’s inhabitants; has He promised you no misery or pain?
  • In this world, the last thing we do is praise, or love our master. But in Surah Faithah, the FIRST thing we acknowledge is our need to praise him- to give hamd.
  • Now you have two choices:
  •  
    1. You can be an `abd
    2. You can refuse to be an `abd
  • The Qur`an speaks a lot about wind. What does the wind do? The wind carries seeds and pollens as it blows. The wind is a means by which life is distributed on the Earth. It disperses the seeds across the land, allows the plants to flourish, etc. If the wind suddenly just stopped blowing, than the greenery would go…the animals would slowly go…then we’d go. SubhanAllah- this is the miraculous nature of the wind, and the Qur`an alludes to this in the numerous instances in which it refers to the wind.

الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيمِ

The Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

  • arRahman- the incredibly Merciful.
  • Many of us, instead of saying thank you to our Lord, say there is no Lord. Despite this, He swt still gives you more…more health, more wealth, more family, more mercy.
  • Think of someone who for 20 years has been in constant disobedience to Allah swt. Then they realize their mistake, and turn back to their Lord in Taubah.  “The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace. Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds, for those, Allâh swt will change their sins into good deeds, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
    • There sins are not only erased, but the evil they did is turned into good. This is the incredible mercy of arRahman.
  • But Allah SWT is not only merciful. Emphasizing Allah swt’s mercy gets many people into trouble. Example: If you are teaching a third grade class and the very first day you are incredibly nice to the students, what will happen the second day? They will take you as the “nice teacher”. They will take advantage of your nice-ness. Therefore you must also assert your authority and be strict.
    • Muslims don’t pray. Why? Because Allah swt is Most Merciful. He isn’t going to punish me. How can he punish me for not praying when there are murderers out there, and rapists out there?
    • The thing is Allah is also All-Knowing. His mercy is unlimited, but it does have conditions.
    • If you think Allah swt is ONLY Merciful, then you open the door to sin and crime.

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Owner of the Day of Judgment

  • He is the Owner of the Day of Deen. Deen comes from the word: dayn. Dayn- a loan you must pay back at a certain set time.
  • On the Day of Judgment, we will exclaim:  What is this book, what is wrong with it- it leaves out nothing neither great nor small?
  • Allah swt asks us numerous times: O mankind, what deluded you from your Lord?
    • He swt is asking you what was SUCH a distraction in your life that it took you away from the purpose of your life….that it took you away from your servitude to Him…such a HUGE thing? Was it the distractions of this world– a career, a spouse, family, wealth, cars, games- WHAT was it?
    • And why? What’s greater than this- greater than your Lord?
  • Muslims believe that it is impossible to believe in a god, and not believe in a hereafter. Why?
    • On this Earth, there is injustice. People’s crimes go unpunished. How many men have raped women? How many have murdered? How many have stolen from the weak and poor? People’s good goes unacknowledged. How many good people do not get recognition or thanks for their deeds? Where is the justice in this situation? Is this world just at all then?
    • Example: If a man kills 2 people, what’s the most you can do to him? You can kill him. But how many times can you kill him? Only once; not twice. So is this justice…he killed 2 people, yet he is only being killed once. In this itself there is a sense of injustice.
    • You believe this Earth is created by a God. And we know this Earth has injustice. But our Creator- God- cannot be seen as unjust. Because God is not less than Perfect. He is Perfection; He is Justice. This is where people get STUCK! If God is Perfect, Most Merciful, then WHY is there so much injustice in the world? This is why we believe in a hereafter. There is injustice in the world. But in the hereafter is where we shall see Allah’s Perfection shine; we shall witness his Justice. He is Owner of the Day of Justice- the Day of Judgement.
    • Remember, whatever concept of `adl (justice) we have, comes from Allah swt, who exhibits the absolute characteristic of `adl.

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You alone we worship and you alone we ask for help.

  • If you have a test, what do you do? You study. If it’s in a couple of days, you shut yourself from the world and you study non-stop. If you don’t know what to study, who do you ask? You ask the professor. You find out from the source what you need to study. You don’t make up your plan of what to study and do that. Why? Because than all your efforts would be a waste of time, because it is not what the professor was testing, or what the professor wanted.
    • So how do we worship Allah swt? Let’s sing for him. Let’s dance for him. This is what other people do (ie: Hindus, Christians).
    • But we find out for ourselves FROM God what He wants from us. How do we know what to do? We go to Him.
    • “We enslave ourselves willingly to You.”
    • “O Allah help us because we don’t even know how to serve you WITHOUT you.” Look at our pathetic state.

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Guide us on the straight path.

  • Guide us:
    1. to
    2. through
    3. and along (the straight path).
  • You don’t just want Him to guide you TO the path, but through it. And then you want Him to to be with you the whole time while you are on the path.
  • Throughout history, many battles have been going on.
    1. Women vs. Men: If you try to make laws/ rules between women and men, they will NEVER be objective. Because either a man or a woman will be making the rules and decisions. It is not possible to be objective. If a man makes a judgment, he’ll be inclined towards what a man wants. The same is the case if the woman was making a decision. Who can dictate justice then between the two? Only God is capable of doing this. Because He is beyond man and woman, and He is neither. Therefore in the Qur`an, Allah swt legislates justice between man and woman.
    2. Labor vs. Capitol (Boss vs. Worker): There is a constant conflict between the two. The boss will ask the worker to work more for less pay. The worker will ask for more pay and less hours. Where is the compromise? Who can be just? Only Allah swt.
    3. Government vs. the People: The govt will ask for more taxes. The people will argue for less tax. The govt will want more control. The people will want less control.
    4. Body vs. Soul: This is the greatest of conflicts. Our bodies have appetites and physical pursuits, material pursuits, etc. “What do I drive? What do I wear? How do I look? How much do I want to make?” Then we have our spiritual pursuits- of the soul. We have a void within us. We have a void within our hearts. We ask: “Who created me? What’s my purpose? What’s after death?”
      • People fall into 2 extremes. They are either VERY materialistic (body), or either very philosophical (soul).
  • Siraat: It comes from the word for sword.
    1. straight
    2. long
    3. wide
    4. dangerous
  • Mustaqeem: straight. Linguistically, the word is specifically used for “vertically straight.”
  •  
    • We are asking Allah swt to guide us towards a path UP. “Guide us UP to you- vertically that is.” So when we ask Allah swt in this surah, we ask Him to take us away from the Earth and its vanities and guide us towards Him.
    • Also, when we ask in this surah, we ask Him swt to raise us (this is in a vertical direction as well). “Allah swt will raise you in your ranks (Quran).”
    • Allah says: those of you who believe- what is wrong with you? Are you content with the worldly life as opposed to the life of the hereafter?
  • Nasta`een: we seek Your help. Comes from the root word which means “to be engaged in something- something that you can’t complete. Therefore you ask somebody to help you.” So we’re trying to be good Muslims, but we acknowledge that without Allah swt we cannot fulfill this. We need His help.
    • “The Lord will only help you…only when you put in the effort.” Across the Qur`an, this is the norm. Allah swt won’t help us, if we don’t help ourselves.
    • People get stuck thinking, God doesn’t love me, or He hasn’t blessed me because I’m in such and such position. Or they think: forget God, I’ll do it all myself. I don’t need Him.
    • We need to be people of thoughts AND actions. Some people have thoughts (knowledge) but NO action. Others have lots of action, but NOT proper thoughts (knowledge). Therefore, you will see people doing actions that they think are Islamic, but they are not.
    • Example: If you’re reading more tafseer (gaining more knowledge), it HAS TO translate into action. You should be praying more qiyaam ul layl. If you’re not changing in your actions, then there’s an evident imbalance between your thoughts and your actions. Islam aims to achieve the balance.
  • In the Qur`an, two terms are always related: Rabb and guidance. The Rabb will give you guidance if you ask Him. YOU NEED TO TRULY SEEK GUIDANCE FROM THE QUR`AN.
  • When you appreciate human literary beauty, then you realize the perfection of divine literary beauty. So be well read, and understand literature. It will help you appreciate the Qur`an.
  • If you want to learn anything, ask Allah swt, and He swt will make it easy for you. Learn for the Sake of Allah swt and He swt will help you. Arabic is the language of the Qur`an, it is the language of the Propeht saw and the language of all our pious predecessors– so learn it, and ask Allah swt to help you learn it.
  • Read the Qur`an and love the Qur`an. Make the Qur`an your hobby.

Hmm…

October 23, 2008

This world is a treasure, and it is a serpent. Some people play with the treasure, some

with the serpent. Those who play with the serpent must give their hearts over to being

bitten by it. It bites the tail, and the head. If it bites the tail and you don’t wake up, it will

bite the head.

Those who turn away from the serpent and have not been deluded by its jewels and

kindness put the shaykh that is intellect in front—because the shaykh of intellect is the

emerald [that blinds] the serpent’s gaze. When the dragon-like serpent sees that the

shaykh of intellect is the leader of the caravan, it becomes low, lowly, and frail. In that

water it used to be like a shark, but under the foot of intellect it becomes a bridge. Its

poison becomes sugar, its thorns roses. It used to be a highwayman, but it becomes the

escort. It used to be the stuff of fear, but it becomes the stuff of security. (313)

2.

Intellect takes you to the threshold, but it doesn’t take you into the house. There intellect

is a veil, the heart a veil, the secret heart a veil. (180)

3.

Intellect is a master archer. It can pull the bowstring to the ear. However, the this-worldly

intellect is laid low by nature. It can pull the string, but not to the ear. With a thousand

tricks it makes it reach the mouth. If you let go of the bowstring from the mouth, what

work can it do? Only if you let it go from the ear will it make a wound.

So, words that come from the mouth are nothing—only if they come from action and

practice. I am the least of the least and the lowest of the low. God knows my soul better

than I, and I know my soul better than you.

The words of the this-worldly intellect come from the mouth. The words of the thatworldly

intellect are an arrow shot from the depth of the soul. Therefore, If only a Koran,

whereby the mountains were set in motion, or the earth were cleft [13:31].

Words that don’t spring up from thought

aren’t suited for speaking or writing.

One should look both before and behind so that love for this world does not become a

barrier, for your love for a thing makes you blind and deaf. When love for this world

dominates over love of religion, it makes you blind and deaf. The result is We have put

before them a barrier, and behind them a barrier [36:9]. It may be that they will repent

and wakefulness will arrive. Then that love will decrease, and the barrier will become

thinner. For the most part, this is achieved through companionship with good

companions. Good companions last with someone who is sweet-tempered and longsuffering.

~ Me & Rumi.

The Means…

June 3, 2008

The Means Towards Knowledge
–Shaykh Hussein Abdul Sattar

Everything that was created on Earth, all of nature and living creation, was put here as a means for us to better serve our purpose. Not only to help us fulfill our servitude to the Lord of all creation but more adequately pass the test of dunya. We should use our environment as well as our society to achieve a perfect form of servitude to Allah azawajaal. We do this by purifying every intention for Allah before every interaction with our universe.

The 5 senses of the human were given so to ascertain the different facades of our environment into information. This information is further processed through our Intellect so to produce further explication and expansion. Thus, we go from our basic sensory to our power of logic and reason, and from there, there is one higher form of comprehension, which is Wahy (revelation).

Wahy literally means to inspire secretly/ to reveal. Wahy is above and beyond the senses and logic for it does not have fault, whereas our sensory system and our reasoning can have errors and weaknesses. Wahy is only inspired by Allah azawajaal.

–Reason makes logic out of the senses, in observation of the environment and ascertainment that the world in its’ natural state is in a certain order, that it is not random, but that its there for a purpose. Wahy further proves this basic notion by conjoining our senses and reasoning, indeed proving the existence of Allah azawajaal.

Wahy does not have to be comprehended by the Intellect! Wahy is Wahy, no matter if one understands what it means or not. By this we mean, we cannot try to prove Wahy through our intellect. Intellect can only provide wisdom behind the Wahy, or a better understanding of it. Wahy is 100% definite and correct, universal, while intellect provides reasoning that is only theory and conjecture.

That is why when we try to prove whether a Hadith is Sahih or not, we must primarily look at the chain of narration. If the chain is connected stably to the Prophet salalahu elaiyhe wasalim, then when we can ascertain that it is sound, and that it is worthy of being called Wahy.

The Sahabah (radiyallahu anhum wa radu’An) had full comprehension of Wahy. Hence, how this degree of comprehension made their understanding what it was, increasing their Iman to what it was; above and beyond.

Lecture can be found @ http://sacredlearning.org/classrooms/miracles/index.htm , part of The Miracle of Revelation series.

 

The Muslimah’s Soul;

March 16, 2008

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Asalaamu Alaikum,

Wa rahmatullahi wa barakato!

I hope everyone is doing well, in the best of health and Imaan, in shaa ‘Allah. I had started a book reading for “The Ideal Muslimah” by Muhammad Ali  Al-Hashimi, via email almost a year ago, and it went on for a time but stopped eventually. Insha’Allah this time I intend to finish the book, sending out a chapter summary once a week or so, so that we may all benefit from one another’s knowledge and texts.  Each chapter is about 3 pages long, so take your time reading, and nevertheless don’t forsake reading it all together.

Bismillah, walhamdulillah, wasalaatu wasalaamu ala’Rasulillah, w’ala Barakatullah.

The Muslim Woman and her Soul!

The Muslim woman does not neglect to polish her soul through worship, dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and reading the Qur’an; she never neglects to perform acts of worship at the appointed times. Just as she takes care of her body and mind, she also takes care of her soul, as she understands that the human being is composed of a body, a mind and a soul, and that all three deserve appropriate attention. A person may be distinguished by the balance he or she strikes between body, mind and soul, so that none is cared for at the expense of another.  Striking this balance guarantees the development of a sound, mature and moderate character.

1.)    She performs acts of worship regularly and purifies her soul

The Muslim woman pays due attention to her soul and polishes it through worship, doing so with a pure and calm approach that will allow the spiritual meanings to penetrate deep into her being. She removes herself from the hustle and bustle of life, and concentrates on her worship as much as she is able to. When she prays, she does so with calmness of heart and clearness of mind, so that her soul may be refreshed by the meaning of the words of the Qur’an, dhikr and tasbeeh that she is mentioning. Then she sits alone for a little while, praising and glorifying Allaah, and reciting some ayat from His book, and meditating upon the beautiful meanings of the words she is reciting. She checks her attitude and behavior every now and then, correcting herself is she has done anything wrong or fallen short in some way. Thus her worship will bring about the desired results of purity of soul, cleansing of her sins, and freeing from the bonds of Shaytan whose constant whispering may destroy a person. If she makes a mistake or stumbles from the Straight Path, the true Muslim woman soon puts it right, seeks forgiveness from Allaah, renounces her sin or error, and repents sincerely. This is the attitude of the righteous Allaah-fearing Muslim women:

“Those who fear Allaah, when a thought of evil from Shaytan assaults them, bring Allaah to remembrance, when lo! They see aright.” (Qur’an 7: 201).

                Therefore, the Prophet, asalaatu wasalaam, used to tell his Companions:

“Renew your faith.” He was asked, “O’ Messenger of Allaah, how do we renew our faith?” He said, “By frequently repeating La-ilaha ill-Allaah.”

The Muslim woman always seeks the help of Allaah in strengthening and purifying her soul by constantly worshipping and remembering Allaah azawajaal, checking herself, and keeping in mind, at all times, what will please Allaah. So whatever pleases Him, she does, and what angers Him, she refrains from. Thus, she will remain on the Straight Path, never deviating from it or doing wrong.

2.)    She keeps company with righteous people and joins religious gatherings,

In order to attain this high status, the Muslim woman chooses righteous, Allah-fearing friends, who will be true friends and offer sincere advice, and will not betray her in word or deed. Good friends have a great influence in keeping a Muslim woman on the straight path and helping her to develop good habits and refined characteristics. A good friend –in most cases- mirrors one’s behavior and attitudes: “ Do not ask about a man, ask about his friends, for every friend follows his friends.”

Mixing with decent people is an indication of one’s good lineage and noble aims in life: “By mixing with noble people you become one of them, so you should never regard anyone else as a friend.”

So it is as essential to choose good friends as it is to avoid doing evil: “If you mix with people, make friends with the best of them, do not make friends with the worst of them lest you become like them.”

The Muslim woman is keen to attend gatherings where there is discussion of Islaam and the greatness of its teachings regarding the individual, family and society, and where those present think of the power of Almighty Allaah and His bountiful blessings to His creation, and encourage one another to obey His commandments, heed His prohibitions and seek refuge with Him. In such gatherings, hearts are softened, souls are purified, and a person’s whole being is filled with the joy of faith.

So Abdullah ibn Rawaahah radiyallahu anhu, whenever he met one of the Companions of the Prophet, used to say. “Come let us believe in our Lord for a while.” When the Prophet asalaatu wasalaam heard about this, he said, “May Allaah have mercy upon Ibn Rawaahah, for he loves the gatherings that the angels feel proud to attend.”

The rightly guided Khaleefah, Umar al-Farooq (ra) used to make the effort to take a regular break from his many duties and the burden of his position as ruler. He would take the hand of one or two men and say, “Come on, let us go and increase our faith,” then they would remember Allaah, the Exalted!

Even Umar (ra), who was so righteous and performed so many acts of worship, felt the need to purify his soul from time to time. He would remove himself for a while from the cares and worries of life, to refresh his soul and cleanse his heart. Likewise, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (ra) would often say to his companions, when they were walking, “Let us sit down and believe for a while.”

The Muslim is responsible for strengthening his soul and purifying his heart. He must always push himself to attain a higher level, and guard against slipping down:

 “By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and by its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right—truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it!”

(Qur’an 91: 7-10)

 

“And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His face; and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.”

(Qur’an 18: 28)

[Other forms of supplication, duaa, come in the form of remembering Allaah before daily acts & chores, thus instilling the most barakaat in your days and dealings, Insha’Allah.]

There is duaa for leaving the house, and entering the house, starting to eat, finishing a meal, wearing new clothes, lying down in bed, waking up from sleep, saying farewell to a traveler, welcoming a traveler back home, etc. There is hardly anything that the Prophet (s) did that he did not have a duaa for. Through which he asked Allaah to bless him in his endeavor, protect him from error, guide him to the truth, decree good for him and safeguard him from evil, as is explained in the books of Hadith narrated from the Prophet (s). He used to teach these ad’iyah (supplications) and adhkaar (various dhikr) to his Companions and encouraged them to repeat them at the appropriate times. 

Thus, in this way, the heart of the true Muslimah will remain focused on Allaah, her soul will be cleansed and purified, and her Imaan will increase.

The modern Muslim is in the utmost need of this spiritual nourishment, to polish her soul and keep her away from the temptations and unhealthy distractions of modern life, that could spell doom for women in societies which have deviated from the guidance of Allaah and sent groups of women to Hell, as the Prophet (s) indicated: “I looked into Hell, and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.”

Therefore, the perseverant Muslimah who understands the teachings of her religion looks where she is going and strives to increase her good deeds, so that she may be saved from the terrifying trap into which the devils among mankind and jinn in all times and places try to make women fall.

Discipline.

March 5, 2008

Excellence in Islaam!

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, what translated means,
“A sign of one’s excellence in his Islam, is ignoring what does not concern him.”
Related by Ahmad, Malik & At-Tirmithi

The Status of this Hadith

Ibn Rajab said, “This Hadith is a basic and an important source of good behavior in Islam.” Mohammad ibn Zayd, a great scholar of the Maliki Mathhab, said, “Four Hadiths comprise a perfect code of conduct. One of them is, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger should say that which is useful or keep silent.’ Another Hadith is when the Prophet said to the man who sought his advice, ‘Avoid getting angry.’ A third is the Hadith, ‘The believer loves for his (believing) brother what he loves for himself.’ The fourth is the above Hadith.”

A Sign of Excellence in Islam

 A sign of one’s excellence in the religion, is his ignoring what does not concern him, including all things said or done. The Muslim should only participate in what concerns him, such as anything that is his property, right, obligation or under his control. To be concerned with something entails preserving and taking care of this thing that one is allowed to be concerned with. As for the matters that do not concern one, they are in abundance. Usually, when a person tries to interfere in such matters that do not concern him, the tool frequently used for this is the tongue. Muslims are ordered to utter only good words, for Allah said, what translated means, “Not a word he (man) utters, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” [50:18] Many people ignore the fact that in Islam, words are considered actions. Such people care not to preserve their tongues from uttering evil or nonsense. Mu`ath ibn Jabal did not know the importance of discretion in the words one utters, so he asked the Prophet, “Are we going to be held responsible for what we say?” The Prophet answered, “May your mother lose you! What else will lead people to be dragged in the Fire on their faces, but the result of what they utter with their tongues.” [Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel]

An-Nawawi said in his book, “Riyadh as-Saliheen”, “Know that everyone should only talk about what might lead to benefit. When talking and being silent are equal in benefit, then the Sunnah is to be silent. This is because to be talkative will usually lead to uttering evil, even if it starts with seemingly harmless words. One should always be on the safe side, a state that is indeed desired.” When a person utters only good words, he gains respect in his community. Likewise, if he is talkative and nosy, disrespect and a bad reputation are the result. This Hadith indicates that ignoring what does not concern one, is a sign of his excellence in the religion. Being successful in working the righteous deeds and gaining an increase in the number of good deeds are all results of this better behavior. The number of sins will also decrease if one protects his tongue from uttering evil. Abu Hurayrah said, “If you improve your Islam, then every good deed you work will increase (and will be multiplied) by ten folds to seven hundred times in reward. On the other hand, each sin is recorded according to its weight, until one meets Allah, the Exalted One.” [Muslim]

Ignoring What Does Not Concern You

The only way to know right from wrong is through the Islamic Shari`ah (Law). What one wishes and desires do not count in this regard. The Prophet has considered the one who ignores what does not concern him to be an excellent Muslim. Therefore, Islam alone must be consulted to define what does or does not concern a Muslim. Because many Muslims do not depend on the Shari`ah to define what they can or cannot participate in, they sometimes abandon their obligations or what they are supposed to do or say, thinking that this is not of their concern. They sometimes defy the rules of the religion by not advising their Muslim brothers, thinking that this also is not of their concern. Or, they indulge in what does not concern them, thinking that this is their concern. To get out of this confusion, one should always consult the Shari`ah to know what he is supposed to do or say.

Benefits from the Hadith

 1 — This Hadith encourages Muslims to use the time in a manner that brings about their benefit in this life and in the Hereafter.
2 — Muslims should always be concerned with what is beneficial and constructive, and should avoid what does not bring about benefit and what does not preserve the honor.
3 — This Hadith also encourages Muslims to strive hard to discipline their behavior, and to reject and abandon sins, dishonor and what brings about disrespect.
4 — This Hadith also ordains avoiding interfering with other people’s affairs, for unwarranted interference with other people’s business causes divisions and hatred among Muslims.

Shaykh Nathim Sultan

High Aims

Achieving high aims depends upon having a firm intention and a strong will. Whoever loses them will never attain one’s goals, because when one’s intention is firm, it adheres to the plan, and if one’s will is strong, the servant will walk along the right way that leads to that aim. Having a strong will opens the way and a resolute intention focuses one on the aim. If one’s aim coincides with the way that reaches to it, one will be successful. If one’s intention is weak, one will not have a high aim. If one’s will is not strong, it will (also) not lead one to the aim. The whole matter depends upon the will and the intention of the servant, and they will never be achieved without the following:

First, neglecting innovations which people make.
Second, abandoning worldly benefits and vain pleasures, which hinder one from one’s way and aim.
Third, purification of one’s heart from any vain desires that will distract one’s intention.
Make Today Yesterday’s Tomorrow!
Your life in the present moment is in between the past and the future. So what has preceded can be rectified by tawbah (repentance), nadam (regret) and istighfar (seeking Allaah’s forgiveness). And this is something that will neither tire you, nor cause you to toil as you would with strenuous labour. Rather it is an action of the heart. Then as regards the future (then it can be corrected) by withholding yourself from sins. And this abandonment is merely the leaving of something and to be at ease from it. This also is not action of the limbs, which requires you to strive and toil. Rather this is a firm resolve and intention of the heart – which will give rest to your body, heart and thoughts. So as for what has preceded, then you rectify it with repentance. And as for the future – then you rectify it with firm resolve and intention. Neither of these involves any hardship or exertion of the limbs. But then your attention must be directed to your life in the present – the time between two times. If you waste it, then you have wasted the opportunity to be of the fortunate and saved ones. If you look after it, having rectified the two times – what is before and after it, as we have said – then you will be successful and achieve rest, delight and ever-lasting bliss. However, looking after it is harder than that which comes before and after it, since guarding it involves keeping to that which is most befitting and beneficial for your soul, and that which will bring it success and well-being.
-Imam ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah 

~Islaam.com  

Sidi Ahmad

January 13, 2008

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Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq, a great scholar from Morocco who died in 1492, once said that the fragrance of his teaching would disseminate in the world long after his bones were laid to rest. It is one of his karamat, or saintly miracles, that his teachings are still alive and still enlighten many people around the word. May God be pleased with him.

Please take what he has to offer;
a cultivated, erudite history put into sophisticated words of exquisite advice,

 bismillah w’alla barkatu’Allaah…

May God give you and us success and rectify our worldly and other wordly lives and grant us adherence to the way of the truth in our journeys and in our sojourns. Know that repentence is a key, taqwa (God-consciousness) is vast, and uprightness is the source of rectification. A servant is never free of either blunders or shortcomings or lassitude. Therefore, never be neglectful of repentance, and never turn away from the act of returning to God the Exalted, and never neglect acts that bring you closer to God the Exalted. Indeed, whenever one of these three occurs, then repent and return to God in penitence.

Everytime that you make a mistake, listen and obey. Anytime you display shortcomings or show lack of enthusiasm, do not desist in your efforts.Let your main concern be to remove from your outer state anything that is displeasing, then maintain this state through continual counsel. Persist in doing this until you find that you are fleeing from anything outwardly displeasing is second nature and that your avoidance of boundaries of prohibited things becomes a protective mesh that is placed before you. At this point, it is time to turn inward to your hearts presence and its’ reality, by way of reflection and rememberance. Do not hasten the end result before you have completed the begininning. But likewise, do not begin without looking at the end result.

Act in accordance with principles and the appropriate legal rulings, and not in accordance with stories and fantasies. Do not even consider stories of how things went with others except as a tonic to strengthen your resolve.

In all of this, depend upon a clear path you can refer to and a foundation that you can rely on in all of your states.

Do not take from the words of others unless it is in accordance with your own path, but submit to their implications if you desire realization. Avoid all forms of vain and foul speech to your absolute utmost. Put aside anything that you cannot discern its benefit immediately. Beware of being extremely hard on your soul before you have obtained mastery over it. But also beware of being too lax with it in anything that concerns sacred rulings. This is because the soul constantly flees from moderation in everything, and it inclines towards extremism in matters of both deviance and guidance.

Seek out a companion to help you in your affairs, and take his counsel concerning matters that occur from both your inward states and outward affairs. & beware of the majority of people in matters that concern your religious and wordly states unless you have ascertained a person has some sound relationship with his Lord based upon a knowledge free of his caprice or love of leadership and based upon a sound intellect free of the pitfalls of others or their hidden states.

Organize your time in a matter appropriate to the times specific needs using gentleness and toleration and be very weary of either harshness or laxity. Work for this world as if you will live forever and work for the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow. Thus do not neglect the external of your worldly needs. In the meantime, do not be heedless of your destiny and final resting place.

Surrender completely to His decree with the submission of one who knows he can never overcome Him. Have a firm foundation for all of your affairs, and you will be safe from their pitfalls. Organize your devotional practices and you will find your time is extended due to the barakah in it. Never be fanatical about anything, whether it regards truth or falsehood; this way your heart will remain in a state of soundness towards others. Never claim anything you are entitled to, let along what you are not entitled to. This way you will be safe from tricks and treachery. This is because anyone who claims some rank above his own will fall in humiliation. Whereas those who claim a rank they warrant will have it striped from them. While those who claim a station less than their true rank will be eleveated to higher levels than they actually deserve. Never demand a right from anyone, whether the person is an intimate or a stranger.

The reason for this is a stranger in reality owes you nothing, and someone close to you is too precious for you to censure. Never assume that anyone in this world can really understand your circumstances other than from the perspective of his own circumstances. Never belittle any talk that involves absent people even if there is no harm in it due to the possibility of harm entering into it.

Never leave an atoms weight of your regular devotional practice. Never be lenient with yourself in lax times or times of high resolve. Indeed, should you miss some practice at a given time, redress it in another time. If you are not able to do your usual practice at least occupy yourself with something else similar. Never obey your ego even for a moment. Never believe its claims no matter what it tells you. Be vigilant about your resolve in all of your affairs to your utmost. In fact, should you resolve to do something then do it immediately before the resolve wanes. Examine your soul constantly in matters that you are obliged to do or are in need to be done. Antyhing that you are in no need of doing leave it, even if it is something that is recommended. That means not involving yourself in anything other than absolutely necessary things and real discernible needs. Treat others just as you would want to be treated and fulfill that which is due to them.

“If you desire to live such that your religion is safe and your portion is full and your honour is sound, guard your tongue and never mention anothers faults remembering that you yourself have faults and others have tongues.”

Watch your eye.

Live treating others well and avoid aggression, and should others aggress against you leave them but in the best, (most graceful) manner, as the Prophet asaalatu wasalaam did. For the Prophet asaalatu wasalaam said, “Be vigilant of God wherever you are, and follow a misdeed with a good deed and it will remove it ; and treat others with the most excellent character.

No soul will die until it fulfills its decreed portion of this world and its appointed time here. So be conscious of God and make your request with dignity. In summation, repentance, awareness of God, and uprightness are the foundations of all that is beneficial. The truth is clear and its details are weighty and significant. The affair belongs only to God. Success is in His hands.

May God be pleased with Sidi Ahmad and my thanks is due to Shaykh Hamza for the fruits of his gem, Purification of the Heart.

Wasalaamu Alaikum!