Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Invoking Allah for good for The Duniya and The Hereafter

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الاٌّخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

"Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!'' (Surah Al-Baqara: 201)
In another Ayah, Allah SWT talks about people who pray only for the bounties of this world, and do not remember the affairs of The Hereafter. Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Some bedouins used to come to the standing area (`Arafat) and supplicate saying, `O Allah! Make it a rainy year, a fertile year and a year of good child bearing.' The believers whould make supplication with this dua'h. This Sunnah is greatly recommended as it covers all aspects of good in both the world, and seeks safety from the Hellfire. And SubhanAllah, it is one simple duah that we all know.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Qur'an- The Miracle

Narrated Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu anh:
The Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwassalam said, "Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

This hadeeth signifies the power of the Speech of Allah SWT. That the unlettered Prophet was the one chosen to be given the Divine Inspiration itself is the greatest miracle among all other miracles (Mu'jizath) given to him, and all other Prophets. Qur'an is the only miracle that has no constraints of place or time. All the other miracles were witnessed only by the people who were present then. But Qur'an will be continue to be a miracle till the end of this world, for all the people, no matter where they live, as there is no place in the world, where the Qur'an is not being recited. And, because The Qur'an is the greatest miracle of all times, Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwassalam hoped that he will have the greatest number of followers on the Day of Resurrection. And this will be so, inshAllah, as we know from other ahadeeth.

All other miracles given to other Prophets and our Prophet (May Allah be pleased with them) were miracles shown to prove or strengthen the true message, but the Qur'an is a miracle in itself to prove what is says. SubhanAllah...

And Allah knows best.

Important principles to make our relationship with the Qur'an blossom

To read previous part, click here

1. Renew and redefine our intentions:

When we read a book for a course study or for work or for an exam, what is our intention? We want to understand and take maximum benefit from it so that it help us better when we need to apply it where it has to be applied. Even when we read a novel at our leisure, we want to understand the plot, the important characters etc, and we even try to take lessons from them and even movies we watch. When we read the ingredients on the grocery before buying it, we look for the key words, like Gelatin etc. We rarely read anything mindlessly, and even if we do, we realise that we haven't gained anything out of it, and turn back the pages and re-read it.

Qur'an is the book of Guidance for those who fear Allah, and this is what we should take from it. The Key word is "Guidance". Allah SWT says:

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

That is The Book in which there is no doubt, guidance for the Muttaqin. (Surah Al-Baqara: 2)

And Allah SWT says:

كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَـهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ

A Book which We have revealed unto you (Oh Muhammad) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness into the light by their Lord's leave. (Surah Ibraheem: 2)

Our intention should be to take this guidance, and hence draw closer to Allah Azza Wajal, to obey and follow what the Qur'an is guiding us to, and to not fall into the category of people Allah is displeased with. With this intention, inshAllah Allah will make easy upon us to learn and understand His Book. Sometimes, our mind while reciting it, will wander off, since we don't know and understand Arabic. For this reason, we should all make sincere efforts to learn Qur'anic Arabic, and translations with the explanation inshAllah. This will help us in reflecting better on ayahs that talk about the punishments in the Hellfire, the Graciousness and Most Supreme Power or Our Lord, His Wisdom etc.

How much should we reflect on ayahs such as:

قُلْ أَرَءَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَهْلَكَنِىَ اللَّهُ وَمَن مَّعِىَ أَوْ رَحِمَنَا فَمَن يُجِيرُ الْكَـفِرِينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ - قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ هُوَ فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ

Say: "Tell me! If Allah destroys me, and those with me, or He bestows His mercy on us - who can save the disbelievers from a painful torment''. Say: "He is the Most Gracious, in Him we believe, and upon Him we rely. So, you will come to know who it is that is in manifest error.'' (Surah Al-Mulk:28-29)

وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ لَّمَّا كَذَّبُواْ الرُّسُلَ أَغْرَقْنَـهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَـهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ ءَايَةً وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّـلِمِينَ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً

And Nuh's people, when they denied the Messengers, We drowned them, and We made them as a sign for mankind. And We have prepared a painful torment for the wrongdoers. (Surah Al-Furqan: 37)

إِلَىَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ - وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ لَنُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ فِى الصَّـلِحِينَ

Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do. And for those who believe and do righteous deeds, surely, We shall admit them among the righteous. (Surah Al-Ankabut: 8-9)
To read the next part, click here

Asking Allah to accept our deeds and repentence

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
"Our Lord! Accept from us. Verily, You are the Hearer, the Knower.'' [Surah Al-Baqara: 127]
وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
"And accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful." [Surah Al-Bqara: 128]
This was the dua'h of Prophet Ibraheem and Prophet Ismaeel Alaihumassalam when they were raising the foundations of Ka'bah in Makkah. When we perform a good deed for the sake of Allah SWT alone, we should always make dua'h to Allah to accept it from us with humility, as He is The All-Hearer, and The All-Knower. He is The Most Merciful, and the One who seeks repentence, sho we should constantly ask for repentence.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let's return to The Qur'an

Alhamdulillahi Rabbi Al-'Aalameen. I testify that there is no Deity worthy of worship except Allah SubhanAllahu Wa Tha'aala, and that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah. The Qur'an is the final book of Allah revealed to mankind, to Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam through Angel Jibreel Alaihissalam, it is our manual on how to live in this Duniya, and it is a Promise from Allah SWT that it will be preserved till the Last Day for the mankind to turn to, whether or not man turns to this Guidance, Mercy and Blessing from Allah.

The following is lessons taken from just an hour lecture of Sheikh Jamaal Zarabozo(Hafidhahullah), but SubhanAllah, it was very rich in content and gems to reflect on, and it caused wholesome amounts of emanrush in those present there, and I hope the booster will continue to change our lives towards the better inshAllah.

We, the Muslim Ummah have lost in establishing the proper kind of relationship with the Qur'an. We spent most part of our life in studying other Sciences that will help us to excel in this world, some of the Sciences that are valued only because the so-called intelligent, on-top-of-the-world people have accredited it. We live according to the man-made principles that we feel, will help us to achieve our goals (and for sure, our goals are also messed up- Ihdina-As-Sirathal Musthaqueem), when in reality, isn't our goal supposed to be to please Allah SWT in this world, and hence, attain Success in the Hereafter?! We say we are proud to be Muslims, and yet, we allow ourselves to be looked down upon, and we look up and admire the disbelievers in whatever they do, the worldly achievements they have accomplished, and their ideologies like Socialism, Capitalism etc. And stillworse, we try to be like them! Aren't we the ones who should raise our standard in our code of life, and show them something to be looked up to?

Allah SWT has given us, This Qur'an, which is perfect in every sense and flawless, as not "source of guidance" alone, but "Guidance" itself. And it is preserved by Him The Most Exalted, among us, in our hands. All of us have a copy or more of The Holy and Noble Qur'an, and we say that we respect it. But are we really respecting it in the way that it deserves to be so, in the way that we ourselves deserve?! We show respect to it in the secondary and tertiary aspects like not allowing dust to settle on it, not writing in it, keeping it elevated, touching it only when we are in the state of wudu, and at the most, memorizing a little from it. Let's just really reflect upon this! Aren't our questions always centered on things like, "can we touch the Mus'haf" if we are not in the state of Wudu for studying purposes?" Another way of our limited interaction with the Qur'an is that unfortunately, we turn to it when we are struck with distress, illness etc. For sure, The Qur'an is Ash-Shifa'(The Cure), but it is mainly a cure for the diseases of the heart and soul, it helps to purify our souls and hearts from all kinds of diseases. Allah SWT says:

يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَتْكُمْ مَّوْعِظَةٌ مَّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَآءٌ لِّمَا فِى الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O mankind! There has come to you good advice from your Lord, and a cure for that which is in your breasts, -- a guidance and a mercy for the believers. (Surah Yunus: 57)

So, what is the Primary aspect of respecting the Qur'an?!

Obvious to all of us, The Qur'an is by no doubt, the most important book in our life. We all keep saying that. If it is so, we are to really take the benefit from it, by really appreciating it, appreciating the fact that Allah SWT, with His Mercy, has allowed the imperfect, sinning man to recite, read, hold onto the Perfect, Flawless speech (kalam), to make use of it. One of the main ways of not respecting the Qur'an is when we recite it, we do so only to get the Blessings, Ajar (reward), Hasanat that comes with it. Of course, this is true. And we should continue to recite it regularly and repeatedly. But our intention should be to really understand it, learn it and implement it by obeying what it guides us to, the commands of Allah, and avoiding what has been prohibited. We are supposed to be "Shuhadah" (witnesses) for the true message, against the rest of mankind who do not have this Guidance.

Let me put it in the most common way that the people of knowledge remind us with (for all of us to benefit from). For us to have a blooming career, or pass our exams in school with flying colours, we read, and read, and read. Break our heads to understand, do the practicals etc. Toil away day and night. And on the other hand, we have just this one Qur'an which continues to give and give. and continues to make it easier on the person learning it. And its rewards will be reaped in this world, for one, and last but definitely not the least, for an eternal heavenly bliss. Merciful is our Lord Almighty?! So, let's not just wish for the Hasanat in reciting This Noble Book, let's fulfill our obligations to it, Our Lord and ourselves (ourselves as we are the ones who are really in need of The Qur'an, not the other way around. We need Allah's Mercy, Blessings, Guidance, Help ....)

Allah says:

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاَوَتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَمن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ

Those to whom we gave the Book recite it as it should be recited (Yatlunahu Haqqa Tilawatihi) they are the ones who believe therein. And whoso disbelieve in it, those are they who are the losers. (Surah Al-Baqara:121)

What is حَقَّ تِلاَوَتِهِ (The correct recitation)? Abu Al-`Aliyah said that Ibn Mas`ud Radhiyallahu anh said, "By He in Whose Hand is my soul! The right Tilawah is allowing what it makes lawful, prohibiting what it makes unlawful, reciting it as it was revealed by Allah, not changing the words from their places, and not interpreting it with other than its actual interpretation.'' As-Suddi reported from Abu Malik from Ibn `Abbas who said about this Ayah (2:121): "They make lawful what it allows and they prohibit what it makes unlawful, and they do not alter its wordings.'' `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "They are those who when they recite an Ayah that mentions mercy, they ask Allah for it, and when they recite an Ayah that mentions torment, they seek refuge with Allah from it.''

Allah SWT says regarding that Allah has made Quran easy for us to understand:

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ

And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember; then is there anyone who will remember. (Surah Al-Qamar: 17)

This ayah should be an encouragement for us, we do not have to think that it is impossible to study it, memorize it. There have been people who become determined to study The Qur'an at the age of 70 years, and completed the memorization at the age of 80.

InshAllah, Let us all take the maximum benefit from The Perfect Speech of Allah that He has blessed us with, and continue to strive to learn more and more so that we can become better Muslims. Let the Noble Qur'an not be like the books a donkey carries on its back. A donkey has no use for books, as it cannot understand it. We all possess this most important Qur'an, let's not be like the donkey. This is the parable that Allah Azza Wajal mentions in the Qur'an:

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَاراً بِئْسَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ

The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah, but did not carry it, is as the likeness of a donkey which carries huge burdens of books. How bad is the example of people who deny the Ayat of Allah. And Allah does not guide the people who are wrongdoers. (Surah Al-Jumu'ah: 5)

And Allah knows best.

To read next part, click here

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Allah SWT does not love

To read the previous part, click here.
All praise is due to Allah, Rabb-ul-'Aalameen. I testify that there is no Deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah. While writing this, inshAllah I will remember that this is for me to reflect upon first, and then all those who will read this. And I hope and pray that we will keep striving to stay away from the likes of these categories.

Allah does not love......

1. Al-Kaafiroon (disbelievers): Allah says in the Qur'an:

قُلْ أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْكَـفِرِينَ

Say: "Obey Allah and the Messenger.'' But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers. [Surah Aal Imran:32]

Allah SWT commands us to obey Him and His Messenger, and not doing so, by turning away from the path of Rasoolullah who is the most beloved to Allah, is a way that constitutes kufr(disbelief). Indeed, Allah does not like whoever does this, even if he claims that he loves Allah and seeks a means of approach to Him, unless and until, he follows the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger from Allah.

2. Al-Mu'tadoon (transgressors): Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors. [Surah Al-Maa'idah: 87]

The transgressors are ones who make unlawful what Allah has made lawful, and lawful what Allah has made unlawful. For example, a Muslim should not abandon his livelihood, his family, his wealth etc, which Allah has made halal or him. Islam teaches us to simply have and enjoy these things in the duniya, in a particular code of law, that if applied sincerely, one will be rewarded. We do not have think that Dheen and Duniya are separate, both are in fact one, just like a bottle and its cap. If the bottle is the duniya, then the cap(dheen) is a means of security for the duniya. A Muslim can love The Duniya as long as he does not risk his success in his aakhirah. Keeping this mind, a Muslim should not transgress beyond what has been halal for him, and enter the zone of haram, as this will lead to decrease in his status in the Hereafter.

3. Adh-Dhaalimoon (oppressors, wrong-doers). Allah SWT says:

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الظَّـلِمِينَ

And as for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, Allah will pay them their reward in full. And Allah does not like the wrongdoers. [Surah Aal Imran: 57]

Allah SWT talks about the wrong-doers and oppressors in many ayaat. They will face a severe torment on the day of Resurrection, and none can avail them on that Day. May Allah exclude us from among the dhaalimoon. The Dhaalimoon(oppressors) are the ones who initiate the act of wrongful action. Prophet Sallalahu alaihiwassalam said: When two persons indulge in abusing each other, the one who initiated the wrongful action is to blame, unless the one who was wronged oversteps the mark in retaliation. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

4. Al-Mufsidoon. Allah SWT warns us:

وَابْتَغِ فِيمَآ ءَاتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الاٌّخِرَةَ وَلاَ تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَأَحْسِن كَمَآ أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ وَلاَ تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

"But seek, with that which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world; and be generous as Allah has been generous to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidoon(mischief-makers, corrupts, tyrants, oppressors, one who commits great crimes and sins).'' [Surah Al-Qasa: 77]

Allah has rights over us, and we also have rights over ourselves. Allah has blessed with infinite bounties, and is The Most Generous, we need to be generous in doing goodness to our society, community, nation and the world. Our aim should be to seek The Hereafter, and not to cause mischief in this world. This ayah may sound to us like its addressing only the tyrants and oppressors in this world, like our political leaders etc. But let's apply it to us, in our relations with our family, friends and relatives. Sometimes, even saying something against our brother in Islam can cause a lot of mischief.

5. Al-Khaa'inoon (treacherous). Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الخَـئِنِينَ

Certainly Allah likes not the treacherous. [Surah Al-Anfaal: 58]

6. Al-Mustakbiroon (proud). Allah says:

إِلَـهُكُمْ إِلهٌ وَحِدٌ فَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مُّنكِرَةٌ وَهُم مُّسْتَكْبِرُونَ - لاَ جَرَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ

Your god is one God. But for those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts are in denial, and they are proud. Certainly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Truly, He does not like the proud. [Surah An-Nahl: 22-23]

The Proud are those who feel too proud to worship Allah alone, and their hearts reject the idea of singling Him out. [taken from Tafseer Ibn Kathir]

Pride and arrogance is the first crime/sin committed, and it was by Iblees (shaytan). He knew the truth that Allah is The One, The Unique, The Only Lord worthy of worship, and yet, he chose to deny and reject and obey, out of pride; pride that he was created from a more superior matter than clay. He forgot that he was so in fact, "created", and thus, he was required to obey and submit to His Lord, The Creator. He forgot due to his pride and arrogance. And this is what will happen if one considers himself self-sufficient. We always have to remember that it is only because of The Blessings and Mercy of Our Lord that we are here, and so, to please Him, is our only purpose. InshAllah, let's fight the pride in us that makes us give more importance to the desires of our Nafs, and let's humble ourselves in front of Allah, and submit to him completely. Let's become "Slaves of Allah", and hence, become the "Masters of this Duniya". (If we become masters of the duniya, then we will control our duniya, our life, not the other way around, where we fall into the traps and mirages of this duniya, hence becoming "slaves to duniya")

7. Al-Mukhtaal and Al-Fakhoor: Allah SWT says:

وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَرَحاً إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

"And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster". [Surah Luqmaan: 18]

The arrogant boaster loves himself, and feels he is better than the others. He will look down upon others with pride and arrogance. The way he walks will also reflect his pride. The lessons that we can take from this ayah are numerous. We should humble ourselves by remembering that all mankind is from the same father and mother, Adam and Hawwa(Eve) Alaihummassalam. Wealth, status, family name or power will not make anyone in a higher position than the rest. Only our humble deeds that are for the sake of Allah alone can make our status higher. And we do not know who has a high position in the eyes of Our Lord Azza Wajal. Therefore, we cannot judge, or look down upon anyone. We should never deal with our house maids or other people who do lowly jobs (but without whom we wouldn't have comfortable lives), in an arrogant way. We should be cheerful to everyone, and smile genuinely to everyone. Our humility should be reflected in the way we walk and the way we dress.


Let us "really" love Allah. As Allah says:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. Muhammad), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'' [Surah Aal Imran: 31]

May Allah SWT always keep us on the path of those whom He is pleased with, and not on the path of those whom He does not like, aameen...

And Allah knows best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Respecting and honoring the scholars

'Abadah ibn As-samit narrated, RasulAllah salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "He who does not respect our elders, and is not merciful with our children, and does not honor our scholars is not one of my Ummah."
(Ahmad; at-Tabaraani; al-Haakim)

SubhanAllah...especially the last line of the hadeeth...

Very often, people like to point out the flaws and weaknesses of the scholars rather than take good lessons from them. Allah SWT and Rasoolullah has given such a high status for the one who is learned and scholarly in regards to Our Dheen. And we, the students of knowledge or the laymen try to act as their judges, as though we have achieved more than them, and criticise them. SubhanAllah, this is such a grave mistake. We should always respect and honor our scholars. (This goes for anyone who is learning the Dheen, and giving Da'wah, we should never look down upon them.) They are the ones who are actually obeying the teaching of Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam of passing on and spreading of knowledge. In his Khutbah- last sermon during his Hajj, he said, "Listen to what I am saying very carefully, and take these words to those who could not be present here today". Allah SWT will preserve the Sunnah of Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam, and it is through our scholars that the religion is preserved.

Arise and Act- Surah Al-Muddatir: 1-7

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

يأَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ - قُمْ فَأَنذِرْ - وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ - وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ - وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ - وَلاَ تَمْنُن تَسْتَكْثِرُ - وَلِرَبِّكَ فَاصْبِرْ

1. O you enveloped in garments!
2. Arise and warn!
3. And magnify your Lord!
4. And purify your garments!
5. And keep away from Ar-Rujz (idols)!
6. And give not a thing in order to have more.
7. And be patient for the sake of your Lord!
[Surah Al-Muddathir: 1-7]

After the first Revelation, (Surah Al-Alaq: 1-5) in the cave of Hira through Jibreel Alaihissalam, Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam fled in fear to his house and asked to be wrapped up. Khadeejah Radhiyallahu anha, his wife wraps him up, and consoles him and then later on, takes him to Waraqa Ibn Nawfel (her cousin), who was a Christian monk who was well-versed in The Gospels. Waraqa after hearing what had happened to Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam said, "This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they drive me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, "Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while.

Then, as narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah Al-Ansari while talking about the period of pause in revelation reporting the speech of the Prophet "While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hira' sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I got afraid of him and came back home and said, 'Wrap me (in blankets).' And then Allah revealed the following Holy Verses (of Quran):
'O you (i.e. Muhammad)! wrapped up in garments!' Arise and warn (the people against Allah's Punishment),... up to 'and desert the idols.' (Surah Al-Muddathir: 1-5) After this the revelation started coming strongly, frequently and regularly."
[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Muslim]

Thus, with this Revelation, Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam attained Messenger-ship just as he had attained Prophethood with the first revealation. And this being the Revelation after the first, shows the importance of the command of Allah mentioned in these ayahs.

- Even Allah Azza Wajal commanded this to His Nabi, it is applied and implied to us also, as we are the followers of Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam, and his Ummah(nation).
- We should arise from our comfort lounge where we laze around and think not beyond the life of this world- and warn! (doing da'wah to ourselves and to others)
- And magnify your Lord!- meaning remembrance of Allah, and Glorifying Him The Almighty. We should always remember that it is because of Allah, that we are in this Duniya, enjoying all the bounties that Allah has provided us with. And therefore, we cannot live according to our desires, unless our desire is to please Allah SWT, by obeying His commands and staying away from what He has prohibited for us.
- And purify your garments!- Ibn Abbas said: "This means, do not let your garments that you wear be from earnings that are unlawful.'' Ibn Zayd said, "The idolaters would not clean themselves, so Allah commanded him to clean himself and his garments.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "This means purify your heart and your intentions.'' Hasan Al-Basri said: "And beautify your character.''
- We should not wish for more in return, when we give something, except the Pleasure of Allah SWT. تَمْنُن- in the language of the Arabs means to become weak. So if we wish for more in return, it is a sign of weakness.
-We should be patient for the Sake of Allah, if harmed by words or physically when we give da'wah.

And Allah knows best.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Abu Bakr's interpretation of dream

Narrated Abu Hurayrah Radhiyallahu anh:
A man came to the Prophet Sallallahualihiwassalam and said: I saw (in my dream) a piece of cloud from which ghee and honey were dropping. I saw the people spreading their hands. Some of them took much and some a little. I also saw a rope hanging from Heaven to Earth. I saw, Apostle of Allah, that you caught hold of it and ascended by it. Then another man caught hold of it and ascended it. Then another man caught hold of it and ascended it. Then another man caught hold of it, but it broke, and then it was joined and he ascended it.
Abu Bakr said: May my parents be sacrificed for you, if you allow, I shall interpret it.
He said: Interpret it. He said: The piece of cloud is the cloud of Islam; the ghee and honey that were dropping from it are the Qur'an, which contains softness and sweetness. Those who received much or little of it are those who learn much or little of the Qur'an. The rope hanging from Heaven to Earth is the truth which you are following. You catch hold of it and then Allah will raise you to Him. Then another man will catch hold of it and ascend it, Then another man will catch hold of it and it will break. But it will be joined and he will ascend it. Tell me. Apostle of Allah, whether I am right or wrong.
He said: You are partly right and partly wrong. He said: I adjure you by Allah, you should tell me where I am wrong.
The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: Do not take an oath.

(Sunan Abi Dawood)

- Our Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam and Abu Bakr Radhiyallahu anh were so close that the sahabi felt free to make the dream interpretation. This shows that Rasoolullah did not make his companions fear him like how in today's time, people fear people who are in high positions. The teacher-student relationship is amazing.
- Abu Bakr As-Siddeeque's respect for the Prophet (seeking permission)- "if you allow, I shall interpret it". This is also an etiquette that we should have when asking doubts to our Sheikh, or if we want to make a comment.
- The reality of the dream. Allah will guide us more and raise our level if we take hold of the rope of the truth, and love Qur'an, and embrace its sweetness. Even if we err in between, Allah will give us a chance to ascend again, through seeking repentance.
- We should not take oaths such as "may my parents be sacrificed for you" etc. This was a custom that was present among the Arabs during the period of Jahiliyyah(ignorance).

Surah Al-Layl- Sadaqah only to please The Lord Almighty

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَسَيُجَنَّبُهَا الاٌّتْقَى - الَّذِى يُؤْتِى مَالَهُ يَتَزَكَّى - وَمَا لاًّحَدٍ عِندَهُ مِن نِّعْمَةٍ تُجْزَى - إِلاَّ ابْتِغَآءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِ الاٌّعْلَى - وَلَسَوْفَ يَرْضَى

17. And those with Taqwa will be far removed from it.
18. He who gives of his wealth for self-purification.
19. And who has (in mind) no favor from anyone to be paid back.
20. Except to seek the Face of his Lord, the Most High.
21. He, surely, will be pleased.
[Surah Al-Layl]

-When we give charity, it purifies our wealth and ourselves and whatever Allah has bestowed upon us of religion and worldly things. That is a big blessing.
-When we help someone by giving charity, it should be only to please Allah SWT, this is a sign of Taqwa. We should not wish for a return from that person.
-Sometimes, when we give sadaqah or gifts to someone, and the, he/she treats us badly or they don't show that they are thankful to us, we feel bad. "I did this for him/her, and still, this is how I am treated in return"- this thought crosses our mind. But if we think that what we did is only to seek the face of Our Lord, we will feel content and unaffected even if the person we helped treats us badly. If we expect them to feel grateful to us, how much should we be grateful to Our Lord?! And isn't it us who should be grateful to Allah for blessing us with that wealth so that we can spend in charity?!
-The Mufassireen say that these ayah were revealed about the virtues of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeque Radhiyallahu anh. He used spent all his wealth in the cause of Islam and to please Allah Azza Wajal. He used to free slaves who were physically weak and had become feeble due to torture from their disbelieving masters, in Makkah. People would tell him to free slaves and help those who could benefit him later on, and he would not like that. Whenever he helped anyone, he would never consider it a debt or that the person he had helped him, owed him back.

Wa Allahu A'lam.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Contentment- Surah Ta Ha: 131

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَلاَ تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَجاً مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى

And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them, the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is better and more lasting. (Surah Ta Ha: 131)

- Be content with what we have. Continue to thank Allah, Glorify Him and be patient always.
- Splendour and luxury of this world is short-lived. Wish more for the wealth and splendour of the Hereafter, and thus, work towards it.
- Wealth is a test from Allah SWT. Use it wisely to please Him.
- Allah has given us something that is better than wealth and luxury. And that is guidance of the Qur'an : the biggest wealth and treasure of the believer. So seek it.

And Allah knows best.

Be good to people even if they do not reciprocate the same

Narrated by Hudhayfah Radhiyalahu anh:
Allah's Messenger Sallallahu alihiwassalam said, "Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well and that if they do wrong you will do wrong; but accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong if they do evil.

SubhanAllah, this is exactly how we think.

- We should be good to others and treat them well, regardless of how they treat us. Because, our intention in being good is to please Allah SWT. We often complain that so-and-so treated us bad, and so we do the same to them. What is the difference between us and them then?

- "They didn't visit me when I was ill", so "I won't visit them now"- Check your intentions then.

- Forgive, forget and do good to the one who hurts you: these are the three levels of forbearance. As Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:

وَالْكَـظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَـفِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
"(those)Who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the Muhsinin (the good-doers)." [Surah Aal Imran: 134]
And Allah knows best.

Mercy at home= positive environment= good tarbiyah

Our Lord is The Most Merciful, and Our Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam was the most merciful person to his people, especially to his family. And so this is the accepted Sunnah from each one of us, as Muslims. Mercy is the essence of Islam. We should be Merciful and kind to our children. Just as Charity starts at home, so does Mercy. What is the point when we are kind, loving and show compassion to people outside home, and we do not make it a policy at home upon which many other family values depend upon!
A'isha Radhiyallahu anha reported that Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: Allah is kind and gentle. He loves kindness in all affairs. (Bukhari, Muslim and many others)
She also narrated: Kindness is not found in anything, but it add beauty to it, and if it is withdrawn from anything, it defects it. (Albaani)
It was narrated that Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: Alah will not have mercy on one who does not have mercy on others". (Muslim)

We should be merciful not only to our kids, the husband and wife should also show Mercy to each other from which the children can reflect upon. They should not detect a least bit of harshness in their parents' relationship.
The popular hadeeth of Our Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam: The best among you is the one who is best with his family, and among you, I am the best to my family. (Albaani).

This does not mean that we cannot be firm with them. Parents can maintain firmness and mercy while implementing "tarbiyah" (Islamic nurturing) with their kids. The husband and wife should do shu'raa (consultation with each other) to decide what is best for the children, and not fight about it in front of them. They should help each other in the running of the home. The tarbiyah of the kids, the house chores etc. should be shared between both the parents. All these things reflect Mercy, and helps in being content at the end of the day. It lessens the stress that the mother would have to go through alone. At the same time, the wife (mother) shouldn't take advantage of this and leave everything to her husband.

As parents, we cannot rely on the fact that we are loving them through our actions, and so the kids will know that we love them. There should be verbal and physical affection and love towards them. Hug them, pamper them, pat them, kiss them, greet them lovingly with "Assalamu Alaikum" even if they are no more babies or toddlers. We should be nice to them, the way we are to the other kids who we meet once in a while. Our own kids are more deserving of that kind of affection.

A parent should be a friend, a playmate, an advisor, a comforter, a child, a sibling, a teacher etc. We should not feel shy or reluctant to put ourselves in these shoes. Our children should always feel comfortable to be with us, and disclose their feelings to us. When kids come and tell us they did something wrong, we should appreciate them for sharing it with us, before we reprimand them, scold or advise them. This will encourage honesty. We should always remember that we were also in their places not long ago. If we believe that as our parents, we can control them without Mercy, then we are wrong. All human beings, adults or kids are prone to making mistakes once in a while. Who shouts at us when we make mistakes? Who is there to make a big fuss when we break a cup or a glass of milk spills from our hands? No child will do these things on purpose. We should just warn them to be careful about such accidents, and get them to help in cleaning up after a mess.

Jaabir Ibn Abdullah Radhiyallahu anh narrated that he heard the Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam as saying: The one who is deprived of leniency is deprived of all good". (Muslim)

Ibn Abbas Radhiyallahu anh reported as having The Prophet say to Ashaj Abdul Qais: You possess two qualities that Alah loves. These are forbearance and leniency. (Muslim)

When family talk is going on, make each member of the family, from the eldest to the youngest, feel important. Give a chance to everyone to have a say. Address them with beautiful names always. This is a way to show respect even to one's own kids, and hence, they will learn to be respectful to us, in return inshAllah. The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalm, even when he gave advices, would address them lovingly. When Jaabir Radhiyallahu anh was young and Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalm was teaching him the proper manners of eating, he said, "Ya bunayy (oh my dear son), mention Allah's name, eat with your right hand and eat from the closest part of the dish to you". And this is also like how Luqman Al-Hakeem advised his son, by using the phrase "Ya bunayy" (Surah Luqmaan: 13)

It is natural to get angry, after all, we are human and have emotions, and anger is an emotion that is a weapon for shaytan. Our Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalm gave us tips on how to control anger.
Narrated by Abu Dharr Radhiyallahu anh: Allah's Messenger said, "When one of you becomes angry while standing he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down." (Ahmed, Tirmidhi) There are other remedies too that Rasoolullah taught us: drink water, perform Wudu(ablution) and most importantly, seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan (A'oodhu billahi mina shaytani rajeem).

With the infinite sources of stress factors today, sometimes we tend to ignore the feelings of our little ones with the little hearts. We become so oblivious to their emotions, and this in turn, causes a drift between us and them. In order to avoid that, the mother who stays home to take care of her kids, should give herself "Time-out"s and just relax herself with the remembrance of Allah (Tasbeeh, listening to Qur'an etc). The mother should take care of her health and be given time to take care of herself. She should not obsess herself with the task of feeding her children alone, and eating herself only after her kids eat, instead she should also eat nutritious food and take plenty of fluids. We should try to be in a state of wudu at all times, as wudu helps to relax our nerves. The father who goes out to work (or even mothers) should relax himself before entering his house. He might have had a stressful day, but that is not a justification in behaving angrily and clumsily with his children. The kids wait all day to meet their parents with high expectations. So once the father parks his car, he should relax by saying some tasbeeh, listening to Qur'an, drinking some water and then entering his home with a smile and hugs and kisses to give his children.

All this being said and reflected upon, it is still difficult at times to maintain our cool and for this, I came up with a "Mercy Chart". Mark on it each time you get angry. One can design his/her own chart according to one's weaknesses. InshAllah, this will help you. It helped me, and nowadays, I do not even use it.

May Allah SWT guide us to give the best Islamic environment possible and develop a good atmosphere at home inshAllah. And I pray that Allah blesses my parents and show them mercy always, and guide them always. Alhamdulillah, I am what I am today because of them. Shukr Allah.....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Etiquette of Seeking permission (Surah An-Nur: 27,28)

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَدْخُلُواْ بُيُوتاً غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْتَأْنِسُواْ وَتُسَلِّمُواْ عَلَى أَهْلِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ - فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُواْ فِيهَآ أَحَداً فَلاَ تَدْخُلُوهَا حَتَّى يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمُ وَإِن قِيلَ لَكُمْ ارْجِعُواْ فَارْجِعُواْ هُوَ أَزْكَى لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ

27. O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them; that is better for you, in order that you may remember.
28. And if you find no one therein, still enter not until permission has been given. And if you are asked to go back, go back, for it is purer for you. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do.
[Surah An-Nur]

-Never barge into any one's house, be it our your best friend, next door neighbor or very close relatives.
- We can enter the homes of your Muslim brother/sister only with their permission. And when we do so, greet them with "Assalamu Alaikum".
-If the people in the house don't give us permission, don't hold grudges against them. They have the right to say "no". And we should remember that the people in the house are entitled to their privacy, so if they have to say "no", they might have a reason to do so.
- Respect their privacy: just because we are granted permission, doesn't mean we can wander all around in their house. (or look around)
- The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: “if any one of you seeks permission to enter a house three times and he is not given permission to enter, he should go back.” (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
And Allah knows best.

Be careful "little" tongues and hands, and Trustworthiness

Narrated byAbu Hurayrah Radhiyallahu anh: Allah's Messenger Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe from, and a believer is one in whom people place their trust in regard to their life and wealth.
(Recorded by Tirmidhi and Nasa'i)

- Be careful and cautious of what you speak. Be empathetic to the feelings of others. Our tongue, even though boneless, can cause a lot of fitnah, hurt feelings etc. to others. Speak less, if you fear that you will say something wrong and hurtful. Always analyse what is at the tip of your tongue. This rule is inclusive of all the people you deal with, be it kids, spouse, parents, friends, neighbors, strangers etc. We should not take even the closest of people for granted, as this sometimes causes us to hurt others.
- We should keep a check on our actions too, when dealing with people.
- One of The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam's best qualities was trustworthiness. We should keep our promises, speak the truth, protect the dignity of our brothers and sisters. If someone places a trust in us, regarding any matter, especially with their wealth, we should live up to their expectations.
- All the above is possible if we inculcate the virtue of being cautious when we are about to do or say something, and if think before we leap, inshAllah.

And Allah knows best.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What Allah SWT loves and what He does not

Our purpose and goal in this life should be please Allah SWT, and to earn His love, and avoid His wrath. InshAllah our goal should be to keep striving to become among those whom Allah loves, and to have the characteristics of the one He Azza Wajal loves. And we should avoid all the characteristics of the ones that Allah detests, dislikes or hates. And Alhamdulillah, Qur'an gives us endless guidance to nourish this purpose.

Allah loves:

1. Al-Muhsinoon (the good doers). Allah SWT says:

وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good). [Surah Al-Baqara: 195)

The word "Muhsin" comes from the word "Ihsaaan" (Superlative of Hassan) which means Excellence in religion, in faith etc. Our Prophet Sallallahyu alihiwassalam was the best Muhsin, followed by the righteous Sahabah Radhiyallahu anhum. For us to attain this excellence in religion, in ibadah, faith, in character etc, we have to work hard with perseverance and be "Isthiqaama" (Steadfast). We have to set high goals like having the best men and women as our role models (The Prophet, Sahabahs and the rightly guided scholars).

2. At-Tawwaaboon and Al-Mutatahhiroon. Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَبِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves. [Surah Al-Baqara: 222]

We should keep doing "Tawbah" to Allah SWT, even if we repeat the same sins again. With repentance, you feel closer to Allah each time, and at one point, inshAllah we will get rid of the act of sinning. That does not mean that one can feel free to keep sinning as long as he repents later. True repentance is when we seek forgiveness out of fear of the Hell-fire, and abstain ourselves from the act again. Allah loves the one who seeks repentance as the one who does it is admitting with his heart that Allah is The Most Merciful One. He is pleading to His Lord, The King of all that He has created.

Seeking repentance also purifies oneself. And Allah loves those who purify themselves. Purification is being free from physical impurities (impurities that invalidate Ibadah- Najas), spiritual impurities like diseases of heart and soul like greed, lack of trust in Allah SWT, envy, hatred for your brother, arrogance etc.

The physical purification is the two ritual purification: Wudu' (ablution) and Ghusl (ritual bath). Our clothes and surroundings like the place we perform Salah, our bed etc should be free from ritual impurities. Spending in the way of Allah, in charity (both obligatory Zakah and Sadaqah) purifies our wealth and our hearts and souls, and Allah puts more Blessings in it, for us. Doing good deeds and constant dhikr (remembrance of Allah) also purifies us spiritually.

3. Al-Muttaqoon (the pious). Allah says:

بَلَى مَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَى فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ
Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much; verily, then Allah loves the Muttaqin (the pious). [Surah Aal Imran: 76]

The command of Allah SWT "Ittaqaa" means to fear Allah and thus obey Him, and adhere to the teachings of Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam, fearing the Hereafter. Whoever avoids Allah's prohibitions, obeys Him and adheres to the Shari`ah that He sent with His Final Messenger and the master of all mankind, is the Muttaq, whom Allah loves. And Allah has prepared Paradise for The Muttaqoon. Oh Allah, Increase us in Taqwa, and make us among us the Muttaqeen!

4. As-Sabiroon (the patient ones). Allah SWT says:

وَكَأَيِّن مِّن نَّبِىٍّ قَاتَلَ مَعَهُ رِبِّيُّونَ كَثِيرٌ فَمَا وَهَنُواْ لِمَآ أَصَابَهُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُواْ وَمَا اسْتَكَانُواْ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّـبِرِينَ
And many a Prophet fought and along with him many thousands(patient, pious scholars). But they never lost heart for that which befall them in Allah's way, nor did nor they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves the patient. [Surah Aal Imran: 146]

Patience is a very important virtue that we seriously need to work on. All the Prophets possessed this gem of a virtue, and they were able to succeed in every trial and test they had to face in this world. We should remember that our lives can never be as challenging as theirs, and if they were able to be patient, so can we. Whenever we have difficult times, we should find solace and comfort in becoming closer to Allah SWT, and seeking forgiveness for our sins. Allah expiates our sins when we have difficult times and if we be patient with it.

We should never lose heart, feel that Allah is humiliating us, revert to misguidance from guidance at times of trials. Our Emaan should not weaken, instead become strong, and believe that the trials are a blessing in disguise. Allah SWT tests us with good things and difficult times.

5. Al-Mutawakkiloon (the ones who put their trust in Allah). Allah Azza Wajal says:

فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). [Surah Aal Imran: 159]

The believer puts his complete trust in Allah Alone. Allah facilitates what is best for us. So, we take a decision that will not cause displeasure of Allah, and then we "tawakkul" (put trust) unto Him Azza Wajal. If Allah helps us, nothing can overcome that, and all victory is except from Allah: this is the attitude of a believer. Wouldn't you love people to trust you, especially your loved ones like spouse, kids, parents etc? So what about the One who deserves all our trust, The One who created us, provided for us, The Sustainer, the One who takes care of all our affairs, and has control over all matters!

6. Al-Muqsitoon (those who act justly). Allah says:

وَإِنْ حَكَمْتَ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِالْقِسْطِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly. [Surah Al-Maa'idah: 42]

Allah SWT is The Most Just, and He loves us also to be just. When we judge, we should do so by what Allah has revealed in The Qur'an. We should not decide according to our love for the person etc. Even if we have to be against ourselves or our loved ones, justice should prevail. In Islam, Justice is the foundation of Sharia'h (Islamic Law). We have our code of law (the sharia'h in Islam) for the preservation of human rights, and so we should practise the foundation on which it is built on.

7. Those who fight in the cause of Allah, in rows as one solid structure (the Straight Line): this is as Allah SWT says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ
Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows as if they were a solid structure (building firm and compact). [Surah As-Saff: 4]

We should stick to each other, as Muslim brothers and sisters in Islam with firmness and unified, to fight to defend Islam, and work for Islam, and to do da'wah. Our Ummah should be like one body, undivided by our differences. We should not be divided by nationalities, creed, race, color, madhahibs(sects) etc. Allah loves those who fight in His cause, unified.

To read "what Allah does not love", click here


Narrated Abu Hurayrah Radhiyallahu anh:
The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: Do not swear by your fathers, or by your mothers, or by rivals to Allah; and swear by Allah only, and swear by Allah only when you are speaking the truth.
(Sunan Abi Dawood)

I remember when I was in school, and I did not know about this then, and I used to say, "Mother promise" etc, hearing my peers say the same. Only Allah has the right to swear by His creations, like وَالضُّحَى, وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ , وَالْعَصْرِ etc. We should swear only by Allah Azza Wajal.

Obedience to Allah and His Messenger

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَأَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ - وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

132. And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.
133. And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqin (the pious).
(Surah Aal Imran: 132-133)

-Let's not compromise on Allah SWT's Mercy by not being obedient to His commands.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Types of hearts

Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Sa`id saying that the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: The hearts are four (types): polished as shiny as the radiating lamp, a sealed heart with a knot tied around its seal, a heart that is turned upside down and a wrapped heart. As for the polished heart, it is the heart of the believer and the lamp is the light of faith. The sealed heart is the heart of the disbeliever. The heart that is turned upside down is the heart of the pure hypocrite, because he had knowledge but denied it. As for the wrapped heart, it is a heart that contains belief and hypocrisy. The example of faith in this heart, is the example of the herb that is sustained by pure water. The example of hypocrisy in it, is the example of an ulcer that thrives on puss and blood. Whichever of the two substances has the upper hand, it will have the upper hand on that heart.

SubhanAllah, I have nothing to add to this. This hadeeth is so clear even though very eloquent and filled with parables. InshAllah we should try to be the possessor of the heart that is polished as shiny as the radiating lamp. And we should not allow ulcer to grow in us. Wouldn't all of us love to STAY HEALTHY AND DISEASE-FREE?!

A hypocrite will be misguided (Surah Al-Baqara: 17, 18)

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى اسْتَوْقَدَ نَاراً فَلَمَّآ أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَـتٍ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ - صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْىٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ
17. Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it illuminated all around him, Allah removed their light and left them in darkness. (So) they could not see.
18. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the right path).
[Surah Al-Baqara: 17-18]

- This ayah is talking about the hypocrites. When Allah talks about hypocrites or disbelievers, He Azza Wajal makes us aware of the characteristics so that we can be cautious as not to have those qualities and thus, fall into that brand. This is very important, as what usually happens is, when we read such ayahs, we just assume that this is for the hypocrites and so that we can detect hypocrites amongst us (which is also true), we take it lightly since we feel it is not for the believers.
- A hypocrite, when guidance is brought to him, he first believes, and then he disbelieves. It is like when a fire is lit, there is illumination for him, he is able to see, hear and speak. He feels safe as he benefits from this fire. And then when he prefers misguidance to the guidance and deviation to righteousness, Allah takes away the fire and light, and then he is left in darkness, and he is lost.And he wanders aimlessly, not knowing where to go, what to do. And he will not be able to return to the right path.
And Allah knows best.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Surah Al-Anbiya: 1-2 (The Hour is at hand but we are heedless)

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

اقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَـبُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِى غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ - مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِّن ذِكْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ مُّحْدَثٍ إِلاَّ اسْتَمَعُوهُ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

1. Draws near(closer and closer) for mankind their reckoning, while they turn away in heedlessness.
2. Comes not unto them an admonition from their Lord as a recent revelation but they listen to it while they play.

This is a warning from Allah SWT of the approach of the Hour, and that people are heedless of it, that is, we are not really preparing for it. Allah warns us of what one will have to face on the Day of Reckoning, in many places in the Qur'an. But we take it lightly. We are blinded by the temporary pleasures of this world, and almost forget to think about death and Hereafter.
We should all hasten to come back to the right track, on the Sirathul Musthaqueem, and stick to this path, the path of the rightly guided ones. We do not know the time of our death, and so we cannot delay in becoming closer to Allah SWT and thus, Jannah. We cannot afford to postpone our good deeds.

Joining ties of relationship with your Muslim brothers

Abu Huraira radhiyallahu anh reported Allah's Messenger Sallallahu alaihiwassalam as saying: Don't nurse grudge and don't bid him out for raising the price and don't nurse aversion or enmity and don't enter into a transaction when the others have entered into that transaction and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth and his honour. (Saheeh Muslim)

- We have no right to judge our brothers and sister in Islam. Allah is the Best Judge.
- Piety is in the hearts, and only Allah knows what is in every one's hearts. So, we cannot make conclusions of others just based on what we think and feel about a person's actions.
- Our brother's/sister's (in faith) life, possessions, dignity and honour should be protected, we should not humiliate one another and compete with each other except in 2 things: gaining knowledge and spending in charity.
- We should always try to strengthen bonds of relationship, not nurse enmity between each other. Always, forgive and forget.

Wa Allahu A'lam.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Surah Al Mu'minoon: Characteristics of the believer

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ - الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلاَتِهِمْ خَـشِعُونَ - وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُّعْرِضُونَ - وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَـوةِ فَـعِلُونَ - وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَـفِظُونَ - إِلاَّ عَلَى أَزْوَجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ - فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَآءَ ذلِكَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ - وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لاًّمَـنَـتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَعُونَ- وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوتِهِمْ يُحَـفِظُونَ- أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْورِثُونَ- الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

1. Successful indeed are the believers.
2. Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.
3. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw.
4. And those who pay the Zakah.
5. And those who guard their private parts.
6. Except from their wives or their right hand possessions, for then, they are free from blame.
7. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.
8. Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat and to their covenants are Ra`un.
9. And those who strictly guard their Salawat.
10. These are indeed the heirs.
11. Who shall inherit Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever.


- Salah is what distinguishes between a believer and a non-believer. The believer's salah will be with Ihsan (The faith that Allah is watching you, even though you do not see him), utmost fear, tranquility and in awe to be in the presence of your Lord. Salah is the only duty of a Muslim that Allah SWT directly ordained upon Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam during the Mi'raj (night journey to the heavens). Salah is a gift that Allah presented to the believer. One finds tranquility and peace in doing the Salah five times a day, if done sincerely and with Khushoo'. A believer guards his Salah by performing them at the appointed time.
- Al-Laghw means unnecessary and idle talk or deeds that bring no benefit, sin, shirk- and a believer stays away from all this.
- After Salah comes Zakah. Abdullah bin Umar Radhiyallahu anh narrated that the messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said: "I have been ordered to fight against people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and until they perform the prayers and pay the zakat, and if they do so they will have gained protection from me for their lives and property, unless [they do acts that are punishable] in accordance with Islam, and their reckoning will be with Allah the Almighty." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
- When a believer is entrusted with something, he does not betray that trust, but fulfills it, and when he makes a promise or makes a pledge, he is true to his word.

And Allah knows best.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Haram, Halal and what is in between/ purification of the heart

On the authority of Abu 'Abdullah al-Nu'man bin Bashir, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, say: "Truly, what is lawful is evident, and what is unlawful is evident, and in between the two are matters which are doubtful which many people do not know. He who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and honour blameless, and he who indulges in doubtful things indulges in fact in unlawful things, just as a shepherd who pastures his flock round a preserve will soon pasture them in it. Beware, every king has a preserve, and the things Allah has declared unlawful are His preserves. Beware, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart."

(Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Muslim)


- It is very important to stay away from doubtful matters, as one could fall into the forbidden, if he loiters in the grey area. We cannot justify by thinking and saying that since we are ignorant of the ruling, whether it is permissible or prohibited, we can practise it.

- Imam Bukhari Rahimahullah mentioned this hadeeth in the "Book of trade". When it comes to trading there are many matters that are doubtful, matters which existed then and even now, e.g. where cheating is done professionally. Therefore we have to be careful if the matter related to trading is clear and evident, permissible or not permissible, or if it is doubtful, in which case we have to avoid it.

- The relationship between the heart and the rest of the hadeeth: if one's heart is strong and firm in Tawheed, and sound with clear understanding and wisdom, then he will be able to stay away from doubtful matters from fear of falling into the prohibited area. But if the heart is not so firm in Tawheed, then he will take matters lightly, and thus, be more prone to slowly and gradually fall into the haram. So, the main issue of this hadeeth is the purification of the heart, which all of us need to keep working on.

Wa Allahu A'lam.

Aim Real High- what one should "actually" be greedy for

Our Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwassalam taught us to pray for Jannathul Firdaws Al-A'laa (High position in Jannath-ul-Firdaws), not just seek Jannah. He said: If you ask Allah for Paradise, then ask him for Al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise, in the middle of Paradise, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the (Mighty) Throne of the Most Merciful. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
We often find ourselves thinking and making dua'h: Oh Allah, at least make us at least the last person to enter Jannah. Or, Oh Allah, grant us atleast a small portion of Jannah or at least the lowest position in Jannah. Or, even "Its OK if I have to be in Jahannum for a while, my final abode should be Jannah, that's all I want." This is like how the Qur'an says about the Jews:
وَقَالُواْ لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَّ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَةً
And they (Jews) say, "The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.'' (Surah Al-Baqara: 80)
We should never wish like that, because a day in The Hereafter is equivalent to 50,000 years. Can we even bear a minor burn that comes with direct contact with fire? The intensity and heat of the fire of Jahannum is 70 or 70,000 times that of the fire in this world.
Therefore, we always pray for a very high position in Jannah. Now does it make sense that we only pray, and not try to do our part of implementing Islam(Submission to Allah) in our acts, speech and thoughts?! Is it fair? And so, we should pray such to Allah Azza Wajal, and also work towards attaining it.
Suppose, we have an exam to attend to. And we want at least a "B" or "C" grade. Don't we have to study for an "A" to get this "B" or "C"? Because, we keep in mind about the careless mistakes that could happen, and hence, lose marks. Shouldn't the same principle be applied here? In fact, shouldn't it be applied more, considering that the Hereafter is eternal; and that sometimes, when we do an act of Ibadah, our intentions keep fluctuating between the wish to please Allah alone, and the probability of wishing for the praise of others or to be a good role model to your kids or to show others that Islam is the best religion? And sometimes, we make mistakes out of ignorance or carelessness.
The popular saying goes, "Aim for the sky, and you will reach the top of the tall tree"! And this is exactly what our beloved Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said more than 1400 years ago when he taught us to make dua'h to be granted A HIGH POSITION IN JANNAH. Another scary thought but a true fact is: What happens when we are content with just doing the minimum and sometimes even taking some commands of Allah SWT light, with the hope that "Oh, Allah will forgive me for this" (which by the way, shows that we are not having Ikhlaas- sincerity that is only for Allah) and we feel we shouldn't be greedy(considering that we are not doing a lot of deeds) and just ask for the minimum from Allah, The Almighty -And then we miss this minimal requirement because of some carelessness or due to a forgotten sin? What happens then?? We get degraded- and to where? Oh Allah, forbid it for us, aameen...On the other hand, if we were to miss the high position that we want and ask from Allah Subhanahu Watha'ala and work towards it, we would be degraded, but we would still be in a considerably good position in Jannah, InshAllah.
Let's be greedy for more and more in Jannah, just the way we feel greedy to earn more, live more comfortably, have more secular knowledge, have the latest car and a big house, have more friends etc in this world. Let's not trade the Hereafter for the amusement and play of this world. Let's be more ambitious and try to earn more and more love of Our Lord Almighty inshAllah. Let's be a better Muslim today than yesterday, and strive to be even better tomorrow. Let's love Our Lord more and more, let's love Him more through our deeds and thoughts than just saying "I love Allah the most". May Allah grant us all Jannath-ul-Firdaws-al-A'laa, aameen.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dealing with Interest- Do we want to wage war with Allah?

Interest (Usury, Riba') is haram in Islam. Allah has made permissible for us things that benefit us and prohibited things that bring harm to us or our society. And time is proving this fact. Allah SWT prohibited dealing with Interest more than 1400 years ago; and now with the downfall and recession of the economy and the financial crisis all over the world, the economists have started realising that it was due to man-made laws of financial transactions and due to businesses being built upon imaginary funds etc. SubhanAllah....

Moreover, it is an unjust and unfair system where the rich get richer and the poor, poorer. It creates problems within families, friends and other ties. Riba', indeed is a social evil, and so it has been proved. It reduces the value of money, or rather the measure of the value of money, as money is exchanged, but in different amount. In Islam, riba' (or interest, usury) can be defined as an agreement for a specific recompense whose equivalence to the merchandise is unknown according to the standards of the Shari'ah (Islamic law), at the time of the transaction, or in which the exchange of the two properties transacted is delayed, or one of them is delayed. It is an unjust increment for one person, and this is unfair to the other, therefore making it an evil for the whole society.

Allah says in the Qur'an about the one who consumes riba' as being resurrected as a person inflicted with insanity and having seizures or as a person possessed by demons (may Allah keep us safe from that):

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَواْ لاَ يَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِى يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَـنُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَواْ وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَواْ فَمَن جَآءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَى فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaytan leading him to insanity. That is because they say: "Trading is only like Riba,'' whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns (to Riba), such are the dwellers of the Fire ـ they will Abide therein. (Surah Al-Baqara: 275)

This ayah also shows the Mercy of Allah SWT, that if we repent and get out of it, Allah will forgive, but if one again goes back to this, then he will be among the dwellers of the fire. Someone in the class asked to our Sheikh: What if we already bought a house or a car, and is making payments on it which involves interest (mortgage or where a third party like the bank who has lent the loan is involved)? To this, our Sheikh (may Allah protect him) said: Just sell it off, and then rent etc, if you cannot purchase it with full funds, because nothing in this world is worth the punishment one will have to face in the Hereafter. It is the only sin that is mentioned in the Qur'an that Allah SWT gives notice of war:

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَذَرُواْ مَا بَقِىَ مِنَ الرِّبَواْ إِن كُنتُمْ مُّؤْمِنِين .فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُواْ فَأْذَنُواْ بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِن تُبتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَلِكُمْ لاَ تَظْلِمُونَ وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ

Oh you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and give up what remains from Riba, if you are (really) believers. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger but if you repent,you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly. (Surah Al-Baqara: 278, 279)

And Allah says:

وَمَآ ءَاتَيْتُمْ مِّن رِّباً لِّيَرْبُوَاْ فِى أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ فَلاَ يَرْبُواْ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَمَآ ءاتَيْتُمْ مِّن زَكَوةٍ تُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُضْعِفُونَ

And that which you give in Riba in order that it may increase from other people's property, has no increase with Allah; but that which you give in Zakah seeking Allah's Face, then those they shall have manifold increase. (Surah Ar-Rum: 39)

Narrated Samura bin Jundab Radhiyallahu anh:
The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said, "This night I dreamt that two men came and took me to a Holy land whence we proceeded on till we reached a river of blood, where a man was standing, and on its bank was standing another man with stones in his hands. The man in the middle of the river tried to come out, but the other threw a stone in his mouth and forced him to go back to his original place. So, whenever he tried to come out, the other man would throw a stone in his mouth and force him to go back to his former place. I asked, 'Who is this?' I was told, 'The person in the river was a Riba-eater." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

All of us see fornication (committing zina) as a major sin. And this is what riba has been compared to. Abdullah ibn Hanjalah related that the Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: A dirham of Riba (interest) knowingly taken by a man is a sin worse than committing Zina (Imam Ahmad).

Allah ceases to put Barakah in the money of one who deals with riba. So we lose the Blessings of Allah in this world along with the Blessings in The Aakhirah. This is as Allah says:

يَمْحَقُ اللَّهُ الْرِّبَواْ وَيُرْبِى الصَّدَقَـتِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ

Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity. (Surah Al-Baqara: 276)

One is prohibited from dealing with interest in any way; be it the one who takes, or gives, the one who writes it and being witnesses for such a transaction. It was narrated that Jaabir Ibn Abdullah Radhiyallahu anh said: “The Messenger of Allaah Sallallahu alihi wassalam cursed the one who consumes ribaa, the one who pays it, the one who writes it down and the two who witness it. He said they are all the same.” (Narrated by Muslim).

It is very clear from the above ayahs and ahaadeeth that dealing with interest is absolutely haram, and a Muslim should stay away from it as much as he can. Whoever is trapped in this big trap, should try to get out of it as soon as possible. Gaining anything in this world by means of interest is not at all worth forsaking our Hereafter. Wa Allahu A'lam.