by Maryam Amir-Ebrahimi

Before I got married, I was given unsolicited advice on how to change in order to make myself “more appealing” to brothers. Sisters would voluntarily tell me I should be more outgoing when with men, dress more attractively to get their attention and stop being as involved with Islamic activism so I would not scare them away.

Since when is our purpose in life marriage? Where in the Qur’an does Allah ask us to change our personalities, dress style and tone down our activism in hopes of getting hitched? Nevertheless, with marriage being such a huge concern in our community, many face the temptation to change their values to find a spouse.

Here’s an idea: Instead of working to please a potential suitor, perhaps we should first seek to please Allah, the One who sows the seed of love in our hearts and can bless us with our dream husband or dream wife.

Instead of looking for marriage at every event, let’s look for marriage in our relationship with al-Wahhab, the Giver of All. Let’s be honest. We are talking about al-Mujeeb, the Responder to Prayer. Those are amongst the Names of Allah! Allah gives and He answers!

If you are an individual who struggles to lower your gaze and protect your eyes, heart, tongue and body from falling into the haram, don’t you know that Allah will indeed reward you?

Every time you glance up and see someone you wish you could be with, turn away and in that moment ask Allah to bless you with a spouse who will be the sweetness of your eyes. Would not Allah listen to and accept your supplication to Him? How could Allah possibly not accept the supplication of His adamant worshipper who is painfully struggling to maintain his or her modesty and guard his or her chastity? The Prophet ﷺ has encouraged us to “Ask and you will be given…” (at-Tirmithi) Allah will give you! How could He not when you are striving only for His Sake?

In those moments in the last third of the night, in those two rakahs which you make out of pure frustration of your situation, weeping, asking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala – exalted is He) to answer you –  do you not think Allah the Rabb al-`alameen (Lord of the Worlds) will not respond to you? Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest), this is Allah! Without doubt Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is going to answer you!

The Prophet ﷺ relates from Allah in a hadith Qudsi:

“Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: ‘Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari)

What is hooking up with a brother or sister on gchat or facebook worth in comparison to hooking up with the One who can hook you up?

As Shaykh Muhammad Faqih once said, “Hook up with Allah, Allah will hook you up!”

Let’s hook up with salah! Hook up with the Qur’an! Hook up with community work for Allah’s Sake! And have certainty that when we struggle to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), Ash-Shakoor is the Most Appreciative of our work and will undoubtedly reward us.

Will that reward be in the form of an amazing spouse and an amazing marriage? Allah knows best. But the best part is that Allah knows what is BEST for us and that His bounties are limitless.

The Prophet ﷺ has told us, “Any Muslim who supplicates to Allah in a du`a’ which contains no sin [of] breaking of kinship, Allah will give him one of three things: either hisdu`a’ will be immediately answered, it will be saved for him in the hereafter, or it will turn away an equivalent amount of evil (from him)…” (Ahmad).

Thus, we must know that if we connect with Allah, we can trust that Allah will grant us whatever is best, whether it be an answer to exactly what we are asking for or something better. Allah has got our backs! Who better to trust our future with than the One who already knows it?

Easier said than done? Maybe. But what have you got to lose? If at the end of the day you are only increasing in closeness to Allah, increasing in reading the Qur’an, tasting the sweetness of your salah, and making more sincere du`a’ then insha’Allah (if Allah wills) you will have gained more than simply “a spouse” if you get married and you would have gained much more than facebook “cruising for a spouse” time while you’re attempting to find your better half…Insha’Allah you will gain more in this life and the next, and an unwavering relationship with Allah!

Here are some short, quick and amazing ways we can increase our relationship with Allah through good deeds massively rewarded inshaAllah:

–> Get what you really want: “Allah will grant whoever recites this seven times in the morning or evening whatever he desires from this world or the next” (Ibn As Sunni, Abu Dawood – both reports are directly linked to the Prophet ﷺ):

HasbiaAllahu la ilaha ila huwa `alayhi tawakaltu wa huwa Rabbu’l`arshi’l`atheem.

“Allah is Sufficient for me, none has the right to be worshipped except Him, upon Him I rely and He is Lord of the exalted throne.”

To be recited seven times in the morning (after Fajr) and seven times in the evening (between `Asr and Maghrib).

–> Say “Subhan’Allah” (glory be to Allah) 100 times. For a person who does this, “a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away.” [Muslim]

–> Ask Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters: “Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing woman, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.” [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

–> Work to protect yourself from the Hellfire: “Allah will spare whoever says this four times in the morning or evening from the fire of Hell” (Abu Dawood, was also reported in Bukhari).

Allahumma inni asbahtu ush-hiduka, wa ushidu hamalata `arshika, wa mala’ikataka, wa jamee`a khalqik, annaka Ant Allah, la ilaha illa Ant, wahdaka la shareeka lak, wa anna Muhammadan `abduka wa rasuluka (when saying this in the evening, say “Allahuma inniamsaytu” instead of “asbahtu.

“O Allah, verily I have reached the morning and call on You, the bearers of Your throne, Your angels, and all of Your creation to witness that You are Allah, none has the right to be worshipped except You, alone, without partner and that Muhammad is Your Servant and Messenger.”

To be recited four times in the morning (after Fajr) and evening (between `Asr and Maghrib).

The Lord of the Worlds speaks to us and tells us, “And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright” (Quran, 2:186).

You are coming to Allah with rajaa (hope), with a powerful combination of seeking Allah’s pleasure, striving to leave anything which may gain His displeasure and making a consistent effort to ask Him to open the best of ways for you and then putting your trust in Him that He will give you whatever is best. Of course Allah is going to answer you.

As was once stated, “A person has never held certainty in Allah only for Allah to disappoint him/her.’ Never will Allah disappoint those with yaqeen (certainty), tawakkul(reliance) and husn al-dhann (good opinion) of Him.” Hook up with Allah and know that without a doubt, Allah ‘azza wa Jall will hook you up in the best of ways.

Source: http://www.suhaibwebb.com

A Beautiful Story

March 6, 2010

Our beloved brother Shaykh ibn ‘Abd Al-Ghani narrates the following story in the Arabic forum.

He [May Allah Preserve him] writes:

“The story of Uwais Al-Qarni was mentioned in Sahih Muslim as well as in other books. Now even though he was from the Tabi’een and did not see the Messenger [Salah Allahu Alaihi wa salam], the Messenger [Salah Allahu Alaihi wa salam] had advised ‘Umar ibn Al-Khatab [Radiya Allahu ‘Anhu] that if he meets [Uwais] then he, ‘Umar, should ask [Uwais] to ask Allah to forgive him and to make supplication for him.

Thus ‘Umar [May Allah be pleased with him], during his Caliphate, used to ask all the delegates coming from Yemen: ‘Is Uwais among you?’, until finally during one of the years he met him. He found him a man not among the nobles of his people; nobody cares much for him, even those accompanying him, sidelined. So ‘Umar told him about the advice Prophet Muhammad gave him and asked Uwais to ask Allah the Exalted to forgive him. When ‘Umar discovered that Uwais was headed to Al-Kuffa he offered to write a letter to his assistant over there, so that he treats him with hospitality. However, Uwais refused and requested that ‘Umar doesn’t do that. He explained his request that he would love to live as an unknown among the people (the story is summarized and mentioned from memory).

Now, I do not claim that I met that Noble Tabi’ee himself; rather I met a man from his school. A man following in the same footsteps of Uwais, and here is my story with him.

During one of the Fridays of Ramadan, I left my house to give the Friday Khutbah in one of the Masjids of Al-Jam’iyah Al-Shar’eyah in Cairo. While riding my car my clear white Thawb (dress worn by men in Arab countries) got stained with a black spot. That really upset me. I asked myself, ‘How could I stand in front of the people giving the Khutbah when this spot had stained my elegant dress?’ I left the car and headed towards the Masjid. During my walk I passed by a store that had a big mirror at its entrance. I stood in front of it fixing my clothes and making sure my head covering is placed properly. I then continued to the Masjid.

I reached the Masjid, but the issue of the stain was still bothering me. The entrance of the Masjid had a few beggars standing there. They usually stand there during this blessed month, each of them with a story that he uses to gain the sympathy of the people going to pray. I didn’t give them much attention and entered the Masjid. I climbed the Minbar quickly, hoping that no one would get a chance to see the black spot that stained my dress in the car.

I delivered the Khutbah, and then we prayed. After prayers, I leaned my back at a pillar that was next to the Qiblah, and I stretched my legs to relax.

Now Egyptians usually go and shake the hands of the Imam after the prayers making supplications for him. I started shaking their hands while being seated in the same manner, and replied to their supplications by nodding my head up and down. I was really exhausted at this time because of the hot weather and the fasting.

At that point, I noticed a blind man crossing the lines with extreme difficulty, asking to reach the Shaykh (referring to me). Nobody was paying attention to his request, rather some of them were waving their hands in an annoyed manner since the blind man used to [unintentionally] come in contact with them while crossing the lines. The caretaker of the Masjid took his hand and brought him to me. I looked at him, and saw that his clothe were worn-out. He had the appearance of a person that if he greets others they would not reply back to him, and if he speaks no one would care about what he said. My first impression was that he was one of the beggars I saw at the entrance of the Masjid.

The man reached where I was seated; he greeted me and I replied back to him while still being seated in the same manner I described earlier, relaxing and stretching my legs.

I waited for him to start by telling me how miserable his life is, like beggars usually do, but he didn’t.

Rather he started by praising the topic of my Khutbah!! I though to myself: ‘A new method of begging! Start by showing that you understood what was mentioned in the Khutbah so that my heart would soften?!’.

Then he said: “But I have some remarks about your Khutbah, so I hope you do not mind listening to them”.

I said in amazement, while still sitting in the same manner: “Remarks on my Khutbah!! and you are the one that will point them out?!”

He replied: “Yes”.

I said: “In what aspects of the Khutbah?”

He said: “In the Language, Hadith, and Tafseer”.

After that I honestly, stared at his face in astonishment, and said: “And to what extend is your knowledge in these sciences?”

He introduced himself to me, he was a graduate of Dar Al-‘Uloom and specialized in Islamic Sharee’ah. He had completed several papers/studies on Tafseer, and he studied along side several known scholars.

I looked at the people around me in the Masjid and they nodded their heads, affirming what the man was saying.

At that point I sat straight, and crossed my legs, and said to the man: “And what are these remarks you had, my dear respected sir”.

He said: “As for the language, you have used some words of the ‘Amiyah (slang) and that ruins the nobility and sublimity of the Khutbah” (he kept speaking to me about the importance of the Khatib using the proper language, with words that increased my love to our beautiful language).

“As for the Hadith, you quoted some traditions and mentioned the source of some, but didn’t do that for the rest. Also how can you quote a tradition and refer it to Abu Dawud, while it is in Bukhari don’t you know that this is something that relegates the status of the speaker”. (Then he kept speaking to me about the methods and manners of the scholars of hadith, which increased my love for the Science of Hadith).

“As for the Tafseer, you mentioned some statements of those who interpret the Quran by their opinion, so beware when speaking about the Book of Allah and do not be like a night-time woodcutter (lumberjack)”. (Then he kept speaking to me about the different methodologies used by the people of Tafseer, which increased my love to the science of Tafseer).

By that time, people had dispersed from around us.

As he was about to stand, I stood [quickly] and took his hand. I then rushed and got him his shoes, and assisted him in putting it on. He kept asking me not to. I took by his hand to take him to his home, but he swore to me not to.

At that point, I saw that we were behind a wall where no one can see us, so I took out a sum of money from my pocket, and I politely requested that he accepts it from me. Here, he got mad and raised his voice a little scolding me roughly. I apologized to him, and he accepted my apology, and said: “You might have felt sorry for me, when you saw the way I am dressed”. I said: “Yes, and I hope you can forgive me for not thinking highly of you the first time I saw you”, so he forgave me.

I told him: “Please, comfort me, how do you live and with whom?” He said: “I will answer you briefly. I have a small income, but Allah has blessed it with His Grace, and it suffices me from the disgrace of asking [others]”. I asked: “With whom do you live?” He replied: “By myself, my children and wife have already beaten me to the Hereafter” and then he said: “I want nothing from this Dunia, and my relationship with it is not that good. All I need is a dress to cover my body and a meal that would silence my hunger, and apart from that I do not need anything”.

So I fell on his hand to kiss it, and I shook his hand and walked away for a few steps. Then I looked back at where he was heading. I saw that the people are giving him no notice as he held his stick, which he used to feel the road in front of him.

As for me, I walked thinking about myself, and how upset I was when my clean white dress got stained. As I walked, cars would slow down so that I can cross [the street], and people passing would come by to shake my hands and ask me for supplications.

They were all deceived by my looks and appearance.

I remembered the statement of Prophet Muhammad [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam], when he was between his companions and a man passed by who had the appearance of a wealthy man. So he [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] asked: “What do you say about that [man]?” They said: “O Prophet of Allah, he is the kind of person that when he speaks we would listen, and if he asks for our daughter’s hand in marriage we won’t oppose, and if he intercedes for someone we would accept his intercession”. Then a man who appeared poor and needy passed by, so he [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] asked: “And what do you say about that man?” They said: “He is the sort of person, that if he speaks we won’t listen to what he has to say, and if he requests our daughter’s hand in marriage we would oppose his request, and if he intercedes for someone we would not accept his intercession”. Then he [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] said: “That [poor] man is better (worth more) than all the earth filled with that other man”, Aw Kama Qaal Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam”.

http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showthread.php?t=896

Told by Shaykh Muhammad al-Shahrani in this video:

“…I knew him myself. I knew him, and I don’t say he was from the Children of Isra’il. He was from the sons of this land. He would weep intensely. He would weep intensely, and he would never have the Qur’an recited in his presence except that he would cry, and become humble and soft. He was an amazing, strange person.

He memorized the Qur’an when he was only twelve! However, he was older due to the Words of Allah and his knowledge of Allah, and I don’t place him higher in status than Allah would.

I tell you about him while I have placed a condition on myself that I don’t tell you other than what I saw with my own eyes. The second condition I placed on myself is that I don’t exaggerate in anything I say about him.

He memorized ‘Sahih Muslim’ with me in two weeks. He memorized ‘Sahih al-Bukhari’ with my third friend – we were three – in two weeks. Do you realize? I didn’t know that he had memorized al-Bukhari, and my friend didn’t know that he had memorized Muslim. He loved sincerity. He always loved as-Sirri as-Saqti. Do you know why as-Sirri as-Saqti in particular? Because as-Sirri as-Saqti used to pay a lot of attention to sincerity.

He was very good in school, and in fact excelled in it. He would only sleep between the time he got home from school until Dhuhr time. After ‘Asr, he would attendhalaqahs. After Maghrib, he would attend the lessons of the scholars. After ‘Isha’ until eleven, he would study for school. From eleven – every single day – he would pray all night until Fajr.

I am not exaggerating! He is from our own sons, from our country!

Whenever he would read the Qur’an, he would cry. I would read that when some of the Salaf would read the Qur’an, they would pass out. I know the dispute among the scholars on this, but I have never seen this with my own eyes except from this youth. We would pray the Friday prayer, and the imam would recite: {“And the inhabitants of Hell called out to the inhabitants of Paradise ‘Give us a drop of water!’”} [al-A’raf; 50] And he fell down on his head, and we thought he had died.

We prayed one night at my house. I pretended that I was asleep in order to see what he would do. He came over and motioned with his hand over my eyes (to see if I was awake). He woke up at eleven, and I would sleep and wake up, sleep and wake up – and he would be standing in a rak’ah and I wouldn’t see him go down. He would then bow and I wouldn’t see him come up.

On a different night, he would read the Qur’an. When he got to this verse, in front of me: {“Indeed, it is Hell, taking away the skin of the head!”} [al-Ma’arij; 15-16] he cried and passed out. I woke him up, and he got up and made ablution and prayed. When he got to the verse: {“Indeed, it is Hell, taking away the skin of the head!”} he again cried and passed out. I woke him up, and when he got to it a third time, he recited it and passed out again and didn’t wake up until the call for Fajr prayer.

He would recite the entire Qur’an every three nights in secret while praying at night, and would do so every seven days openly during the day. I am not exaggerating, as he would do this in front of me. And by Allah, he would remember Allah in a single day more than 12,000 times! I counted them myself while sitting with him – 12,000 times! I would ask him: “Why?” He replied: “I don’t want Abu Hurayrah to have done more than me.” He had jealousy, jealousy when it came to worship!

He was only seventeen at the time, when he was at this level!

I didn’t know what to say about him! Whenever he would come across a text to memorize, I would say: “I challenge you to memorize this.” He would say: “Don’t challenge me!” I would try to fire him up, and say: “I challenge you!” The next day, he would come and recite the text to me as if it were just his name. If he made just three mistakes, he would not consider himself to have memorized it. Three mistakes!

This was a person who would repent! If only you knew his sin! I will tell you later what his sin was.

If we lost hope in a youth – we would give da’wah to someone and lose hope in him, we didn’t know, and I am speaking about myself and Allah Knows best about others – he was someone whose supplication was answered in front of seventeen people who bear witness to this, in more than one incident. If we lost hope in a youth, we would tell him to go and give him da’wah. By Allah, after just two days, this person would be guided. He would walk with him for just two days. The first day, the second day, and he would then be praying in the first row! Whether he was a smoker, a drug user, etc., he would become upright right away by the Permission of Allah. This is blessing! Blessing!

One day, he would pray behind a scholar in the southern region who you know of who would elongate the prayer. So, he would elongate it, following the Sunnah. He would lead the people in prayer, and a man came and hit him on the back with a stick while he was bowing, in front of me. After the prayer, he looked at him and asked: “Why did you hit me?”

He replied: “You have whisperings! You make us pray too long!”

The imam replied: “You are healthy! You are healthy!”

The man replied: “How do you know I’m healthy?”

This youth then raised his hands to Allah – as soon as he raised his hands, my heart stopped – and said: “O Allah, take away his health until he knows its value and prays properly in front of You!” It was the ‘Asr prayer, and I swear by Allah that this man didn’t pray Maghrib with us. He was at home, laying in bed. After a few weeks, I saw him and said: “Fear Allah! The man is at home in bed! I ask you by Allah…” He said: “My brother, I didn’t mean to do this!” I said: “Ask Allah to cure him.” By Allah, the man prayed with us the next prayer!

In the Haram, he would wear thick glasses. I am telling you that this is a repenter from our times! I know him! He is my friend! I am greater than him in age, but he is greater than me. I don’t place him in status higher than where Allah has placed him.

They were in the Haram, and he was wearing glasses, and they bothered him. He said: “I can’t go to Palestine one day with glasses.” So, he went to the well of Zam Zam in front of the people – they were seventeen people – and he took off his glasses, took the Zam Zam water, said: “O Allah, make it a cure for my vision,” and drank it. He then said: “Allah is the Greatest!” and threw the glasses away in front of everyone! They wanted to test him, and they pointed to a clock that nobody could see, they asked him: “Can you tell us what time it is?” He said: “The time is such and such.” Exact! He would read the Qur’an…his vision was returned 100%!

Indeed, it is supplication! “…and if he asks Me, I will Give him.”

The incidents are many, but the time doesn’t permit me to tell them all.

You know, one day I asked him about his sin. When did I ask him? One day, he recited the verse: {“On the day when some faces will be brightened and some faces will be darkened…”} [Al ‘Imran; 106] By Allah, he cried to the point that my heart was as if it was being torn. I said to him: “The Messenger of Allah said:“The worst of people is he who is asked by Allah and is not responded to,” and I ask you by Allah: what makes you cry like this?” I want to cry like him, people! I want to feel the happiness he felt!

He said: “I committed a sin in my life.”

I asked him: “What is this sin?”

Do you know what his sin was? You will laugh at yourself. I will explain it to you. He said: “When I was in second grade, I went into a store and took a cookie and ate it, and the Fire is more deserving of a body that is nurtured on what is forbidden (i.e. he ate a cookie that didn’t belong to him).”

He died. He died, may Allah have Mercy on him, when he was only twenty. He died because of a stray bullet that someone fired accidentally while playing with a weapon. A bullet was accidentally fired and entered the body of this youth, killing him. He died as a righteous person, and I assume him to be such.

He died, and it was all over.

However, his life didn’t die. And by Allah, were it not the fact that he asked me by Allah to not reveal his name, I would have revealed it…”

Working Through Obstacles

October 15, 2009

My last post, Companionship, discussed the importance of who are our friends and how we are very much similar to those people whom we love and spend time with.  After all, Rasoolullah (SAW) said “Shall I tell you who is the best of you?”  “Yes,” replied the Sahaba.  He (SAW) said, “Those who remind you of Allah when you see them.”  He (SAW) went on to say, “Shall I tell you who is the worst of you?”  “Yes,” they replied.  He said, “Those who go about slandering, causing mischief between friends in order to separate them, and desiring to lead the innocent into wrong action” (Bukhari).  However, does this mean we isolate and polarize ourselves from society?  No, in general, we should strive and struggle to benefit ourselves and others around us.  Consider the benefical words of Ibn al-Qayyim:

Know that the greatest of losses for YOU is to be pre-occupied with ONE who will bring you nothing but a loss in your time with Allah – the Mighty, the Majestic – and being cut-off from Him.  Wasting your time with such a person.  Weakening of your energy, and the dispersing [disbanding, separating] of your resolve [steadfastness, determination].  When you are tested with this – and you must be tested with this – deal with this person according to how Allah would wish, and be patient with him as much as possible.  Get closer to Allah and His Pleasure by way of this person.  Make your getting together with him something to benefit from, NOT  something to incur a loss from.

Be with him as if you are a man who is on a road who was stopped by another man, who then asks you to take him on your journey.  Make sure that you are the one who gives him a ride, and that he is not the one giving you the ride.  If he refuses, and there is nothing to gain from travelling with him, DO NOT stop for him.  Bid him farewell, and do not even turn back to look at him, as he is a highway robber, regardless of who he really is.  Save your heart, be wary [cautious, guarded] of how you spend your days and nights.

DO NOT let the Sun set [death approach] before you arrive at your DESTINATION.

Excerpts taken from Imam Ibn al-Qayyim’s book Al-Waabil as-Sayyib

Testing our Faith

May 31, 2009

Subhan’Allah, as American Muslims, we tend to test our iman/faith:

-by thinking we will give dawah to all the pretty girls on campus before knowing it we get emotionally attached to them when we are told to not even come close to zina

-by studying with someone of the opposite gender late into the night where Shaytan is the third amongst us

-by agreeing to shake hands with the opposite gender when we are severely warned against touching people of the opposite gender

-by subscribing to cable TV thinking we will only watch the halal shows, but we leave the door open to the possibilities

-by accepting riba from banks thinking we’ll use it for tax money when Allah and His Messenger have declared war against those who partake in riba

-by sitting at a table where alcohol is served when we are specifically prohibited from such an action

-by eating the food of those who own convenient stores selling alcohol when ten different types of people are cursed when it comes to alcohol

-by not donating any money as we fear poverty

-by having our hearts attached to the dunya instead of the ahkira when indeed the ahkira is better than the dunya

-by being awed by the non-Muslims in their dunya accomplishments when we should be pitying them instead

-by being materialistic when true wealth is being content in one’s heart

-by listening to music when it is clearly prohibited by all four madhabs

-by staying quiet when part of our deen is commanding the good and forbidding the evil

-by thinking tazkiyah is only for the sufis when in reality it is a true science of study in Islam as alluded to by the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah

-by seriously lacking in akhlaq and adab when some of the salaf studied them twice as long as they studied ilm/knowledge

-by joining up with a movement/cult/tariqa within Islam that separates from the jama when true success lies in following the jama in the Quran and Sunnah

-by asking a laymen for his or her Islamic opinion when we wouldn’t ask a laymen for medical advice

-by giving fatwa when we are clearly not a shaykh or shaykha

-by fatwa shopping

-by smoking sheesha when it’s clearly harmful to one’s health like cigarettes

-by not being thankful for all the immense blessings that have been bestowed upon us until it’s too late

-by complaining to others when we should only complain to Allah

-by procrastinating when we don’t know if we will be alive tomorrow

-by befriending the kuffar when it’s prohibited

-by thinking we are better than other people when they very well may be forgiven for their shortcomings and we may not be forgiven for ours

-by having pride not realizing it was the thing that destroyed the devil

Indeed, we test our faith and iman.  However, would be test our lives the same way?  Would we walk across the interstate/highway blindfolded?  Absolutely NOT!  Then, why do we test our iman when it is something much more valuable than our lives?

The Tawbah of Zadhan

May 19, 2009

Al-Dhahabî said about Zâdhân: He was one of the major scholars, he was born during the life of the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him…he was a reliable and truthful reporter…he reported numerous ahâdîth. The following are some of the Companions he reported from:

‘Umar
‘Alî
Salmân (Al-Fârsî)
Ibn Mas’ûd
‘Â`ishah
Hudhayfah
Jarîr Al-Bajalî
Ibn ‘Umar
Al-Barâ` b. ‘Âzib

Here is the story of how he repented. He narrates:

I was a boy with a nice voice and I was good at playing drums. I was once with a friend and we had nabîdh (a date infusion drink that can turn alcoholic) and I was singing for my friends. Ibn Mas’ûd was passing by and entered upon us; he struck the drink container we had and broke the drum. Then he said, “O boy! If your nice voice was to be heard reciting Qur`ân instead you would be the man!” And then he went on his way. I asked my friends, “Who was that?” They told me it was Ibn Mas’ûd. At that point tawbah was cast into my soul, and so I ran after him crying, I grabbed his garment and he turned to me and embraced me and cried. He said, “Welcome to him who Allah loves. Sit down.” He then went inside and brought out some dates for me.

Thereafter, Zâdhân became pious; Al-Dhahabî also reports that he was seen praying and it was as if he was a piece of wood or a tree in his stillness and humility in prayer.

He died in 82H, Allah have mercy on him.

Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ`, in his biography of Zâdhân.

Source: www.sayingsofthesalaf.net

A BURGLAR scaled the wall of Maalik Bin Dinar’s house one night and easily managed to get inside. Once inside the house, the thief was disappointed to see nothing worth stealing. Maalik was busy performing prayer. Realizing he was not alone, he quickly ended his prayer and turned around to face the thief. Without showing any signs of shock or scare, Maalik calmly extended greetings of peace and said, “My brother, may Allah forgive you. You entered my home and found nothing worth taking, yet I do not want you to leave without taking away some benefit.”

He went in another room and came back with a jug full of water. He looked into the eyes of the burglar and said, “Make ablution and perform two units of prayer, for if you do so, you will leave my home with a greater treasure than you had initially sought.”

Humbled by Maalik’s manners and words, the thief said, “Yes, that is a generous offer indeed.”

After making ablution and performing two units of prayer, the burglar said, “O Maalik, would you mind if I stayed for a while, for I want to stay to perform two more units of prayer?”

Maalik said, “Stay for whatever amount of prayer Allah decrees for you to perform now.”

The thief ended up spending the entire night at Maalik’s house. He continued to pray until morning. Then Maalik said, “Leave now and be good.”

But instead of leaving, the thief said, “Would you mind if I stayed here with you today, for I have made an intention to fast?”

“Stay as long as you wish,” Maalik said.

The burglar ended up staying for a number of days, praying during the late hours of each night and fasting in the day. When he finally decided to leave, the burglar said, “O Maalik, I have made a firm resolve to repent for my sins and for my former way of life.”

Maalik said, “That is in the Hand of Allah.”

The man did mend his ways and began to lead a life of righteousness and obedience to Allah. Later on, he came across another burglar who asked him, “Have you found your treasure yet?”

He replied, “My brother, what I found is Maalik Bin Dinar. I went to steal from him, but it was he who ended up stealing my heart. I have indeed repented to Allah, and I will remain at the door (of His Mercy and Forgiveness) until I achieve what his obedient, loving slaves have achieved.” (Al-Mawaa’idh wal-Majaalis: 85)
 
–       Adapted from ‘Stories of Repentance’ published by Darussalam via www.saudigazette.com.sa