Sorrow is Sweet?

May 4, 2010

The divine decree related to the believer is always a bounty, even if it is in the form of withholding (something that is desired), and it is a blessing, even if it appears to be a trial, and an affliction that has befallen him is in reality a cure, even though it appears to be a disease!

Unfortunately, due to the ignorance of the worshipper, and his transgressions, he does not consider anything to be a gift or a blessing or a cure unless he can enjoy it immediately, and it is in accordance with his nature. If he were only given a little bit of understanding, then he would have counted being withheld from as a blessing, and the sickness as a mercy, and he would relish the trouble that befalls him more than he relishes his ease, and he would enjoy poverty more than he enjoys richness, and he would be more thankful when he is blessed with little than when he is blessed with a lot.

From Imam ibn al Qayyim rahimahullah in Madarij al-Salikin 2/215-216
Source:  http://istighfar.wordpress.com

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On Being Awake

April 4, 2010

By Abu Abdil-Kareem

Ibn Hazm, rahimahullaah, said, “One hour of neglect can undo a year of pious effort” [“In Pursuit of Virtue”, point #93]. I think this is a very scary thought.

Shaytaan will sometimes let a worshipper worship long and hard, but will seek a way to nullify his deeds in a way that the worshipper may not notice. It is related in al-Baihaqi’s “Branches of Faith”, that the big shaytaan sends his army to deceive worshippers, and tells them to first look at the food he eats. If his food is not halaal, then “let him worship long and hard,” since shaytaan knows that prayers of one who eats haraam are not accepted. So the worshipper will work hard and think he is doing good, while his efforts may not be accepted. This is similar to those about whom Allaah ta`aalaa says, “Say: Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works? Those whose effort goes astray in the life of the world, and they reckon that they do good work.” [18:103-104] A brother once told me that a Muslim scholar once said that no verse causes fear in him more than this one.

I think there is many lessons we can learn from this. One is that we must keep our hearts alive by remembering Allaah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa at all times. Another one is that we must seek knowledge of our religion so as to be certain about the correctness of our actions. Also, most importantly, we must realize our dependance on Allaah ta`aalaa and His guidance. Whoever He guides there is no one to misguide, and whoever He misguides there is none to guide. Unless Allaah is Merciful with us and grants us taufeeq (guidance) to do rightheous acts, we shall never be able. Therefore we have to strive to improve our worship and our character and supplicate to Allaah for guidance. Then, in shaa’ Allaah, we will be from among those about whom Allaah says,

“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allaah’s Religion).”[29:69]

May Allaah guide us and give us steadfastness in religion. One can find a number of ways that can potentially ruin one’s many acts – for example, missing a single prayer, uttering something inappropriate, or reading a horoscope.

via http://7cgen.com/

Allah Knows

February 16, 2009

You know, often times, when we do something worthwhile, we want the world to know about it.  Whether it’s Acing our final exams in school or scoring the winning shot in a street-basketball game, we feel it’s our duty to let people know about the ‘big things’ we accomplish everyday.  Even if it’s something that isn’t related directly to us, we feel the urge to tell others via Muslim gossip (even the good non-backbiting type).  However, the fact of the matter is that we shouldn’t really care what other people think about us.    In fact, we shouldn’t even care if other people know what we’ve accomplished.  Because the fact of the matter is, we know Allah (SWT) knows what we accomplished and to Him (SWT) is our final return.  Check out the following enjoyable read:

In one  country, the Muslim army was fighting against the Byzantine army. The number of the Byzantines was more than ten times the number of the Muslims.  The Byzantine commander was Gregorius and his daughter was by his side.  Gregorius’ daughter asked, “My father, who are these, they are merely a handful, their number is small and no more than 15,000, who are they?” 

Gregorius responded, “‘These are the Arab horsemen.”

The daughter said, “My father, give them to me as spoils.”

And so, Gregorious had given his daughter [their property’s worth] as spoils before the battle even took place.   However, Allah (SWT) had decreed that Gregorius would lose the battle and his daughter would be one of the captives and so the Gregorius was killed and his daughter captured.

After their victory, the Muslim army reconvened and the commander of the Muslim army wanted to know who killed Gregorius, but nobody answered.  The Muslim commander asked, “‘Who killed Gregorius?”

Gregorius’ daughter, who had been captured, said to the commander of the Muslims: “I know who killed my father.”

And so when Abdullah bin az-Zubayr passed next to her she said, “O, commander of the Muslims, this is the man who killed my father.”

The commander of the Muslim army asked Abdullah bin az-Zubayr, “O, Abdullah bin az-Zubayr, why did you conceal this from us?”

What did Abdullah bin az-Zubayr say in response?  His words still echo in the ear of history.

He said, “Allah knows I killed him.”

Abdullah bin az-Zubayr walked the walk and he never talked.  This is how we should strive to be where we  do and not talk!

The Disease of the Idiots

February 8, 2009

Living many years in Florida, I have to admit, I’ve become quite a bit desensitized to the fitnah that comes into my view.  This is extremely unfortunately because, well, let’s face it, to look at the haraam is still haraam.  Lowering one’s gaze is one of the hardest things to do while living in the West.  I remember when I was living in Egypt, coming in contact with the opposite gender was something that was scarce.  I would come in contact with the opposite gender at like restaurants when ordering food or something similar.  However, in the West, avoiding contact with the opposite gender is nearly impossible .  To help us get past this obstacle I thought I’d share the following quote by a South Asian scholar of the past:

To cast lustful glances is the disease of idiots. You neither give, nor receive. All you do is put your own heart in turmoil. You can stare at a girl forever, but you will never get her. You will only get the person that Allah has decreed for you as halal. Since this is a matter which has already been decided by Allah, that is why this is the disease of idiots

Therefore, let us remember next time we look at a grl (or at a boy if it is a sister looking) that we are indulging in the disease of the idiot.

So also if the father, who is compassionate towards his son, knowing what is good for him, sees that some bad blood has to be removed from his son for his own good, by incurring severe pain by cutting his skin and cutting his veins. If he knows that his cure lies in cutting off one of his limbs, he does so and does all of this out of compassion and mercy to his son. If he sees that the betterment of his son lies in him withholding something from him, he withholds it from him, and is not lavish towards him because he knows that this causes his corruption and destruction and he often withholds from his son what he desires, for his own good and to protect him, not out of miserliness towards him.

So, if the wisest of all judges, the Most Merciful, the Most Knowledgeable, who is more merciful towards His servants than they are to themselves or their parents are to them, sends down upon them that which they dislike, then it is better for them than Him not sending it upon them, rather it is a benevolence and kindness to them. For if they were left to choose for themselves they would be incapable of knowing, intending or doing that which benefits them, but He – how perfect He is – has taken charge of managing their affairs according to His knowledge, wisdom and mercy, whether they like or dislike it. This being known to those who believe with certainty in Allaah’s Names and Attributes, so they do not find fault in any of His laws. This is hidden to those ignorant of Allaah, His Names and Attributes, so they disputed with Him in His regulations and found reproach in His wisdom and did not submit to His decisions, but rather opposed them with their corrupt intelligence, false opinions and unjust behaviour. So they did not know their Lord nor did they achieve that which benefits them. And Allaah is the One who bestows.

Hence when the servant succeeds, by way of this knowledge, he lives in a Paradise in this world before the Hereafter, whose comforts can only be compared to the comforts of Paradise in the Hereafter. Verily he does not cease to remain pleased with his Lord and this pleasure is the Paradise of this world and a comfort to those who have knowledge. Indeed his soul is content with all that it encounters from the decree which Allaah has chosen for him, and his soul is at peace with His religious laws and this is pleasure with Allaah being the Lord, with Islaam as the way of life and Muhammad as being the Messenger, and whoever has not achieved this has not tasted eemaan.”

(Ref. Quoted from Three Forgotten Prayers by `Adnaan Aali `Uroor © Call to Islam Da`wah Center, UK 1997)
www.islaam.com

Bad Things Happen, Right?

November 18, 2007

Bad things happen, right?  Wrong!  Everything that happens to a believer is good or it has more good in it than bad.  Alhamdulillah, it is always a win-win situation for the believer.  Consider the hadith of Rasoolullah (SAW) told to us by Suhaib in which Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him” (narrated by Muslim).

Indeed, we all fall sick, get into accidents, or are sadden at times of despair.  However, the believer easily overcomes such hardships.  Rasoolullah (SAW) said that, “When the believer is afflicted with pain, even that of a prick of a thorn or more, God forgives his sins” (narrated by Bukhari).  It is reported that Abu Hurayrah, the companion of the Prophet, had a favorite illness!  He is reported to have said, “There is no illness that afflicts me more beloved to me than fever; it enters every part of me and [because of it] Allah the Mighty and Sublime gives every part of me its share of reward” (narrated by Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad).  Subhana’Allah, if only we could all celebrate when we got sick or something misfortunate happened to us!

In terms of hardship, we should look to the Quran for guidance as it states, “Those who patiently preserve will truly receive a reward without measure” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 39:10) and And bear in patience whatever maybe fall you: this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon“(Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 31:17).  In times of hardship, many of us remember Allah (SWT), but do we remember Allah (SWT) in times of ease?  Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “Remember Allah in times of ease, and He will remember you in times of hardship” (narrated by Ahmad).

Whenever something afflicts us, we should smile and say Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah).  Consider the story of the King and his servant, Abdullah.  Abdullah would say Alhamdulillah to everything that would happen to him, whether good or bad.  One day while hunting, the King accidently shot-off his finger and Abdullah responded with his normal, Alhamdulillah.  Upset, the King jailed Abdullah to which Abdullah responded Alhamdulillah.  Soon thereafter, the King went out hunting again by himself.  He strayed into tribal enemy grounds and was captured.  The tribe was about to sacrifice him before they realized he was missing a finger.  Knowing full-well they should not sacrifice an incomplete human being, they released the King.  Ecstatic, the King knew that his misfiring the other day saved his life.  He went back home and freed Abdullah.  Afterwards, he asked Abdullah, “I understand the loss of my finger was something worth saying Alhamdulillah over, but why did you say it when I jailed you?”  Abdullah responded, “Had I been with you that one day instead of in jail, I would have been sacrificed, since I did have all of my fingers!”

Verily, the Quran states, “but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 2:216).  Therefore, O Muslim, always be optimistic and respond with Alhamdulillah!

Al-Qada wal-Qadar

May 29, 2007

Al-Qadar (literally meaning knew, predetermined, and planned perfectly) is Allah’s complete Knowledge, Writing in the Safe Tablet, and Willing of all things before their existence.  Al-Qada (literally meaning judged, ordained, and executed perfectly) is defined as Allah’s creation of all things by His Command and Will.  There are five pillars of Al-Qada wal-Qadar:

  1. Al-Ilm a.k.a. Allah’s Knowledge as this includes Allah’s knowledge of what would have happened for things that never happen (i.e. if this would have happened, then the outcome would have been…).  Proofs for Allah’s Knowledge can be found in the Holy Quran: “Verily Allah is the All-Knower of everything” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 8:75) and “Allah indeed encompasses all things in (His) Knowledge” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 65:12).  Allah’s Knowledge comes under Qadar as it is part of the planning.
  2. Al-Kitabah a.k.a. the Writing as the proof for this is included in the ayat: “Do you not know that Allah knows all that is in the Heaven and on earth?  Verily, it is all in the Book.  Verily, that is easy for Allah” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 22:70).  Furthermore, Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “Allah had written the ordained measures (and due proportions) of the creation fifty-thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and His Arsh was on the water” (as narrated in Muslim).  The Writing falls under the category of Qadar as it is part of the planning.
  3. Allah’s Mashee’ah a.k.a. the Will of Allah (SWT) as the Holy Quran states “If Allah willed He would have made you one nation, but that He may test yo in what He has given you…” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 5:48) and “…(Allah) hast power over all things” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 3:26).  Some people divide Allah’s Mashee’ah into two categories.  The first category is that which is general as it is before a creation exists as this comes under Qadar (planned).  The second category is that which is specific (on individuals) while a creation exists as this comes under Qada (executed).
  4. Al-Amr a.k.a. the Command as the Holy Quran states “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran).  Al-Amr comes under the category of Qada as it is part of the execution.
  5. Al-Khalq a.k.a. the Creation as the Holy Qurans states “Verily Allah is the Creator of everything…” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran).  Al-Khalq also comes under the category of Qada as it too is part of the execution.

Insha’Allah, I will try to write several posts in the future about beliefs in predestination.