We know that the state we die in is the state we will be resurrected in for the Hereafter.  So if your last words were harsh profane ones right before a serious car accident then those would be the words you would be reciting as you are brought back to life.  Similarly, if you were in the state of Haraam or you were with people you would be embarrassed to be seen with, those are the people you would be raised amongst.

However, at the same time, if you died at Hajj or during some form of worship, that would be the beautiful state you would be resurrected in.  Similarly, if you were to die amongst people that are righteous and pious, you would be raised amongst them as well.  Therefore, it is extremely important that we always put ourselves in a state where we are surrounded by people we respect and honor with the hope that these are the type of people we would be raised up amongst.  Similarly, we should stop using any profane and ugly words so that we can train ourselves to have the last words off our tongues be, “La ilaha illa Allah.”  This is just a brief reminder to myself first and foremost and to anyone else who would like to read this.

Kamal el Mekki has some nice reflections in the following five minute video:

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

Came across an interesting article about the Ash that is coming from the Iceland Volcano that has halted business in Europe.  If you get a chance, have a read at Voice Pakistan.

Related: Signs of the Day of Judgment

It is reported that Ibrâhîm b. Adham (d162H) – Allâh have mercy on him – once passed through the market of Basrah. People gathered around him and asked: O Abû Ishâq, Allâh the Exalted says in his Book. ‘Call on me, I will answer your prayers’, but we have been calling on Him for a long time and He does not answer our prayers. [Ibrâhîm] replied, “O people of Basrah, your hearts have died in respect to ten things:

  • First, you know Allâh but you do not give Him His rights;
  • Second, you have read Allâh’s Book but you do not act by it;
  • Third, you claim to love Allâh’s Messenger – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – yet you abandon his Sunnah;
  • Fourth, you claim to be enemies to Shaytân but you conform to [his ways];
  • Fifth, you say you love Paradise yet you do not work for it;
  • Sixth, you say you fear The Fire yet you put yourselves closer to it [by sinning];
  • Seventh, you say death is true but you do not prepare for it;
  • Eighth, you busy yourselves with the faults of others and disregard your own;
  • Ninth, you consume the favors of your Lord but are not grateful for them; and
  • Tenth, you bury your dead but take no lesson from them.”

Abû Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ’ 8: 15, 16.
Taken from http://www.sayingsofthesalaf.net/

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/

1. Increase dhikr (remembrance of Allah): “Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction (Qur’an, 13:28).”

2. Increase prayers: “O you who believe! Seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely, Allah is with the patient (Qur’an, 2:153).” Regardless of the type of meditation, recent studies have verified the physiological effects of meditation. Most of those mediations consist in focusing on something, repeating some words and breathing (Greenberg, p.142, 143).

3. Perform ablutions: The most important component of relaxation is what Hans Loehr calls “the rituals of success.” These rituals may be as simple as making ablution; yet, they must be performed properly for it is not enough to pass water on the body parts – those parts must be massed.

4. Ask for forgiveness : Even if a person has not done anything wrong, he must insure the forgiveness of Allah. “Then I said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord; surely, He is the most Forgiving'” (Qur’an, 71:10).

5. Recite the Qur’an: The Prophet (SAW) said, “. Qur’an is a remedy for illnesses of the mind” (Bukhari). “The echo of sound has a medical effect and is now widely utilized,” says Dr. Greenberg. “The recitation of or listening to the Qur’an has an effect on the body, the heart and the mind! It is said that the letter Alif echoes to the heart and the letter Ya’ to the pineal gland in the brain.

Dr Ahmed El Kadi of Akber Clinic (Panama City, FL) conducted and published the effects of listening to Qur’anic recitation on physiological parameters ( i.e., the heart, blood pressure, and muscle tension), and reported improvement in all factors, irrespective of whether the listener was a Muslim or a non-Muslim, Arab or non-Arab. Obviously, it can be postulated that those who understand and enjoy the recitation with a belief in it will get maximum benefits,” writes Dr Athar.

6. Make the hereafter one’s main concern: “Whoever has the hereafter as his main concern, Allah will fill his heart with a feeling of richness and independence; he will be focused and feel content, and this world will come to him in spite of it. Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allah will cause him to feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted and unfocused, and he will have nothing of this world except what was already predestined for him,” said the Prophet (SAW). One of the greatest causes of stress is money – how to pay the loans, whether one’s job will be lost, what will happen to the family if the father dies, etc.

7. Think positively: Muslims should forget about the bad things of the past and think of good things, always having hope that he can be better. Trying to change the past is a foolish and crazy waste of time, “for saying ‘if only.’opens the way to Shaytan” said the Prophet (SAW). The Prophet (SAW) also said, ” Know that victory (achievement) comes through patience, and that ease comes through hardship.” Muslims understand that there’s no reason for panic in the case of crisis – no reason to be distressed or worried for we know that after hardship come ease!

8. Do not waste time on thoughts of fear or stress: “The search of time is one of the most frequent causes of stress” (Seyle, p.102). Laziness is the mother of all evils, and the Prophet (SAW) used to seek refuge in Allah from it. Understanding that this life is short and time precious, Muslims should try to work hard and pursue worthy knowledge .

References
Athar, Shahid, MD. “Modern Stress and Its Cure From Qur’an.”
Greenberg, Jerrold S. CSM = Comprehensive Stress Management.
via the AlMaghrib Forums

By my brother, Muhammad Tim, 4th year student at Madinah University:

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

All praise is due to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, and upon his family and his companions.

With regard to the matter of sincere intention, it seems that some people are confused with regard to certain aspects. Therefore, I wished to make the following points, and all success is from Allah:-

1. Firstly, the correct intention is one of two conditions for every act of worship to be accepted, along with the action being in accordance to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The proof for this is the statement of Allah, the Exalted, The proof for this principle can be found in Allah’s statement: “So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.” [Al-Kahf 18:110].

2. Secondly, the essence of the correct intention is for an action to be sincerely for the sake of Allah, and not to contain any form of shirk, or giving some of Allah’s rights to someone or something else. Fadl bin Ziyaad said, “I asked Abu Abdullah (i.e., Imaam Ahmad) about the intention in action, how should it be? He said, ‘One should treat his self when he intends to do an action, not desiring by it the people (i.e. showing off).’”

3. Thirdly, intention is something that needs to be constantly reviewed and worked upon. Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, “I have not battled with anything more difficult than my intention.”

4. Fourthly, the fact that another person is the cause for some of your good deeds, or that they call you to guidance, or that they encourage you to do something which you were not intending to do, does not affect your intention. This is part of the foundation of da’wah and calling people to guidance. The Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – used to encourage some of the companions to do actions that they were not intending to do, and he encouraged others to do the same. The Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said, “Whoever calls to guidance has the reward of it and the reward of everyone who acts upon it, until the Day of Resurrection, without their reward being decreased in any way.” So if a brother comes to you and says, ‘come to the masjid’, and you were not intending to come, but because of him calling you to guidance, you decide to come, and you make your worship for the sake of Allah alone, then your intention is correct, if Allah wills, and the fact that another brother called you to do something that you had not planned to do does not affect your intention.

Similarly, if your intention was not pure, and then you realise that you have been showing off in some of your deeds, then you correct them and seek Allah’s forgiveness, then your intention returns to being correct, and if you do so before you complete the action (such as before you finish praying), then you do not lose the reward of the entire prayer.

5. Fifthly, showing off is a form of minor shirk and is extremely serious, but it is equally serious to not perform good deeds out of fear of showing off. Al Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad considered it another form of riyaa’. Rather you should say, ‘O Allah, I seek refuge with you from making partners with you while I realise, and I ask your forgiveness for what I do not realise.’ Leaving that which Allah has ordered you out of fear of what people may say can even reach the level of major shirk, so do not allow the shaytaan to open a door to your destruction!

To answer the question, “if a person became Muslim because of worldly reasons but later changed their intention sincerely for the sake of Allah and repented, then that is okay?”

To answer this question, my point was that it may happen, and that a person may correct themselves. A person’s Islam is not accepted by Allah until it is sincere – this is one of the conditions of laa ilaaha ill Allah, but as Muslims we are commanded to treat them as normal Muslims, since the matter of intention is left to Allah. In general, we shouldn’t rush to encourage a person who is not sincere. This does not benefit Islam and the Muslims, and the person themselves may be harmed.

However, we may see someone who has some fault in their intention, and we believe that there is a good chance that the person will be corrected, based on their environment and their character. First of all we should try to correct their intention before they become Muslim. In the example of marriage, we try to make the marriage secondary to pleasing Allah. If we believe that they will change, then we may accept their Islam. However, if the person who they are marrying is not even practising Islam, then it is unlikely that they will see the beauty of Islam, when the person they are marrying does not even see it. So, I think that we should be very careful in some of these cases. More information here: http://islamqa.com/en/ref/26758

6. Sixthly, a person may enter Islam for the sake of the dunyaa, or with a fault in their intention and then correct his or her intention, as Imaan enters their hearts, and so become from the true Muslims. This was the case of some of the companions, especially those who became Muslim after the conquest of Makkah. Some of them became Muslim for worldly reasons, but the sun did not set before Allah and His Messenger were more beloved to them than the earth and whatever was in it. This does not mean that we should encourage people to become Muslim who do not want to, however, we have not been asked to rule based on the hearts of the people, and it is possible for people to change once they see the beauty of Islam.

7. Finally, do not succumb to the whispers of shaytaan, that when a person calls you to do something good you say, ‘my intention is not right’ – this is nothing but the whisperings of the shayaateen, may Allah protect me and you from them. Rather embrace this good deed and make it sincere for Allah without showing off. This way you will get the reward for your action, as will the person who called you to do good. At the very least be honest and say, ‘I am too lazy to do it’, rather than inventing a religious excuse that Allah has given you no authority for; perhaps Allah will open your heart to the truth because of your honesty.

Don’t forget that intention alone is not enough for your deeds to be accepted. They must also be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. ‘Aa’ishah – may Allah be pleased with her – narrated that the Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said, “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with my affair [i.e., my sunnah] then it is rejected.”

May Allah grant us all beneficial knowledge and the ability to act upon it, and save us from the whisperings of the shaytaan,

Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,
Muhammad Humble.