Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Reality of Truthfulness

Category: SOUND

The Reality of Truthfulness (Sidq)

As for truthfulness (sidq), Allah says:

"O you who believe! Have fear of Allah (taqwa) and be with the truthful." (9:120)

"Be among the truthful" because the one who sits with someone is influenced for good and evil. Nature is a thief. A man copies the one he mixes with a lot, even if he is not aware of it. Tarafa said,

"Do not ask about a man. Ask about his close companions.
Every man imitates his close companions."

This is the best path to travel for someone who wants to discipline himself. It is to mix with the perfect man so that his nature and good habits flow to him. The influence of actions is absolutely stronger than the influence of words.

Al-Qushayri noted, "Truthfulness is the basis of the matter and it is made perfect by it, and it is commanded." He said, "The least truthfulness is when what is secret and what is public are the same."

Sahl said, "The scent of truthfulness has not been smelt by any person who flatters wither himself or another person."

"Truthfulness is the sword of Allah," said Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri. "It is not applied to anything but that it cuts right through it."

Al-Harith al-Muhasibi said, "The truthful man is the one who does not care if his entire worth in the hearts of men should vanish away if it is for the sake of putting his heart in harmony. He does not like people to know about his least good actions, and he does not dislike people being aware of his bad actions. If he dislike that, it is proof that he desires to be greater in their eyes. This is not sincerity of the truthful ones."

It is said that if you seek truthfulness from Allah, He will give you a mirror in which you can see the baseless falsehood of this world and the Next.

The master, Abu'l-Qasim al-Junayd, said, "The truthful man is turned about forty times a day, while the show-off is fixed in the same state for forty years."

By this, he means that the truthful man changes direction with the truth, no matter what it is. When sees something in the Shari'a which is considered to be excellent, he promptly does it, even if it is at variance with his customary habit. If something arises in the Shari'a which is more important, but he cannot combine the two things, then he moves to the better one. He continues to behave like that. In a single day, he may have a hundred different states, or a thousand or even more, according to his mastery of gnosis, and the manifestation to him of fine points and subtleties.

The show-off, on the other hand, clings to one state alone, and if something arises which the Shari'a considers more important in some states, then he will still not do that important thing. He will hold fast to his state, because he is showing off his worship and his state to creation. He fears that people will stop loving him if he changes. He is very careful to ensure that their love continues. But the truthful one desires only the Face of Allah by his worship. Whenever the Shari'a gives greater weight to a certain state, he goes to that state, and does not turn to creation.

Source: Imam Abu Zakariyya Muhyi'd-din ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi, The Garden of the Gnostics (Bustan-ul-Arifeen)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Internet

Category: STRONG

The Internet

The Ulema have told us that spiritual development, the aim of which is Taqwa, is the only real way to achieve the goal of salvation because it is the best defense from sins and the whispers of Shaytan and your Nafs.

As many Sunni theologians will say, increased Taqwa is like increased Iman if not actually being it.

They have told us that this is achieved through spiritual striving, through struggle (mujahadah). Against Shaytan and against your Nafs, the causes of what lead mankind to sin.

When elaborating on Sufism, they tell us that all of their spiritual prescriptions and 'strategies' in the form of Tasawwuf, acknowledged as its own subject due to its specialization, are necessary to compensate for the fact that we are not in the company of the Holy Prophet (saw) and the original Muslims. In fact, the Sahaba (ra) would achieve such high spiritual stations purely on account of performing Jihad with the Prophet (saw) alone that we could not achieve through any number of fasts, dhikr, etc. Things like that propelled them from non-Muslims to the best Muslims of all time within two decades. But since we are not in those circumstances, we keep to the company of the Ahlullah and Waliullah... those Muslims who have specialized and focused their entire lives on achieving the highest spiritual station possible through whatever means they could find (via the system of Shaykh and Murid, etc.). These are those known as 'Sufis'.

The rich tradition of Sufis that developed towards this goal is popularly known and described elsewhere.

Some begin to wrongly think of Tasawwuf as a seperate, optional entity. The truth is that Tasawwuf is just the name given to a specific phenomenon fundamentally important to Islam and the original Muslims who had it in such great quantity, and spread it around so freely everywhere they went, they rarely needed to ever sit down and talk about it.

The fundamental question is How Do We Improve Ourselves?

The answer is, obviously enough, by adhering to the guide Allah sent us in the form of the Qur'an vis a vis His Messenger, Rasulullah (saw). His Sunnah being the details and interpretations of the former. How to do what the Qur'an tells us to do.

And most people leave it at that. But then again, most people aren't good Muslims, or even Muslims, and most people, Muslims included, will go to Hell according to sound Hadith.

We ourselves know that it just isn't that simple. We consistently fail at following the Sunnah and abstaining from sin. We consistently leave Islamic values for man-made values. And worse, for those made by civilizations (West) which war with others and tout obviously anti-Islamic and anti-human doctrines (perversely calling itself humanist). It's not even like we've become Buddhist monks living up on some mountain somewhere when we abandon Islam. We get frustrated, maddened. We close our eyes and grit our teeth and feel like screaming at our own inexplicable helplessness. WHY do we just not... change? Why do we want to change but then lose control of ourselves to the parts of us that don't want to change? Is this frustration the best we can do? Can we ever have hope of achieving what we want? Of becoming the people we swear we really want to be?

This is the question posed by the first answer to 'How Do We Improve Ourselves?'. We know how to improve ourselves, but how do we actually DO it. How do we turn that knowledge into action?

We always tell ourselves that the answer is simple (it was, I mean, it took just a sentence or two). That the failure is in ourselves. That we have to roll up our sleeves and just get to it, there are no shortcuts or tricks. It's pure willpower.

It sounds honorable, and correct. But I think one of the first big shocks here is that it's WRONG. It's simplifying to the point of criminally misleading ourselves. And who would want to do such a thing? Shaytan. He employs one of our Nafs' traits in use against ourselves (we feel as if we're admitting some honorable truth to ourselves, thus appeasing our Nafs/ego/Self... but the Nafs is being blissfully tricked into going where Shaytan's whispers have a hard time reaching).

Tasawwuf is the answer to that question. The 'how' behind the 'How'. Muslims that came before us, all of them, have had to deal with these issues. Including the first few generations. They systemized their findings into what we now term 'Sufism' or 'Tasawwuf', but the original answer was IMAN and/or TAQWA (depending on which specific interpretation of Sunni 'Aqeedah or creed you ascribe to). And the purpose of Tasawwuf is to address that. Taqwa directly correlates with us changing, our actions changing. It's that magical silver bullet that answers all of our questions about Islam and Iman. If you have Taqwa, if you're conscious of Allah, then you will behave accordingly. You'll be able to ignore Shaytan better and keep your Nafs on a leash. Of course this is for Muslims who want it. Even Shaytan is conscious of Allah but look at what happened there.

So. Possessing Taqwa and increasing it will achieve the goal of changing us into who we want to be, the sort of people who do right and abstain from wrong. And Tasawwuf is the science of achieving that.

And back to what the Ulema have told us, the key to that is to be in the company of the pious. There is of course, dhikr, the mujahadah of abstaining from sin, fasts, rectifying the technical details. But Taqwa is a near-metaphysical thing, almost a substance. We want it in our souls. We want it from the fountain that is the Prophet (saw) and his Ruhaniyat (Spirituality), and the faucet that goes back to that source are the Saints and Shaykhs (the piping could be said to be the silsila, or chain of teachers going back to the Prophet (saw)). And this is achieved, like the Ulema have been saying, by sitting in the company of the Ahlullah, the Waliullah. The people of Allah, the friends of Allah.

But common sense dictates, especially in a world like today, finding a Shaykh and then literally sitting in his company is difficult.

Is it? We can fly across the world in a day, our economies are globalized so we can emigrate, work, and set up lives anywhere we desire. We, more than any Muslims before us, have greater accessibility to the pious. Even during the Khilafa Rashidun, you might live in Medina, a city full of the pious, and you'd only need to venture out a few hundred yards to meet some. You can achieve that today if you really wanted.

It gets better. Or worse for us, depending on your view. We have the Internet. The Ulema have told us that the next best thing to having your own Shaykh and being in his company as much as possible, is to at least visit their lectures/sermons, and read their writings, and keep in touch. We can now all do that, with many different Shaykhs, alive and dead (including some really ancient and revered ones, knowledge of whom might previously have been very hard to come by), from within our own homes.

And yet, when we see a title or URL that has 'islam', 'sunni', or some Arabic word in it... we ignore it. We don't move our fingers a millimeter to click or 'open that faucet'. We find our way onto YouTube several times daily looking at or listening to things that have no spiritual gain (likely detriment), and we rarely if ever click through to the lectures of our Shaykhs.

The argument is already in your head that the Internet simply just amplifies natural tendencies. Good people will do good things online, bad people will do bad things, and the mixed will be somewhere inbetween. Therefore, the Internet won't affect anything in the end. Yes, people will tend to do online what they do offline. But this, too, is a sort of trick or misleading of your reason. We will be held accountable for every technological progress we make that makes life easier. The comparison to worry about is not really with what everyone else is doing but with those many Muslims who undertook immense struggle to achieve what we can with just a click. It is, of course, a test. If a person is pursuing Haraam relationships with the opposite sex in real life, they'll likely be doing the same online. If they aren't lowering the gaze in real life, there's no way they avoid looking at forbidden things online. If they gamble in real life, it will be beyond tempting to continue online. But the punishment might be more severe in the latter case (for online), Allah knows best, because of how EASY it is to NOT do the sin and instead do good. And yet many Muslims fool themselves into thinking retreating to the Internet is saving them from sin. It might have pulled you away from literally touching a non-mahram for instance, but the blot on your heart is just as big, if not bigger, and will stifle any attempts for future self-reformation eventually leading back to those big sins, and this time, your mind will be in a Self-made coccoon of rationalizations that will prevent you from even being conscious of this.

As Hazrat Shaykh Hakeem Akhtar put it, wasps and bees eat the same nectar, but only one puts out honey.

And the results aren't going to be pretty. The Internet will likely not be something you'd want to run into on the Day of Judgement. The test we failed, that comes back to give us a kick into Jahannum. It might say "I brought you the knowledge of the akhira and you chose the dunya instead."

It goes beyond that. Simply having access to the Internet nullifies many excuses we have for not achieving our goals of becoming better Muslims (there's enough stuff from the Ulema, the Ahlullah on here that anyone who sits down and immerses themselves in it all will get up a changed person). And who has access to the Internet and other technological advancements that improve our 'quality of life'? People who are successful or well-off. We work tirelessly, especially those of us who have made it into the West or were born here, only to wind up with, not too unusually, the biggest test of all. Wealth itself becomes a test. And this is nothing new now, is it? Yet we've never thought of ourselves as 'wealthy', again through the tricking of our minds by our own Selves and by Shaytan. Especially those of us whose parents gave us everything... WE aren't wealthy, THEY are. This is ridiculous to the point of stupidity, no doubt from the spiritual IQ points killed by sinning.

The reality is the familiar one retold by the Qur'an countless times. Shaytan and our Nafs have worked together to keep it hidden from us. Without going off into a million other topics, how many ideas or words that we have today are actually kept intact from the 7th century? The culture and civilization we embrace has changed so many of them to make instilling its values in us easier. We can't even think away from what they want, we are becoming incapable of even understanding the most simplest things about Islam and life because our brains are locked in a language maze of dead ends.

We will have to answer for a lot more than we think. The past generations will look upon us and not think "the path to good was very easy for them, but so was sin, so it balances out". No. Because the path to good for them was hard, but the path to sin for them, for all mankind, has almost always been easy.

When the prophetic Hadiths talk about how hard it will be in the world near the Day of Judgement (our world), we take refuge in that. "See? We're expected to have difficulty!" But once again, our brains are wrong. If you can read that and connect it to yourself, you're not in the difficulty mentioned, not yet anyway. And if we fail before the real trials and tribulations overtake us, what will become of us?

It might be the least expected thing in the end, the Internet, which damns us.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Laughing, Crying & Love & Rumi's Vaakiya of the Pearl

Category: SOUND

Laughing and Crying

Hazrat Maulana Shaykh Hakeem Akhtar Sahib (db) said,

“To forget about Allah and laugh is a crime, and to forget about Allah and cry is also a crime. For example, if a person cries in the memory of a non-mahram (any person of the opposite gender with whom marriage is permissible) then that person is a criminal in the court of Allah, and that person’s tears are worse than the urine of a donkey because the curse of Allah is descending on those tears. Thus to cry in the remembrance of Allah is an act of worship, and also to laugh in the remembrance of Allah is also an act of worship.”

Source: ‘Ataa-e-Rabbaani pg.35

^ If one is talking about 'romantic love' as the case seems here (and as tends to predominantly be the case for young people), then a little elaboration. 'Crying' (or just distress) over a non-mahram for marriage or with the intention of a Halaal, Islamic marriage, while not preferable, is not the same and is 'alright'. There are examples in Hadith. Being distressed over non-mahrams for non-Halaal or non-Islamic intentions of relationships is what is meant here. However, in most cases where the intention for Halaal is claimed, the reality is not so, and those would fall into this as well. To cry over a person implies remembering them, and if one is remembering Haraam interactions (even looking at the non-mahram, their image), then that qualifies here. And usually the 'heartbreak' (if it can be called that) is due not to Halaal intentions or hopes but due to the severing of a strong attachment formed through Haraam interactions to begin with (i.e, looking at, speaking with, being in private with, etc.). That too will obviously fall under this, though all pain holds the potential to work for spirituality if it is dealt with by repenting for and abandoning the sin in question and turning to Allah for His Mercy to deal with the situation. Leading into the next section of '6 Steps To Deal With (Sensual) Love', also by Shaykh Akhtar, and specifically the 6th step which elaborates more on this... I call it 'Majnun Syndrome'.

Six Steps to Deal With (Sensual) Love

Those who are involved in love affairs (mutual or one-sided) and wish to come out of this trap but cannot do so, should act on the following six points, Insha Allah, they will be freed.

1. Use the himmah (courage) which Allah has given.

2. Make dua’ to Allah to grant you the himmah you need.

3. Ask the special servants of Allah (the Auliyaa and Ulamaa), and especially one’s shaikh or spiritual mentor, or whoever one consults with, to make dua’ for one to attain himmah to leave this sin.

4. Take special care in making zikr.

5. Keep far away physically and mentally from those things that lead a person to sin, i.e. anything or anyone that is attractive.

6. Continuously go in the company of a Shaikh-e-Kamil for one’s reformation.

No matter how bad one’s condition may be or how severe the desires one may have, one should never lose hope. Love is a very great asset provided it is used correctly. The vehicle that has more fuel will cause it to be swifter. All we need to worry about now is to make sure our direction is correct. The fuel for the vehicle of our bodies is love. We just need to channel it properly. If the direction is made correct in the company of some shaikh along with zikr, such people can now reach Allah very quickly. People with no love do not reach Allah in years. Some people engrossed in sin, when they had their love channeled properly, they reached Allah immediately thereafter. They flew in the direction of Allah with the same speed at which they were flying towards the temporary love. Their lamenting, remorse, and weeping carried them in minute from the farsh (earth) to the ‘Arsh (throne).

Ayaaz and the Pearl

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (rahmatullahi alaihi) mentions in his Mathnawi, a story of Sultan Mahmood: One day the Sultan decided to test his ministers and ordered them to crush the most prized pearl of his treasury. One by one, each of 65 ministers declined, stating that the pearl was far too valuable to be destroyed.

The King then summoned his closest and trusted courtier, Ayaaz, and ordered him to crush the pearl. Without any delay or hesitation, Ayaaz crushed the pearl into fragments. When the ministers expressed disbelief and shock at such audacity, the King asked Ayaaz to inform them as to the reason for him having broken the pearl.

In response, Ayaaz asked these ministers: “Which is more important, the Royal Decree or the pearl? “

The question we pose to ourselves is:

“Which is more important, the command of my Allah or the haram desire of my heart?”

The haram desires of the heart are akin to pearls, which appear to be quite beautiful but we should not fulfill these haram desires at the cost of breaking the decrees of Allah.

Ayaaz attained closeness to the king through his loyalty and faithfulness and his obedience and submission. Similarly, we will gain the extreme nearness and intimate closeness to the King of Kings through loyalty and faithfulness. This in turn is dependent upon sincere obedience and complete submission to His decrees.

Source: Commentary on Rumi's Mathnavi by Shaykh Akthar (db), English by Maulana Yunus Patel

Failure & Shaytan's Deceit & Spiritual Advice

Category: SOUND


If a person fails after having made the correct effort, there is no need to resort to alcohol, drugs and suicide.Many students succumb to such drastic measures. Some students work and study extremely hard but fail. Due to failure, they sink into such depression that they feel they have to take or inject themselves with drugs, tranquilizers, etc. for sleep. Why ? Because they failed.

If a person did not make Tadbeer, did not make a serious and concerted effort and thereafter fails, then he must blame himself. However, generally, we do make a reasonable effort but sometimes still meet with failure. For example : A person is fit and healthy when he started something but later becomes sick and is unable to complete what he undertook.

Tafweez is handing our matters over to Allah Ta’ala, trusting Him, placing our matters before Him and believing that in whatever Allah Ta’ala has decided, there is goodness. Outwardly, it may appear as if there is some problem that we are faced with, but great wisdom lies in the decisions of Allah.

Source: Shaykh Hakeem Akhtar,

Shaitan: The Deceitful Trader

You all believe in Maulana Thanwi (Rahimahullah). He says that if a businessman shows you a sample, and gives you an item which differs from the sample, you will call the businessman a cheat and a deceitful person. You will never buy anything from him again.

Shaytan always deceives. He shows you the cheeks and eyes of attractive people. What sample he shows you and what item he gives. He pollutes you in the organs of feces and urine. But you still have not left Iblees’ tail.

People say what must we do, there is nudity everywhere. Uncovered women do not give us a chance. I say why have you placed your nose under Shaytan’s tail. Safeguard your gaze.

Practise on the blessed statement of Rasûlullah Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. You will achieve piece. Allah will fill your heart with the sweetness of Iman and His love for every glance that you protect.

Friends, do not waste your lives. I am telling you with a painful heart and what more can I tell you? As Hadhrat Thanwi (Rahimahullah) said that if he had the power, he would have placed his heart in his friends’ hearts.

Allah has indicated two prescriptions of obtaining taqwa (piety) in these two verses. In the light of these verses I have showed you two ways of becoming a saint and becoming wealthy with the currency of the hereafter. When the entire world will kick you, only this currency will benefit you. What is this currency? It is the friendship of Allah. In order to attain taqwa, Allah has indicated in one verse that we should live with the people of taqwa. If you do not live with the people of taqwa, you will be consumed by negligence.

Source: Purpose of Life by Hazrat Shaykh Hakeem Akthar Sahib (db)

Advices of Hazrat Shaykh Akhtar

1. Neglect of Zikr is starvation of the soul.

2. One who is an Aashiq,a lover of Allah,even though not entangled in sin will yet remain a Mustaghfir(penitent).

3. Stay away from sins as well as the preludes,those things that lead to sin.

4. The connection,the link between the ,the outward and inward is such that neither can be seperated from the other.

5. Taqwa means that one has the urge to disobey and one prevents oneself from doing so.

6. The true lover of Allah is the one who knows how to to endure the grief of Allah’s path.

7. One evil glance causes several diseases even though it may be for only one minute.

8. Piety creates the light of tranquillity.

9. Ask Allah Ta’ala to muster ones courage to leave all sins.

10. Casting evil glances at beautiful faces is a filthy and polluted act.

11. No taste can match the joy experienced when one sacrifices every breath for Allah’s sake.

12. In old age potency diminishes,but desires and passion remain virile,at the same time to combat the nafs weakens.

13. Some people desire to acquire Allah’s pleasure but refuse to sacrifice any of their pleasures and desires.

14. Due to constant striving,the heart is nutured,and fertile to absorb the rays of Hidayat and Wilayat(sainthood).

15. Controlling the gaze creates a lustre(nur) within the heart which quickly manifests on the face of such a person.

16. In proportion to the severity of the urge and desire to commit sin,will be degree of nur created, on suppressing this urge.

17. One lustful gaze leads to another,just as one sin leads to another and one good deed to another.

18. Striving against the nafs is indeed a struggle and an allegorical Jihaad of the highest form.

19. The person that desires to taste the pleasures of Jannah on earth,should spend with the Ahlullah(people of Allah).

20. The religious harm of jealousy is the destruction of righteous deeds,its worldly harm is perpetual grief.

21. When a servant of Allah considers himself unworthy and inferior,
he is elevated in Allah’s sight.

22. The Awliya-Allah become even more humble when praised, becoming more grateful to Allah,for concealing their faults.

23. One of the most reprehensible forms of Riya(show) is to publicize one’s Ibadat and deeds before friends and family.

24. Regular visits to the graveyard and reflecting ,will create disdain
for the world in the heart.

25. Constant desire and aspiration for name and fame is a destructive spiritual illness.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Simple Prescriptions & A Curriculum for Regular Muslims

Category: SOUND

Simple Prescriptions

Allah Ta’ala wants that every Believer, every Muslim, you and I, no matter how far away we may be, and no matter how much we may have distanced ourselves from Him to still become His friend. And this is not an impossibility. Do not regard Wilayat (friendship with Allah) as a very difficult thing.

In these times, none of the Mashaa`ikh will prescribe that a person stands on the shores of the ocean, on one leg, and reads one tasbeeh, ten thousand times… nothing of the kind.

The prescription of the times is the simplest and easiest, and the only effort that we really require to make in these times of fitnah (trial) and corruption, is that together with fulfilling those Rights which are Fardh, Waajib and Sunnat, we restrain ourselves from all sins. A little Zikr (Praise of Allah Ta’ala), accompanying this, will then yield great results. We will then, Insha-Allah, see what Ikhlaas Allah Ta’ala grants to the heart, and what rewards follow on Ikhlaas.

Source: Ikhlas - Sincerity, A Discourse by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (db) [Musjid-e-Noor]

A Curriculum of Study for the Regular Muslim

by Mufti Taqi Usmani,

Section 1: Necessary Beginners Knowledge

"...without which living a life like a true Muslim is not possible."

  • Hayat al-Muslimin (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

  • Furu` al-Iman (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

  • Ta`lim al-Din (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

  • Behishti Gohar [for men] (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

  • Behishti Zewar [for women] (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

  • Jaza' al-A`maal (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

  • Sirat Khatim al-Anbiya' (Mufti Shafi`)

  • Hakayat Sahaba (Mawlana Zakariyya Kandihlawi)

  • Tarikh Islam (Mawlana Muhammad Mian)

  • Usway Rasule Akram (Mawlana `Abd al-Hayy)

Section 2: Broadening the Core

" which such vastness and firmness is produced in religious aspects that a person will not be misguided by those who misguide."

  • Ma`arif al-Quran (Mufti Shafi`) or Tafsir Usmani (Mawlana Shabbir Ahmed)

  • Ma`arif al-Hadith (Mawlana Manzur Nu`mani)

  • Behishti Zewar ke Masa'il (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

  • `Ilm al-Fiqah (Mawlana `Abd al-Shakkur Lakhnawi)

  • Aqa'id al-Islam (Mawlana Idris Kandihlawi)

  • Shari`at wa Tariqat (Mawlana Ashraf `Ali)

Source: (Fatawa Usmani, pg. 181-182 ed. Maktaba Ma`arif al-Quran: 2005)

[Some other beneficial works, as recommended by some teachers for personal studies, include [a] the Ihya `Ulum al-Din [b] Tariqat al-Muhammadiyyah of Imam Birgivi [c] Riyadh al-Salihin [d] `Ulum al-Qur'an of Mufti Taqi [e] Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah's works...]

In addition, most all these works can be found in English these days.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Knowledge & Sins & The Disease of Idiots

Category: SOUND


“Useful knowledge is that which makes you grow in the fear of Allah, increases you in awareness of your defects, deepens your knowledge of the worship of your Lord Most High, decreases your desire for this world and increases your desire for the life to come, and opens your eyes to the defects of your actions so that you guard against them.”
-Imam Al-Ghazali (ra)

Tirmdhi relates from Jubayr ibn Nufayr (ra), on the authority of Abu Darda (ra):

“We were with the Prophet(peace and blessings be upon him) and he said, “ There {will be} a time when knowledge will be snatced from the people until they will be unable to benefit from it.” Ziyad ibn Lubayd said, “ O Messenger of Allah, how will Allah seize knowledge from us when we recite the Qur’an.” I swear by Allah, we recite it and teach it to our women and children!” He said, “ May your mother be bereaved of you, Ziyad. I used to consider you one of the learned people of Madinah! The Torah and the Gospel are with the Jews and the Christians, yet do they benefit from them in any way?”
[Tirmdhi no. 2653]

Nasa’i relates a similar hadith from Jubayr ibn Nufayr, on the authority of ‘Awf ibn Malik (ra), from the Prophet (ra). He says in this hadith,

"The Prophet (saw) mentioned the straying of the Jews and the Christians despite their possessing scriptures."
[Al-Nasa’i , al- Sunan al-Kubra(Beirut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi), 8:211; al-Musnad, 6-26-27; al Hakim, al-Mustadrak(Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1990), 1:99-100]

Jubayr ibn Nufayr (ra) also related:

"I met Shaddad ibn Aws and I informed him of the hadith of ‘Awf ibn Malik, and he said, 'He has spoken the truth. Shall I not inform you about the first occurrence of the lifting of knowledge? Humility will be lifted to the point you will not see a single humble person.'"


The Discomfort of Avoiding Pleasurable Sins

“The discomfort felt after not committing a sin is like an everlasting feeling of springtime. This discomfort is actually beneficial and more virtuous compared to that feeling of temporary tranquility felt by the nafs after committing a sin. The reason behind this is that the curses of Allah descend on the person who acquires haram pleasures of the nafs, whereas the mercy of Allah descends on the person who feels discomfort for leaving sins.”

[‘Ataa-e-Rabbaani pg.34]

Comment of Abu Yahya

This malfooz of Hazratwala is actually the essence of his teachings. Hazratwala does not emphasise anything as much as he emphasizes tolerating the “pain” of abstaining from sins; such as casting evil glances at beautiful and handsome faces, watching pornographic pictures, etc. And in this day and age, this is a very unique and rare thing to propagate.

Unfortunately there is a great misconception which is becoming widespread in the Ummah (and this is due to our separation from the company of the Ulama and Auliya)which is: wear hijab, wear a kufi, go to a couple of Islamic conferences and lectures, and lead whatever type of life you wish. If it is too hard or difficult for you to do, then no problem… there is definitely some scholar who has given a fatwa permitting it. Surf the net and you’ll find Mufti Google answering all your queries!

The problem is that no one can comprehend that the pain in abstaining from sins is something good. We think: how can pain be good? But as they say: NO PAIN, NO GAIN!

It hurts to guard your eyes and follow the sunnah when you’re surrounded by kufr and mockers of the sunnah… but it is from this pain of not being accepted and not allowing the nafs haram pleasures by which Allah is attained.

We have mixed up the “ease” that shariah offers to us at times of dire necessity with the ease desired by the nafs in order to shy away from mujahadah. Whereas there is a clear and explicit difference. When the malfoozat and noble utterence of the Ulama-e-Rabbaniyeen such as the one above is applied to one’s life… then one truly experiences peace and traquility.

Indeed, just like when working out to develop bigger and stronger muscles when weight-training. Working out the soul is the same. The pain and 'burn' come from avoiding sins and especially the pleasurable ones, and engaging in good deeds, particularly the difficult ones. Just as the frequent trainee of bodybuilding begins to love the feeling of what is essentially harm coming to his body from the soreness and 'burn' of the muscles, because they understand what it signifies, so too will a seeker in the spiritual path come to even enjoy the discomfort from not sinning, because they'll understand what that signifies.

Source: An-Noor

Tricks of Shaitan

1. The first thing Shaytaan does is, he takes out the importance of obedience out of us and puts the importance of the dunya within us.

2. The second thing Shaytaan does is he delays the good actions, ex. praying, following the Sunnah, acquiring good company, making taubah etc.

3. The third thing he does is that he makes you rush through any good deed.

4. The fourth level of Shaytaan’s trickery is that he puts riyaa’ in those actions.

5. The fifth level of Shaytaan’s trickery is that he puts vanity in us - ‘ujb, i.e. conceit.

6. The sixth level of Shaytaan’s trickery is that he injects you with the poison of doing things for fame.

Any one of these is sufficient to destroy the reward of the action as well as serve as a means of destruction for the person.

May Allah save us from shaytaan and his evil ploys. Aameen!

Source: An-Noor

The Aim of Life

If we live in the company of the pious ones, we will attain the aim of life. What is the aim of life? When we go from this world wrapped in our kafans, we will not be able to take our jewellery, wives, children, carpets, mobile telephones, or any currency. This is proof enough that these items are not the aim of life. Tell me, is this a proof or not? Since the time of Adam (Alaihis salâm) till today, have you seen anyone taking his house, carpets and telephone with him? Have you seen anyone telling the angels, “O angels, come and help me. I cannot carry my carpets and my house alone. Please assist me.” Then the angels come down and say, “This janazah has requested Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta’la that his chairs, carpets, telephone, cellphone, cars and goods should reach the hereafter.” Has any dead person gone with his house and material possessions? This shows that these things are not the purpose of life. These are the means of life. Means are taken away while aims are not snatched away. This is proof enough that our purpose is worship. We take the nûr (illumination) of our worship to Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta’la. Another proof is that Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta’la grants us the ability to take His name till the time of death because this is the aim of life. Many powers terminate after sixty to seventy years. Hadhrat Hakeemul Ummat (Rahimahullâh) states that when the strength is finished, the old man tells his old wife, “Throw sand on taking and giving, let’s have pure love.” Friends, all strengths terminate in old age except the ability to take Allâh’s name. To the extent that some people became blind and deaf but their tongues were moving. Those who were in the habit of taking Allâh’s name, only they took His name. While those who were not in the habit of taking His name, who secretly went to the sewerage area and committed lewd acts had a disastrous end.

Source: "Purpose of Life" by Arif Billah Hazrat Molana Shah Hakeem Mohammad Akhter Sahab (db)

Overpower The Nafs (Self)

Do not company those who have becom Overpowered, O Rebellious one. Accompany one who has overpowered his nafs so that you may also become dominant and be able to practice upon the knowledge that you have acquired. and if one always stays in the company of those who are overpowered by their nafs then he will also remain a slave of his base desires. This because the one who himself is enslaved, how can he free someone else? one prisoner cannot release another prisoner. only if one of them is released will he be able to bail the other out. These people are the Ahlullah who have freed themselves from the slavery of Nafs.

Source: -Connection with Allah- by Arif billah Hazrat Molana Shah Hakeem Mohamamd Akhter sahab (db), Ahl-e-Dil

The Disease of Idiots

“One lustful gaze leads to another, just as one sin leads to another and also one good deed to another.”
-Arif Billah Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Sahib (db)

Hakeem ul Ummah, Hazrat Thanwi (RA) says, “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.”
[Anwaar-e-Haram pg. 45]

Note: This applies for females as well. Just because the example given by Hazrat Thanwi (RA) involves men, it does not mean that women are exempt. The ruling for lowering the gaze has been given to men first, and then specifically to women separately.

"Casting lustful galnces at beautiful girls and young lads is nowadays not even considered to be a sin. Hadratwala said that one who casts lustful glances at girls and young lads is stupid. And there is no FIX for stupidity. People, who have zero tolerance to Ahlullah, argue that 'we don’t know'… Hadratwala has said IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE FOR SINNING. Islam doesn’t work like this. It’s obligatory on every Muslim to know the difference between Halal and Haram. One should attend the Majalis of the Ahlullah and Ulama."

Source: Ahl-e-Dil

What is Dunya? & The Cure For Depression

Category: SOUND

What is Dunya?

Maulana Rumi (RA) explains the reality of the dunya by posing the question, “What is dunya?” Some ignorant people say, “Kick the dunya aside, kick the dunya aside!” Our Shaikh Hazrat Hakeem Akhtar (DB) says, “If you do not have money, and if you do not have food, then you will not be able to even lift your leg up to kick the dunya aside.” From this we can understand that wealth is not necessarily dunya. Then what is? Maulana Rumi sums it up in one line, where he poses the question, and then answers it. He says, “What is dunya? It is to be unmindful of Allah.”

Clothes, silver, gold, money, wealth, wife and kids are not necessarily dunya, provided they do not make a person unmindful of Allah. In other words, all these things are kept according how Allah wants them to be, and he does not use any of these things in disobeying Allah, then this person is a man of God, and is not materialistic. On the other hand you have a person who is broke. He spends his life hungry and goes through financial difficulties, but is negligent of Allah, and disobeys Allah, and then this person in reality is materialistic even though he has nothing. We understand that even living in luxury and affluence, a person can be a wali of Allah, and contrary to this, in poverty and hunger; a person can be distant from Allah and materialistic. That is why Maulana Rumi (RA) has defined dunya as negligence towards Allah, not wealth, and prominence.

The proof of this statement can be found in the Tafseer Ruh-ul-Ma’aani under the verse where Allah says, “And the life of this world is nothing but capital of deception.” Allah uses the Arabic word manta’, so what really is mataa’? Allamah Aalusi (RA) (the author of the above mentioned Tafseer) mentions that mataa’ actually refers to a cloth that women normally use in the kitchen to wipe and clean the kitchen area. So it is something very low and worthless.

Allamah Aalusi (RA) poses a question in his Tafseer that when is the dunya considered lowly and bad? He answers by saying that the dunya is only bad when it makes you unmindful of the Aakhirat. The dunya is carrion, and its seekers are dogs. But this is with a condition, and the condition is that it should make one unmindful of the Aakhirat. Allamah Aalusi (RA) mentions that if the dunya does not make one unmindful of Allah and the Aakhirat, and the dunya is made as a means to attain the Aakhirat, then it is a great capital and saving. One person uses his wealth to serve the Ulamaa. He donates his wealth to masjids, and madrasahs. He makes utilizes his wealth for Islamic publications. He feeds students of deen and pious people. So is this person’s wealth merchandise of deception? Is it lowly and degenerate? No, rather it is a great capital that he has saved up, which is being sacrificed for the sake of Allah. That is why it is mentioned in a hadith, “No one but a pious person should eat your food.” The reason for this is that the pious person after eating will get strength and energy and he will do good deeds. So the one who fed him will also have a share in the reward and this will be a form of Sadaqah Jaariyah (continuous charity). So this form of dunya is not debased because it is being used as a means to build the Aakhirat.

This type of wealth is not given to everyone. Everyone is not so fortunate that their wealth does not make them unmindful of Allah. My Shaikh, Shah Abdul Ghani (RA) used to say that Allah does not disclose the secret of His love to every heart. He then would recite some poetry in Farsi with great enjoyment. The meaning of the poetry is as follows:

Allah does not disclose the secret of His love to every heart.
And every eye is not always fit to guide one on His path.
Every pearl is not given the honor of being part of the king’s crown.
And every messenger was not blessed with the ascension (Mi'raj).
Not everyone is chosen for the service of the Deen.
One out of a thousand is blessed with this honor.

I pray that Allah gives us the taufeeq to utilize whatever dunya we have for the sake of Deen, and also that Allah include us amongst those that He has chosen for the service of His Deen. Aameen.

-Dars-e-Mathnawi pg. 20-24
(Shaykh Hakeem Akhtar)


The Cure For Depression

This article can be found here on An-Noor. It's a bit too lengthy to repost here, but InshAllah it will remain available on that site. It's a very good read.

Giving Up Sins: An Easy Prescription

Category: SOUND

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel

There are many, many Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world who due to various negative influences and bad elements, find themselves 'de-railed' from Deen. Many others sit on the fence, wanting to enjoy or benefit from both sides of the fence - engaging in sins as well as being practical on certain teachings of Deen. However, deep in their hearts is the desire to get back on track, and once again become good, practical Muslims; to jump off the fence and enjoy the green pastures of Islam. So they write, e-mail, phone, fax seeking guidance and direction.

The main weakness is indulgence in sins; sometimes many sins and excessive indulgence in those sins. A standard prescription that I give as a reply, is as follows. Alhamdulillah, many who followed through with the prescription have found a whole new life - of peace, happiness, blessings and mercy. On tasting the sweetness that comes with obedience, there is no desire to return to any form of disobedience.

  • The ideal is that we abstain from sins, out of love for Allah Ta'ala. He has granted us so much - He has granted us everything and it is the nature of human beings that we love the person that is kind and generous to us. Then what of Allah Ta'ala who has provided us with plentiful - with everything? The sight, hearing, speech, the organs that are functioning in such an amazing manner, the limbs - all in our service - for eating, drinking, walking, sitting, etc. The gifts of wealth : the clothing, shelter, transport, food, drink, and so many other comforts. We use them all, but do we keep in mind, the Generous Benefactor? Do we give thanks for these bounties or show any appreciation to the Giver?

  • Developing the conscious awareness that Allah Ta'ala is with us : He is watching us, He is hearing us, He knows all and everything about us; We cannot hide from Him; We cannot conceal our actions from Him. Then should we not feel ashamed that in His Presence, we are disobeying Him? Are we not showing ingratitude to the Benefactor, when engaging in sins in His very Presence ?

  • Keep in mind that the angels too are witness to all our actions; that the earth is recording our behaviour and that all of it is also noted in our books of deeds - that we are accountable to Allah Ta'ala on the Day of Judgement. Added to this, our actions are also presented to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), so we should give thought to whether our actions are a source of joy or grief to him. .In this manner, we will develop that shame and modesty which will make it easy to restrain from Haraam.

  • Muraqabah is meditating on the actions engaged in during the day : We should reflect over our deeds for the day and seek forgiveness for shortcomings and resolve not to return to those bad deeds. We should also express gratitude on good deeds and make dua for an increase in them.

  • Ponder over the fact that the Angel of Death does not give respite. It must not be that whilst obeying the nafs in sinful pleasure, the Angel of death visits; and departure is in disgrace, and return to Allah Ta'ala is at a time when He is angry, and that death is an embarrassment to the person, family and community who find out that death came in sin. May Allah Ta'ala protect us all from death in a state of transgression, but this is very much a reality. .Death visits - more often, very unexpectedly, and no true Muslim would want to be seized by the Angel of death when Allah Ta'ala is displeased. I often say : We now have instant tea, and instant coffee, and instant cereal and instant pudding and so many other things on the market are instant - we are also living in times when death is just as instant. So any sin is too much of a risk in the face of the reality of death. .The Hadith is explicit : That we will be resurrected on the day of Judgement as we have died and we will die as we have lived. Would any Muslim want to rise up on the Day of Judgement in sin, for all of mankind to witness what kind of life he led?

  • Ponder over the fact that Allah Ta'ala has blessed us with the gift of sight, hearing, health, wealth, and so much else - and has also granted us the gift of respect. However, what He gives, He can also take away. He has explicitly stated that ingratitude for His Gifts will draw very severe punishment. So is sin not abuse and ingratitude for the gifts of sight, of heart, of mind, of limbs ? A little contemplation on the consequences of such behaviour and a little bit of mujahada - which entails 'not doing' and Alhamdulillah, the sicknesses are cured.

  • Together with this :

  • Attend the talks of the learned Scholars of Islam whenever possible, or listen to recordings of their talks and read their books to gain benefit of pious, righteous company. Join and participate in the Deeni activities with those who follow the Qur`aan and Sunnah. On will, Insha-Allah, find a great improvement in one's condition by keeping the right company.

  • Make the effort to read Salaah punctually. Men should make every effort to read their Salaah in Jamaat.

  • Read good, Islamic literature. Abstain from magazines or books that have filthy and indecent contents and pictures.

  • Give up television viewing. .90% of the content is Haraam. If a person offers a full glass of clean and pure water, and mentions that there is just one drop of urine, would any sensible person, drink it ?

  • Then when the major content of television is Haraam, what would we then say ? When the gaze, heart and mind are consuming and digesting so much of Haraam viewing, what else would be the end result except indulgence in the same Haraam.

  • Lower the gaze from the opposite sex.

  • Dress as a Muslim should - Wearing the pants above the ankle and keeping the beard, one fist in length must not be considered as insignificant actions. These are teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which he has emphasized. Although it is permissible to wear the shirt and pants, the dressing of the righteous has a speciality which benefits in different ways. A person with this appearance will think a hundred times before engaging in an open sin, when he is being recognized as someone who must be very pious. So this attire and appearance will offer a protection, Insha-Allah. Women too should dress modestly as is prescribed by Shariah.

  • By doing these few things, you have won more than half the battle. And it is not as difficult as Shaytaan and nafs will whisper. A little courage, a little effort and a little sacrifice are all that is required.

Of course, these are just basic aspects of Deen, which everyone can implement immediately and easily. There is a need to fulfill the Obligatory Injunctions such as Salaah, Zakaat, Fasting in the month of Ramadaan, etc. and to fulfill the rights of family, neighbours and others. There is a need to read the Qur`aan Sharief regularly, together with some authentic commentary - a little at a time, as well as giving time to studying some book on Islamic Jurisprudence and reading the life and teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) , etc.

A reading of the books of virtues of actions such as Salaah, Fasting, Haj, Sadaqaat, Zikr, etc. by Hazrat Shaykhul Hadith Maulana Zakariyyah Saheb (Rahmatullah 'alayh) will create enthusiasm in the heart for action.

May Allah Ta'ala grant us His Love and the Love of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) , such that it becomes easy to give up all sins and submit to His Obedience. May He protect us all from the mischief of nafs and Shaytaan. May He fill our hearts with Love for this beautiful Deen and inspire us in being a practical and good Muslims and be true role-models to our community.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quotes: A Lot

Category: SOUND

I got most of these from mutmainaa.

"A servant should overcome his soul,
And be continuous in the remembrance of his Lord,
Establishing the rights of his Lord,
Focusing upon Him with his heart,
The light of fear setting ablaze his heart,
Whilst drinking from the vessel of pure love,
And certain hidden realities being unveiled for him.
So when he talks, it is due to Allah,
When he speaks, it is from Allah,
When he moves, it is by the Command of Allah,
And when he is serene, then it is from Allah,
He belongs to Allah, is for Allaah and is with Allah."

"If the first inward thought is not warded off, it will generate a desire, then the desire will generate a wish, and the wish will generate an intention, and the intention will generate the action, and the action will result in ruin and divine wrath. So evil must be cut off at its root, which is when it is simply a thought that crosses the mind, from which all the other things follow on."
-Imam al-Ghazzali (ra) [Ihyaa Uloom al-Deen, 6/17]

"When someone criticises or disagrees with you, a small ant of hatred and antagonism is born in your heart. If you do not squash that ant at once, it might grow into a snake, or even a dragon."
-Jalaluddin al-Rumi (ra)

"And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can keep back His favour; He brings it to whom He pleases of His servants; And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
-Qur'an (10:107)

"Intelligence is the shadow of objective truth.
How can the shadow vie with sunshine?"
-Jalaluddin al-Rumi (ra)

"Repel the thought, for if you don't, it becomes an idea. So repel the idea, for if you don't it will become a desire. So fight against that (desire), for if you don't, it will become a determination and a passion. And if you don't repel that, it will become an action. And if you don't replace it with its opposite, it will become a constant habit. So at that point, it will be difficult for you to change it."
-Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah [from al-Fawaa'id]

"Knowledge is not what is memorised.
Knowledge is what benefits."
-Imam Shafi' (ra)

"And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience"
-Qur'an (47:31)

"The Qur'an guides you to the recognition of your illnesses and to their remedies.
Your illness are your sins, and your medicine is seeking Allah's Forgiveness."

Abu Suhayb Sinaan (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
"How amazing is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything,and this characteristic is exclusively for him alone. If he experiences something good he is thankful and that is good for him; and if he comes across some diversity,he is patient and that is good for him." [Muslim]

A leading scholar of Basra visited Rabi'a al-Adawiyya (ra) while she was ill. Sitting beside her pillow, the scholar spoke about how terrible the world was. In reply, Rabi`a told him: "You love the world very dearly. If you did not love the world, you would not mention it so much. It is always the purchaser who first disparages what he wants to buy. If you were done with the world, you would not mention it either for good or evil. As it is, you keep mentioning it because, as the proverb says, whoever loves a thing mentions it frequently."

Once Rabia al-Basri (Rabi'a al-Adawiyya) (ra) was sitting in company with some people who were talking of the world reproachfully. She said,
'Do not talk of the world. Do not talk of it even disparagingly. For, your talking of it shows that you consider it to be worth talking about, and something of consequence. If it were of no consequence in your sight, you would never have liked to make a mention of it. (For, who would talk about the filth that men excrete?)'
[Fazaile Sadaqaat, Ch.6]

"Intention is the measure for rendering actions true, so that, where intention is sound, action is sound, and where it is corrupt, then action is corrupt"
-Imam an-Nawawi (ra)

Why do you seek more knowledge when you pay no heed to what you already know?

"Remember your contemporaries who have passed away and were your age. Remember the honors and fame they earned, the high posts they held, and the beautiful bodies they possessed. Today all of them are turned to dust. They have left orphans and widows behind them, their wealth is being wasted, and their houses turned into ruins. No sign of them is left today, and they lie in dark holes underneath the earth. Picture their faces before your mind's eye and ponder."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

"For those who realize that everything is from God, everything is the same."
-Jalaluddin al-Rumi (ra)

"If you knew what I know, you would go out to the jungle, weeping and crying and leave your property unguarded. But your hearts are heedless of the requirements of the Hereafter and you have, before you, worldly hopes and aspirations. That is why the world has become your master and all your activities are directed towards it; you have reduced yourself to a condition of stark ignorance."
-Abu Darda (radiAllahu anhu) [Fazaile Sadaqaat, Ch.6]

"Whoever is not made glorified by taqwa can find no glory."
-Imam Shafi'i (ra)

"Shall I tell you who is kept away from Hell and from whom Hell is kept away? From everyone who is gentle and kindly, approachable and of an easy disposition."
-Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) [Tirmidhi, Hadith 1315]

"You are not aware of the consequences that would result (if you were granted what you desire) because what you seek might be to your detriment. (O soul) be conscious that your Master is more aware about your well-being than you are."
-Ibn Al-Jawzi

"Whoever travels without a guide, needs two hundred years for a two-day journey."
-Jalaluddin Rumi (ra)

"Your souls are precious and can only be equal to the price of Paradise, therefore sell them only at that price."
-Hazrat Ali ibn abu-Talib (radiAllahu anhu)

"Whoever determines the truth from people alone will remain lost in the plains of bewilderment. Rather, know the truth, and you will know its people."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra) [Ihya Ulum al-Din, 'The Book of Knowledge']

"Two kinds of people live a life without care: one kind are extremely worthy of praise, the other kind are extremely worthy of criticism. The first are those who care nothing for the pleasures of the world and the second (i.e. those who are deserving of criticism) care nothing for haya or modesty."
-Ibn Hazm [Kitab al-Akhlaq wa al-Siyar fi Mudawat al-Nufus]

"The Holy Prophet is dearer to us than our wealth, our children, our fathers, our forefathers, our mothers and cool water at the time of severe thirst."
-Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiAllahu anhu)

"Whoever builds his faith exclusively on demonstrative proofs and deductive arguments, builds a faith on which it is impossible to rely. For he is affected by the negativities of constant objections. Certainty (al-yaqin) does not derive from the evidences of the mind but pours out from the depths of the heart."
-Ibn Arabi (ra)

"Sometimes in order to help He makes us cry
Happy the eye that sheds tears for His sake
Fortunate the heart that burns for His sake
Laughter always follow tears
Blessed are those who understand
Life blossoms wherever water flows
Where tears are shed divine mercy is shown"
-Jalaluddin Rumi (ra)

"Better to look at the defects hidden within you than to look for the unseen worlds that are veiled from you."
-Shaykh Ibn Ata'illah

"Toward the latter days of indiscriminate violence, be like the first and better of the two sons of Adam who said, 'If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you; surely I fear God, the Lord of the worlds.'"
-Prophet Muhammad (saw) [Tirmidhi]

"There are two kinds of Riya - Showing off - Ostentation ie pure ostentation and adulterated ostention. In pure ostentation 'Riya' a man does a good deed only for worldly benefit. In adulterated ostentation, a man does a good deed with the intention of reaping the benefits of the world as well as of the Hereafter."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

"The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds just like he hides his evil deeds."
-Ya'qub al-Makfoof

"By Allah, whenever I endure any adversity I gain four blessings of Allah in exchange. The first of them is, when the adversity is not caused by my sin (virtue is earned). The second, when the adversity is not greater than my sin (virtue is earned). The third, when I am not deprived of contentment (virtue is earned). And the fourth, I hope for virtues thereby."
-Hazrat Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiAllahu anhu)

"Believers see their sins as if they were sitting at the foot of a mountain and feared that it may fall on them, while the corrupt see their sins as if they were a mere fly that flew by their nose."
-Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) [Bukhari] [Muslim]

"Only someone who is sincere recognizes what showing off is."
-Imam Shafi'i (ra)

"Had there not been five bad qualities, all the people would have been righteous. Contentment with ignorance; love for worldly life; miserliness inspite of much wealth; ostentation in (good) deeds; and pride in their own intelligence."
-Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (radiAllahu anhu)

"Do not try to run away from trials and tribulations, but endure them with patience. They cannot be avioded, and there is nothing for it but to endure them with patience, How can you expect the whole of this world, and all that has been created therein, to undergo change and transformation just to suit your convenience? The Prophets are the best of all creatures, yet they have always had to suffer afflication and so it is for their followers, those who tread in their footsteps as they walk along their highway, emulating their example."
-Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani (ra)

"True knowledge is not measured in relationship tohow much you memorize and then narrate, but rather, true knowledge is an expression of piety."
-Ibn Mas'ud (ra)

"What hurts the soul? To live without tasting the water of its own essence."
-Jalaluddin al-Rumi (ra)

"Absorption in worldly affairs breeds darkness in the heart, and absorption in the affairs of the next world enkindles light in the heart."
-Hazrat Uthman ibn Affan (radiAllahu anhu)

When Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiAllahu anhu) despatched the army of Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas (radiAllahu anhu) to the Battle of Al-Qadisiyyah, he advised him:
"Fear your sins more than you fear the enemy as your sins are more dangerous to you than your enemy. We Muslims are only victorious over our enemy because their sins outnumber ours, not for any other reason. If our sins were equal to those of our enemy, then they would defeat us due to their superior numbers and resources."

"None in this age will amass wealth except those having five traits of character. High hopes; abnormal greediness; excessive miserliness, lack of fearing Allah; and forgetfulness of the coming world."
-Sufyan ath-Thawri (ra)

"The finest of the believers conduct themselves with honorable bearing. And the finest of the finest are those who treat their mates with affection."
-Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) [as reported by Abu Hurairah]

"Five are the marks of Allah-fearing people. They do not associate with people other than those with whom they can maintain terms on a religious basis; they restrain their private parts and their tongues; when they make any large temporal gain, they take it as a curse, and when they gain even a little piety, they consider it precious; they do not eat to their full even of what is permitted for fear that anything forbidden might be mixed with it, they consider all people pious and pardoned, but consider themselves as sinners."
-Hazrat Uthman ibn Affan (radiAllahu anhu)

"Be content with what you have. Be satisfied with your dwelling place to accommodate your enterprise, Restrain your tongue, And shed tears of regret regarding past sins you committed knowingly, and those you do not recognize."
-Abdullah bin Mas'ud (ra)

"My father died, and for an entire year I did not ask Allah for anything except that He forgive my father."
-Amir ibn Abd Allah ibn Az-Zubayr (radiAllahu anhu)

Iyyadh bin Ghanam narrated that God’s messenger (peace be upon him) said: “I was informed by the heavenly hosts of angels that the most dignified among my followers are people who rejoice in public when they ponder the vastness of Allah’s all-encompassing mercy and compassion, and they weep privately when they contemplate rigorous punishment He reserved for the sinners and the deniers of the truth. They sit in His blessed mosques morning and evening worshipping Him and celebrating His praises inwardly, and they implore Him with their tongues outwardly with reverence and awe. They pray to Him with their hands raised as well as lowered, and they yearn for Him unceasingly. They take little from people, and yet, it bears heavily on their hearts. They walk barefooted, humble, unpretentious, and unnoticed, just like ants, without finery; and they are free of self-adulation. They walk with dignity and serenity, and they rise to the nearness of their Lord through their link to His messenger (saws). They wear the garment of good conduct and follow the clear proof. They read the Qur’an regularly, take their daily guidance from it, and they happily make the necessary personal sacrifices to meet its requirements. Almighty Allah has surrounded them with distinguished witnessing angels, and faithful guardians, and He has illumined their faces with effulgence as a sign of His blessings upon them and as a demostration of His satisfaction with them. When they look at His servants, they anticipate promising signs. They often contemplate the vastness of Allah’s creation. Their bodies dwell on earth, and their eyes are anchored upon the heavens. Their feet stand on earth, and their hearts dwell in the heavens. They breath on earth, and yet, their spirits are connected to the divine Throne. heir souls live in this world, and their thoughts are focused on the hereafter. hey only worry about what may come. Their graves are in this world, and their ranks are exalted in Allah’s sight.” God’s messenger (saws) then recited: “Such is the reward of one who reveres My Majesty, and fears My warning.” (Qur’an, 14:14)
[From: The Beauty of the Righteous and the Ranks of the Elite, by Imam Abu Na'eem al-Asfahanee]

"I complained to Waki' about the weakness of my memorisation, so he instructed me to abandon disobedience; He informed me that knowledge is a light, and the light of Allah is not given to a sinner."
-Imam Shafi'i (ra)

"Yearning for Allah and His meeting is like the gentle breeze blowing upon the heart, extinguishing the blaze of the Dunya. Whosoever caused his heart to settle with his Lord shall be in a state, calm and tranquility, and whosoever sent it amongst the people shall be disturbed and excessively perturbed."
-Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

"The reality of the other person lies not in what he reveals to you, but what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say."
-Khalil Gibran

"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution."
-Khalil Gibran

Some Islamic Principles of Living

Category: SOUND

This is just a collection of some anecdotes found from various corners of the Internet that I feel relay the essence or principles behind the Islamic philosophy of living. Words in grayed out font are from me.

Mus'ab ibn Sa'd (ra) narrated that his father asked, "O Messenger of Allah (saw), who is subjected to the severest trial?" He said, "The Prophets, then the righteous, then the likes of them, then the likes of them among the people. A man is tried in relation to his religion. If he is firmly rooted to his religion then his trial will increase but if he is weak on his religion then his trial will be light. Trial does not cease to fall on a person as long as he walks on the surface of the earth until no sin remains on him."
(Tirmidhi #2398) (Ibn Majah #4023) (Ahmed 1/172)
This is an unbelievably important principle. It helps explain Qadr, or the Divine Destiny in store for us. So many people have their Iman (faith) weakened or tried by hardships because they do not take heed of this principle of how things work in Islam, in this world in relation to the next, and with believers in relation to the non-believers. Shaitan and the Nafs mislead a believer into assuming that a sin is worth doing, that they can repent for it later, and that it will bring them pleasure since they look around them at all the other people (non-believers or Muslims whose hearts have been sealed away by Allah) indulging in the sins without ill effect. The truth is that the consequences for sins of believers are felt right here, and often right now. The sins you commit today will be what makes your life miserable tomorrow in a sense. As one can see, they (Shaitan and the Nafs) mislead you even as to what will bring you pleasure in this world or not. As the Qur'an says about Shaitan: "'I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah.' Whoever, forsaking Allah, takes satan for a patron, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest." (4:119)... The true path to contentment in this world as well as the next is Islam. Those who live while indulging in all the sins they like are not happy, nor content. People who have achieved higher stations of spirituality through mujahadah (striving) can develop a more instinctive feel for this, such as illustrated in the following saying of Maulana Rumi (ra):
"If thou wilt be observant and vigilant, thou wilt see at every moment the response to thy action. Be observant if thou wouldst have a pure heart, for something is born to thee in consequence of every action."
And when one can start picking out the pattern instinctively and through reflection, then this also becomes something which will reaffirm and strengthen Iman (faith), and increase Taqwa (righteousness or God-consciousness).

Someone told Imam Abu Hanifah (ra), "In the mosque there is a circle (Halaqah) in which the people are looking at fiqh." He asked, "Do they have a head (i.e. a teacher)?" The man replied, "No." The Imam said, "These will never gain knowledge of fiqh."
[Reported by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, through his isnad, in 'al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih']

Imam Malik (ra) was asked, "Can knowledge be taken from a man who has not ([to his credit any) seeking (of knowledge) nor sitting (with scholars)?" He said, "No."
[Reported by as-Suyuti in 'Is'af al-Mubatta']

Imam al-Shafi' (ra) said, "Whoever takes knowledge from books loses the regulations."
(man akhadha al-'ilma min al-kutubi Dayya'a al-aHkaama).
[Reported by al-Nawawi in the introduction to 'al-Majmu']

'Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad, said, "My father said : 'Knowledge is only that in which one says : So-and-so told us . . . . And, al-Mansur asked my father to discuss [something] with Ibn Abi Du'ad, but he turned his face away, saying, 'How can I discuss with someone whom I have not seen at the door of a single scholar?!'"
[Reported by Qadi 'Iyad in 'al-Ilma']

Loss of Knowledge
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al' As:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray."
[Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 3, Number 100]

Sufism (Tasawwuf)
“Know that Sufism is compliance with Allah’s command and avoidance of His prohibitions, externally and internally, with regard to what pleases Him, not what pleases you.”
-Qutb al-Maktum Sayyid Abu Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tijani

"Firstly, a husband must overcome his shyness enough to actually look at his wife, and pay attention to her. If he cannot bring himself to follow this sunna, it is an insult to her, and extremely hurtful. Personal intimacy is a minefield of opportunities to hurt each other--glancing at the watch, a yawn at the wrong moment, appearing bored, and so on."

"Women shall have rights similar to the rights upon them; according to what is equitable and just; and men have a degree of advantage over them."
-Qur'an (2:216)

A bachelor once asked Imam al-Ghazali (ra): "Which should I choose: marriage, or total devotion to God?" "Both", he replied.

Bishr al-Hafi, a pious bachelor and teacher of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah), appeared to someone in a dream, and was asked, “How has God treated you?” He responded, “I have been given a high rank in the Gardens of Paradise. And I was allowed to look upon the stations of the prophets (alayhum salam); yet I never attained to the ranks of the married.” When asked what had become of Abu Nasr al-Tammar, he replied, “He has been raised seventy degrees above me.” People were surprised, and asked how this could be, and he answered, “He earned that by his patience with his little daughters and his family burdens.”
Regarding men having multiple wives (I don't know the authenticity of this, nor do I have reason to question it, but the principle is sound):
A dispute having arisen between the Caliph Mansur and his wife Harrah over an accusation made by the latter that the former was not a just ruler, Abu Hanifah was called in to arbitrate between them. The queen sat behind a veil in order to hear the Imam's verdict with her own ears. Mansur began by asking how many wives a Muslim was permitted to have at a time according to the Shari'ah. The Imam replied, "Four." "Do you hear?" shouted Mansur to the queen. "Yes, I've heard it," replied the queen. At that point the Imam addressed himself to the Caliph and added, "But this permission is for a man who is capable of doing justice. No other man can have more than one wife. God Himself says: 'If you doubt your ability to do justice (between your wives), have only one wife.' " Mansur remained silent. A little while after the Imam returned home, a servant came to him with a gift of fifty thousand dinars. "The queen," he said, "sends you her respectful salutations and says that she is grateful to you for your truthful verdict." The Imam returned the money with a message for the queen that he had expressed the opinion he had expressed not in the expectation of a reward but because it was his duty as an arbitrator to express it.
Now consider what state the man must be in, being that most people, men and women alike, cannot even fairly deal with their sole mother to say nothing of their sole spouse.

Lowering of the Gaze

The way a man will come to look at it:

At first you tend to only lower the gaze for other Muslims, for those who make it clear that they'd like you to do so (for which donning hijab/niqab is the most effective way to indicate). You do it for their sake, out of a need to respect the boundaries and limits they have errected because you respect their principles, you feel the love for them that all Muslims share as brothers and sisters in Islam and this is only furthered by a feeling of guilt if one does not normally observe the practice of guarding their gaze. But that doesn't apply for all the women who WANT you to look. In their case, you lower the gaze for yourself, your own sake (which is the most difficult).

Another reason that one finds to keep up the practice of lowering the gaze indiscriminately is not for fear of finding others attractive, but for fear of finding them NOT attractive. That's not something anyone deserves, to be unjustly objectified for comparison to others, whether only in someone's head or not.

Modesty (Haya)
"O ye wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any other women. If ye keep your duty (to Allah; i.e, Taqwa), then be not soft of speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire (to you), but utter customary speech."
-Qur'an (33:32)
This means don't be nice in speech towards men, revealing their femininity, because they could be attracted to that. The condition or given explanation is the mere chance that a man of Iman might waver (let alone those men who are non-believers or those who are known to be of weak Iman towards whom there should be no doubt). This applies for tone of voice ("be not soft of speech") as well as actual words used ("utter customary speech"). This applies to all women just as many of the other rules of Hijab were also derived from the verses in this section addressed towards the wives (ra) of the Prophet (saw). This is the view of all Sunni and Shi'ite scholars.

In addition to all of the above it should also be noted that the system of interaction between the sexes, the institution of Hijab, the principles of modesty, and the institution of marriage in Islam serve to endow the relationship between man and woman (romantic relationship) with the best that such relationships have to offer in this world, and remove the pitfalls (since positive potential is matched by negative potential in this world). In the next 'Quotes' update, I'll include some quotes about romantic love from non-Islamic cultures, and the idea there is that the essence of these is not only present within Islamic culture, but it is at its best since what they only hint at (romantic love tapping into the greater True Love of spirituality) is what Islam is designed to foster for everyone who would take its path. In fact, those quotes (and indeed, all the non-Muslim traditions of romantic love in any medium) are representing the vast minority of cases since for most in non-Islamic cultures today, romantic love does not exist at all and they have been left with caricatures of the caricatures their forefathers inherited.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Muslims, Friends, Non-Muslims

Category: SOUND

Attacking, Cursing, Slandering Muslims

"Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty."
-Qur'an (24:23)

"And those who abuse believing men and woman, when they have not merited it, bear the weight of slander and clear wrongdoing."
-Qur'an (33:58)

The Prophet said, "Whoever says about his brother a word he doesn't deserve, Allah will block him on a bridge in Hellfire until he proves what he said."

In another narration, he said, "Whoever says about his brother that which he doesn't deserve, Allah will block him in hell fire until he proves what he said."

Another hadith, The Prophet (saw) said: "The Muslim is not an accuser, curser, curser with evil tongue (big curser), or minor curser". The Prophet also said, "Whoever curses a Muslim is like killed him. Whoever accuses another Muslim, then it is also like killing him."

Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If people insult one another, the sin of what they say falls exclusively on the one of them who initiated it unless the one wronged exceeds the bounds." [Muslim]

Abu'd-Darda' reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "People who curse will not be intercessors nor witnesses on the Day of Rising." [Muslim]

Ibn Mas'ud reported said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A believer is not an attacker nor a curser nor someone obscene or abusive." [at-Tirmidhi]


In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said:
"A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look at whom you befriend." (Abu Dawud) (Tirmidhi)

"The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him."
-Prophet Muhammad (saw) (Bukhari) (Muslim)

"And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite his hands and say: Woe to me! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Woe to me! If only I had not taken so- and-so as a friend! He has led me astray from this Reminder (the Qur'an) after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need."
-Qur'an [25:27-29]

"Friends on that Day will be enemies one to another, except al-Muttaqoon (i.e. those who have Taqwah)."
-Qur'an [43:67]

Hafidh Ibn Katheer, commenting on this verse, relates a story on the authority of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a.a.) and says that any friendship for other than Allah is turned into enmity, except what was in it for Allah the Mighty and Majestic: Two who are friends for Allah's sake; one of them dies and is given good news that he will be granted al-Jannah, so he remembered his friend and he supplicated for him, saying: O Allah, my friend used to command me to obey You and to obey Your Prophet (s.a.w.) and used to command me to do good and to forbid me from doing evil. And he told me that I will meet You. O Allah, do not let him go astray after me, until you show him what you have just shown me, until You are satisfied with him, just like You are satisfied with me." So he is told: "Had you known what is (written) for you friend, would you have laughed a lot and cried a little." Then his friend dies and their souls are gathered, and both are asked to express their opinions about each other. So each one of them says to his friend: you were the best brother, the best companion and the best friend." And when on of the two disbelieving friends dies, and he is given tidings of Hellfire, he remembered his friend and he said: O Allah, my friend used to order me to disobey You and disobey Your Prophet, and commanded me to do evil, and forbade me from doing good, and told me that I would not meet You. O Allah, do not guide him after me, until you show him what you have just shown me and until you are dissatisfied with him just like You are dissatisfied with me." Then the other disbelieving friend dies, and their souls are gathered, and both are asked to give their opinions about each other. So each one says to his friend: you were the worst brother, the worst companion and the worst friend."

Ibn Abbas (RA) said: "No one may taste true faith except by this (i.e. building relationships for Allah's sake), even if his prayers and fasts are many. People have come to build their relationship around the concerns of the world, but it will not benefit them in any way." A scholar has said: "To seal a friendship for Allah's sake indicates the obligation of establishing relationships of love and trust for His sake; this is a friendship for the sake of Allah. It also indicates that simple affection is not enough here; indeed what is meant is a love based upon alliance. This entails assistance, honour, and respect. It means being with those whom you love both in word and deed."

"Mix with the noble people, you become one of them; and keep away from evil people to protect yourself from their evils."
-Hazrat Ali (RA)

Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend. {Book 41, Number 4815 : Sunan Abu Dawud}

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The most enviable of my friends is a believer with little property who finds pleasure in prayer, who performs the worship of his Lord well, who obeys Him in secret, who is obscure among men, who is not pointed out by people, and whose provision is a bare sufficiency with which he is content." (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1352)

Living Amongst Non-Muslims

“It is obligatory to leave a place where forbidden practices are rife since it is mandatory for Muslims to demand observance of the Law.”
-Ibn al-Arabi ("Ahkaam al-Qur'an", Vol. 1/484-485)

Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhe wassallam) said, "The best life is that of the man who holds his horse's rein in Allah's way and flies on its back to the places from whence he hears a war cry or the clatter of arms, seeking martyrdom or slaughter on the battlefield; or that of a person who goes to stay on the top of the hill or in a valley, and there he performs Salat (prayer), pays the Zakat and worships his Rabb till death overtakes him. He has no concern with the affairs of anyone except the doing of good." (Sahih Muslim)

"When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) Were ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed Were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (From evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell,- What an evil refuge! - Except those who are (really) weak and oppressed - men, women, and children - who have no means in their power, nor (a guide-post) to their way. For these, there is hope that Allah will forgive: For Allah doth blot out (sins) and forgive again and again. He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth Many a refuge, wide and spacious: Should he die as a refugee from home for Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
-Qur'an (4:97-100)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tasawwuf resources

Category: SOUND

I've updated the right sidebar with some links, I figure I should explain more on the Tasawwuf links. I don't link haphazardly. There are three scholars whose organizations I have close family members in or linked to at the moment, so I've gained a bit of information on them and their views. Two are specialists of Tasawwuf and I have linked to their sites:

Shaykh Hakeem Akhtar in Karachi, often said to be the most influential Sufi Shaykh alive in the world today, authorized in Qadiri, Suharwardi, Naqshbandi, and Chisti tariqas (Sufi orders). He delivers sessions daily from his Khanqah Imdadia Ashrafiya in Karachi. He is most well known for his popular commentary on the Mathnavi of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (ra), which was translated into English and distributed online by one of his students/khulafa (authorized representatives), Maulana Yunus Patel from South Africa.

The other is Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad (a Shaykh of the Naqshbandi tariqa), and specifically his khulafa in New York. The latter have a lot of English lectures and sermons available on their site being that most of them are from or live in the United States. There are quite a few MDs and PhDs of varying fields among them. Click here for the page with his audio lectures. Click here for the page with a list of his khulafa, their credentials, and their lectures. Of particular recommendation is Shaykh Mufti Kamaluddin Ahmed who has a lot of English lectures up. A noteworthy one is his lecture on "Controlling One's Desires".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Two Acts to Become a Saint

Category: SOUND

Taken From an Article :: Purpose of Life

By: Hazrat Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahab (db)

(Many people believe that Hazrat Hakeem Akhtar is one of the most senior/highly-stationed Sufis in the world today, if not the highest.)

If a person treading the path of tasawwuf does only two acts, namely, safeguarding the gaze and protecting the heart, he will become a saint if Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla wills. The remaining papers are easy. It is easy to leave all other sins. Two acts are very important. One is the protection of the border, the other the protection of the gaze. The enemy comes from two paths, either he will come from the border or he will attack the capital directly with an aircraft. When you have protected the borders of your eyes according to the command of Rasûlullâh Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and you protect the capital of your heart, then the road has been levelled for you to become a saint and friend of Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla. The one who abstains from sin, evil gazes, and also protects his heart, will he speak lies? The one who has solved the difficult paper can very easily solve the simple paper. Is it difficult for the one who has endured a fever of one hundred degrees (Fahrenheit) to endure fifty degrees? When the kings used to announce anything, the camel drivers would beat the camels with a stick. The sound of this drum would travel for a distance of two miles. Moulânâ Rûmi (Rahimahullâh) states that when a camel, which was laden with these drums, went past a village, the children clapped their hands and interfered with it. Moulânâ Rûmi (Rahimahullâh) states that the camel said,

"O children, what effect will your tiny hands have by making such a minor sound.
The drum, which is sounded on my back, has a sound that travels for two miles.

When my ears can endure this din, then the sound of your clapping hands is not even equivalent to a mosquito for me.

The Effects of Keeping in Mind the Greatness of Allâh

When the greatness of Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla enters the heart, and the fear of reckoning of the day of Judgement enters the heart, it will not be concerned with the reproach of the people of this world and their curses and teasing after such a great sound has entered it. It will not be bothered by what people say. A person sported a one-fist length beard and wrote to Hadhrat Thânwi (Rahimahullâh) that since the time he sported his beard, all his friends and acquaintances were mocking him. Hadhrat Thânwi (Rahimahullâh) replied to him that he should let his friends continue laughing. On the day of Qiyâmah he will not have to cry. He replied to another person, "Why are you fearing the laughter of people? You are a man and yet you fear. Let them laugh."

What a great reward Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla has granted for safeguarding the gaze. Firstly, protection from regret, worry and uneasiness. Secondly, the sweetness of Imân. The one who safeguards his gaze, Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla will grant his heart the sweetness of Imân. After the sweetness of Imân, what will be his third reward? He will have a good ending, that is, he will die with Imân.

The Reason for a Good Ending

The question now arises: Why is there such a great reward for safeguarding the gaze which is not a very difficult task? Well, those who safeguard their gazes know what goes through their hearts at the time of turning away the glance. A person asked why is there the great reward of the sweetness of Imân for safeguarding the gaze. I replied that the heart carries the burden of all the grief when safeguarding the gaze and the heart is the king of the body. If the king has to work for you, will you pay him more or not? Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla also grants more reward for the work of the heart. When the heart makes an effort and endures the grief of not looking, it pleases the Owner, then Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla grants it reward. He grants it the sweetness of Imân. In reality, He grants it His own love. It has been freed from the love of corpses and attached to the Real Live One, namely Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta�âla.

Another thing that I've noticed personally. A good deed done for the display of others won't have a reward (in the afterlife). But abstaining from sin for the same reason will at least have the result of not having a sin accrue to one's record. You won't get a sin on your record unless you actually commit it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Pearls, The Golden Box, The Emptiness In The Heart

Category: SOUND


Author unknown.
The cheerful little girl with bouncy curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Aisha got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbour and asked Aunty Jamshed if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Aisha loved her pearls.

They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday madressa classes, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Aisha had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story from the Quraan. One night as he finished the story, he asked Aisha , "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favourite." "That's okay, Aisha, daddy loves you. Allah-hafez." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Aisha's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper. "That's okay. Sleep well.

May Allah bless you & protect you, Aisha. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Aisha was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Aisha? What's the matter?" Aisha didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy, this is for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Aisha's daddy reached out with one hand to take the cheap necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Aisha.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is with our Allah Almighty. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't Allah great? Are you holding onto things that Allah wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary Friendships, habits and activities that you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing Allah will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. The greatest gifts happen when you share love and touch others' hearts!

Golden Box

Author unknown.

The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her 5 year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child pasted the gold paper so as to decorate a box to put for Eid celebrations. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said, "This is for you, Momma."

The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she found the box was empty. She spoke to her in a harsh manner, "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?" The little girl looked up at her with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Momma,it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full." The mother was crushed. She got down on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and gave her a warm hug, and asked her to forgive her for her unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life. Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children,family,and friends. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

The Emptiness In The Heart

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya (ra):

Truly, in the heart there is a void
that can not be removed except with the company of Allah.

And in it there is a sadness

that can not be removed, except
with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him.

And in it there is an emptiness

that can not be filled except with
love for Him and by turning to Him
and always remembering Him.

And if a person were given all of

the world and what is in it,
it would not fill this emptiness.

From "Starting with the Self", a thread on