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.