Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Piety and Wickedness

Asalamu aikum

“O Mankind!  Partake of what is lawful and good on earth, and follow not Satan’s footsteps: for, verily, he is your open foe and bids you only to do evil, to commit deeds of immorality, and to attribute unto God what you do not know.” (Quran 2:168-169)
God addresses all of humanity, the faithful and the faithless, to think about something we take for granted: food.  God produces everything on earth: seeds, fruits, vegetables, and meats for human consumption, but forbids us relatively few things that are unwholesome.  Some of the foods God has forbidden are the meat of dead animals, blood, and pork.  Every food is lawful in God’s law except what He has forbidden, that has been stolen, or taken by breaking God’s law.  The best foods for us are organic, natural, and wholesome – foods produced by God, but when people start altering the food chain, they produce new, unknown diseases like the mad cow disease.  We need to be grateful for what God provides us.
This verse also indicates that eating enough to live is a duty imposed on human beings by God.  Going to extremes in starving oneself to look beautiful, for example, is not permitted.
God also commands humanity not to follow the footsteps of Satan, meaning what Satan commands.  First, Satan is real.  Second, Islam tells us everything important for us to know about Satan, including how to protect ourselves.  What does Satan command?  Disbelief, rejecting faith in God, oppression, injustice, sins, and eating what God has forbidden.  God reminds us that Satan is an enemy, so human beings should be on guard against him.  God, in His mercy, did not stop at warning us from following Satan’s footsteps, but also warned against what Satan commands:
(a)   Satan commands evil.  Evil includes all types of sins.
(b)  Satan commands adultery, fornication, drinking alcohol, getting drunk, and killing.
(c)   The greatest command of Satan is to make us say of God what we don’t know.  Satan’s greatest way of misguiding people is to say God has a son, an equal, to liken God to an old man sitting in heaven, to think God will punish everyone or forgive everyone without any knowledge from God Himself, or to say God permits or forbids something without any basis in knowledge from what God has revealed.  As for God, He commands justice and forbids immorality and wrongdoing.  Everyone should assess what they believe in order to ensure what they are following is God's guidance rather than the promptings of Satan.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cures for Anger from the Sunnah

Asalamu alikum

Cures for Anger from the Sunnah

Several Cures for Anger from the Sunnah
1. To say "Audhu billahi minashaytan nirajim." [Bukhari, Muslim]
2. If he is standing, then he should sit. If the anger fails to subside, then he should lie down. [Abu Dawood]
3. A person should remain silent. [Imam Ahmad]
4. Make wudhu. [Abu Dawood]
5. Make ghusl [Abu Nuaim]

(Summary of 'Jami'ul Uloom waal Hikam fi sharhi khamsina haditham min jawa mi'il kaleem' by ibn Rajab)
"The strong man is not the one who is the wrestler [or body-builder] but the strong man is the one who holds himself back at the time of anger."

In the last edition, we provided different cures for anger, in fact five were mentioned from different narrations. In this issue, we would like to provide a further elaboration.

The first cure for anger was to say ta'wwudh [ie "audhu billahi minashaytan nirajeem". ] This cure was given by the Prophet (saw) when a man showed anger in a situation where he was in front of the Prophet (saw). The Prophet (saw) said "I know something that if he says it, his anger will go away and this is "audhu billahi minashaytan nirajeem." What does this have to do with curing anger? Since anger comes from shaytan, you should seek refuge with Allah from the accursed shaytan.

The second cure which is mentioned in the hadeeth mentioned by Abu Dawood is that if a person is standing, he should sit and if his anger doesn't go away, then he should lie down. This is a very important cure for anger. The Scholars say that the reason that the Prophet (saw) gave this cure is because that when a person is angry and he is standing he is more capable of taking revenge whereas if he sits down, he will be less able and if the anger still does not subside, then he should lay down which will prevent him from acting out in a manner that he will regret later one.

The third cure that was mentioned was not speaking at the time of anger. Ibn Rajab ® declared this to be a very great cure that Rasulollah (saw) has mentioned since it is in the state of anger that a person states a lot of things that he or she may regret later on. Sometimes, regretting one's actions will not help since once words are spoken, the damage will take effect. For example, a person in anger may question Allah (swt) or raise an objection (may Allah (swt) forbid this). In anger, a husband may divorce his wife. In anger, people say things that destroy relationships and may take years to rebuild. Breaking one's heart is very easy while joining the hearts is very difficult. Damaging a relationship can be done with one word while building relationships may, in some cases, take years. That is why it is best to refrain from speaking when in anger and to wait until the anger subsides and speak in a calm manner so that a person does not regret what he is saying.

The fourth and fifth cures were in regards to making wudhu and taking a bath. Both of these things have to do with using water because some narrations indicate that anger is from shaytan and shaytan has been created from the fire and the way to extinguish this fire is to use water whether it is in the manner of making wudhu or taking a bath. Someone's anger may go away by just making wudhu and someone else might have to take a bath in order for his anger to subside. A person can see also through experience that when he is angry, his body is very hot so that the way to cool him down is to put water over his body either through wudhu or through a bath.

We must remember one thing that what has been mentioned here is that the anger that has been mentioned here is the type of anger that is disliked in Islam since there are two types of anger. The first type is the anger which is disliked while the other is the type which is liked. The anger which is disliked is the one where a person takes revenge from someone because of himself or herself. The Prophet (saw) never did this and provided the cures for this type of anger which have been mentioned above. The type of anger which is liked is the type of anger when a person sees a commandment of Allah (swt) and His Rasul (saw) being broken. This is not only a sign of iman [faith] and liked but is also at times necessary. The Prophet (saw) became angry like this many times to the degree that his complexion would change. This is the type of anger that Imam Shafi'i (ra) was referring to when he said that "whoever does not get angry, he is a donkey

Tests from Allah

Asalamu alikum

by Sheikh Khâlid Husayn 

Allah tells us that we will be tested. He also makes it clear to us what is expected from us when we undergo these trials and what our reward will be if we are successful.

He says: “Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who, when misfortune strikes them, say: ‘Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him is our return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord and it is those who are rightly guided.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 155]
The Prophet (peace be upon him)said: "No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his sins by it." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

In another narration, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No Muslim is afflicted by harm, whether it is but the prick of a thorn or something worse, without Allah expiating his evil deeds on account of it and his sins falling away from him like leaves off a tree.'" [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

The Muslim may be tested by all sorts of difficulties like sickness, lack of income, and disobedience from his children. In fact, the many afflictions that may beset a person are incalculable. This is the point that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was stressing when he mentioned: “fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness …even to the extent of a thorn pricking him”.

All of these afflictions, if endured patiently by the believer, are a means of attaining Allah’s forgiveness as well as His reward.

Every one of us is being tested by Allah. He tests us all in different ways. We should not assume that the difficulties that we face in life are punishments or are signs that Allah is displeased with us. Likewise, we should never construe the success and pleasures that others enjoy as signs that Allah is pleased with them or that they are privileged. Sometimes, quite the opposite is true.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If Allah wants good for his servant, He hurries on His punishment in this world, and if He wills ill for a servant, he holds back punishing him for his sin so He can give it to him in full on the Day of Resurrection.”

Allah makes it clear that everything in our lives – the good and the bad of it– is a trial for us. How will we cope in the situation that Allah has placed for us? Will we be grateful in prosperity and patient in affliction or will we be arrogant and disobedient?

Allah says: “Every soul shall taste of death. And We will test you with evil and with good by way of trial. And to Us is your return.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 35].

Allah says: “Know that your wealth and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a mighty reward.” [Sûrah al-Anfâl: 28]

Many people do not realize that they are tried just as severely with the good that they are given as they are by the misfortunes that befall them. Allah says: “And as for man, whenever his Lord tries him by honoring him and makes him lead an easy life, he says: ‘My Lord honors me’. But when He tries him by straitening his means of subsistence, he says: ‘My Lord has disgraced me’.” [Sûrah al-Fajr: 15-16]

Some people are blessed to be born and raised in good Muslim families then turn their backs on Islam, while others are born and raised in non-Muslim countries to unbelieving parents and grow up to be among the best of Muslims.

We are tried with wealth as well as poverty. If we are wealthy, will we hoard our wealth or spend in charity? Will we use it for lawful purposes or squander it in vice? Will we trust in Allah in our investments, or will our avarice and fear of losing our wealth make us take recourse to unlawful means to preserve it and increase it?
If we are poor, will we be content and patient and seek lawful means to attain our sustenance or will we resort to unlawful means to meet our needs? Will we accept the fact that Allah gives more to some people than he does to others, or will we grow hateful and vindictive?

We are tested with health as well as sickness. A man with good eyesight is tested with regards to his use of it. Will he use the blessing of his sight to good purpose or to gaze at unlawful things? His good eyesight may be what takes him to Hell. A blind man is tested whether he will bear patiently with his disability. His patience in affliction may be what earns him his place in Paradise. Our goal is the Hereafter and we are all being tested.

Allah says: “It is He who created death and life that He may try you as to which of you is best in deeds.” [Sûrah al-Mulk: 2]

We may also be tested through others. We know from experience that even a small child can experience suffering as well as a person who is mentally handicapped to such a degree that he cannot understand the concepts of Islam and is not legally accountable. Though it may not be that such a person is not undergoing tests of his own; however his plight may very well be a test for those his life affects. How will they treat him? Will they care for him, respect him, and give him his rights?

We may not be able to fathom the wisdom behind why Allah decrees what He does for us or for others of His creatures. However, we must know that Allah does everything in accordance with His wisdom and bear our trials patiently.

Ultimately, we must remember the words of Allah in the Qur’ân: “He cannot be questioned for what He does but they will be questioned.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 23]

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Giving Thanks To allah

Asalamu alikum

Giving Thanks to Allah is a Blessing

The blessings of Allah upon us are countless. There are so many blessings of Allah that we can’t even write them down. If we start writing them all, our life would come to end but Allah’s blessing will never finish. Even if we think of this Human Body of ours, from the time we came to this world we were not even able to move on our own. Alhumdulillah, now we can walk with the help of these feet, we are able to eat, we are able to breath. Every breath we take is a blessing of Allah. Every step we take is a blessing of Allah. The food we eat is a blessing of Allah. So, we should thank Allah for all these blessings, say Alhumdulillah every time and in every situation.

thank Allah 300x201 Giving Thanks to Allah is a Blessing

Allah says:

“Say (O Muhammad PBUH): “Praise and thanks be to Allah, and peace be on His slaves whom He has chosen (for His Message)….” [Surah An-Naml 27: 59]
and Allah said:
“…And If you would count the blessings of Allah you would not be able to count them…” [Surah Ibrahim 14:34]
In another Verse, Allah commands us to thank Him:
“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying), I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2: 152]
In Surah Rahman (The Most Gracious), This Verse is repeated many times:
“Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny?”
Al-Junayd said: “I once heard al-Sari saying, ‘Because to give thanks for blessings is itself a blessing, one can never cease to give thanks.”

Alhamdulillah Giving Thanks to Allah is a Blessing

When the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) went to bed, He Would say this Dua:
“O Allah, in Your name I live and die”. (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 7394)
and when He (PBUH) woke up, He would say:
“Praise be to Allaah Who has brought us back to life after causing us to die, and unto Him is the resurrection.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6312)
Suhaib (R.A) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (Allah), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” [Muslim Chapter 14, Book 042, Number 7138]
Imam al-Shafi said: “Praised be Allah, Who, whenever He is thanked for one of His blessings, provides another blessing which in turn obliges one to thank Him again!”
So, to give thanks to Allah for His blessings is itself a Blessing which is bestowed upon a believer only. A believer will thank Allah for everything and in every situation, so thanking Allah will become a blessing itself. Let’s Say Alhumdulillah in every situation. InshaAllah


Have You Prepared for the Hour?...part 2

Asalamu alikum On the other hand, the Prophet (saw) has also described to us those people who perform the deeds of Paradise until ...