Mahmud was a very pious man, but he was not very attractive looking. One day, he was walking along the road, minding his own business, when a lady came up to him, and started calling him names and abusing him. This lady kept saying all kinds of nasty things, and Mahmud just listened to her patiently. Finally, when she was finished calling him names and abusing him, Mahmud just greeted her, smiled, and said
"and a nice day to you," and continued on his way.
Why did Mahmud, the pious man, behave this way?
It is because he knew that everything she said was just a reflection of her own inner self.
If you use bad language, you are just making obvious to everybody how far away you really are from Allah, since your words are in reality a reflection of your own inner self.
“There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. ”Well,” she said, ” I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did, and she had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. ”Hmmm,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair in the middle today.” So she did and she had a grand day.
When she woke up the next day, she looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. ”Well,” she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.”
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. ”Yeah!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today.”
YOU have the POWER to control your attitude! What a wonderful power to own!
something to ponder.
Remember...“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you.”
May Allah guide us All towards the best of the dhuniyah and akhirah ameen.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, once said: " I don't smoke but I keep a box of matches in my pocket, when my heart slips towards sin, I burn the match stick and heat my palm with it, then I say to myself,
" Ali you cant even bear this heat, how would you bear the unbearable heat of hell?"
Just looking through the forums, I was surprised that this thread has had over 24,000 hits. We have managed to transfer 70% of this thread from Sunniforum.com but unfortunately Sunniforum.com is down again.
However in the very last post before Sunniforum crashed the original poster of this thread Julaybib, recommended to visitors who are looking for Inspiration, and spiritual Upliftment to visit two of his favourite blogs. There are plenty of Inspirational posts, guidance and quotations from the pious on those blogs.The following are the links.
Ensuring the Proper Effect of a Truthful Word
Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (db)
Hazrat Maulana [Shabbir Ahmad Usmani] رضي الله عنه used to say that if Haqq [a truthful word], in a truthful [proper] manner [of conveying], with a truthful [sincere] intention, is said, then it will never cause fitna. But there are these three conditions, first is that what is being said is the truth, second is that the intention is correct, and the third is that the manner [of conveying the message] is proper.
So if you happen to see anywhere that due to speaking the truth some fitna is arising, or any dispute or argument, then know that from amongst these 3 conditions a condition was unfulfilled: either the message was not the truth; or the niyyah was improper, as the message was the truth but was said with a wrong intention. [For example] the purpose was to show-off or to make oneself be seen as higher, or to lower another; so the niyyah was wrong. Or if the niyyah was also correct then the method [by which the message was conveyed] was incorrect.
If the method was correct, the niyyah was correct, and the message was the truth then it would not have caused fitna. Eventually at one time or another, [the message] would have had its effect but it would not have created fitna.
Translated (from Urdu) from a talk entitled Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi: Lessons from His Life delivered in England on July 30, 2000 by Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani (db) at a symposium to commemorate the life of Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi رضي الله عنه.
Practising patience is as important in the good times as it is in the tough times. And we will only have patience in the tough times - when we so desperately will need it - if we've established it during times of ease, or at least reflected over it, or indeed lived it with others in *their* time of need - something which is truly the sign of a blessed individual.
We should all prepare a place in our hearts and minds where we can accommodate all the tragedies which will sooner or later come to our lives, but this is an economy that few people care to practice.
I'm not trying to be pessimistic. Our Prophet ﷺ was not seeking forgiveness all the time because he was a sinner, and neither did His Lord command him regularly to patience because his entire life was a tragedy. It wasn't. But it would be a real tragedy for us if we were only to think that to be in a blessed state of humbling ourselves before Allah, or to be told to be patient, is only applicable when we are in a bad moment, or a rut in life, or a mid-life crisis.
Patience is realism. It is understanding that whatever we are experiencing at the moment - whether we perceive it to be good or bad - is all ultimately a test on whether you stay *real* or not, whether you attribute your blessing correctly to the One who gave it to you.
That's why being patient and worshipping your Lord in a consistent, deep, quality manner during your good times is far more difficult than in the bad times. You can't see the problem. You can't feel the grief you need to be patient with. The heart doesn't feel enough pain to kick in the patience reflex. You don't feel the need to thank Allah because things are so good "without Him".
That's why Ibn Taymiyyah termed this type of patience the more challenging and the more rewarding. Think about it: the majority of the world's population have failed in this type of patience. And worse, Allah tells us that He continues to bless them with the dunya and good times and that they'll continue in their heedlessness and leave this life whilst actually being content with their disbelief.
That is why when we see those who have been blessed with so much in this life and yet they still preserve their values, their Deen, their thanks to their Creator, and their thanks and connection to the normal folks around them, then we still call this "patience" even though it may not seem so. And what do we say about this person? "He still keeps it *real*." That's why patience is a permanent state we must incorporate in our lives, and we must create that space where we are always alert and aware. As I said, patience is realism.
This is thus the development of patience. This is why anyone who truly understands patience, has truly understood Islam, reality, and life itself.
When Umar bin al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) was walking in the market, he passed by a man who was supplicating,
اللهم اجعلني من القليل اللهم اجعلني من القليل
“O Allah, make me from the few! O Allah make me from the few!”
So ‘Umar said to him, “Where did you get this du`a’ (supplication) from?” And the man said, “Allah in His Book says:
و قليل من عبادي الشكور
‘And few of My servants are grateful.’ (Qur’an 34:13)”
So ‘Umar wept and admonished himself, “The people are more knowledgeable than you, O Umar!
O Allah make us from Your ‘few’ servants.”
Sometimes when you advise someone to leave a sin, they respond with “But everybody does it, it’s not just me!”
But if you look for the words “most people” in the Qur’an, you will find that most people -
ولكن اكثرهم لا يعلمون
“And however most people do not know” (7:187)
ولكن أكثرهم لا يشكرون
- “and most people do not show gratitude” (2:243)
و لكن اكثر الناس لا يؤمنون
- “and most people do not believe” (11:17).
And if you look for “most of them”, you will find that most of them are
و آن أكثرهم فَاسِقُون
- “definitely disobedient” (5:59)
و لكن أكثرهم يجهلون
- “ ignorant” (6:111)
بل أكثرهم لا يعلمون الحق فهم معرضون
- “turning away” (21:24)
So be of the “few”, whom Allah says about them:
و قليل من عبادي الشكور
- “And few of My servants are grateful.” (34:13)
و ما امن معه الا قليل
- “But none had believed with him, except a few.” (11:40)
في جنات النعيم ثلة من الاولين و قليل من الآخرين
- “In the Gardens of Bliss, A [large] company of the former peoples, And a few of the later peoples.” (56:12-14)
Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said, “Go on the path of truth and do not feel lonely because there are few who take that path, and beware of the path of falsehood and do not be deceived by the vastness of the perishers.”
[Found in Kitab al-Zuhd by Ahmad bin Hanbal (رحمه الله), and also in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah.] -
May Allah make us of His few servants.
Are you stressed? Take a deep breath, and as you release it, let your heart slow down and be calm.
Step back and look at your situation objectively. It’s almost never as bad as you think. Just do your best, and trust Allah. He will show you a way forward, and bring you through. He will bring you relief from a direction you did not expect.
This is true. I have experienced it over and over in my life, and it is a promise from Allah:
“And whoever is conscious of Allah, He will make for him a way out, And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” (Quran 65:2-3)
Here is a true story that illustrates this point in an amazing way:
The Hotel Manager
Recently, a Muslim man was caught in a dilemma, where he faced two choices, both of which were onerous. This man was the manager of one of the largest hotels in Egypt. The hospitality industry in Egypt is one of the most competitive in the world so this manager always strived to provide the best possible service in his hotel. He paid attention to the smallest details, set the budget priorities, observed his staff, and got personally involved whenever a problem occurred. He was very good at his job. Because of this he was highly valued by his superiors.
However, there was one element of the job that galled him. A duty that he felt ashamed over. In any large hotel in Egypt, serving alcoholic drinks is a must, and that duty was killing him inside. He knew that serving alcohol is haram. It is forbidden by Allah, and whatever money comes from it is not blessed but haram; but it was part of the job and had to be taken care of, regardless of how he felt towards it.
Time went by and he performed his job admirably, but this business of selling alcohol was eating him up inside. Finally he decided to go to one of the well- known Egyptian sheikhs and ask his advice. After arranging for an appointment to meet this sheikh, he met him and explained the problem. The sheikh without hesitation said, “You must leave this job.”
That was not enough of an answer for the manager. He explained to the sheikh, “This is the only job I know. I’ve been working in this field all my life. I don’t know what else to do. I have a wife and children to take care of. I can’t just leave the job and be unemployed and penniless like so many others in Egypt.”
The sheikh replied, “Did you come to me thinking that I might give you permission to do what Allah forbids? Leave this job for the sake of Allah.”
The man, not knowing what to do, said, “But I have family to take care of. I’m their only source of money. How will I feed my children? If I leave the job, I won’t be able to provide them with the simplest needs of life. What shall I do?”
The sheikh reminded the manager of a verse from the Quran:
“And whoever is conscious of Allah, He will make for him a way out, And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.”
The man returned to the hotel, knowing that he had to make the most difficult decision of his life. He knew now that this job would not satisfy Allah. As frightened as he was for his future, he was not willing to lose his faith and lose the hereafter because of a job; but he trembled when he thought of the risk he was taking, and the fear of what the future might hold for him and his family.
At the hotel the manager went about his job, looking normal on the outside. But inside he was thinking furiously, considering. Then he made his decision. He decided to quit the job with no regrets. He became convinced that this was the right thing to do. With a strong faith and an absolute trust in Allah, he made a plea to the heavens: “O Allah, I trust You, and I’m doing this only for You. I know you will make for me away out, so please help me.”
He headed directly to his office, sat at his desk, and began writing his resignation.
As he was writing, the phone in front of him rang. It was his superior at the corporation office, calling with news. The manager was stunned and could hardly believe the news he heard, but it was true. The man was informed that he had been promoted and would no longer be responsible for managing this hotel but instead he would manage a new hotel located in Al-Madinah, the holy city of our Prophet (peace be upon him), and right next to the Masjid of the Prophet. Of course, being in Saudi Arabia, this new hotel sold no alcohol.
His dua had been answered in a heartbeat, from one moment to the next, before he even finished the letter of resignation.
Till this day, the man is still the manager of the hotel in Madinah.
“Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Quran 002.286)
Jamiat launched training course in Muslim personal law for lawyers New Delhi, September 04, 2016:- Worried about undue hues and cries about the Muslim woman rights and several courts’ judgments on matters of Muslim personal laws seeming contrary to the provisions of the Islamic law, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has launched today training course in Muslim personal law for lawyers. The former Chief Justice of India A.M. Ahmadi while launching the Courses here at Jamiat headquarters at ITO, New Delhi, noted this move as positive way to deal with the misunderstanding about the Islamic Sharia. He said “Each and every community has to face difficulties at sometimes, but a wise community is one which instead of resorting to the sentimentalism, first evaluates its own faults and then correct it and if there is a concerted attempts unleashed for distorting its image, then it thinks it better to respond with wisdom and full acumen. While speaking on Common Civil Code he said that this was not issue of a particular community but in country like India which is a pluralistic society, such move will not be accepted even by the majority community. In this launching programme which witnessed more than four hundred eminent jurists, Islamic scholars etc. several eminent lawyers and prominent Islamic scholars spoke on the need of courses which could deal with misunderstandings prevailed about the Islamic Shariat. The speakers included Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani, rector, Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Sayed Mohammad Shahid, Mr. Zafaryab Jilani, Mohammad Salman Mansurpori, Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, Mr. Shakil Ahmad Sayed, Prof. Afzal Wani Mr. Kamal Faruqui etc. Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind who is moving spirit in starting the course, said that this training programme will cover issue such as marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, testament and auqaf etc. This training Courses in Muslim Personal have been designed with the objective of making the practicing lawyers better informed about the Muslim personal laws, he said. The speakers at the progaremme noted that for the last many years, Indian courts have been delivering judgment after judgments on matters of Muslim personal laws which are contrary to the provisions of the Islamic law. There could be many reasons for this and one of them that we may point out is lack of awareness and misunderstanding about many of the provisions. This is not limited to the common people but even our lawyers who handle such cases are not properly educated and trained in handling the related issues. They are unable to inform the courts which are the primary duty as the officers of the court. The courts develop this understanding and deliver judgments as per the information passed to it by the concerned advocates. This not only affects the image of Islam and Muslim community but also tarnish the image of Muslims regarding the rights of woman in Islam etc. While addressing the gathering, Maulana Niaz Ahmad Farqui, Secretary of Jamiat said that for long, we have been thinking how to train our advocates and litigants on the subject of Muslim Family Law. Since our elders in Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, played instrumental role in the enactment of The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937 and Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939 which are related to marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance etc.
When trials come, as they do, what will the first words on our lips be?
WE are taught that we should not ask for or seek out trials or difficulties in life. In fact, our Prophet (sallullahualaihiwasallum) instructed us to “Seek refuge with Allah from trials and tribulations, both visible and hidden” [sahih muslim]. Yet, the virtues and rewards of observing patience in the face of adversity is highly extolled.
I remember the first time in my Islamic class I heard the story of Umm Al Momineen, Umm Salamah (radhiAllahuunha), in which she narrates the events following the death of her beloved husband. The messenger of Allah teaches her how best to respond to her trial in an Islamic manner. He teaches her the beautiful words of the Istirjaa,
” إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي وأخلف لي خيراً منها “
She says: “The Messenger of Allah (sallullahualaihiwasallum) said: ‘There is no Muslim who suffers a calamity and says what Allah has commanded: ‘Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raji’oon. Allahummaa ujurni fi musibati w’ukhluf li khayran minha’ (Truly! To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. O Allah, reward me for my calamity and compensate me with something better than that), but Allah will compensate him with something better. “When Abu Salamah died, I said, ‘Who among the Muslims could be better than Abu Salamah, the first family to migrate to the Messenger of Allah?’ Then I said (this Du’a) and Allah compensated me with the Messenger of Allah.” [sahih muslim].
The inspiring narrative ends on a happy note where she is blessed with a new husband in the person of the Prophet (sallullahualaihiwasallum) – a prospect she could never have imagined. This was the result of her faith, her patience and her Du’a at the time of her loss.
As I sat listening, mesmerized, feeling the emotional turmoil Umm Salamah went through & reflecting on the power of Allah, I made a silent dua:
“Oh Allah, don’t put me into any trial. But if and when you do, for You do as You will, according to Your Wisdom, then guide me to remember You when calamity strikes. Guide me to the Istirjaa. Give me the strength of faith and soundness of mind to pray to you for patience and better compensation at that critical moment.”
Years later, Allah decided to try me.
“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil).” (Qur’an, 2:155)
Indeed whatever is destined for us, good or bad comes to pass. One fine day, the unexpected happened. Allah tested me with a severe personal loss. The precise moment the news of that disaster hit my ears, something amazing happened. In a split second, time froze; my mind called a shut-down; numbed all my senses; blocked all stimuli and detached me from my physical environment. It was as if I was floating outside my body, looking down at the proceeding events.
It was then that I heard my lips murmur,
” إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي وأخلف لي خيراً منها “
“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajioon. Allah humma ajorni fi musibati wa ikhlufli khairun minha.”
I returned to the scene of reality. Then the gravity of the blow hit me full force. Yes, the sky did seem to fall. The world did spin around me. The earth did tremble under my feet. Darkness momentarily covered my eyes. The heart violently wrung & bled. The tears flowed in scalding streams. A dark cloak of intense pain & shock muffled me into silence.
But, SubhanAllah, all that happened after the remembrance of Allah (SubbhanawataAala). Indeed, (I realized on introspection much later) my Lord had listened to my dua, made years ago. Indeed it was He (SubbhanawataAala) who guided me to the Istirjaa when I could have easily forgotten it in the midst of my shock and grief. And indeed, Allah is Most Loving and Most Merciful to His servants. Indeed it is His Mercy and blessing that He gave me the patience at the first instance of trial.
The Qur’an tells us: “… Give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere” (Qur’an, 2:155). The scholars have said that if we are guided to patience and to the words of Istirjaa after a disaster hits us, we should thank Allah for this honor.
Every time I recall that experience, I’m filled with gratitude. The rewards of bearing the decree of Allah (SubbhanawataAal) with patience are unimaginable & uncountable & are reserved with Him (SubbhanawataAal) for the Day of Recompense.
So, did I get the response to the latter part of my dua?
But I’m confident and positive that He (SubbhanawataAala) will. And His (SubbhanawataAala) response will be pleasing. Allah is to His servant as His servant imagines Him to be. For He (SubbhanawataAal) has said, ‘Whatever My servant assumes of Me, that is how I will treat him,…” [Muslim]
There are times, yes, when the flashbacks of that traumatic event overwhelm me and I wallow in tears & heartache. But, those periods are short-lived. I immediately remind myself of the special blessing of Allah (SubbhanawataAala) upon me at that time & draw solace & renewed hope from it. And that reminder helps create this warm sensation of me being held securely in a cocoon of His Mercy, Love, Care, Compassion…
I tell myself, “He (SubbhanawataAala) took care of me yesterday and He (SubbhanawataAal) will take care of me today & tomorrow.”
In the meantime, I chant a new dua. A dua to take me to the next level – a superior level, inshaAllah:
“Oh Allah, if and when you decide to try me again, guide my heart to more than patience. Guide me to the state of Ridha (pleasure in God’s decree & decision).” Ameen.
* FYI, this article was written and published nearly a decade ago. During this period, Allah Taala accepted and beautifully granted the remaining portion of my dua of Istirjaa. Alhumdulillah.
Broken pieces of clay and pottery: A lesson in Humanity
by Fajr-Literary | Dec 31, 2012 |
I was once walking along a narrow but busy street in Cairo when ahead of me was a donkey-cart laden with handmade pottery and clay utensils.
It was owned by an old man who had been walking slowly beside it, and trying to sell whatever he could to make an income. He walked with hunched-shoulders, a turbun tied round his head like a Sa’idi from Upper Egypt, his face wrinkled by age and the harsh Egyptian sun. It wasn’t hard to see that many difficult years had passed over him and he had probably been doing this for a long while.
As I continued to walk, I heard a cry and some commotion. The donkey had staggered back (probably startled by something) and as a result, the harnessing pushed the cart upwards, sending the pottery and clay shattering out into the street. It was heartbreaking to see the poor man’s face turn dark and sorrowful. With a heavy heart, he began to pick up the broken and chipped pieces of clay and pottery; his livelihood and merchandise which no-one was going to buy now.
But as he did so, I began to see random people come out of shops and apartments, hurrying towards him and picking up his pottery from the street. There was no more hustle and bustle; just a quiet silence as people stopped to help him. Cars stopped out of respect, or slowly diverted around the broken and chipped clay. What was truly moving was to see many people pull out money and give it to the man as if they were purchasing the broken clay, except they weren’t buying anything (other than Paradise I guess). Drivers stuck out money from their window for the poor aged man, and almost every person who helped pick up the pieces also chipped in with sadaqah. They realised that today, he wasn’t going to be making much money… in fact for that whole month to come, he probably wasn’t going to be making much at all.
It was incredible to see the hearts of people move like this. Humanity may disappear and people may be cruel towards the poor in certain places and at certain times, but in other places and at other times, the humanity is truly beautiful.
Keep your heart close to the poor and needy, they help to keep it alive.
For many centuries, Plagues and Pandemics were common, and very few people would be willing too help or serve those who were afflicted for the fear that they too may become afflicted and it meant almost certain death . The following anecdote from the Life of Shaykh Ubaydullah Ahrar رحمة الله عليه left me awestruck he states.
"...One time I went to the school of Qutb ad-Din as-Sadr in Samar. I found there four people with very high fevers. I began to serve them, cleaning their clothes and feeding them, until I too became infected with the same fever. This didn’t stop me from serving them. The fever in me increased and increased until I felt that I was going to die. I made an oath to myself, ‘Let me die, but let these four people be served.’ I continued to serve them. The next day I found myself completely cured, while they were still sick...."
Shaykh Ubaydullah Ahrar رحمة الله عليه and his teachers and students lived a life of service to others.
The day after reading this , I was standing at the Bus Stop, as soon as the Bus came along there was a scramble by the people to get on the Bus first...It made me reflect later that SUBHANALLAH, Whilst we had individuals like Shaykh Ubaydullah Ahrar رحمة الله عليه in our history, who were willing to sacrifice their lives in service to others, the Ummah now had people like me who were not even willing to sacrifice their place in the Bus Que.. Astaghfirullah.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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