The Deen of Islam places great emphasis on assisting those in need and those undergoing difficulties. However, it is unfortunate that in today’s times, many people are totally unconcerned about assisting those in difficulty.
Some people are so miserly and self-centred that they make every arrangement for their own comfort – shoes, food, clothing, etc. – yet they have no worry or concern for whether others are dying or undergoing distress.
Some people argue and say, “How many people must we help? There are thousands of people in need and difficulty!” The answer to such people is, “Very well, you are right in saying that there are thousands of people in need and difficulty. However, if you are unable to assist all, it does not mean that you should not assist the few people you are able to assist! At least assist ten people among them!”
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) then mentioned, “Generally, these types of excuses are made by people who do not wish to do anything.”
Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah bless him with a long, healthy and productive life, Amin!) said,
‘Firstly, try to utilize the time effectively.
Each and every moment must be spent in actions that lead to Allah’s pleasure. These include in addition to the acts of worships, the mutual dealings (muamlaat), social etiquette (adaab ul ma’asheret), fulfilling the rights of one’s own self (nafs), the rights of the children, spouses and parents. etc.
Not a single moment of a believer’s life should be in anything that displeases Allah.
In fact a believer can make all his activities a form of worship, like eating and drinking. That is by performing it with the pure intention and correct method as per the commandments of Allah.
Therefore, it must be ensured that the time is not wasted at all. One should be involved in any of the good actions as mentioned above.’
Attending Fiqh Academy session, Riyadh, KSA after Friday prayers
True Story of Brothel Madam Who Repented During Ramadhan.
By Babar Ahmed.
Some years ago there was a Pakistani woman in the city of Karachi who ran a brothel. One night her son returned from the mosque after the nightly Ramadan taraweeh prayers with an audio CD. It was being distributed outside the mosque so he picked one up.
Later that night he was playing that CD in the house when his mum walked past. She sat down and began to listen to it. She stayed there until it finished, then told her son, “Play it again.”
He played it again. Then she again asked him, “Play it again.” So he repeated it. This went on until she had heard it three times.
“Who is the man on the CD?” she asked her son.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “They were giving it out at the mosque so I took one.”
The next night the woman went to that mosque with her son. She waited outside until the taraweeh prayers finished, then asked her son to bring the imam to speak to her.
When the imam came, the woman asked him, “Did you give this CD to my son yesterday?”
“Yes, why?” the imam answered.
“Who is the man on the CD?” she asked.
“It is my teacher, a man by the name of Maulana Tariq Jameel,” the imam replied.
“If I ask you a question, will you give me an honest answer?” the woman asked.
“Of course,” said the imam.
“Will Allah accept my repentance if I choose to repent to Him?” she asked the imam.
“Why? What have you done?” the imam answered.
“Imagine the worst sins that any man or woman can do, and multiply them,” the woman replied. “That is what I have done.”
The imam then said to her, “I won’t give you my answer, but I will give you the answer Allah gave in the Quran, ‘Say O My servants who have wronged their own souls (by sinning), never despair of the Mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah forgives ALL sins. Indeed He is The Forgiving, The Merciful.’ [39:53]'”
Upon hearing this, the woman replied, “In that case, I want you to bear witness that today I have repented to Allah.”
The next night, the woman came to the mosque for the nightly taraweeh prayers. She stayed there and prayed all of the prayers. At the end, she said out loudly, “O Allah! If You accept my repentance, then take my soul now!”
The next night the woman returned, prayed all the taraweeh prayers and then at the end she again said out loudly, “O Allah! If You accept my repentance, then take my soul now!”
This continued the next night. And the night after that. And after that. Until the 29th night of Ramadan when the Quran was finished.
After the Quran was finished and the imam had completed his dua, the worshippers got up to leave the mosque. All left except one person.
That same woman.
She was still in prostration. She had passed away during the prayer.
I heard the above story during an audio lecture in Urdu by Maulana Tariq Jameel, one of the world’s most gifted speakers and one of my favourite speakers.
If you understand Urdu, find him on Youtube. His words will melt your heart.
Never let anyone tell you that Allah will not accept your repentance, no matter what you have done. Those who try to tell the people that there is no way back to Him lie against Allah.
Whoever you are, whatever you have done, even if your sins reach the skies, if you turn to Him with an open heart, He will forgive you.
Remember that as we enter upon Ramadan.
Ramadan Kareem and may Allah bless our Ramadan, answer our duas and forgive all our sins.
The Last Words A Young Man Said To Me Before He Passed Away
By Babar Ahmed.
“There is a young man in hospital, very sick. People are requested to go and visit him,” was the appeal that went out in the community.
I had grown up living across the street from the local hospital, witnessing many births, operations and deaths in the process. I was used to these appeals and felt responsible living so close to the hospital.
It was the summer of 2003, a year before I went to prison for 11 years.
I made my way to the hospital ward and there lay a young man of 19. A Muslim of Pakistani origin, he was a rapper before he was struck down with cancer. Let’s call him Adil.
Adil’s cancer was spreading fast. It had made his skin highly sensitive to touch so he was lying there on the hospital bed wearing only a pair of shorts. If anything was to touch his skin, it would discomfort him.
His voice had almost gone so he would barely whisper when speaking.
I had learned that one of the things that cancer patients frequently dislike is sympathy. I remembered that as I conversed with Adil about different things.
“I spoke a lot of rubbish with this tongue,” he smiled. “So now Allah [God] has silenced my tongue so that I can only remember Him.”
He told me about his short life, how he regretted all the years he had spent, in a bubble, without a purpose to his life.
I asked him if there was one lesson that he would share with other young people living their lives far from Allah.
“Keep good company,” he whispered. “You are what your friends are. Keep good company and you will be OK.”
As I left, I asked him if he prayed. He replied that he didn’t because he couldn’t make wudu (pre-prayer ablution cleansing) and he was too weak to do all the actions.
I told him that Allah was easy going in these matters and that he could pray lying down on his bed, without washing with water. I taught him how to make the dry ablution (tayammum) and how to pray lying down. Then I left, promising to return.
A few days later I returned. I found that he had started to pray.
We spoke a bit more. He told me about his family and how important they were to him. It seemed that at this stage of his life, his loved ones were all that mattered. By now he was wheezing and needed an oxygen mask to breathe.
Over the next few weeks I visited Adil several more times. On one of these occasions, I told him that I was going to Makkah to perform the umrah (lesser pilgrimage) and that I would surely pray for him.
A week later I was in Madinah when I telephoned home. Adil had passed away.
His cancer had become incurable. The hospital had sent him home, with an oxygen mask, to die. One morning at home he had just prayed the Fajr at home with his family.
All of a sudden, he tore the oxygen mask off his face, shouted “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the Greatest] three times and then he died.
As I went to the Prophet’s Mosque later that day, I prayed for Adil. I reflected on his short life and how, just before he died, Allah had chosen to guide him so that his last actions were something good.
I reflected on his advice: keep good company, keep good friends. He always used to say that, with a tone of regret in his voice.
Sometimes, the shortest of words are the most powerful.
A spiritual aspirant who is a medical student wrote,
Lastly I wanted to inform that I also took admission in online alim course, after having mashwara with my father, he said
ضرور کرو اگر آسانی کر ساتھ کرسکتے ہو بس اپنے اوپر بوجھ نہ ڈالنا
So I will be doing darja aula for trail and if I am able to do then I will continue Inshaa Allah.
Following reply was sent
Wa alaykum as salaam wrwb
MashaAllah. May Allah give isteqamet & facilitate all with afiyet. Ameen!
We have been instructed to achieve ahsaan (الاحسان) in our life. One interpretation of this is to achieve perfection in whatever we do.
It will be best to focus on your studies seriously and become an outstanding physician.
There are many mediocre doctors and many more non-practicing (bay-amal) alims.
One does not have to be a full fledged alim to be a practicing pious Muslim.
A lot of time the Devil (Shaitan) deceives by getting us involved in some nonessential good work.
Ahsaan (الاحسان) in anything requires lots of mujahidda.
You’re beautiful. by Fajr-Literary | Sep 11, 2020 |
In this day and age where so many people question if they’re good enough or pretty enough, it’s worth going back to some Prophetic guidance to get strength. In the Sunnah, we learn that we are actually supposed to recognise our natural beauty, embrace it, and feel confident that you know, we’re good! We’re taught to say this prayer, “O Allah, you have made my form (appearance) beautiful, so make my character beautiful.” (Ahmad, Sahih al-Albani)
Saying this regularly creates a powerful shift within you because not only will you start to recognise that you’re beautiful or handsome – by the blessing of God – but you’ll also recognise that what really matters, and what really needs your attention is your character deep inside.
Don't Neglect Dhikr Because Your Heart Is Not Fully In It:
SHOULD WE STOP MAKING dhikr if our heart is not truly focused on Allah; because there isn’t any hudur al-qalb or “presence of heart”? There are some who claim there's no point in dhikr if the heart is heedless or not fully focused. To do so would be making a mockery of dhikr – or so they would have us believe.
But that’s not quite right. That isn't what those whom Allah has blessed with a huge share of fiqh and profound insight into the realities of faith (haqa’iq al-iman) teach us. And as Ibn al-Qayyim tells us that whilst dhikr with the tongue doesn't yield the fruits of divine love or intimacy, as does dhikr with both the tongue and heart combined, nonetheless it still has its benefits.1 The truth is that if we made dhikr only when our hearts were fully present, absorbed and focused upon Allah, then most of us would never make any dhikr at all! The same goes for prayer (salat).
Perhaps the finest articulation of this is given to us by Ibn Ata'illah, in his celebrated “Hikam” or collection of “Spiritual Aphorisms”. In one such aphorism, he states:
‘Do not abandon dhikr because you do not feel Allah's presence in it. For your heedlessness of His dhikr is worse than your heedlessness in His dhikr. For perhaps He will lift you from dhikr with heedlessness (ghaflah) to dhikr with vigilance (yaqza); and from dhikr with vigilance to dhikr with presence (hudur); and from dhikr with presence to dhikr wherein everything but the One being remembered becomes absent: “And that, for Him, is not difficult.” [Q.14:20]’2
In his commentary to the Hikam, al-Shurnubi teases out some of the subtleties in the above aphorism. He writes:
‘Do not, O aspirant, forsake dhikr – which is an invitation to sanctity (wilayah) – because your heart is not present with Allah in it, due to it being preoccupied with worldly distractions. Instead, remember Him in every state and conditions. For your forgetfulness of His dhikr, in that you abandon it entirely, is far worse than your forgetfulness while making dhikr of Him. For at least in this state, your tongue is moving in His remembrance, even if your heart is heedless of the One remembered. Perhaps you will be taken, by His grace, from dhikr with heedlessness to dhikr with vigilance; in other words, with an attentive, awakened heart; for this is the adab that befits His Presence; and from dhikr with vigilance to dhikr with presence, presence of His closeness; and from dhikr with presence to dhikr where all becomes absent except the One being remembered. So the person is lost even to his own dhikr … When dhikr flows from the tongue in this condution, it does so spontaneously, without intent. Rather, his tongue only utters what the Manifest Truth [Allah] wants it to, for such a person is at the Station of Divine Love.’3
Have you ever came across someone who asked you for some money or food and you felt pity for him and thought to yourself, 'Let me see what I have, if I give him this much there will remain that much', and you finally took out some and gave him?
If you've been through something similar to this, don't expect us to tell you 'good job'! Because, you're just a Muslim with a non-Muslim mentality!?
What the poor guy asked you for wasn't your belonging to make you think of it as something you had or possessed. Rather, it was only what Allāh had entrusted you with. And, it was so wrong of you to think what you were going to give the guy would be gone and what you weren't going to give him would remain; rather, what you didn't gave him was gone and what you gave him remained [if intentions were pure].
We would tell you 'nice job' only if you were not a Muslim with a non-Muslim mentality!
If I don't take out a loan to buy this house, I will be homeless.
If I leave this job, my family won't have anything to eat.
If I wear hijāb, I won't have this job so I won't be able to afford a decent life.
And so on and so forth.
These are all examples of when a Muslim is a Muslim with a non-Muslim mentality. When you take Allāh out of the picture deliberately or undeliberately, ma'āzAllāh, that's when you become a Muslim with a non-Muslim mentality.
A treasure was hidden beneath a wall.
The wall was about to collapse and expose the treasure.
But God wanted this treasure to remain hidden until two orphan boys grow up and then find it.
So God instructed Khidr to fix the wall.
The reason why God protected the interest of these boys was, because the Qur'an says:
وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا
"Their father was a righteous man." [Qur'an 18:82].
Ibn Kathir writes in his Tafsir (5/187):
حفظا بصلاح أبيهما ، ولم يذكر لهما صلاح
"They were taken care of BECAUSE their father was a righteous man, although it is not stated that they themselves were righteous."
And Ibn Kathir mentions that he was their father from 7 generations before they were born!!!
أنه كان الأب السابع
Ibn Rajab Hanbali writes in "Jami al-Ulom", (1/468):
قال سعيد بن المسيب لابنه : لأزيدن في صلاتي من أجلك ، رجاء أن أحفظ فيك ، ثم تلا هذه الآية وكان أبوهما صالحا
Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib said to his son, “I increase in my [optional] prayers for your sake, in hopes that you will be preserved as a result” and he then recited the ayah: "Their father was a righteous man." [Qur'an 18:82].
So, the good we do now, may also impact our future generations many centuries later!!
Be a righteous father and a righteous mother.
It creates a ripple effect.
And some good may be happening to us today BECAUSE our ancestors were righteous, many centuries ago.
Allah may preserve a servant’s children and grandchildren due to his righteousness, as was said regarding the saying of the Exalted:
…and their father was a righteous man
[18:82] that they were preserved due to their father’s righteousness.
وقد يحفظ الله العبد بصلاحه في ولده وولد ولده، كما قيل في قوله تعالى:
وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا
[الكهف: 82]: إنهما حفظا بصلاح أبيهما.
Muḥammad b. al-Munkadir stated: “Indeed Allah preserves the children and grandchildren of a righteous man, even the town that he lives in and the area around it. They continue to be preserved by Allah.”
وقال محمد بن المنكدر: إن الله ليحفظ بالرجل الصالح ولده وولد ولده وقريته التي هو فيها، والدويرات التي حولها، فما يزالون في حفظ من الله وستره.
Ibn al-Musayyib said to his son: “My son! I will increase my prayers for you, hoping that Allah will preserve me by preserving you.” He then recited the saying of Allah:
…and their father was a righteous man
وقال ابن المسيب لابنه: يا بني (لأزيدن) في صلاتي من أجلك، رجاء أن أحفظ فيك. وتلا هذه الآية:
وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا
ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz stated: “There is not a believer who dies except that Allah preserves them by preserving their children and grandchildren.”
وقال عمر بن عبد العزيز: ما من مؤمن يموت إلا حفظه الله في عقبه وعقب عقبه.
At a program that I recently attended in the Midwest, I asked the audience of 150-plus young men a question that would be telling of the Islamic identity narrative in the west: “How many of you were raised thinking that Allah was angry at you?” At least 90% of the room, in an unpleasant and uncomfortable manner, raised their hands in the air, confirming one of the worst possible realities that we are facing as Islamic workers in the west: the majority of Muslims, especially youth, see themselves as “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God.”
The problem, as straightforward as it may seem, has far-reaching and complex implications. The most serious aspect, and the one I will address in this short discussion, is the erosion of faith into a sadly apathetic and borderline agnostic relationship between the worshipper and The Only One Worthy of Worship.
During that same talk with the youth, I mentioned a couple of Qur’anic verses that describe Allah, as well as some ahadith that beautifully narrate how Allah, in ways that befit His Majesty, smiles and even laughs out of His love for the believers. These narrations really shocked the attendees, showing them a “side” of Allah that they had never even heard of before.
I could feel the vibe in the room getting better, the love of Allah was increasing before my eyes – not because of the speaker, but because of the content of the speech. It became clearer than ever that the discourse about Allah that had been presented to these youth was one that distanced them emotionally, as well as spiritually. Subhan’Allah, briefly mentioning the description of Allah that He gives about Himself to these youth – descriptions that can be found in the two fundamental sources of our deen – changed perceptions in the room like the flick of a light switch.
It is this experience, as well as experiences very similar to this, that has led me to realize the importance of prudent guidelines for teaching Muslims about Allah. No one can appreciate and fear Allah’s anger until they have developed and felt His love and their love for Him first. If someone is told that Allah can punish them severely and that He is most harsh in His wrath, then they will perceive Him as a perennially angry Lord. On the contrary, if we emphasize the relationship between Him and us is based on love of Him and His love for us, then His disappointment and punishment will be seen as even worse of a punishment. Simply put, you would not care about disappointing one that you did not care about; disappointing one whom you love, however, is a terrible experience.
Imam Ghazali summarizes this point well in his book Ihya Ulum Ad Deen (Revival of The Religious Sciences): “Know that action on account of hope is of a higher order than action on account of fear, because the creatures who are nearest to God are those who love Him most, and love dominates hope.” As succinctly as Hujjat al-Islam has put it, the Prophet ﷺ put it best when he said, “Truly, not one of you will die, except he should have good expectations of Allah.” If we are to die with good expectations of our Lord, then one can only imagine how we are to think of Him during our life.
“Say, “Oh My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Qur’an, 39:53)
Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much – these fluctuations in our iman, the repeated sinning, the feeling that “I just don’t deserve Allah’s mercy.” The tests always feel like punishments. There is a constant worry about the future: my marriage, my money, my career, my ummah (community)… And some difficulties just feel like they are too great to overcome. We know we’re not supposed to ask this, but the question at the back of our minds is, “Why me?”
We have all heard that we should never despair of Allah’s Mercy. And on the surface, we try not to, but Shaytaan (the Devil) has a trick. We tend to despair of ourselves and our incapacity to change things, especially the inner turmoil that we feel. And the effect of this is basically the same as despairing of Allah’s mercy. We do not always accept that Allah can take us out of the situation we are in and we don’t need to ‘deserve’ the trouble; Allah isn’t punishing us and we don’t need to be perfect.
This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t strive, or take ourselves to account when we do mess up. The key is to develop our relationship with Allah during that trouble. If we know Allah, no situation is too hopeless. No sadness is ever permanent. We perceive trials as they are meant to be perceived – as tests of our trust in Allah, forcing us to put our knowledge into practice and bringing us closer to Him. These trials could potentially be a punishment too, that is if we let it affect us negatively by completely turning away from Him because of our sadness. But our awareness of our own state and our understanding of Allah’s Mercy allows us to turn the punishment into something positive that is manifested through repentance to Allah, alongside increasing in hasanat (good deeds) in order to erase the bad deeds.
The first exercise is for us to consciously realize that Allah knows. Whatever grief we go through, whatever hardship we endure, we must understand that we are never alone. Even if we feel abandoned by the world and those closest to us, Allah is there. He reminds us in the Qur’an,
“Fear not. Indeed, I am with you [both]; I hear and I see.” (20:46)
As long as we begin by recognizing that Allah is with us and He is close to us, there remains a solution to our inner worries. There are things we need to know in order to develop our relationship with Allah. Then there are things we need to do in order to maintain that closeness to Allah. And finally, there are things we need to aspire for to achieve the ideal relationship with our Lord. We pray that by the end of the series, we will all have developed a stronger relationship with Allah.
Note: some of us suffer from clinical depression or similar medical conditions, and this needs to be dealt with by a professional. Working on our relationship with Allah no doubt helps, but sometimes more than a spiritual fix may be needed.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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