Anfal, a rich young girl, sat waiting impatiently at the doctor’s clinic to get the results of a medical test. She was in a hurry to attend a party and feared she might be late for her appointment with the hairdresser. She never thought the result would be anything important. It was just a precaution insisted upon by her family. She had never suffered any serious illness, apart from the odd ache in her never suffered any serious illness, apart from the odd ache in her limbs. Then, it was her turn to see the doctor. She hurried inside to get it over with as quickly as possible. She was surprised to see the doctor look sad and concerned as he asked, “Is this yours?”
She answered, “No, it is my daughter’s.”
She wanted to know the truth and thought that perhaps he would hide the truth, if she told him it was her own. He asked her to have a seat, so she sat feeling somewhat afraid. She looked at him anxiously, as he said,“Why did not you send a man to get the results?”
Anfal said, “It was on my way so there was no need to send someone else.”The doctor looked sadly at her and said, “You seem to be an educated girl. You understand the nature of life.”He stopped talking, and she began to tremble.
She asked, “What do you mean doctor?”The doctor said, “The result indicates that there is a blood disease.” He looked down at his papers and remained silent. Anfal had to ask him to give her more information. She cried in fear, “Is it cancer?”He did not look at her, but a cloud of sadness covered his face. It was as if he was sentencing her to death.She said in a broken voice, “I am finished then.”
The doctor knew then that she had lied, but it was too late to hide the truth. He looked kindly at her and said, “I am sorry for you. Why did you lie? Anyway life and death are matters within Allah’s power. Many sick people live long and many healthy ones die.”Anfal felt as if she were drowning, as if a hard fist was cruelly squeezing her heart. She tried hard to regain her strength and said, “I do apologize. Thank you doctor.”
The doctor encouraged her saying, “Be strong and optimistic. Medical science is constantly progressing. Some of today’s incurable sicknesses can be cured tomorrow I still have hope. Leave me your telephone number.” She repeated the number automatically without knowing what she was saying. Feeling great shock and bitterness, she again thanked the doctor and left.
At home she kept the truth to herself. She did not know how to share it. Anyway, everyone was busy, getting ready for the party. Her mother asked, “Have you been to the doctor? Why did not you go to the hairdresser?” It was just a by-the-way question, needing no answer. She briefly said, “I am not going to the party !”She went upstairs into her room and locked the door.She stretched out on her bed fully clothed and listened to her family’s voices, as if they were coming from a far away place. The wind seemed to her to be a funeral sad tune, lamenting her approaching death. The bedroom seemed strange to her as she would be leaving it soon. What about the house? It would not remember her. She was just a guest. Others would take her room and soon forget her. She tried to cry but tears did not help. She looked around her in pain. Those curtains that she had tried so hard to get, would stay after her. It would not have mattered if they had been made of the roughest fabric, she would leave them for others. She wished she had not troubled herself for such things. She wished she had saved her time and money for more useful things, which could have been helpful to her in her difficulty.She wondered, “What is useful to me?”
She was young, beautiful and rich with everything her heart could desire. Could anything help her and save her from death? She had always longed for an official job with a good salary. She had it, but could it save her from death?An idea struck her. She hurried to the phone while everyone was away. She dialed the doctor’s number and asked eagerly, “If I travel abroad can I find a cure?”He said, “There is nothing new abroad. It is a waste of money.”She put the phone down and sat on a nearby chair.Her salary would not change matters.
She walked through the house’s rooms as if saying her farewells. She paced the small garden and looked at the trees. She whispered, “I wish these trees knew I am leaving them, those stones, walls…I wish these doors knew my hands will soon no longer open them. I wish those flowers, that I planted and watered knew. How often the thorns and hard stones tore my hands! How often I watered those dying flowers with my tears when there was no water. I wish they knew the meaning of my departure. These fruiting trees were tiny when I planted them. I did my best to help them flourish until they grew up healthy and fruitful. Will they know I am soon leaving? Will they remember my days in their company? What about these seats, I used to rest on. Will they miss my presence? Will they be ready for someone else to settle on them? My writing desk felt my writing in tears and in smiles, does it know I am leaving? Will it miss my pen and papers in its drawers?
I wish they all knew I am leaving. I wish I had known I was leaving, then I would not have cared so much for this life. I would not have felt proud and arrogant…Had I known I were a guest in this world I would not have been cheated or tempted by its luxuries… Had I known this I would have been aware that leaving a simple life is easier than leaving a luxurious one… Had I lived a simple life, I would not have found it difficult to cross from this world to the next. My family is now enjoying the party…how often I longed for such parties, how much I cared for fashion and hairstyles! Can they help me now?”
Anfal threw herself down on the nearest chair as if she had realized a truth previously unknown to her. She said, “What shall I take with me? Nothing but the coffin and my deeds. What kind of deeds will go with me on my long journey? Nothing! Yes, nothing!” She remembered her friend Sarah, who used to advise her and guide her to the right path of Allah.
She used to remind her of the Qur’anic verse: …and make provision, for the provision is the guarding of oneself. (AI-Baqarah:239)
She had never considered the importance of good deeds. Now she was in need of such deeds to present to Allah. She would stand to give her account, but what would she say? How could she expect Allah’s mercy when she disobeyed His orders? How could she ask for forgiveness when she never even thought of obeying Him in her life’s affairs? She wished she had read the Holy Qur’an instead of all those cheap novels. She wished she had gained some knowledge of her religion instead of reading film-star magazines. She continued wishing she had done few things, and not done other things. She wished she had not angered this person or that, and had never lied or gossiped about anyone. She wished she had not been proud and despised the poor.
She said, “I wish I could start my life all over again to make-up for my errors and to obey Allah’s orders. I worshipped my desires and ignored my Creator. I wish I could live for a while to make up for my sins.”
She remembered a Qur’anic verse, her grandfather used to recite: Until when death overtakes one of them he says: Send me back, my Lord. Haply I may do good in that which I have left. By no means! It is a mere word that he speaks, and before them is a barrier until the day they are raised. (AI-Mominoon:99)
Here she said, “Oh God, I do mean it…”
Tears burst from her eyes. She cried bitterly in repentance, not pain. She decided to obey Allah in all His orders if she lived a bit longer. The phone rang and she walked towards it lazily. Tears in her eyes she said, “Yes?”
Someone said, “Can I speak to Miss Anfal?” She knew the speaker. It was her doctor.
She said, “Yes, speaking.”The doctor said cheerfully, “Congratulations my daughter! There is nothing wrong with you. Thank God!”
She was stunned with surprise. She did not know what to say. “No disease? How? You are joking, doctor!”
The doctor said, “May Allah protect me I am not joking. I have just got an apology from the analyst. He explained that there was a mix-up with the names. Your name was written instead of someone else. I have your medical report here in front of me. You are quite well. Be thankful to Allah my daughter.”
Excitedly she said, “Thanks be to Allah, Thank you doctor.”
She put the phone down, feeling as if she was new born. She knew she was safe for a while, but death would certainly come one day. She had no time to waste. However long she lived she was a guest. The first thing she did was to perform her prayer, which she had neglected for a long time. She promised Allah to obey His orders to pray, fast, and stick to wearing decent clothes. She would also give up whatever Allah had forbidden. In order not to forget this, she wrote the Qur’anic verse on a placard and hung it on the wall. On the other side she wrote a wise saying:
“Repent the day before you die. Because you do not know when you will die, then always be repentant.”[/QUOTE]
This is a story that started with an email to the Da'iya Amr Khaled. The email was from a girl named Sarah, living in Australia and she said: ' I am a girl living in Australia, my father is a Muslim while my mother is a Christian. They are originally from Lebanon. We lived in Lebanon for the first 10 years of my life, but then my parents immigrated to Australia. With this immigration my relation with religion was terminated, all what I know is that I am supposed to be a Muslim, I don't even know what the Quran looks like, I don't know how to pray and religion had no weight or importance in my life. My father and mother got divorced and they both left Australia. They left me alone to study in the university. I have no family, no brothers and I know nothing about my grandparents in Lebanon.
I lived alone and I had to work to spend on myself. So I used to study in the morning and work in a bar at night. I have a boy friend with all the western implications of this word. I left nothing from the haram except that I did it, with no shame or pain. I went for a beauty contest in New Zealand and I won the title. I became a model for many fashion magazines.
While I am involved in all this, I went to visit a family from Lebanese origin. They had a satellite dish and I watched a program about modesty and women in Islam. I was deeply affected and I was in a state of a breakdown. I felt that this program is talking directly to me. I took the email and the web site from this program and I am writing to you to ask, can Allah still accept me? Can I return to Allah?' So the sheikh replied to her informing her that Allah's love is very special for those who turn back and repent. He guided her to the conditions of a sincere repentance. After two days, she said, 'I made repentance and left my boy friend and will never see him again'. Then after two days she asked, 'I want learn how to pray' then a day later she said, 'I want to get Quran tapes' So the sheikh sent her tapes of the entire Quran using DHL.
She sent back saying, 'I gave up the beauty contest and title I had'. After 4 days she said, ' I am now wearing Hijab', but the story didn't finish yet!
Two days after she decided to wear the Hijab, she felt a severe pain in the head. When she went to the doctor he informed her that she has a serious brain tumor and that her days are numbered! Sarah was then scheduled for an operation with a success rate of 20%. This was what the doctor said.
As for her, she sent to the sheikh an email saying, 'I am so happy to meet Allah. I am extremely happy that I repented before knowing that I was sick. I don't know if my parents will know what happened to me or not. They rarely call me. I repented to Allah 3 weeks ago and disobeyed him for 22 years! I ask Allah to write me down from the people of Jannah, and If I live I want to work for Islam through your website, which is my window to the Islam and Muslims'
Sarah died on Friday September 19th ,2003. The last email from her was: ' I lived 22 years away from Allah but I repented 3 weeks ago, I want you to witness that I repented to Allah, left my boyfriend, my job, my beauty contest and title. I wore the Hijab and prayed regularly, I want you to witness that I did this only for Allah. I know no Muslims other than you and your web site. Please I ask you to make du'a asking Allah to forgive me and shower me with his mercy. Please ask Allah to guide my parents who know nothing about me.
May Allah shower her with his forgiveness and mercy and guide her family ameen
My mobile rang late that evening. The first thing I heard when I answered the call was a sobbing sound on the other line. I immediately recognized the voice.
A dear friend was in tears after being yelled to by her boss over some administrative mistakes that she admitted had done accidentally. She knew that she was wrong and deserved to be corrected. As a professional, she could admit and accept her wrongs gracefully, and she had no qualms correcting them. However, according to her, that was not why she was crying.
What hurt her was more of the way she was handled; the yelling and shouting by the boss, plus the throwing of the document file in her direction. That was what shattered her that day. Who could blame her? Anyone would be shaken if treated in such a way. I know I would. Calming her down took some time, but the "pep talk" to build up her self-esteem and motivation again took longer, much longer.
As I sat there, thinking sadly of my friend's experience that day, I could not help but ponder on why some people take pleasure in being harsh when getting their point across. Why do some people choose aggressiveness over a simple advice? Do they enjoy watching others squirm? What goes on in their mind when they yell and shout? Is the mistake worthy of the humiliation they inflict? Would they, themselves, accept being embarrassed and disgraced that way? Couldn't a simple discussion, done in a civilized manner do the job for them? Couldn't advice be given privately instead of making sure that one's voice was heard through the four walls of the office?
It was a heartbreaking moment for me when I was reminded of my Lord's attribute:
`A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Allah is gentle and loves gentleness. He gives for gentleness what He does not give for harshness nor for anything else." (Muslim)
Subhan Allah! Allah is kind and gentle. Almighty Allah, the Creator and Owner of everything and everyone, is kind and gentle. Who are we? We do not even own the cloth we wear, the eyes we use, the air we breathe, the smile we show, the eyelids we batter, the teeth we chew with, or the water we drink. Who are we to act in such a harsh manner as if we are perfect? It's as if we have never done and would never do any mistakes! As if we are infallible! Astaghfirullah! My heart beats sadly for my friend.
I remembered a hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):
Jarir narrated that the Prophet said,"He who is deprived of gentleness is deprived of good." (Muslim)
That is so scary. A person deprived of gentleness is deprived of good? Who in their right mind would want to be deprived of good?
I also remembered reading the Qur'anic verse that has become one of my compasses in dealing with others:
[And speak to him [Pharaoh]mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.] (Ta-Ha20:44)
When I first read this verse, it truly surprised me.
What did Allah tell us to do? Even with a dictator like Pharaoh, we are asked to speak gently. You know Pharaoh? Yes, the Pharaoh who chased Prophet Musa (Moses), the one who had wronged Prophet Musa's people and killed male babies. Yes, that one! And how was Prophet Musa ordered to deal with such a person? With gentle speech! Can you believe that? Even to a person with a history like Pharaoh's we are asked to deal gently; subhan Allah!
And what was the reason given? So that perhaps — nothing guaranteed because it was still Pharaoh's choice — he could be reminded of Allah through our gentle speech. Subhan Allah! What did that tell us? A person, regardless of his or her behavior and action, is entitled to be addressed gently.
Maybe my friend's boss should be reminded of this verse. Maybe he should ask himself, was my friend worse than Pharaoh? Because even Pharaoh who denied Allah and His Prophet was to be handled gently! Surely, my friend is nothing close to Pharaoh, right?
I reminded myself of this quote I read somewhere before: Extract the honey, but do not break the hive.
How true this quote is! To get the honey, we should not break the hive. Instead, we should carefully, systematically, and gently approach it. Failure to do so would result in us getting bee stings all over, qualify us for hospital admission, and might even land us into a new home6 feet under! Let alone I know it seems a little bit farfetched here, but these things do happen.
Let me share with you a story I read sometime ago about a man and his son:
A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his 3-year-old son was happily hammering dents into the shiny paint.
The man ran to his son, knocked him away, and hammered the little boy's hands into a pulp as punishment. When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital.
Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate the fingers from both the boy's hands. When the boy woke up from the surgery and saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, "Daddy, I am sorry about your truck." Then he asked, "But when are my fingers going to grow back?"
"When are my fingers growing back?" I could not imagine the regret this father must have in his heart. Could you even imagine it? Was the satisfaction worth the pain after? Was the action during rage by the father justified? Could the finger ever grow back? How could the father possibly answer his son?
As I sat there thinking of my friend and this poor boy, I asked myself this question: Have I ever hammered someone else's fingers? If yes, why did I do it? If yes, whose fingers were they? Why do I have to get that hammer and hurt those fingers? What if their fingers were beyond repair and had to be amputated?
I felt a heavy feeling in my heart, and I pray to Allah to forgive me if I have done something unthinkable as such. And to all my friends out there, forgive me if I have hammered your fingers. Please find somewhere in your heart to forgive me whenever you looked at your amputated fingers, if any.
What about you, my friends? Have you ever hammered anyone's finger simply because you could not control your temper? Think about it. Think hard because always, the doer forgets but the receiver does not. Just imagine that your fingers are amputated. How would you feel? Do you want to make others feel that way too?
In the end, whenever you feel like showing your anger, remember these two stories — Pharaoh's and the boy's. May we all take heed, amen.
Thought I'd share this from Imam Al-Muhasibi ￼ rahimahullah's Risalatul Mustarshidin:
Take for yourself a fair share of pardon and overlooking others
The effects that argumentation have on the heart
The author is referring to the fact that if you fall into an argument with someone, then the consequence of pardon and overlooking is better for you than continuing and persisting in the argument. The author is certainly correct in this regard because argumentation destroys Islam, preoccupies the intellect, kills the tranquility of the heart and emotions, robs a person of his sleep, turns the heart of a person into a blazing fire that is forever burning and ignited. Pardon and over looking- even though it may cause suffering and involve deception - is a far better share. For it wipes out all of the above-mentioned ailments and brings in their place peace, tranquility, virtue and goodness...
I ['Abdul Fattah] say: When a person is harmed by people and he exercises patience and overlook, and does not think about taking revenge and doing the same to those who have harmed him, then his end result will be better than the one who takes revenge for himself and returns evil with evil. This is because if he overlooks and is forbearing, if he relents and acts honorably - he will experience peace and coolness of the heart within himself and his emotions. In the like manner, he will experience tranquility and peace of mind. In fact, abstaining from disputation and replying to some transgressors, wrongdoers and malicious people is more effective than replying to them.
Good results for the person who abstains from argumentation and revenge
Imam Ibn a-Qayyim Rahimahullah says: "The scene of peace and coolness of the heart is a very honorable scene for the person who recognizes it and tastes its sweetness. This entails his heart and inner feelings not bothering about the harm that he has experienced. Furthermore, his heart should not bother about avenging this harm and satisfying his soul. Rather, his heart should empty and devoid of all this. He should realize that the peace and coolness of his heart and it being devoid of all this is more beneficial for him, more delightful, more wholesome and more advantageous."
"This is because if the heart occupies itself in any sort of revenge, it would miss all that is more important and better for it. In doing so, the person will be deceived. An intelligent and discerning person will not be pleased with that. He will consider all this to the engagements of a foolish person. How can there be any comparison between peace of the heart and it being filled with deception and evil whisperings? And being fully engrossed with exacting revenge?"
"As for the scene of peace and tranquility - if a person abstains from replying to the harm and exacting revenge, he will save himself from all that is worse than this. If he exacts revenge, he will certainly experience fear. This is because revenge sows enmity. And an intelligent persons never feels safe from his enemy even if he is an insignificant one. Many an insignificant person has brought about the fall of his major enemy. So if a person forgives, if he does not exact any revenge, if he does not reply to the harm, he will save himself from the birth of enmity or the increase of enmity. His pardon, his forbearance and his overlooking will certainly break the power of his enemy and repulse his fear - contrary to what exacting revenge will do. Experience also bears testimony to all this." 1.
In another place the Imam mentions:
[O my brother! Beware of] arguing in matters of religion.
Arguing entails disputing and trying to overcome one's adversary. This is done when you twist, trough your speech, the adversary from his opinion in order to give support to your own opinion. This is reprehensible unless it is done equitably and in order to portray the truth. However, this is rare today and such people are also very rare.
When you dispute with a person and try to overpower him [in your discussion], then you are argumentative (mujadil). But if you try to make him understand and want to attract him towards what you have to say, or you want to put his mind at rest [concerning a particular matter], then your purpose is to make him understand (you are a mufhim). In such a situation, you will find that the person you are speaking to is desirous to know what facts you have, he will be attracted towards you, and acknowledge your merits.
Imam Ibn al-Jauzi Rahimahullah says: "You should know that the beauty of a person's Islam lies in his leaving those things that do not concern him. When Allah Jalla Jalaluhu will evil for a person, He puts him through the test or argumentation. When Allah Jalla Jalaluhu wills good for a person, He inspires him to do good deeds. If Allah Jalla Jalaluhu takes away your tongue and gives back to you your heart, He has been extremely kind to you. But if He takes away your heart from you and gives back to you your tongue, you are in a very serious calamity." 2
Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam warned against falling into argumentation and labelled it a cause by which people are turned from guidance to deviation. Abu Umamah Radhiyallahu 'anhu reports that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: "A people cannot deviate after guidance which they are on unless they fall into argumentation." He then recited this verse:
Maa dharabuhu laka illaa jadalaa bal hum qaumun khasimun
"They set forth this example only by way of disputation. In fact, they are a contentious people."
1. Ibn al-Qayyim, Madarijus Salikin, vol 2, p. 320
2. Ibn al-Jauzi, al-Mutashabih fil Qur'an, p. 11
3. Musnad Ahmed, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim
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الشكر قيد الموجود وصيد المفقود
Shukr binds the present (bounties) and traps the absent (bounties)
Here Is a story I have read, although the story I believe is fictional it is still uplifting.
Every Friday afternoon, after the congregation service at the Masjid the Imam and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out
"PATH TO PARADISE" and other Islamic literature.
This particular and fortunate Friday afternoon, as the time came for the Imam and his son to go to the streets with their booklets, it was very cold outside, as well as pouring rain.
* The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, 'OK, dad, I'm ready!'
* His dad asked, 'Ready for what' 'Dad, it's time we gather our tracts together and go out.'
* Dad responds, 'Son, it's very cold outside and it's pouring rain.'
* The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, 'But Dad, aren't people still going to hell, even though it's raining?'
* Dad answers, 'Son, I am not going out in this weather.'
* Despondently, the boy asks, 'Dad, can I go Please'
* His father hesitated for a moment then said, 'Son, you can go. Here are the booklets. Be careful son.'
And with that, he was off and out into the rain. This eleven year old boy walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing everybody he met in the street a pamphlet or a booklet.
After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone- chilled wet and down to his VERY LAST BOOKLET. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a booklet to, but the streets were totally deserted.
Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the door bell. He rang the bell, but nobody answered..
He rang it again and again, but still no one answered. He waited but still no answer.
Finally, this eleven year old da'wah (Invitation)-expert turned to leave, but something stopped him.
Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch!
He rang again and this time the door slowly opened.
Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly asked, 'What can I do for you, son?' With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said,
'Ma'am, I'm sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that ALLAH REALLY LOVES AND CARES FOR YOU and I came to give you my very last booklet which will tell you all about God, the real purpose of creation, and how to achieve His pleasure.'
With that, he handed her his last booklet and turned to leave.
She called to him as he departed. 'Thank you, son! And God Bless You!'
Well, the following Friday afternoon after congregation (Jamâ€™aat) service (during which period they hold a weekly program) the Imam was giving some lectures. As he concludes the lectures, he asked, 'Does anybody have questions or want to say anything?'
Slowly, in the back row among the ladies, an elderly voice was heard over the speaker. As the voice went on, a hint of glorious gaiety and contentment was plainly evident in it even though the wasn't to be seen, 'No one in this gathering knows me. I've never been here before. You see, before last Friday I was not a Muslim, and thought I could be. My husband passed on some time ago,
Leaving me totally alone in this world.. Last Friday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live.
So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home.. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted I was about to leap off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, I'll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.
I thought to myself again, 'Who on earth could this be. Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me.' I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder.
When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life. His SMILE,
oh, I could never describe it to you! The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead TO LEAP TO LIFE as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, 'Ma'am, I just came to tell you that ALLAH REALLY LOVES AND CARES FOR YOU!' Then he gave me this booklet, Path To Paradise that I now hold in my hand.
You see? I am now a Happy Vicegerent of the One True God. Since the address of your congregation was stamped on the back of this booklet, I have come here to personally say THANK YOU to God's little angel who came just in the nick of time and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell.'
There was not a dry eye in the Masjid. And as shouts of TAKBIR..ALLAH AKBAR.. (God is Great) rented the air, even among the ladies, despite themselves.
Imam(-Dad)) descended from the pulpit to the front row where the little angel was seated....
He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.[/QUOTE]
Ibn al-Qayyim رحمة الله عليه mentions in his book al-Fawaa’id: “The secret and the reality of trust in Allaah is the reliance of the heart on Allaah alone. The person who relies on Allaah, and not on any other person or thing, will not be harmed.”[/QUOTE]
Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"The gates of Paradise will be opened on Monday and on Thursdays, and every servant [of Allah] who associates nothing with Allaah will be forgiven, except for the man who has a grudge against his brother. [About them] it will be said, 'Delay these two until they are reconciled. Delay these two until they are reconciled. Delay these two until they are reconciled.'"
(Reported by Muslim in al-Musnad as-Saheeh, #2565.)[/QUOTE]
“Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention. And perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great.”
- Ibn Al-Mubaarak رحمة الله عليه
Here is an extremely beneficial reminder Insha'Allah.
In Search of Sincerity
by Muhammad Alshareef
In one of the battles that the Muslims waged against the Romans, the Muslims – under the commandment of Maslamah (rahimahullaah) – surrounded a city that had a tall and well-fortified wall. The siege went on for months.
Then one night, one of the Muslim soldiers came to General Maslamah and told him of a hole that he had accomplished to bore through the wall. “It is only large enough for a slim soldier.” He knelt closer. “Quickly, send with me someone who can squeeze through and fight the army on the inside until he has opened the gates for all of us to enter.”
Maslamah sent out the news, and that night someone volunteered. In a sweeping assault, the gate was opened and the Muslims were victorious.
Maslamah, overwhelmed with happiness, sent out the word that the soldier that entered the hole should come forward. No one showed. A day passed and the request was repeated. Another day, then another. No one arrived to take credit.
On the fourth day, a soldier approached Maslamah, his face wrapped in a scarf. He said to him, “I have news of the soldier that entered the hole.”
Maslamah sat up sharp, “Tell me who it is?”
“First, however,” said the soldier, he has three conditions before exposing himself. Do you agree to this?”
“Of course,” Maslamah said.
“The first is that you do not try to compensate him for what he did. The second is that you do not tell anyone who he is. And the third is that you shall not ask for his presence ever again. Do you agree to these conditions?”
“It is agreed,” Maslamah said.
The soldier, uncovering his scarf, said, “It is I. I went through that hole only for the sake of Allah.” Then, turning, he walked away.
After that day, Maslamah was often heard praying to Allah, “O Allah, (on the Day of Resurrection) grant me companionship with the soldier of the hole.”
Sometimes at any Islamic school, there are children who pray at the back, but the actions are better described as ‘playing’ (no, not with a lisp). Then when the head master or whoever they consider to have authority above them approaches, they all stand erect in complete devotion.
They are children and Allah will not take them to account. However, there are many adults that do this exact thing but on a more serious scale. The ingredient that we all need to work on throughout our lives as Muslims is Ikhlaas (sincerity) and, In sha Allah, that shall be our topic for today.
Sincerity in all we do is a commandment of Allah:
[Say, "Indeed my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first (among you) of the Muslims."] Surah Al-An’aam 6/162,163
[And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give Zakah. That is the correct Deen.] Surah Bayyinah 98/5
In defining Ikhlaas, Al-Jurjaani – rahimahullaah – said that it is to not seek any audience for your deeds other than Allah.
When one looks over the text of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, they will come to the realization that Allah ta’ala and His Messenger – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – speak about sincerity in different aspects: Sincerity in Tawheed of Allah and sincerity in our intentions. Sincerity in our worship, such as in Salah, Sujood, Fasting, standing in Ramadan, standing in the night of Qadr, sincere love for the Masjid, Zakah, Sadaqah, Hajj, Jihaad, repentance, supplications, recitation of the Qur’aan, and so much more.
The Qur’aan and Sunnah speak about sincerity in all our verbal statements, sincerity in our refined and upright AKhlaaq (character), sincerity in our Tawakkul (placing of our trust) in Allah, and sincerity in all actions.
Commenting on the verse: [He who created death and life to test you (as to) which of you is best in deed] Surah Al-Mulk 67/2, Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaadh – rahimahullaah – said, “It is those deeds which are most correct and most sincere.” The students asked, “O Abu Ali, what are deeds that are correct and sincere?” He said, “If a deed is done sincerely, yet is not done correctly, it will not be accepted. And if a deed is done correctly, but not sincerely for Allah, it will not be accepted. It must be done sincerely and correctly. Sincerely, as in for Allah alone; Correctly, as in accordance to the Sunnah.
He then recited the verse of Allah: [So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.] Surah al-Kahf 18/110. (See Madaarij As-Saalikeen 3/93)
With Ikhlaas we can be saved from misguidance as Prophet Yusuf – alyhi as salam – was saved. Hear Allah’s words: [And thus (it was) that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our Mukhlaseen servants.] 12/24
With Ikhlaas the books can be turned in our favor in the last minutes of our lives just as what happened to the man that murdered 99 men. Allah ta’ala saved him in the end because of his sincerity in repentance.
With Ikhlaas one will be saved from Hellfire and granted a lofty position in Jannah. [And they give food out of love for (Allah ta’ala) to the needy, the orphan and the captive. (Saying) "We feed you only for the countenance of Allah, we wish no reward from you nor gratitude. Indeed, we fear from our Lord a Day severe and distressful. So Allah will protect them from the evil of that Day and give them radiance and happiness. And will reward them for what they patiently endured (with) a garden (in Jannah) and silk (garments).] Surah Ihsan 76/8-12
Dear brothers and sisters, we must understand that there are certain things that contradict our Ikhlaas to Allah. Of these things are three, Reyaa’, Sum’ah and ‘Ujb.
Reyaa’ is to perform an act of worship with the intention of showing it off to people, seeking their praise or some other vanity. Thus this person is seeking to be glorified or praised or hoped for or feared through this action. An example of this would be such as donating a large sum of money in order that people may think the contributor is generous.
Sum’ah is similar to Reyaa’, but as the Ulumaa’ have said, it is those verbal statements that a person does for the sake of people. Such as someone making ballooned threats against the Jews in Philisteen just so others would think he is courageous.
Ibn Al-Mubaarak – rahimahullaah – said, “Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention. And perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great.”
‘Ujb is the cousin of Reyaa’. It is when a person becomes impressed with himself for the ‘great’ deeds that he has done.
This and all the other types are viruses that can kill our actions and turn them against us on the day of Resurrection.
Ya’qoob al-Makfoof – rahimahullah – used to say, “The sincere one is he who hides his good deeds in the same way that he would hide his bad.”
From the Seerah, as Sa’d ibn Waqqaas narrates: … as for Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl, (after the conquest of Makkah) while escaping by sea, a terrible storm befell them. The owners of the boat shouted, “At this moment pray to only God and pray sincerely, for your gods cannot avail us in any way through salvation from this storm.” ‘Ikrimah said, “By Allah, if Ikhlaas can only save me on the sea, then on land nothing but it can save me.” (He then raised his hands and pronounced), “O Allah if you save me, you have upon me an oath that I shall not rest until I arrive at Muhammad – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – and place my hand in his.”
He then came to Rasul Allah – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – became Muslim, and was later martyred in Jihaad.
Sincerity is a topic that is not only key to Islam, but it is also a subject that the Kuffaar and philosophers have pondered for centuries. The English have a saying that goes to the effect of: To hunt with the lantern of Diogenes.
Diogenes was a Cynic Greek philosopher who lived about 320 years before Prophet Eesa – alayhis salam. He believed there was no sincerity – no Ikhlaas – in any human being. To vividly prove his point, he was said to have gone about the streeets of Corinth in broad daylight with a lighted lantern looking for a sincere man. From here the English coined the term To hunt with the lantern of Diogenes when speaking of a group of people whose sincerity is extremely absent.
Indeed insincerity in our actions is something very dangerous and can lead a person to ruin. Ibn Masood – radi Allahu ‘anhu – would advise his students, “If your intention is one of these three, do not seek knowledge: To shame the ignorant, or to argue with the Fuqahaa’, or to cause people to turn their faces in your direction. Intend with your actions and words that which is with Allah, for indeed that which is with Allah shall remain and everything else shall perish.”
In conclusion, Ibn Al-Qayyim – rahimahullaah – said, “Deeds without sincerity are like a traveler who carries in his water-jug dirt. The carrying of it burdens him and it brings no benefit.”
May Allah ta’ala make us all from those whose deeds are done in accordance with the Sunnah, deeds that are done sincerely for the sake of Allah.
Al-Fawaa`id [218-219] of ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him.
[Taken from ‘An Explanation to Riyaadh as-Saaliheen’ Vol1, Trans. Abu Sulaymaan and modified.]
Sincerity cannot coexist in a heart that contains the love of praise and commendation and the yearning to possess that which is owned by the people save in the manner that fire and water or a lizard and fish may coexist.
If your soul directs you to seek sincerity then first turn your attention towards your yearning and slaughter it with the knife of renunciation. Then turn your attention towards praise and commendation and forsake it with the asceticism of those who loved the world for the sake of the Hereafter. When your slaughtering of your yearning and the renunciation of praise and commendation becomes firm then attaining sincerity will become easy for you.
If it is asked: what may facilitate the act of slaughtering ones yearning and renouncing the love of praise and commendation?
I would reply: as for slaughtering your yearning then this is made easy by you having certain knowledge that there is nothing that one would desire except that its treasures are in the Hand of Allaah alone and none has power over it save Him. There is no one who may bestow these things to a servant except for Allaah.
As for renouncing the love of praise and commendation then this is made easy by your knowing that there is no one who can praise you such that it would benefit you, or censure and vilify you such that it would harm you save Allaah alone. This is what occurs in the hadeeth in which the Arab said to the Prophet (SAW), “my being praised is adornment and my being vilified is disgrace,” to which the Prophet (SAW) said, “that is (for) Allaah.”
[Reported by at-Tirmidhee [no. 3266] with a saheeh isnaad from Baraa`a bin Aazib (RA).]
So renounce the praise of one whose praise cannot beautify you and the vilification of one whose censure cannot disgrace you! Instead desire the praise of the One whose commendation contains perfect beauty and the One whose censure contains total disgrace. This cannot be attained except after patience and certainty for when there is no patience and certainty then you are like one who wished to traverse an ocean without a vessel to carry him!
Allah سبحانه وتعالى said,
“Be patient! Indeed the Promise of Allaah is true and let not those who are devoid of certainty discourage you from conveying (the message).” [al-Rum (30):60]
“We have made from amongst them leaders, guiding under Our Command when they were patient and believed in Our Signs with certainty.” [al-Sajdah (32):24][/QUOTE]
IslamicAnswers.com Marriage Advice
............ Here's a true story about the power of persistence: Once, many years ago, I arrived in San Francisco with no friends, no contacts and only a little money in my pocket. I needed work. I visited many companies in my field and I found one company in particular that I liked. They told me that they did not need anyone but that I could check back in several months.I came back the next day.
The human resources manager said, "Weren't you here yesterday and I told you we don't need anyone?" I said yes, but I thought maybe someone might call in sick and they could use me just for the day. The HR man looked at me strangely and said, "No, nothing like that. Why don't you come back in a month?"
I came back the next day. This time the HR man smiled at me and said, "I'll tell you what, come back in one week."
I came back the next day. It was a Thursday. The HR man rolled his eyes in exasperation and said, "Listen. Come back on Monday and I'll see what I can do."
I came back the next day. He gave me a job starting that day. I worked for that company for five years and I got promoted twice.
That's a true story.
I know it's harder nowadays with the worldwide economy in shambles. I'm not pretending that anyone can get a job by following these tips. But it will certainly help your chances, Insha'Allah.
May Allah help you and provide for you and your family.
And Allah knows best.
(O Allah), Guide us to the straight path; The path of those whom you have favored; Not those with whom you are angry; Nor those who go astray.
- Wael Abdelgawad
IslamicAnswers.com Marriage Advice[/QUOTE]
Once there was a king who told some of his workers to dig a pond. Once the pond was dug, the king made an announcement to his people saying that one person from each household has to bring a glass of milk during the night and pour it into the pond. So, the pond should be full of milk by the morning. After receiving the order, everyone went home. One man prepared to take the milk during the night. He thought that since everyone will bring milk, he could just hide a glass of water and pour inside the pond. Because it will be dark at night, no one will notice. So he quickly went and poured the water in the pond and came back. In the morning, the king came to visit the pond and to his surprise the pond was only filled with water! What has happened is that everyone was thinking like the other man that “I don’t have to put the milk, someone else will do it.”
Dear friends, when it comes to help the Religion of Allah, do not think that others will take care of it. Rather, it starts from you, if you don’t do it, no one else will do it. So, change yourself to the way of Allah to serve Him and that will make the difference.
This is the story of the giant ship engine that failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.
Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, from top to bottom.
Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man searched into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. & instantly, the engine lurched into life & got started.
He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for £10,000.
“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”
So they wrote the old man a note saying “Please send us an itemised bill.”
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer …..£2.00
Knowing where to hammer..£9,998.00
Moral of The Story:
Effort itself is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life,
‘Makes all the difference’. So often we see people striving, working and making effort tirelessly, often for years only for them to later on realise that they were all misplaced and how they wish they had spent the time and effort on something more fruitful. This reminds me of a quote I once read a long time ago:
“My worry for you is not that you fail to succeed, but that you succeed in the wrong thing.”
An example that spring to mind which I have heard from our scholars is that people strive to do a lot of good a’maal but fail to refrain from committing sins, and they explained this point by using the example of a petrol tank with a hole in the bottom, we keep on filling it with petrol, little realising our loss of fuel from the hole in the tank.
May Allah give us the ability to reflect, learn and act on the above.
Some short stories/quotes from the life of Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah).
Imam Ahmad once said, “It’s very hard for me to see people who memorize the Quran inside their hearts, but the dunya has melted that heart.”
One time, a person said, “Ya imam, may Allah reward you well for what you have done for Islam.” He said, “Do you know what you are saying? You should say, May Allah reward Islam well for what it has done for me.”
One of his students said, “I was with Imam Ahmad for 20 years, but I never heard him utter a word that could be used against him.” This man’s manners were unbelieveable. His humbleness stood out.
His gatherings were attended by 5,000 people. Only 400 wrote down the hadith, the rest were there for his manners.
Upon the death of Imam Ahmad, the one who used to torture him came into his house. Imam Ahmad was in his bed, dying.
He said, “Ya imam, do you remember me?”
And Imam Ahmad did remember him, even after jail and the death of three khalifahs. Imam Ahmad said, “You’re the one who used to hit me in the time of al-Mu’tasim.”
The man said, “Ya imam, wallahi Allah has destroyed my life, and I just want you to forgive me before you die.”
Imam Ahmad replied, “I did that a long time ago.”
Then he said, “Pray for me.” So Imam Ahmad did so.
When he did that, his son said, “My father, what are you doing? You already forgave him, why do you have to pray for him, too?”
Imam Ahmad replied, “Allah will call people who forgave their brothers no matter what they did, and honor them in front of everybody. Their reward will be upon Allah, and nobody will reward them similar to what Allah will that day. And upon my death, I want to be among those people.”
Imam Ahmad didn’t only become famous because of his knowledge, but because of his manners.
I was once with Sufyân b. ‘Uyainah – Allah have mercy on him, when a man came to him and said, “O Abû Muhammad, I complain to you of so-and-so”, meaning his wife, “I am the lowest and most despicable thing to her.” [Sufyân] lowered his head for a few moments, then said, “Perhaps you wanted her in order to better your status.” The man said, “Indeed, o Abû Muhammad.” Sufyân said, “Whoever goes for glory will be tried with ignominy, whoever goes for wealth will be tried with poverty, but whoever goes for religiousness, Allah will bring together for him glory and wealth with the religion.” He then started to narrate to him:
We were four brothers: Muhammad, ‘Umrân, IbrâhÎm and I. Muhammad was the eldest, ‘Umrân was the youngest, and I was in the middle. When Muhammad wanted to marry, he desired status and married a woman of higher standing, so Allah tried him with ignominy. ‘Umrân desired wealth, so he married a richer woman and Allah tried him with poverty: [her family] took everything from him and gave him nothing.
I pondered their situation. Mu’ammar b. Râshid once came to us so I consulted him on the situation and told him the story of my brothers. He reminded me of the hadÎth of Yahyâ b. Ja’dah and the hadÎth of ‘Â`ishah. The hadÎth of Yahyâ b. Ja’dah states that the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said, “A woman is married for four things: her religion, her status (lineage), her wealth or her beauty; so take the religious one and be successful.” The hadÎth of ‘Â`ishah states that the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said, “The most blessed woman is she who is easiest to maintain.”
Thus, I chose [to marry a woman of] religion and modest dowry, in accordance with the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and Allah gave me status and wealth along with the religion.
Dhikr is one of the best good deeds. Allah azza wa jal says in the Qur’an,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا
“O you who have believed, remember Allāh with much remembrance.” [33:41]
Also, at the end of another ayah, Allah mentions those who remember Him a lot:
وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
“… and the men who remember Allāh often and the women who do so – for them Allāh has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” [33:35]
In contrast, Allah tells about those who forget him,
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
“And be not like those who forgot Allāh, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.”
Also, we learn that it is only with dhikr that hearts find rest.
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allāh. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allāh hearts are assured.” [13:28]
The importance of dhikr is also mentioned in many ahadith.
The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “There is no hour (short period of time) that passes by you in which you don’t remember Allah except that you will regret it on the day of judgment.”
In Sahih Muslim he said, “Al-Mufaridun will be ahead of everyone else on the day of judgment.” Al-Mufaridun are the male and females who remember Allah a lot.
Bukhari narrated, “The example of the person who remembers Allah and the one who doesn’t is like the live person and the dead one.”
In another hadith, a man came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and said he was confused because there were so many things in this religion. The Prophet replied, “Always keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah.”
The importance of dhikr is also shown through the fact that whenever we are ordered to do good deeds, we are ordered to follow these deeds with dhikr. After we finish praying, we are supposed to make adhkar. Before we break our fast, we are supposed to make a dua. When we are at hajj, we are supposed to be making dhikr. Even when it comes to worldly deeds, we are to make dhikr, before eating, before sleeping, and so on.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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