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February 27, 2011

2

How to make a fresh start – Part 2

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[My apologies for the dreadful editing.]

[Here’s Part 1.]

Before I continue with the lessons that I learnt from the hadeeth, I’d like to advise those people who are sought for help in such matters i.e. those who were deemed “suitable” by the people who want to make a fresh start:

a) Being able to keep one’s mouth shut is a great virtue.

Don’t even think about blabbing the person’s secret to anyone, be it your spouse/relatives/close friends/colleagues/anyone.

Remember that this is a trust.

b) Try your best not to give the person what I call the “astaghfirullah treatment”

Many people will say astaghfirullah after every statement, look scandalized at the story and then proceed to scold the person.

You know, I think that sometimes a person might have scolded himself/herself more than anyone else could scold them.

And by the time such people ask for help, they are already near breaking point. What they need is a bit of compassion and loads of encouragement. What they do NOT need is indignant self-righteousness.

Of course, I’m not saying that one should not advise the person and inform them of the warnings mentioned in the shariah pertaining to that action.

However, one needs to be wise and look at the condition of the person. Will mentioning the warnings be helpful at this time? Or would be better to mention the texts which talk about Allah’s vast Mercy?

7) It is an obligation on an individual to know Allah and to know His Attributes.

Many people belittle the study of tawheed (worshipping Allah alone), thinking that there are more important things out there and this is indeed a very wretched way of thinking.

The knowledgeable person is the one who knows Allah and knows His Rights.

And the proof of this from this hadeeth is that the murderer asked for the most knowledgeable people on earth*, and the two who were mentioned a monk and a scholar i.e both were people of religion.

[*He didn’t want to settle for any small time muftis as you can see. He wanted advice from the most knowledgeable person around.]

Knowing and applying tawheed is the difference between Paradise and Hell-fire.

The scholar knew tawheed and so he was able to direct the murderer in a proper manner. The monk did not know much tawheed and therefore almost led the man astray.

Also, tawheed is what saves a person from staying in the Hell-fire forever.

This man, though he was a murder, was on tawheed. How do we know that?

a) Because of his end – he would not have been granted Paradise if had not been on tawheed as Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

“Verily! Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far away.” [Surah An-Nisaa (4) : 116]

This is true for all the nations before us as well.

[Of course, after the advent of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam), the only way one can correctly practice tawheed is by following the religion of Islam, not any other religion.]

b) He was from Bani Israil – which alludes to the fact that he was on tawheed.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Amongst the men of Bani Israel there was a man who had murdered ninety-nine persons. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 676]

So, I will repeat what I have said many times on this blog: study tawheed and apply it.

Learning about tawheed was what caused the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum) to make a fresh start. And look at how fabulously amazing they turned out to be.

8) The Mercy of Allah is vast so a person should never hesitate to repent.

The scholar knew this and therefore knew that the murderer could still repent.

A whole book can be dedicated to this issue but some ayaat (verses) and ahadeeth will do for now:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ

“Say: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him, (in Islam), before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.” [Surah Az-Zumar (39) : 53-54]

يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلَا تَيْأَسُوا مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّـهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّـهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

“O my sons! Go you and enquire about Yusuf and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” [Surah Yusuf (12) : 87]

قَالَ وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إِلَّا الضَّالُّونَ

“[Ibrahim] said: “And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?”” [Surah Al-Hijr (15) : 56]

لما قضى الله الخلق كتب في كتابه ، فهو عنده فوق العرش : إن رحمتي غلبت غضبي

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne, “My Mercy overpowers My Anger.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 416]

جعل الله الرحمة في مائة جزء ، فأمسك عنده تسعة وتسعين جزءا ، وأنزل في الأرض جزءا واحدا ، فمن ذلك الجزء يتراحم الخلق ، حتى ترفع الفرس حافرها عن ولدها ، خشية أن تصيبه

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): I heard Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam)  saying: “Allah divided Mercy into one hundred parts and He kept its ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its one single part, His creation are Merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 29]

Another narration states:

إن لله مائة رحمة . أنزل منها رحمة واحدة بين الجن والإنس والبهائم والهوام . فبها يتعاطفون . وبها يتراحمون . وبها تعطف الوحش على ولدها . وأخر الله تسعا وتسعين رحمة . يرحم بها عباده يوم القيامة

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anahu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “There are one hundred (parts of) mercy for Allah and He has sent down out of these one part of mercy upon the jinn and human beings and the insects and it is because of this (one part) that they love one another, show kindness to one another and even the beast treats its young one with affection, and Allah has reserved ninety nine parts of mercy with which He would treat His servants on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6631]

لله أشد فرحا بتوبة عبده ، حين يتوب إليه ، من أحدكم كان على راحلته بأرض فلاة . فانفلتت منه . وعليها طعامه وشرابه . فأيس منها . فأتى شجرة . فاضطجع في ظلها . قد أيس من راحلته . فبينا هو كذلك إذا هو بها ، قائمة عنده . فأخذ بخطامها . ثم قال من شدة الفرح : اللهم ! أنت عبدي وأنا ربك . أخطأ من شدة الفرح

Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anahu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah is more pleased with the repentance of a servant as he turns towards Him for repentance than this that one amongst you is upon the camel in a waterless desert and there is upon (that camel) his provision of food and drink also and it is lost by him, and he having lost all hope (to get that) lies down in the shadow and is disappointed about his camel and there he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of his nose string and then out of boundless joy says: 0 Lord, You are my servant and I am Your Lord. He commits this mistake out of extreme delight.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6618]

قال الله تبارك وتعالى يا ابن آدم إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني غفرت لك على ما كان فيك ولا أبالي يا ابن آدم لو بلغت ذنوبك عنان السماء ثم استغفرتني غفرت لك ولا أبالي يا ابن آدم إنك لو أتيتني بقراب الأرض خطايا ثم لقيتني لا تشرك بي شيئا لأتيتك بقرابها مغفرة

Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah, Blessed is He and Most High, said: ‘O son of Adam! Verily,  so long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you and I would not mind. O son of Adam! If you came to me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.'” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 3540. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 3540.]

There is a commentary of this hadeeth mention in this post.

Of course, having said all that, one must remember that the believer is balanced: he doesn’t just hope in Allah’s Mercy, rather he fears His Punishment as well.

Allah says:

نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Declare (O Muhammad) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hijr (15) :49]

And right after that He says:

وَأَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الْأَلِيمُ

“And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment.” [Surah Al-Hijr (15) : 50]

So, a true believer must fear Allah (and Allah alone):

إِنَّمَا ذَٰلِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَخَافُونِ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

“It is only Shaytan (the devil) that suggests to you the fear of his Auliyaa, so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 175]

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّـهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).” [Surah Al-Anfal (8) : 2]

In fact, not fearing Allah’s punishment is a disaster:

أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّـهِ ۚ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّـهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“Did they then feel secure against the Plan of Allah. None feels secure from the Plan of Allah except the people who are the losers.” [Surah Al-Araaf (7) : 99]

Ismail Ibn Rafi (rahimahullah) said: “To feel secure from the plan of Allah is to persistently perpetrate a sin while having hope that Allah will forgive it.” [Quoted in “Guide to Sound Creed” by Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, pg. 71]

This means that this person keeps sinning and thinks “Allah will forgive me”, and he does not repent. This is in contrast to a person who does repent but keeps falling off the wagon and then keeps trying to get back on.

Feeling safe from Allah’s Plan is one of the major sins:

سئل الرسول عن الكبائر فقال: الشرك بالله واليأس من روح الله والأمن من مكر الله

Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam)  was asked about the major sins so he said: “Associating partners with Allah (shirk), despairing of hope in Allah and feeling secure from the plan of Allah.” [Mentioned in Kitab At-Tawheed and authenticated by Ibn Baz. You may check out the results from Dorar here.]

Unfortunately, many people are deluded into thinking that Allah is not angry with them, simply because they have a good life.

إذا رأيت الله تعالى يعطي العبد من الدنيا ما يحب ، و هو مقيم على معاصيه ؛ فإنما ذلك منه استدراج

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “If you see that Allah gives a slave while he is continuing in his acts of disobedience, then know that this is gradual alluring.” [Sahih Al-Jamee, Hadeeth No. 561. You may check out the results from Dorar here.]

So, this person is being taken to the edge of a cliff and they don’t even realise it until they’ve fallen off!

So, a believer lives between fear and hope:

إِنَّمَا يُؤْمِنُ بِآيَاتِنَا الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهَا خَرُّوا سُجَّدًا وَسَبَّحُوا بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

“Only those believe in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), who, when they are reminded of them fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud. Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them.” [Surah As-Sajdah (32) : 15-16]

[Note: For those who read the required adhkar remembrances before sleeping, read the last one on this page and see what you notice.]

Remember, a believer worships Allah with love, hope and fear as itsmentioned in Surah Al-Fatihah:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).” [Surah Al-Fatihah (1) : 2]
This is love.

الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

“The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Fatihah (1) : 3]

This is hope.

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

“The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” [Surah Al-Fatihah (1) : 4]

This is fear.

You can read more about this here.

In fact, this hadeeth mentions both fear and hope. After the man dies, both the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment fight over him!

9) One should remember to be grateful to Allah for having guided him/her to repent.

It states in another narration:

“A man killed 99 people and then the idea of repentance occurred to him.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 2622. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 2622.]

Who guided him to this idea of repentance? Allah, of course.

So we should always give credit where credit is due i.e. to Allah alone.

[To be continued…]

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Umm Moosa
    Feb 28 2011

    Assalamualaikum,
    Hope you are well. I haven’t been very active in writing comments lately, but I eagerly wait for your posts and enjoy reading them. May Allah reward you for your efforts.
    The article mentioned the following hadeeth,

    Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The majors sins (Al-Kabair) are associating partners with Allah (shirk), despairing of hope in Allah and feeling secure from the plan of Allah.” [Silsilah As-Saheehah, Hadeeth No. 2051. You may check out the results from Dorar here.]
    Does القنوط من رحمة الله mean ‘feeling secure from the plan of Allah’ ?

    Jazakillahu khayran

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Feb 28 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      Alhamdulillah, I’m good. What about you?

      Actually, you’re one of the most active ones in the comments section so there’s no need to apologise at all.

      Alhamdulillah, I’m glad that you like them and ameen to your dua.

      Ah, the importance of knowing Arabic. When your friend messes up the translation at 3:30am in the morning, you can hint and tell her that she messed up….

      Yes, I messed up there. I’ve put the proper translation now. The part that you mentioned means despairing of Allah’s Mercy.

      Jazakillahu kheira for pointing that out. If you notice any other mistakes, do let me know, insha-Allah.

      Reply

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