بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Day 24.]
These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in various ayaat (verses):
مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّـهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 245]
لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills). Verily! He is the All-Knower of everything.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 12]
Interestingly enough, this Surah (i.e. Ash-Shura) mentions the giving of provision two more times (the attribute of giving lavishly (or enlarging) is mentioned in the second ayah):
اللَّـهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ
“Allah is Lateef (very Gracious and Kind) to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 19]
وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّـهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَـٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ
“And if Allah were to enlarge the provision for His slaves, they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily! He is in respect of His slaves, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer (of things that benefit them).” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 27]
The second ayah (verse) shows that it is from Allah’s Perfection and complete ability that He can both withhold and extend provisions. This is why these two attributes, although opposites, are always mentioned together.
اللَّـهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ وَفَرِحُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا مَتَاعٌ
“Allah increases the provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills), and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.” [Surah Ar-Raad (13) : 26]
وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا
إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُورًا
وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ تَرْجُوهَا فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُورًا
وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُورًا
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا
“And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskeen (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayateen (devils), and the Shaytaan (Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
And if you (O Muhammad) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer, etc. whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft kind word (i.e. Allah will give me and I shall give you).
And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.
Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.
And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.”
[Surah Al-Israa (17) : 26-31]
In the above ayaat (verses), Allah first orders us to give in charity and then informs us not to be spendthrifts (i.e. be moderate in spending). After this, we are informed that He enlarges and withholds provision out of His Knowledge. Then He commands us not to kill our children due to poverty as He will provide for us and them.
Ponder over the order of these ayaat. It’s very interesting.
The last ayah should also be a reply to those who say that they don’t want children or want only one or two because they “can’t afford the expenses”.
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُونَ
وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ
قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
وَمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُم بِالَّتِي تُقَرِّبُكُمْ عِندَنَا زُلْفَىٰ إِلَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ جَزَاءُ الضِّعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُفَاتِ آمِنُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ يَسْعَوْنَ فِي آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُولَـٰئِكَ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُحْضَرُونَ
قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
“And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them said: “We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent.
And they say: “We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.”
Say (O Muhammad): “Verily, my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men know not.”
And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. pleases Allah), but only he (will please Us) who believes (in the Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds; as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in peace and security.
And those who strive against Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), to frustrate them, will be brought to the torment.
Say: “Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.””
[Surah Saba (34) : 34-39]
In the above ayaat, the fact that Allah enlarges and straitens provision is mentioned TWICE.
وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّـهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ۚ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِمَا قَالُوا ۘ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ
“The Jews say: “Allah’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty).” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His Bounty) as He wills.” [Surah Al-Maaidah (5) : 64]
Al-Qaabidh is the One who takes the provisions (i.e. withholds them) and the souls. Al-Baasit is the One who freely gives provisions and gives life to the hearts.
So, the first Name should cause us to increase in fear and the second Name should cause us to increase in hope.
Al-Baasit also gives people a chance to repent for the sins that they committed during the day:
إن الله عز وجل يبسط يده بالليل ، ليتوب مسيء النهار . ويبسط يده بالنهار ، ليتوب مسيء الليل . حتى تطلع الشمس من مغربها
Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, Stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn. (He would accept repentance) before the sun rises in the west. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6644]
So, we should rush to take advantage of this by repenting from our sins. [And no, this hadeeth does not mean that we can sin and then repent as we wish!]
Want Al-Baasit to grant you more provision? Well, here’s what you have to do:
من أحب أن يبسط له في رزقه ، وينسأ له في أثره ، فليصل رحمه
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 15]
[Visiting inquisitive elderly aunts doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?]
There is a lot more to these two Names. I’ve just summarised it and pointed out the aspects which relate to what we’ve already covered like giving and rizq (provision).
What we also learn from these Names is that WE should generously to others.
Insha-Allah, this will be the last post for this Ramadan (I mentioned earlier that I was only going to be blogging for 7 days).
[I had mentioned earlier that I was going to cover dawah (calling to Islam) in this series during Ramadan but I wasn’t able to get to it. I’ll cover that in future, insha-Allah.]
I would like to remind myself and all of you to study the Names and Attributes of Allah, because without it, we won’t be able to know who Allah is. And if we don’t know who He is, we won’t worship Him the way that we’re supposed to.
I would also like to remind everyone to apply this knowledge in their daily lives. This is not just theoretical information. We can’t say “Oh yeah, I know the Names of Allah because I read a few blog posts on this topic.”
We need to keep learning them until we understand them.
Let me give you an example related to Ramadan:
Here we are in Ramadan, the Month of Rectification and these are some of the search terms that people used to reach my blog:
– “Is it okay not to fast in Ramadan?” [They got this post.]
– “Is it haram to masturbate whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]
-“Is it haram to listen to music whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]
These have been the top search terms for the past week now.
Subhan Allah, these people don’t realise that Allah is the All-Seer, the All-Hearer and the All-Knower. If they had known, this would have been a reason for them to try to overcome these problems rather than trying to google a way out.
Also, if they had realised that He was Samee As-Dua (the Hearer of supplications), they would have asked Him to aid them in worshipping Him and fighting their weaknesses
So, let’s remember His Names during this month as that will help us to improve (and yes, all of us need to improve).
A final reminder: I read this article by Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan recently and the following part caught my eye:
“Slaves of Allah, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)would strive hard in this month more than he would strive in other months; and he, upon him be prayers and peace, would be serious in al-‘Ibaadah during all of its times. He would remove himself in this month from most distractions which are in actuality worship, but he would remove himself from the virtuous acts for that which was more virtuous than it. And the Salafus-Saalih would follow his example in that and would particularize this month with an abundance of importance and they would dedicate themselves therein to righteous actions. They would spend its night in Tahajjud and its day in fasting, remembrance and recitation of the Qur’aan. They would spend time in the masaajid with that; so let us compare our affair to their affair and what is the extent of our knowledge with this month. And let us know that just as the good deeds are multiplied therein, the sins committed therein are likewise and their punishment is increased. So let us fear Allah the Glorified and honor His sacred things: “And whoever honors the sacred things of Allah that is better for him with his Lord.” (Al-Hajj 22:30)”
So, I advise myself and you to take heed of this advice and fill up this month with the most virtuous acts of worship, including itikaf (retreat in the masjid) during the last ten days.
There are lots of resources on this blog for all the topics mentioned for those who are interested in learning more (the search function really, really does help).
Insha-Allah, I’ll resume this blog after Hajj season as I want to focus on my Hajj blogs (the links are on the right hand corner of the site) after Ramadan.
May Allah accept our fasts, prayers and all our good deeds in this blessed month.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Day 22.]
f) “I’m too sinful to ask Allah.”
I discussed this issue on Day 21 with regards to grave worshippers i.e. that they use this as an excuse to call out to dead people.
However, there are others who don’t call out to other than Allah – but they don’t call out to Allah either, under the false premise that they are too “sinful” to do so. This is yet another example of Shaytan (the devil) fooling people due to their lack of knowledge of Allah.
Another variation of the above statement is “Oh my dua (supplication) won’t be accepted.”
I was talking to an acquaintance of mine and she got something that she had wanted. The conversation proceeded as follows:
“It was thanks to your duas,” she says to me.
I was confused. MY duas??
“Erm, how do you know it was my duas? Perhaps it was YOUR duas?” I asked, puzzled.
“Oh please, it’s not my duas!” she scoffed.
She didn’t even believe that her duas would get answered and she thought this way because she considered herself very sinful.
This issue is very, very, very common. Shaytan defeats many people before they even begin.
There are several replies to the people who say this:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Yes, that title might sound highly unusual.
It’s an English saying which means making the most out of an opportunity.
Imagine if you went to a park and found lots of little gold coins on the ground. What would you do?
Well, you know what you’d do. You’d try to pick up as many coins as possible.
Imagine if you went to a food exhibition and they were offering free fruits. [Ironically, this actually happened here once!] What would you do?
You’d try to get your hands on as many fruits as you possibly could, that’s would you’d do.
Okay, that’s what we do with gold coins and fruits. What do many people do with regards to Ramadan?
It’s Shaban 29th. Maghrib comes.
Nobody is sure if it’s Ramadan or not.
Most people just twiddle their thumbs and wait for the announcement, instead of realising that they should increase in their ibaadah (worship) as Ramadan might have already started. And if not, then at least this will help them prepare for it.
What happens once people know that it’s Ramadan? Well, for many people, nothing happens. They wait until the next day to start fasting because they think that this is when Ramadan begins.
Then they proceed to be very active in the first few days and do taraweeh every night.
After that? Well, many people tend to drop off the radar only to return in time for the 27th night.
Then on the 29th of Ramadan after Maghrib, everyone twiddles their thumbs yet again waiting for an Eid announcement, not realising that if it’s still Ramadan (i.e. it’s not Eid the next day), they need to make use of its final hours.
The minutes of Ramadan are more precious than those gold coins so why do we treat them like nothing???
We need to use our time wisely – right from the beginning of Ramadan until the end, when the moon of Shawwal is spotted.
We need to remember to use the mornings and the nights for good deeds.
We need to pace ourselves so that we steadily increase in worship throughout the month and peak in the last ten nights.
We need to make the best out of every situation whether it is at work, in the car, in the kitchen, in university, etc.
The amazing thing about our purpose of life (i.e worshipping Allah alone) is that we can do it anywhere, at any time, in any circumstance, and in any age. [This is one of the main purposes of Ramadan – to remind us of our purpose in life and to remind us to use our time in pursuing this goal.]
So, we should use every opportunity possible.
In the car? Listen to a nice Islamic lecture.
Stuck in a queue? Do istighfar (seek forgiveness).
Stuck in the kitchen? Do tasbeeh (say “subhan Allah”).
At work? Well, do your work properly and in a good way, knowing that we’ve been commanded to do all things well.
At university? Same as above.
Got stuck in a conversation with your elderly highly-talkative neighbour whom you find very annoying? Talk to them politely and remember that neighbours have rights and that we’ve been commanded to be good to the elderly. This conversation will then turn into an act of worship (I’m assuming that the neighbour is of the same gender as you) and will be a witness for you instead of being a witness against you.
In short: Milk every minute for what it’s worth. In this Ramadan and even beyond that.
Perhaps Ramadan has already begun for some of you (it hasn’t where I am).
Ramadan Mubarak to all of you.
May Allah grant us tawfeeq (guidance) in this great month.
PS. After much thought, I’ve decided to blog only for the first 7 days and then stop for the rest of Ramadan. That’s because I spent far too much time blogging the last two Ramadans and did not spend enough time with the Quran.So this year, I’m going to be rectifying that, insha-Allah.
I’ll be continuing with the Lords of the Worlds series as promised but just for the first 7 days, insha-Allah.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Subhan Allah, there’s only 4-5 more days to go before Ramadan is here.
Only 4-5 days.
If we haven’t started working, we need to start NOW for two reasons:
1) We can’t guarantee that we’ll be alive that long.
Subhan Allah, Ramadan is so close…and yet it’s so far away. We won’t reach it until we actually DO reach it.
2) I’m sorry but we can’t wait for the moon to be sighted in order to start increasing in worship.
That’s too late because that means we’ll be using Ramadan to adjust to our new schedules, whereas we should already have adjusted by then!
We need to start improving our prayers NOW.
We need to start increasing in recitation of the Quran NOW.
We need to start increasing in giving charity NOW.
[We also need to ditch those sins (random examples: smoking, listening to music, backbiting, etc) NOW.]
What are you (and I) waiting for?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Yes, I know. You’re struggling to remember what this series is all about. It’s about the man who murdered 99 people.]
In the last part, I mentioned the importance of having good friends. Here’s one more hadeeth on the importance of being around righteous people:
إن لله ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يلتمسون أهل الذكر ، فإذا وجدوا قوما يذكرون الله تنادوا : هلموا إلى حاجتكم . قال : فيحفونهم بأجنحتهم إلى السماء الدنيا ، قال : فيسألهم ربهم ، وهو أعلم منهم ، ما يقول عبادي ؟ قال : تقول : يسبحونك ويكبرونك ويحمدونك ويمجدونك ، قال : فيقول : هل رأوني ؟ قال : فيقولون : لا والله ما رأوك ، قال : فيقول : وكيف لو رأوني ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوك كانوا أشد لك عبادة ، وأشد لك تمجيدا وأكثر لك تسبيحا ، قال : يقول : فما يسألونني ؟ قال : يسألونك الجنة ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو أنهم رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو أنهم رأوها كانوا أشد عليها حرصا ، وأشد لها طلبا ، وأعظم فيها رغبة ، قال : فمم يتعوذون ؟ قال : يقولون : من النار ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوها كانوا أشد منها فرارا ، وأشد لها مخافة ، قال : فيقول : فأشهدكم أني قد غفرت لهم . قال : يقول ملك من الملائكة : فيهم فلان ليس منهم ، إنما جاء لحاجة . قال : هم الجلساء لا يشقى بهم جليسهم
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah ‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah has some angels who look for those who celebrate the Praises of Allah on the roads and paths. And when they find some people celebrating the Praises of Allah, they call each other, saying, “Come to the object of your pursuit.’ ” He added, “Then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky of the world.” He added. “(after those people celebrated the Praises of Allah, and the angels go back), their Lord, asks them (those angels)… though He knows better than them… ‘What do My slaves say?’ The angels reply, ‘They say: Subhan Allah, Allahu Akbar, and Alhamdulillah.
Allah then says ‘Did they see Me?’ The angels reply, ‘No! By Allah, they didn’t see You.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw Me?’ The angels reply, ‘If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more often.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘What do they ask Me for?’ The angels reply, ‘They ask You for Paradise.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No! By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it, they would have greater covetousness for it and would seek It with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it.’
Allah says, ‘From what do they seek refuge?’ The angels reply, ‘They seek refuge from the (Hell) Fire.’ Allah says, ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it they would flee from it with the extreme fleeing and would have extreme fear from it.’ Then Allah says, ‘I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them.”‘
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) added, “One of the angels would say, ‘There was so-and-so amongst them, and he was not one of them, but he had just come for some need.’ Allah would say, ‘These are those people whose companions will not be reduced to misery.’ “ [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 417]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, who are those who glorify and worship Allah?
Well, there are many so I’ll just mention a few examples (some of which were inspired by Imam Ibn Kathir’s tafsir (explanation) of Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah No. 74]
The Hoopoe (Hud-hud)
[I never said that I was going to be talking about human beings now, did I?]
وَتَفَقَّدَ الطَّيْرَ فَقَالَ مَا لِيَ لَا أَرَى الْهُدْهُدَ أَمْ كَانَ مِنَ الْغَائِبِينَ
لَأُعَذِّبَنَّهُ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا أَوْ لَأَذْبَحَنَّهُ أَوْ لَيَأْتِيَنِّي بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ
فَمَكَثَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ فَقَالَ أَحَطتُ بِمَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ وَجِئْتُكَ مِن سَبَإٍ بِنَبَإٍ يَقِينٍ
إِنِّي وَجَدتُّ امْرَأَةً تَمْلِكُهُمْ وَأُوتِيَتْ مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَلَهَا عَرْشٌ عَظِيمٌ
وَجَدتُّهَا وَقَوْمَهَا يَسْجُدُونَ لِلشَّمْسِ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ فَهُمْ لَا يَهْتَدُونَ
أَلَّا يَسْجُدُوا لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي يُخْرِجُ الْخَبْءَ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُخْفُونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ
اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
“He (Sulaiman) inspected the birds, and said: “What is the matter that I see not the hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason.” But the hoopoe stayed not long, he (came up and) said: “I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Saba (Sheba) with true news. I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaitan (Satan) has made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and has barred them from (Allah’s) Way, so they have no guidance, Al-Laa (this word has two interpretations) (A) [As Shaitan has barred them from Allah’s Way] so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, or (B) So that they may worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allah, None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Lord of the Supreme Throne!”” [Surah An-Naml (27):20-26]
Look at this bird’s concern for tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and let’s compare that to many of the people of today who don’t even have a quarter of this concern!
قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لأبي ذر حين غربت الشمس : ( تدري أين تذهب ) . قلت : الله ورسوله أعلم ، قال : ( فإنها تذهب حتى تسجد تحت العرش ، فتستأذن فيؤذن لها ، ويوشك أن تسجد فلا يقبل منها ، وتستأذن فلا يؤذن لها ، يقال لها : ارجعي من حيث جئت ، فتطلع من مغربها ، فذلك قوله تعالى : والشمس تجري لمستقر لها ذلك تقدير العزيز العليم )
وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَا ۚذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ
“And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.” [Surah Ya-Seen (36) : 38]
[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 421]
إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا
“Truly, We did offer Al-Amaanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” [Surah Al-Ahzab (33) : 72]
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.” [Surah Al-Hashr (59) : 21]
[Fearing Allah is one of the ways of worshipping Him.]
And let’s not forget everybody’s favourite mountain:
إن أحدا جبل يحبنا ونحبه
AIlah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) cast a glance at Uhud and said: Uhud is a mountain which loves us and we love it.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 3208]
[Loving the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions (radiallahu anhum) is an act of worship.]
[Okay so mountains are stones as well but I mean the rest of them.]
ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَاءُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّـهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ
“Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 74]
[As I said earlier, fear of Allah is a type of worship.]
The Stars and the Trees
وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ يَسْجُدَانِ
“And the herbs (or stars) and the trees both prostrate.” [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 6]
وَيُسَبِّحُ الرَّعْدُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ خِيفَتِهِ وَيُرْسِلُ الصَّوَاعِقَ فَيُصِيبُ بِهَا مَن يَشَاءُ وَهُمْ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي اللَّـهِ وَهُوَ شَدِيدُ الْمِحَالِ
Even the heavens and the earth glorify Him.
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ
“Then He Istawaa (rose over) towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.” They both said: “We come, willingly.”” [Surah Fussilat (41) : 11]
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.” [Surah Al-Isra (17) : 44]
Even the moon and living creatures prostrate to Him.
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ ۗ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّـهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ
“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”. [Surah Al-Hajj (22) :18]
[A note: All these ayaat (verses) are not “metaphorical”. All of these things do really glorify, worship and prostrate to Allah. Our limited minds just cannot comprehend how it happens, nor are we required to know how it happens.]
Okay, what’s this? There’s a hold out? Not all of mankind worships Allah, when even stones, trees, mountains, etc do????
Subhan Allah! And I thought that we were an “intelligent” species!
Why is it that many of are so complacent when it comes to the worship of Allah? Some people don’t do it at all, whereas some others do it only in Ramadan. These “inanimate” objects, on the other hand, submit to Him throughout the year.
This is something for us all to ponder over. In fact, Allah has asked us to look at creation and ponder over it so that we realise who it is that deserves our worship:
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayaat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 164]
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَـٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.”” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 190-191]
لقد نزلت علي الليلة آيات ويل لمن قرأها و لم يتفكر فيها : ” إن في خلق السموات و الأرض ” الآية
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “On this night, this ayah (verse) was revealed to me. Woe to him who recites it but does not contemplate it”
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 190]
[Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah, Hadeeth No. 68. I got this reference from Dorar as I don’t have this book.]
So, you want some “inspiration” to worship Allah? It’s all around you. Just take a look.
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا ۖ مَّا تَرَىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ
ثُمَّ ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Yes I’m back, as my intensive course is over, alhamdulillah. Judging by the wide smiles, my classmates and I could have won the award for “Happiest Bunnies on the Planet”.]
So, there I was listening to the recitation of the last page of Surah Fussilat so that I could start memorising it.
I use Tanzil so that I can also check the translation at the same time (to make sure that I didn’t misunderstand).
I was stunned to come across the following ayah (verse):
وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ فَذُو دُعَاءٍ عَرِيضٍ
“And when We bestow favor upon man, he turns away and distances himself; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication.” [Surah Fussilat (41) : 51]
My eyes popped out because this story sounded…familiar. Very familiar.
In fact, I think that each of us knows somebody who behaves in this manner.
You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?
Of course you do.
This ayah pretty much summarises our life story. What’s amazing is that, despite it being mentioned in the Quran, we still don’t take heed.
So, what should we do? Well, we should also remember Allah in times of ease, not just in times of hardship, because the latter is very easy to do (hey, just ask the person in the mirror) but the former isn’t.
May Allah make us of those who are grateful for His Favours.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
It was 45 degrees Celsius today here in Dubai.
And we haven’t even started summer yet.
Subhan Allah, we can barely stand this heat. Shouldn’t that make us feel even more fearful of the Hell fire?
فَرِحَ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ بِمَقْعَدِهِمْ خِلَافَ رَسُولِ اللَّـهِ وَكَرِهُوا أَن يُجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَقَالُوا لَا تَنفِرُوا فِي الْحَرِّ ۗ قُلْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ أَشَدُّ حَرًّا ۚ لَّوْ كَانُوا يَفْقَهُونَ
فَلْيَضْحَكُوا قَلِيلًا وَلْيَبْكُوا كَثِيرًا جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
“Those who stayed away (from Tabuk expedition) rejoiced in their staying behind the Messenger of Allah; they hated to strive and fight with their properties and their lives in the Cause of Allah, and they said: “March not forth in the heat.” Say: “The Fire of Hell is more intense in heat”, if only they could understand!” So let them laugh a little and (they will) cry much as a recompense of what they used to earn (by committing sins).” [Surah At-Tawbah (9) : 81-82]
The group of people mentioned in the above ayah (verse) did not take part in jihad (fighting for the sake of Allah) because it was “too hot” for them.
Sadly, we see many people doing similar things today:
– Men who don’t want to go to the masjid because it’s too hot outside.
– Women who don’t want to wear hijab because they feel too hot in it.
– People who don’t fast in Ramadan because the heat makes them tired.
Of course, it’s not the heat that’s actually the problem. It’s that we don’t want to harm ourselves in anyway. We want the easy way out.
Unfortunately, sometimes this leads many people to putting this world above the next. So for them, if they see an act of worship as being a burden, they just drop it because it’s too much trouble.
They don’t realise that the punishment in the Hereafter is much worse than anything that could happen to them in this world.
So the next time we undergo a trial or a punishment of any sort, let us remember the following:
– Hell is even worse so we need to be steadfast in our religion.
– Paradise needs to be earned. It’s not going to drop in our laps.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, there I was walking towards my building (I live in an apartment), having just returned from a class.
We have two parking lots that we use – a small one right in front of the building and a large one that is beyond that. Both of the parking lots are separated by a small road.
I had parked in the large one as the small one was full. I reached the side of the small road (it has 2 lanes) and waited for it to clear (it’s usually busy) so that I could cross over to the small parking lot (which I need to then cross in order to get to my building).
Right around this time, something very horrible happened.
I use a large folder (with multiple packets) for all my class notes. It’s one of those that can be carried around like a briefcase.
In the past, I’ve had two instances where the contents poured out of it (because it’s stuffed). Alhamdulillah, that had happened in a safe place, and at a time when there was no wind, so I had no problem picking up my papers.
Today, it decided to do it again – by the side of the road.
I watched in horror as the folder opened and the contents poured out on the road – and flew to the other side of the road!
I was in complete shock. My heart sunk, my blood pressure dropped and I completely froze.
[Yeah, I know I should have done dua (supplication) but my mind went blank.]
I didn’t know what to do. Both my hands were full and I saw a car coming towards me (he was driving on my side of the road).
I quickly grabbed some of the papers that were close to me. That was about all I could do because I already had so many things in my hands.
Meanwhile, the guy in the car (actually, it turned out to be a DHL van) stopped and put on his indicator. This meant that nobody could drive over my papers from that side of the road.
He walked over and picked up all my papers for me.
Meanwhile, there was another guy, who had been riding a bicycle on the other side of the road, who started to pick up all the papers on his side (i.e. the side close to my building). I saw him checking underneath the cars (in the small parking lot) because some of the papers had flown that far.
[Alhamdulillah, from what I recall, no cars passed from his side of the road either. So my papers did not get run over.]
I was stunned and very relieved.
I took the papers from the first guy and thanked him. Then I crossed the road and took the papers from the other guy and thanked him as well.
That’s all I could do. And dua for them, of course.
I think I recovered 95%-100% of my papers, alhamdulillah.
Lessons that I learned today:
1) Truly, Allah is Most Merciful and the One who can do all things.
Subhan Allah, when I saw my papers flying away, I thought that was it.
It never occurred to me that I might recover them and that someone (let alone two people) would actually help me.
2) Good Old Fashioned Decency is still alive and well, alhamdulillah.
Between those horrid newspapers and the Grandmas that keep telling us about the “good old days” where everyone was noble and honest, we’ve become negative and jaded. We suspect that every person is some sort of closet criminal.
However, as I saw today and in the past as well, there is still lots of good in people.
[Note: As I’ve always pointed out, goodness is based on tawheed (worshipping Allah alone). Only the one who is upon tawheed (i.e. a Muslim) gets the reward for their deeds, due to the fact that they have a relationship with Allah.
This is the main reason we need to invite people to Islam and to tawheed, so that their good deeds lead to them getting the Mercy of Allah and Paradise.
If someone dies upon a religion other than Islam, there is no forgiveness for them and their good deeds are not accepted. Allah has mentioned this over and over again in the Quran. This post explains more about this issue.]
3) The “little” stuff is important too.
You know, we’re in Ramadan preparation mode now so we think of prayers, fasts, reciting the Quran, giving charity, etc. And all of these are very, very important.
However, I feel that despite all the knowledge that we have about Islam, we sometimes tend to forget about the little stuff.
We forget that prayers and all the other acts of worship should lead us to being more aware of Allah and to taking ourselves into account.
We also forget that this should lead us to doing “little” things like keeping public bathrooms (or whatever you call them) clean, helping old ladies cross the road, helping someone who is carrying a lot of bags, returning people’s pens to them (which we borrow because we forget our own pens!), thanking the cashier when we take our purchased items, not littering, etc.
We always think that the major stuff will get us into Paradise. Well, a prostitute entered Paradise because she helped a dog (here’s the full story). [Obviously she was on tawheed,]
What got her Allah’s Forgiveness? She helped a dog.
Today, if someone did this, people would say “So what?? It’s just a dog!”
Well, the Lord of the Worlds, the Owner of the Day of Judgement, was pleased with her act and that is all that matters.
So, my advice to myself and you: Let’s not forget the little things. They might seem little to us but perhaps these are the deeds that will be accepted from us.
These two men did a great favour for me today. Perhaps it was a little deed from their perspective but it certainly wasn’t from my perspective, given the fact that I have exams for that class coming up.
4) Don’t stuff files.
So, what about you? Did you have any of these “good old-fashioned decency” stories to share? If so, please do!