بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Some of the problems with the way knowledge is sought today (contd.)
5) Not submitting oneself to Allah
It might seem strange that I’ve put this here so let me explain.
The whole purpose of life is to worship Allah, which means we need to submit to His orders. So, if we seek knowledge, that means we want to increase in worship and submission.
The people of the past differed AFTER the knowledge came to them. Before that, they were one big happy family following falsehood. After the truth came, they split up into two parties: one following the truth and one opposing it.
وَلَقَدْ بَوَّأْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدْقٍ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ فَمَا اخْتَلَفُوا حَتَّىٰ جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَقْضِي بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ
“And indeed We settled the Children of Israel in an honourable dwelling place , and provided them with good things, and they differed not until the knowledge came to them. Verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection in that in which they used to differ.” [Surah Yunus (10) : 93]
[You can read Imam As-Saadi’s tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse) here.]
So, this knowledge needs to make us submit to the truth, even if it opposes our “logic” and desires. [By the way, not a single aspect of Islam contradicts the SOUND intellect.]
Allah has warned us against those who follow their “logic” and desires:
فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah? Verily! Allah guides not the people who are dhaalimoon (wrong-doers, disobedient to Allah, and polytheists).” [Surah Al-Qasas (28) : 50]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, I was planning to post the “I’m too busy” article today (the one that I mentioned last week). The wind blew and I decided that I could postpone that one until later because I have a reminder for me and for you.
It started with the news of a possible tsunami in Indonesia. When I read this (yesterday or the day before), I was very alarmed because of what had happened in the original tsunami.
Then I read that it might reach the Gulf states. I got scared because I happen to come from a Gulf state.
The article mentioned the UAE. My fear increased. I felt slightly better after it said “Fujairah” and not “Dubai”. [Fujairah is the northern most emirate, and Dubai is in the middle. We have seven emirates overall.]
Then, I found out that we’d have no tsunami after all. I was so relieved.
Then today morning as I’m in class, the wind started to blow. A lot.
The first thing that I thought of was that there was going to be a tsunami after all.
Everyone started looked anxious and proceeded to recite the dhikr (remembrance) for when the wind blows. [You can read it here]
After all, an entire nation was destroyed by the wind.
وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ
سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَىٰ كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ
فَهَلْ تَرَىٰ لَهُم مِّن بَاقِيَةٍ
“And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind; which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms! Do you see any remnants of them?” [Surah Al-Haqqah (69) : 6-8]
Subhan Allah, who can save us from the wind except the One who sends it?
It’s only when we have these kind of situations (tsunami, earthquake, thunder and lighting, violent wind, etc) that we really fear Allah, because we know that only He can save us, nothing else, not our wealth, status, power, etc.
After all, look what happened to Japan, which used to have one of the strongest economies in the world. Could they save themselves from the tsunami? No!
This begs the question: Why do we feel so safe on the other (normal) occasions??
Allah asks us the following:
أَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ
أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ
وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ
“Do you feel secure that He, Who is above the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning? And indeed those before them belied (the Messengers of Allah), then how terrible was My denial (punishment)?” [Surah Al-Mulk (67) : 16-18]
However, some of us do something similar to what the disbelievers of the past did: remember Allah only in times of fear.
وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۖ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ الْإِنسَانُ كَفُورًا
“And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him (Allah Alone). But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful.” [Surah Al-Isra (17) : 67]
So, this is a short reminder for you and for me, that we need to fear Allah as He should be feared. Yes, we need to hope in His Mercy but we also need to fear His Punishment. That is the moderate way.
Fearing His Punishment doesn’t just mean becoming righteous for all of 20 minutes during the time of need. It means continuing the good even after the possible calamity has been averted, in order to avoid the major calamity i.e. the hell fire.
All of us are going to die and all of us are going to be raised again. And on that Day, we won’t get a second chance. That will be IT. No more chances.
So, we need to work for that Day from NOW, not just in times of calamity or in Ramadan.
Subhan Allah, just a short time before the wind blew, our teacher was talking about people who finish the Quran in 2 months but don’t understand anything.
He said that ilm (knowledge) was khashiyah (fear) of Allah and understanding and applying just one ayah (verse) would suffice us (as it summarises everything).
The ayah? Here you go:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” [Surah Al-Hashr (59) : 18]
Something to ponder over, isn’t it?
That’s not all though. The two ayaat (verses) after this are:
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
لَا يَسْتَوِي أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ وَأَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ۚ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ
“And be not like those who forgot Allah (i.e. became disobedient to Allah) and He caused them to forget their own selves, (let them to forget to do righteous deeds). Those are the Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise. It is the dwellers of Paradise that will be successful.” [Surah Al-Hashr (59) : 19-20]
So, let’s get to work.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
7) Unlike the creation, Allah is Ever Living and will never die.
That might seem terribly obvious but again, our actions belie our words.
When one looks at some people and how much they run after this dunya (worldly life), one can only wonder if they truly believe that they will die one day.
And let’s be honest: Don’t many of us avoid thinking about death? Don’t we like to pretend that it will never come?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Okay, I’ll pick up from where I left off yesterday.
So, the question was why a murderer who applied tawheed would eventually enter Paradise but a kind, generous disbeliever (meaning he did not apply tawheed) would never enter Paradise.
This is an issue that many people cannot understand and I’ll tell you why. It’s because they look at it from their perspective – therefore murder seems worse than shirk.
However, one needs to ask what the worst sin is, in the SIGHT OF ALLAH. Then one can get the correct perspective.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Please excuse the bad editing. WordPress tends to behave like a drama queen sometimes.]
8. He is the One who has prohibited that any partners be attributed to Him in any way whatsoever and He will not forgive the one who dies attributing partners to Him.
Let’s go though this step by step:
[Note: Sorry, I haven’t put any references. If you wish to have them, please feel free to ask. Remember that it is your right to ask for them.]
The End = The Hereafter.
The Beginnings of this end are the appearance of the minor signs of the Last Day.
[Of course, from an individual perspective, the beginning of the end = death.]
There are soooo many minor signs of the Last Day like:
Bedouins competing in making tall buildings. [I can see them all from my house (the buildings I mean, not the Bedouins.)]
People competing to build nicer masjids. [No comment.]
Marketplaces coming nearer to one another. [Translation: Shopping malls will sprout up in every corner. Hello Ibn Battuta, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, etc.]
People decorating their homes. [Today, if you don’t decorate your house and doll it up beyond recognition, the guests will accuse you of being a cheapskate.]
The masaahif (mushafs of the Quran) will be decorated. [Someone even showed me a perfumed mushaf once.]
And there are so many more….
Does every sign point to a bad event? No, not necessarily.
The coming of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) is one of the minor signs and the (second) coming of Isa (alaihissalam) is one of the major signs. Everybody would agree that these are not bad things.
[A major sign is that which occurs very close to the Hour which is why the coming of Isa (alaihissalam) is a major sign, but the coming of Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wasallam) is not.]
However, most of these signs don’t point to good things. Decorating homes, masjids and masaahif points to extravagance which is NOT a good thing.
What do we need to do? Well, when we come across these signs, we need to ponder over them, and ask ourselves if we are guilty of doing the actions mentioned therein.
One of the signs that I came across a long time ago was that the salaams would only be conveyed to those whom one knows.
I was shocked when I came across this hadeeth because I was guilty of doing this action.
So, we need to think and change our actions if required.
Here’s a lecture that discusses a few of the minor signs in detail. It’s by Uthman Barry (rahimahullah), my late professor.
[And yes, this is also part of Project “Give Uthman Barry some sadaqah jaariyah”.
Why, you ask? Well, I read somewhere that Imam Ash-Shafiee (rahimahullah) considered Imam Layth (rahimahullah) from Egypt to be a better jurist than Imam Maalik (rahimahullah).
Who’s Imam Layth, you ask? Exactly. We don’t know much about him.
Imam Ash-Shafiee considered Imam Layth’s students to have failed him.
How do a person’s students fail him? Well, by not conveying what they have learnt from him, thereby not benefiting their teacher.
I don’t want to make the same mistake as Imam Layth’s students. That’s why I’ll be trying to put up as many of Ustadh Uthman’s lectures as I can so that this can benefit him, insha-Allah.]
Here’s the audio:
The Beginning of the End by Uthman Barry (rahimahullah) (Download)