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Posts from the ‘Good Manners’ Category

25
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 24

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 23.]

In the previous part, I mentioned the two types of giving with regards to Allah’s Name Al-Mutee (the One who gives): the general (which includes believers and the disbelievers) and the specific (which is only for the believers, both in this world and the Hereafter).

The following hadeeth mentions the greatest thing that Al-Mutee gives His slaves in the Hereafter:

إن الله يقول لأهل الجنة : يا أهل الجنة ! فيقولون : لبيك . ربنا ! وسعديك . والخير في يديك . فيقول : هل رضيتم ؟ فيقولون : وما لنا لا نرضى ؟ يا رب ! وقد أعطيتنا ما لم تعط أحدا من خلقك . فيقول : ألا أعطيكم أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقولون : يا رب ! وأي شيء أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقول : أحل عليكم رضواني . فلا أسخط عليكم بعده أبدا

Abu Said al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that Allah would say to the inmates of Paradise: O, Dwellers of Paradise, and they would say in response: At Your service and pleasure, our Lord, the good is in Your Hand. He (the Lord) would say: Are you well pleased now? They would say: Why should we not be pleased, O Lord, when You have given us what You have not given to any of Your creatures? He would, however, say: May I not give you (something) even more excellent than that? And they would say: O Lord, what thing can be more excellent than this? And He would say: I shall cause My pleasure to alight upon you and I shall never be angry with you after this. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 6787]

I ask Allah, Al-Mutee by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes that He make us of those who He is pleased with, both in this world and in the Hereafter.

We should remember the following things:

a) Whatever blessings we have were given to us by Al-Mutee.

We forget this quite frequently, don’t we? We think we “earned” it, don’t we? 

يا عبادي ! لو أن أولكم وآخركم . وإنسكم وجنكم . قاموا في صعيد واحد فسألوني . فأعطيت كل إنسان مسألته . ما نقص ذلك مما عندي إلا كما ينقص المخيط إذا أدخل البحر . يا عبادي ! إنما هي أعمالكم أحصيها لكم . ثم أوفيكم إياها . فمن وجد خيرا فليحمد الله . ومن وجد غير ذلك فلا يلومن إلا نفسه

O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it.O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6246]

[The full narration can be found here.]

I recall reading an article which asked us something like: “If you have a degree, then who caused you to have it?” It pointed out that so many people came from poor families who could not afford to pay for education.

Something for us to think about.

When we realise that we did not “earn” these blessings, then perhaps we’ll be a bit more grateful for all the stuff that we have instead of sounding like this.

b) There are no limits to His giving, nor does His giving decrease His Kingdom in the least.

The hadeeth mentioned above is a proof of this statement.

Subhan Allah, He gives to all of creation!

يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ ۚ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

“Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honour to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)!” [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 29]

c) If we want something, we should ask Allah to grant it to us.

We should do dua (supplication) and remember that if He wants to grant us something, out of His Mercy, then nobody can prevent it.

However, we should also remember that if He wants to prevent us from getting something, out of His Wisdom and Justice, then nobody can give it to us!

And this leads us to another topic: Being pleased with what Allah has decreed for us, in terms of provisions and the like.

This is a very lengthy topic. All I want to point out is that we should ask Allah and be grateful if we get what we want, and be patient if we don’t get it.

A reminder: Turn to Allah in times of distress and ask Him to grant you a way out. Do not turn to people.

من أصابته فاقة فأنزلها بالناس لم تسد فاقته ومن أنزلها بالله أوشك الله له بالغنى إما بموت عاجل أو غنى عاجل

Ibn Masud (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever is afflicted with a distress, and turns to the people (to solve it), he will not have his distress solved. And whoever turns to Allah, Allah will hasten independence to him, either by a quick death or a speedy richness.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645]

d) Nobody should say “Oh, I’m not guided because Allah did not give me guidance.”

This is a common chirp. What the person really means is “I know that I have to be good, but I just don’t want to be.”

A person is misguided due to his own sins:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِ‌بَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا

فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَ‌ادَ اللَّـهُ بِهَـٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ

“Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: “What did Allah intend by this parable?” By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fasiqoon (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 26]

In contrast, the sincere ones are the ones who are guided:

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ

“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and bestows on them their piety.” [Surah Muhammad (47) : 17]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) states in his tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse):

“(And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance) which means that those who seek guidance, Allah facilitates it for them; He guides them to it, makes them firm on it, and gives them more of it.

(and bestows on them their Taqwa. ) meaning, He inspires them to their righteous guidance.”

So, the one who sincerely seeks guidance will be given it. So we need to do lot of dua asking Allah to guide us and then we need to take the means i.e. studying about Islam and increasing in our worship.

e) Al-Mutee gives more to certain types of people so we should try to adopt those qualities.

One of those types would be kind people:

يا عائشة ! إن الله رفيق يحب الرفق . ويعطي على الرفق ما لا يعطي على العنف . وما لا يعطي على ما سواه

Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Oh Aishah, verily Allah is Rafeeq (kind) and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness).” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6273]

This hadeeth mentions another Name of Allah: Ar-Rafeeq (kind). So, if we want Al-Mutee, Ar-Rafeeq to give us more, we need to increase in kindness towards His creation, even if it were a wild camel.

f) We should also give.

If we want Allah to give us more, then obviously we should give more to others, shouldn’t we?

الأيدي ثلاثة فيد الله العليا ويد المعطي التي تليها ويد السائل السفلى فأعط الفضل ولا تعجز عن نفسك

Malik ibn Nadlah (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are three types of hands: The Hand of Allah is the highest, and the hand of the giver is below it, and the hand of the one who asks is the lowest. So give blessings (charity) and do not be too weak to overcome yourself.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649.]

Reminder: This is Ramadan, the month where the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would increase in his generosity, so we should follow his sunnah (way):

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

2) He is Al-Musair (the One who determines).

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

[I’ve mentioned this hadeeth before when I discussed the Names Ar-Raaziq and Ar-Razzaq on Day 10.]

So Allah is the One who determines things (like prices, provisions, life etc) through His will, so we should be content with that. The people who don’t know this are the ones who suffer anxiety. [I just came across this interesting article on the Islamic perspective on the financial crisis.]

This should also encourage a person to be lenient with regards to prices, instead of behaving like a pest when he sells or buys.

رَحِمَ اللَّهُ رَجُلاً سَمْحًا إِذَا بَاعَ، وَإِذَا اشْتَرَى، وَإِذَا اقْتَضَى ‏

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdillah (radiallahu anhuma): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “May Allah’s mercy be on a man who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadith No. 290]

3) He is Al-Qaabidh (the Taker / the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly/ the Extender).

The hadeeth mentioned above about Al-Musair also mentions these two Names.

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in the following dua of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam). In the previous post, I pointed out that this dua mentioned the attribute of giving as well:

لما كان يوم أحد ، وانكفأ المشركون ، قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استووا حتى أثني على ربي عز و جل اللهم لك الحمد كله ، اللهم لا قابض لما بسطت ، و لا مقرب لما باعدت ، و لا مباعد لما قربت ، و لا معطي لما منعت ، و لا مانع لما أعطيت أسألك ابسط علينا من بركاتك و رحمتك و فضلك و رزقك ، اللهم إني أسألك النعيم المقيم الذي لا يحول و لا يزول اللهم إني أسألك النعيم يوم العيلة ، و الأمن يوم الحرب ، اللهم عائذا بك من سوء ما أعطينا ، و شر ما منعت منا اللهم حبب إلينا الإيمان وزينه في قلوبنا ، وكره إلينا الكفر والفسوق والعصيان واجعلنا من الراشدين اللهم توفنا مسلمين ، و أحينا مسلمين و ألحقنا بالصالحين ، غير خزايا ، و لا مفتونين اللهم قاتل الكفرة الذين يصدون عن سبيلك ، و يكذبون رسلك ، و اجعل عليهم رجزك و عذابك قاتل الكفرة الذين أوتوا الكتاب ، إله الحق

Rifaa az-Zurqi (radiallahu anhu) said, “In the Battle of Uhud when the idolaters retreated, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Form straight ranks so that I can praise my Almighty Lord.’ They formed in ranks behind him. He said, ‘O Allah, all praise is due to You. O Allah, none can contract what You expand nor bring near what you put far away. None can put far away what You bring near. None can give what You withhold nor withhold what You give. O Allah, expand to us some of Your blessings, mercy and favour and give us provision! O Allah, I ask You for the abiding blessing which is neither changed nor removed. O Allah, I ask You for blessing on the Day of Utter Poverty and security on the Day of Fear. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the evil of what You give us. O Allah, make us love belief and adorn our hearts with it. Make us hate disbelief, deviance and rebellion. Place us among the rightly-guided. O Allah, make us die Muslims and make us live as Muslims and join us to the rightly, acting, who are neither disappointed nor afflicted. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who bar your path and who deny Your Messengers. Place You abasement and punishment over them. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who were given the Book, O Lord of Truth!'” [Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 699. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 538. I got the latter reference from Dorar.]

[Completely awesome dua, isn’t it?]

You might have noticed that both these attributes are opposites of each other.

Insha-Allah, I’ll discuss that in the next part.

To be continued…

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1
Jul

Seriously Short Reminder No. 33: Remember that you need to reply to it…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Note #1: So I was Internetless for 5 days. The last time that I sat that long in front of a PC without the Internet was….the 90s when the Internet first came out. I think I need to take more breaks away from this thing…]

[Note #2: Okay, it seems that most of you voted for the Lord of the Worlds series for Ramadan. If anyone wants one of the other two series mentioned, then please do say so ASAP. I’ll decide at the end of this week, insha-Allah.]

Reply to what, you ask?

Reply to the salaam (greeting of peace, of course).

The virtues of initiating the salaam (i.e. saying Assalamu Alaikum) are many and these are quite well-known, alhamdulillah. [This article states that it is a recommendation whereas this one states that it is an obligation.]

However, many people seem to be unaware of the importance of replying to the salaam.

Allah says:

وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُ‌دُّوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا

“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.” [Surah An-Nisa (4) : 86]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) says in his tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse): “Therefore, the better Salam is recommended, while returning it equally is an obligation.”

So, when a Muslim greets us with “Assalamu Alaikum”, we are obliged to reply to it with “Wa Alaikum Assalam” and encouraged to add “Wa Rahmathullahi” or “Wa Ramathullahi Wa Barakathuh”.

If a Muslim greets us with “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullah” we are obliged to reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmathullah” and encouraged to add “Wa Barakthuh”.

If a Muslim greets us with “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Barakathuh”, we are obliged to reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Barakathuh”.

It seems that in today’s fast-paced twitter-oriented blackberry-addicted world, people have forgotten this act completely.

Brothers and sisters, these might seem like little things but these little things add up to a lot. Not replying to the salaam is a sin (even a delayed reply is a sin) so if we keep doing this with everything (whether it be email, facebook, twitter, blog posts, live conversations, etc), the sins will keep piling up.

However, if we reply properly, then we’ll be increasing in good deeds.

So please, when someone sends you an email that starts with “Assalamu Alaikum”, start your reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam”. And if you are replying to an online article that starts with “Assalamu Alaikum,” start your reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam.” [Please don’t say “wasak” or something like that. Type the whole thing out!]

Please don’t think that this is something that will waste your time, rather this will put more barakah (blessings) in your time – just like everything else that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came with.

So…please remember to reply to the salaam.

PS. That includes any comments that are submitted to this blog. [Although I think you might have figured out that part already…]

18
Jun

Seriously Short Reminder No. 32: Remember to spoil them….

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

“Spoil who? The kiddies?”

No, of course not. I meant that we need to spoil the guests. [As for the kiddies, they shouldn’t be spoilt at all!!!]

سمعت أذناي ، وأبصرت عيناي ، حين تكلم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : ( من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليكرم جاره ، ومن كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليكرم ضيفه جائزته ) . قال : وما جائزته يا رسول الله ؟ قال : ( يوم وليلة ، والضيافة ثلاثة أيام ، فما كان وراء ذلك فهو صدقة عليه ، ومن كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليقل خيرا أو ليصمت ) .

Narrated by Abu Shuraih Al-Adawi (radiallahu anhu): My ears heard and my eyes saw the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) when he spoke, “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his neighbor generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should serve his guest generously by giving him his reward.” It was asked. “What is his reward, O Allah’s Messenger?” He said, “(To be entertained generously) for a day and a night (with high quality of food) and the guest has the right to be entertained for three days (with ordinary food) and if he stays longer, what he will be provided with will be regarded as sadaqah (a charitable gift). And anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quite (i.e. abstain from all kinds of dirty and evil talks).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 48]

ومن نزل بقوم فعليهم أن يقروه ، فإن لم يقروه فله أن يغصبهم بمثل قراه

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever stops among a people, they are obliged to entertain him, and if they do not entertain him, then he has the right to take from them an amount equivalent to that which they should have entertained him.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4604. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani, Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4604.]

This is something that I would consider a “forgotten” sunnah. These days, you’d be blessed to get a glass of water when you visit someone.

Sadly, many people are unaware that showing hospitality to guests is an obligation.

So, let’s not forget to be good hosts and hostesses because this is part of being a good Muslim.

And Allah knows Better.

9
May

Good Old-Fashioned Decency is alive and well….

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

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.

Oh, yeah.

So, what about you? Did you have any of these “good old-fashioned decency” stories to share? If so, please do!

16
Apr

Seriously Short Reminder No. 29: Remember to move over…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

“Could you please move over a bit so I can sit here?”

“What? No way! This is MY place. I came here first. Go find another place!”

Sound familiar?

Sadly enough, the answer is yes.

Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ فَافْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ انشُزُوا فَانشُزُوا يَرْ‌فَعِ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَ‌جَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ‌

“O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room. Allah will give you (ample) room (from His Mercy). And when you are told to rise up [for prayers, Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause), or for any other good deed], rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Surah Al-Mujaadilah (58) : 11]

Alright, one more time then.

“Could you please move over a bit so I can sit here?”

“Sure. Come on over.”

That’s more like it.

5
Aug

Ramadan: The Month of… – Part 3

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1 and 2.]

The Month of Righteous Deeds (which are done to earn Allah’s Pleasure)

رب صائم ليس له من صيامه إلا الجوع ورب قائم ليس له من قيامه إلا السهر

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690. Graded “hasan sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690.]

Read more »

16
Jun

5 things that we can (and should) do in Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

I was thinking about the areas that we mess up in the most during this great month. What are the things that we could (and should) do that would help us improve our Ramadan?

Well:

1) We can (and should) sleep less.

Yes, yes, I know. You might say: “Hey most of us sleep less during this month!”

I beg to differ. I think that people snooze more in this month (or at least that’s what the people in this part of the world do) than they do outside of it.

This is NOT the month of “catching up on our sleep”.

2) We can (and should) stop wasting our time with useless activities, and instead focus on our ibaadah (worship).

Want to surf the Internet? Well, do it after Ramadan.

Part of the reason that we waste our time is that we have deceived ourselves into thinking that fasting is only achieved by staying hungry and as we are staying hungry, we are in a state of worship.

Well, no, there’s much more to fasting than just starving.

3) We can (and should) eat  healthy food.

Yes, we can. Really.

Just stand in front of the mirror and repeat it a hundred times. Mass repetition is known to help the brain accept an idea, no matter how impossible it sounds.

[Oh and we can (and should) eat less as well. That would really end many a woman’s kitchen nightmares….]

4) We can (and should) stop fighting with each other in the masjid.

Completely silly question: Is there any particular reason that we all single out Ramadan for masjid fights……..?

5) We can (and should) take it hour by hour and not think too far ahead.

One of the main reasons that many of us flunk in Ramadan is that we go all out in the first few days and then fizzle out early. Instead, we need to take things step by step.

Question to all of you (if you’re still around. Everyone seems to have disappeared?): What other things are there that we can (and should) do in order to have a great Ramadan?

13
Jun

Countdown to Ramadan: Changing one habit a week – Habit No. 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Okay, the majority of you chose “Controlling the tongue as much as possible” as the second habit that you’d like to work on before Ramadan.

[Oh and we’re still continuing with Habit No. 1, remember?]

So, here are some tips to help us all do that:

[More tips will be found on the Daily Dose blog. I’ll also be posting Quranic ayaat and ahadeeth that relate to this topic, insha-Allah.]

1) Be serious about achieving this goal.

That should be obvious but many people are not serious which is why they fail!

2) Do dua

I always say this and I’m saying it again. Dua. Dua. Dua.

Believe me, there is nothing like it.

3) Ponder

Ponder over the great virtue of those who control their tongues and also ponder over the many stories in the Quran and the Sunnah about the people that got thrown into Hell because of their big mouths.

4) Try until you die

Yes, that’s what we all have to do. Just keep going on until it’s over…

5) If you mess up, seek Allah’s Forgiveness

You know, we’re all humans so we all end up making mistakes. So no matter how hard we try, we will fall flat on our faces one day.

Now, will we just stay there in that position? No, we will not. We will get up i.e. we will do istighfar (seek forgiveness) and make a fresh start, insha-Allah, even if we have to do this a thousand times.

6) Be around righteous, silent people

You know, when the person with us talks about good things, we too will feel like talking about good things.

However, if the person with us talks rubbish, we too will eventually slip, let our tongues loose and start to talk rubbish.

7) Take it day by day

Controlling the tongue is one of the most difficult things to do, so we need to approach it on a daily basis.

8) Use your tongue for something useful

We need to do dhikr (remembrance) of Allah, dua (supplication) and say good things (e.g. enjoin good). If we don’t occupy our tongues with something good, then they will get occupied with something bad!

9) Understand what “controlling the tongue” really means

We have been asked to stay away from vain talk. So, what is vain talk?

A lecturer once pointed out that talking to your children (in a kiddish way) might appear to be vain talk but it isn’t because the whole point of the conversation is to build the relationship between you and your children.

So, controlling our tongues doesn’t mean ignoring our children and not talking to them at all.

It also doesn’t mean that we just stare at elderly relatives silently and make them feel uneasy instead of gently trying to talk about halal matters in order to make them feel better.

It also does not mean that we be silent in the face of disobedience to Allah. Shaikh Saad Ash-Shitri pointed out (in his commentary to the 40 hadeeth of Nawawi) that good speech is better than being silent.

So, not all talk is vain talk. Vain talk is that which does not bring us closer to Allah.

10) Remember that your tongue is a window into your brain.

We talk about things that are on our minds so our tongues expose our thoughts.

Let’s all ask ourselves: what is our speech like? Useful or useless?

So, let’s try this for 14 days and see how it goes, insha-Allah.

27
May

Seriously Short Reminder No. 20: Be kind…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Why should a person be kind? Simply because Allah loves it.

يا عائشة ! إن الله رفيق يحب الرفق . ويعطي على الرفق ما لا يعطي على العنف . وما لا يعطي على ما سواه

Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam), reported that Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Oh Aishah, verily Allah is kind and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness).” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6273]

Kindness beautifies whatever it is associated with.

إن الرفق لا يكون في شيء إلا زانه . ولا ينزع من شيء إلا شانه

Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam), reported that Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6274]

Oh and in case you think that kindness just refers to “kindness to people”, the Prophet’s (salallahu alaihi wasallam) statement to Aishah (radiallahu anha) above came after the following scenario:

ركبت عائشة بعيرا . فكانت فيه صعوبة . فجعلت تردده . فقال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : عليك بالرفق

Aishah (radiallahu anha) mounted upon a wild camel and she began to make that go round and round. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “You should show kindness”. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6275]

So, he (salallahu alaihi wasallam) mentioned kindness with regards to who? A wild camel!

Subhan Allah, if we are meant to show a certain amount of kindness to wild animals, then obviously a fellow human being, especially a Muslim, will have more right to our kindness.

So, let’s all try to be kind (look, I said “try”. I know that it’s difficult!), whether it is to the neighbour that we can’t stand, or that annoying classmate or the poor goldfish that’s all alone in the fish bowl.

Why? Because Allah loves kindness. That’s enough reason to try, isn’t it?