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Posts from the ‘Starting Afresh’ Category

3
Jul

How to make a fresh start – Part 4

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2 and 3.]

[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]

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25
Jun

Those who glorify and worship Allah…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[A question to the readers before I proceed: For the last two Ramadans, I’ve focused on a series. In 2010, it was the “Teensie-weensie Reminders” and last year it was “An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds”.

This year, I was thinking of doing one of the following (just for the first 18-20 days):

1) Continuing The Lord of the Worlds Series

2) A series on the Major Sins

I’m not just going to focus on what not to do (i.e. the sins), I’ll also be focusing on what to do (i.e. the good deeds).

3) Thought of the Day

Ultra-short posts.

Obviously, Series #1 and 2 will still be written, insha-Allah, but most of the posts will be after Ramadan (if they are not done in Ramadan, I mean).

So, which one should I focus on? [It will be just ONE of them, not all three!]

Or do you have another idea?

I’ll be basing my decision on your comments.

“What if there are no comments?”

That means that you don’t want me to write anything in Ramadan….]

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!

The Sun

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 ) 

Narrated Abu Dharr (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked me at sunset, “Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah:

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]

The Mountains

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.]

Stones

[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]

The Thunder

وَيُسَبِّحُ الرَّ‌عْدُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ خِيفَتِهِ وَيُرْ‌سِلُ الصَّوَاعِقَ فَيُصِيبُ بِهَا مَن يَشَاءُ وَهُمْ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي اللَّـهِ وَهُوَ شَدِيدُ الْمِحَالِ

“And Ar-Raad (thunder) glorifies and praises Him, and so do the angels because of His Awe, He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills, yet they (disbelievers) dispute about Allah. And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment.” [Surah Raad (13) : 13]

Almost everyone

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

“Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ‌

Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving;

الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا ۖ مَّا تَرَ‌ىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ فَارْ‌جِعِ الْبَصَرَ‌ هَلْ تَرَ‌ىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ‌

Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: “Can you see any rifts?”

ثُمَّ ارْ‌جِعِ الْبَصَرَ‌ كَرَّ‌تَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ‌ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ‌

Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out”
[Surah Al-Mulk (67) : 1- 4]
10
Jun

Does this story sound familiar?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[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.

12
Apr

Some words of advice…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum

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.

1
Apr

Seriously Short Reminder No. 27: Realise whose fault it is…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Note: Jazakumullahu kheira to the 13 people who took the time out to fill the survey. It was most appreciated.]

[Another note: No more 7-days-a-week blogging for me. I’m taking the weekends off.]

Every time something bad happens to us, we try to figure out whose fault it is.

Well, Allah tells us exactly whose fault it is:

وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ‌

“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42)  :30]

Yes, it’s OUR fault. And these calamities are a part of what we’ve earned.

“Part?”

Yes.

Allah says:

وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّـهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُوا مَا تَرَ‌كَ عَلَىٰ ظَهْرِ‌هَا مِن دَابَّةٍ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَخِّرُ‌هُمْ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۖ فَإِذَا جَاءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ بَصِيرً‌ا

“And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth, but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All­-Seer of His slaves.” [Surah Fatir (35) : 45]

If we got everything we earned, we’d be history.

So what do we need to do?

At the end of a long hadeeth qudsi (the full version can be found in this post), Allah says:

فمن وجد خيرا فليحمد الله . ومن وجد غير ذلك فلا يلومن إلا نفسه

“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]

So, when something good happens to us, we should attribute it to Allah, not to ourselves. However, when something bad happens to us, we should NOT attribute it to Allah, rather we should blame ourselves and seek His forgiveness.

In fact, this was the difference between Adam (alaihissalam) and Iblees. When Adam (alaihissalam) made that mistake, he blamed himself and asked Allah to forgive him. Due to this, he was raised in status.

Whereas in the case of Iblees, he blamed Allah for his misdeeds and refused to blame himself. Due to this, he was doomed.

So, who do we want to be like? Our father Adam or our enemy Iblees?

2
Aug

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So, let’s learn some more about the Lord of the Worlds:

3. He is the Most Merciful and He is also severe in punishment.

I know. We usually don’t put these two together, do we? However, I think we should start to do so.

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]

وَأَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الْأَلِيمُ

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

Notice that the second ayah comes right after first.

What can we learn from these two ayaat (verses)?
Read more »

11
Jul

What are five things that you hope to achieve by the end of…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

…..Shawwal?

You thought I was going to say “Ramadan”, didn’t you?

Why did I say Shawwal? Well, because many of us stop functioning after Ramadan because we make the mistake of only thinking of the goals that we want to achieve by the end of this month.

And then our iman (faith) takes a dive in Shawwal.

So, in order to avoid that, I thought it might be better if we included Shabaan and Shawwal in the picture.

Okay, let’s take this step by step:

1) Think about what five goals you HAVE to achieve by the end of Shawwal.

– Why make goals? If you don’t, the days will pass you by with you getting absolutely nowhere.

– Why five? Well, more than that would make your head spin. [You could do more if you wish.]

– Please don’t reply to this post and tell me (and the rest of the world) what your goals are. I think too often we share our personal goals with the whole wide world. Sometimes, that can rob us of our sincerity.

– Think of the hereafter consequences of what would happen if you don’t achieve those goals.

2) Be sure to WRITE down the goals.

Please don’t use your iPad for this purpose.

Take a pen and paper and do it the old fashioned way. It feels so much better.

Trust me.

3) Please be precise when you write down the goals.

For example, don’t say “I wanna be a good Muslim.” You could say: I will memorise the last two juz of the Quran, for example. Or I will start dawah project X and set up a website for it.

4) Write down the steps that you need to take to get to those goals.

For example, if you want to memorise the last 2 juz of the Quran, you have about 80 days left so how many ayaat (verses) do you need to study per day?

Do you have a Quran teacher? If not, can you join a class?

What time of the day will you do your memorisation?

How much will you achieve by the end of Shabaan and by the end of Ramadan?

5) Start right away.

Many people just groan when I say these things to them and wail “Oh we’re too busy for this” or “We can’t be this organised.”

Just a question for these types of people: Have you achieved any of your goals in the past 3 years? If not, then don’t you think you need to change the way that you do things?

6) Look at this paper (the one where your goals are written) as much as you can.

You know, subhan Allah, I read this on a kaafir website and I was like “Huh?”

And then I realised that all my goals were on my dua list, and whenever I looked at my dua list, I would get REALLY motivated. So I realised that while we may know our goals, we sometimes tend to put them at the back of our mind.

Being reminded of them will motivate us to reach them.

7) Keep checking your progress.

You know, 5 and 7 are the toughest ones to do but they’re the ones that we HAVE to do.

8) Ask Allah for His help.

We can’t do anything without His help and guidance.

So what are we all waiting for? Let’s get started!

10
Jul

An analogy to ponder…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

A friend of mine gave me a simple but beautiful analogy a few years ago.

See that battery charger?

That’s Ramadan.

See those batteries?

Those are us.

Like those batteries, we run out of charge so we need to get recharged.

And that’s what Ramadan does: it recharges our iman (faith) which had perhaps become a bit worn out. (That’s why I summarised it like this.)

إن الإيمان ليخلق في جوف أحدكم كما يخلق الثوب ، فاسألوا الله تعالى : أن يجدد الإيمان في قلوبكم

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Iman wears out in the heart of any one of you just as garments wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” [Sahih Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 1590. You may see the Dorar results here.]

25
Jun

What to do if your Ramadan preparation hasn’t been going well…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Bad Ramadan Prep so far? Here’s what you could do:

1) Don’t panic.

Look at the bright side: you still have over a month to repair the damage. A month is a long time.

2) Don’t give up.

That might sound weird but many people do tend to mentally give up on having a great Ramadan just because they weren’t well-prepared for it.

3) Don’t wait for the next Ramadan.

This one might also sound weird but I know that I used to go through this in the past.

The Ramadan Prep and the first few weeks of Ramadan would not be great so I would just imagine that next year’s Ramadan would be the Awesome Ramadan.

However, a few Ramadans ago, I had a dreadful first 2 weeks due to being ill. I spent most of the time sleeping.

Ironically, the last ten days of that Ramadan were probably my best ever. That made me realise that the way you end Ramadan is more important than the way you begin it.

So, even if your preparation is going bad, or if you aren’t doing well in the first 2-3 weeks of Ramadan, DO NOT GIVE UP.

Just keep going until Shawwal.

What if the entire Ramadan was dreadful?

Well, assuming you’re still alive at the end of it, could you please enlighten me as to what would stop you from having a great Shawwal? Allah is not just the Lord of Ramadan, but rather the Lord of the Worlds.

This might seem like an incredibly strange post. However, I thought it was necessary because I know that there might be people out there who would make the same mistake that I made years ago and give up because they couldn’t have their ideal Ramadan.

You know, we’ll never have that ideal Ramadan but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to get as close as we can to the dream.