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!
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Question: How’s Habit No. 1 coming along? What difficulties are you encountering along the way?
Tip: Set yourself a short task after Fajr and tell yourself that you cannot go back to sleep until you do it. You can start with a small 10-15 minute task in the beginning (e.g. read a few pages of tafsir or a few ahadeeth).
After doing this for a few days, you could increase the time for the chosen task to 20 mins and so on.
The task doesn’t have to be the same every day.]
However, I’ve noticed that most of the people that I meet seem to be depressed. So I thought that another article on depression might be in order.
[Note: In addition to the ways mentioned in the article below, I would also add the following three ways: 1) Drowning yourself in seeking Islamic knowledge especially tawheed and tafsir of the Quran 2) Helping the needy on a regular basis and 3) Drinking “talbeenah” (check the botton of the article).
Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee hafidhahullaah
Mankind comes across many afflictions and trials, sometimes in overwhelming sequences. Removing the darkness of these worries, distresses, depression and grief is a very important matter to which Islaam gives serious attention…
Indeed the greatest darkness to envelope mankind and surely his greatest affliction is disbelief in Allah and to associate partners with Him in any form (kufr and shirk).
Allah is the Protector of those who have faith He will lead them from the depths of darkness into light. . As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are the devils: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (for ever). AL-BAQARAH 2.257
Whereby Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure to paths of peace and safety. He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guides them unto a straight path. AL-MAAIDAH 5.016
Those who deny Our revelations are deaf and dumb in darkness. Whoever Allah wills He sends astray, and whom He wills He places on a straight path. AL-AN’AM 6.039
The scholars of Islaam have extracted from the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah many remedies and cures to help us in our daily affairs and remove our problems.
Singling out Allah alone, Glory be to Him, for all types of worship and recognising His Lordship and having faith in the unity of His Lofty Names and Attributes. There would be anarchy if there was more than one deity.
If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! But glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above what they attribute to Him! AL-ANBIYA’ 21.022
Allah strikes a comparison between a Muslim and a mushrik (disbeliever). The man with one master (i.e. upon Tawheed) has no worries as to who to obey, so he has no confusion nor dilemmas. The second man is confused as to who to obey first, in whom he must put his trust especially as they are quarrelling amongst each other. The mushrik is left to Shaitaan and his desires to direct him out of his confusion. However the Muslim who recognises his Lord as One, knows that Allah is the One who rescues His slave when he is in grief.
Allah puts forth a parable; a man belonging to many partners quarrelling with each other, and a man belonging entirely to one master: are those two equal? Praise be to Allah! But most of them have no knowledge. AZ-ZUMAR 39.029
In the beautiful story of Yusuf (alayhe as-salaam) his fellow prisoners were in distress to know the meaning or interpretation of their dreams.
Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them: “I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine.” The other said: “I see myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head, and birds eating it.” (They said) “Tell us the meaning of the dreams, for we see that you are a good doer.” YUSUF 12.036
o what was the first thing that this noble prophet of Allah (alayhe as-salaam) said to his companions? What was his reply? He called them to that which will provide them with immediate relief – the b lief that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah – at-Tawheed.
“O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords differing among themselves better, or Allah, the Supreme and Irresistible?” YUSUF 12.039
Mankind without Tawheed is astray, captured by Shaitaan and there lives in chaos as explained in Allah’s statement:
Don’t you see that We have set the devils on the disbelievers to confound them with confusion? MARYAM 19.083
So the one upon true Tawheed, Allah helps him and removes grief from him. There are many verses which eludes to this but suffice us for the moment the story of Yunus (alayhe as-salaam). He (alayhe as-salaam) had lost hope in his people who were not responding to his call to Islaam. So he (alayhe as-salaam) left them and eventually Allah caused him (alayhe as-salaam) to be in the belly of a large fish.
So wait with patience for the Command of your Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish, when he cried out in deep sorrow. AL-QALAM 68.048
In his sorrow and anguish, Yunus (alayhe as-salaam) cried out, but to whom? He (alayhe as-salaam) called his Lord.
And remember Dhun-Nun (Yunus), when he went off in anger: He imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, “There is no deity worthy of worship except You, glorified and exhalted be You, indeed I was from the wrong-doers!” AL-ANBIYA’ 21.087
Darkness upon darkness enveloped him (alayhe as-salaam):
a) the darkness of the depths of the ocean,
b) the darkness of the belly of the fish,
c) the darkness of the night.
He (alayhe as-salaam) called upon Allah, the One who can remove all distresses, he called upon Him with correct at-Tawheed and Allah removed his worries immediately.
…. and don’t make things difficult.
أن أبا هريرة قال : قام أعرابي فبال في المسجد ، فتناوله الناس ، فقال لهم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : دعوه وهريقوا على بوله سجلا من ماء ، أو ذنوبا من ماء ، فإنما بعثتم ميسرين ، ولم تبعثوا معسرين .
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): A Bedouin stood up and started urinating in the masjid. The people caught him but the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) ordered them to leave him and to pour a bucket or a tumbler of water over the place where he had passed the urine. The Prophet then said, “You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 219]
[Subhan Allah, just reflect over the noble character of our Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and how kindly he dealt with a man who urinated in his masjid!]
يسروا ولا تعسروا ، وسكنوا ولا تنفروا
Narrated Anas bin Malik (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm (with glad tidings) and do not repulse (them ).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 146]
أن رجلا مات فدخل الجنة . فقيل له : ما كنت تعمل ؟ ( قال فإما ذكر وإما ذكر ) فقال : إني كنت أبايع الناس . فكنت أنظر المعسر وأتجوز في السكة أو في النقد . فغفر له
Hudhaifa (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “A person died and he entered Paradise. It was said to him: What (act) did you do? (Either he recalled it himself or he was made to recall), he said I used to enter into transactions with people and I gave respite to the insolvent and did not show any strictness in case of accepting a coin or demanding cash payment. (For these acts of his) he was granted pardon.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 3790]
من نفس عن مؤمن كربة من كرب الدنيا ، نفس الله عنه كربة من كرب يوم القيامة . ومن يسر على معسر ، يسر الله عليه في الدنيا والآخرة . ومن ستر مسلما ، ستره الله في الدنيا والآخرة . والله في عون العبد ما كان العبد في عون أخيه . ومن سلك طريقا يلتمس فيه علما ، سهل الله له به طريقا إلى الجنة . وما اجتمع قوم في بيت من بيوت الله ، يتلون كتاب الله ، ويتدارسونه بينهم ، إلا نزلت عليهم السكينة ، وغشيتهم الرحمة وحفتهم الملائكة ، وذكرهم الله فيمن عنده . ومن بطأ به عمله ، لم يسرع به نسبه
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother, and he who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allah would make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah (masjids) and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach the Quran (among themselves) there would descend upon them the tranquillity and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah makes a mention of them in the presence of those near Him, and he who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (high) descent does not make him go ahead.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6518]
Sadly, this is something that we have lost in today’s time. We want things to be easy for us but most of us don’t seem to care if things are easy for others or not.
On the contrary, you will see many people going out of their way to make things difficult for other people.
Let me give you two simple examples:
1) A sister has been married for many years but has no children.
Do you think that she feels bad about not having any children? I’m going to take a wild guess and say “yes”.
Now, what happens when people keep saying things like “Any good news?” or “Why don’t you get some treatment?”
Yes, yes, I know. They’re trying to be helpful – but they really aren’t. All they’re doing is depressing the sister further and making things difficult for her.
And so what if a person doesn’t have any children? Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam), did not have any children. This is something that is solely in the hands of Allah.
لِلَّـهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ الذُّكُورَ
أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًا وَإِنَاثًا ۖ وَيَجْعَلُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ عَقِيمًا ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ قَدِيرٌ
“To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 49-50]
However, the fools of today make it sound like being childless is a crime.
What should they have done? Well, keeping silent would have been a good option. They could also have encouraged her to look at the positive side and suggest that she use her time for good things like dawah, social work, etc.
This way, things are made easier for her.
2) A brother has been recently laid off from work.
What do people do? They nag him about it all the time!
“Hey, did you get another job yet?”
“What are you doing at present?”
“What will you do if you don’t find one soon?”
Because of this, the brother gets even more worried and starts to become a recluse.
What could the people have done? Well, they could have reminded him that Allah is the Provider and encouraged him to use his free time in pursuing knowledge or helping the needy.
This way, they’d be making life easy for him and not making things difficult.
Those were just two simple examples to show you that sometimes we make things difficult for people with our incessant questioning. We need to just mind our own business*.
[*This topic needs a post of its own.]
So, let’s strive to make things easy for people and not make things difficult. Hopefully, this can be something that causes Allah to forgive our sins on the Day of Judgment.
Yes indeed. Don’t be useless because you’re worth so much more than that.
Being useless by just lounging or loitering around (couch potatoes, party hounds and compulsive shoppers, I am talking to YOU) does not bring a person ANY benefit.
However, being useful will help one both in this world and in the hereafter.
Let’s be useful to ourselves (by constantly remembering Allah) and to others (by helping them out and making things easy for them).
We need to give ourselves a chance, remember?
…. your own life and start helping out others.
It’s strange. We’re all so miserable because we have so many problems (supposedly). This causes us to get immersed in our own lives. This in turn causes us to be even more miserable.
And of course, after all this, we point fingers at other people for being too immersed in their own lives!
So, let’s go out there and help somebody!
Remember: Be constructive and don’t be destructive.
[By the way, this is one of the things that make Ramadan what it is. That is the only month where everybody seems dedicated to helping others out.]
PS. Is everybody busy? Or did you all migrate to Mars? Or did the blog start to bore you to tears? I can’t see anybody around these days…
In my previous post, I mentioned why we should help those around us. Here’s a short but beautiful reminder about being a key to goodness*:
[*The author starts of with a hadeeth about this issue. I think we all need to take a deep breath, look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are keys to goodness or keys to evil. I know we all assume we are the former but the reality could be different, hence the need for us to take a good, hard look at ourselves.]
Be a Key to Goodness
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Indeed from amongst the people are those who are keys to goodness and closures of evil. And indeed from amongst the people are keys to evil and closures to goodness. So glad tidings for the one who Allah has made him a key to goodness and woe to the one who Allah has made a key to evil.” – [Narrated by Ibn Maajah, declared Hasan by Albaani]
That which is obligatory upon whoever wants for himself to be a key to goodness and a closure of evil, and its glad tidings:
1. Al-Ikhlaas – sincerity to Allah in all your speech and action. Indeed sincerity is the basis of all good, and the fountain of all virtue.
2. Du’aa – To supplicate and return to Allah in order that he may be given the guidance to be so. For indeed the Du’aa is a key to all goodness. Allah does not refuse to answer the supplication of His servant and He does not disappoint a believer after he has called Him.
3. Dedication to seeking knowledge – for indeed knowledge is a cause for virtue and lofty actions, and it is a barrier preventing all evil and indecency.
4. Al-Ibaadah – To turn to worshipping Allah, especially the obligatory acts of worship; particularly the prayer, as it prevents lewdness and evil.
5. Good Manners – to adorn yourself with good noble manners and to distant yourself from bad manners that are lowly.
6. Good Companions – to keep yourself amongst good companions and to sit with the righteous people. For indeed the angels lower their wings upon the gatherings of righteous people and the mercy of Allah descends upon such gatherings. Also, be aware of the gatherings of the disobedient and evil people.
7. An-Naseehah – to sincerely advise the servants of Allah when living amongst them, and dealing with them. This is done through keeping them busy with goodness and turning them away from evil.
8. Day of Recompense – to remember and recall the day when you will stand in front of the Lord of the Worlds, and that He will reward all goodness with His goodness, as he will recompense all evil with its consequences. As Allah said: “So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.” [99:08]
Conclusion: All of the above is based upon the servant desiring goodness, and wanting goodness for others and wanting to benefit the servants of Allah. So whenever one’s desire is present, the intention correct and established and the resolve certain, as well as seeking the help of Allah in all of this and taking the relative means, he will – by the permission of Allah – be from amongst the keys to goodness and closures of evil.
And Allah is the One who protects and helps His slaves through His guidance, He gives victory to whoever He wants by the truth and He is the best of those who aids and gives judgments.”