بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Day 21.]
10. Many people don’t have a correct understanding of dua (supplication).
In this section, I’m not going to be focusing on the etiquettes of dua but rather some errors that people make with regards to dua. The reason for these errors is due to their lack of knowledge of Allah’s Names and Attributes and of His Rights.
a) Forgetting to do dua.
Unfortunately, this is a very, very, very common problem.
A couple of years ago, I had a Ramadan workshop and was talking about the importance of dua.
One of the sisters in attendance, came up to me at the end and told me that during the workshop, she realised that she hadn’t been doing dua. At all.
[Note: I do not teach anymore. I moved over to blogging.]
This was a bit shocking to me. How could people NOT do dua?
Subhan Allah, after that, I met so many people who had the same issue. Either they didn’t ask at all or they forget to do dua for things that they wanted!
One of my classmates was searching for a specific type of cat for her daughter and she was telling me the story. I asked her if she had done dua. No, she had forgotten.
Have you wanted something (halal) for a long time?
If the answer is yes, have you ever asked Allah for it? If you haven’t asked, then why not??
I repeat: ASK ALLAH.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Day 20.]
[Note#1: This series started last Ramadan so for those who missed it, here’s Day 1.
Note #2: I made a mistake in yesterday’s post (which I corrected now). The ayah (verse) mentioned after the ayah about Ramadan is the one in Surah Al-Baqarah, not the one in Surah Al-Ghafir. May Allah reward the sister who pointed this out to me.]
9. Why do we need to know about shirk (polytheism) in dua (supplication) if we’re only calling upon Allah alone?
a) A thing is known through its opposite.
We won’t truly understand what “dry” is until we know what “wet” is.
We won’t truly understand what “hot” is until we know what “cold” is.
In the same way, we won’t understand the beauty of tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) if we don’t understand the ugliness of shirk (attributing partners to Allah).
Also, knowing what shirk is, will protect us from falling into it.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[In case any of you are still wondering HOW seeking knowledge will improve your Ramadan, I’ll discuss that (with examples) in Part 6, insha-Allah.]
Some of the major obstacles to seeking knowledge
1. A kharban niyyah
Sorry, I meant to say “A messed up intention”.
This is the main reason for not getting anywhere with regards to seeking knowledge (or anything else for that matter).
من تعلم علما مما يبتغى به وجه الله عز وجل ، لا يتعلمه إلا ليصيب به عرضا من الدنيا لم يجد عرف الجنة يوم القيامة يعني – ريحها –
لا تعلموا العلم لتباهوا به العلماء ولا لتماروا به السفهاء ولا تخيروا به المجالس فمن فعل ذلك فالنار النار
It was narrated that Jaabir ibn Abdillah (radiallahu anhuma) that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Do not seek knowledge to compete with the scholars, nor to argue with the foolish people, nor to gain control of gatherings; for whoever does that – the Fire, the Fire!“ [Sunan ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 254. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 254. This hadeeth does have some weakness in its chain though.]
So knowledge needs to be sought for the sake of Allah alone.
Now, many people imagine that there will come a day when their intention will be perfect and there will no longer be any “bumps” on the road.
I’m sorry to burst the bubble, but that day will only come in our dreams.
We need to battle our intentions until we die. That’s what the earlier scholars did. Some of them took as much as TWENTY years to fix their intentions.
Remember the problem is not in battling the intention and trying to fix it. The problem is when a person assumes that he is sincere and doesn’t bother to correct his intentions!
2. Not understanding the importance and virtues of knowledge
If people realised just how important and virtuous the knowledge of Islam is, they would drop everything and run after it.
[Unfortunately, they have no idea, which is why they run after everything else!]
– Allah has singled out the people of knowledge, not the people of worldly status, in the Quran:
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 (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]
– Many people imagine that because they have wealth, or children, or a great status, or a very nice degree, that Allah must be pleased with them.
Poor lost souls.
They have no idea that these sort of menial things are given to both believers and disbelievers.
When Allah wants good for a person, He gives them something very special.
سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : من يرد الله به خيرا يفقهه في الدين ، وإنما أنا قاسم والله يعطي ، ولن تزال هذه الأمة قائمة على أمر الله ، لا يضرهم من خالفهم ، حتى يأتي أمر الله
Narrated Muawiyah (radiallahu anhu) in a sermon: I heard Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saying, “If Allah wants to do good to a person, He gives him fiqh (understanding) of the religion. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allah. (And remember) that this nation (true Muslims) will keep on following Allah’s teachings strictly and they will not be harmed by any one going on a different path until Allah’s order (Day of Judgment) is established.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 71]
– In the Quran, there is only one thing that Allah has ordered the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to supplicate for an increase in – and that is knowledge.
وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
“And say: “My Lord! increase me in knowledge.” [Surah Ta-Ha (20) : 114]
– Want an easy path to Paradise? Seek knowledge.
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 . غير أن حديث أبي أسامة ليس فيه ذكر التيسير على المعسر .
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever helps a believer with a hardship from the hardships of this life, Allah will help him with a hardship from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever shows leniency towards someone in difficultly, Allah will show him leniency in this life and the hereafter. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal him in this life and the hereafter. And Allah will continue to aid the servant as long as the servant aids his brother. Whoever pursues a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make the path to Paradise easy for him. No group of people gather in one of the houses (masaajid) of Allah reciting the book of Allah and studying it amongst themselves, except that tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will cover them, the angels will surround them, and Allah will mention them to those with Him. And whoever is prevented by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage.” [Sahih Muslim , Hadeeth No. 6518]
These are just some of the virtues of knowledge. There are many many more.
3. Running after the worldly knowledge at the expense of the Islamic knowledge
Recently, I read a very unfortunate article that made it seem as though the proofs (in the Quran and Sunnah) about the virtues of knowledge were about secular (if that’s the word you want to use) knowledge!
Subhan Allah, the knowledge being referred to is ISLAMIC knowledge. This is something that all the scholars have pointed out.
Now, I’m not asking people to not seek the “other” knowledge. I myself seek that type of knowledge.
However, we need to get our priorities straight.
People keep saying that they need to get the secular knowledge for the sake of dawah (calling to Islam) and to cause the ummah (Muslim nation) to become victorious over their enemies.
Well, the first thing you need in dawah (calling to the religion of Allah) is the knowledge of the religion of Allah. Makes sense, right?
And the ummah will be victorious when we seek this type of knowledge and act upon it. That’s the way the Companions of the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) ended up ruling most of the world, after having been powerless before the advent of Islam!
وَعَدَ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
“Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah An-Nur (24) : 55]
How can people who don’t pray 5 times a day and don’t even know how to do wudhu (ablution) properly expect victory???? Who will give them victory? The Lord that they only remember in times of calamity? The Lord whose attributes they did not bother to learn about? The Lord whose religion they keep opposing???
Another problem with running after the worldly knowledge is that it is a collective obligation – whereas seeking Islamic knowledge is an individual obligation.
So, shouldn’t a person fulfill his individual obligation before he strives to fulfill his collective obligation?
And no, both types of knowledge are not mutually exclusive. People can seek both (assuming that the secular knowledge that is being sought is lawful), and if they are able to, they should seek both (as we need teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc in the ummah).
However, for the one who truly loves Allah and His Messenger, his focus will always be more on the Islamic knowledge, as was the case with the Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
A reminder to the parents: It is incumbent upon you to encourage your children to seek Islamic knowledge. Don’t just force them to focus on school.
Also, you need to set a good example for them by seeking Islamic knowledge yourself.
[Put your hands up if you’ve heard this story: Mother/Father push child to memorise the Quran when they themselves can’t even recite Surah Al-Fatihah properly!]
4. Making excuses
We’re too busy to attend Islamic classes, aren’t we?
Question: Are we also too busy to do everything else? Or does this excuse come up with regards to Islam-related activities?
I would request that each and every one of us ponder over the question above.
5. Being too shy to seek knowledge or ask questions
Some people feel embarrassed about being ignorant of Islam so they feel too shy to attend classes.
As I mentioned in this post, all of us were born with zero knowledge. So, we shouldn’t feel ashamed that we don’t have knowledge.
What we should really be ashamed about is not trying to increase upon our current level of knowledge.
When I first started this journey of seeking knowledge, I knew….next to nothing. See, I was always embarrassed to ask, therefore I remained ignorant.
When I finally joined joined Islamic classes, I felt like the dumbest person in the class (no really).
In one class, they started to talk about “tajweed”. I had no clue what that was and just sat there waiting for somebody to translate the word!
[Tajweed is the science which explains how the Quran is recited.]
Another time, one of my friends was teaching kiddies (as young as eight years old) some duas (supplication). One of them was the one recited when a calamity strikes (this one). The kiddies already knew that.
However, that was the first time in my life that I had heard that dua! I felt so embarrassed that I, an adult, knew less than the kiddies.
I had lots of other “eye opening” moments. One of them was when I was going to Hajj.
I always thought that Hajj consisted on going around the Kaabah, going next door to a place called “Arafah” and supplicating and then going next door to “stone the Shaytaan”.
I was absolutely stunned to know that there was travelling and other acts involved.
At the end of the Hajj, I recall going to a bookstore with my uncle who used to live in Jeddah (which is an hour away from Makkah). One of the books was called “Book of Tawheed”.
“Book of….Taw….heed. What’s tawheed, uncle?”
His eyes popped out.
“Unity of worship.”
I didn’t quite understand that either but I thought it would be wise to keep silent.
[Actually, tawheed is singling out Allah in His Lordship, His Worship and His Names and Attributes.]
So, what am I trying to say?
Don’t be ashamed to go Islamic classes and ask questions. You’re not the only one who is going through this. We’ve all been there so don’t worry.
6. Not realising the vastness of knowledge
These days, people think that knowledge can be gained in 4 days.
Sorry, this knowledge is vast. Even if you spend your whole life seeking it, you won’t be able to.
And you don’t have to, because that is not the point.
However, one should not presume that one will turn into a scholar after attending a weekend seminar!
Insha-Allah, I’ll be addressing more issues regarding knowledge in the upcoming parts.
Note: If you have questions about knowledge that are not related to this part, then I would suggest that you wait until I have completed the entire series. Perhaps your answer will come in the next part.
To be continued…
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
5) To call to it
It’s not enough to just apply the Quran ourselves, rather we also need to invite others to apply the Quran as well.
After all, what was the main role of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? He was sent to call the people to worship Allah alone. So his primary role was dawah (calling to Islam).
Sadly, in these times, we have become very lax in fulfilling this right.
How does one do dawah?
Well, I hope to discuss that in greater detail in a future post, insha-Allah. For now, the following points should suffice:
a) Start with tawheed (worshipping Allah alone).
And no, not everyone knows about tawheed. If they did, I wouldn’t have come across as many dropped jaws as I did.
Tawheed is the most important thing and everything else is based upon it. Only the people of tawheed will exit Hell and only the people of tawheed will enter Paradise.
b) Talk about what you know
This one sounds obvious but given the amount of people who talk about matters in which they have zero knowledge, I guess it’s not that obvious….
c) Talk with proof
[Yes, I know that this particular post does not have any proof. Forgive me, it’s midnight at the moment.]
“I said”, ” I think”, “My shaikh said”, “My parents said” and “I heard someone say” are not counted as proofs, I’m afraid.
Proof = Allah said, Allah’s Messenger (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) said and the Companions of Allah’s Messenger said. This is what Islam is based on.
d) Be nice.
I repeat: Be nice.
I repeat yet again: BE NICE.
The above might sound like simple steps but they do make a lot of difference.
6) To do the above all the time
This is the last right and it entails fulfilling all the rights of the entire Quran consistently.
Failure to fulfill these rights would mean that we have abandoned the Quran. So we need to make sure that we try our best to do as much as we can.
May Allah make us of those who fulfill the rights of the Quran.
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:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I thought that it would be a good idea to remind ourselves of the virtues of Ramadan from the Quran and the Sunnah.
[Yes, many of us might know these but we all need reminders now and then.]
The Month of Fasting
“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 183]
“[Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 184]
The Month of the Quran, Guidance, Gratitude and Generosity
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 185]
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 (salallahu 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 (salallahu 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]
[*For those new to Islam, Jibreel = Gabriel (the angel).]
The Month of Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and Dua (supplication)
“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]
To be continued…
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.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Subhan Allah, it’s amazing. I’ve noticed that when topics like “dawah” or “hijab” or “Hajj” or “Ramadan” or “the biography of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)”, are discussed, many people flock to listen.
However, when the topic is aqeedah (creed) then………most of the people vanish.
And why is that, I wonder? The most important thing that a Muslim needs to have is the correct aqeedah. Everything else (ibaadah, good manners, etc) follows after that.
I’ve mentioned the importance of tawheed and aqeedah before and I’ll do so again.
[Note: Tawheed means “worshipping Allah alone” whereas Aqeedah is something that one firmly believes in and follows. So, our aqeedah is the aqeedah of tawheed.
Aqeedah is more general than tawheed. You can read a short explanation of this issue here.]
This is what Imam As-Saadi (rahimahullah) had to say about tawheed:
“There is nothing that produces such good results nor holds such a variety of virtues like tawheed”. [For more virtues of tawheed, you may refer to the article where this quote was taken from.]
Tawheed has different branches. One of those is the tawheed of Allah’s Names and Attributes.
As the scholars pointed out, the greatness of a subject depends on the greatness of its subject matter.
What does the tawheed of Allah’s Names and Attributes discuss? Well, it talks about Allah’s Beautiful Names and His Attributes which means that it is talking about Allah Himself.
Is there a subject matter greater than this? No.
Therefore, this is the greatest subject.
Also, one should realise that they cannot get close to Allah without knowing anything about Him! The more one knows about Allah’s Names and His Attributes, the more that they will love and obey Him.
So, if someone is interested in studying this subject, what should he/she do?
Well, the first thing to do is to make sure that you learn it from a person with proper aqeedah, because if you don’t, you’re finished. Your aqeedah will be in tatters if you ever study this great subject with any of the people of innovation.
Also, one should know that this field talks about two matters: 1) Allah’s Names and 2) His Attributes so one should study both matters.
A point of caution: This is not an easy subject although it is a very important one. So be patient, strive hard, and ask Allah to make it easy for you.
For those who might want to learn more about Allah’s Attributes, I would encourage them to read Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen’s (rahimahullah) explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah.
Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah is a book written by the amazing scholar Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullah) (he was the teacher of Imams Ibn Kathir and Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahumullah)) and it basically focus on the Attributes of Allah and what the Quran and the Sunnah say about them.
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen was an awesome scholar, maasahaa Allah, who died about 10 years ago. He had a really wonderful way of explaining things so all the hard stuff looks easy.
I read Volume 1 of the translation of his book (the explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah) and I loved it. Why?
– Well, it’s about my favourite subject (tawheed)
– He makes it so easy and tries to give many examples so that a person can understand the concept.
– His tafsir.
I know, you might be like “Tafsir? Isn’t that an explanation of the Quran? What does that have to do with a book on Aqeedah?”
Well, because a vast majority of the book are ayaat (verses) from the Quran and because he explains each of them, this book really ends up doubling as a book of tafsir.
[And Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen’s tafsir is another story. I need to write another post just to tell you how much I love reading his tafsir.]
– The heart softeners.
You know, there is nothing as heart softening as tawheed.
In this explanation, Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen keeps talking about “behavioural aspects” meaning how the knowledge of such and such attribute must make us behave. So, rather than being a technical book on tawheed, his explanation is very practical and useful for daily life.
So, am I going to link to this explanation? No, because it’s not online (not that I know of).
There is a summarised translation of this explanation online but it seems to be a quarter of the original size.
How can you get your hands on the two volume copy? Well, Darussalam is the one that published this book so you may it buy from them.
This is what the book looks like: http://store.dar-us-salam.com/nw/242.html
Just a few points:
1) Darussalam has another explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah as well. That is a small book but the one that I’m talking about is much more detailed.
2) For those of you who might want to buy the Arabic copy and live in Dubai, I’d advise you to buy it from Al-Furqan bookstore. That’s where I bought my Arabic copy from and it’s a wonderful edition.
3) Would I recommend this book to complete beginners? Well, no. I think one should have some background of tawheed otherwise they might get a bit confused.
4) The book doesn’t just talk about Allah’s Attributes. There’s loads of other stuff mentioned there as well.
5) I’m not too good with book reviews but I hope that the post encourages you to read this book!
6)Yes, yes, yes. Anyone who knows me personally can borrow my Arabic or English copies, insha-Allah.