بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ما ذئبان جائعان أرسلا في غنم ، بأفسد لها من حرص المرء على المال والشرف ، لدينه
Ibn Kab ibn Malik Al-Ansari narrated from his father (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “Two hungry wolves let loose among sheep are not more harmful than a person craving after wealth and status, is to his Deen (Religion).” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2376. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2376]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
First let me explain the title so that you understand where “navigate the drool” originated from (and no, it was not my brain) and what it means.
So, my teenage niece had come to Dubai this past month. One day, she mentioned how my 6 month old nephew (her cousin) had tasted all her clothes.
[Now, my nephew is a drool factory if there ever was one (and his drool production rises exponentially if he sees any FOOD).]
So, I showed the poor girl how she could hold him without getting covered in baby drool herself.
“Oh, so that’s how you navigate the drool!”, she said.
[To quote Sebastian the crab: “Teenagers.”]
So, you might be thinking that this post is about how to hold babies. However, this a Ramadan blog, not the online version “What to expect the first year”, so no, this post is not about babies.
What I meant, by the title, is how we could navigate away from the drool of the fitnah (trials and tribulations) that is engulfing our ummah today.
Think about it. We’re stuck in between all these situations and we don’t know how to navigate through them.
Okay, so what does this have to do with my nephew’s drool?
Actually, it has absolutely nothing to do with it. I just wanted to give you a likeness (between the drool and the fitnah). Also, I wanted to have a nice flashy title. If the title was something like “How to avoid fitnah”, then nobody would bother to read the post.
[It’s amazing. We’re always worried about keeping our bodies and clothes clean but we don’t worry as much about keeping our iman high and our aqeedah (creed) clean from any errors. Fitnah is something that has destroyed many a person’s aqeedah and caused their iman levels to plummet so we should all be careful as to how we deal with these trials and tribulations.]
So, how can we “navigate the drool”*?
[*So to clarify, according to Umm Muawiyah’s Dictionary of Self-Invented Words, that means “getting out of fitnah with our iman and our aqeedah intact”.]
Here are some short tips:
1) Do dua
Yes, there’s nothing quite like it. Only those whom Allah guides, are guided.
And remember, we should continuously be doing dua that Allah keeps us steadfast on the Straight Path.
2) Seek Knowledge
Too often, when people are warned about books or lectures that contain serious errors, they say: “But we didn’t hear/read anything wrong.”
Just a question, brothers and sisters: How would we know what was right or wrong without having any knowledge of Islam?
I hear so many people say “I think that…” when it comes to Islamic matters. However, what we think does not matter, rather what matters is what Allah has revealed in the Quran and the Sunnah.
So, we don’t have the right to decide what is right on our own, rather we need to keep referring back to the Quran and the Sunnah.
Also, I should point out that when we study the Quran and Sunnah, we need to refer to the books of the people of knowledge so that we don’t misunderstand the ayah (verse) or hadeeth due to our own lack of knowledge.
Now, you might say: “How would I know who the people of knowledge are?”
Well, I would say:
a) Ask Allah to guide you to them.
b) Do istikhara (the prayer for guidance) before joining any Islamic courses.
c) Start reading the books of the universally accepted scholars like Imams Bukhari, Ibn Kathir, Imam An-Nawawi, etc.
3) Keep company with the right people
“Right people” would be those of sound aqeedah (i.e. they have the correct understanding of tawheed).
It would also be those who busy themselves with beneficial matters and not with matters that do not concern them.
4) Avoid reading too many websites or forums or newspapers
This is something that I know from personal experience.
I used to frequent quite a lot of Islamic forums a few years ago. I would read all the different opinions on various issues (many of which had nothing to do with me).After this, I would feel that my heart had died.
Why did I feel that my heart had died? Well, I would read about one side of a topic (related to creed) and then read the other side elsewhere else on another forum and then I would get very confused, and I would get a very uneasy feeling in my heart.
I wasn’t the only one. I found out that quite a few people went through the same experience.
After a lot of thought, I realised that this was not beneficial knowledge and that I had to learn the basics before reading up on these deep issues.
So, I would advise everyone to seek beneficial knowledge. I see many brothers and sisters discussing the Islamic view on current events and other political issues, when they many of them don’t even know how to recite Surah Al-Fatihah properly or know how to pray according to the Sunnah.
Why worry about advanced issues that do not directly pertain to us when we don’t know much about the basic issues that we will be questioned about???
5) Do as many good deeds as possible
One of the things that happens to many people during the time of fitnah is that they spend far too much time dwelling on issues of no use (as I mentioned above) and cease to do good deeds.
Why waste one hour reading a blog or forum post about an advanced issue that confuses us when we can read a few pages of the Quran?
So, don’t waste your time with issues that are unclear to you, rather spend that time on deeds that you know that you will be rewarded for like prayer, charity, seeking knowledge, etc.
6) Keep silent
If we don’t know about an issue, we should just remain silent, because then we won’t be held accountable for what we’ve said.
من صمت نجا
Abdullah ibn Amr (radiallahu anhuma) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever is silent, is saved.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2501. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2501.]
This hadeeth is general and refers to all situations. So, if we were silent, we wouldn’t get into backbiting, tale bearing, etc.
[A point to note: The people of knowledge mentioned that saying good things is better than keeping silent.]
I think that if we followed the above tips, we should all be able to come out of the current events drool-free, insha-Allah.
PS. I certainly hope this post made sense. If not, at least you learnt a new term today…
After the back-to-back article/audio double on the topic of Anger Management, someone asked me if I could do the same thing for the topic of trials.
So, after yesterday’s article on trials, today we have an audio on this topic.
Question to the readers: Would you like this to be a regular pattern? Should I try to post an audio on a topic and then post an article on the same topic the next day or vice versa?
Let me know your thoughts, insha-Allah.
So, here’s another reminder as to how beneficial trials are for us:
Trials – Gifts from Allah by Moutasem Al-Hameedy (Download)
[I only listened to a few minutes of the audio so I can’t comment but I generally enjoy all of Brother Moutasem’s lectures.]
A bonus: For all those of you who like this brother’s lectures, here’s his blog:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
If one looks around these days, one will see lots of sad faces.
Apparently, everyone has a problem.
And you know what? It’s true. Everyone does have a problem.
Why is that? Well, it’s because this world is a place of tests, and the next world is the reward based on the results of these tests.
Those who pass get Paradise and those who fail get the Hellfire.
Too often, we forget these simple facts, which is why we need to keep reminding ourselves of the reality of these trials.
So, here’s another article to remind ourselves to be patient at these times. It’s really nice stuff – very simple but very heartwarming.
Testing, Afflictions and Calamities by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)
[Sorry for taking so long with this series and the other series as well. This series has many more parts to come, insha-Allah.]
6) Understand that learning Arabic is a means of being steadfast in our religion.
The last Recover Ramadan post was about asking Allah to make our hearts steadfast on this religion.
Dua is one way to remain steadfast on the religion. (And we have to be steadfast on it. Who wants to go to Hell anyway???)
Seeking knowledge is another way to do so. Tawheed is the most important subject and is basically related to all the other subjects. (Yes, yes, yes. All the other Islamic sciences are related to tawheed.)
Learning Arabic is also part of seeking knowledge. In fact, it is one of the keys to seeking knowledge.
After all, where does the knowledge of Islam come from? The Quran and the Sunnah.
Which language are they in? Arabic, of course. Even their major commentaries are in Arabic!
So, in order to properly understand the Quran and the Sunnah, we have to learn Arabic.
Now, you might say “Hey, they’ve been translated.”
a) Do you know that the Quran is a literary miracle? The Pagan Arabs were the best poets of their time but they could not come up with something better than the Quran.
If they were the best poets of their time, it implies that they were excellent in the Arabic language, which implies that the Quran is an Arabic masterpiece.
Therefore, in order to understand the Quran PROPERLY and FULLY, we have to learn Arabic.
b) Also, the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said that he was sent with concise speech.
Which language did he use for this concise speech? Arabic, of course!
If you read the translation, you’ll have difficulty understanding how he is concise in speech.
c) Also, many of the people of innovation have used translations as a means of causing people to deviate.
For example, I was reading a statement of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) about an issue of aqeedah (creed). The Arabic text was there and so was the translation. The translator was one of the people of innovation.
This liar translated the whole statement of Imam Abu Hanifah properly and in the end, he inserted a word in parenthesis.
Do you know what happened? THE WHOLE MEANING CHANGED.
Yes, he just added one extra word at the end of the translation and that was it. He ascribed a false statement to one of the Imams of Ahlus Sunnah.
[It’s ironic. Ahlul bidah (the people of innovation) always accuse Ahlus Sunnah of incorrectly translating things (“It’s a Wahhabi translation!”) but they are the ones who mess around with the translation!]
So, how would we know if something was correctly translated or not? We’d be at the mercy of the translator!
Another example is the issue of the command to wear the hijab. I’ve heard many women say “Where is it in the Quran? It only says put your clothes over your chest.” [Please check Surah An-Noor, Ayah No. 31]
They point to incorrect translations as a proof. Well, the proof is in the Arabic text itself as the word used is “khumurihinn”. That means “their khumur”.
Khumur is the plural of khimar. A khimar is something that covers the head and arms so this means that we need to cover our head!
[Also, the part about putting the khimar over one’s chest can be understood when we see the history of the pagan Arabs. The women used to wear the khimar but would not cover their chests properly, hence showing their cleavage. So Allah ordered them to cover properly.]
So, when we understand Arabic, we no longer have to rely on translations, we can go back and check the main text.
7) What about those who have struggled with Arabic for years and have still gotten nowhere, you ask?
Wait, who said that they got nowhere?
What is the reason that we are learning Arabic? It’s to understand the Quran and the Sunnah.
WHY do we want to understand them? So that we can ponder over their meanings and apply them.
So, our goal is to learn how to worship Allah and to worship Him in the right way.
Isn’t seeking knowledge an act of worship? Therefore, isn’t struggling to learn Arabic an act of worship?
If our ultimate aim is to worship Allah and please Him, then we can attain that goal by struggling to learn Arabic, even if we don’t reach the target of actually learning Arabic.
So, if we struggle, we remain in an act of worship and we are doing something that is pleasing to Allah.
If we stop studying Arabic, we are no longer doing this act of worship.
People always compare their level of Arabic to others.
Why bother? Does it matter?
Perhaps there is a person struggling to learn Arabic and is unable to do so. However, this person fails to really learn Arabic. Perhaps this struggle of his will please Allah and He will grant him Paradise as a result of it.
And perhaps there is a person who finds Arabic very easy and becomes a scholar of the language. However, he is arrogant or does not follow tawheed or has improper intentions. So, it may be that he angers Allah with his actions which causes him to be thrown into the Hellfire although he mastered Arabic!
So, think of the real goal and don’t give up.
[To be continued…]
…keep your heart steadfast.
Because the heart is something that can change very fast.
A person could be a believer one day and a disbeliever the next.
So, we need to keep asking Allah to keep us steadfast on this religion.
After all, this is what the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) did:
Shahr ibn Hawshab said: “I said to Umm Salamah: ‘O Mother of the Believers! What was the supplication that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said most frequently when he was with you?’
She said: ‘The supplication he said most frequently was: “Yaa Muqallib Al-Quloob Thabbit Qalbee Alaa Deenik (O Changer of Hearts, keep my heart steadfast on Your religion).”‘
She said: ‘So I said: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you supplicate so frequently: ‘O Changer of hearts, keep my heart steadfast on Your religion.’?
He said: ‘O Umm Salamah! Verily, there is no human being except that his heart is between Two Fingers of the Fingers of Allah, so whomever He wills He makes steadfast, and whomever He wills He causes to deviate.”‘
So (one of the narrators) Muadh recited: “O our Lord, do not cause our hearts to deviate after You have guided us. [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 8]” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 3522. Graded ‘saheeh’ by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 3522]
At these times of great fitnah (trials and tribulations), we need to say this dua more than ever.
Let’s make sure that not a day passes by without us having uttered this dua.
For those of you who want the dua in Arabic, I’ve put the Arabic text as well as the transliteration and translation on my other blog.
Yes, you will. It’s as simple as that.
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).” [Surah Al-Ankabut 29 : 2-3]
After all, one cannot expect to get a big prize for free.
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 214]
And these tests also show us who the cream of the crop are.
[A note of apology to all those who might be waiting for the Part 2/3/4/etc of all the ongoing series. I’m just tied up at the moment. I’ll try to finish them off, insha-Allah.]
I know, I know. I might actually have managed to surprise you with that title….
So, who said that?
Well, I did, when I was talking to this sister today.
She pointed out that she hadn’t slept properly. So I suggested that she try some chamomile tea (because I heard that it is good for insomnia).
“I do dhikr because Allah says: Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [Surah Rad (13) : 28]“
And that was enough for her. She didn’t need the chamomile tea.
And you know what? We don’t need it either.
It’s strange. So many of us turn to other than Allah in order to solve our problems when all our problems can only be solved by turning back to Allah.
This is especially true for when we go through trials. We turn to panadols, caffeine, friends, family, the television, etc, but why don’t we turn to Allah?
Why don’t we remember Him by praying or reciting the Quran or doing dua or doing some dhikr?
After all, that’s the only thing that will calm our hearts.
Who needs that chamomile tea anyway? Not us.