Monthly Archives: May 2015

Fear Allah and He will Teach you


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Fear Allah and He will Teach you! (وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ)

The following are excerps from ‘Sincere Counsel to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge’ by Imaam Ibn al-Jawzi (Rahimahullaahu Ta’aala), in which he is advising his son:

Observe, my son, the way you deal with the limits of Allaah and see how you can keep yourself within their bounds. Indeed, he who takes care of these limits is taken great care of, and he who doesn’t, is left to himself. I shall now mention some of my experience to you so that you may observe my striving and ask the Granter of success to bless me.

Truly, most of the blessings I have been given have not been earned by me but rather they are conferred as a result of the planning of The Gentle One alone.

I remember myself as a child: A highly motivated six-year old sitting in class with older boys. The intellect I had been given superseded of old men. I do not recall myself playing on the road with other kids or even laughing out loud.

When I was seven or so, I attended the gatherings in the Masjid. I would not sit in a circle of mere wordplay, but searching for a Hadeeth Scholar who would narrate about the Prophet’s (Sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) life. I would memorize everything he said, then go back home and write it down.

I was blessed for being granted my teacher Abu al-Fadl ibn Nasir (Rahimahullaah) who would take me to different Scholars and let me hear the Musnad [of Imaam Ahmad] and other major works.

All this time I had no idea of why I was made to do these things. My teacher recorded all I had heard, and when I reached puberty he handed me this record. I accompanied him till his death, and through him I learned the science of Hadeeth and transmission.

The kids used to go down to Tigris River and play on the bridge, but when I was small I used to take a book and sit far from people by the shore studying Sacred Knowledge.

Then I was inspired to abandon the vanities of this world so I began constant fasting and reduced my food intake to very little. I trained myself to be patient, embarking on a continuous pursuit in order to do so and staying up at night.

I didn’t feel satisfied with studying just one science so I read jurisprudence, sermon delivery and Hadeeth and followed those who practiced Zuhd. After that I studied linguistics. There was not a narrating Scholar or a preacher where I lived who I didn’t sit with and whenever such a person would arrive from elsewhere I would go to him.

I used to choose of virtuous deeds what suited me and if I had to choose between two things I usually chose the right of al-Haqq (Allaah). He has planned my life and cultivated me in a beautiful fashion, guiding me towards what is best for me.

He has protected me from my enemies, the jealous, and those who might plot against me. He has made everything convenient for my studies of Sacred Knowledge and sent me books from unexpected places. He gave me good understanding, the ability to memorize and write quickly and a talent for authoring books.

I lacked nothing of this world. As a matter of fact, things were quite the opposite as Allaah gave me more than enough. He put a great deal of acceptance of me into peoples’ hearts and made the impact of my words leave them not questioning the authenticity of what I had to say.

Approximately 200 thimmis [i.e. people of the book who live in Muslim lands according to a truce contract] have become Muslim at my hands and over 100 000 sinners have repented in my gatherings. More than 20 000 men have announced their repentance from foolish ways during my exhortations.

I used to go around Hadeeth gatherings of different Scholars and run till I was out of breath so no-one would precede me. I would start my day having nothing to eat and finish it having nothing to eat. Never did Allaah degrade me to take from another person, instead He provided for me in order to protect my honour.

Truth is, mentioning all my experience would take quite a while. And here I am now and you can see what I have achieved. I will tell you the whole story in one single sentence, and that is Allaah’s saying:

وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ
”Fear Allaah, and Allaah will teach you.” [Surah al-Baqarah:282]

Note : The Book “‘Sincere Counsel to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge’” was published by Dar us Sunnah publishers, and this excellent book can be purchased at troid.ca

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Supplication of the One in Hardship. Gems From Imam ibn al-Jawzi :)


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Gems From Imam ibn al-Jawzi 
Supplication of the One in Hardship

When a calamity befalls the believer, he begins making du`a’ (supplication) constantly, but he may not see any sign of response for some time.

When he is close to despair, Allah (swt) looks into his heart to see if he is pleased and content with the Decree, and not hopeless or discouraged. If this is his situation, then the response comes quickly.

This contentment and pleasure in Allah (swt)’s Decree is what reforms and fixes the iman (faith) as well as destroys Shaytan (the devil).

That moment when the believer is close to despair is when the real men are determined.

This is seen in the statement of Allah (swt):

حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ

“[…] until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said,’When is the help of Allah?’ […]” (Qur’an 2:214)

And this is what occurred with Jacob (Ya’qub, peace be upon him)—after he lost two children, he did not despair, rather he said:

عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَنِي بِهِمْ جميعا

“[…] Perhaps Allah (swt) will bring them to me all together […]” (Qur’an 12:83)

And likewise with Zakariah (peace be upon him)—he did not despair even with old age from having children:

وَلَمْ أَكُن بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا

“[…] And never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.” (Qur’an 19:4)

So, be aware of why the response is delayed! Understand that He is The Master, and that He is The Most Wise in planning, and Most Knowing of what will lead to the reformation of His slaves.

Know that He wants to put you through trials to test what you hide in your heart, and that He wants to see your humility, and that He wants to reward you for your patience.

Know that He wants to test you with a delay in response so that you can fight the whispers of Shaytan.

Indeed every one of these things strengthens the recognition of His Favors and leads to being thankful to Him. Thus when the trial begins, the supplications are lengthened, and the one in hardship shows his need and takes refuge in Allah (swt)—he will be content with everything.

—Sayd al-Khatir

For the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do well.


Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

During hardships and calamities, it is natural to get swept away by the affliction of the moment. During such trials of faith, unless we are careful, Satan can inject fear and plant doubts in our hearts and minds.

Our beliefs in such vulnerable states may become overpowered by feelings of the moment resulting in the dwindling of our faith.

Some of us start questioning the fairness and wisdom underlying such divine decisions while others get mired in a blame game. All in all, we may find ourselves lost, helpless, and stalled finding it difficult to gather ourselves and move forward.

For such situations specifically and others in general, Islam teaches us to stay in control by hanging on to the Mercy and Grace of Allah. We pray that Allah keeps us safe from the challenges and trials of life, but as Muslims we should know and understand Quran’s message and the prophet’s guidance for handling tough moments in life. The following summarizes some of the key guidance related to this matter.

Do not feel helpless

Even when all doors appear to have been closed, as true believers we should never let feelings of helplessness succumb us. Consider the following hadith of the prophet (S. A. W. S.) and ibn Al-Qayyim’s commentary on that hadith:

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to do that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allah has decreed and what He wills He does,’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to the work of the shaytaan.” Narrated by Muslim (2664).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth includes several important principles of faith, including the following:

Then he said: “and do not feel helpless”, because feeling helpless is contrary to striving for that which will benefit him, and it is contrary to seeking the help of Allah. The one who strives for that which will benefit him and seeks the help of Allah is the opposite of the one who feels helpless, so this is telling him, before what has been decreed happens, of that which is one of the greatest means of attaining it, which is striving for it whilst seeking the help of the One in Whose hand is control of all things, from Whom they come and to Whom they will return. If he does not attain what was not decreed for him, then he may feel either of two things: helplessness, which opens the door to the work of the shaytaan, so his sense of helplessness leads him to say “if only”, but there is nothing good in saying “if only” in this case, rather that opens the door to blame, panic, discontentment, regret and grief, all of which are the work of the shaytaan, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade us to open the door to his works in this manner, and told us to adopt the second option, which is looking at the divine decree and bearing it in mind, for if it was decreed for him it would never have missed him and no one could have prevented him from attaining it. Hence he said: “If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allah has decreed and what He wills He does,’” and he taught him that which will benefit him in either case, whether he gets what he wanted or not. Hence this hadeeth is one which a person can never do without. [Source: Shifa’ al-‘Aleel (37-38).]

Revive Your Faith

As mentioned in the hadith above, a strong faith can help us to hold our heads high. When faith seems to be dwindling, we should get back to Quran and remind ourselves that only Allah can let us out of our ordeal and problems. You must, therefore, keep that faith and not let Satan instill thoughts that could weaken your faith. Allah says in the Quran:

islam on Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

If Allah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allah (Alone) let believers put their trust. (Quran, Surah Aal-e-Imran: 160)

A strong faith can keep you focused on the fact that Allah alone ultimately controls all destinies and has power over all things. Remembering that fact alone at the moment of affliction can help you in conquering the pain and provide you hope and the energy to keep moving forward.

Believe in the Divine Decree

When facing difficulties, our weak faith can sometimes drive us to question the fairness of it all. In this context, we should remind ourselves that believing in al-Qadr (Allah’s divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of Islamic faith. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, it means belief in (1) Allah, (2) His Angels, (3) His revealed Holy Books (Quran, Bible, Torah, Zabur), (4) His Messengers, (4) Day of Judgment, and (5) to believe in al-Qadar (the divine decree) both good and bad. Allah also says in the Quran:

islam on Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

22. No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.

23. In order that you may not grieve at the things that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.

Quran [Surah Al-Hadid, Verses 22, 23]

As part of that belief, we should, therefore, recognize that Allah does what He wills for reasons that are only known to Him. Any attempt to comprehend the wisdom of it all using our limited faculties, or to understand how our current situation fits in His overall plan can only lead us to erroneous conclusions resulting in increased frustrations .

We, as Muslims, should accept Allah’s Decree both as it manifests itself around us and in our lives. It should be a relief to us that only Allah is the master of our destiny and we are only going to be tested about whether we reacted to what befalls as true believers and Mo’mins, i.e. being patient in adversity and grateful in prosperity.

Ask for Allah’s Mercy and Grace for an Out from Tough Situations

As believers we should recognize that only Allah’s Grace and Mercy can deliver us from challenging situations. Allah tells us in the Quran:

islam on Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

“They after that you turned away. Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, indeed you would have been among the losers. (Quran, Surah Al-Baqara: 64)”

Another way to ask for Allah’s Grace and Mercy is by asking for His forgiveness and seeking repentance. Allah tells us in the Quran:

And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection). (Quran, Surah Al-Hud: 3).

Stay Patient in Hard Times

One of the best remedies for tough times is to be patient. A state of patience requires that we not resort to complaining, and remember Allah often. We take this lesson from the story of Prophet Yousuf (A.S.) who went through various ordeals in life only to be rewarded with a large kingdom in his later years. Allah tells us in the Quran:

islam on Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

They said: “Are you indeed Yousuf (Joseph)?” He said: “I am Yousuf (Joseph), and this is my brother (Benjamin). Allah has indeed been gracious to us. Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the Muhsinoon (good-doers – see V.2:112) to be lost.” (Quran, Surah Yousuf: 90).

The Quran also says:

islam on Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

Thus did We give full authority to Yoosuf (Joseph) in the land, to take possession therein, as when or where he likes. We bestow of Our Mercy on whom We please, and We make not to be lost the reward of Al-Muhsinoon (the good doers – see V.2:112). (Quran, Surah Yousuf: 56).

Remember Allah in Good Times

We know from the Quran that when we remember Allah in good times, Allah will help us in tough times. We learn that lesson from the story of Prophet Younus (A.S.) when he was swallowed by a whale. Out of His mercy, Allah finally relieved him out of that calamity. He tells us in the Quran:

islam on Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

143. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah,

144. He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection. Quran (Surah As-Saaffaat)

Summary

To summarize, the next time when you are in a tough situation that may potentially test your will and faith, remember these points:

  1. Do not let yourself get to a point where you feel helpless
  2. Revive your faith by reciting Quran and ponder over Allah’s words
  3. Recall your faith in the Divine Decree
  4. Ask for Allah’s Mercy and Grace for an Out from Tough Situations (by making all the Dua that the prophet (s) taught us)
  5. Remember Allah in good times.
  6. Stay patient until Allah guides you out from the tough situation you are in.

Finally, let us not forget what Allah told us the following in the Quran:

islam on Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

“Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Maula (Lord, Helper and Protector).’ And in Allah let the believers put their trust” Quran (Surah Towbah: 51).

— End

(See also the article on Qaqa wal-qadr “Dealing with Life’s Challenges and Difficulties”)

The Muslim in Ramadaan


The Muslim in Ramadaan

The Muslim in Ramadaan

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He knows we fall, and thus He blessed us with a special month to solidify our īmān


Allāh has created everything in perfection,

He has created the day and the night.

The sun and the moon.

He has created men and women, and within them a womb, that is perfectly prepared to bare children.

He has created the skies, and the mountains in magnificence, with a purpose.

Allāh has created everything in perfect order, and filled our life with opportunities to remain spiritually intact.

He has blessed us with the five prayers, in order to be connected to Him daily.

He has gifted us with the morning and evening adhkār, to remember him day and night.

We enter the morning in His praise, and we enter the night admiring His signs.

He knows we fall, and thus He blessed us with a special month to solidify our īmān, and help us prepare for the rest of the year. He blessed us with Ramaḍān.

The perfect solution to reach for Him, whatever level we’re on.

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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"So flee unto Allah..." [51:50]

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