Category Archives: Reminders

Everything Will Perish

I used to be an avid reader of Al-Jumu’ah Magazine. Now I occasionally pick it up (just because I have other things to do). I remember reading a self-help article for hoarders. I was a hoarder myself so that article helped me a lot. The ayah that the author used to drive home a point that many hoarders (and maybe majority of the people in the world) fail to realize was this one in Surah Ar-Rahman:

Everyone upon the earth will perish, (55:26)

followed by this one:

And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. (55: 27)

From that point on, one little aspect of my consumerist and hoarder mentality received a spiritual blow, and that doesn’t mean I stopped buying and storing stuff. That means that a new realization had begun.

Then I started reflecting on other things in life. I like to write poems a lot and they are very valuable to me because in them I have documented fragments of my life, my emotions and my struggles. Then I thought: One day, all of this will be gone? When I die, these books which contain bits of my soul, these blogs which had collections of memories will vanish? These years of school which I find pleasure in remembering will be forgotten? I will be standing there on the Day of Judgment with none of these. My words, my clothes, my work, my books, my purses, my scarves, my jewelry, my laptop, everything will be gone. My feelings, my problems, my lame concerns, my valid concerns, my fears and my sorrow.

Then I realized the value of these statements that emphasized that Only Allah will remain while all else perishes.

Isn’t it amazing that even while everything perishes, including us along with the heavens and the earth, that Allah will remain and then He will bring all of us backwith all of our deeds?

There is none like Him; there is truly none like Him.

Glory be to Him.

Extreme?

If you ever feel like you are “too extreme” in your practice or people are saying you are, no need to ask other people.

Turn to the Qur’an; read about the stories of the prophets, the stories of the Sahabah, the Sahabiyat, and our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Salaf and see if your practice is in accordance to theirs.

In this day and age, if you practice Islam properly, you will be labeled. People will take any label and stick it on you to take away any credit from your justification.

Don’t listen to them.

You only have to please Allah, not the creation.

On Egypt and other Recent Fitan – Remember the Wise Ones

Lately, I saw people on social media, including our beloved shuyukh and du’aat doing the noble jobs of raising awareness of the current situation in Egypt and encouraging people to make du’a. That motivated me to do my research and find out what’s going on. I’m very limited in my knowledge of politics and even more limited in my knowledge of how Islam and politics are related, but I do know this much: The only knowledge you need in order to make du’a for the oppressed is this: Allah hates oppression and when innocent people are dying, raising your voice in their favor does not make you a kafir or a deviant or a sectarian or [insert any other degrading title here].

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Also, in times like these, everyone wants to say something, argue with someone and blame the shuyukh for both “standing up” or “staying silent.” The reaction is that the accused then also turn harsh in their words, but remember that they are only human.

Let us reflect on what ‘Abdullah ibn Mutarrif (Rahimahullah) did in times of fitnah. He was a Tabi’i who was known as the “Wise Worshipper.” He witnessed some of the greatest fitan of his time, including:

1-The murder of ‘Uthman (R).
2-The conflict that occurred between the Sahabah in the time of ‘Ali (R).
3-The murder of Al-Husayn and the dissension among the Muslims.
4-The political changes that occurred when the Khilafah came into the hands of the Ummayyads, and seeing the Khilafah pass on from Mu’awiyah (R) to his sons.
5-Al-Hajjaj’s oppressive regime and the evil it caused.

One of the greatest things that made ‘Abdullah ibn Mutarrif so noble were his rationality, wisdom and neutrality in times of fitan. Instead of being driven by zeal and passion, he used to say: “By Allah, I would rather by asked by Allah, “Why did you not kill so-and-so?” than to be asked by Him, “Why did you kill so-and-so?”“ 

He was not interested in passing judgments on either side involved in the fitnah or following up with its advances; instead, he was known to be occupied in the worship of Allah during those times.

Lessons to learn from his life:

-Remain neutral in conflict.
-Make du’a during difficulty to get closer to Allah.
-Refrain from gossip.
-Don’t judge someone from when they were in fitnah; remember their goodness & good deeds.
-Stand up to the truth no matter who your opponent is.

The points above are taken from my Torch Bearers class notes, but there are more examples of wise individuals from whom we can learn.

We also know from history that Sa’id ibn Jubayr (Rahimahullah), one of the greatest scholars of his time, went into hiding during Al-Hajjaj’s oppressive regime and remained in this way until he was finally caught later on. We like to talk about courage but courage is not always in chasing after fitnah. After trying his best to stay away from Al-Hajjaj, when Sa’id ibn Jubayr was finally caught did he use his courage to defy the tyrant and became a martyr.

Diving into the face of fitnah is not a generally wise decision; leave it to those more knowledgeable and worship Allah. The deaths of others should only remind us of our own deaths. It should make us re-affirm our faith in the Justice of Allah and make us prepare for the Day of Judgment.

It’s time to apply what we learned.

May Allah grant us all the correct understanding and allow us to remain united as one body in these difficult times. May Allah have mercy on those who stood up to injustice and on those who tried their best to save themselves from it. May Allah answer the du’as of the oppressed and save us from oppressing anyone, be it our own souls. Ameen.

Exerting Oneself During the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

Aa’ishah (raa) said: “When the last ten days (of Ramadaan) would come, the Prophet (saws) would spend his night in worship, wake his family (at night), exert himself and tighten his Izaar (waistcloth).” [Al-Bukhaaree (4/269) and Muslim (1174)]

This hadeeth is proof that the last ten days of Ramadaan have a special virtue over any other (set of days), in which one should increase in obedience and acts of worship, such as prayer, making dhikr (remembrance) and reciting the Qur’aan.

1. He (saws) would “spend his night in worship”, meaning he would not sleep during it. Thus, he (saws) would remain awake throughout it in worship and he would livenhis soul by spending the night in sleeplessness. This is since sleep is the brother of death. The meaning of “spend his night” is that he (saws) would spend all of it in the state of qiyaam (night prayer) and performing acts of worship that are done for the sake of Allaah, Lord of the worlds. We must remember that the last ten days of Ramadaan are fixed and numbered.

As for what has been reported concerning the forbiddance of spending the entire night in prayer, which has been mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr (raa), then it is in regards to someone who does that consistently throughout every night of the year.

2. He (saws) would “wake up his family” meaning his (saws) pure wives, the Mothers of the Believers, so that they may take part in the profiting of good, the dhikr (remembrance) and the acts of worship during these blessed times.

3. He (saws) would “exert himself”, meaning he (saws) would persevere and struggle in worship, adding more to his deeds than what he had done in the first twenty days(of Ramadaan). He only did this because the night of Al-Qadr occurs during one of these (last ten) days.

4. He (saws) would “tighten his Izaar (waistcloth)” meaning he would exert himself and struggle intensely in worship. It is also said that it means he (saws) would withdraw from women. This seems to be more correct since it inclines with what was mentioned previously and with the hadeeth of Anas (raa): “He (saws) would rollup his bed and withdraw from women (i.e. his wives).” [2]

Also, he (saws) would observe ‘Itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadaan and the person who is in the state of ‘Itikaaf is restricted from interacting (sexually) with women.

So, O Muslim brother, strive to characterize yourself with these attributes. And guard the prayer you make in the depths of the night (tahajjud) with the Imaam in addition to the Taraaweeh prayer (which is prayed in the early parts of the night), so that your exertion in these last ten days may go beyond that of the first twenty. And so that you may achieve the attribute of “spending the night in worship” by praying.

[Excepts from:Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 133-135)| Author:’Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan]

http://abdurrahman.org/ramadhan/exertingoneself.html

[A dear sister who occasionally sends me Islamic reminders sent me the above excerpt in an email. May Allah reward her for her efforts and May He have Mercy on her. Ameen.]

What I Didn’t Know Then

Devotion is something hard to hold onto. You think you’ve got it until it starts slipping away. If you think you love Islam, or some specific part of it, like knowledge or the Qur’an, it’s only because Allah has made it so. Sometimes your low iman leaves you feeling like you weren’t exactly normal when you were obsessed with your Deen, as if wanting to follow Islam with perfection is something negative. Darkening of hearts through sins lead to the escape of light. The light of knowledge, guidance and iman come only from Allah-if you persist in disobedience, He takes it away. You have to really want to be guided and remain in His Mercy, because guidance is a “fadl” (an extra bounty, an extra favor) from Him. The way you think about Islam reflects the state of your heart. Be careful.

Allah says in Surah Al-Hujurat:
“And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah . If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided. [It is] as bounty from Allah and favor. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (49:7-8)

This is a reminder to myself first. May Allah grant us the correct guidance and understanding and have Mercy on us and forgive our sins. Ameen.

Continuous Death

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It used to be that I heard about deaths in the community, long before I was involved in social media; I would read about them in the Janazah/Du’a Request section of The Muslim Link newspaper that we would get on some Fridays. I used to read them, make du’a for them, and move on with my life until the next issue came around. Sometimes I would also hear my grandma talking to her sisters and my aunts about someone who had passed away back home in India, and then again, I would make du’a for them and then forget and move on with my life.

Being involved online (and consequently, with people from around the world), it seems like the news of one death doesn’t pass and another one is announced. It was very different when I heard in lectures that people are always being born and dying ’round the world, but when I *constantly* hear about it, and “see” it through the graphic images, it has a different effect. I remember telling my friend last month, “This week I heard about the deaths of about 3 different people. It seems like everyone just keeps passing away.” And since then I’ve noticed that every, single week I hear about someone’s death. SubhanAllah, it’s like having several wake-up calls, one after the other.

It reminded me of the ayah: “O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet it.” (84:6)