Tag Archives: wisdom

Old Scholars

If you listen to an old Imam or shaykh, you will sometimes find it tedious to sit through the long pauses, listen to the cracked voice or try to understand the heavy accent or the old language (i.e. word choice) but you need patience.

I remember when my dad used to play a CD in our car, loaded with a lecture from an old scholar and I would groan. He told me that besides the knowledge, that would teach me patience. And it did. He taught me that I cannot dismiss people if I don’t find them immediately appealing.

It’s easy to listen to people who are good, eloquent speakers and if they are providing authentic knowledge, then go ahead and listen to them.

However, sometimes the wisdom that you need with the knowledge is only found with the older scholars, the ones who have spent their lives learning, contemplating and teaching the Deen.

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The Wisdom of the Prohibition

Many people ask: “Why can’t guys and girls just be friends?”

There are so many answers to that question, but I’ll touch upon one:

Friendship arises out of an initial mutual liking between two people. It starts with a smile, a conversation in class or over lunch and grows with each word spoken. When this friend makes you happy, you want to spend more time with them and be with them during their happy times, their sad times, their fun times and their down times. You want to buy them presents (which by the way “brings love” between people according to a hadith) and do things that make them happy.

For two people to be friends, they have to be really close. That’s just who a friend is: it’s someone you didn’t know before but who you took a liking enough to become close to, until they became closer to you than some of your own family members.

Imagine what kinds of problems would arise if guys and girls were allowed to be friends.

We, as human beings, are naturally nice people. We don’t avoid people as a standard; we mix with them and are nice to them, so when Islam tells us to“be firm in speech” with the opposite gender or to keep talk limited, we feel like we’re being rude.

But the Muslim brother knows and the Muslim sister knows what kind of talk is permissible and what is not. So throw the “rudeness” excuse out the window.

Remember: The nicer you are to a person from the opposite gender, the more fitnah you are creating for them.

In person:

  • Do not smile at a person from the opposite gender, esp. Muslim. (If you must, then you can do it very reservedly, with pursed lips).
  • Do not giggle at their jokes or “hang out” in the hallway with them, even if there are others in the “group.”
  • Do not bump into them (yes, people do this stuff).
  • Do not continuously go to them for advice when there are others available (the rest of the world is not dead).
  • Do not be alone with them-ever.
  • Do not beautify your voice when the need arises to talk to them.
  • Lowering your gaze doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be fascinated by the floor (that will make you look retarded tbh); you can just look at the wall or some other object next to or behind them.

Online:

  • Do not message them for no reason (if you must, keep talk limited, to the point and appropriate).
  • Must you use smileys? The world will not end if you don’t. I have heard in more than one lecture: Smileys, hearts and winks make people “fall in love” online.
  • Don’t stalk: how would you feel if someone stalked you? Or your sister/brother?

This is totally a reminder to myself before others.

May Allah make us all sincere people who not only call each other “brother” and “sister” but keep our interactions respectful as well.

*psst* funny side note: In India, the Hindus have a festival called “Raksha Bandhan” which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters in which a girl ties a bracelet called a “rakhi” on her brother’s wrist. So in Hindi movies (and maybe even in real life), every time a girl wants to get rid of a stalker or something, she calls him “bhaiyya” or ties a “rakhi” on him. It’s hilarious actually. I never figured out if that stops anyone from pursuing the girl.

Allahul-Musta’an.

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.