September 06, 2010

'In Allah Let the Believers Put Their Trust'

The Prophet (pbuh) advised a person who is touched by something from Satan to mention Allah and to recite His Name and seek refuge with Him from Satan, for that is more beneficial for him and more exasperating for Satan. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Verily, when the slave curses Satan, he says, 'Verily, you are cursing one who is (already) cursed.' All such statements make Satan happy and he says "The son of Adam knows that I have defeated him by my power". And this lends support to him in his misguidance.

If calamity befalls you, refrain from saying "If only I had done such-and-such", as this implies in it that if the matter had been planned by you, then the outcome would have been other than what Allah has decreed; and the occurrence of something other than what has been decreed is impossible, so this speech includes untruth, ignorance and impossibility.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Verily, it opens up (the door to) the deeds of Satan". (Narrated by Muslim and Ibn Majah). Instead it is more befitting of a Muslim to say, "Qaddarallahu Wa Ma Shaá Fa'ala" which means, "Allah has ordained and as He willed, He has done."

This is because lamenting over what has been lost does not benefit the believer nor does it change what has already occurred, and the word 'if' doesn't solve his problem either. By wishing for something whose occurrence is not to be hoped for, is simply helplessness and Allah censures helplessness, because it opens the door to Satan. But He loves intelligence and resourcefulness, which is to undertake the means (of achieving one's aims) and this opens the doors to goodness, and after you do this, if something gets the better of you, you should say: "Hasbiyallahu Wa Ni'mal-Wakeel".  [Narrated by Abu Dawud and Ahmad]

The Prophet (pbuh) sought refuge with Allah from helplessness and laziness, for they are the key to every evil - and anxiety, depression, cowardice, miserliness, the burdensome debt and the oppression of men result from them. And the sign of this is lauw (if), for the one who wishes that Allah's Qadar were different is among the most helpless of people and the most bankrupt. The root of all sins is weakness or helplessness, because the slave is unable to undertake the means of achieving obedience and the means which keep him far away from acts of disobedience, and that form a barrier between him and them.

If a slave delays performing righteous deeds or performed them imperfectly, it would be either due to inability on his part - and this is helplessness, or it would be that he was able to do it, but he did not want to do it - and this is laziness.And the result of these two characteristics is that he would miss every good thing and attain every evil.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "I seek refuge with you from "Al-Hamm" (anxiety) and "Al-Hazn" (sorrow)."
Anxiety and sorrow weaken the will and enfeeble the heart and form a barrier between the slave and striving to achieve what is beneficial for him. When something which is disliked afflicts the heart, the cause of it is either something which has already occurred, in which case, it results in sorrow, or else it is expected to occur in the future, in which case, it gives rise to anxiety - and both of them are from helplessness, because that which has already occurred cannot be dispelled by sorrow, but rather by acceptance, praise and thanks (to Allah), patience, perseverance and belief in Allah's Qadar. And that which is yet to happen cannot be repelled by anxiety for either there is a solution for it, in which case, he is able to do it, or there is no solution, in which case, he is unable to do it. And he should take on the garments of Tawheed and Tawakkul and display acceptance of Allah as his Lord.

Tawakkul (dependence on Allah) and Al-Hasb (declaring that Allah is Sufficient) without undertaking the measures which have been commanded is pure weakness and helplessness, even though there may be an element of Tawakkul in it. It is not fitting that the slave should let his tawakkul be in the form of helplessness, nor that he should claim that his helplessness was in fact tawakkul; instead he should make his tawakkul one of the necessary measures, without which one's aim will not be achieved.

Whatever situation a slave finds himself in, it is Allah who places him in it and it is thanks to Him and His Wisdom and He does not forbid the slave from any right which is his, rather He prevents it in order that he may implore Allah through the deeds which He loves and then He gives him. It is a means for the slave to return to Him and strengthen him through humility towards Him, to make him independent (of people) through his need for Allah, to restore him by submission before Allah, to raise him to the noblest position and to show him the Wisdom in His ability and the Mercy in His Might. Truly, His forbiddance is in fact giving and His Punishment is in fact discipline. When a person is prevented from something, it becomes a gift bestowed on him, while whoever busies himself with what was bestowed upon him, it becomes a prevention for him from the reward of the Hereafter.

Allah the Most High says:

"And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever put his trust in Allah, then he will suffice him." [Qurán 65:2-3]

"So fear Allah. And in Allah let the believers put their trust." [Qurán 5:11]

[Taken from: Provisions for the Hereafter, by Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah]

September 04, 2010

The Greatest Form of Dhikr

The angels remember Allah (dhikr) and the bearers of the Throne glorify Him, may He be exalted. They glorify Allah constantly, without ceasing, either at night or during the day. Because they glorify Allah so much, they are indeed those who truly glorify Allah's praises, and they have the right to be proud of that.

الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ

Those angels who bear the Throne of Allah and those who stand around it glorify their Rabb with His praises, believe in Him and implore forgiveness for the believers, saying: "Our Rabb! You embrace all things with your mercy and knowledge. Forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the punishment of the blazing fire.(Qur'an 40:7)

They glorify Allah so much because Tasbeeh is the greatest form of dhikr

Muslim narrated in his Saheeh that Abu Dharr said: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked what kind of dhikr is the best. He said: "That which Allah has chosen for His angels or His slaves:

سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ 

(Subhaan Allaahi wa bi hamdihi)

Glory and praise be to Allah."

Muslim, 4/2093 hadith no. 2731.

(Taken from: The World of the Noble Angels, by Dr. Úmar S al-Ashqar - Islamic Creed Series book 2)

The Dispute of the Hosts on High

The angels discuss amongst themselves matters of the revelation of their Lord which are not clear to them. In Sunan at-Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad, it is narrated from Ibn Ábbas that the Messenger (pbuh) said:

"Last night my Lord - may He be blessed and exalted - came to me in the most beautiful form - he (the narrator) said: I think he said in a dream - and He said: " O Muhammad, do you know what the hosts on high dispute about?" I said, "No". He put His hand on my back, between my shoulders, until I could feel its coolness on my chest, and I knew what was in the heavens and what was on earth.

Then He said, "O Muhammad, do you know what the hosts on high dispute about?" I said, "Yes, about expiations and actions that raise a person's status. The expiations are staying int he mosque after the prayer, walking on foot to join the congregational prayers and doing wudoo' properly at the time of hardship; and the actions that raise a persons's status are spreading salaam, feeding people, and praying at night when people are asleep."

He said, "You have spoken the truth, Whoever does that will live in goodness and die in peace, and he will be free from any sin, as pure as a newborn baby."

He said, "O Muhammad, when you pray, say, Allahumma inni as’aluka fi’lal khairat wa tarkal munkarat wa hubbal masakin wa an taghfarali wa tarhamani wa idha aradata fitnatan fi qaumi fatawafani ghaira maftunin wa as’aluka hubbaka wa hubba man yuhibbuka wa hubba ‘amalin yuqaribu ila hubbika

O Allah! I ask You for the means to do good, to avoid evil, and to love the poor, and I beseech You to forgive me and have mercy on me. When You subject my people to a trial, cause me to die without being affected by it. O Allah! I ask Your love, the love of those who love You, and the love of all such actions that bring one closer to Your Love.”

- Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 3/9, no.2580, 2581.

Remember Allah in times of ease, and Allah will remember you in times of distress

Remember that with Allah are the keys of the unseen, and He, the Almighty, All-Merciful, is the One Who brings relief from worry and distress. So turn to Him and call upon Him, and always repeat this duá:

اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَ الْحَزَنِ ، وَ الْعَجْزِ وَ الْكَسَلِ ، وَ الْبُخْلِ وَ الْجُبْنِ ، وَ ضَلَعِ الدِّيْنِ وَ غَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

O' Allah, I seek refuge with You from distress and grief, and I seek refuge with you from incapacity and laziness, and I seek refuge with You from miserliness and cowardice, and I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from being over-powered by men.

Beware of despair and frustration, recite:

لا حول ولاقوة إلا بالله

There is no power and no strength except with Allah.

These great words are the secret of happiness and success. Recite them a great deal, chase away the specters of grief and distress with them, and recive the glad tidings that Allah will soon grant you happiness and a way out.

When anxiety rears its head, worries come along and a crisis overwhelms man, making him feel that there is no way out and he is helpless, he cries out:

لَآ إِلَهَ اِ لَّا اللهُ الْعَظِيمُ الْحَلِيمُ ، لَآ إِلَهَ إ لَّا اللهُ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ لَآ إِلَه ا لَّا اللهُ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَرَبُّ الْأَرْضِ وَرَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيمِ

There is no god but Allah, the Mighty, the Forbearing, there is no god but Allah, the Lord of the mighty throne, there is no god but Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and the Lord of the throne of honor.

Then his worry is dispelled and he is relieved of distress.

Saddness, grief and worry are punishments for sins that you have committed, by falling short in your prayers, or backbiting about a Muslim, or taking the matter of Hijab lightly, or committing a haraam action. Turning to Allah requires a person to renew himself, reorganize his life, develop a better relationship with his Lord and do better deeds. It is the start of a new convenant that is summed up in the following duá:

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ
O Allah! You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You.

And Allah tells us that Dhu an-Nun (Jonah) called out:

لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ 

None has the right to be worshipped but You, O' Allah, glorified and exalted be You. Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers. (Qurán 21:87)

Allah says in the Qurán:

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ
So remember ' Me and I will remember you, and give thanks to Me and be not ungrateful.  (Qurán 2:152)

Remember Allah in times of ease, and He will remember you in times of distress. What hit you could not have missed you, what missed you could not have hit you. Remember that victory comes with patience, relief comes with affliction and ease comes with hardship.

(Taken from: "You can be the happiest woman in the world" by Dr. Áid al-Qarni)