Arguments

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever does not argue when he is in the wrong will have a home built for him on the edge of Paradise. Whoever avoids it when he in the right will have a home built for him in the middle of Paradise. And whoever improves his own character, a home will be built for him in the highest part of Paradise.” [Tirmidhi]

 

What an amazing hadith – avoid argumentation whether you are in the wrong or the right – and there is a greater reward if you avoid it when you are right. How difficult do we find it to leave an argument when we have a point to prove or make? And if one avoids getting involved with argumentation and instead focuses on perfecting their character – which is what we are told the Prophet peace be upon him was sent for (Indeed I was only sent to perfect character) – then there is the greatest jihad (struggle) and greatest reward. I love Islam.

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Hadith Qudsi

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah the Almighty said:

‘I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.”

Forgiveness – All we have to do is ask.

On the authority of Anas, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم say:
Allah the Almighty has said: “O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.”
 

Sadaqa – Voluntary Charity

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.”

Laylatul Qadr – The Night of Power

The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, “Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.”

[Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]

The Beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told the companions about four persons of the Bani Israel who had worshipped Allah for 80 years. They were the Honoured Ayuub, Zakarriyya , Hizqil and Yusha ibne Nun. The companions were amazed by this, and saddened that their short life spans did not permit such lengthy devotion, so the Angel Gabriel (عليه السلام) came to the Prophet    (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and said, “O Beloved of Allah, Allah has sent you something better than that.” Then he recited Sura Qadr. 

“We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit(Gabriel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!… This until the rise of Morning!”

Ramadan Advice – Part 1

This is a beautiful lesson given on the meanings and wisdoms of Ramadan in Tarim, Yemen by one of the amazing female scholars there. It’s rather long so I’ll post in stages for ease of reading.

Bismi’AllahiRahmaniRaheem, AlhamdulillahiRabil’alamin,

 Wa salAllahu ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

 The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam has informed us that every action is judged according to its intention.

 So in terms of the action we are about to undertake, i.e. the seeking of knowledge and the preparation of Ramadhan, the hadith is clear. So we begin with good intentions, good intentions in order that the etiquettes are found in this class and in order that the light that we search for is found in this class. And from what the scholars have taught us, we should intend to learn, to implement, and to teach others. To not just take this light, but to allow this light to eminate into the depths of our souls, and to allow it to eminate to our families, and into the depths of our homes, ameen.

Infinite is the native land from whence Allah has created the soul… the soul was made to reside in this infinite, ultimate, beauty of the native land. And this is where the soul wants to return to. Our lives are journeys that are about returning from exile, to our native land. The soul always feels like a foreigner, it always calls out for something greater, the infinite, the infinite space where we belong, it is always in turbulence, but once the soul becomes comfortable with this life, there is something seriously wrong. Ramadhan serves as one of life’s reminders of where we belong, where we are heading, where we long to be and helps us in our return journey. It is said that in the grave we call out, “How I wish that I prepared for my life” – the real living – in the permanent abode.

The Muslim sees this life as a temporal zone, and The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam said, live your life as a wayfarer. Meaning pass through it, don’t build in it.

‘Isa alaihi salam said the world is like a bridge, so don’t build upon it, just cross it.

 “And I did not create mankind or jinn, but to worship Me” – adh-Dhariyat – The Winnowing winds, Verse 5:

The Ulema tell us that this is the reality behind the creation of man and jinn. The understanding of life upon earth, is worship. We are part of this reality. The Ulema tell us that we cannot worship Allah unless we know Him. So we seek knowledge to know Him, so that we can fulfil this purpose – realising existence and that your very existence is based on worshipping Allah. But how can you, without understanding, without knowing?

 “There is no good in worship that is not understood” – Imam Ali, may Allah ennoble his face

 Imam Ali is known as the gate to the city of knowledge – the city of knowledge is The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam. Yet if you worship without understanding, there is no good in it. Why? Because the act of ibadah would be reduced to just getting it done, rather than knowing or experiencing the connection contained within it, which is only accessed through understanding, and which comes from knowledge.

 “Fasting is enjoined upon you as it was enjoined upon those before you, so that you may become God conscious” – Baqara – The Cow, Verse 183.

 This is the command on fasting, and Allah has told you that it is nothing new – every nation from the beginning of time till the end of time has done it, because it has such a powerful affect on the soul and the mind. There are so many wisdoms behind fasting, and it is potent with respect to strengthening that connection with Allah subhanuwata’ala which becomes severed if there is no God consciousness. When we lose that connection, we are no longer conscious that He exists, that He is watching, that He Sees you. The tie is severed and it is very easy to fall back on your wayward ways. The fasting helps with consciousness. This is why The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam used to fast constantly -although his connection to Allah was of a different type. But in essence, this is why fasting just for a month, is prescribed for us, because of the powerful affect it has on our connection to our Lord. And it is because of this our teachers tell us that the obligatory fast is only for the stingy.

Ramadan Advice – Part 3

SO WHAT IS THE POINT OF THE FAST? :

When we understand the act of Ibadah, then you will find the light and the beauty of the act of ibadah and it becomes a pleasure to perform;

 THE WISDOM:

 It protects the senses:

Look at the fast of the elite. The senses are protected from ugliness on a personal and collective level – yourself, your families are protected, your neighbour is protected, your community is protected. And it is through this protection, you start to beautify what goes in – through your tongue, your eyes, your ears, etc.

 It teaches one patience and fortitude:

“Patience is half of faith” – The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam. The Deen is acquired through patience. Through patience we learn fortitude – both are learned through the virtue of the other.

 Increases one in gratitude:

“Half of faith is gratitude” – The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam. The scholars say that because of both narrations, whoever has conquered both patience and gratitude, has conquered the Deen in its entirety. Fatema Az Zahra visited her father salAllahu alaihi wasalam one night, and she visited him with a heavy heart because she put her sons to bed crying, because they were hungry. She did not visit her blessed father to complain, but to take advice. The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam asked her to harness to patience and to return home, and everything will be good, because the faithful are tested. But after she leaves, the Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam comes out of his house and raises his hands and asks Allah, “O Allah, You bear witness that the house of Muhammad is hungry”. The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam says nothing but this, because the Knowledge of Allah is sufficient for him. It is narrated that either Angel Gibrael alaihi salaam or one of the Angels under him in charge of provision, descends and says to the Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam, “Allah asks you to choose” – to choose between wealth or poverty. And there is nothing wrong with either as Prophets have been sent having both – Sayyidina Suleiman and Dawud alaihi salaam had vast worldly kingdoms and command over them, and over the unseen – the jinn, and even the winds. Whereas Sayyidina ‘Isa alaihi salaam was reported to have had only two things – a comb and a cup. And when walking by a man who was combing his hair using his fingers, Sayyidina Isa looked at his comb and gave it to him. When he came to a well and saw that someone was drinking out of it, he looked at his cup and gave it to him. It is narrated that when Allah subhanuwata’ala took ‘Isa alaihi salaam back, he left this world without actually owning anything. The Messenger salAllahu alaihi wasalam was given a choice, and he said that he chose to fast the fast of Dawud alaihi salam, so that he could experience poverty on one day, and gratitude on the other. It is very difficult in the 21st century world that we live in, to experience either, but as soon as something is taken away, like our health or our wealth, only then we appreciate. But the Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam teaches us balance through patience and gratitude – not complete abstinence so that we can never know what it is to be grateful, and not complete indulgence, so that we can never know patience. The prophet salAllahu alaihi wasalam said that there are two happinesses for the fasting one; the first elation is when he breaks his fast, and the second elation is when he meets Allah subhanuwata’ala knowing that he has reached Him having fasted for His sake.

 Increases one in generosity:

Why? Because when you come to break your fast, you are ashamed for the person you have become – that you are so dependent on food when the vast majority of the world is in abject poverty. At least you get to break your fast on food, and clean water, and you are healthy. That is why it is a fard to pay the Zakat at the end of the fast because by that time, you should have increased in generosity through realising how lucky you are and how much provision you have compared to most people around the world. Therefore, observing the fard of the zakat shouldn’t be a problem because your soul should have awakened to the fact that you don’t need as much as you thought and therefore surely, you have enough to give. Your nafs will tell you that you need the excess that you have and the shaytan puts poverty in your mind – in case, in case, in case, and you become essentially, miserly on false ideas.

 Helps one experience poverty:

Practice is very different to theory. Experiential knowledge is vastly different to theoretical knowledge. Even if you see poverty on TV, you can return to your full plate of food (if not eating it while watching) and you go back to your usual ways of the self, your heart doesn’t really move. But with fasting, you have food in your fridge, but you cannot eat it; there may be food on the table, but you cannot eat it. Even water – you can’t have it at all. Fasting brings you the experiential knowledge.

Teaches you about yourself (one’s ability to submit):

The strange thing about fasting is that it is very difficult to fast outside of Ramadhan. But Ramadan throws you into obligation which is the only time you learn that your life outside of Ramadan, is essentially, excessive and unnecessary. Ramadhan breaks you, and teaches you about your ability to submit. We must ask ourselves then, why can’t we perfect acts of worship outside of Ramadhan? You know it can be done, because you have the ability to do it when it is prescribed.

Helps one conquer the nafs – the carnal desire through discipline:

The nafs will tell you; O I can’t be bothered, or, let me have one last slice of that chocolate cake; etc. The carnal desire will call to impatience during times of hardship and ingratitude in times of ease. It calls to evil. And it’s not just one of the many callers, it is THE dominant caller and it goes on, round the clock, 24 hours. It is in your sleep, in your day to day living, in everything you do. Fasting subsides your nafs. The stomach and genitals are the two hardest desires to break. RE – Imam Al Ghazali’s volumes on these two carnal desires, despite all other carnal desires. But fasting teaches you.  The stomach and genitals are deprived and weakened, and when they are weakened, they cannot be bothered to satisfy themselves. This should teach you that you can overcome any issues you may have for the rest of the year, ie your bad habits of lying, etc, etc, that, you can conquer your bad habits because you abstained from the most essential part of your physical survival, food and water.

A Ramadan Message

Here is Habib Omar’s Ramadan Message to the Muslims of Australia.

Welcome O Ramadan!

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

“Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.”

(At-Tabaraani)

Good Character

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,
The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be the best of you in conduct.”
(Bukhari)
The most perfect man in his faith among the believers is the one with the best behavior.”
(Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
Verily, the worshipper will ascend the higher ranks and superior grades of the hereafter through his good character, even though he is weak in acts of worship.”
(Al-Tabarani)

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