Lamya's Corner

"There was for Saba, aforetime, a sign in their homeland [Yemen] two gardens to the right and to the left . . . be grateful to Him[Allah] . . .But they turned away, and We sent against them the flood released from the Dams [Maarib dam]" (Qur'an. Saba:15-16)

Most Beloved Deed to Allah [Day 9] August 27, 2011

Filed under: Ramadhan Corner — lamyaalmas @ 5:36 pm

We wander among and co-exist with Allah’s creations while they praise and humble themselves to Him [SWT]: “Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, “’Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion.’ They said, ‘We have come willingly.’” [41:11] Yes, we don’t hear their praise with our own ears, but we do with our hearts that are saturated with Allah’s words,

The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. [17:44]

They love Him [SWT] no doubt, but we want to love Him too and for that reason we’re seeking out the most beloved deeds to Him [SWT] and making them permanent parts of our life. So, let’s start with another deed today.

Did those close to you offer themselves as “your rock, your shield, your sword” as the saying goes? But when you were in need did you fail to call upon them? Did they reproach you for not calling on them for help? Did you disappoint them that way? To Allah [SWT] are ascribed the best of examples. The Prophet (saw) said, “There is nothing more honorable to Allah than supplication.” [Tirmidhi] Imagine in the eyes of Allah it is “honorable” to beg Him [SWT], whereas begging in our social strata is humiliating. It means that with Allah [SWT] you have reached the highest status of worship, whereas on a socioeconomic level you have reached rock bottom.

You’re probably going to say, “Here’s another talk about Dua.” Singing, “Boooooooooring!’ Well, I’ll try and make this one a fresh perspective on the topic as much as possible, and if I fail then please take it as a reminder. Fact is, there are among us those who invoke Allah often, but there are among us those who forget. And even then there are those who make dua from the depths of their hearts, but others do so with distracted hearts. Some of us after prayer just walk away abandoning a golden opportunity for their dua to be accepted, whereas others are very conscientious of these times and make a point of exposing themselves to them. So, as you can see as far as dua is concerned we come in an assortment of varieties. Question is: what is the state that Allah [SWT] wants to see us in during Dua?

Let’s put things into perspective. What are you doing in Dua? Simply put, you are turning to Allah [SWT] with this attitude, “O Allah! I am in need! HELP ME!” Allah [SWT] created us imperfect so that we need Him [SWT]. We are needy across the board—whether it is for support, emotion, affection, knowledge, guidance etc. You name it, we need it. All of us are born with absolutely nothing. Nada! Zilch! Zero! Absolutely nothing that would get us through life without the provision of Allah [SWT]. We arrive in need from day one. Who may I ask do you think provided for you? Your parents? Think again, because your parents were put in place by Allah [SWT]; the love for you—a total stranger by the way who takes and does not give—instilled in their hearts was from Allah [SWT]. How many children are abandoned by their parents in this world? Look up the statistics; even those who are abandoned Allah [SWT] provides for them. Plus Allah [SWT] provided your parents so they could provide for you; just listen to their stories of how despite financial hardships when you came along things just fell into place. Do you think it’s sheer luck? Nothing is sheer luck, it’s all ordained and decreed by your Provider. And this is when you did not know how to ask. Now imagine when you do ask!

So, since we’re created in this state of “need”, we have one of two options. We either ask each other or we ask our Creator [SWT]. Just look around you at those who ask others for their needs. How they rely on them? How they are ready to crawl on all fours and beg and despair if they are denied? For in 100% of the cases, the person being asked undoubtedly reaches the point of being ‘fed up’. That of course in addition to their  “limited” resources being depleted or their fear that they will. Compare that to Allah [SWT] who never is fed up of us asking, contrary to the fact He [SWT] asked our Prophet (saw) to tell us: “Allah is angry with those who do not ask Him for anything.” [Tirmidhi] As for His [SWT] resources, don’t worry they are never depleted:

. . . If the first of you and the last of you, the Jinn of you and the men of you, were to stand one side [that is in unison] and ask Me. I will give each one of you what you ask and still this will not decrease from My Majesty. This will not decrease from My Majesty as if you dip a needle into the water. [Muslim]

So, let me weigh our options here? Who do we ask, the one who is in need himself? Whose resources have the potential to be depleted? Will get fed up of us asking? Will deny us and possibly humiliate us? Will definitely not be available for our every whim?  Or should we ask He [SWT] who is the exact opposite? The answer is clear people, very clear. So, how is it that as Muslims some of us don’t invoke Allah [SWT]? How is it that He [SWT] is our last resort? How is it that it is an arduous task for many of us to remember when it was the last time that we raised our hands and begged Allah [SWT] for something? Since “Allah is angry with those who do not ask Him for anything”, I wonder how many of us He is angry at. Just imagine this situation: someone goes through so much suffering for something they need, when help was right around the corner. It’s like, “Hello! Help is right here!” That’s what Allah [SWT] is telling us: “And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.’” [40:60] You don’t need to install a device, sign up for internet or wireless connection, or pay a monthly fee. It’s absolutely free! It comes with a 100% guarantee too that if  you “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” [40:60] There are daily specials too such as between Adhan and Iqama, in every Sajdah, after every Salah, in the last third of the night. Then there are monthly and annual specials.  You get the drift.

Now, let’s look at this beautiful Qudisi hadith that I am sure you have heard so many times before. Let’s look at it closely: “O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you.” So, we wander off easily; we stray. We need guidance. When we’re kids our parents realize this and keep us on  tight leashes—figuratively speaking. They pass on the guidance of Allah [SWT] they received through the Quran and Sunnah. When we are alone we still need Allah’s guidance, because we can wander off again.  We’re constantly in need of Allah’s guidance, whether we are young or old.  Allah [SWT] continues: “O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you.” Now which one of you was born with 2 pockets full of money for food? Which one of you has a skill or is intelligent and does not need opportunity or venue provided  by Allah [SWT] where you can put them to action? Believe me without an opportunity or venue, you’re mental and manual assets are worthless. So, turn to Him and say, “Ya Rab!” There’s more. Allah continues: “O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you.” We’re born naked and cold—I would think that’s partly why we’re crying on arrival. Unfortunately, in the land of plenty we can’t imagine not having closets full of clothes that we don’t wear, but just a quick survey around the globe makes you realize what a blessing it is to be clothed, covered and protected from the elements. We’re such a pitiful sight without Allah [SWT]. We’re  naked, hungry, penniless, and strays. If that isn’t enough, we err  non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whoever said, “To Err is Human” was absolutely right. Without Allah’s guidance and forgiveness we’re one big mistake after another, and so Allah [SWT] reminds us, “O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you.” If you get off your high horse and realize that you are in need, and it is only Allah [SWT] who can provide  you are ready to be a servant of Allah [SWT] and worship Him [SWT] alone. He says, “seek guidance of Me”, “seek food of Me”, “seek clothing of Me”, and “seek forgiveness of Me”. He is offering His services, free of charge. He [SWT] doesn’t need us, we need Him [SWT]. Plus, He [SWT] absolutely enjoys  giving us, hence He mandates that we ask Him [SWT].  This is dua, one of the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT].

Now that we have established that dua is a beloved deed to Allah [SWT] let’s contemplate on why Allah [SWT] loves dua. Dua symbolizes ‘worship’—it is that picture perfect pose in which we see a visible connection between a worshipper and his Creator; that moment when the earth meets the heavens. That time when you graduate from the school of life with both the dignified title and job description of the Servant of Allah. It was the title of Muhammad (saw) for Allah (SWT) says in Surat Al Israa, “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” [1] In Surat Al Kahf, “[All] praise is [due] to Allah, who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance.” [1] Dua is the barometer that measures your servitude to Allah [SWT] for the Prophet (saw) said, “Dua is worship.” If dua is not part of your life then it’s time to re-evaluate what you are in relation to Allah [SWT]. Do you know why Dua is equated with worship? Scholars say it is because a servant’s qualities are humbleness, humility, poverty because he relies on what his master gives him, ignorance except for that knowledge that his master bestows on him. You are not allowed to be in this submissive state in relation to other humans. Contraire! With fellow humans you are a dignified human being who does not beg. But towards Allah [SWT] you’re a totally different person, that dignity is transformed into humility, and begging is the absolute best way to ask. This point is made clearer if we look at the dua of Al Istikhara when we say,

O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power [and Might] and I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, You have knowledge of the unseen.

Such is the state of dua that you should be in physically, mentally, spiritually. Say it like you mean it! Allah [SWT] loves this state so much that He [SWT] had our Prophet (saw) convey to us a hadith that just melts your heart, “Allah will not stop answering your duas, till you get bored and tired of asking.”   So, let’s be servants of Allah [SWT] every day. Not just when we are going through difficult times. Let’s attain this close relationship with Allah [SWT], as did our Prophet (saw) and those who followed in his footsteps.

Our Prophet (saw) taught us how to turn to Allah in dua. He taught us that “dua pose”—not necessarily just for the sake of our dua to be accepted but the way Allah [SWT] wants to see us. That will make Him happy and pleased with us. First, is that you invoke Allah [SWT] with a posture that screams “I am in need.” Has someone ever called you asking for your help and you set up an appointment with them? Then they arrive a couple of hours late to the appointment. When they finally arrive they’re answering their phone; maybe even checking the time every five minutes. It’s obvious they aren’t in need. They’re in that state that the Prophet (saw) describes in this hadith, “Know that Allah does not answer supplication from a heedless and distracted heart.” So imagine a person making dua to Allah, but his eyes are looking around at passersby. He’s greeting people left and right. His body language says, “There’s no rush! There’s no urgency whatsoever!” Allah [SWT] says, “Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember.” [27:62] As Imam Ibn Hanbal said, “Invoke Allah as if you are drowning in a turbulent sea, holding on to a piece of wood yelling ‘Ya Rab!’” This is the kind of dua that Allah [SWT] loves. Are you in need? I am sure you are. Look closely. I personally have all that a woman could want and more, except for one thing and that is a child to call me “Mama.” Look closely, because when you realize you are in need, you will make the dua of the needy. Allah [SWT] says, “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.” [2:186] In the tafseer of this ayah scholars of tafseer say that Allah is close to us all, but Allah [SWT] is especially close to a person who invokes Him [SWT]. Imagine that you call upon Him [SWT] and He responds to your call but finds you looking at something else. Finds your heart occupied with something else. Your mind distracted by something else. Although your words are spot on, your body language is just not cooperating. Your words and body posture are not in synch. That’s why the “dua posture” with your hands raised and cupped with you hunched over them helps place you in that dua mood.

Another tip to invoke Allah as a person in need is that you imagine what your life would be like if your dua is not accepted.    Maybe you’re asking Allah to rid you of a bad quality in you, like losing your temper for the smallest of matters. Imagine what your life would be like if Allah [SWT] does not cure you from this bad quality—you could lose your job, cause your loved ones to leave you, end up divorced, maybe even in jail. I always imagine if Allah had not guided me to Islam? Did not cause us me to concentrate in Salat? Wake up for Fajr or Qiyam Al Layl? Did not cause me to enjoy fasting in Ramadan? That He did not cause me to enjoy wearing Hijab? I imagine meeting Allah having lived my life in such a state that worship was heavy on my heart and body? Contemplating such issues makes you realize how much in dire need we really are. There’s is no doubt He [SWT] is near but the question is are we?

Remember also, that Allah [SWT] wants you to supplicate certain that He will respond. This is the essence of dua. Allah [SWT] looks into the depths of your heart during dua as the Prophet (saw) says, “‎Allah does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your heart and your deeds.” (Muslim) How is it possible that after Allah [SWT] says this to you that you have traces of doubt: “I will give each one of you what you ask and still this will not decrease from My Majesty. This will not decrease from My Majesty as if you dip a needle into the water.”

Leave those traces of doubt for when you ask humans who are subject to the winds of change. Allah [SWT] controls those winds of change, He is not subject to them . He [SWT] does not need them. Allah [SWT] says “His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [36:82] He [SWT] gives with a word, and deprives with a word. How can you doubt? Would you like for Allah [SWT] to look in your heart and find you worried that He [SWT] can’t give you what you’re asking for? Or would you like Allah [SWT] to look in your heart and find you questioning whether you deserve it or not? Happens to the best of us, the latter that is. Sufyan Ibn ‘Uyaynah says,

Do not doubt that Allah will not respond to your dua because of an evil quality you know about yourself. For Allah has responded to the dua of one who is more evil than you, Iblis. He said, ‘Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.’ And Allah said, ‘Indeed, you are of those reprieved.’”

Iblis needed and Allah [SWT] responded, and so will He you. If He [SWT] doesn’t respond in the way that you expected, He has removes a calamity that would have come your way. Or He [SWT} will compensates you on the Day of Judgment. Make the dua of Prophet Zakariyyah (as) who came to the realization that his and his wife’s old age was no impediment to Allah’s will to grant them a child. Remember,

He said: My Lord! surely my bones are weakened and my head flares with hoariness, and, my Lord! I have never been unsuccessful in my prayer to Thee: I fear my kinsfolk after me, since my wife is barren. Oh, give me from Thy presence a successor. [19:4-5]

And surely in another Surah comes the response,

At that, Zekariyyah called upon his Lord, saying, ‘My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.’ So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, ‘Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of Yahya, confirming a word from Allah and a prophet from among the righteous.’ [3:38-39]

So, let’s love Allah [SWT] by invoking Him for all our needs with certainty that nothing is beyond His reach. To Him not even the sky is the limit. Remember me in your duas everybody!

 

Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 8 August 9, 2011

Filed under: Ramadhan Corner — lamyaalmas @ 6:14 pm

To listen to the Halaqa click here Part 1 and Part 2. Today’s deed is one of the most important for the Ummah of Muhammad (saw), and with it one earns a level of affiliation to Allah [SWT]. Today’s most beloved deed to Allah  [SWT] is contemplating the Qur’an, Do they not then ponderon the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts? [47:24] First of all, what does the word “Qur’an” mean?  If you look up books of Tafseer [exegesis] one of the most beautiful interpretations of the word is:  it is a collection of all the fruits of the books revealed by Allah [SWT]. It was compiled, and then gifted to us the Ummah of Muhammad. I am surprised it’s not on the bestseller list, for it is the most read book on the face of the earth. They probably had to remove it, to make room for other books because it would claim the position of “Bestseller” eternally.  So, you are Ummat [people] Al Qur’an; a title that you take on as a Muslim. But there’s a level higher than that: “The people of the Qur’an are the family of Allah and His chosen ones.” [Al-Hadeeth] They are those whose hearts are attached to the Qur’an. Allah [SWT] tells us to be kind to our families, maintain our ties with them.  So imagine how kind Allah [SWT] will be towards His family and His chosen ones. When you take on this title, just imagine how the Prophet (saw) will receive you at his basin on the Day of Judgment, or how the Angel of Death will deal with your soul when it’s sent to bring it back to Allah [SWT]? Allah [SWT] loves the Qur’an and loves those who love it, for see how Allah [SWT] speaks of it: “Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah” [2:1-3] It is a book void of doubt. And it’s meanings are endless: “Say: If the sea were ink for the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be consumed before the words of my Lord are exhausted, though We were to bring the like of that (sea) to add” [18:109] So, today I want to take myself and you to this level. We want to be attached to this Qur’an, because we would be honored to be of  those that the Prophet (saw) called “His family and His chosen ones.” In this world, we seek honor through associating ourselves with a certain tribe, family, person, company, university etc. But what better than Allah [SWT] inviting us Himself to such a level of closeness, a closeness that transcends this life.  So, today we’re going to say to Allah [SWT], “There is  no detail in my life that I will not come back to you for guidance. No matter the time or the place, your book is going to be my guide.” We want to be called on the Day of Judgment as Allah’s family and the chosen ones –forget our names they are worthless. This is the name we want to be called by.

How can we attain this level?  By contemplating [Tadabur] the Qur’an, and this is every day not just in Ramadan. The word “Tadabur” comes from “dubur” meaning backside. So it means, that when you contemplate you do not scrape the surface but read deeper into the words for meaning. You read the Quran asking yourself, “What does Allah want to say to me today? What benefits me today?” If you do then Allah [SWT] will bless you with a mind that can penetrate deep into the meanings of the Qur’an. The Prophet (saw)  says, “ Surely the person in whose heart lacks the trace of the Qur’an is like a ruined house.” (Tirmidhi) You wouldn’t he comfortable living in a ruined house—one that is not fit to be lived in. So imagine when your heart is in ruins, and it is not spiritually fit.  For a heart without any Qur’an is void of meanings. Do you know Tony Blair? He says that he reads the Quran every day. He said: “I read the Koran every day, says former prime minister Tony Blair who claims it keeps him ‘faith-literate’” [read article here]. Do you read the Qur’an to be ‘faith-literate’? Or do you read so you can complete a Juzu a day, and complete the whole Qur’an in the month of Ramadan. Do the words slip off your tongue, or do its meanings settle in your heart and bring your closer to Allah? We don’t want the Qur’an to be in our midst in its outward form, and for nothing of Islam to be in our midst except its name. Allah [SWT] warns us in Surat Al Jumuah verse 5: “The metaphor of those who were charged with the Torah but then have not upheld it, is that of a donkey carrying books…”  Qur’an was sent down as a book of guidance for people to observe.

Realize that the Qur’an is for each and everyone of us and not for ‘them’ whoever they are. We should realize it’s greatness and its impact on our lives, and not just use it to challenge others. It’s not just a way to fill your piggy bank with rewards. Allah [SWT] says in Surat Al Baqara: “Those to whom We have given the Book read it as it ought to be read. These believe in it. . . “ [2:121] The companions used to learn 10 ayat at a time, and not move on to the next 10 ayahs until they had put the previous ones into practice.  Is that how you read the Qur’an?  Do you pass by an ayah that orders you to do something and say, “Yes Sir”?  Whenever you have a problem, do you turn to Allah’s book certain that His solutions will be the best for your situation? Whenever Umar Ibn Al Khattab was angry and someone reminded him of the Qur’an and the virtues of controlling ones temper he would immediately step on his brakes and soften. He realized that they were the words of Allah [SWT], the words with which the heavens and the earth and everything in it were created. They were created with “Be” and they were. We should also realize its healing quality, both physically and spiritually. For Allah [SWT] says, “It is a guidance and a healing for those who believe”. (41: 44) So when you approach it, approach it with certainty that it will heal you. Whether it is through taking medicine made out of actual chemicals—chemicals created by Allah [SWT] in the first place –or whether through its verses.

O Allah, we want to be of Your  family and the chosen Ones.  And we’re going to prove it to You by attaching ourselves to the Qur’an. We aren’t going to read just to finish it this Ramadan, but we will stop and contemplate and make it the light that guides our path to Jannah.

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Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 7

Filed under: Ramadhan Corner — lamyaalmas @ 2:45 am

If you would like to listen to the Halaqa: Part 1, Part 2 , and Part 3 are available on You Tube.

If Islam were a building it would have five corners with sturdy pillars. Today’s action or deed is one that  youth especially don’t consider seriously, don’t have the financial ability to perform, or don’t understand its importance. Today’s most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT] are Umrah and Hajj. You might think to yourself, “Let me stop here! It isn’t happening anytime soon. I am neither old enough nor am I financially able.” But bear with me. I want to plant the intention in your heart, so please open wide the channels to your heart. I understand you currently don’t have the ability to go for Umrah let alone Hajj, but we need to talk about it. We need to fuel up the idea in your mind, so that you yearn to go there day in and day out. You’re thirsty and only the water of Zamzam can quench you.

I expect three types of people to be reading this now. The first are those who can’t go because they aren’t financially able. To those I say, maybe through this you will yearn for it and make the intention to go this upcoming Hajj season or maybe next year. Remember in Islam deeds are rewarded by intentions, so if you make an intention and you don’t perform the deed, you receive full reward for it: “There is a slave. Allah has bestowed him knowledge, not wealth; however he has a good intention (niyyah) and he says: ‘If I had money, I would spend it on charity like so and so person.’ There, he earns thawab [rewards] as if he performed the deed in his intention; both of them get equal rewards.” (Thirmidhi)  So, what do you have to lose? Intend! Strive from A-B and leave B-Z to Allah. But when Allah [SWT] invites you to His [SWT] house, and you are a guest of the All-Merciful remember us in your duas please. Second, are those who are able to financially but are delaying. They would rather do it later in life, when they’ve had their fill of ‘fun’ in their youth. You hear them say, “I’ll do it when I decide to wear hijab.” Or “When I start going to the Masjed for all 5 obligatory prayers.” They are aware that if they go, they will have to change but they aren’t ready for it. They would rather delay it when their close to the grave, so they can drop dead there or as soon as they come back. Or when they are they have their fill of this dunya.  Snap out of it, you’re never going to have your fill. Your desires are like a bottomless pit, the more you have the more you want. And third are those who go very often, annually. They are so used to this form of worship, that it’s become a habit. They aren’t touched much by the experience. Remember this is one of the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT] so it ought to always sparkle.

Allah [SWT] loves Hajj so much so that He made it one of the pillars of Islam. Furthermore, the Prophet (saw) said, Allah’s Messenger (saw) said “Spending during Hajj is akin to spending in the cause of Allah, and every dirham thus spent will be rewarded seven hundred times over.”[At Tabarani] Imagine, 700 times more than spending in the cause of Allah [SWT] which in itself is already a struggle, but the wise understood why. Abu Sha’thaa’ said, “I contemplated the good deeds that a person does. I found that salaat as well as fasting are a jihad of the body. And that sadaqa is a jihad of someone’s wealth. But Hajj is a jihad of both body and wealth.” And Hajj is the greatest jihad `Aishah (raa) reported: I said: “O Messenger of Allah! We consider Jihad as the best deed, should we not then go for Jihad?” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The best Jihad for you women is Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted by Allah).” [Al-Bukhari] What is “Hajjun Mabroor”? It means an accepted Hajj. A Mabroor Hajj is one in which Allah (SWT) is not disobeyed during or after. Other scholars says that a Hajj Mabroor is one that is accepted, and the sign of its acceptance is that a person will go back in a better state then when he came, and that he will discontinue the sins that were an obstacle between him and Allah (SWT).This is the kind of Hajj that Allah [SWT] loves, and one that we should intend from today, this minute, this second to yearn for. It is one that grants you the highest aspiration of any Muslim, Jannah! Performance of the Hajj washes away all sins. Abu Hurairah narrates: I heard the Prophet say, “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him” (Sahih Bukhari). Indeed the Prophet said, “And there is no reward for an accepted Hajj…except Jannah!”

In Islam, we have concepts that deal with the material world. Of things we possess –like property. But there are concepts that are connected to a world of meanings such as “fear of Allah [Khashya]” “reliance on Allah [Tawakul]” “belief in Allah [Eman]” etc.   When you prostrate [do Sujood] there is a meaning attachd to the action? When you give in charity [Sadaqa] it has a meaning as well.  But during Umrah or Hajj the most beloved deeds to Allah, when you are a guest of Allah [SWT] in His home on earth you get special treatment. He [SWT] feeds your heart and soul with meanings and pleasantly overwhelms you with them. For being close to Allah [SWT] takes on a totally different meaning at the Haram in Makkah than it does in other any other place on the face of the earth.  

What does Allah [SWT] want to see in our hearts during our performance of Umrah or Hajj? The certainty that you will meet Allah [SWT] on the day of Resurrection.. It is  not by coincidence that the  first ayah in Surat Al Hajj is: “O mankind! Fear your Lord. Lo! the earthquake of the Hour (of Doom) is a tremendous thing.” [1]  Hajj should remind us of the Day of Resurrection , indeed it prepares for it. It teaches you the etiquettes of that day when we will all flock to Allah [SWT] in anticipation of what is in store for us, either eternal Heaven or eternal Hell Fire. Sigh! Insha Allah we are of the people of the former. Out of Allah’s mercy, our day of graduation is at the moment of death when we receive our diplomas in our white robes [our Kafan/white shroud], and likewise in Hajj we remember that crucial moment of our lives.

What else does Allah want to see in our hearts during Hajj? He wants to see you one of the crowd. Allah does not want your outward appearance and demeanor to be distinctive, but rather your heart.  We all look the same. We’re united, all slaves of Allah [SWT]. No one feels one is better than the other, richer than the other, more educated than the other. Everyone has gone through struggles, although different, to make it there and it has been worth it. Remember the humility of Prophet Yusuf (as):

My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams; The (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous. [12:101]

Yusuf was a Prophet (saw), a higher degree than the “Saliheen” the righteous but mark his humility and humbleness in front of Allah [SWT]. He is saying, “Whatever I am today I am solely because of You.” This is the best condition you can be in to receive the meanings of Hajj. So, no need to try and distinguish yours elf from others by wearing brand name watches, bags, or even shoes. If you can enter with a brand name heart, a brand called “Qalbun Saleem” [sound heart].

If you want to perform a Hajj that Allah loves, do it with certainty that through the experience Allah [SWT] will transform you. Don’t go anxious because you have decided you’re a hopeless case. So, go expecting Allah [SWT] to be generous host—which He is. Abdullah ibn Al-Mubaarak narrates: I went to Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah as the day of Arafat was setting. He sat on his knees, his hands raised to the Heavens, and tears moistened his cheeks and beard. He turned and looked at me, so I asked him, “Amongst the people who have gathered here for Hajj, who is in the worst state?” Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah said, “He who thinks that Allah will not forgive him.” There is not a single day that the sun has come up on more beloved to Allah [SWT] than the Day of Arafat. The Prophet (saw) said, “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angles, saying: ‘What do they seek?’” (Sahih Muslim). And in another hadith: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafat before the people of Heaven (angels) saying: ‘Look to my servants who have come to Me disheveled and dusty.’” So, do go certain that Allah [SWT] will change your heart, not as a mere vacation. Know that you will come back closer to Allah. Go for a cure and be certain that you will be healed. Don’t doubt that the water of Zam Zam with cure you. Leave your doubts at home!

Remember when you are performing Hajj to be patient with those around you, remember what we talked about yesterday about appreciating and respecting your fell humans. Someone is bound to step on your toe, or even nudge you with an elbow. It’s crowded.  At all time have this hadith in mind “I heard the Prophet say, ‘Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him’”. (Bukhari) So your sin meter is down again to zeros. Congratulations your good manners are rewarded.

If you are a person who has the ability to go for Hajj every year, have you ever thought of sharing the experience with others. Have you ever thought of being part of the transformation of another human being. If not think about it, because you will get complete reward for it without actually going.

O Allah invite us to your House! We’ll be waiting for the invitation, because if anything it will be a sign that you love us.

 

Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 6 August 8, 2011

Filed under: Ramadhan Corner — lamyaalmas @ 1:01 am

Since the beginning of Ramadan we have settled on one goal alone and that is pleasing Allah [SWT] by picking out a most beloved deed to Him [SWT]. Today’s deed is one that when present in a believer’s heart raises him above others in this world and the Hereafter in spite of himself. It draws him closer to Allah [SWT] and His Messenger (saw). It’s the slogan of the righteous. It is their logo; their medal of honor. Should today’s deed be one that you already practice, then know that it is evidence of the health of your faith and your Islam. Because of it your Islam is wrinkle-free, because you understand that it is not just a religion of ritualistic worship but one that governs your everyday dealings with others. The act of worship that we want to talk about today is appreciating and respecting humankind. It is the sense that wherever you are among people, it doesn’t matter to you whether they are educated or uneducated, rich or poor, practicing or non-practicing because regardless you appreciate and respect them. With so many societal divisions nowadays, this noble trait has literally become a needle in a haystack. It’s become outdated; a jewel that has fossilized. People are too busy to include it in their daily schedules. A human being, the crown of Allah’s creation, is like a diamond. Whether it is embedded on a golden band on the finger of a beautiful lady, or whether it is embedded in a mine somewhere covered with impurities waiting to be discovered. It is always a diamond at heart.  It’s a precious stone no matter its state. Such is a human being.

Do you know why Allah [SWT] loves that we appreciate and respect human beings? Because it’s the mainstay of monotheism; monotheism [Tawheed] is not just a word, although it begins with the words ‘La Illaha Ila Allah’ [there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah].  Monotheism is to acknowledge in words and actions that there is no Creator but Allah and every creature is solely His handiwork. More importantly you honor what Allah [SWT] honored. That is true monotheism. When Allah [SWT] created humankind He said:

 And surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created. [17:70]

Notice that Allah [SWT] says that “We have honored the children of Adam”, so it is inclusive and not exclusive. It is regardless of their religion, race, profession, class, color, tribe etc. So if you are “Muwahed” i.e. a person who believes in Islamic monotheism then you honor what Allah [SWT] has honored, and you appreciate and value what He [SWT] has. For this reason out of love for this form of worship, He [SWT]  seated those who practice it close to Prophet Muhammad (saw) in Jannah: “The nearest to me in heaven are those with the best manners.” There is no way that you can show appreciation and respect to another human being– whether in kindness or tolerating their bad manners–except because you value them and have swallowed your pride to be on your best behavior for the sake of Allah. When Allah [SWT] sent Muhammad (saw) to whom this characteristic was second skin, the companions understood its solid relationship with monotheism. Ali Bin Abi Taleb said: “Those who have the most knowledge of Allah are those who honor greatly the creation of La Illah Ila Allah.” Every time you are out on the street and you see crowds of people, know that every single person is honored in the eyes of Allah [SWT] because He said, “And surely We have honored the children of Adam.” So, today we’re going to learn how to leave our homes with the attitude that we respect all human beings without exception.

So, what is the secret behind Allah [SWT] honoring us human beings? We were born with medals of honor,  because Allah [SWT] breathed into us His secret [our souls], “So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him” [15:29] It was because of this that the angels were asked to bow down to our father in reverence of this soul breathed into us by Allah [SWT] Himself. It is what makes us human. Regardless of who someone is, what class they belong to, what race they are from Allah [SWT] honored him by breathing into him a soul that He [SWT] created. It is this jewel that is inside us all that we should recognize in each other, not the outer shell that has been exposed to the elements and has hardened. It is what we should strive to reach in others—touch their hearts, their souls.

How can we through actions show our appreciation and respect for other fellow humans? Two things we can do:

The first is spread peace [Salam] in words and actions.  When you are out on the streets Allah [SWT] has taught us to spread the beautiful greeting of Islam “Salaam [peace]” but your actions should also follow suit. Scholars say that harming others are of three types: hurting them physically [bodily], emotionally [in feelings], and materially [in rights property]. So, a person practicing these three has a warning label on him: “harmful to humans.” There is a hadith in Bukhari that talks about those who are close to Allah [SWT] and another type that are far, and remember we are striving here to be of the former and not the latter.  The Prophet passed by a funeral and said, “’One rests and one others rest from.’ The companions asked, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘When a believer dies he rests from the suffering and toil of this world and heads to the Mercy of Allah. As for the corrupt the land, its people, plants and animals are relieved to be rid of him.” So, think about it? What kind are you? Are you the kind of person who will be missed? Will people make dua for you? Maybe even Umra [smaller pilgrimage] and Hajj [Pilgrimage] on your behalf? Or do you have a tongue that lashes out at people, and a hand that is ready to beat the living daylights out of them? Will people remember the way you looked down at them? Will your mother remember you with kindness, or will she be relieved you’re finally gone? Seriously, those of us who want to love Allah [SWT] need to focus on this form of worship. We want to be “peace” to people in both words and actions.

Listen to this beautiful hadith, “A man passed by a branch of a tree leaning over a road and decided to remove it, saying to himself, `By Allah! I will remove it from the way of Muslims so that it would not harm them.’ On account of this he was admitted to Jannah.” [Muslim] What did this man do? Remove a branch? No, he did more than that. He did not want to cause harm to other humans. He couldn’t bear seeing other humans harmed if he could help it.

Do you know why Allah [SWT] wants you to be a person who spreads peace, because it means that you do not trivialize the human being that He [SWT] has honored. If you trivialize then you trivialize Allah. Be like your Prophet (saw), Anas ibn Malik says he lived with the Prophet (saw) for 10 years and the Prophet (saw) never hit him, insulted him or frowned in his face.  That’s 10 years! Another narration says “I served the Prophet (saw) for ten years and he never said to me ‘why did you do that?’ after I had done something or ‘why did you not do that?’ after I had neglected to do something.’ ‘He never said a word of contempt to me.’ ”

Second is that you treat all people equally. If you want to really please Allah [SWT], then know that He does not like to look in your heart and see any trace of arrogance towards others. That you feel you are better because you are rich and others are poor. Know that your economic status is Allah’s [SWT] choice for you and is not your own doing. Unfortunately, many of the rich make the poor mad at Allah [SWT] by mistreating them and flashing their wealth at them. Have you ever read “Chicken Soup for the Soul”? In it is this story of a boy who only has 50 cents.  He heads to the pizza store. When he gets there he asks after the price of a pizza with 3 toppings. The girl behind the counter says, “50 cents.” He contemplates for a while and asks, “What about the one with no toppings?” She says, “25 cents.” So, after thinking it over, much to the impatience of the girl behind the counter, he buys the one with 25 cents. She rolls her eyes and serves him. When she finishes her shift, she looks in her cup of tips and finds that the boy has left her a 25 cent tip. He valued her so much, that he preferred to eat a 25 cents pizza so that she would be happy.

Just a quick note, when you come across a person who is disobedient to Allah [SWT] and it shows, it does not give you the right to look down at them. Allah [SWT] says:

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. [49:11]

Among the beautiful interpretation of this ayah is that the person whose sins have not been disclosed should not make fun of the person whose sins have been exposed. Every single one of us has sins. Remember to “err is human.”

So, let’s repent to Allah for every moment when we thought we were better than others. For every moment we hurt another human being. Let’s turn to Allah in sincere repentance and promise never to return to such behavior ever. We love you O Allah  by appreciating and honoring all human beings without exception because you honored them and that is enough for us to do so.

 

Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 5 August 6, 2011

Filed under: Ramadhan Corner — lamyaalmas @ 10:56 pm

The companions used to frequently ask the Prophet (saw) about the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT], just so that they could worship Allah [SWT] with what He [SWT] loved and in the way that He [SWT] loved. So, let’s discover another of the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT. Today’s is one that is among those forms of worship of the heart, and reflected in our actions. It is one that we can’t survive without. Today the emptiness of the heart of this particular action has spread corruption far and wide.  The action I want to talk about today is “Fear of Allah.” Are you a person who fears Allah [SWT]?

As I said the emptiness of hearts nowadays of the fear of Allah [SWT] has spread corruption far and wide. But let’s not go far. Look at any gathering that you were in lately. How much idle talk was there? Joking beyond limits in which people were insulted and stereotyped?   How much gossiping took place? Let’s look further and  make a trip to a local college, and see MSA’s [Muslim Student Associations] that can be mistaken for some soap opera on daytime TV.  Where Hijab is merely a dress rather than being a dress that signifies an actual barrier between what is permissible and impermissible between the sexes as prescribed by Allah [SWT] and His Messenger (saw). Where is honesty today? It’s become so outdated nowadays as the Prophet (saw) predicted:

Hudhayfah said, “The Prophet told us two Hadith, one of which I have seen fulfilled, and I am waiting for the fulfillment of the other. The Prophet told us that honesty came down into men’s hearts (from Allah); then they learned it from the Quran, and then from the Sunnah. The Prophet told us that honesty would be taken away. He said, Man will be overtaken by sleep, during which honesty will be taken away from his heart, and only its trace will remain, like traces of a dark spot. Then man will be overtaken by slumber again, during which honesty will decrease still further, until its trace will resemble a blister such as is caused when an ember is dropped onto ones foot: it swells, but there is nothing inside. People will be carrying on with their trade, but there will hardly be any trustworthy persons. People will say, ‘There is an honest man in such-and-such a tribe.’ Later they will say about some man, ‘What a wise, polite and strong man he is!’ even though he will not have faith in his heart the size of a mustard seed. . .  (Bukhari)

 Let’s enter into some homes, hopefully none of yours, and you will be shocked to see Muslim children looking their parents straight in the eye and raising their voices.  Do they not know that among the people Allah [SWT] will not speak to are those who mistreat their parents?

Some of us might already be feeling the weight of our sins this Ramadan, and turning to Allah and asking Him [SWT] to make us fear Him [SWT] so that we do not fall into the sins that we have become so accustomed to. Fact is that Allah [SWT] is constantly sending us messages and it is right under our noses:  “Surely in this [the Qur’an]  is a Message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and earnestly witnesses (the truth).”  [50:37] Furthermore Allah [SWT] says, “He who fears [ Allah ] will be reminded.”  [87:10] He who is apprehensive will remember.

Unfortunately many of us  consider the issue of fearing Allah [SWT] a turn off. We would rather talk about His love, and His Mercy [SWT]. This is the approach of many by the way, and that includes me. But remember Allah [SWT] struck a delicate balance between tidings and warning in the Qur’an, hence we should also strive to strike this balance in ourselves . Yes, Allah’s [SWT] is “The Ever-Forgiving, The Ever-Affectionate” [85: 14], but there is no denying that His grip is powerful, “Verily, the Grip (Punishment) of your Lord is severe.” [85:12] But this is because we in earnest don’t understand what fearing Allah [SWT] means. It is the utmost Mercy of Allah [SWT] on us, because without it we would be lost. Doesn’t Prophet Ibrahim (as) say to his father, “O my father, indeed I fear that there will touch you a punishment from the Most Merciful” [19:45] Scholars say that Allah [SWT] wants you to fear Him [SWT] so that you are always safe. Look around you at how much people sought out  and even pay for safety and security, from those who do not fear the laws of the land. When you do not fear and respect the limits set by Allah [SWT] then you are a hazard to yourself and to others.  You’re like that person driving 80 miles per hour on a road with a 30-miles-per-hour speed limit, confident no police cars are in sight. You are an accident waiting to happen, and a threat to others. A Muslim who lives in fear of Allah [SWT] and realizes that he is constantly under surveillance for his own safety and the safety of others is safe, and others feel safe around him. A person who fears Allah [SWT] has hope in Allah [SWT] that if he does good then good will be done unto him. Oh, and the added bonus is that Allah [SWT] loves him as well. So, today we want to plant this fear of Allah [SWT] firm in our heart.

Let’s face the fact, that our Creation calls for us to fear our Creator so that we don’t step on each other’s toes, I mean rights! In a hadith Qudisi Allah [SWT] says, “O my servants! Have mercy upon your selves! indeed your bodies are weak, and the way is far, and the burden is heavy, and the path is thin, and the fire is high, and the caller is israfeel, and the judge is the lord of the universe.”

So, how should we fear Allah [SWT]:

The first thing is to fear sinning against Allah [SWT]. Don’t we fear violating man made laws because we know the penalties like the back of our hand.  Well, we should too realize who we are sinning against; whose laws we are violating. Just like we don’t want to become criminals and humiliated in front of the rest of society,  we do not want the flesh on our faces to fall off in shame on realizing that we have disappointed our Creator in us—a reverential fear. Allah [SWT] told us of the penalties for each and every sin, and by the way they’re for us and not for ‘those’ people. They are for us.  Fire was created for human beings, and insha Allah we will not enter it because we aren’t going to do the deeds of those of the hell fire. It is a sense of belonging, do you and your deeds belong to the hell fire? Punishment of the  grave was created for us, but insha Allah we won’t taste it because we will avoid the actions that lead to it like the plague. So, let’s overcome our stubbornness and repent today from any violation/s we are committing against Allah [SWT] because we fear for our future in the Hereafter, because Allah’s [SWT] grip is powerful. If that does not instantly transform you into a better person, I don’t know what will. It’s a real extreme makeover! Remember that Allah [SWT] will forgive all sins except those who like to show off their sins to others—yes there are people who like to show off their sins believe it or not. The Prophet (saw) said:

My entire nation is safe, except al-Mujahirin (those who boast of their sins). Among the Mujaharah is that a man commits an (evil) act, and wakes up in the morning while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret, he says: “O Fulan! Last night I did this and that.” He goes to sleep while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret but he wakes up in the morning and uncovers what Allah has kept a secret!” [Bukhari]

So, remember don’t look at how small the sin is, but consider the greatness of Allah [SWT] whom you have sinned against:

On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allah is full of Kindness to the (His) slaves. [3:30]

You’ve been pre-warned! Is there a sin that you are stubborn to give up don’t delay Allah “warns you against Himself.”

Second, Allah [SWT] wants you to fear death. It needs to register in your head that there is no doubt a moment in your life’s chapter will come to an end. None of us, Muslim or otherwise, can argue this reality. Can you say it won’t happen to you; that you will ‘cheat death’ as the saying goes. No one is exempt! We will all die! Knowing this, if we had a debt we would not rest until it’s paid off in full. We would not rest until we apologized to a person we insulted. Allah [SWT] wants us to fear death not so that we despair and slip further away from Him [SWT]: “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people” [12:87]; in other words, not this fear that will cause us to  flee from Allah [SWT]. Rather the fear of death we are talking about here is one of a preparatory nature; like that of packing your bags to leave on a trip to your final destination. So, it’s a fear that causes you to flee to Allah [SWT] and not flee from him. Umar ibn Al Khattab used to say, “Every day we say so and so died. And tomorrow they will say Umar died.” The most beautiful thing about death is that it shows Allah’s [SWT] love for us. Yes! Allah [SWT] causes us to die so that we can meet Him. Death is the trip to the final destination that starts with our souls receiving this message from the host of Paradise, Allah [SWT]: “O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!” [89:27] So, let your remembrance of death cause you to make a U turn and flee back to Allah [SWT] by rushing to: apologize to those you have wronged; visiting the poor; being skilled in your trade etc.

Fear of Allah [SWT] can be that life jacket that saves you like this man who used to dig out graves and steal the “Kafan” [white cloth the dead are buried in] and he would toss the bodies aside. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (raa), who said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

A man sinned greatly against himself, and when death came to him he charged his sons, saying: “When I have died, burn me, then crush me and scatter [my ashes] into the sea, for, by Allah, if my Lord takes possession of me, He will punish me in a manner in which He has punished no one [else].” So they did that to him. Then Allah [SWT] said to the earth: “Produce what you have taken.”And there he was! And He [SWT] said to him: What induced you to do what you did? He said: “Being afraid of You, O my Lord (or he said: Being frightened of You)” And because of that He forgave him. [Bukhari and Muslim]

This man’s actions, although negative, was done out of fear of Allah [SWT] and it saved him. So, let’s today make the dua of the Prophet (saw), “O My Lord, give us a share of your fear (piety) that comes in between us and committing your disobediences.” [Tirmidhi]  Let’s pray that we become allergic to sinning against Allah [SWT] solely because we fear Him [SWT]. Let’s fear Allah [SWT] by running to Him [SWT] for safety. Only with Allah [SWT] is this possible, only with Allah!

 

Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 4 August 5, 2011

Filed under: Ramadhan Corner — lamyaalmas @ 7:21 pm

We’re still on a journey this Ramadan to find the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT], and why so that we motivate ourselves to incorporate them into our lives. Today’s action is one of those deeds that Allah [SWT] loves to see nestled comfortably and permanently in the hearts of His [SWT] slaves. This action is love for Prophet Muhammad [saw]. Allah loves our Prophet [saw] , so much so that he wants the whole universe to love him (saw).  Allah (SWT) took an oath from all the Prophets (as), asking them to promise that if they were to come during the time of our Prophet (saw) they too would believe in him (saw), for Allah [SWT] says:

‘ And [recall, O People of the Scripture], when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, [saying], “Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him.’ [ Allah ] said, ‘Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?” They said, “We have acknowledged it.” He said, ‘Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.’ [3:81] *[please see note at the end]

 True to this oath,  Prophet Jesus (as) gave his people the glad tidings of the coming of Muhammad (saw) after him, “And when Isa son of Marium said: O children of Israel! surely I am the messenger of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Torah and giving the good news of an Messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad…” [61:6]

This is your Prophet O’ followers of Muhammad (saw).  Allah’s model vicegerent on earth. Loving him (saw) is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. We are always in search for what is best for us, well I am telling you this is the best thing you can do for yourself. ‘

Abdullah reported that a man came to Allah’s Messenger (saw) and said: “What is your opinion about the person who loves the people but his acts or deeds are not identical to theirs?” Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “He would be along with the one whom he loves.” (Muslim)

If we were to compare our acts and deeds to those of the Prophet (saw) we will fall short miserably, for no one can be Allah’s ‘gift to humankind.’ The Prophet (saw) understood what the man was saying—he was saying, “I love you O Prophet of Allah and want to be with you in Jannah, but I my deeds will definitely fall short of yours.” The Prophet (saw) consoled him and us, told him and in turn us not to be afraid, with this glad tiding, “He would be along with the one whom he loves.”

Yes, our Prophet (saw) is Allah’s masterpiece; the living example of the perfection of Allah’s guidance. So, Allah [SWT] has made His love contingent on love for the Prophet (saw). Allah  [SWT] says, “Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, [O Muhammad] – they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah . The hand of Allah is over their hands.” [48:10] But unlike the famous men of this world, he finds it in his busy schedule to care about every single one of us, and Allah [SWT] is his witness on this: “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.” [9:128] Many times he would cry “My Ummah! My Ummah!” in his prayer; and imagine that our Prophet (saw) preferred to leave his ‘guaranteed dua [supplication]’ on a day when we will need it the most, on the Day of Judgment.  O’ Prophet of Allah you could have used that dua to keep your sons alive, but you chose us over your own family. That’s enough for us to be forever indebted to you, if we aren’t already indebted to you for more than words can ever express.

Do you want a solution to all your problems? The solution is in loving the Prophet (saw). Allow this love to conquer your heart, because with it Allah [SWT] raises you in ranks you never thought possible in your wildest dreams:

O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [57:28]

It’s up to you. Do you want more of Allah’s Mercy, and light of Allah [His guidance] in your life, and forgiveness? If that is the case then we want Allah [SWT] to look into our hearts today and find them throbbing with love for the Prophet (saw). We want to say, “O Allah we love you, and to prove it we are going to let the love of the Prophet (saw) take over our hearts, and take priority over our love for anything else in this life.” For does not the Prophet (saw) say, “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child and all of mankind.” 

But are these just going to be words of the tongue? Because we are here talking about what Allah [SWT] would like to see in our hearts regarding love for His Messenger (saw), not just on our tongues:

 “Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.’” (Qur’an 3:31)

So, “. . . know that among you is Allah’s Messenger” [49:7]Many will say, but the Prophet (saw) died 1400 years ago. True, but we should respect his physical absence by following the example of his life. His life is among us, and very alive. The Prophet (saw) during his life was called by his enemies, “the one who will cut off [because he did not have living sons]” , but little did they know that the Prophet’s name will be raised in masajed in every corner of the earth, and his  followers will multiply and carry his message to all corners of the earth till the end of time. Who is the one “cut off”? I can’t remember the name of his haters without having to look them up, and I am not going to just to because i don’t want to give them any mention on my blog. They are undeserving. So, know that you are the ones making the world go round on the example of the Prophet (saw), you are the living examples of his legacy. We are the living traces of Muhammad [saw] today.You keep him in our midst . We are his thumbprint. Who needs idols to commemorate him, or even pictures! He is carved in our hearts, and alive in every move we make. Therefore, don’t be among those who harm the Messenger of Allah (saw):

And among them are men who hurt the Prophet (saw) and say: “He is (lending his) ear (to every news).” Say: “He listens to what is best for you; he believes in Allah; has faith in the believers; and is a mercy to those of you who believe.” But those who hurt Allah’s Messenger (saw) will have a painful torment. [9:61]

Scholars say that among the ways to harm the Prophet (saw) is through sinning, doing exactly that which he took great pains to warn us against. So, let’s not be disrespectful  of his physical absence among us by trampling on his life which is still in our midst. We want to be among those whom he (saw) misses, those mentioned in this hadith:

When the Prophet visited Al Bakki’ (a burial-ground in Madienah next to the Prophet’s mosque) before his death, he told his companions:” I wish I could see my brothers.” They replied:”Aren’t we your brothers?” The Prophet said:”No, you are my companions, my brothers are those who didn’t see me and yet follow me and believe in me. I’ll wait for them on Al Hawdh (the Place where the Prophet is going to give all survivors a handful water from his noble hands that will make them never feel thirsty again after this hard day-the Judgment Day- and this will be directly before interring Paradise).

We miss you too O’ Prophet of Allah! We miss you too! We hope that we live up to your expectations of us.

Know that it will require that we take on character/personality of the Prophet (saw) and favor it over our own. We should want to sleep the way he (saw) did, and wake up the way he (saw) did, and enter the bathroom as he (saw) did. We want to have an optimistic outlook towards life just because he (saw) did. Scholars say that among the interpretations of the part of the ayah highlighted in blue: “Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! Call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation. [33:56] means to surrender your self to the Prophet’s (saw) way of life, take his (saw) approach in life. Let his life lead yours. Mind you, not anyone can do it. Only those who are persuaded that his approach to life is with certainty better than any approach your intelligence could ever possibly come up with or choose for yourself. So, do yourself and us all a huge favor will you!  Hopefully when you finally meet the Prophet (saw) Insha Allah and you are taking walking with him in Jannah and he asks you to recall some of your memories, that you remember those times when you resembled him (saw). Imagine the smile on his face.

So remember to send your daily  “Salah Allah ‘Ala Muhammad” to him as Allah [SWT] advised us, and watch as your worries become history. Know that he receives them via the angels, and responds to you. I want to conclude by saying on your behalf:

“O Messenger of Allah, we miss you. We can’t wait to see you. We’ll be fine with your Sunnah in our midst. Don’t worry about us O’ Messenger of Allah.”

*The Prophets and Messengers since the beginning of time fulfilled their covenant, and the Prophet (saw) led them all in prayer on the Night of Al Israa Wa Al Mi’raaj when Allah assembled them all in Jerusalem. They all prayed behind Muhammad (saw) . Him leading him in prayer means that they too believed in His Message and supported him wholeheartedly. For none of them rejected to him leading the prayer.

Also, when the Prophet (saw) ascended the heavens and met the Prophets (as) they all welcomed him:

  •  Adam (as) greeted him with, “Welcome to the good son and the righteous Prophet.” 

  •  Musa (Moses) was crying and he said to Muhammad (saw): “Prophet of the Last Nation! Intercede for me and my people.” Muhammad (saw) said: “Why are you crying, my brother Musa (Moses)?” He replied: “I cry for love of you and for the great honour where Allah has raised you and made your nation countless people and other nations very few, even mine. Muhammad! you are the seal of prophets and the light of creation. Allah is raising you today to His presence, to a station where no-one can reach. Remember me there as Allah made you the intercessor for all human beings including prophets, from Adam to Isa (Jesus).”

  •  Ibraheem (Abraham) said: “Welcome to the pious son and the perfected Prophet!”

Furthermore, when Jesus (as) returns during Fajr he will descend to earth at the time of Fajr prayer and he will be led in prayer. A confirmation on his end of the message of Muhammad (as). And he will come and confirm and rule according to the law of the last message Islam. 

At the end of time when all people will be rushing to the Prophet (as) to beg them to intercede with Allah (SWT) to start the judgment, all the Prophet (as) will lead them to Muhammad (as).

 

Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 3

Filed under: Ramadhan Corner — lamyaalmas @ 12:26 am

Today we will talk about an action that I hope will run in the veins of every Muslim. It is an action that is the spirit of the message of Muhammad (saw), and in turn the spirit that gives life to His (saw) Ummah. Some consider this action a practical one, but in reality it’s one of faith for Allah [SWT] says:

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allâh (i.e. this Qur’ân), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allâh’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islâmic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from  it. Thus Allâh makes His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided. [3:103]

 Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, The believers, in their love, mutual kindness, and close ties, are like one body; when any part complains, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.” [Muslim] So, any one of you who is ready to take on this action for today, it is evidence of the soundness of his faith. This is an action that is ingrained in us during every prayer, 17 times a day in “You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek aid.” [1:5] The action for today is team spirit; of working together, uniting efforts and collaboration. It is the spirit of the “Jama’a” –the Islamic body, Islamic community, and the Islamic Ummah at large. We could be praying alone and reading Al Fatiha in Salah, and no one would hear us if we were selfish as to ask Allah [SWT] “Guide me to the straight path”, but instead we stick religiously to the wording of Allah [SWT] “Guide us to the straight path” [1:6] We are reminded that we are part of a larger community; part of a great Ummah. It is common knowledge that anyone whom Allah [SWT] has blessed with this characteristic is loved among people, and know that love of people signifies love of Allah [SWT]. We have a natural attraction to people who love others and whose actions attest to this love, and we have a natural aversion to people who isolate themselves and are selfish in their dealings with others.   For the Prophet (saw) said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

Let me tell you something about a definition of what a human being is, I can’t remember where exactly I read it but I remembered it while putting this together. It is said that a human being is a “civil being that is lacking in one thing or the other [he is not a complete entity]”. What does civil mean? It means that he cannot live on his own. And “lacking in one thing or the other” means that he is not a complete and independent entity, he depends on others for those facets that he lacks. So, if that is the case then team spirit is a quality that is absolutely necessary for the survival of a human being. So, everybody has each other’s back. He needs the support of others to continue his life. So, Allah [SWT] made this characteristic one that is most beloved to Him [SWT] so that those who love Him [SWT] would seek to adorn themselves with it.

Do you ever ask yourself this question: when I die will someone have my husband’s back or will there be a vacuum? Am I that kind of person who has people’s backs, so that when I need them they have mine? Notice, this is a crucial part of life that we talking about. Let me tell you why Allah [SWT] loves team spirit, Islamic brotherhood and Sisterhood in actions [not just words]. It is because if you love this action, and it runs through your veins, and is second skin to you then you have understood your role as a human being. Our success as human beings is dependent on how successful of “vicegerents’ [an administrative deputy of a king or magistrate] we are. Look at successful soccer teams, their success is not dependent on individual skills but rather how well they know each other’s skills, and take advantage of them as a play as a team in a given match. Your success as a human being is to help and be helped, it is the natural course.  I can’t disagree with a single concept in Bill Withers lyrics “Lean on Me” –it’s such an Islamic concept:

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you don’t let show

If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
If you just call me

So just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’d understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Know that the worst human being to live among and with is one who takes and never gives back. Just like you love others to help you, you have to help others. What goes around comes around.

So, I hope by now we all agree that that we should don on this action that Allah [SWT] loves. But how do we go about doing it the way the Allah [SWT] wants us to. Allah [SWT] loves that the spirit of  the collective ‘we’ [the family, group, company, community, ummah] takes over you, rather than the ‘me, myself and I’ [my success and only my success]. Let me give you an example. Have you ever worked on the final project with a group at school. Some members in the group voluntarily offer their all for the sake of the whole group, and they don’t mind if it is presented as the effort of the whole group; whereas some members are stingy with their offerings to the team, and want a special mention. The latter loves to shine, loves to stand out from the crowd. In that he is aligning himself with the Iblis who was the first to suffer from the “Me, Myself and I” syndrome.

The Prophet (saw) taught the companions the spirit of the Ummah [Muslim Collective Body]. In the Qur’an Allah [SWT] says, “And verily this Ummah of yours is One Ummah and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other).” (23:52) To the degree that Allah [SWT] connected the health of your body with the giving of charity, of helping the needy. Look at the following hadith:

Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Sadaqa is owed by every limb people have. Every day on which the sun rises in which someone establishes justice between two people is sadaqa. To help a man with his animal and help him onto it is sadaqa [nowadays helping a person into his car if he needs to, or help push his car, or fix it for him so he can go to work]. Or to lift his goods onto it is sadaqa [brothers, we sisters needs some help carrying our grocery bags]. A good word is sadaqa. Every step you take to the prayer is sadaqa. Removing an obstacle from the road is sadaqa [you could say, but I did not throw it in the way? I can walk around it? No, it is your street as it is that of others, it is your country as it is that of others. So keep your city and country clean].” [Muslim]

So, do you see the spirit of team work—love for others what you would love for yourself. Allah [SWT] loves the ‘we’ and hates the ‘I’. A selfish person believes that he has not value unless everything is attributed to him. His success depends on it, so he is out seeking for himself and only himself. He forgets that it is Allah [SWT] who elevates a person, so the reliance should be on Allah [SWT] alone by doing that which loves and that is benefitting others and Allah [SWT] will make sure you benefit, leave that part to him. It’s a two way street. When you are a selfless person who favors other over yourself, you are actually favoring Allah [SWT] over what you want. This incident was reported by Abdullah Bin Al-Mubarak in ‘az-zuhd’:

On the day of the battle of Yarmuk, I went out to find my uncle on the battlefield, and I had with me a container of water. I said to myself he still had some life left in him, then I would quench his thirst with the water and wash the dirt from his face. Suddenly, I came across him, and he was going in and out of consciousness. I asked him ‘do you want me to give you some water?’ so he nodded his head. Suddenly he heard another wounded man in the distance calling out in pain. So my uncle motioned for me to go to tend to him. I went to him and saw that it was Hisham, the brother of Amr Ibn Al-‘As. I came to him and asked if he wanted me to give him some water, and suddenly we heard the sound of another man calling out in the distance in pain. So, Hisham motioned for me to go to tend to him. I came to him to find that he had already died. So I went back to tend to Hisham, only to find that he had died as well. Then I went back to tend to my uncle to find that he, too, had died.’

Another story, and these are real. They aren’t no fairy tales:

A Sahabi came to the Prophet and complained of hunger and distress. Just then, the Prophet had nothing in hand, or in his home to feed him. He asked the Sahabah:

“Would anybody entertain him as a guest tonight on my behalf?…”

One of the Ansaar said: “0, Prophet of Allah, I will do that.”

The Ansari took the person to his house and instructed his wife:

“Look here, this man is a guest of the Prophet. We will entertain him as best as we can, and won’t spare anything in doing so.”

The wife replied:

“By Allah! I have got no food in the house, except a very little?something just enough for the children.”

The Ansari said:

“You lull the children to sleep without feeding them, while I sit with the guest over the meager meal. When we start eating, put out the lamp pretending to set it right, so that the guest may not become aware of my not sharing the meal with him.”

The scheme worked out nicely, and the whole family, including the children, stayed hungry to enable the guest to eat to his fill. It was over this incident that Allah revealed the verse: “They prefer others above themselves, even though poverty become their lot.”

O Allah I want you to look at me and find me helping others, favoring others over myself because it is a one of the most beloved deeds to you.