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)

Ramadan 2016 Reflection 9 June 14, 2016

attachment-3

Once a man sought advice of Al Hasan Al Basri on the kind of man he recommended for marriage. His response was, ” The man of Deen.” I know it sounds so vague, but wait he elaborated and added , ” For when he is in love with her he will be generous to her , and if he happens to dislike her he will not treat her unfairly (unjustly) .” I stopped at this description and realized that Allah treats us that way. If Allah loves us He ( Subhanahu Wa Ta’la ) rewards us multi-fold for our own good deeds, and if He is displeased with us He is never unfair or unjust to us . Indeed He is worthy of our belief and worship . La Illah Ila Allah.

Let’s go back to Al Basri’s comment, “… And if he happens to dislike her he will not treat her unfairly ( unjustly).” So, this kind of man would be fair and just towards her at times of conflict. Conflicts bring out the worst in people. Maybe I can go as far as to say that they expose a person’s true moral fiber or the absence thereof. Their moral mettle is either amplified or diminished. All masks fall off, and it is either pretty or ugly .

In application , if you are a person of authority  learn from ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab . When ‘Umar was Khalifah and charged with the matters of the Muslims, he one day saw his brother Zayd Ibn Al Khattab’s killer. ‘Umar being ‘Umar was honest with the man and said to him, ” I must be honest with you , but I cannot find it in myself to like you.” The man responded , ” Will that prevent you from treating me fairly and justly?” ‘Umar said, ” No.” The man uttered a sigh of relief. ‘Umar’s aversion to the man did not prevent him from doing that which was fair and just towards him, and such should a person of authority always be.

Remember the Prophet ( Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) when he held captive some Makkan pagans after the Battle of Badr. Among them was a general  by the name of ‘Aziz , the brother of one of the companions  Mus’ab Ibn Umayr . ‘Aziz narrates that in his captivity he was among a group of Al Ansar, and when it was lunchtime they would feed him bread and eat dates. Humbled by their kindness, ‘Aziz would return the bread but they wouldn’t touch it . This was because the Prophet asked them to feed the captives the best among their food , so they did — bread was a luxury in Madinah, dates were not . What is this saying ? It is saying that even if we disagree with you , even if we were opponents at war, it does not mean that we will treat you unjustly and unfairly. Conflicts with others should bring out the best in us .

So for today’s reflection, let this rule govern our relationships : keep good fellowship or separate with kindness . Let not disagreement and conflict expose the worst in us, instead let it bring out the best in us . A believer never betrays . A believer is never mean, vile, lowly, base, and ignoble, qualities that cut off any hope for a relationship to continue . How can friends who have shared well kept secrets continue, when at the time of disagreement each exposes the secrets of the other ? How can arguing spouses air each other’s dirty laundry and mar each other’s image in public  and continue their marriage? This method of argument has cut a vein, let it bleed and eventually killed this marriage. Chew on that for a minute .

The Prophet ( Salah Alah Alayhe Wa Salam ) compared the believer to a palm tree. A palm tree is abundant in its goodness. It gives shade ( Al Satr) year long. It’s fruit can be eaten from the minute it emerges until it is dries–it supports and nourishes. Likewise from its trunk, branches and leaves there are so many benefits . Such should a believer be at all times even at times of conflict–obedient to Allah and noble in manners. And in another comparison the Prophet ( Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam ) said, ” The example of the believer who recites the Qur’an and acts on it, is like an orange which tastes nice and smells nice.” May our insides be as our outsides , at all times, pure and true. Ameen.

Advertisements
 

Ramadan 2016: Reflection 2 June 7, 2016

IMG_4911

F[l]ame

Rio Olympics 2016 are fast approaching and the Olympic Torch as of right now is in Aquiraz, CE. What is the one objective of the Olympic torch bearer? Keeping the flame lit until it arrives at the site of the games, where it will light a cauldron that will remain lit until it is extinguished in the Closing Ceremony. Likewise, we all have different flames that we strive to keep lit in our lives. For some self-interest is the flame they strive to keep lit. It governs all their relationships, even with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ):

“And when We show favor to man he turns aside and withdraws himself, and when evil touches him he makes lengthy supplications” (Qur’an 41: 51)

So, when in need they turn to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ) with fervent Ya Rab’s , and once Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ) responds to their requests they turn away from Him only to return when they have another request. The only beautiful aspect of these people’s lives, is that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ) accepts them every time they turn towards Him.

I got to thinking today about the flame I should strive to keep lit until my closing ceremony? I decided that flame would be “humanness”. The original state Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ) created me in, created us in. Humaness and all its accompanying qualities: considerateness, honesty, fairness, gratitude, faithfulness, loyalty, modesty, balance, courteousness, conscientiousness, respect, responsibility, perseverance, dependability, cooperativeness, determination, imagination, ambition, courage, care, and many more positive qualities. Erring but forgiving and forgiven. In short, it is the flame of mercy/compassion and kindness in all its forms—emotional, verbal and physical— in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. It’s the original state we were born in. The state that we should all strive to keep lit our life journey. The state we want to be remembered by when we are long gone. And the state that we hope to return to to our Creator. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ) says:

“ As to the scum it vanishes into the earth, but that which benefits humankind remains on the ground” (Qur’an 13:17)

Scum literally refers to that thick mass or foam made of small bubbles that rises to the surface when for instance meat of chicken is boiled. But another meaning for scum in English is in reference to someone who doesn’t exhibit humanness. People who are referred to as, “The scum of the earth”. So, according to this verse these people vanish into the earth; when they are gone they are gone for good. And on the other hand “that which benefits humankind” , which is In Sha’ Allah those who exhibit humanness, are what remain and live in and on in the hearts of people after they are long gone. So, let’s keep that flame lit, as did our Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam) who even after 1400+ years, still remains a Mercy to the World. I ask Allah the Lord of the heavens and the earth for our humanness to flow from us to our fellow humans at all times until our closing ceremonies. Let it be simply said of us when we are long gone, “They were indeed human.”

 

Ramadan 2016: Reflection 1 June 6, 2016

IMG_4878

Will Rogers says, “Never miss a good chance to shut up” and I absolutely agree. There are 4 situations where your “silence” is appreciated. Where your silence is crucial. Where it is a sign of your refined manners. Where you win both in this world and the hereafter. Where you will be rewarded In Sha’ Allah. What are these 4 situations where silence is golden:

1) When you are having a conversation with a person. Shut up, listen, think and learn from what is being communicated to you. Don’t interrupt that person. Don’t stir the waters and disturb the flow of the current of information coming your way and poison the conversation with your interruptions. You kill a conversation. Interrupting others mid conversation is a sign of haste on your part. It’s a sign that you lack patience, social and communication skills. It’s even a sign of arrogance, because you are saying to the person with whom you are “engaged” in conversation that they have nothing to say that is worth listening to. On the other hand, listening attentively is a sign of self-confidence, especially when there is a difference in opinion between you and the person you are conversing with. Let me give you an example of this from the Seerah of the Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam). Remember when the Messenger of Allah was approached by Quraysh’s delegate Utbah Ibn Rabi’ah, who wanted. Quraysh were ready to bribe the Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam) into stopping his mission. When ‘Utbah asked to speak to the Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam), the Prophet said, “Speak, Abul-Walid. I am listening.” So, ‘Utbah started, “Nephew,” and continued with words that were quite offensive, even today. ‘Utbah said, ‘If you want money by this business, we will collect some of our property and make you the wealthiest among us. If you want honor, we will make you our chief so that every decision is yours. If you want a kingdom, we will make you our king. If you are possessed by a jinn that you cannot drive away from yourself, we will find skillful doctors to help you. We will spend our wealth on it till you are cured.’ The Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam) listened to ‘Utbah, and then asked“Have you finished, Abul-Walid?” “Yes,” responded ‘Utbah. “Then listen to me,” said to Messenger of Allah (salah Allah alayhe wa Salahm. “I will,” said ‘Utbah. Then the Messenger of Allah recited some verses from Surah Fussilat:

“Ha, Meem / A Revelation from (Allah), Most Gracious, Most Merciful / A Book whose verses have been detailed, an Arabic Qur’an for a people who know / Good tidings and a warning. But most of them turn away so that they hear not…” (Fussilat 1-4)

The Prophet (saw) continued reciting the verses, until ‘Utbah begged him to stop. The Prophet did, and then ‘Utbah returned to the leaders of Quraysh leaders with a different facial expression than the one he initially left with. The point is that the Prophet listened to ‘Utbah patiently. Controlled his anger. Calmly thought about what ‘Utbah said. Then responded powerfully. Let be an example to follow when you are in a similar situation.

2) The second situation when your silence is golden, is when you don’t have anything of value or benefit to add to a conversation/discussion. Don’t just say something to draw attention to yourself. You know that moment when you have the urge for your presence to be noticed. The moment you inject a superficial comment into a discussion, or even a false one. News flash: you’ll regret it. Follow your Prophet (saw) who did not speak unnecessarily. Every word weighed heavy in his scale of deeds. Ponder on this: not making any contribution to a conversation because you knew that you had nothing of value to add is better than adding what is unnecessary, ignorant, repetitive, superficial or false.

3) The third situation when keeping your mouth shut is best is when you are angry. Fact is that when you are angry you lose part of your ability to think straight, to reason, or perceive things clearly. In Arabic, the mind is called “AL AQL”, which means “ The Tether”. So in other words, your mind tethers your words and actions and keeps them in check. So, when you’re angry that tether comes undone, and you might say the wrong thing and regret it. That’s why the Prophet (saw) says,”The strong one is not one who is good at wrestling, but the strong one is one who controls himself in a fit of rage.” Being silent when you’re angry is crucial, because in a fit of rage you’ll most probably say that which you will regret afterwards. Your words will hurt others, severe relationship, even make you lose respect. And once that damage is done, you won’t be able to swallow your words. So, stay safe and don’t put yourself in a situation where you say to yourself,“ I wish I’d just kept my mouth shut.”

4) The fourth and last circumstance, is when you’re in the midst of a gossip, slander, or dirty joke session. If you can’t leave that hostile space, keep a straight face and make, “No comment.” If you are a special person who is courageous enough to defend others in their absence, then do so otherwise either leave or offer no comment. There is absolutely nothing you can say other than defending them that will be beneficial or rewarding in this situation. Remember the verse, “In no way does he utter a saying except that close to him is a (Guardian) constantly ready to record it” (Surat Qaf, 18). You don’t want to stare at your record on the Day of Judgment and find your gossip, slander, and foul language starting right back at you. Remember your words are part of your actions, if you don’t realize that you’ll be making a lot of mistakes and won’t even notice it until the book of records is laying in your hands. It’ll be too late then.

In closing, remember all of these are applicable to social media as well. Don’t read two words/phrases/clauses/sentences from someone’s comment/s and then respond. If you are going to respond you owe it to that person to read their entire comment /s, ponder over them and learn from them before responding. Don’t repeat/paraphrase what someone has already said, maybe just “Like” it or don’t respond at all because someone already said what you wanted. Don’t read someone’s comment with the intention to just attack them, your angry attitude towards that person will cloud your judgment and be reflected in your response. Don’t read into someone’s words what they didn’t say, instead ask for clarification. Don’t follow your doubts and false assumptions. All of these situations are covered under the hadith of the Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam), “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.”Be wise. Let your silences be an indication of your respectful and thoughtful nature. Let your utterances be reminders for yourself and others. Let your observations of situations around you be examples to follow or warnings to take heed from.

Next time you find yourself in these situations, remember, “Shhhhh!”

 

Islam invites you to think! March 21, 2014

Filed under: Contemplations — lamyaalmas @ 10:41 am

polls_WomanThinking_2512_431507_answer_3_xlargeWhen Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) conveyed the message from his Lord as revealed to him in the Qur’an, people recognized it (and still do) as life-changing . It made them question every aspect of their life. Exhaustively! It was an invitation to think critically about beliefs adhered to, traditions blindly followed, and cultures accepted wholeheartedly without questioning. Oftentimes Muslims are accused of over thinking–and it’s hard not to as a Muslim– for the words “mind” and “light” are mentioned over 40 times in the Qur’an. Every verse is an invitation to think ! But again, the Creator of the brain and its ability to think teaches us that even in thought we ought to be balanced. “Not thinking” can lead to misguidance, and “over-thinking” similarly leads to misguidance. We have to strike that balance–and that is wisdom indeed.

“‘No! They say: We found our forefathers on a course, and surely we are guided by their footsteps./ And thus in no way did We send even before you any warner into a town, except that its population living in ease and luxury said, ‘Surely we found our fathers upon a course and surely we are emulating (them) , we are upon their tracks./ The warner said: ‘What! even if I bring to you a better guide than that on which you found your fathers? They said: Surely we are unbelievers in that with which you are sent.'” ~ Qur’an Surat Al Zukhruf 22-24.

I thought of this after reading and teaching Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” to my students. It kept me up all night (if you haven’t read it you should–I’ll attach it to this post). It appeared in the New Yorker in the early 1948, and needless to say it caused quite a stir at the time of its publication. People were so offended by that shorty story that they canceled their subscriptions to the magazine. It also reminded me of the Allegory of the Cave” in Plato’s “Republic”. Below is a nice animated version of the Allegory of the Cave. A little literature helped me understand ayahs in the Qur’an. I love literature!

Click here to watch The Allegory of the Cave
Click here for PDF of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”

 

“Give us rest with it, O’Bilal” December 7, 2013

Filed under: Contemplations — lamyaalmas @ 3:09 pm

Imagine that you had to perform Salaah five times every day but you weren’t told how to perform it? You weren’t given any pointers. No one would have told you what the pre-requisites  were. No one told you the obligatory acts either. There is no starting point, no middle, no  end. No particular words that you had to recite. You are left entirely up to your own creativity to come up with a way to sustain your attention, interest, and commitment in a prayer that you would have to perform five times a day for your entire life. I don’t know about you, but that would be the most difficult chore for me! I would imagine myself at the time for Salaah to be like a writer sitting in front of a computer screen staring at the blinking cursor on a blank word document suffering from a severe case of word block. Indeed, word block would be my every day struggle. Not once, or twice but five times a day. I know I have witnessed word block during times when I have been put on the spot to make Dua’a in a gathering. I can’t fathom having to be in the same spot during Salaah five times every single day. Oftentimes some argue that Salaah stifles their creative juices, and I wonder if they have contemplated that that is what Dua’a compensates for.

I for one am extremely grateful to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala for sending down Angel Jibreel Alayhe Assalaam to teach our Prophet Muhammad Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam in exhausting detail how to perform Salaah. Alhamdullilah that I don’t have to ponder on how Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’la wants me to worship Him five times a day. Alhamdullilah that after squeezing the creative juices dry from my brain at home, my job, and other facets of my life I can approach Salaah partially understanding what the Prophet Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam meant when he said, “Give us rest with it, O’Bilal.”

 

“. . . paying attention to how you treat him [your husband] “ June 2, 2012

Filed under: Contemplations — lamyaalmas @ 3:53 pm

* this was a Facebook post that sisters request I post on my blog Insha Allah for easy reference. So here it is. 

A woman came to ask the Prophet about some matter, and when he had dealt with it, he asked her, “Do you have a husband?” She said, “Yes.” He asked her, “How are you with him?” She said, “I never fall short in my duties, except for that which is beyond me.” He said, “Pay attention to how you treat him, for he is your Paradise and your Hell.” [13] * reported by Al Nisai and Tirmidhi

How you “treat” him [your husband]  in this hadith is so broad and encompassing, and at the same time able to accommodate varieties of ways and methods. Subhan Allah, it’s the gift that the Prophet peace be upon him had with words. So, what in our opinion is “paying attention to how you treat him [your husband]” ? 

1) In my opinion , using his earnings IRRESPONSIBLY is ill treatment of him. It says that you don’t appreciate that he works hard every day. It trivializes and belittles his efforts. I do believe that most of the problems between couples is mis-managing money. This can be either side of course.

2) As wives, we thank Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for the roof over our heads, the food that we eat, the clothes on our back. Alhamdullilah and we should of course. But we should also thank the means that Allah subhanahu brought into our lives to make those things happen. So among the things is to thank your husband after a meal and say “Jazaak Allah Khayr for feeding me!” And once in a while [when you can remember insha Allah] thank him for working so hard for providing a roof over your head, and clothing you. If you can’t say it in person, your a shy person, or you feel you’re going to end up crying and getting all emotional write him a letter !

3) This is a tricky one to many I guess ! Accept that he is, by nature,  the provider/ breadwinner. So, don’t compete with him over this. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other [so each excels in the role they have been granted], and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). . . ” [4:34] 

So, even if you are a working woman/career woman/ rich woman/ from a wealthy family etc. don’t take over that role or instate yourself as being more fit for it, even if you are and make more than him. Live according to his means.  This is probably the number one problem in marriages among Muslims today.

Women taking on the role as bread-winner or Provider is not one she happily settles into in the long run. She might feel empowered at first for a while, but eventually that wears off and can turn sour and eventually. Furthermore, when a man feels totally emasculated he won’t be happy either. It’s just a recipe for a failed or bumpy marriage.

4) Cooking for him is definitely good treatment, and that doesn’t mean only those dishes that you like but what he likes.  Marrying him does not mean you have sentenced what he likes to life imprisonment and now he is a prisoner and gets to only eat what you like. Nothing says I love you like making a dish you totally hate, or handling the flesh of some meat you abhor just for your husband’s pleasure.

5) When you’re mad at him, or you’ve had an argument don’t slack on your duties because YOU’RE mad! Tit for tat or in other words reacting helps arguments snowball into an avalanche. It only makes things worse for him to go to work and come back home and find nothing to eat, a house that looks like a pig sty, you looking like Allah knows what etc. Instead, if he comes home and finds that LIKE he has gone to work and fulfilled his duty of providing for his home you too have maintained your duties at home–it’ll help you focus on the REAL issue that you were arguing about in the first place rather than a diversion.

6) Make the MAX out of your anniversary celebration– and I don’t mean that you should just empty his pocket out that one day LOL! Usually the routine is to go out of the “regular mode” on that one day for a special dinner and splurge on gifts and whatever , and then the following day all goes back to pre-anniversary celebration. Nothing has really changed. All the issues you had with him, and him with you are still there intact and untouched. I see anniversaries as a beginning for a better year ahead not just reminscing about your wedding that happened years ago, and you testing his memory of what you wore and blah blah blah. That’s great and dandy, but you have to think ahead. So I suggest:

Having a wonderful RENEWAL of your marriage on the day of your anniversary.You can of course, have it at a dinner outside in public [although I prefer one at home].

In this renewal, thank Allah subhanahu wa taala for the year passed, and make dua together for the year ahead. Review together the year past. Acknowledge mistakes–determine to do better. Accept hearing your shortcomings in the marriage/career/ with extended family and ask for dua and help to change–this goes both ways of course. Set your “collective goals” for the coming year. Like for instance:

1) This year we will go for Umrah or Hajj
2) This year we will save this amount of money and buy a home, car, pay debts etc.
3) This year we’ll cut down on our budget
4) This year we’ll try for a/another baby
5) This year we’ll pray at least one prayer together
6) This year we’ll have at least one family meal together per day–without a distration like tv etc.
7) This year we will wake each other up for Qiyyam and/or Fajr.

I am sure you can come up with your own. So, make your celebration well rounded is what I want to say. Meaningful , lasting, motivational insha Allah. This idea was inspired from Umar Ibn Al Khattab’s statement, “May God have mercy on him who sends me my faults as a present.” Who best to tell you your faults, but the person who has been living with you in the same house day in and day out.

7) It’s the little things that count. Loved this post by Sister Toni Slimi “I really have noticed that little things make such a huge difference. And men really are so much different than women. Alhamdulillah we were created differently by Allah to take on different roles. One example that I was just telling my Mom is that instead of getting a chair or stool to get something off the top shelf, if my husband is available I’ll ask him to get something from a higher shelf. And I really think it rubs his ego. Makes him feel useful as a man who is bigger and stronger than me. Writing it out, it sounds kind of silly – but really these little things work!”

Rubbing his ego once in a while is good–too much of it and you might end up inflating his ego and transforming him into an arrogant person, or even a dictator. So, just enough once in a while with balance is good. An example from my own life and a comment I added to the discussion was: “My husband gives me monthly pocket money although I am a working/career woman. This is an Islamic practice that Yemeni husbands still maintain whether religious or not. It’s become part of Yemeni culture I guess. I tell him that although I make my own money, the money that he gives me has the most blessing in it and is more dearer to my heart than any money I make.” So, be creative in those little things that you can say or do here and there that have a huge impact. They indeed do count.

8) In all your dealings with your husband have Allah’s pleasure in mind–bring back Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala back into the equation rather than leaving Him out . As Toni Slimi says, “Allah tells us that the husband is the head of the household and that we obey him. So many Western women see those words like “submission” and “obey” and think “Oh HECK no…I don’t OBEY anyone” because of all the feminist things out there and the “equality” that they tell us we need to have in our relationships. Even when I read some of the things in these books, I think “OH NO WAY!” But I have tried a few of the things in some of those books and they totally work! And I constantly try to remind myself that by obeying my husband (both explicitly and implicitly), I am obeying Allah. And that’s the main thing that I want to do in life – what we all should want to do in life.”

9) The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt. Verily, truth is tranquillity and falsehood is doubt.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi and Sunan al-Nasaai – Hadith Sahih]

Don’t assume that he understands or knows your expectations of him–if you haven’t told him then know he’s not a mind reader. Oftentimes we assume a lot about our husband–that they are useless/inconsiderate etc. and end up resenting them. These assumptions take over our thoughts and become a reality that we act upon . You have to word exactly what you expect of them and it helps if you ask them to repeat it after you–it’s like a contract sealed to them. When they fulfill them acknowledge, praise and thank them. If they forget remind them for Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says, “And Remind for verily a reminder benefits the believer”(51:55). 

Toni Slimi adds: “Men love it when you ask for their help! It makes them feel needed and wanted. And men don’t understand that you need help! I’ve learned that you really can’t assume anything. For example, my husband used to get really mad/uncomfortable if I started to cry (which happens more than I would like to admit lol). For a long time, I thought that he was just being mean and it would really make me mad. We would end up arguing about that! Finally, I decided to talk to him about it and he just was confused because he thought something was really WRONG if I was crying. But, it wasn’t. It was just a natural reaction I have. Now, he doesn’t even blink an eye if I cry. You have to tell them straight out, they don’t read cues like women do! “

I love the dual meaning implied in the hadith when the Prophet peace be upon him said, “. . . he is your Paradise and your Hell” Not only in terms of the hereafter as it is implied of course, but also in this life. Undoubtedly men can make a marriage Hell or Paradise! They really can. Absolutely. The flip side is also true.

Sources related to the topic:

Yasmin Mogahed “Love, Respect and Tranquility in Marriage

Emmerson Eggeriches “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs

 

“No one can appreciate Islam without understanding what it is to be without it.” December 3, 2011

Filed under: Contemplations — lamyaalmas @ 4:55 pm

When the Muslims migrated to Abyssinia at the time of the Prophet (saw) and ‘Amr ibn Al ‘As Abdullah Ibn-Abi-Rabee’a  [before their acceptance to Islam] were sent by the leaders of Quraysh to bring them back. He made his case to the Negus who said he could not deport the Muslims from his land before their side of the story. So accordingly the Muslims were were summoned to appear before the Negus and make their case, or face the threat of deportation. Ja’far bin Abi Talib [the uncle of the Messenger of Allah (saw)], and the representative of the Muslim community in  Abyssinia said:

O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness and integrity were well-known to us. He called us to worship Allah alone and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah.

He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness, not to appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women.

He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with him, to uphold Salat [prayer], to give Zakat [almsgiving] and fast in the month of Ramadan.

We believed in him and what he brought to us from Allah and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from doing.

Thereupon, O King, our people attacked us, visited the severest punishment on us to make us renounce our religion and take us back to the old immorality and the worship of idols.

They oppressed us, made life intolerable for us and obstructed us from observing our religion. So we left for your country, choosing you before anyone else, desiring your protection and hoping to live in Justice and in peace in your midst.

Ja’far (raa) speaks to the Negus about what they were before Islam came into their lives. He actually draws for the Negus the ‘before’ and ‘after’ Islam picture of themselves . Islam has heaped favor after favor on them, as it does still on every person it touches. That is why Allah [SWT] asks the Prophet (saw) to tell those who believe that their acceptance of Islam is a favor in and of itself:

They consider it a favor to you that they have accepted Islam. Say, ‘Do not consider your Islam a favor to me. Rather, Allah has conferred favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.’ [49:17]

A teaching moment in which the Prophet (saw) addressed the Bedouins who came to express to him their favors of supporting Islam and that was the response that they got from Allah [SWT] Himself through revelation. It was a reminder to them, that Islam’s greatness is not affected by its supporters–for it’s a perfect religion as Allah [SWT] says in Surat Al Maidah: ” This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion” [5:3]. Rather Islam lends greatness as a favor to those who support it. Remember the words of the Prophet (saw) to the Ansar on the Day of Hunayn when he said:

O People of Al Ansar,

Did I not find you lost and Allah guided you through me?

And you were divided and Allah united you through me?

. . . to all of the questions the Prophet (saw) asked, the Ansar answered that they owe it all to Allah [SWT] and His Messenger .

So, remember you and the Ummah, if you are contributing, reap the rewards of your Islam and not the other way round. Islam will go on with our without you, that’s the hard truth. But Allah [SWT] out of His Mercy is inviting you to join Islam and its cause, and naturally you will benefit and attain greatness through the process:

Say, ‘O humankind, the truth has come to you from your Lord, so whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever goes astray only goes astray [in violation] against it. And I am not over you a Wakil (disposer of affairs to oblige you for guidance) [10:108]

It’s an invitation to success in this life and the hereafter ! Umar ibn Al Khattab was so right when he said, “We were the lowliest of people but Allah gave us might and glory through Islam. If we seek glory through other than what Allah gave us glory through, He will abase us (again).”

Follow us on Facebook at Qur’an Imprints