Category Archives: Character

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra): Speech After Conquering Jerusalem

After receiving the surrender of Jerusalem and completing the tour of Syria when Caliph Umar was returning to Madina he led the prayer at Jabiah. On this occasion he delivered an address which is preserved in history. The major part of his address was:

“O ye people I counsel you to read the Qur’an. Try to understand it and ponder over it. Imbibe the teachings of the Qur’an. Then practise what the Quran teaches. The Qur’an is not theoretical; it is a practical code of life. The Qur’an does not bring you the message of the Hereafter only; it is primarily intended to guide you in this life. Mold your life in accordance with the teachings of Islam for that is the way of your well being. By following any other way you will be inviting destruction.”Fear Allah (The One True God), and whatever you want seek from Him. All men are equal. Do not flatter those in authority. Do not seek favors from others. By such acts you demean yourself. And remember that you will get only that is ordained for you, and no one can give you anything against the will of God. Then why seek things from others over which they have no control? Only supplicate God for He alone is the sovereign.

“And speak the truth. Do not hesitate to say what you consider to be the truth. Say what you feel. Let your conscience be your guide. Let your intentions be good, for verily God is aware of your intentions. In your deeds your intentions count. Fear God, and fear no one else. Why fear others when you know that whatever sustenance ordained for you by God you will get under all circumstances? And again why fear when you know that death is ordained by God alone and will come only when He wills?

“Allah has for the time being made me your ruler. But I am one of you. No special privileges belong to ruler. I have some responsibilities to discharge, and in this I seek your cooperation. Government is a sacred trust, and it is my endeavor not to betray the trust in any way. For the fulfillment of the trust I have to be a watch-man. I have to be strict. I have to enforce discipline. I have to run the administration not on the basis of personal idiosyncracies; I have to run it in public interest and for promoting the public good. For this we have the guidance in the Book of God. Whatever orders I issue in the course of day to day administration have to conform to the Qur’an. God has favored us with Islam. He sent to us His Messenger (Muhammad, pbuh). He has chosen us for a mission. Let us fulfil that mission. That mission is the promotion of Islam. In Islam lies our safety; if we err we are doomed.”

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Yasir Qadhi: A Journey of Worship in 24 Hours

  • Angles worship nonstop = most quantity
  • However, Muhsin (ihsan) worship less but reach higher level b/c of QUALITY
  • Can’t differentiate muhmin and muhsin outwardly
  • Most rewarding deeds are obligatory
  • Most beloved are punctual deeds, you always do them continuously
  • Hasan al-Basri speaking to Tabieen: Abu Bakr (ra) did not elevate above them b/c of his deeds, but b/c of something that settled in his heart and consciousness

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THE QUR’AN AND SUNNAH ON PARENTS

From Riyadhus-Saaliheen

Compiled By Al-Imaam Abu Zakariyyah Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi Ashaafi’ee (rahimahullah)

Commentary By Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf

KIND TREATMENT TOWARDS PARENTS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TIES OF BLOOD RELATIONSHIP

Allah, the Exalted, says: “Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess”. (4:36)

“And fear Allah through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship)”. (4:1) “And those who join that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e., they are good to their relatives and do not sever the bond of kinship)”. (13:21)

“And we have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents”. (29:8)

“And your Rubb has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: `My Rubb! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young”. (17:23,24)

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years- give thanks to Me and to your parents”.(31:14)

312. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I asked the Prophet (PBUH) , “Which of the deeds is loved most by Allah?” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Salat at its proper time.” I asked, “What next?” He (PBUH) replied, “Kindness to parents.” I asked, “What next?” He replied, “Jihad in the way of Allah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: Performance of Salat at the stated time means its performance in earliest prescribed or at least its regularity. One should not give preference to mundane affairs over it. Salat and Jihad are the two most meritorious duties of a Muslim. When nice treatment to parents is mentioned along with Salat and Jihad, it gives further importance to this injunction.

313. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “No son can repay (the kindness shown by his father) unless he finds him a slave and buys him and emancipates him“. [Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith also brings out the eminence of parents and outstanding importance of their rights.

316. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A person came to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and asked, “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (PBUH) said, “Your mother“. He again asked, “Who next?” “Your mother“, the Prophet (PBUH) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (the Prophet (PBUH)) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon he (PBUH) said,” Then your father.”

In another narration: “O Messenger of Allah! Who is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (PBUH) said, “Your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then your nearest, then nearest“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith tells us that the rights of the mother are three times more important than that of the father for the reasons that: 1 She is weaker than the father. 2. The following three troubles are borne exclusively by the mother while the father does not share them with her: a) She carries the baby in her womb for nine months, b) The labor pain which she suffers. c) Two years’ period of suckling which disturbs her sleep at night and affects her health. She has also to be very cautious in her food for the welfare of the baby.

317. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both, attain old age during his life time, and he does not enter Jannah (by rendering being dutiful to them)“. [Muslim].

Commentary: The word “Ragham” means soil. When a person’s nose is soiled, it is a mark of his extreme humiliation. This metaphor carries a curse for an unfortunate person who does not win the pleasure of Allah by serving and obeying his parents. In fact, it is a malediction as well as a prediction of someone’s inauspicious end. Service of parents is essential at every stage of their life – whether they are young or old. But this Hadith mentions their old age for the reason that in that period of their life they stand in greater need of care and service. It is a very callous offense to leave them at the mercy of circumstances when they are old, senile and depend on others for their needs. To neglect them at that stage is a major sin for which one deserves Hell-fire.

318. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man said to Messenger of Allah (PBUH): “I have relatives with whom I try to keep the ties of relationship but they sever relations with me; and whom I treat kindly but they treat me badly, I am gentle with them but they are rough to me.” He (PBUH) replied, “If you are as you say, it is as if you are feeding them hot ashes, and you will be with a supporter against them from Allah as long as you continue to do so“. [Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith has three important lessons: First, the misbehaviour of one’s relative is no justification for the misbehaviour of another, let alone the severing of relations on that account. Second, the person who treats his relatives nicely in all events and circumstances is blessed by Allah Who will send from heaven helpers to support him. Third, the consequence of denying compassion and kindness to relatives is as woeful as the eating of hot ashes.

319. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who desires ample provisions and his life be prolonged, should maintain good ties with his blood relations“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: One who is benevolent and compassionate towards one’s own relatives, stands to gain at least two definite advantages in this world besides the reward in the next. These two advantages are the increase in his subsistence and longevity of life. Increase in subsistence means that Almighty Allah will increase the quantity of his worldly goods or his means of subsistence will be blessed by Him. Similar is the case of longevity of life. The life of such person is either actually increased (in terms of years) or his life is graced with the Blessings of Allah. Both interpretations are correct.

321. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A man came to the Prophet (PBUH) of Allah and said, “I swear allegiance to you for emigration and Jihad, seeking reward from Allah.” He (PBUH) said, “Are either of your parents alive?” He said, “Yes, both of them are alive.” He (PBUH) then asked, “Do you want to seek reward from Allah?” He replied in the affirmative. Thereupon Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Go back to your parents and keep good company with them“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

In another narration it is reported that a person came to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and sought his permission to participate in Jihad. The Prophet (PBUH) asked, “Are your parents alive?” He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “(You should) consider their service as Jihad.’

Commentary: Under normal circumstances, Jihad is Fard Kifayah (collective duty — which means that if some people observe it, the rest of the Muslims will be exempted from its obligation). In such circumstances permission of parents to participate in Jihad is necessary because their service is Fard-ul-`ain (individual duty — an injunction or ordinance, the obligation of which extends to every Muslim in person), and the former cannot be preferred to the latter. This Hadith explains such a situation. In certain circumstances, however, Jihad becomes Fard-ul-`ain and in that case permission of the parents to take part in Jihad is not essential because then every Muslim is duty-bound to take part in it.

322. `Abdullah bin `Amr Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it because he gets recompensed by his relatives (for being kind and good to them), but the one who truly maintains the bonds of kinship is the one who persists in doing so even though the latter has severed the ties of kinship with him”. [Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: This Hadith makes clear the essentials of kindness to relatives. Those kinsmen who respect and honour you, would obviously be treated by you fairly. It goes without saying that people usually reciprocate sentiments showed to them. But this is not maintaining the ties of kinship but kindness for kindness. On the opposite side, there is a kinsman who is rough and rude and is always bent upon severing relation with you, but you tolerate his excesses with patience and perseverance, return his harshness with politeness, maintain relationship with him in spite of all his efforts to break it, then what you are exercising is maintaining the ties of kinship. This is what Islam actually demands from a Muslim. But this is the excellence of Faith which one must try to attain. There is nothing remarkable in exchanging dry smiles.

325. Asma’ bint Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with her) said: My mother came to me while she was still a polytheist, so I asked Messenger of Allah (PBUH), “My mother, who is ill-disposed to Islam, has come to visit me. Shall I maintain relations with her?” He (PBUH) replied, “Yes, maintain relations with your mother“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The woman mentioned in this Hadith had come from Makkah to Al-Madinah. What this Hadith signifies is that it is essential to be kind to parents even if they are Mushrikun (polytheists) and Kuffar (disbelievers). This has also been clearly ordained in the Noble Qur’an: “… but behave with them in the world kindly“. (31:15).

333. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I had a wife whom I loved but `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) disliked her. He asked me to divorce her and when I refused, `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) went to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and mentioned the matter to him. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) asked me to divorce her. [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

Commentary: If parents’ order to divorce one’s wife is based on the principles of Shari`ah and morality, it must be obeyed, as is evident from this Hadith. If their order is founded on other factors, then one should try to convince them politely so that they agree with one’s view on the issue. Here Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) loved his wife for love’s sake, but his father `Umar bin Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) disliked her basing his decision on religious grounds. This is why the Prophet (PBUH) ordered Ibn `Umar to obey his father.

334. Abud-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man came to me and said, “I have a wife whom my mother commands me to divorce”. I replied him that I had heard Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “A parent is the best of the gates of Jannah; so if you wish, keep to the gate, or lose it.” [At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah].

Commentary: The word “Walid,” applies to mother as well as father. As the word “Walidain” is a dual form and covers mother and father both; similarly the noun “father”, also applies to both. This Hadith also stresses that obedience of parents and submission to their order must have preference over the love for the wife as long as this order of theirs is fair and just.

335. Al-Bara’ bin `Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying: “A mother’s sister is equivalent to (real) mother (in status)“. [At-Tirmidhi]

Commentary: This Hadith tells us that one should be as respectful to one’s aunt (mother’s real sister) as one is to mother, as it is a virtue as well as “a form of maintaining the ties of kinship”.

CHAPTER 41 PROHIBITION OF DISOBEYING PARENTS AND SEVERANCE OF RELATIONS

Allah, the Exalted, says: “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.”(47:22,23)

“And those who break the Covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e., they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e., they will be far away from Allah’s Mercy), and for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e., Hell).” (13:25)

“And your Rubb has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: `My Rubb! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”’ (17:23,24)

336. Abu Bakrah Nufai` bin Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Shall I not inform you of the biggest of the major sins?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) asked this question thrice. We said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah. (Please inform us.)”. He said, “Ascribing partners to Allah, and to be undutiful to your parents“. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) sat up from his reclining position and said, “And I warn you against giving forged statement and a false testimony; I warn you against giving forged statement and a false testimony“. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) kept on repeating that warning till we wished he would stop. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith mentions some of the major sins. A major sin is one against which there is a serious warning in the Noble Qur’an and Hadith. When disobedience to parents is mentioned along with Shirk (polytheism), it makes the fact evident that both of these are very serious sins. Similar is the case of telling a lie and false testimony, which in the incident mentioned in this Hadith made Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to leave his pillow and sit attentively. It indicates that the latter two are serious. May Allah protect all Muslims from all such sins. 3

37. Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “(Of the) major sins are: to ascribe partners to Allah, disobey parents, murder someone, and to take a false oath (intentionally)“. [Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: There are many more major sins which have been enlisted and discussed at length by Muhaddathun in independent volumes, such as Az-Zawajir `an iqtraf-al-Kaba’ir, Kitab-al-Kaba’ir by Adh-Dhahabi. This Hadith mentions some of the major sins enumerated by the Prophet (PBUH) on a particular occasion. We can also say that the sins mentioned here are some of the most serious among the major sins.

338. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “It is one of the gravest sins to abuse one’s parents.” It was asked (by the people): “O Messenger of Allah, can a man abuse his own parents?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He abuses the father of somebody who, in return, abuses the former’s father; he then abuses the mother of somebody who, in return, abuses his mother“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Another narration is: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “One of the major sins is to curse one’s parents“. It was submitted: “O Messenger of Allah! How can a man curse his own parents?” He (PBUH) said, “When someone curses the parents of another man who in return abuses the former’s father; and when someone abuses the mother of another man who in return abuses his mother.

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that one should not abuse anyone’s parents, because in the event, he is paid in the same coin, he will be responsible for disgracing his own parents.

340. Abu ‘Isa Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah has forbidden you: disobedience to your mothers, to withhold (what you should give), or demand (what you do not deserve), and to bury your daughters alive. And Allah dislikes idle talk, to ask too many questions (for things which will be of no benefit to one), and to waste your wealth”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Taken from here

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Sex and the Ummah Series | New Initiative: Like a Garment | Yasir Qadhi

www.LikeAGarment.com

I will never forget the first embarrassingly explicit question that I was asked.  During one of the earliest series of lectures that I gave (the explanation of Kitab al-Tawhid), when I was still in my very early twenties, an older sister (probably in her mid 30s) came up to me and said she needed to ask a question. I was expecting something related to the topic, so I said, ‘Yes, go ahead.’ Instead, she asked a very frank question about the legal permissibility of something she and her husband did. All that I remember was turning beet-root red, looking down in embarrassment, and muttering some type of incoherent response back at her. Truth be told, not only did the question completely catch me off guard and discomfit me, I actually didn’t even know the answer to it. They most certainly did not teach us such material in Madinah!

Over the next few years, as I became more active in delivering sermons and lectures, I realized that the most common area that people needed guidance in was with regards to marital issues and spousal relationships. It didn’t matter if my talk was regarding some obscure and outdated fourth-century theological controversy in Nishapur, almost invariably a question or two would slip through and make its way towards me regarding a personal, marriage-related concern. It was also quite irrelevant where I happened to be talking. From America to Dubai and from Australia to the UK, marriage problems and marital advice topped the list of queries. As if to prove this point, the escalating problem of divorce amongst our generation is a matter that we are all painfully aware of. It is obvious that the Muslim men and women of our generation are having greater difficulty in maintaining healthy marriages.

Just a few weeks ago, after a seminar I delivered, a sister approached and asked for a few minutes of my time regarding a private issue. Her problem was not an uncommon one, although perhaps she was more traumatized by it than others. She told me that she had been married for a few years, but that her marital life was not satisfactory. Almost at the verge of tears, and in a very embarrassed state, she said that her husband was a good man in most respects, but in ‘that department’ he really was quite incompetent, and even selfish. All he was interested in was satisfying himself; her needs seemed to be of no concern to him. She told me that that her level of frustration and exasperation continued to grow and grow, and in fact many times she was left in tears after what should have been a moment of intimacy and romance. Not only did he not care, he was not even willing to acknowledge that there was a problem. Was it Islamically permissible, she asked, if she asked for a divorce to end the marriage and try to find happiness in another marriage?

Similar problems abound amongst brothers as well, although few are manly enough to actually admit it and seek guidance. The most common complaint amongst men is that their wives do not seem anywhere near as interested as they themselves are in being intimate. For these men, both the quantity and the quality of experiences are unsatisfactory. As a result, many brothers are tempted to believe that the only solution to their predicament is in marrying a second wife. They do not realize that such a ‘solution’ will in all likelihood compound this very problem, not to mention add a whole multitude of new ones as well. Instead of finding fault with an existing wife, a husband would fare better in seeing what he can do to improve the situation. Most times, a little bit of understanding and compassion (also known as ‘romance’) will go a very long way.

In my humble opinion, and based on my own observations, most of this tension arises from perceived gender roles and misguided expectations of how the ‘other’ should interact in a marriage. And while sexual roles and expectations are by no means the only problem, they are clearly a major one, and one that exacerbates other tensions within a marriage.

The problem is underscored by the fact that most men and women have no clue regarding how the opposite gender thinks, feels and acts. This ignorance is found in both Muslims and non-Muslims, but in this regard, non-Muslims typically do have an edge over us. Because of their consistent exposure to the opposite gender (and their frequent dating), non-Muslims do have a better understanding and are usually more sympathetic to the needs of the opposite gender. Additionally, because the predominant culture entails open and direct competition amongst members of one gender to stand out and appear attractive to the opposite gender (no arranged marriages there!), both men and women typically do display and cultivate emotional characteristics and sensitivities that their significant other would find extremely appealing. Men learn that romance and compassion will get them far; women learn that they can have more control over their man if they ‘push the right buttons’. For better or for worse, however, our own brothers and sisters are woefully in the dark about these issues, and the more conservative (and therefore ‘righteous’) a person is, the less experience he or she would have had in this regard, and hence the less prepared to face marriage. Most Muslim couples enter marriage not quite knowing what to face.

The problem is compounded for most of us, since we as a modern generation of Muslims are caught between two cultures: the excessive ultra-conservatism of our parent’s culture (in which parents never even held hands in front of their kids, or addressed each other in endearing terms, or indeed showed any signs of being romantic), and the hyped over-sexuality and over-romanticism of the culture surrounding us (in which much happens in public that we’d rather not discuss). We grew up receiving confusing and contradictory messages from the home and family on the one side, and from television and society on the other.

Such an onslaught of problems and questions forced me, from very early on, to read up on issues not quite on the curriculum at Madinah! And while many of the books I read were extremely beneficial in terms of understanding the psychological and emotional differences between men and women, all of them were written for people with very different ethics and value systems than those of our own. I found myself trying to sift through and extract the beneficial bits while discarding suggestions that would not work from within our religious and cultural paradigm. This material, I strongly felt, had to be ‘Islamified’ and then passed on to others.

Last year, an opportunity arose which allowed me to express some of those ideas in front of an audience. A dear friend and mentor was teaching a class about the fiqh of marriage. As part of that class, one section would deal with issues of intimacy. It just so happened that I would be in that same city for another reason, and would be free on that particular day. The Shaykh, when he heard that I would be in town, confessed that he felt awkward doing this section because he had not been raised in this culture, and felt that I might be more appropriate since I could better relate to the issues facing our youth. At first I was quite hesitant to take up this offer (“So, Shaykh, let me get this straight: you want me to stand up in front of five hundred young men and women and talk about sex?!”), but after thinking through this issue, and with the continued persistence of the Shaykh, I decided to put myself in the ‘hot seat’ and go through with it. I thought about the questions and problems that had been presented to me over the last decade, and the issues that people had confided in me regarding their marital problems. I structured my notes around those experiences, re-read many of the works that I had on the subject, and added a healthy dose of Quranic and hadith references, along with some Islamic common sense. I decided that it would be appropriate to separate the brothers and sisters, and lecture one gender at a time. That way, not only could I modify the lecture to target each gender specifically, I could also avoid the awkwardness that would have been felt if the other gender had been present.

The results and feedback after my talk astounded me. Overwhelmingly, people thanked me for the frank and relevant advice – for speaking in explicit terms and moving beyond simplistic one-line platitudes. Many people asked for a recording of this session (it had not been recorded), and quite a few suggested that my talk should be expanded and taught in a separate seminar. Word quickly spread (along with a few inevitable jokes!), and this class led to a few more speaking engagements along similar topics. Along the way, I had to research more and more and expand into more issues. Feedback and questions from audiences also helped me shape the topic and fine-tune my talks.

The last time I taught the class – to a group of brothers and sisters in the UK – I asked each student to fill out an anonymous feedback form regarding the talk. I specifically told them to point out any weaknesses and mention criticisms. Alhamdulillah, the survey came back without a single negative comment. Again and again, people expressed the sentiment that this information needed to be taught to all Muslims of our generation: those who were yet to be married, those who were newlyweds and experiencing problems, and those who wanted healthier marriages.

This is why, after praying istikhara and speaking to others about this issue, I have decided to commit some time to this area and address this very delicate subject directly, from an Islamic perspective. The initiative is called ‘Like A Garment’ (www.LikeAGarment.com), from the famous Quranic phrase of spouses being like garments to one another. The website has two aims: to disseminate information about this topic (which will, insha Allah, be beneficial to all Muslims, single and married), and to garner, via anonymous questionnaires, the problems and concerns that the Muslims of our times are facing in this area (which will help me better prepare future lectures).  I encourage those who are interested to log on to the website and sign up to receive our weekly journal.

I pray that Allah helps me to make this project successful, and that through it many, many Muslims are able to live better lives and obtain happier marriages! Ameen.

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Sh Muhammad Al-Shareef: Time Management Implementation

Regardless of what people say, there is a lot of khair in the ummah today (I just realized that rhymed after I typed it 🙂 ). But still, we all know it. Muslims are lazy, waste time, and make too many excuses for our own failures. I just listened to a webinar by Sh Muhammad Al-Shareef about mastering your time. It’s a preview of the Time Traveler seminar he has online. I’ll be completely honest and straight up here. I’ve had reservations and was hesitant about Discover U in the past. It was probably unfair of me to judge it like that without ever taking any of the seminars, but I decided to listen to this webcast b/c it is a topic that I really feel is at the crux of a lot of problems we as a community, as well as individuals (including me of course), are faced with. Masha’Allah it was very beneficial. However,  what you know is very seldom what you practice so unless this practical and useful advice is put into action it won’t help anyone by just listening to the lecture. I’m not trying to be a cheerleader for Discover U, but masha’Allah I think Sh Muhammad definitely has a lot of wisdom and understands how we can improve ourselves and reach our goals in a realistic manner. Below are some basic notes I took while listening. 

Every great Muslim leader was a master of time

10 Time Tips
1. Aim higher EVERY DAY. Better than day before. Start day with intention to make day best of your life. Push self.
2. Get things off of mind immediately, so you can use it for other important things. Mind is prime real estate. Only leave room for best knowledge in brain. Other things write down and get off of mind right away. 
3. Write things down in places where you will come across it again. 
4. Praying fajr in masjid every single day. Create habit of staying awake after fajr everyday. Baraqa after fajr time during morning. 
5. Oxygenate blood in morning. Ex: Deep breath, cardio exercise, recited Quran after fajr. 
6. Choose when next break will be and write it down. That way focus on work only during work time, and focus on break only during break time. 
7. Delete distractions. Ex: TV, minimize internet (choose times during day when no internet allowed)
8. Never multi task. Only focus at what is at hand. Pay full attention to people you are talking to. Don’t check phone/email while talking to them. Finish work first if you have to, then talk to them with complete focus (Sunnah and adhab of a Muslim). 
9. Start on the right foot. Start day with most important things so day goes right. Don’t check random emails/chat. 
10. Get a mentor/life coach for accountability. Must be someone you respect, “fear” or feel embarrassed to tell you didn’t accomplish tasks, and must be knowledgable enough to ask you the right questions. 

The feet of each slave of Allah (swt) will not move on the day of judgement until four questions will be asked: 

1. How did you spend your life?
2. How did you spend your youth?
3. What did you do with your knowledge?
4. How did you make your wealth and how did you spend it? 

Time should be the most precious thing to you in your life. 

 

A scholar (didn’t catch the name) said that every night you should hit your bed so exhausted from the work you did that day that once your head touches the pillow you fall asleep right away. 

Start with good intention to MASTER time to do more for family, memorized Quran, wealth, etc.

Make dua to MASTER time

People will not get anything except what they strive for.

Perfection or an oustanding life will not happen by accident. Ex: God exists b/c world is perfect. Therefore. a perfect life can’t happen w/o intelligence. 

Average Life: 
Sleeping 30 years
Work 10 years (work should be life mission and something you love)
TV 10 years
Internet 6 years (could be even more now)
Eating 4 years
Standing in line 4 years
Driving 3 years
Bathroom 3 years
Others: Household chores, daydreaming, phone, etc. 

Save years
Make job life mission: gain 10 years
Remove TV: gain 10 years
Wake up for fajr and start day right after: 10 years

1. Clean brain out of junk
2. Focus on what is important/best, and delete things that are even just good and obviously bad
3. Big dreams require delegation. Must use teamwork and deal with other people. 
4. Can’t get anywhere unless know where you are going. 

5. Excellence and ihsan is never an accident. Must have plan and intention. 
Get out of comfort zone. Become slightly uncomfortable. 
 

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Time Management Tips from Imam Sha’bi

Taken from Tayyibaat. May Allah (swt) reward her for her efforts.

Bismillah

A famous line of Arab poetry states,

الوقت كالسيف ان لم تقطعه قطعك

Time is like a sword, if you do not cut it, it will cut you.

The Salaf (pious predecessors) were masters of time management.

Imam Sha’bi rahimahullah, one of the great scholars of our Deen, was asked one day how he gained so much knowledge. To this question he answered, “being independent, traveling in the cities, having patience like the patience of a donkey and rising early like the crows.” From his answer, we as students can derive benefits on how we should be with our time.

  • Being independent: motivate yourself and don’t rely on others to help you.
  • Traveling in the cities: keep moving and don’t become stagnant.
  • Patience like the patience of a donkey: be patient with learning and be patient on the path of worshipping Allah. Shaykh Hassan Abdul-Wahhab al-Banna hafidhahullah was asked how does one become a strong student, treading the path of seeking knowledge? The Shaykh replied, Patience (Sabr). He said this 3 times. He said patience with Allah, in good and bad times. Patience with yourself, patience with ease and with hardships. Patience with your family and friends. Patience with knowledge. Patience with the Qur’an.
  • Rising early like the crows: the biggest tip on time management is to get up early to complete your tasks.

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The ‘Harsh’ Reality of Islam

Here is a khutbah I recently gave.  I think its definitely an important topic because it’s very odd to me how when some people get more “religious” or start getting their deen on they become overly serious and hard tempered for some strange reason. If you are one of those people…..chill out 🙂 

 

“Shall I not tell you who will be forbidden from the Fire, or from whom the Fire will be forbidden? It will be forbidden for every gentle, soft-hearted and kind person.” [Tirmidhi]

 

 I wanted to discuss a characteristic that many of us witness among several people unfortunately. I’m sure that all of us can recall examples through our own respective dealings and interactions with individuals on a day to day basis, so its importance is without a doubt very critical to us all.

 Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Imran (3:133-135):

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And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil). Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straightness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others). And those who when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults– and who forgives the faults but Allah, and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done.

 It is very important to note that Allah (swt) specifically mentions those who control their anger. It does not say those who do not have any anger. Anger is a natural feeling, and there are certain instances in which we should get upset, such as if any injustice occurs to Muslims or non-Muslims. However, this anger should not in any form prelude injustice and the stereotypical violence that has been attributed to Muslims. Rather, we should control it and not allow ourselves to be harsh or hard tempered with people.

One of the absolute best examples is found Surah Ta Ha (20: 43-44). Allah (swt) told Musa (as):
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Go to Pharaoh; he has overstepped the bounds. But speak to him with gentle words so that hopefully he will pay heed or show some fear.

What was the nature of Pharaoh? He is the same person who is described in Surah An-Naziat (79:24) as arrogantly boasting

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Then he said: I am you your lord, the most high.

He killed thousands of innocent believers and even newborn infants, he denied the clear signs and miracles of Allah (swt), he was an open enemy to Musa (as), and he was so evil that Jibril (as) stuffed his mouth with mud before Pharoah drowned so that he couldn’t even utter words of repentance when Pharoah knew he was about to die. He is narrated to be the absolute worst of mankind, and he is shown his place in Hell everyday while in the state of barzaq. Allah (swt) knew exactly who Pharaoh was and what he did, yet still he told Musa (as) to be gentle with him. Musa (as) being gentle with him could  have possibly benefited Pharoah, but likewise it would have benefited Musa (as) himself first and foremost.

Similarly, it is important to note the instructions given to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) from Allah (swt) at the conclusion of Surah At-Tariq (86:15-17)

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Lo! they plot a plot (against thee, O Muhammad). And I plot a plot (against them). So give a respite to the disbelievers. Deal thou gently with them for a while.

Allah (swt) tells the beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) that the disbelievers are without a doubt plotting against him, yet Allah (swt) had a much greater plan in store for them. Given this revelation, it was still be best for Muhammad (saw) to deal with them in a gentle manner and avoid harshness during that time even with the clear knowledge that they are acting as enemies towards his noble mission.

Another beautiful reminder of avoiding even the slightest inclinations towards neglecting the rights of others,  perfecting one’s character, and prioritizing the importance of matters is at the beginning of Surat ‘Abasa (80:1-12)

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(The Prophet) frowned and turned away, Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting). But what could tell thee but that perchance he might grow (in spiritual understanding)?- Or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him? As to one who regards himself as self-sufficient, To him dost thou attend; Though it is no blame to thee if he grow not (in spiritual understanding). But as to him who came to thee striving earnestly, And with fear (in his heart), Of him wast thou unmindful. By no means (should it be so)! For it is indeed a Message of instruction: Therefore let whoso will, keep it in remembrance. 

This lesson can be applied to your fellow Muslim brother or sister, as well as non-Muslims that come to us sincerely in search of deepening their own understanding of the faith. This address of Allah (swt) directly to the Prophet (saw) was both a lesson for him as well as for all of mankind to follow. The Prophet (saw) wasn’t necessarily harsh in the sense that we commonly envision when visualizing the state of one being inconsiderate towards a fellow person. The Prophet (saw) was upholding the utmost levels of sincerity towards both the Qureshi leader whom he was attempting to bestow a greater appreciation of Islam in the hopes that he would accept it as his own belief, as well as the blind man who came earnestly towards the Prophet (saw) with a humbled and God fearing heart. This blind believer came to him in a sincere pursuit of knowledge and strengthening his faith, and we can see how we are directed to deal with everyone in the best and most gentle way even if it may conflict with out own whims and desires. Another lesson to learn from this is the absolute veracity and validity of the Qur’an as being of divine origin. Even the Prophet (saw), who had the most exemplary tender and soft persona, was corrected in his dealings when he seldom erred. If this book had been written by Muhammad (saw), there would be no need for him to rectify and rebuke himself for his own mistakes in such a public and open fashion. This is another proof that this book can be from none other than the Creator of the heavens and earth.

In addition there are several ahadith in regards to the self-restraint and proper avoidance of harshness that Muslims are commanded to follow. A few self evident examples are as follows:

 The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The strong man is not the one who can overpower others (in wrestling); rather, the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry.”

 The Prophet (saw) said, “If a man avoids disputing when he is in the wrong, God builds for him a mansion in the middle part of paradise. And if a man avoids disputing when he is in the right, God builds for him a mansion in highest part of paradise.

 The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe.”

Also, it is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) never once in his entire life ever hit a woman or a child.

‘Umar (ra) has also been narrated as saying, ‘Deal with the [common] people on the basis of good character, and differ from them with your deeds’. 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No one will enter Paradise whose heart contains an atom’s weight of arrogance.” [Sahīh Muslim]. However, it’s rather effortless for any of us to get upset and harsh towards others when we have a superiority complex or arrogance towards another individual. I can vividly recall an example several years ago in which I saw this first hand. I was visiting overseas and was staying at a relative’s house. They had a servant who was a teenage boy that lived with them. We quickly befriended each other and masha’Allah he had a very likeable personality. However, what I remember the most is although for the most part everyone was nice and kind to him, there were instances when I felt they were overly harsh with him not because he made a mistake or wasn’t fulfilling his responsibilities, but rather because he was a servant and they were able to act harsh towards him without any perceived repercussions. Compare this to the conduct of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). In a hadith narrated by Anas: “I served the Prophet Muhammad (saw) (and his family) for ten years. (During these 10 years) he (was never cross and) never said even oh! and never asked as to why I did this or didn’t do that [Bukhari & Muslim]. Look at the tolerance, kindness, compassion & forgiveness. Not once in a span of 10 years did the Prophet (saw) rebuke, insult, or reprimand Anas (ra) for any mistake or shortcoming that he may have made. This is a clear example of  what can be considered the pinnacle of gentle and upright conduct towards others.

The Prophet (saw) is narrated as saying in a hadith, “Among my followers the best of men are those who are best to their wives, and the best of women are those who are best to their husbands.” What exactly is the definition of being “the best to your wife?”  As for the role of a husband, this hadith is clearly not a support for the so-called definitive notion that the most wealthy man should be sought after and that simply providing a life of luxury will make one the best husband. This alone cannot earn a husband the rewards of being the best man as described in the hadith. If we study the relationship between the Prophet (saw) and his wives we can see that in reality the quintessential essence of being the best husband, and therefore the best man, encompasses avoiding harshness, kindness, a gentle persona, forgiveness of minor faults of one’s wife, having a sense of humor, as well as the responsibilities of leading, protecting, and maintaining the needs of one’s wife. 

One crucial aspect of Islam for all of us to be cognizant about is that if one of us does not fulfill the rights of Allah (swt), and later ask for sincere forgiveness, He will forgive you insha’Allah. From a hadith qudsi it is narrated that Allah (swt) has said: 

O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.  O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you.  O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it.

However, if you usurp the rights of men and women there is no guarantee that they will forgive you, and we would be held accountable for our harsh conduct on the Day of Judgment. This is the ultimate reason why it is of the utmost importance to ensure that we fulfill the rights of people and avoid undue harshness towards them

The Messenger of Allah (saw) asked his Companions (Sahabah), “Do you know who is a poor man?” The Sahabah asked him who and the Prophet (saw) continued, “The poor man is he who comes to Allah (swt) with a mountain of good deeds, but has been careless at the same time. He lies at some point, hurts someone, or calls someone names. These people will come and demand their rights on the Day of Judgment, so Allah (swt) will start distributing his good deeds among them. His good deeds will finish but their rights will not. Allah (swt) will then take these people’s sins and start collecting them on this man’s head. These sins will pile up like a mountain. Such a one is called a poor person, one who has accumulated a mountain of good deeds but has been careless with his tongue and his hands at the same time.”

For this reason, many of the righteous men of the past have commented on the status of those who delude themselves in acts of perceived self-righteousness, yet only lower their rank due to their ill-nature and bad character.

Said al-Fudayl, ‘The company of an irreligious man of good character is preferable to me to that of an ill-natured man much given to worship.”

Anas ibn Malik (ra) said, “A bondsman can reach the very highest rank in Heaven through his good character, without being a man of much worship, and can reach the lowest region of the Inferno through his bad character, even though he should worship abundantly”

May Allah (swt) make us among those people who are gentle, have the best upright character, and avoid harshness in our dealings and affairs with others. Ameen.

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