Monday, February 28, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 134

Ayahs of the Day:
And behold! Allah will say: O Jesus the son of Mary! Have you told people : "Take me and my mother as two Gods instead of God (Alone)?" He will say: Glory be to you! It is not my place what I have no right to (say). If I had said it, you would have known it already. You know what is on my mind, while I do not know anything that is on yours. You are the knower of unseen things. I have never told them anything except what you have ordered me to: Worship God as my Lord and your Lord." I was a witness for them so long as I was among them. When you did take me up, You were the watcher over them, and You are a Witness for everything. [5: 116,117]

Hadith of the Day:

Do not abandon an obligatory prayer intentionally, for the one who fails to perform it intentionally has made himself free of the protection of Allah and His messenger. [Ibn Majah & Ahmad]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Flouting the sacred law is a sign that Allah has abandoned one. [Hamza Karamali]

Guidance of the Day:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "God loathes those who are learned of the affairs of this world but are ignorant of the Hereafter." For it behooves those who have been gifted by God with intelligence and skills to apply these gifts toward what benefits them in the most profound way, to gain knowledge and insight about the Real and the purpose He has created us.

This is not to say one should abandon the world altogether; on the contrary, Islam encourages excellence in things of this world, but not at the expense of matters related to the Hereafter and religious conduct of one's life. Detachment from the world is a thing of the heart, a mental attitude, an objective view of prioritization, so that one does everything that is required to do so, but without inordinate preoccupation.

As for studying the sciences of religion, it is a duty that no Muslim can evade. "Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim man and woman," said the Prophet (peace be upon him). This goes side by side with learning a trade, a craft, or obtaining higher university degrees. [Mutual Reminding--Good Manners]

Food for Thought:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, loving someone deeply gives you courage. Love conquers all. Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Sometimes heart sees what is invisible to the eye. The hearts of the people are made to incline towards love. Love is a metaphysical gravity.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 133

Ayahs of the Day:
Whenever they are told: "Come to what God has sent down, and to (hear) the Messenger," they say: "We are satisfied with what we found our forefathers doing," even though their forefathers did not know anything and were not guided! O you who believe, your souls are in your own care. No one who goes astray will harm you, provided you are guided. Toward Allah will you all return together, and He will notify you about whatever you have been doing. [5:104,105]

Hadith of the Day:
Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows and Khushoo (i.e. where the person's heart is attuned to the prayer) has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or He may punish him. [Malik, Ahmad, AbuDaud]

Wise Quote of the Day:
If you do remember death and prepare for its coming, you will know endless joy when death arrives. Whereas if you are complacent and procrastinate, death will come to you at an unforeseen moment and you will know regrets without end. [Imam Ghazali]

Guidance of the Day:
Taqwa is the foundation of good manners and proper comportment that is becoming of a person who believes in God, the Messenger (peace be upon him), and the Hereafter. But before learning about good manners, one ought to give some thought to what are bad manners and their characteristics.

It is bad manners of the most severe degree to be informed that the Hereafter is immensely better than this world and is everlasting, yet prefer this world and concentrate all one's energy therein. It is bad manners to be informed that it is possible to draw near to God, yet decide that the effort required to do so is too troublesome and so settle for the minimum necessary to barely escape the Fire.

It is bad manners to be informed that some people ascertain profound knowledge of God through contemplation, yet decide that other things are more important as the objects of your concerns. It is bad manners to devote time and energy to studying the insignificant and ephemeral, yet neglect to devote equal time (at least) in studying that which helps deliver one from chastisement in the Hereafter and from moral indifference in this life. [Mutual Reminding -- Good Manners]

Food for Thought:
We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating perfect love. True love is like a ghost, which everyone talks about but few have seen. There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate where it does not.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 132

Ayahs of the Day:
Know that Allah is strict in punishment and that Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. The Messenger's duty is to proclaim (the message), but Allah knows all that you reveal and you conceal. Say: Evil and good are not equal, even though the abundance of evil may fascinate you. So fear Allah, O people of understanding in order that you may prosper. [5: 98,99,100]

Hadith of the Day:
The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad. [Al tabrani]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Know that the Quran is the ocean where from the jewels of knowledge and the treasures of understanding are extracted. [Ibn al Haddad]

Guidance of the Day:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "He who believes in God and the Last Day, let him speak words of goodness or else remain silent." In another tradition, we learn what is meant here by "words of goodness." He said, "The speech of the Son of Adam will be counted against him, not for him, except for enjoining good, forbidding evil, and remembering God." When a Muslim meets his brother, this should be the matter of their discourse.

Obviously, they must exchange greetings of peace, inquire about each other's health, family, and other affairs; for this keeps the bonds of brotherly affection alive. But having done so, they should turn to reminding each other of that which brings the fragrance of faith in their lives and renders, by God's will, their life-to-come successful. [Mutual Reminding--Good Manners by Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi al Haddad]

Food for Thought:
Love is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life. A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. What we have truly lived are the moments when we have done things in the spirit of love. Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.

Friday, February 25, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 131

Ayahs of the Day:
Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil); If you do turn back, know that it is Our Messenger's duty to proclaim (the message) in the clearest manner. On those who believe and do deeds of righteousness there is no blame for what they ate (in the past), when they guard themselves from evil, and believe, and do deeds of righteousness again, guard themselves from evil and believe again, guard themselves from evil and do good, for Allah loves those who do good. [5: 92,93]

Hadith of the Day:
You do not spend anything for the sake of Allah's countenance except that you will be rewarded for it, even (the food) that you put in the mouth of your wife. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
How often is a small action made tremendous through its intention, and how often is a tremendous action rendered small through its intention. [Al Harith al Muhasabi]

Guidance of the Day:
It is said that whoever occupies himself with insignificant things, then important things will bypass him. When intelligence is complete, then speech becomes rare. Speech is a necessary evil, but silence is salvation. So when you have to talk, do not be prolific. You will never once regret of your silence, but oftentimes you will repent your speech.

Early rising is blessed since it increases all kinds of good things, especially sustenance. Yet the most influential factor in bringing about sustenance is the performance of prayer with reverence, humility, modesty and proper positioning of the body--as are the rest of the obligatory aspects pertaining to prayer. One should not engage in vain discourse that is of no benefit to one's religious or worldly affairs. [Instruction of the student---The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Where there is love there is life. Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruits. The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but hold hands. If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 130

Ayahs of the Day:
O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, idols and raffles are only the filthy work of Satan, turn aside from it so that you may prosper. Satan's plan is to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer; will you not then abstain? [5: 90,91]

Hadith of the Day:
Whoever removes a difficulty from a Muslim in this world, Allah will remove for him a difficulty of the difficulties of the Day of Judgment. Allah is assisting the servant as long as he is assisting his brother. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Do not do anything for the sake of others, and do not abandon anything for their sake either. Do not cover anything for them, and do not reveal anything for them. [Al Sari]

Guidance of the Day:
The most influential factors in strengthening memory are industriousness and commitment. Reducing one's consumption, increasing prayer at night, and reading the Quran are also factors for improving one's memory. It is said that nothing increases memory retention more than reading the Quran.

Indeed memory is a favor from God, and a favor of God is not given to he who sins. Among those things that bring about forgetfulness are wrong doings, committing many sins, harboring worries and anxiety over worldly matters, and being distracted by many occupations and attachments.

It is not befitting for an intelligent person to overly concern himself with worldly matters since they are harmful and are of no real benefit. Worldly anxieties create darkness in the heart, but concern for the Hereafter brings light into the heart. This light becomes apparent through the prayer. Anxiety from worldly affairs impedes one from doing good, while concern for the Hereafter incites one to do good, as does occupying oneself with prayer in a spirit of humility and presence of mind. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
The only abnormality is the incapacity to love. Love is like war; easy to begin, very hard to stop. In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 129

Ayahs of the Day:
Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families; or clothe them; or free a slave. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths you have sworn. but protect your oaths. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you, that you may be grateful. [5: 89]

Hadith of the Day:
The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands all Muslims are safe, and an emigrant is the one who leaves those things which Allah has prohibited. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Renunciation is the means of traveling to Allah and reaching Him, for there is no spiritual traveling for a heart that is attached to anything other than the beloved. [Ibn Ajiba]

Guidance of the Day:
Ali (radi Allahu anhu) said, "If you are occupied with learning something, then concentrate on it wholeheartedly. To withdraw from the study of knowledge of God is shameful and a big loss; so seek refuge in God from this distraction both day and night.

It is essential for the student of knowledge to bear patiently with miseries and humiliation while seeking learning. It is said that knowledge is nobility without debasement. But no one reaches it except through debasement, in which there is no nobility. You will not attain nobility before you have humbled your soul. The more abstinent a seeker of knowledge is, the more useful his knowledge becomes. Moreover, his learning becomes easier and the acquisition of beneficial matters more expansive. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
A baby is born with a need to be loved and never outgrows it. We are all born for love, it is the principle of existence, and its only end. Love is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life. The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 128

Ayahs of the Day:
O you who believe! Make not unlawful any wholesome things which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors. And eat of the things which Allah has provided you, lawful and good, and fear Allah in Whom you believe. [5: 87,88]

Hadith of the Day:
The learned are heirs of the Prophets and the Prophets do not leave any inheritance in the form of dinars and dirhams (wealth), but they do leave knowledge as their legacy. As such a person who acquires knowledge, acquires his full share. [Abu Daud & Tirmidhi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Every attribute that appears in the heart leaves traces on the limbs until they do not move except in accordance with it, and every action of the limbs can leave traces in the heart, so the relationship is reciprocal. [Zafar Othmani}

Guidance of the Day:
Divine recompense is determined by the amount of toil and labor one exerts in seeking knowledge. So he who perseveres in this, will encounter such delight in gaining knowledge that it overcomes all other delights of the world. Indeed this trade of scholarship goes on from cradle to grave.

The best period in life for study is at the beginning of adolescence. The best period of the day is the time of dawn and that between the setting of the sun and the first prayer vigil of the night. It is necessary to fully immerse oneself in the study of knowledge. A person in pursuit of knowledge should seek it at all times, so that he may eventually attain excellence. One way to attain knowledge is to have a pen available at every occasion so that he can write down whatever knowledge he hears. It is said that knowledge is that which is taken from the lips of men, since they recall only the best of what they heard and mention only the best of what they recall.[ Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Love does not dominate, it cultivates. Where there is love, there is life. People not only like to be loved, but to be told they are loved. Love is the beauty of the soul. The best proof of love is trust.

Monday, February 21, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 127

Ayahs of the Day:
Will they not turn with repentance to Allah and ask His Forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful. Jesus, son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their daily food. See how We make the signs clear for them. Yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth). [5: 74,75]

Hadith of the Day:
When the people gather in one of the houses of Allah to recite the Book of Allah and teach it to each other, tranquility and peace descend upon the gathering, (Allah's) mercy covers them, angels spread their wings over them and Allah mentions them among those who are around Him. [Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
The source of every obedience, vigilance, and virtue is dissatisfaction with one's self. The source of every disobedience, indifference, and passion is satisfaction with one self. [Ibn Ataillah]

Guidance of the Day:
It is said, "He who knows himself knows his Lord." For when one realizes his own limitations, he knows more of the power of God, and he learns not to rely on himself and his own intellect. Instead, he places his trust in God and seeks the truth from Him. And those who rely on God, He suffices them and will guide them along the straight way.

He who possesses wealth should not be miserly. In fact, it is necessary to seek refuge in God from miserliness. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "What affliction is worse than miserliness?" It is essential in the quest of knowledge that one pursue the highest aspiration without coveting the wealth of people. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Beware of being covetous, for it is ever-present poverty." It is said, "People are in poverty because they fear poverty. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say; "I used everything You gave me."

Sunday, February 20, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 126

Ayahs of the Day:
Surely they have disbelieved who say: " Allah is Jesus, son of Mary." But Jesus said; "O children of Israel! Worship Allah my Lord and your Lord." Verily whoever sets up partners with Allah, then Allah has forbidden paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity). But there is no God but one God--Allah. And if they cease not from what they say, verily a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them. [5:72,73]

Hadith of the Day:
My Ummah (followers) will be called on the Day of Judgment as a people with bright faces and limbs, this being the effect of their practice of ablution. Therefore any one of you who wish to increase his brightness, should do so (by making ablutions thoroughly). [Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Silence is wisdom, though few are silent. [Luqman radi Allahu anhu]

Guidance of the Day:
It is essential for believers not to hope for anything unless it comes from God and not to fear anything except from God Himself. In ignoring this, one violates the ordinances of the Law, since he who sins against God out of fear of human beings actually fears someone other than God. But if he does not sin against God out of fear of his fellow men, and thus observes the ordinances of sacred Law, then he fears no one other than God. The same principle applies to hope.

A person who devotes himself to learning God's religion, God Almighty gives him sufficient care and provides for him in unexpected ways. It is essential in the search for knowledge to reduce one's attachment to worldly affairs as much as one can. It is necessary for everyone to occupy himself with good deeds so that the soul does not concern itself with mundane desires. The intelligent man should not be eager for the affairs of this world, since this kind of anxiety and grief does not avert calamity and is really of no use. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Life is half spent before we know what it is. Life is like a blanket too short, you pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and your shoulders shiver, but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 125

Ayahs of the Day:
Your (real) friends are Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers--those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship). As to those who turn (for friendship) to Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers--it is the fellowship of Allah that must certainly triumph. [5: 55,56]

Hadith of the Day:
The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it. [Bukhari]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Be a good man to Allah and a bad man to yourself (desires), and be one of the commoners among the people. [Ali radi Allahu anhu]

Guidance of the Day:
It is important to realize that understanding, knowledge, and good fortune come from God the Exalted, as well as from asking God for guidance by supplicating Him. For God the Exalted is the One who guides those who seek His guidance.

So the followers of truth--who are the followers of the Prophet's way (peace be upon him) and the community of believers---seek the truth from God the Exalted who Himself is the Truth, the Elucidator, the Guide, the Protector (against error). So God the Exalted leads the followers of truth and protects them from error.

However people of misguidance admire their own intelligence and their opinions. They seek the truth only from mortals who are weak and only have reasoning (without revelation from God). For human reasoning does not encompass everything in all aspects, just as vision does not reveal all things to the sight. These people are veiled from and incapable of the highest truth. Consequently, they stray from the path of god and cause others to stray with them. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
May we live every day of our lives. The price for anything is the amout of life we exchange it for. Life is like a coin, we can spend it any way we wish, but we can only spend it once.

Friday, February 18, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 124

Ayah of the Day:
O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom he will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the way of Allah, and never fear the blame of the blamers. That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient, All-Knower. [5: 54]

Hadith of the Day:
Allah will elevate some nations through His book (the Holy Quran) and degrade others through it. [Muslim]
Wise Quote of the Day
Dhikr (remembrance) is the reason for the life of the heart and leaving it is the reason for its death. [Ibn Ajiba]

Guidance of the Day:
Under all circumstances and times (the student) should endeavor to profit from everybody present. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Wisdom is wandering beast of the believer, wherever he finds it, he should seize it." It is said, "Seize whatever is clear and discard whatever is turbid."

If seeker of knowledge must make a living to support his family and other dependents, then he should work for his livelihood and at the same time repeat and discuss his lessons. Gratitude for the blessing of intelligence and knowledge also increases one's knowledge. Abu Hanifa said, "I acquired knowledge by praising God and thanking Him. As often as I understood an item of learning and gained grasp of a point of law or a nugget of wisdom, I said Praise be to God! Thus my knowledge increased." As such, it is necessary in the quest for learning to occupy oneself with giving thanks by way of the tongue, the heart, the hands, and one's wealth. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
The purpose of life is a life of purpose. It is not the length of life, but the depth of life. It is not a sum of what we are but what we yearn to be, its what we do with our life counts. The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 123

Ayah of the Day:
And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by which Allah has revealed, such are the wrongdoers. [5: 45]

Hadith of the Day:
Study the Quran (regularly) for it will act as an intercessor and entreat for its readers on the Day of Judgment. [Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Had there not been five bad qualities, all the people would have been righteous: contentment with ignorance, love for worldly life, miserliness, ostentation in good deeds and pride in their intelligence. [Ali radi Allahu anhu]

Guidance of the Day:
It is incumbent upon the student that he ponder long and often on the more subtle matters of knowledge and that he accustom himself to this (habit of thinking); for only by reflection can subtle problems be solved. For this reason it is said, "Reflect and you will reach a solution." But it is essential to reflect before speaking in order to say what is correct.

Speech is like an arrow; it is necessary to aim it by way of reflection before uttering anything. This way one hits the target. It is a major axiom that the discourse of a jurist in debate be based on thorough reflection. It is said, moreover, that the first principle of intelligence is practicing discourse with consideration and circumspection. Do not neglect the purpose of the discourse, its time, its quality, its quantity, and its place. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Life is a long lesson in humility. Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 122

Ayah of the Day:
It was We who revealed The Law (to Moses); therein was guidance and light. By its standards have been judged the Jews, by the Prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah's will, by the Rabbis and the Doctors of Law; For to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto; Therefore fear not men, but fear Me, and sell not My signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah has revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers. [ 5: 44]

Hadith of the Day:
Three kinds of prayers are to be granted without an iota of doubt: the prayer of an oppressed person, the prayer of a traveler and the prayer of a father for his son. [Abu Daud & Tirmidhi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
The beginning of the knowledge is intention, then listening, then understanding, then action, then preservation and then spreading it. [Ibn al Mubarak]

Guidance of the Day:
Learning is the most precious thing you could store. He who takes up learning will never have his honor effaced. So acquire for yourself those matters of which you were once ignorant. For the beginning and the end of knowledge is happiness. The joys of knowledge, and insight are sufficient incentive for intelligent men to acquire knowledge.

Serve knowledge in a way useful to you and keep its lessons alive by praiseworthy actions. Discuss with people subjects of learning in order that you may live. Do not keep yourself away from the enlightened. If you conceal knowledge you will be forgotten. Knowledge has this condition of being contagious for the one who serves it, such that it should make all men the servants of knowledge. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it. There are no extra ordinary men, just extra ordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 121

Ayahs of the Day:
As to the thief, male or female, cut of his or her hands; a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime, and Allah is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom. But if the thief repents after his crime, and amends his conduct, Allah turns to him in forgiveness; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [5:38,39]

Hadith of the Day:
After the death of a person his actions stop, except for three things (that he leaves behind): First continuos charity, second a knowledge from which some benefit may be obtained, and then a virtuous son who prays for him. [Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Only someone who is sincere recognizes what showing off is. [Imam Shafi]

Guidance of the Day:
How much shame, weakness, and regret is born to men from laziness. Beware of laziness in investigating the doubtful and the exceptional that come to your knowledge. Laziness issues from the paucity of meditation on the virtues of knowledge and its merits.

Good renown derives from useful knowledge and lasts after one's death. Indeed this is life everlasting. The ignorant are dead before their death, while the learned live even though they are dead. A person who does not live by knowledge is dead. The master of knowledge lives on for ever after his death. The life of the heart is knowledge, so seek it, and the death of the heart is ignorance, so shun it. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
The past actually happened, but history is only what someone wrote down. History is a vast warning system, it is philosophy teaching by example. It is a sum of total of things that could have been avoided.

Monday, February 14, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 120

Ayahs of the Day:
O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive with might and main in His cause; that you may prosper. And to those who reject faith--if they had everything on earth, and twice repeated, to give as ransom for the penalty of the Day of judgment, it would never be accepted of them. Theirs would be a grievous penalty. [5: 35,36]

Hadith of the Day:
The person closest to Allah is one who precedes others in greeting. [Abu daud]

Wise Quote of the Day:
The wise person knows that the only fitting price for his soul is a place in Paradise. [Ibn Hazm]

Guidance of the Day:
In seeking knowledge, it is important to aspire to the highest level of learning, since man flies by his aspirations as a bird flies with its wings. The chief aids in the acquisition of things are industriousness and high ambition.

It is said "Do not make haste in your affairs but proceed slowly with them. But beware of laziness, for it is misfortune and a great calamity. For each one who does good deeds experiences happiness, while each one who acts in a lazy manner has afflictions and unhappiness. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
The good of anger lies in its suppression, and its expression in accordance with the dictates of wisdom. The good of passion lies in its being under the guidance of wisdom, the guidance of intellect and the sacred law.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 119

Ayah of the Day:
O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah, for Allah is well acquainted with all that you do. To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness has Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward. Those who reject faith and deny Our signs will be companions of the Hell fire. [5: 8,9,10]

Hadith of the Day:
The greatest lies are those that a person should claim a false paternity, or may claim to have seen something (a dream) with his eyes which he has not seen, or attribute to the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him), which he has not said. [Bukhari]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Absorption in the worldly affairs breeds darkness in the heart, and the absorption in the affairs of the Hereafter enkindles light in the heart. [Othman radi Allah anhu]

Guidance of the Day:
It is essential in the seeking of knowledge to maintain a vigil through the nights. It is said, "He who desires to carry out all his aspirations should use his nights as a camel on his road to reach them. He who keeps watch at night will rejoice in his heart during the day."

In the search for knowledge, it behooves one to persevere in study and repetition, both at the beginning of the night and at its end, for the time between dusk and the hour of dawn is a blessed time.

In the quest of learning, one must make use of the days of early youth and adolescence. It is said, "By the amount of work you do, will you obtain what you strive for. So he who strives for a goal stays up by night. Make use of the days of early youth for verily the period of youth does not remain with you." [Instruction of the student- The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
(A tombstone inscription from New York City)
Behold and see as you pass by----As you are now so once I was.
As I am now so you must be----Prepare for death and follow me.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 118

Ayah of the Day:
Forbidden for you are dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name other than Allah; that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter it, that which is sacrificed on Stone (Altars); (Forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows; that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion. yet fear them not but fear Me. This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. [5: 3]

Hadith of the Day:
If somebody from you left his seat for a while and returns after sometime, he is more entitled to take the seat he had left. [Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
What a difference between what He (Allah) brings to you and what you present to Him. [Ibn ataillah]

Guidance of the Day:
Earnestness, perseverance, and assiduity are indispensable in the quest for knowledge. It is said that he who seeks something and is industrious (in so doing) shall find it; and he who knocks at the door and is persistent shall enter.

It is said that you will reach what you desire only to the extent that you pursue it. The industriousness of three kinds of people is essential in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding: the student, the teacher, and the father, if he is among the living. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting. Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.

Friday, February 11, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 117

Ayah of the Day:
O you who believe! violate not the sanctity of the symbols of Allah, nor of the sacred month, nor of animals brought for sacrifice, nor the garlands that mark out such animals, nor the people resorting to the sacred House, seeking the bounty and pleasure of their Lord. But when you are clear of the Sacred Precincts and of pilgrim garb, you may hunt, and let not the hatred of some people in (once) shutting you out of the Sacred mosque lead you to transgression. Help one another in righteousness and piety, but help not one another in sin and rancor; fear Allah; for Allah is strict in punishment. [5:2]

Hadith of the Day:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) took a piece of silk in his right hand and a piece of gold in his left hand and said: "These two things are unlawful for the males of my Ummah." [Abu daud]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Be joyous for an increase in knowledge or in good works, for they are your two companions who will accompany you in your grave when your family, wealth, children and friends stay behind. [Imam Ghazali]

Guidance of the Day:
In seeking knowledge, it is essential to listen to words of knowledge and wisdom with reverence, even if one hears the same question and same words a thousand times. It is necessary in the quest of knowledge to be on guard from shameful traits of character, for they are the howling dogs of the spirit.

It is said."Knowledge is hostile to the haughty youth, just as torrential rain is hostile to the highlands." It is also said, "All glory is attained by exertion, not by luck. Is luck without exertion any glory? How many a slave ranks with the free, and how many a freeborn ranks with the slave!" [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. If instead of a gem or even flowers, we cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving like the angels give.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 116

Ayahs of the Day:
O you who believe! Fulfill (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four footed animals with the exceptions named. But animals of the chase are forbidden while you are in the sacred precincts or in pilgrim garb. For Allah does command according to His will and plan. [5: 1]

Hadith of the Day:
Protect yourselves from the fire of hell, even it be by spending only half a date as alms; and one who does not get that, should at least speak nicely.[Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and once gone, can never be retrieved. [Imam Ghazali]

Guidance of the Day:
If you truly seek knowledge from those who possess it, or (seek) from a witness who tells you about what you do not know; then appraise the country by its reputation and the companion by his companion.

Know that in the pursuit of knowledge, one does not acquire learning nor profit from it unless one holds knowledge in esteem and those who possess it. So one must esteem and venerate the teacher. It is said that he who attains knowledge does not do so except through respect, while he who fails (in this goal) does so only by ceasing to respect and venerate learning and its bearers. One aspect of venerating knowledge consists in holding the teacher in esteem. The greatest duty is that which is due to the teacher, and this is the most necessary thing for each Muslim to observe. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
A real friend doesn't think you have done a permanent job, when you have made a fool of yourself. A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.

LESSON OF THE DAY 115

Ayahs of the Day:
O mankind! Verily there has come to you a convincing proof from your Lord; For We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest. Then those who believe in Allah, and hold fast to Him--soon will He admit them to Mercy and Grace from Himself, and guide them to Himself by a straight way. [4: 174,175]

Hadith of the Day:
It is obligatory upon a Muslim to listen and obey (the authority) whether he likes it or not; save when he is asked to do something sinful, if he is asked for a sinful act then there is no hearing and obedience. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Allah Exalted loves him who forgoes worldly life, the angels love him who rejects the vices, and the people love him who gives up his greediness. [Othman radi Allahu anhu]

Guidance of the Day:
As for the selection of one's companions, it is necessary to choose one who is diligent, religious, and gifted with a good character and understanding; and flee from one who is indolent and negligent, verbose, corrupt, and a trouble maker.

It is said; Do not inquire about a man, but observe his companion, for indeed one companion imitates the other companion; and if the companion is evil, then quickly shun him, but if (the companion) is good, then associate with him. In this way you will be lead in the right direction.

Do not associate yourself with a companion indolent in his ways. How often through the corruption of another man is a pious man corrupted? Contagion spreads quickly from the lazy to the lively one, just as when one places a burning coal in ashes, the fire is allayed. A bad friend is worse than an evil snake, because he will lead you towards Hell; take a good companion in order to secure success. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
A friend is the nicest thing you can have, and one of the best things you can be. The language of friendship is not words but meanings. Nothing but Heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 114

Ayah of the Day:
But those who among them who were well-grounded in knowledge, and the Believers, believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you, and (especially) those who establish regular prayer and practice regular charity and believe in Allah and in the Last Day; to them shall We soon give great reward. [4: 162]

Hadith of the Day:
The inmates of Paradise will be of three kinds a just ruler, person full of mercy and tender hearted towards all his relatives and Muslims; and a pious self restraining person having a family. [Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Don't seek anything other than contentment because therein is the bliss and the comfort of your body. Then consider the case of a person who possesses the whole world, can he take with him in his grave more than cotton and a shroud. [A Poet]

Guidance of the Day:
Know that patience and perseverance largely comprise the foundation of all important matters, but these two qualities are rare. It is said that courage is having endurance for (even) one hour. Hence, it is necessary for the pursuer of knowledge to be firm and exert patience with his teacher and his book so as to not abandon his studies incomplete.

It is also essential to be strong in abstaining from one's soul and desires bid one to do. Be patient in calamity and affliction. The treasure of good bounty lies on the arches of calamities. Ali (radi Allah anhu) said "The pursuit of knowledge is not carried on without six things, which I shall inform you of through words that are clear: ingenius acumen, fervent desire, patience, sufficient sustenance, guidance of a teacher, and length of time. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Friends are relatives that you make for yourselves. It's the friend that you can call up at four a.m. that matter. The friend is the one who knows all about you, and still likes you. He is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.

Monday, February 07, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 113

Ayahs of the Day:
Because of the wrong doings of those who were Jews We made unlawful for them certain good things which were (before) made lawful to them, and because they hindered many from Allah's way. And of their taking usury when they were forbidden it, and of their devouring people's wealth by wrongful means. we have prepared for them who disbelieve a painful punishment. [4:160,161]

Hadith of the Day:
May I point out to you the person who is forbidden for the fire or on whom the fire is forbidden? It is forbidden to touch every person, who is closer to the people, soft, lenient and is kind hearted. [Tirmidhi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Someone who seeks to travel the path of Allah should begin with a sound repentance from all the sins. [Ibn al Haddad]

Guidance of the Day:
It is necessary to ask advice in all matters. Indeed, God Almighty commanded (even) His Messenger to seek counsel, although (in reality) there was no one more intelligent than the Prophet (peace be upon him). Nevertheless he was instructed to consult with others. So indeed, he sought advice from his companions in all affairs including domestic matters. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) stated, "No man perished from seeking advice."

It is said that people are divided into the following: a man, a half a man, and nothing. A man is one who is sound of judgment and consults others. A half man is he who is of sound judgment but does not seek advice, or seeks advice but is not of sound judgment. One who is nothing is a person who is neither sound in judgment nor one who seeks advice. Seek advice in your affairs from those who are God fearing. [Instruction of the student--the Method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Wishing to be friends is a quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast, a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 112

Ayahs of the Day:
What can Allah gain by your punishment, if you are grateful and you believe? It is Allah that recognizes (all good), and knows all things. Allah does not love evil talk in public, except where injustice has been done; for Allah is He who hears and knows all things. Whether you do good openly or keep it secret, or forgive evil, surely Allah is Forgiving and Powerful. [4: 147,148,149]

Hadith of the Day:
One who is devoid of kindness is devoid of the good of every kind. Where there is softness it beautifies that thing, and from which it is taken away it snatches its glamour. [Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Better to look at the defects in you than to look for the unseen worlds that are veiled from you. [Ibn Ataillah]

Guidance of the Day:
When undertaking the study of knowledge, it is necessary to choose among all the branches of learning which are the most beneficial to oneself. One should also select what is essential according to the stage one has reached in his religious development. And finally, one should choose what will be essential to one in the future.

It is essential to choose established traditions before new things. Beware of becoming engrossed in those disputes which come after one has cut loose from the traditional authorities. For (such dispute) keeps the student away from knowledge, wastes away his life, and leave him with (nothing but) solitude and hostility. [Instruction of the student--The Method of learning]

Food for Thought:
There is nothing on this Earth more prized than true friendship. Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 111

Ayahs of the Day:
O you who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than Believers; do you wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves? The Hypocrites will be in the depths of the Fire; no helper will you find for them. Except for those who repent, mend (their lives), hold fast to Allah, and purify their religion as in Allah's sight; if so they will be (numbered) with the Believers. And soon Allah will grant to the Believers a reward of immense value. [4: 144,145,146]

Hadith of the Day:
I stand surety for a home on one side of the Paradise for one who will give up pomp and show off, although, he may be in the right; and a home in the center of Paradise for one who will give up lying even in joke; and a home in the best Paradise for one whose behavior is excellent.[ Abu Daud]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Those with the most sins are those who spend time talking about the sins of others. [Ibn Sireen]

Guidance of the Day:
One must intend (with knowledge) to being thankful (to God) for a healthy mind and a sound body; one should not, however, intend to attract people toward himself, or reap the vanities of the world, or obtain honors from the king, and the like. He who finds pleasure in knowledge and in acting according to it, rarely does he desire worldly possessions.

Whoever strives for knowledge for the life to come obtains great gain in righteousness. But he is in utter loss who seeks knowledge to obtain an advantage over people. This is true with the possible exception of one who seeks position in order to command what is good and forbid what is evil, and in order to promote the truth and strengthen religion--but never in order to satisfy his ego and his desires.

It is essential for one who strives for knowledge to reflect on this. One should seek knowledge with great (personal) assiduity and not apply it to this base, small, and perishable world. [Instruction of the student---The method of learning]

Food for Thought:
Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you; love, prayer and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the economy of the heart, it saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirits.

Friday, February 04, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 110

Ayahs of the Day:
The Hypocrites--they think they are overreaching Allah but He will overreach them; When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen by men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance. Wavering between this and that, belonging neither to these nor to those. He whom Allah has left to go astray, you will not find any way for him. [4: 142,143]

Hadith of the Day:
A believer can achieve the position of one who regularly fasts during the day and spends the night in prayer, through his good manners. [Abu Daud]

Wise Quote of the Day:
The root of blame worthy behavior are three; to be pleased with oneself, to fear the creation, and to be concerned about provision. From the first comes desires, forgetfulness and disobedience. From the second comes anger, rancor, and jealousy. From the third comes greed, expectation, and avarice. To hold on to one thing will eliminate all of these and that is, not to be pleased with the self in any state, and beware of it at all times. [Ahmad Zarruq]

Guidance of the Day:
Intention is necessary in the study of science, since every deed is rooted in intention. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "How many are the deeds which bear the image of the deeds of this world but then become--- through their good intention---among the deeds of the Hereafter! And how many are the deeds which bear the image of the deeds of the Hereafter but then become ---through their evil intention---among the deeds of this world!

It is necessary for the student in his quest for knowledge to strive for the pleasure of God, the abode of the Hereafter, the removal of ignorance from himself and from the rest of the ignorant, the revival of religion, and the survival of Islam. For the survival of Islam depends on knowledge. And the disciplined life and piety are not complete when there is ignorance. [Instruction of the student--Method of learning]

Food for Thought:
As long as you don't forgive, who and whatever will occupy rent free space in your mind. Resentment is one burden that is incompatible with your success, always be the first to forgive. Forgive all who have offended you, not for them but for yourself.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 109

Ayahs of the Day:
To the hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them a grievous penalty, to those who take for friends unbelievers rather than believers; Is it honor they seek among them? All honor is with Allah. In the book He has revealed to you that whenever you hear God's signs disbelieved in and ridiculed, you should not sit with them until they change to some other topic. You would be just like them then! Allah will gather all the hypocrites and disbelievers into Hell. [4: 138,139,140]

Hadith of the Day:
If a Muslim has something (which could be inherited by his successors) he should not let even two nights pass without executing a written deed of will. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
I am amazed at the people who take care of themselves by eating food out of fear of dying, yet do not protect themselves out of fear of fire. [Ibn Shubramah}

Guidance of the Day:
Astronomy is discouraged with the qualification that one is permitted to study just enough of it to determine the qiblah and the times of prayer. The study of medicine is allowed because it deals with accidental causes. It is related that al-Shafi said that science has two branches; the science of legal doctrine, which pertains to religious matters, and the science of medicine, which pertains to human bodies.

Jurisprudence is a person's knowledge of his rights and duties. The purpose of learning is to act by it, while the purpose of action is to abandon the fleeting [things of life] for what lasts forever. So one must never be heedless of his soul or of what benefits [it] or what harms it in this life and in the next. Hence one must seek out what is useful, while avoiding what is harmful to the soul, lest his intelligence and his knowledge become weapons [or arguments] against him [in the Hereafter] and thus his punishment is increased. May Allah preserve us from his wrath and His punishment. [Instruction of the student--Method of learning by Imam Al-Zarnuji]

Food for Thought:
One forgives to the degree one loves. Forgiveness is the final form of love. What power has love than forgiveness. Resentment is one burden that is incompatible with success, always be the first to forgive.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 108

Ayahs of the Day:
O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the scripture which He has sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). And whoever denies Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, has gone far, far astray. Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief---Allah will not forgive them nor guide them on the way. [4: 136,137]

Hadith of the Day:
No one can achieve the height of piety till he forsakes those practices which are harmless merely to guard himself against those which are harmful. [Tirmidhi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Whoever desires Paradise proceeds towards goodness, whoever fears Hell refrains from the impulses of passions, whoever believes firmly in death detests worldly life, and whoever recognizes the worldly life, the trials and tribulations of life become slight for him. [Ali radi Allah anhu]

Guidance of the Day:
It has been said that knowledge of matters affecting a person under all conditions holds a position similar to food; (that is), no one can dispense with it. But knowledge of matters affecting a person only in certain occasions, this holds a position equivalent to medicine, which is needed only at stipulated times. But knowledge of astrology holds a position equivalent to disease; its study is prohibited because it is harmful and brings no benefit. It is impossible to flee from the decree of God and His dispensation, (which the study of astrology attempts to tamper with).

Every Muslim is expected to occupy himself with the remembrance of God the Exalted and His invocation and supplication; with reading the Quran; giving charity, which wards off calamities; asking for forgiveness and safety in this world and the next. This is so God may shield one from trials and tribulations. For he who is granted (the gift of frequent) invocation will not be denied a favorable response. If calamity is decreed to him, it will inevitably befall him, but God will make the (tribulation) easier for him to bear and will give him the patience (by virtue of) the invocation. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning by Imam Al-Zarnuji]

Food for Thought:
To understand is to forgive. You are never so strong as when you forgive. The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. To err is human, to forgive is divine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

LESSON OF THE DAY 107

Ayah of the Day:
O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor; for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. [4: 135]

Hadith of the Day:
Leave those things which create doubts in your mind and adopt that which does not create any doubt in your mind. [Tirmidhi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
It was not the Muslims that had made Islam great, rather it was Islam that had made the Muslims great. [Mohammad Asad]

Guidance of the Day:
Learn! for learning is an adornment for one who possesses it, a virtue and a prelude to every praiseworthy action. Profit each day by increasing (your) learning and swimming in the seas of beneficial knowledge.

Give yourself to the study of jurisprudence (fiqh), for the knowledge of jurisprudence is the best guide to piety and the fear of God, and it is the straightest path to the ultimate goal. It is the milestone leading to the ways of proper guidance; it is the fortress that saves (one) from all hardships. Indeed, one godly person versed in jurisprudence is more powerful against Satan than a thousand (ordinary) worshippers.

Likewise, knowledge has a bearing on all other human characters, such as generosity and avarice, cowardice and courage, arrogance and humility, chastity and debauchery, prodigality and parsimony, and so on. For arrogance, avarice, cowardice, and prodigality are illicit. Only through knowledge of them and their opposites is protection against them possible. Learning, then, is prescribed for all of us. [Instruction of the student--The method of learning by Imam Al Zarnuji]

Food for Thought:
There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness, it is the sweetest revenge. The glory of Islam is to conquer by forgiveness. Forgiveness does not change the past but it changes the future. Forgiveness is a means letting go of the past.

LESSON OF THE DAY 106

Ayahs of the Day:
If He wished, He could destroy you, O mankind, and create another race; for He has power to do this. Anyone who wants a worldly prize (should know) God holds the worldly prize plus another in the Hereafter. God is Alert, Observant. [4: 133,134]

Hadith of the Day:
None of you should pray for (his own) death, because if he is a good person, it is possible that he might add to his virtuous deeds, and if he is not a good person he might get a chance to rectify his (evil) past. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Wise Quote of the Day:
The action which is sincere and incorrect is not accepted, and the one which is correct and insincere is not accepted. It is only accepted when it is sincere and correct. [Shaykh Faraz Rabbani]

Guidance of the Day:
The true ascetic is he who is careful to protect himself from dubious and unsanctioned practices in commerce. The same (attitude) applies to all other occupations and professions. Anyone who works in a given field is duty bound to learn how to guard against what is forbidden therein. This is also obligatory with knowledge of the conditions of the heart, such as complete reliance on God, repentance, fear, satisfaction (with God's decree)----for this applies to people of every walk of life.

The nobility of learning is not foreign to anyone, since it is something peculiar to all mankind. With the exception of knowledge, humans as well as animals are associated with several virtues, such as valor, courage, strength, generosity, and compassion. Learning, however, is the exception. Through it, God revealed the preeminence of Adam (peace be upon him) over the angels whom He commanded to prostrate themselves before (this first human). Learning is indeed noble, for it leads to a fear of God which entitles (the believer to receive) God's benevolence and eternal bliss (in the Hereafter). [Instruction of the student--The method of learning by Imam Al Zarnuji]

Food for Thought:
Life is an adventure in forgiveness. It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. He who cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself, for every man has need to be forgiven.