Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The first ten days of Dhu'l Hijjah....

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

As-Salamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

We have entered the blessed month of Dhu`l-Hijjah. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) informed us that there are no days in which righteous actions are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of this month. For that reason some scholars have ruled that these days are better than the final ten days of Ramadan, although the nights of Ramadan are superior to these nights. Allah Himself swears by “the Ten Nights” in Surat al-Fajr, which is sufficient evidence of their greatness. Most of the scholars say that these are the first ten nights (and days) of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that fasting one of these days is equal to the reward of fasting for a whole year and standing in one of these nights in prayer is equal to standing in prayer on Laylat al-Qadr.It has also been narrated that the reward for actions in these days is multiplied seven hundred times.
This is not to mention the Day of Arafat (the 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah) which is the greatest day of the year. Fasting that day wipes out the sins of the previous year and the year to come. We will mention more about this day closer to the time InshaAllah.

If we are unable to fast the first nine days of the month, we should at least fast the Day of Arafat. If we are able to fast two or three days then by fasting Monday or Thursday or both we will gain the reward of following the Sunnah. Likewise by fasting three of these days we will have performed the Sunnah of fasting three days in every month.

These are days in which we should remember Allah abundantly. Allah says that they remember the name of Allah on well-known days. These “well-known days” according to the majority of scholars are the ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. This is why the Prophet said (peace and blessings be upon him) that in these days we should make abundant tahlil (saying la ilaha ill’Allah), takbir (saying Allahu akbar) and tahmid (saying alhamdulillah). Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurayrah would go into the marketplace in these days and raise their voices with the takbir. The people in the marketplace would then raise their voices with the takbir in response. Thus the most hated place to Allah, a place where most people are heedless of Him, was filled with His remembrance.

Whether it be prayer, fasting, charity, dhikr, seeking knowledge, helping people, any righteous actions we do will be greatly rewarded and beyond that are beloved to Allah. This is also a time when du’a is answered by Allah.

As winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere we recall that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said that winter is like spring for a believer: the night is long so he is able to stand in prayer in it, and the day is short so he is able to fast during it. Just as the animals find good pasture with the coming of springtime, likewise in winter the believer finds it easy to perform acts of obedience and to pluck the fruits that Allah has made easily available.

These are days when people are converging in their hundreds of thousands to visit the House of Allah and to visit His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and there is nothing to stop anyone who cannot be physically with them from trying to draw close to Him and seeking the closeness of His Messenger. Allah tells us that He is with us and remembers us when we remember Him, and whenever we send greetings to the Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) he receives them and returns them.
Attached should be some of the adhkar that many of the pious people would read during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

May Allah Most High give us to honor these blessed ten days and nights with pious accepted worship and deeds pleasing to Him and His Beloved (peace and blessings be upon him), and may He forgive us our sins and shortcomings.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Masjids and Malls....

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The dearest parts on the face of the earth near Allah are its masjids, and the most hated parts on the face of the earth near Allah are its markets.” [Sahih Muslim]

The superiority of the masjids is obvious. People pray and worship Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in mosques. They recite the Quran in it and encourage one another to obey Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). The masjid in the time of the Prophet (sallasal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was also the head quarters of the Islamic State. Foreign delegations were received there, the consultative assembly was held in Masjid-e-Nabwi, and all matters of state were discussed therein.

On the other hand, malls and bazaars are where people forget Allah (subhana wa  ta'ala). The adhan and time of prayer go unnoticed. Shaitaan makes us indulge in such forbidden acts as fraud, lying, gossiping, checking people out and wasting money.

Malls and bazaars are disliked for the many sins that are likely to occur in them, least of which is taking Allah’s blessings and favors for granted. Shops taunt us with their glittery ware, flaunting before us all that we do not possess of material goods, while possessing these things is of no value to our everlasting life. We end up wasting our wealth which we could have used to come closer to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

Spending more time than necessary in market places is also a waste of another precious commodity -- time. “Hanging out”, “window shopping” and “killing time” are the very antithesis of an Islamic understanding of life. During an exam does any sane person do anything except focus on getting the exam questions answered correctly? We are in an exam until we die. What we do every second that we are alive, counts in the final assessment. We can’t afford to waste time. The purpose of life is simply to qualify for Allah’s Grace and His granting us everlasting happiness in Jannah. There is no other purpose to life.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom 319

1. The Prophet said that God has said,
    "I cannot be contained in hallowed places.
    Heaven and earth cannot hold Me.
    But I am contained by true hearts.
    If you seek Me, search in those hearts."

2. To know your own illness is the proper remedy.
    When you repent you feel humility.
    That is the time to obey the Prophet's command
    "Have mercy." Why do you presume to be safe
     and fortunate. Don't you remember God's salace,
    "Do not fear"?

3. The Prophet said to Ali, "You may be the Lion of
    God, but depend not on valor alone. Learn to
    blossom under the shade of hope. Rejoice in the
    Sage who cannot be beguiled from the way.

4. I am the orchard; You the rain.
    Only I need You twenty times more.
    Rejoicing in You a beggar receives victuals
    without any means or resistance.
    We are the fishes; You the ocean of life.
    We live by Your favor, O Exalted of All.

5. His miracles are countless,
    the waves of His bounty tide upon tide.
    These and a hundred times as many miracles
    allow the light of His face
    to shine inside and out.

6. When your heart is dark as iron,
    steadily polish yourself
    that the heart may become a mirror,
    a beautiful shine reflecting from within.
    Although iron is dark and dismal,
    polishing clears the darkness away.  [Mawlana Rumi]

Monday, October 08, 2012

Lesson of the Day 1318

Ayahs of the day:
Made to seen pleasing to humanity is love of desires for women and children and heaps and hoards of gold and silver, and domesticated horses, and cattle, and fields. Those are conveniences for the life of the world, while the finest resort is the presence of God. [3: 14]

Hadith of the day:
Fear Allah wherever you are, and follow a bad deed with a good deed to erase it, and treat people with a good attitude. [Tirmidhi]

Wise quote of the day:
When death comes it does not return empty handed, so occupy every moment in preparedness of it. [Shaqeeq al-Balkhi]

Guidance of the day:
Long hopes are among the most noxious things to man. The meaning of long hopes is to think that residence in this world will be prolonged, this feeling overcomes the heart, which responds by behaving accordingly. Long hopes lead to over-preoccupation with this world and strenuous efforts to improve one's lot in it, until the point is reached when a person spends his whole time, night and day, thinking on how to improve it and acquire more.

He will pursue this, till both his heart and body become totally involved in this. Then he will forget the life-to-come, being occupied elsewhere, and will postpone doing anything for it. He will thus be diligent and earnest in worldly matters, and neglectful and procrastinating in what concerns his life to come. The correct thing would have been to strive in earnest for his life to come, which is the abode of permanence, the place of  residence. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al Haddad]

Food for thought:
Life is short, time is precious, death is near, and the distance to travel great, while the moment of standing before God to account for everything, however insignificant is daunting and hard. Therefore, reform that which remains to you, and that which is past will be forgiven.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Avoid Argumentation.....

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

Arguing with people is strongly discouraged in Islam. We are to state our point of view and then leave it at that. Nor are we to involve ourselves in matters that do not affect a person’s deen. Note that a person is to shun argument whether he is in the right or whether his stand is wrong. Both get houses built for them in Paradise. But since the person who knows that he is right finds it more difficult to leave the argument and let things be, he/she is promised a greater reward.

Arguing with people rarely gets anyone to change their minds. It usually only produces defensiveness and creates ill feelings between people. The issue becomes a matter of one’s ego and makes it more difficult for a person to change their stance. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves to have Muslims live harmoniously with each other. When we  try this hadith out in practice -- we will see that our relations improve with people and that we have greater peace of mind.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom 318

1. God said,  "Do not take offense at their ridicule,
    for they are not your followers.  Your true friends
    hide behind the divine bounty, and entreat for
    you steadily. In good health all of them are your
    friends, but in the hour of pain all depart. God
    is your only friend."

2. Water said to the defiled, "Hurry come to me."
    The defiled replied, "But I feel ashamed before
    the water."
    Water said, "But without me how will you wash
    your shame? How will your filth be removed?"
    Shame hinders the faith of the tainted who hide
    from the water.

3. The divine breath came, saw you, and departed.
     It gave life to whom it would and departed.
    Another breath arrived.
    Be heedful; do not miss this chance.
    It extinguished the fire of the soul on fire
    and gave the dead soul vitality and life.

4. I said, "Many a tear I shed in separation from you."
    He replied, "Why grieve? Every tear will be turned
    into precious pearl."
    I said, "Many a night I have lain awake."
    He replied, "For every such night you shall gain
    hundred nights."

5. They possess free will and confinement alike.
     Like raindrops they become pearls inside the
     oyster shell. Mere raindrops outside the shell,
     inside they become precious pearls. [Mawlana Rumi]