Friday, June 28, 2013

Lesson of the day 1333

Ayahs of the day:
Believers, if you obeyed those who scoff, they would turn you back on your heels; and you would turn back losers. But God is your Protector; and God is the best of helpers. [3: 149,150]

Hadith of the day:
The best of the deeds in Islam are -- feeding others and giving the greeting of salam to those who you know and those whom you do not know. [ Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
Fear of God is knowledge enough; to be pleased with one's knowledge is ignorance enough. [Abdul Hakim Murad]

Guidance of the day:
The kind of ignorance that is unconditionally blameworthy is ignorance of that which God has made obligatory to know. So beware -- from this ignorance. Leave the shadows of your ignorance for the lights of knowledge. It is not obligatory upon you to acquire much knowledge, but only the amount that you cannot do without.

You must also teach your wife, children,  and anyone else you are responsible for. If you are incapable of teaching them, you should enjoin upon them to go to the scholars from whom they can learn the obligatory amount of knowledge. Otherwise both you and they will have burdened yourselves with wrongdoing. This applies to those of them who have reached the age of legal responsibility. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al_Haddad]

Food for thought:
It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do. When possible make the decisions now, even if action is in the future. A renewed decision usually is better than one reached at the last moment. The block of granite which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is Our Ship Afloat....

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “By Allah, I am not afraid that you will be poor, but I fear that worldly wealth will be bestowed upon you as it was bestowed upon those who lived before you. So you will compete among yourselves for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them." [Bukhari]

Wealth is like water and human beings are like ships. Ships reach their destinations by using water to cover distances. However, if water goes inside the ship, then it causes the ship to sink. Similarly, if we use wealth to earn Allah’s pleasure and bring us closer to Jannah, there is nothing like it. But if the love of wealth enters our hearts, that is when  it destroys us.

After we begin to love wealth then we compete with each other for it. Jealousy and ill-will enter our lives. After that it ceases to matter how the wealth is earned -- by halal means or haram, and preparing for the Hereafter is a forgotten thing, the wealth is not used to to earn Jannat. Thus, the destruction follows.

The attitude and approach toward life must be proper. We should not sacrifice the Hereafter which is permanent and real,  for this worldly life which is transitory and illusionary. As Hasan al-Basri so rightly and eloquently stated, "What is this world but a dream that a sleeper sees -- he delights in it for a few moments, and then wakes up to face reality."

The “reality” is the accountability in the Hereafter. Along these same lines, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) advised us that we should have an indifference towards the abode of delusions. Indeed, disconnecting one’s heart from the life of this world, as Imam Ghazali has pointed out, is not fully achieved unless one also possesses a balanced character and a sound and upright heart.

Another prophetic tradition reminds us, “Good character and morals transform errors as water melts ice, while bad character alters good deeds as vinegar cuts honey.” Therefore, when we err, we shouldn't’ lose sight of the fact that every mistake is an opportunity and a signal that it is time to grow in our relationship with Allah. And as we turn to Him walking, He turns to us rushing. May Allah help us experience this spiritual awakening and enable us to beautify our hearts and lives with His Divine Light, ameen.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 332

1. Worship is like a work of art mastered only by the sincere, the learned scholars who practice what they know, who live and walk among people like everyone else, but in their hearts they seek freedom in the serenity of the wilderness. Because of this yearning they continue to grow until their spirits soar and become united with the numinous. About such God says, "Indeed they are finest of human beings, cherished in Us."

2. A person once asked the Prophet Muhammad to pray for him. So the Prophet implored, "O Allah, kindle within his heart the light of faith, and afford him with the courage to avert earthly wiles and submit himself before Your will." When a person turns away from the world, he adheres to God, and God lavishes incredible bounty on him.

3. Until the conviction in God is completely embedded in your heart, focus your attention on worldly responsibilities. When faith reaches fruition, turn toward Him in complete surrender, knowing that He it is who bestows all bounty, and He it is who takes away all.

4. Persevere, have faith in His benevolence. Through afflictions God only tests your faith; He is completely aware of your condition. Have patience and wait for the divine decree. Do not become like the foolish laborer who is removed from the king's palace for demanding his wages ahead of time.

5. Do not become the candle that gives light to others but itself remains in darkness. Do not follow the desires of your lower self. Should the Lord wish, He Himself will pick you out and prompt you to be a source of guidance.  He Himself shall endow you with the inner strength to endure the changes of fortune and will instill within you infinite wisdom. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani]

Friday, June 07, 2013

After the Parents' death....

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Good behavior towards parents by which one can be courteous to them after their demise are to pray salat-ul-janaza upon them, make dua of forgiveness for them, fulfill their religious bequests, maintain relationship with those relatives linked through them and honor their friends. [Abu Daud] “Charity on their behalf after their death (also) earns reward for them.” [Muslim]

Often we realize the value of something only after it is gone. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in His Infinite Grace has provided for us a means to make amends even as late as after the person has already died. This hadith tells us how we can be dutiful to our parents after their death, thereby accruing rewards for both them and ourselves.

These ways are:

1. Praying salat-ul-janaza for them.
2. Praying to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to forgive them.
3. If they had decided to do some religious good e.g. Hajj or nafl fasts or charitable           work, then fulfilling it on their behalf.
4. Being kind to those relatives who are linked to us through them.
5. Honoring their friends.
6. Giving charity on their behalf.

Instead of wailing over our parents, if we truly love them then we should do as many good deeds as we possibly can. This is because we are sadaqa jaariya for our parents and they are rewarded for our righteous actions.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Lesson of the day 1332

Ayahs of the day:
Did you think you would enter the garden without God finding out who among you struggled, and who were steadfast? [3: 142]

Hadith of the day:
There is no cause for envy except in two cases -- a man to whom Allah gives wealth and enables him to spend it appropriately (in ways dictated by Islam), and a man to whom Allah gives wisdom and he rules in accordance with it and teaches it. [Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
If the belief is truly in the heart, the deeds will not delay in following it whatsoever. The complete recognition of Allah and proper love cannot be in the heart if it does not have an over riding effect on the outward deeds. [Ibn Taymiyyah]

Guidance of the day:
Ignorance (about the knowledge of deen) is the origin of all evils and afflictions in both this world and the next. Were all the enemies of an ignorant man to join hands to harm him, they would be unable to cause him as much harm as he causes himself.

A poet says:
His foes never harm the ignorant
As much as the ignorant harms himself

And another has said:
Ignorance is the death before death
For their bodies are tombs before their tombs. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
A mortgage casts a shadow on the sunniest field. Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity. A man in debt is so far a slave. Debt is the slavery of the free. Conclusion -- never spend your money before you have it.