Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Triple Filter

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Keep away from ill-thinking/suspicions because ill-thinking is the greatest falsehood.” [Sahih Bukhari]

During the Abbasid period one of the scholars in Baghdad was greeted by an acquaintance who said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

Scholar: "Hold on a minute, before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

The Man: "Triple Filter Test?"

Scholar: "That's right, before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

The Man: "No, actually I just heard about it and ..."

Scholar: "All right, so you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"

The Man: "No, on the contrary..."

Scholar: "So, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: The filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"

The Man: "No, not really."

Scholar: "Well, if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) has said: "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh (meat) of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful." [Qur'an 49:12]

Let's pass our intended speech through the triple filter test before we madly utter our every thought. And lets subject others to the triple filter test too before we hear any number of damaging things from them.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pearls of Wisom 336

1. Your acquisitions have been placed at your disposal as a trial and a test.

2. When the heart becomes sound and draws close to the nearness of the Lord of Truth, He causes rivers of wisdom to flow through it.

3. The people of the Lord are not attached to this world. This world offers itself to them but they reject it.

4. The Lord of Truth makes things difficult for His servant, in order to bring him back to Himself and so that he will not attach himself to the creatures.

5. When He draws you near and puts you to the test, you must accept His tribulation with good grace, otherwise He will keep you fully occupied with your suffering.

6. The craving for worldly things makes you too disturbed to experience your nearness to Allah and interferes with your patient endurance of misfortune.

7. Anyone who does not fear Allah must have no common sense. A town without a police force will go to ruins. Flocks without shepherd would be devoured.

8. Religion is fear. A person who is afraid will be on the move at night; he does not stay put in one place, but keeps moving.

9. When you are ready to abstain from the things of this world, it will be easy for you to give them away.

10. The goal of the travels of the people (of the Lord) is nearness of the Lord of Truth. The journey of their hearts, the journey of their inner most being. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Letting go of the 'ifs' -- best possible advice

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Seek out that which benefits you, seek help from Allah and never say you can't do it. If any adversity comes to you do not say: 'If I had only acted in such-and-such a way, it would have been such-and-such;' but instead, say: 'Allah has decreed (it) and what He willed, He has done,' for verily, (the word) ‘if’ opens the way for the work of Satan." [Sahih Muslim]

Through this hadith Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) tells us to:

1. Seek the beneficial.
2. Ask Allah (Subhanahu  wa Ta’ala) for help.
3. Be optimistic. Nothing is impossible if Allah (Subhanahu  wa Ta’ala) wills it for us.
4. We shouldn't cry over the spilt milk.
5. We need to trust Allah (Subhanahu  wa Ta’ala) in what He has willed for us -- that there is only good in it, even though we may not understand it.

Time is like a river -- we cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow has passed and will never pass again. If there is something that will benefit us, we should make every effort and go after it and seek it out! There are no failures -- only lessons to be learned, for similar situations in the future.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lesson of the day 1336

Ayahs of the day:
Is the one who follows the pleasure of God like the one who brings wrath of God upon himself, and whose dwelling place is hell? What a miserable destination! [3:162]

Hadith of the day:
Allah says: 'Spend O son of Adam, and I will spend on you.' [Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
One of your sins should seem weightier to you than a thousand of your virtues. [Imam Jafar Sadiq]

Guidance of the day:
Increasing one's knowledge of beneficial religious sciences, widening one's scope, and acquiring more than what is strictly necessary, is one of the best means to God and most meritorious things in His sight, provided that the acquisition of knowledge be purely for God and that one imposes upon oneself to practice what one knows and teach it to God's servants, again for God and the Last Abode.

This is the rank that comes next to the rank of Prophet hood. Every other rank belonging to believers is beneath it, for the scholars who practice what they know are the mediators between the Messengers (peace and blessings upon them) and the Muslims. The one who does not act upon his knowledge has no merit whatsoever. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
You never know what you can say or do that can change a person's whole day / whole life, that is why it is so important to say nothing but good, the power of a kind word or deed is indescribable.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Recipe for love....

Allah's Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "If Allah loves someone He calls (angel) Jibreel and says: 'I love so-and-so, so you love him.' Jibreel loves him and calls the other angels in Heaven to love that person. They love him, then his love is made upon earth, and he becomes loved.

And if Allah hates someone He calls Jibreel and says: 'I hate so-and-so, so you hate him.' Jibreel hates him and calls the angels in Heaven and says: Allah hates so-and-so, so you all hate him. They all hate him, and his hatred is made upon earth and he becomes hated." [Sahih Muslim]

People do all sorts of things to get others to love them. All the love you need is to be found in obeying Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Do actions sincerely to win Allah's love, and love from humans will also be yours!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 335

1. Sincere devotion (Ikhlas) also means forgetting to notice one's fellow creature (khalq), through paying constant attention to the Creator (khaliq).

2. Make frequent practice of remembering death and what lies beyond it, and the narrow bridge (sirat) and what lies beyond it.

3. Remember the hereafter with its bliss and torment.

4. Become detached from this world by concentrating on Allah Almighty, by purifying your hearts and inner most being, by struggling against your lower selves and waging war on the devil.

5. Be liberated for the sake of Allah (Exalted is He) and devote yourselves wholly to Him.

6. Every step you take is a step toward the grave. You are on a journey to the grave.

7. He who really knows Allah is too occupied with the One he knows to be concerned with acceptance or rejection, praise or blame.

8. When the servant is conscientiously devoted to Allah Almighty, He rewards him by converting ignorance into knowledge, remoteness into nearness, silence into spoken recognition, loneliness into intimate friendship, and darkness into light.

9. Supreme knowledge is fear of Allah, cheerful acceptance of the decree of Allah, and love for Allah.

10. The heart must eliminate the materiality of the lower self, so that you use it as a vehicle for your journey back to Allah. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

An Eid gift -- An inspiring award winning essay by a thirteen year old.....

                                                          Malcolm X

We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” —Malcolm X

Malcolm X, or El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, is one inspirational leader that I greatly admire, specifically because of the virtuous qualities and character traits he embodied. Of these in particular: his sincerity, passion, and ability to inspire. I believe that by modeling myself on these these principles, I can become a better person.

Malcolm X was sincere, and he showed this through his fearlessness and dedication. Malcolm’s social situation was perilous, as many white supremacist groups — often offshoots of the KKK and often not — doubtlessly had him high up on their target lists. Towards the end of his life, the Nation of Islam (NOI) also condemned him and made attempts on his life, once bombing his house and eventually succeeding in assassinating him shortly before his fortieth birthday.

Yet, despite his precarious situation, he was still prepared to speak out against the atrocities and injustices of the time. Considering that all leaders face some sort of opposition, whether small or big, I find that sincerity is the key to success. I learn from this that one should never allow threats to disrupt one’s cause. Always carry forth with the truth despite what anyone says or does. To be a leader, one must be sincere and steadfast.

His sincerity also shines forth in his ability to give up things he valued in pursuit of his goals and in his search for truth. The first major instance being when he gave up his lavish crime-based lifestyle to join the NOI. The second was when he left the NOI. He found two reasons to leave it: he realized that Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, did not abide by his own laws, and he made the Pilgrimage to Mecca where he said he found "blonde-haired, blued-eyed men I could call my brothers." The latter was starkly contrary to the Nation of Islam’s creed.

He then embraced Islam as taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), and returned from Mecca, this time with a message for all races. In this second instance, he made an additional enemy, the NOI, who proved to be the most dangerous. His capacity to readily jettison what he valued, in search of truth and higher principles, was an indelible mark of his sincerity. I understand from this that it is important not to get caught up in small things. One must always have the bigger picture in view. If one finds truth, one should not be caught up in one’s previous ways of thinking, or ways of doing things. To be a leader, one must embrace the truth whenever one finds it.

Malcolm was uneducated. After he was told by his favorite teacher that his dream of becoming a lawyer was “no realistic goal for a negro,” he dropped out of school. He was only fifteen years old at the time, and he soon adopted a life of crime. He moved to Boston where he became wealthy off of its underground market. He was eventually charged with theft and jailed.

It was in jail that he committed to reforming himself and making up for what he had missed in school. He read many of the books in the prison libraries, including the dictionary from beginning to end. It was during this time that his brother, Reginald, introduced him to the Nation of Islam. This accelerated self-education later became one of his most valuable assets in his numerous and spectacular debates.

Despite what his teacher had said, Malcolm X became one of the finest “lawyers” in history. I find his speeches and debates deeply inspirational, awe-inspiring, and a testament to his tenacity. Also, I find that his passion and fervor for his mission allowed him to accomplish and learn at an amazing pace.

Malcolm X underwent many trials — tests of his beliefs, tests of his determination and courage, tests of overcoming his ego — but he persevered and emerged triumphant over them. It is a testament to an underlying theme in one of my favorite books, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Malcolm X is a name that is known throughout the world. He did not hold to the ideas that benefited his ego, rather he held to the principles in which he found truth. After making the Hajj, he readily jettisoned the idea that all white men were devils, based on the racial harmony he saw in Mecca. He found that race was unimportant, and that all that truly mattered was what a person held in his heart.

When he renounced the Nation of Islam, he became even more at risk, and could have lost much of the power he had gained as its spokesman. He said, "Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression, because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action," and truly did he remain powerful.

His ability to recognize truth when he saw it and his ability to prevent his ego from hindering him in its pursuit are virtues seldom found in leaders today. He fought against one of the most brutal atrocities in history. He once said, "I am not educated, nor am I an expert in any particular field... but I am sincere and my sincerity is my credential," and, indeed, his sincerity led him to be great. It is my hope and prayer that, God willing, I am able to cultivate in myself the sincerity and dedication Malcolm X so readily embodied.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

Lesson of the day 1335

Ayahs of the day:
If God helps you, there is no one who can overcome you; and if God abandons you, who is there that can help you after that? So let the believers trust in God. [3: 160]

Hadith of the day:
Among the portents of the Hour are that knowledge will be taken away, ignorance will prevail, alcohol will be drunk and zina will become widespread. [Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
Seek to keep the company of those who illumine one's inward and outward states with the light of their intimacy with the Divine. [Shaykh Abul Abbas]

Guidance of the day:
The likeness of the ignorant person who neglects seeking obligatory knowledge is that of a slave to whom his master sends a letter, commanding him to do certain things and  refrain from other things. The slave while able to read the letter, neglects to even look at it, let alone what it contains. And the likeness of the scholar who neglects to put into practice what he knows is that of another slave who reads his master's letter, learns what it contains, then obeys none of the commands nor refrain from any of the prohibitions he finds in the letter.

Is there any worse neglect than that of these two slaves with their master? Can they find justification before him? Is anyone more deserving of severe punishment for his impudence and disrespect for his master than they? Beware of being one of those two inauspicious men -- the ignorant who does not learn, or the learned who does not act upon his knowledge. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage -- they strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.  The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect. Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.