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Muslim seeking the pleasure and mercy of Allah, Most High... Sunnah style!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Two Tickers (Heart/Time)

Bismillah wa salaatu wa salaamu 'ala Rasulillah
wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma'een

Indeed, all praise naturally and rightfully belongs to Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Prophet and Last Messenger to man, Muhammad ibn Abdullah. Indeed, the best of speech is the Book of Allah; al-Qur'an and the best and only acceptable guidance with which to obey Allah's Word is the Sunnah or way of His Messenger, Muhammad, salallahu 'alayhi wa 'ala 'alihi wa salaam. Amma ba'ad (as to what follows):

Our beloved Rasulullah salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam said: "Indeed in the body is a morsel of flesh that when sound, the whole body becomes sound; and if corrupt, the whole body becomes corrupt. And it is the heart."

Discussed and outlined by our classical scholar Ibn al-Qayyim rahimuhallah are some of the key factors in our behavior and habits, they in which we (unwisely) use our time, that "disease" our hearts compromising our iman and could leave us dangling only by a thread of Islam if something not be done urgently to remedy these flawed aspects of our character.

There are 10 Useless Matters:

1. Knowledge that is not acted on.

2. The Deed that has neither sincerity nor is based on following the righteous examples of others.

3. Money that is hoarded, as the owner neither enjoys it during this life nor obtains any reward for it in the Hereafter.

4. The heart that is void of love and longing for Allah, and of seeking closeness to Him.

5. A body that does not obey and serve Allah.

6. Loving Allah without following His Orders or seeking His Pleasure.

7. Time that is not spent in expiating sins or seizing opportunities to do good.

8. A mind that thinks about Useless Matters.

9. Serving those who do not bring you close to Allah, nor benefit you in your life.

10. Hoping and Fearing whoever is under the Authority of Allah and in His Hand; while he cannot bring any benefit or harm to himself, nor death, nor life; nor can he resurrect himself.

However the greater of these matters are wasting the heart and wasting time. Wasting the heart is done by preferring this worldly life over the Hereafter, and wasting time is done by having incessant hope. Destruction occurs by following one’s desires and having incessant hope, while all goodness is found in following the right path and preparing oneself to meet Allah.

How strange it is that when a Servant of Allah has a [worldly] problem, he seeks help of Allah, but he never asks Allah to cure his Heart before it dies of:

Fulfilling one’s desire,
And being involved in innovations (in the Deen).

Indeed, when the heart dies, he will never feel the significance or impact of his sins.

[Ref: Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah: Al-Fawa’id /© 2004 Umm Al-Qura]

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lift the Curtains...

On the authority of Nawwas ibn Sam’an, the Messenger of Allah, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, said:

“Allah has set forth the following as a parable:

'There is a road that leads straight to the destination. On either side of the road there is a wall in which there are open doors with curtains hanging over them. From the remote end of the road, a voice calls: ‘proceed straight and do not turn aside’. Whenever someone intends to lift a curtain from the door another voice calls from above: ‘Beware! Do not lift the curtain; otherwise you will be lured inside.'"

The Prophet, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, explained the parable by saying that:

The Straight Path is Islam.
The walls are the limits imposed by Allah,
The open doors are the things that He has Prohibited,
The voice which calls from the end of the road is The Qur'an and;
The voice which calls from above is Allah’s monitor in the heart of every Believer”.

[at-Tirmidhi #76: It was declared Hasan Gharib by Tirmidhee and Sahih by Hakim #245 with Dhahabi agreeing and Al-Albani ,sahih al-Jami’ #3887]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why Islam?

Why Islam? The question "why?" demands a rational answer. However, many people think that it is not possible to give rational answers to ideological commitments (by ideology, we mean a system of thought). They believe that a commitment to any theistic ideology is an irrational act.

One cannot deny the fact that many people do commit themselves illogically to various ideologies and continue to hold onto them only because they find themselves to be raised up in particular communities. They accept such ideologies in just the same way as they would accept a traditional form of dress handed down to them through the generations. For example, a person might be deeply committed to a nationalistic ideology simply because it may be the best way to win the support of the masses and thereby gain personal political power.

Let us analyze two commonly found views regarding ideological commitments:

The first states that a commitment to any ideology which involves some type of deity must neccessarily be irrational.The premise of those who say this is that the fundamental claims of all such ideologies are beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Those who have accepted such a premise have concluded that all types of such 'belief' must be based on irrational and imaginary thoughts rather than on reality.

The opposite view is held by people who seek to justify their 'belief' in certain irrational ideas by claiming that reason is limited. In fact, the followers of this ideology state that people should commit themselves to such ideas by simply having 'faith'. The conclusion of these people is that ultimate reality must be irrational in essence and therefore incomprehensible to the human mind. They go on to say that their ideology must be accepted or 'believed' without reason, in order to attain some type of 'salvation'.

This kind of argument is very difficult to accept because as human beings, we may ask: What do we have other than the usage of our minds for acquiring knowledge? If we are told to 'believe' in something that is irrational (i.e. beyond all reason), such as a type of being which is both mortal and immortal, we cannot possibly digest such an idea. Therefore it does not seem unnatural for us to demand that our way of thinking and living be based solely upon those concepts which can be verified as being true.

Going back to the first view regarding ideological commitments, we see that this view contends that we cannot and should not believe in that which we cannot comprehend. The emphasis lies on the word comprehend, and so it must be defined.

It is true that one cannot have an adequate mental picture of some mathematical and scientific facts. For example, one cannot have an adequate mental or visual picture of the curvature of space, or one of the mathematical concepts of infinity. Nor can we really have an adequate mental picture of the way in which certain animals experience things, such as the way in which bats 'see' by using ultrasonic waves. However, we know these concepts to be true because of solid evidence and not because of some non-rational ideas. Therefore we can say that we do indeed comprehend them.

Now what about the concept of a singular, all-knowing entity which has created the universe? It is impossible to have any mental or visual picture of such an entity, for evidence tells us that this entity must be unlike anything in the universe because this entity must be independent of space and time. The evidence for the existence of this single intelligence lies in the design of nature itself, which we can freely examine; hence, such an ideology is rational. If one realizes this - through confirmation - then one can proceed to answer the question: Why Islam?

One of the main problems with an atheistic ideology is that it cannot explain intelligence in the processes of the universe. Another problem is that it tends to deprive life of meaning. Furthermore, we know that human beings are naturally inclined to be honest; however, in atheism there is a denial of an ultimate originator and of anything beyond death, which creates a contradiction and leads to an inconsistency in behaviour - on the one hand a person would be inclined to be honest, and on the other to be dishonest 'to make the most of this world'.

[If everyone insisted on 'making the most of this world', society as we know it would not exist. As a case in point, let us suppose that all those who wanted to 'make the most of this world' resorted to thievery. If this happened, no one would be producing the goods (growing food for instance) that the rest of us could steal. Hence it seems that 'making the most of this world' as a system of action is doomed to failure. Could it then be a viable system of belief?]

Broadly speaking, with regard to theistic ideologies we have the revealed, the distorted and the man-made. One can easily say that a way of life communicated to humankind by the creator of this universe is preferred to man-made ideologies. If one wants to follow the advice of that which has made the universe and all that it contains - regarding what is beneficial or harmful - then it is better to refer to pristine communication from this originator, than to that communication which has been fabricated or distorted by man.

Those ideologies claiming to be based on revelations can be subjected to a number of tests, the first and most important of which is that of consistency. We must look for two types of consistency: internal and external.

Internal consistency means that a statement made in a book must not contradict another statement in the same book.

External consistency means that a statement made in a book must not contradict facts as we know, be they psychological, physical, chemical, historical, geographical, biological and so on.

Applying these tests, consider the most important truth that all the supposedly revealed ideologies proclaim, that is, the existence and perfect attributes of God. God for all ideologies, that claim to be revealed, is supposed to be all knowing, all merciful, everlasting, etc. However, some books imply that God's knowledge is limited and imperfect by saying that, for example, God was deceived by a human. In contrast, the Qur'an provides the perfect concept of an all-knowing, singular originator of this universe.

This leads us to the next test - that of authenticity. The question that should be asked is whether the scriptures that we have today are indeed a communication from the originator to humankind. A study of the history of Islam would show that the present Qur'an is exactly the same as that which was communicated about one thousand four hundred years ago. During its revelation it was committed to memory by a large number of people and also written down.

Yet another test is that of comprehensiveness. A truly comprehensive ideology, revealed to humankind by the designer of the universe, would describe the most beneficial system in all spheres of life including the political, economical, social, medical and environmental spheres.

Lastly, we might look at the test of universality. Clearly, an ideology which is historically or graphically bound is not as good as that which is applicable to all human beings, irrespective of the time and place of their origin.

In conclusion, if one uses the criteria of universality, comprehensiveness, authenticity and above all, consistency, one would find the Qur'an unique and worthy of investigation. It is interesting to note that the Qur'an itself stresses the above-mentioned approach. For example, in verse 82 of chapter 4, it is said, "Will they not ponder about the Quran? If it had been from other than God, then they would have surely found in it many inconsistencies."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It's true tragedies at times have a proclivity to bring families closer. A kind of blessing in disguise recognized only in hindsight.

A beautiful irony.

But what of a tragedy perpetrated at the hands of the family AGAINST the family who then in turn betrays and abandons the victims of the tragedy to shelter the criminals from justice and accountability? Subsequently uniting and strengthening in bond among themselves? Can we classify this as unity in essence or is this more symbolic to the transitory facade of unity dispersed in response to the tragedy that was 9/11?

Retrospectively, the comparison is unfair. Be it so that this sort of disingenuous unity contains a far stronger, more lethal dose of hypocrisy.

Commit to righteousness and justice even if it be against yourself. For the alternative is a blatant display of cowardice and hypocrisy that subjects one to absolute failure. In this life (obvious or not) and the life to come.

Is this the description of a loving kinship? The qualities of an average, decent human being? An example of a Muslim who adores the Sunnah of their Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam? Who is inspired and marvels at the bravery, loyalty and steadfastness marked in the stories of as-Sahabah radiallahu 'anhumma?

Any closeness or pride you feel among yourselves in this event is a farce and a curse by which Shaytan himself joins you in celebration.

"Does man think they will be left alone on saying: "We believe", and that they will not be tested? Indeed We tested those before them and Allah knows those who are true from those who are false. Do those who practice evil imagine they will get the better of Us? Evil is their judgement!" -Surah al-Ankabut ayat 2-4

Monday, June 13, 2011


All praise naturally and rightfully belongs to Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He. We seek His Help and Forgiveness; we are penitent to Him. We seek refuge with Him from the evil within our selves and from the evil of our actions. Whomever Allah guides , none can misguide and whomever Allah misguides , none can guide. I bare witness and testify none is worthy of worship except Allah and I witness and testify that Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is His last Prophet and Messenger.

Among the severest matters in this life, which a day does not pass except we are confronted with them, are the matters of ibtilaa’. Al-ibtilaa’, a concept appearing in word and in theme numerous places throughout the Book of Allahu ta’ala, is an Arabic term that is moreorless translated into English to mean “tried” or “tested”. Ibtilaa’ is indeed a Sunnah of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala whose purpose serves to remind us of the reality of this life and purpose of our creation, our existence. To worship Him, our Lord, through gratitude, patience and adhereing to that which He has Commanded. “Wama khalaqtu al-jinna wa’l insa illa liya’budun.” (I have not created the spirits and mankind except to worship Me)

This dunya (world) is but testing grounds. It is neither a reward nor a punishment. It does not contain absolute goodness nor does it contain absolute evil. Rather it contains but examples and constant transitions of both by which we all are tested by our Lord. With the good of it, our sukr (gratitude) to Him is tried. With the bad of it, our sabr (i.e. patience, steadfastness) is tested. And in both cases it is our overall sincerity towards Allah that is being tried. Allah says that which means:

“Every soul shall taste death and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial and unto Us will you return.” –Surah an-Anbiya’ ayah 35

Ibn Abbas, radiallahu ‘anhu, said concerning this ayah: “We will test you with hardship and with ease, with good health and with sickness, with wealth and with poverty, with the halal and with the haraam, with obedience and with disobedience and with right guidance and with misguidance - in order that we may establish how you have shown gratitude (for the “profitable” tests) and how you have remained steadfast (in the face of the “bad” tests). ‘And unto us will you return’ - so that Allah will reward each and every soul according to their actions.

It is only with perfect reason, in both timing and nature, that Allah tests us. And we should always be patient with those calamities with which we have no control over; complaining only to Allah, burdening no one else, unnecessarily, with our troubles. (The exception, of course, being of those calamities we can possibly control, such as an injustice afflicted upon us from others, we should do whatever physically or verbally possible to either prevent or combat this evil action to protect ourselves. Silence or passive non-resistance in these cases is in itself sinful.)

Great scholar and Tabi, al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad, rahimahullah, put it simply: "Whoever complains about a calamity which comes his way it is as if he has complained against his Lord.”

And Shuraih al-Qadhi, rahimahullah, explained thoroughly to a close friend he observed complaining to others about his problems: "Beware of taking your troubles to other than Allah. For the one to whom you confide can only be either a friend or an enemy. If he is a friend, then you will make him sad for you and he cannot benefit you anyway. If he is an enemy, he will be pleased and take some advantage over you. Look at this eye of mine. By Allah, I have not seen any person or the way to go with it for fifteen years and I have never told anyone about it until this moment. Have you not heard the statement of the righteous slave, Ya’qub: "I only raise my distress and my grief to Allah"? So, make Allah the one to whom you take your troubles and your grief when anything bad happens to you. He is the most gracious of those who are asked and the closest of those who are called.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وآله as the Warrior

Bismillah wa inna alhamdulillahi wahadu wa salallahu wa salaamu 'ala Rasulullah wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi wa 'ala man'itiba huda. Amma ba'd...

With sincere compassion do I advise an attentive ear and heart be lent to this profound and emotionally climactic lecture discoursing one of the most noble roles and characteristics of our beloved Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, as a warrior. Learn how from the moment of his conception in the womb he was being prepared for his role as a warrior by the Lord of all worlds. Learn how and why the Salaf as-Salih rahmatullah 'alayhim studied the battles of the Prophet 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam as they would the Qur'an itself. Witness the bravery and determination our Prophet 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam externalized in his battles; maintaining justice and equity throughout his life against his enemies!

Only in the most intense, crucial and trying of moments do the colors of one's character truly take center stage. It is for this reason we marvel at the illustrious character of our beloved Rasulullah salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam at the time of battle and hardship. As al-Fudayl ibn Iyaad rahimahullah said: "As long as people are doing fine, their true nature is concealed, but once calamity strikes, their true natures are revealed. So the believer resorts to his faith and the hypocrite resorts to his hypocrisy."

Compellingly, a non-Muslim and French poet, writer and politician attested to this unparalleled aspect of our Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam quite nobly in his "Historie de al Turquie'":

"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, WHO COULD DARE COMPARE ANY GREAT MAN IN HISTORY WITH MUHAMMAD?

The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in 1/3rd of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.

Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs... The founder of 20 terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"

Finally, the lecture which follows expounding on this tremendous quality of our beloved and illustrious Rasul salallahu 'alayhi wa 'ala alihi wa salaam is our dear brother Jalal ibn Sa'eed. May Allah perserve him, reward, increase him in good and grant him and all the du'at Jannat al-Firdows al-'ala. Ameen. Enjoy and benefit...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dunya: A Rotting Carcass

Bismillah, alhamdulillah wa-salaatu wa-salaamu 'ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi wa salaam tasleeman katheerah. Amma ba'd...

What would make us to understand and make severe the issue of allowing the preoccupation of this world, where the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah is not involved, to distract us from our purpose? Is it not clear that it is mainly the love and attachment of this world that has weakened this Ummah and subjugated us to calamities, oppression and all sorts of evil? Ya Muslimeen, this world belongs not in our hearts, but in our hands.

Our beloved and illustrious Prophet 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam told us:

"The whole of this world is cursed and cursed is all it contains except the remembrance of Allah and what is connected to it."

Fulfilling our purpose, observing the rights Allah has upon us and securing ourselves an excellent Akhirah are the only items of any worth and blessing in this world. But how loosely and how soon do the sincerely intended righteous acts creep their way to the bottom of our list of priorities? This path bares a simple formula: lose your deen, lose yourself, lose your Akhirah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guide us and grant us istiqamah that we may remain distant from the path of the losers. Ameen.

Rasulullah salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam told us if this world were worth a single wing of a mosquito, Allah would not allow even a sip of water to the disbeliever. In so many ways and words, not to mention the countless supportive adillah from Qur'an and Sunnah, could the appropriate manner for the believer to view and handle this world be illustrated. But it is the statement of one of our classical scholars, Sheikh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah that frames it in one of the finest perspectives. He, Ibn Taymiyyah, said: "Treat this world as you would a lavatory, you only enter to clear your body and you leave it."

Likewise, we find in at-Tirmidhi the famous story related about the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam walking through a marketplace and stumbling upon the carcass of a sheep. Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam asked his Companions: "Who of you would take this for one coin (dinar)?" One of them pointed out that the ears of the carcass were cut off and so it was said: "Even if you offered us this carcass for free we would refuse it." Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa 'ala alihi wa salaam said: "This world is MORE worthless to Allah than this rotting carcass is to you." May Allah increase our taqwa and consciousness to take our Akhirah more serious than our hayyat ad-dunya (life in this world). May this world be removed from our hearts and placed in our hands where it belongs. Allahumma ameen!

And what is there to emphasize the point that it is the love and attachment to this world that thrust us into this poor and humiliating state besides what Muhammad 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam told us about wahn (weakness)? He, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, warned the Ummah through saying to his Companions:

"The nations will one day invite one another and come upon you just like the eating invite others to their dish." He, 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam, was asked: "Ya Rasulullah, will it be because we are little in numbers?" He, 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam, said: "No, the Muslims will be numerous, but they will be like the froth on the sea overtaken by the current. And so Allah will remove from the hearts of your enemies, fear, and place into the hearts of our Ummah, wahn." They asked: "Ya Rasulullah, what is wahn?" And he, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, said: "It is love for this world and the hatred of death."

Verily, the destroyer of pleasures is ever afoot, so may we and please make dua that I too make use of this world only to prepare and secure for ourselves an easy and blissful Akhirah. Ameen ya Rabb ul 'alameen!