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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Superior Days

Bismillah wa-salaatu wa-salaamu 'ala Rasulullah wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmaeen

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Inna alhamdulillah! Indeed Allah is praised whether we praise Him or not. Yet humbly we praise Him. We seek His aid; we seek His forgiveness and we seek refuge with Him from the evil within ourselves and from the consequences of our deeds. Whomever Allah guides, none can misguide; and whomever Allah misguides, none can guide. I bare witness before all that there is no god, no diety, no object, no personality, no entity worthy of worship except Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. And I bare witness before all that the slave and final Messenger of Allah; the best of men, the most pious of men; the best example, influence, model, methodology and pattern for humanity to follow; the one whom Allah sent as a Mercy to the whole of creation (rahmatul lil 'alameen) is none other than Muhammad ibn Abdullah salallahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa salaam. Amma ba'd.

Brothers and sisters in Islam, as Believers, we are most privilaged and honored by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to have upon us the first 10 days of the sacred month of Dhul Hijjah. As we should know, not all days are created equal. Allah has preferred some days over others and He, azza wa jall, has decreed some days be superior over other days. And it is these 10 days that Allah ultimately preferred and declared for them superiority over all other days. Therefore, the good deeds, amilu salih, are of a worth and value far greater in the Sight of Allah than when the same deeds are performed on any other day of the year.

And so it is strongly preferred that we increase in our good deeds during these 10 days; observing the naf'l (voluntary acts), maintaining an ahklaq, -a behavior and conduct, a control over ourselves, our tounges and our anger- that is complimentary, representative or in accordance to the Sunnah of ar-Rasulullah salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam so that we might be purified, forgiven and compensated in a way Allah, ar-Rahman, never so does during any other day outside these first 10.

Ibn Abbas radiallahu 'anhu narrated that our beloved Rasul salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam said of these 10 days: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." It was asked: "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?" He salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam replied: "No, not even Jihad fisabillah, except for the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause -and returned with nothing."

Allah azza wa jall magnified the hasanat for the acts of simply pronouncing tasbih (subhan'Allah), takbir (Allahu Akbar), tahleel (la ilaha ill Allah) and tahmeed (alhamdulillah). Abdullah ibn Umar radiallahu 'anhu reported that Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam said: "There are no days greater in the Sight of Allah and in which good deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during them recite much of tahleel, takbir and tahmeed."

Additionally, I doubt there is a more suitable time than on these blessed 10 days to observe az-zuhd and/or al-wara'. What could make us to understand these terms? Zuhd can be considered abstinence from worldly pleasures which distract one from Allah and their Akhirah. Wara' is to avoid certain parts of the halal which you fear may lead you to engage in something haram. Nothing to me describes and clarifies so concisely these terms than the explanation given by Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimullah who said: "Az-Zuhd entails abandoning what does not bring about benefit in the Hereafter. Al-Wara', abandoning a part of the permissible for fear of falling into the impermissible, entails abandoning what you fear of its consequences in the Hereafter." So let us, in'sha'Allahu ta'ala, practice az-zuhd on these passing superior days so we might have the dunya removed from our hearts and placed into our hands where it belongs.

Glory to these days Allah has exalted. Let us honor our Lord and ourselves by honoring these days through the prescribed acts in hopes of attaining honor and Mercy from our Rabb. Let's take special care on the 9th day, the anniversary of which Allah completed His revelation, al-Qur'an, on His Messenger salallahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa salaam. Allah sent down what means:

"This day have I perfected for you your deen (i.e. system or way of life, religion, etc.), completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your deen." -Surah al-Ma'idah ayah 5

After which no wahy of the Qur'an proceeded. The 9th day, Yawm-ul-Arafah, if fasted upon will expiate for the sins of two years. Allahu Akbar!

Glad tidings to those who are embarking Hajj and intend to sacrafice bismillah. May Allah accept from you all, bless you all and your families and increase you always in the good and grant you Jannah al-Firdows. Ameen.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
La ilaha ill Allah, wallahu Akbar wa lillahi hamd!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Anatomy of Ikhlas

Bismillah, alhamdulillah wa-salaatu wa-salaamu 'ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa 'ala alihi wa-ashabihi wa salaam tasleman katheera

Sincerity in all we do is a commandment of Allah:

"Say, 'Indeed my prayer, my rites of sacrafice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded and I am the first among you of the Muslims.'" -Surah al-An'aam ayat 162-163

"And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining towards truth and to establish the prayer and to give zakah. That is the correct Deen." -Surah Bayyinah ayah 5

Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjaani rahimullah defined ikhlas as "not seeking any audience for your deeds other than Allah."

We're warned throughout the Qur'an and Sunnah to have sincerity in tawheed of Allah, sincerity in our intentions, sincerity in our tawakkul (placing of trust and reliance) in Allah, sincerity in our worship (i.e. salah, sujood, du'a, siyaam/fasting, Hajj, zakah, sadaqah, tawba, Jihad, recitation of al-Qur'an, etc.) and sincerity in all our actions and words.

Al-Fudayl ibn 'Iyaad rahimullah addressed his students on one occasion about Surah al-Mulk ayah 2 that's interpreted to mean: "He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed." Noting that "It is those deeds which are most correct and most sincere. If a deed is done sincerely, yet is not done correctly, it will not be accepted. And if a deed is done correctly, but not sincerely for Allah, it will not be accepted. It must be done sincerely (for Allah alone) and correctly (in accordance to the Sunnah).


  • Riyaa
  • Sum'ah
  • 'Ujb.

Riyaa is to perform an act of worship to show off to people; seeking their praise or some other vanity.

Sum'ah is to speak good for the sake of people's compliments or praise.

'Ujb is a sitatuation where one becomes impressed with his/her self for the good deeds they've done.

Ibn al-Mubarak rahimullah said: "Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention. And perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great."

May Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He above having any partner, equal or opponent, make us all among His mukhliseen (sincere slaves) and keep us aware and resistant of those diseases that corrupt our righteous actions and convert them to arguments against us on the Day of Accounting. Ameen.

Ya'qub al-Makfuf (may Allah have Mercy on him) would say: "The sincere one is he who hides his good deeds in the same way that he would hide his bad."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"The Major" Dilemma

Bismillah, alhamdulillah wa-salaatu wa-salaamu 'ala Rasulullah wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmaeen.

Brothers and sisters in Islam, as-salaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullah. As the smoke circulating the incident at Fort Hood remains in course of clearing, a multitude of concerns and reactions plague the circumstance. Amidst our Ummah, the Ummah of Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, the majority we're haste in speaking out and even releasing statements condemning the act carried out by Malik Nidal Hassan. Confessedly, I too, basing the motives of our brother on the initial reports from officers who knew him, presumed he targeted people senselessly over some frustrated, petty personal reasons. But the more that unfolds about our brother, the more I'm convinced his gunfire was for the sake of Allah and in honor and defense of our fellow believers and worshipers of Him overseas.

The corporate journalists, columnists, networks and U.S. officials may manufacture whichever conclusions they please. As for us, those whose fear, hope and love is for Allah azza wa jall, we have the obligation to withhold conviction until analysis has been exhausted and ilm-ul-yaqeen, clear and certain knowledge, has been attained. Our dear brother and esteemed shiekh Anwar al-Awlaki, with unmatched bravery and commitment to al-Haqq, insisted publicly that Hassan did the right thing. On the other hand, I say if Hassan's intentions were as brother Awlaki speculates, and I pray they were, then only in such a case has he indeed done the right thing. Until we can confirm his true motives, and Allah Knows best what they were, I can neither praise nor rebuke the actions of our brother.

In Awlaki's claim that Hassan could no longer bear the contradiction of being Muslim and serving in the same forces assigned to fight his brothers and sisters abroad, I was brought to wonder about the rest of the Muslims serving in the U.S. Military as well. With over 10,000 soldiers who declare there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad 'alayhi wa-salaatu wa-salaam is His final Messenger to be followed until the Last Day, this blatant contradiction and nifaq (hypocrisy) hasn't so much as twinkled in their mind? How do they, over 10,000 professed Muslims, justify their position?

O Muslims, seriously we must contemplate and remind ourselves where our loyalty is set and where our disavowal is applied. We must contemplate and honestly assess ourselves as to where our hearts stand in relationship to al-Wala 'wal-Bara. Is our loyalty and allegiance to Allah and His Messenger, or is it instead pledged to those who plot, spend and fight to disrupt, degrade and extinguish the light of Allah and the guidance of ar-Rasulullah salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam? Na'udu billah!

May Allah purify us of such nifaq and guide this Ummah and its mujahideen. May He give us victory over His enemies and ours. Ameen. May He azza wa jall amplify our resistance against forces of every form that oppose our entitlement to His Pleasure and an eternal abode in Jannah. Allahumma ameen!

Let us contemplate and remember the words of Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallahu 'anhu when he advised the mujahideen during the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah: "We do NOT overpower them with our strength!" Their numbers are greater and their weapons are superior, the only way we're victorious is due to our mindfulness and responsiveness to our duties to Allah. It is when we neglect our duties as Muslims and sin as our enemies sin that Allah, our Lord, humiliates us. Umar radiallahu 'an also warned: "Do not say our enemies our worse than us, so they will not overpower us. Perhaps some people who are worse than the others may overpower the others as the polytheists overpowered the Bani Israel as they involved themselves in disobedience to Allah."

And so we may question why in the first place does Allah allow His disbelievers and enemies a position of wealth and arms to invest in fighting against His Cause? Allah Promises everything they spend will wind a source of grief and utter regret for them and Islam will supersede all other ideological and political systems anyway. But in the meantime we may concern ourselves with "why?" Well, this was framed in fine perspective by the classic mufasir Ibn Kathir rahimullah who said about Surah al-Anfal ayah 36 coupled with its succeeding ayah in summary says to us what means: "We tried you with combatant disbelievers whom we made able to spend from their wealth in fighting you to distinguish between those believers who obey Allah and fight His disbelieving enemies and those (among our Ummah) who disobey Him." As Allah said in Surah al-Anfal ayah 179 what means:

"Allah will not leave the believers in the state they are presently in until He seperates the evil from the good (among them). Nor will Allah disclose to you al-ghayb (the unseen)."

And in ayah 142 of the same Surah our Mighty Rabb says what means:

"Do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those of you who fight in His Cause and make evident those who are steadfast?"

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala make us among the mu'mineen whose prayer, fighting, spending, sacrifice, living and dieing is for Him alone and who fully and unhesitatingly support, defend and join via spiritual or physical means the fight in His Cause, sincerely for His sake, that we may share in the barakah and glad tidings of the truly righteous and faithful. Ameen thumma ameen.