Down but not out!

Jul 10 - The Prophet's saw concern for taharah

There have been many, many companions of the Prophet (sa), who were considered to be among the less privileged in terms of financial matters. However, in terms of morals and manners, they were the elite. One of them was Umair ibn Sad (rtam). He grew up in the household of Julas ibn Suwayd (rtam), his mother’s second husband. Julas (rtam) gave him an excellent upbringing.

During the Battle of Tabook, Umair (rtam) saw the large amount of booty, along with a bag of one thousand Dinars that Usman ibn Affan (rtam) handed over to the Prophet (sa). Although he was in great financial need at the time, he did not utter a single word of request to the Prophet (sa). And this is how he was. He was among the three companions of the Prophet (sa) known to be Zahid (practicing Zuhd), along with Abu Ad-Darda (rtam) and Shaddad ibn Aws (rtam).

During the Caliphate of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (rtam), Umair (rtam) was appointed as the governor of Homs. When he walked towards Madinah from Homs to meet the Caliph, Umar (rtam) asked: “Didn’t any of the Muslims offer you a ride?”

He replied: “They neither offered it, nor I requested it.”

Umar (rtam) responded: “How indifferent have the Muslims become!”

Umair (rtam) admonished him: “O Ameer-ul-Mumineen! Allah (swt) has forbidden backbiting.”

When Umar (rtam) later asked him about the distribution of war booty and collection of Jizyah, he replied: “I have spent all the wealth, wherever it is most needed.”

Later, when Umar (rtam) sent to him one hundred Dinars through a messenger, Umair (rtam) summoned the children of those who had been martyred in different battles, and distributed the entire amount among them. He did not keep a single Dinar for himself, though he did need money at the time.

Indeed, this companion’s life is a role model for all of us in these materialistic times!

Adapted (with permission) from “Sunehray Huroof” published by Darussalam. Translated and compiled for “Hiba” by Umm Ibrahim.

Deal with the Hearts

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People’s moods and circumstances fluctuate between sadness and happiness, health and illness, affluence and poverty, and stability and instability. Subsequently, their reactions to the way they are dealt with also change, depending upon their psychological state at the time. A person may appreciate a joke when feeling stable and relaxed, but not when upset. It would thus be very inappropriate to make a joke when visiting someone who is bereaved. The same joke would be acceptable, if related whilst out on a picnic. Hence, one must take into consideration people’s psychological states, emotions and personalities when speaking to or dealing with them.

Suppose two friends pass their secondary school examinations. One of them passes with flying colours, while the other one fails in some subjects and, therefore, does not achieve the grades required for admission in university. Would it be appropriate for the one, who has qualified, to visit his friend and discuss the university that has accepted him and the various opportunities that have opened up? No doubt, we would all say no. What then should he do? He should mention general matters that might lighten his worry. He could complain about the large number of applicants to universities and how many people are not selected, in order to make his friend feel better. Thereafter, his friend would probably not mind sitting with him and remaining his companion.

The same can be said about two young men – one has a generous father who is always showering him with wealth, while the other has a miserly one who hardly meets his needs. It would not be appropriate for the son of the generous father to speak about his generosity and how he loves to spend on him, as this would distress his friend and cause him to remember what he has to undergo due to his father. Subsequently, he would not like to be in his company, as he would feel that he is insensitive.

For this reason, the Prophet (sa) emphasized that people’s psychological conditions and sensitivities should be considered. He said: “Do not stare at a leper.” (Ibn Majah) A leper is not attractive to look at and, hence, it is inappropriate for people to stare at him, because this would remind him of his affliction and hurt him further.

When the Muslim army entered Makkah, Sad ibn Ubadah (rtam) was carrying the banner of one of the battalions. He waved it and said: “Today is the day of slaughter! Today your inviolabilities will be attacked.”

A woman came and complained to the Prophet (sa), requesting him to intervene in order to avoid bloodshed. The Prophet (sa) did not want to anger Sad (rtam) by taking the banner away from him (carrying the banner was considered to be very noble). At the same time, he did not want to disappoint the woman. Thus, he ordered Sad (rtam) to hand over the banner to his son, Qays ibn Sad (rtam). The woman was satisfied that the banner had been taken away from Sad (rtam), while the latter was still the leader of the battalion with his son carrying the banner.

How wonderful it is to kill two birds with one stone. Try not to lose anyone. Try to win everyone over successfully, even if there is a conflict of interest between them.

Adapted (with permission) from “Enjoy Your Life” published by “Darussalam”. Compiled for “Hiba” by Bisma Ishtiaq.

Generosity wins!

Generosity

Muslim ibn Sabeeh Koofi narrated the following incident from his father:

A handsome, young Arab (whose name is unknown) and Mugheerah ibn Shubah (rtam), a companion of Prophet Muhammad (sa), sent a proposal of marriage almost simultaneously to a woman. She gave a similar reply to both of them: “You have proposed to me, but I cannot answer any of you, unless I meet you and talk to you. If you really want to marry me, come to me at such-and-such time so that I can reach a conclusion.”

Both men arrived at the stipulated time. The lady requested them to take a seat in a place from where she could observe them and hear their conversation. They had no idea, however, that she was over-hearing them.

Mugheerah (rtam) felt rather envious of the young man, who was obviously well-groomed, attractive and eloquent. He was beginning to realize that he didn’t stand a chance against such a formidable candidate, as the lady would obviously prefer the young man as her husband. He asked him: “You are quite good-looking and well-spoken. Do you have any other positive qualities?” The young man brightened up and replied proudly: “Yes, I possess such-and-such qualities, too…”

He went on praising himself and his personality for a while. Then, there was silence. Mugheerah (rtam) asked him: “How responsible and accountable are you in (personal) financial matters?”

He answered: “I am very, very particular about finances. I track each and every penny meticulously.”

“I do things a little differently,” explained Mugheerah (rtam). “I keep a certain amount of money in a designated place in my house. My family members are free to spend from it as they like. I don’t expect them to account for their expenses incurred using that money. I find out they need more only when that amount has finished.”

The lady was listening closely to the conversation. When she heard Mugheerah’s (rtam) way of handling his finances, she declared: “By Allah! I think this man deserves the most to be my husband! I don’t want to marry the young Arab who, I am sure, is going to be after me to account for every single penny that I spend.”

The woman then married Mugheerah ibn Shubah (rtam).

Adapted (with permission) from “Sunehri Kirnain” published by “Darussalam”. Translated and compiled for “Hiba” by Umm Ibrahim.

Eid and a Mother’s Woes

eid

By Abdul-Malik Mujahid – General Manager, Darussalam Publishers and Distributors

The following incident has been related by Shaykh Abdul-Khaliq Al-Qarni, who is a famous Daee (caller to Islam) in Saudi Arabia. He says this incident was narrated to him by a jeweller:

A few days before Eid, a man entered my shop along with his wife, his mother and his child. His elderly mother, who was carrying the child, went to stand in a corner of the shop. The couple started browsing the different jewels and finally chose jewellery sets worth twenty thousand Riyals. In the meantime, the mother was also attracted to the priceless gems. She went over to the display of gold rings, where she found one she liked and placed it on her finger. That ring was priced at a hundred Riyals.

According to the jeweller, when the son went over to the counter to pay the bill, he handed twenty thousand Riyals to him. The jeweller requested him for another hundred Riyals. “For what?” The son asked. “We just agreed upon this price.”

“The extra hundred is for the ring that your mother has purchased,” replied the jeweller.

The son pulled a face: “Really! What use do old women have for gold?” He went over to his mother and asked her where the ring was. Realizing that she was wearing it, he wrenched it from her hand, placed it back on the counter, picked up his purse, and started to walk out of the shop. The jeweller was stunned.

The mother tried very hard not to show her emotions publically. She silently picked up her grandson and followed the son out of the shop. Once they had reached the car, the jeweller heard the son’s wife burst out in anger at her husband. “Why did you take the ring away from your mother? Why did you not let her have it? You broke her heart with this attitude. Now, if she leaves the house, who will take care of our son? Who will wash his feeder?”

Upon hearing this, the son re-entered the shop and asked the jeweller to give him back the ring that he had previously thrown onto the counter. The jeweller complied and handed it to him. He paid for it and came back outside. However, when he presented the ring to his mother, she replied, “By Allah, I will never wear gold again. I only wanted this ring to wear on Eid day. I wanted to celebrate Eid with other people. Now, I have no wish to join in the Eid celebrations. May Allah forgive you, my son!”

Adapted (with permission) from Waldain published by Darussalam. Translated and compiled for Hiba by Umm Ibrahim.

Changing One’s Personality

enjoy your life

By Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi – Prominent figure in the field of Dawah and author of more than twenty published works

The diversity in people’s personalities becomes noticeable when one analyzes the way they react to the various stories or incidents that are related to them. You can carry out this experiment yourself: Try relating a sad story to a group of people and see how differently they react.

I recall delivering a Friday sermon, wherein I mentioned the story of Umar’s (rta) assassination. When I came to the part where Abu Lulu, the Magian, stabbed Umar (rta), I said in a loud voice: “Suddenly, Abu Lulu jumped at Umar (rta) and stabbed him three times! The first stab hacked his chest. The second went into his stomach. Then, with all his strength, he thrust his sword into Umar (rta) below his navel and dragged the knife across his body until his intestines emerged.”

I noticed that people’s reaction to my words varied: Some individuals closed their eyes, as if they were witnessing the murder taking place in front of them. Others wept. Yet others showed no reaction at all.

Another lesson that I have learnt from my life is that you will almost inevitably come across another person, who is uncouth and ignorant. Such a person can neither articulate himself appropriately, nor is he courteous to his audience.

I recall one such person sitting in a public gathering. He decided to relate an incident involving a shopkeeper. As he related the story, he said: “This shopkeeper was huge, like a donkey.” He then said: “He looked like Khalid!” While saying this, he pointed at the person next to him. I have no idea how he managed to liken poor Khalid to a donkey!

Can one change his own personality to suit the personality of the one with whom he is interacting? The answer is: Yes.

Umar (rta) was known for his strong personality. One day, a man quarrelled with his wife and came to Umar (rta) to ask for advice. When he stood at Umar’s (rta) door and was about to knock, he heard Umar’s (rta) wife shouting at him, while he remained silent. He neither shouted back, nor rebuked her!

The man was amazed, and turned to leave. Umar (rta) heard a noise at the door. He went out and called the man: “What do you need?”

He said: “O Ameer Al-Mumineen, I came to you to complain about my wife, but then I heard your wife shouting at you!”

Umar (rta) said, “She is my wife who sleeps with me, makes food for me, and washes my clothes. Shall I not be patient with her?”

One must be patient with others and try to ignore their bad traits in light of their virtues. The amazing person in this regard is he who is able to win all kinds of hearts by knowing the personality of the one with whom he is dealing. If he travels with a miser, he wins his heart by being economical. If he sits with the emotional, he too becomes emotional and his companions love him. If he accompanies the light-hearted, he jokes and laughs along with them. He deals with each situation accordingly and thus, earns people’s love.

Adapted (with permission) from Enjoy Your Life published by Darussalam. Compiled for Hiba by Bisma Ishtiaq.

The Slave’s False Claim

slave

Once, a man came to Caliph Mansoor. He complained about another man who, he alleged, was hoarding wealth and weapons for Banu Ummayah.

The Caliph ordered his chief of police to set out and arrest the offender. The police did as told, and soon, the offender was standing before the Caliph.

“We have been informed that you are hoarding wealth and weapons, entrusted to you by Banu Ummayah. We order you to present all the wealth and weapons before us, and turn them over to the state treasury.”

The man calmly asked the Caliph: “Ameer Al-Mumineen! Are you one of the inheritors of Banu Ummayah?”

The Caliph replied in the negative.

The man inquired: “Have Banu Ummayah left a will, saying that you should inherit their wealth and weapons?”

Again, the Caliph answered no.

“Then why are you asking me about their wealth and weapons?” the man queried.

Caliph Mansoor bowed his head. Finally, he said: “Look, Banu Ummayah committed many atrocities against the people and usurped their wealth unlawfully. I only want this wealth, which was confiscated illegally in the first place, to be handed over to the state treasury.”

“Ameer Al-Mumineen!” The man explained. “You need more solid evidence to prove in the court of law that the wealth and weapons, which have been entrusted to me, are indeed the same ones which were confiscated illegally. You do know that Banu Ummayah had personal wealth as well.”

Caliph Mansoor thought for a while and then addressed his chief of police: “This man is absolutely right. We have no authority to take away the wealth which was entrusted to him.”

He turned to the man and said: “If you have any need, speak up.”

The man requested: “I want to see those who complained to you about me. By Allah, I do not have anything belonging to Banu Ummayah – they never entrusted any wealth or weapon to me.”

Caliph Mansoor ordered for the complainant to be presented. When he arrived, the ‘offender’ exclaimed: “This is my slave! He borrowed five hundred Dinars from me and then ran away. I have written proof of this transaction.”

When Caliph Mansoor glared at the complainant, he admitted: “Yes, I am his slave, and I ran away after borrowing the Dinars. Then, I conspired against him and complained to you. I wanted him to be arrested and executed. But Allah (swt) made all my plans unsuccessful.”

“I have gifted the five hundred Dinars to him,” said the man. “And I give him five hundred more for coming here.”

The Caliph appreciated this gesture and both men left. Caliph Mansoor would later remember this man and the way he successfully argued with him.

Adapted (with permission) from “Sunehray Huroof” published by “Darussalam”. Translated and compiled for Hiba by Umm Ibrahim.

Be Observant and Complimentary

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The Prophet (sa) had an observant and caring personality. He would make others feel valued and give them the impression that they were important to him. He valued their efforts, no matter how insignificant they were. When he missed them, he mentioned them with good words, encouraging others to do the same.

There was a dark-skinned lady in Madinah, who was a righteous believer. She used to clean the Masjid. The Prophet (sa) would see her every now and then, and marvel at her keenness. Later, several days went by and the Prophet (sa) did not see her. When he asked about her, his companions said: “She has passed away, O Messenger of Allah.” “Why did you not inform me about this?” replied the Prophet (sa).

The companions began to minimize the importance of her death, saying that she was a poor and obscure person – she was not worthy enough for the Prophet (sa) to be informed about her death. They also said: “She died in the middle of the night, so we did not want to wake you up.”

After her death, the Prophet (sa) was very keen to pray for the woman, even if the people deemed it to be insignificant. He asked his men to lead him to her grave. The Prophet (sa) prayed and said: “These graves are filled with darkness for their dwellers, but Allah (swt) illuminates them when I pray over them.”

Unfortunately, we live in a society where kindness is not valued. But we shouldn’t be discouraged by worrying about what certain others think. I remember another incident that happened to someone I know.

A young man, whom I know, was once invited to a great wedding ceremony, where very important people were also invited. He passed by a marketplace on his way and entered a perfume shop. He pretended that he wanted to buy a perfume. The shopkeeper welcomed him kindly and began to spray various brands on him.

When this friend of ours managed to cover his entire garment with perfume, he said to the shopkeeper, “Thank you very much! If any of these perfumes impress me, I might return to you.”

He then rushed off to the ceremony. He finally arrived and sat next to his friend Khalid, but Khalid did not seem to notice the scent or even pass a comment. This friend of mine then asked Khalid: “Can’t you smell the beautiful scent?”

“No,” he replied.

My friend said: “Your nose must be blocked!”

Upon hearing this, Khalid responded: “If my nose was blocked, I would not have smelt your foul odour!”

Adapted (with permission) from “Enjoy Your Life” published by Darussalam. Compiled for Hiba by Bisma Ishtiaq.

The Best Witness

best witness

By Abdul Malik Mujahid – General Manager, Darussalam Publishers and Distributors

The following story was narrated by the Prophet (sa) to his companions. It was transmitted to us through a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah (rta), recorded in Sahih Bukhari.

There was once a man in Bani Israel, who requested a fellow Israeli for a loan of one thousand Dinars. The creditor said: “Please bring two or three men with you, who can witness this transaction, and I will give you the loan.” The debtor said: “Allah (swt) is the best witness.” The creditor again said: “At least bring one responsible person, who can give your guarantee.” The debtor said: “Allah (swt) is the best of those who guarantee.” The creditor admitted: “You are right.” Thus, he gave him the loan which was to be returned within a specific period of time.

The debtor went overseas and spent the money on his needs. Thereafter, he started looking for a ship for his return journey. He wanted to return and repay the loan. However, he was unable to find any means of transport.

Finally, he took a piece of wood and made it into a box with a lid. Opening the lid, he kept one thousand Dinars along with a letter. Then, he sealed the box, stood on the shore and said: “O Allah! You know very well that I took a loan of one thousand Dinars from so-and-so. He asked me to bring witnesses or serve a guarantee. But I trusted You as the best witness, and he ultimately agreed with me. You know I have tried very hard to find some means of transport for my return journey, but have been unable to do so. Now, I am entrusting You with this Amanah. Do take it back to him only.”

With these words, the debtor put the box in the sea and saw it being carried away by the waves. Then, he turned back and resumed his search for a ship to take him back.

When the period, for which the loan had been granted was over, the creditor set out towards the sea. He thought the debtor might arrive through a ship or send it through a passenger. Suddenly, he caught sight of a wooden box. He picked it up and took it home, thinking the wood might come useful to light a fire. When he came home and sawed the wood, he saw the letter and the money.

After some time, the debtor came to the creditor with the money (since he didn’t know whether or not he had received the amount sent earlier). He said to the creditor: “By Allah, I was constantly in search for transport so that I could return you your money. However, I could not find any ship in time.”

The creditor asked: “Had you sent anything for me?”

The debtor replied: “That’s what I am trying to explain. I could not find any transport to arrive here on time.”

The creditor then informed him: “Allah (swt) made sure that the money you had returned reached me safely. There is no need to give me these additional one thousand Dinars. You have already repaid your loan.”

Adapted (with permission) from “Sunehray Huroof” published by “Darussalam”. Translated and compiled for “Hiba” by Umm Ibrahim.

Be Concerned About Others

Be Concerned About Others

By Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi – A prominent figure in the field of Dawah and author of more than twenty published works

People usually like to be valued. This is why we sometimes see individuals acting in a certain manner in order to attract attention.

Imagine this: a person returns home form work, tired. He enters his living room and finds his four children sitting. One is watching television; the other is having his dinner; the third is playing with his toys, while the fourth is doing his homework. The father greets them enthusiastically: “Assalam ualaikum!” The first three children remain engrossed with whatever they are doing, and simply mumble an inaudible reply. The fourth one, however, stands up, rushes to his father, kisses his hand and greets him warmly.

Which of the four children do you think will be the most beloved to their father? I am certain it will be the fourth one. This would not be because he is the most intelligent or the most handsome. It would only be because he showed his father that he valued him. Hence, the more you care for others, the greater their love and respect will be for you.

Here is another example: suppose a person enters a gathering and does not find a place to sit. Someone maneuvers a little, offers him a place and says pleasantly: “Please come here and sit.” The newcomer will immediately appreciate this gesture of concern from a stranger and warm up to him.

The Prophet (sa) would give utmost importance to this. While he was delivering a sermon from his pulpit one Friday, suddenly, a Bedouin entered the mosque, walked through the rows, looked at the Messenger of Allah (sa) and said in a loud voice: “O Messenger of Allah, I am a person who does not know what his religion is. Teach me what my religion is!”

The Prophet (sa) descended from his pulpit and turned to the man. He asked for a chair, sat on it and began to speak to the man and explain to him his religion, until he understood. He then resumed his sermon.

Who knows, if the Prophet (sa) had ignored the man, he may have remained ignorant about to his religion, until he died.

If we were to learn about the Prophet’s (sa) character, we would find that when he would shake someone’s hand, he wouldn’t withdraw his until the other person withdrew it first. If a person spoke to him, he would completely turn towards him, meaning that he would turn his face and body towards him, in order to listen with full attention.

The Prophet (sa) would also make everyone feel as if their issue was, in fact, his own problem, and that their worry was his personal worry. Since he also educated the Companions, they would also show concern for others, be approachable and share with them their moments of grief and happiness.

Experience tells us that whenever you show people that you value and care for them, you capture their hearts and are thus, endeared to them.

Adapted (with permission) from “Enjoy Your Life” published by “Darussalam”. Compiled for hiba by Bisma Ishtiaq.

Choose the Right Topic

Choose the Right Topic

By Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi – A prominent figure in the field of Islamic Dawah and author of more than twenty published works

People unanimously agree that one of the ways of attracting others is to choose the topic their listeners would like to discuss. The Prophet (sa) took this into consideration, and his speech with young men would be different from that with the elderly, the women or the children.

Once, a young man Jabir (rta), travelled with the Prophet (sa) on the Dhat ar-Riqa expedition, and, due to his poverty, he rode a very weak camel that could hardly walk.

The Prophet (sa) struck the camel gently with a whip, and it got up energetically. Jabir (rta) jumped on its back and went alongside the Prophet (sa). The Prophet (sa) turned to Jabir (rta) to converse. Jabir (rta), like other young men, was possibly concerned about marriage and livelihood:

The Prophet (sa) asked: “O Jabir, are you married?”

He replied: “Yes.”

The Prophet (sa) questioned: “To a virgin or to a previously married woman?”

He responded: “Previously married.”

The Prophet (sa) was surprised at his choice: “Why didn’t you marry a virgin so that you could fondle one other?”

Jabir (rta) explained: “O Messenger of Allah, my father was martyred on the day of Uhud and left nine (orphan) daughters, who are my nine sisters. I thus disliked to marry a young girl of their age, and instead, married someone older than them, so she could be like their mother.”

The Prophet (sa) realized that he had sacrificed his own pleasures for his sisters. Thus, the Prophet (sa) decided to tell an appropriate joke for a youth of his age. He (sa) said: “Perhaps, when we head for Madinah and stop over at Sarar (five km from Madinah), your wife will hear of our arrival and lay out the pillows [meaning, she will prepare for his grand arrival].”

Jabir (rta) said: “Pillows?! By Allah, O Messenger of Allah, we do not have pillows!”

The Prophet (sa) said: “Insha’Allah, you will soon have pillows.”

The Prophet (sa) wished to help him, so he returned to Jabir (rta) and asked: “Will you sell me your camel?” Jabir (rta) thought that the camel was his capital, and even though previously weak, it had now become strong! However, he thought it rude to reject the Prophet’s (sa) offer. Thus, he stated: “Make an offer, O Messenger of Allah! How much will you pay?”

The Prophet (sa) said: “A Dirham.”

“A Dirham! You are cheating me, O Messenger of Allah,” replied Jabir (rta).

They continued raising the price, until it amounted to forty Dirhams, or an ounce of gold.

Jabir (rta) said: “Fine, but it is on the condition that I continue to ride it until we reach Madinah.” The Prophet (sa) agreed.

When they reached Madinah, Jabir (rta) went to pray with the Prophet (sa) and tied his camel next to the mosque. When the Prophet (sa) came out of the mosque, Jabir (rta) said to him: “This is your camel, O Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet (sa) said: “O Bilal, give forty Dirhams to Jabir (rta) and more.” Bilal (rta) gave Jabir (rta) forty plus Dirhams. Jabir (rta) took the money and went away, thinking about what he could do with it.

The Prophet (sa) suddenly turned to Bilal (rta) and instructed: “O Bilal, take the camel and give it to Jabir.” Bilal (rta) took it and went to Jabir (rta), who was surprised and wondered, if the Prophet (saw) had cancelled the sale.

Bilal (rta) said: “Take the camel, O Jabir.”

Jabir (rta) asked: “Why? What’s the news?”

Bilal (rta) replied: “Allah’s Messenger has ordered me to give you the camel and the money.”

What wonderful manners! The Prophet (sa) chose an appropriate topic for conversation with the young man, and helped him with kindness and compassion.

(This story has been narrated in a Hadeeth recorded by Bukhari and Muslim.)

Adapted (with permission) from “Enjoy Your Life” published by Darussalam. Compiled for Hiba by Bisma Ishtiaq.

Dealing with Innovators

Dealing with Innovators

Three men – Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr Al-Admi and their friend – went for Hajj together. After they had performed all the rites of Hajj, they decided to visit Madinah.

One day, in Madinah, the friend came to Abu Bakr and said: “There is a blind man in the mosque of the Prophet (sa). He is narrating fabricated incidents and weak Ahadeeth to a large audience. We really should go and stop him from doing so, as he is misleading the public.”

Abu Bakr pondered for a while and then replied: “I really do not think that people will listen to us and disregard the more interesting details that the blind man has to tell them. After all, this is not Baghdad. We are well-known there and so is our credibility. Here, we are merely travelers. No one knows us, and if we try and argue with him, no one would support us. We will have to think of another way to handle this.”

Suddenly, an idea occurred to him. He realized that Abu Bakr Al-Admi recites the Quran beautifully. All three of them went to the mosque of the Prophet (sa). There, Abu Bakr Al-Admi was requested to start reciting the Quran in a loud voice.

When he began to recite, people automatically began to gather around him. Attracted by his voice and Qirat, the people attending the blind man’s study circle also got up and came here instead. Soon, there was no one around the blind man.

He sighed and asked his assistant to lead him home, saying: “Blessings are taken away in a second.”

This story contains an important lesson for all of us in these times. Instead of fighting over our differences, it is always a good idea to think of more creative and peaceful ways to resolve those differences, such that the right prevails over the wrong.

Adapted (with permission) from Sunehray Huroof published by Darussalam. Translated for “Hiba” by Hafsa Ahsan.

Let’s Enrage Him

Oct 10 - Let's enrage him

There was once a man in Arabia called Muan Ibn Zaida. He was very famous for his generosity as well as his mild temper. It was well-known amongst the Arabs that no one could provoke him.

One day, an Arab man claimed: “I will make Muan lose his temper.”

“Well,” said the people, “if you manage to do that, we will give you a hundred red camels.”

The Arab went to Muan. He walked in very rudely and without saying “Assalamu Alaikum” started to recite a few verses which meant, “Do you remember the time, when a goat’s skin was your dress and your shoes were made of camel skin?”

Muan did not mind the rude behaviour. He replied: “Of course, I have not forgotten that time.”

The Arab said: “Glory be to the One, Who gave you the power to rule and taught you how to sit on a bed.”

Muan said: “All praise is to Allah (swt) for that; not to you, my dear brother.”

The Arab said: “By Allah (swt), if you were supporting me, I could not survive one day. Also, I am not impressed with your rule, so I don’t offer you Salam.”

“My dear brother,” said Muan, “saying Salam is a Sunnah. If you obey it, you will receive blessings from Allah (swt). And if you do not say Salam, then you will be sinning.”

“I will leave the very land in which you are living, even if I have to walk all the way,” the Arab continued.

“If you stay here, you will only receive good treatment from us,” said Muan. “And if you leave, our Duas are with you.”

“Well then,” said the Arab. “I am definitely leaving. Arrange for my travel expenses.”

Muan asked his servant to give the Arab one thousand Dinars.

The Arab said: “This is too little. I expected much more from you.”

Muan asked his servant to give him another thousand Dinars.

Now, the Arab admitted his defeat and said: “May Allah (swt) grant you a long life, as your generosity is equivalent to a sea. You are the epitome of Ihsan. I have never met anyone like you before.”

Muan asked his servant to give him another thousand Dinars.

The Arab now explained: “I had heard you were mild tempered, so I came here just to test your patience. I am convinced that you are extremely generous and mild tempered. If your two qualities were distributed amongst every individual on this Earth, they would be enough for them.”

Muan gave the Arab another three thousand Dinars. The Arab thanked him and turned to leave. He was now crying.

Muan called him back and asked: “Why are you crying?”

“I am crying because even a man like you has to die one day,” he replied. “Losing one’s wealth and animals is not such a big deal. But when a generous man dies, quite a lot perishes with him, too.”

Adapted (with permission) from Sunehray Huroof published by Darussalam. Translated for “Hiba” by Hafsa Ahsan.

The Governor’s Son is whipped!

Jul 10 - The governor's son is whipped

Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) was the governor of Egypt during Umar Ibn Khattab’s (rta) caliphate. He belonged to one of the tribes of Quraish called Banu Saham. He entered the fold of Islam in 8 AH. The Prophet (sa) sent him towards Oman, and Amr Ibn Al-Aas’s (rta) preaching inspired the ruler to accept Islam.

He was an eloquent speaker, very soft spoken, a writer, thinker, politician and commander-in-chief. He has narrated thirty-nine Ahadeeth.

One day, a citizen of Egypt approached Umar (rta) and complained to him: “O Amir-ul-Mumineen! I have come to you to seek shelter from cruelty.”

Umar (rta) replied: “You have come to a man who has the power to grant you shelter.”

The Egyptian continued: “I participated in a race with Amr Ibn Al-Aas’s (rta) son. When I went ahead of him, he started to whip me and cried out: ‘I am the son of a noble family.’”

Upon hearing the complaint, Umar (rta) wrote a letter to Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) and summoned him along with his son.

When Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) and his son appeared before him, Umar (rta) inquired: “Where is the Egyptian?”

When he appeared before Umar (rta) too, he commanded the Egyptian: “Take this whip and hit him.”

As soon as the Amir-ul-Mumineen ordered the Egyptian to do so, he started to whip Amr Ibn Al-Aas’s (rta) son. Umar (rta) kept on repeating: “Whip the son of the noble family.”

Anas (rta) narrates: “By Allah (swt)! The Egyptian whipped the governor’s son fiercely, and we all wanted him to do so. However, after some time, we wished that he stopped.”

Then Umar (rta) ordered: “Whip Amr Ibn Al-Aas’s (rta) bald head too.”

The Egyptian said: “O Amir-ul-Mumineen! His son whipped me, and I have avenged him by way of Qisas.”

Then, Umar (rta) addressed Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta): “Since when have you enslaved your people, when their mothers had borne them free?”

Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) clarified: “O Amir-ul-Mumineen! I was not aware of this incident and this man never brought his complaint to me.”

This is how justice was served during the caliphate of the Muslims. The son of a governor, belonging to a noble family, was commanded to be whipped before his own father’s eyes and that too by a common man, who had been wronged. Shariah laws protected the innocent and set an unprecedented example for others to stay within limits.

Adapted from “Sunehray Faislay”, published by Darussalam. Translated for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan.

Advisors of the Prophet (sa)

Oct 10 - Allah swt is beautifulCompiled by Hafsa Ahsan

The political system implemented by the Prophet (sa) makes an enlightening study. His political decisions were based on consultation with his Companions (rta). In his book “Advisors of the Prophet (sa).” Abdul Aziz Shanawi has detailed the profiles of all the Companions (rta) who gave wise counsel to the Prophet (sa). Following is a brief look at some of these individuals and their advice.

Sad Ibn Ar-Rabi (rta)

Sad Ibn Rabi (rta) belonged to the Khazraj tribe of Madinah. The Prophet (sa) consulted Sad (rta), when his uncle Al-Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib sent him a letter from Makkah, informing him that after the Battle of Badar, the Quraish were preparing another army for attacking Muslims.

Sad Ibn Ar-Rabi (rta) said: “O Messenger of Allah! I indeed hope that there is goodness in that (i.e. for the Muslims to overcome them in battle).” The Prophet (sa) requested Sad (rta) to keep the contents of the letter a secret.

Abdullah Ibn Jahsh (rta)

Abdullah Ibn Jahsh (rta) was the first Muslim to receive a flag for a military expedition. He was also the first one to assign one-fifth of the war booty to the Prophet (sa), which later became a rule, following the revelation of the following verse:

“And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain, verily one-fifth (1/5th) of it is assigned to Allah and to the Messenger, and to the near relatives [of the Messenger (Muhammad)], (and also) the orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarer…” (Al-Anfal 8:41)

Abdullah Ibn Jahsh (rta) was included in those Companions, who were consulted by the Prophet (sa) after the Battle of Badar. At the time, the Prophet (sa) wanted advice on how the seventy prisoners, taken during the war, should be treated.

Salman Al-Farsi (rta)

Prior to the Battle of Ahzab, the Prophet (sa) consulted his Companions on how the Muslim army should defend itself. Most of the Companions were reluctant to offer any advice. Salman Al-Farsi (rta) came forward and advised that the Muslims should dig a trench on the northern side of Madinah. He felt that the western and eastern sides were well-protected by rough terrain and volcanic rocks. A mountain and a cluster of date palm trees defended its southern side. This valuable counsel proved to be vital for the victory of Muslims in this battle.

Al-Hubaib Ibn Al-Mundhir (rta)

Before the Battle of Badar, both the Muslim and the Quraish armies hastened towards the wells of Badar. Obviously, the army which would have control of the water supply would be at a greater advantage. The Muslim army arrived at the wells first. At that point, Al-Hubaib Ibn Al-Mundhir (rta) asked the Prophet (sa), if Muslims had been commanded by Allah (swt) to camp at this spot. When the Prophet (sa) replied in the negative, he offered his advice. He informed the Prophet (sa) that the well closest to the Quraish army did contain plenty of water. He suggested that Muslims should make a reservoir over that well and destroy all other wells. The Prophet (sa) implemented this suggestion.

Al-Hubaib Ibn Al-Mundhir (rta) also gave some critical advice before the Battle of Khyber. When the Muslim army arrived at Khyber, they camped near the fortress of An-Natat. Al-Hubaib (rta) approached the Prophet (sa) and said that the people of An-Natat had excellent shooting skills. Being in a fortress gives them the advantage to shoot at the Muslim army from a height. They can also launch a surprise attack, as there is a thick cluster of date palm trees to conceal them. The Prophet (sa) then commanded Muhammad Ibn Maslamah (rta) to find another spot for the Muslim army, which was far away from the An-Natat fortress.

Usamah Ibn Zaid (rta)

The Prophet (sa) consulted Usamah (rta) at one of the most crucial times for him and his family. The hypocrites of Madinah had levelled a most serious allegation against his wife Aisha (rta). There was no proof of her innocence or her guilt. The Prophet (sa) consulted Ali Ibn Abi Talib (rta) and Usamah Ibn Zaid (rta). Usamah Ibn Zaid (rta) replied: “O Messenger of Allah, as for your family (wives), I know only good things about them. As for what the people say, it is a lie and completely false.”

Sad Ibn Muadh (rta)

Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) pledged his and the Ansars’ allegiance to the Prophet (sa) before the Battle of Badar. He also advised the Prophet (sa) to build a trellis, which could serve as the headquarters for the Muslim army. “Then, when we meet the enemy, if Allah (swt) honours us, and we come out victorious over the enemy that will be what we truly love and want. But if it is the other outcome (i.e., defeat)…you can return to those (Muslims), who are behind us (in Madinah),” he said.

During the Battle of Ahzab, Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) was chosen to be one of the delegates for the peace negotiations with the tribe of Ghatafan. This tribe was offered one-third of Madinah’s crops, if they returned without fighting the Muslim army. Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) opposed this deal. He (rta) informed the Prophet (sa) that in their pre-Islamic days, Ghatafan tribe was unwilling to eat even a single of Madinah’s fruits, unless they received it as guests or buyers. He (rta) said: “So now that Allah (swt) has honoured us with Islam, guided us to it, and honoured us with you, will we simply give them our wealth? By Allah (swt), we will give them nothing save the sword, until Allah (swt) judges between us and them.” The Prophet (sa) went forth with the counsel of Sad Ibn Muadh (rta).

Naufal Ibn Muawiyah (rta)

During the Battle of Hunain, Naufal Ibn Muawiyah (rta) advised the Prophet (sa). The Muslims had besieged their enemies, who had locked themselves in an impenetrable fortress with supplies, which would last them a year. When the Prophet (sa) consulted his Companions, Naufal Ibn Muawiyah (rta) said: “O Messenger of Allah, when a fox is in a hole, if you stand over it, you will get it. And if you leave it (where it is), it won’t hurt you.” The Prophet (sa) ordered Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (rta) to announce that they were leaving.

Sad Ibn Ubadah (rta)

During the Battle of Ahzab, Sad Ibn Ubadah (rta) was chosen to be one of the delegates for the peace negotiations with the tribe of Ghatafan. He (rta) offered his advice and said: “Then they will have nothing from us other than the sword.” The Prophet (sa), hence, told the men of Ghatafan tribe: “Return, for between us and you is the sword.”

Conclusion

When the Companions (rta) gave advice, they first asked the Prophet (sa), if a particular decision had been commanded by Allah (swt). It shows their level of submission to Allah (swt) and his Messenger (sa). It also indicates that they did not look for any personal benefit in crucial political decisions.

The Fruit of a False Testimony

Vol 7 - Issue 1 The fruit of a false testimony

Once, Al-Haaj Ibrahim was approached by a friend for a loan. The friend promised to return it before the end of the year. Al-Haaj gave the loan and entered the transaction in his accounts. His friend offered to mortgage something against the loan. Al-Haaj refused, stating that since he was a dear friend and Allah (swt) was a Witness between them, a mortgage was not needed.

Before the year ended, Al-Haaj had a sudden heart attack and died. He left behind a widow and four children.

One day, Al-Haaj’s wife checked his accounts to see the details of his debtors and creditors. She came across the entry of the loan he had granted to his friend. The wife sent a message to Al-Haaj’s friend, requesting him to return the loan. The friend denied ever taking a loan from Al-Haaj. When she insisted and pursued the matter, he changed his statement and said that he had actually returned the loan much earlier and that was why he couldn’t even remember the incident.

When the news spread, public opinion was divided into two groups: one group supported Al-Haaj, while the other was on his friend’s side.

Al-Haaj’s widow approached the influential members of the society for assistance, but to no avail. Losing all hope, she filed a case against this man in the court.

After hearing both parties, the judge said: “This man claims to have returned the loan. He has a witness, who has testified that once the loan was granted to this man by Al-Haaj, the man mentioned to him how relieved he was due to the kind gesture of Al-Haaj. However, we have no proof or witness to substantiate the fact that the borrowed loan was actually returned to Al-Haaj. In such a case, the accused is required to take an oath by the Quran and confirm that he had indeed returned the borrowed loan.”

The accused man took a false oath by the Quran. Consequently, the court acquitted him. As the man proudly stepped out of the court room, he suddenly fell to the ground. This man, who had been hale and hearty just a few seconds ago, had dropped dead before everyone’s eyes.

The narrator of this story was Al-Haaj’s neighbour. He was also present during the trial and was deeply shocked by the sudden demise of this young man. He visited Al-Haaj’s house and spoke to Al-Haaj’s wife from behind the veil.

She said: “My husband was a pious man. He always lent people a helping hand. He used to lend money to all – the rich and the poor. Later, as per the Prophet’s (sa) Hadeeth, he wrote off the loans of the destitute and allowed time to the rich to pay off their borrowed money. He kept the accounts of all such transactions. He rarely asked the borrowers to sign for the funds they took. I advised him to do so many times, but he would answer me: ‘The money that I have belongs to Allah (swt). There was a time, when I was poor. It was Allah (swt), Who enriched me.’

On the day of the verdict, I was also present in the courtroom. When that man took a false oath and the judge acquitted him, I cried out in horror. I knew that he had lied and had dared to mock Allah’s (swt) Book. At that very moment I cursed him: ‘O Allah! You are the Knower of all that is evident and all that is concealed. You are also the Knower of the Unknown. If this man is a liar, make him an example for others to fear, oh Mighty Lord!’

I saw him die before my eyes in the court. He was acquitted by the judge, but could not escape the ultimate King of the heavens and the earth.

One cold night, at the door, stood his graceful widow. She admitted to me that her husband had lied in the court. She had tried to persuade him to return the loan, but he didn’t listen. Eventually, he paid a heavy price for his treachery. She had come to return the loan – she handed over the borrowed money to me and left.”

Adapted from “Sunehray Faislay” published by Darussalam. Translated for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan.

Worthy Reads

QURAT1001By S. Hamza Asad and Ofaira Ateeq Hussain

From the many books published on the Quran, the following two, no doubt, are some of the leading ones.

“Atlas of the Quran”

Compiled by: Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil

Publisher: Darussalam

Number of pages: 392

Available at: Darussalam outlets (Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad)

Muslims, young and old, have always loved to read the stories of all the prophets mentioned in the Quran – Islamic stories always leave their impact on our imagination. But to capture the pictures in our mind, for the first time an untouched subject has emerged in the form of “Atlas of the Quran”.

“Atlas of the Quran” is an authentic compilation of the Quranic stories and information regarding the prophecies and the places where different prophets lived, ruled and died. The book contains tables, pictures, regions, routes and maps of all those places which are discussed in the Quran. It also embellishes the beauty of some of the major divine events with reference to their scientific facts and innovative historical and modern sources such as the flood during the times of Prophet Noah (as). Apart from this, almost all the stories and incidents of the twenty five prophets, mentioned in the Quran by name, are discussed in this book.

Compiled by Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil, “Atlas of the Quran” is one of the greatest attempts ever to adumbrate the Islamic facts and the author of this book surely seems to have burnt the midnight oil to undertake such extensive research.

“Quran par Amal”

Written by: Summaiyah Ramadan

Translated by: Zaheer-ud-Deen Bhatti

Publisher: Manshurat

Number of pages: 157

Available at:

The book “Quran par Amal” is a translation of workshops conducted in Arabic by sister Summaiyah Ramadan in Kuwait. It has been translated into Urdu by Zaheer-ud-Deen Bhatti and the foreword is by Muslim Sajjad. Both the brothers have appreciated the fact that women are playing a very active role in the revival of our Deen.

The book is divided into four sections. The first section explores and explains how the Quran is a book of guidance, and how it should be applied to our daily lives. The second section deals with the prerequisites for bringing about personal change through the Quran. Eight prerequisites have been defined and explained.

The third section is the most interesting one. It contains the experiences of the ladies attending sister Summaiyah’s workshops. These workshops were not just a series of lectures. In each class, an Ayah of the Quran was selected, and ways of applying that particular Ayah in the daily lives of the women attending were discussed. The ladies would read and re-read the Ayah, memorize it and try to practice it in their homes for at least one week. Then they would come back and share their experiences. If they felt that, Alhumdulillah, they were able to bring about a change in themselves or their environment, they would select another Ayah for the next week. Otherwise, the same Ayah would continue for another week, until some results became visible.

The experiences related under fourteen topics are amazing and inspiring. They are classic examples of the Barakah and benefits of practicing the Quran. The problems are as simple as waking up for Fajr prayers to as complicated as distribution of inheritance.

All in all, this book is a very inspiring read for those who want to practice the teachings of the Quran in their daily lives.