[Printable Poster] Al-Wakeel – The Trustee

Hiba Magazine has launched a brand new poster series based on the beautiful names of Allah (swt) to restore and strengthen the connection between Allah and His servants. These are especially useful to foster a strong bond between our children and Allah from a very young age.

This poster can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for dawah.

[Click on the Image to Enlarge it]

Al Wakeel

[Printable Poster] Al-Hakam – The Judge

Hiba Magazine has launched a brand new poster series based on the beautiful names of Allah (swt) to restore and strengthen the connection between Allah and His servants. These are especially useful to foster a strong bond between our children and Allah from a very young age.

This poster can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for dawah.

[Click on the Image to Enlarge it]

Al Hakam

[Printable Poster] Al-Khaliq – The Creator (Part 2)

Hiba Magazine has launched a brand new poster series based on the beautiful names of Allah (swt) to restore and strengthen the connection between Allah and His servants. These are especially useful to foster a strong bond between our children and Allah from a very young age.

This poster can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for dawah.

[Click on the Image to Enlarge it]

Al khaliq 2

 

[Printable Poster] Al-Khaliq – The Creator

Hiba Magazine has launched a brand new poster series based on the beautiful names of Allah (swt) to restore and strengthen the connection between Allah and His servants. These are especially useful to foster a strong bond between our children and Allah from a very young age.

This poster can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for dawah.

 

[Click on the Image to Enlarge it]

Al Khaliq (1)

 

[Printable Poster] Al-Razzaq – The Provider

Hiba Magazine has launched a brand new poster series based on the beautiful names of Allah (swt) to restore and strengthen the connection between Allah and His servants. These are especially useful to foster a strong bond between our children and Allah from a very young age.

This poster can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for dawah.

[Click on the Image to Enlarge it]

Al Razzaq

[Printable Poster] As-Samee – the All Hearing

Hiba Magazine has launched a brand new poster series based on the beautiful names of Allah (swt) to restore and strengthen the connection between Allah and His servants. These are especially useful to foster a strong bond between our children and Allah from a very young age.

This poster can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for dawah.

 

[Click on the Image to Enlarge]

As Samee

[Printable Poster] Al-Baseer – the All Seeing

Hiba Magazine has launched a brand new poster series based on the beautiful names of Allah (swt) to restore and strengthen the connection between Allah and His servants. These are especially useful to foster a strong bond between our children and Allah from a very young age.

This poster can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for dawah.

[Click on the Image to Enlarge it]

Al Baseer

 

Lessons of Wisdom from Hind bint Amr (ra)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe was the sister of Abdullah ibn Amr (ra) who was the father of the famous Hadeeth narrator Jabir ibn Abdullah (ra). Her husband Amr ibn Jamuh (ra) was the leader of Yathrib (old name of Madinah) and was from the nobles of the Ansar (the helpers of Madinah).

Conversion to Islam

Hind (ra) converted to Islam along with her sons through the Dawah efforts of Musab ibn Umair (ra). Her husband, like other ignorant leaders, had installed an idol in his house that he used to worship and sacrifice animals for. One day, he purchased a sturdy piece of wood and instructed a woodworker to craft an idol for him. This idol, named Manat, was dressed in fine clothing and pleasantly perfumed.

Like many early Muslims, Hind (ra) kept her conversion a secret. She was waiting for an appropriate time to break the news to her husband. Her sons regularly attended the gatherings of Musab ibn Umair (ra), and later shared the knowledge of the Quranic verses with their mother. Amr (ra) remained unaware of what was happening in his house. He only began to worry when more and more people entered Islam. He then felt insecurity for his family. He instructed Hind (ra) to keep a close watch on their sons that they do not meet the man from Makkah, and get spoilt by his teachings. Hind (ra) assured him to not worry and to keep his heart free from apprehensions about them.

While at one end, the father was instructing the mother to keep a close watch on the sons; on the other end, the sons worried for their father’s faith. Muadh ibn Amr (ra) shared his concerns with a close friend and they plotted a plan to get the father off idol worshipping. It was decided that Muadh ibn Jabl (ra) will help the brothers in throwing the idol in a trash can. Amr (ra) was fast asleep when this plan was carried out. The next day when he woke up, as per his routine, he entered the room where the idol was kept. Not finding it there he vehemently demanded where it was. The mother and the sons replied that they had no idea where it had gone.

Amr (ra) went out of the house and fetched the idol. Seeing it lying on trash, he brought it home, cleaned it and applied fragrance. He vowed to take revenge from the culprit. The mother and the sons looked at Amr (ra) in disbelief- was he really talking to a piece of wood? He was apologising to it while it could neither hear him nor speak.

He then brought a sword and hung it around Manat’s neck. He told the idol that it was for its defence, in case it was attacked again.

When the father had gone to sleep, the sons again, with the help of Muadh ibn Jabl (ra), picked up the idol and threw it in trash. Second time they tied a dead dog to the wooden piece and returned home.

The next day, when Amr (ra) woke up and did not find Manat in its room, he again screamed and shouted and went out to find the idol. When he saw that it was again lying on trash and a dead dog was wrapped around its neck, and that the idol did not defend itself, Amr (ra) conceded that the idol did not deserve his respect. It was content with its own dishonour. He left the idol on the trash and returned home feeling estranged.

She was not only doing Tarbiyah of her sons that they should be respectful towards their father, but also did not spoil the home environment.

Seeing Amr (ra) anguished, the family inquired what the matter was. Amr (ra) did not reply to the question. He sighed deeply and asked the mother if she had been keeping a close watch on the sons. The mother assured him that the sons had acted upon her instructions. However, she quickly added that their son Muadh (ra) had a meeting with the Makkan preacher Musab (ra) and had learnt some things. She suggested that Amr (ra) should call him and inquire what he had learnt.

Amr (ra) at once called Muadh (ra). Muadh (ra) came and the father inquired if he had memorised anything from the Makkan preacher (ra). The son replied in affirmation. The father then asked the son to share something. Muadh (ra) recited the Ta’awuth and Surah Al-Fatihah.

Amr (ra), as if speaking to himself commented that how eloquent, enticing and beautiful the words were. The son was overjoyed by his father’s statement. He affirmed that indeed that Makkan man’s entire talk was elegant, beautiful and exceptional and that Amr (ra) should meet the man himself. To entice the father furthermore, he added that all the other leaders of Madinah had been visiting Musab (ra) and embracing Islam. They had preceded Amr (ra). Hind (ra) also encouraged her husband to meet the Makkan preacher (ra). Amr (ra) said that he needed to take advice from his idols. Muadh (ra) immediately reminded his father if he was to take advice from a dumb and deaf piece of wood. Amr (ra) was offended by his son’s comment, but then admitted that it was indeed the truth. The wood was void of intellect and emotions. He then looked at his family and asked for their views. The family was startled, but quickly agreed that Amr (ra) was right.

Our mistake is that when we meet a person who is committing some wrong, we start our conversation with taunts and criticism

At that moment, Amr (ra) testified the Oneness of Allah (swt) and recited the Islamic testimony of faith (Shahadah). That was a joyous moment for the family. Later that evening Musab ibn Umair (ra) was invited to their home, who then purified the house from the filth of associating partners with Allah (swt).

Lessons to draw

There are several lessons in this story. When Hind (ra) became a Muslim she did not break the news to her husband at once. Despite having the support of adult sons, she waited for an appropriate time to approach Amr (ra). She hoped that he might embrace Islam on his own and the relations between them will not be severed. She was not only doing Tarbiyah of her sons that they should be respectful towards their father, but also did not spoil the home environment.

  • Hikmah of preaching

We need to reflect on our attitudes when we learn something new and how we preach it to others. First, we must gain firmness in what we have learnt and then pass it on to others. Show them by practicing, not by preaching. Melt their hearts first. Give them space to understand. Secondly, “plan” how you are going to preach. Hind (ra) and her sons first sketched a plan that how they could convince Amr (ra) that what he was following was wrong.

Thirdly, when Amr (ra) returned home feeling estranged, the family showed concern and inquired- although they knew it very well what grieved him. They treated him with respect and care- even when he was upset about a wrong matter. Our mistake is that when we meet a person who is committing some wrong, we start our conversation with taunts and criticism. Unless, we show some compassion how can the other person trust our opinion? Gain the support first, so that he can open up his heart to understand what you want to tell him.

Hind’s son did not pick a horrifying verse to abuse or scare the father away. Rather, he chose Surah Al-Fatihah

Another Hikmah of preaching is that Hind’s son did not pick a horrifying verse to abuse or scare the father away. Rather, he chose Surah Al-Fatihah — the Opening Surah of the Quran — that introduces us to Allah (swt). Generally, we invite people to Islam by scaring them with the punishment of the Hereafter. Even to the babies and toddlers, we introduce Allah (swt) by telling them how intense His punishments are; whereas Allah (swt) introduces Himself to us by choosing His attributes of mercy: Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem (Al-Fatihah 1:3).

Finally, Hind (ra) respected the leader of the house. When the father asked if she had been keeping an eye on the sons, the mother replied in affirmative and then added that Muadh (ra) had heard something. She then requested the father to ascertain what he had learnt. In a way, she was putting the father in-charge- whether he found it fit for the family or not. She did not say I have checked it and I find it alright. She gave reverence to the husband’s position in the house.

When the parents fail to give respect to one another, the silent observers — the children — grow up disrespecting their parents. Family matters should be dealt with utmost respect and wisdom thinking about the children as well.

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by Mehmood Ahmad Ghazanfar and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Lessons of Fortitude from Umm Sulaym Bint Malhan (ra)

shell_in_the_sand_1600x1200When someone is loved by their dear ones, they are called by many nick names. Same was the case with Umm Sulaym (ra). Though widely known as Umm Sulaym, some of her other names were: Sahlah, Ghameesa, Rameesa, Rumaylah and Mulaykah.

She was the daughter of Malhan ibn Khalid. Her first husband was Malik ibn Nadhr, from whom she had Anas ibn Malik (ra) and Barah (ra). She later married Abu Talha (ra). She was a woman blessed with beauty, intellect, good character, fortitude and independent thinking. Her distinguishing trait, however, was her love for Islam and its defence.

Conversion to Islam

Umm Sulaym (ra) is one of the forerunners who embraced Islam as soon as the message reached her. Her husband was not in town. When he learnt that his wife had converted to Islam, he asked her if she was a Sabi (without any religion). Umm Sulaym (ra) replied that she had not left religion. Rather, she had embraced faith and followed the truth. Her husband threatened her. But Umm Sulaym (ra) remained calm. Her heart was filled with the love of her Creator (swt) and His Messenger (sa).

(Note: Umm Sulaym (ra) remained married to an unbeliever because at that time the verses that prohibit such a marriage were not revealed.)

We blame our families for our mediocre adherence to religion. Umm Sulaym (ra) teaches us courage to find our own way to build a strong connection with Allah (swt)

Lessons to draw: Umm Sulaym (ra) knew her salvation in the hereafter did not depend on her husband. She was a woman of independent thinking. She submitted to the commands of Allah (swt) and did not allow her husband to dissuade her. When our family does not support us in the way of Allah (swt), we take that as an excuse for not excelling in religion. We blame our families for our mediocre adherence to religion. Umm Sulaym (ra) teaches us courage to find our own way to build a strong connection with Allah (swt), and not depend on people to connect with Him. She also did not fear that if her husband left, what will become of her.

How strong are we in the path of Allah (swt)?

Paying attention to the necessary

Umm Sulaym (ra) did not engage herself in conflicts and arguments. She directed her energies to that which actually mattered – the upbringing of her son Anas (ra). She started with the basics and taught him the words of Adhan (call to prayer). One day, little Anas (ra) was memorising La ilaha illa Allahu Muhammad ur Rasulullah, when his father saw him. Furious as he was, Malik ibn Nadhr confronted his wife for spoiling their son and warned her to stop. Umm Sulaym (ra) again calmly replied that she was not spoiling their son, but educating him.

Arguments became a norm in Malik’s house. Malik threatened his wife that if she did not leave her religion, then he will have to leave her. Umm Sulaym (ra) remained undeterred. Understanding that his wife would not give up the religion that she so dearly loved, Malik left the house and was killed by an enemy.

Lesson to draw: Dawah begins from home. Many people are seen practicing religion, but when one meets their children – they are quite the opposite. While it is a test from Allah (swt), one cause of their detachment from Deen is that the message did not reach them. The parent had been attending or delivering religious lectures and classes, while not transferring the knowledge to those at home. This is also one reason why families are different.

Do not ignore your family, your parents, your spouse and children. Your first responsibility is towards them. Also do not get disheartened when your Dawah is not welcomed

Do not ignore your family, your parents, your spouse and children. Your first responsibility is towards them. Also do not get disheartened when your Dawah is not welcomed. Again, it is a test from Allah (swt). When the father (Nadhr) rejects the religion, the son (Anas) embraces it. Continue your efforts and seek reward from only Him.

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by Mehmood Ahmad Ghazanfar and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

[Revert Story] Guided by Recitation

quran-2The stories of reverts to Islam are always full of inspiration. But not only that, whenever I hear a story, I unwillingly find myself thinking about the ways Allah (swt) uses people to guide others to Islam. I think of it, because my own reversion to Islam was influenced by numerous people, who might not even have the slightest idea they had anything to do with it. They were instruments in the hands of Almighty, without being aware of it.

As we were sitting and listening to the reading of Ahadeeth in a revert Muslims Halaqah, a young and fragile looking girl entered to join our circle. She quietly sat down along with us to benefit from the reading. Later we found out that she had come, because she was ready to take her Shahadah, which she did, Alhamdulillah. I was curious to hear her story, as finding Islam in a country, where Muslims constitute barely 1% of the population, is a miracle in itself. Her story proved to be an amazing illustration of the beautiful ways Allah (swt) can guide people.

This girl had become a student at a local university and was living in student housing. Shortly after moving into her room, she noticed that in early mornings a beautiful sound of recitation was coming from behind one of her room walls. The recitation was so beautiful that day after day she kept wondering what it was. Finally, she mastered enough courage to go and see, who the reciter was. It turned out to be an international student from some Muslim country, who in early morning hours was doing his Quran reading. Subhan’Allah! She got to know the young man and learned about Islam from him, which later led to her reversion to Islam. Just imagine – even recitation of the Quran in solitude of your own room may become a guiding light on someone’s way to Islam!

my own reversion to Islam was influenced by numerous people, who might not even have the slightest idea they had anything to do with it.

We never know how Allah (swt) chooses to use us in opening the hearts of people. I was inspired by several strong and confident Muslims, who were not afraid to speak their mind, even if at the time I felt they challenged me to the edge. I thank the Muslim student from Africa, who had enough courage to tell me that he would never ever for anything in the world leave Islam. Even though his boldness took me aback, I kept on thinking about the strength of his faith. I thank the ladies of a Pakistani family, who answered my questions about women in Islam in a matter of fact manner, impressing me by their confidence in their lifestyle. I thank my friend from Yemen, who challenged my beliefs about trinity in Christianity. And I thank the Australian revert sister, who in our first and only meeting boldly invited me to accept Islam with deep belief in her heart that this is the best thing that can ever happen to me. It didn’t happen on that day. But it did happen eight months later, Alhamdulillah.

My message to my Muslim brothers and sisters – do not be afraid to talk about your faith. Take pride in being Muslims and be confident about it. You may become that one much needed building brick on the way to somebody’s Shahadah!

[Video] Giving Dawah to Family Members by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

This beautiful reminder by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan illustrated by Darul Arqam Studios highlights the importance of patience when giving Dawah to family members. It gives the example of Imam Abu Haneefah and his mother, who wanted to consult another scholar and not her own son.

Lesson From Story of Imam Abu Hanifa | Nouman Ali Khan from FreeQuranEducation on Vimeo.

Shaikh Hussain Yee’s Words of Wisdom

paperpenDonning a brown shirt and a cap, the Sheikh was seated in the centre of “Fajr Academy’s” training room. His voice was tranquil yet firm, his face was radiant yet purposeful, his eyes scanned all across the room filled with teachers seated in awe before him. It was inspirational to be in his company and here is what he had to say:

As a Muslim

He is someone, who maintains a fine balance between physical, mental and spiritual needs. Why does a Muslim need to be like that? Well, if his body is weak, his mind is weak, too. And if his mind is weak, he cannot seek knowledge. And what is the best knowledge? That you can act upon right away. Why? It is because every person’s needs are different. Be proactive and be a part of the circle of people of knowledge. So you may ask them questions. That is the fastest way to learn your Deen. Also remember knowledge without action is not beneficial. Allah (swt) and the Prophet (sa) hate such individuals, who only listen but do not act upon what they hear.

As a teacher

At my educational centre in Malaysia, I teach my students that this is your home. Keep it clean and don’t litter around. I teach them to sweep the floor and wash the dishes, because this requires a special set of skills. It is an art to clean correctly; otherwise, you are just wasting soap and water. Your heart should be in it. Yes, something as insignificant as cleaning. The whole point is that whatever you do in Islam, you must be committed with your heart and soul. Also, don’t just be a Mualim or Mualimah. Be a Murabbi. The difference is that a Muslim comes and delivers the lecture and leaves unbothered. But a Murabbi imparts knowledge, monitors that it is implemented and keeps supervising, until it is properly imposed. Our Prophet (sa) was a Murabbi, too.

I teach my students to participate. I tell them that when Allah (swt) calls, you must respond. If you don’t, you are not the chosen one. Similarly, when I call you as a teacher, you must come willingly. When you will need me, I will be there for you too. We are a family. I have students who have become fathers and now their children come to me as students. So I am practically a grandfather of hundreds of children.

Your mind is a home for right knowledge. It is counter-productive to seek incorrect knowledge, as it corrupts and confuses your mind and thoughts and ultimately – your actions.

The best way to strengthen your soul is to perform DhikrAllah. Remember Him much. Recite:

“Rabbi Aainni Ala Dhikrika Wa Shukrika Wa Husni Ibadatika.” (An-Nisai)

(“O Allah (swt), help me to remember you, to thank you and to worship you in the best manner.”)

Why do we need Allah’s (swt) help in remembering Him, offering thanks to Him and worshipping Him? Why can’t we just do it on our own? Mainly because this only holds value if performed in the manner Allah (swt) commanded us to do and the Prophet (sa) taught us to do. We cannot please Allah (swt) in any self-created or self-innovated way. It may lead us and others towards misguidance unknowingly, and we might end up displeasing Him instead.

As a servant for community

The supreme manner to offer gratitude to Allah (swt) is to use your health, time, knowledge, and resources in His way. Each time you receive something from Allah (swt), know that it is time to give back by sharing with others. Everything the Lord (swt) granted to you is a Nai’mah (blessing).

Our community needs to be trained with patience. At my centre in Malaysia, my wife and I first clean the rooms before the initiation of any activity. Next, we put up signs around the rooms to educate people for different purposes and mannerisms. Even then many people fail to follow instructions and behave otherwise. They are insensitive to others. We take extra effort to correct Saf (rows) in the Jama’ah (congregation). I do not begin leading the prayer, until all the rows are straight, worshippers standing shoulder to shoulder and toe to toe with no gaps in between. I have a senior sister to signal me from among the ladies to begin, once the same has been achieved on the female side.

Also, significance of Jama’at (group) is very critical. When you are alone, you are exposed. Find creative ways to unite the Ummah. If you had been on the spiritual journey of Umrah or Hajj and had companions along, host gatherings every month, taking turns and inviting them. Your kids will learn the importance of being an Ameer and uniting the Ummah.

As a father

In today’s age, I will strongly advise fathers to remain a step ahead of their children – frisk their school bags and belongings discretely. If you ever find something objectionable, talk to them about the importance of honesty, without confrontation. If the child still conceals or lies, go another round of Ahadeeth and Quranic verses that highlight the dangers of lying. If the kid reveals the truth, which might be disturbing, do not yell at him/her. Otherwise that will be the last time the child will ever confide in you.

Muslim families must internalize the Asma-ul-Husna. Learn and bring into your discussion the ninety-nine names of Allah (swt) with your family. Allah (swt) should be present and not passive in your lives. And when you are gone, your children will remember Allah (swt) the same way you did at every step of their lives.

As a husband

Trust is the single most important ingredient of one’s marital life. My wife and I have no secrets. She remembers my passwords more than I do. At times, when I get any indecent message from unknown female talking rubbish, I show the message to her first, so that it doesn’t create any Fitnah between us. We simply ignore it and the problem takes care of itself. But if you keep secrets from each other, it has adverse effects later.

Also there needs to be a balance between Dawah and home responsibilities. If you have not taken care of the minimum at home and stepped out for community service, it will become a bone of contention and domestic disputes. Take care of your homes first and then the community.

Adapted by Rana Rais Khan from a talk held at “Fajr Academy” (Karachi)

You’re invited…

calling-to-islam_dawah1Not to a party. But something more enchanting, fulfilling and lasting. Yes, I invite you toward Your Lord (swt).

There is a plethora of sad sagas narrated by well-meaning individuals, who after their own reversion to Islam, bravely take up the task of inviting others, too. What are they usually confronted with varies. Insults, threats, suspicion, ridicule, malign, prejudice, oblivion, bigotry, etc. Nonetheless, it shakes one up to lose his honour, dignity and position as a result of simply sharing with others (many times family and friends and not just strangers) what will eventually benefit them most. Yet they shun you away, as if flicking a fly.

Mufti Najeeb offered a deep insight once that is most relevant to Daaees (preachers): “If you have chosen to call someone to Allah’s (swt) path, you need to spend equal time with him/her in person, as well as in absence of him/her.” Firstly, you introduce the person to the message, which will be done directly. Then invoke Allah (swt) earnestly at night for his/her guidance, when you are alone. Omar (rta) didn’t just walk over to Islam. He listened to Surah Taha as a disbeliever, which was the phase of sharing of the message, and later the Prophet (sa) beseeched Allah (swt) to strengthen Deen through his conversion, which was the stage of prayers to the Lord (swt).

What stands in the way of Islam?

  1. When actions do not support words

“O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.” (As-Saff 61:2-3)

Consistency of deeds and speech is most difficult to attain. Yet it is of utmost significance too. Otherwise an apparently sincere Daaee can reflect hypocrisy causing others to flee Islam.

Once, a very learned scholar was imparting a sermon on patience, suddenly his seven year old daughter interrupted him. He harshly rebuked her for causing this interruption and non-chalantly carried on with his discourse. What impression would the listeners bear of him in their minds when they walk out the door? It’s anybody’s guess.

  1. When we wish to control others

“So remind them (O Muhammad (sa)) – you are only one who reminds. You are not a dictator.” (Al-Ghashiyah 88:21-22)

This happens to Daaees, when they cannot bear to see their kith and kin sinning day and night and out of desperation they adopt extreme measures. When such thoughts strike you, always remember that every person’s heart is in between the two fingers of the Lord (swt). We personally have no control over anybody, except our own choices in life.

Secondly, if Muhammad (sa) was not held accountable for results and he was deemed as a messenger, how can we take on the additional responsibility of guaranteeing favourable results. It’s simply not in our hand. If that would have been the case, Nuh’s (as) son wouldn’t have been drowned for his disbelief. Nuh (as) invited his people for 900 plus years. And his own son didn’t embrace guidance. Hence, a caller can sincerely strive in Allah’s (swt) way but never impose on others, decide or chose for others, whether they will pay heed or be doomed.

  1. When we are unable to understand and agree with Allah’s (swt) Qadr

“And if We had willed, surely We would have given every person his guidance, but the Word from Me took effect (about evildoers) that I will fill Hell with Jinn and mankind together.” (As-Sajdah 32:13)

As a caller to Islam, it is pivotal for us to understand that Allah (swt) loves His creation the most. He offers ample opportunities and sufficient time to them to return to His Deen. We are not the sole source for their reversion, which we mistakenly believe. Hence, it takes consistent and deliberate refusal on part of individuals and nations to turn down Allah’s (swt) signs, before their hearts are sealed. And once the verdict is passed against them, people like us cannot alter it in any way. It is based on the Creator’s (swt) infinite wisdom and decree. And Allah (swt) knows best.

  1. When we lose hope

“Perhaps, you, would kill yourself (O Muhammad sa) in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration (the Quran). (Al-Kahf 18-6)

Out of love and devotion to his people, Muhammad (sa) would grieve, when the disbelievers did not respond to his call. He could foresee their horrible end in the blazing fire, and hence he would cry for their guidance before Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) has created boundaries for mankind in everything. Transgression against these limits always proves fatal. A Momin’s faith must swing in between hope and fear. Hope for Allah’s (swt) mercy and fear of His wrath.

A Daaee can invest his best efforts, pray earnestly to Allah (swt) and then he needs to move on to the next mission and man. It should be a matter of relief for him that Allah (swt) will reward him for his strife and not hold him accountable for the numbers. Imagine, most callers would fail as there are always fewer people, who will accept guidance willingly and be led to Jannah, and more of those, who would prefer the short lived joys of the world. After all, Jannah is exclusive and for the distinguished only.

  1. When we overlook the reward

“And We send not the Messengers except as givers of glad tidings and warners. But those who disbelieve, dispute with false argument, in order to refute the truth thereby. And they treat My Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and that with which they are warned, as a jest and mockery!

And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, but turns away from them, forgetting what (deeds) his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this (the Quran), and in their ears, deafness. And if you (O Muhammad sa) call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.” (Al-Kahf 18:56-57)

All such people, who have called you names, gossiped about you, degraded your mission, have a score to settle with Allah (swt), not you. You, as a Daaee, are only an ambassador, who delivers the message faithfully and as a trust to all. If the receiver decides to turn a deaf ear or snub you it is his short-sightedness and misfortune. You have your precious reward stored with Allah (swt) Who will hand you back big time with honour on the Day of Judgment. That should be a balm for your broken heart, bull dozed feelings and misunderstood intentions at the hands of others.

  1. When we forget that it is Allah (swt), Who keeps hearts firm

“And We made their hearts firm and strong (with the light of faith in Allah and bestowed upon them patience to bear the separation of their kith and kin and dwellings) when they stood up and said: ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any illah (god) other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.” (Al-Kahf 18:14)

When we witness scores of non-Muslims taking the Shahdah at the hands of many scholars of Islam around the globe today, we forget that it wasn’t because of their eloquence of speech, or scintillating piece of writing or a dazzling debater’s spell. It is Allah (swt), Who keeps hearts firm of all, be it Daaees or the ones, who are invited. Otherwise, none of these scholars could withstand the blizzards and boulders of objections and rejections they have to face every day, and most of us are unaware of their personal plights. Scholar Anwar Aulaki lost his life, after the lofty work he left behind. May Allah (swt) grant him Jannat-al-Firdous. Dr. Bilal Phillips has been exiled time and again from none other but Muslim countries, but he continues to educate millions of students to date. Dr. Farhat Hashmi has been time and again mis-quoted and maligned; however, Alhamdulillah, she has brought light to the dark world of uncountable Muslim homes.

It is Allah (swt), Who grants firmness of faith to Daaees, indeed. Allah (swt) has the majesty and power to do the impossible. Hence, as a Daaee, it is always my earnest plea that He may guide the entire humanity. After all, for Him it is simply ‘Kun fay a kun’ and it shall ‘Be’. Allah (swt) knows best.

Quran Stories 2: The Believer of Ya-Sin

Alone in a crowdEver since we were kids, our eyes glazed over at the prospect of being told a story. Even as adults with kids of our own today, we relive our stories and memories. The Quran is nearly 1/3 stories, Allah (swt), our Creator, knows how powerful stories are; in fact all civilizations used  to pass on knowledge in the form of stories from one generation to the next. Stories have a profound impact on our minds – for example, how influential Hollywood is universally! Allah (swt) has related to us the best stories that are true, so why go elsewhere.

Story of the anonymous preacher

The story of an unnamed believer in Surah Ya-sin is noteworthy for many reasons, but most importantly because it teaches us how to be a Daee or the one who invites others to Islam. It starts with a conversation that two messengers have with people in a small town. When these people transgress and deny the messengers, Allah (swt) reinforces the two messengers with a third to lend weight to their claim and help them.

This also serves to indicate that the message is crystal clear, three people claiming the same thing. The names of the people or the town are not relevant so Allah (swt) has left them out in His wisdom as it would detract us from the lessons in the story. Also Allah (swt) will leave no place without sending guidance.

The messengers say: “Verily! We have been sent to you as Messengers.”

The people of the town denied that those men could be Messengers, they belied them. Their argument was like the one that the Quraish used on the Prophet (sa) as well: “You are only human being like us, and the Most Beneficent (Allah) has revealed nothing, you are only telling lies.”

The messengers reply: “Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you, and our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message).”

They claimed that they wanted no riches or fame, their only aim was to deliver Allah’s (swt) message. They said Allah (swt) was enough for them, He was their witness that they were telling the truth.

Now, when people are stubborn and do not want to see the truth, they start an illogical argument, they said: “For us, we see an evil omen from you, if you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.”

Imagine, in exchange for good, these evil people wanted to hurt the messengers who were trying to save them from doom.This is typical of people who do not have truth on their side; they will always resort to tyranny and oppression. They do not have words to counter the truth with; they just rely on superstitions and omens.

The messengers reply: “Your evil omens be with you! (Do you call it “evil omen”) because you are admonished? Nay, but you are a people Musrifun (transgressing all bounds by committing all kinds of great sins and by disobeying Allah).”

This is such an important lesson for us. Whenever we feel that someone wants to hurt us; we should look within ourselves and evaluate whether we are the ones who are being prejudiced? The messengers’ job is only to deliver Allah’s (swt) message as clearly and accurately as possible; people are free to choose what they want.

Dawah – Our sole and sacred mission!

A man from the furthest part of the city arrived. This statement teaches us two things: First, when the truth is apparent, we should hurry towards it and make an effort to tell others. Sitting at home and tweeting about it does not work. The first thing this man did was to call his people towards Allah (swt). He did not claim to be one of the messengers. His concern was only for his townsfolk – he did Dawah. Even when there are others doing Dawah, our responsibility to enjoin good and forbid evil does not desist; it is still our duty. He said, “My O my people! Obey the Messengers; Obey those who ask no wages of you (for themselves), and who are rightly guided.”

It is obvious that the man was not an influential person in the town, he was an average resident.

The townsfolk were very upset, and they did not want to hear what this man had to say, “And why should I not worship Him (Allah Alone) Who has created me and to Whom you shall be returned. Shall I take besides Him Aliha (gods), if the Most Beneficent (Allah) intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me? Then verily, I should be in plain error. Verily! I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!”

He was adamant, and knew that if Allah (swt) wanted harm to come to him, no one could stop it. Allah (swt) tells us that He will test our patience. The man realized that false idols could not harm or save him. What was perceived as harm was in reality Allah’s (swt) mercy- as we discover in the next verse.

The story continues and we are informed that Allah (swt) had asked this man to enter Paradise. We read in between the lines, that the people must have murdered this innocent man. The man was in Paradise, yet concerned for his people and said, “Would that my people knew! That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honoured ones!”

2

He was only an ordinary man and was killed for his belief. His response was not revenge; he only wished that the people could see what he could see after his remorse, so they would believe. He was forgiving and was steadfast in his mission, in spite of messengers sent by Allah (swt). Finally, after Allah (swt) had given the town’s people every chance to redeem themselves, He said, It was but one Saihah (shout, etc.) and lo! They (all) were silent (dead-destroyed).”

Subhan’Allah, we humans are so fragile, and when we disobey Allah (swt), nothing but humiliation is our destiny!

(Adapted with permission for “Hiba” by Tasneem Vali.)

Stories from the Quran 1: The Believer in Pharaoh’s House

The Background

Long ago, in the land of Egypt lived a man known as Pharaoh, who disobeyed all of Allah’s (swt) commands; so much so that he started to call himself God. Allah (swt) sent Moosa (as) with the message of Tawheed, to warn Pharaoh to return to worshipping Allah (swt). We enter this story to see a battle between truth and falsehood being played out by a person from Pharaoh’s family. This believer is eloquent; he tries to show people that the truth will always prevail. He presents logical opinions; while reminding Pharaoh, Haman and Korah that the life of comfort and authority that they are enjoying, will come to an end. They will suffer a punishment from Allah (swt) like others have experienced before them.

The Elements in the Story

1

The Characters

Believer: He is the person who is a part of Pharaoh’s household, who has embraced the message of Moosa (as), but has kept it secret.

Pharaoh: The king of Egypt who calls himself God; he and Moosa (as) grew up together in the palace.

Haman: A verse in Surah Ghafir represents Haman as a person who Pharaoh trusts; He is also in charge of building projects in Egypt, which is why he is asked to build a tower that reaches the Heavens.

Korah: He is a rich person from the Banu Israel and becomes arrogant due to his wealth and position in Pharaoh’s court. He is also present during this debate.

The Setting

“And indeed we sent Moosa with Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), and a manifest authority…” (Ghafir 40:23-24) So Moosa (as) comes to Pharaoh’s court with the intention of guiding his childhood friend toward Allah (swt). Moosa (as) has the people and the court in awe since he has the power of truth. However, with the entire court, all the elite, the magicians and the common people are watching these three deny Allah (swt) and call Moosa (as) a sorcerer- just to safeguard their position for they felt the truth threatened Pharaoh, Haman and Korah!

“…to Pharaoh, Hâmân and Qârûn (Korah), but they called (him): A sorcerer, a liar!” (Ghafir 40:24)

The Plot

The people are not convinced by what Pharaoh says. They are starting to believe in Moosa (as). Hence, like any other tyrant, Pharaoh ordered, “then, when He brought them the Truth from us, they said: “Kill the sons of those who believe with Him and let their women live”, but the plots of disbelievers are nothing but errors!” (Ghafir 40:25)

The magicians recognized the truth and are killed; now Pharaoh is threatening to kill anyone else who sides with Moosa (as). Recall this was the same plan that had been used when Moosa (as) was a baby, but Allah (swt) is the best of planners and He saved Moosa (as).

The Story

So Pharaoh tells the people to let him take care of the problem. And that he is going to do what is best for them.

“Pharaoh said: Leave me to kill Moosa, and let him call his Lord! I fear that He may change your religion, or that He may cause mischief to appear in the land! Moosa said: Verily, I seek refuge in My Lord and your Lord from every arrogant who believes not in the Day of Reckoning!” (Ghafir 40:26-27)

At this point when everyone is quiet, the hero of our story starts his speech. He wants to convince the people that murdering someone just because of their belief in one God is preposterous. “And a believing man of Pharaoh’s family, who hid his faith said: Would you kill a man because he says: My Lord is Allah, and he has come to you with clear signs from your Lord? And if he is a liar, upon him will be (the sin of) his lie; but if he is telling the truth, then some of that (calamity) wherewith he threatens you will befall on you….” (Ghafir 40:28)

What a beautiful argument he puts forth. If Moosa is telling the truth, then you should believe in him or else the punishment will destroy you. But if he is not, then the sin is his alone, he will bear all the consequences. He is guiding them to a win/win situation with a warning, “Allah guides not one who is a Musrif (a polytheist, or a murderer who shed blood without a right, or those who commit great sins, oppressor, transgressor), a liar.” (Ghafir 40:28)

Now, he reminds the people and the court that should Allah’s (swt) wrath befall them when none can save them? Thus, they should be thankful to Allah (swt). “O my people! Yours is the kingdom this day, you are uppermost in the land. But who will save us from the Torment of Allah, should it befall us?”(Ghafir 40:29)

Pharaoh sees that this man is changing people’s minds and hearts, he interjects trying to brainwash the people, “Pharaoh said: “I show you only that which I see (correct), and I guide you only to the path of right policy!” (Ghafir 40:29)

The man reminds the people of the Prophets that have come before Moosa (as), he reminds them of Nuh (as) and Yusuf (as). “And he who believed said: O my people! Verily, I fear for you a fate like that day (of disaster) of the Confederates (of old)!” (Ghafir 40:30)

Well, Pharaoh cannot let someone steal the limelight, he uses drama, creates doubt. “And Pharaoh said: O Haman! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways. The ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the God of Moosa but verily, I think him to be a liar.” (Ghafir 40:36-37) This is Pharaoh’s plan to convince people he is fair, he is willing to test Moosa’s (as) claim. He even claims that Moosa (as) is a liar, but he, Pharaoh, is still giving him a chance. Satan has influenced Pharaoh, so he thinks he is taking steps to maintain peace and help others. He is blinded by his pride.

The Conclusion

Faced with such stupidity and arrogance, the believer has no choice but to make a final plea to Pharaoh, the noblemen and the people.

“And the man who believed said: O my people! Follow me; I will guide you to the way of right conduct.O my people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever…And O my people! How is it that I call you to salvation while you call me to the Fire…And you will remember what I am telling you, and my affair I leave it to Allah. Verily, Allah is the All-Seer of (His) slaves.” (Ghafir 40:39-44)

The believer directly challenges Pharaoh by saying that he is the one who is guiding them towards salvation, not Pharaoh. The argument is now over, he has declared the truth and it is up to each individual to decide which path he wants to follow.

The Moral

  • The believer at first hid his faith because the environment was hostile, so we can hide our faith – it is alright not to say anything because he was weak initially and the people around him could cause him harm. But when it came down to injustice of murdering Moosa (as), he spoke up.
  • Allah (swt) shows us that belief and disbelief are not inherited. Sometimes people judge another person based on their family, which is not fair; we are only responsible for what we do.
  • Allah (swt) will not guide the one who transgresses and is a liar. Allah (swt) guides the truthful – because they do not lie to themselves and the pious– because they do not exceed their boundaries.
  • There is no one other than Allah (swt) who will protect us. We cannot protect ourselves nor can anyone else.
  • Why mention Yusuf (as), when you are in the field of Dawah? Talk to people so that they can relate. Bring them to a common point to grab their attention. However, always state the truth.
  • Shaytan beautified Pharaoh’s sins for him, made it acceptable to him, and convinced him that he was just. Remember Shaytan beautifies/adorns evil deeds/sins so we don’t even realize what we are doing is wrong.
  • A Daee must be kind and caring- not expecting anything for delivering the message.

(Adapted with permission for “Hiba” by Tasneem Vali.)

Serving the Creation

serving humanityAn Urdu term Khidmat-e-Khalq is widely understood in English as social service, social work or service to humanity. Ustadh Khurram Murad, may Allah grant him Jannat-ul-Firdaws, in a pamphlet titled “Khidmat-e-Khalq”, elaborates on the purpose of Islam and the wide-ranging meaning of serving Allah’s creation.

We usually ascribe meaning to a term in accordance with our experiences, observations and imitations of the way it has been implemented. Hence, when we say “Khidmat-e-Khalq” or “service of humanity”, we are overwhelmed by  images of ambulances, camps, NGOs, medicine and funeral rites aid, charity functions, orphanages, institutes for the education of poor and disabled and all forms of aids. In the real sense of the word, service has an intensive meaning according to Quran and Sunnah. What we in the modern times understand as social welfare, social service or service to humanity is a limited interpretation of “Khidmat-e-Khalq”.

welfare of the creations does not necessarily have to be a profession or an association to it rather, it is a lifestyle.

Khalq involves all the creations of Allah (swt), including animals, birds, plants and human beings. Rasoolullah (sa) demonstrated the perfect attitude we need to have while serving all types of creation.  If we analyze, after Iman, Allah (swt) always talks about some form of service to the creation in the Holy Quran when He Az Wajjal orders us to spend for His pleasure from our favorite worldly possessions. Serving the creation, in one form or the other, always comes second in the preference list of a Mumin.

“Whose hearts are filled with fear when Allah is mentioned; who patiently bear whatever may befall them (of calamities); and who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and who spend (in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have provided them.” (Al-Hajj 22:35)

At many other places in the Quran, Allah (swt) guides people to feed the need or the ways to feed them. In Surah Baqarah, Allah (swt) asks his slaves to spend from their Rizq (provisions). Each and everything that Allah (swt) has provided us with is Rizq. Our money, food, wealth, property, time, health, age, heart, mind and body, all of these are part of our Rizq. Allah (swt) is Ar-Razzaaq, the Supreme Provider! It is mentioned in the Holy Quran: “Say: “Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.”” (Saba 34:39)

Hence, serving the creation of Allah, Al-Wadud, the Most Loving, is in the basic tenets of Islam. When this perfect religion was in its initial stages, the basic teachings that were given to the non-Muslims were based on this concept of service. One has to see how Hazrat Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (rta) explained the basics of Islam to king Negus.

He said, “O King! We were ignorant people and we lived like wild animals. The strong among us lived by preying upon the weak. We obeyed no law and we acknowledged no authority save that of brute force. We worshipped idols made of stone or wood, and we knew nothing of human dignity. And then God, in His Mercy, sent to us His Messenger who was himself one of us. We knew about his truthfulness and his integrity. His character was exemplary, and he was the most well-born of the Arabs. He invited us toward the worship of One God, and he forbade us to worship idols. He exhorted us to tell the truth, and to protect the weak, the poor, the humble, the widows and the orphans. He ordered us to show respect to women, and never to slander them. We obeyed him and followed his teachings…..”

We have to see the awe-inspiring way Islam has been introduced at the international level. Would it be wrong to say that service of Allah’s creation (Khidmat-e-Khalq) is thus, the main aim of Islam? If we keep Akhirah in our permanent perspective, we will understand that the best and foremost way to serve the creation means to save the creation from the fire of Jahanum, the wrath and the displeasure of Allah (swt).

the best and foremost way to serve the creation means to save the creation from the fire of Jahanum, the wrath and the displeasure of Allah (swt).

As Surah Al-Maun and Surah Mudassir teach us, welfare of the creations does not necessarily have to be a profession or an association to it rather, it is a lifestyle. Our lifestyle should depict it; serving the all the creation of Allah Az Wajjal, with our body, mind and soul.

If Islam means being Allah’s (swt) slave 24/7, which it does undoubtedly, then 90 to 95 percent of our life period revolves around humanity, animals, plants and every other marvelous creation.  The most primary but excellent form of service one can render to the creation is saving it from being hurt by one’s actions.

Abu Musa said, “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, whose Islam is best?’ He said, ‘The one from whose tongue and hands the Muslims are safe.'” (Agreed upon : Riyadh-us-Saaliheen)

Adapted by Mariam Saeed from Khurram Murad’s “Khidmat-e-Khalq”