Yaum e Arafah 2015

                                        Image courtesy www.blog.umrahexperts.co.uk

 

It was a sweltering morning. I wondered how much more will the temperature rise as we boarded our bus from Mina after the Fajr prayer. 9th of Dhul Hajj, the day Satan grieves most. Why? Because on no other day does Allah (swt) free so many necks of the believers from the Hell fire against their pleas of Taubah.

Yaum e Arafah has been termed as Hajj. These are the same plains where one day we all will stand to account for our whole life before Allah (swt) – on the Day of Judgement.

Hence, all the pilgrims stand facing the Qiblah from noon until shortly before sunset pleading Allah (swt) for forgiveness. This is called Wuqoof, and it is highly recommended to recite “La Ilaha Illah Allah Wahdahu La Sharika Lahu- Lahulmulku Walahulhamdu- Wahuwa Ala Kulli Shai In Qadeer.” (There is no God but Allah. He is one. He has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise. And He is able to do everything.)

Molana Tariq Jameel was invited to narrate the Prophet’s (sa) Hajj to the pilgrims, and apprise them of its noteworthy rituals with a deeper meaning. He talked about the prophet’s (sa) nearly ten days journey of Hajj. Molana also explained our beloved messenger’s (sa) last sermon.

It was shameful to think how the Ummah had tossed aside most of the advice heeded to them by the Prophet (sa) just before he departed from the world. He would cry a great portion of the night begging Allah (swt) “Ummati, Ummati” (My nation, my nation). Until Angel Gibrael would appear by Allah’s (swt) command to ensure him that Allah (swt) will not disappoint the Messenger (sa) regarding his Ummah. The question is how concerned are we as his Ummah about not disappointing him. Do we even care? Do we even know who he was? Do we even bother finding out and try living up to his expectations of us?

What stirred my soul was when brother Tariq Jameel mentioned that if we were here standing before Allah (swt) expecting His divine mercy and forgiveness, we should have come with a sound heart. Firstly, we must forgive all who have deliberately or unintentionally wronged us. Once our heart is pure, we can then seek repentance for ourselves.

A corrupt heart that holds grudges, and enmities against other brothers and sisters in Islam is not deserving of forgiveness.

Once while the companions were seated with the Prophet (sa), he announced that the man who will enter next is from the people of Paradise. Surely, an elderly Sahabi entered. This continued for the next three days. AmribnulAas (rta) was a devout worshipper who worshipped extra-ordinarily. He was very curious to find out what was it that he was missing out on, and had not yet received glad tidings of Jannah from the Prophet (sa) while that Sahabi had.

Amr (rta) requested the Sahabi to offer him lodging for the next couple of days. The Sahabi gladly accepted him. As the night fell, Amr (rta) prepared for a long spell of prayers in anticipation, but discovered that the Sahabi did not offer any special voluntary prayers, and instead turned to sleep. Puzzled Amr (rta) waited for the next day hoping to find the cause of honour for this Sahabi.

The next day was equally surprising. The Sahabi went about his routine business, and offered normal worship; while Amr (rta) kept waiting for that special quality or moment- but was disappointed to find nothing. Finally surrendering, he announced his departure to the old Sahabi, and revealed to him his real intention of stay with him. As Amr (rta) prepared to leave perplexed, the elderly Sahabi stopped him and mentioned: “There is nothing extra ordinary that I do for worship; however, I make it a point to clean my heart every night before I turn to sleep. Maybe that could be it.?”

Amr (rta) had solved the mystery. That was it. A pure heart that held no malign against any of Allah’s (rta) creations- Mamlat (relationships) and Huqooq-ul-Ibad (rights of the creation). Every believer needs to be extremely cautious about it. Tread on eggshells.

Allah (swt) will not forgive someone who has broken the heart of any of His creations. And most of the times, we don’t even know about it.

If they are around, beg forgiveness of them. If they are gone, pray to Allah (swt) to grant them enough reward and elevate their status, so that they do not need any of our good deeds on the Day of Reckoning.

Honouring Huqooq Allah is relatively easier as our Lord (swt) is Merciful, and eager to forgive His slaves who have transgressed. Take care of people’s rights as it invites Allah’s (swt) special love and recognition.

May Allah (swt) make the Day of Arafah easy for all believers. Ameen.

 

 

Justice for All: Who Will Be Bankrupt In Allah’s (swt) Court?

Image courtesy http://www.moneyschool.org.au/

Image courtesy http://www.moneyschool.org.au/

There is a Hadeeth where Prophet (sa) said: “On the day of Qiyamah, there will come a person who is bankrupt”- in fact, he asked a question: “Do you know who a bankrupt person is?”

The Sahabah said: “Well, according to us, a person who doesn’t have Dirhams and Dinars, or gold or silver, is a bankrupt person.”

In our terms, perhaps, it’s someone who doesn’t have dollars and pounds. It is a fact that someone who doesn’t have material things is a bankrupt person. Rasool Allah (sa) said: “No, it is a person who comes on the Day of Judgement with a lot of Salah, with a lot of Zakah, and with a lot of acts of worship.”

You know, if I heard that, I would think I am hearing wrong. The bankrupt person on the Day of Judgement is someone with a lot of prayers, a lot of worship, and lots of acts of charity! A lot! How can that person be bankrupt?

The Prophet (sa) continued: “And then when they are standing in front of Allah (swt) with all these deeds, they have backbitten this one, gossiped about that one, slandered this one, eaten the wealth of the other, deceived another, and harmed another and so on. So Allah (swt) takes away these good deeds one by one as a payment because on that day, the currency will be deeds.”

The payback is in the form of your good deeds. Such as:

Salah in the first row – gone

Zakah – gone

Hajj – gone

Fasting – gone

All the good deeds – gone

What happens thereafter? There are still so many people waiting for their rights. The Prophet (sa) said: “There will come a time when that man has nothing remaining and the people in front still want their right. Allah (swt) will say: Take their sins and put them on his shoulder.”

So the sins are put on the shoulder of the individual who violated somebody’s rights. He was the one who used to read Salah in the first row; he was the charitable one; he was the pious one according to the whole world; but because he usurped the rights of the fellow human beings and disregarded them completely, he is going to pay for that. When he went, he went with a lot and as he is progressing on that day (in fact, there is no progress, he is going back) because he has lost everything and on top of that, he has got sins committed by other people. May Allah (swt) forgive us. Ameen.

So, this is the clear Hadeeth that explains the importance of fulfilling the rights of fellow human beings. We need to make sure that we are humble; and remember, it doesn’t mean that you fulfill the rights of those who are pious alone. No! It doesn’t mean you fulfill the rights of the Muslims alone. Whether they are sinful, whether they are non-Muslims, no matter who they are and what they have done, they have rights! So much so, it doesn’t stop at human beings! In fact, it continues to all the creatures of Allah (swt), including the ecosystem. Subhan’Allah!

May Allah (swt) have mercy on us and may He (swt) opens the doors on us. Ameen. I hope the explanation would help in understanding the importance of fulfilling the rights of fellow human beings; and how actually, these are the fruits that are seen clearly on the person who is really close to Allah (swt).

Beware Of Your Friend

compnayDo you know if you have bad qualities, most probably you got it from your peers- those you intermingled with? Sometimes, they might even be your family members, sometimes your parents. So if you have a bad quality, you probably got it from somewhere. But, you didn’t get it from Allah (swt), you got it from the devil!

The devil came to you in the form of, most probably your friend and your peers. And sometimes, this devil comes in the form of your best friend. May Allah (swt) protect us. Ameen. Sometimes the devil comes using the mouth of someone who’s very close to you. Satan is very sharp. He’s very intelligent.

Sometimes the upbringing in the home is very good, but the school you send your children to, they learn an accent which is totally unacceptable. They begin to speak slang. They begin to swear, they begin to steal and cheat- all that is learnt from the school. We need to be careful which schools we send our children to. We need to be careful of what type of friends our children mix up with, more importantly- what type of people we mix up with.

So, Allah (swt) says in Surah Furqan, regarding the one who did not keep good company, “He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Shaytan (Satan) is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.” (Al Furqan 29)

Sometimes the devil comes using the mouth of someone who’s very close to you. Satan is very sharp.

Definitely, on the Day of Qiyamah, they will regret keeping bad company.

Now let me inform you, when a person is smoking, nine times out of ten, they’ve learnt it from the people they’ve mixed up with! When a person is on drugs, nine times out of ten, it is from people they were associated with. When a person is an adulterer, nine times out of ten, they’ve learnt it from the company they kept. When a person does not come for Salah, nine times out of ten it is because that is the trend of the people they mix up with. When a person is an alcoholic, nine times out of ten, it is because of those whom he or she is with, are also like that. When a person has a bad mouth, it’s also the same and that is why rehabilitation is a waste of time if you, yourself, do not want to help yourself. I can promise you- a person who is on drugs, a person who is an alcoholic, a person who has any bad habit, it is up to him to change! The whole world can want to rehabilitate him forever and ever; but if that quality of changing for better is in your heart, it is a waste of time and money for everyone worried about you! May Allah (swt) protect us.

And this is why Allah (swt) says that if you want to save yourself, the first thing you need to do is change your company, totally. Totally…every one of them! Change them!

If you are a bad person on drugs, cut out your whole friendship. And parents of those who are on drugs, let me inform you that you might want to change the suburb and the city you are living in, in order to protect your son or your daughter. You might want to go into a remote town so that your children can abstain from those they’re associated with! It will do you a ton of good- even though your income might decrease, you will save your children.

if that quality of changing for better is in your heart, it is a waste of time and money for everyone worried about you!

That’s the importance of the locality you live in, the importance of it- and how serious it is. Your suburb, the area you live in- be careful, make sure you choose it properly. You’d rather live in a slum where the people around you all go to the Masjid, than to live in a palace where nobody talks about the house of Allah (swt). Hence, we ask Allah (swt) to protect us from evil company.

That is one of the biggest plans of Satan is that he comes to you through your company. And this is why we are taught, when you want to know someone, don’t look at them- just look at the people they mix up with and close the file. That’s it. We say this normally regarding marriage, you want to know a boy; you want to know a girl? More important than asking them about themselves, look at those they mix up with. That’s it. Close the file thereafter.

If they are drunkards, they can turn green in the face telling you, ‘I’ve never drunk!’ They are lying. What are they doing with those…?

When you see fish in the ocean, you will notice that the whale moves with all other whales. You will notice the little bream moves with other breams, the snook moves with the snook, the hake moves with hake, and so on. I am using names of fish we eat actually, Subhan’Allah! But you will never find one small fish, one big fish, one other fish, one snook, one hake, and so on. You won’t find that!

You’d rather live in a slum where the people around you all go to the Masjid, than to live in a palace where nobody talks about the house of Allah (swt)

The reason is, that is foolish. They have to have something in common to be moving together. The same applies to human beings. Someone who is pious, and someone who is a drunkard, they can’t move together! Really! It’s like a sardine moving with a whale! Allahu’Akbar! It can’t happen. One will devour the other. Allahu’Akbar!

So, this is why let them not fool you when they tell you, ‘Look, I am not on drugs, but the ten guys who I mix up with they’re all on drugs!’ Tell him, ‘You are the boss! You are the main one. Don’t lie!’ May Allah (swt) protect our offspring.

Remember, those who are tested with drugs, it is up to you, really- you change yourself! No one else will. You need to develop the will power! You need to develop the willpower and you need to make a Dua to Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) protect our offspring from drugs, and may He protect our offspring from all these bad habits.

Wallahi (By Allah (swt)), there are good people who lose their children, just because of their company, Allahu’Akbar.

Transcribed for Hiba by Asma Imran.

Top three lessons in Surah Al-Fatihah

fatihaSurah Al-Fatihah, also known as the opening of the Quran- is a short Surah, and yet so important that a prayer without it is deemed invalid. Even in this short Surah of seven verses, some important lessons have been highlighted. Below are the top three lessons that can be obtained from this first Surah of the Quran.

Lesson 1: An Introduction to the Rabb

Following are the verses 1-6 of Surah Al-Fatihah

1. In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

2. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). 

3. The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

4. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)

5. You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).

In the first two verses, Allah (swt) gives an introduction about Himself. When one reads this Surah, he acknowledges Allah’s (swt) infinite mercy; and then, praises Him by recognizing that He, Allah (swt) is the universal Master- the Master of the whole world. He has not just created everything in it, but He continues to provide His creation in order to attain a meaningful life. He has not abandoned His creation without any intervention. Over all His creation, he is an ever- living authority.

In the third verse, two attributes of Allah (swt) are mentioned. These two attributes encompass all the aspects of compassion and mercy between Allah (swt) and His servants. Therefore, a servant must never be hopeless about Allah’s (swt) mercy and should always turn to Allah (swt) for help and repentance.

In the fourth verse, a very fundamental principle is mentioned based on which our lives are significantly influenced i.e. belief in the Hereafter. This gives man the hope that if he is weak on earth and is suppressed by people, he will be given justice and the suppressor too will be punished because of his oppression. Based on this belief, one restrains himself from doing evil acts. He performs righteous acts hoping for its reward from Allah (swt).

In the next verse, man accepts that he has submitted to Allah (swt). He worships Him alone without associating any partner with Him; and when he needs any help, he turns to Allah (swt) for it. Turning to Allah (swt) for help protects the man from facing the abuse, and a feeling of dependency that he could face if he turns to people begging for help. Allah (swt) has the power over everything; hence a man must turn to Him for assistance.

Lesson 2: Asking for the Straight Path

Guide us to the Straight Way.” (Al-Fatihah 1:6)

In this verse, one asks Allah (swt) for His guidance towards the straight path. A person cannot be guided- unless Allah (swt) wills; and no one can be led astray- unless Allah (swt) wills.

Nawwas bin Sam’an Al-Kilabi said:”I heard the Messenger of Allah (swt) say: ‘There is no heart that is not between two of the fingers of the Most Merciful. If He wills, He guides it and if He wills, He sends it astray.’ The Messenger of Allah (swt) used to say: ‘O You Who makes hearts steadfast make our hearts steadfast in adhering to Your religion.’ And he said: ‘The scale is in the Hand of the Most Merciful; He will cause some people to rise and others to fall until the day of Resurrection.'” (Ibn Majah; authentic)

The guided person finds happiness and contentment is this world, as well as, in the Hereafter. He has a broader vision as he believes that his life is not limited to this world, but another life awaits him.

Lesson 3: The path of the righteous people

The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).” (Al-Fatihah 1:7)

In the last part of this Surah, one pleads Allah (swt) to help him follow the path which the righteous people followed- the path which led them to ultimate success and salvation, the path with which they attained the pleasure of Allah (swt). Just after that, one also asks Allah (swt) to protect him from following the way of those who attained the wrath of Allah (swt), and those who were misguided.

May Allah (swt) guide us all to the straight path and make us among those whom He loves. May Allah (swt) protect us from the evil whispers of Shaytan, and give us the strength and courage to hold n to the principles of Islam firmly. Ameen.

Today is All You Have!

hour-glassI was walking back home with my husband quite late in the night, but the streets were still crowded. There was a buzz of cricket going all around, “What’s the score? Who is batting?”  Someone asked my husband too, but he said he didn’t even know that there was a match that day.

Because of the crowd, we decided to sit at a friend’s store that was still open; he too had the commentary of the match running on the radio. Soon a Burqa-clad woman came and sat next to me. She looked quite odd. I had to blink my eyes in order to confirm what I was seeing, and the next moment, I shrieked, as it turned out to be a skeleton. The first thought to come to my mind was that it could only be the angel of death or the devil; no doubt no one else could see her.

I started reciting: Aoodhu billahi min-ash-Shaitan ir-Rajeem, with my heart beating very fast. I tried to scream but no voice came out of my mouth. I turned to see where my husband was, and lo – I was comfortably sleeping on my bed. It was a bad dream. I was so relieved. I read the Duas to be read according to the Sunnah, when we see a bad dream. I spit on the left three times, sought refuge in Allah (swt) from Shaitan and the evil of what I had seen; I did not relate it to anyone; I turned and slept back on the side opposite to which I was sleeping previously.

When sleeping, think that this might be me my last sleep, and I might get up in the grave; when waking up in the morning, think that this might be the last dawn to save myself from the hellfire.

After that dream, some thoughts kept disturbing me; the angel of death could be hovering by. Let us think: have we collected enough good deeds, and more importantly, have we repented for our sins? The foremost act is to seek forgiveness from those, whom we have hurt or from those for whom we carry a grudge or who were a victim of our backbiting, because if we do not, then on the Day of Judgement we will have to compensate their bad deeds with our good deeds. Moreover, Allah (swt) wants us to return to Him with a Qalbe Saleem – a heart which is pure: clean from impurities of Dunya, its lust, hatred, jealousy and all other negative traits, which make our heart dirty. He has stated in the Quran,

“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail. Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart (clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)).” (Ash-Shuara 26:88-89)

Prepare for death! Every time you stand to pray five times a day, think that this might be your last standing before Allah (swt) in Dunya. Also, when sleeping, realize that this might be your last sleep, and you might wake up in the grave; when waking up in the morning, understand that this might be the last dawn to save yourself from hellfire. All these thoughts will save us from gossip and vain talks; they will keep us on our toes and help us prepare for the afterlife Insha’Allah.

An Incident to Reflect

Opened_Qur'anIt is impossible to praise the Quran the way it deserves. The excellence, that the Quran portrays, makes all the words written about it seem very minute. When you keep reading and understanding the Quran, a strong relation is developed between you and the Quran. It becomes the mind with which you analyze things. It becomes the eyes with which you see the world. It becomes the heart with which you understand the world around you. You face a situation and all of a sudden you remember a verse. Sometimes a situation makes you understand the true meaning of a verse, which is not fully understood by reading the tafseer alone.

For example, Allah (swt) says that on the Day of Judgement, if a person would wish to give the whole world in ransom to free himself from the hellfire, it will not be accepted from him.

“Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them, and theirs would be a painful torment.” (Al-Maida -36)

Moreover, that day will be so fearful that a person would want to give away his son, his wife and his close friend in ransom for himself but all of this would be in vain.

“That Day shall a man flee from his brother,And from his mother and his father And from his wife and his children. Everyman, that Day, will have enough to make him careless of others.” (Abasa 34-37)

 We however tend to forget that  we are performing at the center of the stage; every word that we speak with our tongues and every gesture that our body makes is being recorded.

Recently, we came back from a very long journey by road. We were exhausted and needed immediate rest. However, our lives are a test and most tests from Allah (swt) come at a time when we are emotionally venerable.

Arriving home we found out that there was some major fault with the electricity. This meant no fans! No fans meant no sleep. Alhumdulillah, we cannot thank Allah (swt) for all the blessings that He has bestowed over us. My brother went to start up the generator. Forlornly, he came and informed us that it was out of fuel.  Every one of us faces such drastic situations. We however tend to forget that  we are performing at the center of the stage; every word that we speak with our tongues and every gesture that our body makes is being recorded.

My mother at that time did not have enough cash for the fuel. At that moment I made an offer I would have never made in normal circumstances. I said, irritated, that I will give the money. I offered money from the precious treasure that I had earned on Eid: of course, the grand Eidi. I had made so many plans of spending my Eidi, but at that moment, all I wanted was the fan to start. I would have given every single penny I owned just for me to get relaxed.

I had made so many plans of spending my Eidi, but at that moment, all I wanted was the fan to start. I would have given every single penny I owned just for me to get relaxed.

There and then this verse came to my mind, that on the Day of Resurrection, a person would be ready to give every single possession he owned to save himself from the terrible heat of hellfire. As the thought revolved in my mind, I shivered and was shocked. I looked around. I was in my home. If there was no electricity, at least there was a cool breeze. I had cold water to drink and my stomach was well-fed. I was not standing bare-foot on a scorching ground. I understood the depth of the verse and got a small picture of the circumstances we have to face on the Day of Qiyamah.

May Allah (swt) enable us to inculate the Quran in our daily lives and understand the depth of its meaning as they apply to us.