[Infograph] Ramadan Prep

As Ramadan draws near, hiba presents an exclusive Ramadan prep infograph. The information in this infograph is taken from Shahr-u-Ramadan by Dr. Farhat Hashmi. Designed for hiba by Urooj Khan.

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Ramadan-Prep-Infograph

A Heart to Heart with Dr. Farhat Hashmi

two-hearts-overlap-hiIt was a usual sunny and bustling day of Karachi, when I reached my sister-in-law’s home in the heart of the city. A home that was always warm and welcoming to all, who were friends of Allah (swt). Her mum-in-law had very kindly invited me to meet with Dr. Farhat Hashmi visiting from Islamabad – the lady behind a magnificent brand called “Al-Huda International”.

I choose to call it a brand, because “Al-Huda” is truly a symbol of women entrepreneurship in obedience to the Lord (swt). It states what a Muslim woman ought to be: a doting daughter, a passionate and compassionate spouse, an inspiring mother and a self-aware and diligently contributing vital member of the Ummah. And this brand surfs forward against all tides of the time. And it is here to stay, by Allah’s (swt) grace.

Spotting Dr. Hashmi seated next to a perplexed young lady seeking her counsel, I noticed her body language – calm, composed and attentively listening to the heart felt miseries of someone, who sought valuable advice from her. No one would have guessed that this simple and serene lady was a source of spreading the love and knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah into the hearts and homes of unimaginable ailing souls.

Suddenly, I was shoved forward by a very sweet “Al-Huda” representative to take my seat as the next candidate; otherwise, I might miss my chance of a conversation. I quickly grabbed the chance I was offered and kept praying to Allah (swt) to enable me to make the most of this meeting with one of the Ashaab-e-Ilm (people of the knowledge). Amusingly at times, we are so mesmerized by certain personalities that we fear to make a fool out of ourselves. Thanks to the Lord (swt), Who saves ordinary people like me from utter humiliation and facilitates us in the best manner.

As I introduced myself to her, only wishing she remembered something about “Hiba”, Dr. Farhat stumped me by saying, “You wrote an e-mail to me some time ago and you have a sister in Dubai.” Only Allah (swt) helped me from stuttering and fumbling. I had only heard that a Hafizah has great memory. Here was a living testimony of it. My first lesson: pay attention to the people, whom you encounter, and don’t just brush them off, as merely a query or a complaint.

Her radiant and smiling face put me at ease, in spite of the fact that I was given little time with her due to a time pressured schedule of further meetings awaiting her. So I began …

Question: In your opinion, what are the top three things every Muslim should do today?

Dr. Farhat: First and foremost, every Muslim must rectify his/her relationship with Allah (swt) and ensure that his/her Iman and Aqueedah are correct. Next, he/she must possess Husn-e-Ikhlaq – a pleasing conduct and mannerism. Lastly, he/she must nurture a spirit of a well-wisher for all humanity in general. (I gathered that hate and undue anger has to depart from our lives!)

Question: How do you spend time with the kids in the family?

Dr. Farhat: My own kids have grown up, Masha’Allah. Hence, I spend time with my grandchildren. I personally adore kids and dearly love to hear them. It grants a deep insight into their feelings and thoughts. Tragically, adults today talk and tirade more and hardly listen to them patiently, which is why the gap is widening between them.

Question: But don’t you get itchy, when you hear them utter something wrong and the need to correct them suddenly takes over?

Dr. Farhat: I always let them question their choices. If they say something wrong or less correct, I ask them a reason for it, leading them to seek a solution for themselves. In that manner, they develop a sense of ownership of their actions and do not feel something is being imposed on them. It is my responsibility to educate them about Halal and Haram, but I cannot act for them. For example: When my grandson wants to pray at home, instead of the Masjid, I ask him, which act is greater in reward in the sight of Allah (swt)? He replies that praying in the Masjid is of course greater, and then I leave it to him to decide.

Question: How do you spend time with them?

Dr. Farhat: We talk and explore together. These days, I am reading a book by Iqbal Kilani Sahab “Kabeera Aur Sagheera Gunah” with my grandson. It opens ideas for discussion. I am not much of a screen person, as I belong to the earlier generation (chuckles merrily). But I love books. My grandchildren look forward to spending time with me, as much as I do with them.

Question: As a book lover, which publication would you like to recommend to the “Hiba” readers?

Dr. Farhat: “Fiqh Al Quloob” is written by Muhammad bin Ibrahim in Arabic. It relates to the understanding of the hearts. It also ingrains the majesty, magnificence and recognition of Allah (swt), which is the epitome of all relationships. This course is available on-line on our website as well as taking place at the Tariq Road branch of “Al-Huda” every Friday morning for those, who want to benefit from it.

Question: Jazak’Allah Khair for your valuable time and talk. As a concluding statement, what is your desire and dream for this Ummah?

Dr. Farhat: I pray to see every Muslim fulfill his covenant with Allah (swt). He/she should understand the reason, why he/she was sent to this world, because if something or someone does not fulfill his/her purpose in life, he/she is destroyed.

We are the inheritors of Anbiya (Prophets). They came with a mission to this world and have left it in our hands now to help heal the world. Hence, we must be committed to our obligation as a responsible believer.

“Hiba” is highly indebted to all those individuals, who arranged this interview and enabled the readers to catch a personal glimpse of Dr. Farhat Hashmi. It was, indeed, a reassurance to know that the Murabbis and coaches of the Ummah are striving very hard to uphold the principles of Islam; and they are truly the beacon of light that guide the society, when darkness overcomes our souls.

May Allah (swt) forgive all and guide all to become a source of pleasure for the Lord (swt). Ameen.

Dr. Farhat recites “Rabbi Zidni Ilma”, when she commences her travel. She believes that Allah (swt) transforms an ordinary journey of a traveller into a source of Ilm and Tarbiyah and grants profuse opportunities of learning, while one interacts with people around him/her. Such are the ways of people of wisdom and Hikmah. They don’t waste any moment of their lives. For they comprehend that every breath they take brings them closer to their death and meeting with Allah (swt). Hence, they stay alert and prepared.

This is a great and easy chance for those of us, who need to travel frequently, whether simply to collect our children from school, tuitions, etc., or to hustle back and forth for business needs. A simple Dua with a heart-felt emotion may transform our lives for the better, Insha’Allah.

Valentine’s Day Special: Far From the Madding Crowd

rp_Vol-2-Issue-4-Its-Valentines-Day-300x225.jpgBirthdays, Halloween, bridal showers, baby showers, this day, that day, and the endless Dholkis! Come February and the entire town is painted red. Love is in the air, or so we are made to believe. Girls are coordinating red clothes and accessories, while guys are crowding the flower shops. Vendors are pleased. Their business is doing well. Families at home are not sure whether they should switch off their television sets or shamelessly sit through the entire transmission, and witness what is being broadcast in the name of love. Parents and teenagers are equally dazed: should they jump in and join the maddening crowd or should they sit on the fence holding on to the tattering family values?

If we could, we would perhaps name every day of the year and celebrate it. It is as if we need reasons to splurge and show we are not slacking in this race. Allah mentions:

The trendsetters, the celebrities, the people that we drool over and follow in every word and action will dissociate themselves from their followers. What does that mean? It means that they will take no responsibility for the actions of their followers. And why would they do that? It is because on that Day when they won’t be able to save themselves how can they possibly save anyone else?

“And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. And if only they who have wronged would consider [that] when they see the punishment, [they will be certain] that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment. [And they should consider that] when those who have been followed disassociate themselves from those who followed [them], and they [all] see the punishment, and cut off from them are the ties [of relationship]. Those who followed will say: ‘If only we had another turn [at worldly life] so we could disassociate ourselves from them as they have disassociated themselves from us.’ Thus will Allah show them their deeds as regrets upon them. And they are never to emerge from the Fire.” (Al-Baqarah 2:165-167)

Who are the people who will disassociate themselves? Who are the ones who will wish to return? And why would they wish to return?

This verse presents a sketch of the Judgement Day. The leaders will dissociate themselves from their followers. Let’s replace the word ‘leaders’ with ‘trendsetters’ and rephrase the sentence. The trendsetters, the celebrities, the people that we drool over and follow in every word and action will dissociate themselves from their followers. What does that mean? It means that they will take no responsibility for the actions of their followers. And why would they do that? It is because on that Day when they won’t be able to save themselves how can they possibly save anyone else?

One simple criterion to evaluate our actions is that before venturing into anything ask: “Why am I doing this?” If it pleases Allah (swt) pursue it; if not, divert your attention to something of Khair.

What does this tell us? Does it give us a wake-up call? Does it give a momentary room to the voice of the conscience that asks us, “Hey, where are you heading?”

Imagine a scenario, where you are standing on the road and there are people walking in front of you. Mindlessly, you start walking behind them because…err let’s say you are impressed by their dressing, their appearance, the way they carry themselves, or perhaps you are walking behind them because you are not even sure why you are doing that. Now where would you end up by following these people? Look around yourself. Have you reached your home yet? Or is it that you have come to a place that is far away from your destination? How do you feel now? Are you pleased that you mindlessly followed someone because you were impressed by them?

Sit back and reflect; what does this example teach you?

We learn that in this world when we intend to follow someone, when we decide to tread in their footsteps, or act upon what they say, we should make use of our senses. We should ascertain where they are taking us, what interests they are instilling, what they are stopping us from, what they are saving us from, what they are promising, what they are putting us into and where do they wish to take us. Make use of your intellect.

How can the mirror of the heart shine if material images are covering it? How can the heart journey to God if it is chained by its desires?

What does the Qur’an say about the people who don’t use their intellect? Allah (swt) equates them to a herd of sheep, who can hear the calls and cries of their shepherd but don’t understand a thing. They mindlessly start treading in the direction where they see others walking.

Ever seen hens at a farm? The animals and crops at the farm are the farmer’s livelihood as well as food. Sometimes he slaughters an animal from his herd to feed his family. But how does he attract the animal towards himself? Running after them with a butcher’s knife will scare the animals away. The farmer therefore uses a clever strategy. He throws some grains and the innocent little chicken comes walking to its master. The farmer grabs it and within seconds it’s gone. The grains are temporary pleasure for the chicken but a strong tool for the farmer to tempt the chicken to come out of its coop.

The pomp and glitter of this world, and the urge to be around certain type of people are temporary pleasures of this world. By mindlessly chasing every slogan, charm or a person we act like a herd of sheep. The predator’s trap, however, will not just take our lives but also have an impact on our hereafter.

When the love of Allah (swt) enters the heart of a Muslim then nothing in the world can stop him from the way of Allah (swt). Our Prophet Ibraheem (as) was a living proof of that. 

Allah (swt) says in Surah al-Anam, verse 32: “And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion…so will you not reason?”

Let’s also read what does the Ayah before this says: “Those will have lost who deny the meeting with Allah, until when the Hour [of resurrection] comes upon them unexpectedly, they will: ‘Oh, [how great is] our regret over what we neglected concerning it.’”

People continue to live in denial until their meeting with the Creator. It is not until they are laid down in their graves that they realize their negligence. They regret the time wasted on unnecessary things and being forgetful of the Questioning. A week goes by and we don’t know where our time went: more concern for the worldly matters and ignorance to the hereafter.

Someone shouts: “It’s Valentine’s Day!” And the entire nation begins its celebrations. Amidst criticisms and objections, someone comments: “What’s wrong about it? The poor little boy who sells flowers at the signal at least earns a meal for his family on that day.” Someone else asserts: “Why do we have to make life so boring?”

But who says a Muslim’s life has to be boring?

The Creator directs the sail of our boats, “For each is a direction toward which it faces. So race to [all that is] good.” (Al-Baqarah 2:148) That is our path. The path of Khair. But what is this Khair? Khair is anything that benefits the society. Does our celebration of birthdays, Halloween, Basant, Dholkis, bridal showers and baby showers benefit the society? Or is it simply an excuse to show we are wealthy and live on the other side of the bridge? What will we say when are questioned about: In what matters did you spend your wealth? In throwing parties and exchanging unwanted gifts among people who can purchase anything that they wish to buy?

In Surah al-Fatihah we make Dua to Allah (swt) to “Show us the right way. The way of those who were favoured.” We find the detail of such people in Surah an-Nisa, verse 69, “the Siddiqeen [the truthful], the Shuhadah [the martyrs] and the Saliheen [the righteous].”

By blindly following rituals, traditions and celebrations, whose path are we really following? The ones who evoke His anger or of those who have strayed? Giving zakah or purchasing a sacrificial animal for Eid is burdensome for us, but splurging money on whims and desires is not.

For a Muslim, true love happens only once and that is with his Creator. This is what we learn from our Prophet Ibraheem (as) as we read in the Qur’an:

“‘My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.’ So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy. And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said: ‘O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.’ He said: ‘O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.’ And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, We called to him, ‘O Ibraheem, You have fulfilled the vision.’ Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, And We left for him [favourable mention] among later generations: ‘Peace upon Ibraheem.’ Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.” (As-Saffat 37:100-110)

What will we say when are questioned about: In what matters did you spend your wealth? In throwing parties and exchanging unwanted gifts among people who can purchase anything that they wish to buy?

When the love of Allah (swt) enters the heart of a Muslim then nothing in the world can stop him from the way of Allah (swt). Our Prophet Ibraheem (as) was a living proof of that.

In his book, Al-Hikam, Sheikh Ahmad Ibn Ata’illah As-Sakandari says: “How can the mirror of the heart shine if material images are covering it? How can the heart journey to God if it is chained by its desires?”

One simple criterion to evaluate our actions is that before venturing into anything ask: “Why am I doing this?” If it pleases Allah (swt) pursue it; if not, divert your attention to something of Khair.

May Allah (swt) allow us to cleanse our souls and protect us from wandering blindly on the path of Shaytan, Ameen.

Adapted from Dr. Farhat Hashmi’s Lecture: “How to Express Love: Sacrifice or Valentine?”

Women Power!

women power

By Dr. Farhat Hashmi

Islamic scholar, teacher and founder of “Al-Huda International”

Women are an important part of the Muslim Ummah, without whom the noblest of goals could not be achieved. Throughout history, they have played significant roles in shaping the future of the upcoming generation. The woman of today needs to know what she has been carved out for; she also needs to learn more about her role models and understand her true status.

Every creation of Allah has a purpose, and complements one another. Allah (swt) first created Adam (as) and then He created Hawwa to give him company and support. Allah (swt) created her from Adam’s ribs. The fact that she was created from his side signifies that they shared companionship. If she had come from his skull bone, she would have had a dominating role. If she would have come from his foot bone, she would have been subservient. She is neither a subordinate nor a dominating controller. Her role is that of a companion, a friend, a supporter and a helper. The very creation of woman defines her role; yet, in the present era, she demands equality and want to assume the same responsibilities that have been given to a man. This has created conflict in today’s world.

The Role of a Muslim Woman

Being a Muslim means that we agree with Allah’s (swt) creation plan and submit to His will. Men and women were created, so that they may fulfil each other’s needs; hence, a natural attraction was kept between both. A woman holds a lot of importance in a man’s life. She is a supportive partner, helping him in discharging his duties as a vicegerent on earth. The role of a woman can be better understood in the light of the examples of the women discussed below.

Prophet Noah’s (as) Wife

She was indifferent to her husband and was not a helpful partner. They were not like-minded and shared different ideologies and beliefs. Prophet Noah (as) was a very patient man – he preached for 950 years and tried to call his nation towards Islam. However, his own wife did not accept Islam.

Ultimately, Prophet Noah’s (as) nation, including his wife, had to face the wrath of their Creator, and they all perished. This brief narration holds valuable lesson for the women of today. It illumes the disparity between two individuals. It is not necessary for a pious man to get married to a righteous wife or vice versa. In this life, sometimes we get what we desire and sometimes, we do not. Women should have positive expectations from Allah (swt) and should not create an ideal in their minds. They should help and support whoever is destined to be their life partner, even if he or she is not their ideal.

Mostly after marriage, people complain that they and their spouses are not of the same mental frequency. The thinking pattern of a man and a woman can never be the same because of the biological differences that are all part of Allah’s (swt) creation plan. We have to work hand in hand, keeping in mind these differences, just like Prophet Noah (as), who did not part with his wife and continued his relationship with her until Allah (swt) decreed doom for her.

Umm-e-Moosa

Prophet Moosa’s (as) mother is yet another glaring example of strength, resolve and complete submission to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) commanded her to place her child in a basket and put it in a river. For a mother to abandon her child is one of the most difficult things to do. Think of her emotions. It was Allah (swt), Who placed the inspiration in her heart and protected her child from harm.

Moosa’s sister followed the flowing basket that was carrying her baby brother. This sheds light on the role of a woman as a sister. She loves, cares for and protects her younger siblings. When Moosa (as) grew up, he had to leave for Madiyan, where he was blessed with a place to stay, food to eat and a good companion. Then he was guided back to Egypt after ten years and commissioned to save his nation.

Where does the story of Moosa (as) begin? Who is the foundation of this story? His mother and the sacrifice she made. If she had not done so, the Pharaoh would not have reached to his rightful end.

Women should put their complete trust in Allah (swt) and hope for the best. Always think positive and wait patiently. Allah (swt) is Merciful and always plans the best for His faithful servants.

Maryam – Umm-e-Isa

Prophet Isa’s (as) mother and his maternal grandmother (wife of Imran) signify a woman’s strength, courage and love for Allah (swt). When Maryam was born, her mother presented her for the service of God, which led to the miraculous birth of prophet Isa (as). Maryam was also a single parent. Can we imagine the impact of women as single parents and how they achieved the remarkable goals, without the aid of any male life partner?

Women in the Life of our Beloved Prophet Mohammad (sa)

Amna – Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) mother: She was another excellent example of single parenting. She raised our Prophet (sa) but did not live long and soon passed away.

Khadijah (rtaf): She was the first woman to accept Islam, an amazing partner with a very strong and supportive role. Time, money, self – she devoted all in the way of Allah (swt). She was a very successful business entrepreneur of her time, and she sacrificed all for her husband’s mission. She donated every penny she owned but never once did she complain. Instead, she was always caring and encouraged out beloved Prophet (sa) at each and every step, raising his children well, too. During the years of the siege, the richest business woman of Makkah had to eat dried leaves, but she did not complain.

Fatimah (rtaf): Daughter of the Prophet (sa) and mother of Hasan (rtam) and Hussain (rtam). Her role is that of a loving daughter, wife and a responsible mother. She spent most of her time at home doing house chores and focusing on her children. She bore all hardships with patience and was given the status of the leader of women in Paradise.

Aisha (rtaf): She was a very intelligent woman, excelling in the field of medicine, literature, poetry, mathematics, laws of inheritance and much more. She had a versatile personality, encompassing multi-dimensional knowledge.

Once, someone asked her how she knew so much about medicine? She replied that all the delegations that used to come to the Prophet (sa) from all around the world, talked about the medical cures from their religion, and she gathered her knowledge from them. This proves that a woman should always strive to gain knowledge. It is very important for a woman to be educated, as she bears the responsibility of raising future generations.

There were hundreds of orphans under the care of Aisha (rtaf), and she looked after them diligently. Aisha (rtaf) preached Islam to men and women alike for forty-eight years. She was also an eloquent speaker.

Umm-e-Atiya (rtaf): She was a brave woman, who participated in six battles along with her husband and fought bravely. It requires a lot of courage to leave one’s home for fighting in the battlefield. Umm-e-Atiya (rtaf) proved that women can do anything for the cause of Islam.

Umm-e-Haram bint-e-Milhan (rtaf): Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa) used to rest in her house often at midday. One day, he sat up from his nap and started to smile. Umm-e-Haram (rtaf) asked him, if he saw something in his dream, and he replied he saw some of the people from his Ummah, crossing the ocean to do Jihad. They appeared like kings wearing shining crowns. She asked the Prophet (sa) to pray for her to be with those men and attain martyrdom. The Prophet (sa) prayed for her. Her grave is still present near the shores of Cyprus, where she fell off her horse and died a martyr, while crossing the ocean with the Muslim army.

We all need to consider the contributions we make to this world. We should analyze what we are planning to give to this humanity. Do we recognize our role? Are we working in any way to perform it in the best possible manner?

Women can contribute immensely, while retaining their natural femininity, without assuming the role of men. They can make their mark and play an important role in the society by fulfilling their duties as a mothers, sisters and wives. If they are helpful, trustworthy companions to their husband, they can move mountains and give worthy and pious individuals to the Muslim Ummah.

Do not waste your time and abilities on self-pity, being bitter all the time and thinking negatively. Allah (swt) has a plan for you. Once we willingly accept the role Allah (swt) has carved out for us, we can work productively achieving our goals and accelerate in the right direction.

Transcribed for Hiba by Umm-e-Ibrahim, Mustafa and Muhammad       

The Marriage Sermon

Vol 4-Issue 3 Marriage sermonDiscover the actual meaning of the Marriage Sermon through excerpts from Dr. Farhat Hashmi’s audio lecture “Nikah Mubarak” (transcribed by Sumaira Dada)

Abdullah Bin Masood (rta) has narrated that the Prophet (sa) taught us the following Khutbah (sermon) for marriage:

“Indeed all the praise is for Allah (swt). We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness. We also seek refuge in Him from the evils of our own selves and from the evils of our deeds. Whoever Allah (swt) guides, no one can misguide him. Whoever He lets go astray, no one can put him back on track. I testify that there is no god but Allah (swt), and I testify that Muhammad (sa) is Allah’s (swt) servant and His messenger.”

“O you who believe! Fear Allah (swt) (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allah (swt))].” (Al-Imran 3:102)

 

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allah (swt) through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah (swt) is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisa 4:1)

”O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah (swt) and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa), he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise).” (Al-Ahzab 33:70-71)

(Bukhari, Ahmad, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmizi, An-Nisai, Ibn Majah, Ad-Darimee)

The Prophet (sa) said: “By Allah! Among all of you, I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the super most to save myself from the wrath of Allah (swt); yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep, too; I observe fasts and suspend observing them; I marry women also. And he, who turns away from my Sunnah, is not from me (not one of my followers)”. (Bukhari)

Many Muslims get married but, surprisingly, very few actually know what the Marriage Sermon means. Many of these new couples have little awareness of their rights and duties to their partners. Allah (swt) might forgive us, if there is some overlooking of His rights, but as far as the rights of fellow beings are concerned, He will forgive us only if those, who are wronged, forgive.

Praise of Allah (swt)

A believer understands that marriage is a blessing of Allah (swt), and by praising Allah (swt), he expresses his gratitude to Him. Gratitude protects blessings, and the believer feels happy.

Seeking His help and forgiveness

Sometimes, even the smallest thing is enough to disturb us, which proves the fact that we are by nature very weak and in constant need of Allah’s (swt) help. We must seek His forgiveness for all the wrongs we do, including the ones we commit without realizing. Even the Prophet (sa), who was innocent and free of sin, sought forgiveness of Allah (swt) more than seventy times a day. (Narrated by Abu Hurairah (rta) in Bukhari)

Analysis of the pre-marriage activities and the post-marriage conversations is enough to make one realize our need to repent. The run-up to the marriage involves long shopping trips that usually result in delayed or missed Salah. Extravagant late-night celebrations, usually with the purpose to impress others, have become the highlights of Muslim wedding festivities. The conversations at the wedding party and during the following days involve detailed discussions of people, including backbiting.

Seeking refuge from the evil of Nafs (self)

Prophet Yusuf (as) said: “Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil.” (Yusuf 12:53) Jealousy, hatred, greed, negative thinking, and arrogance are some of the evils that the human self is inclined towards. Shaitan became the first victim of the evil of the Nafs, when he said: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.” (Al-Araf 7:12) Relations are spoilt because of the evil of the self, resulting in the displeasure of Allah (swt).

 

After marriage, the acceptance of Ibadah (worship) depends on the relations between a husband and his wife. From a Hadeeth we learn that when any woman prays her five prayers, fasts during the month of Ramadan, protects her honor and respect and obeys her husband is given the choice of entering Paradise from whichever door she wishes to enter. (Ibn Hibban, Sahih per Al-Albani)

Arguments of the new couple are a result of selfishness and arrogance of the Nafs. During these moments, each partner must remember that only the one, who gives in and is humble, can get love. To attain peace in the relationship, one must give one’s self up to Allah (swt) and seek His refuge from the evil of Nafs.

Seeking refuge from effects of bad deeds

Bad deeds result in a sense of guilt. To release the mountain of worry, we must seek refuge with Allah (swt) from the effects of bad deeds.

Praying for guidance

Guidance is a blessing given only to those, who want it. Even in marital relations Allah (swt) grants guidance, help, and patience to those, who seek it.

Reciting the Shahadah

Shahadah on the occasion of marriage is a reaffirmation of the Muslim faith – a reminder to follow Allah (swt) and to take care of each other fearing by Him. The new couple also pledges to follow the teachings of the Prophet (sa).

Taqwah (Allah consciousness)

We usually think that a successful marriage depends on designer clothes, expensive jewellery, a luxurious house, husband’s high job, or an educated wife. All these factors may be helpful towards building a healthy relationship, but if there is no fear of Allah (swt), relations will be patchy. In the three Ayahs recited in the sermon the word ‘Taqwa’ has been mentioned four times. It is obvious, therefore, that the relation of two people cannot be healthy, until both are mindful of Allah (swt).

Respecting each other

Social customs usually victimize the daughter-in-law. At times, her status is limited to that of a mere house help. This is quite in contrast to Islamic teachings. Anas Bin Malik (rta) has narrated: “Allah’s Messenger (sa) was on a journey, and he had a black slave called Anjasha, who was driving the camels (very fast, and there were women riding on those camels). Allah’s Apostle (sa) said: ‘Waihaka (May Allah (swt) be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!’” (Bukhari) This shows the Prophet’s (sa) attitude towards women.

It is important for the in-laws to give to the new family member some time to adjust. Like a new plant, which at first has some difficulty in adjusting to the new environment, but then takes roots and blooms, the new daughter-in-law has some problems at first, then her roots strengthen – she becomes a mother and gains an important position in the family.

Likewise, the husband also has a right to be respected. If the wife has come from a family, which according to the worldly standards is superior to the husband’s family, it does not mean that she should start enforcing her orders in the new home. It is a situation, where she must remind herself that one gets a place in the household by helping, not by demanding rights.

Relatives – a blessing of Allah (swt)

From a Hadeeth of the Prophet (sa) we know that one, who cuts off relations with relatives, will not enter Paradise. (Bukhari and Muslim) In fact, even this world becomes Hell, when relations with them are unhealthy. Women should be more careful here, as they are usually responsible for making or breaking relationships.

Fear Allah (swt) and speak the truth

From the time the proposal comes to the time the marriage takes place, a lot of lies are usually told to cover such facts as the age of the partners-to-be or the status of each party. If the foundation of marriage is laid on deception, it creates a lot of problems later. We need to put our trust in Allah (swt) and not worry about the match not taking place, if we tell the truth.

The sermon ends with a reminder that whoever follows Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) would have a great achievement. This is something we all need to be mindful of.

Understanding Anger

skd182362sdcskd182362sdcSumaira Dada presents excerpts from Dr. Farhat Hashmi’s lecture “Let Anger Go”

Anger is a feeling that each one of us must have experienced. Let’s understand what it is.

What is anger?

From Hadeeth we know that anger is “a burning ember in the heart of the son of Adam,” and its signs are the swelling of the veins of the neck and the redness of the eyes. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)

The Arabic language with its vast vocabulary uses several words for “anger” that reflect its different stages.

Sukht – the first degree of anger: mere irritation, disliking or being displeased; usually used for an older person being displeased with a younger person. This kind of anger cools down very soon.

Ghaiz – the second degree of anger: the displeasure raises the blood pressure level. This kind of anger could be on one’s self or on others.

Ghadhab – the third degree of anger: a person is full of anger and is bent upon taking revenge, seeking to hurt others.

Is anger controllable?

Allah (swt) says…

“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun (the pious). Those who spend (in Allah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).” (Al Imran 3:133-134)

The word used in Arabic for repressing anger is Kadhama. It means ‘to tie’ or ‘to tighten,’ e.g., tightening the mouth of a hot water bag. Like the hot water bag, which holds back the water from burning anyone, a person controlling his anger does not harm anyone and sometimes even cools down!

The difference between the mankind and animals is that we can control our anger, while animals cannot. We, unlike the animals, are not helpless. We have been given a brain and can control our anger.

Hadeeth tells us…

Abu Hurairah (rta) narrated that a man said to the Prophet (sa): “Advise me!” The Prophet (sa) said: “Do not become angry and furious.” The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet (sa) said in each case: “Do not become angry and furious.” (Bukhari)

This Hadeeth shows that (a) if a person is able to control anger, a lot of his problems will be solved, and that (b) anger is a controllable emotion.

What are the causes of anger?

Some of the internal causes of anger are:

  • Disorder in personality, especially due to arrogance
  • Past incidents in life
  • Genetic pre-disposition
  • Non-fulfillment of basic desires
  • Physical ailment
  • High expectations of one’s self
  • Some foods

Anger can also have external causes:

  • Habits of family and friends that tick one off
  • Cultural values
  • Unexpected situations
  • Violence in the media and children’s games
  • Lack of proper training (Tarbiyah) of children (e.g., teaching how to express emotions)

How is anger expressed?

When people are angry, they shriek, yell, cry, bang doors, throw things, hit, torture themselves, take sleeping pills, attempt suicide, or take drugs eventually leading to addiction.

While some shriek and shout, others display passive aggressiveness by keeping silent, hiding within themselves the feelings of anger. Some others become sad and start pitying themselves, or even become jealous. Yet, others speak in a taunting tone most of the time – an expression of rage boiling over.

What are the harms of anger?

Physically

A negative effect on complexion, bones, gait; an increase in heart palpitation, blood pressure; chances of a heart attack also increase. Some people experience a sudden burst of anger and cannot control their body movements (especially their limbs!) and their tongues. Nerves stay under pressure; in some severe cases, anger has been pointed out as the cause of diabetes.

Mentally

Loss of sensible thought, creativity, and wisdom. Cooling of anger brings only embarrassment, shame, and sadness. Constructive activities are put on hold to rectify the wrongs done.

Spiritually

A washing away of good deeds. Sometimes one does a lot of good deeds but then becomes angry and in anger blurts out words that spoil all the good deeds done.

Allah (swt) says: “O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury.” (Al-Baqarah 2:264)

The Prophet (sa) said: “Anger spoils faith (Iman) as [the bitterness of] aloes’ sap spoils honey.” (Al-Hakim and At-Tirmidhi)

Socially

Relationships are spoilt because of angry words. Abu Hurairah (rta) narrated: “The Prophet (sa) said: ‘A Mumin is an embodiment of love and affection, and there is no good in one, who neither loves nor is loved.’” (Ahmad)

Anger brings harm in its wake, e.g., an employee loses his job because of sharp words exchanged with the boss; a vendor loses a customer due to an exchange of angry words.

What is the benefit of controlling anger?

Obtaining the pleasure of Allah (swt). Ibn Umar (rta) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “There is no sip greater in reward near Allah than the sip of anger; the servant suppresses it seeking the pleasure of Allah.” (Ibn Majah)

Why has Allah (swt) kept anger in us?

To change things around, we need the energy of anger. Sometimes one in anger does those things that one could not have done otherwise. Allah (swt) has kept anger in our hearts for stopping the wrong – Jihad against evil is the best expression of positive anger. The Prophet (sa) said:Whoever amongst you sees an evil, should change it with his hand. If he is unable to do that, then with his tongue. If he is unable to do that, then with his heart, and that is the weakest level of Iman.” (Muslim)

Anger needs to be channeled properly, because one cannot stop it from coming. Expressing anger at the right time, in the right way, and at the right level can be beneficial.

Abu Hurairah (rta) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “The strong is not the one, who overpowers in wrestling, but the strong one is he, who controls himself in anger.” (Bukhari)