Do You Yell at your Wife?

15 yell at wife

In order to get to Jannah, you have to make sure you are the best to your spouse. Do not shout at your spouses for mistakes they make. A Hadeeth says: “The best from amongst you are those who are best to their wives.” (Ibn Majah) Subhan’Allah! You have to be the best to your family members, best to your spouse, best to your husband – but how do you treat them?

Sometimes, the wife burns the food, which may be a test from Allah (swt) for you. Allah (swt) is watching, and, to be honest with you, the angels are writing what your reaction would be. That is all that’s happening, nothing else! She might never burn it again and we get up and yell: “Do you know how much money is wasted here? You know this food is rubbish; it’s rotten; it’s bad; it’s filthy; throw it out!”

Is that the attitude to have? Well, why did you get married? That is someone’s daughter – how are you speaking to her? Have a bit of shame. Your children are watching. It is one thing if you yourself are committing a crime, but think about it – you are teaching your children how to commit a crime that they will commit in a bigger way. For this reason, I encourage people to look at the parents of their future spouses. If their parents are living with beauty, respect, and honour, it would mean that the prospective spouse has learned beauty, respect and honor. But if their parents are fighting like cats and dogs, swearing at each other, and there is a relationship that is totally absurd, then it does not mean that the child is bad, but the child may have qualities like them, especially if it is a male.

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Tips for Healthy Eating in Ramadan


                                                   Image Courtesy

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This video provides useful tips on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadan


When you have a sip of water after a day, when you have been quite thirsty because you are Fasting, the Dua says:


The Dua when you are opening your fast at the end of the day, we are appreciating the gift of Allah (swt) for having quenched our thirst with what? With water, this is why the Sunnah of Muhammad (sa); either Dates or water or both, to open the fast at the end of the day.

And if, we have opened the fast, and we have this water, don’t you feel so good Subhan’Allah? That wetness has gone down, and the veins, and all the system has now achieved wetness of the water after a day when we kept ourselves hungry for the sake of Allah (swt)- so you appreciate the quenching of your thirst Alhamdulillah! And, you had beautiful water, you appreciate water, Subhan’Allah!  (We are not yet talking about Fruit juice we only started with water.)

Imagine in Ramadan, we are spoilt where we have juices, fruit juices and fries, and so many things. Some of them are actually unhealthy- do you know that? Very unhealthy, the worst way to break your fast is with savouries- do you know that? Do you know what savoury is? Samosas and pies and fries- that’s the worst way to break your fast –worst from a health perspective!

I am not saying it’s prohibited- No!

Go Back to the Sunnah! Look at the health benefits of the dates and benefit of the water Look at the benefit of these things Subhan’Allah, it’s healthy- Remain within the health boundaries.

There is another big problem that we have during the month of Ramadan. Do you know what it is?

At night, we do the Qadha of what we missed in the day, sometimes with food.

We will eat all night until we dropped in, I don’t know, if you have seen the cartoon, I think it is done by Abu Productive, if I am not mistaken. But, where it shows a man fasting during the day, and he eats so much at night that he cannot read Taraweeh, and he is just like a dead person, and he is waiting for the next day, and he is enjoying it so much- in fact the belly grew in Ramadan. People gain weight in Ramadan, May Allah (swt) protect us. Ameen.

Remember it’s about discipline, it’s about your health Allah (swt) has blessed you with. From now, cut down a little bit on your food –  فَثُلُثٌ لِلطَّعَامِ وَثُلُثٌ لِلشَّرَابِ وَثُلُثٌ لِلنَّفَسِ


Translation: Then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air (Sunan Ibn Majah)

The Prophet (sa) has taught us how to have a nice meal, Subhan’Allah! Do you really want to eat healthy?

Remember the best way of doing it is: a third of solids, a third of liquids and a third of air. When you get up from the laid table cloth, you would still have one third of air in your system; you are not totally full Subhan’Allah! You are not totally full because we are not living to eat. Remember this- we are eating to live. There is a difference.

And, we are not saying do not enjoy food, enjoy food. Masha’Allah, people like tasty food, people like so many different things by the help of Allah (swt) – enjoy them! Thank Allah (swt) but within limits. Within limits meaning: I am not saying thank Allah (swt) within limits, Thank Allah (swt) unlimited, but eat within limits. Because, for example: you like Samosas, and the ones which have the mince meat in it, because sometimes you see a beautiful Samosa, you bite into it and you see all the veggies in it, and you just say, “Oh no man, it should have something better inside!”

Long time back they dint have all these veggies inside it, but say you like the mince meat one , and you have 1,2, and 5 and 10 and 20, what will happen to you? You will get sick …why? Not because the Samosa was bad, it was very good. The way you ate it was bad, how you chose to eat was bad. Like red meat people say is bad. No!  Sometimes you need it but the way you eat is bad. You have a little piece Alhamdulillah. But you want to eat the whole cow .There is a problem.  May Allah (swt) safeguard us. Ameen.

Remember the discipline of food and drink during Ramadan should extend beyond Ramadan.

You eat and drink after Ramadan also- but hang on, remember to reach out to those who don’t have, even if it is with 1 Riyal / 1 Dollar. Remember to reach out to them wherever, and however you can- even with small amount.   اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ ‏”

You know the Prophet (sa) encouraging us to do good, He says: “Fear the fire even if it is by a portion of the date. So remember this- when we eat, sometimes we are wasteful. You might have different mechanism that work to help the needy , but at the same time, the point is- don’t be wasteful- it’s very tempting to be wasteful.

When the food is remaining on that table after people have finished eating. Remember, do something constructive with it because there are others who do not have food, there are others who are hungry for that food May Allah (swt) safeguard us. Ameen. There are others who are busy eating that which otherwise would not be permissible Allahu Akbar!

There are people across the globe in different places who are busy picking little grains, and putting them in their mouths. We are sitting here with so much, and it’s just thrown away.

If that is the case, I believe, we can do a lot better Insha’Allah! Let’s not waste respectfully.

We can actually do something; and remember,  where there is a will there is a way. If you are really serious about not wasting, you will manage. If you are really serious about it, you will succeed- something good will come out of it. And, this is what we are taught as Muslimeen with the help of Allah (swt). We hope from now to hold back a bit on your food Insha’Allah. If you already have the discipline, then Alhamdulillah; if not, try to have  a healthy meal in a healthy manner.

This is for myself, the day I have eaten a lot, I feel lazy, very lazy. I think my system is busy digesting, and so on. And,, by the time it’s over, I am tired, because my system is working without me working- even I am just sitting, I start yawning I start feeling lazy, and you want to sleep and so on. It’s your system operating but the minute or the day I have eaten slightly less, I feel very active, I want to do something, I eat a bit less and I have chosen healthy food, Remember this, May Allah (swt) protect us; may He grant us good health, and may He cure all those who are sick and ill. Ameen.

Transcribed for Hiba Magazine by Hira Naqi



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

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

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).

Sickness- A blessing in disguise

blessingSubhan’Allah, we have such a blessed gift of Allah (swt) – such a blessed gift, known as sickness. Did you ever know that sickness is a gift? It’s one of the few things that instantly draw you close to Allah (swt). You have no option, especially when medicine has been given to you, then you realise that you need to develop a link with your Maker. And that is a gift of Allah (swt). If that is what caused you to earn Paradise, then it is the best thing that could have happened to you. May Allah (swt) grant us cure. Ameen.

Some people never read Salah. Never ever. The day they cannot move anymore, they want to read Salah while sitting. Alhumdulillah! Beautiful! At least now you’re reading Salah- even though you’re now sitting, Subhan’Allah. It’s a gift of Allah (swt). So, Allah (swt) watches you, He sees you are ill, He sees you are sick. That’s a gift of Allah (swt). He knows. He made you that way because He loves you, and the Hadeeth says: ‘When Allah (swt) loves a worshipper, He tests him.’ He gives him more tests. Hence, Allah (swt) tests you. Allah (swt) will test you.

Sickness – Boon or bane?

Then you start crying to Allah (swt), helplessly. And, when you turn to Allah (swt), and obviously, there are two things that can happen- when you are sick and ill, Shaytan can get a hold of you, or spirituality can get a hold of you, religiousness can get a hold of you. So you need to be careful, it’s like treading a tightrope.

You’ll have someone who looks like a religious person and he says, ‘Hey, I can cure you.’ And you say, ‘Okay, cure is in the hands of Allah (swt), obviously- but let’s see what you have to say.’ Or if they’re giving you for example, some herbal medication or some ZamZam, or they’re giving you honey, and for example, the black seed and these things that are beneficial; various other items or they give you a diet to tell you, ‘You know what, try and abstain from this type of food; and try to eat this type of food, it’s high in mineral and vitamin.’ Alhumdulillah, we understand it.

Empty mind- A devil’s workshop

But, the minute they tell you, ‘Listen, stand on your left foot for three minutes and start looking up in the sky. And hold five leaves in your right hand and then you tell someone to put a piece of lemon in your mouth, and do that five times a day.’ You need to know that is Shaytan. Complete Shaytan. Allah (swt) is going to ask you. That is the devil, Wallahi. You need to know- where did they come from? This is nothing that makes sense. It’s not medication, it’s not herbal medication, it is superstition. It is the devil. No matter what the person who gave you this looks like, this is wrong. You need to have common logical sense that is unacceptable. This is Allah (swt); He’s going to ask you about this gift.

Early bird catches the worm

At the same time, your heart becomes softened, and you turn to Allah (swt) and cry. So your Salah, you don’t miss. Why? Because you have a problem. And, what happens when you have a major issue? Subhan’Allah. You get up a little bit earlier than Salat ul Fajr for another Salah that is known as Tahajjud. Isn’t it? You are up very early and you say, ‘Sister’, or if your husband says, ‘Hey wifey, why are you up so early?’ and you say, ‘You know, I have a problem, so that is why I am up.’ Subhan’Allah. May Allah (swt) grant us ease. Ameen.

So you are up very early and you cry to Allah (swt). This is why Allah (swt) makes it very beautifully clear where He says, “And when We show favour to man, he withdraws and turns away, but when evil touches him, then he has recourse to long supplications.” (Fussilat 41:51)

You have nothing missing in your life, absolutely nothing. Your health is okay, your wealth is okay, your children are okay, your work is okay, you salary is okay, your situation is okay, everything is beautiful. You are enjoying- eating out every other day, you have a holiday, everywhere you want to go, you have gone, and so on and you still keep on going and everything is going smoothly. Then what’s the point of knowing Allah (swt)? A lot of the people would say what’s the point of knowing? That is the time you’re supposed to get closer to Allah (swt). The winner is the one who has the Dunya and the Akhirah.

In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah (swt) explains to us this Dua, this beautiful Dua, ‘And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” (Al-Baqarah 2:201) That is the beauty; you want goodness here and there. That is obviously, not everyone will get this, but that is the ultimate gift of Allah (swt).

If you have an issue, and it is quite normal to have issues, problems, difficulties, learn to turn to Allah (swt) and Allah (swt) alone. It is when things go wrong that people begin to make supplications, long Dua, prolonged Dua. You know, if you see a man walking in the Masjid, and he sits in the Masjid, asking Allah (swt). And if you find him after Salah, he is sitting there after Salat ul Asr, and you go for Salat ul Maghrib and you find him- he is sitting in the same place, crying and asking Allah (swt). What do you think? You think this man has got a big problem, he is sitting on exactly the same spot, and he is asking Allah (swt). So, that is the description of Surah Fussilat in the verse I read, “When we have bestowed upon man, we have given him, he turns away, on his side. And when evil befalls him, he makes prolonged prayer.”

Spiritual analysis via sickness

Now let’s analyze- spiritually, which is the better condition? Is it better to turn away or is it better to be engaged in prolonged prayer? What is the gift of Allah (swt) here for us? May Allah (swt) bless us. Ameen.

Why is it that old people become sick, invalid? When you’re old, you find it a little difficult to walk. May Allah (swt) grant Shifa and cure to all those who are ill. Ameen. And then sometimes you cannot walk, you have to sit down; you become old, and then, pass away.

Why is it that Allah (swt) has kept it such in the older people? Why isn’t it that in the middle of your life? He makes you sick, but then healthy once again. It is Allah’s (swt) gift that when you get old, you start suffering pain, you start turning to Allah (swt), preparing for the day you will meet with Him. It’s amazing. You know that it’s time to go. You know it. It’s a fact. Why? Because you’re old, things change, everything happens and everything starts moving in a direction that keeps on reminding you, ‘I’m no longer the little teenager I used to be.’

May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to thank Him for His gifts. Ameen.

Transcribed by Asma Imran

Friends in Islam – A Powerful Reminder

friends in Islam

Transcribed for hiba by Asma Imran

Every one of us is born into a society where we interact with people from a very young age: our neighbours, people we go to school with, those whom we’ve seen elsewhere in the neighbourhood, and so on. And as time passes, we become closer to them, and they begin to be known as our friends.

What does Islam teach us about friends? We need to be aware that we should follow a certain set of rules and regulations when interacting with people whom we consider to be our friends. What should we share with them? How should they impact our lives? Let us take a look at some of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (sa) in this regard.

The Prophet (sa) said: “A man follows his friend’s religion, so you should be careful about who you befriend.” (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood) Therefore it is very important to select our friends carefully, making sure we do not befriend those who will have a negative impact on us. These teachings of the blessed Prophet (sa) are priceless. If he says that a person is known by the type of friends that he/she keeps, we need to realize that this is exactly the way it will be.

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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.

Muslim Scholars and Teachers Respond to Paris Shooting

Following are the responses of some of the Muslim scholars and thinkers to the Paris shooting as posted on their official Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. We have tried our best to accommodate as many views as we can. If you have anything to add from another scholar, email us a screenshot at and we will add it Insha’Allah!








Pearls of Peace: An extract from Surah Al-Muminun

pearls4Concentration in prayers is a constant struggle. As much as we would like Khushu in our prayer, it is not there. In Surah Al-Muminun, it appears, “Successful indeed are the believers.Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” (Al-Muminun 23:1-2)

Attaining humble submission

It can be attained by turning away from the futile and unnecessary (as we read in the verse after). The futile and unnecessary are time wasters. Someone was asked, “Why do you take off your shoes before entering the House of God?” He replied, “My shoes are the Dunya that I am leaving behind. I don’t need it when I am engaged with my Lord.” We need to empty our heads from the unnecessary concerns and gossips before we get on the prayer rug. Getting rid of such thoughts is impossible, unless we cleanse ourselves. Therefore, Zakat was mentioned next.

Zakat as purification

One needs to purify his wealth, as well as, his thoughts. With evil thoughts in our mind, we get on the prayer mat; going through our conversations with other people or plotting our next rebuttals. We need to work on our temper and control our tongues. Let’s not utter words that will haunt us later. May He make us of those who work on their bad qualities. Ameen.

Purpose of giving Zakat

Allah (swt) commands us to give Zakat so as to replace materialism with generosity. This is how we can get rid of the futile.

Don’t even go near fornication

Then we are advised to stay away from adultery and immorality. The Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever guarantees me (the chastity of) what is between his legs (i.e. his private parts), and what is between his jaws (i.e. his tongue), I guarantee him Paradise.” (Bukhari). Whenever a person falters, he should turn to Allah (swt) in sincere repentance. Chastity of the private parts and the tongue is a trust; whoever loses that trust will lose peace from his life.

Your spouse is entrusted upon you

Therefore, the next trait of the successful ones mentioned is, “Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts etc.) and to their covenants.” (Al-Muminun 23:8). Spouses are a trust to one another. The verses of God-consciousness (Taqwa) are recited in the Nikah sermon. And wherever Quran mentions the rights of husband and wife, it is followed by a reminder of the Hereafter. Let us not break our trusts and promises; whether they be with other people or Allah (swt).

When a person prays only when he wants to pray and neglects it at other times, he cannot be humble in his prayers. Therefore, it is said, And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours). (Al-Muminun 23:9)

Stories of the successful ones

After describing the qualities required to attain success, Allah (swt) narrates the stories of successful people – the prophets and the messengers. He says, “Then We sent Our Messengers in succession, every time there came to a nation their Messenger, they denied him, so We made them follow one another (to destruction), and We made them as Ahadeeth (the true stories for mankind to learn a lesson from them). So away with a people who believe not.” (Al-Muminun 23:44)

Denial leads to destruction

Whether one openly denies the messenger or shows a hypocritical behaviour; such that we declare that we are the nation of Muhammad (sa), but take his Sunnah as a burden. Then we should know that we are inviting destruction. Allah (swt) loosens the rope up to a certain limit and then pulls it. Let’s return to Him before the rope is pulled.

Pray before you are prayed upon

The doors of repentance are opened until death. When death approaches and then man says, “I now seek forgiveness for my sins!” it would not be accepted from him. Allah (swt) says, “Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah), he says: “My Lord! Send me back,So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.” (Al-Muminun 23:99-100). There are no second chances. This life is our only chance to build our relationship with Allah (swt) and strengthen it.

Allah (swt) questions man about his purpose of creation, “Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Al-Muminun 23:115) Allah (swt) did not create man for nothing. We have been informed of our purpose of creation and we will be questioned about our time here. Let’s not waste this chance.

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)

Pearls of Peace: An extract from Surah Kahf

surah_kahhfA journey for Allah (swt) – an inspiring story!

This Surah begins with the mention of some youth who lived under a tyrant leader. Because of their community’s deviance from the right path, the youth decided to leave them and sought refuge in a cave. Fearing their community and feeling lost, they prayed to Allah (swt), “(Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave, they said: Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!” (Al-Kahf 18:10)

And Allah (swt) answered their prayer and protected them by making them sleep for several years. One reason for losing one’s peace is being in the wrong company. We see people around us indulging in such acts that are contrary to the Quran and Sunnah, and we don’t see a way out for ourselves. In such moments, we should remind ourselves the story of these strong young men. They migrated for the sake of Allah (swt). Their migration was not for any worldly need, but to protect their Iman.

See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil

This is a powerful statement! Another stirring statement is: garbage in, garbage out. Our brains have the ability to instantly process everything that we come across. If we read or watch filth; that is what is going to come out of our mouth. We will no more be conscious of what words we are uttering or what actions we are doing. Consider for example, you pass by a Masjid and you see people entering in flocks. You have an urge to follow them. You enter the Masjid and you are spiritually uplifted. Now you are with your friends. They offer you a glass of alcohol and you refuse it. They insist you to have a sip. You refuse but they push you. You give in and take a sip. You begin enjoying your drink. What happens next? You are addicted.

A sincere advice

Change your company and reform yourself. Protect your eyes, mouth and ears. Avoid juicy stories and vice. This is why our Prophet (sa) taught us to ask Allah (swt) for beneficial knowledge and protection of our eyes and ears. The youth discussed in Surah Al-Kahf did not just distance themselves from the wrongdoing people but also made Dua. Never leave Dua. It is your connection with Allah (swt) via which you can ask Him for goodness.

It is a mercy of Allah (swt) that He has informed man of both, the truth and the falsehood. Mankind has been given a choice to follow whatever they desire, “And say: The truth is from your Lord. Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.” (Al-Kahf 18:29) Beware these choices have consequences, “Verily, We have prepared for the Zalimun; a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them (disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah). And if they ask for help (relief, water, etc.) they will be granted water like boiling oil that will scald their faces. Terrible the drink, and an evil Murtafaqa (dwelling, resting place, etc.)!” (Al-Kahf 18:29)

Repentance – a way out!

While one is free to pick his path, he is not free to escape the punishment. Every action of man is being recorded in a book, “And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, ‘Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?’ And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.” (Al-Kahf 18:49) To save oneself from such an end, one must hasten to seek repentance. Because sincere repentance is the only thing that can wipe out our bad deeds. When you have shed sincere tears of repentance, compete to increase your good deeds. Don’t waste time; because we will be in need of a lot good deeds in the Hereafter. May Allah (swt) bless us with steadfastness in our repentance. Ameen.

How merciful is Allah (swt)?

Not only does Allah (swt) make us aware of the right and the wrong, but He is also willing to forgive our wrongdoings; if we turn to Him. Sadly how ungrateful is man- forever complaining and quarrelling, “And indeed We have put forth every kind of example in this Quran, for mankind. But, man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.” (Al-Kahf 18:54) We argue over Allah’s (swt) commands and Prophet’s (sa) tradition; showing disrespect and ingratitude to both of them. We should immediately surrender to the commands of Allah (swt) as soon as we learn about them.

Are we unintentionally ignoring Allah (swt)?

Allah (swt) tells us to come to the right path. But we turn away. “And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat 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 18:57)

When a person chooses to ignore Allah (swt), then Allah (swt) too is not interested in guiding such a person. On the contrary, the one who loves Allah (swt); He opens his heart to comprehend the beneficial knowledge. Today, when one learns of a football match in his city or perhaps a lawn launch; we leave every other worldly task and run to be the first ones to stand in queue. But when call for prayer is given from the mosque and we are promised a greater reward for standing in the first row with the angels; we sit back and turn our attention to something else. How ungrateful man really is! May Allah (swt) make us of those who run towards doing good. May He not make us of those whose hearts have been sealed. Ameen.

Who is your child’s superhero?

Another sad reality is that our children, as young as seven and eight years old, know the names of the entire football or cricket team; but they don’t know the names of the Prophets and their Companions. These were the people who strove with their life and wealth to spread and protect Allah’s (swt) religion. These were the people who were given the glad tiding of Paradise, and we are not interested in learning about them.

A scary reminder!

Allah (swt) says, “Say (O Muhammad (sa)): Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds!” (Al-Kahf 18:103-104) What a scary reminder! The efforts of such a person are limited to the worldly life only and he has no concern for the Hereafter. When you invite such people to study Quran, learn one verse or a Dua, they come up with countless unnecessary tasks of this world.

While the game is on, we are at loss!

Whose loss will it be if we turn away from Allah (swt)? How many hours does a man spend at his job to get a salary at the end of the month? On average, we spend at least eight hours at work weekly. Then we get our pay cheque. We work approximately for 208 hours in a month like slaves to get that cheque. Allah (swt) offers us much greater reward; not only in this world, but an eternal life of bliss in the Hereafter. Unfortunately, we are too lethargic when it comes to obligatory prayers. How many times have we woken for Fajr before the call for prayer is even given? And how many times have we woken up at 3 a.m. without hitting the snooze button when a football match is on? Those who do wake up, they wake up to get done with it. Let us commit to fall in love with our prayer because we love Allah (swt), and we seek His love and His mercy.

The way we have messed up our priorities, shows how confused we are about our purpose in life. Not only are we confused about our purpose in life; but our worship too. We have strayed away from the path of Muhammad (sa) and invented our own ways of worship; which were neither taught by the Prophet (sa) nor practiced by his Companions (ra). The proponents of innovations say, “Say (O Muhammad (sa)): I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One AIlah (God i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (Al-Kahf 18:110) Hold on to Quran and Sunnah and let not Shaytan deceive you.

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)

Pearls of Peace: Extracts from Juzz 14 & 15

pearlGain awareness – ignorance is not bliss

In Surah An-Nahl, Allah (swt) warns us against jumping to conclusions, “And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad (sa)) any but men, whom We inspired, (to preach and invite mankind to believe in the Oneness of Allah). So ask of those who know the Scripture (learned men of the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)), if you know not.” (An-Nahl 16:43) Here we learn the significance of being knowledgeable. People who acquire knowledge have a status above the ignorant ones.

Talking about ignorance, one of the practices in the days of ignorance was to bury the female child alive. “And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief!” (An-Nahl 16:58) Our Prophet (sa) strove to banish this evil custom from the Arabian Peninsula; sadly however, it has crept into our societies today. Despite all the awareness, people still make faces when a daughter is born. Women are divorced for delivering a baby girl; even though they are not given a choice!

How will we face Allah (swt) in the hereafter?

He decides who gets a son and who gets a daughter. We can’t fight His will. For some people, Allah (swt) has ordained only male children; we don’t know the reason behind it. But Allah (swt) knows. So thank Him. For some people, He has ordained only daughters; they are their Paradise. Thank Allah (swt). Girl is an Amanah; (trust) you only look after her for some time, for someone else. People who don’t have children, perhaps it is destined for them to get closer to Allah (swt) through this test. Having or not having children is not a scale to assess someone’s success. Some people do not benefit from their children at all. Look at the wives of the Prophet (sa). Other than Khadijah (ra) and Mariah (ra); none of them had children from the Prophet (sa). But they were never depressed. All of Prophet’s (sa) children, except Fatimah (ra), passed away before him. The best of creation lost many of his children, but was he depressed? Hence, sit with those who have knowledge and learn from their wisdom.

Justice – order of the day

Allah (swt) commands us to be just, “Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (justice) and Al-Ihsan (i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet (sa) in a perfect manner), and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids Al-Fahsha (i.e. all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and Al-Munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited by Islamic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed.” (An-Nahl 16:90) Notice that justice comes before good conduct. It is because while it is virtuous to forgive people like Yusuf (as) did, no one can expect us to keep forgiving- despite their continuous disrespect and oppression. Seek justice, it’s your right; however, avenge your heart from anger.

Our journey – to this world and back

There are times when one does not have anything. He is low in terms of his worldly status. Then Allah (swt) expands his provision and instead of being grateful, he becomes haughty. “Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever with Allah (of good deeds) will remain. And those who are patient, We will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” (An-Nahl 16:96)

Presently, man misses his prayer for one more phone call, one more email, one more business transaction and one more task of the world. When he will enter Paradise, he will forget everything that he was given in the world. Jannah contains that which no eye has ever seen. It’s precious and free from filth. Man would look at his own wife and feel as if he is looking at her for the first time. No rancour or grudges. Let us not become arrogant for the blessings that Allah (swt) has gifted us. Rather, let us use those blessings for His cause. Give Him your wealth, your skills and your resources for a better return in the Hereafter.

Don’t strive for more – the day is close

Let us not waste our time here because Allah (swt) says, “(Remember) the Day when every person will come up pleading for himself, and everyone will be paid in full for what he did (good or evil, belief or disbelief in the life of this world) and they will not be dealt with unjustly.” (An-Nahl 16:111) The more things we possess, the more answerable we will be on that Day. It will be said, “(It will be said to him): Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.” (Al-Isra 17:14) The poor (mentioned as Miskeen in authentic narrations) will be the first ones to enter Paradise, because they had very little rights upon others. Those who have been blessed by Allah (swt) have been informed of their responsibilities towards others. If we fail to honour their responsibilities, there will be people on the Day of Judgement fighting against us. They will take away our good deeds and there will be no help.

Polite invitation towards Deen

As Quran touches our hearts, it is equally important to speak to people in such a way that it has a positive effect on their hearts; especially when one is calling them towards Allah (swt), Invite (mankind, O Muhammad (sa)) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur’an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.(An-Nahl 16:125)

Use kind words and good speech to win hearts. Do not be harsh and condescending. The Prophet (sa) won people over by his beautiful conduct and gentleness. (If you lack confidence, recite the Dua of Prophet Moosa (as) (Ta-Ha 20: 25).)

Who deserves our kindness the most?

Our parents! If your parents are alive, exert yourselves in serving them. If they have passed away, make Dua for their forgiveness and an elevation of their status in the Hereafter. May Allah (swt) make us and our children a source of continuous charity for parents. Ameen. Our parents and household was chosen by Allah (swt). No child picks his own parents. Therefore, families are one of the tests decreed. Children are a test for their parents, and parents are a test for their children. Remember the phrase: As you do so shall be done unto you. Be kind to your parents; give them your love and respect, and above all give them your time.

Allah (swt) says, And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy…” (Al-Isra 17:23-24)

“Uff”- the prohibited word!

“Uff” is a word uttered in rebuke. We should remember they are our parents. They fed us, looked after our needs, raised us, made arrangements for our education and upbringing, and did whatever they thought was right for us. If we feel they have failed in some aspects, then we should let it go and forgive them. Look at how the instruction of good treatment is followed by a Dua. Allah (swt) instructs us to say, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small. (Al-Isra 17:24) When we feel cold towards our parents, we should go back and check our Islamic history. Read up stories of the Companions (ra) and learn how they were with their parents. Some of them had non-Muslim parents; yet they never dishonoured them. Some of them were oppressive; yet the Companions (ra) never lost their good conduct.

Parental tyranny

We come across incidences of parental abuse even in Muslim societies. Today, being a parent is not enough. One must beseech Allah (swt) for his own uprightness. If we are not upright ourselves, what would we be teaching our children? Parents complain of their children not respecting them, have you reflected upon your own behaviour? How do you speak to them? How do you carry yourself around them? May Allah (swt) make us responsible and upright parents; and enable us to fulfil the rights of people around us. Ameen.

Spending rightfully

Look at what He says further, “And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift .” (Al-Isra 17:26) After spending on one’s own family, a person must look at the needs of his relatives, who might not be wealthy, and travellers who are strangers in a new land. Even though begging is despised; but never rebuke a beggar. Utter a kind word and turn away.

Next, Allah (swt) commands us not to be wasteful. Extravagance is one reason why people are unable to give in charity. We spend so much on ourselves in superfluous things that we have little left to give in Allah’s (swt) way. Wastefulness is ingratitude. We should not indulge in the worldly life so much that we lose our focus – the Paradise.

Balanced expenditures

Not being wasteful does not mean living like a miser, And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.” (Al-Isra 17:29) Islam recommends choosing the middle path. Neither be extravagant nor stingy. Keep a balance. Spend on your needs and occasional indulgences. We learn in Hadeeth that the best Dinar that a man spends is a Dinar that he spends on his family. (Muslim)

Why are we stopped from extravagance?

Extravagance instils haughtiness. And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord.” (Al-Isra 17: 37-38) So why be haughty and demean others by means of our wealth when everything is from Allah (swt)?

Peace – the order of Jannah

“And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best.” (Al-Isra 17:53) Allah (swt) commands us to be careful with our words; which is why we see that one of the treasures of Jannah would be “no foul speech”.

Shaytan – the open enemy

“(Because) Shaytan (Satan) verily sows disagreements among them. Surely, Shaytan (Satan) is to man a plain enemy” (Al-Isra 17:53) Shaytan, the known enemy to mankind, provokes us to gossip, back bite, slander, and hurt others. Let us not use the resources that Allah (swt) blessed us with, in evil deeds. Let us indulge our tongues in reciting the Quran, praising Allah (swt) and calling people towards His path. Let us consider another person’s reaction before we open our mouths. Let us remember that the angels near us are recording every word that we speak and every deed that we perform. Let us be people of Shukr and not those of Kufr.

How can one become a Kafir?  

By turning away from Allah (swt) despite enjoying all His favours, “And when We bestow Our Grace on man (the disbeliever), he turns away and becomes arrogant, far away from the Right Path.” (Al-Isra 17:83) What are the repercussions of distancing from Allah (swt)? He loses hope, And when evil touches him he is in great despair.” (Al-Isra 17:83)

Hope vs. fear

A believer should live his life between hope and fear. Hope that Allah (swt) will forgive him and fear for what if He doesn’t. Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra) would say, “If it were announced from the heaven: ‘O people! You are all entering Paradise except one,’ I would fear to be him; and if it were announced: ‘O people! You are all entering the Fire except one,’ I would hope to be him.”

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)


Pearls of Peace: Extracts from Juzz 13

Photo credit: Yogendra174 / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Yogendra174 / Foter / CC BY

Essence of Dhikr

What does Dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah (swt)) entail? Some people confine this to the act of doing Tasbeeh such as: uttering Subhan’Allah and Alhumdulillah. Dhikrullah means to keep Allah (swt) in our thoughts all the time; bearing in mind that He is watching us. One should remember Him by his tongue, his heart and keep Him in his mind. One should know that all tests are from Allah (swt) and that he is sent by Him and will return to Him. This is the source of attaining peace. We learn, “Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad 13:28) May He make us of the Dhakireen. Ameen.

Make Arabic your language

When one falls in love with the Quran, the first thing that they get upset about is the language barrier. A lot of meaning is lost in translations. Non-Arabs wish they were born in an Arab land and Arabic was their native language. Allah (swt) maintained diversity by making us belong to different races. However, we are encouraged to learn different languages, as this is the sure way of bridging gaps. “And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Ibrahim 14:4) Learn Arabic and witness how your understanding of the Quran reaches a higher level.

Goodness comes with gratitude

We all want an increase in goodness and escape from punishment. How can we make that happen? “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” (Ibrahim 14:7)

How can we be grateful to Allah (swt)?

We can be grateful by honouring His commands. By offering our prayers at their appointed time and not when we will. Gratitude should be expressed by the tongue, the heart and the limbs. Allah (swt) has blessed us with health; we should make the most of it by serving Him and His religion. Allah (swt) has given us wealth, we should spend it in His cause. If one is told to count the favours of Allah (swt), he would never be able to do so.

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, – a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate, denies Allah’s Blessings by disbelief, and by worshipping others besides Allah, and by disobeying Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (sa).” (Ibrahim 14:34) This is a challenge to the entire mankind. We miss one thing from our lives and we claim Allah (swt) has kept us deprived. What about the one thousand others things that we have?

Ingratitude belongs to the Shaytan, the deceiver

Ungratefulness is from Shaytan, he beautifies the harmful things for us and we feel as if we are denied. On the Day of Judgement, Shaytan will excuse himself from us. “And Shaytan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimun.” (Ibrahim 14:22) What a devil he is! First he whispers evil thoughts and then backs out from enticing.

Allah’s (swt) assurance of His mercy upon His slaves

While Shaytan conspires for our downfall, what does Allah (swt) assures us of? “Declare (O Muhammad (sa)) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.” (Al-Hijr 15:49) Reading this verse what should we say? We should hasten to make the Dua: O Allah! Forgive me and have mercy on me. Grant me peace in this world and the next. Ameen. Again, this is not a license to continue sinning.

We live in times, where mosque which is free to enter, but is empty; while clubs which cost several thousands to enter, but are packed. This is why the verse right after the previous one warns us, “And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment.” (Al-Hijr 15:50) Thus, we must not indulge in acts that can lead to His painful punishment.

Islam is protected by Allah (swt) alone

Next, we learn about a miracle that was given to Muhammad (sa), “Truly! We will suffice you against the scoffers.” (Al-Hijr 15:95) Each time the scoffers mocked the Prophet (sa) – they were either punished for the words they uttered, or they were guided because of that. How were they guided? Each time someone decides to damage Islam by drawing caricatures, more people become interested in Islam and embrace it. There were many people during the time of the Prophet (sa), who wanted to harm him; but within moments, they were testifying that Muhammad (sa) is the Prophet of Allah (swt). While such incidents of blasphemy hurt us, we must remember Allah (swt) is the In-Charge here, He will hold the perpetrators accountable.

The matter that requires our attention is that when a non-Muslim disrespects Islam, we come out on the streets, carry out protestations, burn vehicles, damage property and gather all the energy to endure heat and discomfort. But when the call to prayer is given in the mosque, we don’t budge. We are so far away from our own religion, why criticise the non-Muslims? Reverts are much better than some of the born Muslims. May Allah (swt) guide us. Ameen.

It is natural for a tender-hearted person to be distressed by what’s happening around them. Allah (swt), the All-Knowing, knows the hearts of His slaves, “Indeed, We know that your breast is straitened at what they say.” (Al-Hijr 15:97) This was His assurance to Muhammad (sa).

Sunshine or rain – He is the domain

What should one do when he is suffering? He says, “So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” (Al-Hijr 15:98-99) Rain or shine, we must never forget the purpose of our creation. If things are good, praise and thank Allah (swt). If things are not so good, have patience, praise and thank Allah (swt). The Day of Judgement will settle all disputes. Prostrate whenever you can, because that is the closest we can get to Allah (swt).

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)


Pearls of Peace – Extracts from Surahs Yunus and Hud

pearlsSurah Yunus – named after prophet Yunus (as)

Before we begin the Surah, let’s read why is it important to study the Quran. Allah (swt) says, “O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’an, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.) for the believers.” (Yunus 10:57) Quran is Shifa (cure) for diseased hearts, a guidance and mercy for the believers. This is the power of the Word of Allah (swt). It cleanses one from spiritual ailments. 

The touch of affliction

Allah (swt) tests us so that we can turn to Him. It so happens that once the calamity is gone, we revert to our old ways. The One, Who brought us relief, is all capable of snatching our peace away and much more than that.

Why play with Allah (swt)?

“And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him! Thus it seems fair to the Musrifun that which they used to do.” (Yunus 10:12)

Wouldn’t you want to become one of the friends of Allah (swt)? Who wouldn’t? We would run for the opportunity. Allah (swt) says, “No doubt! Verily, the Auliya of Allah (i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allah and fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)), no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve , Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and used to fear Allah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds).For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world (i.e. righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allah, this is indeed the supreme success.” (Yunus 10:62-64)

How to become Allah’s (swt) friend?

To become a friend of Allah (swt) one needs to be a believer and have Taqwa (consciousness of Allah (swt)). One is a believer if he believes in Allah (swt), associates no partners with Him, and treads on the path of Muhammad (sa). Taqwa can be attained by honouring Allah’s (swt) commands and staying away from prohibitions.

Allah (swt) takes care of His friends; as we see in the stories of the Prophets (as). When the messengers called people to Allah (swt), and they refused to follow; there came a time when the messengers were compelled to invoke Allah’s (swt) wrath against the transgressors.

“And Moosa (Moses) said: Our Lord! You have indeed bestowed on Firaun (Pharaoh) and his chiefs splendour and wealth in the life of this world, our Lord! That they may lead men astray from Your Path. Our Lord! Destroy their wealth, and harden their hearts, so that they will not believe until they see the painful torment.” (Yunus 10:88)

What did Allah (swt) say in reply? He said, “Allah said: “Verily, the invocation of you both is accepted.” (Yunus 10:89)

Sometimes, we lack peace in our life because we harmed someone and perhaps, he invoked Allah (swt) against us. Abstain from mocking, hurting, or causing discomfort to anyone. Perhaps, they are friends of Allah (swt).

Surah Hud – named after prophet Hud (as) (the messenger sent to the people of ‘Ad)

People of ‘Ad were huge and dwelled in carved mountains. This Surah contains lessons for those, who shy away from working in the path of Allah (swt). They are worried about their sustenance and the worldly competition that distracts them. Shoo those Satanic whisperings away because Allah (swt) has promised sustenance. He says, “And no (moving) living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterus, grave, etc.). All is in a Clear Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz – the Book of Decrees with Allah).” (Hud 11:6) If He provides for an ant and a bird, would He not provide us? However, it does not mean to sit at home and do nothing. One has to work for a living, but should not make it the sole purpose of his lives. Work sincerely and ask Allah (swt) to open up avenues for you. Do not depend on your intellect alone. Depend on Allah (swt) instead.

Arrogance leads to destruction

Don’t be arrogant because arrogance was the cause of destruction of previous nations. Allah (swt) says, “They said: O Nuh (Noah)! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful.” (Hud 11:32) They were asking the Prophet of Allah (swt) to bring punishment upon them. And it was answered! Floods swallowed them up. Why invite trouble? Do not say, “Let me see what happens if I divert.” Stay on the straight path.

When one corrects someone, they are attacked by all kinds of statements as a rebuttal. Someone might say, “Who do you think you are?” Shuayb (as) faced a similar situation.“They said: O Shuayb! We do not understand much of what you say, and we see you a weak (man, it is said that he was a blind man) among us. Were it not for your family, we should certainly have stoned you and you are not powerful against us.” (Hud 11:91) What kind of a statement is that? May Allah (swt) protect us from arrogance. Ameen.

What is the cure to arrogance?

Do Shukr and acknowledge the supremacy of Allah (swt). Because whatever we have today is from Him. Let’s not become such people against whom others invoke Allah (swt). Allah (swt) gives us time to change our ways. But when we remain adamant; that is when His wrath descends. May He save us from destruction. Ameen.

Walk the talk

Having said that we should also not become of those who command others to do good and themselves do the entirely opposite. How will anyone listen to us when we don’t walk the talk? The Messengers were the first ones to act out a command. They submitted to Allah (swt) before reaching out to people. Shuayb (as) said, “And He said: “O my people! Tell me; if I have a clear evidence from my Lord, and He has given me a good sustenance from Himself (shall I corrupt it by mixing it with the unlawfully earned money). I wish not, in contradiction to you, to do that which I forbid you. I only desire reform so far as I am able, to the best of my power. And my guidance cannot come except from Allah, in Him I trust and unto Him I repent.” (Hud 11:88)

People who live disciplined lives and have good conduct, do not even need to give long lectures, shout and scream at people to get some work done. People see them and are motivated to follow.

May Allah (swt) bridge the gap between our speech and our actions and allow us to live conscious lives. Ameen.

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)

Pearls of Peace – An extract from Surah Anfal

Akoya_pearlQualities of a believer

Right in the beginning of this Surah, Allah (swt) describes the qualities of a true believer. He says, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).” (Al-Anfal 8:2) May Allah (swt) strengthen our Iman. Ameen.

These are those who say, “I have tried my best. Rest is all in the Hands of Allah (swt).” And they are content with that. Their other qualities are: “Who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and spend out of that We have provided them.” (Al-Anfal 8:3) We need to check ourselves. Do we have these qualities within us? If yes, then Allah (swt) says, “It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise).” (Al-Anfal 8:4) May He grant us Paradise and bless us with all the qualities of the true believers. Ameen.

Honouring claims and contracts

He then says, “O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him (i.e. Messenger Muhammad (sa)) while you are hearing. And be not like those who say: We have heard, but they hear not.” (Al-Anfal 8: 20-21) Several times during the day, we recite Surah Al-Fatihah, and beseech Allah (swt) to show us the right path. When the right path is shown to us, we turn away. Allah (swt) says when the message has reached you; when you have been informed what is right and what is wrong, then do not turn away. Do not become of those who claim we are the followers of Muhammad (sa). But when a command of Allah (swt) comes, they cannot be bothered to act upon it.

Once again we are reminded about the virtue of honouring contracts, Allah (swt) says, “O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know (the consequence).” (Al-Anfal 8:27) Marriage is a contract similar to business contract. By being Muslim, you naturally become an ambassador of Islam. Do not bring a bad repute to Islam because of your behaviour. Many people do not want to engage with the Muslims because of their deceit and clandestine behaviour.

Stay honest with entrusted responsibilities

“O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat (things entrusted to you, and all the duties which Allah has ordained for you).” (Al-Anfal 8:28) Your wealth and children are a test from Allah (swt). He can take them away whenever He desires. They are not yours; you have only been entrusted with their responsibility. He may never bless you with wealth and children; He may bless you with wealth but not give children; He may bless you with children but deprive you of wealth or He may give them both to you and then take them away during your lifetime or after you are gone. This is a great reminder to not get attached to that which in reality belongs to Allah (swt). He can snatch it any moment.

All belongs to Allah (swt)

When an attachment is snatched away, a person loses his peace of mind and contentment. He complains and grieves for his loss. He utters ungrateful words. And when that happens his Iman begins to diminish. May Allah (swt) strengthen us and help us accept that we will suffer loss in this world.

Taqwa – The key to right decisions

In life, we are faced with miscellaneous decision-making. We wish we had a counsellor that we could consult with; Allah (swt) says, “O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allah, He will grant you Furqan (a criterion to judge between right and wrong, or Makhraj, i.e. making a way for you to get out from every difficulty), and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you, and Allah is the Owner of the Great Bounty.” (Al-Anfal 8:29) What do we learn from this? The only thing required to make the right decision is Taqwa. If we are conscious of Allah (swt), He will grant us the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Insha’Allah.

It’s either my way or the highway

This brings us to another important matter – in fact a great Fitnah of our times. Everyone is disagreeing with the other. The ideology is: if you do not follow my belief, then you have clearly gone astray. This continuous fighting has divided the Ummah immensely. Many people don’t come near the religion because they cannot understand who is right and who has deviated. Allah (swt) says, “And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.)” (Al-Anfal 8:46)

The enemies are rejoicing as the Muslims fight among themselves. Let us reflect on our behaviour, be forgiving and reduce the distances between the Ummah.

We notice that in the Quran, the reminders for prayer and obligatory charity are frequently mentioned. It is because reminders benefit the believers. Each time we are reminded, we learn something new.

Consistency is the key

Allah (swt) loves those acts of worship which are done consistently. Doing them strengthens our Iman. And abandoning them can have serious implications on our heart’s condition. If you are content with worshipping and obeying Allah (swt), then you are among those who have understood their purpose in life; and know where they are heading to.

Test or punishment?

As Allah (swt) says in verse 53 of Surah Al-Anfal that He will not change a favour which He has bestowed upon His people; unless they change what was given to them. When that happens, then people deserve the gifts to be taken away. Having said that, we should remember that sometimes taking away of the favours is a test, instead of a punishment. How can one distinguish between a test and a punishment? Your heart’s condition will tell you. If your heart remains content and you say “Alhamdulillah” even in adversity, then Allah (swt) intends to increase your status by this test. On the other hand, if a calamity distances you from Allah (swt), then it could be His punishment. May Allah (swt) forgive and protect us. Ameen.

How can we nurture contentment in our hearts?

Let go of disputes and disagreements and forgive people. Look at what Allah (swt) says about confrontation with enemies, “But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Al-Anfal 8:61) Allah (swt) is asking us to make peace with the enemies if they give up fighting too.

Opt for a ceasefire; this initiative will bring you peace

If there’s someone who has had an estranged relationship with you, and he now wants to mend it, then hasten to make peace with him. It is a sign of a good believer that he is the first one to apologize and forgive. Keep forgiving others and keep your heart calm. You might want to deal with that person differently, but do forgive them. “And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allah is All-Sufficient for you. He it is Who has supported you with His Help and with the believers.” (Al-Anfal 8:62)

If they deceive you after making peace, then make Dua for them instead. Because Dua has the power to alter conditions. And in this we have the best example of Prophet (sa). When two greatest enemies of Islam were creating hurdles for him, he made Dua for the softness of their hearts so that either of the two would come and work for Islam. Reflect on this Dua.

Truly Muhammad (sa) was the mercy for mankind. Within moments we hear Umar ibn Al- Khattab (ra) has embraced Islam. Subhan’Allah! See the power of Dua? One of the mightiest opponents of Islam became one of the strongest proponents of Islam. A seemingly impossible situation was made possible. May Allah (swt) grant us all the strength that Umar (ra) was blessed with. Ameen. Continue making Dua and you will witness the fruit.

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)