Path to Jannah; Path of Knowledge!

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‘Dwelling in a magnificent palace made up of gold and silver bricks. Reclining on jeweled couches upholstered with rich brocade. Amidst lush green gardens with abundance of fruits at an easy reach. Rivers flowing underneath. Living with chaste and bashful spouses, so beautiful as though they were rubies and corals. Served by energetic youths with goblets of pure wine that will neither pain your head nor inebriate you.’

Subhan’Allah, what a royal reception! What sheer fascination!

That is where the ultimate success lies. That is the true definition of victory according to Allah (swt): Jannah!

“..And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).” (Al-Imran 3:185)

Do you really crave for Jannah as you crave for worldly wealth, property and success? Are you really eager for it? And, do you actually want to know the shortest and easiest route to getting there?

The Messenger of Allah (sa) said:

“For he who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah (swt) will make the path of Jannah easy. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon over the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the prophets who bequeath neither Dinars nor Dirhams but only knowledge; he who acquires it has, in fact, acquired an abundant portion.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi) What an honour and prestige!

There are innumerable paths to get to this Land of Eternal Bliss; and one such path is that of seeking knowledge.

Do you really crave for Jannah as you crave for worldly wealth, property and success? Are you really eager for it? And, do you actually want to know the shortest and easiest route to getting there?

Knowledge is the cornerstone of all good; it enkindles deeds that are based on the commandments of Allah (swt) and the instructions of the Prophet (sa). Therefore, those who have knowledge are not similar to those who do not.

Hence, every Muslim must ingrain in his mind a desire to seek knowledge as our beloved Prophet (sa) said:

“Seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” (Tirmidhi)

When a servant of Allah (swt) is well-versed about the knowledge of His Deen, he recognizes and truly appreciates the creation of Allah (swt); thus, wholeheartedly acknowledging His Oneness. This, in return, generates in his heart a fear, which is akin to a sincere gratitude and love of his Lord.

“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah…” (Fatir 35:28)

The Messenger of Allah (sa) constantly praised the seekers of knowledge amongst his companions. He would make Dua for a person indulged in this route. Ibn Masood (rta) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) say:

“May Allah (swt) freshen the affairs of a person who hears something from us and communicates it to others exactly as he has heard it (i.e., both the meaning and the words), for it may be that the recipient of knowledge understands it better than the one who has heard it.” (Tirmidhi)

He (sa) further said:

“Envy is permitted only in two cases: A man whom Allah (swt) gives wealth, and he disposes of it rightfully; and a man to whom Allah (swt) gives knowledge which he applies and teaches.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

When a person dies, his chances of attaining rewards come to a halt except for three things.

The Messenger of Allah (sa) said:

“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ongoing charity); knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).” (Muslim)

“Knowledge which is beneficial” refers to knowledge that is imparted to others. The deceased continues to earn rewards for the knowledge he acquired as long as those whom he taught implement it and transmit it to others.

We need the knowledge of Quran to perfect our Ibadah. We need the knowledge of Quran to establish truth and justice; freedom and dignity.  We need it to get ourselves closer to our Lord, know His true value, and worship Him in the best possible way.

Then only may we be amongst the inheritors of Al-Firdaws Al-Ala, Insha’Allah.

Qualities of the People of Jannah – Part 4: Continuous Tazkiya

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“Who are punctual in the payment of Zakah”

In this context, Zakah does not refer to the fixed portion of money that is given as a Farz. We need to keep in mind that this is a Makkan Surah, and the commandment for Zakah was revealed in Madinah.

Here Zakah literally means ‘purification and development’ – to help something grow smoothly. Therefore, in this context, it denotes self purification, which is known as Tazkiya of one’s self.  Thus, a believer is the one constantly involved in self purification of his soul. The previous quality discussed (the avoidance of Laghv) was directed towards saving one’s energy by abstaining from negative and useless things. Tazkiya, on the other hand, means analyzing yourself and focusing on how to add good deeds in your life, which cannot be done without removing Laghv activities first. Both these activities go side by side. We need to do Tazkiya regularly for analyzing where we stand – how our worthless activities and bad qualities can be replaced with more virtuous ones.

We can understand this through a simple example: if we want to plant a farm, first, we have to clear the field, tear the soil and then only we can plant the seeds. Likewise, the farmer needs to play an active role in protecting his farm against all kinds of dangers, such as winds, drought and wild animals. A Momin undergoes a similar process of self purification (Tazkiya). The believer first shakes himself, analyses his activities, eliminates the worthless time wasters from his life, and then he is ready to start his new journey of life with righteous deeds and worthy goals.


However, it is important not to abandon the previous good deeds, when adding new deeds in life. A Momin wants to plant a garden of good deeds and not just one flower, so as we adopt new righteous acts, we must not neglect our previous good deeds. Allah (swt) loves deeds that are done constantly.

Bukhari and Muslim have narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “The best loved deeds to Allah (swt) are the ones that are continuous, even if they are not very many.”

We must also keep in mind that it is not forbidden to earn for Duniya or enjoy the blessing of this world, but one must stay within the Shariah, which is the essence of doing Tazkiya.

(Read the introductory article to the series here.)

Qualities of the People of Jannah – Part 2: Attain Khushu in Salah!


“Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive.” (Al-Muminoon 23:1-2)

Salah is one of the main pillars of Islam and the most rewarding act. It delineates the difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. In order to reap maximum benefits from Salah it is imperative to perform it with humility. Read on to find out how one can attain Khushu and in return, the pleasure of Allah (swt).

The Arabic word used for humility in Salah (swt) is Khashi’oon, which is from the root word Khushu which means to bow down and express humility. It is a condition of the heart as well as the body. Khushu of the heart is to fear Allah (swt) and stand in awe of His powerful being while Khushu of the body is to bow down one’s head in humility and lower one’s gaze and voice in His presence. In Salah, one is required to show Khushu of both the body and the heart.

It has been reported that when the Prophet (sa) once saw a person offering his prayer as well as playing with his beard, he said: “If he had Khushu in his heart, his body would have shown it.” (Hakim)

How to perform Salah with Khushu – a few pointers

  1. Learn the meaning of Salah (the meaning of the Arabic text) so that you know what you are reciting.
  2. Learn new chapters and their meanings that you can recite in your Salah.
  3. Prepare yourself for Salah by quietly listening to the call for prayer. Then perform proper ablution and cover your Satar.
  4. Remember that Salah is a dialogue between you and Allah. Allah (swt) is not only listening to your prayer, but replying and rewarding you for every verse you utter.
  5. Pray in solitude.
  6. Avoid looking sideways, folding or shaking off dust, yawning or any such action.
  7. Prayer should be offered in a relaxed and composed manner. One should not hurry.
  8. Worship Allah as if you see Him. It is established in a Hadeeth that Gabriel asked the Prophet (sa): “Tell me about excellence in faith.” He replied: “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.” (Bukhari) This implies that the worshipper engages in his worship with an acute awareness of the fact that he is presenting himself before his Lord (swt) as though he sees Him. He will be absolutely sincere in his worship and his heart will be full of humility, awe, and fear.
  9. Remember that Allah (swt) is watching you as long as you pray with concentration.
  10. Convince yourself that this is your last Salah! What would be the condition of the heart if we pray keeping this in mind. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “When you stand up to pray, perform your prayer as if it were your last…” (Ahmad)
  11. It is important to remember the saying of the Prophet (sa): “If a man performs two
    Rakats of Salah without the distraction of any worldly thought, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

If we really want to check our faith and level of Khushu, we should look at our Salah. If our Salah is stopping us from sins, this means there is Khushu. However, if we continue sinning after regularly performing prayers, it is clear indication that our heart is deprived of Khushu. It is mentioned in the Qur’an:

“…Verily Salah prevents from Al-Fahsha (great sins of every kind and illegal sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (disbelief, polytheism and every kind of evil wicked deed)…” (Al-Ankabut 29:45)

Your improved and more disciplined life will in turn help the quality of your prayer to increase even more. The two should continuously reinforce each other.

Read the introductory article to the series here.