Love and loyalty for Allah (swt) – Divine legacy of Prophet Ibrahim (as)

maqam“And Allah did take Ibrahim (Abraham) as a Khaleel (an intimate friend)” (An-Nisa 4:125)

All of us are going to leave our footsteps and traces behind in this world. And when we die, we will be remembered and judged according to those traces. They can be either good or bad. That will be the legacy we leave behind.

Surely our legacy should be powerful and inspiring. But what should that be? What can we do that will outdo other common legacies? How about delving into one of the most brilliant legacies ever left behind? The legacy of Ibrahim (as). For the Quran says,

“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Abraham and those with him” (Al-Mumtahinah 60:4)

People leave behind their stories which the world remembers and cheers upon. But, the legacy we are going to mention here is unique. It is unique, simply because, it is not only a legacy of power and a great vision- but more importantly-  it is a legacy of loyalty and pure heart-felt love; a legacy of loving Allah (swt).

Ibrahim (as) was a man of vision and deep insight. He thought of not only his immediate children, but rather, his entire progeny. His concern for their spiritual well being and his constant prayers to Allah (swt) depict his deep vision; the vision of making pure Tawheed stay alive in his descendants.

Spiritually enriched legacy of Ibrahim (as)

1. Pure love for Allah (swt) and living La ilaha illa Allah

“Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

Allah (swt) praised his friend in His Book, the Quran,

Verily, Ibrahim (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation, obedient to Allah, Hanifa (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and those who joined partners with Allah).”(An-Nisa 16:120)

Due to his love for Allah (swt), he found what we all keep looking for all through our lives; and, it is the most hard-to-snag things of all – peace!

1. Devotion.
2. True in faith.
3. No shirk (which means absolute Tawheed)
The pure concept of Tawheed etched in ones heart + devotion + truthfulness in faith = 100% pure love for Allah (swt) and Him alone.

This was Ibrahim (as)!
2. Attainment of peace through struggle and sacrifice

Strangely, if you see Ibrahim’s (as) life in a quick glance, you see no fruits- because what you find is, either struggle or sacrifice. But, analyzing much more deeply, you find contentment behind those struggles; and extreme love behind those sacrifices. Due to his love for Allah (swt), he found what we all keep looking for all through our lives; and, it is the most hard-to-snag things of all – peace!

Contrary to what Ibrahim (as) had for Allah (swt) – i.e. pure love and firm belief in Tawheed – what we have is another story. Simply put, we do not have that peace in our lives; we cringe at the very thought of separation with our loved ones. We cannot even begin to imagine the idea of sacrificing something small (like to quit smoking) for Allah (swt) – let alone something big! Our lives revolve around obsessive love for our spouses, crazy children-centered homes, overwhelming desire for a friend, excessive love for wealth, extra hope pinned in some human being…
You can go on and on as the list is pretty much endless.

We seek for love in all the wrong places, and hence, come back heartbroken.

Fault with our theory of love

We seek for love in all the wrong places, and hence, come back heartbroken. The moment we love anything more than our Creator, that very thing we love more becomes the cause of our greatest pain. But, Ibrahim (as) found love in its right place with Allah (swt), and that’s why, he had “Qalb-e-Saleem” – a sound heart.

We profess with our tongues that we believe in La ilaha illa Allah, but our actions seldom actualize the Kalimah. We claim we love Allah (swt) the most, but fail to give Him priority every time.(You delay Fajr prayer for sleep, you miss Dhuhr for work, Isha for the World Cup, take interest based loans to please your wife etc.)

We are taken over by the love of this world, and that leaves us with less or no room for the love of the Creator in our lives. The famous novel “Twilight” teaches us obsessive love for humans- which involves loving the creation more than the Creator; breaking all the boundaries of Halal and Haram in the name of love for some other creature.

Nowadays, other forms of love are creeping in a Muslim’s heart.  Muslims need to make the love of Allah (swt) superior to all other love ideologies.

Ibrahim (as) found love in its right place with Allah (swt), and that’s why, he had “Qalb-e-Saleem” – a sound heart.

Know that people will continue their lives when you die. Indeed, when you die they will stop calling you by your name: they will ask, “Where is the Janazah? Where is the body?” Once you’re buried, they will refer to you as “his grave”; and will say, “I’m going to visit the grave of so and so.”
Hence, do not sacrifice your relationship with your Lord for the sake of your family and friends.
Focus on a relationship that is for eternity: your relationship with Allah (swt).

Look at this profound piece of writing:

“Allah (swt) has decreed that he who loves something other than Him will surely be tormented by it; that one who fears something other than Allah (swt) will come under its control; that one who involves himself with something to the exclusion of Allah (swt), will find it a source of grief; that one who prefers another over Allah (swt) will not be blessed therein; and that one who tries to please a fellow creature by anything displeasing Allah (swt), will without fail, bring His anger upon himself.”
(Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyya)

[To be continued Insha Allah]

Words of the Wise – Luqman’s Advice to His Son

luqman's advice to his sonLuqman, the wise, is known in history for his understanding, knowledge, and eloquence. As the Quran states: “And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.)…” (Luqman 31:12) He was a righteous servant of Allah (swt). His full name was Luqman bin Anqa bin Sadun, and he was a dark-skinned slave from Ethiopia. He was a carpenter by profession.

The name of Luqman’s son was Tharan. To Luqman, he was also the closest and most beloved of all people, who deserved to be given the best knowledge. Even today, Luqman’s wise counsel for Tharan is quoted and reflected upon for guidance. What was so dazzling about Luqman’s advice for his son? And how many of us impart the same to our offspring today?

“…Luqman said to his son, when he was advising him: ‘O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.’” (Luqman 31:13)

This wise father attached his son to the mighty source of man’s ultimate success – His Lord. Luqman knew that if Tharan’s relationship with his Creator was firmly positioned, he would have few worries left. He also clearly stated the supreme oppression that man can commit, which is to associate partners with Allah (swt), and grant honour and obedience which is due to Him (swt) to others who are mere creations.

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” (Luqman 31:14)

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[Hadeeth Commentary] Our Quest to Paradise

hadith2

Mu’adh bin Jabal, said:

I said:”O Messenger of Allah (swt), tell me of a deed which will take me to Paradise and will keep me away from the Hell-fire.”

He said: “You have asked me about a great matter, yet it is indeed an easy matter for him to whom Allah (swt) Almighty makes it easy. (It is) that you worship Allah (swt) without associating anything with Him, that you perform the prayers, pay the zakat, fast during Ramadan, and that you make the pilgrimage to the House.”

Then he said: ”Shall I not guide you to the gates of goodness? Fasting is a shield; charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire; and a man’s prayer in the middle of the night.”

Then he recited: “Their sides forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knoweth what is kept hidden for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” (As-Sajdah 32:16-17)

Then he said: “Shall I not also tell you about the peak of the matter, its pillar, and its topmost part?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (swt).”

He said: “The head of the matter is Islam (submission to Allah (swt)), the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is Jihad.”

Then he said: “And shall I not tell you of the controlling of all that?”

I said:” Yes, O Messenger of Allah (swt).”

So he took hold of his tongue and said: “Restrain this.”

I said: “O Prophet of Allah (swt), will we be held accountable for what we say?”

He said: “May your mother be bereft of you! Is there anything that topples people on their faces (or he said, on their noses) into the Hell-fire other than the jests of their tongues?” (Tirmidhi)

 

This Hadeeth is related by Maudh bin Jabal himself. Maudh asked Prophet Muhammad (sa) a question and we note that the main concern of the Sahabah was to go to Paradise. Maudh bin Jabal not only wanted information but he also wanted to put it into practice. When you acquire the knowledge, your main concern should be to go to Paradise and be away from Hellfire.

Sometimes people seek knowledge to feel good, but we should always seek knowledge in order to make ourselves closer to Allah (swt).We need to look within our hearts and ask, ‘Why am I learning?’ The signs that show you are not learning for the sake of Allah (swt) is when you are frustrated, impatient and hasty – this is when you are learning to boost your ego. But when you learn for the sake of Allah (swt); you know that Allah (swt) will appreciate your learning.

In the light of Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) response

1.Worship Him Alone

People usually make their desires their god. Allah’s (swt) Majesty demands that He be worshiped alone, without any rivals. Allah (swt) is the Most Rich, He doesn’t accept it if we associate anyone with Him. We cause our own destruction when we are a slave of someone else or something else besides Allah (swt). Allah (swt) does not need our worship; He will leave us with our Shirk.

  • Shirk is the greatest thing Allah (swt) forbade us from.
  • Tawheed is the greatest thing Allah (swt) commanded us to do.

So don’t make the knowledge a desire; acquire knowledge to draw yourself closer to Allah (swt).

2. Establish Prayer

This advice is being given to one of the Sahabah, not to someone new to Islam. Our struggle and aim should be to perfect our Salat. We need Allah’s (swt) help to fulfill  this task. We should always feel that our last prayer was not so perfect and  hence try to  improve the next one.

3. Pay Zakat

This is the only way to purify our money/wealth. It is one of the rights of people over us. Understand that paying Zakat is an obligation- just like Salat and fasting.

4. Fasting is a Shield

The Prophet (sa) fasted every Monday and Thursday and in the months of Muharram and Shaban.  He used to fast on the white days or the white nights (i.e. the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month), and the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. We have been ordained  to  fast in the month of Ramadan. This is important as fasting teaches us obedience to Allah (swt) and puts us in a state of calmness and piety.

5. Pilgrimage to Makkah

To acquire Paradise, we must do what Allah (swt) wants us to do. All the obligations discussed above are the minimum what we can do to enter  Paradise. Quantity is not important – it is there to satisfy ourselves. But Allah (swt) wants the quality. If we get these five pillars right; we will enter Paradise.

picture2The Gates of Paradise

There are a variety of doors – you can do one, two or all three. When Allah (swt) opens the doors of good deeds grab them, stick to them. Everybody is unique and the path you choose to Paradise is also unique. You must not rely on one particular deed to take you to Paradise. Whatever Allah (swt) makes easy for you; you should do, and ask Allah (swt) to accept it.

Charity can be a smile, caring for somebody, carrying something for somebody, the best Sadaqah is giving money for the sake of Allah (swt).

Praying in the depths of night means the beginning of the last third of the night. According to Ibn Rajab in 40 Hadeeth of An-Nawawi, three types of people whose prayer gets readily accepted, are:

  1. Those who wake up during the night for Dhikr, Dua, or perform Tahajud.
  2. Those who wait for the Isha prayer and do not go to sleep until they perform Isha.
  3. Those who wake up for the Fajr prayer.

Blessings of Jihad

Jihad is a blessing that allows us to become closer to Allah (swt). Scholars say that Jihad is the greatest act of worship and the most important deed after the obligatory acts. Through Jihad, Islam was protected and preserved and became dominant, where other nations lived under its rule peacefully with their rights maintained. (40 Hadeeth of An-Nawawi)

Mind Your Tongue

Restraining and controlling our speech is the most important act to achieve good. The one who controls his tongue controls all his affairs. If we cannot control what we say, the result will be chaos and Fitnah like in the time of Caliph Usman (ra).

Hence this Hadeeth provides evidence that good deeds can surely become our ticket to Paradise.