All messed up: There’s more to the picture

lightIt was early in the morning when X looked out of the large wooden window she was sitting in front of. The night that had just passed was something she feared would come again. Her room had already started to illuminate with the light of the rising sun, but she thought it was something she wouldn’t be able to experience in life. Things quite dark had happened to her, and she thought there was no one to help her stand up again. All this made her wonder if she could choose not to live.

What if in the midst of what X was going through, something could convince her not to do so? What if there was something more to the picture? What if there was something that could overpower her worries to finally leave her? If you think you had been having the same thoughts as X lately, for sure you need to know how the religion of Allah (swt) answers all such questions.

1. Why did it happen to me?

This life is a test, so we must always be ready to receive tribulations. True happiness will be granted to us, Insha’Allah, if we get past these tests with good grades; and we’ll be motivated to do that only if we desire for Jannah. In short, these trials are our chances to reach Jannah. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa) has already told why Allah (swt) afflicts His servants with trials.

It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (rta) that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “If Allah (swt) wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari)

2. Khayr is there, look for it.

Each event that happens in our lives leaves us with some understanding which we couldn’t have acquired if it didn’t happen the way it did. Especially, the bad ones when pass, strengthen us to face bigger challenges. The finest steel does become what it is, after going through the hottest fire! A bird does learn to fly when its mother pushes it out of the nest. Until this doesn’t happen, it never knows it can fly. At the time of hardship, we can’t exactly see where the Khayr is. But, we all know our knowledge is limited, while indeed nothing is hidden from Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Al-Baqarah 2:216)

3. You have the cure, use it!

What you have been given as a test by Allah (swt) is something that you can bear. This is Allah’s (swt) blessing on each one of us, which we should always be thankful for. You just have to gather yourself again by keeping in mind what Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)


4. Realized? Time to repent!

Many a times, people feel stuck because they know they’ve done wrong, and that it is the reason why they feel devastated. But, what they forget is that their Lord is Ar-Rahman. His forgiveness is beyond our imagination. Keeping this in mind, there remains no need to try to shut doors which have already been kept open!

Abu Sa’id ibn Sa’d ibn Malik ibn Sinan al-Khudri (rta) reported that the Prophet of Allah (sa) said: “Among those before you there was a man who killed ninety-nine people. He asked who was the most knowledgeable man in the world and was directed to a monk. He went to him and said that he had killed ninety-nine people and was repentance possible for him? The monk said, ‘No,’ so he killed him and made it a hundred. Then, he again asked who was the most knowledgeable man on earth and was directed to a man of knowledge. He said that he had killed a hundred people, so was repentance possible for him? The man said, ‘Yes, who can come between you and repentance? Go to such-and-such a land where there are some people worshipping Allah (swt, the Almighty. Worship Allah (swt) with them and do not return to your own country. It is an evil place.’ So he went and then, when he was half way there, he died. The angels of mercy and angels of punishment started to argue about him. The angels of mercy said, ‘He came in repentance, turning with his heart to Allah (swt) Almighty.’ The angels of punishment said, ‘He has not done a single good action.’ An angel came in a human form and they appointed him arbitrator between them. He said, ‘Measure the distance between the two countries and whichever one he is nearer to, that is the one he belongs to.’ They measured and found he was nearer to the land to which he was going, so the angels of mercy took him.” (Riyad As-Salihin)

5. Call Him, He is never engaged!

It takes us little time to realize how merciful our Lord is. Even though, He tests us with trials throughout our lives, He has blessed us with various ways to call Him for help. One may call on Him at any part of the day, but to call is what must be done!

6. Please Him, not them!

Many problems arise when an individual is unable to live up to other people’s expectations. Each one of us comes across numerous people in life each of whom has different likes and dislikes. No matter how hard a person tries, at the end of the day criticism still remains. This happens when one forgets what he was born for. To be precise, pleasing people was never our duty, but to only obey Allah (swt). This doesn’t mean we have to do nothing with people. But, whatever dealing that has to be with them is only what Allah (swt) has ordered us to do.

7. No pill, no kill- just chill!

Many may think committing suicide means putting an end to problems, but in reality it doesn’t.  Rather it creates problems even in the afterlife-the life which one will live forever.

It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it, and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.” (Bukhari)

Lessons of Wisdom from Khawlah bint Thalabah (ra)

lotus109mThe Prophet (sa) gave glad tiding to Khawlah (ra), and communicated to her the Words of Allah (swt). As relieved as she was, Khawlah (ra) replied that the ransom could not be paid by her husband. He was too poor to free slaves or feed sixty needy people, and his age did not allow him to fast every day for sixty days.

As they were waiting for a solution, a big basket of dates was presented, Khawlah (ra) said: O Messenger of Allah (sa)! I would like to present this basket of dates on behalf of my husband. The Prophet (sa) appreciated her kindness, and complimented that it would be her favour on Aws (ra).

Lessons: We hear tales of husbands helping their wives, relieving them of their financial burdens, but little is heard of women helping their husbands. Khadijah (ra) was one such woman who helped her husband when he was not financially sound, and she did so beautifully. She made no condescending remarks, and was generous with her money.

We see the same in the story of Khawlah (ra). While no mention is made of how she bought the basket of dates, but assuming she had the financial strength, she did not hesitate to spend money on behalf of her husband. Many a times, women are dependent on their husbands. Our excuse for not giving in the way of Allah (swt) is that – our husbands do not allow, or we do not have enough to give. Yet, when it comes to buying an item of home décor, or when the new lawn season arrives- we successfully extort money from our husbands.

Khawlah (ra) teaches us the etiquette of handling dispute. It is not compulsory that the one who has wronged must be the one who fixes it. The grieved party too can make amends.

Khawlah (ra) teaches us the etiquette of handling dispute. It is not compulsory that the one who has wronged must be the one who fixes it. The grieved party too can make amends.

A Wise Woman

Khawlah (ra) was a wise woman. We learn this not only from how she handled her trial, but also from the advice that she gave Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra).

One day, she met Umar (ra) in a marketplace. He greeted her and asked about her well-being. Khawlah (ra) replied to his greeting, and reminded him that she knew him since he was a young boy who grazed sheep. Allah (swt) favoured him and appointed him as the Leader of the Faithful.

She then advised him: “O Umar! Fear Allah (swt) with regard to people. Remember! He who fears the threat of punishment in the hereafter realises that death is not far away, and the one who fears death is afraid of wasting time in this life. He who is certain about accountability remains fearful of punishment.”

The person standing next to Umar (ra) reminded her that she was speaking to the Leader of the Faithful. Umar (ra) stopped the man and said that he was speaking to the woman whose plea was heard in the heavens above. How could he not hear her while being on earth?

Lessons: One thing that continues to inspire me about the Seerah is the etiquette of the Prophet (sa) and his Companions (ra). They had not been to any elite schools or travelled extensively, yet they were equipped with etiquette. The parents ensured their toddlers attended the study circles so that they could be groomed. One tip for gaining wisdom is to sit with the wise. Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra) and Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra), both young lads at the time of the Prophet (sa), were the wisest men of their time. They were not deprived of the company of the adults because of their age; rather the elders encouraged their participation.

As we are concerned about finding the best schools for our children, and all the best things of this world, let us not forget the Adaab (etiquette).

As we are concerned about finding the best schools for our children, and all the best things of this world, let us not forget the Adaab (etiquette). Education and etiquette go hand in hand.

In her advice to Umar (ra), Khawlah (ra) reminds us to not lose our focus – the success in the hereafter. It is the success in the hereafter that truly determines who is successful. In our roles and responsibilities, we must fear Allah (swt). We should avoid negligence as well as tyranny. The fear of accountability should keep us grounded and in check. The fact that each day we are getting close to our death, should motivate us to not waste our time.

May Allah (swt) reform our matters, and allow us to adopt beautiful etiquette, Ameen.

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

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Lessons of Calmness from Khawlah bint Thalabah (ra)

calmseaKhawlah Bint Thalabah (ra) is one of the companions about whom verses were revealed.

Khawlah (ra) and her husband had reached old age. If maturity and wisdom are the gifts of age and experiences, irritability and illnesses are the bane. With age, Aws Ibn As-Samit (ra) had become short-tempered and he would utter words without meaning them.

One day, he told his wife that she was to him like his mother’s back. Zihar, back in the days, meant divorce. Her husband’s words grieved Khawlah (ra). She had been married to him for years, and had birthed many children. She felt it was unfair to divorce a woman when she was of age and unattractive.  Without responding to the husband’s unjust statement, Khawlah (ra) took the matter to someone she thought could help her. The Prophet (sa) listened to her complaint and instructed her to fear Allah (swt) and consult her husband. Khawlah (ra) refused to leave until Allah (swt) responded to her plea. Just then, Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) (as) descended and brought revelation:

“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her (Khawlah Bint Tha’labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Samit), and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer. Those among you who make their wives unlawful (Az-Zihar) to them by saying to them ‘You are like my mother’s back.’ They cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie. And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

And those who make unlawful to them (their wives) (by Az-Zihar) and wish to free themselves from what they uttered, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave before they touch each other. That is an admonition to you (so that you may not return to such an ill thing). And Allah is All-Aware of what you do. And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And for him who is unable to do so, he should feed sixty of Miskin (poor). That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allah and His Messenger.

These are the limits set by Allah. And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.” (Al-Mujadilah 58:1-4)

Lessons: We see that when Khawlah (ra) is hurt by her husband’s words, she neither argues with him nor shares the private family matters with anyone. Rather, she took her case to the one who could guide her and provide a solution. What happens when we face a conflict? Are we able to tame our temper, or do we come back with an intense response? Are we able to keep our domestic disputes to ourselves, or do we share them with anyone and everyone that we come across? Children, domestic help, parents, neighbours, friends and colleagues, almost everyone knows that the couple had a fight.

This ‘certainty’ is what is missing from our supplications. We make Dua but with an inattentive heart. We are sure that our Dua will not be answered; we give up and turn to people

What do we look for when we share our matters with others? Is it to get it off our chests, gain sympathy or to resolve the issue?

Invocation with conviction

Look at the words that Allah (swt) used in the revelation. He said, Certainly, Allah has heard the speech. This ‘certainty’ is what is missing from our supplications. We make Dua but with an inattentive heart. We are sure that our Dua will not be answered; we give up and turn to people. Or sometimes, we turn to people first, and make Allah (swt) our last resort.

At another place in the Quran, Allah (swt) says, “I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor).” (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

Yaqeen (conviction) is the key ingredient for our supplications to be answered. When you make Dua be present in the moment. Fill your Duas with emotions without going overboard. You don’t have to scream because Allah (swt) is the nearest to us. He hears even a whisper or the thought that we hold in our hearts. Do not be hasty with your Duas, for He responds in His timing and in His Own way. His wisdom is incomprehensible, but there is goodness in it; a lesson that we must learn.

Inspect with respect

There was no shouting, no wailing and no usage of bad words. It was because she did not intent to get the matter off her chest, rather she sought solution.

Aisha (ra) narrates that she was sitting in the same room as the complainant, yet some words escaped her ears. From the Seerah, we know the Prophet (sa) did not live in a spacious house. His house was only a room added to the Prophet’s Mosque. Can you imagine how calmly Khawlah (ra) presented her case? There was no shouting, no wailing and no usage of bad words. It was because she did not intent to get the matter off her chest, rather she sought solution. She came to the Prophet (sa) only to find out what the couple was to do in such a situation, and how they could make amends.

Allah (swt) calls husband and wife, a clothing. Like a piece of clothing, they are to adorn one another and conceal flaws. This is an intimate relationship where the two people living this close are better aware of each other’s shortcomings than anyone else. Allah (swt) instructs them to screen the flaws and reveal the strengths. They are not supposed to divulge their secrets or publicize their disputes, not even to their parents, children and siblings. One’s spouse should not be the topic of discussion in a friends’ gathering.

May Allah (swt) allow us to honour our contracts and be respectful to one another, Ameen.

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Lessons of Wisdom from Hind bint Amr (ra)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe was the sister of Abdullah ibn Amr (ra) who was the father of the famous Hadeeth narrator Jabir ibn Abdullah (ra). Her husband Amr ibn Jamuh (ra) was the leader of Yathrib (old name of Madinah) and was from the nobles of the Ansar (the helpers of Madinah).

Conversion to Islam

Hind (ra) converted to Islam along with her sons through the Dawah efforts of Musab ibn Umair (ra). Her husband, like other ignorant leaders, had installed an idol in his house that he used to worship and sacrifice animals for. One day, he purchased a sturdy piece of wood and instructed a woodworker to craft an idol for him. This idol, named Manat, was dressed in fine clothing and pleasantly perfumed.

Like many early Muslims, Hind (ra) kept her conversion a secret. She was waiting for an appropriate time to break the news to her husband. Her sons regularly attended the gatherings of Musab ibn Umair (ra), and later shared the knowledge of the Quranic verses with their mother. Amr (ra) remained unaware of what was happening in his house. He only began to worry when more and more people entered Islam. He then felt insecurity for his family. He instructed Hind (ra) to keep a close watch on their sons that they do not meet the man from Makkah, and get spoilt by his teachings. Hind (ra) assured him to not worry and to keep his heart free from apprehensions about them.

While at one end, the father was instructing the mother to keep a close watch on the sons; on the other end, the sons worried for their father’s faith. Muadh ibn Amr (ra) shared his concerns with a close friend and they plotted a plan to get the father off idol worshipping. It was decided that Muadh ibn Jabl (ra) will help the brothers in throwing the idol in a trash can. Amr (ra) was fast asleep when this plan was carried out. The next day when he woke up, as per his routine, he entered the room where the idol was kept. Not finding it there he vehemently demanded where it was. The mother and the sons replied that they had no idea where it had gone.

Amr (ra) went out of the house and fetched the idol. Seeing it lying on trash, he brought it home, cleaned it and applied fragrance. He vowed to take revenge from the culprit. The mother and the sons looked at Amr (ra) in disbelief- was he really talking to a piece of wood? He was apologising to it while it could neither hear him nor speak.

He then brought a sword and hung it around Manat’s neck. He told the idol that it was for its defence, in case it was attacked again.

When the father had gone to sleep, the sons again, with the help of Muadh ibn Jabl (ra), picked up the idol and threw it in trash. Second time they tied a dead dog to the wooden piece and returned home.

The next day, when Amr (ra) woke up and did not find Manat in its room, he again screamed and shouted and went out to find the idol. When he saw that it was again lying on trash and a dead dog was wrapped around its neck, and that the idol did not defend itself, Amr (ra) conceded that the idol did not deserve his respect. It was content with its own dishonour. He left the idol on the trash and returned home feeling estranged.

She was not only doing Tarbiyah of her sons that they should be respectful towards their father, but also did not spoil the home environment.

Seeing Amr (ra) anguished, the family inquired what the matter was. Amr (ra) did not reply to the question. He sighed deeply and asked the mother if she had been keeping a close watch on the sons. The mother assured him that the sons had acted upon her instructions. However, she quickly added that their son Muadh (ra) had a meeting with the Makkan preacher Musab (ra) and had learnt some things. She suggested that Amr (ra) should call him and inquire what he had learnt.

Amr (ra) at once called Muadh (ra). Muadh (ra) came and the father inquired if he had memorised anything from the Makkan preacher (ra). The son replied in affirmation. The father then asked the son to share something. Muadh (ra) recited the Ta’awuth and Surah Al-Fatihah.

Amr (ra), as if speaking to himself commented that how eloquent, enticing and beautiful the words were. The son was overjoyed by his father’s statement. He affirmed that indeed that Makkan man’s entire talk was elegant, beautiful and exceptional and that Amr (ra) should meet the man himself. To entice the father furthermore, he added that all the other leaders of Madinah had been visiting Musab (ra) and embracing Islam. They had preceded Amr (ra). Hind (ra) also encouraged her husband to meet the Makkan preacher (ra). Amr (ra) said that he needed to take advice from his idols. Muadh (ra) immediately reminded his father if he was to take advice from a dumb and deaf piece of wood. Amr (ra) was offended by his son’s comment, but then admitted that it was indeed the truth. The wood was void of intellect and emotions. He then looked at his family and asked for their views. The family was startled, but quickly agreed that Amr (ra) was right.

Our mistake is that when we meet a person who is committing some wrong, we start our conversation with taunts and criticism

At that moment, Amr (ra) testified the Oneness of Allah (swt) and recited the Islamic testimony of faith (Shahadah). That was a joyous moment for the family. Later that evening Musab ibn Umair (ra) was invited to their home, who then purified the house from the filth of associating partners with Allah (swt).

Lessons to draw

There are several lessons in this story. When Hind (ra) became a Muslim she did not break the news to her husband at once. Despite having the support of adult sons, she waited for an appropriate time to approach Amr (ra). She hoped that he might embrace Islam on his own and the relations between them will not be severed. She was not only doing Tarbiyah of her sons that they should be respectful towards their father, but also did not spoil the home environment.

  • Hikmah of preaching

We need to reflect on our attitudes when we learn something new and how we preach it to others. First, we must gain firmness in what we have learnt and then pass it on to others. Show them by practicing, not by preaching. Melt their hearts first. Give them space to understand. Secondly, “plan” how you are going to preach. Hind (ra) and her sons first sketched a plan that how they could convince Amr (ra) that what he was following was wrong.

Thirdly, when Amr (ra) returned home feeling estranged, the family showed concern and inquired- although they knew it very well what grieved him. They treated him with respect and care- even when he was upset about a wrong matter. Our mistake is that when we meet a person who is committing some wrong, we start our conversation with taunts and criticism. Unless, we show some compassion how can the other person trust our opinion? Gain the support first, so that he can open up his heart to understand what you want to tell him.

Hind’s son did not pick a horrifying verse to abuse or scare the father away. Rather, he chose Surah Al-Fatihah

Another Hikmah of preaching is that Hind’s son did not pick a horrifying verse to abuse or scare the father away. Rather, he chose Surah Al-Fatihah — the Opening Surah of the Quran — that introduces us to Allah (swt). Generally, we invite people to Islam by scaring them with the punishment of the Hereafter. Even to the babies and toddlers, we introduce Allah (swt) by telling them how intense His punishments are; whereas Allah (swt) introduces Himself to us by choosing His attributes of mercy: Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem (Al-Fatihah 1:3).

Finally, Hind (ra) respected the leader of the house. When the father asked if she had been keeping an eye on the sons, the mother replied in affirmative and then added that Muadh (ra) had heard something. She then requested the father to ascertain what he had learnt. In a way, she was putting the father in-charge- whether he found it fit for the family or not. She did not say I have checked it and I find it alright. She gave reverence to the husband’s position in the house.

When the parents fail to give respect to one another, the silent observers — the children — grow up disrespecting their parents. Family matters should be dealt with utmost respect and wisdom thinking about the children as well.

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by Mehmood Ahmad Ghazanfar and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Lessons of Bravery from Hind bint Utbah (ra)

Self-masteryHind bint Utbah was the daughter of Utbah ibn Rabiah and Saffiyah bint Umayyah. She was the wife of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and the mother of Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan.

She was a woman of eloquence, zeal, determination, and self-confidence.

A Visionary Mother

Passing by a town with Muawiyah (ra), when someone commented that her son will become a leader of his tribe, she replied, “Only his tribe’s leader? I want to see him as the leader of the entire world.” Her vision for her child was that of splendour.

Lessons to draw: Do we have any vision for our children? What kind of a vision is that? Is it limited to their worldly success or are we also concerned about their eternal success?

Her Husband’s Companion in War and Peace

Hind was both a heroine and a villainess. As an unbeliever, she was determined to wipe out Islam and its followers. She never shied away from voicing her opinion and regularly counselled her husband on the political front.

When she lost her father, uncle, and brother in the Battle of Badr, she did not shed a tear. She had to plot revenge. She picked an expert javelin thrower who seldom missed his target. On the promise of manumission and gold, Wahshi ibn Harb was to kill Hamza (ra). Assigning the task, Hind did not sit back home. Rather, she was present in the battlefield along with some other women, singing and boasting about their family honour and pride. She kept her eye on Wahshi ibn Harb, and as soon as Hamza (ra) was down, she entered the battlefield to proceed with what she had to do.

Lessons to draw: In a society, where only men are seen as guardians, we see Hind as a powerful woman. She did not find herself weak, though she had lost a father, an uncle, and a brother, all at the same time. Instead of wasting her energy or losing her senses wailing over them, she planned her next course of action. While her determination was for a wrong cause, we see a woman who was focused and could not be deterred. She identified the best person for her task and did not sit back home. She made sure her goal was achieved. How determined are we about our goals? And how well-planned are our goals?

Do we have any vision for our children? What kind of a vision is that? Is it limited to their worldly success or are we also concerned about their eternal success?

Conversion to Islam

Abu Sufyan and Hind accepted Islam after the conquest of Makkah.

When Abu Sufyan accepted Islam, he returned to his tribe and invited them to the True Faith. He confirmed that Muhammad (sa) was indeed the true messenger of Allah (swt), and that it is for their own good to embrace Islam. Hind could not believe her ears. How could her husband support their greatest enemy? She called him a traitor and incited her tribe to kill him. Abu Sufyan firmly informed his people that there was no way that they could fight the Muslims now. Their salvation lied in accepting the Truth.

Now that the Prophet (sa) and his followers were settled in Makkah, Hind watched them closely. She was an intelligent woman and did not believe in hearsay. One day, she approached her husband and requested him to take her to the Prophet (sa). She was so impressed by the focused worship of the Muslims that she had no reasons to believe that this was a false religion.

Abu Sufyan, though pleased with his wife’s decision, was worried about her act in the Battle of Uhud. He did not wish to upset the Prophet (sa) by reminding him that his wife had mutilated his beloved uncle. He advised her to take some women from her tribe and visit the Messenger (sa). Hind gathered some women and requested Uthman ibn Affan (ra) to accompany them.

Hind still felt remorseful for what she had done with Hamza (ra). To hide her shame, she veiled her face so that the Prophet (sa) would not recognize her. After testifying and taking her oath of allegiance, she removed her veil. She was a woman of pride and self-respect; she could not hide her identity. The Prophet (sa) made no mention of what had happened at the Battle of Uhud, and welcomed her into Islam. Hind said: “By Allah (swt), there was no house on earth that I wanted to destroy more than your house. Now, there is no house on earth that I so dearly wish to honour and raise in glory than yours.”

The lady who used to sing fierce poetry for the Prophet’s (sa) opponents then recited Quranic verses to keep the morale of Muslim soldiers high

The once vicious enemies of Islam, Abu Sufyan and Hind, then worked for the promotion of Allah’s (swt) religion. The lady who used to sing fierce poetry for the Prophet’s (sa) opponents then recited Quranic verses to keep the morale of Muslim soldiers high. Such is the fruit of guidance!

Lessons to draw: We see how we can channel our energy towards positive endeavours.

Adapted from the book: Hayat-e-Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi on Seerat-e-Sahabiyat

Life Lessons from Asma Bint Abu Bakr (ra) – 1

beach-and-yellow-flower-wallpaper1Asma bint Abu Bakr (ra) – the daughter of the Prophet’s (sa) closest companion Abu Bakr Siddique (ra), the sister of the Prophet’s beloved wife Aishah (ra), the wife of another companion of Rasulullah (sa) Zubair ibn Al-Awwam (ra), and the mother of another eminent companion Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair – has a lot to her credit.

When Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) accepted Islam, he rushed to spread the message in his family. While his wife Qutaylah bint Abdul Uzza refused, his two children including Asma (ra) readily embraced it. She is a woman known for her piety, farsightedness, courage, and generosity. Let’s look at her characteristics individually.

Problem Solving

When the Prophet (sa) and Abu Bakr (ra) were seeking refuge in the cave of Thawr, Asma (ra) came to deliver them food and water. But, she did not have a piece of rope or string to tie the food with. Acting on instinct, she tore her girdle (or waist-wrapper) into two and tied the items to the camels. This act got her the title of Dhat Al-Nitaqayn (she of the two girdles).

She grew up seeing her father looking for solutions and helping others, rather than creating hurdles or panicking. 

She was the daughter of the man, who rushed to serve Allah (swt) and the Prophet of Allah (sa). She grew up seeing her father looking for solutions and helping others, rather than creating hurdles or panicking. When she was in a tough situation herself, she did not refrain from looking for solutions.

Lessons to draw

Become a problem solver. Look for opportunities. If Allah (swt) has put you in this, He will definitely bring you out. Have you considered all the options?


When the Prophet (sa) and Abu Bakr (ra) left for Madinah, their greatest enemy Abu Jahl began searching for them frantically. Not finding them anywhere, he came to Abu Bakr’s house enraged and asked for him. Asma (ra) replied that she did not know where her father was. Abu Jahl, drowned in insolence, slapped Asma (ra) hard. But this courageous woman did not falter or betray her father’s secret.

Lessons to draw

Be strong. Life will throw you challenges that you need to stand up to. Fear none because our belief is:

“Nothing shall ever happen to us, except what Allah has ordained for us.” (At-Taubah 9:51)

Intelligence and Wisdom

Each time the Prophet (sa) called out to people to spend in the way of Allah (swt), we read that Abu Bakr (ra) was the foremost and the most generous. Upon seeing all that he brought, he would be asked, if he left anything for his dependents. He would reply that he left Allah (swt) and His Prophet (sa) for them. When the command to migrate came, Abu Bakr (ra) gathered all his wealth and financed the journey.

Complain less and become a source of comfort, instead. Cover up for others and Allah (swt) will cover up for you, Insha’Allah.

His father, Abu Quhafa, was not unaware of his son’s benevolence. When he learnt of his son’s migration to Madinah, he said to his granddaughter that her father had put them in adversity and deprived them of himself and property. Asma (ra), the courageous daughter of a brave man, did not allow her grandfather’s comments to weaken her resilience. Instead of complaining of her father’s attitude, she replied: “No, he left so much to us.” She covered some stones and brought them to her grandfather and said: “This is what he left.” Being blind, Abu Quhafa could not see what he was touching, so he said: “There is no blame, if he left that.” Asma (ra) not only covered up for her father, but she desired to comfort her grandfather as well.

Lessons to draw

Keep your private matters private. Complain less and become a source of comfort, instead. Cover up for others and Allah (swt) will cover up for you, Insha’Allah.

Adapted from the book: Seerat-e-Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat-e-Sahabiyat

Marital Blues: He Loves Who?

divideredThis is the dilemma most of the men around encounter, as soon as they step into a marital relation. The first few months are a bliss, since there is absence of responsibilities and family pressures. He is solely a husband enjoying with his better half and guarding and combating for his beloved’s rights and desires. He cannot imagine a single thorn to prick her feet that would cause her pain or anguish. However, the picture starts to dim, as the time passes by. Later things start to deteriorate, when he is being questioned by his emotional mother and sentimental wife. The tug leaves him despicable and perturbed. “What can I do to make each of them happy?” is a common question that pops up on the surface of his consciousness. He starts to avoid and ignore the situations that direly require his supervision, wise decision and problem solving. He spends most of his time secluded in his own cave. The love is now out of the window.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve. Women are possessive by nature. One of my male teacher said, women are possessive. It is all about their family – its wellbeing, its health and all related to their own kith. For this reason, it is natural for a mother to feel insecure and jealous when her son’s attention, love, care, and time is divided. She cannot tolerate the shift and thus, resentment follows towards the new addition. In this situation, the man has to be cautious of the mother’s feelings and tackle accordingly by giving her time and constant reassurance about the status she still holds in his life. On the other hand, the wife who is newly wed to him craves for his attention and time, love and care. He should balance the two entities with insight and not to make any one of them feel unloved and ignored.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve

There are some common points to ponder on before a man reacts.

Firstly, a woman who is now your wife is not an outsider. She is a part of you and your life. She is not a third person. So do not, I stress, do not make her feel like a fish out of water. It is not about her and us (you and your biological family). When you expect her to treat and take care of your own family like hers, then make her feel a part of the family too. If you are going to shun her and talk behind her back; make detail discussions about her attitude and behaviour to others behind doors; complain to your parents, especially your mother, about her actions or words that you find offending etc. – it all will make her feel isolated. When you expect her not to bad mouth about your family, and some issues that she might be facing with people around; and to deal with the shortcomings with tolerance and oft forgiveness- then you are expected to be as generous as you want her in regard to her short comings and not to bad mouth, complain or nag about her bad points to your family.

Being a man, you are held responsible to earn the bread and butter for the family. You are made the head (Ameer) of the family. Working outside by dealing with people, and surviving peak rush hours of traffic, bearing losses, or not meeting up the desired target may make you vulnerable and depressed. As you expect home and your spouse to be pleasant, the same is expected of you. Pouring down your frustration and tiredness on your spouse and kids is not at all justified.  How can we forget the example of our beloved Prophet (sa) (may peace be upon him) who used to be playful and loveable towards his wives, and he used to pamper them too even when he was given such a difficult and challenging work of Dawah (spreading Allah’s (swt) Deen) and also facing a lot of felicity and turmoil.

A man should neither misbehave with his mother nor speak to her in a loud tone, specifically when the spouse or the kids are around. A mother who has taught you how to speak is not at all worthy of your foul language and raised tone. Treat her in a respectable way, even if you do not agree to her terms and conditions. She may feel degraded in front of others and this will give birth to a grudge in her heart against your spouse (as she might feel her responsible for this outburst of anger and misbehaviour). Satan is everywhere and he loves to instill assumptions in our hearts. Accusations are a result of these whispers of Satan mostly.

You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

You are required to be a man with his own set of rules; forget those days of leniency and childhood. It’s time to act like a grown up instead of crying and complaining. Safeguarding the respect of both is crucial in attaining a good and friendly environment at home. You need to open your ears, but not to believe in everything you listen. At times what you see is not the truth but a manipulated and falsified lie. Do not turn a deaf ear to your spouse’s complaining by considering her guilty every time, and accusing her for things she did not do. Generalizing complains that you have got against her will break her into pieces, and will not earn anything but lack of trust in future. You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos. Limit other’s interference and influence over your decisions- especially governing your own family. It is all about maintaining a balance. You need to decide it yourself by an honest retrospection about your actions. And if you have decided it once that you are too good to be challenged, and you have done a lot to make things workable and your spouse happy- then no one can help you and your highly held ego. We all make mistakes and we all have some short comings. Wise is the one who does not drown in his ocean of I, me, and myself notion and in the pool of self-assumed goodness and sacrifices- but the one who looks beyond it and is ready to make a change. Where a female is involved, you have to deal with it like a fragile thing with lots of emotions, appreciation, recognition, and praise. And when two females are involved, then with these things, the aid of Allah (swt) is a must. Consistency is required when dealing with females, you are not required to do big lofty things, but little tiny things on a daily basis will do wonders. Calling her or texting her once in a day will make her more than happy. It is not necessary to buy expensive gifts every time, a surprise note or a flower will surely earn you grade points.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos.

Supplicate to Allah (swt) for being accurate in your decisions and to be fair in dealings. Pray for tranquility and love among the family members and a heart that is ready to forgive and forget. Dwelling on past issues will not bear any good outcome. So stop being critical and sarcastic. When it is cancerous for you to compliment your spouse, it is cancerous for the relation when you pass nasty comments even under the banner of joke.

In a nutshell, marriage is for man and not for boys. It is not a platform to satisfy your sexual desires and physical needs. If you are not ready to bear the responsibility and to manage all affairs with a hard nerve, then kindly don’t opt to tie the knot soon.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day? I think NOT!

say-no-valentine-day1It had been a long and tiring day. I returned home only to realize that I had no energy left to talk to or socialize with any of my family members. I dragged my footsteps inside the house and headed straight towards my bed. As I tried to fall asleep, my husband walked in from the other room. “Another tiring day, huh?” He remarked. All I managed was a little hum until I shut my eyes back again. He quietly came and sat next to me and continued to fiddle on his laptop.

After a few hours, when I felt tiredness decrease a bit, I headed over to the kitchen to fix a dinner for the two of us. It was a quiet meal in the serenity of our peaceful home but it was comforting. The brightest light shinning at the end of the tunnel was the weekend approaching us the next day. My brain was gushing with ideas to ensure complete relaxation over that weekend. I didn’t think much about spending time with my husband; honestly, that was absolutely the last thing on my mind. The hectic schedule of my job, studies and home were taking their toll on me and unfortunately, I hardly had time to spare for him. I would leave that to only special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries which was a safe move and quite frankly, a little automated too.

 I can never forget the reply he gave me. He said, “If, every now and then, we fill our lives with this much love, we wouldn’t need a single day like Valentine’s.” 

The next day started out unexpectedly. Here I was, having a lazy Sunday morning in bed as planned when in came my husband with a tray of freshly-made omelettes and tea. Breakfast in bed! I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was the first time in five years he had ever made such an attempt. Tucked in the corner of the tray along with a red rose, was a love note. I instinctively racked my brain for the reason behind such unabashed generosity. Was it our anniversary? No. Was it my birthday? No. Then what is it that I forgot and he remembered? I couldn’t guess and in the end, just went with the flow. However, I couldn’t control my curiosity for long and soon, I ended up asking my husband for the ‘real’ reason behind this gesture. Did I forget an important event? If yes, could he tell me before I embarrassed myself! I can never forget the reply he gave me. He said, “If, every now and then, we fill our lives with this much love, we wouldn’t need a single day like Valentine’s.” This was the real reason behind that beautiful morning surprise.

From that day onwards, to date, we make that extra effort every month or so to bring out the spirit of love and fill our lives with romance the way Allah (swt) has instructed spouses to do so

It struck me that it was already the month of February and I was insisting on a lavish day out for Valentine’s Day whereas my husband was constantly trying to talk me out of it. However, the lesson I learned that day was greater than any words, because actions speak way louder than them. From that day onwards, to date, we make that extra effort every month or so to bring out the spirit of love and fill our lives with romance the way Allah (swt) has instructed spouses to do so and the Prophet (sa) has modeled for us by being the model husband. We have abandoned tying ourselves to dates dictated by the calendar or people like St. Valentine!

Each time you look at your spouse with love, think of this love as a love for the sake of Allah (swt). Take pleasure in this blessing Allah (swt) has given you and He will double your pleasure, Insha’Allah.

10 years later, after this inspirational moment in our lives, we are well qualified enough to give out little pointers to the fresh love birds out there regarding Valentine’s Day. I was one of the staunchest supporters of Valentine’s Day. Ah, it is a day of love; how beautiful that sounds! How could one even think of not liking it? However, today, I have a whole new perspective of the ‘days of love’, and here they are:

  1. Surprise your spouse with a spontaneous act of love, whether it is once a month or once a year.
  2. Be creative as well as spontaneous. Don’t limit yourself to red roses, or anything red for that matter. Choose from a variety of colours. It’s much more fun! Remember the best colour: Sibghatullah (the colour of Allah) and the colour of Taqwa.
  3. Each time you look at your spouse with love, think of this love as a love for the sake of Allah (swt). Take pleasure in this blessing Allah (swt) has given you and He will double your pleasure, Insha’Allah.
  4. Islam is a practical religion. It does not burden you with emotions which you do not feel. You don’t have to make a day special just because the calendar dictates you to do so. Follow your heart. Allah gives you the freedom to intensify the days when you feel your emotions are at their peak. This will in turn increase your own pleasure and convey a much stronger message to the one you love.
  5. There is so much Barakah in surprises for your spouse! No fixed calendar date can give you as much joy as that sudden white or pink rose that pops out of your husband’s hand! You really have to experience it to feel it! Remember the doubling rule: do it for Allah (swt) and He would double it for you.
  6. One of the wisdoms behind abandoning fixed-day celebrations is a much intensified reaction on normal routine good news days like job promotions,  children’s report cards, or just because you are looking pretty that day! Look for such moments and capitalize on them. Be practical not dramatic.
  7. Imagine the relief you will be providing to your husband! And yes I’m referring to the monetary one. He will spend on buying you gifts when his pocket allows him to.
  8. Men are less dramatic in expressing their emotions and lack the ability of designing their emotions around certain days like women usually do. Hence, the disparity results in a huge conflict of expectations especially on days like the Valentine’s Day. When you drop this day and give your husband the freedom to choose the day he likes, you will certainly notice the ease of his emotions pouring out and the originality of it all. Islam tells us that the best spouses are those who are pure and courteous. So give yourself and your spouse a chance to be genuine and pure with your emotions. Don’t fabricate them or bind them to one day. You are way better than that!

Tafseer Surah Luqman (Part 2): Allah’s Wisdom, Good Deeds and Etiquettes of Salam


Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Shaheera Vakani (Jeddah)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ النَّعِيمِ

“Verily, those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, for them are Gardens of delight (Paradise)”  (Luqman 8)

Allah shows us the opposite side of the picture; those were people of rebellion and disobedience, who, despite hearing the message of guidance rejected it and turned away. These however, are people who believe in Allah and all that He has informed us about the Day of Judgement, His Messengers, His Angels, His Books, and Divine decree. This belief is part of what is called inner worship. Outer worship is then portrayed by doing righteous deeds with the belief that they will be rewarded.

What is the connection between belief and good deeds?

The believers will dwell in Paradise forever and for eternity. There is no death after this life, and this is a promise of Allah which must be believed in and trusted.

They can be compared to a tree. The roots portray a person’s faith; tucked underneath the ground and unseen, while the branches and fruits portray the righteous deeds. This tree can reach the skies as a result of the faith which produces righteous deeds. A person who frees himself from the shackles of desires and temptations is truly the successful one. Such a person is free from being a slave of desires and disobedience, and instead becomes a slave of Allah. He will prepare himself in the Dunya for the Akhirah so that Allah may reward him with Gardens of Delight. The word Jannah comes from the word Jann which means to be hidden. For His righteous slaves, Allah has hidden delightful rewards that no eye has seen, no ear has heard of, and no mind can perceive. Contrary to the delights of the Dunya, the Akhirah is ceaseless and its rewards are multiplied.

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۖ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقًّا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

“To abide therein. It is a Promise of Allah in truth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Luqman 9)

The believers will dwell in Paradise forever and for eternity. There is no death after this life, and this is a promise of Allah which must be believed in and trusted. Shaitan makes promises and breaks them in the Dunya, and he will do likewise in the Akhirah for his followers, while Allah’s promises are never to be questioned. He is Al-Azeez, meaning He has full and perfect might to fulfil His promise. His Decree is never false and cannot be rejected, and He can never be defeated. He is also Al-Hakeem, meaning that He is perfect in His wisdom. The wisdom behind making a promise to the believers for reward is perfect and helps them increase in faith and good deeds.

خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ۖ وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ

“He has created the heavens without any pillars, that you see and has set on the earth firm mountains, lest it should shake with you. And He has scattered therein moving (living) creatures of all kinds. And We send down water (rain) from the sky, and We cause (plants) of every goodly kind to grow therein.” (Luqman 10)

Allah further explains to us His complete and perfect ability and wisdom in order to make firm our belief in His promise. He created the heavens without any pillars and structured the skies like ceilings. They are great, vast and high, unlike any other creation in the world. He then placed mountains that function as anchors to stabilize the earth and keep it firm despite its rotation.

Then He scattered living creatures of all kinds on the earth. They move in different ways and have different adaptations. Some have two legs, some have three, and some have four and some have many more than that. Some live in the sea, some on land, and some on the mountains. All of this points to His infinite ability and wisdom. These creatures have been subjected to us and they bring us benefit as well as harm.

Why does Allah create harmful creatures?

  • To teach us His ability and wisdom
  • To teach us that we are weak humans; a mosquito may harm a human which may result in his death despite the creature’s tiny size
  • To make us taste the pain and punishment of the harm that these creatures can do in the Dunya, as compared to the doubled harm of these creatures in the grave

He then brought down blessed rain from the clouds. Water is the foundation of life; without it we cannot survive and 75 per cent of the earth and our bodies are made of water. He created all living things from water. There is wisdom in the fact that some areas of the earth do not receive any rain at all, while some areas are always wet and cloudy.

He then caused beautiful plantations of various colours and benefit to grow from the earth. This is the wisdom of Allah.

هَٰذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ ۚ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

“This is the creation of Allah. So show Me that which those (whom you worship), besides Him have created. Nay, the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers and those who do not believe in the Oneness of Allah) are in plain error.” (Luqman 11)

After explaining His signs of infinite wisdom, Allah challenges the disbelievers. He says this is the creation of Allah that He created without a partner and without help.  This is His dominion. He challenges those who associate partners with Allah to show what these false gods have created. He negates all of this association and says that they cannot create anything so how can they be worshipped?  Rather, the disbelievers are wrong doers who are drowning in clear error. They worship that which is disabled, weak and poor.

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ

And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.) saying: “Give thanks to Allah,” and whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise. (Luqman 12)

Most scholars of the Quran are of the opinion that Luqman was a wise man and not a Prophet. Allah blessed him and bestowed upon him wisdom and religious understanding. Allah tells us that wisdom is a special provision and favour from Allah. It is the best of qualities, behaviours and attributes. Not every knowledgeable person is wise, but every wise person is knowledgeable.

What is wisdom?

The result of being grateful is that the blessing will not be removed from you and Allah will increase the blessings.

It is to have knowledge of the truth and its secrets, and to use this knowledge in speech and action. To thank Allah is one of the biggest signs of wisdom and goodness. Thank Him for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon you without any efforts on your part. Use your speech, your heart and your limbs to express this gratefulness by utilizing them in the way that He loves.

The result of being grateful is that the blessing will not be removed from you and Allah will increase the blessings. Whoever gives thanks to Allah does so for the good of his own self. It does not harm or benefit Allah if you are grateful or ungrateful, because He is Rich and free of needs, and He is worthy of all praise.

Etiquettes of Salam

  1. It is Sunnah to greet someone with the Salam, but it is Wajib to return the greeting.
  2. It is preferred to say the whole greeting
  3. It is disliked to say Alaykum Assalam
  4. It is preferred to repeat the greeting three times if you are not heard the first time
  5. It should be said clearly
  6. It is recommended to greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know
  7. It is recommended for the arriving person to greet the seated one, and the riding person to the one who is walking, and the one who is walking to the one who is sitting, and the fewer group should greet the larger group and the young should greet the old
  8. It is recommended to greet the ones who are awake even if there are sleeping persons amongst them
  9. Forbidden to greet the People of the Book- you can however, greet them with “hello” or “good morning”
  10. It is permissible to say Salam with the wave of the hand in times of need
  11. It is disliked to greet the one who is answering the call of nature
  12. It is recommended to say Salam when entering the house
  13. It is recommended to return the greeting to the one whose greeting has been conveyed to you
  14. When entering the Masjid, it is better to pray Tahiyyat Al-Masjid before greeting those who are sitting in the Masjid
  15. It is disliked to say the Salam during the Friday sermon
  16. It is recommended to say the Salam before talking about anything else
  17. It is recommended to say Salam before leaving a place or ending a conversation

Hikmah (Wisdom)

Vol 5 - Issue 3 WisdomMichael de Montaigne once commented: “We can be knowledgeable with other men’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men’s wisdom.”

I find myself pondering upon this quotation often, especially when I am seeking to be wise about life and the challenges it throws my way. I also observe that in this day and age of extra-ordinary scholastic achievements and exposure to information and technology, wisdom is seldom found. It is not simply knowledge that produces wisdom. Knowledge is a collection of facts. Wisdom is how to apply knowledge. Further, it is a combination of other factors such as deep observation, far-sightedness, experiences, patience, endurance and a continuous quest for solutions that leads to insight and acumen.

The Arabic term for wisdom is Hikmah. In the Quran, it means the knowledge and the understanding of the Quran and the Sunnah and one’s ability to speak and act in the right way.

Allah (swt) states: “He grants Hikmah (wisdom) to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah (wisdom) is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.” (Al-Baqarah 2:269)

Apparently, wisdom is something bestowed upon a person by Allah (swt). A person may be learned, but it does not mean he is wise. The Prophet (sa), though unlettered, was an epitome of wisdom.

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered their invocation by sending Muhammad (sa)), who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Quran) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:129)

This is further confirmed about the Prophet (sa) in Al-Baqarah 2:151 and in Al-Imran 3:164.

In the Prophet’s (sa) life, we find innumerable instances, when wisdom turned the tables. His silence, his speech, his anger and his restraint were all driven by wisdom that earned him unbelievable success in unfavorable circumstances.

Even prior to receiving his prophetic mission, he was requested to settle a dispute amongst the chiefs of Makkah. They were quarreling, as to who would be granted the honour of placing the black stone (Hajra Aswad) in the Kabah. The Messenger (sa) suggested a simple yet wise solution, which was acceptable to all and, thus, defused a volatile situation.

The Prophet (sa) also demonstrated wisdom in the most pressured times, such as at the time of Hudaibiyah, when the enemies drafted a pact that the companions were displeased with. However, amidst the mounting tension, they obeyed the Prophet’s (sa) decision to agree to the pact. Time proved, how that same pact worked in favour of Muslims, thus attesting to the Prophet’s (sa) wisdom and endurance.

What does it take to become wise? Is there a formula for it? And of all qualities in life, why should one seek wisdom? Does it pay to be wise? These are all pertinent questions.

Ibn Masud (rta) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “There is no envy except in two instances: a person, whom Allah has endowed with wealth and he spends it righteously, and a person, whom Allah has given Hikmah, and he judges by it and teaches it to others.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The intention of this article is to highlight the importance of Hikmah in our lives. How can wisdom bring back the long departed peace? Our superficial and self-centered lives are fleeting by. If today we were to capture the true essence of our achievements, most of us would be saddened to learn that we are living no better than animals – mainly for our base desires. We have no time to reflect or even listen.

Whether it is a domestic dispute or a judiciary one on a macro level, how many people can you find, who would give a sound counsel and settle disputes by giving meaningful guidance? Very few.

“They belied (the Verses of Allah – this Quran) and followed their own lusts. And every matter will be settled (according to the kind of deeds: good deeds will take their doers to Paradise, and similarly evil deeds will take their doers to Hell). And indeed there has come to them news (in this Quran) wherein there is (enough warning) to check (them from evil), Perfect wisdom (this Quran) – but (the preaching of) warners benefit them not. So, (O Muhammad (sa)) withdraw from them.” (Al-Qamar 54:3-6)

Seeking Hikmah is imperative, if we want to pursue true success now and in the Hereafter.

 “Hiba” conducted a poll to understand the dynamics of wisdom. Following are the answers we received from some participants:

1. What is wisdom?

Wisdom is the ability to see things as they are; to give everything just the right due. A wise person is able to recognize reality. It also means to make the right decision most of the times.

2. Is this quality God given or can be acquired?

It is acquired. However, only Allah (swt) can give Hikmah to someone… so the answer is ‘yes’ to both options. He Alone is Al-Hakim. And He Alone chooses to bestow wisdom to His servants; to some He gives more than others. For e.g. Sulaiman (as), Ibrahim (as), Luqman, Abu Bakr (rta), Ali (rta)etc.

3. If it is God given, then who does God give Hikmah to?

The person, who is humble, who meditates, yearns for guidance, shuns the world’s temptations and the self’s base desires and learns from mistakes by rectifying his behaviour. Also someone who is composed and not emotional or quick to temper as in such a state it is impossible to think and act rationally. God gives Hikmah to those, who contemplate; basically, those who want it.

4. If it can be acquired, what should one do to become wise?

Gain knowledge, do not indulge in any kind of excess, help others, lead a life with a higher purpose and do not give in to desires of the self. Also, wisdom is a product of time – very few young people are wise, although there are exceptions. Mostly, wisdom comes with life’s experiences.

To become wise, one must also ‘live perceptively.’ Contemplate on Allah’s Ayat (signs) both in the Quran and in the universe. Einstein was wise, because he studied science in depth and detail. He may not have reached the TRUTH (Haq) or chose to ignore it, but he definitely acquired wisdom.

To gain Hikmah, one needs to practice Sabr (patience), talk less and observe more, learn to listen to others, bear a positive attitude, give rights to Allah (swt) and people and, lastly, make much Dua for oneself to make the right decisions in life.

The company of wise teachers and role models is also imperative. Most importantly, following the Sunnah and reflecting upon the Quran’s Tafseer helps gain deeper understanding of life.

5. Lastly, does Hikmah help people in their day to day lives?

YES, it works wonders! Wise people make very few mistakes, have healthy relationships with everyone and enjoy tremendous peace of mind.

Hikmah was one of the things the Prophet (sa) taught. And the Prophet (sa) cultivated a pragmatic sense in his companions at all levels of their lives.