Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Avoiding the Laghw (unnecessary and useless speech and actions)

The Arabic word “Laghw” used in the Quran means “vain, useless talk or pastime.” Anything that is not beneficial for one’s self, for others, or for the hereafter (dunya or Aakhirah) falls into the realm of Laghw. It has no place in a proper Muslim life.
Paradise will have no Laghw in it.
“They will hear no vain talk therein, nor any call to sin.” (Qur’an, 56:25)

The sincere believers avoid useless talk and actions even in the life of this world. Some meetings, pastimes, habits and hobbies are so utterly useless that wise people among non-Muslims too avoid them.
In order to check whether what we do comes under Laghw or not, we should ask ourselves two key questions:
1. Will this benefit me in this world and the hereafter?
2. Is there something else more beneficial that I can do?
Useless conversation to “kill boredom” is so common nowadays. Picking up the phone to talk without any specific purpose, meeting people all the time to have chit-chats over food, spending hours in front of the TV or in online chat-rooms are all Laghw. In addition, comedians who say anything to make people laugh, even fabricated statements, and drama and films that are fantastical and far-fetched and give us no beneficial knowledge- all fall under Laghw.
The worse part is, most of the Laghw talk and acts often lead to sins of various types like gheebah, lying, foul talk etc.
If one consistently and honestly guards one’s pastimes by rating them according to the above two questions, he or she in the long term can really make the most out of life.

Given below is the Quran and Hadith warnings against Laghw:


And say to My slaves (believers) that they should (only) say those words that are the best (in which no one's heart is hurt). Because Shaitan, verily, provokes discord among them. Surely, Shaitan is to man an open enemy. [Al-Isra 17: 53]

While mentioning the qualities of believers Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says:
And those who turn away from unprofitable and shameful talk and actions. [Al-Mu'minun 23: 03]

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala while mentioning the qualities of believers, says:
And those who do not participate in false works (neither lie, nor give false witness, nor attend meetings of wrong affairs and sins). And when they pass by vain/ non-beneficial meetings they pass honourably. [Al-Furqan 25: 72]

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says:
And when they hear unprofitable and shameful talk, they withdraw from it. [Al-Qasas 28:55]


Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu 'anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: The excellence and good observance of Islam by a man is to leave aside that which does not concern him. (Tirmidhi)

Note: The meaning of this hadith is that the perfection and beauty of a man's belief is reflected in his giving up unprofitable talk and actions.

'Uqba ibne-'Amir (Radiyallahu 'anhu) narrates that I asked: O Rasulallah! What is the way to salvation? He said: Control your tongue, remain in your house, and weep over your sins. (Tirmidhi)

Note: Control your tongue means that it should not be used wrongly, e.g. backbiting, slandering, talking immodestly, speaking unnecessarily, talking carelessly, quarrelling, abusing, cursing men and animals, excessively indulging in poetry, mocking, disclosing secrets, making false promises, swearing falsely, duplicity, flattery and asking unneccessary questions.
(Ithaf  of Allama Zabedi-the commentary of Ihya ul Uloom)

Abu Dhar (Radiallahu 'anhu) narrates: I went to Rasulullah (Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) and said: O RasulAllah! Advise me. He mentioned a long Hadith till he said: Observe prolonged silence, for this drives away the Shaitan and helps you in your Religious affairs.
Abu Dhar said: Advise me more. He said: Avoid too much laughing, for indeed it brings death to the heart, and removes the Nur (light) of the face. (Baihaqi)

Bilal ibne-Harith Al-Muzani (Radiyallahu 'anhu), a companion of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam narrates: I heard Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam saying: One of you says something that pleases Allah, which he does not deem important, but by this saying, Allah destines His pleasure for him till the Day of Resurrection. And someone of you says something that displeases Allah, which he does not deem important, but by this saying, Allah destines His displeasure for him till the Day of Resurrection.
(Tirmidhi with a grading of Hasan-Sahih)

Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (Radiyallahu 'anhu) narrates that Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: A man says such a word considering it to be insignificant and only to make people laugh, by which he plunges himself into the depth of Hell to a distance more than that between the earth and the sky. (Musnad Ahmad)

Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam wasallam said: A man speaks a word pleasing to Allah, without considering it of any importance, yet Allah exalts him
in ranks for it. And a man speaks a word displeasing to Allah, without considering it of any importance, due to which he falls into Hell. (Bukhari)

Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: A man speaks something thoughtlessly because of which he falls deep into Hell to a distance more than that between the East and the West. (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak what is good or be silent. (Bukhari)

Umme Habiba Radiyallahu 'anha, wife of Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam, narrates that Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: The words of the son of Adam are against him except enjoining good, forbiding evil or remembering Allah. (Tirmidhi)

'Abdullah ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'anhuma narrates that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: Do not speak too much except in glorifying Allah, for talking too much without remembering Allah causes hardness of the heart. And amongst the people farthest away from Allah are those, whose hearts are hard. (Tirmidhi)

Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: It is enough for a man to be a sinner that he relates whatever he hears. (Abu Dawud)

Anas ibn Malik Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that a Sahabi died, and a man said (addressing the dead): Glad tidings of Paradise to you. Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam told him: How do you know? Perhaps he spoke something irrelevant or was miserly about something which would cause him no loss. (Tirmidhi)

Abu Sa'id Khudri Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that a man came to Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam and said: O Rasulallah! Advise me. He advised (amongst other things): Protect your tongue except for good. Undoubtedly, by this you will overcome Shaitan. (Majma-'uz-Zawaid with a Hasan chain)

Let us analyze our personal activities, meetings, pastimes and hobbies, and honestly ask ourselves whether each of them will really benefit us in this world and the Hereafter. Perhaps then, Insha Allah, we can take steps towards “honorably avoiding” the useless ones, replacing them with lofty righteous deeds that will benefit us, and others, both in this world and the hereafter.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Benefits of Mustahab (Sunnah and Nafil) acts:

Some Benefits of Mustahab (optional) acts of Worship:
There are many benefits of Nafil and Mustahab acts of worship. A few are listed below:
1-Sunnah and Nafil acts bring one closer to Allah and help in inculcating His love. They also make one the beloved of Allah and all his duas will be accepted and he is granted Allah's protection.

A Hadith e Qudsi says,"...My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory worship (nawafil) so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.’”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

2-Mustahabat act as a prevention against sin.

One who is regular in Tahajjud, Ishraq, Chasht and Aw-wabeen (Nafil salaahs) will abstain from sin to a greater degree than the one who performs only the five Fardh Salaat.

Furthermore, a regular performer of Tahajjud, etc. is considered a pious person by others. This consideration in itself acts as an impediment to sin, since such a person will feel ashamed to commit sins.

3-Mustahab act may lead to najaat (salvation).

Another benefit of Mustahabat is that sometimes Allah Taala is pleased so much with a certain Mustahab act that najaat (salvation) is obtained by virtue of it. There are various incidents related in reliable Hadith books to substantiate it (such as the sinful woman of Bani Israel who was granted maghfirah due to giving water to a thirsty dog).

[Adapted from a speech by Shaikh Maseehullah Khan (R.A.)] 

Friday, December 13, 2013

The three degrees of jealousy and it's dangers:

Hasad (jealousy and envy) is among the most destructive emotions or feeling which a man may have towards his fellow human being. 

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned: "Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood." [Abu Dawud]

Hasad is a disease of the heart and it is a sign of impurity of the heart. When Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was asked who are the best of people? He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: "the one with a clean heart and truthful tongue." They asked: 'We understand a truthful tongue, but what does a clean heart mean?' he answered: 'It is the heart of one that is pious, pure, and is free of sin, transgressions, hatred and Hasad." [Ibn Majah]

Hasad is such a dangerous characteristic that Allah revealed Surah al-Falaq (113) in the Qur'an to be recited as a protection from the jealous.

 Imam Tirmidhi narrated from al-Zubayr Ibn al-Awam that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the 'shaver' (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith!" [(Hasan)Tirmidhi (2434)]

Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani has described three degrees of Hasad or jealousy in his 'Discourses on Islamic Way of Life' [5/69]: 

The three degrees of jealousy:

The first degree is to desire in the heart that you too get the type of blessing which another person possesses (preferably, with out depriving that person, but, if that's not possible, then taking it away from that person and giving it to you).
The second degree of jealousy is that the blessing in the possession of the other person may be snatched away from him and given to you.
This degree consists of two aspects.
Firstly, the blessing may be taken away from its owner
Secondly, that it may be given to you.

 The third degree of jealousy is to desire that the blessing may be taken away from its owner along with the status and honour which he is enjoying by virtue of this blessing whether that blessing is passed on to you or not.
This is the worst and most heinous degree of jealousy.
The Haasid (envier) harms himself in three ways: 
  1. He earns sin because hasad is haraam. 
  2. It is bad etiquette before Allah, because what hasad really means is hating to see Allah blessing His slaves, and objecting to what Allah does. 
  3. He suffers because of too much worry and distress. 

May Almighty Allah protect us all from this. Āmīn