Saturday, January 19, 2013

The effects of Takbeer on the Heart of a Muslim: Shaykh Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi (RA)


The effects of Takbeer on the Heart of a Muslim:

By Shaykh Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi (RA)

Taken from “The Four Pillars of Islam”

 We are required to begin the Salat with Takbeer or the prescribed formula of Allaho‐Akbar (God alone is Great). It is that clear, eloquent and forceful affirmation which is capable of evoking a ready response among all peoples and at all times. Before it, the magic spell of the mightiest of rulers and the most powerful of men, as well as of the man‐made deities, idols and images is broken and they are reduced to a heap of ashes provided, of course, that it is uttered with conviction and understanding and the pretenders to divine power and majesty know what its implications are and how far‐reaching can its effects be.

 In truth, the desire for divine power and eminence is the common attribute among all the images of stone that are worshipped, the personalities to which reverential homage is paid, the things that are held in fear and respect, the forces of nature before which prostration is carried out and the national leaders and men of authority who are blindly followed and to whom unqualified obedience is rendered.
This brief but revolutionary proclamation, enjoined by the Quran through the exhortation of ‘And glorify thy Lord’, strikes at the root of all such claims, pretensions, myths and deceptions and destroys them forever. It rejects and repudiates the power and authority of everyone except God and puts an end to each and every source of tyranny and corruption.

IMPORTANCE

When a person believes with a sincere heart in this affirmation and proclaims Allaho‐Akbar as a mark of testimony to the Greatness and Majesty of the Lord and this conviction sinks into the innermost depths of his heart and begins to pervade his entire existence the mighty and splendour of the worldly kings, political leaders and overlords loses its significance in his eyes and they evoke no fear or wonder in him. He becomes supremely indifferent to them and the display of their wealth or power fails to make any impression on him.
 

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 Three Examples from our History:
 
Innumerable instances of the glorious unconcern and contemptuous disregard shown in the holy Companions at the display of wealth, power and position are available in history.

We have it, for example, on the authority of the well‐known historian, Ibn Kathir that Rabee bin Aamir (RA) was once sent by Hazrat Saad (RA) as his envoy to the court of Rustam, the commander‐in‐chief of Iran. Rustam received him in a grand durbar hall which was decorated with magnificent carpets. The Commander in‐Chief, wearing a crown and robes which sparkled with gems, sat on a throne. Rabee, in contrast, was very poorly attired. He was almost in rags and carried a shield that was too small for him. His horse, too, was of a common breed, on which he rode straight towards Rustam, the pony trampling the costly carpets under its hoofs. On getting closer to the throne, he dismounted, tied the reins of the horse to a bolster and started walk up to Rustam, still wearing his helmet and arms. The officers of the court remonstrated against it, saying that he should, at least, take off the helmet before going in the presence of the Commander‐in‐Chief. But Rabee retorted, “I have come not of my own accord but at your request. If you do not want me, I will go back”.

Rustam, thereupon, intervened and told his officers to let him come as he liked. Rabee proceeded, leaning upon his lance and piercing the carpets with it at each step.
 
People enquired about the object of his visit and he said, “we have been sent by Allah to deliver whom He pleases from the over lordship of His slaves (i.e. men) to His own over lordship, and from the narrow confines of this world to the boundlessness of the next and from the oppression of other religions to the fairness and justice of Islam” [Al-Bidaya Wan-Nihaya, Vol III, p.9]

The strength of faith and courage of conviction flowing out of the confessional formula had endued these blessed Muslims with almost superhuman qualities. Extraordinary deeds of bravery and resoluteness have, indeed, been performed because of it throughout the annals of Islam. The Muslims had begun to conduct themselves at such a high level of dignity and self‐respect in the presence of kings and potentates that it is not easy for many a people to maintain it even in their dealings with the weak and the poor. The bubble of their imperial pomp and splendour was pricked.

 
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A friend of Sheikhul Islam Izzuddin bin Abdus Salam (RA) has related an incident of the same kind in these words:

“Our mentor, Sheikh Izzuddin, once went to the Sultan AI-Malik-us-Saleh Najmuddin Ayub of Egypt in the fort. It was the day of Eid. He saw that the royal durbar was being held and the troops were arrayed before the sovereign. The Sultan was present in his full magnificence and the grandees

and noblemen were kneeling on the ground out of awe and deference. The Sheikh turned towards the Sultan, and addressing him by name, said, ‘O Ayub! What answer would you give to God if He were to ask you: We gave thee the kingdom of Egypt and thou permitted wine?’ The Sultan enquired, ‘Is it so?’ ‘Yes’, replied the Sheikh, ‘On such‐and‐such a shop wine is being sold and other forbidden things are also taking place while you are lost in luxury and self‐indulgence’. He spoke in a loud voice and the soldiers looked on respectfully. The Sultan, thereupon, remarked. ‘It is not of my doing. Things have been like that since the time of my father’. ‘Are you’, interjected the Sheikh ‘among those who say: “We found our forefathers on the same path?”’

The Sultan ordered the shop to be closed at once.
 
When the Sheikh returned and the news of the incident spread I enquired from him about it. He said, ‘My friend! When I saw his splendour I felt that it was for his own good that he should be humiliated a little otherwise his ego would swell and become uncontrollable. I asked ‘Were you not afraid’? The Sheikh replied, ‘As surely as I believe in God! When I reflected upon the Power and Glory of the Lord in his presence it appeared to me that a cat was sitting on the throne’.”
[Tabaqat-ul-Shafiyatul-Kubra, Vol. V p. 82]

 

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The history of the power of faith and earnestness of religious endeavour has continuously been repeating itself. We will reproduce another event belonging to the same category.

It is narrated by Sheikh Mahmud bin Mubarak Kirmani that:

“Once Sultan Mohammad bin Tughlaq summoned Sheikh Qutubuddin Munawwar to Delhi. The saint had not paid homage to the king on a certain occasion and he wanted to take him to task for it.

When the Sheikh came to the royal palace, the court nobles, ministers, heralds and attendants were standing in a double row in front of the throne. On seeing the glittering spectacle, the Sheikh’s son, Nuruddin, who was with him and had never been in a king’s court before, was struck with fear. The Sheikh admonished him sternly. ‘Glory is for God, Baba Nuruddin,’ he said to him in a loud voice. The son related later that as soon as he had heard these words, he felt a new strength within him and all the fear disappeared and it began to look to him that the court grandees were not men but sheep and goats.” [Siyar-ul-Aulia, pp. 353-55]

 

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Levels of trust in Allah and our livelihood: Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (r.a)

“And whosoever puts his trust in Allah then He will suffice him.” (65:3)

The prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “If you all depend on Allah with true reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with a full belly at dusk.” (Related by Tirmidhi, who graded it authentic).

Depending upon Allah in attaining one’s provision is itself a form of worship, and is from the completion and perfection of one’s Iman. People are of different levels in this issue. Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (r.a) has discussed these levels and their consequences in his inimitable style...

Stage I :

Nothing blocks you from direct receiving of Allah's grace and favor except your reliance upon people and connections, on good turns and handouts. Thus creatures are your obstacle to gaining a proper livelihood, in keeping with the exemplary practice of the Prophet. As long as you continue to depend on fellow creatures, hoping for their gifts and favors, going from door to door with your requests, you are associating His creation with Allah. He will therefore punish you with deprivation of that proper livelihood, namely the lawful earnings of this world.

Stage-II

Then, when you have renounced the habit of depending on people and associating them with your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), and have resorted to earning your own livelihood, you get to rely on this earning power and become complacent about it, forgetting the gracious favor of your Lord. You are once again behaving like a polytheist [mushrik], only now the polytheism [shirk] is concealed, of a subtler nature than the previous kind. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will therefore punish you by depriving you of His favor and of direct access to Him.

Stage-III

When you turn from this in repentance, ceasing to allow the encroachment of polytheism, and forsaking reliance on your own earning power and abilities, you will see that Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) is the Provider. It is He who supplies the means, the facilities and the energy one needs to make a living, and He is the One who enables all good results to be achieved. All sustenance is in His hand. At times He may supply it to you by way of other people, through your appealing to them while in distress or trying straits, or in response to your appeal to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), sometimes by way of earned remuneration, and at still other times by His spontaneous favor, in such a way that you do not see the intervening cause and means.

Stage-IV
You have turned again to Him, casting yourself down before Him, and He has lifted the veil between you and His favor. He has made Himself accessible to you, and graciously ministers to all your needs in the measure appropriate to your condition, acting like a kind and tactful physician who is also a friend to the patient. As a precaution on His part, and to purge you of any attachment to anyone but Him, He satisfies you with His favor.

-Taken from the Sixteenth Discourse from Futuh al-Ghaib of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (r.a)



Friday, January 4, 2013

The urge to do Good is like a “guest” sent by Allah by Mufti Taqi Usmani


The urge to do Good is like a “guest” sent by Allah

By Mufti Taqi Usmani D.B.


If an urge (or desire) arises to do some good deed, do it at once, because the next day you may forget the urge or who knows one will live or not live till the next day. Even if one lives, the urge may disappear in the rush of so many pressing issues of life. In case the urge remains, the circumstances favourable for execution may not be there.

The urge to do good may be considered to be a guest sent by Allah that must be welcomed with honour. The honour lies in prompt execution of the urge. If the urge is to offer some optional prayer and you ignore it by arguing that it is neither obligatory nor essential, then you dishonour the divine guest that Allah had sent to reform you. If you show this cold attitude to the guest, it may never visit you again (You may never get that tawfeeq again). Although the golden rule is to attend to all business with promptitude yet if an urge arises in you for some particular good deed it is highly appreciable to put that urge into practice quickly.

-Taken from Islahi Khutbaat [Discourses on Islamic Way of Life] (Vol: 1) page- 68

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Ten Ways to Expiate Your Sins -Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah

The Ten Ways to Expiate Your Sins
 Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah in Al 'Iraqiyyah fil 'Amaal al Qalbiyyah

If a believer falls into sin, it’s punishment would be repelled from him in ten ways:
  1. He repents and therefore Allah would accept his repentance. The one who repents from a sin is as the one who hasn’t sinned.

  2. He asks for forgiveness and he would therefore be forgiven.

  3. He performs acts of righteousness that would erase his sins, for indeed righteous actions erase sins.

  4. His brothers supplicate for him; that his sins be forgiven - while he is alive and after his death.

  5. His brothers gift the reward of their actions to him so that Allah may benefit him through them.

  6. That prophet Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلم - intercedes for him.

  7. That Allah puts him through trials in the life of this world that would expiate his sins.

  8. That Allah puts him through trials in the Barzakh and the Sa’iqah that would expiate his sins.

  9. That Allah puts him through the trials of the Day of Resurrection and its horrors, that which would expiate his sins.

  10. Or that the Most Merciful of the merciful has mercy over him.

Whoever lets these ten pass him by, then let him blame no one but himself, as Allaah the Exalted said in a Hadeeth that was narrated by His Messenger:
“O My servants, they are only your own deeds, I take them into account for you, and then give (their reward or punishment) back to you. So whoever finds good then let him praise Allah. And whoever finds other than that then let him blame no one but himself.”
[Reported by Muslim: #2577]

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Control Four to be Protected from Shaytaan

Control your self during 4 occasions to be Protected from Shaytaan

Al Hasan [RA] stated:
“If there are four things present in a person, Allah would preserve him from the Shaytaan and prevent him from entering the Fire: Whoever has control over himself during times of:
  1. Raghbah - Longing

  2. Rahbah - Fear

  3. Shahwah - Desire/Lust

  4. Ghadab - Anger.”

Ibn Rajab [RA] stated: “These four that al Hasan mentioned are the basis of all evil.”

To have Raghbah for something is to want it and believe that it is beneficial for you. So whoever has a need for something, this need may drive him to attain it through any means possible, a lot of which could be impermissible, and the object that is longed for itself could be prohibited.

Rahbah is to fear something. If a person fears something he would try to repel it by any means necessary, a lot of which may be impermissible.

Shahwah is to desire something that you take pleasure from. A person may desire a lot of things that are prohibited such as fornication, theft, alcohol, disbelief, magic, hypocrisy and innovations.

Ghadab - Anger: It is the boiling of the hearts blood to repel a harm fearing that it would take place, or to take revenge from someone who has previously caused harm. A lot of impermissible things take place as a consequence of anger, such as fighting, hitting as well as other types of oppression and transgression. A lot of impermissible forms of speech also take place such as defamation, insults, and evil words. This may even reach the level of disbelief.