Friday, March 21, 2014

Signs of hypocrisy in Salah (Prayer): Ibn al-Qayyim

Praying the salah properly with all it's external and internal etiquettes (proper manners) has been described in the Quran and Hadith as an indicator of true faith in Allah.
Whereas, habitually Praying salah in a careless and spiritually irresponsible manner is considered as a disaster for one's faith and a sign of nifaq (hypocrisy).
Allah says:

"Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. [23:1-2] And those who strictly guard their Salawat (prayers)." [23:9]
 "So woe to the worshippers Who are neglectful of their prayers, Those who (want but) to be seen (of men)." [107:4-6]
"And seek help in patience and Salaah and truly it is extremely heavy and hard, except for the Khashi'oon (those who are humbly submissive to Allah)."
 "Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little." (4:142)

The Prophet ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ said:
1.  “The manner of Salah of the hypocrites is that they wait for the sun to set, up to the point that it (the sun) is between the two horns of Satan and then they stand (for Salah). He then bangs his head (on the earth) four times and he remembers Allah Ta’ala but rarely.” (Sahih Muslim)

 2. Abu Musa (ra) reports that one day the Prophet ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ led the Companions in Salah and then sat amongst them. A person then entered and performed Salah. He was very hasty in bowing and prostrating. The Prophet ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ said, “Look at this person. If he were to die, he would not die on the religion of Muhammad ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ. He is pecking at Salah like a crow pecks at blood.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzayma)

 3. When a person performs Salah at its earliest (most desired) time, that Salah ascends towards the heavens. It becomes light for the person and subsequently it reaches the Throne and supplicates for the forgiveness of the person who performed Salah until the Day of Judgement. It says, ‘May Allah Ta’ala safeguard you just as you safeguarded me.’ When a person performs Salah after its allocated time has passed, the Salah goes towards the heavens in such a manner that it is covered in darkness. When it reaches the Throne it is covered in an old cloth and thrown back in the face of the person who performed it. The Salah then states, ‘May Allah Ta’ala destroy you just as you destroyed me.’ (Kanz al 'Ummal, Tabarani)
Summarizing the points in the above texts, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim R.A. writes,
"Six matters that are linked to the prayer have been indicated as marks of hypocrisy:

1) Laziness when one stands up to pray.

2) Intending to show off with one's prayer.

3) Delaying the prayer.

4) Praying in an extremely hasty manner.

5) Barely remembering Allah during the prayer.

6) Abandoning the congregational prayer." 

-[Hukm Tarik al-Salat, p. 105]

How many of these are we guilty of?!
And, if this is the case with those who actually PRAY and demonstrate these signs, how about those who do not even pray in the first place?!

O Allah! Make us and our progeny from those who establish the prayer!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Check your Duas/supplications:

Check your Duas/supplications:
When was the last time you made an intense, heartfelt du`a’  (supplication) to Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He)? A du`a’ that was so full of conviction—a du`a’ that a drowning man would make as he struggles to keep afloat, knowing that no one can help him but God. A du`a’ that made you feel vulnerable because you are laying everything bare, and because you are allowing yourself to recognize that you are helpless without Allah (swt). But also, a du`a’ that is coupled with absolute trust that Allah (swt) does not ever disappoint.

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Do dua to Allah in a state that you are certain that your dua will be responded to, and know that Allah does not respond to a dua that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart” (Tirmidhi).

A wise person once said, “Dua is part of piety like salt being part of food. Therefore, if we want to become close and beloved servants of Allah, it is necessary that we have the quality of making effective & deep dua in all conditions. Our focus should be towards turning to Allah in all our affairs.
Remember well! “Dua is a weapon of a believer” (Al-Hakim), so let's try to make our only weapon effective.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tazkiyyatun Nafs - English Videos by Dr. Mohammed Ali Hazratji

Tazkiyyatun Nafs - Part 1 by Dr. Mohammed Ali Hazratji
This video is part of a lecture series by Dr. Mohammed Ali Hazratji in the Masjid at Mahmood Habib Apts, Rd#9, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.
4 lectures series by Dr. Mohammed Ali Hazratji -Islamic scholar specialized in Tazkiya and consultant Neurologist in U.S.A.
In this video Dr. Ali explains the need for Tazkiya and introduces various parts of a the human body which control the Qalb (heart) like Rooh, Nafs and Aql.

Tazkiyyatun Nafs - Part 2 by Dr. Mohammed Ali Hazratji  

In this video Dr. Ali explains the cycle of Takyiyya

Tazkiyyatun Nafs - Part 3 by Dr. Mohammed Ali Hazratji

In this video Dr. Ali explains the various Amraad ul Quloob(diseases of the heart) which one needs to get cured of to attain Qalb un Saleem.

Tazkiyyatun Nafs - Part 4 by Dr. Mohammed Ali Hazratji  

In this video Dr. Ali teaches the importance of creating a structure and timetable for Tazkiyya every day in our life.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Three levels of Shukr (gratitude): Imam Ghazali

Three levels of Shukr (gratitude): Imam Ghazali

In his very famous book, 'Ihya `Ulum Al-Din' (The Revival of the Religious Sciences), Imam Al-Ghazali draws a beautiful analogy in trying to show the different forms of gratitude that people express:

“Let us give an example. We say that a king who desires to make a journey grants a man in his entourage a favor in the form of a horse. He imagines that the man to whom it is granted will be delighted with the horse for three reasons.

Firstly, he will be delighted because it is a horse and because it has monetary value which can be of benefit to him; because he can use it for riding and that suits his purpose; and because it is a valuable racer as well. This kind of joy is for one who has no interest in the king, his interest is only in the horse. Had he found the horse in a desert, he would have taken it and his joy would have been similar to this joy.

“The second kind of joy is when he delights in it, not because it is a horse, but because he infers the care of the king expressed in it, and his [the king's] compassion for him. Had he found the horse in the desert, or someone other than the king had given it to him, he would not really be happy with it because, in principle, he has no need of the horse and it is of no significance to him compared to his desire to have a place in the heart of the king.

“The third kind of joy is when the servant delights in the horse in order to ride it, to go out in the service of the king and bear the toil of the journey in his service and to obtain the rank of nearness to the king. Perhaps he will be promoted to the position of a minister, because he is not content that his position in the heart of the king should be limited to his [the king's] giving him a horse and caring for him only to this degree. Rather he does not want the king to convey the [favors] from his wealth on anyone except through him. Yet, he does not want the ministry for the sake of the ministry, rather he wants to see the king and be near him. If he had to choose between this proximity to him without the ministry and the ministry without proximity, he would choose proximity.

“These are the three levels [of joy].
In the first, there is no thankfulness at all because the vision of the one possessing it [this level of joy] is confined to the horse and his joy lies in the horse, not in the one who gave it. This is the state of all those who are made happy by a blessing because of the pleasure of it and because it is agreeable to their purpose. This is far from the meaning of thankfulness.
The second [kind] enters the definition of thankfulness in that the person delights in the giver but not exactly because of him [the giver], rather, because of the knowledge of his care; this incites [the person] to seek favor in the future. This is the state of the righteous, who worship God and are thankful to Him for fear of His punishment and hope for His reward.

“Perfect thankfulness is found only in the third kind of joy. It is when the joy of the servant in the blessing of God (exalted is He) is because it enables him to reach a place of proximity to Him (exalted is He), to reside in His companionship, and enjoy the vision of His countenance continually! This is the highest level [of attainment].
Its characteristic is joy in this world only for what it is, a field under cultivation for the Hereafter and the means to assist him to it. He grieves at every blessing that diverts him from the remembrance of God (exalted is He) and turns him away from His path. He does not desire the blessing because it is pleasurable, just as the possessor of the horse does not desire the horse because it is a racer or an ambler, but because it carries him in company with the king, that he may continue to see the king and be near him.

Thus Shibli (may God grant him mercy) said, ‘Thankfulness is the vision of the Bestower, not the vision of the blessing.’”1

May God enable us to show continuous gratitude towards Him, as best as we can, so that He will give us even more (Quran, 14:7), and so that we can use that more to draw nearer to Him. May He enable us to be amongst the “few” who are “thankful” (Qur’an, 34:13) and may He protect us from being amongst “most human beings” who “do not give thanks” (Qur’an, 2:243) and the terrible punishment that they face (Quran, 14:7).

When recognizing His gifts, may He empower us to say, as Sulaiman (`alayhi assalam, peace be upon him) said, “…This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful – his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful – then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous.” (Qur’an, 27:40).

1. Littlejohn HT. Al-Ghazali on Patience and Thankfulness. 1st ed. Cambridge, UK: Islamic Texts Society; 2011. p. 73-75

(Adapted from a article)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

O Broken Heart!

Only Allah can heal the hearts, turn to Him. Accept that whatever comes our way in this life is a test from Him and a trade in return for JANNAH. All our pain and sorrow is not in vain. It is meant to be our ladder to JANNAH. 

Human beings are but agents of God's will. The hand that has given you pain is not fully independent of Allah's will (though it is responsible and has to pay for its acts). None can hurt another with out Allah's permission. 

According to the Hadith (Reported in Sahih Muslim), "this world is like a prison for the Momin" and no one expects to be comfortable or happy in a prison. Rather, suffering & pain is the norm in a prison and so should we expect it in this worldly life. If by chance we get some comforts here, we should be happy and thankful to Allah for the unexpected bounty. 

So move on. Don't get stuck in the past and don't allow it to destroy your future. Turn to The Healer. Submission is the way to Him. May He Heal you quickly.