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Everyone is Different! A great reminder in this conversation of Imam Malik [rahimahullah]

November 1, 2013 Leave a comment

 

‘Abdullāh bin ‘Abdul-’Azīz al-‘Umarī رحمه الله once wrote a letter to al-Imām Mālik رحمه الله encouraging him to worship in solitude and to abandon the gatherings of people in knowledge. So al-Imām Mālik رحمه الله wrote to him in reply

, “Indeed Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has apportioned actions amongst His servants the same way He has distributed provisions.

 

So it may be that Ṣalāh (voluntary indulgence) has been made easy upon an individual whereas Ṣiyām is not.

 

And it is possible that Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has made it easy for someone else to wage in Jihād (voluntary indulgence) whilst indulgence in Ṣalāh is not made as easy.

 

And it is also possible that Ṣadaqah is made easy for someone else whereas Ṣiyām is not.

 

You are you well aware that spreading and teaching knowledge is from amongst the most virtues actions and I am pleased with what Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has made easy upon me and given me from it. I do not suspect that what I am indulged in and what you are indulged in is other than worship and both of us are upon goodness in shā Allāh.” [1]

 

This story is filled with some amazing lessons and in shā‘ Allāh I shall be sharing few of them in this post.

 

Lesson 1:

 The first thing we learn is the righteousness in the heart of ‘Abdullāh al-‘Umarī رحمه الله when he wrote a letter advising his Muslim brother. This is a practice many Muslims have forgotten. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Religion is naṣīḥah.” We said: “To whom?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “To Allāh and His Book, and His messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.” [2]

 

Many a times we find people wanting to give advice to their brothers but they end up using incorrect means to do so such as:

1.   They do not maintain the correct mannerism when giving advice

2.   They backbite and ‘share’ the mistake of the brother by telling it to someone else and not telling to the actual brother.

 

Lesson 2: 

I used to think that any Muslim who is not actively involved in seeking knowledge or not intending to do so is not a ‘good’ Muslim. But the reality couldn’t be any different. This incident of al-Imām Mālik رحمه الله, firstly, shows his in depth knowledge of this Dīn. Secondly; it also shows on how the deeds differ from people to people. Not everyone is same. Some people might be good at one type of good deeds and others are good something else. Some people have a strong passion for charitable works and they are not good at memorizing Qur’ān. This should not be a reason to discriminate between Muslims. However, one should keep in mind that we are referring to Sunan and Nawāfil actions and not the Fard ones. We, as Muslims, are in such a situation in our lifetime (as an Ummah) that there is a huge demand of good Muslims in every field of life from worship in solitude to being a good politician.

It is narrated that

‘Ali رضي الله عنه said, “We were accompanying a funeral procession in Baqī` Al-Gharqad when the Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم proceeded towards us and sat down. We sat around him. He had a small stick in his hand. He was bending down his head and scraping the ground with the stick. He said, “There is none among you but has a place assigned for him either in the Jannah or in the Hell.” The Companions said: “O Messenger of Allāh, should we not depend upon what has been written for us (and give up doing good deeds)?’” The Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “Carry on doing good deeds. Every one will find it easy to do such deeds (as will lead him to his destined place) for which he has been created.” [3]

 

This ḥadīth tells us that we should continue performing any good deeds we are currently performing. Whatever they maybe, they could the means towards our end to Jannah. One should also not feel bitter by seeing someone engaged in, for instance, Islamic activism whilst he is busy in charity work degrading his own actions. Maybe Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has made it easy for this person charity and that will lead him to Jannah. Each one of us should sit down with themselves and contemplate. Which voluntary deed do I enjoy doing? Which voluntary deed I often find myself engaging in? Is it dhikr? Is it recitation of Qur’ān? Is it spending money in charity? This way we can build upon our already obligatory deeds (which we should be fulfilling anyway!)

 

 

Lesson 3:

Finally, we also see al-Imām Mālik رحمه الله’s good akhlāq when he responds to the letter. He does not have bad suspicion about his brother rather he accepts his advice with patience. He does not blast at him. He does not insult him. He does not tell him, “Who are you to tell me when I am Imām Mālik?!” We have probably never heard of ‘Abdullāh al-‘Umarīرحمه الله but he advised al-Imām Mālik رحمه الله who, being the giant he was, politely accepts his advice unlike many of us who are maybe more learned religiously or even in worldly issues. He was not like those whom Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has mentioned in the āyah,

“And when it is said to him, ‘Fear Allah’, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. So enough for him is Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest!” [4]

 

On top of that, he also concludes his letter by saying that both of them were involved in worship. This shows that he did not put down anyone’s effort in Dīn whatever it may be and how little it may be.

And Allāh سبحانه و تعالى knows best

 

Footnotes:

[1] Tanwīr ul-Ḥawālik

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

[3] Ṣaḥīḥ ul-Bukhārī and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

[4] Sūrat ul-Baqarah,2:206

 

Taken from alMufakkir blog.

 

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Counsel in Sevens

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Abu Hurayrah (radyAllahu`anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Seven [types of] people are shaded by Allah in the shade of His Throne, on the Day when there will be no shade but His Shade [i.e. on the Day of Judgement] –

[1] a just ruler, a young man who grew up in the worship of Allah, [2] a person whose heart is attached to the mosque [and longs to return to it] from the moment he leaves it until he returns to it, [3] two persons who love each other for the sake of Allah, [4] meet for His sake and depart from each other for His sake, [5] a person who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes well up with tears, [6] a man whom an extremely beautiful and rich woman seduces, but he [rejecting her seduction] says, ‘I fear Allah’; and [7] a person who gives charity and conceals it [to such an extent] that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.”

Narrated by Abu Hurairah & collected in Sahih al-Bukhari (english trans.) vol.1, p.356, no.629 & Sahih Muslim english trans.) vol.2, p.493, no.2248

 

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radyAllahu`anhu) said, “The miser will not escape one of seven things –

[1] either he will die and the one who will inherit his wealth will spend it in that which Allah the Exalted has forbidden, or [2] Allah will empower over him a tyrant ruler who will take his wealth from him after humiliating him, or [3] He will inflame in him a desire that will cause him to loose his wealth, or [4] he will have the idea of constructing a building in an unsuitable piece of land and will thus waste his wealth, or [5] one of the calamities of the dunya such as drowning, burning, theft or similar things will befall it, or [6] he will be afflicted with permanent illness and he will spend all his wealth seeking a cure, or [7] he will bury the wealth in a place which he will forget and thus will never find it again.”

 

`Umar (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

[1] The one who laughs a lot will lose his respect; [2]the one who makes mockery of people will be mocked by others; [3] the one who is excessive in something will become known for it; [4] the one who speaks a lot will make many blunders; [5] the one who makes many blunders will lose his sense of shame; [6] the one who loses his sense of shame will lose his God-consciousness; and [7] the one who loses his God-consciousness will cause his heart to die.”

`Uthman (radyAllahu`anhu) said when discussing the saying of Allah the Exalted, “And beneath it was a treasure for them, and their father was righteous man”, “the treasure is a gold tablet and on it were written seven lines:

[1] I am amazed at the one who knows death is coming yet laughs; [2] I am amazed at the one who knows that all things are predestined yet becomes distressed over what he has missed; [3] I am amazed at the one who knows about accountability and yet gathers wealth; [4] I am amazed at the one who knows about the Hellfire yet sins; [5] I am amazed at the one who believes in Allah with certainty yet remembers others beside Him; [6] I am amazed at the one who believes in Paradise with certainty yet is at ease in the dunya; and [7] I am amazed at the one who knows Satan is an enemy yet obeys him.”

 

`Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) was asked,

“What is heavier than the sky? What is wider than the earth? What is richer than the sea? What is harder than rock? What is hotter than fire? What is colder than ice? What is more bitter then poison?

 

He replied, “[1] Accusing the innocent is heavier than the sky; [2] the Truth is wider than the earth; [3] a content heart is richer than the sea; [4] the heart of a hypocrite is harder than a rock; [5] a tyrant ruler is hotter than fire; [6] being in need of help from a scoundrel is colder than ice; and [7] backbiting is more bitter than poison).”

 

Ibn `Abbas (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“It is a duty on an intelligent person to choose seven things over seven others – [1] poverty over wealth, [2] lowliness over honour, [3] humility over arrogance, [4] hunger over satiety, [5] sadness over happiness, [6] inferiority over superiority, and [7] death over life.”

 

[Preparing For The Day Of Judgement By: Imaam Ibn Hajar Al‘ Asqalani, page 33-35]

8 Advises from 4 Khulafa-e-Rashideen [Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali]

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“There are eight things which are adornments for eight others – [1] chastity is the adornment for poverty; [2] gratitude is the adornment for blessings; [3] patience is the adornment for calamity; [4] gentleness is the adornment for knowledge; [5] humility is the adornment for the student; [6] much crying is the adornment for fear [of Allah]; [7] not boasting of one’s generosity to its recipient is the adornment for charity; and [8] complete calmness and inner concentration is the adornment for prayer.”

 

 

`Umar (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

[1] The one who abandons superfluous speech will be given wisdom, [2] the one who abandons superfluous looking will be given the tranquillity of the heart; [3] the one who abandons superfluous food will be given delight in worship; [4] the one who abandons superfluous laughter will be given veneration; [5] the one who abandons superfluous joking will be given a beautiful appearance; [6] the one who abandons the love of the dunya will be granted the love of the Hereafter; [7] the one who abandons busying himself with the faults of others will be given the ability to rectify his own faults; and [8] the one who abandons questioning the Essence of Allah the Exalted will given security from hypocrisy.”

 

 

`Uthman (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“Signs of a person who really know Allah are eight  [1] his heart is in a state of fear and [2] hope, [3] his tongue is in a state of praise and [4] gratitude, [5] his eyes are in a state of shame and [6] tears, and [7] his will is in leaving the dunya and [8] seeking the pleasure of his Lord.

 

 

`Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

[1] There is no good in prayer without concentration and calmness; [2] there is no good in fasting without refraining from idle talk; [3] there is no good in reading without any contemplation; [4] there is no good in knowledge without piety; [5] there is no good in wealth without generosity; [6] there is no good in brotherhood without caring for another; [7] there is no good in a blessing that is short-lived; and [8] there is no good in supplication without sincerity.”

 

[Preparing For The Day Of Judgement By: Imaam Ibn Hajar Al‘ Asqalani, page 36]

9 Advises from 4 Khulafa-e-Rashideen [Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali]

September 19, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

Worshippers are of three groups, each group has three signs by which it is known – a group who worship Allah the Exalted out of fear; a group who worship Allah out of hope; and a group who worship Allah out of love. For the first group there are three signs – they disparage themselves; deem their righteous deeds to be few; and there evil deeds to be plenty. For the second group there are three signs – They are an example to others in all situations; they are the most generous of all people in spending their wealth; and they have the best opinion amongst creatures regarding Allah. As for the third group there are three signs – they gave away what they love most and do not care as long as their Lord is pleased with them; and they do that which will displease their nafs to please their Lord, and they are with their Lord in every situation, whether it be in [following] His commandments or [avoiding] His prohibitions.”

 

`Umar (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

The progeny of Satan are nine Zaltun, Wathin, Laqus, A`wan, Haffaf, Murra, al-Musawwit, Dasim and Walhan. Zaltun commands the markets and he unfurls his banner therein; Wathan commands catastrophes; A`wan commands rulers; Haffaf commands intoxicants; Murra commands licentious music; Laqus commands the Magians; Al-Musawwit commands [false] news which he puts in the mouths of people while they know not its origin; Dasim commands houses; if a man were to enter his house without greeting his wife and family with salam and mentioning the name of Allah the Exalted, Dasim will cause a dispute between husband and wife such that it leads to divorce, separation, or violence; as for Walhan, he whispers [in people’s ears] during ablution, prayer, and other acts of worship.”

 

`Uthman (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

The one who observes the five daily prayers in their proper times and is constant in this, Allah will honour him with nine miracles – Allah will love him, his health will be good, angels will protect him, blessedness (baraka) will descend on his house, the sign of the righteous will be  apparent on his face, Allah will soften his heart, he will cross the bridge of al-sirat al-mustaqim [in the Hereafter] at the speed of a flash of lightening, Allah will save him from Hellfire, and Allah will place him amongst the people who have no fear nor are they ever sad.”

 

`Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“Shedding tears is of three types – the first is from the fear of Allah’s punishment, the second is from the fear of Allah’s anger, and the third is from the fear of being cut off from Allah. The first one is a compensation for sins, the second is purification from faults, and the third is elevation to the ranks of sainthood accompanied by the pleasure of the Beloved. The fruit of the compensation of sins is salvation from punishment; the fruit of the purification of faults is eternal bliss and high ranks; and the fruit of the elevation to the ranks of sainthood accompanied by the pleasure of the Beloved is glad tidings from Allah the Exalted of His pleasure, of seeing Him, of the visiting of angels, and of an increase in virtue.”

 

[Preparing For The Day Of Judgement By: Imaam Ibn Hajar Al‘ Asqalani, page 37-38]

 

10 Advises from 4 Khulafa-e-Rashideen [Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali]

September 16, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“There is not a servant whom Allah has given the following ten traits except that he will be saved from all pitfalls and afflictions, reach the rank of those who are close to Allah, and attain the position of the pious ones – the first is perpetual truthfulness together with a content heart; the second, complete patience together with permanent gratitude; the third, perpetual poverty together with ever-present asceticism (zuhd); the fourth, uninterrupted contemplation together with an empty stomach; the fifth, lasting sadness together with continuous fear; the sixth, perpetual struggle together with a humble body; the seventh, perpetual gentleness together with ever-present mercy; the eighth, perpetual love [of Allah] together with shame; the ninth, beneficial knowledge together with perpetual patience; and the tenth, perpetual faith (iman) with an unflappable intellect.”

 

 

`Umar (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“Ten things are not right without ten others –[1] intelligence without God-consciousness, [2] superiority without knowledge, [3] success without fear, [4] power without justice, [5] noble lineage without manners, [6] happiness without security, [7] wealth without generosity, [8] poverty without contentment, [9] [having] a high and exalted position without humility, and [10] jihad without the guidance and support of Allah.”

 

 

`Uthman (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“The most futile of all things are ten – [1] a scholar who is not asked, [2] knowledge which is not acted upon, [3] a correct opinion which is not accepted, [4] a weapon which is not used, [5] a mosque wherein none pray, [6]a copy of the Qur’an which is not read, [7] wealth which is not spent, [8] a horse which is not mounted, [9] knowledge of asceticism by one who pursues the dunya, and [10] a long life in which no provisions have been prepared for the departure,”

 

 

`Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

[1] Knowledge is the best inheritance, [2] good manners are the best craft, [3] piety is the best provision, [4] worship is the best baggage, [5] righteous action is the best guide, [6] good character is the best companion, [7]gentleness is the best advisor, [8] contentment is the best wealth, [9] [divine] assistance is the best ally, and [10] death is the best teacher.”

 

[Preparing For The Day Of Judgement By: Imaam Ibn Hajar Al‘ Asqalani, page 39-40]

 

Classes of men: Different narrations

May 27, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Khalid ibn Safwan said,

“People are of three classes:

1] a class of scholars,

2] a class of orators, and

3] a class of litterateurs;

and there is a group of brainless people among them who make prices rise, who cause markets to be sluggish, and who render waters turbid.”

 

Al-Hasan said,

“Men are of three kinds:

1] a man who is like food and is indispensable,

2] a man who is like medication and is needed only from time to time, and

3] a man who is like disease and is not needed at all.”

 

Mutarrif ibn Abd Allah ibn al-Shikhkhir said,

“People are of three kinds: human beings, monkeys, and people who have been steeped in the water of people.”

 

Al-Khalal ibn Ahmad said,

“Men are of four kinds:

1] a man who knows, and knows that he knows – this one is a scholar, so ask him questions;

2] a man who knows, and does not know that he knows – this one is forgetful, so remind him;

3] a man who does not know, and knows that he does not know – this one is   an ignorant man, so teach him;

4] and a man who does not know, and does not know that he does not know – this one is a stupid man, so do not have anything to do with him.”

 

A poet said:

Is it not an affliction that you are ignorant,
And that you don’t know that you don’t know?
If you don’t know and are not like one who knows,
How then will you know that you don’t know?

 

Another poet said:

It is a real disease when you teach an ignorant man
And he ignorantly claims that he knows more than you.

 

Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God be pleased with him, said,

“People are of three kinds: religious scholars, learners seeking salvation, and uncivilized rabble who are favorably inclined to every wind.”

 

Wise men said,

“Friends are of three kinds:

1] a friend who loves you sincerely, gives to you generously, and exerts himself to help you;

2] a friend with good intentions who limits himself to his good intention toward you but does not offer his generosity and help; and

3] a friend who flatters you and is distracted from you by his own affairs, and showers down his lies and oaths upon you.”

 

Al-Shabi said,

“Commenting to his companions about a man passing by, Abd Allah ibn Masud said, ‘This man does not know and does not know that he does not know, and he will not learn from one who knows.’ ”

[Al-Iqd al-Farıd, volume II, page 142]

 

Was the believer from the family of Pharaoh better or Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu)?”

March 23, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Once during his caliphate, Ali bin Abi Taaalib (radiAllahu anhu) stood up before the people and delivered the following sermon:

“O people, who is the bravest of all the people?”

Those that were present answered, “You are, O leaders of the Believers.”

 

Ali (radiAllahu anhu) said, “Lo, I never entered into duel with another man except that I came out victorious over him. And yet bravest of all the people was none other than Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu). We once built a command centre for the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and we said, ‘Who will stay with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) so as to prevent the polytheist from attacking him?’ By Allah, not a single one of us approached (to volunteer for the job) except for Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu), who, with his sword unsheathed, stood over the head of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wasallam). Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) then fought against anyone who tried to attack the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and so, yes, he was the bravest of all the people.

 

I remember the time when I saw the Quraish opposing the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and physically shaking him violently, and all the while they were saying to him, ‘Have you taken our Gods and made them into one God!’ By Allah, not a single one of us stepped forward (to defend him) except for Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu), who struggled against and strucked one man and pushed violently another, and all the while he was saying (to them), ‘Woe upon you, are you fighting against a man because he says:My Lord is Allah?”

Ali (radiAllahu anhu) then lifted the robe he was wearing, and he began to cry until his beard became soaked in tears.

 

He then continued, “I ask you by Allah, was the believer from the family of Pharaoh better or Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu)?” The attendees of the gathering then began to cry along with Ali (radiAllahu anhu), who said,

“By Allah, Abu Bakr for an hour is better than the believer of the family of the Pharaoh even if clones of him were to fill the entire earth: the latter kept his faith a secret, while the former openly proclaimed his faith.”

Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah (3/271,272)

 

 

Urwah bin az Zubair related that he once asked ibn Amr ibn al Aas to inform him about the worst thing that the polytheist ever did to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and ibn Amr replied,

“While the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was once praying in the Hijr (one of the sides) of the Ka’bah, ‘Uqbah ibn Abee Mu’eet approached him, wrapped his clothing around his neck, and began to violently choke him. Abu Bakr raced to them and used his shoulder to push Uqbah away from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)

[Al Bukhaaree 3856]

 

Do read this: This love of Abu Bakr for Prophet will make you cry and shake us from within for our love to Prophet

 

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