No Announcement

"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."


عَنْ عُمَيْرِ بْنِ هَانِئٍ الْعَنْسِيِّ ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ ، يَقُولُ : كُنَّا قُعُودًا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ، فَذَكَرَ الْفِتَنَ فَأَكْثَرَ فِي ذِكْرِهَا حَتَّى ذَكَرَ فِتْنَةَ الْأَحْلَاسِ ، فَقَالَ قَائِلٌ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا فِتْنَةُ الْأَحْلَاسِ ؟ قَالَ : ” هِيَ هَرَبٌ وَحَرْبٌ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ السَّرَّاءِ ، دَخَنُهَا مِنْ تَحْتِ قَدَمَيْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ مِنِّي ، وَلَيْسَ مِنِّي ، وَإِنَّمَا أَوْلِيَائِي الْمُتَّقُونَ ، ثُمَّ يَصْطَلِحُ النَّاسُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ كَوَرِكٍ عَلَى ضِلَعٍ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ الدُّهَيْمَاءِ ، لَا تَدَعُ أَحَدًا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ إِلَّا لَطَمَتْهُ لَطْمَةً ، فَإِذَا قِيلَ : انْقَضَتْ ، تَمَادَتْ يُصْبِحُ الرَّجُلُ فِيهَا مُؤْمِنًا ، وَيُمْسِي كَافِرًا ، حَتَّى يَصِيرَ النَّاسُ إِلَى فُسْطَاطَيْنِ ، فُسْطَاطِ إِيمَانٍ لَا نِفَاقَ فِيهِ ، وَفُسْطَاطِ نِفَاقٍ لَا إِيمَانَ فِيهِ ، فَإِذَا كَانَ ذَاكُمْ فَانْتَظِرُوا الدَّجَّالَ ، مِنْ يَوْمِهِ ، أَوْ مِنْ غَدِهِ ” أبو داود

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)

“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Three who Stayed Behind

Source : al-islami.com

The story of the three who stayed behind is a very inspiring and moving story from the seerah. The story is referred to in the holy Qur'an in verses 117 and 118 of surat Al-Tawbah. The details of the story are told by Ka'ab ibn Malik, who was actually one of the three men. The story goes as follows.

When the Messenger of Allah decided to launch the Tabuk expedition, he asked all able bodied men to join him, except for those who have special circumstances that would prevent them from travelling and leaving their homes for a long time. Valid excuses would be an illness or elderly parents who need care. The companions rushed to obey the Messenger (pbuh) and they prepared themselves for the long trip.

The Tabuk expedition occured in a very inopportune time for most people. It was a very hot time of the year, and most people avoided long travels during this time. The distance from Al-Madinah to Tabuk was over 500 kilometers, a trip that would take many days by foot or on camels and horses. Also, it was the time of harvest for many owners of gardens around Al-Madinah. Travelling at this time would mean that they would not be able to harvest, and would incur large financial losses.

Yet, even with all of these difficulties, the vast majority of companions obeyed the Messenger (pbuh) without question. They took their provisions, prepared their belongings and were ready to join the Messenger. The holy Qur'an even mentions people whose tears would flow when they were told by the Messenger that he was not able to accomodate them in the expedition (Al-Tawbah, verse 92).

The hypocrites hated the idea of travelling at this time. They preferred to stay at their homes to avoid the heat and the hardship. They wanted to harvest their crops and gain the financial benefits. They thought that it is illogical to travel at this time, and that they must take care of their families and provide for them. So they started to look for any excuse to disobey the Messenger. They started to tell each other and the believers not to go out in this intense heat, and Allah (swt) answered them in the holy Qur'an by saying that the heat of the Hellfire is even more intense, if they would just undestand! (Al-Tawbah, verse 81).

We need to stop at this point for a moment and reflect upon the actions of the hyprocrites. Many of us today, when we are told to obey the commandments of Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh), we also make excuses, some of them are very similar to those made by the hypocrites at the time of the Tabuk expedition. For example, some of our dear sisters who do not wear the hijab would say that it would be too hot in the summer. Some of our dear brothers, when asked why they do not attend the Friday prayer every week explain that they do not want to look bad in front of their boss by being away for an hour every Friday afternoon. Almost all of us have made such excuses at one point or another in our life. It makes one wonder, if the Messenger (pbuh) was among us today and the revelation was still coming down, how many verses would be revealed about us and the excuses that we make for not following the commandments of Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh)? May Allah (swt) guide us all and make us follow the footsteps of the companions who obeyed Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh) without question and without hesitation.

The Messenger (pbuh) left with a large number of the companions towards Tabuk. Some of the companions were late making last minute arrangements but they continued catching up and joining the Messenger (pbuh). Only the hyporcites and those with a valid excuse were left behind. After some time, the Messenger (pbuh) started asking about people whom he didn't see. He wanted to know who obeyed the orders and who rejected them. It is as if he knew that this was more than an expedition. This was a test of faith. Allah (swt) wanted to test the Muslims to see who are the true and sincere believers and who are the people who will make up any excuse to stay in their comfortable life and to avoid any hardship for the sake of Allah (swt).

Indeed, it was a test of faith. There was no battle. After arriving at Tabuk, the Muslims discovered that the army that the Messenger (pbuh) expected to meet retreated when they got news that the Muslims were coming. The only battle was that of the believers against the shaytan (devil) and against their own desires. Those who overcame their desires and decided to obey Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh), even through intense hardship, passed the test.

When they arrived back in Al-Madinah, the hypocrites went to the Messenger (pbuh), and one by one they would tell him their excuse. They would lie and make up stories to justify why they refused to obey the order. The Messenger (pbuh) accepted their excuses, although Allah (swt) exposed them in the holy Qur'an (see verses 90 - 96 of surat Al-Tawbah).

Three of the companions, the three who stayed behind, were different. They were in good health, and had enough wealth and resources that they could have joined the expedition. But they did not. The shaytan was able to overcome them. They disobeyed Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh) and followed their own personal desires.

Ka'ab ibn Malik was one of those three men, and he later told his story. He said that he was in his full health and strength at the time of this expedition. He was also finacially able to go. However, he did not prepare when the others prepared, and he told himself that he would delay his travel and catch up with the expedition after a day or two. The days passed, and he kept delaying the travel, until it was too late for him to catch up. So he stayed behind, and he noticed that the only men remaining in Al-Madinah were the hypocrites, the sick and the elderly, which greatly saddened him.

When he heard that the Messenger (pbuh) arrived back in Al-Madinah, he went to the masjid to welcome him back. He initially thought of any excuse or lie to tell the Messenger (pbuh) in order to avoid angering him. But then he remembered Allah (swt), and he knew that Allah (swt) knows the truth that is in his heart. He realized that he should be honest, and that lying will not help him. In fact, it will only add more sins to the one he has already committed by not joining the Messenger (pbuh).

He arrived at the masjid, and found the hypocrites making excuses and lying to the Messenger (pbuh). He saw the Messenger (pbuh) was accepting their excuses, forgiving them and even praying to Allah (swt) to forgive them. However, being a true sincere and honest believer, he could not lie. He was just not able to lie.

He went up to the Messenger (pbuh), and the Messenger (pbuh) smiled to him but was visibly angry, and he told him to come close and sit beside him. He then asked him: "What made you stay behind, didn't you prepare to come with us?" Ka'ab ibn Malik replied: "By Allah, I was never in better health or wealth than I was on the day you left, and I had no excuse and no reason for not joining". The Messenger (pbuh) told him to get up and leave until Allah (swt) reveals his judgement. Only two other men had the courage and moral character to do the same as Ka'ab ibn Malik, accepting full responsibility for their actions and refusing to lie or make up excuses like the hypocrites did.

The Messenger (pbuh) asked the Muslims to boycott the three men. No one was allowed to talk to them, not even return their salam. Even their own families would not talk to them. The boycott continued for fifty days.

We must again stop at this point of the story and try to learn a lesson from the honesty of Ka'ab ibn Malik. Even though he saw the Messenger (pbuh) accepting the excuses and forgiving anyone who made up any excuse, he simply refused to lie. As a Muslim and a believer, he knew that lying was forbidden. He knew that he could not correct one sin by adding another sin to it. He knew that even if he lied and got away with it in this life, that Allah (swt) knows the truth and will hold him accountable for this lie on the Day of Judgement. He knew how bad the consequences of saying the truth would be for him in this life. But he chose hardship and misery in this life over saying one lie and deserving the punishment from Allah (swt) for it on the Day of Judgement.

We really should learn a lesson from the honesty of this man. How many of us would do what he did? How many of us would just have lied and made up an excuse and then said to ourselves that it is just a small lie, and that we will ask Allah (swt) to forgive us later? How many of us would have passed this test of sincerity? He could not bring himself to lie. We should follow his example, because this is the example of true and sincere Muslims. In fact, Allah (swt) pointed to this beatiful moral character in these three men who stayed behind in verse 119 of surat Al-Tawbah, where Allah (swt) advises all believes: "Oh believers, fear Allah, and stand with the truthful ones". This verse came directly after the verse that mentioned the story of the three men, and although they committed a mistake by not adhereing to the order of the Messenger (pbuh) to go on the Tabuk expedition, Allah (swt) forgave them and accepted their repentance, and Allah (swt) mentioned them as "the truthful ones" in the Qur'an. Their truthfulness and high moral character saved them from their sins and ensured their forgiveness. On the other hand, the hypocrites who thought that they got away with their lies, they did not gain the forgiveness of Allah (swt) and they will face a severe punishment on the Day of Judgement.

The story has a happy ending of course. Allah (swt), after 50 days, revealed the verse 118 of surat Al-Tawbah: "And to the three who were left behind (at the Battle of Tabuk), until the earth became narrow with all its vastness, and their souls became narrow for them, they knew there was no shelter from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them (in mercy) so that they might also turn (in repentance). Allah is the Turner, the Most Merciful."

Their forgiveness was revealed in the holy Qur'an, and it came down from above the seven heavens. It has been recited since that day, and will continue to be recited forever by millions of Muslims around the world. Allah (swt) replaced their hardship and misery with the honour of vindication and of being mentioned in the holy Qur'an. This was their reward for their sincerity and honesty, even though they committed a sin and made a mistake. But they were sincere in their hearts, and they truely loved Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh).

From this we learn that it is never too late to seek forgiveness. It is never too late to turn a new page. Allah (swt) forgives all sins, as long as we are sincere. As long as we love Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh) in our hearts, and we ask for forgiveness sincerely, insha' Allah we shall be granted forgiveness by the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful.

When these verses were revealed, the believers raced to the home of Ka'ab ibn Malik to give him the good news. One of them even got on top of a house and shouted out the news. Every believer wanted to be the first to tell the good news to their brother. They went to his home, hugged him and congratulated him on the forgiveness that he was granted from Allah (swt).

What a beautiful example of brotherhood. They loved their brother. Even though they had boycotted him for 50 days, but when Allah (swt) forgave him they raced to hug him again! Subhan Allah, they loved and hated based on whom Allah (swt) loved and hated, not based on their own personal choice and their own desires. Even though their brother was a sinner, and he made a terrible mistake, and he disobeyed Allah (swt) and the Messenger (pbuh), they still loved him and were hoping he would be forgiven.

We should implement this type of love and brotherhood today amongst ourselves. Unfortuantely, many times when a Muslim commits a sin, the others will treat him badly. Even if he repents, they will still suspect him and never forget his mistake. These are not the manners of true believers. We should follow this beautiful example of the companions. We should rush towards those who repent, and love for our brothers to repent. We should love them and work with them to help them stop committing sins, not accuse them and fight with them and against them. We are all in this together, and we must help each other or else we will all lose everything in this world and on the Day of Judgement.

May Allah (swt) guide us all to what pleases Him.