Monthly Archives: January 2014

Do not be sad – Everything will occur according to afire-ordainment

Everything occurs according to preordainment and according to what has been decreed. Such is the belief of Muslims, the followers of Muhammad (Blessings and Peace be upon him). And nothing happens in the Universe except through Allah’s Knowledge, Permission, and Divine Plan.

No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees [Al-Lauh al-Mahfuz], before we bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.  (Qur’an 57: 22)

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As long as you have faith in Allah, don’t be sad

Faith in Allah, the Almighty, is to happiness and peace, while disbelief is to confusion and misery. I have read about many intelligent people of a certain kind, some who might even be called geniuses, geniuses though whose hearts are bereft of the light ofguidance. And as such, they spoke wicked words about the Shari’ah (Islamic law). These are two examples that come to mind: Abu al ‘Ulaa al-Ma`arri said about the Shari’ah, “Contradiction, concerning which we can do nothing but stay quiet.” Second, is the saying of Ibn Seena, “The element that influences nature is the active intellect.”

I thus came to know that to the degree that one has faith in his heart will one be happy. More recent sayings, similar in meaning to the two above, are the offspring of the evil words of old that were spoken by Fir’aun:

Fir `aun [Pharaoh] said: ‘O’ chiefs! I know not that you have an ilah [a god] other than me…  (Qur ‘an 28: 38)

Fir’aun said: ‘1 am vour lord, most high.  (Qur’an 79: 24)

James Allen, author of How Man Thinks, said:

“Man will come to know that each time he changes his opinions and thoughts concerning things and other people, those same things and people will in their part also change… Suppose someone to have changed his thinking, and we will be astonished to learn how quickly the state of his material life changes. Therefore the sacred thing that shapes our goals is our own selves.”

Regarding incorrect thinking and its effects, Allah, the Exalted, says:

Nay, but you thought that the Messenger [Muhammad] and the believers would never return to their families; and that seemed fair in your hearts, and you did think an evil thought and you became a useless people going for destruction.  (Qur’an 48: 12)

And they thought wrongly of Allah     the thought of ignorance. They said, Have we any part in the affair? Say you [O’ Muhammad]:`Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allah.   (Qur’an 3: 154)

James Allen also said:

“Everything that a person accomplishes is a direct result of his personal thinking… And man is capable of triumphing and of achieving his goals through his thinking; he will remain weak and miserable if he refuses to acknowledge this.”

Allah, the Almighty, said of true determination and correct thought:

And if they had intended to march out, certainly, they would have made some preparation for it, but Allah was averse to their being sent forth, so He made them lag behind… (Qur’an 9. 46)

Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen… (Qur’an 8: 23)

He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-Sakinah [calmness and tranquility] upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory…    
(Qur ‘an 48: 18)

Do not grieve over trivialities for the entire world is trivial

A righteous person was once thrown into a lion’s cage, and Allah then saved him from its claws. He was later asked, “What were you thinking about at the time.” He said, “I was considering the saliva of a lion – whether it is considered by scholars to be pure or impure (i.e. whether, when I die, I will be in a state of purity or not).”

Allah described those who were with the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) according to their intentions:

Omong you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter. 
(Qur ‘an 3: 152)

Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned that a person’s value is measured according to his determination and his goals. A wise person once said words to the same effect:

“Inform me of a man’s determination and I will tell you what kind of man he is.”

A vessel capsized at sea, and a worshipper was hurled into the water. He began to make ablution, one limb at a time. He managed to get to shore and was saved. He was asked about the ablution and why he made it, to which he replied, “I wanted to make ablution so that I would die in a state of purity.”

Imam Ahmad, during the pangs of death, was pointing to his beard while others were making his ablution for him, reminding them not to miss a spot.

So Allah gave them the reward of this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. (Qur’an 3: 148)

Do not grieve when you are shown overt enmity, for if you forgive and forget, you will have achieved nobility in this world and honor in the next.

But whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. 
(Qur ‘an 42: 40)

Shakespeare said words to the effect of,

“Don’t light the oven too much for your enemy in order not to burn yourself by the flame.”

Someone said to Saalim ibn `Abdullah ibn `Umar, a scholar from the early generations of Islam, “You are an evil man.” He quickly replied, “None knows me save you.”

A man said in a verbal attack to Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him):
“By Allah, I will curse you with such curses that will enter with you into your grave.” He calmly answered, “Nay, but they shall enter with you into yours.”

And someone said to `Amr ibn al-`Aas,

“I will dedicate myself to waging war against you.” `Amr replied, “Now have you fallen into what supersedes all else, and it will be your preoccupation (i.e. your misery).”

General Eisenhower once exclaimed:

“Let us not waste one minute in thought over those whom we do not love.”

The mosquito said to the tree:

Remain firm, for I wish to fly away and leave you.” The tree answered, “By Allah, I felt not your landing on me! Then how will I feel you when you fly away.” Hatim said:

“I forgive the generous one when he saves some of his wealth,
And I turn away from the curses of the accursed one generously.”

And if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity 
(Qur ‘an 25. 72)

(And when the foolish address them [with bad words] they reply back with mild words of gentleness.  (Qur’an 25: 63)

Confucius said:

“The angry man is always replete with poison.”

One man asked the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) to give him advice three times. He (bpuh) answered each time: “Don’t be angry.”

The Prophet (bpuh) said of anger in the following hadith: “Anger is an ember from the fire.”

The Devil overcomes man on three occasions: when he is angry, when he feels lust, and when he is in a state of forgetfulness.

Grieve not when others blame and disparage you

They will do you no harm, barring a trifling annoyance… (Qur’an 3: 111)

…and be not distressed because of what they plot. (Qur’an 16: 127)

…and harm them not. And put your trust in Allah… (Qur’an 33: 48)

…but Allah cleared him fMoosa] of that which they alleged… (Qur’an 33: 69)

An Arab poet said:

“The vast ocean feels no harm,
When the boy pitches into it a rock.”

In a hadith that has a hasan grading, the Prophet (bpuh) said: “Do not speak ill to me of my Companions, for verily, I would love to leave you with a sound breast.”

This life does not deserve our grief

Napoleon exclaimed in Saint Helena:

“I have not known (even) six happy days in my whole life.” The Caliph, Hisham ibn Abdul-Malik, said:

“I have attempted to recall and enumerate the number of happy days in my life, and I have found them to be thirteen in total.” And his father would often repine and say, Read more…

The first generation of Muslims

Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave their Baiy’ah [pledge] to you [O’ Muhammad] under the tree, he knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-Sakinah [calmness and tranquility] upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory.          (Qur’an 48: 18)

This verse explains the highest goal of the believers: achieving the pleasure of Allah. Allah’s was being pleased with you is the most precious thing that you have to gain. This verse mentions Allah’s pleasure for the first generation of Muslims. In other verses, He mentions forgiveness and pardon for them:

That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future…  (Qur ‘an 48: 2)

Allah has forgiven the Prophet, the Muhajiroon [Muslim emigrants who left their homes and came to Al-Madeenah] and the Ansaar [Muslims of Al-Madeenah]… 
(Qur ‘an 9: 117)

May Allah forgive you [O’ Muhammad]? Why did you grant them leave? (Qur’an 9: 43)

Seeking Allah’s pleasure, the companions made a pledge under the tree to sacrifice their lives. Why? Through their martyrdom, the religion grew and spread.
Allah, the Exalted, knew that a high level of faith dwelt in their hearts. They toiled, sweated, starved, and were tortured, but the important thing to these noble hearts was that Allah was pleased with them.

They were separated from their families, their wealth, and their homes only to face harsh realities of desert travel to another land, but they cared only for Allah and His being pleased with them.

Was the reward of these defenders of Islam camels, goats, or money? Do you think that these things would have the effect of soothing their hearts? Never! What soothed their hearts was the pleasure of Allah, His forgiveness, and His eternal reward:

And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive hitter cold, [as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon]. And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal, C/ stal-clear; made of silver They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes.   (Qur ‘an 76: 12-16)

Your value is determined by your faith and character

He was poor and wan and weak. He wore a torn garment with many patches on it. He was barefoot and hungry. Along with his having an obscure lineage, he possessed neither status nor wealth nor family. Without a roof to shelter him, he would sleep in the mosque and drink from public fountains. His pillow was his own arm and his mattress was the uneven, rough ground beneath him. But he always remembered his Lord and he was constantly reciting the verses of Allah’s Book. He would not be absent from the first row in prayer or from the front lines of battle. One day he met the Messenger of Allah (bpuh), who upon seeing him, called him by his name, “O’ Julaybeeb, will you not marry?” “And who would give me their daughter?” was his meek reply. He (may Allah be pleased with him) passed by two others who asked the same question, to which he gave a similar reply. The Messenger of Allah (bpuh) said to him, “O’ Jualaybeeb, go to so and so, the Ansari, and say to him, `The Messenger of Allah sends his greetings of peace to you and he requests you to marry me your daughter.’ This particular Ansari was from a noble and esteemed household. When Julaybeeb carried out the Prophet’s order, the Ansari replied, “And peace is upon the Messenger of Allah. O’ Julaybeeb, how can I marry you my daughter when you have neither wealth nor status?” His wife heard of the news, and she exclaimed in astonishment, “Julaybeeb! He who has neither wealth nor status!” But their believing daughter heard the words of Julaybeeb, words that to her, contained the message of the Messenger of Allah. She said to her parents, “Do you turn down the request of the Messenger of Allah? By Allah, no!” Forthwith, the blessed wedding took place. When their first night came, a caller was in the streets announcing a forthcoming battle. Julaybeeb responded without delay and set out for the battleground. With his own hands, he managed to kill seven disbelievers, and then he himself became martyred. He embraced death pleased with Allah and His Messenger, and pleased with the morals for which he sacrificed his own life. After the battle, the Messenger of Allah was asking about those who were martyred. The people began to inform him of those who died, but they forgot to mention Julaybeeb because of his obscurity. Nevertheless, the Messenger of Allah (bpuh) remembered him, and he said, “But I have lost Julaybeeb.” He (bpuh) then found Julaybeeb’s corpse, the face of which was covered in dust. He shook off the dust from his face and said, “You killed seven and then you were killed! You are from me and I am from you…” And the Messenger of Allah (bpuh) repeated the second part of that statement three times. This medal of distinction from the Messenger of Allah (bpuh) is by itself an ample reward and prize.

The value of Julaybeeb was his faith and his love for the Messenger of Allah, along with the principles for which he died. His humble circumstances and obscure family name did not prevent him from the great honor that was bestowed upon him. With his meager resources he achieved martyrdom, contentment, and happiness for this world and the Hereafter.

They  rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind [not yet martyred] that on them no, fear shall come, nor shall they grieve.  (Qur’an 3: 170)

So remember, it is your principles and your character that determine your value. Poverty has never stood immovable in the way of distinction and the achievement of higher aims.

Seerah Series | Part 2: Specialties of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) | Shaykh Yasir Qadhi

[The following is the video and transcript of Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s Lectures on sīrah. The transcript includes slight modifications for the sake of readability and clarity].

In our last halaqah, we began talking about the khasaa-is, or the specialties of our Prophet Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and we mentioned about 15 of them and the fact of the matter is that there are closer to 50 special things that only he was given and no other person was given. Today inshā’Allāh ta’ala we will continue talking about his characteristics and his appearances and his mannerisms. And as I told you last week, the purpose of this is to give you a little bit of a taster of the seerah. A little bit of a summary if you like, a bird’s eye view, so we get the summary of who exactly our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was.

And we will begin today by talking about his physical appearance, how he used to look ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). And realize that it is the sunnah of Allāh, it is the custom of Allāh that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sends prophets and messengers with the most perfect characteristics, inner and outer. And the reason He does so is so that mankind has no reason to reject this messenger. Every messenger has come with the most perfect characteristics, the most perfect mannerisms, and also perfect images as well. So the prophets, as a general rule, are all handsome in nature. And they all have beautiful characteristics.  And as we know, the Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was given half of all beauty. And some scholars say that half of all beauty means half of all beauty of mankind, and this is the majority opinion. But there is another opinion as well and I’m just mentioning this because to tell you that there is another opinion there, and that is some scholars say that when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said half of beauty, he actually meant half of his own beauty. This is one opinion as well. He actually meant that half of his own beauty, because according to this opinion, the Prophet Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is the most handsome and the mostJamaal of the entire creation, he has the greatest Jamaal of the whole creation. And so they say when he is saying he has been given nisfal husn, or half, (Shatrul Husn is the hadith) half of beauty, some scholars have interpreted this to mean half of his own ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)‘s beauty.

And we have many characteristics that have been described, the physical features of our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). And some of the more beautiful ones are, for example, Ar-Rubayy’ bint Mu’awwidh one of the sahabbiyaat, when her son asked her, “What was the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) like?” this is later on, after he has passed away and she is now an old lady so people are coming to her eagerly, “Describe the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).” And so all she could say, and this is reported in At-Tabaraani’s Kabeer and also Bukhāri’s book Al-Manaqib, all she could say was, “Oh my dear son, if you were to have seen him, you would have thought that the sun had risen up.” I don’t know how to describe it to you, if you were to have seen him you would have thought that the sun has now risen up, this is the rising sun. And it is amazing that Rubayy’i describes him as a sun, beautiful sun.

Ka’ab ibn Malik describes him as a moon. Ka’ab ibn Malik, another famous companion, he said that whenever the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was happy, his face would light up as if it was the full moon. And it is beautiful that the sahabah are describing the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) with what they know to be the most beautiful, and that is the sun and the moon. So we have one sahabiyyah, she’s saying he is like the sun shining. Another one is saying he is like the full moon. And one of my favorite introductions, to this whole topic, we’re not actually describing him yet, we’re simply saying how the sahabahcould not describe him. They couldn’t describe how handsome he was because it was too much for them. And my favorite tradition, wAllāhi it is a tradition; it almost makes you want to cry when you listen to this. And this is the beautiful tradition of ‘Amr ibn al Aas. ‘Amr ibn al Aas is this sahabi, who used to be of the leaders of the Quraysh who were against Islam. ‘Amr ibn al Aas is of the mala’, he’s of the noble men who rejected Islam. He’s like Abu Sufyaan, he’s like Khalid bin Waleed, this category of people who were noble enemies, they weren’t evil enemies.  What I mean by this is you cannot compare them to Abu Lahab, to Abu Jahal, these are the vulgar enemies. There was a group of people, they opposed Islam, but they didn’t stoop to dirty tactics. And the amazing thing by the way, and we’ll talk about this later on, Allāh guided all of them to Islam and this shows that amongst the kufaar, there are two categories: those who have a good heart and because they had a good heart, Khalid ibn Waleed, Ikrimah the son of Abu Jahl, ‘Amr ibn al Aas, Abu Sufyaan, their hearts, they had a mount of good in them, they had nobility, but they opposed Islam and Allāh guided all of them to Islam because Allāh knew there was good in their hearts, whereas the others, they weren’t like this.

So ‘Amr ibn al Aas is of those who converted to Islam very late and he only had the opportunity to be a sahabi, basically for a few years, two years or so, or a little bit more than two. And later on in his life, and he lived a life of political career, he lived a life of grandeur and majesty, he became the wazeer of Muawiyyah, he lived a grand life. ‘Amr ibn al Aas later on would say that there was nothing that was sweeter to me, more beloved to me, than to stare at the face of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Now I want you to pause here. This is not how a man talks usually, right? There was nothing more beloved to me than to stare at the face of another person…that is not how a man talks. But the beauty of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is so overpowering, his Jamaal, his noor is so great that ‘Amr ibn al Aas is saying there was nothing that I got more peace from, more serenity from, there was nothing sweeter than to simply look at the face of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). And he said, “And I could never get enough of looking at him.” I never got tired of looking at him. And yet, were you to ask me how he looked, I couldn’t describe him. Why? He said, “Because along with this desire to stare at him, there was also this awe, this reverence that I had, that couldn’t allow me to just stare directly at him. I’d have to lower my face.” In other words, there are two emotions, if you like, there’s two powers if you like, I don’t like being metaphysical, but there’s two types of types of powers emanating from the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The first of them, he’s attracting ‘Amr’s vision to him. And the second is that awe, that overpowering-ness that ‘Amr cannot stare directly. This is Rasul Allāh ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) how can you stare at him? You have to sit with dignity. You have to sit with, what we call in Arabic, hayba and waqaar. You show a type of dignity in front of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). And therefore he’s saying even though I loved to stare, I couldn’t stare. And because of this I’m always battling between these two emotions. I really cannot do justice in describing the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). It’s a beautiful hadith that shows us, and this is coming from somebody, he is a nobleman of the Quraysh and yet this is how humbled he was just by the appearance, just by theshakal if you like, just by the soorah of the prophet Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Yesterday will never return

The order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get…   
(Qur’an 57: 23)

Adam said to Moosa (Moses) may peace be upon them, “Do you blame me for that which Allah had decreed upon me forty years before He created me.”

Concerning this last saying, the Prophet (bpuh) said: Read more…