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The art of happiness – Pause to reflect

Do not be sad. If you are poor, then someone else is immersed in debt. If you do not own your own means of transportation, then someone else has been deprived of his legs. If you have reason to complain concerning the pains of sickness, then someone else has been bedridden for years. And if you have lost a child, then someone else has lost many children, for instance, in a single car accident.

Do not be sad. You are a Muslim who believes in Allah, His Messengers, His angels, the Hereafter, and Preordainment both the good and the bad of it. While you are blessed with this faith, which is the greatest of blessings, others disbelieve in Allah, discredit the Messengers, differ among themselves concerning the Book, deny the Hereafter, and deviate in their understanding of Divine Preordainment.

Do not be sad, because if you are, you disturb your soul and heart, and you prevent yourself from sleeping. One of the Arab poets said:

“How often is the young man overcome with despair when afflicted, and with Allah is the way out,

The situation becomes unbearable, and when its rope tightens, it snaps, and throughout, he never thought that he would be saved.”

Being sad is not encouraged in our religion

So do not become weak [against your eneml J, nor be sad… (Qur’an 3: 139)

And grieve not over them, and be not distressed because of what they plot.
(Qur’an 16: 127)

Be not sad, surely Allah is with us. (Qur’an 9: 40)

Referring to true believers, Allah informs us that:

Upon such shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Our ‘an 2: 38)

Sadness enervates the soul’s will to act and paralyzes the body into inactivity. Sadness prevents one from action instead of compelling one towards it. The heart benefits nothing through grief the most beloved thing to the Devil is to make the worshipper sad in order to prevent him from continuing on his path. Allah, the Exalted, says:

*Secret counsels [conspiracies] are only from Shaytaan [Satan], in order that he may cause grief to the believers. (Qur’an 58: 10)

In the following hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“In a company of three, it is forbidden for two to hold secret counsel to the exclusion of the third, since doing so will be a cause of sadness for him.”

Contrary to what some believe (those who have an extreme ascetic bent); the believer should not seek out sadness, because sadness is a harmful condition that afflicts the soul. The Muslim must repel sadness and fight it in any way that is permissible in our Religion.

There is no real benefit to sadness; the Prophet (bpuh) sought refuge from it in the following supplication:

“O’ Allah, I seek refuge in you from anxiety and grief.”

Grief is coupled with anxiety in this hadith. The difference between the two is that if a bad feeling is related to what is going to happen in the future. Then one is feeling anxiety. And if the cause of this feeling concerns the past, then one is feeling grief both of them weaken the heart, causing inactivity and a decrease in will power.

Despite what has been mentioned above, grief may sometimes be both inevitable and necessary. When they enter Paradise, its dwellers will say:
All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has removed from us [all] grief.
(Qur’an 35: 34)

This verse implies that they were afflicted with grief in this life, just as they were afflicted with other forms of hardship, both of which were out of their control. So whenever one is overcome by grief and there is no way to avoid it, one is rewarded, because grief is a form of hardship, and the believer is rewarded for going through hardship. Nonetheless, the believer must ward off grief with supplication and other practical means.

As for the saying of Allah, the Almighty:

Nor his there blame] on those who came to you to be provided with mounts, and when you said: `I can find no mounts for you, ‘ they turned back, while their eves overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend. (Qur ‘an 9: 92)

They were not praised for their grief in itself, but for what that grief indicated and pointed to namely, strong faith. This occurred when they remained behind during one of the Prophet’s expeditions, due to their inability to find the necessary resources needed to make the trip. The verse also exposed the hypocrites, because they did not feel grief when they remained behind.

Therefore the good kind of grief is that which stems from missing out an opportunity to do a good deed or from performing a sin. When one feels sad because he was negligent in fulfilling the rights of Allah, he shows a characteristic of a person who is on the right path. As for the hadith,

“Whatever befalls the believer in terms of anxiety, hardship or grief, Allah will make it an atonement for (some ofd his sins,”)

It indicates that grief is a trial with which the believer is afflicted, and through which some of his sins are atoned for. However, it does not indicate that grief is something to be sought after; the believer should not seek out means of finding grief, thinking that he is performing an act of worship. If this were the case, then the Prophet (bpuh) would have been the first to apply this principle. But he didn’t search out for misery; rather, his face was always smiling, his heart was content, and he was continually joyful.

As for the hadith of Hind, “He was continually sorrowful,” it is considered to be unsubstantiated by scholars of hadith, because among its narrators is someone who is unknown. Not only is the hadith weak because of its chain of narrators; it is also weak because it is contrary to how the Prophet (bpuh) really was.

How could he have been continually in grief when Allah had informed him that he was forgiven for everything (guaranteeing his entry into Paradise) and had protected him from feeling grief over matters pertaining to this life: for example, Allah forbade him from feeling grief over the actions of the disbelievers? How could he have felt grief when all the time his heart was filled with the remembrance of Allah, and when he was at peace with Allah’s promise? In fact, he was always pleasant and his teeth were always visible due to his constant smiles. Whoever delves deeply into his life will know that he came to remove falsehood and to eradicate anxiety, confusion, and grief. He came to free our souls from the tyranny of doubt, disbelief, confusion, and disorder. He came to save our souls from destruction. So many indeed are the favors that were bestowed upon mankind through him (Blessings and Peace be upon him).

And as for the alleged hadith, “Verily, Allah loves all sad hearts,” the chain of its narrators is unknown, so it is not an authentic hadith, especially in view of the fact that the basic principles of our religion are contrary to its import. Even if we were to suppose the hadith to be authentic. Then its meaning would be that sadness is one of the hardships of life imposed upon the worshipper as a form of trial. And if the worshipper is tested by this trial, and if he perserveres through patience, then Allah loves him. As for those who have praised melancholy and have lauded its many virtues (while claiming that our religion encourages it) then they are very mistaken. In fact, every text from revelation that touches upon sadness forbids it and orders its opposite: namely, that we should be content with the mercy and blessings of Allah, and happy with that which has been sent with the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and Peace be upon him).

Those who incline towards extremes in asceticism also relate the following narration:

“If Allah loves one of his slaves, He makes that slave’s heart that of a weeper. And if he hates one of his slaves, then he places a flute in his heart (thus making him constantly light and happy).”

First, we must note that this is an Israelite tradition, which is claimed to be found in the Torah. Nevertheless, it does have a correct meaning since, truly, the believer feels grief due to his sins and the evildoer is ever playful and frivolous, light and joyful. So if the hearts of the faithful grieve, then it is only due to opportunities lost in terms of righteous deeds or because of sins committed. This is contrary to the sadness of the evildoers, whose grief is caused by losing out on physical pleasure or worldly benefit. Their yearnings, anxieties, and sadness are always for these ends and for nothing else.

In this verse, Allah says of his Prophet Israa’eel (Israel):

And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing. (Qur’an 12: 84)

Here we are informed of his grief over losing his beloved son. Simply informing about something does not in itself signify either approval or disapproval of that thing. The fact is that we have been ordered to seek refuge from sadness, as it is a heavy cloud that hangs above its victim, and is a barrier that prevents one from advancing to higher aims.
There is no doubt that sadness is a trial and a hardship, and is in some ways similar to sickness. However, it is not a stage, level, or condition that the pious should actively seek out.

You are required to seek the means of happiness and peace, to ask Allah to grant you a good life, one that gives you a clear conscience and a mind at peace. The achievement of this is an early reward, a point that is underscored by the saying of some, “In this world is a paradise, and whoever does not enter it shall not enter the Paradise of the Hereafter.”

And we ask Allah to open our hearts to the light of faith, to guide our hearts to His straight path, and to save us from a miserable and wretched life.

Do not be sad — Never lose hope of Allah’s mercy

Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.
(Qur’an 12: 87)

[They were reprieved] until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied [by their people], then came to them Our Help… (Qur’an 12: 110)

And we delivered him from the distress. And thus we do deliver the believers.
(Qur’an 21: 88)

And you were harboring doubts about Allah. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking. (Qur an 33: 10-11)

Do not grieve over the hurt that is inflicted upon you by others, and forgive those that have ill-treated you.

The price of jealousy and rancor is enormous; it is the price that the revengeful person pays in exchange for his malice towards others. He pays with his heart, flesh, and blood. His peace, his relaxation, and his happiness – these he forsakes because he desires the sweetness of revenge and because he resents others.

Jealousy and rancor are illnesses for which Allah has given the cure and remedy:

[Those] who repress anger, and who pardon men… (Qur’an 3: 134)

Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish [i.e. don’t punish them]. (Qur’an 7. 199)

Repel [the evil] with one which is better [i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly], then verily! He, bettiveen whom and you there was enmity [will become] as though he was a close friend. (Qur’an 41: 34)

Do not grieve over that which has passed you by in life, for indeed you have been blessed with much.

Contemplate the many favors and gifts that Allah has bestowed upon you and be thankful to Him for them. Remind yourself of Allah’s many blessings, for Him, the Almighty, said:

And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. (Qur’an 16: 18)

And [Allah] has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, [both] apparent [i.e. Islamic Monotheism, and the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.] and hidden [i.e. One’s Faith in Allah (of Islamic Monotheism) knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise, etc.]. (Qur’an 31: 20)

And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help.} (Qur’an 16. 53)

Allah said, establishing His favors upon man:

Wave we not made for him a pair of eyes; and a tongue and a pair of lips? And shown him the two ways [good and evil]? (Qur’an 90: 8-10)

Life, health, the faculties of hearing and seeing, two hands and two legs, water, air, food – these are some of the more visible blessings in this world, while the greatest of all blessings is that of Islam and correct guidance. What would you say to someone who offered you large sums of money in return for your eyes, your ears, your legs, your hands_ or your heart? How great is your wealth in reality? By not being thankful, you do not render justice to Allah’s countless favors

The past is gone forever

By brooding over the past and its tragedies, one exhibits a form of insanity – a kind of sickness that destroys resolve to live for the present moment. Those who have a firm purpose have filed away and forgotten occurrences of the past, which will never again see light, since they occupy such a dark place in the recesses of the mind.

Episodes of the past are finished with; sadness cannot retrieve them, melancholy cannot make things right, and depression will never bring the past back to life. This is because the past is non-existent.

Do not live in the nightmares of former times or under the shade of what you have missed. Save yourself from the ghostly apparition of the past. Do you think that you can return the sun to its place of rising, the baby to its mother’s womb, milk to the udder, or tears to the eye? By constantly dwelling on the past and its happenings, you place yourself in a very frightful and tragic state of mind.

Reading too much into the past is a waste of the present. When Allah mentioned the affairs of the previous nations, He, the Exalted, said:

That was a nation who has passed away.  (Qur’an 2. 134)

Former days are gone and done with, and you benefit nothing by carrying out an autopsy over them, by turning back the wheels of history.

The person who lives in the past is like someone who tries to saw sawdust. Of old, they used to say: “Do not remove the dead from their graves.”

Our tragedy is that we are incapable of dealing with the present: neglecting our beautiful castles, we wail over dilapidated buildings. If every man and every jinn were to try jointly to bring back the past, they would most certainly fail. Everything on earth marches forward, preparing for a new season and so should you.

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)

Verily, we have created all things with Qadar [Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation, as written in the Book of Decrees – Al-Lauh al-Mahfuz]. (Qur’an 54: 49)

And certainly, we shall test you with something offear; hunger; loss of wealth, lives and f -u ShaykhShaykh it’s, but give glad tidings to the patient ones. (Qur’an 2: 155)

And in a hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“Wonderful is the affair of the believer! His affairs in their entirety are good for him: if good befalls him, he is thankful, and that is good for him. And if harm befalls him, he is patient, and that is good for him. And this (prosperous state of being) is only for the believer.”

In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“If you ask, then ask of Allah, and if you seek help, then seek it from Allah. And know that if the whole of the nation were to rally together in order to bring benefit to you in anything, they would not benefit you except with that which Allah has written for you. And if they were to gather together in order to inflict harm upon you with something; they would not harm you except with that which Allah has written upon you. The pens have been raised and the pages have dried.”

The Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) also said: “And know that what has befallen you was not going to miss you, and that which missed you was not meant to befall you.”

In another authentic hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said: “Strive for that which will benefit you, seek help from Allah, do not be weak, and do not say: If I had done such and such, the situation would be such and such. But say: Allah has decreed and what He wishes, He does.”

And in another authentic hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said: “Every matter that Allah decrees for His slave is better for him.”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was asked about sin: Is it good for someone? He said:

“Yes, with the condition that it is followed by being remorseful and repentant, by seeking forgiveness, and by being sincerely moved (to submission) on the inside.”

Allah, the Exalted, says:

And it may be that you dislike a thing, which is good for you and that you like a thing, which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know

Bukhari related that the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“Indeed, Allah extends His Hand in the night to forgive the one who sins in the day, and He extends His Hand in the day to forgive the one who sins at night, and this continues until the sun rises from the west.”

In another hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) relates that Allah said: “O’ my slaves, verily you sin by day and night, and I forgive all sins; so seek forgiveness from me and I will forgive you.”

In another authentic hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“By the One Who has my soul in His Hand, if you were not to sin, then Allah would remove you, and would bring another nation who sins, and who then seek forgiveness from Allah; and He would forgive them.”

And the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) also said:

“By the One, who has my soul in His Hand, if you were not to sin, then I would fear upon you that which is more severe than sin; and that is self-conceit.”

In another authentic narration, the Prophet (bpuh) said: “Every one of you is constantly doing wrong, and the best of those who constantly do wrong are the ones who are constantly making repentance.”

He (bpuh) also said in this authentic hadith:

“Truly, Allah is happier with the repentance of His slave than one of you who is on his mount, and upon his mount is his drink and food; then he loses his mount in the desert, and he searches for it until he loses hope; so he sleeps and then wakes up to find that his mount is beside him, and he says, `O’ Allah, you are my slave and I am your Lord’. He pronounced this mistake as a result of his extreme happiness.”

He (bpuh) is also authentically reported to have said:

“Verily, a slave (of Allah) commits a sin and then he says, `O’ Allah, forgive me my sin, for indeed, none forgives sins except you’. Then he commits another sin, and he afterwards says, `O’ Allah, forgive me my sin, for indeed, none forgives sins except you’. Then he commits another sin, and he afterwards says, `O’ Allah, forgive me my sin, for indeed, none forgives sins except you’. Then Allah says, `My slave knows that he has a Lord, Who takes one to account for sins, and Who also forgives sins, so let my slave do as he wishes. ‘

The meaning of this is that as long as Allah’s slave is contrite and repentant, then Allah will forgive him.

Do not carry the weight of the globe on your shoulders

In a certain class of people there rages an internal war, one that doesn’t take place on the battlefield, but in one’s bedroom, one’s office, one’s own home. It is a war that results in ulcers or an increase in blood pressure. Everything frustrates these people: they become angry at inflation, furious because the rains came late and exasperated when the value of their currency falls. They are forever perturbed and vexed, no matter what the reason.

They think that every cry is against them. (Qur ‘an 63: 4)

My advice to you is this: do not carry the weight of the globe on your shoulders. Let the ground carry the burden of those things that happen. Some people have a heart that is like a sponge, absorbing all kinds of fallacies and misconceptions. It is troubled by the most insignificant of matters; it is the kind of heart that is sure to destroy its possessor.

Those who are principled and are upon the true path are not shaken by hardship; instead, hardship helps to strengthen their resolve and faith. But the reverse is true for the weak-hearted: when they face adversity or trouble, it is only their level of fear that increases. At a time of calamity, there is nothing more beneficial to you than having a brave heart. The one who has such a heart is self-possessed ______ he has firm faith and cool nerves. On the other hand, during the course of any given day, the coward slaughters himself many times with apprehensions and presentiments of impending doom. Therefore, if you desire for yourself a stable life, face all situations with bravery and perseverance.

And let not those who have no certainty of faith discourage you…  (Qur’an 30: 60)

Be more resolute than your circumstances and more ferocious than the winds of calamity. May mercy descend upon the weak-hearted, for how often it is that they are shaken by the smallest of tremors?

And verily, you will find them the greediest of mankind for life…  (Qur’an 2: 96)

As for those who are resolute, they receive help from their Lord and are confident of His promise.

He sent down calmness and tranquility upon them.  (Qur’an 48: 18)

Doing good to others gives comfort to the heart

The first person who benefits from an act of charity is the benefactor himself, by seeing changes in himself and in his manners, by finding peace, by watching a smile form on the lips of another person.

If you find yourself to be in difficulty or distress, show kindness to others, and you will be the first to find solace and comfort. Give to the needy, defend the oppressed, help those in distress, and visit the sick: you will find that happiness surrounds you from all directions.

An act of charity is like perfume it benefits the user, the seller, and the buyer. Furthermore, the psychological benefits that one receives from helping others are indeed great. If you suffer from depression, an act of charity will have a more potent effect on your sickness than will the best available medicine.

Even when you smile upon meeting others, you are giving charity. The Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said:

“Do not dismiss certain acts of kindness by deeming them to be insignificant, even if (such an act) is to meet your brother with a smiling face (for that is a deed which might weigh heavily in your scale of deeds).”

On the other hand, when you frown upon meeting others, you are displaying a sign of enmity, an act that is so detrimental to brotherhood that only Allah knows the full extent of its evil effects.

The Prophet (pbuh) informed us that the prostitute who once gave a handful of water to a dog was rewarded for that deed with Paradise, which is as wide as the heavens and the earth. This is because the Giver of rewards is Forgiving, Rich, and Worthy of Praise.

O’ you, who are threatened by misery, fear and grief, occupy yourself in the betterment of others. Help others in different way through charity, hospitality, sympathy, and support. And in doing so, you will find all of the happiness that you desire.

We who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification, and has in his mind no.favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return; except only the desire to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most High. He surely will be pleased [when he enters Paradise]. (Qur’an 92: 18-21)

Tajweed Class Every Sunday For Adults After Maghrib

Assalamu Alaikum,

Just a quick reminder for all the brothers that we have Tajweed Classes every sunday after Maghrib with brother Majid. This is a blessed opportunity to learn how to recite the Quran in the correct manner.

What is Tajweed?

Tajweed is the science of reciting the Qur’an in accordance with the established rules and regulations of pronunciation so that every letter is recited with all its qualities from its correct place of pronunciation.

Recitation of the Holy Qur’an is a science which needs to be studied so that every letter of the Qur’an can be recited with the correct pronunciation. Due to the vastness of the Arabic language, a small mistake in the pronunciation of a letter or word can change the meaning of that word. For example, the word ‘qalb’ (with a qāf), which means heart, if read ‘kalb’ (with a kāf), will mean ‘dog.’ Hence, reciting the Qur’an incorrectly will mean that, on occasions, you may unknowingly distort the meaning of the Qur’an.

The Tajweed lessons will give brothers a chance to learn how to recite the Qur’an properly, to improve and perfect their recitation and fulfill an important obligation of Islam.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Holy Qur’an: “And recite the Qur’an with Tarteel (in a slow pleasant tone and style).” [73/4].

When asked about the meaning of tarteel, Sayyiduna Ali رضى الله عنه replied, “It means that the Qur’an should be recited with tajweed and with due observance to the rules of waqf (pausing or stopping at the end of a verse)”.

The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم has said, “Indeed Allah desires that the Qur’an be recited in the manner in which it was revealed.”

Benefits & Virtues of Tajweed

The benefit of learning and reciting the Qur’an in the correct manner is that a person will be able to fulfil his obligation as a Muslim towards the Qur’an. It will also become a means of him/her being honoured in this world and in the hereafter. Most importantly he/she will be able to read the Qur’an in the manner in which it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم . In one hadeeth the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has said,

اَفْضَلُ الْعِبَادَتِ قِرَاءَةُ الْقُرْاَن

“The best of all worship is the recitation of the Holy Qur’an.”

What we need to know

In order to recite the Holy Qur’an in the correct manner as it was revealed and recited by the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمwe need to familiarise ourselves with the knowledge of two things:

1. The correct pronunciation of the letters of the Arabic alphabet.

2. The rules related to perfecting the recitation of the Qur’an.

Valuable advice

  • One should not attend with a high expectation of learning the Qur’an quickly. The more time and effort one dedicates in learning the Qur’an, the more precise and correct one’s recitation will become. Practice leads to perfection. Every minute taken out to learn the Qur’an is rewarded. Please note that since every individual has different abilities and therefore there is no specific time scale to complete this course. Everyone will work at their own pace.
  • Extra time (other than the allocated class time) should be spent to revise the Qur’an.
  • With regard to the rules of Tajweed, one should always remember to learn, identify and then implement them.
  • Necessary etiquettes should be adopted before proceeding to recite the Qur’an. This will help towards making the reciting of the Qur’an easier.