Discussions and Arguments

Discussions and Arguments: In light of the Sunnah

anger

It is very easy to get angered, annoyed or even heated when you know what you are saying is right. Even more so when the opposing side, is seemingly wearing blinkers and cannot take a step back to view ‘the bigger picture.’

How did the prophet (peace be upon him) deal with arguments? Did he raise his voice? Or argue until the other person was disconcerted or had no choice but to remain silent?

It is in human nature to be argumentative, Allah makes mention of this is the Qur’an, “…but man has ever been, most of anything [prone to] dispute.” (Surah Kahf 18:54) And more than often we find the Qur’an reasoning and proving the existence of One Supreme Creator to those who refuse to ‘step back and see the bigger picture.’ Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean being argumentative in nature permits us, or gives us an excuse to argue about every little thing. After all this life is a test, it is up to us to control our tongues and restrain them.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) on several occasions warned against the evil of the tongue. He cautioned Muadh ibn Jabal, “will people be thrown into hell fire on their noses for other than what their tongues reap!?” (Bukhari)

Our tongues will either be for us or against us on the Day of Resurrection, it can be a means of our entry into hell fire if we are not careful. We have to use it wisely if we want it to be in our favour. On the night journey of Al-Miraaj the Prophet (peace be upon him) witnessed some punishments of hell fire, including punishments for what people’s tongues have said, including lies, spreading false rumours etc… We have to hold our tongues, perhaps sometimes it is better to not say anything at all. The Prophet said, “whoever believes in Allah and the last day should speak a good word or remain silent.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Back to the topic of arguments; the Prophet advised us not to get angry, an instruction which he repeated three times to emphasise its importance. He also said, “do not have ikhtilaaf, for the nations before you had ikhtilaaf and they were destroyed.” (Bukhari)

But he didn’t stop there, he even gave us tips on how to calm down. His mission was to teach us a complete way of life. Bukhari and Muslim related that a person who is angry should say “a’uthu billah mina shaytaan ar-rajeem.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) also advised that one who is standing should sit down, and if his anger does not subside, he should lie down, as collected in Abu Dawud. In addition to this, he recommended that an angry person should remain silent (as reported by Ahmad) or make wudhu (Abu Dawud). That is the Sunnah of arguments; to calm down first. In anger, things are said and done which a person may later regret. It is not worth getting worked up only to calm down and regret your actions. When a person is calm they can think logically.

Another Sunnah is to back down, to give in, even if you are right. As hard and damaging to the human ego as this may seem, it is what we are taught as muslims. Back down to prevent the Shaytaan creating a rift between you and your brother or sister. The Prophet said,

“I guarantee a house in paradise for one who gives up arguing, even if he is right.” (Abu Dawud)

Would we not like a house in paradise? For many of us, we get this opportunity almost every day, yet we continue arguing and let this opportunity pass by without a care. Next time you are in an argument, think straight and follow the Sunnah. Admit defeat if you are wrong, or if you have been corrected. Some people find it hard to acknowledge their mistakes. And even if you are not wrong, avoid the argument, and give it up; is not an everlasting abode in Jannah more valuable than a few minutes spent in anger?!

From the prophetic way, is also to make up with the person you argued with. Ask for their forgiveness and forgive them. “Let them forgive and overlook. Would you not love for Allah to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”(An-Nur 24:22) We as muslims are not supposed to cut the ties of kinship. The bond that binds us as muslims is thicker than that of blood, so can we really cut those ties? Moreover, in the Hadith Qudsi narrated by Muslim, the deeds of two who have argued are not taken up until they have mended their relationship.

This is a reminder to myself before any of you. It is so easy and approved of to ‘stand up for what we believe in,’ a slogan which we are brainwashed with. It so interwoven into the fabric of our society, that to back down from an argument, be it major or minor, to accept defeat or remain silent in the face of a quarrel is to be weak and cowardly, even if it is a simple discussion. To back down from your point of view is seen as something wrong, when in reality to persist in arguments is ‘unislamic’ and unethical. Remember “the strong one is not one who wrestles well, but the strong one is the one who controls himself when he is angry” (Muslim).

To find out more about the deeds of two who have argued, listen to this audio:

Allah Reveals Daily #3 Fix your Grudge

Find out more about the ties of kinship here:

Silatur-Rahm

The Reality of ISIS

The mass Syrian revolt has been continuing for years now, reducing the country to rubble. Its population; innocent victims caught in the onslaught, are the ones bearing the heaviest consequences. As their homes are bombed, their relatives and themselves are murdered in cold blood, and their lives falling to pieces, they remain in a state of dire need. Muslims around the world, unsure of the future of the ummah, are left with two alternatives. Either, to watch the suffering in silence, or to help by any means possible. The second option naturally includes joining the opposition against President Bashar Assad. Though seemingly a great opportunity for jihad (Striving in the cause of Allah) and Shaheed (martyrdom), the question arises, who is the opposition, and what are they doing?

Unfortunately many muslim youth from across the globe have made their way into Syria, without checking the authenticity of the claims of khalifah by the active groups. In Britain, the Government has raised concerns over fear for such individuals becoming ‘radicalised.’ In other countries, governments have warned their citizens of travelling to the area. Nonetheless, long before the Governments took such a stance, the scholars already expressed their views. Knowing that the Free Syrian Army, had plenty of manpower and support from its own people, they advised against those abroad joining the fight, as it could impede the movement. True to the scholars’ foresight; outsiders joining in this war have supported factions of the movement which do not stand for justice, thereby impeding its progress. The movement was in need of medical supplies, financial aid and people’s duaa.

The Free Syrian army is a movement working to oust President Bashar, who is known to have committed crimes against his own people. The revolt factions have become a united front with one simple objective; i.e. the removal of the current President. However, more recently, revolt forces have witnessed the uprising of ISIS, also known as Da’esh, a so-called Islamic Revival faction, whose leaders are claimants to titles such as Khalifah, and Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen. Whilst they declare such glorious titles, the reality on the ground is much more sinister. Despite their popularity, the rising of such a faction has seen internal quarrel and bloodshed within those that stand for change. Muslim youth who have joined the Syrian conflict often succumb to the revolution and ‘Khalifah’ façade painted by ISIS, without knowing that ISIS, is suggested to work for Bashar Assad himself, if not, then they are heavily infiltrated by his supporters.

ISIS is a ‘self-elected’ organisation, seeking to impose khilafah, by obliging other factions within Syria to give them the pledge of allegiance, rather than using a consultation process (shura). It has waged war against such revolt forces thereby stalling progress, and creating division. Arbitrators, innocent civilians and aid workers have also been targeted amidst the chaos. Despite this, reports from various sources highlight the increase in ISIS’ popularity. Many have joined their ranks, unaware of the truth of their actions. It is upon us to reveal the truth, to bring to light the injustice in order to end such oppression.

Whilst the scholars are ignored, how can we ever hope to find peace and justice? Did those that joined ISIS and their likes refer to the Quraan and Sunnah, as it was implemented, explained and interpreted by the Sahabah, the Tabi’een and those nearest to them in resemblance, (the scholars)? Regrettably, members of ISIS and those who support them do not recognise the Syrian scholars, claiming they have been caught in the political web or are puppet creations. However, it is not only Syrian Scholars, calling for an end, internationally scholars have realised the truth about ISIS.

A joint statement by forty seven-scholars of Saudi Arabia, regarding the workings of ISIS highlights the impermissibility of taking another muslim’s life, “There is no act the punishment for which has been mentioned more sternly than that of killing a believer intentionally where a collection of five severe retributions have been listed; “But whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell; wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him, and has cursed him, and has prepared for him a great punishment.” (Surah Nisaa 4:93)

Another united statement by Scholars of Aleppo Front, illustrates the crimes committed by ISIS, “accusations of takfeer (disbelief), their shedding of inviolable blood without second thought, kidnappings and document armed robberies of weapons and ammunitions from other rebel factions, their refusal to allow the Shari’ah to arbitrate between them and other factions, and sowing the seeds of discord amongst between fighters. ISIS’ takfeer often extends to the entire population of Syria.”

Scholars are in unanimous agreement that ISIS’ actions are in disagreement with the Sharia’ah. Their actions are oppressing the people further. Such agreement between a vast range of scholars, should awaken the hearts of sincere individuals who have joined ISIS without prior knowledge. Syria’s future is uncertain in the face of the uprising of ISIS, and muslims who have joined them should think twice about the consequences of their actions, not only in this world, but also in the life to come.

 

References:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/growing-fears-over-britons-radicalised-in-syrian-conflict-9132268.html

http://www.islam21c.com/politics/8744-a-plea-from-syria/

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/01/07/Al-Qaeda-groups-fight-each-other-in-Syria.html

http://www.thejournal.ie/syria-aid-workers-missing-1249026-Jan2014/

http://syriageneva2.org/?p=242&lang=en

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27947343

http://www.islam21c.com/politics/association-of-syrian-scholars-on-isils-actions/

http://www.islam21c.com/politics/conclusive-scholarly-opinions-on-isis/

 

Truthfulness

Muhammad4

No muslim is or was perfect in everything except our Prophet (peace be upon him); he had all the moral qualities which were ordered by Allah. He was the most upright and respectable person ever to walk the face of the earth. On one occasion he (peace be upon him) said, “I was only sent to perfect noble character.” (Collected by Ahmad)

The contemporary Muslim is weak in some areas, average in some, and near to perfect in others and so Islam appreciates the good qualities of every Muslim. Just like our imaan fluctuates, similarly our character has its ups and downs.

In this article let’s discuss the importance of a truthful Muslim. Truthfulness is a necessity in all societies, it brings about trust. For the Muslim, truthfulness has greater value.

Some years back a non-muslim acquaintance said to a Muslim man who had paid less than his due wage “If you are a Muslim you will never break my trust.” So you see, even the non-muslims know about the truthfulness, sincerity and honesty of Islam. Islam commanded us to be truthful, Allah says in surah Baqarah verse 42

“And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].”

A Muslim who obeys the commands of Allah is rewarded for speaking the truth, because it is part of our religion, and we have been instructed to be truthful.

The Prophet said, “Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.” (Sahih Bukhari : Vol. 8:116)

A truthful Muslim is one who is truthful inside and out, i.e. in his speech and his actions. Such a person is truthful in secret and in public. Whether the people can see him or not, he is aware that Allah sees all, and he knows that he will stand before Allah on a coming day, and will be responsible for all his actions.

Now the question is; how truthful of a muslim are we?

Are we amongst those that lied when we were young in class to get out of trouble? Did we lie to our parents, to avoid punishment? How about with our friends? Or are we amongst those that still lie to save face even in petty situations?

Let us look at a story of Abdul Qadir Jilani. When he was a young boy, he told the truth even though bandits were going to steal his money. This shows us the importance of telling the truth even when young, the importance of ingraining the habit of truthfulness especially in children.

The punishment for being untruthful is severe. The Prophet said, “I saw (in a dream), two men came to me.” Then the Prophet narrated the story (saying), “They said, ‘The person, the one whose cheek you saw being torn away (from the mouth to the ear) was a liar and used to tell lies and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, it’s incumbent upon us to build righteous characters. It is not too late to start from now, be truthful in your dealings small or large, private or public, with Muslims and non-muslims alike, speak and be truthful, even if it hurts, or is against you. Repent for your past lies however big or small….Surely Allah is the All Merciful and He is the All-Forgiving.

truth

Fatima Damad,

Writer, AAT

Looking Forward

Ramadaan has sadly passed, yet Allah has blessed us with opportunities to earn His rewards and good pleasure. The Day of Eid was a great celebration during which we praised and thanked Allah for His blessing upon us.

In an attempt to keep up the spirit of Ramadaan, we should be fasting the six days of Shawwal. In the hadith collected by Muslim, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it up with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted the entire year.” The reward for merely fasting a few days extra is great, and Allah has given us the chance to pile up these rewards.

Despite this opportunity of extra rewards, some of us may feel a little disorientated in regards to our ibaadah. The month of Shawwal will surely come to an end, and some of us find ourselves going back to our old ways. The training we gained in Ramadaan is fast wearing-off, and we find ourselves slipping into old norms and routines. Throughout the month of Shawwal, we should have focused on maintaining our good habits which we learned during Ramadaan. But after a month of ‘freedom’ it is easy to fall off track.

The good news is, Dhul-Hijjah is fast approaching. With just over a month to go, it is another time for peaked imaan. For those who are intending to perform hajj, the way is paved with preparation. Mentally, physically and emotionally, preparation must be made. Apart from packing suitcases and buying ihram, one who is intending to go for hajj must educate themselves on the rites of hajj.  For those of us who will not be going this year, it will be an opportunity to re-boost our imaan, by fasting the first ten days, and engaging in thikr and duaa.

Though the ten days will pass by very quickly, it will be an opportunity to pick up where you left off from Ramadaan, a chance to fix up any mistakes. We will lament its passing, yet, it is from the blessing of Allah that He has given us several opportunities in the year to re-charge. After the passage of Dhul-Hijjah, we will begin the cycle again. We will look forward to a new year, beginning with Muharram, during which we are blessed with ‘Ashura. Then, once again, we will prepare for Ramadaan.

These Islamic events carry importance in our lives, and we look forward to them. Though we may not witness the next one, we must always be positive; Allah has still blessed us with the three white days in every month. In accordance with the Sunnah we also have Mondays and Thursdays, and if anyone wants to, they can follow the example of Prophet Dawud, and fast every other day. So it is not all bleak. It is not a dead end, change can be made at any moment. Time and time again we are granted opportunities to get closer to Allah, and keep up the good we learnt from Ramadaan.

The future is bright, if we just opened our eyes, and focused on the blessings and opportunities that Allah has granted us.

 

You Have Everything!

It’s part of humanity; it’s something natural that when somebody gives you something; you take it. What’s natural about it is that you know inside that you will give that person something in return, which will make it a give and take transaction instead of just taking without giving.

For instance, your boss asks you to work full time on Thursdays, and Thursday is your weekend, is usually your free time that you want to spend with wife and children. Now your boss must give you something in return for the extra work you put in, be it an early promotion, overtime etc…

However, with Allah it’s different, Allah continues to give you things without taking anything in return.

You may think right now; but wait, I pray 5 times a day am I not giving Allah my time? And if you ask me that question my answer will be, no.  You are not giving Allah anything, even when you pray you are still taking, you are taking goodness, you are taking pain away from you, you are taking blessings from the prayer. Allah does not need anything from you.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُعْطِي الدُّنْيَا مَنْ يُحِبُّ وَمَنْ لا يُحِبُّ وَلا يُعْطِي الدِّينَ إِلا لِمَنْ أَحَبَّ فَمَنْ أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ الدِّينَ فَقَدْ أَحَبَّهُ

“Allah gives this dunya to whom He loves and whom He doesn’t, but He doesn’t give this deen except to whom He loves, so if Allah gives you this deen, it means He loves you.”

Being a Muslim carrying this deen is the greatest blessing Allah has given you. It is the greatest blessing Allah could bestow upon a person. Look at the Non-Muslim scientists around the world, they study a bachelor’s degree, study their Masters degree, study a PHD, becomes a doctor, then a professor, and yet he makes sujood to a cow, he makes sujood to a mouse, to an animal that cannot talk. Or he makes sujood to the fire, or to the sun. Do not think that Allah gave you nothing, Allah gave you Islam, and that alone is more than enough. Even if you are the poorest person that ever existed on earth, at least you have Islam, which will give you everything in the hereafter.

Talha Ibn Ubaid Allaah, a friend of the Messenger of Allah, was a very poor man, so much so that he only owned one thobe, and he would never ask for help from anyone because his helper is Allah.

تَعْرِفُهُم بِسِيمَاهُمْ لاَ يَسْأَلُونَ النّاسَ إِلْحَافاً

“But you will know them by their (characteristics) sign. They do not ask people consistently (or at all).” (Al-Baqarah 2:273)

 

One day the Messenger of Allah (Saw) asked him, “O Talha, how are you?”

Talha replied: “Alhamdulilah.”

Alhamdulilah and he only has one thobe. But look at us nowadays, you ask your friend how are you? He says, ‘Wallaah ya akhi (By Allah, my brother) this is thulm (oppression) 2 years no promotion; I want to travel to Spain and watch a Real Madrid match and I don’t have enough money, I bought the latest BMW taqseet and I don’t know how I will pay it, I owe Bank Al-Ahli 20,000 SAR because I took a loan and I don’t know how I will pay it back.’

And Talha, he only has one thobe, with many holes and still he says Alhamdulillah.

إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ

“Verily man is to his Lord, ungrateful.” (Al-‘Adiyaat 100:6)

After Talha said Alhamdulillah, the Messenger removed his own shirt and gave it to Talha as a gift.

Talha went to his house, his wife saw the shirt and she knew that this shirt is the Messenger’s. So she asked,

ماذا قلت لرسول الله ، هل شكوت الله إلى رسوله ؟
أياك أن تكون قد شكوت الله تعالى إلى رسوله

“What did you say to the Messenger of Allah? Did you complain to the Messenger of Allah? You better not have complained about Allah to His Messenger!”

‘Did you complain about Allah to his Messenger?’ Wow … look at this way of thinking, did you complain about Allah to his Messenger?

Do you know what Talha replied?

فقال لها و الله ماقبلته من الرسول عليه الصلاة و السلام إلا لأكفن فيه بعد موتي

I swear only accepted this shirt from the Messenger of Allah so that I can wear it when I die

و حتى إذا جاء الملكان ليسألنوني في القبر ، من الرجل الذي بعث فيكم ، أرد عليهما و أقول : هو صاحب القميص الذي أرتديه

So that when the Angels come to ask me in my grave, ‘what do you know about Muhammad?’ I can reply, ‘look I am wearing his shirt.’

Aren’t you satisfied aren’t you pleased with your life? Of course because you are a Muslim, you do not get depressed, because you are a Muslim you do not commit suicide, because you are a Muslim you do not feel that life is miserable.

Dale Carnegie, an American author, who is very famous for his works, and has sold millions of books. He wrote a book talking about happiness, after he published the book, he committed suicide. Do you know why he committed suicide? Because he wasn’t happy. Do you know why he wasn’t happy? Because he didn’t know Allah.He didn’t taste the pleasure of the graces that Allah has bestowed upon him, and neither did he taste the pleasure of Allah.

Do not say Allah didn’t give me!

You, son of Adam are expensive, didn’t you know that? Yes you are expensive; here, 1 million dollars in return for your eye! Here, 5 million dollars, for your nose! Here, 100 million dollars in exchange for your brain! Here, I’ll give you 100 billion dollars for your heart. You will not, you would never sell your body parts like this, because you are priceless. Money can never replace life, which means that you are not even worth 100 billion dollars.

In this world, there are two types of people:

1)      People who need things, but they never ask anyone like Talha.

2)      And people who no matter how much they take, it is not enough, they want more. He gets a higher salary, gets promotion, he is still crying to his manager, ‘I want more’. Never satisfied.

The second category are the kind of people who choose this dunya over the Akhira. “If the son of Adan had two valleys of wealth, he would desire a third, but nothing will satisfy the belly of the son of Adam, except dust.” Muslim.

O slave of Allah, don’t be like those who take, take, take, and never give. They take so much that they are trying to take over the world, but they can’t. The Illuminati, the New world order, they are coming to the Muslim countries, taking over our companies, so they can one day take over Islam, but they cant. When you have Allah in your heart (true and firm belief in Him), nothing can take over you, nothing can break you, and no one can defeat you.

Such people who prefer the dunya over the akhira, do not believe in Allah, they say they will not believe until they see angels falling from the sky. They will never believe because Allah has set a seal over their hearts because of their refusal to accept the signs of Allah. They deny the origin of their very creation, and the numerous clear evidences which Allah has made evident. They deny the truth so much looks like they are injected with dopamine.

Yet, they want freedom, yes, they want freedom, tell them Allah will give you so much freedom, and free they will be.What kind of freedom do they want? Doesn’t it please them that they can breathe the air around them? Doesn’t it please them that they are allowed to inhale and exhale without any tubes in their mouth? Doesn’t it please them that they are able to come to work without being harmed? Isn’t that freedom?!

Our children study in a Muslim school for 17 years, they reach 18 years old, and they want to be ‘free.’ “Dad, mom, I want go and study outside, I want to go to the USA, or to Europe.” Mom agrees dad doesn’t. Mom convinces dad, until he agrees. The child leaves his country as a Muslim, goes to the United States or Europe, becomes friends with the enemies of Islam, his mentality and way of thinking changes, and sometimes he loses his deen for the sake of education. The child studies in the States or in Europe for 4 to 6 years, and comes back to his country and teaches his friends what he learned from the enemies of Allah, more than often corrupting their belief system.

Back to the topic, you have this deen, you have happiness, you have your family, you have things that millions of people don’t have, And the Muslim, the true believer lives happy, in fact as soon as he wakes up in the morning he says, ‘Alhamdulillah’, when he goes to work he says, ‘Alhamdulillah, when something good happens to him he says, ‘Alhamdulillah’, when something bad happens to him he says, ‘Alhamdulillah’, when he leaves this world and goes to paradise he says, ‘Alhamdulillah’, on the day of Judgment when he is resurrected he will say, ‘Alhamdulillah’, in each five prayers he says it 17 times every day, ‘Alhamdulillah’. The Prophet (Saw) said, “strange is the affair of a believer, verily all his affairs are good for him, if something pleasing befalls him, he thanks Allah and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him, he is patient and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the believer.” (Collected by Muslim) Alhamdulilal ‘alaa kulli haal; Alhamdulillah in every situation.

When you pray during Salah and you say,

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Allah says, ‘My servant has praised me.’

الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Allah continues, ‘My slave has lauded me.’

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

‘My slave has glorified me.’

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

This is between me and my servant, and my servant will receive what he asks for.

Say Alhamdulillah, because Allah says;

و اتاكم من كل ما سألتم

“And He gave you from all, you asked of him” (Surah Ibrahim 14:34)

Today I want you to leave feeling blessed, feeling fresh, accept everything that you have and say Alhamdulillah, never tell yourself inside Allah didn’t give me, or I don’t have anything, because that’s a lie, and it’s a disease.

لَآتِيَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَنْ شَمَائِلِهِمْ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ

“And I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful (to You).” (Al-‘Araf 07:17)

Being Thankful to Allah is not based on what you don’t have, it’s based on what you do have, because once you thank Him for what you have you will eventually end up realizing that you have everything.

Rayan Arab,

CEO, AAT

#Gaza

Gaza. The name of a piece of land that has not left our thoughts, tongues or facebook pages for the past four weeks. The name of a small stretch of land inhabited by almost two million. The name of a place associated with bravery, courage and defiance.

It is not easy to read their stories, watch video clips or view images about the tragedy and remain silent. In fact it is impossible. For anyone who has humanity and feeling, your heart automatically reaches out to them. And even though you may be hundreds or thousands of miles away; you care about them.

“The similitude of believers in regards to mutual love, affection and fellow-feeling, is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the entire body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.” (Muslim) Our brothers and sisters are in distress, they are being tested by Allah, and so are we. Will we rise up to the challenge, in face of such oppression, and help out? Will we change our ways, and unite as an ummah in solidarity with the oppressed?

The tragedy of Gaza and any other calamity that affects the ummah, may be seen from various perspectives:

Firstly that Allah is testing us and them. Allah is testing us to see, whether in these difficult times we call on Him alone, not just once, but continually. Whether we abstain from sins, whether we maintain our Islamic principles and guidelines. Whether we will help out our brothers and sisters, pray for them and feel their pain.

Secondly Allah may be punishing us and them. Do we really live up to the standards set by the Prophet (Saw) and the companions? Are we negligent in our duties towards Allah? Ramadaan recently passed; did we make ourselves better this Ramadaan or have we reverted back to the old us, pre-Ramadaan? Have we continued in our sinful, erring ways?

Thirdly, Allah may be showering his mercy. The pain and suffering are an expiation of our sins. As in the hadith narrated by Abu Sa’eed al Khudri, the Prophet (Saw) said; “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress, befalls a muslim even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Bukhari) Moreover, through this pain and suffering people are getting closer to Allah. Some people are coming closer to Allah through duaa, they are turning to Allah alone to relieve the suffering. Some perhaps are abstaining from sin in order for Allah to alleviate the calamity. Others may be getting physically getting closer to Allah, they are dying and returning back to Him. And if Allah accepts them as martyrs, then they will be in His company, their souls in the body of green birds, roaming freely in paradise as they please.

Some of us may be asking; where is the victory?

Well, “Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:11) The change and victory starts with us as individuals. When we get closer to Allah, abstain from sins, serve the deen of Allah, then Allah will aid us. He promised us this.

“O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and establish your feet.” (Surah Muhammad 47:07)

When we follow Islam to the fullest degree, believe in it, know it and apply it in our lives, then we will be successful. Whether death overtakes us first or victory, if we have lived Islam like we should, we will be successful. The victory and help that we so eagerly await will only be granted to us if we fulfil our obligations as muslims.

The Prophet (Saw) said, “whoever relieves a believer’s distress from the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the hereafter…Allah is helping the servant as long as he is helping his brother.” (Muslim) Though we are not directly in the line of fire, it is a binding obligation on us to help by whatever means we can. The bond between us as muslims is thicker than blood and the ties of kinship. Though seemingly the smallest thing we can do is make duaa, in reality it is the greatest thing, for it is the weapon of a believer. In addition, in such circumstances the duaa of the oppressed is never rejected and there is no veil between it and Allah. The blood of a muslim is priceless. Are we not as a whole being oppressed? If we all raised our hands, asked for forgiveness for our sins, and asked Allah sincerely, having full trust in Him alone to alleviate our suffering, would He not do so?

The change starts with you. You have to take the initiative. Do not wait for an imam to make duaa, or an organisation to beg for your donation. Be the change you want to see.

May Allah assist our brothers and sisters, and grant them patience, may he elevate their ranks in paradise, and grant us all victory. May Allah help us to see our mistakes and correct them. Ameen.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-Chief, AAT

If you would like to know more about those who have died in the cause of Allah, listen to this episode of Brother Rayan’s Allah Reveals Podcast: (Allah Reveals #2 They are not Dead)

https://soundcloud.com/dawahshare/ramadan-16

 

Seeking Forgiveness: A Great Honour

We should repent soon after committing a sin. The greater the sin, the greater our repentance should be. Know that as time passes by you’ll begin to lose the essence of asking for forgiveness from Allah.

Repenting is something more than seeking the forgiveness of your Lord. There are many more important matters related to repentance; once you start repenting sincerely from the bottom of your heart, and only for Allah’s sake; then gradually Allah will -in sha ‘Allah- bless you and grant you a deeper understanding and make you stronger in the deen.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Alaah be upon him) said: “When a person repents, Allah rejoices more than one of you who found his camel after he lost it in the desert.” (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6309)

The aforementioned, is a beautiful and cogent hadith which encourages us to repent.

SubhanAllah – How beautiful and blessed he or she would be in making Allah so happy? Isn’t this the world’s greatest feeling? Isn’t this what we strive for as Muslims; the pleasure of Allah?

Tawbah is something that is between you and Allah; your Creator, Sustainer, and Cherisher. It’s something that we should really do often (not just in Ramadaan or hajj), because Allah says:

“Surely, Allah loves those people who constantly repent to Him (do Tawbah to Him).” [2:222]
Notice Allah did not say: “Allah loves the Taa’ibeen (those who repent)”, but He said: ‘Tawwabeen,’ which means “those who constantly, over and over, repent to Allah.”
We are all humans and sometimes we tend to stray off the path for a while. What should we do when we realise we erred? How do we ensure that our repentance is sincere, consistent and successful?

There are three main steps one must take in order to repent sincerely:-

• Regret deeply with a sincere heart for the sin you committed.
• Return to Allah for forgiveness.
• Make a strong intention never to return to that same sin again.

You might have heard people saying that they have sinned so much that they don’t deserve Allah’s forgiveness… Or perhaps you, yourself, are one of those then stop right there!
How can you ever think that Allah won’t forgive you? Allah said a numerous times in the Holy Qur’an that He is The Oft-Forgiving and The Most Compassionate; how could you lose hope in Him?
A mother feels the deepest pain for her child, then Allah being the Creator of all mothers, would definitely feel and hear the slightest of pain & cry of His creation…

During the path of sincere repentance, it is almost as though your heart is blossoming like a flower, you’d feel as if your heart is being dipped in a vast ocean and that ocean is nothing but the love of Allah. The ocean of Allah’s love is scattered with seashells and pearls, our target is to find the seashells and discover the beautiful pearls which are those special secretive moments only between you and Allah.
That moment of discovering the pearls is likened to the moment when you feel content, when you feel happy and satisfied with your repentance to Allah.

Never think that Allah will not forgive us. Repent with sincerity and remember that Allah (swt) loves His servants and He will definitely accept our repentance.

“And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an: Chapter 73, Verse 20]

May Allah forgive all our sins committed in the darkness of night or in the brightness of daylight. Aameen

Sis Maha Bint Nayeem,

Writer, AAT

Spoilt for Choice

Whenever we hear the expression ‘spoilt for choice’ we immediately think of sweets, or delicacies of some sort. I do not disagree that we are spoilt for choice in our abundance of food, however let’s look at this expression from a different perspective.

The hadith books are littered with recommendations of the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructing us to do something or say some words which will earn us paradise. As I flip through my memory, we are truly spoilt for choice with a variety of athkar.

Begin with the Qur’an; in the hadith narrated by Aishah, she quotes the Prophet as saying, “verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” [Bukhari & Muslim] I doubt you will get the company of angels on earth or in hell; the only place is in paradise, where you can be blessed with such esteemed companionship. There are one hundred and fourteen surahs (chapters) in the Qur’an, so take your pick to begin sowing the seeds for you to reap in paradise, Inshallah.

That’s within Jannah; once you’re in, how about to get access to its doors? Well, the Prophet (peace be upon him) didn’t leave that out! On the authority of Qays bin Sa’d, the Prophet said, ‘Should I not indicate to you a door from the doors of Jannah?’ I said, ‘Of Course.’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah!’ [Tirmidhi, Saheeh (Albani)]

Jannah, is at our finger tips, well the tip of our tongues really. It is so easy to achieve and amass its rewards. It doesn’t end there, Jannah is most often described as a garden, so how can we prepare our gardens for our reception?

Jabir reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘for him who says Subhanallahi wa bihamdih’ a palm tree will be planted for Him in Jannah.’ [Tirmidhi] So imagine, how full and luscious your garden will be if you take only five minutes everyday to repeat these words!

The morning supplications alone, carry a huge amount of reward, many granting the supplicant forgiveness and protection; and others giving admittance to paradise. In addition, some will gain you extra rewards, such as freeing slaves, or will make you better than anyone who has said that particular athkar less than you. The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us, if we recite, ‘Hasbiyallahu laa ilaha illahuwa alayhi tawwakaltu wa huwa rabbul ‘arshil ‘atheem,’ seven times in the morning or evening, Allah will grant him whatever he desires from this world or the next. (Abu Dawud) Imagine that!

Keep in mind, that one of the types of people under the shade of Allah on the day when there is no shade, is those who remember Allah in private, so their eyes shed tears. That is another added reward of keeping our tongues moist with the remembrance of Allah.

We really are spoilt for choice. I begin with one simple athkar, and another rushes to my mind with its package of reward, and so I say that one instead. Then I remember another, and another until my mind is crowded, and I can’t choose which one to say. This is truly from the blessings of Allah. It doesn’t take a lot of effort or time to say a few athkaar. We can even say them whilst our hands are busy, as long as we concentrate on our words (otherwise we are repeating like parrots). I have only mentioned a few here, but they are numerous ways to remember Allah in accordance with the Sunnah. Begin your journey, and cultivate your place in paradise!

Reflection: Post Ramadaan

Ramadaan has already passed. After the thirty days, I have one question in my mind; what have I gained? I keep wondering, reflecting and thinking within myself; how have I benefitted?

In previous years, I made the mistake of sprinting during the first week of Ramadaan, jogging during the second, walking during the third and crawling during the last week. By the time it was Eid, I had lost all the momentum and was back to square one. This year, I decided to prepare myself a month earlier. Alhamdulillah, this works well, I had a bit of jogging, but by the last ten days, I was in a good shape. Then came Eid. This is when the real test begins. Post-Ramadaan has always been a test for most of us, how has Ramadaan changed us? Do we become a better servants of Allah, or do we go back to the old us pre-Ramadaan?

This Ramadaan has taught and showed me what I am capable of doing. It surprises me that I can survive with few hours of sleep, that I can read as much Quran. I wondered; if I can do this during Ramadaan, what holds me back during the other months? What stops me? Was it my lack of focus? Was it the dunya? What difference does it make?

We do not read the Quraan during Ramadaan only, and let it collect dust on the shelf in other months. Quran is our guidance. So why restrict it for Ramadaan? Do we only need guidance in Ramadaan and live freely for the rest of the year?

“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.” (2:2)

“These are verses of the wise Book. As guidance and mercy for the doers of good.” (31:2-3)

“Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward.” (17:9)

“… And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims” (16:89)

“No! Indeed, these verses are a reminder” (80:11)

The above verses clearly indicate that the Quraan is something we should constantly keep in touch with. Spirituality and high imaan is not reserved for only Ramadaan. Do we only fast in Ramadaan? Do we only pray during the night during Ramadhan? Of course not. What stop us from voluntarily fast in other months? What stop us from performing the night prayer? What prevents us from continuing all the good habits we practiced in Ramadaan?

Eid isn’t simply about wearing the best clothes, eating the best food, and sending SMS wishing “eid mubarak”. There’s more to it. After a month of Ramadaan, it would be impossible to say that nothing changes in our life. Our determination to be a servant of Allah with taqwa, increasing the quality of our acts of worship and quantities of knowledge in the religion, soft and gentle in actions and speeches, covering awrah, controlling the tongue. Now, that is the reality of Eid and months to come after Ramadaan.

May Allah accept from us and from you!

Anisah Mutasim,

Writer,AAT