Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem

Ar-Rahman (الرَّحْمَن) Ar-Raheem (الرَّحيم) are the two names which is of dignified excellence. Let’s dig into their collective meaning- linguistic and legislative (Allah willing) to find its jewels.

Linguistic meaning: They both are taken out from the word “rahmah” meaning “mercy”. And ‘mercy’ has vast meaning such as softness, kindness, and compassion.

Legislative meaning: Allah is the Most Merciful, whose mercy encompasses all of His creation in the earth.

وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ۚ

“…but My mercy encompasses all things…” (Surah Al-A’raf: 156)

The goodness, love, kindness, provisions that we get is due to His mercy. Similarly, due to His mercy our fear, trials and abominations are turned away from us. Allah Says:

وَلَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَاحِهَا وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا ۚ إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. And invoke Him in fear and aspiration. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.”

(Surah Al-A’raf: 56)

In general terms these two names have the same meaning- say it the Most merciful, the Most Gracious, The Most Compassionate, etc which in Arabic means رحمة (rahmah). The difference is in their quality, usage, time and type of mercy.

  Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem
Quality ذاتيَّة فَعْليَّة
Usage Can only be used for Allah.“Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful…” (Surah al-Isra: 110)It is the only name which is on the same degree as the name الله. Can also be used for the creation.“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.” (Surah at-tawbah: 128)
Common and Special Mercy Mercy for all His servants, be it a disbeliever, disbeliever or a hypocrite. (common) Mercy for His special servants i.e. mu’min (believers). He will be Raheem on the day of judgment. (special)
Time 57 114

 

Knowledge has its own effects, and knowledge of Islam depending on the intention affects our Iman (faith) in a positive way as mentioned in the below aayah:

وَإِذَا مَا أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ أَيُّكُمْ زَادَتْهُ هَٰذِهِ إِيمَانًا فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ

“And whenever there comes down a Surah (chapter from the Qur’an), some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which of you has had his Faith increased by it?” As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice.”

(Surah Tawbah 09:124)

Allah’s names are found at the end of almost every ayah (verse) of the Qur’an. The effects of this name on our Iman (faith) are as follows:

  • We come to know of Allah’s essence of Mercy. There is and will not be any change in it nor can one transcend the quality.
  • Allah has sent to us Prophets (May peace be upon them all), books, knowledge about His names, etc as a mercy on us all.
  • He has bestowed Mercy between us and the wild:

Salman reported that Allah’s Messenger said: Verily, Allah created, on the same very day when He created the heavens and the earth, one hundred parts of mercy. Every part of mercy is coextensive with the space between the heavens. and the earth and He out of this mercy endowed one part to the earth and it is because of this that the mother shows affection to her child and even the beasts and birds show kindness to one another and when there would be the Day of Resurrection, Allah would make full (use of Mercy). (Sahih Muslim 2753)

  • Allah’s mercy is wide and encompassing (وسيع)
  • Allah’s mercy overpowers His anger.

It is narrated by Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Messenger said, “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne, “My Mercy overpowers My Anger.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3194)

  • Allah loves us and have more mercy than a mother.

It is narrated by `Umar bin Al-Khattab: Some Sabi (i.e. war prisoners, children and woman only) were brought before the Prophet and behold, a woman amongst them was milking her breasts to feed and whenever she found a child amongst the captives, she took it over her chest and nursed it (she had lost her child but later she found him) the Prophet said to us, “Do you think that this lady can throw her son in the fire?” We replied, “No, if she has the power not to throw it (in the fire).” The Prophet then said, “Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this lady to her son.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

  • Showing mercy to others is great ethics.

It is narrated by Narrated Usama bin Zaid: “…The Prophet replied, “It is mercy which Allah has lodged in the hearts of His slaves, and Allah is merciful only to those of His slaves who are merciful (to others). (Sahih al-Bukhari 1284)

  • Allah (May He be exalted) stated few blessings as mercy. Such as:

“And the good land – its vegetation emerges by permission of its Lord; but that which is bad – nothing emerges except sparsely, with difficulty. Thus do We diversify the signs for a people who are grateful.” (Surah Al-A’raf: 58)

“Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.”(Surah Al-Isra: 27)

“…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.” (Surah An-Nahl: 89)

  • How to ask Allah’s mercy:

It is narrated Abu Huraira that Allah’s Messenger said, “None of you should say: ‘O Allah, forgive me if You wish; O Allah, be merciful to me if You wish,’ but he should always appeal to Allah with determination, for nobody can force Allah to do something against His Will.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Now, reading so much about Allah’s mercy and what effects it, must already be felt in our hearts, and we must be in love with Allah (May He be exalted), isn’t it? Our hopes in Him and our relationship with Him become stronger than before. We have a yearning for His special Mercy so we increase our good deeds. We obey Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Our hearts overflow with love and mercy for the Humans and other creatures.

May Allah with His mercy make us among the good doers, indeed Allah is the Most Merciful.

 Maliha Rahmat,

AAT

Muslims Don’t believe in Jesus?!

Many people are of the opinion that Muslims disregard Jesus, as he is a symbol of Christianity. However, the opposite is truer than can be explained.  With Easter coming up, this issue needs to be set aright!

Muslims believe in Jesus, revere him, hold him in high honour and love him. In fact, it is part of the Muslim belief system to acknowledge Jesus, or in Arabic, Isa, as he is known. The difference arises in that Muslims, believe him to be a prophet of God, not a son of God, nor God himself. He was messenger sent to the Children of Israel, like many other prophets before him.

Muslims believe he was born of a miraculous birth without a father. His mother Mary (Maryam in Arabic) was a chaste woman and did not have a husband.

“And mention in the Book, the story of Mary. When she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. And she took in seclusion from them a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he presented to her, himself as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in The Most Gracious from you, (so leave me), if you should be fearing of Allah.” He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you news of a pure boy.” She said, “How can I have a son when no man has touched me, and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus it will be, and your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me’ and We will make him a sign to the people, and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter already decreed. So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place.” (Surah Maryam 19:16-21)

This is story of the birth of Jesus as is believed by all Muslims. Jesus did not have a father, his mother was a pure and chaste woman who guarded herself. Allah simply willed for Jesus to be, and he was. Allah created Adam without mother or father, so how can the creation of Jesus be any more difficult?!

Muslims also believe that Jesus was among the best of the Prophets (known as ulul ‘azm), along with Abraham, Moses, Noah and Muhammad, Peace be upon them all. They were chosen by Allah, and possessed a strong will and determination in fulfilling their duties of prophet hood. They endured the negativity of their people and bore the torture with patience. Jesus was also special in that he performed many miracles. He spoke from the cradle, amongst others,

“So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle, a child?” He (Jesus) said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am, and has enjoined upon me prayer and charity as long as I live,” (Surah Maryam 19:29-31)

“And a messenger to the Children of Israel, ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay the like of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by the permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and leper, and I give life to the dead, by the permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are indeed believers.” (Aal-Imran 03:49)

Jesus (peace be upon him) performed many other miracles, and it is part of a Muslims belief to accept this. Jesus had no super power, rather it was by Our God’s permission that he was able to perform these wonders. Indeed, this was a sign to the people whom he was sent to, and to us today. For who can perform such tasks except with the aid of only God! Jesus was no more than a messenger of Allah, as he himself said, that his miracles were accomplished by only God’s permission.

Jesus worshipped the only One God alone. He was a servant of Allah, obedient to His commands. He prayed and worshipped the only God as was prescribed for him. He was not a god on earth, nor was he the son of God. He ate food, drank, and prayed. It is not for any divine being to indulge in the same activities as the creation. Allah is far superior to His creation. Jesus was only a messenger of Allah, who was sent to earth to teach the people about Allah.

With Easter round the corner, it’s important that we cover another point of difference; the crucifixion of Jesus. Muslims believe Jesus, was not crucified, though it was made to seem so. We believe that Jesus is alive, and will return to earth near the end of times.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “And their saying, ‘indeed we have killed the messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but another was made to resemble him to them. And indeed those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge about it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him for certain.” (Surah An-Nisa 04:157)

Muslims revere Isa (peace be upon him), we admire him, and venerate him. He is one the greatest Prophets, and his significance is illustrated by the fact that he is mentioned 25 times in the Qur’an by name, whereas Muhammad (peace be upon him) is only mentioned 5 times by name!

1546_holy book

I’m already Half-Muslim!

I was born and raised in an orthodox Christian family which includes the routine of going to church every Sunday, attending regular prayer meetings and sermons. I grew up with a strong belief that there is a God, but I was never a religious person.

Christianity can become really complex when you try to get a deeper understanding. We are forced to believe that God is one who exists in three forms (Father, son and Holy Spirit and to this day I cannot comprehend what the Holy Spirit means) but this subject will not stand strong to test by reason. So, by the time I was starting to reason with everything in life and reason with what I was following; I was not convinced. My church going reduced, prayer meetings and being part of religious gatherings reduced too. My belief in God and that we are accountable to a higher power was there, but a religion as a means to it, was not something I believed in. There was a profound hypocrisy I saw in people around me and in the common belief that religion needs to be changed to suit the times we live in. It simply makes religion an evolving philosophy to suit our requirements and comforts, accommodate our vices and pleasures. It was not really appealing to me and I never felt humbled in front of it either. I never knew what Islam was and I thought it was just another religion out there which was more ritualistic like Hinduism. I chose to live by my own moral code of judgement using reason to judge between good and bad. Reason, is one of God?s greatest gifts and that should be used to drive your conscience in the right path. It was during this time I realised the concept of Interest to be an Evil scheme designed to drain you out of your earnings slowly but steadily. I did believe that women should be appropriately clothed to avoid any harm being done to them. I also followed principles such as never return a gift to show your displeasure etc… A friend of mine told me that I am already a half Muslim and I laughed. I was told that all this was in the Qur’an which tells us what we follow.

Then, I slowly started learning what Islam was all about. It was just another intellectual quest for me. I read this book; The Qur’an and The Bible, in the light of science, by Dr. Zakir Naik. I was not only surprised by the scientific accuracy of the Qur’an against the Bible but also realised it wasn’t very different after all. The facts were simple -It was the next book revealed after the bible. -The book has not been changed to suit the times, rather whatever the time or era we live in, we live by it (the word from Allah) which is something that I was looking for but I never believed existed. -It also exists in the original language that it was revealed In fact, I found it very hard to accept such a thing initially because of the delusional world we live in. So, I decided to learn more and I started watching a lot of videos of Dr. Zakir Naik on comparative studies and also on explanation of the Qur’an and I was surprised by it. A book that has never been changed, in its original language and many people know it by heart. I found it hard to ignore what I was seeing. It was no longer another intellectual quest but it was the ultimate truth. I saw another video by Brother Yusuf Estes explaining to a young man ? Gabriel, why he chose Islam from being a Christian and that really moved me. I could relate to him so much. At this point, I was almost convinced of Qur’an, but I did not accept Islam yet, as I wanted to learn more about the Prophet who had revealed this book. On many Non-Muslim sources, there are many controversial mentions about him and I wanted to clear my misconceptions. I have come across many Muslims who happened to be the most humble and selfless people I have ever encountered in my life. If they were to follow the ways of such a controversial man, how can they be so genuine? I searched for answers to clear my misconceptions and wanted to read his biography from an authentic source and I read, When the Moon Split. I was so much attracted to the person he was. I used to wonder why so many Muslims follow the Hadiths and try to be like him. He indeed deserved to be called the greatest man to have ever lived on the face of the earth. I sometimes read an incident or his way of dealing with a situation many times over. Such was the extent to which I adored him and his ways. The bible says “Seek ye the truth and the truth shall set you free” when I did that, this is where my quest for truth ended. I was convinced of Islam and that Mohammed (peace be upon him) was the Messenger for the whole of mankind. I knew Islam was not just a religion for the weekend, but it is a way of life. It was a very simple, uncomplicated and right way of life. I accepted Islam whole-heartedly. Although, My arrogance still never faded away.

I still disagreed on one aspect. I hear every scholar say ? If the Qur’an says it, you follow it and don’t question it. Allah has a reason and Allah is the master planner etc. Well, I’d say let me just scrutinise its purpose before I follow just to be sure. Until this point, I did exactly that. I had no objection to believe that Islam was the truth, but I was one step less closer to Allah, because I wanted to check the purpose or logic for all His words before I followed it. (I just thought the Quran is irrefutable so there is no harm to question to get a deeper understanding). I had many questions and got my answers through some unexpected ways, I just believed it was just logic of life. There was one question to which I simply was not convinced with any answer to it. This was for a very long time, though I was convinced with many teachings of Islam, I was not convinced about ? Why perform wudu before Salah? I really could not comprehend why wudu was necessary theoretically speaking. Some of the questions I asked myself was – Why wouldn?t Allah listen to us if we are unclean? What is this concept that Salah becomes Invalid? Why would Allah force someone to be clean to pray or talk to him? Can we tell a daily worker, a mechanic, a roadside vendor, a traveller, a salesman walking door to door etc ? come clean and talk to me! How rude and cruel is that? Why would Allah do that? Why is He so harsh or cruel? All these questions, because I really did not understand the logic behind wudu and I was not convinced with anyone’s explanation.

Anyways, I was about to do my prayer for the first time and I had learnt how to perform wudu as well. So I went ahead and performed wudu for the first time. When I completed wudu, I felt so ashamed of myself. I just knew how wrong I was and my questions were! After wudu I felt so fresh, energetic and clean. I felt that I had done something on myself and re-energised myself. It just dawned on me ? Allah doesn?t ask us to do it for Him, but He wants us to do it for our own good. I was arguing that a daily worker, a mechanic, a roadside vendor, a traveller, salesman walking door to door etc, can remain dirty and still pray but Allah gives them a reason to refresh themselves, energise themselves, not once but 5 times a day. Mashaallah! So selfless is His love for us and when I felt that love at that moment, it really humbled me. I went on to do my first prayer. I just knew from then on! Whatever Allah gives is for your best, you just have to trust him and thank him. Ask not for what we want but for what?s best for us and trust Him to do the rest. He knows best and He alone knows best. One of the best things that was appealing about Islam, is the simplicity it has to all aspects of it. There are many people like me who have the same misconceptions I once had about Islam. In the near future, I would spend more time to learn in detail about the simplicity in the concepts of Islam and it?s applicability to everyday life but hopefully in a much less arrogant way!

Frederick Stephenson, for AAT

Repentance

#1

prayer

‘You’ve made a mess, you better clean it up!’ How many times have you heard that phrase? Whether from your mother, your aunt, your uncle, your spouse, your sibling…it’s just the same with repentance…but on a grander, more serious scale. Well you made a mistake….might as well fix it up!

Sadly, our souls are inclined to evil; it’s part of their nature. They call us to indulge in everything contrary to what’s right.  Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil,” (Surah Yusuf, 12:53)

Nevertheless, we have a duty to set it right, when we fall into sins, by repenting to Allah. It is an obligation upon us that we repent when we sin. Yet, sometimes we find ourselves, disinclined to repent. It seems a horribly, sad situation.

What causes this state of affairs?

There are several reasons why this occurs. In this article we will look at the root cause. That is having a sick heart, and underrating sins. Just like when a person falls physically ill they seek out treatment, when a person’s heart is spiritually sick, it too needs medication. Just a like a small cold can leave you feeling feeble, a small disease affecting the heart can render a person’s iman weak, which in turn causes negligence with regards to the limits of Allah. Just like sickness leaves you bedridden, sins on the other hand may leave you in the depths of hell fire. I did warn you it was more serious!

To remedy a spiritually sick heart, a person must seek out ways to come closer to Allah, thereby pumping up their iman. We cannot cover all the methods here, but I will mention a few in brief. A person should begin to provide therapy for their heart by spending time with the Qur’an and reflecting upon its various ayats, as it will help to clean up the darkness that has enveloped the heart. A person should ponder upon the reminders, warnings and glad tidings found throughout the Qur’an.

They should make duaa to Allah to allow them to come closer to Him. Establishing Tahajjud, at a time when everyone else is asleep to reflect upon their state of affairs, is a great opportunity. For at that time of the night, there is nothing to distract a person, nothing to worry about, and nothing to do next. Furthermore, the arrows of the night never miss, for as we know, Allah descends in a manner that befits His majesty to the lowest heaven during the last part of the night, and answers the supplication of those invoking Him.

A person with a sick heart, should seek out gatherings of dhikr and where Allah is remembered much. For the atmosphere will increase his desire to come closer to Allah. Similarly they should educate themselves with knowledge that will cause them to fear Allah, and thereby feel regret for that which they committed.

Secondly, underrating sins. If a person is unaware that what he does is a sin, he will let it pass without thinking twice about it. In this case, it is important that a person is acquainted with what are sins and what are the boundaries set by Allah. A person should make himself accountable for every action he does be it small or big. He should be aware of every deed he performs, and judge whether it is correct before he does it. He should train himself to recognise sins, and abstain from them. He should make it part of his daily routine to make istighfaar at least seventy times a day, as a safety net, in case he falls into sins. A person should also stay away from what leads to sin. As the path to sinning is just as dangerous as the sin itself.

Moreover, if a person does not recognise his sin to be serious, he will ignore it. If he sees, every sin as a small one, he will continue doing them until they make up a mountain. Rather every sin, should be magnified in his brain so that he feels regret and performs a proper repentance. By doing so he will teach himself, that the pain of regret and sin is bitter, and abstention will come easily to him.

The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Beware of minor sins, for they accumulate until they doom a man.” (Collected by Ahmad) In a similar narration he (peace be upon him) said, “O Aisha, beware of deeds that are regarded as insignificant for they have a pursuer from Allah.” (Ibn Majah, Saheeh by Albaani)

These are just two of the reasons why people fall into sins, and find it difficult to repent. Inshallah in the next part of this article we will cover another reason or two, as to why we find it difficult to repent sincerely to Allah.

Remember, Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him said), “the one who repents from sin is like the one who did not commit a sin.” (Ibn Majah, Sahih by Albaani)

Bibi Zainab Dowlut

Our Love for Him

 

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Heart Softeners #2

Almighty Allah said: “Say (O Muhammad): “if you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Quran and Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Aal Imran 03:31]. 

Often when we love someone, we are constantly thinking about them. We try our best to do everything to please them and we will sacrifice our time, effort and possessions in order to make them happy and to make them love us in return. When people fall in love, they can change completely for the better or for the worse. Some people lose sleep because all they can think about is their beloved, others lose their identity and become who their lover wants them to become, and some even disobey and cut off family ties in order to be with their beloved. Love makes one experience intense attachment, deep devotion and a sense of longing. When we love someone, we do not want to share them with anyone. We want to keep them to ourselves and we want to show the world how much we love them. Although love is a beautiful thing, we need to be really careful who we put all that time, effort, and dedication towards.

“And from among mankind there are some who take for themselves (objects of worship as) rivals to Allah, loving them as they should (only) love Allah. And those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah.” (Al-Baqarah 2:165)

We must beware of loving someone so much that we begin to idolize them resulting in worshiping them. The creation was not created to be worshiped. Rather the Creator who created the creation is the One to be worshiped alone, with no partners. We must realize that the love we have for the creation will always be temporary and that the one we love, may not love us back. The one we love may be the one who breaks our heart and makes us lose hope in all of mankind. The one we love so much may be the one we end up hating. The one who we love so much may be the one who brings us to our demise.

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “the more the servant loves his Master, the less will he love other objects and they will decrease in number. The less the servant loves his Master, the more will he love other objects and they will increase in number (Majmu Fatawa [1/94])

True love is when you love someone and He loves you back unconditionally. He constantly forgives you no matter how many times you have wronged Him. He provides for you everything you need and want. He knows what is good for you and He always knows what is in your best interest. He protects you from harm and evil. He makes sure that you are constantly learning and changing into the best person you can be. He always gives and never ask for anything in return except for your loyalty and gratitude. His love for you is more than that of a mother’s love for her child. He never forsakes you and He never abandons you whenever you need Him the most. He is Always there. His Mercy is greater than His Wrath and He never burdens anyone with more than they can bear. He is Kind, Patient, Peaceful and Loving. He is Allah, the One who Created you.

Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child, she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” (Agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, 5653; Muslim, 6912.)

Should we then not direct all our love and focus towards the One who created us? The One who promises everlasting eternal bliss with palaces made of gold and silver! No creation could ever promise another creation the true Paradise that which Allah, the Almighty has promised: 

“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 bitter 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, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes. And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger, etc.), A spring there, called Salsabil. And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls. And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink.” (Al-Insan 76: 12-21)

The only way we can attain such eternal bliss is by loving Allah more than loving the creation and worshiping Him alone while following the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). True love is not real love unless it is for Allah. When you truly love Him, nothing else in the world matters because you will feel tranquillity, serenity, peace in your heart, soul, and mind. True love for Allah is when you exist knowing that your sole purpose in life is to please Him and Him alone. We live our lives every day falling in love with the wrong person and as a result of that, we fall into depression, suicide and no longer knowing what our purpose in life is anymore. Loving the Creator more than the creation will lead to an eternal life of happiness and joy that we will never find anywhere else except with our Lord, Allah.

Umm Abdur-Rahman,

AAT

Love for our Beloved Prophet

Our Character #5

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A Muslim sister was joking about a Sunnah of the Prophet just to make her friends laugh without realizing how big of a sin it is. This made me think how much do we Muslims respect the Prophet while he used to always worry about us and even though he never met us, and loved us as nobody could have loved us .

“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.” (Surah At- Tawbah 09:128)

Are we not capable of loving him back, as he loved us and stressed for us day and night. It is easy to love him back i.e. just by following his Sunnah, and of course those practices will benefit us in this world and the hereafter. It is always beneficial for ourselves and the people around us.

Allah tells us that the obedience to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is obedience to Allah. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an :

“He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them” (Surah Al-Nisa’ 04:80)

Moreover, Allah has warned us against failing to obey him, and that this may lead a Muslim into shirk slowly. Allah says:

“Make not the calling of the Messenger (Muhammad) among you as your calling one of another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter (of some excuse without taking the permission to leave, from the Messenger). And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad’s) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” (Surah Al-Noor 24:63)

Moreover Allah orders us to honor our Prophet, and an order from Allah if denied, will lead to hellfire.

“In order that you (O mankind) may believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that you assist and honor him, and (that you) glorify (Allah’s) praises morning and afternoon.” (Surah Al-Fath 48:8-9)

Also, Allah has told us that the status of Prophet hood which he gave to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) requires the believers to respect and venerate the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).  To be a true believer we must love the Prophet more than our wealth, our family and ourselves. This means we have to follow his Sunnah even if it goes against our deepest desires.

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Hishaam said: We were with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he was holding the hand of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab. ‘Umar said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, you are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, not until I am dearer to you than your own self.” ‘Umar said to him: “Now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Now (you are a true believer), O ‘Umar.”(Al-Bukhari, 6257)

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said, ‘The reason why it is obligatory to love the Prophet (peace be upon him) and venerate him more than any other person is that we cannot attain the greatest good in this world or in the Hereafter except at the hands of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), by believing in him and following him. That is because no one can be saved from the punishment of Allah, and the mercy of Allah cannot reach him except by means of the Prophet, by believing in him, loving him, being loyal to him and following him. This is the means by which Allah will save him from punishment in this world and in the Hereafter. This is the means by which he will attain what is good in this world and in the Hereafter. The greatest blessing is the blessing of faith, which can only be attained through him, and which is more beneficial than his own self and his wealth. He is the one by means of whom Allah brings people forth from darkness into light, and there is no other way to Allah. As for a person’s self and family, they will not avail him anything before Allah…’ (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 27/246.)

I recently read about Qadianism (Ahmadiyya or Qadiani) and thought to myself how absurd it is that people believe this so called Prophet or Re-incarnation of our Prophet Muhammad without even reading the Qur’an, in which it clearly states that Prophet Muhammad has completed our religion for the generations to come until the Day of Judgment. Allah says, “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (Surah Al-Maida 05:03)

We are not supposed to do any kind of innovations in the Qur’an and Sunnah as this will lead us to Hell.

“Abstain from innovations, for every kind of innovation is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is misguidance and all misguidance leads to hell fire.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Furthermore, there is a group of people who claim that the Prophet did not die but just that we can’t see him. It is clearly stated in the Qur’an that he was a human and he died like any other human being. Allah says, “Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die. Then indeed you, on the Day of Resurrection, before your Lord, will dispute.”(Surah Al-Zumar 39:30-31)

Lastly from all this information we come to a conclusion that our Iman is not complete unless we love the Prophet and follow his Sunnah. Whenever someone insults our prophet we should not spread it around; would you spread around the news if someone insults your family member? We have to pass down the love to our children by telling them stories of the Prophet and filling in them respect for our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

May Allah make us among the believers. Ameen

Fatima Damad,

AAT

Surely, I am Near!

2 verse 186

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” (Al-Baqarah, 02:186)

This is one of the most beautiful ayahs, Allah mentions us by saying “My Slaves”, not ’the slaves’ or just simply slaves, but ‘MY’ Slaves.

You know when we love someone ,we usually use the term ‘My’ ,and its simply heart touching that, Allah -The Magnificent, The Exalted, High and Supreme as He is, calls us, the lowest of the low (because we are slaves and nothing is lower than a slave) “My slaves”.

And He Majestic as He is, Glory be to Him, actually says that “He” is near. No words can describe this, The All Mighty says that He is near!
Even though we sin by day and by night, it is sometimes just simply remarkable, that we use the gifts of Allah, like our eyes, our ears, our hands etc. to transgress, disregarding the fact that Allah might just take away these gifts.
I wonder how can we be so arrogant, so haughty and not care about sinning, while we are all well aware, that the All-powerful, is watching us.

It just amazes me; Ya Allah, You are so lofty, so High and still you honour us by being so close to us.

At times, when we are in ‘spirit dampening’ situations, with depression engulfing us , it’s usually then, when we call out  to Allah, and then when our problems are solved as if it were a miracle, we know, that truly Al-Mujeeb, Allah’s help is indeed near.

I thereby conclude by appealing to all my brothers and sisters to inculcate the act of praying, for verily what more incentives do we want than the aforementioned ayah for Allah’s love for us, despicable and abhorrent as we may be and we should keep in mind that indeed praying to Allah is also considered as an act of worship.

Bint Hasan
Writer, AAT

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Reflection: Beginner’s Mistake

“I gave her endless advice, she still wouldn’t listen!”

“I told him the rulings on this, but he chose to ignore me!”

“I have been reminding you about this again and again, but what did you do?”

Frustrating isn’t it?  As much as we keep on telling ourselves, we are doing da’wah for the sake of Allah, or keep on reminding ourselves to be patient, there are times, we slipped. We are only human after all. Dealing with another creation, isn’t exactly easy.

When I first started changing my life and learning the sunnah, I felt like a Duracell bunny. You know that moment when you feel like you are finally doing something right and you just want others to feel the same way you did. During those few months, I was actively voicing out my opinion on things. I proudly labelled my energetic and enthusiastic approach as da’wah. Admittedly, I got frustrated a lot. I was angry, and keep on questioning myself, “didn’t they see what they did was wrong?”, “I have told them that, why are they still doing it?” It was eating me alive. I got myself in trouble a few times. With the little knowledge that I had, I indulged myself in debate, both online and offline.

One day, I was reading an article by an ustadh from neighbouring country. He pointed out that we are just a reminder. We do not have any power to change others. We can only remind them, and we leave the rest to Allah. It hit me. This is what I was lacking and what I didn’t understand when I did my da’wah. It wasn’t up to me. I conveyed, and the end result is up to Allah, May He Be Glorified. I was just a post-it note on someone’s desk or fridge. Whether they would keep the post-it note, or throw it away, that wasn’t up to me. I had no say in that.

After all the trouble I encountered during the first few months, I learnt my lesson hard. Da’wah isn’t simply preaching with words. Da’wah can be done by our actions, our manners. No one is going to listen to you, if you are harsh with your words. No one is going to listen to you if you start your speech with slander.  Da’wah needs patience. Who is going to listen to you, if you become angry when someone disagrees with you? Da’wah needs strategy. You don’t go to someone and accuse them of being people of innovations, when they don’t even know what they did was wrong. You don’t go to a Christian and mock their belief. Da’wah needs knowledge. One of my fatal mistake was that I preached, with no knowledge. I ended up debating on things in which the scholars differ in opinion.

I realised that during those first few months, instead of gaining friends, I gained enemies. I had people warning against me, and calling me names. Once I changed my approach, with Allah’s will, da’wah is more fun, and I enjoy explaining and talking to people. I keep on reminding myself that I am here to do the job, to convey this message, and Allah will do the rest.

We keep on preaching the importance of da’wah. What we forgot to preach is that we are nothing but a humble servant. We are a reminder. We are a reminder for our brothers and sisters. We are a reminder for our family. We are a reminder for ourselves.

“So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller.” (Surah Al Ghashiyah, 88:21-22)

 By Anisah Matasim,

Writer, AAT

Signs of the Hour 4

 

“Are they waiting for anything except the Hour, to come to them suddenly? But its Signs have already come!”(Surah Muhammad 47:18)

The Hour would be dreadfully grievous. Each and everyone, either the believers or the non believers, would be perturbed. Everyone of us would be in shambles. Our hearts would rent apart.

There are signs which are foretold to us.

Many of the signs prophesied by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have already appeared! Some of the examples of these signs are:

  1. The spread of Riba (usury, interest):

One of the prevalent signs is consuming interest. We all know that taking interest is haram, but do we know the reason why is it haram? Because Allah (Glory be to Him) declared it as haraam (forbidden).

“Those who swallow down usury cannot arise except as one whom Shaytan has prostrated by (his) touch does rise. That is because they say, trading is only like usury; and Allah has allowed trading and forbidden usury. To whomsoever then the admonition has come from his Lord, then he desists, he shall have what has already passed, and his affair is in the hands of Allah; and whoever returns (to it)– these are the inmates of the fire; they shall abide in it.”

[Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 275:]

  1. Condoning music:

Many people have started propagating that music isn’t haraam. Despite the clear prohibition of music and musical instruments, many of them are embarking on legalizing it.

In Surah Luqman Allah (May He be glorifies) declares,

“And among the people are those who purchase idle talk in order to mislead others from the path of Allah in ignorance.”

Scholars are in agreement, the verse quoted above refers to music and musical instruments. Music is nothing but a filthy and obscene talk.The younger generation mostly find it arduous to stop listening to music. One solution to cease from this sin is to sincerely ask for Allah’s guidance.

“Music sounds sweet but in it is a poison for heart.” – Sumayya Hamed

  1. Acceleration of time:

There will be no quality in time. A year will be like a month. A month will be like a week. A week will be like a day. A day will be like as if an item has caught fire and quickly turns into ash. Indeed! Time is running swiftly.

The most prudent is the one who makes proper utilization of time. Make use of time in order to attain Allah’s pleasure.  We are here in this world to enjoin the good and forbid the evil!
Endeavour to collect good deeds before the time elapses. Don’t wait until the appearance all the signs of Qiyamah humbles you into prostration!

May Allah (Glory Be To Him) help us attain Jannah and May He forgive our sins. Ameen

Bint Nayeem,

Writer, AAT

Superstitions

Muharramat #5

I’m sure you’ve all come across some superstitious beliefs before. Have you ever heard the famous one about the number 13, it’s actually got a name too, “triskadekaphobia.” This belief is so engrained in the minds of people, even ‘modernists’ so much so that some recent multi-storey buildings do not have floor 13! There have passed people who also changed their names, because it contained 13 letters! It’s even worse when a Friday happens to be the 13th. This month, Friday the 13th will pass, just as it did last month. Allah is the one in charge of everything, so why do people believe in this bad omen? Do they not put their trust in Allah? Don’t they know that all good and what is apparently evil is from Allah?

So what’s really behind these superstitions? The simple answer is Shaytaan. He manipulates peoples minds to believe so. Therefore, believing that the number 13 is unlucky, observing birds (an Arabian pre-islamic tradition, in which a bird was set to fly before someone travelled), sticking a knife in the mud when it rains or not holding weddings in the month of Safar, are all incorrect beliefs and are haram. To believe such is to fall into shirk.

The Prophet peace be upon him said, “whoever has turned away from doing something because of a bad omen is guilty of Ash-shirk.’ The people asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What expiation is there for doing that?’ He said, ‘that he should say, ‘O Allah! There is no goodness except your goodness and no omen except your omen, and there is no true god but you.’” (Ahmad)

The cure for such beliefs is to put your trust in Allah completely. Ignore the factors around you, know that Allah is greater than what you see, and submit your heart to Him.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “Whosoever puts his trust in Allah, Allah will suffice him.” (At-Talaq 65:03) This is reassurance from Allah; that everything is in His hands.

Ibn Mas’ud said, “There is no one of us (who will not feel pessimistic sometimes), but when we rely on Allah, He makes that feeling go away.” Allah will take away the insecurities from you heart and calm you, only if you have complete reliance on Him.

Begin your day, by openly declaring your trust in Allah, and He will suffice you. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) taught us, “Hasbiy Allahu laa ilaha illa huwa alayhi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rabbul arshil Atheem”, meaning Allah is sufficient for me. I have placed my trust in Him, He is the Lord of the Majestic throne.

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O Allah I seek your protection from associating anything with You anything that I am aware of, and I seek Your forgiveness for whatever I am not aware of.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut