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The dear ones stood near the dead body. Some held on to its hands and cried painfully, others kissed its pale, stony face while the rest simply stared at the lifeless body, stifling their erupting emotions. All knew that the time was nearing with every tear that dropped from their longing eyes. All knew that very soon, they would have to let go. All knew that very soon, they would have to let the past, spent with the deceased, go along with the body in a forceful burial of their mind and heart.

Everything quietend down for a moment, people gathered trying to comfort one another with hollow words and empty hugs.The men stood strong and tall, hiding their pain, pacifying themselves quietly. The women sat on white sheets spread on the ground, muttering holy verses on prayer beads, exhausted from the sporadic outbursts of feelings. The ambience swivelled gradually to that of an understanding acquiescence, when from one corner of the room a miserable wail pierced its way through the quiet of the room and seeped into everyone’s freshly ploughed hearts. The semi-dried wounds started to bleed yet again, the hearts set ablaze yet again and everyone gathered around the body, trying to make the sight in front of them as permanent as one can.

Time passed… Past events, past memories spent with the deceased kept rolling in front of the eyes. The remembrance of his smile added to the melancholy, his scoldings felt like golden honey, his words seemed distant yet very alive. Another look on the body put the mind to an irresistable comparison of the way he was, so fresh and alive, to the way he appeared now, indifferent and withdrawn. If only he said something, if only I could get another chance to talk to him, to tell him how much he meant to me, maybe the pain could subside.. alas.. the heart was not to be fooled this time. Reality lay right in front of all eyes, and there was only one way to deal with it; tacit acknowledgement.

Don’t go, please, don’t go… A blunt sense of incompleteness haunted the soul. How dear you were.. no.. how dear you ‘are’ to me..He cannot die. How can he? There he is, right in front of me. It seemed like only yesterday that I sat with him while he narrated the same old jokes and withered down stories to me. I want to listen to them again, don’t go. You’re still here. I can see you right now, sitting on the sofa near your newspaper and spectacles, looking and smiling at me. The throat choked up with suppressed feelings and the eyes let go of a trail of stubborn tears. I want you back, I promise I’ll take care of you, I’ll spend more time with you. You will be my top priority from now, just once.. just once..

The ‘kafan’ was prepared and the body was wrapped inside. The dreadful moment had arrived, for time does not wait. What happened after that, the mind does not register any more. Someone cried, I held on to someone, the body was lifted.. who lifted it? I do not remember.. They took him inside the van.. The gate to the house was opened up.. There was yet another remorseful cry..The van moved away. I walked on to see him just the last time but.. he wasnt there anymore. We all stood there, waiting, what for?.. maybe for him to come back and tell us it was not real. Or maybe the alarm would stir me up from a horrible nightmare any moment now. Time passed.. nothing of the sort happened. He was gone.. and at that moment an ayah struck..

Allah Almighty says, “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, has triumphed. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of delusion,” (3:185)

– “My grandfather passed away on 19th jan 2010. This blog has been written with the niyyat of sadqa-e-jariya for him. May any goodness created through this blog with His izn be blessed onto him. May his final destination be filled with peace. ameen.”

A Story of True Tawbah

Muhammad ibn Sammak (r) relates:

“Musa ibn Muhammad ibn Sulaymaan al-Haashimi was a very wealthy nobleman of the Bani Umayyah clan. He would remain engaged in eating, drinking and merrymaking all the time, having the most elegant, luxurious clothes to wear and indulging in all kinds of lusts and sensual pleasures. He was a handsome young man with a face as beautiful as the moon, and he lived in a palace enjoying the company of beautiful women and men, completely disconnected from the worries and cares of the world. Allah s.w.t had showered upon him all kinds of worldly bounties and favours; his annual income amounted to three hundred and three thousand (303,000) gold coins, all of which he spent on entertainment and lustful pursuits. He lived in a towering mansion, which had large windows on one side which opened out on to the main road, and he would sit beside one of these and watch the women walking outside. The windows on the other side of the mansion opened out to a beautiful garden, from which cool, fresh breezes blew, laden with the sweet fragrance of flowers. In the middle of the floor of his palace stood a big domed pavilion, fashioned out of ivory, studded with nails of silver and polished with gold. This young Haashimi sat in this pleasure-dome, with a gem-studded turban tied around his head, reclining on a throne covered with jeweled brocade, in the company of his close friends and companions, his attendants standing respectfully at a distance, awaiting his orders. In front of the pavilion sat a company of dancers and singing girls; whenever he wanted to listen to music, he just raised his eyes to the sitar, without ever having to utter a word, and the singers came forward to play the instruments and sing songs. When he wanted the music to stop, he just gestured once towards the instruments and the music stopped. This entertainment and amusement continued late into the night when, intoxicated with excessive alcohol and overpowered by sleep, he would tell his friends to leave and would then spend the night with any girl he desired. In the mornings he played chess and dice. Nobody ever talked to him about depressing matters or about death and disease. His parties were devoted to merrymaking, amusement and gossip. Each day people brought him rich varieties of the rarest perfumes from all over the country and beautiful vases filled with sweet-smelling flowers.

This young man, Musa, spent 27 years of his life in such indulgences. One night, when sitting as usual in his pavilion, he heard a melodious voice coming from a distant place, very unlike the voices of his own singers, but so sweet and enchanting that it made him restless. He ordered the music to stop, and then leaned out of his window to listen to the voice attentively. The voice floated on the air, then became silent, then became audible again. The young nobleman ordered his servants to go and fetch the source of this captivating melody. While their master continued his wine-drinking session, the servants tracked the voice to a thin young man, weak in body and dressed in two simple white cloths, standing in salaah before Allah s.w.t and reciting from the Quran. They caught hold of the man, and without even telling him why, took him out of the Masjid into the palace and presented him to their master, saying,

“Here is the person you wanted sir.”

The nobleman, who was now dead drunk and not in his proper senses, asked,

“Who is this man?”

The servants told him that he was the one whose voice the nobleman had heard a short time ago. The nobleman asked where they’d found the man, and they said that he was offering salaah in a Masjid and reciting from the Quran. The nobleman then asked the ragged, poor young man what he was reciting, and he started reciting [verses have been loosely translated from the Surahs mentioned at the end] :

“ I seek refuge in Allah, against Shaytaan, the damned one. Surely and absolutely, the pious and the righteous will be in the delight of jannah…they will be reclining on their couches, gazing, enthralled, at the wonders of jannah. Their faces will shine with the radiance of their delight. They will be given pure wine to drink, which shall be sealed with musk. Verily! You should envy one another in these matters, and hasten to exceed others in gaining these blessings of jannah, and these blessings can only be earned as reward for good deeds, so race one another to excel in good deeds. And that wine is mixed with the water of tasneem, a spring from which the friends of Allah shall drink…the water of tasneem is a speciality, served undiluted and pure to those closest to Allah, and mixed with wine for the rest.”

The poor young man then said to the nobleman,

“O you lost in delusion! What comparison do your palace, pavilion and couches have with those in jannah? Those will be raised couches lined with silk brocade, with green cushions, and they will be placed on carpets the embroidery of which will stun the eyes. While reclining on these couches, the inhabitants of jannah will see two beautiful gardens from which two streams shall be flowing. In these gardens there will be every kind of fruit in pairs, such that each fruit will have two different delicious tastes. The fruits of these gardens will neither be exhausted, nor forbidden, unlike the gardens of this world, from which not everyone is allowed to eat.

The righteous will be in a blissful state, in these Gardens where they will hear no idle, rude talk, wherein are gushing springs and couches raised and goblets set at hand and cushions arranged, and silken carpets spread on all sides so that they may sit and lie wherever they wish, and they will be in cool shade. This is the reward of the righteous, while the reward of the disbelievers is jahannam.

How scorching will that fire be! The wrongdoers will stay in jahannam forever…never will the intensity of the torment ever be lowered, and these people will lie therein in everlasting despair. Surely the wrongdoers are in error and are acting in sheer insanity. They will realize their foolishness on the day when they will be dragged upon their faces and thrown into the Fire, and it will be said to them ‘Experience now the touch of the Fire to which you called!’ These people will be in blazing hot fire, scalding water and thick, stinging black smoke. They will yearn to ransom themselves from the Torture on that Day at the price of their children, and spouse and brothers and the family that supported them, and every single person in the world, if it could liberate them somehow. No! That can never be. The Fire will peel the very skin off their bodies…it calls out to those who turned their backs on the truth in this world and hoarded unlawful wealth, eager to roast them. These people will be in extreme agony and the wrath of Allah will be upon them, and they will never leave this state of suffering.”

After the poor man had recited a good many aayaat about jannat and jahannam, the Haashmi nobleman rose from his seat and embraced him, weeping and crying profusely. He told his friends to go away, and himself went into the courtyard of his palace with the poor man, where he sat on a rug and wept with pure, deep remorse over his past sinful youth, while the poor young man sat with him till dawn, admonishing him to repent and exhorting him to start a life of piety. The nobleman made sincere tawbah of his sins and made a covenant with Allah that he would sin no more. In the morning, he made public tawbah in front of his friends and other people, and thereafter occupied a corner of a Masjid, leading a life of devotion and holy seclusion. He gave away as charity all the assets of his house, distributed all his belongings amongst the poor, dismissed all his servants, set free most of his slaves, sold others and spent the money received in return for the cause of Allah. He made full requital of all the wrongs that he had done to others, paid all that was due from him to the people, and returned all things that he had taken wrongfully and forcibly, to their owners. Then he entered a life of austerity, wearing coarse cloth and eating plain barley bread. He stood all night in nafl salaah, fasted by day and began to lead a life of self-mortifying austerities. So much so that the sages and spiritual Shaykhs of his time would come to look at him, and would advise him not to punish himself so severely, saying,

“Take pity on yourself…Allah is Most Merciful and His Bounty is beyond our imagination. He gives huge awards for little efforts.”

But he would reply,

“O my friends! You have no idea how much I have sinned against my Lord. I have defied His commandments day and night. I indulged in the most heinous crimes…” and he would start weeping again.

This young man then undertook a journey for Hajj, travelling all the way on foot, dressed in coarse cloth and carrying only a cup and a small bag of provisions. He reached Makkah, performed Hajj, and stayed there afterwards till his death.

During his stay in the blessed city of Makkah, the nobleman used to go to hateem (the semi-circular part around the Ka’aba) by night, and spent the whole night whimpering, weeping and crying before Allah, saying in the course of his Du’a [the Du’a has been left in Urdu, as no English translation, no matter how accurate, can reflect the pain and regret in his words]:

Ay meray Maula! Meri kitni khalwatein (time spent alone) aisi guzar gaein jin mein main ne tera khayal bhi nah kiya. Main ne kitnay baray baray gunaahon se tera muqaabla kia. Meray Maula meinay naiki koi bhi nahin ki, aur meray gunah meray saath reh gaye. Halaakat (destruction) hai meray liay uss Din jis din Tujh se mulaqaat ho gi. Meray liay bohat hi ziada halaakat hai uss din jiss din mera Aamal Naama (Book of Deeds) khola jaaye ga. Ahhh! Woh meri ruswaaiyon (embarrassment) se aur gunaahon se bhara ho ga. Balkeh mujh par tou abhi hi teri naraazgi se halaakat utar chuki hai. Aur uss din bhi meray liay halaakat ho gi jab tu ghussa karay ga unn sab ihsaanon (favours) par jo hamesha tu ne mujh par kiay, aur unn sab naematon (blessings) par, jin ka hamesha mein ne gunaahon se muqaabla kia, aur tu meri unn saari harkaton ko dekhta raha. Meray Aaqa! Teray siwaa mera konsa thikaana hai jahan bhaag kar chala jaaun? Tera siwaa kon shaks aisa hai jis se iltija (request) karun? Teray siwaa kon hai jis par kisi qism ka bharosa karun? Meray Aaqa mein iss qaabil har giz nai hun keh tujh se Jannat ka sawaal karun…lekin mehaz (solely relying on) teray karam se, teri ataa se, teray fazal se, iss ki tamanna karta hun keh tu mujh par Rehm farmaa de aur meray gunaah maaf kar de.

AYATS FROM SURAHS: at-Tatfeef, ar-Rahmaan, al-Waaqi’ah, al-Haaqqah, al-Ghaashiyah, az-Zukhruf, al-Qamar,al-Ma’aarij, ash-Shoorah and al-Maa’ida.

RESOURCE: Translation of the book “Fazail-e-Sadaqaat”, written by Maulana Muhammad Zikriyya (r).

Me: “Pheww! Long day today.” (drops exhausted on a chair)
Diary: ” Whats this?”
Me: “This?😀. (points to her new wristwatch)
Diary: “errr.. (snickering laughter from the bookshef follows). no umm. this box that you’re carrying.”
Me: “Oh..:/ well.. its a conve-deco..a conversation decoder. Got it for 0.4 common sense and 0.5 insight, pretty cheap🙂 . It decodes the apparent meaning to a conversation into what the speaker actually implies.
Diary: “WOW! Show me..””
Me: “Let’s go :)”

girl : (giggling) “Look at the bag she’s holding! It’s sooo LC”
=> :  ” ””’I”” know what’s cool or not. ””’I””’m the girl. I have a superiority complex you know ”
girrl : (looks at she with disgust) “Oh she’s that geek who gets a 4 gpa everytime. Itna bhi nai hona chahye banday ko. Got no life otherwise”
=> : “Her bag’s actually nice but I have to agree to ‘girl’ since I have my complexes too you know. And oh You mean-raiser. You annoying genious! :@”
boy : “yaar you call him shareef? What he did was a big no-no. i was passing by the pdc and ….”
=> : “can i have a popularity lift through you as “the good guy”? since obviously you’re going to spread this asap. plus the guy’s so much better than me.😦 ”
gerl : “Why are you being so touchy? I’m not backbiting I’m informing you what it is plus I can say this all in front of her too. :|”
=> : “you don’t get the point! i’m supposed to be the interesting one with all the juicy stuff and the entertainment so keep your morals aside. I know what’s right or wrong anyway. Plus you’re a bigger coward than me since you’re listening to all this with consent and yeah right I soooo expect you to make me say it out in front of her.”
bwoy : “I’m not effected by what people say about me at all.
=> : “What else am i supposed to do?😦 you would never stop backbiting and slandering. i plan to sob when in solitude when i go back to the dorms by the way.”
Diary: :O!

I am sure the term “backbiting” does not need any formal introduction; we’ve all experienced it in some way or the other at some point in life. However to make a few things clear, backbiting/ gheebah refers to mentioning something about a person (in his absence), that he would have hated (to be mentioned). Hence, if I use the terms ‘informing’, ‘explaining’, ‘discussing’, ‘for the sake of helping out my friend’, ‘conversing’, ‘having a little fun’ but
implement on the definition of gheebah (that I just mentioned) alongside, that wouldn’t help me negate the fact that i just enjoyed a few moments of gheebah.

Whenever someone mentions the word backbiting, my mind plays a strange video of two girls with pointed noses whispering passionately to each other. What those two girls are  doing in my mind and why they have fake pointed noses, i do not know. However this video clipping has often misled me into believing that gheebah can only be done verbally. Looking at the definition again, backbiting is not being defined as “saying” something about a person. It uses the word “mentioning”, and being the creative intellectuals we all are, it’s not hard to imagine that one can mention stuff about another through words (verbal), words (written) or even pointing and gesturing with your eyes and hands etc. So when I gestured my friend to look at a mutually-made-fun-of girl for a split second and forgot all about it the very next instance, I should have known I indulged myself in backbiting.😦. More interestingly, it is not just the one who starts up with the act of backbiting who’s a biter, if I excalaim responses to backbiting like “Really? :O”, “No way!”, “I didn’t know that :O!” and the likes, I’m equally contributing in backbiting by pumping the other person. More like, curiosity made the cat a backbiter.😦 .
Imam al-Sadiq (RA) narrated from the Messenger (SAW) who is once said to have forbidden both backbiting and listening to it. Then he (SAW) said: “Lo, whoever does a favour to his brother by refuting his backbiting upon hearing it in a gathering, God shall save him from a thousand kinds of evils in this world and in the Hereafter. And if he does not do so despite his ability to refute it, on
him shall be the burden of one who commits his backbiting seventy times.” (Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 8, hadith no. 16316)

But then, we all know secretly that we are little backbiters and shouldn’t expect so high of the imperfect people around us anyway. Surely, if we understand this and learn to accept each other as we are, backbiting isn’t all that bad. (diary: please tell me you didn’t write this to negate it later! :S). Alas diary, if we truly want to learnt to accept each other as we are, no one would ever backbite in the first place. (diary: girl! you always do this to me :/). Who would understand the human psyche better than the One who has created the human? Allah SWT knew how much of a temptation backbiting would be to us and was aware of the havoc that humans
would have the potential of wreaking, and so He let us know through His ayahs how He’s displeased when we backbite against one another. (ayahs mentioned towards the end). He designed us all in a way that we are innately adjusted to opposing injustice and unfair exaggerations, that we all like to be considered ‘good’ and ‘nice’ in everyone’s eyes. Backbiting hurts, and there’s no denying it.

I asked a few friends of mine why they thought a person initiates such a  hurtful act. They contributed with different suggestions yet they all unanimously agreed that there’s no dire need to discuss people the way they’re discussed. The reasons they chose to gossip was to pass idle time, to hurt others, to vent their frustrations, to cover up for their ‘dis’ in personality or
to create unpleasant issues! (These reasons were followed by a :p and a😉 too!). if you google up this topic, you’d find out that psychologists second what my friends just said. (wow! we’re our own psychologists🙂 ). The strongest and most common emotion that drives a person to belittle others is jealousy, followed by insecurity about one’s ownself,
blaming others for one’s own faults, or even trying to be “shughli” (diary: shughal at the expense of others’ reputations!😦 )

Abu Dharr (RA) once asked the Prophet Muhammad (SAW): “O Messenger of Allah, what is gheebah?” He replied: “It is to mention about your brother that which he detests.”Abu Dharr (RA) said: “O Messenger of Allah, what if that which is mentioned of him should actually be in him?” He (SAW) replied: “Know that when you mention that which is in him, you have committed his gheebah, and when you mention that which is not in him, then you have slandered him.” (Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasai’l al-Shi`ah, vol. 8, hadith no. 16312)

Ok now this is making me extremely uneasy! (Diary: you mean guilty dont u?😛 ha ha)

From my own personal experience, i can assuredly claim that 95% of the fights that take place between friends has a lot to do with backbiting. If you draw a timline of events that took place from the time of the first argument till the final blow and cancel out all instances of backbiting, you’ll see for yourself how the issue would have been resolved even before it started. The tongue, where it maybe used to gain a lot of sawab, can certainly turn to a vicious vicious monster if not controlled. Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAW) said: “When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear Allah as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.”

The problem with backbiting is the way it does not let its exitence be realized as vividly as other sins. Shetan constantly keeps on helping us to justify all gheebah that we do. It is also different from other sins in that: The Prophet (SAW) once gave counsel to Abu Dharr (RA) , saying: “O Abu Dharr! Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is graver than adultery (zina’).” Abu Dharr (RA) said: “Why is that so, O Messenger of Allah?” He (SAW) replied: “That is because when a man commits adultery and then
repents to God, God accepts his repentance. However, backbiting is not forgiven until forgiven by its victim.” (Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasai’l al-Shi`ah, vol. 8, hadith no. 18312.) So to the mindset which tells you to expect the least from people, how much do you expect others would forgive you if you backbite mercilessly?

Allah (SWT) mentions the backbiter in His book as follows: “… Nor backbite one another; would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it.” (Qur’an 49:12)

I really don’t think there’s any room left to backbiting now…

There has been extreme emphasis lain on protecting each other’s reputation. If I venture out from my selfishness for a moment I’d realize I am actually responsible of a person’s entire image and I shall be accused of any lags in carrying out this responsibility, if not necessarily in this world, for sure in the akhrah. Once you make your mind to eradicate this vice from your life, it’s not that hard actually. I don’t need to agree to or comment on any sort of backbiting taking place in my presence, if I don’t have the courage to oppose in case it’s slandering. Plus, once those around me see that I don’t show interest in such conversations, they won’t badger me into being a part of them either. Plus plus, to exercise control further, I can focus on and emphasis on the victim’s good points (diary: what if they don’t have a good point! :p). Everyone has good points, atleast that’s what I’ve been told :p,  infact the people victimised are often those who are quite nice.🙂 I can make a dua for them and try to analyze my own fears and insecurities if such thoughts haunt me. It’s not hard at all, just a little mind-control and tongue-control needed.

Which reminds me. Why don’t i give the conve-deco another shot?
(Diary: uh oh!)

Diary: “Hey books! seen my writer’s new wrist watch?😛 he he he he”
=> “I don’t even have hands! wonder how it feels like to have a wrist watch”

Books: “Totally!!”
=> “We hate you diary! We’re just agreeing to you so that you be quiet! The wirst watch’s kinda funny though. not our type :/”

*silence*..
..
 
Diary: “oopsiee!!”

hu-ALLAH

hu-ALLAH  ullazi la ilaha illa hu

 

laisa kamislihi shaiun wa huwa SSami’ ul Aleem.

how to be the best!

Khalid ibn al Wald (Radi Allahu Ta’ala anhu) narrated the following hadith:
A Bedouin came one day to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and said to
him,

‘O, Messenger of Allah! I’ve come to ask you a few questions about the
affairs of this Life and the Hereafter.’

– ‘Ask what you wish’ said Rasulullah (peace be upon him).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Q: I’d like to be the most learned of men.
A: Fear Allah, and you will be the most learned of men.

Q: I wish to be the richest man in the world.
A: Be contented, and you will be the richest man in the world.

Q: I’d like to be the most just man.
A: Desire for others what you desire for yourself, and you will be the
most just of men.

Q: I want to be the best of men.
A: Do good to others and you will be the best of men.

Q: I wish to be the most favored by Allah.
A: Engage much in Allah’s praise, and you will be most favored by Him.

Q: I’d like to complete my faith.
A: If you have good manners you will complete your faith

Q: I wish to be among those who do good.
A: Adore Allah as if you see Him. If you don ‘t see Him, He seeth you. In
this way you will be among those who do good.

Q: I wish to be obedient to Allah.
A: If you observe Allah’s commands you will be obedient.

Q: I’d like to be free from all sins.
A: Bathe yourself from impurities and you will be free from all sins.

Q: I’d like to be raised on the Day of Judgment in the light.
A: Don’t wrong yourself or any other creature, and you will be raised on
the Day of Judgment in the light.

Q: I’d like Allah to bestow His mercy on me.
A: If you have mercy on yourself and others, Allah will grant you mercy on
the Day of Judgment.

Q: I’d like my sins to be very few.
A: If you seek the forgiveness Allah as much as you can, your sins will be
very few.

Q: I’d like to be the most honorable man.
A: If you do not complain to any fellow creature, you will be the most
honorable of men.

Q: I’d like to be the strongest of men.
A: If you put your trust in Allah, you will be the strongest of men.

Q: I’d like to enlarge my provision.
A: If you keep yourself pure, Allah will enlarge your provision.

Q: I’d like to be loved by Allah and His messenger.
A: If you love what Allah and His messenger love, you will be among their
beloved ones.

Q: I wish to be safe from Allah’s wrath on the Day of Judgment.
A: If you do not loose your temper with any of your fellow creatures, you
will be safe from the wrath of Allah on the Day of Judgment.

Q: I’d like my prayers to be responded.
A: If you avoid forbidden actions, your prayers will he responded.

Q: I’d like Allah not to disgrace me on the Day of Judgment.
A: If you guard your chastity, Allah will not disgrace you on the Day of
Judgment.

Q: I’d like Allah to provide me with a protective covering on the Day of
Judgment.
A: Do not uncover your fellow creatures faults, and Allah will provide you
with a covering protection on the Day of Judgment.

Q: What will save me from sins?
A: Tears, humility and illness.

Q: What are the best deeds in the eyes of Allah?
A: Gentle manners, modesty and patience.

Q: What are the worst evils in the eyes of Allah?
A: Hot temper and miserliness.

Q: What assuages the wrath of Allah in this life and in the Hereafter?
A: Concealed charity and kindness to relatives.

Q: What extinguishes hell’s fires on the Day of Judgment?
A: Patience in adversity and misfortunes.

Related by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Rahmatullah Ta’ala ‘alaih)

Ma’aarif e Mathnavi

Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) used to be in the employ of a rich man. Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) had such great love for Allah and contact with Him, that it created within him high moral character and exemplary habits. This was a clear sign of his nobility and nearness to Allah. The details of that is described in Surah Luqman in the Quran Sharif.

The nobility of Luqman’s (A.S.) character had a great effect on his master, so much so that the master considered him as a great friend and a beloved companion. Although he was the master, yet in fact the master became like a slave to his employee.

”It is the miracle of love that the King became a slave of his beloved”.

It then became the practice of the master that whenever he had something special to eat, he would first feed Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) of it and after Luqman (A.S.) had filled himself, he would then eat the leftovers. Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) would consider the love of the master and his habit, so he would eat moderately and send what was left over to the master.

One day, during the melon season, the master received a melon from somewhere. At that time Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) was not present. The master sent one of his slaves to go and call him. When Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) arrived, the master cut the melon into slices and slice by slice started giving thereof to Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) to eat. As he ate the slices, the master inwardly became pleased at the effect his love was having upon Hazrat Luqman (A.S.).

Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) ate the slices of melon with great pleasure and all the time expressed thanks for the favour shown to him by the master. After having eaten the slices, when just one slice remained, the master said: “Let me eat this slice and see how sweet is this melon”. Saying this, he put the slice into his mouth. Immediately such bitterness spread from: the tip of his tongue down to his throat, that-as a result of the bitterness of the melon, he fell down unconscious and remained unconscious for a whole hour.

When he regained consciousness,. he questioned Hazrat Luqman (A.5.): “0 Beloved one, how did you manage to so heartily eat those slices of melon? Just one slice of the melon had such an effect on me, how did you manage to eat so many slices?” Hazrat Luqman (A.S.) replied: “Khwaja Saheb, from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great that my back has gone crooked. Hence, I felt ashamed that the hand that had granted me so much favours, if one day some distastefulness or bitterness should come, how can I turn away from it? Khwaja Saheb, the pleasure of knowing that it comes from your hands has changed the bitterness of the melon to sweetness”

LESSON

Moulana Shah Phulpoori (R.A.) (May Allah fill his resting place with Noor) used to relate this story with great pleasure and used to repeat the last couplet. While relating this story he used to advise thus:

“At every given moment there are numerous bounties and favours of Allah upon men. But if ever for a moment some such incident takes place which brings with it a problem and outwardly causes some difficulty, man loses patience and fails to be grateful. On the other hand, there are those to whom through the blessings and the company of the Saintly ones, Allah has granted a good understanding of deeni affairs, so that when sorrows and difficulties touches them, they remain happy and pleased with their Lord. At such times, they draw strength from their good understanding of deen and realize that this world is like a hospital and we are all like patients in it. There are times when the doctor gives the patient medicine like “halwa-e-badaam” (sweet medicine) to eat and at other times feeds them” charaita” and” Ghuloo-e-neb” which are very bitter. However, in both of these there are beneficial results for the patient. Similarly, Allah is the “AI-Hakeem”, the All-Wise and at the same time is the Al-Haakim” – Ruler. He is also the “AI-Raheem”, the Merciful One. Hence, whatever conditions are to befall us in accordance with Allah’s pre determination, whether it brings out comfort or discomfort, all these are for our benefit and in our interest.

Hadith teaches us that for some bondsmen, a high rank has been determined. But sometimes, that bondsman has not acquired the good deeds to reach to such a high rank. Hence Allah causes him to become involved with some calamity, which if he accepts and bears patiently, he is able to reach that high position.

Another Hadith says: “A believer is touched by fever and (while he suffers in this fever) his sins drop off from him just like leaves fall off from the trees in autumn.”

Another Hadith says: “A thorn pricks a believer and he receives reward for it.”

Yet Another Hadith says: “On the day of Qiyamat when, in return for having suffered patiently in the face of calamities and misfortunes, rewards will be handed out, then every person who suffered calamities will wish that his skin had been cut to pieces with scissors, then what a grand reward he would have received on that day.”

Hence, a Mumin (believer) should remain pleased in times of misfortunes. In other words, there should be no complaints or objections from his tongue. He should at all times seek Allah’s pardon and forgiveness for sins and pray for safety from calamities:

“0 Allah, we are weak and do not possess the patience to bear the difficulty of calamities. Please, in Your Infinite Mercy, change the calamity to the safety of Your pardon”.

We have been prohibited from praying for calamities and have been commanded to pray for safety and pardon. If we pray for calamities and misfortunes, it would be a sign from us of our bravery, while praying for safety and pardon are signs of our admission of weakness, which is liked by Allah.

“0 people, discard your show of strength and power.

Adopt an attitude of crying and weeping before Allah,

As Allah’s mercy is directed towards crying in weakness.

Cry to Allah in humility so that you become cheerful and happy.

So that without the smile on your lips

You remain so happy within your heart (with Allah)

That thousands of smiles may be sacrificed for such cheerfulness of heart. “

If at all times there is safety and comfort then a person’s temperament which inclines towards worship of Allah, will move away from steadfastness. Without calamities and misfortunes a feeling of humility and weakness is not created in a person.

In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah is reported to say: “I am with those of broken hearts.”

“Sabar” (Patience) causes the hearts to be broken as it is bitter.

A person suffering from sorrow or in desperate need calls upon

Allah in humility crying and weeping. Can a person making,

duah to Allah while in ease and comfort compare with him? The

former person is in such a calamity which causes him to become

nearer to Allah and develops a strong bond with Allah.

“The contact with him increased even further

The enmity of the creation became the cause of mercy”

A certain saintly man said: “While suffering in sorrow, the way towards Allah is traversed speedily.” This is due to the fact that through sorrows and misfortunes, a feeling of weakness, humility and affliction is created in the heart. At such times Allah’s special communion is experienced. Allah says: “Verily Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” This theme has been very well expressed by Hazrat Asghar Khaundwy (R.A.):

“If You are sharing this grief of mine,

Then why should I grieve over that grief”

The conclusion to this discussion is that the life of this world consists but of a few days. Whether these days are of ease and comfort or whether the days are of calamities and misfortunes, they all shall shortly pass away. Hence, neither should one become overjoyed at the conditions of ease and comfort, nor complain and object in cases of difficulties and calamities. At times of ease and comfort gratitude should be expressed while in times of difficulties and calamities, there should be patience, acceptance and surrender. If a person keeps the aims and objectives of life in front of him, then he has found the solution for all problems. The main aim of this life is to attain the pleasure of Allah. That pleasure is only attained by following this path and obeying the law as indicated by Him, to repent for all shortcomings and sins and to seek forgiveness for faults committed. Thus if a person follows the Sunnah, then whether conditions of ease or conditions of calamity prevails, both these sets of conditions hold within them the means and way towards Allah’s pleasure. On the other hand, if one is not a follower of the Sunnah, then the conditions of ease are of no benefit.

Excerpted from Ma’aarif-e-Mathnavi by Moulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Saheb ra

Do not despise the sinners

Do Not Despise The Sinners

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
Translated by Shaykh Yusuf Laher

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “That person who taunts and ridicules his Muslim brother over a sin from which he has repented, will not die until he himself commits that same sin.” For example, you come to know that a certain person committed or was involved in a particular sin and you also know that this person has repented from it. To think low of him or to taunt or ridicule him because of that sin, by saying something like: “You are the one who was involved in certain evil actions”, is in itself a sin.

Through repentance a person has corrected his relationship with Allah Most High. Through repentance not only has the sin been forgiven, it has also been erased from his book of deeds! Allah Most High has erased it from his book of deeds but you, because of that sin, are thinking low of him and treating him with contempt. You are taunting and ridiculing him. This action is extremely despised by Allah Most High.

This is regarding a person whom you know has repented. If you don’t know whether he has repented or not, then there is always this possibility that he, being a mu’min (believer), has repented or will repent in the future. Therefore, if someone has committed a sin and you do not know whether he has repented or not, you still do not have the right to hold him in contempt. It is possible that he has repented. Remember! Abhorrence should be for the sin and not the sinner! Hatred should be for sins. Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not teach us to despise those who sin.

On the other hand, the sinner is worthy of pity and compassion, for this distressed person has been overtaken by a sickness. If a person is overtaken by a physical sickness, do you abhor his sickness or the person who is sick? Does the sick person become the target of your hatred? Obviously, the sick person is not deserving of your hatred. Yes, despise his sickness. Concern yourself with removing his sickness, so make du’a. The sick person should not be the target of hatred. He should be pitied for the reason that this poor person is caught up in a difficulty.

If someone is a kafir (disbeliever) then despise his kufr (disbelief), do not despise him. Make du’a for him that Allah Most High grants him guidance. Amin. How much did the kuffar (disbelievers) not persecute the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)? They shot at him with arrows, they pelted stones at him, and his body bled from various places, but the words that flowed from his mouth were the following: “O Allah! Grant my people guidance, for they do not know the reality” (of this din).

Take note that that he did not despise them because of their kufr, shirk (associating partners with Allah), oppression and transgressions. Rather, while expressing pity and affection, he made du’a for them that ‘O Allah! These people are ignorant. They are unaware of the reality; therefore they are treating me in this manner. O Allah! Grant them guidance’.

So when seeing someone involved in sin, have pity on him and make du’a for him and try to steer him away from sin. Advise and counsel him but do not think low of him. Perhaps Allah accepts his repentance and he surpasses you in the sight of Allah.

I have heard the following words of advice of Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi from my respected father, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ and ‘Arif Billah Dr. Abdul Hayy ‘Arifi (may Allah have mercy on them): “I consider every current Muslim and every non Muslim, as far as the future is concerned to be superior to me.” “As far as the future is concerned” means that although the person is presently in the condition of kufr, maybe Allah Most High grants him the tawfiq (guidance) of repenting and he is freed from the burden of kufr. Thereafter, Allah Most High raises his status so high that he surpasses me!

“Every current Muslim” means that a person who is a Muslim, a person of iman (true faith), one whom Allah Most High has granted the wealth of iman. What do I know regarding his connection and status with Allah Most High? Every person’s relationship with Allah Most High is unique. How can we judge anyone? Therefore, I consider every Muslim to be superior to me.

In this statement of Hakim al-Ummah, “I consider every Muslim to be superior to me”, there is obviously no possibility of lies and deception, or that he just said it out of moral courtesy. He said it because he firmly believed it. Anyway, to think low of someone, even though it is due to his committing of sin, is not permissible.

This malady of regarding others with contempt is found mostly in people who have reformed and turned towards din (Islam). They were not concerned with din previously but now have changed and became steadfast on salah and fasting. They have made their dressing and appearance in conformity with the Shari’ah. They have started frequenting the masjid. They have become regular in performing salah with congregation.1 Satan induces such a person with this thought that you are now on the straight path. These people who are involved in sin are ruined. The result of this thought is that he starts thinking low of them and treats them with contempt. He now starts criticizing them in a hurtful manner. This results in Satan involving such people in vanity, self-regard and pride. When a person suffers from self-regard and pride, all his good actions are destroyed.

When a person’s gaze falls on himself that he is pious and others are bad then he is caught up in vanity. Vanity causes all good actions to become worthless. Only that action is acceptable which is done with sincerity for Allah Most High alone. After performing the action the person makes shukr (gives thanks) unto Allah Most High that He granted me the tawfiq to perform this action (if He did not grant me the tawfiq, I would never have been able to carry out this action).

Therefore, do not treat anyone with contempt. Do not think low of any non-Muslim or any sinner.

It is mentioned in a hadith that when seeing a person afflicted with any sickness, recite the following du’a:

اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِىْ عَافَانِىْ مِمَّا ابْتَلاَكَ بِه وَ فَضَّلَنِىْ عَلَى كَثِيْرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ تِفْضِيْلاً

All praises are due unto Allah, who has granted me safety from that which he has afflicted you with, and granted me well-being over many of the creation. (Al-Hisn al-Hasin, p.349)

It is sunnah to recite this du’a when seeing an afflicted person. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us this (Note: it should be recited softly lest the afflicted person is offended).

Shaykh Dr. Abdul Hayy ‘Arifi (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say: “Whenever I pass by a hospital, then, praises be to Allah, I always recite this du’a.” He would also make du’a that Allah grants the sick good health.

One of my teachers used to say that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us to recite this du’a when seeing a sick person, but I also recite it when seeing someone involved in sin. Sometimes when walking on the road I see people lined up at the cinema houses purchasing tickets. I recite this du’a on seeing them. Then I make shukr unto Allah Most High that He has saved me from this sin.

The reason for reciting this du’a when seeing a person involved in sin is that just as a physically sick person is worthy of pity, so is the sinner worthy of pity and sympathy, for he is also caught up in a predicament. Also, make du’a for him that: “O Allah! Remove this difficulty from him.”

It should be known that those who are presently involved in sin and you consider them low and worthy of contempt may later on receive the tawfiq of repentance and surpass you! So for what reason are you boasting? If you have been granted the tawfiq of abstaining from sin then make shukr unto Allah Most High. If they haven’t as yet received the tawfiq, then make du’a for them that Allah Most High grants them guidance and grants them relief from their afflictions. Amin.

Anyway, despise kufr, despise sin and transgression, but do not despise the person. In fact, you should treat him with love and kindness. When you speak to him, speak with softness and affection. Speak with feeling and love so that it may have a good effect on him. This was always the method of all our pious elders.

I heard this story of Hadrat Junayd al-Baghdadi (may Allah have mercy on him) from my respected father Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (may Allah have mercy on him). While passing a certain place, Hadrat Junayd saw a person hanging from the gallows, whose hands and one leg was amputated. He inquired from the people regarding this person. The people informed him that this person was a habitual thief. His hand was cut when he was caught the first time. His leg was cut when caught the second time. Now on the third occasion he has been hanged. Hadrat Junayd went forward and kissed the dead man’s foot.  People said to him: “This man was such a big and habitual thief, and you kissed his feet?” He replied: “Although he had committed such a big crime and sin for which he has been punished, but he had a wonderful quality in him, and that is steadfastness (istiqamah). Although he used this quality in a wrong way, however, he remained steadfast on the manner of his chosen occupation. His hand was amputated but he never left his choice. His leg was amputated yet he remained steadfast on theft. His other hand was amputated and still he did not give up his occupation. He remained steadfast on theft until finally his life has been taken. It is now apparent that he had the quality of steadfastness in him and I kissed his foot because of this quality.” May Allah Most High grant us this quality in our worship and obedience unto Him. Amin.

Anyway, the pious servants of Allah do not despise people but despise the evils perpetrated by them. They (the pious) go to the extent of saying that if an evil person has any good qualities in him then those good qualities should be striven for! Concern yourself with trying to remove the bad qualities in a person by speaking to him with love and affection. Speak only to him and do not speak to others about him.

It is mentioned in a hadith: “A believer (mu’min) is a mirror to another believer” (Abu Dawud). If a person has a spot on his face and stands in front of a mirror, the mirror will reflect that spot on his face. The mirror is showing him his defects. In the same way, a believer is also a mirror to another believer. When a believer sees another with a defect, he should inform him with love and affection that you have this certain weakness in you, remove it.

It is just like when a person has a worm or any insect crawling on him, then out of concern you inform him that there is an insect crawling on him, so remove it. Similarly, if a Muslim brother has a dini defect in him, then with love and affection, inform him that he has this defect in him, because a believer is a mirror to another believer.

Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi says that this hadith teaches us that when you see a fault in another person, then inform only that person of this fault, do not tell it to others. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) compared a believer to a mirror. The mirror only exposes the spot on the face to the person standing in front of it and not to others. Thus, the duty of a believer is to inform the person involved that he has a certain weakness in him and not to inform others of his weakness. If a person also tells others then it implies that he has acted upon his own evil desires and this will not be an act of din anymore. If he only informs and advises the afflicted person with love and concern, then this is what iman (true faith) and brotherhood demands. But to despise or think low of him is not permissible under any circumstance.

May Allah Most High grant us the understanding and the guidance to practice on this. Amin.

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