As long as you’re living…

…Sustenance/Provision is guaranteed

Ibn Al-Qayyim (رحمه الله تعالى) said:

Concern yourself with that which you were ordered to take care of, and do not be concerned with something that was guaranteed for you. Sustenance and the moment of death are two matters whereof there is no doubt. As long as one is living, sustenance is guaranteed. And if Allaah, according to His wisdom, closed the way to some means, He will, according to His mercy, open another means for you, which will be more useful.

Let us consider the state of the embryo. It receives its nourishment, which is blood from one means, which is the navel, and when it comes out from its mother’s womb and this means is closed, another two means are opened to it, which are better and sweeter than the first! This second means is pure and nourishing milk. When he finishes his suckling period and these two means are closed due to weaning, Allaah opens four more perfect means; two kinds of food and two kinds of drinks. The two foods are from animals and plants and the two drinks are from water and milk, as well as whatever he likes from among other pleasures. When he passes away, his four means are closed but Allaah, the Exalted will open to him, if he was pious, eight doors of Paradise in order to enter Paradise from anyone of them. So we notice that whenever Allaah, the Exalted prevents His believing servant from something during this worldly life, He will bestow upon him something which is better and more useful to him…

Extract from Al-Fawaa’id

The Men of Knowledge

Al Baaji reported that Imam Malik (رحمه الله) said:

Indeed the people are four types in terms of their knowledge

A man who learnt knowledge, so he acted by it and taught it. His similitude in the Book of Allaah, the Most High is:

 إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّـهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ – “It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah.” 35:28

A man who learnt knowledge, so he acted by it but did not teach it. His similitude in the Book of Allaah, the Most High is:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَىٰ مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ ۙ أُولَـٰئِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّـهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ – “Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allaah and cursed by the cursers.”

A man who learnt knowledge, taught it and commanded it, but did not act by it. His similitude is the Book of Allaah, the Most High is:

 أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ – “Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)]! Have you then no sense?” 2:44

A man, who neither learnt knowledge, nor acted by it. His similitude in the Book of Allaah, the Most High is:

 إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا كَالْأَنْعَامِ ۖبَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا -“They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path. (i.e. even worst than cattle).” 25:44

Source

The effect of “لا إله إلا الله” at the time of death

The declaration of “There is no god worthy of worship except Allaah” at the time of death has a great effect in expiating sins, as it is a testimony of he who believes in it, and knows its meaning. When reciting this declaration with certainty all his lusts come to an end. His rebellious self softens and yields after refusal and disobedience, proceeds after being turned away, humiliates after being given honour, and its desires and interests are released.

This soul will go to its Lord seeking His forgiveness, completely certain that Allaah is One, as he is cleansed from all doubts of polytheism, and he is only concerned with the Almighty One that he will now meet. Whatever he has done secretly or privately has become one and he has faithfully said “لا إله إلا الله” – There is none worthy of worship except Allaah.

His heart is no longer inclined to think or turn to others. The whole world has been driven out of his heart. He is about to stand in front of Allaah. He is only thinking about the Hereafter and has put the world behind him. This faithful declaration came as the last deed of his life in order to purify him from sins and take him to his Lord as he meets Him with this faithful and truthful declaration. 

If this kind of faithful and truthful declaration was said by him during his life, he would have hated this worldly life and its people, escaped to Allaah, and deserted everything else other than Him. But he declared it with a heart full of the pleasures of this life, love for this life and seeking other than Allaah. If it was as pure as at the time of his death, it would have provoked another, more sublime life.

We do not own ourselves! Allaah owns us. He owns our souls, our hearts are between two fingers of His that turn them according to Hi wish. Our life, death, happiness and sadness are in His hands; our moves, silence, words, and deeds are according to His will. If Allaah gave us the power over ourselves He would be giving it to a failure, a sinner, a wasteful creature, and if He gave power to other than Him, He would be giving authority to one who does not have any authority; neither good, bad, useful, death, life, nor resurrection. If Allaah abandons us, our enemy will take authority over us and make us prisoners. We can never dispense with Allaah, and although we need Him, we disobeyed  Him and used to forget to remember Him.

[Extract of “Al-Fawaa’id” by the great Scholar and Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim رحمه الله ]

The heart of the believer

The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allaah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” [Sahih Muslim]

This is only true for the heart that has taqwa of Allaah; a heart that yearns for guidance and light from Him and is not satisfied with anything other than it. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“…Indeed there is in the body a piece of flesh, which if it sound then the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt then the whole body is corrupt. Indeed it is the heart.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The sound heart is linked to its Lord during ease and hardship. No calamity, no tragedy, no trial can break this heart. It will continue to flourish on a strong foundation of taqwa (righteousness and fear of Allaah) and tawakkul (reliance on Allaah) and will be rewarded thereby. The possessor of this heart will remember the words of Ya’qub (عليه السلام) when he was struck with so much grief that his eyes lost their sight (interpretation of the meaning):

“He said: ‘I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allaah, and I know from Allaah that which you know not.'” [Surat Yusuf: 86]
This heart will remember the words of the most truthful of mankind (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when he lost his infant child Ibrahim:

“The eyes shed tears and the heart feels pain, but we utter only what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! We are indeed grieved at your departure.”

This heart is comforted with the words of Ar-Rahman and knows that it is truth when He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).

 

And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” [Surat At-Talaq: 2-3]

And when He (سبحانه وتعالى ) says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So verily, with the hardship, there is relief,

 

Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).” [ Surat Ash-Sharh: 5-6]

This heart trusts its Lord, hopes only in Him, and reaffirms this by filling every crevice of itself with the Revelation that He sent down. It pumps tawheed and is not content with any other than Allaah. It believes completely that what is with Allaah is more certain that what is between his hands. Despite grief, calamity and hardship the believer does not despair as Allaah said:

“Certainly no one despairs of Allaah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” [Surat Yusuf: 87]

The believer may become sad but he NEVER despairs. Sabr (patience and perseverance) is obligatory on him and he remembers the reward of Allaah for practising it. He remembers the Reminder (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who remain patient, seeking their Lord’s Countenance, perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and spend out of that which We have bestowed on them, secretly and openly, and defend against evil with good, for such there is a good end.” [ Surat Ar-Ra’d: 22]
Excellent is the case of the believing heart, and beautiful is its final destination. May Allaah, Al-Wahhab, Ar-Rahman, grant us mercy from Him, and patience during ease and hardship. May His Salaah and Salaam be upon the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad, upon his family, his companions and all those that follow them in righteousness until the Day of Return.

 

Praying Qiyaam with a moderate voice

Abu Qatadah (رضي الله عنه) reported that one night, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) praying with a low voice. He then saw ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) praying with a loud voice. Afterwards, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to Abu Bakr:

“O Abu Bakr! I passed by you praying and lowering your voice.”

To which he replied:

“I have been heard by Him whom I was privately addressing, O Allaah’s Messenger!”

Then the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to ‘Umar:

“O ‘Umar! I passed by you praying and raising your voice.”

He replied:

“O Allaah’s Messenger! Thereby, I wake the sleepy and drive away Shaytaan!”

So the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“O Abu Bakr, raise your voice a little. And you ‘Umar, lower your voice a little.” 

[Recorded by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi. Authenticated by Sheikh Al-Albani in Mishkaat: 1204]

From the benefits of this Hadith:

1- Being moderate in recitation is recommended in Qiyaam al-Layl, and is always the best course as Allaah described this nation to be a moderate nation in His book. We are neither excessive nor negligent, but we are moderate.

2- The Messenger’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) actualising of the teachings of the Qur’aan in being moderate, as Ibn Abbas narrated: “The Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) recitation (in Qiyaam) was such that one would hear him from the outer room while he was inside (in the bedroom).” [Hasan by Al-Albani]

And also in teaching his Companions to be moderate as is seen by the first Hadith mentioned.

3- The Messenger’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) care for his Sahaabah, that he would pay attention to their condition and always advise them in the best manner.

4- The great understanding and wisdom of Abu Bakr in reciting quietly as, he knew that his Lord, to Whom he was praying and requesting from was the only One that could hear him.

5- The great understanding and wisdom of ‘Umar in reciting loudly, in order to encourage those that were sleeping to wake up and pray to their Lord, and to chase away Shaytaan with the words of Allaah.

6- That both reasons given by these two great companions were beautiful and admirable, although being moderate is still preferred [Refer above to point 1 and 2]

7- Confirming the attribute of Hearing for Allaah as Abu Bakr said: “I have been heard by Him” and the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not condemn his saying this.