The vision of the hearts

In many places in the Qur’aan, Allaah speaks of the sight of the heart. It is far more dangerous for the heart to be blinded than it is for the eyes, since it is the heart which leads man to believe in Allaah and to stay firm upon His obedience. If the heart is corrupted then there is little hope for the prosperity of the slave as 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]

Allaah mentions in his book:

“Have they not travelled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith to understand and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.” [22:46]

This blindness results in ultimate misery; the possessor of a blind heart wanders aimlessly through life, forgetting his purpose and following his whims and desires, but the heat of the Hell fire will  certainly cause his vision to return on that inevitable Day. Allaah said:

“(It will be said to the sinners): ‘Indeed you were heedless of this, now We have removed your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!’” [50:22]

Allaah mentions that the basaa’ir (proofs/enlightenment) came but the doomed blinded themselves to it:

“Verily, proofs have come to you from your Lord, so whosoever sees, will do so for (the good of) his ownself, and whosoever blinds himself, will do so to his own harm, and I (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) am not a watcher over you.” [6:104]

 It is a tragedy if the slave’s heart loses sight. The eyes may be blinded and cause harm in this life but the harm that comes from a blind heart will transcend into the next life. There is hope for the visually blind as the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“Allaah said, ‘If I deprive my slave of his two beloved things (i.e. his eyes) and he remains patient, I will let him enter Paradise in compensation for them.'” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

There is, however, no hope for the one whose heart is blind. They are worse than animals:

“Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path. (i.e. even worst than cattle).” [25:44]

 May Allaah have mercy on us and protect our hearts from blindness and corruption. May He grant us insight upon tawheed and ittiba’ of His Messenger, upon whom be salutations and peace.

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Do we really want Jannah?

Do we really want Jannah?

Why then are the tear ducts dry at the mention of His aayaat (signs, verses, evidences, proofs, miracles) when He, سبحانه وتعالى, said:

“Those were the ones upon whom Allah bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping.” {Surat Maryam: 58}

And He said:

“And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, “Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses.” {Surat Al-Ma’idah:83}
Do we really want the reward that is reserved for the believers, when our hearts do not tremble like that of the mu’minoon?:
“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone)” {Surat Al-Anfal:2}

Do we see the many sins we commit to be a cause of our destruction or have they become a part of the norm? ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ud said:

“A believer sees his sins as if he were sitting under a mountain which, he is afraid, may fall on him; whereas the wicked person considers his sins as flies passing over his nose and he just drives them away like this.” Abu Shihab (the sub-narrator) moved his hand over his nose in illustration.” {Sahih Al-Bukhari}

Do we really want Jannah? Do we fear from the Fire? Does our speech reflect this? Do our actions reflect this? Or are we hoping that Ar-Rahmaan will show us mercy because we said we believed?

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” {Surat Al-‘Ankabut: 2}
Are we losing our grip on the only means of salvation when He said:
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.” {Surat Al ‘Imran: 103}
He, the Most High, saved us from the brink of a pit of Fire and gave us the blessing of opening our breasts to Islaam:
“And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not.” {Surat Al An’am: 125}

Will we not  then act accordingly? Will we not leave the Zeenah (adornment) of this dunya (worldy life)? Will we not race for the akhirah (Hereafter)?

Do we really want Jannah?…

Allaah knows and you do not…

Allaah, the Most Wise, said:

“Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” {2:216}

Ibn Kathir commented:

“This Ayah is general in meaning. Hence, one might covet something, yet in reality it is not good or beneficial for him, such as refraining from joining the Jihad, for it might lead to the enemy taking over the land and the government.”

This ayah, therefore, can be applied to various other situations, other than the Jihad which is specified. The Muslim may seek something in this life which Allaah knows is detrimental for his well-being, his happiness and most dangerously, his religion. Allaah is Wise, and may decree that the slave does not attain this desire in this life as it is in actuality better for him not to.

“Allah knows but you do not know.”

Inversely, it may be that the slave is afflicted with something that appears to be bad for him/her but in reality it is a means of increasing his faith and elevating his rank in this life and the Hereafter.

“Allah knows but you do not know.”

It is imperative for the Muslim to accept the decree of Allaah and be pleased with it even if their hearts are overcome by emotion. The Muslim should not let emotion hinder him from saying and acting in a way that is pleasing to Allaah. If it is a Shari’ah ruling his heart should be content and fulfilled in hearing and obeying, even if he may not understand the wisdom behind it.

Allaah said:

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” {33:36}

Allaah is Most Just and Most Wise and though we may not understand the wisdom behind a specific ruling, there most certainly is a great wisdom behind it.

“Allah knows but you do not know.”

If it is an ailment or affliction, he/she should be patient and know that everything is good for the believer and this may be a means of erasing sins and earning good deeds.

“Allah knows but you do not know.”

 If it is a particular trial with a husband, wives, family, health, property or wealth, he/she is comforted that everything is decreed by the One who is merciful, kind to His slaves and fully able to relieve this trial for him/her. So tawakkul (trust) and patience are what is required and the trial will soon be alleviated by the permission of Allaah.

“Allah knows but you do not know.”

 May Allaah make it easy for the Muslimeen to rely on Him alone and to keep firm in His obedience. May the Salaah and Salaam of Allaah be upon the Messenger, his wives, companions and all those that follow them in righteousness until the Day of Resurrection.

Surat-ul-Ikhlaas

{This is an extract from the Sharh of Dr. Muhammad Khalil Harras of Aqeedatul-Waasitiyyah by Sheikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah}

It is proved from the authentic Ahadith that this Surah (Surat-ul-Ikhlaas) is equal to one third of the Qur’aan. The ‘Ulama’ (Scholars) have made several statements in this connection and among these, the statement copied by Sheikh ul-Islam from Ibn Abbas is most authentic. The substance of this statement is that the Qur’aan consists of three fundamental objectives:

1. The ‘dos and don’t s’ which comprise the commandments and practical ways, and these form the subject matter of the discipline of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and ethics.

2. The tales and narratives which include the stories of the Messengers of Allaah and their communities. Such disasters have also been described which befell those who denied the Messengers of Allaah; they also mention the promises, the rewards and the dooms.

3. The knowledge of Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism) and the description of those matters which relate to the Names of Allaah and His Attributes and to believe in them is necessary for the worshippers of Allaah. This is the most important among all three.

Surat Al Ikhlaas comprises this third objective and gives a general description of it. It is therefore correct to say that this Surah is equal to one third of the Qur’aan.

A question is raised regarding how this Surah contains comprehensively the entire knowledge of Tawhid and its principles which form the centre of belief and rationality in one Allaah.

The answer to this lies in the fact that Allaah’s Command: {Say: “He is Allah, (the) One.} negates partnership with Him in every sense, whether it concerns His Self or His Attributes, or His Deeds. It likewise demonstrates the distinctiveness of Allaah in greatness, perfection, magnificence and majesty. That is why the word Ahad (One) will not be used for anyone except Allaah. This word is more emphatic that Waahid (One).

Ibn Abbas has done the explanation of this phrase Allaahu-us-Samad {Allaah, the Eternal, the Absolute} which his statement which is as follows:

The Master Who is perfect is His mastery; the Great One Who is perfect in His greatness; the Tolerant Who is perfect in His tolerance, the Omnipotent Who is perfect in His omnipotence; the All-Knowing Who is perfect in His knowledge; the One Who is perfect in all types of nobility and greatness- that Self is only Allaah- the Most Revered and the Most Powerful. He alone has these qualities for they do not apply to anyone else except Him. No one is equal to Him, and no one is like Him. {The complete statement of Ibn Abbas is reported by Ibn Kathir with additional wording}

The explanation of As-Samad  has also been done as follows: The One Who has no fear; toward Whom all creatures turn; and Whom they seek after in all their needs and works.

Affirmation of Oneness of Allaah includes negation of polytheism and similitude. And the affirmation of all the meanings of Samad includes all the noblest Names and exalted Attributes. This is called Tawhid of Affirmation.

The other type, that is Tawhid of purity has been derived from the statement of Allaah: {He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.}

Moreover, this interpretation can also be derived in a general sense from {Say: “He is Allah, (the) One.}. That is, nothing came out of Him nor has He come out of anything; and that He has no equal, no likeness and no similarity.

When can we unite?

Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) said:

“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.” [Surat Aal-Imraan: 103]

This is an order to stick to the Jama’ah and not become divided. But it is very important to note that the Jama’ah does not necessarily mean the majority, rather it is those who are upon the truth even if that is just one person. Remaining united is something that is liked by Allaah as the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Verily, Allah likes three things for you and disapproves three things for you. He likes that you should worship Him Alone, not to associate anything with Him (in worship) and to hold fast to the Rope of Allah and not to be divided among yourselves; and He disapproves for you irrelevant talk, persistent questioning and the squandering of the wealth.” [Sahih Muslim]

We must understand however that the Ummah will divide into sects as Allaah revealed to His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم):

“The Jews were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects; and the Christians were split up into seventy one or seventy-two sects; and my community will be split up into seventy-three sects.” [Sunan Abi Dawud- Sheikh Al-Albani declared it Hasan Sahih]

But the order for unity still remains, so the ignorant among the people may say that we should ignore the names of sects and ignore their faults in Aqeedah and unite as we have been ordered to. They say that it doesn’t matter if you are a grave worshipping Sufi, a Mu’tazili, or a Shi’i, all that matters is that we are Muslim!

This is no doubt contradictory to the evidences as well as sound intellect. How can the truth be compromised with falsehood when Allaah said:

“Such is Allah, your Lord in truth. So after the truth, what else can there be, save error? How then are you turned away?” [Surat Yunus: 32]

There is only one truth, one correct way and that is what the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his companions were upon. It is about them that Allaah said:

“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [Surat At-Tawbah: 100]
The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Do not revile my Companions, for by The One in Whose Hand is my soul! If any one of you were to spend the equivalent of Mount Uhud in gold, it would not equal a Mudd (the equivalent of 750ml) spent by anyone of them, nor even half a Mudd.” [Sunan Ibn Majah: Sahih]
It was this first generation who were the best among mankind, as the Ummah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are the best from the previous Umam (see ayah 110 of Surat Aal-Imran and its tafseer), and the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“The best people are those of my generation, and then those who will come after them (the next generation), and then those who will come after them (i.e. the next generation). Then after them, there will come people whose witness will precede their oaths, and whose oaths will precede their witness.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
We will never surpass them in their excellence, so the sound mind dictates that we follow them. They are the Salaf (the righteous predecessors) and their understanding of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah should be our understanding. If we follow them, we will never, by the permission of Allaah, go astray and fall in to innovations. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“I am leaving you upon a (path of) brightness whose night is like its day. No one will deviate from it after I am gone but one who is doomed. Whoever among you lives will see great conflict. I urge you to adhere to what you know of my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it. And you must obey, even if (your leader is) an Abyssinian leader. For the true believer is like a camel with a ring in its nose; wherever it is driven, it complies.” [Ibn Majah, Sahih by Sheikh Al-Albani]
The evidences are clear, so no one can come and say that we should unite with the innovators in the interest of brotherhood and unity. We say that we will unite only upon the truth. If the truth is made known and people choose not to follow it, we are free from them and we will not unite with them. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“A group of people from my Ummah will always remain triumphant on the right path and continue to be triumphant (against their opponents). He who deserts them shall not be able to do them any harm…” [Sahih Muslim]

 So when can we unite? When we all return to this understanding, the understanding of the Salaf, unity will come. Truth and falsehood cannot combine and we say as Allaah said in His Glorious Qur’aan:

“And say, ‘Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.'” [Surat Al-Isra: 81]
May Allaah forgive us, and accept our deeds. May He unite the hearts of the Muslimeen upon Haqq, indeed He is Capable of all things, and may His salaah and His salaam be upon the Final Messenger, his companions and all those that follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgement.
 

A Way Out

basmalah

Allaah, the Most High, said:

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

And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allaah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allaah will accomplish His purpose. Allaah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [Surat at-Talaq: 2-3]

When we face difficulty or oppression, our refuge should always be Allaah. None but He who can change our situation, comfort our hearts and give us the patience and wisdom we need to deal with these difficulties as they come. Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said:

“Resort to no one but your Lord, for resorting to others is a disgrace.”

How unfortunate it is then to see that the slave will disgrace himself by seeking comfort and ease from people instead of his Lord. He knows that they can not change his situation but still humiliates himself before them. Were he to fear Allaah and resort only to Him, his heart would have been put right and his status would have been raised.

Ibn Kathir (رحمه الله) said about the ayah above:

“…whoever has Taqwa of Allaah in what He has commanded and avoids what He has forbidden, then Allah will make a way out for him from every difficulty and will provide for him from resources he never anticipated or thought about.”

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said:

The greatest Ayah in the Qur’aan that contains relief is: “And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).”

`Abdullah bin Mas`ud and Masruq commented on the Ayah, saying:

“It pertains to when one knows that if Allah wills He gives, and if He wills He deprives, “from where he never could imagine.” from resources he did not anticipate”

And Qatadah said about the way out referred to in this ayah:

“Meaning, from every doubt and the horrors experienced at the time of death, “And He will provide him from where he never could imagine” from where he never thought of or anticipated.”

Allaah said:

“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that he rode the Prophet’s camel while sitting behind the Prophet , and the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to him:

“O boy! I will teach you words.Be mindful of Allaah and He will protect you, be mindful of Allaah and He will be on your side. If you ask, ask Allaah, and if you seek help, seek it from Allaah. Know that if the Ummah (the nation) gather their strength to bring you benefit, they will never bring you benefit, except that which Allaah has decreed for you. Know that if they gather their strength to harm you, they will never harm you, except with that which Allaah has decreed against you. The pens have been raised and the pages are dry.” [Also narrated by At-Tirmidhi who said it is Hasan]

How excellent is the advice of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Were we to fully understand and act according to this, never would we despair, or feel alone. We would be patient; hoping and anticipating from Allaah the reward for doing so and realising that what is to be decreed has been decreed, and Allaah, the Most High is the Best disposer of Affairs. “The pens have been raised and the pages are dry” so why would be be hasty when we know that Allaah said:

“So be patient. Surely, the (good) end is for the Muttaqun (the righteous)” [Surat Hud: 49]

May Allaah grant us true tawakkul (reliance) upon Him and may His words be a source of our ease and comfort. May His Salaah and Salaam be upon the Final Messenger, his family, his companions, and all those that follow them in righteousness till the Day of Resurrection.

“My Lord! Send me back!”

Allaah, the Most High, said:
“Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah), he says: ‘My Lord! Send me back,
So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!’ No! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.” [Surat Al Mu’minoon: 99-100]

Following is an extract of the Tafsir (exegesis) of Ibn Kathir (رحمه الله):

The Disbelievers’ hope when death approaches. Allaah tells us about what happens when death approaches.

(‘My Lord! Send me back, So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!’ No!) This is like the ayah:

(And spend (in charity) of that with which We have provided you, before death comes to one of you and he says: “My Lord! If only You would give me respite for a little while (i.e. return to the worldly life), then I should give Sadaqah (i.e. Zakat) of my wealth , and be among the righteous [i.e. perform Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah)].

And Allah grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) [Surat Al-Munafiqoon: 10-11]

And:

(And warn (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them; then the wrong-doers will say: “Our Lord! Respite us for a little while, we will answer Your Call and follow the Messengers!” (It will be said): “Had you not sworn aforetime that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter).) [Surat Ibraheem: 44]

And His saying:

(Await they just for the final fulfillment of the event? On the Day the event is finally fulfilled (i.e. the Day of Resurrection), those who neglected it before will say: “Verily, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth, now are there any intercessors for us that they might intercede on our behalf? Or could we be sent back (to the first life of the world) so that we might do (good) deeds other than those (evil) deeds which we used to do?” Verily, they have lost their ownselves (i.e. destroyed themselves) and that which they used to fabricate (invoking and worshipping others besides Allah) has gone away from them.) [Surat Al-A’raf:53]

And:

(And if you only could see when the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.) shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back (to the world), we will do righteous good deeds. Verily! We now believe with certainty.”) [Surat As-Sajda: 12]

And:

(If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: “Would that we were but sent back (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!”

Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.) [Surat Al-An’aam: 27-28]

And:

(And whomsoever Allah sends astray, for him there is no Wali (protector) after Him. And you will see the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.) when they behold the torment, they will say: “Is there any way of return (to the world)?”) [Surat Ah-Shura: 44]

And:

(They will say: “Our Lord! You have made us to die twice (i.e. we were dead in the loins of our fathers and dead after our deaths in this world), and You have given us life twice (i.e. life when we were born and life when we are Resurrected)! Now we confess our sins, then is there any way to get out (of the Fire)?”) [Surat Ghafir: 11]

And:

(Therein they will cry: “Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not (the evil deeds) that we used to do.” (Allah will reply): “Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition, – could receive it? And the warner came to you. So taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.) there is no helper.”) [Surat Fatir: 37]

Allah says that they will ask to go back, when death approaches, on the Day of Resurrection, when they are gathered for judgement before the Compeller (Allah) and when they are in the agonies of the punishment of Hell, but their prayer will not be answered. Here Allah says:

(No! It is but a word that he speaks)The word Kalla (No!) is a word that is used to rebuke, and the meaning is: “No, We will not respond to what he asks for and We will not accept it from him.”

(It is but a word that he speaks) refers to his asking to go back so that he can do righteous deeds; this is just talk on his part, it would not be accompanied by any action. If he were to go back, he would not do any righteous good deeds, he is merely lying, as Allah says:

(Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.) [Surat Al-An’aam: 28]

Qatadah said: “By Allah, he will not wish to go back to his family and tribe, or to accumulate more of the things of this world or satisfy his desires, but he will wish that he could go back to do acts of obedience to Allah. May Allah have mercy on a man who does that which the disbeliever will wish he had done when he sees the punishment of Hell.”