Striving against oneself

Fadalah ibn Ubaid reported: I heard the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم saying:

The one who strives in the way of Allah the Exalted is he who strives against his soul.” {Saheeh At-Tirmidhi: 1621. Graded Saheeh by Sheikh Al-Albaani}

In explanation of this Hadeeth, Al-Mubarakpuri رحمه الله said:

“This means he conquers evil inclinations within himself and performs acts of obedience pleasing to Allah and he avoids acts of disobedience. This jihad is the foundation for all other types of jihad, for indeed, if he does not perform this struggle then he cannot struggle against external enemies.” {Sharh Sunan At-Tirmidhi: 1621}

Striving against the evil of oneself is no easy task. If we were to occupy ourselves with just conquering these evil inclinations and performing acts of obedience and distancing ourselves from acts of disobedience, indeed we would be firm enough to stand against any external enemies. As it stands we are so preoccupied with the dunya, satisfying our desires and focusing on the external that we neglect what is truly needed for our self and this in turn leads to the death of the heart as Ibn Al Qayyim رحمه الله states:

“The death of the heart is caused by the lack of reckoning oneself and following one’s desire.” {Al-Igaathah: Vol.1 Page: 157}

We know that if we do not rectify our selves that we will not gain the Aid of Allaah, yet in reality our actions do not reflect a true understanding of this fact.

“That is so because Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves. And verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” {Surat Al-Anfaal 8:53}

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When we rectify the deficiencies within ourselves, the effect reaches those around us; when we stop looking externally to make sense of the condition of the Ummah and instead look inside ourselves we will gain the good required to rectify the Ummah.

“To think of one’s deficiencies is the key to all the good. It disciplines the soul so that it can live harmoniously.” {Ibn Al-Qayyim. Al-Jawabul Kafi: 182}

The root of all good is At-Tawheed and the root of all evil is Shirk. It is therefore imperative that the ‘Aqeedah be rectified in order that the deeds are correct. Performing actions in abundance while one believes that Allaah is in everything, like some Sufis, or that He is nowhere, like the Asha’ira, makes these actions null and void. Allaah has stated numerous times in the Qur’an that He is above His Throne which is above the skies.

“The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).” {Surat Taha: 5}

It is only when tawheed is established that we can expect to reap its fruits. Once it is firm in our hearts, the limbs will perform actions in accordance. The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” {Saheeh Al-Bukhari: 52}

The Muslim, the true believer rectifies his heart first so that the actions of his limbs are accepted. In the well known hadeeth, A’ishah رضي الله عنها narrates:

“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, ‘And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear.” [23:60] Is this the one who commits adultery, steals and drinks alcohol?’ He said: ‘No, O daughter of Abu Bakr’ – O daughter of Siddiq – rather it is a man who fasts and gives charity and prays, but he fears that those will not be accepted from him.’”

 This is the state of those who realise the gravity of their deeds and how important it is that they are accepted from him. The righteous one performs good while fearing that it will not be accepted, yet the corrupt one commits evil while hoping he will not be recompensed for it. This is why striving with heart and limb against the evil of one’s desire is such a great task and one that should not be taken to lightly. It is as Sheikh Al Mubarakpuri so beautifully states “…if he does not perform this struggle then he can not struggle against external enemies” (quote above)
الحمد لله رب العالمين
We ask Allaah for sincere deeds, done purely for His sake, that are accepted and for the strength and diligence required to constantly struggle against our own evils and the evils that the Shayateen present to us. May the peace and salutation be upon the Final Messenger, his companions and his family.


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.

Al-Sidq- Truthfulness

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud narrated  that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Truth leads to piety and piety leads to Jannah. A man persists in speaking the truth till he is enrolled with Allaah as a truthful. Falsehood leads to vice and vice leads to the Fire (Hell), and a person persists on telling lies until he is enrolled as a liar” {Agreed upon}

And in the narration in At-Tirmidhi, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Abide by truthfulness. For indeed truthfulness leads to righteousness. And indeed righteousness leads to Paradise. A man continues telling the truth and trying hard to tell he truth until he is recorded with Allaah as a truthful person. Refrain from falsehood. For indeed falsehood leads to the wickedness, and wickedness leads to Fire. A slave (of Allaah) continues lying and trying hard to lie, until he is recorded with Allaah as a liar.” {Sahih}

Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen said in his explanation of Riyadhus Saaliheen, in regards to Al-Sidq:

“Honesty: The original meaning is: to comply with actual news (or event). And it is about the news/information that is being conveyed. So if one communicates news about something and this news is in accordance with the actual event then, it is said: “it is true”. Example: (if it is Sunday) and the person says: Today is Sunday. Then this news is true because the day is Sunday. But if someone says it is Monday, then this news is false.


So if the news is in accordance with the actual incident then it is true; and when it opposes the incident then it is false. Truthfulness can be in speech as well as in actions.


Truthfulness in actions: It is when the internal (feeling) of a person is similar to his outer (reaction); so that if he does something, then it should be in accordance with what is in his heart.


Example: The show-off is not truthful, because he pretends in front of the people to be religious whereas he is not.


The Mushrik (the one who associates partners) with Allaah is not truthful, because he pretends to be upon Tawheed whereas he is not.


The hypocrite is not truthful because he pretends to have faith whereas he is not a believer.


The Mubtadi` (the innovator in religion) is not truthful because he pretends to be following (the Sunnah of) the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم whereas he is not a follower.

The important thing (to understand) is that truthfulness is in accordance with the actual event, and it is one of the characteristics of the Believers. And its opposite is falsehood, and it is one of the characteristics of the hypocrites – and Allaah’s refuge is sought.” {End quote from the Sheikh- Source:Ilm 4 All

Allaah said:

“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” {Surat At-Tawbah: 119}

Ibn Kathir said about this ayah:

“The Ayah says, adhere to and always say the truth so that you become among its people and be saved from destruction. Allaah will make a way for you out of your concerns and a refuge. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلى  الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Abide by truthfulness. For indeed truthfulness leads to righteousness. And indeed righteousness leads to Paradise. A man continues telling the truth and trying hard to tell he truth until he is recorded with Allaah as a truthful person. Refrain from falsehood. For indeed falsehood leads to the wickedness, and wickedness leads to Fire. A slave (of Allaah) continues lying and trying hard to lie, until he is recorded with Allaah as a liar.” {The narration quoted above}” {Tafsir Ibn Kathir}

May Allaah make the Muslimeen firm on the word of truth and make us practise and teach these values. May His Salah and Salam be upon the Final Messenger, his companions, his wives and all those that follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgement.

“Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!” (37:99)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم ، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين. أما بعد

The believer slave of Allah is always migrating to what his Lord loves with two types of migrations:

A migration to Him – exalted He is – by loving Him and turning to Him with love, fear, hope, submission, etc.

And a migration to His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم by following him inwardly and outwardly with all that he came with.

This migration is neither completed nor established until a person leaves the disbelievers and abandons them and their disbelief, with his heart and body.

The Muslim is not permitted to even live where they gather/live even if it is a Muslim country; so how about living with them in their countries of disbelief ? The Messenger  صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“I have nothing to do with any Muslim who stays among polytheists.” They asked: “Why O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “Their fires should not be visible to one another.” Meaning that their houses should be far enough to a point that the Muslim cannot view the light in the Mushrik’s house. {Narrated by Abu Dawood, Tirmithi, and others. Authenticated by Al Albani.}

And he صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“Whoever lives with a Mushrik and mixes with him is like him” {Narrated by Abu Dawood, Shaikh Al Albani said : Sahih hadith.}

And He صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“Allah does not accept the deeds of a Mushrik (polytheist) after he has embraced Islam till he leaves the Mushrikeen (polytheists) and goes to the Muslimeen. ِ{A Hasan hadith as Al Albani said, narrated by Imam Ahmad and Al Nasa’i.}

The warning for not making Hijrah (migration) is also found in the Qur’an. Allah said:

“Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): “In what (condition) were you?” They reply: “We were weak and oppressed on earth.” They (angels) say: “Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” Such men will find their abode in Hell- What an evil destination!” {4:97}

Therefore whoever is able to make this migration must make it; the slaves are asked to migrate to Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم with all of their ability, Allah said:

“So flee to Allah, verily, I (Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم) am a plain warner to you from Him.” {51:50}

And Allah said:

“O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) calls you to that which will give you life.” {8:24}

Therefore the more one flees to Allah, and migrates to Him and His Messenger the more life He has, and the closer he is to the mercy of his Lord.

And He said:

“Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s Religion) and have striven hard in the Way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s Mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” {2:218}

So glad tidings are  for the one who abandoned disbelief and migrated to Eman (faith), left what he wants to what his Lord wants; glad tidings to the one who migrated from where the disbelievers live to to where the believers live.

This migration is a great act of worship and a great deed on the scale.  Abu Fatimah رضي الله عنه narrated that he said:

“O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an action that I may do and persist in it.” The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said to him: “You should emigrate, for there is nothing like it.”  {Sahih Hadith , Narrated by Al Nasa’i.}

There is nothing like Hijrah; it is a deed of the slave which Allah loves. This act of migration was done by a great Imam, by a great Prophet, it was done by Ibrahim عليه السلام. Allah said:

“So when he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, We gave him Ishaque (Isaac) and Ya’qub (Jacob), and each one of them We made a Prophet. And We gave them of Our Mercy (a good provision in plenty), and We granted them honour on the tongues (of all the nations, i.e everybody remembers them with a good praise).” {19:49-50}

Ponder upon this ayah and give it what it deserves from its right; see what was given to Ibrahim due to this Hijrah. Ibrahim left his family, his town, his land, his people, his house, even his own father for the sake of Allah. He left those who used to worship other than Allah, and when he did that, Allah gave him what is better. Ponder how Allah said: So when he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, We gave him…

Allah gave him what is more lasting; He gave him Ishaque and Ya’qub, two great Prophets that were a coolness for the eyes of Ibrahim. He gave them an abundance of mercy from Him and gave them honour and good remembrance that remains forever. This is a Sunnah of Allah for those who migrate for His sake. It is how Allah treats those who migrate for His sake, and I say as Shaikh Muhammad Taqiyyul Deen al Hilali said:

“Whoever is in doubt in this then let him try!”

Meaning let him attempt Hijrah, and he will see the beautiful things that Allah will give him. Although one must be patient, sincere, and remember that his hijrah is for Allah and not for the Dunya (the world) and money. Allah said:

“And those who believed, and emigrated and strove hard in the Cause of Allah (Al-Jihad), as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid; – these are the believers in truth, for them is forgiveness and Rizqun Karim (a generous provision i.e. Paradise).” {8:74}

And He said:

“Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and emigrated and strove hard and fought in Allah’s Cause with their wealth and their lives are far higher in degree with Allah. They are the successful. Their Lord gives them glad tidings of a Mercy from Him, and that He is pleased (with them), and of Gardens (Paradise) for them wherein are everlasting delights. They will dwell therein forever. Verily, with Allah is a great reward.” {9:20-22}


“Those who emigrated in the Cause of Allah and after that were killed or died, surely, Allah will provide a good provision for them. And verily, it is Allah Who indeed is the Best of those who make provision.” {22:58}


“He who emigrates (from his home) in the Cause of Allah, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by. And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” {4:100}

Also the Sunnah came showing the virtue of Hijrah. The Messenger said عليه الصلاة والسلام said:

“Verily emigration wipes out all the previous sins” {Sahih Muslim}

And he said:

“I am a Za’im – and the Za’im is the guarantor – for the one who believes in me and accepts Islam, and emigrates: A house on the outskirts of Paradise and a house in the middle of Paradise.” {Narrated by Al Nasa’i, graded Sahih by Al Albani}

These Ayaat  and narrations give glad tidings for the one who walked out of his house striving for Hijrah. Allah promises that this person will have the reward even if he didn’t reach the land he was making Hijrah to, and the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم the truthful, promised him Jannah.

Therefore O Muslim, do not stay among the Kuffar! Try to migrate; do not raise your children there; do not disobey Allah; do not throw your children in the fire by scattering them in the lands of Kuffar; fear Allah and His punishment!

هذا والله أعلم وصلى الله وسلم على رسوله.


Isn’t it that time?

It is reported that Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd – Allâh have mercy on him – said:
How will you be if you reach a time when you will see people who do not distinguish truth from falsehood, believer from unbeliever, trustworthy from treacherous, nor ignorant from knowledgeable, and neither recognize what is right nor censure what is wrong?

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ 1:188.

After reporting this narration, Imâm Ibn Battah (d. 387H) said:

To Allâh we belong and to Him we will return! We have reached that time, we have heard this and have come to know most of it and witnessed it. If a man to whom Allâh has bestowed sound reasoning looks and thinks carefully and ponders the matter of Islâm and its people and treads the rightly guided path as regards to them, it will become clear to him that most people have turned back on their heals, deviated from the correct path, and turned away from  correct proof. Many people have started to like what they used to hate, allow what they used to forbid and recognize what they used to reject. And for sure – Allâh have mercy on you – this is not the [right] character of the Muslims, nor the behaviour of those who have insight into this religion, and neither of those who believe in it and are certain about it.



Note: Imam Ibn Battah was saying this during his time and currently we see much more of this behaviour. It seems as though accepting the falsehood of others amounts to “tolerance”, whether this is the falsehood of saying Allaah has a son, (Glorified He is from such a thing), or the deviated belief of the Shi’ah that Allaah became incarnate in ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him). The Muslim does not accept false beliefs so that the people are pleased with him, rather he is more concerned with enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and more concerned with pleasing Allaah than the creation. It is said that the head of all good is Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) and the head of all evil is Shirk (associating partners with Allaah in His Lordship, Names and Attributes or right to be worshipped alone). The Muslim strives in propagating the correct creed and if he sees falsehood or sin, he does what he can to stop it. He does not do what is practised today, by calling everyone his brother, whether they are Christian, Hindu or Pagan as Allaah said:

“But if they repent, perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion. (In this way) We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail for a people who know.” {9:11}


“The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” {49:11}

The Muslim should therefore be keen on seeking knowledge and asking Allaah to give him the ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood, to stay firm on the correct path; the path of those whom He has guided, not of those who have incurred His anger, nor of those who have gone astray.


They preferred virtues…

Ibn Hazm (رحمه الله) said in his book “Kitaab-ul Akhlaaq was-Siyar”:

The pleasure of the rational one with his ability to differentiate; the pleasure of the knowledgeable one due to his knowledge; the pleasure of the wise due to his wisdom; the pleasure of the diligent due to his diligence for the sake of Allaah is greater than the pleasure of the eater with his food, the drinker with his drink, the one who has intercourse due to his intercourse, the earner due to his earnings, the player due to his play and the one who commands when he commands.

The proof of that is that the wise, the knowledgeable, the rational and the worshipper all find these named pleasures, just like the one who is absorbed in them finds them; they feel it the way the one who is preoccupied with it does, yet they left these pleasures, turned away from them and they preferred virtues over them. And verily it is only one who knows two things, that can judge between them, not one who knows only one and is ignorant from the other.

Source: Muwahidoon