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.

Beautiful Supplication

Shahr bin Haushab reported:

I asked Umm Salamah (رضي الله عنها), “O Mother of the Believers! Which supplication did the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) make frequently when he was in your house?” She said: “He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) supplicated frequently:

‘O Controller of the hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion.'” [Riyadhus Saliheen- At-Tirmidhi]

Arabic text:

 يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ

Transliteration:

Yaa Muqallibal quloob, thabbit qalbee ‘alaa deenik.

Du’aa for Syria

Rarely do I write about world news, although I do read about it to remain informed, today I was shocked by what I read:

“60,000 dead in Syrian unrest, says United Nations”

It is unfortunate that many of those that read this will see just a figure. Sixty thousand is just a number to them, and the psychology of humans is such that when we hear news like this, the weight of it does not hit our heart as hard as if we were to hear that just one person was killed, what their name was, the family they’ve left behind, their occupation, their character etc.

So I just want to make it clear. Sixty thousand human beings have been murdered. They were men, women and children. They were fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. They spent the past 10 months in fear. Not knowing around which corner Malak-ul Mawt (the angel of death) would meet them. Children were orphaned, tears were shed and if bodies were found, graves were dug.

My heart weeps for my Muslim brothers and sisters who are being killed by the very government that was supposed to take care of them. We are all part of one body of Islam, despite the borders that separate us. If one part of the body aches, the eyes weep for it. As an Ummah (nation) we are experiencing not only a physical inertia, but a spiritual one too. We want change but, instead of resorting to Allaah like we should, protests are held, votes are cast for laws other than the laws of Allaah, and all the while the Masaajid (mosques) are empty and the situation does not get any better. We should know that Allaah has legislated the way for change and it does not come from disobeying Him and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

“Indeed Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves. And when Allaah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” [Surat Ra’d:11]

Change begins with the rectification of our own selves. We are experiencing injustice as a result of our injustice as an Ummah. We are being oppressed because we oppress ourselves through disobedience. The current affairs in the Muslim world are a testament to this. We need to wake up. How many people are there buried in their graves, wishing that they could be brought back to life just to make sujood to Allaah once more.

We waste time by resorting to blame upon the leaders of our lands for the state we are in. Do we forget who it is that placed this ruler in command of us? Allaah gave us these rulers and it is upon us to be patient from their harm. Only when we are righteous will we get a righteous ruler. It is from ignorance to rebel against a ruler as the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“He who rebels against obedience to the ruler, abandons the Muslim community and then dies, his death will be as if he died at the time of Jahiliyah.” [Saheeh Muslim]

May Allaah rectify our state as an Ummah, and may He make us return to His deen so that He gives us a righteous ruler. May He have mercy upon the Muslimeen killed in the recent affairs and grant then Jannah. May His Salaah and Salaam be upon the final Messenger.

The Manifestation of the Lord

The Qur’aan is the words of Allaah, and He, the Almighty manifested His glory to His creatures through His attributes. When He shows His Greatness and Majesty, His creatures will submit and pride will melt away like salt in water. He manifests His attributes of beauty and perfection, which are the perfection of His names and the beauty of His actions, which show the perfection of His self. So the servant will love Him and his heart will be empty from any love other than love for Allaah. And if the other wanted to end this love, his heart and body will refuse. This love will remain as his innate nature as it is not artificial.

If Allaah manifests His glory in the attributes of mercy, charity, and kindness, then the power of hope will emit from the servant and he will show his wish and resort to Allaah and the more his hope increases the more he will work hard. It is exactly like the one who sows seeds in his land. The more his greed increases in what he will harvest, the more he will sow the seeds, but if his hope is weak, he will become stingy and careless in sowing them.

If Allaah shows Himself through His attributes of justice, revenge, anger, wrath and punishment, the evil soul will be repressed, stooped and its power will be weakened from imagination, anger and lust and it will be afraid.

If He shows Himself through His attributes of commanding, forbidding, sending Messengers, revealing Books and setting decrees, then the ability to obey, report, and follow these orders will be shown. People will follow His orders and will avoid whatever He has forbidden.

If He manifests Himself through His attributes of listening, seeing and knowing, then the servant will be shy. He will be ashamed that his Lord sees and listens to him, as he does not want Him to see him doing what He hates, hear what He hates or hide what He hates. His thoughts, words and deeds will remain balanced according to the law of Islam not according to imagination and nature.

If Allaah manifested Himself through His attributes of sufficiency, managing His servants’ interests, insuring their subsistence, preventing distress, and supporting, protecting and accompanying His pious people, then the servant will show the ability to put trust in Allaah and be committed to Him, and He will be satisfied with that and will all that Allaah destined for him.

If He shows His attributes of glory and pride, the good soul will show humility to His power, submission to His pride, and his heart and limbs will submit to Him and recklessness will vanish.

The essence of this is that Allaah, the Exalted knows His servants through His attributes of both Divinity and Lordship  The attributes of Divinity provoke special love, longing to meet Allaah, and pleasing Him by obeying, and remembering Him. And the attributes of the Lordship of Allaah induce trust in Him, resorting to Him, asking for His support, and showing humility and submission to Him. Perfection is when the servant knows the Divinity and Lordship of Allaah. It is also to see His power in His forgiveness, His wisdom in His Divine decree, His blessing in affliction, giving in preventing, justice in revenge, generosity in forgiveness, wisdom and blessing in commanding and forbidding, glory in anger and pleasure, patience in giving chances, generosity in advancing, and sufficiency in what He has forbidden. If you carefully consider the Qur’aan without any distortion or evil opinions you will see a dominating King over the heavens, who manages His servants’ affairs, send Messengers, Books, and sometimes He is angry or pleased, sometimes He rewards or punishes, sometimes He gives or prevents, sometimes He humiliates or honours, sometimes He lowers or raises, and always He sees and hears from above the seven heavens, and knows what is kept secret and what is broadcast. A leaf does not fall, nothing moves, and no one intercedes in His presence except with His permission.

Ibn Al Qayyim -Al Fawaa’id

The Righteous Wife

basmalah

She is beautiful, honourable and unspoilt.

The corruption of the “modern” woman does not enter her soul.

She is content with the blessings of Allaah.

Patient with the decree.

She veils her adornment from the eyes of strangers but always looks pleasing to her husband.

She is brave and has fortitude

She does not complain.

She hides her husbands secrets as she would hide her own

She is the best of provision in this worldly life

She is honoured, revered, and adored

She maintains her obligations and abstains from the prohibited

She safeguards what is entrusted to her and she does so with love

She is a pure soul, serene and shy

She exhibits humility and submission to Her Lord

She is knowledgeable and wise

She is hopeful for Ar-Rahman

She fears His Punishment

She flies to Her Lord on wings of obedience

She is the righteous wife whom the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) described:

“If a woman prays her five (daily prayers),

Fasts her month (Ramadan),

Guards her chastity and obeys her husband,

It will be said to her: Enter Paradise through whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.

[Saheeh al-Jaami’- Graded Saheeh by Al-Albani]

May Allaah aid the sisters of this Ummah to be of the women whom it is said to ‘enter paradise through whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish’. May the Salaah and Salaam of Allaah be upon the Final Messenger

The virtue of those possessing knowledge

How virtuous are those that carry knowledge in their hearts, action on their limbs and sincerity to their Lord, Most High.

Knowledge is a means of the slave staying firm in the Deen of Allaah. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said regarding the tremedous virtue of the knowledgeable:

“The superiority of the scholar compared to that of the worshipper is like my superiority over the most inferior amongst you” 
[Narrated on the authority of Abu Umamah- found it At-Tirmidhi]

And he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“Allaah, His angels, the dwellers of the heaven and the earth, and even the ant in its hole and the fish (in water) supplicate in favour of those who teach people knowledge” 
[Same narration as above]

Allaah, the Ever-Living, placed the people of knowledge alongside Himself and the Angels, as those who bear witness of His Tawheed:

“Allah bears witness that La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice. La ilah illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [Surat Aal-i-Imran: 18]

How high therefore is the status of the knowledgeable! They are honoured to be of those that bear witness along with the Noble Angels and the Lord of the Worlds. They have been described as the only ones that truly fear their Lord:

“…It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah…” [Surat Fatir: 28]

They take care of the ‘ilm, they preserve their obligations and they warn others with sincerity when they see that a sin is being committed. It is with their presence that the ignorant are guided and with their absence that the knowledge will be stripped from the earth.

The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“Allaah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts) of people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men, till when none (of the religious learned men) remain, people will take as their leaders ignorant people who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

May Allaah preserve our righteous scholars and grant us beneficial knowledge. May the Salaah and the Salaam be upon the Final Messenger.

The Excellence of Repentance

Should the One, the Almighty, that created His slaves not know them? He سبحانه وتعالى fashioned us precisely, with complete knowledge of our nature:

“And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.

Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).” [Surat al Mulk: 13-14]

He is All Aware of what the soul whispers to the Son of Adam, from desire, envy and pride.  How wretched, therefore, is the state of the habitual sinner, who viciously violates the commands of His Lord. Racing on the road to destruction, he has charred his heart with the blackness of sin. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“When the servant performs a sin a black spot appears on his heart, and if he seeks forgiveness this black spot is removed, and if he returns to sin the black spot grows until his heart becomes black, and this is the ‘raan’ about which Allaah spoke:

‘Nay! But on their hearts is the covering of sins (raan) which they used to earn.’ [Surat al-Mutaffiffin (83):14]” [At-Tirmidhi- he narrated is to be hasan sahih]

How simple it is to remove this ‘raan’; by turning to the the Most Merciful, the Oft Forgiving, and seeking His forgiveness. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of the sinners are those who repent.” [At-Tirmidhi- graded Saheeh by Sheikh Al-Albani]

And he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and He would forgive them”. [Saheeh Muslim]

This is not because Allaah likes sin, rather He سبحانه و تعالى loves those who repent:

“…Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” [Surat al Baqarah: 222]

High is the station of the one who repents from his sin while fulfilling all the conditions of repentance. Allaah said:

“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah ? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.

Those – their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow [in Paradise], wherein they will abide eternally; and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers.” [Surat ali- Imran: 135- 136]

The Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) narrates that Allaah said:

“O son of Adam! I shall go on forgiving you so long as you pray to Me and aspire for My forgiveness whatever your sins may be. O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins should pile up to the sky and should you beg pardon of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you come to Me with an earth full of sins and meet Me, not associating anything with Me in worship, I will certainly grant you as much pardon as will fill the earth” [At-Tirmidhi- Ibn al Qayyim graded Saheeh, and Al-Albani said it is Hasan]

How excellent, therefore, is the state of the one who repents to his Lord with Tawheed (affirming the Oneness of Allaah in His Lordship, His Names and Attributes and His Worship). May Allaah make us of those who repent to Him alone, before a Day in which there will be no more opportunity to do so. May He admit us to His Jannah alongside the Prophets and the righteous amongst His slaves. May He send the Salaah and the Salaam upon the Messenger, his companions, his family and all those who follow them in the path of righteousness.