Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Noble Character of Nabi ﷺ

Allah SWT gave our Nabi the most Mubaarak features in the entire Ummah. Nabi had the most radiant face, beautifully created. It was brighter and more handsome than the moon in its full entirety. Once, Umm-ul-Mu’mineen Hazrat Aishah RA lost her needle from her sewing in the dark. She was on the ground, searching for her needle and did not find it. So she said, “Yaa Rasoolullah, I cannot find it.” He moved his face close, and by the radiance of his face reflecting off the needle, she found her needle.

                Nabi had a beautiful appearance, with a beautiful character as well; with his outer beauty came his inner beauty. Our Nabi had the best sense of compassion and mercy to all of mankind. We Muslims should try and beautify our character and inner side as well because it is one of the most important traits a person can have. Having good character and conduct with other people, Muslim or non-Muslim, is one thing we should all strive for, no matter how people treat us  - kindly or rudely. If Allah’s Nabi , the most beloved to all from mankind, was able to make Du’a for those who ridiculed him, we should be able to try our best to strive in following the way of his life.

This nasheed tells of a true incident that happened to Nabi . Once, Nabi saw an old lady carrying a heavy load of her things in the heat by herself. So he asked if he could help carry her load. She did not know him and agreed. It was a long walk, but Nabi was always compassionate, so he did not let that stop him from helping an old stranger. As they walked, the old woman started telling Nabi all about how she hated the Prophet Muhammad . The whole journey she ranted on and on about what a horrible man he was and how he was leading people in the wrong direction. Nabi , with his patient character, tolerated all this without saying anything. He did not reveal his identity, nor did he put down the heavy loads he was carrying for her. Instead, he chose the best but most difficult thing to do in such a situation: He kept his peace and did not say anything against her.

 It was only at the end of their journey that the old woman realized who this man was. She was extremely surprised because here she was, speaking against him in a hard manner, but he was tolerating all her words without arguing or revealing himself. Nabi had the utmost patience and compassion that drew in people from everywhere towards the Deen. He preached Islam gently and kindly, staying firm and steadfast in his ways.  Upon experiencing the compassion of Nabi herself, the old woman readily embraced Islam. Nabi’s beautiful character showed her the beauty of Deen; even his character was a means of Dawah for the people to experience.

A Hadith in Riyaadhus Saaliheen tells a story of Nabi . He passed by a woman who was crying by a grave, so he said, “Fear Allah and have patience.” Then she said, “(Go) away from me, verily for verily my grief has not reached you.” And she did not recognize him, so it was said to her, “Verily he is the Nabi ." So she came to the door of the Nabi and she did not find any doorkeepers by it. So she said, “I did not recognize you.” And he said, “Verily patience is with the first sudden stroke (of grief).”

                This Hadith highlights the superiority of Nabi’s character. The woman did not behave properly to Nabi because she was so grief – stricken. But he was not angry nor annoyed and so he did not demand respect form her, nor revealed himself to her so that she could apologize. He was again willing to give her advice, even when she acted like that out of her grief. He sets an example for those people who want to do Da’wah. Nabi was willing to give advice to those who need it, no matter how people treated him.  You should not behave rudely with others even if they are doing so to you, because there may be a difficult trial they are going through, so that would make them feel worse.

                There is a Hadith in Imam Nawawi’s book of Riyaadhus Saaliheen:
 عن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى االله عليه وسلم قال: يدخل الجنة أقوام أفئدتهم مثل أفئدة الطير
On the authority of Hazrat Abu Hurayrah RA, he narrates that Nabi said: A group of people will enter Jannah; their hearts will be like the hearts of birds. It is interpreted in two ways:
  1.      .    The people’s hearts will have trust in Allah SWT like a bird’s heart does when it leaves in the morning hungry and returns in the evening full.
  2.      .   Their hearts are tender.
These two qualities of a Muslim, including the tender hearts, must be highly valued by Muslims because they grant the ticket to Jannah and are a means of way to it. Nabi had the most tender heart of mankind. He was patient and compassionate with all of Allah’s creations, including animals. This is a very important quality of the Nabi that we as a Muslim Ummah should take over. Nabi , out of his beautiful character, was able to call people towards Islam. His very character was Da’wah to the people around him; many people came into Islam when they experienced it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Navigating through Allah's Plan


     "Patience is a virtue"-we have all heard that saying somewhere at some point in our lives. But, what exactly does it mean to be patient? Patience is to bind or restrain and to hold back. It is to accept and tolerate whatever we are going through without getting upset. It is waiting without complaint.We, humans in this world are being tested with the good and bad. We often see ourselves going through one trial after another. One is always in need of patience to pass through those trials and gets the best result at the end if he endures patience. Allah (SWT) has mentioned patience in the Qur'aan 90 times. Some of our scholars have stated that patience is half of faith.

     Patience is to test the Nafs. It is to hold back the desires of our Nafs and control it. We tend to forget that this world is temporary; nothing is going to last. The people aren't going to last, wealth isn't going to last and even the hardships aren't going to last. This world is a station before we reach the Hereafter. If we are patient now it will benefit us in the Hereafter. If life wasn't about hardship we wouldn't know the importance of comfort. All the Prophets would have lived a comforting life. Adam (AS) suffered test after test after leaving Jannah. Nooh (AS) cried for 300 years. Ibrahim (AS) was thrown in to a pit of fire and later told to slaughter his own son. Ya'qoob (AS) cried until he became blind. Musa (AS) challenged Pharaoh and was tested by his own people. Isa (AS) had no food except the morsels his disciples provided him. Our Beloved, Prophet Mohammed (SAW) met poverty with patience. His uncle, Hamzah (RA) was slaved and mutilated in front of his own eyes. His people disbelieved in him. So, we have to remember that whatever happens to us is by the will of Allah (SWT). Everything whether good or bad is a test of this world. It is decreed upon us by Allah (SWT). How do we expect to live a comforting life when the ones before us who were better suffered and were put through one hardship after another?! 
     Much of what befalls us is actually and can be a direct result of our sins. He, Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: "whatever misfortune befalls you is because of what your hands have done." We need to understand that whatever bad happens is a test from Allah and also the good things that happen are a test from Allah. You only know the value of good after you go through the bad. Allah (SWT) says: "We tested them with good blessings and evil calamities to see if they return to Faith." We need to endure patience at the beginning of a calamity. Prophet (SAW) said: "verily patience is at the first sight of calamity." These hardships are beneficial for us because they wash our sins away. They distinguish the believers from the disbelievers. In another Hadith from the Prophet (SAW), he said: "This world is a paradise for the disbelievers and a prison for the believers." Not always will we have good times in this world. If we choose to have fun and do everything in this world then the Hereafter for us won't be easy either. What we do in this world creates our Hereafter. The hardships endured with patience have a beautiful reward at the end and that reward is granted in the Hereafter-Jannah! 

     Ali (RA) has stated: " verily patience is to Imaan what the head is to the body." If the head is cut off the body is basically of no use. He also said in a loud voice: "verily there is no Imaan for he who has no patience." So, Imaan and patience go hand in hand. Patience is a guidance for a person. It leads in the right direction.
     May Allah make us patient on Deen! Every single day of our lives we are being tested on what good we can do. We are also being tested on if we have pride in what we do; do we show off? When you start overcoming these tests with patience, it brings you closer and closer to Allah (SWT). May Allah forgive us for the times we were ungrateful and impatient! It is not for a Muslim to blame Allah for all the bad things that happen. Rather, one should think and realize what act they may have done in the disobedience of Allah that caused a hardship to come their way. Patience is the characteristic of a believer. Allah has promised that He will reward those who are patient, in full.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Real Part of our Deeds

Niyyat (Intention)

There is an intention behind every action we do which is the most important thing behind a deed. It is essential that one has a sincere intention that anything and everything is being done for the Sake of Allah (SWT). Whatever intention one makes while doing an act is what he will gain out of it. In a Hadith agreed upon by Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari it is stated: “actions are based on intentions and whoever migrates for Allah and His Messenger then his emigration will be for Allah and His Messenger and whoever migrates to gain the pleasure of this world or to marry a woman then his emigration will be for whatever he intended.” A person will be held accountable based on the intention of their action; not so much on the action. They will get their reward based on the intention. 

Sincerity is the purification of your intention; the action is done solely for the Sake of Allah (SWT). One should always make sure that their intention is pure and whatever they do is done for Him and not for people because that could lead to showing off which falls under Shirk. There is a Hadith in Mishkaat, the Mafhoom of which is: whoever prays to show off has committed Shirk. Whoever fasts to show off has committed Shirk and whoever gives charity to show off has committed Shirk. Behind every act we do, whether it is obligated or a worldly thing should be done for His Sake only. 

Anytime one goes forth with doing something they should take a moment and think to themselves “am I doing this for the Sake of Allah?” One should have fear in their heart that He Almighty is watching everything. It is stated in the Quran that Allah (SWT) said to Prophet (SAW) said: Say! Whether you hide what is in your chest or reveal it, Allah knows it. (Surah Al-Imraan)

Our sincerity shows how strong our Faith is. Every action or doing lies in sincerity. When the companions of the Prophet (SAW) asked him regarding sincerity, he (SAW), said: It is Imaan. 
Every action is based on sincerity and good intention. If one has these things then the heart is pure from worldly desires, temptations, jealousy, etc. The true intention is only known to Allah (SWT) and the position of one’s actions will be disclosed on the Day of Judgment. We may hide it from people and pretend but remember He is All-Knowing!

May Allah guide us on the Right Path and may He purify our hearts and make our intentions pure and sincere. May He accept every action we do and may He forgive all our sins whether done during the day, night, hidden or apparent. Ameen Thumma Ameen! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Little Things in Life…


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The sun vs. the earth
The largest star vs. the sun

Planet Earth, in our opinion is this enormous planet supporting a vast diversity of life, our home. Did you know the sun is 1 million earths put together…and even though the sun is so large, it happens to be one of the smallest stars that exist in the universe? It would take an airplane 1,100 years to travel around the largest known star; the sun is a mere speck compared to it. That largest known start is from amongst several hundred billion other stars that form our galaxy. And then there are several billion galaxies…so our seemingly ginormous planet earth…is actually less than speck of dust.

“It is He who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne.” (Quran, 57:4).

Imagine a body cell…really small. This tiny cell contains DNA, which is even smaller than the cell itself. All the DNA taken form one person’s cells would be twice the diameter of the entire solar system… and all of that is contained within just you! And even cooler, this tiny, compact molecule in our cells contains all the instruction our bodies need to function every day. 

“And He gave you all that you asked for, and if you count the blessing of Allah, you could not enumerate them.” (Quran, 14:34). 

Surely Allah (SWT) already knows us well, as he is our creator. He has bestowed many favors upon us; but of course it is in our nature to continuously forget this. Allah (SWT) has called our creation “insaan” which we usually translate as humans. However “insaan” comes from the root word “insiya” which means “to forget”. So basically we are the people that forget. 

But Allah (SWT) constantly reminds us to stay away from ingratitude because Shaytan had told Allah (SWT) that I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from the right-hand side and from the left-hand side, and Thou (Allah) shall not find most of them thankful." (Qur'an 7:17). How many times have you seen the phrase “la’allakum tashkuroon” in the Quran? Probably many… Its meaning is “so you [humans] may be thankful”. Allah (SWT) is constantly pointing out many things around us so we, the people who forget, may remember to be thankful to Him and not fall in Shaytan’s trap. 

We often find ourselves battling the many challenges of life and become so engrossed with our negatives that acknowledging our positives becomes hard. But the test is this challenge: through all your ups and downs in life, can we remember that Allah (SWT) is with us and he is indeed helping us in many ways? 

We woke up this morning….We say Alhamdulillah…because many didn’t. We are able move around and we are given a chance to do something new today…We say Alhamdulillah…because many are dependent on others for their basic necessities. We are given a chance again to repent to Allah (SWT) for our sins form the past…We say Alhamdulillah…because Allah has said he has blinded some to a point where their senses are sealed. We are currently under a roof…We say Alhamdulillah…because many can’t even dream of having a roof above them. We had clean water this morning to drink and make wudhoo with…We say Alhamdulillah…because some newborns have not tasted water yet and are beyond reach of it. 

Sometimes pondering over the things we already have helps us appreciate our situation and makes us happier. Science proves that being negative weakens one’s confidence, decreasing success and decreasing a peace of mind. It also physically strains the body weakening the immune system and decreases one’s energy or motivation to accomplish something. Saying a simple “Alhamdulillah” for the things that are in our reach will please Allah (SWT). That is all He asks of us…just that we merely acknowledge all He has given us. This will Insha’Allah benefit us here in this world and in the Akhirah. 

رَبِّ اَوزِعْنِيْ اَنْ اَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتِكَ الَّتِي اَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَي وَالِدَيَّ وَاَنْ اَعْمَلَ صَالِحاً تَرْضآهُ وَاَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ.

Oh my Lord, give me the ability to thank You for the blessings You have Bestowed upon me and my parents, and to do good which pleases You, and admit me, with Your mercy, among Your righteous servants. 

May Allah guide us and make us amongst the “Shakireen” (the thankful), because he promises us that “If [you] are grateful, [I] will give you more.” (Quran 14:7). May He give us the strength to overlook the things we don’t have, and aid us in remembering the things we have, making us stronger to work with the obstacles that are in our path.  

Oh Allah shower Your blessings upon the Prophet (SAW) and grant him the best of peace.