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The Secret of Happiness August 7, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Islam, Tazkiyah.
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So important is the concept of ‘happiness’ in our lives that many people – even dating back to the days of the Greek philosophers – considered its pursuit to be the very purpose of existence.

Indeed, the Qur’an itself speaks of happiness as being one of the rewards of those whom Allah chooses to admit to Paradise. He says of the martyrs in Aal-’Imraan, verse 170,

فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آَتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ
They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty

And of the reward of the pious believers [al-Insaan, verse 11],

فَوَقَاهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُورًا
So, Allah saved them from the evil of that Day and gave them a light of beauty and joy.

What becomes immediately apparent upon reading the Arabic text (but once again obscured in the translation) is that two very different words have been used to convey the idea of happiness: فَرِحِينَ fariheena, which is conjugated from the noun فَرَح farah, and سُرُور suroor, and this is prevalent throughout the Qur’an. This is because there are two very different types of happiness being referred to.

فَرَح farah generally refers to transitory delights or pleasures, as is the case in bodily or worldly pleasure. For this reason, most times that فَرَح farah appears in the Qur’an, it is being censured, as in the story of Qarun [al-Qasas, verse 76],

إِنَّ اللهَ لا يُحِبُّ الَفِرحِينَ
Indeed, Allaah does not like the fariheen

But when the source of the farah is specified in the Qur’an, as in the verse from Aal-’Imraan mentioned above, the meaning becomes restricted (muqayyad) and it is no longer censured.

But perhaps a greater distinction between the two lies in the manifestation of the happiness. Whereas the expression of farah is external and with clear outward signs, suroor refers to the expansion of one’s heart with delight or pleasure wherein is quiet or tranquility, and as such it has no external sign. This is indicated by the root from which the word stems – س ر seen raa’ – the same root as the word سرّ sirr, or secret. So suroor is a secret happiness, known to one’s heart but not always seen by others, as Ibn ‘Abbas said in reference to the above verse from al-Insaan, “The نضرة nadrah is on their faces, and the سرور suroor is in their hearts.”

Such distinctions exemplify yet another example in which the translation fails and the original prevails.

Source: Arabic Gems

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Increasing Faith – Shaykh Bin Baz August 4, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Bin Baz, Islam, Scholars, Tazkiyah.
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Question: I begin my question by seeking your advice that I may benefit from you with regards to how I may increase my eemaan (faith?)…

Answer: We advise you to recite the Qur’aan frequently and that you increase in your hearing of it and in your recitation of it. Reflect and consider its meaning to the best of your ability and what you do not understand of it, then ask the people of knowledge of your country about it, or write to those outside of your country from the Scholars of Sunnah (Prophetic guidance).

We also advise you to increase in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah with such remembrances and supplications that are authentically related, such as saying laa ilaaha illallaah (that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah), or saying subhaanallaah wal-hamdulillaah wa laa ilaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar (declaring Allaah free from all imperfections, praising Him and declaring that none has the right to be worshipped except Him and that He is greater), and their like. For this purpose, we urge you to refer to books such as al-Kalimut-Tayyib of Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Waabilus-Sayyib of Ibn al-Qayyim, Riyaadhus-Saaliheen and al-Adhkaar both by Imaam an-Nawawee, and their like. This is because the remembrance of Allaah increases eemaan (faith) and causes hearts to attain tranquility, as Allaah – the Most High – said: “Indeed in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find tranquility.” [Soorah ar-Ra`d 13:28].

Also preserve your five daily Prayers, your Fasting and the rest of your obligations – along with hoping in Allaah’s mercy and forgiveness and relying upon Him in all your affairs. Allaah – the Most High – said: “The Believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in the hearts, and when His Verses are recited to them, it increases their eemaan (faith), and they put their trust and rely upon Allaah alone. They are those who perform the Prayer and spend out of that which We have given them, they are Believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity and nobility with their Lord, and also forgiveness and generous provisions.” [Soorah al-Anfaal 8:2-4]

Fataawaa Lajnatud-Daa’imah lil-Buhoothul `Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa, 3/185-187
Al-Istiqaamah Newsletter, Issue No. 2, Safar 1417
Call to Islam, UK

Source: Islaam.com

Do Not Remove the Cover of Allah July 27, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Islam, Islam Muslim, Tazkiyah.
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“All of my ummah will be fine except for those who commit sin openly (al-mujahiroon). Part of committing sin openly is when a man does something at night and Allaah conceals it, but in the morning he says, ‘O So-and-so, last night I did such and such.’ His Lord had covered his sin all night, but in the morning he removed the cover of Allaah.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5721; Muslim, 2990)

Ibn Battaal said: Openly flaunting one’s sins implies disrespect towards Allaah and His Messenger, and the righteous believers, and is a type of stubborn provocation. Concealing sin protects one against being disrespectful in this manner, because sin brings humiliation upon the people who commit it, such as the hadd punishment if it is a sin that carries such a penalty, or the ta’zeer penalty if no hadd is enjoined. If it is something which violates the rights of Allaah, then He is the Most Generous and His Mercy precedes His Wrath. Hence if He conceals it in this world, He will not expose it in the Hereafter, but the one who flaunts it openly loses all of that.

The hadeeth clearly condemns those who openly flaunt their sin, which implies praise of those who conceal their sin. The fact that Allaah conceals it implies that the believer must also cover himself. Whoever deliberately flaunts his sin angers his Lord, Who will not then cover him. Whoever deliberately conceals his sin out of shame before his Lord and before people, Allaah will bless him by concealing it. (Fath al-Baari, 10/487-488 )

Narrated Safwan bin Muhriz: While Ibn Umar was performing the Tawaf (around the Ka’ba), a man came up to him and said, “O Abu ‘AbdurRahman!” or said, “O Ibn Umar! Did you hear anything from the Prophet about An-Najwa?” Ibn ‘Umar said, “I heard the Prophet saying, ‘The Believer will be brought near his Lord.” (Hisham, a sub-narrator said, reporting the Prophet’s words), “The believer will come near (his Lord) till his Lord covers him with His screen and makes him confess his sins. (Allah will ask him), ‘Do you know (that you did) ‘such-and-such sin?” He will say twice, ‘Yes, I do.’ Then Allah will say, ‘I concealed it in the world and I forgive it for you today.’ Then the record of his good deeds will be folded up. As for the others, or the disbelievers, it will be announced publicly before the witnesses: ‘These are ones who lied against their Lord.” [Bukhari]

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud r.a. (May allah be pleased with him) related, “A man came to the Prophet and said: “Ya Rasulullah! I have mingled with a woman in the far side of Madinah and I fulfilled my desire short of actually having sexual intercourse with her. So, here am I, judge me according to what you decide.’”

Umar Ibn al-Khattab r.a. (May allah be pleased with him) then said: “Allah had kept your secret, why did not you keep your secret?” [Sahih Muslim]

Similarly, if anyone knows of somebody else’s sin, he/she should keep it a secret. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w (peace be upon him) said: “He, who relieves a hardship of this Dunia (world) for a believer, Allah will relieve (from him) a hardship of the Day of Resurrection; he who makes easy an indebted person, Allah will make it easy for him in the Dunia and the Hereafter; he who covers a Muslim (meaning his mistakes and shortcomings), Allah will cover him in the Dunia and the Hereafter …” [Sahih Muslim]

Signs and Traits of the Hypocrites: In Light of the Qur’an July 27, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Islam, Islam Muslim, Qur'an, Tazkiyah.
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Translated by Yahya Adel Ibrahim

* Traits: Causing Corruption and Mischief upon the earth

“And when it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: ‘We are only peacemakers.’ Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not.” Al-Baqarah 2:11,12

* Trait: Inspiring one another with evil words

“And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies – Shayâtin (devils) among mankind and jinns, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it, so leave them alone with their fabrications.” Al-An‘âm 6:112

* Traits: Deception and Mendacity

“They (think to) deceive Allâh and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not!” al-Baqarah 2:9

* Traits: Mocking the believers

“And when they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe,” but when they are alone with their Shayâtin (devils – polytheists, hypocrites, etc.), they say: “Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.” Al-Baqarah 2:14

* Traits: Laziness, heedlessness and forgetfulness of Allâh

“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allâh, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salât (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allâh but little.” An-Nisâ (4:142)

* Trait: Squandering their mental faculties to use in sin

“They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path).” Al-Baqarah 2:18

* Traits: They lay in wait to chastise and defame the believers

“Those (hyprocrites) who wait and watch about you; if you gain a victory from Allâh, they say: “Were we not with you,” but if the disbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): “Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers?” Allâh will judge between you (all) on the Day of Resurrection. And never will Allâh grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.” An-Nisâ 4:141

* Trait: Rejection of the Hukm (rulings) of Allah and His Prophet.

“And when it is said to them: “Come to what Allâh has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad SAW),” you (Muhammad SAW) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad SAW) with aversion.” An-Nisâ 4:61

* Traits: Seeking to rationalize and explain their sinful deeds when they are confronted with the evilness of their actions. They seek to conceal their evil intentions by swearing that their sinful deeds were unintentional.

“How then, when a catastrophe befalls them because of what their hands have sent forth, they come to you swearing by Allâh, “We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!” an-Nisâ 4:62

“They have made their oaths a screen (for their evil actions). Thus they hinder (men) from the Path of Allâh, so they shall have a humiliating torment.” Al-Mujadilah 58:16

* Traits: Focusing on the visible ornaments and beautifications. They are eloquent speakers who do not act upon their many words. They weave mirages of sensibility and grandeur.

“And when you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. They are as blocks of wood propped up. They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies, so beware of them. May Allâh curse them! How are they denying (or deviating from) the Right Path.” Al-Munafiqûn 63:4

* Trait: They rejoice at the misfortune and sadness of the believers.

“If good befalls you (O Muhammad SAW), it grieves them, but if a calamity overtakes you, they say: “We took our precaution beforehand,” and they turn away rejoicing.” At-Taubah 9:50

* Trait: Seeking to please humanity at the expense of displeasing Allah.

“They (the hypocrites) swear to you (Muslims) that you may be pleased with them, but if you are pleased with them, certainly Allâh is not pleased with the people who are Al-Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).” At-Taubah 9:96

* Trait: Mocking and defaming the believers

“Those who defame such of the believers who give charity (in Allâh’s Cause) voluntarily, and those who could not find to give charity (in Allâh’s Cause) except what is available to them, so they mock at them (believers), Allâh will throw back their mockery on them, and they shall have a painful torment.” At-Taubah 9:79

* Trait: They discourage the believers from fighting the disbelievers. They seek to cause discord and Fitnah in the ranks of the believers and spread corruption and mischief throughout the earth. As such Allah ordained upon them that they not join the believers in the battles (out of their own fears).

“And if they had intended to march out, certainly, they would have made some preparation for it, but Allâh was averse to their being sent forth, so He made them lag behind, and it was said (to them), “Sit you among those who sit (at home). Had they marched out with you, they would have added to you nothing except disorder, and they would have hurried about in your midst (spreading corruption) and sowing sedition among you, and there are some among you who would have listened to them. And Allâh is the All-Knower of the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).”

at-Taubah 9:46,47

* Trait: They seek the future in the present, the temporal rather than the permanent and the finite happiness to the infinite pleasure. They are the foremost in seeking share from the spoils while being the last in earning them by setting out for Jihad.

“Had it been a near gain (booty in front of them) and an easy journey, they would have followed you, but the distance (Tabuk expedition) was long for them, and they would swear by Allâh, “If we only could, we would certainly have come forth with you.” They destroy their ownselves, and Allâh knows that they are liars.” At-Taubah 9:42

“There is a time for this and a time for that.” July 10, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in 1. Abu Bakr, Companions, Islam, Khulafa ar-Rashidoon, Tazkiyah.
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It was narrated that Hanzalah al-Usaydi said:

Abu Bakr met me and said: How are you, O Hanzalah? I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite. He said: Subhaan Allaah! What are you saying? I said: When we are with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) he reminds us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal. Abu Bakr said: By Allaah, we experience something similar. Abu Bakr and I went and entered upon the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite, O Messenger of Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Why is that?” I said: O Messenger of Allaah, when we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from you, we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you continued as you are when you are with me, and continued to remember (Paradise and Hell), the angels would shake hands with you in your homes and on the streets. But, O Hanzalah, there is a time for this and a time for that” (he said it) three times.

Narrated by Muslim (2750).

Benefitting from Knowledge July 3, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Companions, Hasan al Basri, Ibn Mas'ood, Islam, Scholars, Sufyan ath-Thawri, Tazkiyah.
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Sufyan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “The excellence of knowledge is due only to the fact that it causes a person to fear and obey Allaah, otherwise it is just like anything else.” [Related by ibn Rajab]

Al-Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever learns something in the name of Allaah, seeking that which is with Him, he will win. And whoever learns something for other than Allaah, he will not reach the goal, nor will his acquired knowledge bring him closer to Allaah.” [Related by Ibn ul Jawzee]

Ibn Mas`ood, (radiallaahu `anhu) said: “True knowledge is not measured in relationship to how much you memorize and then narrate, but rather, true knowledge is an expression of piety [protecting oneself from what Allaah prohibited and acting upon what He mandated].” Also, “Study and act upon what you learn.” [Related by Abu Na`eem]

Source

The Wisdom in Seeking Refuge from the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) At All Times June 20, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Ibn Taymiyyah, Islam, Islam Muslim, Scholars, Tazkiyah.
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The Messenger of Allah used to end his prayer with the following du’a’:

“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave, and from the afflictions of the Anti-Christ, and from the afflictions of life and death.”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“…and since the claim to lordship of the Anti-Christ is impossible in and of itself, and none of the miracles that he will perform will be sufficient proof of his truthfulness – rather, it will be a test and a trial with which Allah misguides whom He Wills and Guides whom He Wills, such as the test of the Golden Calf with the Children of Israel – it will nevertheless be the greatest trial, and the implications of this trial is not limited to those who are present to witness him personally. Rather, the reality of his trial is the falsehood that is at odds with the Divine Law (Shari’ah), backed up by apparent miracles. So, whoever goes along with that which is in opposition to the Shari’ah because of his amazement at some supposed miracle, then he has been afflicted by this trial, and this is widespread in every era and every place. The trial of the Anti-Christ in particular is the severest of trials, so, if Allah protects His servant from it – whether he witnesses it personally or not – then he will be protected from what is less than it of trials (fitan).”

[‘as-Sab’iniyyah’; p. 483]

Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Nasir as-Sa’di said:

“…and the reference to the trial of the Anti-Christ is simply a reference to a type of trial, so the servant should seek refuge from every trial which is similar to his, and they are the trials of falsehood and doubts and “miracles” that misguide many people, such as the fitnah of disbelief, as well as that of the materialists, who have deluded many people with what they have seen of their powerful technological inventions, wonderous advancements, etc., until they thought them to be upon the Truth. And, in reality, this glimmering materialistic pompousness of theirs is beautified on the outside, while its inner core is nothing but ruin and wreckage. So, to seek refuge from the trial of the Anti-Christ encompasses these types of trials.

So, in reality, everyone is in need of the protection of Allah from the trial of the Masih ad-Dajjal in every time and in every place.”

[‘Majmu’ al-Fawa’id wa Iqtinas al-Awabid’; p. 217]

Source

Forgiveness June 16, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Hasan al Basri, Islam, Scholars, Tazkiyah.
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It was said to al-Hasan al-Basri: Would not any one of us feel ashamed before his Lord to seek forgiveness from his sin then go back to it, then seek forgiveness then go back to it?

He said: The Shaytaan would like you to feel that way; never give up seeking forgiveness.

“Know that not everyone is suitable to be your friend…” June 9, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Islam, Islam Muslim, Tazkiyah.
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“Know that not everyone is suitable to be your friend…”

1 – Allah Said:

{“Ah! Woe to me! If only I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder after it had come to me!”}

[al-Furqan; 28-29]

2 – The Messenger of Allah said:

“A person is upon the way of his friend. So, let one of you look to whom he keeps as a friend.”

[‘Sahih al-Jami” (3545) and ‘as-Silsilah as-Sahihah’ (927)]

3 – ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal said:

“My father went out to Tarsus on foot, and he performed two or three Hajjs on foot, and he was the most patient of people upon being alone.”

[‘Tarjamat al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 18]

4 – Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“Know that the greatest of losses is for you to be preoccupied with one who will bring you nothing but a loss in your time with Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – and being cut off from Him, a wasting your time with the person, a weakening of your energy, and the dispersing of your resolve. So, if you are tested with this – and you must be tested with this – deal with him according to how Allah would wish, and be patient with him as much as possible. Get closer to Allah and His Pleasure by way of this person, and make your getting together with him something to benefit from, not something to incur a loss from. Be with him as if you are a man who is on a road who was stopped by another man, who then asks you to take him on your journey. Make sure that you are the one who gives him a ride, and that he is not the one giving you the ride. If he refuses, and there is nothing to gain from traveling with him, do not stop for him, bid him farewell, and do not even turn back to look at him, as he is a highway robber, regardless of who he really is.

So, save your heart, be wary of how you spend your days and nights, and do not let the Sun set before you arrive at your destination.”

[‘al-Wabil as-Sayyib’; p. 45]

5 – Ibn Jama’ah said:

“So, it is upon the student of knowledge to abandon socialization, as abandoning it is from the most important things that the student of knowledge must do – let alone with members of the opposite gender – especially with those who spend most of their time in play, and spend little of their time in thought, as the nature of individuals can rob you.

The harms of socialization include the passing of life without any benefit, as well as the decline of wealth and religious practice, if this socialization were to occur with the wrong people.

The student of knowledge should not mix except with either those who he can benefit, or can benefit from. And if he is offered the friendship of one who will waste his time with him, will not benefit him, will not benefit from him, and will not assist him in reaching his objective, he should politely end the relationship from the start before it progresses to something deeper, as when something becomes established, it becomes more difficult to change it. There is a phrase that is constantly on the tongues of the Fuqaha’: ‘Repelling something is easier than removing it.’

So, if he requires someone to befriend, let that person be righteous, religious, pious, wary, intelligent, full of benefit, having little evil, good at complying, rarely conflicting, reminding him if he forgets, cooperating with him when he is reminded, helpful if he is in need, and comforting if he is in distress.”

[‘Tadhkirat as-Sami’ wal-Mutakallim’; p. 83]

6 – Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi said:

“Know that not everyone is suitable to be your friend. You must verify that this potential friend has the necessary characteristics that make friendship with him something to be desired. The one you seek to befriend must have five characteristics:

* He must be intelligent, as there is no good in befriending an idiot, as he will only harm you when he wants to benefit you. By intelligent, we mean one who understands things as they are, either on his own, or if they are explained to him;

* He must have good manners, and this is a must. One who is simply intelligent might be overcome by anger or desire, and obey his desire. Thus, there would be no benefit in befriending him;

* He must not be a fasiq, as such a person would not fear Allah, and whoever does not fear Allah cannot be trusted;

* He must not be an innovator, as his abundance of innovation is feared from befriending him;

* He should not be eager for the dunya.”

[‘Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasidin’; p. 126-132]

Perfecting One’s Character May 30, 2008

Posted by ibn1brahim in Ibn al Qayyim, Islam, Scholars, Tazkiyah.
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The Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam used to make a number of supplications related to good character.

“O Allah, guide me to good character, none guides to good character but You…” [Muslim]

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from bad character, deeds and desires.” [at-Tirmidhee]

“O Allah, You perfectly created me, so perfect my character.” [Ahmad]

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from disability and laziness; from cowardice and avarice; from decrepitude and harshness; from negligence and impoverishment, from lowness and humiliation. And I seek refuge in You from poverty and disbelief; from sinfulness, disunity and hypocrisy; from notability and riyaa’ (show off)…” [Ahmad, Maalik, Bazaar, Haithami and ibn `Abd al-Barr authenticated it.

The following beneficial excerpt is from “The Magnificent Journey” by ibn ul Qayyim [published by QSS]. It explains three conditions needed to acquire good manners, meaning proper nature, controlling one’s nafs and sound knowledge.

Three Conditions to Acquire Excellent Manners

This is one example of the excellent manners with which Allah (ta`aala) has equipped his Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). He described him as,

“Verily, You [Muhammad] are on an exalted standard on character.” [68:4]

`Aa’ishah, radhiallaahu `anhu, described him as, “His character was just [a reflection of] the Qur’aan.” [Muslim, Aboo Daawood, Ahmad]

Such excellent character cannot be attained without three conditions:

1. The foundation must be good. If one has a rough and dry nature, it will be hard for him to submit to this [excellence of character] through knowledge, will, or practice. On the other hand, a mild and smooth nature will be ready and willing to receive the plowing and the seeds [to prepare it for character excellence].

2. The soul must be strong and capable of conquering calls of laziness, transgression, and desire. Those matters contradict perfection, and souls which cannot defeat them will always be defeated and conquered.

3. [One must possess] a discerning knowledge of the truth of matters, enabling one to put them in the rightful position, and to distinguish between flash and cancer – between glass and jewels.

If these three qualities are present in a man, and Allah’s facilitation helps him, then he will be among those whom the best (husnaa) has been decreed and for whom Allah’s care has been secured.

Source