Ummah Central

Saturday, 16 March 2013

America of today

“America of today is the Fir'oun of yesterday, and with every Fir'oun there is a Musa” - Anwar al awlaki

Sunday, 3 March 2013

O you who evaluate the matters, do you know the value of yourself?

Yahya ibn Muadh said:

"The life of this world is the wine of Shaytan, and whoever is intoxicated by it only wakes up once he is amongst the hordes of the dead, lamenting among the losers."

Source: The Purification of the Soul, Page 142

"The wind doesn't blow to make trees dance but to test their roots" -Ali ibn Abi Talib radiallahu anhu

“The servant is never in need of any other thing as much as he is need of guidance to the straight path.”

[Imam Ibn al Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah RahimahuAllah]

"Stay away from mentioning women and food in our gatherings, for I hate a man to constantly describe his private parts and his stomach. It is an aspect of higher conduct and religiousness that a man [sometimes] leaves eating food while he desires it."

Al-Ahnaf b. Qays (Allâh have mercy on him)
Abû Bakr Al-Daynûrî, Al-Mujâlasah wa Jawâhir Al-‘Ilm 3:44, 45.

”…the satisfaction of people is a goal that cannot be attained, so abide strictly by that which rectifies you, for indeed there is no way to [gain] their satisfaction; and know that the one who learns the Qur’an becomes great in the sight of the people; and the one who learns Hadith, his argument is strengthened; and the one who learns Nahw (Arabic grammar) is revered; and the one who learns Arabic, his nature softens; and the one who learns Hisaab (arithmetic), his opinion becomes exalted/great; and the one who learns Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), his standing is elevated; and the foundation of all of that is Taqwa (fearing Allah and being conscious of Him).”

قَالَ الشَّافِعِيُّ: [...] رِضَى النَّاسِ غَايَةٌ لا تُدْرَكُ ، فَعَلَيْكَ بِمَا يُصْلِحُكَ فَالْزَمْهُ ، فَإِنَّهُ لا سَبِيلَ إِلَى رِضَاهُمْ ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ جَلَّ فِي عُيونِ النَّاسِ ، وَمَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْحَدِيثَ قَوِيَتْ حُجَّتُهُ ، وَمَنْ تَعَلَّمَ النَّحْوَ هِيبَ ، وَمَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْعَرَبِيَّةَ رَقَّ طَبْعُهُ ، وَمَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْحِسَابَ جَلَّ رَأْيُهُ ، وَمَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْفِقْهَ نَبُلَ قَدْرُهُ ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يُضِرْ نَفْسَهُ لَمْ يَنْفَعْهُ عِلْمُهُ ، وَمِلاكُ ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ التَّقْوَى.

– al-Imam ash-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy upon him
(Hilyat al-Awliyaa’

"Keep yourself busy in remembering your faults so that you have no time to remember the faults of others"
- Imam Sufyan at Thawri rahimahullah

"We have found that the best life is that is accompanied by Patience."- Umar (r.a)

Fudayl ibn Iyad said: "Doing an action for the sake of people is shirk and leaving an action for the sake of people is riya."

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah:

"O you who evaluate the matters, do you know the value of yourself? The universe was created for your sake."

(al-Fawaa'id, p. 117)

My Lord tests me occasionally, but favors me daily.

- (Urwah ibn Zubair R.A)

Once a pious man was asked, "Teach me how to love Allah," to which he said, "Loving Allah is not brought about by teaching."
- Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyyah

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah said :
" Whoever becomes accustomed to tasbiḥ before sleeping, will be given energy and strength in performing his worldly and religious duties."

Source: فرائد الفوائد من مجالس العلم

"A staunch friend and true medicine are hard to find, waste not your time."
- Imâm al-Shâfi’î rahimahullah

'Desires make slaves out of kings and patience makes kings out of slaves.'
- Imam Ghazali

"Do not allow your heart to take pleasure with the praises of people, nor be saddened by their condemnation." - Al Ghazali

The greatest of deeds are three

Aa’isha (radiyAllaahu anha) said:

"The first calamity to befall this Ummah after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is overeating,because when a nation fills their bellies too much,their bodies become obese,their hearts become weak and their carnal passions get out of control."

[Targheeb wat Tarheeb]

"The battlefield is the heart of man" - Ibn Qayyim Al- Jawziyyah
Uddat as-Sabireen wa Dhakirat ash-Shakireen

"Blessed is he whose own faults keep him from seeing the faults of others."
Ali Ibn abi Talib (r.a)

Dunnun Al Misri said: " The ailment of the body is in sickness and that of the heart is in sins. A delicious meal can not benefit the body when the person is sick and likewise, the heart can not taste the sweetness of worship if it is full of sins."

Hatim Bin Al-A’sim said:

“If a respectable good man sits with you, you would be watching every word you utter so that you do not say something wrong. Yet, you know that your words are watched by Allah but you still do not watch the words you utter!” 
[Al'Daa Wa Al Dawaa, by Ibn Al-Qayyim]

Al- Shafie rahimahullah said:
'The greatest of deeds are three:"To give generously out of the few what you have , to be devoted to Allah in loneliness and to say the truth in the face of someone who is hoped and feared"'

Taken from " Don't be sad" by Aidh Al Qarni

I swear by Allaah (jalla wa a'la), and His Name I swear and I swear, that if even if your eyes were to melt down from crying in fear of Him and in yearning for Him, and even if you were to live in this world as long as it will last, making constant offering combined with every type of worship in thankfulness towards His Magnificent and countless blessing upon you, it would not be sufficient as a demonstration of gratitude for His guiding you to Islaam!'
– Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiAllaahu anhu)

Maymoon bin Mihran:

"Remembering Allah by your tongue is good, but the best remembrance of Allah is when one remembers Allah when he is doing a sin so he leaves it."

(Jaami' All-'Uloom Wa Al-Hikam 1/252-254)

Ibn Hibban: 

"Where kindness does not benefit, neither does violence."

(ar-Rawdhah, p. 216)

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya: 

"There is no doubt that enabling women to mix with men is the basis of all calamities and evils, and it is one of the greatest causes of calamity that affects everybody, as well as being one of the causes of corruption in public and private affairs. Mixing of men with women is the cause of a great deal of immoral actions and zina, and it is one of the causes of widespread death and ongoing plagues."

(Al-Turuq al-Hukmiyyah p. 407)

Khalid ibn Ma’dan:

"Whoever seeks praise by going against the truth, Allah will throw it back upon him as blame, and whoever faces blame in order to conform to the truth, Allah will return it as praise for him."

(Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam Al-Nubala' 4/540)

Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) said:" Believer doesn't seek quarrel or revenge, nor does he find blame or fault in others."

Isa Ibn Maryam passed by gathering of Jews who spoke evil words to him to which he responded with kindness. It was said to him, "Why do you reply to their evil with good?" And he answered, "Each person spends from that which he has."

Ibraaheem at Tamimi said: "When a man wrongs me, I pay him back with an act of mercy."

“When people help one another in sin and transgression, they finish by hating each other.”
-Ibn Taymiyyah

A man said to Hasan Al Basri : "Does Ibless sleep?" He said: "If he slept we would have a break !"

Source: Ibn Al Jawzi 'Talbisu Iblees' page 52

'Oh writer! An Angel watches over all you write. Make your writing meaningful for it will eventually return to you and you will be questioned about what you wrote.'
- Ali ibn Abu Talib (radiAllahu anhu)

Imam al-Shafi':

"Seek the response to your du'as when the armies meet, and the prayer is called, and when rain falls"

(al-Umm, al-Sahihah #1469)

'One, who adopts patience, will never be deprived of success though it may take a long time to reach him.'
-Ali ibn Abi Talib

Eesa Ibn Maryam:
"Piety is in three: in speech, in in sight, and in silence. Whoever's speech is not in the remembrance (of Allah) has spoken nonsense. Whoever looks without trying to learn a lesson has forgotten (his true purpose). And whoever's silence is not accompanied with reflection has been heedless" .

Abu Darda (ra) said:
" To reproach your brother for something is better than to lose him altogether"

Umar Ibn al-Khattaab:

"Whoever tries to claim something that is not theirs in order to impress others, Allah will disgrace them"

('Ilaam v2 p 432)

Imam ash-Shaafi'ee (rahimahullah) said:
" Increase in worship before your responsibilities increase. Then you won't have time to worship as much. " [Siyar v. 10 p. 49]

"There is no laughter except that it is eventually followed up with weeping." - Ibn Sirin (ra)

Imaam Ash-Shafi’ee said to Yoonus bin Abdil-A‘laa:

“O Aboo Moosa, know that pleasing all people is an unattainable goal and there is no way to be completely safe from them. Therefore, see where your righteous benefit lies, and adhere by it; and leave people and all they indulge in.”

[Al-‘Uzlah, Page 79]

How You deal with Others is how You will be dealt with

How You deal with Others is how You will be dealt with
A wise man said to his son,
" My son, do not become resentful when yo are afflicted with trials, for indeed that is tantamount to having bad thoughts about one's Lord,
and also, it gives pleasure to one's enemy. Do not mock others, for indeed by Allah, every time I ever mocked anyone, I was afflicted in the
same way as the person who I mocked. In this world, man is a target of arrows that come to him successively: some pass him by, some fall short, some fall to his right and others to his left, and some strike him. Know that for every deed, you are rewarded, and how you deal with others is how you will be dealt with. And whoever is dutiful to his parents, his children will be dutiful to him. Avoid greed and ambition, for both represent poverty in the present. Fear Allah as much as you are able. And if you are able to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today and your secrets better than your outward deeds, then do so. Beware of deeds that you have to apologize for, for one never has to apologize for goodness. When you stand for prayer, perform the prayer of one who is saying farewell , as if you feel that you will never afterwards pray again (I.e., that you will die ). Adhere to modesty, and you will be it's people.
Do not afflict harm upon others ; rather give them good, and forgive if you are able to. Do not be miserly if you are asked for something and do not tarry when one seeks help from you. Whoever is stingy, then Allah will make things narrow for him; and whoever gives, then Allah will give him a replacement for what he gave."

Taken from "Don't be Sad" by Aid Al Qarni

Overlooking the faults of one's brothers

Overlooking the faults of one's brothers

Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish [i.e. don't punish them]. (Qur 'an 7: 199)

It is not right for you to forsake your brother because of one or two faults that you find in him, especially if the rest of his character is honorable. As we know, perfection for any one of us is unattainable. 

Al-Kindi said:
"How is it that you want your friend to possess a specific pattern of characteristics when your soul which is the closest of souls to you - does not always obey your commands? What right do you then have to expect another person's soul to follow your orders?"

Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His Favors [i.e. guided you to Islam]... (Qur'an 4: 94)

So ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him. (Qur'an: 53: 32)

It is enough for you that you are satisfied with the main part of your brother's character.

Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
"To reproach your brother for something is better than to lose him altogether."

Some of the wise said:
"We are still not satisfied with ourselves, so how then can we expect ourselves to be satisfied with others."

It has also been said:
"Don't remain aloof from someone who impresses you with a good character and sound judgment because of some minor fault that is surrounded by an ocean of virtues. You will not find, as long as you live, a person so cultivated that he is free from blemish and sin. Contemplate your own self and how it often errs and strays. This kind of introspection makes your demand on others more balanced and makes you more sympathetic to the sinner."

An Arab poet said:
"Who is the one whose character is untainted,
Sufficient worthiness for someone is that his defects can be counted."

It has been said that one's suspicions concerning one's brother should not ruin a good mutual trust that has been tested over time.
Ja'far ibn Muhammad said to his son. "O' my son, whoever among your brothers becomes angry with you three times, and on each occasion speaks only the truth about you, take him as a close friend." 

Al-Hasan ibn Wahb said,
"From the rights of mutual love is to forgive and overlook shortcomings."

So overlook their faults with gracious forgiveness. (Qur 'an 15: 85)

Ibn Roomi said:
"These are people and the world, and there is no doing away with dust
That irritates the eyes or spoils the drink.
From the lack of fairness is to expect refinement
In the world, while you yourself are unrefined."

And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. (Qur 'an 24: 21)

A poet said:
"You seek a cultivated person who is free from defects, but does the aloe exude a pleasant odor without smoke."

He knows best him who fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him. (Qur'an 53: 32)

Taken from 'Don't Be Sad' by Aidh Al Qarni

The Secret of Prayer: Sujood

The Secret of Prayer: Sujood

We have now arrived at the sujood (prostration). 

Ibn Al-Qayyim described the sujood as the secret of prayer, the greatest pillar, and the seal of the rukoo’. He said all the other actions we did before it were just preludes.

We should step back and reflect: what do we feel when we go into sujood? Some of us simply do it because it is a part of prayer; others because it is where we can make du`a’ (supplication). But how many of us feel the humility of the soul, as we put our faces on the ground, in glorification of God?

True Happiness

Where do we find happiness? Not material happiness, but true internal happiness. As Muslims, we may respond that true happiness in this world comes from being closer to God. The closer you are to Allah, the more your heart is at rest. This is why the Prophet ﷺ chose to be with Allah, saying “God has given a slave the choice between immortality in this world for as long as God wills, or meeting his Lord, and he has chosen to meet his Lord.” When Abu Bakr (radi Allahu `anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) heard this he wept, because he knew that the Prophet ﷺhad chosen being with Allah over this life.

To be close to Allah, you have to go into sujood. The Prophet ﷺ said:

أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ
“The closest that a servant is to his Lord is when he is in prostration.” (Muslim)

The more you humble yourself and go into sujood, the closer you are getting to Allah; and indeed, He elevates you. The Prophet ﷺ said:

من تواضع لله رفعه
“Whoever humbles himself before Allah, Allah will elevate him.” (Muslim)

This is why, whenever the Prophet ﷺ received something that pleased him, he would immediately prostrate to Allah in thanks. Allah has said in the Qur’an to the Prophet ﷺ

“No! Do not obey him. But prostrate and draw near [to Allah].” (96:19)

Rising up to the heavens

Ibn Taymiyyah said that the souls of people are brought closer to Allah during prostration. The Prophet ﷺ taught us:

اكثر من السجود فإنه ليس من مسلم يسجد لله تعالى سجدة الا رفعه بها الله درجة في الجنة وحط عنه بها خطيئة
“Prostrate much because there is no Muslim that prostrates to God except that God raises him one degree in Paradise by it and forgives for him a sin.” (Ahmad)

The more you prostrate, the more you raise your ranks in paradise insha’Allah (God willing), until we reach the highest level, Jannat Al-Firdaws (Paradise), and this is where the Prophet ﷺ will be. And the roof of this particular level is the Throne of the All-Merciful. How do we know that prostration allows us to achieve this? Rabi’a bin Ka’b (ra), a companion of the Prophet ﷺ said:

“I was with Allah’s Messenger ﷺ one night and I brought him water and what he required.

He said to me: ‘Ask [anything you like].’

I said: ‘I ask your company in Paradise.’

He said: ‘Anything else besides it?’

I said: ‘That is all (that I require).’

He said: ‘Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration.’” (Muslim)

The Prostration of the Heart

Does the heart prostrate? It does, and to a greater degree than the body. The prostration of the heart is in its humility, such that a person could physically rise from prostration, yet his heart would still be performing sujood. It does so with the knowledge that it is Allah who guides, who raises people and lowers others, who shows mercy but also punishes, and who removes the afflictions and sadness of the heart. If your heart does not experience a certain type of brokenness, the humility that we speak of, then an important component of sujood is missing.

The da’iya (caller to Allah) Mishary Al-Kharraz was once asked “How do I know whether my heart is in a state of humility or not?” He answered, “When you feel it, you will know.”It is impossible for your heart to be prostrating in humility to Allah and for you not to feel it. Allah says in the Qur’an:

سيماهم في وجوههم من أثر السجود
“Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration…” (48:29)

Most people assume that the “mark” refers to the physical mark on one’s forehead that sometimes appears when one prostrates much. However, commenting on this verse, Mujahid stated that the “marks” refer to the marks of humility that come from khushoo’ (devotion), and this is just in the dunya (world). In the Hereafter, Al-Jalalayn described it as a light and radiance by which these people will be recognized. The Prophet ﷺ said:

إن أمتي يومئذ غر من السجود محجلون من الوضوء
“My ummah on that day will surely have bright faces because of sujood, and bright arms and feet because of ablution.” (Ahmad)

The prostration is so important that Satan hates us for it. It has been narrated that when the son of Adam recites the verse of Sajdah (prostration) and then falls down in prostration, Satan goes into seclusion and weeps and says: “Woe unto me, the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate, and he prostrated and Paradise was entitled to him and I was commanded to prostrate, but I refused and am doomed to Hell.” (Muslim)

Taking notes for knowledge – Are they enough?

Taking notes for knowledge – Are they enough?

On his way back from Jurjan to Tus al-Ghazzali (rahimahu Llah) was robbed by highwaymen. When they left him he followed them but was told:

“Leave us or you will die.”

He replied:
“I ask you for Allah’ sake to only return to me my notes, for they are of no use to you.”

The robber asked him:
“What are those notes?”

He said:
“Books in that satchel, for the sake of which I left my country in order to hear, write, and obtain their knowledge.”

The robber laughed and said:
“How can you claim that you obtained their knowledge when we took it away from you and left you devoid of knowledge!”

Then he gave an order and the satchel was returned to him.

Al-Ghazzali (rahimahu Llah) said:
“This man’s utterance was divinely inspired (hâdhâ mustantaqun): Allah caused him to say this in order to guide me. When I reached Tus I worked for three years until I had memorized all that I had written down.”

I saw the ugliness of ignorance and avoided it.”

Prophet ‘Isa ‘alayhi sallam was asked,
“Who was your tutor?”
He replied,
“No one, I saw the ugliness of ignorance and avoided it.”
- Imam al-Ghazali rahimahu Llah in Ihya, 3/63 -

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

One, who adopts patience,

'One, who adopts patience, will never be deprived of success though it may take a long time to reach him.'
-Ali ibn Abi Talib

"I fear the day when the disbelievers are proud of their falsehood

"I fear the day when the disbelievers are proud of their falsehood, and the Muslims are shy of their faith."
Umar ibn al-Khattab (Radi Allah Anhu)