Commentary ~ Purify your intention for the sake of Allah

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

I contemplated the way some people, some of whom I have lived with for years, deal with others. I do not ever recall them laughing, or even smiling at a joke out of courtesy, or reacting positively to the person speaking to them. I used to think that perhaps this was how they were nurtured and that they were unable to alter their nature. I was therefore stunned one day to see some of them with a group of rich and powerful people, laughing and being courteous. I then realised that they only did this for their own personal interests and are thereby losing out on great rewards from Allah.

A believer worships Allah by being well-mannered and dealing pleasantly with all, not to attain status or wealth, or for people’s praise, or to get married, etc., but only so that Allah may love him and make him beloved to His creation. Yes! Whoever considers exercising good manners as worship will deal courteously with everyone, be he rich or poor, a manager or a tea-boy. If one day a poor cleaner on the street stretches out his hand for you to shake it, and then another day a director of some company stretches his hand out in the same way, will you treat them equally? Will you welcome them both, and smile at them equally?

The Prophet (SAWS) would certainly treat them both equally in terms of welcoming them and showing them sincere conduct and compassion. Who knows, perhaps the one you may belittle and look down upon might actually be better in Allah’s sight than he who you look up to and show honour and respect to. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “The most beloved of you to me, and the closest of you to me on the Day of Resurrection are the best of you in manners.” (al-Tirmidhi, Sahih)

The Prophet (SAWS) also said to al-Ashaj bin ‘Abd Qays, “You have two qualities that Allah and His Messenger love.” What are these two qualities? Praying at night? Fasting all day? Al-Ashaj became overjoyed and said, “What are the two qualities, O Messenger of Allah?”

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Forbearance and patience.” (Ahmad and Muslim)

The Prophet (SAWS) was asked about piety, and he replied, “Piety is to show good manners.” (Muslim)

The Prophet (SAWS) was asked about the deed on account of which most people will enter Paradise, The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Fear of Allah and good manners.” (al-Tirmidhi, Sahih)

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “The most complete in faith are those best in their character, those who are easy to socialise with, and those who get along with others and others get along with them. There is no good in the one who cannot get along with others and others cannot get along with him.” (al-Tirmidhi, Sahih)

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “There is nothing heavier in the scales than good manners.” (Abu Dawud, Sahih)

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “A person by his good character reaches the rank of the one praying at night and fasting all day.” (al-Tirmidhi, Sahih)

The one who improves his character becomes successful in both worlds. Consider the incident of Umm Salamah – may Allah be pleased with her – when she sat with the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) and thought about the Hereafter and what Allah had promised her.

She said, “O Messenger of Allah! A woman might be married twice in this world. When she and her husbands die and they all enter paradise, who is she going to be with?”

What did The Prophet (SAWS) say in response? That she will be with the one who prayed the longest? Or the one who fasted the most? Or the most knowledgeable of them? No! Rather, he (SAWS) said, “She will be with the best of them in character.” Umm Salamah was surprised. When the Prophet (SAWS) noticed this, he said, “O Umm Salamah! Good character makes one successful in this life and the next.”

Yes! The best of both worlds. He achieves the best of this world by earning people’s love, and the best of the next by gaining immense reward. No matter how much good a person does, his good deeds would always be marred by bad character. Once it was mentioned to the Prophet (SAWS) that a certain woman prayed, fasted, gave in charity and did many other righteous deeds, but at the same time harmed her neighbours by her words (i.e., she was bad mannered). The Prophet (SAWS) replied, “She will be in Hell.”

The Prophet (SAWS) was the best example to follow in every aspect of character. He was the most generous, the bravest, the most forbearing, and more bashful than a virgin. He was the most truthful and trustworthy person, as the disbelievers will bear witness to even before the believers, as will the sinners before the righteous. So much so that Khadijah – may Allah be pleased with her – said to the Prophet (SAWS) when he first received revelation, “Allah shall never subject you to any indignity, for you always maintain your ties with those of your kin, and you are always generous in giving; you are diligent, and you pursue what others regard as a lost cause; you calm the heart of your guest, and you lend your support to those who seek justice and redress.” As a matter of fact, Allah’s words in his praise are something we will continue to recite until the Last Day,

“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.” (Koran 68.4)

The Prophet’s character in its entirety was the Qur’an. When he recited, “Be good, for Allah loves those who are good” he was good to the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the noble and the weak. When he heard Allah’s words, “Forgive and overlook…” he forgave and overlooked. When he recited, “Speak well to the people…” he spoke well to all.

If the Prophet (SAWS) really is our example, then let us study his life carefully, and in particular how he would deal with others, rectify their faults, bear their harms with patience, tire himself at their service, and call them to guidance. One day he was seen helping a poor person, the next making peace between two Muslims, the next calling the disbelievers to Islam, and so on, until he grew old and his bones became weak. ‘A’ishah – may Allah be pleased with her – said while describing the Prophet (SAWS), “Most of his prayers, when he grew old, he offered sitting.” Can we guess why? She explained, “Because the people had completely exhausted him.”

The Prophet (SAWS) was so eager to improve his character that he would pray to Allah, “O Allah, just as you have beautified my physical being, beautify my character.” (Ahmad, Sahih) He (SAWS) also would say, “O Allah, guide me to the best of manners, for none guides to them except You. Protect me from bad manners, for none can protect me except You.” (Muslim)

Hence, we are in need of emulating the Prophet (SAWS) in his character when we deal with Muslims so that we may win them over, and when we deal with the non-Muslims so that we can educate them about Islam.

A hint…
Purify your intention so that your interpersonal skills can turn into acts of worship, with which you can draw closer to Allah.

SAWS: May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection

Enjoy your life
Dr. Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Rahaman Al-Arifi
Translated by: Saleem Beg
Edited By: Nasim Chowdhury
Published By: Darussalam
P86

Commentary ~ “Whatever Hardship You Are Afflicted With Is A Result Of What Your Own Hands Have Reaped”

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

Many people, and not just non-Muslims, become resentful when they or someone they love is afflicted with a calamity. To be sure, many people around the world are afflicted with difficult hardships and trials. Upon contemplating the situation of many among them, I asked myself, “How perfect Allah is! Indeed, He is the most generous of all, and generosity necessitates forgiveness. Then why is it that so many people are being punished?” It did not take long for me to find the answer to that question, for I came to the realization that most people lead worthless lives: they do not contemplate the numerous signs that point to the oneness of Allah; they care not about Allah’ commands and prohibitions; instead, they live as beasts do, caring for nothing except for food, drink, pleasure, and sleep. And here I am not referring only to non-Muslims, for there are many Muslims who apply the teachings of Islam only when doing so is easy or in agreement with their desires; otherwise, they blindly follow their lusts, caring not about how they earned their wealth – whether it is from lawful or unlawful sources. If it is easy for them to pray, they will pray; otherwise, they will forsake compulsory prayers. Others among them perpetrate grave sins, without afterwards feeling any remorse or guilt. Thus I came to know that, for many people, the punishments, trials, and afflictions that befall them – however great they may be – are less severe than the severity of their sins. Upon suffering a calamity, one might call out, “Why did this happen to me?” Yet he forgets the many sins he perpetrated throughout his life. And in his old age, a man might suffer a great deal of humiliation, to the degree that, by just looking at him, people pity him; yet perhaps they do not know that he is just being punished for not having fulfilled Allah’s rights during his youth. So whenever you see one who is being punished, know that it is because of his sins.

“(What is the matter with you?) When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: “From where does this come us?” Say (to them), “It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds).” And Allah has power over all things.” (Quran 3:165)

And this brings us to the point:

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 313

Commentary ~ Allah will never put the secret of success

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

Somebody asked a scholar once about how their parents were encouraging them to buy a house on interest otherwise they’d be poor.

So the scholar answered:

“Allah will never put the secret of success in something that Allah forbade or has made haram.”

So if anybody ever tells you that you’ll only become wealthy if you deal in interest (riba), then they have lied to you. They have lied to you out of ignorance or for whatever reason because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will never put success in something that Allah has made haram. If you do see some people being successful with it, they’re being set up and you’re being set up. It’s a test from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

This applies to everything in life, money, relationships, health etc…

“Allah will never put the secret of success in something that Allah forbade or has made haram.”

Commentary ~ Do not scold the One Who asks of You

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

A story has been related about a man who one day sat with his wife to eat barbecued chicken. A beggar then knocked on the door, and when the man went to answer it, he scolded the beggar and drove him away. It was the Will of Allah that afterwards that same man should become poor and should be bereft of all material possessions; because of his poverty, he had to divorce his wife. She married another man, and one day she was sitting with him to eat a barbecued chicken, when someone knocked on the door. The man said to his wife, “Give this chicken to the man at the door.” When she opened it, she was shocked to realize that it was her first husband. She gave him the chicken and returned, crying. Her husband asked her what was the matter, and she informed him that the man at the door was her previous husband. She then told him about the story of the beggar that her previous husband had scolded and sent away, and her husband said, “By Allah, I was that beggar.”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 117

Commentary ~ Honesty

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

Here is an anecdote told by the famous “Prince of Travelers” Sheikh Abu Abdullah Mohammed, better known as Ibn Battouta. This story comes to us from the 12th century.

In the Bekaa Valley in Syria, is the tomb of Abu Youssef Yacoub. It is said that in Damascus, he obtained a job working as a guard in an orchard belonging to the Sultan Nour Eddine. When the fruit harvest season came, the king accompanied by his first steward visited the garden that he was guarding. The guard Abu Youssef was ordered to go pick some pomegranates for the monarch. When he brought them, the steward took one of the fruits, broke it in half and ate a small quantity of the pale pink seeds. He made a frown of disgust, grumbled and spat while saying: “These fruits are sour, go and pick some more and try to choose better this time!” Abou Youssef promptly complied and then returned, laden with pomegranates larger than the first batch. The steward tasted them again but he made another frown that said that this second tasting was even worse than the first tasting. The steward got very angry and shouted at the guard: “It has been more than six months now that you have been assigned to guard this orchard and you do not know yet how to distinguish what is sour from what is sweet?” To which the honest guard replied: “Did you hire me to watch over the fruits or to eat them?”

Commentary ~ The Good Life Is Achieved Through The Performance Of Good Deeds

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

Whoever wants the good life – sufficient provision, peace of mind, health, etc. – should strive to do good deeds, performing them only for Allah. Allah said:

“If they (non-Muslims) had believed in Allah, and went on the Right Way (i.e., Islam) We should surely have bestowed on them water (rain) in abundance.” (Quran 72:16)

In a Qudsi Hadith, the Prophet (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) related that Allah said, “Had my slaves obeyed Me, I would have provided them with rain during the night, caused the sun to rise upon them during the day, and I would not have made them listen to the sound of thunder.”

Abu Sulaiman Ad-Darani, one of the most eminent of scholars during his time, said, “Whoever makes pure [his intentions and deeds], then his life is made pure [and good] for him. Whoever does the opposite, then his life is made bitter and spoiled for him. Whoever does good deeds in the night is provided for during the day. And whoever does good deeds during the day, is provided for during the night.” It is related about a Shaikh that he would go from one gathering to another, stopping at each gathering only to make this announcement: “Whomsoever it pleases to remain in a state of safety, health, and prosperity, then let him fear Allah.” Al-Fudail bin ‘Iyad, a well-known scholar of the first century, said, “Whenever I disobey Allah, I perceive the effects of that [sin] in the treatment I receive from my riding animal and my female servant.” Whenever you are going through a difficult situation in life, try to remember some blessing for which you were not thankful, or some sin from which you have not repented. Allah said:

“Verily! Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah).” (Quran 13:11)

“None has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.” (Quran 21:87)

“So We answered his call, and delivered him from distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness).” (Quran 21:88)

“And they said: “Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” (Quran 3:173)

“So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allah. No harm touched them.” (Quran 3:174)

“And my affair I leave to Allah.” (Quran 40:44)

“So Allah saved him from evils that they plotted (against him)” (Quran 40:44)

“That which Allah wills (will come to pass)! There is no power but with Allah.” (quran 18:39)

“It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden: “That which Allah wills (will come to pass)! There is no power but with Allah.” (Quran 18:39)

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 315

Commentary ~ Strong and Victorious

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

Jubayr bin Noufayr (MAPH) says: “When Cyprus was conquered, its inhabitants were separated from each other and lamented with one another. Abu Ad-Darda (MAPH) sat alone weeping. I approached him and said: “O Abu Ad-Darda, why are you weeping in a day when Allah made powerful Islam and the Muslims”? “Woe to you”, he replied, “nothing is easier to Allah than those who neglected His orders. This is a nation that was strong and victorious and enjoyed a great kingdom who have become humiliated and defeated because they had abandoned the teachings of Allah.” (Reported by Abu Naim).

MAPH: May Allah be pleased with him

The Companions of the Prophet (Hayat-Assahaba)
By Muhammad Youssef Al-Kandahlawi – Volume II
Translated by Fawzi Chaaban
Publisher: Dar El Fikr – Beirut / Lebanon

Commentary ~ Greed is a Shame

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

Golden words of Imam Ali (May Allah be pleased with him):

Greed is a shame, cowardice an abasement and poverty mutes the intelligent man who wants to advance his arguments. The indigent is a stranger in his own town. Being incapable is a calamity. Patience is a form of courage. Detachment from material goods is a fortune and scrupulous fear of Allah is a shield (against the fire of Hell).

Commentary ~ Profound Saying of Ibn Qayyim

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

Ibn Qayyim (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “When the slave wakes up as the night encloses him and his only concern is Allah and how to please and obey Him, then Allah takes upon Him to fulfill all of his needs and remove from him all that causes him anxiety. Allah also makes his heart free to love Him only, his tongue free to remember Him only and his body free to serve Him only. However, when a slave of Allah wakes up when the night encloses him and his main concern is the world, Allah will make him bear the burdens of its anxiety, grief and hardship. Allah will entrust him to his own self and He will make his heart busy, sealing it from His love since it will be preoccupied with love for creation. Allah will keep his tongue from His remembrance because it will be engaged with His creation; his body will be kept from obedience since it will be enslaved by its desires and services. And he will toil like a beast of burden toils in the service of another. And all who turn away from the worship, obedience and love of Allah, will be put into trial with the worship, service and love for creation.” Allah (the Exalted) says:

And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allah) (i.e. this Qur’an and worship of Allah), We appoint for him Shaitan (Satan ­ devil) to be a Qarîn (an intimate companion) to him. (Koran 43.36)

Ibn Qayyim continues to say: “Seek out your heart in three situations: first, when you are listening to the Qur’an; second, when you are part of a gathering of remembrance; third, when you are alone and away from the world and it’s distractions. If you cannot find your heart in these three situations, then ask Allah to bestow upon you a heart, for indeed you are bereft of one.”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
P208

Commentary ~ How to Commit a Sin

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

Here is an anecdote of Ibrahim Edhem or rather Ibrahim ben Edhem ben Suleyman ben Mansour el-Balkhi. He was nicknamed Abu Izhaq. He died in the year 161 or 162 (778-779).

It is said that someone came to find Ibrahim and said to him: “O Ibrahim I have done to myself much harm, give me advice.” — Hear now my advice and do six things:

  • When you have committed a sin, deprive yourself of eating the food that the Lord Most High gives you. – But I could never do that interrupted the other. – What! Ibrahim replied. Is it just that you always enjoy the resources that the Lord Most High provides you, while you do not serve Him and you do not stop offending Him?

  • If you are about to commit a sin, get out from the Lord Most High’s kingdom. – But the man said, His kingdom extends from east to west; how do I get out? – Well, stay there then, but renounce sinning and no rebel no more.

  • When you go to sin, put yourself in a place where the Lord Most High does not see you. – But you cannot hide one single act from Him. – Well then, said Ibrahim, is it acceptable that you live on food that He provides you, that you live in His kingdom and commit bad deeds under His eyes?

  • When the Angel of Death will come to claim your soul, tell him: “Give me respite; I will do penance”. – But how can the Angel of Death hear such a proposal? – If so, said Ibrahim, then do penance now, so as not to repent when the Angel of Death comes.

  • Once in your last home (grave), push away from your person the Angels Munkir and Nekir (the two angels that will question us in our graves). – But I cannot do that. – Ok then it is necessary to practice good works to be able to answer these two interrogators.

  • On the Day of Resurrection, when a Sovereign Order commands to drive the sinners to Hell, say you will not go. – That is enough, Ibrahim, you have told me enough.”

And he did penance.

Commentary ~ Yet all that we ask for is not granted

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

Here is an anecdote of Ibrahim Edhem or rather Ibrahim ben Edhem ben Suleyman ben Mansour el-Balkhi. He was nicknamed Abu Izhaq. He died in the year 161 or 162 (778-779).

Ibrahim was asked: “How is it that in the Word (Quran), the Lord most High says: “…Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation)… (Quran 40.60); yet all that we ask for is not granted. Ibrahim answered: “You have on your tongues the name of the Lord most high, but you do not practice the works He prescribes, you do not adopt the traditions of the Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection). You recite the Quran, but you do not act according to its precepts. You enjoy the benefits that Allah grants, but you do not give thanks. Allah created an eternal Paradise for His obedient servants but you do nothing to try to achieve it. You know that Allah has created a Hell for His rebellious slaves, but you do not run away from it in horror. You know, Chaitan (Satan) is your enemy, and, far from being in a state of hostility towards him, you treat him as a friend. You also know that death is inevitable yet you do not practice the works of the Hereafter. You are not even able to learn from seeing what happens here in the dounia (this present world). Full of insight in discerning the faults of others, you do not see your own faults. How do you expect the prayers of people like you to be answered?”

Commentary ~ Baraka

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

Near Temen, in the city of Darvan lived a man full of generosity, kindness, maturity and reason. His house was the meeting place of the disadvantaged, the poor and melancholy. He was accustomed in distributing a tenth of his crops.

When wheat became flour and they made bread, he distributed a tenth. Whatever the nature or amount of the crop, he did so, four times a year, similar distribution. One day, he gave this advice to his children:

“When I am dead, perpetuate this tradition so that Baraka is in your harvest. Fruit from the harvest comes from the Unknown because it is Allah who provides it. If you dispose properly from His bounty, the door of profit will open for you. As do the farmers who sow without delay a part of their harvest. Sometimes what is sown is more important than that what is grown. It doesn’t matter! They have trust! Similarly, the shoemaker goes without in order to buy leather because this is the source of his income. But the earth or leather are only veils. The true source of gain is what Allah offers us. If you return your gains at the source, you will get a return on your investment hundredfold. Imagine that you placed your gains where you thought is their source and that nothing grows for two or three years. There will be nothing left to do except to supplicate to Allah.”

“Remember, it is Allah who gives us joy, not wine or hashish. No real help will come to us from your uncles, your brothers, your father or your children. Know this: A day will come when they will move away from you and your friends will become your enemies. Throughout your life, all they did was block your way like idols.”

“If a friend leaves you with resentment, jealousy or anger, do not be sad. Instead, give out charity and thank Allah for it. It was due to ignorance that you were attached to this friend in the first place. But now that you have escaped his nets, seek therefore a true friend. A true friend is someone whose friendship doesn’t ever cool, not even by death.”

“Remember this: sow your seed on the land of Allah so that your crop is safe from thieves and disasters at any time, the devil always threatens you with poverty. Don’t become his prey. On the contrary, let us hunt him. It is not worthy that the sultan’s hawk is chased by a partridge.”

But this wise man sowed the seed of wisdom on a barren land. (…) So mesmerized by the idea of sacrificing a tenth of their earnings, many people forget the Baraka they would get by doing so.

Commentary ~ He sinned for a long time but then repented

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

It has been related that during the time of Musa (Moses) (PBUH), the Children of Israel were afflicted with a drought. The people went to Musa (PBUH) and said, “O one who has spoken to Allah, invoke your Lord to provide us with rain.” He, accompanied by the people, went out to the desert; they numbered 70,000 or more. Musa (PBUH) supplicated for rain and for Allah’s Mercy, but nothing happened, except that the sky seemed to be even drier and the sun seemed more oppressive with its heat.

Musa (PBUH) was surprised and asked his Lord for the reason behind that. Allah inspired to him, “Indeed, among you is a slave who has been challenging Me with sins for the past forty years. Call out to the people until he comes out from among them, for because of him you were prevented (from rain).” Musa (PBUH) said, “My Lord, I am a weak slave and my voice is weak. How can my voice convey (to them) when they are 70,000 or more in number?” Allah inspired to him, “From you is the call and from Us is its conveyance.” Musa stood as a caller and said, “O sinning slave, who has challenged Allah with sins for the last forty years: come out from among us, for because of you, we have been deprived from rain. The said sinner turned to the left and to the right, seeing no one coming out from among them, which made him realize that he was the one who was wanted. He spoke to himself, “If I come forth from among this group of creation, then I will have exposed myself. But if I sit with them, then they will be deprived because of me.” He put his head in his garment, regretting his evil deeds. He said, “My Lord, I have disobeyed You for forty years and You have given me respite. I have come to You in obedience, so accept from me.” He no sooner finished his speech than a white cloud appeared and the rain came down in abundance. Musa (PBUH) said, “My Lord, why did You give us drink when none from among us came out?” Allah said, “O Musa, I have given you rain because of the same man who was the reason why I prevented you from rain (i.e., the man who repented).” Musa (PBUH) said, “My Lord, let me see this obedient slave.” Allah said, “O Musa, I did not expose him when he was disobeying Me, then do you expect Me to expose him while he is obedient to Me?”

PBUH: peace be upon him

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
P210

Commentary ~ Strive for your sustenance, but don’t be covetous

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

The Lord of the worlds provides for the worm in the ground:

There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you… (Koran 6.38)

Allah provides for the birds in the sky and for the fish in the sea:

…And it is He Who feeds but is not fed… (Koran 6.14)

You are worthier than a worm, bird, or fish, so don’t worry about sustenance.

I have known people who were stricken by poverty simply because of their distance from Allah. Some of them were rich and healthy, but instead of being thankful they turned away from obedience to Allah, they abandoned prayer, and they perpetrated major sins. Allah took away from them their health and their wealth, replacing these with poverty, sickness, and anxiety. They were then afflicted with hardship upon hardship, calamity upon calamity.

But whosoever turns away from My Reminder, verily, for him is a life of hardship… (Koran 20.124)

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. (Koran 8.53)

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. (Koran 42.30)

If they had believed in Allah, and went on the Right Way (i.e. Islam) We should surely have bestowed on them water (rain) in abundance. (Koran 72.16)

La Tahzan (Don’t be sad)
By Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni
Translated by: Faisal ibn Muhammad Shafeeq, 2nd ed. Riyadh 2005
Publisher: International Islamic Publishing House
ISBN Hard Cover: 9960-850-36-6
ISBN Soft Cover: 9960-850-44-7
Page 194

Commentary ~ Under the influence of ignorance

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

Here is a saying of Tsavri Sofian, a native of Kufa. He died in Basra in the year 161 (777-778).

“In four cases one acts under the influence of ignorance:

  • When one censors others; this relates to not recognizing the supreme decisions of the Lord Most High and whoever does not recognize these decisions falls into infidelity.

  • When one lets envy take hold inside our hearts; this relates to not accepting the apportionment determined by the Lord, for he who does not accept his share falls into infidelity.

  • When one earns wealth from sources that are forbidden or of questionable legitimacy; this relates to not worrying about the Account that will be taken on the Day of Judgment, and to not worry about that Account is the characteristic of the unfaithful.

  • When one no longer expects anything from the Lord; this comes from disregarding Allah’s Mercy, and whoever despairs of Allah’s Mercy is an infidel.”

“…and never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” (Koran 12.87)

Commentary ~ The Cow and the Island

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

On a green island, a cow lived in solitude. She grazed until nightfall and thus fattened up every day. At night, no longer seeing the grass, she worried about what she was going to eat the next day and this worry made her as thin as a feather. At dawn, the prairie became green with the sunlight and the cow started grazing again with a bovine appetite until sunset. The cow once again had became fat and full of strength. At nightfall, not seeing the prairie, she began to cry and lose weight once again.

Time would pass but it never occurred to the cow’s mind that the prairie was not decreasing and that there was little reason to worry in this manner.

Your ego is like the cow and the island is the universe. The fear of tomorrow makes the cow lean. Do not worry for the future. Better to look at the present. You have been eating for years and the gifts and provisions from Allah have nevertheless never diminished.

Commentary ~ Three Questions

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

  • You are ashamed in front of people who do not themselves have a clean face. Why would you not be ashamed, for once, before Allah?

  • Allah puts a veil over your sins so that one day you will be ashamed. But who can say how long this privilege lasts?

  • Is there anyone who has knocked on the door of Allah’s Mercy without receiving anything?

Commentary ~ Hope

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

One shouldn’t lose hope in Allah; that is the beginning of the path to safety. If you do not walk this path, know at least where that road begins, and do not say: “I have made mistakes.” Strive to always be on the straight path and nothing crooked will reach you. Righteousness is the stick of the Prophet Moussa (Moses) (peace be upon him), and crookedness is the magic (of Pharaoh’s magicians). When righteousness is manifest, it devours all magic. If you do wrong, you only harm yourself. The damage does not reach Allah. When you become straight, all that is crooked disappears. Never lose hope.

Commentary ~ Eighteen Guidelines

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

Sa’eed bin Musayyib (MAPH) reports that there were eighteen guidelines that Umar Al-Khataab (MAPH) formulated for the people, every one of which is replete with wisdom. He said:

  • When someone disobeys Allah in a matter that impacts on you, you can give him no punishment worse than obeying Allah in matters that impact on him.
  • Always assume the best about your brother unless you learn something about him that you absolutely cannot reconcile.
  • Never assume the worst about any statement that a Muslim makes as long as you are able to make a favourable interpretation.
  • The person who exposes himself to slander must never rebuke anyone who holds a bad opinion of him.
  • Whoever guards his secrets will retain the choice in his hands.
  • Ensure that you keep true friends to stay under their wings because they are a source of beauty during times of prosperity and a means of protection during times of hardship.
  • Always speak the truth even though it leads to your death.
  • Never delve into matters that do not concern you.
  • Do not ask about matters that have not occurred because that which has already taken place is enough to preoccupy you from that which has not.
  • Never seek your needs from one who does not want to see your success.
  • Never treat false oaths lightly because Allah will then destroy you.
  • Never keep the company of the sinners to learn from their sinful ways.
  • Keep away from your enemy.
  • Beware even of your friends, except for the trustworthy one and none can be trustworthy unless he fears Allah.
  • Be humble when in the graveyard.
  • Be humble when submiting to Allah’s commands.
  • Seek Allah’s protection at the time of disobeying His commands.
  • In your affairs, consult with those who fear Allah because Allah says:
  • …It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh… (Sura 35.28)

(Khateeb, Ibn Asaakir and Ibn Najjaar, as quoted in Kanzul Ummaal (Vol. 8 Page 235))

MAPH: May Allah be pleased with him

The Lives of the Sahaba (Hayat-Assahaba)
By Muhammad Yusuf Kandhelwi – Volume III
Translation Edited by Azfal Hoosen Elias
Editor: Zam Zam Publishers
Page 508

Commentary ~ The True Believer

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

Yahya ben Mo’âz, who died in the year 258 (871-872), said: “…I find it strange the people who avoid eating unhealthy things for fear of getting sick, and who, never abstaining from sin, do not shelter their person from the punishment of the Lord most high. There are three kinds of intelligent people: those who abandon this world before this world abandons them; those who build their grave before entering it, and those who strive to please the Lord most high before arriving at His Court. Whosoever practices moderation of the desires of the heart will see their heart flooded with light. (…) The knowledgeable is he who prefers above all the glorification of the Name of Allah. In whose heart that person has the fear of the Lord most high, his whole being longs to be worshiping and stays away from sin. Every thing has its kind of beauty: the beauty of the acts of worship, is fear (taqwa).”

Commentary ~ Then his Heart Dies

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

Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (MAPH) once said to Al-Ahnaf Ibn Qais (MAPH):

“O Ahnaf, the more one laughs, the less dignity will he possess. Whoever jokes (excessively or indecently) is a person who will be taken lightly. Whoever does something frequently will become known by that thing. Whoever speaks often, errs often; the more often one errs, the less modesty will he possess; whoever has a low level of modesty will also have a low level of piety (Taqwa); and when one has a low level of piety, then his heart dies.”

MAPH: May Allah be pleased with him

Glimpses Of The Lives Of Righteous People,
Darussalam publishing, Pp. 24-25,
Quoting from “Sifatus-Safwah”, 1/1449

Commentary ~ Asma bint Yazid Al-Ansariyah

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

Muslim bin Asad related from Asma that she went to the Prophet (SAWS) while he was seated with his Companions. She said, “…I came as an emissary to you from a group of women. Indeed Allah has sent you to both men and women, and we believe in you and in your Lord. Indeed, we women are limited and constrained, though we are the pillars of your houses, from us do you fulfill your desires and lusts, and we also carry your children. Indeed, you men have been favored over us by the congregational Friday prayer and by all other congregational prayers, by visiting the sick, by attending funeral prayers, by performing pilgrimage after pilgrimage, and better than all of that – Jihad in the way of Allah. When men go out to perform Hajj, Umrah, or Jihad, we protect for them their wealth, spin for them their garments, and raise for them their children. Shall we not share with you in this recompense and reward?”

The Prophet (SAWS) turned to his Companions and said, “Have you ever heard any speech of a woman that is more beautiful than this woman’s questioning regarding the affairs of her religion?” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, we never thought that a woman should be guided to something like this.” The Prophet (SAWS) turned to her and said, “Understand this, O woman, and teach this to those women whom you left behind: For a woman to be a good spouse to her husband, for her to seek his pleasure, for her to follow and cooperate with him, is equal to all of that (i.e., all of the rewards that men get for their toils or for the deeds mentioned above).”

She left and was making Tahleel (i.e., she was testifying: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah).

SAWS: May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
P106

Commentary ~ Charity that is given in secret

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

Rabi bin Khuthaim said: “All that is desired not for Allah, but for something or someone else, perishes.”

Abu-Hamzah Ath-Thumali said: “Ali bin Husain used to carry loaves of bread on his back during the nighttime, to give them in charity. And he would say: ‘Indeed, charity that is given in secret extinguishes the anger of the Lord.'”

Amr bin Thabit said: “When Ali bin Husain died, they washed him and found black stains on his back. They asked: ‘What is this?’ And they were told: ‘He used to carry sacks of wheat during the nighttime on his back, and he would distribute them to the poor inhabitants of Al-Madinah.'”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
P188

Commentary ~ Qutaibah and His Prisoner

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

Abu ‘Ubaidah relates that a number of people were presented to Al-Hajjaj; they were all accused of rebelling against him, and so he ordered that they all be executed. Because the time of prayer had arrived, there remained one from them who was still not executed. Al-Hajjaj said to Qutaibah bin Muslim, “He shall remain with you and you will bring him to us early tomorrow.”

Qutaibah said: I went and took the man with me, and as we were on our way, he said, “Qutaibah, do you wish to do a good deed?” I asked, “And what is that?” He said, “I have things that were trusted to me by people, and your companion, Al-Hajjaj, will surely kill me. Let me go free so that I may return each item to its rightful owner. And Allah is my Guarantor that I will return to you tomorrow.” I was amazed at what he said, and I laughed at him. He then repeated for a second time the same words and said, “By Allah, I will return to you.” He continued and persisted in the same manner, until finally, I said, “Go.” When he left, and when I could no longer see him, I returned to my senses and said: ‘What did you do to yourself, O Qutaibah?’ I returned to my family and spent the night, which seemed to last forever. In the morning, there was a man knocking at our door, and when I went to open it, there stood before me the same man from the day before. I said, “You have returned?” He said, “I made Allah as a Guarantor and then why should I not return?” I took him with me, and when Al-Hajjaj saw me, he said, “Where is the prisoner, Qutaibah?” I said, “He is at the door.” I brought him before the ruler and I informed him of the story. Al-Hajjaj gave him many piercing glances, and then said to me, “I give him to you as a gift.” I left with him and when we had exited from the building, I said to him, “Go wherever you please.” The man raised his head to the sky and said, “O Allah, all praise is for You.” He said nothing more and left.

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
P203

Commentary ~ Retribution

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

Allah the Exalted, while promising that the retribution of good and evil will happen on the Day of Judgment, in fact, however, sends a small sample of that retribution here, at every instance and at every moment. If man discovers joy in his heart, he is being rewarded for making someone happy; if he is sad, it is that he has made someone sad. These rewards are presents from the other world and signs of the Day of Retribution, so that we may understand, with so little that which is great. We are being shown from a large warehouse, a small handful of wheat.

So that you know and remember that all discomfort, all darkness, all depressions that befall you, are the bitter fruit of sin and the pain you yourself have caused, even though you do not remember the evil that you have done through negligence, or ignorance, or because of a bad companion with no Iman (faith) who downplayed the sins in your eyes, to the point where you no longer considered them sins. Think of the reward: what is the level of your fulfillment and what is the degree of your depression? Certainly, depression is the punishment of sin and fulfillment is the reward of submission to Allah.

Commentary ~ Nothing is more Precious

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

Nothing, it has been said, is more precious than intelligence used in the service of a good and firm management that itself is nourished by the reverential fear of Allah (Taqwa). There is no good neighborliness without evenness of temper; it is based upon the good education that the behavior of each will be judged; without Divine assistance, there is no success to be expected. Similarly, trade with others only profits where, based on virtue, it aspires for sole compensation the Supreme Reward. There is no better Piety than adherence to the limits set by Islam, there is no better Science than that of reflection; there is no better devotion than fulfilling the obligations of Divine institution; there is no better demonstration of Faith than that which is done in discretion; there is no better merit than humility and no nobility except that which comes with Knowledge. Fair share must be made for what the body feels with, always in mind, the idea of the precariousness of things and of Death.

Commentary ~ A Pious Man

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

A pious man is of unshakable faith. His faith is strong and accompanied by conviction. He yearns for knowledge. He is independent, but moderate. He submits completely to Allah when he prays. He remains noble even when poor. He shows patience in times of difficulty. He always seeks legal (halal) sustenance. He is full of enthusiasm for the straight path. He is careful not to be stingy. He has no reprehensible desires. He controls his anger. Everyone expects him to be good to them, and no one can think he wants to hurt them. He does not speak unkindly. He speaks softly. He does nothing reprehensible. All that he does is desirable. He is calm even in times of disturbance. If he is at ease, he is grateful to Allah. He does not commit a sin for the love of a friend. He does not offend others by insulting or defaming them. He does not harm his neighbor. He suffers difficulties, but others have nothing to fear from him. He strives to obtain salvation in the Afterlife, but he does not harm anybody. If he approaches someone, it is because he has affection and kindness for that person. He doesn’t avoid another person by vanity, nor does he befriend another person to fool him.