Commentary ~ The emotional bank balance

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

We dictate how others think of us. If a person were to see you in the market and frown at you, then see you at the grocer’s and frown at you, and then you bump into him at a wedding party and see him frowning at you, you would form a picture of him in your mind. If you were to see him again, or even hear of him again, his frowning face would instantly come mind. Isn’t that true?

If a person meets you with a smile, then he meets you elsewhere with a smile, and so on, there will be a positive smiling picture of him imprinted in your mind.

This is concerning someone with whom you have no relationship and only meet with every now and then. But as for those whom we meet all the time, like a wife, children, work colleagues and neighbours, then we don’t always deal with them in the same manner. Yes, they will see us laughing and joking, but no doubt they will also see us sometimes angry, frowning, argumentative or even insulting because we are, after all, human beings.

Consequently, their love for us is governed by our good or bad conduct towards them. If you wish, you can say that their love for us is in proportion to the emotional credit that we may have in our accounts with them. How so?

When you show good conduct towards a person, you are in reality depositing fond memories about yourself in his memory register. In other words, it is as if he has opened up an account for you in his heart where he keeps safe his love and respect for you. Thereafter, your bank balance either increases or decreases. Hence, each time you meet him with a smile, your emotional bank balance increases. Each time you give him a gift, it also increases. Every act of courtesy increases it further. Similarly, each time you offend, insult or curse a person, you make a withdrawal from that emotional bank balance.

Similarly, if you have a huge balance with a person and one day end up angering him, you withdraw only a small percentage from your emotional bank balance due to the huge original balance.

If a beloved comes with one vice,

His virtues come to the rescue with a thousand intercessors

However, if you don’t have an emotional bank balance with a person to begin with and then begin to withdraw, then your account with him will be in deficit. Subsequently, he may develop a dislike for you since you continue to withdraw but never deposit.

You may have heard the story about a wife who was divorced by her husband. When asked about the reason for the divorce, she said, “It was a trivial reason. He wanted me to go with him to see his sister and I refused. He became angry and began insulting and cursing me, and then eventually divorced me!”

If you contemplate a little why she got divorced, you would discover that the reason was not as trivial as she claimed. Rather, the incident was the last straw that broke the camel’s back!

It is said that there was once a man who had a strong camel. One day he decided to travel, so he placed all his belongings on the camel’s back and tied it up. The poor camel tried to withstand the pressure as he managed to place on its back the load of four camels. The camel began to waver as the people shouted at the man saying, “Enough!” But the man didn’t listen. He finally took a belt made out of straw and placed it on the camel, saying, “This is very light, and this is the last thing I will place on it.” As soon as he placed the belt on it, the camel fell to the ground. Thus, his story became an idiom and it was said, “The last straw which broke the camel’s back!”

If you think about it, you will realise that the belt was quite innocent, for it was not the belt that broke the camel’s back. Rather, the back was broken due to the heavy overall load that was placed on it, which it tried to withstand with patience until it could stand it no longer. The miniscule weight of the belt then finally broke its back.

The same goes for the woman who was divorced by her husband (*Note: the same applies to a husband towards his wife). I can say for certain that the reason was not just the fact that she refused to visit his sister. Rather, it was a number of things including refusing to fulfill his requests and his wishes, the lack of love between the two, her arrogance and the lack of respect she had for his views. She continued to withdraw from her emotional bank account without depositing anything. She continued to hurt him without healing his wounds. He continued to bear her with patience, until this incident happened which broke the camel’s back.

If she were to have contributed to her emotional bank account on a regular basis by meeting him nicely, spoiling him a little, making herself beloved to him, joking and being light-hearted with him, taking care of his food and clothes and respecting his views, she would have had a huge emotional bank balance. She would have been a millionaire in his heart. Consequently, it would not have mattered much if her emotional bank balance decreased slightly because her wrong actions would have disappeared in the sea of her virtues.

You can say the same about a troublemaking student who has made one mistake due to which his teacher become very angry and perhaps punish him, or threw him out of the classroom. Then the student may complain, “Such-and-such a colleague of mine does things much worse than me, yet he isn’t punished! As for me, I didn’t do anything, except that I made a joke without permission.” He doesn’t realise that the joke was the last straw which broke the camel’s back. He had always hurt his teacher without healing his wounds. The same can be said about colleagues or neighbours who argue amongst each other.

Hence, we are always in need of depositing into the emotional bank balance that lies in people’s hearts. The husband should look for opportunities to deposit into his wife’s heart and continue to increase his points. The wife should do the same. The son should likewise deposit some love in his mother and father’s heart, as should the teacher with his students and a person with his brother. In fact, even the manager should do the same with those who work under him.

In short…
If a beloved comes with one vice,

His virtues come to the rescue with a thousand intercessors

Enjoy your life
Dr. Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Rahaman Al-Arifi
Translated by: Saleem Beg
Edited By: Nasim Chowdhury
Published By: Darussalam
P510

Commentary ~ Wise Sayings from Fudail and Ibn Mubarak

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

Fudail bin ‘Iyad said: “If you are not able to fast or pray, then know that you are shackled and confined by your sins.” Allah (the Exalted) says:

“Yes! Whosoever earns evil and his sin has surrounded him, they are dwellers of the Fire (i.e. Hell); they will dwell therein forever.” (Quran 2:81)

Ibn Mubarak said: “I saw that sins cause hearts to die, that base actions lead to their addiction, that avoiding sins is life for the heart, and that it is better for your soul for you to disobey it.”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 149

Commentary ~ He left without Anything

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

Hasan, the son of Abul-Hasan, entered upon Abdullah bin Ahtam, visiting him during his illness. He saw Ibn Ahtam point his finger toward a box in his house. He went to the box and asked Hasan, “O Abu Sa’eed, what would you say about one hundred thousand in this box, of which I have never paid Zakat and from which I have never joined ties of relations.” Hasan replied, “May your mother lose you. For whom were you gathering this wealth?” Ibn Ahtam explained, “I gathered it for difficult times, or the harshness of a cruel ruler, or for an increase in wives and children.”

Shortly after this meeting, Ibn Ahtam died and as he was being buried, Hasan said to those present, “Look at this pitiable person. Satan came to him, making him fear poverty and kept him from spending of that which Allah (the Exalted) gave to him. And now he has departed from this world, empty-handed and miserable.” Hasan then turned to the inheritors of the deceased and said, “Let not this wealth deceive you as it deceived this companion of yours. This wealth has come to you in a Halal manner, so do not let it be your destruction. For indeed the greatest sorrow on the Day of Judgment will be to see your wealth, which you toiled to gather (from both Halal and Haram sources), in the scales of your inheritors – if they do good with the money (charity, etc.), the good deed is with them, and the sin of that wealth is upon you.”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 33

Commentary ~ Good Advice

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

Shu’bah and Qatadah related from Yunus bin Jubair, who said that he and his companions visited Jundub and said to him, “Give us some advice.’ He replied, “I advise you to fear Allah. I advise you to adhere to the Qur’an – for it is light in the darkest of nights and it is guidance during the day. Apply it… and if a trial, such as poverty, comes to you, give precedence to your religion over wealth. If that trial worsens, continue to put your religion before your wealth and your soul, for indeed the only one who is destroyed is the one whose religion is destroyed; the one who is poor is the one who has lost his religion. Know that there is no poverty after Paradise and there is no richness after the Hellfire.”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 42

Commentary ~ The Way of a Muslim in His Life

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

The life of a Muslim must stand on seven foundations: adherence to Allah’s Book, following the way of Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection), eating that which is lawful, refraining from harming others, staying away from sins, repenting frequently, and fulfilling the rights of others. In the past and present, the great Islamic jurists of this nation have confirmed that the Muslim’s life must be based on the aforesaid foundations. Brother Muslim, you must remain firm upon those seven comprehensive foundations – by the Will of Allah – until the day you die.

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 147

Commentary ~ Practical Program of Dua

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

It is important to learn how to make good duas (invocations) and to use these supplications to progress in one’s life and get closer to Allah.

The concept of tawakkoul is central to this approach. That is to put one’s complete trust in Allah.

Say: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us. He is our Maulâ (Lord, Helper and Protector).” And in Allâh let the believers put their trust. (Quran 9.51)

We must have a deep conviction that our (lawful) duas will be heard and answered (now, later, or in the Hereafter).

And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. (Quran 2.186)

And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islâmic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation)… (Quran 40.60)

Do not be shy, modest, ashamed or embarrassed to ask Allah, He forgives those who repent and return to Him. For Allah NOTHING is impossible, He is the Almighty. So DARE ask! For this life AND for the Hereafter.

And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” (Quran 2.201)

With your heart, and not just your head, decide what you consider to be marks of success in this life and in the Hereafter. Make an exhaustive list, ask for anything that you want, Allah is the Greatest and Most Generous. To give you what you ask will not remove anything from Him.

According to this hadith qudsi, Allah the Exalted and Glorified said: “…O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it…” (Narrated by Muslim )

To build your list, you can use the following categories as inspiration:

  • Practice of religion (Deen), Faith (Iman), Situation in the Hereafter
  • Physical Health, Emotional Health
  • Family, Spouse, Children
  • Finances, Wealth
  • Profession, Career
  • Social Life, Friends, Travel
  • Studies (Islamic and/or secular)
  • Community and the Ummah
  • Achievements, Successes
  • Legacy ( Sadaka Jariya ) that I will leave behind after my death

Note that as a Muslim the actions in this life can improve your situation in the Hereafter (Sadaka Jariya). When you have made your long list, try to see what overlaps between the categories, break them down into groups and then reduce them to five duas that you are ready to make diligently, with strength and conviction for at least six months. When making your selection, use the following criteria:

It is important to remember that the proposed program is a way to practically realize the acceptance of your duas. To do this, your invocations should:

  • Give you butterflies in your stomach, you must be excited and motivated by these invocations, think about them often, day and night.
  • Be motivating enough for you to be willing to work towards your goal (ex: every day for the next three years).
  • Be slightly unrealistic (according to your current situation). For example, learning the last part of the Quran and not (immediately) the entire Quran .
  • Take the middle road, and not to be motivated by a fear of getting less then asked.
  • Be practical and measurable (the goal attainment criteria are clearly set).
  • Have a good time range, about 3 to 10 years, Allah Knows Best.
  • Divide your duas 50/50 between this world and the Hereafter.
  • Ensure that money is a means and not an end in itself. For example, ask Allah to have the money to build a mosque.

Get rid of the old duas that you have been doing mechanically and in a distracted manner. Be clear, specific, positive and make your duas with conviction.

Good habits for the invocations to be answered are:

  • Being grateful, often say al- hamdoulillah, do not complain and remain positive. Allah says:
  • ” …If you give thanks, I will give you more… ” (Quran 14.7)

  • Ask Allah (Alone) with taqwa and Allah will respond inchaAllah.
  • Have faith (Iman) and hope (Ihtisab) that the invocation will be answered by Allah.
  • Repeat often the duas.
  • Avoid sins.
  • Make good duas for others also.
  • Make duas during optimal moments.

In practice:

  1. Mention Allah by His attributes, make the link between your call and the attribute that corresponds (good reason to review the 99 names of Allah).
  2. Pray on the Prophet (SAWS) Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad.
  3. Make duas for one’s religion, this world (Dunya) and the Hereafter.
  4. Make duas for others.
  5. Say Ameen.
  6. Pray on the Prophet (SAWS) Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad.

Suitable moments for invoking Allah:

  • During prostration (sujood).
  • At the end of the prayer before or after the salutations.
  • After the adhan until Iqamah.
  • After ablutions.
  • During fasting.
  • At the time of breaking the fast.
  • In the middle of the night.
  • If you wake up during the night.
  • In the last third of the night .
  • Friday afternoon.
  • During travel.
  • While drinking water of Zamzam.

Commentary ~ Good and Bad Deeds

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

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahuAllah), in his book Ad-Da’ Wad-Dawa’, said that surely sins are like the seeds of fruits that always bear like fruits. Some of our pious predecessors have said that indeed the punishment for committing a sin is that one is compelled to commit sin again, and the reward for committing a good deed is the guidance to follow that up with yet another good deed. This singular action of doing a good deed bears a series of good deeds and in turn one’s profits multiply. Similarly bad deeds beget more bad deeds and begin to take shape and permanence in one’s character.

If a righteous person were to leave a good deed, he would feel confined and constricted, though he lives in a world of vast magnitude. Much like a fish out of water, the soul finds rest only in the tides of moral decency. So, it is the same for the sinner, who finds comfort only in the familiarity and repetition of an old sin. He, too, feels the same sense of longing as the righteous person does. He sins not for the pleasure that is derived from it, but to pacify the pain that being away from it brings.

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 32

Commentary ~ Patience

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

Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) went to Ash’ath to console him upon the death of one of his sons. He said, “If you are sad, then you are deserving of mercy, but if you are patient, then Allah gives you something in place of what was lost or destroyed. And know if you are patient, everything that was destined for you and preordained for you will occur and you will be rewarded. If you complain and are hopeless, then likewise all that was destined for you will occur, except that you will be blamed for your impatience at Allah’s Will.”

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

Commentary ~ Safety comes Tomorrow

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

The rightly-guided ruler Umar bin Abdul-Aziz – who was also considered to be an Islamic jurist – said in his last sermon: “O people, indeed, you have not been created without a purpose and you will not be left alone without being held accountable. And you have a final destination, where Allah will judge among you. He will indeed be the loser who is outside of Allah’s Mercy, which comprehends all things. He is the loser who will be forbidden from Paradise, whose width is as the heavens and the earth. Know that safety tomorrow is for he who fears his Lord and sells a small amount to achieve abundance – for he who sells that which is perishing for that which shall remain… I say this to you, though I do not know of anyone among you who has more sins than me, and I ask Allah to forgive both me and you.” Such was the humility of good doers who were practicing Muslims. And indeed Allah’s Mercy is near the good doers.

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
P148

Commentary ~ A Lord Who Wrongs Not

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

You should feel reassured in that you have a Lord Who is just.

Allah, the Exalted, admitted a woman into Paradise because of a dog and another into the Hellfire because of a cat. The first was a prostitute from the children of Israel; because she once gave drink to a thirsty dog, Allah forgave her and admitted her into Paradise. This was a just recompense for her sincerity in doing a good deed, for her sincerity to Allah. The second was a woman who confined a cat to a room. She neither fed it nor gave it drink; by confining the cat, she prevented it from eating insects in the fields, and so Allah made her enter the Hellfire.

The story of the first woman is one that brings coolness to the heart, because it makes one know that Allah gives great rewards for small deeds.

So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (Koran 99.7-8)

…Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds. That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice). (Koran 11.114)

So help the grief-stricken, give to the poor, aid the oppressed, visit the sick, pray over the dead, guide the blind, give comfort to the afflicted, guide the misguided, and be generous to both guest and neighbor. All of these are deeds of charity, deeds that not only help the receiver of your kind acts, but that also help you by giving you comfort and peace.

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 297

Commentary ~ The fruits of contentment

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

…Allah is pleased with them and they with Him… (Koran 5.119)

Contentment bears many blessed fruits. More than anything else, by being contented with that which is decreed, one is able to soar to the highest levels of faith and truthfulness.

Some might wish for only good to befall them, for only pleasant things to occur in their lives, but that is not what being Allah’s slave means. Many of the true believer’s characteristics, which include patience, total dependence, contentment, humbleness, and submission of one’s will, only become manifest when one is confronted with something that one dislikes. So being pleased with that which has been decreed does not mean being contented with only those things that suit one’s disposition; the real gauge for true contentment are those times when one goes through a painful situation. And it is not for the slave to dictate the terms of preordainment; he can be happy or discontented and it makes no difference except that by being discontented, he is sinning. Human beings do not have much choice in regards to Divine decree: the choice and decision thereof belong only with Allah. He is All-Knowing and Most High.

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 349

Commentary ~ From the Wise Sayings of Luqman (pbuh)

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

“If you’re in prayer, take care of your heart; if you’re eating, take care of your throat; if you’re in another man’s house, take care of your eyes; if you are among people, take care of your tongue. Remember two matters and forget two matters: Remember Allah and death; forget any good that you have done to another and any evil that was done to you by another.”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 190

Commentary ~ The Night Guard

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

One night, while the night guard of the caravan slept, thieves came and plundered all the goods of the merchants. When they awoke, they saw that their wealth and their camels had all disappeared. They went to the night guard for accountability. The night guard answered:

“Thieves came hidden under blankets and they took everything!

– But why did you not intervene?

– I was alone and they were numerous and armed to the teeth!

– But if you did not have enough force to push them back, you had to call us!

– They showed me their swords saying, “Shut up or you’re dead!” I was so afraid that I could not scream. But if you want, I can scream now!”

It serves no purpose to recite prayers once the accursed Satan has ruined your life in the Hereafter.

And it will be said: “This Day We will forget you as you forgot the Meeting of this Day of yours. And your abode is the Fire, and there is none to help you.” (Quran 45.34)

Await they just for the final fulfillment of the event? On the Day the event is finally fulfilled (i.e. the Day of Resurrection), those who neglected it before will say: “Verily, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth, now are there any intercessors for us that they might intercede on our behalf? Or could we be sent back (to the first life of the world) so that we might do (good) deeds other than those (evil) deeds which we used to do?” Verily, they have lost their ownselves (i.e. destroyed themselves) and that which they used to fabricate (invoking and worshipping others besides Allâh) has gone away from them. (Quran 7.53)

Commentary ~ The Virtues of seeking Forgiveness from Allah

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

Three men came to Husain bin Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). The first complained about a paucity of rain, and Husain answered, “Increase in seeking forgiveness from Allah.” The second complained of being barren and not having children. Husain said, “Increase in seeking forgiveness from Allah.” The third man complained about arid conditions and a lack of fertile soil, and Husain said, “Increase in seeking forgiveness from Allah.” Those seated with him said, “O son (i.e. grandson) of the Messenger of Allah (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection): each one of these three had a different complaint, yet you gave them the same answer.” He asked them whether they had not read the Verse of Allah (the Exalted):

“…Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.” (Quran 71:10-12)

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 133

Commentary ~ The Flock is the Responsibility of the Shepherd

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

Sa’eed bin ‘Aamir (may Allah be pleased with him) said to ‘Umar bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), “Indeed, I advise you with words that are taken from the comprehensive precepts of Islam. Fear Allah in how you deal with people and do not fear people with how you are with Allah. Let not your speech be contrary to your actions, for indeed, the best of speech is that which is in accordance with action. Love those Muslims that are near to you and those that are far, as you love yourself and your family. Do not fear blame or hardship in your quest for what you know to be true.”

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

Commentary ~ The Signs of an Ignorant Person

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

Abud-Darda (May Allah be satisfied with him) said: “The signs of the ignorant one are three: self-conceit, much talk in that which does not concern him, and forbidding others from something he himself commits.”

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 179

Commentary ~ Humbleness And A Sound Outlook

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

We often look around us and see two matters that are confusing to some: the pious person whose supplications seemingly go unanswered, and the wicked person or the disbeliever whose supplications are answered.

First, let us consider the situation of the righteous believer who constantly supplicates, though his supplications go unanswered. Such a person must realize that he is being tested and that he must be patient. He must remember the saying of the Prophet (SAWS), “The slave [of Allah] continues to remain in a good situation as long as he does not hurry – by saying, ‘I supplicated, but I have not been answered.” Next, he must reflect on his situation: Are his food, drink, and clothing lawful and lawfully derived? Is there a sin from which he did not repent? Or is his heart in a state of heedlessness when he invokes Allah? If he arrives at a negative answer to any one of these questions, then he must rectify his situation. (…)

Even if one comes up with positive answers to the above-mentioned questions, he must take a number of matters into consideration. First, life is a test; and to pass the test that one is going through, one must be both patient and thankful. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Wonderful is the affair of the believer: indeed, his affair in its entirety is good, and that is for no one save the believer. If goodness befalls him, he is thankful, and that is good for him. And if harm afflicts him, he is patient, and that is good for him.”

Second, one might supplicate for something that he ardently desires, but by achieving that thing, he might end up sinning or losing out on something he may otherwise have gained. (…) And how often is it that we long for things that are bad for us, and through His Mercy and Wisdom, Allah prevents us from achieving those things.

“…And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Quran 2:216)

Third, when a believer is in need, he turns to Allah, asking Him for help; now, whether he is answered immediately or not, he is, by supplicating to Allah, performing an act of worship, for which he will be rewarded. It is often the case that one who is leading an easy life forgets Allah and the Hereafter. Such a person might need a hardship to wake him up and to make him remember his purpose in life. It is related that Yahya (peace be upon him) once cried a great deal, and then when he fell asleep, he spoke to his Lord during a dream. He said, “O my Lord, how much indeed I have invoked You, yet You do not answer me?” He said, “O Yahya, indeed I love to hear your voice [when you invoke Me for help].”

Fourth, one must remember the following saying of the Messenger of Allah (SAWS): “No Muslim prays with a supplication that involves neither sin nor the breaking off of family ties, except that Allah gives him for it one of three things: either He hastens [the answer to] his supplication (i.e., He answers it in this world), or He saves it for him for the Hereafter, or He wards off from him evil that is equivalent (i.e., equivalent in degree to the good that he asked for).”

Now let us consider the opposite situation, that of the disbeliever whose supplications are answered. When we look around us, we will find no shortage of examples of people who, despite being wicked and evil, are materially well off. We must realize that such people are taking their paltry share in this life, saving nothing for the Hereafter. When a disbeliever refuses to change his ways and rejects the message of Islam, then as a reward for his haughtiness and cockiness, Allah might give him much in terms of material possessions and worldly comfort, thus leading him further and further away from the straight path. That is why one should never feel a false sense of security when he is successful in life, for Allah gives both to the righteous and to the wicked, and when He gives to the wicked, He does so in order to lead them away from the straight path. Therefore, even when things are going well for a believer, he should not become self-complacent; rather, he should hope for Allah’s Mercy, yet at the same time he should fear Allah’s punishment. Driven by fear and hope, the believer constantly strives to better himself and to reach safety in the Hereafter.

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
Page 302

Commentary ~ Find for him an excuse

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

Imam Muhammad ibn Sirin said:

“If somebody related something about your brother find for him an excuse.

And if you do not find an excuse, then say, “Maybe my brother has an excuse”.”

[Abu ach-Cheikh al-Asbahani]
Source: Website

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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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.