Monday, June 23, 2008

The Beautiful Story of Abu Ghayth

Source: Qisas.com

From the signs of truthfulness is fear of Allah and asceticism in life; for the truthful with conviction fears consuming from what is impermissible and bears poverty and hardship for the sake of Islam. If he commits sin then he does not sleep until he returns to his Lord and repents, in order to free himself from the sin, and its burden.

Ibn Jarir at-Tabari: I was in Makkah during the season of Hajj and I saw a man from Khurasaan calling out to the people: “Oh pilgrims, oh people of Makkah – from those who are present and those far off, I have lost a pouch that contains a thousand dinars. So whoever returns the pouch, Allah will reward them with good, save them from the hell fire, and His bounty and favours will be acquired on the Day of Accounting (Day of Judgment).”

An old man from the people of Makkah approached him and said: “Oh Khurasaani, our city is in a very tough condition, and the days of hajj are few, and its season is appointed, and the doors of profit-making are closed. This money might fall in the hands of a believer who is poor and old in age. Maybe he plans to give it if you make a promise that you will give him a little bit of money that is halal (permissible) for him to use.”

The Khurasaani said: “How much does he want?”

The old man said: “He wants one-tenth of the money (a hundred dinars).”

The Khurasaani said: “No. I will not grant him the money and instead I will take my case to Allah, and complain to Him on the day we meet Him, and Allah is sufficient for us and the best one to trust in.“

Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said: “I realised that it was the old man who was poor, and he was the one who took the pouch of dinars and wishes to have a little portion of it. So I followed him until he returned to his home. My assumptions were confirmed. I heard him calling onto his wife:”Oh Lubabah.”

She said: “I am at your service, O Abu Ghayth.”

The old man said: I found the owner of the dinars calling for it, and he does not intend to give any reward to the person who finds it. I said to him “Give us a hundred dinars and he refused and said he would take his case to Allah. What should I do O Lubabah? I must return it, for I fear my Lord, and I fear that my sin is multiplied.

His wife said to him: Oh Man! We have been struggling and suffering from poverty with you for the last 50 years, and you have 4 daughters, 2 sisters, my mother and I, and you are the ninth. Keep all the money and feed us for we are hungry, and clothe us for you know better our situation. Perhaps Allah, the All-Mighty, will make you rich afterwards and you might be able to give the money back after you fed your children, or Allah will pay the amount you owe on the day when the kingdom will belong to the King (Allah).

He said to her: Will I consume haram after 86 years of my life, and burn my organs with fire after I have been patient with my poverty, and become worthy of Allah’s anger, even though I am close to my grave?! No, By Allah, I will not do so!

Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said: I left with amazement concerning his condition and that of his wife. At a later point during the day, I heard the owner of the pouch calling out…

Saying: “O people of Makkah, O pilgrims, whoever of you find a pouch containing a thousand dinars, let him return it and they shall surely find great reward with Allah.”

The old man said: Oh Khurasaani, I have addressed you the other day and advised you that our land is low on cultivation, so reward the person who found the pouch so that he is not tempted to break the laws of Allah. I have advised you to pay the person who finds it a hundred dinars but you refused. If your money falls into hands of a person who fears Allah the All-Mighty, will you give him 10 dinars at least, instead of a 100?

The Khurasaani said: I will not do so, and I will complain to Allah on the day I meet him, and Allah is sufficient for us and the best one to trust in.“

Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said: The people dispersed and left. Later on during the hours of the day, once again, the Khurasaani made the same call, saying:

“O people of Makkah, O pilgrims, whoever of you find a pouch containing a thousand dinars, let him return it and they shall surely find great reward with Allah.”

The old man came again and said: O Khurasaani, I said to you the day before yesterday to reward the finder a hundred dinars and you refused. Then I advised you to give him ten dinars and you refused, so will you give only one dinar so that he can buy with half of it things he needs and with the other half, sheep milk, so that he can give to the people and feed his children?

The Khurasaani said: I will not do so, and I will complain to Allah on the day I meet him, and Allah is sufficient for us and the best one to trust in. “

The old man angrily said: Come you, and take your money so that I can sleep at night, for I have not had a good mood ever since I found this money.

Ibn Jarir said: So the old man went with the owner of the money and I followed them until the old man entered his house, dug a hole and pulled out the money and said: Take your money and ask Allah to forgive me and bless me from His bounty.

The Khurasaani took the money and intended to leave, but when he reached the door he said: O old man, my father died, May Allah have mercy on him, and left behind three thousand dinars and said to me: Take out a third of this money and give it to a person from the people who is most deserving of it. Therefore I tied it in a pouch so that I may spend it on someone who is worthy of it. By Allah, I have not seen a person, since I left Khurasaan until now, who is more worthy of it than you. So take it, May Allah’s blessing be upon you, and May He reward for the trust you kept, and your patience during poverty. The Khurasaani man left without the money.

The old man wept and prayed to Allah, saying: May Allah bless the owner of the money in his grave, and May Allah bless his son.

Ibn Jarir said: I left after the Khurasaani but Abu Ghayth (the old man) followed me and brought me back. He asked me to sit down, and said: I have seen you following me since the first day; you have come to know of our situation yesterday and today. I have heard that the Prophet said: “If you are gifted from the provision of Allah, without begging or asking, then accept it and do not reject it.” So this is a gift from Allah to all those attending.

The old man called: O Lubabah, O so and so, O so and so. He called on his daughters and his sisters and wife and her mother, and sat down and made me sit down. We were 10. He opened the bag, and said spread your clothing over your laps.

So I (Ibn Jarir) did, but the girls did not have proper clothing that would enable them to do that, so they extended their hands. The old man gave dinar by dinar in order until he reached me (Ibn Jarir) and said: “Here is a dinar.” The process continued until the bag was empty and I received a hundred dinars.

Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said: So joy filled my heart because of the provision they received more than the joy I had because I received a hundred dinars.

When I was leaving the old man said: O young man. You are blessed; keep this money with you for it is halal. And know that I use to wake up for Fajr prayer with this wet shirt. After I was done I would take it off, and give it so that my daughters can pray - one by one. Then I would go to work between Dhuhr prayer and Asr prayer and then I would come back at the end of the day with what Allah has given me from dates and dry pieces of bread. Then I would take off my clothes for my daughters and they would pray Dhuhr prayer and Asr prayer, and the same would happen for the Maghrib and Isha prayers. And we did not ever expect to see this kind of money. So may Allah make us make good use of them, and may Allah bless the person in his grave and multiply the reward for him.

Ibn Jarir said: So I greeted him goodbye, and took the hundred dinars and used them to write knowledge for two years! I used it to buy paper and pay rent and after sixteen years I returned to Makkah and inquired about the old man. I was told that he died a few months after the incident that occurred between us. His wife died, along with her mother, and his 2 sisters. The only ones that remained were the daughters whom, when I asked about, found that they were married to kings and Princes. I dropped by and they honored me as a guest and treated me kindly until they died also. So May Allah bless them in their graves.

al-Qur’an: at-Talaq 65: 2-3
That will be an admonition given to him who believes in Allâh and the Last Day. And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).

And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things.

[Translated from Arabic to English by Ibrahim Hindy]

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Only for Allah

From the book "Ihyaa-ul Uloom Ud Deen" by Imam Ghazzali (RA):

There was a pious man among the Banu Israel who always remained busy in the worship of Allah. A group of people came to him and told him that a tribe living nearby worshipped a tree. The news upset him, and with an axe on his shoulder he went to cut down that tree. On the way, Satan met him in the form of an old man and asked him where he was going. He said he was going to cut a particular tree. Satan said, "You have nothing to be concerned with this tree, you better mind your worship and do not give it up for the sake of something that does not concern you." "This is also worship," retorted the worshipper.

Then Satan tried to prevent him from cutting the tree, and there followed a fight between the two, in which the worshipper overpowered the Satan. Finding himself completely helpless, Satan begged to be excused, and when the worshipper released him, he again said, "Allah has not made the cutting of this tree obligatory on you. You do not lose anything if you do not cut it. If its cutting were necessary, Allah could have got it done through one of his many Prophets." The worshipper insisted on cutting the tree. There was again a fight between the two and again the worshipper overpowered the Satan. "Well, listen," said Satan, "I propose a settlement that will be to your advantage." The worshipper agreed, and Satan said, "You are a poor man, a mere burden on this earth. If you stay away from this act, I will pay you three gold coins every day. You will daily find them lying under your pillow.

By this money you can fulfil your own needs, can oblige your relative, help the needy, and do so many other virtuous things. Cutting the tree will be only one virtue, which will ultimately be of no use because the people will grow another tree." This proposal appealed to the worshipper, and he accepted it. He found the money on two successive days, but on the third day there was nothing. He got enraged, picked up his axe and went to cut the tree. Satan as an old man again met him on the way and asked him where he was going. "To cut the tree," shouted the worshipper. "I will not let you do it," said Satan. A fight took place between the two again but this time Satan had the upper hand and overpowered the worshipper. The latter was surprised at his own defeat, and asked the former the cause of his success. Satan replied, "At first, your anger was purely for earning the pleasure of Allah, and therefore Almighty Allah helped you to overpower me, but now it has been partly for the sake of the gold coins and therefore you lost."

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Change in 6 Simple Steps

Please follow these instructions to play this simple game:

Step 1
Get some paper and make a note of 3 things which you know are wrong but you still do them

Step 2
Write down a reason (why you do something) for each thing you wrote in Step 1

Step 3
Think about how important it is that you change these 3 things

Step 4
Write some notes on how you can stop yourself from the 3 bad actions you've identified

Step 5
Keep these 3 things in your mind and keep thinking about them

Step 6
Pray to Allah that you stop getting involved in these 3 things and be patient

Intoxication

Received this via a forwarded e-mail:

A passage from The Holy Quran...

'Satan's plan is to sow enmity and hatred among you with intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not then give up?'
The Holy Quran - Surah 5 Verse 90

Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala makes it clear in our book of guidance The Holy Quran, that intoxicants are all part of satan's handy work. Intoxicants and all those things alike are forbidden for muslims. It does not befit a muslim to be a part of satan's evil plan; to be so strictly dependent on something other than Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala (Glorified and High is He); to be in a state of mind where we do not have full control over our emotions and when we are not fully aware of the consequences of our actions....

'They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: 'In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit'
The Holy Quran - Surah 2 Verse 219

Over the last few years we have heard doctors say that having a glass of wine everyday is good for you. Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala told us this over 1400 years ago! Nothing was left out, knowing that some might say 'well the doctor said its good for me so thats why i have it' Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala has made it clear having firstly acknowledged that it does have its benefits, that the sin outweighs the good. Subhaan-Allah! Glory be to Allah The Al-Alim, The Knower of All.

In the hadith it is narrated by Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) that a man came from Yemen and asked the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) about a wine made from corn called ‘Mizr’, which they drank in their land. (to the nearest effect)

The Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) asked:

'Is it intoxicating?'
He replied; 'Yes'

The Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said:

'Every intoxicant is unlawful. Verily there is covenant upon Allah for one who drinks intoxicating drinks, that He will make him drink from ‘Teenatul Khabal.'

They asked, 'O messenger of Allah, what is Teenatul Khabal?'

He (peace & blessings be upon him) said:


'The sweat (or impurities) of the inmates of hell.'
(Muslim)

Ok, think we can safely say that no matter what benefits some intoxicants may have, they are certainly not worth it!

So when talking about intoxicants we are referring to alcohol, marijuana, weed, skunk, hash, cocaine, extacy, magic mushrooms, heroin, crack, acid, paan, yes, thats exactly what i said PAAN and any thing else that gets you buzzin!!

So where does smoking cigarettes come into this??? hmmm......

Well simply... there are generally 2 views on this...


Some say its HARAM (forbidden) others say its MAKROOH (disliked)

Nagatives of smoking - damage to own health as well as others, very addictive, bad odour, waste of money....

Positives of smoking - ermmm.... can i ask the audience?!

It is clear that smoking has no benefit in our lives and the negative aspects of smoking mentioned above all go against the teachings of islam and therefore it does not befit the muslim ummah to be involved in such actions. Many people nowadays smoke sheesha and those who generally are against smoking cigarettes find smoking sheesha acceptable! And it has become very very popular amongst mainly muslims!!! Subhaan-Allah! What are we doing?!!
Its the same as smoking! Some might say well its only a tiny, tiny amount of the nicotein that cigarettes have in them. Lets see what our beloved prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) had to say about this...

In the hadith it is narrated by Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) that the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said:

'If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is prohibited'
(Abu Dawud)

And lets just say its not haraam but its makrooh, what does makrooh mean?? It means disliked. Oh ok, but disliked by who?? Disliked by The Greatest!! Disliked by The Highest!! Disliked by the Creator of the universe! Disliked by the Giver of Life & Death! Its not our families, our partners, our friends or even the scholars that are saying they dislike it, its ALLAH!!! So why would we want to do something that Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala dislikes?!! Think about it!!

Oh, here's a few facts about the effects of sheesha (from the NHS)
http://www.phleicester.org.uk/Documents/trs/THE%20FACTS%20ABOUT%20SHEESHA.pdf

Some of us might be reading this and think well we don't do any of these things so it DOESN'T MATTER. Sorry guys of course it matters! We live in a society where its quite EASY for our friends and family and even ourselves to fall into these HABITS and once something becomes a habit its not easy to REMOVE.
So we need to HELP one another. Remind each other how it is DISLIKED by ALLAH Subhaanahu wa ta'ala. Remind one another about the effects intoxicants have on our HEALTH. Remind each other of all the money we may be WASTING. What is normally routine, try and CHANGE so doing these things is not part of a timetable that we need to follow. SUPPORT one another in the EFFORT to remove the bad habits from our lives. If you dont like your friends or family doing these things try and make it more DIFFICULT for them to do it, don't ENCOURAGE it!

'...it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you & that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth & ye know not.'
The Holy Quran - Surah 2 Verse 216

May Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala help us in our efforts to remove the bad habits we may have in our lives and replace them with good ones.

May Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala also give us the ability to help and support our friends & families and to remove intoxicants far away from the muslim ummah.

I ask Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala, The Al-Ghaffar - The Forgiver, for His Mercy & Compassion and forgive me for anything that I may have said that was not correct.

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of people until they change the condition themselves”
The Holy Quran - Surah 13 Verse 11

To Allah we belong & to Allah we return
The Holy Quran - Surah 2 Verse 156

A servant of Allah,

Attique

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

King Solomon

Source: Qisas.com

There is Jewish folktale about King Solomon who commissioned a jeweler to make him a very special ring. The king ordered an inscription on the ring, which would be sure to convert his sadness and depression to happiness every time he read the words.

After much time, thought and deliberation, the royal jeweler presented his finished product to the king. Upon reading the inscription, King Solomon was so impressed that he directed his treasurer to pay the jeweler twice the agreed upon price.

The inscription read: “This too shall pass.”

Better to Give

Source: Qisas.com

A young man, a student at one of the universities, was one day taking a walk with a Professor, who was commonly called the student’s friend, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day’s work.

The student turned to the professor, saying: “Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them.”

“My young friend,” answered the professor, “we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him.”

The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes.

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it around, and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to the heavens and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife who was sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing.

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?”

The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

Abdullah bin Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that encouraging good, prohibiting evil, lifting the burden of the weak person and removing an offensive thing from a path are all acceptable prayers to Allah.

The Fisherman

Source: Qisas.com

An investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The investment banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “Only a little while.”

The investment banker then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The fisherman said, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The investment banker then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening and spend time with my family, I have a full and busy life.”

The investment banker scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to a big town and eventually to the city where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the investment banker replied, “15 to 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the fisherman.

The investment banker laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions?…Then what?”

The investment banker said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings and spend time with your family.”

The Classroom of Hassan al-Basri

Source: Qisas.com

Hassan al-Basri was one of the greatest Tabi’en (students of the Companions RA). Once, after giving the Friday sermon a group of slaves came to him and said, “Shaykh please, next week, give a speech about freeing the slaves!” Hassan agreed and next week there, waiting anxiously, were the slaves. Hassan ascended the pulpit as the sun rises to the heavens. His speech moved hearts and brought tears to dry eyes, but he failed to mention anything about freeing slaves? The slaves thought to themselves that the Shaykh must have forgot, thus, once again, the following week they took the 50 yard line seats and waited hoping soon to be free. However, the Shaykh failed to mention anything again? After a number of weeks the slaves were sure that the Shaykh sold them out, gotten cold feet and they began to hold the Shaykh in contempt.

One year passed and the tired slaves entered the Masjid of the Shaykh. They had long since forgotten their request and were taken aback, when suddenly he began to mention the conditions of slaves and the importance of freeing them! Their faces looked like bright lamps as the Shaykh encouraged all to free their slaves in exchange for Allah’s mercy and pleasure.

After the sermon the slaves were freed and they ran to the Shaykh asking why he waited one year to give the speech. Hassan al-Basri responded: “At the time you ask me to give the speech I readily agreed. However, after you left I realised that I had no slave of my own. Being a poor man I had to save some money for around one year’s time in order to purchase a slave. Today, alhumdulillah! I was able to purchase a slave. After I purchased him I went to the market and freed him. Finally, I went to the Masjid and gave my sermon.” Looking baffled the freed men asked, “But why? Why did you go to all this trouble?” The Shaykh responded, “If I gave that speech a year ago I would have been encouraging the people to do something that I had not done. Thus, I decided to wait until I freed a slave so that my actions and words would be equal.”

May Allah reward Hassan al-Basri, enlighten his grave and bless us to be those who act on what they know.

Thirst for Learning

Source: Qisas.com

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) says:

“After the passing away of the Prophet (peace be upon him), I said to an Ansari friend of mine: ‘The Prophet is not now with us. But a large number of Sahabah are still among us. Let us go to them and get knowledge of the Islamic practices.’ He said: ‘ Who is going to approach you for learning a regulation in the presence of these eminent Sahabah?’ I was not discouraged. I kept up my quest for knowledge and approached every person who was supposed to have heard something from the Prophet. I managed to gather substantial information from the Ansar.
If on my visit to someone of the Sahabah, I found him asleep, I spread my shawl at the gate and sat waiting. Sometimes my face and body would get covered with dust, but I kept sitting till they woke and I was able to contact them. Some of them said: ‘Abdullah you are the cousin of the Prophet; you could have sent for us. Why did you take the trouble of coming to our places?’
I said to them: ‘I must come to you, for I am a student and you are my teachers.’ Some people for whom I had waited said: ‘Since when have you been waiting for us?’ I informed them that I had been sitting there for a pretty long time.
They said: ‘What a pity! You could have awakened us from our sleep.’ I said: ‘I did not like to disturb you for my own sake.’ I thus carried on my pursuits, till there came a time when people began to flock to me for learning. My Ansari friend realised this at that time and remarked: ‘This boy has surely proved himself more sensible than us.’”

[from the book “stories of the sahabah” by shaikh muhammad zakariyya kaandhlawi]

Besides our quest for knowledge to earn a livelihood in this world, we must as well gain sufficient knowledge of Islam. No matter what age group we belong to at this moment, we should at least have that much Islamic knowledge with which we can turn our 24 hours life into worship. Those with knowledge and practice will be exalted in this World and in the Hereafter.