Honesty and Integrity: Essential components of Success

One of the essential components of success is honesty.  Indeed, real success cannot be achieved without honesty and integrity.  Honesty means being true and straight in word, action, character and conduct.  Honesty means to choose what is morally right and stick to it both in public and in private.

Honesty includes many other morals like truthfulness, sincerity, and justice.  An honest person is the person who sticks to the truth and acts with justice in all situations, regardless of external pressures and temptations.  An honest person enjoys the internal strength and faith that sustain him during times of conflict and enable him to choose what is right even if it brings him temporary loss. An honest person always chooses truth over falsehood, justice over injustice, and good over evil.  These traits of truthfulness and honesty will in turn lead him to success and the fulfillment of his goals sooner or later.

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            Dishonesty, on the other hand, includes a number of immoral traits like lying, deceit, betrayal, and hypocrisy.  A dishonest person is someone who betrays his principles and morals in favor of monetary or worldly gain.  A dishonest person is someone who may distort the truth or act in a sly or crooked way to achieve his purpose, without any sense of wrong-doing or guilt.  A dishonest person lacks conscience and moral principles that sustain him during times of difficulty.  At the slightest difficulty, he or she is ready to compromise his principles to achieve his purposes.  Despite any immediate material gain that may be in sight, the path of dishonesty and lies is a dead end that will eventually lead to nowhere but to loss and failure.


 

         Thus, honesty is a reflection of inner faith, and the one who lacks honesty lacks true faith, as is mentioned in the following hadith:

عن أنس رضي الله عنه قال: مَا خَطَبَنَا رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إلا قال: « ‏ لَا إِيمَانَ لِمَنْ لَا أَمَانَةَ لَهُ، وَلَا دِينَ لِمَنْ لَا عَهْدَ لَهُ» .  رواه أحمد والبزار والطبراني وابن حبان. ـ

   Narrated Anas -may God be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger -prayer and peace be upon him- did not give us a sermon except he said: ‘Whoever does not keep the trust lacks in faith, and whoever does not keep his pledge lacks in religion.’ ”  Related by Ahmad, Al-Bazzar, Al-Tabarani, and Ibn Hibban.


 

    God has set certain standards and morals when He created the Earth.  God referred to that as the Balance or the Scale of Justice.  God says:

    قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { وَالسَّمَاءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ * أَلَّا تَطْغَوْا فِي الْمِيزَانِ * وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ} سورة الرحمن 7-9.  ـ

  God -the Exalted- says: {

  1. And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the Balance.
  2. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance.

     9. And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient} (Chapter 55, verses 7-9).

   The human is instructed to follow those morals and abide by those standards. Man must not transgress and tip the balance to one side; otherwise, it will lead to chaos and failure. Keeping a fair balance is the key to success and prosperity.  These are God’s rules and commandments.

    Indeed, whoever keeps the Balance and acts with honesty and truthfulness will achieve success because that is the only path that leads to it. Those who choose dishonesty and lying to achieve success will never get it even if they may seem to get it temporarily at first.


 

The concept of Good and Evil started with the creation of Adam and Satan.  Adam chose honesty and the truth, while Satan chose dishonesty, pride and lying.  Thus, we see Adam becoming successful while Satan being banished to Hell-Fire.

It is this ancient and sacred tenet of Good and Evil and their consequences that apply to honesty and dishonesty as well.  Whoever chooses honesty and integrity has a high chance of achieving success, while whoever selects dishonesty and lies guarantees himself loss and failure, even if he may seem to succeed at first.

Indeed, just like Good will prevail and triumph at the end while evil will eventually decline and be defeated, likewise honesty leads to success and good results while dishonesty leads to loss and evil consequences.


 

          God the Almighty has commanded us to stick to honesty in all matters, and made it obligatory on us.  God says:

    قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: {إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَنْ تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا} النساء 58. ـ

  God -the Exalted- says: {Verily, God commands you to render trusts to whom they are due; and that when you judge between people to judge with justice. Indeed, how excellent is that which God instructs you. Verily, God is ever All-Hearer, All-Seer} (Surah 4, verse 58).

Al-Qurtubi said in the interpretation of the verse: “It is most likely that this verse encompasses all people, so it includes the rulers and what they are entrusted with of distributing the wealth, paying back for injustices, and ruling with justice, and this was the opinion of Al-Tabari.

The verse also includes the lesser people in keeping the trusts and being careful when giving testimony, like a man judging in a calamity, etc. Also the five daily prayers, the obligatory charity, and the rest of acts of worship are a trust of God the Exalted.”


 

If we consider the wisdom behind the obligation of honesty, we find that the main reason is that it leads to trust and peace among people.  When we have honesty, then people can trust us.  And when people have honesty, then they can trust each other, and this will lead to a peaceful and secure society, which will lead to a successful and prosperous society.

   Therefore, honesty is a major ingredient of a peaceful and successful society.  Honesty is essential for creating trust among society.  Honesty was obligated for the general good and the benefit of society.  Honesty creates a society whose members care about each and make sure not to bring harm to others.  Honesty creates a community whose members make sure not to cheat, not to take what is not theirs, not to take more than necessary or their due, and not to be dishonest or unjust in any dealings with anyone. This will lead to a successful, peaceful and prosperous society.

Dishonesty, on the other hand, leads to mistrust and insecurity.  Dishonesty creates a selfish society where everyone is only concerned with his/her own gains and loots.  Dishonesty creates an unequal society with some members taking the rights of weak members, exploiting them, and mistreating them in different ways.  Dishonesty is a gate for injustice and bad morals.  Dishonesty leads to evil and mischief in the land.  Dishonesty leads to an insecure, oppressed society.


 

     And just like man is in constant struggle with Good and Evil, such a conflict also exists with honesty and dishonesty.  The believer chooses Good over Evil and honesty over dishonesty.  But man is prone to slips, falls, temptations and desires.  And just like Satan entices the son of Adam to do Evil and enjoy the temporary pleasures, Satan also tempts the son of Adam and promises him great wealth if he dealt with dishonesty.

Thus, the believer must beware of the temptations of the Satan and of the Self in times of trials and difficulty and never give in.  The believer must rather stick to his ideals and hold fast on to his principles, never giving them up.  The believer must keep his moral values, rather should improve on them with time.


 

       Furthermore, we have been forewarned that honesty will become more and more difficult as time passes and dishonesty will become widespread until many people will get used to it and think nothing of it.  But that would only lead to their loss and failure.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon- said that when the Day of Judgment draws near, honesty would be lifted and many people would be dishonest such that trustworthy people would be so scarce that people would say such a tribe has only one trustworthy person. 

     In the following narration, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, provided us details about that:

عن حُذيْفَة بنِ الْيمانِ رضي اللَّه عنه قال: حَدَّثَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم حَدِيثَيْنِ رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَهُمَا وَأَنَا أَنْتَظِرُ الْآخَرَ، حَدَّثَنَا « أَنَّ الْأَمَانَةَ نَزَلَتْ فِي جَذْرِ قُلُوبِ الرِّجَالِ، ثُمَّ عَلِمُوا مِنْ الْقُرْآنِ ثُمَّ عَلِمُوا مِنْ السُّنَّةِ»، وَحَدَّثَنَا عَنْ رَفْعِهَا قَالَ: « يَنَامُ الرَّجُلُ النَّوْمَةَ، فَتُقْبَضُ الْأَمَانَةُ مِنْ قَلْبِهِ، فَيَظَلُّ أَثَرُهَا مِثْلَ أَثَرِ الْوَكْتِ، ثُمَّ يَنَامُ النَّوْمَةَ فَتُقْبَضُ فَيَبْقَى أَثَرُهَا مِثْلَ الْمَجْلِ، كَجَمْرٍ دَحْرَجْتَهُ عَلَى رِجْلِكَ فَنَفِط،َ فَتَرَاهُ مُنْتَبِرًا وَلَيْسَ فِيهِ شَيْءٌ، فَيُصْبِحُ النَّاسُ يَتَبَايَعُونَ، فَلَا يَكَادُ أَحَدٌ يُؤَدِّي الْأَمَانَةَ، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّ فِي بَنِي فُلَانٍ رَجُلًا أَمِينًا، وَيُقَالُ لِلرَّجُلِ: مَا أَعْقَلَهُ وَمَا أَظْرَفَهُ وَمَا أَجْلَدَهُ، وَمَا فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ حَبَّةِ خَرْدَلٍ مِنْ إِيمَانٍ» .  متفقٌ عليه. ـ

      Narrated Hudhayfa Ibn Al-Yamaan -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- narrated to us two hadiths, one of which I have seen (happening) and I am waiting for the other. He told us:

‘Honesty descended in the innermost (root) of the hearts of men (in the beginning). Then the Qur’an was revealed and they learnt it (honesty) from the Qur’an and they learnt it from the Sunnah (tradition).’  He also told us about the removal of honesty. He said:

‘A man would go to sleep whereupon honesty would be taken away from his heart, leaving a trace of a faint mark. He would again sleep and the remainder of honesty would be taken away from his heart leaving a trace of a blister, as if you rolled down an ember on your foot and it formed a vesicle. You would see a swelling but there is nothing in it.

So there would come a day when people would deal in business with each other but there would hardly be any trustworthy persons among them. (And there would be so much lack of honest persons) till it would be said: There is in such and such a tribe one person who is honest.  And they would also admire a person saying: How prudent he is, how good mannered and how strong he is, while indeed he would not have belief as little as a mustard seed in his heart.’ ” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

     We are seeing signs of that these days.  Honesty is not valued any more, rather many people have resorted to deceit, lying and cheating to achieve their goals.  Dishonesty is not frowned upon or looked with disapproval any more, rather it is considered to be a winning card by some and even necessary for success by others.  But that is not true, for the same arguments are used to find excuses for doing Evil.  The truth is that Good and Honesty are the only path to achieving success and fulfilling one’s goals no matter the circumstances.

       Then the believer must be steadfast in these times and hold tightly to Good and Honesty even if only few choose to do so.  The believer must try to avoid Evil and dishonesty in any shape or form, and rather stick to Good and Honesty and believe that it is the only way to success and true happiness.  And God knows best.

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Contentment and Satisfaction (Qana’ah)

(Keywords: Contentment, Satisfaction, Happiness, Pleasure, Peace, Contentedness, serenity, Thankfulness, Appreciation, Gratefulness, Cheerfulness)

 

قال الله عز وجل: {وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ} سورة إبراهيم 34. ـ

God -the Exalted- says: { And God gave you of all that you asked for, and if you (try to) count the blessings of God, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, ungrateful } (Surah 14, verse 34).

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عن عُبَيد اللَّه بِن مِحْصَنٍ الأَنْصارِيِّ الخَطْمِيِّ رضي اللَّه عنه قال: قال رسولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « منْ أَصبح مِنكُمْ آمِناً في سِرْبِهِ، مُعَافىً في جَسَدِه، عِندهُ قُوتُ يَومِهِ، فَكَأَنَّمَا حِيزَتْ لَهُ الدُّنْيَا بِحذافِيرِها» .  رواه الترمذي. ـ

Narrated Ubaid-Allah Ibn Mihsan Al-Ansari Al-Khatmi -may God be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Whoever comes upon the morning healthy in his body, safe in his flock, and has the sustenance of his day, then it is as if he has attained the whole worldly life.” Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban.

وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « ‏انْظُرُوا إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ أَسْفَلَ مِنْكُمْ وَلَا تَنْظُرُوا إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ فَوْقَكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ أَجْدَرُ أَنْ لَا تَزْدَرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ» . رواه مسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه وأحمد. ـ

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Look at those who are below you (in worldly status), and do not look at those who are above you, for it is worthier not to scorn the blessing of God upon you.”  Related by Imam Muslim, Al-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, and Imam Ahmad.

وَعَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاس وأنس بن مالك رَضِي الله عنْهُم أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « لَوْ أَنَّ لابْنِ آدَمَ وَادِياً مِنْ ذَهَبٍ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ وَادِيانِ، وَلَنْ يَمْلأَ فَاهُ إِلاَّ التُّرَابُ، وَيَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ تَابَ» . مُتَّفَقٌ عَليْهِ. ـ

Narrated Ibn Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik -may God be pleased with them- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “If the son of Adam has a valley of gold, he would have wished to have two valleys.  Nothing fills out the inside of the son of Adam except for the dust (when he dies).  And God accepts the repentance of anyone who repents.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.



 

God -the Most Generous- reminds us of His many blessings upon us.  Indeed, God has granted us from every blessing we can think of.  God, the Exalted, granted us health, wealth, food, shelter, family, and most important the religion of Islam.  And yet some people feel discontent and dissatisfied with their lot and share in life. 

We can see two groups of people:

1) The first group are happy and content with what they have, while

2) The second group are always sad and never satisfied with they have.  The question then is what is the difference between the two groups?

The difference between the two groups simply lies in the word Contentment or Qana’ah.  The point of reference (miqyas) is different for both groups.  That is, their model of happiness is different.  As for the first group, their point of reference or model of happiness is set toward people below them.  They never look at people above them in worldly status.  They are content with what they have.  Yes, they do ask God for more, but then they are happy with what He grants them.  In other words, they look for more with God, and they don’t look at richer people.

While the point of reference (miqyas) or model of happiness for the second group is the richest or most powerful man in the world.  For them, happiness is associated with more worldly possession, more wealth, and more power.  So they always compare themselves to those above them in worldly status.  Therefore, they are never satisfied; they always look up, they always want more.

Then as for the first group, they live this life in a condition of inner comfort and happiness.  They are satisfied with what they have, and they appreciate these blessings and thank God for what He has given them; they enjoy contentment.

As for the second group, they live this life in a condition of continuous frustration, complaining, displeasure, and dissatisfaction until they die.  They are never happy, but always want more, always look up to other people but can’t seem to get it all, so they end up feeling sad, depressed and deprived.  They don’t appreciate the many blessings God has bestowed upon them, so they end up being ungrateful; not appreciating or thanking God for His blessing upon them.  They suffer perpetual discontentment.

 


 

Know that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- has already set the point of reference (miqyas) or model of happiness for his nation, both in word and by his own action.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said that if anyone wakes up in the morning healthy, safe and having the food of that day, then it is as if he has the whole world!  This is the point of reference or model of happiness.  It is not having food for a month, or living in a palace, or amassing great wealth, it is simply having health, safety and food of that day.  This is the reference point set by the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him.  And the Prophet gave us a practical and most beautiful example of contentment or qana’ah by enjoying whatever he had, even if it was one date, and thanking God fully for it.

Another point of reference set by the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- is: don’t look at people above you in worldly status.  This will only create greediness and endless yearning which will result in sadness and jealousy.  Rather, be content with what you have and appreciate the blessings you have by considering those below you in worldly status.

Indeed, we are warned not to look down upon the blessings of God upon us.  And we are asked to appreciate and count those blessings by just looking at the people who don’t have them.  Consider the people who are sick, while you are healthy.  Consider the people who don’t have a full meal, while you do.  Consider the people who don’t have a place to live in, while you have a house.  Consider the people who don’t have money and have to beg, while you have enough money, and so forth.  Consider each blessing and thank God for it.


 

Contentment is prescribed for both the poor and the rich.  Every Muslim should feel content with the blessings God has granted him.  The Muslim can ask God for more, but he should not look to those who own more than him.  The scholars said that the poor person who feels content is actually rich, while the rich who looks upon others with greed is actually poor.

The only thing a Muslim is asked to look up to is religious matters.  In religion, the Muslim should never be satisfied but should always seek a higher status with God and should always consider those who are more righteous or those who do more good deeds than him.


 

Then, know that Islam has sat two points of reference (miqyas) when it comes to happiness and contentment.  First, if you wake up in the morning healthy, safe and have the food of that day, then know that you are a rich person.  And second, don’t compare yourself to people above you in worldly status, but look at people below you and appreciate and thank God for the many blessings He granted you.  Don’t look at other people’s wealth, but ask God from His bounty.  Know that contentment leads to happiness in both lives.  In this life, contentment leads to a worry-free, happy life, and in the Hereafter contentment leads to the pleasure of the Lord and His Paradise.  And God knows best.

 

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The Universe: the Heavens and the Earth

(Keywords: Universe, Heavens, Skies, Space, Earth, Planets, Stars, Creation,  Thankfulness,  Gratefulness, Gratitude, Reflection, Contemplation, introspection, and meditation)

 

Day after day scientists and explorers find new planets, stars and galaxies.  Year after year as scientists send spaceships into untouched areas, new and unique features and aspects of Space are discovered.  And time and time again as more and more secrets and mysteries are revealed, scientists and explores conclude how wide the Universe is and how limited their knowledge of its intricate, precise and complex systems is.

 

      قال الله عز وجل: { لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ} سورة غافر، 57 . ـ

       God the Exalted says: {  Indeed the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of mankind, yet most of mankind know not} Surah 40, verse 57.

       In the verse above, God the Exalted draws our attention to two sides of a spectrum of sizes; one gigantic and one minuscule, one super-large and one super- tiny, one far and distant and the other one close and nearby, and one out of reach and imagination in outer space and the other within reach and physical boundaries.  The two sides of the spectrum mentioned are the Extraterrestrial Skies and the Human Body.

  The Almighty God instructs the humans to reflect on those two creations of His, namely the Skies and the human body, and ponder upon their intricate and complex designs, their exact and accurate precision, their wonderful and amazing mechanism, and the many secrets and numerous mysteries that lie within.  Then God reminds us that it is He Who created all of that and everything is under His command.  God the Exalted says:

قال الله عز وجل: { ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَأَنَّىٰ تُؤْفَكُونَ} سورة غافر، 62. ـ

       God the Exalted says: { That is God, your Lord, the Creator of all things, none has the right to be worshiped but He, so why then do you turn away (from His worship)} Surah 40, verse 57.

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Indeed, we see the signs of God’s creation everywhere we look.  We see the Greatness and Majesty of God anywhere we look in the Universe.

     Consider any part of the great universe and you see a sign of the Almighty God.  Consider the skies; consider the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars.  Consider the earth, the mountains, the oceans, and the trees. Consider the people, the animals, the insects, and the birds.  Who created all of them and who takes care of all them?  It is only God -the Exalted.  

Then ponder and reflect upon your body and its wonderful and intricate design.  Consider the upright body shape, the body systems, the body organs and limbs, and the body tissues.  Reflect on the precise way the body functions, upon the complex way the body systems do their tasks, and reflect upon the amazing way the body systems work in unison to produce maximum effects. Ponder upon the different types of cells, consider the blood vessels and the nerves, consider the amazing organs like the heart and brain, and consider the defense or immune system and its tiny components.

Then consider who provides for that body and who sustains it.  Who provides people with food, health, wealth and everything?  Who cures the body when it gets sick, who allows the injuries and the broken bone to heal and get well, and who allows the sick organ to get well again.  Consider who provides money to the poor so they can survive, who grants sustenance to the needy so they can live, and who provides for people so they can enjoy this life?  When people are in need, whom do they pray?  When they are in distress, whom do they ask for help?  It is only God.  Thus now we realize some of the Greatness and Majesty of the King of kings.

 


 

 

Reflection upon the creation of the Great Creator, God, is the characteristics of the true believer.

      Indeed, everywhere the believer looks, he sees the amazing creation of the Great Lord, God.  When the believer looks at the sky, he wonders at its hugeness, its smoothness, its height, and its existence without support.  When he looks at the earth, he wonders at its mountains and valleys, its seas and oceans, its gardens and deserts, and its trees and fruits.  When he considers people, he sees an amazing creation; their body make, their coloring, their nature, their mind, their language, and their features.  When he considers animals, he is amazed by their variety; birds of all types, insects of all types, and different animals.

Indeed, in all of that is a strong sign for the believer that there is a Great Lord, God, Who created all of this.  And that all of this was created for a purpose, so that the believer would testify to the Majesty and Greatness of the King of kings, God, to submit to this Great Lord in worship, and to purify his intention so that every deed is done for the sake of God alone. God the Exalted says:

     قال الله عز وجل: { اللَّهُ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ قَرَارًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَصَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ (64) هُوَ الْحَيُّ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ} سورة غافر، 64-65. ـ

       God the Exalted says: {

64. It is God Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, Who has given you shape and perfected your form, and Who has provided you with good things. That is God, your Lord, then blessed be God, the Lord of the worlds.

65. God is the Ever Living; none has the right to be worshiped but He, so call upon, being sincere to Him in religion. All praise and thanks be to God, the Lord of the worlds} Surah 40, verse 64-65.


 

Reflection upon God’s creation makes the believer realize the great bounties God -the Exalted- bestowed upon mankind.  God has created a sky to shade them, clouds to rain water on them, trees to bear fruits for them, seas and rivers to store water for them, mines that keep fuel and minerals for them, and numerous other bounties.  God -the Exalted- also granted the son of Adam a mind to use these bounties and live in this life.  So the believer must appreciate these bounties and thank God for them.

Reflection upon God’s creation makes the Muslim realize that there is another purpose behind this life.  Indeed, the real purpose of this life is to worship God and to please Him.  The Muslim lives this life with this real purpose in mind, while in the meantime he fulfills his worldly needs.

Reflection upon the great and wonderful creation of God is a great worship and an enlightening means, like it was mentioned about Abu Ad-Darda’ -may God be pleased with him- who said: “Reflection upon God’s creation one night equals the worship of one year!”

And it was narrated that the wife of Abu Dhurr -may God be pleased with them- was asked about his best worshipping.  She replied: “He used to sit in the corner of the house and reflect upon the creation of God.”

 ——————

 

The believer should constantly glorify and praise God -the Exalted.  The question is then: how does the believer ‘glorify’ and ‘praise’ God?  First of all, the believer should try to understand some of the Greatness and Mightiness of God.  It is not enough to glorify and praise God with the tongue, rather the believer should also mean that by his heart.  The believer should glorify and praise God with his heart by realizing some of the Greatness of God.  That comes through pondering and reflecting upon God’s creation. Once the believer reflects upon the great creation of God, then his tongue and heart would mention and glorify his Great Lord, God.


  

Then, the believer should consider and reflect upon the great creation of God, and know that there is a purpose for everything.  Indeed, everything was created by the Great Lord, God.  These creations didn’t come by chance or randomly, they didn’t create themselves, rather the Great Creator, God, created every one of them.

The believer should then glorify God, attest to His Greatness and Majesty, and thank God for each bounty.  The believer should also ponder upon the real purpose of this life and that is to worship God and please Him.  The believer should reflect upon his death and prepare for the Hereafter.

When the believer considers those wonderful creations of God; thanks Him for it; and ponders upon life and death, then his faith or Iman increases, his awareness of the reality of life becomes apparent, and his reward is multiplied.  And God knows best.

 

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Suicide and Wishing for Death

(Keywords: Killing oneself, Self-immolation, Self destruction, Self-murder, Suicide, hopelessness, Total Desperation, Depression, loss of hope, loss of trust, ending one’s life, wishing to end life, committing suicide)

     قال الله عز وجل:{ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا } النساء 29. ـ

       God the Almighty says: { And do not kill yourselves. Verily, God is Most Merciful to you} (Surah 4, verse 29).

    عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « لا يَتَمَنَّ أَحَدُكُمُ المَوْتَ، إِمَّا مُحْسِناً فَلَعَلَّهُ يَزْدَادُ، وَإِمَّا مُسِيئاً فَلَعَلَّهُ يَسْتَعْتِبُ» .  رواه البخاري ومسلم. ـ

     Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: None of you should wish for death: if he is righteous, he may increase his good deeds; and if he is an evil-doer, he may abandon the evil deeds and repent.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

    وعن سهل بن عبد الله التستري، قال: ( لا يتمنى الموت إلا ثلاث: رجل جاهل بما بعد الموت، أو رجل يفر من أقدار الله تعالى عليه، أو مشتاق محب للقاء الله عز وجل). ـ

   Sahl Ibn Abdul-Allah Al-Tusturi said: “No one longs for death except three persons: A man who is ignorant of what comes after death, a man who runs away from fate, or a man who loves and wishes to meet God -the Exalted.”

———–

God the Exalted has pre-determined and pre-set the creatures’ times of birth and death 500 years before He created them, and recorded it in Al-Law Al-Mahfooth (the Preserved Slate).  Thus, the believer has faith in that and submits to God’s Judgment.

    God -the Creator- is the Most Knowledgeable, the Most Just and the Most Wise, and He does things with the Utmost degree of knowledge, wisdom, and mercy.  While the son of Adam is hasty (ajool), ignorant (jahool) and ungrateful (kanood).  As soon a problem afflicts him, then the son of Adam wishes for death.  As soon as a calamity befalls him, man wishes he were dead.  And as soon as a major problem or death occurs to one of his loved ones, then he wishes to die.

      But the human must stop thinking of death as a quick way to get rid of worldly problems, or escape the inevitable or fate.  Indeed, death itself is not easy.  Starting with the agonies of death (sakarat Al-moat), then the ascent or descent of the soul to heaven or downward to the pit, then the questioning of the two angels Munkar and Nakeer, then the questioning of every single deed in the grave, then the opening of a window either to Paradise or to Hell, and finally the most horrific day, the Day of Judgment.  May God save us.

     A) Suicide or Killing oneself:

       The soul of the human is Not owned by him, rather it belongs to God Who created it.  The soul is not a personal property of the person with which he does what he wishes, rather the soul is from God and Only He controls it.  Thus, the son of Adam is Not allowed to kill himself or cause it harm.  Killing the self is considered a transgression and violation of the limits of God.

The son of Adam is instructed to worship God and do all that bring benefit to himself while avoiding everything that harm him in anyway, including killing himself.

Suicide in religion is considered a major sin for which severe punishment is promised.  Suicide signals the distrust of the slave toward his God.  Suicide shows the loss of hope in God’s Mercy.  Suicide indicates the lack of belief in God’s forgiveness. Thus, suicide represents the weakest level of faith.

       In the verse above, God draws our attention and urges the human to remember the Great Mercy of God and His boundless Forgiveness when s/he starts thinking of suicide.  Indeed, the problems of the whole world pale beside the Great Mercy of God and His limitless Forgiveness.  But attempting suicide signals the loss of hope in such great mercy and forgiveness, and that in itself is a great sin, for those are the Divine characteristics of God by which He described Himself.  Denying those characteristics or disbelieving them is a great sin.  Acting upon that denial, and attempting suicide is even a greater sin and is therefore promised great punishment, as the following hadith shows:

    عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه، عن النَّبِي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « مَنْ تَرَدَّى مِنْ جَبَلٍ فَقَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ، فَهْوَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ يَتَرَدَّى فِيهِ خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا.  وَمَنْ تَحَسَّى سَمًّا فَقَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ، فَسَمُّهُ فِي يَدِهِ يَتَحَسَّاهُ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا.  وَمَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِحَدِيدَةٍ، فَحَدِيدَتُهُ فِي يَدِهِ يَجَأُ بِهَا فِي بَطْنِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا» .  رواه البخاري ومسلم. ـ

   Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in Hell-Fire falling down in it and abiding therein perpetually forever.

Whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in Hell-fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.

And whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in Hell-fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Thus, the person who kills himself is promised punishment in the same manner he killed himself, but it will be in Hell-Fire.  Then how ironic and what a greater damage and harm can suicide be!  While the person thinks he will get rid of problems, s/he is putting himself in a lot greater peril.  Hell-Fire is not a simple problem of this world, rather its heat is greater and its horrors are numerous.  Thus, the wise must think before attempting such an act, trying to escape one’s troubles to fall into greater trouble is not worth it.  It is like moving out of the frying pan into the fire.

However,  the scholars said that the believer will eventually be forgiven and will go to Paradise.  Thus, the great mercy of God will encompass all believers eventually, but he may be punished in Hell first.  Rather than go through all of that, the believer must have trust in God’s Great Mercy and Forgiveness from the beginning.

==============================================================

   B) Wishing for Death:

Not only is the believer instructed to avoid killing himself or committing suicide, but he is also instructed to avoid wishing for death.

It is the nature of the human to like ease and enjoy blessings, thus when problems and troubles afflict him, he longs for death.  But as explained above, death is not as easy escape from the trials and tribulations of the world, rather there is a life after death.  Indeed, the real life only starts after death and then everyone will get the reward or punishment of his/her actions, as stated in the following verse:

     قال الله عز وجل:{ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ثُمَّ إِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ غُرَفًا تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا نِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ * الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ} العنكبوت 57-59. ـ

قال ابن كثير رحمه الله: ( أي أينما كنتم يدرككم الموت، فكونوا في طاعة الله وحيث أمركم الله، فهو خير لكم، فإن الموت لا بد منه ولا محيد عنه، ثم إلى الله المرجع والمآب، فَمَنْ كان مطيعا له جازاه أفضل الجزاء ووافاه أتمَّ الثواب). ـ

       God -the Exalted- says: { Everyone shall taste death, then unto Us you shall be returned.

  1. And those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to them We shall surely give lofty dwellings in Paradise, beneath which rivers flow, to live therein forever. Excellent is the reward for the workers.

  2. Those who are patient, and put their trust in their Lord} (Surah 29, verses 57-59).

Ibn Katheer -may God have mercy on him- said: “The verse means that wherever you are, death will come to you, so always obey God and follow His command, for this is better for you. Death is inevitable and there is no escape from it, and then the return will be to God.  So whoever obeyed Him, God will recompense him with the best reward.”

The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- also instructed us Not to wish for death, as stated in the following hadith:

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “None of you should wish for death: if he is righteous, he may increase his good deeds; and if he is an evil-doer, he may abandon the evil deeds and repent.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

The scholars mentioned five reasons for the prohibition to wish for death:

First, as mentioned in the hadith longer life can give the Muslim a chance and opportunity to repent of his sins and do more good deeds.

Second, the time of death is pre-determined and set in Al-Loah Al-Mahfooz.  That time never changes, so wishing for death is not going to affect it.

Third, death is a distressful event and a horrifying experience.  It is the hardest experience in this life.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Do not wish for death, for the horror of the experience of death is severe.” (Ahmad).  Thus, the believer should not wish for it when he may not be ready.

Fourth, wishing for death due to a problem or a calamity is a sign of impatience and displeasure with destiny or Qadr.  The believer should show patience and ask God to solve the problem for him instead of asking for death.

And Fifth, the believer accepts and is pleased with God’s Judgment.  So the believer doesn’t question his time of death, nor wants to change it.  Rather the believer likes and prefers what God has written and chosen for him.


The scholars mentioned three exceptions when a person can wish for death: First, when he fears for his religion that he may lose faith or be tested in his faith. Second, during fighting. And third, to wish to die in a holy place like Omar Ibn Al-Khattab wished to die in Al-Medinah. But even then, he should not ask for death directly, as explained in the following hadith:

عَنْ أَنَسٍ رضى الله عنه قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: « لاَ يَتَمَنَّيَنَّ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمُ الْمَوْتَ لِضُرٍّ نَزَلَ بِهِ، فَإِنْ كَانَ لاَ بُدَّ مُتَمَنِّيًا لِلْمَوْتِ فَلْيَقُلِ: اللَّهُمَّ أَحْيِنِي مَا كَانَتِ الْحَيَاةُ خَيْرًا لِي، وَتَوَفَّنِي إِذَا كَانَتِ الْوَفَاةُ خَيْرًا لِي» .‏ مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ. ـ

Narrated Anas -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “None of you should wish for death because of some harm that befalls him.  If he cannot help but wish for it, then he let him say: ‘O God, let me live as long as life is better for me, and take my life if death is better for me.’ ” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.


The Wise believer rather prepares for death and hopes and asks God’s forgiveness and mercy.  Some righteous Muslim was seen after his death, and he was asked about death. So he said: it was full of horrors but God had mercy on me.

The wise believer prepares for the questioning of the two angels Munkar and Nakeer, for those who do sins start to become doubtful then.

The wise believer prepares answers for the questioning in the grave, for he will be asked to account for all of his deed in the grave.  The Muslim would be asked about the obligatory deeds; did he perform them, and he would be asked about sins; why he did them.

The wise believer fears the punishment in the grave.  There are many hadiths that mention the punishment of the grave for those who miss any of the five daily prayers, for those who don’t clean themselves well after bathroom, for those who backbite or spread slander, for those who miss fasting, for those who don’t pay Zakah, for those who harm others and for those who do major sins.  The wise Muslim prepares for this great event with fear of his sin, repentance and hope in God’s forgiveness and mercy.

The believer accepts destiny and shows patience when a problem befalls him.  The true believer doesn’t show impatience and displeasure by wishing for death; rather he is patient and asks God to solve the problem for him.  Moreover, the true believer is always pleased with God’s Judgment and decision; he submits and surrenders to God, the Most Knowledgeable and Wise, in everything including the time of death.

The worldly life is a test, it is a Not a place of bliss and permanence.  Rather this life is a temporary place where you take your test, and then move on to get your results.

Death is nothing but the time of your results.  So before you get your results, try to do well on your test.  Before wishing your results too soon, first try to work hard to get an excellent result.  Before rushing to see your result, try to be patient and prepare for the test.  And finally, before you get your result, be ready to meet God in the best form and condition.  Then death would not be feared any more, rather welcomed whenever it is destined to come.

Finally, Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- related that two men (sahabah) died at the time of the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him.  One of them died as a martyr (shaheed), while the second died a natural death one year later. Talhah saw both men in a dream and saw the second man who died a year later has entered Paradise before the martyr!  Talhah mentioned that to the Prophet, so he said: did he not fast one more Ramadan, did he not pray one year more. (Imam Ahmad)  And in another narration, he said: The difference between them is like the distance between the heaven and earth!


 

Conditioning or Learned Response:

Suicide attempt is usually the result of many previous suicide ideations.  These suicide ideations are usually a case of conditioning where the person accompanies any big problem he has or any unbearable stress he experiences with wishing for death.  Thus, a vicious cycle starts where the more and bigger the problems he has, the more he wishes for death and finally does attempts suicide.

But as mentioned above, suicide is Not the solution of problems but a cause for greater problems and torment.

         The believer must stop himself from wishing for death every time a problem or a difficulty afflicts him;  he should overcome that defeated train of thought and instead try to find other means to cope with the problem. 

Instead of feeling despair and hopelessness, the believer should have hope in God and trust Him. 

 Instead of giving up and surrendering to hard circumstances, the believer should actively seek practical solutions for his problem and ask for advice.

  Instead of feeling isolated and abandoned, s/he should seek advice and support from family and friends. 

And finally, if nothing else works then the s/he should move to another place and start afresh, for new starts may prove successful. 

 

God the Almighty says:

     قال الله عز وجل: { وَمَن يُهَاجِرْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يَجِدْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُرَاغَمًا كَثِيرًا وَسَعَةً ۚ وَمَن يَخْرُجْ مِن بَيْتِهِ مُهَاجِرًا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا} سورة النساء، 100. ـ

       God the Exalted says: { He who emigrates (from his home) for the sake of God, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by.  And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to God and His Messenger and then death overtakes him – his reward has
already become incumbent upon God.  And God is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful
} Surah 4, verse 100.

    Then the wise believer must take this opportunity to work harder.  The wise believer endures problems patiently and asks God to solve them instead of hoping for death.  The true believer accepts pre-destiny (qada’) and doesn’t ask for death, rather he knows that his moment of death is pre-determined and decided, and he just prepares for that moment rather than wishing for it.

Know that this world is an opportunity to get supplies for the Hereafter.  This world is an opportunity to get higher degrees in Paradise.  This world is an opportunity to get close to God and gain His Pleasure and reward.  It is only in this world that deeds are done, after death all deeds are stopped except by others. Indeed, dead Muslims wish to pray even one prayer or say even one glorification (tasbeeh), while the live believer still can perform many good deeds.  Thus, wishing to meet God -the Exalted- is good and noble, but wishing to stop one’s good deeds through death is not.  Rather, the Muslim who loves meeting God should strive harder to present many good deeds before meeting his Lord.  And God knows best.

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The Five Daily Prayers (Salah, Salawat Khams, Namaz)

(Keywords: The Prayer, the Obligatory Prayer, the Five Daily Prayers, the Second Pillar, importance of the Prayer, Significance of the Five Daily Prayers, Status of the Prayer, Purpose of the Five Daily Prayers, Attention in the Prayer, the parts of the prayer, Khushoo’, Khushu’, Secrets of the Prayer, Salah, Salawat Khams, Fard Prayer)

 

 

قال الله عز وجل: { قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ}، { وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ}  سورة المؤمنون 1-2، 9. ـ

       God -the Exalted- says: {Successful indeed are the believers. Those who are during their prayer humbly submissive}, {And those who maintain their (five daily obligatory) prayers} (Surah 23, verse 1-2, 9).

قال الله عز وجل: { إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا}  سورة النساء 103.  ـ

     God – the Exalted- also says: { Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of fixed times} (surah 4, verse 103).

————

 

God -the Exalted- describes the obligation of the five daily prayers during their specific times in the verse above.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- mentioned that there are five pillars of Islam; the second pillar or rukn is the Prayer, that is the Five daily prayers, as narrated in the following hadith:

عن عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ: إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ: « إِنَّ الإِسْلاَمَ بُنِيَ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَصِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ» .  رواه البخاري ومسلم.  ـ

         Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar that he heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: “Verily, Islam is founded on five pillars (principles): Testimony that there is none worthy of worship except God, establishing the Five Daily Prayers, Giving Zakah (obligatory charity), Fasting the month of Ramadan, and Pilgrimage to Makkah.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Thus, the Prayer is the most important pillar of Islam after the Testimony, and other deeds are accounted for and judged based on the completion and perfection of the Prayer.

     Islam has put great emphasis on the five daily prayers and explained the importance and need of these five prayers for the Muslim in his daily life.  The five daily prayers have been accorded such great significance because they are a fresh and constant reminder for the Muslim of his Lord and the soon-to-come Hereafter.  Indeed, the Five daily prayers are spaced throughout the day so that the Muslim is always in remembrance of his Lord.

The Five daily prayers are a great blessing and honor for the Muslim.  This nation has been favored with this great worship, only five times a day, but it is equal in reward to fifty prayers. 

The Five Daily Prayers are prescribed five times a day, but their reward and benefit encompass the whole day and night. 

And while some angels are always standing, some always kneeling, and some always prostrating, the Prayer combines all of those forms of worship. 

Moreover, the prayer includes all limbs used to worship God; the tongue, the face, hands and feet, and most importantly the heart.   

And last but not least, the Prayer has all  forms of Dhikr like Qur’an, glorification, praise, thanking God, prayer upon the Prophet, and Du’a or supplication.

      Thus, one simple act is a treasure of reward, and a mine of things that bring the slave closer to his Lord if he fulfilled the Five Daily Prayer as should be.

 


 

There are five general areas where some Muslims are careless about the Prayer:

1) Carelessness about Ablution (Taharah and Wudu’):

    The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said that Muslims of this nation would be recognized on the Day of Judgment by the light in their faces.  That light comes from wudu’ or ablution.  Whoever performs wudu’ fully, then his light would show on his face and limbs, as mentioned in the following hadith:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه:  ( أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَتَى الْمَقْبُرَةَ فَقَالَ: « السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ دَارَ قَوْمٍ مُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ لَاحِقُونَ، وَدِدْتُ أَنَّا قَدْ رَأَيْنَا إِخْوَانَنَا»، قَالُوا: أَوَلَسْنَا إِخْوَانَكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، قَالَ: « أَنْتُمْ أَصْحَابِي، وَإِخْوَانُنَا الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بَعْدُ»، فَقَالُوا: كَيْفَ تَعْرِفُ مَنْ لَمْ يَأْتِ بَعْدُ مِنْ أُمَّتِكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ؟ فَقَالَ: « أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ أَنَّ رَجُلًا لَهُ خَيْلٌ غُرٌّ مُحَجَّلَةٌ بَيْنَ ظَهْرَيْ خَيْلٍ دُهْمٍ بُهْمٍ أَلَا يَعْرِفُ خَيْلَهُ؟» قَالُوا: بَلَى يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: « فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْتُونَ غُرًّا مُحَجَّلِينَ مِنْ الْوُضُوءِ وَأَنَا فَرَطُهُمْ عَلَى الْحَوْضِ، أَلَا لَيُذَادَنَّ رِجَالٌ عَنْ حَوْضِي كَمَا يُذَادُ الْبَعِيرُ الضَّالُّ؛ أُنَادِيهِمْ: أَلَا هَلُمَّ. فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّهُمْ قَدْ بَدَّلُوا بَعْدَكَ. فَأَقُولُ: سُحْقًا سُحْقًا») .  رواه مسلم وابن ماجه ومالك.   ـ

       English translation:

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- once went to the graveyard and said: ‘Peace be upon you, O abode of the believing people and we -if God so wills- shall join you soon. I would love to see our brothers.’  The Companions asked: ‘Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of God?’

He said: ‘You are my Companions, but our brothers are those who have not come into the world yet.’  The Companions asked: ‘O Messenger of God, how would you recognize those of your nation who are not born yet?’ 

Prophet Muhammad replied: ‘If a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among totally black horses, will he not recognize his own horses?’  They said: ‘Certainly, O Messenger of God.’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Then they (my followers) would come (on the Day of Judgment) with bright faces and radiant white hands and feet owing to ablution.’

He continued: ‘I will reach the Hawd (Cistern or watering place) ahead of them.  Beware, some people would be driven away from my Hawd (Cistern) just as the stray camel is driven away. I would call out to them: Come, come. But it would be said (to me): ‘They changed after you were gone, and they kept turning on their heels!’  So I would say: Be off with you, be off with you.’ ”  Related by Muslim, Ibn Majah, and Malik.

 

Some Muslims perform wudu’ in half a minute, not caring to wash all limbs fully.  This is considered incomplete ablution, and it renders the prayer incomplete too.  The Muslim should pay equal attention to his wudu’ and should spend time washing every organ and thinking that sins are being washed away too as mentioned in the hadith.

 


 

2) Carelessness about the Prayer Time:

The greatest reward of the prayer is attained when it is performed at its earlier time.  The later one gets, the more Satan tries to delay it.

قال الله عز وجل: { فَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُصَلِّينَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ}  سورة الماعون 4-5.  ـ

عن سعد بن أبي وقاص، قال: ( سألت النبيّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم عن {الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ صَلاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ} قال: هم الذين يؤخِّرون الصلاة عن وقتها). رواه البزار.  ـ

     God the Exalted says: {So woe (Wail) to those performers of prayer (hypocrites). Those who are heedless of their prayer} (surah 107, verse 4-5).

Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas reported that he asked the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- about this verse, so he replied: “They are the ones who delay the prayers beyond their appointed times.” Related by Al-Bazzar.

In another hadith, the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- described the one who misses the Asr (late afternoon) prayer as someone who has suffered a great loss in his family and money as a physical representation and comparison for the loss of this great obligation and the subsequent loss of its great reward.

وعن ابن عمر رضي الله عنه عن النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال : « من فاتته العصر فكأنما وتر أهله وماله».  رواه الشيخان.   ـ

Narrated Ibn Omar -may Allah be pleased with them- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “For the one who misses the Asr prayer, it is as if he has lost his relatives and money.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

 

Thus, the Muslim must be careful about the timing of the prayer, and should perform it as soon as possible.  The Muslim should be extra careful about Fajr (Dawn) prayer and may need to use two alarms to wake up and pray on time.


 

3) Carelessness about the Great Obligation and Important Status of the Prayer:

عَنْ حُرَيْثِ بْنِ قَبِيصَةَ، قَالَ: ( قَدِمْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ، فَقُلْتُ: اللَّهُمَّ يَسِّرْ لِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَلَسْتُ إِلَى أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ فَقُلْتُ: إِنِّي سَأَلْتُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا فَحَدِّثْنِي بِحَدِيثٍ سَمِعْتَهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَنْفَعَنِي بِهِ، فَقَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ: « إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلاَتُهُ؛ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ، وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ، فَإِنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ، قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ، فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنَ الْفَرِيضَةِ، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ») . رواه الترمذي، والحديث رواه أبو داود والنسائي وابن ماجة وأحمد بإسناد صحيح.   ـ

فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ: قَالَ ابن الْمَلَكِ: صَلَاحُهَا بِأَدَائِهَا صَحِيحَةً- يعني في قيامها وركوعها وسجودها وخشوعها وطمأنينتها، ومن ذلك المحافظة على طهورها، والمحافظة عليها في أوقاتها.   ـ

وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ): بِأَنْ لَمْ تُؤَدَّ، أَوْ أُدِّيَتْ غَيْرَ صَحِيحَةٍ، أَوْ غَيْرَ مَقْبُولَةٍ.   ـ)

        Narrated Huraith Ibn Qabieesah said:

“I went to Al-Madinah and prayed: ‘O God, bless me with a righteous companion today.’  Then I sat with Abu Hurairah and said to him: ‘I prayed God to bless me with a righteous companion today, so tell me a Hadith that you heard directly from the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- so that God may make it of benefit to me.’ 

Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- said: “I heard the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- say:

The first of man’s deeds for which he will be called to account for, on the Day of Judgment is his prayer (the five daily prayers).  If it is complete, then he has succeeded and passed.  But if it is incomplete, then he has failed and lost.  And if his obligatory prayer has some deficit, the Lord says: ‘See if My slave has any voluntary prayer.’ And it makes up for the deficit. Then the rest of his deeds will be reckoned similarly.’   Related by Al-Tirmidhi, also related by Abu Dawood, Al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad with authentic narration.

‘If it was complete’: The scholar Ibn Al-Malik said: “The prayer is considered complete when it is performed in a right manner, which is done by perfecting its kneeling, its prostration, its presence and tranquility, its ablution, and its specific timing.”

‘If it was incomplete’: The prayer is considered incomplete if it is missed, or not performed well, or not accepted.

As mentioned in the hadith above, after the Muslim dies the first thing and the Most important thing that is considered is the Prayer.  If the Five Daily Prayers are complete, then other things are considered lightly.  But if the Prayer is incomplete or missing, the the reckoning and accounting for deeds will be hard.

Indeed, a prayer that is performed carelessly or missed altogether can be a cause for punishment and torment.  This punishment can manifest as problems and calamities in this life, and as torment in the Fire in the Hereafter.

Thus the Muslim must understand the great responsibility of performing the Five Daily Prayers on time and as best as possible.  The Muslim should consider the Prayer as a trust, a bond between him and His Lord.  And the Muslim will be asked about this trust as soon as he dies.


 

4) Carelessness about the Proper and Correct Manner of Performing the Prayer:

عنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم دَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ، فَدَخَلَ رَجُلٌ فَصَلَّى ثُمَّ جَاءَ فَسَلَّمَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَرَدَّ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمَ فَقَالَ: « ارْجِعْ فَصَلِّ فَإِنَّكَ لَمْ تُصَلِّ»،‏ فَصَلَّى، ثُمَّ جَاءَ فَسَلَّمَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ: «‏ ارْجِعْ فَصَلِّ فَإِنَّكَ لَمْ تُصَلِّ»‏‏.‏ ثَلاَثًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ: وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَمَا أُحْسِنُ غَيْرَهُ فَعَلِّمْنِي‏،‏ قَالَ: « ‏إِذَا قُمْتَ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ فَكَبِّرْ، ثُمَّ اقْرَأْ مَا تَيَسَّرَ مَعَكَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ، ثُمَّ ارْكَعْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ رَاكِعًا، ثُمَّ ارْفَعْ حَتَّى تَعْتَدِلَ قَائِمًا، ثُمَّ اسْجُدْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ سَاجِدًا، ثُمَّ ارْفَعْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ جَالِسًا، ثُمَّ اسْجُدْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ سَاجِدًا، ثُمَّ افْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فِي صَلاَتِكَ كُلِّهَا». رواه البخاري ومسلم.   ـ

       Narrated Abu Hurairah said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- once entered the mosque.  A man came in, offered the prayer and then went to the Prophet and greeted him.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- returned the greeting and said to him: ‘Go back and pray again, for you have not prayed.’ 

The man went back and prayed in the same way as before, and then returned and greeted the Prophet who said: ‘Go back and pray, for you have not prayed.’ This happened thrice. 

After the third time, the man said: ‘By the One Who sent you with the Truth (God), I do not know a better way of performing the prayer. Then teach me how to pray.’  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

When you stand for the Prayer, start with Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and then recite from the Holy Qur’an what you know by heart.  Then kneel till you feel at rest (calmly with no hurry). Then raise your head and stand up straight. Then prostrate till you feel at rest in prostration. Then sit down till you feel at rest.  Then prostrate again till you feel at rest in prostration.  And do the same in all your prayers.’” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

 

      As the hadith explains the Prayer has certain conditions that must be met before it is considered complete.  One of these conditions is to perform each part of the Prayer with calmness, tranquility, and enough time.  The Prayer must not be rushed or performed hastily with no time or tranquility in each part. 

The Muslim should ponder upon this great worship and pray with the utmost level of reverence and respect.  Let’s consider ourselves how we prepare before we go in the presence of a king or a president; how we dress up, how we are on our best behavior, then what about the attending the King of kings, the Almighty God.


 

5) Carelessness about Paying Attention during the Prayer (khushoo’):

God -the Exalted- pays attention to the slave during the prayer as long he pays attention to his Lord, but as soon as the slave looks away, God the Exalted- looks away too.

The Muslim should stop worldly thoughts during the prayer and try to focus on the Great deed he is involved in.  Indeed, the Five Daily Prayers have such great reward that had the Muslim fully understood it, he would have abandoned everything else!  God described the true believers as those who do not let worldly matters distract them from the Prayer:

قال الله عز وجل: { رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ * لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ}، سورة النور 37-38.   ـ

       God -the Exalted- says: { Men whom neither trade nor business diverts from the remembrance of God, nor from performance of the Prayer, nor from giving of Zakah. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (i.e., the Day of Judgment).     

38. That God may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His grace.  And God provides without measure to whom He wills} (Surah 34, verses 37-38).

Indeed, the Five Daily Prayers are a time-out from our busy worlds, and a chance to remember the real world or the Hereafter.  When we get too involved in worldly affairs and start getting preoccupied with the complexities of the worldly life, the Five Daily Prayers remind us of the world to come and bring our attention back to religion.

When we are overcome with the problems and troubles of the world, the Five Daily Prayers act as a soothing medicine that soon makes us forget those troubles and focus on more important things to come.

When we are sad, depressed and overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of the world, the Five Daily Prayers offer us a direct means of communication with our Lord, and a chance to supplicate God to grant us relief, find us solutions for our problems and deliver us from our difficulties.

Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- used to say to Bilal: “O Bilal, call for the Prayer, and give us comfort with it.” (Abu Dawood and Ahmad).  So the Five Daily Prayers offer an anti-dote for the anxieties, concerns, burdens and difficulties of the worldly life, and instead provide a peaceful, relaxing and blissful time with the Lord.

 

Yet despite all of that, some are careless about this great worship.  Some perform the Five Daily Prayers only because it is an obligation, with no attention, no reverence, no care, and no love.  Some may neglect the Five Daily Prayers, by delaying it, missing it, or forgetting altogether about it.  But according to the hadith, the Five Daily Prayers are either a source of comfort and reward, or a source punishment.  For those who fulfill the obligation of the prayer and perform it with devotion and reverence, the Prayer is a source of comfort and a great reward.  But for those who neglect the prayer, then it is a source of punishment, both in this world and the Hereafter.


 

 

       Then, these are some general areas where some Muslims are negligent and careless about the Prayer.  The Muslim must pay special attention to five areas: 1) Wudu’ or ablution, 2) Praying on time, 3) Understanding the great importance of the Five Daily Prayers, 4) Understanding the proper and correct manner of performing the Prayer, and 5) Praying with full attention and devotion (khushoo’) to God.  

Know that the five daily prayers are the second most important pillar of Islam and are equal to 50 prayers in reward.  Know that when the Muslim dies, the measure of his success is the Prayer, if it is complete then everything else will be easy, but if the prayer is deficient or missing, then everything is considered the same.  And God and His Messenger know best.

 

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Thankfulness and Gratefulness (Shukr)

(Keywords: Thankfulness,  Gratefulness, Gratitude, Thanksgiving, Ungratefulness, Thanklessness, Ingratitude, Blessings, favors,  Shukr,  Thanking God,  Gratefulness for God, Pride, Concept of Thankfulness)

 

  قال الله عز وجل: { وَسَنَجْزِي الشَّاكِرِينَ} آل عمران 145. ـ

    God the Exalted says: { And We shall reward the thankful} (Surah 3, verse 145).

   وَعَنْ أبي يَحْيَى صُهَيْبِ بْنِ سِنَانٍ رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: «عَجَباً لأمْرِ المُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ لَهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لأِحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِن: إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْراً لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خيْراً لَهُ» .  رواه مسلم. ـ

    Narrated Suheib Ibn Sinan -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “How wonderful is the case of a believer, for there is good in every affair of his, and this is not the case with anyone else except for the believer.  When a good thing happens to him, he thanks God and that is good for him; and when a trouble befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.”  Related by Imam Muslim.
——————-

 

Thankfulness and Gratefulness to God are great treasures for the believer.  As human creatures, we see God’s blessings in everything we have in our daily life.  We see God’s blessings in our eye-sight, in our sense of smell, in our hearing, in our hands and our feet, and in every single part of our bodies.  We see God’s blessings in our food, in our drink, in our house, in our cars, in our clothes.  We see God’s blessings in our health, in our comfort, in our security, in our money, in our provision, in our children, and in Everything.

        Imagine losing the eyes for one day, even one hour, how would we feel?  Imagine losing food for one meal, how would we feel?  Imagine getting sick for one hour, how would we feel?  Imagine losing home for one day, how would we feel?   Indeed, we would feel very sad and regret what we lost.

        We tend to take these blessings for granted and forget to thank God for them.  Many are just happy to have good health, comfortable living, and just forget about feeling grateful and thank God.  Therefore, God said:

  قال الله عز وجل: { وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ } سبأ 13. ـ

       God -the Exalted- also says: {But few of My slaves are thankful} (Chapter 34, verse 13).

As Muslims we must thank God for every single blessing that He bestowed upon us.  Every single blessing needs thanking God for it.  We must realize that these blessings are not due to our effort and hard work, rather they are a grant by God, and so they need to be thanked for.  Take for example, our health.  We tend to forget we are healthy until we get sick.  Only then do we realize the value of health.  And only then do we return to God and ask for health.

The question then is: why should we not thank God for health when we are healthy and well.  Why do we have to wait until we lose it and then think of the blessing we have lost!


 

     It is in human nature that s/he is ungrateful or thankless, as mentioned in the coming verse.  Man likes to enjoy blessings, but forgets about thanking God for them, thus being ungrateful.  And when man is faced with a problem, his self immediately leads him to ungrateful thoughts and he starts complaining and protesting, forgetting all the other blessings he still enjoys.  God the Exalted says in Qur’an:

    قال الله عز وجل: { إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ * وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ * وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ} سورة العاديات 6-8. ـ

    God -the Exalted- says: { Verily, man to his Lord is ungrateful.  And verily to that he is a witness.  And verily he is intense in the love of wealth} (Surah 100, verses 6-8).

      It is in human nature that he likes to enjoy blessings or good things, but forgets about thanking God; the One Who granted him all those things.

It is in human nature that when he is given 100 good things and then denied 1 time, he only remembers the one time he is denied while forgetting the other 99 times he is given!

It is in man’s nature that when he is given good things for 100 years and then denied 1 year, he is thankless and ungrateful and only remembers the 1 year while forgetting the other 99 good years!

And it is in human’s nature that when he gets sick for a short while, he is thankless and ungrateful while forgetting that he was healthy most of the time.

 

People are like that because they love good things excessively.  They only want good things and never want any bad thing.  But this life is a test to see how people act and react in the time of ease and difficulty, in the time of health and sickness, and in the time of security and fear.  Then on the Day of Judgment, people would be either rewarded or punished based on their action; whether they believed or disbelieved, whether they showed gratitude and thanked God for His blessings or were ungrateful and were thankless, and whether they were patient or impatient.


 

   There are two groups of people with regards to Gratefulness and thankfulness: 1) Ungrateful and thankless, and 2) Grateful and thankful to God.

The first group are ungrateful, thankless and do not admit God’s favors upon them.  When they have blessings, they just enjoy them with no care about thanking God.  But when they don’t have a blessing or lose the blessing, they complain, protest, and blame others.  And that leads them to impatience, dissatisfaction, and finally to pride and denial.

While the second group are grateful and are always thankful even when times are hard.  When they lose a blessing, they take time to think about the problem.  They think about the many other blessings they have, and rationalize their loss.  Maybe they lost the blessing because of their sins, or maybe it was a test, or maybe it is better in the long run.

It is related that Ikrimah said: “No calamity (problem) afflicts a slave except as a result of a sin, which God wouldn’t have forgiven him or raised him except with this problem.”  So in the face of difficulties, the believers show patience and thank God instead!  And that leads to acceptance of destiny (Qadr) and the pleasure of God -the Exalted, so God grants them much more.

When the first group get sick, they feel ungrateful and impatient.  They start complaining: ‘Why and how did this happen to me?’ They forget all the good times when they enjoyed good health.  They forget that other people have much worse diseases than them.  They forget their own bad deeds, and only remember their current discomfort.  

While the other grateful group think about it and have patience.  Maybe this sickness is test, or maybe it was a result of their sins, or maybe God wanted to raise their level.  Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdul-God -may God be pleased with them- that he heard the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- say: “No Muslim male or female, or believer (Mu’min) male or female get sick except God the Almighty will expiate and pardon his sins .” (Ahmad).  They remember the many times they were healthy, and they remember the other very sick people.  So they pray God to cure them, and Thank Him it wasn’t worse than that.

—-

So we see that for every problem or difficulty, a Muslim can either be angry and ungrateful, or accepts it and be thankful to God for all of His blessings.  The first one has no reward; rather he has committed a sin and a major heart sin at that.  While the second one gets rewarded many-fold and attains a high rank.  And if his patience and thanking God are sincere, then God -the Exalted- will take away his adversity and replace it with abundance and plenty by His Grace and bounty.


 

      Some rewards and benefits of thankfulness include:

   1) Keeping and Multiplying the Blessing:

            Thanking God for the blessing makes that blessing continue.  Not only that, but thanking God for it makes the blessing increase.  Like God -the Exalted- mentioned in the Qur’an:

قال الله عز وجل: { وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ} إبراهيم 7. ـ

      God -the Exalted- also says: {And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you thank Me, I will surely increase you (in favor); but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe”} (surah 14, verse 7).

Thus, while thanking God for the blessing leads to its continuity and increase, ungratefulness and not thanking God for the blessing exposes it to decrease and loss as mentioned in the verse above.

  2) The Thankful Believers are among the First to Enter Paradise: 

        One of the great rewards of thanking God during times of plenty and adversity is that the person would be among the first group to enter Paradise, as mentioned in the following hadith:

    وعن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما عن رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « أول من يدعى إلى الجنة يوم القيامة الذين يحمدون الله في السراء والضراء». رواه الحاكم. ـ

        Narrated Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The First group of people to be called to Paradise on the Day of Judgment are those who always thank God; during ease and during hardship.”  Related by Al-Hakim.


 

  One very important fact about thanking is that we should thank by both speech and action.  So we thank God by saying: Praise be to God (Al-hamdu lillah), and by feeling grateful to God in our hearts. 

But action is important too, and we thank God in our actions by avoiding using these blessings in wrong ways or in forbidden things.  If God has given us eyes, then we thank Him for it, and avoid looking at forbidden things like shameless photos.  If God has given us hearing, then we thank Him for it and avoid listening to forbidden things like backbiting.  If God has given us wealth, then we thank Him and avoid spending it in forbidden ways.  And if we did wrong then we immediately repent and promise God not to do it again.  This is the only way for these blessings to continue, that is thanking God for these blessings by speech and action.


 

Finally, we would never ever be able to thank God -the Exalted- fully, but at least we must thank Him as much as we can.  Thanking God only when we get something we like is not true thanking!  We must thank God all the time, when we get the thing we like and when we don’t!   Those who thank God all the time, when they are happy and when they are sad, will have a great reward.  On the Day of Judgment: They will be called by name to enter Paradise first!

So we must learn to thank God all the time, we should feel grateful to God for the many blessings he bestowed upon us.  And when we go to sleep at night, we should try to think of few blessings that God bestowed upon us on that day, and thank Him for it.

It is related that Prophet Moses asked God the Exalted: ‘My God, I can’t thank You fully because my first thanking needs another thanking!’  God the Almighty said: ‘O Moses, your knowledge that you could never thank Me fully but you are trying is thanking enough.’


 

Then, Gratefulness and thanking God for His blessings are obligatory for every believer.  Gratefulness and thankfulness to God have a great reward and are characteristics of the successful ones in this life and the Hereafter.  On the other hand, ungratefulness and thanklessness have severe punishment and are characteristics of the people of loss in both lives.  Thus, we should stop our ungrateful selves from complaining and blaming, and instead should take time to think about the problem or difficulty.  When facing a problem or a calamity, we should suppress the immediate urge to feel ungrateful and angry, rather we should think of the other blessings God has bestowed upon us, we should think of the previous times when God granted us plenty, and we should think that this problem could have been much worse as with some other people. Then we should accept it and thank God -the Exalted- in every condition.

We should strive to be among the thankful, and the praisers who thank God all the time, during easy times and during hard times.  We should thank God to get His great reward, to prolong the blessing, and to get even more!  And God knows best.

=========================

Forgiveness: A Divine Character !

(Keywords: Forgiveness, Pardoning others, forgiving others, forbearance, Showing Kindness, Showing Mercy, Good Morals, Overlooking others’ faults, forgiving others’ mistakes, Concept of Forgiveness)

 

قال الله عز وجل: { إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ} البقرة 173. ـ

       God the Exalted- says: { Truly, God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful} (surah 2, verse 173).

————–

 

        God -the Exalted- often describes Himself as: Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful, as stated in the verse above.  Indeed, God’s forgiveness and mercy know no bound.  God generously and continuously forgives the son of Adam even when s/he continues to be negligent, to do misdeeds, to fall into sins, and to be careless about other prohibited deeds.  But God by His Utmost Mercy and Favor, forgives the sons of Adam once they turn to Him and ask His forgiveness.

 

     So forgiveness is a Divine character and a mercy that God has bestowed upon His creatures.  As human beings favoured with a perceptive mind, we need to think about forgiveness, ponder upon it, and try to implement forgiveness ourselves in our daily lives and interactions.  Indeed, if God shows great Mercy and forgiveness toward His salves, then we as slaves of God should do that and treat others with forgiveness and mercy, too.

  In the another verse, God commands us to forgive people, and overlook their mistakes.

قال الله عز وجل:{ خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ} الأعراف 199. ـ

God the Exalted says: { Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant} (surah 7, verse 199).


 

          There are many reasons for the high status of forgiveness, including:

  1)  Forgiveness is the basis of a good and strong relationship:

      As humans, we are not perfect and are prone to make errors and mistakes.   Therefore, we may mistreat others intentionally or unintentionally, we may offend others knowingly or unknowingly, and we may hurt others consciously or unconsciously.   While we are instructed to avoid causing anybody any harm, as humans we err and may end up causing harm. 

But while the offender should feel remorse and regret for his action, we need to show forgiveness and mercy on our side.  Only then can we have a healthy relationship and a solid platform to build friendship.  Thus, forgiveness and mercy are two essential components of any good relationship.

     —

  2)  Forgiveness teaches self-control and discipline, and results in higher honor:

 

     Some people may consider forgiveness as a sign of weakness.  But far from being a weakness, forgiveness is a sign of strength and honor, as only the person who has full control of his self and ego can forgive.  The proud and arrogant person lacks the ability, power, and discipline to overlook and forgive. 

Therefore, the Prophet explained that forgiveness actually increases the person in honor, just like charity increases the blessings of the money, even if people may think the opposite, as stated in the following hadith:

    عن أبي هُريرة رضيَ اللَّهُ عنه أَنَّ رسولَ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « مَا نَقَصَتْ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ مَالٍ، وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْداً بِعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزّاً، وَمَا تَوَاضَعَ أَحَدٌ للَّهِ إِلاَّ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وجلَّ» .  رواه مسلم والترمذي . ـ

      Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

Charity does not decreases wealth.  God increases the slave for a forgiveness but in honor.  And no one behaves modestly for the sake God, except God -the Almighty- would raise him.”  Related by Imam Muslim and Al-Tirmidhi.


 

Thus, Forgiveness is a sign of strength, honor and generosity, as explained by the Companion and Scholar Abu Ad-Darda’:

   وسئل أبو الدرداء رضي اللَّه عنه: عن أعز الناس؟ قال: الذي يعفو إذا قدر، فاعفوا يعزكم الله.

    Abu Ad-Darda’ -may God be pleased with him- was asked: “Who is the most honorable among people?”  He replied: “The one who forgives when he is able to punish. So forgive others, God would make you honorable.”


 

3)  Forgiveness purifies the heart of ill-feelings like malice and vengeance:

 

        Furthermore, forgiveness relieves the heart of much vexation and heartache that can cause sadness, anxiety, hatred, malice and other ill-feelings.  Moreover, forgiveness can result in the other party choosing the same path and asking for reconciliation, which puts an end to disputes and enmity. 

The Almighty God gave us an example of that: the story of Abu Sufyan Ibn Herb.

     Abu Sufyan Ibn Herb was the leader of Qureish and had taken every opportunity to fight against Prophet Muhammad and cause him harm.  But during the Conquest of Makkah, the Prophet showed him great mercy and forgave him.  After that, Abu Sufyan became one of his followers and one of his staunchest allies.  And about this forgiveness, God states:

    قال الله سبحانه وتعالى {وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ} فصلت 34.  

     God -the Exalted- says: {The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, and thereupon he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend} (Surah 41, verse 34).


 

4)  Forgiveness has a great reward:

God has promised great reward for those who forgive others.  Whoever forgives people, God will forgive him.   Whoever pardons people, God will pardon him.  And whoever shows mercy to others, the Almighty God will show him mercy, as mentioned in the following hadith:

 

    عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما أنَّ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ، ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ» .  رواه أبو داود والترمذي.

     Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr Ibn ‘Aas -may God be pleased with them- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

The merciful ones will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful.  Be merciful to those on earth, the One in heaven will be merciful to you.”  Related by Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmidhi.

Thus, whoever overlooks people’s mistakes, God will overlook his mistakes.  Whoever pardons others, God will pardon him.  Whoever accepts people’s excuses, God will accept his excuse.  And whoever forgives others, God will forgive him. 

 


 

5)  Forgiveness has a special reward on the Day of Judgment: 

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: « إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ أَمَرَ اللَّهُ مُنَادِيًا يُنَادِي: أَلَا لِيَقُمْ مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ أَجْرٌ، فَلَا يَقُومُ إِلَّا مَنْ عَفَا فِي الدُّنْيَا، فَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ تعالى {فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ} (الشورى 40) ». أخرجه ابن مردويه، والبيهقي عن أنس في شعب الإيمان.   

    Narated Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

When it is the Day of Judgment, God would command an angel to proclaim: ‘Let those who have any reward due with God rise.’  None would rise except those who forgave others in the world.  And that is the interpretation of the Verse: { But whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with God} (Surah 42, verse 40).”  Related by Ibn Merdaweih and Al-Beihaqi.

Thus, whoever forgives others in this life, will be called out to enter Paradise among the first group to enter Paradise, and will be distinguished with great reward on that most horrific and scary Day when people are experiencing varying levels of anxiety and distress.


Thus, Forgiveness is constantly needed in our daily interactions and everyday lives. 

Forgiveness is needed in many situations: with family members, with friends, in work, as well as in many other situations.

   A) Forgiveness toward Family Members. 

       The best example is the husband and his wife.  The couple can have many disputes and conflicts if they don’t learn to forgive each other.  A husband wishes for a perfect match, and a wife wishes for a perfect match, but that’s rarely the case as both are imperfect.  However, they need to learn this fact and need to learn to forgive each other.  The husband and his wife must learn to overlook the other’s shortcomings and forgive his or her mistakes and presumed injustices.  The same applies to other family members; they need to show forgiveness toward each other, and find excuses for each other’s mistakes.  It is through forgiveness and mercy that relationships are fostered and strengthened.

B) Forgiveness toward Friends. 

         Relationship with friends can be close at times, but it can be distant and difficult at other times.  They might get angry at something the friend said or did and so decide not to talk to them again.  However, we should show forgiveness toward our friends and overlook their mistakes.  We should try to find excuses for their mistakes and then forgive them.  Indeed, it is through forgiveness and mercy that friendship are fostered and strengthened.

C) Forgiveness in work. 

      We may find somebody less accomplished or weaker or less bright in work.  A boss would like to fire that man, while others will tend to condemn such a person.  However, if he is doing what he can then we need to forgive that person and realize that not all people are equal.  Likewise, when we see the poor, we shouldn’t condemn them and think the worst of them.  Rather we should forgive them, be kind to them and show them mercy.  We should remember that whoever forgives others, God will forgive him.  Maybe one day we would need that forgiveness when we may make a mistake.  As we would like others to understand our situation and pardon us, others expect that of us as well.


 

    Know that when we choose forgiveness and mercy as a way of life and as a character to implement in our houses, neighborhood, communities, in work, with family members, with friends and co-workers, and with society in general, then the community will be strong and loving, and the individual would be happy and lead a peaceful happy life.

Then, We should choose forgiveness and mercy as a way of life, and as a character to implement in all of our dealings.  We should learn to forgive people, accept their excuses and realize that no human is perfect.  We should realize that those who forgive people, will be forgiven by the Most Forgiving God, and that those who find excuses for people’s weakness and forgive them, will be helped by the Most Perfect God.  Finally, we must realize that happiness and peace lie in forgiveness, strong and healthy relationships start with forgiveness, and that forgiveness has a great reward; indeed God and His Messenger commanded us with forgiveness for these reasons.  And God knows best.

 

=================================================

 

 

What is Taqwa?

(Keywords: Taqwa or Piety, Meaning of Taqwa, Meaning of Piety, Concept of Piety, Concept of Taqwa, Righteousness, God-fearing, Fear of God, Obedience to God)

 

     قال الله تعالى: { يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ} الحجرات 13. ـ

   قال القرطبي: ( زجرهم عن التفاخر بالأنساب، والتكاثر بالأموال، والازدراء بالفقراء، فإن المدار على التقوى. أي الجميع من آدم وحواء، إنما الفضل بالتقوى… والتقوى معناه مراعاة حدود الله تعالى أمرا ونهيا، والاتصاف بما أمرك أن تتصف به، والتنزه عما نهاك عنه). ـ

 

God, the Exalted, says: { O mankind, indeed We have created you from a male and a female [Adam and Eve], and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another.  Verily, the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most pious of you. Verily, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware} (Surah 49, verse 13).

The Scholar Al-Qurtubi said concerning this verse: “The Almighty God forbade people to boast of their lineage, of their wealth, or of having contempt for the poor, because the real point of distinction between them is piety (Taqwa).  That is, all humans are the descendants of Adam and Eve, but they are distinguished from one another by piety (Taqwa)…   Piety (Taqwa) means to abide by the commandments of God by doing what He has ordered and refraining from What He has forbidden, and striving to have the good characteristics which God commanded and get rid of the bad characteristics which God prohibited.”

——

 

    عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: ( سُئِلَ رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم عَنْ أكْثَرِ ما يُدْخِلُ النَّاسَ الجَنَّةَ، فقال: « تَقْوَى اللهِ وحُسْنُ الخُلُق»، وسُئِلَ عنْ أَكْثَرِ ما يُدْخِلُ النَّاسَ النَّارَ، فقال: « الفَمُ والفَرْجُ») .  رواه الترمذي وابن حبان والبيهقي. ـ

  قال الطيبي: ( قوله “تقوى الله”: إشارة إلى حسن المعاملة مع الخالق؛ بأن يأتي جميع ما أمره به وينتهي عن ما نهى عنه، “وحسن الخُلُق”: إشارة إلى حسن المعاملة مع الخلق وهاتان الخصلتان موجبتان لدخول الجنة، ونقيضهما لدخول النار فأوقع الفم والفرج مقابلا لهما). ـ

        Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- was asked about that which most often leads people to Paradise, he replied: ‘Piety (Taqwa) and good moral character.’  And he was asked about that which most often leads people to Hell-fire, he replied: ‘The tongue and the private parts.’ ”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban, and Al-Beihaqi.

     Al-Tayyibi said: “ Piety (Taqwa): refers to good behavior toward the Creator, by obeying all of His commands and refraining from all things He has forbidden. While ‘good moral character’ refers to good behavior toward the creatures.  And these two characteristics obligate Paradise, while their counterparts, i.e. the evil use of the mouth and private parts, obligate Hell-Fire.”


 

        God the Exalted states in the verse above that the Most Honorable people in His sight are the Most Pious; and not the richest and the noblest as is the tradition and belief with people.  Rather, it is the level of piety (Taqwa) and righteousness that distinguishes between people before God.  Their level of piety is what makes them reach the highest ranks with their Lord.  Likewise, Prophet Muhammad was asked about the good deed that most often leads people to Paradise, and he replied that it is: Taqwa (piety). 

Then what is Taqwa?

 

Taqwa (Piety) in Arabic language comes from the word waqa وَقَى, which means to guard against; to protect; to preserve; to safeguard, to shield, to take shelter, and to keep.

So Taqwa means: to fear God and avoid His displeasure, by obeying His commands and keeping away from things He has forbidden (sins).

The simple meaning of Taqwa (Piety) can be summarized in two things:

1) Fulfilling obligatory deeds (wajibat): like the five daily prayers, giving alms, fasting Ramadan, Hajj, dutifulness to parents, respecting the neighbor, and the like.  And

2) Avoiding all sins: like lying, backbiting, stealing, cheating, harming others, adultery, and other sins.


 

              A major part of the obedience of God involves following His commands and avoiding sins.  True obedience to God is attained when all of His commands are followed and all sins are avoided – this level is called Piety (Taqwa), as mentioned in the following verse:  

     قال الله تعالى: {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ} آل عمران 102. ـ

  قال عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه: ( أن يُطاع فلا يُعْصَى، وأن يُذْكَر فلا يُنْسَى، وأن يُشْكَر فلا يُكْفَر). ـ

     God the Exalted says: {O you who believe, fear God as is His due, and die not except as (true) Muslims} (Surah 3, verse 102).

Abdul-Allah Ibn Mas’ood -may God be pleased with him- said concerning this verse: “ ‘Fear God as His due’: That He should be obeyed and not disobeyed, remembered all the time and not forgotten, and thanked and not shown ungratefulness.”

      Thus, the more the slave obeys God and strives his best to follow His commands, the more pious that person is.  The more the slave is observant of God’s rules, the higher his level of piety.  The more the believer fears God’s punishment, hopes for His reward and acts upon that, the more righteous and pious he is.  And the more righteous and pious the slave is, the higher his rank and degree with God.  After Faith (Iman) and Ihsan, Taqwa (Piety) has the greatest level in Islam.  Through Taqwa (piety), the Muslim attains the great levels in Paradise.


 

         But adhering to God’s commands and abstaining from sins are not so simple and easy for the son of Adam because of two formidable opponents.  The two opponents include Satan and the evil-inclined Self.  Satan continues to whisper to the son of Adam and tries to mislead him until the son of Adam gives in and disobeys God. And the evil-inclined Self adorns for the son of Adam sins and promises him forbidden pleasures until he falls and commits a sin.

    However,  God has clearly revealed His commands and mentioned the reward for doing them, and has clearly explained sins and traits to avoid and has stated their punishment both in this life and in Hell-Fire.  Thus, the son of Adam has been warned time and time again to follow God’s commands and avoid things He has forbidden. 

     The believer who has piety fully understands and realizes the implications and consequences of following God’s command or disobeying Him.  The pious slave fears God and is apprehensive of His severe Punishment in this life and torment in the afterlife, so he avoids sins even if both Satan and the Self call him to commit them.  At the same time, the pious slave fully understands the great reward of obeying God’s commands and the high rank he can attain by doing so, so the slave with piety strives his best to follow every command of God and fulfill it as best as he can.

    It is this sense of adherence to God’s commands and the self struggle against sins and bad deeds that constitutes Piety.   Piety can be defined: first by the slave’s belief and awareness of God’s great reward and severe punishment; and second by how closely the slave follows through his conviction with action and good deeds.  As mentioned above, not every one is able to achieve this feat.  Thus,  people have different levels of piety, and their varying levels of piety accord them varying ranks with God.  The believers who strive the most and have the highest level of piety, enjoy the highest rank with God.     


 

  Among the companions of Prophet Muhammad (Sahabah), many were noted for their high levels of Taqwa or piety.  Indeed, the sahabah were different in their status due to their levels of Taqwa.  Abu-bakr Al-siddeeq and Omar Ibn Al-Khattab had the greatest respect for the obligations and the sins.  They did their utmost to perform those wajibat and avoid sins, and so they were the best of the nation of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him.  Therefore, Taqwa (Piety) is the indication of the greatest worshiper with God , and it is not necessarily Nawafil (voluntary deeds).

    People generally believe that the Muslim who does the most ibadeh or voluntary deeds is the greatest worshiper.  But that is not so, rather the Muslim who performs Wajibat (obligatory deeds) and avoids sins to the best degree is the greatest worshiper according to Qur’an and hadeeth.  Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- was asked: ‘Who is better: A Muslim who worships all the time but does some sins, or A Muslim who only performs wajibat but does no sins?’  Ibn Abbas replied: ‘The latter, I don’t make anything equal to avoiding sins.’


 

       Having Taqwa (Piety) by doing all wajibat (obligations) and avoiding all sins brings happiness in both lives, in this Life and in the Hereafter.  Indeed, it is mentioned in the hadeeth that if people truly have Taqwa (Piety) then it would suffice them.  That is, they would never be sad or anxious afterwards!

    قال الله تعالى: {وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا * وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ} الطلاق 2-3. ـ

  قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما: ( ينجيه من كل كرب في الدنيا والآخرة).   وقال أبو العالية: (مخرجا من كل شدة). ـ

 

      God the Exalted says: { And whoever has Piety to God, He will make for him a way out (of difficulty).  And He will provide for him from where he does not expect} (Surah 65, verses 2-3).

Ibn Abbas said concerning this verse: “God will deliver him from every difficulty in this world and the Hereafter.”

Abu Al-‘Aliyah said: “God will make for him a way out of every hardship.”

     Indeed, this is a glad tidings for those who have Piety (Taqwa) and strive to follow all commands of God by doing obligations (wajibat) and avoiding all sins that: they would lead a happy, content life in this world when other people feel worry and sadness, that they would be safe and secure on the Day of Judgment when other people are sweating and afraid, and that they would attain the Pleasure of God and enjoy high levels in Jannah or Paradise.

Having Taqwa (piety) by doing Wajibat and avoiding all sins is a way to solve problems.  Indeed, God mentions in the verse above that whoever has Taqwa (piety) of God, then the Almighty God would find him a way out of his difficulties, God would make things easy for him, and in addition would multiply his reward and let him enter Paradise.  


 

       But Human nature being what it is; prone to mistakes, slips, falls, and misdeeds, then having full Piety (Taqwa) is not easy to attain. 

    But we are asked to try and do our best.  The Muslim should consider the Self as an unruly horse trying to get away.  If you let the Self have its way, then it will go free and harm you on the way, but if you harness it and lead it cautiously then you may pass through safely.   

The Muslim should call the Self gently to good deeds and make himself always busy with the remembrance of God (Dhikr).  He should do his best to avoid sins and instead do something useful and permissible.  Anytime, he slips or commits a misdeed, then he should immediately feel regret and remorse, repent to God promising not to do it again, and ask His forgiveness.  Indeed, if he continues doing that, then he will be like the one who did no sins, and thus he will, by the grace of God the Exalted attain the level of Piety (Taqwa).

——

     Then, know that Taqwa (piety) can be defined as striving to follow God’s commands by doing all obligatory deeds (wajibat) and avoiding all sins, fearing His severe punishment and hoping for His great reward.  Piety is the best worship; the Muslim attains higher levels in Paradise through Piety (Taqwa) than through (voluntary deeds (Nawafil).  And know that Taqwa (Piety) is the basis for success and happiness in this life and in the Hereafter.  Indeed, if Muslims realized that fact and adhered to it, God would grant them a happy, content life in this world and high degrees in Paradise.  And God knows best.

Sharing Wealth and Giving to Others

(Keywords: Obligatory charity, Sharing with others, alms giving, generosity, Miserliness, Stinginess, Reward of actions)

 

         Following is a true story of three men who were favored with certain blessings.  Then they were tested whether they shared the blessings with a poor man.  Two of them withheld from giving to the poor and denied God’s favor, so they were punished and lost their entire wealth.  The third man gave to the poor generously, attributing the blessing to God, so he was rewarded and was blessed in his wealth.

عن أَبَي هُرَيْرَةَ رضى الله عنه أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ: «  إِنَّ ثَلاَثَةً فِي بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَبْرَصَ وَأَقْرَعَ وَأَعْمَى بَدَا لِلَّهِ أَنْ يَبْتَلِيَهُمْ، فَبَعَثَ إِلَيْهِمْ مَلَكًا. ـ

فَأَتَى الأَبْرَصَ‏،‏ فَقَالَ: أَىُّ شَىْءٍ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ؟ قَالَ: لَوْنٌ حَسَنٌ وَجِلْدٌ حَسَنٌ، قَدْ قَذِرَنِي النَّاسُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَمَسَحَهُ، فَذَهَبَ عَنْهُ، فَأُعْطِيَ لَوْنًا حَسَنًا وَجِلْدًا حَسَنًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ: أَىُّ الْمَالِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ؟ قَالَ: الإِبِلُ ـ أَوْ قَالَ الْبَقَرُ هُوَ شَكَّ فِي ذَلِكَ، إِنَّ الأَبْرَصَ وَالأَقْرَعَ، قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَا الإِبِلُ، وَقَالَ الآخَرُ الْبَقَرُ ـ فَأُعْطِيَ نَاقَةً عُشَرَاءَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ: يُبَارَكُ لَكَ فِيهَا‏.‏

وَأَتَى الأَقْرَعَ، فَقَالَ: أَىُّ شَىْءٍ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ؟ قَالَ: شَعَرٌ حَسَنٌ وَيَذْهَبُ عَنِّي هَذَا، قَدْ قَذِرَنِي النَّاسُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَمَسَحَهُ فَذَهَبَ، وَأُعْطِيَ شَعَرًا حَسَنًا‏.‏ قَالَ: فَأَىُّ الْمَالِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ؟ قَالَ: الْبَقَرُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَعْطَاهُ بَقَرَةً حَامِلاً، وَقَالَ: يُبَارَكُ لَكَ فِيهَا‏.‏

وَأَتَى الأَعْمَى، فَقَالَ: أَىُّ شَىْءٍ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ؟ قَالَ: يَرُدُّ اللَّهُ إِلَىَّ بَصَرِي، فَأُبْصِرُ بِهِ النَّاسَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَمَسَحَهُ، فَرَدَّ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ بَصَرَهُ‏.‏ قَالَ: فَأَىُّ الْمَالِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ؟ قَالَ: الْغَنَمُ‏.‏ فَأَعْطَاهُ شَاةً وَالِدًا.   فَأُنْتِجَ هَذَانِ، وَوَلَّدَ هَذَا، فَكَانَ لِهَذَا وَادٍ مِنْ إِبِلٍ، وَلِهَذَا وَادٍ مِنْ بَقَرٍ، وَلِهَذَا وَادٍ مِنَ الْغَنَمِ‏.‏

ثُمَّ إِنَّهُ أَتَى الأَبْرَصَ فِي صُورَتِهِ وَهَيْئَتِهِ، فَقَالَ: رَجُلٌ مِسْكِينٌ، تَقَطَّعَتْ بِيَ الْحِبَالُ فِي سَفَرِي، فَلاَ بَلاَغَ الْيَوْمَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ ثُمَّ بِكَ، أَسْأَلُكَ بِالَّذِي أَعْطَاكَ اللَّوْنَ الْحَسَنَ وَالْجِلْدَ الْحَسَنَ وَالْمَالَ بَعِيرًا أَتَبَلَّغُ عَلَيْهِ فِي سَفَرِي‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ: إِنَّ الْحُقُوقَ كَثِيرَةٌ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ: كَأَنِّي أَعْرِفُكَ، أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَبْرَصَ يَقْذَرُكَ النَّاسُ فَقِيرًا فَأَعْطَاكَ اللَّهُ؟ فَقَالَ: لَقَدْ وَرِثْتُ لِكَابِرٍ عَنْ كَابِرٍ‏.‏ فَقَالَ: إِنْ كُنْتَ كَاذِبًا فَصَيَّرَكَ اللَّهُ إِلَى مَا كُنْتَ. ـ

وَأَتَى الأَقْرَعَ فِي صُورَتِهِ وَهَيْئَتِهِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مِثْلَ مَا قَالَ لِهَذَا، فَرَدَّ عَلَيْهِ مِثْلَ مَا رَدَّ عَلَيْهِ هَذَا، فَقَالَ: إِنْ كُنْتَ كَاذِبًا فَصَيَّرَكَ اللَّهُ إِلَى مَا كُنْتَ‏.ـ

‏ وَأَتَى الأَعْمَى فِي صُورَتِهِ، فَقَالَ: رَجُلٌ مِسْكِينٌ وَابْنُ سَبِيلٍ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِيَ الْحِبَالُ فِي سَفَرِي، فَلاَ بَلاَغَ الْيَوْمَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ، ثُمَّ بِكَ أَسْأَلُكَ بِالَّذِي رَدَّ عَلَيْكَ بَصَرَكَ شَاةً أَتَبَلَّغُ بِهَا فِي سَفَرِي‏.‏ فَقَالَ: قَدْ كُنْتُ أَعْمَى فَرَدَّ اللَّهُ بَصَرِي، وَفَقِيرًا فَقَدْ أَغْنَانِي، فَخُذْ مَا شِئْتَ، فَوَاللَّهِ لاَ أَجْهَدُكَ الْيَوْمَ بِشَىْءٍ أَخَذْتَهُ لِلَّهِ‏.‏ فَقَالَ: أَمْسِكْ مَالَكَ، فَإِنَّمَا ابْتُلِيتُمْ، فَقَدْ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْكَ وَسَخِطَ عَلَى صَاحِبَيْكَ». رواه البخاري ومسلم.ـ

True Story:

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that he heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say:

There were three men among the Children of Israel, one leper, one bald and one blind.  God wanted to test them.  He therefore, sent to them an angel.

The angel came to the leper and asked him: ‘What thing do you like most?’  He replied: ‘Good color and fine skin, for people have a strong aversion to me.’  The angel wiped him and his illness was cured, and he was given a good color and beautiful skin.  The angel asked him: ‘What kind of property do you like best?’  He replied: ‘Camels (or cows -The narrator was in doubt, for either the leper or the bald-headed man demanded camels and the other demanded cows).’  So the leper was given a pregnant she-camel, and the angel said to him: ‘May God bless you in it.’

The angel then went to the bald-headed man and said: ‘What thing do you like most?’  He said: ‘I like good hair and wish to be cured of this disease, for people have a strong aversion to me.’  The angel wiped him and his illness was cured, and he was given good hair.  The angel asked him: “What kind of property do you like best?’ He replied: ‘Cows.’  The angel gave him a pregnant cow and said: ‘May God bless you in it.’

The angel then went to the blind man and asked: ‘What thing do you like most?’  He said: ‘I like that God may restore my eyesight so that I may see people.’  The angel wiped him and God restored to him eyesight.  The angel asked him: ‘What kind of property do you like best?’  He replied: ‘Sheep.’  The angel gave him a pregnant sheep.

Afterwards, all the three pregnant animals gave birth to young ones, and multiplied and brought forth so much that the first man had a valley full of camels, the second man had a valley full of cows, and the third man had a valley full of sheep.

 

Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a leper, went to the leper and said: ‘I am a poor man, who has lost all means of livelihood while on a journey. So none will satisfy my need except God and then you. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice color, beautiful skin and so much property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination.’  The man replied: ‘I have many obligations (so I cannot give you).’  The angel said: ‘I think I know you; were you not a leper to whom people had a strong aversion? Were you not a poor man, and then God gave you (all of this property)?’  He replied: ‘I rather inherited this property from my forefathers.’  The angel said: ‘If you are telling a lie, then may God return you to your former condition.’

The angel then, disguised in the shape and appearance of a bald man, went to the bald man and said to him the same as he told the first one, and the bald-headed man answered the same as the first one did. The angel said: ‘If you are telling a lie, then may God return you to your former condition.’

Then the angel, disguised in the shape of a blind man, went to the blind man and said: ‘I am a poor man and a traveler, who has lost all means of livelihood while on a journey.  I have nobody to help me except God, and after Him you.  I ask you in the Name of Him Who has given you back your eyesight to give me a sheep, so that I may reach my destination.’  The man said: ‘No doubt, I was blind and God gave me back my eyesight; I was poor and God made me rich, so take anything you wish from my property.  By God, I will not stop you from taking anything (you need) of my property which you may take for God’s sake.’  

The angel replied: ‘Keep your property, for the three of you have been tested, so God is pleased with you but displeased with your two companions.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Thus, the first two men, the leper and the bald, not only denied God’s favor and attributed it to their own, but also refused to share their wealth with the poor and needy.  The result was that God was displeased with them, and they were punished, so they lost all of those blessings and were returned to their former condition of sickness and poverty.

But the third and blind man, admitted God’s favor on him and truly thanked God for the blessing by sharing it with the poor.  Not only that, but he generously offered the poor man to take as much as he wanted.  The result was that he attained God’s pleasure so that his blessing was continued, and he was blessed in it.


 

 

   قال الله عز وجل: { الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ وَيَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبُخْلِ وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَا آَتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُهِينًا} سورة النساء 37. ـ

             God -the Exalted- says: { Those who are stingy and encourage people to be stingy, and hide what God has bestowed upon them of His bounties. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment} (Surah 4, verse 37).

  قال ابن كثير في تفسيره: ( يقول تعالى ذامًّا الذين يبخلون بأموالهم أن ينفقوها فيما أمرهم الله به -من بر الوالدين، والإحسان إلى الأقارب واليتامى والمساكين، والجار ذي القربى، والجار الجُنُب، والصاحب بالجنب، وابن السبيل، وما ملكت أيمانكم من الأرقاء- ولا يدفعون حق الله فيها، ويأمرون الناس بالبخل أيضا. وقد قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “وأي داء أَدْوَأ من البخل؟”. وقال: “إياكم والشّحَ، فإنه أهلك من كان قبلكم، أمرهم بالقطيعةِ فقطعوا، وأمرهم بالفجور فَفَجَرُوا”. رواه أبو داود. ـ

وقوله { وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ}: فالبخيل جَحُود لنعمة الله عليه لا تظهر عليه ولا تبين، لا في أكله ولا في ملبسه، ولا في إعطائه وبذله، ولهذا توعَّدهم بقوله {وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُهِينًا}، والكفر هو الستر والتغطية، فالبخيل يستر نعمة الله عليه ويكتمها ويجحدها، فهو كافر لنعم الله عليه). ـ

The Scholar Ibn Katheer said in his Exegesis: “The Almighty God chastises the stingy; those who do not spend their money on what God has obligated upon them, such as spending on the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, the relative who is also a neighbor, the companion during travel, the needy wayfarer, and the slaves and servants. These stingy people do not give God’s share of their wealth; moreover, they ask others to be stingy as well.

Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “What illness is more severe than miserliness!

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- also said: “Beware of stinginess for it destroyed those before you; it incited them to sever relations with their relatives so they did so, and it incited them to commit sins and they did so.” (Related by Abu Dawood)

Furthermore, These stingy people, {hide what God has bestowed upon them of His bounties}: So the miser is ungrateful for God’s blessings upon him, and the effects of these blessings do not appear on him, neither in his food, nor clothes, nor in his spending or giving to others.

Therefore, the Almighty God has promised the miserly: {And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment}.  Kufr or disbelief means to conceal something, and the miser conceals God’s favors upon him, covers them and denies them. So the miser is ungrateful for the blessings that God has favored him with.” End quote.

———————-

 

              The Almighty God has dispraised the miserly and the stingy; those who are tight-fisted and do not share their wealth with their relatives, the poor and needy.  Indeed, that wealth is only a blessing of God upon them, and a favor that can be taken away any moment.

        The believers are urged to recognize God’s blessings upon them and be thankful to God for them.  Being thankful includes two things: First, thanking God for His blessings and recognizing His favor; and second sharing that wealth with the relatives, the poor and needy. 

     God has obligated giving away a portion of one’s wealth and money to the poor and needy.  Whoever withholds that portion and keeps it to himself, then he is described as stingy.  Such a person is promised severe consequences both in this life with decrease or loss of his wealth and in the Hereafter with severe torment.

Thus, giving to the poor and needy is an obligation, not an option.  Giving to the needy and poor is a shield that protects one’s wealth and ensures its continuity.  Sharing wealth with the relatives, the poor and needy brings about stability and more blessings.  Withholding the poor’s share of the wealth, on the other hand, brings about doom, adversity and calamity.

Indeed, as the following Hadith shows, withholding the poor’s share can result in the loss of the blessings:

عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال: قالَ رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « إنَّ للهِ أَقْوَاماً اخْتَصَّهُمْ بِالنِّعَمِ لِمَنَافِعِ العِبَادِ، يُقِرُّهُمْ فِيها ما بَذَلُوها، فَإذَا مَنَعُوها نَزَعَها مِنْهُم فَحَوَّلَها إلَى غَيْرِهِمْ» .  رواه ابن أبي الدنيا والطبراني. ـ

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar -may Allah be pleased with them- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him said:

There are for God groups of people whom He favors with blessings for people’s needs. He establishes these blessings with them as long as they fulfill people’s needs. However if they withheld them from people, then He removes these blessings away from them, and gives them to other people (who would do so).”  Related by Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya and Al-Tabarani with Sahih or authentic narration.


 

             Then, the believer should always recognize and admit God’s favors on him and attribute those blessings to their real giver, God.  The believer should thank God for these blessings.  And second, the believer should pay the poor’s due of his wealth by sharing it with the poor and needy.  Thanking God for the blessing and sharing it with the poor and needy result in God’s pleasure and ensure its continuity and increase.  On the other hand, denying the favor of God, attributing the blessing to one’s own effort and fortune, and withholding it and being stingy with it result in God’s displeasure and may lead to decrease and loss.   The above true story is a proof of that.  And God knows best.

 

 

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Ramadan and Qur’an

(Keywords: Ramadan, the Month of fasting, the Blessings of Ramadan, Wisdom behind fasting, Benefits of fasting, Benefits of Ramadan, Patience and Endurance, Close relationship between Ramadan and Qur’an,  Qur’an during Ramadan)  

     قال الله عز وجل: { شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ} سورة البقرة 185.

 

God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): { The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an (the Holy Book), a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and distinguishing criterion (between right and wrong).  Then whoever of you sights (the new moon of) the month (of Ramadan), let him fast the month; but whoever is ill or on a journey – then (let him fast) an equal number of other days.  God intends for you ease and never intends hardship for you, and wants for you to complete the days of the month and to glorify Him for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him} (Surah 2, verse 185).

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Fasting has been prescribed in most Divine religions as a test to distinguish the faithful from the weak, and the believers from others.  Indeed, abstaining from food and drink for a big portion of the day is not an easy feat and such an act requires great patience and endurance to accomplish.  Eating and drinking are instincts that most living organisms are equipped with to survive.  Holding back this instinct and resisting the urge to eat and drink for the sake of God is a great act of worship that only the faithful can accomplish.

In Islam, one entire month has been designated for fasting and that is the month of Ramadan or the ninth month of the Hijri (lunar) calendar.  Muslims are obligated to fast this entire month, each day from dawn to sunset, and must make up for any day missed because of travelling or sickness. 

The month of Ramadan is a blessed month and is given a great status in Islam.  Indeed, the good deeds in this month are multiplied manifolds and the reward is magnified as shown in the following authentic hadith:

       عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم  : ( كل عمل ابن آدم يضاعف: الحسنة بعشر أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف. قال الله تعالى: “إلا الصوم، فإنه لي وأنا أجزي به؛ يدع شهوته وطعامه من أجلي”.  للصائم فرحتان: فرحة عند فطره، وفرحة عند لقاء ربه. ولَخَلُوف فم الصائم أطيب عند الله من ريح المسك. والصوم جُنَّة. وإذا كان يوم صوم أحدكم فلا يرفث ولا يصخب، فإن سابَّه أحد أو قاتله، فليقل: إني امرؤ صائم). متفق عليه. ـ

        Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

Every good deed of the son of Adam is multiplied for him: the good deed will be multiplied ten times to seven hundred time.  God the Almighty said: ‘With the exception of fasting, which is done for Me and I will reward for it accordingly, for indeed the son of Adam abandons his (sexual) desire and food for My sake.’

          The Messenger of God said: “Verily, there are two joyous moments for the fasting person: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he will meet his Lord (in the Hereafter).  Verily, the altered smell emanating from the mouth of the fasting person is better in the sight of God than the fragrance of musk.

          Fasting is a shield (with which a servant protects himself from Hell-Fire).  And when one of you is fasting, then he should avoid shameless and loud idle talks. Thus if someone called him bad names or fought with him, then he should say: ‘I am fasting.’  ”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.


 

One of the great wisdom of this month is spiritual training and exercise.  The Muslim is instructed to overcome his unruly and demanding Self by controlling its desire for food, drink and sexual desires.  Then when the self comes under control, it would be easier for the person to control the self in the face of other desires and sins.  God the Almighty referred to this beautiful meaning in Qur’an:

    قال الله عز وجل: { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ } سورة البقرة 183. ـ

     God the Almighty says: {O you who believe, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become pious} (Surah 2, verse183).

          Thus, when the Muslim fasts the month of Ramadan, s/he is actually exercising self-control and learning the strategies and techniques of overcoming the mortal desires of the Evil-Tempting Self, while giving way and dominance to the Righteous and Pious Self. 

       Fasting is a spiritual exercise that starts with learning how to resist the desire for food and drink during the day, but extends to learning how to resist other desires, including sins.  The Muslim learns how to overcome his desire for food and drink for a short time, but at the same times practices how to resist other temptations and sins for a long time.

          Furthermore, God the Almighty has distinguished the Month of Ramadan with a great Night that is equal to 1000 months, Leilatul Qadr.  Indeed, the worship of this one night or Leilatul-Qadr is equal to the worship of 1000 months or 83 years.  God the Almighty says in Qur’an:

قال الله عز وجل: { لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ (3) تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ (4) سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ} سورة القدر 3-5. ـ

God the Almighty says: { Leilatul Qadr (the night of Decree) is better than a thousand months (of worshiping; i.e., 83 years and 4 months).  The angels and the Spirit (Angel Gabriel) descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.  Peace, it is until the appearance of dawn} (Surah 97, verses 3-5).

Leilatul-Qadr is a great night that occurs during the last ten days of the Month of Ramadan.  More specifically, this night occurs during the last seven odd nights of the Month of Ramadan (23, 25, 27, and 29).  Since the next day starts at sunset in Islam, the night of 23 actually occurs on 22nd at night.  The scholars said that Leilatul-Qadr changes from year to year; it may occur on 27th one year, but on 25th in another year and so forth. 

The Muslim is advised to devote himself to the worship of God during every night of the last ten days of the Month of Ramadan so as not to miss the great reward of this blessed night.  During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Muslims should occupy himself with praying Taraweeh (the night prayers), with reciting the Qur’an, with Dhikr or glorifying God, and with Du’a or making supplication to God.  Prophet Muhammad taught us what to say during this great night:

  عن عائِشَةَ رضي اللَّه عنها، قَالَت: ( قُلْتُ: يا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَرَأَيْتَ إِن عَلِمْتُ أَيَّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ القَدْرِ ما أَقُولُ فيها؟ قال: « قُولي: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العفْوَ فاعْفُ عنِّي»).  رواهُ التِرْمذيُّ والنسائي وابن ماجه وأحمد. ـ

     Narrated ‘Aishah -may God be pleased with her- said: “I asked: ‘O Messenger of God, if I find the Night of Al-Qadr what should I say?’  He replied: ‘Say: O God, verily, You are the Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ ” Related by Al-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad.

Thus, we can appreciate the great status and honor of the Month of Ramadan in Islam.  At the same time, the Muslim is warned that missing this great reward amounts to a great loss and regret that can only be fully realized after death when the human will regret every minute of the world in which s/he did not remember and mention God. The Muslim is then instructed to take heed and devote every free minute of this great month in the worship of God and His obedience.


 

The Month of Ramadan has been distinguished with another great merit, and that is the Qur’an.  As mentioned in the verse above, the Holy Book or Qur’an was revealed during the Month of Ramadan.

Thus, there is a close relationship between the Month of Ramadan and the Holy Book (Qur’an).  Qur’an was sent down from Al-Lowh Al-Mahfoodh (the Great Sacred Book with God) to the Sky of the world during the Month of Ramadan.  Later each verse was revealed to Prophet Muhammad at its specific occasion.  Angel Gabriel is the Messenger that was sent with Revelation to all prophets, including Prophet Muhammad- peace be upon them.

     Islam has put great emphasis on the recitation of Qur’an during the Month of Ramadan.  So much so that Angel Gabriel used to both recite what was so far revealed of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad and listen to his recitation as well every night during the Month of Ramadan, as mentioned in the following authentic hadith:

 عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ: ( كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَأَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ جِبْرِيلُ ـ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ ـ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ)‏.‏ رواهُ البخاري ومسلم. ـ

          Narrated Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- was the most generous of all people, and he would become more generous during the Month of Ramadan when Angel Gabriel met him.  Angel Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Quran with him.  During this period, Prophet Muhammad was more generous than the rain-bearing wind.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Many righteous and well-known scholars used to leave other works and devote their time to Qur’an during the blessed Month of Ramadan.  It is related that both Imam Abu Haneefah and Imam Al-Shafi’i used to recite the whole Qur’an 60 times during this month.  Imam Al-Bukhari, the well-known hadith narrator, in Ramadan used to finish the whole Qur’an once during the day, and once every three nights during Taraweeh at night.  Finally, it is related that Othman Ibn Affan, the Third Guided Caliph, stood up in prayer at night and recited the whole Qur’an in one Rak’ah.

Then the Muslim should reflect on the merits of the great Month of Ramadan, and ponder upon its close association with the Divine Revelation (Qur’an).  The Muslim should give both fasting and the recitation of Qur’an a great emphasis during this great month.  Indeed, the reward of reciting every letter of the Qur’an is multiplied ten times in regular times, then what about reciting the Qur’an during this great month.  Indeed, the reward of reciting the Qur’an during the Month of Ramadan is multiplied manifolds, and its benefits are gained with more ease and greater depth during these great days.

Not only do fasting and the recitation of Qur’an have great reward, but both would intercede for the slave on the Day of Judgment at the time of accounting for deeds (hisab) when the slave would be in distress and in most need of good deeds, as mentioned in the following authentic hadith:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما، عنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قالَ: « الصِّيَامُ وَالْقُرْآنُ يَشْفَعَانِ لِلْعَبْدِ، يَقُولُ الصِّيَامُ: أَيْ رَبِّ، إِنِّي مَنَعْتُهُ الطَّعَامَ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ بِالنَّهَارِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ. وَيَقُولُ الْقُرْآن : رَبِّ، إِنِّي مَنَعْتُهُ النَّوْمَ بِاللَّيْلِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ، فَيُشَفَّعَانِ». رواه أحمد والطبراني والحاكم، وصححه. ـ

      Narrated Abdil-Allah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas -may God be pleased with them- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Fasting and Quran will intercede for the slave (on the Day of Judgment).  Fasting will say: ‘O my Lord, I kept him from food and desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.’  And the Quran will say: ‘O my Lord, I kept him from sleeping during the night, so let me intercede for him.’   Thus, both will be allowed to intercede for him [to enter Paradise].”  Related by Ahmad, Al-Tabarni and Al-Hakim.

 

The strength and increase of faith gained during this month should sustain the Muslim for the remainder of the year and urge him to continue to do good until Ramadan of the next year.  Indeed, some of the predecessor righteous people used to pray God to accept their fasting Ramadan of the same year for 6 months, and then pray God to let them fast the next Ramadan for the next 6 months.  Indeed, the reward of fasting and the recitation of Qur’an are great, but their reward is even greater and their gain more significant during the blessed great Month of Ramadan.  And God knows best.

 

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The Dutiful and Devoted Wife

(Keywords: Success in Marriage, Happy marriage, contentment and satisfaction, faithful wife, devoted wife, wife’s duties, wife’s role, pious women, righteous women, Paradise, Obedience to God)

 

        عن عبد الرحمن بن عوف رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « إِذا صَلَّتِ المَرْأَةُ خَمْسَهَا، وصَامَتْ شَهْرَها، وحَفِظَتْ فَرْجَهَا، وأَطَاعَتْ زَوْجَها، قِيلَ لَها: ادْخُلِي الجَنَّةَ مِنْ أَيَّ أَبْوَابِ الجَنَّةِ شِئْتِ» .  رواه أحمد والطبراني. ـ

   Narrated Abdul-Rahman Ibn ‘Awf -may God be pleased with him- that that God’s Messenger -prayer and peace be upon him- said:  

If the woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted her month (of Ramadan), guarded her private parts, and obeyed her husband, it would be said to her: Enter Paradise from whichever door of Paradise you wish.”  Related by Ahmad and Al-Teberani.

 


  

    وعن أسماءَ بنتِ يزيدَ الأنصاريةِ: ( أنها أتَتِ النبيَّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وهو بينَ أصحابِهِ فقالت: بأبي أنت وأمي، إنِّي وَافِدَةُ النساء إليك، واعلم – نفسي لك الفداء- أنه ما من امرأةٍ كائنةٍ في شرقٍ ولا غربٍ سمِعَتْ بمَخْرَجي هذا إلا وهي على مثلِ رأيي: إن الله بعثكَ بالحقِّ إلى الرجالِ والنساءِ، فآمنَّا بِكَ وبإلهك الذي أرسَلك، وإنا معشرَ النساءِ محصوراتٌ مقصوراتٌ، قواعدُ بُيُوتِكم، ومَقْضَى شَهَوَاتِكًم، وحاملاتُ أولادِكم، وإنَّكم معاشرَ الرجالِ فُضِّلْتُمْ علينا بالجمعةِ والجماعاتِ، وعيادةِ المرضى، وشهودِ الجنائزِ، والحجَّ بعدَ الحجِّ، وأفضلَ من ذلك الجهادِ في سبيل الله، وإنِّ الرجلَ منكم إذا خَرَجَ حاجّاً أو معتمَراً أو مرابطاً، حَفِظْنا لكم أموالَكُم، وغَزَلْنا لكم أثوابَكُم، وربَّيْنا لكم أولادَكم، فما نشارِكُكم في الأجْرِ يا رسولَ الله؟  فالتفتَ النبيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إلى أصحابِهِ بوَجْهِهِ كله ثم قال: « هل سَمِعْتُم مقالَةَ امرأةٍ قَطُّ أحسنَ من مُساءلتِها في أمرِ دينِها من هذه؟» فقالوا: يا رسولَ الله، ما ظَنَنَّا أن امرأةً تَهْتَدِي إلى مثلِ هذا. فالتفتَ النبيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إليها ثم قال لها: « انْصَرِفِي أيتُها المرأةُ وأعْلِمي من خلفَكِ من النساء أن حُسْنَ تَبَعُّلِ إحداكُنَّ لزوجِها، وطلبَها مَرْضَاتَهُ، واتِّباعَها موافقتَهُ، يَعْدِلُ ذلكَ كلَّهُ». فأدبرت المرأةُ وهي تُهَلِّلُ وتُكَبِّرُ استبشاراً) . رواه البزار والطبراني والبيهقي في شعب الإيمان واللفظ له. ـ

 

Narrated Asma’ Bint Yezeed Al-Ansariyyeh that she went to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- while he was among his companions and said:

O Messenger of God, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you.  I have come to you, may I be sacrificed for you, on behalf of all Muslim women, whether in the east or west.  Verily, God has sent you as a messenger with the truth to both men and women.  So we have believed in you (as a true messenger) and in God Who has sent you.  And we, the womenfolk, are confined, restricted, and keep in your homes. We are your source of physical pleasure, and bear your children.  While you, the group of men, have been favored over us with attending the Friday prayer and the congregational prayer (in the mosques), visiting the sick, attending funerals, performing Hajj (pilgrimage) repeatedly, and with what is better than that: fighting in the path of God.  And when a man among you goes out for Hajj, or Umrah, or fighting, we, the womenfolk, look after your property, weave your clothing, and raise your children.  Shall we not share in your reward, O Messenger of God?

The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- turned to his Companions fully and said: “Have you ever heard a better statement by a woman asking about the matters of her faith than this one?”  The companions replied: “O Messenger of God, we would not have thought that a woman would be guided to such as this.”

Then the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- turned to her and said:

Go back O lady, and inform the other women, that indeed a woman’s perfect treatment and obedience of her husband, her seeking his pleasure, and her doing what he likes is the equivalent (in reward) to all of that.”

Asma’ left exclaiming La ilaha illa Allah and glorifying God, hoping and rejoicing in the reward.  Related by Al-Bazzar, Al-Tabarani, and Al-Beihaqi in his book “Shu’ab Al-Iman”.

 

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Most Honorable Names of God (Al-Asma’ Al-Husna)

(Keywords: Perfection of God, Oneness of God, Monotheism, Names of God, Obedience to God)

      عن أبي هريرة رضي اللَّه عنه قال: قال رسولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَّم: « إِنَّ لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً غَيْرَ وَاحِدٍ، مَنْ ‏أَحْصَاهَا ‏دَخَلَ الْجَنَّة؛َ هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ، الرَّحِيمُ، الْمَلِكُ، الْقُدُّوسُ، السَّلَامُ، الْمُؤْمِنُ، الْمُهَيْمِنُ، الْعَزِيزُ، الْجَبَّارُ، الْمُتَكَبِّرُ، الْخَالِقُ، الْبَارِئُ، الْمُصَوِّرُ، الْغَفَّارُ، الْقَهَّارُ، الْوَهَّابُ، الرَّزَّاقُ، الْفَتَّاحُ، الْعَلِيمُ، الْقَابِضُ، الْبَاسِطُ، الْخَافِضُ، الرَّافِعُ، الْمُعِزُّ، الْمُذِلُّ، السَّمِيعُ، الْبَصِيرُ، الْحَكَمُ، الْعَدْلُ، اللَّطِيفُ، الْخَبِيرُ، الْحَلِيمُ، الْعَظِيمُ، الْغَفُورُ، الشَّكُورُ، الْعَلِيُّ، الْكَبِيرُ، الْحَفِيظُ، الْمُقِيتُ، الْحَسِيبُ، الْجَلِيلُ، الْكَرِيمُ ،الرَّقِيبُ، الْمُجِيبُ، الْوَاسِعُ، الْحَكِيمُ، الْوَدُودُ، الْمَجِيدُ، الْبَاعِثُ، الشَّهِيدُ، الْحَقُّ، الْوَكِيلُ، الْقَوِيُّ، الْمَتِينُ، الْوَلِيُّ، الْحَمِيدُ، الْمُحْصِي، الْمُبْدِئُ، الْمُعِيدُ، الْمُحْيِي، الْمُمِيتُ، الْحَيُّ، الْقَيُّومُ، الْوَاجِدُ، الْمَاجِدُ، الْوَاحِدُ، الصَّمَدُ، الْقَادِرُ، الْمُقْتَدِرُ، الْمُقَدِّمُ، الْمُؤَخِّرُ، الْأَوَّلُ، الْآخِرُ، الظَّاهِرُ، الْبَاطِنُ، الْوَالِيَ،‏ ‏الْمُتَعَالِي، ‏الْبَرُّ، التَّوَّابُ، الْمُنْتَقِمُ ،الْعَفُوُّ، الرَّءُوفُ، مَالِكُ الْمُلْكِ، ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ، الْمُقْسِطُ، الْجَامِعُ، الْغَنِيُّ، الْمُغْنِي، الْمَانِعُ، الضَّارُّ، النَّافِعُ، النُّورُ، الْهَادِي، الْبَدِيعُ، الْبَاقِي، الْوَارِثُ، الرَّشِيدُ، الصَّبُورُ» .  رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه وابن حبان والحاكم والبيهقي. ـ

 

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           Narrated Abu-Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

God has ninety-nine Names, one-hundred less one; whoever memorized them (and learned them) by heart will enter Paradise.

He is Allah, beside Whom none has the right to be worshiped but He,

the Entirely Merciful (Al-Rahman), the Especially Merciful (Al-Raheem),

the King (Al-Melik), the Holy and Pure (Al-Quddos),

the Peace and Perfection (As-Salaam),

the Bestower of faith and security (Al-Mu’min),

the Watcher and Guardian (Al-Muheimin),

the Exalted in Might (Al-Aziz),

the Compeller and Irresistible (Al-Jabbar),

the Superior and Supreme (Al-Mutakabbir),

the Creator (Al-Khaliq), the Inventor (Al-Bari’), the Bestower of Forms (Al-Musawwir).

The Oft-Forgiving (Al-Ghaffar),

the Prevailing (Al-Qahaar),

the Bestower (Al-Wahhab), the Provider (Al-Razzaq),

the Opener or the Judge (Al-Fattah),

the All Knower (Al-‘Aleem),

the Withholder (Al-Qabid), the Expander (Al-Basit),

the Abaser (Al-Khafid), the Exalter (Al-Rafi’),

the Bestower of Honor (Al-Mu’iz), the Humiliator (Al-Muthil),

the Hearer of All (Al-Samee’), the Seer of All (Al-Baseer).

The Judge (Al-Hakam), the Just (Al-‘Adl),

the Most Kind and Gentle (Al-Lateef),

the All-Aware (Al-Khabeer),

the Forbearing (Al-Haleem),

the Magnificent (Al-Azeem),

the Forgiving (Al-Ghafoor),

the Appreciative (Ash-Shakoor),

the Most High (Al-‘lee), the Most Grand (Al-Kabeer),

the Preserver (Al-Hafeeth), the Nourisher (Al-Muqeet),

the Reckoner (Al-Haseeb).

The Majestc (Al-Jaleel),

the Generous (Al-Kareem),

the Watchful (Al-Raqeeb),

the Responder (Al-Mujeeb),

the All-Encompassing (Al-Wasi’),

the All-Wise (Al-Hakeem),

the Loving One (Al-Wadood),

the All-Glorious (Al-Majeed),

the Resurrector (Al-Ba’ith),

the Witness (Ash-Shaheed).

The Truth (Al-Haqq),

the Trustee (Al-Wakeel),

the Possessor of Strength (Al-Qawee), the Owner of Power (Al-Mateen),

the Protector (Al-Walee),

the Praiseworthy (Al-Hameed),

the Accounter (Al-Muhsee),

the Initiator (Al-Mubdi’), the Restorer (Al-Mu’eed),

the Giver of Life (Al-Muhyee), the Bringer of Death (Al-Mumeet).

The Ever-Living (Al-Heyy),

the Sustainer of All (Al-Qayyom),

the Self-Sufficient and Finder (Al-Wajid),

the Glorious (Al-Majid),

the One and Only (Al-Wahid),

the Eternal Refuge (As-Samed),

the All Able (Al-Qadir), the All Powerful (Al-Muqtadir),

the Expeditor (Al-Muqaddim), the Delayer (Al-Mu’akhir).

The First (Al-Awwal), the Last (Al-‘Akhir),

the Manifest (Al-Dhahir), the Hidden (Al-Batin),

the Governor (Al-Waali),

the Most Exalted (Al-Muta’ali),

the Most Kind (Al-Barr),

the Granter and Accepter of Repentance (Al-Tawwab),

the Avenger (Al-Muntaqim).

The Pardoner (Al-‘Afaww),

the Compassionate (Al-Ra’oof),

the Owner of Kingdom (Malikul-Mulk),

the Possessor of Majesty and Honor (Thul-Jalali Wel Ikram),

the All Just (Al-Muqsit),

the Gatherer (Al-Jami’),

the All Rich (Al-Ghanee), the Enricher (Al-Mughnee),

the Preventer of Harm (Al-Mani’), the Afflicter (Al-Darr).

The Benefactor (Al-Nafi’),

the Light (Al-Noor), the Guide (Al-Hadi),

the Originator (Al-Badee’), the Everlasting (Al-Baqi),

the Ultimate Inheritor (Al-Warith), 

the Teacher and Guide (Al-Rasheed), and the Patient (As-Saboor).

Related by At-Tirmithi (his narration), Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Al-Haakim, and Al-Beihaqi.

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God, the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving

(Keywords: Mercy of God, Perfection of God, Repentance, Asking God for forgiveness, benefits of repentance, human’s weakness, regret and remorse, redemption, salvation, Paradise, Obedience to God)

 

قال الله عز وجل: { فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا * يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَارًا * وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ أَنْهَارًا } سورة نوح 10-12. ـ

قال الشعبي: خرج عمر يستسقي فلم يزد على الاستغفار حتى رجع، فأمطروا فقالوا: ما رأيناك استسقيت؟ فقال: لقد طلبت المطر بمجاديح السماء التي يستنزل بها المطر؛ ثم قرأ: {اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً. يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَاراً}.
وقال ابن صبيح: ( شكا رجل إلى الحسن الجدوبة فقال له: استغفر الله. وشكا آخر إليه الفقر فقال له: استغفر الله. وقال له آخر. ادع الله أن يرزقني ولدا؛ فقال له: استغفر الله. وشكا إليه آخر جفاف بستانه؛ فقال له: استغفر الله. فقلنا له في ذلك؟ فقال: ما قلت من عندي شيئا؛ إن الله تعالى يقول في سورة “نوح”: {اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً. يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَاراً}). ـ

Allah -the Exalted- says: { “I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord (make istighfar). Verily, He is Oft Forgiving.
11. He will send rain to you in abundance. 12. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’ ”} (Surah 71, verses 10-12).

Al-Sha’bi said: “Omar went out to pray for rain, and he did no more than make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness) before returning. Then it rained.
The companions asked him: ‘We did not see you asking for rain.’  He replied: ‘I sought rain with the real key by means of which rain is sought (Majadeeb Al-sama’; i.e., istighfar ).’ Then he recited the verse: {“Ask forgiveness of your Lord (make istighfar), verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance.”}.”


Ibn Sabeeh said: “A man complained to al-Hasan about drought, and he said to him: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
Another man complained to him about poverty and he said to him: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
Another man said to him: ‘Pray Allah to grant me a child.’ Al-Hasan said: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
And a third man complained to him about his dry farm. Al-Hasan said to him: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
So we asked Al-Hasan about that, and he said: ‘This is not my personal opinion; God -the Exalted- says in Surah Nooh: {‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord (make istighfar), 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.’}’ ”.


 

وعن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « يقول الله تعالى: يا ابن آدم، إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني فإني أغفر لك على ما كان منك ولا أبالي، ولو أتيتني بقراب الأرض خطيئة أتيتك بقرابها مغفرة ما لم تشرك بي شيئا، وإن أخطأت حتى تبلغ خطاياك عَنَان السماء ثم استغفرتني، غفرت لك» . رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه وأحمد.  ـ

It is also related that Abu Dhurr narrated that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

“God -the Exalted- has said: ‘O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done and I shall not mind.

O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon if you have not associated anything as partners with Me.

O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask My forgiveness, I shall forgive you.‘ ” Related by Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad.


 

عن أنس رضي الله عنه أن النبيَّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « كُلُّ ابْنِ آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ، وخَيْرُ الخَطَّائِينَ التَّوَابُونَ» . رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه والحاكم. ـ

Narrated Anas -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of sinners are those who repent.” Related by Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim.


 

وعن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « التَّائِبُ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ كَمَنْ لا ذَنْبَ لَهُ» . رواه ابن ماجه والطبراني. ـ

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Mas’ood -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The one who repents of his sin is like the one with no sin.” Related by Ibn Majah and Al-Tabarani.


وعن عبد الله بن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « مَنْ لَزِمَ الاسْتِغْفَارَ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ مِنْ كُلِّ ضِيقٍ مَخْرَجاً، ومِنْ كُلِّ هَمٍّ فَرَجاً، وَرَزَقَهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لا يَحْتَسِبُ» . رواه أبو داود والنسائي وابن ماجه والحاكم والبيهقي. ـ

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them- that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

Whoever maintains istighfar (asking Allah’s forgiveness) always, God will find for him a way out of every trouble, and relief out of every anxiety, and will provide for him from whence he does not expect.”

Related by Abu-dawood, Al-Nasa’ee, Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, and Al-Beihaqi.

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Mother of All Evils (True Story)

 (Keywords: Harmful Effects of alcohol, harmful effects of wine, alcohol addiction, consequences of alcoholism, misguidance, major sins, mortal sins, alcohol in Islam, wine in Islam, Obedience to God)

 

     عن ابْنَ عُمَرَ قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: « لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الْخَمْرَ وَشَارِبَهَا وَسَاقِيَهَا وَبَائِعَهَا وَمُبْتَاعَهَا وَعَاصِرَهَا وَمُعْتَصِرَهَا وَحَامِلَهَا وَالْمَحْمُولَةَ إِلَيْهِ».  رواه أبو داود بإسناد صحيح.‏

Narrated Ibn Omar that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

God has cursed wine, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who conveys it, and the one to whom it is conveyed.”  Related by Abu Dawood with an authentic narration.

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            عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، عنْ أَبِيهِ، قالَ: سَمِعْتُ عُثْمَانَ [بن عفان] رضى الله عنه يَقُولُ: ( اجْتَنِبُوا الْخَمْرَ فَإِنَّهَا أُمُّ الْخَبَائِثِ، إِنَّهُ كَانَ رَجُلٌ مِمَّنْ خَلاَ قَبْلَكُمْ تَعَبَّدَ، فَعَلِقَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ غَوِيَّةٌ فَأَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِ جَارِيَتَهَا فَقَالَتْ لَهُ: إِنَّا نَدْعُوكَ لِلشَّهَادَةِ، فَانْطَلَقَ مَعَ جَارِيَتِهَا فَطَفِقَتْ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ بَابًا أَغْلَقَتْهُ دُونَهُ، حَتَّى أَفْضَى إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ وَضِيئَةٍ عِنْدَهَا غُلاَمٌ وَبَاطِيَةُ خَمْرٍ، فَقَالَتْ: إِنِّي وَاللَّهِ مَا دَعَوْتُكَ لِلشَّهَادَةِ، وَلَكِنْ دَعَوْتُكَ لِتَقَعَ عَلَىَّ، أَوْ تَشْرَبَ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْخَمْرَةِ كَأْسًا، أَوْ تَقْتُلَ هَذَا الْغُلاَمَ ‏.‏ قَالَ: فَاسْقِينِي مِنْ هَذَا الْخَمْرِ كَأْسًا فَسَقَتْهُ كَأْسًا.‏ قَالَ: زِيدُونِي، فَلَمْ يَرِمْ حَتَّى وَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا وَقَتَلَ النَّفْسَ، فَاجْتَنِبُوا الْخَمْرَ فَإِنَّهَا وَاللَّهِ لاَ يَجْتَمِعُ الإِيمَانُ وَإِدْمَانُ الْخَمْرِ إِلاَّ لَيُوشِكُ أَنْ يُخْرِجَ أَحَدُهُمَا صَاحِبَهُ). رواه النسائي بإسناد صحيح.‏

 

          Narrated Abu Bakr Ibn Abdil-Rahman Ibn Al-Harith that his father that he heard Othman Ibn Affan, may God be pleased with him, say:

Avoid wine (alcohol) for it is the Mother of All Evils. There was a man among those who came before you who devoted himself to worshiping God.

  An immoral woman fell in love with him, so she sent her female servant to him, and said: ‘We are calling you to bear witness.’  He answered the call and set out with the female servant (until they reached her home).  Every time he entered a door, she would lock it behind him until he reached a beautiful woman who had with her a boy and a vessel of wine.

  The woman said to him: ‘By God I did not call you to bear witness, but called you to have intercourse with me, or to drink a glass of this wine, or to kill this boy.’  He said: ‘Pour me a glass of this wine.’  So she poured him a glass of the wine. He drank it and then said: ‘Give me more.’  And soon he had intercourse with her and killed the boy.  

So avoid wine (alcohol), for by God faith and addiction to alcohol cannot coexist but, one of them will soon expel the other.”  Related by Al-Nasa’i with an authentic narration.

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A Man from Paradise

(Keywords: Purifying Inner Self, Getting rid of Vices, Mending the Self, Islah Al-Batin)

    عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: ( كنا جلوسا مع رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم فقال: « يَطلُعُ الآن عليكم رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلع رجل من الأنصار تنظُفُ لحيتُه من وضوئه، قد علق نعليه بيده الشمال،  فلما كان الغد قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل ذلك، فطلع ذلك الرجل مثل المرة الأولى، فلما كان اليوم الثالث قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل مقالته أيضا، فطلع ذلك الرجل على مثل حاله الأول،  فلما قام النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم تبعه عبد الله بن عمرو فقال: إني لاحيتُ (أي خاصمت) أبي، فأقسمت أني لا أدخل عليه ثلاثا، فإن رأيت أن تؤويني إليك حتى تمضي فعلت، قال: نعم، قال أنس: فكان عبد الله يحدث أنه بات معه تلك الثلاث الليالي فلم يره يقوم من الليل شيئا، غير أنه إذا تعارَّ (أي استيقظ) تقلَّب على فراشه ذكر الله عز وجل، وكبر حتى صلاة الفجر. ـ

قال عبد الله : غير أني لم أسمعه يقول إلا خيرا، فلما مضت الثلاث الليالي وكدت أن أحتقر عمله، قلت: يا عبد الله لم يكن بيني وبين أبي غضب ولا هجرة، ولكن سمعت رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول لك ثلاث مرات: « يَطلُعُ عليكم الآن رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلعت أنت الثلاث المرات فأردت أن آوي إليك فأنظر ما عملك فأقتدي بك، فلم أرك عملتَ كبيرَ عملٍ، فما الذي بلغ بك ما قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم؟  قال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت. فلما وليت دعاني، فقال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت غير أني لا أجد في نفسي لأحد من المسلمين غِشا، ولا أحسُد أحدا على خير أعطاه الله إياه، فقال عبد الله : هذه التي بلغت بك) .  رواه أحمد بإسناد على شرط البخاري ومسلم والنسائي وأبو يعلى والبزار وسمى الرجل المبهم سعدا. ـ

زاد النسائي في رواية له والبيهقي والأصبهاني فقال عبد الله : (هذه التي بلغت بك، وهي التي لا نُطِيق ) . ـ

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Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may God be pleased with him- said: “While we were sitting with the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him, he said: ‘A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now.’  So a man from the tribe of Al-Ansaar came out, whose beard was dripping from his ablution, and he had hung his shoes in his left hand.

When the following morning came, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing, so the same man came out like the first time.

On the third day, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing again, and the same man came out in the same condition.

When the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- left, Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr followed the Ansaari man and said to him: ‘I have quarreled with my father and I have sworn to avoid him for three days, so if you could let me stay with you until they pass.’  He replied: ‘Yes.’

Anas said: Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr related that he slept those three nights in the Ansaari man’s house, and he did not see him praying any voluntary prayers at night.  However, whenever he woke up, he would roll over on his bed and mention God -the Almighty- and say Allahu akbar (God is the Greatest) until the dawn prayer.

Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘But I only heard him speaking good.  And when the three nights had passed and I almost scorned his deed, I said to him: O Abdul-Allah, there was not any quarrel or abandonment between my father and me, but I heard the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- saying three times about you: `A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now,`  and you came out on the three times.  So I wanted to stay with you to find about your deed, and do likewise.  But I haven’t seen you doing any great deed, so what made you reach what the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- had mentioned.’  He replied: ‘I have nothing except what you saw.’  As I was leaving, he called me back and said: ‘I have nothing except what you saw, but I do not find within myself any deceitfulness for any of the Muslims, and I do not feel jealous toward anyone for any good that God has granted him.’

So Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree.’ ”  And in another narration: “Abdul-Allah said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree, and it is what we cannot bear doing.’ ”   Related by Imam Ahmad with a narration based on Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim, and Al-Nasa’ee, Al-Beihaqi, Abu Ya’la, Al-Asbahani, and Al-Bazzar (Who named the obscure man: Sa’ad).

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          Islam places great emphasis on righteousness and piety.  The Muslim is commanded to obey God, by doing what God has obligated and staying away from what God has forbidden.  Thus, the Muslim is instructed to do all obligatory deeds (wajibat) and refrain from sins and misdeeds.

But beside paying attention to outer deeds and action, Islam has placed great emphasis on purifying the inner self as well.  So while it is important to engage in worship and avoid all sins with the limbs, it is equally important to work on the inner heart and try to adorn the self with good traits like modesty, generosity, forgiveness and the like, and to rid the inner self of vices like pride, jealousy, cheating, etc.

The Muslim does not attain full Faith (Iman) until he mends both his outer and inner self.  The Muslim should be concerned with his outer action by trying to obey God in all of his action, but the Muslim should also be concerned with his inner self and try to adorn it with good traits and try to rid the inner self of vices.

Once the Muslim mends his inner and outer self, then he would attain full Faith (Iman) and will get higher grades in Paradise.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- pointed to the same man as being ‘a man from Paradise’ for three consecutive days. 

And when Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr stayed with the same man for three days, he couldn’t detect any extra worship or many good voluntary deeds.  But when Abdul-Allah asked him directly, the man denied anything at first, but as Abdul-Allah was leaving, he casually enlightened about the real reason. 

The man said that he doesn’t find in himself any ill-feelings for others.  In other words, he had purified his inner self.  So not only did he obey God outwardly, but he also mended his inner self, so it was adorned with modesty (as seen from his denial of being good), generosity (as seen from his welcoming Abdul-Allah as a guest for three days), and piety (as seen from his avoidance of sins). 

Furthermore, the man had purified his inner self of vices so he stated that he didn’t have any ill-feelings for others.  Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr got the message and exclaimed: Then that was why the Messenger of Allah declared you to be a man from Paradise for three consecutive days.

Then, the Muslim is advised to try to obey God by doing good deeds and avoid sins, but also by trying to mend his inner self by adorning it with good traits and ridding it of vices.  And God and His Messenger know best.

 

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The Best Nation

 (Keywords: Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil, Approving and Supporting Public Good, Disapproving and Discouraging Public Evil, Spread of Evil, Widespread Sins)

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: {كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ} سورة آل عمران 110. ـ

  قال ابن كثير في تفسيره: ( {كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس تأمرون بالمعروف وتنهون عن المنكر وتؤمنون بالله} فمن اتصف من هذه الأمة بهذه الصفات دخل معهم في هذا الثناء عليهم والمدح لهم ، كما قال قتادة: بلغنا أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه في حجَّة حجَّها رأى من الناس سرعة، فقرأ هذه الآية: {كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس} ثم قال: من سره أن يكون من تلك الأمة فليؤد شرط الله فيها. رواه ابن جرير . ـ
ومن لم يتصف بذلك أشبه أهل الكتاب الذين ذمهم الله بقوله: {كانوا لا يتناهون عن منكر فعلوه لبئس ما كانوا يفعلون} [المائدة، 79]). انتهى. ـ

English Translation:

God the Almighty says in Qur’an: {You are the best nation ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Good and forbid Evil, and you believe in God} (Surah 3, verse 110).

Ibn Katheer said in his Exegesis: “{You are the best nation ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Good and forbid Evil, and you believe in God}. Therefore, whoever among this nation acquires these qualities, will be included in this praise.

The scholar Qatadah said: ‘We were told that Omar Ibn Al-Khattab while performing Hajj once, saw some people rushing, so he recited this verse and then said: `Whoever likes to be among the mentioned nation, then let him fulfill the condition that God has set in it.`’  Related by Ibn Jarir.

But those from this nation who do not acquire these qualities will be just like the People of the Scriptures whom God criticized in His verse: {They used not to forbid one another from the evil which they committed} (Surah 5, verse 79).”

 

The Almighty God has described this nation as the best nation among all nations, and then stated three reasons for that favor.  The nation of Prophet Muhammad is the last nation, but most favored one.  The three reasons for that favor mentioned in the verse are: First, they are firm believers in God as One and the Only God worthy of worship alone with no partners or equal, and they are firm believers in His Divine Message which He sent to His messengers and Prophets, including the last Prophet, Muhammad.  Second, they do righteous and enjoin good.  And third, they refrain from evil and sins and prohibit them.

It was God’s great mercy upon this nation that He made it the last but the greatest in reward.  Not only that, but this nation has been favored with many attributes that previous nations haven’t been favored with.  The message of Prophet Muhammad is general to all mankind, while other prophets were sent to specific people; the reward of a good deed is multiplied ten times while the sin is considered one misdeed for this nation; the knowledge granted to this nation encompasses all previous Scriptures, such that Islam explains everything so clearly and logically that no confusion or doubt remain; the gate of Repentance has been left open for this nation till the soul reaches the throat; this nation constitutes two thirds of the people of Paradise; and last but not least Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- would intercede for this great nation on the Day of Judgment.  Prophet Muhammad alluded to this favor in the following hadith:

 

       عن ‏حَكِيمِ بْنِ مُعَاوِيَةَ عن ‏أَبِيهِ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَالَ: « أَنْتُمْ تُوَفُّون سَبْعِينَ أُمَّةً، أَنْتُمْ خَيْرُهَا، وَأَنْتُمْ أَكْرَمُ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل».  رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه والحاكم وأحمد وإسناده حسن. ـ

Narrated Hakeem Ibn Mu’awiyah, narrated his father that the Messenger of God (Muhammad) -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “You are the final of seventy nations, you are the best and most honored among them to God.”  Related by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim, and Ahmad.  (Hasan).

           However, the distinction of being the best nation comes with certain conditions and terms, chief among them are the three conditions mentioned in the verse.  Muslims would be favored if: 1) they truly believe in God and His Messengers, and act righteous by 2) enjoining good and doing it and 3) forbidding evil and sins and staying away from them.  Only if they fulfill these conditions, would they be considered the best nation.  But if they do not, then they are just like other creatures of God.  God -the Exalted- said in another verse:

قال الله عز وجل: وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم بَلْ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ} سورة المائدة، 18. ـ

   God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { The Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the children of God and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins then! Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created; He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the final return (of all)} (Surah 5, verse 18).

   Ibn Katheer said: “Meaning, if you were truly God’s children and loved ones as you claim, then why did He prepare the Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims.

{Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created}, God states: You are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and God is the Lord of all His creation.

{He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills}:  God does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgment, and He is swift in reckoning.

{And to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them}: Therefore, everything is God’s property and under His power and control.

{And to Him is the return}: In the end, the return will be to God and He will judge between His servants as He will, and He is the Most Just Who is never wrong in His judgment). End Quote.

The same rule applies to this nation, if they believe in God and act righteous then they are favored and would be considered the best nation; but if they stray away from religion, stop acting righteous by accepting public sins then that favor is no longer in place, and they may be punished.

          Islam emphasizes enjoining good and forbidding evil as an important check and curb for the practice of sins individually and the spread of evil and sins in society.  The concept of Public Shame is an important concept that helps keep society in check and saves it from straying from morality.  Furthermore, the concept of Public Shame saves society from accepting degradation and loss of principles and ideals that continually erode with time.  As every generation passes on, some of its principles and ideals are lost as the new generation adopts new and oftentimes more bold and immoral practices and traditions.

          Therefore, Islam has prescribed the concept of enjoining good and forbidding evil in order to develop a sense of self-righteousness in the individual himself, and develop abhorrence and intolerance of public evil.  This in turn would create a society of moral and righteous people who not only care about their own family’s well-being, but also about the well-being of their neighbors and the whole society.  The end result is a peaceful and loving society that adheres to religious values and is characterized by morality and a high code of ethics.

           On the other hand, when people see evil and think nothing of it; when evil spreads among a community and people say nothing about it; and when most people get engaged in that evil with no objection or censure, then that community is at risk of some of punishment in one form or another.

Indeed, God the Almighty gives us many examples of some past communities that engaged in public sins and were therefore destroyed.  God the Almighty says in Qur’an:

  قال الله عز وجل: { الْحَاقَّةُ (1) مَا الْحَاقَّةُ (2) وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحَاقَّةُ (3) كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ وَعَادٌ بِالْقَارِعَةِ (4) فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِالطَّاغِيَةِ (5) وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ (6) سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ (7) فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُمْ مِنْ بَاقِيَةٍ (8) وَجَاءَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَنْ قَبْلَهُ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَاتُ بِالْخَاطِئَةِ (9) فَعَصَوْا رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةً رَابِيَةً (10) إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَى الْمَاءُ حَمَلْنَاكُمْ فِي الْجَارِيَةِ (11) لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَا أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ } سورة الحاقة 1-12. ـ

 God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { 1. The Inevitable Reality (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)!  2. What is the Inevitable Reality? 3. And what will make you know what the Inevitable Reality is?

  1. The People of Thamood and Aad denied the striking Hour (i.e., Resurrection).
  2. As for Thamood, they were destroyed by the awful blast!
  3. And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind;
  4. Which God imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms.
  5. Do you see any remnants of them?
  6. And there came Pharaoh, those before him, and the overturned Cities (i.e., the towns of the people of Lout (Lot), all committed sin.
  1. They disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He punished them with a strong punishment.
  2. Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits (Noah Flood), We carried you (mankind) in the floating (ship that was constructed by Noah).
  3. That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a heedful ear would take heed} (Surah 69, verses 1-12).

    Then, Muslims are commanded to enjoin good and act upon it; and forbid evil and sins and refrain from it to avoid a similar fate like of those before us.  Not only that, but we have been warned time and again that when sins become widespread and Public Shame is lost, then punishment descends in one form or another.  Prophet Muhammad warned us of the consequences of five sins if they become widespread:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ: «‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ خَمْسٌ إِذَا ابْتُلِيتُمْ بِهِنَّ وَأَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ تُدْرِكُوهُنَّ: لَمْ تَظْهَرِ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي قَوْمٍ قَطُّ حَتَّى يُعْلِنُوا بِهَا إِلاَّ فَشَا فِيهِمُ الطَّاعُونُ وَالأَوْجَاعُ الَّتِي لَمْ تَكُنْ مَضَتْ فِي أَسْلاَفِهِمُ الَّذِينَ مَضَوْا،‏ وَلَمْ يَنْقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ إِلاَّ أُخِذُوا بِالسِّنِينَ وَشِدَّةِ الْمَؤُنَةِ وَجَوْرِ السُّلْطَانِ عَلَيْهِمْ،‏ وَلَمْ يَمْنَعُوا زَكَاةَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ إِلاَّ مُنِعُوا الْقَطْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَلَوْلاَ الْبَهَائِمُ لَمْ يُمْطَرُوا، وَلَمْ يَنْقُضُوا عَهْدَ اللَّهِ وَعَهْدَ رَسُولِهِ إِلاَّ سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ عَدُوًّا مِنْ غَيْرِهِمْ فَأَخَذُوا بَعْضَ مَا فِي أَيْدِيهِمْ،‏ وَمَا لَمْ تَحْكُمْ أَئِمَّتُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَيَتَخَيَّرُوا مِمَّا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ بَأْسَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ».  رواه ابن ماجه. ـ

     Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- once turned to us and said: ‘O Group of the Migrants (Muhajireen), there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with God lest you live to see them:

Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among their predecessors will spread among them.

They do not cheat in weights and measures but they will be stricken with famine, severe calamity and the oppression of their rulers.

They do not withhold the obligatory charity (Zakah) of their wealth, but rain will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them.

They do not break their covenant with God and His Messenger, but God will enable their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands. 

And unless their leaders rule according to the Book of God and seek all good from that which God has revealed, God will cause them to fight one another.’ ”  Related by Ibn Majah.

Finally, Prophet Muhammad taught us to enjoin good and forbid evil, he taught us to encourage good and support it, and he taught us to abhor evil and try to prevent it.  He described enjoining good and liking it in public, and forbidding evil and disliking it in public as a sign of inner faith:

    عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول: « مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُم مُنْكراً فَلْيغيِّرْهُ بِيَدهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبقَلبهِ وَذَلَكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ» .  رواه مسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه والنسائي. ـ

        Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri -may God be pleased with him- said: “I heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: ‘Whoever amongst you witnesses an evil, then let him change it with his hand. If he is unable, then let him change it with his tongue. And if he is unable then let him change it with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.’”

And in another narration: “There is no faith beyond that, not even the weight of a mustard seed.”  Related by Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and An-Nasa’i.

Furthermore, we have been warned of the severe consequences of accepting sins and thinking nothing of it, or seeing sins and doing nothing about it:

        وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: ( دخلَ عَلَيَّ النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فعرفتُ في وجهه أن قد حضره شيءٌ، فتوضأ وما كلم أحداً، فلصقتُ بالحجرة أستمعُ ما يقول، فقعدَ على المنبرِ فحَمِدَ اللهَ وأَثْنَى عليهِ، وقال: « يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ لكم: مُرُوا بِالمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَوْا عَنِ المُنْكَرِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَدْعُوا فَلَا أُجِيبُ لَكُمْ، وَتَسْأَلُونِي فَلَا أُعْطِيكُم،ْ وَتَسْتَنْصِرُونِي فَلَا أَنْصُرُكُمْ» ، فما زاد عليهن حتى نزل) .  رواه ابن ماجه وابن حبان. ـ

   Narrated Aishah -may God be pleased with her- said: “The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- once came inside the house, and it was evident from his face that he was concerned about something.  He performed ablution (wudu’) without talking to anybody and then went to the mosque. I stood close to the wall to carefully listen to what he was going to say.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- sat at the pulpit, praised and extolled God, and then said:

‘O People, God says to you: Enjoin others to do good and forbid others from evil; otherwise a time will come when you pray but I will not answer you, ask Me for your needs but I will not grant them to you; and seek My assistance against your enemies, but I will not assist you.’   The Prophet prayer and peace be upon him- did not add anything further but came down from the pulpit.’ ”  Related by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban.

 

   Once the Muslim adheres to these three conditions; namely the firm belief in God and His Messengers, enjoining good and acting on it, and forbidding evil and staying away from it, then s/he would be included in the highly praised, favored last nation, and his reward would be multiplied many-folds.  Furthermore, he would be among the first to enter Paradise as Prophet Muhammad mentioned:

‏   وعن ‏أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه‏ ‏قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « نَحْنُ الْآخِرُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَنَحْنُ أَوَّلُ مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ».  متفق عليه. ـ

    Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him-said: “We (Muslims) are the last (to come), but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Judgment, and will be the first people to enter Paradise.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

 

Then, the sensible should know that this nation is the best nation and most favored one among all nations, but there are certain conditions that must be met.  Chief among these conditions are: 1) the firm belief in God as the Only God worthy of worship and the firm belief in his prophets and messengers, and acting righteous by 2) enjoining good and doing it and 3) forbidding evil and sins and refraining from them.  Only if the Muslim fulfills these conditions, he would be considered among the best nation.  But if the Muslim community does not adhere to these conditions, then it is just like other creatures of God, whom He either punishes or forgives.  We ask God for His Guidance, Forgiveness and Mercy.

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Second Coming of Jesus Christ in Islam

       عَن النَّواس بنِ سَمْعانَ رضي اللَّه عَنْهُ قالَ : ذَكَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم الدَّجَّالَ ذَاتَ غَدَاةٍ، فَخَفَّض فِيهِ وَرَفَع حَتَّى ظَنَناه في طَائِفَةِ النَّخْلِ. فَلَمَّا رُحْنَا إلَيْهِ، عَرَفَ ذلكَ فِينَا فقالَ: « ما شأنكم؟» قُلْنَا: يَارَسُولَ اللَّهِ ذَكَرْتَ الدَّجَّال الْغَدَاةَ، فَخَفَّضْتَ فِيهِ وَرَفَعْتَ، حَتَّى ظَنَنَّاه في طَائِفةِ النَّخْلِ فقالَ: « غَيْرُ الدَّجَالِ أخْوفَني عَلَيْكُمْ، إنْ يخْرجْ وأنآ فِيكُمْ فَأنَا حَجِيجُه دونَكُمْ، وَإنْ يَخْرجْ وَلَسْتُ فِيكُمْ فكلُّ امريءٍ حَجيجُ نَفْسِهِ، واللَّه خَليفَتي عَلى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ . إنَّه شَابٌ قَطَطٌ عَيْنُهُ طَافِيَةٌ، كأَنَّي أشَبِّهُه بعَبْدِ الْعُزَّى بن قَطَنٍ، فَمَنْ أدْرَكَه مِنْكُمْ فَلْيَقْرَأْ عَلَيْهِ فَوَاتِحَ سُورةِ الْكَهْفِ، إنَّه خَارِجٌ خَلَّةً بَينَ الشَّامِ وَالْعِرَاقِ، فَعَاثَ يمِيناً وَعاثَ شمالاً، يَا عبَادَ اللَّه فَاثْبُتُوا».

قُلْنَا يا رسول اللَّه ومَالُبْثُه في الأرْضِ؟ قالَ: « أرْبَعُون يَوْماً: يَوْمٌ كَسَنَةٍ، وَيَوْمٌ كَشَهْرٍ، وَيوْمٌ كجُمُعَةٍ، وَسَائِرُ أيَّامِهِ كأَيَّامِكُم» .  قُلْنَا: يا رَسُول اللَّه، فَذلكَ الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي كَسَنَةٍ أتكْفِينَا فِيهِ صلاةُ يَوْمٍ؟ قال: « لا، اقْدُرُوا لَهُ قَدْرَهُ» .

قُلْنَا: يَارَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا إسْراعُهُ في الأرْضِ؟ قالَ: « كَالْغَيْث استَدبَرَتْه الرِّيحُ، فَيَأْتي على الْقَوْم فَيَدْعُوهم، فَيؤْمنُونَ بِهِ ويَسْتجيبون لَهُ فَيَأمُرُ السَّماءَ فَتُمْطِرُ والأرْضَ فَتُنْبِتُ، فَتَرُوحُ عَلَيْهمْ سارِحتُهُم أطْوَلَ مَا كَانَتْ ذُرى وَأسْبَغَه ضُرُوعاً وأمَدَّهُ خَواصِرَ، ثُمَّ يَأْتي الْقَوْمَ فَيَدْعُوهم ، فَيَرُدُّون عَلَيهِ قَوْلهُ فَيَنْصَرف عَنْهُمْ، فَيُصْبحُون مُمْحِلينَ لَيْسَ بأيْدِيهم شَيءٌ منْ أمْوالِهم، وَيَمُرُّ بِالخَربَةِ فَيقول لَهَا: أخْرجِي كُنُوزَكِ، فَتَتْبَعُه كُنُوزُهَا كَيَعَاسِيب النَّحْلِ. ثُّمَّ يدْعُو رَجُلاً مُمْتَلِئاً شَباباً فَيضْربُهُ بالسَّيْفِ فَيَقْطَعهُ جِزْلَتَيْن رَمْيَةَ الْغَرَضِ، ثُمَّ يَدْعُوهُ فَيُقْبِلُ، وَيَتَهلَّلُ وجْهُهُ يَضْحَكُ .

فَبَينَما هُو كَذلكَ إذْ بَعَثَ اللَّه تَعَالى المسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيم صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فَيَنْزِلُ عِنْد المَنَارَةِ الْبَيْضـَآءِ شَرْقيَّ دِمَشْقَ بَيْنَ مَهْرُودتَيْنِ، وَاضعاً كَفَّيْهِ عَلى أجْنِحةِ مَلَكَيْنِ، إذا طَأْطَأَ رَأسهُ قَطَرَ وإذا رَفَعَهُ تَحدَّر مِنْهُ جُمَانٌ كَاللُّؤلُؤ، فَلا يَحِلُّ لِكَافِر يَجِدُّ ريحَ نَفَسِه إلاَّ مات، ونَفَسُهُ يَنْتَهِي إلى حَيْثُ يَنْتَهِي طَرْفُهُ، فَيَطْلُبُه حَتَّى يُدْرِكَهُ بَباب لُدٍّ فَيَقْتُلُه. ثُمَّ يأتي عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَوْماً قَدْ عَصَمَهُمُ اللَّه مِنْهُ، فَيَمْسَحُ عنْ وُجوهِهِمْ، ويحَدِّثُهُم بِدرَجاتِهم في الجنَّةِ .

فَبَينَما هُوَ كَذلِكَ إذْ أوْحَى اللَّه تَعَالى إلى عِيسى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم أنِّي قَدْ أَخرَجتُ عِبَاداً لي لا يدانِ لأحَدٍ بقِتَالهمْ، فَحَرِّزْ عِبادي إلى الطُّورِ، وَيَبْعَثُ اللَّه يَأْجُوجَ ومَأجوجَ وَهُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ حَدِبٍ يَنْسلُون، فيَمُرُّ أوَائلُهُم عَلى بُحَيْرةِ طَبرِيَّةَ فَيَشْرَبون مَا فيهَا، وَيمُرُّ آخِرُهُمْ فيقولُونَ: لَقَدْ كَانَ بهَذِهِ مرَّةً ماءٌ.  وَيُحْصَرُ نبي اللَّهِ عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وَأصْحَابُهُ حَتَّى يكُونَ رأْسُ الثَّوْرِ لأحدِهمْ خيْراً منْ مائَةِ دِينَارٍ لأحَدِكُمُ الْيَوْمَ، فَيرْغَبُ نبي اللَّه عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وأَصْحَابُه رضي اللَّه عَنْهُمْ إلى اللَّهِ تَعَالى، فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّه تَعَالى عَلَيْهِمْ النَّغَفَ في رِقَابِهِم، فَيُصبحُون فَرْسى كَموْتِ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، ثُمَّ يهْبِطُ نبي اللَّه عيسى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وَأصْحابهُ رضي اللَّه عَنْهُمْ إلى الأرْضِ فَلاَ يَجِدُون في الأرْضِ مَوْضِعَ شِبْرٍ إلاَّ مَلأهُ زَهَمُهُمْ وَنَتَنُهُمْ ، فَيَرْغَبُ نبي اللَّه عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وَأصْحابُهُ رضي اللَّه عَنْهُمْ إلى اللَّه تَعَالَى، فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّه تَعَالى طيْراً كَأعْنَاقِ الْبُخْتِ فَتحْمِلُهُمْ، فَتَطرَحُهم حَيْتُ شَآءَ اللَّه، ثُمَّ يُرْسِلُ اللَّه عَزَّ وجَلَّ مـطَراً لا يَكِنُّ مِنْهُ بَيْتُ مَدَرٍ ولا وَبَرٍ، فَيَغْسِلُ الأرْضَ حَتَّى يَتْرُكَهَا كالزَّلَقَةِ.  

ثُمَّ يُقَالُ لِلأرْضِ: أنْبِتي ثَمرَتَكِ ورُدِّي برَكَتَكِ، فَيَوْمئِذٍ تأكُلُ الْعِصَابَة مِن الرُّمَّانَةِ وَيسْتظِلون بِقِحْفِهَا، وَيُبارَكُ في الرِّسْلِ حَتَّى إنَّ اللَّقْحَةَ مِنَ الإبِلِ لَتَكْفي الفئَامَ مِنَ النَّاس، وَاللَّقْحَةَ مِنَ الْبَقَرِ لَتَكْفي الْقَبِيلَةَ مِنَ النَّاس، وَاللَّقْحَةَ مِنَ الْغَنمِ لَتَكْفي الفَخِذَ مِنَ النَّاس.

فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ كَذَلِكَ إذْ بَعَثَ اللَّه تَعالَى رِيحاً طَيِّبَةً، فَتأْخُذُهم تَحْتَ آبَاطِهِمْ، فَتَقْبِضُ رُوحَ كُلِّ مُؤمِن وكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ، وَيبْقَى شِرَارُ النَّاسِ يَتهَارجُون فِيهَا تَهَارُج الْحُمُرِ فَعَلَيْهِم تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ». رواهُ مسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه وأحمد.  

 

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English Translation:

 

         An-Nawwas Ibn Sam’an said: “Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, made a mention of the Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) one day in the morning. He sometimes described him to be insignificant and sometimes described (his turmoil) as very significant (and we felt) as if he were in the cluster of the date-palm trees.

   When we went to the Holy Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- in the evening, he read (the signs of fear) in our faces, so asked: ‘What is the matter with you?’  We said: ‘O Messenger of God, you made a mention of Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) in the morning, (sometimes describing him) to be insignificant and sometimes very important, until we began to think as if he were present in a nearby cluster of date palm trees.’ 

Thereupon Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

 ‘I harbor more fear for you in other things besides the Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal).  If he comes forth while I am among you, I shall contend with him on your behalf, but if he comes forth while I am not among you, everyone must contend on his own behalf and God would take care of every Muslim on my behalf (and safeguard him against that his evil). 

  The Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) is a young man with twisted, contracted hair, and a blind eye.  I compare him to Abdul-‘Uzza Ibn Qatan. Those among you who survive to see him should recite over him the opening verses of Surah Al-Kahf (Surah 18). The Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) will appear on the way between Syria and Iraq and would spread mischief right and left.  O servants of God, adhere (to the path of Truth).

   We said: ‘O Messenger of God, how long will he stay on the earth?’  The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied: ‘For forty days: of which one day will be like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week, and the rest of the days will be like your regular days.’  We said: ‘O Messenger of God, would one day’s prayer suffice for the prayers of that day equal to one year?’ Thereupon he said: ‘No, but you must make an estimate of time (and then observe prayer).’

   We asked: ‘O Messenger of God, how quickly will he walk upon the earth?’  Thereupon the Holy Prophet said: ‘Like a cloud driven by the wind. He will come to the people and invite them (to a wrong religion) and they will affirm their faith in him and respond to him.  He will then give command to the sky and there will be rainfall upon the earth and it will grow crops. Then, in the evening, their posturing animals would come to them with their humps very high, their udders full of milk and their flanks stretched. He will then come to another people and invite them. But they will reject him and he will go away from them, and there will be drought for them and nothing would be left with them in the form of wealth. He will also walk through the waste land and say to it: ‘Bring forth your treasures’, and the treasures would come out and collect (themselves) before him like the swarm of bees.

  He will then call a person brimming with youth and strike him with the sword and cut him into two pieces and (make these pieces lie at a distance which is generally) between the archer and his target.  He will then call (that young man) and he will come forward laughing with his face gleaming (with happiness).

And it will be at this very time that God will send Jesus Christ (Isa), the son of Mary. Jesus will come down at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron, and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When Jesus Christ (Isa) will lower his head, there will fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he will raise it up, beads like pearls will scatter from it. Every non-believer who would smell the odor of his self (Jesus) will die, and Jesus’s breath will reach as far as he will be able to see.

 

Jesus Christ (Isa) will then search for the Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) until he will catch hold of him at the gate of Ludd and kill him.  Then a group of people whom God had protected would come to Jesus, the son of Mary, and he will wipe their faces and inform them of their ranks in Paradise.

  And it will be under such conditions that God would reveal to Jesus these words: `I have brought forth from among My servants such people against whom none would be able to fight; so take my servants safely to Tur.`

   And then God will send Gog and Magog (Ya’jooj wa Ma’jooj) and they will swarm down from every slope. The first of them will pass the lake of Tibering and drink out of it.  And when the last of them will pass, he would say: There was once water there.

 Jesus and his companions will then be besieged here (at Tur, and they will be so hard pressed) that the head of the ox would be dearer to them than one hundred dinars.  God’s Prophet, Jesus, and his companions will supplicate to God, Who will send against Gog and Magog insects (that will attack their necks) and in the morning they will perish like one single person. God’s Prophet, Jesus, and his companions will then come down to the earth and they will not find in the earth as much space as a single span that is not filled with their putrefaction and stench. God’s Prophet, Jesus, and his companions will then again beseech God, Who will send birds whose necks will be like those of Bactrin camels and they will carry them and throw them where God wills. Then God will send rain which no house of clay or (the tent of) camels’ hairs would keep out and it will wash away the earth until it could appear to be like a mirror.

   Then the earth will be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing.  As a result, there will grow (such a big) pomegranate that a group of persons will be able to eat from it and seek shelter under its skin, and a milch cow would give so much milk that a whole party would be able to drink it. And the milch camel would give such (a large quantity of) milk that the whole tribe would be able to drink out of that. And the milch sheep would give so much milk that the whole family would be able to drink out of that.

   At that time God would send a pleasant wind which would soothe (people) from under their armpits, and would take the life of every Muslim.  Only the wicked would survive who would commit adultery openly like donkeys, and the Last Hour would come upon them.’ ”  Related by Imam Muslim, Ibn Majah, Al-Tirmidhi, and Imam Ahmad.

  

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Guarding Chastity and Staying away from adultery (Zina)

 

      عن أبي هُريْرةَ رضي اللَّه عنْهُ عنِ النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَال: « كُتِبَ على ابْنِ آدَمَ نَصِيبُهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا مُدْرِكٌ ذَلِكَ لا مَحَالَةَ: العَيْنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا النَّظَرُ، والأُذُنَانِ زِنَاهُما الاسْتِماعُ، واللِّسَانُ زِنَاهُ الكَلامُ، وَاليَدُ زِنَاهَا البَطْشُ، والرِّجْلُ زِنَاهَا الخُطَا، والقَلْب يَهْوَى وَيَتَمنَّى، ويُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ الفَرْجُ أوْ يُكَذِّبُهُ» .  متفقٌ عليه.

       Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “God has written for the son of Adam his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eye is looking (at something which is sinful to look at), the adultery of the ear is listening (to something which is forbidden), the adultery of the tongue is speaking (to an unrelated woman unnecessarily), the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip, and the adultery of the feet is walking (to a place where he intends to commit adultery). The heart or inner-self wishes and desires, while the private parts fulfill that wish or refrain from it.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

 

In the above narration, the two main types of adultery or fornication (Zina) are mentioned: I) The major adultery (of private parts), and II) the smaller adultery (of other limbs), including: adultery of the eye, the mouth, the ears, the hand, and the feet.  The major type is worse and has the most severe punishment.  The smaller types of adultery have negative consequences and may lead to the major type and therefore are forbidden as well.

The question then is: How can a Muslim guard himself against any form of adultery? How can the Muslim guard his chastity (iffah) during these times of trials and tribulations?

There are thirteen ways to guard chastity and keep away from all types of Zina (adultery or fornication).  They are:

First, Strengthen your Faith (Iman):

The believer must have strong faith to resist temptations and Satan.  Faith (Iman) is firm belief in God, His word and commandments in Divine books, His angels, His Messengers, His Decree and Destiny, and the Day of Judgment.

When the Muslim realizes that this life is temporary and there is another permanent life  to come after death, his heart attains a strong sense of faith in God and His promise.  Thus, the Muslim starts preparing for the final day and the Promised Hour by trying his best to obey God’s commands. The Muslim gets ready for the life to come by obeying God and doing righteous.

The Muslim performs all the orders commanded by God such as praying, fasting, giving the obligatory charity (zakah), performing Hajj, being kind to parents and to people, and all kinds of good.  The Muslim also tries to avoid everything forbidden by God, so the Muslim refrains from all sins including adultery, stealing, murder, backbiting, harming others in any way, and any other sins.

These acts of worship in turn strengthen the Muslim’s faith and create in him an inner spiritual strength with which he can resist temptation and fight off Satan’s enticement.

Second, Mention God when Satan Whispers to you: 

Whenever you conceive of an evil idea, know that it is from Satan or the Evil-Tempting Self.  Satan wants to mislead the son of Adam and takes him to Hell-fire where Satan will reside eternally. Therefore, Satan looks for every opportunity to whisper and suggest to man to do all kinds of evil, hoping he will follow his path of damnation and bad ending.  But the Almighty God has warned us that Satan is our enemy, so we should treat him as such.  And whenever Satan suggests something to us, we should seek refuge with God, by praying Him to protect us against Satan and the evil-inclined Self or by reading Qur’an.  God -the Exalted- says:

 {وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَعُوَذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ}

(And say: “My Lord, I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Satan. And I seek refuge with You, My Lord, lest they should come near me”) (surah 23, verse 97).

Third, Ponder upon the Reality of Sinful Pleasures:

Sinful pleasures are temporary things that one enjoys for one hour, but regrets and may suffer negative consequences for days and weeks afterwards–sometimes even years. The wise Muslim considers the consequences of actions before he does anything, while the ignorant does things and then suffers the bad consequences.

Thus, the sensible Muslim must think of the bad effects of all types of zina (adultery) and how they lead to family disunity, health problems and collapse of morality and spread of evil in society, and thus he tries to avoid them.

Fourth, Strengthen your Sense of Shyness and Shamefulness (Haya’):

The Muslim must feel shy of God, the Lord of the Universe.  The Muslim must realize that God the Almighty is watching him all the time. Then let the Muslim pay attention to that, and respect and glorify God as He should. The Muslim should avoid any unnecessary interaction with unrelated people and consider it unlawful or haram. And the Muslim woman should look after her hijab and should guard herself.

The Muslim should not allow Satan a chance to mislead him by indulging in the smaller types of adultery (zina) and thinking that the zina of the other limbs is not as bad as the major type (of the private parts).  Rather, Satan is looking for any chance to attack, and will lead him/her there eventually, if not in action then in effect and bad consequences!  May God protect us.

Fifth, Early Marriage:

Islam has encouraged early marriage for both men and women.  Marriage is the best way to overcome the urges of the self.  Now, we see many people not following this Sunnah and delaying marriage until a late age.  If someone is married, he should ensure that he continues to interact with his spouse, for example by arranging for a dinner with his wife or taking his family for a picnic, in order to overcome any bad thoughts he may have.

Sixth, Fasting:

Those who cannot afford marriage should fast and keep busy with Din. When the Muslim fasts and stops eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, his desires weaken and he then stays away from adultery.

Moreover, fasting is a discipline or religious training for the Muslim to hold himself and refrain from eating and drinking first, and in the process learns to hold himself and refrain from temptations and from any form of adultery.

Seventh, Stay in the company of Righteous People:

God the Almighty says:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ} سورة التوبة، 119.

{O you who believe, fear God and be with the truthful} surah 9, verse 119.

Thus the Muslim must select good company just like he selects good food.  The Muslim should know that good company has good effects on him, just like bad company has bad effects on him.  The Muslim should associate only with righteous people, and should avoid the company of evil people who may lead him astray.

Eighth, Restrict your Time on the Internet and Social Media:

Only use the internet and mobile phone when you need something in particular.  Don’t spend your free time on the internet.  This is a door for Satan, and the more time you spend there, the more opportunity you give Satan and the Evil-Tempting Self to attack.

The main reason for many types of zina (adultery) is the free access to the internet and mobile phones 24 hours and aimless free time. Thus the Muslim must restrict his access to the internet and only use it when he needs something in particular.

Ninth, Watch your Children:

Children should never be allowed to use the internet without supervision.  The parents are responsible for their children and will be asked about them on the Day of Judgment.  Thus the parents should be careful and never let their children use the internet alone. The parents should always make sure the children use the internet in the same room with them. Also periodically check their emails and other communication.

As their guardian, on the Day of Judgment, parents will be asked about their children’s actions.  If they go astray and do bad things because of the internet, then the parents share in the sin too!  Therefore, the parents should be careful and watch out for this emerging evil.

Tenth, Think of the Punishment of All Types of adultery (Zina):

The purpose of this life is to worship God and please Him, and then get His reward and Paradise.  The Muslim should avoid anything that leads to the anger of God or His displeasure.  God the Almighty has described adultery or fornication (zina) as an ugly, indecent and hateful act, so the Muslim must dislike all forms of zina and stay away from them.  The Muslim should think of the consequences of adultery or fornication (zina) in this life and the Hereafter.  It is observed that all types of zina (adultery) lead to poverty, loss of health, wealth, family, and friends.  All types of zina lead to anxiety, depression, and darkening of face and heart.  And severe punishment in the grave and Hell is promised to those who engage in zina, and less severe for those who engage in the other types of zina.

Eleventh, Think of the Reward of Avoiding All Types of adultery (Zina): 

As mentioned in the hadith, any Muslim who declines the seduction of a beautiful woman (or a woman who declines the call of a handsome man) will rest under the Shade of the Throne on the Day of Judgment when the sun will be one mile away and people will be in distress because of the heat.

In Qur’an, God the Almighty has promised great reward both in this life and the Hereafter for those who guard their chastity and stay away from all types of zina.  May God keep us safe.

The Prophet has guaranteed Paradise for those who preserve their tongues and guard their chastity:

    عن سَهْلِ بنِ سعْدٍ رضي الله عنه قَال: قَال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « مَنْ يَضْمَنْ لِي مَا بَيْنَ لَحْيَيْهِ وَمَا بَيْنَ رِجْلَيْهِ أَضْمَنْ لَهُ الجَنَّة» . متفقٌ عليهِ.

    Narrated Sahl Ibn Sa’d -may Allah be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Whoever can guarantee me (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Twelveth, Repentance and Asking God for Forgiveness (Tawba and Istighfar): 

As the hadith above mentions, all people may commit some form of zina (adultery).  But the Muslim must repent as soon as possible and ask God for forgiveness.  Let the Muslim never despair of the mercy of God, but let him also seek God’s pleasure and resolve to stay away from all forms of zina, indecent acts and all sins.

The Muslim must frequently ask God for forgiveness (Istighfar).  Every time the Muslim man or woman comes across something haram, then s/he should make Istighfar immediately.

And if the Muslim slipped and committed any of these sins, then let him repent soon and do good deeds in repentance, as God the Almighty says: {Verily, good deeds do away with the misdeeds. That is a reminder for the mindful} (Surah 11, verse 114).  Then let him/her read Qur’an, give in charity, make Dhikr, serve his parents, help his Muslim brothers, or do any other good deed.

Finally, Thirteenth, Pray and Supplicate to God (Du’a):

The Muslim should always pray God the Almighty to keep him/her safe and away from all forms of zina (adultery).  The Muslim should pray God to keep him firm during the times of fitan.  The Muslim should also pray God to keep the Muslim nation safe and preserve it from all types of zina.

     قال الله تعالى: { وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ}، البقرة 186.

      God the Almighty says in Qur’an: {And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad, concerning Me, then answer them), I am indeed near (to them). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me, so that they may be guided} (Surah 2, verse 186).

 

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Chastity vs. Adultery

(Concept of Shyness in Islam, Chastity in Islam, Staying away from adultery or Zina, Types of adultery or Zina, adultery of the eyes, adultery of the hand, consequences of adultery or Zina, early marriage in Islam, chatting in Islam, Wisdom of Fasting, Repentance or Tobah from adultery)

      قال الله تعالى: { قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ* وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ} النور30-1.

      قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما: ( يغضوا أبصارهم عما يكره الله).

 وقال سعيد بن جبير: {ويحفظن فروجهن} عن الفواحش.

      God the Almighty says: { Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts; that is purer for them. Verily, God is All-Aware of what they do.  And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts} (Chapter 24, verses 30-31).

Ibn Abbas said: “They should lower their gaze from things that God has prohibited.”

Sa’eed Ibn Jubair said: “ ‘Protect their private parts’ from immoral indecent sins.”

—-

 

God the Almighty commands the Muslim men and women to lower their gaze from forbidden things and to guard their private parts from immoral indecent acts.  Shyness or bashfulness is one of the great morals that Islam has emphasized.  Indeed, Islam considers shyness and shamefulness as part of Faith (Iman). Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace upon him- describes the believer as one who has a sense of shyness and shamefulness that keeps him/her away from immorality and indecent sins.

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أنَّ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الإيمَانُ بِضْعٌ وسَبْعُونَ- أوْ بِضْعٌ وَسِتُّونَ- شُعْبةً، فَأَفْضَلُها قوْلُ لا إلهَ إلاّ اللَّهُ، وَأَدْنَاها إمَاطَةُ الأَذَى عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ، والحَيَاءُ شُعْبَةٌ مِنَ الإيمَانِ» .  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Iman (Faith) has seventy odd branches (or sixty odd branches). The uppermost branch is the Testimony there is no true god except Allah, and the lowest branch is to remove harmful objects from the road. And Shyness is a branch of faith.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

In order to protect the honor and chastity of both men and women, boys and girls, Islam has obligated hijab and has prohibited association with non-relative men or women for no purpose or need.  Islam encourages both men and women to feel shy of God and to dislike indecent immoral acts like zina (adultery or fornication or a relationship between a man and a woman without marriage) and anything that leads to it.

Adultery or fornication (zina) is an abhorrent act both in society and religion. God the Almighty admonished people to stay away from adultery and fornication (Zina) and promised severe punishment for it both in this world and the Hereafter.  But God -the Most Wise- explained why adultery or fornication should be avoided; first because it is a great injustice to others and so a great sin, and second because it is aberrant behavior and an ugly deed that has serious consequences.

             قال تعالى: { وَالَّذِينَ لا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهاً آخَرَ وَلا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلا يَزْنُونَ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَاماً. يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَاناً. إِلَّا مَنْ تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً فَأُولَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً. وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتاباً } سورة الفرقان 68-70.

      God the Almighty says in another verse: { And those who do not invoke any other deity along with God, nor kill the soul which God has forbidden (to be killed) except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive punishment.

  1. Multiplied for him is the torment on the Day of Judgment, and he will abide therein in disgrace.
  2. Except those who repent, believe, and do righteous deeds; for them God will replace their misdeeds into good deeds, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
  3. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then indeed he has repented to God with true repentance} (Chapter 25, verses 68-70).

Adultery or fornication (zina) is an abhorrent act that can have many negative consequences.  In religion, adultery is one of the mortal sins and a major misdeed that is promised Hell-fire.  Not only that, but if the adulterer doesn’t repent, then he is promised multiplied torment (may God save us).

In society, adultery leads to the loss of women’s rights and social status.  The woman engaged in adultery is merely used for physical gratification and enjoys no rights or obligation.  Furthermore, she loses her status as a mother or sister, and may no longer enjoy the protection of a family.

For men, adultery leads to loss of mental acuity and focus resulting in loss of job performance, family break-ups, severing of ties, and many other consequences.

For children, adultery leads to loss of proper child support and protection, loss of family lineages, and most important loss of a solid family structure and a stable home that offers emotional and financial support which inevitably leads to increased child misbehaviors and crime.  Therefore, God the Almighty warned the believers to stay away from adultery and anything that may lead to it.

Not only that, but Islam also instructs us to avoid anything that leads to adultery.

    قال الله عز وجل: { وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ ٱلزّنَىٰ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاء سَبِيلاً} سورة الإسراء 32.

  قال ابن كثير: ( “وَلا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا”: وهو مخالطة أسبابه ودواعيه. “إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً”: أي ذنبًا عظيمًا، “وَسَاءَ سَبِيلا”: أي وبئس طريقًا ومسلكًا).

     God the Almighty says in another verse: { And come not near or approach fornication or adultery (zina). Verily, it is an immoral sin and an evil way} (Chapter 17, verse 32).

Ibn Katheer said: “ ‘And come not near fornication or adultery’: meaning avoid anything that may lead to adultery.

‘It is an immoral sin’: meaning it is a major sin.

‘And an evil way’: meaning it is a terrible way and behavior.”

Therefore, Islam prohibits unnecessary contact between unrelated men and women.  The more contact unrelated men and women have with each other, the more likely they will fall in sin.  The greatest form of adultery is that of the private parts, but there are smaller forms of adultery as well like looking, talking, chatting, touching, kissing, etc.  The other smaller forms of adultery may eventually lead to the greatest form and are forbidden as well.

Prophet Muhammad described all forms of adultery in the following hadith:

      عن أبي هُريْرةَ رضي اللَّه عنْهُ عنِ النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَال: « كُتِبَ على ابْنِ آدَمَ نَصِيبُهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا مُدْرِكٌ ذَلِكَ لا مَحَالَةَ: العَيْنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا النَّظَرُ، والأُذُنَانِ زِنَاهُما الاسْتِماعُ، واللِّسَانُ زِنَاهُ الكَلامُ، وَاليَدُ زِنَاهَا البَطْشُ، والرِّجْلُ زِنَاهَا الخُطَا، والقَلْب يَهْوَى وَيَتَمنَّى، ويُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ الفَرْجُ أوْ يُكَذِّبُهُ» .  متفقٌ عليه.

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “God has written for the son of Adam his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eye is looking (at something which is sinful to look at), the adultery of the ear is listening (to something which is forbidden), the adultery of the tongue is speaking (to an unrelated woman unnecessarily), the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip, and the adultery of the feet is walking (to a place where he intends to commit adultery). The heart or inner-self wishes and desires, while the private parts fulfill that wish or refrain from it.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

Therefore, not only is adultery forbidden, but anything that leads to it; namely the smaller forms of adultery, is forbidden as well. Just like losing weight requires abstaining from things that lead to it like fatty and sweet foods, similarly guarding chastity and avoiding adultery require abstaining from things that lead to it.

In the above narration, the two main types of adultery or fornication (zina) are mentioned:

I) The major adultery (of private parts), and

II) the smaller (of other limbs), including: adultery of the eye, adultery of the nose, adultery of the mouth, adultery of the ears, adultery of the hand, and adultery of the feet.  The major type is the worst and has the most severe punishment.

The smaller types of adultery have negative consequences and may lead to the major type and therefore are forbidden as well.  The smaller types of adultery include:

  1. Adultery of the Eye: Occurs by looking at non-relative women or men lustfully, and worse watching unclothed women or men. Looking at others’ private parts is an indecent ugly sin that has bad consequences upon the mind, health and faith.

Religious scholars said that the first gate to adultery is the eye.  It is through the eyes and sight that the thought of adultery is conceived.  Thus, we are commanded in the verse above to protect our gaze, and guard this first shield against adultery.  And it is related that the look is an arrow from the arrows of Satan with which he captivates the son of Adam and leads him/her astray.  Indeed, with one look Satan can affect the heart and mislead it so the person follows that look with other greater sins.

Women who wear tight and revealing clothes and then go out, commit this type of adultery.  Satan finds it a good opportunity to mislead people, and she gets equal share of the sin until she returns home.

عن عبدالله – ابن مسعود – رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: « المرأةُ عَوْرةٌ، فإذا خَرَجَت استَشْرَفَها الشَيطانُ».  رواه الترمذي وابن حبان بإسناد صحيح

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Mas’ood -may God be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The woman is ‘awrah (private and should be veiled), so when she goes out Satan welcomes her seeking to tempt her and use her for temptation.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban.

Thus, women should cover up when they leave the house for any need. The chaste woman does not reveal her body to other men to look at and devour, rather her shyness makes her cover herself and guard her chastity.

2. Adultery of the Nose: occurs when the woman puts on perfume to attract men. The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- described the woman who puts on perfume before she leaves her house to attract men, and then a man smells it as an adulteress.

3. Adultery of the Mouth and Tongue: occurs by talking to non-relative men or women unnecessarily, or touching them with the mouth. Talking over the cell phone or internet with non-relative men and women for enjoyment and without real need or purpose has been accepted as the norm, while it is a form of adultery and a sin that has grave consequences.  For how many an innocent conversation over the phone or random chat has resulted in affairs that wrecked marriages and destroyed families.

4. Adultery of the Hand: occurs by touching a non-relative man or woman, or chatting with a non-relative man or woman, or having a relationship over the internet or phone. This is a common sin these days, and many men have women friends and women have men friends with whom they chat freely and exchange emails or messages.  This is considered adultery of the mouth and hand, and has bad consequences, both in this world and the Hereafter.  In this world, this action leads to the disruption of legal relationships, the destruction of family structure and unity, the preoccupation of the mind, the deterioration of health and faith, and in the Hereafter with Hell-Fire unless the person repents and returns to God.

5. Adultery of the Feet: occurs by going to bad places like bars, or the market to see other men or women.

God the Exalted says in Qur’an: {On the Day of Judgment, their tongues, their hands, and their legs will bear witness against them as to what they used to do} (surah Al-Noor, verse 24).

Thus on the Day of Judgment, the mouth will be sealed and shut, while other limbs will be given the ability to speak as mentioned in the verse above.  Then on that Day all limbs will admit and reveal everything they used to do.  The eyes, the nose, the tongue, the ears, the hands, and the feet will speak and reveal all of their secrets, and say nothing but the truth. Then man can imagine his condition on that Day, and the terrible situation for those who indulge in sin and immorality.

Indeed, all of these unlawful pleasures and lusts would be a great source of sadness and misery on the Day of Judgment.  And how true is the following statement:

    قال أحد الحكماء: ( الشهوات لذات في الظاهر مكاره في الباطن، والطاعات مكاره في الظاهر لذات في الباطن).

A wise man said: “Temptations and lusts are pleasures on the outside, but hardships on the inside.  While acts of obedience and worship (to God) are hardships on the outside, but pleasures on the inside.”


 

Regret and Repentance:

Different people have different levels of piety and sin.  Some people fall prey to all kinds of adultery, while others only to one small type.  But the believer should never despair of the mercy of God. 

As soon as the Muslim realizes he has committed any sin, he should repent to God, showing regret and remorse and promising not to do it again.  Indeed, in the verse above, after mentioning the severe punishment of adultery, God -the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving- made an exception for those who repent and turn back to Him.  Those who repent truly are not only promised forgiveness, but also the great reward of turning their misdeeds into good.  God -the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving- says:

{ Except those who repent, believe, and do righteous deeds; for them God will replace their misdeeds into good deeds, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful} (Chapter 25, verses 68-70).

Indeed, there is no bound or limit to God’s mercy and forgiveness, but the Muslim is asked to turn to God in repentance and seek His Great Mercy and forgiveness.


 

First Solution:

Islam has encouraged early marriage as an important antidote for the urges of youth.  Marriage is a legal contract that forms the basis of a stable, peaceful and united community.  Indeed, one of the purposes of marriage is to connect families and bring them together.  Not only does marriage protect one’s chastity, but it also guards the rights of every individual in society.  The man’s rights are protected, the woman’s rights are honored, and the children’s welfare is preserved.  Adultery or fornication, on the other hand, destroys this basic unit of a united community, wrecking relationships, disrupting normal family ties, giving up the responsibility of children, and leading to enmity and crime.  It is ironic that these days, early marriage is frowned upon while smaller forms of adultery are accepted as the norm.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- gave a valuable advice to young people:

   وعن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ البَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ» .  متفقٌ عليه.

Narrated Abdul-God Ibn Mas’ood -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “O young people, whoever among you is able to marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing adultery), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Second Solution:

Thus, the first solution is early marriage. But if marriage cannot be afforded, then the second solution offered by Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- is fasting.  Whoever cannot afford to get married, then he should fast from sunrise to sunset, for fasting protects against adultery.  It was the custom (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- to fast every Monday and Thursday.  When the Muslim fasts and stops eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, his desires weaken and he would stay away from adultery.

Moreover, Fasting is a discipline or religious training for the Muslim to hold himself and refrain from eating and drinking first, and in the process learn to hold himself and refrain from temptations and from any form of adultery.

But when young people turn away from marriage, and when families refuse to marry their sons and daughters to reasonable candidates, then adultery may become widespread, just as Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: “‏ إِذَا خَطَبَ إِلَيْكُمْ مَنْ تَرْضَوْنَ دِينَهُ وَخُلُقَهُ فَزَوِّجُوهُ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوا تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ عَرِيضٌ.” رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه. ‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care of) one of you, then marry (your female relative) to him.  If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and widespread corruption.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

While in the past, marriage was the norm and a priority for young people, now many young people are turning away from marriage and are looking for other means of distraction and unlawful entertainment which include the smaller forms of adultery and may lead to the major form.  This in turn leads to turmoil; affliction; physical, emotional, financial, and psychological problems; and corruption in the land as described in the hadith.

 

     Then, we can see that there are many types of zina (adultery).  It is true that zina (adultery) of the private parts is the worst and has the most severe punishment, but the other types have bad effects and severe consequences too.  All types of zina lead to the spread of evil and enmity in the society.  Through immorality and adultery, bad characteristics and injustice spread in the land.  Then the town would be afflicted with crime, diseases, and loss of peace. Thus we have been forewarned to stay away from all types of zina (adultery).

Islam has encouraged marriage, but prohibited any other form of relationship between a man and woman outside marriage.  Islam promotes shyness and a strong sense of shame that prevents the Muslim from dealing with a non-blood relative.  So we have a society of shy and shameful men and women who preserve their chastity and stay away from any form of zina (adultery).  They guard their gaze by avoiding looking at others or unlawful things, they guard their mouth by avoiding talking to others unnecessarily, they guard their hand by avoiding chatting and having relationship over the internet or phone, and they guard their feet by avoiding going to bad places to see other men and women. They guard their chastity and protect themselves from adultery by marriage and fasting. Thus, we have a faithful society that keeps the rights of everyone, which results in a peaceful and united society.

And in case they fall prey to any form of adultery, they show regret and remorse and turn to God in repentance, asking His Forgiveness and promising not to do it again.

 

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The Anti-Christ

  عن عامر بن شراحيل الشعبي شعب همدان أنه سأل فاطمة بنت قيس أخت الضحاك بن قيس، وكانت من المهاجرات الأول، فقال: ( حدثيني حديثا سمعتيه من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تسنديه إلى أحد غيره، فقالت: لئن شئتَ لأفعلن، فقال لها: أجل حدثيني.

 فقالت: نكحتُ ابن المغيرة، وهو من خيار شباب قريش يومئذ، فأصيب في أول الجهاد مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فلما تَأَيَّمْتُ خَطَبَنِي عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بن عوف في نفر من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وخطبني رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على مولاه أسامة بن زيد، وكنتُ قَدْ حُدِّثْتُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: « مَنْ أَحَبَّنِي فَلْيُحِبَّ أُسَامَةَ»، فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَنِي رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قلت: أمري بيدك فأنكحني من شئت، فقال: « انْتَقِلِي إِلَى أُمِّ شَرِيكٍ»، وَأُمُّ شَرِيكٍ امْرَأَةٌ غَنِيَّةٌ من الأنصار عظيمة النفقة في سبيل الله ينزل عليها الضِّيفَانُ، فقلت: سأفعل، فقال: « لا تَفْعَلِي؛ إِنَّ أُمَّ شَرِيكٍ امْرَأَةٌ كَثِيرَةُ الضِّيفَانِ فَإِنِّي أَكْرَهُ أَنْ يَسْقُطَ عَنْكِ خِمَارُكِ أَوْ يَنْكَشِفَ الثَّوْبُ عَنْ سَاقَيْكِ فَيَرَى الْقَوْمُ مِنْكِ بَعْضَ مَا تَكْرَهِينَ، وَلَكِنْ انْتَقِلِي إِلَى ابْنِ عَمِّكِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو ابْنِ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ»، وهو رجل من بني فهر فهر قريش وهو من البطن الذي هي منه، فانتقلتُ إليه، فلما انْقَضَتْ عِدَّتِي سمعتُ نداءَ المنادي منادي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ينادي: الصَّلَاةَ جَامِعَةً، فخرجتُ إلى المسجد فصليتُ مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فكنتُ في صف النساء التي تلي ظهور القوم، فلما قضى رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صلاته جلس على المنبر وهو يضحك، فقال: « لِيَلْزَمْ كُلُّ إِنْسَانٍ مُصَلَّاهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَتَدْرُونَ لِمَ جَمَعْتُكُمْ؟»، قالوا: الله ورسوله أعلم.

  قال: « إِنِّي وَاللَّهِ مَا جَمَعْتُكُمْ لِرَغْبَةٍ وَلَا لِرَهْبَةٍ، وَلَكِنْ جَمَعْتُكُمْ لِأَنَّ تَمِيمًا الدَّارِيَّ كَانَ رَجُلًا نَصْرَانِيًّا فَجَاءَ فَبَايَعَ وَأَسْلَمَ، وَحَدَّثَنِي حَدِيثًا وَافَقَ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْ مَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ، حَدَّثَنِي أَنَّهُ رَكِبَ فِي سَفِينَةٍ بَحْرِيَّةٍ مَعَ ثَلَاثِينَ رَجُلًا مِنْ لَخْمٍ وَجُذَامَ، فَلَعِبَ بِهِمْ الْمَوْجُ شَهْرًا فِي الْبَحْرِ ثُمَّ أَرْفَئُوا إِلَى جَزِيرَةٍ فِي الْبَحْرِ حَتَّى مَغْرِبِ الشَّمْسِ، فَجَلَسُوا فِي أَقْرُبْ السَّفِينَةِ فَدَخَلُوا الْجَزِيرَةَ فَلَقِيَتْهُمْ دَابَّةٌ أَهْلَبُ كَثِيرُ الشَّعَرِ لَا يَدْرُونَ مَا قُبُلُهُ مِنْ دُبُرِهِ مِنْ كَثْرَةِ الشَّعَرِ، فَقَالُوا: وَيْلَكِ مَا أَنْتِ؟ فَقَالَتْ: أَنَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ، قَالُوا: وَمَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ؟ قَالَتْ: أَيُّهَا الْقَوْمُ انْطَلِقُوا إِلَى هَذَا الرَّجُلِ فِي الدَّيْرِ فَإِنَّهُ إِلَى خَبَرِكُمْ بِالْأَشْوَاقِ، قَالَ لَمَّا سَمَّتْ لَنَا رَجُلًا فَرِقْنَا مِنْهَا أَنْ تَكُونَ شَيْطَانَةً.

  قَالَ فَانْطَلَقْنَا سِرَاعًا حَتَّى دَخَلْنَا الدَّيْرَ، فَإِذَا فِيهِ أَعْظَمُ إِنْسَانٍ رَأَيْنَاهُ قَطُّ خَلْقًا وَأَشَدُّهُ وِثَاقًا مَجْمُوعَةٌ يَدَاهُ إِلَى عُنُقِهِ مَا بَيْنَ رُكْبَتَيْهِ إِلَى كَعْبَيْهِ بِالْحَدِيدِ، قُلْنَا: وَيْلَكَ مَا أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ: قَدْ قَدَرْتُمْ عَلَى خَبَرِي فَأَخْبِرُونِي مَا أَنْتُمْ؟ قَالُوا: نَحْنُ أُنَاسٌ مِنْ الْعَرَبِ رَكِبْنَا فِي سَفِينَةٍ بَحْرِيَّةٍ فَصَادَفْنَا الْبَحْرَ حِينَ اغْتَلَمَ فَلَعِبَ بِنَا الْمَوْجُ شَهْرًا ثُمَّ أَرْفَأْنَا إِلَى جَزِيرَتِكَ هَذِهِ، فَجَلَسْنَا فِي أَقْرُبِهَا فَدَخَلْنَا الْجَزِيرَةَ فَلَقِيَتْنَا دَابَّةٌ أَهْلَبُ كَثِيرُ الشَّعَرِ لَا يُدْرَى مَا قُبُلُهُ مِنْ دُبُرِهِ مِنْ كَثْرَةِ الشَّعَرِ فَقُلْنَا وَيْلَكِ مَا أَنْتِ فَقَالَتْ أَنَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ قُلْنَا وَمَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ قَالَتْ اعْمِدُوا إِلَى هَذَا الرَّجُلِ فِي الدَّيْرِ فَإِنَّهُ إِلَى خَبَرِكُمْ بِالْأَشْوَاقِ فَأَقْبَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ سِرَاعًا وَفَزِعْنَا مِنْهَا وَلَمْ نَأْمَنْ أَنْ تَكُونَ شَيْطَانَةً، فَقَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ نَخْلِ بَيْسَانَ، قُلْنَا: عَنْ أَيِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ؟ قَالَ: أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَنْ نَخْلِهَا هَلْ يُثْمِرُ؟ قُلْنَا لَهُ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: أَمَا إِنَّهُ يُوشِكُ أَنْ لَا تُثْمِرَ، قَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ بُحَيْرَةِ الطَّبَرِيَّةِ، قُلْنَا: عَنْ أَيِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ؟ قَالَ: هَلْ فِيهَا مَاءٌ؟ قَالُوا: هِيَ كَثِيرَةُ الْمَاءِ، قَالَ: أَمَا إِنَّ مَاءَهَا يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَذْهَبَ، قَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ عَيْنِ زُغَرَ، قَالُوا: عَنْ أَيِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ؟ قَالَ: هَلْ فِي الْعَيْنِ مَاءٌ؟ وَهَلْ يَزْرَعُ أَهْلُهَا بِمَاءِ الْعَيْنِ؟ قُلْنَا لَهُ: نَعَمْ هِيَ كَثِيرَةُ الْمَاءِ وَأَهْلُهَا يَزْرَعُونَ مِنْ مَائِهَا، قَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ نَبِيِّ الْأُمِّيِّينَ مَا فَعَلَ؟ قَالُوا: قَدْ خَرَجَ مِنْ مَكَّةَ وَنَزَلَ يَثْرِبَ، قَالَ: أَقَاتَلَهُ الْعَرَبُ؟ قُلْنَا: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: كَيْفَ صَنَعَ بِهِمْ؟ فَأَخْبَرْنَاهُ أَنَّهُ قَدْ ظَهَرَ عَلَى مَنْ يَلِيهِ مِنْ الْعَرَبِ وَأَطَاعُوهُ، قَالَ لَهُمْ: قَدْ كَانَ ذَلِكَ؟ قُلْنَا: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: أَمَا إِنَّ ذَاكَ خَيْرٌ لَهُمْ أَنْ يُطِيعُوهُ وَإِنِّي مُخْبِرُكُمْ عَنِّي إِنِّي أَنَا الْمَسِيحُ، وَإِنِّي أُوشِكُ أَنْ يُؤْذَنَ لِي فِي الْخُرُوجِ، فَأَخْرُجَ فَأَسِيرَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَا أَدَعَ قَرْيَةً إِلَّا هَبَطْتُهَا فِي أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً، غَيْرَ مَكَّةَ وَطَيْبَةَ فَهُمَا مُحَرَّمَتَانِ عَلَيَّ كِلْتَاهُمَا كُلَّمَا أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَدْخُلَ وَاحِدَةً أَوْ وَاحِدًا مِنْهُمَا اسْتَقْبَلَنِي مَلَكٌ بِيَدِهِ السَّيْفُ صَلْتًا يَصُدُّنِي عَنْهَا وَإِنَّ عَلَى كُلِّ نَقْبٍ مِنْهَا مَلَائِكَةً يَحْرُسُونَهَا.

 قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَطَعَنَ بِمِخْصَرَتِهِ فِي الْمِنْبَرِ: هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ، هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ، هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ- يَعْنِي الْمَدِينَةَ- أَلَا هَلْ كُنْتُ حَدَّثْتُكُمْ ذَلِكَ؟»، فَقَالَ النَّاسُ: نَعَمْ، « فَإِنَّهُ أَعْجَبَنِي حَدِيثُ تَمِيمٍ أَنَّهُ وَافَقَ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْهُ وَعَنْ الْمَدِينَةِ وَمَكَّةَ، أَلَا إِنَّهُ فِي بَحْرِ الشَّأْمِ أَوْ بَحْرِ الْيَمَنِ، لَا بَلْ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ، وَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى الْمَشْرِقِ». قالت: فحفظتُ هذا من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم).  رواه مسلم وأخرجه أبو داود والترمذي وأحمد.

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  English Translation:

Narrated ‘Aamir Ibn Sheraheel Al-She’bi, She’b Hemedan, related that he asked Fatimeh Bint Qais, sister of Al-Dehhak Ibn Qais and one of the first migrant women: “Narrate to me a hadith which you had heard directly from Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, with no other narrator in between.’  She said: ‘If you so like, I can do that.’  I said: ‘Then do it and narrate that to me.’

She said: ‘I heard the caller of Prophet Muhammad calling: `Assemble for the congregational prayer.`  So I set out to the mosque and observed prayer along with the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- in the first row of women, closest to the row of men.  When Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- finished his prayer, he ascended the pulpit, sat down, smiled and said: ‘Everyone should keep sitting at his place.’  He then asked: ‘Do you know why I assembled you?’  The Companions replied: ‘God and His Messenger know best.’

  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘By God, I have not made you assemble for good or alarming news, but I have called you here because Tameem Al-Dari, who was a Christian and came to me and accepted Islam, had told me something which agrees with what I have been you telling you about the Al-Dajjal (the Anti-Christ).  He narrated to me that he had sailed in a ship along with thirty men from the two tribes of Bani Lakhm and Bani Judham.

They were tossed by high waves in the ocean for a month.  Then they took shelter near an island within the ocean at the time of sunset.  They sat in a small side-boat and entered that island where they were met by a hairy beast.  The beast had so much hair that that they could not distinguish its face from its back.  They asked: ‘Woe to you, who can you be?’  Thereupon it said: ‘I am Al-Jessaseh.’  They asked: ‘And what is Al-Jessaseh?’  The beast said: ‘O people, go to this man in the monastery as he is very much eager to know about you.’  He (the narrator) said: ‘When the beast named a man for us we were afraid of it lest it should be a she-devil.’

So we went off quickly and entered the monastery.  We found a man with the largest and strongest build we had ever seen, whose hands were tied to his neck and whose legs were shackled with iron shackles up to the ankles.  We asked: ‘Woe to you, what are you?’  He said: ‘You would soon come to know about me, but tell me who you are.’  We said: ‘We are people from Arabia who have embarked upon a boat but have been tossed about by the sea-waves for one month till we have taken shelter near this island of yours. We got into the side-boats and entered this island and were met by hairy beast with so much thick hair that its face could not be distinguished from its back. We said: Woe be to you, what are you?  It said: I am Al- Jessaseh. We said: And what is Al-Jessaseh?  It said: Go to this man in the monastery for he is eagerly waiting for you to know about you. So we came to you in haste fearing that you might be a she-Devil.’

He (the chained man) said: ‘Tell me about the date-palm trees of Baisan (located in Al-Sham near Jordan).’  We said: ‘Which aspect of it do you want to know?’  He said: ‘I ask you whether its trees bear fruit or not.’  We said: ‘Yes, they do.’  Thereupon he said: ‘Soon they would not bear fruits.’  He then said: ‘Inform me about the Lake of Teberiyya (Sea of Galilee in Palestine).’  We said: ‘Which aspect of it do you want to know?’  He said: ‘Is there water in it?’  We said: ‘There is abundance of water in it.’  Thereupon he said: ‘Soon it would become dry.’  He then said: ‘Inform me about the spring of Zughar (located in Al-Sham).’  We said: ‘Which aspect of it you want to know?’  He (the chained man) said: ‘Is there water in it and do its people use the spring water to irrigate the land?’  We said: ‘Yes, there is abundance of water in it and its inhabitants irrigate the land with its water.’

He said: ‘Inform me about the unlettered Prophet (Prophet Muhammad); what has he done?’  We said: ‘He has come out from Makkah and has settled in Yathrib (Medina).’  He said: ‘Have the Arabs fought against him?’ We said: ‘Yes.’  He said: ‘How did he deal with them?’  We informed him that he had overcome those in his neighborhood and they had submitted to him.

Thereupon he said to us: ‘Has that actually happened?’ We said: ‘Yes.’ Thereupon he said: ‘Indeed it is better for them to obey him. I am going to tell you about myself; I am Al-Dajjal (the Anti-Christ) and would be soon permitted to get out.  I shall get out and travel in the land for forty nights, and will not spare any town except the two towns of Makkah and Medina as both are prohibited (areas) for me.  Every time I make an attempt to enter any one of these two towns, an angel with an unsheathed sword in his hand would confront me and would bar my way, and there would be angels to guard every passage leading to it.’

The Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- struck the pulpit with his staff and said: ‘This is Taiba; this is Taiba; this is Taiba -meaning Al-Medina. Have I not told you an account (of the Al-Dajjal or Anti-Christ) like this?’  The people said: ‘Yes.’  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘This account narrated by Tameem Al-Dari was liked by me for it corroborates the account which I have given you in regard to him (Al-Dajjal) and about Al-Medina and Makkah. Behold he (Al-Dajjal or Anti-Christ) is in the Syrian sea (Mediterranean) or the Yemen sea (Arabian Sea).  Nay, on the contrary, he is in the east, he is in the east, he is in the east -and he pointed with his hand towards the east.’  Fatimeh Bint Qais said: ‘I preserved this narration from the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- in my mind.’ ” Related by Muslim, Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad, with authentic (Sahih) narration.

Effects of Altruism – Real Story

       عن مُجَاهِدٍ، أَنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، كَانَ يَقُولُ: ( آللَّهِ الَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ إِنْ كُنْتُ لأَعْتَمِدُ بِكَبِدِي عَلَى الأَرْضِ مِنَ الْجُوعِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتُ لأَشُدُّ الْحَجَرَ عَلَى بَطْنِي مِنَ الْجُوعِ، وَلَقَدْ قَعَدْتُ يَوْمًا عَلَى طَرِيقِهِمُ الَّذِي يَخْرُجُونَ مِنْهُ، فَمَرَّ أَبُو بَكْرٍ، فَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ آيَةٍ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، مَا سَأَلْتُهُ إِلاَّ لِيُشْبِعَنِي، فَمَرَّ وَلَمْ يَفْعَلْ، ثُمَّ مَرَّ بِي عُمَرُ فَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ آيَةٍ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، مَا سَأَلْتُهُ إِلاَّ لِيُشْبِعَنِي، فَمَرَّ فَلَمْ يَفْعَلْ، ثُمَّ مَرَّ بِي أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَتَبَسَّمَ حِينَ رَآنِي وَعَرَفَ، مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَمَا فِي وَجْهِي ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْحَقْ ‏”‏‏.‏ وَمَضَى فَتَبِعْتُهُ، فَدَخَلَ فَاسْتَأْذَنَ، فَأَذِنَ لِي، فَدَخَلَ فَوَجَدَ لَبَنًا فِي قَدَحٍ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مِنْ أَيْنَ هَذَا اللَّبَنُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا أَهْدَاهُ لَكَ فُلاَنٌ أَوْ فُلاَنَةُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْحَقْ إِلَى أَهْلِ الصُّفَّةِ فَادْعُهُمْ لِي ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ وَأَهْلُ الصُّفَّةِ أَضْيَافُ الإِسْلاَمِ، لاَ يَأْوُونَ إِلَى أَهْلٍ وَلاَ مَالٍ، وَلاَ عَلَى أَحَدٍ، إِذَا أَتَتْهُ صَدَقَةٌ بَعَثَ بِهَا إِلَيْهِمْ، وَلَمْ يَتَنَاوَلْ مِنْهَا شَيْئًا، وَإِذَا أَتَتْهُ هَدِيَّةٌ أَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِمْ، وَأَصَابَ مِنْهَا وَأَشْرَكَهُمْ فِيهَا، فَسَاءَنِي ذَلِكَ فَقُلْتُ وَمَا هَذَا اللَّبَنُ فِي أَهْلِ الصُّفَّةِ كُنْتُ أَحَقُّ أَنَا أَنْ أُصِيبَ مِنْ هَذَا اللَّبَنِ شَرْبَةً أَتَقَوَّى بِهَا، فَإِذَا جَاءَ أَمَرَنِي فَكُنْتُ أَنَا أُعْطِيهِمْ، وَمَا عَسَى أَنْ يَبْلُغَنِي مِنْ هَذَا اللَّبَنِ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ مِنْ طَاعَةِ اللَّهِ وَطَاعَةِ رَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بُدٌّ، فَأَتَيْتُهُمْ فَدَعَوْتُهُمْ فَأَقْبَلُوا، فَاسْتَأْذَنُوا فَأَذِنَ لَهُمْ، وَأَخَذُوا مَجَالِسَهُمْ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ قَالَ ‏”‏ يَا أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ خُذْ فَأَعْطِهِمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَخَذْتُ الْقَدَحَ فَجَعَلْتُ أُعْطِيهِ الرَّجُلَ فَيَشْرَبُ حَتَّى يَرْوَى، ثُمَّ يَرُدُّ عَلَىَّ الْقَدَحَ، فَأُعْطِيهِ الرَّجُلَ فَيَشْرَبُ حَتَّى يَرْوَى، ثُمَّ يَرُدُّ عَلَىَّ الْقَدَحَ فَيَشْرَبُ حَتَّى يَرْوَى، ثُمَّ يَرُدُّ عَلَىَّ الْقَدَحَ، حَتَّى انْتَهَيْتُ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَدْ رَوِيَ الْقَوْمُ كُلُّهُمْ، فَأَخَذَ الْقَدَحَ فَوَضَعَهُ عَلَى يَدِهِ فَنَظَرَ إِلَىَّ فَتَبَسَّمَ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ بَقِيتُ أَنَا وَأَنْتَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ صَدَقْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ اقْعُدْ فَاشْرَبْ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَعَدْتُ فَشَرِبْتُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ اشْرَبْ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَشَرِبْتُ، فَمَا زَالَ يَقُولُ ‏”‏ اشْرَبْ ‏”‏‏.‏ حَتَّى قُلْتُ لاَ وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ، مَا أَجِدُ لَهُ مَسْلَكًا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَأَرِنِي ‏”‏‏.‏ فَأَعْطَيْتُهُ الْقَدَحَ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَسَمَّى، وَشَرِبَ الْفَضْلَةَ)‏. رواه البخاري.

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   Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- said: “By God  except Whom none has the right to be worshipped, sometimes I used to lay (sleep) on the ground on my abdomen because of hunger, and sometimes I used to tie a stone over my belly because of hunger.  One day I sat on the path where the companions used to come out (seeking food).

When Abu-Bakr Al-Siddeeq passed by, I asked him about a verse from God’s Book (Qur’an) and I asked him only that he might invite me and satisfy my hunger, but he answered me and moved on without doing so.  Then Omar Ibn Al-Khattab passed by me and I asked him about a verse from God’ Book, and I asked him only that he might invite me and satisfy my hunger, but he answered me and moved on without doing so.

Finally Abu Al-Qasim (Prophet Muhammad) -prayer and peace be upon him- passed by me and he smiled when he saw me, for he recognized what was in my heart and on my face (of hunger).  He said: ‘O Aba Hirr (Abu Hurairah)!’  I replied: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God.’  He said to me: ‘Follow me.’  He left and I followed him.  Then he entered the house and asked permission for me to enter and I was admitted.  He found milk in a bowl and asked: ‘From where is this milk?’  They said: ‘It has been presented to you by such-and-such man (or by such and such woman).’ [Prophet Muhammad used to accept the gift, but not the charity which he would distribute].

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘O Aba Hirr!’  I said: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God.’  He said: ‘Go and call the people of As-Suffa to me.’  The people of As-Suffa were the guests of Islam who had neither families, nor money, nor anybody to depend upon, and whenever an object of charity was brought to the Prophet, he would send it to them and would not take anything from it, and whenever any present was given to him, he used to send some for them and take some of it for himself. The order of the Prophet upset me, and I said to myself: How will this little milk be enough for the people of As- Suffa?, though I am more entitled to drink from that milk in order to strengthen myself, and it was I who used to take the milk to them by the prophet’s order.  And I wondered what will remain of that milk for me [after they finish], but I could not but obey God and His Messenger so I went to the people of As-Suffa and called them.  They came and asked the Prophet’s permission to enter. They were admitted and took their seats in the house.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘O Aba-Hirr!’  I said: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God.’  He said: ‘Take it and give it to them.’  So I took the bowl (of milk) and started giving it to one man who would drink his fill and return it to me, whereupon I would give it to another man who, in his turn, would drink his fill and return it to me, and I would then offer it to another man who would drink his fill and return it to me.

Finally, after the whole group had drunk their fill, I reached Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- who took the bowl and put it on his hand, looked at me, smiled and said: ‘O Aba Hirr!’  I replied: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God’  He said: ‘There remain only you and I.’  I said: ‘You have said the truth, O Messenger of God.’  He said: ‘Sit down and drink.’  I sat down and drank. He said: ‘Drink more,’ and I drank. He kept on telling me repeatedly to drink, till I said: ‘No, by God Who sent you with the Truth, I have no space for it [the quantity was doubled by the will of God for His Prophet].’  Then Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Hand it to me.’  When I gave him the bowl, he praised God, mentioned God’s Name on it and drank the remaining milk.”  Related by Al-Bukhari with authentic narration.

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The Final Destination (1)

  

      قال الله تعالى: { وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ} سورة البقرة 281.

God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): { And beware of the Day when you shall be brought back to God. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall never be dealt with unjustly } (Surah 2, 281).

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        عن البراء بن عازب رضي الله عنه قال: ( خَرَجْنَا مع النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏في جِنَازَةِ رَجُلٍ من الأنصار ‏فانتهينا إلى القَبْر، ولَمَّا ‏يُلْحَدْ، فَجَلَسَ ‏رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏وجلسنا حوله وكَأَنَّ على رُءُوسِنَا الطَّيْرَ، وفي يَدِهِ عُودٌ ‏ ‏يَنْكُتُ ‏في الأرض، فَرَفَعَ رأسه فقال: « اسْتَعِيذُوا بِاللَّهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ- مَرَّتَيْنِ ‏أَوْ ثَلَاثًا»  ‏ثُمَّ قَالَ: « إِنَّ العَبْدَ المُؤْمِنَ إِذَا كَانَ فِي انْقِطَاعٍ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا، وَإِقْبَالٍ مِنَ الآخِرَةِ نَزَلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَائِكَةٌ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ بِيضُ الْوُجُوهِ، كَأَنَّ وُجُوهَهُمُ الشَّمْسُ، مَعَهُمْ كَفَنٌ مِنْ أَكْفَانِ الجَنَّةِ، ‏وَحَنُوطٌ مِنْ حَنُوطِ ‏ ‏الجَنَّةِ، حَتَّى يَجْلِسُوا مِنْهُ مَدَّ الْبَصَرِ، ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ مَلَكُ المَوْتِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام حَتَّى يَجْلِسَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ، فَيَقُولُ: أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الطَّيِّبَةُ اخْرُجِي إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ، قَالَ: فَتَخْرُجُ تَسِيلُ كَمَا تَسِيلُ القَطْرَةُ مِنْ فِي السِّقَاءِ، ‏فَيَأْخُذُهَا فَإِذَا أَخَذَهَا لَمْ يَدَعُوهَا فِي يَدِهِ طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ حَتَّى يَأْخُذُوهَا فَيَجْعَلُوهَا فِي ذَلِكَ الكَفَنِ، وَفِي ذَلِكَ الحَنُوطِ، ‏وَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا كَأَطْيَبِ نَفْحَةِ مِسْكٍ وُجِدَتْ عَلَى وَجْهِ الأَرْضِ، قَالَ: فَيَصْعَدُونَ بِهَا، فَلا يَمُرُّونَ -‏يَعْنِي بِهَا- عَلَى مَلَإٍ مِنَ المَلَائِكَةِ إِلَّا قَالُوا: مَا هَذَا الرُّوحُ الطَّيِّبُ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: فُلانُ بْنُ فُلانٍ – بِأَحْسَنِ أَسْمَائِهِ الَّتِي كَانُوا يُسَمُّونَهُ بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا- حَتَّى يَنْتَهُوا بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَيَسْتَفْتِحُونَ لَهُ فَيُفْتَحُ لَهُمْ فَيُشَيِّعُهُ مِنْ كُلِّ سَمَاءٍ مُقَرَّبُوهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الَّتِي تَلِيهَا، حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ السَّابِعَةِ، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: ‏اكْتُبُوا كِتَابَ عَبْدِي فِي عِلِّيِّينَ، وَأَعِيدُوهُ إِلَى الأَرْضِ فَإِنِّي مِنْهَا خَلَقْتُهُمْ وَفِيهَا أُعِيدُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا أُخْرِجُهُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى.

 قَالَ: فَتُعَادُ رُوحُهُ فِي جَسَدِهِ فَيَأْتِيهِ مَلَكَانِ فَيُجْلِسَانِهِ فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَنْ رَبُّكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: ‏رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا دِينُكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: ‏دِينِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بُعِثَ فِيكُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هُوَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، ‏‏فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: وَمَا عِلْمُكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: قَرَأْتُ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ، فَآمَنْتُ بِهِ وَصَدَّقْتُ، فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ فِي السَّمَاءِ: أَنْ صَدَقَ عَبْدِي فَأَفْرِشُوهُ مِنَ الجَنَّةِ، وَأَلْبِسُوهُ مِنَ الجَنَّةِ، وَافْتَحُوا لَهُ بَابًا إِلَى الجَنَّةِ، قَالَ: فَيَأْتِيهِ مِنْ رَوْحِهَا وَطِيبِهَا، وَيُفْسَحُ لَهُ فِي قَبْرِهِ مَدَّ بَصَرِهِ، قَالَ: وَيَأْتِيهِ رَجُلٌ حَسَنُ الوَجْهِ، حَسَنُ الثِّيَابِ، طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ؛ فَيَقُولُ: أَبْشِرْ بِالَّذِي يَسُرُّكَ، هَذَا يَوْمُكَ الَّذِي كُنْتَ تُوعَدُ، فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ فَوَجْهُكَ الوَجْهُ يَجِيءُ بِالْخَيْرِ؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الصَّالِحُ، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ أَقِمِ السَّاعَةَ حَتَّى أَرْجِعَ إِلَى أَهْلِي وَمَالِي») الحديث.  رواه أحمد وأبو داود والحاكم بإسناد صحيح.

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Narrated Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib -may God be pleased with him- said: “We went out with Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- to attend the funeral of an Ansari man.  We reached the gravesite, and it was not completely dug yet.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- sat, and we sat around him, as if the birds were over our heads [sitting quietly and still].  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- had a stick in his hand with which he was poking the ground.  He raised his head and said twice or three times: ‘Seek refuge with God from the punishment of the grave.’

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then said: ‘When the believing slave is reaching the end of his time in the worldly life and the beginning of his Hereafter, a group of angels, whose faces are white and bright as the sun, will descend to him from heaven.  They will carry with them a white shroud from Paradise, and fragrance for enshrouding from Paradise.  They will sit around him as far as the eyesight can see. Then, the Angel of Death -peace be upon him- will come until he sits by his head, and say: ‘O good and pure soul, depart (your body) to God’s forgiveness and pleasure.’  So the soul comes out flowing just as the water drop flows out from the tip of the water skin, and the Angel of Death will take hold of it.

When the Angel of Death has captured the soul, the other angels will not leave it with him for more than an instance, but will take the soul and wrap it in that shroud, and place it in that fragrance.  A most pleasant musk scent ever found on earth will emit from the soul, and the angels will take the soul up (to heaven).

They will not pass by any group of angels, except they will ask: ‘Whose is this blessed soul?’  They (the angels) will reply: ‘So and so person, the son of such and such person,’ calling him by the best names that he used to be called in the world.  They will go on until they will reach the heaven closest to the world and will ask permission for him to enter, and they will be given permission to enter.  The best residents of every heaven will then accompany him to the next heaven, until he is brought to the seventh heaven.  The Almighty God will say: ‘List my slave’s record in `Illiyyin (the Highest Register) and send him back to the earth, for I have created them from it, and into it I shall return them, and from it I shall resurrect them once again.’

The soul will be returned to his body, and two angels will come to him, sit him up and ask him: ‘Who is your Lord?’  He will reply: ‘God is my Lord.’  They will ask him: ‘What is your religion?’  He will reply: ‘My religion is Islam.’  They will ask him: ‘What do you say about this man (Prophet Muhammad) who was sent with the message to you?’  He will reply: ‘He is the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him.’  They will ask him: ‘And how do you know that?’  He will say: ‘I read the Holy Book of God (the Qur’an), and had faith and belief in it.’  Then, a caller (God) will call from heaven: ‘My slave has said the truth. Therefore, furnish him from Paradise, let him wear from (the clothes of) Paradise, and open a door for him to Paradise.’

So some of Paradise’s breeze and fragrance will reach him, and his grave will be expanded for him as far as his sight can see. Then, a man with a handsome face, fine clothes and a pleasant smell will come to him and say: ‘Receive the glad tidings with that which pleases you. This is the Day that you have been promised.’  He will ask him: ‘Who are you; for yours is the face that brings good news?’  He will reply: ‘I am your good deeds.’  He will say: ‘O my Lord! Hasten with the commencement of the Hour, so I can return to my family and my wealth.’’ ” The complete Hadith.   Related by Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Al-Hakim with an authentic (Sahih) narration.

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The Final Destination (2)

   قال الله عز وجل: { نَبِّىءْ عِبَادِى أَنِّى أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ * وَأَنَّ عَذَابِى هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الاٌّلِيمُ } سورة الحجر 49-50.

God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): { (O Prophet Muhammad) Inform My servants, that I am truly the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And that My torment is indeed the most painful torment} (Surah 15, verses 49-59).

 

Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari said in the interpretation of this verse: “The Almighty God says: ‘Tell My slaves, O Prophet Muhammad, that indeed I am the One Who conceals and pardons their sins if they repent and turn to Me, by sparing them their exposure and punishment.  And I am the One Who shows them mercy by sparing them the punishment after they repent of their sins.

And also Tell them that My torment for that who insists on disobeying Me, continues on disobedience, and does not repent of his sins, is a painful torment that resembles no other torment.’  And this a warning from God to His creatures against committing sins, and a command for them to return to Him and repent.”  End quote.

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        عن البراء بن عازب رضي الله عنه قال: ( خَرَجْنَا مع النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏في جِنَازَةِ رَجُلٍ من الأنصار ‏فانتهينا إلى القَبْر، ولَمَّا ‏يُلْحَدْ، فَجَلَسَ ‏رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏وجلسنا حوله وكَأَنَّ على رُءُوسِنَا الطَّيْرَ، وفي يَدِهِ عُودٌ ‏ ‏يَنْكُتُ ‏في الأرض، c.فَرَفَعَ رأسه فقال: « اسْتَعِيذُوا بِاللَّهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ- مَرَّتَيْنِ ‏أَوْ ثَلَاثًا» الحديث.

  ‏ثُمَّ قَالَ: « وَإِنَّ الْعَبْدَ الْكَافِرَ إِذَا كَانَ فِي انْقِطَاعٍ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَإِقْبَالٍ مِنَ الْآخِرَةِ، نَزَلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَلَائِكَةٌ سُودُ الْوُجُوهِ، مَعَهُمْ الْمُسُوحُ، فَيَجْلِسُونَ مِنْهُ مَدَّ الْبَصَرِ، ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ حَتَّى يَجْلِسَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ فَيَقُولُ: أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْخَبِيثَةُ، اخْرُجِي إِلَى سَخَطٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَغَضَبٍ. قَالَ: فَتُفَرَّقُ فِي جَسَدِهِ، فَيَنْتَزِعُهَا كَمَا يُنْتَزَعُ السَّفُّودُ مِنَ الصُّوفِ الْمَبْلُولِ فَيَأْخُذُهَا، فَإِذَا أَخَذَهَا لَمْ يَدَعُوهَا فِي يَدِهِ طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ حَتَّى يَجْعَلُوهَا فِي تِلْكَ الْمُسُوحِ، وَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا كَأَنْتَنِ رِيحِ جِيفَةٍ وُجِدَتْ عَلَى وَجْهِ الْأَرْضِ، فَيَصْعَدُونَ بِهَا فَلَا يَمُرُّونَ بِهَا عَلَى مَلَإٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ إِلَّا قَالُوا: مَا هَذَا الرُّوحُ الْخَبِيثُ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: فُلَانُ بْنُ فُلَانٍ، بِأَقْبَحِ أَسْمَائِهِ الَّتِي كَانَ يُسَمَّى بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا، حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا، فَيُسْتَفْتَحُ لَهُ فَلَا يُفْتَحُ لَهُ، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: {لا تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَلا يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ} (سورة الأعراف آية 40)، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: اكْتُبُوا كِتَابَهُ فِي سِجِّينٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ السُّفْلَى، فَتُطْرَحُ رُوحُهُ طَرْحًا، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ: { وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ سَحِيقٍ} (سورة الحج آية 31).  فَتُعَادُ رُوحُهُ فِي جَسَدِهِ، وَيَأْتِيهِ مَلَكَانِ، فَيُجْلِسَانِهِ، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَنْ رَبُّكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هَاهْ هَاهْ لَا أَدْرِي، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا دِينُكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هَاهْ هَاهْ لَا أَدْرِي، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بُعِثَ فِيكُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هَاهْ هَاهْ لَا أَدْرِي، فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ: أَنْ كَذَبَ فَافْرِشُوا لَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَافْتَحُوا لَهُ بَابًا إِلَى النَّارِ، فَيَأْتِيهِ مِنْ حَرِّهَا وَسَمُومِهَا وَيُضَيَّقُ عَلَيْهِ قَبْرُهُ حَتَّى تَخْتَلِفَ فِيهِ أَضْلَاعُهُ، وَيَأْتِيهِ رَجُلٌ قَبِيحُ الْوَجْهِ قَبِيحُ الثِّيَابِ مُنْتِنُ الرِّيحِ فَيَقُولُ: أَبْشِرْ بِالَّذِي يَسُوؤكَ هَذَا يَوْمُكَ الَّذِي كُنْتَ تُوعَدُ، فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ فَوَجْهُكَ الْوَجْهُ يَجِيءُ بِالشَّرِّ، فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الْخَبِيثُ، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ لَا تُقِمْ السَّاعَةَ»).  رواه أحمد وأبو داود والحاكم بإسناد صحيح.

 

Narrated Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib -may God be pleased with him- said: “We went out with Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- to attend the funeral of an Ansari man.  We reached the gravesite, and it was not completed yet.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- sat, and we sat around him, as if the birds were hovering over our heads.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- had a stick in his hand, with which he was poking the ground.  He raised his head and said twice or three times: ‘Seek refuge with God from the punishment of the grave.’ The complete Hadith.

Al-Bara’ then continued: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then said:

‘And when the disbelieving person is reaching the end of his term in the worldly life and the beginning of his term in the Hereafter, angels with dark faces will descend to him from heaven. They will bring with them coarse cloths [shroud], and will sit around him as far as the eyesight can see.

Then the Angel of Death will come and sit by his head and say: ‘O evil soul, depart (your body) to the anger and wrath of God.’  The soul will scatter throughout his body [trying to evade], but the Angel of Death will take it and capture it like the thorny branch is removed from wet wool [or the skewer from the cooked meat].  When the Angel of Death has seized the soul, the group of angels will not let it stay in his hand for more than an instance, and they will take it and wrap it in the coarse cloths. The most putrid stench a dead corpse can ever have on earth will emit from the soul, and the angels will ascend with it.

Whenever they pass by a group of angels, they will ask: ‘Whose is this evil soul?’  The angels will respond: ‘So and so person, the son of such and such person,’ calling him by the worst names that he used to be called in the world.  The angels will go on until they will reach the heaven closest to the world and will ask permission for him to enter, but their request will be denied.  The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- recited the verse: { For them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle} (Surah 7, verse 40).  The Almighty God will say: ‘List his record in Sijjeen in the lowest earth.’  Then the evil soul will be thrown and flung from heaven. The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- recited the verse: { And whoever assigns partners to God, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place} (Surah 22, verse 31).

Then his soul will be returned to his body, and two angels will come to him, sit him up and ask him: ‘Who is your Lord?’  He will say: ‘Oh, oh (alas, alas), I do not know.’  They will ask him: ‘What is your religion?’  He will say: ‘Oh, oh (alas, alas), I do not know.’  They will ask him: ‘What do you say about this man (Prophet Muhammad) who was sent to you?’  He will say: ‘Oh, oh (alas, alas), I do not know.’  A caller (God) will call from heaven: ‘My slave has lied, so furnish him with the Fire and open a door for him to the Fire.’  He will find its heat and fierce hot wind, and his grave will be compressed on him until his ribs will crush each other.

Then, a man with an ugly face, ugly clothes and a foul smell will come to him and say: ‘Receive the glad tidings with that which displeases you. This is the Day that you have been promised.’  He will ask that man: ‘And who are you; for yours is the face that brings bad news?’  He will say: ‘I am your evil deeds.’  He will therefore say: ‘O, my Lord, do not let the Last Hour come!’’ ”  Related by Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Al-Hakim with an authentic (Sahih) narration.

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The Innumerous Blessings

‏        عن جابرِ بنِ عبد اللَّهِ رضي الله عنهما قال: ( خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فَقَالَ: « خَرَجَ مِنْ عِنْدِي خَلِيلِي جِبْرِيلُ آنِفًا فَقَالَ: يَا محمَّد، وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ عَبْدًا مِنْ عَبِيدِهِ، عَبَدَ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى خَمْسَمِائَةِ سَنَةٍ عَلَى رَأْسِ جَبَلٍ فِي الْبَحْرِ عَرْضُهُ وَطُولُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ ذِرَاعًا فِي ثَلَاثِينَ ذِرَاعًا، وَالْبَحْرُ مُحِيطٌ بِهِ أَرْبَعَةَ آلَافِ فَرْسَخٍ مِنْ كُلِّ نَاحِيَةٍ، وَأَخْرَجَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى لَهُ عَيْنًا عَذْبَةً بِعَرْضِ الْأُصْبَعِ تَبِضُّ بِمَاءٍ عَذْبٍ فَتَسْتَنْقِعُ فِي أَسْفَلِ الْجَبَلِ، وَشَجَرَةَ رُمَّانٍ تُخْرِجُ لَهُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ رُمَّانَةً فَتُغَذِّيهِ يَوْمَهُ، فَإِذَا أَمْسَى نَزَلَ فَأَصَابَ مِنَ الْوَضُوءِ وَأَخَذَ تِلْكَ الرُّمَّانَةَ فَأَكَلَهَا ثُمَّ قَامَ لِصَلَاتِهِ، فَسَأَلَ رَبَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عِنْدَ وَقْتِ الْأَجَلِ أَنْ يَقْبِضَهُ سَاجِدًا، وَأَنْ لَا يَجْعَلَ لِلْأَرْضِ وَلَا لِشَيْءٍ يُفْسِدُهُ عَلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا حَتَّى بَعَثَهُ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ، قَالَ: فَفَعَلَ، فَنَحْنُ نَمُرُّ عَلَيْهِ إِذَا هَبَطْنَا وَإِذَا عَرَجْنَا.

 فَنَجِدُ لَهُ فِي الْعِلْمِ أَنَّهُ يُبْعَثُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيَقُولُ لَهُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي، فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي، فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي،  فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ: قَايِسُوا عَبْدِي بِنِعْمَتِي عَلَيْهِ وَبِعَمَلِهِ.  فَتُوجَدُ نِعْمَةُ الْبَصَرِ قَدْ أَحَاطَتْ بِعِبَادَةِ خَمْسِ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ وَبَقِيَتْ نِعْمَةُ الْجَسَدِ فَضْلًا عَلَيْهِ، فَيَقُولُ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي النَّارَ.

  قَالَ فَيُجَرُّ إِلَى النَّارِ فَيُنَادِي: رَبِّ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَدْخِلْنِي الْجَنَّةَ، فَيَقُولُ: رُدُّوهُ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ، فَيَقُولُ: يَا عَبْدِي، مَنْ خَلَقَكَ وَلَمْ تَكُ شَيْئًا؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَيَقُولُ: كَانَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ قِبَلِكَ أَوْ بِرَحْمَتِي؟  فَيَقُولُ: بَلْ بِرَحْمَتِكَ.  فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ قَوَّاكَ لِعِبَادَةِ خَمْسِ مِائَةِ عَامٍ؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ أَنْزَلَكَ فِي جَبَلٍ وَسَطَ اللُّجَّةِ وَأَخْرَجَ لَكَ الْمَاءَ الْعَذْبَ مِنَ الْمَاءِ الْمَالِحِ وَأَخْرَجَ لَكَ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ رُمَّانَةً وَإِنَّمَا تَخْرُجُ مَرَّةً فِي السَّنَةِ، وَسَأَلْتَنِي أَنْ أَقْبِضَكَ سَاجِدًا فَفَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ بِكَ؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَقَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: فَذَلِكَ بِرَحْمَتِي وَبِرَحْمَتِي أُدْخِلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ، أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِيَ الْجَنَّةَ فَنِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ كُنْتَ يَا عَبْدِي، فَيُدْخِلُهُ اللَّهُ الْجَنَّةَ. قَالَ جِبْرِيلُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ: إِنَّمَا الْأَشْيَاءُ بِرَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى يَا محمَّد» .  رواه الحاكم.

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         Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdil-Allah -may God be pleased with them- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- came out to us and said:

‘My close companion Angel Gabriel just left me and he had said: `O Muhammad, by the One Who sent you with the true message, there is a slave of God, who worshipped the Almighty God for 500 years.  The slave was granted a shelter on top of a mountain whose length and width were thirty by thirty arm-lengths, and which was surrounded by the sea for four thousand leagues from all sides.  The Almighty God made a stream of fresh water with the width of a finger to flow through the mountain and collect at the mountain base for him.  The Almighty God also raised for him a pomegranate tree that grew one pomegranate every night from which the man would eat during the day.  Every evening, the man would go down, make ablution, and eat from that pomegranate, then stand up in prayer to his Lord.

The man supplicated his Lord -the Almighty- to take his soul while in prostration, and guard him against the earth and everything else until he would be resurrected in that state.

Angel Gabriel said: the Almighty God answered his supplication and granted his prayer.  So whenever we come down to the Earth or go up to the sky, we find this man (dead) but in a perpetual state of prostration to God.

          We find in the future knowledge that on the Day of Judgment, the Almighty God would say to the the angels: ‘Take this slave of Mine to Paradise with My Mercy.’   But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’  The Lord would say: ‘Take My Slave to Paradise with My Mercy.’  But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’  The Lord would say: ‘Take My Slave to Paradise with My Mercy.’   But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’

So the Almighty God would instruct the angels: ‘Measure his good deeds in comparison to My blessings on him.’  It would be found that 500 years of his worship would not even equal the blessings of the eyesight, and the bounty of the rest of his body would still remain in excess.

So God would say to the angels: ‘Take My slave to Hell-Fire.’  The man would be dragged toward Hell-Fire but he would plead: ‘O Lord, let me enter Paradise with Your Mercy.’   God would say: ‘Bring him back.’

The Almighty God would then say to him: ‘O My slave, Who created you from non-existence?’  The man would reply: ‘You have created me, O My Lord.’  God would say: ‘That was because of you or because of My Mercy?’  The man would reply: ‘Rather because of Your Mercy.’  God would say: ‘Who granted you the ability to worship for 500 years?’  The man would reply: ‘You, O My Lord.’  God would say: ‘Who placed you on the mountain surrounded by the ocean? Who created a stream of fresh water to flow in between the salty water? Who made a pomegranate to grow every night for you while it grows once a year?  And you supplicated Me to take your soul in a state of prostration, who did that?’  The man would reply: ‘‘You, O My Lord.’

The Almighty God would say: ‘Indeed, all of that happened with My Mercy, and with My Mercy you will enter Paradise.  Take My slave to Paradise.  Indeed, a righteous and good servant you were, O My slave.’  So God would let him enter Paradise.  Angel Gabriel -peace be upon him- said: O Muhammad, everything is by the Mercy of the Almighty God.` ’ ”  Related by Al-Haakim.

 

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Indeed, humans have been granted blessings in everything: in health, in wealth, in progeny, in food, in dwelling, and in everything.  Yet, man being ungrateful often dwells on the few problems he has and forgets the many blessings he enjoys. 

God says in Qur’an: { And God has given you of all that you asked for, and if you try to count the blessings of God, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed most unjust, ungrateful} (Surah 14, verse 34).  Man is unjust when he uses the blessings of God in a bad way or to do sins, and he is ungrateful when he does not thank God for the many blessings but only remembers the few problems he may have.

          The Muslim should thank God for every single blessing he has and should never take it for granted.  And in case a problem or a calamity strikes him, then instead of focusing on this one single problem the Muslim should think of the many other blessings that God has granted him and should thank God for them.

In another verse, God says: { And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you thank Me, I will give you more; but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe”} (Surah 14, verse 7).  Thus, God promises increase and prosperity for those who thank Him and loss and punishment for those who are ungrateful.

          The Mercy of God is limitless and has no bound, but the Muslim is asked to take some effort and try to get the most of that mercy by obeying God’s commands, avoiding sins, and showing thankfulness and gratitude to God.  Indeed, the Muslim should thank God for every single blessing he has and never take it for granted, rather should know that these blessings are only possible because of the favor of God and His Great Mercy.  And God and His Messenger know best.

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