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.

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   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).

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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.

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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.

 

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“And They Repel Evil With Good”

(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: { وَالَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنْفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ (22) جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا وَمَنْ صَلَحَ مِنْ آَبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ بَابٍ (23) سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ} الرعد 22-24.

    God the Exalted- says: {

22. And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly,

 and repel evil with good, for such there will the good consequence of [this] home.

23. Gardens of perpetual residence; in which they will enter with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying],

24. “Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent indeed is the final home!” } (Surah 13, verse 22-24).


 

Interpretation of the Verse:

 

   قال ابن كثير في تفسير الآية: (أي يدفعون القبيح بالحسن، فإذا آذاهم أحد قابلوه بالجميل صبرا واحتمالا وصفحا وعفوا).  ـ

Ibn Katheer said: “ ‘Repel evil with good’ means they fend off evil with good conduct.  If anybody caused them harms, they respond with kindness out of patience, forbearing, pardon, and forgiveness.

وعن الحسن في قوله تعالى {وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ} الرعد 22، قال: ( إذا حُرِمُوا أَعطوا، وإذا ظُلِمُوا عَفَوْا، وإذا قُطِعُوا وصلوا).  ـ

   Al-Hasan said: “ ‘Repel evil with good’ means: When they are denied, they give. When they are treated unjustly, they forgive. And when their relations are severed, they maintain it.”

      وقال ابن زيد: ( يدفعون الشر بالخير، لا يكافئون الشر بالشر، ولكن يدفعونه بالخير).  ـ

    Ibn Zaid said: “‘Repel evil with good’ means: They ward off the evil act with a good act; they don’t repay the evil act with an evil act, rather they ward it off with a good act.”

وعن سعيد بن جبير، قال: (“ويدرؤون”: يعني يدفعون، “بالحسنة السيئة”: يعني يردون معروفاً على من يسيء إليه، “أولئك لهم عقبى الدار”: يعني دار الجنة).  ـ

Sa’eed Ibn Jubair said: “ Repel evil with good: means they repay those who mistreat them with a good act.  For such there will the good consequence of [this] home: means the dwelling of Paradise.”


 

Thus, one of the characteristics of the People of Paradise is that they repel evil with good.  When someone treats the true believer with a bad word, then he only responds with a good word.  So not only does he show forgiveness and pardons the offender, he goes one step further and shows his high morals by overlooking the negative remark and instead responding with a good word and polite manner.  Therefore, God has promised them perpetual or eternal gardens in Paradise.

 

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

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.

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              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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Generosity of Prophet Muhammad

(Keywords: The Prophet’s Generosity, Kindness and Compassion, Muhammad’s Generosity, Muhammad’s Kindness and Compassion, Generosity in Islam, Kindness and Compassion in Islam, Prophet Muhammad’s Morals, Reward of Generosity)

 

   قال الله عز وجل: { وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى * أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآَوَى * وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَى * وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَى * فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ * وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ * وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ} سورة الضحى 5-11. ـ

    God -the Exalted- says: { And verily your Lord will give you, and you shall be satisfied.

  1. Did He not find you (O Muhammad) an orphan and gave you refuge?
  2. And He found you lost and guided you;
  3. And He found you poor and made you self-sufficient.
  4. Then as for the orphan, do not oppress him;
  5. And as for the beggar, do not repulse him;
  6. And as for the favor of your Lord, proclaim it} (Surah 93, verses 5-11).

     قال الله عز وجل: { وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيم} سورة القلم 4. ـ

     Allah -the Exalted- says: {And Verily, you (O, Muhammad) are of a high moral character} (Surah 68, verse 4).

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             Almighty God enumerates to His Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad, His many blessings on him.  God reminds him that it was God Who moved Prophet Muhammad from the state of insecurity to the state of security, from the state of no parents to the state of kin’s support, from the state of no shelter to the state of shelter and home, from the state of lack of knowledge to the state of guidance, from the state of a righteous slave to the state of a Prophet and Messenger of God, from the state of lack of wealth to the state of self-sufficiency, and from the state of persecution and fear to the state of rule, stability and security.

Then God instructs His Prophet and Messenger to recognize these blessings, appreciate them, and reciprocate them with other people.  God instructs His Prophet to treat the orphan and weak with kindness and compassion, to treat the poor and needy with support and generosity, and to admit and report God’s favors upon him.

In the second verse, Almighty God describes the high Moral code of Prophet Muhammad, and how Prophet Muhammad had the best moral characteristics.  A praise from God is a praise indeed.

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                  There is a difference between having knowledge of something, and really experiencing it.  When we read the biography of Prophet Muhammad, we find that he experienced the hardships of losing his parents at a young age, he experienced the hardship of lack of food until he tied a stone over his stomach, of lack of sufficient knowledge to deal with his people’s lawlessness and worship of idols, and later the hardship of persecution and aggression toward the Divine Message God sent him with.  All of that created in the Prophet a great sense of compassion and kindness that distinguished him among all men.  Not only that, but that same great degree of mercy, kindness and great moral character endeared him to his friends and foes alike so that they became loyal followers and adherent disciples.

     Here is a very brief account of Prophet Muhammad’s early life and some of the hardships he experienced.

       Prophet Muhammad’s parents, Abdullah and Aminah, used to live in Makkah.  Both belonged to the noblest families of the tribe of Qureish.  Prophet Muhammad’s father was the youngest son of Abdul-Muttalib Ibn Hisham who was one of the most honorable chiefs of the tribe of Qureish. 

Abdul-Muttalib, Muhammad’s grandfather, was distinguished with both noble lineage and high social status.  As for his noble lineage, Abdul-Muttalib was a direct descendant of Prophet Ismael son of Prophet Abraham.  And as for his high social status, it was due in part to his re-discovery of the Well of Zamzam near the ka’bah in Makkah. 

When Prophet Abraham left Hajar and baby Ismael in the deserted valley of Makkah, they ran out of water.  So Hajar went looking for water, running seven times back and forth between the two hills of Safa and Marwa.  Baby Ismael cried for water and hit the ground with his feet.  God sent an angel and water sprang forth from that same spot baby Ismael hit the ground.  When Hajar came back and saw the water flowing from that spot, she surrounded it with stones, so it became a well.  Soon an Arab tribe joined her and started living in the valley, as mentioned in the following authentic hadith:

     عن ابْنٍ عَبَّاسٍ رضى الله عنهما قَالَ: قال النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: «‏ يَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ أُمَّ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، لَوْ تَرَكَتْ زَمْزَمَ ـ أَوْ قَالَ لَوْ لَمْ تَغْرِفْ مِنَ الْمَاءِ ـ لَكَانَتْ عَيْنًا مَعِينًا، وَأَقْبَلَ جُرْهُمُ فَقَالُوا: أَتَأْذَنِينَ أَنْ نَنْزِلَ عِنْدَكِ؟ قَالَتْ: نَعَمْ وَلاَ حَقَّ لَكُمْ فِي الْمَاءِ‏،‏ قَالُوا: نَعَمْ»‏‏.‏  رواه البخاري. ـ

Narrated Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

May God have mercy on the mother of Ishmael!  If she had left the water of Zamzam (fountain) as it was, (without constructing a basin for keeping the water), (or said, “If she had not taken handfuls of its water”), it would have been a flowing stream. Jurhum (an Arab tribe) came and asked her: ‘May we settle at your dwelling?’ She said: ‘Yes, but you have no right to possess the water.’ They agreed.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

      The opening of the Well of Zamzam was obliterated with time, though the water remained intact within.  Abdul-Muttalib Ibn Hisham, Muhammad’s grandfather, saw the location of the well in a dream.  When he woke up he re-dug it, thus gaining the privilege of providing water to people and pilgrims, and attaining social recognition.

Prophet Muhammad’s mother was Aminah daughter of Wahb Ibn Abdi Munaf.  Aminah’s father was the chief of Bani Zahrah, a clan of Qureish.  Thus, Aminah too enjoyed a noble lineage and high social status.

When the Prophet’s mother, Aminah, became pregnant with him she saw in a dream as if a light came out of her and illuminated the palaces of Al-Sham (the Levant).  Aminah told her father-in-law Abdul-Muttalib about the dream, and he concluded that his grandson was going to be someone of importance.

Aminah’s husband, Abdullah went on a business journey to Al-Sham (now Syria), but became sick on the way back and died near Al-Medinah before his son’s birth.  Abdullah Ibn Abdil-Muttalib was around 25 when he died.  When Muhammad was born, his mother and his grandfather took care of him.

   When Muhammad was near six years old, his mother Aminah took him to visit his uncles in Al-Medinah.  She took his nanny Umm Ayman with her.  On the way back, Aminah died near Al-Medinah; she was around 20 years old.  Thus, Muhammad became an orphan at age six, having lost his father before birth and his mother at six.  Muhammad’s nanny Umm Ayman then took him back to Makkah to his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib Ibn Hisham.

Since Abdullah was his youngest and most beloved son, Abdul-Muttalib took great care of his grandson and would allow him to sit with him when no one else was allowed close.  But Abdul-Muttalib died when Muhammad was eight years old.  Just before his death, Abdul-Muttalib asked his son Abu Talib and Muhammad’s uncle to take care of him.

Abu Talib had six children and wasn’t wealthy, but he gave a great example of altruism in taking care of his nephew, Muhammad.  First, Abu Talib used to take special care of young Muhammad until he grew up.  And second Abu Talib always supported Muhammad and protected him when Qureish tried to stop his message and did everything in its power to harm him and his followers, even though he didn’t embrace Islam.

When Prophet Muhammad was around twenty-four years old, Khadeejah Ibn Khuwailid, a rich lady from Qureish who enjoyed both high lineage and social status, heard of Muhammad’s honesty and integrity and decided to send him to Al-Sham on a business journey.  Khadeejah, who was around forty, sent with him her male servant, Mayserah.  They came back with double the profit, and Khadeejah who was a much sought-after rich lady was impressed with him. Her servant Mayserah confirmed her conviction by describing the high noble character of Muhammad.  She then sent to him asking what he thought of marriage, to which Muhammad agreed and both were married.

Muhammd and Khadeejah had six children, 3 sons and 3 daughters (Al-Qasim, Al-Tahir, Al-Tayyeb, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom, and Fatimah).  The three sons died at a young age, and all daughters died in their twenties during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, except for Fatimah who died six months after his death.  Khadeejah proved to be the perfect ideal wife, providing moral, emotional, and financial support.  She always stood with her husband, even when his people later opposed and persecuted him.

When Muhammad was forty years old, he saw Angel Gabriel in his original form, filling the horizon with his 600 wings for the first time.  Muhammad was overcome with dread and rushed home asking his wife to wrap him in warm clothes.  After he calmed down, she asked him what happened.  When he told her about the angel, she took him to her cousin, Waraqah Ibn Nofal who had knowledge of the Scriptures. Waraqah Ibn Nofal asked Muhammad to describe what he saw, and when he did, Waraqah told them that was the same angel that came to Prophet Moses, and that Muhammad was the promised next and last Prophet.  Once Khadeejah realized the truth of the Divine message that came to Prophet Muhammad, she was the first one of this nation to embrace Islam after her husband, and the first to encourage and support her husband.

After Prophet Muhammad started receiving the Divine Message from God through Angel Gabriel, the Prophet was instructed to spread the message of Islam among people.  The tribe of Qureish were pagans and used to worship idols of stones, wood and trees that they carved and named.  So when Prophet Muhammad called them to worship One God, they rejected his call.  But little by little, many tribesmen and women started embracing Islam recognizing its true message, and rejected worshipping idols.

But the pagan chiefs of Qureish started a campaign against the Muslims and started persecuting anyone who accepted Islam.  They harmed the Prophet and his followers with every means and at every opportunity.  Finally, they boycotted the Muslims and banned selling or distributing any food to them.  The boycott lasted for three years, and the Muslims didn’t have any food to eat so they started eating tree leaves and grass to stay alive.  At the end of the three years, the boycott was ended, but Abu Talib became sick and died.  Soon after, Khadeejah died too.  Three years later, Prophet Muhammad migrated to Al-Medinah where he enjoyed some level of security and self-sufficiency.

Then God reminds Prophet Muhammad of His favor upon him when He moved him from a state of insecurity to a state of security, from a state of lack of wealth and food to a state of self-sufficiency, and from a state of lack of knowledge to a state of guidance and prophet-hood.

Thus, after learning from these hard experiences, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- was the best of people in moral character, as stated by his followers and foes.  Prophet Muhammad was the most generous of people, the kindest, the most merciful, the most compassionate, the most forbearing, and the most patient of people.

Here are some instances that show Prophet Muhammad’s Generosity:

1)

 ‏    عَن ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رضي اللَّه عنهما ‏قَالَ: ( كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ ‏جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ، فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنْ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ). ‏رواه البخاري.  ‏

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 used to become more generous in Ramadan when Angel Gabriel met him. Angel Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him.  The Messenger of God then used to be more generous than the fast wind.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

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 2)

    عن أَنسٍ رضي اللَّه عنه قال: ( ما سُئِلَ رسُولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم عَلَى الإِسْلامِ شَيئاً إِلا أَعْطاه، وَلَقَدَ جَاءَه رَجُلٌ فَأَعطَاه غَنَماً بَينَ جَبَلَينِ، فَرَجَعَ إِلى قَومِهِ فَقَالَ: يَا قَوْمِ أَسْلِمُوا فَإِنَّ محمَّداً يُعْطِي عَطَاءَ مَنْ لا يَخْشَى الفَقْرَ.  وَإِنْ كَانَ الرَّجُلُ لَيُسْلِمُ مَا يُرِيدُ إِلاَّ الدُّنْيَا، فَمَا يَلْبَثُ إِلاَّ يَسِيراً حَتَّى يَكُونَ الإِسْلامُ أَحَبَّ إِلَيه منَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عَلَيْهَا) .  رواه مسلم. ـ

   Narrated Anas -may God be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of God, Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, never withheld anything he was asked for the sake of Islam.

And there came to him a man, so Prophet Muhammad gave him a large flock (of sheep and goats) spread between two mountains.  The man went back to his people and said: ‘O My people, embrace Islam, for Muhammad gives so much charity as if he has no fear of want.’  Indeed, the man would embrace Islam for the sake of worldly possession, but soon afterwards Islam would become dearer to him than the world and everything on it.”  Related by Imam Muslim.

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 3)

  عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضى الله عنه قَالَ: ( دَخَلْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَوَجَدَ لَبَنًا فِي قَدَحٍ فَقَالَ: «‏‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ، الْحَقْ أَهْلَ الصُّفَّةِ فَادْعُهُمْ إِلَىَّ‏»، قَالَ فَأَتَيْتُهُمْ فَدَعَوْتُهُمْ، فَأَقْبَلُوا فَاسْتَأْذَنُوا فَأُذِنَ لَهُمْ، فَدَخَلُوا‏).  ‏رواه البخاري. ـ

   Narrated Abu Huraira -may God be pleased with him- said:I entered (the house) along with Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him. There he found milk in a basin. He said: ‘O Abu Hirr, go and call the people of Suffa to me.’  I went to them and invited them. They came and asked permission to enter, and when it was given, they entered.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

Thus,  as soon as the Prophet found any food and drink, he would share it with the poor and needy.  He would share even the little he had with the poor, and God would bless it and make it enough for all.

——

 4)

       وعن سهل بن سعد رضي الله عنه: ( أن امرأة جاءت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ببردة منسوجة فقالت‏:‏ نسجتها لأكسوكها، فأخذها النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم محتاجاً إليها، فخرج إلينا وإنها إزاره، فقال فلان: اكسونيها ما أحسنها‏!‏ فقال‏:‏ «‏ نعم»، فجلس النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فى المجلس ثم رجع فطواها ثم أرسل به إليه‏، فقال له القوم‏:‏ ما أحسنتَ‏، لبسها النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم محتاجاً إليها ثم سألته وعلمت أنه لا يرد سائلاً، فقال‏:‏ إنى والله ما سألته لألبسها وإنما سألته لتكون كفني، قال سهل‏:‏ فكانت كفنه)‏.‏  ‏رواه البخاري. ـ

 Narrated Sahl bin Sa’d -May God be pleased with him- said: “A woman brought a woven piece of cloth to the Messenger of God, Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, and said to him: ‘I have woven this sheet with my own hands for you to wear.’  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- accepted it as he was in need of it.  He later came out wearing it as a lower garment. Someone said: ‘How nice it is! Kindly give it to me.’ The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him-said: ‘Very well.’  He remained in our company for some time, then he went back, folded it and sent it to the man.

The people said (to that man): ‘You did not do well. Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- wore it and he was in need of it, and you asked him for it when you are well aware that he never refuses a request.”  The man said: ‘I swear by God that I did not ask it for wearing, but I asked him for it so that it might be my shroud after my death.’  Sahl (the narrator of this Hadith) said: And in fact it was used as his shroud.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.
——

 5)

 عَنْ أَنَسٍ رضى الله عنه قَالَ: ( أُتِيَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِمَالٍ مِنَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ فَقَالَ: «‏‏ انْثُرُوهُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ»،‏ وَكَانَ أَكْثَرَ مَالٍ أُتِيَ بِهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَخَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ، وَلَمْ يَلْتَفِتْ إِلَيْهِ، فَلَمَّا قَضَى الصَّلاَةَ جَاءَ فَجَلَسَ إِلَيْهِ، فَمَا كَانَ يَرَى أَحَدًا إِلاَّ أَعْطَاهُ. ـ

فَمَا قَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَثَمَّ مِنْهَا دِرْهَمٌ)‏.  ‏رواه البخاري. ـ

          Narrated Anas -may God be pleased with him- said: “Some goods came to the Messenger of God, Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, from Bahrain.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- ordered the people to spread them in the mosque, and it was the biggest amount of goods the Messenger of God had ever received.  Prophet Muhammad left for prayer and did not even look at it. After finishing the prayer, he sat by those goods and gave from those to everybody he saw.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- did not get up till the last coin was distributed.” Related by Al-Bukhari.

——

 6)

     ذكر علي بن برهان الدين الحلبي في سيرته عن غزوة حنين: ( وعند وصوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم- إلى الجعرانة أحصي السبي فكان ستة آلاف رأس، والإبل أربعة وعشرين ألفا، والغنم أكثر من أربعين ألفا، وأربعة آلاف أوقية فضة. ـ

فأعطى للمؤلفة، أي من أسلم من أهل مكة، فكان أولهم أبا سفيان بن حرب رضي الله عنه أعطاه أربعين أوقية ومائة من الإبل، وقال: ابني يزيد، ويقال له يزيد الخير فأعطاه كذلك، وقال: ابني معاوية فأعطاه كذلك، فأخذ أبو سفيان رضي الله عنه ثلاثمائة من الإبل ومائة وعشرين أوقية من الفضة. وقال: بأبي أنا وأمي يا رسول الله، لأنت كريم في الحرب وفي السلم، أي وفي لفظ: لقد حاربتك فنعم المحارب كنت، وقد سالمتك فنعم المسالم أنت، هذا غاية الكرم جزاك الله خيرا. ـ

وأعطى حكيم بن حزام رضي الله عنه مائة من الإبل ثم سأله مائة أخرى، فأعطاه إياها، أي وفي الامتاع: وسأله حكيم بن حزام مائة من الإبل فأعطاه، ثم سأله مائة فأعطاه ثم سأله مائة فأعطاه، وقال له: «يا حكيم هذا المال خضر حلو من أخذه بسخاوة نفس بورك له فيه، ومن أخذه باشراف نفس لم يبارك له فيه، وكان كالذي يأكل ولا يشبع، واليد العليا خير من اليد السفلى» فأخذ حكيم المائة الأولى وترك ما عداها، أي وقال: يا رسول الله والذي بعثك بالحق نبيا لا أرزأ أحد بعدك شيئا حتى أفارق الدنيا.  وأعطى الأقرع بن حابس مائة من الإبل. وأعطى عيينة مثله). السيرة الحلبية. ـ

           Ali Ibn Burhanuddin Al-Halabi describes the Battle of Hunayn in his book:When Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- reached a place called Al-Ju’ranah (after the battle), the war booty was counted and it consisted of 6000 captives, 24,000 camels, more than 40,000 sheep and 4000 ounces of silver.

Prophet Muhammad distributed his share among the new Muslims of Makkah.  The first one to receive his gift was Abu Sufyan Ibn Herb, the leader of the tribe of Qureish; Prophet Muhammad gave him 40 ounces of silver and 100 camels.  Abu Sufyan said: ‘What about my son, Yazeed (also called Yazeed Al-Kheir)?’  So Prophet Muhammad gave him another 40 ounces of silver and 100 camels.  Abu Sufyan again asked: ‘What about my youngest son, Mu’awiyah?’  So Prophet Muhammad gave him another 40 ounces of silver and 100 camels.  In total, Abu Sufyan was given 300 camels and 120 ounces of silver.  On receiving that gift, Abu Sufyan exclaimed: ‘May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of God!  Indeed, you have been generous both during war and peace.’ 

And in another narration, Abu Sufyan said: ‘Indeed, I have fought you and found you a noble warrior, and I have made peace with you and found you a noble peacemaker. This is indeed the utmost of generosity, may God reward you.’

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then gave Hakeem Ibn Hizam 100 camels.  Hakeem asked for more, so the Prophet added another 100 camels.

And it is related in the book of Al-Imta’ that Hakeem Ibn Hizam asked Prophet Muhammad for 100 camels, so the Prophet gave it to him.  Hakeem asked him for another 100 camels, so the Prophet gave it him.  Then Hakeem asked him for a third 100 camels, and the Prophet gave it to him and then said: ‘O Hakeem, this wealth is pleasant and sweet. Whoever takes it without being greedy, he will be blessed in it; but whoever takes it with avarice and greed, he will not be blessed in it. Then he is like one who goes on eating but his hunger is not satisfied. And the upper hand is better than the lower hand.’  So Hakeem only took the first 100 camels and left the rest, and said: ‘O Messenger of God, by the One Who sent you with the Truth (God), I shall never accept anything from anybody after you till I leave this world.’ [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then gave Al-Aqra’ Ibn Habis 100 camels, and gave ‘Uyeinah Ibn Husein another 100 camels.”  Thus related in the book Al-Seerah Al-Halabiyah.

 

 After the Conquest of Makkah, the pagans of the city of Ta’if (the tribes of Hawazin, Thaqeef, Banu Sa’d and Banu Jashm) decided to attack the Muslims in Makkah.  They appointed the chief of the tribe of Hawazin, Malik Ibn Awf, as their leader.  Prophet Muhammad heard about their advancing troops and left the city of Makkah to meet them. The two armies met at the Valley of Hunayn (south east of Makkah) and engaged in a fierce battle.  The Muslims were ambushed at first and met with an onslaught of arrows and stones, which made many run for their lives.  But the Prophet stood firm and little by little, people gathered around him and finally the Muslims were victorious.

The leader of the opposition, Malik Ibn Awf, had ordered his people to bring all their cattle and family members to the battlefield as a boost to their morale.  But when they were defeated, the Muslims captured all of that as war booty.  By the end of the battle, the Muslims had captured 6000 captives, 24,000 camels, 40,000 sheep and 4000 ounces of silver.  One fifth of that belonged to the Prophet, and the rest was to be distributed on those who participated.

The generosity of Prophet Muhammad appears in the fact that he gave away all of his share and kept nothing to himself.  His share was hundreds of cattle heads, and had he cared for worldly possessions and wealth he would have kept some of the war booty.  But Prophet Muhammad generously distributed all of his own share among the new Muslims and gave freely until they accepted Islam sincerely, marveling at his unique generosity.  As one leader of Qureish put it, that kind of generosity only indicated a true Prophet of God:

    روى الواقدي في مغازيه: ( ويقال إن صفوان طاف مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يتصفح الغنائم إذ مر بشعب مما أفاء الله عليه، وفيه غنم وإبل ورعاؤها مملوء فأعجب صفوان، وجعل ينظر إليه فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: أعجبك يا أبا وهب هذا الشعب؟ قال: نعم، قال: هو لك وما فيه. فقال صفوان: أشهد ما طابت بهذا نفس أحد قط إلا نبي وأشهد أنك رسول الله). ـ

         Al-Waqidi mentioned in the Book of Battles: “It is related that Safwan Ibn Umayyah accompanied Prophet Muhammad while he was inspecting the war booty.  They came across a mountain pass, that was in the Prophet’s share, filled with camels and sheep and their shepherds. Safwan stared at it, admiring what he saw.  Prophet Muhammad asked him: ‘Do you like this mountain pass, O Aba Wahb?’  He replied: ‘Yes.’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Then it is and whatever in it is yours.’  Safwan said: ‘I bear witness that none whosoever can give this much except a true a prophet, and I bear witness that you are the true Messenger of God.’”

           Not only that, but after the booty was distributed, a group of the tribe of Hawazin embraced Islam and came to ask the Prophet to release the 6000 captives.  A wet nurse from this tribe (Haleemah Al-Sa’diyyah) had nursed Prophet Muhammad when he was young, so the tribe appealed to the Prophet’s compassion and to this foster relationship.  Again, Prophet Muhammad showed his great generosity and compassion and released all 6000 captives.

Finally, the Prophet promised amnesty to the leader of the enemy, Malik Ibn Awf, who had run away and took refuge with the tribe of Thaqeef.  Prophet Muhammad promised him one hundred camels and the return of his family who were captured during the battle.  Malik Ibn Awf embraced Islam and went to the Prophet.  Prophet Muhammad forgave him all, returned his family to him, gave him the hundred camels and re-appointed him leader of his tribe.

 

Thus, these incidents truly depict Prophet Muhammad’s great generosity, kindness and compassion.  These true stories show the highest level of altruism and sacrifice, of generosity and magnanimity where Prophet Muhammad gave preference to other people over himself, even when he was in need.  These episodes show how the Prophet of God was devoid of greed and selfishness, but instead cared about his people and their well-being.  God the Almighty knew that of him and thus praised Prophet Muhammad in Qur’an with the best description:

   قال الله عز وجل: { لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ} التوبة 128. ـ

    God the Exalted says: {Verily, there has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves (Muhammad). It grieves him what you suffer.  He is concerned over you, and to the believers he is kind and merciful} (Surah 9, verse 128).

 

        Then, we should take the Messenger of God as an ideal to emulate, and an example to follow.  Indeed, his morals and manners were of the highest level, and shown equally to all, that both friends and foes were amazed by it.  The Muslim should strive to have a semblance of that morality and should endeavor to treat others with a like attitude and manner.  The Muslim should be distinguished with the highest level of generosity, kindness, mercy, compassion, and other morals.  The reward of these acts of generosity and kindness will be tended not only in this world with peace and blessings, but also on the Day of Judgment by the Most Merciful God, and their reward will be the highest levels in Paradise.  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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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

 

—————-

           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.

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

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.

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

 

The Righteous and Pious (Ibrahim Ibn Adham)

    عن إبراهيم بن بشار خادم إبراهيم بن أدهم، قال: ( قلت: يا أبا إسحاق كيف كان أوائل أمرك؟ قال: كان أبي من أهل بلخ، وكان من ملوك خراسان، وحبب إلينا الصيد، فخرجت راكبا فرسي وكلبي معي، فبينما أنا كذلك، ثار أرنب أو ثعلب، فحركت فرسي فسمعت نداء من ورائي: ليس لذا خلقتَ ولا بذا أمرتَ، فوقفت أنظر يمنة ويسرة فلم أر أحدا، فقلت: لعن الله إبليس، ثم حركت فرسي فأسمع نداء أجهر من ذلك: يا إبراهيم ليس لذا خلقت ولا بذا أمرت، فوقفت أنظر يمنة ويسرة فلا أرى أحدا، فقلت: لعن الله إبليس، ثم حركت فرسي فأسمع نداء من قربوس سرجي: يا إبراهيم ما لذا خلقت ولا بذا أمرت، فوقفت فقلت: أنبَهْتَ، أنبهت، جاءني نذير من رب العالمين، والله لا عصيت الله بعد يومي هذا ما عصمني ربي.  فرجعت إلى أهلي، ثم جئت إلى أحد رعاة أبي فأخذت منه جبة وكساء وألقيت ثيابي إليه). ـ

     Narrated Ibrahim Ibn Bashaar -the attendant of Ibrahim Ibn Adham- said: “I asked Ibrahim Ibn Adham: ‘O Abu Is-Haq, what was the beginning of your becoming righteous?’  Ibrahim Ibn Adham replied:

‘My father was one of the inhabitants of the city of Balakh [a city in today’s Afghanistan], and he was one of the kings of the country of Khurasan.  We liked hunting. 

Once, I set out on my horse with my dog.  While I was riding, a rabbit or a fox, so I led my horse towards it.  I heard someone calling from behind me: `You were not created for this, and you were not commanded with this.`  I stopped and looked right and left but saw no one, so I said: ‘May God curse Satan.’ 

I then spurred my horse on, and I heard someone calling again but louder: `O Ibrahim, you were not created for this, and you were not commanded with this.`  I stopped and looked right and left but saw no one, so I said: ‘May God curse Satan.’ 

I then spurred my horse on, and I heard someone calling from my saddlebow: `O Ibrahim, you were not created for this, and you were not commanded with this.`  So I said: ‘You have given me a warning, you have given me a warning.  A harbinger (a warning sign) has come to me from the Lord of the Worlds.  I swear by God, I will not disobey God after this day of mine as long as God protects me.’ ”


 

   قيل لإبراهيم بن أدهم: ما بالنا ندعو فلا يستجاب لنا وقد قال تعالى: {أدعوني استجب لكم}؟ قال: لأن قلوبكم ميتة، قيل: وما الذي أماتها؟ قال: ثمان خصال؛ 1) عرفتم حق الله ولم تقوموا بحقه، 2) وقرأتم القرآن ولم تعملوا بحدوده، 3) وقلتم نحب رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ولم تعملوا بسنته، 4) وقلتم نخشى الموت ولم تستعدوا له، 5) وقال تعالى {إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوّاً} ]فاطر 6[ فواطأتموه على المعاصي، 6) وقلتم نخاف النار وأرهقتم أبدانكم فيها، 7) وقلتم نحب الجنة ولم تعملوا لها، 8) وإذا قمتم من فرشكم رميتم عيوبكم وراء ظهوركم وافترشتم عيوب الناس أمامكم فأسخطتم ربكم، فكيف يستجيب لكم؟

 

  It is related that Ibrahim Ibn Adham was once asked: “Why do not our supplications (Du’a) get answered, even though God -the Exalted- says: {And your Lord says: “Call upon Me, I will answer you.”} (Surah 40, verse 60).  Ibrahim Ibn Adham replied:

“Your supplication (Du’a) is not answered because your hearts are spiritually dead.”  He was asked: “And what caused their death?”  He replied: “Eight things:

1) You know the rights of God upon you, but you do not fulfill them.

2) You recite the Qur’an, but you do not act upon its commands.

3) You claim to love the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him, but you do not follow his way.

4) You claim to fear death, but you do not prepare for it.

5) God says: {Indeed Satan is your enemy, so take him as your enemy} (Surah 35, verse 6), but you obey him by committing sins.

6) You claim to fear Hell-fire, but you have exposed your bodies to it.

7) You claim to love Paradise, but you do not work for it.

8) And when you get up from your beds in the morning, you ignore your own faults, and rather get involved with other peoples’ faults. Thus you have angered your Lord, so how would He answer your supplications?’ ”

 

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The Broken and False Promises

(Keywords: The Fallen Monk, Barsisa the Monk,The ploy of Satan, Man and Satan, the Misleading of Satan, Deception and trickery of Satan)

      God -the Exalted- relates to us in Qur’an the true story of the fallen and misled monk. The purpose is for us to take heed and beware of Satan and his misleading ways, and his scheming and plotting.

God the Almighty says:

        قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { كَمَثَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِذْ قَالَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ اكْفُرْ فَلَمَّا كَفَرَ قَالَ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِنْكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَكَانَ عَاقِبَتَهُمَا أَنَّهُمَا فِي النَّارِ خَالِدَيْنِ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ جَزَاءُ الظَّالِمِينَ} سورة الحشر 16-17. ـ

قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما في تفسير الآية: ـ 

)

 كان راهب من بني إسرائيل [برصيصا الراهب] يعبد الله فيحسن عبادته، وكان يؤتى من كل أرض فيسأل عن الفقه وكان عالما، وإن ثلاثة إخوة كانت لهم أخت حسنة من أحسن الناس، وإنهم أرادوا أن يسافروا فكبر عليهم أن يخلفوها ضائعة، فجعلوا يأتمرون ما يفعلون بها فقال أحدهم: أدلكم على من تتركونها عنده؟ قالوا: من هو؟ قال: راهب بني إسرائيل؛ إن ماتت قام عليها، وإن عاشت حفظها حتى ترجعوا إليه.   فعمدوا إليه فقالوا: إنا نريد السفر، ولا نجد أحدا أوثق في أنفسنا ولا أحفظ لما ولي منك لما جعل عندك، فإن رأيت أن نجعل أختنا عندك فإنها ضائعة شديدة الوجع، فإن ماتت فقم عليها وإن عاشت فأصلح إليها حتى نرجع، فقال: أكفيكم إن شاء الله.    فانطلقوا فقام عليها فداواها حتى برأت، وعاد إليها حسنها، فاطلع إليها فوجدها متصنعة، فلم يزل به الشيطان يزين له أن يقع عليها حتى وقع عليها، فحملت. ثم ندمه الشيطان فزين له قتلها؛ قال: إن لم تقتلها افتضحت وعرف شبهك في الولد فلم يكن لك معذرة. فلم يزل به حتى قتلها.    فلما قدم إخوتها سألوه: ما فعلت؟ قال: ماتت فدفنتها، قالوا: قد أحسنت.  ثم جعلوا يرون في المنام ويُخبرون أن الراهب هو قتلها، وأنها تحت شجرة كذا وكذا، فعمدوا إلى الشجرة فوجدوها تحتها قد قتلت.   فعمدوا إليه فأخذوه، فقال له الشيطان: أنا زينت لك الزنا وقتلها بعد الزنا، فهل لك أن أنجيك؟ قال: نعم، قال: أفتطيعني؟ قال: نعم، قال: فاسجد لي سجدة واحدة، فسجد له ثم قُتل، فذلك قوله {كمثل الشيطان إذ قال للإنسان اكفر فلما كفر قال إني بريء منك} الآية).  رواه الطبري في تفسيره. ـ

——————

Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with him- said concerning the interpretation of the above verse:

“There was a monk among the Children of Israel [The Monk Barsisa] who had devoted himself to worshiping God as best as he could.  He was a scholar so people would come from every land to ask him about religious rulings or jurisprudence.

At that time, there were three brothers who had the most beautiful sister [but who was sick], and they wanted to travel.  They found it hard to leave their sick sister behind without care, so they held a counsel about what they should do.  One of the brothers said: ‘Should I tell you about someone with whom you should leave her?’  They asked: ‘Who?’  He said: ‘The monk of the Children of Israel [the Monk Barsisa], for he would arrange her burial if she died, and would take care of her if she lived until you return.’

They went to the monk and said: ‘We want to travel, and we find no one that we trust more, nor more preserving to the trust left with him than you.  So if you could take care of her, for she is sick and in a lot of pain.  If she dies arrange her burial, and if she lives then take care of her until we return.’  The monk said: ‘I will take care of it, God willing.’

They left, and the monk took care of her.  He treated her until she was cured and regained her beauty.  He saw her once adorned, and Satan continued to tempt him and entice him to sleep with her and commit adultery (zina) with her, until he did so. She got pregnant.  Then Satan made him feel remorse and tempted him to kill her.  Satan whispered to him: ‘If you don’t kill her, you will be exposed, and you will not have no excuse, for your likeness will be recognized in the child.’  Satan continued to tempt the monk until he killed her.

When her brothers came back, they asked the monk: ‘What happened to our sister?’ The monk replied: ‘She died, so I buried her.’  They said: ‘You did well.’

Afterwards, the brothers would see in their dreams like someone informing them that the monk had killed her and that she was buried under so and so tree. They went to the specific tree, dug her body from under it, and found out that she had been killed.

The brothers went to the monk and took him away.  Satan came to him and said: ‘I am the one who enticed you to commit adultery (zina), and to kill her afterwards. Do you want me to save you?’ He replied: ‘Yes.’ Satan asked: ‘Would you obey me?’ The monk replied: ‘Yes.’ Satan said to him: ‘Then prostrate to me just once.’ The monk prostrated to him, and then he was killed.

And that is the interpretation of God’s statement: {(Their allies deceived them) like Satan when he says to the man: “Disbelieve.” But when the man disbelieves, Satan says: “Indeed, I declare my innocence of you, for I fear God, the Lord of the Worlds!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding eternally therein. Such is the recompense of the Unjust (the polytheist, wrong-doers, and disbelievers)} Surah 59, verses16-17. Related by Al-Tabari in his Exegeses.

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            The Almighty God gives us an example of the ploys and plotting of Satan and how he misleads and tempts the son of Adam. Satan starts to tempt the son of Adam by promising him endless pleasures and limitless joys if he does one small sin. Once the son of Adam commits the first sin, Satan then draws him sweetly and entices him to a second greater sin, and keeps setting a trap after another until the son of Adam is ruined and only realizes his mistakes in prison and worse in death and Hell-fire.

 


 

There are three moral lessons that can be learned from the above true story:

First Moral Lesson:

            Satan is the sworn and most bitter enemy of the son of Adam, and tries everything in his power to mislead the human and make him a disbeliever.

      Satan’s enmity against man goes back to his being banished, expelled and disfigured when he disobeyed God by refusing to prostrate to Adam. God cursed Satan for his arrogance and pride and promised him Hell-Fire. Satan asked for a reprieve until the Day of Judgment and he was granted that reprieve. Then Satan made a promise to try to mislead the humans and take as many of them as possible with him to Hell-Fire.

Thus, the enmity of Satan is ancient and deep-rooted, and Satan spares no ploy or strategy but to mislead the son of Adam and make him disbelieve so that he would end up in Hell-fire. But God warned the humans to beware of the traps and ploys of Satan, and gave us many examples where Satan succeeded in misleading people until they died as disbelievers and thus ended in Hell-Fire.

The Muslim is instructed to take Satan an enemy and treat him as such. The Muslim is warned to be wary of Satan and avoid his tricks and traps. God the Almighty says in Qur’an:

{Verily, Satan is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy. He only invites his followers that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire} Surah 35, verse 6.


 

Second Moral Lesson:

The Muslim is instructed to be cautious and defensive against this fifth column or enemy from within. Satan is not only a bitter foe, but he also employs the human Self to reach his goal.

    Satan often uses humans’ natural instincts and desires to set traps for them and make them fall into sin and disbelief so that they would join him in Hell-Fire. Thus, the Muslim should avoid slippery and dangerous situations that may lead him astray.

    The Muslim is instructed to avoid exposing himself to dangers and shaky grounds that give Satan greater access to him. The Muslim should avoid putting himself in situations where the Self takes control, giving free reign to his desires and lusts and thus weakening his defenses and allowing Satan an easier access.

    Some of these slippery situations include associating with the unjust and rich for little by little Satan would employ the person’s natural desire and love of wealth to make him one of the unjust; associating with the aberrant, radical and deviant for gradually Satan would use the natural inclination to power and control to make the person one of them; associating with an unlawful woman or man for step by step Satan would entice the person and promise her/him endless pleasures and enjoyment until the person commits adultery and falls into sin; and similar situations.

وعن ميمون بن مهران، قال: ( ثلاثةٌ لا تَبْلُوَنَّ نفسَك بهن: لا تَدْخُلَنَّ على سُلطَانٍ وإن قلتَ آمُرُهُ بطاعَةٍ، ولا تَدْخُلَنَّ على امْرَأَةٍ وإن قلتَ أُعَلِّمُهَا كِتَابَ اللَّه، ولا تُصْغِيَنَّ سَمْعَك لذي هَوًى فإنك لا تَدْري ما تَعَلَّقَ قلبُك منه). ـ

    It is related that the Scholar Meimoon Ibn Mahran said: “Avoid afflicting yourself with three things: Do not go to see a king, even if you had the intention of advising him to obey God. Do not go to see a woman, if you had the intention of teaching her the Book of God. And do not listen to an innovator in religion, for you do not know what of his speech will attach to your heart.

   The true story of the monk describes how Satan misled the monk through association with an unlawful woman. Although the girl was very sick at first, Satan used her to entice the monk until he committed adultery, then used the monk’s sense of guilt against him and made him kill her, and finally used the monk’s survival instinct and desire to live to make him prostrate to Satan.

The monk obeyed Satan in all three instances, and thus became a disbeliever. God then warned us that the end of both Satan and this monk is eternal damnation and Hell. The Muslim then should be wary of this enemy from within, and should supplicate God and ask His assistance and support in dealing with invisible foe.


 

Third Moral Lesson:

The Muslim is commanded to be modest and humble, for modesty and humbleness are the characteristics of the believers.

The Muslim is warned to avoid conceit and self-admiration, for they lead to pride and arrogance when the person starts considering himself better than others. Having contempt for others and feeling superior to them are signs of pride and arrogance. Pride and arrogance are characteristics of Satan and the people of Hell-Fire. Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- described the people of Paradise as the modest and humble believing people of the world, while he described the people of Hell-fire as the proud and arrogant people of the world.

عن أبي سعيدٍ الخُدريِّ رضيَ اللَّهُ عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « احْتَجَّتِ الجَنَّةُ والنَّارُ، فَقَالَتِ النَّارُ: فِيَّ الجَبَّارُونَ والمُتَكَبِّرُونَ، وقَالَتِ الجنَّة: فِيَّ ضُعَفَاءُ النَّاسِ ومَسَاكِينُهُمْ. فَقَضَى اللَّه بيْنَهُمَا: إِنَّكِ الجَنَّةُ رَحْمَتي أَرْحَمُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ، وإِنَّكِ النَّارُ عذَابي أُعَذِّبُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ، ولِكِلَيْكُما عَلَيَّ مِلْؤُها» .  رواهُ مسلم ورواه البخاري عن أبي هريرة . ـ

     Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri -may God be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

Paradise and Hell-fire argued. Hell-fire said: ‘I was favored with the proud and the arrogant.’ Paradise said: ‘What is the matter with me that only the weak, the lowly, and the humble of people enter me?’ So God said to Paradise: ‘Verily, you are only My Mercy, I bestow mercy with you upon whomever I wish among My slaves.’ And He said to Hell-fire: ‘Verily, you are only My punishment, I punish with you whomever I wish. And every one of you shall have its full.’ ” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

   Thus, the Muslim is instructed to be modest even if he had a greater share of wealth, health, intellect or knowledge, for that is a blessing of God that he must thank Him for.

The Muslim should never show any conceit or self-admiration for that may lead to pride or arrogance, which in turn makes him have a sense of superiority for a blessing that only God has granted him.

Whatever man or woman shows pride or arrogance then s/he has shown ingratitude and exposed him/herself to punishment in this world and the Hereafter. But for those who show modesty, humbleness and thanks then their blessings would not only last but also increase.

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    Then in summary, we can learn three important moral lessons from the above true story.

First, Satan is man’s worst enemy and the human must treat him as such by opposing him and being wary of him.

Second, the human should not put himself in slippery and dangerous situations that may give Satan power over him through Self desires and lusts. Rather, the human should be defensive and should use caution to avoid the traps of Satan whose goal is to take as many people to Hell-Fire with him as he could mislead.

And third, the Muslim should show modesty and humbleness even when is favored with greater blessings, for these are the characteristics of the people of Paradise. The Muslim should avoid conceit and self-admiration which may lead to pride and arrogance which are the characteristics of Satan and the people of Hell-Fire. The Muslim should attribute the blessing to God, be grateful to Him and thank Him for it, for that’s how he ensures the continuation of the blessing and its increase. And God knows best.

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

The Pious Man and the Tree

(Keywords: The ploy of Satan, Adam and Satan, Misleading of Satan, Deception and trickery of Satan)

عن الحسن، قال : ( كانت شجرة تعبد من دون الله، فجاء إليها رجل فقال: لقطعن هذه الشجرة، فجاء ليقطعها غضبا لله، فلقيه إبليس في صورة إنسان، فقال: ما تريد؟ قال: أريد أن أقطع هذه الشجرة التي تعبد من دون الله، قال: إذا أنت لم تعبدها فما يضرك من عبدها، قال: لأقطعنها، فقال له الشيطان: هل لك فيما هو خير لك؛ لا تقطعها ولك ديناران كل يوم إذا أصبحت عند وسادتك، قال: فمن أين لي ذلك؟ قال: أنا لك فرجع فأصبح فوجد دينارين عند وسادته، ثم أصبح بعد ذلك فلم يجد شيئا فقام غضبا ليقطعها، فتمثل له الشيطان في صورته، وقال: ما تريد؟ قال: أريد قطع هذه الشجرة التي تعبد من دون الله تعالى، قال: كذبت مالك إلى ذلك من سبيل، فذهب ليقطعها فضرب به الأرض وخنقه حتى كاد يقتله، قال: أتدري من أنا، أنا الشيطان جئت أول مرة غضبا لله، فلم يكن لي عليك سبيل فخدعتك بالدينارين فتركتها، فلما جئت غضبا للدينارين سلطت عليك). ـ

 

Narrated Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “There was once a group of people who took up a tree as an idol to worship. A pious man heard about that and decided to cut the tree for the sake of God and to please Him.

When he was about to cut the tree, Satan came to him in the form of a man and asked him: ‘What are you planning to do?’ The man replied: ‘I want to cut this tree because people are worshiping it instead of God.’

Satan said: ‘What harm does that cause you if you are not the one who is worshiping it?’ The pious man said: ‘Indeed, I shall cut it.’ Satan said to him: ‘Could I suggest something better; do not cut it and you shall have two Dinars every day at your bedside every morning.’ The pious man asked: ‘Who shall give it to me?’ Satan said: ‘I shall give it to you.’

When the next morning came, the man found two Dinars at his bedside. But later, when he woke up he did not find anything. The man became angry and went to cut the tree.

Once again Satan came to him in the form of a man and asked him: ‘What are you planning to do?’ The man said: ‘I want to cut this tree because people are worshiping it instead of God- the Exalted.’ Satan said: ‘You lie, for you shall have no access to it.’ When the man went forward to cut it, Satan wrestled him to the ground and strangled him almost killing him.

Satan then asked the man: ‘Do you know who I am? I am Satan. When you first came to cut the tree, it was purely for the sake of God, and I had no power over you. So I tricked you with the two Dinars, and you abandoned cutting it. But when you came the second time, it was for the sake of the money and I was able to overpower you.’ ”

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The Day of Judgment

(Keywords: Accounting for deeds, Yome Al-Qiyamah, Day of Resurrection, Last Day, the Day of Recompense)

 

In Islam, the Day of Judgment is considered the Greatest and Most Eventful Day the son of Adam would ever experience.  The Day of Judgment is described as a very long day during which all creatures would be assembled for the accounting of deeds before God, the Creator and Lord of the Universe.  On the Day of Judgment, every person would be asked about his/her deeds and actions in the world.

God has described the Day of Judgment as the Day of Recompense (Yome Ad-Deen); the day when every soul shall be either rewarded for its goods deeds or punished for its misdeeds and sins.  In Qur’an, the Day of Judgment has been described with different names to demonstrate its different conditions and horrific events.  The Almighty God has descried the Day of Judgment as:

– The Last Day (Al-Yome Al-‘Akhir): The Day of Judgment constitutes the boundary between this life and the Hereafter.

– The Day of Resurrection (Yome Al-Ba’th): On the Day of Judgment, God would resurrect all people and make them come alive again.  God mentioned in Qur’an that as He created all creatures, and He is capable of restoring all of them on the Day of Judgment.

– The Promised Day (Al-Yome Al-Mo’wood), the Undoubtful Day (La Reiba feeh), and the Approaching Day (‘Azifah): The Day of Judgment is inevitable and has been promised by all prophets and messengers of God.

– The Day of Distress, the Distressful Day (Aseeb), the Hard Day (Aseer), and the Barren Day (Aqeem): People would feel a lot of distress on that day because of the long wait, its many fretful events, and because people wouldn’t know their final end either in Paradise or Hell.

– The Day of Striking Calamity (Waqi’ah), the Day of Great Catastrophe (Tammah Kubra), the Day of the Blast (Sakhah), and the Overwhelming Day (Ghashiyah): On that day, the disbelievers and sinners would suffer great distress and torment.

– The Day of Regret (Yome Al-Hasrah): On that day, everyone would feel great remorse and regret for any disobedience of the Lord of the Universe.

– The Day of Inevitable Reality (Haqqah), and the Day of Truth (Haqq): On that day, people would see the truth as never before as they would be able to see the angels, Paradise and Hellfire.

– The Day of Gathering (Yome Al-Jam’), the Day Coming out (Khurooj), the Day of Meeting (Talaq), and the Day of Calling Out (Tanad): All creatures would be resurrected, would be gathered and then called out for individual accounting on that day.

– The Day of Reckoning (Hisab) and the Day of Sorting out (Fasl): On that day, every person shall account for his good and bad deeds, and people would be divided in groups (the righteous together, the sinners together, and the disbelievers together). And,

– The Day of Eternity (Khulood), and the Day of Eternal Abode (Qarar): On that day, the son of Adam will find his/her final destination and eternal abode or home.

 

          Just by looking at the different names of the Day of Judgment, we can appreciate the sense of horror and dread one may feel that day.  But the Almighty God has promised relief and ease for the believers, the pious and the righteous; those who worship Him alone and obey His commands.  But for those who disobeyed God, then the Day of Judgment is a day of regret and loss.

          The Almighty God gives us a live representation of the Day of Judgment in Qur’an.  In this live depiction of the end of the Day of Judgment, we can see the condition of two groups: the people of Paradise and the people of Hell-Fire.  The live image also describes their state, their statements and their final thoughts before they are led away to their final abode and destination.

          قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَصَعِقَ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَى فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنْظُرُونَ (68) وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ وَجِيءَ بِالنَّبِيِّينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ (69) وَوُفِّيَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا عَمِلَتْ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ (70) وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ زُمَرًا حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءُوهَا فُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْكُمْ يَتْلُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آَيَاتِ رَبِّكُمْ وَيُنْذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَاءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا قَالُوا بَلَى وَلَكِنْ حَقَّتْ كَلِمَةُ الْعَذَابِ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ (71) قِيلَ ادْخُلُوا أَبْوَابَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا فَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ (72) وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ (73) وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي صَدَقَنَا وَعْدَهُ وَأَوْرَثَنَا الْأَرْضَ نَتَبَوَّأُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ نَشَاءُ فَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ (74) وَتَرَى الْمَلَائِكَةَ حَافِّينَ مِنْ حَوْلِ الْعَرْشِ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ وَقِيلَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ } سورة الزمر 68-75.

English Translation:

God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { And the Trumpet (horn) will be blown, and all in the heavens and earth will fall dead except whom God wills. Then it will be blown a second time and behold, they will be standing, looking on.

69. And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord (when He will come to judge among them), the Record (of deeds) will be placed (open) and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not be wronged.

  1. And every soul will be fully compensated for what it did; and God is most knowing of what they do.

  1. Then those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say, “Did not the Messengers come to you from amongst yourselves, reciting to you the Verses of your Lord and warning you of the Meeting of this Day of yours?” They will say: “Yes, but the Word [i.e., decree] of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!”

  2. It will be said (to them): “Enter you the gates of Hell, to abide eternally therein. And (indeed) what an evil abode for the arrogant!”

  1. But those who feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: “Peace be upon you; you have done well; so enter you Paradise to abide eternally therein.”

  2. And they (people of Paradise) will say: “All praises and thanks be to God Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land so we can dwell in Paradise where we will. And what an excellent reward for the (pious) workers!”

  1. And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (of God) from all round, glorifying the praises of their Lord. And it will be judged between all the creatures with truth, and it will be said: All praises and thanks be to God, the Lord of the Universe} (Surah 39, verses 68-75).

 

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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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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.”

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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.”

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, 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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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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Prophet Muhammad – Forgiving and Kind

(Keywords: Prophet Muhammad’s forgiveness of Quraish, Prophet’s Muhammad’s forgiveness of his enemies during the Conquest of Makkah, Prophet Muhammad’s mercy and kindness, Prophet’s Muhammad’s high Morals)

 

     قال الله تعالى: { لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ} التوبة 128.

      God -the Exalted- says: { Verily, there has come to you a Messenger (Muhammad) from among yourselves. It grieves him what you suffer.  He is concerned over you, and to the believers he is kind and merciful} (Surah 9, verse 128).

    عن عَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها أَنَّها قالت: ( مَا انْتَقَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِنَفْسِهِ فِي شَىْءٍ قَطُّ، إِلاَّ أَنْ تُنْتَهَكَ حُرْمَةُ اللَّهِ، فَيَنْتَقِمَ بِهَا لِلَّهِ). متفق عليه.‏

            Narrated Aisheh (Wife of the Prophet) -may God be pleased with her- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- never took revenge over anybody for himself, unless the limits of God were violated then he would serve justice for Allah’s sake.” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.


 

         Prophet Muhammad urged the Muslims to show forgiveness and kindness to others.  Not only did he express that in words, but he also accompanied it with action.  If we study the biography of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, we see instance after instance of forgiveness and largess.

The most clear instance of Prophet Muhammad’s great forgiveness appears in his treatment of the tribe of Qureish after the Conquest of Makkah.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- spent thirteen years in Makkah inviting his people to Islam.  During this period, his tribe Qureish not only refused his invitation but persecuted him and his followers.  Qureish used to worship idols, and vehemently rejected the call to worship one God.  They believed in God, but associated other idols in worship as well.  As the Prophet explained his divine message, and as people saw the true divine and noble nature of his message, many people embraced Islam and devoted their worship to one God only.  However, the chiefs and powerful men of Qureish insisted on their belief, and moreover started harming and torturing those who followed Prophet Muhammad, and employed many methods to make them renounce their religion.

In response to this persecution, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- allowed his followers to migrate to Ethiopia first, and to Al-Medina later.  Al-Medinah is located around 210 miles north of Makkah, and at the time was populated by a tribe called Al-Ansar.  Beside Al-Ansar Tribe, many Jews had moved to Al-Medinah as they determined it to be the place where the next true prophet would appear.  The Ansar used to worship idols, while the Jews used to worship God.  The Jews often used to warn the Ansar that soon a true prophet will come then they will kill all of Ansar.  Therefore, when some Ansari men heard of Prophet Muhammad, they remembered the warning of the Jews and readily accepted his prophet-hood and believed him in his Divine message.  Finally, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- migrated to Al-Medinah and the whole town embraced Islam vowing their allegiance to God and His true Messenger.

Qureish had decided to kill Prophet Muhammad by asking each sub-tribe to send a man to participate in killing Prophet Muhammad.  God revealed their plan to Prophet Muhammad and commanded him to migrate to Al-Medinah.  Qureish promised 100 camels for whoever caught the Prophet dead or alive, but he evaded them and reached Al-Medinah safely.

Once in Al-Medinah, the tribe of Qureish organized many military expeditions and armies to defeat the now Muslim Ansar tribe and Prophet Muhammad.  After a number of battles, both sides signed a peace treaty named Al-Hudeibiyah Treaty that favored the tribe of Qureish, but the Prophet looking for peace signed it.  When Qureish violated the treaty, Prophet Muhammad with the permission of God decided to march to Makkah, his birthplace and the starting point of his Divine true message.

The Muslim marched in large numbers to Makkah and overcame the minor resistance they faced.  When they entered Makkah, there were many of idols around Ka’bah in the Great Sacred Mosque of Makkah.  The Prophet had all of the idols destroyed.

                   The Forgiveness of Prophet Muhammad appeared even before he entered Makkah.  Prophet Muhammad had it announced that whoever stayed in his house or in the house of Abu Sufayn, then no harm will come to him.  Thus, instead of killing and pillaging the tribe that spent every penny opposing and fighting him and his followers, he granted them general amnesty.  The tribe of Qureish, who always fought the Muslims, tortured them, and killed many of them, now could see the real high moral character of Prophet Muhammad and his followers.

    عنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَامَ الْفَتْحِ جَاءَهُ الْعَبَّاسُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ بِأَبِي سُفْيَانَ بْنِ حَرْبٍ فَأَسْلَمَ بِمَرِّ الظَّهْرَانِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ الْعَبَّاسُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ أَبَا سُفْيَانَ رَجُلٌ يُحِبُّ هَذَا الْفَخْرَ فَلَوْ جَعَلْتَ لَهُ شَيْئًا،‏ قَالَ: «‏ نَعَمْ، مَنْ دَخَلَ دَارَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فَهُوَ آمِنٌ، وَمَنْ أَغْلَقَ عَلَيْهِ بَابَهُ فَهُوَ آمِنٌ» .  رواه أبو داود.

Narrated Ibn Abbas said (English translation): “Al-Abbas Ibn Abdil-Muttalib (uncle of the Prophet) brought Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb (Leader of Qureish) to Prophet Muhammad just before the Conquest of Makkah.  Abu Sufyan embraced Islam at a place called Marr Adhahran.  Then Al-Abbas said to the Prophet: ‘O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who likes the common distinction and pride, if you may do something for him.’  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Yes, whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is safe, and whoever closes his house door on himself is safe.’ ”  Related by Abu Dawood.

Then after the Muslims entered Makkah, the tribe of Qureish wanted to know their fate and went to Prophet Muhammad to ask him.

عَنْ أَبِي يُوسُفَ أَنَّ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لَقريش حِينَ اجْتَمَعُوا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ: مَا تَرَوْنَ أَنِّي صَانِعٌ بِكُمْ؟ قَالُوا: خَيْرًا، أَخٌ كَرِيمٌ وَابْنُ أَخٍ كَرِيمٍ، قَالَ: اذْهَبُوا فَأَنْتُمُ الطُّلَقَاءُ. رواه البيهقي.

          Abu Yoosuf related (English translation): “After the Conquest of Makkah, the tribe of Qureish gathered in the Great Mosque, so Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- asked them: ‘What do you think I am going to do with you?’  They replied: ‘We only expect forgiveness and pardon from an honorable generous brother, and an honorable generous nephew.’  So Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Then you may go, for you are the freed ones.’ ”  Related by Al-Beihaqi.

          Thus, we see the true moral character of Prophet Muhammad.  He forgave the tribe of Qureish after all their animosity, harm and opposition.  As a result, even his harshest opponents and sworn enemies among Qureish embraced Islam, some reluctantly at first but soon marveled and basked in the peace and justice of the true Divine message of Prophet Muhammad.

In fact, at the time of Prophet Muhammad many people of different religions used to come to see Prophet Muhammad and test his morals and outward actions.  They would set certain moral tests to see if Muhammad is a true Prophet.  Some Christians tested his acceptance of charity, but when he refused they recognized his sincerity and renunciation of the worldly life.  Some Jews tested his knowledge, and asked him deep esoteric questions that only they knew.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- answered all of their questions correctly as they stated.  Some pagans tested his justice and judgment, and Prophet Muhammad ruled with justice and avoided any bias.

To the extent that some famous rulers and kings accepted his true message based on his call to moral character and noble personal action.  The King of Ethiopia wept with tears when he heard the Qur’an then embraced Islam.  The Roman Emperor, Heraculius, asked Abu Sufyan (the chief of Qureish) about Prophet Muhammad and then marveled at his moral character, admitting that such moral behavior and justice only indicates a true Prophet of God.  The ruler of Yamamah, Thumamah Ibn Uthal, was captured by the Muslims.  The Prophet kept him for three days and then forgave him, releasing him.  During those three days, he was shown the real moral character of the Prophet and his kind treatment.  After his release, the Ruler of Yamamah declared Islam and then said his famous statement:

‘By God, O Muhammad, there was no face on the surface of the earth most disliked by me than yours, but now your face has become the most beloved face to me.  By God, there was no religion most disliked by me than yours, but now your religion (of Islam) is the most beloved religion to me. And by God, there was no city most disliked by me than your town, but now your town is the most beloved city to me.’

Thus, we see that the high moral code of Prophet Muhammad and his noble action including his great mercy and forgiveness set him apart and give credence to his true Divine Message, for Mercy and Forgiveness are characteristics that God often attributes to Himself.  Righteous people who follow God’s command, not only call for such moral traits but embody them in action as well.  And Allah knows best.

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