Why?

Today’s blog is totally unplanned, unintended and unexpected. I don’t normally do this – I actually never do this. Most of my self-written blogs are topics that have been flying around my head for weeks, sometimes months. I then eventually write something up! And the title doesn’t really help you all?

So, here goes… Bismillah!

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Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”? (24:12)

The verse above is from Surah Noor, which deals with the greatest accusation in the history of Islam. It was against the Mother of the Believers; Aishah Bint Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with them). I am sure you are all aware of the story from Jumu’ah lectures or Audio CDs or Tafseer Books. The verse is saying in basic terms, when the news was spread and rumours were relayed, why did the Muslims not think good of the situation or give benefit of the doubt. Rather than jump to conclusions and slander each other.

Before I delve into the whole issue of thinking good of the believers, I would deem it most unfair and unjust not mention thinking good of the One who created me, created you, our parents and all those who have passed. Yes, thinking good of Allah SWT is something which is forgotten and rarely talked about; not from the pulpits, nor written in many books. It is certainly neglected in my opinion.

“And they thought wrongly of Allah – the thought of ignorance”
~ Surah Aal ‘Imran, 3:154

Ibn ul-Qayyim RH said: “Most people have ill thoughts of Allah with regard to what pertains to them and what He does with other than them. So whoever despairs of His Mercy, then he has thought ill of Him; and whoever thinks that if he leaves something for His Sake, He will not replace it with better than it – or one who does something for His Sake, that He won’t give him better than it – then he has thought ill of Him; and whoever thinks that if he sincerely hopes in and fears Him, and humbles himself before Him and implores Him, and asks Him and seeks His help and puts his trust in Him, that He will disappoint him, then he has thought ill of Him.”

Allah is Al-Hannan – the Most compassionate, He is Al-Wakeel – the trustee. These names and attributes of Allah illustrate to us the kind, caring and generous nature of Allah, who, when a slave calls upon Him, turns to Him, and thinks good of Him gives them much good back in return. Allah says in a Hadith Qudsi:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’” (Bukhari)

Which means, if he has good thoughts about Allah, ‘that he will be answered’, then he will be answered bi’ithnillaah. But if he says ‘I don’t think I will be answered’ and the like, then he will be deprived of the answer – and refuge is sought in Allah – because he did not have good thoughts of his Lord.

How many of you are going to walk to Allah SWT so He comes at speed to you? How many of you are will draw closer to Allah, so He draws closer to you? How many of you are going to believe and hope that Allah SWT will do well to you, so that He grants you what you anticipate and more than you would ever imagined?

Whatever you’re going through in life, then remember Allah is directing you back in putting your trust in Him. When you totally depend on Allah for your every need, every situation, then not only does your heart fill with the sweetness of Iman, but you see doors opening from all around you. Those, which were locked, those that you never even knew existed. For an individual who relies on Allah is demonstrating his humble status as a slave and is acknowledging that absolutely no person, thing, or creature – whether living or dead, can change the situation, besides the one who is in control over everything… and that is, Allah.

When you trust in Allah SWT, He will surely make ways for you. Never forget that. If you didn’t get the person you wanted for marriage, if you failed your exam even after exerting so much effort in revision, if you lost a loved one, then think good of Allah. Your heart will feel at ease knowing that whatever Allah SWT wills is good. Be positive.

Allah SWT is what His slave expects of Him, and expect good things to happen to you, you won’t be disappointed. Remind yourself that in life, maybe some things are not meant to be because there is something else waiting for you. Something better, more amazing, more valuable to Allah SWT than the other thing you longed for. Allah SWT is as you think of Him. Think good of Allah SWt and He will do good to you, that is the Sunnah of Allah SWT; that is His way.

In addition to that, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim RH has stated, “The more you have good expectations of your Lord and hope in Him, the more you will rely on and trust in Him. This is why some explained true reliance and trust to be having good expectations of Allah. In reality, having good expectations of Him leads to relying on and trusting in Him, as it is unthinkable that one can trust in someone that he has bad expectations of or no hope in, and Allah Knows best” (Tahdhib Madarij as-Salikin).

I would like to end with a clip from one of my favourite Arab Scholars, Shaykh Salih Al Maghamsi (Hafidhahullah). He is the Imam of Masjid Al-Quba in Madeenah, Saudi Arabia. He is one of the most well known scholars of tafseer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBrH-cGel-M

This hopeful attitude is a distinguishing quality of a Muslim. Allah says in the Guide for Mankind, “Whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him” (65:3). We should always try to consider the different possibilities and prepare for the future as much as we are able, but we don’t need to be pessimistic to do so. We have to remember that there are certain things that Allah has destined for us which will occur no matter how well we are prepared. And if He has destined disappointment for us at a point and time, we must take it as a reminder and as a lesson to better ourselves. So whatever happens, it can truly only benefit us. That is what Islam teaches us. May Allah enable us to take heed of his reminders and shine a ray of optimism wherever we may be.  Ameen.

The second part is thinking good of each other.

I am going to give everyday life examples; simple and basic! I may call somebody and he didn’t answer the first time, to jump to conclusions straight away – “He is ignoring me!” “He is avoiding me!” “He is not talking to me!” All of this is incorrect, he/she may simply be in the bathroom? They may be in Salah? They may be talking to someone else (not all phones tell you ‘call waiting’), or their phone may be on silent for some reason or other. And we need to think this way. Personally, I have never rang anyone expecting them to answer right away. They will either call me back when it is convenient or text me ‘busy call later’. You see these things sound so simple and ARE simple! We complicate matters by over thinking. If for example, somebody texts you or emails something which you are unsure about, what they meant and the tone used sounds different or unusual, then simply ask them. Asking, who, what, when, can clarify so many things and alleviate doubts. Considering in this day and age, people write more than they speak. Writing can often be misunderstood.

That was a simple example, other times it may involve news we hear of people; rumours or gossip. This is very common nowadays, if it occurred to A’ishah RA in the time of the Prophet SAW, it can certainly occur today.

“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.” (49:6)

The path of every Muslim is hiding others’ faults and having a good opinion of others. This is why Allah ‘Azza wa jall ordered the believers to have a good opinion of people when they hear slanders of their Muslim brothers.

So to have Husnu Al-Dhann is the practice of the righteous, people of understanding and wise men from among Muslims, the ones who fear their Lord and desire victory and predominance for Allah’s Deen.

A few incidents to relate to:

It was said about Abu Ishaq Rahimahullah, that once he took off his upper-garment (‘amamah) (which was worth 20 dinaar) so to make ablution – when suddenly a thief came and stole Abu Ishaaq’s garment and left an old garment instead of it. So when the Shaykh Rahimahullah finished his ablution he just took the old garment and wore it. He didn’t even notice it, until he was asked about it while he was teaching.

So he replied: “It might be that the one who took it, was in need of it.”

This is the highest degree of Husne Dhann, in my opinion.

From Zayd ibn Aslam RH who said: Someone entered upon Aba Dujanah Al-Ansary (Radiyallahu ‘Anhu) while he was sick. His face was glowing like the light of the Moon, so he was asked: “Why is your face shining?”
He replied: It is because of no other deeds but two I used to hold on to:
– I would never speak of that which does not concern me, and the second is that the Muslims would be unharmed and secure in my heart.
[Siyar A’lam Annubalaa]

Imām al-Nawawī (may Allāh have mercy on him) was deprived of the Night Prayer for six months because he thought negatively of one of his companions. After that, whenever he saw a person, he would tell himself that this person is the Qutb. Later, a man saw al-Nawawī in his dream in a beautiful state. He asked, ‘Who is this?’ He was told, ‘It is the Qutb!’

The man approached him in one of his lesson, but when Imām Nawawī saw him he said to him, ‘Keep what you know to yourself.’ He became a Qutb because of Husn al-Dhann (having a good opinion of others). No person should look down at any of the Muslims, because a small Muslim is big in the sight of Allāh, Exalted be He.

[Paraphrased from one of the Friday Lessons of Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Jaʾfarī (d. 1979), Imām of the Azhar, may Allāh Sanctify his secret]

At one point, Imam Shafi’ee (may Allaah have mercy on him) became sick, and one of his students – his most famous student al-Muzanee – made du’aa: “may Allah make your weakness stronger.”
Imam Shafi’ee RH said: “If my weakness became stronger, I would die.”
The student said: Wallahi, I didn’t intend anything except good.
{Shaikh as-Sindee commented: “And look how the Imam Ash-Shafi’ee dealt with his students”}
Imam Shafi’ee RH said: If you had cursed me explicitly, I (still) would have known that you really didn’t mean it.

[Source later supplied by Shaikh as-Sindee: In Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah’s refutation upon al-Bakri, and Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) called it “a well-known story.”]

If we do not have good thoughts of others and give them the benefit of the doubt, this will result in the opposite, which is suspicion.

“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” (49:12)

From Abu Hurayrah (Radiyallahu ‘Anhu) who narrated: The Messenger of Allah  said: “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales, and do not look for the others’ faults, and do not do spying on each other, and do not practice Najash, nor be jealous of one another, and do not desert (stop talking to) one another. And O! Allah’s servants – Be Brothers!” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari]

We must excuse each other’s mistakes and defend each other’s honor, never speaking ill of, or deriding each other. We should keep each other’s secrets, advise each other sincerely, and never abuse each other. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “It is not permissible for one Muslim to distress another” (Abu Dawud).

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).

30 Rabiul Awwal 1437

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6 thoughts on “Why?

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