ASK YOURSELF: ARE YOU SACRIFICING OR JUST COMPARING THE PRICES?!
ASK YOURSELF: ARE YOU SACRIFICING OR JUST COMPARING THE PRICES?!
Recently, I came across an article which made my hair stand gave me goose bumps, as I live just next door:
A horrifying statistic about Preston has emerged in new figures about suicide. Preston has the highest suicide rate in the UK compared to other towns and cities. There are nearly 19 suicides each year in the city per 100,000 people. The figures, which come from the Office of National Statistics, are based on the period from 2012-2014. It also shows the suicide rate in Preston has been rising sharply in the last few years.
Highest level of suicide in UK towns and cities
Preston – 18.6
Middlesborough – 17.6
Hastings – 17.4
Blackpool – 17
Warwick – 16.6
A few points we all need to consider, as we all go through hardship, pain and suffering:
“Allah burdens not a soul more than its scope.” (2:286)
Allah only gives you what you can handle, in simple terms. If you cannot deal with it Allah will not give it you. Because as Muslims we believe Allah is al-Hakeem (The Wise), al-Aleem (All Knowing). Allah knows the past and the future.
So why do we feel we can’t cope anymore?
There are numerous reasons to this, first being our sins weighing us down. Excessive sinning leads one to become despondent. Secondly, we have become ungrateful. Instead of counting our blessings, we as humans tend to count our problems more.
“And He giveth you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (14:34)
Suicide is increasing in Britain and in Muslims, but it is a major sin in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that the one who commits suicide will be punished with something like that with which he killed himself.
Why do people commit suicide?
They have had enough of life or they have no hope left that they can carry on. Sometimes Muslims lose hope in Allah SWT and in their religion. They pray, they fast, give charity but Allah’s help doesn’t seem to come or is delayed. This happens to every single one of us in life, some more than others. But is suicide the solution? More importantly, is it permissible to end our own life?
At some point or another we all think about suicide, we all have bad days and ‘very’ bad days. Problems and difficulties are temporary, but remember suicide is not temporary. Do you want to commit suicide to end your life or end the problems you have?
Suicide is not the solution AT ALL. A person must remain positive at all times, life is not perfect. Allah did not promise us a perfect life, otherwise this world would be Jannah.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The world is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever.” (Tirmidhi)
Life is short and temporary, so are the problems and trials and calamities we face in life. Whether you are currently in a state of bliss or depression, “this time will pass.” Nothing lasts forever, not your happiness nor your sadness. This world does not even last forever, it will surely end.
If you think that nobody cares, or is there for you, then you have a loving Lord. Allah SWT loves you.
In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)
It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” (Agreed upon)
So do not despair in the mercy of Allah, rather turn to him and remember Him. Obey Him and His help will come. If we knew the wisdom behind Allah’s orders and decisions for us, our hearts would burst out of love for Him SWT. We have to understand and accept Allah always does what is best for us.
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (2:216)
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein for ever and ever. Whoever takes poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, that piece of iron will be in his hand and he will be stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell, for ever and ever.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5442; Muslim, 109.
It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5700; Muslim, 110.
From these Hadith it is apparent that, suicide is not permissible in Islam – it is Haram.
Suicide is not kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam as some people think, rather it is a major sin that is subject to the will of Allah on the Day of Resurrection: if He wills, He will forgive it, and if He wills He will punish for it. So do not neglect to make du’aa for them and be sincere in doing so; perhaps that may be the means of Allah forgiving them.
It was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Among those who came before you there was a man who was wounded and he panicked, so he took a knife and cut his hand with it, and the blood did not stop flowing until he died. Allah said: ‘My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden Paradise to him.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3276; Muslim, 113.
A FEW MORE FACTS:
Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.
Fact: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. The distinction may seem small but is in fact very important and is why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.
Myth: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it.
Fact: Suicide can be a taboo topic in society. Often, people feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they feel and so they don’t discuss it. By asking directly about suicide you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it is to be able to talk about what their experiencing. Once someone starts talking they’ve got a better chance of discovering other options to suicide.
Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.
Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for a long period of time. This is why getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important.
Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.
Fact: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death. However, many people who kill themselves do suffer with their mental health, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not.
Myth: People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.
Fact: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. While it’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it’s vitally important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously.
“The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.”
Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) rode horses, camels, mules and donkeys. He rode horses both saddled and bareback, and he used to make them gallop them on occasion. He used to ride alone, which was most of the time, but sometimes he would put someone behind him on the camel, or he would put one person behind him and one in front, so there would be three men on one camel. So he would sometimes let some men ride on his camel with him, and on some occasions he let his wives ride with him. The animals which he rode most often were horses and camels.
(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2565)
In a hadith narrated from Ibn Umar (R.A) in which our beloved Prophet said,
“Teach your children swimming, archery and horse riding”. In Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (s) said, “Practice archery and horseback riding.” The Prophet (s) said, “Any action without the remembrance of Allah is either a diversion or heedlessness except four acts: walking from target to target (during archery practice), training a horse and learning to swim.” (Reported by al Tabarani on good authority)
Horseback riding or horse riding referring to the skill of riding, driving, steeplechasing or vaulting with horses.This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises and competitive sport.
If you did not have the ability to perform Hajj this year, worry not. Below are deeds equal to performing Hajj:
1 – Performing the obligatory prayers in congregation:
Abu Dharr (RA) narrated that a group of the Companions came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people will have higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money, which they give in charity.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), replied: “Has Allah not rendered for you the ‘Isha’ prayer in congregation equal to Hajj, and the Fajr prayer in congregation equal to ‘Umrah?”
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), said: “Whoever walks to [perform] an obligatory prayer in congregation, it is like Hajj [in terms of rewards], and whoever walks to [perform] a voluntary prayer, it is like a voluntary ‘Umrah [in terms of rewards].”
2 – Reciting Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) after the five daily prayers:
Abu Hurayrah (Ra) narrated that a group of destitute people came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people will have higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment in high levels in Paradise. They pray like us and fast as we do, but they have more money by which they perform the Hajj, ‘Umrah, participate in Jihaad and give in charity.”
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), replied: “Shall I not tell you something upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would surpass you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say ‘Subhan Allah’, ‘Alhamdulillah’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.’” [Al-Bukhari]
3 – Praying Fajr with congregation & remaining seated in worship until after Sunrise:
The Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: ‘He who performs Fajr Salat with Jamaat (congregation) and remains seated in the same place while engaging in Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) until after sunrise and thereafter performs 2 Rakats Nawafil Salat, (Ishraq), he will obtain the Thawab (reward) of one Hajj and one Umrah.’ [Tirmidhi]
From `Abdullah bin `Aamir (RA) that Abu Umamah and `Utbah Bin `Abd (RA) related that Allah’s Messenger, (Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever prays as-Subh. (i.e. Fajr prayer) in congregation then sits until he prays for Allah the prayer of Dhuha has the reward like that of a haajj (pilgrim performing Hajj) and a mu`tamir (pilgrim peforming `Umrah), complete reward of his Hajj and his `Umrah”
4 – Going to the Masjid to teach and learn carries the reward of Hajj
Abu Umamah al-Bahili (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
من غدا إلى المسجد لا يريد إلا أن يتعلم خيرا أو يعلمه كان له كأجر حاج تاما حجته
“Whoever goes to the masjid, wanting nothing except to teach what is good or to learn, will have the reward of a completed Hajj.”
[Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabeer, 7348 and others]
5 – To recite “SubhanAllah” 100 times in the morning and evening.
عن عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله علي وسلم:
من سبح الله مائة بالغداة ومائة بالعشي كان كمن حج مائة مرة…الخ
رواه الترمذي (3471) وقال: حسن غريب.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (Ra) reported That Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “He who recites SubhanAllah 100 times in the morning and another 100 times in the evening is like one who performed Haj 100 times!”
[Sunan Tirmidhi, hadith: 3471 with a sound chain]
6 – Performing the Friday Prayer
Sa`id bin al-Musayyib (RA) said performing the Friday Prayer is “more beloved to me than a supererogatory (voluntary) Hajj.”
[Hafidh Ibn ‘Asakir (RA) has quoted a similar virtue via Imam Al-Awza’i (Ra). Hafidh Ibn Rajab (RA) also supported this content with two Ahadith]
7 – Fulfilling the needs of your brother or sister
Hasan Al-Basri (RA) said: “Your proceeding to fulfil the need a fellow Muslim is better for you than one Hajj after another!”
[Also quoted By Zabeedi (Ra) in Sharhul Ihyaa, vol.6 pg.292]
8 – Being good to your parents
Anas (RA) reports that a man came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and said: “I wish to participate in Jihaad, but I cannot afford it” Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) enquired if any of his parents were alive, to which he said: “Yes! My mother is alive” Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Show Allah how you serve her. If you do so (duly) you will be like a: Haaji, a Mu’tamir (one doing ‘Umrah) and a Mujaahid (One striving in Allah’s way).”
[Abu Ya’la, hadith:2760, and Tabarani with good chains.-Targheeb, vol.3, pg. 315 & Mukhtasar Ithaaf, hadith:5721]
9 – Observing the 10 days of I’tikaf:
Ali Ibn Hussain (RA) narrates from his father that Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “He who observes the ten days I’tikaf during Ramadhan will obtain the reward of two Hajj & two Umrah.”
10 – Performing Umrah in Ramadan
Ibn `Abbas (RA) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said to a woman from among the Ansaar — Ibn `Abbas mentioned her name but I forgot it — “What kept you from performing Hajj with us?” She said, “We only have two camels,” and the father of her son and her son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other camel so that they could carry water on it. He said, “When Ramadan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in (Ramadhan) is equivalent to Hajj.”
[Al-Bukhari (1782) and Muslim (1256)]
1st Dhul Hijah 1437
The current situation with upbringing our children is truly alarming. If nothing is done soon, one cannot imagine how it will end up. There’s nothing more sad than “loosing” your child.
Tips by Khalifah ‘Umar ibn’Abdil ‘Azeez RH
I feel that Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez’s (rahimahullah) advice below is very apt and pertinent.
وكتب عمر بن عبد العزيز إلى مؤدب ولده :
” خذهم بالجفاء فهو أمنع لاقدامهم ، وترك الصبحة فان عادتها تكسب الغفلة، وقلة الضحك فان كثرته تميت القلب ، وليكن أول ما يعتقدون من أدبك بغض الملاهي التي بدؤها من الشيطان ، وعاقبتها سخط الرحمن ، فانه بلغني عن الثقات من حملة العلم أن حضور المعازف واستماع الأغاني واللهج بهما ينبت النفاق في القلب كما ينبت العشب بالماء . وليفتتح كل غلام منهم بجزء من القرآن يثبت في قراءته ، فاذا فرغ منه تناول نبله وقوسه وخرج إلى الغرض حافيا ، فرمى سبعة أرشاق ، ثم انصرف إلى القائلة ، فان ابن مسعود كان يقول : ” يا بني قيلوا ، فان الشياطين لا تقيل”
( ذكره ابن أبي الدنيا في : ” ذم الملاهي” ص: 9 )
Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (rahimahullah) wrote the following instructions to his children’s mentor
“ Be strict on them for this is more effective in restraining them. Stop them from sleeping after Fajr Salaah, for this causes stupidity / negligence. They should laugh less for a lot of laughing kills the heart / soul. Let the first thing you inculcate in them be the hatred for Music, for I have heard from various People of Knowledge (‘Ulamaa) that Music develops hypocrisy in the heart just as water grows grass.
Each of them should commence the day with the recitation of the Holy Quran in the proper manner. When they complete that, they should take their bows and arrows and proceed barefooted to the range. Each of them should shoot 7 times. Thereafter they should take mid-day sleep (siesta). For Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (Radiyallahu’anhu) use to say: Oh my children! Take siesta, for verily the devils do not do so.”
(Kitaabu Dhammil Malahi of Hafiz Ibn abi Dunya pg. 9)
These words of Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) give us the following lessons on upbringing of children:
To commence the day with the recitation of the Quran
Not to sleep after Fajr (until after sunrise at least)
To abstain from music
To laugh less
Engagement in physical activity, like archery
The importance of siesta (qailoolah)
Each of the above are valuable lessons of life, which we as adults can implement and also inculcate in our children.
Quran Recital every morning
Many of us commence our day by reading the news, -which is more depressing than informative- or by catching up on our timeline, or sifting through emails etc.
The recitation of Qur’an, first thing in the morning will bring barakah (blessing) in our affairs throughout the day. Our children should see us reciting the Qur’an after Fajr. This will subconsciously lead them on to the same.
Music; they are never too young to abstain
We often justify out leniency towards out kids’ indulgence in Haram or Makrooh (repulsive) deeds by saying: “They are too young”.
The fact that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez RH detested music even for his under aged children, demonstrates to us how we should view the training of our own.
Don’t allow the seeds of hypocrisy to grow even at that tender age. The computer games that they play should be free of foul language, evil habits and the music should be turned off. Never underestimate the effect that these supposed “games” could have on an innocent mind. It’s sad, how lightly we take the issue of Music that we repeatedly need to be cautioned of our ringtones.
Who is there that can say he has never heard a musical ringtone go off while in Salah in the Masjid?!
Who would have believed it if we were told a decade ago, that a time will come when a muslim will play music -or at least allow it to be played- while in sajdah, the closest posture we could get to Allah Ta’ala?!
Today we all look for how to be best entertained rather than spend our time usefully.
Laughter and jokes have become so common, that at times one will notice people joking even at a janazah!
The rare opportunity we get to ponder about death doesn’t pass with an unnecessary joke or fable being shared.
Even in religious lectures, the crowds are inflated if the speaker can entertain better…
As mentioned earlier, these were ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez’s (Rahimahullah) guidelines for the upbringing of children. Alas many of us adults need this lesson too.
Natural physical activity
‘Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (Rahimahullah) specifically ordered the mentor to take them outdoors for archery daily. The pagan Arabs also preferred to send their kids to the villages where they could spend their time outdoors, herding goats and learning basic life skills. In fact, until a few decades ago, we too would spend our days outdoors in various activities.
Today’s child may be engaging in very similar activities too, but instead of it being outdoors they do it on a screen! It’s no more physical, it’s actually electronic!
Physical activity has its own benefit in early childhood development that can never be replaced with any electronic device. Parents need to carefully think of ways to keep their children occupied in a manner that won’t just keep them from bothering their parents, but ways that will enhance the child’s mind, body and Iman as well.
May Allah guide us all, and may He inspire us with the correct tact in upbringing our innocent offspring. Ameen .
19 Jamadul Awaal 1437
حدثنا عبد الله أن رجلاً كان يتّبع سفيان الثوري فيجده أبداً يُخرج من لبنة – أي: طوب – رقعة ينظر فيها، فأحب أن يعلم ما فيها، فوقعت الرقعة في يده فإذا مكتوب فيها: سفيان ! اذكر وقوفك بين يدي الله عز وجل
“Abdullah told us that there was a man who used to follow Sufyan Ath-Thawri RH. He noticed that time and time again, Sufyan would take out a piece of paper from a small box which he had and gaze into it. This man became curious as per what was on the paper. It so happened that this paper fell into his hand and on it was written:
“Sufyan! Remember that you shall stand before Allah.”
What you just read was in fact common practice of our predecessors.
Many Muslims validate their lack of Islamic commitment by arguing that ‘my environment is full of haram’ or ‘no one is advising me’ This category of people won’t snap out of their sins till a third party comes along and advises them. The earlier generations didn’t wait for other people’s advice, but they would actively speak to themselves.
The companion, Anas Ibn Malik RA says:
سمعت عمر بن الخطاب يومًا، وخرجت معه، حتى دخل حائطًا، فسمعته يقول، وبيني وبينه حائط، وهو في جوف الحائط: “عمر بن الخطاب.. أمير المؤمنين.. بخ بخ، والله لتتقين الله يا ابن الخطاب، أو ليعذبنك!”
“I was once walking with ‘Umar Ibn Khattab till a walk separated us. I heard him saying to himself from the other side of the wall, “Umar Ibn Khattab?! Leader of the believers?! Well, you will either fear Allah, O ‘Umar or He will punish you!!”
It may be something which you hang up in front of your desk, or it may be Islamic lectures which you keep your ears plugged in with on the way to and back from work/school, or righteous friends whom you regularly ask for advice or it may even be a piece of paper which you keep with you, similar to Sufyan Ath-Thawri’s RH piece of paper.
Allah grant us his awareness and consciousness. Ameen Ya Rabb!