The Qur’ān – A Clear Proof

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Indeed, We have sent down the Dhikr [the Qur‘ān], and indeed We are its guardian. (15:9)

In this verse Allāh ta‘ālā proclaims that it is He, and He alone, who has revealed the Glorious Qur’ān to mankind, which means it is His Word. This claim is followed by a proof to validate it: that Allāh ta‘ālā Himself is its guardian and protector. When Allāh ta‘ālā protects something, nothing and no one can ever interfere with it, so the continual preservation of the Qur’ān is a proof that it is the Word of Allāh ta‘ālā. There are many other proofs of the Divine origin of the Qur’ān, including its i‘jāz (inimitability) – the challenge to mankind to invent even a single verse to match the Qur’ān in its perfection. However, the preservation of the Qur’ān is a proof that even a child can understand.

Over 1,400 years have passed and it is still plain for everyone to see that not a single change has occurred in the Qur’ān. To fulfil the promise of protecting the Qur’ān, Allāh ta‘ālā has created a comprehensive system consisting of scribes who accurately copy the text; huffāzwho accurately memorise its words; qurrā who preserve its mode of recitation; and mufassirīn, muhaddithīn, fuqahā and ‘ulamā who protect its meaning and message.

Non-Muslim experts, while arguing over the authorship of the Qur’ān, nevertheless acknowledge that despite the passage of over fourteen centuries it has not undergone even the slightest alteration – not of a single letter or diacritical mark.

It is obvious that a very powerful being must be safeguarding the Qur’ān for it to have been preserved over so many centuries.

The Protected Book

‘Allāmah Al-Qurtubī rahimahullāh narrates an interesting story about the preservation of the Qur’ān. Once a stranger attended one of the debates that the ‘Abbāsid Khalīfah Ma’mūn Ar-Rashīd used to hold at his court. The man spoke eloquently during the debate, and afterwards Ma’mūn summoned him. Sensing that he was not a Muslim he asked him whether he was a Jew. The man replied that he was. Ma’mūn then invited him to embrace Islām and, as a test, offered him incentives for doing so. However, the man preferred to keep his religion, the religion of his forefathers.

A year later the same man attended the court of Ma’mūn as a Muslim and spoke learnedly on Islamic jurisprudence. Afterwards, Ma’mūn called him and asked him if he was the same man who had come the year before. He replied in the affirmative, and upon being asked how he had come to become a Muslim he told his story.

After he had left the debate the previous year he had decided to examine the different religions. Being a good calligrapher he made three copies of the Tawrāt, making some additions and omissions in the process. He took the copies to its adherents and they bought them from him. He then made three copies of the Injīl, again making some additions and omissions, and took them to its adherents, who bought them. Then he did exactly the same with the Qur’ān and took the copies to the Muslims. They checked them and when they noticed the additions and omissions they discarded the copies and refused to buy them. “I realised then that this was a Protected Book, and that was how I came to embrace Islām,” concluded the man.

Enthusiasm for Memorising the Qur’ān

The preservation of the Qur’ān is a great miracle, and the means Allāh ta‘ālā employs in its preservation are also amazing. Parents who encourage their children to memorise the entire Qur’ān are aware of the rewards they and their children will receive for doing so, but the children themselves are not. If you were to ask the students of a typical tahfīz-ul-Qur’ān class what the rewards for memorising the Qur’ān are, majority would not be able to reply. Despite this, the desire Allāh ta‘ālā places in their hearts to memorise the Qur’ān is such that very few if any would dream of giving it up.

Wherever you go you will see that there are never enough tahfīz-ul-Qur’ān classes and that they are always oversubscribed! Just think, what power is there besides Allāh ta‘ālā that is keeping our children committed to memorising the Qur’ān? There are countless other well-known good deeds that promise great rewards, yet people do not adhere to them with such commitment and dedication as to memorising the Qur’ān. Allāh ta‘ālā Himself puts the love of memorising His Word into the hearts of young people!

Nowhere in the whole world will you see classes full of children memorising a book that they do not understand. It is a miracle of the Qur’ān that people are able to learn a whole foreign alphabet and how to read in the foreign language, without learning to understand the language; furthermore, then they memorise a whole book in that language, and then keep it memorised for the rest of their lives.

Remarkable Huffāz

Throughout history there are examples of people who memorised the Qur’ān at a very young age and also in a very short time. Ibn Labbān rahimahullāh memorised the entire Qur’ān in just one year, remarkable in itself, but even more amazing is that he completed his memorisation at the age of five! Hāfiz Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalānī rahimahullāh became a hāfiz by the age of nine, and at the age of eleven led the Tarāwīh Salāh in Al-Masjid Al-Harām. Imām Ash-Shāfi‘ī rahimahullāh memorised the Qur’ān in just one month. When Imām Muhammadrahimahullāh went to study under Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh he was asked whether he had memorised the entire Qur’ān or not, for admission to his classes was conditional on being a hāfiz. He replied that he had not, but his desire to acquire knowledge was so great that he returned after just one week and told Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh that he was now a hāfiz!

Connect Yourself to the Qur’ān

After learning something of the miraculous nature of the Glorious Qur’ān, we need to take some practical steps to connect ourselves with it:

1.  Reciting the Qur’ān regularly. Recite one juz daily, or if that is not possible then half a juz or a quarter, but recite daily. If the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā in its various forms such as tasbīh, tahmīd, salāt ‘alan-Nabī, du‘ā etc. are compared to individual ‘vitamins’ beneficial to a person’s spiritual health, the Qur’ān can be likened to a multivitamin, for it contains them all.

2.  Attend tajwīd classes in your locality in order to learn how to recite the Qur’ān properly, which is one of the rights of the Qur’ān.

3.  Attend the Durūs (lessons) of the Qur’ān delivered by the ‘ulamā in your locality in order to understand the message of the Qur’ān.

4.  Practise upon the teachings of the Qur’ān.

5.  Propagate the teachings of the Qur’ān.

6.  Respect the people of the Qur’ān, i.e. the huffāz and ‘ulamā. Refrain from disrespecting them and talking ill of them at all costs. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-ul-‘Azīzrahimahullāh used to say, “Become an ‘ālim if you can. If you cannot then become a student of ‘ilm. And if you cannot then have love for them [the ‘ulamā and students]. And if you cannot then do not have hatred for them.”

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us love for and affinity with the Qur’ān, the ability to memorise it, recite it in the proper manner, understand it and act according to it. Āmīn.

© Islāmic Da’wah Academy


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Listening Attentively

A Requisite for ‘Ilm and Hidāyah

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The great muhaddith and faqīh, Sufyān Ibn ‘Uyaynah rahimahullāh states:

The first step towards acquiring ‘ilm is istimā‘ i.e. listening attentively, then to understand, then to memorise/remember, then to act upon it and propagate.

The importance of listening with full attention is the first step and an essential requisite for success in acquiring ‘ilm, which is the prerequisite to acting according to the Wishes of the Creator. It is for this reason Allāh ta‘ālā used the word istimā‘ (listening with intent) instead of sam‘ (merely to listen with or without intention), followed by the word insāt (to become silent), when stating the adab of listening to the Qur’ān in the following verse:

When the Qur’ān is recited, listen to it attentively and be silent, so that you may be showered with mercy. (7:204)

Allāh ta‘ālā has promised to bestow His Mercy upon those who listen attentively, which will manifest in the form of the ability to abstain from wrong and engage in good deeds. Allāh ta‘ālā states: 

..those who listen to the word attentively (of Allāh ta‘ālā and His Rasūl sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, and follow (it, knowing that it is) the best of it (of all speech). These are the ones whom Allāh has guided, and these are the ones who possess (true) intelligence (wisdom). (39:18)

The importance of istimā‘ can be further understood by how Allāh ta‘ālā addressed Mūsā ‘alayhis salām when sending revelation to him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

I have chosen you (for prophethood), so listen attentively to what is revealed. (20:13)

The commentators of the Qur’ān have mentioned that when Mūsā ‘alayhis salām was commanded that he should listen attentively to what is revealed to him, he stood on a rock, leaning against another, placed his right hand over his left, dropped his chin on his chest and stood listening attentively. 

From the above it is clear how important it is to listen attentively when seeking knowledge or listening to a discourse: only those people will genuinely benefit who listen attentively with sound understanding.

How to Listen Attentively

The pious predecessors have defined the term istimā‘ in detail. Wahb Ibn Munabbihrahimahullāh further explains the essence of istimā‘ by stating that it comprises of the following:

a. Keeping the body motionless.

A person should not engage any part of his body in anything whilst listening. He should become motionless. Fidgeting, playing around with clothes and other such actions dilute the concentration one needs when listening to religious discourses and lessons. The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, when in the company of Rasūlullāhsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, would sit so still that they were described with the phrase, “as if birds were sitting on their heads.” If a bird was to sit on a person and he desired that it does not fly away, he will need to be extremely still. This was the condition of the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum whilst sitting in the company of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and listening to him.

b. Lowering the gaze.

In essence, lowering the gaze means that one should not be distracted by anything and be totally focused towards the lesson being imparted. Hence, a person needs to abstain from looking here and there. Focussing in a manner which will prevent one from being distracted is essential to listening attentively. This can be achieved by either looking down or at the speaker. Furthermore, it portrays interest to the speaker which will further enhance the quality of delivery.

c. Attention of the ears.

During the discourse or lesson, a person should lend his ears only to the speaker.

d. Attention of the mind.

Whilst listening, the mind should also be alert and attentive. Being preoccupied or thinking about other things will be a hindrance in giving the required attention. It is for this reason students are advised to disengage from all such activities and devices which occupy the mind.

e. Firm intention to act.

If a person does not intend to act upon the knowledge being imparted, his attention will not always be completely focused. Having a firm intention to practice will motivate a person to focus on everything being said.

When a person adopts such a manner of listening then he will fulfil the requisites of istimā‘ and gain the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā will in return, grant him the correct understanding of knowledge and enlighten his heart with a special Nūr. Consequently, he will become from those who have been guided and granted a deep level of understanding, i.e. wisdom, as stated in the verse of the Glorious Qur’ān:

..those who listen to the word attentively (of Allāh ta‘ālā and His Rasūl sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, and follow (it, knowing that it is) the best of it (of all speech). These are the ones whom Allāh has guided, and these are the ones who possess (true) intelligence (wisdom). [39:18]

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq to implement the act of listening attentively so that we may acquire true benefit from religious discourses and lessons. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 9, September 2016)


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How to Become the Beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Imām Al-Bukhārī rahimahullāh narrates a hadīth qudsī:

Allāh ta‘ālā says: “…My bondsman does not acquire my closeness through anything that is more beloved to me than that which I have made compulsory upon him…

The performance of the farā’id is by far the greatest and most effective tool in achieving the closeness of Allāh ta‘ālā, as nothing can bring a person closer to Allāh ta‘ālā than the farā’id. farā’id encompass every obligation, be it from the DOs or the DON’Ts; just as it is fard to perform the five times salāh, it is fard to abstain from adultery, stealing etc. The struggle and effort in accomplishing the farā’id creates a special bond between the servant and his Master.

Once this bond is created, the servant becomes consistent and steadfast in fulfilling his obligations. This results in his closeness and relationship becoming stronger and his love for Allāh ta‘ālā increases. As a result, the urge to progress further intensifies and the servant begins to enhance and add to his worship by way of nawāfil (optional deeds) and non-obligatory actions. This struggle and striving of his attracts the special attention of Allāhta‘ālā and the servant now becomes the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā as the hadīth continues:

“…and then my bondsman continues to acquire my closeness through nawāfil until I love him…

What more can a servant desire? He is now the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā? Allāh ta‘ālā’s special attention is now directed towards him and he reaches such a level that Allāh ta‘ālā takes care of all his affairs. Allāh ta‘ālā protects him from all directions; he is safeguarded from going astray, he is protected from vice, he is protected from physical and mental calamities as the hadīth further states:

“…And when I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, and his eyes with which he sees, and his hands with which he grasps, and his feet with which he walks. And if he asks from Me, I will surely grant it to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I surely grant it to him.” (Al-Bukhārī)

Our pious predecessors, after striving, had acquired this status of becoming the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā. We find many incidents from their lives which testify to this fact:

1.   Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbās radhiyallāhu ‘anhumā relates that Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu once proposed, “Take us to the province of our people.” Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbāsradhiyallāhu ‘anhumā further narrates that we left towards our destination. Sayyidunā Ubayy Ibn Ka‘b radhiyallāhu ‘anhu and I were amongst those travelling behind the convoy. Along the journey, a cloud emerged which indicated rain. Sayyidunā Ubayyradhiyallāhu ‘anhu (seeing the predicament they would face) turned towards Allāh ta‘ālāand supplicated, “O Allāh! Save us from its troubles.” When we met up with the rest of the convoy who were soaked with rain, Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu enquired, “Did you not get caught up in the rainfall?” I replied, “Abul-Mundhir supplicated to Allāh that we are saved from its troubles, hence we are dry.” Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu complained, “Why did you not include us in your prayer?” (Mawsū‘at Ibn Abi Ad-Dunyā)

2.   Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that we visited a very sick man from the Ansār. He passed away during our visit. After his soul had departed, we covered him. Turning towards his old mother at his bedside, one of us consoled her by encouraging her to have hope of reward upon this tribulation from Allāh ta‘ālā. She asked, with concern, “Has he passed away?” We said, “Yes.” She lifted her hands towards Allāh ta‘ālābeseeching, “O Allāh, you are aware that I adopted Islam and migrated towards your Prophet hoping that you will assist me during all circumstances; favourable and difficult; do not burden me with this difficulty today.” Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu says that she uncovered his face and before long he was eating with us. (Mawsū‘at Ibn Abi Ad-Dunyā)

3.   It is narrated that Abū Qilābah rahimahullāh was travelling for Hajj whilst fasting. During a scorching hot day he became extremely thirsty. Abū Qilābah rahimahullāhturned towards Allāh ta‘ālā and beseeched, “O Allāh! You are powerful enough to remove my thirst without me breaking my fast.” Immediately, a cloud shaded him and rained upon him until his clothes became wet, and his thirst vanished. He then got off his conveyance made a ditch in the ground and it filled with water from the rain. When his companions met up with him, they drank from the water but not a drop of rain had touched them. (Jāmi‘ul ‘Ulūm wal-Hikam)

4.   It is stated about Ibrāhīm Ibn Adham rahimahullāh that once he set out on a journey by sea. During the journey the ship got caught in severe winds due to which destruction seemed imminent. Ibrāhīm rahimahullāh wrapped his head in his shawl and went to sleep. The people exclaimed, “Do you not see the great difficulty we are in?” He replied, “This is not difficulty.” “What is difficulty then?” they enquired. He stated, “The need towards people (i.e. to be dependant and in need of the creation).” He then turned towards Allāh ta‘ālā and prayed, “O Allāh! You have displayed your great power, show us you pardon.” The sea immediately calmed down as if it was a pot of oil (coming off the boil). (Sifat-us-Safwah)

5.   ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak rahimahullāh passed by a blind man who requested him to pray to Allāh ta‘ālā to restore his sight. The narrator states that ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārakrahimahullāh prayed to Allāh ta‘ālā and Allāh ta‘ālā restored the blind man’s sight in my presence. (Sifat-us-Safwah)

6.   Abul-Husayn An-Nūrī rahimahullāh once entered a river. A thief came and stole his clothes which were on the bank. He remained in the water. It was not long before the thief returned with the clothes and placed them before Abul-Husayn, however his right hand had become paralysed. Abul-Husayn rahimahullāh turned to Allāh ta‘ālā and implored, “O My Lord! He has returned my clothes, You return (to him the strength of) his right hand.” Allāh ta‘ālā restored his right hand. (Al-Hilyah)

Let us all hold fast to the farā’id and progress towards nawāfil, so we too become the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā.  

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 5/6, May/June 2016)

Taqwā and its Benefits

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

After the passing of Ramadān, it is important that we remind ourselves of the most important lesson the blessed month left us with, that of bringing Taqwā into our lives and doing our utmost to hold fast to it, until we breathe our last.

The importance of Taqwā cannot be over emphasised. Allāh ta‘ālā has mentioned the word Taqwā in the Glorious Qur’ān around 70 times in the imperative form and over 250 times in its various derivative forms. The Glorious Qur’ān begins with the statement:

This Book has no doubt in it – a guidance for the Muttaqīn. (2:2)

In other words, though in principle the Glorious Qur’ān is a guidance for all, only those who develop the quality of Taqwā can truly benefit from it.

 

Definition of Taqwā

Taqwā has been defined in many ways; the summary and conclusion of which is that a person creates a barrier between himself and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. Consequently, he will never plan to commit a sin, rather he will exert all efforts to abstain from any form of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. The result of this will be every type of success in both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…And fear (disobeying) Allāh so that you may become successful. (3:200)

 

Benefits of Taqwā

There are many benefits for the one who adopts Taqwā as stated in the Glorious Qur’ān: 

1. Allāh ta‘ālā will make all matters easy for him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall bring about ease for him in his affair. (65:4)

2. Allāh ta‘ālā will provide him with a solution to all his problems. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall bring forth a way out for him, (65:2)

3. Allāh ta‘ālā will sustain him from all aspects. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

(And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh).… And shall provide for him (what he needs) from where he does not even imagine (65:3)

4. Allāh ta‘ālā will be with him and assist him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely, Allāh is with those who adopt Taqwā (16:128)

….be sure that Allāh is with the Muttaqīn (9:36)

5. Allāh ta‘ālā will forgive his sins. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall cancel (forgive) his sins… (65:5)

6. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him a huge reward. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

(And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh)….He shall give him a huge reward. (65:5)

7. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him Mercy in both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

And this (Qur‘ān) is a blessed Book We have sent down. So follow it and adopt Taqwā, so that you may be favoured with mercy. (6:55)

And My Mercy extends to everything. So, I shall write it (i.e. the mercy) for those who adopt Taqwā, and pay Zakāh, and those who do believe in Our verses… (7:156)

8. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him safety from all fear and grief. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…those who adopt Taqwā and correct themselves will have no fear, nor shall they grieve. (7:35)

9. He will gain the upper hand over Shaytān. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely when the Muttaqīn are touched by the temptation (to do evil) from Shaytān, they become conscious (of Allāh), and their eyes instantly open (i.e. they realise Shaytān’s plot and ignore the temptation). (7:201)

10. He will become beloved to Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely, Allāh loves the Muttaqīn. (9:4)

11. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him safety from enemies. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

If you keep patience and adopt Taqwā, their cunning shall not harm you at all. (3:120)

12. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him the ultimate success in the form of Jannah. Allāh ta‘ālāstates:

Here is the description of the Paradise promised to the Muttaqīn: underneath it the rivers flow; its food is everlasting and (so is) its shade. This is the ultimate abode of the Muttaqīn … (13:35)

 

The Acquisition of Taqwā

In order to become deserving of these priceless benefits, it is very important that we make a serious effort to bring Taqwā into our lives. Allāh ta‘ālā through His infinite mercy informs us how to achieve this, as when Allāh ta‘ālā commands the adoption of Taqwā in the Glorious Qur’ān, He follows this with another command which is a way to acquire Taqwā. The following actions are a summary of these commands, which if inculcated, will ensure a person acquires Taqwā:

1. Submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, as one should with regards to Allāh, and let not yourself die save as Muslims (totally submitted to Allāh). (3:102)

The submission of the body and soul to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā enables us to inculcate the essence of Taqwā in our lives. Submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā was the highlight of the life of Sayyidunā Ibrāhīm ‘alayhis salām who is duly remembered in these blessed months. Taking lesson from episodes of submission by the Ambiya‘alayhimus salām and the pious predecessors gives us an insight into the reality of submission. Only when we try to emulate such submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā, will the great quality of Taqwā diffuse into a person’s heart.

2. Adopting correct speech.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and speak in straightforward words. (If you do so,) Allāh will correct your deeds for your benefit, and forgive your sins for you. Whoever obeys Allāh and His messenger achieves a great success. (33:70-71)

The importance of speaking in a truthful and just manner and speaking of good things, in particular the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā, must not be taken lightly. The guarantee of Jannah has been promised by Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam to the person undertaking to use his tongue correctly. Being mindful of what one utters will assist in bringing a reformation to the heart and develop Taqwā.

3. Contemplating the Day of Reckoning.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and each person must consider what he (or she) has sent ahead for tomorrow. (59:18)

Keeping a watchful eye over one’s actions and reflecting on how they will be judged by Allāh ta‘ālā on the Day of Resurrection, will lead a person to adopt Taqwā.

4. Being conscious that Allāh ta‘ālā is All-Seeing and All-Knowing.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…And fear (disobeying) Allāh. Surely Allāh is fully aware of what you do. (59:18)

Recognising the fact that Allāh ta‘ālā is fully aware of our actions and is recording every minute detail of our lives, is sufficient for a person to create a barrier between himself and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā.

5. Adopting pious company.

The above four methods of acquiring Taqwā all share a common trait, that of being fully aware and alert at all times. Whilst living in this world we become engrossed in our daily lives, which leads to negligence and absent mindedness. Therefore, it is imperative that we frequently adopt some form of reminder for ourselves. The adopting of pious company gives a person a two-fold benefit in the endeavour to bring Taqwā: it serves as a constant reminder of the need to acquire Taqwā; and the company of the pious is in itself an effective tool for the acquisition of Taqwā. Allāhta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and be in the company of the truthful (i.e. pious). (9:119)

And regarding the truthful, Allāh ta‘ālā says:

Those are the ones who are truthful, and those are the Muttaqīn. (2:177)

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the tawfīq to strive for the great quality of Taqwā. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 8, Aug 2016)


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A Simple Yet Effective Solution To Our Current Problems

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

In the period before the advent of our beloved Messenger sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, the whole world was engulfed in the darkness of ignorance. Humans were uncivilised, morally decadent and devoid of good character. When Allāh ta‘ālā sent the Leader of all the Ambiyā ‘alayhimus salām and the Seal of the Messengers ‘alayhimus salām, Muhammad Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, the entire world was illuminated. By following his example and teachings people of all backgrounds and creeds, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have achieved great successes throughout the ensuing fourteen centuries.

The underlying reason behind success in following his example is that Allāh ta‘ālācreated His beloved Rasūl sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam the best in every way. Whenever the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum described a particular characteristic of his, they would always qualify it with the superlative it deserved. They described him, for example, as the most generous, the most knowledgeable, the most courageous etc. Their descriptions proclaim quite clearly to all who followed his era that in every praiseworthy trait Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam was ‘The Best’.

Even objective non-Muslims, have had no option but to praise the Messenger of Islāmsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

George Bernard Shaw writes:

I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of humanity. (The Genuine Islam, Vol 1 No8, 1936)

Pandit Gyanandra Dev Sharma Shastri, at a meeting in Gurakhpur, India (1928) said:

They (Muhammad’s critics) see fire instead of light, ugliness instead of good. They distort and present every good quality as a great vice. It reflects their own depravity… The critics are blind. They cannot see that the only ‘sword’ Muhammad wielded was the sword of Mercy, Compassion, Friendship, and Forgiveness – the sword that conquers enemies and purifies their hearts. His sword was sharper than the sword of steel. 

Lamartine said:

Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational doctrines, of a religion without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he? (Histoire de la Turquie, Vol II, Paris, 1854)

A critic, David Samuel Margoliouth, an Oxford University Professor of the early 20th century, wrote a biography of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. He writes in his preface:

The biographers of the Prophet Mohammed form a long series which it is impossible to end, but in which it would be honourable to find a place. (Margoliouth, Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, 1905)

When Gandhi read the sīrah of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in two volumes, he commented:

When I closed the second volume I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life. (Gandhi, Young India, 1924)

The sīrah (life or biography) of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is full of lessons. It is an ocean that has no shore, meaning the sīrah is never-ending when it comes to deriving lessons from it. It is from the miracles of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam that his life has been recorded and preserved in such detail. All credit goes to his beloved Companions radhiyallāhu ‘anhum who recorded this beautiful life with great care and detail to the extent that his humorous statements have also been preserved, and have proven to be an ocean of knowledge. Let us study an example:

Anas ibn Mālik radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates how Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamwould try cheering up his younger brother by saying a little rhyme:

O Father of ‘Umayr! What has happened to the nughayr (a type of bird)? (Al-Bukhārī)

The small child would be delighted at the rhyme and by the fact that Allāh’s Messenger would call him, a mere toddler, Father of ‘Umayr!

This is one small and seemingly insignificant episode from the life of Rasūlullāhsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, but the ‘Ulamā having pondered over this statement of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam were able to deduce over sixty religious precepts from it. Such is the power and depth of a single humorous statement, what can one say about his formal and serious statements!

The blessed sīrah is truly a light and full of guidance for all circumstances and situations we may encounter in life. Allāh ta‘ālā says:

Indeed, there is a beautiful example for you in the Messenger of Allāh… (33:21)

The life and teachings of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam are truly comprehensive that a day will never come when the Muslims will not be able to find a solution through them to any issue they encounter. Guidance can be found in his teachings on every subject matter. And if we follow these beautiful teachings, we will become successful in both worlds.

So we need to emulate the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in all aspects of our lives: ‘aqā’id (beliefs), ‘ibādāt (acts of worship), mu‘āmalāt (dealings and transactions), mu‘āsharāt (social conduct) and akhlāq hasanah (good character). It is unfortunate that many of us have confined Dīn to the first two branches, ‘aqā’id and ‘ibādāt, only. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has warned of destruction for such people. Once Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked his Sahābah:

‘Who is a poor person?’ They replied, ‘A poor person amongst us is he who has neither dirham nor wealth.’ Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, ‘The poor person in my Ummah will be one who will come on the Day of Judgement with hissalāh, sawm and zakāh; however, he swore at someone, accused someone, unlawfully consumed the wealth of someone, killed someone and hurt someone, then his good deeds will be given to his victims. And if his good deeds are exhausted but the compensation of his victims remain, then their sins will be taken and entered in his account and he will be thrown in the hell-fire.’ (Muslim)

In addition to protecting our good deeds, the practice of mu‘āmalāt, mu‘āsharāt and akhlāq hasanah presents the beauty of our Dīn to the whole of humanity, as they predominantly relate to social interaction. The life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and of those who followed him to the highest degree, contain numerous episodes of winning the hearts of people, through practically demonstrating these branches of Dīn.

If we strive to make our lives fully in accordance with the teachings of the Prophetsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and emulate him in every way, then we will become the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā.

Say [O Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam], ‘If you really love Allāh, then follow me, and Allāh will love you and forgive you your sins. Allāh is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.’ (3:31)

Once we become His beloved, we will automatically become the beloved of His entire creation. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said:

When Allāh ta‘ālā makes a servant His beloved, then Allāh ta‘ālā summons Jibra’īl‘alayhis salām and says, ‘Indeed, Allāh ta‘ālā loves such a person; you too love him.’

When Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām hears this command of Allāh ta‘ālā, his heart is infused with love for this person. Such a person is now the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā and Jibra’īl‘alayhis salām. Then, Allāh ta‘ālā commands Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām to address the dwellers of the heavens and say;

Indeed, Allāh ta‘ālā loves such a person; you too love him.

Upon hearing the command, their hearts too are infused with his love.

Then this person is granted acceptance amongst the people on the earth [resulting in everyone entertaining love for him]. (Al-Bukhārī)

This is a simple solution to the problems that are blighting the entire world at the moment; in fact, this is the only solution. As Muslims, we should endeavour to adopt the way of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in every facet of our lives. Our ‘aqā’id (beliefs), ‘ibādāt (acts of worship), mu‘āmalāt (dealings and transactions), mu‘āsharāt (social conduct) and akhlāq hasanah (good character) should all be like that of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

If we desire that the people of the world look at us with love and respect, then we need to resolve to live our lives according to the way of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam so that we become the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā and as a result become the beloved of the entire creation.

Let us resolve today, assess/review our lives and rectify any shortcomings. When our actions completely reflect the teachings of the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā, then spiritual blessings will become apparent which will resolve all our issues of this world and the Hereafter. This is a very pertinent matter at the current time and needs our utmost attention. If we make a firm resolution to learn the way of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and act upon it accordingly – whether the action is fard, wājib, sunnah or mustahabb – then success awaits.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 24 No. 1, Jan 2015)


Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam

Our Beloved Nabī

Indeed, there is a beautiful example for you in the Messenger of Allāh… (33:21) 

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to help them develop love and appreciation for the life of the Messenger of Allāh ta‘ālā. Studying the exemplary sīrah of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is a source of many blessings, one of which is the fostering of good morals and character. A sound knowledge of sīrah is also essential to truly understand Islām and to convey it to others.

In this booklet the renowned Islamic scholar and spiritual mentor, Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh, presents a brief account of the life of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Primarily aimed at children, it can also serve as an introduction to sīrah for people of all ages.

To order your copy, please email publications@idauk.org for details. 

Madrasahs, schools, Islamic societies etc. wishing to purchase in large quantity, may email publications@idauk.org or call 0116 262 5440.

The Ummah is One

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

“All the believers are like one body. If the eye experiences pain then the whole body will experience pain. If the head experiences pain then the whole body will experience pain.” (Muslim)

Together we all form a single body. We are like the limbs and organs of the same body. If we constitute a single body, then if an organ of the body experiences pain, the whole body should feel it. When a person suffers from a severe headache, his eyes will not say, “I have read too much today, therefore I want to rest!” The rest of the body will not say to the head, “It is your problem, you solve it yourself.” The ears will not say, “I am feeling very tired. It is twelve o’ clock midnight; therefore, I want to go to sleep. You sort your problem out.”  

This headache becomes a problem for all the organs of the body. The brain thinks, “What shall I do? How may I bring cure to this pain?” The legs will walk towards the telephone, the hand will pick up the receiver, the finger will dial, the ear will listen, the tongue will speak and the mind will absorb what the doctor is saying, hence the whole body will function to bring relief to the head.

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, through this similitude, has taught us that if we see a Muslim brother/sister in pain, then we should also feel pain and grief. How many of us today experience pain at the sight of someone’s suffering? How many of us try to solve the problem? How many of us even listen to the problem? How many of us even bother to say a few words to comfort and console the person? And if we find ourselves helpless in doing anything, then how many of us pray for this person, “O Allāh, remove his/her difficulty.”  

This is an extract from the booklet ‘Love & its Limits’
published by the Islāmic Da’wah Academy


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How to Acquire Husn Al-Khatimah


11th Safar 1438 AH ~ Friday 11th November 2016

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

If we study the lives of the pious servants of Allāh ta‘ālā, i.e. the Ambiyā, Sahābahradhiyallāhu ‘anhum, the Muhaddithūn, Fuqahā, Awliyā, we will find one common factor in their lives, and that is their concern for securing Husn Al-Khātimah so that they are successful in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. Despite their lives being full of virtue, they would worry and pray for death in the state of īmān and Islām. 

Allāh ta‘ālā quotes the du‘ā of Yūsuf ‘alayhis salām in the Glorious Qur’ān:

…O Creator of the heavens and the Earth, You are my guardian in this world and the Hereafter. Make me die a Muslim and make me join the righteous. (12:102)

This is because a single word of disbelief at the time of death can erase the benefits of a lifetime of virtue and obedience. On the other hand, a person may live a life of sin and vice, and then be granted the blessing of īmān in the final moments of his life, thereby securing the success of both this world and the Hereafter. Through His infinite Grace and Mercy, Allāhta‘ālā inspired me with six points, which will secure Husn Al-Khātimah and a good death for ourselves, which in turn will result in a good outcome in the Hereafter, Inshā’allāh.

1. Adopt Taqwā (fear of Allāh ta‘ālā). Taqwā holds the power to repel all the forces which weaken one’s īmān and at times snatch it away. This can be understood from the verses wherein Allāh commands the believers to adopt Taqwā. We understand from them that once a person becomes a believer, the method of safeguarding that belief is adopting Taqwā. And Taqwā simply means to create a barrier between disobedience to Allāh and ourselves. Another name for this Taqwā is Istiqāmah (steadfastness), because when a person, after accepting īmān, remains steadfast upon the Commands of Allāh, he will not disobey Him. Allāh ta‘ālā mentions:

Surely, those who have declared: ‘Our Lord is Allāh’, then remained steadfast, on them the angels will descend, saying, ‘Do not fear, and do not grieve; and be happy with the good news of Jannah (Paradise) that you had been promised. We have been your friends in the worldly life, and (will remain as such) in the Hereafter. And for you here is whatever your souls desire, and for you here is whatever you call for.’ (41:30)

So when one accepts īmān by saying, “My Lord is Allāh”, and thereafter safeguards this īmān by remaining steadfast in carrying out the Commands of Allāh and staying away from every disobedience, then Allāh will reward him with a good death, as is indicated in the verse above, that the angels will descend with special mercy at the time of his death. The commentators of the Qur’ān have mentioned that the angels of mercy are always with those who are steadfast on Dīn; however, the special indication given in this verse is that at the time of their death, the angels become visible to them, who give them the glad tidings of Jannah from their Lord.

2. Love the pious and spend time in their company. The pious people are the people of Taqwā. The effect of loving them will create in one the desire to spend time in their company, and in doing so the effect of their taqwā will rub onto one’s self. Allāh ta‘ālāmentions: 

O you who believe, adopt taqwā, and be in the company of the truthful. (9:119)

We need to firstly accept īmān, which alhamdulillāh we all do, and thereafter safeguard our īmān by adopting Taqwā, which can be acquired by staying in the company of those who already have it. The term ‘The Truthful’ used here is another name for those who have Taqwā, as mentioned in another place in the Qur’ān:

…Those are the ones who are truthful, and those are the God-fearing. (2:177)

Similarly the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam states in a hadīth:

On the Day of Judgement, a person will be with whom he loved. (At-Tirmidhī)

If a person entertains love for the pious, he will be with them in the Hereafter, and the pious people will be granted entry into Jannah, for which īmān is a prerequisite. Thus, we can deduce that such a person will die in the state of īmān.

3. Giving in charity. Spending in the path of Allāh ta‘ālā cools the Anger of Allāh. If Allāhta‘ālā is angry with a person, what chance is there for him to have a good death? Therefore, charity paves the way for one to die in the state of īmān, as indicated by the Prophetsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam: 

Sadaqah (charity) extinguishes the anger of the Lord and prevents an unpleasant death. (At-Tirmidhī)

An unpleasant death could either mean death without īmān or death in an undesirable state, i.e. as a victim of a tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake. Inshā’allāh, a person will be saved from both types of death.

4. Carrying out acts upon which the intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamis guaranteed. In various narrations, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has encouraged carrying out certain good acts, the virtue of which is that the intercession of the Prophetsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will become incumbent for the doer. One should inquire about and learn such acts from reliable, authentic sources and act upon them. The intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is of two types. The first being that on the Day of Judgement, when every human will be gathered in the Plain of Resurrection, every soul will be in a state of extreme worry and fear regarding its fate in the court of Allāh ta‘ālā. At this tense moment, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will intercede on behalf of the whole humankind and request Allāh ta‘ālā to begin the reckoning. The reckoning will thus begin, and this is known as the ‘general intercession’. Thereafter, once the process of reckoning begins, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will specifically intercede on behalf of many individuals of his ummah, with the permission of Allāh. Only a person who dies in the state of īmān will be worthy of receiving this ‘special intercession’ of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. The glad tidings of intercession upon various good actions is this ‘special intercession’ which is exclusively for people with īmān. It can be therefore understood that those carrying out these good acts will die with īmān, as only they will be worthy of this ‘special intercession’. One example of such an act is reciting the du‘ā after the adhān.

5. Repeatedly thank Allāh ta‘ālā for the great bounty of īmān, for Allāh ta‘ālā promises: 

If you express gratitude, I shall certainly give you more. (14:7) 

It should be kept in mind that gratitude should be expressed in 3 ways:

  • By acknowledging and contemplating over this great bounty in one’s heart and mind that Allāh has granted this to me through His Grace only without my deserving it.
  •  By verbally expressing one’s gratitude.
  • By fulfilling the Commands of Allāh in regards to this bounty.

If we acknowledge the bounty of īmān with our heart and mind, express praise for Allāh verbally and carry out the demands of this ni‘mah (blessing), i.e. adopt Taqwā, then Allāh will increase this ni‘mah of ours inshā’allāh.

6. Make du‘ā for a good death and for a pleasant abode in the Hereafter. You may do this in your own words or by using supplications from the Qur’ān and ahādīth, for example: 

O Allāh, forgive our living and our dead, those present from among us and those absent, our young and our old, our males and our females, O Allāh whoever you keep alive from among us, keep him alive on Islām, and whoever you give death to, give him death upon īmān. (Ahmad)

Allāh ta‘ālā mentions the supplication of the knowledgeable people: “Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate from the right path after You have given us guidance, and bestow upon us mercy from your own.” (2:8)

If we strive to do the above and ask Allāh ta‘ālā sincerely, then inshā’allāh, He will grant us this great bounty of death in the state of īmān.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the true understanding of the reality of the Hereafter and grant us the tawfīq to adequately prepare for it. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 21 No. 2, Feb 2012)


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