Four Elements (Al-‘Anāsir Al-Arba‘ah)

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The human has been created by Allāh ta‘ālā from four elements, known in Arabic as ‘Al-Anāsir  Al-Arba‘ah’. These are:

1. Water         2. Earth          3. Wind           4. Fire

It is these four elements that are the subsistence of all living creatures. No evidence is required to prove their value in everyday living; despite much progress and advancement in scientific research and technology, man is still dependant on these raw elements. This in itself is a manifestation of the great power of Allāh ta‘ālā, and how very much dependant the creation is of its Almighty Creator.

Unfortunately, we forget that it is Allāh ta‘ālā alone who has bestowed us with numerous favours and luxuries, and we become independent in the sense that our attention seldom turns towards how indebted we are to Allāh ta‘ālā, hence we abuse His favours and waste our lives in His disobedience.

When the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā becomes widespread, and a nation begins to show complacency and neglect in their relationship with their Creator, Allāh ta‘ālā uses a glimpse of His overwhelming Power and Might to shake His servants and warn them back to reality. The water they are accustomed to being so calm and serene in the seas and rivers, suddenly turns into a fierce flood or a destructive tsunami, the firm ground they walk and live on trembles and splits open, the cool breeze they eagerly anticipate takes the form of a turbulent hurricane, and the small innocuous fire they use to warm themselves with, spontaneously becomes a raging bush fire threatening whole communities and localities.

When these four elements, through the will of Allāh, rebel against the very people they seemed so subservient towards a mere moment before, there is no power known to man that is able to counter them.

The Qur’ān highlights the reason for such destruction, whilst narrating many incidents from previous nations:

How many a town, that were unjust, have We crushed and raised up after them another people! (21:11)

How many towns have We destroyed, as they were wrongdoers! (22:45)

And how many towns were there to whom I allowed respite, while they were wrongdoers, then I seized them… (22:48)

The word used in each of these verses is zulm’, generally translated as oppression. The ‘Ulamā mention that zulm is of three types, the first associating partners with Allāh ta‘ālā, which is the gravest of oppression, the second, oppressing other creations of Allāh ta‘ālā, and the third oppressing oneself, by transgressing the limits set by Allāh ta‘ālā and disobeying him. All these categories come under the umbrella term of zulm’.

Safety from the punishment of Allāh ta‘ālā lies in saving oneself from all types of zulm(oppression), and adopting ‘adl (justice), like for like. It was this quality that was prominent in the lives of the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, and as a result, Allāh ta‘ālā put these very four elements under their control.

As for water, ‘Allāmah Ibn Kathīr rahimahullāh has written in his work ‘Al-Bidāyah wan Nihāyah’ that when Egypt was conquered at the hands of Sayyidunā ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Āsradhiyallāhu ‘anhu, a delegation of Egyptians came forward and said, ‘O governor! This river Nile of ours has a custom without which it does not flow. When twelve nights of this month (a certain month according to their calendar) pass, we prise a young virgin girl from her parents, and we dress her up in the best of clothes and jewellery, and we sacrifice her by throwing her into the river.’ Sayyidunā ‘Amr radhiyallāhu ‘anhu replied, ‘This custom and its like have no place in Islam.’ Three months passed, and the river Nile, true to the words of the locals, would not flow. Consequently, Sayyidunā ‘Amr radhiyallāhu ‘anhu wrote to Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu in Al-Madīnah concerning the matter, who wrote back, saying, ‘You have indeed taken the correct step in this matter; I have attached a letter to this letter of mine, throw it into the river.’ The letter was addressed, ‘From the servant of Allāh, ‘Umar, Leader of the Believers, to the river Nile of Egypt, If you flow only at your own will and discretion, then we are not in need of you, and if you flow upon the order of Allāh the One and Almighty – and He is the One who causes you to flow – then I ask Allāh to make you flow.’ Sayyidunā ‘Amr radhiyallāhu ‘anhu threw the letter into the river, and by morning the Nile had begun to flow sixteen feet deep overnight…   

The earth – Once, during the reign of Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, there was an earthquake. The earth would continuously tremor, so Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhustarted praising Allāh ta‘ālā, and thereafter struck the ground once with a whip and said, ‘O the Earth! Be calm! Have I not ruled upon you justly?’ Immediately, the earthquake subsided. (Sīrate Khulafāe Rāshidīn radhiyallāhu ‘anhum)

The wind – On another occasion, Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu dispatched and army and appointed over them a Companion named Sayyidunā Sāriyah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu. One Friday, whilst Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu was delivering his sermon, he began to call out, ‘O Sāriyah, (take the refuge of) the mountain!’ thrice. When the messenger of Sayyidunā Sāriyah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu came to Al-Madīnah, Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu asked him for an account of the expedition, to which he replied, ‘O Amīrul Mu’minīn! We were facing defeat when suddenly we heard someone calling out, ‘O Sāriyah, (take the refuge of) the mountain!’ thrice, so we did as the caller said and Allāh defeated the enemy.’

And fire – Again during the reign of Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, a fire broke out at a place called Harrah. Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu instructed Sayyidunā Tamīm Ad-Dārī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu to stand up to (and extinguish) the fire, to which (out of humility) he said, ‘O Amīrul Mu’minīn! Who am I? What status do I have?’ Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu insisted until he stood up with him, and they walked to the fire. Sayyidunā Tamīmradhiyallāhu ‘anhu began gathering the fire with his bare hands until it retreated into the valleys, and he pursued it (until it retreated back into its source).’ 

We see from these four incidents how the four elements were controlled by the Sahābahradhiyallāhu ‘anhum, because they were all ‘‘Adūl’, just and righteous people, in every sense of the term.

May Allāh make us follow in the footsteps of the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, saving ourselves from all types of injustice and oppression, and may He protect us from all types of calamities and punishment, in this world as well as the hereafter. Āmīn.

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How to Acquire Husn-ul-Khatimah

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

If we study the lives of the pious servants of Allāh ta‘ālā, i.e. the Ambiyā, Sahābah Radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, the Muhaddithūn, Fuqahā, Awliyā, we will find one common factor in their lives, and that is their concern for securing Husn-ul-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, Allāh ta‘ālā inspired me with six points, which will secure Husn-ul-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 Allāh ta‘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 Prophet sallallāhu ‘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 wasallam is guaranteed. In various narrations, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamhas encouraged carrying out certain good acts, the virtue of which is that the intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘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‘ālāpromises: 

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.

Quenching the Thirst of Others


By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Imām Al-Bukhārī rahimahullāh has narrated a hadīth on the authority of Sayyidunā Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “A person, whilst on a journey, experienced extreme thirst. [Along the way, he came across a well so] he climbed down this well and drank from it. He then climbed out of the well and saw a dog panting and licking the moist soil due to [extreme] thirst. This person said [to himself], ‘Indeed this dog has faced the same dilemma [of thirst] that I faced.’ [So he climbed down the well again and] filled his leather sock with water. He then climbed out whilst holding his sock with his teeth and quenched the thirst of the dog. Allāh ta‘ālā appreciated his deed and forgave his sins. The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum asked, ‘Is there reward for us in [being kind to] animals?’ Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied, ‘There is reward in [being kind to] every living creature’.”

Many lessons can be derived from this hadīth, but I wish to draw your attention to a specific lesson, that of providing water for the creation of Allāh ta‘ālā. It is evident that the deed that attracted the Mercy of Allāh ta‘ālā was quenching the thirst of a dog.

Water – A Gift from Allāh

Water is an essential need of a human; a person can survive weeks without food, but only days without water. The body’s function is dependent on water and all its essential organs need a constant supply. As the body cannot make its own water, a person needs to supply the body with water. This important need of humans is provided by Allāh ta‘ālā himself in the form of rain, streams, rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…and We have sent down pure water from the sky. (25:48)

And We caused the earth to burst with springs… (54:12)

Water – A Medium to Gain Great Reward

Due to its importance and necessity, Allāh ta‘ālā has also promised great reward for those who provide water to the creation of Allāh ta‘ālā. In the above ḥadīth, we already learnt that it attracts the forgiveness of Allāh ta‘ālā. Many other ahādīth also mention further benefits:

• Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated, “There is no sadaqah more rewarding than [providing] water.” (Al-Bayhaqī)

• Upon being asked regarding the most virtuous form of sadaqah, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied, “[Providing] water.” (Abū Dāwūd)

• Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam stated, “Whichever Muslim quenches the thirst of another Muslim, Allāh will grant him drink from Ar-Rahīq Al-Makhtūm.” (Abū Dāwūd)

Ar-Rahīq Al-Makhtūm is a special wine of Jannah which has been promised for the special servants – the Abrār (the righteous). Allāh ta‘ālā says,

Verily the Abrār will be in bounties, upon couches looking on. You will recognise the radiance of bounties in their faces. They will be given pure sealed wine to drink, the seal of which is musk. It is for this that the competitors should compete. (83:22-26)

Water – A Means of Continuous Reward

Sadaqah is of two types:

1. Sadaqah: where the reward is confined to the action and the reward is a single entry. For example, when someone feeds another person, a one-off reward is written for him; and

2. As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah: when the reward is continuous. In fact, it also continues after one’s demise. For example, authoring a book from which people benefit; for as long as people benefit from this knowledge, the author will continue to reap its reward.

After one’s demise, the avenues to gain further reward by any action inevitably cease. A person finding himself in a bad state in the afterlife cannot carry out any deed to change his situation. Similarly, if he finds himself in a good state and he wishes to enhance his condition further, he is unable to carry out any deed to achieve this. At this juncture, a deceased person has two possibilities of earning reward:

1. Īsāl-uth-Thawāb: someone performing a good deed and sending him its reward; and

2. As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah: as explained above, a deed he carried out during his lifetime which is still generating reward for him.

Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

When a person dies, [reward for] his deeds are cut off from him except three [types]: [reward for] As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah, knowledge from which benefit is derived [by others]; and righteous children who pray for him. (Muslim) 

There are many forms of As-Sadaqah Al-Jāriyah a person can carry out. In one narration Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam listed seven and from amongst them he mentioned, “.…a stream which he causes to flow….” (Ibn Mājah)

In another narration we find that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also advised providing water as a form of Īsāl-uth-Thawāb. After the demise of his mother, Sayyidunā Sa‘d Ibn ‘Ubādah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu asked Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam which sadaqah would be most meritorious and rewarding. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied, “Providing water.” Sayyidunā Sa‘d radhiyallāhu ‘anhu then got a well dug and dedicated its reward for his mother. (Abū Dāwūd)

‘Allāmah Al-‘Aynī rahimahullāh has mentioned a hadīth wherein Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam visited a person who was in his last moments. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked him what he was observing [of the next world]. He explained, “I see two angels distancing themselves from me and two snakes coming closer; and I see evil increasing and goodness weakening.” The person sought help from Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam by requesting him to make du‘ā. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam supplicated, “O Allāh! Accept little [he has done] and forgive the large quantity [of evil deeds he has committed].” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam then asked him what he was seeing now. He replied, “The two angels are coming closer and the two snakes are going away; and I see goodness increasing and evil weakening.” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked him which of his actions he found most rewarding. He said, “Providing water.” (‘Umdah-al-Qārī)

Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “On the Day of Judgement, the people going to Jannah will be lined up in rows. A person destined for Jahannam [whilst passing by these rows] will come across a person [to whom he had provided water in this worldly life]. He will say to him, ‘Do you remember that day when you asked for water and I gave you water to drink.’ The person will [remember this favour and] intercede for him.” (Ibn Mājah)

Warning on Not Sharing Water

It is the sheer Grace of Allāh ta‘ālā that he has provided this necessity for survival in much abundance and in principle, it is for all people. Therefore, it would be extremely inhuman to deprive someone of water at the time of his need, especially when one has the means to provide it. Consequently, a grave warning has been cited for such wretched people whose hearts do not soften upon seeing others suffering thirst. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated:

There are three types of people; Allāh will neither talk to them, nor look towards them, nor purify them, and for them will be a painful punishment: One who has excess water in the path [along a route] and he prevents a traveller [passing by] from [using] it…. (Al-Bukhārī)

Benefit in this World

Providing water not only benefits a person in the hereafter, but it also has worldly benefits. A person once came to ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak rahimahullāh complaining about a wound in a knee which was not healing for the past seven years, despite referring to doctors and treating it with various methods of treatment. ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak rahimahullāh advised him to find a place where people are in need of water and provide water by digging a well. The person located a place and dug a well and Allāh ta‘ālā cured him. (Al-Bayhaqī)

Imām Al-Bayhaqī rahimahullāh narrates that my teacher Imām Al-Hākim had a wound on his face. Despite many types of treatment, it could not be cured for a period of one year. He requested Abū ‘Uthmān Sābūnī rahimahullāh to make du‘ā for him in his weekly majlis on Friday. Abū ‘Uthmān rahimahullāh made du‘ā for him. The people who attended earnestly beseeched Allāh ta‘ālā saying āmīn to the du‘ā of the shaykh.

The following Friday, a woman who had attended the previous week, sent a note to Imām Abū ‘Uthmān rahimahullāh. In the note she narrated that, after the previous majlis, she went home and earnestly prayed for Imām Al-Hākim rahimahullāh that night. She mentioned that she saw Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in her dream as if he was advising her to tell Imām Al-Hākim rahimahullāh that he should provide water for the Muslims in abundance. When this note reached Imām Al-Hākim rahimahullāh, he ordered a siqāyah [a place where water is provided] to be constructed outside his home. When the construction was completed, it was filled with sweet water. Ice was also placed in it and people began drinking. Not even a week passed and he was cured and his face turned beautiful again. (Al-Bayhaqī)

Providing Water to Others

It is a great Mercy of Allāh ta‘ālā that we in England do not experience a shortage of water. Clean and abundant water is available at all times. We should be thankful to Allāh ta‘ālā for this great gift. There are so many people throughout the world who have to travel far distances to bring clean water for their homes. The short supply obliges them to get every family member to walk the long distance in order to obtain as much water as possible, including young children.

Those of us who are fortunate to have water in abundance and sufficient wealth, should resolve to provide water to the less fortunate ones according to our means. This could be through:

• arranging for wells to be dug;

• providing water pumps;

• providing water coolers; and

• setting up drinking fountains.

In whatever way possible, we should seek to quench the thirst of people and animals. Providing water to the general public on a hot summer day in this country or elsewhere, will also be a deed that will be greatly recompensed by Allāh ta‘ālā. Along with that, the wider community will be able to appreciate the beautiful teachings of the saviour of humanity, our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, who was sent as mercy for the world.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the ability to engage in this meritorious act as much as possible, in order to secure His Mercy in this life and in the hereafter. Āmīn. 

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 3, March 2017)


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Spending to Success

By Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

Sadaqah does not decrease wealth. (Muslim)

We learn from this hadīth that no one will ever suffer financial loss due to spending in the path of Allāh ta’ālā. This principle is absolute. Financial experts and economists may not agree, but the words of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam can never be wrong. The intellect says that spending, whether in sadaqah or for worldly matters, decreases one’s wealth. It calculates that someone with £1,000 who spends £100 on helping an orphan or widow, or on building a masjid, will be left with £900, so spending decreases wealth. However, sadaqah does not decrease wealth, and the thought that it does comes from Shaytān, and is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

Shaytān’s Promise

This ploy of Shaytān has been described in the Qur’ān:

Shaytān promises you poverty, and commands you to indecency… (2:268)

When dealing with people who are not particularly religious, Shaytān scares them with the threat of poverty and tries to persuade them not to spend in the path of Allāh ta’ālā at all. The approach he takes with religious people is to persuade them to spend only what is obligatory, arguing that anything beyond that would lead to poverty. He asserts that zakāh, which is fard, is already a drain on resources, so giving voluntary sadaqah will only incur a further decrease in wealth. Furthermore, he reminds them of their other religious financial obligations, like spending on their families etc. in an attempt to discourage them from spending voluntarily in the path of Allāh ta’ālā.

Shaytān will exert his energies to stop a person spending a mere £5 towards the construction of a masjid, scaring him with thoughts of poverty, yet he will allow the same individual to happily squander £50 in the marketplace, as he has no interest in preventing him from doing so. He stops believers spending in ways that bring the pleasure of Allāh ta’ālā, and encourages them to indulge in isrāf – being extravagant and wasteful with money – as it brings the displeasure of Allāh ta’ālā.

It is therefore essential that we do muhāsabah (self assessment) at every step in case our approach to spending is actually lowering our value in the eyes of Allāh ta’ālā, curbing our spiritual and religious progress and pleasing Shaytān.

Allāh ta’ālā’s Promise

…And Allāh promises you forgiveness from Himself and Abundance; and Allāh is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (2:268)

While Shaytān promises only one thing, poverty, Allāh ta’ālā promises two: forgiveness and an increase in wealth. The first of these is a blessing that secures success in the hereafter, and the second brings ease in the world.

If £1 is spent in the path of Allāh ta’ālā, the minimum He will give in return to the giver is £10, a tenfold increase. Thereafter, Allāh ta’ālā increases the return by whatever multiple he wishes, up to seven hundred times and beyond, depending on the level of sincerity with which sadaqah is given and the difficulties borne by the giver. Someone who only has £100 and gives £1 makes a bigger sacrifice than someone who has £1,000 and spends £1; if the latter is rewarded tenfold with £10, the former will be rewarded with even more.

The Return on Sadaqah

In fact, Allāh ta’ālā has appointed an angel who supplicates night and day:

O Allāh, bestow a [good] return on the spender. (Al-Bukhārī)

The manner in which Allāh ta’ālā, through His wisdom, gives this return can take a number of forms:

1) Allāh ta’ālā rewards the giver with an actual increase in wealth, either straight away or after some time.

2) When someone who is well-off spends in sadaqah, Allāh ta’ālā may not give the return to him, but instead He may give it to a needy member of his offspring in the future.

3) By giving sadaqah Allāh ta’ālā protects the giver’s remaining wealth from future loss, and this is a return in itself. For example, a person was going to suffer a loss of £1,000, but by giving £200 sadaqah he is protected from that loss. He has, in effect, been given £800.

Become a Skilled Spender

Moreover, Allāh ta’ālā will reward the person in the hereafter too and will multiply his reward according to the same principles mentioned above, i.e. if a person spends £1 , Allāh ta’ālā will reward him for spending at least £10, and thereafter more according the level of sincerity and sacrifice.

Allāh ta’ālā uses a beautiful example to illustrate how He multiplies the reward for spending in His path:

The example of those who spend in the way of Allāh is just like a grain that produced seven ears, each ear having a hundred grains; and Allāh multiplies [the reward further] for whom He wills. Allāh is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (2:261)

Allāh ta’ālā compares the reward of spending in His path to planting a single grain, which produces a plant bearing seven hundred grains. Allāh ta’ālā repays a person who spends with sincerity in His path and patiently bears any difficulties involved, by giving a reward in the hereafter equal to having spent seven hundred times the amount that was actually spent. Further, at a time of His choosing He rewards the giver with seven hundred times the original amount in this very world. And that is not all: Allāh ta’ālā gives even more when He wills.

Allāh ta’ālā’s use of a similitude in this verse, instead of just saying that He will give a seven-hundred-fold reward, provides us with a number of important lessons related to spending in the path of Allāh ta’ālā:

1) A seed will only germinate and grow if the ground it is sown in is fertile. Similarly, sadaqah will only produce reward and an increase in wealth if it is spent on a proper and deserving cause.

2) The seed must not be rotten but must be healthy and sound. Similarly, the wealth given in sadaqah must not be harām, but must have been acquired by halāl means.

3) The person sowing the seed must be proficient in planting. He must know how to plough the ground, how deep to sow the seed, how to water it etc. Similarly, the person giving sadaqah must be proficient in the masā’il related to spending.

So sadaqah will only produce a seven-hundred-fold harvest when the ‘ground’ and the ‘seed’ are sound and the giver is a competent ‘farmer’. And it is only then that sadaqah will be a true investment for the future.

May Allāh ta’ālā grant us all the ability to spend in His path and earn the vast rewards He has promised in both worlds. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 18 No. 5, May 2009)

Using Social Media and Technology Responsibly


By Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

 A key feature of the era we live in is the rapid development of technology and the continuous impact this has on our lives, both in terms of the way we live and how we spend our time. As Muslims we understand that the purpose of our life is to acquire the pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, by spending each moment of our life in accordance with His commands. As Allāh ta‘ālā is the All Knowing, He was completely aware of all material and technological developments that His servants would witness when He revealed the Glorious Qur’ān and showed us its practical application through the blessed life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Therefore, Alhamdulillāh, Allāhta‘ālā has equipped the ‘Ulamā until the last day with the tools to guide the Ummah on how it should use any new developments, whilst not forgetting its ultimate objective.

A significant phenomenon of our time is the emergence and widespread use of the internet and smartphones which has led to new methods of communication, such as social media and email. Whilst social media and email has led to a revival of reading and writing, often the content and quality is highly questionable. Therefore, one must be mindful not to fall prey to the harmful aspects of these mediums, for example using them to engage in, or even publicise, acts of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā.

My objective is to outline some guidance for those who use the internet and smartphones, specifically in relation to messaging, email and using social media applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook. By sharing with readers some essential Islāmic teachings in this regard, inshā’allāh, we will be able to use technology productively, safeguarding ourselves from harmful activities.

Forwarding Messages Requires Precaution

A common trend upon receiving a message is the thoughtless and endemic usage of the ‘forward’ button. Messages are instantly forwarded to others, without proper understanding of its content nor consideration for the recipients. Many messages received are vague in nature; the truth behind them being seldom known. To spread a message without substantiating its content is very detrimental and could lead to sin, as to forward a lie is to spread a lie and be in support of it. Messages should never be shared until the content is verified and authenticated. False news or incorrect information regarding any matter can cause others unnecessary worry and concern, and will be tantamount to spreading a lie. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

To narrate whatever one hears is enough for an individual to be considered a liar. (Muslim)

More Precaution for ‘Islāmic’ Messages

Messages of an Islāmic nature demand even more precaution. Verses of the Glorious Qur’ān and ahādīth of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam with their translations are often carelessly miswritten or many times are sheer falsehood; yet are haphazardly forwarded and shared on social media. Messages promising fabricated virtues for baseless actions are shared with a caption to forward to as many as possible. At times emotional blackmail and false threats are also included, ‘if you do not forward this message to at least x amount of people then such and such shall happen to you’, naturally all such messages are a complete sham. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warned us:

Whosoever speaks about the Qur’ān without knowledge should take his place in the Fire. (At-Tirmidhī)

In another hadīth he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam mentions:

A lie against me is not similar to a lie against any (normal) individual; whosoever lies regarding me should take his place in the Fire. (Al-Bukhārī)

One should be precautious when forwarding messages with seemingly Islāmic teachings without being completely sure of their authenticity or else such grave warnings await us. Once authenticated, messages maybe thoughtfully shared.

Permission to Share?

At times, messages are of a personal nature; information or news regarding a certain individual or institution or even a country. One should contemplate before forwarding whether the sender or those whom the information is regarding would consent for the details to be shared with others? Has specific permission been granted to forward and spread the message? If not, then it would be totally unethical and in many cases a sin to do so.

A Beneficial Message?

If we stand back and objectively reflect, we will conclude that a large percentage of emails and messages received on social media applications are of a futile nature. Our Dīn encourages engagement in prosperous activities and to avoid spending invaluable time and energy on any endeavours which are of no avail or in some instances harmful. Our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

It is from the excellence of an individual’s Islām that he leaves Lā ya‘nī (those things which do not benefit him). (Abū Dāwūd)

The Islāmic teaching regarding futility is eloquently set out in the hadīth above. One must contemplate before writing or forwarding any message, “Is it of any benefit in this world or the hereafter?” If the conclusion is negative, then this is a futile action which every Muslim should abstain from. Furthermore, sending or forwarding messages of such a nature may become the cause of others engaging in futility as well. Futility is in essence a waste of time and energy. Whilst one may ask what is the harm if a futile action is mubāh (permitted); it is akin to receiving a gift of £100 and thereafter throwing it down the gutter. Any reasonable person would be shocked and amazed at such an action, as whilst no apparent harm was suffered, the benefit that should have been achieved wasn’t and so in reality there has been a loss. Futility also brings one to the boundary of sin and therefore it is best to avoid, as it can easily lead to disobedience directly or indirectly through other actions which may follow. May Allāh ta‘ālā save us.  

A Clear Message?

If all the above guidelines are dutifully met, then one should finally consider whether a message will cause any misunderstanding or misconception amongst those who receive it? After all it is an Islāmic principle and also a general etiquette of life, to always consider whether sharing information has the potential to cause a misunderstanding. Ibn Mas‘ūd radhiyallāhu ‘anhu mentions:

Whenever you speak to people regarding something which is beyond their intellect, it will surely be a means of fitnah (tribulation) for some of them. (Muslim)

If one is unsure or even has the slightest doubt whether a certain message could cause a misunderstanding, then it should not be shared. We should be extremely careful and considerate in this regard, as this will bring peace and comfort to all.

Recording or Taking Photos without Permission

The use of technology to record private conversations of people without their permission is against the teachings of Islām. A person is generally informal when in private with one’s close associates and generally the topics discussed are within a specific context and with the relevant background known to those present. If excerpts from such conversations are shared, it can become the means of causing immense misunderstanding and result in serious consequences. One should respect the privacy of others when in private environments and only record their voices when clear permission is granted. The same principle applies to taking photography or video filming at a private or an informal gathering.

Photography & Video Filming: Respecting the View of Others

It is widely known that there is a difference of opinion amongst the ‘Ulamā regarding video filming and photography; some adopt the view of permissibility whilst others take a precautious stance. To make a video of or to take a picture of someone who holds the latter view is extremely unfair and discourteous. This is tantamount to open disrespect for the personal view of that individual and gravely inconsiderate.

I would appeal to my readers to pay due attention to the etiquettes mentioned above in relation to certain aspects of using technology and bring them into practice. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the understanding of our beautiful religion and its all-encompassing teachings of pure and considerate morals and ethics. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 2, Feb 2016)


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Please also find below Forty Hadith on Social Media by a different author, Omar Usman.

40HadithSocialMedia

The Demise of the ‘Ulama

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

On Tuesday 11th July 2017, upon awakening I received the sad news of the demise of Hadrat Mawlānā Ismail Badat rahimahullāh, the khalīfah of Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh. Mawlānā Ismail Badat rahimahullāhhad settled in Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah in the 1970s and lived a life of piety and devotion. Māshā’allāh, it was his daily practice to recite the entire Qur’ān. He would begin reciting at home and come to Al-Masjid An-Nabawī before ‘Asr Salāh, where he would continue reciting until he had completed the Qur’ān. May Allāh ta‘ālā accept his efforts and worship, and elevate his status in Jannah.

I was still in a state of grief, when a few hours later I received the sad news of the demise of another great luminary of our era, the great muhaddith, Hadrat Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Mawlānā Muhammad Yunus Jonpuri rahimahullāh. He was also a khalīfah ofHadrat Shaykh rahimahullāh and a very knowledgeable person with a very high status in piety. He was a master in the science of Hadīth, due to which he was given the title ‘Muhaddith-ul-‘Asr’, the muhaddith of our era.

Naturally, I was very grieved and overwhelmed by the loss of two great personalities in one day, both of whom I had personally derived benefit from. The passing away of great ‘Ulamā one after the other is clearly a sign of Qiyāmah. The demise of such ‘Ulamā, who cannot be substituted by others of equivalent calibre, is a clear indication that the Day of Qiyāmah is drawing closer. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam says,

Verily, Allāh does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people, but He takes it away by taking away (the lives of) the ‘Ulamā till no ‘ālim remains. Then the people will take ignorant ones as their leaders, who, when asked to deliver religious verdicts, will issue them without knowledge, (the result being that) they will go astray and will lead others astray. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

The knowledge of Dīn diminishes with the passing away of such ‘Ulamā. And as knowledge decreases, the Ma‘rifah (recognition) of Allāh ta‘ālā decreases. And when the Ma‘rifah of Allāh ta‘ālā will remain no more, there will be no one to remember Allāh ta‘ālā and this will bring Qiyāmah. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has mentioned:

Qiyāmah shall not arrive until it is not said in the earth: ‘Allāh, Allāh.’ (i.e. Qiyāmah shall only arrive when Allāh ta‘ālā is no longer being remembered in this world.) (Muslim)

In the past 20 years, many great luminaries have left this world. Each one of them held a place of his own in the field of ‘ilm and ‘amal and accomplished great achievements. Sadly, their demise has left a vacuum unfilled. During such occasions, we should take lesson and start to prepare for the hereafter. The following lessons will benefit us:

1) Nobody stays in this world forever. Even the close friends of Allāh ta‘ālā must leave this world one day for the hereafter. Allāh ta‘ālā says to His Messengersallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam:

We have not prescribed eternal life for anyone before you. (21:34)

2) By studying the lives of these pious people and their efforts, we should learn the method of acquiring the success of this world and the hereafter. These people truly became the embodiment of the hadīth of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam:

(The best is he) whose life is long and actions are good. (At-Tirmidhī)

    Hence, we should study the lives of these great luminaries and strive to follow in their footsteps, in both ‘ilm and ‘amal.

3) When a great ‘ālim and friend of Allāh ta‘ālā passes away, we feel remorse for not having benefitted from him in the way we should have. Therefore, upon realising this, we need to take maximum benefit from the ‘Ulamā who remain behind; from their academic and spiritual expertise with regards to Dīn, lest we are again left with nothing but regret. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said:

The righteous will continue to depart (from this world) one after the other, and the useless people, like the husk of barley and dates, shall remain. And Allāh will not care the least for them. (Al-Bukhārī)

May Allāh ta‘ālā accept the efforts of these great personalities and give them the best of rewards in the hereafter. And may He give us the ability to follow in their footsteps and acquire success in this world and the everlasting success of the hereafter. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 7, July 2017

Delaying Hajj


19th Shawwāl 1438 AH ~ Thursday 13th July 2017

Delaying Hajj

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat (hafizahullāh)

Hajj is one of the fundamental pillars of Islām, and obligatory for every Muslim male or female who meets its requirements and whom Allāh ta‘ālā grants the capability to carry it out. If there are no Shar‘ī excuses to prevent you from fulfilling the obligation of hajj, you should not delay.

Shaytān’s Ploy

Every year, however, Shaytān whispers the following thought in the minds of those who are under an obligation to go for hajj: “I have some important reasons preventing me from going this year, but I will definitely go next year, no matter what happens, and I will absolve myself of this obligation.” In this way Shaytān secures a year’s grace for himself. The following year, just before hajj, he will play the same trick again and secure yet another year. Shaytān leads people on in this manner right up to their graves.

It is another amazing trick of Shaytān that whatever he whispers to people, he never encourages them to rule out the intention of fulfilling any of Allāh ta‘ālā’s commands. Someone who has been neglecting salāh for years will not think to himself that he intends never to perform salāh. And likewise with sins: Shaytān never makes people feel they will never give up a particular disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. Someone who indulges in drinking alcohol, for example, will never think that he is never going to give it up, but will always intend one day, possibly when Ramadān comes, to definitely give it up. This is the very condition of many Muslims regarding hajj; not for a moment do they entertain the thought of leaving this world without having fulfilled the obligation of hajj, but on the other hand, they never make a firm decision to do it either.

The Affection of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for his Ummah

Being so affectionate, kind and merciful, anything that places his Ummah in difficulty bears heavily on Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Allāh ta‘ālā describes this quality in the Qur’ān:

Surely there has come to you, from your midst, a Messenger who feels it very hard upon himself if you face a hardship, who is very anxious for your welfare; and for the believers he is very kind, very merciful. (9:128)

At every juncture, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has tried to save us from harm. He has said regarding those people upon whom hajj is fard, and who have made the intention to go:

Whoever intends hajj should hurry! (Abū Dāwūd)

This is because even when someone makes the intention to go for hajj, Shaytān erects obstacles and whispers all sorts of thoughts and worries into the heart. Our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warns us not to be deterred by these tricks, but to start preparations straight away.

Trust in Allāh ta‘ālā

Everything is in the hands of Allāh ta‘ālā, and when a servant of his makes the firm intention to go for hajj, He removes all the difficulties and obstacles. Some people, misled by Shaytān, worry about their children or their parents, while others worry about their businesses and earnings. All this is actually a test from Allāh ta‘ālā to see whether His servant is prepared to sacrifice everything in order to fulfil the obligation he has to Allāh ta‘ālā. If you steel yourself to make these sacrifices, Allāh ta‘ālā will make your heart firm, grant you courage and take over the responsibility of settling all your affairs.

Look to the example of the People of the Cave described in the Qur’ān. A handful of young men were up against an idolatrous people and an idolatrous king. There were nothing but obstacles in their path of upholding tawhīd, yet when they rose to the challenge, Allāh ta‘ālā strengthened them and protected them:

We made their hearts firm when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth…” (18:14)

An Invitation from Allāh ta‘ālā is a Great Honour

Allāh ta‘ālā does not invite just anyone to His House; it is a great honour to be given the opportunity to visit the sacred cities of Makkah Mukarramah and Madīnah Munawwarah. If we had true love for Allāh ta‘ālā, we would long to visit His House, even if it was not obligatory upon us, and we would be prepared to undergo any hardship to get there. Those who, despite having the means, have not yet received the tawfīq to undergo the journey should be concerned about their condition: could it not be that Allāh ta‘ālā is displeased with them and so does not want them to be guests of His House? Tawbah and istighfār should be made immediately in abundance, and humility adopted, beseeching Allāh ta‘ālā to grant us the privilege of visiting theHaramayn.

Perform Hajj Before it is Too Late

We need to consult the ‘ulamā and muftīs concerning our own circumstances to find out if we really do have a Shar‘ī excuse to postpone going for hajj. People postponehajj for all sorts of reasons: some do not go because they want their parents to perform hajj first; some wives, who have a mahram available to accompany them, put off hajj in order to go with their husbands; some husbands wait for their wives, etc. If a person were to die without having fulfilled the obligation of hajj, there are dire consequences in the hereafter.

If someone leaves a wasiyyah requesting his next of kin to perform hajj on his behalf, it is hoped that Allāh ta‘ālā will grant forgiveness once the hajj is performed, but he is still a sinner for failing to perform hajj despite having the means during his life. And it is a sad fact that even if a wasiyyah is left, people nowadays have so much love for wealth that they are not prepared to spend even a pound for the sake of their departed parents. They do not have the time or the concern to make the journey, even if the money their parents left them is more than sufficient to cover the costs. Therefore each individual should ensure that the obligation of hajj is fulfilled at the earliest opportunity.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant a safe journey to all those who are going for hajj this year and grant them hajj mabrūr. May He guide those upon whom hajj is fard but who have not resolved to go yet, and may He grant all the necessary means to those who long to go for hajj yet are unable to do so. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 17 No. 10/11, Oct/Nov 2008)


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