Valuing the Last Ten Days of Ramadān

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

The month of Ramadān is full of blessings. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

And it is a month the first part [first ten days] of which is mercy, the middle part [middle ten days] is forgiveness and the last part [last ten days] is emancipation from the Fire (of Jahannam). (Ibn Khuzaymah)

Having passed through the first ten days of ‘mercy’, we find ourselves in the second ten days of ‘forgiveness’ and approaching the last ten days, wherein Allāh ta‘ālā emancipates His servants from the Fire of Jahannam. Now, we will find people with different mind-sets; some will count down the days in eager anticipation of ‘Īd after which they will not have to stay hungry and thirsty for long hours anymore; some will have spent the major part of Ramadān exerting much effort in devotion to Allāh ta‘ālā and thus feel that they can now relax in the last ten days as they have, in their opinion, carried out much ‘ibādah already; and some will not have done anything of note until now and feel that there is no point of doing anything in these remaining days.

All these mind-sets are incorrect, as the last ten days of Ramadān hold great significance and virtue over the first twenty days of Ramadān. One only needs to examine the conduct of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam during the last ten days to understand their virtue.

The Conduct of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam during the Last Ten Days

Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā reports that when the last ten days of Ramadān would enter, Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would tighten his waist belt, stay awake at night and awaken his family. (Al-Bukhārī)

In this hadīth, Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā has mentioned three things:

1.  Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would tighten his waist belt, which refers to preparation for exerting himself in ‘ibādah.

2.  Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would stay awake throughout the nights of the last ten days of Ramadān and worship Allāh ta‘ālā.

3.  Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would awaken his family also for ‘ibādah and tahajjud so that they too can acquire the blessings of the blessed nights.

The fact that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would especially exert much effort in devotion during the last ten days of Ramadān, shows the virtue and significance of these last ten days. And why would Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam not exert effort during these last ten days, when they have been specified for the Night of Qadr. Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

Seek Laylat-ul-Qadr during the last ten days of Ramadān. (At-Tirmidhī)

The Virtues of Laylat-ul-Qadr

Laylat-ul-Qadr is a night full of blessings and goodness. ‘Ibādah carried out on Laylat-ul-Qadr is better than ‘ibadah carried out continuously for a thousand months (83 years and four months). Allāh ta‘ālā says:

Verily! We revealed it (the Qur’ān) during the Night of Qadr (from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfūz to the first heaven). Do you know what is the Night of Qadr? The Night of Qadr is much better than a thousand months. The angels and the Rūh (Sayyidunā Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām) descend in it by the Command of their Rabb with every decision. It (this night) is full of peace. And (all of this) remains (from sunset) until the break of dawn. (97:1-5)

Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

During the Night of Qadr, Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām descends with a group of angels and they make du‘ā of mercy for every servant who stands or sits remembering Allāh ta‘ālā (engaged in worship). (Al-Bayhaqī)

Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also said:

Whoever stands in worship during the Night of Qadr with Īmān and hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven. (Al-Bukhārī)

If we understood the virtues and the blessings of this great night, we too would exert great effort towards acquiring these blessings just as our pious predecessors did. It is reported regarding Qatādah rahimahullāh that he would complete the entire Qur’ān every three nights during the first twenty days of Ramadān and every night during the last ten days. In order to become deserving of the virtues of Laylat-ul-Qadr, one must exert every effort and do everything he can. One easy way of becoming deserving of the blessings of the Night of Qadr is to observe the i‘tikāf of the last ten days of Ramadān. Sayyidunā Abu Sa‘īd Al-Khudrī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

Verily, in search of Laylat-ul-Qadr I performed i‘tikāf of the first ten days and then extended it to the next ten days for the same purpose; then I was told that this night is in the last ten days; so those who are performing i‘tikāf with me should perform the i‘tikāf of the last ten days. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

The Importance and Virtue of I‘tikāf

We learn from the Sīrah of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam that the i‘tikāf of the last ten days of Ramadān was a practice that he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would not miss. Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā said that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would observe i‘tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān until he passed away. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu said that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam observed i‘tikāf during the last ten days of Ramadān. One year he could not observe the i‘tikāf, so the following year he observed i‘tikāf for twenty days. (At-Tirmidhī)

Mentioning the virtues of i‘tikāf, Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbās radhiyallāhu ‘anhu says that Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

He (the one observing i‘tikāf) refrains from sins (as he confines himself to the boundary of the masjid) and is rewarded for all good deeds (that he cannot do due to being in i‘tikāf e.g. visiting the sick or participating in janāzah salāh) like that person who carries out good deeds. (Ibn Mājah)

The one performing i‘tikāf, through the blessing of staying within the confines of the masjid, is able to refrain from sins which he may have committed outside of the masjid. Along with this, he is able to engage in so many worships e.g. salāh, dhikr, tilāwat, du‘ā. Moreover, every moment of his is a means of reward as i‘tikāf in itself is also a worship; hence the one performing i‘tikāf gains the reward of i‘tikāf even whilst eating and sleeping.

I‘tikāf: A Fortune

The one observing i‘tikāf is extremely fortunate for he disassociates himself from everything and throws himself into the Court of His Lord and Creator. He remembers Him, praises Him, glorifies Him and sincerely seeks His Forgiveness; he cries over his past mistakes and beseeches His Creator for His Mercy and seeks nothing but His Pleasure. His days and nights are spent only in this pursuit. The author of Marāqī-Al-Falāh states that if i‘tikāf is observed with sincerity, then it is amongst the most virtuous deeds.

Our Task in Hand

So if one is able to perform i‘tikāf during the last ten days, he should most definitely do so. The ladies should also perform i‘tikāf at home. If one is not able to perform i‘tikāf for all of the last ten days, he should perform i‘tikāf for however many days he is able to. And if one is so busy that he cannot spend even one day in i‘tikāf then the least he should do is value each and every moment of the last ten days, especially the nights. He should refrain from every minor and major disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā carry out actions which please Him to acquire Divine Pleasure.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq to value the remaining days of Ramadān, especially the last ten days. May He bless us with the virtue of Laylat-ul-Qadr. May He accept those who have intended to carry out the Sunnah i‘tikāf and may Allāh ta‘ālā make this Ramadān a turning point in our lives and enable us to live a life of obedience until we depart from this world. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 27 No. 5/6, May/June 2018)


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The Final Moments

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

A person’s final moments are dependent on how he spent his life, what he lived for and what his heart remained engrossed in. Accordingly, if a person lives a life of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā and is preoccupied in worldly pursuits, his last moments will be whilst engaged in such activities. Similarly, a person living a life of obedience to Allāh ta‘ālā, in His remembrance and in striving for His Pleasure, will find his final moments in acts beloved to Allāh ta‘ālā. Many incidents are recorded in history which bear testimony to this fact, prompting us to reflect on our current state and creating a concern regarding our own preparations for departure from this world.

Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh has quoted a number of incidents:

• Rabī‘ ibn Bazzah rahimahullāh has narrated that a person was in his last moments and the people present encouraged him to recite the kalimah lā ilāha illallāh, but he kept repeating (indicating to a glass of wine), “You drink and also give me one.”

• Another person was in his final moments and the people around him were repeating the kalimah lā ilāha illallāh to prompt him, but he kept saying, “Ten ten rupees, eleven eleven rupees, twelve twelve rupees.”

Hadrat Muftī Muhammad Shafī‘ rahimahullāh has narrated:

• A salesman used to be always occupied in his business ventures, so much so that performing salāh and other acts of worship would never come to mind. During his final moments, people encouraged him to recite the kalimah lā ilāha illallāh, but his end came with him continuously mentioning and calculating his business transactions.

• An incident of another person who remained busy in his worldly pursuits, led to him in his final moments continually saying, “Have you fed my donkey.”

In contrast, we find amazing incidents of pious people who lived a life of piety, engaged in the obedience to Allāh ta‘ālā and toiling for His Pleasure, leaving the world in a manner which leaves us in amazement and wonder.

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-ul-‘Azīz rahimahullāh is well known for his piety and steadfastness on Dīn. He established justice to such a degree, that the Ummah recognise him as the fifth rightly guided caliph. Many people were gathered around him when his final moments drew near. As he began to cry, someone consoled him and asked, “Why are you crying? Allāh ta‘ālā has revived the Sunnah and established justice through you.”

Hearing this he began to cry more and said, “Will I not be questioned regarding the rights of the people?” He then went on to say, “O Allāh! You commanded me with certain things regarding which I remained imperfect, and you prohibited certain things from which I couldn’t restrain myself, but O Allāh, I bear witness that You are One, Who has no partner and there is none worthy of worship except You.” He then requested all to leave him except his attendant saying there are such creations before him who were neither jinn nor human. After everyone had left, he left this mortal world after reciting the following verse of the Glorious Qur’ān:

This is the home of the Ākhirah, which We shall assign to those who do not desire pomp on earth nor corruption. The (best) outcome shall be for those with Taqwā. (28:83)

The great muhaddith Abū Zur‘ah rahimahullāh was an imām in the field of hadīth. Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahimahullāh states regarding him that he knew 600,000 ahādīth. When his final moments came, the ‘ulamā present began discussing how they should encourage him to recite the kalimah, as they felt it was disrespectful to address him directly. They decided to narrate a hadīth in his presence. One person initiated the hadīth with, “Dahhāk ibn Makhlad narrated to us from ‘Abd-ul-Hamīd ibn Ja‘far who narrated from Sālih”. He then stopped at this point. Hearing this, the great muhaddith began narrating the hadīth saying, “Bundār narrated to us that Abū ‘Āsim narrated to him that ‘Abd-ul-Hamīd ibn Ja‘far narrated to him that Sālih ibn Abī ‘Arīb narrated to him that Kathīr ibn Murrah Al-Hadramī narrated to him that Mu‘ādh ibn Jabal radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrated that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam stated, ‘Whoever’s last words are lā ilāha illallāh….’.” He then passed away. The full hadīth is, ‘Whoever’s last words are lā ilāha illallāh will enter Jannah’. By departing in this manner, he practically demonstrated the glad tiding mentioned in this hadīth. What an amazing death Allāh ta‘ālā granted him!

These few incidents are a mere drop in the ocean from the many great and amazing final moments Allāh ta‘ālā has granted His special servants, who made acquiring His Pleasure the objective of their lives. The thought should not cross our minds that these were great people of the past who achieved such heights. Even in this age, Allāh ta‘ālā does not deprive His servants who lead a life of servitude to Him and remain steadfast in their duties and obligations to Him.

Just this month, my very dear and close friend in Barbados, Dr. Muhammad Shafee Nagdi, left this mortal world. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant him forgiveness for any shortcomings and elevate his status in the hereafter and resurrect him with the Ambiyā, the Siddiqīn, the Shuhadā and the Sālihīn. Āmīn.

Dr. Muhammad Shafee Nagdi was my host whenever I visited Barbados and was very affectionate towards me and showed me much love and affection. He was very respectful towards the ‘Ulamā and Mashāyikh and would endeavour to serve and bring comfort to them. Almost all the prominent Mashāyikh who visited Barbados during his lifetime have been his guests and his manner and behaviour towards them was such that he would win their hearts. I was very saddened and experienced much grief upon the news. However, when his sons narrated to me the details of his final moments, I was wonderstruck and experienced immense happiness for the way Allāh ta‘ālā called him to his final abode.

Dr. Muhammad Shafee Nagdi was very steadfast and punctual with his a‘māl and ma‘mūlāt (prescribed practices). He would for the last forty years wake up for tahajjud and complete his ma‘mūlāt. In the last few years he was not very mobile, yet he remained punctual regarding his daily practices. Even in a poor state of health, he would normally wake up around 1am and engage in tahajjud salāh, dhikr and du‘ā until the beginning time of Fajr and then perform his Fajr. Thereafter, he would recite Sūrah Yāsīn and one juz from the Qur’ān. He would then awaken his wife and son for Fajr salāh.

His son, Rafeeq, narrated to me that during his father’s last night in this world, as per his usual practice he attended to his father at 1am to assist him to perform wudū and seat him in his chair for tahajjud, thereafter returning to sleep. Later in the morning, he was not awakened by the call of his father, but his mother. Worried, he got up and went to see his father to find that he had, at some point during the night, departed for the hereafter. This in itself was a great honour, that he had left this world whilst engaged in worship. However, the detail mentioned by his son is more amazing. He said that he found his father in the condition that the Qur’ān was still open and in his father’s hands. This means, according to his regular practice, Dr. Shafee must have performed his tahajjud salāh, completed all his ma‘mūlāt, performed his Fajr salāh, recited Sūrah Yāsīn and also the Qur’ān. Furthermore, when his son looked at the Qur’ān, it became apparent that he was on the last page, which indicated that he had just completed the Qur’ān. Subhānallāh! What a praiseworthy final moment Allāh ta‘ālā granted my beloved friend!

It is evident that, when a person makes Allāh ta‘ālā his objective and lives a life striving to acquire His Pleasure, then his final moments will be in the same state. We should take lesson from such incidents and reflect on how we are leading our lives, so that we can mend our ways by sincerely repenting from a life of negligence and adopting a life of piety and devotion.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the tawfīq to live such a life that we breathe our last when we are engaged in acts that are most beloved to Him, so that we depart with His Forgiveness, Mercy and eternal Pleasure. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 8, August 2017)


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Time: An Irrecoverable Bounty

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

Once, I was reading an article wherein the author had stated that from among all the favours of Allāh ta‘ālā, for every one of them there can possibly be something that may substitute it, to some extent if not fully, apart from the favour of time, for once passed, no amount of effort can bring it back neither can anything substitute it. Take the example of the favour of sight. When lost, its restoration is not totally inconceivable. Even in the state of blindness, perception, to some extent, is possible with the help of other physical senses.

So a bounty whose value excels that of others in every respect deserves to be expended carefully and in worthwhile activities. Yet we witness that carelessness shown by people in the bounty of time is more than in any other favour of Allāh ta‘ālā. 

Every moment that passes by takes away a portion of our lives. The more we grow in age the less becomes our expectancy of living further in this world. Time is the only possession of this life, which decreases constantly and with precise regularity, yet in a very unnoticeable manner.

An Urdu poet has stated that the passing of time in every man’s life is as quiet and (yet) as certain as the melting of ice.

So it is of extreme importance that we utilise our time in fruitful and rewarding pursuits and not waste it away as we usually tend to do. Let us learn to value time in the forthcoming holidays, and then, if Allāh ta‘ālā wills, we will gradually become accustomed to it and maintain the attitude throughout the year.       

The easiest method of preventing yourself from wasting time as well as gaining most from it is to prepare a timetable for yourself. This is not dissimilar to making a budget in the domain of economics. If one wishes to increase in one’s savings one will have to make a budget, thereby defining the limits of expenditure. On the contrary, if a person walks around with his entire income in his pocket, without any allocation of money, and continues to spend as the need arises, far from saving up any further, he will end up resorting to and depleting the original savings. So as we manage our finances for economical reasons so should we manage our time and maintain the same economical attitude here too.

Now as far as wasting time is concerned, there isn’t obviously a single way to do that. People will naturally waste time according to their respective inclinations or dispositions. Some may resort to completely meaningless activities and others may prefer to just sit idle and laze around. Moreover, some may become victims of overindulgence or fall a prey to perpetual self-satisfaction. Whichever the case, what is important to remember here is that the worst form of wasting time is to indulge in sinning and displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā. The displeasure of Allāh ta‘ālā is caused by the mere wasting of time too, but sinning will call for His extreme anger and invite His wrath. This is another point, which we need to earnestly reflect upon. For some temporary enjoyment we readily sacrifice our eternal abode of pleasure. For some trivial materialistic pleasure we are prepared to displease our Creator, the One Who has provided us with a vast array of bounties and different forms of lawful satisfaction of desires. Indeed He is the One Who has given us this very strength and capability which we are using to commit sins. How can we possibly displease Him?

My brothers, in reality, there is hardly any sacrifice in refraining from sins. Many of us feel that it is extremely difficult or almost impossible to abstain from sins. This is nothing but an illusion from Shaytān. Even the little discomfort we may experience in restraining ourselves from fulfilling unlawful desires is caused by Shaytān.  We should make a habit of keeping ourselves aloof from all sinful areas. It would be difficult to control and subdue the desires once having slipped. For instance, one should always keep one’s gaze down when walking the streets, as it would be difficult to avert the gaze once it falls on the opposite gender. According to a Hadīth, the gaze is a poisonous arrow from among the arrows of Shaytān. One who safeguards his eyes only due to the fear of Allāh, (far from being painful) he will find the sweetness of Īmān in his heart. (At-Targhīb)

To conclude, I would like to emphasise that in the coming holidays, and afterwards, we should manage our time and desist from wasting it, and in particular, refrain from committing sins and thereby displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā.

(Extracted from ‘Time – A Valuable Asset’ published by the Islāmic Da‘wah Academy)


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Advice for Teachers – 08/04/2018

Notes from Khatme Bukhari Jalsah of Shaykhul Hadith Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (Hafidhahullah)IMG-20170609-WA0080.jpg

Sacrifice

 

Asad ibn Furat RH was a student of Imam Muhammad RH. He says that Imam Muhammad RH would teach some students extra lessons at night time. So I also requested to be taught at night, he granted me permission. One night, I knocked on the door of my teacher’s house. Imam Muhammad RH opened the door with a book in one hand and a jug of water in the other. As the lesson started, I felt sleepy, when Imam Muhammad caught sight of this he would sprinkle the water from the jug on my face. I would awaken immediately. Once again, if I fell sleepy he would repeat the same action.

Shaykh mentioned this story and stated, “Brothers! This deen did not come to us with ease, there was great sacrifice behind this.”

Imam Shafiee RH

Imam Shafiee RH states, “A teacher should pick out the brighter students and make extra effort on them, so they can advance and excel.” Which does not mean we leave out the weaker students, also focus on them to improve.

Patience and Mercy

Rabee ibn Sulayman RH narrates, “Once Imam Shafiee RH explained a mas’alah in class, I did not understand so he repeated the mas’alah. Imam Shafiee kept asking me if I understood, until he repeated it FORTY times. After which he asked me if I understood. Out of sheer embarrassment I walked out of class, because I didn’t want my fellow colleagues to lose out on the lesson. After class my ustadh called me and kept explaining and explaining until I understood! By Allah! He would not leave his place until I did. He would say the following to me: If I could empty my chest and make you drink this knowledge I would (literally) make you drink it.”

Shaykh mentioned that we should think of these children as a plantation for our hereafter. Have Marcy upon them if they lack understanding.

Another similar incident is mentioned regarding Hasan ibn Ziyad RH, he mentions, “I used to attend the classes of Imam Zufar RH, occasionally I would question Imam Zufar on issues I didn’t understand. He would answer the first time, politely. If I asked the same question again, he would answer with a slight harsh and annoyed tone. The third time he would get very angry at me for repeating the same question. Then I referred to Imam Abu Yusuf RH. I would ask him the same question, once, twice, thrice… He would answer each time with the same forbearance and tolerance, saying…’لو استطيعُ انْ ٓاطٓعمكٓ الْعلم لاطعمتُهُ'”

Fearing Criticism

We must continue to do the work of Deen and not fear what people will say. The critics of Imam Shafi’ee RH said about him, “He is worse than Iblees!” The enemies of Imam Abu Hanifah RH said, “Killing Imam Abu Hanifah is better than doing Jihad 70 times.

Keep focused on your purpose, do not look around at what people are doing.

Importance of Qiyamul Layl

A man came to study by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH, after a few days Imam Ahmad RH noticed that he does not wake up for Tahajjud. Imam Ahmad RH commented, “This man is seeking knowledge, but does not awaken at night for prayer?”

We should be punctual in Tahajjud and pray for our students as well.

Continue Seeking Knowledge

After graduation, continue to seek knowledge. Our knowledge should keep increasing and increasing. Also, remember to act upon the knowledge we learn. As well as all this, you should endeavour to spread this knowledge to the four corners of the world. We should have worry and concern that how we can reach this knowledge to every person of the Ummah. To acquire this, we need to ask Allah for help, make constant Dua and meet and greet people with good manners and etiquette. Deal with them in a soft and gentle manner.

Forgiveness

Forgive your students, ask forgiveness from them as well. Students should also ask forgiveness regularly from their teachers.

Wealth and Money

Do not run after the world/dunya. What is written for you in Taqdeer will alway come to you. Do not make this your purpose. We want you students to make Ilm/knowledge your life, your eating, breathing, sleeping etc. We want you to die seeking this Ilm.

The Ummah is thirsty, they are on the brink of Apostasy. My dear children, it is your duty to save them with the knowledge Allah has blessed you with. Allah will fulfil your financial, spiritual and physical needs in sha Allah. Allah make you a great Sadaqah Jariyah for your parents.

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.

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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