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)


• Please forward this message on to all your contacts

Advertisements

Qurbani – ‘Sacrifice’ or comparing the price?

Qurbani – ‘Sacrifice’ or comparing the price?
Unfortunately, Qurbani has become rather like car insurance, where one searches for the lowest “quote” and the cheapest price… this should not be the case.
We shouldn’t think of Qurbani or any obligation in Islam as a BURDEN, brothers and sisters. Rather we should fulfil it for solely the pleasure of Allah SWT.
Give to the “needy” countries.
Give to the “poorest” country.
Don’t go for the LOWEST quote!
Did you know, there are many Muslims who don’t eat meat all year round, only on Eid! Remember that, next time you’re licking your chicken legs and eating that Kobeda.
I feel sooner or later, we will have websites or apps (like ‘gocompare’… ‘goqurbani’) that will compare charities and countries then show which are the cheapest. Astaghfirullah…
My gripe is we earn thousands of pounds and when it comes to spending for Allah SWT, we are tight fisted – La Hawla Wa La Quwwata Illa Billa!

gosht

The saddest part of all of this is, how deep our selfishness goes. The word ‘Udhiyyah’ (Arabic), ‘Qurbani’ (urdu), actually means ‘sacrifice’. It really shows whether we love Allah or just love our pockets, our purses and our bank accounts.
Lastly, many of you reading this will be from Bangladesh/India/Pakistan. Let’s not just focus on these countries, we have many of our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world who are living in extreme poverty. I understand that some of these other countries have extortionate rates for an animal. But, if we all go for a £15 share in a cow from India and just want to absolve ourselves from this obligation, who will feed the Muslims in Iraq and Palestine where a large animal costs almost £2,000 (approx £300 per share). It is advised that family and friends get together and offer a ‘Nafl’ Qurbani in these countries, i.e. split the cost between them, if they can’t afford a full share. A great way of doing this is with the intention of Esale Thawab. This Eid, let’s not deprive anyone In Sha Allah.
Please bear in mind, Qurbani comes once a year and we eat meat on a regular basis in the UK.
ASK YOURSELF: ARE YOU SACRIFICING OR JUST COMPARING THE PRICES?!

 

(Mawlana) Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).
1st Dhul Qa’dah 1438
meat

An Angel of Mercy

http://productivemuslim.com/inspired-by-abdul-sattar-edhi/?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ProductiveMuslim+NewsLetter&utm_content=%5B%5Brssitem_title%5D%5D#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=inspired-by-abdul-sattar-edhi

federico-beccari-633001-unsplash.jpgThis is a story that carries many life lessons for all of us. The story of Abdul Sattar Edhi, and the legacy he left behind.

‘Edhi’ became a synonym for love, humanitarian service, and selflessness in Pakistan. He commanded respect from Pakistanis and from millions across the world. He won several prominent international prizes for his outstanding humanitarian services. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize several times. He was decorated with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, which is the highest honor given to any civilian in Pakistan for their achievements towards world recognition of Pakistan or an outstanding service to the country.

News of his illness in the last few months made many Pakistanis pray wholeheartedly for his health. His death shocked many in the nation. He was given the state funeral attended by thousands of people, including the President, chiefs of military, navy and air force, a large number of politicians, diplomats, civil servants, businessmen, etc.

He was called an Angel of Mercy. Some thought he was the greatest living humanitarian. We know that the Edhi Foundation runs 330 welfare centers across Pakistan and more than 1500 ambulances. But we do not exactly know the number of people (which could be millions without exaggeration) who have directly and indirectly benefited from Edhi ambulances, food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children, and clinics for the mentally handicapped. Edhi Foundation does not just operate in Pakistan, it has carried out relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, Eastern Europe and the United States. Edhi never differentiated between people, their faith, race or color. He helped everyone who needed help. He humbly requested donations from everyone who could give. He changed the face of welfare work in Pakistan and established an organization which is trusted by everyone, poor and rich, illiterate and educated, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The purpose of this article is not to write a biographical account of Edhi’s life. Rather, I want to list some key qualities which made him the person he was. I want every one of us to learn from Edhi. I wish we can peek through his life and emulate some of his qualities and traits so that we can also reach out to the poor and needy in the way he did. I also hope our children would be inspired by his story, and be motivated to follow suit when they grow up.

Practical compassion

Edhi’s compassion drove him to help the helpless, give shelter to the homeless women, give a roof to the street children, feed the hungry, treat the sick and bury the dead… He himself drove an ambulance for 45 years and never drove any other car throughout his life. His heart was always with the needy and deserving and he was constantly thinking about how best to help those most in need. His compassionate heart has a lot to do with serving his own mother. She was paralyzed from a stroke when Edhi was only 11 years old. Looking after his mother and seeing her suffer inspired Edhi to develop services for the aged, immobile people, and physically challenged persons. His mother taught him selflessness also when she used to give him 2 paisas, one for himself and the other for a needy person on the street. This training to be compassionate at an early age had a lot to do with what Edhi became eventually.

Living a life of simplicity

Edhi lived a very simple life. He was known for his ascetic lifestyle. He never owned more than two pairs of simple clothes and shoes. He lived in a simple home with his family. His own office remained a small room with minimum furniture. He never drove any other car except the ambulance. He never took a salary from his foundation. He inculcated this trait in his wife and children who continue to live a life without frills. Edhi remained a focus of local and international media for decades, but this attention never got him distracted or carried away. He kept to his simplicity and true authentic self. This simplicity earned him a lot of respect among the masses.

Upholding a true sense of integrity

Being the largest charitable organization in Pakistan, Edhi Foundation attracted millions of dollars of donations. In its more than five decades of existence, Edhi Foundation never came under scrutiny for misappropriation of funds. Its volunteers, staff, and management are also inspired by Edhi’s own integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness. Edhi realized that maintaining his personal, as well as organizational integrity was central to the success of his humanitarian activities which entirely depended on donations.

Dedication to one’s mission

Edhi was a full-time humanitarian worker, organizer, and mobilizer. He dedicated his whole life to the welfare work. Such was the level of his dedication to the causes he supported that he paid no heed to any kind of threats or obstacles in his way. He was criticized by some fundamentalists for supporting babies born out-of-wedlock. His ambulances were attacked by some interest groups. But nothing could deter him from serving humanity.

Being patriotic

Edhi was a true patriot. He had migrated to Pakistan from India during the partition of 1947. He believed in the country he chose to live in. Such was the level of his patriotism that he chose to be treated only in Pakistan despite offers from many for treatment abroad. He wanted to live and die in the country he loved so much. He never took donations from anyone except Pakistanis. He believed that native people can solve the problems of their country, and he proved it through the work he did that he sought help only from Pakistanis to solve issues of Pakistanis.

Taking the means and being optimistic

Edhi was a true impatient optimist. He knew that several problems of our world can be solved if we start finding solutions. He started his foundation with a second-hand ambulance. He then felt that the aged who had no one to look after needed his support. He built nursing homes for the aged. He found that children born out-of-wedlock were left on the street without any support, so he went on to put baby cradles outside the Edhi Foundation Centers. He then noticed the misery of divorced women, single mothers, and financially challenged women. He built shelters for them. He started supporting the relief work locally, as well as internationally. Edhi kept on discovering social needs and found simple solutions. Lack of formal education never stood in his way. He was able to find solutions to the social problems as he was truly immersed in the communities and was living the experience of the poor every day.

Being trustworthy out-pours the funds

He never thought that scarcity of resources would be a constraint for his foundation which is involved in a range of humanitarian activities. In fact, resources poured in for every cause he touched. He just stood in the streets and people handed him small and big notes. Children gave him their pocket money. Women gave him their jewelry. Poor gave him their savings. Rich gave him their properties. Everyone donated to Edhi and his foundation. His simplicity, integrity, dedication, and patriotism greatly helped him raise funds from the people. More importantly, his foundation delivered results and demonstrated social impact on the ground.

Sincere, calm and efficient leadership

The Edhi Foundation runs some of the most complex emergency and relief operations as its routine business. Edhi ambulances are the first to reach any emergency. Edhi himself was first to be seen on the site of natural disasters. Be it floods, earthquakes, hurricanes or man-made disasters, Edhi Foundation response time is minimum. Thousands of people volunteer for Edhi Foundation in its relief centers, as well as during emergency situations. This requires a huge and sophisticated logistical operation. A simple man that Edhi was, it is inconceivable how he spearheaded this complexity in a completely unnoticeable manner. Edhi single-handedly masterminded it with the will of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). He mobilized millions of dollars without sophisticated media, marketing or communication strategy. His branding was his simplicity, honesty, and integrity.

Edhi himself/his foundation never made any big deal out of the massive relief work they accomplished. He received nearly 250 local and international prizes in recognition of his phenomenal work, but he hardly ever mentioned them with pride. All the pride he took was in the work he did. He was nominated for Nobel Prize several times. But people like him are beyond Nobel Prize. No prize can truly acknowledge their services or contribution to the world we live in. He silently led a large foundation which helped millions through helplessness, sickness, and emergency. According to his own words,

“Whatever I’ve done for the poor, the destitute, the orphans and the less fortunate is not for any person or even myself, it’s for Allah . I’ve always aimed to please Allah .”

Edhi was regularly invited to speak on media, but he never appeared to be pretentious or attention seeker. He did not have a charismatic personality, an articulate speech or deep vocabulary. He spoke in a simple manner but spoke his heart. His message for humanity touched every heart and people believed him without hesitation.

A deep concern for humanity

In the early years of Edhi Foundation, Edhi was often criticized by his community for helping others. But it was very clear that he would extend help to every human in need, regardless of religion, race or color. Edhi lived in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan and one of the largest metropolises of the world. His world vision was also very cosmopolitan. He was of the view that humanity was above everything and he was a true humanitarian for everyone.

Edhi is at peace in his grave, but his eyes continue to see the world as he donated his organs after his death (but due to his poor health, only corneas could be donated). His corneas were transplanted for two blind people who were waiting for an eye donation. This is what he meant to teach each one of us, even after he is no more among us. He is justifiably referred to as ‘the richest poor man’.

Share with us how this story inspired you to be more productive and in service to all those in need around you?

Ramadān

A Golden Opportunity to Become a Muttaqī

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Events and occasions give us an opportunity to track the passing of time; otherwise days, months and years would pass by without us realising. Whenever we look towards the future, it seems very distant; however, upon reflection over the past we realise how quickly time has elapsed. To understand the longevity of our future we have to evaluate it on our experience of the past.

As usual, the current Ramadān will also feel very long and the end will seem a long way away, but the reality of these days can be understood by the many Ramadāns we have experienced in the past; how short they were and how quickly they passed, and how after each Ramadān we felt that if only there were a few more days so that some beneficial action could be carried out. In order to save ourselves from such regret once again, it is of the utmost importance that we realise the great opportunity Ramadān is offering us and make the most of it.

The Objective of Ramadān

First and foremost we need to understand that Allāh ta‘ālā has granted us this great gift of Ramadān so that we may become muttaqīn – the people of taqwā.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you, so that you may become people of taqwā. [2:183] 

My late Shaykh, Hadrat Hājī Fārūq rahimahullāh taught me the following supplication:O Allāh! You have given us this month so that we become people of taqwā; so make us from the people of taqwā.

What is Taqwā?

Now, the question arises what is taqwā? Once ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu asked Ka‘b Al-Ahbār radhiyallāhu ‘anhu the meaning of taqwā. In reply, Ka‘b radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, asked ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu if he had ever walked on a thorny path and if yes how he had passed through it. ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu explained that he gathered his clothes and ensured that his clothes didn’t get caught by the thorns. Ka‘b radhiyallāhu ‘anhu said, “That is taqwā.” The explanation of Ka‘b’s statement is that we too should pass through this world very carefully, ensuring we do not fall prey to nafs and Shaytān and commit a sin; be it minor or major.

Taqwā is a nūr (light) which enlightens and spiritually strengthens the heart to such an extent that the person finds a natural dislike for sinful activities. This becomes a barrier between him and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. This nūr of taqwā is acquired by forcing oneself to carry out the commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and stay away from His disobedience no matter what sacrifice one has to give. This sacrifice is called mujāhadah, and every time this is carried out a special nūr is created in the heart. The more the obedience the stronger the nūr, until eventually the heart is enlightened to such an extent that it will not tolerate the filth of any sin.

The similitude of this can be likened to a person who abhors dirt. If he needs to walk through a dirty path way, he will have a natural aversion for the dirt and will instinctively gather his clothes to ensure his clothes don’t get soiled. Similarly, once the heart has become filled with the nūr of taqwā, it will abhor sinful activities and places of evil and will develop an aversion to them, leading one to automatically safeguard himself.

On the other hand when a person disobeys Allāh ta‘ālā, the nūr of taqwā in the heart diminishes. The more sins a person commits, the more darkness engulfs the heart until a point comes when the heart becomes inclined towards disbelief. This very fact has been narrated in a hadīth of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

Virtues of Taqwā

We can understand from the above that taqwā is one of the greatest favours Allāh ta‘ālā has granted us as it guarantees us success of both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Whoever fears the disobedience to Allāh, Allāh will create for him a way out (from difficulties), and provide him (with whatever he needs) from where he does not even imagine. [65:3] 

And whoever fears the disobedience to Allāh, Allāh will bring about ease for him in his affair. [65:6] 

Race with one another towards Forgiveness from your Lord and towards a Paradise the width of which spans the heavens and the earth. It has been prepared for the Muttaqīn. [3:133]

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated:

Verily the closest to me from the people are the Muttaqīn; wherever they may be and whoever they may be. (Ahmad)

Allāh ta‘ālā through His mercy, love and kindness has granted us this month of Ramadān which is full of blessings making it easy for us to carry out the commands of Allāh plus other spiritual deeds.

Ramadān and Taqwā

From the ahādīth and verses of the Qur’ān we can list some of the special blessings and virtues of Ramadān.

1.  This is the month in which the Qur’ān was revealed.

2.  This is the month in which the doors of Jannah are opened and the doors of Jahannam are closed.

3.  The shayātīn are chained.

4.  There is a night in this month which is better than a thousand months.

5.  Allāh ta‘ālā calls out: ‘O desirer of good hasten forward and O the searcher of evil, stop.’

6.  Allāh emancipates people from Jahannam in thousands.

7.  The first ten days of this month are of mercy, the middle ten days are of forgiveness and the last ten days are for emancipating servants from Jahannam.

8.  Allāh ta‘ālā readily accepts du‘ā in this month.

Allāh through His kindness has granted us these great blessings which boosts our efforts towards the path of taqwā.  Let us therefore value this blessed month and resolve to carry out the following:

1.  Taqwā and tawbah: Carry out all the commands of Allāh and abstain from all disobedience. Sincerely repent and seek forgiveness for all past negligence with a firm resolution never to return to it again.

2.  Tilāwah: The month of Ramadān has a strong connection with the Qur’ān. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

The month of Ramadān is the one in which the Qur’ān was revealed as guidance for mankind, and as clear signs that show the right way and distinguish between right and wrong…[2:185]  

     Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would revise the Qur’ān with Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām during this month. The pious people gave much importance to reciting the Qur’ān in this month. The following few examples will suffice to make us realise how much effort we should exert.

•   Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh would recite one Qur’ān in the day and one Qur’ān in the night daily.

•   Imām Shāfi‘ī rahimahullāh would recite one Qur’ān in the day and one at night daily in salāh.

•   Imām Bukhārī rahimahullāh would recite forty one Qur’āns during the month of Ramadān.

•   Hadrat Shaykh, Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh would recite one Qur’ān daily.

3.  Abundance of Kalimah Tayyibah and Istighfār: In one hadith, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has directed us towards four things we should do in abundance during the blessed month: recitation of Kalimah Tayyibah, asking for forgiveness, asking for Jannah and seeking refuge from Jahannam. My late father taught me a du‘ā to be read in Ramadān when I was a child:

    

     Lā ilāha illallāh, astaghfirullāh, as’alukal jannah, wa a’ūdhubika minannār.

     There is no diety except Allāh, I seek forgiveness from Allāh, I ask from You (O Allāh) Jannah, and I seek Your refuge from the fire.

     It was only when I grew up and became a student of Dīn that I realised that this simple formula of du‘a was actually a way of practicing upon the instruction of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

4.  Du‘ā: There is much significance of making du‘ā in the month of Ramadān. Allāh ta‘ālā has discussed du‘ā in between discussing the rulings related to fasting in the month of Ramadān.

When My servants ask you about Me, then (tell them that) I am near. I respond to the call of one when he prays to Me. [2:186]

     In the hadīth of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam we find that du‘ā at the time of iftār is readily accepted. Similarly, at the time of suhūr du‘ās are readily accepted. We find in the hadith of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam that Allāh ta‘ālā descends in the last portion of the night and calls out to His servants saying,

‘Is there anyone who will make du‘ā to Me so that I may accept it? Is there anyone who will ask of Me so that I may fulfil his request? Is there anyone who will ask My forgiveness so that I may forgive him. (Al-Bukhārī)

5.  Spending in the Path of Allāh ta‘ālā: The month of Ramadān is also a month of charity. It is narrated that the generosity of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would increase in this month. Spending in the path of Allāh ta‘ālā holds much virtue; just giving someone a sip of water or a mere date grants a person the reward of the fasting person. Therefore, one should make an effort to spend as much as possible. Zakāt is to be given on its appointed time whether in Ramadān or outside of Ramadān. The important matter is that one should try and endeavour to spend in charitable causes as much as possible. It should also be noted that when spending in the Path of Allāh ta‘ālā, a person should endeavour to find the most fruitful places for his Hereafter. A person should not give away his charity to the first person who knocks at his door; rather one should make an effort to spend in the most opportune of places. It should be remembered that spending is our need and not the need of the recipient; it is we who are in need of the reward of charity and therefore it should be our effort to find places to spend.

6.  I‘tikāf: A special significance is given to i‘tikāf in the month of Ramadān. The fuqahā have stipulated that i‘tikāf of the last ten days in the month of Ramadān is Sunnah muakkadah ‘alal-kifāyah. Hence, if the people of a locality leave this sunnah then the whole locality will be liable. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam carried out i‘tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān throughout his life to the extent that he performed i‘tikāf of twenty days in the Ramadān before his demise. This was to compensate the i‘tikāf missed the previous year due to a reason and also to increase his devotion before departing from this world. I‘tikāf will go a long way in establishing taqwā and connecting one to Allāh ta‘ālā.

7.  Remembering Allāh ta‘ālā and doing good: Spend time in doing good as much as possible. Whilst standing, sitting and lying down – in every circumstance, keep the tongue moist with the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā.  

My dear readers! Occupy yourself in doing good and value every moment of this blessed month. Life is very short and this golden opportunity of Ramadān will very quickly slip away. If we pay heed then Inshā’allāh this Ramadān will become a golden Ramadān for us in which we will become people of taqwā, thus acquiring success in both worlds. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah

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.