A Message From Me to Humanity

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Silhouette of depressive man
I don’t want to be a part of the stats anymore,
A member of the unlucky ‘1 in four’,
They all think If I don’t want to, I don’t need to be,
They just don’t understand mental illness you see.
‘Cheer up, snap out of it, be more positive’ they say,
As though I could just wish my depression away,
Or ‘u need to see a Mawlana and get checked out’
Yes, black magic’s probably the reason for all that self doubt!🙄
The best one though is ‘you need to pray more’,
Cause mental illness is Allah’s punishment for sinners don’t you know?🙄
Ask yourself this though- If it was so easy, would I choose to suffer?
And put myself through having meds, whose side effects make me feel rougher?
And would you really say all these things to someone physically ill?
Or would you encourage them to rest and take a pill?
It’s like saying someone that has cancer it’s because of a fault of their own,
And they should just snap out of it without any signs of distress being shown!
We need to be kind with our words and rid society of the stigma and shame,
And realise that sufferers themselves are not to blame!
So next time you speak to someone suffering from depression think about what you say,
You never know what kind of impact you can make on their day!
This poem was written to create awareness for mental health illnesses.
Anonymous.
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Cure for Worries

http://kitaabun.com/shopping3/article_info.php?articles_id=467

albert-s-633553-unsplash.jpgBy Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Saheb (Hafidhahullah)

All praise for Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and His forgiveness and we believe in Him and rely on Him. We seek refuge with Allah from (the evils of our selves and the vices of our deeds. There is no one to misguide whom Allah guides and there is no one to guide whom Allah lets go astray. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Alone. He has no partner. I also bear witness that our authority, our Prophet and our Master, Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. May Allah have mercy on him, his household and on his Companions and bless them and send peace on them in great abundance.

INTRODUCTORY WORDS
This Hadith is narrated by Abdullah bin Abu Aufa (ra), who was a jurist companion of the Prophet (saws). He quotes the Messenger of Allah (saws) as saying. “If anyone needs something from Allah, or from a fellow man then he must first perform ablution punctiliously and offer two rakat prayer’. Then he should praise and glorify Allah and invocate blessings on the Prophet (saws). Then he must make a supplication in these words:

There is no one worthy of worship except Allah, the element, the Bountiful. Glory to be Allah, Lord of the Magnificent. Throne! I do seek all causes of the (grant of) Your mercy, and the purposes of (securing) Your forgiveness, a full share of all virtuous deeds, a safety from every sin. Leave none of our sins unforgiven. no anxiety unrelieved and no need, wherewith you are pleased, unfulfilled. O you, the Most merciful of those who show mercy!”

The Holy Prophet (saws) has described the method of a prayer which in common parlance is called Salah Al Hajah or ‘prayer for fulfillment of a need’ whenever a Muslim has a need or faces an anxiety or desires something which seems difficult to achieve then he must ffollow the advice of the Holy Prophet (saws) and offer the salah Al-Hajah, and make the supplication of his Hajah, then he may present his need or desire before Allah in his own words. If there is good for him in that, the merciful Allah will surely fulfill his Hajah. or need. Thus, it is the sunnah, (practice) of the Holy Prophet (saws) to offer the Salah Al-Hajah, at the time of need.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MUSLIM AND A DISBELIEVER
When a man needs something. He employs the worldly means available to him and there is no bar in Shariah to use such means. However, a Muslim and a disbeliever differ in their faith, for an unbeliever relies wholly on the means he employs to achieve his end.

SEEKING A JOB
Let us take the example of a man who is unemployed and tries to get himself an employment. He would look out for job opportunities and submit his applications there and he would’ request someone to. recommend him. These are the apparent means that he uses to achieve his objective. An unbeliever places all his reliance on these means and sees to it that his application is well written and the recommendation worthy.

On the other hand, a muslim also sends in an application and gets someone to recommend him in a proper way but he does not rely entirely on these means. He knows that his application and the recommendation are meaningless unless Allah makes them effective. He uses the means available and then begs of Allah and says to Him, “O Allah! It is your command, so I have adopted the means but only you can make them effective. I ask you alone to fulfill my desire.”

THE CONTRIVANCE OF THE SICK
Let us take another example. A person gets sick. The apparent means that he will adopt are to get the advice of a doctor and follow his prescription. Again, a disbeliever who does not believe in Allah will place reliance on the doctor and the medicine he has suggested. However, the advice of the Holy Prophet (saws) to a believer is that although he may adopt all the means available to him yet he must not depend on them to cure him. He must place his faith in Allah who is the one to cure. If he will not make the medicine and other means effective then these will not cure him. We know that a medicine cures a sick person but the same medicine is detrimental to another patient who suffers the same sickness as the first. This is because only Allah makes the medicine effective. If he wills, he may put cure in a pinch of dust, and if he wills he may render the most costly medicine inefficacious.

The Holy Prophet (saws) has taught us, as we have seen, that while we may employ the means, we must not count on them to help us out but we must have full faith in Allah. We must pray to Him:

“O Allah! I have done the best I could by contriving as I could. O Allah! Only You can give efficacy to my efforts. Only You can make me successful. 0 Allah! Make them efficacious and make me successful.”

abele-gigante-633088-unsplash.jpgEFFORT COMBINED WITH SUPPLICATION
A very appropriate and brief phrase of supplication is known from the Holy Prophet (saws) which he made after employing available means or even if those means were in the form or even if those means were in the form of supplications. “O Allah! This is the effort but reliance is placed in You alone”

VIEW POINT MUST BE CORRECTED
Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) used to say that religion is actually to correct one’s angle’ of observation. Change the angle a little bit and that is religion, otherwise it is materialism. For instance, every religion requires a patient; to get treatment; even Islam tells us that if we are ill, we must get a doctor to treat us. However, it depends on how we observe it. While we must treat ourselves when we are unwell, we must not put faith on the treatment but we must trust in Allah to cure us.

HE IS THE CURER
This is what had prompted earlier Muslim physicians to write Hua Ash Shafi (He is the one to cure) ‘ on the prescriptions they wrote down. It is a practice of the Muslim. In those times, they were very careful to observe minutest details of Islamic belief and teachings in all their actions and in what they said. A physician when he begins to write down his prescription with Hua Ash Shafi, actually confides that the treatment he prescribes would not give the results unless the one who cures gives the cure. The believing doctor thus confesses his inability on the very first step. Besides, by writing Hua ash Shafi, he is also credited with an act of worship of Allah.

THE CURES OF WESTERN CULTURE
However, ever since we have imposed on ourselves the standards of western culture, we have forgotten our Islamic identity. The physician, today, docs not trouble himself to write the words (In the Name of Allah) before writing down the prescription, neither does he need to write Hua Ash Shafi. He examines his patient and prescribes the medicine. The reasons for this attitude is that our knowledge of science is taught to us by the unbelievers who have no concept of Allah as the one who cures. They rely on the medical means and their theories, and they only employ their ideas.

PROTECTING ISLAMIC VALUES
Allah has not disallowed us to acquire knowledge of science. Knowledge is not the property of any people or religion. Muslims too must learn science, but they must preserve the Islamic values and symbols. They must protect their faith and creed and reflect Islamic belief in their lives. A man who qualifies as a physician is not forbidden to begin writing the prescription with Hua Ash Shafi and it is not improper for him to concede that Allah is the only one who cures. He should also not fear being classed as a backward person if he writes Hua Ash Shafi on the prescription, neither is it against medical ethics to do so. Rather, he must realise that he is a Muslim doctor who believes in Allah, so he must make it known beforehand that whatever he does is not helpful if Allah does not make it efficacious.

ANYTHING AGAINST A PLAN IS COINCEDENCE!
Almost every day recognised physicians come across cases which go against their expectations. They concede that the treatment that they were giving to their patients brought results quite contrary to what they had expected. Their plans go haywire but they term what happens in this way as a ‘coincidence.’

NOTHING IS EVER COINCIDENTAL
My respected father, Mawalana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (rah) used to say, “It is wrong to say – as people often exclaim – that it was a coincidence because nothing in this world was a coincidence.” Everything happens, as Allah desires it to happen. It is our habit to describe anything that we do not expect as a coincidence. The fact is that He who is the Master and the Creator of this universe maintains and sustains it and every thing happens as He wishes. Nothing can happen against His wish. So, the truth is that the medicine has no curing power by itself. Only when Allah gives it that power does it provide relief but when He does not give it the curing ability. It is not advantageous. What then is the meaning of
“coincidence?”

REMEMBER THE PREPARER OF MEANS
We must not, therefore, count on our strategy or the means available to us but we must put faith in Musabbib al Asbab (is an epithet of Allah which means Appointer of Preparer of Means or causes, or causer of causes.[Lane’s Dictionary])’ Not only has He allowed us to plan and employ means but He has actually ordered us to use them. He is the one Who has created them for us. He examines us and sees whether we depend on our plans and the means available to us. Or we depend on their Creator, too. The Prophet (saws) had trained the companions (ra) in such a way that they always counted on the Musabbib Al-Asbab. They used the means only because Allah had commanded them to do so and when anyone evinces perfect faith in Him and unflinching reliance. He displays unique miracles to them.

KHALID BIN WAL1D TAKES POISON
Sayyidina Khalid bin Walid (ra) had once laid siege to a strong fort in Syria. When the people inside the fort had grown exhausted of the siege, they sent their chief to Khalid bin Walid (ra) to negotiate peace. He carried a small phial in his hands which Khalid bin Walid (ra) observed and asked him about its contents. He said that there was a very strong poison inside the phial and he would consume it and commit suicide if the talks failed for he could not return to his people with the bad news. The foremost aim of all the Companions (ra) was to preach Islam and Khalid bin Walid found an ideal opportunity to further the objective. He asked the chief of the enemy, “Are you confident that you will die immediately you swallow the poison?” He replied, “I am sure of that. This poison is so strong that no one has so far described its taste because the moment anyone sips it, he dies. He does not live long enough after that to say how it tastes. So, I am very sure that I will die immediately after I put it on my tongue”.

Khalid bin Walid (ra) requested him to let him have the vial. Taking it into his hands he remarked, “Nothing in this world is efficacious unless Allah provides it with efficacy” He took the name of Allah and made this-supplication:

“In the name of Allah with which nothing on earth or in the heaven can harm. And he is All hearing, All-knowing”.

And he said, “I swallow this poison and you observe whether I die or not.”The chieftain exclaimed, “You are tormenting yourself. The poison is so strong and rapid that if a little of it is placed on the tongue. The man will perish, while you intend to swallow all of it. “Sayyidina Khalid bin Walid said, “Insha Allah, nothing will happen to me. “So saying he washed down his throat the contents of the vial and Allah revealed His Power. The chieftain observed the miracle of Allah’s Power and submitted himself before Allah, that is, he embraced Islam.

EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON THE WILL OF ALLAH
The companions (ra) had a firm belief that whatever happened in this world happened because Allah willed it to happen. Nothing happens without His will. They had grown such a strong faith that the means and strategies were meaningless in their eyes. When any one shows this degree of faith then Allah lets him observe. His marvelous Power. It is the way of Allah: “the more you depend on the means and agencies, the more He will leave you tied to them, and the more you rely on Him the more He will relieve you of those things and show you the marvels of His Power”. “The lives of the Holy Prophet (saws) and his companions (ra) were a practical demonstration of this fact.

AN INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET (saws) 
Once the Prophet (saws) had returned from a battle and had broken journey in transit. There, he rested himself in the shade of a tree and no one was with him. An unbeliever happened to find him alone and with his sword drawn he stood over the Prophet (saws) head, he said, “O Muhammad who will save you from me today? ” He had imagined that the Prophet (saws) would be alarmed on seeing him with the sword and finding no one around. But, there was no sign of alarm on the Prophet’s countenance and he replied calmly. “Allah! He will save me”. The unbeliever was taken aback and Allah caused him to be overwhelmed by the Prophet’s composure. His hands shook and the sword fell down from his hand. The Prophet (saws) picked it up and asked him, “Tell me now. who will protect you?” In this way, the Prophet (saws)let him realise that while he relied on his sword, the Prophet relied on the Maker of the sword who provides it with its potency. It was this way of life that the Prophet (saws) presented before his companions (ra). The result was that every companion although he employed the means available to him yet relied on Allah.

MEANS BEFORE RELIANCE
One of the companions asked the Prophet (saws), Messenger of Allah! I go to the forest on my camel. When the time of prayer approaches, should I tether the animal or leave it to itself, placing trust in Allah? The Prophet (saws) said:

“Tie its legs with a rope and trust in Allah.” Once, the animal is tied, rely on Allah and not on the rope which might snap.

Mawlana Roomi has expressed this idea in his poetry.

That is bind the legs of the camel on tawakkal A believing man, therefore, adopts available means as well as placing reliance on Allah. He uses the means and says to Allah:
“O Allah! I have adopted the means and put in the efforts as far as I could but beyond that I trust in You.”

RELY EVEN WHEN THE MEANS ARE AVAILABLE
Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanavi (rah) used to say, “People suppose that one relies on Allah only when the chances of his wish being fulfilled through apparent means are equal either way – he might or might not get what he wants. In that case, he may adopt the means and pray to Allah. But, they imagine that when anyone is confident of getting what he wants then he need not pray to Allah for his wishes or rely on Him. For instance, when food is laid before anyone, he is sure that he would eat that and so he does not pray to Allah to feed him and he does not rely on Him.”

THAT IS THE REAL TIME TO RELY ON ALLAH
However, Mawlana Thanavi (rah)., has said that was the real time to place reliance on Allah and the true opportunity to pray to Him. Such an attitude will confirm that he does not rely on apparent means that are within his grasp. He would seem to be saying, “I have faith in You as a Sustainer and Nourisher, as a Creator and in Your Power and Mercy. “When food is before anyone, he should make this supplication, “O Allah! Feed me and give me health through it”. For, although it seems possible to consume food easily yet it will be possible to eat it only if Allah so wills. There have been innumerable instances of men who were about to partake of food before them but failed to do so because of one or other obstacle or accident. So, even when food is ready one must pray to Allah to feed him.

In short one must always pray to Allah to help him out even if it seemed obvious what he would get what he wants.

ASK ALLAH TO FAVOUR IN EITHER CASE
We have read the words of the Prophet (saws) in the every first hadith “If you need something from Allah or from a fellow man”. There are times when there is no intermediary and we get something from Allah directly, children, for instance. Be that as it may, whether we require something from Allah or from a fellow man, we must ask Allah for it, in either case.

PERFORM ABLUITION PUNCTILIOUSLY
If we have enough time with us and that task we desire is not very urgent then we must offer Salah Al Hajah, for that. The Prophet (saws) has instructed us to perform ablution, and perform it very carefully paying attention to every detail. We must not perform ablution merely to discharge an obligation but we must realize that it is the first step to an important form of worship. The Prophet (saws) has recommended certain etiquette’s and sunnah, procedures in ablution which we must take care of. Often, we perform ablution in a hurry and although the obligation is discharged, we miss the blessings that accrue from a carefully performed ablution.

SINS ARE OBLITERATED THROUGH ABLUTION
We learn from a Hadith that the Prophet (saws) said, “When “a servant of Allah performs ablution and washes his face, the sins committed by him through the face are washed away. When he washes his right hand, the sins committed -by him with his right hand are washed away and when he washes the left hand his sins with the left hand are washed away. Similarly on washing the other limbs, his minor sins perpetrated by that limb are washed away”.

My mentor. Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) used to say, “When you perform ablution, imagine to yourself: I am washing my face and the sins attached to it are washed away according to the glad tidings of the Prophet(saws). I wash my hands now and their sins are obliterated. Imagine in the same manner when you wipe your head and then wash the feet. There is a gulf of a difference between an ablution performed in this manner and one which is performed without such imagination. You will sense the blessings of the former kind.”

SUPPLICATIONS DURING ABLUTION

Anyway, we must perform ablution very carefully and observe its sunnah and etiquettes. For instance, we must sit facing the Qiblah, wash each limb three times carefully, and make the recommended supplications during ablution.

“O Allah, forgive me my sins and make my home spacious for me and bless what you provide me of sustenance.

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is the warshipper and His Messanger.

“O Allah, cause me to be among those who repent and cause one to be among those who purify themselves.”

NO SET PATTERN FOR SALAH AL-HAJAH
The Prophet (saws) is then quoted in the hadith as advising us to offer two rak’at prayer called Salah Al-Hajah, which is no different than any other prayer in observation. Some people have suggested methods of observing it and prescribed surah, that should be recited in different rakaat, but this is no more than their own innovation. The Prophet (saws) has not prescribed any distinct method of its observation or any surah, to be recited.

Nevertheless, some of our righteous elders have suggested from their experience that certain chapters (surah) of the Quran produce extra blessings. But, we must not consider that as sunnah, and follow it because if we adopt it as sunnah, then we will be guilty of innovating a practice. Thus although Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy suggested surah Ai-Inshirah, for the first rak’at and Az ‘Ziizal for the second yet he made it clear that it was not sunnah, to do so it was only the experience of elders that they are more beneficial. If anyone recites these chapters without believing that to be sunnah, or he recites any other chapter then he is not violating the sunnah.

In short, there is no special procedure to offer the Salah Al Hajah, and one may begin it by forming an intention.

THE INTENTION
It is common notion these days that the intention differs from prayer to prayer and unless particular words are repeated the prayer is not valid. This is why they ask often how they may form an intention for each prayer. They regard the intention as part of the prayer. It must be understood that intention is not repetition of a set of words, but it is the resolve in the heart to offer prayers. When anyone goes out of his home to offer the Zuhr, (afternoon) prayers, for instance. Then that is his intention, and when he prepares to offer the Salah Al Hajah, then that is his intention. To repeat the words by the tongue is neither Wajib, (obligatory) nor sunnah, or mustahabb, at the most one can say is that it is allowed to do so. Thus, not only is there any particular procedure to offer the Salah Al Hajah, there is also no prescribed intention to be repeated.

PRAISE AND GLORIFICATION

After the two rak’at are offered, we must make a supplication. The Prophet (saws), has taught us the etiquettes of making a supplication. It is not that the supplication is made straightway after completing the prayers. We must first recount the praises of Allah and glorify Him ,”O All all! All praise belongs to You. Thanks are due to You and we are indebted to You for Your favours.”

WHY PRAISE & GLORIFY HIM?
The question arises, why must we praise and glorify Allah? The scholars point out to us that when anyone presents, a petition to an authority in the world, he begins by lauding him in the hope that he would be pleased and approve his petition. Thus, when this is done for a mortal, it must also be done for the most just of the judges. “O Allah! Praise belongs to You. I am grateful to You for your favours. Grant me my wish!”.

Another reason for praising Allah is that man is selfish and a slave to his own desires. What he needs is all he thinks of and he asks Allah for that. There is the risk that he might become ungrateful and show that in his supplication. At that time, therefore, he must remember the blessings of Allah which have submerged him deeply.

Anyway, we have the advice of the Prophet (saws) that we must ask Allah to give us what we need. But before we ask Him, we must look about and see how many of His bounties He has showered upon us which we cannot count. We must acknowledge them before we present our supplication, “O Allah! I am grateful for Your bounties and favours, which you have bestowed on one through Your mercy. I praise You for that. I have one more need, one more desire! O Allah! Be bountiful to me and grant me my desire”. This will offset possibility of our being ungrateful.

GRIEF AND DIFFICULTY IS ALSO A BLESSING
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (rah) said to a gathering of his disciples that the sorrow, grief and hardships which a man encounters are – if he thinks about that – actually blessings of Allah. Sickness is a blessing from Allah and so is poverty and need. If man observes with an examining eye, he will realize that these things are blessings of Allah.

We are told in a hadith that when, on the day of judgement, Allah will reward without limit and without reckoning those people who were patient in the face of affliction then those who had not suffered much difficulty and hardship in the world would wish that their skins were peeled off with scissors in the world and they had endured that patiently. They would then have received the reward which the patient would get on that day. So, the hardships are a blessing in disguise which our weak sights do not distinguish.

A STRANGE SUPPLICATION OF HAJI IMDADULLAH
When he was delivering this sermon, a handicapped man arrived in the assembly. The unfortunate man was afflicted with a number of maladies. He appealed to the honourable Mawlana to pray to Allah to relieve him of his affliction. Mawlana Thanavi (rah) who was one of those who were listening to the sermon said that they were all surprised that while Haji Imdadullah (rah) had spoken about the blessings of affliction this man asked him for his affliction to be removed. “If the mentor prays for the removal of his hardship, it would be tantamount to be asking for removal of blessings.” But, the mentor raised his hands in prayer and made this supplication,”O Allah! These hardships and afflictions are truly blessings, but, O Allah, we are weak, look at our weakness and change this blessing of hardship into a blessing of health!”

RECALL BLESSINGS WHEN IN DIFFICULTY
It is the nature of man that when he is in difficulty, he forgets the bounties he enjoys. For instance, if he has a stomach-ache, he will complain loudly about it but will not be grateful for the blessings he enjoys for he has no difficulty with his eyes, his ears, his tongue, his teeth -nay, the entire body. He has only a stomach ache. He will surely pray for the pain to be removed but he should remember to praise and thank Allah before making the supplication, “O Allah! You have granted me innumerable blessings. I am thankful to You for that. And, O Allah, there is this pain now. I beg of You to remove it.”

GRATITUDE FOR FAVOURS

My respected father, Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (rah) had a teacher, Mian Asghar Husayn (rah) He was a born wail (friend of Allah, a man of Allah). He was a very marvelous religious man. My respected father recalled an incident about him. “He was taken ill once, and had a fever. I paid him a sick-visit and found him burning with high temperature. He was restless because of the high fever. I greeted him and asked how he was. He replied, ‘Praise be to Allah! My eyes are sound, my ears can hear well, my tongue is faultless. “And he recounted all things that were sound in him. He said that he only had fever and asked me to pray that Allah cure him of fever.”” This is how a grateful slave of Allah remembers His favours even in difficulty and because of this attitude the pain mitigates.

THANKFULNESS FORBLESSEVGS RECEIVED
Hence, the Prophet’s (saws) advice that we must praise and glorify Allah before we make our supplication means that we must recoil His blessings on us that we continue to enjoy and we must thank Him for those.

INVOKING BLESSINGS ON THE PROPHET(saws)
After we have offered praise to Allah, we must invocate blessings on His Messenger (saws). The wisdom in invocating the blessings is that the Prophet (saws) is very compassionate and kind to his Ummah and he wishes that. The supplication of anyone of his people is not rejected. Of all the supplications, it is only the invoking of blessings on the Prophet (saws) that is assured approval at all time. What do the words of invocation mean when we say.

They mean:

“ O Allah shower blessings on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad, the unlettered Prophet.”

There is no possibility of this prayer being rejected. Allah has given assurance of approving it. Mercy is already being showered on the Holy Prophet (saws) and they continue to be showered so he is no need of our efforts in this regard.

SUPPLICATION ACCEPTED WITH INVOCATION OF BLESSIN
The prophet (saws0 wishes that his people invoke blessings on him before they make their supplication. When the invocation of blessings will gain approval, the supplication of the person will also be approved. It is not expected of Allah that He grant a part of anyone’s supplication and reject another. Hence, the supplication that is made after the invocation of blessings stands more chance of approval.

RECIPROCATE A GIFT.
Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) used to say that it was the life long practice of the Holy Prophet (saws) that he reciprocated a gift in some way. Then, the invocation of blessings on his is also a gift. A hadith tells us that the Prophet (saws) said:

“If anyone invokes blessings on me from a far off place, that blessing is brought to me. If anyone comes to my grave and offers one salutation and invokes blessings on me then I hear him.

The invocation is a gift of the person that the Prophet (saws) receives. So, when it had always been the practice of the Prophet (saws) to reciprocate a gift, it is hoped that when he receives the gift in the Barzakh (the intervening period between death and resurrection.) he will reciprocate as was his habit. It will be in the form of a supplication for the person concerned. He will pray to Allah to grant the person his desire. So, we must praise Allah and invoke blessings on His Prophet^ before making our supplication.

WORDS OF THE SUPPLICATION
Then, the substance of the supplication begins with: The names of Allah have within them tremendous glow and mysteries. Only Allah and His messenger know about them and we cannot fathom their secrets which Allah has concealed in them. Therefore, the Prophet (saws)has not asked us to recite them without purpose, and we must repeat only those words to get what we want. They mean: “There is no one worthy of worship besides Allah, the Clement, the Bountiful. “The attributes of Allah -clemency and benevolence – are recounted as a confession from the supplicant that he is not worthy of getting his supplication approved by Allah because of the number of his sins and lapses but Allah Himself is Clement. He overlooks the sins when He judges and it is expected of Him that he will forgive. Allah is also bountiful and benevolent. Not only will he forgive but He will also grant (blessing and favours). The supplicant, therefore, beseeches Allah on the basis of these two attributes. He then says:

“Allah is without blemish, the Lord of the Great Throne.”

“And all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the worlds”.

These were words of praise. He then makes the supplication:

“I do seek all causes of the (grant of) Your mercy, “and the purposes of (securing) Your forgiveness:

“a full share of all virtuous deeds:

“a safety from every sin”

“Leave none of our sins unforgiven, “No anxiety unrelieved”

“and no need, wherewith You are pleased, unfulfilled. O You the Most Merciful of all”

This supplication can be found in books of supplications. [List of Duas] Every Muslim must memorise it. After making this supplication, the supplicant must present his petition in his own words. We hope Allah will grant him his request.

OFFER SALAH AL-HAJAH, FOR ALL NEEDS
The Prophet (saws), when he faced a worrying situation, would hurry, first of all, towards prayer. He offered the Salah Al Hajah, and made the supplication. “O Allah! There is this problem. Do remove it.” Thus a Muslim must offer this prayer often.

IF THE TIME IS SHORT
The foregoing procedure is recommended when a person has enough time on hand to offer prayers and decide but if he is pressed for time and cannot offer the two rak’at, then he must only make the supplication and ask of Allah. Nevertheless, he must present all his needs before Allah, minor or major. The Prophet && has said, “Ask Allah for all your needs even for the thong of your sandal when it is cut.” Thus, we must ask Allah for our major needs often. The fact is that something is minor or major in our perspective, the thong of the shoe is minor, Kingdom is major. But, in the sight of Allah, there is no difference and everything is minor. Our most major demand is small in His eyes (surely, Allah is Able to do all things). His ability, His power is uniform and nothing is difficult for Him.

OUR WORRIES AND OUR REACTION
Our city (Karachi) is going through difficult times these days. Every one is worried and restless. Almost every house faces a problem either directly or indirectly. In spite of that our position is that we only discuss the situation and comment on it. But, are there any among us who are really concerned and who turn to Allah and pray to Him to correct the situation? “O Allah! We are faced with difficulty. The consequences of our sins have overwhelmed us. O Allah! Be merciful to us and remove the worrying condition from us”.

NO POINT IN COMMENTING
In 1971. East Pakistan was lost and Pakistani Muslims suffered an unparalleled disgrace. Ninety thousand of their army were taken captive. They surrendered arms before the Hindus. All Muslims were sad because of that. At that time, I had the honour to visit Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (Rah) with my elder brother Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani (rah). We found there that people who were present discussed the situation and passed comment blaming someone or other. When they had discussed the situation for some time. Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy (rah) asked them if they had arrived at a decision. Did the discussion provide them any advantage in this world or the next?

INSTEAD, MAKE A SUPPLICATION
He said to them, “You could have spent the time making a supplication to Allah – O Allah! We face a difficulty because of our misdeeds. O Allah! Foregive us! Remove this difficulty from us! Remove the consequences of our misdeeds from us! Convert the ignominy into an honourable situation – If you had made the supplication, it is not unexpected of Allah that He would have approved your petition. Even otherwise, you would have earned reward for making the supplication, and a blessing for the Hereafter. You only wasted your time.”

It was then that we realised that we are involved in this wasteful behaviour every day. We only discuss and comment. We have forgotten to pray to Allah for our needs. How many of us can we count who turned to Allah and implored Him to remedy the situation, how many offered the Salah Al Hajah, the prayer for fulfillment of need, and petitioned Him:

“O Allah! I offer my prayers. Let your Mercy remove the punishment from us.” Perhaps, someone may have done that. Most of us are involved in commenting and in backbiting and slander. As a result, we are being more sinful.

TURN TO ALLAH
In such circumstances, we must all turn to Allah and make our supplications. If anyone has any means in his power and authority then he must employ that. If he does not have authority over the means then let him pray to Allah. That is within the ability of all of us. We are forgetting to turn to Allah. We must recall that when Pakistan was being created, there was much turmoil and mischief in the land. At that time, in every house in Deoband and other cities people recited the verses of the . Quran (the ayateKarimah)[LaLailaha illa anta subhanaka inni khuntu min Az Zalimeen] without any one having appealed to them to do so. Every Muslim did it on his , own finding it necessary to do that. Women recited the verses and made supplications within their homes, “O Allah! Let the Muslims come out of this difficulty!”

The result was that Allah rescued the Muslims from their predicament.

WE DO NOT OPEN OUR EYES
We see today turmoil in our city. Dead bodies lie before our eyes. But, we are unmoved. We do not turn to Allah. We do not know of people reciting the verses of the Quran within their homes or making supplications to Allah. On the contrary, dead bodies are everywhere, death is before us, but our Muslims are in their homes, ties down before their television sets.

Under the circumstances, are we not inviting punishment from Allah? We arc unwilling to stop sinning, and reluctant to give up disobedient behaviour.

BE MERCIFUL TO YOURSELVES AND DO IT

For the sake of Allah, have mercy on yourselves. Turn to Allah, every Muslim can do it. Let each of them offer two rak’at, prayer for the fulfillment of needs’, ft will not lake much time, say two minutes. Then, it will take another three minutes to make the supplication. Let us” give these five minutes for our people, our nation and stand before Allah. If we cannot do that, why do we say that we are saddened by the situation?

Let us resolve to continue praying two raka’at Salah Al Hajah, and making supplication to Allah as long as this situation lasts. Further, let us be merciful to ourselves and remove the instruments of disobedience from our homes and save ourselves from sin. Let us stop disobedience and sin, and pray to Allah humbly weeping. Let us recite the noble verse of the Quran: O Allah, there is no god but You. You are without blemish. I have been of the wrong doers. Let us, repeat again and again,

“O Peace”

Instead of wasting our time on discussing the situation and commenting on it, let us turn to Allah. May He grant us that ability! Aameenl

Taken From: Discourses on Islamic Way of Life ( Vol:10)

My Suicide Letter…

And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (4:29)

suicide.jpg

Recently, I came across an article which made my hair stand and gave me goosebumps, as I live just next door: http://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2016/02/preston-has-highest-suicide-rate-in-the-uk/

A horrifying statistic about Preston has emerged in new figures about suicide. Preston has the highest suicide rate in the UK compared to other towns and cities. There are nearly 19 suicides each year in the city per 100,000 people. The figures, which come from the Office of National Statistics, are based on the period from 2012-2014. It also shows the suicide rate in Preston has been rising sharply in the last few years.

The highest level of suicide in UK towns and cities
Preston – 18.6
Middlesborough – 17.6
Hastings – 17.4
Blackpool – 17
Warwick – 16.6

A few points we all need to consider, as we all go through hardship, pain and suffering:

“Allah burdens not a soul more than its scope.” (2:286)

Allah only gives you what you can handle, in simple terms. If you cannot deal with it Allah will not give it to you. Because as Muslims we believe Allah is al-Hakeem (The Wise), al-Aleem (All-Knowing). Allah knows the past and the future.

So why do we feel we can’t cope anymore?

There are numerous reasons to this, first being our sins weigh us down. Excessive sinning leads one to become despondent. Secondly, we have become ungrateful. Instead of counting our blessings, we as humans tend to count our problems more.

“And He giveth you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (14:34)

Suicide is increasing in Britain and in Muslims, but it is a major sin in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that the one who commits suicide will be punished with something like that with which he killed himself.

Why do people commit suicide?

They have had enough of life or they have no hope left that they can carry on. Sometimes Muslims lose hope in Allah SWT and in their religion. They pray, they fast, give charity but Allah’s help doesn’t seem to come or is delayed. This happens to every single one of us in life, some more than others. But is suicide the solution? More importantly, is it permissible to end our own life?

At some point or another we all think about suicide, we all have bad days and ‘very’ bad days. Problems and difficulties are temporary but remember suicide is not temporary. Do you want to commit suicide to end your life or end the problems you have?

Suicide is not the solution AT ALL. A person must remain positive at all times, life is not perfect. Allah did not promise us a perfect life, otherwise this world would be Jannah.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The world is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever.” (Tirmidhi)

Life is short and temporary, so are the problems and trials and calamities we face in life. Whether you are currently in a state of bliss or depression, “this time will pass.” Nothing lasts forever, not your happiness nor your sadness. This world does not even last forever, it will surely end.

If you think that nobody cares, or is there for you, then you have a loving Lord. Allah SWT loves you.

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)

It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’”  (Agreed upon)

So do not despair in the mercy of Allah, rather turn to him and remember Him. Obey Him and His help will come. If we knew the wisdom behind Allah’s orders and decisions for us, our hearts would burst out of love for Him SWT. We have to understand and accept Allah always does what is best for us.

“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (2:216)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein forever and ever. Whoever takes poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell forever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, that piece of iron will be in his hand and he will be stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell, forever and ever.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5442; Muslim, 109.

It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5700; Muslim, 110.

From these Hadith it is apparent that suicide is not permissible in Islam – it is Haram.

Suicide is not kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam as some people think, rather it is a major sin that is subject to the will of Allah on the Day of Resurrection: if He wills, He will forgive it, and if He wills He will punish for it. So do not neglect to make du’aa for them and be sincere in doing so; perhaps that may be the means of Allah forgiving them.

It was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Among those who came before you there was a man who was wounded and he panicked, so he took a knife and cut his hand with it, and the blood did not stop flowing until he died. Allah said: ‘My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden Paradise to him.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3276; Muslim, 113.

be-kindest

A FEW MORE FACTS:

Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.

Fact: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. The distinction may seem small but is in fact very important and is why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.

Myth: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it. 

Fact: Suicide can be a taboo topic in society. Often, people feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they feel and so they don’t discuss it. By asking directly about suicide you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it is to be able to talk about what their experiencing. Once someone starts talking they’ve got a better chance of discovering other options to suicide.

Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.

Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for a long period of time. This is why getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important.

Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.

Fact: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death. However, many people who kill themselves do suffer from their mental health, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not.

Myth: People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.

Fact: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. While it’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it’s vitally important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously.

“The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.”

suicid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).

 

Key facts (2017)

  • In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Of these, 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
  • In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
  • In Northern Ireland, suicide rates for both men and women are higher than other UK nations – however, rates are not necessarily directly comparable.

Key trends (2017)

  • In the UK, there has been a significant decrease in male suicide. The male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
  • In Scotland, the overall suicide rate decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
  • In Scotland, suicide in young men increased for the third consecutive year in 2017.
  • In Northern Ireland, the suicide rate has remained relatively stable between 2016 and 2017. There was an increase in the male suicide rate and a decrease in the female rate.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, suicide has continued to fall in both men and women.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, rates have fluctuated more than in the UK in recent years, but they are currently at their lowest since 1989.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqitee (Hafidhahullah)

An extremely beautiful clip from one of the most amazing scholars and worshippers of our time, Sheikh Muhammad Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti (Hafidhahullah), from the holy city of Madinah. A translated extract from his lecture “Al Hayaat At-Tayyibah” (“The Goodly Life”), in which he discusses the realities of the life of this temporary world and man’s relationship with it, and most importantly his relationship with his Creator.

Translation: The Goodly Life

Transcript

“The Goodly Life”
Sheikh Muhammad Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti

Life, is either for a person, or against him
It’s hours and seconds, days and years pass him by
Leading him (by his actions) to the Love and Good Pleasure of Allah
until he is amongst the people of Ultimate Success and the Gardens of Paradise
or they are against him, leading him (by his actions) to the Fires of Hell
and to the Anger of the One, the Just Ruler [Allah]

Life, either it will make you laugh & rejoice for an hour
over which you will cry for an eternity (in the Hereafter)
or it will make you cry for an hour
over which you will laugh & rejoice for an eternity (in the Hereafter)

Life, is either a great blessing for a person,
or an adverse affliction against him

This is a life which was lived by the earliest generations
by our fathers and forefathers
and by all those who preceded us
All of them, returned to Allah with what they used to do [their deeds]

“Life” refers to every single moment that is lived within it
and every hour spent within it
And within all of these, we live a life that is either for us or against us

Thus, the successful and happy person
is the one who sees life, and recognises it’s reality and true nature
For by Allah, it is a life that frequently causes some people to weep, their tears never drying
and frequently makes others laugh, their laughs and joys then never to return

My beloved, Allah has made this life as a trial, a test,
an exam, in which is made apparent the true nature of His slaves
Thus happy is the one who is made successful (in this exam) by the Mercy of Allah
while miserable & banished (from salvation) is the one upon whom the Pleasure of Allah becomes forbidden (through this exam)

(Know) for every hour that you live, either Allah is pleased with you in this hour (by your deeds)
or the opposite, we seek refuge in Allah from that
Therefore (by this hour) either you come closer to Allah
or you stray further from Him

Thus it may be, that you live a single moment of love and obedience to Allah (by your actions)
by which are forgiven the inequities of your life
and a lifetime of sins
And it may be that you live a single moment in which you deviate purposely from the Path of Allah
distancing yourself from His obedience
which then becomes a cause of misery & distress, for the rest of your life
We ask Allah for His Safety and Pardoning

In this life there exist two seperate ‘callers’
The first, is anything that calls to the Mercy, the Good Pleasure and the Love of Allah (be they thoughts or actions)
The second type of caller, is anything which invites to the opposite of that
(Such as) a desire or lust that incites one to evil
or a sudden sinful whim that may result in an evil ending (dying in bad or sinful circumstances)

Thus it may be, that a person within a moment of his life, weeps;
a weeping of regret and repentance over his negligence towards his Lord;
and by (these tears) Allah changes his evil deeds into good deeds (on his record)

But how many a people continue to commit sins?
how many a people still indulge in evil?
how many a people continue to distance themselves (from Allah),
frequently travelling away from their Lord (by their actions)?
Thus all of them are distant from the Mercy of Allah
unbeknownst to them, strangers to the Good Pleasure of Allah

Then comes upon them that hour, that exact moment (of penitence),
which is what we are referring to, by “the goodly life”,
in order that they shed tears of regret and remorse,
and that a reason for anguish in the heart may be ignited,

Such that the person realises how long his alienation from Allah has been
and how long his absence from his Lord truly has been
so that he may then say, “Indeed I am turning to my Lord repentant, remorseful,
and in hope of His Mercy and Good Pleasure!”

This time (of penitence) is a person’s key to happiness and contentment,
the time of regret.
It is as the scholars say,
“Indeed man sins a great deal,
but if he is truly sincere in his regret and repentance,
Allah will change his sins into good deeds”
Thus his life too then becomes pure and goodly,
by the purity and truthfulness of that regret and repentance
and by the sincerity in the very distress and pain felt within himself

We ask Allah the Greatest, Lord of the Honourable Throne,
to give life to this blessed caller to His Mercy, within our hearts
and to the pain we should feel when we are neglectful towards Allah and His Commands

My beloved, every single one of us needs to ask themselves a question,
we need to ask ourselves day and night,
How many nights are spent awake in activity?
and how many hours are passed (in this way)?
How many have laughed in this life?
And (most importantly) was Allah Pleased with this laughter?

How much of this time was spent in entertainment and enjoyment in this life?
Was this enjoyment one that Allah was Pleased with?
How many nights were spent awake (in activity)?
Was this staying awake (and what you did in those nights), pleasing to Allah?

And so on and so forth,
(These are) questions that he should be asking within himself
But a person might wonder why he should be asking these questions (i.e. what’s the point)?

Yes! You must ask yourselves these questions
as passes not the instant of a blinking of an eye,
nor a fleeting moment in your life,
except that you are living in and experiencing the Blessings of Allah!

Thus it is from great respect and humility towards Allah
that a person remains constantly aware of the greatness of the Blessings bestowed upon him

From this humility is to truly feel and acknowledge that the food we eat,
belongs to and is provided by Allah

And that we quench our thirst with a drink created by Allah
And that we are shaded and sheltered by a roof provided by Him
And that we walk forth upon a ground provided by Him
And that without doubt we are living in and experiencing His every Bounty and Mercy
So what could we possibly have to offer Him in return?

(So it’s important) a person asks himself these questions.

(For example) doctors say that there exists a substance in a person’s heart,
that if it were to increase or decrease by 1%
he would die instantly…
So (think) in which courtesy and kindness,
which mercy and compassion from Allah does mankind enjoy, experience and live in!

(Even if) a person asks himself about the Mercy of Allah alone,
When he wakes up in the morning,
possessing his hearing
possessing his sight
possessing his physical strength,
who is the one safeguarding his hearing?
Who is the One safeguarding his sight?
Who is the One safeguarding his intellect?
Who is the One safeguarding his very soul?

He must ask himself, who is the One protecting all of these things?
Who is the One who Bestowed him with good health and wellbeing?

(Think of) those who are sick, lying on white beds (in hospital)
those who are sighing and in pain (from illness),
By Allah, through these great blessings Allah conveys His Love for us,
The great blessings of good health, wellbeing, security and safety
All of these are provided purely so that we may live a goodly life

Allah, praised & exalted is He, desires two things from His slave:
The first is that he carry out his obligatory duties (e.g. prayer)
and the second, is the abandonment of all Allah has forbidden and held him back from

As for the one who claims that closeness to Allah
entails a life of suffering or limitations
Then such a person without doubt has erred greatly in how he perceives Allah

For, by Allah, if you do not purify and make good your life by closeness to your Lord,
you will never be able to do so by way of anything else

And if you do not purify and adorn your life by carrying out your obligatory duties to Him,
and abandoning all that He has forbidden,
Then by Allah, you will never be able to so by way of anything else

A person may experience every single pleasure life has to offer
but by Allah, he will never experience anything more pleasurable,
more beautiful than servitude to Allah
by carrying out his obligations to Him
and leaving all that He has forbid him from

(In life) you are subjected to two choices,
whenever you are faced with a matter,
you have the choice to either do it or not do it

If you decide to go forth and do anything in this life,
ask yourself, “Has Allah permitted you to do this thing, or not?”

Since the human being himself is owned by Allah
the hearts are all owned by Allah
and the souls are all owned by Allah

Thus a person should,
whenever he wants to do something or hold back from it,
ask himself, will Allah be pleased with you (by this action)?
If so, then let him proceed
Or, will Allah not be pleased by this action?
If not then he should hold himself back.

For, by Allah, a person does not proceed with an action nor hold back from it,
requesting Allah’s Mercy (and counsel in the decision),
except that he pleases his Lord in the process

Therefore true happiness and a goodly life are only to be found in closeness to Allah

Closeness to who?
To the King of Kings
the Controller of the Heavens & the Earth
To whom belongs the Ultimate Command, all creation
and the perfect arrangement and measure of all that exists

Thus you may find that man is always
in a state of anxiety and weariness
You may find an individual who has everything he desires
But by Allah, you will find most of those who have all they desire
suffer from mental or psychological problems,
from anxiety and depression,
most of them are extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives

Go and look for the wealthiest person
and you’ll most likely find him to be from
the most miserable people in life

And has made the sweetness and savour of life to be found,
in being close to Him

And has placed the key to a pleasurable, amiable life,
in a pleasurable, amiable relationship with Him

(If we look at just) one prayer that a person performs
from the 5 obligatory daily prayers;
at the moment of completing his bowing and prostrating
and completing his servitude to his Lord,
then at leaving the place of prayer,
he feels a great sense of ease and peace within himself!

By Allah, even if he were to spend all the wealth on the earth
(in attempt to buy this feeling)
He would be unable to seek a way to it.

Thus the goodly life is found only in closeness to Allah
A pleasant, comfortable life will only be found by a closeness to Allah
If a person does not purify and make good his life
through this close relationship,
then by who (or what) will he….?

 

Nursery or Adversary?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaykum wR wB,

If we survey the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ, a similar understanding is found. The qualities of devotion to Allah and their families were at the centre of the praiseworthy qualities of women. For example, the Prophet clarifies the Islamic view regarding the best women and the central reason behind it saying, “The best women from the riders of the camels (the best Arab women) are the righteous among the women of Quraish. They are the kindest women to their children in childhood and the most careful of women in regards to the property of their husbands.” (Bukhari/Muslim) In this hadith the Prophet explains their goodness by being good wives and good mothers.

In another statement the Prophet ﷺ explains that one of the main aims of marriage is to produce and nurture children who follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in worshiping Allah and glorifying him. The companion Ma’qil ibn Yasaar narrated that a man came to the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have found a woman who is from a good family and is pretty, but she does not bear children – should I marry her?” He told him not to. Then he came to him a second time and said something similar and he told him not to marry her. Then he came to him a third time and said something similar and he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers before the nations on the Day of Resurrection.” (Abu Dawud/Nasa’i)

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeem Abaadi said in his commentary of this hadith, ‘Marry the one who is loving means the one who loves her husband; and the one who is fertile is the one who bears a lot of children.” {Awnul Mabud 6/33}

abcOh boy… I am going to do it again. I am opening the can of worms. Lighting a match in a dry forest. Shouting fire in a crowded theatre. Opening the floodgates. I am going to talk about something that will cause another round of Facebook unfriending, painful insults, and lots of people disagreeing with me. But as a man, a Muslim, and a chronically outspoken human being, I have to speak up. I have a platform – and I must use it. It is my moral responsibility to utilise my platform to speak up for those without such a public voice. I want to talk about… **takes deep breath**… ‘Working Mothers and their Responsibilities.’

“Most children are corrupted (and led to failure) because of their parents.” Ibn Qayyim RH, Tuhfatul Maudud bi-Ahkamil Maulud (p. 80)

By this point, some of you (especially those who know me “well”) will be thinking, “Oh God! What on earth is he going to say?” And others (who also know me, personally) will be thinking, “How can he talk about that issue? He doesn’t have kids!” Yes, what gives me the audacity to speak about such a topic, when I don’t have children? I actually thought about the same thing a few days ago, before writing this piece. I don’t know how long this article is going to be, simply because the whole thing has been going around my head for a long time. I wouldn’t be lying if I said a decade!

Just because I don’t have children, that doesn’t mean I don’t know anything ‘about’ children. I have taught children in a Primary School, and in a Madrasah setting for many years. And still offer tuition for teenagers in various subjects, as well as teaching Muslim youngsters Tafsir and Seerah. Which (hopefully) justifies my position, in writing this article. As I have understood and realised some of the causes and grounds why our youth are spiralling downwards.

You see I always wanted someone else to write it, I shall be totally honest. In particular – a female. And before writing it I scanned the web to see how much has already been written on the topic, especially by Muslims. I found a LOT of articles supporting the idea of working mothers, very few against it. I have a large extensive library (Alhumdu Lillah), I buy books on everything; things which are relevant and irrelevant, stuff that I need and don’t need (may need in future). So I searched how many books I had if any on ‘tarbiyyah/upbringing children, good mothers’ etc. I had a few on ‘tarbiyyah’, which contained sections on working mums, and others just generally in the early years with a child. But nothing extensive on working mothers, does it really work, the pros and cons.

This article below was written the day I started writing this blog believe it or not:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-30342/Working-mothers-risk-damaging-childs-prospects.html

*A sign from Allah, perhaps?*

Silhouette of depressive man

Like I said, I wanted to write this piece many moons ago. But what recently triggered me to put pen to paper is the statistic below:

“25% of Women in the UK suffer from depression.” (NHS Stats)

Mental health problems affect both men and women, but not in equal measure.

“In England, women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem.”

McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T., Bebbington, P., & Jenkins, R. (eds) (2009). Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England 2007: results of a household survey. NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care. [online] Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB02931/adul-psyc-morb-res-housur-eng-2007-rep.pdf [Accessed 25 August 2015].

“And are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders.”

Martin-Merino, E., Ruigomez, A., Wallander, M., Johansson, S. and GarciaRodriguez, L. (2009). Prevalence, incidence, morbidity and treatment patterns in a cohort of patients diagnosed with anxiety in UK primary care. Family Practice, 27(1), pp.9-16.

“10% of mothers and 6% of fathers in the UK have mental health problems at any given time.”

Parker, G., et al. (2008). Technical Report for SCIE Research Review on the Prevalence and Incidence of Parental Mental Health Problems and the Detection, Screening and Reporting of Parental Mental Health Problems. [online] York: Social Policy Research Unit, University of York. Available at: http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/spru/research/pdf/SCIEReview1.pdf [Accessed 14 Sep. 2015].

When I tried to read further, I also came across this:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jun/19/anxiety-depression-office-national-statistics

Nearly a fifth of adults in the UK experience anxiety or depression, according to the latest official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said a higher proportion of women than men reported that they suffered from the conditions, with the highest indication of anxiety or depression occurring in the 50-54 age group.

There was evidence of anxiety or depression in 19% of people aged 16 or over, with 21% of women reporting the symptoms and 16% of men.

Also, see below: http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/projectsresearch/mentalhealth

10% of men and 30% of women have had a previous psychiatric admission before they entered prison. A more recent study found that 25% of women and 15% of men in prison reported symptoms indicative of psychosis. The rate among the general public is about 4%.

26% of women and 16% of men said they had received treatment for a mental health problem in the year before custody.

And finally, more about depression: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23553897

My point from all of the above is to give the readers the gist of what percentage of people in the UK suffer from anxiety, depression and stress. And more importantly what proportion are men and women.

So the million dollar question is “WHY?” In such a developed country, or in the West in general, why do we see more people suffering from depression in particularly women? Well, as this article is being written to ‘help’ women I will add the site below for reference:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml

Depression is not “one size fits all,” particularly when it comes to the genders. Not only are women more prone to depression than men, but the causes of female depression and even the pattern of symptoms are often different. Many factors contribute to the unique picture of depression in women—from reproductive hormones to social pressures to the female response to stress. Learning about these factors can help you minimize your risk of depression and treat it more effectively.

Figures for the lifetime prevalence of depression vary according to the criteria used to define depression. Using DSM-IV’s criteria for ‘major depressive disorder’ which are similar to the ICD-10 criteria for ‘moderate depression’, the lifetime prevalence of depression is about 15 percent and the point prevalence about 5 percent. This means that an average person has about a one in seven (15 percent) chance of developing depression in the course of his or her lifetime, and about a 1 in 20 (5 percent) chance of suffering from it at this very point in time.

However, these figures mask a very uneven gender distribution as depression is about twice as common in women than in men. The reasons for this uneven gender distribution are not entirely clear but are thought to be partly biological, partly psychological, and partly sociocultural.

Biological explanations Compared to men, women may have a stronger genetic predisposition to developing depression. Compared to men, women are much more subjected to fluctuating hormone levels. This is especially the case around the time of childbirth and at the menopause, both of which are associated with an increased risk of developing depression.

Psychological explanations Women are more ruminative than men, that is, they tend to think about things more—which, though a very good thing, may also predispose them to develop depression. In contrast, men are more likely to react to difficult times with stoicicism, anger, or substance misuse. Women are generally more invested in relationships than men. Relationship problems are likely to affect them more, and so they are more likely to develop depression.

Sociocultural explanations Women come under more stress than men. Not only do they have to go work just like men, but they may also be expected to bear the brunt of maintaining a home, bringing up children, caring for older relatives, and putting up with all the sexism!   Women live longer than men. Extreme old age is often associated with bereavement, loneliness, poor physical health, and precarity—and so with depression. Women are more likely to seek out a diagnosis of depression. They are more likely to consult a physician and more likely to discuss their feelings with the physician. Conversely, physicians (whether male or female) may be more likely to make a diagnosis of depression in a woman. Perhaps you can think of some other reasons why depression is twice as common in women than in men, in which case please do let me know!

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/the-7-reasons-why-depression-is-more-common-in-women

1280x240-Homeworking-Hub-Image-1280x240Some of you at this point are thinking, what does all this has to do with the title and Mothers working. The aim of this article is to help women, not have a go at them, nor give them a blasting. It is to help them understand what they really need to do and what they should be doing. Where their priorities lie. I am not in a position to say this, but I don’t think most women understand. As humans, men and women, we are like sheep and just follow the trend. And women, in particular, are suffering from stress and depression because society demands too much from them I believe. Where they should have been placed and what their primary roles were, has been lost and disillusioned.

When you sit down to reflect on what your vision is for your life, how do you know that the vision you’ve chosen is, in fact, the right one? Is it by the level of happiness you are convinced that your vision is achieved, would give you? Or is it the fame and attention you know you’ll attain if you fulfilled it? It would be a shame if you spent years going up the ladder of life, only to find that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. Imagine if after all the effort you had exerted you found yourself on the Day of Judgment wishing you’d spent all that time and energy pursuing a different vision on Earth, one that would have given you a higher status in the hereafter which, after all, will last forever. On the Day of Judgment, things will become very clear to us in the starkest of ways. We will see reality as it truly is and realize how short was the opportunity that we had on Earth as the following hadith clearly illustrates:

Anas ibn Malik narrates that the messenger of Allah ﷺ  said, “The most affluent of the people in this world, of those who will go to Hell, will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and dipped once in the Fire. Then it will be said: O son of Adam, did you ever see anything good? Did you ever have any pleasure? He will say: No, by Allah, O Lord. Then the most destitute of the people in this world, of those who will enter Paradise, will be brought and dipped once in Paradise, and it will be said to him: O son of Adam, did you ever see anything bad? Did you ever experience any hardship? He will say: No, by Allah, O Lord. I never saw anything bad and I never experienced any hardship.” (Sahih Muslim)

Let us look at marriage…

In comparison to other countries, couples in the UK are rather old when they decide to get married. The average age that men in the UK get married is 30.8 and the average age to get married for women is 28.9 years.

Yes, besides the fact that a lot fewer people are getting married than for instance 30 years ago, the age at which people are marrying has increased quite a bit. The average age for getting married 30 years ago was about 24 years (about 23 years for women and about 25 years for men). That’s about 6 years earlier than the current average age.

The average age that people get married is dependent on a couple of factors, such as religion, culture and the level of development of the country where they live. In countries such as India and Pakistan, it is common that the parents of the bride and groom arrange the wedding. Therefore the average age of getting married in these countries is only 17 years old. In Scandinavian countries, it is more common to get married at a later age. In Denmark the average age people get married is almost 31 years old. Also in Sweden, Finland and Norway, the average age to get married is well above 30 years old.

So we can see that in Europe and the West, people tend to get married later. This again is due to the pressure from social norms and culture. E.g. getting a degree, building a career, having a job etc. All of which there is no harm in doing. But women need to understand, Islam does allow you to seek knowledge and education. Islam does allow you to work and earn for yourself. But the greatest virtue for a woman in Islam is being a good mother and a pious wife. Already, some of you will think I am backward or old-fashioned, not with the times and not up to date. False. There is no need for us to be sheep and follow society. If we really and truly follow Islam, then let us see what Allah says in the Qur’an and Hadith about women and their roles. Every woman praised in the Qur’an, namely Asiyah (Radhi Allahu Anha) – the wife of Pharoah and Maryam (Radhi Allahu Anha) the mother of Eesa (Alayhis Salam) were praised for being good wives and mothers.

“And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh when she said: “My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his work, and save me from the people who are oppressors. And Maryam (Mary), the daughter of ‘Imran who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into her through Our spirit (Gabriel), and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and His Scriptures, and she was of the obedient.” [66:11-12]

The Prophet’s Companion Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) described the status of these two women by saying, “Many amongst men attained perfection but amongst women, none attained perfection except Maryam (Mary), the daughter of ‘Imran, and Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh. And the superiority of Aishah to other women is like the superiority of tharid (a dish) to other meals.” (Bukhari)

People also talk a LOT about Khadijah (Radhi Allahu Anha), and how she was a businesswoman. No doubt about it! She was one of the richest women in Makkah. But, after marriage, she handed the business to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). She (Radhi Allahu Anha) then had six children with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). When the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would meditate in the Cave of Hira, Khadijah (Radhi Allahu Anha) would walk from Makkah to Jabal Alnoor (Mount of Noor), then climb up to the Cave of Hira, twice a day to deliver the Prophet’s  (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) food. Let us look at both sides of the coin, not just the fact she was a businesswoman. She was a mother to the children of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), and what a great mother she was. Also, she was an amazing support to the Prophet  (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).working-from-home-jobs

Being a mother is not an easy task, right from the moment of pregnancy, till labour, till breastfeeding, then the early years. I will try to outline some of the most important duties of mothers and how much neglect we see in the Ummah today. It is not as easy as sending our children to nurseries for someone else, strangers, to nurture our children. Babies need their mothers. There are many things women need to consider before they just dump, yes ‘dump’ children. It may not be neglect in the eyes of the law, but certainly is in my eyes and possibly in the eyes of Allah SWT.

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amir (ruler) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman is a shepherdess in charge of her husband’s house and children and she is responsible for them; and a man’s slave is a shepherd in charge of his master’s property and he is responsible for it. So each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” (Abu Dawud)

 

A contented, confident and well-adjusted child does not come about by accident but is the result of hard work mainly on the part of the parents. It is not enough to send our children to nursery and expect teachers to do our job for us. Primary education comes from the home environment and the first best teachers, are parents themselves. As Muslim parents in a non-Muslim society, we have to work hard to ensure that Islam is the focus of our parenting efforts.

The pre-school years are the most important and rapid of development, so this is the golden opportunity for us to nurture our children and help them on the path to becoming good Muslims of the future. It is a grave mistake to think that children are too young to learn or understand their surroundings. In fact, the opposite is true; the younger the child, the faster they can absorb information. A lack of varied stimuli and unsettled emotional surroundings are major factors in disruptive behaviour. We all want the best for our children, but often either do not know where to start or cannot find the time to implement our intentions. Remember, as parents, you will play a central role throughout your child’s life, but more especially during the formative years when there are fewer external influences.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/10214544/The-five-pros-and-cons-of-being-a-working-mother.html

Cons of being a working mother:

  1. Tiredness. There are no words to describe what it is like doing a 10-hour working day with a long commute when you’ve been up half the night with a teething toddler or a hungry baby
  2. When you can hear your child still crying and shouting ‘mama’ as you’re halfway out of the driveway
  3. Missing out – first words, first steps, playdates and classes
  4. Rushing home from work ‘early’ to put toddler girl to bed only to find she fell asleep 10 minutes before you got home
  5. Managing the expectations of colleagues who just don’t get it

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/01/mothers-work-children-school-survey

Siobhan Freegard, the co-founder of Netmums, said the needs of young teenagers often takes parents by surprise: “The truth is that the older your children get, the more they need you emotionally. Once they get to secondary school, they also need a great deal of help to organise all the homework and other academic demands they’re suddenly faced with.”

Those surveyed admitted feeling uncomfortable with their choice to give up work with 60% saying they feel embarrassed by the expectation that parents will work more, not less, when their child reaches school-age. Almost 40% said they are made to feel they are “setting a poor example to their child” by not working. Just 20% said they felt their choice meant they were seen as a better parent.

Freegard said: “Mothers – and it usually is mothers – have been trying and failing to talk about this issue for ages. It’s a hidden topic.”

MUST READ: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/i-have-marked-my-daughter-crying-my-feet-because-there-are-deadlines 

In the United States today, more than half of mothers with young children work, compared to about one third in the 1970s. Working mothers are now the rule rather than the exception. Women have been moving into the workforce not only for career satisfaction but also because they and their families need the income.

Even when there are no problems, however, a two-career family has to deal with issues that do not come up in other families. Parents may feel so divided between family and career that they have little time for a social life or each other. Both parents need to share household and childcare responsibilities so that one will not end up doing most of the work and feeling resentful. Parents will lose an average of about ten work days per year due to the need to tend to a sick child, to care for their child when child care arrangements have broken down, or to take their child to necessary appointments.

So mothers really need to think twice before they resume work after having a child. We often hear the word “necessity” used. ‘I need to work’. Necessity is an abused term, we need to look carefully at what is a necessity. Wanting a luxurious lifestyle isn’t; fabulous car, large extended house, expensive getaways every year. If that is what you want, then sacrifice the welfare of your children for the above – harsh, but true. Your children don’t need holidays nor expensive presents. We look around today, parents have given their children every gadget, toy, doll, bike and game they can imagine having. But, have they given their children sufficient love and care and attention. Nobody said bringing up children was an easy task, nobody said women cannot work *full stop*. But it is different once you have children, you need to understand where your priorities lie, it is with your children. Don’t follow society, don’t follow the women in the magazine, because you deserve better and so do your children. This is a sincere plea from a brother of yours.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/07/the-chart-that-shows-how-feminism-is-ruining-womens-lives/

In conclusion, I say that the best role, the most honourable and worthy role for a woman is striving to be a fine wife, a good mother, or both. This role does not only secure the best for a woman in the hereafter but also fits perfectly with her natural disposition. In her study published by Centre for Policy Studies in 2009, Cristina Odone, former deputy editor of The New Statesman (1998-2004) concluded that “far from being committed to a career, the overwhelming majority of women would prefer to opt out of it. Instead of finding satisfaction in full-time work, most women realise themselves in their other roles as carers, partners, community members, and above all mothers”. Furthermore, McIntosh and Bauer concluded that working women are “often felt overwhelmed and unable to keep up with their job and family responsibilities”. They added that “the working mother felt she had two full-time jobs.”  {A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an MEd in the graduate school of Marietta College titled, “Working Mothers Vs Stay At Home Mothers: The Impact on Children.}

I ask our sisters in Islam to embrace their true role in society and reap the huge rewards that Allah has in store for them for fulfilling this role. I ask our brothers to support them in fulfilling this role. When we define a vision for our lives, we are seeking to make a contribution and leave a legacy. Your legacy, sisters is that if you take on the role that Allah has ordained for you, then you will positively affect the future of the Muslim ummah and ultimately the future of the world. That is a legacy beyond measure.

http://uswatulmuslimah.co.za/womens-issues/qaa/748-can-women-work.html

Please see Fatwa above

NB: I am not a sexist or a chauvinist. These are my sincere views for many sisters who seemed to have lost direction and guidance. If there is anything against Islam in this article which is explicit in Qur’an and Hadith, please state the evidence below. I shall happily retract my opinions. I understand many will disagree and disregard this article.

Allah knows best, to Him we turn and seek the truth.

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure)

16 Jamadul Akhar 1436