In Pursuit of Happiness…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Allah says: “Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allāh and approval. And what is the worldly life except for the enjoyment of delusion.” ( Qur’an 57:20)

moneyHappiness or Money?

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”

I believe that money can’t buy you happiness. Sure, having a lot of money is a great thing and gets rid of the stress of financial insecurity. But real happiness can’t be bought by money. Thinking about life has led me to think about this popular belief and realise it’s completely true. Although being financially secure is one of the best things in the world, it won’t necessarily bring you happiness. Many people dream of being rich. They think of all the things they can buy with money such as big houses, fancy cars, and long vacations. People make it their goal to get into a good college to get a good job and make a lot of money. With financial security, people think they have more time to spend relaxing and being happy. There are so many success stories of people going from “rags to riches” and people try to follow their footsteps and do the same thing. Basically, we all get this idea that being rich is a great thing and it will guarantee happiness, but is it true? On the flip side, there are also people who have gone from millionaires (karor pati) to living off benefits (road pati).

 

As Muslims we are taught to rely on Allah SWT for our sustenance, Allah provides. Obviously, tie your camel then trust in Allah. I would like to narrate a passage from a lecture of an Imam from Madinah –  Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtar ash-Sinqitee (Allah preserve him): “The happiest of people is the one who addresses his complaints to Allah and not to his creation. The happiest of people is the one who puts his certainty in Allah and does not put his certainty in Zayd or Amr (i.e. people). If a person was in debt and your friend said I will talk to such and such a person he is wealthy. And your debt will be relieved very easily by that person. How certain will you be about your debt being settled and your hardship being removed?

But how about the King of Kings the One who has depositories of the Heavens and the Earth in His hand? How about the Most Generous, which the fullness of His Hand is not affected by the continuous spending, night and day. O Allah! Make our poorness to You, and our richness in You. Be rich in Allah, have trust in Allah. People turning away from you is indeed a blessing from Allah, He wants you to turn to Him.”

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

“Many a people with dishevelled hair are driven away from the door (but they are so pious) that if they are to swear in the name of Allah, He would definitely fulfil that.” (Saheeh Muslim)

The happiest of people are the one who says, “Ya Rabb!” – and Allah answers his supplications. By Allah! Happiness is not in wealth; if it was in wealth, the happiest of the people would have been Qaroon, but he was amongst the most unfortunate and miserable of people, “And we caused the earth to swallow him and his home.” (28:81)

Wealth is not happiness and happiness is not when you ask people and they give you. True happiness is when Allah will open the doors of heaven for you, Allah make us from them. Ameen!

It was narrated from Abū Hurayrah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) used to tie a stone to his stomach because of hunger. (Ibnul Arabi in Mu’jam)

Money only makes a person want more money – it creates greed and thrives off the desire for more and more. I heard someone recently say regarding another person who has a fulfilling business that ‘he’s lazy and not enthusiastic’ simply because he has shown a level of contentment within his business and refuses to advance it further.

Why? Because, unlike many many others, by Allah, he has resisted that monetary lust and has sukoon/peace in the amount he has. And why was he called lazy? Because unfortunately, today, many people think that the successful and admirable one is he who is able to keep the revenue rolling constantly until there is more money than one will EVER need.

Abū Saʿīd Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allāh is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act. So avoid the allurement of women: verily, the first trial for the people of Isrā’īl was caused by women. (And in the ḥadīth transmitted on the authority of Ibn Bashshar the words are:) so that He should see how you act.” (Saheeh Muslim)

 

The feeling of constantly wanting to generate money has terrible, subconscious effects on oneself. The person is in a constant trance-like mode whereby he is forever thinking about the next project that will bring him a profit and in this there is no barakah/blessings in his day for any extra Qur’an, adhkar and Islamic progression. Many so-called religious folks try justifying their love for wealth and materialism by stating companions such as Uthman Ghani (Allah be pleased with him) and AbdulRehman ibn Awf (Allah be pleased with him) who were wealthy… Dear brothers and sisters, with the wealth of Uthman (Allah be pleased with him) must come the Taqwa of Uthman as well! Scholars have also got sucked into materialism and consumerism, please see this article on scholars charging for Da’wah.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was seen by ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) with dust on his clothes from having slept on the floor. ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) wished to provide the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) with a more comfortable bed and the reply was,

“What have I to gain in this world? The like of this world is as that of a traveller who is travelling in the sun and he sits under a tree momentarily and then gets up and continues on.” (Tirmidhi)

For example, In “The High Price Of Materialism” Tim Kasser says, No matter how many fancy designer clothes, cars, or jewels they might obtain, no matter how big their house or how up-to-date their electronic equipment, the lost opportunity to engage in pleasurable activities and enjoy each others’ companionship will work against need satisfaction, and thus against their happiness.

Happiness is the most valuable aim of a human being. While the earth is getting complicated and changing day by day, almost all people are trying to have a happy and fulfilling life. During this pursuit of happiness, our relationships play a crucial role. In the pace of life, when we have encountered some stressful or disappointing situation or cases, in order to take a breath we always consult our families and fly into our family’s arms. If we have our own families and their real support, it is the most reliable way to reach happiness and relief. But sometimes people can be in a dilemma between possessions and relationships. This is the point of collapsing real happiness because when the passion of money comes to a person, he starts to abandon his family. He thinks as if money will bring them happiness and a good life. But it won’t. As Tim Kasser says in the article of Mixed Messages “a focus on materialistic values detracts from well-being and happiness. For example, when spouses spend most of their time working to make money, they neglect opportunities to be with each other and do what most interests them.” And again in Downshifting in Britain

As you can see in these sentences as long as people don’t allocate enough time for their families, there is no way to make them happy.love life

“Difficulties in managing work-life balance can have a detrimental impact on the quality of the relationships between parents and children and the parent’s responsiveness to the child, with implications for child outcomes. This is particularly important for every young child, with evidence suggesting that it is best for children if they can receive intensive parental contact for the first months (HM Treasury & DTI 2003, p 13-14).”

The word ‘happy’ is defined by the Oxford dictionary as: “Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment,” however happiness means different things to each individual person. Most people’s definition of happiness would include words along the lines of ‘love’ and ‘health’, and others may include ‘family’ ‘friends’ ‘belief’ ‘achievement’ these are all things that money does not give you. The truly happy people I’ve known have been those who were engaged in meaningful work, paid or unpaid. These people were so busy living their lives in pursuit of something larger than themselves that they had no time to wonder, “Am I happy?” They just were.

The other most important step to reach happiness is our satisfaction. Because actually, the money doesn’t make us happy, it can help us just by providing some satisfaction. When we lost our satisfaction, it means we lost our happiness and this is exactly what our possessions do. Lots of people in consumer countries and societies think that they always need more money than they have now, even if they are wealthy and rich people. In the book of Clive Hamilton, this situation is stated with this sentence: “The trouble with the rat race is, even if you win, you are still a rat.” Because of the society that they belong to, they are convinced that more money means always more happiness. So without exception, all people are trying to have more possessions to be satisfied by being able to buy what they need.

In conclusion, I believe that money provides temporary satisfaction but that is up to you to figure out how to truly be happy. You need to start with basics like enough money for food and shelter, but if you try to build on your fortune then you must keep your priorities right; friends and family first. If you lose your money, then who will be there for you to catch you when you fall from that high horse that you have been riding for so long? Your friends and family. My definition of happiness would be living a healthy life surrounded by my family and friends, yes I would need money for food and shelter but after that, how much do I really need?

Anas bin Mālik (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“Whoever makes the Hereafter his goal, Allāh makes his heart rich, and organises his affairs, and the world comes to him whether it wants to or not. And whoever makes the world his goal, Allāh puts his poverty right before his eyes and disorganises his affairs, and the world does not come to him, except what has been decreed for him.” (Tirmidhi)life.jpg

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

24 Rabiul Thani 1440

 

10 Ways to be the Ideal Muslim Husband

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

images (3)Zainab bint Younus, Canada

MARITAL ADVICE LISTS are common to find in Muslim literature and lectures, yet the information is almost always targeted towards women. However, we all know that it takes two to tango – and so here is a list aimed at Muslim husbands in the hopes that they, too, will benefit and be able to improve their relationships.

1. Have taqwa and isân

Know that you are responsible for your end of the marriage, regardless of how the other party treats you. Fulfill your wife’s rights without demanding yours first, and know that you seek Allah’s Pleasure over anyone else’s. Do your job with excellence, and don’t make it conditional. Isân is not merely to worship in the ritual sense, but to conduct oneself in general with an awareness that Allah is Al-Raqîb (the Ever-Watchful), and to fulfill one’s duties in the best of manners.

Then he (Jibrîl) said, “Inform me about isân.” He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, “It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet (know that) He sees you.” (Muslim)

2. Respect her

Remember that Allah describes marriage as a bond of love and mercy – love ebbs and flows, but mercy and respect must always be there, even – especially – in times of conflict. Unfortunately, we tend to present respect as a quality that men need (“men need respect, women need affection”). The truth is, however, that one can love someone without respecting them… and this is very, very dangerous. To have mercy and respect one’s wife is to never assume that she exists merely as an extension of you or to serve your needs. To respect her is to honor her, to defend her from harm and others’ accusations, and to have husn al-ann of her.

In cases of disagreement, this respect translates as not forcing your own opinion upon her when there is Islamically acceptable room for differences of opinion.

It should go without saying, but unfortunately it bears repeating nonetheless – respecting your wife means never, ever, abusing her, physically or otherwise.

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”  [Sûrat Al-Rûm, 30:21]

Even in times of conflict, Allah tells us to behave in the most respectful and gracious of manners:

And do not forget graciousness between you.  [Sûrat Al-Baqarah, 2:237]

Abû Mûsa Al-Ashʿari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I asked the Messenger of Allah: “Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.”  [1]

3.  Be emotionally intelligent

Empathy, being attuned to the other person’s preferences, learning to understand their personality and responding appropriately without expecting to change them into something they’re not… supporting and respecting each other as both individuals and as a team. The Prophet ﷺ was an emotionally intelligent husband, who knew the differences in his wives’ personalities and interacted with them in a manner best suited to each woman. He comforted Ṣufiyyah when she wept; he had spirited discussions with ʿÂishah (May Allah be pleased with her) and he encouraged Ḥafṣah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) for knowledge.

In a famous narration known as the Hadith of Abu Zarʿ(May Allah be pleased with him) [2]  ʿAishah told the Prophet ﷺ the story of eleven women who sat together and described their husbands’ qualities and behaviours. The eleventh woman, Umm Zarʿ, described Abû Zarʿas a man who was extremely generous to his wife, showering her with gifts; who went out of his way to please her; who never rebuked her or verbally abused her; who made sure that she was comfortable and satisfied. To Umm Zarʿ, there was no greater husband than Abû Zarʿ- and the Prophet ﷺ himself told ʿÂishah, I am to you as Abû Zarʿwas to Umm Zarʿ, except that I will never divorce you.

4.  Be a True Qawwâm

Know that being a qawwâm is a matter of being a good leader – not authoritarian or a dictator, but someone who inspires love and respect, who treats others with dignity and respect… The popular book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great resource for understanding what good leadership is. There are several excellent Islamic resources discussing leadership lessons from the life of the Prophet ﷺ.  [3]  [4]   Strive to embody the Sunnah in your character, not just in how many rakʿahs a day you pray.

ʿÂishah RA described the Prophet thus: “His character was the Quran.” [5] Be the type of husband that a wife describes in such a manner.

Remember that as a qawwâm, you are responsible and accountable for the well-being of your household and those under your care.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amîr (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…”  [6]

5.  Be friends before you become spouses

That might sound odd (or not) – but we often put so much pressure on ourselves to fulfill a role (husband/wife), that we forget to get to know each other as friends first. Every marriage will go through ups and downs, intimately and otherwise… and you’ll be surprised to realize how much having a solid, sincere friendship can pull you through the hard times.

One example of RasûlAllah’s “friendship” with his wives is his relationship with Sawdah bint Zamʿah RA. She was the first woman whom he married after the death of Khadijah, and although she was considered to be elderly and not as beautiful as the other women whom he would later marry, their relationship was one of camaraderie, confidence, and laughter.  [7]

6.  Don’t be embarrassed or ignorant of female biology

Learn about it – from menstruation to female sexuality to pregnancy and everything else. You need to know this stuff – it will impact your life significantly, intimately and otherwise. Don’t laugh it off or act as though it’s not worth your time and attention. Women’s health is sorely misunderstood, and having a disinterested (or worse, disgusted) husband can make things even more difficult for women.

The Prophet ﷺ did not shy away from these matters, either as a husband or as a Messenger of Allah. Instead, he constantly enjoined men to be aware of and sensitive to their wives’ needs – just as he was with his wives.

Narrated Umm Salamah RA:

While I was laying with the Prophet ﷺ under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. He said, “Have you got “nifâs” (menses)?” I replied, “Yes.” He then called me and made me lie with him under the same sheet.   [8]

7.  Be responsible

Being “a good Muslim husband” doesn’t just mean fulfilling the basic rights as a husband and leaving it at that. Being a good Muslim husband means that you are on the ball as a responsible adult – whether it’s paying the bills, taking out the trash, cleaning a mess in the house, or being an engaged father (not ‘babysitting’). Doing these things is not a “kindness to the wife,” or “helping out at home.” It’s not “extra credit” and deserving of lavish praise. It is part and parcel of being a grown man responsible for his surroundings, his family, and himself. Do these things out of mindfulness that Allah will never waste your efforts for His Sake.

Narrated Al-Aswad RA:

I asked ʿÂishah what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied. “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.” (Bukhâri)

ʿÂishah RA reported:

I was asked, “What did the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, do in his house?” I said, “The Prophet was a man among men. He would remove fleas from his clothes, milk his sheep, and serve himself.” (Musnad Ahmad 25662)

8.  Don’t pursue your nawâfil at the expense of your wife’s farâi

One issue that many men fall into is that in their zeal to engage more in ʿibâda, they end up burdening their wives even more – to the extent that she is barely able to pray her five alawât with khushûʿ. Both spouses should encourage and facilitate opportunities for each other to strengthen as Muslims, but mothers of young children especially need their husbands to step up so that they can have the necessary time they need to reconnect with Allah and flourish spiritually. (And no, that doesn’t just mean five minutes here and there.)

Ramadan is a time when this becomes more obvious than ever – for example, many men will go to alat Al-arâwî while leaving their wives to deal with the children, in addition to having cooked ifâr beforehand. On a daily basis, though, go out of your way to facilitate your wife’s ʿibâda and spiritual connection.

Narrated Abû Juḥaifah RA:

The Prophet ﷺ made a bond of brotherhood between Salmân Al-Fârisi RA and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA. Salmân RA paid a visit to Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA and found Umm Al-Dardâ’ RA dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, “Your brother Abû Al-Dardâ’ R is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world.”

In the meantime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came and prepared a meal for Salmân RA. Salmân RA requested Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA to eat (with him), but Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA said, “I am fasting.” Salmân RA said, “I am not going to eat unless you eat.”

So, Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA ate (with Salmân). When it was night and (a part of the night had passed), Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salmân RA told him to sleep and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA slept.

After sometime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA again got up but Salmân RA told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salmân RA told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer.

Salmân RA told Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA, “Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who has a right on you.”

Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came to the Prophet ﷺ and narrated the whole story. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Salmân RA has spoken the truth.”   [9]

9.  Learn conflict resolution skills

One big reason that couples end up going to Shuyûkh for counseling is because they simply haven’t learned how to communicate and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. It’s not even about one specific issue or another; it’s about learning how to deal with whatever issues arise, in the most respectful and appropriate manner possible.  [10]

The Quran and Sunnah urge positive reconciliation between believers, and especially between husbands and wives.

“And live with them honourably. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:19]

“And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah – then indeed Allah is ever with what you do, Acquainted.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:128]

10. Love your wife for who she is

Not because she’s the person who cooks for you or does your laundry. Not because she’s the mother of your child(ren). Not because you’ve settled into routine and you feel comfortable having her around and she knows how to work the coffee maker and where the family’s paperwork is filed. Love her for her. Her personality traits, her talents, her hobbies, the things about her that make her unique.

Notice them, appreciate them, compliment them. Let her know that you don’t just see her as wife or mother, but as an individual on her own. Know that long before she married you, indeed long before she was born to her own parents, she was created as a separate soul – a human being whose primary identity is as a slave of Allah.

And most importantly – let her know that you love her, with all the pride and openness that RasûlAllah ﷺ demonstrated when he was asked, “Who do you love most?” and he responded, simply and beautifully, “ʿÂishah.”   [11]

There are of course numerous other pieces of advice that can be dispensed on the topic – everything from giving gifts to resolving in-law issues to arranging date-nights and so on. However, more important than specific behaviours are the principles behind them – and it these principles which have been highlighted.

In short, Muslim men should strive to match the standards set by RasûlAllah ﷺ when he said:

“The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”   [12]

————————–

[1] http://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/18/2

[2] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/67/123

[3] http://muslimmatters.org/2014/10/28/lessons-in-leadership-from-the-prophet-muhammad-saw/ and http://muslimmatters.org/2014/11/04/21-lessons-in-leadership-from-the-prophet-part-2/

[4] https://theislamicworkplace.com/2006/11/15/the-leadership-process-of-muhammad-s-from-hadith/

[5] http://sunnah.com/urn/2203080

[6] http://sunnah.com/abudawud/20/1

[7] http://thesalafifeminist.blogspot.ca/2014/08/his-laughter-her-love.html

[8] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/6/5

[9] http://sahaba.net/salman-farisi-rights/

[10] https://aljumuah.com/cooling-the-fires-of-marriage-part-1-an-approach-to-conflict-resolution/

[11] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/64/384

[12] Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Mâjah, 1977; classed as saî by al-Albaani in Saî al-Tirmidhi

ZAINAB BINT YOUNUS

Zainab bint Younus is a Canadian Muslimah who has been active in grassroots da’wah and writing about Islam and the Ummah for the last nine years. She was first published in al-Ameen Newspaper (Vancouver, Canada) at the age of 14, became a co-founder, editor, and writer for MuslimMatters.org at 16; and began writing regularly for SISTERS Magazine at the age of 19 until today. She also blogs regularly at The Salafi Feminist

Goodbye 2016 – You’ve Taught Me Well!

Umm Abdullah  (In need of your Duaas)
1 Rabiul Akhar 1438

Friends


Friends

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

It is very important for every Muslim to make sure that his choice of friends and the company he keeps is correct. It has been proven through experience that the habits and behaviour of friends and associates slowly enter into an individual. Without realising, a person begins to adopt the style and behaviour of his friends. We are all witnesses to this fact. Sadly, I can recall many incidents where those who were pious, religious and good in character lost all of their good qualities because they kept bad company and associated with an inappropriate circle of friends. I have also seen others who were drowning in sins and evil, who underwent a complete revolution in their lives after adopting the company of a pious person of high moral standards. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam advised,

A person is on the way of his friend. Therefore he should think very carefully whom he is making a friend. (At-Tirmidhī, Abū Dāwūd, Ahmad)

Sincere Friends

We need friends who are sincere, genuine and, true in their friendship. Those who care for our well-being from every aspect are true friends. Those who have concern not only for the needs of this temporary life but also for the requirements of our everlasting life are our real friends.

Allāh is Sufficient for Love

There is only one Supreme Being Who is worthy of ‘true’ love and friendship and this is Allāh ta‘ālā. For love and friendship, He alone is enough. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam commented,

If I were to take a khalīl (intimate friend) other than my Lord, I would have taken Abū Bakr. (Al-Bukhārī) 

Here, despite such close ties and such a strong bond of friendship with Sayyidunā Abū Bakr radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam explains that the highest level of intimacy is reserved only for Allāh ta‘ālā. However, when one becomes engrossed in Divine love and then in the light of this love, one befriends and loves somebody, then inshā’allāh this form of friendship will prove beneficial in both worlds.

This is an extract from the booklet ‘Friendship & our Young Generation’
published by the Islāmic Da’wah Academy

Advice for school leavers