Understanding Tazkiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

The Four Parts of Dīn

The sole objective of our lives is to acquire the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, which can only be achieved by following the whole Dīn. The whole Dīn can be categorised into four parts:

1.   External actions, which comprise of:

a.  Performing good actions e.g. Salāh;

b.  Refraining from sinful actions e.g. backbiting.

2.   Internal qualities, which comprise of:

a.  Purifying the heart from debasing qualities e.g. pride;

b.  Adorning the heart with praiseworthy traits e.g. humbleness.

Allāh ta‘ālā has laid down commands relating to both the external and the internal aspects of Dīn. In both, there are Do’s and Don’ts. For example, performing Salāh, giving Zakāh, fasting and performing Hajj are external actions which must be carried out; whilst causing physical harm, stealing and consuming harām are external actions which must be avoided. Similarly, jealousy, malice and pride are debasing qualities of the heart which are prohibited; whilst Shukr (being grateful to Allāh ta‘ālā) and Sabr (patience) and humbleness are praiseworthy qualities with which every Muslim should strive to adorn his heart.

We can therefore conclude that our duties as Muslims are: to carry out good actions; to refrain from sinful actions; to purify the heart from debasing qualities; and to adorn the heart with praiseworthy qualities. All four are termed as Al-A‘māl As-Sālihah (good deeds) and our success lies in carrying them out. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Verily those who believe and do good deeds, for them shall be gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great success. (85:11)

Tazkiyah and its Importance

The process of removing the debasing qualities from the heart and adorning it with the praiseworthy qualities is known as Tazkiyah (soul purification). Through Tazkiyah a person first begins to recognise the shortcomings in his inner traits, such as the existence of pride and miserliness. As a result, he is able to exert effort and replace them with praiseworthy qualities such as humbleness and generosity. Allāh ta‘ālā has emphasised the importance of Tazkiyah in the Glorious Qur’ān by taking oath of seven different things before stating:

Undoubtedly, the one who purified it (the soul) has succeeded and the one who soiled it (through kufr, shirk, sin) has certainly failed. (91:9-10)

‘Ilm and Tazkiy

In order to understand the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and to carry them out, it is necessary to acquire ‘ilm. Through ‘ilm, we will be able to understand what we are required to do in every situation. Regarding the external actions for example, ‘ilm is required to understand the pre-requisites of Salāh as well as all the necessary aspects within Salāh. Similar is the case for the inner qualities; a person will require ‘ilm to understand which qualities are prohibited and the consequences of having such qualities. For example, our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has informed us that a person with pride equivalent to a mustard seed in his heart will not enter Jannah (without first going in Jahannam). (Abū Dāwūd, At-Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah).

However, without Tazkiyah ‘ilm is not beneficial, as we find that a person has ‘ilm but is unable to practice according to it despite having the desire to do so. For example, a person is aware that offering Fajr Salāh is compulsory, but is unable to leave his bed and go to the masjid.  Similarly, despite being aware that sinful glances are not permissible, he is unable to control the gaze from lustful glances. The reason for this is a lack of spiritual stamina to carry out the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā. Through the process of Tazkiyah, a person purifies his heart from debasing qualities and as a result gains the spiritual stamina required to fulfil all the external actions Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā.

External Actions Hold No Value without Tazkiyah

Another important point to understand is that without purifying the heart, despite carrying out the external actions of Dīn, they may not be accepted in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. This is because a corrupt heart could lead to a person performing deeds with the wrong intention. For example, if a person performs a good action with the intention of acquiring fame, he will gain no reward whatsoever, rather he will be answerable in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. Even though outwardly his action may appear perfect and in accordance with the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and the Sunnah of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, due to his insincerity his action will yield no benefit.

The importance of a purified heart has been explained by Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in a hadīth:

Indeed there is a piece of flesh in the body; if it is sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it is corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart. (Al-Bukhārī)

Tazkiyah: The Key to Practising the Whole Dīn

From the above, it is clear that Tazkiyah is the path that leads to the reformation of the heart, providing the spiritual stamina required for external actions; and making them perfect and worthy of acceptance.  Having understood the importance of Tazkiyah, the question arises as to how it can be achieved. For this, read and study ‘The Path to Purification’, published by At-Tazkiyah. 

Let us recognise the importance of Tazkiyah and exert effort towards its acquisition, so that we may practice the whole Dīn and acquire the eternal bliss of the Hereafter.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 11/12, Nov/Dec 2017)


We are witnessing an era where Islām, in spite of its vastness and applicability in every sphere of the human life, has been confined to mere beliefs and a handful of rituals. As with some other important obligations of Islām, the obligation of ensuring the correct procedures in the field of inheritance has also been subjected to gross disregard and outright neglect. In fact, this section of Dīn can be said to be the most neglected one among all. Seeing such state of affairs, the respected Shaykh hafizahullāh embarked on the task of acquainting the Muslims on the importance of this vital duty. The lectures delivered proved to be highly informative and beneficial, but only to a limited audience. In order to extend the benefits to a larger part of the Ummah, it was decided that two of these lectures be selected and published in booklet form.

A few topics mentioned in the booklet are as follows:

• Equality in inheritance
• What can be drawn from the estate
• The importance of drawing up a will
• Causes of incorrect wills
• Criteria for wasiyyah (bequest)
• What to do following a death
• Common errors and customs

To order the above book or for details of our other publications, please email info@idauk.org or call 0116 262 5440.


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Fear of Salaf from the temptation posed by women

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Fear of Salaf from the temptation posed by women: Their piety and fear of Allah made them really scared of women.
IMG_0398 (1)Maymoon Ibn Mehran says RH: “Being entrusted to look after Baytul Maal (treasures of the whole country),  would be easier for me than being told to look after a woman” (siyar a’alam 5/77)
Ataa said: “If I was entrusted with the treasury I would prove to be a trustworthy person, however, I wouldn’t trust my ego with a woman even if she was not good looking” (Siyar 5/85)
Saeed Ibn al Musayyib says: “Whenever satan loses hope from deviating someone, he approaches them from the women’s side.
Then Saeed said while he was 84, one of his eyes had gone, and the other eye was watery: “The thing that scares me most is (looking at) women.” (Siyar 5/285)
Ibn Umar radiallahu anhu says: “It is part of the people abandoning the trust that they peep inside rooms and houses.”
Salman Farsi radiallahu anhu says: “To die and then be resurrected then die again and be resurrected, then die again and be resurrected would be easier than looking at the satr (private) of someone or that someone looks at my satr.”
Humayd Ibn Hilal says: “Among us, there was a man named Aswad Ibn Kulthum. When he would walk, his gaze would never exceed his feet. There were some chambers of a palace along the way, in which there would be some women who would have removed their headgear or part of their clothes. When he would be approaching, they would feel scared and rush to cover themselves, then they would say ‘Oh! It’s only Aswad Ibn Kulthum!'”
One of the saliheen was asked: “Where should we search for you in the hereafter?” He replied: “Among those who will be looking at Allah swt” They asked: “How can you be so certain about that?” He replied: ” Because I used to lower my gaze from forbidden stuff in the world and because I used to refrain from all sins and indecencies” (Lataaif 299)
Wakee’ RH says: “We came out with Sufyan Thawri on the day of Eid. He said: “The first thing we do today is keeping our eyes low.”
Hassan Ibn Abi Sinaan RH went out for Eid. When he returned, his wife kept pestering him “How many beautiful women did you stare at today?” When she dragged it too much, he replied “Woe unto you! Since I left home and until I returned, my eyes never moved from my toes”
Alaa Ibn Ziyad RH says: “Don’t stare at even the upper garment of a woman, because staring incites desire into the heart.”
Ibrahim Ibn Ad’ham said, “Always looking at unlawful things, takes away the recognition of Haq from the heart.”
💧خوف السلف من فتنة النساء💧
فعن أبي المليح سمعت ميمونا – أي بن مهران – يقول :
” لأن أوتمن على بيت مال أحب إلي من أن أوتمن على إمرأة ”.
📚  سير أعلام النبلاء (5/77)
و عن عطاء قال :
” لو ائتمنت على بيت مال لكنت أمينا ولا آمن نفسي على أمة شوهاء ”، قلت – أي الإمام الذهبي – : ” صدق رحمه الله”.
المصدر السابق (5/ 87-88)
و ذكر الإمام الذهبي أيضاً :
”عن سفيان بن عيينة ،عن علي بن زيد، عن سعيد بن المسِّيب، قال : ما أيِسَ الشيطان مِنْ شيء إلا أتاه مِن قِبَل النساء .
ثم قال لنا سعيد ـ وهو ابن أربع وثمانين سنة وقد ذهبت إحدى عينيه وهو يعشو بالأخرى :ما شيء أخوف عندي من النساء”.
المصدر السابق (4/237)
و ذكر أيضا : ” عن سلَّام بن مسكين :حدثنا عمران بن عبد الله الخزاعي قال: قال سعيد بن المسِّيب: ما خِفْتُ على نفسي شيئاً مخافةَ النساء ،قالوا: يا أبا محمد! إن مثلك لا يُريدُ النساء ،ولا تُريدُهُ النساء ، فقال: هو ما أقول لكم. وكان شيخاً كبيراً أعمش.
المصدر السابق (4/241)
عن أنس – رضي الله عنه – قال :
إذا مرت بك مرأة فغمض عينيك حتى تجاوزك .
📚 (الورع لابن ابي الدنيا /72).
عن إبن عمر – رضي الله عنه – قال :
من تضييع الأمانة النظر في الحجرات و الدور .
📚 (الورع لابن ابي الدنيا /71).
عن قيس إبن الحارث قال : قال سلمان –رضي الله عنه – :
لأن أموت ثم أنشر ثم أموت ثم أنشر ثم أموت ثم أنشر أحب إلي من أن أرى عورة مسلم أو ـن يراها مني .
📚 (الزهد لأحمد /192)
عن حميد بن هلال قال كان منا رجل يقال له الأسود بن كلثوم و كان إذا مشى لا يجاوز بصره قدمه و كان يمر وفي الجدر يومئذ قِصرٌ و هناك نسوة ولعل إحداهن تكون واضعة يعني ثوبها أو خمارها فإذا رأينه راعهن ثم يقلن : كلا إنه أسود بن كلثوم.
📚 (الزهد لأحمد /256).
قال حاتم :
الشهوة ثلاث شهوات : شهوة في الأكل ، وشهوة في الكلام ، وشهوة في النظر ، فاحفظ الأكل بالثقة ، واللسان بالصدق ، والنظر بالعبرة .
📚  (شعب الأيمان للبيهقي 5/5712).
قيل لبعضهم : أين نطلبك في الآخرة ؟ قال :
في زمرة الناظرين إلى الله ، قيل له كيف علمت ذلك ؟ قال بغضي طرفي له عن كل محرم ، و باجتنابي فيه كل منكر و مأثم .
📚 (لطائف المعارف /299).
عن وكيع قال :
خرجنا  مع سفيان الثوري في يوم عيد فقال : إن أول ما نبدأ به في يومنا غض ابصارنا.
📚 (الورع لابن أبي الدنيا/66).

Ten Lessons learnt from 2015

2016

  1. Don’t expect anything from anyone, no matter how much kindness you show.
  2. Whoever wants to do something will do it, those who do not want to will find excuses.
  3. Don’t trust anyone, people are hypocritical and two-faced – no matter how religious they appear.
  4. Don’t wait for people to apologise, they don’t. Getting an apology from some people is like getting blood out of a stone.
  5. Nothings lasts: not happiness nor sadness.
  6. Honesty and openness don’t exist, not even in so-called religious folk. Both are as extinct as dinosaurs.
  7. Solitude is bliss.
  8. Know your worth, don’t let anyone put you down.
  9. If people are arrogant, self-centred and stubborn – don’t complain! Thank God you are not like them.
  10. Having trust in God works wonders, especially in times when you least expect.

 

I request brothers and sisters to write their own lesson(s) learnt from this last year In Sha Allah, in the comments below.

 

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

Attractive Hijabs & Shari’ah

Image

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Living in the west, the hijab has become a potent indicator of identity with many non-Muslims viewing it as a political statement. However, it is pertinent to note that the hijab is, first and foremost, an act of worship that women engage in, and an act undertaken to seek the pleasure of one’s Lord.

The definition of a hijab is fiercely contested by many Muslims, and unfortunately most of those who engage in the topic are unaware that it is very much defined by Islamic law, the Shari’ah, and not cultural habits or one’s idea of what modesty is, or should be.

In discussing the hijab, Islamic jurists have stipulated a number of conditions for it to be a hijab in the Islamic sense. In brief, these conditions are that one’s clothing must cover the entire body in a way that the shape of the body is not apparent and the material must not be so thin that one can see through it. Clothing should not resemble that which is specific to men nor the disbelievers. It should not be attractive to men, nor should women be perfumed in public. The main aim of hijab is to stop fitnah; females who are attractive by nature attract the gaze of males which then leads to other greater sins such as fornication and adultery. Allah commanded women neither to display their adornment nor to display any form of behaviour that might attract the attention of men. Allah says,

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands fathers, their sons, their husbands sons, their brothers or their brothers sons, or their sisters sons, or their women, or the female slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.”[1]
The Shari’ah also prohibits women from speaking softly for essentially the same reason – to prevent fitnah. Allah says,
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner. And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salat, and give Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger.”[2]

As the verse states, Allah forbids the wives of the Prophet to incite the desires of weak men, and given that this effective cause (illah) is to do with desire which is found everywhere, then this command should certainly be applied to all other women as well.

In fact, scholars from various schools of thought prohibit women from raising their voices in public, even if it be the utterance of the talbiyah during hajj or the adhan (call to prayer) between females. The Shari’ah also prohibits men to visit lonely women and to stay alone with them. It also prohibited men to look at women. Allah says,
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.”[3]

On the streets of London, Amsterdam and other big cities in Europe we witness various types of un-Islamic hijabs. Tight Jeans (also known as ‘skinny jeans’), long leather high heeled boots and tight shirts with a head scarf are all typical representations of the kind of hijab that is now being promoted by many young and middle aged Muslim women. Fancy scarves are also a form of covering that is seen as a ‘Shari’ah compliant hijab’. Indeed, the way many Muslim women adorn the hijab defeats the whole purpose of hijab itself. Furthermore, western women are very fond of attracting the interest and attention of men. It seems that many of our Muslims sisters have been influenced by this and have started to wear clothes to attract the admiration of “brothers” in an enticing way.

One of the main problems is limiting the hijab as being a manifestation of female Muslim identity. When France banned the hijab they looked at it as a religious symbol unable to understand the meaning of ibaadah (worship). However, it is unfortunate to see many Muslims treating it as merely a form of identity, and once the symbolic representation has been accomplished the necessity to perform it in a way that meets its conditions laid down by Allah is overlooked. This is one of subtly reprehensible values that many western Muslims have unknowingly adopted. We have to understand that Islamic practices including observing the hijab are actions of ibaadah. They are meant to please Allah, avoid being disobedient, and earn hasanaat in order to attain a high rank in paradise. Allah says,

And (remember) when it was said to them: “Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) and eat therefrom wherever you wish, and say, (O Allah) forgive our sins; and enter the gate prostrate (bowing with humility). We shall forgive you your wrong-doings. We shall increase (the reward) for the good-doers.”[4]

In misunderstanding the fundamental aim of entering paradise, we lose in this life and the hereafter as any other aim is considered by Shari’ah as a worldly one. The reward of worldly aims is given in this life and no reward will be given after death. Allah says,

Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.[5]

This is a major mistake that many Muslims fall into when undertaking many Islamic practices. Having the correct aim in wearing the hijab is the first and main step towards a solution for this problem. It should be noted that projecting concerns about this non-shar’ii form of hijab does not imply discouraging Muslim women from observing a limited form of hijab which they have chosen, but instead it serves to encourage Muslim women to progress to observe the correct method of hijab. The intention of this article is driven by the desire for improvement and progress and not to incite women to withdraw from the hijab completely.

Some Muslims posit that we should not be strict in calling for the proper observance of many Islamic practices in the west, and as such, we should encourage Muslim women to do as much as they are, without criticism, even if some do not complete such observance. Undoubtedly we agree to encouraging Muslim women to do as much as they can, but correcting wrong or incomplete Islamic practices is an obligation upon those who know.

It is indeed the case that many sisters are completely ignorant about the conditions of the legally valid hijab, and hence it is incumbent upon us to raise awareness of the legal conditions and features of a correct hijab. Knowledge is the cure for many of our mistakes. Advising sisters who undoubtedly wear the hijab out of good intentions as well as educating their parents is another way towards solving this issue. It might be a good idea to print and distribute some leaflets that describe the authentic hijab in a way that goes beyond merely a head covering.

Notes: www.islam21c.com

Sources:
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[1] 24:31
[2] 33:32-33
[3] 24:30
[4] 7:161
[5] 11:15