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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The Best Garment

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

Blessing of Clothing

The great Muhaddith, ‘Allāmah An-Nawawī rahimahullāh, in his masterpiece Riyād-us-Sālihīn, begins the discussion on clothing with the following verses of the Glorious Qur’ān:

O children of Ādam! We have sent down to you the dress that covers your shame and provides adornment. As for the dress of taqwā [piety] that is the best. (7:26)

… And made for you garments that protect you from heat, and garments that protect you in your battles. (16:81)

We learn two very important lessons about clothing from these verses of the Qur’ān. The first lesson is that clothes are a blessing from Allāh ta‘ālā. Commenting on the phrase, “We have sent down to you”, the commentators of the Qur’ān have stated that clothes are a blessing from Allāh ta‘ālā as the sources from which clothing is produced, e.g. cotton, are created by Allāh ta‘ālā and man has no role to play in the creation of the source. Likewise, clothes are a blessing from Allāh ta‘ālā because it is Allāh ta‘ālā alone who inspires us with the ability and imagination to utilise these resources to manufacture and produce clothing. 

Purpose of Clothing

The second lesson is that clothing serves three main purposes. The first purpose is to cover and conceal the ‘awrah. The ‘awrah is that portion of the body which should not be revealed without a Shar‘ī necessity. Thus, we can imagine what a great bounty clothes are; for without clothes how would we be able to cover our ‘awrah and thus maintain our dignity and honour?

The second purpose is to protect the body from heat, cold and other physical harms. Hence, we have different types of clothes to match different climates and also for different activities. For example, we have specially designed wear such as armour and camouflage clothing that is used in unique circumstances such as wars, to protect the wearer.

To reflect our nature, Allāh ta‘ālā mentions a third purpose of clothing, that is to adorn and beautify. We can further understand these three purposes through an everyday example. A man can wear a sheet that will cover his ‘awrah which is sufficient to fulfil the minimum Shar‘ī requirement. However, rather than limit himself to this, he will also wear a jubbah (thobe) and a shawl, to not only safeguard his body but also make himself look more presentable. The masnūn du‘ā as related by Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu upon wearing new clothes highlights some of the above purposes:

All praise is for Allāh who has dressed me in such clothing that covers my ‘awrah and which also aids me in my beautification. (At-Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah)

Beautification is a Worthy Trait

Jamāl (beautification) is an action approved and indeed recommended by our Sharī‘ah. The Sīrah of Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also teaches us to keep in mind beauty when clothing ourselves. In a hadīth we find the following narration:

Indeed, Allāh is beautiful and loves beauty. (Muslim)

Therefore, when dressing and adorning ourselves we should make the following intentions:

1) to acquire the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā.

2) to follow the sunnah of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

3) to please my near and dear ones, e.g. my spouse, my parents, my children. This is also a deed in itself liked by Allāh ta‘ālā, thereby increasing His Pleasure.

Due to his exalted taqwā and spiritual status, Hakīm-ul-Ummah Hadrat Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānwī rahimahullāh was not inclined towards adornment. However, the renowned Shaykh would, keeping the third intention in mind, adorn himself in moderation and refrain from total abstinence.

Two Major Pitfalls

Whilst beautification is recommended by the Sharī‘ah, there are two major pitfalls that must be avoided. The first is an incorrect intention. To adorn oneself for show, pride, or to display exclusivity, are all intentions that must be avoided. Dressing with this in mind that ‘no one has the clothes I have’, or ‘no one looks or should look like me’, or ‘my clothes show that I am better than everyone else’, are all thoughts which reflect an incorrect intention and are not permitted. Hence, it is essential to constantly review and rectify our intentions in this regard.

The second pitfall is of extravagance. Extravagance is usually the consequence of a person’s incorrect intention to show off, to feel better than others and to display their greatness. There is a fine line between beautification and extravagance. Designer wear is a good example when trying to make this distinction. If we buy an item of clothing worth £25 for £100, only because it has a specific label, we should question ourselves ‘What is driving me to do this? If I can purchase the same product, of the same quality, for a much cheaper price, what am I paying the extra for?’ When we question ourselves in this way, it will expose the incorrect intention that we are spending to help satisfy our inner pride and desire to maintain our ‘status’ and ‘exclusivity’, leading to extravagance in spending.

Therefore, as Muslims we must ensure whilst adopting adornment and beautification that one remains within the limits of the Sharī‘ah, by reviewing the intention and abstaining from extravagance.

The Best Clothing

O children of Ādam! We have sent down to you the dress that covers your shame and provides adornment. As for the dress of taqwā [piety] that is the best. (7:26)

The verses of the Glorious Qur’ān also direct our attention to another form of dress, a type of garment which conceals, protects and beautifies the inner self. This garment, is the garment of taqwā and is essential for every person, for it is this garment that covers and subdues the radhā’il, i.e. those negative traits of the heart, such as pride and jealousy, which a person would be ashamed of and would not want others to see. Also, it is the garment of taqwā that helps a person adorn his inner self with the fadā’il, i.e. the praiseworthy traits of the heart, such a humility and generosity, which beautify a person’s character. It is the garment of taqwā which also provides a person protection from all the trials of this world and the Hereafter.

Therefore, it is the ‘Libās-ut-Taqwā’ (the dress of taqwā) which is the greatest garment a person can adorn. The Glorious Qur’ān reminds us of this by using the phrase ‘that is the best.’  The outer appearance may temporarily deceive the onlooker, however ultimately the great beauty or ugly nature that lies within will be revealed. We experience this in our day to day lives. A person may be wearing the most striking of clothes but if the inner self is not adorned then, despite the initial positive impression, upon interaction we find the person unappealing.

True concealment, true protection, and true beauty in this world and more importantly in the Hereafter is only achieved when the inner self is ‘dressed’ with the clothing of taqwā. Therefore, whilst continuing to use the blessing of clothes to beautify our appearance, we should give more attention to the beautification of the inner self. 

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq to use the blessing of clothes in a manner which acquires His Pleasure and to adorn ourselves with the best of clothes, taqwā. Āmīn. 

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 29 No. 10, Oct 2017)

The Final Moments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

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

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

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

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

Hadrat Muftī Muhammad Shafī‘ rahimahullāh has narrated:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Advice for Teachers – 08/04/2018

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

Sacrifice

 

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

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

Imam Shafiee RH

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

Patience and Mercy

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

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

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

Fearing Criticism

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

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

Importance of Qiyamul Layl

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

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

Continue Seeking Knowledge

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

Forgiveness

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

Wealth and Money

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

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

Value these days.

By Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (hafidhahullah)

Sayyidunā Suwayd ibn Ghafalah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that when Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu was suffering extreme hunger one day, he suggested to (his wife) Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā to approach (her father) Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for some food. When she went to Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, Sayyidah Ummu Ayman radhiyallāhu ‘anhā happened to be there. Hearing Sayyidah Fātimah knocking on the door, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “That is the knock of Fātimah. She has come at a time that we are not accustomed to having her come to us.”

“O Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam!” Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā said, “The food of the angels is to recite Lā Ilāha Illallāh, Subhānallāh and Alhamdulillāh. What is our food?”

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied. “I swear by the Being Who has sent me with the truth! For the last thirty days, no fire (to cook) has been lit in the house of the family of Muhammad. However, a few goats have come to us. If you please, I shall have five given to you. Alternatively, if you so please, I shall teach you five words (of supplication) that Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām has taught me.”

Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā immediately said, “Do rather teach me the five words that Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām has taught you.” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam then told her to say the following words:

Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā then left. When she came back to Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, he asked, “What happened?” She replied, “While I left you to get something of benefit in this world, I returned with something of benefit in the Ākhirah.” “This is the best of all your days,” remarked Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu. (At-Tabarānī)

Building Stamina

Right from the onset of the month of Rajab, we should begin to prepare for Ramadhān. By building up slowly over Rajab and Sha’bān, we will be in peak spiritual condition when Ramadhān arrives.

To do this we need to make a programme of ‘ibādah and set daily targets. We then need to fix a timetable so that we are able to achieve those targets. Thereafter, targets should be reviewed every week or every fortnight, and gradually increased until Ramadhān arrives. Then throughout Ramadhān this process should continue.

If we do not set targets and do not fix a timetable early on, we will not be able to progress. Consequently, we will not develop the necessary spiritual stamina required to maintain the level of performance in order to reap the maximum benefit from Ramadhān.

Memorable Ramadhan

Make this Ramadhān a memorable one. Make it a Ramadhān you will remember for the rest of your life. Make it such that, inshā’allāh, in Jannah you will say it was this Ramadhān from when my life changed forever and in which Allāh ta’ālā made me His walī (special friend).

To make this Ramadhān a memorable one, abstain from disobeying Allāh Our Creator. Do not even think about disobeying Allāh ta’ālā throughout the blessed month.

In order to safeguard yourself from disobeying Allāh ta’ālā; avoid gatherings and mixing with people as many sins such as backbiting and slandering take place when one mixes with people.

Safeguard your tongue by only saying what is good and rewarding. Always think before you speak.

Safeguard your ears and eyes from those things which are disliked by Allāh ta’ālā.

Virtues of Ramadhan

As soon as the month of Rajab begins we should commence daily readings from the book “Virtues of Ramadhān” by Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh. We should motivate ourselves, allocate time and sit daily with the family and read this book collectively throughout Rajab.

Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh was a saintly person and his words have an amazing effect on the heart which will help us spiritually prepare for the blessed month and also benefit from it.

 

 

How to Become the Beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Imām Al-Bukhārī rahimahullāh narrates a hadīth qudsī:

Allāh ta‘ālā says: “…My bondsman does not acquire my closeness through anything that is more beloved to me than that which I have made compulsory upon him…

The performance of the farā’id is by far the greatest and most effective tool in achieving the closeness of Allāh ta‘ālā, as nothing can bring a person closer to Allāh ta‘ālā than the farā’id. farā’id encompass every obligation, be it from the DOs or the DON’Ts; just as it is fard to perform the five times salāh, it is fard to abstain from adultery, stealing etc. The struggle and effort in accomplishing the farā’id creates a special bond between the servant and his Master.

Once this bond is created, the servant becomes consistent and steadfast in fulfilling his obligations. This results in his closeness and relationship becoming stronger and his love for Allāh ta‘ālā increases. As a result, the urge to progress further intensifies and the servant begins to enhance and add to his worship by way of nawāfil (optional deeds) and non-obligatory actions. This struggle and striving of his attracts the special attention of Allāhta‘ālā and the servant now becomes the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā as the hadīth continues:

“…and then my bondsman continues to acquire my closeness through nawāfil until I love him…

What more can a servant desire? He is now the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā? Allāh ta‘ālā’s special attention is now directed towards him and he reaches such a level that Allāh ta‘ālā takes care of all his affairs. Allāh ta‘ālā protects him from all directions; he is safeguarded from going astray, he is protected from vice, he is protected from physical and mental calamities as the hadīth further states:

“…And when I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, and his eyes with which he sees, and his hands with which he grasps, and his feet with which he walks. And if he asks from Me, I will surely grant it to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I surely grant it to him.” (Al-Bukhārī)

Our pious predecessors, after striving, had acquired this status of becoming the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā. We find many incidents from their lives which testify to this fact:

1.   Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbās radhiyallāhu ‘anhumā relates that Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu once proposed, “Take us to the province of our people.” Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Abbāsradhiyallāhu ‘anhumā further narrates that we left towards our destination. Sayyidunā Ubayy Ibn Ka‘b radhiyallāhu ‘anhu and I were amongst those travelling behind the convoy. Along the journey, a cloud emerged which indicated rain. Sayyidunā Ubayyradhiyallāhu ‘anhu (seeing the predicament they would face) turned towards Allāh ta‘ālāand supplicated, “O Allāh! Save us from its troubles.” When we met up with the rest of the convoy who were soaked with rain, Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu enquired, “Did you not get caught up in the rainfall?” I replied, “Abul-Mundhir supplicated to Allāh that we are saved from its troubles, hence we are dry.” Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu complained, “Why did you not include us in your prayer?” (Mawsū‘at Ibn Abi Ad-Dunyā)

2.   Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that we visited a very sick man from the Ansār. He passed away during our visit. After his soul had departed, we covered him. Turning towards his old mother at his bedside, one of us consoled her by encouraging her to have hope of reward upon this tribulation from Allāh ta‘ālā. She asked, with concern, “Has he passed away?” We said, “Yes.” She lifted her hands towards Allāh ta‘ālābeseeching, “O Allāh, you are aware that I adopted Islam and migrated towards your Prophet hoping that you will assist me during all circumstances; favourable and difficult; do not burden me with this difficulty today.” Sayyidunā Anas radhiyallāhu ‘anhu says that she uncovered his face and before long he was eating with us. (Mawsū‘at Ibn Abi Ad-Dunyā)

3.   It is narrated that Abū Qilābah rahimahullāh was travelling for Hajj whilst fasting. During a scorching hot day he became extremely thirsty. Abū Qilābah rahimahullāhturned towards Allāh ta‘ālā and beseeched, “O Allāh! You are powerful enough to remove my thirst without me breaking my fast.” Immediately, a cloud shaded him and rained upon him until his clothes became wet, and his thirst vanished. He then got off his conveyance made a ditch in the ground and it filled with water from the rain. When his companions met up with him, they drank from the water but not a drop of rain had touched them. (Jāmi‘ul ‘Ulūm wal-Hikam)

4.   It is stated about Ibrāhīm Ibn Adham rahimahullāh that once he set out on a journey by sea. During the journey the ship got caught in severe winds due to which destruction seemed imminent. Ibrāhīm rahimahullāh wrapped his head in his shawl and went to sleep. The people exclaimed, “Do you not see the great difficulty we are in?” He replied, “This is not difficulty.” “What is difficulty then?” they enquired. He stated, “The need towards people (i.e. to be dependant and in need of the creation).” He then turned towards Allāh ta‘ālā and prayed, “O Allāh! You have displayed your great power, show us you pardon.” The sea immediately calmed down as if it was a pot of oil (coming off the boil). (Sifat-us-Safwah)

5.   ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak rahimahullāh passed by a blind man who requested him to pray to Allāh ta‘ālā to restore his sight. The narrator states that ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārakrahimahullāh prayed to Allāh ta‘ālā and Allāh ta‘ālā restored the blind man’s sight in my presence. (Sifat-us-Safwah)

6.   Abul-Husayn An-Nūrī rahimahullāh once entered a river. A thief came and stole his clothes which were on the bank. He remained in the water. It was not long before the thief returned with the clothes and placed them before Abul-Husayn, however his right hand had become paralysed. Abul-Husayn rahimahullāh turned to Allāh ta‘ālā and implored, “O My Lord! He has returned my clothes, You return (to him the strength of) his right hand.” Allāh ta‘ālā restored his right hand. (Al-Hilyah)

Let us all hold fast to the farā’id and progress towards nawāfil, so we too become the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā.  

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 5/6, May/June 2016)

A Simple Yet Effective Solution To Our Current Problems

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

In the period before the advent of our beloved Messenger sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, the whole world was engulfed in the darkness of ignorance. Humans were uncivilised, morally decadent and devoid of good character. When Allāh ta‘ālā sent the Leader of all the Ambiyā ‘alayhimus salām and the Seal of the Messengers ‘alayhimus salām, Muhammad Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, the entire world was illuminated. By following his example and teachings people of all backgrounds and creeds, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have achieved great successes throughout the ensuing fourteen centuries.

The underlying reason behind success in following his example is that Allāh ta‘ālācreated His beloved Rasūl sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam the best in every way. Whenever the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum described a particular characteristic of his, they would always qualify it with the superlative it deserved. They described him, for example, as the most generous, the most knowledgeable, the most courageous etc. Their descriptions proclaim quite clearly to all who followed his era that in every praiseworthy trait Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam was ‘The Best’.

Even objective non-Muslims, have had no option but to praise the Messenger of Islāmsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

George Bernard Shaw writes:

I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of humanity. (The Genuine Islam, Vol 1 No8, 1936)

Pandit Gyanandra Dev Sharma Shastri, at a meeting in Gurakhpur, India (1928) said:

They (Muhammad’s critics) see fire instead of light, ugliness instead of good. They distort and present every good quality as a great vice. It reflects their own depravity… The critics are blind. They cannot see that the only ‘sword’ Muhammad wielded was the sword of Mercy, Compassion, Friendship, and Forgiveness – the sword that conquers enemies and purifies their hearts. His sword was sharper than the sword of steel. 

Lamartine said:

Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational doctrines, of a religion without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he? (Histoire de la Turquie, Vol II, Paris, 1854)

A critic, David Samuel Margoliouth, an Oxford University Professor of the early 20th century, wrote a biography of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. He writes in his preface:

The biographers of the Prophet Mohammed form a long series which it is impossible to end, but in which it would be honourable to find a place. (Margoliouth, Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, 1905)

When Gandhi read the sīrah of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in two volumes, he commented:

When I closed the second volume I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life. (Gandhi, Young India, 1924)

The sīrah (life or biography) of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is full of lessons. It is an ocean that has no shore, meaning the sīrah is never-ending when it comes to deriving lessons from it. It is from the miracles of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam that his life has been recorded and preserved in such detail. All credit goes to his beloved Companions radhiyallāhu ‘anhum who recorded this beautiful life with great care and detail to the extent that his humorous statements have also been preserved, and have proven to be an ocean of knowledge. Let us study an example:

Anas ibn Mālik radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates how Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamwould try cheering up his younger brother by saying a little rhyme:

O Father of ‘Umayr! What has happened to the nughayr (a type of bird)? (Al-Bukhārī)

The small child would be delighted at the rhyme and by the fact that Allāh’s Messenger would call him, a mere toddler, Father of ‘Umayr!

This is one small and seemingly insignificant episode from the life of Rasūlullāhsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, but the ‘Ulamā having pondered over this statement of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam were able to deduce over sixty religious precepts from it. Such is the power and depth of a single humorous statement, what can one say about his formal and serious statements!

The blessed sīrah is truly a light and full of guidance for all circumstances and situations we may encounter in life. Allāh ta‘ālā says:

Indeed, there is a beautiful example for you in the Messenger of Allāh… (33:21)

The life and teachings of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam are truly comprehensive that a day will never come when the Muslims will not be able to find a solution through them to any issue they encounter. Guidance can be found in his teachings on every subject matter. And if we follow these beautiful teachings, we will become successful in both worlds.

So we need to emulate the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in all aspects of our lives: ‘aqā’id (beliefs), ‘ibādāt (acts of worship), mu‘āmalāt (dealings and transactions), mu‘āsharāt (social conduct) and akhlāq hasanah (good character). It is unfortunate that many of us have confined Dīn to the first two branches, ‘aqā’id and ‘ibādāt, only. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has warned of destruction for such people. Once Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked his Sahābah:

‘Who is a poor person?’ They replied, ‘A poor person amongst us is he who has neither dirham nor wealth.’ Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, ‘The poor person in my Ummah will be one who will come on the Day of Judgement with hissalāh, sawm and zakāh; however, he swore at someone, accused someone, unlawfully consumed the wealth of someone, killed someone and hurt someone, then his good deeds will be given to his victims. And if his good deeds are exhausted but the compensation of his victims remain, then their sins will be taken and entered in his account and he will be thrown in the hell-fire.’ (Muslim)

In addition to protecting our good deeds, the practice of mu‘āmalāt, mu‘āsharāt and akhlāq hasanah presents the beauty of our Dīn to the whole of humanity, as they predominantly relate to social interaction. The life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and of those who followed him to the highest degree, contain numerous episodes of winning the hearts of people, through practically demonstrating these branches of Dīn.

If we strive to make our lives fully in accordance with the teachings of the Prophetsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and emulate him in every way, then we will become the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā.

Say [O Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam], ‘If you really love Allāh, then follow me, and Allāh will love you and forgive you your sins. Allāh is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.’ (3:31)

Once we become His beloved, we will automatically become the beloved of His entire creation. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said:

When Allāh ta‘ālā makes a servant His beloved, then Allāh ta‘ālā summons Jibra’īl‘alayhis salām and says, ‘Indeed, Allāh ta‘ālā loves such a person; you too love him.’

When Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām hears this command of Allāh ta‘ālā, his heart is infused with love for this person. Such a person is now the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā and Jibra’īl‘alayhis salām. Then, Allāh ta‘ālā commands Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām to address the dwellers of the heavens and say;

Indeed, Allāh ta‘ālā loves such a person; you too love him.

Upon hearing the command, their hearts too are infused with his love.

Then this person is granted acceptance amongst the people on the earth [resulting in everyone entertaining love for him]. (Al-Bukhārī)

This is a simple solution to the problems that are blighting the entire world at the moment; in fact, this is the only solution. As Muslims, we should endeavour to adopt the way of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in every facet of our lives. Our ‘aqā’id (beliefs), ‘ibādāt (acts of worship), mu‘āmalāt (dealings and transactions), mu‘āsharāt (social conduct) and akhlāq hasanah (good character) should all be like that of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

If we desire that the people of the world look at us with love and respect, then we need to resolve to live our lives according to the way of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam so that we become the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā and as a result become the beloved of the entire creation.

Let us resolve today, assess/review our lives and rectify any shortcomings. When our actions completely reflect the teachings of the beloved of Allāh ta‘ālā, then spiritual blessings will become apparent which will resolve all our issues of this world and the Hereafter. This is a very pertinent matter at the current time and needs our utmost attention. If we make a firm resolution to learn the way of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and act upon it accordingly – whether the action is fard, wājib, sunnah or mustahabb – then success awaits.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 24 No. 1, Jan 2015)


Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam

Our Beloved Nabī

Indeed, there is a beautiful example for you in the Messenger of Allāh… (33:21) 

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to help them develop love and appreciation for the life of the Messenger of Allāh ta‘ālā. Studying the exemplary sīrah of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is a source of many blessings, one of which is the fostering of good morals and character. A sound knowledge of sīrah is also essential to truly understand Islām and to convey it to others.

In this booklet the renowned Islamic scholar and spiritual mentor, Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh, presents a brief account of the life of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Primarily aimed at children, it can also serve as an introduction to sīrah for people of all ages.

To order your copy, please email publications@idauk.org for details. 

Madrasahs, schools, Islamic societies etc. wishing to purchase in large quantity, may email publications@idauk.org or call 0116 262 5440.