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)

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❤T Is for Taqwa – the foundation of a successful marriage. Fearing Allah allow both parties to live in harmony.
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❤T is for Tongue – control your tongue when speaking to your spouse. Don’t speak rudely.
❤T is for Talk – Communicate with your spouse regularly. Let them know your feelings.
❤T is for Time – make time to spend with your spouse, and realise that your life timetable has to change once you’re married.
❤T is for Tea – make sure you eat and drink together at the same time as this creates l♡ve between two people.
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❤T is for Technology – technology can make or break a relationship.. Don’t allow it to become the third person in the relationship. (Excessive Facebook, WhatsApp, etc??)
❤T is for Trouble makers – don’t allow the rumors and comments of others spoil the harmony between you and your partner.
❤T is for Temper – this is one of biggest reasons behind marriages breaking. Control your anger with your spouse.
❤T is for Tahajjud – wake up in the night for Tahajjud and even pray together, also encourage each other to do good deeds.
Anonymous

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)

Taqwā and its Benefits

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

After the passing of Ramadān, it is important that we remind ourselves of the most important lesson the blessed month left us with, that of bringing Taqwā into our lives and doing our utmost to hold fast to it, until we breathe our last.

The importance of Taqwā cannot be over emphasised. Allāh ta‘ālā has mentioned the word Taqwā in the Glorious Qur’ān around 70 times in the imperative form and over 250 times in its various derivative forms. The Glorious Qur’ān begins with the statement:

This Book has no doubt in it – a guidance for the Muttaqīn. (2:2)

In other words, though in principle the Glorious Qur’ān is a guidance for all, only those who develop the quality of Taqwā can truly benefit from it.

 

Definition of Taqwā

Taqwā has been defined in many ways; the summary and conclusion of which is that a person creates a barrier between himself and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. Consequently, he will never plan to commit a sin, rather he will exert all efforts to abstain from any form of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. The result of this will be every type of success in both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…And fear (disobeying) Allāh so that you may become successful. (3:200)

 

Benefits of Taqwā

There are many benefits for the one who adopts Taqwā as stated in the Glorious Qur’ān: 

1. Allāh ta‘ālā will make all matters easy for him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall bring about ease for him in his affair. (65:4)

2. Allāh ta‘ālā will provide him with a solution to all his problems. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall bring forth a way out for him, (65:2)

3. Allāh ta‘ālā will sustain him from all aspects. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

(And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh).… And shall provide for him (what he needs) from where he does not even imagine (65:3)

4. Allāh ta‘ālā will be with him and assist him. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely, Allāh is with those who adopt Taqwā (16:128)

….be sure that Allāh is with the Muttaqīn (9:36)

5. Allāh ta‘ālā will forgive his sins. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

.…And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh, He shall cancel (forgive) his sins… (65:5)

6. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him a huge reward. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

(And the one who fears (disobeying) Allāh)….He shall give him a huge reward. (65:5)

7. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him Mercy in both worlds. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

And this (Qur‘ān) is a blessed Book We have sent down. So follow it and adopt Taqwā, so that you may be favoured with mercy. (6:55)

And My Mercy extends to everything. So, I shall write it (i.e. the mercy) for those who adopt Taqwā, and pay Zakāh, and those who do believe in Our verses… (7:156)

8. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him safety from all fear and grief. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…those who adopt Taqwā and correct themselves will have no fear, nor shall they grieve. (7:35)

9. He will gain the upper hand over Shaytān. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely when the Muttaqīn are touched by the temptation (to do evil) from Shaytān, they become conscious (of Allāh), and their eyes instantly open (i.e. they realise Shaytān’s plot and ignore the temptation). (7:201)

10. He will become beloved to Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

Surely, Allāh loves the Muttaqīn. (9:4)

11. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him safety from enemies. Allāh ta‘ālā states:

If you keep patience and adopt Taqwā, their cunning shall not harm you at all. (3:120)

12. Allāh ta‘ālā will grant him the ultimate success in the form of Jannah. Allāh ta‘ālāstates:

Here is the description of the Paradise promised to the Muttaqīn: underneath it the rivers flow; its food is everlasting and (so is) its shade. This is the ultimate abode of the Muttaqīn … (13:35)

 

The Acquisition of Taqwā

In order to become deserving of these priceless benefits, it is very important that we make a serious effort to bring Taqwā into our lives. Allāh ta‘ālā through His infinite mercy informs us how to achieve this, as when Allāh ta‘ālā commands the adoption of Taqwā in the Glorious Qur’ān, He follows this with another command which is a way to acquire Taqwā. The following actions are a summary of these commands, which if inculcated, will ensure a person acquires Taqwā:

1. Submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, as one should with regards to Allāh, and let not yourself die save as Muslims (totally submitted to Allāh). (3:102)

The submission of the body and soul to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā enables us to inculcate the essence of Taqwā in our lives. Submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā was the highlight of the life of Sayyidunā Ibrāhīm ‘alayhis salām who is duly remembered in these blessed months. Taking lesson from episodes of submission by the Ambiya‘alayhimus salām and the pious predecessors gives us an insight into the reality of submission. Only when we try to emulate such submission to the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā, will the great quality of Taqwā diffuse into a person’s heart.

2. Adopting correct speech.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and speak in straightforward words. (If you do so,) Allāh will correct your deeds for your benefit, and forgive your sins for you. Whoever obeys Allāh and His messenger achieves a great success. (33:70-71)

The importance of speaking in a truthful and just manner and speaking of good things, in particular the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā, must not be taken lightly. The guarantee of Jannah has been promised by Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam to the person undertaking to use his tongue correctly. Being mindful of what one utters will assist in bringing a reformation to the heart and develop Taqwā.

3. Contemplating the Day of Reckoning.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and each person must consider what he (or she) has sent ahead for tomorrow. (59:18)

Keeping a watchful eye over one’s actions and reflecting on how they will be judged by Allāh ta‘ālā on the Day of Resurrection, will lead a person to adopt Taqwā.

4. Being conscious that Allāh ta‘ālā is All-Seeing and All-Knowing.

Allāh ta‘ālā states:

…And fear (disobeying) Allāh. Surely Allāh is fully aware of what you do. (59:18)

Recognising the fact that Allāh ta‘ālā is fully aware of our actions and is recording every minute detail of our lives, is sufficient for a person to create a barrier between himself and the disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā.

5. Adopting pious company.

The above four methods of acquiring Taqwā all share a common trait, that of being fully aware and alert at all times. Whilst living in this world we become engrossed in our daily lives, which leads to negligence and absent mindedness. Therefore, it is imperative that we frequently adopt some form of reminder for ourselves. The adopting of pious company gives a person a two-fold benefit in the endeavour to bring Taqwā: it serves as a constant reminder of the need to acquire Taqwā; and the company of the pious is in itself an effective tool for the acquisition of Taqwā. Allāhta‘ālā states:

O you who believe, fear (disobeying) Allāh, and be in the company of the truthful (i.e. pious). (9:119)

And regarding the truthful, Allāh ta‘ālā says:

Those are the ones who are truthful, and those are the Muttaqīn. (2:177)

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the tawfīq to strive for the great quality of Taqwā. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 8, Aug 2016)


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Safeguarding our Īmān

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

O you who believe, fear Allāh and be with the truthful. (9:119)

There are three commands given in this verse: īmān, taqwā (safeguarding oneself from sin) and adoption of the company of truthful, god-fearing people. In this verse Allāh ta‘ālā teaches us that if we want to safeguard our īmān we have to save ourselves from sin by adopting taqwā. After accepting faith, failure to safeguard ourselves from sin means our īmān will not strengthen, and instead will weaken. And by continually weakening, the chances are that īmān will be lost altogether and be replaced by disbelief. So the rule is this: in order to safeguard your īmān, it is necessary to protect yourself from sin. And in order to be able to stay away from this, we need to adopt the company of the pious. Through the company of the pious, a person attains the ability to refrain from sin and becomes a Walī of Allāh ta‘ālā. Thereafter, the company of pious, god-fearing people assisits towards more progress in taqwā.

So Allāh ta‘ālā is telling us that if we wish to safeguard our īmān, we need to protect ourselves from sin, and if we wish to integrate the practice of refraining from sin into our lives and if we wish to illuminate our hearts with the light of taqwā then we must remain connected with the pious, i.e. those who are truthful in word and deed, and whose inner condition and external condition are the same. If the company of the pious is not adopted, then the standard of taqwā that is required will not be achieved. And if the standard of taqwā is not achieved, then the standard of īmān that is required will not remain. And it is possible that as the level of taqwā decreases, and sinfulness continues to increase, a time will come when īmān itself will diminish. (May Allāh ta‘ālā save us all. Āmīn)

This is an extract from the booklet ‘Time to Change’ published by At-Tazkiyah.


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Do you talk to yourself?

self-reflection
‘Abdullahi Ibn ‘Abdan RH said:

حدثنا عبد الله أن رجلاً كان يتّبع سفيان الثوري فيجده أبداً يُخرج من لبنة – أي: طوب – رقعة ينظر فيها، فأحب أن يعلم ما فيها، فوقعت الرقعة في يده فإذا مكتوب فيها: سفيان ! اذكر وقوفك بين يدي الله عز وجل

“Abdullah told us that there was a man who used to follow Sufyan Ath-Thawri RH. He noticed that time and time again, Sufyan would take out a piece of paper from a small box which he had and gaze into it. This man became curious as per what was on the paper. It so happened that this paper fell into his hand and on it was written:

“Sufyan! Remember that you shall stand before Allah.”

What you just read was in fact common practice of our predecessors.

Many Muslims validate their lack of Islamic commitment by arguing that ‘my environment is full of haram’ or ‘no one is advising me’ This category of people won’t snap out of their sins till a third party comes along and advises them. The earlier generations didn’t wait for other people’s advice, but they would actively speak to themselves.

The companion, Anas Ibn Malik RA says:

سمعت عمر بن الخطاب يومًا، وخرجت معه، حتى دخل حائطًا، فسمعته يقول، وبيني وبينه حائط، وهو في جوف الحائط: “عمر بن الخطاب.. أمير المؤمنين.. بخ بخ، والله لتتقين الله يا ابن الخطاب، أو ليعذبنك!”

“I was once walking with ‘Umar Ibn Khattab till a walk separated us. I heard him saying to himself from the other side of the wall, “Umar Ibn Khattab?! Leader of the believers?! Well, you will either fear Allah, O ‘Umar or He will punish you!!”

It may be something which you hang up in front of your desk, or it may be Islamic lectures which you keep your ears plugged in with on the way to and back from work/school, or righteous friends whom you regularly ask for advice or it may even be a piece of paper which you keep with you, similar to Sufyan Ath-Thawri’s RH piece of paper.

Also, in recent times Muhammad Ali – the famous boxer used to say, “I don’t smoke but I keep a match box in my pocket. When my heart slips towards a sin, I burn a matchstick and heat my palm. Then I say to myself:‘Ali You can’t bear even this heat, how would you bear the unbearable heat of Hell?

 

Allah grant us his awareness and consciousness. Ameen Ya Rabb!

Anonymous.

An Echo From the Heart

Dil Ki Awaaz – A talk delivered by Hadhrat Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (Hafidhahullah) in Lusaka, Zambia – 15 August 2014.

“O believers! Fear Allah as he ought to be feared and do not die except in a state of Islam.” (3:102)

“The most blessed Nikah is the one with the least expenditure.” (al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih).

From the many verses of Allah in the Qur’an I have been honoured to recite a verse, in which he says: “O Believers! Stay away from displeasing Allah” (or another translation) “Stay away from disobeying Allah.” Which basically means, “Stay away from all those things which anger Allah.” And in doing this maximise your efforts, make day and night one, make your blood and sweat one. The world can turn upside down but Allah should not be angry. Fulfil Allah’s right in fearing him as he ought to be feared. Do whatever you have to do; if that means displeasing your father to please Allah – do it! If that means displeasing your mother to please Allah – do it! If it means displeasing your husband to please Allah – do it! If it means displeasing your wife to please Allah – do it! If it means displeasing your relatives to please Allah – do it! Also, if it means displeasing the community to please Allah – do it! If you need to displease your close ones to please Allah – do it! If you need to displease your beloved ones to please Allah – do it! This is the meaning of fulfilling Allah’s right in fearing Him.

A poet states: “Teri juda pasand, meri juda pasand. Tujhe khudee pasand, muhje khuda pasand.”

The basic translation of which is: Your desire is different, my desire is different. You prefer yourself, whereas I prefer Allah.

The Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) had this zeal, so did the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them). They thought if we lose our respect, it doesn’t matter, if we lose our wealth it doesn’t matter, if we lose our health it doesn’t matter, so long as Allah is not displeased. Even if we lose our authority and position, if people ridicule and insult me, or I am exiled – I am not at loss, as long as Allah is pleased. The Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) had this zeal, so did the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) and the Awliyah (Allah have mercy on them) of the past. As far as you and I are concerned, we are far from this quality. Our beards, our Islamic attire, Jubbahs, our Turbans, our prayer in the first row of the Masjid, our Tahajjud, our Hajj and Umrah, our forty days in Tabligh, our visiting the Khanqahs and sitting humbly in front of our Shaykh, this is my brothers all a facade and deception. We have most certainly deceived the world, but we are also deceiving ourselves.

How?

We do not have ‘pardah/segregation’ in our houses. We are struggling to take the television sets out of our homes. Is this religiosity? How can it be when our tongues are not free from sin, our eyes are not free from sin, nor our ears.

Look, my dear brothers, it is a blessed assembly, we have Ulama, Huffadh, people spending time in the path of Allah, old men with white beards. The day is blessed; Jumuah, the time is blessed; Asr to Maghrib. For the sake of Allah! I am a traveller, I have rights upon you, if I request a cup of tea, you should fulfil the request. But all I am requesting is you stop disobeying Allah. Today is a day of happiness, there are five Nikah taking place. Ten families are having a day of delight, and they should be joyous. But what about the One who gave us this happiness, do we please Allah or even try to?

Rather we seem to please everyone, but Allah (glorified be He). The grandfather should be happy, the grandmother should be happy, we make up with our relatives so that they are also happy, the ones we haven’t spoken to for years. But have we pondered and stopped to think, when our deeds are presented to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and he sees the innovations and irreligious activities that take place in our weddings, what will be His (peace and blessings be upon him) state? It will be heart-breaking and heart-wrenching for him (peace and blessings be upon him).

Everybody must stay happy; menus are reviewed for food, different clothes are shown, the whole ceremony must be thoroughly thought out and discussed from top to bottom. If there is anybody whose views are disregarded and we miss someone out, it is Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

We have become so materialistic, what height and peak have we reached? Our intentions aren’t even correct; just to show people. “Our wedding should be better than theirs.”

For what?

When will this sort of attitude and mentality come into use?

At the time of death?

In the grave?

On Qiyamah?

When passing through the Bridge of Siraat?

Rather, this will make you fall down on the Siraat!

Repent from these evil actions. This apparent religiousness will not be any good to us on Qiyamah. Read the traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), at the time of Nikah He (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded us of three verses, but the instruction was one – ‘Fear Allah’.

“O believers! Fear Allah as he ought to be feared and do not die except in a state of Islam.” (3:102)

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women.” (4:1)

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.” (33:70)

This was because Allah (glorified be He) knew, when Iman is low, people’s beliefs are decreasing, the hearts are devoid of My remembrance, and heedlessness is widespread, My recognition and connection will be lost, then out of happiness and enjoyment My servants will do such acts which will bring about My displeasure. Hence I repeat the verse, “Fear Allah!” “Fear disobeying Allah!” “Fear displeasing Allah!” And let not this be just for weddings, rather take an account of your lives.

I am connected to Madrasahs, Khanqahs and Tablighi Jamat. The elders of Tabligh are all welcome and regularly come to my academy (in Leicester). They treat me with respect and compassion. The Ameer of UK, Hafidh Patel Saheb (Allah lengthen his shadow) keeps a very good relationship with me and showers his love and mercy on me. At times when he is travelling, even whilst in Dubai I will receive a call from him. So I repeat, I am connected to Madrasahs, Khanqahs and Tablighi Jamat, and we are all connected to each of these fields, as we follow the Deobandi school of thought. I address all three groups mentioned above, if we do not avert ourselves from the disobedience of Allah (glorified be He), then in the hereafter your Tabligh, the Madrasah or attending a Khanqah will be of no avail. I have no hesitation in saying this, because it is not just these things that will be instrumental to our success in the Hereafter. Allah has not stated anywhere in the Qur’an if you just do Tabligh, or study in a Madrasah or attend a Khanqah you will be successful. Rather, Allah says, “Whosoever obeys Allah and his messenger has attained a great success.” (33:71)

However, we do agree that whoever goes out in Tabligh regularly, adheres to the principles and rules, then he will be able to obtain obedience to Allah (glorified be He) in his life. Similarly, if someone visits his Shaykh and follows the guidelines set by his Shaykh, he will find ease in practising Islam. Likewise, those who attend Madrasah, if they seek knowledge passionately and with zeal, as well as practising upon this knowledge, they will be following Allah’s commandments. But the main principle in all of the above is, you must remain free from the disobedience of the Creator. Otherwise there is no benefit in these things whatsoever. Isn’t it time we awoke from our slumber?

Shaytan has kept us in a bubble and tricked us. He has caused us to think, because I have a connection with Tabligh I am pious. I am close to my Shaykh so I have piety. I teach in a Madrasah so I am religious, this is a lie and deceit. Ask yourselves, how close are you to Allah? There is only one thermometer to gauge this, look at your good deeds and your bad deeds; morning and evening, day and night. The sins you were engaged in twenty years ago, you are still engrossed in those sins. How you lived your life ten years ago, you are still living the same; arrogance, hatred, jealousy and pride still remain in your heart. We still think low of people and believe we are better than everyone else. There is no pardah/segregation system in our houses, we have high expenditure, and we are not bothered about Halal and Haram. Where does the money come from, where does it go?

We are totally oblivious of the rights of the community; the way to deal with people, and even good character is scarce. Then we have hopes for a lofty status in the hereafter.

A poet writes:

“Soon you will realise when the dust is settled, whether it was a horse or a donkey you were sat on.”

Please understand, I have not travelled hundreds and thousands of miles to upset anyone. I have left many important tasks behind, understand what I am saying. I am not angry, rather my heart breaks when I see certain brothers who are perceived as religious, but they are not upon the true teachings of Islam. How many brothers, year after year go out in Tabligh. To leave your wife and children is not something easy. They spend their own money, go with their own expenses and live in Masjids which don’t always have the best facilities, this sacrifice is not a minor sacrifice. Let us look at our Ulama, those who spend six, seven, or sometimes ten years in a Madrasah studying the Deen, this sacrifice is not a minor sacrifice. Now look at those affiliated with a Shaykh and attend the Khanqah regularly, they obey and submit to the Shaykh’s instructions. They leave their own opinions aside and adhere to their Shaykh’s guidance completely, again this sacrifice is not a minor sacrifice. But having said all of the above, if our lives – despite these sacrifices is not void of sin and vice, then my brothers it hurts knowing that. What I am pouring from my heart is nothing but my own heartache, sincerely felt for my dear brothers.

Remember, if you sacrifice your time, money and efforts for Allah (glorified be He), He SWT always gives and does not take. For example, if you quit watching films and give up this desire of yours, don’t think Allah (glorified be He) has taken this from you. Rather, Allah (glorified be He) will replace it with something far better, which cannot be paralleled in this world or the Hereafter. If Allah (glorified be He) takes He will replace it with something or give you something better.

There lived a Great Saint, an Imam, his name was Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abdul-Baqi al-Ansaari (Allah illuminate his grave). He emigrated to alMakkah alMukarramah. In past times, many Muslim did Hijrah as there was ease and no struggle with a visa. But the standards of living weren’t the best, so they would need to go through a lot of sacrifice. Shaykhul Islam Hadhrat Mawlana Hussain Madni (Allah illuminate his grave) writes during his stay in alMedinah alMunawwarah, “When the greengrocers would close in the evening we would pick up the left over vegetables, clean them and boil them. This is what we would survive on.” So Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abdul-Baqi al-Ansaari (Allah illuminate his grave) says, I stayed in alMakkah alMukarramah, and it was a hard struggle. One particular day, I was overcome with hunger. I left my house in search of food, on the way I found a silk bag which looked very valuable. On returning home, I opened the bag and found a necklace which was formed of stunning pearls. His eyes lit up, but he was a pious man, God-fearing and God-conscious. So he set off again, in search of the owner, he hadn’t walked much further when a voice was heard in the background, “Who can find our priceless necklace? We will reward him with 500 Dinar.” 500 Dinar – which are gold coins, was an awful lot of money in those days. If that was just the reward my brothers, imagine what would be the value of the actual necklace itself?

Imam Abu Bakr RH took the man to his house and asked him, “Perhaps, I can indicate to you as to where your lost necklace may be. Please describe it to me.” The man described it exactly as it looked. Imam Abu Bakr RH handed the man his necklace. The owner of the necklace then said, “Here, this is your (promised) reward – 500 Dinars.” Imam Abu Bakr RH states, “I had a yearning and desire in my heart to accept the reward, but part of me was refusing. The reason and thought process for refusal was simply because I said to myself, what amazing deed have you done? You found something and returned it to its rightful owner. Now to take a payment for this is not something righteous people do.” The owner now said, “Take the 500 Dinars and also take the necklace!” He says, “My heart was whispering, the necklace is impermissible for me, but the money is permissible – but I will still refuse. A pious man would never do this, they would not take it. Even if the owner had not announced that he had lost it, it was still incumbent upon me to return the necklace.”

What happened next? Bearing in mind the point I made earlier, ‘Allah does not take. If he does he will give back something similar or something better’. He left the necklace for Allah’s sake. He writes that he somehow managed to survive the next few days; they then travelled on a ship. During the journey, the waves became fierce and ferocious and suddenly everyone drowned – except me! I was hanging on to a piece of iron from the ship. I was floating like a leaf in the ocean, but I swam slowly and eventually after a few days, I got to shore and found a town.

I ran as quickly as I could and made my way to the Masjid. As soon as I entered I picked up a Qur’an and started reciting. I kept reading until a few of the villagers gathered and realised I could recite Qur’an fluently. What I hadn’t realised is that these people were illiterate. Then the news spread that this man is a Qari and he should teach us Qur’an. So I became their teacher, ustadh, shaykh and muallim. They would all learn Qur’an from me. One day they saw me reciting Qur’an looking inside, to which they all said, “You can teach us how to read and write now. You have already taught us how to recite Qur’an without looking in.” So I started teaching them how to read and write, in return I received many gifts and money and became quite wealthy.

After a length of time had passed, they approached me and said, “In our town, there is an orphan girl, pious and religious. Her father gave her an excellent upbringing. He was a wealthy man that left behind a lot of inheritance and land. We desire for you to marry her, as you are now our ustadh. We are worried about your future and her future. In our eyes, she will not find a better husband and you will not find a better wife.” I refused and told them, I am a mere traveller and Taqdeer has dragged me here. Otherwise, I was on a journey with my companions and I need to return to alMakkah alMukarramah.

But they were persistent, and didn’t give up, in the end I gave in and our marriage was solemnised. On the first night of our marriage when I entered the room, I was left in utter amazement, dumbfounded, really astonished. Why? Because my wife wore the same necklace around her neck which I found in alMakkah alMukarramah. I had my eyes fixated on the necklace rather than my wife’s face. She got upset, that all I was worried about was the necklace and she felt I was materialistic.

This complaint reached the menfolk in the community; they approached me and said, “We thought you were a knowledgeable and devout man. But you left your wife and seem more interested in a necklace, we do not understand this.” He replied saying, “In order to understand me you will need to know the story behind this necklace.” He told them the full story, upon hearing the story the whole town was mesmerised and yelled, “Allahu Akbar! La Ilaha Ila Allah!” The echo of their voices was so loud that it could be heard in the whole town, as a result of which people gathered around. Consequently, they realised that the story he narrated was none other than his father-in-law, so they informed him. “The man you met in alMakkah alMukarramah was your father-in-law; this girl’s father. When he returned from alMakkah alMukarramah and after he had the dealing with you, he would often repeat, “Alas! If only I had taken the address for that young man, as he was the only person in the entire world I found to be Muslim. There is nobody more worthy of marrying my daughter than him! I pray Allah facilitates a way for their marriage to take place.”

The people were then left in utter awe at Allah’s (glorified be He) amazing way of how he sent him to them, made him their Imam and Ustadh and how the girl became an orphan and now he had married her!

Muhammad ibn Abdul-Baqi further narrates; we were happily married and lived together for many years. Allah (glorified be He) blessed us with children; one son after another. It wasn’t long before my wife passed away, when the inheritance was divided the necklace was split amongst me and my sons. Then Allah’s (glorified be He) desire was such that he destined for my children to return to Him SWT; the first passed away then the second. Now, I received the entire wealth in inheritance including the necklace. Initially, I was given 500 Dinars for returning the ‘lost necklace’. Through the sheer grace and mercy of Allah (glorified be He) I managed to sell the necklace for an amazing 100,000 Dinars! “Allah takes, to give us (more).” Allah does not wish for us to be in loss.

I fervently request my honourable brothers engaged in the work of Tabligh – and if anyone from the three groups; Tabligh, Khanqah or Madrasah feels I am targeting one particular group then, if only I had the strength to split open my chest and show you what (intentions) I have inside – I would do so. I have love with all three groups (mentioned above), as all three are ONE. They are not separate entities. We are affiliated with all three; they are all ours and all stem from the same roots. And I must stress that the three groups are working tirelessly, day and night in their pursuits. But unfortunately, we have all come under Shaytan’s deception, including myself: “Raazi rahey Rahman bhi, Khush rahey Shaytan bhi.” The meaning of which is, we are trying to please al-Rahman, as well as trying to keep Shaytan happy (by listening to him).

We are carrying out Dhikr but later watch the television.

We are out doing Tabligh then return home to watch the television.

We study Bukhari Shareef thereafter engross in the programmes on the television.

Shaytan has become complacent and self-satisfied, “(O Muslims!) I don’t need to worry about you doing Tabligh, you attending the Khanqah and you studying at the Madrasah. As you are already caught in my trap.”

Let us make a firm resolution, from today onwards our weddings will be simple. My brothers in Lusaka, we have the same problem in the UK where I am from. I cry with the same heart, worry and concern there too. Generally, the problem we face is we like to compete with each other, “What will people think of us?” We suffer from inferiority complex and being low in people’s eyes. But have we ever thought, “What will Allah think? What will His Beloved SAW think?” Leave that thought – what will people think? Let our primary concern be, what does Allah think? It is our old enemy, the devil that overpowers us and our faculty to think, and then we end up in committing vice.

I humbly request all my brothers; those in Tabligh, those from the Khanqah, those who are graduated from the Madrasah, let us all have an intention in our hearts to make our weddings more simple and enduring less expenditure. So if we had planned a $10,000 wedding hopefully it will cut down to $9,000. The next wedding instead of $9,000 will be reduced to $8,000 and so forth. Like this the costs of wedding will reduce and we will be much closer to acting upon the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Some colleagues of mine informed me that Hadhrat Mawlana Ebrahim Devla Saheb (Allah lengthen his shadow) had recently visited Lusaka. I have a good connection with him; I don’t feel the need to ever invite him to our academy in Leicester as he always pays a visit whenever he is in Leicester. I believe he had delivered the same message – “Make our weddings easy and simple.” When an Alim of such high calibre, who has spent his life studying and teaching in the Madrasah, out in the path of Allah in Tabligh, in the company of the pious, when he speaks such words should resonate into our hearts. Just imagine through how much experience he must be talking from, after having travelled far and wide for 70 – 80 years, he travels to your hometown and he feels the need to say two pieces of advice:

“Keep good connections with each other and make your marriages and weddings simple.”

If we fail to adhere to the advice of such prominent Alims (and rather act upon our own whims and desires) then we can only presume the path we are taking is one towards Jahannam not Jannah.

I wish to say much more but to conclude, I will narrate a story of Abu Usayd al-Saa’idee (Allah be pleased with him) when he got married he invited the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). His newly wedded wife cooked the food – there were no catering services called for. They lived in alMedinah alMunawwarah, they were from the Ansaar. Ansaar were known as ‘helpers’, if they wanted to they could have got somebody to cook the food, but he didn’t. Because the weddings of that time were not sophisticated. Let us ponder on how the wife must have felt and thought, “If the Messenger of Allah is coming to my house to eat why should I give this honour of cooking for him to someone else?” She narrates, “When I met my husband on the first night, I was thinking that Our Beloved (peace and blessings be upon him) is coming to our house. How can we just feed him meat or just bread? We should also have ‘sharbat’.” The wife is thinking this on her first night of marriage. She further says, she took a bowl, put some water and mixed some dry dates in it and left it till morning. In the morning she cleansed it and put the drink in another bowl. And when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to our house I presented the meat with bread and the drink I had made.

Let us focus for just one moment at the sheer simplicity of this marriage.

We look for excuses, we think if a certain brother in Tabligh who is also an elder, spends $10,000 on a wedding, so can we. But remember, this elder also spends forty days every year, do we? We don’t look at the good he does and try to emulate that. Or other times we know a pious and devout person who visits the Khanqah regularly, if he spends $10,000 so can we. But we don’t look at his piety, the piety we do not possess. Let these not be examples for us, rather the example is the only example which Allah sets in the Qur’an:

“Verily in the Messenger of Allah there is for you an excellent model.” Let’s make him (peace and blessings be upon him) our example, the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) and the Mother of the Believers (Allah be pleased with them) our examples.

Finally we all resolve to have no evil and vice in our weddings, we will stay far away from sins in our wedding. If all three groups act upon this then I will feel all my talks in all of my journeys have been of some benefit.

Allah grant us all the ability and bless us with long lives. Allah grant us offspring that will keep all three works of deen alive; Tabligh, Khanqah and Madrasah. And may Allah bless these marriages and shower his mercy upon them with pious offspring, so that when their families look at them in this world or the next they will make them proud. Ameen.