Cure for Worries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mawlana Roomi has expressed this idea in his poetry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPPLICATIONS DURING ABLUTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRAISE AND GLORIFICATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRATITUDE FOR FAVOURS

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

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

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

They mean:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“a full share of all virtuous deeds:

“a safety from every sin”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BE MERCIFUL TO YOURSELVES AND DO IT

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

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

“O Peace”

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

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

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Ramadhan the month of…

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Many people associate and remember Ramadhan with different things.
Some with fasting and others with feasting.
Some with sleeping and others with awakening the night.
Some women just fill their fridges and spend time in the kitchen.
Whilst some men spend the whole month debating the problems of the Ummah (but never aim to resolve those problems).
It’s the 20th night, as I sit here pondering how I’ve spent 2/3 of Ramadhan, I wonder how the last third will go…. I remember the Hadith of the Prophet SAW, “Whoever fasts in Ramadhan with faith and hope for reward his previous sins will be forgiven.” Bukhari.
The keyword in the Hadith is “forgiven”. Now THAT’S what Ramadhan is all about brothers and sisters – forgiveness. If you pass this month and DON’T get forgiven, such a person is cursed in another Hadith.
This is the same forgiveness Adam AS used to cry for, the Saliheen of the past cried for the forgiveness. Because they were intelligent people; they weren’t foolish. They knew the more they cry before Allah, He will like it and forgive them.
Forgiveness is the greatest bounty in this world. Do not think there is anything greater than Allah’s pardoning.
Why?
Once your matter is settled with Allah, everything else is settled. On the day of Qiyamah you will say to your friends, “Come! Here, read my book of deeds!” Surah Haaqqah(69:19)
So let the end of this month be better than the beginning. Soon Eid will be here! Before that, let your sins fall like leaves off a tree. Beg and cry in front of Allah. Forgive people too and seek forgiveness from those who you’ve harmed.
Parents should forgive their children, husbands should forgive their wives (vice versa).
Let this Ramadhan be a turning point in your life, in sha Allah.
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Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).
20th Ramadhan 1438

What to do at the Time of Natural Catastrophes

by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Everyone is aware of the devastation that natural disasters bring with them. Many lose their lives, hundreds of thousands lose relatives, entire communities are wiped out and countless buildings and properties are destroyed. Thousands, even millions are left homeless, having lost everything they once owned, living under open skies with nothing to eat and cover themselves with. Even after the calamity has subsided, the death toll continues to increase with the spread of disease.

When calamities strike, we often think about our roles and responsibilities, as human beings and as Muslims. It is unfortunate that for most of us, it takes such calamities to make us reflect on the Power and lofty Attributes of Allāh ta‘ālā. Rather than expressing shallow sorrow and a momentary shock, there are a few points that we need to reflect and act upon, so that events like these can cause us to become better Muslims for the rest of our lives:


1. Allāh ta‘ālā is the Hākim (The Supreme Ruler) and the Hakīm (The Most Wise)

First of all, one has to reaffirm in one’s mind and heart that whatever happens, whether good or bad in appearance, is according to the Wish of Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā is Hākim i.e. He has Power over everything. Every single particle in the whole universe is under His Control. The turning of the leaf in the air while it is falling from the tree, to the up turning and shaking of the earth itself, as in the case of an earthquake, everything is in His Absolute Control. The commands, wishes and controls of everyone else are subjugated to His Command and Governance. The varied circumstances that one observes or experiences in one’s life are also in His total Control.

There are many incidents and events in a person’s life, during which one hopes for a positive outcome through worldly means e.g. when a relative is seriously ill we can hope for recovery by consulting a specialist, along with our belief that only that will happen which Allāh ta‘ālā has ordained. Nevertheless we take the help of worldly means to satisfy ourselves and try to rectify the situation to the best of our ability.

However, when faced with natural disasters like storms, earthquakes and floods, there is no hope of any worldly means which we can employ to circumvent, overcome or prevent re-occurrence of such situations. Such natural disasters are entirely in the Control of Almighty Allāh and we are forced to acknowledge that. Indeed as Muslims we should never have disregarded and ignored the Absolute Power of Allāh ta‘ālā and it should have been reflected upon in our day to day actions and deeds.

However, it is comforting to know that Allāh ta‘ālā is not only the Hākim (The Supreme Ruler) but He is also the Hakīm (The Most Wise). Allāh’s ta‘ālā Governance of the universe is unlike that of worldly rulers. His Control and Governance is full of Supreme Wisdom and Divine Justice. Hence even in natural disasters, there is the hidden Wisdom of the Almighty, which may not be apparent to our physical eyes.


2. Turn Towards Allāh ta‘ālā in Repentance

Every person, during such times should turn towards Allāh ta‘ālā with humbleness, faith and genuine repentance. According to the Sharī‘ah, common and open disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā is one of the many reasons for the cause of calamities like earthquakes. When the land is overloaded with the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā, earthquakes from beneath and violent storms from above are commonplace. There are various scientific explanations as to why natural disasters occur, however the underlying facts point towards ‘how’ they happen and not ‘why’ they happen. The answer to ‘why’ and ‘when’ and even to ‘how’, in reality, remains with Allāh ta‘ālā. An answer to ‘why’ has been revealed in the Qur’ān:

(Corruption and) Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that He (Allāh) may give them a taste of some of their deeds in order that they may turn back (from evil).  (30:41)

Incidents like these are, as it were, ‘wakeup’ alarm calls from Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā in His Infinite Mercy is jolting us through such incidents, so that we may mend our ways and reflect on our transgressions and as a result rectify ourselves before it is too late. Allāh ta‘ālā has revealed to his beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, that as long as this Ummah continues to repent for their wrong-doings, He will not punish them through calamities. Incidents like these should not be viewed with some momentary sympathy or investigated out of curiosity, but treated strictly as a reminder to wake up and reflect on our lives of disobedience. The way Allāh has the Power to cause calamities in any part of the world, He also has the Power to cause a catastrophe here, in this very city, in the very vicinity of our homes.

Hence it is absolutely essential for Muslims, not just from the affected regions, but from all over the world, to turn towards Allāhta‘ālā. They must direct all their attention towards Him and reflect on their lives to find out where the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā are being violated, then sincerely repent and resolve to adorn their future lives with taqwā, abstain from the disobedience of Allāhta‘ālā, and observe His Commands.


3. Pray for the Afflicted

Our beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has commanded us to support and help the victims of calamities, whether they be Muslims or otherwise. The best and the most valuable support and help is to make du‘ā i.e. sincere prayers for the wellbeing of the victims. Du‘ā is a very powerful and potent means, which is available to each and every one of us, the one with worldly resources as well as the one without. Hence one should sincerely pray for the well being of the victims. One should pray that Allāh ta‘ālāgives them strength, patience and comfort and that He protects and guides them through these critical times and provides rapid recovery from their physical, mental and spiritual wounds. Only Allāh ta‘ālā has the ability to provide the things asked for in the above prayers. No amount of worldly means will provide for the loss that has been suffered by the victims.

It is difficult to comprehend or empathise with the situation of the victims. Scores of them have death hovering over their heads while their dead family members lie beside them. Thousands of dead bodies are piled up like logs unable to receive a proper burial. Thousands of people have lost their sons and daughters and thousands of young children have become orphans. Only prayers will help those people. So take out some time from listening to the news, reading newspaper reports and chatting about the events and bow down to Allāh ta‘ālā, and pray sincerely and earnestly (after making repentance) for the victims of the calamity. The victims certainly deserve our prayers, to say the least. It is their right over the entire Muslim community.

It is also worth mentioning that it will be a gross transgression for anyone to forget their own deeds and start judging the victims, claiming their misdeeds to be the reason for the calamity. We are in no position to do that. Besides, this will be tantamount to trying to guess the ‘Hikmah’ (Wisdom) of Allāh! Therefore we should refrain from uttering such words.


4. Donate Generously

For people far from the afflicted region, the next best thing that they can do to help and support is to provide financial and material help. The victims have lost everything, their homes and the shelter above their heads, their entire belongings and their livelihoods. There is an immediate need to provide shelter (as a protection from the cold nights), food and clothing. There is also a dire need to provide them with medication and other medical accessories and supply them with clean water and sanitation.

Alhamdulillāh, Allāh ta‘ālā has given us abundantly, more than we need. We do not have to sacrifice our daily food or clothing in order to donate towards the cause. I request all my brothers and sisters to reflect upon the material blessings that Allāh ta‘ālā has bestowed upon us, despite our not being deserving of them, and donate generously for the victims of this calamity. There are people out there, among the victims, who, until yesterday, were the patrons of or contributors towards charities themselves, and had donated profusely. Now, having lost everything, they are in need of charity themselves. Allāh ta‘ālā will inshā’allāh look favourably upon our generosity and remove future calamities awaiting to befall us. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has mentioned:

Truly sadaqah extinguishes the Wrath of Allāh and saves from an evil death. (Tirmidhī)

So, as human beings, and more so as Muslims, we should not let this suffering continue without providing help and support according to our individual capabilities. Do not wait for your zakāh to become due to make a donation. The need of the situation demands that we donate everything that is in our possession, even if that means undergoing hardships ourselves. However, since Allāh ta‘ālā has blessed us with adequate wealth we know that we can donate sufficiently without having to undergo such troubles. We should spend abundantly and generously, as generously as Allāh ta‘ālā has provided for us. Remember, whatever we will spend, we will do so from that which Allāh ta‘ālā has given us. It is His Money we will be spending to relieve His Creation. The Prophet s said:

All creatures are the dependants of Allāh. The most beloved to Allāh from all Creation is he who treats His dependants the best.  (Bayhaqī)

Therefore give as much as you can. This is not a time to wait for someone to come and knock at your door. Go out looking for reliable organizations and charities with correct channels, so that your money reaches the genuine victims and fulfills their needs.

May Allāh ta‘ālā give us the guidance to learn a lesson from such calamities and grant us the resolve to change our lives for the better. May Allāh ta‘ālā also give us the tawfīq to pray for the victims and to donate generously. Āmīn.

Pearls of Ramadān (1)

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Yearning For Ramadān

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam used to make du‘ā in Rajab to be given the opportunity to live until Ramadān. Having already seen Allāh ta‘ālā during the night of mi‘rāj, it is beyond imagination how much desire he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam had to leave this world and meet Allāh ta‘ālā.

Despite this, when he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would find himself only two months away from the blessed month of Ramadān, he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would desire to be given leave in this world in order to benefit from the innumerable bounties and blessings of Ramadān. This should help us understand the extraordinary nature of the blessings of Ramadān and encourage us to yearn for it and benefit from it.

True Appreciation of Ramadān

My honourable father rahimahullāh would eagerly anticipate the arrival of Ramadān and express immense happiness upon its commencement.  You could tell from his behaviour that it was the month of Ramadān; he would talk very little and be constantly engaged in good deeds. He would value every moment. The atmosphere at home was like i‘tikāf throughout the month of Ramadān. When the blessed month would end he would shed tears of sorrow. All this was because he had understood the value of Ramadān. We should follow this example to truly value each and every moment of Ramadān.  

Valuing Ramadān

The month of Ramadān is a month of blessings, mercy and forgiveness. If we fail to utilise it correctly, it will pass without us realising what valuable and precious moments we have wasted. What has passed cannot return, and what is lost cannot be re-acquired.

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said:

This is a month, the first (10 days) of which is mercy, the middle (10 days) of which is forgiveness and the last (10 days) of which is deliverance from the Fire of Jahannam. (Al-Bayhaqī)

From the first of Ramadān, the Mercy of Allāh ta‘ālā descends upon those very pious servants who have no sins in their book of deeds.

As far as the sinners are concerned, they are of two types: sinners of a lesser degree, and those who are so engrossed in sin that were they to die in their present condition they would go straight into the Fire of Jahannam.

The sins of the first category of sinners are forgiven after their striving during the first 10 days of Ramadān. As for the sinners of the second category upon whom Jahannam is incumbent, after striving for 20 days, Allāh’s ta‘ālā forgiveness enshrouds them and they too are granted deliverance from the Fire of Jahannam. How merciful is Allāh ta‘ālā!

We ask Allāh ta‘ālā that He grant us Jannat-ul-Firdaws with His eternal Pleasure and save us from the Fire of Jahannam. Āmīn.

Counting Days

We should spend the month of Ramadān with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, many people regard it as a burden, and eagerly count down the days for it to finish.

Our pious predecessors used to feel grief and sadness at the passing of each day of Ramadān, whereas we feel a burden is being lifted with each day that goes by. They would say in sorrow: “Only 15 days left now, Only 14 days left now…” while we say the same out of relief.

Memorable Ramadān

Make this Ramadān a memorable one. Make it a Ramadān you will remember for the rest of your life and inshā’allāh, even in Jannah you will say that it was this Ramadān in which Allāh ta‘ālā made me His walī, and the point from when my life changed for the better.

In order to do this two things are necessary:

1. Abstain from every sin, be it minor or major. Do not even think about sinning.

2. Stay away from every futile activity that neither benefits in this world nor the hereafter.

In order to achieve the above, three things are necessary:

1. Stay away from impious company and sinful environments.

2. Avoid gatherings and mixing with people. 

3. Safeguard your tongue, eyes and ears. Speak only when it is absolutely necessary and listen and look at only those things which are permissible.

© At-Tazkiyah

The Powerful Nature of Istighfaar

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This story about “Istighfaar” is from the life of Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal RH,who is considered as a renowned scholar of Islam and a famous theologian. Imam Ahmed RH is also considered to be the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and is one of the most celebrated Sunni theologians, often referred to as the “Sheikh ul-Islam” or the “Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah.”

During his old age, while Imam Ahmed RH was travelling he stopped by a town. After the prayers, he wanted to stay for the night in the masjid yard because he didn’t know anyone in the town. Owing to his humility, he hadn’t introduced himself to anyone thinking that if he did, he would be welcomed by many people.

Failing to recognize Ahmed bin Hanbal RH, the caretaker of the mosque refused to let him stay in the mosque. As Imam Ahmed was quite old, the caretaker had to drag him out of the mosque. On seeing this, a baker from a nearby place felt pity for this man (Imam Ahmed) and offered to be the host to him for the night.

During his stay with the baker, Imam Ahmed RH observed that the baker would constantly recite Istighfar (seek forgiveness from Allah). Imam Ahmed RH asked the baker if the constant practice of saying Istighfar had any effect on him. The baker responded by telling Imam Ahmed RH that Allah had accepted all of his duas (supplications), except one. When he asked him what dua was it that hadn’t been accepted, the baker replied that he had been asking Allah to provide him the privilege to meet the famous scholar Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal RH.

On this, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal RH said that Allah had not only listened to his dua but had dragged him onto his (the baker’s) doorsteps.

[Summarized from Al Jumuah magazine, vol 19, issue 7]

This story is a reminder of the power of saying Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) frequently. Let’s remember that the prophet used to say Istighfaar frequently during the day.

Tafseer Al-Qurtubi states:

A man complained to Imam Hasan alBasri RH about a drought, and he said to him: “Pray to Allah for forgiveness.”

Another man complained to him of poverty and he said to him: “Pray to Allah to forgive you.”

Another man said to him: “Pray to Allah to bless me with a child.” He said: “Pray to Allah for forgiveness.”

Another complained to him that his garden was dry. He said to him: “Pray to Allah for forgiveness.”

He was asked about it and he said: “This is not my personal opinion, for Allah says in Surah Nooh (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.” Tafseer Al-Qurtubi (18/301-302)

One of the narrators of a Hadith was asked about the manner in which forgiveness is to be sought, to which he answered:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to say: ‘Astaghfirullah! Astaghfirullah! (I beseech Allah for forgiveness, I beseech Allah for forgiveness)’.” [Sahih Muslim].

Rajab 1436

Why Earthquakes Occur

Having just experienced an earthquake last night in the East Midlands and with similar tremors occurring in other parts of the world recently, we would like to share with you an editorial of the respected Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh which appeared in the monthly journal ‘Riyādul Jannah’ after the earthquake that occurred in February 2008 in the UK.

Why Earthquakes Occur
by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

At 12:56am on 27th February the UK was shaken by an earthquake of a significant enough magnitude to make the headlines. Buildings shuddered, furniture shook, and people were woken from their sleep. By morning, everyone was talking about it.

The largest earthquake to strike the UK in over 25 years was regarded by most people as no more than an exciting incident. Their curiosity was satisfied by scientific explanations, and there their interest ended. They did not see the shaking of the earth beneath their feet as an opportunity to learn valuable lessons.

The question we need to ask is: ‘Why do earthquakes occur?’

We can learn a lot about the world around us by using the ‘aql (intellect) that Allāh ta‘ālā has given us. ‘Aql, however, has its inherent limitations, and as believers we should not remain content with the often incomplete picture of events that it can present. Where ‘aql reaches its limits, wahy (Revelation) takes over. As Muslims, we should turn to the teachings of our beloved Nabī Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam to understand the significance of the recent earthquake.

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has declared the cause of earthquakes to be disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā exceeding limits. Whatever the scientific explanation may be – and there is no need to reject or ignore scientific explanations – Allāh ta‘ālā made the earth shake. Allāh ta‘ālā uses physical agencies to bring about physical events in the universe, e.g. a child is born as a result of the union of its parents, yet Allāh ta‘ālā is the Originator; He gives children via the agency of the parents. Allāh ta‘ālā may cause an earthquake to occur through the means of huge stresses building up at fault lines in the earth’s crust or, if he wishes, without it. But, in either case, it is Allāh ta‘ālā Who causes earthquakes.

Allāh ta‘ālā first causes small earthquakes, like the 5.2 quake felt in the UK, which do not result in any major harm. They do, however, affect the hearts of people, causing a moment of fear, awe and a sense of one’s mortality. These minor earthquakes can be described as wake-up calls from Allāh ta‘ālā, inviting His servants to take stock of their lives and turn to Him in repentance. In this way, they are a mercy from Him. It is reported that on the occasion of an earthquake occurring in the time of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam he turned to the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum and said: ‘Your Rabb wants you to turn to Him in repentance, so repent.’

Allāh ta‘ālā states in the Glorious Qur’ān:
Calamities have appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that Allāh may make them taste a part of what they have done, in order that they may turn back. (30:41)

When people do not heed these warnings and continue to disobey Allāh ta‘ālā, He may repeat the wake-up calls of magnitude 4 or 5 before suddenly unleashing a magnitude 8 quake, resulting in Qiyāmah-like scenes. Whole localities are razed to the ground, as if they had never existed. And these things are not hypothetical, they are happening now, in our lifetime.

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam foretold that as Qiyāmah nears, earthquakes will become more frequent, a prediction we are seeing come true with our very eyes. The reason for the increase in earthquakes foretold by Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is an increase in disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā.

When, as a result of excessive disobedience, a large earthquake occurs anywhere, the Qur’ānic principle is that everyone, good and bad, is afflicted.
And beware of a scourge that will not afflict the wrongdoers among you only… (8:25)
Everyone suffers: people die or suffer bereavement, injury, fear, financial loss, anxiety and depression etc. The victims of a catastrophic earthquake can be divided into four groups:

1. Good people who die. They are classified as shuhadā (martyrs) and will enter Jannah. Their suffering will be a means of elevating their status in Jannah.

2. Bad people who die. Due to their disobedient and unrepentant ways they will be destined for Jahannam. Their suffering will be a punishment.

3. Good people who survive. The calamity is a test for them. By remaining patient and content with taqdīr and the Will of Allāh ta‘ālā they will be rewarded with closeness to Him.

4. Bad people who survive. The calamity is a warning and admonition for them to repent and change their ways.
What we need to do

1. Accept that the earthquake was a result of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā. Each individual should think: ‘Out of all the disobedient people, I am top of the list. It was because of me that the earthquake struck.’

2. Thereafter, make tawbah and istighfār with sincerity.

3. When the earth quakes, so does the heart. Treat it as an opportunity to rectify your life. Make use of the fear that developed in your heart. Think: ‘I commit many sins; what if the earth had split and swallowed me up? Allāh ta‘ālā has saved me. O Allāh, forgive me.’

4. Give sadaqah. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
‘Truly, sadaqah extinguishes the anger of the Rabb and prevents an evil death.’ (At-Tirmidhī)

5. Having experienced the disturbing effects of a small earthquake, try to imagine Qiyāmah. What will the mighty earthquakes of Qiyāmah and the Resurrection be like?
It is very serious that the land we live on shook; it means that so much disobedience is taking place on it that Allāh ta‘ālā is displeased. We must turn to Allāh ta‘ālā and do tawbah, istighfār and rectify our lives. We should also have concern in this regard for those around us. May Allāh ta‘ālā make this earthquake a mercy for us and may it prompt us to change our lives for the better. Āmīn.
© Riyādul Jannah