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Prepared to Die at His Door

Maalik bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) narrates the following incident:

On one occasion, I was performing tawaaf around the blessed Ka’bah. During the tawaaf, I was surprised with the large number of people who had arrived to perform Hajj and ‘Umrah. However, (as I observed these people,) I began to think, “If only I knew which person is accepted by Allah Ta‘ala, so that I may congratulate him, and which person is rejected by Allah Ta‘ala, so that I may sympathize with him!”

That night, when I went to sleep, I had a dream in which someone said to me, “O Maalik bin Dinaar! You are pondering over those performing Hajj and ‘Umrah! I take an oath, by Allah, that Allah Ta‘ala has forgiven all the people, whether young or old, male or female, black or white, Arab or non-Arab – with the exception of one man. Allah Ta‘ala is greatly displeased with him and has rejected his hajj, striking his face with it.” After hearing this, Allah Ta‘ala alone knows how I managed to sleep for the remainder of the night, as I feared that I should not be that rejected person.

The following night, when I went to sleep, I had the exact same dream, except that this time, I was told, “You are not that person (who is rejected by Allah Ta‘ala). Rather, he is a man from the region of Khuraasaan, from a city named Balkh. His name is Muhammad bin Haaroon. Allah Ta‘ala is greatly displeased with him. Allah Ta‘ala has rejected his hajj and has struck his face with it.”  

The following morning, I went to the various tribes of Khuraasaan, who were gathered in Makkah Mukarramah (for Hajj), and greeted them with salaam. I then asked them, “Are there any people among you from the city of Balkh?” When they affirmed that there were people from Balkh among them, I asked, “Is there a man among you named Muhammad bin Haaroon?” They enthusiastically replied, “How excellent! O Maalik, you are enquiring about a man who is such that nobody in Khuraasaan can surpass him in worship and disinterest in the world!”

I was astonished at the manner in which they extolled his virtue, considering the dream which I had seen. Nevertheless, I said to them, “Please direct me towards him.” They responded, “For the last forty years, he fasts during the day and spends the night engaged in performing salaah. He only takes ruined, dilapidated buildings as his residence. You will find him among the ruined homes of Makkah Mukarramah.”

I thus went towards the ruined buildings of Makkah Mukarramah where I began to roam about, until I located him, standing behind a wall. His right hand was amputated, and his collar bones were pierced, with chains linking through them, extending to shackles around his ankles. When I saw him, he was engaged in salaah, performing ruku and sajdah, but when he heard the sound of my footsteps behind him, he concluded his salaah. He then asked me, “Who are you, and where are you from?” I replied, “I am Maalik bin Dinaar from Basrah.”

Muhammad bin Haaroon then asked me, “O Maalik! What has brought you to me? You must have seen a dream regarding me, so please tell me what you saw.” I responded, “I feel embarrassed to tell you what I saw.” He replied, “Do not feel embarrassed, O Maalik!” Thus, (at his urging,) I narrated the dream to him.

After hearing my dream, he began to weep, and continued to shed tears for some time. Eventually, he said to me, “O Maalik! For every year of the last forty years, a pious person, such as you, has been shown this dream in my regard, informing him that I am from the people of Jahannum.” I enquired, “Did you commit a terrible crime and sin which now stands as an obstacle between you and Allah Ta‘ala?” He answered, “Yes! My sin is even greater than the heavens, the earth and the throne of Allah Ta‘ala!” I asked, “Tell me of your sin so that I may caution others and discourage them from committing it.”

Muhammad bin Haaroon thus recounted the following:

“O Maalik! I was a man who would excessively consume intoxicating substances. One day, I was with one of my friends, and I drank so much liquor that I became totally drunk and completely lost my sense of reason. In this intoxicated state, I left my friend and returned home. On arriving at home, I knocked on the door. My wife, who was also my cousin, opened the door. As I entered, I saw my mother who was stoking the oven to increase its heat. She continued to stoke the oven until the inside of the oven actually turned white with the heat. At that point, she turned and saw me, swaying from side to side in my drunken state.

“She began to reproach me saying, ‘This is the last day of Sha’baan, and tonight will be the first night of Ramadhaan! Tomorrow morning, all the people will wake up in the state that they are fasting, and you will wake up in the state that you are drunk and intoxicated! Do you feel no shame before Allah?’ Hearing my mother’s reproach, I raised my hand and slapped her. My mother cursed me and uttered, ‘May you be destroyed!’

“I was angered by her curse, so in my drunken state, I lifted her and threw her into the oven. When my wife saw this, she pushed me into an inner room of the house and locked the door, fearing that the neighbours would hear the noise.

“As the night drew to an end, my soberness returned and I recovered my senses. I shouted for my wife to open the door, but found that when she replied to me, it was with harshness and disgust. I asked her, ‘What is the matter? Why are you showing me harshness that you have never shown me before?’ She replied, ‘You do not deserve any kindness or sympathy from me!’ Hearing this, I asked her the reason, to which she answered, ‘You killed your mother. You threw her into the oven and she burned to death.’

“When I heard this, I could not restrain myself. I broke the door down, exited the room and rushed to the oven. As I looked into the oven, I saw my mother’s body in it resembling a burned loaf of bread. I turned from the oven and saw an axe. I seized it in my left hand, placed my right hand on the door frame, and hacked off my right hand. I then pierced my collar bones and inserted a chain through them. I also tied my feet in shackles.

“My wealth comprised of eight thousand dinaars (gold coins). Before the sun could set, I gave the entire amount in charity. I freed twenty six slave girls and twenty three male slaves, and I donated all my properties as waqf in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. Since then, for the past forty years, I have fasted every day and remain awake every night, performing salaah. I perform hajj every single year, and every year, a learned person such as you is shown this dream in my regard!”

Maalik bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) says,

I shook my hand in the face of Muhammad bin Haaroon and exclaimed, “You accursed person! You have almost burned the earth and all its inhabitants with the fire of your sin!” Saying this, I turned and moved away from him to a place where I could still hear him, although I could no longer see him. At that point, he raised his hands and made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala.

I departed and returned to my residence. That night, I had a dream in which I was blessed to see Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to me, “O Maalik! Do not make people despondent in the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala, and do not make them lose hope in His forgiveness! Indeed Allah Ta‘ala has accepted the du‘aa of Muhammad bin Haaroon and has forgiven his sin … On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta‘ala will inspire his mother to forgive him as well.”

The following morning, I went to Muhammad bin Haaroon and informed him of the dream that I had seen. As soon as he heard the glad tidings that I conveyed to him, he breathed his last and departed from this world. I thereafter participated in his janaazah salaah.

(‘Uyoonul Hikaayaat pg. 135)

Lessons:

1. All forms of intoxicants are extremely disastrous. Apart from the impermissibility, a person loses his sense of reason and ends up doing the worst of crimes, even killing his own mother!

2. We must always have hope in Allah Ta‘ala forgiving us and accepting us. Allah Ta‘ala is the Most Merciful and Most Loving. No matter how severe our sins may be, Allah Ta‘ala’s mercy is even more vast and His forgiveness is even greater.

3. From the thousands of people who had gone for Hajj, only one person’s Hajj was not accepted – the person who had murdered his mother. From this, we can well understand how important it is to honour, respect, love and serve one’s mother and bring happiness to her heart. If a person brings pain to his mother’s heart, it is very unlikely that he will ever enjoy happiness and success in this world.

4. As soon as Muhammad bin Haaroon realized what he had done, he did his best to cover up for it. He gave all his wealth away and spent the rest of his life in the worship of Allah Ta‘ala. If we have fallen into sin, then we should also immediately make amends by making sincere taubah, giving charity, etc.

5. The most remarkable lesson learnt from this incident is that of perseverance. Just imagine that for forty years, Muhammad bin Haaroon was told that his Hajj was rejected, but he never gave up! He knew that there is no door of mercy besides Allah Ta‘ala’s door, and so he was prepared to die knocking at the door. Eventually, his perseverance paid off, as Allah Ta‘ala forgave him, mere moments before he passed away. Thus, even if we continue failing to keep up to our taubah, we must never give up. Insha-Allah, one day we will ‘win the battle’ and become a chosen servant of Allah Ta‘ala.

2020-06-21T06:37:49+02:00Be Inspired|

The Power of Repentance

During the time of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), the Banu Israaeel once suffered a severe drought. They approached Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) and beseeched, “O Kaleemullah (the one whom Allah Ta‘ala has blessed with the ability of speaking to Him directly)! Make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, on our behalf, for rain!”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus went to the desert with the Banu Israaeel who were seventy thousand or more in number. Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then began to make du‘aa saying, “O my Rabb! Send us Your rain! Envelop us in Your mercy! Take pity on us for the sake of the breastfeeding children, the grazing animals and the old people among us whose backs are bent!” However, despite making this du‘aa, the sky remained clear of clouds and the rays of the sun continued to beat down relentlessly.

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala saying, “O Allah! If I do not have that level of honour in Your sight, then accept my du‘aa through the honour of the unlettered Nabi, Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), who You will send as a Nabi before the end of the world.” Allah Ta‘ala replied to Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), “It is not that you do not have high honour in My sight! Rather, you are esteemed in My sight! However, one of my servants is among you who has been at war with me by committing sins and violating my commands for forty years. Announce to the people that this person should leave, as it is because of him that I have withheld the rain from you.”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! O my Master! I am a weak servant, and my voice is weak! How will my announcement reach all the people, whereas they are more than seventy thousand in number?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “You will make the announcement, and I will ensure that they hear it.”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus stood and called out, “O sinful servant who has been at war with Allah Ta‘ala for forty years! Leave us, for it is due to you that we are deprived of rain!” When he heard the announcement, the sinful servant began to stand, but then noticed that nobody else had stood. This made him realize that he was the guilty person who Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was referring to. It then occurred to him that if he stood and left, he would be disgraced and humiliated before the entire Banu Israaeel. However, if he did not stand and leave, all the people would continue suffering from the drought.

In this state, he remained seated, but lowered his head in genuine, sincere remorse and repented for his sins saying, “O my Rabb and Master! I disobeyed You for forty years, yet you granted me respite. Now that I have come to you in obedience, accept me.” He had barely completed his words of repentance when rain began to fall in torrents.

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was surprised and asked Allah Ta‘ala, “O my Rabb and Master! How is it that You have sent us rain, whereas nobody awoke and left our gathering?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I sent rain to you on account of the repentance of the same person who caused Me to withhold the rain.”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! Show me who this obedient servant is!” Allah Ta‘ala responded, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I did not expose him and humiliate him when he was disobedient to me, so how can I expose him when he is obedient to me? O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I do not like those who carry tales, so how can I do the same (by causing him to be exposed)?”

(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 65)

Lessons:

1. Sometimes, things in life just don’t seem to be working out for us. No matter what we try, we still seem to fail. Sometimes, we suffer a robbery, or a bad injury, or such humiliation and embarrassment that we don’t know where to hide our faces. Often, these difficulties are a direct result of our evil deeds. In some cases, our sins even bring difficulties to those around us. So, whenever we see difficulties, we must think that it is because of OUR sins. We must then repent to Allah Ta‘ala and beg His forgiveness.

2. Many a time, you get two people who were friends for twenty years. Then, one of them betrayed or offended the other so badly that they never spoke to each other again until they died. In comparison to that, we have Allah Ta‘ala, who is so forgiving that after betraying Him and disobeying him for forty years, all the person had to do was repent and Allah Ta‘ala accepted him. There is no such thing as a person who is beyond redemption, even if one is involved in the worst of sins, as Allah Ta‘ala is ready to accept anyone – provided their hearts are sincere.

3. Allah Ta‘ala loves the person who makes sincere repentance so much that it was due to the repentant person’s du‘aa that everyone was blessed with rain. Thus, when we repent, we don’t only come out of the ‘bad books’, but rather go straight into the ‘good books’. Then, from being a cause of difficulty for everyone, Allah Ta‘ala will make us a means of mercy and happiness for all.

4. Allah Ta‘ala is so kind to us that even when we sin, He does not immediately cause our sins to be exposed to people, making us suffer humiliation and embarrassment. Rather, He gives us chance after chance to make amends. However, when we reject this kindness of Allah Ta‘ala by going out of our way to display our sins (on Instagram, Facebook, etc.,) then Allah Ta‘ala becomes very displeased. Hence, if we fall into sin, we should at least avoid advertising and displaying it.

2019-09-26T10:00:19+02:00Be Inspired|

Double Garden in Paradise

During the era of the khilaafah of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), there lived a youngster who was very pious. He would exert himself in ‘ibaadah and always remained attached to the masjid. This youngster was such that even Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) himself was fond of him.

This youngster had an old father whom he would visit every night after performing the Esha Salaah. Coincidentally, while going to his father’s house every night, he would pass by the home of a certain woman. When the gaze of this woman fell on the youngster, she was ‘head-over-heels’ and instantly fell in love with him. Her obsession for him was such that she would stand in his path and try her best to seduce him. However, he always resisted her efforts and avoided falling prey to her charms.

After trying and trying, the occasion finally arrived when he buckled and gave in to her advances. On her invitation, he followed her to her home and they began to enter. She entered first, and as he began to enter behind her, he suddenly remembered Allah Ta‘ala and the following verse of the Quraan Majeed flowed from his tongue.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِّنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْصِرُونَ

Those who fear Allah Ta‘ala, when an evil thought assaults them from Shaitaan, they remember (Allah Ta‘ala), and then they see (that which is right).

As this verse came to mind, he lost his senses and fell unconscious. Seeing the youngster lying unconscious in her doorway, she hastily called her maidservant for assistance. Together, they carried him to his father’s home and deposited his unconscious body at the door.

In the meantime, the youngster’s father decided to set out and search for him (since he was concerned that he had not yet arrived). However, as he exited his home, he found his son lying senseless at his door! The father called a few of his family members for help and they carried the still-unconscious youngster into the home.

After some portion of the night had passed, the youngster finally regained consciousness. Seeing this, his father came to him and anxiously asked, “O my son! How are you?” The youngster replied, “I am well.” The father thereafter asked him what had transpired, to which the youngster responded by narrating the entire incident to him.

The father then asked, “O my son! Which verse of the Quraan Majeed was it that you remembered and recited to yourself?” In reply, the youngster recited that very same verse and once again seemed to fall unconscious! When those around him shook his body, attempting to revive him, they realized that he had passed away. His family thus proceeded to give him ghusl, after which they took him to the cemetery and buried him during the night.

The next morning, when the demise of the youngster and the incident that led to his death was related to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he went to the father of the son to convey his condolences. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then asked the father, “Why did you not inform me (of his demise, so that I would have also attended his janaazah)?” The father replied, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! It was night (hence I did not wish to disturb you).” Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then requested to be taken to the grave of the youngster.

When Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and those who had accompanied him arrived at the grave, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) addressed the buried youngster saying, “O so-and-so!” Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then recited the following verse of the Quraan Majeed:

وَلِمَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ جَنَّتَانِ

For those who fear standing before their Lord, there will be two gardens (in Jannah).

The youngster replied to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) from the depths of the grave saying, “O ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu)! My Rabb has granted me both gardens in Jannah.”

(Tareekh Ibni ‘Asaakir vol. 45, pg. 450)

Lessons:

1. When a person is pious, he is beloved to Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala then makes him beloved to all the other pious people as well. This is why the youngster, despite being a junior person, was beloved to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

2. The youngster made sure that he visited his father every night. If we cannot visit our parents regularly, then we should at least phone them regularly. In whatever way we can, we must try to win the happiness of our parents.

3. All it took was a single glance, and the young girl fell in love with the boy. This is enough to demonstrate the importance of guarding our gazes. Since even one accidental glance can make us mad over a girl, or vice versa, we have to make sure that we are never in a situation where that glance can occur, whether it is through the phone or visiting some place.

4. We all know that we have to refrain from sin, but most people will say, “I can’t help it! I find it impossible to resist!” The question is, “What have we done to prevent ourselves from falling into sin?” In other words, to stay away from sin, we will have to stay away from all those things that will tempt and invite to sin and make it easy for us to sin. If we know that there is danger to our imaan in any area, we must avoid it at all costs.

5. Often, when a person is on the verge of committing a sin, or is engaged in committing a sin, Allah Ta‘ala, out of His kindness for this person, causes his conscience to stir, whereby he feels guilty and remembers that he is involved in sin. When this happens, we must immediately seize the opportunity to abstain and repent immediately.

6. In this day and age, when temptation, immorality and sin have become so accessible and easy, the only force that can prevent us from “messing up” and succumbing to the pressure is the awareness and fear of Allah Ta‘ala. These are qualities which need to be acquired and cherished, and their rewards and benefits are immense, both in this life and the next.

2019-07-13T11:20:22+02:00Be Inspired|

Easy Way to Give Up Sin

A person once came to the renowned saint, Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah), and said, “O Abu Ishaaq! I am a great sinner. Please give me some advice that will help me to stay away from sin and will save my heart.”

Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) replied, “If you accept five things from me and you are able to remain on them firmly, you will not fall into the harm of sinning, nor will you be destroyed through fulfilling your evil desires.” The man replied, “Please tell me these five things, O Abu Ishaaq.”

Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) explained the five things as follows:

The first thing is that when you wish to disobey Allah Ta‘ala, then do not eat from His sustenance.” The man replied, “Where will I get food from when all the food on earth is the sustenance given by Allah Ta‘ala?” Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) responded, “Does it befit you to eat from Allah Ta‘ala’s sustenance while disobeying Him?” The man submitted, “No, it is not befitting for me to do so.” The man then asked, “What is the second thing?”

Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) said, “When you wish to disobey Allah Ta‘ala, then do not stay on His land.” The man replied, “This is even more difficult than the first! When the East and the West and all the lands in-between belong to Allah Ta‘ala, then where will I live?” Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) responded, “Does it befit you to eat from Allah Ta‘ala’s sustenance, and reside on His land, while disobeying Him?” The man admitted, “No, it is not befitting for me to do so.” The man then asked, “What is the third thing?”

Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) said, “When you wish to disobey Allah Ta‘ala, and you are eating from His sustenance and residing on His land, then at least find a place where He will not see you defying Him openly.” The man exclaimed, “O Ebrahim (rahimahullah)! How is this possible when Allah Ta‘ala even sees those things which are hidden?” Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) responded, “Does it befit you to eat from Allah Ta‘ala’s sustenance, and reside on His land, and disobey Him while He is watching you and can see how you are defying Him?” The man acknowledged, “No, it is not befitting for me to do so.” The man then asked, “What is the fourth thing?”

Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) said, “When the angel of death comes to you to remove your soul then say to him, ‘Give me some time to repent from my sins and carry out good deeds to please Allah Ta‘ala.’” The man responded, “The angel of death will never accept this request from me!” Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) remarked, “When you do not have the ability to deter death when it comes to you, to receive an opportunity to repent, and you are well aware that when death comes, there will be no delay, then how do you hope to gain salvation?” The man then asked, “What is the fifth thing?”

Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) said, “On the Day of Qiyaamah, when the angels of punishment come to seize you and drag you to the fire of Jahannum, then do not go with them.” The man replied, “The angels will not leave me and will not listen to my pleading!” Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) asked, “In that case, how can you hope for salvation?”

The man exclaimed, “O Ebrahim (rahimahullah)! That is enough for me! I beg Allah Ta‘ala to forgive my sins and I turn to Him in repentance!”

The man then chose to remain in the company of Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) where he remained engaged in ‘ibaadah until his death.

(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 211)

Lessons:

1. If you had to choose between your friend and your enemy, who would you choose? If you were to choose between your father and his foe, who would you support? Obviously, in both cases, you would support your friend and father, because you owe them loyalty. In the same way, we have to choose Allah Ta‘ala over everything else because we owe Him the greatest loyalty of all. He gave us everything that we have and enjoy, and He has complete power over us which no person can escape. We must thus obey Him completely and never ever defy His authority.

2. When a person has a serious illness or addiction, he cannot treat it on his own. He will have to refer to an expert doctor or check into a rehab for attention and treatment. Similarly, the person in this incident had the illness and addiction of repeatedly falling into sin. He thus referred to the illustrious saint and ‘Aalim of the time – Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) – for guidance and advice. Through the blessing of referring to this ‘Aalim, Allah Ta‘ala guided him and inspired him to change his life.

3. After repenting, the man did not part ways from Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) and leave. Rather, he realised that if he wanted to continue benefiting and progressing, and if he wanted to prevent a relapse, he would have to remain linked and connected to Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah). Hence, he remained with him until death. If we wish to make a change in our lives and become the special friends of Allah Ta’ala, we will have to link ourselves to some pious person who is committed to the sunnah. In this way, Allah Ta‘ala will bless us via this pious person and we will gain His special love and friendship.

2019-04-18T10:08:26+02:00Be Inspired|

The Pearl Necklace

Qaadhi Abu Bakr Muhammad bin ‘Abdil Baaqi Al-Ansaari (rahimahullah) (d. 535 A.H.) mentioned the following story of his life:

I was a student in Makkah Mukarramah. One day, I was hungry and could not find anything to eat. On my way home, I found a small velvet pouch tied with a string of silk. I picked it up and took it home with me. When I reached home and opened the pouch, I found a pearl necklace which was more beautiful than anything that I had ever seen before.

I later went out and saw an old man who was holding a cloth containing five hundred dinaars. He was shouting, “This money is a reward for whoever returns to me a pouch which I lost containing a pearl necklace!” I thought to myself, “I am in need and extremely hungry. Let me return the purse to the old man and collect the reward so that I can use the money for my needs!” I went up to him and said, “Come with me”, and then led him to my home. When we reached my home, I asked him to describe the pouch so that I could confirm that he was the owner. After he correctly described it, I took it out and handed it to him. He then presented me with the reward of five hundred dinars.

I at that moment, I had a change of heart. I refused to accept the reward and said, “It was my duty to return the pouch to you, so there is no need for you to give me any reward.” The man continued to insist that I take the reward, but as much as he insisted, I continued to refuse and did not accept it.

After some time, I left Makkah Mukarramah and boarded a ship to travel to a certain place. During the journey, the ship was wrecked and all the passengers drowned. Only I survived and managed to hold onto a piece of the ship that was floating. In this way, I continued to float in the ocean, not knowing where I was going to.

Eventually, I drifted to an island on which Muslims were living. I went to one of their musjids and began to recite the Quraan Majeed from memory. When the people of the island heard me recite, they all came to me and asked me to teach them to recite the Quraan Majeed correctly. I began to teach them and was well rewarded for my services.

One day, I noticed a few pages of a Quraan Majeed in the musjid and picked them up to recite. When the people saw me holding the pages, they asked me whether I was able to read and write. When I said yes, they asked me to teach them how to read and write as well. Soon, many of them brought their children along as well. Through teaching the people, I earned a livelihood and became completely independent.

Later on, they asked me to marry a wealthy orphan girl in the community. I initially refused, but when they insisted, I agreed. After the nikaah was performed, the girl was brought to me. On seeing her, I was absolutely dumbstruck! Around her neck was a necklace – the very same necklace that I had found many years ago! I was so shocked that I could not tear my eyes away from it and continued to stare, until the people said to me, “O Shaikh! You will break your bride’s heart by staring at her necklace instead of looking at her!”

I then told them the story of the necklace, and they all began to shout, “Allahu Akbar! Alhamdulillah!” I asked them why they were so excited, and they replied, “The man who had taken the necklace from you was the father of this girl. He used to say regarding you, ‘I never met a more truthful Muslim. May Allah Ta‘ala bring him to us so that I may marry him to my daughter.’ This du‘aa of his has now been fulfilled.”

I lived with my wife and was blessed with two sons from her. She finally passed away and I, together with my two sons, inherited her necklace. Later, my two sons also passed away and I became the sole owner of the necklace. I eventually sold it for one hundred thousand dinars.

(Az-Zail ‘Alaa Tabaqaatil Hanaabilah, vol. 1 pg. 443)

Lessons:

1. If a person does something to please someone, that person will certainly express appreciation. Similarly, when we do something to please Allah Ta‘ala, such as abstaining from sin, He definitely appreciates our effort and sacrifice. Apart from rewarding us in the Hereafter, Allah Ta‘ala will bless us with the same thing in a halaal manner – or something which is even better. Despite being desperate, Qaadhi Abu Bakr (rahimahullah) did not take the pearl necklace or even the reward for handing it to the owner. Since Allah Ta‘ala intended to reward him for this, Allah Ta‘ala caused him to board the ship, caused the ship to sink, and caused him to float to the island where Allah Ta‘ala blessed him with far more than he had sacrificed.

2. Today, almost everyone is chasing after a six-figure salary, an exotic supercar, a multi-story mansion, a ‘trophy’ wife and luxury lifestyle. To acquire the money needed to live this lifestyle, they slog and toil, from morning until evening. However, we become so immersed in money that we completely forget about earning for Jannah. Qaadhi Abu Bakr (rahimahullah), although in difficulty, declined to take the reward from the person because he wanted to receive his complete reward from Allah Ta‘ala. He had seen beyond the glitter and glamour of the world and was striving for Jannah.

3. When parents make du‘aa for their child, it is readily accepted. The girl’s father made du‘aa for her to marry the boy in Makkah and Allah Ta‘ala accepted it. We must always try to keep our parents happy and continue to win their du‘aas.

2019-02-25T17:04:17+02:00Be Inspired|

Fight Fire with Fire

There was once a youth who travelled far away from his homeland and eventually settled down in a small village. He made such an impression on the people of the village, that before long the entire town was buzzing with the news of the newcomer who had “impeccable manners”. The acts of service he was ever-ready to render for one-and-all and his praiseworthy character were soon the talk of the town.

Now it so happened that in that very town there was a young teenage girl of exceptional beauty. With the entire town now fixated on only one topic – the pious youth, she found herself hearing so much about him that she was slowly attracted to the idea of this youngster and before long was yearning to see what he looked like. She therefore made it a point to stealthily glimpse at him whenever she got the chance. These glances, however fleeting they may have been, soon penetrated to the depths of her heart and she was now longing to meet him and speak to him. How she wished she could profess to him that the seed of his undying love had been planted in her heart and was growing day by day! The poor girl was so overcome by her infatuation that she began plotting ways to lure her beloved into a circumstance of her design whereby she’d finally get her wish.

The youth was one day walking along the street when he heard someone call out to him from one of the homes. When he turned and saw the beautiful girl – he immediately lowered his gaze and refused to even look at her. “Will you please help us?” she asked, “We need to move some things in the home but they are too heavy for us.” The boy was always willing to lend a helping hand and so agreed but also instructed, “Tell all in the home that I’m about to enter. Please conceal yourselves until I leave.” Thus saying he entered, carried their things, and left as quickly as he’d come.

This was not at all what she’d wanted or imagined. Things had not gone according to plan. He was supposed to at least speak to her! She was now left even more frustrated and the scant words she exchanged with him served to only further fuel the fire of love now ignited within her. She had no choice but to go back to the drawing board and think of another plot…

One night the youngster was seated in his home studying by candle light. It was raining in torrents and the rain had brought with it a biting cold. While paging through his book, he suddenly heard desperate knocking on his door! “Who could it be?” he wondered, “Who would come out to visit me in this weather?” He got up and went to the door and as soon as he opened it, the teenage girl dramatically collapsed at his feet. The girl pleaded, “I came to your home to take warmth from the cold and shelter from the rain.” The youngster’s heart was pounding in his chest and he was short for breath. There was a stunning, young damsel in distress literally lying at his feet! But the tug of imaan within him was too great, he dared not stretch his hand to her. But what could he then do?! The temptation was burning away at him! He suddenly turned to the lit-candle and plunged his fingers into the flame, apparently numb to the pain and unable to perceive the smell of his own roasting flesh. The girl stared in horror, utterly transfixed by the scene. The youth then seemed to suddenly snap back to his senses and as he did, he screamed and yanked his hand out of the flame and fled from his home. When most of the night had passed he came back home and entered and to his relief the girl was gone. He praised Allah Ta‘ala for saving him from falling into sin and repeated to himself, “If I am unable to bear the heat of a small candle, how will I bear the raging inferno of Jahannum which will be fuelled by people and stones? I will never be able to do so!”

The girl, in the meantime, was deep in thought at her own home. The spectacle of taqwa (Allah consciousness) she’d witnessed first-hand, instead of deterring her, further entrenched his love in her heart. She now wanted him more than ever. “But how?” she pondered. She went on thinking until she realized that this class of youngster would never stoop to haraam. If she wanted him, she’d have to marry him. With this realization she went up to her father and asked him if he’d marry her to the youngster. Her father happily agreed and when he approached the youngster, he too was happy to marry her. At that moment the youth realized how very true it is that if a person leaves out something haraam to make Allah Ta‘ala happy, Allah Ta‘ala will give him (the very same thing or) better, but in a halaal manner.  

(Suwarun Mushriqatun minath Thabaati ‘alal Imaan pg. 144)

Lessons:

1. When we are tempted to sin, we should think of the Hereafter and more specifically, Jahannum. The youth fought the fire of his temptation by reminding himself of the fire of Jahannum. Let us too fight fire with fire.

2. If we abandon haraam for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, He will grant us the same thing we desired – if not better – in a permissible manner with happiness, honour and no guilt of sin.

3. When a person adorns himself with taqwa, the entire creation becomes attracted to him as taqwa is the “jewellery of the soul” which is seen by the eyes of the soul.

4. We should never allow ourselves to be in seclusion with a member of the opposite gender who is a non-mahram.

2018-11-11T08:43:19+02:00Be Inspired|

180° Turn

Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) had a neighbour who was living a life of sin, evil and shameless deeds. One day, he came to the gathering of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) and made salaam to him. To his disappointment, Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) replied to his salaam, but he did not show him attention and make him feel very welcome. Instead, Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) seemed to feel uncomfortable to be near this man (as his sins and evil ways were well known to all).

As soon as the man noticed that Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) was uncomfortable to be near him, he said, “O Abu ‘Abdillah (rahimahullah)! Why are you uncomfortable in my presence? I saw a certain dream, and through this dream, I have completely changed my life and I am no longer the sinful person that you knew me to be.” Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) asked, “What dream did you see?”

The man replied, “I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in my dream. In the dream, it appeared as though he was on an elevated area with many people seated below him. One by one, the people were standing and asking Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make du‘aa for them. As they would stand and make their request, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would make du‘aa for them, until I was the only person left. I also wanted to stand and ask Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make du‘aa for me, but I felt embarrassed and ashamed because of my evil actions and ways.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then asked me, “O so-and-so! Why do you not stand and ask me to make du‘aa for you?” I replied, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Due to my sins, I feel ashamed and embarrassed to ask you to make du‘aa for me.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “If it is because of shame and embarrassment, then stand and ask me for du‘aa. I will still make du‘aa for you, as you do not speak ill of my Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum).” I stood and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made du‘aa for me. When I woke up afterwards, I found that Allah Ta‘ala had blessed me by placing in my heart complete hatred and disgust for all the sins that I was involved in.”

When Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) heard this man’s story, he said, “Share this incident with people and do not forget it, as it is beneficial and inspiring.”

(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 275)

Lessons:

1. We are all weak and can all fall into sin. However, even if we are stuck in the worst of sins, we need to do one thing – always remember that what we are doing is sin and try to feel ashamed of ourselves, because we have displeased Allah Ta‘ala. As long as we are ashamed and know that what we are doing is wrong, the door of repenting and reforming will remain open. If we begin to think that the sin is ‘nothing major’, and it’s ‘not a train smash’, then very soon we won’t regard it to be a sin at all. At that point, it becomes almost impossible for a person to leave the sin and repent.

2. If anyone speaks ill of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), he is actually attacking those people who were the ‘main men’ and closest of people to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Naturally, this is a severe sin and causes hurt to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). On the contrary, if we respect them and show love for them, we will gain the love of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

3. Only Allah Ta‘ala can inspire a person to change his life and can place hatred and disgust for vice and evil in his heart. We should continuously make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to bless us with the love of good deeds and the hatred of sins.

4. Stories of people changing their lives and the incidents of the pious are filled with many lessons and are very inspiring. We should all participate in the ta‘leem in our homes and in the musjid, as well as attend deeni programmes as often as we can so that these stories may inspire us all.

2018-08-04T12:57:02+02:00Be Inspired|

Power of a Mother’s Du’aa

A woman in grief once came to the famous student of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah), Baqiyy bin Makhlad (rahimahullah), and begged him for help. She cried and said, “My beloved son has been captured by the Romans! I am so sad that I cannot sleep the entire night! I cannot pay his ransom because I don’t have the money. All I have is my small home, and I can’t find anybody to buy it from me. Will you please find someone who will pay my son’s ransom? Days and nights have passed since he was captured, and I can find no peace and happiness.”

Baqiyy (rahimahullah) replied, “Go home, I will try to see to your problem insha-Allah.” He then lowered his head and began making du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala for her son to be freed. Just a few days later, the woman came back to Baqiyy (rahimahullah) with her son! Out of appreciation, she made du‘aa for Baqiyy (rahimahullah) and said to him, “Listen to his story!”

Baqiyy (rahimahullah) asked the son, “What happened to you?” He replied, “The soldiers of one of the Roman kings captured me. I was in a group of prisoners who would be forced to work in the desert every day until sunset. At the time of sunset, the guard would take us back in our chains. One day while returning, I was astonished to find that the chains around my ankles fell off on their own! The guards immediately began swearing at me and asked me why I took the chains off. I protested saying, ‘No! I didn’t! By Allah it fell off on its own without me even realizing it!’ Since the chains had fallen off, they called the blacksmith. When he arrived, he secured me in new chains, but even this did not work! I stood up and took only a few steps when the new chains also miraculously fell off. They were completely puzzled, so they summoned their priest and asked him what to do. He asked me, ‘Do you have a mother?’ When I said yes, he said, ‘It seems that she has made du‘aa for you and it has been accepted. It is better that you are set free.’ So they released me and even guarded me until I reached the border of the Islamic lands.”

When he heard this, Baqiyy (rahimahullah) asked, “On which day and at what time did your chains fall off?” When the boy replied, they realized that it was the exact moment that Baqiyy (rahimahullah) had raised his hands to Allah Ta‘ala in du‘aa. (Al-Muntazam – Ibnul Jowzi vol. 12, pg. 274)

Lessons:

  1. We all have our ‘chains’ in life. It can be drugs, pornography, a girlfriend, masturbation, or any other sin. Whatever our chain, it is holding us back and dragging us down. To free ourselves of these chains, we need to ‘chain’ ourselves to a pious ‘Aalim who will advise us and assist us. We then need to make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, as He holds the key to happiness and success.
  2. A mother’s du‘aa is potent and powerful. No matter how much a mother may ‘nag’, scold or shout, she only does it out of love for her child. If the son hurts her in any way, he can lose her du‘aa – or even worse – earn her curse. He should do everything he can to make her happy and win her du‘aa.
2018-04-21T05:12:02+02:00Be Inspired|

Fireproof!

Ibnul Jowzi (rahimahullah) narrates that a pious person once mentioned the following story:

I once came to Egypt and saw an amazing sight. I saw a blacksmith who would take the glowing iron out of his furnace using his bare hands! He would even place the iron on his anvil and turn it with his hands, not feeling any pain from the heat of the glowing iron!

When I saw this extraordinary sight, I thought to myself, “This must be a very pious man! After all, the fire is unable to burn him!” I then went up to him and greeted him with salaam. I thereafter said, “O my master! I ask you in the name of that Being who blessed you with this miracle to please make du‘aa for me!” Hearing my request, the blacksmith began to cry and exclaimed, “My brother! By Allah! I am not the pious person that you think I am!” I replied, “O my brother! This miracle which I saw you perform is something that only pious people are able to do.” The blacksmith answered, “There is a strange incident behind this miracle.” The blacksmith thereafter narrated the following incident:

I was once busy in my business when I suddenly realized that there was a woman in front of me. When I looked up, I saw that her face was the most beautiful face that I had ever seen before. The woman began to beg me saying, “O my brother! Do you have anything to give us for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala?” I was captivated by her sight and infatuated by her beauty. I replied, “Why don’t you come to my home? There I will give you something and see to your needs.” On hearing my suggestion, she looked at me in silence for some time. Eventually, she turned and left. After some time, however, she returned and said, “Desperation has forced me to accept your offer,” so I locked my business and took her home.

When we reached my home, she begged me saying, “I have children that I left in starvation. Please give me something and allow me to go and feed them! I will return after they have eaten.” After making her promise that she would return, I gave her some silver coins and watched as she left to feed her children. When she returned, I led her into my home and turned to lock the door. “Why are you locking the door?” she asked. “I fear the people.” I replied. “And why do you not fear the Lord of all the people?” she asked. “He is Forgiving and Merciful.” I said. I then made advances towards her and found that tears were streaming down her cheeks and she was trembling, just as palm leaves tremble in the wind. “Why are you trembling and crying?” I asked. “Out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala.” she answered.

The woman then turned to me and begged, “If you leave me for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, I will stand guarantee that Allah Ta‘ala will not punish you with fire in this world and in the next.” When I heard her say this, I was shaken. I immediately stood and gave her all my wealth saying, “I have left you because I fear Allah Ta‘ala!”

After some time, I fell asleep and had a dream. In the dream, I saw a woman wearing a crown of red rubies. She had the most beautiful face that I had ever seen. She said to me, “May Allah Ta‘ala give you a good reward on our behalf.” “Who are you?” I asked. “I am the mother of the girl whom you left out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. May Alah Ta‘ala never punish you with fire, neither in this world nor the next.” I next said to her, “Please tell me who she is and which family she is from.” The woman replied, “She is from the family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”

When I awoke from my sleep, I found that the fire of this world could not harm me. I have hope that the fire of the Hereafter will not harm me as well. (Al-Mawaa‘iz wal Majaalis libnil Jowzi pg. 219)

Lessons:

  1. The secret to extinguishing the fire of Jahannum is for us to extinguish the fire of our evil passions and desires.
  2. Never consider committing sin thinking, “Allah is Forgiving”. The forgiveness of Allah Ta‘ala is for those who sincerely want to change their lives, not those who want to sin.
  3. When the fear of Allah Ta‘ala and the awareness that “Allah Ta‘ala is watching” settles in our hearts, it will become extremely easy for us to give up sins and vice.
2018-02-10T14:28:20+02:00Be Inspired|

The Tsunami of Sin

It was once revealed to Nabi Yusha’ (‘alaihis salaam) that a punishment would befall his people and destroy one hundred thousand of them. However, the strange thing was that sixty thousand of them were sinners, whereas the other forty thousand were outwardly pious people! In astonishment, Nabi Yusha’ (‘alaihis salaam) asked, “O Allah! What crime did the pious people commit?” Allah Ta’ala replied, “They associated and interacted with the evil people and did not express any anger for the wrongs taking place around them.” (Shu‘abul Imaan #8982)

Lesson:

When a tsunami strikes, everybody is swept away and destroyed. That is why nobody hangs around and waits for the tsunami. Rather, everybody runs to safety.

We have entered the season in which many places become flooded by the tsunami of sin. When this happens, we should try our best to avoid these places so that we can save our Imaan from being washed away.

Sometimes, we don’t go to the sin, but the sin comes to us! If the sin comes to us and we have nowhere to run to, then we must try in whatever way possible to stop the sin. If we cannot do this, then at the least, we must feel hatred and disgust for the sin that is taking place.

2017-12-17T06:08:57+02:00Be Inspired|
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