- Object of Life
- The First ten days of Dhul Hijjah
- Q&A: Going to the Gym
- Exam Time
- Faqihul Ummah: Disloyalty
Object of Life
The expedition of Tabook was looming ahead. Madinah Munawwarah was in the grip of famine. The Muslims had merely a few animals available for riding. Provisions were extremely low. Yet, an army of thirty thousand Sahaaba (R.A.) had to be equipped to undertake this expedition.
Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) stood on the mimbar (pulpit) and encouraged the Sahaabah (R.A.) to contribute towards the expenses of equipping the army. On this occasion Sayyiduna Uthmaan (R.A.) contributed six hundred camels together with their saddles. According to some narrations he also contributed fifty horses and one thousand gold coins.
To truly understand the reality of this contribution, one should bear in mind that owning a riding camel in those days was no less than owning a luxury vehicle in these times. If one estimates the value of one camel in those days to be equivalent to just R20 000 nowadays, it would amount to R12 million. Add a few more millions for the six hundred saddles, the fifty horses and the one thousand gold coins. Thus Hazrat Uthmaan’s (R.A.) contribution in this expedition alone amounted to, in our terms, more than fifteen million Rands. Apart from this he contributed large sums of money on many other occasions. It can thus be easily ascertained as to how wealthy he was.
While taking note of the immense wealth that he owned, it is also vitally important to note that he did not earn his wealth by hankering after the world. He did not work from “seven to eleven” or “eight to late.” Rather, he was more engaged in the company of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and in the service of Deen. Let alone missing any salaah entirely, or missing any salaah with jam’ah, it cannot be proven that he even missed onetakbeere oola (the first takbeer with the Imaam) or one sunnah due to being occupied in any business matter. It is also recorded that he used to regularly recite the entire Qur’an in his witr Salaah . He earned what was decreed for him without chasing after material wealth. Furthermore, his wealth was not splashed on living in the lap of luxury, or on five star holidays and the like. Instead, he earned his Jannah with his wealth. He was among those ten fortunate souls who had been given the glad tidings of Jannah while they walked on the earth.
Hazrat Uthmaan (R.A.) was not alone. He was one of several Sahaabah (R.A.) who were very wealthy. Yet, their wealth was not an obstacle to Deen. While they owned great fortunes, their hearts and minds were attached to the Hereafter. They were hence successful in this world and earned the everlasting bounties of the Hereafter as well.
DESPAIR AND SUICIDE!!!
This is the picture on one side. The opposite picture is extremely bleak. A researcher, Lewis Lapam, studied fifty of the richest U.S. families from 1900 to 1960. He concludes his findings in the following words:“I noticed that with few exceptions the lives of the heirs are marked by alcoholism, suicide, drug addiction and despair.” Owning billions yet despair? Possessing every luxury and comfort that money can buy yet suicide ? Sounds strange? It is nevertheless the tragic reality in the life of many a person, despite him “floating on wealth”. Such people have indeed lost the world and the Hereafter.
What is the reason for such an extreme contrast between the two situations? While such situations are often due to a combination of numerous factors, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the primary cause is the following: The first group, despite owning great fortunes, never made the acquisition of wealth their object of life. Instead the object of their lives was to acquire the love and pleasure of Allah Ta`ala, fulfilling His commands and establishing HisDeen on earth. Hence their lives revolved around Deen. Deen dictated everything in their lives including the acquisition of wealth. The second group made the world and its possessions their objective. As a result their lives revolved around the acquisition of wealth. The world, its wealth, its comforts and luxuries, its glitter and glamour and everything associated to its material nature is temporary and perishable. Hence, those who made something perishable their objective — everything they aspired for perished. Their happiness, peace, tranquility, contentment, and most of all, the opportunity to acquire the everlasting bounties of the Hereafter were all lost. Thus, the deceptive cover of apparent happiness and a life of luxury and affluence was in reality a life of utter misery. May Allah Ta`ala save us all.
The root of the problem lies in making the world one’s objective. To the extent that this will happen, accordingly one will suffer loss in this world and, Allah forbid, in the Hereafter. Therefore, the world must never be allowed to become the objective. Nevertheless the utterly deceptive glitter and glamour of the world will constantly be attacking every heart and this dunya will try to make itself the objective of every person’s life. In order to treat the malady and protect oneself from becoming enslaved by the world, and from the resultant destruction, it is necessary to be always alert for the symptoms which indicate that the world is becoming the objective.
Some of the symptoms that one should look out for are the following:
- Intention: Why does one go to work? Does one “earn to live” or “live to earn.” While one’s aspirations revolve around Deen, if one goes every morning to earn a halaal living in fulfilling the command of Allah Ta’ala, one’s object of life is Deen. It then does not matter whether one earns a thousand Rands or a billion Rands. If one’s aspirations are the dunya (world) and fulfilling the command of Allah Ta’ala does not even cross the mind, the object is the world.
- Time: If a reasonable and moderate amount of time is spent to earn one’s livelihood while the rest is dedicated to one’s Deen and one’s family, the object is Deen. If it is the opposite, the alarm bells of the love of dunya should be ringing. Likewise, out of business time, what is one’s mind generally pre-occupied with? While relaxing, falling-off to sleep, driving, eating… and even during one’s ibaadah, what does one think of? Does the mind generally remain pre-occupied with dreaming of ways and means to expand the empire and acquire the luxuries of life, or is the mind by and large engaged in what will acquire the Hereafter? If the former applies, the big red lights signaling danger should be flashing.
- Action: In earning one’s wealth as well as spending it, is one most concerned of upholding the laws of Allah Ta’ala, or is the greater concern to “do the deal” even if the laws of Allah Ta’ala are compromised or flagrantly violated? In the first case, Deen is the objective and the wealth earned is a blessing. In the second case, the world is the objective. It is a beautiful-looking snake which will sink its fangs deep into the heart. Its poison will make life a misery even if one may be “floating on wealth.”
Therefore, let us stop for a moment and reflect: Is our objective Deen or the world? If we find that the dunya to Deen has become the objective, let us repent and come back to Allah Ta’ala. The doors of repentance are wide open to welcome those who sincerely turn to their Creator. Also, keeping the company of the pious and dedicating time to serving Deen will help to change our direction from
May Allah Ta’ala grant barakah in the rizq of every Believer and help us all to make Deen our object of life. Aameen.
The First ten days of Dhul Hijjah
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are very significant days in the life of a Mu’min. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said:
“On no other days are good actions more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than on these days (ie the first ten days of Zhul-Hijjah). Someone enquired: “Not even Jihad in the path of Allah?” “Not even Jihad in the Path of Allah Ta’ala” replied Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Except that person who goes out to fight with his life and wealth and does not return with anything (ie he becomes a martyr)”(Sahih Bukhari). Another narration declares: “The fast of each of these days is equal to the fast of a whole year, and the Ibaadah (worship) of each of these nights is equal to the Ibadah of Lailatul Qadr” (Tirmizi; Ibn Majah).
From the above one can gauge the great virtues of these ten days. In these days the smallest of good actions becomes more virtuous than even Jihaad in the path of Allah at other times. Hence we can imagine what great rewards one would get for Jihad and striving in the path of Allah in these very days.
It is related from ibn Abbas (R.A.) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “No days are as weighty with Allah and so liked by Him for good deeds than the first ten days of Zhul-Hijjah. Therefore in these days excessively read tasbeeh (Subahanallah), tahleel (La-ilaha il-lal-lah), tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) and takbeer (Allahu Akbar) (Tabrani).
DAY OF ARAFAH
The fast of the day of Arafah (9th Zhul Hijjah) also has great virtues. Rasulullah (Salallahu alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said, “I have hope in Allah Ta’ala that the fast of Arafah will be an atonement for the sins of the past and forthcoming year.” (Tirmizi).
It should be remembered that forgive-ness of the sins refers to the minor sins. One must sincerely repent from the major sins. If one had violated the rights of people, one must also fulfil the same.
Q&A: Going to the Gym
I attend the local gym with some friends. Our purpose is purely to keep fit. We are purdah conscious and ensure that the rules of purdah are not compromised. An Aalim in our town has criticised the practice of Muslim women attending the gym. Please advise us whether what we are doing is wrong.
From your question it appears that you are one who has some concern for upholding Islamic values. You therefore will be addressed in this light. Those who have little or no concern for Deen, who prefer the immoral ways of the West over the pure ways of Islam and whose object is the pleasures of this world rather than the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, are addressed differently.
While you are concerned about your physical health, as a Mu’minah (Believing Woman), you are surely more concerned for the health of your soul. Hence while trying to burn off the excess fat from your physical self, you should never go near anything that will pile on the “fat” of sin. If one does not sincerely repent, this “fat” will then be burnt off in the fire of Jahannum, Allah forbid!
Keeping this in mind, consider just two aspects that apply to going to the gym. Firstly, Allah Ta’ala declares to every Mu’minah: “And remain firmly within your homes” (S33:V32). Thus a Mu’minah should only emerge from her home for a genuine necessity, and only after adopting the dress code and other laws of purdah that have been prescribed by Shariah. Going to the gym is not necessary at all. The gym is more often used by those who have more excess wealth to burn rather than excess fat. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising in the privacy of one’s home is sufficient to keep healthy. Millions of people keep fit without ever going to a gym. You can also do the same.
Secondly, the environment of most gyms is extremely detrimental to one’s Imaan. Let alone women, even men should strictly avoid such places. One can never totally escape the effects of a sinful environment. Many people ventured into such environments without the slightest intention of committing any wrong. In a short while the “heat” of the environment ignited their own passions and desires. The end result was destruction of Deen and dunya. While western “liberated” minds will wonder what is wrong with attending the gym, one who observes through the spectacles of the Qur’an and Sunnah will know how dangerous such environments are for one’s Deen. In fact, attending the gym has indeed broken down some marriages and led to other severe problems. An environment of nudity and shamelessness, of music and other vices is not an environment for any Mu’minah, let alone one who is purdah conscious.
Furthermore, when marriages have been rocked by issues stemming from one of the spouses attending the gym, can you afford to go there at the risk of some doubt being cast on your character and integrity? In such places even an unintentional action (such as mistakenly bumping into somebody) could result in suspicions and doubts being created. These are real life situations!!! Can you afford such a risk?
The above should be sufficient for you. If you still have any doubts in this regard, you may forward them so that they could be answered as well.
“O Allah, please help me to get an ‘A’. “O Allah, at least let me get a good pass.” “O Allah, save me from failing.”
These are some of the fervent duas made in utmost humility at this time of the year. Many are aspiring for an ‘A’ while others are just praying that they do not fail. Together with fervently praying, thousands of learners burn the midnight oil, sacrifice many leisures and pleasures and toil hard to pass the exams or to excel. Let alone the learners, even their parents and other relatives are praying for their success.
While every learner is certainly encouraged to do his best, the reality of the success of the exams at school or university should never be forgotten. It is a very minute success with extremely temporary benefit. At the most, it will help one for some years to earn a living. In some cases it is not even for a few days. Some people passed, celebrated, andpassed away before the next morning. Therefore, while working hard to pass, never forget that one day one will also pass away. One should also prepare for that day.
Upon passing away, there will be an immediate exam in the grave. Every person will be questioned about who was his Rabb (Sustainer), what was his religion and he will be asked about the personality of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). The questions of this exam have not just been leaked – they have been openly announced. The answers however will be dependant on one’s actions in this world, not one’s knowledge. The one who obeyed Allah Ta`ala will exclaim, “Rabbi Allah” (My Rabb is Allah.). The one who followed his desires against the commands of Allah will say: “Alas, I do not know.” The same applies to the other questions.
DAY OF JUDGEMENT
Similarly, on the Day of Judgement there will be an exam. Every person will be questioned about how he spent his life, and specifically how he spent his youth, what was the manner of earning his wealth and where did he spend it and how much did he practise upon his knowledge. The results of this exam are serious. It is a matter of heaven or hell. May Allah Ta`ala grant us Jannah and save us from Jahannum. Hence, never forget the main exam. Prepare for that NOW, since it could commence at any moment.
HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE?
Furthermore, when the results of the miniscule exams are announced, how does one “celebrate”? By performing two rakaats of Salaat-ush-Shukr (salaah of thanksgiving), giving sadaqah (charity) and pledging to Allah Ta`ala to remain obedient to Him, or by participating in sinful parties and other vices? When the good news comes, will we forget Allah Ta`ala, the One who we begged for help to pass? Will we stop going to the Musjid and instead head for the clubs and vice dens??? It is indeed an occasion to cry, nay… to sob and shed tears of blood, if we express our joy in a manner that violates the commands of our Most Merciful and Most Kind Allah who enabled us to pass. Moreover, we would be failing in the main exams if we celebrate our passing by engaging in sin.
May Allah Ta`ala keep us steadfast on Deen and help us to pass the exams in the grave and Hereafter. Aameen.
Faqihul Ummah: Disloyalty
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
I was very attached to someone. I am now shattered by his disloyalty. As a result I cannot even sleep at night. I continuously perform Salaat-ut-Taubah and make dua, yet my condition continues to deteriorate. Please help me to overcome this problem.
Summary of reply:
This world is a temporary place. It is also very disloyal. It keeps a person for a few days until he lives and then pushes him away (to the next world). All the things that one regarded as his own is also snatched away by the world.
Similar is the condition of the worldly people. They have no concept of loyalty. Only those who regard this world merely as a guest house (which one will shortly leave and continue upon one’s journey), or those who regard it as a jail, neither get deceived by it, nor do they deceive others.
When making zikr of Laa Ilaaha illallaah, imagine that you have removed all other love from your heart and thrown it behind you. Then meditate that only the love of Allah Ta`ala has been firmly embedded in your heart. In this world He is with us. In the Hereafter also, He alone will be with us. He will never separate from us.
Try to embed this thought in your heart as much as possible (insha Allah your distress will be removed).
(Maktoobaat; vol 5; pg 43)