- Halaal Earnings
- Q&A: Women Serving Deen
- Non-Stop Profit
- Faqihul Ummah: Manner of Reformation
- Wise or Foolish
Blood is the life stream of the human body. Healthy blood nourishes all the organs enabling them to function well. Good blood is produced from healthy, wholesome food. On the contrary, unhealthy food produces unhealthy blood, causing the entire body to be weakened and one then suffers a host of illnesses. Hence the direct link between what one consumes and physical health is evident.
A similar link exists between one’s sustenance and one’s spiritual health. If one’s sustenance is pure, wholesome and from halaal earnings, it has a direct effect in boosting one’s spiritual levels. The heart then desires to do good while the limbs easily move towards acts of piety and righteousness. However, if the food is not pure and wholesome, or it is halaal in itself but was acquired from haraam earnings, it spiritually contaminates the blood. This contaminated blood is then pumped throughout the body. As a result the heart almost continuously thrives on evil. The limbs easily move towards sin and have no strength to perform good deeds. Even Salaah, the most fundamental command after Imaan, becomes a burden and is easily left out. If this critical situation is not remedied in time, spiritual cancer sets in. Allah forbid, such a person then sometimes even sells his Imaan for monetary gain.
The direct link between what one consumes and good actions is most evident from the Quran Al Kareem itself. Allah Ta’ala addresses the sinless galaxy of Rasools (Messengers) with the command “O messengers, eat of pure and wholesome things and do righteous actions.” The lesson for the followers of the Rasool is that eating what is pure will lead to righteous actions.
This lesson has tragically been forgotten by many people. The incidents of “shady” deals and openly haraam transactions have escalated to unprecedented levels. Deception, fraud, cheating in weight and measure, cheating the customer by concealing the fault in the goods or in any other way, charging interest, dealing in haraam goods, buying goods from dubious sources, not paying creditors despite living in luxury, etc., have become the order of the day. Yet, this is a recipe for disaster in this world as well as in the Hereafter. Many general calamities and personal crisis occur in this world as a result of cheating and deceiving in business. One’s Duas are rejected and one’s Ibadah is also not accepted. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has clearly declared: “The fire of hell is more worthy of the flesh that was nourished with haraam.”
Due to the fundamental importance of earning only Halaal income, our pious predecessors exercised extreme caution in this regard. Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) once bought a consignment of goods to resell. He discovered that the goods had a defect. He therefore instructed his agent to inform all the customers of the defect when selling the goods to them. The agent by chance completely forgot to inform the customers and all the goods were sold. When Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) learnt of this he was very grieved. He then took the entire sum of money that was earned from the sale of the goods (the capital amount and the profit) and gave it away in charity. Numerous other incidents of this nature have occurred in the lives of the pious. This purity of income contributed tremendously towards the barakah (blessing) in their lives, wealth and also in the work that they did. Thus centuries have passed but their legacies live on up to this day.
In order to protect us from ever slipping into haraam, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has warned us against dealing in what is doubtful. Explaining this by means of a beautiful parable, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) declares: “Halaal is clear and Haraam is clear. Between them are doubtful things, the reality of which is not known to many people. Its example is that of a shepherd who grazes his sheep on the borders of the royal pastures (which is exclusive and not permitted for public grazing).This shepherd is most likely to end up grazing inside the royal pastures (thereby doing what was forbidden).” (Mishkaat) Therefore the best and safest way is to adopt the golden rule: “WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT.”
Therefore, it is imperative to stop and take stock. An effort must be made to develop contentment. This is the foundation for restricting oneself to only what is Halaal. Minus contentment and one will easily slip into doubtful things, thus paving the way towards Haraam. Contentment is acquired by being in the company of those pious people whose hearts are attached to the Hereafter and disinclined from this world. It comes from strengthening one’s Imaan and developing a zeal to acquire Jannah. Daily reading the book “Virtues of Charity” by Hazrath Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (R.A.) will assist greatly in attaining contentment.
Furthermore, one should choose an experienced, pious Aalim as a guide in all one’s matters. Refer to him only, while respecting everyone else. Check all one’s dealings with him. In matters of doubt, where there are different opinions and verdicts of the Ulama, stick to the person you have chosen for guidance. Insha Allah in this way one will be saved from following one’s nafs (base desires) and falling into destruction.
May Allah Ta`ala save us from the minutest bit of Haraam as well as what is doubtful. May He grant us Halaal rizq that is full of Barakah. Aameen.
The greatest oppression is to commit shirk (ascribe partners with Allah Ta’ala). The lesser shirk is to perform righteous actions for some ulterior motive such as name and fame, while it should have been done solely for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. Hence it is reported in a Hadith that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The one who has performed Salaah to impress others, has committed shirk with Allah Ta’ala.”
The gravity of the sin of riya (showing off and doing any action for people) is highlighted in a famous Hadith. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said that on the Day of Judgment a learned person, a generous person and a martyr will be called up. However, their great actions of teaching Deen, spending wealth for the upliftment of Deen and sacrificing ones life for Allah Ta’ala will all be rejected due to having been done to gain the praises of people. It is further mentioned that they will be the first to be thrown in the fire of Jahannam.
Therefore, sincerity in every action must be checked and re-checked. Allah Ta’ala knows what is in the depth of one’s heart. One should therefore be only concerned to please Him at all times.
The evil of seeking fame and recognition is not restricted to acts of worship only. It extends to other aspects as well. For instance Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has declared: “The one who wears a garment to attain recognition or to impress others, Allah Ta’ala will clothe him in garments of disgrace on the day of Judgment.” To wear good clothes that do not contravene the laws of Shariah is permissible. However, if the motivating factor in choosing a garment is to impress others, it becomes impermissible. A typical example of this is branded clothing. Many people choose a particular brand to appear to be in style. Hence if a person cannot afford the original, a fake with the brand name will also do. He will not choose another un-branded garment of equal quality and comfort even if the latter comes at a much reduced price.
Another example of wearing a garment for recognition is to try to wear something “different” at every occasion. For instance one wore a new garment on some family occasion. One the next occasion one chooses another garment to wear because “they already saw the other one.” Such a person will fall within the warning of the above Hadith.
Similarly, if one chooses a particular type of car, or chooses to furnish one’s home in a particular manner in order to impress people, the same warning will apply. Likewise if one has invited guests on some occasion, nothing should be done merely to impress the guests. One should make the guests comfortable. However, to resort to decorative aspects in order to impress will render the act impermissible and it will become a means of sin. In many aspects the dividing line between permissibility and sin is one’s intention. However, one should be extremely cautious in declaring that one’s intention is sincere. Shaitaan easily deceives us with flimsy interpretations. It is better to be safe than sorry. One should therefore first consult one’s elders or a senior experienced Aalim in such matters.
Our life is very short indeed. When we leave this world, all those who we impressed with our actions or wealth will not be able to help us. It is thus foolish to destroy our good deeds and to invite the wrath of Allah Ta’ala by trying to impress people. If Allah Ta’ala is pleased with us, the entire world’s displeasure is of no significance, nor can it harm us in any way. May Allah Ta’ala grant us sincerity and save us from doing anything to show off to others, Aameen.
Q&A: Women Serving Deen
We are a group of women who intend to help and uplift the poor. We have been motivated by the great rewards for assisting humanity. The projects we intend to embark on will require, among other aspects, working together with males. Some members have objected to this. Please advise (summary of question).
May Allah Ta`ala accept your noble intentions and reward you abundantly. Helping the poor and needy is an act of great virtue. We should all endeavour to do our utmost in this regard.
While the intention is very noble, it is also necessary that the manner of carrying out the action is also correct. Our primary concern should be the pleasure of Allah Ta`ala. If Allah Ta`ala is pleased with us then we are successful. If we displease our Creator, we are unsuccessful, even if we have apparently done a great service to Deen.
It is reported in a Hadith that among the first people to be thrown into the fire of Jahannum will be a martyr, a generous wealthy person and a learned person. Though they served Deen very greatly, they will be failures because their intentions were to gain name and fame. They benefited the Ummah greaty by their contributions, yet they gained destruction for their apparently noble efforts. Likewise, if a sincere noble intention is carried out in a manner which violates the commands of Allah Ta`ala, one cannot expect to be rewarded for it. Instead, one could be taken to task for it.
CODE OF LIFE
Islam is a complete code of life. Part of this perfect code is the separation of duties of males and females. A woman’s primary duty is that of a home-keeper. When women played this vital role and focused their main energy towards the proper tarbiyat (nurturing) of their children, the Imaam Bukhaaris, Ghazaalis and Rumis of the time were produced.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also emphasised this role for the women and did not make them responsible for other tasks outside the home. Once, Hazrath Asma (R.A.) came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and stated that the women stay at home and take care of all the household chores as well as look after their families while the men attended to numerous Deeni activities outside the home. Thus, she enquired, what will the women get for staying at home and fulfilling their responsibilities? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) informed her that the women will be granted an equivalent reward of their men folk for all the work of Deen that the men undertake outside.
BOUNDARIES OF DEEN
Nevertheless, while fulfilling one’s primary responsibilities of home-keeping and nurturing one’s children, a woman may also do whatever possible to serve Deen within the boundaries of Deen. Among other clear injunctions of the Qur’an is the segregation of males and females. The most noble companions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) were commanded by the Qur’an that if they ask the chaste wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for anything, they should do so “from behind the curtain” (S:33 V:53). If this applied to the Sahaabah (R.A.) and the pure wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), it applies to a far greater extent to the rest of the Ummah. Therefore, to embark on any project which involves the intermingling of males and females and transgresses the laws of hijaab is impermissible.
Imagine a business that generates profits 24 / 7 / 365 (24 hours a day, every day of the year). Such a business wherein there is never any risk of loss, not even a single cent. No business of this world can fit this description. It is only the business of the Hereafter that can generate such profits (rewards).
Non stop rewards are earned from engaging in some act of ibadah continuously. Some forms of Ibadah which earn tremendous rewards in the Hereafter can only be done for a limited time in the day. It is not possible to perform Salaah, recite the Quran, etc., 24 hours of the day. One has human needs which must also be fulfilled during which those acts of worship stop. Yet, some acts are such that the Ibadah is non-stop and the “profit” are continuous.
Among the acts of Ibadah is the Waajib act of having a beard to the extent of one fist length. This practice was strongly emphasised by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). In numerous Ahadith the clear command of lengthening the beard has been given. Once the emissaries of Kisra came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The emissaries had shaven of their beards and lengthened their moustaches. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) disliked looking at them and turned his face away. He asked them: “Who told you to do this (shave your beard)?” “Our lord (Kisra),” they replied. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “But my Rabb has ordered me to lengthen my beard and remove my moustache.”
Nevertheless, the one who does not shave off his beard or trim it to less than a fist length in emulation of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is performing a non-stop Ibadah. While he is walking, driving, eating, sleeping and at all times he is earning non-stop “profit” in the Hereafter.
Another form of non-stop Ibadah is that of a woman who observes the laws of Hijaab. On the command of Allah Ta’ala she remains within her home and does not emerge without necessity. She keeps away from all non-mahrams. If she emerges from the home out of genuine necessity, she practices on the command of Allah Ta’ala: “And they do not expose their beauty…” (S24; V31). This is achieved by practicing on the various teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith in this regard, the crux of which is:
- She fully conceals herself.
- The garments she wears when leaving the home are neither revealing in any way nor are they attractive.
- She refrains from perfuming herself.
- She does not walk in a manner that attracts attention.
- She lowers her gaze.
Faqihul Ummah: Manner of Reformation
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
My mother is always very upset with me. I feel that she has enmity for me. Therefore, I have severed all relations with her. I have done the same with my brothers. Please guide me as to what I should do.
Summary of Reply:
It is essential and absolutely necessary to respect one’s mother. To stop talking to her is a means of severe deprivation. Likewise, to cut off ties from your brothers is extremely detestable.
You are sure to have come across the following narration: “Join family ties with the one who cuts off ties from you, forgive the one who has oppressed you and be kind to the one who has harmed you.” Therefore, never consider the ill-treatment of others towards you. Instead consider how you should be responding to their ill-treatment (in the light of the Hadith above). In this you will find peace and comfort.
You have studied the Persian book “Bustan”. You may remember the following couplet in there: “To return evil with evil is very easy; if you are a courageous person then be kind to those who have been ill-mannered towards you.”
Wise or Foolish
Hazrath Shaddaad (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The wise person is he who keeps his desires under control and strives for the life after death (he does good actions and shuns all sin). The foolish person is he who follows his desires (even if they contradict the dictates of Shariah) and hopes for the best from Allah Ta’ala” (Tirmizi).