Forsaken by his people; harassed by his own uncles; stoned till he bled . . . Allahu Akbar . . . yes … indeed . . . till he bled from head to toe; mocked, jeered and persecuted in countless ways — all this was done to the most beloved of Allah Ta`ala, the leader of all mankind, Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). He underwent untold suffering himself and had to also bear the pain of witnessing the severe difficulties heaped upon those who followed him. The books of history are filled with thousands of heart-rending incidents. “Why did Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) undergo all this?,” one may ask. Are these incidents merely moving stories which one reads or listens to… becomes emotional for a few moments…wipes the tears streaming down one’s face… wakes up from the gathering… and then continues with one’s sinful life??? Is there no lesson we take from the seerah (biography) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)???
OBJECT OF LIFE
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) underwent unimaginable difficulties in order to invite mankind to Allah Ta`ala and to teach them the object and purpose of life. Prior to his advent, people were engaged in all the activities of life that we are engaged in today. They were involved in business, agriculture, trade, medicine and a host of other activities. These activities, together with chasing fun and entertainment, had become the object and purpose of life. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) brought a message which had “upset the applecart”. The message was clear: Business, agriculture, professions and all other worldly occupations are not the object of life. Entertainment is not the purpose of our existence. While some people continued to cling to their worldly occupations, entertainment and merry making, those who were his true and sincere lovers fully embraced his message in word and spirit. The message that Allah Ta’ala revealed unto him declared: “You are the best of nations extracted for the benefit of mankind. You enjoin right and forbid evil and believe in Allah.” (S3: V 110) The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum), who had the greatest love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), clung onto the message of their beloved. In the process they tolerated major losses in their businesses, farms, worldly possessions and loss of the lives of their near and dear ones, but they could not tolerate any deviation from the message and the way of life of the one they loved the most.
SALAAH NOW, BUSINESS LATER
While the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) and all the true aashiqs (lovers) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) proved their claim of love by living the message of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), how have we responded? For instance, how have we responded to his impassioned plea in the last moments of his life, when he said: “Guard your salaah.” In response to this do we sacrifice business, work, school, and whatever else for salaah, or does salaah get the chop? Where is our love? What is our object? When the Mu’azzin announces: “Come to Salaah,” do we respond with “salaah now, business later” or by means of our actions do we say “business now, salaah later?” Have we embraced the message of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) or have we embraced our business, profession, occupation and entertainment???
WHO CRIED FOR THEM?
Similarly when it comes to marriage, do we have a simple sunnah nikah or is it a lavish westernised wedding? Who do we follow? Who do we imitate? Furthermore, how do we dress? Do we wholeheartedly embrace the modesty and shame that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) taught, or do we grab the latest western garb? Are our daughters happy to imitate the dressing of the apple of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) eye – Sayyidah Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) — or are they more comfortable in shameless attire such as jeans, T shirts, tight fitting garments and the like? Who do they love? Who cried profusely for them? Will the jeans designers intercede for them on the Day of Qiyaamah, or will they hope for the intercession of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)??? Likewise, whose akhlaaq (character) have we adopted? Do we strive to crush our ego or do we crave for status and recognition? Do we love for our fellow Muslims what we love for ourselves, or is our heart filled with malice and jealousy? Are we the humble servants of Allah Ta’ala or does arrogance and pride overcome us? Do we suppress our anger, overlook and forgive or do we seek revenge?
WHO HAVE WE EMBRACED?
The answers to these questions will clearly indicate to us who we have embraced: Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) or our businesses, professions, shamelessness, the western way of life, our ego, etc. Life will soon come to an end. We have to face Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) on the Day of Judgement. What will we say? Will we declare our business turnover, or the number of investments we had, or describe the most fabulous home we built, or the fanciest cloak or the shameless designer jeans we wore, etc.? No. He would want to know whether we embraced his way of life, what gratitude we showed for the sacrifices he underwent for us and to what extent we spread his message? If we have positive answers, we can hope that he will embrace us on that day.
Hence it is time to change the direction of our lives. Business, professions and other occupations should remain only as a necessity of life. One should engage in it, plan for it and worry about it to the extent that one does for a necessity. For instance, when one has eaten lunch, which is a necessity, one forgets about eating until supper time. The same should apply to our other necessities of life. Deen – the total obedience of Allah Ta`ala and His beloved Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) – the object and purpose. Everything – business, comforts, luxuries, relaxation, etc. must take a second place.
May Allah Ta`ala grant us the true understanding of the message of Seerah and enable us to wholeheartedly embrace it. Aameen
Have some Shame
Honesty, trustworthiness, kindness to parents, respect to elders, decency (in manner, speech, dressing, etc.) and a host of other basic values are cherished by one and all. The reality, however, is that such values are becoming rare. While this lamentable situation could be due to many factors, one of the main aspects that it can be attributed to is the erosion of Hayaa (modesty and shame). This is clearly understood from the Hadith: “If you have no shame, do as you wish” (Muslim).
IMAAN IN GRAVE DANGER
A person without shame will do anything. He will shamelessly lie, shamelessly disrespect elders and seniors, shamelessly abuse his own parents, behave shamelessly, dress shamelessly, talk shamelessly and do everything that he should not be doing. In fact, if shame is totally eradicated, one’s Imaan is in grave danger. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has declared: “Imaan and hayaa are companions. When one leaves, the other follows.” The reality of this is evident in many cases where, after becoming involved in illicit relationships, people have given up their Imaan merely to get married to the non-muslim they are in love with. Thus shamelessness, which led to the illicit relationship, eventually resulted in the loss of Imaan!!!
In this era of fitna, almost everything is calculated to destroy hayaa. From the media to dressing styles, from chocolate wrappers to billboards, everything is vigorously promoting shamelessness. The only protection is to increase the level of hayaa. “Hayaa is from Imaan,” declared Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Therefore, maintaining hayaa is also vitally important for the maintaining of all the qualities of Imaan and of Imaan itself.
In a humble attempt to promote hayaa, this column in future will be dedicated to this topic. It is hoped that, Insha Allah, it will make us more conscious of the various aspects of shame and modesty. May Allah Ta’ala enable us to truly adopt hayaa in every facet of our lives. Aameen.
Q&A: World Cup
The 2010 World Cup will soon be here. While almost everyone is very excited and eagerly awaiting it, some people are advising that we should not participate in it. Is this not unpatriotic? Please advise. (Question summarised)
People get excited for different reasons. It all depends on one’s priorities, preferences and what one is passionate about. For some, the approach of the month of Ramadhaan brings immense joy and excitement. They can barely wait to receive what Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has described as a “Great Month.” Likewise, some people eagerly await the time of the next salaah. Many fortunate souls are thrilled every time that they complete a recitation of the Qur’an Shareef — which they do very often. Yet others are very enthusiastic every time they get an opportunity for da’wah — to invite somebody towards Allah Ta’ala and towards following Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Similarly, sharing the pain of the orphans, widows and destitute and alleviating their suffering gives many people immense joy. Indeed, sadly there are also those who get very excited about people kicking a ball around, who are thrilled to bits when “their” team wins and who grieve when it loses.
Nevertheless, firstly consider the issue in question from a humanitarian perspective. While millions are spent to buy tickets to watch a ball being kicked around, millions of people around us are living in poverty. Daily, thousands of children go to school without having eaten anything. Millions of poor people do not have access to proper health care, especially people living in rural areas. Thousands of poor people requiring urgent surgery are given appointments in public hospitals to come a year later. Numerous children do not have access to basic education due to lack of facilities. Thus purely from a humanitarian perspective, what are the priorities? The supposed “economic benefits” that such events bring rarely reach the poor. A handful of rich people get richer, the upper and middle-class get entertained and the poor continue to suffer.
WHO WILL CARE?
While millions worldwide will grieve when “their” team loses, how many will feel the pain of those who went hungry to bed? How many people will cry for those who are dying a miserable death without any health care? Who will share the pain of the homeless?
While the humanitarian perspective is vitally important, for a Mu’min the Deeni perspective is the main issue. Count the cost of participation in such events from the point of view of being the followers and lovers of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Think! For weeks on end, people who have no link with Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) will be praised and lauded for kicking a ball, while Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) may not be spoken about even once!!!
Think! How many salaah will be missed because of football, even by many of those who usually perform it on time? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The one who misses one salaah is like he who has lost all his wealth and property.”
Think! How much Zina will take place in the name of the world cup, especially when one considers that legalising prostitution during the event was suggested at the highest levels of government!!! Think! How much drinking will take place? How many will get drunk celebrating their team’s victory and how many will get drunk to drown the sorrow of their team losing?
Think! Is this where a Muslim should be? A Muslim is a leader. He is not a passenger that jumps onto any passing bus that promises fun. He thinks. He understands. He gives priority to his Deen. He then gives priority to the needs of humanity over fun and games.
As for patriotism, it does not require one to participate in every event in the country, even if it be an international one. What if there is a World Beer Cup festival – a festival of wine drinking? Likewise, consider an International Dancing Festival? Will it be unpatriotic to refrain? Indeed, as citizens of this country, it is our duty to protect the country, to assist its people, be kind and hospitable to its visitors and promote peace and harmony.
May Allah Ta`ala grant us the ability to understand the Truth and follow the straight path that leads directly to Jannah. Aameen.
Do we Remember Him
The love and concern that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had for his ummah is unmatched. The deepest love of the most caring mother in the world for her only child is also a minute fraction of the love that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had for us – for you and I – and for his ummah to come till the last day. Hence, he remembered his ummah on every occasion. Even on the Day of Judgement, when everyone will be concerned for themselves, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) will be praying for the forgivness of his ummah.
While he remembered us so excessively, how much do we remember him? How much Durud (salutations) do we recite daily? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has greatly stressed the importance of reciting durood upon him. Among the benefits of Durud shareef mentioned in the Ahadith are the following:
- For every Durud recited, Allah Ta’ala sends ten blessings upon the reciter.
- The Durud and Salaam recited is conveyed to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
- Excessive recitation of Durud removes all worries and anxieties.
- It is a means of gaining the closeness of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
Therefore, it is the demand of our love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that we daily recite Durud shareef upon him. At least hundred Durud shareef should be recited daily. We will be doing the greatest favour.
Faqihul Ummah: Removing Problems
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
A person came to Hadhrat and said: “I have heard that you have a prescription for removing problems and worries. I am very worried that my business is not progressing. What is the cause of this?
Summary of Reply:
In principle, every person’s fate has been predestined even before birth. He will definitely receive whatever has been decreed for him even if the entire creation wishes that he should not receive it. Likewise if something is not decreed for him, he will never receive it even if the entire creation makes an effort to give it to him. Generally, there are two reasons for one’s business not being productive. The first is not fulfilling the rights of people (such as not paying someone their due or deceiving the customer, etc. – Translator). This is extremely detrimental. One will remain disturbed and restless for as long as such rights are not fulfilled. The second cause is not discharging charity. Therefore, if anything is due to anybody, immediately fulfil it. If there is nothing that is due to anybody, or you cannot remember having any responsibilities to discharge, even then give some charity with the intention of it compensating for any unfulfilled responsibilities which you may have forgotten about. Also, do not forget the plight of the underprivileged.
(Be merciful to those on earth — Allah Ta`ala in turn will be merciful towards you). Allah Ta`ala will deal with you in the manner that you deal with His creation. If you adopt a method of mercy and kindness towards the creation of Allah Ta`ala, mercy will also be shown to you. Therefore, divide your earnings into three portions. Reinvest one portion in your business, use one third for your family and spend one third on the poor and needy.”