- Interior Decor
- Distraction or Attraction
- Q&A: At the Fair
- Just Hunger
- Faqihul Ummah: Remedy for Calamities
Interior decor is an art. People spend much time, effort and money on their homes offices and businesses in order to get that special finish and make it look as impressive and appealing as possible. Great pains are taken to ensure that the furniture “blends in” with the surroundings. The carpets are made to match the curtains. Just any ordinary bulb sticking out of the ceiling is unthinkable. A variety of light fittings are positioned in the proper places so that the light may reflect in the best way. The right “tone” must be captured in the colour co-ordination. Several other trimmings and trappings are added for the final touch.
Allah Ta’ala has also given us a month for interior decoration – a month to decorate our hearts. The month of Ramadhaan is a time to truly make our hearts sparkle and shine and to look truly impressive in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. The first part of interior decoration is to remove the cobwebs, scrape the rust and do a general thorough cleanup. The cleanup of our hearts requires sincere taubah. We will have to scrape off the rust of sin, remove the filth of jealously, sweep out the dirt of malice, scrub away the pride and generally wash away all the evil within us with the flowing tears of earnest and sincere repentance.
The preferable procedure of repenting is very simple. Dedicate some time in solitude. Perform a proper wudhu (ablution). Take care to fulfil all the sunnats and etiquettes of wudhu. Thereafter get on to the musalla (prayer mat) and perform two rakaats of nafl salaah with the intention of the Salaah of Taubah and then let the tears of repentance flow. If the eyes cannot cry just let the heart weep. Weep over our utter ingratitude. Beg Allah Ta’ala’s forgiveness by saying: “O Allah . . . You granted me a heart to fill with love for You . . . but I filled it with the love of the world . . . with even haraam love . . . O Allah forgive me. You granted me legs and feet to walk to the Musjid and to places that You love . . . but I walked to the dens of vice . . . please forgive me. You gave me hands to raise unto You, to hold the Qur’aan and to assist the needy . . . but I used it to touch what You forbade to indulge in illicit “chatting” on my phone and to take away what belonged to others . . . forgive me O Allah… I ate the sustenance that You provided … and then used the energy to disobey You … please forgive me….” This is just a little example. Simply weep over every sin perpetrated and wash the heart clean. However, when washing the heart with the tears of repentance the detergent that is compulsory to use is the deep regret for having transgressed the laws of Allah Ta’ala and the firm determination that one will not return to the sin in future.
ALLAH TA’ALA KNOWS
After removing the filth, rust, and dust, the internal decor must commence. The purpose of fasting is to decorate the heart with taqwa – the fear of Allah Ta’ala and the constant awareness that Allah Ta’ala is watching. While fasting one refrains from all eating and drinking even if one is very hungry and thirsty. Why? Simply because it is the command of Allah Ta’ala . . . and Allah Ta’ala is watching . . . and Allah Ta’ala knows. Likewise, no more gambling, drugs, zina, illicit chatting, looking at haraam, stealing, etc., because . . . Allah Ta’ala is watching . . . Allah knows. Taqwa also requires the fulfilment of all the obligations of Deen, Salaah, Zakaat, Fasting, Haj, etc. The heart with Taqwa indeed is a billion times more sparkling and impressive in the sight of Allah Ta’ala than the most expensive decor that money can buy!!!
Ramadhaan is also a month to decorate the heart with various other important trimmings and accessories. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said that Ramadhaan is a month of patience and compassion. Therefore, paint the heart in the soft shades of patience. Tint it with the colour of tolerance. Give the heart an elegant look by draping it with compassion. With patience and compassion we can change the world around us. Patience will help us to be obedient to Allah Ta’ala as well as to be content. Compassion will enable us to feel the suffering of millions of people around us and make us do something to reduce their pain. The millions squandered in wasteful and even forbidden things will then easily and happily be channeled to the poor and needy.
Together with the above, the beautiful trimmings of humility, generosity, forgiveness, etc. have to be included in this heart to make it truly shine. It will shine in the sight of Allah Ta’ala and His angels. It will sparkle on the day one passes away – that day when we will be removed from the shining car, the magnificently decorated home, the glittering jewellery and all the other trimmings and accessories. It will shine on the day of Judgement – when all our beloved possessions of this world would have long become dust.
This Ramadan let us not waste much time in acquiring glittering garments, dazzling jewellery and shining shoes to decorate ourselves for Eid. While cleanliness and neatness are essential on the outside, the greatest effort must be made to decorate the inside – the heart. This nevertheless does not happen merely by reading an article. We will have to spend time in Allah-fearing company and environments of Taqwa. These qualities will then insha Allah rub off on us.
May Allah Ta’ala enable us to truly adorn and decorate our hearts. Aameen.
Distraction or Attraction
Clean and pure. That is the ideal society which Islam advocates. It is the society where the honour of every daughter, sister and mother is given the highest degree of respect. Hence even merely looking at a non-mahram woman (except by accident) has also been denounced in Islam. Our beloved Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said that Allah Ta`ala said: “The glance (at a non-mahram) is a poisonous arrow of Shaitaan. The one who will restrain himself from it for My sake, I will grant him such Imaan in reward, the sweetness of which he will taste in his heart.” This is the unparalleled respect and honour that Islam affords women.
In order to maintain the purity of society, segregation of males and females has been strongly emphasised. Women have been commanded to generally remain indoors. If they do venture out for any genuine need, the Qur’aan has forbidden them from displaying themselves and has commanded them to don a jilbaab (a loose outer garment which conceals the body, commonly referred to as the cloak). Since it is human nature that an attraction exists in both males and females for the opposite gender, the jilbaab is meant to serve as a distraction from the glances of men. While the jilbaab (cloak) would completely conceal the beauty or figure of the person wearing it, due to it being completely plain and simple nothing on the jilbaab itself would invite any glance in its direction.
JUST TO SHOW OFF
Alas, the jilbaab (cloak) which was meant to be a means of concealment and a means of distracting the gaze away from the one wearing it has now become a source of direct attraction. An entire fashion industry has erupted around the cloak. Branded cloaks have become the norm. Any brand name will do, even if it means “No Name” (Bidoun Ism). If you cannot afford the genuine branded item, you may pay a hundred riyaals to have the name “Sharqiyah” embroidered on a cheaper cloak — just to show off. The brand label on the matching scarf must also be clearly displayed. A cloak without Swarovski crystals is not worth being called a cloak in many circles. Often the amount spent on a single “designer” cloak which would be worn on the odd occasion, is enough to feed a starving family for a few months. What was supposed to be a loose outer covering has become a figure revealing garment. The neck, which is part of the satr of a woman, is completely revealed with the V-neck styles. While many women feel very happy wearing such cloaks, the happiest is undoubtedly Shaitaan. His constant effort is to strip people of hayaa (modesty and shame). He would therefore be feeling ecstatic that he has succeeded in transforming the cloak which was meant to turn gazes away from it, into something that attracts glances towards to it.
One crucial question remains: Is it permissible to wear a fancy/designer/attractive cloak? Certainly! There is no harm whatsoever in wearing it – provided that if one goes outdoors due to any genuine need one wears a plain unattractive jilbaab over it!!
Finally, let us sit up and take note of the slide into immodesty and shamelessness and take concrete steps to reverse the tide. May Allah Ta`ala grant us the reality of hayaa. Aameen.
: At the Fair
I recently attended a fair which was organised by a Muslim organisation to raise funds. The most distressing aspect was that due to the huge crowds, men and women were being pushed against each other. While some people seemed disturbed, most men and women just continued to squeeze past each other without much bother. Though I initially got caught in the midst of the crowd unintentionally, I then deliberately allowed myself to keep getting pushed against women. I am now feeling very guilty. How do I rectify the situation? (summary of question)
Allah Ta`ala has blessed us with the perfect Deen. Every command of Allah Ta`ala is entirely for our benefit. If any law is transgressed, it will naturally bring along its negative consequences. The clear injunction of the Qur`an regarding the complete segregation of males and females was ignored by the many women who thronged to this venue. The immediate negative consequence was that they became objects of Zina. Furthermore, such open shamelessness and zina is among the signs of qiyamah and directly invites the wrath and curse of Allah Ta’ala. Merely coming into such a gathering and allowing themselves to be touched, pushed and bumped by strange men included the women also in the sin, even if they did not have any illicit intention.
The unthinkable gathering of Muslim men and women in the manner described, apparently in the name of Islam, is another indicator of the severe erosion of hayaa (shame and modesty) in the Muslim community. Even after being pushed and touched by strange men the Muslim mothers, wives and daughters did not flee out of the place in utter disgust? The fathers, husbands and brothers present obviously knew what was happening. The mere thought of something like this happening should have made them extremely nauseous, let alone see it happening in front of their eyes!!!
Can one ever imagine what are the rewards for fasting? Impossible! It is beyond human comprehension. Allah Ta’ala’s declaration has been narrated by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the words: “Fasting is for Me and I will (personally) give its reward.” How then can anybody ever comprehend the magnitude of the rewards for the fasting person.
However, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is also reported to have said: “Many a fasting person gets nothing from his fast except hunger.” While the obligation of fasting may be fulfilled, the fast is devoid of its spiritual benefits and the unimaginable rewards are lost. The reason for this severe deprivation is the indulgence in sin while fasting. Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has said: “The one who does not give up sinful talk and sinful actions, Allah Ta`ala has no need for him to remain hungry and thirsty.” Therefore, the crucial factor in Ramadhaan is to give up all sin. Avoiding all sin for this one month will become a launching pad to refrain from sinning in the future.
In Ramadhaan people give up many of the vices that they were involved in. Yet some vices continue unabated. The utter tragedy is that many people while engaged in these sins are not even conscious of the evil they are involved in.
One of the most common major sins that many people heedlessly engage in is backbiting, or listening to such talk. In the Qur’aan, Allah Ta’ala has likened backbiting to eating your dead brother’s flesh!!! As a result of gheebat (backbiting), the rewards of the fast are destroyed. Moreover, one’s good actions will be given away to the person one has spoken ill of.
Another widespread sin is haraam “chatting” and conversations. This refers to communication with any non-mahram (one with whom nikaah is permissible) without any genuine necessity. Hence all idle talk and chatting is completely prohibited. Therefore, make this Ramadhaan a haraam-chat free Ramadhaan – especially a Mxit-free Ramadhaan. Insha Allah, this will become the means of forsaking this sin forever.
One of the spiritual killer-diseases for all times, and especially during the month of Ramadhaan, is the misuse of the eyes. Looking at non- mahrams, haraam pictures, visiting immoral sites on the Internet etc., kills the heart spiritually. As a result, all the enthusiasm for ibaadat and righteous actions vanishes. Therefore, let us make the fasts of this Ramadhaan true fasts by abstaining from all sin.
Faqihul Ummah: Remedy for Calamities
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
I am continuously being afflicted by calamities and difficulties. I also have much debts to pay. Is there any cure for this? What should one recite when one is continuously afflicted with problems and difficulties? I have everything I could want. None of my duas have been accepted and it seems as if none of my actions have also been accepted. I am still faced with problems upon problems.
Summary of Reply:
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
The remedy for calamities is the following:
- Sincere taubah (repentance) for all sins
- Making much istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) from Allah Ta`ala
- Fulfilling all the unfulfilled rights of people upon you or asking them for forgiveness. Together with the above, recite much Durood Shareef. Also give Sadaqah (charity).
As far as dua is concerned, the one who says that his dua has not being answered, then in reality Allah Ta`ala does not accept his duas. Therefore, never make such a statement. Everything has an appointed time by Allah Ta`ala and only occurs at the time decreed for it. Hence, do not be hasty. Instead you should be convinced that whatever apparent delay there may be in the answering of your dua is also beneficial for you in some way that is unknown to you.
Furthermore, you should also take into consideration that the acceptance of duas is subject to the conditions being fulfilled. Among the conditions are that one’s earnings, food, drink, clothing, etc. must be halaal and one should make dua with an attentive heart. (Fatawa: vol. 4, pg. 446)