- The Ultimate Goal
- What’s in a Serviette?
- Q&A: Football Fan
- Stress less
- Faqihul Ummah: Fear for Livelihood
The Ultimate Goal
How would you respond to the following question: What is your ultimate goal in life? Would any of the following responses ever be heard?:
- To become super-rich
- To keep expanding one’s business
- To have the best comforts and luxuries
- To acquire the highest qualifications in one’s field
- To build one’s dream home or to own the smartest car
Never! … A thousand times never! We are Mu’mineen (Believers). Our ultimate goal can never be such mundane things. A Mu’min’s ultimate goal can only be that which Allah Ta’ala has himself declared: “And the Pleasure of Allah is the greatest” (S9:72). Since the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala is the ultimate goal, whatever is necessary in order to acquire His pleasure must be happily undertaken while anything that becomes an obstacle in the path of obtaining His pleasure must be sacrificed.
The great ibadah of Qurbani (sacrificing an animal on the occasion of Eidul-Adha) teaches us exactly this lesson. The love for one’s child is more than the love for everything in the world. One’s last cent will be spent to save the life of one’s child. Yet when Hazrath Ibrahim (A.S.) was commanded to slaughter his son, he set out to fulfil the command in order to acquire the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Qurbani is a commemoration of this great spirit of sacrifice. It is a reminder of the fundamental lesson that the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala is the ultimate goal and nothing must come in the way of attaining it.
FOR ALLAH TA’ALA ALONE
In order to acquire the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, we must be guided by His commandments and by the noble example of our beloved Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Everything must be for Allah Ta’ala alone, as commanded in the Glorious Qur’an: “Say, verily my salaah, my acts of worship, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Rabb (Nurturer) of the universe” (S6:162). To understand this fundamental concept, consider the following examples:
BUSINESS: If one engages in business, it must be for the sake of Allah Ta’ala alone – that is to fulfil His command to acquire halaal sustenance and to take care of the needs of one’s family. Hence when the business is for Allah alone, the business must stop for salaah – salaah must not be put on hold for business. Likewise the most lucrative deal must be sacrificed if it entails any haraam element. All the laws of Shariah pertaining to business must be upheld, since the business is for Allah alone.
NIKAH: Nikah is a great ibadah. One who gets married has completed half his Imaan. Nikah is also for Allah Ta’ala alone. Therefore it will be done in a manner that earns His pleasure. One of the most fundamental aspects to earn His pleasure in Nikah is adopting simplicity. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has declared: “The most blessed Nikah is wherein the least expenses were incurred” (Mishkaat). Thus if a Nikah is for Allah alone it will be a simple affair, not a lavish function. Thousands of rands will not be wasted on “deco.” Intermingling of males and females, music and other haraam activities will never take place. Let alone haraam activities, nothing will be done merely to impress people – since it is for Allah Ta’ala alone.
DRESSING: One’s dressing is also for Allah Ta’ala alone. Thus the choice of clothes must conform to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Tight-fitting, revealing or western-style garments must never be worn, nor must the brand culture be followed. One must never dress to impress people (except the wife dressing for her husband) since Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has declared: “The one who wears clothing to impress people, Allah Ta’ala will clothe him in garments of disgrace on the day of Qiyamah.”
GONE TO WASTE SERVING DEEN:
The primary objective of our existence on earth is to worship Allah Ta’ala and to serve His Deen. It is obvious that serving Deen must be for Allah Ta’ala alone or else it will be rejected in His court. Therefore, one will ensure that the manner of serving Deen that one has adopted is pleasing to Allah Ta’ala. Hence transgressing the laws of Shariah to “serve” Deen totally contradicts the objective of working for Allah Ta’ala alone. The Qur’an describes such people as “… those whose efforts in the world have gone to waste, whereas they thought they were doing great acts” (S18:103). Thus if our service to Deen is for Allah Ta’ala alone, it must be done in conformance to Deen. These are merely some examples. Every aspect of our life must be scrutinized in the same way. Is it for Allah Ta’ala alone … or is it for my ego, status, position, power, name and fame or for any other ulterior motive.
FULL OF BARAKAH
Whatever is for Allah Ta’ala only is full of barakah and will be accepted in the court of Allah Ta’ala. The benefits of such actions are received in this world and the unimaginable rewards await one in the Hereafter, where Allah Ta’ala will manifest His total pleasure. That is the ultimate goal.
What’s in a Serviette?
Serviettes come in a variety of sizes, colours and styles. One may buy a basic white serviette or one could opt for an elaborate “designer” serviette – a larger full colour one with exotic patterns. Serviettes are generally used to wipe one’s hands after eating. A few wipes, followed by some squashing and crumpling, and the serviette is then thrown away. Unlike many other luxuries, there are no additional tangible benefits in a more eye-catching serviette. A basic simple serviette can do the job just as well as one with beautiful patterns on it. The only imagined extra benefit is that the fancy serviette will impress the guests!!! The various serviettes of different sizes, colours and styles vary greatly in price. The most basic serviette, if purchased in bulk, costs less than five cents per serviette. A slightly larger version (the ordinary white serviette) would cost about thirty cents per unit from a retailer. The fancy printed variant costs approximately R1.80 each. Other types cost anything in between. The more popular choice at functions and occasions is a serviette which costs much more than one rand each.
THOUSANDS OF RANDS
Having understood the cost difference, now do the sums. Every week dozens of Muslim functions, where meals are also served, take place throughout the country. These are attended by thousands of people. A serviette is placed for each person’s use. As per the popular choice, more than one rand extra (above the cost of a basic serviette) is spent per person to wipe their fingers. A reasonable estimate is that on many weeks approximately ten thousand rands EXTRA is spent – merely to wipe people’s fingers. We can now answer the question “What’s in a serviette?” Every week hundreds of meals that could have been fed to starving people have been crumpled up and thrown away — all in the serviettes of those who have wiped their fingers after having eaten to their fill. In the squashed serviettes is the money to pay for the water and electricity of those who cannot even afford these basic services. The EXTRA amount spent on fancy serviettes in one month would have paid for a borehole in a rural area where people have to walk a long distance to fetch a bucket of clean water.
FOOD IN BINS
It is time to sit and ponder over these realities. Let us strive to make an impression in the court of Allah Ta’ala. At least save the EXTRA money that is being “wiped into the bin” and pass it on to those who are looking for food in bins. This will bring great barakah for us in this world and immense rewards in the Hereafter.
Q&A: Football Fan
My son is an avid supporter of an English football club. He regularly logs onto the clubs website and follows all their activities. Often he would be dressed in the team colours and will wear a T-shirt with the name and number of his favourite player emblazoned on the back. His conversations with his friends and cousins are generally about football and “their” clubs. My wife and I differ on this issue. Whilst I am very concerned about this situation, my wife feels it is just a passing phase and that my son will grow out of it. She feels it is just an innocent pass time. Please advise as to what is the correct approach in this matter. (Summary of question).
Our beautiful Deen encompasses every human need. Hence, Islam has not forbidden one from engaging in some form of relaxation in order to refresh the mind and body. The only rule is that the injunctions and spirit of Deen must not be compromised in any way. (The details of this aspect are beyond the scope of this article. One should refer to senior experienced Ulama for guidance).
The issue on hand is your son’s support for “his” football club and whether this is an innocent means of relaxation? This can be answered from many perspectives. However, no matter how sound an argument is and how well it is supported by textual proof, there will always be people who will disagree, even though they have no real basis for the disagreement. Therefore the best way will be to actually go into the mind of a young football fan and gauge the degree of innocence or otherwise.
The following excerpt from an essay of a grade nine learner (yes, Muslim learner) will give us some idea. In his essay he describes the love for his team. He also has a dream of one day playing for “his” team but he cannot foresee his dream becoming a reality. He thus laments:
“As I sleep in my cosy bed, I give my tired legs a rest and say: ‘M.U. (abbreviation of the name of his team), the greatest football club. My heart’s with you, my mind’s thinking of you, my soul dies with you! I’m forever blowing pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, they reach the sky and like my dreams they fade and die. ‘M.U., M.U.’, I say repeatedly – but my dreams fade before my eyes. A soft tear rolls down my cheek….”
Read the above excerpt again. The heart of a Mu’min filled with M.U.? The soul of a Mu’min dying with M.U.?!!! Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has encouraged us to keep refreshing our Imaan by repeatedly saying “Laa ilahaa illallah”. Instead many youth are repeating “M. U., M.U.”. One can only exclaim “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raajioon” upon this tragic situation. This is the idol worship of our times. Can one risk exposing one’s children to this idol worship? It is therefore imperative that we protect our children from this idol worship, and from whatever leads to it. Totally discourage them from following the kuffaar in their ways. We have the Sahaba (Radiyallah Anhum) as our guiding stars. Let us follow in their footsteps.
Anxiety, worry, stress, depression … such words are heard more frequently than every before. In many instances people are overwhelmed by illnesses, financial difficulties, social problems or any other adverse conditions, hence they feel dejected and depressed. At times there is no apparent reason for the lack of peace in the heart. Irrespective of the cause of the anxiety, the divine remedy has been spelt out in the Qur’an Al- Kareem. Allah Ta’ala declares:“Behold! In the rememberance of Allah do the hearts get peace.” (13:28)
Essentially the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala refers to His obedience. Disobedience of Allah Ta’ala will shatter the peace of the heart. Nevertheless, together with His complete obedience, the verbal zikr of Allah Ta’ala has also been greatly stressed in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Zikr is a polish for the heart. Constancy on zikr will illuminate the heart and fill it with tranquility, despite the adverse circumstances that sometimes engulf one. Therefore daily some time should be dedicated exclusively for zikr, even if initially it is just five minutes. One will insha-Allah derive great benefit. In this time one may engage in the recitation of istighfaar, durood shareef and the third kalima (for details contact an experienced Aalim).
Another effective method to acquire the desired peace and tranquillity is meditation. Daily sit in solitude for a few minutes and deeply ponder over all the bounties that Allah Ta’ala has blessed you with. Commence with pondering over the greatest blessing of Imaan and then ponder over all the other bounties, which millions of others do not have. By pondering on the bounties, one will feel positive. Also meditate about Jannah. Think about the magnificent blessings of Jannah. By constantly doing this the heart will yearn for Jannah and will disincline from the world. Hence, one will be spurred on towards those actions that take one towards Jannah.
In their search for peace and tranquillity some people resort to various practices, many of which are not permissible. Among these practices is yoga. The practise of yoga has its roots in religions other than Islam. The Kemetic people were the first to practice yoga long before it was in India. These were people of Egypt who did yoga in temples. With the fall of Egypt these people migrated to what is now India and took along their practices with them, which eventually evolved into Hinduism.
One should therefore totally refrain from such practices. The remembrance of Allah Ta’ala is the greatest thing – and for a Mu’min (Believer) this is sufficient.
May Allah Ta’ala fill our hearts with his remembrance and grant us peace. Aameen
Faqihul Ummah: Fear for Livelihood
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Alhamdulillah my eldest son is about completing his Hifz. Two of my daughters have already completed their Hifz. While I have no intention to send my daughters for secular studies, I am unsure about what to do for my son. Should I send him to study Deen or for secular studies? My fear is that if he does not take up secular studies he will have difficulties in earning his livelihood. Please advise.
Summary of Reply:
Respected Brother / Sister
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Allah Ta’ala has granted your children the great wealth of the Hifz of the Qur’an. May He enable them to safeguard the Qur’an and remain steadfast upon it. Whether one acquires higher Deeni knowledge, undertakes some worldly profession or whether one remains ignorant, everyone’s sustenance is solely in the control of Allah Ta’ala. Some times Allah Ta’ala blesses an ignorant person in such a manner and to such an extent that the intelligent person is also astounded. Hence to deprive your children from higher Deeni knowledge due to the fear of how they will earn a living is a very severe mistake. In fact it is a great injustice. It is narrated that those who deprive their children of the (essential) knowledge of Deen, such children will testify against their parents on the day of Judgement. (Maktubat 5/48)
Translator’s Note: One should endeavour to give preference to acquiring the higher knowledge of Deen Allah Ta’ala alone is the Provider.