“Lifestyle” is defined as “a style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group” (Wikipedia). Hence one’s priorities and preferences in life as well as mundane things such as one’s manner of eating or one’s choice of clothing, etc. are all part of one’s lifestyle and reflect one’s values and attitudes.
Allah Ta`ala sent His greatest Messenger, the most perfect human being, to teach the most perfect lifestyle. The lifestyle taught by our beloved Master, Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), embodied the greatest values and the most sublime attitudes. The Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum), who were among the most backward and least civilised people before Islam, wholeheartedly embraced the lifestyle presented by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). They adopted the values and attitudes of this pure and perfect lifestyle to in every respect. As a result, after the Ambiyaa (Alayhimus Salaam), they became the greatest group of people who ever set foot on earth.
On the contrary is the Western lifestyle. Both lifestyles differ very greatly. The greatest difference is in the very outlook and purpose of life.
One of the most fundamental values emphasised by our beloved Master Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is that this world is merely a “transit lounge”. It is NEVER anyone’s permanent abode. Everyone must leave sooner or later. Therefore, the focus of life should be on the Hereafter, not towards amassing the wealth of this world or towards amusements and pastimes. Earning a living is a necessity. It is not the object of one’s life. Indeed It is permissible to enjoy the halaal bounties that Allah Ta’ala has granted as well as engage in some relaxation and recreation within the limits of Deen. Nevertheless the object of life is that one should strive and sacrifice as much as possible in order to earn the maximum for the Hereafter. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) summed it up when he said: “The one who loves his world will harm his Hereafter, while the one who loves the Hereafter will harm his world. Therefore give preference to that which is everlasting over that which is perishable (Mishkaat).”
A Muslim’s lifestyle thus revolves around Deen. A glimpse of his typical day would be something like this: He wakes up in the morning thinking about Allah Ta’ala. After performing his Fajr Salaah in the Musjid he dedicates some time to the remembrance of his Creator by reciting the Qur’an and engaging in some zikr. Eventually he goes to work in order to fulfil His Deeni obligation of earning halaal sustenance. While he will obviously be thinking about and planning the business of the day, he will also be thinking about what work of Deen he will do for the day. For instance he will think about which customer or staff member he will attract to Islam by means of his good character and honest dealing, or which needy person he will help, which cause of Deen he will contribute towards, etc. In a Muslim’s day no salaah will be missed or delayed. During the day he will serve Deen as much as possible. He will finally go to sleep thinking of Allah Ta’ala and beseeching His forgiveness for his shortcomings. He will renew his determination to be a better Muslim the next day. In this way he lives his life until he finally meets Allah Ta’ala. He is then in the perpetual bliss of Jannah.
BREAD AND CIRCUSES
On the contrary the primary focus of the western lifestyle is actually the “transit lounge” – this transitory world. One of the main objectives of western life is to keep the economy growing. Hence man is regarded as an “economic animal.” The other main interest is entertainment. To take it “from the horse’s mouth”, almost two thousand years ago a Roman poet wrote that the Roman public “anxiously desires only two things: bread and circuses.” This sums up the Western lifestyle. The purpose of life is to earn as much as one can … and then amuse and entertain oneself. Hence this decadent lifestyle revolves around partying, holidaying and every type of entertainment.
TREAT PEOPLE LIKE THINGS
In the materialistic lifestyle of the West anything that comes in the way of “making money” and enjoying one’s entertainment can be sacrificed, whether it is religion, friends, family or even one’s parents. People are considered as mere objects that can be kicked out of the way. For those who only believe in “research”, even psychologists have come to this conclusion after detailed studies. Hence one psychologist writes: “When people place a strong emphasis on consuming and buying, earning and spending, thinking of the monetary worth of things and thinking of things a great deal of the time, they may also become more likely to treat people likethings (The High Price of Materialism, p.66).” To a very great extent the materialistic lifestyle has brought about the almost total collapse of family life in the west. It is therefore no surprise that the highest divorce rate in the world is in America! According to statistics for 2008, America also has 1.8 million “nursing facility beds” (old age home facilities) — places where parents and the elderly are left because their families have abandoned them.
A person living the western lifestyle wakes up thinking business and falls asleep with entertainment. All week long he is longing for the weekend to amuse himself. He earns the whole year to splurge on a holiday at the end of the year…until DEATH suddenly overtakes him. Not a cent of his empire then comes along with him to the grave, nor is there anything from his amusements to comfort him therein.
The stark contrast between the two lifestyles in their very purpose is evident. Yet despite the glaring destruction in the western lifestyle, we are becoming increasingly westernised in our outlook. Often “making money” takes precedence over obligations of Deen. Deen and even the sacred name of Allah Ta’ala is commercialised in various ways, such as by using it in cheap ads to sell one’s wares or advertise one’s business. Likewise, many people will only part with some money for a charitable cause if there is an element of entertainment, such as a fund raising dinner! Here again, together with other Deeni aspects, even the sacred name of Allah Ta’ala is often used merely to entertain — such as being chanted to produce a “background effect” for a nasheed CD, Allah forbid. All this is simply due to the western influence which has resulted in the ever-increasing crave for entertainment. However, adopting the western lifestyle will bring the same severe consequences already being experienced by those in the west.
It is therefore critically important that we take stock of our lives and fully adopt the lifestyle of our beloved Master, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). It is our only guarantee to success in this world and the Hereafter. Aameen.
I recently read some past issues of the Al-Haadi. I find the hard-line attitude against Muslim women wearing western fashion as extremist. Many Islamically conscious people wear such clothing or allow their family members to wear them. Why has this extremist position been adopted? (Summary of question)
Hayaa (shame and modesty) is a fundamental quality which is linked with Imaan itself. When hayaa completely leaves a person, his Imaan is in great danger. While hayaa is an inborn quality, it does get eroded when one is constantly exposed to immodesty and immorality. The effect of the erosion of hayaa is that what was previously regarded as shameless by everyone suddenly becomes “alright” to those whose level of hayaa has dropped. If somebody points out the immodesty, the immediate reaction is: “But what’s wrong with it?”
What is wrong is that the light of hayaa has been greatly dimmed. Thus in the hazy light (or in the total darkness ifhayaa has completely left) the immodesty and utter shamelessness cannot be seen. In order to recognize the immorality and shamelessness, one must switch on the bright light of hayaa. We will find that light by studying the lives of the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) and the pious predecessors. To take just one example, Hazrath Umme Khallad (Radiyallahu Anha) had come to the battlefield to enquire from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) about her son who had just been martyred. She had come donning a veil. Somebody remarked: “ You have come to enquire about your martyred son yet you are veiled (that is despite your grief you have maintained your composure and remained veiled as always)?” She replied: “I have lost my son, not my modesty” (Abu Dawood). Such people were the standard of modesty. Otherwise, if we judge “modesty” by the standards of the west, to wear a body-hugging outfit with half the bosom and legs exposed is “alright”!!
While western fashion is constantly sliding deeper into the filthy pit of shamelessness, it also very often glorifies evil. For instance, no sane person likes to be called a “bad” person. However for those impressed by the west it has become fashionable to walk around wearing “Bad Boy” emblazoned on one’s chest!! Monster slogans are “cool”. “Red Devils” are a hot favourite. Thus evil is glorified. The tragedy is that people are proud to be associated with it.
Tragically many women, young and old, proudly dress in the immoral fashions of the west. Yet it can be safely said that if their grand or great-grand mothers who passed away more than forty years ago had to come back to the world and see their grand daughters in T-Shirts and jeans, most of them will immediately die of shock. Why then can their grand daughters not see the shamelessness in their attire? Simply because the light has severely dimmed!!! May Allah Ta’ala enlighten our hearts and open our eyes. Aameen.
Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) was among the greatest jurists that the ummah has ever seen after the illustrious Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). It was his distinguished position among the fuqaha (jurists) of his era that earned him the title “Imaam-al-Aa’zam” (The greatest Imaam of that era and the period thereafter).
Born in 80 AH, Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) had the good fortune of meeting Hadhrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhum) and several other Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). Thus he joined the ranks of the Tabieen (those who met the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum)).
EXPERT IN HADITH
Imaam Abu Hanifa’s (Rahmatullahi Alayh) contemporaries as well as the many great scholars who came after him all attested to his expertise in all the sciences of Deen. While he was more famously known for his expertise in fiqh (jurisprudence), he was an authority in the field of Hadith as well. He acquired Hadith from approximately four thousand ustaads, among them many Tabieen (the students of the Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum)). The Ahadith narrated by Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) have been recorded in 17 collections of hadith by his students. Among his famous and notable students was the great Muhaddith Abdullah bin Mubarak (Rahmatullahi Alayh).
Like many others who gained a distinguished position, Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) also became the target of envy and jealousy. Hence some of his enemies circulated baseless criticism against him, which was roundly refuted by some of the most senior authorities of Hadith. It is noteworthy that many high-ranking Shafi’ee scholars were among those who wrote entire books in support of the Imaam and in refutation of the baseless criticism against him.
Imaam Abu Hanifa is best known as the Imaam of the Hanafi Mazhab. While the Hanafi Mazhab is attributed to him, it was not his independent deduction of masaail (laws) from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Instead, it was the combined effort of a circle of 40 scholars. Among them were some of the highest ranking experts of Hadith, jurists, linguists, etc. Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) was their leader. They would often debate a single issue for days and at times for even a month before reaching a conclusion, which was then recorded as the law derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The laws which were codified in this manner became known as the Hanafi Mazhab.
The Hanafi Mazhab is therefore in reality a codification of the laws derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah by a pannel of experts of the highest calibre. One who follows such a mazhab is in reality following only the Qur’an and Sunnah.
May Allah Ta’ala keep us steadfast on Deen and save us from every form of deviation. Aameen.
Faqihul Ummah: Guard the Tongue
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Zaid (not his real name) is a Hafiz who knows his Qur’an very well. He requests the interpretation of the following dream: He dreamt that he was extremely thirsty. Suddenly a learned person presented a glass of water aying: “Watch what you drink – and leave some for me because my medicine is in it.” When Zaid took the glass and brought it close to his mouth, the water had suddenly turned to blood and pus which had a terrible stench. Zaid was shocked. With extreme dislike he moved the glass away. At this point he woke up from his sleep.
Summary of Reply:
Respected Brother / Sister
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Hafiz Zaid must guard his tongue from all evils, especially lying, backbiting, swearing, and from disrespecting his elders. The learned person who handed him the glass saying “my medicine is in it” must also guard his tongue. May Allah Ta`ala grant everyone the ability to do so. (Maktoobaat, vol. 2, p. 73)
Ticket to Jannah
People are often booking tickets to various places. What about booking a ticket to Jannah? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to Hazrath Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu). “ O my beloved son, keep your heart clean from harbouring malice, for verily that is my sunnah.” He then said: “The one who loves my sunnah loves me. The one who loves me will be with me in Jannah.” (Tabrani)
Thus the ticket to Jannah is to practice on the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Among his extremely important sunnats is to keep the heart free of malice.