Desires are part of human nature. If a person’s desires are channelled correctly, it can become the greatest driving force towards good. For instance, if a person’s most intense desire is to attain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and to acquire the everlasting abode of Jannah, this desire will become the strongest motivating factor towards righteous actions. Such a person will be most eager to fulfil all the obligations of Deen. He will be most eager to hasten towards the Musjid when the time of Salaah comes. In fact Salaahwill be the coolness of his eyes, tilaawat (recitation) of the Quran will be his refreshment, zikr and dua will be his energy and living to serve Allah Ta’ala will be his oxygen. His adornment will be excellent akhlaaq (character, such as sincerity, humility, tolerance, forgiveness, etc), outstanding mu’aasharat (social interaction, such as kind treatment to parents, spouses, family members, neighbours, etc) and honest and upright mua’malaat (monetary dealings and transactions). Since he is driven by the desire to please Allah Ta’ala, he will automatically flee from everything that displeases his Creator and Sustainer. Going towards sin for him will be like going towards a blazing fire. Thus a person whose greatest desire is to please Allah Ta’ala will be an asset to himself, a true blessing to his family and community and a boon to humanity.
LIFE DICTATED AND CONTROLLED
On the contrary, if one’s greatest desires are wealth, power, status and the leisure and pleasure of this world, the situation will be very different. His life will be dictated, controlled and directed by the desire to earn wealth, grab power, enhance his worldly position and status and chase fun and entertainment. In warning against this, Allah Ta’ala declares in the Glorious Quran: “And do not follow your base desires, or else it will deviate you from the path of Allah”. Tragically, due to the western culture having overwhelmed us, base desires have indeed become the driving force in our lives.
Halaal wealth is certainly a great blessing. However unbridled desire for wealth will lead to much transgression of the laws of Allah Ta’ala. Salaah, or performing salaah with jamaat, will be missed due to business. Honesty and fair dealings will become casualties in the quest for more profit. Akhlaaq (good character) will be discarded. Hence people who work around him will be subjected to abuse. Vulgar language will become acceptable “business talk and industrial language”. Relationships will be severed purely on the basis of wealth. Hence, the damage that unrestrained desire of wealth, power, status, etc. can cause is endless. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has encapsulated this in a very concise Hadith wherein he said: “The love (uncurbed desire) for the world is the root to every sin.” Another Hadith describes it in a parable wherein Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Two hungry wolves cannot cause as much damage to a flock of sheep as the damage that the greed for wealth and position can do to a person’s Deen” (Mishkaat).
The desire for worldly position and status will destroy a person’s hard earned wealth and his Aakhirat (Hereafter). From paying exorbitant amounts for brand labels to squandering vast sums on lavish weddings and functions — everything will be done to enhance one’s “status” in society. If the people that one is trying to impress are shameless, one will be driven by the desire to fit in with them to also adopt their shamelessness in one’s ways, attire, etc. For example, clothes will be selected on the basis of how much they expose rather than how much they cover!!!
FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT
The desire for entertainment also, once let loose, will cause havoc to one’s Deen, family life, work, etc. How many marriages are being rocked due to the crave for entertainment. Many cases have been reported wherein one of the spouses was “entertaining” themselves by engaging in haraam “chats” on Mxit, Facebook, BBM and other such media. Many people complain of their spouse spending hours on the internet or playing computer games (yes, adults addicted to computer games) but they have no time for their families. When the desire for entertainment becomes a crave, one’s life revolves around holidays, merry making and generally chasing fun. Once the artificial things fail to give any satisfaction, which is bound to happen, one begins to look for new ways and spends more money to entertain oneself, hence one’s life and wealth is wasted in this rat race. Even worse is the situation where aged parents are abandoned in old-age homes and elsewhere because they have become an obstacle in their children having their holidays and entertainment!!! Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raajioon.
LIFE IS PRECIOUS
Our life is very precious and very short indeed. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. In this short life we must suppress and curb all those desires that invite the wrath and displeasure of Allah Ta’ala. The following are some suggestions that will help us to suppress the unlawful desires and save ourselves from destruction in this world and the hereafter:
- Daily spend a few minutes remembering death. Picture the entire scene of death. Also imagine what will be the case if, Allah forbid, your death comes while you are engaged in fulfilling a haraam desire.
- Dedicate time daily for Zikr (the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala). Recite at least 100 times Istighfaar and 100 times Durud Sharif.
- The recitation of the Qur’an shareef must be a part of one’s daily life
- Totally avoid all things that incite haraam desires. Misuse of the cell-phone, internet and other media is our biggest downfall.
- Engage in the effort of Deen. Invite others to make acquiring the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala their greatest desire in life.
- Among the most effective methods to overcome the challenges and fitnas of evil desires is to sincerely attach oneself to a spiritual guide who is on the path of Haq and who adheres to the sunnah in all aspects of life. One should commit oneself to consulting with him in all matters and then act upon his advice.
May Allah Ta’ala protect us from the evil of our nafs (base desires) and fill our hearts with the desire to please Him in all that we do. Aameen.
Due to the current economic climate many people are out of work. Often two people come at the same time to apply for the same vacancy. In order to help the desperate applicants within my budget, I hire both at a much reduced wage compared to the norm. Is this exploitation or is it acceptable, since it helps both to earn at least something?
It is fundamentally important to first understand the Islamic mindset with regard to all monetary transactions. Contrary to the western attitude of driving a hard bargain and extracting the most in exchange for the least, Islam has ordained justice and also greatly emphasised kindness and consideration when dealing with others. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has blessed those who are kind and considerate in their dealings with his dua: “May Allah have mercy on the one who is kind and easy-going when he buys, sells and when he demands payment.” Everyone cherishes the duas of a saintly person. Imagine the good fortune of the one who gets the duas of the most beloved Messenger of Allah Ta’ala, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)!!! Imagine what barakah (blessings) this will bring in one’s earnings!!! After all it is not the amount of wealth that a persons has that brings happiness in his life. Instead it is the barakah in that wealth that brings comfort and enjoyment even though it may less in quantity.
The Sahaaba (R.A.) understood this lesson perfectly. Hazrath Jareer bin Abdullah (R.A.) once asked his slave to buy a horse for him. The slave concluded the deal with the seller for 300 Dirhams (silver coins) and brought him to Hazrath Jareer (R.A.) to collect the payment. Upon seeing the horse Hazrath Jareer (R.A.) asked the seller: “Will you sell the horse for 400 Dirhams?” The seller gladly agreed. Hazrath Jareer (R.A.) then continued to raise the price until he finally paid the seller 700 Dirhams. Someone asked him in surprise: “Why did you pay 700 Dirhams when the seller had already himself agreed on 300 Dirhams?” Hazrath Jareer (R.A.) responded that he had pledged to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that he will be a wellwisher of every Muslim. Since he discerned that the true worth of the horse was 700 Dirhams (which the seller was probably not aware of), he offered the extra amount in fulfilment of his pledge to be a well-wisher for his Muslim brother! What a far cry this is from the present condition – where people hope for, or even plot, the downfall of their Muslim brother. Nevertheless the approach that Islam has taught is one of well-wishing, kindness and compassion. In any transaction if both parties adopt these teachings, there will be great peace and happiness. Thus the employee should adopt this attitude and try to go the extra mile in doing the task that he has been employed for in the best possible manner. Likewise the employer should put himself in the shoes of his employee and consider what is fair and just. If he is employing an unskilled person for a menial task, he should at least consider what it costs for the person to take care of the most basic needs of his family.
Any transaction that is concluded on mutual agreement is valid, provided no laws of Shariah are contravened. There is no fixed rule for the amount that one must pay his employee. Various factors such as responsibility, skill and loyalty of the employee as well as the profitability of the business and other related factors will be considered. In any case the employer should try to maximise his barakah by being as considerate as he can and thereby be a recipient of the duas of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The employee should also be grateful and try to do more than just his duty. May Allah Ta’ala enable us to implement the teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in all our dealings. Aameen.
TRANSPARENCY’ is among the current buzz-words. While transparency in some things is laudable, in fact necessary, many people have taken it to another extreme. They have opted for “transparency” in the clothing they wear. Either the fabric of the garment is so thin and transparent that the body itself is visible, or the clothing is tight due to which the contours and shape of the body are discernible. The one who wears such garments has been described in the Hadith as “clothed yet naked” and have been warned that such women “will neither enter Jannah nor smell its fragrance” (Mishkaat). The garments that cover the satr (part of the body compulsory to conceal) must never be transparent. Once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) received a Syrian cloth (which was slightly transparent) as a gift. He gave it to Usamah (R.A.). When he later learnt that Hazrath Usama (R.A.) had given it to his wife, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) told him to instruct her to wear a thicker cloth under it, so that the shape and figure of her body is not exposed (Musnad Ahmad).
In another narration it is reported that Hazrath Hafsa bint Abdur Rahman (R.A.) came to visit Hazrath Aisha (R.A.). She was wearing a scarf which was a little transparent (the hair was somewhat visible under it). Hazrath Aisha (R.A.) TORE the scarf and gave her a thick, coarse scarf to wear (Mishkaat). Imagine what would have happened if Hazrath Aisha (R.A.) had to be present today? How many scarves (such as the silken scarves that are fashionable nowadays) and how many garments would she have shredded???
It has been Shaitaan’s effort from day one to strip human beings of their clothing and their shame. Thus it is clear that the desire to expose more of the body, such as exposing the neckline, wearing shorter dresses , wearing clothing that is transparent, adopting clothing that is not loose enough due to which it reveals the shape of the body — all this is clearly from the whispers of Shaitaan. Even cloaks have fallen prey to these whispers and many defeat their purpose. A cloak is meant to do exactly that — it is meant to be a loose wrap that cloaks(covers) the person wearing it. Contrary to this many women wear cloaks that are tight–fitting designer garments sporting Vnecks for more exposure and which attract eyes rather than distract them. We have to face our beloved Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) on the day of Qiyamah. What answer will we have for having cast aside his Mubarak teachings ??? May Allah Ta’ala guide us towards that which will earn His pleasure and save us from the deception of Shaitaan. Aameen.
Faqihul Ummah: Anger Over Humiliation
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu I am suffering from a (spiritual) illness. Whenever anybody belittles or humiliates me, I become enraged. Please remedy this weakness in me.
Summary of Reply:
Respected Brother / Sister
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
The remedy is extremely easy provided that you have the courage. Whenever anybody belittles or humiliates you, immediately ponder thus: “I have committed various other sins. My character is also poor. I carry much impurity within my body all the time. Hence if somebody belittles or humiliates me, SO WHAT? He has not even come close to the reality (of my evils). Furthermore, whatever happens in this world is first sanctioned from above (by Allah Ta’ala). Only then does it become apparent here. My being humiliated was also sanctioned from above, hence it has occurred. Why then do I become angry ??? Besides this, whatever occurrence upsets me takes place as a compensation for my sins. I should therefore be grateful to the one humiliating me that as a result of this my sins are being forgiven.” (Maktoobat Faqihul Ummah vol.1 pg. 53)