P A I N. The word itself makes one feel uncomfortable. Often, the pain of a near and dear one is more painful than one’s own pain. A mother probably feels the pain of her little child more than her own. The closer the bond, the greater the pain felt over the discomfort of the beloved. The greatest bond of every Believer is the bond with his most beloved master, Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Allah Ta‘ala declares in the Glorious Quraan: “The Nabi is closer to the Believers than their own selves” (Ahzaab, v6). Thus the pain of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the pain of every Believer. If something hurts him, it should pierce our hearts. When the disbelievers were about to execute the great Sahaabi, Zaid bin Dathina (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), they asked him: “Would you be happier if Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was in your place and you were left free to be with your family?” His spontaneous response was: “By Allah, I cannot even bear that I be sitting comfortably with my family while even a thorn is pricking Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” This response emanated from true love and was a reflection of the deep bond that he had with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He was happy to lay down his life, but could not tolerate the discomfort of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
Bond of Love
It is due to the effect of the same bond with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that we too are affected when we read of the persecution that he suffered at the hands of his enemies. It moves one to tears when one reads about the incidents of how he was sworn at, cursed, spat upon, stoned, nearly strangled to death and subjected to unimaginable and untold hardship and difficulties. Likewise, it is due to the same bond of love that we experience deep disappointment, anguish and agony when cartoons are drawn of our most beloved Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). This pain is a sign of imaan. Only a Mu’min can truly love Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
There is nevertheless a crucial question to consider. While we are indeed hurt upon the actions of others against the personality of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), are we also in any way responsible for bringing any pain and suffering upon his Mubarak heart??? What??? We … the Believers …, his followers …, his lovers … causing him pain?? Let us understand the matter in its proper context.
Source of Comfort or Pain?
It is authentically established that the Ambiya (‘alaihimus salaam) are alive in their resting places. The actions of their Ummah are also presented to them. The good deeds of their followers bring joy and happiness while their evil actions will naturally bring pain and sorrow. Thus by our actions we are either becoming a source of comfort to the mubaarak heart of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) or, Allah forbid, we are causing pain to him with our disobedience!!!
Take for instance just one aspect – the five daily salaah. Do we fulfil this fundamental obligation in a manner that brings happiness to him or grief? Once while weeping and sobbing Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) that among the signs of Qiyaamah are that people will discard their salaah and follow their (evil) desires (Al Ishaa’ah fi Ashratis Saa’ah, pg. 171). Why was our beloved Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) sobbing? What was his pain? It was the excruciating pain over the condition of the Ummah when many of his followers will neglect their salaah!!! Do we feel this hurt? Are we moved by this pain? Are we moved enough to ensure that we do not neglect our salaah? Furthermore, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was also deeply hurt by the actions of those who did not perform their salaah in the Musjid without a valid reason that he said: “Had it not been for the women and children, I would have burnt down their homes.” What is our response to this pain??? Will we be a source of comfort in this regard or a source of further anguish and pain???
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) sobbed and wept over two aspects – discarding salaah and following (evil) desires. Let us reflect deeply upon our condition with regard to following of our desires and consider how much excruciating pain we are inflicting upon the heart of our beloved. Some aspects to reflect upon are:
* Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) desired that a nikaah should be a very simple affair. Our desire, however, is to do it in grand style. Thus hundreds of thousands, and even millions, are spent on a single wedding. Many haraam practices such as intermingling of men and women, music, photography, people strutting around in immodest and shameless dressing, etc., are also perpetrated at many weddings. Is this going to bring happiness to our beloved? Is Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) going to be comforted by the small “purdah section” (a new trend to segregate just a small section from the main hall exclusively for men or women) while the rest of the function is piercing his mubaarak heart???
* Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) desired that hayaa (modesty and shame) should be exercised in every aspect of life. This includes the manner of dressing. Many in his Ummah, especially women, desire to ape the west in their dressing. Many daughters of the Ummah proudly don the immoral figure hugging garments of the west – their jeans, T shirts, short and tight fashion clothing and indecent apparel. What are we doing to the mubaarak heart???Do we have any feelings???
* Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) desired that his Ummah should make the Hereafter their goal in life and merely engage in acquiring the world to the extent of necessity. What is our object of life? Is our desire the Aakhirah, or has “multiplying the numbers” become the main focus of life??? If it is the latter, is this not inflicting pain to the mubaarak heart???
There are numerous other aspects for us to reflect upon – what we speak, listen to and look at, our attire and appearance, how we conduct business and how we live our lives in general. Deeply reflect upon each aspect and think: “Am I a source of comfort to my beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) or am I inflicting excruciating pain??”
Strangled by Debt
Sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, stress, hypertension, heart attack and even marriage breakdown… and the list goes on. These are just some of the many consequences of taking on unnecessary debts. It is almost as if a person isstrangled to death by debt. How true are the words of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam): “There is no worry like the worry of debt” (Majma‘uz Zawaaid #6641). Luqman (‘alaihis salaam) said to his son: “Avoid debt, for it is sleeplessness at night and a disgrace during the day (when one has to make excuses and lie to one’s creditors and keep hiding from them).
Once Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) cautioned the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum): “Do not put yourself into a state of alarm.” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) asked: “And how is that possible.” Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied: “Through debt.” (Majma‘uz Zawaaid #6623)
Among the main reasons for people falling into unnecessary and avoidable debt is lack of contentment, sheer greed and the need to keep up with others. Many people initially live and enjoy a simple life without any major concern and worry. Unfortunately the “need” for greater comforts and luxuries then creeps in, or the “need” for many more millions, or the “basic need” to keep up with the rich and wealthy takes control of one’s life. When one does not have the money to fulfil these “needs”, one then plunges into borrowing and “financing.” Initially the borrowed cash brings a thrill in the form of luxuries, comforts and the “social boost” by hosting the 7 star wedding reception. After this thrill is over, the heart begins to shrill when the time comes to pay.
Some people may be baffled. “My debtor smiles at me and even laughs when I ask for payment. He simply ignores my calls. His heart does not even flutter over his debts, let alone shrill,” they exclaim. Indeed the heart will shrill …only if the heart is alive with a conscience. A dead heart is, well, dead. No conscience, no stress, no worry (or so it seems) … until … the soul… is suddenly snatched away …by the Angel of Death. The time to pay back then comes on the day of Judgement. The payments will be made with one’s good deeds, otherwise one will be loaded with the liabilities (sins) of the creditors and flung into Jahannam, may Allah Ta‘ala save us.
The greed for wealth leads a person to anything. The laws of Allah Ta‘ala are trampled. The rights of people are violated. One is even prepared to enter into ‘war’ with Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) by indulging in interest. Allah Ta‘ala very clearly declares in the Quraan: “If you do not (terminate dealing in interest) then beware of war with Allah and His messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) (Baqarah, v279).
This manner of living is in direct opposition to what is the hallmark of a Believer – contentment and satisfaction. The entire life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was an open demonstration of this fundamental lesson. He also once declared: “True wealth is the contentment of the heart” (Saheeh Bukhaari #6446). Acquiring happiness is the object and goal of earning wealth. Since only a contented person is truly happy, contentment is thus the real wealth.
While the shar‘eeah has permitted taking loans (with NO interest), this is meant to be only a last resort in desperate situations. If one does take a loan, one should have the firm resolve of paying in time. Delaying the payment of debt when one has some funds to do so is zulm. What a great oppression is it then, that a person flies around holidaying, while his creditors are waiting for their money. Once a Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) passed away, leaving behind him unfulfilled debts and no funds to settle them. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) declined to lead his janaazah salaah until another Sahaabi, Abu Qatada (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), undertook to settle his debts (Saheeh Bukhaari #2289).
Therefore, we should live contented, always remain debt-free (unless in a totally desperate situation) and be happy. Stay away from debt – it could strangle one to “death”, in this world or the Hereafter.
Question: I smoke “weed” every week, watch haraam on my phone and I am involved in some unnatural behaviour. I cannot do without these things though I know it is wrong and sinful. Please advise how I can overcome this condition.
Answer: The answer to this important question requires much detail which is beyond the scope of this newsletter. Some points are nevertheless mentioned hereunder. For further guidance you should contact a senior experienced ‘Aalim in your community.
Overcoming an addiction requires several aspects: patience, courage, commitment, lifestyle adjustments, sacrifice, and most of all, the strengthening of one’s imaan and consciousness of the Aakhirah (Hereafter). Considering that an addiction has led numerous people to the destruction of their deen and dunyah, all the effort and sacrifice that is made is worth it.
* Firstly, to strengthen your imaan, adopt pious company at all times. Keep yourself as much as possible in the environment of deen. Join the daily ta’leem in the Musjid and go out with the jamaats in the path of Allah Ta‘ala as often as you can. You should also seriously consider linking up with a Shaikh who you are compatible with, whom you can confide in and take guidance from.
* You must pluck up the courage to give up sin, beg Allah Ta‘ala for courage and request the pious to make du‘aa for you to be granted courage.
* Daily make istighfaar 100 times very consciously. Likewise recite Durood Shareef 100 times daily. Then recite “Laa hawla walaa quwwata illa billaahil aliyyil azeem” as often as possible. Dedicate some time for the recitation of the Quraan Shareef.
* Undertake the following muraaqabas (meditation) daily without fail:
Imagine that you are engrossed in your evil habit. Just at that moment you were caught in the act by your entire family. Your sin has been exposed. Someone then broadcasts it on social media. Think of the disgrace and humiliation. Imagine that your wife has packed her bags and left and your parents have thrown you out. Nobody wants to accommodate you … Imagine the worst consequences and let this horrendous picture sink in. Do this without fail morning and evening. Furthermore, whenever you are tempted, immediately replay this in your mind.
* Meditate over your own death. Imagine that your body has gone limp while the drug is wedged between your fingers or the phone is in your hand with the filth playing on. Soon people will walk in and see you dead in this condition. Is this how you wish to die? Then think of yourself being lowered into the ground and buried under tons of sand. Imagine the questioning of the angels in the grave. What answer will you have? Engrave this scene on your heart. Then make taubah and firmly resolve never to commit the evil again. (Bear in mind that these meditations are like anti-biotics. Their benefit will be achieved if done consistently and the full course is taken. In this case the full course is at least 40 days).
In brief, also adhere to the following:
- Never be in denial. Confide in someone you trust and seek help. There are many out there who are ready to help. Do not delay in asking for their help.
- Do not remain idle. Always be occupied constructively. Consult an experienced ‘Aalim and acquire some good deeni literature which you should read daily. In particular, read the biographies of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and other pious personalities of the Ummah.
- Remove all the triggers – the company you keep, the smart phone that makes you become a total slave of the worst filth, etc. The company you keep is crucial. It will make or break you. Those who encourage you or lead you towards sin are not your friends. They are Shaitaan’s agents in human form. If you are abusing the phone … BREAK IT, or get rid of it. Do this NOW before it breaks your deen, marriage and life. Keep a very simple basic phone instead, especially one which has no internet access. If you want to stop but do not want to get rid of the smart phone, you are not being smart. You are just fooling yourself.
- Engage in a daily exercise program at home.
- Remember well that if a concerted effort is not made and the addiction is not overcome, it could “explode” at any time and ruin one’s deen, respect and family – may Allah Ta‘ala protect us all.
Faqihul Ummah: Spiritual Reformation
Respected Mufti Saheb
Assalaamu ‘alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh
It has been ten years since I have graduated and took bay‘at at your hands. However, my spiritual condition is as weak as it was in the initial stages.
Summary of Reply:
Assalaamu ‘alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh
You spent approximately ten years to study. For the purpose of acquiring knowledge you left your home for this long duration of time. Your days were then spent in lessons and the nights in studying and revision. You also worked hard and sat for the various examinations. You were very greatly concerned that you must not fail the examinations and waste the year or that your progress must not be hampered. Now consider that concern in comparison to how much of time you dedicated to your spiritual self-reformation? Have you spent at least one year? Have you attempted to curtail your other activities in order to acquire proper devotion? If not, is it then correct to complain that you have not acquired spiritual self-reformation and that your spiritual condition is just as weak as it was previously? (Tarbiyatut Talibeen, pg. 140)