- Making More than Money!
- Take a Break
- Q&A: Daughters in University
- Faqeehul Ummah: The Nurturing of Children
Making More than Money!
The sound of a cash register in full swing is coveted by the store owner, while the sight of a full waiting room pleases the doctor. Likewise, a long line of cars pleases the car-wash owner and the start of the new school year pleases the stationer. The common factor is that all these aspects signal that money is being made!
The task of ‘making money’ is one which people generally attach tremendous importance to and thus the sight of their ‘money machine’ in motion causes them great delight. Furthermore, they leave no stone unturned in making money. Whether working from 8 until late, 7 days a week, in order to progress from small-store owner to entrepreneur at the helm of an economical empire, or studying for years to acquire a string of degrees that will equate half the alphabet hanging onto one’s name. It is apparent that we have made more than the required effort in seeing to our material needs.
Making a Life
While many of us have excelled at ‘making money’, to the extent that we have apparently secured not only our own financial future but also those of many generations to come, we have to realize that money is nothing more than a means to an end. The end and goal, in our case, is the goal of making a life of Deen which will secure us success in this world and in the Hereafter. If we lose focus of this goal and instead regard making money to be the goal in life, we will make money – but at the unaffordable expense of “breaking” our peace, happiness, family and most of all, our Deen.
Making a Home
While “making money” should not be the focus of our lives, what we truly need to invest in is “making” our homes. Though the physical structure undoubtedly stands above us, shielding us from the elements, it is the Deeni environment within the home that needs to be built in order for the inhabitants of the home to be shielded from the elements of sin and haraam. Just as a business will not make it if the boss is not at the wheel, the environment of the home will not be made if the heads of the household – the parents – are not dedicated to this cause and do not devote themselves to it. In this regard, it is leading by practical example that proves to be the most effective.
The parents need to sit with their children, daily, and all should engage in the recitation of the Quraaan Majeed, even if it be for just a few minutes, and even if the children have already recited the Quraaan Majeed in madrasah. Together with this, some zikr should be made, collective du‘aa can be made and ta’leem of Fazaail-e-A’maal should be conducted.
While the above serves to form an organized method of creating the environment of Deen, we need to go a step further and ensure that our behaviour, at all times, is one that sets the standard of Deen. If we have double standards, by practicing Islam in the musjid but abandoning its pristine teachings in the business place or while on holiday, our children will realize it and begin to behave in the same way. Thereafter, when we see them go astray and find that our advice and warnings fall on deaf ears, we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Another aspect that requires urgent attention is that of “making” and building the imaani defenses of our children. We live in an age and era wherein almost every billboard we see, every piece of literature we read and every place we visit will contain some factor or another that attacks the ethos, spirit and beliefs of Islam. In the face of this heavy onslaught on imaan, the only way to effectively ‘inoculate’ our children is to see to it that they receive adequate grounding in Islamic education. The key to this is that together with creating the environment of Deen within the home, we enroll them in a maktab (elementary madrasah) where the effort will be made to firmly embed the roots of Islam within them.
Making Our Relationship with Allah Ta‘ala
We have built our modes of communication to the point where the mere swipe of a finger – or even simple voice input – is all it takes for one person to connect with the next. However, in the process, we have broken our relationship with Allah Ta‘ala and thus communicate with everyone but Him. Due to not “building” our relationship with our Most Merciful and Compassionate Creator, Sustainer and Benefactor – Allah Ta‘ala – our lives are empty. To make our life, we must make true contact with Allah Ta‘ala by submitting ourselves in total obedience to Him.
Allah Ta‘ala states in the Quraan Majeed: “And whoever does good deeds, whether male or female, and he has imaan, then We will bless him with a good life.” (Surah Nahl, v97)Hence, we understand that it is not making money or taking a break that will give us happiness. In fact, in many instances, the exact opposite is true, as suicide is more prevalent and rife in the circles of the rich and wealthy. The key to “building” a good life, in every sense of the term, is to build our broken relationship with Allah Ta‘ala.
If we build our Deen, Allah Ta‘ala, who has complete control over everything, will build both our dunya and Aakhirah for us.
Take a Break
The Deen of Islam is complete and perfect. Hence Islam recognizes and caters for all the needs of a human being by showing him the Islamic way of attending to and fulfilling these various needs. Eating is a basic human need. Thus Islam not only allows us to eat but also gives us guidelines and teaches us the Islamic way of eating.
Among our basic, human needs is the need to occasionally ‘take a break’. Islam is not a ‘dry’ Deen and thus allows us to take a break when needed. However, just as we adhere to the guidelines laid down by Deen when fulfilling our other needs, we should also adhere to the laws and injunctions of Deen when fulfilling this need and ensure that it is done in a manner that is approved of in Islam.
In essence, there are two guidelines which we should strive to adhere to. The first is that we do not ‘take a break’ which lives up to its name by ‘breaking’ our Deen. Rather, we should remember that we are always Muslims, whether at home, at work, in the musjid or on holiday. We can take a break from work but there is never a break from Deen. Hence, when on holiday, our dressing, eating, travelling, interacting and every other aspect of our lives should conform to the pristine teachings of Islam. Remember, the purpose of a “break” is to relax the body and mind – NOT to relax our Deeni standards.
The second guideline is to bear in mind that ‘taking a break’ is a need and is not the object of our existence. It is thus imperative that moderation be exercised. In this regard, taking a break is similar to salt. When found in moderation, it enhances the enjoyment which one experiences, but if found in excess, it spoils the entire dish and causes it to become inedible.
Goal in Life
A Muslim never loses sight of his ultimate destination – Jannah. If he takes a break, it is with the intention of recharging his batteries so that on his return, he once again feels motivated to strive for Jannah.
On the other hand, a disbeliever has no Jannah to look forward to and thus seeks to make this world into his Jannah. On account of the disbeliever’s desperation to enjoy Jannah in this very world, before the first holiday can even terminate he already begins planning his second holiday and he feels depressed when the holiday comes to an end. Furthermore, he spends all his energy and wealth in preparing for what he considers to be the “ultimate holiday”. If one has to examine the mindset of this disbeliever, one will realize that it is almost as if he ‘worships’ this holiday and considers it to be the object of his existence.
If a believer takes a break with the correct intention and mindset, without breaking or compromising any law of Deen, in an environment that is conducive to Deen and far away from any fitnah, it will become a means of him ‘making’ his Jannah. He will enjoy a holiday in which his salaah will not be neglected and in which he will remember Allah Ta‘ala in abundance. As a result, he will enjoy the “break” and also enjoy the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, a pleasure to which no other pleasure can compare.
Q&A: Daughters in University
Question: I have just finished matric. My parents want me to go to University next year. I have many friends and family who are in University so I know of the fitnahs and sins that are part of campus life. I heard just recently of a girl who we all knew to be pious, that she met a Hindu boy on campus and wishes to marry him. I don’t want to put my imaan on the line by going to University and being exposed to these fitnahs. Please advise me as to how I can explain my concerns to my parents and convince them. Jazaakallah.
Answer: Assalaamu ‘alaikum. First of all, we commend you on your concern for the safety of your imaan. The protection of one’s imaan is one’s greatest priority. May Allah Ta‘ala always inspire you to safeguard your imaan.
While the challenges and onslaught on imaan and Deen are almost everywhere, they are intensified on University campuses and at tertiary institutions. Hence, the University environment is a risky place for anyone. However, for a woman, it is an even more severe issue, since the Quraan Majeed explicitly commands women to ‘remain firmly within your homes’ (Surah Ahzaab, v33) and not leave their houses except for such purposes which the sharee‘ah sanctions. Going to University is definitely not sanctioned by the sharee‘ah. You should therefore, very respectfully decline this suggestion. Do not utter even a single word of disrespect to your parents. However, it is not permissible to obey an impermissible command of any person. Therefore, do not give in. Make sabr. Allah Ta‘ala will reward you abundantly in both worlds.
Advice to Parents
Many parents insist on sending their daughters to University. They are either unaware of the dangers or are unconcerned about the Deen, imaan and hayaa (modesty and shame) of their daughters. The following are some points to consider, which were highlighted by people who themselves spent considerable time on campus:
¨ It is standard practice that boys and girls intermingle. They are often given group assignments to complete, and have to closely engage with a male ‘partner’. This close engagement often leads to zina.
¨ While many parents console themselves that everything is fine since their innocent daughter goes to University in a cloak and scarf, in many instances it is very far from fine. There have been many cases where shortly after the cloak-clad daughter was dropped off at University, she un-cloaked herself and walked around in jeans and a top. She then dons the cloak before she is fetched in the afternoon.
¨ In several instances, shortly after being dropped off by the parents at campus, the ‘innocent’ daughter was picked up by some boy. After spending the day away from campus, she is then again dropped off at the University before the parent arrives.
¨ Many Muslim girls, for the first time in their lives, took drugs or consumed alcohol on campus. This eventually led to total addiction.
¨ Parents intending to send their daughters to University should visit places such as the ‘basement’ or the canteen. If there is any fervor of imaan, they will be shocked after witnessing what goes on in these places.
¨ One of the most serious aspects is the exposure to many false and even kufr ideologies. Allah Ta‘ala forbid – several young people at University have adopted the kufr fallacy of evolution as their belief. Some even became open atheists. May Allah Ta‘ala protect.
Therefore, save the imaan, Deen and hayaa of your daughter by saving her from being thrown into the vicious environment of the University.
Islam is a Deen of peace and justice. Even in a truly Islamic country, the non-Muslim citizens are given full protection, helped when in need and are permitted to conduct their own religious rites and ceremonies.
It, however, does not mean that if people of other religions are allowed to conduct their religious ceremonies, it is permissible for a Muslim to join them in such celebrations. Islam has a distinct culture and totally shuns anything to do with shirk (idolatory) and the customs of other religions.
Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are Christian and pagan celebrations respectively. The element of shirk is evident. Consider the following:
The World Book Dictionary defines Christmas in the following manner: “1. The yearly celebration of the birth of Christ; December 25. Christmas is marked by special Church services, giving of gifts and sending of greetings. 2. The religious and festive season before and after Christmas day.”
As for New Year’s Day, the World Book Encyclopaedia describes it in the following words: “The Roman ruler Julius Caesar established January 1 as New Year’s Day in 46 B.C. The Romans dedicated this day to Janus, the god of gates, doors and beginnings. January was named after Janus, who had two faces – one looking forward and the other looking backward. The early Romans gave each other New Year’s gifts of branches from sacred trees. In later times, they gave coins, imprinted with pictures of Janus, or gold covered nuts.”
Thus as Muslims we should totally refrain from participating in such celebrations of shirk.
Faqeehul Ummah: The Nurturing of Children
Summary of Letter
I have taught my children salaah and Quraan majeed. Thereafter they pursued secular education. I allowed them to acquire more worldly education in the hope that they may progress materially. Now I am concerned as to what answer I will give to Allah Ta‘ala. One son is a Haafiz, but he as well as my other children refuse to listen to me. My heart remains extremely troubled and distressed. At times, I feel that I should leave my home and go away somewhere. What should I now do to save myself from any punishment in the Hereafter for the mistakes I have made in the educating and upbringing of my children?
Summary of Reply:
Assalamu ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
The syllabus that is taught to our children as well as the environment has a definite effect on them. Some are affected more than others. On some, the effect is immediate while on others, it is gradual. Often, the effect of secular education and the environment reduces or completely erases all previous positive effects. If a person is placed in a new (secular) environment while the effects of salaah and Quraan Majeed have not yet been firmly rooted in him, then these effects tend to fade away and this causes a great amount of distress. Therefore, in the future, do not be neglectful with regard to the upbringing of your children. You should give them the books of the pious elders to read. With due importance, you should take them with you to the gatherings of the friends of Allah Ta‘ala. Allow them to be in the company of the pious. During their holidays, send them out in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. Insha-Allah their time spent in tableegh (imparting Deen) will be beneficial for them. You should continue making du‘aa for them. As far as you leaving the home and going elsewhere, there is no benefit in this for you nor for the children. (Maktoobaat vol. 1, pg. 117)