- Signs of Allah
- Q&A: Interest
- Demise of a Wali
- Faqihul Ummah: The Writer Requested Some Advice and Duas
- No Charge
A boss fired his employee of several years. When asked the reason, he remarked: “This ungrateful fellow simply cannot appreciate anything. Besides his salary I also pay the school fees for his children. I paid the hospital bill when his wife was sick. Often he is given some groceries to take home. Yet after all this he defies my instructions and does not complete the work that is given to him. How can I ever tolerate such ingratitude.”
Subhanallah! Ingratitude is never tolerated. Almost everyone at some time has become extremely annoyed when a person upon whom he has showered his favours disobeyed or defied him. Yet, all the favours that we can confer on a person, all the hospital bills and school fees that we can pay and all the grocery hampers that we may give are nothing compared to the favours and bounties that Allah Ta’ala has showered upon us. Thus the question we need to ask ourselves is: Are we grateful to Allah Ta’ala for His innumerable favours and bounties?
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was a complete embodiment of shukr. One night he spent many hours standing in Salaah. This resulted in his feet swelling up. When asked as to why he subjected himself to such difficulty whereas Allah Ta’ala had made him sinless, he replied: “Should I not be a grateful servant.”
At every occasion we have been taught to remember the favours of Allah Ta’ala and express our gratitude to Him. In this regard the practical lesson of our beloved Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is a great eye-opener. After leaving the toilet Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would recite the following dua: “(O Allah) I seek Your forgiveness. All praise is due to Allah Who has removed from me what was harmful and granted me relief.” What a wonderful dua! Every word is soaked in expressing shukr (gratitude) to Allah Ta’ala. Imagine what would be the condition if one does not manage to relieve oneself? Have we ever expressed shukr to Allah Ta’ala for this favour?
While expressing shukr verbally is also necessary, the most important aspect of shukr is to be practically grateful to Allah Ta’ala. How? Simply by refraining from His disobedience and by fulfilling His instructions. If we cannot tolerate that the one who we have favoured should disobey us despite the insignificance of our favours, how can we boldly disobey Allah Ta’ala, Who has blessed us with countless blessings, and yet have hope in His Mercy? Hence Allah Ta’ala declares in the Glorious Qur’an: “If you are grateful I will increase for you (my bounties) and if you are ungrateful, verily my punishment is severe” (14:7).
The reason for the present pitiable condition of the Ummah can be easily gleaned from this aayah. Throughout the world Muslims are being brutally battered. Various plots are being hatched to exterminate the Muslims. Locally Muslims are gripped with fear due to the mayhem, murder and rampant crime wave that is sweeping through the country. The economic situation is becoming gloomier due to which even many wealthy people are staring at poverty in the face. This is indeed the punishment of Allah Ta’ala as a result our extreme ingratitude for His favours.
Consider just some of the priceless physical bounties of Allah Ta’ala and to what extent we use these very bounties to disobey Him. The forehead which should have been in sajda at the time of Fajar is still snugly under the blanket. The hands that should have been tied in humility before Allah Ta’ala in Salaah at the time of Zuhar and Asr are busy counting rands and cents. The feet that should have been walking towards the Musjid during Maghrib and Esha are perched in front of Shaitaan’s tool – the television. Is this gratitude? Can we expect this to be tolerated?
Also, the tongue is forever engaged in gheebat (backbiting), the eyes are engaged in zina (whether on the streets, in workplaces, on the T.V. or anywhere else), the ears in listening to music. How many hands have taken bribes, handled stolen goods, taken and given interest, taken intoxicants, etc? How often hearts have plotted and planned various schemes to disobey the very Creator of the heart? The list of our ingratitude is endless. This is not the case of disobeying someone who paid a mere hundered thousand rands in hospital bills on our behalf for a heart operation. It is disobedience of the Maker and Bestower of that heart – the heart which the entire world cannot pay for.
What about the wealth that Allah Ta’ala has granted us? Are we grateful for it? Is not the squandering of this wealth on haraam activities, haraam commodities, wasteful wedding customs, etc., the height of ingratitude? The above aspects are merely some examples of our ingratitude. These examples make it absolutely clear that we have by our actions invited the Divine wrath upon ourselves. Allah Ta’ala has already explained this to us in the following parable:
“And Allah Ta’ala gives you the parable of a city that was peaceful and content. It’s sustenance came to it abundantly from everywhere. Alas! They then showed ingratitude to the favours of Allah Ta’ala. Hence Allah Ta’ala clad them in clothing of hunger (poverty) and fear” (16:112).
The solution is obvious — BE GRATEFUL TO ALLAH TA’ALA. We eat the food that He provided. We drink the water that He rained down. We breathe the air that He provided. How then can we dare be disobedient and ungrateful to Him? Again, mere lip service will not be sufficient. Practical gratitude is necessary. At least bow down in front of our Creator five times daily (the five fardh Salaah). Fulfil our responsibilities to Him and to His creation. Abandon all sins. This will draw the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala.
May Allah Ta’ala make us His truly grateful servants. Aameen.
Signs of Allah
Have we ever looked up at the sky on a starlit night and wondered at the magnificent creation of Allah Ta’ala that appear like little flickering lights? We are often fascinated with some computer, cell phone or other invention of modern times. Yet the vast creation of Allah Ta’ala which we witness day and night are beckoning us to ponder over them and recognise the Being that has created them and us. When we truly recognise the power of Allah Ta’ala, we will submit to Him totally.
REMEMBERANCE OF ALLAH TA’ALA
In the Qur’an one of the Surahs (chapters) is titled “An-Najm,” which means “The Star.” In this Surah Allah Ta’ala even takes an oath upon the star, which is an indication of the significance of this creation. Thus we should ponder over this astonishing creation and thereby recognise Allah Ta’ala, the Creator. Hereunder are some details about stars which modern science has discovered. However it must be remembered that science has not even scratched the surface. Allah Ta’ala’s creation is far beyond what science will ever discover. Furthermore, science is rooted in the wonder of the creation itself and does not progress beyond that. Such observance of these great signs and discovering their wonders is futile. A Mu’min, however, recognises His Creator by these signs. Hence he becomes more engrossed in the rememberance of Allah Ta’ala. Now when he takes the name of Allah Ta’ala, the grandeur and magnificience of his Creator is embedded even more firmly in his heart. Thus there exists a world of difference between a Mu’min and a mere scientist in the observance of these great signs.
BILLIONS OF STARS
“A star is a huge ball of glowing gas in the sky. The sun is a star. It is the only star close enough to the earth to look like a ball. The other billions of stars are so far away that they appear to be no more than pinpoints of light — even through powerful telescopes.
There are more than 200 billion billion (200, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000) stars. Suppose that eveyone in the world were to count the stars, each person could count more than 50 billion of them without the same star being counted twice.
SPACE BETWEEN EARTH AND SUN
In spite of their appearance, stars are enormous objects. The sun is only a medium-sized star, but its diameter is more than 100 times the diameter of the earth. The largest stars would more than fill the space between the earth and the sun. Such stars have a diameter that is about 1000 times as large as the sun’s. The smallest stars are smaller than the earth.
We can hardly imagine the great size of some stars. But even large stars look like tiny dots because they are so far away.
The nearest star — other than the sun — is more than 25 million million miles (40 million million kilometers) away. The fastest jet would take a million years to fly that far. But even this great distance is only one-billionth the distance to the farthest stars.
The surface temperature varies from about 50,000°F. (28,000°C) on blue stars to about 5000°F. (2800°C) on red stars. The interior temperature is more than 2,000,000°F. (1,100,000°C).” (World Book)
A friend believes that in the present day and age the Muslims cannot progress economically without interest. According to him since other communities are making tremendous strides in the economic field on the basis of interest, Muslims should also follow suit.
Each person views the things around him and formulates his opinion according to his level of intelligence, knowledge and wisdom. Thus a toddler sees the cat droppings on the floor and thinks it is something to devour. An adult, however, knows the reality and regards consuming such filth as repugnant and extremely harmful.
Likewise Allah Ta’ala in his infinite wisdom forbade interest. So repugnant is interest that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The sin of Riba (interest) has seventy categories, the lowest of which is equal to having committed incest with one’s mother” (Mishkaat). Hazrath Jaabir (R.A.) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah Ta’ala has cursed the one who consumes interest, the one who gives it, the one who records the transaction and the one who witnesses it – and all are equal in the sin” (Sahih Muslim).
OBJECT ON EARTH
Furthermore, Allah Ta’ala has not created us for economic advancement. Our primary object on earth is to recognise our Creator and establish His Deen everywhere. Even if we do not make any material progress but manage to fulfil our primary object on earth, we are successful. If we fail in our primary objective we are dismal failures even if we own the world. While economic progress in a lawful manner is permissible, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) also drew the attention of the Sahaaba (R.A.) away from focussing in this direction. After the Battle of Khaibar a person came to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and exclaimed: “No one else has earned so much profit today (in buying and selling the booty that was gained) as I!” When he informed Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that he earned 300 ouqiyah of silver, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) remarked: “Two rakaats of nafil salaah after the fardh is better than that (Abu Dawood).”
One should also consider the situation and circumstances of the Sahaaba (R.A.) when the prohibition of interest was revealed. Many Sahaaba (R.A.) were deep in debts which they owed to the kuffaar. There were those who had stones tied to their bellies due to hunger. Some Sahaaba (R.A.) would faint due to starvation. Many could not afford even two pieces of cloth to cover their bodies. A Sahaabi (R.A.) wishes to get married but does not have anything to give even as the mehr. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) himself had to keep his armour as security with a Jew for a debt to fulfil the needs of his household. Yet in these conditions also transacting in interest, whether taking or giving, was forbidden.
In this state of abject poverty Allah Ta’ala also forbade the Muslims from even raising their gazes to look at the “economic advancement” of the enemies of Allah Ta’ala. The Qur’an declares: “Do not raise your eyes in longing for what we have given for enjoyment to various groups among them (the disbelievers), (it is) the splendour of the life of this world so that we may test them thereby” (S20, V131).
Therefore we should not bother about the economic advancement of the kuffaar. Furthermore, in the light of the prohibitions of the Qur’an and Hadith we should harbour a deep aversion and hatred for interest and all that is associated with it – far more intense hatred than the aversion for animal droppings. The very thought of indulging in interest should make us shudder out of fear of incurring Allah Ta’ala’s punishment.
Demise of a Wali
On Friday, 20 Muharram 1420 / 7 May 1999 one of the very great luminaries and aulia of our time, Shafiqul Ummah Hazrath Moulana Hajee Muhammad Farouk Saheb (R.A.) bid farewell to this temporary abode and passed on to his Rabb. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raajioon. May Allah Ta’ala grant him a lofty abode in the Aakhirah and bless his family and associates with sabre jameel. Aameen. Indeed, the demise of a wali of this calibre is not only a loss to his family and associates but rather a loss to the entire world.
His teachings illuminated the hearts of thousands of people and enabled them to tread the path of seeking Allah Ta’ala. From his innumerable priceless gems of advice, one gem is reproduced hereunder which is itself sufficient for a person to attain success if he firmly adheres to its requisites:
Hazrath (R.A.) says: “To bring a change into your life, remember this secret of success: The Hadith states that every week records of the Ummats deeds are presented to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). So keep this thought constantly in mind: Is there anything in my book of deeds which will make the heart of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) happy? To reverse the evil trend of one’s nature and soul, and to bring oneself towards obedience, this contemplation is indeed an effective remedy.” (The day and night of a Mu’min)
Faqihul Ummah: The Writer Requested Some Advice and Duas
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
The writer requested some advice and duas.
. . . May Allah Ta’ala enable you to fulfil all your obligations and responsibilities with ease. May He also make many people to take benefit from you and assist you in every difficulty from the unseen sources (ghaib).
If anybody treats you with love and respect, regard it as the Grace of Allah Ta’ala that He has placed love and respect for you in that persons heart. Otherwise, it was possible that the same person could have been an arch enemy who hates you. Hence consider it the Grace of Allah Ta’ala that He has concealed your faults. He forgives all sins and conceals the faults of people.
Do not place total realiance on any person and divulge all your secrets to him, nor have any enmity with any person. Treat every person with husne akhlaaq (good character). The one who at present kisses your hands with great love could tomorrow end up swearing at you. Therefore, always adopt a moderate approach in your dealings with people and be careful in this regard.
Was Salaam (Maktoobaat – vol.1, pg.111)
A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was preparing supper and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his mother dried her hands on an apron, she read the little note. This is what it said:
For cutting the grass: R5.00
For cleaning up my room this week: R5.00
For going to the store for you: R5.00
Taking out the garbage: R1.00
For getting a good report at Madrasah: R10.00
For cleaning up the yard: R10.00
TOTAL OWED: R36.00
Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote: “For the nine months I carried you before you were born: No Charge. For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you: No Charge. For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge. For all the nights filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge. For the food, clothes, toys and even wiping your nose: No Charge, Son. When you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge.
When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes. He looked straight up at his mother and said, “Ma, I sure do love you.” Then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID A MILLION TIMES OVER.” (Author Unknown)
Masbooq refers to the person who joined the Imaam after the Imaam had completed one or more rakaats. Thus he will complete the missed rakaats after the Imaam makes salaam.
When the Imaam completes his Salaah, the masbooq should pause slightly after the Imaam has completed BOTH salaams. Thereafter he should stand to complete the missed rakaats (Shaami).
If the masbooq forgetfully made salaam with the Imaam He should stand up for the missed rakaats immediately upon remembering, provided that he has not committed any act which terminates the Salaah. If he had made the salaam simultaneously with the Imaam, he should then merely complete his salaah in the normal manner. If he made salaam after the Imaam had uttered the word “As-Salaam” (which is generally the case), he should make sajda sahw at the end of his salaah (Shaami).