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Inspirational Advice

‘Blinding’ Influence

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Monday, 12 June 2017 07:19

(Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [rahimahullah] #4)

Whenever Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would leave the musjid and return home, then on arriving at the entrance of his yard, he would call out the takbeer (Allahu Akbar). Hearing his takbeer, his wife would reply by also calling out the takbeer. After entering the courtyard of the home, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would again call out takbeer and his wife would similarly respond. Finally, when he would arrive at the door of his home, he would call out the takbeer and his wife would similarly respond with takbeer. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would thereafter enter the home after which his wife would take his sandals and shawl and bring him his food. 

One day, when Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) arrived at the entrance of his yard, he called out the takbeer, as normal, but was surprised when he received no response. He next entered the courtyard and called out the takbeer, but again received no reply. Finally, when entering the home, he called out the takbeer, and again received no reply.

On entering, he found that the lamp had not been lit, and saw his wife seated with her head lowered, scratching at the ground with a stick. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) was perplexed at her behaviour and asked her, “What is the matter?” She replied, “You have a good relationship with the leader, Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). We do not have a servant. Why do you not ask him to provide us with a servant and give us some wealth as well?”

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Respect for Ramadhaan

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Monday, 29 May 2017 06:50

There was once a fire worshipper who saw his son eating in the presence of Muslims during the month of Ramadhaan. As soon as he saw his son eating before the Muslims, he hit him and reprimanded him saying, “Why do you not show regard for the sanctity and respect of the Muslims during the month of Ramadhaan?”

It so happened that the fire worshipper passed away that very week. Soon after he passed away, the ‘Aalim of that locality had a dream in which he saw the fire worshipper in Jannah! In the dream, he asked him, “Were you not a fire worshipper?” The man replied, “I was a fire worshipper. However, shortly before I passed away, Allah Ta‘ala honoured me, by inspiring me to accept Islam, due to the respect that I had shown for the month of Ramadhaan.” (Nuzhatul Majaalis pg. 201)

Lessons:

1. The salient symbols of Islam, such as the month of Ramadhaan, the masaajid, the Quraan Majeed, the azaan, etc., stand for and represent Islam. Hence, to respect these symbols is to respect Islam itself, and to show disregard to them is to show disregard to Islam itself. A few examples of showing respect for these symbols are: fasting, performing the complete Taraaweeh Salaah, abstaining from sin during the month of Ramadhaan, dressing and behaving appropriately within the musjid, regularly reciting the Quraan Majeed and holding it with reverence and wudhu, and remaining silent during the azaan so that one may listen to it attentively and verbally reply, as well as by physically responding thereafter by proceeding to salaah.

2. On account of a fire worshipper respecting the month of Ramadhaan, Allah Ta‘ala blessed him with Islam and Jannah. If the Muslims afford this blessed month the respect and honour that it deserves, how much more will Allah Ta‘ala bless them, in this world and the next! Conversely, if the Muslims disregard this month, by failing to repent, fulfil the commands of Allah Ta‘ala and while away the precious moments, what a loss they will incur! 

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The Blessed Bread

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Monday, 15 May 2017 06:23

(Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [rahimahullah] #3)

On one occasion, the wife of Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (rahimahullah) said to him, “O Abu Muslim! We do not have any flour!” Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) asked her, “Do you have any money?” She replied, “I have one dirham which we earned through selling yarn.” Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) instructed, “Hand me the dirham and give me a sack.”

Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) thereafter proceeded to the market and stood before a man who was selling food. However, at that moment, a beggar also arrived and stood before Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) imploring, “O Abu Muslim! Give me some charity!” As Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) only had one dirham and there was no food at home, he turned and fled from the beggar, arriving at another food stall. The beggar, however, followed him and continued to call out to him. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) thus fled for a third time and went to a third stall, but the beggar persistently followed him and continued to implore him for charity.

Finally, viewing the beggar’s persistence, he relented and gave him the dirham. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah), not wanting to take the sack home empty, filled it with sawdust and sand and proceeded home. When he reached the door of his home, he was afraid to enter as he did not have any food to give his wife. Not knowing what else to do, he knocked on the door and when his wife opened it, he gave her the bag, turned and left.

His wife, not knowing what had transpired, took the bag and opened it, finding it full of white flour! She thus formed the dough and baked the bread. After a short portion of the night had passed, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) arrived at home and knocked on the door. When he entered, she spread the tablecloth and placed loaves of bread before him. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) was surprised and asked, “Where did you get this bread?” She replied, “O Abu Muslim, from the flour that you brought.” When Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) heard this, he began to eat the bread as he wept in gratitude to Allah Ta‘ala. (Sifatus Safwah vol. 2 pg. 371)

Lessons:

1. Sadaqah (charity) will never decrease a person’s wealth. Rather, it brings barakah (blessings).

2. Every person’s sustenance has been written and preordained. Hence, because it was decreed that Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would receive the bread, even though he gave the dirham away, he still enjoyed the bread. Similarly, our sustenance, down to the last cent and morsel, has been decreed and cannot change. Hence, we cannot control the amount of wealth that we earn and enjoy. However, we can choose to earn it and spend it in a halaal manner. By doing this, we will receive the exact same wealth – but with the blessings and happiness of Allah Ta‘ala.

3. The pious friends of Allah Ta‘ala have such a bond and relationship with Allah Ta‘ala that He always cares for them and makes divine arrangements for them.

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Disinterest in the Dunya

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Monday, 01 May 2017 09:35

(Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [rahimahullah] #2)

‘Alqamah bin Marthad (rahimahullah) has mentioned that eight Taabi‘een had excelled in attaining the highest levels of zuhd (asceticism). Among these eight Taabi‘een was Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (rahimahullah). Explaining the zuhd of Abu Muslim (rahimahullah), ‘Alqamah bin Marthad (rahimahullah) quoted the following incident as an example of his disinterest in the world:

Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would not sit with any person who was engaged in speaking of the dunya. If the person with whom he was seated began to speak of anything related to the dunya, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would immediately turn away and leave.

On one occasion, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) entered the musjid and saw a few people sitting in a group. Seeing this group, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) joined them in the hope that they were engaged in the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala. However, on sitting with them, he heard one person say, “My slave arrived having earned such-and-such wealth”, while another was saying, “I equipped my slave (to begin earning wealth)”. When he heard the subject of their conversation, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) was extremely disappointed. He addressed them saying, “Subhaanallah! Do you know the example of yourselves and myself? Our example is that of a man who was caught in a heavy deluge of rain. As the rain began to soak him, he turned and caught sight of two large doors. Seeing the doors, he became hopeful of finding shelter and thought to himself, “If only I can enter this home and seek its shelter until the rain ceases.” However, as soon as he entered the home, he found, to his dismay, that it had no roof and thus could afford him no shelter. I am that person. I joined your gathering hoping that you were people who are engaged in zikr and other acts of worship, but instead discovered that you are people of the dunya.”  (Sifatus Safwah vol. 2, pg. 370)

Lessons:

1. The pious friends of Allah Ta‘ala understand that the dunya is a great distraction that can preoccupy a person’s heart, turning his attention away from Allah Ta‘ala. That is why they strive to keep their relationship with the dunya as minimal as possible.

2. A person is greatly influenced by the company that he keeps. If he regularly associates with businessmen, he will become business-minded and will thus see everything in the light of business. Similarly, if a woman keeps the company of women who are ‘shopaholics’, she will also develop an interest in shopping, even if she does not need to buy anything. However, if one keeps the company of the pious, one will become Islamic-minded and will thus see everything in the light of Islam. It is thus of utmost importance that we strive to link ourselves to the pious and benefit from their teachings.

3.When a person’s heart is soaked in the love of wealth, then even if he is seated in the musjid, attending a janaazah, performing salaah or attending a ta’leem, his mind and heart will be occupied with the thought of wealth.

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In the Footsteps of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam)

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Monday, 17 April 2017 16:11

(Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [rahimahullah] #1)

Towards the end of the blessed life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), there was a man named Aswad ‘Anasi who took over Yemen by force and proclaimed prophethood. Among the people that he summoned was Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (rahimahullah).  

When Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) stood before him, he asked him, “Do you testify that Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the Rasul of Allah?” Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) replied, “Yes.” Aswad ‘Anasi next asked him, “Do you testify that I am the Rasul of Allah?” To this question, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) replied, “I cannot hear.”

Read more: In the Footsteps of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam)

   

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