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Inspirational Advice

Better than I’tikaaf

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Saturday, 10 April 2021 10:00

On one occasion, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was in i’tikaaf in Masjidun Nabawi when a person came to him and sat down after greeting him with salaam. When Sayyiduna Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) looked at the person, he observed that he was worried and anxious. He thus asked him, “O so-and-so! I see that you are overcome by grief and worry! (What is the matter?)”

The man replied, “Yes, O cousin of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! I owe so-and-so an outstanding debt, and I am unable to settle it (and that is the reason for my worry and anxiety)!” Sayyiduna Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) offered, “Shall I speak to him on your behalf (requesting him to grant you some form of respite)?” The man replied, “(Yes,) if you wish.” Sayyiduna Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) thus stood and left the masjid.

As he left the masjid, the man reminded him, “Have you forgotten that you are in i’tikaaf? (i.e. by leaving the masjid, your i’tikaaf has broken.)” Sayyiduna Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) replied, “No, (I have not forgotten).”  

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) then looked towards the blessed grave of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and with eyes filled with tears (out of the pain of being separated from his beloved [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam]), he said, “(The reason why I have broken my i’tikaaf is that) I heard the blessed person in this grave (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mention, ‘The one who goes out to attend to the need of his Muslim brother, and he succeeds in fulfilling the need, then this is better (and more rewarding) for him than remaining in i’tikaaf for ten years, and (the reward of) the one who sits in i’tikaaf for a single day, seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, is that Allah Ta‘ala will place three trenches between him and Jahannam – each trench as vast as the distance between the east and the west.’”

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The Spirit of Generosity

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Monday, 29 March 2021 15:08

(Sayyiduna Hakeem bin Hizaam [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] – Part One)

Sayyiduna Hakeem bin Hizaam (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is a Sahaabi of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who was blessed with an extraordinarily long life – he passed away at the age of one hundred and twenty! Another unique aspect of his life is that he was born inside the Ka’bah Shareef!

He was among the leaders of the Quraish and was regarded to be wise and intelligent. When the leaders of the Quraish would enter Daarun Nadwah (the place of council) in order to hold meetings and discuss the affairs of Makkah Mukarramah and its people, then only those people who were forty years of age or older were allowed to participate in the discussion and give their suggestions. However, Sayyiduna Hakeem (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was an exception to this rule. On account of his wisdom and intelligence, he was admitted into Daarun Nadwah at the age of fifteen.

Sayyiduna Hakeem (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was the nephew of Sayyidah Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). He was also a friend to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) even before nubuwwah (prophethood), though he only accepted Islam much later on, on the occasion of the Conquest of Makkah Mukarramah.

Among his many good qualities, one quality that stood out was his generosity and willingness to spend his wealth on others – especially his family and relatives. He was a merchant who would conduct business in Yemen and Shaam. On these business ventures, he would accrue substantial profits and spend them on the poor ones from his people.

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The Happiness of the Mother’s Heart

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Monday, 15 March 2021 08:32

During the era of the khilaafah of Sayyiduna ‘Uthmaan bin ‘Affaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the value of a single date palm had reached one thousand dirhams (silver coins).

Despite the value of the date palm, Sayyiduna Usaamah bin Zaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) went to one of his date palms, pierced the trunk and hollowed it out by extracting from it the ‘heart of palm’ (a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees. In this case, extracting the heart of palm caused the entire tree to be destroyed.). Sayyiduna Usaamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then gave the heart of palm to his mother to relish and enjoy.

Observing that Sayyiduna Usaamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had destroyed the tree, the people asked him, “What caused you to do this when you are aware that the value of a date palm has reached one thousand dirhams?” Sayyiduna Usaamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “(The reason is that) my mother asked me for this, and my mother will not ask me for anything, which I am able to acquire, except that I will (obtain it and) give it to her.”

(Al-Mu’jamul Kabeer - Tabraani #370)

Lesson:

Islam teaches us that after Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), it is our parents who have the greatest rights over us. Hence, a Muslim will do his utmost to bring happiness to the hearts of his parents and see to their comfort and wellbeing. Thus, in the incident above, Sayyiduna Usaamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was even prepared to sacrifice his valuable date tree in order to fulfil the wish of his mother and bring happiness to her heart. On the contrary, in today’s times, parents have been ignored and neglected, or even dumped and abandoned in old age homes, so that they will not become a ‘hindrance’ and obstacle to our comfort and lifestyle. 

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A Bargain for Barakah

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Monday, 01 March 2021 14:00

There was once a man who had four sons. When he fell ill (and was nearing his end), one of his sons (was so eager to serve him and enjoy the exclusive privilege of caring for him, that he) told the other three sons, “Either you nurse him in his sickness and forfeit your shares of his estate; or I will nurse him and forfeit my share of the estate.” His brothers were pleased with his proposition and left him to nurse their father on his own.

When the father eventually passed away, then as agreed, the son who nursed him did not take any share from the estate. Thereafter, he saw a dream one night in which a person told him that one hundred dinaars (gold coins) were kept at a certain place, and he should take these coins. He asked the person whether the money contained barakah (blessings), to which the person replied in the negative.

The following morning, when he related the dream to his wife, she insisted that he should take the money saying, “Having some food to eat and clothing to wear is (sufficient) barakah.” However, he, did not agree.

The following night, he again saw a dream in which a person told him of a certain place where ten dinaars were kept. Once again, when he asked if the money contained barakah, the reply was in the negative. He related the dream to his wife the next morning, and she insisted that he should go and take the money, but again, he refused to do so (not wishing to acquire wealth which was devoid of barakah).

On the third night, he again saw a dream in which a person told him of a certain place where he could find a single dinaar. This time, when he enquired as to whether it contained barakah, the answer was in the affirmative. He thus went to the described location and took possession of the dinaar.

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Reaping the Rewards of Respect

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Monday, 15 February 2021 15:22

Abu Ebrahim, Ismaa‘eel bin Ahmad, was the ruler of Khuraasaan. One day, while in Samarqand, he held a session in which he availed himself for the general people to come to him and present their problems and difficulties to him, asking for his assistance. During this session, his brother, Ishaaq, was seated beside him. After some time, the renowned Faqeeh and ‘Aalim, Abu ‘Abdillah, Muhammad bin Nasr (rahimahullah), entered. Out of respect for him, the ruler, Ismaa‘eel bin Ahmad, stood.

After the ‘Aalim had departed, Ishaaq began to reprimand his brother saying, “You are the ruler of Khuraasaan. Why do you then stand when your subject enters? (By behaving in this manner,) you will lose (respect and) authority!”

That night, when Ismaa‘eel bin Ahmad went to sleep, he had a dream in which he saw that he and his brother were standing before Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) came forward and held Ismaa‘eel by his upper arm and said, “O Ismaa‘eel! Your rule and the rule of your progeny will continue, on account of the honour and respect that you showed to Muhammad bin Nasr (rahimahullah).”

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