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Inspirational Advice

​Submitting to the Book of Allah Ta‘ala

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Monday, 12 November 2018 15:50

‘Ali bin Husain (rahimahullah), also known by the title Zainul ‘Aabideen, was the grandson of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and the son of Sayyiduna Husain (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

On one occasion, Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) was performing wudhu while his slave girl was assisting him by pouring the water onto his limbs from a pitcher. As she was pouring the water, it so happened that the pitcher fell from her hand, striking Zainul ‘Aaibdeen (rahimahullah) on his head and injuring him. On suffering the injury, Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) looked up at the slave girl (in anger).

The slave girl addressed him saying, “Allah Ta‘ala mentions (while describing the people of taqwa):

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ

And those who suppress their anger

As soon as he heard this, Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) responded, “I have suppressed my anger.”

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The Tongue of Gratitude​

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Tuesday, 30 October 2018 09:13

Abu Qilaabah (rahimahullah) was an illustrious Taabi‘ee from Basrah who passed away in the year 104 A.H.

Imaam Awzaa‘ee (rahimahullah) narrates the following incident from ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad (rahimahullah), explaining the manner in which Abu Qilaabah (rahimahullah) passed away. ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad (rahimahullah) says:

I once went to the coast to engage in ‘ribaat’ (guarding the borders of the Islamic lands). At that time, I was posted to the border which was near the city of Arish (a city in Egypt). As I arrived at the coast, I came to an open plain in which a tent was pitched. In the tent, I found a man who had lost the use of both his hands and feet. Furthermore, he was hard of hearing and could barely see, and he did not have any servant to attend to him. However, his tongue was moving and saying:

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The Blessing of Bismillah​

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Monday, 15 October 2018 15:39

Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) was once proceeding to a certain place for some task when he passed by a grave. On looking at the grave, Allah Ta‘ala showed him that angels of punishment were torturing the inmate of the grave.

Sometime later, when Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) had completed his task and was returning, he again passed by the grave. However, Allah Ta‘ala now showed him that instead of angels of punishment, there were angels of mercy at the grave, bearing platters of divine radiance!

Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) was surprised at this sudden change in condition. He thus performed salaah and engaged in du‘aa, begging Allah Ta‘ala to reveal to him what had caused the punishment of the inmate to cease and be replaced with His special mercy.

Allah Ta‘ala sent revelation to Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) informing him thus:

O ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam)! This servant led a life of disobedience and sin, and he has thus been engulfed in punishment from the time he passed away. However, when he passed away, he left a wife who was expecting a child. After the child was born, she raised him and saw to his upbringing until he grew into a young boy. She then made him over to the maktab (elementary madrasah) teachers. After entering the madrasah, the teacher made the child recite “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem”. I thus felt ashamed to punish my servant with fire within the earth while his son is taking My name above the earth.

(At-Tafseerul Kabeer vol. 1, pg. 143)

Lessons:

1. One of the greatest investments for any parent is a pious child. As the parents were the means of the child entering the world, they have a share in all his good works and righteous deeds and are rewarded accordingly. However, for this investment to bear fruit, the seeds of piety and righteousness will have to be planted and nurtured in the child.

2. In order for the seeds of righteousness and piety to be planted in the child, it is essential that the child be enrolled into a maktab madrasah. It is in the maktab madrasahs that the children are taught the basics and fundamentals of imaan and Islam, such as the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala, the prophethood of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), how to make wudhu, how to perform salaah, how to recite the Quraan Majeed, etc. Since many parents are unable to teach their children themselves (due to lacking the time or knowledge), enrolling the children into a maktab is a proven solution to ensuring that they are not deprived of the teachings of Islam.

3. We should regularly make du‘aa for the forgiveness of all those who have passed on with imaan, especially our parents, grandparents, asaatizah (those who taught us Deen), etc.

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Securing t​he Assistance of Allah

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Monday, 01 October 2018 16:22

Khedive Ismail Pasha was appointed as the ruler over Egypt by the Ottoman Empire. During his reign, Egypt and Ethiopia were at war from 1874 to 1876. Due to the disunity that existed between the various commanders of the Egyptian army, Egypt suffered numerous defeats during this war, and was ultimately unsuccessful against Ethiopia.

One day, Khedive Ismail felt depressed and overcome by anxiety on account of the defeats that Egypt was suffering. He thus mounted his conveyance and set out with his minister, Shareef Pasha, hoping to find a way to relieve his anxiety and dispel his worries. While they were out, he turned to Shareef Pasha and asked him, “When you have a serious problem that you need to solve, what do you do?” Shareef Pasha answered, “It is my habit that when I have a problem, I request the pious ‘Ulama to recite the kitaab, Saheeh Bukhaari, on my behalf. Through the blessings of this kitaab, Allah Ta‘ala assists me to solve my problem.” Khedive Ismail replied, “We will speak to the Shaikh of Al-Azhar and ask him to arrange for Saheeh Bukhaari to be recited.”

Accordingly, Shaikh Aroosi, the Shaikh of Al-Azhar, gathered the pious ‘Ulama who began to recite Saheeh Bukhaari. However, news of the Egyptian army’s defeat continued to arrive. After some time, Khedive Ismail and Shareef Pasha went to the ‘Ulama where Khedive Ismail said to them in anger, “Either the kitaab that you are reciting is not Saheeh Bukhaari, or you are not the pious ‘Ulama that we think you to be, like the pious ‘Ulama of the past. Allah Ta‘ala has not assisted us in any way through you and your recitation!”

On hearing this outburst, the gathering of ‘Ulama remained silent. However, an old ‘Aalim, seated in the last row of the gathering, spoke up and said, “It is your fault, Ismail, as Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has said, ‘You will certainly command people towards righteousness and forbid them from evil, or Allah Ta‘ala will allow the evil among you to rule over you. Thereafter, when the pious among you will make du‘aa, it will not be accepted.’” When the old ‘Aalim said this, there was pin drop silence. After a few moments, Khedive Ismail and Shareef Pasha turned and left without uttering a word.

As soon as they left, the other ‘Ulama began to reproach him for speaking against the ruler as they feared that he would be punished or killed. Mere moments later, Shareef Pasha returned and informed the old ‘Aalim that Khedive Ismail had summoned him. The other ‘Ulama were now convinced that the old ‘Aalim was departing to his death, and they thus began to bid him farewell.

The old ‘Aalim accompanied Shareef Pasha to the palace of Khedive Ismail. On entering, they found Khedive Ismail in the hall with a chair before him. After seating the old ‘Aalim in the chair, Khedive Ismail said, “Repeat what you said to me earlier, in Al-Azhar.” When the old ‘Aalim repeated the hadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and explained what it meant, Khedive Ismail asked, “What evils have we committed due to which this calamity has befallen us?” The old ‘Aalim replied, “Have the mixed courts (courts with jurisdiction over residents of foreign nationality) not begun to pass laws permitting interest and usury? Has adultery and fornication not been allowed? Has wine and alcohol not been legalised?” In this manner, the old ‘Aalim continued citing many more examples of evils and sins that were undeniable realities. He then concluded saying, “When this is our lamentable condition, how can we expect to receive the assistance of Allah Ta‘ala?”

After hearing him out, Khedive Ismail exclaimed, “What can we do? We cannot help it! There are non-Muslims living here with us and we need to appease them!” The old ‘Aalim responded, “In that case, what is the fault of Saheeh Bukhaari, and what can the ‘Ulama do to help you? (i.e. when you wish to compromise Deen to appease the kuffaar, then you should not blame Saheeh Bukhaari and should not expect the du‘aa of the ‘Ulama to avail you, as you have caused yourself to be deprived of the assistance of Allah Ta‘ala).”

Khedive Ismail lowered his head and pondered over the profound words of the old ‘Aalim for some time. Eventually, he raised his head and submitted, “You are right and you have spoken the truth.” Saying this, he allowed the old ‘Aalim to return to Al-Azhar where he was received by the other ‘Ulama who were joyous over his safe return.

(Min Akhlaaqil ‘Ulama pgs. 97)

Lessons:

1. Today, everybody is looking for solutions to the problems that we face. Whether it is crime, corrupt leaders or people undergoing persecution, people from all walks of life are affected and worried. In this regard, people often say, “When will the help of Allah Ta‘ala come? Why are we undergoing these difficulties?” The answer is that we need to revive Deen and the sunnah in our lives and cease committing sins, in order to receive the assistance of Allah Ta‘ala.

2. The old ‘Aalim took the courage to address the ruler and correct him, explaining to him that what he was doing was incorrect. In a similar way, we should all strive to make a difference where possible. First of all, we will make an effort to identify and rectify our own wrongs. Thereafter, we are obligated to save our families from the fire of Jahannum. We will try to help each and every person, in whatever manner possible, to reach Jannah, together with making du‘aa for the person and all Muslims at large.

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The Pearl of ​Peace

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Monday, 17 September 2018 14:00

There was once a man who was in a state of poverty. One day, he left home with some yarn and sold it for one dirham (silver coin), hoping to purchase flour. Coincidentally, he thereafter passed by two men who were fighting with one another and shouting. On enquiring the reason for their quarrel, he was informed that they were fighting over a dirham. In order to end their dispute and create peace between them, he gave them his dirham – even though it was the only money that he possessed.

The man then returned home and informed his wife of what had transpired. As they were in poverty and required food, she gathered some of their household items and handed them to her husband so that he could sell them and raise some money to buy their needs. Unfortunately, despite his efforts, he was unable to sell the goods.

After some time he met a man who had a fish that had begun to spoil. On seeing him, the man said, “You have goods which you cannot sell, and I have something which I cannot sell. Why do you not then sell me your goods in exchange of this fish?” The man agreed and they thus swapped the fish for the goods.

He then went home and handed the fish to his wife saying, “Please clean and prepare this fish, as we are dying of hunger!” Suddenly, while cleaning the fish, she slit its belly and discovered a pearl inside! She turned to her husband and said, “Something has emerged from the belly of the fish. It is smaller than a chicken’s egg and resembles a pigeon’s egg.”

The husband asked her to show it to him. When he looked at the item, he saw something that he had never before seen in his life. He was seized by excitement and exclaimed, “I think that it’s a pearl!” His wife asked him, “Do you know the value of a pearl?” He replied, “No, but I know a person who does.” Saying this, the husband took the pearl and went to one of his friends who was a jeweller by trade.

When he arrived at the shop of his friend, he greeted him with salaam and sat to speak to him. He then handed the pearl to him and asked, “How much is this worth?” After examining the pearl for a lengthy period, his friend said, “I can give you forty thousand dirhams (silver coins) for this pearl. If you wish, I can give you the money immediately. However, if you want a higher price, you can go to so-and-so, as he will pay you even more for this pearl.”

The man accepted his friend’s advice and went to the second person. When he saw the pearl, he said, “I can pay you eighty thousand dirhams for this pearl, but if you wish, you can go to so-and-so, as he can pay you more than I can.”

The man thus proceeded to the third person who examined the pearl and said, “I can pay you one hundred and twenty thousand dirhams, and I do not know of anyone who will pay you more than this.”

The man happily accepted the offer and returned. His money, which was in twelve piles of ten thousand dirhams each, was carried along with him to his home. As he arrived at home with the money, he found a beggar at the door. He told the beggar what had transpired and how he had acquired the wealth and bade him to come inside. When the beggar had entered, the man said to him, “Take half of this wealth.”

The beggar took six of the piles, equalling sixty thousand dirhams, and departed. However, after going a short distance, he returned and said, “I am neither in poverty nor am I destitute. Allah Ta‘ala, who gave you twenty qeeraat in exchange of the one dirham that you spent, sent me to you. All this money that Allah Ta‘ala has given you is only one of the twenty qeeraat, and Allah Ta‘ala has kept the other nineteen qeeraat in store for you in the Hereafter.”

(Al-Faraj ba’dash Shiddah vol. 3, pg. 238)

Lessons:

1. The man only spent one dirham, but it was spent for the purpose of reconciling between two Muslims who were fighting. Hence, Allah Ta‘ala awarded him with a reward far greater than he imagined. If the reward for reconciling between others is so great, then how much greater is the reward for reconciling with our own family members, as this includes the reward of joining family ties!

2. In order to reconcile between two parties that are fighting, some compromises and sacrifices will have to be made. If one has to willingly sacrifice his right or lose some wealth to achieve peace, Allah Ta‘ala will grant him an adequate recompense together with the far greater rewards of the Hereafter.

3. When the man arrived at home and informed his wife that he had spent his sole dirham, she apparently supported his decision and did not express anger. Furthermore, she gathered some of their household effects and gave them to him to sell so that they could buy food. In this way, she supported him in his Deen and exercised patience over the difficulty that they were undergoing.

4. When the man went to the first and second jeweller, they offered to buy the pearl from him, but also informed him that he could get a better price elsewhere. As the man did not know the value of the pearl, they could have easily paid him a fraction of its real worth and then sold it for their own profit. However, since they wished well for their Muslim brother, they dealt with him in a manner that was conducive to securing his benefit, not their own.  Also, it was actually the barakah of his noble action of spending his only dirham to reconcile the disputing parties, that he was guided to honest people who gave him sincere advice. Otherwise, he could have ended up in the hands if some fraudsters who would have robbed him of his wealth.

5. When Allah Ta‘ala had blessed the man with so much of wealth, he felt that he should share it with the beggar as well, so that the beggar could also be happy and enjoy the favour of Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, we should also wish well for others and try to assist them where possible.

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