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Inspirational Advice

Against All Odds


Monday, 04 January 2016 15:27

Muhammad bin Yazeed Ansaari relates the following:

When the khaleefah, Sulaimaan bin ‘Abdul Malik, passed away, his successor ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahimahullah), sent me to the jail to free all the prisoners who had been incarcerated under the rule of Sulaimaan – with the exception of one prisoner, Yazeed bin Abi Muslim. Yazeed bin Abi Muslim was upset over the fact that he alone was being left to languish in prison and vowed that he would one day take my life in revenge.

The day soon arrived when ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) passed away and Yazeed bin Sulaimaan became the khaleefah in his stead. On becoming the khaleefah, he turned to Yazeed bin Abi Sulaimaan and dispatched him to Africa, appointing him as governor of the region. It so happened that I was also in Africa.

One night in the month of Ramadhaan, Yazeed sent his men to seize and bring me before him. When I was made to face him, I saw that he was holding a bunch of grapes. He asked me, “Muhammad bin Yazeed?” to which I replied in the affirmative, confirming that it was indeed me. He then exclaimed, “All praise is due to Allah who placed you at my mercy without me needing to resort to elaborate efforts to capture you! How often it was that I made du‘aa to Allah to place you at my mercy.” Hearing how gleeful he was at finally receiving the opportunity to kill me, I retorted, “How often it was that I made du‘aa to Allah to save me from you!” Yazeed mocked my retort and boasted saying, “By the oath of Allah! Allah will not save you from me! By the oath of Allah! I will not even allow the angel of death to take your life before I do! I will have you killed before I finish eating these grapes.”

The time for maghrib salaah set in just as he confidently completed his “declaration of doom”. Yazeed thus placed the grapes aside and went forward to perform the salaah. He had completed but a single rakaat went the soldiers revolted and killed him. The soldiers then turned to me and said, “You are free now. You may go wherever you wish.”

(Reference: Tareekh Khaleefah bin Khayyaat pg. 326, Siraajul Mulook pg. 282 and Al-Mukhtaar min Faraa’idin Nuqool wal Akhbaar pt. 3 pg. 83)


1. The best security to invest in is the security provided by Allah Ta‘ala. He can save the one who turns to Him even if all the odds are apparently stacked against him.        

2. When there is an urge to commit a sin, ponder over the uncertainty of your lifespan. It is possible that the angel of death will strike while you are in the act or before you get the chance to repent and make amends. 


The Might of a Morsel


Monday, 21 December 2015 15:20

Imaam Abu Muhammad Al-Juwayni (rahimahullah) was a great ‘aalim who possessed an extremely high level of caution and concern regarding the consumption of halaal and haraam. The level of his concern was such that it prompted him to earn by working with his own hands, in order to have the peace of mind that he was earning a pure livelihood that was untainted by haraam.  

When the time for Imaam Abu Muhammad Al Juwayni (rahimahullah) to marry arrived, he used the pure money which he had painstakingly earned, to pay for his mahr (dowry) and other marriage expenses. The effect of this pure wealth was clearly manifest in the son he was blessed with from this marriage. This son also grew up to become a great ‘aalim and was later known by the title of “Imaamul Haramain” (Imaam of the Two Harams). Understanding the crucial role consumption of halaal plays in the effort of a Muslim to live a life of piety, he ensured that he fed his child only that which was 100% pure and halaal.

Later in his life, when Imaamul Haramain (rahimahullah) was once engaged in a debate, to the absolute astonishment of all present, he was suddenly overcome by a short bout of stammering and stuttering! Somebody later asked him, “O Imaam! What happened to you? We never once before heard you stammer or stutter!” Imaamul Haramain (rahimahullah) replied, “It can only have been the ill effects of the remaining traces which remained of the sip.” Having given such a vague answer, somebody asked him, “What incident are you referring to by mentioning ‘the sip’?”

Imaamul Haramain (rahimahullah) explained, “My mother was once busy preparing my father’s food when I began to cry. I was, at the time, a suckling infant. As my mother could not immediately attend to me, the neighbour’s slave girl, who happened to be present, clasped me to her chest to feed me. My father walked in at that moment and on seeing what was happening, immediately exclaimed, ‘Neither does this slave girl belong to us nor does she have the right to feed our child her milk as her masters have not permitted it!’ Saying this, he grabbed me from her and turned me upside down; forcing me to vomit until I had emptied my belly of the few sips I had taken. The stammer and stutter you heard from me today is on account of the ill effects of those few sips I had taken.” (Tabaqaatush Shaafi‘iyyah Al Kubraa vol. 5, pg. 168)

Read more: The Might of a Morsel


The Perfume of Piety


Wednesday, 09 December 2015 15:36

There was once a person whose body would always exude the fragrance of the most exotic musk and perfume. A friend one day asked him, “What is this wonderful fragrance I always smell on you? You must be spending a lot of money on musk if you apply it so often!” The person replied, “By Allah! Never have I purchased musk nor have I ever applied it!” His friend was astonished and asked, “Then where does your fragrance come from?” Not keen to answer the question, he said to his friend, “Why are you asking me?” His friend explained, “I hope that Allah Ta‘ala will let me benefit in some way by what you will tell me.” On his friend’s coaxing and urging, he eventually narrated the following:

In my youth I was a very handsome lad. My father was a merchant and I would generally spend my time with him. One day, an old woman came to him and purchased some cloth. As she did not have the money with her to pay for it, she asked my father if he would send me along to her home where I would collect the money. My father agreed. Hence, I proceeded with her until we finally stood before a grand, palatial home. The old woman ushered me into a stunning courtyard and as I entered, my gaze fell on a beautiful young girl who was seated atop a raised seat on a silken cushion. The instant she saw me, she was dazzled by my beauty and immediately demanded that I join her on her seat. I staunchly refused. Instead of bringing her to her senses, my rejection only incited her to get down and come to me. Then, in a fit of infatuation, she began pulling and tugging me towards herself. I was in a genuine predicament. Thus in order to escape from her embrace, I asked her if I could use the toilet. Although impatient, she acceded and shouted for her slaves who guided me to the toilet. I entered the toilet where I relieved myself into my hands. Not wasting a moment, I smeared the filth over my body, clothing, and face. When I exited the toilet, the eagerly awaiting girl was greeted by the sight and smell of not a handsome youth but a person literally covered in human waste! The flames of her passion were, at once, thoroughly doused and she screamed to her servants in horror and disgust, “This is a madman! Throw him out immediately!”

I happened to have only one dirham with me. On leaving, I purchased some soap and thereafter went to the river where I cleansed my body and clothing of the filth. When I was done, I went back to my father and did not tell him a word of what had transpired. When I went to sleep that night, I saw a dream in which a handsome man with an excellent fragrance came to me. I asked him who he was to which he replied that he was Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam). He said to me, “Allah Ta‘ala has sent me to give you the glad tidings of Jannah and to reward you with some of its perfume because of the extent to which you went to avoid falling into sin.” He then passed his hands over my face, body and clothing and departed. When I awoke the next morning, I smelt an exquisite fragrance which, to this day, still perpetually wafts from my body. (At-Targheeb wa Tarheeb lil Yaafi‘ee pg. 165)

Read more: The Perfume of Piety


Bathed by Angels


Tuesday, 24 November 2015 13:30

During the battle of Uhud, Hanzalah bin Abi ‘Aamir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) fought very bravely but was eventually martyred by Shaddaad bin Aswad. Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji‘oon!

When the battle had terminated, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) saying, “Verily I saw the angels bathing (giving ghusl to) the body of Hanzalah bin Abi ‘Aamir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), between the heavens and the earth, with the water of the clouds in utensils of silver.” Abu Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) mentions that he, together with a few other Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), then went in search of Hanzalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu)’s body. When they found it, they saw that his head was dripping with water! They returned to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and informed him of what they had seen. After hearing what had happened, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed them to enquire from his wife as to why the angels were giving him ghusl.

Hanzalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had shortly before the Battle of Uhud, married Jameelah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), the sister of the infamous ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool, the leader of the hypocrites, and had only just consummated his marriage the previous night. While asleep that night, Jameelah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) had a dream in which she saw a door open in the sky into which Hanzalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was ushered. The door was then shut behind him. When she awoke, she instantly realized that the dream she had seen was an indication that her husband, Hanzalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), was about to pass away. She therefore called for four witnesses and informed them that her marriage had been consummated the previous night as, if people were unaware of her spending the night with her husband, complications would have possibly arisen later on.

Hanzalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was still making ghusl when the call was made for people to arm and depart for Uhud. Although his wife, Jameelah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), had only completed washing half his head, his eagerness to strive and fight in the path of Allah Ta‘ala was such that he immediately grabbed his weapons and left without completing his ghusl. When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was informed of this he said, “That is why the angels gave him ghusl.” 

(Reference: Nasbur Raayah vol. 2 pg. 316, Ibnu Hishaam vol. 3 pg. 75, and ‘Umdatul Qari vol. 14 pg. 224)


1. We need to become so eager for and committed to deen that nothing – not even the joy and excitement of life as newlyweds - will be able to deter us from striving and sacrificing in the path of Allah Ta‘ala.

2. Despite having received indication that her husband would pass away and despite having spent only a single night with him, Jameelah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was selfless and allowed Hanzalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to strive in the path of Allah Ta‘ala, understanding that no sacrifice is too great to make for deen. 

3. In matters of marriage, children etc, it is crucial for us to maintain transparency so that complications do not arise. In this regard, “secret marriages” are to be totally avoided.


Actions Speak Louder than Words


Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:26

‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once set off for a battle when he noticed that some of his armour was missing. After the battle was over, he returned to Kufah. While in Kufah he one day happened to see a Jew with the same armour he had lost! He immediately confronted the Jew saying, “The armour is mine! Neither did I sell it, nor did I give it away!” The Jew, however, denied this claim and said, “The armour belongs to me and, furthermore, it is in my possession.” On hearing his denial, ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) suggested that they go to the qaadhi (judge). The Jew agreed and they were soon in the presence of Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah).

Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) asked ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to present his case first to which he stated, “This armour, which is in the hands of the Jew, belongs to me. Neither did I sell it, nor did I give it away.” Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) then turned to the Jew and asked him, “What do you have to say, O Jew?” the Jew once again denied the claim saying, “The armour is mine and furthermore, it is in my possession.” Qaadi Shurayh (rahimahullah) thereafter turned to ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and enquired, “Do you have any proof, O Ameerul Mu’mineen?” ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “Yes! Qumbur and Hasan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) will testify that the armour is mine.” Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) rejected this evidence saying, “The testimony of the son is not accepted when in favour of the father (referring to the testimony of Hasan [radhiyallahu ‘anhu]).”

When the Jew heard the decision of Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) in his favour, he immediately exclaimed, “The Leader of the Muslims took me to his own judge and his own judge passed judgement against him in my favour? This, really, is truth!” The Jew then recited the shahaadah and accepted Islam. (Taareekhul Khulafaa’ pg. 184)


1. The Jew was so impressed at the justice of Islam that he instantly renounced Judaism and accepted Islam. If we once again live our lives according to the principles of Islam, we will become beacons of guidance and attract disbelievers around the world to Islam through our sublime character.

2. We, as Muslims, are all representatives of Islam. Unfortunately, when our behaviour is incorrect, we not only give the world at large a negative impression of Islam but even give them the chance to mock and ridicule Islam due to our wrong actions.

3. Justice and fair treatment need to be exercised in every aspect of our lives. If we have a domestic worker at home, justice demands that we don’t keep her back even a single minute overtime, we are timeous in paying her, we don’t accuse her of stealing etc. without having proof to back our accusation, and we don’t extract such work from them which is more than what they can manage. Let us all ask ourselves, “Have I, through my conduct, attracted my domestic worker to Islam or have I distanced her from Islam?”


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