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Inspirational Advice

The Perfume of Piety

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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)

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Bathed by Angels

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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)

Lessons:

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

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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)

Lessons:

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?”

   

The Iron Fortress

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015 16:16

Muhammad bin Seereen (rahimahullah), a famous narrator of hadeeth and student of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), was once travelling with a group of people when they decided to encamp for the night at a riverbank. As they were setting up camp, the people of the area approached them and advised them saying, “Go further on. Every person who attempts to camp here gets robbed.” On hearing this, the entire group packed up and departed to camp elsewhere – with the exception of Muhammad bin Seereen (rahimahullah). He stayed behind, alone and fearless, trusting in the security provided by the aayaat of protection he recited.

Muhammad bin Seereen (rahimahullah) then narrates the events that ensued. He says:

“I had not yet fallen asleep when I actually saw the robbers. They were wielding drawn swords. They tried to come near me more than thirty times but were unable to draw near. Knowing that I was safe, I slept soundly until the morning. When it was morning, I packed up and departed, continuing my journey. As I travelled, I suddenly encountered one of the robbers who was carrying a bow and seated astride a horse with a huge, bushy tail. He called out to me and asked, “Are you a human or jinn?” “A human – from the descendants of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam)” I replied. He was stunned to hear this and asked, “But what’s your secret then? We tried to get to you more than 70 times but were blocked by an iron wall every time!” I replied, “The secret is a hadeeth which Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) narrated to me from Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who said, ‘Whoever recites thirty-three verses of the Quraan Majeed at night, he will not be harmed by an unexpected predatory animal and, together with his family and wealth, he will be in complete safety and ease until the morning.’” When I completed narrating the hadeeth, he was so affected that he descended from his horse and broke his bow, promising Allah Ta‘ala that he would never again return to a life of robbery.”

Read more: The Iron Fortress

   

An Uncle from the Unseen

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Monday, 12 October 2015 15:14

Yazeed bin Haaroon (rahimahullah) narrates the following incident:

I once went to Asbagh bin Yazeed Al-Warraaq (rahimahullah) to learn a few ahaadeeth of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). When I arrived, I found him extremely sorrowful and grieved and so I asked him, “May Allah Ta‘ala have mercy on you! What has grieved you?” Asbagh (rahimahullah), however, did not reply and instead said to me, “If you wish to record ahaadeeth then do so, otherwise return home.” I therefore wrote the ahaadeeth he taught me and left. When I went to Asbagh (rahimahullah) on the second day, I found that his grief and sorrow had somehow intensified and worsened. Concerned for his welfare, I again asked him what the matter was. My enquiry was to no avail as he again brushed my question aside in the same manner. Once again, I wrote the ahaadeeth he taught me and proceeded home.

Read more: An Uncle from the Unseen

   

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