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Inspirational Advice

Appreciating our Elders

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Monday, 01 February 2016 15:34

Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) mentions: “For the last 30 years, I have not slept without first supplicating and seeking forgiveness for Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah).”

‘Abdullah (rahimahullah), the son of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) says: I asked my father, “What type of person was Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah), for I often hear you supplicating for him?” Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) replied, “O son! Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah) was like the sun to this world and like health to the people. Tell me, is there anything that can possibly replace the sun and health?” (Risaalatul Mustarshideen pg. 203)

Lessons:

1. Showing respect and honour to the ‘Ulama and our seniors is an important part of our deen. Together with respecting and revering them, we should show appreciation and gratitude for the services and sacrifices they rendered for deen. One way of showing gratitude is to regularly make du‘aa for them.

2. If we cannot show adequate appreciation and respect to these eminent personalities, we should, at the very least, avoid speaking against them. After all, they are the people who paved the path for us to enjoy the deen of Islam today.

3. Just as we respect and honour the ‘Ulama due to them being our spiritual deeni parents, we also respect and honour the parents who are responsible for our physical existence. In fact, the right of the parents and the honour that should be afforded to them is even more than that of the ‘Ulama. We should thus serve them with devotion and faithfulness and daily set aside time to make du‘aa for them. 

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A Selfless Sacrifice

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Monday, 18 January 2016 06:29

Egypt was once struck by famine during the rule of the governor, ‘Abdul Hameed bin Sa‘d (rahimahullah). As normally happens, the onset of famine caused the prices of food and other goods to escalate. Before long, the prices had rocketed to exorbitant rates. On seeing the difficulty and plight of people who could no longer afford even basic commodities, ‘Abdul Hameed (rahimahullah) resolved to oppose Shaitaan, who urges a person to be miserly, and promised himself saying, “I am going to seize this opportunity to prove my animosity towards Shaitaan by spending generously on the poor!” He thereafter made it his personal responsibility to see to the needs of all the poor and needy people until conditions had improved and prices stabilised.A

It so happened, however, that he was dismissed from his post as governor when the drought ended and thus had to leave Egypt. At the time of his departure, it was calculated that he owed a million silver coins to the local businessmen from whom he had loaned the money in order to assist the destitute and underprivileged people suffering from the famine. Realizing that he was unable to settle the debt, he collected the jewellery and other items of the women of his family and deposited them with his creditors as collateral for the money he owed. The total value of the items he had pledged in security amounted to five hundred million silver coins!

‘Abdul Hameed (rahimahullah) later tried to pay off the debts and redeem the pledged valuables but could not raise the money. He therefore wrote to the businessmen and instructed them saying, “I authorize you to sell all the valuables lying in pledge with you and to use the proceeds to pay off all my debts. After my debts have been settled, spend the remaining money on the poor.” The money which remained equalled to no less than 499 million silver coins! (Ithaafus Saadatil Muttaqeen vol. 8 pg. 184)

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Against All Odds

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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)

Lessons:

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

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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)

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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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