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Inspirational Advice

The Blessed Bread

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Monday, 15 May 2017 06:23

(Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [rahimahullah] #3)

On one occasion, the wife of Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (rahimahullah) said to him, “O Abu Muslim! We do not have any flour!” Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) asked her, “Do you have any money?” She replied, “I have one dirham which we earned through selling yarn.” Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) instructed, “Hand me the dirham and give me a sack.”

Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) thereafter proceeded to the market and stood before a man who was selling food. However, at that moment, a beggar also arrived and stood before Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) imploring, “O Abu Muslim! Give me some charity!” As Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) only had one dirham and there was no food at home, he turned and fled from the beggar, arriving at another food stall. The beggar, however, followed him and continued to call out to him. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) thus fled for a third time and went to a third stall, but the beggar persistently followed him and continued to implore him for charity.

Finally, viewing the beggar’s persistence, he relented and gave him the dirham. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah), not wanting to take the sack home empty, filled it with sawdust and sand and proceeded home. When he reached the door of his home, he was afraid to enter as he did not have any food to give his wife. Not knowing what else to do, he knocked on the door and when his wife opened it, he gave her the bag, turned and left.

His wife, not knowing what had transpired, took the bag and opened it, finding it full of white flour! She thus formed the dough and baked the bread. After a short portion of the night had passed, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) arrived at home and knocked on the door. When he entered, she spread the tablecloth and placed loaves of bread before him. Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) was surprised and asked, “Where did you get this bread?” She replied, “O Abu Muslim, from the flour that you brought.” When Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) heard this, he began to eat the bread as he wept in gratitude to Allah Ta‘ala. (Sifatus Safwah vol. 2 pg. 371)

Lessons:

1. Sadaqah (charity) will never decrease a person’s wealth. Rather, it brings barakah (blessings).

2. Every person’s sustenance has been written and preordained. Hence, because it was decreed that Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would receive the bread, even though he gave the dirham away, he still enjoyed the bread. Similarly, our sustenance, down to the last cent and morsel, has been decreed and cannot change. Hence, we cannot control the amount of wealth that we earn and enjoy. However, we can choose to earn it and spend it in a halaal manner. By doing this, we will receive the exact same wealth – but with the blessings and happiness of Allah Ta‘ala.

3. The pious friends of Allah Ta‘ala have such a bond and relationship with Allah Ta‘ala that He always cares for them and makes divine arrangements for them.

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Disinterest in the Dunya

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Monday, 01 May 2017 09:35

(Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [rahimahullah] #2)

‘Alqamah bin Marthad (rahimahullah) has mentioned that eight Taabi‘een had excelled in attaining the highest levels of zuhd (asceticism). Among these eight Taabi‘een was Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (rahimahullah). Explaining the zuhd of Abu Muslim (rahimahullah), ‘Alqamah bin Marthad (rahimahullah) quoted the following incident as an example of his disinterest in the world:

Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would not sit with any person who was engaged in speaking of the dunya. If the person with whom he was seated began to speak of anything related to the dunya, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) would immediately turn away and leave.

On one occasion, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) entered the musjid and saw a few people sitting in a group. Seeing this group, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) joined them in the hope that they were engaged in the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala. However, on sitting with them, he heard one person say, “My slave arrived having earned such-and-such wealth”, while another was saying, “I equipped my slave (to begin earning wealth)”. When he heard the subject of their conversation, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) was extremely disappointed. He addressed them saying, “Subhaanallah! Do you know the example of yourselves and myself? Our example is that of a man who was caught in a heavy deluge of rain. As the rain began to soak him, he turned and caught sight of two large doors. Seeing the doors, he became hopeful of finding shelter and thought to himself, “If only I can enter this home and seek its shelter until the rain ceases.” However, as soon as he entered the home, he found, to his dismay, that it had no roof and thus could afford him no shelter. I am that person. I joined your gathering hoping that you were people who are engaged in zikr and other acts of worship, but instead discovered that you are people of the dunya.”  (Sifatus Safwah vol. 2, pg. 370)

Lessons:

1. The pious friends of Allah Ta‘ala understand that the dunya is a great distraction that can preoccupy a person’s heart, turning his attention away from Allah Ta‘ala. That is why they strive to keep their relationship with the dunya as minimal as possible.

2. A person is greatly influenced by the company that he keeps. If he regularly associates with businessmen, he will become business-minded and will thus see everything in the light of business. Similarly, if a woman keeps the company of women who are ‘shopaholics’, she will also develop an interest in shopping, even if she does not need to buy anything. However, if one keeps the company of the pious, one will become Islamic-minded and will thus see everything in the light of Islam. It is thus of utmost importance that we strive to link ourselves to the pious and benefit from their teachings.

3.When a person’s heart is soaked in the love of wealth, then even if he is seated in the musjid, attending a janaazah, performing salaah or attending a ta’leem, his mind and heart will be occupied with the thought of wealth.

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In the Footsteps of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam)

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Monday, 17 April 2017 16:11

(Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [rahimahullah] #1)

Towards the end of the blessed life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), there was a man named Aswad ‘Anasi who took over Yemen by force and proclaimed prophethood. Among the people that he summoned was Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (rahimahullah).  

When Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) stood before him, he asked him, “Do you testify that Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the Rasul of Allah?” Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) replied, “Yes.” Aswad ‘Anasi next asked him, “Do you testify that I am the Rasul of Allah?” To this question, Abu Muslim (rahimahullah) replied, “I cannot hear.”

Read more: In the Footsteps of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam)

   

From the Horse’s Mouth

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Monday, 03 April 2017 06:58

‘Amr bin ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates the following:

An army of the Muslims, over whom I was appointed as leader, once set out to fight in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. We continued to travel until we came to the city of Alexandria. On reaching Alexandria, the leader of the city announced to us, “Send someone from your army to me so that I may converse with him.” When I heard this request, I immediately said, “Nobody but I will go to him.” I thus emerged from the camp and went to meet him. With me was a translator, and the city leader had a translator with him as well. Two pulpits were placed for us and we thus sat. The following dialogue then ensued:

Leader of Alexandria: Who are you people?

‘Amr bin ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu): We are the Arabs. We are the people of thorns and acacia trees. We are the people of the Ka’bah. We are the people who had the smallest land and most difficult lives. We would consume carrion and some of us would attack and fight with others. We were living the most despicable lives that people could possibly live. This continued to be our plight until a man emerged from among us who was neither the most influential at that time and was neither the wealthiest. He said, “I am the messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” He then began to prohibit us from the acts that we were perpetrating and which we found our forefathers perpetrating. Hence, we resented him, belied him and rejected his message, until another group of people, besides us, came to him. They said to him, “We believe in you, we will follow you and we will fight whoever fights against you.” He thus left Makkah Mukarramah and migrated to them, and we went after him. We thus fought against him, resulting in him killing us, defeating us and overpowering us. The other Arabs in the nearby areas also rose against him, so he fought against them until he conquered them.

When the leader of Alexandria heard this, he began to laugh. He thereafter said:

Read more: From the Horse’s Mouth

   

“Even if I Die Trying”

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Monday, 20 March 2017 09:21

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) owned a slave whose work was to earn an income for Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

One night, the slave presented Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) with some food that he had earned. As soon as the food was placed before him, Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) picked up a morsel and began to eat. Seeing this, the slave was surprised and asked, “What is the matter? You normally ask me every night (as to how I earned the wealth). Why have you not asked me tonight?” Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “I was overcome by extreme hunger. From where did you get this food?” The slave answered, “During the days of Jaahiliyyah (the days of ignorance, before the advent of Islam), I once passed by a certain tribe and recited some words and blew, as a form of treatment for them. On account of my service, they had promised me that they would later compensate me. It so happened that I passed by this tribe today while they were engaged in wedding festivities. As they still owed me for my service, they gave me some food from the wedding as payment.”  

Read more: “Even if I Die Trying”

   

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