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Inspirational Advice

A Letter to the Nile

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Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:33

During the khilaafah (rule) of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the Muslims conquered the land of Egypt. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had appointed Sayyiduna ‘Amr bin ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) as the governor over Egypt.

After the Muslims began to rule, when the month of Baoonah (the tenth month in the Coptic calendar) commenced, the people of Egypt approached Sayyiduna ‘Amr bin ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and said, “O leader! The Nile has a special ritual that must be performed. Without performing this ritual, the river will not rise (and we will not be able to farm).” Sayyiduna ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked them, “What is this ritual?” The people answered, “When it is the twelfth night of this month, we go to a young, virgin girl. We then make her parents happy (by remunerating them greatly so they may consent us taking her away), after which we adorn her with the best of jewellery and dress her in the finest of garments. We then cast her into the Nile (as a human sacrifice).”

When Sayyiduna ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) heard this, he said, “This ritual cannot be carried out in Islam, as Islam has abrogated and cancelled all customs and rituals of jaahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic era).” The people thus desisted from performing this ritual. However, the remainder of Baoonah passed, as well as the next two months, without the water level of the Nile rising. Eventually, the people resolved to leave the area and move elsewhere.

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Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

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Monday, 30 March 2020 08:42

There was once a pious man, living (with his family) in the wilderness. They had a dog, donkey and rooster. The rooster would awake them for salaah, the donkey would be used to carry their water and grain etc., and the dog would guard and protect them.

One day, a fox arrived and snatched away the rooster, causing his family to grieve over its loss. However, since the man was a pious man, his response was, “Perhaps there is some good in what transpired.”

After some time had passed, a wolf arrived and attacked the donkey, splitting open its belly and killing it. They grieved over the loss of the donkey, but the pious man once again responded saying, “Perhaps there is some good in what transpired.”

Some time later, the dog also died, and once again, the pious man’s response was, “Perhaps there is some good in what transpired.”

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The Cycle of Life

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Sunday, 15 March 2020 10:33

Once, some people came to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and said, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! We have an Imaam who is a youngster and leads us in the ‘Asr Salaah. After he completes leading the salaah, he recites some couplets of poetry.” Hearing this, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said, “Take me to him.”

They thus proceeded with Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to meet the youngster. When they arrived at his home and knocked on the door, he emerged and asked, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! What has brought you here?” Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “I have received a bad report regarding you – you are reciting couplets after the salaah!” The youngster responded, “The couplets are words of advice which I recite as a reminder to myself.”

When Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) heard this, he requested the youngster to recite the couplets for him, but the youngster expressed reluctance and said, “I am afraid to recite these couplets before you.” Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “Go ahead. If the words have an excellent meaning, I will recite them with you, and if they have a bad meaning, I will prohibit you from reciting them.”

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Elevated through his Humility

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Monday, 02 March 2020 15:59

There was once a monk in the Banu Israaeel who remained (devoted to the worship of Allah Ta‘ala) in a monastery for sixty years. One day, he saw a dream in which he was told, “So-and-so shoemaker is better than you.”

On awakening, he (dismissed what he had heard and) said to himself, “It was just a dream.” However, when he had a nap that afternoon, he saw the dream once again, and continued to see this very same dream multiple times thereafter.

Eventually, he descended from his monastery and went to the shoemaker. As the shoemaker saw him approaching, he immediately ceased his work, stood, and began to rub his hand over him (in order to derive blessings). He then asked the monk, “What has prompted you to descend and emerge from your monastery today?” The monk replied, “You are the one who has caused me to descend. Tell me, what good actions do you carry out?”

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What Goes Around…

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Monday, 17 February 2020 15:35

There was once a king who had a doorkeeper whom he would always keep close to himself. As for the doorkeeper, he would give the king this advice, “O king! Treat with goodness those who are good to you, and ignore those who show you ill-treatment, as their evil will itself suffice you (in dealing with them).”

It so happened that there was a person who harboured jealousy for the doorkeeper on account of his special position and proximity with the king. Hence, he went to the king and said to him, “O king! The doorkeeper is telling people that you have a foul breath!” The king asked him, “How do I know that what you are saying is correct?” The man replied, “When he comes to you, then call him close to speak to him. When you do so, (you will find that) he will cover his nose.”

Thereafter, the man went to the doorkeeper and invited him for a meal. However, when preparing the meal, he placed an excessive amount of garlic in the gravy.

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