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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Prophecies Made in the Quran That Have Already Come True


Praise be to Allah.

There are some things which Allah mentioned in the Quran which were yet to come, and which did in fact happen. These include the following :

1 – The defeat of the Persians by the Romans within a number of years.

Allah said:

“The Romans have been defeated.

In the nearest land (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine), and they, after their defeat, will be victorious.

Within three to nine years. The decision of the matter, before and after (these events) is only with Allah, (before the defeat of the Romans by the Persians, and after the defeat of the Persians by the Romans). And on that day, the believers (i.e. Muslims) will rejoice (at the victory given by Allah to the Romans against the Persians)”

[al-Room 30:2-4]

Al-Shawkaani said:

The scholars of Tafseer said: the Persians defeated the Romans, and the kuffaar of Makkah rejoiced because of that and said, “Those who do not have a Book have defeated those who do have a Book,” and they gloated over the Muslims and said, “We will also defeat you as the Persians defeated the Romans.” The Muslims wanted the Romans to prevail over the Persians because they were People of the Book… “and they, after their defeat, will be victorious” means that the Romans, after having been defeated by the Persians, would defeat the people of Persia.

Al-Zajjaaj said: This is one of the verses that prove that the Quran is from Allah, because it is foretelling something that was yet to come, and this is something which no one could know except Allah.

2 – Enmity among the Christian sects until the Day of Resurrection:

Allah said:

“And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection (when they discarded Allah’s Book, disobeyed Allah’s Messengers and His Orders and transgressed beyond bounds in Allah’s disobedience); and Allah will inform them of what they used to do”

[al-Maa'idah 5:14]

Ibn Katheer said:

“So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection” means, We sowed amongst them enmity and hatred of one another, and they will remain like that until the Hour begins. Hence the Christian groups, no matter what their types, will continue to hate one another and denounce one another as disbelievers and curse one another. So each group forbids the others to come to its place of worship, and the Byzantines denounced the Jacobites as disbelievers, and the Nestorians denounced the Arians, and so on. Each group denounces the others as disbelievers in this world and will do so on the Day of Judgement.

3 – Allah promised His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that his religion would prevail over all others.

Allah said (interpretation of the meaning):

“It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions”

[al-Tawbah 9:33; al-Fath 48:28; al-Saff 61:9]

Al-Qurtubi said:

Allah indeed did that. Whenever Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) sent his armies out on a campaign, he would remind them of what Allah had promised them, that He would cause His religion to prevail, so that they would be confident of victory and certain of success. ‘Umar used to do likewise, and their conquests continued east and west, by land and sea.

4 – The conquest of Makkah

Allah said (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed Allah shall fulfill the true vision which He showed to His Messenger [i.e. the Prophet saw a dream that he has entered Makkah along with his Companions, having their (head) hair shaved and cut short] in very truth. Certainly, you shall enter Al‑Masjid Al‑Haraam, if Allah wills, secure, (some) having your heads shaved, and (some) having your head hair cut short, having no fear. He knew what you knew not, and He granted besides that a near victory”

[al-Fath 48:27]

al-Tabari said:

Allah says: Allah is confirming as true the vision which He showed to His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), that he and his companions would enter the sacred House of Allah in very truth, not fearing the mushrikeen, some of them having their heads shaved and some of them with their hair cut short.

The scholars of tafseer said something similar to that which we have said.

5 – The battle of Badr

Allah said (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) when Allah promised you (Muslims) one of the two parties (of the enemy, i.e. either the army or the caravan) that it should be yours; you wished that the one not armed (the caravan) should be yours, but Allah willed to justify the truth by His Words and to cut off the roots of the disbelievers (i.e. in the battle of Badr)”

[al-Anfaal 8:7]

Ibn al-Jawzi said:

What this means is: Remember when Allah promised you one of the two parties. The two parties were: Abu Sufyaan and the wealth that was with him, and Abu Jahl and the people of Quraysh who were with him. When Abu Sufyaan went ahead with the wealth that was with him, he wrote to Quraysh saying, if you have already gone out to save your caravan, I have already saved it for you (i.e., so go back). Abu Jahl said, By Allah, we will not go back. Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) set out, heading for the people (i.e., to confront the kaafir army), but his companions were not happy about that, wishing that they had caught up with the group from whom they could capture the booty without fighting. Hence Allah said “you wished that the one not armed (the caravan) should be yours”.

And Allah knows best.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Going Through Hardships? This Verse Will Soothe You


Allah says in an amazing verse in the Quran, and this is the most motivational, the most inspiring verse:

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. (Quran 2:286)

Allah is speaking to us and informing us that He will never burden a soul with anything more than that which it can carry.

Whatever you're going through no matter how hard, know that Allah knows you can get through it. Allah knows you can pass. And you have to believe this. Otherwise what you're implying indirectly that ‘Allah is unjust and He is burdening me with something I can't handle.’

Allah says, ‘I will never do this to my slave.’

You Can Pass

So, let's create the worst scenario you could ever think of: you came home, you just lost your job, on the way you had a car accident, you smashed your car, by the time you’re home everyone in your family was murdered… Throw the worst scenario you could ever possibly put together…

We all get in such situations, and Allah knows that we can pass and get through it. Because He will never put us in a situation that we cannot handle and get through.

And the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says in a very amazing hadith:

Amazing is the condition of a believer.

Notice how the Prophet Muhammad doesn't say ‘the condition of a Muslim’. Because to be a Muslim is entry level, anyone can really become a Muslim. But here he's been very specific because being a believer is a higher level. He says:

"Amazing is the condition of a believer. Whatever happens to him or her is good."

What does that mean? Whatever happens to you and I is good; when something good happens the Prophet (peace be upon him) says you praise Allah and you thank Him and this is good for you. And when something bad comes your way or a test or a trial or a tribulation… then you are patient and you turn back to Allah, and this is also good for you.

For the case of a believer anything and everything that happens in his or her life it's all good; there is no bad.

Why? Because ultimately where did that come from?

Allah.

We must understand that He the one who's in control. He knows what is best for us and we must trust in Him.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Tazkiyyah: Purification of Heart Through Story of Prophet Abraham


What is the definition of a successful person in your mind? It might be someone who has a lot of money, power, influence, and ability to shape the world according to their desires.

It could also be someone with a large amount of knowledge and has studied and read broadly enough to accurately analyze and find solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems.

Each of these definitions is correct from a worldly perspective. In God’s eyes, however, each of these successes is a test or opportunity.

People, endowed with free will, are held responsible for choosing whether to use their successes properly in the service of God and Islam or not. This applies equally to both material (money) and non-material (knowledge) wealth.

I am sure that you have heard this point made before, and it is something that pretty much every religious leader has focused on in their Khutbas or lessons at least once in their career.

What I would like to focus on today, however, is the process through which you dedicate your wealth, knowledge, experience – and ultimately your life – to the service of God and Islam. This is what we call the concept of purification, or tazkiyyah.

WAKING UP

Some of the most important elements of Tazkiyyah are found in a part of the broader story of the Prophet Abraham in the Chapter of the Poets (Surat al-Shua’ra’). When Abraham speaks to his father, he asks him why he and his people choose to follow idols. His father responds simply,

“We found our forefathers doing so.”

This is the response that so many of us have in our own lives. Why do you wear certain clothes, eat certain food, or even believe certain things? Because that is what you have been doing your whole life and have never questioned it.

Here is the first step of tazkiyyah: wake up. Your faith and actions are not simply the product of your ancestors, upbringing, education, or culture, no matter how much importance you give to any of these in your daily life. You are ultimately responsible for what you believe and do in this world.

Therefore, question everything, seek new knowledge, and never take things for granted. The more conscious you are of your own life and the things in it, the easier it will become to sort out those things that are blatantly inappropriate or against Islam.

FOCUSING ON YOU

Let’s keep going through this story of Abraham. Once his father gives him that most flippant and unaware of responses, what was Abraham’s answer? Did he disown his father and shun him?

On the contrary, he looked inwards and prayed, stating:

My Lord, endow me with knowledge and wisdom and join me with the righteous; and grant me an honorable reputation among posterity, and make me of those who will inherit the Garden of Paradise; and forgive my father for he is among those who strayed, and disgrace me not on the Day when people will be raised to life. (26:83)

This is the core of the second lesson around tazkiyyah: That this process is about you and not others.

Sometimes, being a Muslim means that you feel a sense of entitlement. You have the Truth and are on the Right Path. Why then, shouldn’t you openly tell others what the right decision is?

That, of course, is because Islam tells us to work within the reality that we live in and to focus on the betterment of ourselves before stepping out and judging others.

PURIFICATION AS THE ONLY WAY

Finally, tazkiyyah is understandably a broad concept and can include purifying your actions, statements, and wealth to improve your practice of Islam.

At the heart of all of this, however, is coming to an understanding that only through purification can true salvation really be achieved and that it is the core intent of actions – and not their ultimate end – that brings the truest results.

This is in the last statement in our story of Abraham, after he ends his prayer. The Quran adds, “But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart,” meaning that these are the only people who will receive true salvation.

Therefore, when you think about doing something good in the world, be it charity, volunteering, or maybe even setting up a business or studying a new subject, think about your intention.

Are you doing this because you want to show off to others or selfishly improve your career?

If so, take a step back and think about what your proper intention should be. Realize that this is a fantastic opportunity to get closer to God.

When it comes down to the end, none of your knowledge or wealth will ultimately help you in your judgement in front of God, unless you have used it to purify yourself and better your faith.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

How to Control Our Love for This Dunya?


What is Dunya?

“The word dunya encompasses many things but generally means the temporal, earthly world in contrast to the eternal spiritual realm of the hereafter. Literally, the word dunya means 'closer,' or 'lower.'”

More colloquially speaking, the dunya is any earthly concern or possession. We human beings admittedly love the dunya.

And there is no problem in loving the dunya. It is after all the means to sustain our lives and continue our worship. It is after all a blessing for us and a means for us to be thankful to our Creator.

When Love of the Dunya Goes too Far

The problem comes in when we make the dunya become the goal and not the means to the ultimate goal. The dunya is a place where we are for a time, and all that is in the dunya should be used for or avoided with the ultimate goal of pleasing Allah in mind.

Our goal is not to be as rich, or as powerful, or as comfortable as we possibly can in this life. This life is just a means to the hereafter where what we do in the dunya will determine our position with Allah. And Allah knows how we forget the dunya's place in our journey to the hereafter. He says in the Quran:

But you prefer the worldly life, while the Hereafter is better and more enduring. (87:16-7)

When we start chasing the dunya for dunya's sake instead of using it as a means to our real goal (pleasing Allah) that is when our priorities are mixed up. And we start to suffer from a serious spiritual disease.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) once stood before the companions and said:

“It is not poverty that I fear for you, but what I fear for you is that the world (the dunya) will be presented for you just as it was presented for those before you, then you will compete for it, and it will destroy you, just as it destroyed them.” (Ibn Majah)

As a physical disease destroys the body, a spiritual disease destroys the soul. When we put the love of the dunya before the love of Allah, diseases like greed, arrogance, ingratitude, jealousy, vanity all start to take over our heart and destroy our lives.

Guiding Children

Children have a natural love of Allah. And it is easy to nurture this love in them.

But as soon as they are old enough to process visual stimulus and voice their wants, they are bombarded with advertisements geared at them, convincing them that they need the latest and greatest toy, article of clothing, or snack on the market. And this is where the battle ground for the heart begins.

The good news is that, as parents, you can do a lot to make sure the love of Allah wins over the love of dunya in the hearts and minds of your children.

Use their obsession with getting that bright and shiny new toy as a teachable moment. Tell them about children who could only dream about having all that they have.

Combating too Much Love of Dunya as Adults

As adults, we still fall for the same traps we did as children. The commercials may be more sophisticated and our friends may have bigger toys to tempt us to compete, but it is all the same.

Similarly, the cure for this disease of too much love of the dunya is the same.

When we want the latest and greatest “toy” and become obsessed with it and feel like we cannot live without it, we can look to those who have less than us. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

Look at those who stand at a lower (financial) level than you but don't look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favors (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes). (Muslim)

When we feel the urge to compete with others in material wealth or possessions - things that will not help you even a little in the hereafter - replace that competition with a competition in good deeds and gaining religious knowledge - things that will build mansions and gardens for us in the hereafter.

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked whether the verse in the Quran:

And those who give whatever they (have to) give while their hearts are trembling. (23:60) referred to people who committed sins, he replied:

No. They are those who fast, pray and give charity while fearing that (these deeds) may not be accepted (by God). They are those who compete with one another in good deeds. (Ibn Majah)

The key is to understand that Allah does not deny our impulses. He encourages us to redirect them to something better.

Remind yourself that everything you do in this dunya can be done for the love of Allah, if you just have the right intentions.

And say:

Indeed, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.' (6:162)

5 Keys for Developing Islamic Habits of Success


We spend so much time worrying about succeeding without accepting that the journey is one that will encounter struggles. These struggles help us appreciate the success we achieve as well as keeping us grounded and modest towards our achievements.

We should spend time looking at how we spend our time. Because often, while stressing about success, we fail to actually do the physical and mental requirements in order to achieve the goal. We are creatures that like to look at the beautiful pictures yet are slow in taking the steps to create the picture.

Success has different meanings for each individual. Money, family, career, job, stability, inner peace – these are just some areas of life people seek to be successful in.

Islamic teachings remind us that the successful is not the one with mountains of wealth or status in the world. Yet, it is the person who tries to fulfill the obligations set out, in the Quran and the life of the Prophet.

If we google “habits of successful people”, we find a range of ideas and thoughts of famous businessmen, musicians... However, when we look to the Prophets, the companions and pious predecessors, we can find a number of Islamic habits for success that we can apply in all aspects of life.

Understanding Purpose

Though not strictly a habit, it is the key component to developing Islamic habits for success. If we see our sole purpose in life to earn money or have babies, our mind set is focused on task.

Sadly, that task may be something that we never attain, regardless of how much energy we use in trying to.

Understanding that our life is to worship our creator and to struggle to stay upon the path that is defined as the “straight path” is so important in helping us succeed in worldly aspects.

When we understand there is more to life than what we are struggling with, we are able to put this difficulty into perspective.

In doing so, we are able to spend more energy on the task at hand because the level of worry we had is reduced.

Punctual


In one day, five set periods of time fall upon us in which we are to detach ourselves from the world and pray. Each prayer has a time that it is to be performed.

A person should remove themselves from what is distracting or stressing them to spend a few precious moments in seclusion.

From performing these prayers on time, Islamic habits for success that we gain is punctuality and focus. Being on time makes a massive difference to how we perform at school, work, exams and in family life. Being late often leaves you in a heightened state of worry and stress because you know you have somewhere to be.

Work on praying your prayers at the time they are set, as early as you can regardless of where you are. Actively work on developing the habit of punctuality to all aspects of your life.

Wake Early

Following on from the above, Fajr is the first prayer of the day. It is performed at sunrise, getting you out of bed and awake to see the sun brighten up the morning. Getting out of bed early and utilizing the morning is among the fundamentals of Islamic habits for success.

We live in a time where sleeping and laziness is the norm. Oversleeping achieves nothing and harms greatly.

Not only are you missing key hours to spend on reading, studying, researching, exercising... You are also having a detrimental effect on your mind set.

Planting trees of laziness is not an Islamic habit, so pluck out the seeds and stop watering their growth!

Consistency

You may wake up one or two mornings bright and early however sleep till the mid-afternoon most other days. You may spend 6 hours in a day revising yet fail to do anything for the rest of the week.

This is great however, another important Islamic habit for success is consistency. Big gestures of productivity may seem great on the external but they fail to produce the same result day in day out.

Self Restraint

There are many things in Islam that are permissible and there is a small list of things that are not. Self-restraint is a core Islamic habit for success in religious practice.

However, you should apply this same habit the rest of your life. Self-restraint and controlling desires is what will stop you from reaching for the cookie jar. It is what will keep you from watching TV when you should be revising.

Look at all the weak things that you do in your life and spend time finding ways to combat them. Train yourself!

Sickness - The Most Powerful Way Allah Removes Sins


Of the blessings of those who fall sick is that sickness is one of the strongest and most powerful antidotes to the sins that we commit. There is hardly anything that will expiate our sins that is more powerful than trials and afflictions that befall us.

Allah says:

And whatever strikes you of disaster - it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.

(Quran 42:30)

Every sickness and calamity that happens: a death of a loved one, a loss of a relative, financial economic, distress physical hardship, a fever, any type of pain and suffering.

Sickness - A Blessing in Disguise

Once the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) visited a sick person who was suffering from fever, he said:

I have good news for you. For verily My Lord has told me that fever is my punishment that I inflict upon my believers so that they don't have to be punished in the hell.

This is a punishment that Allah inflicts so that you are saved from the punishment of the next life. so in fact, it is a blessing in disguise.

And once the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) visited a female companion, Umm Sa’ib. She was also suffering from fever; she was tossing and turning.

When Prophet Muhammad asked her what the matter was, she said:

"I have a severe fever may Allah curse it!"

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Do not curse the fever, for verily it forgives sins like a furnace gets rid of the impurities in iron.

(Muslim)

When you put an iron into the furnace, it is full of impurities; when you take it out, it is 100% pure. So, the Prophet (peace be upon him) compared the fever to a furnace, and this is a very good comparison because both are burning.

And in another hadith he said:

It will get rid of your sins like a tree in the fall. When you shake it all, the leaves come down. So too will the sickness get rid of your sins.

Every Calamity is for Your Good

This is something that applies to every single calamity and misfortune. So much so, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Even if a thorn pricks one of you, it will expiate some of your sins.

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And in a famous hadith, he said:

Amazing are the affairs of the believers, because everything that happens to him happens for his good. If some good happens and he's happy, he thanks Allah, and so that's good for him. And if some bad happens, then he is patient, and Allah rewards him for that patience.

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The believer is always a winner, he is never a loser. No matter what calamity befalls the believer, he will always come out on the upper hand having won over because he has Allah on his side. And when you have Allah on your side, you don't care what is happening in the rest of humanity.

We don't wish to be sick, we don't wish for a calamity, but every one of us will fall sick and will face calamities.

When it happens, then we rise up to the challenge, we renew our Iman in Allah, and we humble and submit ourselves to Him. And through all of this, we appreciate the blessings even in falling sick and in having the calamity that we have had.

How to Be Kind to Others? Try These 5 Ways


Seek Forgiveness

To do istighfar is a major element if one aims to become a kind person. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite istighfar at least a hundred times a day despite the fact that he was ma’sum, unable to commit any sin.

In another Hadith, Prophet Muhammad stated that he seeks forgiveness more than seventy times a day. Why?

In another Hadith, he explained to us that Allah Almighty created human beings with the capacity to commit sin, so that we seek His forgiveness and He can forgive us.

Subhan Allah!

Allah loves the one who turns to Him asking for forgiveness. He loves the one who repents (2: 222). Therefore, to do and to feel the istighfar, inshaAllah, can help us to become a kind person.

Don’t Feel You Are Better

We should try to never feel better than any other person or any other of Allah’s creatures. It is important to understand that Allah’s guidance is a huge and tremendous gift that He bestowed upon us. It is nothing we have achieved on our own.

Divine guidance is a gift. So, we should never see a person of a different faith or no faith of being inferior to us. We don’t have the right to feel better than that person because we never know whether Allah will grant that person His guidance and raise them to much higher ranks than us. We never know whether we are destined to die as a Muslim. That is why we should always recite the beautiful dua that our beloved Prophet has taught us:

O Turner of the hearts, keep my heart on Your religion.

We should also not feel better than another person because of our education, our societal status or our economic advantage. These are all gifts from Allah.

And oftentimes, Allah loves the inconspicuous of His servants the most. We don’t know whether the cleaning lady in our company is the secret beloved of Allah. We should be kind to her.

Initiate Salam

Another way to try and erase the feeling of superiority or pride from our heart is by initiating salam when we meet our fellow Muslim brother or sister.

No matter if they are our students, our teachers, our staff, our family or just a fellow Muslim we meet on the street. We should try to greet her/him first because it erases the feeling of pride from our heart.

A Hadith from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says that:

The one who initiates the salam is free from pride.

When we say salam to our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, we also water the flower of love between fellow Muslims. We show that we care. We show that we notice them. When we give them a sincere smile it might make their day and ours certainly, too.

Be of Benefit to Others

The question of how to be kind and how to become kind is closely connected to our very Muslim identity.

The best Muslim is the one that is of most benefit to others.

Therefore, if we strive to become kind we need to be of benefit to others. There are several ways we can benefit others depending on our own personal situation.

If you are a student help your fellow classmates. If you are eating in a restaurant, keep your place as clean as possible, so the person in charge of cleaning does not have more work to do than necessary.

Help your old neighbor carrying her shopping bags. Leave your seat to the pregnant lady in the bus. Cook for your sick friend or neighbor. Think of new, creative ways to be of benefit to other people.

Give

A very important way to help others is to spend our money on them. This we should do regardless of whether we have lots of money or little. Feed a poor person. Cloth a poor person. Spend on a poor orphan. Help a needy neighbor.

And first and foremost, spend on your family that is in need. The poor have a right over some of our wealth. And, Alhamdulillah, helping other people financially, helps us to become a kind person, In'sha'Allah.

Most important is our good intention, and that we are only doing it to seek Allah’s pleasure and not to ask people to be thankful to us or praise us.

If we really want to become kind persons, we have to try to always remember Allah Almighty.

Those who remember Allah while standing or sitting or (lying) on their sides and ponder about the creations of the heavens and the earth. (3: 191)

If we remember Allah, we are aware that He is watching us at all times. If we are aware of the fact that He is All-Seeing, All-Knowing, and All-Hearing, it becomes much more difficult to do sin, to be unfriendly to people, to behave badly or to be unjust. Because nothing escapes Him.

There are many other things we can do to improve ourselves.

If you can take some useful information, this comes from Allah Almighty. Alhamdulillah.

If there is anything unclear, wrong or expressed in an impolite way, I ask Allah for His forgiveness.
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