Effects of Altruism – Real Story

       عن مُجَاهِدٍ، أَنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، كَانَ يَقُولُ: ( آللَّهِ الَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ إِنْ كُنْتُ لأَعْتَمِدُ بِكَبِدِي عَلَى الأَرْضِ مِنَ الْجُوعِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتُ لأَشُدُّ الْحَجَرَ عَلَى بَطْنِي مِنَ الْجُوعِ، وَلَقَدْ قَعَدْتُ يَوْمًا عَلَى طَرِيقِهِمُ الَّذِي يَخْرُجُونَ مِنْهُ، فَمَرَّ أَبُو بَكْرٍ، فَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ آيَةٍ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، مَا سَأَلْتُهُ إِلاَّ لِيُشْبِعَنِي، فَمَرَّ وَلَمْ يَفْعَلْ، ثُمَّ مَرَّ بِي عُمَرُ فَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ آيَةٍ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، مَا سَأَلْتُهُ إِلاَّ لِيُشْبِعَنِي، فَمَرَّ فَلَمْ يَفْعَلْ، ثُمَّ مَرَّ بِي أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَتَبَسَّمَ حِينَ رَآنِي وَعَرَفَ، مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَمَا فِي وَجْهِي ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْحَقْ ‏”‏‏.‏ وَمَضَى فَتَبِعْتُهُ، فَدَخَلَ فَاسْتَأْذَنَ، فَأَذِنَ لِي، فَدَخَلَ فَوَجَدَ لَبَنًا فِي قَدَحٍ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مِنْ أَيْنَ هَذَا اللَّبَنُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا أَهْدَاهُ لَكَ فُلاَنٌ أَوْ فُلاَنَةُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْحَقْ إِلَى أَهْلِ الصُّفَّةِ فَادْعُهُمْ لِي ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ وَأَهْلُ الصُّفَّةِ أَضْيَافُ الإِسْلاَمِ، لاَ يَأْوُونَ إِلَى أَهْلٍ وَلاَ مَالٍ، وَلاَ عَلَى أَحَدٍ، إِذَا أَتَتْهُ صَدَقَةٌ بَعَثَ بِهَا إِلَيْهِمْ، وَلَمْ يَتَنَاوَلْ مِنْهَا شَيْئًا، وَإِذَا أَتَتْهُ هَدِيَّةٌ أَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِمْ، وَأَصَابَ مِنْهَا وَأَشْرَكَهُمْ فِيهَا، فَسَاءَنِي ذَلِكَ فَقُلْتُ وَمَا هَذَا اللَّبَنُ فِي أَهْلِ الصُّفَّةِ كُنْتُ أَحَقُّ أَنَا أَنْ أُصِيبَ مِنْ هَذَا اللَّبَنِ شَرْبَةً أَتَقَوَّى بِهَا، فَإِذَا جَاءَ أَمَرَنِي فَكُنْتُ أَنَا أُعْطِيهِمْ، وَمَا عَسَى أَنْ يَبْلُغَنِي مِنْ هَذَا اللَّبَنِ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ مِنْ طَاعَةِ اللَّهِ وَطَاعَةِ رَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بُدٌّ، فَأَتَيْتُهُمْ فَدَعَوْتُهُمْ فَأَقْبَلُوا، فَاسْتَأْذَنُوا فَأَذِنَ لَهُمْ، وَأَخَذُوا مَجَالِسَهُمْ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ قَالَ ‏”‏ يَا أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ خُذْ فَأَعْطِهِمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَخَذْتُ الْقَدَحَ فَجَعَلْتُ أُعْطِيهِ الرَّجُلَ فَيَشْرَبُ حَتَّى يَرْوَى، ثُمَّ يَرُدُّ عَلَىَّ الْقَدَحَ، فَأُعْطِيهِ الرَّجُلَ فَيَشْرَبُ حَتَّى يَرْوَى، ثُمَّ يَرُدُّ عَلَىَّ الْقَدَحَ فَيَشْرَبُ حَتَّى يَرْوَى، ثُمَّ يَرُدُّ عَلَىَّ الْقَدَحَ، حَتَّى انْتَهَيْتُ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَدْ رَوِيَ الْقَوْمُ كُلُّهُمْ، فَأَخَذَ الْقَدَحَ فَوَضَعَهُ عَلَى يَدِهِ فَنَظَرَ إِلَىَّ فَتَبَسَّمَ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ بَقِيتُ أَنَا وَأَنْتَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ صَدَقْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ اقْعُدْ فَاشْرَبْ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَعَدْتُ فَشَرِبْتُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ اشْرَبْ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَشَرِبْتُ، فَمَا زَالَ يَقُولُ ‏”‏ اشْرَبْ ‏”‏‏.‏ حَتَّى قُلْتُ لاَ وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ، مَا أَجِدُ لَهُ مَسْلَكًا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَأَرِنِي ‏”‏‏.‏ فَأَعْطَيْتُهُ الْقَدَحَ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَسَمَّى، وَشَرِبَ الْفَضْلَةَ)‏. رواه البخاري.

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   Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- said: “By God  except Whom none has the right to be worshipped, sometimes I used to lay (sleep) on the ground on my abdomen because of hunger, and sometimes I used to bind a stone over my belly because of hunger.  One day I sat on the path where the companions used to come out (seeking food).

When Abu-Bakr Al-Siddeeq passed by, I asked him about a verse from God’s Book (Qur’an) and I asked him only that he might invite me and satisfy my hunger, but he answered me and moved on without doing so.  Then Omar Ibn Al-Khattab passed by me and I asked him about a verse from God’ Book, and I asked him only that he might invite me and satisfy my hunger, but he answered me and moved on without doing so.

Finally Abu Al-Qasim (Prophet Muhammad) -prayer and peace be upon him- passed by me and he smiled when he saw me, for he recognized what was in my heart and on my face (of hunger).  He said: ‘O Aba Hirr (Abu Hurairah)!’  I replied: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God.’  He said to me: ‘Follow me.’  He left and I followed him.  Then he entered the house and asked permission for me to enter and I was admitted.  He found milk in a bowl and asked: ‘From where is this milk?’  They said: ‘It has been presented to you by such-and-such man (or by such and such woman).’ [Prophet Muhammad used to accept the gift, but not the charity which he would distribute].

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘O Aba Hirr!’  I said: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God.’  He said: ‘Go and call the people of As-Suffa to me.’  The people of As-Suffa were the guests of Islam who had neither families, nor money, nor anybody to depend upon, and whenever an object of charity was brought to the Prophet, he would send it to them and would not take anything from it, and whenever any present was given to him, he used to send some for them and take some of it for himself. The order of the Prophet upset me, and I said to myself: How will this little milk be enough for the people of As- Suffa?, though I am more entitled to drink from that milk in order to strengthen myself, and it was I who used to take the milk to them by the prophet’s order.  And I wondered what will remain of that milk for me [after they finish], but I could not but obey God and His Messenger so I went to the people of As-Suffa and called them.  They came and asked the Prophet’s permission to enter. They were admitted and took their seats in the house.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘O Aba-Hirr!’  I said: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God.’  He said: ‘Take it and give it to them.’  So I took the bowl (of milk) and started giving it to one man who would drink his fill and return it to me, whereupon I would give it to another man who, in his turn, would drink his fill and return it to me, and I would then offer it to another man who would drink his fill and return it to me.

Finally, after the whole group had drunk their fill, I reached Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- who took the bowl and put it on his hand, looked at me, smiled and said: ‘O Aba Hirr!’  I replied: ‘Say your command, O Messenger of God’  He said: ‘There remain only you and I.’  I said: ‘You have said the truth, O Messenger of God.’  He said: ‘Sit down and drink.’  I sat down and drank. He said: ‘Drink more,’ and I drank. He kept on telling me repeatedly to drink, till I said: ‘No, by God Who sent you with the Truth, I have no space for it [the quantity was doubled by the will of God for His Prophet].’  Then Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Hand it to me.’  When I gave him the bowl, he praised God, mentioned God’s Name on it and drank the remaining milk.”  Related by Al-Bukhari with authentic narration.

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Faithful Women

    عن أم المؤمنين أمِّ حَبِيبَةَ رضي الله عنها، قالت: ( رأيتُ في المنام كأنَّ آتيا يقول لي: يا أم المؤمنين، ففزعتُ وأولتها أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يتزوجني.

 قالت: فما هو إلا أن انْقَضَتْ عِدَّتِي، فما شَعَرْتُ إلا برسول النجاشي على بابي يستأذن، فإذا جارية له يقال لها: أَبْرَهَةَ كَانَتْ تَقُومُ عَلَى ثِيَابِهِ وَدَهْنِهِ، فدخلت علي فقالت: إن الملك يقول لك: إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم كتب إلي أن أزوجك، فقلت: بشرك الله بخير، وقالت: يقول لك الملك: وَكِّلِي مَنْ يُزَوِّجُكِ. فأرسلَتْ إلى خالدِ بن سعيد بن العاص فَوَكَّلَتْهُ، وَأَعْطَتْ أَبْرَهَةَ سوارين من فضة وخَدَمَتَيْنِ كانتا في رجليها وخواتيم فضة كانت في أصابع رجليها سرورا بما بشرتها به.

  فلما كان العشي أمر النجاشيُّ جعفرَ بن أبي طالب ومن هناك من المسلمين فحضروا فخطب النجاشي، فقال: الحمد لله الملك القدوس السلام المؤمن المهيمن العزيز الجبار، الحمد لله حق حمده، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله، وأنه الذي بشر به عيسى ابن مريم عليه الصلاة والسلام، أما بعد: فإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم كتب إلي أن أزوجه أم حبيبة بنت سفيان، فأجبتُ إلى ما دعا إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وقد أصدقتها أربعمائة دينار، ثم سكب الدنانير بين يدي القوم، فتكلم خالد بن سعيد فقال: الحمد لله أحمده وأستعينه وأستنصره، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله، { أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ}، أما بعد: فقد أجبتُ إلى ما دعا إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وَزَوَّجْتُهُ أُمَّ حَبِيبَةَ بِنْتَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فبارك الله لرسوله، ودفع الدنانير إلى خالد بن سعيد فقبضها، ثم أرادوا أن يقوموا، فقال: اجلسوا فإن سنة الأنبياء عليهم الصلاة والسلام إذا تزوجوا أن يؤكل الطعام على التزويج، فدعا بطعام فأكلوا، ثم تفرقوا.

  قالت أم حبيبة: فلما وصل إلي المال، أرسلت إلى أبرهة التي بشرتني، فقلت لها: إني كنت أعطيتك ما أعطيتك يومئذ ولا مال بيدي وهذه خمسون مثقالا فخذيها فاستعيني بها، فَأَخْرَجَتْ إِلَيَّ حِقَّةً فيها جميع ما أعطيتها فردته إلي، وقالت: عزم علي الملك أن لا أرزأك شيئا وأنا التي أقوم على ثيابه ودهنه، وقد اتبعت دين رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وأسلمتُ لله، وقد أمر الملك نساءه أن يبعثن إليك بكل ما عندهن من العطر. فلما كَانَ الْغَدُ جَاءَتْنِي بِعُودٍ وَوَرْسٍ وَعَنْبَرٍ وزَبَادٍ كَثِيرٍ، وَقَدِمْتُ بذلك كله على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وكان يراه علي وعندي فلا ينكر.
ثم قالت أبرهة: فَحَاجَتِي إِلَيْكِ أن تُقْرِئِي رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم مني السلامَ وَتُعْلِمِيهِ أَنِّي قَدِ اتَّبَعْتُ دِينَهُ، قالت: ثم لَطَفَتْ بي وكانت هي التي جهزتني، وكانت كلما دخلت علي تقول: لا تنسي حاجتي إليك، قالت: فلما قدمنا على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أخبرته كيف كانت ا الْخِطْبَةُ وما فعلت بي أبرهة، فَتَبَسَّمَ رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، وأقرأته منها السلام، فقال: “وَعَلَيْهَا السَّلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ”).  رواه الحاكم.

Narrated Umm Hebeebeh -may God be pleased with her- said: “I once saw in a dream as if someone came to me and said: ‘O Mother of the Believers’.  I was frightened and interpreted the dream as Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- would marry me [in Qur’an, God called the wives of the Prophet as Mothers of the Believers].’

And indeed, as soon as I finished my widowhood waiting period (Iddeh), a messenger from the Al-Nejashi (Negus or King of Ethiopia) came to me asking permission to enter.  She was a female servant by the name of Abreheh who used to take care of the King’s clothes and perfume.  Abreheh came in and said: ‘The king says to you: `Appoint someone as your representative in marriage.`’  So I sent for Khalid Ibn Sa’eed Ibn Al-Aas and requested him to be my representative in marriage.  I gave Abreheh two bracelets of silver, as well as two bangles and silver rings that were around my feet, out of happiness and as a reward for her for bearing the good news.

When it was evening, Al-Nejashi (Negus or King of Ethiopia) invited Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib (the Prophet’s cousin) and all the Muslims present.  Al-Nejashi then delivered a speech and performed the marriage ceremony.  Al-Nejashi said:

‘All praise be to God, the King, the Holy, the Peace and Perfection, the Bestower of Faith and security, the Guardian, the Exalted in Might, and the Compeller.  All Praise be to God as worthy of Him.  I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except God, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger whom Jesus son of Marry peace be upon him foretold about.  Then, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- has sent a message to me requesting the hand of Umm Habeebah in marriage. So I am fulfilling the request of the Prophet, and I am giving her four hundred deenar (gold coins) as bridal money on behalf of the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him.’  Al-Nejashi then poured the money in front of the gathering.

Then Khalid Ibn Sa’eed spoke and said: ‘All praise be to God, I praise Him, seek His help and assistance. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except God, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.  God says: { It is He (God) Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the polytheists may hate it} (Surah 9, verse 33).  Then, I am fulfilling the request of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, and have accepted his marriage proposal for Umm Habeebah on her behalf, so may God bless Prophet Muhammad in it.’  Al-Nejashi then gave the money to Khalid Ibn Sa’eed and he accepted it.  When the gathering wanted to disperse, Al-Nejashi said: ‘Sit down for it is the habit of prophets -peace be upn them- to throw a banquet after marriage.’  He then called for food and they ate, and then left.

When the money was given to me, I called for Abreheh who gave me the good news.  I said to her: ‘I had given you what I had for I did not have money with me at the time, so take this amount of fifty Deenar and use it for your needs.’  She took out a pouch that had everything I had given her and said: ‘The king has resolved that I should not take anything away from you, and I am the one who takes care of his clothes and perfume.  Indeed, I have followed the religion of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him and his family- and embraced Islam for the sake of God.  The king has asked all of his womenfolk to send what they have of perfume to you.’

On the following day, Abreheh came to me with lots of aloes, wers (plant with red dye), ambergris, and musk.  I brought all of them with me when I went to the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him, and he used to see it with me and never disapproved of it.

Abreheh then said: ‘My request to you is that you convey my salaam to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- and inform him that I have followed his religion (Islam).’  She then took care of me and made me ready for the marriage ceremony.  Every time she visited me afterwards, she would remind me and say: ‘Do not forget my request.’  When we went home and I met Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, I told him about the marriage ceremony and about Ahreheh’s nice treatment, so he smiled.  I then conveyed her salaam to him, and he said: ‘And peace, the mercy and blessings of God be on her.’ ”  Related by Al-Hakim.

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The Final Destination (1)

  

      قال الله تعالى: { وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ} سورة البقرة 281.

God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): { And beware of the Day when you shall be brought back to God. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall never be dealt with unjustly } (Surah 2, 281).

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        عن البراء بن عازب رضي الله عنه قال: ( خَرَجْنَا مع النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏في جِنَازَةِ رَجُلٍ من الأنصار ‏فانتهينا إلى القَبْر، ولَمَّا ‏يُلْحَدْ، فَجَلَسَ ‏رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏وجلسنا حوله وكَأَنَّ على رُءُوسِنَا الطَّيْرَ، وفي يَدِهِ عُودٌ ‏ ‏يَنْكُتُ ‏في الأرض، فَرَفَعَ رأسه فقال: « اسْتَعِيذُوا بِاللَّهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ- مَرَّتَيْنِ ‏أَوْ ثَلَاثًا»  ‏ثُمَّ قَالَ: « إِنَّ العَبْدَ المُؤْمِنَ إِذَا كَانَ فِي انْقِطَاعٍ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا، وَإِقْبَالٍ مِنَ الآخِرَةِ نَزَلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَائِكَةٌ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ بِيضُ الْوُجُوهِ، كَأَنَّ وُجُوهَهُمُ الشَّمْسُ، مَعَهُمْ كَفَنٌ مِنْ أَكْفَانِ الجَنَّةِ، ‏وَحَنُوطٌ مِنْ حَنُوطِ ‏ ‏الجَنَّةِ، حَتَّى يَجْلِسُوا مِنْهُ مَدَّ الْبَصَرِ، ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ مَلَكُ المَوْتِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام حَتَّى يَجْلِسَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ، فَيَقُولُ: أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الطَّيِّبَةُ اخْرُجِي إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ، قَالَ: فَتَخْرُجُ تَسِيلُ كَمَا تَسِيلُ القَطْرَةُ مِنْ فِي السِّقَاءِ، ‏فَيَأْخُذُهَا فَإِذَا أَخَذَهَا لَمْ يَدَعُوهَا فِي يَدِهِ طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ حَتَّى يَأْخُذُوهَا فَيَجْعَلُوهَا فِي ذَلِكَ الكَفَنِ، وَفِي ذَلِكَ الحَنُوطِ، ‏وَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا كَأَطْيَبِ نَفْحَةِ مِسْكٍ وُجِدَتْ عَلَى وَجْهِ الأَرْضِ، قَالَ: فَيَصْعَدُونَ بِهَا، فَلا يَمُرُّونَ -‏يَعْنِي بِهَا- عَلَى مَلَإٍ مِنَ المَلَائِكَةِ إِلَّا قَالُوا: مَا هَذَا الرُّوحُ الطَّيِّبُ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: فُلانُ بْنُ فُلانٍ – بِأَحْسَنِ أَسْمَائِهِ الَّتِي كَانُوا يُسَمُّونَهُ بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا- حَتَّى يَنْتَهُوا بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَيَسْتَفْتِحُونَ لَهُ فَيُفْتَحُ لَهُمْ فَيُشَيِّعُهُ مِنْ كُلِّ سَمَاءٍ مُقَرَّبُوهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الَّتِي تَلِيهَا، حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ السَّابِعَةِ، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: ‏اكْتُبُوا كِتَابَ عَبْدِي فِي عِلِّيِّينَ، وَأَعِيدُوهُ إِلَى الأَرْضِ فَإِنِّي مِنْهَا خَلَقْتُهُمْ وَفِيهَا أُعِيدُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا أُخْرِجُهُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى.

 قَالَ: فَتُعَادُ رُوحُهُ فِي جَسَدِهِ فَيَأْتِيهِ مَلَكَانِ فَيُجْلِسَانِهِ فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَنْ رَبُّكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: ‏رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا دِينُكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: ‏دِينِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بُعِثَ فِيكُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هُوَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، ‏‏فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: وَمَا عِلْمُكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: قَرَأْتُ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ، فَآمَنْتُ بِهِ وَصَدَّقْتُ، فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ فِي السَّمَاءِ: أَنْ صَدَقَ عَبْدِي فَأَفْرِشُوهُ مِنَ الجَنَّةِ، وَأَلْبِسُوهُ مِنَ الجَنَّةِ، وَافْتَحُوا لَهُ بَابًا إِلَى الجَنَّةِ، قَالَ: فَيَأْتِيهِ مِنْ رَوْحِهَا وَطِيبِهَا، وَيُفْسَحُ لَهُ فِي قَبْرِهِ مَدَّ بَصَرِهِ، قَالَ: وَيَأْتِيهِ رَجُلٌ حَسَنُ الوَجْهِ، حَسَنُ الثِّيَابِ، طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ؛ فَيَقُولُ: أَبْشِرْ بِالَّذِي يَسُرُّكَ، هَذَا يَوْمُكَ الَّذِي كُنْتَ تُوعَدُ، فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ فَوَجْهُكَ الوَجْهُ يَجِيءُ بِالْخَيْرِ؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الصَّالِحُ، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ أَقِمِ السَّاعَةَ حَتَّى أَرْجِعَ إِلَى أَهْلِي وَمَالِي») الحديث.  رواه أحمد وأبو داود والحاكم بإسناد صحيح.

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Narrated Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib -may God be pleased with him- said: “We went out with Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- to attend the funeral of an Ansari man.  We reached the gravesite, and it was not completely dug yet.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- sat, and we sat around him, as if the birds were over our heads [sitting quietly and still].  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- had a stick in his hand with which he was poking the ground.  He raised his head and said twice or three times: ‘Seek refuge with God from the punishment of the grave.’

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then said: ‘When the believing slave is reaching the end of his time in the worldly life and the beginning of his Hereafter, a group of angels, whose faces are white and bright as the sun, will descend to him from heaven.  They will carry with them a white shroud from Paradise, and fragrance for enshrouding from Paradise.  They will sit around him as far as the eyesight can see. Then, the Angel of Death -peace be upon him- will come until he sits by his head, and say: ‘O good and pure soul, depart (your body) to God’s forgiveness and pleasure.’  So the soul comes out flowing just as the water drop flows out from the tip of the water skin, and the Angel of Death will take hold of it.

When the Angel of Death has captured the soul, the other angels will not leave it with him for more than an instance, but will take the soul and wrap it in that shroud, and place it in that fragrance.  A most pleasant musk scent ever found on earth will emit from the soul, and the angels will take the soul up (to heaven).

They will not pass by any group of angels, except they will ask: ‘Whose is this blessed soul?’  They (the angels) will reply: ‘So and so person, the son of such and such person,’ calling him by the best names that he used to be called in the world.  They will go on until they will reach the heaven closest to the world and will ask permission for him to enter, and they will be given permission to enter.  The best residents of every heaven will then accompany him to the next heaven, until he is brought to the seventh heaven.  The Almighty God will say: ‘List my slave’s record in `Illiyyin (the Highest Register) and send him back to the earth, for I have created them from it, and into it I shall return them, and from it I shall resurrect them once again.’

The soul will be returned to his body, and two angels will come to him, sit him up and ask him: ‘Who is your Lord?’  He will reply: ‘God is my Lord.’  They will ask him: ‘What is your religion?’  He will reply: ‘My religion is Islam.’  They will ask him: ‘What do you say about this man (Prophet Muhammad) who was sent with the message to you?’  He will reply: ‘He is the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him.’  They will ask him: ‘And how do you know that?’  He will say: ‘I read the Holy Book of God (the Qur’an), and had faith and belief in it.’  Then, a caller (God) will call from heaven: ‘My slave has said the truth. Therefore, furnish him from Paradise, let him wear from (the clothes of) Paradise, and open a door for him to Paradise.’

So some of Paradise’s breeze and fragrance will reach him, and his grave will be expanded for him as far as his sight can see. Then, a man with a handsome face, fine clothes and a pleasant smell will come to him and say: ‘Receive the glad tidings with that which pleases you. This is the Day that you have been promised.’  He will ask him: ‘Who are you; for yours is the face that brings good news?’  He will reply: ‘I am your good deeds.’  He will say: ‘O my Lord! Hasten with the commencement of the Hour, so I can return to my family and my wealth.’’ ” The complete Hadith.   Related by Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Al-Hakim with an authentic (Sahih) narration.

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The Final Destination (2)

   قال الله عز وجل: { نَبِّىءْ عِبَادِى أَنِّى أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ * وَأَنَّ عَذَابِى هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الاٌّلِيمُ } سورة الحجر 49-50.

God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): { (O Prophet Muhammad) Inform My servants, that I am truly the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And that My torment is indeed the most painful torment} (Surah 15, verses 49-59).

 

Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari said in the interpretation of this verse: “The Almighty God says: ‘Tell My slaves, O Prophet Muhammad, that indeed I am the One Who conceals and pardons their sins if they repent and turn to Me, by sparing them their exposure and punishment.  And I am the One Who shows them mercy by sparing them the punishment after they repent of their sins.

And also Tell them that My torment for that who insists on disobeying Me, continues on disobedience, and does not repent of his sins, is a painful torment that resembles no other torment.’  And this a warning from God to His creatures against committing sins, and a command for them to return to Him and repent.”  End quote.

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        عن البراء بن عازب رضي الله عنه قال: ( خَرَجْنَا مع النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏في جِنَازَةِ رَجُلٍ من الأنصار ‏فانتهينا إلى القَبْر، ولَمَّا ‏يُلْحَدْ، فَجَلَسَ ‏رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏وجلسنا حوله وكَأَنَّ على رُءُوسِنَا الطَّيْرَ، وفي يَدِهِ عُودٌ ‏ ‏يَنْكُتُ ‏في الأرض، c.فَرَفَعَ رأسه فقال: « اسْتَعِيذُوا بِاللَّهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ- مَرَّتَيْنِ ‏أَوْ ثَلَاثًا» الحديث.

  ‏ثُمَّ قَالَ: « وَإِنَّ الْعَبْدَ الْكَافِرَ إِذَا كَانَ فِي انْقِطَاعٍ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَإِقْبَالٍ مِنَ الْآخِرَةِ، نَزَلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَلَائِكَةٌ سُودُ الْوُجُوهِ، مَعَهُمْ الْمُسُوحُ، فَيَجْلِسُونَ مِنْهُ مَدَّ الْبَصَرِ، ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ حَتَّى يَجْلِسَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ فَيَقُولُ: أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْخَبِيثَةُ، اخْرُجِي إِلَى سَخَطٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَغَضَبٍ. قَالَ: فَتُفَرَّقُ فِي جَسَدِهِ، فَيَنْتَزِعُهَا كَمَا يُنْتَزَعُ السَّفُّودُ مِنَ الصُّوفِ الْمَبْلُولِ فَيَأْخُذُهَا، فَإِذَا أَخَذَهَا لَمْ يَدَعُوهَا فِي يَدِهِ طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ حَتَّى يَجْعَلُوهَا فِي تِلْكَ الْمُسُوحِ، وَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا كَأَنْتَنِ رِيحِ جِيفَةٍ وُجِدَتْ عَلَى وَجْهِ الْأَرْضِ، فَيَصْعَدُونَ بِهَا فَلَا يَمُرُّونَ بِهَا عَلَى مَلَإٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ إِلَّا قَالُوا: مَا هَذَا الرُّوحُ الْخَبِيثُ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: فُلَانُ بْنُ فُلَانٍ، بِأَقْبَحِ أَسْمَائِهِ الَّتِي كَانَ يُسَمَّى بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا، حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا، فَيُسْتَفْتَحُ لَهُ فَلَا يُفْتَحُ لَهُ، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: {لا تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَلا يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ} (سورة الأعراف آية 40)، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: اكْتُبُوا كِتَابَهُ فِي سِجِّينٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ السُّفْلَى، فَتُطْرَحُ رُوحُهُ طَرْحًا، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ: { وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ سَحِيقٍ} (سورة الحج آية 31).  فَتُعَادُ رُوحُهُ فِي جَسَدِهِ، وَيَأْتِيهِ مَلَكَانِ، فَيُجْلِسَانِهِ، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَنْ رَبُّكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هَاهْ هَاهْ لَا أَدْرِي، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا دِينُكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هَاهْ هَاهْ لَا أَدْرِي، فَيَقُولَانِ لَهُ: مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بُعِثَ فِيكُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُ: هَاهْ هَاهْ لَا أَدْرِي، فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ: أَنْ كَذَبَ فَافْرِشُوا لَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَافْتَحُوا لَهُ بَابًا إِلَى النَّارِ، فَيَأْتِيهِ مِنْ حَرِّهَا وَسَمُومِهَا وَيُضَيَّقُ عَلَيْهِ قَبْرُهُ حَتَّى تَخْتَلِفَ فِيهِ أَضْلَاعُهُ، وَيَأْتِيهِ رَجُلٌ قَبِيحُ الْوَجْهِ قَبِيحُ الثِّيَابِ مُنْتِنُ الرِّيحِ فَيَقُولُ: أَبْشِرْ بِالَّذِي يَسُوؤكَ هَذَا يَوْمُكَ الَّذِي كُنْتَ تُوعَدُ، فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ فَوَجْهُكَ الْوَجْهُ يَجِيءُ بِالشَّرِّ، فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الْخَبِيثُ، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ لَا تُقِمْ السَّاعَةَ»).  رواه أحمد وأبو داود والحاكم بإسناد صحيح.

 

Narrated Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib -may God be pleased with him- said: “We went out with Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- to attend the funeral of an Ansari man.  We reached the gravesite, and it was not completed yet.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- sat, and we sat around him, as if the birds were hovering over our heads.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- had a stick in his hand, with which he was poking the ground.  He raised his head and said twice or three times: ‘Seek refuge with God from the punishment of the grave.’ The complete Hadith.

Al-Bara’ then continued: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then said:

‘And when the disbelieving person is reaching the end of his term in the worldly life and the beginning of his term in the Hereafter, angels with dark faces will descend to him from heaven. They will bring with them coarse cloths [shroud], and will sit around him as far as the eyesight can see.

Then the Angel of Death will come and sit by his head and say: ‘O evil soul, depart (your body) to the anger and wrath of God.’  The soul will scatter throughout his body [trying to evade], but the Angel of Death will take it and capture it like the thorny branch is removed from wet wool [or the skewer from the cooked meat].  When the Angel of Death has seized the soul, the group of angels will not let it stay in his hand for more than an instance, and they will take it and wrap it in the coarse cloths. The most putrid stench a dead corpse can ever have on earth will emit from the soul, and the angels will ascend with it.

Whenever they pass by a group of angels, they will ask: ‘Whose is this evil soul?’  The angels will respond: ‘So and so person, the son of such and such person,’ calling him by the worst names that he used to be called in the world.  The angels will go on until they will reach the heaven closest to the world and will ask permission for him to enter, but their request will be denied.  The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- recited the verse: { For them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle} (Surah 7, verse 40).  The Almighty God will say: ‘List his record in Sijjeen in the lowest earth.’  Then the evil soul will be thrown and flung from heaven. The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- recited the verse: { And whoever assigns partners to God, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place} (Surah 22, verse 31).

Then his soul will be returned to his body, and two angels will come to him, sit him up and ask him: ‘Who is your Lord?’  He will say: ‘Oh, oh (alas, alas), I do not know.’  They will ask him: ‘What is your religion?’  He will say: ‘Oh, oh (alas, alas), I do not know.’  They will ask him: ‘What do you say about this man (Prophet Muhammad) who was sent to you?’  He will say: ‘Oh, oh (alas, alas), I do not know.’  A caller (God) will call from heaven: ‘My slave has lied, so furnish him with the Fire and open a door for him to the Fire.’  He will find its heat and fierce hot wind, and his grave will be compressed on him until his ribs will crush each other.  Then, a man with an ugly face, ugly clothes and a foul smell will come to him and say: ‘Receive the glad tidings with that which displeases you. This is the Day that you have been promised.’  He will ask that man: ‘And who are you; for yours is the face that brings bad news?’  He will say: ‘I am your evil deeds.’  He will therefore say: ‘O, my Lord, do not let the Last Hour come!’’ ”  Related by Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Al-Hakim with an authentic (Sahih) narration.

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Ramadan: The Month of Fasting and Divine Revelation

  

‏        قال الله عز وجل: { شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ} سورة البقرة 185.

 

God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): { The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an (the Holy Book), a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and distinguishing criterion (between right and wrong).  Then whoever of you sights (the new moon of) the month (of Ramadan), let him fast the month; but whoever is ill or on a journey – then (let him fast) an equal number of other days.  God intends for you ease and never intends hardship for you, and wants for you to complete the days of the month and to glorify Him for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him} (Surah 2, verse 185).

 

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Fasting has been prescribed in most Divine religions as a test to distinguish the faithful from the weak, and the believers from others.  Indeed, abstaining from food and drink for a big portion of the day is not an easy feat and such an act requires great determination and patience to accomplish.  Eating and drinking are instincts that most living organisms are equipped with to survive.  Holding back this instinct and resisting the urge to eat and drink for the sake of God is a great act of worship that only the faithful can accomplish.

In Islam, one entire month has been designated for fasting and that is the month of Ramadan or the ninth month of the Hijri (lunar) calendar.  Muslims are obligated to fast this entire month and must make up for any day missed because of travelling or sickness.  The month of Ramadan is a blessed month and is given a great status in Islam.  Indeed, the good deeds in this month are multiplied manifolds and the reward is magnified as shown in the following authentic hadith:

       عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم  : ( كل عمل ابن آدم يضاعف: الحسنة بعشر أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف. قال الله تعالى: “إلا الصوم، فإنه لي وأنا أجزي به؛ يدع شهوته وطعامه من أجلي”.  للصائم فرحتان: فرحة عند فطره، وفرحة عند لقاء ربه. ولَخَلُوف فم الصائم أطيب عند الله من ريح المسك. والصوم جُنَّة. وإذا كان يوم صوم أحدكم فلا يرفث ولا يصخب، فإن سابَّه أحد أو قاتله، فليقل: إني امرؤ صائم). متفق عليه.

        Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

“Every good deed of the son of Adam is multiplied for him: the good deed will be multiplied ten times to seven hundred time.  God the Almighty said: ‘With the exception of fasting, which is done for Me and I will reward for it accordingly, for indeed the son of Adam abandons his (sexual) desire and food for My sake.’

          The Messenger of God said: “Verily, there are two joyous moments for the fasting person: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he will meet his Lord (in the Hereafter).  Verily, the altered smell emanating from the mouth of the fasting person is better in the sight of God than the fragrance of musk.

          Fasting is a shield (with which a servant protects himself from Hell-Fire).  And when one of you is fasting, then he should avoid shameless and loud idle talks. Thus if someone called him bad names or fought with him, then he should say: ‘I am fasting.’  ”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

One of the great wisdom of this month is spiritual training and exercise.  The Muslim is instructed to overcome his unruly and demanding Self by controlling its desire for food, drink and sexual desires.  Then when the self comes under control, it would be easier for the person to control the self in the face of other desires and sins.  God the Almighty referred to this beautiful meaning in Qur’an:

    قال الله عز وجل: { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ } سورة البقرة 183.

     God the Almighty says: {O you who believe, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become pious} (Surah 2, verse183).

          Thus, when the Muslim fasts the month of Ramadan, s/he is actually exercising self-control and learning the strategies and techniques of overcoming the destructive desires of the Evil-Tempting Self, while giving way and dominance to the Righteous and Pious Self.  Fasting is a spiritual exercise that starts with learning how to resist the desire for food and drink, but extends to learning how to resist other desires, including sins.  The Muslim learns how to overcome his desire for food and drink for a short time, but at the same times practices how to resist other temptations and sins for a long time.

          Furthermore, God the Almighty has distinguished the Month of Ramadan with a great Night that is equal to 1000 months, Leilatul Qadr.  Indeed, the worship of this one night or Leilatul-Qadr is equal to the worship of 1000 months or 83 years.  God the Almighty says in Qur’an:

قال الله عز وجل: { لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ (3) تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ (4) سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ} سورة القدر 3-5.

God the Almighty says: { Leilatul Qadr (the night of Decree) is better than a thousand months (of worshiping; i.e., 83 years and 4 months).  The angels and the Spirit (Angel Gabriel) descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.  Peace, it is until the appearance of dawn} (Surah 97, verses 3-5).

Leilatul-Qadr is a great night that occurs during the last ten days of the Month of Ramadan.  More specifically, this night occurs during the last seven odd nights of the Month of Ramadan (23, 25, 27, and 29).  Since the next day starts at sunset in Islam, the night of 23 actually occurs on 22nd at night.  The scholars said that Leilatul-Qadr changes from year to year; it may occur on 27th one year, but on 25th in another year and so forth.  The Muslim is advised to devote himself to the worship of God during every night of the last ten days of the Month of Ramadan so as not to miss the great reward of this blessed night. During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Muslims should occupy himself with praying Taraweeh (the night prayers), with reciting the Qur’an, with Dhikr or glorifying God, and with Dua or making supplication to God.  Prophet Muhammad taught us what to say during this great night:

  عن عائِشَةَ رضي اللَّه عنها، قَالَت: ( قُلْتُ: يا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَرَأَيْتَ إِن عَلِمْتُ أَيَّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ القَدْرِ ما أَقُولُ فيها؟ قال: « قُولي: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العفْوَ فاعْفُ عنِّي»).  رواهُ التِرْمذيُّ والنسائي وابن ماجه وأحمد.

     Narrated ‘Aishah -may God be pleased with her- said: “I asked: ‘O Messenger of God, if I find the Night of Al-Qadr what should I say?’  He replied: ‘Say: O God, verily, You are the Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ ” Related by Al-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad.

Thus, we can appreciate the great status and honor of the Month of Ramadan in Islam.  At the same time, the Muslim is warned that missing this great reward amounts to a great loss and regret that can only be fully realized after death when the human will regret every minute of the world in which s/he did not remember and mention God. The Muslim is then instructed to take heed and devote every free minute of this great month in the worship of God and His obedience.

The Month of Ramadan has been distinguished with another great merit, and that is the Qur’an.  As mentioned in the verse above, the Holy Book or Qur’an was revealed during the Month of Ramadan.

 Thus, there is a close relationship between the Month of Ramadan and the Holy Book (Qur’an).  Qur’an was sent down from Al-Lowh Al-Mahfoodh (the Great Sacred Book with God) to the Sky of the world during the Month of Ramadan.  Later each verse was revealed to Prophet Muhammad at its specific occasion.  Angel Gabriel is the Messenger that was sent with Revelation to all prophets, including Prophet Muhammad- peace be upon them.

Islam has put great emphasis on the recitation of Qur’an during the Month of Ramadan.  So much so that Angel Gabriel used to both the recite what was so far revealed of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad and listen to his recitation as well every night during the Month of Ramadan, as mentioned in the following authentic hadith:

 عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ: ( كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَأَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ جِبْرِيلُ ـ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ ـ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ)‏.‏ رواهُ البخاري ومسلم.

          Narrated Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- was the most generous of all people, and he would become more generous during the Month of Ramadan when Angel Gabriel met him.  Angel Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Quran with him.  During this period, Prophet Muhammad was more generous than the rain-bearing wind.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Many righteous and well-known scholars used to leave other works and devote their time to Qur’an during the blessed Month of Ramadan.  It is related that both Imam Abu Haneefah and Imam Al-Shafi’i used to recite the whole Qur’an 60 times during this month.  Imam Al-Bukhari, the well-known hadith narrator, in Ramadan used to finish the whole Qur’an once during the day, and once every three nights during Taraweeh at night.  Finally, it is related that Othman Ibn Affan, the Third Guided Caliph, stood up in prayer at night and recited the whole Qur’an in one Rak’ah.

Then the Muslim should reflect on the merits of the great Month of Ramadan, and ponder upon its close association with the Divine Revelation (Qur’an).  The Muslim should give both fasting and the recitation of Qur’an a great emphasis during this great month.  Indeed, the reward of reciting every letter of the Qur’an is multiplied ten times in regular times, then what about reciting the Qur’an during this great month.  Indeed, the reward of reciting the Qur’an during the Month of Ramadan is multiplied manifolds, and its benefits are gained with more ease and greater depth during these great days.

Not only do fasting and the recitation of Qur’an have great reward, but both would intercede for the slave on the Day of Judgment at the time accounting for deeds (hisab) when the slave is in distress and is in most need of good deeds, as mentioned in the following authentic hadith:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما، عنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قالَ: « الصِّيَامُ وَالْقُرْآنُ يَشْفَعَانِ لِلْعَبْدِ، يَقُولُ الصِّيَامُ: أَيْ رَبِّ، إِنِّي مَنَعْتُهُ الطَّعَامَ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ بِالنَّهَارِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ. وَيَقُولُ الْقُرْآن : رَبِّ، إِنِّي مَنَعْتُهُ النَّوْمَ بِاللَّيْلِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ، فَيُشَفَّعَانِ». رواه أحمد والطبراني والحاكم، وصححه.

 

Narrated Abdil-Allah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas -may God be pleased with them- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Fasting and Quran will intercede for the slave (on the Day of Judgment).  Fasting will say: ‘O my Lord, I kept him from food and desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.’  And the Quran will say: ‘O my Lord, I kept him from sleeping during the night, so let me intercede for him.’   Thus, both will be allowed to intercede for him [to enter Paradise].”  Related by Ahmad, Al-Tabarni and Al-Hakim.

The strength and increase of faith gained during this month should sustain the Muslim for the remainder of the year and urge him to continue to do good until Ramadan of the next year.  Indeed, some of the predecessor righteous people used to pray God to accept their fasting Ramadan of the same year for 6 months, and then pray God to let them fast the next Ramadan for the next 6 months.  Indeed, the reward of fasting and the recitation of Qur’an are great, but their reward is even greater and their gain more significant during the blessed great Month of Ramadan.  And God knows best.

 

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The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful

‏        قال الله عز وجل: { هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ * هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ * هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ } سورة الحشر 22–24

 God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): {

  1. He is God, none has the right to be worshipped but He, Knower of the Invisible and the Visible. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
  2. He is God, none has the right to be worshipped but He, the King, the Holy, the Peace, the Bestower of Faith and security, the Guardian, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to God! Exalted is God above whatever they associate with Him.
  3. He is God, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner. To Him belong the Most Honorable Names. All that is in the Heavens and the Earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise} (Surah 59, verses 22-24).

———-

 

Islam is the religion that recognizes and praises God as the Only One true God and rejects associating any partners in His worship.  Islam is the religion that admits God’s perfection and asserts His Most High characteristics and Most Honorable Names.  In Islam, God is the Only One worthy of worship, the Only One with Perfect qualities, the Only One free of any flaw or imperfection, and the Only One with the Ultimate Power and Reign.

The word ‘Islam’ in the Arabic language comes from the root ‘Aslama (أسْلَمَ)’ which means: to Submit, to Surrender and to Obey.  In religion, Islam mean: to Submit and Surrender to the Only One God, and to Obey God by following His orders and avoiding things He has forbidden (sins).  The beauty of Islam appears when the Muslim fully implements God’s rules and tries to spread peace and justice on Earth.  The Muslim submits to God’s will and tries his best to follow God’s commands.

Islam puts great emphasis on living by Good Morals and avoiding bad morals and sins.  As an example, the Holy Book (Qur’an) mentions the Most Honorable Names of God and describes some of God’s Perfect qualities.  The Muslims are asked to reflect on these qualities and try to implement them in their daily lives and interactions.

God describes Himself in many instances as the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving, and the Most Compassionate.  In Qur’an, many stories that describe the great Mercy of God are mentioned.  The first story is the story of our father and Prophet Adam, who ate from the forbidden tree.  The Qur’an describes Adam’s feeling of regret and remorse after eating from the tree, and the great Mercy of God when He accepted Adam’s repentance and pardoned him.  Thus in this story, we can appreciate the following Honorable Name of God: The Most Merciful (Al-Rahman), the Most Forgiving (Al-Ghafoor), the Pardoner (Al-Afewwu), and the Acceptor of Repentance (Al-Tawwab).

The story of Noah is described in chronological order in Qur’an.  The struggle of Prophet Noah with his people and his efforts to show them guidance is explained.  Also mentioned is the way Noah’s people reacted to his message and how they showed disdain and contempt for his message, going as far as making fun of him.  Then we read about his occupation with building the ark and taking the few believers and a pair of each animal on it with him.  And finally, we recite the verses that talk about the wrath of God and the Great Flood and how it destroyed the people who made fun of Prophet Noah’s message.  Thus in this story, we can appreciate the following Honorable Name of God: the Most Powerful (Al-Qawee), the Exalted in Might (Al-Aziz), the Compeller (Al-Jabbar), the Prevailing (Al-Qahhar), and the Supreme (Al-Mutakabbir).  Indeed, when the people of Noah rejected the message of their prophet and made fun of it, they were punished and destroyed (may God keep us safe).

The Story of Prophet Job (Ayyoob) is mentioned in Qur’an in beautiful details.  The entreaty of Prophet Job and the events that led to it are described.  We read how Prophet Job had enjoyed health and wealth for some time, but then was afflicted and lost everything except his patient and indefatigable wife.  Prophet Job was tested with the loss of all of his wealth and with severe body diseases that left him powerless and prone to sickness and fatigue.  He endured all of that patiently, never complaining about his trials and tribulations but putting his trust in God.  Finally, when Satan tried to mislead his wife by asking her to seek Satan’s help, Prophet Job raised his hands and supplicated to his Lord.  God says in Qur’an, Chapter 21, verse 83:

{ And (remember) Ayyoob (Job), when he called to his Lord: “Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.  So We responded to his call, and removed what distressed him. And We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us}.

So God responded to Prophet Job’s call, and granted him double his health and wealth as a reward for his patience and as a sign of God’s great Mercy.

In this beautiful story, we appreciate the following Honorable Names of God: The All-Hearer (Al-Samee’), the All-Seer (Al-Baseer), the Responder to supplication (Al-Mujeeb), the Preserver (Al-Hafeedh), the Nourisher (Al-Muqeet), the Most Generous (Al-Kareem), the Compassionate (Al-Ra’oof), and the Most Kind (Al-Barr).

 

Another Quality of God is the Most Kind and Planner (Al-Lateef).  God plans what is best for His sincere slaves.  In Qur’an, the story of Prophet Joseph (Yoosuf) is described in detail.  The Qur’an describes the earliest sign of Joseph’s prophet-hood when he saw in a dream as if the sun, the moon and eleven planets are prostrating to him.  He told his father (Prophet Jacob) about his dream, so Prophet Jacob warned him not to tell his elder brothers.  Prophet Jacob loved his son Joseph dearly which made Joseph’s elder brothers feel jealous.  They planned and God planned.  They planned to abduct Joseph and throw him in the well, but God planned that the ruler of Egypt would eventually buy young Joseph and raise him.  Then a group of women of high class who were besotted with Prophet Joseph planned to entice him.  When he refused to give in, they planned to send him to prison.  But God planned what was better for Prophet Joseph, so he interpreted dreams until the king heard of him few years later and appointed him the new ruler of Egypt.

Thus, we learn that God has the Ultimate Knowledge and Wisdom.  God has the Ultimate Patience and Forbearance.  God has the Ultimate Mercy and kindness.  And God has the Ultimate Power and Reign.

The Most Honorable Names and qualities of God are mentioned in many places in the Qur’an.  The Most Honorable Names depict characteristics that are 100%.  For example, while a human can be 60% merciful, for God all characteristics are 100%.  So in many cases, the characteristic becomes a name with God.  Thus, God is the Peace, the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving and so forth.

          Islam praises God as the Perfect One God with no flaw or any imperfection whatsoever.  Islam rejects any partners in His worship, any injustices attributed to God, any false accusation, or any imperfection whatsoever. 

Islam states that this world is a test to see who follows God’s command and acts righteous and who follows the path of misguidance and Satan.  This test includes trials and tribulations that man must pass through to get the result.  Thus, this world was created imperfect for the purpose of testing, and all humans must pass through this test.  The Hereafter or life after death, on the other hand, is a perfect world with Paradise for the pious and Hell for the disbelievers.

In Islam, the Muslim submits and surrenders to One and Only One God.  The Muslim worships Only One God and admits God’s Perfection and Ultimate Power.  The Muslim ponders upon God’s qualities and tries to implement them in his daily lives.  The Muslim shows mercy, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, and other good morals.  The Muslim tries to live by the moral code of Prophet Muhammad who was of a very high moral character.  The Muslim then expects reward from His Lord and Paradise.

          In the last verse above, God the Almighty says: { He is God, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner.  To Him belong the Most Honorable Names.  All that is in the Heavens and the Earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise}.

We can appreciate the great words of God, and sense the great meanings behind these words.  Indeed, He is God, and the Only One God worthy of worship.  He is the Creator, the inventor and the maker of Form.  The believer submits and surrenders before the One Creator and rejects paganistic theories.  God gives reference to His Most Honorable Names for humans to ponder upon, to reflect on their meanings, and to try to implement them.  Indeed, as God mentions, everything in the Heavens and Earth glorify His praises and attest to His Magnificence, Glory and Grandeur.  We may not see it or realize it fully now, but certainly we shall clearly see it in the Hereafter.  Indeed, God is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

And God knows best.

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Repel Evil With Good

 

       قال الله عز وجل: { وَلاَ تَسْتَوِى الْحَسَنَةُ وَلاَ السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِى بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ * وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ ذُو حَظِّ عَظِيمٍ } سورة فصلت 34-35.

   قال ابن كثير: (أي: يدفعون القبيح بالحسن، فإذا آذاهم أحد قابلوه بالجميل صبرا واحتمالا وصفحا وعفوا).

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God the Almighty says in Qur’an (English translation): { The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a close friend.  35. But none is granted it except those who are patient — and none is granted it except the owner of great fortune} (Surah 41, verse 34-35).

The Interpreter Ibn Katheer said: “ Repel evil with good: means they fend off evil with good conduct.  If anybody caused them harms, they respond with kindness out of patience, forbearing, pardon, and forgiveness.”

The scholar Al-Hasan said: “ Repel evil with good: means when they are denied, they give. When they are treated unjustly, they forgive. And when their relations are severed, they maintain it.”

Ibn Zaid said: “ Repel evil with good: means they ward off the evil act with a good act; they don’t repay the evil act with an evil act, rather they ward it off with a good act.”

Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- said: “ Repel evil with good: means they ward off the misdeed with a good deed.”

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Islam urges on good manners and forgiveness (‘afow), and promises great reward for them.  Good manners and forgiveness, apart from being a command of God and His Messenger -prayer and peace be upon him, create a united and loving family, community, society, and whole nation.  When every individual treats others like he himself wants to be treated, then the result is a family or community that is free of enmity (‘adaweh), hatred and disputes.  When family members and friends treat each with good manners and forgiveness, then the community becomes loving and united, and so the whole nation becomes loving and united.

Indeed, it is through nice manners and forgiveness that a Muslim wins others.  It is through good morals and forgiveness that others will come to naturally like him.  While bad manners and anger only serve to make others dislike you and lead them away from you!

Given the fact that no human is perfect and they all tend to behave in an unseemingly or impolite manner one time or another, the Muslim should then learn to forgive others.  He should find excuses for them.  He should think they acted that way because of sleeplessness, or she talked like that because she was tired or anxious, etc.  Muslims should learn to forgive each other, for it has a great reward, as mentioned in the above hadeeth, and moreover forgiveness fosters good relations and peace of mind and soul.

In the verse above, the Almighty God states that if you repel evil with good, { Then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a close friend}.  Thus, if you treat the one who mistreated you with forgiveness and kindness, s/he will regret his/her bad behavior and will be ashamed of his action.  Furthermore, if you continue in your kindness and good manners, this will lead to reconciliation and good relationship, and may even lead to close friendship and companionship.

Finally, it is mentioned in the hadeeth that when it is the Day of Judgment, it would be called: ‘Let those who forgave others for the sake of God rise.’  They would get up and then be led to Paradise while other people are still undergoing hisab or accounting.  Then what a great reward there is in forgiveness (‘afow).  Know that when you give up your anger and forgive others’ mistakes or slips for the sake of God, then that wouldn’t be wasted, rather you would get a great reward in its place, both in this life and the Hereafter.  And God knows best.

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The Innumerous Blessings

‏        عن جابرِ بنِ عبد اللَّهِ رضي الله عنهما قال: ( خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فَقَالَ: « خَرَجَ مِنْ عِنْدِي خَلِيلِي جِبْرِيلُ آنِفًا فَقَالَ: يَا محمَّد، وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ عَبْدًا مِنْ عَبِيدِهِ، عَبَدَ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى خَمْسَمِائَةِ سَنَةٍ عَلَى رَأْسِ جَبَلٍ فِي الْبَحْرِ عَرْضُهُ وَطُولُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ ذِرَاعًا فِي ثَلَاثِينَ ذِرَاعًا، وَالْبَحْرُ مُحِيطٌ بِهِ أَرْبَعَةَ آلَافِ فَرْسَخٍ مِنْ كُلِّ نَاحِيَةٍ، وَأَخْرَجَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى لَهُ عَيْنًا عَذْبَةً بِعَرْضِ الْأُصْبَعِ تَبِضُّ بِمَاءٍ عَذْبٍ فَتَسْتَنْقِعُ فِي أَسْفَلِ الْجَبَلِ، وَشَجَرَةَ رُمَّانٍ تُخْرِجُ لَهُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ رُمَّانَةً فَتُغَذِّيهِ يَوْمَهُ، فَإِذَا أَمْسَى نَزَلَ فَأَصَابَ مِنَ الْوَضُوءِ وَأَخَذَ تِلْكَ الرُّمَّانَةَ فَأَكَلَهَا ثُمَّ قَامَ لِصَلَاتِهِ، فَسَأَلَ رَبَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عِنْدَ وَقْتِ الْأَجَلِ أَنْ يَقْبِضَهُ سَاجِدًا، وَأَنْ لَا يَجْعَلَ لِلْأَرْضِ وَلَا لِشَيْءٍ يُفْسِدُهُ عَلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا حَتَّى بَعَثَهُ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ، قَالَ: فَفَعَلَ، فَنَحْنُ نَمُرُّ عَلَيْهِ إِذَا هَبَطْنَا وَإِذَا عَرَجْنَا.

 فَنَجِدُ لَهُ فِي الْعِلْمِ أَنَّهُ يُبْعَثُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيَقُولُ لَهُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي، فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي، فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي،  فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ: قَايِسُوا عَبْدِي بِنِعْمَتِي عَلَيْهِ وَبِعَمَلِهِ.  فَتُوجَدُ نِعْمَةُ الْبَصَرِ قَدْ أَحَاطَتْ بِعِبَادَةِ خَمْسِ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ وَبَقِيَتْ نِعْمَةُ الْجَسَدِ فَضْلًا عَلَيْهِ، فَيَقُولُ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي النَّارَ.

  قَالَ فَيُجَرُّ إِلَى النَّارِ فَيُنَادِي: رَبِّ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَدْخِلْنِي الْجَنَّةَ، فَيَقُولُ: رُدُّوهُ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ، فَيَقُولُ: يَا عَبْدِي، مَنْ خَلَقَكَ وَلَمْ تَكُ شَيْئًا؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَيَقُولُ: كَانَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ قِبَلِكَ أَوْ بِرَحْمَتِي؟  فَيَقُولُ: بَلْ بِرَحْمَتِكَ.  فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ قَوَّاكَ لِعِبَادَةِ خَمْسِ مِائَةِ عَامٍ؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ أَنْزَلَكَ فِي جَبَلٍ وَسَطَ اللُّجَّةِ وَأَخْرَجَ لَكَ الْمَاءَ الْعَذْبَ مِنَ الْمَاءِ الْمَالِحِ وَأَخْرَجَ لَكَ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ رُمَّانَةً وَإِنَّمَا تَخْرُجُ مَرَّةً فِي السَّنَةِ، وَسَأَلْتَنِي أَنْ أَقْبِضَكَ سَاجِدًا فَفَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ بِكَ؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَقَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: فَذَلِكَ بِرَحْمَتِي وَبِرَحْمَتِي أُدْخِلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ، أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِيَ الْجَنَّةَ فَنِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ كُنْتَ يَا عَبْدِي، فَيُدْخِلُهُ اللَّهُ الْجَنَّةَ. قَالَ جِبْرِيلُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ: إِنَّمَا الْأَشْيَاءُ بِرَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى يَا محمَّد» .  رواه الحاكم.

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         Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdil-Allah -may God be pleased with them- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- came out to us and said:

‘My close companion Angel Gabriel just left me and he had said: `O Muhammad, by the One Who sent you with the true message, there is a slave of God, who worshipped the Almighty God for 500 years.  The slave was granted a shelter on top of a mountain whose length and width were thirty by thirty arm-lengths, and which was surrounded by the sea for four thousand leagues from all sides.  The Almighty God made a stream of fresh water with the width of a finger to flow through the mountain and collect at the mountain base for him.  The Almighty God also raised for him a pomegranate tree that grew one pomegranate every night from which the man would eat during the day.  Every evening, the man would go down, make ablution, and eat from that pomegranate, then stand up in prayer to his Lord.

The man supplicated his Lord -the Almighty- to take his soul while in prostration, and guard him against the earth and everything else until he would be resurrected in that state.

Angel Gabriel said: the Almighty God answered his supplication and granted his prayer.  So whenever we come down to the Earth or go up to the sky, we find this man (dead) but in a perpetual state of prostration to God.

          We find in the future knowledge that on the Day of Judgment, the Almighty God would say to the the angels: ‘Take this slave of Mine to Paradise with My Mercy.’   But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’  The Lord would say: ‘Take My Slave to Paradise with My Mercy.’  But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’  The Lord would say: ‘Take My Slave to Paradise with My Mercy.’   But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’

So the Almighty God would instruct the angels: ‘Measure his good deeds in comparison to My blessings on him.’  It would be found that 500 years of his worship would not even equal the blessings of the eyesight, and the bounty of the rest of his body would still remain in excess.

So God would say to the angels: ‘Take My slave to Hell-Fire.’  The man would be dragged toward Hell-Fire but he would plead: ‘O Lord, let me enter Paradise with Your Mercy.’   God would say: ‘Bring him back.’

The Almighty God would then say to him: ‘O My slave, Who created you from non-existence?’  The man would reply: ‘You have created me, O My Lord.’  God would say: ‘That was because of you or because of My Mercy?’  The man would reply: ‘Rather because of Your Mercy.’  God would say: ‘Who granted you the ability to worship for 500 years?’  The man would reply: ‘You, O My Lord.’  God would say: ‘Who placed you on the mountain surrounded by the ocean? Who created a stream of fresh water to flow in between the salty water? Who made a pomegranate to grow every night for you while it grows once a year?  And you supplicated Me to take your soul in a state of prostration, who did that?’  The man would reply: ‘‘You, O My Lord.’

The Almighty God would say: ‘Indeed, all of that happened with My Mercy, and with My Mercy you will enter Paradise.  Take My slave to Paradise.  Indeed, a righteous and good servant you were, O My slave.’  So God would let him enter Paradise.  Angel Gabriel -peace be upon him- said: O Muhammad, everything is by the Mercy of the Almighty God.` ’ ”  Related by Al-Haakim.

 

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Indeed, humans have been granted blessings in everything: in health, in wealth, in progeny, in food, in dwelling, and in everything.  Yet, man being ungrateful often dwells on the few problems he has and forgets the many blessings he enjoys. 

God says in Qur’an: { And God has given you of all that you asked for, and if you try to count the blessings of God, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed most unjust, ungrateful} (Surah 14, verse 34).  Man is unjust when he uses the blessings of God in a bad way or to do sins, and he is ungrateful when he does not thank God for the many blessings but only remembers the few problems he may have.

          The Muslim should thank God for every single blessing he has and should never take it for granted.  And in case a problem or a calamity strikes him, then instead of focusing on this one single problem the Muslim should think of the many other blessings that God has granted him and should thank God for them.

In another verse, God says: { And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you thank Me, I will give you more; but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe”} (Surah 14, verse 7).  Thus, God promises increase and prosperity for those who thank Him and loss and punishment for those who are ungrateful.

          The Mercy of God is limitless and has no bound, but the Muslim is asked to take some effort and try to get the most of that mercy by obeying God’s commands, avoiding sins, and showing thankfulness and gratitude to God.  Indeed, the Muslim should thank God for every single blessing he has and never take it for granted, rather should know that these blessings are only possible because of the favor of God and His Great Mercy.  And God and His Messenger know best.

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The Miraculous Rock

 

عن عبدِ الله بنِ عمرَ بن الخطابِ رضيَ اللهُ عنهما، قَالَ: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، يقول: « انطَلَقَ ثَلاثَةُ نَفَرٍ مِمَّنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ حَتَّى آوَاهُمُ المَبيتُ إِلى غَارٍ فَدَخلُوهُ، فانْحَدرَتْ صَخْرَةٌ مِنَ الجَبَلِ فَسَدَّتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الغَارَ، فَقالُوا: إِنَّهُ لا يُنْجِيكُمْ مِنْ هذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ إِلا أنْ تَدْعُوا اللهَ بصَالِحِ أعْمَالِكُمْ.
قَالَ رجلٌ مِنْهُمْ: اللَّهُمَّ كَانَ لِي أَبَوانِ شَيْخَانِ كبيرانِ، وكُنْتُ لا أغْبِقُ قَبْلَهُمَا أهْلًا ولا مالًا، فَنَأَى بِي طَلَب الشَّجَرِ يَوْمًا فلم أَرِحْ عَلَيْهمَا حَتَّى نَامَا، فَحَلَبْتُ لَهُمَا غَبُوقَهُمَا فَوَجَدْتُهُما نَائِمَينِ، فَكَرِهْتُ أنْ أُوقِظَهُمَا وَأَنْ أغْبِقَ قَبْلَهُمَا أهْلًا أو مالًا، فَلَبَثْتُ- والْقَدَحُ عَلَى يَدِي- أنتَظِرُ اسْتِيقَاظَهُما حَتَّى بَرِقَ الفَجْرُ والصِّبْيَةُ يَتَضَاغَوْنَ عِنْدَ قَدَميَّ، فاسْتَيْقَظَا فَشَرِبا غَبُوقَهُما. اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابِتِغَاء وَجْهِكَ فَفَرِّجْ عَنّا مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ مِنْ هذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ، فانْفَرَجَتْ شَيْئًا لا يَسْتَطيعُونَ الخُروجَ مِنْهُ.
قَالَ الآخر: اللَّهُمَّ إنَّهُ كانَتْ لِيَ ابْنَةُ عَمّ، كَانَتْ أَحَبَّ النّاسِ إليَّ- وفي رواية: كُنْتُ أُحِبُّها كأَشَدِّ مَا يُحِبُّ الرِّجَالُ النساءَ- فأَرَدْتُهَا عَلَى نَفْسِهَا فامْتَنَعَتْ منِّي حَتَّى أَلَمَّتْ بها سَنَةٌ مِنَ السِّنِينَ فَجَاءتْنِي فَأَعْطَيْتُهَا عِشْرِينَ وَمائةَ دينَارٍ عَلَى أنْ تُخَلِّيَ بَيْني وَبَيْنَ نَفْسِهَا فَفعَلَتْ، حَتَّى إِذَا قَدَرْتُ عَلَيْهَا- وفي رواية: فَلَمَّا قَعَدْتُ بَينَ رِجْلَيْهَا، قالتْ: اتَّقِ اللهَ وَلا تَفُضَّ الخَاتَمَ إلا بِحَقِّهِ، فَانصَرَفْتُ عَنْهَا وَهيَ أَحَبُّ النَّاسِ إليَّ وَتَرَكْتُ الذَّهَبَ الَّذِي أعْطَيتُها. اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابْتِغاءَ وَجْهِكَ فافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحْنُ فيهِ، فانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ، غَيْرَ أَنَّهُمْ لا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ الخُرُوجَ مِنْهَا.
وَقَالَ الثَّالِثُ: اللَّهُمَّ اسْتَأْجَرْتُ أُجَرَاءَ وأَعْطَيْتُهُمْ أجْرَهُمْ غيرَ رَجُل واحدٍ تَرَكَ الَّذِي لَهُ وَذَهبَ، فَثمَّرْتُ أجْرَهُ حَتَّى كَثُرَتْ مِنهُ الأمْوَالُ، فَجَاءنِي بَعدَ حِينٍ، فَقالَ: يَا عبدَ اللهِ، أَدِّ إِلَيَّ أجْرِي، فَقُلْتُ: كُلُّ مَا تَرَى مِنْ أجْرِكَ: مِنَ الإبلِ وَالبَقَرِ والْغَنَمِ والرَّقيقِ، فقالَ: يَا عبدَ اللهِ، لا تَسْتَهْزِئْ بي! فَقُلْتُ: لا أسْتَهْزِئ بِكَ، فَأَخَذَهُ كُلَّهُ فاسْتَاقَهُ فَلَمْ يتْرُكْ مِنهُ شَيئًا. الَّلهُمَّ إنْ كُنتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابِتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحنُ فِيهِ، فانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ فَخَرَجُوا يَمْشُونَ».  متفقٌ عليه.

 

 Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar Ibn Al-Khattab -may God be pleased with them- that he heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: “Three men amongst those before you set out on a journey till night came and they took shelter in a cave.  A big rock rolled down the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave. They said: ‘Nothing will save you from this rock unless you invoke God with your righteous good deeds.’

Thereupon, one of them said: ‘O God, I had parents who were old, and I never provided my family or servants with milk before them.  One day, I went far away in search of grazing and could not come back until they had slept.  When I milked as usual and brought the drink I found them both asleep.  I hated to disturb them and also disliked to give milk to my family or servants before them.  So I waited for them to wake up with the bowl of milk in my hand and the children crying at my feet.  When it was dawn, my parents awoke and drank the milk.  O God, if I did so to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress caused by the rock.’  So the rock moved slightly but they were unable to get out.

The second man said: ‘O God, I had a cousin whom I loved more than anyone else (in another version he said: as a man can love a woman). I wanted to have sexual relations with her but she refused.  Hard pressed in a year of famine, she approached me.  I gave her one hundred and twenty dinars on condition that she would yield herself to me.  She agreed and when we got together, she said: ‘Fear God and do not break the seal unlawfully.’  I moved away from her in spite of the fact that I loved her most; and I let her keep the gold I had given her. O God, if I did that to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress in which we are.’  So the rock moved aside a bit further but they were still unable to get out.

The third man said: ‘O God, I hired some laborers and paid them their wages except one of them departed without taking his due.  I invested his money and it prospered greatly.  He came back to me after some time and said: ‘O slave of God, pay me my dues.’  I said: ‘All what you see of camels, cattle, goats and slaves is yours.’  He said: ‘O slave of God, do not mock at me.’  I assured him that I was not mocking at him, so he took everything, drove the herds away, and left nothing.  O God, if I did so seeking Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress in which we are.’ So the rock rolled away completely and they got out walking freely.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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          These are true stories that happened to those before us and were related to us both in Qur’an and Hadith, as a lesson to learn and a model to follow.  God says in Qur’an: { Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for people of understanding. It (the Quran) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of God’s existing Books (the Torah, the Gospel and other Scriptures of God); and a detailed explanation of everything, a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe} (Surah 12, verse 111).

In the above true story, we see three examples of righteous deeds done sincerely for the sake of God.  We see how God accepted these good deeds and not only rewarded the performers of these good deeds with deliverance and salvation, but also set their example as a lesson and a model for later generations.

The three good deeds relate to three great morals: Dutifulness to parents, Chastity and Honesty.  All three morals are experienced by most of us in our daily lives.  Some may succumb to temptation and may give in, but others stand strong in their conviction and try to follow their conscience and adhere to morality.

Indeed, how often do some of us show impatience with our parents or do not go out of our way to serve them; how often do some of us give in to the temptation of looking at unlawful women; and how often do we ignore honesty and integrity to advance our interests and desires.

But as the story above shows, dutifulness to parents, chastity and honesty are three morals that lead to eventual salvation and success, even if some may look at them with disdain.  On the other hand, disobedience to parents, shamelessness and dishonesty ultimately lead to loss and disgrace, even though some may consider them profitable in the short term.

Thus, the people of understanding always adhere to high standards and good morals during times of ease and hardship.  Then they can invoke God to deliver them from any distress or calamity that befalls them.  And God has promised salvation and success to those who follow His commands and those who adhere to the good morals He prescribed.

 

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The Repentant Man (True Story)

 

    وعن أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدْرِيِّ رضي الله عنه أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏قَالَ: « ‏كَانَ فِيمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ رَجُلٌ قَتَلَ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ نَفْسًا فَسَأَلَ عَنْ أَعْلَمِ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ فَدُلَّ عَلَى رَاهِبٍ فَأَتَاهُ، فَقَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَتَلَ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ نَفْسًا فَهَلْ لَهُ مِنْ تَوْبَةٍ؟ فَقَالَ: لَا. فَقَتَلَهُ فَكَمَّلَ بِهِ مِائَةً، ثُمَّ سَأَلَ عَنْ أَعْلَمِ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ، فَدُلَّ عَلَى رَجُلٍ عَالِمٍ فَقَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَتَلَ مِائَةَ نَفْسٍ فَهَلْ لَهُ مِنْ تَوْبَةٍ؟ فَقَالَ: نَعَمْ، وَمَنْ يَحُولُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ التَّوْبَةِ، انْطَلِقْ إِلَى أَرْضِ كَذَا وَكَذَا فَإِنَّ بِهَا أُنَاسًا يَعْبُدُونَ اللَّهَ فَاعْبُدْ اللَّهَ مَعَهُمْ، وَلَا تَرْجِعْ إِلَى أَرْضِكَ فَإِنَّهَا أَرْضُ سَوْءٍ، فَانْطَلَقَ حَتَّى إِذَا نَصَفَ الطَّرِيقَ أَتَاهُ الْمَوْتُ ( وفي رواية أخرى:  فَأَدْرَكَهُ الْمَوْتُ فَنَاءَ بِصَدْرِهِ نَحْوَهَا)، فَاخْتَصَمَتْ فِيهِ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَمَلَائِكَةُ الْعَذَاب.ِ فَقَالَتْ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ: جَاءَ تَائِبًا مُقْبِلًا بِقَلْبِهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ، وَقَالَتْ مَلَائِكَةُ الْعَذَابِ: إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَعْمَلْ خَيْرًا قَطّ.ُ فَأَتَاهُمْ مَلَكٌ فِي صُورَةِ آدَمِيٍّ، فَجَعَلُوهُ بَيْنَهُمْ، فَقَالَ: قِيسُوا مَا بَيْنَ الْأَرْضَيْنِ، فَإِلَى أَيَّتِهِمَا كَانَ أَدْنَى فَهُوَ لَهُ. فَقَاسُوهُ فَوَجَدُوهُ أَدْنَى إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي أَرَادَ، فَقَبَضَتْهُ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ».  متفقٌ عليه.

 

Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said (English translation):

“There was among those before you a man who had killed ninety-nine souls. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a monk. He went to him and said to him that he had killed ninety-nine souls, so was there any repentance for him? The monk replied: ‘No.’ So he killed him and completed with him one hundred.

  He then asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a scholar. He asked the scholar that he had killed one hundred souls, so was there any repentance for him?

The scholar replied: ‘Yes, what stands between you and repentance. Go to so and so land, for there is a group of people who worship God there, so worship God with them. And do not return to your land, for it is an evil land.’ The man set out until he reached half of the way when death struck him.

The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment had a dispute about him. The angels of mercy said: ‘He came repentant, turning his heart to Almighty God.’ The angels of punishment said: ‘He had never done any good deed.’

An angel in the form of a human came to them and they appointed him a judge between them. He said: ‘Measure the distance between the two lands, and to whichever land he is closer, he belongs to it.’ They measured it and found him closer to the land he sought, so the angels of mercy took him.”

And In another narration: “So he was closer to the righteous village by one hand span, and so was considered from its dwellers.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

  Qatadah said: “Al-Hasan said: ‘It was mentioned to us that when the angel of death came to him, he stuck out his chest toward the righteous village.’ ”


 

The Almighty God is the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving.  However, in order to get that mercy and forgiveness, the son of Adam is instructed to turn to God in repentance and seek His Guidance.  Just like in this world things do not come to us but we have to go and get them, the same is true in good deeds.  The son of Adam is instructed to seek guidance to find it.  The Muslim is instructed to do good deeds and avoid sins to obtain God’s pleasure and win His Paradise.

The Companion of the Prophet, Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The Almighty God said: ‘When a slave of Mine draws near to Me a span, I draw near to him a cubit; and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

          Thus, we see the great mercy of God and His bounty, but the Muslim must do his part and turn back to God.  In the above true story, the sinful man killed 99 souls, but he felt remorse and regret for disobeying God.  He then embarked on his path back to God.  The man was instructed to leave his evil place and move to another town and worship God with its pious people.  When the man couldn’t reach his desired destination and was overtaken by death, he indicated his sincere repentance and showed his effort by sticking out his chest toward the other righteous town.  And that half span distance of sincerity and righteousness was the final judge between Doom-perdition and Salvation, and between Hell and Paradise.

Indeed, a small good gesture, a little good deed, a sincere righteous deed could be worth a great reward with God, but we should take the time and effort to do it.  Likewise, sometimes abstaining from a sin or resisting a temptation could lead to higher levels in Paradise, but we have to strengthen our resolve and overcome our weakness to succumb to it to gain the reward.  Indeed, the path of Guidance and virtue is clear and the path of evil and vice is clear.  And we have to be prudent which path to take and sensible of the consequences we may face.  We ask God to guide us and show us the Right Path.

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