Ramadan and Qur’an

(Keywords: Ramadan, the Month of fasting, the Blessings of Ramadan, Wisdom behind fasting, Benefits of fasting, Benefits of Ramadan, Patience and Endurance, Close relationship between Ramadan and Qur’an,  Qur’an during Ramadan)  

     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 patience and endurance 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, each day from dawn to sunset, 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. ـ

        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. ـ

     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 mortal 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 during the day, 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. ـ

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 Du’a 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. ـ

     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 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. ـ

          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 of accounting for deeds (hisab) when the slave would be in distress and 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. ـ

      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 Dutiful and Devoted Wife

(Keywords: Success in Marriage, Happy marriage, contentment and satisfaction, faithful wife, devoted wife, wife’s duties, wife’s role, pious women, righteous women, Paradise, Obedience to God)

 

        عن عبد الرحمن بن عوف رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « إِذا صَلَّتِ المَرْأَةُ خَمْسَهَا، وصَامَتْ شَهْرَها، وحَفِظَتْ فَرْجَهَا، وأَطَاعَتْ زَوْجَها، قِيلَ لَها: ادْخُلِي الجَنَّةَ مِنْ أَيَّ أَبْوَابِ الجَنَّةِ شِئْتِ» .  رواه أحمد والطبراني. ـ

   Narrated Abdul-Rahman Ibn ‘Awf -may God be pleased with him- that that God’s Messenger -prayer and peace be upon him- said:  

If the woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted her month (of Ramadan), guarded her private parts, and obeyed her husband, it would be said to her: Enter Paradise from whichever door of Paradise you wish.”  Related by Ahmad and Al-Teberani.

 


  

    وعن أسماءَ بنتِ يزيدَ الأنصاريةِ: ( أنها أتَتِ النبيَّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وهو بينَ أصحابِهِ فقالت: بأبي أنت وأمي، إنِّي وَافِدَةُ النساء إليك، واعلم – نفسي لك الفداء- أنه ما من امرأةٍ كائنةٍ في شرقٍ ولا غربٍ سمِعَتْ بمَخْرَجي هذا إلا وهي على مثلِ رأيي: إن الله بعثكَ بالحقِّ إلى الرجالِ والنساءِ، فآمنَّا بِكَ وبإلهك الذي أرسَلك، وإنا معشرَ النساءِ محصوراتٌ مقصوراتٌ، قواعدُ بُيُوتِكم، ومَقْضَى شَهَوَاتِكًم، وحاملاتُ أولادِكم، وإنَّكم معاشرَ الرجالِ فُضِّلْتُمْ علينا بالجمعةِ والجماعاتِ، وعيادةِ المرضى، وشهودِ الجنائزِ، والحجَّ بعدَ الحجِّ، وأفضلَ من ذلك الجهادِ في سبيل الله، وإنِّ الرجلَ منكم إذا خَرَجَ حاجّاً أو معتمَراً أو مرابطاً، حَفِظْنا لكم أموالَكُم، وغَزَلْنا لكم أثوابَكُم، وربَّيْنا لكم أولادَكم، فما نشارِكُكم في الأجْرِ يا رسولَ الله؟  فالتفتَ النبيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إلى أصحابِهِ بوَجْهِهِ كله ثم قال: « هل سَمِعْتُم مقالَةَ امرأةٍ قَطُّ أحسنَ من مُساءلتِها في أمرِ دينِها من هذه؟» فقالوا: يا رسولَ الله، ما ظَنَنَّا أن امرأةً تَهْتَدِي إلى مثلِ هذا. فالتفتَ النبيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إليها ثم قال لها: « انْصَرِفِي أيتُها المرأةُ وأعْلِمي من خلفَكِ من النساء أن حُسْنَ تَبَعُّلِ إحداكُنَّ لزوجِها، وطلبَها مَرْضَاتَهُ، واتِّباعَها موافقتَهُ، يَعْدِلُ ذلكَ كلَّهُ». فأدبرت المرأةُ وهي تُهَلِّلُ وتُكَبِّرُ استبشاراً) . رواه البزار والطبراني والبيهقي في شعب الإيمان واللفظ له. ـ

 

Narrated Asma’ Bint Yezeed Al-Ansariyyeh that she went to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- while he was among his companions and said:

O Messenger of God, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you.  I have come to you, may I be sacrificed for you, on behalf of all Muslim women, whether in the east or west.  Verily, God has sent you as a messenger with the truth to both men and women.  So we have believed in you (as a true messenger) and in God Who has sent you.  And we, the womenfolk, are confined, restricted, and keep in your homes. We are your source of physical pleasure, and bear your children.  While you, the group of men, have been favored over us with attending the Friday prayer and the congregational prayer (in the mosques), visiting the sick, attending funerals, performing Hajj (pilgrimage) repeatedly, and with what is better than that: fighting in the path of God.  And when a man among you goes out for Hajj, or Umrah, or fighting, we, the womenfolk, look after your property, weave your clothing, and raise your children.  Shall we not share in your reward, O Messenger of God?

The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- turned to his Companions fully and said: “Have you ever heard a better statement by a woman asking about the matters of her faith than this one?”  The companions replied: “O Messenger of God, we would not have thought that a woman would be guided to such as this.”

Then the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- turned to her and said:

Go back O lady, and inform the other women, that indeed a woman’s perfect treatment and obedience of her husband, her seeking his pleasure, and her doing what he likes is the equivalent (in reward) to all of that.”

Asma’ left exclaiming La ilaha illa Allah and glorifying God, hoping and rejoicing in the reward.  Related by Al-Bazzar, Al-Tabarani, and Al-Beihaqi in his book “Shu’ab Al-Iman”.

 

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Most Honorable Names of God (Al-Asma’ Al-Husna)

(Keywords: Perfection of God, Oneness of God, Monotheism, Names of God, Obedience to God)

      عن أبي هريرة رضي اللَّه عنه قال: قال رسولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَّم: « إِنَّ لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً غَيْرَ وَاحِدٍ، مَنْ ‏أَحْصَاهَا ‏دَخَلَ الْجَنَّة؛َ هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ، الرَّحِيمُ، الْمَلِكُ، الْقُدُّوسُ، السَّلَامُ، الْمُؤْمِنُ، الْمُهَيْمِنُ، الْعَزِيزُ، الْجَبَّارُ، الْمُتَكَبِّرُ، الْخَالِقُ، الْبَارِئُ، الْمُصَوِّرُ، الْغَفَّارُ، الْقَهَّارُ، الْوَهَّابُ، الرَّزَّاقُ، الْفَتَّاحُ، الْعَلِيمُ، الْقَابِضُ، الْبَاسِطُ، الْخَافِضُ، الرَّافِعُ، الْمُعِزُّ، الْمُذِلُّ، السَّمِيعُ، الْبَصِيرُ، الْحَكَمُ، الْعَدْلُ، اللَّطِيفُ، الْخَبِيرُ، الْحَلِيمُ، الْعَظِيمُ، الْغَفُورُ، الشَّكُورُ، الْعَلِيُّ، الْكَبِيرُ، الْحَفِيظُ، الْمُقِيتُ، الْحَسِيبُ، الْجَلِيلُ، الْكَرِيمُ ،الرَّقِيبُ، الْمُجِيبُ، الْوَاسِعُ، الْحَكِيمُ، الْوَدُودُ، الْمَجِيدُ، الْبَاعِثُ، الشَّهِيدُ، الْحَقُّ، الْوَكِيلُ، الْقَوِيُّ، الْمَتِينُ، الْوَلِيُّ، الْحَمِيدُ، الْمُحْصِي، الْمُبْدِئُ، الْمُعِيدُ، الْمُحْيِي، الْمُمِيتُ، الْحَيُّ، الْقَيُّومُ، الْوَاجِدُ، الْمَاجِدُ، الْوَاحِدُ، الصَّمَدُ، الْقَادِرُ، الْمُقْتَدِرُ، الْمُقَدِّمُ، الْمُؤَخِّرُ، الْأَوَّلُ، الْآخِرُ، الظَّاهِرُ، الْبَاطِنُ، الْوَالِيَ،‏ ‏الْمُتَعَالِي، ‏الْبَرُّ، التَّوَّابُ، الْمُنْتَقِمُ ،الْعَفُوُّ، الرَّءُوفُ، مَالِكُ الْمُلْكِ، ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ، الْمُقْسِطُ، الْجَامِعُ، الْغَنِيُّ، الْمُغْنِي، الْمَانِعُ، الضَّارُّ، النَّافِعُ، النُّورُ، الْهَادِي، الْبَدِيعُ، الْبَاقِي، الْوَارِثُ، الرَّشِيدُ، الصَّبُورُ» .  رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه وابن حبان والحاكم والبيهقي. ـ

 

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

God has ninety-nine Names, one-hundred less one; whoever memorized them (and learned them) by heart will enter Paradise.

He is Allah, beside Whom none has the right to be worshiped but He,

the Entirely Merciful (Al-Rahman), the Especially Merciful (Al-Raheem),

the King (Al-Melik), the Holy and Pure (Al-Quddos),

the Peace and Perfection (As-Salaam),

the Bestower of faith and security (Al-Mu’min),

the Watcher and Guardian (Al-Muheimin),

the Exalted in Might (Al-Aziz),

the Compeller and Irresistible (Al-Jabbar),

the Superior and Supreme (Al-Mutakabbir),

the Creator (Al-Khaliq), the Inventor (Al-Bari’), the Bestower of Forms (Al-Musawwir).

The Oft-Forgiving (Al-Ghaffar),

the Prevailing (Al-Qahaar),

the Bestower (Al-Wahhab), the Provider (Al-Razzaq),

the Opener or the Judge (Al-Fattah),

the All Knower (Al-‘Aleem),

the Withholder (Al-Qabid), the Expander (Al-Basit),

the Abaser (Al-Khafid), the Exalter (Al-Rafi’),

the Bestower of Honor (Al-Mu’iz), the Humiliator (Al-Muthil),

the Hearer of All (Al-Samee’), the Seer of All (Al-Baseer).

The Judge (Al-Hakam), the Just (Al-‘Adl),

the Most Kind and Gentle (Al-Lateef),

the All-Aware (Al-Khabeer),

the Forbearing (Al-Haleem),

the Magnificent (Al-Azeem),

the Forgiving (Al-Ghafoor),

the Appreciative (Ash-Shakoor),

the Most High (Al-‘lee), the Most Grand (Al-Kabeer),

the Preserver (Al-Hafeeth), the Nourisher (Al-Muqeet),

the Reckoner (Al-Haseeb).

The Majestc (Al-Jaleel),

the Generous (Al-Kareem),

the Watchful (Al-Raqeeb),

the Responder (Al-Mujeeb),

the All-Encompassing (Al-Wasi’),

the All-Wise (Al-Hakeem),

the Loving One (Al-Wadood),

the All-Glorious (Al-Majeed),

the Resurrector (Al-Ba’ith),

the Witness (Ash-Shaheed).

The Truth (Al-Haqq),

the Trustee (Al-Wakeel),

the Possessor of Strength (Al-Qawee), the Owner of Power (Al-Mateen),

the Protector (Al-Walee),

the Praiseworthy (Al-Hameed),

the Accounter (Al-Muhsee),

the Initiator (Al-Mubdi’), the Restorer (Al-Mu’eed),

the Giver of Life (Al-Muhyee), the Bringer of Death (Al-Mumeet).

The Ever-Living (Al-Heyy),

the Sustainer of All (Al-Qayyom),

the Self-Sufficient and Finder (Al-Wajid),

the Glorious (Al-Majid),

the One and Only (Al-Wahid),

the Eternal Refuge (As-Samed),

the All Able (Al-Qadir), the All Powerful (Al-Muqtadir),

the Expeditor (Al-Muqaddim), the Delayer (Al-Mu’akhir).

The First (Al-Awwal), the Last (Al-‘Akhir),

the Manifest (Al-Dhahir), the Hidden (Al-Batin),

the Governor (Al-Waali),

the Most Exalted (Al-Muta’ali),

the Most Kind (Al-Barr),

the Granter and Accepter of Repentance (Al-Tawwab),

the Avenger (Al-Muntaqim).

The Pardoner (Al-‘Afaww),

the Compassionate (Al-Ra’oof),

the Owner of Kingdom (Malikul-Mulk),

the Possessor of Majesty and Honor (Thul-Jalali Wel Ikram),

the All Just (Al-Muqsit),

the Gatherer (Al-Jami’),

the All Rich (Al-Ghanee), the Enricher (Al-Mughnee),

the Preventer of Harm (Al-Mani’), the Afflicter (Al-Darr).

The Benefactor (Al-Nafi’),

the Light (Al-Noor), the Guide (Al-Hadi),

the Originator (Al-Badee’), the Everlasting (Al-Baqi),

the Ultimate Inheritor (Al-Warith), 

the Teacher and Guide (Al-Rasheed), and the Patient (As-Saboor).

Related by At-Tirmithi (his narration), Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Al-Haakim, and Al-Beihaqi.

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God, the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving

(Keywords: Mercy of God, Perfection of God, Repentance, Asking God for forgiveness, benefits of repentance, human’s weakness, regret and remorse, redemption, salvation, Paradise, Obedience to God)

 

قال الله عز وجل: { فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا * يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَارًا * وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ أَنْهَارًا } سورة نوح 10-12. ـ

قال الشعبي: خرج عمر يستسقي فلم يزد على الاستغفار حتى رجع، فأمطروا فقالوا: ما رأيناك استسقيت؟ فقال: لقد طلبت المطر بمجاديح السماء التي يستنزل بها المطر؛ ثم قرأ: {اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً. يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَاراً}.
وقال ابن صبيح: ( شكا رجل إلى الحسن الجدوبة فقال له: استغفر الله. وشكا آخر إليه الفقر فقال له: استغفر الله. وقال له آخر. ادع الله أن يرزقني ولدا؛ فقال له: استغفر الله. وشكا إليه آخر جفاف بستانه؛ فقال له: استغفر الله. فقلنا له في ذلك؟ فقال: ما قلت من عندي شيئا؛ إن الله تعالى يقول في سورة “نوح”: {اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً. يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَاراً}). ـ

Allah -the Exalted- says: { “I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord (make istighfar). Verily, He is Oft Forgiving.
11. He will send rain to you in abundance. 12. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’ ”} (Surah 71, verses 10-12).

Al-Sha’bi said: “Omar went out to pray for rain, and he did no more than make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness) before returning. Then it rained.
The companions asked him: ‘We did not see you asking for rain.’  He replied: ‘I sought rain with the real key by means of which rain is sought (Majadeeb Al-sama’; i.e., istighfar ).’ Then he recited the verse: {“Ask forgiveness of your Lord (make istighfar), verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance.”}.”


Ibn Sabeeh said: “A man complained to al-Hasan about drought, and he said to him: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
Another man complained to him about poverty and he said to him: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
Another man said to him: ‘Pray Allah to grant me a child.’ Al-Hasan said: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
And a third man complained to him about his dry farm. Al-Hasan said to him: ‘Make istighfar (ask Allah for forgiveness).’
So we asked Al-Hasan about that, and he said: ‘This is not my personal opinion; God -the Exalted- says in Surah Nooh: {‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord (make istighfar), verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’}’ ”.


 

وعن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « يقول الله تعالى: يا ابن آدم، إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني فإني أغفر لك على ما كان منك ولا أبالي، ولو أتيتني بقراب الأرض خطيئة أتيتك بقرابها مغفرة ما لم تشرك بي شيئا، وإن أخطأت حتى تبلغ خطاياك عَنَان السماء ثم استغفرتني، غفرت لك» . رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه وأحمد.  ـ

It is also related that Abu Dhurr narrated that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

“God -the Exalted- has said: ‘O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done and I shall not mind.

O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon if you have not associated anything as partners with Me.

O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask My forgiveness, I shall forgive you.‘ ” Related by Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad.


 

عن أنس رضي الله عنه أن النبيَّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « كُلُّ ابْنِ آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ، وخَيْرُ الخَطَّائِينَ التَّوَابُونَ» . رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه والحاكم. ـ

Narrated Anas -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of sinners are those who repent.” Related by Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim.


 

وعن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « التَّائِبُ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ كَمَنْ لا ذَنْبَ لَهُ» . رواه ابن ماجه والطبراني. ـ

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Mas’ood -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The one who repents of his sin is like the one with no sin.” Related by Ibn Majah and Al-Tabarani.


وعن عبد الله بن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « مَنْ لَزِمَ الاسْتِغْفَارَ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ مِنْ كُلِّ ضِيقٍ مَخْرَجاً، ومِنْ كُلِّ هَمٍّ فَرَجاً، وَرَزَقَهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لا يَحْتَسِبُ» . رواه أبو داود والنسائي وابن ماجه والحاكم والبيهقي. ـ

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them- that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

Whoever maintains istighfar (asking Allah’s forgiveness) always, God will find for him a way out of every trouble, and relief out of every anxiety, and will provide for him from whence he does not expect.”

Related by Abu-dawood, Al-Nasa’ee, Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, and Al-Beihaqi.

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Mother of All Evils (True Story)

 (Keywords: Harmful Effects of alcohol, harmful effects of wine, alcohol addiction, consequences of alcoholism, misguidance, major sins, mortal sins, alcohol in Islam, wine in Islam, Obedience to God)

 

     عن ابْنَ عُمَرَ قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: « لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الْخَمْرَ وَشَارِبَهَا وَسَاقِيَهَا وَبَائِعَهَا وَمُبْتَاعَهَا وَعَاصِرَهَا وَمُعْتَصِرَهَا وَحَامِلَهَا وَالْمَحْمُولَةَ إِلَيْهِ».  رواه أبو داود بإسناد صحيح.‏

Narrated Ibn Omar that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

God has cursed wine, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who conveys it, and the one to whom it is conveyed.”  Related by Abu Dawood with an authentic narration.

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            عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، عنْ أَبِيهِ، قالَ: سَمِعْتُ عُثْمَانَ [بن عفان] رضى الله عنه يَقُولُ: ( اجْتَنِبُوا الْخَمْرَ فَإِنَّهَا أُمُّ الْخَبَائِثِ، إِنَّهُ كَانَ رَجُلٌ مِمَّنْ خَلاَ قَبْلَكُمْ تَعَبَّدَ، فَعَلِقَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ غَوِيَّةٌ فَأَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِ جَارِيَتَهَا فَقَالَتْ لَهُ: إِنَّا نَدْعُوكَ لِلشَّهَادَةِ، فَانْطَلَقَ مَعَ جَارِيَتِهَا فَطَفِقَتْ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ بَابًا أَغْلَقَتْهُ دُونَهُ، حَتَّى أَفْضَى إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ وَضِيئَةٍ عِنْدَهَا غُلاَمٌ وَبَاطِيَةُ خَمْرٍ، فَقَالَتْ: إِنِّي وَاللَّهِ مَا دَعَوْتُكَ لِلشَّهَادَةِ، وَلَكِنْ دَعَوْتُكَ لِتَقَعَ عَلَىَّ، أَوْ تَشْرَبَ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْخَمْرَةِ كَأْسًا، أَوْ تَقْتُلَ هَذَا الْغُلاَمَ ‏.‏ قَالَ: فَاسْقِينِي مِنْ هَذَا الْخَمْرِ كَأْسًا فَسَقَتْهُ كَأْسًا.‏ قَالَ: زِيدُونِي، فَلَمْ يَرِمْ حَتَّى وَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا وَقَتَلَ النَّفْسَ، فَاجْتَنِبُوا الْخَمْرَ فَإِنَّهَا وَاللَّهِ لاَ يَجْتَمِعُ الإِيمَانُ وَإِدْمَانُ الْخَمْرِ إِلاَّ لَيُوشِكُ أَنْ يُخْرِجَ أَحَدُهُمَا صَاحِبَهُ). رواه النسائي بإسناد صحيح.‏

 

          Narrated Abu Bakr Ibn Abdil-Rahman Ibn Al-Harith that his father that he heard Othman Ibn Affan, may God be pleased with him, say:

Avoid wine (alcohol) for it is the Mother of All Evils. There was a man among those who came before you who devoted himself to worshiping God.

  An immoral woman fell in love with him, so she sent her female servant to him, and said: ‘We are calling you to bear witness.’  He answered the call and set out with the female servant (until they reached her home).  Every time he entered a door, she would lock it behind him until he reached a beautiful woman who had with her a boy and a vessel of wine.

  The woman said to him: ‘By God I did not call you to bear witness, but called you to have intercourse with me, or to drink a glass of this wine, or to kill this boy.’  He said: ‘Pour me a glass of this wine.’  So she poured him a glass of the wine. He drank it and then said: ‘Give me more.’  And soon he had intercourse with her and killed the boy.  

So avoid wine (alcohol), for by God faith and addiction to alcohol cannot coexist but, one of them will soon expel the other.”  Related by Al-Nasa’i with an authentic narration.

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A Man from Paradise

(Keywords: Purifying Inner Self, Getting rid of Vices, Mending the Self, Islah Al-Batin)

    عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: ( كنا جلوسا مع رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم فقال: « يَطلُعُ الآن عليكم رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلع رجل من الأنصار تنظُفُ لحيتُه من وضوئه، قد علق نعليه بيده الشمال،  فلما كان الغد قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل ذلك، فطلع ذلك الرجل مثل المرة الأولى، فلما كان اليوم الثالث قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل مقالته أيضا، فطلع ذلك الرجل على مثل حاله الأول،  فلما قام النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم تبعه عبد الله بن عمرو فقال: إني لاحيتُ (أي خاصمت) أبي، فأقسمت أني لا أدخل عليه ثلاثا، فإن رأيت أن تؤويني إليك حتى تمضي فعلت، قال: نعم، قال أنس: فكان عبد الله يحدث أنه بات معه تلك الثلاث الليالي فلم يره يقوم من الليل شيئا، غير أنه إذا تعارَّ (أي استيقظ) تقلَّب على فراشه ذكر الله عز وجل، وكبر حتى صلاة الفجر. ـ

قال عبد الله : غير أني لم أسمعه يقول إلا خيرا، فلما مضت الثلاث الليالي وكدت أن أحتقر عمله، قلت: يا عبد الله لم يكن بيني وبين أبي غضب ولا هجرة، ولكن سمعت رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول لك ثلاث مرات: « يَطلُعُ عليكم الآن رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلعت أنت الثلاث المرات فأردت أن آوي إليك فأنظر ما عملك فأقتدي بك، فلم أرك عملتَ كبيرَ عملٍ، فما الذي بلغ بك ما قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم؟  قال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت. فلما وليت دعاني، فقال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت غير أني لا أجد في نفسي لأحد من المسلمين غِشا، ولا أحسُد أحدا على خير أعطاه الله إياه، فقال عبد الله : هذه التي بلغت بك) .  رواه أحمد بإسناد على شرط البخاري ومسلم والنسائي وأبو يعلى والبزار وسمى الرجل المبهم سعدا. ـ

زاد النسائي في رواية له والبيهقي والأصبهاني فقال عبد الله : (هذه التي بلغت بك، وهي التي لا نُطِيق ) . ـ

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Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may God be pleased with him- said: “While we were sitting with the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him, he said: ‘A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now.’  So a man from the tribe of Al-Ansaar came out, whose beard was dripping from his ablution, and he had hung his shoes in his left hand.

When the following morning came, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing, so the same man came out like the first time.

On the third day, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing again, and the same man came out in the same condition.

When the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- left, Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr followed the Ansaari man and said to him: ‘I have quarreled with my father and I have sworn to avoid him for three days, so if you could let me stay with you until they pass.’  He replied: ‘Yes.’

Anas said: Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr related that he slept those three nights in the Ansaari man’s house, and he did not see him praying any voluntary prayers at night.  However, whenever he woke up, he would roll over on his bed and mention God -the Almighty- and say Allahu akbar (God is the Greatest) until the dawn prayer.

Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘But I only heard him speaking good.  And when the three nights had passed and I almost scorned his deed, I said to him: O Abdul-Allah, there was not any quarrel or abandonment between my father and me, but I heard the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- saying three times about you: `A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now,`  and you came out on the three times.  So I wanted to stay with you to find about your deed, and do likewise.  But I haven’t seen you doing any great deed, so what made you reach what the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- had mentioned.’  He replied: ‘I have nothing except what you saw.’  As I was leaving, he called me back and said: ‘I have nothing except what you saw, but I do not find within myself any deceitfulness for any of the Muslims, and I do not feel jealous toward anyone for any good that God has granted him.’

So Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree.’ ”  And in another narration: “Abdul-Allah said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree, and it is what we cannot bear doing.’ ”   Related by Imam Ahmad with a narration based on Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim, and Al-Nasa’ee, Al-Beihaqi, Abu Ya’la, Al-Asbahani, and Al-Bazzar (Who named the obscure man: Sa’ad).

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          Islam places great emphasis on righteousness and piety.  The Muslim is commanded to obey God, by doing what God has obligated and staying away from what God has forbidden.  Thus, the Muslim is instructed to do all obligatory deeds (wajibat) and refrain from sins and misdeeds.

But beside paying attention to outer deeds and action, Islam has placed great emphasis on purifying the inner self as well.  So while it is important to engage in worship and avoid all sins with the limbs, it is equally important to work on the inner heart and try to adorn the self with good traits like modesty, generosity, forgiveness and the like, and to rid the inner self of vices like pride, jealousy, cheating, etc.

The Muslim does not attain full Faith (Iman) until he mends both his outer and inner self.  The Muslim should be concerned with his outer action by trying to obey God in all of his action, but the Muslim should also be concerned with his inner self and try to adorn it with good traits and try to rid the inner self of vices.

Once the Muslim mends his inner and outer self, then he would attain full Faith (Iman) and will get higher grades in Paradise.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- pointed to the same man as being ‘a man from Paradise’ for three consecutive days. 

And when Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr stayed with the same man for three days, he couldn’t detect any extra worship or many good voluntary deeds.  But when Abdul-Allah asked him directly, the man denied anything at first, but as Abdul-Allah was leaving, he casually enlightened about the real reason. 

The man said that he doesn’t find in himself any ill-feelings for others.  In other words, he had purified his inner self.  So not only did he obey God outwardly, but he also mended his inner self, so it was adorned with modesty (as seen from his denial of being good), generosity (as seen from his welcoming Abdul-Allah as a guest for three days), and piety (as seen from his avoidance of sins). 

Furthermore, the man had purified his inner self of vices so he stated that he didn’t have any ill-feelings for others.  Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr got the message and exclaimed: Then that was why the Messenger of Allah declared you to be a man from Paradise for three consecutive days.

Then, the Muslim is advised to try to obey God by doing good deeds and avoid sins, but also by trying to mend his inner self by adorning it with good traits and ridding it of vices.  And God and His Messenger know best.

 

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The Best Nation

 (Keywords: Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil, Approving and Supporting Public Good, Disapproving and Discouraging Public Evil, Spread of Evil, Widespread Sins)

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: {كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ} سورة آل عمران 110. ـ

  قال ابن كثير في تفسيره: ( {كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس تأمرون بالمعروف وتنهون عن المنكر وتؤمنون بالله} فمن اتصف من هذه الأمة بهذه الصفات دخل معهم في هذا الثناء عليهم والمدح لهم ، كما قال قتادة: بلغنا أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه في حجَّة حجَّها رأى من الناس سرعة، فقرأ هذه الآية: {كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس} ثم قال: من سره أن يكون من تلك الأمة فليؤد شرط الله فيها. رواه ابن جرير . ـ
ومن لم يتصف بذلك أشبه أهل الكتاب الذين ذمهم الله بقوله: {كانوا لا يتناهون عن منكر فعلوه لبئس ما كانوا يفعلون} [المائدة، 79]). انتهى. ـ

English Translation:

God the Almighty says in Qur’an: {You are the best nation ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Good and forbid Evil, and you believe in God} (Surah 3, verse 110).

Ibn Katheer said in his Exegesis: “{You are the best nation ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Good and forbid Evil, and you believe in God}. Therefore, whoever among this nation acquires these qualities, will be included in this praise.

The scholar Qatadah said: ‘We were told that Omar Ibn Al-Khattab while performing Hajj once, saw some people rushing, so he recited this verse and then said: `Whoever likes to be among the mentioned nation, then let him fulfill the condition that God has set in it.`’  Related by Ibn Jarir.

But those from this nation who do not acquire these qualities will be just like the People of the Scriptures whom God criticized in His verse: {They used not to forbid one another from the evil which they committed} (Surah 5, verse 79).”

 

The Almighty God has described this nation as the best nation among all nations, and then stated three reasons for that favor.  The nation of Prophet Muhammad is the last nation, but most favored one.  The three reasons for that favor mentioned in the verse are: First, they are firm believers in God as One and the Only God worthy of worship alone with no partners or equal, and they are firm believers in His Divine Message which He sent to His messengers and Prophets, including the last Prophet, Muhammad.  Second, they do righteous and enjoin good.  And third, they refrain from evil and sins and prohibit them.

It was God’s great mercy upon this nation that He made it the last but the greatest in reward.  Not only that, but this nation has been favored with many attributes that previous nations haven’t been favored with.  The message of Prophet Muhammad is general to all mankind, while other prophets were sent to specific people; the reward of a good deed is multiplied ten times while the sin is considered one misdeed for this nation; the knowledge granted to this nation encompasses all previous Scriptures, such that Islam explains everything so clearly and logically that no confusion or doubt remain; the gate of Repentance has been left open for this nation till the soul reaches the throat; this nation constitutes two thirds of the people of Paradise; and last but not least Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- would intercede for this great nation on the Day of Judgment.  Prophet Muhammad alluded to this favor in the following hadith:

 

       عن ‏حَكِيمِ بْنِ مُعَاوِيَةَ عن ‏أَبِيهِ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَالَ: « أَنْتُمْ تُوَفُّون سَبْعِينَ أُمَّةً، أَنْتُمْ خَيْرُهَا، وَأَنْتُمْ أَكْرَمُ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل».  رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه والحاكم وأحمد وإسناده حسن. ـ

Narrated Hakeem Ibn Mu’awiyah, narrated his father that the Messenger of God (Muhammad) -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “You are the final of seventy nations, you are the best and most honored among them to God.”  Related by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim, and Ahmad.  (Hasan).

           However, the distinction of being the best nation comes with certain conditions and terms, chief among them are the three conditions mentioned in the verse.  Muslims would be favored if: 1) they truly believe in God and His Messengers, and act righteous by 2) enjoining good and doing it and 3) forbidding evil and sins and staying away from them.  Only if they fulfill these conditions, would they be considered the best nation.  But if they do not, then they are just like other creatures of God.  God -the Exalted- said in another verse:

قال الله عز وجل: وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم بَلْ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ} سورة المائدة، 18. ـ

   God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { The Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the children of God and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins then! Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created; He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the final return (of all)} (Surah 5, verse 18).

   Ibn Katheer said: “Meaning, if you were truly God’s children and loved ones as you claim, then why did He prepare the Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims.

{Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created}, God states: You are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and God is the Lord of all His creation.

{He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills}:  God does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgment, and He is swift in reckoning.

{And to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them}: Therefore, everything is God’s property and under His power and control.

{And to Him is the return}: In the end, the return will be to God and He will judge between His servants as He will, and He is the Most Just Who is never wrong in His judgment). End Quote.

The same rule applies to this nation, if they believe in God and act righteous then they are favored and would be considered the best nation; but if they stray away from religion, stop acting righteous by accepting public sins then that favor is no longer in place, and they may be punished.

          Islam emphasizes enjoining good and forbidding evil as an important check and curb for the practice of sins individually and the spread of evil and sins in society.  The concept of Public Shame is an important concept that helps keep society in check and saves it from straying from morality.  Furthermore, the concept of Public Shame saves society from accepting degradation and loss of principles and ideals that continually erode with time.  As every generation passes on, some of its principles and ideals are lost as the new generation adopts new and oftentimes more bold and immoral practices and traditions.

          Therefore, Islam has prescribed the concept of enjoining good and forbidding evil in order to develop a sense of self-righteousness in the individual himself, and develop abhorrence and intolerance of public evil.  This in turn would create a society of moral and righteous people who not only care about their own family’s well-being, but also about the well-being of their neighbors and the whole society.  The end result is a peaceful and loving society that adheres to religious values and is characterized by morality and a high code of ethics.

           On the other hand, when people see evil and think nothing of it; when evil spreads among a community and people say nothing about it; and when most people get engaged in that evil with no objection or censure, then that community is at risk of some of punishment in one form or another.

Indeed, God the Almighty gives us many examples of some past communities that engaged in public sins and were therefore destroyed.  God the Almighty says in Qur’an:

  قال الله عز وجل: { الْحَاقَّةُ (1) مَا الْحَاقَّةُ (2) وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحَاقَّةُ (3) كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ وَعَادٌ بِالْقَارِعَةِ (4) فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِالطَّاغِيَةِ (5) وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ (6) سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ (7) فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُمْ مِنْ بَاقِيَةٍ (8) وَجَاءَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَنْ قَبْلَهُ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَاتُ بِالْخَاطِئَةِ (9) فَعَصَوْا رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةً رَابِيَةً (10) إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَى الْمَاءُ حَمَلْنَاكُمْ فِي الْجَارِيَةِ (11) لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَا أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ } سورة الحاقة 1-12. ـ

 God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { 1. The Inevitable Reality (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)!  2. What is the Inevitable Reality? 3. And what will make you know what the Inevitable Reality is?

  1. The People of Thamood and Aad denied the striking Hour (i.e., Resurrection).
  2. As for Thamood, they were destroyed by the awful blast!
  3. And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind;
  4. Which God imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms.
  5. Do you see any remnants of them?
  6. And there came Pharaoh, those before him, and the overturned Cities (i.e., the towns of the people of Lout (Lot), all committed sin.
  1. They disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He punished them with a strong punishment.
  2. Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits (Noah Flood), We carried you (mankind) in the floating (ship that was constructed by Noah).
  3. That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a heedful ear would take heed} (Surah 69, verses 1-12).

    Then, Muslims are commanded to enjoin good and act upon it; and forbid evil and sins and refrain from it to avoid a similar fate like of those before us.  Not only that, but we have been warned time and again that when sins become widespread and Public Shame is lost, then punishment descends in one form or another.  Prophet Muhammad warned us of the consequences of five sins if they become widespread:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ: «‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ خَمْسٌ إِذَا ابْتُلِيتُمْ بِهِنَّ وَأَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ تُدْرِكُوهُنَّ: لَمْ تَظْهَرِ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي قَوْمٍ قَطُّ حَتَّى يُعْلِنُوا بِهَا إِلاَّ فَشَا فِيهِمُ الطَّاعُونُ وَالأَوْجَاعُ الَّتِي لَمْ تَكُنْ مَضَتْ فِي أَسْلاَفِهِمُ الَّذِينَ مَضَوْا،‏ وَلَمْ يَنْقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ إِلاَّ أُخِذُوا بِالسِّنِينَ وَشِدَّةِ الْمَؤُنَةِ وَجَوْرِ السُّلْطَانِ عَلَيْهِمْ،‏ وَلَمْ يَمْنَعُوا زَكَاةَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ إِلاَّ مُنِعُوا الْقَطْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَلَوْلاَ الْبَهَائِمُ لَمْ يُمْطَرُوا، وَلَمْ يَنْقُضُوا عَهْدَ اللَّهِ وَعَهْدَ رَسُولِهِ إِلاَّ سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ عَدُوًّا مِنْ غَيْرِهِمْ فَأَخَذُوا بَعْضَ مَا فِي أَيْدِيهِمْ،‏ وَمَا لَمْ تَحْكُمْ أَئِمَّتُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَيَتَخَيَّرُوا مِمَّا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ بَأْسَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ».  رواه ابن ماجه. ـ

     Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- once turned to us and said: ‘O Group of the Migrants (Muhajireen), there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with God lest you live to see them:

Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among their predecessors will spread among them.

They do not cheat in weights and measures but they will be stricken with famine, severe calamity and the oppression of their rulers.

They do not withhold the obligatory charity (Zakah) of their wealth, but rain will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them.

They do not break their covenant with God and His Messenger, but God will enable their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands. 

And unless their leaders rule according to the Book of God and seek all good from that which God has revealed, God will cause them to fight one another.’ ”  Related by Ibn Majah.

Finally, Prophet Muhammad taught us to enjoin good and forbid evil, he taught us to encourage good and support it, and he taught us to abhor evil and try to prevent it.  He described enjoining good and liking it in public, and forbidding evil and disliking it in public as a sign of inner faith:

    عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول: « مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُم مُنْكراً فَلْيغيِّرْهُ بِيَدهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبقَلبهِ وَذَلَكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ» .  رواه مسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه والنسائي. ـ

        Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri -may God be pleased with him- said: “I heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: ‘Whoever amongst you witnesses an evil, then let him change it with his hand. If he is unable, then let him change it with his tongue. And if he is unable then let him change it with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.’”

And in another narration: “There is no faith beyond that, not even the weight of a mustard seed.”  Related by Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and An-Nasa’i.

Furthermore, we have been warned of the severe consequences of accepting sins and thinking nothing of it, or seeing sins and doing nothing about it:

        وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: ( دخلَ عَلَيَّ النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فعرفتُ في وجهه أن قد حضره شيءٌ، فتوضأ وما كلم أحداً، فلصقتُ بالحجرة أستمعُ ما يقول، فقعدَ على المنبرِ فحَمِدَ اللهَ وأَثْنَى عليهِ، وقال: « يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ لكم: مُرُوا بِالمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَوْا عَنِ المُنْكَرِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَدْعُوا فَلَا أُجِيبُ لَكُمْ، وَتَسْأَلُونِي فَلَا أُعْطِيكُم،ْ وَتَسْتَنْصِرُونِي فَلَا أَنْصُرُكُمْ» ، فما زاد عليهن حتى نزل) .  رواه ابن ماجه وابن حبان. ـ

   Narrated Aishah -may God be pleased with her- said: “The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- once came inside the house, and it was evident from his face that he was concerned about something.  He performed ablution (wudu’) without talking to anybody and then went to the mosque. I stood close to the wall to carefully listen to what he was going to say.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- sat at the pulpit, praised and extolled God, and then said:

‘O People, God says to you: Enjoin others to do good and forbid others from evil; otherwise a time will come when you pray but I will not answer you, ask Me for your needs but I will not grant them to you; and seek My assistance against your enemies, but I will not assist you.’   The Prophet prayer and peace be upon him- did not add anything further but came down from the pulpit.’ ”  Related by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban.

 

   Once the Muslim adheres to these three conditions; namely the firm belief in God and His Messengers, enjoining good and acting on it, and forbidding evil and staying away from it, then s/he would be included in the highly praised, favored last nation, and his reward would be multiplied many-folds.  Furthermore, he would be among the first to enter Paradise as Prophet Muhammad mentioned:

‏   وعن ‏أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه‏ ‏قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « نَحْنُ الْآخِرُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَنَحْنُ أَوَّلُ مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ».  متفق عليه. ـ

    Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him-said: “We (Muslims) are the last (to come), but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Judgment, and will be the first people to enter Paradise.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

 

Then, the sensible should know that this nation is the best nation and most favored one among all nations, but there are certain conditions that must be met.  Chief among these conditions are: 1) the firm belief in God as the Only God worthy of worship and the firm belief in his prophets and messengers, and acting righteous by 2) enjoining good and doing it and 3) forbidding evil and sins and refraining from them.  Only if the Muslim fulfills these conditions, he would be considered among the best nation.  But if the Muslim community does not adhere to these conditions, then it is just like other creatures of God, whom He either punishes or forgives.  We ask God for His Guidance, Forgiveness and Mercy.

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Second Coming of Jesus Christ in Islam

       عَن النَّواس بنِ سَمْعانَ رضي اللَّه عَنْهُ قالَ : ذَكَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم الدَّجَّالَ ذَاتَ غَدَاةٍ، فَخَفَّض فِيهِ وَرَفَع حَتَّى ظَنَناه في طَائِفَةِ النَّخْلِ. فَلَمَّا رُحْنَا إلَيْهِ، عَرَفَ ذلكَ فِينَا فقالَ: « ما شأنكم؟» قُلْنَا: يَارَسُولَ اللَّهِ ذَكَرْتَ الدَّجَّال الْغَدَاةَ، فَخَفَّضْتَ فِيهِ وَرَفَعْتَ، حَتَّى ظَنَنَّاه في طَائِفةِ النَّخْلِ فقالَ: « غَيْرُ الدَّجَالِ أخْوفَني عَلَيْكُمْ، إنْ يخْرجْ وأنآ فِيكُمْ فَأنَا حَجِيجُه دونَكُمْ، وَإنْ يَخْرجْ وَلَسْتُ فِيكُمْ فكلُّ امريءٍ حَجيجُ نَفْسِهِ، واللَّه خَليفَتي عَلى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ . إنَّه شَابٌ قَطَطٌ عَيْنُهُ طَافِيَةٌ، كأَنَّي أشَبِّهُه بعَبْدِ الْعُزَّى بن قَطَنٍ، فَمَنْ أدْرَكَه مِنْكُمْ فَلْيَقْرَأْ عَلَيْهِ فَوَاتِحَ سُورةِ الْكَهْفِ، إنَّه خَارِجٌ خَلَّةً بَينَ الشَّامِ وَالْعِرَاقِ، فَعَاثَ يمِيناً وَعاثَ شمالاً، يَا عبَادَ اللَّه فَاثْبُتُوا».

قُلْنَا يا رسول اللَّه ومَالُبْثُه في الأرْضِ؟ قالَ: « أرْبَعُون يَوْماً: يَوْمٌ كَسَنَةٍ، وَيَوْمٌ كَشَهْرٍ، وَيوْمٌ كجُمُعَةٍ، وَسَائِرُ أيَّامِهِ كأَيَّامِكُم» .  قُلْنَا: يا رَسُول اللَّه، فَذلكَ الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي كَسَنَةٍ أتكْفِينَا فِيهِ صلاةُ يَوْمٍ؟ قال: « لا، اقْدُرُوا لَهُ قَدْرَهُ» .

قُلْنَا: يَارَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا إسْراعُهُ في الأرْضِ؟ قالَ: « كَالْغَيْث استَدبَرَتْه الرِّيحُ، فَيَأْتي على الْقَوْم فَيَدْعُوهم، فَيؤْمنُونَ بِهِ ويَسْتجيبون لَهُ فَيَأمُرُ السَّماءَ فَتُمْطِرُ والأرْضَ فَتُنْبِتُ، فَتَرُوحُ عَلَيْهمْ سارِحتُهُم أطْوَلَ مَا كَانَتْ ذُرى وَأسْبَغَه ضُرُوعاً وأمَدَّهُ خَواصِرَ، ثُمَّ يَأْتي الْقَوْمَ فَيَدْعُوهم ، فَيَرُدُّون عَلَيهِ قَوْلهُ فَيَنْصَرف عَنْهُمْ، فَيُصْبحُون مُمْحِلينَ لَيْسَ بأيْدِيهم شَيءٌ منْ أمْوالِهم، وَيَمُرُّ بِالخَربَةِ فَيقول لَهَا: أخْرجِي كُنُوزَكِ، فَتَتْبَعُه كُنُوزُهَا كَيَعَاسِيب النَّحْلِ. ثُّمَّ يدْعُو رَجُلاً مُمْتَلِئاً شَباباً فَيضْربُهُ بالسَّيْفِ فَيَقْطَعهُ جِزْلَتَيْن رَمْيَةَ الْغَرَضِ، ثُمَّ يَدْعُوهُ فَيُقْبِلُ، وَيَتَهلَّلُ وجْهُهُ يَضْحَكُ .

فَبَينَما هُو كَذلكَ إذْ بَعَثَ اللَّه تَعَالى المسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيم صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فَيَنْزِلُ عِنْد المَنَارَةِ الْبَيْضـَآءِ شَرْقيَّ دِمَشْقَ بَيْنَ مَهْرُودتَيْنِ، وَاضعاً كَفَّيْهِ عَلى أجْنِحةِ مَلَكَيْنِ، إذا طَأْطَأَ رَأسهُ قَطَرَ وإذا رَفَعَهُ تَحدَّر مِنْهُ جُمَانٌ كَاللُّؤلُؤ، فَلا يَحِلُّ لِكَافِر يَجِدُّ ريحَ نَفَسِه إلاَّ مات، ونَفَسُهُ يَنْتَهِي إلى حَيْثُ يَنْتَهِي طَرْفُهُ، فَيَطْلُبُه حَتَّى يُدْرِكَهُ بَباب لُدٍّ فَيَقْتُلُه. ثُمَّ يأتي عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَوْماً قَدْ عَصَمَهُمُ اللَّه مِنْهُ، فَيَمْسَحُ عنْ وُجوهِهِمْ، ويحَدِّثُهُم بِدرَجاتِهم في الجنَّةِ .

فَبَينَما هُوَ كَذلِكَ إذْ أوْحَى اللَّه تَعَالى إلى عِيسى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم أنِّي قَدْ أَخرَجتُ عِبَاداً لي لا يدانِ لأحَدٍ بقِتَالهمْ، فَحَرِّزْ عِبادي إلى الطُّورِ، وَيَبْعَثُ اللَّه يَأْجُوجَ ومَأجوجَ وَهُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ حَدِبٍ يَنْسلُون، فيَمُرُّ أوَائلُهُم عَلى بُحَيْرةِ طَبرِيَّةَ فَيَشْرَبون مَا فيهَا، وَيمُرُّ آخِرُهُمْ فيقولُونَ: لَقَدْ كَانَ بهَذِهِ مرَّةً ماءٌ.  وَيُحْصَرُ نبي اللَّهِ عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وَأصْحَابُهُ حَتَّى يكُونَ رأْسُ الثَّوْرِ لأحدِهمْ خيْراً منْ مائَةِ دِينَارٍ لأحَدِكُمُ الْيَوْمَ، فَيرْغَبُ نبي اللَّه عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وأَصْحَابُه رضي اللَّه عَنْهُمْ إلى اللَّهِ تَعَالى، فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّه تَعَالى عَلَيْهِمْ النَّغَفَ في رِقَابِهِم، فَيُصبحُون فَرْسى كَموْتِ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، ثُمَّ يهْبِطُ نبي اللَّه عيسى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وَأصْحابهُ رضي اللَّه عَنْهُمْ إلى الأرْضِ فَلاَ يَجِدُون في الأرْضِ مَوْضِعَ شِبْرٍ إلاَّ مَلأهُ زَهَمُهُمْ وَنَتَنُهُمْ ، فَيَرْغَبُ نبي اللَّه عِيسَى صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم وَأصْحابُهُ رضي اللَّه عَنْهُمْ إلى اللَّه تَعَالَى، فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّه تَعَالى طيْراً كَأعْنَاقِ الْبُخْتِ فَتحْمِلُهُمْ، فَتَطرَحُهم حَيْتُ شَآءَ اللَّه، ثُمَّ يُرْسِلُ اللَّه عَزَّ وجَلَّ مـطَراً لا يَكِنُّ مِنْهُ بَيْتُ مَدَرٍ ولا وَبَرٍ، فَيَغْسِلُ الأرْضَ حَتَّى يَتْرُكَهَا كالزَّلَقَةِ.  

ثُمَّ يُقَالُ لِلأرْضِ: أنْبِتي ثَمرَتَكِ ورُدِّي برَكَتَكِ، فَيَوْمئِذٍ تأكُلُ الْعِصَابَة مِن الرُّمَّانَةِ وَيسْتظِلون بِقِحْفِهَا، وَيُبارَكُ في الرِّسْلِ حَتَّى إنَّ اللَّقْحَةَ مِنَ الإبِلِ لَتَكْفي الفئَامَ مِنَ النَّاس، وَاللَّقْحَةَ مِنَ الْبَقَرِ لَتَكْفي الْقَبِيلَةَ مِنَ النَّاس، وَاللَّقْحَةَ مِنَ الْغَنمِ لَتَكْفي الفَخِذَ مِنَ النَّاس.

فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ كَذَلِكَ إذْ بَعَثَ اللَّه تَعالَى رِيحاً طَيِّبَةً، فَتأْخُذُهم تَحْتَ آبَاطِهِمْ، فَتَقْبِضُ رُوحَ كُلِّ مُؤمِن وكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ، وَيبْقَى شِرَارُ النَّاسِ يَتهَارجُون فِيهَا تَهَارُج الْحُمُرِ فَعَلَيْهِم تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ». رواهُ مسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه وأحمد.  

 

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English Translation:

 

         An-Nawwas Ibn Sam’an said: “Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, made a mention of the Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) one day in the morning. He sometimes described him to be insignificant and sometimes described (his turmoil) as very significant (and we felt) as if he were in the cluster of the date-palm trees.

   When we went to the Holy Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- in the evening, he read (the signs of fear) in our faces, so asked: ‘What is the matter with you?’  We said: ‘O Messenger of God, you made a mention of Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) in the morning, (sometimes describing him) to be insignificant and sometimes very important, until we began to think as if he were present in a nearby cluster of date palm trees.’ 

Thereupon Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

 ‘I harbor more fear for you in other things besides the Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal).  If he comes forth while I am among you, I shall contend with him on your behalf, but if he comes forth while I am not among you, everyone must contend on his own behalf and God would take care of every Muslim on my behalf (and safeguard him against that his evil). 

  The Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) is a young man with twisted, contracted hair, and a blind eye.  I compare him to Abdul-‘Uzza Ibn Qatan. Those among you who survive to see him should recite over him the opening verses of Surah Al-Kahf (Surah 18). The Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) will appear on the way between Syria and Iraq and would spread mischief right and left.  O servants of God, adhere (to the path of Truth).

   We said: ‘O Messenger of God, how long will he stay on the earth?’  The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied: ‘For forty days: of which one day will be like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week, and the rest of the days will be like your regular days.’  We said: ‘O Messenger of God, would one day’s prayer suffice for the prayers of that day equal to one year?’ Thereupon he said: ‘No, but you must make an estimate of time (and then observe prayer).’

   We asked: ‘O Messenger of God, how quickly will he walk upon the earth?’  Thereupon the Holy Prophet said: ‘Like a cloud driven by the wind. He will come to the people and invite them (to a wrong religion) and they will affirm their faith in him and respond to him.  He will then give command to the sky and there will be rainfall upon the earth and it will grow crops. Then, in the evening, their posturing animals would come to them with their humps very high, their udders full of milk and their flanks stretched. He will then come to another people and invite them. But they will reject him and he will go away from them, and there will be drought for them and nothing would be left with them in the form of wealth. He will also walk through the waste land and say to it: ‘Bring forth your treasures’, and the treasures would come out and collect (themselves) before him like the swarm of bees.

  He will then call a person brimming with youth and strike him with the sword and cut him into two pieces and (make these pieces lie at a distance which is generally) between the archer and his target.  He will then call (that young man) and he will come forward laughing with his face gleaming (with happiness).

And it will be at this very time that God will send Jesus Christ (Isa), the son of Mary. Jesus will come down at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron, and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When Jesus Christ (Isa) will lower his head, there will fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he will raise it up, beads like pearls will scatter from it. Every non-believer who would smell the odor of his self (Jesus) will die, and Jesus’s breath will reach as far as he will be able to see.

 

Jesus Christ (Isa) will then search for the Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal) until he will catch hold of him at the gate of Ludd and kill him.  Then a group of people whom God had protected would come to Jesus, the son of Mary, and he will wipe their faces and inform them of their ranks in Paradise.

  And it will be under such conditions that God would reveal to Jesus these words: `I have brought forth from among My servants such people against whom none would be able to fight; so take my servants safely to Tur.`

   And then God will send Gog and Magog (Ya’jooj wa Ma’jooj) and they will swarm down from every slope. The first of them will pass the lake of Tibering and drink out of it.  And when the last of them will pass, he would say: There was once water there.

 Jesus and his companions will then be besieged here (at Tur, and they will be so hard pressed) that the head of the ox would be dearer to them than one hundred dinars.  God’s Prophet, Jesus, and his companions will supplicate to God, Who will send against Gog and Magog insects (that will attack their necks) and in the morning they will perish like one single person. God’s Prophet, Jesus, and his companions will then come down to the earth and they will not find in the earth as much space as a single span that is not filled with their putrefaction and stench. God’s Prophet, Jesus, and his companions will then again beseech God, Who will send birds whose necks will be like those of Bactrin camels and they will carry them and throw them where God wills. Then God will send rain which no house of clay or (the tent of) camels’ hairs would keep out and it will wash away the earth until it could appear to be like a mirror.

   Then the earth will be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing.  As a result, there will grow (such a big) pomegranate that a group of persons will be able to eat from it and seek shelter under its skin, and a milch cow would give so much milk that a whole party would be able to drink it. And the milch camel would give such (a large quantity of) milk that the whole tribe would be able to drink out of that. And the milch sheep would give so much milk that the whole family would be able to drink out of that.

   At that time God would send a pleasant wind which would soothe (people) from under their armpits, and would take the life of every Muslim.  Only the wicked would survive who would commit adultery openly like donkeys, and the Last Hour would come upon them.’ ”  Related by Imam Muslim, Ibn Majah, Al-Tirmidhi, and Imam Ahmad.

  

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Guarding Chastity and Staying away from adultery (Zina)

 

      عن أبي هُريْرةَ رضي اللَّه عنْهُ عنِ النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَال: « كُتِبَ على ابْنِ آدَمَ نَصِيبُهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا مُدْرِكٌ ذَلِكَ لا مَحَالَةَ: العَيْنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا النَّظَرُ، والأُذُنَانِ زِنَاهُما الاسْتِماعُ، واللِّسَانُ زِنَاهُ الكَلامُ، وَاليَدُ زِنَاهَا البَطْشُ، والرِّجْلُ زِنَاهَا الخُطَا، والقَلْب يَهْوَى وَيَتَمنَّى، ويُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ الفَرْجُ أوْ يُكَذِّبُهُ» .  متفقٌ عليه.

       Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “God has written for the son of Adam his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eye is looking (at something which is sinful to look at), the adultery of the ear is listening (to something which is forbidden), the adultery of the tongue is speaking (to an unrelated woman unnecessarily), the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip, and the adultery of the feet is walking (to a place where he intends to commit adultery). The heart or inner-self wishes and desires, while the private parts fulfill that wish or refrain from it.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

 

In the above narration, the two main types of adultery or fornication (Zina) are mentioned: I) The major adultery (of private parts), and II) the smaller adultery (of other limbs), including: adultery of the eye, the mouth, the ears, the hand, and the feet.  The major type is worse and has the most severe punishment.  The smaller types of adultery have negative consequences and may lead to the major type and therefore are forbidden as well.

The question then is: How can a Muslim guard himself against any form of adultery? How can the Muslim guard his chastity (iffah) during these times of trials and tribulations?

There are thirteen ways to guard chastity and keep away from all types of Zina (adultery or fornication).  They are:

First, Strengthen your Faith (Iman):

The believer must have strong faith to resist temptations and Satan.  Faith (Iman) is firm belief in God, His word and commandments in Divine books, His angels, His Messengers, His Decree and Destiny, and the Day of Judgment.

When the Muslim realizes that this life is temporary and there is another permanent life  to come after death, his heart attains a strong sense of faith in God and His promise.  Thus, the Muslim starts preparing for the final day and the Promised Hour by trying his best to obey God’s commands. The Muslim gets ready for the life to come by obeying God and doing righteous.

The Muslim performs all the orders commanded by God such as praying, fasting, giving the obligatory charity (zakah), performing Hajj, being kind to parents and to people, and all kinds of good.  The Muslim also tries to avoid everything forbidden by God, so the Muslim refrains from all sins including adultery, stealing, murder, backbiting, harming others in any way, and any other sins.

These acts of worship in turn strengthen the Muslim’s faith and create in him an inner spiritual strength with which he can resist temptation and fight off Satan’s enticement.

Second, Mention God when Satan Whispers to you: 

Whenever you conceive of an evil idea, know that it is from Satan or the Evil-Tempting Self.  Satan wants to mislead the son of Adam and takes him to Hell-fire where Satan will reside eternally. Therefore, Satan looks for every opportunity to whisper and suggest to man to do all kinds of evil, hoping he will follow his path of damnation and bad ending.  But the Almighty God has warned us that Satan is our enemy, so we should treat him as such.  And whenever Satan suggests something to us, we should seek refuge with God, by praying Him to protect us against Satan and the evil-inclined Self or by reading Qur’an.  God -the Exalted- says:

 {وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَعُوَذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ}

(And say: “My Lord, I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Satan. And I seek refuge with You, My Lord, lest they should come near me”) (surah 23, verse 97).

Third, Ponder upon the Reality of Sinful Pleasures:

Sinful pleasures are temporary things that one enjoys for one hour, but regrets and may suffer negative consequences for days and weeks afterwards–sometimes even years. The wise Muslim considers the consequences of actions before he does anything, while the ignorant does things and then suffers the bad consequences.

Thus, the sensible Muslim must think of the bad effects of all types of zina (adultery) and how they lead to family disunity, health problems and collapse of morality and spread of evil in society, and thus he tries to avoid them.

Fourth, Strengthen your Sense of Shyness and Shamefulness (Haya’):

The Muslim must feel shy of God, the Lord of the Universe.  The Muslim must realize that God the Almighty is watching him all the time. Then let the Muslim pay attention to that, and respect and glorify God as He should. The Muslim should avoid any unnecessary interaction with unrelated people and consider it unlawful or haram. And the Muslim woman should look after her hijab and should guard herself.

The Muslim should not allow Satan a chance to mislead him by indulging in the smaller types of adultery (zina) and thinking that the zina of the other limbs is not as bad as the major type (of the private parts).  Rather, Satan is looking for any chance to attack, and will lead him/her there eventually, if not in action then in effect and bad consequences!  May God protect us.

Fifth, Early Marriage:

Islam has encouraged early marriage for both men and women.  Marriage is the best way to overcome the urges of the self.  Now, we see many people not following this Sunnah and delaying marriage until a late age.  If someone is married, he should ensure that he continues to interact with his spouse, for example by arranging for a dinner with his wife or taking his family for a picnic, in order to overcome any bad thoughts he may have.

Sixth, Fasting:

Those who cannot afford marriage should fast and keep busy with Din. When the Muslim fasts and stops eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, his desires weaken and he then stays away from adultery.

Moreover, fasting is a discipline or religious training for the Muslim to hold himself and refrain from eating and drinking first, and in the process learns to hold himself and refrain from temptations and from any form of adultery.

Seventh, Stay in the company of Righteous People:

God the Almighty says:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ} سورة التوبة، 119.

{O you who believe, fear God and be with the truthful} surah 9, verse 119.

Thus the Muslim must select good company just like he selects good food.  The Muslim should know that good company has good effects on him, just like bad company has bad effects on him.  The Muslim should associate only with righteous people, and should avoid the company of evil people who may lead him astray.

Eighth, Restrict your Time on the Internet and Social Media:

Only use the internet and mobile phone when you need something in particular.  Don’t spend your free time on the internet.  This is a door for Satan, and the more time you spend there, the more opportunity you give Satan and the Evil-Tempting Self to attack.

The main reason for many types of zina (adultery) is the free access to the internet and mobile phones 24 hours and aimless free time. Thus the Muslim must restrict his access to the internet and only use it when he needs something in particular.

Ninth, Watch your Children:

Children should never be allowed to use the internet without supervision.  The parents are responsible for their children and will be asked about them on the Day of Judgment.  Thus the parents should be careful and never let their children use the internet alone. The parents should always make sure the children use the internet in the same room with them. Also periodically check their emails and other communication.

As their guardian, on the Day of Judgment, parents will be asked about their children’s actions.  If they go astray and do bad things because of the internet, then the parents share in the sin too!  Therefore, the parents should be careful and watch out for this emerging evil.

Tenth, Think of the Punishment of All Types of adultery (Zina):

The purpose of this life is to worship God and please Him, and then get His reward and Paradise.  The Muslim should avoid anything that leads to the anger of God or His displeasure.  God the Almighty has described adultery or fornication (zina) as an ugly, indecent and hateful act, so the Muslim must dislike all forms of zina and stay away from them.  The Muslim should think of the consequences of adultery or fornication (zina) in this life and the Hereafter.  It is observed that all types of zina (adultery) lead to poverty, loss of health, wealth, family, and friends.  All types of zina lead to anxiety, depression, and darkening of face and heart.  And severe punishment in the grave and Hell is promised to those who engage in zina, and less severe for those who engage in the other types of zina.

Eleventh, Think of the Reward of Avoiding All Types of adultery (Zina): 

As mentioned in the hadith, any Muslim who declines the seduction of a beautiful woman (or a woman who declines the call of a handsome man) will rest under the Shade of the Throne on the Day of Judgment when the sun will be one mile away and people will be in distress because of the heat.

In Qur’an, God the Almighty has promised great reward both in this life and the Hereafter for those who guard their chastity and stay away from all types of zina.  May God keep us safe.

The Prophet has guaranteed Paradise for those who preserve their tongues and guard their chastity:

    عن سَهْلِ بنِ سعْدٍ رضي الله عنه قَال: قَال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « مَنْ يَضْمَنْ لِي مَا بَيْنَ لَحْيَيْهِ وَمَا بَيْنَ رِجْلَيْهِ أَضْمَنْ لَهُ الجَنَّة» . متفقٌ عليهِ.

    Narrated Sahl Ibn Sa’d -may Allah be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Whoever can guarantee me (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Twelveth, Repentance and Asking God for Forgiveness (Tawba and Istighfar): 

As the hadith above mentions, all people may commit some form of zina (adultery).  But the Muslim must repent as soon as possible and ask God for forgiveness.  Let the Muslim never despair of the mercy of God, but let him also seek God’s pleasure and resolve to stay away from all forms of zina, indecent acts and all sins.

The Muslim must frequently ask God for forgiveness (Istighfar).  Every time the Muslim man or woman comes across something haram, then s/he should make Istighfar immediately.

And if the Muslim slipped and committed any of these sins, then let him repent soon and do good deeds in repentance, as God the Almighty says: {Verily, good deeds do away with the misdeeds. That is a reminder for the mindful} (Surah 11, verse 114).  Then let him/her read Qur’an, give in charity, make Dhikr, serve his parents, help his Muslim brothers, or do any other good deed.

Finally, Thirteenth, Pray and Supplicate to God (Du’a):

The Muslim should always pray God the Almighty to keep him/her safe and away from all forms of zina (adultery).  The Muslim should pray God to keep him firm during the times of fitan.  The Muslim should also pray God to keep the Muslim nation safe and preserve it from all types of zina.

     قال الله تعالى: { وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ}، البقرة 186.

      God the Almighty says in Qur’an: {And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad, concerning Me, then answer them), I am indeed near (to them). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me, so that they may be guided} (Surah 2, verse 186).

 

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Chastity vs. Adultery

(Concept of Shyness in Islam, Chastity in Islam, Staying away from adultery or Zina, Types of adultery or Zina, adultery of the eyes, adultery of the hand, consequences of adultery or Zina, early marriage in Islam, chatting in Islam, Wisdom of Fasting, Repentance or Tobah from adultery)

      قال الله تعالى: { قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ* وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ} النور30-1.

      قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما: ( يغضوا أبصارهم عما يكره الله).

 وقال سعيد بن جبير: {ويحفظن فروجهن} عن الفواحش.

      God the Almighty says: { Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts; that is purer for them. Verily, God is All-Aware of what they do.  And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts} (Chapter 24, verses 30-31).

Ibn Abbas said: “They should lower their gaze from things that God has prohibited.”

Sa’eed Ibn Jubair said: “ ‘Protect their private parts’ from immoral indecent sins.”

—-

 

God the Almighty commands the Muslim men and women to lower their gaze from forbidden things and to guard their private parts from immoral indecent acts.  Shyness or bashfulness is one of the great morals that Islam has emphasized.  Indeed, Islam considers shyness and shamefulness as part of Faith (Iman). Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace upon him- describes the believer as one who has a sense of shyness and shamefulness that keeps him/her away from immorality and indecent sins.

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أنَّ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الإيمَانُ بِضْعٌ وسَبْعُونَ- أوْ بِضْعٌ وَسِتُّونَ- شُعْبةً، فَأَفْضَلُها قوْلُ لا إلهَ إلاّ اللَّهُ، وَأَدْنَاها إمَاطَةُ الأَذَى عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ، والحَيَاءُ شُعْبَةٌ مِنَ الإيمَانِ» .  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “Iman (Faith) has seventy odd branches (or sixty odd branches). The uppermost branch is the Testimony there is no true god except Allah, and the lowest branch is to remove harmful objects from the road. And Shyness is a branch of faith.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

In order to protect the honor and chastity of both men and women, boys and girls, Islam has obligated hijab and has prohibited association with non-relative men or women for no purpose or need.  Islam encourages both men and women to feel shy of God and to dislike indecent immoral acts like zina (adultery or fornication or a relationship between a man and a woman without marriage) and anything that leads to it.

Adultery or fornication (zina) is an abhorrent act both in society and religion. God the Almighty admonished people to stay away from adultery and fornication (Zina) and promised severe punishment for it both in this world and the Hereafter.  But God -the Most Wise- explained why adultery or fornication should be avoided; first because it is a great injustice to others and so a great sin, and second because it is aberrant behavior and an ugly deed that has serious consequences.

             قال تعالى: { وَالَّذِينَ لا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهاً آخَرَ وَلا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلا يَزْنُونَ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَاماً. يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَاناً. إِلَّا مَنْ تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً فَأُولَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً. وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتاباً } سورة الفرقان 68-70.

      God the Almighty says in another verse: { And those who do not invoke any other deity along with God, nor kill the soul which God has forbidden (to be killed) except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive punishment.

  1. Multiplied for him is the torment on the Day of Judgment, and he will abide therein in disgrace.
  2. Except those who repent, believe, and do righteous deeds; for them God will replace their misdeeds into good deeds, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
  3. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then indeed he has repented to God with true repentance} (Chapter 25, verses 68-70).

Adultery or fornication (zina) is an abhorrent act that can have many negative consequences.  In religion, adultery is one of the mortal sins and a major misdeed that is promised Hell-fire.  Not only that, but if the adulterer doesn’t repent, then he is promised multiplied torment (may God save us).

In society, adultery leads to the loss of women’s rights and social status.  The woman engaged in adultery is merely used for physical gratification and enjoys no rights or obligation.  Furthermore, she loses her status as a mother or sister, and may no longer enjoy the protection of a family.

For men, adultery leads to loss of mental acuity and focus resulting in loss of job performance, family break-ups, severing of ties, and many other consequences.

For children, adultery leads to loss of proper child support and protection, loss of family lineages, and most important loss of a solid family structure and a stable home that offers emotional and financial support which inevitably leads to increased child misbehaviors and crime.  Therefore, God the Almighty warned the believers to stay away from adultery and anything that may lead to it.

Not only that, but Islam also instructs us to avoid anything that leads to adultery.

    قال الله عز وجل: { وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ ٱلزّنَىٰ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاء سَبِيلاً} سورة الإسراء 32.

  قال ابن كثير: ( “وَلا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا”: وهو مخالطة أسبابه ودواعيه. “إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً”: أي ذنبًا عظيمًا، “وَسَاءَ سَبِيلا”: أي وبئس طريقًا ومسلكًا).

     God the Almighty says in another verse: { And come not near or approach fornication or adultery (zina). Verily, it is an immoral sin and an evil way} (Chapter 17, verse 32).

Ibn Katheer said: “ ‘And come not near fornication or adultery’: meaning avoid anything that may lead to adultery.

‘It is an immoral sin’: meaning it is a major sin.

‘And an evil way’: meaning it is a terrible way and behavior.”

Therefore, Islam prohibits unnecessary contact between unrelated men and women.  The more contact unrelated men and women have with each other, the more likely they will fall in sin.  The greatest form of adultery is that of the private parts, but there are smaller forms of adultery as well like looking, talking, chatting, touching, kissing, etc.  The other smaller forms of adultery may eventually lead to the greatest form and are forbidden as well.

Prophet Muhammad described all forms of adultery in the following hadith:

      عن أبي هُريْرةَ رضي اللَّه عنْهُ عنِ النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَال: « كُتِبَ على ابْنِ آدَمَ نَصِيبُهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا مُدْرِكٌ ذَلِكَ لا مَحَالَةَ: العَيْنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا النَّظَرُ، والأُذُنَانِ زِنَاهُما الاسْتِماعُ، واللِّسَانُ زِنَاهُ الكَلامُ، وَاليَدُ زِنَاهَا البَطْشُ، والرِّجْلُ زِنَاهَا الخُطَا، والقَلْب يَهْوَى وَيَتَمنَّى، ويُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ الفَرْجُ أوْ يُكَذِّبُهُ» .  متفقٌ عليه.

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “God has written for the son of Adam his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eye is looking (at something which is sinful to look at), the adultery of the ear is listening (to something which is forbidden), the adultery of the tongue is speaking (to an unrelated woman unnecessarily), the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip, and the adultery of the feet is walking (to a place where he intends to commit adultery). The heart or inner-self wishes and desires, while the private parts fulfill that wish or refrain from it.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

Therefore, not only is adultery forbidden, but anything that leads to it; namely the smaller forms of adultery, is forbidden as well. Just like losing weight requires abstaining from things that lead to it like fatty and sweet foods, similarly guarding chastity and avoiding adultery require abstaining from things that lead to it.

In the above narration, the two main types of adultery or fornication (zina) are mentioned:

I) The major adultery (of private parts), and

II) the smaller (of other limbs), including: adultery of the eye, adultery of the nose, adultery of the mouth, adultery of the ears, adultery of the hand, and adultery of the feet.  The major type is the worst and has the most severe punishment.

The smaller types of adultery have negative consequences and may lead to the major type and therefore are forbidden as well.  The smaller types of adultery include:

  1. Adultery of the Eye: Occurs by looking at non-relative women or men lustfully, and worse watching unclothed women or men. Looking at others’ private parts is an indecent ugly sin that has bad consequences upon the mind, health and faith.

Religious scholars said that the first gate to adultery is the eye.  It is through the eyes and sight that the thought of adultery is conceived.  Thus, we are commanded in the verse above to protect our gaze, and guard this first shield against adultery.  And it is related that the look is an arrow from the arrows of Satan with which he captivates the son of Adam and leads him/her astray.  Indeed, with one look Satan can affect the heart and mislead it so the person follows that look with other greater sins.

Women who wear tight and revealing clothes and then go out, commit this type of adultery.  Satan finds it a good opportunity to mislead people, and she gets equal share of the sin until she returns home.

عن عبدالله – ابن مسعود – رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: « المرأةُ عَوْرةٌ، فإذا خَرَجَت استَشْرَفَها الشَيطانُ».  رواه الترمذي وابن حبان بإسناد صحيح

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Mas’ood -may God be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The woman is ‘awrah (private and should be veiled), so when she goes out Satan welcomes her seeking to tempt her and use her for temptation.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban.

Thus, women should cover up when they leave the house for any need. The chaste woman does not reveal her body to other men to look at and devour, rather her shyness makes her cover herself and guard her chastity.

2. Adultery of the Nose: occurs when the woman puts on perfume to attract men. The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- described the woman who puts on perfume before she leaves her house to attract men, and then a man smells it as an adulteress.

3. Adultery of the Mouth and Tongue: occurs by talking to non-relative men or women unnecessarily, or touching them with the mouth. Talking over the cell phone or internet with non-relative men and women for enjoyment and without real need or purpose has been accepted as the norm, while it is a form of adultery and a sin that has grave consequences.  For how many an innocent conversation over the phone or random chat has resulted in affairs that wrecked marriages and destroyed families.

4. Adultery of the Hand: occurs by touching a non-relative man or woman, or chatting with a non-relative man or woman, or having a relationship over the internet or phone. This is a common sin these days, and many men have women friends and women have men friends with whom they chat freely and exchange emails or messages.  This is considered adultery of the mouth and hand, and has bad consequences, both in this world and the Hereafter.  In this world, this action leads to the disruption of legal relationships, the destruction of family structure and unity, the preoccupation of the mind, the deterioration of health and faith, and in the Hereafter with Hell-Fire unless the person repents and returns to God.

5. Adultery of the Feet: occurs by going to bad places like bars, or the market to see other men or women.

God the Exalted says in Qur’an: {On the Day of Judgment, their tongues, their hands, and their legs will bear witness against them as to what they used to do} (surah Al-Noor, verse 24).

Thus on the Day of Judgment, the mouth will be sealed and shut, while other limbs will be given the ability to speak as mentioned in the verse above.  Then on that Day all limbs will admit and reveal everything they used to do.  The eyes, the nose, the tongue, the ears, the hands, and the feet will speak and reveal all of their secrets, and say nothing but the truth. Then man can imagine his condition on that Day, and the terrible situation for those who indulge in sin and immorality.

Indeed, all of these unlawful pleasures and lusts would be a great source of sadness and misery on the Day of Judgment.  And how true is the following statement:

    قال أحد الحكماء: ( الشهوات لذات في الظاهر مكاره في الباطن، والطاعات مكاره في الظاهر لذات في الباطن).

A wise man said: “Temptations and lusts are pleasures on the outside, but hardships on the inside.  While acts of obedience and worship (to God) are hardships on the outside, but pleasures on the inside.”

Different people have different levels of piety and sin.  Some people fall prey to all kinds of adultery, while others only to one small type.  But the believer should never despair of the mercy of God.  As soon as the Muslim realizes he has committed any sin, he should repent to God, showing regret and remorse and promising not to do it again.  Indeed, in the verse above, after mentioning the severe punishment of adultery, God -the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving- made an exception for those who repent and turn back to Him.  Those who repent truly are not only promised forgiveness, but also the great reward of turning their misdeeds into good.  God -the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving- says:

{ Except those who repent, believe, and do righteous deeds; for them God will replace their misdeeds into good deeds, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful} (Chapter 25, verses 68-70).

Indeed, there is no bound or limit to God’s mercy and forgiveness, but the Muslim is asked to turn to God in repentance and seek His Great Mercy and forgiveness.

First Solution:

Islam has encouraged early marriage as an important antidote for the urges of youth.  Marriage is a legal contract that forms the basis of a stable, peaceful and united community.  Indeed, one of the purposes of marriage is to connect families and bring them together.  Not only does marriage protect one’s chastity, but it also guards the rights of every individual in society.  The man’s rights are protected, the woman’s rights are honored, and the children’s welfare is preserved.  Adultery or fornication, on the other hand, destroys this basic unit of a united community, wrecking relationships, disrupting normal family ties, and leading to enmity and crime.  It is ironic that these days, early marriage is frowned upon while smaller forms of adultery are accepted as the norm.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- gave a valuable advice to young people:

   وعن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ البَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ» .  متفقٌ عليه.

Narrated Abdul-God Ibn Mas’ood -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “O young people, whoever among you is able to marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing adultery), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Second Solution:

Thus, the first solution is early marriage. But if marriage cannot be afforded, then the second solution offered by Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- is fasting.  Whoever cannot afford to get married, then he should fast from sunrise to sunset, for fasting protects against adultery.  It was the custom (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- to fast every Monday and Thursday.  When the Muslim fasts and stops eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, his desires weaken and he would stay away from adultery.

Moreover, Fasting is a discipline or religious training for the Muslim to hold himself and refrain from eating and drinking first, and in the process learn to hold himself and refrain from temptations and from any form of adultery.

But when young people turn away from marriage, and when families refuse to marry their sons and daughters to reasonable candidates, then adultery may become widespread, just as Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: “‏ إِذَا خَطَبَ إِلَيْكُمْ مَنْ تَرْضَوْنَ دِينَهُ وَخُلُقَهُ فَزَوِّجُوهُ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوا تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ عَرِيضٌ.” رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه. ‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care of) one of you, then marry (your female relative) to him.  If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and widespread corruption.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

While in the past, marriage was the norm and a priority for young people, now many young people are turning away from marriage and are looking for other means of distraction and unlawful entertainment which include the smaller forms of adultery and may lead to the major form.  This in turn leads to turmoil; affliction; physical, emotional, financial, and psychological problems; and corruption in the land as described in the hadith.

 

     Then, we can see that there are many types of zina (adultery).  It is true that zina (adultery) of the private parts is the worst and has the most severe punishment, but the other types have bad effects and severe consequences too.  All types of zina lead to the spread of evil and enmity in the society.  Through immorality and adultery, bad characteristics and injustice spread in the land.  Then the town would be afflicted with crime, diseases, and loss of peace. Thus we have been forewarned to stay away from all types of zina (adultery).

Islam has encouraged marriage, but prohibited any other form of relationship between a man and woman outside marriage.  Islam promotes shyness and a strong sense of shame that prevents the Muslim from dealing with a non-blood relative.  So we have a society of shy and shameful men and women who preserve their chastity and stay away from any form of zina (adultery).  They guard their gaze by avoiding looking at others or unlawful things, they guard their mouth by avoiding talking to others unnecessarily, they guard their hand by avoiding chatting and having relationship over the internet or phone, and they guard their feet by avoiding going to bad places to see other men and women. They guard their chastity and protect themselves from adultery by marriage and fasting. Thus, we have a faithful society that keeps the rights of everyone, which results in a peaceful and united society.

And in case they fall prey to any form of adultery, they show regret and remorse and turn to God in repentance, asking His Forgiveness and promising not to do it again.

 

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The Anti-Christ

  عن عامر بن شراحيل الشعبي شعب همدان أنه سأل فاطمة بنت قيس أخت الضحاك بن قيس، وكانت من المهاجرات الأول، فقال: ( حدثيني حديثا سمعتيه من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تسنديه إلى أحد غيره، فقالت: لئن شئتَ لأفعلن، فقال لها: أجل حدثيني.

 فقالت: نكحتُ ابن المغيرة، وهو من خيار شباب قريش يومئذ، فأصيب في أول الجهاد مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فلما تَأَيَّمْتُ خَطَبَنِي عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بن عوف في نفر من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وخطبني رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على مولاه أسامة بن زيد، وكنتُ قَدْ حُدِّثْتُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: « مَنْ أَحَبَّنِي فَلْيُحِبَّ أُسَامَةَ»، فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَنِي رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قلت: أمري بيدك فأنكحني من شئت، فقال: « انْتَقِلِي إِلَى أُمِّ شَرِيكٍ»، وَأُمُّ شَرِيكٍ امْرَأَةٌ غَنِيَّةٌ من الأنصار عظيمة النفقة في سبيل الله ينزل عليها الضِّيفَانُ، فقلت: سأفعل، فقال: « لا تَفْعَلِي؛ إِنَّ أُمَّ شَرِيكٍ امْرَأَةٌ كَثِيرَةُ الضِّيفَانِ فَإِنِّي أَكْرَهُ أَنْ يَسْقُطَ عَنْكِ خِمَارُكِ أَوْ يَنْكَشِفَ الثَّوْبُ عَنْ سَاقَيْكِ فَيَرَى الْقَوْمُ مِنْكِ بَعْضَ مَا تَكْرَهِينَ، وَلَكِنْ انْتَقِلِي إِلَى ابْنِ عَمِّكِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو ابْنِ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ»، وهو رجل من بني فهر فهر قريش وهو من البطن الذي هي منه، فانتقلتُ إليه، فلما انْقَضَتْ عِدَّتِي سمعتُ نداءَ المنادي منادي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ينادي: الصَّلَاةَ جَامِعَةً، فخرجتُ إلى المسجد فصليتُ مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فكنتُ في صف النساء التي تلي ظهور القوم، فلما قضى رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صلاته جلس على المنبر وهو يضحك، فقال: « لِيَلْزَمْ كُلُّ إِنْسَانٍ مُصَلَّاهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَتَدْرُونَ لِمَ جَمَعْتُكُمْ؟»، قالوا: الله ورسوله أعلم.

  قال: « إِنِّي وَاللَّهِ مَا جَمَعْتُكُمْ لِرَغْبَةٍ وَلَا لِرَهْبَةٍ، وَلَكِنْ جَمَعْتُكُمْ لِأَنَّ تَمِيمًا الدَّارِيَّ كَانَ رَجُلًا نَصْرَانِيًّا فَجَاءَ فَبَايَعَ وَأَسْلَمَ، وَحَدَّثَنِي حَدِيثًا وَافَقَ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْ مَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ، حَدَّثَنِي أَنَّهُ رَكِبَ فِي سَفِينَةٍ بَحْرِيَّةٍ مَعَ ثَلَاثِينَ رَجُلًا مِنْ لَخْمٍ وَجُذَامَ، فَلَعِبَ بِهِمْ الْمَوْجُ شَهْرًا فِي الْبَحْرِ ثُمَّ أَرْفَئُوا إِلَى جَزِيرَةٍ فِي الْبَحْرِ حَتَّى مَغْرِبِ الشَّمْسِ، فَجَلَسُوا فِي أَقْرُبْ السَّفِينَةِ فَدَخَلُوا الْجَزِيرَةَ فَلَقِيَتْهُمْ دَابَّةٌ أَهْلَبُ كَثِيرُ الشَّعَرِ لَا يَدْرُونَ مَا قُبُلُهُ مِنْ دُبُرِهِ مِنْ كَثْرَةِ الشَّعَرِ، فَقَالُوا: وَيْلَكِ مَا أَنْتِ؟ فَقَالَتْ: أَنَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ، قَالُوا: وَمَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ؟ قَالَتْ: أَيُّهَا الْقَوْمُ انْطَلِقُوا إِلَى هَذَا الرَّجُلِ فِي الدَّيْرِ فَإِنَّهُ إِلَى خَبَرِكُمْ بِالْأَشْوَاقِ، قَالَ لَمَّا سَمَّتْ لَنَا رَجُلًا فَرِقْنَا مِنْهَا أَنْ تَكُونَ شَيْطَانَةً.

  قَالَ فَانْطَلَقْنَا سِرَاعًا حَتَّى دَخَلْنَا الدَّيْرَ، فَإِذَا فِيهِ أَعْظَمُ إِنْسَانٍ رَأَيْنَاهُ قَطُّ خَلْقًا وَأَشَدُّهُ وِثَاقًا مَجْمُوعَةٌ يَدَاهُ إِلَى عُنُقِهِ مَا بَيْنَ رُكْبَتَيْهِ إِلَى كَعْبَيْهِ بِالْحَدِيدِ، قُلْنَا: وَيْلَكَ مَا أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ: قَدْ قَدَرْتُمْ عَلَى خَبَرِي فَأَخْبِرُونِي مَا أَنْتُمْ؟ قَالُوا: نَحْنُ أُنَاسٌ مِنْ الْعَرَبِ رَكِبْنَا فِي سَفِينَةٍ بَحْرِيَّةٍ فَصَادَفْنَا الْبَحْرَ حِينَ اغْتَلَمَ فَلَعِبَ بِنَا الْمَوْجُ شَهْرًا ثُمَّ أَرْفَأْنَا إِلَى جَزِيرَتِكَ هَذِهِ، فَجَلَسْنَا فِي أَقْرُبِهَا فَدَخَلْنَا الْجَزِيرَةَ فَلَقِيَتْنَا دَابَّةٌ أَهْلَبُ كَثِيرُ الشَّعَرِ لَا يُدْرَى مَا قُبُلُهُ مِنْ دُبُرِهِ مِنْ كَثْرَةِ الشَّعَرِ فَقُلْنَا وَيْلَكِ مَا أَنْتِ فَقَالَتْ أَنَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ قُلْنَا وَمَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ قَالَتْ اعْمِدُوا إِلَى هَذَا الرَّجُلِ فِي الدَّيْرِ فَإِنَّهُ إِلَى خَبَرِكُمْ بِالْأَشْوَاقِ فَأَقْبَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ سِرَاعًا وَفَزِعْنَا مِنْهَا وَلَمْ نَأْمَنْ أَنْ تَكُونَ شَيْطَانَةً، فَقَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ نَخْلِ بَيْسَانَ، قُلْنَا: عَنْ أَيِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ؟ قَالَ: أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَنْ نَخْلِهَا هَلْ يُثْمِرُ؟ قُلْنَا لَهُ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: أَمَا إِنَّهُ يُوشِكُ أَنْ لَا تُثْمِرَ، قَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ بُحَيْرَةِ الطَّبَرِيَّةِ، قُلْنَا: عَنْ أَيِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ؟ قَالَ: هَلْ فِيهَا مَاءٌ؟ قَالُوا: هِيَ كَثِيرَةُ الْمَاءِ، قَالَ: أَمَا إِنَّ مَاءَهَا يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَذْهَبَ، قَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ عَيْنِ زُغَرَ، قَالُوا: عَنْ أَيِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ؟ قَالَ: هَلْ فِي الْعَيْنِ مَاءٌ؟ وَهَلْ يَزْرَعُ أَهْلُهَا بِمَاءِ الْعَيْنِ؟ قُلْنَا لَهُ: نَعَمْ هِيَ كَثِيرَةُ الْمَاءِ وَأَهْلُهَا يَزْرَعُونَ مِنْ مَائِهَا، قَالَ: أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ نَبِيِّ الْأُمِّيِّينَ مَا فَعَلَ؟ قَالُوا: قَدْ خَرَجَ مِنْ مَكَّةَ وَنَزَلَ يَثْرِبَ، قَالَ: أَقَاتَلَهُ الْعَرَبُ؟ قُلْنَا: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: كَيْفَ صَنَعَ بِهِمْ؟ فَأَخْبَرْنَاهُ أَنَّهُ قَدْ ظَهَرَ عَلَى مَنْ يَلِيهِ مِنْ الْعَرَبِ وَأَطَاعُوهُ، قَالَ لَهُمْ: قَدْ كَانَ ذَلِكَ؟ قُلْنَا: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: أَمَا إِنَّ ذَاكَ خَيْرٌ لَهُمْ أَنْ يُطِيعُوهُ وَإِنِّي مُخْبِرُكُمْ عَنِّي إِنِّي أَنَا الْمَسِيحُ، وَإِنِّي أُوشِكُ أَنْ يُؤْذَنَ لِي فِي الْخُرُوجِ، فَأَخْرُجَ فَأَسِيرَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَا أَدَعَ قَرْيَةً إِلَّا هَبَطْتُهَا فِي أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً، غَيْرَ مَكَّةَ وَطَيْبَةَ فَهُمَا مُحَرَّمَتَانِ عَلَيَّ كِلْتَاهُمَا كُلَّمَا أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَدْخُلَ وَاحِدَةً أَوْ وَاحِدًا مِنْهُمَا اسْتَقْبَلَنِي مَلَكٌ بِيَدِهِ السَّيْفُ صَلْتًا يَصُدُّنِي عَنْهَا وَإِنَّ عَلَى كُلِّ نَقْبٍ مِنْهَا مَلَائِكَةً يَحْرُسُونَهَا.

 قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَطَعَنَ بِمِخْصَرَتِهِ فِي الْمِنْبَرِ: هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ، هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ، هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ- يَعْنِي الْمَدِينَةَ- أَلَا هَلْ كُنْتُ حَدَّثْتُكُمْ ذَلِكَ؟»، فَقَالَ النَّاسُ: نَعَمْ، « فَإِنَّهُ أَعْجَبَنِي حَدِيثُ تَمِيمٍ أَنَّهُ وَافَقَ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْهُ وَعَنْ الْمَدِينَةِ وَمَكَّةَ، أَلَا إِنَّهُ فِي بَحْرِ الشَّأْمِ أَوْ بَحْرِ الْيَمَنِ، لَا بَلْ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ، وَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى الْمَشْرِقِ». قالت: فحفظتُ هذا من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم).  رواه مسلم وأخرجه أبو داود والترمذي وأحمد.

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  English Translation:

Narrated ‘Aamir Ibn Sheraheel Al-She’bi, She’b Hemedan, related that he asked Fatimeh Bint Qais, sister of Al-Dehhak Ibn Qais and one of the first migrant women: “Narrate to me a hadith which you had heard directly from Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, with no other narrator in between.’  She said: ‘If you so like, I can do that.’  I said: ‘Then do it and narrate that to me.’

She said: ‘I heard the caller of Prophet Muhammad calling: `Assemble for the congregational prayer.`  So I set out to the mosque and observed prayer along with the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- in the first row of women, closest to the row of men.  When Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- finished his prayer, he ascended the pulpit, sat down, smiled and said: ‘Everyone should keep sitting at his place.’  He then asked: ‘Do you know why I assembled you?’  The Companions replied: ‘God and His Messenger know best.’

  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘By God, I have not made you assemble for good or alarming news, but I have called you here because Tameem Al-Dari, who was a Christian and came to me and accepted Islam, had told me something which agrees with what I have been you telling you about the Al-Dajjal (the Anti-Christ).  He narrated to me that he had sailed in a ship along with thirty men from the two tribes of Bani Lakhm and Bani Judham.

They were tossed by high waves in the ocean for a month.  Then they took shelter near an island within the ocean at the time of sunset.  They sat in a small side-boat and entered that island where they were met by a hairy beast.  The beast had so much hair that that they could not distinguish its face from its back.  They asked: ‘Woe to you, who can you be?’  Thereupon it said: ‘I am Al-Jessaseh.’  They asked: ‘And what is Al-Jessaseh?’  The beast said: ‘O people, go to this man in the monastery as he is very much eager to know about you.’  He (the narrator) said: ‘When the beast named a man for us we were afraid of it lest it should be a she-devil.’

So we went off quickly and entered the monastery.  We found a man with the largest and strongest build we had ever seen, whose hands were tied to his neck and whose legs were shackled with iron shackles up to the ankles.  We asked: ‘Woe to you, what are you?’  He said: ‘You would soon come to know about me, but tell me who you are.’  We said: ‘We are people from Arabia who have embarked upon a boat but have been tossed about by the sea-waves for one month till we have taken shelter near this island of yours. We got into the side-boats and entered this island and were met by hairy beast with so much thick hair that its face could not be distinguished from its back. We said: Woe be to you, what are you?  It said: I am Al- Jessaseh. We said: And what is Al-Jessaseh?  It said: Go to this man in the monastery for he is eagerly waiting for you to know about you. So we came to you in haste fearing that you might be a she-Devil.’

He (the chained man) said: ‘Tell me about the date-palm trees of Baisan (located in Al-Sham near Jordan).’  We said: ‘Which aspect of it do you want to know?’  He said: ‘I ask you whether its trees bear fruit or not.’  We said: ‘Yes, they do.’  Thereupon he said: ‘Soon they would not bear fruits.’  He then said: ‘Inform me about the Lake of Teberiyya (Sea of Galilee in Palestine).’  We said: ‘Which aspect of it do you want to know?’  He said: ‘Is there water in it?’  We said: ‘There is abundance of water in it.’  Thereupon he said: ‘Soon it would become dry.’  He then said: ‘Inform me about the spring of Zughar (located in Al-Sham).’  We said: ‘Which aspect of it you want to know?’  He (the chained man) said: ‘Is there water in it and do its people use the spring water to irrigate the land?’  We said: ‘Yes, there is abundance of water in it and its inhabitants irrigate the land with its water.’

He said: ‘Inform me about the unlettered Prophet (Prophet Muhammad); what has he done?’  We said: ‘He has come out from Makkah and has settled in Yathrib (Medina).’  He said: ‘Have the Arabs fought against him?’ We said: ‘Yes.’  He said: ‘How did he deal with them?’  We informed him that he had overcome those in his neighborhood and they had submitted to him.

Thereupon he said to us: ‘Has that actually happened?’ We said: ‘Yes.’ Thereupon he said: ‘Indeed it is better for them to obey him. I am going to tell you about myself; I am Al-Dajjal (the Anti-Christ) and would be soon permitted to get out.  I shall get out and travel in the land for forty nights, and will not spare any town except the two towns of Makkah and Medina as both are prohibited (areas) for me.  Every time I make an attempt to enter any one of these two towns, an angel with an unsheathed sword in his hand would confront me and would bar my way, and there would be angels to guard every passage leading to it.’

The Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- struck the pulpit with his staff and said: ‘This is Taiba; this is Taiba; this is Taiba -meaning Al-Medina. Have I not told you an account (of the Al-Dajjal or Anti-Christ) like this?’  The people said: ‘Yes.’  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘This account narrated by Tameem Al-Dari was liked by me for it corroborates the account which I have given you in regard to him (Al-Dajjal) and about Al-Medina and Makkah. Behold he (Al-Dajjal or Anti-Christ) is in the Syrian sea (Mediterranean) or the Yemen sea (Arabian Sea).  Nay, on the contrary, he is in the east, he is in the east, he is in the east -and he pointed with his hand towards the east.’  Fatimeh Bint Qais said: ‘I preserved this narration from the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- in my mind.’ ” Related by Muslim, Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad, with authentic (Sahih) narration.

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 tie 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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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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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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A Mercy to Mankind

     قال الله تعالى: { وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ} سورة الأنبياء، آية 107.

      Allah -the Exalted- says: { Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad) but as a mercy for the worlds} (Surah 21, verse 107).

   عن عائشة رضي اللَّه عنها أَنها قالت للنبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: هل أَتى عَلَيْكَ يَوْمٌ كَانَ أَشدَّ مِنْ يوم أُحُدٍ؟ قال: « لَقَدْ لَقِيتُ مِنْ قَومِكِ، وكَان أَشدُّ ما لَقِيتُ مِنْهُمْ يوْم العقَبَةِ، إِذْ عرَضْتُ نَفسِي على ابْنِ عَبْدِ يَالِيلَ ابنِ عبْدِ كُلال، فلَمْ يُجبنِى إِلى ما أَردْتُ، فَانْطَلَقْتُ وَأَنَا مَهْمُومٌ على وَجْهِي، فلَمْ أَسْتَفِقْ إِلاَّ وَأَنا بقرنِ الثَّعالِبِ، فَرفَعْتُ رأْسِي فَإِذا أَنَا بِسحابَةٍ قَد أَظلَّتني، فنَظَرتُ فَإِذا فِيها جِبريلُ عليه السلام، فنَاداني فقال: إِنَّ اللَّه تعالى قَد سَمِع قَولَ قومِك لَكَ، وَما رَدُّوا عَلَيكَ، وَقد بعثَ إِلَيك ملَكَ الجبالِ لِتأْمُرهُ بما شِئْتَ فِيهم، فَنَادَانِي ملَكُ الجِبَالِ فَسلَّمَ عَليَّ ثُمَّ قال: يا محمَّد إِنَّ اللَّه قَد سمعَ قَولَ قَومِكَ لَكَ، وأَنَا مَلَكُ الجِبالِ، وقَدْ بَعَثَني رَبِّي إِلَيْكَ لِتأْمُرَني بِأَمْرِكَ، فَمَا شئتَ: إِنْ شئْتَ أَطْبَقْتُ عَلَيهمُ الأَخْشَبَيْن»، فقال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « بلْ أَرْجُو أَنْ يُخْرِجَ اللَّه مِنْ أَصْلابِهِم منْ يعْبُدُ اللَّه وَحْدَهُ لا يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئاً».  متفقٌ عليه .

          Narrated Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her- that she asked Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him (English translation): “Have you encountered a day harder than the Day of Uhud?”

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- replied: “I have experienced many hardships at the hand of your tribe [Qureish], but the greatest ordeal I experienced was on the day of ‘Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn Abdi-Yalail Ibn Abdi-Kulal [in Al-Taif] and he did not respond to my invitation (to Islam).  So I departed, overwhelmed with distress, and proceeded on, and could not relax till I found myself at Qarn Al-Tha’alib where I lifted my head towards the sky and suddenly saw a cloud shading me.

I looked up and saw Angel Gabriel -peace be upon him- in it.  He called me and said: ‘The Almighty God has heard the speech of your people to you, and their reaction to your invitation.  So He has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish with these people.’

The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said: ‘O Muhammad, God has heard the speech of your people to you.  I am the Angel of the Mountain, and my Lord has sent me to you to do as you command me.  Order whatever you wish; if you like I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. the two mountains surrounding Makkah) fall and crush them!’  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘I rather hope that Allah will produce from their descendants, people who will worship Allah alone and ascribe no partners with Him.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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The Almighty God describes Prophet Muhammad as a mercy to mankind, and in another verse as compassionate, kind, and merciful.  God is the Most Merciful, and all of His prophets and messengers were sent with this main message of mercy.  Indeed, Mercy is a divine characteristic that distinguishes the righteous and pious from the oppressors and the unjust.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be him- instructed us:

    عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما أنَّ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ، ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ» .  رواه أبو داود والترمذي.

     Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr Ibn ‘Aas -may Allah be pleased with them- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said (English translation):

“The merciful ones will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful (God).  Be merciful to those on earth, the One in heaven will be merciful to you.”

Related by Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmidhi.

  If we study the biography of Prophet Muhammad (Seerah), we see many instances of his great mercy, kindness and compassion.  Not only did Prophet Muhammad show mercy to his followers but to all mankind, even to animals and plants.  The above story is a true story that was related by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim, something that testifies to its authenticity.

When the tribe of Qureish persecuted Prophet Muhammad and his companions in Makkah, the Prophet sought support and refuge in another tribe and town, namely the tribe of Thaqeef in Al-Ta’if.  But when the Prophet went there, not only did they refuse his invitation, they also asked their young and urchins to throw stones at his feet and drive him out.  When the Prophet reached the outskirts of the town, he passed by a farm owned by two chiefs of Qureish, Utbah and Sheibah sons of Rabee’ah.  When they saw the condition of their fellow tribesman, they sent some grapes with their Christian servant Addas.

Ibn Hisham related in “The Prophet’s Biography”: “Addas placed some grapes on a plate and presented it to Prophet Muhammad.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said Bismil-llah (in the name of God) and then ate from it.  Addas was surprised by his speech, so asked: ‘By God, the people of this land do not utter these words.’ 

Prophet Muhammad asked him: ‘And which land do you come from? And what is your religion?’  Addas replied: ‘I am Christian, and I come from Neenwa (Nineveh).’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The town of the righteous man, Yoonus Ibn Matta (Jonah).’  Addas was astonished and asked: ‘And how do you know about Yoonus Ibn Matta (Jonah)?’  Prophet Muhammad replied: ‘We are brothers, Yoonus (Jonah) was a prophet and I am a prophet.’  Addas knew the true message of Prophet Muhammad and accepted Islam on the spot, and then knelt down to kiss the hands and feet of the Prophet.”  Seerah Ibn Hisham.

Prophet Muhammad then headed back to Makkah, with a heavy heart but full trust in God.  On the way, he invoked God, seeking His help and support.  And how soon does God respond to his supplication, for soon God sent him the Angel of the Mountains to order as he likes.  The Angel of the Mountains addressed Prophet Muhammad directly and let him choose the type of annihilation for his people.

          Here we see the true mercy of Prophet Muhammad, for here was the tribe of Qureish, who had called him bad names, had accused him falsely of different things, and had harmed him in every way possible.  And yet Prophet Muhammad showed great mercy not only to his followers but to his foes as well.  He said to the Angel of Mountains: Rather, I hope God will guide them, and if not then guide their children.

The Almighty God has praised Prophet Muhammad in Qur’an and stated that this mercy is a blessing of God on him, and had the Prophet been rude and churlish then people would have turned away from him.  But due to his great mercy, kindness and mercy, people admire Prophet Muhammad and follow his example in obedience to God and good morals.

      قال الله عز وجل: { فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ} آل عمران 159.

    God the Almighty says (English translation): {And by the mercy of God, you (O Muhammad) dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you} (Surah 3, verse 159).

          In response to this true and loving feelings, the invocation of Prophet Muhammad was again granted, and many of his sworn enemies became his staunch followers and allies.  Not only that, but once they came to know Prophet Muhammad’s high moral character and his true message, they declared their deepest love for him.

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab took his sword to kill him, but had a chance to listen to Qur’an.  Upon hearing it, Omar was overwhelmed by its deep meaning and embraced Islam.  Then Omar became one of the Prophet’s strongest supporters and defenders.

Abu Sufyan, the Supreme Chief of Qureish, who fought Prophet Muhammad at every opportunity, finally embraced Islam and declared his greatest love for Prophet Muhammad.

Abu Jahl, an enemy of the Muslims, died as a disbeliever.  But his son Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl who fought with his father, finally embraced Islam and became a great defender of Islam and the Muslims.

Hind Bint Utbah, whose father, uncle and brother were killed as disbelievers during the battle of Badr, hated the Muslims and fought them along with her husband Abu Sufyan with all her might.  She also participated in the mutilation of the Prophet’s uncle Hamza.  But after the Conquest of Makkah, she embraced Islam.  After she came to know Prophet Muhammad and his true message, she went to Prophet Muhammad and said:

          عن عائشة رضي الله عنها، قَالَتْ: ( جَاءَتْ هِنْدٌ بِنْتُ عُتْبَةَ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ فَقَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، وَاللَّهِ مَا كَانَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ خِبَاءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ أَنْ يَذِلُّوا مِنْ أَهْلِ خِبَائِكَ وَمَا أَصْبَحَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ خِبَاءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ أَنْ يَعِزُّوا مِنْ أَهْلِ خِبَائِكَ). رواه البخاري ومسلم.

     Narrated Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her- said (English translation): “Hind Bint Utbah Ibn Rabee’ah, came to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- and said:

O Messenger of God, I swear by God that there was no household upon the face of the earth that I wished to be disgraced and degraded more than your household.  But today there is no household on the face of the earth that I wish to be honored and revered more than your household.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim with authentic narration.

Then indeed we see how Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to mankind, who was sent with true guidance and to show people the right path to God.  We see the great moral character and standards that Prophet Muhammad had and which he instructed his followers to have.  We see the great mercy he showed not only to his followers but to all mankind.  And finally, we see how when people really came to know Prophet Muhammad, they declared their utmost and deepest love for such a noble and blessed true prophet of God.

==================================

Trials and Tribulations

(keywords: Patience, Gratefulness, Ingratitude and Complaining) 

     قال الله تعالى: { أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَآءُ وَالضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلْزِلُواْ حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللَّهِ أَلاَ إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ} سورة البقرة 214.

      God -the Exalted- says: { Do you think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you. They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When will the help of God come’.  Yes! Certainly, the help of God is near (to come)} (Surah 2, verse 214).

    عن أبي يَحْيَى صُهَيْبِ بْنِ سِنَانٍ رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « عَجَباً لأمْرِ المُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ لَهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لأِحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِن: إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْراً لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خيْراً لَهُ» .  رواه مسلم .

   Narrated Abu Yahya, Suheib Ibn Sinan -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

How wonderful is the case of a believer for there is good in every affair of his, and this is not the case with anyone else except for the believer.  When a good thing happens to him, he thanks God and that is good for him; and when a trouble befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.”  Related by Imam Muslim.


 

God the Almighty created the humans and jinns to worship Him and obey His commands.  God -the Exalted- says in Qur’an:

{And I (God) did not create the jinns and humans except to worship Me (Alone)} (surah 51, verse 56).

Then those who obey God will have the reward of Paradise, and those who disobey God and reject His commands will have the punishment of Hell-Fire.  Therefore, this life is a test for humans and jinns; whether they believe or disbelieve, whether they obey or disobey the commands of God, and whether they show thanks and gratitude or impatience and ingratitude.


    

      This life is a test for people to see who among them believes and disbelieves, who obeys God’s commands and who disobeys, who refrains from sins and who commits sins and misdeeds.  The Son of Adam will then see the results of his actions on the Day of Judgment. 

But to distinguish between people and their categories, people will face and go through certain tests.  These tests could be problems or troubles in their health, wealth, relatives, income, food and drink, belief system, and the like. 

 

Thus, the test of the worldly life includes having problems, trials and tribulation that the son of Adam must go through in order to distinguish between the true believers and the hypocrites and disbelievers.  As the above verse mentions, in order to get the greatest Reward of Paradise the believer must pass a test.  Everyone must pass through this test, both past generation and present, both righteous and sinners, and both old and young.  These tests come in the form of problems, trials and tribulations.  The test may afflict the person in his health, wealth, family, life, or worse of all in his religion.

When the test afflicts the son of Adam, his reaction and responses are recorded.  Then the recompense is tended based on that.  For the believer who stands firm in the face of these calamities, bears them patiently, returns to God and seeks His help, the result is great reward and the promise of peace of heart and contentment in this life and Paradise in the Hereafter.  But for that who complains and shows impatience and ingratitude, the recompense is more misery in this life and punishment in the Hereafter.


 

        Many times we forget the real purpose of the worldly life and as soon as a problem befalls us, we tend to complain and show signs of impatience and ingratitude.  Some people go further and ask: Why this happened to me?  When a natural disaster strikes, some wonder: why us?

But how soon the son of Adam forgets his own actions and ignore the consequences of his bad deeds until it is too late.  God -the Exalted- states in Qur’an: {And whatever befalls you of disaster, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much} (Surah 42, verse 30). 

Ali Ibn Abi Talib said: “Hardships befall you in the world because of your sins.” 

    Instead of complaining and showing ingratitude, the believer must:

First, repent of all sins and ask God’s forgiveness. 

Second, the believer must remind himself of the real purpose of this life.  The believer must ponder upon the reason behind the trials and tribulations of this world, and that is to test his faith, his patience, and his firmness in religion.  These problems and troubles are a test for the believer, whether he stands firm and bear the problem patiently seeking God’s help, or does he waver and starts having doubts and worse deny the bounty of God. 

And third, the believer must surrender to God’s will and accept Pre-destiny, believing that God has judged it this way and the don of Adam must accept it, while in the meantime try his best to find a solution.


 

     The believer must remember that previous nations went through the same trials and tribulations and now they are being tended the reward or punishment of their actions (in their graves).  One day we will be considered a past generation and we too will see the results of our actions in the Hereafter after death.   

And just like when previous nations indulged in sins, they saw the effects of that in their worldly life, so will we unless we repent and avoid those sins.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned of such sins:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ خَمْسٌ إِذَا ابْتُلِيتُمْ بِهِنَّ وَأَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ تُدْرِكُوهُنَّ لَمْ تَظْهَرِ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي قَوْمٍ قَطُّ حَتَّى يُعْلِنُوا بِهَا إِلاَّ فَشَا فِيهِمُ الطَّاعُونُ وَالأَوْجَاعُ الَّتِي لَمْ تَكُنْ مَضَتْ فِي أَسْلاَفِهِمُ الَّذِينَ مَضَوْا ‏.‏ وَلَمْ يَنْقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ إِلاَّ أُخِذُوا بِالسِّنِينَ وَشِدَّةِ الْمَؤُنَةِ وَجَوْرِ السُّلْطَانِ عَلَيْهِمْ ‏.‏ وَلَمْ يَمْنَعُوا زَكَاةَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ إِلاَّ مُنِعُوا الْقَطْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَلَوْلاَ الْبَهَائِمُ لَمْ يُمْطَرُوا وَلَمْ يَنْقُضُوا عَهْدَ اللَّهِ وَعَهْدَ رَسُولِهِ إِلاَّ سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ عَدُوًّا مِنْ غَيْرِهِمْ فَأَخَذُوا بَعْضَ مَا فِي أَيْدِيهِمْ ‏.‏ وَمَا لَمْ تَحْكُمْ أَئِمَّتُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَيَتَخَيَّرُوا مِمَّا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ بَأْسَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ. ‏”‏ رواه ابن ماجه والحاكم والبيهقي، بإسناد حسن.

   It was narrated that Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar said: “The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- turned to us and said: ‘O group of the Muhajireen (the migrants), beware of being afflicted with five characteristics, and I seek refuge in God of them befalling you:

  1. Adultery  never appears among a group of people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among their predecessors will spread among them.
  2. They do not cheat in weights and measures, but they will be stricken with famine, hardship in provision, and the oppression of their rulers.
  3. They do not withhold the Zakah (charity) of their wealth, but rain will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them.
  4.  They do not break their covenant with God and His Messenger, but God will enable their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands.
  5. And unless their leaders rule according to the Book of God and seek all good from that which God has revealed, God will cause them to fight one another.’”  Related by Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, and Al-Beihaqi.

—-

     Then, the sensible person should reflect upon his action when afflicted with a problem or a calamity. 

The believer should remind himself of the real purpose of this life and the test he must pass through to attain Paradise.  The Muslim should always think of trials and tribulations as something that will absolve him of his sins and increase his reward.

Therefore instead of complaining and showing ingratitude, he should bear the problem patiently, turn to God and seek His help, and then surrender to Pre-destiny and accept God’s Judgment while trying his best to find a way out of his trouble.  We ask God to guide us to the Right Path, and make us die on Faith.  And God knows best.

 

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Actions and Consequences

قال الله عز وجل: { أَفَمَنْ كَانَ مُؤْمِنًا كَمَنْ كَانَ فَاسِقًا لَا يَسْتَوُونَ * أَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْمَأْوَى نُزُلًا بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ * وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فَسَقُوا فَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ كُلَّمَا أَرَادُوا أَنْ يَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا أُعِيدُوا فِيهَا وَقِيلَ لَهُمْ ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ النَّارِ الَّذِي كُنْتُمْ بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ * وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَدْنَى دُونَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَكْبَرِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ  } سورة السجدة 18-21.

God the Exalted says: {Then is one who was a believer like one who was defiantly disobedient? They are not equal. As for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them are Gardens of Abode as an accommodation for what they used to do. But as for those who defiantly disobeyed, their abode will be Hell-Fire. Every time they wish to emerge from it, they will be returned to it, and it will be said to them: “Taste the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.” And verily, We will make them taste of the near (worldly) lighter torment prior to the greater torment, in order that they may return} (Surah 32, verses 18-21).

وعن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « إنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ يَئِسَ أَنْ تُعْبَدُ الأَصْنَامُ فِي أَرْضِ العَرَبِ، ولكِنَّهُ سَيَرْضَى مِنْكُمْ بِدُونِ ذلِكَ، بِالمُحَقَّرَاتِ، وهِيَ المُوبِقَاتُ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ» الحديث.  رواه أبو يعلى والطبراني والبيهقي.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Satan despaired of idols being worshipped in the Arabian Peninsula, but he will pleased with less than that from you: with the belittled sins (muhaqirat), and they are the destructive sins (mubiqat) on the Day of Judgment. ”  Related by Al-Tabarani, Abu-Ya’la and Al-Bayhaqi.

When we consider peace and order in worldly communities and societies, we find that order cannot be achieved except through laws and regulations.  Thus, a minor offense is prevented by imposing monetary fines on such transgressions, while more serious offenses receive greater sentences as a preventive measure. Those who commit these crimes are then handed prison sentences as a punishment for the offender and as a deterrent for others. Most often these offenses and transgressions entail harming oneself and/or others. These laws and regulations are implemented to protect the individual and the community as a whole. Those who try to harm themselves or other individuals in the community are punished. Those who disrupt the harmony of the community and try to bring disorder and violence to the community by breaking these rules and regulations are disciplined.  Thus, every member of the community has responsibilities and rights that must be observed, and when any member of the community violates these rights, there are consequences. Those who keep the law and order are lauded as good community members who are eligible to take leading roles, while those who violate these rules are considered disruptive members who must face the consequence of their actions so that they may then reform and act righteously.

The same analogy applies to religion.  God in His Most Wise and Divine Knowledge and Authority prescribed certain rules and regulations to be followed. Most of these regulations are in the form of sacred texts revealed to prophets and messengers; many of these center on worshiping God alone and obeying His commands. Just like laws and regulations are important to keep the community safe, religious rules and regulations are essential to keep humanity harmonious.

Among the rules that God revealed to all prophets are the Ten Commandments.  The Ten Commandments were revealed in the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur’an.

Narrated Ka’b Al-Ahbar: “The first thing that was revealed of the Torah are ten verses, and they are same ten verses mentioned in Surah Al-An’am (Qur’an): {Say (O Muhammad): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you:

  • Do not join anything in worship with Him;
  • Be good and dutiful to your parents;
  • Do not kill your children out of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them;
  • Do not come near to shameful deeds (adultery), whether committed openly or secretly;
  • Do not kill anyone whom Allah has forbidden (to be killed), except for a just cause: thus does He command you, that you may use wisdom.
  • And do not come near the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attains the age of full maturity;
  • Give full measure and full weight with justice – We do not burden any person but that which he can bear;
  • Whenever you speak (testify), speak justly even if a near relative is concerned;
  • And fulfill the Covenant of Allah: thus does He command you that you may remember} (Surah 6, verses 151-153).”

The Ten Commandments ensure justice and peace on earth, but when they are violated injustice and mischief spread through the land. And like the violation of worldly laws results in consequences, violation of the rules of God also results in consequences.

God the Exalted says:

{And verily, We will make them taste of the near (worldly) lighter torment prior to the greater torment, in order that they may return} (Surah 32, verse 21).

Ubayy Ibn Ka’b said: “The near worldly torment are problems and troubles in the worldly life.”  Therefore, when the commandments of God are violated, and His rules and regulations are broken, torment in this life is sent in the form of troubles and problems that strike the son of Adam and leave him in pain and agony.  And if the son of Adam continues as before and insists on violating the rules of God, then there is punishment after death in the grave and in Hell–we seek refuge in God from that.

Nowadays, there is a general trend of dissociating the consequences from their actions. Some people may violate more than one rule of God, and may be given a reprieve and a chance to repent at first. But when they insist on committing the sin, they may be punished for it and afflicted with a calamity. Instead of reflecting on their previous actions, they wonder why they were affected in particular and why that problem afflicted them. But the true believer understands that problems and troubles are a test and an expiation. Problems remind the Muslim of the need to return to God and to repent of all sins. Troubles urge the Muslim to seek the help of God and get closer to Him, and they remind the Muslim of the life to come and the need to prepare for that eternal life.

Thus, God is the Most Merciful and Most Kind and always gives His slaves a chance after chance before punishment.  God, the Lord of the Worlds, screens the sinning slave at first and gives him a chance to repent and return to religion. God the Exalted with his vast mercy forgives and continues to forgive, but when the son of Adam insists on turning away and committing sins then the slave is punished. And even then, God’s mercy surrounds the slave and He in His Most Glory awaits the slave’s repentance patiently and expectantly.  The Almighty God says in Qur’an:

{And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much} (Surah 42, verse 30).

The scholar Ibn Kathir said: “The verse means: ‘Whatever disasters happen to you, O mankind, are because of sins that you have committed in the past.’ (And He pardons much) means: ‘He does not punish you for all of your sins, rather He forgives much.’

Narrated Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘If a person commits many sins and has nothing that will expiate for them, Allah will test him with some grief that will expiate for them.’ Related by Imam Ahmad.”

As the first verse states, the obedient believer and the sinful are never equal, just like the law abiding person is not equal to the criminal. The Mu’min is characterized by having fear of Allah that makes him loathe sins and stay away from them. And in case he slips, he soon repents.  Allah the Exalted says:

 {And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins. And none can forgive sins but Allah, and they do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know}

(Surah 3, verse 135).

Al-Baghawi said: ‘They remember the punishment of Allah and that He will ask them about their actions (so they stop themselves).”  Thus, the Mu’min is the person who doesn’t insist on a sin. It is true that humans are weak and prone to slips and falls, but the Muslim remembers the consequences of disobeying Allah both in this life and the Hereafter, and thus repents of the sin as soon as possible. The Muslim shows regret and remorse and promises Allah never to commit that sin again. And in case he commits another sin (whether the same or different), then he repents a second time, and a third time, until he repents of all sins. When the Muslim reaches this state, then Allah with His Great Mercy and Infinite Forgiveness will erase the sin from his record and grants him purity and sweetness of faith.

The Prophet ﷺ instructs us in the hadith above never to belittle sins, no matter how minor they are. SubhanaAllah, in our age some have started to belittle even the major sins! Some started considering major sins as minor sins and do not think much of committing them. We need to consider the severe consequences that may follow such behavior.

Narrated Ubada Ibn As-Samit, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, a group of my nation will spend the night in merriment, wantonness, play, and forbidden entertainment, and so they will get up in the morning transformed into monkeys and pigs for considering lawful (and violating) the things Allah has forbidden, for taking on female singers, for drinking wine, eating usury, and wearing silk (for men).” Related by Ahmad and Al-Tabarani.

We see the direct cause-effect relationship between actions and their consequences in this hadith. The righteous people among the first Muslim generation (Sahaba) showed great concern over even minor sins and took great pains to avoid them. But now we show even less concern for major sins, and do not consider the enormity of disobeying the Mighty One.  The remedy of this affliction lies in frequent pondering and reflection.  Every day the Muslim should think of the sins he committed during the day and night, and should then make istighfar (ask Allah’s forgiveness) for them.  Only then will the Muslim realize his negligence and shortcomings.  Once he realizes that, then the Muslim should strive to please Allah by obeying His commands and staying away from things He has forbidden.  The Muslim should always keep in mind the good consequences of following Allah’s commands (both in this life and the Hereafter), and the dire consequences of disobeying Allah’s commands (both in this life and the Hereafter).  We pray Allah to guide us to the Right Path and grant us Paradise, and Allah knows best.

The Highest Level: Ihsan

قال الله عز وجل: { هَلْ جَزَاء الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ} سورة الرحمن 60.

God the Exalted says: {Is the reward for good (Ihsan) anything other than good?} (Surah 55, verse 60).

Narrated Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him: “Once while we were sitting with the Messenger of God ﷺ, a man appeared before us, dressed in pure white clothes, with dark black hair, without any sign of travel. None of us recognized him. He sat with the Messenger of God ﷺ, resting his knees against the knees of the Messenger of God ﷺ, and placed his palms on the thighs of the Messenger of God ﷺ, and said: ‘O Muhammad, inform me about Islam.’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘Islam is to testify that there is no god worthy of worship but God and that Muhammad ﷺ is the messenger of God, and to establish prayer, to pay Zakah (the obligatory charity), to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to Makkah if you are capable of it.’ The man said: ‘You have said the truth.’  Omar said: We wondered at him, first asking and then confirming it as the truth!

Then the man said: ‘Inform me about faith (Iman).’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘It is to truly believe in God, in His angels, in His Books, in His messengers, in the Hereafter, and in the Divine Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.’

The man said: ‘You have said the truth. [Now] inform me about Ihsan.’  The Messenger of God ﷺ said:

‘It is to worship God as if you are seeing Him, for though you do not see Him, He, verily, sees you.’

The man said: ‘Inform me about the Hour (of the Day of Judgment).’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘The one asked about it knows no more than the inquirer.’ The man said: ‘Tell me some of its indications and signs.’  The Messenger of God ﷺ said: ‘That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master, and that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herders vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings.’  Omar said: Then the man went on his way and I stayed with Prophet Muhammad for a long while.

The Messenger of God then said to me: ‘O Omar, do you know who the inquirer was?’ I replied: God and His Messenger know best.’  He said: ‘That was Angel Gabriel who came to you in order to instruct you in matters of your religion.’ ”

(Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad).

———–

In this beautiful and eloquent hadith, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ summarizes the main tenets of Islam and its major foundation.  The scholars said this incident occurred towards the end of the Prophet’s life, to clarify and summarize the important pillars of this deen.  Angel Gabriel and the Prophet ﷺ divided the tenets of Islam into three levels: Islam, Iman (faith), and Ihsan.  If we think of them as levels, then the basic level is Islam, the middle higher level is Iman, and the highest level is Ihsan.  Like any other structure, the highest level can be reached only after perfecting the levels before it.

The three concepts of Islam, Iman, and Ihsan are not limited to the spiritual heart; rather, they are firm beliefs of the heart but also actions by the limbs.  In other words, the belief in the heart must translate into good deeds and acts.  For example, one of the pillars of Islam is the Prayer. So the Muslim must believe in the importance and obligation of the Five Daily Prayers, but his Islam would not be perfect until he physically perfects his prayer.  Likewise, one of the pillars of Iman is the belief in Qadr (Divine Decree or pre-destiny), but Iman would not be perfect until the Muslim learns not to complain in the face of adversaries and calamities but instead to bear them patiently and seek God’s help. Finally, the Muslim has firm belief in the concept of Ihsan, and that God the Exalted is always watching him and his actions, but the Muslim’s Ihsan would not be complete until he translates that belief into action and starts fulfilling God’s commands by performing obligations (wajibat) and avoiding actions God has forbidden (sins).

 

One of the ninety-nine Honorable Names of God is: الرقيب (the Ever-Watchful).  God is also: البصير (the All-Seeing), السميع (the All-Hearing), العليم (the All-Knower), and الخبير (the All-Aware).  That is, every creature is under the constant watch and continuous surveillance of God, the Exalted.  This watch never ceases and is never interrupted, as God is the Perfect God and neither sleeps nor slumber ever affects Him.  Furthermore, God the Almighty has assigned two angels for every human, who write his good and bad deeds in a special record that will be presented to the slave on the Day of Judgment.  Thus, nothing of the slave’s actions is ever missed by God, the Lord of the Worlds.  God the Exalted says in Qur’an:

{Truly, nothing is hidden from God, in the earth or in the heavens} (Surah 3, verse 5).

This sense of being under the constant watch of God the Most High, and the resulting attention to one’s actions, is called Ihsan.  Ihsan has two parts: First is the belief that we are being watched by God the Exalted all the time. And second is the sense of shyness and the effort to follow God’s commands and avoid sins that results from realizing God is watching at all times.

 

Once the Muslim realizes he or she is under the constant watch of God, the Muslim tries his best to show respect and reverence to the One Who is watching. The Muslim feels shy of disobeying the Mighty One who is watching. Moreover, the Muslim tries her best to be in the best form and shape before the Only Lord and true God. So the Muslim tries to do as many good deeds as possible and do them only to please God Who is watching him during the day and night, during the morning and evening, in public and in private and on all occasions. This then develops into him a deep and heightened sense of Divine awareness that brings with it a higher level of piety (taqwa), righteousness (salah), and Iman (faith) such that he feels close to God all the time and spends most of his time trying to please his Lord by doing good deeds and avoiding sins. This condition then is called Ihsan, and it is as mentioned above the highest level of the religion.

This elevated level of Ihsan requires struggle and fending off the desires of the Evil tempting Self and the temptations of Satan and the devils.  Ihsan requires perfecting the stages of Islam and Iman (faith) first, then gradually building one’s Ihsan. Ihsan requires constant reminder of this continued watch by making Dhikr and glorifying God all the time, as well as daily repentance and frequent istighfar (seeking forgiveness from God) and asking God for the favor of this special state.

It is not an easy task, but God’s rewards are not cheap, either. In return for this struggle, God provides blessings both in this world, represented by a peaceful contented life, and in the Hereafter through the highest levels in Jannah or Paradise.  We pray God to guide us to the Right Path and grant us from His Favor.  And God knows best.

Reward and Punishment

قال الله عز وجل: { وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ} سورة الشورى 30.

Allah the Exalted says: { And whatever misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned, but Allah pardons much} (Surah 42, verse 30).

وعن بريدة الأسلمي رضي الله عنه قال: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقولُ: « ما أصابَ رجلًا من المسلمين نكبةٌ فما فوقها- حتى ذكر الشوكة- إلا لإحدى خصلتين: إلا ليغفرَ الله من الذنوبِ ذنبًا لم يكن ليغفرَ الله له إلا بمثل ذلك، أو يبلغَ به من الكرامة كرامةً لم يكن يبلغها إلا بمثل ذلك».  رواه ابن أبي الدنيا والبيهقي.

Narrated Burayda Al-Aslami, may Allah be pleased with him: “I heard the Prophet ﷺ say: ‘Whatsoever small misfortune or greater than it–he even mentioned a thorn–befalls a Muslim for two reasons: Either so that Allah forgives a sin that He would have not forgiven except for that, or to make him attain honor that he would not have attained except for that.’ ”  Related by Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya and Al-Bayhaqi.

———–

In the Qur’an, Allah the Exalted states that He created this life to test people’s belief and disbelief, obedience and disobedience, and righteousness and evil. Part of the test is that this worldly  life (dunya) is never perfect: beside its happiness there is sadness; beside its richness there is poverty; beside its fortunes there are misfortunes, and beside its pleasures there is adversity. Then the human is tested in how he acts in every situation–the levels of his faith, piety, patience, and devotion to God are measured and recorded.  Based on the actions of the human and the Perfect Judgment of God, the person is then either rewarded with Paradise or punished with Hell on the Day of Judgment.

This worldly life is not a lawless place where man can live with no rule or code; rather, in every era, Allah the Exalted sent messengers with Divine instructions to lead mankind to guidance and to the path of eternal bliss in the Hereafter.  The Qur’an mentions many prophets and their Divine messages.  We read about the story of Adam, whom Allah created with His Own Exalted Hand from mud and blew the soul into him to bring life to him. We read about the first instruction to humans in the form of staying away from the forbidden tree.

Due to human nature being prone to slips and falls, Prophet Adam was tempted by Satan and ate from the tree, and was then moved from Paradise to the earth. But just as human nature is prone to slips and falls, it is also inclined to righteousness and repentance. Indeed, just as there is a dark side to the soul, there is a countering good side as well. Thus, Prophet Adam spent forty days on earth in prostration, crying in repentance to God. Allah the Most Merciful bestowed His mercy and forgiveness upon Adam and Eve and instructed them to act righteously on earth. Ever since, every nation and generation has received a Messenger and an accompanying Divine book with the instructions and commandments of God. There were many prophets who came as warners to their people, including Prophet Noah, Prophet Moses, Prophet Isa (Jesus), Prophet Abraham, Prophet David, Prophet Solomon, and many others. The last Prophet and Messenger of Allah is Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the seal of prophets who has been sent to humankind at large until the end of time.

If we read about previous nations, we see that some nations followed the guidance their prophets brought them from God and gained eternal bliss, while others refused to obey and were punished both in this life and the Hereafter. In the Qur’an we read some of the stories of the people who were punished, like the story of people of Noah who were destroyed with the Great Flood, the story of the people of Thamud who were annihilated with the Piercing Cry, the story of the people of Aad who were destroyed with the Violent Wind, the story of Pharaoh who was drowned, and many others.

Allah the Exalted mentioned the stories of the nations before us in Qur’an so that we take heed and act righteously. These true stories are great lessons for us, and forewarn us of the consequences of our actions. Indeed, we see the effects of our actions in this life before the Hereafter.  In the above verse, Allah the Exalted states that a lot of corruption and evil we see on earth is a direct consequence of disobedience to God.  These consequences can appear in the form of misfortunes and adversity (though we should realize that misfortunes can also be a test for the righteous).  Therefore, we are instructed to repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness frequently during the day and night, but more so during times of difficulty and adversity.  Allah the Exalted says:

}وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَضَرَّعُونَ * فَلَوْلَا إِذْ جَاءَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا تَضَرَّعُوا وَلَكِنْ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ{

{Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Prophet Muhammad). And We seized them with poverty and hardship so that they may believe with humility.

Then why, when Our Torment reached them, did they not believe with humility? Instead, their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing} (Surah 6, verse 42-43).

Thus, Allah the Exalted instructs us to turn back to Him during time of difficulty and adversity, and to seek His forgiveness and mercy with greater degree of humility and pleading.  But that must be accompanied by repentance, true repentance that dictates leaving the sin or sins that may have led to these consequences. When struck with a calamity or difficulty, the Muslim is instructed to seek forgiveness and mercy from Allah, to repent of sins, and then to seek His help and aid.

The time of difficulty is a time of reflection, a time of looking back at our actions, a time of carefully considering which rules of Allah we aren’t following.

As the verse above states, sometimes adversity and difficulty are just a reminder for the Muslim to abandon sins and repent to Allah. But when the human continues to act as before and tries to ignore the consequences of bad actions and finds no link between the two, then the situation may worsen–we seek refuge with Allah.  On the other hand, when the Muslim takes heed and starts by purifying his own self and then seeks Allah’s help, Allah will find him a way out of every difficulty and provide him from whence he doesn’t expect, a promise by Allah:

{And whoever fears Allah (by following His Commands and staying away from sins), He will make for him a way out (of difficulty).  And He will provide for him from where he does not expect} (Surah 65, verses 2-3).

In conclusion, we see a common habit of dissociating actions from their consequences. The Prophet ﷺ  mentioned in the hadith above that adversity and difficulty could be a direct result of some sin the Muslim is committing or it could be an elevating test for the pious person. And the above verses make it abundantly clear that happiness and calamity in both worlds have a direct link to human action. Therefore, in all difficulties, the Muslim is instructed to reflect upon his actions, repent of his sins, seek the forgiveness and mercy of Allah, and then seek help and aid from Allah, the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving.  And Allah knows best.

Feeling Superiority

قال الله عز وجل: { إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا} النساء 36.

Allah the Exalted says: { Verily, Allah does not like those who are proud and boastful} (Surah 4, verse 36).

وعن جندب بن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « قالَ رَجُلٌ: واللَّهِ لا يَغْفِرُ اللَّه لفُلانٍ، فَقَالَ اللَّه عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: مَنْ ذا الَّذِي يَتَأَلَّى عليَّ أنْ لا أغفِرَ لفُلانٍ إنِّي قَد غَفَرْتُ لَهُ، وَأَحْبَطْتُ عمَلَكَ» .  رواه مسلم.

قال الْإِمَامُ مَالِكٌ: إذَا قَالَ ذَلِكَ مُعْجَبًا بِنَفْسِهِ مُزْدَرِيًا بِغَيْرِهِ فَهُوَ أَشَدُّ هَلَاكًا مِنْهُمْ،‏ لِأَنَّهُ لَا يَدْرِي سَرَائِرَ اللَّهِ فِي خَلْقِهِ‏.‏

Narrated Jundub Ibn Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “A man swore: ‘By God, Allah will not forgive such and such person.’  Thereupon, Allah the Almighty said: ‘Who is he who swears about Me that I will not forgive so and so; indeed I have forgiven him and abolished your deeds.’ ” Related by Imam Muslim.

Imam Malik said: “If he said so out of self-conceit and contempt of others, then he is the one who is ruined because he has no knowledge of people’s inner side and future intention.”

عن عبدِ اللَّهِ بن مسعُودٍ رضيَ اللَّهُ عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « لا يَدْخُلُ الجَنَّةَ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ كِبْرٍ»، فقال رَجُلٌ: إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَكُونَ ثَوْبُه حَسَناً ونَعْلُهُ حَسَناً، قال: « إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَمِيلٌ يُحِبُّ الجَمَالَ، الكِبْرُ بَطَرُ الحَقِّ وغَمْطُ النَّاسِ» . رواه مسلم والترمذي.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whosoever has a grain of mustard worth of pride in his heart shall not enter Paradise.’  A man asked: “Indeed, a person loves that his dress should be fine and his shoes should be fine.”  The Prophet ﷺ replied: “Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and having contempt for people.”  Related by Muslim and Al-Tirmidhi.

As the above hadith specifies, feeling superior to people is part of kibr (pride), which is a major sin. Indeed, pride is the greatest sin because through it Satan was banished from the Heavens and cursed.  When Allah the Exalted created Adam, He asked the angels to prostrate to him. The angels obeyed while Satan (who used to worship among the angels, and was even known for his great worship to Allah) stood aside and did not prostrate. When asked why he did not prostrate to Adam, Satan replied: ‘I am better than him; I was created from fire while he was created from clay.’  So Allah banished and cursed Satan for his disobedience.

The same concept applies when someone feels superior to other people because of his wealth, social status, intelligence, or any other trait.  We must understand that any blessing is granted by Allah alone, and He bestows it to whomever He wishes. Thus, there is no justification for feeling superior when the distinction is a blessing granted by Allah, and can instantly be taken away if Allah so wishes. Rather the Muslim is instructed to show humbleness and humility, and express his gratitude and thanks to Allah for His special favors. In Surat Al-Kahf, we read the story of a rich man who owned two orchards full with fruits and with a running river. He was once in his green and lush orchard, and looked around with pride and said I don’t think all of this will ever end, and when I die I will get better than this. His companion admonished him not to feel pride and superiority, but to instead thank Allah for His Blessings; but he persisted in his arrogance. That night, lightning struck his orchards and he lost everything because of his pride.

The same is true for religious status. When someone appears more adherent to the rules of Allah and thinks highly of himself or looks down upon others, then he might end up worse than them because he harbors the greatest sin of pride. Indeed, it is only Allah who granted him this gift, but when he attributes his worship to his own effort and looks down on others, then he has fallen in the same trap as Satan. We should abhor and prohibit the sin, but should have goodwill and compassion for the human.  When the Muslim sees a sin being committed, he should advise the wrong doer but should never look down upon the sinner or belittle him, but instead should maintain a positive opinion of him while wishing him guidance and goodness.

Indeed, the Muslim does not reach the full level of Faith (Iman) until he purifies his heart from vices like jealousy, worldly rivalry, hatred, pride, feeling superior to others, belittling others, and the like. In the following hadith, the Prophet  describes the best of people:

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Amr, maybe Allah be pleased with them: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked: ‘Who among the people is best?’  He replied: ‘Every person with a makhmum heart and  a truthful tongue.’  The companions asked: ‘We know the truthful person, but who is the one with a makhmum heart?’  The Prophet ﷺ  replied:

‘He is the one who is pious and pure, (in whose heart) there is neither sin, nor transgression, nor malice, nor envy.’ ”

(Related by Ibn Majah and Al-Bayhaqi with a good narration).

Pride led to Satan’s downfall, and it is this same pride that leads to problems in this world and destruction in the next. Arrogance and pride are among the most difficult of traits to remove, but our lives must be permanent, persisting efforts to do just that. By realizing our fragile position and by glimpsing at Allah’s majestic grandeur, we can achieve a level of humility that allows us to fix our relationships with the people and with Allah. We ask Allah for tawfiq.

Accounting for Deeds in Both Worlds

 

     عن أبي بَرْزَةَ رضي الله عنه أن رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « لا تَزُولُ قَدمَا عبْدٍ يَومَ القِيامَةِ حَتَّى يُسْأَلَ عَنْ أَرْبعٍ: عَنْ عُمْرِهِ فِيمَ أَفْنَاهُ، وَعَنْ عِلْمِهِ مَا عَمِلَ بِهِ، وعَنْ مالِهِ منْ أَيْنَ اكْتَسبهُ وَفِيمَ أَنْفَقَهُ، وَعَن جِسْمِهِ فِيمَ أَبْلاه» .  رواه الترمذي وقال: هذا حديث حسن صحيح.

Narrated Abu Barza, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of God ﷺ said: “The two feet of any slave on the Day of Judgment shall not move on until he is asked about four things: About his age, how he spent it; about his knowledge, how he acted upon it; about his money, from where he earned it and how he spent it; and about his body, how he wore it away.”   Related by Al-Tirmidhi with an authentic narration.

In our daily struggle with the worldly life, we tend to forget or postpone thinking about and preparing for the Hereafter.  Man often considers only what is in front of him, while ignoring that which comes later. Man considers his immediate future yet postpones plans for the distant future. But the wise person is he who considers both the immediate and distant future. The wise person sees what is in front of him, but also what is lying ahead behind the curve. The wise Muslim prepares not only for this life, but also struggles as hard for the other world soon to come.

Indeed, as soon as one dies, the veil is lifted from his eyes and he starts seeing and experiencing the real truth for the first time.  After death, man starts seeing the world as never before. He starts seeing the recompense of his actions, he starts seeing and experiencing the bliss of Paradise or the punishment of Hell-Fire, he starts seeing the angels of mercy or the angels of punishment, and he starts seeing the end results of the righteous people and the evil unjust people. He is truly seeing the world for the first time.

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

When someone of you dies, then his day of judgment begins.

Related by Ibn Abi al-Dunya and Al-Daylami.

Indeed, when man dies, the angels take his soul, and either ascend with it to heavens or descend with it to the pits. Before that, the Angel of Death appears in either of two forms: a beautiful and inviting shape with which he captures the soul of the believers, or an ugly and terrifying form with which he captures the soul of the disbelievers. Soon after, the angels of mercy or punishment take over according to one’s deeds. And once the dead person is lain in his grave, the two angels, Munkar and Nakir, come to him and question him, asking him to account for every single deed and action he performed in the world.

Thus, our daily actions do not go without notice; rather, every action or deed is recorded and we will be asked about it. The major guideline and rule is: is this action in accordance with God’s rules?  Does it violate any of God’s commands?  This then sets the path to the Hereafter.  Obedience to God is rewarded with bliss and happiness in the Hereafter, while disobedience and sin may be punished in the grave and Hell. In the above hadith, the Prophet gives us a glimpse of the accounting that man would undergo after death.  After death, man will be asked about his age, his knowledge, his wealth, and his body. When man dies, he will be asked how he gained and used those four matters, and whether he followed God’s rules and commands regarding each. Then his reward or punishment will be served based on his actions–but God’s mercy is great.

If we ponder upon the things mentioned in the hadith, we will find that they encompass every deed of the son of Adam in this life:

First, the son of Adam will be asked about how he spent his age i.e. his time. Did he spend his time doing something permissible, did he spend his time doing something useful, or did he just waste his time? Did he take advantage of his time to do good deeds or was he too preoccupied with enjoyment and desires?

Second, the son of Adam will be asked about his knowledge i.e. the knowledge of Islam.  Did he learn about his deen (religion), did he learn about the commands of Allah or His obligations and forbidden things, did he act upon that knowledge, and did he teach it to others?

Third, the son of Adam will be asked about his wealth i.e. money. How did he earn his money? Did he steal, did he cheat, did he rob others, or did he earn from a permissible source? And how did he spend that money? Did he spend it on sins, did he waste it away, or did he give to the poor and the needy?

And fourth, the son of Adam will be asked about his body i.e. his limbs. Did he use his body to worship God or to instead commit sins? Did he guard his body from bad substances like drugs and alcohol or did harm himself? Did he fast for the sake of God? And how did he use his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his mind, his hands and his feet?  Indeed, he will be asked about every limb.

The sensible person should consider these four questions and should prepare answers for the accounting to come. The Muslim is forewarned; God the Exalted says: { And let every soul consider what it has presented for tomorrow, and fear God, verily God is well aware of all that you do} (surah 59, verse 18). The Muslim should take heed, as the following hadith prompts:

وعَنْ أبي يَعْلَى شَدَّادِ بْن أَوْسٍ رضي اللَّه عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الكَيِّسُ مَنْ دَانَ نَفْسَهُ وَعَمِلَ لِمَا بَعْدَ المَوْتِ، وَالعَاجِزُ مَنْ أَتْبَعَ نَفْسَهُ هَوَاهَا وَتَمَنَّى عَلَى اللَّهِ» .  رواه التِّرْمِذيُّ وابن ماجه وأحمد والحاكم .

Narrated Abu Ya’la Shaddad Ibn Aws, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“The sensible person is he who takes account of himself and works for what comes after death. And the foolish person is he who lets his self follow its desires, and then indulges in wishful thinking about God.”  Related by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad and Al-Hakim.

The golden rule to follow to pass this accounting is to follow the rules of God in everything and to stay away from all sins.  In case the Muslim slips and commits a sin, he should return to God in repentance and ask His forgiveness as soon as possible. Thus, when he dies, he will be able to answer faithfully and with sincerity, and pass the accounting with ease.

Finally, the Muslim should not feel overwhelmed by the accounting for deeds, but should put his trust in His God and hope the best from His only Lord, for indeed God is the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving. The Muslim is asked to try his best and then leave the rest to God, provided the Muslim keeps asking God’s forgiveness and keeps returning to Him after every slip. Indeed, the son of Adam is weak and wrongful, but the door of repentance is wide and the bounds of God’s mercy are limitless–yet the sensible is the one who exerts effort and only then expects and hopes for the best from his Lord.  And God knows best.

Birr al-Walidayn: Islam’s Emphasis on Parents

عن أبى هُرَيْرَةَ عنِ النَّبِي صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: « لَمْ يَتَكَلَّمْ فِى الْمَهْدِ إِلاَّ ثَلاَثَةٌ: عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ، وَصَاحِبُ جُرَيْجٍ. وَكَانَ جُرَيْجٌ رَجُلاً عَابِدًا، فَاتَّخَذَ صَوْمَعَةً، فَكَانَ فِيهَا، فَأَتَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّى. فَقَالَتْ: يَا جُرَيْجُ.  فَقَالَ: يَا رَبِّ أُمِّي وَصَلاَتِي. فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَى صَلاَتِهِ، فَانْصَرَفَتْ.
فَلَمَّا كَانَ مِنَ الْغَدِ أَتَتْهُ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي، فَقَالَتْ: يَا جُرَيْجُ. فَقَالَ: يَا رَبِّ أمي وصلاتي، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَى صَلاَتِهِ، فَانْصَرَفَتْ.
فَلَمَّا كَانَ مِنَ الْغَدِ أَتَتْهُ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي، فَقَالَتْ: يَا جُرَيْجُ . فَقَالَ: أَي رَبِّ أُمِّي وصلاتي، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَى صَلاَتِهِ.
فَقَالَتِ: اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تُمِتْهُ حَتَّى يَنْظُرَ إِلَى وُجُوهِ الْمُومِسَاتِ.
فَتَذَاكَرَ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ جُرَيْجًا وَعِبَادَتَهُ، وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَةٌ بَغِىٌّ يُتَمَثَّلُ بِحُسْنِهَا، فَقَالَتْ: إِنْ شِئْتُمْ لأَفْتِنَنَّهُ لَكُمْ. قَالَ: فَتَعَرَّضَتْ لَهُ، فَلَمْ يَلْتَفِتْ إِلَيْهَا. فَأَتَتْ رَاعِيًا كَانَ يَأْوِي إِلَى صَوْمَعَتِهِ، فَأَمْكَنَتْهُ مِنْ نَفْسِهَا، فَوَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا، فَحَمَلَتْ. فَلَمَّا وَلَدَتْ ، قَالَتْ: هُوَ مِنْ جُرَيْجٍ.
فَأَتَوْهُ فَاسْتَنْزَلُوهُ، وَهَدَمُوا صَوْمَعَتَهُ، وَجَعَلُوا يَضْرِبُونَهُ، فَقَالَ: مَا شَأْنُكُمْ؟ قَالُوا: زَنَيْتَ بِهَذِهِ الْبَغِي فَوَلَدَتْ مِنْكَ.  فَقَالَ: أَيْنَ الصبي؟  فَجَاءُوا بِهِ، فَقَالَ: دعوني حَتَّى أُصَلِّىَ، فَصَلَّى. فَلَمَّا انْصَرَفَ أَتَى الصَّبيَّ فَطَعَنَ فِى بَطْنِهِ، وَقَالَ: يَا غُلاَمُ مَنْ أَبُوكَ؟  قَالَ: فُلاَنٌ الراعي.
قَالَ: فَأَقْبَلُوا عَلَى جُرَيْجٍ يُقَبِّلُونَهُ، وَيَتَمَسَّحُونَ بِهِ، وَقَالُوا: نَبْنِي لَكَ صَوْمَعَتَكَ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ.  قَالَ: لاَ أَعِيدُوهَا مِنْ طِينٍ كَمَا كَانَتْ، فَفَعَلُوا» . رواه البخاري ومسلم.
قال النووي: وفي حديث جريج هذا فوائد كثيرة؛ منها عظم بر الوالدين، وتأكد حق الأم، وأن دعاءها مجاب.  وأنه إذا تعارضت الأمور بدئ بالأهم.  وأن الله تعالى يجعل لأوليائه مخارج عند ابتلائهم بالشدائد غالبا . قال الله تعالى: {وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا} [الطلاق 2]، وقد يجري عليهم الشدائد بعض الأوقات زيادة في أحوالهم، وتهذيبا لهم، فيكون لطفا .

——

Narrated Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “None spoke in the cradle except three (persons): Jesus the son of Mary, and [the second one is] the companion of Jurayj.  Jurayj was a man [from the Children of Isra’il] who devoted himself to worshiping God.  He confined himself in a hermitage and used to worship God in it.  His mother once came to him as he was busy in prayer and called him: ‘Jurayj.’  He said: ‘My Lord, my mother [is calling me while I am engaged in] my prayer.’  Then he chose to continue with the prayer, and she left.

She returned the next day and he was busy in prayer, and she called him again: ‘Jurayj’.  He said: ‘My Lord, my mother [is calling me while I am engaged] in prayer,’ and he chose to continue with the prayer, and she left.

She came back the third day as he was busy in prayer and called him: ‘Jurayj.’  He said: ‘My Lord, my mother [is calling me while I am engaged in] my prayer,’ and he chose to continue with the prayer.  So she said: ‘My Lord, do not let him die until he sees the faces of prostitutes.’

The Children of Isra’il talked about Jurayj and his great worship. There was a prostitute who was known for her beauty who said [to the people]: ‘If you like, I can entice him.’  She presented herself to him but he paid her no heed.  So she went to a shepherd who used to live near the hermitage and offered herself to him. The shepherd shared bed with her and she became pregnant.  When she gave birth to a child she said: ‘This is from Jurayj.’

People went to Jurayj, asked him to get down, demolished his hermitage, and began to beat him.  He said: ‘What is the matter with you?’  They said: ‘You have committed fornication with this prostitute, and she has given birth to your child.’  He said: ‘Where is the baby boy?’  They brought the baby boy and he said: ‘Let me offer prayer to my Lord.’  He observed prayer and when he finished, he went to the baby boy.  Juriaj struck his stomach and said: ‘O boy, who is your father?’ The baby boy spoke and said: ‘So and so the shepherd.’  Thereupon, the people turned towards Jurayj, kissed him and touched him [seeking blessing].  They said: ‘We will construct your hermitage with gold.’ He said: ‘No, just rebuild it with mud as it had been,’ and they did that.” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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The above hadith indicates the great emphasis Islam has placed on the obligations and rights of parents.  In Islam the concept of gratefulness to God is stressed time and again. Thus, the Muslim should feel and express gratitude to Allah, Who has granted him innumerous blessings and countless favors.  As mentioned in the hadith, each blessing requires thankfulness and gratitude.  And the more the slave thanks Allah and admits his constant need of Him, the more Allah grants the slave; meanwhile, the ungrateful slave will find his recompense both in this life and the Hereafter.

Parents have been given such high status in Islam partially due to the concept of gratitude.  It is logically explained in the Qur’an that as the mother bears her child for nine months, and endures the hardships throughout her pregnancy, and then both parents take care of the baby while he or she is growing up, the parents deserve a similar attitude of care and respect from the child. In the Qur’an, Allah the Exalted states: { And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years.  Be grateful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination} (Surah 31, verse 14).

Thus, Allah the Exalted ties giving thanks and being grateful to Him, to giving thanks and being grateful to one’s parents. The scholars said that this verse indicates that the opposite is true, too. So the person who does not thank his parents and does not express gratitude by taking care of them, and does not show respect and reverence to them–that person has not expressed real gratitude to God. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ called undutifulness to one’s parents a major sin, and one of the seven deadly sins in Islam. The following hadith in fact tells us that the greatest major sin after disbelief is bad treatment of parents (‘uquq):

عن عبد اللَّهِ بنِ عمرو بن العاص رضي اللَّه عنهما عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الكَبَائرُ: الإِشْرَاكُ بِاللَّهِ، وعُقُوقِ الوَالِديْنِ، وقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ، واليَمِينُ الغَمُوسُ» .  رواه البخاري.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The major sins are: Associating any partner in worship with Allah (shirk), undutifulness to one’s parents (uqooq), killing the soul, and taking a false oath that will take him deep into Hell (Al-Yameen Al-Ghamoos).”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

Despite this emphasis in the religion on parents’ rights, we see some abandoning this Divine command and preferring self-interest and personal family needs over their parents’ needs.

It is as if they have forgotten the extra care their parents took and the years they spent to raise them.

Thus, not only do they neglect an honorable duty and a moral obligation, but they also end up committing a major sin whose consequences are felt both in this life and the Hereafter–may Allah keep us safe.  The following hadith conveys some of the gravity of the matter:

عن جابِرِ بنِ سَمُرَةَ رضي اللَّهُ عنه قالَ: ( صَعِدَ النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم الْمِنْبَرَ فَقَالَ: « آمِينَ، آمِينَ، آمِينَ». فَلَمَّا نَزَلَ سُئِلَ عَنْ ذَلِكَ ؟ فَقَالَ: « أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ، فَقَالَ: رَغِمَ أَنْفُ مَنْ أَدْرَكَ رَمَضَانَ فَلَمْ يُغْفَرْ لَهُ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، قُلْتُ: آمِينَ.  وَرَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ ذُكِرْتَ عِنْدَهُ فَلَمْ يُصَلِّ عَلَيْكَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِينَ.  وَرَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ أَدْرَكَ وَالِدَيْهِ أَوْ أَحَدَهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْفَرْ لَهُ، أَوْ لا يُدْخِلانِهِ الْجَنَّةَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ. قُلْتُ: آمِينَ»). رواه البزار واللفظ له، ورواه الترمذي وابن حبان والطبراني وأحمد.

Narrated Jabir Ibn Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Prophet ﷺ climbed the pulpit once and then said: ‘Amen. Amen. Amen.’  When he climbed down, he was asked about that, so he replied: ‘Gabriel came to me and said: ‘Humiliated is he who attained the month of Ramadan, but was not forgiven, say Amen.’  I said Amen.  He said: ‘Humiliated is he in whose presence you are mentioned, but he does not send prayer upon you, say Amen.’  I said Amen.  He said: ‘And humiliated is he who is with his parents or one of them, but was not forgiven, or they did not make him enter Paradise, say Amen.’  I said Amen.’ ”  Related by Al-Bazzar (his narration), as well as Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban, Al-Tabarani, and Ahmad with good narration.

Respect for parents extends to the degree that Allah has prohibited us from even expressing annoyance to them.  Rather, the Muslim should be patient with his parents and swallow any anger or frustration he may feel and remember their great rights and obligation. Allah the Exalted says: {And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents.  If one of them or both of them attain old age while with you, say not to them a word of disrespect (uff), nor reprimand them but address them in terms of honor.  And lower to them the wing of humility and mercy, and say: “My Lord, bestow upon them Your mercy as they brought me up when I was young.”} (Surah 17, verses 23-24).

Ibn Kathir said: “The meaning of the verse is: Do not let your parents hear any bad speech from you, not even to say ‘Uff’, which is the mildest level of disrespect and bad speech.

On the other hand, a great reward and good recompense is promised to the one who treats her parents with good manners, obeys them, and tries to fulfill their needs.  Such a dutiful child is promised goodness in this life and great reward in the Hereafter, as the following hadith shows:

عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « مَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يُمَدَّ لَهُ فِي عُمُرِهِ ويُزَادَ فِي رِزْقِهِ فَلْيَبِرَّ وَالِدَيْهِ وَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ» .  رواه أحمد.

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever wishes for his age to be extended, and for his livelihood to be increased, then let him be dutiful to his parents and maintain relationship with his kin.”  Related by Imam Ahmad.

This goes to the extent that some scholars said that being dutiful to parents erases major sins.  It is related that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said: “Dutifulness to parents is an expatiation of major sins.”   And great stories have been narrated of the Companions of the Prophet and how they used to respect their parents and do everything they could to serve their parents and fulfill their needs.  Indeed, the righteous people realized the great reward in treating parents with good manners and being dutiful to them, and learned of its benefits both in this life and the Hereafter, so they took every effort to fulfill their parents’ needs and spent what they had to serve their parents.

Finally, we see the keenness of Companions to be dutiful to their parents even after death, as the following hadith shows:

‏عن أبي أُسَيْدٍ مالكِ بنِ ربيعةَ السَّاعِدِيِّ ‏قال: بَيْنَا نَحْنُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إِذْ جَاءَهُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ ‏بَنِي سَلَمَةَ فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هَلْ بَقِيَ مِنْ بِرِّ أَبَوَيَّ شَيْءٌ أَبَرُّهُمَا بِهِ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِمَا؟ قَالَ: « ‏نَعَمْ الصَّلَاةُ عَلَيْهِمَا، وَالِاسْتِغْفَارُ لَهُمَا، وَإِنْفَاذُ عَهْدِهِمَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمَا، وَصِلَةُ الرَّحِمِ الَّتِي لَا تُوصَلُ إِلَّا بِهِمَا، وَإِكْرَامُ صَدِيقِهِمَا».  رواه أبو داود وابن ماجه.

Narrated Abu Usaid Malik Ibn Rabi’a Al-Sa’idi : “While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, a man from the tribe of Bani Salama came to him and asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, is there anything of filial devotion left with which I can be dutiful to my parents after their death?’  He replied: ‘Yes, praying for them, asking Allah to forgive them, fulfilling their pledge after them, maintaining relationship with the kinfolk not maintained except by them, and honoring their friends.’ ”  Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.

Islam has thus placed enormous emphasis on respect for and obedience to parents, with great rewards promised to righteous children, and severe punishment in both lives warned of those who mistreat their parents. We ask Allah to forgive us in our shortcomings to our parents, and we ask Him to reward them and raise their ranks for all their services on our behalf.

Eternal Bliss and Transient Pleasure: Insights on Fasting

قال الله عز وجل: { وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ كَأَن لَّمْ يَلْبَثُواْ إِلاَّ سَاعَةً مِّنَ النَّهَارِ يَتَعَارَفُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِلِقَآءِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانُواْ مُهْتَدِينَ} سورة يونس 45 .

Allah the Exalted says: { And on the Day when He shall gather them together, (it will be) as if they had not stayed (in the life of this world and graves) but an hour of a day. They will recognize each other. Ruined indeed will be those who denied the meeting with Allah and were not guided} (Surah 10, verse 45).

عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « يُؤْتَى بِأَنْعَمِ أَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيُصْبَغُ فِي النَّارِ صَبْغَةً، ثُمَّ يُقَالُ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ هَلْ رَأَيْتَ خَيْرًا قَطُّ؟ هَلْ مَرَّ بِكَ نَعِيمٌ قَطُّ؟ فَيَقُولُ: لَا وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ، وَيُؤْتَى بِأَشَدِّ النَّاسِ بُؤْسًا فِي الدُّنْيَا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيُصْبَغُ صَبْغَةً فِي الْجَنَّةِ فَيُقَالُ لَهُ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ هَلْ رَأَيْتَ بُؤْسًا قَطُّ؟ هَلْ مَرَّ بِكَ شِدَّةٌ قَطُّ؟ فَيَقُولُ: لَا وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا مَرَّ بِي بُؤْسٌ قَطُّ وَلَا رَأَيْتُ شِدَّةً قَطُّ». رواه مسلم.

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “A person among the people of Hell who had led a life of ease and plenty in the world will be brought forth on the Day of Judgment and immersed only once in Hell. Then he will be asked: ‘O son of Adam, did you ever experience any comfort in your life? Did you ever get any material blessing in the world?’  He will reply: ‘By Allah, no, my Lord.’

And then a person among the people of Paradise who had led the most miserable life in the world will be brought forth and immersed only once in Paradise.  Then he will be asked: ‘O son of Adam, did you ever experience any misery in your life? Had you any hardship in the world?’  He will reply: ‘By Allah, no, my Lord, never did I experience any misery or face any hardship.’ ”  Related by Imam Muslim.

——————-

When it comes to emotions and feelings of faith, the Muslim is most conscious of them while fasting, and especially so during the blessed month of Ramadan. When the Muslim stops himself from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, he feels a special bond and closeness to his Lord since he does so only to obey his Lord and please Him. And soon enough, through this struggle, the Muslim realizes that fasting involves deeper meaningful purposes and aspects beyond merely refraining from food and drink.

Indeed, the objectives and purposes of fasting are numerous.  Fasting is a discipline and a training exercise for the Muslim, for when the Muslim stops himself from the permissible, it is even easier to avoid the forbidden.

Thus, while he starts out by avoiding food, he ends up abandoning sins.

Furthermore, when the Muslim devotes more than half of his day for this sacred worship, he realizes the importance of paying attention to his hereafter.  And when the Muslim feels the pangs of hunger or yearns to quench his parched throat, he starts tasting the sweet taste of faith as never before, and is eager to do more to please his Lord.

Everyone is familiar with hunger and thirst, but these feelings are heightened during the long fast. Yet the Muslim sacrifices his will to eat and drink to obey and please his Lord. Not only that, but when the Muslim breaks his fast at sunset, he is rewarded with the sweet taste of faith (Iman) which brings him closer to his Lord and makes him more aware of God.  This moment of happiness will be followed by another joyous moment in the Hereafter, as mentioned 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 Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah said: ‘Every good deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied ten times to seven hundred times except fasting, which is for Me and I will reward for it accordingly; for he abandons his (sexual) desire, food, and drink for My sake.’

Verily, there are two moments of joy for the fasting person: one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time of meeting his Lord (in the Hereafter).

Verily, the altered smell emanating from the mouth of the fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the scent of musk.  Fasting is a shield (with which a servant protects himself from the Fire). When one of you is fasting, then he should avoid shameless and loud idle talk. And if someone calls him bad names or fights with him, then he should say: ‘I am fasting.’”  (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Thus, there are two joyous and pleasurable moments for the fasting person: one when he breaks his fast and the other one in the Hereafter when he meets his Lord.

And herein is a great lesson and reminder for us.  After fasting the whole day, after experiencing hunger and thirst the whole day, and after waiting long hours, within minutes of eating and drinking at sunset all of that hunger and thirst is gone!  We no longer remember the long hours of waiting but enjoy the food in front of us. Indeed, the long day is forgotten and we feel like our fasting lasted only a short time. The same feeling will be experienced on the Day of Judgment.  The many years of struggle on earth will be remembered as one day, one morning, and even one hour.

The Muslim should take heed of the shortness and transience of the worldly life and should give preference to the long and everlasting Hereafter, while fulfilling the necessities of the worldly life. Just like fasting the whole day is diminished at the time of breaking the fast, so this worldly life will be diminished after death and will be felt like a short time only.  But the Hereafter continues on and on forever.

The Muslim should take care to avoid sins in this world just like he prevents himself from food and drink during the day–and he should expect Allah to grant him happiness at the end of his life just like he experiences happiness at the end of the fast.

One of the scholars said, “Live your entire life as if it were Ramadan; your death will be like Eid!”

On the other hand, indulgence in sins will be greatly regretted on the Day of Judgment.  If the whole worldly life will seem like an hour on that Day, then forbidden pleasures would seem like seconds or even parts of a second, and the regret will be much greater that a person compromised on so much for the sake of seconds. But it will be too late.

Allah the Exalted gives us a contrast of the two conditions and their recompense very clearly in Qur’an, and urges us to be forewarned and act righteous.  He says:

{35.The Day when man shall remember what he strove for.

  1. And Hell-fire shall be made apparent in full view for (every) one who sees.
  2. Then, for him who transgressed (the bounds of Allah by disobeying Him),
  3. And preferred the life of this world (by following self-desires and lusts),
  4. Verily, his abode will be Hell-fire;
  5. But as for him who feared the standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from evil desires and lusts,
  6. Verily, Paradise will be his abode} (Surah 79, verses 35- 41).

 

Indeed, the temporary forbidden pleasures of this world can never be compared to the eternal real bliss of the Hereafter.  What seems like years and years now will feel like a short time on the Day of Judgment.  What seems like a long life now, will seem as an hour on that great Day.  And any comforts enjoyed and hardships suffered will be forgotten. Only devotion to the Lord will remain as the only criteria for the final Judgment.  May Allah guide us to the Right Path and grant us Paradise.  And Allah and His Messenger know best.

 

The Repentant and the Command to Repent

 

عن أبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قالَ: قالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: «‏ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ لَمْ تُذْنِبُوا لَذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ وَلَجَاءَ بِقَوْمٍ يُذْنِبُونَ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُمْ».  رواه مسلم وأحمد.

 

Narrated Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him: the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if you were not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and He would forgive them.”  (Related by Muslim and Ahmad).

Allah, the Creator and the Most Knowledgeable, describes the son of Adam in His Holy Book as follows: {And man was created weak} (Surah 4, verse 28). The word ‘weak’ aptly describes the son of Adam, no matter how lofty he considers himself and how arrogantly he tries to elevate himself.  Not only is man weak in his body, but he is also weak in the face of temptations and self-desires.

When disease strikes the son of Adam, only then does he realize the limitation of his strength; when sickness cripples his limbs, only then he realizes the fragility of his health; and when old age overtakes him, only then he realizes the little power he possesses. Likewise, in the face of strong temptations and desires, man realizes how weak he is in controlling his inner self–except for those whom Allah gives strength.

Thus, the Muslim is urged to seek Allah’s help in all of his affairs, to present his needs before the Mighty One, and to ask for His forgiveness and pray for redemption. While Allah is Most Merciful to His creation, the son of Adam is asked to follow Allah’s commands and refrain from disobedience.

But since man is weak and will inevitably commit sins, the Prophet ﷺ instructed the Muslim in the hadith above to seek forgiveness from Allah the Exalted, as soon as one slips and commits a sin. The Muslim is urged to repent of his sin and promise His Lord to abandon that sin. The Muslim is also commanded to ask for Allah’s forgiveness and to feel regret over his slip and transgression.

There are two common misconceptions concerning the above hadith. First, this hadith is not an invitation to commit sins; indeed, Allah is displeased when His commands are violated and has created Hell for those who disobey Him. Instead, the hadith is an invitation towards repentance: Allah loves repentance so much that He would rather see weak people inevitably slip and repent, instead of seeing strong people who never slip and thus have no need to repent. Thus, this hadith should not be considered an excuse to commit sins; rather it should be looked at as encouragement to abandon sins whenever they happen, to repent, and to return to Allah and fulfill His obligations.

The second misconceptions is the notion that whoever commits sins is in Hell. The hadith dispels this notion by reminding the Muslim of the great mercy of Allah and of his vast forgiveness. Indeed, an inkling of this limitless mercy can be seen in the following authentic hadith:

عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: « إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِاللَّيْلِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ النَّهَارِ، وَيَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِالنَّهَارِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ اللَّيْلِ، حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا».  رواه مسلم.

Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, stretches out His Hand during the night so that the sinner of the day may repent; and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the sinner of the night may repent. (He accepts repentance) before the sun rises from the west (i.e. before the Day of Judgment).”  (Related by Muslim).

Allah’s mercy has no bounds; it is limitless and eternal. Part of seeking Allah’s mercy is repenting to Him, as the following hadith urges:

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « لو أخطأتم حتى تبلغ خطاياكم السماء، ثم تبتم لتاب عليكم». رواه ابن ماجه.

Narrated Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “If you committed sins until your sins reached the sky, then repented, Allah would accept your repentance.”  (Related by Ibn Majah).

Thus, the Muslim should never despair of the vast mercy of Allah, but should always seek it and do his best to receive it. The Muslim is urged to return to Allah and to take advantage of this great bounty before it is too late. Now there is time for repentance while we are alive. As for those who indulge in sins and ignore Allah’s commands, then they may be punished.  Allah the Exalted has given us this warning in Qur’an in the most gentle way. Allah says:

53.{Say: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins), do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

  1. And turn in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him, before the punishment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.
  2. And follow the best of that which is revealed to you from your Lord (i.e. this Qur’an, do what it orders you to do and keep away from what it forbids), before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive!
  3. Lest a person should say: “Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allah (i.e. I have not done what Allah has ordered me to do), and I was indeed among those who mocked [at the truth]”.
  4. Or (lest) he should say: “If only Allah had guided me, I would have been among the pious and righteous (Muttaqun).”
  5. Or (lest) he should say when he sees the punishment: “If only I had another chance (to return to the world) then I should indeed be among the doers of good (Muhsinun).”} (Surah 39, verses 53-58).

Thus the sensible Muslim is the one who takes heed of the warning of His Lord and tries his best to follow His command to get His reward. The prudent Muslim is the one who is forewarned and tries to resist temptations and self-desires to attain eternal bliss, and if he slips and commits a sin then he soon repents and returns to Allah the Exalted. And the wise Muslim is the one who repents to Allah during day and night, and tries to get the greatest share of Allah’s limitless mercy by constantly asking His forgiveness and vast bounty and by trying his best to follow Allah’s commands and avoid things He has forbidden.  And Allah knows best.