The Patience of Abu Qilabah

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

I came across this story/incident, and subhan’Allah the lessons to be learnt from it are numerous. Please read…

Imam al-Awza’i narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad that he said:

I went out to the shore as a patrolman and our patrol at the time was in al-‘Areesh in Egypt. When I arrived at the shore, I came upon an open area and there was tent on it. In the tent was a man who had no hands and legs and he was hard of hearing and sight. None of his limbs were of benefit to him but his tongue, and he was saying: ‘O Allah, grant me (the ability) to praise you a praise through which I can sufficiently thank You for the favours You have bestowed upon me and by which You have preferred me over many whom You have created a great preference.’

Al-Awza’i said: ‘Abdullah said: ‘By Allah, I will certainly go to this man and I shall certainly ask him about this speech. Perhaps it is an understanding, or knowledge or inspiration which was inspired to him?’

So I approached the man and greeted him and said to him: ‘I heard you and you were saying: ‘O Allah, grant me (the ability) to praise you a praise through which I can sufficiently thank You for the favours You have bestowed upon me and by which You have preferred me over many whom You have created a great preference’ so what favour from the favours of Allah upon you are you praising Him for? And in what way did He prefer you over others a great preference that you need to thank Him for it?’

He said: ‘Don’t you see what my Lord has done? By Allah, if He sent the sky to me as a fire which burned me, or ordered the mountains to crush me, or the oceans to drown me, or the earth to swallow me up; it would only cause me to be more grateful to my Lord for the favour of this tongue He bestowed upon me.

However, O slave of Allah, as you have come to me, I have a need of you! Perhaps you see me and the state I am in, I cannot harm nor benefit myself. I had a young son who used to come to me at the time of prayer and help me do my ablution, and when I became hungry he’d feed me, and if I became thirsty he’d provide me with a drink but I have missed him for the last three days, so please look for him on my behalf may Allah have mercy on you.’

I said: ‘By Allah, no creature could fulfill the need of another which is greater in reward with Allah than a need similar to yours.’ So I set out looking for the young boy, and I hadn’t gone far before I came by a sand hill, and behold I found the boy who had been preyed upon by a beast which ate his flesh! I did istirjaa’ (saying ‘inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un’) and said: How am I going to be able to face this man with a gentle face?!’

As I was heading towards him, the dhikr (words of remembrance) of Ayyub (‘alayhisalam) came to my heart. So when I reached him I greeted him and he responded and said: ‘Are you not my companion?’ I said ‘Yes!’ He said: ‘What did you do about my need?’ I said: ‘Are you more honourable in the site of Allah or was Ayyub the Prophet?’ He said, ‘Of course, Ayyub the Prophet.’ I said: ‘Do you know what His Lord did with him? Did He not test him in his wealth, family and children?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘How did He find him?’ He said: ‘He found him patient, grateful and praising.’ I said: ‘He was not pleased with that for him until his relatives and loved ones deserted him?’ He said, ‘yes.’ I said: ”How did His Lord find him?’ He said: ‘He found him patient, grateful and praising; make this short may Allah have mercy on you.’ I said to him: ‘The young boy you sent me in search of, I found him in a sand hill having been preyed upon by a beast which had eaten his flesh. May Allah increase for you tour reward and may He inspire you with patience.’

The tested man said: ‘Praise be to Allah Who did not create from my progeny creations who would disobey Him and He would then punish them by the fire. He then did istirjaa’ and breathed a sigh and died.’

I said: ‘Indeed to Allah we belong and to Him is our return. What a huge calamity before me; a man like this, if I were to leave him the beasts would eat him, and if I stay I won’t be able to harm nor benefit.’ So I covered him in a cloak which was over him and sat at his head crying.

As I was sitting, four men came upon me and said: ‘O slave of Allah, what is your situation and what is your story.’ So I told them my story and his. They said to me: ‘Uncover his face for us, perhaps we know him.’ I uncovered his face and the men fell upon him kissing his eyes and his hands alternately and saying: ‘May our father be sacrificed; for how long these eyes were lowered from the prohibitions of Allah. May our father be sacrificed; for how long this body prostrated before Allah while the people were sleeping.’

I said: ‘Who is this, may Allah have mercy on you?’ They said, ‘This is Abu Qilabah al-Jurmi, the companion of Ibn ‘Abbas. He had tremendous love for Allah and the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)!!’

So we washed him and shrouded him with clothing we had with us and prayed over him and buried him. The men left and I went back to my station. When night fell, I put my head down and saw him in a dream, in a garden from the gardens of Paradise wearing two garments from the garments of Paradise while reciting the revelation (which means): “Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” (al-Ra’ad: 24).

I said: ‘Aren’t you my companion?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘How did you receive this?!’ He said: ‘Verily, with Allah are levels that cannot be attained except with patience at times of trial and gratitude at times of prosperity along with fear of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, in private and in public.’

- From ‘al-Thiqat’ by Ibn Hibban (copied from an online source with slight edits)

The People of Taqwa

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

Green WaterFall

Piety has its people. Some may be recognised, some may even make a show of it (false piety) but many of the truly righteous often go unseen and unheard of in our Ummah.

This is a beautiful piece I read a few years ago, attributed to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiallahu `anhu) when asked by Ibn Shurayh to describe the people of taqwa (piety). I thought it’d be nice to share it in this month where we are all striving to be better Muslims and attain righteous characteristics:

“When Allah created His creation, He did so while He was completely independent of their obedience towards Him and of their disobedience towards Him. No disobedience can hurt Him and no obedience can benefit Him. Then He distributed amongst them (the creation) their means of sustenance and placed them on earth. The people of Taqwa on earth are those of virtue: their speech is correct (true); their garments are of moderate nature and their walk is one of humility. They lower their gaze when they see something that Allah has forbidden them to see and they give ear to beneficial knowledge. They maintain their integrity in both adversity and prosperity.

Had it not been for the appointed time that Allah has written for them (death), their souls would not remain an extra second in their bodies out of yearning for reward and fear of punishment. The Creator ranks Supreme in their eyes, so everything else becomes immaterial to them. They are with Paradise as if they had already witnessed it and enjoyed its presence. They are with Hell as if they have already seen it and tasted its torment. Their hearts grieve and their evil (if any) is non-contagious. Their bodies are lean, their needs are few and their souls are chaste.
 
They observe patience for a few days and experience everlasting comfort. This is a profitable exchange that their Lord has made pleasant for them. The world tempts them, but they do not succumb. It imprisons them, but they ransomed themselves in exchange.
 
During the nights they stand in rows and read portions of the Quran. They recite with proper recitation which grieves their hearts and drink it (the Quran) like medicine. If a verse of yearning comes along, they reach for it and believe it is their destination. If an intimidating verse comes along, they pour their hearts towards it and believe that Hell and its screams are in their ears. They sleep on their foreheads and elbows (i.e. they engage in prayers so much that it is as if they sleep in those postures) and implore Allah to deliver them.
 
In the day, they are tolerant and learned, kind and God-fearing. Fear has chipped away at their bodies as if they were arrows. Anyone looking at them would think that they were sick. But they are not sick. Some will say that they are confused. A great fear has made them look like that. They are never content to do only a few actions (during the day), nor do they ask for a great deal. They condemn themselves and are apprehensive about their deeds.
 
If one of them is called ‘pious’, he fears what will be said of him and says: ‘I know myself better than you do. My Lord knows me better than I do. O Allah! Do not take me to task for what they are saying about me and (O Lord) make me better than they think. Forgive my sins which they do not know about.’

Their signs are that they are strong in Islam, resolute in their softness; firm in their belief. They crave for knowledge and are knowledgeable with tolerance; moderate in richness; pleasant in hunger; forbearing in distress; seeking Halal; active in (pursuing) guidance and they abhor greed.
 
They perform good deeds in fear (of rejection). They spend the evening in gratitude and the morning in remembrance. They sleep in alarm and they awake in joy. If their carnal selves make it difficult for them to fulfil that which they dislike they deprive them (their selves) of that which they like. The apple of their eyes is in what does not perish and their abstemiousness in what disappears. They combine knowledge with tolerance and speech with action.
 
You will find their hopes are realistic, their mistakes few; their hearts humble, their selves content; their diet meagre, their matters simple, their Deen safe-guarded, their desires killed and their anger subdued. Goodness is expected from them and evil is shielded against them. If they are among those who are oblivious, they are counted amongst those who remember (Allah). If they are among those who remember, they are not written among the oblivious. They pardon those who wrong them; they provide for those who deprive them, and meet those who severe ties with them. They are never profane and always lenient. Their wrong doings are almost non-existent and their good deeds are always present. They are resolute when the earth quakes, steadfast in calamities and grateful in prosperity.

They are not prejudiced against those they dislike nor do they favour those they love. They acknowledge the truth before it appears and do not lose anything they are entrusted with. They do not call anyone names nor do they hurt their neighbours. They do not curse at the time of difficulties nor do they venture into falsehood.

Silence does not bother them and if they laugh, they do not raise their voices. If they are treated with injustice they remain patient until Allah vindicates them. Their own selves live in toil while others are comfortable around them.
 
Their abstinence from those who stay away from them is their exoneration (from malice). Their proximity to those who are close to them, is a means of mercy (for those who are close to them). Their remaining aloof is not out of pride and arrogance and their being close is neither a ploy nor a scheme.

May Allah make us of them, ameen.

Sh. Haitham: Advice to Muslims on the Death of Osama bin Ladin

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

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A good and well-balanced article on the death of Usamah ibn Ladin (rh), by Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad.

Life and death are matters that lie solely in the Hands of Allah `azza wa jall and hence issues regarding them are bound firmly by the Shari’ah. Before we begin speaking about this incident (and much of the current affairs) according to our personal tastes, fears or desires, it’s primarily upon us to look at it from the Islamic point of view and see what the Shari’ah and Islamic Principles have to say…

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Advice to Muslims on the Death of Osama bin Ladin

Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad

The killing of Osama bin Ladin, may Allah have mercy on him, if proven to be true, may either be a coincidence or part of a strategic manoeuvre by the US and its allies to justify the adoption of new tactics in their ‘war on terror’ that has clearly proven to be counterproductive. It may be alleged that he was killed a long time ago but the killing was only now announced as a justification for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. All of these are possibilities that no one can emphatically confirm, and indeed, there need not be an exertion of effort to confirm or disprove the claims as wisdom dictates that we deal with facts and realities whilst planning for the worst of scenarios.

Whatever the case may be, Osama left this worldly life to meet his Lord who is the ultimate judge. Almighty Allah knows everything about him, his actions, and the conspiracies that surround his life. He knows what Osama did, what he didn’t do, and what we were made to believe that he did. In any case, he died as a Muslim and it is an established part of our Islamic creed that every Muslim, unlike the disbelievers, will eventually enter paradise. According to a number of scholars, the Muslim killed by the enemies of Islam is considered a martyr, regardless of whether he died during combat or simply in a state of non-combative military engagement such as being killed whilst sleeping. Other scholars limit the title of martyr only to those Muslims who are killed during active combat. Whatever the case may be, all scholars have agreed that mistakes made by a Muslim fighter in combat do not deprive him of his rights, whether it be the right of regarding him a martyr or any other Islamic right. The Prophet (peace be upon him) became very angry at his close companion Usamah ibn Zayd when he killed a disbeliever after he had said “there is no God but Allah”. The Prophet furiously repeated, “have you killed him after he said: there is no God but Allah!” However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) continued to appoint Usamah ibn Zayd as the general of the Muslim army and actually appointed him to lead the biggest military expedition that was undertaken during the Prophet’s life.

Any position we adopt must be bound by the guidelines of the Shari’ah and free from emotions and personal whims. We should intend to say (and act upon) what pleases Allah and not what pleases certain individuals, groups or governments. Saddam Hussain, may Allah have mercy on him, was amongst the persons most hated by Muslims having committed many heinous crimes. However, when he was hung he proclaimed: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”. Based upon this, we have no choice but to ask Allah to bestow His mercy upon Saddam as he clearly died a Muslim. Allah informs us that he does not give the courage to any person on his/her deathbed to declare the testimony of faith unless he or she is a true Muslim. Allah says,

“Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause to go astray those who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), and Allah does what He wills.”[1]

Having said this, I would like to state that although these matters are in agreement with Islamic principles, the application of the principles in relation to certain individuals should not be a cause of fitnah and disunity among Muslims. Unity of Muslims and the purity of their hearts towards each other must be observed regardless of the scale of disagreements between them, as long as the scale of disagreement remains within the bounds of Islam.

Even though we fundamentally disagree with al-Qaeda and we condemn the unjustified killing that is attributed to them, it was very much instigated by the enemies of Islam themselves. In fact, I strongly believe that the presence of al-Qaeda is pleasing to the US especially as it allows the US justification for their crimes. In comparison, any amount of people killed by al-Qaeda has undoubtedly been trebled by the killing sprees of the US in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza and other countries.

It is surprising how this major world Superpower was not only terrorized by a single man walking the face of the earth, but was also terrorized by him even whilst dead. President Obama declared that they would deal with the body of Bin Ladin in accordance with Islamic law and thus they threw it into the sea. This is the so-called respect that the US shows to Islam. In reality, these are the actual morals and values that America really calls for.

Whatever we say, Allah has the final say, and on the day of resurrection the truth will be revealed. Muslims will dwell in the delight of paradise and the disbelievers will be burned in the hellfire forever.

“These two opponents (believers and disbelievers) dispute with each other about their Lord; then as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling water will be poured down over their heads. With it will melt or vanish away what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins. And for them are hooked rods of iron (to punish them). Every time they seek to get away from it out of anguish, they will be driven back therein, and (it will be) said to them: “Taste the torment of burning!” Truly, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to Gardens underneath which rivers flow (in Paradise), wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments therein will be of silk. And they are guided (in this world) unto goodly speech and they are guided to the Path of He who is Worthy of all praises.”[2]

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[1] 14:27
[2] 22:19-24

Source: http://www.islam21c.com/politics/2644-advice-to-muslims-on-the-death-of-osama-bin-ladin

Solace

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

S O L A C E
For revert sisters in difficulty

  

“… And Allah is forever aiding a slave so long as he is in the aid of his brother.” [Sahih Muslim]

Many times in our lives, there comes a point when we fall into extreme difficulties. Life gets tough and helpers become a few. A way out seems so distant and unattainable. Our blessed Deen and indeed, humanity in general recognises this crucial time and hence we’ve all heard of the magnitude of reward which lies in helping others, helping their circumstance and being there for them as supporters.

SOLACE is a new organisation which was launched in 2010 in the UK, aimed at relieving the multifold problems and difficulties faced by Muslim revert sisters. I couldn’t tell you the amount of tests these sisters face on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Sometimes it’s a battle for them to get through each day as a Muslimah, other times they find themselves in great need despite being Muslim for a number of years.

This organisation was set up by a group of sisters who I know personally and have worked with. They have my 100% support and du’a for their tireless efforts and hard work. From the main site:

“SOLACE was set up by a group of sisters who were concerned about the difficulties that revert sisters often face. Whilst there are many organisations within the United Kingdom who cater for the educational and Islamic needs of new revert sisters, we felt there lacked an organisation whose aim was relieving the difficulties of revert sisters regardless of whether they have been a Muslim for a few weeks or many years.”

I really do feel that it’s one in a million organisation as it caters for the emotional needs of Muslim women who’ve got no-one to turn to in this time of need; it’s the case that some of them have been disowned by family due to them becoming Muslim, their communities are unaware of them, they have few Muslim friends or none at all, they’ve suffered in relationships, lost jobs, lost homes, lost loved ones, and are in a financial crisis, etc etc and the list goes on.

In their own words:

“I felt like dying. I really didn’t want to live anymore. The tests were too much. A sister persuaded me to get in touch with SOLACE for revert sisters in difficulty. At first, I didn’t think I was worthy of receiving such help. But since my first meeting with the SOLACE volunteer, I’ve felt hope – which I haven’t felt in years.”

- Sister A

“My mother died last year. She was the only one who supported me in my choice to become Muslim. Everyone else in my family abandoned me. So far, I’ve had three meetings with my volunteer. She was so understanding and non-judgmental. When I received the Revert In Difficulty pack, I burst out crying knowing that there were sisters who cared.”

- Sister T

“My family live abroad and giving birth the third time without them near me was really difficulty. My husband had to go back to work straight away and I was really struggling with cooking, cleaning and healing from the birth. The household help I received from SOLACE came at the right time. Just knowing that help was coming a few times a week helped me rest and bond with my new baby without stress.”

- Sister N

These are real accounts of revert sisters that SOLACE has helped.

Aims:

SOLACE was established in 2010. Like its name, our aims are to:

  • Comfort revert sisters during their times of need
  • Support revert sisters by providing the means to make them feel stable and positive about their lives again; setting them firmly back onto the path to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
  • Empower revert sisters to resolve their physical and emotional tests which often prevents them from enjoying their lives in their newly embraced faith.

Objectives

SOLACE intends to support revert sisters who may find themselves in any of the following situations:

  • feeling lonely and isolated
  • experiencing marital problems
  • struggling as single, widowed and divorced revert sisters
  • needing someone to talk to about how they feel
  • needing an intermediary between themselves and non Muslim family members
  • thinking of leaving Islam or having doubts about Islam
  • suffering from depression
  • wanting to start afresh in order to feel positive about self, life and Islam again
  • facing other problems that are difficult to cope with alone

Please visit this site, and support this much needed organisation. Spread the word and help your sisters!  

Some details:

Website: www.solaceuk.org

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/SOLACEforrevertsindifficulty

Please support us in the following ways:

1.   Sponsor a revert sister in difficulty today: http://www.solaceuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=94
2.   Set up a standing order of just £5 per month: http://www.solaceuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&Itemid=48
3.   Make dua for the revert sisters in difficulty SOLACE are caring for
4.   Spread the word and forward this message on to all your contacts!

 If you are a revert sister in difficulty and would like to refer yourself, please click here.

Got a Problem?

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

A nice reminder I received from a friend (may Allah reward you). Thought it’d be beneficial to share it with others.

Five Reasons why Allah uses problems

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you – depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how Allah wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways Allah wants to use the problems in your life:

1. Allah uses problems to DIRECT you.
Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”

2. Allah uses problems to INSPECT you.
People are like tea bags…if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot ever water! Has God tested your faith with a problem What do problems reveal about
you? “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.”

3. Allah uses problems to CORRECT you.
Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove…. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something… health, money, a relationship.. .. by losing it. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.”

4. Allah uses problems to PROTECT you.
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”

5. Allah uses problems to PERFECT you.
Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity. “We can rejoice when we run into problems…they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.”

Here’s the point:

God is at work in your life – even when you do not recognize it or understand it.

But it’s much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

“Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way”

Allah Knows Best…