Being Completely Occupied with the Dunya

This world life is like the river of Talut, over which the virtues have made a pronouncement that “So whoever drinks from it is not of me, and whoever does not taste it is indeed of me.” (al-Baarah 2:249) However, when people positioned themselves in a state like that of Ibn Umm Maktum, may Allah be pleased with him, they were given a small amount of latitude, “excepting one who takes [from it] in the hollow of his hand.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:249) Whereas the heedless ones could not wait, and so they drank their fill from it. Thus, when it was the time to participate in the war against self-desires, they responded with words of self-defeat “There is no power for us today against Goliath and his soldiers…” (al-Baqarah 2:249) While those who had disciplined their bodies succeeded, and received the spoils of this war.

This life is like your shadow; if you turn your back to it and walk away from it, it will continue following you, but if you try to chase it and catch it, it will always run away from you. For this Allah, Exalted is He, Commanded this wordily life to serve those who serve Him, and to enslave those who serve it.

The pious does not pay attention to his shadow, therefore the shadow always follows him, while the one seeking it diligently all the time keeps looking around for it, and is thus unable to see it.

O the one devoted to this wordily life, for how long will you be lost in the desert of confusion “[We would then be] like the one whom the devils enticed.” (al-Anam 6:71) Does your assiduity have any limit? Will your hope [to remain in this life] ever end? Woe to you: the ocean never drains out, so be content with what he already has in his hand! Woe to you, all that you rejoice for in this life is actually what you should be sad for, if only you would realise.

This life is like wine; whenever the assiduous drinks from it, his thirst increases. It is sufficient for you to cover your parts with the garment of contentedness, for it casts away the concerns from your heart and replaces them with comfort.

All evil lies in insatiability; how many are those whose thirst does not extinguish because they choke of their drink; indeed the sweetness of honey can be enjoyed in small portions only. The example of a person attached to this life is like that of a bee that comes across a water lily, gets attracted by its scent and decides to settle upon its leaves. However, when night falls, the leaves draw back and get submerged in the water, and thus the bee meets its death.

Your excessive keenness is like a cloud that can block the bright sun of your intellect. This cloud prevents the heart from perceiving the hereafter, therefore you should send the platoon of your strong-will, to tear apart this hazy cloud into bits. You have what suffices you, nevertheless you seek what would ruin you. Do you not know that continuing to drink water even after your thirst has been extinguished will make you perpetually thirsty. How chained you are to this life! Indeed, fever is the companion of honey, and the one diligently pursuing this life shall never have a life – because what kind of life is it when someone is neither sufficed nor content! Despite all this, such a person is always more bewildered than a bug on the back of a camel, though what he is after is less in worth than the wing of a mosquito.

Allah ordained this life, so that we subsist on what suffices to maintain the health of our bodies, so that we can dedicate these bodies for that which they were created [worshipping Allah]. Exercising indulgence in acquiring more than what is required, compromises this noble purpose; a person who spends his entire life accumulating wealth is in reality storing it for his heirs as one day he will die leaving all this wealth behind; all he does is burn himself with the fire of his assiduousness, while others get the benefit of what he painstakingly collected, in the same manner that people benefit from the remains of a burning stick.

How many are those who were doomed by this wordily life! How many are those whose love of this life was the cause of their ruin!

O you who is as wishful as Kanan [ruler of Babel], as deceitful as Nimrod [an ancient king], as miserly as Tahalbah [who refused to pay zakah], as prone to error as Numan: When it comes to collecting wealth you are like Hatib [a companion who fought at Badr and Uhud] but when it comes to squandering away your life then you are as generous as Hatim [the Christian Arab poet of ancient Arabia] but what would you do when you fall into regret like the regret of al-Kasai [a poor hunter].

You have thrown yourself into the deep well of wordily love! When will piety arrive to rescue you from your condition, so that you would be among those who would hear the chants of joy “Glad tidings” (Yusuf 12:19)

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 145-149

 

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Surah Ash-Shuara Ayat 200-227 (end)

{200. Thus have We caused it to enter the hearts of the criminals.

201. They will not believe in it until they see the painful torment.

202. It shall come to them of a sudden, while they perceive it not.

203. Then they will say: “Can we be respited?”

204. Would they then wish for Our torment to be hastened on

205. Think, if We do let them enjoy for years,

206. And afterwards comes to them that which they had been promised.

207. All that with which they used to enjoy shall not avail them.

208. And never did We destroy a township but it had its warners

209. By way of reminder, and We have never been unjust.}

 

The Deniers will never believe until They see the Torment

Allah says: ‘thus We caused denial, disbelief, rejection and stubbornness to enter the hearts of the sinners.’ “They will not believe in it”, i.e., the truth, “until they see the painful torment.” means, when their excuses will be of no avail, and the curse will be upon them, and theirs will be an evil abode. “It shall come to them of a sudden,” means, the punishment of Allah will come upon them suddenly, “while they perceive it not. Then they will say: “Can we be respited?” means, when they see the punishment, then they will wish they had a little more time so that they can obey Allah – or so they claim. This is like the Ayah: “And warn mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them” until: “that you would not leave” (14: 44). When every sinner and evildoer sees his punishment, he will feel intense regret. Such was the case of Firawn, when Musa prayed against him:“Our Lord! “You have indeed bestowed on Firawn and his chiefs splendour and wealth in the life of this world” until: “(Allah) said: “Verily, the invocation of you both is accepted.” (10:88-89). This supplication had an effect on Firawn: he did not believe until he saw the painful torment: “till when drowning overtook him, he said: “I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe.” until: “and you were one of the mischief-makers” (10:90-91). And Allah says: “so when they saw Our punishment, they said: “We believe in Allah Alone…” (40:84-85). “Would they then wish for Our torment to be hastened on” This is a denunciation and a threat, because they used to say to the Messenger, by way of denial, thinking it unlikely ever to happen: “Bring Allah’s torment upon us” (29:29). This is as Allah said: “And they ask you to hasten on the torment…” (29:53-55). Then Allah says: “Think, if We do let them enjoy for years, and afterwards comes to them that which they had been promised, all that with which they used to enjoy shall not avail them.” meaning, ‘even if We delay the matter and give them respite for a short while or for a long time, then the punishment of Allah comes upon them, what good will their life of luxury do them then’ “The Day they see it, (it will be) as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an afternoon or a morning” (79:46). And Allah says: “Everyone of them wishes that he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from punishment” (2:96). “And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down” (92:11) Allah says here: “All that with which they used to enjoy shall not avail them.”

According to an authentic Hadith:

“The disbelievers will be brought and once dipped into the Fire, then it will be said to him: “Did you ever see anything good Did you ever see anything good” He will say, “No, O Lord!” Then the most miserable person who ever lived on earth will be brought, and he will be put in Paradise for a brief spell, then it will be said to him, “Did you ever see anything bad” He will say, “No, O Lord.” meaning: as if nothing ever happened. (Recorded in Ahmad 3:203)

Then Allah tells us of His justice towards His creation, in that He does not destroy any nation until after He has left them with no excuse, by warning them, sending Messengers to them and establishing proof against them. He says: “And never did We destroy a township but it had its warners by way of reminder, and We have never been unjust.” This is like the Ayat: “And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger” (17:15). “And never will your Lord destroy the towns until He sends to their mother town a Messenger reciting to them Our Ayat.” until; “the people thereof are wrongdoers” (28:59).

{210. And it is not the Shayatin (devils) who have brought it down.

211. Neither would it suit them nor are they able.

212. Verily, they have been removed far from hearing it.}

 

The Qur’an was brought down by Jibril, not Shaytan

Allah tells us about His Book, which falsehood cannot approach from before or behind it, sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise. He states that it has been brought down by the trustworthy Ruh (i.e., Jibril) who is helped by Allah, “And it is not the Shayatin who have brought it down.” Then He tells us that it could not be the case for three reasons that the Shayatin brought it down. One is that it would not suit them, i.e., they have no desire to do so and they do not want to, because their nature is to corrupt and misguide people, but this contains words enjoining what is right and forbidding what is evil, and light, guidance and mighty proofs. There is a big difference between this and the Shayatin, Allah says: “Neither would it suit them” “nor are they able.” meaning, even if they wanted to, they could not do it. Allah says: “Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allah” (59:21). Then Allah explains that even if they wanted to and were able to bear it and convey it, they still would not be able to achieve that, because they were prevented from hearing the Qur’an when it was brought down, for the heavens were filled with guardians and shooting stars at the time when the Qur’an was being revealed to the Messenger of Allah , so none of the Shayatin could hear even one letter of it, lest there be any confusion in the matter. This is a part of Allah’s mercy towards His servants, protection of His Laws, and support for His Book and His Messenger . Allah says: “Verily, they have been removed far from hearing it.” This is like what Allah tells us about the Jinn: “And we have sought to reach the heaven; but found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires. And verily, we used to sit there in stations, to (steal) a hearing, but any who listens now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush.” until; “or whether their Lord intends for them a right path” (72:8-10).

{213. So, invoke not with Allah another god lest you should be among those who receive punishment.

214. And warn your tribe of near kindred.

215. And be kind and humble to the believers who follow you.

216. Then if they disobey you, say: “I am innocent of what you do.”

217. And put your trust in the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful,

218. Who sees you when you stand up.

219. And your movements among those who fall prostrate.

220. Verily, He, only He, is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.}

 

The Command to warn His Tribe of near Kindred

Here Allah commands (His Prophet ) to worship Him alone, with no partner or associate, and tells him that whoever associates others in worship with Him, He will punish them. Then Allah commands His Messenger to warn his tribe of near kindred, i.e., those who were most closely related to him, and to tell them that nothing could save any of them except for faith in Allah. Allah also commanded him to be kind and gentle with the believing servants of Allah who followed him, and to disown those who disobeyed him, no matter who they were. Allah said: “Then if they disobey you, say: “I am innocent of what you do.” This specific warning does not contradict the general warning; indeed it is a part of it, as Allah says elsewhere: “In order that you may warn a people whose forefathers were not warned, so they are heedless.” (36:6), “that you may warn the Mother of the Towns and all around it” (42:7), “And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord” (6:51), “that you may give glad tidings to those who have Taqwa, and warn with it the most quarrelsome people.” (19:97), “that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach” (6:19), and “but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place” (11:17). According to Sahih Muslim, the Prophet said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no one from these nations – Jewish or Christian – hears of me then does not believe in me, but he will enter Hell.” (Muslim 1:134)

Many Hadiths have been narrated concerning the revelation of this Ayah, some of which we will quote below: Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “When Allah revealed the Ayah, “And warn your tribe of near kindred.”, the Prophet went to As-Safa’, climbed up and called out,

“O people!”

The people gathered around him, some coming of their own accord and others sending people on their behalf to find out what was happening. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“O Bani Abd Al-Muttalib, O Bani Fihr, O Bani Lu’ayy! What do you think, if I told you that there was a cavalry at the foot of this mountain coming to attack you — would you believe me?”

They said, “Yes.” He said:

“Then I warn you of a great punishment that is close at hand.”

Abu Lahab said, “May you perish for the rest of the day! You only called us to tell us this?” Then Allah revealed: “Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!” (Recorded in Ahmad 1:307) (111:1) This was also recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i. (Fath Al-Bari 8:206)

Imam Ahmad recorded that A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her said: “When the Ayah: “And warn your tribe of near kindred” was revealed, the Messenger of Allah stood up and said:

“O Fatimah daughter of Muhammad, O Safiyyah daughter of Abd Al-Muttalib, O Bani Abd Al-Muttalib, I cannot help you before Allah. Ask me for whatever you want of my wealth.” (Ahmad 6:187)

This was recorded by Muslim. (Muslim 1:192)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Qabisah bin Mukhariq and Zuhayr bin Amr said: “When the Ayah: “And warn your tribe of near kindred.” was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, climbed on top of a rock on the side of a mountain and started to call out:

“O Bani Abd Manaf, I am indeed a warner, and the parable of me and you is that of a man who sees the enemy so he goes to save his family, fearing that the enemy may reach them before he does.” And he started to call out, “O people!” (Ahmad 5:60)  It was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa’i. (Muslim 1:193)

Allah’s saying: “And put your trust in the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful,” means, ‘in all your affairs, for He is your Helper, Protector and Supporter, and He is the One Who will cause you to prevail and will make your word supreme.’ “Who sees you when you stand up?” means, He is taking care of you. This is like the Ayah, “So wait patiently for the decision of your Lord, for verily, you are under Our Eyes” (52:48) Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah, “Who sees you when you stand up?” means, “To pray.” (Al-Qurtubi 13:144) Ikrimah said: “He sees him when he stands and bows and prostrates.” (At-Tabari 19:412) Al-Hasan said: “Who sees you when you stand up?” “When you pray alone.” Ad-Dahhak said: “Who sees you when you stand up.” “When you are lying in bed and when you are sitting.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 6:330) Qatadah said: “Who sees you?” “When you are standing, when you are sitting, and in all other situations.” (Abdul Razzaq 3:77) “And your movements among those who fall prostrate.” Qatadah said: “Who sees you when you stand up. And your movements among those who fall prostrate.” “When you pray, He sees you when you pray alone and when you pray in congregation.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 6:331) This was also the view of Ikrimah, Ata’ Al-Khurasani and Al-Hasan Al-Basri. (At-Tabari 19:413) “Verily, He, only He, is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” He hears all that His servants say and He knows all their movements, as He says: “Neither you do any deed nor recite any portion of the Qur’an, nor you do any deed, but We are Witness thereof, when you are doing it” (10:61).

{221. Shall I inform you upon whom the Shayatin descend?

222. They descend on every lying, sinful person (Athim).

223. Who gives ear, and most of them are liars.

224. As for the poets, the astray follow them,

225. See you not that they speak about every subject in their poetry

226. And that they say what they do not do.

227. Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and remember Allah much and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.}

 

Refutation of the Fabrications of the Idolators

Here Allah addresses those idolators who claimed that what was brought by the Messenger was not the truth but was merely something that he had made up by himself, or that it came to him in visions from the Jinn. Allah stated that His Messenger was above their claims and fabrications, and that what he had brought did indeed come from Allah, and that it was a revelation and inspiration, brought down by a noble, trustworthy and mighty angel. It did not come from the Shayatin, because they have no desire for anything like this Noble Qur’an – they descend upon those who are like them, the lying fortune-tellers. Allah says: “Shall I inform you?” meaning, shall I tell you, “upon whom the Shayatin descend They descend on every lying, sinful person (Athim)” meaning, one whose speech is lies and fabrication. “Athim” means, whose deeds are immoral. This is the person upon whom the Shayatin descend, fortune-tellers and other sinful liars. The Shayatin are also sinful liars. “Who gives ear,” means, they try to overhear what is said in the heavens, and they try to hear something of the Unseen, then they add to it a hundred lies and tell it to their human comrades, who then tell it to others. Then the people believe everything they say because they were right about the one thing which was heard from the heavens. This was stated in an authentic Hadith recorded by Al-Bukhari from A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said, “The people asked the Prophet about fortune-tellers, and he said:

“They are nothing.”

They said: “O Messenger of Allah, they say things that come true.” The Prophet said:

“That is a word of truth which the Jinn snatches, then he gabbles it like the clucking of a chicken into the ear of his friend, but he mixes it with more than one hundred lies.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:545)

Al-Bukhari also recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “The Prophet said:

“When Allah decrees a matter in heaven, the angels beat their wings in submission to His decree, a chain beating on a rock. And when the fear in their hearts subsides, they say: “What is it that your Lord has said” They say: “The truth. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” Then when the Jinn who are listening out, one above the other” — and Sufyan illustrated this with a gesture, holding his hand vertically with his fingers outspread — “when they hear this, they throw it down from one to another, until it is passed to the fortune-teller or soothsayer. The shooting star may strike the Jinn before he passes it on, or he may pass it on before he is struck, and he adds to it one hundred lies, thus it is said: “Did he not tell us that on such and such a day, such and such would happen?” So they believe him because of that one thing which was heard from the heavens.”

This was recorded by Al-Bukhari. (Fath Al-Bari 8:398)

Al-Bukhari recorded from A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The angels speak in the clouds about some matter on earth, and the Shayatin overhear what they say, so they tell it to the fortune-teller, gurgling into his ear like (a liquid poured) from a glass bottle, and he adds to it one hundred lies.” (Al-Bukhari no.3288)

Refutation of the Claim that the Prophet was a Poet
“As for the poets, the astray ones follow them.” Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that this means: “The disbelievers follow the misguided among mankind and the Jinn.” (At-Tabari 19:416) This was also the view of Mujahid, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, and others. (At-Tabari 19:415) Ikrimah said, “Two poets would ridicule one another in verse, with one group of people supporting one and another group supporting the other. Hence Allah revealed the Ayah, “As for the poets, the erring ones follow them.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 6:323) “See you not that they speak about every subject in their poetry” Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that this means: “They indulge in every kind of nonsense.” (At-Tabari 19:418) Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said, “They engage in every kind of verbal art.” This was also the view of Mujahid and others. (At-Tabari 19:417) “And that they say what they do not do.” Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that at the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, two men, one from among the Ansar and one from another tribe, were ridiculing one another in verse, and each one of them was supported by a group of his own people, who were the foolish ones, and Allah said: “As for the poets, the erring ones follow them. See you not that they speak about every subject in their poetry And that they say what they do not do.” (At-Tabari 19:416) What is meant here is that the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to whom this Qur’an was revealed, was not a soothsayer or a poet, because his situation was quite obviously different to theirs, as Allah says: “And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it suitable for him. This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’an.” (36:69), “That this is verily, the word of an honoured Messenger. It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer, little is that you remember! This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of all that exits.” (69:40-43)

 

The Exception of the Poets of Islam
“Except those who believe and do righteous deeds,” Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated from Yazid bin Abdullah bin Qusayt, that Abu Al-Hasan Salim Al-Barrad, the freed servant of Tamim Ad-Dari said: “When the Ayah – “As for the poets, the erring ones follow them.” was revealed, Hassan bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Rawahah and Kab bin Malik came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, weeping, and said: “Allah knew when He revealed this Ayah that we are poets. The Prophet recited to them the Ayah, “Except those who believe and do righteous deeds,” and said: “(This means) you.” “and remember Allah much”. He said: “(This means) you.” “and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged.” He said: “(This means) you.” This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir from the narration of Ibn Ishaq.(At-Tabari 19:420)
But this Surah was revealed in Makkah, so how could the reason for its revelation be the poets of the Ansar This is something worth thinking about. The reports that have been narrated about this are all Mursal and cannot be relied on. And Allah knows best. But this exception could include the poets of the Ansar and others. It even includes those poets of the Jahiliyyah who indulged in condemning Islam and its followers, then repented and turned to Allah, and gave up what they used to do and started to do righteous deeds and remember Allah much, to make up for the bad things that they had previously said, for good deeds wipe out bad deeds. So they praised Islam and its followers in order to make up for their insults, as [the poet] Abdullah bin Az-Zabari said when he became Muslim: “O Messenger of Allah, indeed my tongue will try to make up for things it said when I was bad – When I went along with the Shaytan during the years of misguidance, and whoever inclines towards his way is in a state of loss.”
Similarly, Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith bin Abd Al-Muttalib was one of the most hostile people towards the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, even though he was his cousin, and he was the one who used to mock him the most. But when he became Muslim, there was no one more beloved to him than the Messenger of Allah. He began to praise the Messenger of Allah where he had mocked him, and take him as a close friend where he had regarded him as an enemy. “and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged.” Ibn Abbas said, “They responded in kind to the disbelievers who used to ridicule the believers in verse.” (At-Tabari 19:420) This was also the view of Mujahid, Qatadah and several others. (At-Tabari 19:419-420) It was also recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said to Hassan: “Ridicule them in verse.” Or he said: “Ridicule them in verse, and Jibril is with you.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:351) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ka`b bin Malik said to the Prophet , “Allah has revealed what He revealed about the poets. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The believer wages Jihad with his sword and with his tongue, By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, it is as if you are attacking them with arrows.” (Ahmad 6:387) 

“And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.” This is like the Ayah, “The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers” (40: 52). According to the Sahih, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:

“Beware of wrongdoing, for wrongdoing will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ahmad 2:106)

Qatadah bin Diamah said concerning the Ayah – “And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.” this refers to the poets and others.

This is the end of the Tafsir Surat Ash-Shuara. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 7 Pages 279-297

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Believing in Divine Decree

If Allah decrees good for person, he makes his heart disposed towards accepting sincere advice and guides a voice of admonition to echo in his mind during its periods of leisure and inactivity, just as rain is led to the barren land, “He produces thereby crops of varying colours.” (al-Zummar 39:21)  However if Allah turns away from a person, He throws him into an ocean of heedlessness, so that whenever he opens his eyes he only sees layer upon layer of darkness, one on top of the other. The means of safety are prepared for the chosen one, while the destiny of the wretched is chained with inadvertence. How wishful is the doomed as he hopes to reach out to Allah but far removed is this wish when fate denies him this wish just as it denied many before him.

The created is a target and fate is a set of arrows and the One who you know [Allah] is the shooter; so what is the way out? If pillars of fate shake, even the necks of the favoured will be troubled; if He is angry at some people their good deeds will never benefit them, but if He is pleased with someone then his bad deeds will not cause them any harm at all. As the storms of fate are instigated, the oceans of divine obligations [upon humans] pressings, and space of existence pitches its inhabitants, thus roots of lineage are uprooted and tents of arrogant are pulled out, the palace of Cesar is torn down and the strength of Abu Talib is dismissed, the work of Abu Jahl is in vain, and the army of Chesoeros is defeated, all the while, the robe of, “I turn to You in repentance.” (al-Araf 7:143) sprouts. Afterward, when dawn commences and the ocean calms down, it appears that the highly esteemed Abu Talib has drowned, whereas Salman the Persian stands on the shore of safety, and while al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah was leading his people toward the loss, Suhayb the Roman has just arrived from the Roman territory to embrace Islam, and while Abu Jahl laid down in the back of the abandoned, Bilal calls out: Praying is indeed better than sleeping.

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi pages 142-144

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The Supplication of the Pious

When the pious noticed how this worldly life controls those who follow it and how the devil leashed the souls, they turned to the sacred yard of invocation and supplication similar to how a hunted animal runs for his safety, in fear, to the sacred Masjid. You see them walking while they wear garments of sufficiency and putting on their face the mask of self-content so that “An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint.” (al-Baqarah 2:273) They sleep as less as a submerging person would sleep and eat as less as a mourning mother would eat on the day of her calamity because what sorrows damage, is more than what consolation builds.

Only those whose hearts are insightful can recognise them; for the declaration of their high rank is written on their foreheads in a foreign language that only those who know can read. They observed the consequences of action with the eyes of their hearts and so they could not find any obstacle keeping them away from their goal [i.e. Paradise] except their self so they searched for a trick with which they can suppress it; a trick that neither Ibn Hind nor Ibn Al-As, may Allah be pleased with them would even know of. As they implemented it they succeeded to bottle up their self in a manner that is more violent than that of Ibn Tamaljam for indeed they have bodies of men and hearts of lions.

As the stormy wind of thoughts is instigated and so it turned over the lands of hearts upside down. Then the seeds of strong will and endeavours have been thrown inside the lands and watered with the rain of hard work upon which life revived in the branches of good relation [with Allah] and so the blossoms of this relation flowered. When they see the remembrance of Allah, the fragrance of light spreads out, which has a smell that is better than musk that empowers the souls of those who seeks the pleasure of their Lord.

No worthwhile results can be achieved unless there is an element of risk involved! So, you whose endeavours are feeble, know that profit is gained only by riding the stormy seas because the precious pearls lie at their bottom; knowledge is attained by sacrificing sleep, and lightness is sought through self-denial.

He who seeks glory ought to pursue it earnestly because when a person searches for pearls he must dive to collect them. When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, forsook everything for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, he earned the praise of Allah and His Messenger, and when Ali Ibn Abi Talib divorced this worldly life thrice to ensure he would never return to it, he deserved Paradise to yearn for him [as its inhabitant].

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 139-141

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Thirtieth Juz’

Contents

The thirtieth juz’ of the Quran includes the last 36 Surahs of the Qur’an, starting from Surah An-Naba’ and continuing until the last Surah of the Quran,  Surah An-Nas.

Revelation

Most of these short Surahs were revealed at the beginning of the Makkan period, when the Muslim community was small in number. Surah Al-Intifar (The Cleaving), Surah Mutaffifin (Those Who Deal in Fraud), Surah Al-Bayinnah (The Clear Evidence) and theAl-Mu’awwidhatayn – Surah Al-Falaq (The Daybreak) and An-Nas (Mankind) – were revealed later in Madinah.

From the many Virtues of these Surahs

Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever wishes to look at the Day of Judgement as if he is seeing it with his own eyes, then let him read, ‘When the sun is wound round.’ (Surah At-Takwir) and; ‘When the heaven is cleft asunder.’ (Surah Al-Intifar) and; ‘When the heaven is split asunder.’ (Surah Al-Inshiqaq).”

Imam Ahmad recorded from An-Nu’man bin Bashir that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, recited Surat Al-A’la and Surat Al-Ghashiyah in the two ‘Id prayers. If the ‘Id prayer fell on Friday, he would recite them in both prayers (‘Id and Salat Al-Jumu’ah). Muslim also recorded this in his Sahih.

Malik and Shu`bah narrated from ‘Adi bin Thabit, who narrated that Al-Bara’ bin Azib said, “The Prophet used to recite in one of his Rakahs while traveling At-Tin wa-Zaytun’ (Surat At-Tin), and I have never heard anyone with a nicer voice or recitation than him.” The Group has recorded this Hadith in their books.

Ahmad also recorded that Ibn Umar said, “I watched the Prophet twenty-four or twenty-five times reciting in the two Rakahs before the Morning prayer and the two Rakahs after the Sunset prayer, ‘Say: “O Al-Kafirun!”’ (Surah Al-Kafirun) and ‘Say: “He is Allah One.” (Surah Al-Ihklas)

An-Nasa’i recorded from Ubaydullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah that Ibn Abbas said to him, “O Ibn Utbah! Do you know the last Surah of the Qur’an that was revealed” He answered, “Yes, it was ‘When there comes the help of Allah and the Conquest.’ (Surah An-Nasr)”. He (Ibn Abbas) said, “You have spoken truthfully.”

Al-Bukhari reported from Amrah bint Abdur-Rahman, who used to stay in the apartment of A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet , that A’ishah said, “The Prophet sent a man as the commander of a war expedition and he used to lead his companions in prayer with recitation (of the Qur’an). And he would complete his recitation with the recitation of ‘Say: He is Allah, One.’ (Surah Al-Ihklas) So when they returned they mentioned that to the Prophet and he said, “Ask him why does he do that.” So they asked him and he said, ‘Because it is the description of Ar-Rahman and I love to recite it. So the Prophet said, “Inform him that Allah the Most High loves him.)’ This is how Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in his Book of Tawhid.

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded on the authority of Uqbah bin Amir that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Do you not see that there have been Ayat revealed to me tonight the like of which has not been seen before.’ They are ‘Say: “I seek refuge with, the Lord of Al-Falaq.” (Surah Al-Falaq) and ‘Say: “I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind.” (Surah An-Nas) This Hadith was recorded by Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i.

Select Quotations

“Truly, Hell is a place of ambush – A dwelling place for the Taghun (transgressors and wrongdoers) they will abide therein for ages. Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink. Except boiling water, and dirty wound discharges – an exact recompense (according to their crimes). For verily they used no to look for a reckoning.” (Surah An-Naba 78:21-27)

“Let man look at his food, We pour fourth water in abundance, And We split the earth in clefts. And We cause the grain to grow, and grapes and clover plants, And olives and date palms, And gardens dense with many trees, And fruits and herbage. (To be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle.”(Surah ‘Abasa 80:24-32)

“O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Most Generous?”(Surah Al-Intifar 82:6)

“Verily, those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise); That is the great success.” (Surah Al-Buruj 85:11)

“As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and bounties, then he says: ‘My Lord had honoured me!’ But when he tries him by straitening his means of life, he says, ‘My Lord has humiliated me!’ Nay! But you treat no the orphans with kindness and generosity And urge not one another on the feeding of the poor And you devour the inheritance – all with greed. And you love wealth with much love.” (Surah Al-Fajr 89:15-20)

“Indeed he succeeds who purifies his own self, And indeed he fails who corrupts his own self.” (Surah Ash-Shams 91:9)

“Certainly, your efforts and deeds are are diverse, As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna (the best/reward from Allah) We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And denies Al-Husna, We will make smooth for him the path for evil.” (Surah Al-Lail 92:4-10)

“Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, with every hardship is relief. So when you have finished (your occupation), devote yourself to Allah’s worship. And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your) intentions and hopes.” (Surah Ash-Sharh 94:5-8)

“When the earth is shaken with its (final) earthquake, And when the earth throws out its burdens. And man will say: ‘What is the matter with it?’ That Day it will declare its information (about all that happened over it of good and evil) Because your Lord will inspire it.” (Surah Az-Zalzalah 99:1-4)

“By the time, verily man is in loss. Except those who believe and righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience.” (Surah Al-Asr 103:1-3)

Main Themes

This entire juz’ has a special place in the hearts of Muslims. It is called Juz’ Amma, a name which reflects the first word of the first ayah of this section (78:1), and contains short Surahs which are memorised by many of us.

These early Makkan Surahs were revealed at a time when Muslim community was small in number, and in need of confirmation and support. The passages remind the believers of Allah’s Mercy, and the promise that in the end, good will prevail over evil. They enjoin us to look at Allah’s Signs in His Creation: our food, water and plants (80:24-32); our bodies fashioned us perfectly in due proportion (82:7); the heaven holding stars (85:1);  the sky which gives rain (86:11); mountains and how they are rooted (89:19); the bright sun and the moon that follows it (91:1-2); His is the Dominion of the heavens and earth (85:9), will we not then take heed?

The Qur’an is described as a revelation of spiritual guidance.  Believers are advised to patiently persevere, and remain strong in what they believe. Judgement Day will be a terrifying experience: when ‘hearts will shake with fear and anxiety’ (79:8); ‘that Day shall a man flee from his brother, and from his mother and his father, and from his wife and his children’ (80:34-36); ‘the seas become as a blazing Fire’ (81:6); ‘when the graves are turned upside down’ (82:4); ‘the heaven is split asunder’ (84:1) and ‘mankind will be like moths scattered about’ (101:4).

Those who believe in the Message and do righteous deeds, such as prayer, fasting and giving charity, will be rewarded with Paradise which is described as a place where the believers recline on ‘thrones’ (83:23); drinking (non-intoxicating) wine that smells of musk (83:26); in ‘gardens under which rivers flow’ (85:11);  ‘cups set at hand, and cushions set in rows, and rich carpets (all) spread out’ (88:14-16).

Those who disbelieve in the Message are given the threat of torment and punishment. Hell in described in frightening detail as a place of ‘ambush’ (78:21); where the disbelievers in the Fire will ‘taste its burning’ (84:12); there they will neither die nor live (88:13); and be made to ‘drink from a boiling spring’ (88:5); and eat from a ‘poisonous thorny plant’ (88:6); the Fire will ‘leap up over their hearts’ (104:7) and ‘will be shut over them’ (90:20).

May Allah make us of those who are saved from the Hellfire and its torments, and of those who enter His Paradise swiftly. May He accept this study of His Glorious Qur’an as part of our worship of Him Alone, in all His Glory. Ameen.

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Mankind is in Need of Allah the Most High

The leniency of Allah toward his slaves is pre-eternal. As the child is born He sparks for him a river of milk coming out of the springs of his mother’s breast and implanted instinctual love towards him in the hearts of his parents until He overwhelms them with His grace. Yet, after this child grows up and becomes aware of the One Who bestowed all these graces upon him, he utilises all these graces in disobeying Allah. As the poet has said: ‘A person spends his nights wearing the robe of impiety, nevertheless Allah covers him with the shelter of His forbearance without knowing so.’ After he reaches the age of puberty and realises the peak of his strength he rushes to issue forth a challenge of disobedience! But for whose interest? And against whom? And to get to where? And who are you in the first place to proclaim a challenge? May Allah annihilate the one who does not appreciate His favours upon him.

O you! Allah has bestowed upon you a mercy incomparable to any other mercy; when you repent your sins he orders his Angels to overlook what he recorded against you, and when He judges you He covers your shortcomings so that others do not see the yellowness of your skin caused by your shame. O you! Allah had bestowed upon you a mercy incomparable to any other mercy; when you recent from your sins he orders his Angels to overlook what he recorded against you, and when He judges you He covers you shortcomings so that others do not see the yellowness of your skin caused by your shame. O you whose innate nature is that of purity, beware of debasing yourself with the filth of sins. Lift up the tails of piety above the trash of self-desires and beware of the sprays of mistakes so it does not touch your pure garments.

To observe your duties you should firmly shield yourself from sins so look ahead because “But of you slip after clear proofs have come to you, then know that Allah if Exalted in Might and Wise.” (al-Baqrah 2:209) And know that the fountain of your eyes shall wash off the dirt staining your heart.

Since your affairs were sound at your first day of “And mention when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify to themselves, saying to them, “Am I not your Lord?” (al-Araf 7:172)

Thus you better rectify your affairs at the end so that what is in between be forgiven. O you who has been far away from his home is where it was said “Am I not your Lord?” (al-Araf 7:172) did you not long for it yet? As the poet said: ‘Give your heart to whoever you desire… for Love is only granted to the first lover’. O you who turned away from his Lord, what else kept you away from your Lord so you turned to it instead? Why have you let yourself be led by another? It is time for you to stand on the right path.

The moans of the sinners regretting their sins is more beloved to Allah that the exaltation of His glorifiers. the obedient is guided through his deeds, the sinner is humiliated because of his sins, and the mistaken plays the strings of his fearing Allah and chants the songs of shame.

It is amazing how the Possessor of the creation asks his slaves to drop a tear though He created the seven oceans; “And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth” (al-Fath 48:14) Nevertheless he sends a message to you saying, “Who is it that would loan Allah goodly loan.” (al-Hadid 57:11)

Indeed Pride is His Garment and he is the One Who says to His slaves: “I was hungry but your never fed me.” (Recorded in Muslim) He cuts off the necks of tongues by using the sword of “He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned.” (al-Anbiya 21:23) So no one should ever object then, when He comes in Grace saying to His slaves: “Is there anyone requesting anything so that I may fulfil it for him?” (Recorded by Ibn Rajab)

He cannot be encompassed by anything yet He is in the heart of those who draw near to Him in humility; He is unseen by the eyes but appears to the hearts.

I wonder at you! Allah draws near to you though He is in no need for you, whereas you are arrogant with Him though you are in need of Him. When you are far, he draws you near to Him and when you are negligent, He reminds you. He did not favour any other creation over you but nevertheless you still favour everything over Him. Lower the head of you regret before the commencement of the day at which you are blamed because then you will not have the face to answer any of that.

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi pages 134-138

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Twenty-ninth Juz’

Contents

The twenty-ninth  juz’ of the Quran begins with Surah Al-Mulk, and includes Surah Al-Qalam (The Pen), Surah Al-Haqqah (The Inevitable), Surah Al-Ma’arij (The ways of Ascent), Surah Nuh (Noah), Surah Al-Jinn (The Jin), Surah Al-Muzzammil (The One Wrapped in Garments), Surah Al-Muddaththir (The One Enveloped), Surah Al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection), Surah Al-Insan (Man) and Surah Mursalat (Those Sent Forth) in their entirety.

Revelation

Most of these short Surahs were revealed at the beginning of the Makkan period, when the Muslim community was small in number and in need of strengthening of faith.

From the Virtues of these Surahs

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah that Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, said: “Verily, there is a chapter in the Qur’an which contains thirty Ayat that will intercede on behalf of its reciter until he is forgiven. It is: “Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.” (Surah Al Mulk)

At-Tabarani and Al-Hafiz Ad-Diya’ Al-Maqdisi both recorded from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said: “There is a chapter of the Qur’an that will argue on behalf of its reciter until it causes him to enter into Paradise. It is: “Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.” (Surah Al Mulk)

Al-Bukhari recorded from Abdullah – that is Ibn Mas’ud — that he said, “While we were with the Messenger of Allah in a cave at Mina, ‘By the Mursalat.’ was revealed to him. He was reciting it and I was learning it from his mouth. Verily, his mouth was moist with it when a snake leaped out at us. The Prophet said, ‘Kill it!’ So we quickly went after it, but it got away. Then the Prophet said: ‘It was saved from your harm just as you all were saved from its harm.”’ (Surah Al-Mursulat)

In a report from Malik on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, he narrated that Umm Al-Fadl (his mother) heard him (Ibn Abbas) reciting: ‘By the Mursalat’ so she said, “O my son! You reminded me with your recitation of this Surat. Verily, it is the last thing I heard from the Messenger of Allah. He recited it in the Maghrib prayer (i.e., before he died).” Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this report in the Two Sahihs by way of Malik. (Surah Al-Mursulat)

Select Quotations

“Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah) will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning?” (Surah Al-Mulk 67:16-17)

“And verily, this (Qur’an) is a Reminder for the Muttaqun (pious). And verily, We know that there are some amongst you that deny (this Qur’an). And indeed it (this Qur’an) will be an anguish for the disbelievers (on the Day of Resurrection), And verily, it (this Qur’an) is an absolute Truth with certainty. So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.” (69:48-52)

“Verily, man was created very impatient; Irritable when evil touches him. Except those who are devoted to Salat (prayers); Those who remain constant in their Salat (prayers); And those in whose wealth there is a recognised right.” (Surah Al-Ma’arij 70:19-24)

“And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with a complete devotion.  (He Alone is) Lord of the East and the West; there is no god but He. So take Him Alone as your Disposer of your Affairs. And be patience (O Muhammad) with what they say, and keep away from them in a good way.” (Surah Al-Muzzammil 73:8-11)

“And they give food inspite of their love for it (or for the love of Him) to the Miskin (the poor), the orphan and the captive.” (Surah Al-Insan 76:8)

Main Themes

The last two juz’ of the Qur’an mark a break from the previous sections. Each surah is shorter in length, dates mostly from the Makkan period, prior to the migration to Madinah, and focuses on the internal spiritual life of believers. There is very little discussion of practical matters of daily living, interacting with the larger community, or legal rulings. Rather, the focus is on strengthening one’s internal Faith in Allah, the Almighty.

The first Surah of this section is called Surah Al-Mulk which translates as ‘ The Dominion’, and as the hadith cited above states, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told us that it would intercede on behalf of its reciter until they are forgiven. May Allah make us of those people, Ameen. He, peace be upon him, also urged his followers to recite this Surah each night before sleeping. Its message emphasizes the power of Allah, who created and maintains all things. Without the blessings and provisions of Allah, we would have nothing. Unbelievers are warned about the penalties of the Fire, awaiting those who reject faith.

Surah Al-Qalam gives the parable of the People of the Garden who felt pride in their gardens. They said they would pick fruits in the morning without saying ‘InshaAllah’ and that they would prevent the poor people from taking any fruits. Allah brought a fire that blackened their crops, and they realised the error of their ways. Such is the punishment (in this life), but truly, the punishment of the Hereafter is greater (68:17-33).

Surah Al-Haqqah speaks the inevitable Day of Resurrection, and the punishments that befell those who rejected the Message that was sent to them. The people of ‘Ad were destroyed by a violent wind, Fir’aun (Pharoah), the people of Lut (Lot) and the people of Nuh (Noah) were all overwhelmed.

Surah Al-Ma’arij reminds us about the torment that no-one can avert. On that Day the sky will be like the boiling filth of oil, the mountains will be like flakes of wool and no friend will ask about the other (70:8-10).

Surah Nuh tells of how the Prophet Nuh (Noah) peace be upon him, warned his people that they should worship Allah alone before the coming of a painful torment. But when he called them they thrust their fingers in their ears, and covered themselves in their garments magnifying their pride (71:7) so they were destroyed. Allah created us from the dust of the earth, and placed the seven heavens above one another with the moon and the sun as lamps. Do you not think He can bring you forth again on the day of Resurrection?

Surah Al-Jinn tells us of the incident when a group of Jinn heard the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, reciting Qur’an and became believers.

Surah Al-Muzzammil contains the command for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon, to stand in the night prayer reciting Qur’an in a slow and pleasant style. Be patient with what others say, and keep away from them in a good way (73:10).

Surah Al-Muddaththir contain some of the earliest verses revealed to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, after Surah Al-Alaq. He is called to arise and warn the people, to purify his garments, keep away from the idols and to be patient for the sake of his Lord. Those who deny the Message will be cast into the Fire (74:26).

In Surah Al-Qiyamah Allah reminds us of the Day of Reckoning when the sight will be dazed, and the sun and the moon will be joined togther. That Day there will be no refuge except with Allah. Man will be a witness against himself (75:14) and will be unable to make excuses.

Surah Al-Insan tells is how we were created Nutfah, mixed drops of male a female discharge, in order to try us. We were shown the way, whether we were grateful or ungrateful for it. The believers will be rewarded with Paradise, reclining on raised thrones in the shade with bunches of fruit and silver vessels, and the disbelievers will be recompensed with Hell with iron chains, iron collars and a blazing Fire.

In Surah Mursalat Allah testifies by the winds that blow violently and scatter clouds and rain, and by the Qur’an and the angels that bring the revelation, that the Promise of the Day of Judgement is true. That Day the stars will lose their light, the heavens will be cleft asunder, and the mountains will be blown away. Didn’t Allah destroy the people of civilisations past? Didn’t He create you from despised fluids? Then, woe to those who deny the Day of Resurrection.

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