Monday, April 6, 2009

We Will Stand Alone

On sunday at a tafseer lesson we came across this ayat in Surah Ta-Ha.

95. And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender).

All muslims must strive to learn this by heart and ponder over it day and night. It is an awe-aspiring ayat which if understood properly and kept in mind will make the righteous of most men.

Imagine you have just got a blood test as prescribed by a doctor and you go to show him the report. You are all alone in a room waiting for him to come. Usually at such hours one takes a loved one to console and keep distract and later on support. But imagine being alone, the fear, the anticipation, the dread, the distraction of dwindling fingers, the gloom...

This is something similar but much more serious. So there will be no one to turn to, no one to keep company and no one to intercede.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Media and 3 Evils

There are three verses in the quran which carry a great argument against modern media.
We dont rule that all media is bad, media has its great role as information dispenser and if used with the right attitude it can lead to great good. Sadly this is not the case.

Here are the following three verses from Surah Hujuraat

6. O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.

11. O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one's brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: "O sinner", or "O wicked", etc.]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.).

12. O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting) . And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.

There basic rules
1. Research your facts carefully before attacking someone
2. Do not jest and make fun of people and call them by bad names
3. Do not be suspicious of people and do not back bite

These rules are for everyone but I thought they were well placed on media in the modern world.
But every man should contemplate on these verses.

May Allah give us the strength to walk on the right path.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How to pack for your travels

Countless articles are written in travel magazines on how to pack for vacations. Pack light they say and only take essentails. Do research on what the climate will be like.

If someone is going to Paris we wont advice them to buy a house there beforehand, or buy a car when one could easily cab or metro. Similarly we advice to pack light find out if its cold or warm, always take an umbrella incase it rains, always keep a holdall incase your suitcase is lost.

Similar is the case with this world, we are only here for a brief moment, 60 years is a flash and when man will asked how much did you stay in the world he will say for a very little time. Ones life will flash before his eyes in seconds, just like when in dreams we travel far and wide and when we wake up only 5 hours have elapsed or so. Such is the life of this world.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that prepare for your destination as long as you are to reside there. In light of this he meant that the everlasting life is in the hereafter so we should be concentrating on preparing for that life. Do not concentrate too much on the worldly life as its only transitory.

I cant remember names and places but once a man was travelling with a group and as was custom in those days people sent their servants with tents and supplies beforehand. He forgot or his servants were delayed and when they got to their destination everyone had a tent but he. So people found him weeping under a tree and they asked him not to be sad as he can share with someone but he said "Iám crying because similar is the case with the hereafter and I remembered the day of judgement that if i dont send anything beforehand i will be tentless there and without any supplies!"

So lets get our travel packing right, light for this world and heavy for the hereafter!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Story of a Handmaid

Once upon a time, Hadrat Malik B. Dinar (Mercy Be Upon Him) was walking in the streets of Basra. On the way, he happened to see a female servant walking with such pomp and show as the maidservants of king’s generally do. Hadrat Malik (Mercy Be Upon Him) after witnessing the manner in which she walked, called her and said: "O handmaid! Would your master like to sell you?" She was surprised to hear this voice. She said "What? Repeat it again." Hadrat Malik did accordingly. She said to him "Would a beggar like you, be able to purchase me if my master agrees to sell at all?" He replied in the affirmative and added that he could purchase a better one than she.

On hearing this reply she laughed and ordered her servants to take this beggar along with them (just for making fun of him). On reaching home she narrated this whole story to her master, who laughed boisterously and ordered to bring him (Hadrat Malik) before him When he was brought before him, he (the master) asked him: "What do you want?" In reply, he advised him to sell his handmaid to him. He asked him “Can you pay her price?" Hadrat Malik replied "For me, her price is not more than two stones of dates." On hearing this whole audience began to laugh. The master asked him "What prompted you to fix this price for her?" He replied that there were many shortcomings in her. The master asked him to let him know of the shortcomings. Hadrat Malik enumerated them thus:

“In case she applies not perfume, her body emits a foul smell. If she cleanses not her teeth, these begin to putrefy. If she combs not her hair, the disheveled and untidy hair is infested with lice. She on becoming a bit old would bear the appearance of an old woman, not worthy to be loved. She menstruates. She makes water and relieves herself. In other words, she emits all sorts of filths (spittle, mucus, saliva). She suffers from agonies and hardships. She, being much greedy, shows her love to you merely for her self interests. She shows her love to you only for her material benefits. Today, if any loss is incurred by her because of you, the whole edifice of her love will within no time crumble down. She is absolutely faithless and fulfills not her promise. Her love is based on falsehood. As soon as you breathe your last, she will sit by the side of another person and sing the song of her permanent and everlasting love for him, in the same way as did for you. On the contrary, said Hadrat Malik, I have a handmaid; her price is much less than. She is made of camphor's essence; she has been fashioned out of musk and saffron. She has played amidst the branches of ruby and coral. Her abode is a place of great blessings. She drinks water from Tasnim (a fountain in paradise). She never backs out to her words. Her love is constant.”
Hadrat Malik then asked the master to let him know what handmaid, according to price, was more beneficial to him. All said unanimously that the latter was more valuable. He added: "Everyone can afford to buy her at any time and in every age."

The people asked Hadrat Malik her price. He replied "If they want to purchase such an important and valuable thing, they will have to spare some time at night and observe two rakah's of Tahajjud prayer in order to seek the pleasure of Almighty Allah; they shall have to invite some poor and the needy to meals at the time of eating; they shall have to give preference to Allah's pleasure to their own wishes; they shall have to remove any troublesome thing lying in the way; they shall have to lead simple lives and they will have to be more anxious for their eternal abode than this mortal world."

Then Hadrat Malik told them that if they would act on this advice, they would lead an honorable life and be blessed with honor both in this world and the hereafter. After that the master asked the maid-servant whether she had listened to the advice of the venerable old man. If so, what was her opinion? She confessed that the preaching’s of the venerable old man were true and were calculated to promote good and virtue. The master set the maid-servant free and gave her a portion of his property as gift. He donated the rest of his wealth to the poor. After casting off his elegant dress he covered his body with a thick cloth of a door's curtain. The maid-servant told her master that she could not live without him and after sacrificing her elegant dress and property she also accompanied her master. Malik B. Dinar prayed for them and departed. Both of them bade farewell to the worldly pleasures and dedicated themselves to the divine worship and died in that state. (May Allah bless them all and all of us.)

- Excerpt from "The Spectacle of Death including Glimpses of Life Beyond the Grave." by Khwaja Muhammad Islam.

-Contributed and edited by Zain Elias.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Example to Follow

I came across this following verse in the Quran today. Such a short verse but so rich in meaning and so deep in subject that several books can be written on it.

21. Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow, for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. (Surah Al-Ahzab Ayat 21)

I mean to get a scholar to prepare a questionnaire whereby we can assess ourselves in the light of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sunnah. I think it is vital that we do such a rigourous assessment because from the above verse it is clear that our success lies in it.

p.s. please send your thoughts and comments to

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Changing Faces

I have recently picked up a book recommended by a tutor of mine "Maisharati Bigar Ka Sad-e-bab" by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhanwi (Shaheed) (trans: Reasons of Societal Decay)

The book has some very strange and some equally haunting essays. Particularly eerie is the report on Ebola/Hog Virus that struck large parts of South America, Phillpines and Africa. The Ebola virus has proved more deadlier then AIDS and has a spookier side; the faces of victims are greatly altered, their skin becomes extremely thick and prickly etc... Even in AIDS the face is altered greatly and victims can hardly be recognized in a years time. But in Ebola things are much worse and patients are often abandoned by families in distress.

Maulana Sahib ties these viruses with the wrath of Allah on how Allah punished past nations with the curse of changing of faces. In Quran we find the story of a group of Bani Israel (Jews) who did not listen to Hazrat Daud (PBUH) and consequentaly Allah transformed them into monkeys and they perished after 3 days. He summarizes that Allah changed the faces of people whose sins can be categorized as follows:
1. Doing things prohibited by Allah
2. Making unlawful things lawful by way of words or corruption
3. Mocking and ignoring those who try to reform society
4. Lastly even ignoring the warnings and teaching of the Prophet.

He writes that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) warned people that in the future this wrath of changing faces may fall upon people again. He listed things which people would make lawful like illicit sex, alcohol, silk, instruments of music. The companions asked that how will they make the unlawful lawful to which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) replied "by giving it new names!"

This is the point where I shuddered thinking of all the things which we Muslims are making lawful by giving it new names i.e
1. Its not gambling its Insurance
2. Its not interest its bank profit
3. Its not wine its vodka.

We must all pray hard and fast that Allah guides us in such troubled times and keep us well away from the unlawful and give us the strength and the intelligence to rightly distinguish between good and bad.

22 Safar, 1430 A.H

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Signs of the Day of Judgement

There is an interesting book by the title "The Third World War and Dajal" the author lays out a detailed case on the concrete evidence of Hadith of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) about the signs that will pave the way to Dajal.

It is a mesmerizing read and a haunting one. While reading I honestly felt that Dajal would come next weekend if not tommorow. So many of the signs which the Prophet (PBUH) listed that would pave the way for the great war and the coming of Hazrat Mahdi and then finally Dajal are happening in front of the eyes.

I list just a few.

1. The worst person in the country will be the country's leader.
2. Musical instruments and music will be common.
3. Alcohol will be widely and openly consumed.

Just these three are enough to make us realize that we are not very far from the great war and the day of judgement.

May Allah have mercy on all Muslims, lead us to the right path, stengthen our faiths and our backs. It is important that we follow the advice of the Propher Mohammad (PBUH) in such times and read Surah Kahf especially on Fridays if not the whole Surah then atlest the first 10 verses.
May Allah give us guidance and the will to do so.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An e-mail worth sharing

I just got an e-mail from a reader and I thought I'd share it here

I just want to say that many of us who are even mildly religious are ignorant of our worships.
Our worships are pale in comparison to the many heroes you mention.
I was at the mosque the other day and reading my tasbeeh of alhamdu-lillah. Then I saw a man come in and he was handicapped and didnt have a leg. Immediatly my alhamdu-lillah meant something. Seeing this man made me realize that my alhamdu-lillah should be more then a routine tasbeeh, we must list all the things we should be thanking Allah for. But sadly we wont have the time because there is too much to thank for.
I hope that I can achieve this kind of worship everyday but the feeling rarely comes to me.

Its touching what this man felt. I too must strive for this kind of worship where your heart is 100% involved and you are not merely saying words in arabic.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Warrior by day; Worshipper by night.

Shiekh Ahmed Mustafa Qasim narrates some beautiful and heartstopper stories in his acclaimed book “Interesting Tales of Night Worship” particularly appealing is the chapter on Sultan Saladin Ayubi (Rah). Here is an excerpt:

“Despite being an expert on war fare and a brave soldier Saladin never relied on material strength alone. Whenever his army was under attack he would immediately turn to Allah for help. He would cry out to Allah, spend the whole night in the state of prostration and beg for help and victory. One of his commanders wrote that Saladin on all occasions used his spiritual weapons more then his material weapons.

This brave general’s generosity is also famous. He was extremely generous in both good and bad times. So much so that people would go around saying that in the eyes of Saladin dirt and wealth are much the same. In one of the battles he conquered an area called “Aqa” and it is said that apart from the other things 10,000 horses were part of the booty. Yet at the time of his death there was not a single penny in his household. His court judge had to borrow one dinar to shroud him. Subhan-Allah! Allah-Akbar! Islam has carved such great and noble characters in its followers. The great king whose bravery would shake the European courts and whose war booty used to be so humongous that soldiers could not even collect it, yet his own state was so that his household could not supply his coffin shrouds.”

Sadly we have lost touch with our history and many of us would never read or know of this great Islamic hero. It’s a shame that I got my first dose of Saladin in Ridley Scott’s epic movie Kingdom of Heaven. Robert Fisk an eminent British journalist writes that he saw the film in Beirut and says the house came down when Saladin enters Jerusalem and finds a crucifix lying on the floor of a church, knocked off during the three day siege. And he carefully picks up the cross and places it reverently back on the altar. Yes this is time to cheer because this is a gesture of honor, mercifulness and bravery and a nobility of character that Islam teaches. Every Muslim must cheer Saladin but more so read about him and learn some important lessons.

12 Safar, 1430 Hijri

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Driver's dream

“There was once a driver who always complained that he should have been born in the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was deeply disconcerted by the society around him and wished that he wasn’t born in these troubled times but when Islam was at its zenith and faith was pure and men were honest. He always shared this view with men wherever he went.
One night he dreamt that he was driving a car and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sitting on the passenger seat and in the back seat sat a group of his companions. When the car started going downhill the brakes failed and he panicked that what should he do, he feared for the life of Muhammad (PBUH) so he jumped out of the car and started looking for a rock to block the front tires. A long time elapsed in his finding this rock and when he returned with it he found that one the companions had stopped the car by blocking the tire with his head.
He woke up startled and related this remarkable dream to the masjid’s imam. The imam told him that you desire day and night that you were born in the time of the Prophet (PBUH) yet when confronted with this accident you started looking for a rock while the companion presented his head to save the Prophet (PBUH). In this dream lies not only your answer but an answer for every muslim today, that we did not deserve to be born in his time. The companions were group of people who sacrificed their lives for Prophet (PBUH) without skipping a heartbeat.

Similarly, we hear of this incident that once when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was preparing to go for Jihad a woman came and presented her infant for Jihad. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked what use will the infant be on the battlefield. The woman insisted that the Prophet (PBUH) take her infant justifying that if your shield is lost he will be your shield and his body will take all the arrows and the blows of swords….” Subhan-Allah!

This sermon illustrates that our love for the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is confined to words alone. We narrate beautiful poems for him, toil to visit his city but in our daily lives, we ignore his teachings. Some of us are ashamed to wear the sharia'h beard; others cringe at keeping their trousers above ankles lest people laugh. We are keen to forward sms messages that narrate hadith’s yet on that very cell phone we have a ring tone that peals profane songs. Urgency is required in examining our relationship with our Prophet (PBUH).
It is our very duty that we study the life of the Prophet (PBUH) thoroughly because in his life lie answers to many of our newfangled problems. More so, we must study the lives of the Companions (RA) because they were the very people whom the Prophet (PBUH) trained into great men who would later lead the world. As an Urdu poet says so well:
Jo khud na thay rah par aurain kay hadi ban gaiy
Kayah nazar thi jo mordoah ko masiha kar gia
(pardon the poor roman urdu typing!)

Former sermon by Maulana Ibad-ur-Rehman on Friday Safar 10, 1430.

Suggested reading :
The Life of Prophet Muhammad - Highlights and Lessons Author: Dr. Mustafa as-Sibaa’ie