"O my soul, it is only a few days, bear them patiently.A lifetime seems long but a flitting reverie"

~Imam Shafi~
" “The heart will rest and feel relief if it is settled with Allah and it will worry and be anxious if it is settled with people.” – Ibn al-Qayyim"....Say : "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge" (Qur'an - 12:108) "Say: we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Qur'an, Al-Imran 3:84) . "And if he (Muhammad SAW) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah),We would have seized him by the right hand;And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta),And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him" (Qur'an,Al-Haqqah 69:44-47) "Do they not ponder the Quran! If it were revealed from a source other than Allah,certainly they would have found,many contradictions."[Holy Quran 4:82] " O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, and you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did)" [Holy Qur'an, 84:6] Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." ~Holy Quran 6:164 Imam Malik (rh): “Do not look to the sins of people as if you are Lords, but look to your own sins as if you are slaves. Have mercy on the people of affliction and praise Allah for your well-being, and never say, ‘This person is from the people of Hellfire, and this person is from the people of Paradise.’ Do not be arrogant over the sinners, but rather ask Allah to grant them hidayah and rashad (i.e. guidance).” Ibn Kathir (Ra) narrated: كان نقش خاتم عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه : كفى بالموت واعظاً ياعمر “The engraving on ‘Umar ibn al Khataab’s(Ra) ring was: “Sufficient is death as an admonisher O Umar”. ["Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaaya]. "When you fear the creation, you run away from it, but when you fear the Creator, you feel close to Him,& run towards Him.".Ibn Qayyim . "Allahumma la‘aisha illa‘aish-al-Aakhirah": 'There is no life but the life of the next world' "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". (Quran 15:99) “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran: 29:69] "... And my success is not but through Allah . Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return." ~ Al Quran 11:88
"Nothing in this world is really useful to you unless it has some utility and value for the next world"-Imam Ali(R)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Take this black man away from me...

Take this black man away from me...”

‘Amr ibn al-Aas besieged the fortress of Babaliyon, and 
egyptian-ruler al-Muqawqis sent the following letter to ‘Amr:

“You have penetrated our land and insisted on fighting us,
and you have stayed in our land for too long. You are no more than a small
group and the Romans have prepared themselves and are about to attack you; they
have the equipment and weapons. This Nile is besieging you too, and you are
prisoners in our hands. Send us some of your men so that we may listen to what they say. Perhaps we can resolve this conflict in a way that s pleasing to both us
and you, and the fighting can stop before the Romans attack you, after which there will be no more room for talk and you will regret it if things turn out differently than you had hoped. Send us some of your companions, so that we can reach a deal with which we are both pleased.”

When the envoys of al-Muqawqis came to ‘Amr ibn al-Aas, he
detained them for two days and two nights, until al-Muqawqis feared for them
and said to his companions: “Do you think that they have killed the envoys or
detained them, and they regard that as permissible in their faith?” But all
that ‘Amr sought to achieve by that was to demonstrate that the Muslims were
not concerned about these proposals. Then ‘Amr sent word back with the envoys:
“There are only three options between me and you, either you enter Islam and
you will be our brothers, with the same rights as us, if you refuse then you
must pay the jizyah with willing submission and feel yourselves subdued; otherwise we will fight against you and be patient till gives judgement. And he is the Best of judges. When the envoys came back he asked them: “How did you find them?” They said, “We have seen a people to whom death is dear
than life and humility is dearer to them than high status. Not one of them has any desire or love for this world; rather they sit on the ground and eat on their knees. Their leader is like one of them and those of high status cannot be distinguished from the lowly, or the master from the slave. When the time for prayer comes, not one of them stays behind. They wash their limbs with water and stand with humility in their prayer

At that, al-Muqawqis said: “By the One Who may be sworn by, if these people wanted to take on mountains they would destroy them. No one has
the capability to fight them
. If we do not take the opportunity to
make a deal with them today whilst they are surrounded by this Nile, they will not respond to us after today when they manage to move out of the position where they are now.” 

Al-Muqawqis sent his envoys back to them and said: “Send some of your envoys to us so that we may talk to them and negotiate a deal that will be good for us and for you.” ‘Amr ibn al-Aas sent ten men one of whom was ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit. ‘Amr ordered him to be the one to speak to the people, and not to accept any deal but one of these three options (as stated above, Islam, jizyah or to fight), because the Khaleefah had issued instructions to that effect. ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit was black, and when they travelled by boat to al-Muqawqis and entered his place, ‘Ubadah stepped forward and al-Muqawqis was alarmed because of his blackness. 

He said “Take this black man away from me and let someone else come and speak to me!” They said, “This black man is the best of us in knowledge and wisdom. He is our leader and the best of us and our leader has appointed him over us and ordered us not to go against him.”

Al-Muqawqis said “How could you accept this black man as the best among you? Rather he should be the least among you.

They said, “No; even though he is black as you can see, he is the best in status amongst us, one of the foremost among us and one of the wisest. Blackness is not something bad among us.”

Al-Muqawqis said to ‘Ubadah “Come forward O black man, and speak to me gently,for your blackness alarms me, and if you speak harshly that will alarm me
further.” ‘Ubadah went forward and said, “I have heard what you said. Among my companions are a thousand men who are all as black as me and even blacker than me and more terrifying to behold.

If you saw them you be even more alarmed. My youth has gone, but nevertheless I would not be scared if one hundred of my enemy wanted to face me all at once, and the same is true of my companions, for our hope and our desire is fight Jihad for the sake of Allah, seeking the pleasure of Allah
The reason for our campaign against our enemies who wage war against Allah is not the hope of worldly gains or the accumulation of wealth; rather Allah has permitted that to us and made the booty we acquire permissible for us. But none of us cares whether he has a qintar (which is a large amount) of gold or has nothing but a dirhambecause all we want from this world is something to eat and ward off hunger and a cloth to wrap around ourselves. If one of us owns nothing more than that, that is enough.

 If he gets a qintar of gold he will spend it for the sake of Allah and be content with the little that is left in his hand, because the pleasure of this world is not true pleasure and it’s luxury is not true luxury; rather real pleasure and luxury come in the Hereafter. This is how our Lord has guided us and our Prophet has taught us; he advised us that our ambition in this world should be just to have enough to ward off hunger and cover our ‘awrahour main concern should be to please our Lord and make Jihad against His enenmies.”

When al-Muqawqis heard that, he said to those who were around him: “Have you ever heard anything like what this man is saying? His appearance alarmed me but his words alarm me more than his appearance. Allah has sent this man and his companions out to destroy the world! I think that they are bound to prevail over the entire world.”

Then al-Muqawqis turned to ‘Ubadah and said: “O man, I have
heard what you say about yourself and your companions. Indeed you have not
achieved what you have achieved except because of what you have mentioned, and you have only prevailed over those over whom you prevailed because of their
love for this world. An innumerable Byzantine force has come to us to fight you,
people who are known for their courage and toughness; none of them
cares whom he is going to meet and fight. We know that you will not able tackle
them, because you are weak and small in number. 

You have been in our land for many months, and you are suffering from hardship and lack of provisions. We feel sorry for you because of your weakness, low numbers and lack of resources and we will be happy to help you by giving each man among you two dinars; we will also give your leader one hundred dinars and your Khaleefah one thousand. Take it and go back to your own land before there comes to you a force that you cannot deal with.”

‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit said: “Do not deceive us yourself or your companions. You are trying to scare us by telling us about this Roman force and its great numbers and telling us that we cannot tackle them. But this is not something that you can scare us with, and it is not something that will make us change our plans. If what you say is true, then by Allah, that is the most encouraging reason to fight them, and will make us more keen to do so,because that will be more pleasing to our Lord. If we all are killed, that will enable us to earn His good pleasure and attain Paradise, and there is nothing dearer to us than that. The outcome will be good in either case. Either we will make great gains in this world, if we defeat you, or we will make great gains in the Hereafter, if you defeat us, and gains in the Hereafter are dearer to us, and that is what we are striving for.

“How often a small group overcame a mighty host by Allah’s leave? And
Allah is with the patient”

There is not man among us who does not pray morning and evening for Allah to bless him with martyrdom and not sent him back to his wife & childThere is no one among us who worries about that which he has left behind. Each one of us has entrusted those whom he has left behind, wife and children, to his Lord. All our concern is focused on what lies before us. As for your saying that we are enduring hardship and have little provision, we are having an easy time of it. If the whole was ours, we would not want for ourselves any more than what we have now. Think about what you want to do and tell us, for there is no deal between us and we will not accept anything from you but one of these three options. Choose whichever one you want and do not indulge in wishful thinking. 

This is what my commander has told me to do, and this is what the Khaleefah has commanded him to do, and this is the advice that the Messenger of Allah gave to us before. Either respond to Islam,which is the only religion that Allah will accept, and it is the religion of his prophets, messengers and angels and Allah has commanded us to fight those who oppose it and turn away from it until they enter it; whoever does that will have the same rights and duties as we do and he will be our brother in the religion of Allah. If you and your companions accept that then you will be blessed in this world and in the Hereafter, and we will refrain from fighting you and will not harm you. If you refuse, then you must pay the jizyah with willing submission and fell yourselves subdued, and we will agree on the amount of jizyah to be paid on an annual basis, and we will fight on your
behalf anyone who attacks you or attacks any of f your land, persons or wealth.
We will do that for you if you are under our protection and that will be a
covenant that is binding upon us before Allah. If you refuse, then there will
be no option than to let the sword decide between us and you, until we all die
or attain what we want from you. This is our promise before Allah, and there is
no other option for us except this. Choose for yourselves.”

Al-Muqawqis said: “This will never be possible. All that you want is to enslave us as long as the earth remains.” ‘Ubadah said to him, “It is up to you; choose what you want.” Al-Muqawqis asked “Why can we not have an option other than these three?” ‘Ubadah raised his hands and said, “No, by the Lord of the heavens, by the Lord of the earth and the Lord of all things! You can have no other deal with us, so choose for yourself.”

Al-Muqawqis turned to his companions and asked: “Have you decided what you want?” They said, “Would anyone accept this humiliation? As for their wanting us to enter their religion, that can never happen. We will not leave the religion that we the religion of the Messiah , son of Mary and enter into a religion that we do not know. As for their wanting to imprison us and make us slaves forever, death is better than that. If they accept for us to give them many times more than what we have given them, that would be better.”

Al-Muqawqis said to ‘Ubadah, “The people have refused. What do you think? Go
back to your leader and tell him that we will give you many more times what you are hoping for, and go away.”

‘Ubadah and his companions left, and al-Muqawqis said to
those who were around him: “Obey me, and let the people accept one of three options, for by Allah you have no power to you have no power to resist them,
and if you do not respond to them willingly you will make a worse deal with
them unwillingly.”They asked him, “Which options should we chose?”He said “I
shall tell you. As for fighting them, I know that you will never be able to
prevail over them, and you will never persevere as they do
. So there is nothing left but the third option.” They said, “So we will be enslaved to them forever?”

He said, “Yes, being slaves, but with full authority in your land, knowing that
you, your wealth and children are safe, is better than all of you dying, and
being slaves, sold and scattered throughout the land and enslaved forever, you and
your families and children. They said, “Death is preferable to that”.

[al-Ansar fee al-‘Asr ar-Rashidi, pg. 211, an-Nujoom
az-Zahir Mulook Misr wa al-Qahirah 1/10-16 & Ubadah ibn as-Samit as-Sahabi
al-Kabeer wa Fatih Mujahid pg. 91