"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)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

O Bearers of the Qur`an!

The first matter that it befits him to employ is Taqwa of Allah secretly and openly, by exercising caution (wara’) with regards to the sources of his food, drink, dress and earnings. He is perceptive about his time and the corruptions of its people that he may beware of them regarding his religion. He concentrates on his own situation, having the aspiration to reform whatever is corrupt in his affairs, guarding his tongue and choosing his words.

If he speaks, he speaks with knowledge when he sees speech to be correct. He fears from his tongue things more severe than he fears from his enemy. He imprisons his tongue the way he imprisons his enemy, so that he may be safe from its evil and bad consequences. He rarely laughs at the matters which people laugh, due to the bad consequences of laughter. If he is pleased by something in accordance with the truth, he smiles. He dislikes joking, fearing frivolity: if he jokes, he speaks the truth. He is accommodating in countenance and pure in speech. 

He does not allow himself to be praised for qualities he has, how then for qualities he does not have? He is wary of his self, that it should overcome him for what it desires, of the things that will anger his Master. He does not backbite anyone. He does not look down upon anyone. He does not abuse anyone. He is not happy at the affliction of others. He neither transgresses upon anyone, nor envies them. He does not think the worst about anyone, except for one who deserves it. He loves with knowledge, and hates with knowledge. He speaks about a person’s faults only with knowledge, and remains silent about a person’s real nature with knowledge.

He has made the Qur’an, Sunnah and Fiqh his guide to every good and beautiful quality, guarding all his limbs from what has been forbidden. If he walks, he walks with knowledge. If he sits, he sits with knowledge. He strives hard so that people may be safe from his tongue and hand. He does not behave ignorantly: if someone behaves ignorantly towards him, he is forbearing. He does not oppress: if he is oppressed, he forgives. He does not transgress: if he is transgressed upon, he has patience. He restrains his fury to please his Lord and enrage his enemy. He is humble in himself: when the truth is presented to him, he accepts it, whether from one younger or older.

He seeks status from Allah, not from the creatures. He despises arrogance, fearing for his self from it. He does not (earn to) eat by the Qur’an, nor does he like his needs being fulfilled by way of it. He neither runs with it to the sons of kings, nor sits with it amongst the rich so that they may honour him.
If the people earn plenty from the world without understanding or perception, he earns a little with understanding and knowledge. If the people wear fine luxury, he wears of the halal with that which conceals his private parts. If his circumstances ease, he eases; if they tighten, he tightens. He is content with little, so it suffices him. 

He bewares for his self from the world that which will make it tyrannical. He follows the obligations of the Qur’an and the Sunnah: he eats food with knowledge; he drinks with knowledge; he dresses with knowledge; he sleeps with knowledge; he has union with his wife with knowledge; he accompanies his brothers with knowledge; visiting them with knowledge, seeking permission to enter upon them with knowledge, and greeting them with knowledge; he treats his neighbour with knowledge.

He imposes strictly upon himself the honouring of his parents: he lowers his wing to them, and lowers his voice before their voices. He expends his wealth for them, and looks upon them with the eye of respect and mercy. He prays for their longevity, and is thankful for them in old age. He is not irritated by them, and does not look down upon them. If they ask for his help in a matter of obedience, he helps them. If they ask for his help in a matter of disobedience, he does not help them, but is gentle with them in his disobedience of them: he shows beautiful etiquette such that they may return from the ugly matter that they intended, that it does not befit them to do. He maintains family relations and despises breaking them. If someone breaks off relations with him, he does not break off relations with them. If someone disobeys Allah regarding him, he obeys Allah regarding him.

He accompanies the believers with knowledge, and sits with them with knowledge. He benefits those who accompany him, being an excellent companion for those whom he sits with. If he teaches another, he is gentle with him. He is not harsh with the one who makes a mistake, and does not embarrass him. He is gentle in all his matters, extremely patient in teaching goodness. The leaner finds comfort in him, and the one sitting with him is joyous at his company. Sitting with him brings goodness. He educates his companions with the etiquettes of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

If he is afflicted with a difficulty, the Qur’an and the Sunnah are two educators for him. He grieves with knowledge. He cries with knowledge. He has patience with knowledge. He purifies himself with knowledge. He prays with knowledge. He gives zakat with knowledge. He gives charity with knowledge. He fasts with knowledge. He performs the hajj with knowledge. He wages jihad with knowledge. He earns with knowledge, and he spends with knowledge. He eases in matters with knowledge, and tightens in them with knowledge. The Qur’an and the Sunnah have taught him his manners. He looks through the pages of the Qur’an in order to teach himself manners, and he is not pleased for himself to fulfil with ignorance the obligations imposed by Allah. He has made knowledge and understanding his guide to every goodness.

When he studies the Qur’an, it is with the presence of understanding and intelligence: his aspiration is to understand that which Allah has imposed upon him of following His commands and avoiding His prohibitions. His aspiration is not: when will I complete the soorah? His aspiration is: when will I be enriched by Allah, so that I am in no need of other than Him? When will I be of the pious? When will I be of those who excel? When will I be of those who have total tawakkul? When will be of those who humble themselves? When will I be of the patient ones? When will I be of the truthful ones? When will I be of the fearful ones? When will I be of the hopeful ones?

When will I have non-attachment to the world? When will I have yearning for the Hereafter? When will I repent from sins? When will I recognize the widespread favours? When will I be grateful for them? When will I understand from Allah His address? When will I understand what I recite? When will I overcome my self regarding its base desires? When will I strive in Allah’s cause with a true jihad? When will I guard my tongue? When will I lower my gaze? When will I guard my chastity? When will I be ashamed before Allah with true shame? When will I be preoccupied with my faults? When will I reform the corruptions in my life? When will I call my self to account?

When will I take provision for the Day of Resurrection? When will I be pleased with Allah? When will I have trust in Allah? When will I be admonished by the warnings of the Qur’an? When will I be preoccupied with His remembrance away from remembrance of other than Him? When will I love what He loves? When will I hate what He hates? When will I be sincere to Allah? When will I purify my deeds for Him? When will I reduce my vain hopes? When will I prepare myself for the day of my death, when my remaining term shall have vanished? When will I build the life of my grave? When will I reflect upon the Standing and its severity? When will I reflect upon my solitude with my Lord? When will I reflect upon the Return?

When will I beware that which my Lord has warned me of: a Fire whose heat is severe, its depth great and its grief lengthy. Its inhabitants do not die that they may rest; their sins are not forgiven; their tears are not shown mercy. Their food is zaqqoom, and their drink is boiling water. Every time their skins are roasted, they are replaced with new ones so that they may taste the punishment. They regret when regret does not benefit them, and they bite upon their hands in sorrow at their falling short in obeying Allah and their embarking upon the disobedience of Allah. Thus, one of them says,

“Alas! If only I had sent something forward for my life!” (89:24)

Another says, “My Lord, return me! It may be that I work righteousness in what I have neglected!” (23:99-100)

Another says, “O woe to us! What is the matter with this Book? It does not leave a minor or major matter, except that it counts it!” (18:49)

Another says, “O woe to me! If only I had not taken so-and-so as a close friend!”(25:28)

Another group of them says, with their faces turning in different kinds of punishment, “Alas! If only we had obeyed Allah, and obeyed the Messenger!”(33:66)

So this is the Fire, O assembly of Muslims! O Bearers of the Qur’an! Allah has warned the believers of it in more than one place in His Book, out of mercy from Him towards the believers. Allah, Mighty and Majestic, said. “O you who have believed! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones. Upon it are angels, stern and severe: they disobey not Allah in what He commands them, and they do as they are ordered.” (66:6)

He, Mighty and Majestic, also said, “O you who have believed! Fear Allah, and let each soul see what it has sent forth for tomorrow; and fear Allah: truly, Allah is Aware of what you do.” (59:18)

He then warned the believers against being heedless of what Allah has obligated upon them and what He has entrusted to them not to lose, and to guard His limits that He has entrusted to them, and not to be like the others who rebelled against His command and so He punished them with different types of punishment. Thus He, Mighty and Majestic, said, “And do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He caused them to forget themselves: they are truly rebellious ones.” (59:19)

He then informed the believers that the people of the Fire and the people of the Garden are not equal, saying, “Not equal are the people of the Fire and the people of the Garden: the people of the Garden, they are the truly successful ones.” (59:20)

Thus, when the intelligent believer recites the Qur’an, he presents himself to it, so it becomes like a mirror in which he sees which of his actions are beautiful and which are ugly. Thus, whatever his Master warns him against, he is wary of it; whatever He instils fear regarding its consequences, he fears; whatever his Master encourages him in, he desires it and hopes for it.

Thus, whoever fits this description, or close to this description, he has recited it as it should truly be recited, and has attended to it as it should truly be taken care of. The Qur’an becomes for him a witness, intercessor, comfort and support. Whoever has these qualities benefits himself and benefits his family, and returns with every goodness upon his parents and his children in this world and the Hereafter.

Abu Al-‘Aaliyah reports that a man once asked `Ubay bin K`ab – may Allah be pleased with him – for advice.
He said:
§  “Take the Book of Allah as your leader (imam) and be pleased with it as a judge and ruler.
§  It is what your Messenger left amongst you.
§  It will be an intercessor for you.
§  It is to be obeyed.
§  It is a witness never doubted.
§  In it is a mention of you and those before you,
§  and judgment for whatever happens amongst you.
§  And in it is news about you and whatever will come after you.”

From ‘The Character of The Bearers (and People) of the Qur’an’ Chapter 4 byImam al-Ajooriyy al-Baghdadi (rahimahullah)


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What is it Between Me & Sa’id bin Jubair!

When Sa’id bin Jubair (radiyaAllahu ‘anhu) entered into the court of the ruthless governor, Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf Ath-Thaqafi, the latter asked 
the former, “What is your name?”

“Sa’id bin Jubair.”

“Rather, you are ‘the miserable one, son of the broken one,” said Al-Hajjaj, immediately showing hostility towards Sa’id. This was the way he treated all of his enemies – basically, anyone who criticized him was his enemy.
“Rather, my mother knows my name better than you do,” said Sa’id, with the calmness and composure that one should show when responding to an ignorant person.
“You are wretched, and so is your mother,” said Al-Hajjaj.
“As for the unseen world, One other than you knows it,” said Sa’id.
“I will cause you to change in this world with a blazing fire,” said Al-Hajjaj.
“Had I known that that was in your hands, I would have taken you as a god,” said Sa’id.
“And what do you say about Muhammad (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)?” asked Al-Hajjaj.
“He is the Prophet of mercy, the Imam of guidance – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – and the Messenger of the Lord of all that exists, sent to all of mankind with a good exhortation.”
“And what do you say about ‘Ali bin Abu-Talib ?” Al-Hajjaj asked. “Is he in Paradise or in the Hell-fire?”
“Had I entered it, I would have seen its dwellers,” said Sa’id.
“And what do you say about the Caliphs (Khalifahs)?”
“I am not a guarantor for them,” said Sa’id. “Each person is held ransom for only that which his own hands have reaped.”

“Should I curse them or praise them?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“I will not say that which I do not know,” said Sa’id. “I am required to be accountable only for the affairs of my own soul.

“Who among them do you like best?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“The one whom the Creater (Allah ‘azawajal) is most pleased with,”said Sa’id.
“And who among them is Allah most pleased with?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“The knowledge thereof is with the One who knows their secrets and their private discources,” said Sa’id.
“And what kind of a man will I be on the Day of Resurrection?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“I am too insignificant for Allah to reveal to me the unseen world,”said Sa’id.
“You refuse to be truthful with me,” said Al-Hajjaj.
“To the contrary, (I said what I said because) I did not want to lie to you,” said Sa’id.
“Forget about all of this,” Al-Hajjaj said. “Tell me why you never laugh.”
“I have never seen anything that should make me laugh,” said Sa’id. “And how can a created being laugh when he was created from clay, which is consumed by fire!”

“Then what is the matter with us that we laugh?” asked Al-Hajjaj.
“Hearts (of people) are not at the same level,” said Sa’id.
“Have you ever seen any form of entertainment (i.e., musical instruments)?”
“I do not know what you are referring to,” said Sa’id. Al-Hajjaj then asked one of his underlings to bring a lute (a stringed instrument) and a flute. When they were brought and someone began to play the lute and blow into the flute, Sa’id began to cry.
“What is making you cry?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“O Hajjaj, you have reminded me of a tremendous matter,” said Sa’id. “By Allah, after what I have seen here, I will never eat to satiety, quench my thirst, or wear (nice) clothing, and I will continue to remain in a state of sadness.”

“Fine, but what is your view concerning this entertainment?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“O Hajjaj, by Allah, that is the sadness (I am referring to). As for this blowing instrument, it reminded me of a tremendous Day, the Day on which the trumpet will be blown. As for the lute, a tree was wrongfully cut (for it to be made). And as for the strings, they are from the bowels of sheep (which were wrongfully slaughtered (since they weren’t slaughtered for food or any beneficial use, but rather for forbidden entertainment)). They will be resurrected with you on the Day of Resurrection.”
“I am more beloved to Allah than you are?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“No one goes to his Lord until he knows how he ranks with Him,”said Sa’id. “And Allah knows best about the unseen.”
“And how is it possible that I will not go to my Lord as I am today (i.e., dignified – as he deemed himself to be)?” said Al-Hajjaj. “I am with the Imam of the Jama’ah (the main body of Muslims), while you are with the Imam of division and Al-Fitnah (trial or tribulation, the source of discord).”
“I am not outside of the Jama’ah,” said Sa’id. “Nor am I pleased with the trials or tribulations; but the decree of Allah (‘azawajal) is executed: nothing can prevent it (from being executed).”
“What do you think about that which we are gathering for the Leader of the Believers?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“I have not seen (what it is that you are gathering for him),” said Sa’id. Al-Hajjaj ordered for gold, silver, pearls, and precious jewels to be brought to him; when they came, he put them between the hands of Sa’id ibn Jubair.
“This is good, if you fulfill its condition,” said Sa’id.
“And what is its condition?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“If you use what you gathered to purchase safety from the Greater Terror on the Day of Resurrection, then that is fine. Otherwise”
…every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her load (22:2)

“Nothing that is gathered for the world is good other than that which is good and purified,”
 continued Sa’id.
“Then you consider our action of gathering (this wealth) good and pure?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“In your view, you have gathered it,”
 said Sa’id. “And you know better whether it is good and pure (i.e., whether you have procured it through lawful means).”

“Would you like to have something from it (i.e., from this treasure)?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“I do not love that which Allah does not love,” said Sa’id.
“Woe unto you!” exclaimed Al-Hajjaj.
“The destruction (that you have invoked upon me) is reserved for those who are sent away from Paradise and are made to enter the Hell-fire,”said Sa’id.
“Choose, O Sa’id, the method in which I will kill you,” said Al-Hajjaj.
“Choose for yourself, O Hajjaj,” said Sa’id. “For by Allah, whatever method you use to kill me, Allah will kill you in the same manner in the Hereafter.”

“Do you want me to forgive you?” Al-Hajjaj asked.
“If there is any forgiveness, then it is from Allah,” said Sa’id. “As for you, you have no exoneration and no excuse (for what you do).”

“Take him away and kill him,” said Al-Hajjaj to his guards. As Sa’id was being taken away, he laughed. When Al-Hajjaj was informed about his laughing (which was something novel for Sa’id), he ordered for him to be brought back to him. When Sa’id returned, Al-Hajjaj asked, “O Sa’id, what has made you laugh?”

“I became amazed at your temerity and brazenness in your dealings with Allah, which is contrasted by His forbearance and leniency towards you,” said Sa’id.

Al-Hajjaj then ordered for one of the guards to bring a Nat’a. A Nat’a was a special kind of carpet that was made of leather. It would be rolled out onto the ground on special occasions only – when someone was about to be killed or tortured. And its purpose was to prevent the blood of the person being tortured or executed from splattering all over the floor, especially if the floor was made of marble or expensive material, as was often the case in the castles of governors and leaders.When the Nat’a was laid out and Sa’id was moved onto it, Al-Hajja said to his guards, “Kill him.”
“First, let me perform two units of prayrer,” said Sa’id. Having faced the Qiblah and commenced his prayer, Sa’id recited this Verse:
Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah .” (6:79)

“Turn him so that he does not face the Qiblah,” said Al-Hajjaj. When the guards executed his instructions, Sa’id recited this verse:
…so wherever you turn yourselves or your faces there is the Face of Allah(2:115)

“Put his face onto the ground,” said Al-Hajjaj, more furious than he probably ever was before in his life. Referring to the ground and the earth, Sa’id then recited Allah’s saying:
From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time. (20:55 )
“Slaughter him!” exclaimed Al-Hajjaj.
“I make you bear witness, O Hajjaj, that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, and He has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger,” said Sa’id. “I keep these words with you in safekeeping, O Hajjaj, until you meet me on the Day of Resurrection.”

Sa’id then invoked Allah saying, “O Allah, do not give him the power to kill anyone after me.” They then killed him – may Allah have mercy on him.

After he was killed, Al-Hajjaj lived for only fifteen more days. In what remained of his days, he would constantly call out in pain, “What is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair? Whenever I want to sleep, he takes me by the leg (to prevent me from sleeping).”
One narration indicates that he lived for forty days after he had killed Sa’id. It is mentioned in that narration that when he would sleep, he would see Sa’id in his dream. Sa’id would grab him by his garment and say, “O enemy of Allah! Why did you kill me?” While he was awake, Al-Hajjaj would ruefully say, “What is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair, what is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair?”
It is also reported that, during his last days, Al-Hajjaj became paralyzed, so that if he placed his hand on a burning stove, his skin would burn, yet he wouldn’t feel anything. Also, he became very ill; his illness was attributed to worms that entered into his body.
When Al-Hajjaj summoned for Al-Hasan Al-Basri to come to him, Al-Hasan simply said, “Did I not tell you: do not stand in the way of the scholars! You have killed Sa’id!”
“I didn’t call you here in order to ask you to supplicate for me (i.e., for my cure),” said Al-Hajjaj. “I only called you here so that Allah can grant me rest (i.e., death) from the condition that I am in.” Shortly thereafter, Al-Hajjaj died. And it would not be surprising if we were to learn that his last words were: “What is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair!”

Hilyatul-Awliya’ 4/290-295,
Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah 9/107-108,
Sifatus-Safwah 2/51-54.