Sunday, 26 July 2009

About the Soul

Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Allah says:
               
And they will ask you concerning the Ruh (soul), say; it is from the Command of my Lord, and I (Allah) have not given you knowledge (of it) except a little. (17:85)

The Ruh commonly translated as soul is a special non-physical spark of extremely refined light which Allah causes to enter the human physical shell. It was never a part of the universe. It does not die and does not enter the body of any other creature upon the death of the individual.

Just as how a tiny spark can glow or become a big flame, so too the Ruh can grow in the body and permeate all the cells of the person. When the light of the soul reaches all the cells the person will begin to have real "religious experience" called in the Holy Qur'an Al Yaqeen, and translated as certainty.

But in order to do so there must be the right condition in the body; just as how the flame can only burn if it gets oxygen and breeze. On the other hand if it is covered with carbon dioxide it will go out.

For the human being the permissible things are the ingredients to make the light of the soul spread and the prohibited things are like the carbon dioxide to the fire. When the light of the soul is prevented from reaching the cells of the body, the body will burn in the Hell Fire.

The mission of life is to allow the light of the soul to spread. Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

Verily, Allah created the elements of man in darkness, then He infused unto them His Light. He who received the light and made use of it received the right guidance, and he who erred was led astray.

He also used to pray as follows:
O Allah, let there be light in my heart, in my sight, in my hearing, on my right side, on my left side, in front of me and behind me. Let there be light in my nerves, in my blood, in my flesh in my hair and in my limbs. O Allah make me light.

The body is made from earth. Allah says:

He it is Who created you from clay, and then decreed a stated term (for you). (6:2)

Our mission in life is, on one hand, to decorate our bodies with beautiful colors and designs, just as the potter takes a piece of clay (ceramic) and shapes and decorate it. On the other hand we are ordained by the Lord of the worlds to polish and shine it, just as the worker will take a piece of stone (metal) and polish it and shine it till it becomes a beautiful diamond or some other expensive ornament.

Our mission in life is to change our small piece of earth which (i.e. our bodies) into another piece resembling a beautiful jewel. Perhaps, it is in this context Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

The day the earth will be changed into another earth. (14:48)

The goldsmith takes the piece of metal which is a piece of stone taken from the ground, heats it, beats it, makes designs on it and finally produces a beautiful piece of jewel. So too, the human being can accept the trials of the world as the process for refining the personality. If we can withstand the heating and beating (trials of life) and emerge successful, we will be able to absorb the Light of the Lord inside of us and become a jewel in the presence of man and a gem for the Hereafter.

Allah says:

And the earth will shine with the Light of the Lord. (39:69)

There are personalities of bygone times who were able to polish their pieces of the earth, to such an extent, that they are today called saints. Their bodies were not different from ours, but the life style made them outstanding. They submitted to the Lord as He ordained, and when their neighbors, families and friends were enjoying the material life they were toiling (in the night) to improve their relationship with the Creator, and in the day they were humbly submitting to His commands.

Believers are expected to work ceaselessly by upholding the Islamic principles of submission, to polish and brighten their souls so that the light of them can penetrate the cells of the bodies and make them bright. Allah says:

Allah is the Protector of those who have faith; from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith their patrons are the evil ones; from the light they will lead them forth into the depth of darkness. They will be the companions of the fire. They will dwell therein forever. (2:257)

With pain and suffering, with trials and tribulations, with the numerous challenges of life, the believer undertakes the journey; all the time hoping for Allah's Grace and praying that the Light of the Lord will ultimately reach his heart. Along with these programs of activities he prays sincerely as follows:

O our Lord, perfect our light for us, and grant us Forgiveness, for surely, You have power over all things. (66:8)

May the Gracious and Merciful Lord bless every believer, fill his or her heart with light, instill in his personality humility, and fill his mind with sincerity, so that he will live and love for the sake of Allah alone. May He cause every one of us to leave this world believing in His Oneness.

Eight Important Lessons

Thursday 9th July 2009

Zikr lesson for the week

8 Important Lessons

A young boy went to a madrasa to study Islam and remained there for 33 years. When he was about to leave a teacher asked him how long he spent in the madrasa. The student replied 33 years. The teacher then asked how many lessons he had learnt in these 33 years. The student said that he has learnt 8 lessons. Astonished by this the teacher asked the student to narrate the 8 lessons he took 33 years to learn.

1) Firstly, we come into this world alone, even without any clothing, and as we grow we develop relationships with each other based on love. For example we develop love for our parents, friends, spouse and children. All these relationships are based on love that is very fragile and it can be broken. Either we leave those who we love or they leave us. However, if one develops love for Allah (swt) and He in turn loves us, this ‘love’ can never be broken even after we leave this world.

2) As we grow in this world we develop an ego. Man displays anger, haughtiness, jealously, etc. These are all negative characteristics of man and it can have a negative impact on our spiritual development. Allah (swt) says in Surah Naziat;

And for such As had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the Garden.
(Chapter 79, verse 40 – 41)

How will you feel when you have to stand and give an account to Allah (swt)? So, if you fear Allah (swt) try to control your ego.

3) We come into this world without anything material and as we grow we acquire some worldly assets. Allah (swt) makes mention of this in Sruah Imran;

Fair In the eyes of men is the love of things They covet: women and sons; Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. such are the possessions of This world's life; but In nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to).
(Chapter 3, verse 14)

All our worldly possessions will one day disappear so we should not become attached to those things that will only serve us for a short period of time. Instead we should focus on ‘sending things’ that would be of benefit to us in the hereafter as Allah (swt) says;

What is with you must vanish: what is with Allah will and we will certainly bestow, on those who patiently persevere, their reward to the best of their actions.
(Chapter 16, verse 96)

4) As man progresses in this world he tends to develop pride because of his status, wealth or the power he has. Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said,

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action”

Man has been created as the vicegerent of Allah (swt) so we should not inculcate a feeling of pride. All the wealth, status and power one has will inevitably come to an end.

5) Allah (swt) gives to some and He may not give to others, and this can lead to jealously. For example you may be envious and jealous of someone who has a lot of wealth. Allah (swt) says in Sruah Zukhruf;

Is it They who would portion out the Mercy of Thy Lord? it is We who portion out between them their livelihood In the life of this world: and We raise some of them above others In ranks, so that some may command work from others. but the Mercy of Thy Lord is better than the (wealth) which they amass.
(Chapter 43, verse 32)

If Allah (swt) is the one who gives why should we be jealous? He knows what we know not. Whatever Allah (swt) has written for you, you will get it so do not be despondent when you see the success of someone else.

6) As you go through life we see a lot of enmity amongst man and most of the time it is caused by trivial things. No way in the Qur’an Allah (swt) says man is an enemy to each other. Instead He identifies Satan as the enemy of mankind at large. Allah (swt) says;

"Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that He was to you an enemy avowed?-
(Chapter 36, verse 16)

We have only one enemy in this world and we should try our best not to have any ill feelings towards any man.

7) Allah (swt) is The One who provides substance for all and, while we may make an effort to acquire sustenance we should know that Allah (swt) will only give us what He has written for us. We should therefore not be despondent of what He has provided because He knows what we do not.

8) Put your complete trust in Allah (swt) because we are incapable of simply blinking our eyes or moving any of our limbs without the permission of Allah (swt). Put your faith and trust in Him because He will never let you down.

After the student had finished narrating these 8 lessons the teacher told him that he studied all the revealed books (the Tawrat, Zabur and Injil and Qur’an) and these 8 lessons are the lessons that Allah (swt) has given in all of His books.

If one can incorporate these lessons is ones life it will enable him to have the right balance in this world and attain success in the hereafter. We should all therefore try to inculcate these characteristics in our lives and, insha Allah, Allah (swt) will take care of our affairs.

The Hypocrites

Thursday 23rd July 2009

Zikr lesson for the week

The Hypocrites ___________________________________________________________________________________

In the beginning of the Holy Qur’an Allah (swt) categorized man into three (3) main groups. The believers, the rejecters of faith and those people who testify in the Oneness of God openly, but in reality they act differently.

 ••   •      
“Of the people there are some who say: "We believe In Allah and the Last Day;" but They do not (really) believe”
(Chapter 2, verse 8)

The hypocrites are a very dangerous category of people. They pose as believers. Prophet Muhammad (saw) had a lot of trouble with the hypocrites. They tried to make mischief amongst the people. This is why there is a chapter in the Holy Qur’an entitled ‘The Hypocrites’.

     •      •    •  
“When the Hypocrites come to thee, They say, "We bear witness that Thou art indeed the Messenger of Allah." yea, Allah knoweth that Thou art indeed His Messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars”
(Chapter 63, verse 1)

Allah (swt) says that the believers will enter Paradise; the disbelievers will enter Hell, but what about the Hypocrites? Where will they end up? Allah (swt) gives us the answer in Surah Nisa;

•      •    •
“The Hypocrites will be In the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt Thou find for them”
(Chapter 4, verse 145)

We cannot call someone a hypocrite because only Allah (swt) knows who they are. Be careful of labeling people. Never criticize or condemn anyone.

                    •      
(At-Tauba 101)
Certain of the desert Arabs round about you are Hypocrites. As well as (desert Arabs) among the Madinah folks; they are obstinate in hypocrisy; you do not know them; We know them. Twice shall We punish them. And in addition shall they be sent to a grievous penalty. (9:101)

Try your best to have clean, pure intentions and whatever you do, do it for the pleasure of Allah (swt) especially when you stand for Salaat. Salaat is the greatest blessing a Muslim has in this world. In it we have the blessed opportunity of standing in front of our Lord and speaking directly to Him, glorifying Him and praising Him. Remember one day we would have to leave this world so let us leave in an honorable and beautiful way.