Thursday 23 June 2011

Recognizing everything comes from Allah

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Prophet Sulaiman (as) was specially blessed by Allah. He possessed control of the winds and had the ability to understand the languages of the animals. So, one can see that he had great power and status in this world.

When Prophet Sulaiman (as) reached the zenith of his knowledge and understanding he made a beautiful dua to Allah, and we should all make an effort to learn this prayer and recite it regularly;

‘My Lord inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.’ (27:19)

Sulaiman (as) recognized that everything he had and achieved was as a result of the blessings from Allah. So he firstly thanks Allah for the blessings that have been bestowed upon him and his parents; who would have assisted in guiding him. Then he begs Allah to enable him to continue engaging in good deeds in order that he may rise with the righteous.

Unfortunately we see some who believe that all their power and acquisitions are as a result of their own doing and they neglect showing gratitude to Allah.

Similarly when Prophet Joseph (as) was reunited with his family in Egypt and he saw the fulfilment of the dream he had as a young boy, he acknowledged that it is Allah who bestows knowledge, power and wisdom; and reiterated his reliance on Him;

‘My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams; the (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian) in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous.’

In stark contrast we see the life of Pharaoh. When he reached the zenith of his power instead of demonstrating humility and submission he said "O Chiefs! no god do I know for you but myself”.

All these lessons are preserved for us to reference especially when we progress in this life. Remember everything comes from Him; utilize it in a manner that will bring about success in this world and the next. Eventually we will have to separate from everything we own and crave for; and when that moment comes make sure you leave with absolutely no regrets.

May Allah enable us to always act in a manner that would pleasing and loving to him insha Allah; and may He cause us to be from among those who constantly display and demonstrate gratitude to Him.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

The Trustworthy One

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

One reason why Prophet (saw) was given the title ‘Al Ameen’ – The Trustworthy One; was because he never broke a promise. One beautiful example of this was the meeting he had with Abdullah bin Hamsa, prior to the commencement of his Divine Mission.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) had negotiated a business transaction with Abdullah after which Abdullah owed the Prophet (saw) some remaining dues, so Abdullah told the Prophet (saw) to wait in that specific spot while he went away to get the what was owed. The matter slipped Abdullah's memory and Muhammad waited for him to arrive for a period of three days. On the third day when Abdullah remembered and finally returned, Muhammad (saw) simply told him “you have subjected me to an inconvience as I have been waiting for you for the past three days”.

Similarly, when he was preparing to preach the message of One God to the Makkans he called all of them together and asked “if I tell you that an army is marching towards you with the intentions to attack us from the other side of this mountain will you believe me?” To this those gathered replied “yes we will as you never told you a lie”.

Now in retrospect Prophet (saw) really did not lie because 10 years later an army, which he led, did in fact march over the hills of Makkah to capture it. Throughout his blessed life he stood to his word.

We are not supposed to make distinction among the Messengers of Allah;

“they say, "We make no distinction between one another of his Messengers” (2:285)

However, Allah gives us examples in the Qur’an, where it is evident that Prophet’s (saw) personality was a bit more refined. For example in Surah Kahf, Allah mentions the story of Hazrat Musa (as) and his encounter with Khidr (as).

Musa (as), in his enthusiasm to learn, accompanied Khidr (as) in his travels under one condition stipulated by Khidr, (as) that was that he doesn’t question his action. To this Musa (as) initially agreed. As the story goes, Khidr (as) did three different actions that Musa (as) didn’t understand and as such he voiced his concern and disapproval, in every instance. For three times Musa (as) went back on his word. And in each case he renewed his promise not to say anything; but could not keep his promise.

Another example of Musa (as) acting on is own will was the time he wished to speak to Allah . He went up the mountain uninvited.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) was different and this is why it is recorded that he never said anything out of his own desires. This is why Allah says that he is the best model and example for us;

‘Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allah’. (33:21)

We should therefore try to cultivate our personalities in light of his perfect life. Whenever we are confronted with trying situations always think to yourself ‘what would Prophet Muhammad (saw) do’. Through this, insha Allah, little by little we would be able to refine our personalities.

May Allah always cause us to become enlightened and to follow in the footsteps of his beloved; Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Monday 6 June 2011

Vision through ones heart

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Human beings are blessed by Allah with eyesight which gives us the ability to see. However we are also blessed with another organ that allows us vision and comprehension. This is the heart. Allah says in the Qur'an that there are some that 'have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not'.

Allah says in His Holy Words;

"Now have come to you, from your Lord, proofs (to open your eyes): if any will see, it will be for (the good of) his own soul; if any will be blind, it will be to his own (harm): I am not (Here) to watch over your doings." (6:104)

Allah has given us the ability to comprehend. It is up to each individual to make the effort in order to become enlighten. Blindness in this context refers to your heart. You can see with your eyes and yet still be 'blind'; as Allah says: 'eyes wherewith they see not'. How is this possible? Always remember that the Qur'an explains itself. The explanation is found in another ayat in the Qur'an.

'do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts.' (22:46)

You cannot comprehend with your eyes. For example a lot of people say that there is no god except Allah; but it doesn't sink into their hearts. They simple perform lip service.

There are sincere believers all over this world, but in addition to our belief we have to make the effort to increase the alertness of the heart in order to understand some things of Al Ghaib (the unseen), which are not visible through the eyes.

In order to achieve this you need to keep your Qalb pure and clean. If you don't it will become clouded and you wont be able to understand as Allah says in Surah Muthaffifin;

'Nay! but on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.' (83:14)

If your heart is covered you will not be able to comprehend the Greatness of Allah. In connection to this Prophet Muhammad (saw) said 'rust falls on the heart as it falls on iron'. If you have rust on your heart you'll stay blind and Allah says that is your concern not His.

This is why Prophet (saw) told his Companions "I have returned from the small Jihad (Jihad Asghar) to the big Jihad (Jihad Akbar)". The Sahabas enquired "what is the big Jihad?" Prophetsaid "the Jihad al nafs (against the inner desires)."

Your nafs can put stains on your qalb or keep it polished and clean. You need to make the required effort.

We can comprehend Allah's greatness through Zikir and through Fikir. The wise one will use all these avenues to keep the qalb clean. Through this ones vision will grow, insha Allah.

Allah won't send enlightenment from the sky for you; you have to make the effort. For example when the rain falls on a mountain the water simple runs of the stones. However, when it falls on fertile soil it will be of greater benefit.

Prepare yourself to benefit from Allah's blessings. Whenever you make the weekly effort to attend our Zikir sessions you are trying to activate your qalb and through this your comprehension of various things will increase insha Allah.

Don't 'weaken your vision'. Strive to improve upon it through the avenues Allah made available to us. May Allah make it easy for us and may He cause us to become more and more enlightened, insha Allah.