Friday, June 25, 2010

The Difference Between GOOD & EVILS that Befalls You

Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.[ An-Nisa’ 79]

The Scholars of Tafseer view the words “Good” and “Evil” in the Quran to mean blessings and misfortune. They don’t just refer to the acts a person does by his freewill.

If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2), not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.[Al-Imran 120]

If good befalls you (O Muhammad ), it grieves them, but if a calamity overtakes you, they say: “We took our precaution beforehand,” and they turn away rejoicing.[Taubah 50]

The good deeds which we are commanded to do and the bad deeds we are prohibited from doing.Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.[ Al-Furqan 70]

Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins).[Hud 114]
Abu Aaliyah said: “ Good is obedience and bad is disobedience.
Ibn Munabbih said: “ Good is the blessing and bad is the trial.

Some differences between Good and Bad are:

1. Allah’s blessings and favors happen to His slaves without reason from them at the start. Allah gives good health, provisions, help and the like to people that never did anything at all. Allah creates man for Paradise to dwell therein in its bounties. He has only created them for the hereafter, while they never did anything at all. The Muslim children and their insane enter Paradise through Allah’s mercy, even though they never did a single deed.
Now then about punishment, no one is punished except on account of his actions.

2. The good deeds that a servant does are a gift from Allah. It’s a gift that He favors towards him due to guidance and faith. This resembles the words from the people in Paradise:

“All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! [ Al-Araf 43].
Bad deeds only occur due to the servant’s sin that he committed.

3. Good deeds multiply and increase themselves. The servant is rewarded with their multiplicity. Bad deeds on the other hand don’t multiply. The servant isn’t punished with a bad deed that multiplies itself. The person who does a good deed is rewarded over and above that single good deed. The person who commits a bad deed is recompensed based on that single bad deed and its degree.

Whoever brings a good deed (Islamic Monotheism and deeds of obedience to Allah and His Messenger ) shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed (polytheism, disbelief, hypocrisy, and deeds of disobedience to Allah and His Messenger ) shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged.[Al-Anam 160]

4. Good is linked to Allah. He is the One that is good in all aspects. Bad isn’t linked or connected to the Most High. Bad deeds are only acts that Allah allows to occur due to His infinite wisdom. The Lord of All the Worlds never does anything bad. On the contrary every single thing that He does is good and beautiful.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to begin his prayers by saying,” All good in Your hands and evil doesn’t belong to You”.

Taken from Al-Hasanat was Sayee’at or Tafseer of Verse 79 in Surah An-Nisa’ by Shaykul Islam Ibn Taymeeyah 728H
Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do Not Expect Gratitude From Anyone

Almighty Allah has created His servants so that they may worship and remember Him, and He has provided sustenance for them so that they may be grateful to Him. Nevertheless, many have worshipped other than Him, and the majority of people are thankful not to Him, but to others. Indeed, the characteristic of ingratitude is widespread among human beings. So, do not be dismayed when you find that others forget your favors or disregard your kind acts. Some people might even despise you and make you an enemy for no other reason than that you have shown them kindness.

Almighty Allah says:

(And they could not find any cause to bear a grudge, except that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His Bounty.] (ِAt-Tawbah 9:74)

From among the ever-repeating pages of history is a story of a father and his son:

The father raised his son, fed him, clothed him, and taught him; he would stay up nights so that his son could sleep, stay hungry so that his son could eat, and toil so that his son could feel comfort. And when the son became older and stronger, he rewarded his father with disobedience, disrespect, and contempt.

So, be at peace if you are requited with ungratefulness for the good you have done. Rejoice in your knowledge that you will be rewarded from the One Who has unlimited treasures at His disposal. This is not to say that you should refrain from performing acts of kindness toward others; the point is that you should be mentally prepared for ingratitude.

Perform acts of charity seeking solely Allah's pleasure, because with this attitude you will assuredly be successful. The ungrateful person cannot really harm you. Praise Allah that that person is the transgressor and that you are the obedient servant. Also, remember that the hand that gives is better than the hand that receives.

Allah, the Most–High, says:
[We feed you seeking Allah's Countenance only. We wish for neither reward nor thanks from you.] (Al-Insan 76:9)

Many people are shocked at the nature of ingratitude in others, as though they had never come across this verse and others like it, such as:

[And when harm touches a person, he invokes Us [Allah], lying down on his side or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him.] (Yunus 10:12)

Hence, do not be in a state of agitation if you give someone a pen as a gift and he or she uses it to satirize you, or if you give someone a walking stick to lean upon and he strikes you with it. As pointed out earlier, most human beings are ungrateful to their Lord, so what kind of treatment should you expect?


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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The POWER of 'DUA'

Once Prophet Muhammad passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. "Why don't they make dua (pray ) to Allah for protection," he said. With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question can be directed to all of us today.

It is not that we have forgotten dua completely; we refer to it regularly. But, our ideas and practice regarding dua have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed --- an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of dua is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation.

What a tragedy, for dua is the most potent weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of ibadah or worship. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, dua should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between.

Dua is conversation with Allah, out Creator, our Lord and Master, the All Knowing, the All Powerful. This act in itself is of extraordinary significance. It is the most uplifting, liberating, empowering, and transforming conversation a person can ever have. We turn to Him because we know that He alone can lift our sufferings and solve our problems. We feel relieved after describing our difficulties to our Creator. We feel empowered after having communicated with the All Mighty. We sense His mercy all around us after talking to the Most Merciful. We get a new commitment to follow His path for that is the only path for success. We feel blessed with each such commitment

In every difficulty our first action is dua, as is our last. We ask Allah to show us the way to handle that difficulty; we seek His help in following the path He shows to us; we seek His aid in making our efforts successful. When we fall sick, we know that we cannot find the right doctor without His Will; that the best doctor may not be able to diagnose our condition without His Command; that the best treatment plan will not succeed without His Permission. We make dua for all of these. We make dua before we seek medical help, while we are receiving it and after it has been delivered. The same is true of all other difficulties we may encounter.

Dua is the essence of ibadah. A person engaged in dua affirms his belief in Tawheed (monotheism) and shuns belief in all false gods. With each dua his belief in Allah grows. He beseeches Him, affirming his own powerlessness. A person seriously and sincerely engaged in dua understands exactly the relationship between himself and the Creator and affirms it through his actions. That is the essence of worship! Additionally, such a person can never become arrogant or proud, a logical result of true worship.

Dua is our most potent weapon in all struggles of life as well as in jihad in the battlefield. During the battle of Badr, the Prophet Muhammad stood up all night in prayer seeking Allah's help in the battle between unequal armies that would follow the next day. In the decisive battles against the crusaders, Sultan Salatuddin Ayyubi was busy day and night. His days were devoted to Jihad. His nights were spent making dua, crying, seeking Allah's help. This has been the practice of all true mujahideen.

We should make it a point to make dua for all things big and small. It is the beginning of wisdom to realize that big and small are arbitrary labels that are totally irrelevant in this context. Nothing is too big for Whom we are asking from; nothing is too small for the one who is asking. That is why we have been taught to ask Allah when we need something as small as shoelaces. We should ask as a beggar, as a destitute person, for that is what we in reality are in relationship to Allah. At the same time we should ask with great hope and conviction that we shall be granted our prayers. We should remember the Hadith: "There is nothing more dear to Allah than a servant making dua to Him." On the other hand, a prayer lacking concentration and conviction is no prayer at all.

We should make dua at all times, not only during times of distress. The Prophet Muhammad said: "Whosoever desires that Allah answers his duas in unfavorable and difficult conditions, he should make plentiful dua in days of ease and comfort." Also he said: "The person who does not ask from Allah, Allah becomes angry with him."
We should ask for all of our needs: those related to this world as well as those related to the Hereafter. Those who only concentrate on the former are, in effect, announcing that they don't care for their life in the permanent abode. They should blame no body but themselves for the total ruin in that world that Qur'an assures us awaits them. Those who only concentrate on the later are also showing lack of balance, for we need Allah's help to lead a good life here as well.

We should make dua not only for ourselves but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and other benefactors, and destitute and struggling Muslims everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The Prophet said: "The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Aameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.'" [Sahih Muslim]


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Friday, June 18, 2010

Islam Is Against BLACK MAGIC and SORCERY

There are certain things forbidden by Allah Ta’ala and are explicitly explained in the Quran. Among such forbidden acts is the act of black magic and sorcery. ‘Black magic’ may include amulets, talismans, potions, charms, spells, exorcism, witchcraft, oracles, palmistry, fortune telling etc. The forbidding of such things or acts in Islam is for the betterment of mankind.
Black magic is an undeniable fact as it is mentioned on many occasions in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. However, its practice is denounced in Islam and makes one’s prayer unacceptable for forty days, and believing in what the magician or sorcerer says considers one to be a disbeliever as well.

Islam forbids black magic (sihr) and many Quran verses and Hadith have strongly condemned this as a sinful act. For instance Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says:
“Whoever blows on knots practices magic, and whoever practices magic is a mushrik (polytheist).” (At-Tabarani)

The word “sihr” has been mentioned almost 60 times in the Quran, explaining how the non-believers attributed the miracles of Allah’s prophets with black magic. These verses have been stated to clear that Allah’s messengers can never be like the worldly magicians.

Black magic basically involves the worship of Satan and evil spirits to gain demonic powers and harm the innocent people of Allah. Worshipping anything other than The Allah is considered “kufr” in Islam and thus these magicians are practicing the art of Infidelity (kufr) which is totally prohibited in Islam. The basic motive of black magic practitioners is to harm and mislead others by delusion, which is again outside the boundaries of Islam.

One more thing observed in black magicians is that they start believing the world is in their hands and they can do whatever they want, forgetting that the supreme creator of the entire living and non living things is alone Allah. They even exploit innocent people into believing the same. In order to prevent the human generation from falling into the offence of “shirk”, Allah has forbidden black magic and sorcery. Allah says in the Quran:

“And they followed what the Shaitans chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Sulaiman was not an unbeliever, but the Shaitans disbelieved, they taught men sorcery and that was sent down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet these two taught no man until they had said, “Surely we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever.”

Even then men learned from these two, magic by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; and they cannot hurt with it anyone except with Allah’s permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls, had they but known this.” (Al-Baqarah: 102)

In order to relieve a person from the clutches of black magic, reciting certain Quran verses can have a tremendous impact. Quran, the one Book among many, has been sent as a cure and mercy for its followers and for those who seek this Holy book for healing purposes. Recitation of Surah Al-Falak, Surah Al-Naas, and the above mentioned verses of Surah Al-baqarah can be helpful in dispelling the effects of black magic.

Although no one has the power to harm or protect us except Allah, yet every Muslim should empower them through practicing Islam, reading the Qur’an, offering Prayers and following Allah’s commands. Let Allah be your supreme protector (Amen).


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Saturday, June 12, 2010


There are friends who remain true and trustful under all circumstances and there are friends who remain with you only desiring the good. Islam urges to have cordial relations with others and to avoid corruption and the harmful effects of the company of the wicked and the mischievous, strictly forbidding every kind of contact and intimacy with them.

The first kind of friend are very few, and their friendship is like a mirror to you. In deed, we must be fair to our friends, and must want for them that which we want for ourselves. Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Waalihi Wa Salam) said,"A true believer is a mirror to his brother. He prevents him from any harm." Friends wish well for their friends, and feel a strong grief when they see them in any kind of distress or suffering. They work hard by all means, by their wealth and their hands to restore the rights of their friends, and give them all the help they need. They keep the secrets of their friends. This kind of friendship is the basic necessity of social life.

Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Waalihi Wa Salam) said,"A person follows the ways and conducts of his friends." On the other hand, one encounters fools, avaricious, people cowards, and liars. The fool wants to help others, but cause more harm to them despite good intentions. The avaricious one takes but does not give back to anyone. The coward flees at the smallest danger, abandoning everyone. And the liar does not benefit others, brings animosity and resentment, and causes serious damage to others. Also, the liar is not trusted even if he/she is telling the truth. It is reported,"As for a liar, life with him can never be pleasant for you. He carries tales from you to others and from others to you. If he gives you a true report, a false one follows it. His reputation is slurred. So much so that when he says something true, nobody believes him.

Due to the enmity which he entertains in his heart for people, he estranges them from one another and creates malice in their hearts. Be careful and do your duty to Allah." These kinds of individuals might call themselves as your friends, but they do more ill-service to you as well as to the society and in the long run. It is adviced,"Avoid the company of the vicious, because your character would pick up their degenerate and deviant qualities without your knowing it." The Glorious Qur'an says,"O woe is me! Would that I had not taken such a one as my friend."25:28

There are many characterizes of true friends: their heart and face should be alike, they should be honest with their friends and show them both the good and the bad side: wealth and children should not change them; they should help whenever able to do so, and they should not leave their friends during difficulties.

To choose a friend, one must assess his real worth. One must bear in mind that temperaments and personalities are associated with one, relationships with others. Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Waalihi Wa Salam) said,"Every Muslim should try to select the best companion for the life span. A companion could be a friend from the same gender. If the companion is to be from the other gender, then that companion should be a spouse to live together within the confines of rules and regulations." Our beloved Nabiy (Sallallahu Alayhi Waalihi Wasalam) encouraged us to select a good friend with whom to share our feelings. He said,"Don't take a companion unless he is a believer; and don't let your food be eaten except by a godly person." Also, one must take a friend for who he or she is as an individual, and not force them to conform with one's warp and ideas, so long as everything remains within the boundaries of Islam.

Muslims are advised by the Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Waalihi Wasalam) to select a good friend to associate with, and to have him as a social companion in life. By selecting a good companion, to be a friend, a Muslim enriches his/her life. Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Waalihi Wasalam) said,"The similitude of a good companion is like an owner of musk; if you don't get anything, you will get the smell of it. The similitude of a bad companion is like the blacksmith's bellows; if you are not affected by its black dirt, you will be touched by its smoke."

Islam approves associating with individuals who have violated moral and social laws for the purpose of helping them through beneficial guidance. Friends of the right path father and discuss what is beneficial, but not vain. Friends love the souls and smells of their friends. Friends sympathies with their friends and they comfort each other. Friends exert each other toward piety and righteous deeds. Nabiy Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Waalihi Wa Salam) said,"Fear Allah and help each other for the sake of Allah. Have mercy upon each other. Visit each other and remember our matter and keep it alive."

However, one who keeps company for the sake of helping a friend, would have fulfilled the rights of companionship in the worthiest manner. It is reported,"When someone observes a friend taking a wrong and sinful course and, while possessing the capacity to restrain him, does not do so out of indifference, he has actually betrayed his friend."

Today, in this world of ignorance and personal desires, there are few who keep their friendship. Hence, everyone should be careful in choosing friends, and study the character of those with whom they wish to develop terms of friendship.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Creating an ISLAMIC HOME

The home, in Islam, is known to be heaven on earth – a sanctuary to rest and relax away from the congestion of crowds, pollution, traffic jams and noise. Unfortunately, because many Muslims are busy in the outdoors, the home becomes the neglected child, often an unruly dumping grounds of groceries, schoolbags and dirty clothes. Here are a few ways to create an Islamic environment in the comfort of your own home.

Freshen up the House and Tidy Up
There is nothing like a well ventilated house. Open up the windows and allow the fresh air to infiltrate your home. Take the weekend off to do this and start decluttering the shelves, boxes and drawers around your living room, dining, kitchen and bedrooms. Throwing things away allows you to concentrate on the activities that matter most, and more importantly, makes room for storage. Only keep the items you need and find ways to keep the floor clean of any clutter – this means find a storage place for your books, toys, crockery and picture frames. Hang up all your clocks. A tidier home is inevitably a more relaxing home.

Clean up the House
Once you have managed to dispose of the bin liners, it is time to really clean up the house. Dust, vacuum, sweep and mop the floors. Wash all the bed linens, curtains and give the carpets a good beating. If you are going green, which is highly recommended, ditch the chemical-based products and use natural cleaners such as water, vinegar and baking soda to give your home a good scrub.
A clean house is a more Islamic home as cleanliness is said to be half of faith. Once you have a clean house, it will be easier to pray at home, since you know the floor is clean.

Add Natural Elements to your Home
A good way to keep in touch with God is to keep in touch with nature. Add houseplants and pots of flowers to your house. This will give your home a breath of fresh air and allow you to enjoy the beauty of nature. Create a rock garden or buy an acquairium with your favourite fish. Keeping in touch with natural elements will help you unwind at the end of a long hectic day.

Let the Qur'an Play
Qur'anic verses have a special effect on those who listen to them. Give you CD player a dust and arrange your Qur'anic CDs on a nearby rack. Let the verses play throughout the day and enjoy the benefits just by listening to them. Alternatively, various Muslim nasheed artists such as Sami Yusuf, Native Deen, Yusuf Islam and Raihan will add to the Islamic atmosphere in your home.

Create Special Areas for the Family
The family is a cornerstone in Muslim society. Ensure that all areas of your home are conducive for you and your children to gather as a family. For example, ensure there is enough space in the living room to read together. The dining area should also be clean to faciliate proper meals. Lastly, make sure there is a big open space for congregation prayers.

Your family home is a special area in this world for you and your family. The home is said to be heaven on earth – as long as it is clean and uncluttered. It is easy to create an Islamic environment – and it is important as it will help you unwind and will allow you to spend valuable time as a family.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Before you regret

Occasionally a person faces various physical and spiritual sorrows and troubles in the world. Amongst these are feelings so intense that they cannot be compared with any other physical pain. This feeling that causes such great distress in the human soul is a feeling called 'regret'.

There are two completely different forms of regret, however. The regret felt by people of faith and the regret that non-believers experience.
Believers are the people who have an absolute faith in the fact that events take place by God's Will, and whatever befalls them does so by God's Will. This explains their all-important distinctive attribute of putting their unyielding trust in God, at good times, in trouble or when they make a mistake. Upon making a mistake, a believer immediately repents with sincerity and hopes for God's forgiveness. As a result, he does not suffer from a distressful and long-lived feeling of regret. The regret felt by believers urges them to ask for repentance, to purify themselves and prevents them from repeating this error. It helps them rectify their errors and prevents them from plunging into a distressful and pessimistic mood. Moreover, this regret does not reduce their enthusiasm, devotion, or religious zeal nor does it drag them downward into a spiral of apprehension and depression.

Regret felt by disbelievers, on the other hand, is very distressing and constant, as they do not put their trust in God when they encounter a difficulty or commit a transgression. Throughout their lives, they often use phrases like "I wish I had not done this..." "I wish I had never said this...", and so on.

More importantly, they are subject to a much greater regret in the Hereafter. Those who lived a life apart from the religion (deen) in this world will regret every moment of their lives. They were warned before and invited to the straight path. They had enough time to contemplate and embrace the right way. Yet they did not listen when they were warned, ignoring the Hereafter as if they would never die. Then in the Hereafter, they will have no chance to get back to this world and correct their errors. In the Qur'an, their regretful expressions are related as follows:

We have warned you of an imminent punishment on the Day when a man will see what he has done, and the disbeliever will say, 'Oh, if only I were dust!' (Surat an-Naba': 40)

If only you could see when they are standing before the Fire and saying, 'Oh! If only we could be sent back again, we would not deny the Signs of our Lord and we would be among the believers.' (Surat al-An'am: 27)

They will say:

They will say, 'If only we had really listened and used our intellect, we would not have been Companions of the Blaze.' (Surat al-Mulk: 10)

Keep in mind that that day no one's regret will save him from God's wrath. The only way to avoid this regret is to submit to God while there is still time and to comply with the commands of God.

Respond to your Lord before a Day comes from God which cannot be turned back. On that Day you will have no hiding-place and no means of denial. (Surat ash-Shura: 49)
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