Picture Perfect : How’s your Imaan today?

“Being Muslim is your greatest blessing from Allah. Realize that when you no longer feel guilty over your sins, when you no longer feel inclined to repent, when you are no longer praying or reading the Quran, that you are at risk of being replaced by Allah, with another soul who will be more grateful for this gift. How’s your Imaan today? Check your heart, check your friends, check your habits, and make the necessary changes.” – Anonymous

The Fraud Mushriks

By : Parvez Shakir

ALLAH THE MOST HIGH Says:

“And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him only, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others.” [Surah Al ‘Ankabut, 29:65]

This verse along with many such verses just shows how fraudulent the mushriks (polytheist) were in their belief. When they were in real dangers they used to invoke or call upon directly to ALLAH without any of their intermediates or intercessors in between. In such situation, they used to make their faith pure for HIM Alone. Thus, ALLAH’s help used to come to them but soon as they were out of danger they were back to their polytheistic ways.

This verse also proves that ALLAH listen’s even to mushriks and kaafirs when they call onto HIM Alone, directly.

It really hurts to see this ummah falling in the pits of Polytheism by calling or invoking others besides ALLAH, when in need of divine help. Some call upon the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), some call upon Ali (ra), some call upon walis (saints), some call upon their peers (spiritual teacher), some call upon their deads, some call upon angels, while some call upon jinns to help them out and some hold onto things that they consider lucky enough to save them. Brothers and sisters all these are acts of shirk (polytheism).

People of this ummah say that these are their intercessors with ALLAH and they are theirs intermediate with ALLAH. While they forget this was exactly the same belief of those mushriks at the time of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Those mushriks used to worship statues and idols of their pious dead with belief that the pious dead soul will intercede for them in front of ALLAH.

ALLAH (SWT) Says:

And they worship besides Allah things that harm them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” [Surah Yunus, 10: 18]

Those mushriks used to believe that their intercessors can help them, but when they were surrounded with situation of no escape and death lurked on their heads they used to forget all of their intercessors and used to sincerely invoke on to ALLAH – The Ever Living.

ALLAH says to them:

“And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him (Allah Alone). But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful.” [Surah Al Isra’, 17:67]

Ibn Kathir in his Book of Tafsir as regards this Verse (17:67) said:

‘Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl fled from Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) (at the time) when Makkah was conquered. He rode over the (Red) Sea to cross over to Ethiopia, but (as they proceeded) a heavy stormy wind overtook their boat, and huge waves came to them from all sides, and they thought that they are encircled therein. The people of the boat said to one another: “None can save you except Allah (the Only True God of the heavens and earth). So invoke (call upon) Him (Allah) (by making your Faith pure for Him Alone and none else) to deliver you safe (from drowning).” ‘Ikrimah said to himself. ‘By Allah if none can benefit in the sea except Allah (Alone) then no doubt none can benefit over the land except Allah (Alone). O Allah! I promise You that if You deliver me safe from this, I will go and put my hands in the hands of (Prophet) Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and surely, I will find him full of pity, kindness and mercy.’ So they were delivered safe (by Allah), and returned to their seashore and came out of the sea. ‘Ikrimah then proceeded to Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), (narrated his story) embraced Islam (just as he promised Allah) and became a perfect Muslim.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

Ikrimah (ra) accepted Islam and left the fraudulent beliefs of polytheists, but many even after this, were still in their deceptive beliefs.

ALLAH Say’s regarding them:

“And when waves cover them like shades (i.e. like clouds or the mountains of sea water), they invoke Allah, making their invocations for Him only. But when He brings them safe to land, there are among them those that stop in between (Belief and disbelief). But none denies Our Signs except every perfidious ingrate.” [Surah Luqman, 31:32]

ALLAH Says:

Say (O Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)): “Who rescues you from the darkness of the land and the sea (dangers like storms), (when) you call upon Him in humility and in secret (saying): If He (Allah) only saves us from this (danger), we shall truly, be grateful.” Say (O Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)): “Allah rescues you from this and from all (other) distresses, and yet you worship others besides Allah.” [Surah Al An’am, 6:63 & 64]

ALLAH – The ever living is the One who listens and can help and HE and Only HE should be worshipped and called upon for help. All the prophets and messengers came mainly for this purpose of making humankind to leave the path of worshipping others besides HIM. Yet, conversely many took Prophets and Messengers of ALLAH as their objects of worship. This has happened with Musa (Moses), Uzair (Ezra), Isaa (Jesus) and now with Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) (Peace be upon them all).

ALLAH Says:

Do then those who disbelieved think that they can take My slaves [i.e., the angels, Allah’s Messengers, ‘s (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] as Auliy’ (lords, gods, protectors) besides Me? Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism).

Say (O Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)): “Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds?

“Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds. [Surah Al Kahf, 18:103-104]

ALLAH also Says:

If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call; and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you like Him Who is Well-Aquainted (with everything). [Surah Fatir 35:14]

And ALLAH Says:

O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.

They have not estimated Allah His Rightful Estimate. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty. [Surah Al Hajj, 22:73-74]

May ALLAH save this ummah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from all kinds of shirks and may they believe in all inclusive and infinite powers of ALLAH that exclusively belongs to HIM Alone and none has any share in it.

The Advice of ‘Umar (radhi Allahu anhu)

If we all tried to improve our servitude to Allah individually, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala will improve us all collectively.

Here are a set of rules to try to abide by every day of our lives insha’Allah. There is so much more guidance and naseeha in the Quran and Sunnah, but this is a beautiful and massively beneficial step in the right direction towards changing our selves and our lives.. and insha’Allah have less to regret in both this world and the next.

Try to follow the advice line by line. Teach your children whilst they are young. Teach your students, friends and family and support each other in implementing the advice of the man who the shayateen fear and the final Prophet Sallallahu ‘alahi wasallam said:

“If there were to be a prophet after me, it would have been Umar (radhi Allahu anhu).” [Timidhi, Volume p209]

The Advice of ‘Umar (radhi Allahu anhu)

  • Place the affairs of your brother when they reach you upon the best of interpretations until there comes to you clarity which overcomes that.
  • Do not think ill of a statement which comes from another Muslim if you can find a good interpretation for it.
  • Whoever exposes himself to suspicion let him not blame those who then think badly of him, and whoever conceals his own and his brothers secrets, strength of choice will be in his hands.
  • Hold fast to truthful companions, live with them closely for they are a charm at times of ease and an aid at times of difficulty.
  • Stick to the truth even if the truth kills you.
  • Do not ask about things which haven’t taken place for indeed, that which has already taken place is enough to preoccupy you from it!
  • Do not seek help or take your affairs to someone who doesn’t wish to see you succeed, and do not befriend the sinful lest you learn from his sins and evil.
  • Keep away from your enemy and be cautious of even your friend, except for the truthful and trusted friend.
  • And no-one is trustworthy except him who fears Allah.
  • Do not involve yourself with issues that don’t concern you.
  • Humble yourself at the graves, lower yourself in obedience and stand firm against disobedience.
  • And when it comes to your affairs, seek counsel only from those who truly fear Allah for indeed, Allah says,

“… Indeed, it is only those who have knowledge among His Slaves, that truly fear Allah.” [Surah Fatir 35:28]

Reference : Narrated by Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib in Rawdhat al Uqala (pg. 77-78]

Picture Perfect : Shahadah

The Ultimate Regret

One of the things Allah سبحانه و تعالى has mentioned over and over again in the Quran is the issue of procrastination and its evil result – Regret.

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله mentioned that one of the greatest reasons of people suffering in the hell fire is procrastination.

An example from the Quran,

“Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah), he says: “My Lord! Send me back, “So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.” [Surah Al Mu’minun 23:99-100]

Al-Imam al-Qurtubi رحمه الله says, “The request of returning (to this world) is not specific to the disbelievers rather a believer may also wish for it.”

Qataadah رحمه الله said, “He does not desire to return to his family or kindred nor to gather (wealth of) the world or act according to desires. But rather to return so he could obey Allah .” Notice how the person is regretful and remorseful for not obeying Allah سبحانه و تعالى and not for the wealth of this world. See how the shaytaan deceives a person to desire and work hard for this dunya and leave the hereafter.

Allah سبحانه و تعالى then goes on speaking about them and their punishment…

“The Fire will burn their faces, and therein they will grin, with displaced lips (disfigured). “Were not My Verses (this Qur’an) recited to you, and then you used to deny them?” They will say: “Our Lord! Our wretchedness overcame us, and we were (an) erring people. “Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be Zalimun: (polytheists, oppressors, unjust, and wrong-doers).” He (Allah) will say: “Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!”” [Surah Al Mu’minun 23:104-108]

These people complain to Allah سبحانه و تعالى that they were overcome by their wretchedness and thus ended up in Jahannam. Al-Imam al-Maawardi رحمه الله gives commentary on the meaning of wretchedness,

“Firstly: Desires

Secondly: Thinking good about oneself and ill about others. (i.e. they thought they were better than others.)”

Even though they have done wrong, they have the courage to ask Allah سبحانه و تعالى to remove them from the torment. Then they ask Allah سبحانه و تعالى for another chance to go back to this world and do good. Allah سبحانه و تعالى gives them a very powerful response by telling them that they will remain in Jahannam. If one reads the ayah in Arabic, he/she will find that the word used in this ayah is usually used to chase dogs away and that is how these people will be treated.

We must not not delay in doing any good deed but deal with priorities first i.e. do the obligatory acts before Sunnah and the Sunnah before voluntary etc. Work for the dunya as much as your time in it will be and work for the akhirah as much as your time in it will be.

Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik, the caliph of the Muslims during the time of the Ummayads asked a prominent scholar of the time called Abu hazm; “How come we hate death?” Abu Hazm replied; “Because you constructed your dunya and destroyed your hereafter, so you hate to go from something you constructed to something you destroyed.”

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