Tuesday, March 25, 2014

And I Hastened to You, O My Lord!


We are all familiar with Musa (alayhis-salaam), one of the five greatest messengers and the most frequently mentioned in the Quraan. Musa, who was known as KaleemuLlaah which means, "The one who spoke to Allaah."

After the Children of Israail(The Jews) fled Egypt and witnessed the miracle of Allah when Musa split the sea with his staff, and the Israilites saw Firawn, their oppressor drown and perish before their very eyes, Allah promised Musa and his people the Holy Land-Jerusalem. Musa was then called on by the Most High, so he left the Children of Israail under the leadership of his brother, the prophet of Allah, Haaroon.

Allah azza wa jall says to Musa after his arrival,

وما أعجلك عن قومك يا موسى

"And what made you hasten from your people, O Moses?" [Surah Taha ayah 83]

Musa (alayhis-salaam) replied beautifully as is recorded in the noble book,

قال هم أولاء على أثري وعجلت إليك رب لترضى

He said, "They are close upon my tracks, and I hastened to You, my Lord, that You be pleased." [Surah Taha ayah 84]

Just look at the amazing reply of the beloved servant to His lord! In other words, "I come rushing to You my Lord." Leaving his only brother with Bani Israail, whom we know would annoy their prophets, was a tough decision to make especially due to the fact that they saw Haaroon as weak. Keeping in mind the situation of his people, Musa still did not hesitate in anyway to answer the call of Allah, showing us the natural response of the mu'mineen. This also shows us that the prophets and messengers were the best of believers and no one could beat them in righteousness and good.

As Muslims, it is always important that we do our best toseek the pleasure of Allah Almighty before anyone else. Realizing the value of the Creator, the One and Only (الواحد) and the Self-Sufficient (الصمد) is an important quality of the true believers. When one realizes the greatness of Allah, they will not hesitate in matters which guide to His obedience and worship.

How many times do we enter our salat feeling happy to meet Allah? Are we happy to be in front of Allah in this great meeting or do we see it as just another daily routine?
When we seek to perform any act of worship we should have a response similar to Musa's and make it our sole goal to answer the call of Allah.

Allah the Most High says,

يا أيها الذين آمنوا استجيبوا لله وللرسول إذا دعاكم لما يحييكم

O you who have believed! Respond to Allah and the Messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life. [Al Anfaal ayah 24]

Hastening to obey Allah and His Messenger even if it be at the expense of the people is never a loss for the believer. What is actually a great loss is to make it a priority to please others at the expense of the one who created you.

The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "whoever seeks Allah's pleasure at the expense of men's displeasure, will win Allah's pleasure and Allah will cause men to be pleased with him. And whoever seeks to please men at the expense of Allah's displeasure, will win the displeasure of Allah and Allah will cause men to be displeased with him." [Sahih, Ibn Hibbaan from Aaishah -ra-]

The people will never be pleased with you no matter how much you seek to please and obey them even if they are one's closest relative and friends. They will always find fault with you. Some will accept you and some will reject you. Others will talk behind your back while they smile at your face in your presence. As for answering the call of Allah, it is always a win-win situation. Allah azza wa jall rewards the one who seeks to please Him abundantly so how can it be a loss of any kind? Reaping fruits for the Hereafter can never be a loss.

Just look at the Companions of the Ditch.They were told to jump into a burning, raging fire or revert back to disbelief. Going back to idol-worship would please the kaafir king but would that please Allah? They did not give it a second thought and jumped into what appeared as torment and death, but they did that and woke up in luscious, eternal gardens of bliss.  Allah says about them,

إن الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات لهم جنات تجري من تحتها الانهار ذالك الفوز الكبير

Indeed, those who have believed and performed righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great attainment (success). [Al Buruj ayah 11]

Allah azza wa jall is witnessing to their success. They may have lost in the sense and definition of the worldly term but they have eternally succeeded. All because they chose to respond to the call of Allah and by so doing attained His acceptance and pleasure.

We ask Allah to make us those who seek His pleasure at any cost. Aameen ya Rahmaan.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The War on Hijaab Part 1

All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the worlds, I bear witness and testify that there is none worthy of worship besides Him, Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is in between. And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, the final prophet and messenger for mankind, his companions, and all those who follow his way till the day of judgement.

To proceed:

It is very interesting to note that today no women are attacked on the face of this Earth as much as the Muslim women. The women of Islam, the women of La ilaha illa Allah Muhammadur Rasool Allah.

In France, Muslim women are fined for choosing to obey their Creator by covering themselves modestly from head to toe, in Canada and the UK they plan to ban the niqaab, while in various parts of the world, namely these same western "civilized" nations, women are paid more to dress less and yet they choose to attack the women who choose to cover more. This is among the greatest ironies ever. What have society and morals come down to? Is it really Islaam that is backward or is it the so called advanced nations and their way of thinking? 

They say Islaam and religion in general, is "A thing of the past." They attack this hijaab and say that it is backwards and represents inequality and is a form of oppression enforced upon the women. What they should know is that Islaam is the religion the Almighty, chosen for all of man until the end of time. If anything is backwards, it is the modern state of society and manmade laws. The religion of Allah is complete and perfect. It needs no additions nor subtractions. Islaam is what honors and elevates the status of Muslim women. Without Islaam, women as well as men are incomplete. Islaam is our true identity and is the very thread woven into the fabric of our lives. Allah (ta'ala) says:

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islaam as a religion (way of life). [Surah al Maidah: 3]

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him and in the Hereafter, he will be among the losers. [Surah Aal Emraan: 85]

Therefore, once a person realizes that Islam is the only way to success and the only way which the Almighty recognizes, the individual in the right state of mind will do everything to please the One and Only worthy of worship. After all, the true meaning of Islaam is submitting to The Most High.

The Muslim woman of sound faith and creed wears the Islaamic hijaab as a sign of obedience and faith to her Creator. The hijaab in itself is an act of worship. So how can a woman who dawns this way of dress be considered backward and oppressed? Who would dare make such an accusation but a hypocrite or rejecter of the pure faith?

The truth as we know it, isbound to be hated by many. There will always be those who will hate and fight the truth. So, should the believers sacrifice their worship and obedience to Allah for the sake of pleasing the enemies of Islaam? The answer is simply a clear NO.

When the Muslim women are attacked for their hijaab and face veil (niqaab) this should only increase them in emaan(faith) and these garments should become a source of pride and honor for them. This only goes to show us the true nature of the enemies and their pure hatred for Islaam. This also helps us to realize that the long awaited victory is coming closer and closer.The victory the weak suffered for and the righteous died upon is finally just around the corner, by Allah's permission. Who should take part in this victory? Those who give in to the barking of the dogs or those who remain steadfast on the truth they believe in until the very end? You choose which camp you wish to be in my dear sister.

As a matter of fact, the majority of mankind will never be pleased with the truth and Islam in general just as Allah says in the noble revelation,

And most of mankind will not believe, even if you desire it eagerly. [Surah Yusuf:103]

And if you obey most of the people on Earth, they will lead you astray. [Surah Al An'aam: 116]

And truly, most of mankind are rebellious and disobedient (to Allah). [Surah al Maidah: 49]

So, what benefit is it my dear sister on your part, if you do give in to the enemies call to remove this noble hijaab? It only confirms their hatred for the truth. Did not our Creator say they will never be pleased with us?

Never will the Jews and Christians be pleased with you until you follow their religion (way). [Surah al Baqarah: 120]

And it is indeed the case today where we see the nations of disbelief united in their war against Islam and specifically this "backward" hijaab (as they call it). By Allah, it is them who have truly gone backward. Islam only adds to the advancement and high morals and proper expectations for any society.

"Freedom! Freedom!" They say. Do they not recall the honor and freedom the Muslim woman gains in maintaining her hijaab? Have they not come to their senses and realized that the high heels and mini skirts are what their women have been enslaved to? They make their women dress a certain way and then they call the muslim woman who chooses to wear dress for their creator, oppressed and deprived of freedom! There is a clear distinction between dressing to impress men and dressing to impress God. The garment of modesty and faith always outweighs the garments of falsehood and profanity.

Have they also forgotten the honor and dignity Muslim women experienced in hijaab and under Islam?Have they forgotten about the chaste woman in the time of the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam)?The woman who was in Al Madinah and one day went to the market of the Jews and was suddenly harassed by a Jew and stripped of her hijaab.  The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) declared a war on this tribe of the jew just for the sake of one Muslim woman and her hijaab! 

What would the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) say in our times when the muslim women are being mocked at, labelled and attacked by the social media, society and sadly, other fellow Muslims? Would the prophet have told the women to integrate into society and "go with the flow"? Or would the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) defend the honor of the muslim woman, fight for her rights and tell her to remain firm on the righteous path? You can answer the question(s) for yourselves.

Hijaab is indeed our honor and pride. We do not need western fashion and media to tell us what to wear and how to dress. Our dress-code has been clarified for us by the Lord above seven heavens. We have chosen the garments of faith and tawheed over the garments of backwardness. We say to those who attack the hijaab and hate on the niqaab wherever they may be:

"This is our way and we want no other way, so die in your hatred and rage.Truly, Allah knows what is in the hearts."

Saturday, March 1, 2014

~*Keep thy heart with Allah*~

Ummar ibn al Khattab (RA) said,

"Remind yourselves of Allah, for it is a cure. Do not remind yourselves of the people, for it is a disease." [Al Zuhd pg. 101]

When one's heart is attached to other than Allah azza wa jall, it will not find rest until it completely turns to remembering the Creator more than the creation. The Creator is the only one who is aware of your insides and of your deepest, most precious thoughts and feelings.  Many times we think and feel certain emotions that may pain us if we were to speak of them or express them. In fact, the ones we express these emotions to (if we were to do so) would find us crazy and not purely sane. The thought of remembering that there is one who knows how you feel is a great escape from these emotions themselves and an amazing thought to hold on to. The beauty of knowing and realizing that there is the One and Only who truly knows and understands you the best keeps the heart firm and content and puts a smile of contentment and faith on one's face.

Remembrance of Allah is an important part of worship in Islaam. Allah has mentioned dhikr (remembrance) many times in the Noble revelation. The greatest form of remembrance is reciting the Quran. Dhikr can be something as simple as gazing into a lovely, thick bush of green and a vine of daises growing with grace from a brown wood fence. The fence may have been together by man but the vine and luscious colors of the flowers were definitely designed by one, Allah tabaraka wa ta'ala. Dhikr can be looking up at a tall tree and realizing how Allah was the maker of this tall creation. Thinking of this tree or that thick bush of evergreen can make one think of what lies ahead in the gardens above and what Allah has prepared for the sincere believers in the next life. Dhikr can be to say some simple words that the prophet said may seem small to us but are heavy on the scale, "Subhaan Allahi wa biHamdih Subhaanil Adheem"  One can say these words various times and grow oneself a forest of palm trees in al jannah without even realizing it. Dhikr can also be to remember the many times Allah azza wa jall found a way out for you from a tough situation when you were helpless and needed Him. Dhikr can be showing gratitude to the Most High for the many favours he has bestowed upon you, the big and small ones. The ultimate gain or win-win from dhikr is having gained inner peace and rest in one's heart from all the various feelings and distractions. It is most certainly as Al Haqq azza wa jall says, 

Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. [Surah Ar-Ra'ad ayah 28] 

Remembering Allah and pondering over the creation and the beauty that surrounds and recalling the many favours He has bestowed upon us, helps us to be balanced in our heart and to feel contentment. Nowadays we feel so proud and accomplished when we make our daily adhkaar after our prayers and sunan. Sometimes we go over our adhkaar like they are a routine or chore. There are as we said various ways to remember Allah. The point is t ponder and contemplate and not simply recite words.To the early pious, dhikr or remembering Allah was their special moment of peace. It was their therapy for the body and soul. It was their way of cleansing their minds and hearts from all of the day's hardwork. It was a spiritual escape from the worldly filth and distractions of the glamours of the world. 

Many of the people in the non-islaamic societies often complain of depression and anxiety. The reality and true problem is there is a major lack of emaan (faith). The heart will constantly suffer and be in a state of distress if is missing the ingredient of pure faith in its creator and submission to Him. How can one not expect depression when waking up every day to a life without true meaning and purpose? The heart of such a person will never be in complete peace. The heart of the believer is very strong compared to the heart of the non-believer. One realizes the true Creator and lives a life of meaning and is working towards a goal, while the other is in a constant state of confusion and walks around in the darkness of misguidance. The power of tawheed (belief in Allah) always outweighs the heart that is wavering around in disbelief , shirk and all sorts of deviation.  There are many diseases of the heart as we know it. The believer can undoubtedly over come these diseases with remembrance of Allah the Almighty.  

 The heart must teach itself to not rely on others and remember them so much. The people can do little for you but it is Allah who is always there and watching over us even when we are not even aware. One of the beautiful and powerful names of the Creator is Al Khabeer meaning, "The All-Aware"  Just imagine that there is one who is aware of every big and little thing in the universe, nothing is hidden from Him whatsoever. Imagine that there is one who controls all things, one who is aware of your very thoughts, intentions, and feelings and that only He can answer to your prayers just by you thinking it and not even raising your hands to Him yet. 

Subhan Allah! Glory be to Him and He is free from all that they associate to Him. 

May Allah make our hearts pure and give us rest in His remembrance. May Allah not make us so attached to others that we forget Him, our master and creator. The lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is in between.