Friday, May 23, 2014

A Paradise on Earth

The great imaam and fountain of knowledge, Ibn al Qayyim(May Allah be pleased with him) relates in his book Al Waabil al Sayyib that he heard his respected teacher, Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (May Allah be pleased with him) say,

"In this world is a paradise, whoever does not enter it will not enter the paradise of the Hereafter. " [page 67]

Subhan Allah, the wisdom and beauty in these short words are so great that they should be written in gold! What is this paradise on Earth that Ibn Taymiyyah speaks of? Can there be a paradise in this temporary abode? If there is, how can we truly enter this paradise?

The believer in Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala always seeks and yearns for His pleasure. For the believer, it is never a matter of just gaining rewards for a good deed. The Mu'min constantly performs  good deeds and remains patient upon the truth and obedience of the Creator solely to seek His pleasure! 

For most of us, it is an easy thing to start a good deed, but to stay consistent and remain patient on it is where the true test of faith lies.

Ibrahim (AS) was thrown in the fire for what reason? He decided to confront his own father and the very people he grew up with over one concept. TAWHEED. What kind of faith would make a young man be thrown in the midst of a blazing fire and not have him weaken nor quiver in fear except the love and pleasure of Allah!

When a person reaches a level of faith where they forget about their own pleasure and are constantly encouraged and motivated to please the Creator then this person is living in a paradise on Earth that others are not really aware of. 

Nowadays people dress and express themselves to please others but who is better than the one whose heart and mind is always set on pleasing the Most High? The answer is simple and clear. No one is better than such an individual.

The magicians who served Firawn (Pharoah) for years and years and were part of the political influence for Firawn's satanic and tyrannical government were completely taken aback by Musa's performance when he threw his staff on the ground and it turned into a living, breathing serpent. They knew this was not magic as they were taught to control the people's minds with and that Musa was indeed on the truth.

It was then that they turned to Allah the Most High and fell in sujood before Musa and Haaroon,submitting themselves to Allah, affirming their oneness and negation of disbelief and shirk, the same disbelief and shirk they had been promoting just moments before.

Firawn gaped at them in shock and threatened to punish them, accusing them of treachery by plotting with Musa prior to the showdown. They bravely replied,

قالوا لن نؤثرك على ما جاءنا من البينات والذي فطرنا فاقض ما أنت قاض انما تقضي هذه الحياة الدنيا. انا آمنا بربنا ليغفرلنا خطايانا وما أكرهتنا عليه من السحر والله خير وأبقى

Meaning, They said: "We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world. [Surah Taha ayah 72]

In other words, "Do as you please oh tyrant! The truth is dearer to us than anything!" 

Once realizing the truth Musa was upon, that truth became dearer to these sorcerers more than anything  and they readily embraced it! And they were ready to give up their own lives for it and they indeed did so generously and willingly.  For what? For nothing less than to please Allah swt. 

 They saw their paradise before they even entered it! May Allah be pleased with them. 

That is what pure faith and yaqeen(certainty) does to a believer in this world. That is the paradise of the dunya one experiences and lives in and the paradise of the next life is even greater, if they but knew. This kind of believer has the greatest feeling of happiness and tranquility that others would fight for to obtain.

It is with contentment and being pleased with the will and decree of Allah that one experiences and in  this Paradise on Earth. With all the current problems in the world today where people complain of depression, anxiety and stress, the believer who is content with the qadar of Allah and makes it his or her aim to seek His pleasure day and night is free of all these mental problems. They sell and manufacture pills to relieve suffering individuals of these illnesses but they do not realize that the solution and cure is in true emaan and submission to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. 

As Allah swt said, 

ألا بذكر الله تطمئن القلوب 

Meaning, "Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest(tranquility, peace)!" [Surah ar-Ra'ad ayah 28]

They've failed to realize that the real illness is in the heart. The disbelief and deviation that has corrupted and taken over their souls is what causes them to feel anxious, depressed and empty. Their turning away from the truth and not realizing the true purpose in life is what has caused them to suffer emotionally and psychologically.

After all, The Lord of the Worlds did say,

فانها لا تعمى الأبصار ولكن تعمى القلوب التي في الصدور 

Meaning, "Verily, it is not the eyes that have become blind, but it is in the hearts that are in the breasts (that have become blind)." [Surah al Hajj ayah 46]

The heart is a piece of flesh, if it not used for the worship of Allah and His pleasure, it can be used for all kinds of corruption. The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) spoke the truth when he said,

"Verily, there lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; an if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily, this piece (of flesh) is the heart!" [Al Bukhari and Muslim from the hadeeth of Nu'man ibn Basheer]

So know oh believer, if they take away your wealth, resources, and even your body then you still have your paradise as long as you have kept your certain faith and trust in Allah. You will always be happy and content with your life. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

**Five Categories of Fear**

Shaykh Muhammad ibn AbdulWahhab ibn Ali al Yamani al Wasaabi  in his book, Al Qawl al Mufeed fee Adillati Tawheed, explains that there are five categories of fear:

1) The first kind of fear is considered worship (ibaadah):

And it is fear from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and this kind of worship is a worship of the heart with which we worship Allah.

Allah (swt) says:  ((But for him who fears the standing before his Lord, there will be two Gardens.)) [Ar-Rahman: 46]

And Our Creator also says, ((But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts.Verily, Paradise will be his abode.)) [Al Naazi’aat: 40,41]

Allah(swt) also says describing the worship of the angels: ((They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.)) [Al-Nahl: 50]

Allah the Most High also says, ((Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And Sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.)) [Al Ahzaab:39]

And, ((so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.)) [Aal Emraan: 175]

And, ((... to invoke their Lord in fear and hope..)) [AlSajdah: 16]

And there are more similar ayaat.

The prophet (sala Allahu alayhi wa sallam) also addressed this kind of khawf in many ahadeeth.
In the hadeeth of the seven kinds of people who will be under the shade of Allah, the prophet (sala Allahu alayhi wa sallam) mentioned, “And a man who was called on by a woman of noble status and beauty but instead says, “ Truly, I fear Allah. [Agreed upon, from the narration of Abu Hurayra-ra-]

Shaddaad ibn Aws (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sala Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Allah says, "By my honor and glory, I will not combine two fears upon my slave nor will I combine two securities. If he feels safe from Me in this life,I will make him fear on the Day of Judgment. And if he fears Me in this life, I will give Him safety on the Day of Judgment." [Recorded by Abu Nu'aym, also in Al Saheehah Hadeeth no. 742]

2) The second type of fear is considered SHIRK (associating partners with Allah)

And it is for the servant to fear other than Allah such as fearing the jinn or the dead or other than them by fearing these similar to his fear of Allah,  or worse.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, (( Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform As-Salat, and give Zakat, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more.)) [An-Nisaa’: 77]

And, ((It is only Shaitan (Satan) that suggests to you the fear of his Auliya' [supporters and friends] so fear them not, but fear Me..)) [Aal Emraan: 175]

((Therefore fear not men but fear Me...)) [Al Maedah:44]

3) The third kind of fear (khawf) is a sinful act and disobedience to Allah the Most High.
This is when the servant fears a human being or people and as a result of fearing them leaves a waajib (obligatory act, like shaving the beard, removing the hijaab, not praying at work for fear of being fired) or does a forbidden act due to fear of them while not even reaching the level of being coerced to do the act. This is form of khawf is a sin.

Allah ta’ala says, ((It is only Shaitan (Satan) that suggests to you the fear of his Auliya' [supporters and friends] so fear them not, but fear Me if you are indeed believers.)) [Aal Emraan:175]

And, (( fear them not, but fear Me! - And so that I may complete My Blessings on you and that you may be guided.)) [Al Baqarah:150]

And, (( fear them not, but fear Me…)) [Al Maedah: 3]

4) The fourth kind of khawf is the natural fear like for the person to fear from the enemy or predatory beasts and snakes, and etc. And this form is permissible as long as the person does not transgress or go beyonds in his/her natural fear.

Allah azza wa jall says concerning His servant and messenger,  Musa (alayhis-salaam):

((So he became afraid, looking about in the city..)) [Al Qassas:18]

((So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: "My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)!")) [Al Qassas:21]

And Musa(as) said, (("My Lord! Verily, I fear that they will belie me..”)) [Al Shu’ara: 12, Al Qassas: 34]

And Musa also said, (("My Lord! I have killed a man among them, and I fear that they will kill me..)) [Al Qassas:33]

And Musa and Haarun (peace be upon them both) said, (( "Our Lord! Verily! We fear lest he should hasten to punish us or lest he should transgress (all bounds against us)."
He (Allah the Most High) said: "Fear not, verily! I am with you both, hearing and seeing.”)) [Taha:45,46]

And the Most Exalted said, ((So Musa (Moses) conceived a fear in himself.We (Allah) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand.”)) [Taha: 67,68]

5) The fifth and final form is the imaginary fear which has no basis or has a weak cause.  This is unpraiseworthy and the person who has this fear falls into the characteristic of the cowardly and indeed, the messenger of Allah (sws) sought refuge in Allah from cowardice for it is the manners of the despicable. And for this reason, complete faith, reliance and trust upon Allah and bravery protect from this kind of fear.

-Also see, Shaykh AbdurRahman ibn Naasir As-Sa’dee’s Al Qawl alSadeed fe Maqasid at-Tawheed, pg.116