REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummah.com/reflections

Quarterly: Issue No 12

Shawwal 1420

 

BE THANKFUL TO ALLAH

 

Unfortunately, we Muslims have fallen into the trap of Satan, and are so caught up in our daily affairs, that we very rarely take the time to reflect on the Favours of Allah, and to thank Him with the thanks that is due Him.  We are so busy conducting our daily lives that we forget who is really in-charge, and from where our sustenance comes. For Allah says:

"Therefore remember Me, I will remember you,   And be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me."   [2:152]

 

The problem that most of us face is what we call the, "if I only…." syndrome.  If I only had a better wife, I would be grateful. If I only had sons instead of daughters, I would be grateful. If I only had a bigger house, a better car, more money, a better job, and the list goes on and on. We are constantly focused on the things we don't have, instead of being grateful to Allah for the things we do already have.

 

This is a very serious illness, for which Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has given the cure. He admonished us, in terms of worldly things, to always look to those beneath us for this will keep us thankful.  Allah says about the Holy Prophet that in him we have the best of example.   It is narrated by al-Mughira that the Messenger of Allah used to stand (in the salaah) or perform salaah until both his feet swelled. He was asked why (he offered such an unbearable salaah) he said, "Should I not be a thankful servant of Allah?" [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

 

As the Holy Prophet advised us, the best way to stay thankful to Allah is to count His Favours in our lives everyday.  For Allah says,  "And He gives you all that you ask for.  But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them.  Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude."   (14:34)

 

This statement of Allah is so true, yet we put so little value on it, and do not take heed.  The very fact that we got up this morning, that we can offer the salaah, that we had breakfast, that we have clothes to wear, water to bathe ourselves, that we have homes to shelter us from the elements, that we have our health, our families, etc., etc., etc., are all favours from Allah, the Most Gracious.  We should take none of it for granted, or become arrogant enough to believe that we attained any of it because of our own efforts alone.

 

Thankfulness frees the heart from greed, jealousy and envy. When we are thankful to Allah, we remain mindful of Him and His continuous Mercy toward us, and this in return humbles us and improves our character. The very fact that Allah has guided us to Islam and the sunnah of His Messenger in itself should be a source of continual praise. Allah says,   "Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful."    (76:3)

 

Allah also says in the Glorious Quran that only few of His servants thank Him. Let us then strive to be among these few by keeping our tongues wet with His remembrance and our hearts soft with His praise.   Allahumma A’innaa ‘alaa Zikrika Wa Shukrika Wa Husni Ibadathika.  Ameen!

 

 

CAN  A  STONE  BE  GOD ?

 

Although so reverently kissed and caressed during the Tawaf, the Hajar-ul-Aswad (Black Stone), in one of the corners of the Ka’bah, is no graven image for the pilgrims to worship. That is the last thing any One-God worshipper could ever imagine.  For a stone is just a mere stone after all.  It has no power whatsoever to do good or inflict harm to any one, apart from Allah, the Sole Deity of mankind.  That stone is a thing cherished either knowingly, ignorantly or figuratively - by those who take to stone-worship instead of God-worship, a belief and practice as unholy as it is senseless.  This is why the Black Stone becomes a mystery to such people, and so, some out of ignorance openly charge that Prophet of Islam did break every Idol in Islam except one - meaning the Ka’bah, or the Black Stone. Why, even unwitting Muslims get easily confused about the Black Stone.  It was hence that 'Umar, the second Caliph, did well to remove this hidden doubt from our minds.  When he came to kiss the Black Stone, he cried out publicly to it:  Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabi’a: ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said, "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. Had I not seen Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) kissing you, I would not have kissed you. ( Sahih Al-Bukhari) .

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT HAJAR-UL-ASWAD

More than five thousand years ago, the father of the prophets, Ibraheem (alaihis salaam) the Upright (Haneef), had built the present structure of the Ka’bah under Allah’s own orders.  He had built it along with his youthful son, Isma’eel (alaihis salaam), forefather of the Arabs. This is how the Qur'an describes their building it together: 

 

"And (remember) when Ibraheem and (his son) Isma'eel  were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka'bah at Makkahsaying), ‘Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, all Knower.’" (2:127). 

 

The father and the son, true One-God worshippers (Muslims), were thus raising the foundations with trembling hearts, ever fearful of His displeasure. While building the Ka'bah, therefore, both of them were afraid that Allah may not accept their humble service, hence that prayer of theirs. How touching of such fidelity, how moving of such humility towards Allah the Great!  It is the essence of Monotheism, the ideal pattern of Faith and Actions, great and small, for all Muslims to follow. When raised to a certain height, Ibraheem (alaihis salaam) ordered his son to choose a piece of stone to mark the main cornerpoint.  While the lad was searching for it, the Archangel Jibra-eel  appeared with the Black Stone from Heaven.   Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: "The Black stone descended from heaven, when it was whiter than milk, but people’s sins have blackened it".  (Tirmidhi,)

Ibraheem (alaihis salaam) took it up and fitted it in, and there it stands up to this day.  It is a heavenly stone, then, and not an earthly one.  It was selected by Allah for His Holy House (the Ka'bah).   

 

CAN  YOU DEFEND ISLAM ?

 

How many of us really want to pursue some professional career?  Doctors, lawyers,  educators, counsellors, business, etc?  Did you know that many Muslims are left out of social, political, religious and philosophical discussions because they just don't compare.  They don't know what Islam has to offer.  If some co-worker, boss or a teacher or even another student companion starts questioning you about Islam, will you be able to give a thorough and correct answer?  Do you have that much knowledge?  Or what if someone starts attacking Islam? Can you defend it? Can you prove them wrong? 

 

This is happening to Muslim students, where teachers and other students have started to question Islam.  They have started to grill innocent Muslim students to prove them wrong, or try to get them to "reject their faith"  (although they don't say so, but you can tell by the tone of their voices).   But this will also happen to you sometime in your life.  Someone,  somewhere will say or ask, and you have to stand up for what is right: YOU HAVE TO STAND UP FOR ISLAM!  Because if you don't, who will?

 

So, do you want to know how you can get the knowledge?  Read the Glorious Quran. Not only read it but study it, read the translations of verses and their commentaries.  Take 10 minutes out of the 1,440 minutes of the day, and just read 5 verses with their meaning and commentaries.  Think about it, and try to remember it.  Do the same with the Hadith:  alternate, do 5 minutes one thing, 5 minutes another and learn about Islam.  Do whatever you can, BUT JUST DO SOMETHING!

 

Just read, and understand, and know that you will get rewarded for doing so,  in this life and in the hereafter, Insha ALLAH!   May Allah give us the courage and strength to learn more about Islam and stand up for Islam.

 

 

STRIKE OVER  ISLAMIC HEAD-SCARVES

 

Teachers at a secondary school in the southern French town of La Grand-Combe went on strike in Jan 2000 to protest against a decision to allow two sisters to wear Islamic head-scarves in class. Last month the local authority issued a directive permitting  their return to classes after their mother, a revert to Islam,  filed a suit alleging the state was failing in its duty to educate them.  
Last term the two girls, aged 12 and 13, were made to do their work in a separate room because staff refused to let them wear the head
-scarves in class.

 
The principle of excluding religious symbols from the  classroom is enshrined in France's constitution, but has been regularly challenged by members of the country's Islamic community.  In Flers, in Normandy, another pair of Muslim sisters is now  taking lessons by correspondence after staff refused to teach them.    

May Allah give those who make such types of Jihad great strength and courage to establish the Deen of Islam.  Ameen.

 

 

CIGARETTE  SMOKING

 

While cigarette smoking has gone down in Europe, in many Arab and Muslim countries the habit is on the rise. In the United States, tobacco companies pay to the government a  sum of US$320 billion annually as compensation for those suffering from diseases brought about by smoking. Cigarette sales in the world have gone down from US$595  trillion to US$561 trillion this year. Saying this, the dean of the medical corps in Egypt, Dr. Himdi Al-Sayyid, said that while the sales of cigarettes have declined in Europe and the United States, in Arab countries the habit is still on the rise. He added that an average of one person dies every two minutes as a result of smoking.  He said the number of  smokers in Egypt alone stands at six million.  Dr. Al-Sayyid said the hookah is even worse than cigarette smoking, and among the diseases caused by smoking the hookah are TB, cancer, cardio-vascular diseases, and impotence. Other  diseases caused by hookah-smoking are gum diseases, lung diseases, and ones intelligence is also affected, he said, adding that even cigarette smoking causes many of these diseases, including infertility in both men and women. He added that even scholars have declared that cigarette smoking is forbidden in Islam, and not just discouraged, since its harmful effects have already been publicised by doctors.


Dr. Al
-Sayyid said while in the West the habit is being discarded, it is on the increase in the Muslim world, and therefore there should be a consistent campaign to publicise the harmful effects of smoking. He said many women have taken to hookah smoking in their homes, and this is a catastrophe that is playing havoc with the Muslim Ummah.

 

 

PROPHETIC  SAYING

 

Rasoolullah (sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:

If anyone seeks knowledge to use it in competing with the learned or disputing with the foolish or to attract men’s attention to himself, Allah will cause him to enter the Fire of Jahannam.  (Tirmizi).

The one who acquires knowledge but does NOT act upon it, has acquired it only to increase his pride.  (Tirmizi)