Reflections

Website: www.ummahreflections.co.za

Quarterly: Issue No 64

Shawwaal 1433

 

TAQWA (PIETY)

IN HONOUR OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET     

 

All Praise is due solely to Allah—Glorified be His Name—and peace and blessings of Allah be upon His beloved Messenger Muhammad, his family and all his companions.  Ameen!

 

Allah, Glorified be His Name, says:

“We have not sent you (O Prophet Muhammad) except as a Mercy to the Worlds.”  (Qur’an: Surah 21 Ayah 107)

 

Humanity, both Muslims and Non-Muslims bear testimony to the excellent character of the Noble and Last Messenger of Allah (Glorified be His Name). It is tragic that every now and then, biased and offensive works against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) are circulated in the media, including the recent provocative anti-Prophet film and a satirical French magazine published new cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). It is a repeated scenario: the same messages of enmity, hate and antagonism are being recycled again and again.

Any film or publication which vilifies any Prophet of Almighty Allah (peace be upon them) justifies condemnation. This film not only vilifies the personality who is revered by billions of followers in every part of the world, but it also constitutes a deliberately grave misrepresentation.

The offensive film is directed at the following mischief:

FIRSTLY, it is obviously intended to create the furor and backlash which it has achieved. The evil perpetrators of this heinous conduct i.e. all those associated, in any way whatsoever with the creation and dissemination of such film intended and effectuated the loss of lives and other negative consequences that have since ensued.

SECONDLY, these evil doers are also driven by the desire to profit as much as possible financially from such unconscionable conduct; and in compromise of all and any semblance of decency - they have traded their souls for money.

 

Loving the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and feeling offended when he is insulted is undoubtedly expected from every Muslim; and is a fundamental part of their Belief (Imaan). However, the way such good feelings are put in action makes a huge difference. A wise response would turn such a challenge into a great opportunity to reach out to people and to raise their awareness about the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his message. Our response should be wise, tactful and calculated so that it has the greatest impact.

 

What can we do?

· Turn to Allah (Glory be to Him) by means of Prayer (Supplication) and ask Him to protect the honour and dignity of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Indeed all affairs are only in the Control of Allah

· Appropriate legal and other proceedings be instituted against the perpetrators as no reasonable and civilized society should and would tolerate such heinous and lowly conduct

· Extensive public condemnation together with adequate penalties and punishment within the relevant legal framework should be imposed and in this respect both appropriate criminal and civil proceedings should be instituted

· Increase the recitation of Salaat and Salaam (Durood Shareef / sending blessings) on the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)

· Demonstrate to the world the excellent Akhlaaq (Character) of Muhammad (peace be upon him) by inculcating within us his noble lifestyle (Sunnah)

· Make it our duty to educate our family, friends and colleagues about the Great Last and Final Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) who has indeed been sent as a Mercy to the Entire Humanity. Also ask our local Islamic Scholars (Ulama) to educate the public and create awareness.

 

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:

 

“None of you have faith (Imaan) until I am more beloved to him than his parents, his children  and all mankind”.   (Hadith: Bukhari and Muslim)

 

“One who attains the following three things will taste the sweetness of Imaan: to make Allah and His  Messenger more beloved to himself than anything else; to love a person for no other reason except for

 the  sake of Allah; and to hate to return to disbelief (kufr) just as much as he would hate to be thrown into  fire.” (Hadith: Bukhari and Muslim)

 

O My Beloved ALLAH! We ask You to fill our hearts with the true and immense love of You and Your Beloved Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam - and keep us alive on His Sunnah and bless us with death of Imaan in the City of your Beloved Messenger. Ameen!

 

HATRED, MALICE AND JEALOUSY     

 

Every person’s honour is sacred. We are duty-bound to respect and honour our fellow brothers and sisters and never…yes NEVER to hold an iota of malice or ill will in our hearts towards them. The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) tried to eliminate hatred, malice, jealousy and rivalry by inducing brotherhood, sincere love and friendship. (Please note that while in most cases the Ahaadith mention the masculine gender the same rewards etc refer to the females as well)

Our society is ideally built upon the foundation of brotherhood, as The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) advised:

 

“Believers are like a structure, parts of which support one another. The believers, in their mutual friendship, mercy and affection, are like one body; if any part of it complains, the rest of the body will also stay awake in fever.”  (Hadith: Bukhari and Muslim).

 

The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said;

“Do not break off ties with one another, do not turn away from one another, do not hate one another, and do not envy one another. Be O servants of Allah brothers.” (Bukhari)

 

Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that while we were sitting with The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) he said, ‘A dweller of Paradise will come to you now’.

As he said this, a man from amongst the Ansaar came, from whose beard the drops of the water of wudhu were falling and he was holding his shoes in his left hand. The second day The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) repeated his words as the same Ansari came in, in the same condition as the day before. The third day The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) repeated the same words and the same man walked in, in the same condition as before. When The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up, Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) followed that Ansari to his house and said to him,

‘I have had a quarrel with my father and have vowed that I will not go to him for three days. Will you please allow me to stay at your house until those three days have passed?’

The Ansari replied, ‘Yes, that is fine with me’

Sayyiduna Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) continues, Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) mentioned that he spent three nights with that Ansari but did not see him worshipping at night, except that when he awoke and changed his position on the bed he would praise Allah and say ‘Allahu Akbar’, until he got up for Fajr salaah.

Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘I did not hear him say anything except good. When three nights had passed in observing him I found his deeds to be quite ordinary and said to him,

‘O servant of Allah. There was no quarrel and separation between me and my father but I heard The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say that an inhabitant of Paradise is coming to us and you came out on all three occasions. That is why I decided to stay with you and see what (special) deed/s it is that you perform?  However, I did not see you doing anything special. What is that deed which raised you to the rank mentioned by The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?’

The Ansari replied, ‘I have no special deeds except that which you saw!’

Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “As I turned to go away, the Ansaari called me back and said,

I have no special deeds except for the ones you have seen. However I have no ill feelings in my heart towards any Muslim and I am not jealous regarding any favour that Allah has blessed anyone with’”

Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘This is the thing which has raised you to that rank and this is that which is beyond our ability’  (Musnad Ahmed – Page 452, No 175)

 

IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED:

1) The importance and great virtue of having no malice towards people in general and Muslims in particular.

2) The importance and great virtue of not being jealous of what others possess. In the context of today’s living we can well appreciate the value of this quality. Today we find that even brothers are jealous of each other's possessions. In fact in a Hadith it is mentioned that,

‘…be indifferent to what people possess (do not be jealous of what they have) they will love you’

3) Malice and jealousy are probably the major causes of backbiting and speaking ill of people. It is precisely because this person did not possess either of these two evil qualities that Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) could say about this man that he did not ‘say anything but good’. A good ‘barometer’ for us to determine whether or not we possess these evil qualities would therefore be, to analyse exactly how much good we say.

4) Many a time we understand piety to mean that a person spends a lot of time in Nafl Ibaadah like Salaah, Fasting, Zikr, tilaawat of the Quraan or their specific manner of dressing etc, but from this hadith we learn the importance of possessing a clean and pure heart. In fact it is mentioned regarding the day of Qiyamah in the Quran, Youma laa yan fa’u maalu wa la banoon, illa man atallaha bi qalbin saleem ‘…that day wealth and children will be of no benefit (to a person) except the one who comes to Allah with a purified heart’ (Qur’an: Chapter 26: Verses 88-89)

 

REFLECTING ON DEATH     

 

Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

“The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things) - until you visit the graves.”  [Surah At-Takaathur, Ayah 1-2]  

Truly, competing in accumulating material worldly things causes destruction for oneself in both the worlds. But what is its cure? “until you visit the graves”.

 
Imam Qurtubi (rahimahullah) explains in his Tafseer: “The scholars say: it is recommended for him who wants to cure the diseases of his heart and who sincerely wants to start obeying Allah to

(1) think about the destroyer of pleasures, the separator of groups and the finisher of sons and daughters (death),

(2) see those who have passed away at funerals, and    

(3) visit the graves.”

 

O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.

 

Requesting your humble duas!

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Kyalami Glen, Gauteng

Johannesburg, South Africa