Reflections

Website: www.ummahreflections.co.za

Quarterly: Issue No 69

Muharram 1435

TAQWA (PIETY)

ACHIEVING HAPPINESS     

 

All Praise is due to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), our only Sustainer and Creator.  And Blessings and Peace be upon His beloved Messenger Muhammad, his family and all his companions. 

We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is His servant and the Seal of all His Messengers.

 

Happiness is the goal on earth that all people - without exception - seek to attain.  Believers and unbelievers alike seek to be happy, but each group uses different methods to achieve happiness.

 

However, only Believers can achieve genuine happiness.  All forms of happiness attained without a firm belief (imaan) in Allah (SWT) - the Almighty - are mere illusions.


For the BELIEVERS, (mu’minoon), here are
some guidelines to attain happiness:

1. Allah is Sufficient for you (O Prophet) and for the believers who follow you. (Al-Anfaal 8: 64)

2. And put your trust in the Ever-Living One Who dies not, and glorify (Allah) with His praise. (Al-Furqaan 25: 58)

3. Know that if we do not live within the scope of today, our thoughts will be scattered, our affairs will become confused, and our anxiety will increase. These realities are explained in the following hadith:
“When you enter the evening, do not expect to see the morning and when you enter the morning, do not expect to see the evening..(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

4. Forget the past and all that it contained. Being occupied in things that are past and gone is sheer madness.

5. Do not be preoccupied with the future because the future is in the world of the unseen; do not let it

bother us until it comes.

6. Do not be shaken by criticism; instead, be firm.  Be assured that in proportion to our worth, the level of people’s criticism rises.  Also, make good use of criticism in discovering our shortcomings and faults, and let it drive us towards self-improvement (islaah)

7. Have firm and established faith in Allah and continue performing good deeds. These are the ingredients that makeup a good and happy life.

8. If we desire peace, tranquillity and comfort, we can find it all only in the remembrance of Allah.

9. We should know with certainty that everything that happens, occurs in accordance with the Divine Will and

Decree.
10. Let us not expect gratitude from anyone.

11. Train ourself to be prepared for the worst eventuality.

12. Accept the fact that what has happened is in our best interest, even though we may not be able to comprehend how that can be so.

13. Accept the fact that everything that is decreed for the believer (mu’min) is the best for him or her.

14. Enumerate the Blessings of Allah and be thankful to Him for these favours and blessings.

15. Always remember that we are better off than many others in our present condition.

16. Accept the fact that relief comes from one hour to the next.  Indeed, with each difficulty there is relief.

17. In both times of hardship and ease, we should turn to supplication and pray to Allah, either patiently contented or thankful.

18. Calamities should strengthen our heart and reshape our outlook in a positive way.

19. Do not let trivialities be the cause of our destruction.

20. Always remember that our Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

21. Assume an easy-going attitude and avoid much of anger.

22. Life is bread, water and shelter; so do not be perturbed by a lack of any other material thing.

Allah says: “And in the heaven is your providence and that which you are promised.” (Quran 51:22)

23. Firmly believe that most evil that is supposed to happen never occurs.

24. Look at those who have more afflictions and be grateful that we have less, comparatively.

25. Allah loves those who endure trials with steadfastness. So let us seek to be one of them.

26. Constantly repeat those ‘du’as that the Prophet (SAW) taught us to say during times of hardship.

27. Work hard at something that is productive, and cast off idleness.

28. Let us neither spread rumours nor listen to them. If we hear of rumours unintentionally, do not believe it.

29. Know that our hatred and our striving to seek revenge are much more harmful to our health than they are to our enemies.

30. Let us have firm faith and belief that all hardships that befall us atone for our sins, only if we endure them with patience (sabr) and prayer (salaah).

 

 

SOME ISLAMIC SOCIAL ETTIQUITES

 

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala—the Glorified, the Exalted), states in the Holy Quran:

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad—Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

 

Therefore, the Prophet (SAW) is the best role model for the Believers (Mu'minoon).  He provided us numerous examples in all aspect of human behaviour. Some of these pearls from his teachings on social etiquettes are worthy of being emulated and put into practice in our lifestyle.


SPREAD THE GREETINGS OF SALAAM:

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) commanded us to do seven things: to visit the sick, to attend funerals, to bless a Muslim when he sneezes, to support the weak, to help the one who is oppressed, to spread Salaam (peace), and to help people fulfil their oaths.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari - Hadith No 753: Volume 7)

 

He is also reported to have said: “By the One, in Whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe; and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of something that if you do, you will love one another? Spread Salaam amongst yourselves.” (Muslim, Tirmidhi)


As we note from this Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) made the spreading of “salaam” a part of Imaan.
It was narrated from Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) that a man asked the Prophet (SAW): “What is the best thing in Islam? He (SAW) said: ‘Feeding others and giving the greeting of salaam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know.’” (Bukhari; Muslim; Ahmad, Musnad; Abu Dawud; Nasai; Ibn Hibban)


In his commentary of Sahih Muslim, Qadi Iyad ibn Musa (ra) said: “This (teaching of the Prophet) is urging us to spread “salaam”, as mentioned above, among those whom we know and those whom we do not know. Salaam is the first level of righteousness and the first quality of brotherhood, and it is the key to creating love. By spreading salaam the Muslims’ love for one another grows stronger and they demonstrate their distinctive symbols and spread a feeling of security amongst themselves. This is the meaning of Islam.” (al-Ikmaal al-Mu’allim, 1/304)

 

Unfortunately, we find that this greeting has been replaced by foreign un-Islamic ones, especially among new Muslim generations, who are either ashamed or consider it old-fashioned to use the Islamic form of greeting. Obviously, they are unaware that a simple ‘Assalaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu’ is also a Du'a.

 

It is clear from the above that it is obligatory to say salaam and return salaam because by doing so, one Muslim is giving another Muslim safety and he has to give him the same safety in return. It is as if he is saying to the other Muslim: “I am giving you safety and security.  Therefore, you have to give me the same”; so that he does not get suspicious or think that the one to whom he has given salaam is betraying him or ignoring him. The Prophet (SAW) told us that if Muslims are ignoring or forsaking one another, this will be put to an end when one of them gives salaam. It was reported that Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other if they meet. The better of them is the first one to say salaam.” (Bukhari)


Anas (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to me:
“My little son! When you enter your home, offer salaam to your family. It will be a blessing for you and the inmates of your home as well.” (Tirmidhi)


DO NOT ENTER HOMES WITHOUT PERMISSION


Allah (SWT) commands: O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them, that is better for you, in order that you may remember.

(Surah An-Noor : Chapter 24: Verse 27)


The Prophet (SAW) had the best of manners when visiting other homes: “Whenever the Prophet (SAW) came to the door of a house seeking permission to enter, he did not stand directly opposite and facing it. He would stand either to the right or to the left of the door. If he was given permission, he would enter; otherwise, he would leave.” (Bukhari)


Impatiently ringing the doorbell, shouting out names of people from outside their home, and grumbling when the person we intended to visit is unavailable, are signs of impoliteness and impertinence. This is not an Islamic Way of life.  Allah (the Glorified the Exalted) also says:  (Surah An-Noor: Chapter 24: Verse 58)

O you who believe! Let your legal slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before Fajr (morning) prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the Esha (late-night) prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending (helping) you each other. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayaat (the Verses of this Quran, showing proofs for the legal aspects of permission for visits, etc.) to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”

 

Yes, Allah placed these rulings for us because it has great wisdom.  We have become too negligent in these beautiful etiquettes?  Isn’t it time for us to go back to these etiquettes (Adaab), and teach our children also to follow them.  But we must first practice it ourselves.  


FOLLOW THE ISLAMIC ETIQUETTE WHEN SNEEZING

 

Just as Islam has defined the manners of conduct in gatherings, it has also defined the etiquette to be observed when one sneezes. Islam teaches the Muslim how he should behave towards one who sneezes, what he should say to the one who sneezes, and how he should pray for him.

Abu Hurairah (RA) said: The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Allah (SWT) likes the act of sneezing and dislikes the act of yawning. When any one of you sneezes and says ‘Alhamdulillah’, then he has the right to hear every other Muslim say - ‘Yarhamuk Allah’. But yawning is from Shaytan, so if anyone of you feels the urge to yawn, he should resist it as much as he can, for when any of you yawns, the Shaytan laughs at him.’” (Bukhari)

This du‘a (Yarhamuk Allah) - is said to the one who sneezes in response to his saying (Alhamdulillah). If he does not say (Alhamdulillah), then there is no obligation to respond to him in this way.

 

Thus Islam takes these involuntary actions of Muslims and makes them into opportunities for remembering and praising Allah (SWT) and reinforcing the feelings of brotherhood, love and compassion in their hearts.

 

DO NOT FIND FAULT IN OTHERS

 

The Prophet (SAW) issued a stern warning against the danger of slandering other people’s honour and exposing their faults.  The Prophet (SAW) said: “Do not hurt the feelings of the servants of Allah.  Do not embarrass them and do not seek to expose their faults.  Whoever seeks to expose the faults of his Muslim brother, Allah will seek to expose his faults and expose him, even if he hides in the innermost part of his home.” (Ahmad)

 

However, there is a fine line between forbidding people against wrong doings (nahi anil munkar) and finding faults?   Finding faults would be when it is done in a humiliating undignified manner, to boast oneself to be better than someone else, to humiliate him, and also when it is done through impermissible spying etc.

 

While correcting an open wrong by following the command of ‘nahi anil munkar’ with the correct intention and sincerity is not classified as ‘finding faults’. Allah says:  

You are the best of people raised up for mankind. You enjoin what is right (al-ma’roof) and forbid what is wrong (al-munkar) and believe in Allah…”  (Aali Imraan 3:110)

 

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