Website: www.ummahreflections.co.za

Quarterly: Issue No 93

Muharram 1441 – September 2019

TAQWA (PIETY)

JEALOUSY AND HATRED

 

Allah (Glorified be He, the Exalted) says:

 

Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of your Lord? It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work. But the Mercy (Paradise) of your Lord (O Prophet) is better than the (wealth of this world) which they amass.  (Surah az-Zukhruf: Chapter 43: Verse 32)

 

Many of us live our lives with feelings of hatred for some people and also feeling jealous of what Allah has granted others in provisions (rizq) of this life. Such feelings not only rob us of our own peace from within but also hurt us physically, emotionally and spiritually in this life and the hereafter.

 

In our daily dealings with people, some of us not only have such feelings of jealousy about others but we also forsake them. We should remind ourselves that it is not permissible to forsake a Muslim, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” (Bukhari; Muslim). This applies especially if the believer is a relative because forsaking relatives is an even worse sin.

 

We learn from scholars that the only exception to this rule is in cases where the other’s company and mixing can hurt one spiritually and in other areas of one’s life. Ibn Abd al-Barr (ra) said: “The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, unless there is the fear that speaking to him and keeping in touch with him will affect one’s religious commitment or have some harmful effect on one’s spiritual and worldly interests. If that is the case, it is permissible to avoid him, because peaceful avoidance is better than harmful mixing.” (Tarh al-Tathreeb, 8/99)

The general principle is that “a Muslim must be forbearing and sincere towards his brothers, he must be tolerant towards them and overlook their mistakes. He should not hasten to adopt a solution that may cause division and haraam kinds of forsaking.”

 

Feeling jealous of other’s Provisions and Rizq

 

To avoid feelings of jealousy of the provisions that others may have, we should remind ourselves that Allah has apportioned our provisions in this life and trying to feel jealous of others is akin to disagreeing with Allah on His decisions, as Allah says in the verse quoted above.

 

In a hadith narrated by Tirmidhi from al-Zubayr ibn al-Awaam (RA) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the ‘shaver’ (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith. 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 that which will strengthen love between you? Spread (the greeting of) salaam amongst yourselves.” (Tirmidhi).

 

Cleaning our hearts of jealousy and hatred

 

As part of our personal purification efforts, we should constantly work to rid our hearts of such feelings. No one is free from such feelings but we should venture to avoid Satan’s whispers regarding instilling such feelings in our hearts. Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah (ra) said: “Nobody is free from hasad (jealousy), but the noble person hides it whilst the base person shows it.” (Amraad al-Quloob).

A person will not be brought to account for whatever crosses his mind, but he will be brought to account for what he says and does. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah will forgive my ummah for their mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do.” (Bukhari).

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah (ra) also said in his book Amraad al-Quloob (diseases of the heart):

“Whoever finds in himself any hasad towards another has to try to neutralize it by means of taqwa (piety, consciousness of Allah) and sabr (patience). So, he should hate that (the feeling of hasad) in himself… But the one who does wrong to his brother by word or deed will be punished for that. The one who fears Allah and is patient, however, is not included among the wrongdoers, and Allah will benefit him by his taqwa.”

 

WOMEN TRAVEL WITHOUT A MAHRAM  

 

The act of even performing Hajj without a mahram is haraam because of the hadeeth of Ibn Abbas (RA) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, when he was delivering a sermon, “No woman should travel except with a mahram.”  A man stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allah, my wife has set out for Hajj, and I have signed up for such-and-such a military campaign.”  The Prophet (SAW) said: “Go and do Hajj with your wife.”   (Bukhari; Muslim) 

So, it is not permissible for a woman to travel without a mahram. A mahram is a man whom she is forever forbidden to marry because of blood ties. This is also subject to the condition that he be an adult of sound mind. A minor child cannot be a mahram, and neither can one who is not of sound mind. The reason for a mahram’s presence being required is so that he can look after her and protect her, so that she will not be bothered by those who do not fear Allah and do not respect women’s modesty. 

It makes no difference whether there are other women with her or not, or whether she is safe or not. Even if she goes with women from her own family and she is extremely safe, it is not permissible for her to travel without a mahram.  The reason being that when the Prophet (SAW) commanded that man to go and perform Hajj with his wife, he did not ask whether there were other women with her or not, or whether she was safe or not. The fact that he did not ask about that indicates that it makes no difference.  This is the correct view keeping within the spirit of the Qur’an and Sunnah. 

Some people nowadays take the matter lightly and allow women travelling alone in a plane without a mahram. This undoubtedly goes against the clear meaning of the texts. Travel by plane is like any other kind of travel and still involves danger. 

If the mahram of a woman travelling by plane takes her to the airport, and leaves her as soon as she reaches the departure hall.  Then she is on her own without a mahram. The plane may leave on time or it may be late. It may leave on time but then have to come back for some reason. Or it may land in another airport which is not the one she was heading for, and so on. Or it may land in the airport she is heading for after the expected time for some reason.  If it happens that it lands on time, the mahram who is supposed to meet her may be late for some reason, either because he overslept or because of traffic congestion, or because his car broke down, or for some other reason.  And even if he is there on time and meets the woman, there may have been a man sitting next to her on the plane who could deceive her morally.

 The point is that women should fear Allah and generally should not travel for Hajj or for any other reason except with a mahram who is an adult of sound mind.  And Allah knows what is best for us all. 

 

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 duas!

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Johannesburg, Gauteng

South Africa