Our Only Concern is Reliance on Allah – Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Our Only Concern is Reliance on Allah 

by Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Introduction

At her weekly “Live and Learn” class hosted by the Islamic Centre at New York University on 13th April 2020, Shaykha Ieasha Prime discusses the concept of reliance on Allah Most High (tawakkul). She utilizes two female personalities from the life of Prophet Musa (may Allah grant him peace) to illustrate this fundamental guiding principle. One of them is Queen Asiyah, the wife of the Pharaoh, but who could the other be? The details can be found in this article.

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Pharaoh’s Fear – Background Knowledge

It is well established and documented in the history books and religious texts that during the reign of King Pharaoh of Egypt, there was a prophecy of a boy being born from the Israelites who would overtake his leadership and ruin his kingdom. He attempted to solidify his power by ordering the midwives to kill all Hebrew boys at birth and later to throw them into the Nile River. He allowed the girls to live. The baby boy from the prophecy was Prophet Musa (may Allah grant him peace) and Allah Most High speaks to his survival and reassures his mother in the following verse;

“And We inspired the mother of Moses, ‘Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers.” (Qur’an, 28:7)

 

Prophet Musa’s Message

As Prophet Musa (may Allah grant him peace) grew up and received revelation, he preached the message of Allah Most High. He warned his people that those who rejected God’s signs and the judgment to come were bound to meet their doom and no one would be able to save them.

 

The Hairdresser’s Allegiance

Belief in The One True God 

On one particular day in the house of Pharaoh, as the hairdresser bends to retrieve a comb she says: “In the name of God.” The daughter of Pharaoh upon hearing that, seeks clarification on whether the God mentioned meant her father. To her surprise, the hairdresser answers, “Allah is my Lord and your Lord and the Lord of the universe.”

Consequences for This Belief

Pharaoh’s daughter runs to her father to report this act of disobedience and he immediately becomes very angry. He knows the power that one believer with conviction could have in spreading this belief throughout the kingdom. He does the only thing a man in this situation can do; he summons the hairdresser. Upon being asked about her actions, the hairdresser repeats her mantra without any doubt, and Pharaoh orders her family to be captured and placed before him.

Will the hairdresser and her family now face a life of imprisonment? Pharaoh strategizes on how to sway the heart of a woman and mother. He kills her protector! In goes the husband in a large cauldron pot of hot oil, followed by the children one by one, except the youngest in her arms. At this point, the baby speaks to the mother and tells her that she is on the straight path. Comforted by these words, she loosens her grip and releases her child.

The end is near for the hairdresser. Pharaoh asks her one last time, “Who is your Lord?” and she replies the same, “Allah is my Lord and your Lord and the Lord of the universe.” Nothing deterred the heart of this believer from her Creator. This is nothing short of a love story between the servant and their Lord, never ashamed to profess His greatness and never worrying about anything other than pleasing Him.

 

Queen Asiya’s Sincerity

News of the Hairdresser’s Death

News of the killing of the hairdresser and her family permeates the land and the one remaining who is most hurt is Queen Asiya. In some narrations, it is said that both women were believers together and they prayed to Allah secretly. What are the Queen’s options now? Should she keep her faith silent, run, hide, or assume the side of her husband?

 

The Response of Queen Asiya

In what may be described as an interesting turn of events, Queen Asiya confronts King Pharaoh, questions him, and declares her belief in the Lord of Musa (may Allah grant him peace). Pharaoh tests her by stripping her naked and hangs her over the veranda of the castle for everyone to see. At first, the people query this action, but they soon side with the King as their Lord. Pharaoh’s punishment upon his wife continues, as he places her in the desert to be tortured by animals, followed by tying her up between two horses, who gallop in opposite directions tearing her body; skin from bone, bone from limb. 

This reality can leave any believer speechless.

Acceptance by Allah Most High

Had it not been for the Qur’an, we would never have learned the secret supplication Queen Asiyah made to Allah Most High during these absolutely torturous last moments of her life. She neither worries about the tyrannical King nor the fickle people. Her only concern is professing her love for her Lord.

And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe – the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: “O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings and save me from those who do wrong” (Qur’an, 66:11).

 

Rely on Allah Most High

Shaykha Ieasha Prime asks us to reflect on our own trials and tribulations and to find that certainty (yaqeen) and that reliance on Allah as seen through the examples of the hairdresser and Queen Asiya. She asks us to see the win-win situation for the believer. If we trust in Allah, we will find His help and mercy in this life, and we will find it in the eternal life when we meet Him, God willing (Insha’Allah).

 

 

 


Biography of Shaykha Ieasha Prime

Ieasha Prime is a traditional Islamically trained educator, activist and public speaker.  She studied Arabic and Qur’an at the Fajr Institute followed by general Islamic studies in Cairo, Egypt.  After two years in Egypt, she moved to Hadramaut, Yemen and enrolled in Dar al Zahra, an Islamic University for Women. There, she studied Aqeedah, Qur’an, Hadith, Arabic, Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Islamic law, Purification of the Heart and other religious related learning. 

Her lineage of scholarship from whom she received direct education can be traced directly back to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) from the Husseini lineage. 

Under the tutelage of her professors, she has established several circles of knowledge and continues to teach and lecture across the United States of America and beyond. Her passion is educating and empowering Muslim women to be leaders. She is the Executive Director of Barakah Inc, a community-based organization empowering women and youth with a foundation of Islam. 

Further details can be found on this link http://www.ieashaprime.com/about-her.html

 

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Guidance of the Prophet Muhammad on the Virtues of Patience (and Thankfulness) in Tribulation and Hardship

 

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Divine Decree, Contentment, and Lessons From the Prophet’s Life

How Can Someone Always Have Trust In Allah?

 

Videos on Closeness and Reliance on Allah

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Contentment, Reliance on Allah, and Pure Intention – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

 

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Be Prepared: Understanding the Wisdom of Calamities

Be Prepared: Understanding the Wisdom of Calamities

By Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Pain. We cannot escape pain. Pain, in this life, is inevitable. We are here to be tested to determine our unending rank and recompense in the Hereafter. These tests are usually in the broad categories of ease – which demands gratitude – or difficulty – which requires a combination of patience and the expectation of a reward from God. 

The benefits that rain down upon us from these trials are numerous and well worth examining closely. However, prior to this, the difficulties need to be understood, felt, experienced, and processed. 

This is how those benefits dye a believer’s perception with the hues of a deeper faith. This is how one becomes malleable to the trials that hammer down upon us to shape us into better versions of ourselves. This is how the friction of pain polishes us to the point that we glisten and gleam. 

 


The Prophet’s Approach to Pain 

Running from the pain, or blocking it out with distractions, or feigned shows of strength – deny one of the fruits indicated above. Indeed, the greatest being in God’s creation (peace and blessings be upon him) engaged deeply with his human experiences, whilst remaining within the bounds of his slavehood to God. 

When his son, Ibrahim, passed away whilst only a toddler, he said, “Indeed the eye weeps, and the heart grieves – yet we don’t say anything but that which pleases our Loving Lord. We, by your parting – O Ibrahim – are truly saddened” (Bukhari). He felt the emotions and allowed the physical responses Allah created in us to occur and expressed what he felt. This was tempered with limiting the expression of grief to the words that increase one only in closeness to Allah, and not anything that would do otherwise. This is the response of someone who understood the purpose and benefit of tests and pain. 

 

How Do I Process My Pain? 

Besides the points gleaned from the blessed words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), we have other gifts from the Qur’an’s perfect guidance. It gives us an understanding of the inherent – yet occasionally occluded – beauty in the trials, and the foreknowledge of the inevitable occurrence of these events. 

These two matters grant the believer a deep grasp of the wisdom behind trials, and aid one in seeing that one will grow and benefit from them. Without them, one can be crippled with pain, from not understanding the matter as it should be.

 

Working Towards Iron-Clad Fortitude 

Surah al-Hadid is an ocean that gives wave after wave of goodness and guidance. There are two particular verses that light the way in this discussion particularly well. They will be discussed briefly. 

“No calamity hits in the land, nor in your own selves, except that it has been in a tremendous book before We beautifully created it. Indeed, that, for Allah, is very easy. So you don’t be excessively grieved by what escapes you, nor overly exultant because of what He granted you…”

(Qur’an, 57:22-23) 

There are some Arabic words in the former of the two verses which deserve a closer examination. Seeing the beauty underlying the word choices in the Qur’an eventually gives one certainty that it is from God, and that every single word – in all canonical variants – was specifically chosen by Him. 

“What Hits Was Never Going to Miss” 

The first word of note is asaaba – ‘َأَصَاب.’ It has a root meaning which indicates the occurrence of events in the proper and most fitting manner. Added to this is the nuance of water flowing and settling in a spot, and the usage of a derivative of the root to express an arrow hitting the bullseye. This analysis of the word is not extensive. 

When we factor in the above nuances we see that every trial in our lives is tailor-made for us. It has hit its mark. We can’t escape it, and pondering the “If only…” scenarios is fruitless. 

It came at the right time, in the right way, and with the right intensity. It could not have been escaped, nor could it have been outrun. 

This is beautifully expressed in the hadith, “Know, what hit you was never going to miss, and what missed you was never meant to hit” (Tirmidhi).

This brings great ease to the believer. He takes the necessary precautions but realizes that what came into his life of difficulties, and what he was not affected by, are all matters that were meant specifically for him. 

The result is relief from the paranoia and excessive worry over being affected by the evil eye, black magic, and other matters that are a cause of stress and anxiety to those who don’t realize that Allah is in complete control.

A believer is at ease, knowing that whatever happens is tailor-made to bring him good through some avenue in his life. Everything is perfectly suited for his long-term, ever-lasting benefit. 

 

Perfectly Suited Trials 

We can be sure that everything that happens is perfect, and not just inevitable. What hits is actually perfect and beautiful, as is the missing of the arrows they were not meant to hit the mark. 

How do we know this? In expressing the creation of the calamities, Allah used a verb derived from the root bara – ‘برأ.’ It is understood, generally, to mean ‘creating’. However, a deeper analysis of the word indicates meanings of being devoid of deficiencies and flaws, which gives us the understanding of something being perfected and immaculately formed. 

Infuse these nuances into the reading of the verse, and you get the understanding that all tests are perfectly planned and beautifully designed by God to be the best possible situation for us – with eternity in mind. The benefit of the trial is to elevate, in Paradise, the immortal version of every believer. 

He is the canvas, and the calamity is the paint that alters the immaculate nature of that canvas. Focusing in on the actual point of contact may make one think the paint has stained the perfect white canvas, yet, when one steps back and looks with a gaze that shows the merging on the individual ‘stains’, it present before one an image of striking beauty, nuance, meaning, artistry, and skill. This is how all tests are for the believer, and God is the perfect architect who has designed your life. Reflect on this…

All that remains is the appropriate response. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

[I’m truly amazed] at the affair of the believer. Everything that happens to him is the best possible thing for him – and that’s not for anyone but the believer. If happiness comes he is grateful – and that’s best for him. And if harm comes to him he is patient – and that’s best for Him (Muslim). 

 

All Matters are Decreed 

Everything that afflicts us has been pre-planned by God, the perfect designer. The verse entails guidance about general calamities, such as pandemics, economic instability, floods, earthquakes, and other such wide-ranging trials. It also highlights the personal pain which hits harder and is felt more keenly by the individual. It is all in the right time and place, in the best way. 

Knowing that it is known to God, and preordained is also a huge blessing. With this knowledge, one can process this pain effectively.

Not knowing this can lead one to excessive grief that holds one back, and, in cases of ease, it can lead one to become too fixated on a blessing, such that it can make one forget it came from God. This can then lead people to arrogance and boasting, because they see themselves as intrinsically deserving these blessings, and thereby feel superior to others who don’t have it. But this is a discussion for another time… 

Here, we wish to see that being aware that the slings and arrows of fortune are, in fact, gracious. One need not take arms against the sea of troubles, for it’s waves come to bring benefits to your shores. 

 

Forewarned is Forearmed 

Knowing that all matters are decreed provides a believer to see things differently: the trials of life will come, certainly. But they are carried by wisdom, and they leave gifts and goodness in their wake. 

Knowing that a loved one who passes onto the Hereafter at a particular time was meant to go makes the parting easier. The pain is there, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) expressed. That is the human condition. However, the pain is lessened knowing that matters are being directed by Allah, who has our best interests in mind. More so, than even ourselves. He sees what we do not, and knows what we do not. This knowledge makes his decision better than what we assume to be good for ourselves.

One knows that this life is temporary. Only that which is done for the sake of Allah lasts. One sees that the pain is temporary, and a test, just like the blessings, which are temporary, and a test. 

This doesn’t mean that we don’t feel sadness, or that it negates one’s patience. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) named the year of the passing of his wife, Khadija, and his uncle, Abu Talib, ‘The Year of Sadness.’ He felt grief despite having the perfect spiritual state.

What the verse negates is intense and excessive grief that stems from a lack of understanding of the purpose of calamities. This can be understood from the juxtaposition of the grief with the word that indicates excessive happiness in a blessing that leads to arrogance and boasting. 

Not seeing the wisdom behind trials, and not seeing the benefits they provide for a Muslim, makes detaching from the aspects of this life that we have a strong bond with difficult. One only feels the sense of loss and pain more keenly. 

Knowing that this is the nature of this life allows the believer to prepare himself. Blessings are enjoyed – but they don’t distract one from the Giver of the blessings. The pain of trials is felt, but it develops the believer. He becomes closer to God, and grains further gifts from Him. 

The grief and happiness benefit when one knows it is a trial ultimately designed to raise one higher in Paradise. Happiness and grief devoid of this are – for the believer – dysfunctional. They hinder him from his long-term benefit. That’s why understanding this allows one to be prepared, and so, forearmed.

 

About the Author

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return, he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Human Potential: True Devotion to God

Human Potential: True Devotion to God

By Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

This is the third of a series of articles by SeekersGuidance internal scholar Shaykh Yusuf Weltch on human potential. Shaykh Yusuf poses thought-provoking ideas about what humans are capable of; both success and destruction. We aspire to have a true devotion to God, but are left bewildered as we try and reflect on what true devotion is. When the desire of Allah enters one’s heart, what is the correct response?


The scholars tell us that the path to Allah Most High, the spiritual journey of purification, is defined as ‘true devotion to God.’ One could bring their mind to exhaustion in deep reflection of such a concise yet profound definition. True devotion to God. Does this mean that one could be untrue in their devotion? If that is so, then the importance of the heart’s role is manifest. The heart is, as you very well know, the place of truthfulness. 

The idea of truthfulness entails great meaning, easily expressed but, indeed, challenging to adopt. True devotion demands that the journey be made on Allah’s terms, not ours, for there are many who selfishly worship Allah the way they want to worship Him. This is not truthfulness. This ego in the guise of piety. If truthful devotion is to worship Allah in the way by which He is pleased and with those deeds pleasing to Him, there is no journey – in that case – without knowledge. Knowledge of that which is pleasing to Allah and by extension, that which is displeasing to Allah so one can be mindful not to draw upon themselves the Divine displeasure.

Knowledge of the limits of Allah Most High holds no benefit if not coupled with commensurate action. Otherwise, such knowledge would not only be void of benefit but may be used in exposing such a person’s false claim of true devotion on Judgment day. Knowledge and implementation, like the two wings of a bird soaring toward the heavens, must both exist in synchronicity fueled by the deep yearning of the heart for a reunion with Allah. A real trifecta. Mind, body, and soul. To worship Allah with all that makes us us. The congruence of human reality with the reality of its ultimate purpose.

In contrast, though, what a loss, what a loss indeed for the one who lacks any desire for their Creator, knows not of His greatness nor that which draws down His good pleasure, and moves not a muscle in His way. Could one really be so blind to think that this beautiful creation exists for any other reason? For play? For frivolity? Is that what some have convinced themselves that life is. Allah Most High says, “Those blind ˹to the truth˺ and those who can see are not equal, nor are those who believe and do good ˹equal˺ to those who do evil. Yet you are hardly mindful.

After a realization like this comes to one’s heart, one must respond to it. It is in essence another of Allah’s invitations to us to turn to Him, truthfully, in devotion. Our response, however, should be one of true humility. If you find yourself of those who do desire Allah, you must know that your desire is a blessing from Allah Himself and His bestowing of it to you, as opposed to others, is of His own discretion and mercy, not because you deserve it. If however, you find yourself lacking desire, you must turn inwardly in the arraignment of your soul. Tell it, ‘What are you seeking?! Created things?! Or the Creator of all things?! Material possessions or Divine reunion?! 

Thus for each is their task. Each must hold themselves accountable, beseech Allah with brokenness and humility, and strive. What a solace it is that Allah Most High tells us, ‘I am as My slave thinks of Me.’ Have a good opinion of Allah. Had He not wanted you, you would not be thinking of Him now. Had He not wanted you, He would have made you content with depravity and spiritual bankruptcy. However, He is showing you how to get to Him and has promised you He will take care of you on your journey. The path awaits. Will you answer the call and set off on your journey?


About the Author

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied inheritance law, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance teachers team in the summer of 2019.

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Human Potential – The Source of Yearning: The Primordial Purpose

Human Potential – The Source of Yearning: The Primordial Purpose

by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

This is the second of a series of articles by SeekersGuidance internal scholar Shaykh Yusuf Weltch on human potential. Shaykh Yusuf poses thought-provoking ideas about what humans are capable of; both success and destruction. How does one truly and deeply desire what the heart desires – God?


You may be asking yourself, “If transcending to the fulfillment of human potential hinges on the deep desire for God, how does one acquire such a passionate desire?” Reflect on the saying of Allah Most High,

“This is a reminder. Let whoever wishes, take the way to his Lord. But you will only wish to do so if God wills—God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 76:29–30).

​This verse and many more like it shed light on realities relating to human desire and inclination toward the Divine.

For this reason, the murid (the one seeking) is sometimes referred to as the murad (the one sought). This means that those who seek Allah Most High are merely those who Allah Most High seeks. We see an elite group of Allah’s righteous servants referred to in the Qur’an as the ​muqarrabun​—those brought near. In essence, the reality is that one’s heart, desires, inclinations, and so on are —as the Messenger of Allah tells us—‘between the two fingers of the fingers of the Most Merciful; He turns them as He wishes.’ (Tirmidhi, Ahmed)

This realization, that we don’t have as much control over our hearts as we thought we had, can be quite daunting for those who ponder upon it too much. In fact, this realization should greatly humble us and bring forth from deep within us a great state of brokenness and desperation to Allah Most High.

Even though creation is existentially in this shattering state of desperation before Allah at every moment, it is in the embracing of this state that draws us nearer to Him. It is narrated that Musa (peace be upon him) asked Allah, “Where shall I seek You out?” He (Allah) replied, “Seek Me out with those whose hearts are broken for My sake,” (Abu Nu’aym, Hilya al-Awliya)

One can find solace, however, in the fact that Allah Most High has given us a profound gift. He has given us a key to unlock His limitless treasures; supplication (du’a). The best of that which you can ask Allah Most High for is the desire to draw near to Him. Ibn ‘Ataillah al-Sakandari said in one of his aphorisms, “The best of what you can seek from Him is that which He seeks from you.” (Hikam Ibn Ataillah, al-Hikma 75)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would constantly beseech Allah Most High saying, “O Turner of the hearts! Make my heart firm on Your religion and obedience.” (Ahmad)

So, to answer your question, I say plead to Allah Most High to fill your heart with the desire and yearning for His nearness and be certain of His acceptance. The proof that He intends to give you what you ask is that He allowed you to ask. Lastly, strive your best to obey Him and travel the Prophetic path of guidance.

َوإذا َسألك ِعبَاِدى َعنى فإنى قریٌبۖ أجیُب َدْعَوَة ٱل َّداع إذا َدَعانۖ فلیَْستَجیبُو۟ا لِى َولیُْؤِمنو۟ا بى لَعلُهْم یَْرشُدوَن ِِِِِِِِ

When My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond (with obedience) to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided (to the Right Way).


About the Author

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied inheritance law, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance teachers team in the summer of 2019.

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Human Potential: Greater than Angels or Lower than Beasts

Human Potential: The Two Paths Presented to Us

by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

This is the first of a series of articles by SeekersGuidance internal scholar Shaykh Yusuf Weltch on human potential. Shaykh Yusuf poses thought-provoking ideas about what humans are capable of; both success and destruction. The potential of both is within us – how do flee to Allah?


Amazing it is, the human’s potential. To become greater than the angels, in their beauty and perfection, or worse than the lowliest of beasts, in their selfish appetite driven temper. Why is it, though, I wonder, that we don’t have more angelic humans? Perhaps the answer is gravity.

I’m not talking about the gravity that caused Isaac Newton’s headache, per se. Rather the idea that falling is easier than climbing.

Although we have the potential for both great virtue and vice, the former requires strength and a strong resolve as opposed to the latter. Among the mind-boggling manifestations of human potential, is that the human can accomplish great feats and unheard of triumphs, when and only when he truly desires it.

Humans have climbed the highest of mountains and walked between skyscrapers with nothing holding them except a tightrope beneath their feet. Humans have the capacity to transcend their animalistic ways and adopt their God-given potential, however, only when deep desire and fervent zeal penetrates to the core of his heart.

Allah Most High says, “ But whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it accordingly, and is a ˹true˺ believer, it is they whose striving will be appreciated.” (Qur’an; 17:19)

The human’s striving is in accordance with their desire. The stronger the desire the greater the striving. It is because of this desire that the human dares to cast aside their animalistic desires for higher aims and purposes.

So for those whose deepest desire is a relationship with their Creator – a deep desire and yearning for reunion with the Divine – their striving manifests itself in their throwing off the garments of their lowly human qualities and transcending human norms and customs to a station indescribable.

At such a point, Allah Most High takes on the concern of their affairs and they live and act by God, for God, with God, and to God. Allah frees them from the shackles of worldly concerns and needs and they evaporate in the sea of true eternal love and gnosis.

As great as these words sound, very few have placed even the tip of a finger in such a sea or had even a moment of such realization. Most are trapped within the bonds of mere humanness, enslaved by worldly concerns, and subjugated to human norms and customs. What is the cause? An absence of desire. An absence of aspiration. A heart bereft of true yearning.

Imam Abdullah al-Haddad – a great 11 century scholar of Hadramawt – expressed that one’s start on the journey to God is by a strong impulse in their heart that urges them, pushes them, and compels them to turn fully to God and the Hereafter. It turns their attention away from the world and the concerns of creation.

He goes on to say that whoever Allah blesses with such a noble impulse must know its magnificent value and that it is the most tremendous blessing that Allah has bestowed upon them…

Allah has placed us before two paths – a path of virtue and a path of vice. We were then honored by our ability to choose. A trust of sorts. Such a trust that the heavens, earth, and mountains refused to carry. But the human bore its immense burden. Will we choose our appetites, our lusts, the constant seeking to inflate our egos? Will we choose to be pompous and arrogant? Will we allow ourselves to fall the proverbial fall from heaven?

Or will we finally realize that nothing in the mirage of the created realm could equate in any comparison to a relationship with the Creator of all. Will we finally wake up from our heedlessness and answer the call of Allah. What are we waiting for?! If we have Allah, we have everything and we escape the bondage of our lowly nature. Allah Most High tells us, “Flee to Allah..” (Qur’an; 51:50).

Let us then flee from the lowly and base inclinations and desires that will never be.


About the Author

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied inheritance law, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance teachers team in the summer of 2019.Join a free course taught by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch:

 

The Trial of Wealth: Lessons from Surah al-Kahf

By Imam Yama Niazi

The following article is written by internal scholar Imam Yama Niazi where lessons are taken from Surah al-Kahf. It is part of the series Truth for the Youth. What is your wealth in the grave? How much money or cars will you possess? Zero. What will you take to the Hereafter? Read the article to find out more. 


 

Wealth and children are the adornments of the present life. But the things that last are virtuous deeds. These deeds are better to gain reward from your Lord.

In our weekly reflections for youth, we reflect on the lessons that Allah Most High mentions in Surah al-Kahf or the Cave. 

The story of this week follows that of a man whom Allah Most High granted “two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with date palms; in between the two We placed cornfields” (Quran 18:32).  It follows a conversation between two people. The one who Allah Most High granted wealth and gardens boasts about his achievements and worldly possessions to the one whom he was speaking with. “I am wealthier than you and greater in manpower” (Quran 18:34). Pride and arrogance dominated and blinded him. He looked down on his companion and believed that his own garden would never perish. It is often that many who are plagued with arrogance and deluded with this worldly life begin to reject belief in the afterlife.“And I do not think the hour is coming. And even if I am returned to my Lord, I will find something better than this in return” (Quran 18:36). He assumed that his wealth was given due to his false assumption that, had he not been dear to Allah Most High, he would not have been given all of these possessions. 

His companion warned him and reminded him about Allah, but was ignored. Finally one day a calamity comes and destroys his gardens and all his wealth. His companion reminded him, “when you entered your garden, why did you not say – ‘As God wills; there is no power except through God?’ Although you see me inferior to you in wealth and children. Perhaps my Lord will give me something better than your garden.” (Quran 18:39-40).  

The Lessons

The lesson that we learn is that all material wealth in this world is only a test from Allah Most High. Having wealth or not is by no means an indication of whether Allah Most High loves a person or not. Rather, true wealth is the faith that the believer possesses in their heart. Being blessed with faith is the greatest blessing. “Whoever witnesses that there is no god but Allah alone enters Paradise.” (Bazaar) 

Secondly, a Muslim always views material blessings as a test. Allah Most High wants to test us to manifest who amongst us will be grateful and who will not. “He who created death and life—to test you—as to which of you is better in conduct. He is the Almighty, the Forgiving.” (Quran: 67:2)

Thirdly, we learn the great value of these beautiful words, “Masha Allah la quwwata illa billah”, “As Allah wills; there is no power except through God.” These blessed words should serve as a litany on our tongues every time we enjoy one of the many blessings that Allah Most High has showered us all with.

Lastly, every week we are reminded that this world should not delude us. It seems that so many of our youth are lured into seeing rich and famous people as those who have “made it” and we forget they too will one day lose it all. We do not take even a dollar to our graves. 

“When the son of Adam dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity); A knowledge which gives benefit, or a righteous child who prays for him (the deceased)” [Muslim] 

 

Saving Our Souls Series | Part 7: 38 Sins of the Tongue – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Every word we utter, whether good or bad, is recorded.  Every statement we make has a witness. Allah says:

“He (i.e. man) does not utter a single word without an ever-present watcher.” (Qur’an, 50:18)

The two most difficult body parts to protect and avert from sin are the tongue and the private parts – so much so that our beloved Prophet – Allah bless him and give him peace – said:

“Whosoever gives me a guarantee to safeguard what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I shall guarantee him Jannah.” (Bukhari)

What is between his jaw refers to the tongue; both what it expresses and what it consumes. What is between the legs refers to the private parts (the sins of which will be addressed in its own article soon).

When the believer protects his tongue from the following list of sins the reward is nothing but paradise.

What we utter, but by extension what we type online as well.

From the sins of the tongue are the following:

  1. Backbiting
    • To mention something about your fellow Muslims, in their absence, which they dislike, even if it is true.
  2. Tale-telling
    • To convey the statement of someone to another intending to cause corruption.
  3. Instigating harm without right
    • To instigate the harming of another without conveying another’s statement. This applies even if between animals.
  4. Lying intentionally
    • To say that which is contrary to reality
  5. False oaths
    • To swear by Allah or one of His attributes upon a matter that the one swearing knows is false.
      • If one swears knowingly lying about a past matter it is called an immersing oath (al-yamin al-ghamus). It is called that because it immerses the one who commits it into sin or the Hell-Fire. It is of the major sins because swearing by Allah upon that which is contrary to reality is a manifest violation of the sanctity of the Religion. Repentance and expiation are therefore due.
      • As for the one who swears to leave a permitted thing then does that thing they must do an expiation but they are not sinful. For example, if one says, “I swear by Allah I will not drink tea” then they drink it.
      • Likewise if one swears to do a permitted thing then does not do it they must perform an expiation but are not sinful. For example, if someone says, “I swear by Allah I will drink tea today” then the day passes and they did not drink tea.
  6. Words of accusation of fornication
    • These are many. In summary, every word which ascribes any human or relative to the act of fornication. This is an accusation of the one being ascribed to fornication. That is whether it is a general clear accusation or an indirect accusation with the intention of accusing.  The free accuser is punished with 80 lashes and the slave with half of that.
  7. Insulting any single one of the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) or His family. As for insulting all of them together, this is disbelief.
  8. False testimony
  9. Breaking of promises
    • To break a promise after having made it while harboring the intention not to fulfill it.
  10. The delaying of an able person to fulfill their debts
    • For the able person to procrastinate and delay in the fulfillment of a debt which the one owed seeks fulfillment of.
  11. To verbally abuse, insult, or curse with no right to do so
  12. Belittling a Muslim
  13. Addressing any Muslim with harmful words
  14. Lying against Allah Most High or His Messenger (may Allah bless him and give him peace). This could even be tantamount to disbelief.
  15. Making false claims to the judge or any other.
  16. Effecting an innovative divorce.
    • The innovative divorce is that which is affected during a period of menstruation; or in a state of purity in which intercourse was made; or if intercourse was made during the period of menstruation which preceded the divorce.
  17. Zihar
    • Zihar is to claim a resemblance in impermissibility between one’s spouse and a non-marriageable family member or even one of their limbs. Its meaning entails an explicit declaration that he will never have intercourse with her. If one does not immediately affect an actual divorce after the zihar they must perform an expiation.
    • The expiation for zihar is the freeing of a believing slave. If one is unable to do so they must fast two consecutive months. If they are unable to do that they must feed (i.e. transfer ownership of food to) sixty poor persons each getting a ‘Mudd’ of any type of food which is valid to give for Zakat al-Fitr.
  18. Intentionally making a mistake in the Qur’an
    • This applies to changing the vowel signs even if it does not disturb the meaning.
  19. For one who has sufficient wealth or means of earning to beg
  20. A vow made with the intention of depriving an inheritor their inheritance
    • A vow means to impose upon one’s self the obligation of performing an act of worship which is not inherently obligatory. This is done by saying, ‘Obligatory on me, for the sake of Allah, is that I will give such and such amount of money to the poor.’ By doing this it is obligatory for him to give the mentioned amount to the poor. However, if this is done so that one does not leave behind wealth for his inheritors it is strictly prohibited.
  21. To neglect to leave instructions to fulfill a debt or return an item that no one other than him knows of.
  22. To attribute a lineage to other than one’s real father or former masters.
  23. To put forth a proposal despite the proposal of one’s fellow Muslim
  24. To give a legal Islamic ruling without the prerequisite knowledge, even if it is correct.
  25. To teach or to learn a harmful science without a religiously sanctioned reason.
    • For example, magic.
  26. To judge by other than the ruling of Allah Most High
  27. Excessive mourning and wailing over the deceased.
  28. Any speech which encourages the prohibited or makes others lax regarding an obligation.
  29. Any insult of the religion, any one of the Prophets, the scholars, sacred Islamic knowledge, the sacred law, the Qur’an, or any of the symbols of Allah Most High.
    • Doing so is disbelief.
  30. Whistling in a way that resembles musical instruments.
  31. Being silent from commanding the good and prohibiting the wrong without excuse.
  32. Concealing obligatory religious knowledge when it is sought.
    • This applies if there is no one else who can teach them.
  33. Laughing when another passes wind.
  34. Laughing at a Muslim out of belittlement.
  35. Concealing testimony, when called to testify or without being called when testifying becomes obligatory on them.
  36. Forgetting the Qur’an.
    • Some have explained this to mean not acting upon the Qur’an.
  37. Not replying to Salam which is obligatory upon one.
  38. Desire arousing kissing (such as the kissing between two spouses with desire) for one in a state of Ihram; or the fasting person if there is fear of ejaculation; or kissing anyone who is impermissible to kiss.

May Allah forgive us the sins we have uttered.

Saving Our Souls Series

Our teacher, Shaykh Yusuf Weltch, guides us through a journey, a path that ultimately leads to true happiness; the love of Allah.  Join us as we take this trip.  Keep an eye on this page for updates to new articles and podcasts.

Part 1: Introduction | Click here

  • An article on the heart and the need to take care of it

Part 2: Obligations of the Heart | Click here

  • We’ve heard of bodily obligations, but what are the obligations of the heart?

Part 3: A Precious Counsel from a Revered Scholar | Click here

  • The believer’s state

Part 4: 22 Sins of the Heart | Click here

  • Yes, even the heart can sin, which are the worst of sins

Part 5: 12 Sins of the Stomach | Click here

  • Everything we digest has an impact on the heart

Part 6: 12 Sins of the Eyes | Click here

  • Seeing eye to eye with the legislation

Part 7: 38 Sins of the Tongue | Click here

  • Do you want Paradise guaranteed for you?

Part 8: The Sins of the Ears

Part 9: The Sins of the Hand

Part 10: The Sins of the Private Parts

Part 11: The Sins of the Feet

Part 12: The Sins of the Body

Ashura 2020 Online Event


Today, August 29th, 2020, the SeekersGuidance team has organized an amazing program in honor of Ashura, which will feature scholars and speakers from around the world. With a wide array of topics discussed- from lessons on historical events to spiritual reflections, our speakers will help shed light on the significant events that took place on the 10th of Muharram.  The day of Ashura is recognized by all – celebrated by some and considered a day of mourning by others, but why the contrast? Join us today to find out.

Click here to learn more.

The Day of Ashura

The Day of Ashura, the tenth of Muharram, is an auspicious day. It has been narrated that it was the day on which Allah forgave our father Adam, the day on which the Ark of Nuh came to rest on the mountain known as al-Judi after six months at sea, and the day on which Allah forgave the people of Yunus (peace be upon him and all the Prophets).

When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) came to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting the Day of Ashura. He asked them why they were fasting and they told him that it was the day on which Allah saved Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted out of gratitude to Allah and his people continued the practice after him. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) told the Jews that his nation was closer to Musa (peace be upon him) than them. He then fasted that day and ordered his Companions to fast (Bukhari and Muslim). He taught his nation (Ummah) to commemorate this great day, to reflect upon its connection to the previous Prophets and to seek a portion of the immense outpouring of Allah’s mercy that those Prophets received on Ashura.

The most important thing he taught us to do is to fast. He informed us that if we do so, Allah wipes out the sins of the previous year (Muslim). We may ask: if we have already fasted the Day of `Arafah then Allah has already erased our sins in the previous and coming year so what more can be gained from fasting Ashura? Some scholars mention that continuously fasting both days leads to a deeper erasure of one’s wrongdoings, protection from falling into sin in the future and also has the effect of wiping out the wrongdoings of one’s family and neighbours.

Why does fasting the Day of `Arafah wipe out the sins of two years, whereas fasting the day of Ashura only wipes out the sins of one year? One reason, the scholars say, is that the Day of `Arafah is a day attributed to Sayyiduna Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) which is clearly superior to Ashura which is attributed to Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) also taught his nation (Ummah) to fast the day before or the day after so that our tradition be distinct from the tradition of the Jews.

We should renew our repentance on Ashura. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said that it is a day on which Allah allowed a certain people to repent and He will continue to allow others to do the same (Tirmidhi).

The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) also taught us that if someone spends generously on their family on the Day of Ashura, Allah will treat them with generosity for the rest of the year (Bayhaqi).  Sufyan Ibn `Uyaynah said, “We tried this for fifty years and all that we saw was good.”

It has likewise been narrated that the one who gives charity on this day will have the reward of a whole year’s charity.

On this day we also recall the courage and sacrifice of Imam al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) and renew our attachment and love for him and for the Prophetic Household.