How Do I Deal With Other’s Betrayal of Me?

Question: In every relation, whether it’s my parents, my siblings, my relatives, my friends, or my colleagues- they misuse my good qualities. Some of them betrayed me, some of them expect materialistic gain, some of them hurt me. Please guide me and pray for me.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah Most High ease your difficulty and bless you with the strength to persevere.

Life is a Test

In situations such as this, we must remind ourselves that this life and everything in it is a test. The nature of tests is difficult and often we fail to see the wisdom behind them.

Allah Most High says, “…and We made some of you a test for others. Will you then bear patiently? And your Lord is All-Seeing.” [Qur’an; 25:20]

The tests that we go through regarding those we are close to us require patience. To strive to uphold the outward and inward commandments of Allah Most High in difficult times is the essence of patience (sabr) and God-consciousness (taqwa).

As Allah Most High says, “…if you bear patiently and have taqwa, their plot will not harm you at all.” [Qur’an; 03:120]

Reward according to Difficultly

You should see your relationships with others as an opportunity to refine yourself and your character.  There are certain aspects of beautiful character that take an effort to adopt. And often, they can only be acquired in times of hardship.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Surely the extent of the reward is according to the extent of the test. And verily when Allah loves a people, He tests them. Thus whoever is pleased (i.e. with the decree of Allah) then for them is (Divine) contentment and whoever is angered, then for them is anger.” [Tirmidhi]

When Allah Most High tests someone He gives them opportunities to purify themselves and acquire Prophetic character. This opportunity is a sign of Allh’s love for that person.

As the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Should I not guide you to the noblest character of this world and the hereafter? Pardon those who wrong you, give to those who withhold from you, and join ties with those who cut you off.” [al-Bayhaqi; al-Sunan al-Kubra]

Being Cautious

With that being said, we must also be cautious not to allow others to step on us or take advantage of us. As the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The Believer is not bit from one hole twice.” [Muslim]

Thus, distancing yourself from those non-family members who harm you may be advisable. As for your family members, you should strive to uphold family ties although it is difficult.

Prayer of Need

You should try to pray each day, The Prayer of Need, as taught to us by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) and ask Allah Most High for righteous companions.

See the following link:

How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?

May Allah ease your difficulty
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

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.

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 8: Challenges in Living the Way of the Prophet – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the eighth part of a series, click here for the previous article.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

We continue our discussion of the book al-Fawa‘id al-Mukhtarah – selected beneficial anecdotes for the wayfarer – by Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. Our focus in this podcast is on the importance of books and reading in the life of students of knowledge.

The text provides insight into the lives of the scholars of Hadramaut and their attachment to books and reading. The west has lost its love of reading, and our youth almost completely neglect it. Let us take guidance from these great people and start reading.

Important books and their sequence of study

Imam al-‘Aydarus bin ‘Umar al-Habshi said that the six primary works of tasawwuf that should be studied are the following:

  1. Ihya′ ‘Ulum al-Din by Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali
  2. Minhaj al-‘Abidin by Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali
  3. Arba‘in fi Usul al-Din by Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali
  4. Al-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah fi ‘Ilm Al-Tasawwuf by Imam al-Qushayri
  5. ‘Awarif al-Ma‘arif by Imam al-Suhrawardi
  6. Qut al-Qulub fi Mu’amalat al-Mahbub by Abu Talib al-Makki

These six works are foundational. Students of knowledge in western academic circles often believe they are able to study any text. This belief is mistaken and students who try to study any text often misunderstand the scholars. It is vital that they follow a specific sequence. For instance, the Hadrami scholars of fiqh follow this sequence:

  1. Al-Risalah al-Jami‘ah wa al-Tadhkirah al-Nafi‘ah by Imam Ahmed bin Zayn al-Habashi
  2. Safinah al-Najah fi Fiqh al-Shafi’i by Salim ibn ʿAbdullah ibn Saʿd ibn Samir al-Hadrami al-Shafiʿi
  3. Mukhtasar al-Latif fi Fiqh al-Shafi’i by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-Rahman Balhaj BaFadl al-Hadrami
  4. Al-Muqaddimah al-Hadramiyyah by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-Rahman Ba-Fadl al-Hadrami
  5. Al-Ghayah wa al-Taqrib fi al-Fiqh al-Shafi’i by Abu Shuja’ Hussayn bin Ahmad al-Asfahani
  6. Safwah al-Zubad by Ahmad bin Husayn bin Hasan bin ‘Ali ibn Arslan al-Ramli
  7. ‘Umdah al-Salik wa ‘Uddah al-Nasik by Shihab al-Din Abu al-‘Abas Ahmad bin al-Naqib
  8. Minhaj al Talibin by Abu Zakariyya Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi

This order of study involves moving from a smaller to a larger text, each discussing the fiqh in greater detail. Students must not try to jump the queue. Those who do so have become raisins before being grapes! They remain unenlightened, devoid of understanding.

Sayyidi Habib ‘Umar wrote a book, Maqasid Halaqat al-Ta‘lim, on the importance of understanding the sequence of the books in the various disciplines. It has been translated by Shaykh Amjad Tarsin and published by Dar al-Turath al-Islami.

The Ihya of Ghazali
Imam al-Haddad said it is important to read books such as the Minhaj in fiqh and the Ihya in tasawwuf because, through them, one receives great openings, as well as elevation of the soul.

Habib ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf was the qutb of his time. A qutb is a pole or axis around which everything revolves. It is one of the highest stations of sainthood. However, even if one reaches this station, he is not necessarily the qutb of his time because there can only be one quṭb at a time. Habib ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf read the Qur’an eight times every 24 hours. He said: “Whoever does not study the Ihya does not truly have modesty”.

Imam Haddad loved the Ihya and collated whatever was mentioned in it in one of his books, Al-Nasa’ih al-Diniyyah, which has been translated into English under the title of Counsels of Religion. Some of the pious say that the one who reads and acts on the Ihya will be of the people of Paradise.

Our pious predecessors emphasised the reading of the following four introductions:

The books of Imam Nawawi
Imam Haddad had three books that would constantly be recited to him, one reading after the other. One of these books was Riyad al-Salihin by Imam Nawawi which has been translated into English. It has many benefits and Allah grants many openings to the one who reads it.

An enlightened person once visited a scholar. He saw the scholar’s library and asked why some of the books emit light while others do not. The scholar asked him to remove the books which were emitting light and he did so. They were all Imam Nawawi’s books.

Imam Nawawi was regarded as the qutb of his time. Habib Ahmad bin Hasan al-‘Attas said that Ibn Hajar al-Haytami memorised the Minhaj of Imam Nawawi, and through that, Allah blessed his writings so that their benefits spread throughout the world.

Other books of great benefit

  • Muqqadimah of al-Tafsir al-Kabir of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi up to Surah Baqarah
  • Muqqadimah Sharh Sahih Muslim by Imam Nawawi
  • Muqqadimah al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab by Imam Nawawi
  • Muqqadimah of Ibn Khaldun

Al-Shifa by Qadi Iyad, which has been translated into English by Aisha Bewley, under the title, “Muhammad: Messenger of Allah”, is said to have been tried and tested for the removal of difficulties.

Let us attach ourselves to the books of the predecessors (salaf) for they contain blessings, knowledge and openings. Reading their books is like sitting at their feet, taking from them, connecting to them and receiving their secrets. It is an invaluable opportunity to insulate ourselves from the trials and tribulations of western society by seeking their light and guidance.

Saving Our Souls Series | Part 6: 12 Sins of the Eyes – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Our eyes and our ability to see are from Allah’s greatest blessings upon us. With them, we’re able to see His marvelous creation and reflect over his might, but all blessings need to be used correctly. If Allah blesses you with wealth it is from gratitude that you use that wealth in permissible ways. Likewise, the great blessing of sight must be used in halal ways and the sins of the eyes must be avoided.

The following are the sins the eyes commit:

  1. The looking of a man at marriageable women
    • Looking at a marriageable woman is of two types:
      • With desire – this is impermissible in every case unless for necessity.
      • Without desire – this is impermissible if one looks at a part of her body which is not permissible to see (i.e. everything except her face and hands).
        • Note: that in the Hanafi school the feet are also included in the above exceptions.
  2. It is also impermissible for women to look at marriageable men
    • Looking at a marriageable man is of two types:
      • With desire – this is impermissible in all cases unless for necessity.
      • Without desire – it is impermissible to look at that which is between his navel and knees.
  3. It is impermissible to look at the nakedness of anyone without a religiously sanctioned excuse.
  4. It is impermissible for the woman to expose any part of her body, besides the face and hands, in the presence of those who are not permitted to see
  5. It is impermissible for both a man and woman to expose that which is between their navel and knees in the presence of anyone who can see and understand what they are seeing, even if the onlooker is of the same gender or unmarriageable kinship. The exclusion to this is the spouse.
    • This also applies if the onlooker is a small child if they can discern what they have seen and could possibly describe what they have seen to others. Thus this doesn’t apply to the very small child who is too young to understand what they have seen.
  6. It is impermissible for the man to expose his genitalia and for the woman to expose that which is between her navel and knees, even if done in private without necessity.
    • The exception is in the presence of their spouse.
  7. It is permissible – in the case of unmarriageable kinship, between those of the same gender, or in the case of an undesired small child (even if the child is not from one’s unmarriageable kinship or of the same gender) – to look at the entire body besides that which is between the navel and knees on condition that no desire is present.
  8. The exception to this is the infant, whether boy or girl, who is not at the age of discernment, as it is permissible to look at them to every part except for the private part of a girl unless the onlooker is the mother.
    • All of the above is also permissible between spouses,
  9. It is impermissible to look at any Muslim with the eye of belittlement
  10. It is impermissible to look into the home of another without their permission.
  11. It is impermissible to look at anything which one has hidden (i.e without permission).
  12. It is impermissible to be witness to an evil done in one’s presence without trying to redress it with one’s hand or tongue.
    • That is unless one has a religiously sanctioned excuse or leaves the gathering.

May Allah forgive us for all that which we’ve looked at intentionally.

Muharram: The Islamic Calendar’s January | A Reader

The new Islamic year is almost upon us and although setting New Year’s Resolutions based on the Islamic calendar isn’t a common practice, there are a few things we should do; reflect over the previous year and take a moment to assess our accomplishments, and think about how we can make the next Islamic year better.

The first month of the Islamic calendar is Muharram; a very special month in Islam. Not only does it mark the start of a new year but it is from what Allah deems “the sacred months”.

Allah says:

God decrees that there are twelve months- ordained in God’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth- four months of which are sacred: this is the correct calculation. Do not wrong your souls in these months- though you may fight the idolaters at any time, if they first fight you- remember that God is with those who are mindful of Him. (9:36)

In this reader, we have compiled for our valued readers most of our articles, questions, videos, and audio segments related to this blessed month.

Articles

Bidding Farewell to this Year and Welcoming a New Year – Muwasala

  • How should we end the year and how should we start the upcoming one?
    • “At the end of the financial year businessmen analyse their year’s trading, but our trade is with Allah and is more worthy of being evaluated. “

Muharram: Mankind’s Memorial – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

  • Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said explains why Muharram, the first in the Islamic calendar, is an especially auspicious month on many levels.

Sacred Months by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

  • An article highlighting the virtue of fasting in these sacred months amongst other things.

Answers

Can I Purchase Household Accessories in Muharram?

  • Clearing up some misconceptions

Is it Forbidden to Buy New Clothes During Muharram?

  • Clearing up some more misconceptions

Fiqh of The Islamic Month of Muharram

  • A detailed reply to a question posed to Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, “What is the fiqh of the Islamic month of Muharram?”

Can I Combine My Intentions for a Missed Ramadan Fast and An Optional Sunnah Fast?

  • If you’ve decided to fast some days this month but have fasts you still have to make up from Ramadan, can you combine them?

Videos

Muharram: An Opportunity to Transcend Hypocrisy

  • Dr Yusuf Patel discusses the importance of transcending the recurrent partisan and divisive issues of Muharram, and rather focus on following the universal values that Prophet Musa (peace be upon him), Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him) and other great personalities stood for.

Audios

Muharram & New Beginnings, by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

  • A Friday sermon delivered by the Shaykh regarding the concept of shahada, commonly translated as “martyrdom.” The term in reality, goes much deeper than its’ simple translation.

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 7: Importance of Etiquette – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the seventh part of a series, click here for the previous article.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

We will be focusing here on good etiquette (adab). We are in need of good manners because we live in a society where the youth do not respect the elderly, and the elderly do not display much care for the youth.

Virtues of good etiquette (adab)
It is narrated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who does not show etiquette to the elderly is not of us.” In addition, many narrations discuss etiquette. Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Mubarak said, “We are more in need of a little adab than we are in need of much knowledge.” Imam Shafi’i said, “My teacher Imam Malik advised me to let my knowledge be the salt and my adab be the dough.” The vast majority of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal’s students attended his classes to learn adab.

The work Ta’lim al-Muta‘allim tells the story of two men who left home seeking knowledge. They studied together for the same number of years. When they returned home, one had gained deep knowledge of fiqh but the other had not gained that much. When the people asked why this had happened, they were told that the scholar who had gained a deep understanding of the religion had faced the qiblah whenever he studied. Allah granted him an opening because of his adab. The other one had sat with his back to the qiblah and therefore had gained little knowledge.

You will receive knowledge in proportion to the amount of adab you show to your teachers. Abdurrahman ibn Qasim said, “I served Imam Malik for twenty years. I received knowledge from him for two years, and received adab for the other eighteen years. How I wish I had dedicated all twenty years to adab”.

Our level of adab is often connected to our opinion of ourselves. The more a person considers himself a great man of knowledge and demands respect from others, the more the illness of pride enters his heart, and the more difficult it is for him to display adab. On the other hand, the more a person considers himself the least of people, the more he is able to display beautiful adab.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I was only sent to you to perfect your character.” He also said, “The best of you are those who are best in character.” Our scholars, especially the Ba’Alawi sayyids, take the view that tasawwuf is entirely about having good character.

Examples of Adab
For example, the seating arrangements for major events at Dar al-Mustafa, the institute of Sayyidi Habib Umar, reflect the utmost adab. Senior scholars sit in front of the gathering, facing the rest of the participants. The first few front rows are reserved for senior men, who are seated according to seniority. Younger students of knowledge are seated behind them. Many times when Habib Ali Mashhur (Allah have mercy on him) attended the gathering, he would be seated in the front, facing the gathering, and Habib Umar (his younger brother) would sit in the first row out of adab to his brother.

There are many examples from among the Prophet’s companions illustrating their adab to him. For instance, Thabit sat crying in the road after Allah Most High revealed the Quranic verse: “O you who have believed, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lest your deeds become worthless while you perceive not” (Sura al-Hujurat, 49:2). A passing companion asked him why he was crying, so he said, “I fear this verse of the Qur’an was revealed regarding me, because I have a loud voice, and when I speak my voice is naturally louder than that of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). I fear that my deeds have been blotted out and I am going to be from among the people of the fire.” The companion, whose name was Asim, told the story to the Prophet, who asked him to call Thabit. When Thabit came to the Prophet, he said, “O Thabit, why are you crying?” Thabit said, “My voice is too loud and I fear that this verse of the Qur’an refers to me.” The Prophet cheered him up, saying, “Are you not pleased that you will live in this world praised and that you will be killed as a martyr and enter Paradise?”

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was displaying excellent adab by saying this, because it is good etiquette to cheer someone up by saying something that makes them feel good about themselves. His statement was very good news for Thabit, who also undertook never to raise his voice above the voice of the Messenger.

Self-sacrifice: a Form of Adab
The following narration is important within the current context of coronavirus: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said it is haram for Muslims living in a city afflicted by plague to leave that city. They must remain in the city. No one must travel to or from the city. The Prophet is telling us not to run away to save our lives. We should stay in the city, fearing that we may already be carrying the disease, and prefer to be afflicted and die because Islam is about self-sacrifice. We must be prepared to sacrifice ourselves so that others can be safe.

If we develop the quality of self-sacrifice, it will become much easier to serve others, to give them preference, to honour and respect them, to display etiquette towards them, and to have a good opinion of them.

Etiquette with Our Teachers
Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani once saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) before Zuhr. The Prophet told him to deliver discourses and teach and call people to Allah. He said, “I do not have a pure Arab tongue so how can I speak among the eloquent people of Baghdad?” The Prophet said, “Open your mouth.” So he opened his mouth and the Prophet spat into it seven times. He told him to speak in front of people and call them to the way of Allah Most High with wisdom and good admonition. Shaykh Abd al-Qadir prayed Zuhr and thereafter a large number of people gathered around him to learn from him. However, he was struck with fear and unable to speak. Then he saw Sayyidina Ali (Allah be pleased with him) standing at his side. Sayyidina Ali said, “O my son, call people to Allah.” He said, “O my father, the crowd has instilled within me a sense of fear that is causing me to become tongue-tied and I cannot speak.” So Sayyidina Ali told him to open his mouth and, when he had done so, Sayyidina Ali spat into it six times. Shaykh Abd al-Qadir asked why he had not done so seven times, so he said, “I stopped at six so I may have adab with the Messenger of Allah.” Thereafter Sayyidina Ali left and Shaykh Abd al-Qadir was able to speak to the people.

Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf once remarked on the importance of adab. He said their nurturing had been such that they would always make sure that they dressed less well than their teachers.

Our community has a very insightful saying: you may achieve whatever you like in life, in the form of degrees, academic knowledge and wealth, but if you do not have etiquette and good character, you have nothing.

May Allah make us people possessing good etiquette.

Saving Our Souls Series | Part 5: 12 Sins of the Stomach – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

When they said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, they couldn’t have been more correct. Islam teaches us that the way to a sound heart is through a good stomach. On the contrary, if you consume haram it will hurt your soul. Quite literally, you are (spiritually) what you eat.

From the sins of the stomach are the following:

  1. Consuming money from usury:
    • This applies to direct consumption of it, spending from usurious money, and benefitting from it in any manner, even if not used for food.
  2. Consuming money from unjust taxation
    • This refers to all wealth that is misappropriated, whether unjustly taken by rulers or the imposition of unjust taxes.
  3. Consuming wealth which was misappropriated
    • Misappropriation is the open unlawful seizure of people’s wealth, forcefully, with no right to do so.
  4. Consuming wealth from theft
    • This not only applies to the thief, rather includes any benefitting from stolen property by anyone.
  5. Consuming wealth which was earned in a manner impermissible in the Sacred law
    • Such as corrupt business transactions
  6. Consuming alcohol. The Islamically sanctioned penalty for the drinker of alcohol is forty lashes for the free person, and twenty for the slave.
    • This applies to even a drop of alcohol or any intoxicating agent. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whatever intoxicates in abundance than even a little of it is prohibited (haram).” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’i, and others]
  7. Consuming or drinking an intoxicating agent
    • This applies to marijuana and other drugs.
  8. Consuming any impurity whether by eating or drinking
  9. Eating or drinking anything considered filthy
  10. Consuming the wealth of the orphan
  11. Consuming endowments contrary to the conditions of the endower
    • An endowment is that which one relinquishes ownership of something permanent, stipulating benefit from it to remain for the poor, scholars, those striving in the path of Allah, the Muslims, or others. It has many religious injunctions related to it, thus any usage of it contrary to the conditions of the endower is impermissible
  12. Consuming anything which was taken under duress.
    • Anything which is taken without the full willful consent of the owner. So anything that was taken due to own’s shyness or shame for not giving it that had it not been for that they would not have given it – it is not permissible to take nor benefit from.

May Allah allow us to consume only that which is halal and forgive us our sins.