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Should I Advise My Sister To Get Back With Her Boyfriend?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Should I advise my Muslim sister to get back with her boyfriend for the sake of their daughter?

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

Dear questioner,

There is quite a lot in your question, so I will try to tackle it from a few different angles.

In summary, though, do get involved with your sister’s life, and be there for her wherever she is in her religious life, but make sure she knows that she can only continue her relationship with her ex-boyfriend in an Islamic marriage.

Mending together

Your sisters need you. And you need them. Mending, both emotionally and psychologically, takes time, but one of the greatest catalysts is family support.

The modern, almost designed breakup of the family unit is itself a cause of weakened emotional strength — a strength that we all rely on as an immunity to the ‘flings and arrows’ of the chaos of This World (Dunya). Sometimes circumstances force us to separate ourselves from our immediate kith and kin, but we always need to work to rebuild these ties for immediate benefit in This World, and our benefit in the next. So keep in contact with them, and help them through their religious confusion, because you too need them in your life.

Family ties are so important in Islam that Allah Most High equated it in the Quran with turning away from Islam:

‘And might it well be the case that, if you turned away, you will spread corruption on earth and violently sever your ties of relationship? [47:22]

It has also come in a Hadith Qudsi that the womb (the symbol of family ties) stood up before Allah and said, ‘Here I am seeking refuge from being cut off!’ At this Allah responded saying, ‘Yes, [I grant you that]. Will you be content if I keep closing whomsoever keeps you close, and cut off whomsoever cuts you off?’ To which she replied in the affirmative. [Bukhari and Muslim]

So in this vein, it would probably be a good idea to reach out to your brother too, even if he is in another country, and to parents too eventually. All of this is part of the healing process, and all of this is part of the completion of our faith.

The Letter of the Law

Before we proceed to the specifics of what to do in this scenario, we need to get our bearings on what the Sacred Law says about your sister’s relationship and her daughter.

You and I both know that an extramarital relationship between a man and woman is not halal, and that means that Allah hates it and will not make it bear fruits of happiness in the long run. For this reason, the Sacred Law does not recognize the legitimacy of fatherhood outside the fold of marriage: the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘The child is the bed’s [i.e. the mother’s], and the fornicator gets the stone.’ [Muslim] This hadith tells us that is not an issue of biological paternity, rather than only the mother is considered the mother in Allah’s eyes, and the biological father who was not married to the woman has no relationship to either one: he is not the child’s father. This is important to know and recognize, even if the law of the land states otherwise. It means that the daughter will never inherit from the biological father, and is not considered his mahram.

It is also worth noting that as we all know, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. The only way that your sister and her former partner could get back together again would be by him becoming Muslim, and then the two getting married. This marriage would also make him the daughter’s mahram.

Trying your best

Now you are probably sitting there reading this and thinking to yourself that this is all well and good, but your sister does not look at things like this at this particular point in her life. Right now, she is trying to survive physically, financially, and emotionally as a single mother. From her current point of view, she is probably torn between love and hate, and toying with the idea of getting back with someone who has a vested interest in her and her (and his) daughter.

Given the situation, you really just have to try your best to realize the least amount of harm on all levels. What if she does go back to him and becomes Muslim? What if he doesn’t become Muslim? What if she doesn’t and just ends up a single mother? What if she just gets another boyfriend?

These are all possibilities that you have to factor in. So just be there for her in these decisions and turn her towards the most god-fearing choices she can actually make at this time in her life.

One of the scholars of the past said, ‘He who guides you to the This World has cheated you; he who guides you to doing acts of worship has tired you out, but he who guides to Allah Himself has given genuine advice.’ This is what she needs right now: a comprehensive will to turn to Allah that will translate into a genuine resolve to abide by His rules.

The golden principle is that Allah is running the show and that whenever we show genuine remorse and willingness to change, He opens solves things for us in unfathomable ways. This entails that we all decide to abide by the Sacred Law, leave the haram in our lives, and strive to perform what is incumbent upon us.

Allah Most High says, ‘Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.’ [2: 257]

We ask Allah to takes us all out of the darkness and into His light. Amen.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Counsel For Students of Knowledge Regarding COVID-19 – Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer

In this article, Dr Hisham Hellyer advises students of knowledge how they should navigate their thoughts, studies and daily responsibilities amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Divine Wisdom

Verily, in every situation, there is a divine wisdom, because in every situation, God is the One who Permits; in every situation, he is the One who Benefits; in every situation, he is the One that is the all-encompassing Mercy. This situation that we are in, resulting from the pandemic, is no different. In reality, we always exist by the permission of our Lord, in every instant and every blinking of the eye. And so does this pandemic – and so will its end also be brought forth by God, the most High.

From the outset, this is not a time for panic, nor for anxiety. This is a time for recognising that our situations remain completely subject to the workings of the Lord of all that is, all that has been, and all that will be. It is a time for recognising that He has provided us with all that is required in this world, and that our orientation in engaging with life in this world (al-dunya) should always be the life to come (al-akhira). If at the end of this tribulation – and this tribulation will end – we will have realised more of the truth of that kind of recognition, then we will have learned something of the truth of ‘there is no might nor power except by God’ (la hawla wa la quwatta illa billah) – and that is worth a weight we cannot imagine.

 

Advice: Time Management 

My advice to you is very simple. As one of our teachers said: the way to God (al-tariqa) is ‘time management’. Verily, life itself is about putting things into their right places, in those different times, during the day and the night. We should all take a reminder of that, as we proceed to learning, by force, new routines at present. What a boon and benefit it is to us that we are able to be conscious about this, in a way that perhaps we might never have been before.

Do not allow your routines to become aimless and unstructured – on the contrary, take this opportunity to structure your time properly, and apportion everything its correct due.

 

Counsel: seeing beyond the usual in suhba

Owing to the health advisories, that I do advise you follow, we will all be engaging in a level of ‘social distancing’ that we are unaccustomed to. It will come to an end. When it does, God willing, we will all have learned the value of different types of true companionship; both in terms of seeking our Lord in isolation; as well as being with people of goodness. And there is beautiful benefit in both.

Until that time, put structure into place as much as possible; whether in terms of your learning, your studying, your health, your work. Learn how to do so, and make the most of your time in being conscious about how you use it.

 

Recommendation to teachers and those who counsel
To that end: the advice I have received and the advice I impart to anyone else who is teaching: continue your classes. We live in a time when we can use technology for good, and for bad. Let us consciously use it for good, and take benefit from it, as a tool that God has permitted for us, even if we are far from one another. There are different systems for this. Be very grateful you have this ability and capacity. Not everyone does – there are people of this ummah who have been kept from each other due to war and conflict, and could not use the boons and benefits you have. Be grateful, and remember that gratitude is shown by using the gifts of God in ways that are pleasing to Him.

To those who impart counsel and guidance to others, as part of their responsibilities placed upon them by their teachers: your services are going to be needed. Your skills will be tested. Have faith that if you were given this task to fulfil, you will be given the strength to fulfil it. Be charitable and generous with those who reach out to you, and be grateful for the opportunity to assist them. It is a noble and praiseworthy act, rewarded by God, to be able to bring comfort to those who seek guidance and counsel.

 

Health Precautions and classes

There may be some of you who are considering attending classes in person: I strongly advise you do not do so, unless you can be completely assured that the appropriately strict health precautions are taken by the providers of those classes. We typically, for example, pray our daily prayers in teaching areas; which means that we are exposing our faces to the ground, where the virus can very easily spread.

Remember: people with COVID-19 can be completely absent of symptoms, and still pass it on. Even if you’re not worried about yourself, you must consider the threat to others that you might inadvertently infect. In general, I advise you to keep at least 7 feet distance between yourself and others; and that you pray at home in a clean space. The health measures that are recommended by the World Health Organisation are reasonable: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

 

Congregational prayers

In my capacity as Senior Scholar of the Azzawia Trust in Cape Town, led by two of the khulafa’ of Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki, and a member of the Council of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, I assisted in the drafting of two pieces of advice on congregational prayers and other issues arising from the changes due to this pandemic. Azzawia issued a strong, straight-forward and short document, which can be accessed here, referencing the advice from the Higher Council of Azhar Scholars in Egypt.
https://www.facebook.com/AzzawiaTrust/posts/10157742959026357

A more comprehensive document is the BBSI, which sought to cover the range of issues the BBSI thought necessary, and the views of its membership. [http://www.bbsi.org.uk/coronavirus/]

In short, it is generally best you stay away from public places of prayer; and that you generally consider that the usual obligatory nature of the Friday prayer has been lifted.

 

Students abroad:

Some students who are away from their homes and families overseas are wondering if they should travel back home. This is a decision that depends on a great number of factors. As for my own students, I have not advised that they travel. I do advise that those who are resident in any particular local to note that foreign students may need assistance, if only to receive funds from their families overseas: if you can help them by allowing their families to transfer funds to your local bank accounts, then do consider it, so that they may have support in buying essentials periodically.

 

Generally and particularly: be grateful

In general: be grateful. Yes, this is a time when a lot of our usual comforts are disrupted. But we are not in a state of war and suffering, unlike numerous refugees that are fleeing conflict areas like Syria or Yemen. If you begin to be tempted into feelings of anxiety, take those feelings, and turn that energy into supplicating your Lord to give lutf to those who are suffering in far worse situations than us. You are all in a state of tremendous privilege – do not forget that.

Remember also: every trial and tribulation has the opportunity to mean the raising of one’s spiritual station with regards to their Lord. Ponder on this, and reflect. It’s a reality of every situation. As Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him) said:

“… For those trials have the effect of making their hearts pure and free from sinful association, and from attachment to creatures, worldly means, wishes and self-willed desires. They are instrumental in melting them and smelting out the pretensions and passions, and the expectation of returns for obedient behaviour, in the form of high degrees and stations in the hereafter, in paradise and its gardens…

The sign that the trials are for the sake of spiritual progress is the presence of contentment, harmony, self-composure, quiet trust in the working of the God of the earth and the heavens, and annihilation within them until their eventual removal with the passage of time.”

So be of those who would have quiet trust in the working of the God of the earth and the heavens. This, too, shall pass.

Allah bless you, draw each of you and us nearer to Him.

 

Wa al-salam,

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer


Ustadh Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer is Professorial Fellow of Cambridge Muslim College (UK) and Senior Scholar of the Azzawia Trust & Al-Zawiya Institute (South Africa). As a widely published academic and commentator focusing on politics and religion in the West, the Arab world and Muslim communities globally, he concurrently serves as Senior Fellow at RUSI (UK) & the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (USA).

Born to an English father and to an Egyptian mother of ʿAbbāsī-Sudanese & Ḥasanī-Moroccan heritage, he was raised between London, Cairo and Abu Dhabi, before becoming educated at Sheffield and Warwick universities to post-doctoral levels in law and the social sciences. He studied – and studies – the Islamic intellectual tradition in the UK, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and elsewhere, keeping the company of traditionally trained-scholars, including the likes of the Malaysian polymath, Tan Sri Professor Sayyid M. Naquib al-Attas, and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, the khalifa of the Makkan sage, Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki.

With previous positions at and affiliations with the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, the American University in Cairo, and the RZS-Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (CASIS), he is a frequent commentator and columnist in various media in the United States, Europe and the Arab world. Included in the scholarly section of the annual global ‘Muslim 500’ list of Georgetown University (USA) and RISCC (Jordan), he is also a council member of the British Board of Scholars & Imams. Among his written works are ‘Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans’ (Edinburgh University Press), ‘A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt’ (Oxford University Press) and “The Islamic Tradition, Muslim Communities and the Human Rights Discourse” (editor) (Atlantic Council)


 

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman–Luqman’s Advice to His Son

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

In this segment, Shayh Ibrahim gives commentary on the following verses, which cover Luqman’s advice to his son.

And remember, when Luqman said to his son while he was exhorting him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.” (31:13)

The theme of exhortation, of wa’dh, is common in the Qur’an. It is defined as to censure someone, or to instil fear into their heart, to being about a state of tenderness of the heart. Therefore, it is not fear for fear’s sake, but fear for a good cause. Oftentimes, people’s hearts can become hard, and feeling some wa’dh helps reverse this.

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.

With a few exceptions, obedience to parents is extremely emphasised. Abusing parents is considered to be an enormity according to many Hadith.

In Sahih Bukhari, we find story of Juraij, a righteous man from the time of Banu Israel, who was worshipping in solitude when his mother called to him. Immersed in his prayer, he did not respond. Due to that, he was blamed by a prostitute for her pregnancy. The people smashed his sanctuary, until the baby, miraculously exonerated him.

 [And Luqman said], “O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. (31:14)

Here, Luqman’s son asks him about small sins. Luqman replies that even the smallest sin is still wrong, and Allah knows everything.

Listen to the rest of Shaykh Ibrahim’s tafsir to find out the rest of Luqman’s counsels.


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


Resources for Seekers

The Emotional Brilliance of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

e·mo·tion·al in·tel·li·gence. noun. skill in perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions and feelings.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had a profound way of dealing with people with extremely varying personalities and emotional states, explains Ustadh Amjad Tarsin. His da’wah (way of inviting people to God) needs to be revived in a way that speaks to the realities faced by young people today. This khutba focuses on the importance of pondering his example ﷺ in the way we support and communicate with people spiritually and emotionally.

Support the programs and services of the Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto by becoming a donor today.

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Resources for seekers

Love & Balance: Following Our Scholars to Allah – Reflections by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

16255162654_95153fb928_zIf you haven’t already connected with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on social media, you should. He often shares beneficial advice and insightful reflections. The following, posted recently, is just one example.
You can follow Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on both twitter and facebook.
The affirmation of rank with Allah doesn’t negate the manifestation of very human qualities, as Ibn Ata’illah reminded.
(1) We shouldn’t imagine our scholars and leaders to be “supermen” or “superwomen” without faults and shortcomings.
(2) Yet we need to expect uprightness, commitment to striving to do the right thing, and the humility to rectify wrongs and errors, with remorse.
(3) And we respect them for their sincerity, their striving, and their example.
Allah-is-LOVE1
The sunna teaches balance. We need scholars and leaders to look up to, respect, learn from, and follow. But we follow them as means to following the way of Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), not as ends in themselves.
And we uphold sincere counsel (nasiha) with them, as an act of faith and as a religious duty. “Religion is sincere concern,” said the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and he mentioned, “… the leaders of the Muslims,” as one of the expressions of our sincere concern and counsel.
May Allah grant us balance, sincere concern, and the love, respect, and principled following of those who follow in the luminous footsteps of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) towards Allah’s Love.
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Further resources:
Is the hadith: “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets” authentic? If so, what does it mean?
What is the Limit of Using Honorific Titles for Scholars?
Differences of Opinion & Determining Sound Scholarship

Seven Counsels for Successful Service and Activism – Advice from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at SeekersHub Team Meeting

Recently, a group of volunteers gathered at SeekersHub Toronto for a strategy meeting. At the end of the gathering, I shared the following seven counsels on successful service and activism:

One: Renew Your Intention Regularly

The first point is that it is always important to renew one’s intention. What are we trying to do? We’re seeking Allah through serving His Creation.
This is, in reality, entailed by our faith (iman) itself. The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said, “None of you believes until they wish for others what they wish for themselves.” [Bukhari and Muslim] He also said (peace and blessings be upon him), “None of you believes until they wish for others of the good what they wish for themselves.” [Nasa’i]
A basic expression of gratitude to Allah Most High–for the gifts of faith, and guidance, and good–is that one wishes those things for others. But wishing it for others is not simply saying: “Well, I hope others get it, too.” Rather, the proof of wishing it for others is how one actively tries to convey the good to them.
We have to keep renewing this intention of service—reminding ourselves that our service, activism, and effort is about seeking the pleasure of Allah Most High, in ways pleasing to Him.

Two: Be With The Group

Second, know that the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) emphasized the strength and need of the group. He said (peace and blessings be upon him), “Hold fast to the group and beware of going it alone. Verily, the Shaytan is close to the one alone and is more distant from two. Whoever seeks the highest of Paradise, let them be with the group.” [Tirmidhi]
Why? Being with the group—community and collective effort — has many benefits. One benefit is that collective effort is more impactful than individual effort.
Being alone results in harms, and disconnection cuts us off from sources of benefit—for ourselves and for others. Be connected through your service to community, and help others connect—so that you benefit and facilitate benefit for others.
We should always remember the need for that group—of community, of working together — and also reaching out and helping other people connect. This is integral to any work we do.
The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said, “The group is mercy, and parting from it is torment.” [Ahmad and Tabarani, Awsat]
You will have seen that in your own social and family circles, those who disconnect and distance themselves from community get distanced from benefit—and those who remain connected grow and increase.

Three: Uphold a Collaborative Spirit

The third is to keep in mind the spirit of collaboration (ta’awun) with others—both in our own projects and organizations, and also with others’ projects and organizations. Seek and assist in the good, in others’ efforts and in others’ projects, as if they were your own.
Allah Most High commands: “Assist one another in all that is good and virtuous.” [Qur’an, 5.2]
Thus, anytime you hear of any good that others are engaged in—whether in our own group or circles, or outside of them—ask yourself: “Can I help out?” Help others; encourage them; encourage others to help them; promote their efforts…
For example, let’s say our Academy team sends out an email saying asking for feedback on their plans. This spirit would mean taking two minutes to comment and share your thoughts.
This collaborative spirit is also tested by how we view other groups and organizations—and our attitude towards them.
A foundational part of our ethos—of the Prophetic spirit and concern — is that we should not see “others” involved in similar projects as “competition,” in any negative or defensive way.
Rather, we should view them as our partners in calling to Allah (Most High), as partners in the good we’re trying to promote. We should want success for them as we want and pray for success for ourselves
We should promote their projects, programs, and events, as we would promote our own—without any hesitation, defensiveness, or negative attitudes.
We shouldn’t wait for others to ask before we promote their events. We should be proactive in doing so—and doing so is a test of sincerity, trueness, and of having Prophetic attitude and concern.
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Four: Seek Allah’s Helping Through Help Others</>

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) promised that, “Allah is in the aid of His servant as long as they are in the aid of others.” [Muslim and Tirmidhi] This promise applies to both individuals and groups.
Have complete certainty with respect to this promise: when we help others and promote their projects—seeking Allah Most High thereby—we will find Divine Assistance and Divine Aid in our lives and our projects. Our attitude of collaboration should be a value we uphold for Allah, as a Prophetic way—without hesitation nor ulterior considerations. And it shouldn’t be conditional on others’ reciprocation.
To deeply root such collaboration, we should strive to establish formal relationships of mutual collaboration—and define the processes of making collaboration happen. But even without such relationships, we should uphold a collaborative spirit. More than this, we should promote others’ efforts even if they don’t and won’t promote our efforts and projects. Our actions aren’t for them—they should be for Allah.
There are a lot of good things happening in the community, and having a collaborative attitude actually helps you learn from others’ successful efforts. You will notice the things they’re doing well, it will help you in improving your individual and collective efforts.

Five: Ask From Allah Most High—Knowing that Success is from Him, not from your efforts

Remember that service is about seeking Allah—by Allah. In the Fatiha we affirm, “It is You alone we serve; and it is You alone that we rely upon.” [Qur’an, 1.4] The most powerful means for success in service is to seek assistance from Allah Most High.
How do we seek Allah’s assistance? Make dua before all that you do. Make dua for Allah’s assistance specifically for your efforts and projects of service after prayer, at night in night worship, whenever you work and plan.
Habib Kadhim said that 80% of true success is asking Allah. Our effort is necessary, but it is adab with the Divine. The Giver is Allah Himself.
This is a spiritual commitment for spiritually-meaningful and transformative activism: make dua for all the projects you’re involved in; make dua for others’ projects; make dua for those you are working with, individually and by name, and for others who are striving for the good.

Six: Strive To Embody What You Call Others To

Always reflect: “Am I striving to uphold what I am calling others to?” This shouldn’t hold you back if you find shortcomings in your own character and conduct. Rather, it should instill a renewed resolve to call yourself to Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and to all good we’re calling others to.
The masters of the spiritual path would say, “Call yourself to Allah just as you call others to Allah.” Service (khidma) is both an honour and opportunity as well as a responsibility, trust, and test.
One aspect of this in our work is that everyone should strive to attend least one class a week. Calling others to seek beneficial knowledge is a communal obligation—but also a personal duty we shouldn’t neglect.
If we don’t strive to do this, it could be from the Divine Warning, “Believers, why do you say that which you don’t do?” [Qur’an, 61.2] This is a reminder to call oneself just as one calls others—and to begin with oneself, for blessed calling.
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Seven: Call To Benefit Without Hesitation

Don’t be shy about sharing benefit within your own circles. Sometimes the ‘there-are-other-people-taking-care-of-it’ attitude affects us. Or we feel shy to tell people—fearing being labelled or fearing negative perceptions.
Instead, anything good worth pursuing is worth promoting and sharing. This applies to the Hub’s programs, as well as others’ programs.
Whenever there is a program, new class, or project, strive to share the email or social media messages—and directly tell friends and family about it. People follow people more than they follow distant promotional messages.
May Allah Most High make us of those whom He praises: “Who is better in statement than one who calls to Allah, does righteous deeds, and affirms that ‘I am truly of those who submit’.” [Qur’an, 41.33]
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Counsels & Wisdom on Uprightness & Spiritual Transformation – Sh. Muhammad Sa`id al-Burhani – Reliance of the Traveller

Counsels & Wisdom on Uprightness & Spiritual Transformation

by Shaykh Muhammad Sa`id al-Burhani

from: Reliance of the Traveller (of Shaykh Nuh Keller)

 

t3.1 (Muhammad Sa`id Burhani:) Do not limit yourself to deep words and profound spiritual allusions but make provision for the afterlife before death comes, when fine words will be lost and the rak`as you prayed by night or day will remain..

t3.2 Give voluntary charity as much as possible, for you owe more than merely the zakat obligatory. Make provision for the afterlife by giving while you have health and want to cling to your money out of fear of poverty, seeing life before you. Allah Most High says, “Whoever is watchful against the stinginess of his own soul, those shall be the successful” (Quran 59:9), meaning they shall be saved.

t3.3 Never obey anyone of Allah’s servants, even father or mother, in an act of disobedience to Allah, for there is no obedience to a creature in disobedience to the Creator.

t3.4 Do not wrong another person, for wrongs done to others are clouds of darkness on the Day of Judgement. Wronging others includes not doing what Allah has obliged you to do for them.

t3.5 Beware of enmity against anyone who has said, “La ilaha ill Allah’ (There is no god but Allah), for Allah has honored them with faith, and particularly the righteous of them, for Allah Most High says in a rigorously authenticated (sahih) hadith, “He who makes an enemy of a friend of Mine, I declare war against,”

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t3.6 Tell the truth when you speak. It is one of the worst betrayals to tell your brother something he thinks you are being honest about when the matter is otherwise.

t3.7 Be honest in your clothes and dress. It is an outrage against Allah to appear to His servants in the guise of the righteous while secretly contradicting it with the works of the wicked.

t3.8 Recite the Quran and contemplate its meanings. Reflect while reading it on the qualities Allah has praised, with which He describes the people He loves. Acquire these qualities yourself and shun those Allah has condemned. Do your utmost of memorize the Holy Quran by acts as you do by words.

t3.9 Never explain a verse of Holy Quran by your own opinion, but check as to how it has been understood by the scholars of Sacred Law and men of wisdom who came before you. If you comprehend something else by it and what you have understood contradicts the Sacred Law, forsake your wretched opinion and fling it against the wall.

t3.10 Beware lest you ever say anything that does not conform to the Sacred Law. Know that the highest stage of the perfected ones (rijal) is the Sacred Law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). And know that the esoteric that contravenes the exoteric is a fraud.

t3.11 Take care to eat lawful food bought with a lawful income, for the entire body of someone who eats what is lawful, his hearing, eyesight, hands, and feet, are disposed to obey Allah whether he wishes to or not; while the whole body of someone who eats the unlawful is disposed to do wrong whether he wants to or not.

t3.12 Keep the thought of Allah Mighty and Majestic ever before you with respect to what He takes from you and what He gives. He takes away nothing except that you may show patience and win His love, for He loves the patient, and when He loves you, He will treat you as a lover does his beloved. And so too, when He gives to you, He bestows blessings upon you that you may give thanks, for He loves the thankful.

t3.13 Do not walk a step, take a bite, or make a move without intending thereby to draw nearer to Allah.

t3.14 Perform the remembrance of Allah (dhikr) silently and aloud, in a group and when alone, for Allah Most High says, “Remember Me: I will remember you” (Quran 2:152).

It is sufficient as to its worth that Allah is remembering you as long as you are remembering Him.

t3.15 Give frequent utterance to the axiom of Islam “La ilaha ill Allah” (There is no god but Allah), for it is the greatest invocation (dhikr), as is mentioned in the hadith, “The best things I or any of the prophets before me have said is ‘La ilaha ill Allah.”’

And in a hadith qudsi, “Were the seven heavens and seven earths placed on one side of a balance scale and’`La ilaha ill Allah’ placed on the other, the latter would outweigh them all.”

t3.16 Train your children in points of Islamic behavior so they grow up to be Muslims who love Islam and respect the religion of Islam.

t3.17 Do not seek exaltation on earth, but have humility in whatever degree Allah has raised you to. For Allah has brought you forth from the earth, your mother, and it is unseemly to exalt yourself above her. As a hadith says, “Allah has charged Himself to raise nothing in this world, save that He will lower it again.”

So if you are such a thing, you may expect to be lowered by Allah.

t3.18 Always visit those who are ill, as it helps one reflect and take admonition, for someone ill is close to Allah. One has only to consider that the sick person has no one to call upon but Allah, nothing to reflect on but Allah, and his condition reminds one of the blessing of health (al-Hall al-sadid li ma astashkalahu al-murid (y46), 29-32).

Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id Burhani was a major Damascene Hanafi faqih and Sufi.

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Characteristics of a Successful Muslim – Yahya ibn Mu`adh al-Razi

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

 

Yahya ibn Mu`adh al-Razi (Allah have mercy upon him), one of the great imams of the spiritual path from the early Muslims (salaf), said:

 

“Glad tidings be to a servant who has:

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1. Made their occupation worship (`ibada);

2. Neediness (faqr) their longing;

3. Spiritual seclusion (`uzla) their desire;

4. The Hereafter their concern;

5. Seeking a living their means [f: rather than an end in itself];

6. Death their reflection (fikr);

7. Their intention busy with renunciation (zuhd);

8. Killed through abasement (dhull) their self-consequence (`izz);

9. Making their Lord their sole need;

10. Remembering their errors in their solitude (khalwa);

11. Sending forth in ecstasy their contemplation;

12. Complaining only to Allah regarding their strangeness (ghurba);

13. And asking through repentance for Allah’s Mercy.

 

Glad tidings be to one for whom these are their traits; whose regret is over their sins; ever-yearning in need by night and day; weeping before Allah in the depths of the night; calling upon the All-Merciful; seeking the Gardens of Paradise; and fearing the Fires of Hell.” [Related by Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya, 10.58]

 

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