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Losing Hope and Struggling with the Din

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question about struggling with one’s din, not feeling worthy of Islam, and losing hope and trust in Allah.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’ve been struggling with the din since Allah drew me back into the religion when a calamity had befallen me because there was no other way out. Since then I’ve been practicing. I think to myself, “Why me?” because I disobey Allah a lot and then I repent and then intentionally go back to it. This same cycle repeats over and over again. Eventually I give up. I start to pray less and fall into despair.

There are times where I also disobey my parents. I try my best to obey as much as I can but when it comes to matters which are prohibited in Islam I don’t listen. There’s a hadith that says, whoever is disobedient to their parents will never enter paradise. When I read this, I just start to give up and think to myself, “What’s the point? Might as well just go all out.”

This was one of the reasons why I nearly left Islam. I really don’t know what to do anymore.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an,

“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’”

“And return utterly in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.” (Sura al-Zumar 39:53-54)

And the Holy Prophet has said, Allah bless him and grant him peace, “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would do away with you, and bring a people who would sin and then they seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)

And he also said, “Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert on whose back is his provision of food and drink which is then lost. He, having lost all hope (to get that back), lies down in shade despaired of ever finding his camel; when all of a sudden he finds the camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then, out of boundless joy, blurts out, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ making a mistake out of extreme joy.’” (Muslim)

So we can learn from these divine teachings that we should not despair of Allah’s forgiveness, and that the cycle of sinning and then repenting, that sinning and then repenting again is part and parcel of our relationship with Allah, and that He loves us to repent to Him. All we have to do is keep striving.

Hope and Fear

In the verses above, Allah first reminds us of His mercy and then reminds of His punishment. This is a repeated theme in the Quran: always having hope, but not forgetting to fear Allah.

The Devil likes to trick us by making us give up hope, or by making us too hopeful. The way of safety is in between, with fear and hope always vying to control our hearts and always encouraging us to keep going.

Company

Allah Most High has told us, “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (Sura al-Tawba 9:119) And the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look well to whom he befriends.” (Abu Dawud)

This verse and hadith tell us that we have to be very careful about those with whom we associate, be it in friendships or in the virtual world. Often we get held back by the bad company we keep.

It is not a lack of loyalty to politely avoid your friends of the past who keep dragging one into sin. In fact it is from loyalty to Allah that one do that.

If you don’t change your environment to the extent you can, it is very, very hard to change your life and progress.

Persistence

You are not alone in your struggle. This is what all of us face in life on various different levels. We just have to keep working on ourselves bit by bit, trying our best, relying upon Allah, and seeking His forgiveness when we fall on our nose.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Is It a Divorce If a Spouse Sings a Break up Song and the Husband Nods to the Beat? 

Question: I would like to know if, while I am singing a break-up song and my husband nods his head to it, that would constitute a divorce? What if he sings a break-up song to me?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in.

Going by the examples you have given, no divorce has been affected.

Divorce

Words that affect divorce are of two types: explicit, where the meaning is unequivocal, such as ‘I divorce you’, and implicit (of which there are a great many expressions), where the words are ambiguous and could mean divorce or could mean something else, such as ‘Leave the house’.

An explicit expression does not require an intention of divorce for divorce to be affected. An implicit expression requires an intention of divorce to be made for it to be affected.

In the specific examples you gave, the lyrics are not explicit expressions of divorce. It does not seem that they are implicit expressions of divorce either. If other lyrics were sung at other times which were implicit, then from your account, it does not sound like either of you made any intention for divorce while singing them. Your husbands nodding his head up and down to the beat of the songs in these cases also do not constitute as a divorce. As such, no divorce has taken place.

Sincere counsel

Dear sister, as much as it may seem hard to not listen to music for those of us who grew up in the West, I would highly encourage you and your husband to wean yourselves off listening to music.

There are many elements in music and songs that are impermissible, and the lyrics are most often than not incongruous with the high moral spirit of the religion, leading one to a state of heedlessness and a deadening of the heart. At the very least, it will prevent scenarios that fill one with doubts and anxieties such as you have described in your question. Needless to say, Muslims should not be supporting the music industry in any way.

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions [Muslim].

We must remind ourselves when Allah looks at our works, that we ensure that our actions are in accordance to what He has made lawful, not engaged with something displeasing to Him. When He looks at our hearts, we want Him to find hearts which are alive, that are filled with only good intentions and occupied with love and gratitude for Him.

The first step towards attaining to this is to gradually and systematically diminish any aspects of our lives which distract us from our real objective in life. ‘You will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.’ [Ahmad]

I pray Allah makes you and your husband among those who are firm in the faith, and guidance to others.

Warmest salams,

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he travelled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Is It a Divorce If a Spouse Sings a Break up Song and the Husband Nods to the Beat? 

Question: I need urgent help. If there was a song playing that says “You ruin my life, by not being mine” and “there’s nothing I hate more than what I can have.” and my husband nods and moves his hand up and down. I sang other parts of the song. Is it considered a divorce if a Muslim husband sings a break-up song or if a Muslim wife sings a break-up song and the husband nods to the beat?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in.

Going by the examples you have given, no divorce has been affected.

Divorce

Words that affect divorce are of two types: explicit, where the meaning is unequivocal, such as ‘I divorce you’, and implicit (of which there are a great many expressions), where the words are ambiguous and could mean divorce or could mean something else, such as ‘Leave the house’.

An explicit expression does not require an intention of divorce for divorce to be affected. An implicit expression requires an intention of divorce to be made for it to be affected.

In the specific examples you gave, the lyrics are not explicit expressions of divorce. It does not seem that they are implicit expressions of divorce either. If other lyrics were sung at other times which were implicit, then from your account, it does not sound like either of you made any intention for divorce while singing them. Your husbands nodding his head up and down to the beat of the songs in these cases also do not constitute as a divorce. As such, no divorce has taken place.

Sincere counsel

Dear sister, as much as it may seem hard to not listen to music for those of us who grew up in the West, I would highly encourage you and your husband to wean yourselves off listening to music.

There are many elements in music and songs that are impermissible, and the lyrics are most often than not incongruous with the high moral spirit of the religion, leading one to a state of heedlessness and a deadening of the heart. At the very least, it will prevent scenarios that fill one with doubts and anxieties such as you have described in your question. Needless to say, Muslims should not be supporting the music industry in any way.

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions [Muslim].

We must remind ourselves when Allah looks at our works, that we ensure that our actions are in accordance to what He has made lawful, not engaged with something displeasing to Him. When He looks at our hearts, we want Him to find hearts which are alive, that are filled with only good intentions and occupied with love and gratitude for Him.

The first step towards attaining to this is to gradually and systematically diminish any aspects of our lives which distract us from our real objective in life. ‘You will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.’ [Ahmad]

I pray Allah makes you and your husband among those who are firm in the faith, and guidance to others.

Warmest salams,

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he travelled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

The Importance of Being a Very Public Muslim – Imam Zaid Shakir

The Importance of Being a Very Public Muslim

This post first appeared on Imam Zaid Shakir’s facebook page.

In the climate of fear and mistrust of Muslims being carefully cultivated by some elements in this country it is extremely important to be a very public, very visible, very talkative Muslim. Some Muslims would tend to shun this advice thinking that by “laying low” and being almost invisible they can get by or pass unnoticed.

This is exactly what the anti-Muslim forces want. They want Muslims to disappear from our society and when sisters take off hijabs, brothers take off their kufis or shave their beards and everyone silences themselves they are actually advancing the program of the racists by helping to create a society “without” Muslims.
As people become accustomed to not seeing Muslims, not hearing from Muslims not sensing a Muslim presence in their lives or communities, it becomes easier for the racists to enact policies that lead to the actual eradication of Muslims. This is a lesson history has taught us concerning the ways tyrannical regimes are consolidated. Hence, be very visibly Muslim!
Some will argue that it is very dangerous to be very assertively Muslim right now and will point to the recent attack on the Muslim girl and her friend on the Portland MAX. That incident supports rather than argues against the point I am making. To clarify, because one of the girls was identifiably Muslim, there was a massive public rallying to defend her right to be herself, a valued member of her community. If Muslims “disappear” what is the basis for anyone rallying on our behalf?
Challenging times are always fraught with danger, however, heroes are those who face the danger of their time and by so doing represent a challenge in their own right which others must respond to. Now is the time for heroes not cowards. Tyranny draws its life from a society of cowards and is eradicated by the courageous.
As the warning signs of tyranny begin to rear their despicable heads in our society let us starve them of air, cut off their roots. For insight into the nature of tyranny, I encourage everyone to read Timothy Snyder’s brief but very insightful book, “On Tyranny.” May these middle days of Ramadan be blessed.
Imam Zaid Shakir

Can I Hate My Father?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Can a you fear or hate your father because of some bad opinions your mother taught you from a young age?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Father

This is a difficult situation. I pray that Allah grants you a complete healing. I am sorry that your mother has turned your heart against your father. This often happens when there is spousal abuse.

As Anse Tamara Gray described – the Prophetic family is kind. Please strive to view your father through the lens of kindness, despite his many mistakes.

Spiritual support

Please wake up in the last third of the night and perform The Prayer of Need. Read Qur’an as regularly as you can, and reflect on its deep meanings. Think about the deeply troubled family of Nabi Yusuf (upon him be peace), and how Allah healed them all.

Listen to podcasts such as Content of Character to teach you how to beautify your character.

Healing

I encourage you to enrol in and complete the Excellence with Parents: How to Fulfill the Rights of Your Parents.

Please strive to understand the rank of parents, even the ones who make terrible mistakes and wrong their children.

Make dua for him after every fardh prayer, and give in charity in his name. Give him gifts. Do everything in your power to heal your opinion of him.

It is difficult to cherish a father who was been demonised, either through his own actions or actions of others, but it is still important to treat him with respect. When you treat someone with kindness and respect for the sake of Allah, then He can bestow true affection in your heart.

Trauma

I encourage you to look into Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) as a way of changing the way you feel and think about your father. Trauma can take time to heal. Consider seeing a culturally-sensitive counsellor.

Hakim Archuletta and Peter Levine are also excellent resources for trauma recovery. Hakim Archuletta teaches at the Zawiyah retreat in Rosales. I encourage you to save up and go, and consider this a beginning in your journey towards healing.

Please see:

How Does a Child Deal With Parents Who Fight Each Other?
How Should I Uphold My Family Ties?
How to Maintain Ties of Kinship Despite Hateful Siblings?

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

I Get Easily Annoyed. Am I Ready to Get Married?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have been approached by a good man for marriage, but lately I have been questioning if I am even ready for marriage. Sometimes I get annoyed over silly things and lack patience. What should I do?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Patience

Patience is a virtue which you can cultivate over time, especially within marriage. Please know and accept that losing your patience and having conflict in your marriage is normal. It’s how you cope with it that matters.

7 Ways to Become a Better Forgiver
Living With My Partner’s Baggage

May Allah grant you the strength and courage to improve your character..

Marriage

It was narrated from Mus’ab bin Sa’d that his father, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas, said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which people are most severely tested?’ He said: ‘The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Alhamdulillah, doing the marriage course is a step forward in the right direction. I pray that it will help you understand the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage.

It is praiseworthy to intend marriage as a means of attaining closeness to Allah. Because of your high intention, please know that you and your husband will be tested. This is the nature of the dunya; difficulties hurt, help us grow, and when handled well, can bring us closer to Allah.

Prayer of Guidance

Everything going smoothly is a sign that your istikhara is positive.

I pray that Allah facilitates your marriage, blesses you and your husband with a tranquil marriage, and gifts you with pious and loving children.

Please see:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checkedand Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

How Do I Deal With the Fear of Dying as an Unbeliever?

Answered by Shaykh Salim Ahmad Mauladdawila

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am worried of having a bad end, of dying as an unbeliever.

How can I deal with this fear?

Answer: Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Concern for one’s end is itself a good sign, but the Muslim should always balance themself between being fearful of God’s wrath and punishment and hoping for his mercy and bounties. As some of the pious say, the believer is like a bird which flies with two wings: the wing of hope and the wing of fear. With only one wing, the bird cannot fly.

God himself indicates this need for balance in the Quran, where he says to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), “Tell My slaves that I am All-forgiving and All-merciful, and that My punishment is a painful one” [15:49-50]. He also says, “Know that God is stern in His retribution and He is All-forgiving and All-merciful” [5:98], and later describes Himself as “Forgiver of sin, accepting of repentance, severe in punishment, owner of abundance” [40:3].

When we find ourselves perhaps getting a little lax in in our obligatory duties, we remind ourselves of God’s warnings in the Quran. We remember the torture in the grave and the vivid descriptions of Hell. If we find ourselves despairing, we remind ourselves of our Lord’s mercy. We remember the hadith of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) narrated by Imam al-Bukhari, where God says “Verily My mercy overcomes My anger”. We remember the hadith, “All children of Adam are wrongdoers, and the best of the wrongdoers are those who repent”, and we contemplate God’s words, “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of God. Indeed, God forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful” [39:53].

We should also constantly ask God that he grant us a good end, as we find many of the pious do and have done. We should make this prayer regularly and keep in mind the hadith qudsi where God says, “I am as my slave thinks I am, and I am with him if he remembers Me. If he remembers Me within Himself, I remember him within Myself. If he remembers Me in a group, I remember him in a better group. If he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him. If he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him. If he comes to Me walking, I go to him running”.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Salim Ahmad Mauladdawila

Dalia Mogahed’s debut at TED met with standing ovation

What do you think when you look at me?

When you look at Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed, what do you see: a woman of faith? a scholar, a mom, a sister? or an oppressed, brainwashed, potential terrorist? In this personal, powerful talk, Mogahed asks us, in this polarizing time, to fight negative perceptions of her faith in the media — and to choose empathy over prejudice – TED

Resources for seekers:

I Conducted a Sinful Event, Will Allah Ever Forgive Me? How Do I Assert Myself?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I recently organised a sinful event for my course project. During the end of the semester, I realised that I did a grave mistake but it was too late. I had to conduct it unwillingly and I hated every bit of it. How should I repent? I feel really hopeless and guilty now. I fear people’s reactions a lot.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah ease your distress and fill your heart with tranquility.

Repentance

“Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 39.53]

Dear sister, only the Prophets were Divinely protected from sin. The rest of us will continue to make mistakes, sin and do things we regret. Knowing this, it’s important for you to focus on moving forward, instead of dwelling on what you cannot change. The conditions for a valid repentance are as follows:

1. Leaving the sin;
2. Remorse over having committed the sin;
3. Resolve never to return to the sin;
4. (If it relates to the rights of another person, then to) Return the rights or property one wrongly took. [al-Bariqa fi Sharh al-Tariqa; Riyad al-Salihin, excerpt from How Do You Know If Your Repentance Is Sincere?]

There is a place for feelings of guilt and remorse, but if you let it get out of hand, you can end up getting very depressed. Allah forbids despair for His servants. Try your best to focus on Allah’s Mercy instead of giving your sin so much power over you.

Assertiveness

Each of us have different temperaments. Some people are very bold and can dominate the room very easily. Others are mild-mannered and struggle with asserting themselves. Allah knows each of us better than we know ourselves. Rather than beat yourself up over being unable to assert yourself in your Islam, do something about it. Enrol in public speaking classes. Learn how to be assertive from a counsellor or psychologist.

Seeking knowledge

It sounds like you could benefit from active seeking of sacred knowledge. When you know more about Islam, you will naturally feel more confident. More importantly, you will be connected to teachers whom you can ask advice from. Please look at the list of SeekersHub global courses and start by completing one.

Patience

Give yourself time. Be patient with yourself. Learning and practising Islam is a process, and a journey which will span your entire life. Don’t expect to transform into a confident defender of the deen overnight. Set realistic goals, and learn from your mistakes.

Please refer to the following links:
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How To Benefit from Remembering Death?

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally

Question: Asalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

I know that remembering death is beneficial but how does one remember death? Is it simply by thinking about it?

Answer: Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah,

The Importance of Remembering Death

It is important for people to consider their mortality by thinking of and remembering death, because doing so allows one to distance themselves from this temporal existence and turn towards the hereafter.

Conversely, neglecting the reality of death causes one to immerse themselves in the pleasures of this life. The Qur’an reminds: Every soul is certain to taste death: We test you all through the bad and the good, and to Us you will all return (21:35). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Frequently remember what ends all pleasure! (Tirmidhi).

The Importance of Preparing for Death

It is likewise important to prepare oneself for death, because of its certainty and proximity.

The Qur’an says: Believers, do not let your wealth and your children distract you from remembering Allah: those who do so will be the ones who lose. Give out of what We have provided for you, before death comes to one of you and he says, ‘My Lord, if You would only reprieve me for a little while, I would give in charity and become one of the righteous.’ Allah does not reprieve a soul when its turn comes: Allah is fully aware of what you do (63:9-11).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: An intelligent person takes himself to account and works for what follows death (Tirmidhi).

Al-Ghazali on How to Remember Death

Imam al-Ghazali, in his Ihya’, includes a section on how to accomplish the foregoing:

An Explanation of the Manner of Bringing about the Recollection of Death to one’s Heart:

Know that death is horrible, its importance significant. People’s neglect of it is due to not thinking about and remembering it. Even those who do remember it, don’t do so with an unoccupied heart, but rather with one that has been occupied with the worldly desires, such that the remembrance of death does not actually affect their hearts.

The correct manner of remembering death is for a servant to empty their hearts of everything except for remembering the death that is before them. This is similar to the manner in which a person, who wants to travel to a desert, or to embark upon a nautical voyage, cannot think of anything else. When the remembrance of death actually touches their hearts, and makes an impression upon them, their happiness and pleasure with respect to this world diminishes, and their hearts break.

The most effective manner of bringing about this change is for them to frequently call to mind their peers and contemporaries, those who have passed away before them. They should reflect on their deaths, as well as their decomposition below the earth. They should remember how they looked in their former positions and circumstances, and consider how the earth has now effaced their external beauty; how their limbs have become dispersed in their graves; how they left their wives widows, their children orphans! How they have lost their wealth; how their mosques and their gatherings have become empty of their presence; how all traces of them have been erased!

To the extent that people remember others and call to minds their circumstances and how they died; imagine their forms; remember their activities; how they used to move about; the way they planned their lives and its continuation; their neglect ofdeath; how they were deceived by the facilitated means of life; their reliance on strength and youth; how they inclined toward slaughter and amusement; their neglect of the quick death and destruction that lay before them; how they used to move about, while their feet and joints have now rotted away; how they used to speak, while worms have now devoured their tongues; how they used to laugh, while dirt has now eaten away their teeth; how they used to plan for themselves what they hadn’t actually needed for another ten years, when all that lay between themand death was a mere month; they were ignorant of what had been decreed for them, until death came to them at a time they have not expected; the angel’s form was revealed to them; the call rang in their ears, Heaven or Hell! At that point, a person can engage in self-reflection, and see that they are like them, and that their neglectfulness is similar to theirs, and that their end shall be one.

Abu al-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When you think about the deceased, count yourself amongst them. Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: A happy person is one who can derive lessons from the situation of others. Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said: Don’t you see that every day you prepare a traveller, by morning and night, to Allah (Mighty and Sublime is He), placing him in a hole in the earth? He has made dust his pillow, left behind his loved ones, and cut himself off from the means of this life!

Continuously thinking about this and similar thoughts, as well as going to graveyards and seeing sick people, renews the heart’s remembrance of death, until it takes control of it and is constantly at the forefront of one’s mind. At this point, one will be nearly ready for death, and will leave aside the world of delusion. Lacking this, remembrance with the mere superficial aspects of the heart, and the saliva of the tongue, will be of little benefit in warning and alerting oneself.

No matter how pleased one’s heart may become with something of this world, one should immediately remember that they must at some point part ways with it. Ibn Muti’ one day looked at his house and was pleased by its splendour. He then began to cry, saying: By Allah, were it not for death, I would be overjoyed with you! Were it not for what we are headed towards, the narrowness of graves, we would be contented with this world! He then began to cry intensely till his voice rose loudly.

Sources: Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din; Dalil al-Falihin; al-Adhkar

Shuaib Ally