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Taking A Non Muslim As A Role Model

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Is it permissible to admire and take non-Muslim as a role model for their humility and good qualities without wanting anything to do with their disbelief?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barkatuh

I pray you are well.

Yes, this admiration of good conduct and character is permissible. The Messenger of Allah said, “Clearly, I have only been sent to complete righteous character.” (Ahmad). This hadith indicates that other nations have good character, but its pinnacle is found in the teachings of Islam.

Follow the Messenger of Allah

Allah told us the He sent us the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, as an excellent role model for us to follow: “Indeed there is for you, in the Messenger of Allah, an excellent exemplar…” (33:21). Make him the person who you emulate, you’ll never be let down.

From amongst the living, there are many righteous people and scholars who embody some aspects of his perfect conduct. No one can embody it all besides him, Allah bless him and give him peace. This is safer, as they are likely to uplift and inspire you in every way. More than someone who does not know or embody the sunna can.

Islam recognizes the virtue of individuals, Muslims, and non-Muslims alike. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, honored the daughter of Hatim al Tayyi’, a man is known for his great generosity, simply because his father was an honorable man.

A sounder approach is to pray for those non-Muslims within whom we recognize virtue. Ask Allah to guide them to Islam, and they’ll have the virtue of iman to add to their list.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Being with Allah and His Messenger ﷺ – Habib Umar

* Courtesy of Muwasala

Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) reflects upon the meaning of being with Allah and His Messenger ﷺ.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “A person is with the one they love.” Thus you can gauge your love for Allah and His Messenger by gauging how much you are with them.

The Prophet was in the highest state of being with his Lord. For that reason he said: “I am nothing but a slave. I eat as a slave eats and I sit as a slave sits.” Sayyiduna Ibrahim says in the Qur’an that it is his Lord: “Who created me and it is He who guides me; Who gives me food and drink.” He was constantly with Allah, even when he ate and drank. One of the knowers of Allah said: “For twenty years people think I have been speaking to them, when in reality I have been speaking to Allah.” If you speak for His sake, in accordance with His Sacred Law and your heart is present with Him, then in reality you are speaking to Him.

The Companions and the pious people of this Ummah were constantly with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in all their states. One of the Companions repeated three times, addressing the Prophet  ﷺ: “I love Allah and His Messenger!” He replied ﷺ on each occasion: “You are with the one you love.”

Sayyiduna Abu’l-`Abbas al-Mursi said: “If the Prophet ﷺ was absent from me for an instant I would not consider myself a Muslim.”

Habib `Umar bin `Abd al-Rahman al-`Attas asked: “How can he be absent from us when he is the source of our existence?”

In other words, without him, we do not exist.

Imam al-Haddad said:

و لي من رسولِ اللهِ جَدِّي عِنَايَةٌ    و وَجْهٌ و إِمْدَادٌ و إِرْثٌ و إِيثَارُ

 

‘I receive from my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, care, status, assistance, inheritance and preferential treatment.’

These people reached the highest stations of being with the Beloved ﷺ .

So do not claim to love him and then depart from him. Are you with him in emulating his character? If you truly loved him you would be with him. Do you think being with him is only in the next life? That which will be manifest in the next life is only that which is stored up in this life. If you want to be with him there, be certain that you have to be with him here.

How long have you been with your lower self (nafs)? It calls you to base things while Allah and His Messenger call you to lofty things. Your lower self calls you to the Fire, while they call you to Paradise. Being with Allah and His Messenger is better than being with your lower self. Your lower self is the thing which cuts you off most from being with Allah and His Messenger and it is the biggest veil between you and your Lord.

Some people reach high stations in closeness to the Beloved ﷺ before the month of Rabi al Awwal is over. If you are not going to attain it in this month, then when?

An Overview of the Maqasid Podcast: Knowledge, Devotion and Service by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Nilufer Gadgieva provides an overview of the Knowledge, Devotion and Service podcast, a podcast series available on SeekersGuidance by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.

 

The Maqasid podcast is a series of brief, half-hour lessons discussing the altruistic aspects of knowledge, devotion and service, many of which are critical to the well-being of the Muslim soul. With poise and dedication, Shaykh Yahya covers various aspects of chivalry and companionship which could better strengthen and grow the relationships between modern Muslims, as it once did in the past.

The first set of lessons cover a book by Imam Abdulwahhab ash-Sha’rani known as Adab As-Suhbah, or the Etiquettes of Companionship. Through the life stories of the pious, the Shaykh thoroughly explains the significance of some of the most important aspects of good companionship in the context of Islam and how we can implement and integrate them into our own lives. Among the most important of these are selflessness, humility and understanding, and the removal of hasad, or envy, in our hearts towards our companions. He provides targeted steps for Muslims to take to practically increase love and affection in our daily relationships with our fellow human beings, and it makes for a compelling series.

The next set of lessons which are currently ongoing cover Imam Al-Husayn Al-Sulaimi’s Kitab-Al Futuwwa, or the Book of Spiritual Chivalry. This series is expansive and rich in classical Islamic etiquette of moral conduct between Muslims, and Shaykh Yahya touches upon important experiences in human life that relate to the points he discusses. While similar to the traits of Adab As-Suhbah, these characteristics are highly specific and indicate the reality of chivalry that comes from genuine love for the sake of Allah. Both moving and relatable, this podcast will surely make us reconsider our social priorities as family members, friends and neighbors of one another.

Personally, this podcast had a positive impact on me, particularly when I was in a place of uncertainty with my companions. Questioning their intentions towards me, I realized that companionship for the sake of Allah is purely just that, and I can’t take anything my friends do, say or act towards me in a personal light. Those who genuinely love me will reciprocate my efforts for them, and if they do not, I must be the better friend, partner and relative and give them 100% regardless of their attitude towards me. Loving for Allah’s sake removes the burden of conflict, sensitivity and suspicion from among friends, near and far, as it enhances a rational manner of approaching companionship.

The example of the Prophet, his Companions and the pious is sufficient for us, and to emulate their strong, unbreakable bonds between one another is truly a goal to be achieved in one’s life. Islam is a social religion, not one of individualism and isolation, and to be able to live in harmony with one’s family and friends (and to maintain that harmony) essentially contributes to our purpose in life – to submit to Allah and envelop Islam in our lifestyle.


Click here to listen to listen to “Knowledge, Devotion and Service” by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.

The Believer Is the Mirror of the Believer

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani presents five lessons we can take from the hadith, “The believer is the mirror of the believer,” and how to realize this in our lives.

It is a great blessing of Allah Most High that He has granted us the means of turning to Him on a daily basis with our obligatory prayers. On a weekly basis through the Friday prayer. To serve for us as reminders of our purpose and duty in life to turn to Allah, to submit to Him, to worship Him, and to express our gratitude and thankfulness to Him.

The worship that we engage in, what is the prophetic impulse – the impulse of our beloved Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, in our worship? The impulse is thankfulness. It is gratitude. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “ Should I not be a thankful servant?

So we serve, Allah Most High, we submit, we worship out of gratitude and thankfulness, recognizing all the blessings that we have from Allah. And from the great blessings of Allah upon us is that He has sent to us a Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, who granted us clear guidance that is easy to bring into one’s life. That transforms one’s life from the merely mundane, from the merely worldly into something that enables us to turn to Allah, to seek Allah, to take the steps to attain closeness to Allah Most High and contentment.

The Speech of the Prophet

Allah describes the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, as a mercy for all creation. “We have not sent you except as mercy to all creation.” And from that gift of mercy that the Prophet is, blessings and peace be upon him, is the way he gave us guidance. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said in the hadith related in the sahih: “I was granted encompassing speech.”

The words of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, are few. You will hardly ever find a hadith in which the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, spoke for paragraphs. He spoke in phrases and sentences and he said very little. What he said, blessings and peace be upon him, was full of impact. It was full of meaning. One of the countless marvelous hadith of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is a hadith that we’re going to touch upon, which are the words of the beloved Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him: “The believer is the mirror of the believer.”

One of the reasons the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, spoke in words that are statements of wisdom, that he didn’t spell out everything, is to empower us as believers, so that we reflect on his example. And so that we can derive from it meanings that are not just specific to a particular context, but that are generalizable to any circumstance. It will speak to you wherever you may be. Whatever you may be facing.

The Reflection and What Reflects

“The believer is the mirror of the believer.” This is very intriguing because there’s two believers mentioned, and there’s a mirror. Which one are you? Are you the reflect the one who’s reflecting or the one who is reflected? Both are possible. I’m just going to touch on five lessons that one can derive from this hadith.

The first lesson has to do with the company that one keeps. A believer is a mirror of the believer. If you want to know your standing as a believer, your state as a believer, what do you need to do? You need to become someone who keeps good company. The company that you keep will transform who you are.

They say that when it comes to learning you’re affected as much by socialization, even at a high level of academic achievement, as you are by simply your intelligence and what you study. If someone wants to go into a field of research, for example, you’re affected as much by the company that you keep in terms of your achievement, as you are by your own levels of intelligence and your own study. There are many reasons for this, but it is very true in your state as a believer.

The Company You Keep

The company that you truly keep is not just the physical company that you keep, but what do you do on your on your time on, says, Facebook, because that’s virtual company. And what extent of that real and virtual company that you keep is a company of believers that you want to become like? The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, told us in another hadith that: “A person will be with those they love. A person is on the way of their close companions. So let each of you look carefully as to whose close company you keep.” Because that’s where you’re at in your din.

That’s both a warning to consider what company that you keep, both real and virtual, and also, what do you keep the company of people for? So you might become keeping company with the best of believers, with people that are really impressive, but you can just hang out with them because they’re cool or they’re fun to be with. In those kinds of situations it can just be hanging out and that’s good. But there’s a higher aspiration that you want to benefit from them as a believer, as one who believes in Allah and turns to Allah Most High.

You want to see the reflection of good qualities. Someone is generous. So don’t just freeload of them. Learn generosity from them. You have another friend you like being around her, because she’s always smiling. Try to take that as a mirror from which you benefit in your own standing with Allah Most High. Having a cheerful, positive countenance is beloved to Allah Most High. It’s from the wing of the beloved Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him.

The Sunna Is Balance

The second lesson has to do with being a mirror for others. What is a mirror? It shows you things as they are. Why do you look in the mirror in the morning? When you do look in the mirror intend to follow the Sunna of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, used to look at the mirror in the morning before he’d go out in public.

When he’d be out for an extended period of time, the beloved Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, used to have certain things that he’d keep with him. Amongst them was a small mirror, because Allah is beautiful and He loves Beauty. And Allah means the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, beautiful, but he took care of his appearance for the sake of Allah. And also because how you dress and how you look affects relationships.

The sunna is balance. You take the benefit now you can derive from a mirror, but it is against us to not to look excessively. So you keep a mirror with you and you look and you fix yourself up without looking excessively. That’s what a mirror does. It reflects. It shows you what you need to correct. So you should be a mirror for others.

The Good Companion

Firstly, you should be reflecting virtue, so that you are the good companion. When people keep company with you, they benefit from the way you are. They benefit from your attitude. They benefit from your company. And it’s not a question of saying religious things. It’s not about talking din. It’s about living din. That you smile. That you have concern for others. That you’re caring. That you’re respectful. They’ll benefit from that company even if you don’t say a thing about religion.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, used to be silent most of the time in his gatherings with the Companions, may Allah be well pleased with them. They learned more from his silence than we learn from his speech, blessings and peace be upon him. Because the way he was in his relationship with Allah, taught them as much as his words, blessings and peace be upon him.

Be a mirror for others: 1) in the way you conduct yourself, 2) that you’re true to them. The mirror, if it is as it should be, shows you things as they are. They come to you looking for advice and you’re honest with them. You have sincere concern for them.

Sincere Concern for Others

If someone comes and says for instance: “You know I want to marry Zubayr. What do you think?” And you know that Zubayr is just a bag of problems, but he’s your first cousin. If they find out that you said that Zubayda shouldn’t really marry Zubayr, it’s going to cause problems. So you say: “Oh, you know, he’s a good guy.” And he’s not. That is not being a true mirror for Zubayda.

It entails being true in your relationships. Of course, with wisdom, with the intention of sincere concern and benefit. Not just out of harshness. The mirror doesn’t hit you. The mirror shows things as they are so that you’re able to improve. Reflect on that. Being a mirror for others is to inspire them to the good.

The third is to instill in them thankfulness. One of the sunnas of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, when you look in the mirror is that, if you find anything good you praise Allah Most High. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, had a dua that he recited. “O Allah, just as you have made my form beautiful, make my character beautiful.” It’s an expression of thankfulness, not an expression of conceit.

You spend a lot of money getting that haircut. You look at in the mirror, you don’t go into self-praise. You go into praise of Allah. It’s a blessing from Allah. Or you always wanted you know some effect of your martial arts, and finally you have a swollen nose. Finally you bloodied. Instead of feeling all that, you thank Allah Most High.

You try to reflect good for others by being true to them, by inspiring them by your own example, and thirdly by instilling in them a positive perspective. A lot of people are down. A lot of people feel sadness and sorrow. By reflecting in them, the good; by reminding them of Allah, about His blessings, you inspire them to be thankful, which is one of the purposes of a mirror.

Who Is the Believer?

The fourth lesson that we can learn from from the words of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is to consider the believer here not to refer to an individual, but the believers at the whole. That in relation to the things that happen around us, what is the first response that we have as a believer? The MSA lost it lost its mind, let’s say, and they started protesting the film and the cartoons and this and that. What do you do?

Are you responsible for what’s going on in Islamabad or Cairo or Tunisia? No, you’re not. – If you are, go and fix what you did. – But you’re not responsible. The first thing that you do is to see what goes on around you as a mirror for yourself. When you see others exhibiting rage, anger, and ugly conduct, you’re responsible, first, for yourself. Are you out of control?

Maybe not all the time, but sometimes when provoked, when your dad starts talking Pakistani politics or putting down Punjabis or you know dissing Sudanese or Lubnanis or whoever they put down. How do you respond? It’s very easy to say those people over there, how come they do this? But very often we are, ourselves, the Firaun, on occasions. Then when you see things happening around you, you take a lesson. That’s true in the Qur’an as well.

Look to Yourself

When you read the stories in the Qur’an, you don’t say: “O, what a bunch of losers, Firaun and his people. It’s an address to you. You’ve see in it a mirror for yourself. “Do I have Firaunic tendencies?” If you do, then rectify yourself. You take what’s happening around you as a mirror.

Then you look at what public response you should have. If nothing else, you pray that Allah changes things for the good. You see what you can do about it, but the first thing begins with an inward response. Then what is going on.

The believer is a mirror of the believer: al mu’min. The al prefix in Arabic has very different usages. One of them is we say: “Hadha huwa al-rajul.” It can also refer to the one who had the complete qualities of rujula. Like the saying: “He’s the man.” Or they used to say. I don’t know if you guys say it anymore.

You say, “He’s the man,” meaning, he’s all that. He has what we respect in terms of manliness. So, the believer it is a mirror of the believer. Who is the believer? He is the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him. Your relationship with the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, it is not just: “O, that’s so beautiful. He was such a kind person, masha Allah.” That’s supposed to be a mirror for you. That you see in that what the good is and you consider what you need to be changing.

Truly Reflect Prophetic Virtue

The true believer is the one who most truly reflects prophetic virtue. You always turn to the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, so that you can learn what virtue is. What good is. With what intention? One, to be inspired and that itself increases you in faith, but more importantly to look at what you need to be improving on. The mirror teaches you. That mirror is the act of reflecting on that image that is implanted.

It also tells you that you should have such clear knowledge of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, you should be able to see that image of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, so that you can reflect on it and be transformed by it, which entails learning about his example, his conduct, his character, his worship, his way in life. The way he was with others. The way he was with his Lord. These are some of the lessons that we can take of the many many lessons of the hadith.

The fifth lesson, and it’s subtle but many of the great scholars have mentioned it in their commentaries on the hadith. It’s metaphorical as mentioned by Shaykh And al-Qadir Jilani and by by others as well of the hadith commentators. The believer is the mirror as it were of the Believer, al-Mu’min, and that is Allah Most High.

Polishing the Heart

The believers’ heart is meant to be a mirror for the light of divine guidance. We know from the hadith of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, that the heart is what Allah Most High looks at. Allah does not look at your bodies and forms, rather He looks at your hearts. The heart trusts so that it can no longer shine light. The heart darkens through one’s sins. The polish of the heart is seeking forgiveness and remembrance of Allah.

It’s not that you can see Allah in your heart in some physical way. No, your heart should be reflecting the light of divine guidance, the light of faith. And if you don’t find that, if you find that faith is a distant glimmer, it’s a flicker that you recognize once in a while, then know that you have a heart that requires polishing.

How do we polish that heart? The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “The polishing of the heart is the remembrance of Allah.” He said, “The polishing of the heart is seeking forgiveness. The polishing of the heart is to say, ‘la ilaha illa Allah,’ and keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.” So that the light of faith is shining in your heart. So that you find contentment and clarity and you can see things as they truly are.

May Allah Most High make us of those who recognize and reflect on and are realized in the meanings of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, saying: “The believer is the mirror of the believer.”

 


Prophetic Parenting: Q&A – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophetic Parenting series, taught by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani,  covers 40 Hadiths on raising righteous Muslim children. This segment of the Prophetic Parenting series covers some commonly asked questions and answers.

What are the three aspects of parenting?

They are tarbiya (upbringing) ta’deeb (instilling of adab) and ta’leem (teaching). These must come in order, and parents must have a plan for what they want for their children, and have goals. By raising them with concern, children will be led to have good character.

To what extent are we responsible for the choices of our children when they grow up?

We are responsible for taking the means that we can, but we cannot control outcomes. Normally, if the right means are taken with the right intentions, we can be reasonably sure to expect the right results. However, if you took the means but yet they drift, your responsibility remains to advise, and be of sincere concern.  You can do this without imposing on them or being overbearing.

If two parents do not agree, what should they do?

All affairs have to be through mutual consultation, with each other and with trusted elders and scholars. They should agree to have a healthy marriage, and how to discuss issues that come up in a respectful and safe manner.

About the Series

As Muslims, we take family and our children seriously. We seek clarity and guidance to raise upright, righteous, successful Muslim children who love Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will cover 40 hadiths on parenting.

Beginning with how to choose a spouse while keeping in mind future parenting, to raising and educating children from when they’re small to when they are young adults. We will also see beautiful, faith-inspiring examples of the Prophet’s mercy, gentleness, wisdom, and excellence in his own parenting and dealing with children–while inculcating in them the highest of aspiration, discipline, curiosity, intelligence, and spiritual resolve.


Day 21: Be A Guardian – 30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 21: Be a Guardian

Allah’s name Al-Ghaffar, can be simply translated as “The Most Forgiving.” A deeper meaning implies that Allah covers up our shortcomings with a sheltering veil. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. Part of Allah’s mercy is that He can ensure that no one else finds out about your faults.

This Ramadan, try to emulate this noble character trait. If you hear something that someone did, don’t pry deeper. If you know of something they did, ensure that it doesn’t get past you, unless you really need to. Be a guardian for others. After all, we know that if a Muslim covers the faults of others, Allah will, in turn, covers theirs.


Bring new life to this Ramadan by enrolling in a FREE On-Demand course.

Charity in Ramadan – Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin

In this video, Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin speaks about the merits of giving sadaqa (charity) and how we should go about giving it in this blessed time, even if we don’t have that much money.

Sadaqa, or charity, is one of the pinnacle aspects of our actions this Ramadan. It can be in the form of money or something tangible, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, it can be removing something dangerous from the road, smiling at someone, a word of kindness–anything of benefit.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was known to be the most generous, and his charity would increase in the month of Ramadan. We know that the rewards for our good deeds are multiplies this Ramadan, so we should strive to do as many good things as possible. It’s amazing how much Allah is giving us this Ramadan.


With gratitude to Tayba Foundation.


Resources for Seekers

Day 18: Break Your Ego–30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 18: Break Your Ego

Allah is the All-Powerful, All-Near. We know this and believe this. However, we know that there is a veil between us and Him. That veil is our nafs, our ego and lower self. One of the scholars said, “One nafs is worse than seventy devils.” This is more apparent in Ramadan, where we know that the devils are chained, but we are still having problems.

This Ramadan, try to do something to overcome your ego. It could be forcing yourself to seek advice from someone you don’t like, or offering extra prayers. After all, the path of struggle is the path of love.


Bring new life to this Ramadan by enrolling in a FREE On-Demand course.

Day 16: Speak Good About Others–30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 16: Speak Good About Others

Even if we dislike someone, we know that when we will be in Paradise together, there will be no hatred or grudges. Even if someone was a frequent sinner in this world, Allah can choose to completely forgive them. This teaches us that we should only see others in a positive light.

This Ramadan, try your best to speak positively about everyone else. Mention their good qualities, their strengths and their contributions. Introduce people to others and allow them to connect. There will be certain times where you have to be honest, but unless you absolutely must, try your best see the good in each person and every situation. By doing this, we can hope that Allah overlooks our faults and helps us when we need help.


Bring new life to this Ramadan by enrolling in a FREE On-Demand course.

Day 15: Be A Good Driver – 30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 15: Be A Good Driver

As humans, we sometimes treat each other in funny ways. Sometimes our humanity gets lost within our technology. Our Islam is something we need to operationalize, and make it something that touches every part of our life.

When you next go for a drive, try to incorporate the teachings of Islam. Be mindful of others on the road. Give other drivers the right of way, and allow pedestrians to cross. Drive at a speed that is safe for you and others. Don’t get frustrated when the traffic is bad. Remember; Islam isn’t just for the mosque, it’s also for the road.


Bring new life to this Ramadan by enrolling in a FREE On-Demand course.