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Is There Any Hope for Me to Be Forgiven?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: During my childhood I was a good person. I am now 25 years old and addicted to sex. To make things worse I struggle with financial issues and learning difficulties. I can’t even get married. I want to obey Allah. Will He ever forgive me?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

Hope

Allah says in the Quran, “Say: Oh my slaves who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins.” [Qur’an, 39:53]

“And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgives sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.” [Ali Imran: 135]

“Ask your Lord for forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him.” [Hud: 3]

Do not despair – your desire to repent is already a sign of Allah’s love for you. The only human beings protected from sin are Prophets (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon all of them). Everyone else on this planet struggles with some form of sin or another. For as long as you are alive, the doors of forgiveness are open to you. Ours is a religion of hope.

Repentance

The conditions of a valid repentance are as follows:

a. One leaves the sin,
b. One feels remorse for the action committed,
c. One resolves to not return to it, and
d. One pays back or returns what one owes if the sin involves the rights of others.

[Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]

I strongly recommend that you come up with and commit to a plan of action to help you overcome your sexual addiction. Here are some suggestions:

-Pray Salatul Hajat and ask Allah for the strength to give up your addiction, for the ability to marry, for ease in your finances and education, and whatever else troubles you.

-Find a new circle of God-fearing friends whom you can spend time with when you get lonely.

-Find a psychologist who specialises in sexual addiction, who respects your faith.

-Read Surah Al-Waqiah to increase your rizq, and encourage your parents to do the same.

-Give a small amount of sadaqah and ask Allah for whatever you wish (forgiveness, the ability to get married, etc)

-Incorporate more sunnah fasts into your life to help you manage your libido, starting with Monday and Thursday fasts.

-Cut down on and eventually eliminate all sources of vice that increase your desire (e.g. unlawful magazines, internet pornography etc)

-Look into the lawfulness of your food and your income. It is easier to leave sin and do good when one’s livelihood and food are halal.

-Reduce your meat consumption and eat more cooling foods.

-Expend your energy through regular exercise and volunteer activities (e.g. soup kitchen etc)

Marriage

In addition to praying Salatul Hajat for a righteous and loving wife, you can recite “Our Lord! Grant unto us mates and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” [Qur’an, 25:74]

Prepare yourself for marriage by completing this course on SeekersGuidance – Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. This class will reopen on January 2nd 2016, inshaAllah.

Tawakkul

“And put your trust in Allah, and Sufficient is Allah as a Wakil (Trustee, or Disposer of affairs).” [Quran, 33:3]

One of my teachers shared a gem which I want to share with you. Sometimes, a great sin can cause a person to repent and become closer to Allah than ever before. So this sin ends up being a means of tremendous good. On the other hand, those who find it easy to pray in the masjid and keep away from sin, can be tested by the presence of arrogance in their hearts. Dying in that state is a terrible way to meet Allah.

Have hope in Allah. By nature, humanity is weak. We all sin and make mistakes. Our strength is only through Allah Most High.

I pray that one day soon, through Allah’s Divine Concern and Enabling Grace, you will find yourself in a happy marriage, and far, far away from your current anguish. Trust that Allah can make anything possible, do your utmost to repent, and leave the outcome to Him.

Wassalam,
Raidah

Please refer to the related links:

Chapter on Repentance
Did Allah Deny Me A Job Because Of My Sin?
How Do Students With No Money Deal With Sexual Urges?
Forgiving Major Sins and the Hadith of the Prostitute Who Gives Water to the Thirsty Dog

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

True Hope by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

True hope isn’t a fragile state of restless expectation.
Rather, it is the coolness of certitude and the calm of contentment in knowing the Beauty, Mercy, and Generosity of one’s Majestic and Tremendous Lord.

“So whoever hopes for the meeting of their Lord, let them perform righteous deeds, and associate none with their Lord in His worship.” [Qur’an, 18.110]

True hope is in Allah, for Allah, with Allah, by Allah.
Not just for “things” from Allah.
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[SeekersGuidance Courses]
Absolute Essentials of Islam: Beliefs & Worship (STEP)
Purification of the Heart & Praiseworthy Character (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)
Principles of Islamic Spirituality
The Marvels of the Heart
Essentials of Spirituality: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance Explained (STEP)

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

Can I Turn to Allah Even if I Can’t Stop Sinning?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Can I turn sincerely to God if I’m stuck in sin and really find it hard to come out of it? Is there any point in me turning to God and saying ‘I’m sorry’ even if I can’t find it in me to leave the sin?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, however, keep repenting and keep returning back to Allah. Ask Allah to remove the sin from your life, and then take the active means to get the sin out. This is true sincerity. Otherwise, you are just kidding yourself.

Allah Most High says: “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.” [39.53]

And He Most High says, “Celebrate the praise of your Lord and ask His forgiveness: He is always ready to accept repentance.” [110.3]

Abu Hurayra said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘By Allah, I ask Allah’s forgiveness and turn towards Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.”

Abu Hamza Anas ibn Malik al-Ansari, the servant of the Messenger of Allah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah is happier about the repentance of one His slaves than one of you would be about finding your camel which had strayed away from you in the middle of the desert.”[Agreed upon]
In the variant of Muslim, “Allah has greater joy at the repentance of one His slaves when he turns towards Him than one of you would have over his mount, which, having escaped from him with his food and drink in the middle of the desert so that he has despaired of finding it and gone to a tree to lie down in its shade, suddenly appears standing by him while he is in that state, so that he takes its reins and then says out of the intensity of his joy, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ getting confused because of his intense joy.'”

Please also see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance) and: Leaving sin, outward & inward – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at SeekersHub (www.SeekersHub.org)

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mistakes in Recitation During my Prayers: How not to Loose Hope of Them Being Accepted?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Asalaamu alaikum
I know the rules of Tajwid but I always make mistakes in my recitation during prayer because it is difficult for me to remember those rules. I cry a lot because of that because my prayers will never be accepted. What should I do?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Mistakes in recitation or pronunciation don’t affect the validity of your prayer.
Work on your tajwid outside of the prayer, and focus on what you are doing during the prayer itself.
See: Should I Repeat My Qur’an and Du’a Recitations Due to Errors in Pronunciation? and: The Sunna Method of Reciting the Qur’an and the Legal Status of Reciting With Tajwid
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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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Difficulty in Finding a Spouse and Losing Hope

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: Is the person I will get married to part of “Qada” or “Qadar”? Some people find spouses easily although they never think about getting married, and yet they easily get married, others work hard, ask imams to help etc…

Many people in my social circle, from university and the islamic community know that I am unmarried and looking for a spouse. In addition, my mother has asked the imam to find someone for me. But some people say that marriage is qadar and that if I still have not found some one yet, that means my family and I are not “trying enough”. Please guide me about what is right. I am confused and sometimes I become hopeless astaghfirullah.

Answer: Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question.

Everything that happens to us is a matter of “qada and qadr,” or Allah’s will.

I can understand that your difficulty in finding a spouse is a source of frustration for you. I can see how you might look at others and wonder why everything seems so easy for them.

Keep in mind, however, that there is some lesson in this situation that you might not understand, but may come to appreciate later.

Do not worry about those who say you and your family are not trying hard enough. Say to them that you need encouragement and positive words. If they cannot contribute either, then they should remain silent.

Do not lose hope. You have taken the right step by informing your local Imam and others that you are looking for a spouse. However, there are other steps you may take. For example, you mentioned your university and social circle. Keep in mind that it is permissible to propose marriage to a prospective husband, provided that you stay within the parameters of the Shari’ah. Therefore, you do not have to simply wait for the Imam or others to remember you. If you see someone who has potential, do not hesitate to have your family inquire after him.

Last but not least, do not forget to ask Allah daily for your needs. You can pray the Prayer of Need, or Salat al-Hajah, the details of which can be found here. It is also recommended to recite the following verse from the Qur’an: “Our Lord! Grant unto us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous” (25:74).

And Allah knows best,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq