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Calumny and the Prophetic Response

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat details the evils of calumny and how to respond.

I want to know what Shari‘a says of a women who falsely accuses husband of impotence and rejects all medical evidence. Not only that, she has spread word about the impotence of the husband throughout the community, thereby bringing him into disrepute.

I pray you are well.

Calumny

What you are describing is calumny (buhtan). It is a serious sin. Sins against oneself are bad – but sins against others are much worse.

The Messenger of Allah said, “Five particular sins have no expiation: Worshipping another besides Allah (this can be extended to disbelief in general), unjustly killing a person, calumny against a believer, fleeing from a battle, and a false oath causing a believer to lose his property.” (Ahmad).

What is understood from the hadith is that good deeds, Ramadan, etc., usually expiate and remove sins from a believer – even if he does not repent from them. These sins, however, are not expiated automatically. Whoever commits them must repent from them specifically, otherwise he will have to answer for them on the Day of Judgement.

The Prophetic Response

The best thing you can do is to respond as the noble Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, did, with patience and forgiveness.

Abu Hurayra narrated that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace said, “No wealth has ever been diminished by charity; and Allah has never raised a servant due to his pardoning [those who wrong him] except in honor; and whoever humbles himself for the sake of Allah – Allah raises him.” (Bukhari). These are tried and tested truths – do your best to follow this advice.

You are not, however, expected to be a doormat to anyone. The believer does not allow people to humiliate him. If there is active harm coming your way from people you can do what you need to prevent it, and preserve your reputation. But beware of going to excesses in your response. We are human, and emotionally charged situations can take people there.

Get out of harm’s way, and keep forgiving internally to please Allah; and whatever happens externally will go in your favor – that I guarantee you.

May Allah inspire us to adopt the prophetic response in all situations.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How To Avoid Being A "Know-It-All", by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

You should be involved in Islamic learning, argues Shaykh Shuaib Ally. A large reason for that involves a trait that, when lacking, cripples a person’s ability to develop their knowledge base: intellectual humility.

A lack of intellectual humility manifests itself, in discussions related to the Islamic sciences, in various forms. A common expression is for me to arrive at a certain opinion, say, related to a legal matter. I then imagine that I alone understand what the ruling ought to be, and that none others hold a correct view.
However, it is unlikely that my opinion finds no precedent whatsoever in an academic history that spans over 1400 odd years and large swathes of the globe. Such a belief instead derives from my misguided belief in the unique and special nature of my own outlook.
It would be bad enough if this were the lone result of this form of intellectual arrogance. Worse is the nefarious corollary of such a belief, my belief that the fact this unique understanding is not being currently championed must be due to one of two reasons.
One is that the vast majority of scholars are being academically dishonest and are hiding what is the correct opinion for their own ends. The other is that it really is the fact that the understanding I have arrived at has no precedent whatsoever in the inherited tradition. I then take this to be demonstrative of the fact that established scholarship has nothing serious to offer.
This is, of course, wrongheaded.
It is unlikely that there is some sort of conspiracy to cover up aspects of scholarship in Islamic history; in fact, scholarly works are quite good at recording non-mainstream opinions, if for no other reason than academic curiosity. It is simply more likely that scholars have chosen another opinion for other reasons, and that is the one that people are most familiar with.
Moreover, my being unaware of a certain opinion within a body of scholarship hardly indicates that the community of scholarship itself is somehow compromised. More often than not, it simply reflects a gap in my own knowledge base. That is, it says more about me than about the discipline I am considering defective.
In this regard, the late 3rd C Shāfiʿī jurist poet, Mansūr b. Ismāʿīl al-Tamīmī, recited:

Those of diminished intellect critique the study of law
Yet their blame does not affect it in the least
The morning sun rising in the horizon remains unharmed
By those without sight remaining oblivious to its light

Let me give you an example. Imagine I believe that astronomical calculations should be used in lieu of naked eye sightings to determine the beginning and end of months in the lunar calendar. I could have very good reasons for arguing this. Classical scholars, I might argue, worked in a medieval period in which the sciences were not as developed, and therefore did not consider astronomical calculations as possible. I might go on to argue that in the modern age, we have precise methods of measurement, and that this should allow for the formulation of new rulings.
This would be an example of intellectual arrogance because classical works do consider astronomical calculations being used for this purpose; these discussions are alluded to in even fairly elementary works of law. When I make such a claim, I am arrogantly making claims about the absence of a discussion in a certain literature, betraying my lack of knowledge of preceding discussion.
My viewing scholars at large with suspicion, and believing them to be unwilling to entertain this discussion, would likewise be intellectually arrogant. This is because they are skirting an issue; they have simply chosen another opinion for other reasons.
The intellectual arrogance here is born out of a misguided sense of my own academic breadth. This arrogance is criticized famously by Abu Nuwas, the 2nd C Abbasid poet famous for the licentious content of his work, who recited:

Say to one who claims a special understanding:
You have gathered a little bit, but even more escapes you!

This lack of knowledge is therefore exacerbated by my lack of intellectual humility. Had I bothered to engage in the disciplines that purport to deal with the subject matter under consideration, I might have found at the very least a suitable starting point for their research.
However, rejecting at the outset anything a scholarly class busies itself with as having little intellectual worth has necessarily restricted me from benefiting from it. Due diligence demands being thorough in researching my claims prior to making them, but my preconceived notions about the undeveloped nature of the Islamic disciplines have led me to bypass that.
These preconceived notions are often coupled by an actual inability to access scholarly discussions on a given subject. That is, intellectual arrogance has blocked me from acquiring the requisite knowledge of the Islamic disciplines, primary or supporting, such that I can actually engage the textual tradition on the issues I purports to have special knowledge of. Indeed, there is often a correlation between lack of learning and intellectual arrogance.


A lack of intellectual humility can also express itself in my conception of others and their practice. Part of intellectual humility is understanding that while I believe and act in a certain manner, others may have good reason for doing or believing something that is at odds with this. Intellectual humility demands coming to terms with this, even if I do not understand the reason for others choosing another course, or even if I have never come across the rationale underlying their chosen course.
When I am intellectually arrogant, however, I am unable to do this. Instead, I presumptuously think that knowledge begins and ends only with what I myself has come across and understand.This allows me to pompously insist on my own position at all costs, assuming it to be the only correct position. It also allows me to judge others, believing their positions to be inadequate without having actually assessed their merit, and rejecting from the outset anything they could have to say in response as having intellectual worth.
Rejecting something simply because it is unfamiliar is, however, behaviour the Qurʾan criticizes as unbecoming. Imam al- Qurtubī, the famous 7th C Andalusian exegete, mentions that al-Husayn b. al-Fadl, a 3rd C Nishapuri exegete, was asked, Does the Qur’an contain the idea that whoever is ignorant of something opposes it? He said: Yes, in two places: They disbelieve in anything their own knowledge does not encompass (10:39); and If they have not been guided to something, they say, this is an ancient lie (46:11).


Another form of intellectual arrogance can manifest itself when I have acquired some knowledge, and suddenly consider myself intellectually superior to all others, even those who are far above me in their level of scholarship, including my own teachers. Al-Jāhiz, the 3rd C Abbasid polymath, recited these famous lines from the perspective of a teacher complaining of such a situation:

How curious, the one I reared from childhood; I would feed with the tips of my fingers
I taught him to shoot; when his arms became strong, he fired at me
How often I trained him in verse; when he began to recite, he attacked me
I taught him manliness, daily; when his mustache began to grow, he abandoned me
When I act in such a manner, I become the instantiation of the warning that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, as it has contributed to my inflated sense of worth, instead of increasing my humility.

 


The good news is that the cure to intellectual arrogance is fairly straightforward. It is to actually engage in sincere learning. This is why I think you should engage in Islamic learning.
The bad news is that doing so isn’t particularly easy, in that it is much easier to simply be pompous. Acquiring real knowledge takes work.
There is an indication of this difficulty in that the Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings of God be upon him – said that whoever embarks upon a path of knowledge, God facilitates for them a path to Paradise.
He does this, scholars say, in two ways. One is worldly, in that he makes it easy for them to do good, and difficult for them to do otherwise. The second is a reference to the afterlife, in that he facilitates for them their crossing of the bridge to Paradise, a task otherwise fraught with difficulty.
There is a general principle when it comes to how reward and punishment is meted out for a specific action; it tends to be commensurate, or similar in kind, to a person’s action, good or bad. This is encapsulated in the maxim: actions are rewarded in kind.
In the case of our knowledge seeker, he has undertaken what is actually an onerous task – knowledge seeking can require, beyond cost, countless hours of attending classes, listening to lectures, recording and reviewing notes, and putting up with teachers with different personalities and teaching methodologies that may not accord with his own.
All of this is near impossible for the intellectually arrogant, as he cannot see why he needs to humiliate himself before knowledge in this manner. But for one who does take it upon himself to traverse this difficult path, they are rewarded in kind, in that God facilitates for them what would have otherwise been an intractable journey.


It has been said that whoever has not tasted the humility of learning for a short time, tastes the bitterness of ignorance for a lifetime. That is, humbling oneself to a sincere knowledge quest can serve to quell many of the pitfalls that come with being intellectually arrogant.
One who does so sincerely will become aware of the kinds of discussions that scholars are engaged in, their range and extent, and the methods they employ to reach their conclusions. A large part of this is because engaging sincerely will provide one with the tools to properly participate in scholarly discussions.
Being apprised of this intellectual heritage protects one from thinking that an entire tradition is undeveloped in that it has little to offer. This awareness also prevents one from viewing the scholarly community with disdain or suspicion, even if one disagrees with their conclusions.
The knowledge that one gains will allow one to develop their intellectual humility in other ways too. At the personal level, it allows one to realize the contours of their own knowledge base; that is, an awareness of what they know and how that roughly fits into the available body of knowledge. For the vast majority of people, this is a humbling experience, as one realizes the limited nature of their grasp, even after years of study.
At a larger level, this humility forces a certain level of tolerance for others’ beliefs and practice, as one no longer pompously believes themselves to have an exclusive grasp of truth in the Islamic tradition. Such a person no longer has the internal urge to object to what others are doing or saying, as he knows that there can be schools of thought or credible scholarship that holds as such. This is why many scholars say: the more one’s knowledge grows, the more his objections diminish.


This is – to finally get to the point – why I think you should be involved in Islamic learning. Aside from the normal reasons for pursuing what is generally considered ‘religious’ knowledge – which are themselves good enough – doing so will allow one to pursue this special knowledge related virtue, that of cultivating intellectual humility.
A community that demonstrates knowledge related virtues, premier among them being a healthy dose of intellectual humility, is the kind of knowledge community we want to build. This is the kind of community that, aside from simply being engaged with knowledge, can build a native tradition of scholarship.
This is because its collective intellectual humility and academic integrity has allowed for the raising of intellectual discourse across the community, beyond the clamor of theories divorced from preceding scholarship and the vague insinuations that often pose as informed comment in popular discourse today.
I want you to be part of this building process, even if in a small way.
It is difficult to approach a knowledge quest sincerely. Yet I encourage you to approach it as sincerely as you can, and pray that your sincerity, even if somehow currently compromised, is perfected over time. Some past scholars used to say, musing on their intentions becoming corrected over time: we started out seeking knowledge for reasons other than God, yet it refused in the end to be for any cause other than God.
The method for participating in this process is up to you; it can and should involve a number of different options. These include attending classes on the ground with those who do embody intellectual humility; taking online courses (such as those offered through Seekershub), listening to lectures, and reading widely.
We don’t lack for resources in learning. We do lack for commitment to learning, a problem that derives largely from arrogance of the intellect.
This is why, in a roundabout way, I think you should involve yourself in sincere Islamic learning.

[cwa id=’cta’]

Allah is Shy, and Loves Shyness – Why?

Shyness is an attribute much loved in a Muslim. As Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said explains, it is valued not merely in our public conduct but in the way we approach our relationship with Allah.
Want to learn more? Take an online course with reliable scholars at the SeekersHub Academy, where dozens of topics are covered each term.

On Shyness and the Beauty of Modesty

Resources on Shyness and Modesty:

Shaykh Faid SaidShaykh Faid Mohammed Said is a jewel in the crown of traditional Islamic scholarship in the United Kingdom and we at SeekersHub are ever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support. He was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Qur’an and its sciences, Arabic grammar and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, from which he graduated with a first class honours degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in a number of disciplines including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom.
Read his articles and watch his lectures on the SeekersHub blog.

How Can We Say Allah Loves Us, yet He Puts Us in Difficulty?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Allah is putting me through test after test.
I understand that life is meant to be a test but what I don’t understand is how you can test someone that you love? Surely if Allah loves us, He should try and help us and ease our worries. I have done a lot of acts of worship but things are only getting worse…

Shouldn’t we just all hope to die?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you tremendous relief after all of your heartache.

Tribulations

“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.’ [Ibn Majah]

Trials are an inevitable part of this life. Reflect on the stories of the Prophets (upon them be blessings and peace), and how much they were tested. Being in the dunya can be unbelievably painful. It can also contain tremendous joy. All this passes – the good of it, and the bad of it. I pray that Allah grants you a multitude of ways to cope, out of His Mercy. InshaAllah your heartache is expiation for you, and an elevation of your rank in Jannah.

Losing hope

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “None of you should wish for death because of a calamity that has afflicted him, but if he must do something he should say: O Allah, keep me alive so long as life is good for me and cause me to die if death is better for me.” [Sahih Bukhari]

“Verily, with the hardship, there is relief.” [Qur’an, 94:6]

Dear sister, please do not despair and wish for death. For as long as you are alive, the doors of repentance remain open. Trust that Allah’s promise is true. Verily after every hardship is ease. Although you might not feel this right now, take a deep breath, exhale, and reflect on the moments in your life where Allah granted you ease after difficulty. Have a good opinion of your Lord. Shaytan wants to trick you into despair, so safeguard yourself from his trap.

Purpose of Hardship

Please take the time to read this brilliant explanation on Suffering and Divine Wisdom, and take the time to reflect on the role of suffering in our journey towards Allah.

Creation

One of the realities of being a created being is accepting that we cannot place demands on our Creator. Allah does whatever He wills. At the same time, remember His Mercy.

Alhamdulilah, all of your acts of worship are praiseworthy, so please continue them, but shift your attitude. Surrender to His Decree, instead of holding onto this idea of a transaction: “If I do x then Allah will give me y.” Allah is under no obligation to answer our duas on our timeline, as painful as this can be for us. Seek comfort in the reality that there is always, always, always wisdom in what He withholds, and in what He gives us, as much as it can hurt.

Solutions

1.Perform the Prayer of Need during the last third of the night. Come to Allah, brokenhearted. Beg Him for relief.

2.Reflect on your contribution to your difficulty. Do you need to repent? Is there someone you have wronged? Seek to redress these immediately.

3.Continue to give in charity and make dua for ease.

4.When you perform these acts of worship, do so with an attitude of humility.

5.It sounds like you are overwhelmed and in need of help. Could you find a kind therapist, psychologist or life coach to speak to? Do you have good friends or family members who can give you a listening ear?

6.Exercise daily, eat nourishing foods and get enough sunshine.

Please refer to the following links:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Haram to Like One’s Beauty and Appearance?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Is it haram to like one’s beauty and appearance, because it can be classified as arrogance? Is it also arrogant to wear nice clothes, put on makeup and do our hair in front of women in order to show off our beauty?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for your concern, grant you clarity in this matter, and guide you to what is pleasing to Him.

Definition of Arrogance

“No one with an atom’s worth of arrogance will enter paradise.” A man asked, “But a person loves that his clothes are seemly and his sandals are seemly.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied,” Indeed Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is denying truth and holding people in contempt.” (Muslim)

It is in our nature as human beings to enjoy beauty in its myriad forms. However, it is sinful to look down on others by because we feel superior to them in beauty, wealth, intelligence etc – that is a form of arrogance.

Vanity vs Dignity

“Vanity is when a person deems them self to have some blessing and forgets that it is from Allah and it does not require that a person is looking down on another person. Dignity (‘izzah) is when a person recognizes the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them (faith, life, health, beauty, wealth, knowledge, prestige, etc) and walks humbly with a recognition of those blessings while not deeming themselves better than others.” From Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials from Allah

I strongly recommend that when you feel pleased about your beauty, you immediately remind yourself that this is a blessing from Allah Most High. InshaAllah, this will protect you from vanity.

Showing Off

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.'” [Qur’an, 14:7]

It is unwise to show off anything we have been blessed with. The appropriate attitude to have towards blessings is that one of gratitude (shukr) towards Allah. He is the One who bestows all of our blessings upon us. Whatever Allah grants, He can take away as a means of testing us. The best way to secure our blessings is through having continual shukr, inshaAllah.

Please refer to the following links:

Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials from Allah
What is the Difference Between Self Respect and Arrogance?
What is the Islamic Understanding of Pride?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

You’re Wildly Successful, but Do Your Friends Trust You?

Photo credit: Sergey Nivens You might have written bestsellers, but do your friends trust you?

You might have a PhD but do your children hate you?

You might have millions of fans but are you incapable of having a loving relationship?

You might earn a ton of money, but is it all sitting in high-interest accounts or shares in unethical mining or arms companies, while the people around you are eating tinned dog food?

You might have earned the praise and admiration of your peers, but does the old lady at the Post Office secretly call you ‘that pompous, rude git who swans about like he owns the place and couldn’t tell a joke if it bit him in the arse’?

Achievement has about as much to do with what looks good on paper as beauty has to do with plastic surgery. What have Muslims contributed in the last 500 years or so? Many millions of tiny acts of kindness that no newspaper would bother printing and no organisation would bother stumping up the cash for an awards ceremony to celebrate.

Dealing with your own self is a far more difficult task than going to university, getting a job, and rising up the career ladder, gathering accolades on the way. You can employ all sorts of underhanded methods in the latter, but in the former, only ruthless self-accounting and discipline will work – and that doesn’t get you any certificate.

Humility, disinterested acts of kindness, generosity, service to others, being the kind of everyday hero that doesn’t demand a medal – these acts are elevated in Islam to the rank of achievement, far more than winning a battle or having your critics pat you on the back for that paper you just published.

The higher you climb in this world, the further you have to fall. In contrast, practising non-attachment to the world whilst caring for it is surely the greatest challenge humanity faces.

By Medina Tenour Whiteman, Cavemum

 

Resources for Seekers:

VIDEO: The etiquette of battling the self and ego
Imam Nawawi On Fighting The Ego (Nafs)
The War Within Our Hearts
The Need for Sincerity, and the Dangers of Seeking Prestige and the Praise of Others

Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials from Allah

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question 1: How can we balance self-esteem with humility? To me self-esteem means one loves oneself and consider themselves to be mostly good, yet Islam requires us to consider ourselves weak, broken and full of faults. Is it ok to do ‘affirmations’ by looking in the mirror and repeating statements like ‘I am good’, ‘I am carefree and joyous’ etc. for 2 minutes a day? This is what some self-help non Muslim people recommend.

Answer 1: Before analyzing the various practices that one can do to improve their self esteem, it is important to note the Islamic understanding of how we view ourselves.

The Islamic Understanding of Self-Esteem

There are terms to know and they are arrogance (kibr), vanity (‘ujb), dignity (‘izzah), debasement (dhul), and humility (tawadu’). Knowing these terms and what the definition is is important so that one does not fall into the prohibited. Arrogance (kibr) is when a person deems themselves to be good but in relation to others as in saying, “I am better than him/her/them.”

Vanity is when a person deems them self to have some blessing and forgets that it is from Allah and it does not require that a person is looking down on another person. Dignity (‘izzah) is when a person recognizes the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them (faith, life, health, beauty, wealth, knowledge, prestige, etc) and walks humbly with a recognition of those blessings while not deeming themselves better than others.

If a person allows others to walk over them and take away their rights, this is called dhul and it is haram. So you have to hold your head up high with dignity, not with arrogance. All people have to remember that they have God-given rights and it is an obligation to protect their dignified state (muru’ah). If a person voluntarily gives up their owed rights and is not demanding, then this is humility (tawadu’) and it is a praiseworthy trait.

A person must therefore protect his self-esteem especially since our greatest enemy, the Shaytan, who has declared war on mankind, hates our God-given dignity. Allah says, “And we have ennobled the children of Adam.” It was this honor, nobility and dignity that cause Iblis to refuse to bow and caused him to become rejected. Iblis hates us for this and will try everything to remove our dignity.

He will make us remove our clothes, tattoo ourselves, wear undignified clothing, speak filth hurt ourselves and others. He works day an night to sink us into a state of depression and then into a state of despair. In the state of despair, we end up hurting ourselves and others, leaving faith, and taking our lives or the lives of others. So, we must have a fortress of strong self esteem to protect ourselves against the shaytan.

Mentioning the blessings that Allah has given us is actually a good practice. In Sura Duha it states, “And as for the blessing of Allah then speak.” At the same time, we do not want to allow a recognition of the blessings of Allah turn into arrogance or vanity. One way to do this is to remind ourselves of our nature, which includes the fact that we carry najasah in our bodies, we create filth in our ears (wax), eyes (sleep), nose (mucous), mouths (saliva), etc.

Hasan al Basri once saw a man he did not know walking with arrogance The many saw Hasan looking at him and said, “Do you know me?” to which Hasan al Basri said, “Yes, you began as a clot of blood, then at the end your life you become a rotten corpse and in between that you caryy filth in your body.”

The science of understanding the intricacies between all of these states is called Tassawuuf and is an accepted part of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah. I encourage you to study this science but to begin by gaining a firm grounding in the science of faith (aqida) and law (fiqh).

Question 2: I understand that Allah tests us with suffering as a trial, but what if it is too much for the person to handle?  I suppose I am trying to ask how come we are tested in ways that we can be completely ignorant about? As a child I was beaten, tricked and nearly drowned by other children falsely accused by my parents for things, and told I was stupid.  Were these experiences supposed to benefit me in the long run?

Answer 2: We all experience different levels of trials but we have to be firm in realizing that they are all from Allah. Recognizing Divine Decree (qadr) is a pillar of faith as is mentioned in the Hadith of Jibreel alayhis salam. One of the main ways that the Shaytan gets us to question the existence of Allah is to begin by getting us to question Divine Decree.

How to Deal With the Divine Decree

Many people have left faith in God because of not being able to answer the question, “If there is a God, then why is there evil in the world?” For a Muslim, the answer should be automatic and it is, “Allah does whatever He wills” (Quran 85:16). I myself repeat this ayah when I see or hear things I cannot understand such as the death of children, atrocities against people, oppression, etc.

There is another ayah to repeat and reflect on when we think about things we cannot answer and it is the verse, “He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned” (Quran 21:23). Therefore, do not allow yourself to ask about what has happened unless you first accept it and then you are trying to find wisdom in what happen, as the angels were in asking about the creation of mankind. Also, when reflecting on what you experienced think about the prophets and what they experienced

They lived lives like we did as a consolation to us. We cannot fully relate to angels because they do not experience life as we do. Having prophets as examples allows us to be able to relate to them. We will all experience aspects of the Seera of the prophets or the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless them and our Prophet).

If you feel rejected by others, reflect on the people’s rejection of their prophets. If you feel betrayed, think of Yusef at the bottom of the well (and a person can drown in a well). If you feel alone, think about Musa alayhis salam in the land of Madyan. You should not feel stupid by thinking about your life and experiences. Your life is a book that Allah gave only to you and He wants you to reflect on your life. Just as we are to reflect on the heavens and earth, we are to reflect on ourselves as Allah says in the Quran (51:21).

Using Life Experience to Strengthen Faith

You need to use your life experience to grow stronger in faith and not be weakened. If you feel weakened by thinking about your life, then you are reflecting on it in the wrong method. Change the method that you are using to think about your life. Also remember, that we can sometimes get depressed and reflection and dhikr can help. Other times the depression becomes clinical and we need medication or therapy. Do not feel embarrassed about seeking out this type of help. There is no difference between seeking medical help or therapy for physical ailments or mental ailments.

Rami Nsour

On Humility and being gentle with the believers – Prophetic Guidance from Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous

Prophetic Guidance from Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous:

71. Chapter: On Humility and being gentle with the believers

Allah Almighty says, ‘Take the believers who follow you under your wing,’ (W26:214; H26:215) and the Almighty says, ‘O you who believe! If any of you renounce your deen, Allah will bring forward a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble to the believers, fierce to the rejectors.’ (W5:56; H5:54) The Almighty says, ‘O mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in Allah’s sight is the most godfearing.’ (49:13) The Almighty says, ‘So do not claim purity for yourselves. He knows best those who have fear of Him,: (W53:31; H53:32) and the Almighty says, ‘The Companions of the Ramparts will call out to men they recognise by their mark, saying, ‘What you amassed was of no use to you nor was your arrogance. Are these the people you swore that Allah’s mercy would never reach?’ ‘Enter the Garden. You will feel no fear and know no sorrow.” (W7:47-48; H7:48-49)

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602. ‘Iyad ibn Himar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah revealed to me that you should be humble so no one should vaunt himself above another, and no one should commit injustice against another.’ [Muslim]

603. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Sadaqa does not decrease property and Allah only increases a slave in might by forgiveness and no one is humble for the sake of Allah without Allah elevating him.’ [Muslim]

604. Anas said that he passed by some boys and greeted them, saying, ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to do that.” [Agreed upon]

605. Anas said, ‘If one of the slavegirls of the Madina took the hand of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, she could take him wherever she liked.’ [al-Bukhari]

606. Al-Aswad ibn Yazid said, ‘I asked ‘A’isha, ‘What did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to do in his house?’ She said, ‘He would serve his family. When it was time for the prayer, he would go out to the prayer.’ [al-Bukhari]

607. Abu Rifa’a Tamim ibn Usayd said, ‘I went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he was giving an address and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, a foreigner has come asking about his deen. He does not know what his deen is.’ The Messenger of Allah turned to face me and broke off his address and came up to me. A chair was brought and he sat on it and began to teach me part of what Allah had taught him. Then he went back to his address and finished it.’ [Muslim]

608. Anas reported that when he ate food, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would lick his three fingers. He said, ‘He said, ‘When one of you drops a morsel, he should wipe the dirt from it and then eat it and should not leave it for Shaytan.’ He commanded that the dish should be licked clean. He said, ‘You do not know in what part of your food the blessing lies.” [Muslim]

609. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah did not send any Prophet but that he herded sheep.’ His Companions said, ‘Including you?’ He said, ‘Yes, I used to herd them for money (qirats) for the people of Makka.’ [al-Bukhari]

610. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘If I were invited to eat no matter whether it is a shoulder or merely a trotter, I would accept and if I were given a gift of a shoulder or merely a trotter, I would accept either.’ [al-Bukhari]

611. Anas said, ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had a she-camel called al-‘Adba’ which could not be beaten in a race (or could rarely be beaten). A bedouin came on a youngish camel and beat it. That was difficult for the Muslims and, recognising that, he said, ‘It is a right of Allah that nothing elevates itself in this world, without Him then bringing it low.’ [al-Bukhari] ”

Source:

Prophetic Guidance from Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous:

Riyad al-Salihin (Bewley)