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Should I Maintain the Ties of a Difficult Friendship?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalamualikum,
I need some advice. There is this sister that I used to be close with, however, for some time I distanced myself as I was unable to deal with her problems and mine at the same time. Now, I am trying to mend ties but she seems to be holding a grudge against me, saying hurtful things, regularly. Yet she claims she wants to maintain ties. Also, when we were close, she liked my brother but he has since moved on in his life.
Am I being too sensitive or am I respecting myself if I just walk away? This relationship is affecting me adversely and I am concerned about how best to keep my duties towards her without falling into the haram.
Answer: Assalamualayakum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are well. Thank you for your question.
May Allah grant you ease in this difficult matter.
Despite how your friend is treating you, it is still important for you to take the higher path and show good character. You are not responsible for what she does, but you are responsible for how you respond to her.
Is it possible for you to have an honest conversation with her about how she is hurting your feelings? It may be possible that she is unaware of how hurtful her comments are. Allah has made some of us more sensitive, and others far less sensitive. Perhaps after clarifying how you would like to be treated, she may adjust her behaviour and be easier for you to deal with.
If you feel that she is affecting you adversely, then you need to look after yourself by keeping her in your life at a respectful distance. It is unwise to cut off ties with her unless you feel there is no other way, because of the emphasis of keeping ties in Islam.
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you. The womb is derived from the Merciful, so whoever keeps relations with his family then Allah will keep relations with him, and whoever abandons his family then Allah will abandon him.” [At-Tirmidhi]
Imam Al-Ghazzali has written a beautiful treatise titled “The Duties of Brotherhood in Islam”. Please consider reading it as a way for you to study the higher aspirations of true brotherhood and sisterhood in Islam. Amongst the eight duties of brotherhood described by Imam Al-Ghazzali, the one which may be relevant to you in this situation is the fifth duty – forgiveness. Please refer to some quotes from the chapter:
The poet said: “You cannot run with a brother and fail to catch him in some disarray. What man is immaculate?”
“Perhaps God will create affection between you and those you have had as enemies.” (Qur’an 60:7)
The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said, “Go steady in loving your friend, for he may one day become your foe. Go steady in hating your foe, for he may become your friend one day.”
Please do look after yourself in this time. Reach out to loving friends who warm your heart. Consider seeing a counsellor to help teach you assertiveness and boundary training. Make a lot of salawat every day and ask Allah to ease this trial for you.
Our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent as Mercy to mankind, and we hope to emulate that mercy in our interactions with those around us, especially those who test us.
‘A’isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah is kind and loves kindness and gives for gentleness what he does not give for harshness nor for anything else.” [Muslim]
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Cure Satanic Whispers Causing Bad Thoughts About Islam?

Answered by Saira AbuBakr
Question: As Salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,
May Allah bless you all who are holding this website giving and helping us Muslims!
I am suffering from some deeply bad whispers. It’s not the kind that I can just ignore. Sometimes I think of deep philosophic thoughts which I can’t handle. I am trying to ignore them but I can’t do so effectively. I don’t really know what to do. All kind of thoughts are coming up like for an example bad thoughts about Allah and the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Sometimes I think things things that lead me to think Shaytan is getting me to abandon my belief. When I get to that point, I try to reject the thoughts and say, “I believe in Allah, La ilaha illAllah, Muhammadar-rasulullah. Never will I loose my faith.” What should I do? These last days are starting to plague me. I try to study more, pray more, and even do more dhikr but my problems persist.
Answer: Walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah,
May Allah reward you for asking this question. May Allah ease your situation.
Increase in Knowledge
It is important, as you said, to continuously increase in knowledge. Be vigilant about going to circles of knowledge and blessed gatherings in general. If there aren’t many in your area, start one. Do this even if it is just you and one other brother. Don’t be concerned about the numbers. Make a sincere intention and the gathering will be blessed. From the blessing there will be increase and not the other way around.
Dhikr and Good Company
Continue the dhikr that you are doing. Couple this with righteous company. This is key and its importance cannot be underestimated.
The Messenger of Allah is reported to have said,
A person is on the religion (deen) of his close friend and so one should look at whom one befriends.
Know that it takes effort to maintain relationships and if misunderstandings happen, as they usually do, try to rectify them quickly. Another of shaitan’s ploys is to isolate the believer by baseless whisperings about other believers.
If you currently do not have friends from whom you can benefit, ask Allah to give you good company. Don’t give up. Keep asking. Facilitate for others what you wish from your Lord and you will reap its benefits in this World and the Next. God willing.
For more details to your question, please see Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra’s excellent answers in the two links below:
Doubts About Islam: I Don’t Find Any Observable Effect or Peace in My Worship

Ridding Oneself of Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

God bless.

Should I Maintain Ties With Family Who Openly Sin or Shun Them?

Answered by  Ustadh Tariq Abdul-Rasheed
Question: Assalamu alaikum,
I have read and heard in many places that one should love everyone, be merciful with everyone, have good opinion of everyone, and deal in a good way with everyone.
But on the other hand, I have also read in books to avoid bad company. In one book I read that one should stop talking to a person who does not perform salah after being told numerous times because such person is a shaytan. I also read that one cannot say Salam to a fasiq.
Sometimes we can have relatives who openly sin without any shame, including drinking and selling alcohol, not praying, disrespecting parents, etc.  They might even thrust earphones in their ears or start whistling if anyone were to mention religion.
Now I am very confused because I don’t know how to deal with these people.  Since they are close relatives, should I love them, pray for their well being, and call them despite their attempts to avoid me – or should I just shun them totally.
Please clarify my understanding in these matters. JazakaAllah khayr.
Answer: In the name of Allah of the Beneficent the Merciful
Wa laikum salaamu wa rahmatullahi wa barkaatuh,
May Allah (Most High) bless you and grant you increase in iman and good character. Your concern over this issue is a sign of your belief in Allah and compassion and care that He (Most High) has blessed you with. The Prophets and Messengers when through similar trials in maintaining relations and kinship bonds.
Prophetic Trials
“We know that you, [O Muhammad], are saddened by what they say. And indeed, they do not call you untruthful, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers reject.” [An’am:33]
Amongst the most difficult trials of the Prophets and Messengers (upon them be peace) is maintaining relationships and family ties in face of opposition and rejection from family, friends and nation. We see in the example of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that his own people rejected him after haven taken him as an advisor and arbitrator and attesting to his trustworthiness.
The Quraysh had outwardly rejected the message of Islam. However, in reality they believed-in and attested to the trustworthiness of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in their hearts. So Allah (Most High) revealed this verse and to console and ease the hurt of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and assure him that what they manifested outwardly was not their inward reality. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was avid to maintain his relationships as he was concerned about Allah’s (Most High) creation and wanted to warn them against eminent punishment if they continued in disbelief.
Understanding What is ‘Fisq’ and Who is a ‘Fasiq’
Fisq (sinning/transgressing) refers to any transgression of the laws and limits of the Shariah. It is a general term that entails transgressions and sins both great and small. The fasiq is the one who has adhered to and acknowledges the laws of the Shariah then transgresses all or some of laws. [Ragib Asfahani, Mufradat]
Fisq (sinning/transgressing) and fasiq (one who sins/transgresses) are also used in the Quran to mean the opposite of Iman because the disbeliever transgresses necessary and clear rational judgments which are easily concluded by people of a sound and rational nature. [Ragib Asfahani, Mufradat]
When the scholars of law use the term ‘fasiq’ they are generally referring to one who flagrantly and willingly disobeys the commands of the Shariah. Because of the open, constant and repetitive sinning of the fasiq he becomes well-known for his sinning.
Muslims generally use the term based on its usage by scholars of law. However we should be careful as its usage in the Quran may vary depending on context and we should not attempt to deduce rulings and apply them to our brothers and sisters based on our own readings of the Quran and Sunnah.
Distinguishing Between Actions and Individuals
One very important distinction to make is that the ruling of Allah (Most High) from halal, haram, mandub etc relates to peoples actions and not to individuals themselves. So, if a Muslim commits a wrongdoing then we should hate the wrong action but not the individual.
This is an important principle as the non-Muslim can become Muslim and the sinful person can become amongst Allah’s (Most High) beloved and close ones. The door of repentance is always open and it is the case that people usually become better after sincere repentance.
Again, we judge actions and not individuals. If we keep this principle in mind as we interact with others then there is no conflict between having care and concern for others and wanting the best for them while maintaining our jealousy over the laws and commands of Allah (Most High) such that if we see wrongdoing it remains detestable to us.
Additionally, by understanding this principle we can prevent ourselves from becoming self-righteous when dealing with people who may be struggling with obedience to their Lord. People who struggle with religion often note that they find it difficult to be around so-called “pious” people because they perceive from them righteous indignation and contempt. Why? Because “pious” people tend to judge people and not actions. They condemn and don’t encourage. So mercy and concern is replaced by contempt and the opportunity to help and assist it lost.
Keeping Good Company
While we should maintain mercy and compassion for others that are known for their sinfulness we should also be keen not to keep close companionship with them. This is not out of arrogance or self-righteousness rather it is out of concern over our own states and the tendency of souls to take on the characteristics of other souls.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A man is only upon the religion of his close friends. So let one of you look carefully at whom he takes as an intimate friend.” [Ahmad, Hakim]. We shouldn’t maintain intimate company with people that are flagrantly sinful not because we are exceptionally pious and above them rather because of the inherent imitation the comes with close friendship. There is no contradiction between having a genuine care for all, not looking down at others with contempt while at the same being vigilant about whom we take as companions.
Enjoining the Good and Forbidding the Evil
A distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim Ummah is their enjoying of what is right and good and forbidding foulness, evil and harm. Allah (Most High) says in the Holy Quran, “And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.”[Aal `Imran: 104]
This a command of obligation and the scholars agree that it is a communal obligation. If some from amongst the Ummah uphold the responsibility then the remaining community will not be sinful. It is preservation of the Deen of Allah (Most High) and when it is neglected then the entire community is sinful and deserving of Allah (Most High) punishment.
It is related that Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz (ra) used to say, “Allah (exalted and glorified) does not punish the general public because of sins committed in private. But rather when foulness and evil are committed openly and is not rebuked then they are deserving of punishment – all of them! [Imam Qazwini, Mukhtasar Shu`ab al-Iman]
Principles of Commanding the Good and Forbidding the Evil
The obligation of Commanding the Good and Forbidding the Evil is established in the Quran, Sunnah and by Consensus of the Scholars. It is a communal obligation which may in some cases become an individual obligation depending on the circumstances. However, there are a number of conditions that must be met in order for the obligation to be present. Among them are the following:
– One must be knowledgeable of the Halal and Haram according to the Shariah otherwise one could be enjoining what is haram and forbidding what is halal.
– One must be certain that by forbidding the evil that it does not lead to a greater evil. In such a case then it is not permissible to do so.
– That there is a high degree of certainty that one’s enjoining or forbidding will actually be of benefit. If not, then there is no obligation to do so. It should also be done with wisdom and sincere concern.
– The evil or sinful action must be manifest and open such that one does not have to resort to spying, sneaking and searching to expose the sin(s) one seeks to forbid. (Spying and searching out the sins of Muslim is forbidden and to be suspicious and inquire into another’s actions without due reason (such for a marriage or witnessing in legal cases) is likewise forbidden.)
– The sin must be one whose forbiddance is unanimously agreed upon or that the consideration of it not being forbidden is extremely weak. (Matters that are differed upon amongst qualified scholars are not the basis of ‘munkar’ and one cannot rebuke another over practicing upon an opinion which is differed upon.)
It is necessary that we consider the previous conditions so that in our attempt to help we don’t actually cause a greater harm. Additionally, it helps us to know when and when-not to engage situations. In regards to issues of high-crimes that require established political authority it is not our place to attempt to “change with our hands” without proper legal authority contrary to what is commonly misunderstood from the hadith.
Family Ties and Kinship Bonds
Finally, the obligation of maintaining family ties cannot be stressed enough. It is sinful to cut-off bonds of kinship or to shun relatives even if they are sinful.
Allah (Most High) says, “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” [an-Nisa: 36] The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The one who cuts of blood-ties will not enter Paradise”[Bukhari, Muslim]
In conclusion; as mentioned above we can maintain cordial friendly bonds with relatives who may be openly sinful while letting them know that we don’t approve of their sinful acts. At the same time we should be careful to maintain a true care and concern in our hearts that their state [and ours] improves. In reality this one of the distinctive marks of Prophetic character. In our times people become apathetic and indifferent which is not a healthy state. Going either to the extreme of complete rejection or complete acceptance.
Remember the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The believer is the mirror of his brother. If he sees a fault in him he corrects it.” Though our sins may not be manifest we can relate to weaknesses of the self and in that way we can all relate to struggling with sin. This should elicit empathy rather than arrogance.
I pray this has helped clarify the matter and Allah (Most High) knows best.
Tariq Abdul-Rasheed

How Can I Convince My Friend to Avoid Bad Company?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: One of my really close friend spends a lot of time with an non-Muslim girl who is not a good company at all. I try to convince her to stop spending time with her but when I am not around she spends time with her and gets influenced by her. Could you please advice me on how I can keep my friend away from that girl’s company and me being her best friend, is it my duty to let her know and keep her away for the other girl?

Answer: Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum.

Thank you for your question.

While it is certainly true that one’s religion is as good as their companion, you cannot force your friend to either socialize with or avoid any particular person. As her friend, you can give her good advice and try to create positive interactions, but you must also respect her right to choose her company.

Over time, you may find your definition of “best friend” will change.

Keep your friend in your prayers and ask Allah to keep her in good company.

Regards,

Zaynab Ansari

Related Answer:

Smoking Marijuana and the Importance of Keeping Good Company

Smoking Marijuana and the Importance of Keeping Good Company

Answered by Sidi Faraz A. Khan

Question: If i don’t myself smoke the weed but sit or socialize around people that smoke weed, do i get the same punishment as them and if so does that mean that for 4o days Allah does not accept my salah, ramadhan or any other act of worship that i do?  Is it permissible to give dawah to my friends while they are under the influence of the drug or while they are smoking it?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith. I apologize for the delay in answering your question.

Smoking Marijuana

Smoking marijuana is unlawful in Islam due to its mind-altering effects, the foremost of which is its distracting one from the remembrance of Allah and the prayer. [Nahlawi, Hadhr wal-Ibaha]

With respect to details on the issue of one’s prayer not being accepted for 40 days due to consuming intoxicants or the like, please see the following answer: https://seekersguidance.org/ans-blog/2010/09/01/drinking-alcohol-are-my-prayers-not-valid-for-40-days/

If one does not directly consume the intoxicant [or in the case of your question, smoke marijuana], then the reports regarding prayers not being accepted would not seem to apply to him since those reports deal with those who actually consume the intoxicant.

However, one should still not be around such people as sitting with them while they do the unlawful would be sinful. Moreover, it would be incumbent upon him to forbid that evil – if your friend is around them while they are smoking weed, he would have to tell them to stop or else leave their company. If they don’t listen to his advice, he should not sit with them again when they partake of the unlawful.

Keeping Good Company

Your friend should not think that by “giving da’wah” the harm of bad company can be alleviated, but rather find company that will elevate his own spiritual state. This is one of the most central and crucial foundational principles in one’s relationship with Allah Most High – it cannot be taken lightly whatsoever, and it cannot be emphasized enough.

Allah Most High commands us to seek the best of company as He says, “O you who believe! Fear Allah and be with the sincere and truthful.” [9:119]

Our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] reinforced this Divine injunction when he advised his community, “A person is on the religion of his close friend, so let him carefully examine who he befriends.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]

He [peace and blessings be upon him] also said, “Do not keep company except with a [true] believer, and let not anyone eat your food except one who is godfearing.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]

As the common English idiom goes, “Birds of a feather flock together,” and this is especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. Your friend should spend time with believers that are strong-willed and of good character, people who remind him of Allah Most High. Our Prophet [peace and blessings upon him] described such people when he said, “Indeed some people are keys to the remembrance of Allah; when they are seen, Allah is remembered.” [Tabarani, Kabir]

Many times we cannot even perceive how we benefit from the people of Allah’s remembrance, yet there is no doubt a profound and potent effect of keeping their company. The same applies to the harm of sitting with bad company – it is often slow, gradual, and hence unnoticed. Our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] alluded to this with a beautiful metaphor when he said, “The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like a carrier of musk and one who blows the bellows of a blacksmith. The carrier of musk either gives it to you, or you buy some from him, or at the very least you smell its sweet fragrance. The one who blows the bellows of a blacksmith either burns your clothes, or you get from him a foul stench.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

May Allah Most High provide us with friends who carry the sweetest musk of this world – the remembrance of Allah Most High.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Raise My Resolve to do Good & Overcome Hardness of the Heart?

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Qaylish

Question: When I began practicing, I used to be very motivated to perform the good. Now, I feel a hardness in my heart and less motivated to do good deeds. Can you please give some advice on how I can raise my motivation?

Answer: Bismillah

Allah Most High says,

“O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful.” [Qur’an 9.119]

Thus, with our taqwa (God-consciousness), it is necessary to keep the company of the truthful and righteous.

With this, we should supplicate often with the words of the Best of Creation (peace and blessings be upon him),

“O over-turner of hearts, make my heart firm on your religion.”

If our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to make this supplication, it behooves us to follow his example (peace and blessings be upon him) and have fear of the overturning of hearts. And Allah Most Glorious is the Overwhelming over His creation, and He decrees whatever He wills for whoever He wishes. Thus, we ask Him to make us with the truthful and righteous, and to give us a good ending. And we seek refuge in Him from deception and being led astray, for He is the Hearing and Answering.

Worshiping Allah for His sake, not for illumination

When a believer obeys Allah Most High, they do so in obedience to the command of Allah. This good deed gives fruit to a light in the heart, and an increase in one’s spiritual resolve (himma). However, if our good deeds do not give apparent fruits, it is not allowed for us to leave them, because whenever we do the good, we will have obeyed the command of Allah—this is our duty.

Then, [having done our duty] if we find the apparent fruits of our deeds, then so be it. Otherwise, we at least obeyed the command of Allah, and we ask Him for acceptance. We are the servants of Allah, not the servants of illuminations that result from our deeds. The one who worships Allah for the fruits of their worship, such as the light and softness they find in their heart, are in need of sincerity to Allah alone in their worship.

What to do about hardness of heart and weakness of resolve

As for when one fears non-acceptance when they find hardness of heart and weakness in resolve, then one should make remembrance of Allah and istighfar (seeking forgiveness). It has been related in a hadith from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that he said,

“Truly, hearts rust just as iron rusts, and their polishing is La ilaha illa Allah (‘There is no god but Allah’) and seeking forgiveness.”

Thus, if a Muslim seeks to polish their heart, they should adhere to the remembrance of Allah until their heart is purified and illumined. If one makes remembrance of Allah but finds no light therein, then they should make themselves in a position to benefit from the winds of Allah’s beneficence.

It has been related in hadith that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“You Lord has in the days of your lives winds of beneficence, so benefit from them.”

Among these winds of beneficence are the blessed days mentioned in the Prophetic hadiths, in which worship is especially virtuous.

Among them is to search for truthful and righteous believers and to keep their company.

Among them is to establish night worship at the end of the night, and to supplicate at that time.

Among them is to remain constantly in the remembrance of Allah. Sayyidi Ibn `Ata’illah says,

“Do not leave the remembrance because of your lack of presence of heart with Allah therein, because your heedlessness of the remembrance of Allah is more harmful than your heedlessness during the remembrance of Allah. It may well be that He take you from remembrance in which there is heedlessness to remembrance in which there is consciousness; and from remembrance in which there is consciousness to remembrance in which there is presence of heart; and from remembrance in which there is presence of heart to remembrance in which there is obliviousness to all but the One Remembered, “And that is not difficult for Allah.””

Loss of motivation and the importance of moderation

As for loss of motivation, this is natural to the human temperament, and is the reason why the acts of good and worship are variegated—so that the lower selves of creation not get weary. Thus, if one finds weakness in one’s resolve, then move to another type of good, while being wary—when given success—not to take on too many voluntary acts of worship, lest this lead to loss of motivation and a sense of being fed up. Allah Most High enjoined upon us certain obligations which we cannot leave. After this, He encouraged us to supererogatory works from which we should take that which our selves can handle, sustain, and remain avid for the good.

Imam Muslim related in his Sahih, in the chapter on ‘Moderation in Exhortation,’ from Shaqiq that he said,

“We were sitting before the door of Abdullah [ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him), the great companion of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)], waiting for him, when Yazid ibn Mu`awiya al-Nakha`i passed by us. We said to him, “Tell him about our presence.” He entered. Soon after, Abdullah [ibn Mas`ud] came out. He said, “I have been told about your presence. The only thing preventing me from coming out to you is my dislike of boring you. Verily, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to carefully choose when to give us exhortation, out of fear of us becoming weary.”

We ask Allah to make our days rich with His obedience, and to increase love and desire of drawing closer to Him in our hearts, until we meet Him and He is pleased with us. Amin.

Muhammad Qaylish

(Translated by Faraz Rabbani, a student of Shaykh Muhammad Qaylish)

3- حينما بدأت ألتزم كنت أجد دافعاً قوياً في نفسي نحو الخيرات ونوافل العبادات وكثرة الذكر . وكنت أجد رقة في قلبي .. الآن لا أجد ذاك الدافع وأشعر بقسوة في قلبي وضعف في همتي .. لا أقع في معاص ظاهرة … لكن أخاف أن يزداد ضعفي … كيف أقوي عزمي نحو الخير وتنوير قلبي؟

الجواب: يقول الله تعالى : [يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وكونوا مع الصادقين]. فمع التقوى لا بد من مصاحبة الصادقين . ومع هذا وذاك علينا أن نكثر من دعاء سيد الوجود e : “يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك” . فإذا كان نبينا e يدعو بهذا الدعاء فعلينا أن نقتدي به e ونخاف من تقليب القلوب . والله سبحانه هو القاهر فوق عباده يحكم بما يشاء على من يشاء . فنسأله أن يجعلنا من الصالحين وأن يختم لنا بخاتمة الحسنى . ونعوذ به من المكر والاستدراج. إنه سميع مجيب.

والمؤمن حين يطيع الله عز وجل فإنه يفعل ذلك امتثالاً لأمر الله . فتثمر هذه الطاعة نوراً في القلب، وزيادة في الهمة . ولكن إذا لم تثمر الطاعة ثمارها فلا يجوز أن نتركها، لأننا حين نعمل الخيرات فإننا نكون قد امتثلنا أمر الله. وهذه هي وظيفتنا. ثم إذا أتت ثمار الطاعة فأهلاً وسهلاً. وإذا لم تأت نكون قد امتثلنا أمر الله. ونسأله سبحانه القبول. فنحن عباد الله ولسنا عباد الأنوار التي هي ثمرة عبادتنا . وإذا كان المسلم يعبد الله لأجل أن ينال ثمار العبادة من نور في القلب ورقة فيه فإن عبادته تحتاج إلى إخلاص النية لله وحده.

وأما إذا كان يخاف من عدم القبول حين يجد في القسوة في قلبه والضعف في همته فعليه بذكر الله والاستغفار . وقد ورد في الحديث عنه e : إن القلوب تصدأ كما يصدأ الحديد وجلاؤها لا إله إلا الله والاستغفار .

فإذا أراد المسلم أن يجلو قلبه فعليه بذكر الله حتى يصفو ويتنور. وإذا كان يذكر الله فلا يشعر بالنور يدخل إلى قلبه فليتعرض لنفحات الله سبحانه . فقد ورد في الحديث : إن لربكم في أيام دهركم نفحات . ألا فتعرضوا لها. ومن النفحات الأيام المباركة التي وردت الأحاديث في فضل العبادة فيها . ومنها البحث عن الصالحين الصادقين والبقاء معهم . ومنها قيام آخر الليل والدعاء فيه…. ومنها المداومة على الذكر . يقول سيدي ابن عطاء الله السكندري : لا تترك الذكر لعدم حضورك مع الله فيه فغفلتك عن وجود ذكره أشد من غفلتك مع وجود ذكره . فعسى أن ينقلك من ذكر مع وجود غفلة إلى ذكر مع وجود يقظة ومن ذكر مع وجود يقظة إلى ذكر مع وجود حضور ومن ذكر مع وجود حضور إلى ذكر مع غيبة عما سوى المذكور وما ذلك على الله بعزيز .

وإن السآمة من طبع النفوس البشرية . ولذلك تنوعت الطاعات والعبادات كيلا تمل نفوس العباد . فإذا شعر المسلم بشيء من الضعف في الهمة فلينتقل إلى نوع آخر من الطاعة . وليحذر الموفق من حمل نفسه على كثرة النوافل حتى لا تمل وتسأم . فإن الله سبحانه قد فرض علينا فروضاً لا يجوز لنا أن نتركها . ثم ندبنا بعد ذلك إلى نوافل نأخذ منها ما تحتمله نفوسنا وتبقى معه راغبة في الخير . وقد أخرج الإمام مسلم في صحيحه في باب الاقتصاد في الموعظة عن شقيق قال: كنا جلوساً عند باب عبد الله – بن مسعود – ننتظره، فمر بنا يزيد بن معاوية النخعي فقلنا: أعلمه بمكاننا. فدخل عليه، فلم يلبث أن خرج علينا عبد الله فقال: إني أُخْبَرُ بمكانكم، فما يمنعني أن أخرج إليكم إلا كراهية أن أُمِلَّكُمْ. إن رسول الله e كان يَتَخَوَّلُنَا بالموعظة في الأيام مخافة السآمة علينا. نسأل الله أن يجعل أيامنا بالطاعات عامرة وأن يزيد في قلوبنا محبته والرغبة بالإقبال عليه حتى نلقاه وهو عنا راض . آمين.

MMVIII © Faraz Rabbani and SunniPath.

Tackling Homosexual Feelings: Supplication, Repentance, and Going Cold Turkey

Answered bu Ustadh Faraz A. Khan

Question: One of my friend has requested me to approach you and get some advice on his behalf. He is a young male adult currently studying with me. Recently he told me that he gets attracted to both sexes. Although he knows homosexuality is forbidden in Islam, he keeps getting into this kind of stuff again and again. He has also started watching gay porn. He seems to be depressed because of this as he knows it is not the right thing to do. Now it has come to a stage where he is complelty frustrated and doesnt know what to do. He is misrable and sometimes thinks of ending his life. He feels if something is not done with it soon he might get too much into homosextuality and it may make his whole life hell. Please advise.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

May Allah give your friend strength in this trial and a way out.

I think the first step is that we acknowledge his feelings and homosexual tendency as a reality that has to be dealt with. Often times such tendencies are denied altogether, which only accentuates the problem. These feelings are real and are an affliction whose remedy must be sought.

Having said that, the following can serve as an outline of a few steps that might prove beneficial, inshaAllah:

Recognizing the Problem and Desiring to Stop

The first step in this situation is to recognize the problem and have a sincere desire to quit. MashaAllah, your friend has already taken this first step, and this is not to be underestimated. It is a very praiseworthy thing for a person with a problem or addiction to at least admit he has a problem and genuinely want to rid himself of it. Your friend should have hope in Allah that with each step he takes towards Allah, Allah will take ten towards him.

Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) conveyed the following from his Lord, “When My servant draws near to Me a handspan, I draw near to Him a forearm’s length. And when he draws near to Me a forearm’s length, I draw near to him the span of two outstretched arms. And when comes to me walking, I come to Him running” [Bukhari].

The Power of Supplication [dua]

The next step is to make sincere supplication to Allah to help him get rid of the problem. He should beg Allah from the bottom of his heart to give him the strength, will and determination to forever close this door. He should make sure he fulfills the conditions of having his supplication answered, the most important of which are to eat only lawful food [halal], and to have conviction that Allah will answer his prayers. Allah never lets His servants down, and as hard as something might be for us, nothing is difficult for Him, Exalted and Glorious.

He should try to make dua at blessed times, especially in the last part of the night before fajr, as well as between the adhan and iqama of the prayer.

He should also rejoice in his very supplication, for our master Ibn Ata’illah states, “If He [Most High] causes your tongue to ask [for something], then know that He wants to give it to you.” The greatest indication that your friend will overcome this problem, inshaAllah, is the fact that he consistently asks Allah to rid him of it.

Going Cold Turkey: The Only Solution

Now it’s time for your friend to really roll up his sleeves and be strong for the sake of Allah. Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, yet there is good in both. Be avid for that which benefits you, seek Allah’s help, and don’t be weak” [Muslim].

The only solution for this problem is to completely shut the door, 100%. He has to go cold turkey. It cannot be gradual, but sudden and final. He has to just stop. Now, this will no doubt be extremely difficult, especially at the beginning. But if he can simply get through the initial stage when it’s the hardest, it will only get easier.

Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, “No servant leaves something for the sake of Allah except that Allah replaces it with that which is better for his religion and his worldly affairs” [Hilyat al-Awliya’]. Your friend is guaranteed, if he can just get through this test, that Allah will replace the pleasure he found in the unlawful with a much greater pleasure in the lawful, inshaAllah. Something better is in store for your friend if he can just show Allah that he can be strong for His sake.

This promise is further explained by our master Ibn Ata’illah, who said, “Our Lord is far too magnificent to delay recompense if the servant pays up front.” That is, reward for good deeds – the very best of which is to leave the unlawful – does not come only in the next life. Allah is kinder and greater than that; rather, His recompense is immediate and in this life too, yet comes in various forms. He sends a certain kind of contentment, tranquility, and joy in the heart of the believer who avoids the unlawful and cleans up his life. As the Qur’an itself states, “Whoever acts righteously, whether male or female, while believing [in Allah],  We will certainly give him a renewed goodly life [of contentment and joy], and [furthermore] We will certainly recompense them with a reward based on the very best of what they used to do” [Nahl:97].

Some Practical Aids to Going Cold Turkey

Tell your friend to fast at least once a week. Fasting has an incredible effect on subduing the evil qualities and tendencies of the ego, and it is a prophetic cure. Fasting also gives one a window into the renewed goodly life promised by Allah, as the fasting person finds a new sort of contentment that does not come with eating all the time.

Your friend has to find good company. A common idiom in English is “Birds of a feather flock together,” and this is especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said, “A person is on the religion of his close friend, so let him carefully examine who he befriends” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]. He should spend quality time with believers that are strong-willed and of good character, people who remind him of Allah Most High. Our Prophet [peace and blessings upon him] described such people when he said, “Indeed some people are keys to the remembrance of Allah; when they are seen, Allah is remembered” [Tabarani, Kabir]. Part of this entails that he goes the masjid regularly and prays with the believers.

Your friend has to develop a relationship with the Qur’an, and make much remembrance of Allah, especially sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). He should spend at least half an hour every morning and every night doing this. Our Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) conveyed that Allah says, “Whoever is too preoccupied with reciting Qur’an to mention Me and ask Me for something, I shall give him something better than what I give to those who ask” [Bayhaqi, Shu’ab].

Lastly, your friend must adopt a new rule and make no exceptions whatsoever: He can never go on the internet alone. He must force himself to use the internet only in public places where the screen can be seen by others. This is not impossible, and is crucial to his success in this endeavor, inshaAllah.

The Power of Repentance (tawba)

Finally and most importantly, all of this is part of repentance or tawba. This is the most powerful tool we have as humans, because our very nature is one of incapacity, inability and utter need, as Allah says, “The human being was surely created weak” [Nisa:28]. Yet the beauty of our weakness is that Allah loves when we go back to Him broken and in pain. He loves to see us beg Him for help. He loves to see us put our heads on the ground and just ask Him, as our Beloved said, “Ask Allah out of His bounty, for verily Allah Mighty and Majestic loves to be asked” [Sunan Tirmidhi].

No sin is too great for Allah’s mercy. It’s never too late. As long as one has breath in his body, there is always hope. This is Allah’s promise, and cannot be stressed enough. And once we turn back to Him, the past darkness transforms into pure light, as He Most High states in His magnificent book, “…Except he who repents, believes, and works righteous deeds; verily, for those people, Allah transforms their evil deeds into good deeds. And Allah is Ever-Forgiving, All-Merciful” [Furqan:70].

All of the indecent and evil images your friend looked at can at once be transformed into beautiful righteous deeds that will shine with light on the Day of Judgment. This is the Divine Promise…if he can just have the strength to stop the sin, feel remorse, and have the resolve never to return again. This is tawba, and this is Allah’s gift to humanity.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam

Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Trying to Practice but Feel Like a Failure: What Should I Do?

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I am a 15 year old Aspergers Child and am a sophmore at a Catholic high school. I was never given a proper chance to learn about Islam formally. I used to learn Quran with my dad but I later stopped. I was never accustomed to fasting or praying and I still am unable to pray all 5 daily prayers. On top of this, I am having issues with my studies, trying to stay away from dating, dances, and so forth. My dad tells me that unless I shape up and get good grades and becoming practicing, I’m not going to be an A grade in life. I”ve tried performing all my rpayerbut after a while I stop. My mom and my sister try to stop me from fasting during school days and discourage me from doing so. I feel depressed about my life and I feel like I am a big failure. What do I do?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Thanks for writing to us. I think that as a 15 year old, in an environment where there aren’t many Muslims and Islam isn’t taught, without much support from family and while struggling against high school temptations, just the fact that you have so much concern about your Islamic practice is a huge blessing!

Just think about it: there are many other youth who are totally lost, not knowing the slightest thing about their faith, let alone worrying and stressing about how to please Allah. When I read your account, I didn’t see you as a failure at all- rather, I think you are strong and insha Allah, your attitude is one of success.

Success with Allah Most High is often attained through struggling against one’s own self, one’s desires, and in striving to resist the demands to do wrong that society invites you to.  This was how the prophets (peace be upon them), the best of mankind, lived their entire lives- through challenges and difficulty. By trying to maintain your Deen (your faith) in your situation, you are following in their footsteps.

My advice would be to try to try putting what you read into practice bit by bit. Start by making dua’ to Allah Most High regularly when alone; ask Him to make your journey easy for you. Begin integrating your 5 daily prayers into your schedule without delay – the prayers are a must and they will keep you away from bad things and uplift your spirit. Most importantly, get yourself into Islamic company: visit the masjid more often, make Muslim friends, and even spend time reading Qu’ran or attending talks with your Dad.

If anyone should discourage you from practicing, be polite and patient with them, but do not give up what Allah Most High has made a duty upon us. Distract yourself from the temptations of dating and bad company by focusing on school work, and perhaps in your spare time, take a basic course on an Islamic subject online (see Seekers Guidance from more details).

Don’t let yourself get down about the challenges. You’re doing very well, and once you integrate prayers and good company into your life, you will see how much easier and fulfilling it gets, insha Allah.  May Allah Ta’ala reward you.

Wasalam,
Abdullah Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani