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How Do I Protect Myself From The Evil Eye?

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question on how to protect oneself from the evil eye.

 

Question:

Salam,

How do we protect ourselves from the evil eye and jealousy, but without being excessive? For example if you have a child and you want to protect him/her from evil eye, do you just not post a photo of your baby? I don’t understand how to be moderate in it without being excessive in it. Please provide some guidance on this matter.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

The Evil Eye

Please read this article first: http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2010/03/19/the-evil-eye-a-reality/

Ostentation

Showing off in one’s acts of worship, or in worldly possessions or achievements is forbidden. What is wrong with it is that one looks at a blessing that is from Allah, and ascribes it to one’s ownself. Then one seeks that it be seen by others so that one’s rank my rise in their eyes. This results in pride, and has been compared to polytheism: ‘Indeed even a slight amount of showing off is worshipping gods besides Allah.’ [Hakim]

Talking about one’s baby and showing pictures to others can be ostentation and haram. You have to look at your heart when you are doing it and after when people respond. If you are eager to get likes on your Facebook page, for example, or you are waiting for someone to show that they are impressed, or the opposite, you are crestfallen when you don’t get the attention you wanted, then it is ostentation.

If you feel this, you have to get it out of you heart and change your intention before you take an action. Otherwise, you will be acting upon ostentation and doing something forbidden and hated in Allah’s eyes.

It can also be a way of sharing the joy and thanking Allah. If all you want is to show others how happy you are with Allah, and there is not hankering in your heart for their praise then it is not ostentation, inshaAllah.

Breaking others’ hearts

Sometimes, even if we don’t mean to, we break other people’s hearts by mentioning a blessing in our lives that others don’t have. You mention how your baby is staying to coo and you hurt the person you are talking to because she doesn’t have a baby, or her baby has a disability.

This is not sinful if you don’t intend to harm them and you don’t know that it will hurt they feelings, but you do have to be careful.

‘The Most-Merciful only shows mercy to those who are merciful. Show mercy to those on Earth, and He upon high shall show you mercy.’ [Tirmidhi and others]

So you have to look at the scenario, and many other similar scenarios, from these three angles.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


 

Students of Knowledge Stepping Into The Spotlight Before Their Time

One of the biggest mistakes students of knowledge make – including myself – when embarking on the path of traditional study is to remain plugged into the internet and social media, writes Ustadh Salman Younas.

Whether it is having debates on forums, writing lengthy Facebook posts, coming up with catchy tweets, or posting pictures of your student adventures on Instagram, the base assumption that every student (actually, every person) should have is that these are largely ways to aggrandize the self (nafs) whether one realizes this or not.

A Destructive Distraction

Spiritually, it is destructive for a student. From the perspective of ilm-seeking, it corrupts intentions and distracts a student from the higher aims of seeking knowledge: God. There is an element of putting oneself out there and assuming a role before one is actually ready to step into the spotlight. There are indications that one feels his opinion counts and needs to be spread (if you pass a glance at how many shares your post got, you know you’re probably doing it for the wrong reasons).

There is a hidden desire that perhaps people should follow me – the layman taking the hand of the learned. Often times, there is argumentation, sometimes ill-will developed towards others, and the construction of a false image for the public. The consequence of this is summed up in a famous legal maxim:

“Whoever rushes something before its time is punished by being prevented from attaining it.”

If you are a beginner student, stick to studying and worship. Don’t waste the opportunity God gave you by occupying a station that He did not place you in.

This is a problem of my generation. Go look at our elders, such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Shaykh Hamza, Imam Zaid, Habib Umar, Mufti Taqi, and others. How many of them were putting themselves out while still students? None of them. They waited. They focused their attention on what they needed to do – on seeking knowledge for the sake of God. They understood the statement of Ibn Ata’illah:

“Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity. If something sprouts before it is buried, its fruits will never ripen.”

They took counsel from their teachers. They rectified themselves spiritually in addition to gaining knowledge of the outward. And God eventually opened the door of scholarship and spreading knowledge for them… and how beneficial was it when it was opened at the time He desired and not when they desired it.

Resources for seekers

Is It Bad to Go out in Public Wanting to Be Admired by the Opposite Gender?

Answered by Shaykh Riad Saloojee

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it bad to go out in public and to want to be seen, known, admired especially by girls?

Every time I go out, this is what I want to hear and feel.

Answer: Wa’alaykumsalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are well, by Allah’s grace. What follows is a general answer, without regard to specific details that I do not have.

The Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught that “Allah does not look at your bodies or your external forms but rather He looks at your hearts.” (Muslim). This text emphasizes that Allah is concerned about our inner character or khuluq – the virtues that we have inside ourselves, such as modesty, kindness, truthfulness, sincerity, generosity and others.

While we need to care for our external appearance because our bodies are a trust from Allah, we need to be extremely conscious of whether we have internal virtuous qualities that Allah loves, or whether we harbor qualities that are not beautiful and those that Allah does not love.

The Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught us a prayer when looking into the mirror: “O Allah, as you have beautified my external form, beautify my inner character.”

An inner obsession with external appearance or beauty is not healthy for us or for our relationship with Allah. It will lead to behavior that Allah does not love and that will harm us. This includes not lowering our gaze, being alone with a member of the opposite gender and ultimately illicit relationships.

When one finds himself with a physical disease, he seeks a cure. Similarly, for a spiritual ailment, the cure is the process of purifying the heart – in this case, to become more aware of Allah’s gaze upon our heart than the gaze of others upon our forms.

May Allah open the avenues of knowledge, practice and purification for us.

Wa salaamu’alaykum wa rahmatullah,
[Shaykh] Riad Saloojee

Shaykh Riad Saloojee graduated and taught in an Islamic seminary in Cape Town, South Africa.  He is a lawyer by training and worked in the field of civil rights advocacy. Currently, he teaches and translates.

Perform An Act To Break Your Ego (30 Deeds, 30 Days), by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Perform An Act To Break Your Ego, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Photo credit: Matthew G

Day 13 In A Nutshell – Weed The Garden of Your Ego, #YourRamadanHub Xtra

If you missed the livestream of the two extraordinary short talks Shaykh Walead Mosaad gave, you can listen to them in full on the SeekersHub podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe for automatic updates. If you could take a moment to rate the podcast and leave a review, we’d really appreciate it! In the meantime, we present you with #YourRamadanHub Xtra – the best of the day’s events in a nutshell.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

My Husband Is Acting Superior to Me, and My Patience Is Wearing Thin. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My husband is acting superior to me. Outside, he pretends he doesn’t know me. He doesn’t eat what I cook. He hides money from me. When he gets close, my heart feels bad vibes. I was advised to seek divorce. I can’t. What can I do? Is there any relief?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah lift the sorrow from your heart and grant you a way out of your difficulty.

Hardship

Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: I supplicated but it was not granted.” [Sahih Muslim]

It is difficult when we make dua and do not get an immediate answer. Trust that Allah will answer us, but in His time, and in His way. Please ask Allah for patience to bear with His Decree. Reach out for support during this time. Can you speak to your family and attend counselling?

Is there a local scholar who can help speak to your husband? Can you attend marital counselling?

Please complete Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life and encourage your husband to do the same.

Moving forward

Narrated Anas: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up to seven times about how you should move forward. If Allah makes your marriage easier to bear, then this is a sign for you to stay. If things continue to be difficult and your husband refuses to change, then this could be a sign for you to leave. Try everything you can think of to save your marriage, but if none of it works, then divorce is a last resort for you.

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that: the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Alhamdulilah, Allah has made divorce permissible. Even though divorce is hated by Allah, in many cases, divorce can be a mercy for all involved.

Please refer to the following links:

What Can Help Endure a Difficult Marriage Due to Financial Issues?
Staying Connected to Your Purpose Even When Your Marriage is Rocky, by Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How To Be Free of All But Allah

There are those who choose Allah over all else, and then there are the chosen ones who Allah chooses above all others as an acceptance of their devotion to Him. In under 16 minutes, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives us clear guidance on how we can too, become free of all intention to please anything or anyone but the One who created us.
This recording is part of the weekly gathering at SeekersHub Toronto, Circle of Light: A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration. Join us in-person and online. 

There’s more where that came from…

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a gifted teacher – to learn more from him or on this subject, take a course in the SeekersHub online academy. There are over 30 topics to choose from and all you need is an internet connection.
Can’t commit to a course right now but want to earn the rewards of helping others gain sacred knowledge? Become a regular donor today.

Resources on latent shirk for seekers

Cover photo by Fadi El Binni

The Best for Mankind, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Allah wanted us to be the best of mankind FOR mankind! The nature of this dunya encourages us to cooperate and live together, as Allah (Most High) said in Surah Al-Maidah (2):  “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.”  Allah (Most High) created us to be together on earth; we need to support each other and to hold each other’s hand in this path.

The-name-of-Allah-1Allah (Most High) has said that He has made us the best Ummah (Surah Al-Imran, 110), but being the best is actually not in it of itself, but rather it is being the best for mankind.  It is to be the best in guiding, helping, serving and being there as a support for mankind.

That being said, help may only be sought from those who are able to support others, and only people with the purest and kindest of hearts can be in a position of supporting and helping others.  That is why the best Ummah is that with the best of characters.

Allah (Most High) praised Rasulullah (peace be upon him) for his great and exalted character in Surah Al-Qalam (4): “Indeed , you are of great and exalted character.”  Rasulullah (peace be upon him) also told us that the most beloved to him are those with the greatest of akhlaq (characters or manners).  [at-Tabarani, Al-Awsat, 7697]

Having the best of akhlaq is one of the purposes of this deen!

In correcting, maintaining and improving ourselves, we often mistakenly look at the symptoms of our illness, rather than treating the cause of our sins.  In looking at the causes of all sin and evil, our Ulama say the source of all sin and evil are three things:


Arrogance

Arrogance was the first sin to be committed, and was done so by iblis. Because of his arrogance, he refused the command of Allah (Most High) to make sujud for Adam (May Allah be pleased with him). Arrogance is not a visible attribute, but rather an internal attribute that manifests itself in actions and words.  When someone feels that he or she is better than everyone else, or when someone feels so happy and content with themselves to the extent that they think that there is no one like them; these are aspects of arrogance.  These forms of arrogance can lead someone to be like firoun (the pharaoh), who thought he was a god.  It can even lead people to be like the Quraysh, who saw Rasulullah (peace be upon him) only as an orphan, and thought it was not possible for him to be chosen as a Prophet, especially because they felt they held greater status.

The heart of an arrogant person is always filled with hatred.  That is why Allah (Most High) said in Surah Al-Araf (146):

“I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant upon the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. And if they see the way of consciousness, they will not adopt it as a way; but if they see the way of error, they will adopt it as a way. That is because they have denied Our signs and they were heedless of them.”

Allah (Most High) also says in Surah An-Nahl (23):  “Assuredly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they declare. Indeed, He does not like the arrogant.”

Rasulullah (peace be upon him) also mentioned, as narrated in Sahih Muslim, that no one shall enter Jannah even with a half an atom’s weight of arrogance in their heart!

 

Greed

Adam (May Allah be pleased with him) left Jannah due to greed, as Allah (Most High) says in Surah Taha (120):  “Then Satan whispered to him; he said, “O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?” Even though Adam was told not to eat from the tree, he ate because he was promised a eternity, and because of this desire, he was removed from Jannah.

Rasulullah (peace be upon him) mentioned, as narrated in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, that mankind becomes old, but two things do not age with him, greed for wealth and greed for a longer life.

Allah (Most High) tells us in Surah Az-Zumar (30):  “Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die.”  We forget this reality, and instead we want to have more of everything.  Allah (Most High) also reminds us of this in the following ayahs:

“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.” (Surah Al-Imran, 114)

“Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”  (Surah Luqman, 34)

“And for every nation is a [specified] term. So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].”(Surah Al-Araf, 34)

We should also remember the Hadith that was narrated by Abdullah ibn Omar (May Allah be pleased with him) when Rasulullah (peace be upon him) told him to be like a wayfarer in this dunya.

Also, we should remember the words of Imam Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) when he said dunya is travelling away from us, and, as such, dunya has given us its back, but al akhira is travelling towards us; both dunya and al akhira have children, so be from the children of al akhira, because no action is taken without accountability, for tomorrow there is only accountability!

 

Hasad (jealousy and envy)

Hasad is the very trait that Allah (Most High) asked us to seek refuge from in the verse of Surah Al-Falaq.  Hasad is also the first sin to be committed by the children of Adam, when Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, and it is the worst of attributes.  Hasad is when you see all that is good as being deserved by you and no one else!  Allah (Most High), by relating to us the story of the children of Adam, is telling us the extent that people can go to via hasad, and the level of crime that hasad may cause them to commit.

In speaking about hasad, Allah (Most High) mentions in Surah An-Nisa (54-55):

“Or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty? But we had already given the family of Abraham the Scripture and wisdom and conferred upon them a great kingdom.”

Rasulullah (peace be upon him) also mentioned in a Hadith narrated in Bukhari and Muslim, that we should not hate each other, have jealousy or envy, turn our back on others, and should not cut our relations; rather, we should be in the slavehood of Allah (Most High) as brothers.

fire-burn-woodIn a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him), in Sunan Abu Dawood, Rasulullah (peace be upon him) mentioned that we should be away and warn from hasad, as hasad can do to hasanat (good deeds) what fire does to wood.

Also, Syedina Hasan (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I have never seen an oppressor who looks like he is being oppressed!  This is the reality of hasad; you see the people of hasad always upset and crying upon seeing the khair in others.

Abdullah ibn Masud (May Allah be pleased with him) also mentioned that we should not be the enemy of the blessing of Allah (Most High), as those who have hasad towards what Allah (Most High) has given others.  The problem of hasad is not the fact that one is jealous or envious of a particular person, but rather it is having issue with Allah’s (Most High) decree!

All three attributes mentioned rotate and serve one another.

May Allah (Most High) remove from us all these blameworthy attributes, and may Allah (Most High) fill our hearts with His love and the love of Rasulullah (peace be upon him). May Rabbi guide us, and may He make us the Ummah that spreads khair and helps everyone, and in doing so, is the best FOR mankind!

What is the Islamic Understanding of Pride?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: There are narration that speak about the cardinal sin of lowering ones clothing below the ankle out of pride. What is the Islamic understanding of pride – whether in general or in specific to this narration. I am aware (please correct me if I am wrong) that is it disliked to wear clothing below the ankle if not out of pride though if out of pride, the sinful however i do not know what the Islamic understanding of Pride is so can you kindly explain.

Answer:

Clothing Below Ankles

Before defining pride, what we find in many of the work of the four schools of thought is that it is disliked without a sin (makruh). This is not to deny though that there are many scholars today who hold that it is prohibited to for men to have their clothing below the ankle.

Arrogance (Kibr)

The definition of Arrogance (kibr) according to Ibn Juzay is, “A person thinking highly of themselves and looking down upon others.” Imam al-Ghazzali in his Forty Foundations defines pride as, “The reality of arrogance (kibr) is that one deems himself superior to others in regards to qualities of completion which leads to snobbish and overjoyed”.

The Causes and Signs of Arrogance

Arrogance can be caused by having knowledge, worship, lineage, courage, strength, beauty, wealth, or prestige. Some of the effects of arrogance is that a person would want a high position in gatherings, being the first while walking, looking down on others, being hateful towards others if they don’t begin with salam, or that when he looks at the masses its like he is looking at donkeys.

What Pride leads to

Arrogance will cause a person to be driven away from the signs of Allah (Quran 7:146). Ibn Zukri said, “As long as a person is arrogant his heart will not submit to truth, accept it, nor benefit from it.”

(Mawlud, Purification of the Heart)