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Can Good Deeds Be Sabotaged?

Can Good Deeds Be Sabotaged?

Imam al-Ghazali discusses the relationship between acts of outward worship and the heart.

Thus pride will leave your mind only when you know with certainty that the great man is he who is great in the estimation of God; this (i.e. to be great in God’s estimation) is dependent upon one’s good state of mind at the end to one’s life concerning which there is doubt. Then the fear of the end will keep you from being proud at the expense of servants of God, despite the existence of doubt concerning your fate. Your certain belief, your firm faith in God, at present does not exclude the possibility of change in the future, for God is the disposer of minds –He guides him whom He pleases and leads astray whom He pleases.

Prophetic traditions on envy, pride, ostentation, and conceit are numerous. The following single comprehensive Tradition will be sufficient for you concerning these evil qualities of mind.

Ibn al-Mubarak related, with a chain of narrators going back to a certain man, that his man asked Mu’adh: O Mu’adh, tell me a Tradition you heard from God’s Messenger (may God bless him and greet him!). The man continued: Mu’adh wept (at this question of mine) until I thought he would not cease, but at length he ceased to weep; then he said: I heard God’s Messenger (may God bless him and greet him!) saying to me,

“I am going to tell you a Tradition which is such that if you remember it, it will benefit you before God, but if you lose it and do not remember it, your plea of defense before God on the Day of Resurrection will be removed. O Mu’adh, that Tradition is:

Verily God (blessed and exalted is He!), before creating the heavens and the earth, created seven angels, and appointed one of these seven angels as keeper of each of the seven heavens. Now the system is such hat the guardian angels (Qu’ran, 6:61)  ascend with man’s deeds performed from morning to evening; each deed has a light like the light of the sun. After bringing it up to the lowest heaven they increase it and multiply it, and the keeper angel entrusted with this heaven says to the guardian angels, ‘With this deed strike the face of its doer; I am in charge of backbiting; my Lord has commanded me not to allow a backbiter’s deed to pass beyond me.’

Then the guardian angels bring one of man’s good deeds and increase it and multiply it until they reach the second heaven with it. Then the keeper angel entrusted there says, ‘Stop and with this deed strike the face of its doer, for through this deed he sought worldly honour; my Lord has commanded me not to allow this deed to pass beyond me, for he used to boast of his deed among his associates; I am the angel in charge of boasting.’

The guardian angels ascend with a man’s deed– such as charity, ritual prayer, and fasting– which is so bright that it astonishes the guardians. They pass with it to the third heaven, and the angel responsible there says, ‘Stop and with this deed strike the face of its doer; I am the angel in charge of pride; my Lord has commanded me not to allow his deed to pass beyond me, for he took pride at the expense of his associates.’

The guardian angels ascend with a man’s deed– such as glorification of God, ritual prayer, fasting, the greater pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj), and the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca (‘umra) — which is shining brightly like a star and resounding. When they pass with it to the fourth heaven, the angel in charge says, ‘Stop and with this deed strike the face of its doer, his back and his abdomen; I am in charge of conceit; my Lord has commanded me not to allow his deed to pass beyond me, for whenever he did a deed he allowed conceit to enter into it.’

The guardian angels ascend with a man’s deed until they pass with it to the fifth heaven. The deed is so embellished that it is like a bridge being conducted to her husband. The angel entrusted with that heaven says, ‘Stop and with this deed strike the face of its doer, carry it to him and place it on his shoulder; I am the angel in charge of envy; he used to envy whoever sought to acquire knowledge and performed a deed like his and all who were superior to men in some way; he used to envy them and slander them; my Lord has commanded me not to allow his deed to pass beyond me.’

The guardian angels ascend with a man’s deed– such as ritual prayer, divine tax, the greater pilgrimage to Mecca, the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca, holy war, and fasting– which is as radiant as the moon. The angels pass with it to the sixth heaven. The angel in charge there says to them, ‘Stop and with this deed strike the face face of its doer, for he never showed mercy to anyone of God’s servants who met with misfortune or disease, but felt pleasure in it; my Lord has commanded me not to allow his deed to pass beyond me.’

The guardian angels ascend with a man’s deed– such as ritual prayer, fasting, spending of wealth in charity and in good causes, holy war, and piety — which has a sound like that of bees and a radiance like that of the sun and which was accompanied by three thousand angels. They pass with it to the seventh heaven. The angel entrusted with this heaven says to them, ‘Stop and with this deed strike the face of its doer as well as his limbs, and lock up his mind; I veil from the Lord every action which is not intended for my Lord; by this deed he only sought something other than God (exalted is He!) — by it he certainly sought high rank among the learned men, mention among religious scholars, and reputation throughout the cities. My Lord has commanded me not to allow his deed to pass beyond me, for any action not performed purely for God is ostentation, and God does not accept the deeds of an ostentatious man.’

The guardian angels ascend with a man’s deed– such as ritual prayer, divine tax, the greater pilgrimage to Mecca, the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca, good character, observance of silence, and remembrance of God (exalted is He!). Each deed is accompanied by the angels of the seven heavens until they have passed through all the veils to the presence of God (exalted is He!) They stand before Him, bearing witness to Him of the good deed done purely for God (exalted is He!). God (exalted is He!) says, ‘You are guardians over the deeds of My servant, but I am the watcher over his mind; he did not seek Me by this deed; he sought something other than Me; so on him is My curse: Then all the angels present says, ‘Your curse and our curse be upon him!’ The seven heavens and those who are there also curse him.”

Having heard this Mu’adh wept. He said: I asked, ‘O Messenger of God, you are God’s Messenger and I am Mu’adh; how shall I have deliverance and salvation?’ The Messenger of God retorted,

“Follow me even if there be some imperfection in your action. O Mu’adh, guard your tongue against slandering your brothers, i.e. those who believe in the Qur’an; ascribe your sins to yourself and not to them; do not ascribe purity to yourself and blame them; do not exalt yourself above them; do not mingle this-worldly activity with the activity of the Hereafter; do not be proud in your society so that men avoid you for your evil character; do not whisper to one man while another man is present; do not magnify your importance over others so that the good things of this world and the Hereafter will depart from you; do not tear to pieces (the character of) people with the result that on the Day of Resurrection the dogs of Hell will tear you to pieces in Hell. God (exalted is He!) said, ‘By those who draw out violently…’ (Qur’an, 79:1-2) Do you know what these are, O Mu’adh?’ I asked: What are they, O God’s Messenger (may you be ransomed by my father and mother)? He replied,  ‘They are the dogs of Hell drawing the flesh of its dwellers from its bones.’ I asked: O God’s Messenger (may you be ransomed by my father and mother), who is able to get rid of these evil qualities and who will escape from them? He replied, ‘Mu’adh, it is indeed easy for him for whom God makes it easy.’

Khalid ibn Mi’dan said: I have not seen anyone more assiduous in reciting the great Qur’an than Mu’adh on account of this great Tradition.

Quoted from (Bidaya al-Hidaya) Al-Ghazali on Islamic Guidance, trans. by Muhammad Abul Quasem. 1979. p. 90-95

Video: Habib Umar bin Hafiz – “A Gathering of Grace” – Luton 2011 – YouTube

YouTube – Habib Umar bin Hafiz – “A Gathering of Grace” – Luton 2011

 

 

 

Al-Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz is a descendant of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, through his grandson Imam Hussain, may Allah be pleased with him. He was born in Tarim, Hadramaut in Yemen, and raised in a household that possessed a tradition and lineage of Islamic scholarship and righteousness, his father being the famous martyr, scholar, and caller to Islam Al-Habib Muhammad bin Salim.

Having memorized the Qur’an at a very early age, Habib ‘Umar also memorized the core texts in fiqh, hadith, Arabic Language, and other religious sciences. He studied many sciences including spirituality from his father Al-Habib Muhammad bin Salim, acquiring from him a deep love and concern for da’wah and religious counsels in the way of Allah. He attended numerous circles of knowledge held by many traditional scholars, such as Muhammad bin ‘Alawi bin Shihab and al-Shaikh Fadl Baa Fadl. Later, he enrolled at the Ribat of al-Bayda’, where he began to study the traditional sciences under the expert tutelage of Al-Habib Muhammad bin ‘Abd-Allah al-Haddar, as well as under the Shafi’i jurist and scholar Al-Habib Zain bin Sumait. Habib ‘Umar was given permission to teach soon after. Afterwards, he began to visit many neighboring towns and communities across Yemen and studied with the mufti of Ta’iz, al-Habib Ibrahim bin Aqil bin Yahya, who began to show him much love and attention. He received similar treatment from his Shaikh al-Habib Muhammad al-Haddar, who gave him his daughter’s hand in marriage after being impressed by his uprightness and intelligence. Al-Habib ‘Umar then traveled to the Hijaz and studied several books with prominent scholars, including Al-Habib ‘Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad al-Saqqaf, Al-Habib Ahmed Mashur al-Haddad, and Al-Habib ‘Attas al-Habashi.

Wherever Habib ‘Umar has gone, no stone has been left unturned in his attempt to revive the love of Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, in the hearts of people. After returning to Tarim, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute to which students from across the world have come to study. Habib ‘Umar currently lives in Tarim, where he oversees the development of Dar al-Mustafa and the many schools that have been set up under his management.

Remembering the Chosen One – The Prophet Muhammad – Sh. Yahya Rhodus, Sh. Ibrahim Osi-Efa, & Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam – Video

Remembering al-Mustafa (S) with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus on Vimeo

Recorded live at Remembering al-Mustafa event held by The Ribat Institute at St Columba’s house in Woking, England, on 25th of February 2011, 22 Rabi al-Awwal 1432, with Sh. Yahya Rhodus, Sh. Ibrahim Osi-Efa, & Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam.

 

 

1. Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa:

 

2. Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam:

 

3. Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

 

The book recommended by Shaykh Yahya is available online, in Arabic pdf:

Sifat Salat al-Muqarrabin – Imam al-Hasan ibn Salih al-Bahr al-Jifry

 

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Counsels & Wisdom on Uprightness & Spiritual Transformation – Sh. Muhammad Sa`id al-Burhani – Reliance of the Traveller

Counsels & Wisdom on Uprightness & Spiritual Transformation

by Shaykh Muhammad Sa`id al-Burhani

from: Reliance of the Traveller (of Shaykh Nuh Keller)

 

t3.1 (Muhammad Sa`id Burhani:) Do not limit yourself to deep words and profound spiritual allusions but make provision for the afterlife before death comes, when fine words will be lost and the rak`as you prayed by night or day will remain..

t3.2 Give voluntary charity as much as possible, for you owe more than merely the zakat obligatory. Make provision for the afterlife by giving while you have health and want to cling to your money out of fear of poverty, seeing life before you. Allah Most High says, “Whoever is watchful against the stinginess of his own soul, those shall be the successful” (Quran 59:9), meaning they shall be saved.

t3.3 Never obey anyone of Allah’s servants, even father or mother, in an act of disobedience to Allah, for there is no obedience to a creature in disobedience to the Creator.

t3.4 Do not wrong another person, for wrongs done to others are clouds of darkness on the Day of Judgement. Wronging others includes not doing what Allah has obliged you to do for them.

t3.5 Beware of enmity against anyone who has said, “La ilaha ill Allah’ (There is no god but Allah), for Allah has honored them with faith, and particularly the righteous of them, for Allah Most High says in a rigorously authenticated (sahih) hadith, “He who makes an enemy of a friend of Mine, I declare war against,”

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t3.6 Tell the truth when you speak. It is one of the worst betrayals to tell your brother something he thinks you are being honest about when the matter is otherwise.

t3.7 Be honest in your clothes and dress. It is an outrage against Allah to appear to His servants in the guise of the righteous while secretly contradicting it with the works of the wicked.

t3.8 Recite the Quran and contemplate its meanings. Reflect while reading it on the qualities Allah has praised, with which He describes the people He loves. Acquire these qualities yourself and shun those Allah has condemned. Do your utmost of memorize the Holy Quran by acts as you do by words.

t3.9 Never explain a verse of Holy Quran by your own opinion, but check as to how it has been understood by the scholars of Sacred Law and men of wisdom who came before you. If you comprehend something else by it and what you have understood contradicts the Sacred Law, forsake your wretched opinion and fling it against the wall.

t3.10 Beware lest you ever say anything that does not conform to the Sacred Law. Know that the highest stage of the perfected ones (rijal) is the Sacred Law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). And know that the esoteric that contravenes the exoteric is a fraud.

t3.11 Take care to eat lawful food bought with a lawful income, for the entire body of someone who eats what is lawful, his hearing, eyesight, hands, and feet, are disposed to obey Allah whether he wishes to or not; while the whole body of someone who eats the unlawful is disposed to do wrong whether he wants to or not.

t3.12 Keep the thought of Allah Mighty and Majestic ever before you with respect to what He takes from you and what He gives. He takes away nothing except that you may show patience and win His love, for He loves the patient, and when He loves you, He will treat you as a lover does his beloved. And so too, when He gives to you, He bestows blessings upon you that you may give thanks, for He loves the thankful.

t3.13 Do not walk a step, take a bite, or make a move without intending thereby to draw nearer to Allah.

t3.14 Perform the remembrance of Allah (dhikr) silently and aloud, in a group and when alone, for Allah Most High says, “Remember Me: I will remember you” (Quran 2:152).

It is sufficient as to its worth that Allah is remembering you as long as you are remembering Him.

t3.15 Give frequent utterance to the axiom of Islam “La ilaha ill Allah” (There is no god but Allah), for it is the greatest invocation (dhikr), as is mentioned in the hadith, “The best things I or any of the prophets before me have said is ‘La ilaha ill Allah.”’

And in a hadith qudsi, “Were the seven heavens and seven earths placed on one side of a balance scale and’`La ilaha ill Allah’ placed on the other, the latter would outweigh them all.”

t3.16 Train your children in points of Islamic behavior so they grow up to be Muslims who love Islam and respect the religion of Islam.

t3.17 Do not seek exaltation on earth, but have humility in whatever degree Allah has raised you to. For Allah has brought you forth from the earth, your mother, and it is unseemly to exalt yourself above her. As a hadith says, “Allah has charged Himself to raise nothing in this world, save that He will lower it again.”

So if you are such a thing, you may expect to be lowered by Allah.

t3.18 Always visit those who are ill, as it helps one reflect and take admonition, for someone ill is close to Allah. One has only to consider that the sick person has no one to call upon but Allah, nothing to reflect on but Allah, and his condition reminds one of the blessing of health (al-Hall al-sadid li ma astashkalahu al-murid (y46), 29-32).

Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id Burhani was a major Damascene Hanafi faqih and Sufi.

You can purchase The Reliance of the Traveller at:

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The Battlefield: The Tawba of a Muslim Teenager – Novid Shaid

The Battlefield: The Tawba of a Muslim Teenager

By Novid Shaid, 1997

I battle with myself
Face to face, punch for punch,
My future launches at me in front
And my past creeps up from behind.
I dodge the assault of late night party invitations,
And avoid the ambushing memories of early mistakes:
Phone numbers of girls.

I am training myself
Readjusting my senses,
Building my defences
To fight this relentless interior jihad
Slipping bullets of gluttony
And evading grenades of pride
They fire and explore around me
But I strive to keep my ground.

Before I was a pathetic refugee
Pitching tents in dunya, surrendering.
My body was conquered by the whispers of shaitan.
Battalions of lust seduced my tempted eyes
Fleets of laziness surrounded my rafts of discipline
Guerrillas of gluttony raided my rare Ramzans.

Ducking stones of anger
And parrying the arrows of desire
My past smacks me with a mighty blow
But I recover straight away.

How I have betrayed my heart!
Robbed it of Islam
Pillaged it of worship
Starved it of prayer
But engulfed it in the oil of haram.
My heart had been hard and dead
The stench of sin wreaked in my chest
Suffocating my heart
Encrusted in sins
An impervious rock.

But now the filth is softening!
Slowly the shell is weakening!
Now the sea of Islam is eroding away
The sticky rocks of dunya.
And my heart is breathing air again
Fresh and pure air it was born to breathe!

So I am left here, armed and ready
Standing alone on the battlefield
With the opposing armies of haram and shaitan
Itching to launch a strike.
But now it is I who attack!
Piercing their armour by praying
Bending their swords by repenting
Disarming their archers by reading the Quran
Crippling their cavalry by lowering my gaze.

This war will never end
My desires will never give in
They fire and explode around me
But I strive to keep my ground.

www.novid.co.uk

End Comment:

Please pray for all young Muslims and converts finding their way to the deen and Allah Most High.
And for those of us who have already made our tawbas, pray that Allah Most High keeps us on
the straight and narrow, and to keep up the fight against our true enemies!

Contentment: the Property of the Believers – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus – Video

YouTube – Contentment: the Property of the Believers’ YAHYA RHODUS (USA)

 

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus courses on SeekersGuidance (www.SeekersGuidance.org):

 

The Marvels of the Heart

‘The Wonders of the Heart‘ is the twenty-first book of the third quarter of the Ihya Ulum al-Din. This short course offers a detailed explanation of the text, and explores the meaning of soul (nafs), spirit (ruh), heart (qalb), and intellect (’aql).

 

Faith in Divine Unity & Trust in Divine Providence

Based upon Book XXXV of Imam al-Ghazali’s magnum opus “The Revival of the Religious Sciences” (Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din), this course explains the reality of faith in Allah’s Unity (Tawhid) and trust in His Providence (Tawakkul), and how to attain these vital states of the heart.

 

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A Prayer: Thank You! Oh Lord, Allah – Novid Shaid

A Prayer: Thank You! Oh Lord, Allah
Novid Shaid, January, 2011

Oh You, without form
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem
Unlike all we imagine
Free of error and need.

Oh Lord! As I witness this world
On the spellbinding screen
Showing pain and suffering
Worse than I could ever dream.

Oh Lord! As I hear of the problems
Which unsettle my soul
Of the abuse of innocence
Of the Earth’s dwindling capital.

Oh Lord! As I wince and complain
At the blows of fate
The pressures of modern living
And the storms people create.

Oh Lord! As my heart brews and trembles
With foreboding and stress
A pulsation of waves
Clears my heart of the mess.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Al Raheem!
Thank you for my life!
As a free human being!

If it were Your choosing
I could never exist
I would never have sensed
This world of consequence.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem!
Thank You for the safety!
All my life, I have seen!

If it were Your choosing
I could have survived
Through the horrors of war
And terrible genocide.

Thank You for this safety
Keep me free from all harm,
Relieve those who are living
Frightened and alarmed.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem!
Thank You for the blessing!
Of my whole family!

If it were Your choosing
I could have grown up
An orphan, so lonely
Without love or childless.

Thank You for this bounty
Of my kith and my kin.
For my mother and father
For my wife and children.

Oh Lord! Comfort the orphans,
And those yearning for offspring
And increase all these blessings
That I find myself in.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem!
Thank You for the soundness
Of my body and mind!

If it were Your choosing
I could have maladies
Or my body disabled
Or my mind ill at ease.

Thank You for my health
And my consistent energy
Protect me from illness
From depression and lethargy.

Strengthen those with weakness
Spread Your mercy on the lame
Help those who are suffering
From their aches and their pains.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem!
Thank You for employment
For the flow of money.

If it were Your choosing
I could have lived wretched
As a slave or a pauper,
Or a street-dwelling beggar.

Thank You for my job.
And my honest income.
Increase me in wealth
As much, in Your wisdom.

Help those on the streets
And those searching for means
Give me the power
To help my brothers in need.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem!
Thank You for my food
And water, fresh and clean.

If it were Your choosing
I could have lived in arid lands.
Where water is scare
And no food close to hand.

Bless me with clean water
Provide me with good food
Make paths for those searching
For water so cool.

Help me to consider
How great water is.
And give me the wisdom
Not to waste such a blessing.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem!
Thank You for the warmth
In my home and the heat.

If it were Your choosing
I could be living, so cold.
In winds so inhospitable
It would rattle my bones.

Protect those who are living
In the cold and the winds
And continue to warm me
Though I stress and I sin.

Oh Lord! Oh Allah!
Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem!
Thank You for my soul,
And in You, I believe.

If it were Your choosing
I could have been blind
To the truth of Your Light
Which shines beyond time.

Bless me with true faith,
Give me a safe passage through death.
Guide those on the path,
For the truth is their quest.

Oh Lord! When I think
How unsettling life can be,
Just the thought of Your blessings
Cheers my heart, endlessly.

And send perfect peace
On the pure, grateful one,
And send him Your blessings,
To his family, and companions.

Novid Shaid
www.novid.co.uk

Complete Excellence: The Adab of Each Limb – Faraz Rabbani – Sulami’s Adab al-Suhba on Vimeo

Complete Excellence: The Adab of Each Limb – Faraz Rabbani – Sulami’s Adab al-Suhba on Vimeo

In this lesson, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance.org explains Imam Sulami’s chapter on “The Proper Manners of Each Limb, Outward and Inward” from his work on the proper manners of companionship (Adab al-Suhba). He covers the adab related to the eyes, ears, tongue, hands, and feet in relating to people. Then, he emphasizes why the adab of the heart is the most important, and explains what the key adaab of the heart are, both in relating to Allah Most High and in relating to His Creation.

Complete Excellence: The Adab of Each Limb – Faraz Rabbani – Sulami’s Adab al-Suhba from SeekersGuidance on Vimeo.

Understanding Laziness in Islam – Shaykh Abdallah Adhami

Understanding Laziness in Islam – Shaykh Abdullah Adhami

Lecture transcript re-posted from here with slight modifications. Please forgive any formatting and phonetic spelling mistakes.

Posted with confirmation from Shaykh Abdallah Adhami. To listen to more of Shaykh Abdallah Adhami’s insightful and refreshing lectures please visit Sakeenah

bismillahi al-rahman al-rahim

Laziness, or lethargy can come from running low on “spiritual reserves,” from being in uninspiring settings — but, you know, I really believe that for the mu`min the center of tranquility, the sakina, the inspiration, all of that, is within. I know it is very hard — but by the grace and mercy of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala), it is in there. Sometimes what appears to be laziness could also be misinterpreted as “burnout” or exhaustion because we’re too hard on ourselves. May Allah (jalla thana`uhu) bless us with vision and wisdom to see the difference. The du`a that’s specifically against laziness is in the Sahih of Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) on the authority of sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu):

“… Allahumma inni a’outhu bika {Oh Allah I seek protection in you}
mina al-hammi wa al-hazan, {from anxiety and sadness}
wa al-‘ajzi wa al-kasal,* {and inability and laziness}
wa dhala’i al-dayni, {and the burden of debt}
wa ghalabati al-rijal …” {and the “humiliation” of men}*

The word “‘ajz” is not just inability or incapacity. It indicates a certain “lack” to act that comes from inner weakness. As in the hadith of Tirmidhi (rahimahullah), our beloved messenger (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “al-kayyisu man dana nafsahu wa ‘amila lima ba’da al-maout. wa al-‘ajizu man atba’a nafsahu hawaha, wa tamanna ‘ala Allahi al-amani.” – the intelligent or, vigilant servant is ever blameful of himself, and works for what comes after death; the ‘ajiz is the one who lets himself follow his whim, and then wishes for good things from Allah. Notice how the one who “follows his whim” is attributed to “weakness.”

Abu al-Hasan al-Mada`ini related the following (du’a): “Allahumma la takilna ila anfusina fa na’jaz, wa la ilan-naasi fa nadi'” — Oh Allah! do not leave us to our own selves for we would weaken. And, do not leave us to the whims of people for we would be lost.” When one is always concerned with how people think, that would ultimately affect her sincerity. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said: “Whoever purifies his intention to be sincere to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala), Allah would take care of what would be between him and people.”

This is reminiscent of the hadith of Zayd ibn Aslam (rahimahullah) that I related to you from the Muwatta` where he said: “Fear Allah (have  taqwa), and people would respect or, have an affinity toward you — even if they hated to.” ‘Ajz comes from being low on spiritual reserves and from the ghaflah — or, absent-mindedness, that comes from being content with little deeds. Al-imam al-Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullah) said: “the righteous ‘salaf’ were as fearful of their good deeds being squandered or not being accepted as the present generation is certain that their neglect would be forgiven.” Please remember that al-Hasan passed away 110 A.H.

In this capacity, Rabi’ah al-Qaysiyah al-‘Adawiayh (rahimahallah) said: “We need to repent to Allah (ta’aala) for the way that we repent to Him.” In this capacity, sayyiduna Sa’id ibn al-Jubair (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said: “The reward of a good deed, is a good deed after it. The ‘reward’ or, jazaa` of a bad deed is a bad deed after it. May Allah (‘azza wa jall) save us from ghaflah here, and humiliation in the akhira– amin. ‘Ajz is also synonymous to dha’f, as in Sura al-Nisa`: “wa khuliqa al-insanu dha’ifan.” Some scholars of language distinguish between dha’f — with a fatha; and dhu’f — with a dhamma. The former is weakness in body or in intellect or opinion; the latter is weakness in body only. In Surat ar-Rum, Allah (jalla thana`uhu) said: “He created you from dha’f, and provided you with strength after it …”The word kasal implies a certain “heaviness” or, tathaaqul to do something, rather than inability. Since the ‘ajz is the more complex inner dynamic associated with defeatism, we are taught to seek refuge from it first, because it is the inner weakness that leads to outer laziness and lethargy. Likewise, we are taught to seek refuge from anxiety because it leads to sadness.

Therefore, in the Sunan of Abu Dawud (rahimahullah), our beloved messenger (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “. . . Allah judges for ‘ajz, so be “mentally vigilant” – – ‘alayka bi al-kays – – and if something overwhelms or overcomes you, then say: ‘hasbiyallahu wa ni’ma al-wakil’.” Allah (jalla thana`uhu) describing the believers who were tested in Surah al-‘Imran: “fa ma wahanu lima asabahum fi sabili Allahi wa ma dha’ufu wa ma istakanu…” — and they did not “act weak” in the face of what befell them in the path of Allah, and they neither exhibited inner weakness, nor acted as if humiliated…” Our beloved messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) warns: “He is not among us — i.e. does not embody our adab, who willingly agrees to humiliate himself, without being coersed.” When this happens on a communal level, you have a prevalent wahn, or defeatism. It means “weakness of the sort that no longer enables its bearer to stay ‘upright’.”

And, so Allah (jallah thana`uhu) gives the believers the proper perspective and focus in Surat al-‘Imran: “wa la tahinu wa la tahzanu wa antum al-a’laouna,” — do not become “weak,” do not grieve, for you will be dominant (i.e. high) — with the catch, however, “in kuntum mu`minin,” — if you would be believers. Surrender to Allah (‘azza wa jall) first, and you rise, you transcend the need for anything, truly. This yearning to be with Allah (jalla thana`uhu) is what begets the inner sakina referred to in the beginning. Yahya ibn Mu’adh (rahimahullah) said: “The servant who is ‘aware’ of Allah (ta’aala) leaves this world not having done enough of two things: crying over himself — and yearning to be closer to His Lord (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).”

May Allah grant us awareness. Ameen.

VIDEO: A Night of Praising the Prophet at Dar al-Mustafa

A night of praising the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) led by Habib Umar at Dar al-Mustafa.

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