Posts

Dua for Hope: What We Should Say When We Feel Despair

* Courtesy of Muwasala – Click here for the original post

Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) tells the following story to illustrate the necessity of placing one’s hopes in Allah alone. (The story is narrated by Imam Ibn Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq)

When Imam Hasan Bin Ali agreed to give the caliphate to Mu`awiyah, one of the conditions of the agreement was that Mu`awiyah would send Imam Hasan 100,000 Dinars every year for him to spend on his guests and upon the needy. Mu`awiyah duly sent this amount every year and this continued for some years, until one year the money did not come. As a result, Imam Hasan incurred many debts due to the large amounts that he would spend in charity. He thought about reminding Mu`awiyah of the agreement and he asked for paper and pen so that he could write a letter to him. Then he decided against writing the letter.

That night he saw his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, in a dream and he explained his situation to him.

The Messenger of Allah asked him: “My son, did you ask for a pen and paper to write to a created being like you?”

“I thought about doing this. Then I stopped.”

“Do not do this.”

“What should I do then?”

“Say:

الَّلهُمَّ اقْذِفْ في قَلْبِي رَجَاءَكَ واقْطَعْ رَجَائِي عَمَّنْ سِواكَ حَتَّى لا أَرْجُو أَحَداً غَيْرَكَ

الَّلهُمَّ وما ضَعُفَتْ عَنْهُ قُوَّتي وقَصُرَ عَنْهُ عَمَلِي ولَمْ ْتَنْتَهِ إِلَيْهِ رَغْبَتِي ولَمْ تَبْلُغْهُ مَسْأَلَتي ولَمْ يَجْرِ عَلى لِساني مِمَّا آتَيْتَ أَحَداً مِنْ الأَوَّلِينَ والآخِرينَ مِنْ اليَقِينِ فَخُصَّنِي بِهِ يا رَبَّ العَالمَين

“O Allah, cast into my heart hope in You and cut off any hope I have in other than You so that I have hope in no-one but You!

O Allah, however weak I am, however much my actions are deficient, however far short my desire (for good) falls, and in spite of the fact that I have not asked you, and that my tongue has not pronounced such a request, I ask You for the certainty that You have given any one of Your slaves from the first to the last of them, so bless me with it, O Lord of the Worlds.”

Sayyiduna al-Hasan repeated this du`a, pleading with Allah, for a week. Mu`awiyah then sent him 500,000 Dinars and he was then able to repay his debts and spend freely on those in need.

He then saw the Messenger of Allah in a dream once again and he told him what had happened.

The Messenger of Allah said to him: “My son, this is what happens to those who put their hopes in the Creator and not in the creation.

Habib Umar said: “Look at how the Messenger of Allah completed the nurturing of his grandson from beyond the grave. Although he had left this life, he was still concerned with al-Hasan’s elevation to the highest stations of truthfulness (al-siddiqiyya al-kubra) and absolute certainty (haqq al-yaqin).

How Can Someone Always Have Trust In Allah?

Question: Assalamu Aleykum

1. How can someone always have trust [tawakkul] in Allah in all their affairs, when asking from Allah, and not having fear or doubt. Is this a quality that can only be firm in people who have a lot of knowledge of Allah and islam?

2. How do you always keep a good opinion of Allah in all circumstances?

3. when praying and doing other acts of worship i keep thinking of trauma that i’ve been threw in the past. I feel bad because my heart feels distracted with it all the time, and i haven’t been focusing in prayer because of it.

4. When you make tawbah should you have hope or fear or both?

 

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

Dear questioner,

The hand teaches the heart

None of us were born angels and few of us can take an honest look at themselves and say that they are morally perfect. That said, Allah has given us a means to work on ourselves and change: the practice of Islam.

By applying the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and by fulfilling our obligations towards Allah and His slaves with excellence, one cannot but change internally.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that Allah Most High said, ‘Never does My slave draw nearer to Me with anything more bleoved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him; and My slave keeps on getting closer and closer to Me until I love him. And when I love him, I am the hearing with which he hears, and the seeing with which he sees, and the hand with which he strikes, and the foot with which the walks.’ [Bukhari]

So by applying the teachings of Islam with one’s body, one changes internally and wins the love of Allah. At this point, Allah gives one a new way of looking at life: things no longer cause other things, but rather Allah is the direct cause of everything around one, and one cannot but love, fear and rely upon him totally.

What it costs

One of the Early Muslims mentioned how hard it was to get to this degree, and what work it involved. He said:

‘I was for twelve years the blacksmith of my ego, then for five years I became the mirror of my heart, then for a year I looked at what lay between the two of them and I saw around me a visible belt [i.e. of disbelief, = the sign of a non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state]. So I strove to cut it for twelve years and then looked again, and I saw around me a hidden belt. So I worked to cut it for five years, looking to see how to cut. Then it was unveiled for me and I looked at creation and saw that they were all dead. So I recited the funeral prayer over them.’ [Bustan al-Arifin, al-Nawawi]

So it is a tall order of business to change completely and become so much imbued in faith that you see everything and everyone as totally unable to harm or benefit you, and see Allah as the one and only Harmer and Benefiter.

The good news is that we are all weak, and all we have to do is give it our all, even if we don’t succeed. Allah Most High says, ‘He has already succeeded who purifies himself; and remembers his Lord and prays.’ [84: 14-15]

So we have to strive with might and mane, but even rely on Allah in attainment true reliance upon Him.

Good opinion of Allah

If you love Allah, it is only because He loves you; and if He loves you, then what He has in store for you is far greater than what you can try to achieve for yourself in this life or the next.

To help you keep thinking the best of Allah, one should always remember that Allah is omnipotent and can make anything come out of anything, and that Allah has more concern for one than one does oneself.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that Allah said, ‘I am close to whatever My slave thinks I will do for him.’ [Bukhari and Muslim] Based on this hadith, we should always be the utmost optimism about everything we experience in life, and know that it is, without exception, always to our advantage: ‘How peculiar is the matter of the believer! Everything is always to his advantage! And that doesn’t apply to anyone save a believer. If he enjoys a benefit, he is grateful and it is even better for him; and if he suffers a difficulty, he is patient and it is even better for him.’ [Muslim]

The true way to show patience is to actually thank Allah for the affliction, knowing that is in reality a gift from Him and sign of His affection and concern. But this is easier said than done.

Dealing with Trauma and worship

The point is that the trauma should not turn one away from Allah, but turn one to Allah. We have to turn to Allah in our needs and pains. The Prophet Jacob (upon whom be peace) said, ‘I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah.’ [12: 86]

It may be necessary to seek clinical help to deal with trauma, but a lot can be done by turning, and even crying, to Allah.

We have to know that everything comes from Allah and return to Him. We have to train our hearts to be like that. As Amherst D. Tyssen put it:

Oh, may we thus through life’s rough voyage,
With all its tempests cope;
Make God the Rock whereon we cast
The anchor of our hope.

Come weal: to Him we give the praise;
Come woe: on Him we rest;
E’en death is bliss to hearts assured
Whate’er He sends is best.

Repentance

Repentance is the very essence of change and the only way we can become better slaves of Allah, for which reason the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘O people, repent to Allah and seek his forgiveness, for indeed I repent to Him and seek him forgiveness 100 times every single day.’ [Ahmad]

We should repent out of fear and hope, and continue on to do good deeps out of fear and hope. We stay between hope and fear, and fear and hope until we die. ‘Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them.’ [32: 16]

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Building Our Trust in Religious Leadership, by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

At Clothworkers’ Hall in the City of London, the Woolf Institute hosted a panel event with the Archbishop of Canterbury Jason Welby, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, and the Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, Tim Winter (Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad).

Resources for seekers on scholars and religious leadership

[cwa id=’cta’]

Building Our Trust in Religious Leadership, by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

How Can I Stay Positive and Trust in Allah in Difficult Times? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How can I stay positive and trust in Allah in difficult times?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Photo: Hai Thinh

Keys to Having Presence with God, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

“He is with you wherever you may be,” reminds Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, in this Friday sermon  at Masjid Jamiat-ul-Ansar. “The Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, the tremendous Reality, He is close and near you. Does this humble you?”

Allah has granted us the gift of being conscious of this reality. This is tremendous, and can only come in the form of a gift because none of us truly deserves it. This gift entails gratitude. Faith is a tremendous gift that has eternal consequences. Even if we chose to believe, who inspired us to it?
Allah tells us in the Quran, “Say: It is all from Allah.” The gift of faith is one we have not earned;  therefore, gratitude is the response.
So what is true gratitude? True shukr or thankfulness is using every blessing given to you in turning to Allah.

Never forget Him.

Gratitude of faith also entails that we nurture this faith. There is a tremendous difference between one that says I believe and the one who is present and conscious of the meaning of faith. Therefore, along with gratitude, knowledge is an essential key to attaining presence with your Lord.
The point of the prayer is the one you are praying to – Allah is the focus – and prayer is the key to being in His presence. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said “My complete joy, the joy of my eyes, was placed in the prayer.”
Why? Because prayer is presence with the one you love, with the one you are seeking…That is why whenever things were going on in the life of the Prophet, he would turn to prayer.
If Allah treated us as we deserved we would be lost, for our heedlessness is vast and our lack of gratitude is apparent. Allah deals with us with Mercy and enriches us when we provide him with as little as 10 minutes of presence and manifests good in it. Along with prayer comes continuous reflection and remembrance of God, in nurturing this our hearts find rest, solace and comfort.
[cwa id=’cta’]

Truly in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest

The first preoccupation of hearts is to seek answers to two fundamental questions: Who am I? Who is my Lord? In engaging in worship or remembrance, the restlessness leaves our hearts and we reconnect to our spirit. In a time before existence, we confirmed who our Lord is and in remembrance we return to this reality.

Be Busy With Allah.

So when you work, do it for Allah. The true meaning of your work is the potential to be in the presence of Allah and that is the true essence of your living. Those who are accomplished are those whose trade nor other dealings busy them from Allah. What are they busy with? They are busy with Allah. When anyone is with the one they love, does anything actually shake them?

Resources for the Seekers:

Vulnerability as the Pathway to Virtue – Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Join the conversation regarding sacred wisdom and pathways to non-violence at the 2016 Festival of Faith conference in Louisville, Kentucky with Dr. Ingrid Mattson  as she profoundly connects the viewer and listener to the nature of need as the true human experience and Vulnerability as its gateway.

It seems that all aspects of life stem down to the notion of power or the lack thereof.  Suffering is real; evil occurs and is experienced. What then is  our response? How do we understand and connect?

Dr. Ingrid’s response is real and compelling: “everyone will do what they will do and  my job is to learn in that situation; my job is to see the  opportunity for me to express my reliance and awareness of God’s Power ; to understand what it means to be in need of mercy, to be in need of compassion, and to be in need of justice.”
Vulnerability allows us to have the courage to go forward and try to exemplify prophetic virtues into action for the sake of all of those whose peace is being disturbed.

We are grateful to the Festival of Faith for the video. Cover photo by Bhatti Mashooque

 

Resources for the Seekers:

Three Qualities for Being Worthy of Trust – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What are the three qualities that make us worthy of trust? What kind of benefit would the companions take from the gatherings with the Prophet  ﷺ?  Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives answers to these pertinent questions in this short video.

Resources for seekers:

Cover Photo by Buzbeto

Trust[cwa id=’cta’]

Afraid to get groceries? Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray on being a Muslim woman in today’s turbulent climate

Each time a high profile act of violence is committed by a Muslim or in the name of Islam, the fear of reprisal attacks rises acutely in Muslim communities. It has become almost par for the course, and the statistics prove the threat is real. Often, women who are visibly Muslim find themselves the primary soft target. Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray has been inundated with concerned messages from many who are directly and indirectly affected. From being afraid to leave the home to do basic, every day errands to fearing for their lives – this has become the sad reality for many. Ustadha Anse has some much needed advice.

Resources for seekers:

Finding Safety and Solace in the Sunnah

In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Sayyiduna Muhammad and His Folk and Companions.


In any matter that faces the believers, individually and communally, they would not find a better recourse than to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). 

Times of trial are reminders to hold fast to Allah and to find safety and solace in following the way of our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).  

It is related that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) would exit his house he would say:

Finding-Solace-Iman-Badawi3

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might or power but in Allah. O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or be made to slip, or cause injustice, or suffer injustice, or do wrong, or have wrong done to me.”

This supplication, as it appears here, is a combination of reports from the Sunnan of Abi Dawud, on the authority of Sayyida Umm Salama and Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be well-pleased with them all).  Imam an-Nawwawi, in his Adhkar, collected similar narrations from at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaa`i, and Ibn Maajah.  

Ibn Allan, in his commentary on the Adhkar, entitled al-Futoohat ar-Rabbaniyya, explains that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught this supplication to his ummah to teach them how to seek refuge from all harm in their dealings with people, both outwardly and inwardly. This can only come about through humbly turning to Allah, Most High, and asking for steadfastness upon the straight path.

He quotes at-Teebi as saying, “One who exits from his home will engage with people, and so it is feared that he would swerve from the upright way; either 

  1. in matters of religion, by leading others astray or being led astray; or 
  1. in worldly matters, such that one might oppress another or be oppressed; or 
  1. in one’s mixing with others, such that one would act imprudently or be treated as such.”

Ibn Allan explains that each one of these is a foundation in itself, not redundant.

 


TRUST IN ALLAH

Dua-RainNewImage.png“In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might and no power but in Allah.”

Through reliance upon Allah, the believer seeks to rise above every difficulty. This is sought by invoking the name of Allah with the intention of seeking His Assistance, Gentle Care, and Facilitation and that His Power protects one’s acts from deficiency and inconsistency.

Muslims often become exasperated by the default state of suspicion placed upon them in the wake of terrorist attacks.  While we must take every means to enjoin good and forbid evil and avert all forms of harm, it is not by our efforts that the truth prevails.  Rather, above all of that is the duty to trust in Allah.

 

MISGUIDANCE

“O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or be made to slip

Guidance is to uphold the truth in belief and word and deed. Straying from guidance (dalaal) entails being distracted away from the high aims for which we were created.

Worldly events often cause a shift in this focus and lead to negligence in upholding Slavehood to Allah.  

The verb “zalla” means to slip from an elevated place. In this context it means falling from the lofty heights of adherence to the Straight Path to the low strata of following one’s caprice (hawa), or turning away from the dictates of God-consciousness (taqwa), or being consumed by the pursuit of worldly gains (dunya).  Misguidance is a willful turning from the truth, while slipping is an unintentional mistake resulting from weakness.  

Even as Muslims feel threatened or unsafe, we must not lose our resolve to adhere to the obedience of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in all circumstances. This is the means to overcoming difficulty and the manifestation of true reliance upon Allah.

Thus, it has been reported on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (may Allah be well-pleased with him) that Allah immediately answers and an angel declares, “You have been guided.” [Sunan Ibn Maajah, Book of Supplications]

 

OPPRESSION

“I seek refuge in You lest I….cause injustice, or suffer injustice”

Dhulm means to place something in other than it’s rightful place or to take the right of another.  

There can be no greater oppression than to take the words of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) out of their proper place to achieve the exact opposite of their aims. However, a believer is responsible for his or her own actions.  Thus, one will not be asked about the oppression of others before he is first asked about his own.

One who has been protected by Allah from oppression will have what our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) promised, as the hadith continues to say:

“You have been sufficed.”, meaning, of every worldly and next-worldly concern by your reliance upon Allah. 

 

IGNORANCE

“I seek refuge in You lest I…. do wrong, or have wrong done to me.”

This entails being ignorant of what is obligatory upon one or to act in a way that is contrary to the character of a believer or to be treated with like imprudence.

Incidents that provoke anger, fear and hatred are easily reciprocated with their like.  In that is a victory for the true enemy.  

Thus the angel responds, “You have been guarded.”, meaning from the harm of your enemies, of devils and jinn, by your sincere consigning of all affairs to the Creator.

 

Concern For Others & Praying for the Good for all Believers

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was granted the most succinctly eloquent and vastly comprehensive speech.  In this short supplication, he teaches us to seek protection, both from these harms and from being the cause of leading others to them.  There is no harm to recite it in English for one who finds difficulty memorizing it in Arabic.

In the narration of at-Tirmidhi, the same supplication has been narrated in the plural, intending all the believers.  This is a general recommendation, as it is from wishing for one’s brother what one wishes for one’s self. [Sunan at Tirmidhi, Book of Supplications, on the authority of Sayyida Umm Salama from ash-Sha’bi]

 

Planting Prophetic Meanings

Most of the Sunnah is habitual guidance; a consistent way of approaching our dealings with our Creator and our dealings with the creation.  Good habits are best established early. Through teaching this supplication to our children, explaining its meanings and reciting it with them consistently, every time we leave our homes, we pray that it’s beautiful meanings are imparted to them.  

 

Modern Interactions

The reality of our modern world is that we now engage with people, to a great extent, through social media.  Thus, the harms from which we seek protection through this supplication are no longer limited to leaving one’s home.   As the aim of du’a` is sincere turning to Allah in neediness, it would be a good practice to recite this supplication or, at least, bring its meanings to mind in all human interactions.  

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Allah, Most High, says:

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is your return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do. [Quran 5:105]

By Iman Badawi

 

Resources for seekers:

Positive Spiritual Thinking, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

An explanation of the power of taqwa and trust in Allah in decision-making. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains how, “Whoever has mindfulness of Allah, Allah grants a way out and provides for them in ways they could never imagine.” [Qur’an, 65.2-3]

This is not only through spiritual assistance but also through the practical facilitation of making right choices–as taqwa is committing to leave all that is displeasing to Allah and choosing what is pleasing to Allah. This is the practical way to good in all choices.

But people have their worldly and spiritual fears and misgivings, so Allah Most High promises, “And whoever places their trust in Allah, Allah is their sufficiency..” [Qur’an, 65.3]