Friday, April 29, 2005

How Will We Die?

As Salaamu Alaykum

"As you live, so shall you die; and as you die so shall you be raised"

During my reading, I came across the above Hadeeth; a Hadeeth which is short in words but holds immense meaning for the people who ponder and wish to understand.

It is one of the greatest concerns of every believer as to how he will die, how will he be treated in the hereafter, will he be successful or will he be disgraced? All these worries are answered in this short Hadeeth of our beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam.

How Will We Die?

The first half of this Hadeeth mentions the way in which man will acquire his death. The Hadeeth mentions that a person will die in the manner in which he lived his life.

If a person, throughout his life, lived in accordance to the Shari'ah and the will of Allah Ta'ala then it will be most like that his life will end in a manner where he is following the Shari'ah and upholding the religion of Islam. To the contrary, if he lived his life displeasing Allah Ta'ala and whilst walking the path of Shaytaan then it is likely that his life comes to an end in a state where he is committing a sin and Allah Ta'ala is displeased with him.

The belief of every Muslim is that death can strike at any time. Death is something which does not come to a person at a specific time, age or during a certain act. It is the order of Allah Ta'ala and His wish that he takes the soul of any person when he wishes. Therefore, the justice of Allah Ta'ala is such that He will not sadden his true believers, those who walked upon his path during their lifetime.

As with any person, who walks on any path, a time comes when sometimes a person may trip over, stumble or fall. However, after his fall he does not remain on the floor and give up hope of moving on. Instead, he stands up as quickly as he can, at times looking around to save himself from embarrassment, and then continues on his path. The path of Islam is identical to this path. Any person walking upon it is guaranteed to fall or stumble at some time. Shaytaan will always be lurking on the path of those who follow the road to Jannah so that he can trip them over; his ultimate goal and lurking hope is that once a person falls over he will give up hope or not have enough courage to stand up.

But if we continuously pick ourselves up, seek forgiveness from Allah Ta'ala for our shortcomings whilst heading towards Him, whilst on His path, then surely the mercy of Allah Ta'ala will not let death fall upon us while we are fallen on His path. Surely He will be aware that my servant has stumbled many a times, but he has always stood up and embraced me thereafter and after knowing this surely His mercy will not let death come upon us while we are on the floor. Surely He will give us a chance to stand and embrace Him once more before He orders death to break the barrier between us and our Lord, Allah Ta'ala.

But, if a person, whilst treading on this path takes a fall and does not make the effort to stand, instead he changes his path and goes contrary to the path of Allah Ta'ala. Then is there not the possibility that Allah Ta'ala will take his soul without any consideration? Is there not a chance that the time of death will be shadowing above our heads whilst we are far from the path of Allah Ta'ala?

This is a brief explanation of the first part of the Hadeeth mentioned by our beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. Indeed, this Hadeeth is filled with pearls of knowledge and wisdom.

May Allah Ta'ala give us all the ability and inclination to walk upon His path. And may He give us courage to be able to stand after every fall so that we can once again embrace Him and make Him pleased with us. May He also give us death only when He is pleased with us and whilst we are on His path.



(Insha-Allah the second part of this Hadeeth will be posted some time this weekend)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Upcoming Posts

As Salaamu Alaykum,

As many of the readers will be aware, there are a number of different topics being discussed on this site at the moment.

Insha-Allah, I am planning to bring those topics to an end before any new topics are discussed. Once the topics have been finished I will create a post with links to all the parts of that topic so people can refer to them as a whole.

The following topics will be discussed in the following weeks:

1. Aqeedah (two parts remaining Insh-Allah)
2. Shari'ah - A lifestyle

Insha-Allah, once these topics have been discussed we will start:

1. Salaah.
2. Tahaarat
3. Nikaah

(as voted for in the poll)

Please remember me in your humble Du'aas


Monday, April 18, 2005

Shari'ah - A lifestyle
(Post 1)

In order to implement the Shari'ah into one's lifestyle, it is primarily necessary for one to understand the meaning of "Shari'ah".

Many people are into the deception of believing that Islam is the name of Aqeedah (faith and beliefs), Salaah (prayers), Saum (fasting), Zakaah (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage). However, there is much more to the Shari'ah than these five pillars.

In actual fact, the above five pillars as a whole only reflect two fifths of the entire Shari'ah.

1. Aqaaid (beliefs)
2. A'maal (actions)
3. Mu'aamalaat (transactions)
4. Akhlaaq (moral character)
5. Husn-e-Mu'ashirat (social conduct)

It has become the general thought of people to believe that only the first two branches of Shari'ah are linked to Islam and due to that thought turn a blind eye towards the remaining three branches.

Islam is a moderate religion; a religion in which Allah Ta'ala has placed His rights (Huqooqullah) and the rights of fellow creations (huqooqul 'Ibaad).

Allah Ta'ala has placed so much importance on the rights of His creations that we are forgiven by Allah Ta'ala for any rights of His we may not fullfilled, but the rights of the creation can only be forgiven by them, even Allah Ta'ala shall not forgive us if we don't fulfil their rights.

The final three branches of the Shari'ah deal with the Huqooq (rights) of the creations, be it through transactions, social gatherings or any of our day to day interactions.

Insha-allah during this week the five branches of Imaan will be discussed in detail so that through understanding each branch one can bring the Shari'ah into one's life and reao rewards from every action that we do.

May Allah Ta'ala give us the inclination to live in accordance to the Shari'ah and the strength to obtain the knowledge that is required to fulfil this.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Daily Life of a Muslim

"Thus have We made of you a nation justly balanced..."
[al-Baqarah 2:143]

Allah Ta'ala has created this nation in complete balance; a balance where man is not required to completely forsake this world in order to worship Him nor is he made to completely drown into the materialistic world and forget his Lord.

A Muslim can lead a completely 'normal' life and still be held in a high rank in the sight of Allah Ta'ala. This is because Islam is a simple and balanced religion. The flexibility and completeness found in Islam is the reason that it has become a way of life as opposed to simply a religion.

Allah Ta'ala sent down the Qur'an as guidance for mankind, as a way of life for the believing men and women. However, the Qur'an being the word of Allah Ta'ala cannot be understood by any mere mortal. Therefore, Allah Ta'ala sent down His beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam so that he could show us the way of life.

The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam was a mortal, unlike us, but yet a mortal. This was the reason that Allah Ta'ala sent him and not an angel as a Prophet so that our beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam could live amongst us, like us, and show us the manner in which one can live his life in accordance to the Shari'ah.

The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam felt hunger, thirst, desire, pain, heat, emotion, and all the other factors and emotions that we feel in our lifetime. Yet he Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam took the Qur'an into his life and became the walking, talking Qur'an.

Allah Ta'ala has mentioned in the Qur'an:

"Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow"
[al-Ahzaab 33:21]

It is through following the Book of Allah Ta'ala that our beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam acquired the highest of character:

"And indeed you possess an exemplary character"
[al-Qalam 68:4]

It is the lifestyle of this perfect role model that we need to study in order to make our everyday actions acts of worship.

Insha-Allah further posts will give us an insight into the Seerah (biography) of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam enabling us to lead the life in accordance to the Shari'ah and reaping rewards from acts that we class as daily chores.


Monday, April 11, 2005

A Thought

As Salaamu Alaykum,

I thought that a break from all these educational posting would be a great change for both me and the readers.

Then I realised, that I life of a believer is always about learning, about worshiping and reaping the rewards that Allah Ta'ala has placed upon this earth for us.

Islam is not like any other religion, it may be classed as a religion, but no doubt it is far more than that. It is a complete way of life. Every action of a believer can be a form of worship, a method of reaping rewards.

Let each and every one of us look into our own lifestyles, let us ponder over every act we do. Can we not honestly make each act a part of our religion, can we not reap rewards from every act that we do which is not against the Shari'ah.

Our daily chores are the things Islam has taken the most consideration of. Throughout the year, in eleven months we continue our normal lifestyles whilst only performing one form of direct-worship to Allah Ta’ala, that worship being Salaah. It is only for this reason that Allah Ta'ala has gave us the month of Ramadhan, so that we may concentrate on direct-worship in this month as opposed to indirect-worship which we do day after day.

From the time we wake up to the time we sleep, there is no action in our lives that cannot be a part of our religion; so much so that even our sleep can be regarded as worship.

This is one of many reasons why people turn to Islam, for there is no problem for which Islam has no solution.

May Allah Ta'ala give us the inclination to make our lives in accordance to the Shari'ah so that we may reap rewards from the chores that we do day after day.



Monday, April 04, 2005

29. And we are certain that Muhammad Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is His chosen Servant and elect Prophet and His Messenger with whom He is well pleased.

30. He Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is the Seal of the Prophets and the Imaam of the god-fearing and the most honored of all the messengers and the Beloved of the Lord of all the worlds.

31. Every claim to Prophethood after Him is falsehood and deceit.

32. He is the one who has been sent to all the Jinn and all mankind with truth and guidance and with light and illumination.

From amongst the beliefs are the believes regarding the Prophets and Messengers of Allah Ta'ala. We believe that Allah Ta'ala sent down many-a-times Prophets for the guidance of mankind. From amongst these Prophets was the beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam.

In regards to the beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, we believe that he was the last and final Prophet and Messenger sent down to mankind by Allah Ta'ala. He thus became the Seal of the Prophets and therefore no other Prophets can come after him.

In addition to being the final Prophet, he was also a Prophet for not only mankind but also to Jinns and any other creation that may exist. He was sent as a Mercy to the worlds and as guidance so pure and true.

Any claims made of prophethood after him are false and an act of deviation.

33. The Qur'an is the word of Allah. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how. He sent it down on His Messenger as revelation. The believers accept it, as absolute truth. They are certain that it is, in truth, the word of Allah. It is not created as is the speech of human beings, and anyone who hears it and claims that it is human speech has become an Kaafir.

Allah warns him and censures him and threatens him with Fire when He says, Exalted is He:

"I will burn him in the Fire."

(al-Muddaththir 74:26)

When Allah threatens with the Fire those who say "This is just human speech" (74:25) we know for certain that it is the speech of the Creator of mankind and that it is totally unlike the speech of mankind.

34. We do not argue about the Qur'an and we bear witness that it is the speech of the Lord of all the Worlds which the Trustworthy Spirit came down with and taught the most honoured of all the Messengers, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. It is the speech of Allah and no speech of any created being is comparable to it. We do not say that it was created and we do not go against the Congregation (Jamaa'ah) of the Muslims regarding it.

The Qur'an is known to the believers to be the word of Allah Ta'ala. It is therefore our belief that the Qur'an cannot be the speech of man. And as mentioned before, Allah Ta'ala cannot be conceived as we conceive humans; His form, shape, character and being is unknown and unimaginable to mankind. Similarly, the word and speech of Allah Ta'ala hold the same ruling as He does; meaning that just as Allah Ta'ala has been there for ever and will remain forever, so is the case with his words. His words were there from the beginning and will remain eternally.

35. Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become an unbeliever. All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His attributes, is not like human beings.

The being of Allah Ta'ala cannot be pondered over and accommodated by the human mind. It is Allah Ta'ala that created mankind and it is He who possesses the complete knowledge of His being. We cannot indicate that He is as his creation, for He is free from all defect.

In many places in the Ahadeeth and Qur'an there have been instances where Allah Ta'ala has been attributed with parts and actions of the creation. In some places it has been said "the hand of Allah Ta'ala" and in other places it has been mentioned that "He comes running". It should be kept clear in mind that these do not denote the meaning that is known to us. Allah Ta'ala has used these words in order to make simple for man to comprehend a complex matter.

It is the best believer who reads these references to Allah Ta'ala and claims in his heart that they are how Allah Ta'ala knows and he is free from all human attributes,

Some go a step deeper into the apparent wording and extract meanings for the words attributed to Allah Ta'ala; where the "hand" of Allah Ta'ala will mean "His mercy" etc. This may be done in order to understand what is being meant by Allah Ta'ala, however, if refrained from it is better.

36. The Seeing of Allah by the People of the Garden is true, without their vision being all-encompassing and without the manner of their vision being known. As the Book of our Lord has expressed it: "Faces on that Day radiant, looking at their Lord." (al-Qiyama 75:22-3) The explanation of this is as Allah knows and wills.

37. Belief of a man in the seeing of Allah by the People of the Garden is not correct if he imagines what it is like or interprets it according to his own understanding, since the interpretation of this seeing or indeed, the meaning of any of the subtle phenomena which are in the realm of Lordship, is by avoiding its interpretation and strictly adhering to the submission.

This is the religion of Muslims. Anyone who does not guard himself against negating the attributes of Allah, or likening Allah to something else, has gone astray and has failed to understand Allah's glory, because our Lord, the Glorified and the Exalted, can only possibly be described in terms of oneness and absolute singularity and no creation is in any way like Him.

38. Everything that has come down to us about this from the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in authentic traditions, is as he said and means what he intended. We do not delve into that, trying to interpret it according to our own opinions or letting our imaginations have free rein.

The worldly eye does not contain the power and ability to visualise Allah Ta'ala. However, as a reward to the believing people it will be made possible in the Hereafter for every believer to see Him. Nevertheless, the vision of man, even in the hereafter, will not be able to totally encompass the being of Allah Ta'ala.

Furthermore, a person who believes that he will see his Lord on the day if judgement whilst imagining His being will be classed as being astray from the correct path. We only believe that we will see Him, but we do not ponder on his being. Additionally, we believe that Allah Ta'ala is as His messenger has told us. We do not ponder over matters that we cannot comprehend nor do we try to find meanings and reasons for things deep within Islam. "We listen and we obey".

39. A man's Islam is not secure unless it is based on submission and surrender. Anyone who desires to know things which it is beyond his capacity to know, and whose intellect is not content with surrender, will find that his desire veils him from a pure understanding of Allah's true unity, clear knowledge and correct belief, and that he veers between disbelief and belief, confirmation and denial and acceptance and rejection. He will he subject to whisperings and find himself confused and full of doubt, being neither an accepting believer nor a denying rejector.

No one is safe in his religion unless he surrenders himself completely to Allah, the Exalted and Glorified and to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and leaves the knowledge of things that are ambiguous to the one who knows them.

A point from the earlier belief; A person is never secure in his religion if he tries to comprehend every aspect of his religion. Religion is simple yet it can be complex. The simplicity in religion is to take heed of the matters that are complicated and accept them without trying to delude ourselves in the meanings it may contain. A true believer is he who accepts the commandments of his Lord without any doubt, with total submission.

40. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.

Allah Ta’ala is not limited to any place or space. He is neither front, back, up down, left or right. It is a common habit of people to say that Allah Ta'ala is "everywhere". Although the meaning of it is known by people, it is technically incorrect to class Allah Ta'ala as being "everywhere". The reason being for this is that Allah Ta'ala is not confined to a space; which is what we are actually saying by placing him "everywhere".

The correct form of describing His presence is to say "He is not confined to any space".

41. Al-Mi'raj (the Ascent through the heavens) is true. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was taken by night and ascended in his bodily form, while awake, through the heavens, to whatever heights Allah willed for him.

Allah ennobled him in the way that He ennobled him and revealed to him what He revealed to him,

"And his heart was not mistaken about what it saw".

(al-Najm 53:11)

Allah blessed him and granted him peace in this world and the next.

Our belief is that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam was taken on the journey of Mi'raj and was shown the heavens and Hell. This entire journey took place in short span of worldly time. Nevertheless, it happened whilst he was awake and fully aware and did not take place in his dream.

42. Al-Hawd, the Pool which Allah has granted the Prophet as an honour to quench the thirst of his Community on the Day of Judgement, is true.

43. Al-Shafa`a, the intercession which is stored up for Muslims, is true, as related in the Ahaadeeth.

From amongst the many gifts and honours given to the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam two are as mentioned. The Hawd-e-Kauther (The fountain of Kauther) and Shifa-at-e-kubra (the big intercession).

44. The covenant which Allah made with Adam and his offspring is true.

After the creation of Adam Alayhis Salaam, Allah Ta'ala created, from him, his children. These were the people that would be born from the time of Adam Alayhis Salaam up until the day of Judgement.

When Allah Ta'ala had all the creation in front of Him he took a covenant from them, "Am I not your Lord?" They all replied in the affirmative, "Yes indeed". However, due to the weakness of the human mind the majority of people cannot remember it. However, each and everyone has the ability of recalling it and recognising it when the evidences and reminders come from Allah Ta'ala in front of him.

45. Allah knew, before the existence of time, the exact number of those who would enter the Garden and the exact number of those who would enter the Fire. This number will neither be increased nor decreased.

46. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done. Everyone is eased towards what he was created for and it is the action with which a man's life is sealed which dictates his fate. Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of Allah, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah.

47. The exact nature of the decree is Allah's secret in His creation, and no angel near the Throne, nor Prophet sent with a message, has been given knowledge of it. Delving into it and reflecting too much about it only leads to destruction and loss, and results in rebelliousness. So be extremely careful about thinking and reflecting on this matter or letting doubts about it assail you, because Allah has kept knowledge of the decree away from human beings, and forbidden them to enquire about it, saying in His Book,

"He is not asked about what He does, but they are asked".

(al-Anbiya' 21: 23)

Therefore, anyone who asks: "Why did Allah do that?" has gone against a judgement of the Book, and anyone who goes against a judgement of the Book is an unbeliever.

The belief regarding 'fate and decree' is a very complex and delicate topic. It is a topic, as told by our beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, that led astray the people that were before us. The matter of decree and fate should not be dwelled upon to a degree where one starts to question the actions of Allah Ta'ala.

It is our belief that when Allah Ta'ala created man he also wrote their fate. Every person has a place in heaven and hell, if he becomes a dweller of hell he is shown his seat in paradise to make him regret and remorse, and if he is a dweller of heaven, he is shown his seat in hell so that he is more greatful.

This makes people ponder as to whether man has any control over the action he does, or if every action he does is already written by Allah Ta'ala. Similarly, people question themselves as to how they can accomplish something if their fate is written otherwise.

This question was posed to Hadhrat Ali Karamallahu Wajhahu who replied by telling the person to raise his one leg. After person had done so, Hadhrat Ali asked him to raise the other, to which he said it was not possible. Hadhrat Ali explained to the man that fate was in the same manner. In certain places we have choices and it is this choice that will determine our fate, and on other places we have no choice. Either way we have to surrender to the will of Allah Ta'ala.

48. This in sum is what those of Allah's Friends with enlightened hearts need to know and constitutes the degree of those firmly endowed with knowledge. For there are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge which is accessible to created beings, and knowledge which is not accessible to created beings. Denying the knowledge which is accessible is disbelief, and claiming the knowledge which is inaccessible is disbelief. Belief can only be firm when accessible knowledge is accepted and the inaccessible is not sought after.

We have to keep firm belief that not all knowledge is accessible to mankind. There is knowledge that is only available to Allah Ta'ala, the Almighty. It is therefore part of faith not to go in search of the knowledge that cannot be acquired by mankind.

49. We believe in al-Lawh (the Tablet) and al-Qalam (the Pen) and in everything written on the former. Even if all created beings were to gather together to make something fail to exist, whose existence Allah had written on the Tablet, they would not be able to do so. And if all created beings were to gather together to make something exist which Allah had not written on it, they would not be able to do so. The Pen has dried having written down all that will be in existence until the Day of Judgement.Whatever a person has missed he would have never got, and whatever he gets he would have never missed.

50. It is necessary for the servant to know that Allah already knows everything that is going to happen in His creation and has decreed it in a detailed and decisive way. There is nothing that He has created in either the heavens or the earth that can contradict it, or add to it, or erase it, or change it, or decrease it, or increase it in any way. This is a fundamental aspect of belief and a necessary element of all knowledge and recognition of Allah's oneness and Lordship.

As Allah says in His Book:

"He created everything and decreed it in a detailed way."

(al-Furqan 25:2)

And He also says:

"Allah's command is always a decided decree."

(al-Ahzab 33: 38)

So woe to anyone who argues with Allah concerning the decree and who, with a sick heart, starts delving into this matter. In his deluded attempt to investigate the Unseen, he is seeking a secret that can never be uncovered, and he ends up an evil-doer, telling nothing but lies.

In connection to the belief of fate and destiny, is the belief of the Lawh and Qalam (Tablet and Pen). All that is to take place in the lives of mankind has been written in the Tablet. It is even said that the words of the Qur’an existed in the Lawh and it was from there that it was revealed to the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam.

"The Pen has dried" means that the destiny of mankind has been written. There is no power in the world that can change that. If the entire creation was to group and make happen that which has been written not to happen then surely they would not be able to do so. It is therefore our belief that whatever a person receives or whatever he misses is all written down in the Lawh.

All that is written in completeness and therefore nothing can be increased or decreased from it.

51. Al-'Arsh (the Throne) and al-Kursi (the Chair) are true.

52. He is independent of the Throne and that which is beneath it.

We believe without doubt that the Arsh (Throne) and Kursi (Chair) mentioned in the Qur'an both exist. However, it is incorrect to ponder and imagine the description of these objects and how it is used by Allah Ta'ala. We cannot attribute the actions "sit" or any other action known to us and attribute it to Allah Ta'ala. He is free from every action that man does and is totally independent of any Chair or Throne.

53. He encompasses all things and that which is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him.

There is nothing that can encompass or contain His being and it is He who encompasses everything. This is true whether it is in the context of a Throne or Knowledge or any other matter.

54. We say with belief, acceptance and submission that Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend and that He spoke directly to Musa.

55. We believe in the angels, and the Prophets, and the books which were revealed to the messengers, and we bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.

As part of our Imaan (Faith) we belief Ibrahim Alayhis Salaam to be His friend and Moosa Alayhi Salaam to have spoken with Him. This is all mentioned in the Qur'an, which we believe to be completely true and from Allah Ta'ala.

Furthermore, mentioned in the Qur'an is the belief regarding the Angels, Books and the Prophets Alayhimus Salaam. We believe in the Angels, Prophets and Books of Allah Ta'ala. And whatever they followed was from Allah Ta'ala and completely true and correct.

56. We call the people of our Qibla Muslims and believers as long as they acknowledge what the Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, brought, and accept as true everything that he said and told us about.

57. We do not consider any of the people of our Qibla to be unbelievers because of any wrong action they have done, as long as they do not consider that action to have been lawful.

58. Nor do we say that the wrong action of a man who has belief does not have a harmful effect on him.

Those who have brought Imaan and believe in what the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam brought are classed as Muslims. We cannot class any of these people as disbelievers for any wrong action they commit as long as they do not claim that the wrong action is lawful. However, we say that this wrong action will have a harmful affect on him, physically, mentally or spiritually.

Any person who claims a wrong action to be lawful is either denying the Qur'an or Hadeeth and therefore there is a fear that he has left the fold of Imaan.

59. We do not enter into vain talk about Allah nor do we allow any dispute about the religion of Allah.

We submit completely to the will and order of Allah Ta'ala. Our intellect does not allow us to comprehend the being of Allah Ta'ala or all the rulings in His religion. Therefore, we do not enquire about matters that we have no knowledge about. If we do not understand any matter we should not make fault disputes.