July 20, 2012 § 2 Comments
The poisons of the heart are many, some are so clear while some are very discreet. We often wonder how can someone has a sick heart, full of hatred, envy and various ill-feelings. Perhaps, some of these pointers may assist us in ensuring that our very own hearts are in good shape.
1. Unnecessary Talking
‘Umar al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a frequent sinner.”
2. Unrestrained Glances
It has been related that the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, once said words to the effect: “The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaitan (devil). Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart on the day that he meets Him.”
3. Too Much Food
Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’d Yakrib said: “I heard the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, say: “The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allah than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing.”
4. Keeping Bad Company
The Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.“
July 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Most of us have close friends. Some, more than others. However, when taking and becoming a friend there are certain points to consider, especially as when we become a friend to somebody, there are certain obligations we must fulfil towards them.
The first and foremost quality that we should seek in a friend is someone who is intelligent enough. It doesn’t mean that the friend goes to an Ivy League school or has bags of diplomas. The friend ought to have a certain degree of common sense and wit about them. For, when we seek advice from and consult with our friends, they should be able to advise us in the best possible way, taking into consideration all of our circumstances.
Note: I do have to stress that a person’s intelligence is not dependent on their qualification or profession.
The person whom you befriend should have good akhlaq/adab (etiquette). The friend certainly should not be brash, arrogant and rude. For his actions and behavior will certainly rub on to us.
3. Religious minded
For a person to be truly selfless they have to be pious. If the person is not careful about the rights of Allah how will they be careful about your rights, a mere human being. If a person has bad habits, you eventually become desensitized to their sins, even if you don’t take part in the sin itself (sooner or later, you will!). Eventually their bad characteristics will rub off on you, and will lower your bar of spirituality.
4.They don’t tell lies
If a person, in whose company you sit talks about others (true or even otherwise), then be assured they will do the same about you elsewhere. We all seek a true friend…the operative word is true. If you are not true you cannot be truthful. If you want a true friend, then they need to be truthful person first.
5.The heart is not immersed in the worldly matters
If you sit in the company of someone who is obsessed with worldly matters, they will take that love and transfer it into your heart. For this kind of person has little perspectives of the obligations to Allah SWT.
A perfect example would be the relationship of the Prophet SAW had with his wife Khadijah r.a and how in modern-day terms she was his best friend and how she had all of these fine qualities. She supported him in a way, no one else did, and was a pillar of strength for him when the whole world turned its back on him, she believed in him when no one else did.
May Allah provides us all with friends that are worthy of His Mercy, Grace and Blessings.
July 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
Every parent, when raising children, wishes that they become successful. However, parents just want worldly success for their children, sometimes at all costs. Most parents would prefer that their children would grow up to become doctors, engineers, pilots, etc. Great investments are made to achieve those dreams but admittedly, little thought are made for the success of the children in the after-life. How many of us want our children to become the awliya’ (Muslim holy person) of Allah SWT?
The following is a story of parents who wanted their child to grow up to be a pious person:
They sent their child to a madrasah (Islamic religious school) from a young age. Every day the child would come home hungry and ask his mother for food. The mother would tell him to go make wudhu’ (ablution), go to the masjid (mosque) and ask Allah SWT for the food.
While he was doing that, she would prepare the food and leave it on the dining table. When he would finish making his wudhu’, he would find the food on the table and eat it. His mother told him that Allah SWT had given the food to him, just as He provides for all other creatures. It continued for a long time and as a result, the child’s love for Allah SWT increased and the greatness of Allah SWT was firmly established in his heart.
One day, his mother went to visit some family members, and forgot to make the food for him. On her way home, she was crying and worrying about what her child would think, when the food would not be on the table. When she arrived home she saw he was sleeping, so she quickly made the food and then woke him up.
She asked him if he was hungry but he said no. She asked why and he replied that he had done as he always did: made du’a to Allah for food, and when he was done he found a piece of bread in the house. That was the most delicious food he had ever eaten.
July 3, 2012 § 19 Comments
Just this afternoon, I was watching a movie “Pay It Forward” over at HBO and was truly impressed about the concept it was trying to project. I found out it was released in 2000 (shows how outdated I am about movies) starring Haley Joel Osment as a boy who launches a good-will movement, Helen Hunt as his single mother, and Kevin Spacey as his social-studies teacher.
When someone does you a favor, don’t pay it back… PAY IT FORWARD
The 7th grader (Osment) while attending a class decided to do a project where he would do a favor to 3 people, his mum included. And the recipient of the favors were supposed to forward it to 3 other people, hence pay it forward. The move catches on and became a widespread phenomenon. The movie itself was weak despite strong performances from the leading actors and with a bad ending. How could a hero (the boy) died? Heroes shouldn’t die at end of movies. They should live!.
Back to the concept of “pay it forward”, it is used to describe the concept of asking that a good deed be repaid by having it done for others instead. It was first mooted out in a prizewinning play in ancient Athens dating back to 317BC, by Dyskolos. The concept was rediscovered and described by Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Benjamin Webb dated April 25, 1784:
“I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”
In 1916, Lily Hardy Hammond wrote, “You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward.”
An anonymous spokesman for Alcoholics Anonymous said in the Christian Science Monitor in 1944, “You can’t pay anyone back for what has happened to you, so you try to find someone you can pay forward.”
The term “pay it forward” was popularized by Robert A. Heinlein in his book Between Planets, published in 1951:
The banker reached into the folds of his gown, pulled out a single credit note. “But eat first — a full belly steadies the judgment. Do me the honor of accepting this as our welcome to the newcomer.” His pride said no; his stomach said YES! Don took it and said, “Uh, thanks! That’s awfully kind of you. I’ll pay it back, first chance.” “Instead, pay it forward to some other brother who needs it.”
Heinlein both preached and practiced this philosophy; now the Heinlein Society, a humanitarian organization founded in his name, does so. Author Spider Robinson made repeated reference to the doctrine, attributing it to his spiritual mentor Heinlein.
The mathematician Paul Erdos heard about a promising math student unable to enroll in Harvard University for financial reasons. Erdos contributed enough to allow the young man to register. Years later, the man offered to return the entire amount to Erdos, but Erdos insisted that the man rather find another student in his situation, and give the money to him.
I was astonished to find out that it started so long ago and I had failed to come across it or even heard of it until this afternoon (I should thank HBO, no?). I must truly read more, I supposed. Such a grand scheme and we could all play a part in it and in return, help people who can then help other people. The thing is this concept must be done deliberately so that the recipients know what they need to do in returning the favors. Fabulous, indeed!
And off I go now, to add an entry to my Life List, namely Pay It Forward.
June 28, 2012 § 1 Comment
In two similar verses, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) says:
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُ ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ
“And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.” (Qur’an 2:235)
And He says,
وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَلِيمًا
“Allah knows what is in your hearts. And Allah is Ever All Knowing, Most Forbearing.” (Qur’an 33:51)
Why does Allah SWT mention His Name Al-Haleem (Most Forbearing) here? When someone is haleem, it means they respond to the harm that is done to them with generosity, whereas a saabar (patient person) accepts the sorrows and hardships without showing it. Hilm is another dimension of Sabr.
Respond to harm with generosity
Accept Sorrow & Hardships without showing it
The use of Allah SWT ’s Majestic Name Al-Haleem gives us hope. People harbor so many negative, evil and ugly thoughts. We feel ashamed when we hear these ayat (verses)—that Allah SWT is aware of these ugly and evil thoughts. Allah SWT , while knowing these horrible thoughts, while having access to what is hidden in us, is Haleem with us… He is so Generous with us even though we have so much evil in our hearts. Despite what He knows of us inside, He is Haleem.
From His Divine Wisdom, He did not give humans access to each other’s internal thoughts and realities. If people knew what their loved ones thought about them, they would not forgive! This is why there is Divine Wisdom in the prohibition of spying on one another—we are not endued with enough mercy, forbearance, and love to handle what we do not know.
We must remember that Allah SWT sees inside of us, so we must look inside of ourselves. When we are faced with a conflict, even if the other person is wrong, we must ask ourselves “What have I harbored internally that added to this conflict?” If we become angry, we should ask ourselves, “What do I have inside of me that triggered that reaction?” We only keep theories of Divine and Prophetic teachings. We must work to harbor them.
-Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui