Knowledge of the Hearts & Minds

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



Don’t Be Hasty In Judging Someone

June 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

Judging someone, that is the favorite past-time of most people, myself included. Worst still, we are too quick to do that without taking due time and considerations, often enough making fools of ourselves. Perhaps the following incident could offer us some useful thoughts.

rear angle on the mausoleum of imam al-shafi'i

rear angle on the mausoleum of imam shafi’e (Photo credit: Jess Gambacurta)

Imam Ahmad used to mention the virtues of his great sheikh, Imam Shafi’e to his wife. He would mention to her the extensive and superb knowledge of Imam Shafi’e as well as his ‘Taqwa’ (piety).

One day, Imam Ahmad invited Imam Shafi’e to come to his home for a visit. When the time for dinner arrived,
Imam Shafi’e ate until he was full and went to the guest room for some sleep.

On seeing this, the startled wife of Imam Ahmad said to him: “O Ahmad, my beloved husband! Is this the same Shafi’e that you used to tell me so much about?

Imam Ahmad said: “Indeed he is!

And she said: “I noticed 3 things about him worthy of criticism! Firstly, when we served him the food, he ate plenty of it! Secondly, when he went into the guest room, he went to sleep without standing up to perform the Tahajjud (night prayer)! Lastly, when he prayed Solat ul Fajr with us, he did not perform the wudhu (ablution)!

So Imam Ahmad went to Imam Shafi’e to ask him about these matters his wife noticed. Imam Shafi’e gently explained to him, like a father would to his son :

O Ahmad! I ate plenty because I know for certain that your food is ‘Halal’ and indeed you are a generous man! And the food that comes from a generous man is a cure, while the food that comes from a stingy man is a disease! However, I didn’t eat plenty of food in order to achieve my fill; rather I ate plenty of your food in order to derive the cure from it!

As for the reason I didn’t stand up at night to perform the Tahajjud, when I laid my head down to get some sleep, I looked and all I could see was the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the Sunnah of His Prophet SAW right in front of my face! So I deducted 72 fiqh-related benefits from them for the Muslims to benefit from. Hence, Thus there was no opportunity for me to stand and perform the Tahajjud!

As for the reason why I prayed Solat ul Fajr without performing ablution, by Allah! my eyes never tasted the sweetness of sleep in order for me to renew my wudhu. I was awake the whole night, so I prayed Solat ul Fajr with the same wudhu I had for Solat ul ‘Isha.

That is how the great Imam Shafi’e normally make full use his time, remembering Allah SWT and the Prophet SAW. And he was famously known to maintain his wudhu from ‘Isya to Fajr. Perhaps, the singularly most important I learned from this wonderful story is how quick are we to offer judgment of someone. Let’s not be hasty in that, eh?

The Contract

June 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

In a time of constant buying and selling, this ayat reminds us of the greatest contract we can ever be involved in:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ

Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise. (Qur’an 9:111)

The scholars say, “How outstanding is this contract! The buyer  is the Allah SWT, the purchase is the Soul, the merchandise is Jannah, the written contract is in the Highest Heaven, and the mediator is the Muhammad SAW.”

Imam Hasan Al Basri states, “Look at the Generosity of Allah – souls that He has created and wealth that He has provided, then He granted it for them and He purchased it from them with this priceless contract–and indeed, it is a fruitful transaction.”

All that is missing is your signature…Are you ready to sign?

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