Allah created us unique and out of His mercy not only blessed us with intellect, feelings and emotions but also taught us how to use these faculties in the right way. Joy and grief are two such emotions decreed by Allah for us – emotions through which we can draw closer to Him if we comply with His commands. Being grateful and praising Allah when happy and patient when sad while accepting whatever He decrees is the characteristic of a true believer. For, everything that Allah decrees for a believer is good for him in both worlds. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and that applies to no one except a believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks for it and that is good for him, and if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is also good for him.” (Muslim-2999)
Remaining calm especially at the loss of a loved one can be devastating and the grief that follows cannot be belittled but a believer who has faith in His Lord’s promises doesn’t let shaitan overpower his senses and continues to be patient for His sake. He knows that everything good and bad is a test from Allah and the real purpose of the test is actually to make him learn to continue doing good deeds with patience despite the burden of the test he is facing. That’s when he is blessed with the mercy, guidance and reward of Allah as explained in the second surah of the Qur’an.
Experiencing negative feelings of sadness and anxiety or crying when grieving a loss is natural. Even the prophets went through such times and felt these emotions of sorrow and hurt but we need to learn and follow their attitudes of controlling their emotions and being steadfast in the obedience of Allah.
Anas bin Malik narrated: “We went with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) to the blacksmith Abu Saif. He was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Allah’s Messenger took Ibrahim, kissed him and smelled him. Later when we entered Abu Saif’s house, Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) started shedding tears. ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf said, “O Allah’s Messenger, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn ‘Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, but we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.” (Bukhari 23:390)
In another narration, Abdullah ibn Umar said: Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubaadah fell sick and the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to visit him with ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas and ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with all the companions). When he entered upon him, he found him unconscious with his family around him and he said: “Has he died?” They said: No, O Messenger of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) wept, and when the people saw the Prophet weeping, they also wept. He said: “Listen, Allah does not punish for the tears of the eye or the grief of the heart, rather He punishes for this” – and he pointed to his tongue – “or shows mercy (because of it).” (Bukhari-1304, Muslim-924)
These touching narrations teach us that being composed when grieving and submitting to the will of Allah does not exclude emotions. And while such emotions are characterized as a sign of human compassion granted by Allah, Prophet (peace be upon him) also placed limits on excessive display of grief. Merely crying when grieved is allowed but it is forbidden when it accompanies wailing or complaining. Furthermore, according to hadeeth, the family of a deceased is allowed to mourn him for three days only, but a widow may mourn her husband for four months and ten days.
Unfortunately we see many people nowadays spoil the image of Islam by grieving over the dead in ways that were forbidden by the Prophet (peace be upon him). They are seen beating their chests, slapping their cheeks, striking their shoulders with chains and cutting their heads with swords while complaining or uttering words of shirk. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never prescribed for his followers to do any of these things or anything similar to them to mark the death of a leader or the loss of a martyr irrespective of his status. During his lifetime, he (peace be upon him) lost his beloved wife Khadijah, almost all his children and a number of companions were martyred such as Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Zayd ibn Haarithah and Ja’far ibn Abi Taalib. He did mourn their loss, but he did not do any of the things that some people nowadays do. He or his companions did not strike their chests or scratch their faces, or shed blood or take the day of the loss of their beloved spouses, children or companions as a festival or day of mourning. Rather they used to remember their loved ones who had passed away; they used feel sad, silently shed tears and seek relief in prayer. According to a report by Abu Dawood, whenever something distressed him or pleased him, our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say to Bilal: “Relieve us with it (i.e., the prayer).” He (peace be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who strikes his cheeks, tears his garment, or wails with the cry(words) of the Jaahiliyyah.” (Bukhari-1294, Muslim-103)
When one remembers his beloved who has passed away or when he remembers some similar calamity, it is best to say that which Ali ibn al-Husayn narrated from his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who said: “There is no Muslim who is afflicted by a calamity and when he remembers it, even if it was in the dim and distant past, he says “Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon” (Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return), but Allah will give him a reward like that of the day when it befell him.” (Ahmad)
He (peace be upon him) also said, ‘A person will be in the company of those whom he loves’. (Bukhari) So be consoled, oh believers, and patiently endure as the life of this world is temporary and we will soon be reunited with our beloved in Paradise if Allah wills.
“This Ramadan, I am afraid I won’t be able to do much Ibadah…”
Did you find yourself saying this to yourself or someone else? Perhaps it continued like this “… because I have exams”, or, “… because the fasts are super long and I have work”, or may be “… because kids have school” …or something else?
I know, Ramadan is exciting, but the fear is also real. However, before you decide not to set any goals for yourself this Ramadan, or allow yourself to take it easy, read on:
1. Ramadan is a month whose every day and night is Mubarak – in fact EVERYTHING about this month is Mubarak, including the food we eat at suhoor. Simply explained, mubarak is something that has barakah in it, and barakah is ‘when you get more out of what appears to be little’.
So while you may be genuinely afraid about your limited capacity and time assure yourself of Allah’s special aid this month, and take comfort in knowing that even the little will suffice inshaAllah.
2. Allah loves deeds that are consistent, even if they may be small. Ramadan is an opportunity we really don’t want to miss no matter what is going on in our lives, because it is unlike any other time of the year. So aim for something, even if it may be small. The nights are short for many of us, but Allah’s mercy and generosity is great. If we can stand in prayer for a few minutes only, lets do it.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Would any one of you like to return to his family and find there three large, fat, pregnant she-camels? We (the sahabah) said: Yes. Upon this he (ﷺ) said: Three verses that one of you recites in his prayer are better for him than three large, fat, pregnant she-camels. [Muslim: 1908]
Perhaps you can do more?
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever recites ten verses in the night, a heap of reward will be recorded for him, and that is better for him than the world and whatever that is in it.” [Saheeh at-Targheeb a at-Tarheeb: 638]
And of course, the reward for Ihsan is nothing but Ihsan.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever recites a hundred verses in the night, then the worship of the entire night will be recorded for him.” [Musnad Ahmad: 16958]
May Allah allow us to worship Him in the best way that we can this Ramadan, consistently and beautifully. Ameen.
– Taimiyyah Zubair
The story of Musa (alayhissalam) and Khidr holds so many profound lessons. Even Musa (alahissalam), a prophet of Allah, the one who spoke to Allah, struggled to stop himself questioning the actions of someone who was more knowledgeable than him. Just like us, he was human.
Yet, how many of us do this with Allah? The one who has the greatest knowledge of everything, both seen and unseen. The one who knows what thoughts we are harboring in our minds right now. Just like Musa (alayhissalam) lost patience with Khidr, we sometimes lose patience with Allah and begin to question His plan and decree, forgetting that He knows exactly what He is doing, as He is Al-‘Aleem, the Knower everything, the Knower of every creature, even of the little ant that scurries under a rock in the darkness of the night.
Instead of questioning the plan of Allah, have patience and watch his decree for you unfold, for He knows what is best for you.
And to Allah belongs the greatest of examples.
-Shaikh Sajid Umar
SubhanAllah! How blessed are the martyrs! <3
How then do we grieve over their death?
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) writes (in Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5): “Allaah honoured al-Husayn with martyrdom, as He honoured other members of his family, and raised his status, as He honoured Hamzah, Ja’far, his father ‘Ali and others. Al-Husayn and his brother al-Hasan are the leaders of the youth of Paradise. High status can only be attained through suffering, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him said, when he was asked which people suffer the most. He said, “The Prophets, then righteous people, then the next best and the next best. A man will suffer according to his level of faith. If his faith is solid, he will suffer more, but if his faith is shaky, he will suffer less. The believer will keep on suffering until he walks on the earth with no sin.” (reported by al-Tirmidhi and others).
Al-Hasan and al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with them) achieved what they achieved and reached the high status they reached by the help and decree of Allaah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died when they were still young, and Allaah blessed them by testing them in such a manner that they would be able to catch up with the rest of their family members, as those who were of a higher status than them were also tested. And Allah is Al Aleem and Al Hakeem.
In al-Musnad, it is reported from Faatimah bint al-Husayn, from her father al-Husayn, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no man who suffers a calamity, and when he remembers it, even if it is old, he says ‘Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return),’ but Allaah will give a reward equal to the reward He gave him on the day he suffered the calamity.” This is how Allaah honours the Believers.”
May Allaah guide us, make all of our deeds righteous and make them purely for His sake, and not let there be any share for anyone or anything else in them. Aameen.
The fire didn’t burn Ibraheem, the knife didn’t slaughter Isma’eel, the sea didn’t drown Moosa, the whale didn’t eat Yunus and Zakariyya didn’t die childless (Peace be upon them all).
BELIEVE when your Lord says in the Qur’an:
“Say: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us. He is our Maulâ (Lord, Helper and Protector).” And in Allâh let the believers put their trust.” [At Tawbah 9:51]
Just as Allah has meticulously designed everything in the universe at a perfect standard whether it is as big as a galaxy or as tiny as a quark or a string in an atom, He has also designed everything that happens in your life for a specific reason. It is a perfect universe; nothing takes place randomly! Trust in Allah! (Quote by Moutasem Al Hameedy)
May Allah make us pleased with His Decree and guide our hearts to eeman, tawakkal, sabr and shukr. Aameen.
This morning, between coffee sips and news conversation, my father imparted a beautiful wisdom [in Palestinian dialect]: كل شئ في وقته بيجيب خير
“All things occurring in their appointed time bring only good.”
One sentence, breathing an unshakable conviction in Qadar. And I scrambled to find a pen and paper to scribble it down. I carry it like any one of you would carry a precious gem or a fine gold watch. The lessons therein are innumerate.
The sentence also inspired a revisit to my Judeo-Christian scripture notes, specifically, a quote attributed to Prophet ʿĪsa [عليه السلام]: “Father, if you are willing, let this cup [of suffering] pass from me; however, not my will, but Yours be done.” [Book of Luke 22:42]
This passage, though unconfirmed in its authenticity, hews perfectly to the underlying themes of sūrat at-Talāq, and they are tawakkul, reliance in Allah, and firm belief in Qadar, His decree. “…whoever relies upon Allāh, then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allāh will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything an appointed time.”
ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه • إن الله بالغ أمره • قد جعل الله لكل شئ قدرا
Allāh’s decree [قدر ] enters our path uninvited. It struts its stuff in many moods and guises-—the good, the bad and the ugly-—but only the trusters in Allāh will embrace it. They will not hasten the decree of Allāh, nor will His decree bewilder them. All things are appointed for their due time.
فلا يستعجل المتوكل الإجابة، فالله بالغ أمره في وقته الذي قدر
What does “embracing [قدر] Allāh’s decree” look like? Take a cue from our Prophet’s companion, ʿUrwa ibn az-Zubair [رضى الله عنه]. He was a man who greeted calamities with smiles. While he was having his leg amputated, ʿUrwa received news that his son died in a serious accident. In the face of two losses-—a limb and a loved one-—our ṣaḥābi resisted tears, resisted grief, resisted all frustration with Allāh’s decree. Instead: “Oh Allah,” he said, “if You took, then you also gave. And if You inflicted with hardship, then You have pardoned [sins] also.”
يا رب فلإن كنت أخذت فقد أعطيت ولئن كنت قد ابتليت فقد عافيت
May all goodness unfold before you. And I am certain it will, when the time is right. So alḥamdulillāh in all circumstances
A very powerful verse. But what places such force behind it is the word Allah uses when he says ‘none can overcome you’. He `azza wa jall says, فَلاَ غَالِبَ لَكُمْ ‘Fa-La ghaliba lakum’ – in Arabic grammar this is known as ‘lam al-nafiya lil-jins; meaning that the ‘la’ (none) indicates *a complete and total negation*. And the word ‘ghalib’ means *anything which overcomes a person*. So the verse comes to mean: There is nothing (that has the power to overcome a person) that will overcome that person if he were to be helped by Allah.
It’s very interesting, because Allah didn’t specify and say ‘human being’ for example, or ‘enemy’, or even ‘animal/beast’. He simply said ‘ghalib’. Because you see, our tests are all different. For some, they are overcome and challenged by trials with regards to people, others with wealth, others with health, and yet others with themselves! Your ‘ghalib’ might be different to my ‘ghalib’ and so on. A hundred and one things could overwhelm a person and Allah knows this, hence it is reflected in His Choice of Words in this particular ayah.
So for the believing Mutawakkil (who relies on Allah), everything is rendered powerless when the Help of Allah comes. So seek help in Allah.
“O Allaah! There is none to prevent what You give, and none to give what You prevent.” (Al Bukhari 1/255, Muslim 1/414)
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) comments:
“So if Allaah gives, there is no one who can prevent what He gives. Ever. And if He prevents, then no one can give what He prevents. If Allaah prevents someone from something, no one will be able to give it to him. Ever. Don’t praise the people for what Allaah has given you and don’t blame them for what Allaah hasn’t given you, because the One who gives and the One who prevents is Allaah, jalla wa ‘alaa. And that which is given or prevented through the slaves (of Allaah) only happens by the command of Allaah, subhaanahu wa ta’aala. So if this is so, then it is obligatory for the hearts and wishes to be attached to Allaah, ’azza wa jal, and for the person to not be angry with the creation if what he wanted did not happen. Rather, he should know that (whatever happened) is from Allaah, jalla wa ‘alaa; He is the One who prevented it from him. Furthermore, he doesn’t know what would be beneficial; the benefit may be in preventing him from that. Allaah knows and you do not know.”
Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-’Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) comments:
“So if, that which Allaah has decreed is to reach you, no one can ever prevent it. And that which Allaah, ‘azza wa jal, prevents, it is not possible for anyone to give it to you.No matter what means you take that would bring this thing that you want, indeed it cannot come to you as long as Allaah has prevented it. So if a person believes in these two sentences – and believing in them is obligatory – then indeed he will depend on Allaah with regard to his provision, repelling the harm and bringing the benefit. And he will always be relying on his Lord and believing that He, subhaanahu wa ta’aala, will suffice him.”
Source: Buloogh al-Maraam, Sharh Kitaab is-Salaah; tape no. 15/4 & tape no. 29/6