Being ‘in love’ can be both a wonderful experience and a dangerous one. Love involves attachment. Attachment involves clinging to something created. Clinging to something created involves the reality of mortality. For indeed it is as Allah has said,
“Everyone shall taste death.” 3:185
The dangers of attachment are manyfold. However, one of the biggest dangers is that Love can overcome the heart. In doing so, the dedication of one’s life will be for the object of love, and not for the objective of Loving Allah.
Indeed, the one in love must ask their soul, “Is this love for the pleasure of Allah? Do I love this object so that I may come closer to my Lord? Will this love benefit my hereafter, or will it place it in ruin?
If the soul answers ‘no’, then one needs to step back and correct the intention. Not just the intention of yourself, but the intention of the one loved. We, as Muslims, must remember our goal. Our goal is not the pleasure of the creation unless it pleases Allah, rather our Goal is Allah. Our goal is to strengthen our love for Him through our love for others.
An example of strengthening our love for Allah through our love for others is the bond of marriage. If the wife or husband wakes one another up in the early morning for Fajr or Qiyaamul-Layl (night prayer), they have used this love to increase love for Allah.
If the wife encourages her husband to spend his wealth on the poor or encourages him to become involved in bettering this Ummah (nation), the result insha’Allah (by the will of Allah) result will be an increase in Love for Allah.
An increase in love for Allah can even be achieved by having marital relations that bring about children that will worship Allah alone.
We must understand the importance of reaching this noble objective of increasing our Love for Allah. We should make our Salah (prayers), give sadaqah (charity), make du’aa (supplications) in the late parts of the night, based upon love for Allah.
A brother once told me that he felt his Salah was worthless. So I advised him to start making his Salah, not JUST because it is fardh (obligatory), but because he wants to increase his closeness with Allah. I told him that he should build a relationship with his Master. Salah is not a one-sided ritual. Rather, it is two-sided. Allah is pleased by your submitting your soul to him. By gaining that pleasure and Love of Allah, you too, begin to increase in love for him by realizing his favors and blessings. If you increase your asking of Him in prostrations (sajdah), and you truly begin to rely upon Him within your life, your Love will increase for Him.
Indeed building this trust with Allah will only be of benefit in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah says,
And in Allah should the believers put their trust. (Aali Imran 3:122)
Placing one’s trust in someone other than Allah has no guarantees. Whereas placing your trust in Allah alone, always has the guarantee of being fruitful. ‘Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).’ (Aali Imran 3:159)
The point is that we should strive to love for Allah’s sake, even before loving for our own sake. By loving for Allah, we are living for Allah.
And indeed, Allah commanded,
Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (Al-An’am 6:162)
So ask your soul if your life and love are dedicated to Allah!
So if you love Allah, remember that you must love, obey and cling to the best of mankind’s way, Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa sallam – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Aali Imran 3:31)
Let us not be careless and forget our objectives. Let us not be careless and forget what our love really means.
Many a time, people complain that their du’as are not being answered. They do not realize that either the du’a is not being answered for their own benefit, because Allah knows better, or because they are committing sins that are preventing their du’a from being answered.
Moreover, we may not be adopting the proper etiquette of du’a. Apart from the external factors – such as being in a state of ablution, facing the Qiblah, praising Allah, and raising our hands – there are internal matters that are of prime importance. The state of the heart and what it contains: The hope in Allah’s infinite mercy, the level of closeness the heart feels to Him, and the absolute conviction with which we believe in Him.
The Qur’an narrates to us some incidents from the lives of prophets when they turned to Allah in sincere du’a. These incidents teach us how we must turn to Allah for all our needs and the proper way of calling on Allah.
Humility despite wealth, health, and power
Prophet Dawood (peace be upon him) sought Allah’s forgiveness when he was a powerful ruler and a judge among his people. His kingdom extended over a vast dominion.
“And Dawood gathered that We had tested him: he asked forgiveness of his Lord, fell down, bowing (in prostration), and turned (to Allah in repentance).” (Qur’an, 38:24)
Despite having the world at his feet, he fell humbly in prostration to seek forgiveness. Do we do the same when we are enjoying this world’s blessings?
What may not be possible
Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) beseeched Allah for offspring after reaching old age:
“And (remember) Zakariya, when he cried to his Lord: “O my Lord! Leave me not without offspring, though You are the best of inheritors.” (Qur’an, 21:89)
(This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariya, when he called out his Lord (Allah) a call in secret, saying: “My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and grey hair has spread on my head. And I have never been unblest in my invocation to You, O my Lord! And Verily! I fear my relatives after me since my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir.” (Qur’an, 19:2-5)
Prophet Zakariya called to Allah, conversing with Him in secret counsel, pouring out his heart and his concerns about the future to Him. Knowing that his wife was barren did not stop him from asking His Lord for a heir.
This shows us that while asking Allah for something, we should not worry about the “how” of it, but rather, only the “what”. What is it that you want from Allah? Ask Him for it with sincerity, talking to Him in your prayers the way you confide your troubles to a close friend who is listening to you with exclusive attention. Unfortunately, some of us lose hope even before asking Allah. When faced with a calamity, people wonder, “Even if I ask Allah, how will He give it to me?”
In response to Prophet Zakariya’s earnest du’a, Allah blessed him with a son, Yahya, from his “infertile: wife!
When there is no hope
Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) called to Allah when he lost his whole family and his body was mutilated by a debilitating disease. Yet, he did not lose hope in his Lord’s mercy. Instead of being impatient and wishing for death, which we often do when severely afflicted with calamity, he begged Allah for mercy:
“Remember Our Servant Ayub. Behold, he cried to his Lord, “Shaitan has afflicted me with distress and suffering!” (Qur’an, 38:41)
“And (remember) Ayub, when he cried to his Lord, “Truly distress has seized me, but You are the Most Merciful of those that are merciful.” (Qur’an, 21:83)
Allah answered his sincere plea and granted him a complete recovery. Not just that; Allah gave him a new family, which was double the size of the one he had lost:
“Then We heard his prayer and removed that adversity from which he suffered, and We gave him his household (that he had lost) and the like thereof along with them, a mercy from near Us, and a remembrance for the worshippers.” (Qur’an, 21:84)
Another example from the Qur’an, of a Prophet who did not lose hope in Allah’s mercy despite the passage of many years of grief, is Prophet Yaqub (peace be upon him), who wept himself blind after his son Yusuf disappeared at the threshold of youth:
He said: “It is only to Allah that I complain of my deep grief and my sorrow: for I know, from Allah, something that you do not know (that soon he would be united with Yusuf).” (Qur’an, 12:86)
Prophet Yaqub turned away from people and complained of his sorrow to Allah alone. He was eventually reunited with his long-lost son after so many years!
The Qur’an thus shows us, by narrating these incidents from the lives of the prophets of Allah, that we should have trust in Allah the way He deserves to be trusted. We should have hope in His mercy and help.
When we want a person’s attention, we call him and pester him until he gives us what we want.
But with Allah – who sees and hears everyone, who knows what we want and what we fear and what we hide in our hearts, who provides every living creature, and who is the Most Merciful One – we despair and lose hope too soon after a few half-hearted, distracted du’as!
It is extremely rare that a person’s sincere du’a goes unanswered. And those rare occasions are also for a reason. Either Allah delays it for the appropriate time, or He may not give it because it may not be good for us, but He may give us something better than that or reward us in the Hereafter. He is indeed All-Knowledgeable, All-Wise.
What is Anger?
Anger is a natural emotion. Its nature’s way of telling us that something in our lives has gone haywire. Anger occurs as a defensive response to a perceived attack or threat to our well-being.
In addition to psychological changes, like any emotion, anger is accompanied by physiological changes.
When you get angry your adrenaline flows, your heart rate increases, and your blood pressure escalate. The phrase, “I am so mad my blood is boiling” isn’t that far from true when you fly into a rage!
Domestic abuse, road rage, workplace violence, divorce, and addictions are a few of the external examples of the results of poor anger management.
Moreover, anger can lead to physical problems when not properly managed.
Long-term anger has been linked to chronic headaches, sleep disorders, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and even heart attack.
The Sequence of Anger
Anger is usually “triggered” by an occurrence, like stubbing your toe on an inanimate object or by something that someone says.
Next, you think something like “what did I do to deserve that”. However, at this point, emotion takes over your mind and the “pain” of the situation leads you to believe the answer to your question is “Nothing. I didn’t deserve that at all!”
Feelings of hurt and betrayal further try to override logic and you’re ready to act on your anger by either suppressing it or expressing it.
Means of dealing with anger include the following :
· Seeking refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytaan.
· Keeping quiet.
· Calming down; if you are standing, you should sit down; if you are sitting, you should lie down.
· Remembering the reward for restraining anger, as it says in the Saheeh hadeeth: “Do not get angry and Paradise will be yours.”
· Understanding the high status of one who controls himself, as it says in the Saheeh hadeeth: “Whoever restrains his anger, Allah will cover his faults. Whoever controls his fury – even if he is able to show it – Allah will fill his heart with hope on the Day of Resurrection.” (Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 906).
· Learning what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) teachings concerning anger.
· Knowing that controlling anger is one of the signs of piety, as it says in the hadeeth quoted above.
· Paying attention when reminded, controlling oneself, and following advice.
· Knowing the bad effects of anger.
· Thinking about how one is affected at the moment of anger.
· Praying that Allah will remove this resentment from one’s heart.
There follows a lovely story which will help you to deal with the child whose problem you mention:
There was a boy who was always losing his temper. His father gave him a bag full of nails and said to him, “My son, I want you to hammer a nail into our garden fence every time you need to direct your anger against something and you lose your temper.”
So the son started to follow his father’s advice. On the first day he hammered in 37 nails, but getting the nails into the fence was not easy, so he started trying to control himself when he got angry.
As the days went by, he was hammering in fewer nails, and within weeks he was able to control himself and was able to refrain from getting angry and from hammering nails. He came to his father and told him what he had achieved. His father was happy with his efforts and said to him: “But now, my son, you have to take out a nail for every day that you do not get angry.”
The son started to take out the nails for each day that he did not get angry until there were no nails left in the fence.
He came to his father and told him what he had achieved. His father took him to the fence and said, “My son, you have done well, but look at these holes in the fence. This fence will never be the same again.” Then he added: “When you say things in a state of anger, they leave marks like these holes on the hearts of others. You can stab a person and withdraw the knife but it doesn’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry,’ because the wound will remain.
To make the matter easier to understand and to make the rulings more clear, the scholars divided the subject matter into two parts: the rulings pertaining to the personal health of prisoners, and the rulings pertaining to health care in the place that is used as a prison.
On Health Of Prisoners
1. The jurists discussed the matter of imprisoning a person who is sick in the first place. Do the authorities have the right to imprison a sick person? The answer is that this is a matter of ijtihad (legal reasoning), and the final decision rests with the judge who must weigh up the reason why this person is to be imprisoned, the seriousness of his disease, and the possibility of taking care of him in jail. If sufficient health care is available for this sick person in prison, and he is not suffering a serious illness that could kill him if he is detained, it is permissible to imprison him. If such care is not available, the judge may hand him over to someone who can treat him and guard him, without releasing him completely, until it is possible to imprison him again.
2. If a prisoner becomes sick while in jail and it is possible to treat him there, then he must be treated without bringing him out. Doctors and servants should not be prevented from going in to see him, treat him and serve him. If lack of treatment might cause death, criminal charges are to be laid against those who were the cause of that, and they are to be punished. The Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by a prisoner who was in chains, and he called out, “O Muhammad, O Muhammad!” He came to him and said, “What is the matter?” He said, “I am hungry, feed me. I am thirsty, give me water.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded that his needs should be met. (Narrated by Muslim). And no doubt medical treatment is what the sick person needs.
But if it is not possible to treat him inside the prison, he must be taken out to a place where it is possible to treat him, under the supervision of the jail personnel or whoever is delegated to the task of watching and guarding him.
With regard to these rulings, the jurists do not differentiate between physical illness and psychological illness (true psychological illness, that is, as opposed to the made-up psychological illness or the regular psychological illness which many lawyers use as a means of getting criminals to let off). Hence the jurists stated that it is not permissible to lock the door on the prisoner – so long as there is the certainty that he will not run away – or to put him in a dark room, or to harm him in any way or to do anything that will make him terrified. His relatives should not be prevented from visiting him, because this will have an effect on his health and psychology.
3. It is prescribed for the authorities or their representative to set up a special medical wing in the prison to take care of the prisoners’ health needs. This will spare them the need to take them out to public hospitals and expose them to possible insult and humiliation.
4. Prisoners should be allowed to see their spouses and to have intimate relations with them, if there is a suitable place for that in the jail, as a protection for them and their spouses.
5. The jurists stated that it is obligatory to enable prisoners to do ablution and purify themselves, which is undoubtedly an important protective precaution against sickness.
The place that is used as a prison should be spacious, clean, well-ventilated, lit by natural sunlight, and furnished with the necessary facilities such as washrooms, etc. It is not permissible to gather such a large number of prisoners in one place that they will not be able to do ablution and pray.
Dealing With Prisoners
1. Mutilating. It is not permitted to punish a prisoner by cutting off any part of his body or breaking any of his bones. The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade mutilation of prisoners of war and said, “Do not mutilate.” (Narrated by Muslim).
2. Hitting the face, et cetera. This is prohibited because of the humiliation involved. By the same token, it is not permitted to put chains on prisoners’ necks or to lay them on the ground to whip them, even if this is the hadd (Islamic punishment) prescribed for them because this involves humiliation and harms their health and bodies.
3. Punishment by fire, strangulation, or holding a prisoner’s head underwater. The exception is in cases of qisaas (retaliation) and where the punishment needs to fit the crime. For example, if a person has committed aggression against another by burning him, it is permissible to exact retribution against him in the same manner.
4. Starving prisoners or exposing them to cold, or feeding them harmful things, or preventing them from wearing clothes. If a prisoner dies because of such things, his jailer may be executed in retribution (qisaas) or be required to pay diyah (blood money).
5. Removing prisoners’ clothing. This is prohibited because it uncovers their awrah (private parts) and exposes them to physical and psychological illness.
6. Preventing them from relieving themselves, doing ablution, and praying. It is obvious that this is harmful to the prisoners’ health.
The Hadith mentioned above shows how the Prophet (peace be upon him) issued commands that prisoners should be cared for and their needs for food and drink met. The Prophet (peace be upon him) often used to hand prisoners over to his Companions and urge them to treat them well.
The Rightly-Guided Caliph `Ali ibn Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him) used to inspect the prisons, meet the prisoners in them, and inquire about their circumstances.
Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz, the fifth Rightly-Guided Caliph, used to write to his employees, telling them to see how the prisoners were and to take care of the sick among them.
Caliph Al-Mu`tadid allocated 1500 dinars of the monthly budget to be spent on the needs and medical treatment of prisoners.
When the Abbasid Caliph Al-Muqtadir imprisoned one of his ministers, Ibn Muqlah, and the minister got sick the caliph sent for the famous doctor Thabit ibn Sinan ibn Thabit ibn Qurrah to treat him in jail, and he urged him to treat him well. The doctor used to feed him with his own hand and treated him very kindly.
At the time of the Caliph Al-Muqtadir, the minister Ali ibn Isa Al-Jarrah wrote to the head of the hospitals of Iraq at that time: “I have been thinking, may Allah grant you long life, about those who are in prison. With their large numbers and rough accommodation, they are not free from disease. They are prevented from doing things that will benefit them and meeting with doctors whom they can consult about the diseases they are exposed to. So you have to appoint doctors for them who will go in and see them every day and take with their medicine and drinks, and who will go around to all the jails and treat the sick in them and prescribe medicine for them.” This care lasted throughout the reign of Al-Muqtadir, Al-Qahir, Al-Radi and Al-Muttaqi.”
While we are talking – whether in the midst of a story or an explanation – we would certainly dislike it if others were to interrupt us, so we should give others the same courtesy that we expect for ourselves. The Islamic manner of not interrupting others in their speech is supported by a Hadeeth related by Abu Hurairah (RA), in which he (RA) said, While the Prophet (saas) was in a gathering, speaking to the people, a Bedouin came and said, When is the Hour (i.e., when will this world come to an end)? The Messenger of Allah (saas) continued to speak, so some people said, The Prophet (saas) heard him but disliked what he said, while others said, No, he heard. When he finished speaking, the Prophet (saas) said, Where is the questioner about the Hour? The Bedouin said, Here I am, O Messenger of Allah. He (saas) said,
When the trust is lost, await the Hour.
The Bedouin asked, And how will it be lost? He (saas) said,
When the matter (i.e., the position of leadership) is entrusted to those who do not deserve it, then await the Hour. 1
The portion of the Hadeeth that is relevant to our discussion here is Abu Harairahs saying, The Messenger of Allah (saas) continued to speak. He did not stop or allow himself to be interrupted, because the right to speak was with the person in the gathering who was already speaking – in the case, the Prophet (saas) – and not with the questioner.
In establishing the said ruling, we can also draw upon the saying of Ibn Abbaas (ra) to Ikramiah: Speak to the people once a week and if you refuse except to do otherwise, then twice; and if you want to address them even more often, then three times. And do not be the cause of people becoming bored by the Quran (by addressing them too often or for too long). And do not let me find you going to a people, while they are talking, and speaking to them (with a sermon), thus cutting off their talk and causing them to become bored. Instead, listen (to them and wait), and when they command (or ask) you (to address them), then speak to them while they are in a state of desiring to hear you. 2
1) Related by Bukhaare (59) and Ahmad (8512)
2) Related by Bukhaaree (6337)