Hasad is such a dangerous characteristic that Allah revealed verses of the Quran to be recited as a protection from the jealous,
Say: “I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the daybreak, (113:1)
“From the evil of what He has created; (113:2)
“And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away). (113:3)
“And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots, (113:4)
“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” (113:5)
“Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.”
Hasad (jealousy and envy) is among the most destructive emotions or feeling which a man may have towards his fellow human being. It causes him to wish evil for others and to be happy when misfortune befalls them. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned against envy by comparing it to fire that completely burns wood. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.” [Abu Dawood]
Hasad is a disease of the heart and it causes impurity to the heart, when Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was asked who are the best of people? He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: “the one with a clean heart and truthful tongue.” They asked: ‘We understand a truthful tongue, but what does a “clean heart” mean?’ he answered: ‘It is the heart of one that is pious, pure, and is free of sin, transgressions, hatred and Hasad.” [Ibn Majah]
At-Tirmidhee narrated from al-Zubayr Ibn al-Awam that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the ‘shaver’ (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith?” [(Hasan) Jamee at-Tirmidhee (2434)]
FULFILMENT of family obligation is the litmus test for greatness. Many men, considered being otherwise great, have failed in this test. There are persons, who go beyond the realm of right and wrong when it comes to serving the needs and desires, genuine or false, of their family members as if family was more important than society at large. There are other persons who consider family to be a liability and its obligations to be undesirable. Such persons simply ignore the genuine demands of family life. For these men their own engagements, activities and preoccupations are so much important and engrossing that family as such becomes impediment and so its demands are sacrificed at the altar of their greatness! Human beings err and falter and tend to adopt lopsided attitudes in life.
A balanced approach in life has to be taught to mankind. All the Prophets of Allah taught this correct approach in life where all its ingredients: the self, the family, the society, the other creatures along with the sole Creator have their specific obligations and there is no clash between their respective demands.
The last Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him), taught this middle path and translated these into practices, leaving a recorded and rich legacy in the form of his Sunnah (the Traditions) which may also be termed as the Seerah, i.e. the Prophet’s life history.
The Prophet’s Tradition recorded by both Bukhari and Muslim (i.e. agreed upon Tradition) and related by Abu Masood is that a man who spends (his earning) on his family members, with the intention of getting reward (from Allah), will be (duly) rewarded. So earnings have to be spent on those persons who are dependent. There are many other clear and emphatic Traditions in this regard. Persons doing hard labor to fulfill the needs of their parents, children, wives and other family members are termed as those striving in the path of Allah.
Sa’ad Bin Abi Waqqas, a companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him), at the time of his critical illness sought permission to donate his total property in the path of Allah. He was not allowed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) instead told him to leave at least two-thirds of his property for his natural heirs because any benefit derived by the family members from the property will also be rewarded by Allah.
Ibadah (act of worship) is an Arabic word derived from `abd (a slave) and it means submission. It portrays that God is your Master and you are His slave and whatever a slave does in obedience to and for the pleasure of his Master is `ibadah. The Islamic concept of `ibadah is very wide.
If you free your speech from filth, falsehood, malice, and abuse and speak the truth and talk goodly things and do all these only because God has so ordained to do, they constitute `ibadah, however secular they may look in semblance. If you obey the law of God in letter and spirit in your commercial and economic affairs and abide by it in your dealings with your parents, relatives, friends, and all those who come in contact with you, verily all these activities of yours are `ibadah. If you help the poor and the destitute, give food to the hungry, and serve the ailing and the afflicted persons, and do all this not for any personal gain of yours but only to seek the pleasure of God, they are nothing short of `ibadah.
Salah (Prayer) is the most primary and the most important of these obligations. And what is salah? It is the prescribed daily Prayers which consist in repeating and refreshing five times a day the belief in which you repose your faith. You get up early in the morning, cleanse yourself and present yourself before your Lord for Prayer. The various poses that you assume during your Prayers are the very embodiment of the spirit of submission; the various recitals remind you of your commitments to your God. You seek His guidance and ask Him again and again to enable you to avoid His wrath and follow His chosen path. You read out from the Book of the Lord and express witness to the truth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and also refresh your belief in the Day of Judgment and enliven in your memory the fact that you have to appear before your Lord and give an account of your entire life. This is how your day starts.
Then, after a few hours the muezzin calls you to Prayer, and you again submit to your God and renew your covenant with Him. You dissociate yourself from your worldly engagements for a few moments and seek audience with God. This once again brings to the fore of your mind your real role in life. After this rededication you revert to your occupations and again present yourself to the Lord after a few hours. This again acts as a reminder to you, and you once more refocus your attention on the stipulations of your faith. When the sun sets and the darkness of the night begins to shroud you, you again submit yourself to God in Prayer so that you may not forget your duties and obligations in the midst of the approaching shadows of the night. And then after a few hours you again appear before your Lord, and this is your last Prayer of the day. Thus before going to bed you once again renew your faith and prostrate before your God. And this is how you complete your day. The frequency and timings of the Prayers never let the object and mission of life be lost sight of in the maze of worldly activities.
SURAH Ya-Sin, the 36th Surah of the Qur’an , is undoubtedly one of the most important Surahs. Often referred to as the heart of the Qur’an, it deals with important concepts and beliefs of Islam. It speaks of divine signs in the universe and nature, and the phenomena of death, resurrection, and final reckoning. Because of its vivid descriptions of these and other matters, its reading is highly recommended, even more than other Surahs of the Qur’an, at certain times and in certain circumstances.
As stated in a report by Abu Ya`la on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said , “Whoever reads Ya-Sin at night (before retiring to bed) will be waking up while being forgiven of his or her sins.”
In another report by Imam Ahmad on the authority of Ma`qal Bin Yasar, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Read it (Ya-Sin) on those among you who are nearing death.”
In light of the above and similar reports, scholars have said that one of the salient characteristics of Surah Ya-Sin is that its reading helps ease hardships and difficulties; its recital by the bedside of those in the throes of death is hoped to be a source of descent of Allah’s mercy and blessings upon them, thus eventually aiding in the easy release of the soul from body.
Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Great scholars and teachers used to say that reading Ya-Sin will help ease the difficulties that a dying person experiences.”
And finally, Al-Hafiz Al-Bazzar reports on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “I wish that it (Ya-Sin) is fully retained in the heart of every member of my Ummah (community).”
In conclusion, Ya-Sin is undoubtedly one of the great Surahs of the Qur’an; its reading is considered to be highly beneficial and spiritually rewarding. It is important to memorize the entire Surah; it is also important to read it as often as one can, and more especially, while attending those who are nearing death.
May Allah, the most Exalted and Glorious, fill our hearts with the love of the Glorious Qur’an. May the Infinitely Merciful One make the Qur’an the spring of our hearts, a soothing balm and healer of all our spiritual ailments and worries, our guide and light in our earthly life, and a companion and source of comfort for us in our graves, and finally our escort to Paradise, the eternal realm of bliss that Allah has promised His righteous servants.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, always sought what is best. Many people try to put on a good show in public, saying only what is correct and what people would acknowledge as the right thing. We always speak of what is “politically correct”, referring to the need to say only what is socially acceptable. Thus, when a job is advertised, the advertisement must not include anything that may be perceived to be discriminatory. For example, the employers cannot say in the advertisement, “We are looking for a young man who has such and such qualifications.” The word “young” is taken as discriminating against old people and the word “man” discriminates against women. If the advertisement is to be published in a newspaper, the paper will reject it because it encourages discrimination. The employers will need to remove anything that suggests special preference. However, nothing can stop the employers choosing a young man for the post they have advertised. There are many other situations where certain values and standards must appear to be observed, and people make sure of doing so, yet they go ahead and do whatever they prefer.
The Prophet’s household never allowed such double standard. The Prophet never accepted anything wrong in his homes, not even in very private matters. He realized that if he kept quiet when something wrong was done in his home, the fact that he did not speak out against it meant that it is acceptable from the Islamic point of view. Indeed, his wives, daughters and servants reported many cases of what was done in his or their homes in his full knowledge. Although the Prophet did not say anything about them, scholars accepted these as perfectly permissible. Had they not been so, the Prophet would have indicated that. Scholars established the rule that says: “The lack of a statement concerning something that needs to be clarified is itself a clarification.” In other words, not saying anything for or against it means that it is acceptable. The Prophet realized this and was, therefore, keen to speak out against anything that was contrary to Islamic teachings or values. He made sure that nothing of the sort was done in his home by any member of his household. He would speak out against it, resorting to what is most suitable in every case.
He may give a kindly advice or he may reproach a person in strong terms, depending on the seriousness of the matter in hand. His aim was to make his home an image of the Qur’anic Verse that says in reference to it and its members: “God only wants to remove all that is loathsome from you, you members of the (Prophet’s) household, and to purify you fully.” (33: 33). This Qur’anic Verse gave every member of the Prophet’s household, including his wives, daughters, grandchildren and indeed his in-laws a very clear motive to try to live up to these two ideals: removing every loathsome thing, physical or mental, and seeking purity in its widest sense. The lives of his wives, even long after he departed this life was a clear example of the working of such a motive. They always aspired for what was best.
By: Adil Salahi
(i) Evidence that Paradise has various levels and its inhabitants will be in different categories
Paradise consists of levels, some of which are above others, and its people will be of differing levels and categories according to their position in Paradise. Allah (swt) says:
“Whoever wishes for the quick passing [transitory enjoyment of this world] we readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell, he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, [-far away from Allah’s Mercy]. And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due to it, [ i.e. righteous deeds of obedience to Allah] while he is a believer [in tawheed] then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, thanked and rewarded [by Allah]. To each – these as well as those – We bestow from the bounties of your Rabb. And the bounties of your Rabb can never be forbidden” [17:18-20]
Allah (swt) explains how He gives more of His bounty in this world or the next, as He (swt) wills, and His Bounty is not withheld [forbidden] from either the righteous or the sinful. Then He (swt) says:
“See how We prefer one above another [in this world] and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preference.” [17:21]
Allah (swt) explains that the differences between people in the Hereafter will be greater than the differences between them in this life, and the difference between the levels or ranks of the Hereafter is greater than the differences here in this life. Allah (swt) also differentiates between His Prophets as He does between the rest of His believing slaves. Allah (swt) says:
“Those Messengers! We preferred some to others; to some of them Allah spoke [directly]; others He raised to degrees of [honour]; and to ‘Eesa the son of Maryam, We gave clear proofs and evidence, and supported him with Ruh al-Quddus [Jibreel]…” [2:253]
and “…And indeed We have preferred some of the Prophets above others..” [17:55]
Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said “A strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah (swt) than a weak one although both are good…” and al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Hurayrah and ‘Amr ibn al-Aas that the Prophet (saw) said, “If a judge seeks to form an independent judgement [ijtihaad] and is correct, he will have two rewards; if he seeks to form an independent judgement and is wrong, he will have one reward.”
“Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).” (Qur’an, 31:34)
What thoughts cross our minds on a daily basis? Thoughts about our families, jobs, what the latest fashions are, money that is owed to us, problems we are facing, but who thinks about the one thing that is guaranteed? We all continue with our everyday jobs and responsibilities, however, when was the last time we stopped to really contemplate about death? I mean people are dying every day and will continue to die, but just how much impact does it have on our lives?
As Muslims we believe that the present life is a trial for the next realm of existence. We all know people who have died and mourned them, whilst simultaneously, life continues. Death is a reality and it is the only thing that we can be sure about – there is no escaping it and no delaying it. When our appointed time draws near, the angel of death will come to take back to Allah what is rightfully His. And no one is exempted from this. Allah said:
“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).” (Qur’an, 3:185)
The prophets died and experienced the pangs of death, something that we all will face. The questioning in the grave, the squeezing of the grave and the punishment of the grave are all awaiting us. These actions are real and we need to protect ourselves so that our time in the grave is made easier.
Three questions will be asked in the grave that seem easy to answer now, but do not be fooled, as our souls will be the ones answering and it will depend upon how we have lived in this life. How much do we remember Allah? How many times do we finish reciting the Qur’an? Are we really fulfilling the obligations to our kith and kin? Do we backbite our brothers and sisters, which Allah has compared with eating the flesh of a dead brother?
These are all important questions that we need to ask. If we find that our response to these is not in accord with what is expected, then we need to make a change now. It will be too late for a change after death.
Throughout this life, when we sleep, our souls depart from our bodies and enter an unknown world.
“It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.” (Qur’an, 39:42)
Knowing that, are we thankful to Allah for returning our souls to our bodies?
The Angel of Death never misses the appointed time, it will be their duly to take the soul. If the soul is that of a believer who spent the life in doing good deeds and avoiding sins, it comes out with ease, and angels give good news of the awaiting reward.
If the soul is that of some who did not believe and spent the life in sins and disobedience, it, having realized the reality, tries best to hide, but is forcefully pulled out in agony and pain.
Allah said in the Qur’an:
“Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (Alone),” and then they stand firm , on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!” (Qur’an, 41:30)
After death, nothing will help us except three things that have been mentioned in a famous Hadith of Sahih Muslim: “If a human dies, then his good deeds stop except for three: a Sadaqa Jariah (continuous charity), a beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.”
Some things we, the living, can do for those who have passed away are: Making Du’a for them, seeking Allah’s forgiveness for them, give charity on their behalf, and do Haj or Umrah for them.
Abdullah Bin Umar’s advice is a good reminder to end this article with: “If you live until the evening, then do not expect to live until the following morning. And if you live until the morning, then do not expect to see the evening. Take from your health for your sickness and from your life for your death.” (Al-Bukhari)