EVERY event that happens to the Muslim has one sort or another aspect of goodness in it. Allah states that even events that seem to be unfavorable may have a lot of good in them: ” … It may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” (Surah 4:19).
Aware of this secret, believers seek goodness and beauty in every event. No seemingly adverse incident, hardship, or mischief ails or worries them. They maintain their composure, whether the experience is insignificant or a serious ordeal. Sincere Muslims even see goodness and Divine purpose in the loss of all their hard earned possessions. They express gratitude to Allah for the gift of life. They have faith that Allah may have protected them from committing an evil act or against too much attachment for possessions.
Accordingly, believers give their most inner thanks to Him because no loss in this world equals the loss in the Hereafter. Loss in the Hereafter means eternal and intolerable punishment (unless Allah wills otherwise). Those who keep themselves occupied with the remembrance of the Hereafter view every event as goodness and beauty leading to the Hereafter.
Those who overcome such ordeals will recognize their weaknesses before Allah and will reconsider how much they are in need of Him. They will turn to Allah with much humility through prayers and remembrance that will bring them closer to Him. This is surely an enormous benefit to one in the Hereafter. These aside, by putting absolute trust in Allah and showing steadfastness, they will earn His pleasure and will be rewarded with eternal bliss.
People should seek goodness and beauty not only in ordeals, but also in daily routines. For example, burning the food one has painstakingly prepared may lead one to take numerous measures that would, by the will of Allah, prevent a more serious accident in the future. A young person might fail the college admission test on which all hopes for the future had been pinned.
People should, however, know that there is goodness in their failure, too; they should be able to think that Allah might have willed them to avoid some adverse circumstances or people and thereby feel pleased with the result. Alternatively, by thinking that Allah has placed in every event many other blessings that are either obvious or beyond the imagination, believers see the beauty of full submission to the guidance of Allah.
People may not always see the goodness and divine purpose behind every incident. Even if this be the case, they know for certain that there is goodness in all events. They offer prayers to Allah to discover the goodness and divine purpose hidden behind everything that happens.
Those who are aware that everything has a purpose in Allah’s creation never use phrases such as “I wish I had not done this” or “I wish I had not said that” and so on. Mistakes, defects, or seemingly unfortunate events essentially include blessings, and each one of them is the trial of destiny. Allah gives important lessons and reminders to humans in the destiny He decrees individually for each person.
For those who can evaluate with insight, there are no mistakes or adversities, but rather lessons, warnings, and wisdom from Allah. For example, a Muslim whose shop burns down will search his or her soul, and will become even more sincere and true in his or her faith, deeming it as a warning by Allah against over-indulgence in worldly goods and attachments.
Consequently, no matter what one encounters in this life, the ordeals will all eventually end. A person who recalls a hardship will be amazed that it is nothing more than reminiscence in the mind. This is also how people recall the scenes from a film. Accordingly, one day will come and the most painful experience will become only a memory, more like the image of a scene from a movie. Only one thing will remain — the attitude a person assumed during the time of hardship and whether Allah is pleased with him or her.
People will not be called to account for their experiences, but rather for their attitudes, thoughts, and sincerity they displayed at the time of these experiences.
Therefore, endeavoring to see the goodness and the divine purpose Allah creates in the situations encountered and taking a positive attitude will bring bliss to believers both in this world and in the Hereafter. No sorrow or fear awaits these believers who are aware of this secret. Similarly, no one, no event can create fear, harm, or distress in this world or in the Hereafter. Allah reveals this secret in the Qur’an: “And whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.” (Surah 2:38)
“Abu Hurairah was never tired of looking at the Prophet, whose face appeared to him as having all the radiance of the sun”
“Abu Hurairah, R.A. said: qala rasulu-llahi, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam…”
Through this phrase millions of Muslims from the early history of Islam to present day have come to be familiar with the name Abu Hurairah. In speeches and lectures, in Friday sermons and seminars, in the books of Hadith, seerah and fiqh, the name Abu Hurairah is mentioned in this fashion:
“On the authority of Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) who said: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said… “Through his prodigious efforts, hundreds of hadiths have been transmitted to later generations. His is the foremost name in the roll of Hadith transmitters. Next to him comes the names of such companions as Abdullah ibn Umar, Anas ibn Malik, Aíishah (the Prophet’s wife), Jabir ibn Abdullah and Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri, each of whom transmitted over a thousand hadiths of the Prophet.
Abu Hurairah became a Muslim at the hands of At-Tufayl ibn Amr, the chieftain of the Daws tribe to which he belonged. Abu Hurairah’s name was Abdu Shams (Servant of Sun) which changed, after embracing Islam, into Abdur-Rahman (the Servant of the Beneficent). However, he continued to be known as Abu Hurairah, “the kitten man,” literally “the father of a kitten” because he was fond of cats and since his childhood often had a cat to play with.
Abu Hurairah loved the Prophet a great deal and found favor with him. He was never tired of looking at the Prophet, whose face appeared to him as having all the radiance of the sun and he was never tired of listening to him. Often he would praise Allah for his good fortune and say, “Praise be to Allah Who has guided Abu Hurairah to Islam. Praise be to Allah Who has taught Abu Hurairah the Qur’an. Praise be to Allah who has bestowed on Abu Hurairah the companionship of Muhammad (peace be upon him).”
With his formidable memory, Abu Hurairah set out to memorize in the four years that he spent with the Prophet, the gems of wisdom that emanated from his lips. He realized that he had a great gift and he set about to use it to the full in the service of Islam.
Narrated Abduh Ibn AbdurRahim:
“We went on an expedition to one of the lands of Rome; and among us was a youth of beside whom there was none amongst us more proficient in reciting The Qur’an, and none of us was more knowledgeable in fiqh and inheritance laws than him, one who used to fast the days and stand at night in prayer.
Whilst in our expedition we passed by a fort – of which we were not ordered to stop for – (guarded by many soldiers); and this youth stopped close to the fort as if he was relieving himself. So he looked up the fort and he caught sight of a woman from among the women of the Romans who was looking from that fort, and she amazed him. And as such he desired her, so he talked to her in the Roman language: ‘Tell me the way to get to you?’
So she replied: “For you to become a Christian, then we will open the door for you (to enter the fort); and I am yours.”
And he answered that call of hers, and he entered the fort!
In one narration it says : (The Muslims were not aware of the ongoings except that by the time they realized; he was with her!)
(The narrator continues to say) Consequently we were covered in great distress and encountered hardship in our expedition because of that.
It was as if each of our men took that to be as if it happened to his own child. After some time while on another expedition, we returned and passed by this same fortified town: and there he was with that woman, and the Christians; looking at us (from the fort).
So we said (to him): “O so-and-so what happened to your Qur’an? What happened to your knowledge? What happened to your fasting? What happened to your prayers!”
And there he said to us: “I have forgotten all the Qur’an except Allah’s statement:
“Perhaps (often) will those who disbelieve wish that they were Muslims. Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!” (Qur’an, 15:1-2)
Source: Al-Muntadham of Ibnul Jawzee, Taarikh al-Islam of Imam Adh-Dhahabi under the biography of Abduh Ibn Abdur Rahim, Taarikh Al-Dimashq of Ibn Asaakir : 37/379
– The great benefit of lowering the gaze.
– The Importance of fighting the desires, especially the fitna between the opposite genders.
– Loving for your fellow Muslim that which you love for yourself, and hating for him that which you see is harmful to him. (And what is more of a calamity than seeing a Muslim leave the light of belief and choosing the darkness of shirk!)
– The diligence of Satan and his allies in their greatest goal against Muslims – apostasy.
Especially in the times of tribulations; the true colors of people come forth. As you see, indeed she didn’t ask him for wealth or anything else.
– Don’t be amazed by the actions of a person, only Allah knows the reality of the end of a person.
– Don’t be amazed by your own deeds.
– The importance of supplicating for steadfastness, and uprightness in the religion up to the end of one’s life.
Indeed the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do so, and taught us to do so in the narration:
“O, Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Your obedience.” (Musnad Ahmad – authenticated by Al-Albani)
It is well known that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was extremely resolute in defending Islam and the Muslim community. He would not accept any compromise in matters of faith and would stand firm in resisting any injustice that may be aimed at even the weaker elements in the community. In fact he would defend the rights of non-Muslim people, provided that they did not participate in war against Islam and Muslims. Yet with all this firmness and courage, the Prophet was a very shy person when it came to his own personal matters or when the discussion involved some intimate matters such as body discharges.
Ayesha reports: “A woman asked the Prophet about the form of taking a bath after she has finished her period. ‘How do I conduct my bath,’ she said. He replied: ‘Take a piece of cotton, perfumed with musk, and use it to purify yourself.’ She asked: ‘How do I purify myself with it?’ He said: ‘Well, use it and purify yourself.’ She said: ‘How?’ He said: ‘All glory be to God! Do purify yourself.’ I pulled her toward me and said to her: ‘Use it to remove any traces of blood.’” (Related by Al-Bukhari).
Muslims used to ask the Prophet about every little detail. They realized that Islam meant much more than a belief or a conviction that certain principles are true. It is a complete way of life, which required them to conduct all their life affairs in accordance with its principles. Purification is an essential part of Islamic worship. A Muslim always keeps himself clean, washing off all impurity. Muslims are required to perform ablutions before they stand up in prayer. Likewise, they are required to wash all their bodies and their heads when they are in the state of ceremonial impurity. The Prophet told them this and they knew what is required. Hence, the woman’s question was not seeking this elementary information. She was asking for more intimate information concerning the cleanliness of the place where menses is discharged.
The Prophet understood what she meant. He, however, was too shy to speak to a woman explicitly about this. He had already told women how to take a purification bath. As he explained, a woman who has finished her period should bring enough water and whatever else she needs for cleanliness, washing her private parts. Then she performs the ordinary ablutions normally needed for prayer. Then she pours some water over her head and rubs her scalp, pushing her fingers through her hair. Then she pours water over all her body. After that, she uses a piece of cotton or wool and wet it with some perfume or musk and use it for purification. As the woman in this case, Asma bint Shakal, felt that purification meant ablution, in its two forms, she wondered how could she do the ablution with a piece of cotton or wool. The Prophet tried his best to make her understand what was beyond his words, but she was persistent, asking for more details. Here Ayesha realized the difficulty of the situation, pulled the woman aside and explained to her what the Prophet meant.
There is nothing embarrassing in all this. We only note that the Prophet was too shy to discuss such matters with a woman, even in the presence of his wife. However, Ayesha praised the woman and her people generally. She said: “Blessed be the Ansari women. Shyness has not stopped them from seeking better knowledge of their religion.”
– By Adil Salahi
WE Muslims are followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), right? What better example of patience do we have than that of our own blessed Prophet himself? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was sent to mankind to teach them good moral conduct, learned to control his anger toward the unbelievers and teach them appropriate expressions. He used to speak against being angry. We think that we have it tough, when one of his days was probably tougher than the whole of our lifetimes! When we look at his life, our own difficulties seem so pathetic in comparison. Imagine spending 13 years completely devoting his life spreading the word of Islam and suffering hardship. This was a man who had the burden of the whole of mankind’s future on his shoulder. Yet he had the tolerance and self-discipline to be able to forgive those around him who were themselves so ignorant.
The best example of this was when the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to Ta’if at the time when the followers of Islam were at their weakest and the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself had suffered the loss of both his wife Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) and his uncle Abu Talib. He went to this town in the hope that they would listen to what he had to say. Instead he was insulted and chased out of the town by the children who threw stones at him till (it was described) the blood flowed from his body to his feet making his sandals sticky with his own blood. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was so depressed that he prayed to Allah, who then sent down the angel of the mountains who asked for the Prophet’s permission to fold the mountains together and crush to death all those that lived there. But what was the Prophet’s reply? “Yes, kill them all as they did not listen to me”? No, of course not! His answer was “No, I hope Allah will bring from them people who will worship Allah alone, associating none with Him.”
This was the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), even though he felt bitterness and was very angry with them, he had the discipline and control to not let his emotions control his actions and he forgave them realizing that they were merely misguided.
One companion asked him : “Give me some advice by virtue of which I hope for good in the life Hereafter, and he said, “Don’t be angry.” Another person asked what would save him from the wrath of God, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Do not express your anger.”
Once the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked his Companions: “Who among you do you consider a strong man?” They said the one who can defeat so-and-so wrestler in a fight, and he said, that is not so. The one who is strong is the one who can control himself at the time of anger. He also said that “anger is like fire, which destroys you from within, and it can also lead you to the fire of Hell by your own expressions of anger unjustly.”
So being angry is similar to being drunk. In both cases, we do not know what we are doing, hurting ourselves or someone else, and afterwards when the intoxication is over, we repent.
Sheikh Hassan Al Basri said that one of the signs of the Believers is that his anger does not get on upper hand over him. One should distinguish between natural response to wrongdoing and disbelief. A person who has no feelings about oppression, wrongdoing and disbelief is, in fact, an impotent person emotionally. It has been said, “Evil flourishes when a few good people do not do anything to oppose it.” Thus response to injustice and operation in a civilized way is the appropriate expression of anger. Being neutral to injustice is equal to contributing to injustice.
ABDULLAH bin ‘Amr bin ‘Aas narrated that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) with her daughter. On the daughter’s wrist were two heavy gold bracelets. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked her, “Do you pay Zakat on this?” She replied, “No.” The Prophet said, “Would it please you that Allah will encircle you with two bracelets of fire?” The narrator commented that she took them off and threw them down in front of the Messenger, and said, “They are for Allah and his Messenger.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
Think about this for a second – Fiqh of Zakah aside. Imagine if you were in this place. What would you do? Probably hum and haw, then half of Juz Amma (the last chapter of the Qur’an). Memorize the entire Qur’an (step by get them weighed, calculate the value, and give your Zakat.
But what did this Sahabiyyah (female Companion) do? She gave entire bracelets, both of them, as charity. She did not just pay the 2.5 percent of the value required for Zakah – she actually donated the whole thing in the way of Allah.
This is one of the things that makes the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) so special (and so much better than us). We do the bare minimum, just to scrape by, but they go for the maximum reward.
How you can apply this today
Read about Ihsan. Learn about it. Ask yourself frequently: “What would it mean to do Ihsan in this thing I’m doing right now?”
Aim for the gold medal. Don’t be satisfied with memorizing only step, of course).
Give a Little Extra. If someone asks you for help – with some project, essay, exam, task, chores around the house (parents) – don’t just do the bit they ask, do a little extra. As Allah says: “Is there any reward for good other than good?” (Qur’an, 55:60)
The topic of envy is a very important one. It is a serious problem that all of us need to cope with. Envy spreads through society like a frightful illness and it is an illness that demands treatment.
Envy is indeed a serious, sometimes fatal illness. It is an ignoble character trait that tears rifts between people, communities, and even nations. A community that is blackened by this loathsome quality is one wherein cooperation and love become virtually unknown. Enmity, hatred, and violence become the order of the day.
Envy occurs when we see some blessing in the hands of another and desire for that blessing to be lost to that person. Muslim scholars have defined this feeling in many ways, but all of their definitions contain this essential meaning – to wish for someone to lose something good that he or she has been blessed with.
Al-Nawawi describes envy in the following way: Envy is to desire for someone who enjoys a blessing to become bereft of it, regardless of whether that blessing is of a religious or worldly nature.
Al-Ghazali writes: As far as envy is concerned, Islamic scholars define it as the hatred of a blessing and the love that the one so blessed by it will become bereft of it.
Envy is something quite prevalent in the world. This is why the Qur’an speaks about it often. Allah says : “Do they envy the people on account of what Allah has given them of His grace?” [ Surah Al-Nisa’ : 54]
We must also not forget the famous story of Joseph (peace be upon him) and his brothers who envied his father’s love for him so much that they cast him into a well.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned against the ill consequences of envy upon the envier, saying: “Beware of envy, for indeed envy consumes one’s good deeds like fire consumes wood.” [ Sunan Abi Dawud (4903)]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned so sternly against envy because of how dangerous and ruinous it is. It can bring us to destruction in both our worldly and spiritual lives.
He also said: “Do not revile nor envy one another. Do not turn away from one another and do not sever ties. Be devotees of Allah and brothers to one another. It is not permissible for a Muslims to shun his brother for more than three days.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhari (6065) and Sahih Muslim (2559)]
Envy is indeed a great and deadly evil. When it strikes, it inevitably leaves destruction in its wake.