REVISING + EXAMS = HEADACHE?

It needn’t be the case, just follow the directions to achieve great results every time, Insha’Allah.

    1. Always, always, always begin with Bismillah.
    2. Examine your niyaah (intention) and correct it if necessary.
    3. Honour your teachers no matter how strange their teaching methods seem to you. Respect and reverence for teachers are amongst the distinguishing marks of being a Muslim student.
    4. Begin making preparations well before the examinations begin. Plan out a REALISTIC timetable that will result in you having covered (or at least scanned) all the material well before your first exam. Use this final period to look at and attempt past exam papers and to compensate for any unforeseen delays.
    5. Use your teachers. If you have a problem, ASK!! You will find the vast majority of teachers only to happy too help (and inadvertently give out many heavy hints as to what’s on exam paper!)
    6. Always revise with a sheet of paper at hand so that you can build up a list of topics which you want to discuss with your teachers. DON’T rely on your memory. If you do, you will only be reminded when you are in the exam hall trying to answer a question on your forgotten queries.
    7. When revising make notes. It may seem as though you are just reproducing your notes, but persevere, believe it or not what you are doing is one of the most effective ways of revising.
    8. Give yourself regular breaks, but make sure that they don’t go on for longer than intended.
    9. Make sure you are unlikely to be disturbed whilst studying. This means turning off the TV and asking others to answer the phone. Discipline is pivotal to success.
    10. Turn off the radio. Listening to haram music takes the barakah (blessings) out of your studies. If you absolutely must listen to something try some nasheeds (Islamic Songs)
    11. Always iron out problems as soon as possible. If you don’t then you may well encounter problems when trying to understand the work that comes later.
    12. If you are getting frustrated and feel as though you are getting nowhere then try to take comfort that from the saying of the Prophet: “For him who embarks on a path of seeking knowledge, Allah will ease for him the way to Paradise.” (Muslim).
    13. If you are having problems calming your nerves on exam day, remind yourself of the ultimate purpose of life and indeed the ultimate examination; before Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgement. This should help you to put your present worries into context.
    14. Before you begin on the exam paper, take a couple of minutes out to supplicate to your Lord, asking Him to grant you success only on the condition that it’s good for your deen and patience in the event that it’s not. Then begin in the name of Allah.
    15. As you come out of the exam hall, remember to thank Allah if the exam went well. If however it didn’t go as well as you had hoped, put your trust in Him. Know that such things are sent to test us and are an opportunity for us to shed some of our sins and show our contentment with his divine decree.

Extracted from: ‘TRENDS’ magazine
courtesy of Ulama

Authenticity of Tabligh

Allah Taãla says in the Noble Qurãn, ‘You are the best of nations sent to man. You command good and forbid evil and you believe in Allah’. (Aali Imraan). Allah Taãla states that one reason for this Ummah being titled as the best of Ummah, is the practice of commanding good and preventing evil’.  

Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) states, ‘Whosoever from among you witnesses evil, he should change it with his hands. And if he is unable to do so then he should change it with his tongue. And if he is unable to do so with his tongue, then he should at least consider it to be wrong. And this is the weakest stage of Imaan. (Mishkãt)  

Hadhrat Nuúmaan bin Basheer (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) says that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) gave an example of people sailing on a boat having an upper deck and a lower deck. The people from the lower deck require water and request water from the people of the upper deck. The people from the upper deck refuse water so the people from the lower deck decide to make a hole on the floor of the ship and get water from the sea. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘If the people from the upper deck don’t stop the people at the bottom from making a hole, the ship will sink and all the people travelling will drown. (Mishkãt vol. 2 p. 436)  

Similarly, if people do not prohibit evil and sin in the society, the entire society – innocent and evil – will equally suffer.  

Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) states that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Command good and prohibit evil or else Allah will send such a punishment that will destroy everyone’. (Ibid).  

The above quotations of the Qurãn and Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) are clear that commanding good and prohibiting evil is an emphasised injunction of Allah and His Rasul. Every person must carry out this injunction. All the Prophets (Álayhimus salaam) followed the footsteps of their respective Prophets and after the demise of their Prophet, they carried out the same mission. The Sahaaba of Rasulullah (Radhiallaahu Ánhum) spent their entire lives in commanding good and prohibiting evil. Since there is no Prophet to come, every Ummati of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) is the deputy of the Prophet and he has to carry on the mission of the Prophet. The people of Tabligh Jamaat sacrifice their time, wealth and comforts to undergo difficulty and hardships to go in the path of Allah – to carry out this Sunnah of the Prophets – commanding good and prohibiting evil.  

As far as the Tabligh Jamaat is concerned, it is our humble view that they are acting upon this injunction of Allah Taãla and are fulfilling this obligation of Shariáh. The Jamaat advocates strict adherence to the Sunnah and confirnes itself within the ambit of the Shariáh. The purpose of any individual taking part in the Noble work of Tabligh is firstly to reform oneself and dutifully save mankind from the fire of hell. The overwhelming success of the Jamaat is mainly because of the manifestation of the six points which involves the purification of the Naffs and the entity of Tawheed.  

The word, ‘Tashkeel’, literally means to form. In the terminology of Tabligh, it means to urge the people to give time, to come out in the path of Allah for self reformation and propagating good for a number of days 3, 7, 40, 4 months, 1 year, etc. The number of days is also not compulsory, it is only recommended just as it is recommended that a person studying first aid, for example, serves one month as practicals. While he will not be an expert in medicine, he will know the basic things to do during an emergency. Similarly, a person going out for 3 days, 40 days, 4 months, etc. does not become an expert on Shariáh, but he will learn the basic requirements of Shariáh. The more time he gives, the more he will learn and perfect himself. The time frame is not a criteria according to Shariáh. It is not regarded as compulsory in the Shari’ah. The time is merely recommended like the time frame for any course in college and university. There is no prohibition in Shari’ah to set time frames for learning and training.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Source: www.askimam.org

Prophets Hud and Salih

Since their purpose was often the same, the stories of many of the prophets are very similar. They were all raised up among their own people, to warn their people against their sinful ways and warn of Allah’s pending punishment. Their message was the same, to worship Allah and heed the words of His prophet. The prophets emphasized that they had nothing to gain from their people; that they were merely conveying Allah’s message. And all the prophets were deeply compassionate men, who became frustrated that so few heeded their words, but who never stopped trying to convey Allah’s message, until the people’s deeds exceeded limits set by Allah. 

The response to each prophet’s message was also very similar. A very small number of his people would heed his message and follow his advice. But most of his community would refuse to listen. They would say that their prophet was crazy. They would laugh at him, scorn his followers, and threaten him. They would challenge him to bring on the punishment with which he was always threatening them. But only Allah knew when the punishment would strike and what it would be. When the punishment did strike, the prophet and his believers would be saved, and all the nonbelievers would be destroyed.

The type of punishment differed: it was a great flood at the time of Nuh (Peace be upon him) and a shower of brimstones among the people of Lut (Peace be upon him). In this issue we will see what happened to the people of the prophet Hud (Peace be upon him) and the people of the prophet Salih (Peace be upon him). These two prophets are not mentioned in the Bible.

Hud (pronounced “who’d”) (Peace be upon him) was a member of the ‘Ad (rhymes with “rod”) tribe, a powerful Arab tribe which lived in the southern Arabian peninsula. (Muhajir, A.M.R. 1975. Lessons from the Stories of the Quran, Sh. Muhammed Ashraf, Lahore, Pakistan, pp 45-46). They were descendants of Nuh (Peace be upon him). They were tall in stature and were skilful builders. They were all idol-worshippers. The prophet Hud (Peace be upon him) was raised up to bring them back to the worship of Allah.

Hud’s (Peace be upon him) message and his people’s reaction to it followed the usual pattern. They called him an idiot and a liar. He implored them to listen to him, but they rejected him. And so Allah sent down His terrible penalty, from which only Hud (Peace be upon him) and his followers were saved. The penalty in this case was a great wind which destroyed everything in its path. It raged for seven nights and eight days, and when it had passed, nothing could be seen but the ruins of the houses. It picked the people up and flung them to the ground.

Nothing and nobody could withstand its force. Thus was the tribe of Ad, a powerful nation of skilful and intelligent people, destroyed because it would not listen to its prophet.

The tribe of Thamud existed about 200 years after the tribe of ‘Ad. They lived in an area which is now near the border between Syria and Arabia. They carved their homes out of rocks. Some of those rock habitations, called asalib, are still in existence (Muhajir, pp 49-50). They are often mentioned in the Qur’an in conjunction with the tribe of Ad. The prophet who was sent to them was named Salih (Peace be upon him). 

Salih (Peace be upon him), too, had only a very small band of followers. The remaining townspeople were very much against Salih (Peace be upon him) and his teachings. A group of them were even plotting to secretly do away with Salih (Peace be upon him), but that was not part of Allah’s plan so the plot failed.

A sign of Salih’s (Peace be upon him) prophethood was sent by Allah to the people of Thamud in the form of a she-camel. Salih (Peace be upon him) instructed the people of Thamud to allow the camel to pasture freely and to have its share of water. It was when they killed the camel that they overstepped the limits placed by Allah, and their destruction was inevitable. Salih (Peace be upon him) foretold that within three days of having slain the camel disaster would come upon them. It is not clear exactly what the disaster was. Some sort of earthquake activity and some storms are mentioned. But the result was the total destruction of the people of Thamud, with the exception of Salih (Peace be upon him) and his followers.

Thus we see again in the stories of these two prophets, Hud (Peace be upon him) and Salih (Peace be upon him), how two powerful nations were totally destroyed, because they did not heed Allah’s warning. Only the faithful were saved. 

You can read about Hud (Peace be upon Him) in the Qur’an, Sura 7:65-72, Sura 11: 50-60, Sura 26:123-140, Sura 41:15-16, Sura 46:21-26, Sura 51:41-42, Sura 54:18-21, Sura 69:6-8, and Sura 89:6-8. You can read about Salih (Peace be upon Him) in the Qur’an, Sura 7:73-79, Sura 11:61-68, Sura 26:141-159, Sura 27:45-53, Sura 41:17, Sura 51:43-45, Sura 54:23-31, Sura 69:4-5, Sura 85:17-20 and Sura 91:11-15.

Talk with Allah

Sayyidi wa sanadi Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) said,

“Develop this habit of talking to Allah.

My shaykh Arif-billah Hadhrat Dr Abdul-Hayy ‘Arifi (may Allah have mercy on him) told this to us repeatedly.

Sit in solitude and contemplate that I am infront of Allah. Tell Him everything that is on your mind and bothering you. Your past mistakes, the present difficulties and future apprehensions . Tell Him in detail and ask for guidance and help.  

InshaAllah, in addition, to relieving your anxiety it will lead to the creation of a bond between you and your Lord, Allah (ta’luq ma Allah).”

source: Ashrafiya

Aim of Tasawwuf

“The aim of Tasawwuf is to clean the heart from spiritual diseases, and to educate, or transform, the self (Nafs), and to seek Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala’s pleasure through imposing the Shariah on ourselves inwardly and outwardly, all in the way followed by our Rasulullah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam and the righteous predecessors (Salaf).”

Extract from ‘Tasawwuf and Tazkiyah’ by Shaykh Imran ibn Adam

Internet and Haya

Sourced from Ashrafiya

Respected Sahibzada Amer (may Allah grant him a long and healthy life) a very senior murid of sayyidi wa sanadi said,

“We focus on staying away from television, as most of the programming is un-Islamic. However, little if any attention is paid to the internet. Inappropriate use of internet is more rampant and morally destructive than TV. Even the most religious and pious families are suffering from its corrupt use. Homes are being destroyed by this misuse.

Watching pornographic material, chatting freely with opposite sex individuals (or even same sex but in a lewd way) and reading indecent stuff leads to loss of modesty (haya) in one’s character. 

Modesty (haya) is an essential ingredient for being a true Mulsim.

The beloved Prophet (may Allah’s blessing and peace be on him) said :
“Haya’ (modesty) and Iman (faith) are two (things) that go together. If one is lifted, the other is also lifted.” [al-Hakim]

“Al-Haya’ is part of Iman.”
“Haya’ does not produce but goodness.”
[al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 ‘Every deen has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty.’ (Muwatta)

“Modesty is part of faith, and faith leads to heaven; while vulgarity is part of unfaith, and unfaith leads to hell.” (Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim)”

Awareness regarding this issue has to be created in all Muslims.  

May Allah save us from the inappropriate use of His blessings. Amin!”

Jeddah, KKNGH, MC 1, 11#8

Prophet Lut

The stories of the prophets which are told to us in the Qur’an are not just tales of devout and God-fearing people. They are meant to serve as a warning to us of what happens to people who do not follow in the way of Allah.

Prophet Lut’s community

The society in which Prophet Lut (A.S.) lived must have been very much like the society in which we live, where natural laws governing the behaviour of men and women toward each other are not any longer respected. What is naturally right has become wrong and what is naturally wrong has become right, and all types of dishonesty and wickedness abound. Somehow, people who try to live in the way of Allah, who try to be clean and pure, honest and trustworthy, who are fearful of Allah, these people are scorned and disliked and made fun of. As you read the story of Prophet Lut (A.S.), remember that Allah’s punishment for wrongdoers is never far away and that those who fear Allah are surely rewarded.

Prophet Lut (A.S.) attempted to get his people to turn from their wicked ways. He would say to them, “Won’t you fear Allah? I am a trustworthy messenger, so fear Allah and obey me. I don’t ask for any reward from you. My reward is from the Lord of the Worlds. Of all the creatures on this earth, you alone approach males, and leave the women whom Allah has created for you to be your mates. You are people who sin beyond all limits.”

The people knew that Prophet Lut (A.S.) and his followers were leading a much cleaner and purer life than their own. Deep down in their hearts they knew that what he said was true, but they didn’t like being told so. So they would say, “If you don’t stop your preaching, you will surely be driven out of town!”

He in turn would reply, “I do detest your doings. O my Lord! Deliver me and my family from such things as they do!”

Now, at about the same time that Allah sent angels as messengers to Ibrahim , to foretell the birth of Ishaq , the angels also told Ibrahim that they had been sent to destroy the people in Prophet Lut’s (A.S.) township. His immediate reaction was, “But there is Lut there!” They replied, “We well know who is there. We will certainly save him and his following, except his wife. She is among those who lag behind.”

When the same messengers came to Prophet Lut (A.S.) , he was deeply concerned for their safety at the hands of his fellow townspeople, and he felt powerless to protect them. But they said, “Don’t be afraid and don’t grieve. We are here to save you and your followers.”

Just as Prophet Lut (A.S.) had feared, the townspeople came after his guests. He even tried to offer them his daughters for them to marry, if they would only leave his guests alone. But they tried to snatch away his guests anyway, until Allah blinded their eyes and they heard, “Now taste my anger and my warning.”

Prophet Lut Leaves

Then the angels conveyed their message to Prophet Lut (A.S.) . They said, “O Lut! We are messengers from your Lord. Travel with your family while yet a part of the night remains. You bring up the rear and don’t let anyone look back. But your wife will remain behind and to her will happen what happens to the people. Morning is the appointed time and it is not far off, so go!”

And Prophet Lut (A.S.) had faith in Allah and left his home and all he had ever known, for the sake of his Lord.

When morning came the cities were turned upside down. Brimstones as hard as baked clay rained down upon the cities and spread, layer on layer. Everyone and everything in the towns were destroyed. That was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime.

You can read about Prophet Lut in the Qur’an, Sura 7, Ayat 80-84; Sura 11, Ayat 63-83; Sura 15, Ayat 57-77; Sura 25, Ayat 160-175; Sura 25, Ayat 54-58; Sura 29, Ayat 26, 28-35; Sura 37, Ayat 133-138; Sura 51, Ayat 31-37; Sura 54, Ayat 33-39; Sura 66, Ayat 10.