Tag Archives: Allah

The Internal Dimensions of Hajj

The ultimate destination
You are the luckiest person in the world. Allah has invited you personally to His House.

What is Hajj? Hajj in the Arabic language means aim, destination or purpose (qasd). The reason is clear: Hajj is the ultimate journey of loving submission (‘ubudiyah) and conscious surrender (riq) to Allah. Its ultimate destination is your encounter with the House of Allah (Bayt al-Allah) – the Ka`bah – with both your physical body and, more importantly, your heart (qalb).

Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimah al-Allah) relates a story of an old, blind woman who was journeying to Hajj years ago with a caravan. Throughout the journey, she keeps asking: “Are we at the house of my Lord?” Time and again, she is told, “No, mother, we are not there yet.” As the caravan nears Makkah, she is informed that they are almost there. Finally, they enter Masjid al-Haram. She is led to the Ka’bah. Touching the Ka’bah, she cries, “Baytu rabbi? The House of my Lord?” Weeping, she clings to the cloth of the Ka’bah – and dies.

The woman realized with her heart (qalb) the true significance of visiting the House of her Lord.

Allah has invited you to His House, which He has called the al-Bayt al-‘Atiq – the ancient, liberated and liberating house. Your journey is one of freedom and liberation. For as your body leaves its material house to journey to Allah’s House, your heart is meant to disengage from the lower self (nafs), the shaytan, and the world (dunya) and journey to Allah.

The ultimate reward for a Hajj mabrur is to return home with the purity of a newborn child. What could be a greater incentive! But beware, for Hajj is a selective process. Only a few will attain a Hajj mabrur, which is a Hajj performed correctly, without any disobedience to Allah and without indulging in any argumentation. Be prepared. Be vigilant. Be focused. This will be one of the greatest – and sweetest – struggles of your life. And though you will long and dream for the rest of your life to come back, you may never return again.

May Allah allow our bodies to journey to His House; may He permit our hearts to find Him, the Lord of the House. Ameen.

The most sacred space
You will be journeying from your earthly house to Makkah, your spiritual home, the most beloved place to Allah in all of space and time. Allah himself has decreed it to be so since the beginning of creation. There is no place more blessed, more beautiful, more virtuous, more exalted than Makkah. Every inch and every corner of Makkah is a haram, a sanctuary made sacred by Allah. The more you revere Makkah, the more you will be ennobled by Allah. We must take the greatest of care to never think casually of our sojourn in Makkah or live within its precincts in disobedience or negligence.

Some reports teach that it was in Makkah that our father adam (‘alayhi al-salam) longed to go back to paradise and be in the presence of Allah. To console his loneliness, Allah commanded him to do tawaf around the space of the current Ka‘bah. And adam did, and felt whole again.

Other texts teach that Nuh (’alayhi al-salam), Ibrahim (’alayhi al-salam), and many Prophets before them (’alayhim al-salam), all did tawaf around Allah’s sacred House. Their spiritual energy and legacy fills the air. You will be walking in the footsteps and the heart-steps of Rasulullah (sallalahu ’alayhi wasallam) and his noble companions.

Shelter, solace and sight
Hajj and its rites are described in various and powerful ways by Allah and his Rasul (sallalahu ’alayhi wasallam). Through these descriptions, we gain insight into the deeper meanings of Hajj. The rites of hajj are described, for example, as manasik, masha‘ir and mashahid.

Mansak (plural manasik), usually translated as ritual, connotes shelter (maskan) and tranquility (sukun). The rites of Hajj are residences of shelter and tranquility for the heart.

Mash‘ar (plural masha‘ir) connotes feeling and experience. The rites of Hajj cause the heart to feel and experience the sweetness of nearness to Allah.

Mashad (plural mashahid) is to witness with the heart the blessings of Allah at every station – to see, with one’s inner sight, Allah’s will as the Decreer of decrees and the Causer of causes.

Each word connotes a different inner dimension of Hajj, as the movement, not only of your body or limbs, but of your heart. For as your body journeys from one place to another, so too must your heart travel through various stations (maqamat), each of which will provide it with shelter, solace and inner sight.

Become angelic
Hajj is your chance to become an angel and to live with the delight of an angel.

In tawaf, you will be mirroring the worship of the angels, the mala’ikah, those heavenly creatures created of pure light and enveloped in the worship of Allah. Texts teach that the Ka‘bah is connected in an imperceptible way to the Bayt al-Ma‘mur, the heavenly Ka‘bah of the angels, around which they are constantly in tawaf. Seventy thousand angels perform tawaf around this house and are replaced with others, never to return.

Around the Ka‘bah, we are in a heavenly dimension. Near the Ka‘bah are the Hajar Aswad, or black stone, and the Maqam Ibrahim, both gems from jannah. We are taught that the hajar was darkened by the sins and transgressions of man. Its heavenly light is now folded from us. The hajar will be rendered into a person in the afterlife by Allah and will witness on behalf of those who approached it with truth and sincerity. The hajar can be said to take a picture recording of your heart as you stand before it. Kissing the hajar is the most profound renewal of your covenant with Allah and a pledge of love, dedicated obedience and soulful allegiance to Him.

Entering into Ihram
As you near the miqat, your heart will tremble and tremor. Is this really happening? Is my heart getting closer and closer to His House? Soon you will enter Allah’s haram. It is only fitting that you enter into a state, both externally and internally, that justly corresponds to this honour. Beyond the miqat, there is only talbiyah.

The essence of Hajj is the journey of our hearts away from the house of our lower selves (nufus) with its passions (shahawat), inclinations (ahwa’) and attachment to the created world (khalq) to the haram and, ultimately, the House of Allah. We must leave our attachments to receive the greatest connection. We must leave to arrive.

Ihram is from haram. Both meanings, to be sacred and to be forbidden, are carried in it. Through the ihram, the heart is meant to leave the temporary and the finite – to make it, in a sense, “forbidden” – and to prepare for the sacred audience of Allah’s presence.

The muhrim has disengaged from everything and anything that distracts him or her from Allah and, consequently, from remembrance, peace and stillness. The muhrim has left his or her home taking taqwa or Allah-consciousness, the best sustenance, as a provision.

Beginning Talbiyah
One enters into ihram with talbiyah. Talbiyah is the heart’s most profound surrender to the invitation and call of Allah: Here I come to You, my Lord, here I come – fully and forever.

With the talbiyah, we proclaim that no associate (sharik) or attachment will distract us from seeking Allah. Our hearts will not see, hear, obey, or be lured to another, besides Him. The recitation of this talbiyah is to be said with constancy and conviction, and not intermittently and infrequently.Talbiyah is essential to focusing our hearts. It will remind us of the purpose of our journey; it will facilitate us in foregoing our rights, demands and expectations while yet rendering fully the major and minor rights of others; it will dispel distractions; and it will make all obstacles easy, even pleasurable.

There is no praise (hamd) and no dominion and power (mulk) except that Allah owns it. Everything, whether tangible or intangible, belongs to Him. In fact, we are in praise of Him by Him.

Mina, or Muna, means desire, hope, longing.

Some texts teach that it was in Muna that adam ( ‘alayhi al-salam) longed and desired to journey back home to paradise and to be, once again, in Allah’s presence.

It is in Muna that the journey begins. The day spent in Muna, termed the day of tarwiyah (meaning, in part, to quench, to drink to one’s fill), is meant for our heart to focus on the aim of their journey, to gather in resolution and focus, and to begin our inner momentum towards the House of Allah.

‘Arafat means to know, to understand. Another verb scale conveys the meaning of perfuming, making fragrant, scenting. ‘Arafat is the essential pillar (rukn), of Hajj; without ‘Arafat there is no Hajj.

‘Arafat is the cleansing station outside the haram where we stand and seek forgiveness for all that we’ve committed in our lives. We beg and implore Allah to make us worthy of entering into His haram, visiting His House and being in His presence.

Here, on ‘Arafat, we learn two things. As we acknowledge our disobedience, our sins, our rebelliousness and our forgetfulness, we know our unworthiness as true servants. We reveal everything to Allah, minor or major, Who knows already but simply wants us to admit with true transparency and sincerity what we are inside of our selves. Moreover, we begin to know the all-enveloping knowledge, the inestimable mercy, the boundless generosity and the limitless grace of Alah in forgiving and effacing our sins. Who is it, beside Him, that can forgive and that does forgive? There is no refuge or flight from Allah except to Him.

Allah celebrates, in the presence of the angels, the hujjaj on ‘Arafat asking for forgiveness. And He affirms to the angels that, yes, He has forgiven them.

Now, as the sun begins to set, you continue, perfumed and scented with the purity of Allah’s grace and forgiveness, ever closer to His haram.

Muzdalifa, from the Arabic root izdilaf, means to approach, to get closer.

Muzdalifa is a second station of cleansing and purification. The pilgrim is now closer to the Ka‘bah. We remain in supplication (du‘a’) after fajr, imploring Allah again for pardon and guidance. Some scholars have said that in Muzdalifa, Allah also forgives our violations against the rights of others. Such violations are not usually forgiven unless, in addition to seeking forgiveness, we remedy what has been violated.

Muna and the casting of the pebbles
During the Hajj of Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam), he was commanded to sacrifice his son. Allah, of course, never intended that the slaughter take place. Allah wanted, instead, to purify and free Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam) from every love and every attachment besides Him.

It was in Muna that the shaytan attempted to waylay Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam) from sacrificing his son. Ibrahim (’alayhi al-salam) casted pebbles at the shaytan to reject his designs and prompting.

In casting the pebbles, the pilgrim affirms Allah’s greatness over everything and covenants with Allah that he or she will never regress to anything which displeases Him.

Casting the pebbles is the casting away of shaytan, the lower self (nafs) with its desires, inclinations and evil, and, ultimately, casting away everything besides Allah. The pebble is meant, not to hit the pillar, but to fall inside the container, or majmar, where it will remain. The fire of the nafs, its impetus to evil, must be cast out, contained and confined. Our nafs must be jailed for us to become free.

After the nafs is jailed by the casting of the pebbles, it is slaughtered. The sacrifice of the animal signifies the slaughter of the nafs by Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam). Ibrahim’s (‘alayhi al-salam) sacrifice was momentous: he sacrificed his very will. Ibrahim was named the Khalil (cherished friend) of Allah because his love for Allah pierced and consumed his entire heart.

The hair – signifying status, station and pride – is now shaved. Whatever remaining trace and residue of the disobedient nafs is now completely cleansed.

Now, the pilgrim is welcomed by Allah to visit His Haram and His House. He or she is now freed from ihram, but not completely. Washing and the use of perfume are now permitted; intimate relations are not. Approaching one’s spouse is unbefitting considering that now the pilgrim is going to visit the Host.

Tawaf al-Ifadah
Ifadah means to flood, to rush, to move.

The movement from ‘Arafat to the haram is called ifadah. The rite of tawaf that takes place after the casting of the pebbles, the sacrifice and the shaving of the head is likewise termed Tawaaf al-Ifadah.

The heart (qalb), cleansed and purified from its attachments, inundated with love, desire and longing, floods to the haram, to the House, and to its Lord. There, it circumambulates the House and renews its pledge of complete and loving submission.

Sa‘i between Safa and Marwa
Sa‘i means to work, to strive, to act.

We remember in sa‘i the actions of Hajar (‘alayha al-salam) as she climbed, walked and ran up both Safa and Marwa looking for sustenance for her starving child. The miracle of Zam zam was gifted to Hajar for her efforts and sincere reliance. Rasulullah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) teaches that if we drink zam zam with firm faith and certainty, Allah will most definitely answer our supplication.

As servants of Allah, we are embedded in time and space. We must act, all the while cognizant that it is Allah who creates both cause and effect. To see waves upon waves of pilgrims walking and running between Safa and Marwa is to recognize that the reality of our life is constant sa‘i between struggle and reward, struggle and reward. On the hills of Safa and Marwa, where the pilgrim alights in reflection and supplication, the heart exalts, seeing Allah’s power in all matters, yours and others, large or small.

The days and nights of Muna
During our stay in Muna, we re-affirm and re-declare our desire and hope for spiritual freedom by casting pebbles for three days. Each casting of the pebbles cements our resolution to contain and confine both the lower self (nafs) and shaytan.

You remain in Muna as Allah’s guest. Here, we must eat and drink with the consciousness of a guest in front of a Most-Magnanimous Host. The greatest nourishment during these days, as Allah himself indicates, is His dhikr, or remembrance. We are destined to leave but Allah intends we leave gradually, in gratitude to Him, remembrance of Him and gathering a firm resolution for permanent change when we depart.

Then the last pebble is cast. Our final farewell is imminent.

The farewell
Most have waited their entire lives for the encounter with the House of Allah. Many will never return. In truth, there is no certainty that any of us will ever gaze on the Ka‘bah again.

Whether we return or not, we will never forget. It is said – and it is true – that the Ka‘bah beckons you from afar, then haunts you forever.

It is related that Ibn ‘Abbas prayed this as his final farewell, clinging with his entire being to the multazam, the wall of the Ka‘bah between the hajar and the door:

“O Allah This House is Your House And this servant is Your servant, and the son of Your servants You have carried me here on what You have made accessible to me of Your creation Until You have made me reach, by Your grace, Your House And You have helped me fulfill my rites of Hajj (O Allah) If You have been pleased with me, then be more pleased with me And if You are not pleased with me, then I implore you to be generous to me now – Before my house becomes distant from Your house For now it is time for my departure, if You permit me – Never to exchange You for anything else, nor Your House for any other house Not being desirous of others instead of You, nor of any other house besides Your House O Allah, Grant me safety and good health in my body, protection in my religion and allow me a beautiful return And provide me with deeds and acts of Your obedience for as long as You grant me life And gather for me the best of this world and the next For truly You have power over all things.”

A mother once told her son that the Ka‘bah says: The one who does not see me will never rest; and the one who sees me will never rest.

May our hearts find their ultimate rest by journeying to Allah long after our bodies have returned from Hajj. May we always be in Hajj.

Hajj mabrur, my beloved brother and sister.

Source: www.duai.co.za

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At The Time of Natural Disasters

By Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullah

Everyone is aware of the devastation that natural disasters bring with them. Many lose their lives, hundreds of thousands lose relatives, entire communities are wiped out and countless buildings and properties are destroyed. Thousands, even millions are left homeless, having lost everything they once owned, living under open skies with nothing to eat and cover themselves with. Even after the calamity has subsided, the death toll continues to increase with the spread of disease.

When calamities strike, we often think about our roles and responsibilities, as human beings and as Muslims. It is unfortunate that for most of us, it takes such calamities to make us reflect on the Power and lofty Attributes of Allāh ta‘ālā. Rather than expressing shallow sorrow and a momentary shock, there are a few points that we need to reflect and act upon, so that events like these can cause us to become better Muslims for the rest of our lives:

1. Allāh ta‘ālā is the Hākim (The Supreme Ruler) and the Hakīm (The Most Wise)

First of all, one has to reaffirm in one’s mind and heart that whatever happens, whether good or bad in appearance, is according to the Wish of Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā is Hākim i.e. He has Power over everything. Every single particle in the whole universe is under His Control. The turning of the leaf in the air while it is falling from the tree, to the up turning and shaking of the earth itself, as in the case of an earthquake, everything is in His Absolute Control. The commands, wishes and controls of everyone else are subjugated to His Command and Governance. The varied circumstances that one observes or experiences in one’s life are also in His total Control.

There are many incidents and events in a person’s life, during which one hopes for a positive outcome through worldly means e.g. when a relative is seriously ill we can hope for recovery by consulting a specialist, along with our belief that only that will happen which Allāh ta‘ālā has ordained. Nevertheless we take the help of worldly means to satisfy ourselves and try to rectify the situation to the best of our ability.

However, when faced with natural disasters like storms, earthquakes and floods, there is no hope of any worldly means which we can employ to circumvent, overcome or prevent re-occurrence of such situations. Such natural disasters are entirely in the Control of Almighty Allāh and we are forced to acknowledge that. Indeed as Muslims we should never have disregarded and ignored the Absolute Power of Allāh ta‘ālā and it should have been reflected upon in our day to day actions and deeds.

However, it is comforting to know that Allāh ta‘ālā is not only the Hākim (The Supreme Ruler) but He is also the Hakīm (The Most Wise). Allāh’s ta‘ālā Governance of the universe is unlike that of worldly rulers. His Control and Governance is full of Supreme Wisdom and Divine Justice. Hence even in natural disasters, there is the hidden Wisdom of the Almighty, which may not be apparent to our physical eyes.

2. Turn Towards Allāh ta‘ālā in Repentance

Every person, during such times should turn towards Allāh ta‘ālā with humbleness, faith and genuine repentance. According to the Sharī‘ah, common and open disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā is one of the many reasons for the cause of calamities like earthquakes. When the land is overloaded with the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā, earthquakes from beneath and violent storms from above are commonplace. There are various scientific explanations as to why natural disasters occur, however the underlying facts point towards ‘how’ they happen and not ‘why’ they happen. The answer to ‘why’ and ‘when’ and even to ‘how’, in reality, remains with Allāh ta‘ālā. An answer to ‘why’ has been revealed in the Qur’ān:

(Corruption and) Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that He (Allāh) may give them a taste of some of their deeds in order that they may turn back (from evil). (30:41)

Incidents like these are, as it were, ‘wakeup’ alarm calls from Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā in His Infinite Mercy is jolting us through such incidents, so that we may mend our ways and reflect on our transgressions and as a result rectify ourselves before it is too late. Allāh ta‘ālā has revealed to his beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, that as long as this Ummah continues to repent for their wrong-doings, He will not punish them through calamities. Incidents like these should not be viewed with some momentary sympathy or investigated out of curiosity, but treated strictly as a reminder to wake up and reflect on our lives of disobedience. The way Allāh has the Power to cause calamities in any part of the world, He also has the Power to cause a catastrophe here, in this very city, in the very vicinity of our homes.

Hence it is absolutely essential for Muslims, not just from the affected regions, but from all over the world, to turn towards Allāh ta‘ālā. They must direct all their attention towards Him and reflect on their lives to find out where the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā are being violated, then sincerely repent and resolve to adorn their future lives with taqwā, abstain from the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā, and observe His Commands.

3. Pray for the Afflicted

Our beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has commanded us to support and help the victims of calamities, whether they be Muslims or otherwise. The best and the most valuable support and help is to make du‘ā i.e. sincere prayers for the wellbeing of the victims. Du‘ā is a very powerful and potent means, which is available to each and every one of us, the one with worldly resources as well as the one without. Hence one should sincerely pray for the well being of the victims. One should pray that Allāh ta‘ālā gives them strength, patience and comfort and that He protects and guides them through these critical times and provides rapid recovery from their physical, mental and spiritual wounds. Only Allāh ta‘ālā has the ability to provide the things asked for in the above prayers. No amount of worldly means will provide for the loss that has been suffered by the victims.

It is difficult to comprehend or empathise with the situation of the victims. Scores of them have death hovering over their heads while their dead family members lie beside them. Thousands of dead bodies are piled up like logs unable to receive a proper burial. Thousands of people have lost their sons and daughters and thousands of young children have become orphans. Only prayers will help those people. So take out some time from listening to the news, reading newspaper reports and chatting about the events and bow down to Allāh ta‘ālā, and pray sincerely and earnestly (after making repentance) for the victims of the calamity. The victims certainly deserve our prayers, to say the least. It is their right over the entire Muslim community.

It is also worth mentioning that it will be a gross transgression for anyone to forget their own deeds and start judging the victims, claiming their misdeeds to be the reason for the calamity. We are in no position to do that. Besides, this will be tantamount to trying to guess the ‘Hikmah’ (Wisdom) of Allāh! Therefore we should refrain from uttering such words.

4. Donate Generously

For people far from the afflicted region, the next best thing that they can do to help and support is to provide financial and material help. The victims have lost everything, their homes and the shelter above their heads, their entire belongings and their livelihoods. There is an immediate need to provide shelter (as a protection from the cold nights), food and clothing. There is also a dire need to provide them with medication and other medical accessories and supply them with clean water and sanitation.

Alhamdulillāh, Allāh ta‘ālā has given us abundantly, more than we need. We do not have to sacrifice our daily food or clothing in order to donate towards the cause. I request all my brothers and sisters to reflect upon the material blessings that Allāh ta‘ālā has bestowed upon us, despite our not being deserving of them, and donate generously for the victims of this calamity. There are people out there, among the victims, who, until yesterday, were the patrons of or contributors towards charities themselves, and had donated profusely. Now, having lost everything, they are in need of charity themselves. Allāh ta‘ālā will inshā’allāh look favourably upon our generosity and remove future calamities awaiting to befall us. The Prophet s has mentioned:

Truly sadaqah extinguishes the Wrath of Allāh and saves from an evil death. (Tirmidhī)

So, as human beings, and more so as Muslims, we should not let this suffering continue without providing help and support according to our individual capabilities. Do not wait for your zakāh to become due to make a donation. The need of the situation demands that we donate everything that is in our possession, even if that means undergoing hardships ourselves. However, since Allāh ta‘ālā has blessed us with adequate wealth we know that we can donate sufficiently without having to undergo such troubles. We should spend abundantly and generously, as generously as Allāh ta‘ālā has provided for us. Remember, whatever we will spend, we will do so from that which Allāh ta‘ālā has given us. It is His Money we will be spending to relieve His Creation. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

All creatures are the dependants of Allāh. The most beloved to Allāh from all Creation is he who treats His dependants the best. (Bayhaqī)

Therefore give as much as you can. This is not a time to wait for someone to come and knock at your door. Go out looking for reliable organizations and charities with correct channels, so that your money reaches the genuine victims and fulfills their needs.
May Allāh ta‘ālā give us the guidance to learn a lesson from such calamities and grant us the resolve to change our lives for the better. May Allāh ta‘ālā also give us the tawfīq to pray for the victims and to donate generously. Āmīn.

Source: www.idauk.org

When Allah Gives

Once a boy went to a shop with his mother.  The shop keeper looked at the small cute child and showed him a bottle with sweets and said ‘Dear Child, you can take some of these sweets. But the child didn’t take any of them.

The shop keeper was surprised, such a small child he is and why is he not taking the sweets from the bottle.  Again he said take the sweets.
This time the mother also heard that and said… beta take the sweets.

Yet he still didnt take any.

The shopkeeper seeing the child not taking the sweets, himself took the sweets and gave to them to the child. The child was happy to get two hands full of sweets.

When they returned back home, Mother asked the child, “Why didnt you take the sweets, when shop keeper told you to take them, not once but twice?”

Can you guess the response:-

Child replies… Mom! my hands are very small and if i take the sweets I can only take a few, but now you see when the kind shop keeper gave with his big hands how many more sweets I got!

When we take we may get little but when Allah gives…
HE gives us more, beyond our expectations…more than what we can hold.

The Greatest Return

There are many great “returns” that people experience in their lives. The returning of a missing child, finding a very valuable lost item or a close family member returning home after spending many years overseas are some instances of a great return. These are moments of immense joy and happiness. The greatest “Return,” however, is when a sinful servant who had abandoned Allah Ta’ala and fallen into sin makes sincere taubah (which literally means “to return”) and returns to his Creator. There can never be a happier moment for such a person.

Retuning to Allah Ta’ala in sincere repentance brings down the showers of the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala. Due to his repentance, the one who was previously known in the court of Allah Ta’ala as a faasiq (sinner) earns the title of Habibullah (the beloved of Allah). His crying and sobbing while begging for forgiveness is more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than the recitation of tasbeeh of those who are busy glorifying Allah Ta’ala. Can there be a greater return?

Source: Al Haadi

Allah is the Provider

Shaykh Sa’eed ibn Musfir narrates the following account:

I was walking out of the Haram (the Ka’bah in Makkah) when I saw a man begging from everyone that passed by him.

Just then a man who had parked his tinted Mercedes excessively close to the Haram in a designated VIP parking walked passed the beggar on his way to his car. As he pulled the keys out and the alarm did the ‘whup whup’, the beggar raised his finger to the sky and said, “Please, for the sake of Allah!”

Trying to end the moment and avoid a dip into the pocket, the Mercedes man said back, “Allah will provide!”

The beggar replied: “What! Did you at any moment think that I thought YOU were my provider! I’m not asking for your provision, I KNOW Allah will provide for me.”

Shaykh Misfir continues. The two stood there staring at one another for a moment and then the Mercedes tinted windows came up and the man drove away.

A needy African sister who was sitting nearby on the street selling textiles was moved by the incident. She did not have much, but from what she did have, she pulled out 1 riyal and placed it in the hands of that beggar.

He smiled and went on his way.

Meanwhile the Mercedes man could not drive on with the choke of guilt.

He turned the car around and made his way through the crowd to the place where the incident had happened.

Shaykh Misfir says…I saw with my own eyes as he pulled out a 10 riyal bill from his briefcase to give to the beggar. But he looked left and right and could not find him. What was he to do? He had already pulled out the bill to give for the sake of Allah and was not going to put it back. So he found the nearest person he thought was worthy of the bill, placed it in her lap and went on his way.

The 10 riyals sat in the lap of the sister that had given the beggar!

Hazrat Abu Hurairah reported that Rasulullah has said that Allah’s injunction is:

“O my servants ! Spend and you will be given.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas reported that Rasulullah has said that “Charity does not diminish wealth.” [Tibrani]

(Source: Al-Islaah publications)

Can You Sleep when the Wind Blows?

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received A steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer.

“Are you a good farm hand?” the farmer asked him.

“Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!”

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down.

Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.

We secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of Allah. We don’t need to understand, we just need to hold on to His commands in order to have peace in the middle of storms.

Favours of Allah

We sometimes pray for a situation that we don’t realise is worse for us than what we are in, so the Almighty through His Mercy keeps it away from us & we keep thinking our prayers are not answered.

The favours of the Almighty upon us are countless.

Mufti Ismail Menk


Taqwa is one of those unique words in the Arabic language that cannot simply be translated into a word or two in English. As a result, many translators struggle to bring out the real meaning of the word taqwa.

Literally, taqwa means to protect and could be that one protects himself from the Wrath of Allah by protecting himself from indulging in things that Allah forbids. In the Shariah, taqwa as used in the Quran repeatedly, signifies the obedience to the Rules of Islam while avoiding Haraam, and additionally abstaining from unsuitable things in life.

Taqwa in the Qur’an

Taqwa is mentioned in the Qur’an many times over and Allah has ordered each and every Muslim to have taqwa.

A couple of verses that mention taqwa are presented below:

“It is not taqwa that you turn your faces toward East or West, but it is taqwa to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book and the Messengers, to spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts you have made; to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity. Those are the truthful and those are the muttaqun.” [Qur’an 2:177]

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Qur’an 49:13]

Taqwa in Ahadith

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The most common thing which leads people to Paradise is taqwa of Allah and good conduct, and the most common thing which leads people to the Hell Fire is the mouth and the private parts.” [Tirmidhi]

Tafseer ibn Kathir mentions that Atiyah As-Sa’di said the Propeht (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The servant will not acquire the status of those with taqwa until he abandons what is harmless out of fear of falling into that which is harmful.” [Ibn Majah, Tirmizi]

Sayyiduna Ali (R.A) defined Taqwa as being the ‘fear of Jaleel (Allah), acting upon the tanzeel (Quran), being content with qaleel (little), and preparing for the day of raheel (journeying from this world).

Hadrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A) once asked Hadrat Ibn Ka’ab (R.A) the definition of taqwa. In reply Hadrat Ibn Ka’ab asked, “Have you ever had to traverse a thorny path?” Hadrat Umar replied in the affirmative and Hadrat Ka’ab continued, “How do you do so?”

Hadrat Umar said that he would carefully walk through after first having collected all loose and flowing clothing in his hands so nothing gets caught in the thorns hence injuring him. Hadrat Ka’ab said, “This is the definition of taqwa, to protect oneself from sin through life’s dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey unscathed by sin.”

Hadrat Hasan Basri said, “Taqwa is the basis of Deen. Desire and greed destroy this basis.”

Hadrat Maulana Hafiz Ghulam Habib (r.a.) used to define taqwa as the shunning of everything and anything that causes a deficiency in one’s relationship with Allah.

May Allah give all the Muslimeen the ability to cultivate taqwa in our lives and grant us paradise, Ameen.