Advice To Muslims: A Parable Of A Horse In A Well

16 07 2009

 

There once was a horse that fell into an abandoned well. His owner wanted to get him out but when he calculated the cost and effort and contemplated what he would have to do and everything the task would involve and the result of that, he came to a conclusion. He figured that the horse is too old and the well is abandoned. So, it would be easier just to buy a new horse and fill up the old well.  Therefore, the plan was made.

The man went around to his neighbors and asked them to help him.  So, they all gathered at the well and began shoveling dirt onto the horse. Well, the horse started going crazy, whining and sreaming and stomping. Suddenly, the sound dissappeared. The horse’s owner leaned over the well and looked down. He was amazed at what he saw.

Everytime a person dumped dirt onto the horse, he shook it off, when the dirt fell to the ground he stomped it . The more dirt they dumped on him the more he shook it off and stomped, rising up.  The horse continued doing that until he finally made it to the top  and jumped out of the well.

Brothers and sisters, this is exactly like life.  This is exactly what Muslims have to go through. People are dumping dirt on you all the way from A to Z and you continue to rise by shaking it off and ignoring it. People have nothing but to bury you. It could be from your own family, friends, or your enemies. As long as you are with Allah (SWT) you will run into people who will definatley do that. And what is your job?

Your job is to be patient.  Your job is to ignore. Your job is to shake it off like nothing happend. When someone insults you, when someone says something negative about you, know that you are with Allah (SWT). No one can do anything to you and the more people attack you the more you rise up.

And also remember that,  people don’t attack a tree without fruit. They attack the tree with the fruit. They throw the stones to get the fruit out of that tree.

So, there is some benefit in that when you have something good, people will attack you. When you don’t have anything good, why should they talk about you? Why should they demean you? Why should they put you down? You are nothing. But when you are someone people will attack that.

Leave all the worries and burdens everything you you have and remember every calamity and problem you face is like a handful of dirt. Shake it off and rise with your actions and you will find yourself on top. The best time to find yourself on top is the Day of Judgement. Make your heart free of worries. Make your mind free of stress and live your life simple.

watch the full lecture here: http://www.sunnahfollowers.net/multimedia/detail.php?pid=984

Taken from a Khutbah by Shaykh Hasan Khalil @www.sunnahfollowers.net. Slightly modified to make the story flow in print form.

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My Sister Qamar Has Returned from Umrah and posted up her experience (and pics!!!)

14 04 2009

Insh’Allah you can check it out here:

http://alqamardesigns.wordpress.com/

May Allah accept from her and her family and us all. ameen!





Everyone Speaks of Good Things-

19 03 2009

Abdullah b. Mas’ûd – May Allah be pleased with him – said:

Everyone speaks of good things. It is those whose words and deeds match who have acquired their share. Those whose words and deeds do not match have only reproached themselves.

Ibn Al-Mubârak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqâ`iq Vol.1 p.153.





If I Were Courageous or Stupid

17 03 2009

If I were couragous I would say everything on my mind. If I were couragous I would just let it fly and burn my bridges beyond repair. It shows toughness to hold your ground and argue unti the other person is tired of hearing your voice. Or does it? Is it courage or stupidity?

I bite my tongue more times in a day than I can count.  By no means am I perfect or immune to an outburst now and then. But in my opinion, holding your tongue takes more courage than wielding it as a sword. Of course, it all depends on the circumstances. But really, how many good reasons do we have to argue incessantly? No, mostly we make up reasons and we create our own little soap opera dramas to keep us entertained and make us feel special. How sad.

Just because I don’t lash out at others doesn’t mean I hold things inside and let them fester. On the contrary, I unload all that is on my mind when I’m angry and upset. Not to my best friend, not to my husband, not to my mentor but to Allah (SWT).  Take it to the prayer rug. That’s where you will find the only true relief and peace of mind.  Hasbi Allahu Wa Nimal Al Wakil   ”Allah Alone is Sufficient for us,and He is the Best Disposer of affairs(for us).”(3:173)

 

Narrated by Abu Musa Transmitted by Sahih BukhariSome people asked Allah’s Apostle (Sal-allahu-aleihi-wassallam), “Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?” He replied, “One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.”

 

Narrated byAslam Malik transmitted it in al-Muwatta.(Mishkat)

One day when Umar went in to visit AbuBakr as-Siddiq and found him pulling his tongue, he said, “Stop! Allah forgive you!” AbuBakr replied to him, “This has brought me down to dangerous places.”

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah transmitted it. (Mishkat)

Allah’s Messenger (Sal-allahu-aleihi-wassallam) said, “Do you know the thing which most commonly brings people into Paradise? It is fear of Allah and good character. Do you know what most commonly brings people into Hell? It is the two hollow things: the mouth and the private parts.”

Narrated byAbuHurayrah Ahmad and Bayhaqi, in Shu’ab al-Iman, transmitted it. (Mishkat)

A man said, “Messenger of Allah (Sal-allahu-aleihi-wassallam), such and such a woman has a reputation for engaging to a great extent in prayer, fasting and almsgiving but she annoys her neighbours with her tongue.” He replied, “She will go to Hell.” He said, “Messenger of Allah (Sal-allahu-aleihi-wassallam), such and such a woman has a reputation for engaging to a small extent in fasting, almsgiving and prayer, but she gives pieces of curd as sadaqah and does not annoy her neighbours with her tongue.” He replied, “She will go to Paradise.”

So, maybe the  person percieved as the coward is  courageous after all and maybe failing to control our tongues in order to keep up a fake bravado is making us losers in this world and the Hereafter.  We lose in this world by alienating friends and family. Because, really, who likes to be around someone who is constantly running off at the mouth. And we lose in the Hereafter, because one who talks so much is bound to make many mistakes such as backbiting, slandering, harming others with his or her tongue. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. It’s easy to go along with someone who is backbiting or slandering and indulge in it yourself. It’s hard to step back in the face of an argument (especially when you know you have valid points) for the sake of keeping peace. But, as with anything good that we hope to acheive, we have to work for it. We have to struggle to overcome obstacles in order to reach the ultimate bliss, Paradise.

 The Prophet (saw) said “Whoever can guarantee me two things I can guarantee them Paradise.” The companions asked “What O Messenger of Allah?” He replied “(That he can control) What is between his jaws (his tongue) and his legs (private parts).” (Bukhari)





Categorize The People In Your Life

16 02 2009

Unnecessary companionship is a chronic disease that causes much harm. How often have the wrong kind of companionship and intermixing deprived people of Allâh’s generosity, planting discord in their hearts which even the passage of time-even if it were long enough for mountains to be worn away-has been unable to dispel. In keeping such company one can find the roots of loss, both in this life and in the next life.

A servant should benefit from companionship. In order to do so he should divide people into four categories, and be careful not to get them mixed up, for once one of them is mixed with another, then evil can find its way through to him:

The FIRST category are those people whose company is like food: it is indispensable, night or day. Once a servant has taken his need from it, he leaves it be until he requires it again, and so on. These are the people with knowledge of Allâh-of His commands, of the scheming of His enemies, and of the diseases of the heart and their remedies- who wish well for Allâh, His Prophet saw and His servants. Associating with this type of person is an achievement in itself.

The SECOND category are those people whose company is like a medicine. They are only required when a disease sets in. When you are healthy, you have no need of them. However, mixing with them is sometimes necessary for your livelihood, businesses, consultation and the like. Once what you need from them has been fulfilled, mixing with them should be avoided.

The THIRD category are those people whose company is harmful. Mixing with this type of person is like a disease, in all its variety and degrees and strengths and weaknesses. Associating with one or some of them is like an incurable chronic disease. You will never profit either in this life or in the next life if you have them for company, and you will surely lose either one or both of your deen and your livelihood because of them. If their companionship has taken hold of you and is established, then it becomes a fatal, terrifying sickness.


Amongst such people are those who neither speak any good that might benefit you, nor listen cloesly to you so that they might benefit from you. They do not know their souls and consequently put their selves in their rightful place. If they speak, their words fall on their listeners’ hearts like the lashes of a cane, while all the while they are full of admiration for and delight in their own words.


They cause distress to those in their company, while believing that they are the sweet scent of the gathering. If they are silent, they are heavier than a massive millstone-too heavy to carry or even drag across the floor. 

All in all, mixing with anyone who is bad for the soul will not last, even if it is unavoidable. It can be one of the most distressing aspects of a servant’s life that he is plagued by such person, with whom it may be necessary to associate. In such a relationship, a servant should cling to good behaviour, only presenting him with his outward appearance, while disguising his inner soul, until Allâh offers him a way out of his affliction and the means of escape from this situation.

The FOURTH category are those people whose company is doom itself. It is like taking poision: its victim either finds an antidote or perishes. Many people belong to this category. They are the people of religious innovation and misguidance, those who abandon the sunnah of the Messenger of Allâh saw and advocate other beliefs. They call what is the sunnah a bid’a and vice-versa. A man with any intellect should not sit in their assemblies nor mix with them. The result of doing so will either be the death of his heart or, at the very best, its falling seriously ill.

Taken from the book “Purification of the Soul”, one of the great books on the matters of the heart. The book is a compilation of the works of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalî, Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawzî and Abî Hamîd al-Ghazalî





Be Like the Bee

1 02 2009

Yet another bee on flower by Joel  Olives.

 

by Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah

As people are content with the world, so you should be content with Allaah. As they are delighted by the world, so you should be delighted with Allaah. As they are intimate with their loved ones, so you should seek intimacy with Allaah. As they desire to know their kings and their leaders, and to draw near to them in order for honor and status to be conferred on them, so you should come to know Allaah and seek His love, this will lead to the utmost honor and distinction.

Said one of the zuhhåd: “I can never imagine that someone could hear about Paradise and Hellfire and can still waste an hour without performing any act of obedience to Allaah; neither remembrance, prayer, reciting Quraan nor an act of charity or kindness.”


Someone said to him: “I weep profusely.”

He replied: “That you laugh while confessing your sin is better than weeping yet being puffed-up with pride because of your deeds. For the deeds of a conceited person will never rise above his head.”
The person then requested: “Please counsel me.”

So he replied: “Leave the world to those who hanker after it, as they leave the Afterlife to its seekers. And be in this world as the bee: it eats only good, produces only good, and when it rests upon anything it neither ruins it nor deflowers it.”

Al Fawaa-id, Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) , Pg.187





Ten Tips To Be A Sucessful Muslim Husband

22 11 2008

muslim couple

Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “the best amongst you are the ones who are best to their wives.” So dear Muslim brother! Your obligations towards your wife are not limited to earning money and supporting her financially. A wife needs love from her husband, and emotional support too!

10 Tips on How to Be a Successful Husband

Note: Additions in brackets are notes from a sister.

Prepared by Muhammad Alshareef, reprinted from Islamway.com.

1) Dress Up

Dress up for your wife, look clean and smell good. When was the last time us men went shopping for designer pajamas? Just like the husband wants his wife to look nice for him, she also wants her husband to dress up for her too. Remember that Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would always start with Miswak when returning home and always loved the sweetest smells.

(Dress up for your wife when you are at home also. Some brothers only dress up when they go out and that is not a good practice. A husband should dress up for his wife when they are at home. it makes a wife feel special.)

2) Sweet Names

Use the cutest names for your wife. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) had nicknames for his wives, ones that they loved. Call your wife by the most beloved names to her, and avoid using names that hurt their feelings.

(Remember, you are your wife’s only boyfriend, and her only best friend. She does not go out seeking boyfriends and she shares a halal relationship with you. Love her unconditionally for the sake of Allah. And express your love to her. A woman likes to be told that she is loved. Call her from your work to make sure she is doing fine. I have seen my dad calling my mother several times a day, just to make sure she has been eating well. And my husband calls me at least twice from work to make sure I am doing well. These things are very important in a relationship.)

3) Reward Her Actions

Don’t treat her like a fly. We never think about a fly in our daily lives until it ‘bugs’ us. Similarly, a wife will do well all day – which brings no attention from the husband – until she does something to ‘bug’ him. Don’t treat her like this; recognize all the good that she does and focus on that.

(Whenever there is a fight or argument, just remember all the things she does for you. she cooks for you, she takes care of your home, she takes care of your children and the most important thing is that she guards her modesty. So do not upset her if she is upset with you. Hold her and tell her that you love her. Only your love can repel her anger. Communicate with her and discuss with her if there are any misunderstandings.)

4) Remain Silent

If you see wrong from your wife, try being silent and do not comment! This is one of the ways Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used when he would see something inappropriate from his wives (رضالله عنهنّ). It’s a technique that few Muslim men have mastered.

(Do not criticize her all the time. Trust her and trust her decisions. If she is doing something that you don’t like, or that goes against the teachings of Islam, then do advice her gently.)

5) Smile!

Smile at your wife whenever you see her and embrace her often. Smiling is Sadaqah and your wife is not exempt from the Muslim Ummah. Imagine life with her constantly seeing you smiling. Remember also those Ahadith when Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would kiss his wife before leaving for Salah, even if he was fasting.

(Do let your wife know that you are very happy and blessed to have her. A wife always wonder how her husband feels about her. She may have some insecurity about you, so make her feel secure. Always give her a hug whenever you come back from work. appreciate her and thank her for taking care of everything whole day. If you are not too tired, go out for star gazing for an hour or so.)

6) Acknowledge Her

Thank her for all that she does for you. Then thank her again! Take for example a dinner at your house. She makes the food, cleans the home, and a dozen other tasks to prepare. And sometimes the only acknowledgment she receives is that there needed to be more salt in the soup. Don’t let that be; thank her!

(Write thank you notes for her and place those notes in her books, her purse, her socks, and anything else that belongs to her. You can use your own creativity to thank her. You can thank her by writing something on a mirror with her lipstick, so that she can read it when she wakes up in the morning. You can also thank her by arranging a candlelight dinner AT HOME, you be the cook and let her rest. So far I have learned that a nice romantic dinner at home is much better than going out for dinner. This way a couple saves themselves from many fitnahs. You can thank her by writing her letters and emails. Remember, in Islam, everyday is special. So celebrate wife’s day with her, and do it very often without having a particular date. She will always wonder when the wife’s day is going to be.

You can also give her a certificate of appreciation, or a Best Wife Award on wife’s day. Do everything by yourself that day and let her rest, this way you will also know how difficult it could be to do household chores. Thank her by building a webpage for her, write a note there and a poem and then ask her to visit your webpage. Thank her by recording a voice message on a cd for your wife. She will love it!

Thank her by giving her a gift, and a gift does not have to be expensive. Be creative! You do not have to give her Roses, you can give her a leaf too! (My husband gave me a leaf once, instead of roses, and I was very happy and surprised, and I appreciated his creativity). So remember, thoughtful and creative gifts makes a wife feel secure and happy. Thank her by ordering a halal pizza for her, ask the restaurant to cut it in a heart shape and have it delivered with a personalized note. Thank her by thanking her in a family gathering. A woman likes it when her husband gives her attention.

If you visit her parents or your parents, hold her hands and tell your parents how happy you are after marriage. Give your wife an Islamic book as a gift after praying Tahajjud. Use your imagination and think about unique gifts. Remember, she does not need a diamond, she needs your sincerity and your heart, so always give her the gifts that are thoughtful. Whenever you do something to make her happy, observe her facial expressions and ask yourself about how you feel when you become her happiness.)

7) Ten Blessings From Allah

Ask her to write down the last ten things you did for her that made her happy. Then go and do them again. It may be hard to recognize what gives your wife pleasure. You don’t have to play a guessing game–ask her and work on repeating those things in your life.

(Also ask her to write down the things you did that she did not like, or the things you did that made her unhappy. Try to not do those things in future. If she falls ill, let her lay down, and read different surahs from Qur’an while placing your hand on her forehead. When I got sick, my husband recited Qur’an for me, it really helped a lot mashaAllah. Remember, a wife needs her husband the most when she is not feeling well. Take good care of her because a healthy wife makes a healthy family. Do not expect too much from her when she is sick.)

8) Validate her Feelings

Don’t belittle her desires. Comfort her. Sometimes the men may look down upon the requests of their wives. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) set the example for us in an incident when Safiyyah (رضالله عنها) was crying because, as she said, he had put her on a slow camel. He wiped her tears, comforted her, and brought her the camel.

(If there is a time of sadness, give her your shoulder to cry on. Hold her and tell her that everything will be fine. Alhamdulillah, my husband and my dad are amongst those Muslim husbands who would even have tears in their eyes if their wives are sad. Remember, a woman does not like to cry alone in a corner. She needs someone to hold her when she is sad, so never let her feel lonely. Remind her the verses from Qur’an that talks about Patience and Piety.)

9) Have Fun!

Be humorous and play games with your wife. Look at how Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would race his wife Aisha (رضالله عنها) in the desert. When was the last time we did something like that?

(A sense of humor plays a very important role in a marital relationship. Most women wish to have a husband who has a good sense of humor. Tell her decent and modest jokes that make her happy. A wife appreciates it very much if her husband makes her smile. You can play various games at home. Play with crayons, or have a pillow fight. Or hide different notes in your bedroom and ask her to find it. Think of different games you can both play. Let her win sometimes!

Adopt interesting hobbies, such as reading, cooking together and gardening (grow a surprise rose plant in your garden, when you have the first rose blooming, take her to the garden and show it to her. Newspaper and Sports Issue! Men like to watch sports, or read newspaper. Most Pakistani wives consider newspaper as their co-wives. So be very careful. If you are watching sports, turn the TV off if your wife comes around. Give her attention. Do not spend too much time reading newspaper, and do not read newspaper on the breakfast table, rather have an Islamic discussion. If you want to get her to like newspaper, then try to find something that interests her. Such as, try to find a news about Hijab. Or try to find a news about Muslim women for her.)

10) Be The Best

Always remember the words of Allah’s Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم): “The best of you are those who treat their families the best. And I am the best amongst you to my family.” Try to be the best! In conclusion: Never forget to make Dua to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) to make your marriage successful. And Allah ta’ala knows best!

(And once again: your wife is your best friend, and your girlfriend. Share everything with her. Remember she is your garment and you are her garment, so hide her faults and mistakes. Learn to forgive her. Also communicate a lot with her family. It really makes a difference if husband communicates with his in laws. It helps both husband’s and wife’s family to share a beautiful relationship. Respect her parents and show your love to her family. This will inspire her to love and respect your family. If her family is not muslim, do dawah to them in a beautiful way.)

Spend lots of time praying to Allah swt. Do fast often even if it is not Ramadan. Fasting brings patience and taqwah. Lead her in the prayer. There is nothing better than praying together. Remember Allah, so that Allah remembers you.

May Allah bless us and guide us all. Ameen!

References

Alshareef, Muhammad. “[10 Tips] How to Be a Successful Husband.” IslamWay. 24 Apr. 2007 <http://english.islamway.com/bindex.php?section=article&id=103>.

My Sister El Kawthar posted this first at: http://elkawthar.wordpress.com/ten-tips-towards-being-a-successful-husband/

Also check out her other posts in both Dutch and English!