Monday, May 31, 2010

The superiority of the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings)







Quran and Prophetic narrations of the superiority of the companions of the Prophet (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) please continue reading:


“God has turned towards the Prophet and the Emigrants and the Helpers who followed him in the hour of difficulty, after the hearts of a part of them well-nigh swerved aside; then He turned towards them; surely He is Gentle to them, and All-compassionate.”
The Repentance 9:117



“God was well pleased with the believers when they were swearing oath to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity upon them, and rewarded them with a manifest victory.”
Victory 48:18



“And the Outstrippers, the first of the Emigrants and the Helpers, and those who followed them in good-doing -- God will be well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him; and He has prepared for them gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to dwell forever and ever; that is the mighty triumph.”
The Repentance 9:100



“It is for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their habitations and their possessions, seeking bounty from God and good pleasure, and helping God and His Messenger; those - they are the truthful ones. And those who made their dwelling in the abode, and in belief, before them; love whosoever has emigrated to them, not finding in their breasts any need for what they have been given, and preferring others above themselves, even though poverty be their portion. And whoso is guarded against the avarice of his own soul, those - they are the prosperous.”
Exile 59:8-9



“God has sent down the fairest discourse as a Book, consimilar in its oft-repeated, whereat shiver the skins of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts soften to the remembrance of God. That is God’s guidance, whereby. He guides whomsoever He will; and whomsoever God leads astray, no guide has he.”
The Troops 39:23



“Only those believe in Our signs who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate and proclaim the praise of their Lord, not waxing proud. Their sides shun their couches as they call on their Lord in fear and hope; and they expend of that We have provided them.”
The Prostration 32:15-16



“Of the believers are men who are true to that which they covenanted with Allah. Some of them have paid their vow by death (in battle), and some of them still are waiting; and they have not altered in the least; That Allah may reward the true men for their truth, and punish the hypocrites if He will, or relent toward them (if He will). Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” The clans 33:23-24



It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ud that the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "The best of the people are my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them."
Bukhari 2652 and Muslim 2533

Three generations mentioned here the companions, the successors and the followers of the successors.


The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessing upon him) said, "When my Companions are mentioned then refrain." (Tabarani)

This is the best policy when the companions are mentioned in an disrespectful manner.


Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, "Do not abuse my Companions, do not curse my companions. I swear by Him who possess my soul, that if any of you were to spend gold equal to (mountain of) Uhud in charity, it would not equal a few handfuls of one of them or even half of that." (Bukhari 5 and Muslim 221)




The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "The sign of faith is love of the Ansar and the sign of hypocrisy is the hatred of Ansar." Bukhari and Muslim.





The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, "Whoever abuses my Companions, upon them is the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people." (Tabarani)




Abdullah ibn Mughaffal narrates that the Messenger of God (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, “Allah, Allah, refrain from using bad language about my Companions! Allah, Allah, refrain from using bad language about my Companions! Do not make them a target of your attacks after me! Whoever loves them loves them on account for his love of me; whoever hates them; hates them on account of his hatred to me. Whoever hurts them hurts me; whoever hurts me “hurts” Allah.” (Tirmidhi 58, Ibn Hibban 9:189, Imam Ahmed 5:57)





The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, “The Stars are a means of security for the heavens. When they are scattered, what was promised from the heavens fall. I am the means of security for the companions. When I leave the world, what was promised for my companions will befall them. My Companions are a means of security for my nation. When they leave the world, what was promised for my nation befall them.” (Muslim 207)

The Prophet (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, "Allah chose me and choose for me companions then made from them ministers from the helpers and the Asshar (son in laws); whoever curses them has the curse of Allah, the angels and the people upon them. And Allah will not accept anything from them on the day of judgement." (Al-Haytami in Al-Mujama Az-Zawaid, Tabarani and Al-Hakim).

These are some Quranic passages and Prophetic narrations that speak about the virtue of the Companions. This is by no means the only list, this is just an attempt to remind our hearts about their virtues. Individual narrations about the virtues of particular Companions would be enough to fill this blog up!


For further reading about the companions read the section on the Companions (from p.369 onwards) in M. Fethullah Gulen’s book Muhammad the Messenger of God (my Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings). Also try Encyclopaedia of Muhammad's Women Companions by Sheikh Hisham Kabbani and The Companions of the Prophet by Abdulwahid Hamid, it’s in two volumes.

Imam Ahmad said, "If you see anyone speaking ill of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, doubt his Islam."

Also note that cursing the companions is a major sin but someone does not leave Islam by doing such a wretched thing. They are like a ballet dancer on a knife edge spinning on the spot! The rank of the companion is something no one can attain because this has already been decided.


(The picture is of the grave of the Companion Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) in Turkey.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How we should react to the slander of the Messenger of God


(may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him)



History has many events that we need to avoid and many lessons that we need to take admonition from. Only when we are honest with ourselves can we realise that history is there for a reason and this is to learn from previous mistakes. The slander of the Last Messenger of God (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) goes on but how shall or should we react? We need to look at the character of who they are slandering in order to learn how to react.


Slander


How absurd it is when we hear slander in his name, especially when he never resorted to slandering anyone. How absurd it is when we see those who should show respect to him say words that are not befitting any normal person. How shall we deal with such people who slander the beloved of over a billion people?

“Those who annoy God and His Apostle - God has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating punishment.” The Clans 33:57

Those who slander him are throwing themselves into a raging inferno and no sane person would want to do that. If you look at the people who are slandering him, then you can see that they are low people themselves. So what else should you expect from low people?

The Quranic passage (above) comes after the famous verse of salutations upon the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings be upon him), which bears some thought. Also note that the verse does not say those who harm but it says those who annoy. The Arabic word used أذى which means to suffer damage or harm (Hans Wehr p.12). So those who do more than annoy like slander will recieve something worse! This is a dangerous game and those who slander him are not going to have a good end.


Our response

We must follow the one who gave us instructions, the one who we claim to follow, and the one who taught the world how to live again. It is only through this that we can see the blessings of the things we have in this time.

He dealt with slander, hurt, lies, stones and all those things that people threw at him. Can we not learn that acting like wounded animals and attacking back in a similar or worse manner is proving our critics right when they slander us? They claim we are violent then we riot when they insult him. We need to have dignified responses to those who slander and react in a way that does not prove their point. The list goes on and on.

Who is in control? Us or the slanders? If we react like they want us to, then they are in control not us! They say something and we back it up! We may not be able to control their actions but we are in control of our own reactions; and if we are in control then we should act with dignity.

The accusation that Islam is violent has no basis for an arguement. The total number of dead in all the battles of the Muslims in ten years of Medina was one thousand. (See M. Fethullah gulens book Muhammad Messenger of God.) That number is nothing compared to the numbers that are killed in one day in some parts of the world today.

Our defence needs to be in proportion to their accusations and we have to do it in a calm and constructive way. We cannot respond in a way that bellies his teachings. They have to be in line with his way, with his word and his actions. And not in accordance to our ways and manners or else we will fail to defend him and make ourselves look like the stereotypes that the media paint so vividly.

Look at the event of Taif and how the whole town was encouraged to stone him, hurt him and throw him. His sandles stuck to his feet because of the blood that reached there but that did not make him curse them.

One of the companions in battle requested that he curse the disbelievers and he refused saying, "I was not sent as a curser." (Muslim).

After he came back from the battle of Uhud and he was bleeding from several wounds his daughter Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) cursed the pagans and he whilst his wounds were being attended to, he made the following supplication, "O' Allah, forgive my people because they do not know."

Some of these people who had hurt him became Muslim afterwards, because of his mercy. In the past great enemises of Islam became Muslim because of this mercy, but if we look now this door is closed because we have shut it. Have we tried to understand those who have geninue problems in our area? Problems that have nothing do with our religion but because they see Muslims doing it then they think it is Islam. We have a lot of work to do if we are going to break down some barriers.

We also must think that making a big fuss about certain issues can make something small into something big. We have seen many 'no talent clowns' become famous by attacking the Muslims. What's worse is that some of us made such a big issue about some of their slander that it became headline news which made the matter worse. If speaking about things makes things better then speak but most of the time speaking about them makes the matter worse. Then we should stay silent and let the dogs bark; they will soon get bored!

These people who are drawing cartoons are just trying to make names for themselves and thats all it is. They will try any method to achieve their goal and if we make a big fuss then we fall into their hands and these clowns get the notoriety they crave.


In short we cannot act like they do, we must act like he did. This is by no means easy it is very difficult but we must bear in mind that they may be one person wanting to listen to us but because of our reactions they turned away. We missed the chance to defend him and we lost the chance to reach out.


Our challenge, as normal people, is to defend when we know how to and to refer to someone else when we do not. Some of us are facing this on a daily basis and others face it rarely but we need to know that many who attack him will not listen to reason. So if we are able to defend then do so and if you are not then do not let your ear become their audience because all some people need is an audience.

The scholars will defend his name in their own ways and we must support those who defend him. We hear and see so much slander in our times people make up the most ridiculous things and make others believe them.


Recently there was a slanderous book about him that was published and it reached the best seller lists. No one spoke up about it and the actual refutation of the book was from a Christian author which seemed strange at the time. But the shield of defence is given to those worthy and if they do not use it then it is passed down until it is used by someone. In this case it was a Christian author.

Freedom of speech is not freedom to insult millions because if it is then it is unfair; as it is freedom for some and not others. Or is it just a concept for some to use as reason that they can insult whoever and hide behind this but if others challenge this then can be imprisioned! Is that the type of freedom we are talking about!

Sometimes we feel sorry for those people who cannot see what the average Muslim can see that the Messenger of God (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) is our best example and insulting him is something so abhorrent that it makes us sick. How can someone say such a thing? Are we really that lost?

How many us hear a hadith and do not follow it up? How many of us hear a hadith and try to worm our way out of following it? How many of us hear hadith and say it is not a hadith because it is weak! So are the disbelievers insulting him because some of us are? Is this not the same as insulting him? They insult him not because they are rejecting him but because they are rejecting us. And our collective failure to explain who he is knows no bounds.

Our reactions to these events must be measured, appropriate and in line with his teachings or else we make things worse than they already are. Shouting and screaming about this in public places of peace is devisive but this is not the way of the one we are supposed to be defending!!

Also I pray that all those who do not know him realise what we know and if they do then their pens will weep tears of blood.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Abd al-Rahman Al Sufi (d.986)

Here are some links to another lost scholar of Islam that the modern world owes an unpayable debt to.

"He identified the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is visible from Yemen, though not from Isfahan; it was not seen by Europeans until Magellan's voyage in the 16th century.[1][2] He also made the earliest recorded observation of the Andromeda Galaxy in 964 AD; describing it as a "small cloud".[3] These were the first galaxies other than the Milky Way to be observed from Earth."

http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/Bios/alsufi.html

http://seds.org/messier/more/m031_alsufi.html

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/A/Al-Sufi.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Rahman_al-Sufi

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The life of this world/Dunya




The life of this world


The greatest veil that mankind is faced with, on a daily basis, is the world. The world is a passing place in which we will dwell for a certain time, then we leave it at an appointed time. Yet so many people limit our vision into thinking that the life of this world is the be all and end all. We desire so much wealth and property that this desire can never be satiated. We consume vast quantities of food, sweets that are richer and richer without concern for our health. We waste energy by misdirection and waste our lives chasing false dreams.

We seek everything for the sake it of it. We fight, we argue, we even kill for the sake of it. Yet have we really thought about why we are here? We are not meant to live sixty or seventy plus years without thinking for ourselves. One of the major problems that we face is that many people think like this and it is not easy to break this cycle. And in some cases only a calamity will really make us think about our situation. Otherwise we will remain as asleep as the children in cots fast asleep as the world turns and we are none the wiser.

We need to wake up. It is as simple as that we have to wake up. This world is a place of treachery that we will waste our whole lives without giving it any real consideration. What am I talking about? The real reason for our existence.


Rejecters of the afterlife

The rejections of those who do not believe in the afterlife are recorded in the Quran. The following is one such rejection.

“And they say, ’There is only our present life; we shall not be raised.” (The Cattle 6:29)

For some people this world is it, there is nothing else besides. They die and that’s it nothing else happens except that their bodies root in their graves. This is also what they use as justification to commit many sins ‘you only live once’ is a common phrase. Well you do but what you do in this lifetime will result in you being rewarded for eternity or punished. Muslims should not get stuck into repeating some of the nonsense that they hear from disbelievers.

“What, did you think that We created you only for sport, and that you would not be returned to Us?” (The Believers 23:115)

This life is not just for us to enjoy and gather masses of wealth. This world has a purpose and those who have forgotten their purpose need to read this carefully.

“I created the jinn and humankind only that they worship Me.” (The Winnowing Winds 51:56)

That is the reason for your existence and that is what we have to aspire to. Aspiring to a level of worship that we see the great men of God perform. You only have one chance at this life and when it is over we are out of time. We will not be given a second chance after that.

“If you could see when they are stationed before the Fire, and they say, ’Would that we might be returned, and then not cry lies to the signs of our Lord, but that we might be among the believers!’” (The Cattle 6:27)

When we have died we cannot barter ourselves into paradise or barter our way out of hell. Once we have died our faith and action are now sealed.

“As to those who reject Faith, and die rejecting,- never would be accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though they should offer it for ransom. For such is (in store) a penalty grievous, and they will find no helpers.” The Family of Imran 3:91

“And let me not be in disgrace on the Day when (men) will be raised up; "The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, "But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart.” (The Poets 26:88-89)

So all the Dunya that you have gathered up all your lives, all those thousands of millions of pounds that you have been saving up is worth nothing now. What was the point? It cannot save or help you now. We could not see beyond that pound or that dollar we were so busy earning to think is this all there is to life?

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, “Love of the world is source of all errors.”  (Ibn Abi Dunya and Al-Bayhaqi)


The Dunya is cursed

The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, “Allah, mighty and majestic, has not created anything more odious to himself than the world.” Ibn Abi Dunya and Al-Bayhaqi

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, “The world is cursed and everything in it is cursed except that which is for Allah.” At-Tirmidhi. Ibn Majah has the following addition, “Except the remembrance of Allah and a teacher and a student.”

So think, if Allah curses something does it have any value? It has no value at all.

Sahal Ibn Saad (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessing upon him) say, “If Allah, the Exalted, considered the world to be equal to a wing of a gnat then he would not have given a disbeliever a sip of water.”  (At-Tirmidhi 2323 graded Hassan Sahih)

The above narration confused me for many years. What does it mean? It means that the world is worthless and if it was worth a wing of a gnat then he would not have given it to a disbeliever!

People seem to be under the illusion that the more that Allah loves a person the more Dunya that person has. This is just rubbish because this narration proves that if Allah gives Dunya (anything worldly) to a disbeliever then he has given him nothing of value! In fact, he has given him something worthless. So don’t think that making the numbers of your bank balance increase means anything. The world is worthless and it is not linked to how much Allah loves a person.


Do not preoccupy yourself with the world

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, “Do not busy your hearts by remembering the world.” Al-Bayhaqi

If you head for the afterlife then you will lose some Dunya but that is nothing compared to the everlasting reward of doing something for the afterlife.


What have you lost?

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, “Whoever loves the world harms his afterlife; whoever loves the afterlife harms his world. So the effect remains on what passes.” Imam Ahmed, Tabarani, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim

What have you lost when you lose Dunya? Nothing. You came into the world naked and are leaving in a white cloth. Everything that you were given is on loan to be returned after a while. Your family, your spouse, your children, you belongs, your home, everything will be given back when you leave and it will be given back. So do not weep over what has gone because what has gone is never going to come back. So have a good opinion that it will be replaced with something better and move on. Remember what was decreed for you was always going to be and what was never yours was never meant to be; no matter how much you try.

Imam Al-Mawlud said in Matharat Al-Qulub (p.36 Trans Sheikh Hamza Yusuf), “Realise also that blameworthy love of this world is what is solely for the benefit of the self.”

Please note we are not saying that you should sit at home, give up your job, sell all your property then give it away in charity. There is no blame upon you to have that amount of dunya that your worldly status is at but do not desire more than that. Yes, you need wealth to feed your family and children etc. But it should not be excessive or extravagant.



Ponder the following story about the Boatman


Imagine that you are on a boat in the middle of the sea. The boat has a hole in it and you know it will sink one day. You can put water out, on your left which is the dunya but the water that you bail out on the left comes back in. You know it makes no difference but you do not do anything.


If you bail the water on the right side, it turns into ice and you can build on it, as much as you want.


In the world, everything needs re-building, repairing and attention. Some things need to be cleaned then constantly checked and re-checked. The man in the boat is each one of us. We know working for the dunya weighs the boat down further and could cause us to sink. And we know that bailing the water on the right will give us a chance to escape the sea because we will be able to build something solid. That’s the difference the world is something that is ephemeral something useless and the afterlife has no end.




We can build what we want there but we have to start here to make sure we have got something to go to when the boat finally sinks.



Final note

We live in the Dunya and we are here for a fixed period that is unknown to us but that does not mean this world is the be all and end all. This world is a stopping place that we need to stock up on supplies before we pass on into the afterlife. This world is temporary and the afterlife is the place of permanence. What are we stocking up on? Sound belief and righteous actions. As these are the only things that we will take with us to our graves.

Yahya Ibn Muadh (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The life of this world is the wine of satan, and whoever is intoxicated by it only wakes up once he is amongst the hordes of the dead, lamenting among the losers.” (Purification of the Heart Various p.142)



For an explanation of the Prophetic narration, “The world is a prison of the believer and the paradise of the disbeliever,” please see the link.
http://sheikhynotes.blogspot.com/2009/10/sheikh-atabek-shukurov.html

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Silver Spoon theory





I was sat with a scholar when a good natured brother came and asked him a question. “Why are Muslims who come into Islam more religious than those who are born Muslims?” At that moment the lesson re-started and there was no time to answer the question.

This question was something that bothered me for months and I began to wonder, 'why were people who had come into Islam are more religious than those who were born Muslim?' In many cases, born Muslims have failed to grasp some concepts that new Muslims have no problem with.

One of my friends once said that scholars who were not born Muslim but who entered Islam, then became scholars displayed Islam better than those who were born Muslim. I did not agree with him here but because of his limited access to scholars I could understand where he was coming from.

After more months of pondering the answer was given to me. Like the child who is born into the riches of his parents they do not know how difficult it was for their parents to attain their wealth. We call those who are born wealthy as having a silver spoon in their months. Then compare this to those who work hard and struggle to attain wealth. They know how difficult it was for them to attain the wealth that they got through hardship. So they appreciate it more and spend it wisely. As for the one born with the silver spoon, they do not appreciate the struggle, so spend their money without a care.

Similarly, a person who is born Muslim sometimes does not realise the immense blessing it is to be born a Muslim hence some of them do not practice like others. So when a person accepts Islam and becomes Muslim then they appreciate the blessings and practice the religion as much as they can.

This is my silver spoon theory and its just a theory so do not get upset!

Of course there are exceptions to this and there are many people who this does not concern. I hope it has answered the question!