Its not your will, it is Allaah’s.

Its amazing how many lessons one can learn from a single soorah and even more amazing is the fact that in Qur’aan, no matter how many times you read a soorah or an ayah, every single time – if you keep your mind clear and open – you will have grasped a new piece of knowledge from that same soorah/ayah! So anyway, I was reading the tafsir of soorat al-Kahf and when I came across these stories below, my heart was overcome with renewed reverence for Allaah subhanahu wa ta`ala. I mean, how fortunate are we subhan’Allaah to be Muslim and to know our Lord?!

So here goes:

It was recorded in the two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said:

(Sulayman bin Dawud (peace be upon them both) said: “Tonight I will go around to seventy women [according to some reports, it was ninety or one hundred women] so that each one of them will give birth to a son who will fight for the sake of Allaah.” It was said to him, [according to one report, the angel said to him] “Say: `If Allaah wills’“, but he did not say it. He went around to the women but none of them gave birth except for one who gave birth to a half-formed child.)

The Messenger of Allaah said, By the One in Whose hand is my soul, had he said, “If Allaah wills,” he would not have broken his oath, and that would have helped him to attain what he wanted.” According to another report, “They would all have fought as horsemen in the cause of Allaah.”

In the beginning of the tafsir of this soorah, he mentions the reason why this revelation was delayed for 15 days:

Ibn `Abbas said: “The Quraysh sent An-Nadr bin Al-Harith and `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah, and told them: “Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad, and describe him to them, and tell them what he is saying. They are the people of the first Book, and they have more knowledge of the Prophets than we do.” So they set out and when they reached Al-Madinah, they asked the Jewish rabbis about the Messenger of Allaah . They described him to them and told them some of what he had said. They said, ‘You are the people of the Tawrah and we have come to you so that you can tell us about this companion of ours.’ They (the rabbis) said, “Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, and if he answers them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allaah); if he does not, then he is saying things that are not true, in which case how you will deal with him will be up to you. Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was their story For theirs is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story And ask him about the Ruh (soul or spirit) — what is it If he tells you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as you see fit.”

 So An-Nadr and `Uqbah left and came back to the Quraysh, and said: “O people of Quraysh, we have come to you with a decisive solution which will put an end to the problem between you and Muhammad. The Jewish rabbis told us to ask him about some matters,” and they told the Quraysh what they were. Then they came to the Messenger of Allaah and said, `O Muhammad, tell us,’ and they asked him about the things they had been told to ask. The Messenger of Allaah said: “I will tell you tomorrow about what you have asked me.” But he did not say If Allaah wills.’ So they went away, and the Messenger of Allaah stayed for fifteen days without any revelation from Allaah concerning that, and Jibril, peace be upon him, did not come to him either. The people of Makkah started to doubt him, and said, Muhammad promised to tell us the next day, and now fifteen days have gone by and he has not told us anything in response to the questions we asked.”  The Messenger of Allaah felt sad because of the delay in revelation, and was grieved by what the people of Makkah were saying about him. Then Jibril came to him from Allaah with the Surah about the companions of Al-Kahf, which also contained a rebuke for feeling sad about the idolators.

Next time there’s something you wish for, or plan for, or intend to do, don’t forget to say Insha’Allaah or your gift will either be delayed or not given at all!


When feelings are hurt..

Al-Bukhari recorded that Usamah bin Zayd said that Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam rode a donkey with a saddle covered by a velvet sheet and let Usamah ride behind him (on the donkey). The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam wanted to visit Sa`d bin `Ubadah in Bani al-Harith bin al-Khazraj, and this occurred before the battle of Badr. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam passed by a gathering in which `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul was sitting, before `Abdullah bin Ubayy became Muslim. That gathering was made up of various Muslims as well as Mushriks, who worshipped the idols, and some Jews. `Abdullah bin Rawahah was sitting in that gathering. When the Prophet reached `Abdullah bin Ubayy, the donkey caused some sand to fall on the group. Then, `Abdullah bin Ubayy covered his nose with his robe and said, `Do not fill us with sand.’ The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam greeted the gathering with Salam, called them to Allaah and recited some of the Qur’aan to them.

`Abdullah bin Ubayy said, “O fellow! No other speech is better than what you said, if it was true! However, do not bother us in our gatherings. Go back to your place and whoever came to you, narrate your stories to him.”

`Abdullah bin Rawahah said, “Rather, O Messenger of Allaah! Attend our gatherings for we like that.” The Muslims, Mushriks and Jews then cursed each other, and they almost fought with each other. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam tried to calm them down, until they finally settled. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam rode his donkey and went to Sa`d bin `Ubadah, saying, “O Sa`d! Have you heard what Abu Hubbab said (meaning `Abdullah bin Ubayy) He said such and such things.” Sa`d said, “O Messenger of Allaah! Forgive and pardon him. By Allaah, Who sent down the Book to you, Allaah brought us the truth that you came with at a time when the people of this city almost appointed him king. When Allaah changed all that with the truth that He gave you, he choked on it, and this is the reason behind the behavior you saw from him.

Allaah said,

وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ أَذًى كَثِيراً

“And you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allaah.” [3:186]

Therefore, every person who stands for truth, enjoins righteousness and forbids evil, will be harmed in some manner. In such cases, there is no cure better than being patient in Allaah’s cause, trusting in Him and returning to Him.

– Tafseer Ibn Katheer.

If the Prophet of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam wasn’t spared of this, then who are we? And one of the reasons why the above narration touched me so much was the fact that many of us face this kind of trouble from not just non-Muslims but Muslims themselves.  So the next time your feelings are hurt, or someone says something awful to or about you, just remember the seerah of Rasool Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam: Forgive and forget. Truly, Allaah is on the side of the truthful and the patient.

Can we find a better Master other than Him?

ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا رَّجُلًا فِيهِ شُرَكَاءُ مُتَشَاكِسُونَ وَرَجُلًا سَلَمًا لِّرَجُلٍ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلًا ۚ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Allaah presents an example: a slave owned by quarreling partners and another belonging exclusively to one man – are they equal in comparison? Praise be to Allaah ! But most of them do not know.

[Soorat az-Zumar; 29]

Belonging exclusively to Allaah – What an honor subhan’Allaah!  For Allaah subhanahu wa ta`ala Himself to say this, this is a great, no its the greatest honor and blessing He so generously and lovingly bestowed upon us. To belong to the One Who is so full of Love, full of Mercy, Compassion, the One Who never sleeps or tires from watching over His slaves, the One Who descends to the lowest Heaven asking His slaves if they need anything, and that if they are in need of forgiveness He will forgive them. And that if they are in need of any wish, He will fulfill them – Subhaanaka ya Rabb! Can we find a better Master than the Him?

Have you ever tried to stay up in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep and the only company you have is of your mus-haf, the moon, and silence. You beseech Him, imploring Him for relief and right then and there, you are enveloped in peace, your heart is filled with certainty and tranquility. Can you find a better Master than Him?

La wAllaah there’s not a single being on the face of this earth or anywhere else in the universe who can compare to Him in His Love, Care and Compassion for His slaves.

In Fi Dhilaal al-Qur’aan Sayyid Qutb sums it up beautifully:

The one who has one master enjoys consistency and knows what is expected of him. His energy is spent in a consistent way and the road ahead of him is clear. The other, who has several masters, is always suffering anxiety and worry. He does not feel settled. He is unable to satisfy even one of his masters, let alone them all.

This comparison accurately describes the nature of believing in God’s oneness as opposed to the nature of idolatry. The one who believes in God’s oneness goes along his earth’s journey equipped with clear guidance, because his eyes are looking up to one guiding star in the sky. Thus his way is straight. He knows one source for life, strength and sustenance; harm and benefit; grace and deprivation. He sets on his straight way to this source, strengthening his ties with it. He is assured of his single goal and does not lose sight of it. Thus, his energy is streamlined, assured of his work’s objective. His feet are set firm on the ground while his gaze looks to God in heaven.

A few verses later, Allaah says:

أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ

Is not Allah sufficient for His Servant?

[Verse 36]

Although this ayah was revealed in relation to the scare tactics the disbelievers were using against RasoolAllaah sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, warning him against their false deities; its also a reminder to the believers in whatever hardship they may face.

Sayyid Qutb rahimahullaah says:

So, what can scare him when God is with him? What can generate any feeling of fear in him after he has taken the position of a servant of God and fulfilled the responsibilities that such aposition confers? Who can doubt God’s sufficiency for His servants when He is the Almighty who holds sway over all His creation?

So the lesson we take from here is that no matter what others may try to do in order to deter you from your goal, whether they slander you or even think of you as a no-match or inferior to them, there’s no reason to be disheartened because you have Allaah as your Master. Thus you become invincible and their petty games and threats are easy for you to shrug off.

Lessons from al-Ma`aarij: The Lock & Key

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا

Indeed, mankind was created anxious

إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا

When evil touches him, impatient

وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا

And when good touches him, withholding of it

إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّينَ

Except the observers of prayer

الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ

Those who are constant in their prayer

1.  هَلُوعًا is from the root: ه ل ع which has several meanings and some of which are: anxious, miserly, someone who loses hope over small matters, fretful, very impatient, etc.

2. جَزُوعًا is from the root: ج ز ع which is similiar to هَلُوعًا in meaning: to become agitated or irritated, to be extremely impatient, to display violent grief and it also means to cut or cut off [Lanes Lexicon].

For instance, in soorah Ibrahim Allaah says:

وَبَرَزُوا لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا فَقَالَ الضُّعَفَاءُ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعًا فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّغْنُونَ عَنَّا مِنْ عَذَابِ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ قَالُوا لَوْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ لَهَدَيْنَاكُمْ ۖ سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْنَا أَجَزِعْنَا أَمْ صَبَرْنَا مَا لَنَا مِن مَّحِيصٍ

“And they will come out [for judgement] before Allaah all together, and the weak will say to those who were arrogant, “Indeed, we were your followers, so can you avail us anything against the punishment of Allaah ?” They will say, “If Allaah had guided us, we would have guided you. It is all the same for us whether we show intolerance or are patient: there is for us no place of escape.”

3. مَنُوعًا is from the root: م ن ع and its meanings are: to withhold, to deny from access, to prevent, to abstain from, etc.

Allaah mentions these 3 sifaat that are innate to human beings and they were placed in our hearts as a trial for us, to see who can overcome these. The beautiful thing is that Allaah mentions right away the solution, the way to overcome these negative characteristics. And that is: salaah. Not just any salaah but the kind that is constant: << الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ >>

دائم: its meanings are: continued, to be prolonged, to extend, to remain or stay longer, to endure. And from amongst its meanings is also moderation.

Ibn Katheer in his tafseer gives 3 explanations for this:

1. It means that they [the performers of salaah] “guard its times and the elements obligatory in it. This was the opinion of Ibn Mas`ood, Masruq and Ibrahim an-Nakha`i.”

2. Second opinion is that “it means tranquility and humble concentration (in the prayer). This is similar to Allaah’s statement,

[قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ – الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلاَتِهِمْ خَـشِعُونَ ]

‘Successful indeed are the believers. Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.’


This was said by `Uqbah bin `Amir. From its meanings is the same terminology used to describe standing (still) water (Al-Ma’ Ad-Da’im). This proves the obligation of having tranquility in the prayer. For verily, the one who does not have tranquility (stillness of posture) in his bowing and prostrating, then he is not being constant (Da’im) in his prayer. This is because he is not being still in it and he does not remain (in its positions), rather he pecks in it (quickly) like the pecking of the crow. Therefore, he is not successful in performing his prayer. “

3. Constancy and moderation. Ibn Katheer lastly mentions that “the meaning here refers to those who perform a deed and are constant in its performance and consistent in it. This is like the hadeeth that has been recorded in the Sahih on the authority of `A’ishah that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said,

«أَحَبُّ الْأَعْمَالِ إِلَى اللهِ أَدْوَمُهَا»

“The most beloved deeds to Allaah are those that are most consistent, even if they are few.”

So in essence, Allaah listed the 3 characteristics are inherent to human beings but are present as a trial for us inorder to separate the successful ones from those who aren’t. The successful ones are those who a) guard their salaah, i.e. pray on time; b) who give the salaah its due right by completing all aspects of it for e.g. the qiyaam, the ruku`, the sujood, etc.. making sure that our posture throughout is still, serene and humble. To take our time when we bow down in humility and in praise and lastly; c) to be constant and consistent with our prayers.

Subhan’Allaah, how beautiful is His Kalaam and how soothing it is to the heart! The Qur’aan is truly a vast and deep chest of treasures, the more you dig, the more you come up with. Its like a lock and key. We are given the problems, along with answers so there’s no excuse, no reason to not implement.

Whenever we’re overcome by sadness or hardship, instead of exhibiting impatience and agitation, Allaah gives us the perfect fix: prayer. If you think about it, what does prayer constitute of? Praising Allaah, displaying humility, complete surrender in His Oneness and His Might, fearing Him and His Wrath, yet being hopeful of His Infinite Mercy, reaffirming our belief in Him and His Absolute Power. How can then one feel even the slightest bit of anxiousness or irritation?

The Believing Men and Women, Part I


إِنَّ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْقَانِتَاتِ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالصَّادِقَاتِ وَالصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّابِرَاتِ وَالْخَاشِعِينَ وَالْخَاشِعَاتِ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقَاتِ وَالصَّائِمِينَ وَالصَّائِمَاتِ وَالْحَافِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ وَالْحَافِظَاتِ وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْراً عَظِيماً

“Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allaah in Islam) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islamic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allaah), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allaah has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allaah has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord Allaah), the men and the women who give Sadaqat (i.e. Zakat, and alms, etc.), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadan, and the optional Nawafil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allaah much with their hearts and tongues (while sitting, standing, lying, etc. for more than 300 times extra over the remembrance of Allaah during the five compulsory congregational prayers) or praying extra additional Nawafil prayers of night in the last part of night, etc.) Allaah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).”

{al-Ahzaab; 35}

This verse was revealed after Umm Salamah radiyAllaahu `anha complained to the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam about the previous revelations being only about men.

It has been recorded by Imam Ahmad that Umm Salamah said: “I said to the Prophet , “Why is it that we are not mentioned in the Qur’aan as men are?” Then one day without my realizing it, he was calling from the minbar and I was combing my hair, so I tied my hair back then I went out to my chamber in my house, and I started listening out, and he was saying from the minbar:

“O people! Verily Allaah says: ‘Verily, the Muslims men and women…’ until the end of the ayah.”

Something that stands out in this verse is the mention of women alongside with men. We see feminists and the western media quick to label Islaam with being a misogynistic religion. Well, this verse being an epitome of equity between the two genders is a slap on their face.

Another lesson that we learn from this is the eagerness of the wives and (female) companions of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam had to compete with men in that which is good for their hereafter. We don’t see them complaining about not being able to work like men, rather, their concern is solely to seek the Pleasure of their Lord. They were women who had a vision and who made sure they had access to every avenue (as men) to gain the ultimate reward from Allaah (i.e. Paradise).

So Allaah mentions ten sifaat (characteristics) that the believers – both men and women – should have in order to achieve His forgiveness and the greatest of rewards, i.e. Jannah. These sifaat are our key to Jannah, so search your soul for them and try your utmost to not only develop these within yourselves but also perfect them.

Now, to derive maximum benefit from every word in this verse, I will dissect it into different parts by going over every sifah individually. The beauty of this ayah is that it starts with the core of everything that our religion is based on: Islaam (الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ) = submission to Allaah and then followed by Imaan (الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ). Only after that does Allaah bring up the other sifaat. There is great wisdom behind this and that is to ensure that our foundation is sound and strong so that it will be easier for us to implement the sifaat that follow in the rest of this verse. Once we submit to Allaah, and believe that there will be a Day of Reckoning, our minds automatically accept every commandment that comes from Allaah, without question or doubt.

الْمُسْلِمِينَ – is from the root س ل م and from amongst its meanings are: security, immunity, submission, obedience, without blemish and so on. Essentially, it means to submit and surrender to the commands of Allaah. The word سلا م which means peace, also comes from the same root. There are two things to learn from here:

1. A person will not attain peace until he submits himself or herself completely to His Creator. We can acquire as much secular knowledge as we want, read as many books on positive thinking or bask in a  mountain of wealth and luxuries, but our hearts will not be at peace until we surrender to Allaah, i.e. we testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

2. Secondly, a Muslim as described in a hadeeth mentioned in Kitaab al-Imaan in Saheeh al-Bukhaari, is one from who’s tongue and hands other Muslims are safe [ ‏ ‏المسلم من سلم المسلمون من لسانه ويده]. A grammatical rule of arabic is that when something is mentioned with a definite article, it is indicative of the most perfect meaning of the word. So the word المسلم eludes to the fact that the Muslim is what is described in the hadeeth.  Hence, a Muslim be it man or woman is one who does not harm another Muslim, physically or verbally. We guard each other’s honor, and provide one another safety and security from ourselves (tongues and hands) and others.

In a hadeeth narrated by `Imraan ibn Husayn states that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam said: “I looked into Paradise and I saw that the majority of its people were the poor. And I looked into Hell and I saw that the majority of its people are women.” (al-Bukhaari/ 3241, Muslim/2737)

This is because of our tongues. Very so often this organ prevents us from attaining that which is good and brings us nothing but distress when its void of the remembrance of Allaah. Al-Khattaabi said: “There would be great good in seclusion even were it to bring nothing more than safety from backbiting and from seeing evils which one cannot remove.”

With regards to the first point, we often think that saying the shahaadah is sufficient for entrance into Jannah but we are only deceiving ourselves. The saying of Wahb ibn Munabbih summarizes the above very well. He was once asked: “Is not the testification that ‘none has the right to be worshipped save Allaah’ the key to Paradise?” He replied: “Ofcourse, by every key has its teeth: if you bring a key that has teeth, the door shall open; but if not, it will not.” [Bukhaari, Kitaab Janaa’iz]

Tips for self-betterment:

1. Make a habit of renewing your Imaan every day. Every morning you wake up, renew your commitment with Allaah and every night before going to bed, take your soul and your deeds into account.

2. Be sure to never leave your salaah. Its an act of submission to Allaah so make every effort to pray on time and perfect your salaah. It is the key to improving your connection with your Creator.

3. Repent, repent, repent! You can never repent enough.

4. Avoid backbiting, gossip and unnecessary talk. If you are in a gathering of women thats full of gossip, excuse yourself and leave. Seclusion in a cave is better than sitting in company like that.

5. Some of the righteous Salaf have said that, it is a sign of the slaves fiqh (knowledge of the religion) that he concerns himself with enhancing the status of his Imaan when it experiences a decrease. So identify the things that decrease your Imaan and once you do, stay away from them. Likewise, keep yourself constantly busy with things that increase your Imaan.

You can also follow my series posted on MuslimahSource.

Lessons from al-Ma`aarij: In Pursuit of Love

One of the beauties of the Qur’aan is that you can be reading any ayah, and just by pondering over it you can derive so many lessons from it. Earlier today, I was contemplating over soorat al-Ma`aarij and came over several verses that really stuck with me. In this series insha’Allaah I will go over some lessons I learnt and hope that it benefits those who read it as much as it benefited me, and that it also encourages the reader to pick up their own copy of the Qur’aan, sneak out into some still and quietness and ponder over the magnificence of this Book. I’m not going to follow a specific sequence in terms of listing the lessons, therefore I will not be going in order of the verses of the soorah, rather I will be writing in order of what affected me the most.

Allaah says:

وَلَا يَسْأَلُ حَمِيمٌ حَمِيماً

يُبَصَّرُونَهُمْ يَوَدُّ الْمُجْرِمُ لَوْ يَفْتَدِي مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِئِذٍ بِبَنِيهِ

وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَأَخِيهِ

وَفَصِيلَتِهِ الَّتِي تُؤْويهِ

وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً ثُمَّ يُنجِيهِ

And no friend will ask of a friend. Though they shall be made to see one another – the Mujrim, (criminal, sinner, disbeliever, etc.) would desire to ransom himself from the punishment of that Day by his children. And his wife and his brother. And his kindred who sheltered him. And all that are in the earth, so that it might save him.

[Verses 10-14]

حميم‘ is from the root ح م م which means heat/fever and is also used for passion, or love and affection for a very close and dear friend. حمّةٌ can also be used instead of  حبّةٌ where م is the substitute for ب, for instance in this phrase:  هو من حمّةِ نفسي He is of the beloved of my soul’ [Lane’s Lexicon].

بصّر  means to see something and recognize it. Our state on the Day of Judgment would be such that even the object of our love and passion will ignore us despite recognizing us. That is because of the fear and torment of that Day. Everyone will be preoccupied with their own state, their own deeds.

My Reflections:

– Something that struck me hard was the ephemerality of human love. A mother’s love for her child, a wife’s love for her husband, love of siblings for each other, and the love of best friends for one another, is all transient. Our quest for that eternal love is nothing but phantasm, its futile because it doesn’t exist. There’s only One deity out there Who’s Love is forever enduring, and that is Allaah. The verses above teach us our priority in terms of love and relationships. That the common denominator in love in all relationships is Allaah, i.e. it should be solely for the sake of Allaah, otherwise it will bring us little to no benefit. When we say we love so and so for the sake of Allaah, we are essentially saying that no matter what the circumstance, seeking Allaah’s pleasure and fulfilling His rights over us takes precedence over everything and everyone else.

This leads to a further point of benefit and that is: staying away from the illusion of perfect love. There is no such thing as perfect love, therefore expecting perfection from our parents, spouses and friends is wrong. I want to refer here specifically to love between spouses. As humans, we are born with a certain longing in our hearts that we expect other humans to fulfill. And naturally we try to find that in the opposite gender. When we fail to find that perfection in a mere human, we find ourselves feeling utterly devastated and betrayed. What we don’t realize is that this longing belongs to our Creator, the One who nurtured us. We can only seek perfect happiness and love in Allaah, because expecting this from a human is placing a burden on him/her that they can never bear. Realizing that will help us minimize our expectations from each other and help preserve our relationships. I think it was Shakespeare who said:

“Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;

Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,

And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.

All men makes faults…”

All men make faults, but Allaah is faultless and flawless. He is Perfect, and perfection can only be expected of Him.

To continue..

“Is He not the One Who responds?” Part II

Imaam al-Qurtubi in his tafseer mentions the explanation of الْمُضْطَرَّ as such: “It means to be helpless and restless under some necessity, and that happens when someone does not have any support and friends. Hence, الْمُضْطَرَّ is that person who has lost all hopes from everyone and has turned to Allaah as the sole redresser of his woes.”

In his commentary on this verse, Ibn Katheer mentions a narration about a man of Balhajim said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what are you calling for?” He sallallaahu `alayhi wasallaam said:

أَدْعُو إِلَى اللهِ وَحْدَهُ الَّذِي إِنْ مَسَّكَ ضُرٌّ فَدَعَوْتَهُ كَشَفَ عَنْكَ، وَالَّذِي إِنْ أَضْلَلْتَ بِأَرْضٍ قَفْرٍ فَدَعَوْتَهُ رَدَّ عَلَيْكَ، وَالَّذِي إِنْ أَصَابَتْكَ سَنَةٌ فَدَعَوْتَهُ أَنْبَتَ لَك

“I am calling people to Allaah Alone, the One Who, if you call on Him when harm befalls you, will relieve you; and when you are lost in the wilderness, you call on Him and He brings you back: and when drought (famine) strikes, you call on Him and He makes your crops grow.”

A saheeh hadeeth of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam states: “Three supplications are surely accepted, in which there is no room for doubt. One, from an oppressed person, two, by a traveler and three, from a father against his children.”

Imaam al-Qurtubi comments on this hadeeth saying: In all these three cases the situation is the same as the supplication of a الْمُضْطَرَّ because when an oppressed person calls Allaah after having been frustrated from mundane support and help, his condition is no different than that of a الْمُضْطَرّ. Similarly, a traveler is away from his dear ones, hence helpless while in journey. Likewise, a father cannot plead for something against his children because of his paternal love and affection for them, unless he is totally dejected and heart-broken and calls Allaah to save himself from the misery of sufferings.

“..أَءِلَـهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ..”

“Is there any god with Allaah? Little is that you remember!”

An example of a person with a terminal illness comes to mind. When we are sick, the first thing we do is approach the medicine cabinet, without even giving a thought to the One Who cures everything. We rely on medicine, doctors and compassion from people so much that we miss out on the Compassion of the Most Merciful One. If only we had our priorities right, and if our hearts were in the right place, we would save ourselves alot of heartache.

In the next ayah {v. 63}, Allaah says:

أَمَّن يَهْدِيكُمْ فِى ظُلُمَـتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَن يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًاَ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَحْمَتِهِ أَءِلَـهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“Is not He Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy Is there any god with Allah Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners!”

There are two lessons we can derive from this ayah:

1. أَمَّن يَهْدِيكُمْ فِى ظُلُمَـتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِAllaah has created the stars as signposts for travelers, so even if they are stranded on a pitch dark night, they are guided with the help of these stars.

2. وَمَن يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًاَ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَحْمَتِهِ  – It is from the mercy of Allaah that He sends cool breezes before rain, inorder to reassure those who had been suffering from dought and had thus despaired.

أَءِلَـهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

Is there any god with Allah Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners!

I find the comparison between darkness and rain (mercy), in relation to distress and relief in these two verses simply amazing. Subhaan’Allaah, seasons change, people change, trials come and go, darkness turns into light and through it all, there is only One constant Being. The Only One who is always there.

اللهم رحمتك ارجو فلا تكلني إلى نفسي طرفة عين ، وأصلح لي شأني كله ، لا إله إلا أنت

O Allaah, I hope for Your Mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blinking of an eye.
Set right all of my affairs for me. There is no god but You.

“Is He not the One Who responds?” Part I

Allaah mentions in soorat an-Naml:

أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ وَيَجْعَلُكُمْ خُلَفَاء الْأَرْضِ أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ

Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations. Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Little is that you remember!

الْمُضْطَرَّ is from the root ض ر ر which means damage. الْمُضْطَرَّ is one who’s trust has been damaged to the extent that he/she loses all hope in every living thing. Its that all too familiar feeling of being completely abandoned, where no soul on the face of this planet can comfort you, where even the familiar faces seem estranged. At a time like this, nothing can fill the emptiness within. You come to a point where even `ibaadah seems like a toil, a burden. Your life becomes nothing but a hollow grave.

And then, something inside pushes you to leave the creation and to turn to your Creator, placing your hope in Him, beseeching Him, begging for His closeness. That, is when Allaah responds to our distress. And that is when our hearts can truly taste the sweetness of faith and tranquility. Because turning to Him, the Lord of the Universe, the Most Loving, Most Merciful, guarantees us safety from every evil, every pain, every distress.

Ibn al-Qayyim mentions in his book al-Fawaa’id: “The secret and the reality of trust in Allaah is the reliance of the heart on Allaah alone. The person who relies on Allaah, and not on any other person or thing, will not be harmed.”

Were it not for Allaah’s Mercy, we would have been deprived of this blessing.Like Yusuf `alayhissalaam said in response to the accusation against him with regards to the wife of al-`Azeez:

وَمَا أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِي إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّيَ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“And I free not myself (from the blame). Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills). Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” {Yusuf; 53}

How many stories have we heard of people who when they lose all hope, lose their sanity or commit suicide? Countless of them. Alhamdulillaah for His guidance. Alhamdulillaah for the company of Qur’aan.

[to continue..]