How can a person know if Allah is pleased with him?

How can a person know if his Lord is pleased with him?

Is there anything that will tell a person that his Lord is pleased with him?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Subhanahu wata`ala. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and his family.

1. Among the signs that the Lord is pleased with His slave is that He guides him doing good deeds and avoiding haram things.

This is confirmed by the words of Allah: “While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their piety” [Muhammad, 47:17] ; “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism)” [Al -‘Ankabut, 29:69]

But if a person is hindered from doing good deeds and avoiding haram things – which we seek refuge with Allah – then that is a sign that Allah is not pleased with him.

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”; He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?” ; (Allah) will say: “Like this, Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allah’s Mercy).” [Ta-Ha, 20:124-126]

2. Allah has also explained in His Book that the sign of His being pleased with His slave and of His guidance is that He opens his heart to true guidance and true faith. And the sign of misguidance and being far from the Straight Path is distress and constriction in the heart.

Allah says:

“And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not” [Al-An’am, 6:125]

Ibn ‘Abbas said, commenting on this verse: “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide…” means Allah opens his heart to Tawhid and belief therein. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 2/175]

3. Another sign of Allah’s love for His slave and His being pleased with him is that He makes him beloved to His slaves.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“When Allah loves a person, He calls out to Jibreel: ‘Allah loves So and so,’ so Jibreel loves him. Then Jibreel calls out to the people of heaven, ‘Allah loves So and so, so love him.’ So the people of heaven love him and he finds acceptance on earth.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari (3209) and Muslim (2637)]

Al-Nawawi said: “and he finds acceptance on earth” means that people love him and are pleased to see him, so their hearts incline towards him. It says in another report: “and he finds love on earth.”

And Allah knows best.

[Via Islam Q&A (34829)]

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Humility and Humbleness

Humility and Humbleness

Al-Abdullah

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All the praise is due to Allah, the Lord of al-‘Alamin. And May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet SAW, his household and the companions.

The Character of humility or humbleness is one of the greatest blessings that Allah the Exalted could bestow upon His servant. Islam highly commends humbleness and simplicity and reckons that as one of the traits of a true believer, the people of truth.

 Allah Says:  “He whom Allah guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for him whom He lets go astray thou canst never find any protector who would point out the right way.” [Al-Kahf, 18:17]

 The Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) said: “Al-Kibr (proud and arrogance) is the rejecting of the truth and looking down upon people.” [Muslim, At-Tirmidzi and Abu Dawud]

 Meaning of  humbleness

The first meaning is to accept the truth from any person conveying it.  Humility is when one who disregard self importance and avoid gaining notoriety or to become too great among people. Many people have a problem accepting the truth when it comes from those who are younger than them and they only accept it from those who are older or better in status.

As it was said, “Humble yourself, you will be as a glimmering star to the viewer on the surface of the water even if it is lofty.” We should accept the truth no matter who conveys it to us, whether he is weak or strong, rich or poor, noble or commoner, a relative or not, a friend or an enemy.

The second meaning is to be modest in the way you treat people.  You should be kind to people, whether servants or masters, rich or poor, noble or common.  You should treat all human beings tenderly and cordially.

The opposite of humility is arrogance.

The Prophet (SAW) says, “Arrogance disdains the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people.”

 [Part of an authentic Hadith; Sahih Muslim, the book of faith (41), page/number 275; Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud]

It means disdaining the truth and not accepting it.  So, humility would be “to accept the truth.” It is showing contempt toward people is to be conceited with the improper thinking that you are much better than them.

Allah the Exalted says:

“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you”

[Al-‘Imran, 3:159]

“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character”

[Al-Qalam, 68:4]

This refers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) being a true slave of Allah in many ways and his treating all people with the utmost kindness. His character was one of complete humility based on sincerity towards Allah and compassion towards the slave of Allah, which was the complete opposite of the characteristics of the proud and arrogant.

[Al-Majmu’ Al-Kaailah Li Mu’allafat Al-Shaikh Al-Sa’adi, 5/442, 443]

There are many possible ways of attaining humility, which not all Muslim have it but he will aspire to attain the characteristic.

They were explained by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim as follows:

Humility comes from the knowing about Allah and His names and attributes, and His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and also from knowing about oneself and one’s faults, and weaknesses. From that may develop the attitude of humility, which means feeling helpless before Allah, and being humble and compassionate towards His slaves, so that the person does not feel superior towards anyone, or think that he has any rights over anyone else; rather he thinks that others are better than him, and that their rights come before his. This is a characteristic that Allah bestows to those whom He loves, honors and draws close to Him.

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

The Grace of Humility

The Prophet (SAW) said, “…. no one is humble (for the sake of Allah) unless Allah raises him [in rank].”

[Authentic hadith reported by Muslim in al-Sahih al-Jami’, book 19, page/number1599, narrated by Abu-Hurayrah]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “He who is humble for the sake of Allah by a degree, Allah will elevate him one degree, until he reaches the highest degrees and he who is arrogant toward Allah, Allah will lower him one degree until he reaches the lowest of low degrees.”

[Hasan Hadith;  Narrated by Abu-Said Al-Khudri on the authority of Ibnu-Hijr Al-Asqalani,  number, 89.]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah revealed to me that we should be humble amongst ourselves and none should show arrogance toward others.”

[Authentic hadith reported by Muslim in al-Sahih al-Jami’, book 040, number 6856. Narrated by Ayad ibn-Hammar]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah (SWT) says, He who is humble toward Me like this (and he lowered his palm to the ground until it was leveled with it, I will elevate him like this (and the Prophet (SAW) raised his palm upwards facing the sky until it was high up)”

[Sahih Hadith: Al-Albany, 2894]. 

Look at the Prophet’s depiction!

The Prophet (SAWS), said: “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of arrogance shall not enter paradise.”

[Sahih Hadith: Al-Albany, 2894]

This Hadith reminds you that if your heart has but the size of a mustard seed of arrogance in it you will be deprived from paradise, even with all your praying, fasting, zakat and attending religious lessons.  Beware of arrogance!

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: Allah (SWT) said: “Pride is my cloak and Might is My robe, and he who competes with Me in [respect of] either of them I shall torment him”

[Hadith Qudsi. It was related by Abu Dawud (also by Ibn Majah and Ahmad) with sound chains of authority. This Hadith also appears in Muslim in another version].

Among the teachings of Luqman to his son in Qur’an, Allah says,

  “And turn not your cheek away from people in [false] pride, and walk not haughtily on earth: for, behold, Allah does not love anyone who, out of self- conceit, acts in a boastful manner.”

[Luqman, 31:18]

The word used in Arabic for ‘turn your cheek away…in [false] pride’ is tusa’ir which is taken from an illness that afflicts camels named sa’ar. When they are afflicted with this illness their necks are twisted and they never return back to the normal position.  It is like Allah is warning you not to turn your cheek lest your neck would stay in this position and it would never return to its normal position.

In another ayah Allah (SWT) says, “And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, you can never rend the earth asunder, nor can you ever grow as tall as the mountains!” (Al-Isra’, 17:37)

 Son of Adam, be humble; you won’t own anything forever, so why are you conceited?

The reward of humility

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and Allah increases His slave in honour when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).”

[Muslim, 2588]

Imam Al-Nawawi included it in a chapter entitled: “The Recommendation of Forgiveness and Humility.” Al-Nawawi said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).” This is understood in two ways: the first is that He will raise him (in status) in this world, and give him status in people’s hearts because of his humility, and give him a high status in people’s eyes. The second is that what is meant is his reward in the Hereafter, where his status will be raised because of his humility in this world.

It may be that both are meant (and that his status will be raised) that it is in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows best.

[Sharh Muslim, 16/142.]

Kinds of Humility and Humbleness

The level of Humility and humbleness are seen in various situations, such as the following:

1. A person humbling himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah SWT, doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbids.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

It is because a person may hesitate to obey His commands out of laziness, thus behaving reluctantly in an attempt to flee from the servitude towards Allah, and his soul may have the desire to commit haram actions, but once the person humbles himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, he will humble himself to the true submission to Allah [‘Ubudiyyah].

[Al-Ruh p. 233]

2. Humbling oneself before the might, majestic and power of Allah

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

Every time he feels that he is great, he remembers the might of Allah and that might belongs to Him only, and he remembers His intense wrath against those who compete with Him in that, then he humbles himself before Him and submits to the might of Allah. This is the ultimate humility and inevitably includes the first type of humility mentioned above, but the converse can never apply (i.e., this type of humility inevitably leads to the first type, but a person may submit to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah but he does not humble himself before His might).

The one who is truly humble is the one who is blessed with both. And Allah is the One whose help we seek.

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

3. Humility in one’s dress and manner of walking [behavior and mannerism].

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:

“Whilst a man was letting his garment drag out of pride, he was swallowed up by the earth and will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 3297]

It was also narrated by al-Bukhari [5452] and Muslim [2088] from the hadith of Abu Hurairah. According to the version narrated by Al-Bukhari:

“Whilst a man was walking in a garment admiring himself with his hair nicely combed, Allah caused (the earth) to swallow him up and he will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

4. Humility towards one who is of a lesser status and helping him

It was narrated that Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib said: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was moving soil with us on The Day of Al-Ahzab, and I saw him with dust covering the whiteness of his stomach, and he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) was saying:

“(O Allah)! Without you, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So (O Allah!) send the tranquility (Sakinah) upon us as they (the chiefs of the enemy tribes) have rebelled against us. And if they intend afflictions (i.e. want to frighten us and fight against us) then we would not (flee but would withstand them).”

And he raised his voice whilst saying it.

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 6809; Muslim, 1803]

5. Humility with our parents

 He treats them with kindness and respect, infinite compassion, utter politeness and deep gratitude. He recognizes their status and knows his duties towards them.

 Allah Says:

 “And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents…”

 [An-Nisa’, 4: 36]

“And lowers to them the wing of humility out of mercy.”

 [Al-Isra’, 17:24]

 If your parents were alive, would you kiss their hands?  Can you kiss your mother’s hands in public?  This is one of the signs of humility.  If they are not living anymore, then ask forgiveness for them and do something good with your life, something that can be added to their book of good deeds.

 If you want to be a humble person, please try all the above for just one month and you will see how easily it will come to you.  Just try kissing your mother’s hands and, by Allah, you will learn by just that small act how to be humble before Allah.

 6. Humility in interactions with one’s wife and helping her.

It was narrated that Al-Aswad said: I asked ‘Aishah what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do in his house and she said:

 “He used to serve his family and when the time for prayer came he would go out and pray”

[Al-Bukhari, 644]

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:

This shows that we are encouraged to be humble and not arrogant, and that a man should serve his family.

[Fath Al-Baari, 2/163]

7. Humility towards the young and gracious with them.

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the best of people in character. I had a brother whose name was Abu ‘Umair. He said, I think he was rather weaned, and when he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) came he would say, “O Abu Umair, what happened to the nughair (a small bird that he kept as a pet)?”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 5850; Muslim, 2150]

Al-Nawawi said:

The term nughair is for a small bird.

This hadith teaches us many things, such as being kind to small children. This demonstrates the good character of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and how he was of noble character and humble.

[Sharh Muslim, 14/129]

8. Humility towards servants and slaves [or employee].

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“If the servant of one of you brings his food and he does not want to make him sit and eat with him, then let him offer him a morsel or two, because he has prepared it and served it.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2418 and 5144; Muslim, 1663]

Humility includes humble oneself to one who is also below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act with arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some Riya’ (showing off) or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

 According to Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, mentioned,

  “A man said, “By Allah, Allah will not forgive so-and-so,” and that Allah Says: “Who is swearing by Me that I will not forgive so-and-so? I surely have forgiven so-and-so and nullified your deeds.”

  [Muslim]

 Therefore, act humbly towards anyone. Even when you see a sinner, do not show superiority towards him, nor treat him with arrogance and domination. If you feel that the sinner may perform some acts of obedience which you do not, and that you may also poses some defects which the sinner may not, then deal kindly with him, and gently offer da`wah which will hopefully be the cause of his acceptance and remembrance.

 All deeds also should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah through an act of obedience, your deed still may not be accepted. Allah Says:    “…Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” [Quran 5:27] This had made some of the Salaf (predecessors) said, “If I knew that Allah accepted one Tasbih (saying “Subhanallaah”) from me, I would have wished to die right now!”

 The arrogant person would never give credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. A humble man would accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.

 The ‘Amir of the Believers, `Umar Al-Khattab (radiallahu`anhu), May Allah be pleased with him, held the adage of, “May Allah have mercy on a person who informed us of our defects.”

We therefore seek for Allah’s blessing and guidance to be among of those who humble themselves before His might.

Allah the Exalted knows best.

[Adapted from Islam QA and AmrKhalid.net]

The Importance of Being Truthful

The Importance of Being Truthful

 Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

What is the importance of being truthful, both in personal and business relationships, in Islam? Is lying ever considered and “acceptable” action?

All the Praise be to Allah, the Lord of al-‘alameen.

Being truthful would mean speaking the truth and also saying things that reflect the reality.

Being truthful is one of the necessities of human society, one of the virtues of the human behaviour which entails great benefits, whilst lying is one of the major elements of corruption in the human society, and the cause of the destruction of social structure and ties, one of the most evil features of bad conduct, and causes widespread harm. Hence Islam commanded truthfulness and forbade lying.

Allah says:

“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in word and deeds).”

 [Al-Tawbah, 9:119]

Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) said (2/414): “It means: be truthful and adhere to truthfulness, and you will be among its people and will be saved from calamity, and this will make a way out for you from your problems.”

Allah says:

“… if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.”

[Muhammad, 47:21]

‘Abdallah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

‘You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allah as a siddiq (speaker of the truth). Beware of telling lies, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hellfire. A man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.”

[Reported by Muslim, 4721]

This hadith indicates that truthfulness leads to righteousness (al-birr), an all-embracing concept that includes all kinds of goodness and different kinds of righteous deeds. Immorality is basically an inclination towards deviation from the truth, and the immoral person (faajir) is one who is inclined to turn away from the path of guidance. Hence immorality and righteousness are diametrically opposed.

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “I memorized from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): ‘Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt, for truthfulness is certainty and tranquillity, whilst lying is doubt and confusion.”

 [Reported by al-Tirmidzi, 2520; al-Nasa’ie, 8/327; and Ahmad, 1/200]

In the lengthy hadith of Abu Sufyan describing his meeting with Heraclius, Abu Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “[Heraclius] said, ‘What does he [meaning the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] command you to do?’ I said, ‘He says: worship Allah alone and do not associate anything in worship with Him, and abandon that which your forefathers did. He commands us to pray, to be truthful, to be chaste and to uphold the ties of kinship.’”

[Reported by Al-Bukhari, 1/30 and Muslim, 1773]

Hakim ibn Hizam (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Two parties to a deal have the option of changing their minds until they part; if they are open and honest, their deal will be blessed, and if they conceal and tell lies, the blessing of their deal will be diminished.”

 [Reported by Al-Bukhari, 4/275 and Muslim, 1532]

Truthfulness, would not precludes being truthful towards Allah by worshipping Him sincerely; being truthful towards one’s own soul by making it adhere to the laws of Allah; and being truthful with people in one’s words and by keeping one’s promises, and in dealings such as buying, selling and marriage, so there should be no deceiving, cheating, falsifying or withholding of information. Thus a person should be the same on the inside and the outside.

As regards of lying, it is highly forbidden, and is of varying degrees of abhorrence and sin. The most obnoxious form of lying is falsely attributing things to Allah and His Messenger, because this involves fabrication about the religion and is an act of outrage against Allah. Hence one of the characteristics of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is that he truthfully conveyed that which Allah commanded him to convey. So Allah said:

“… who does more wrong than one who invents a lie against Allah, to lead mankind astray without knowledge. Certainly Allah guides not the people which are zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.)”

[Al-An’am, 6:144]

“And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah? Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, ‘These are the ones who lied against their Lord!’ No doubt! The curse of Allah is on the zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.).”

[Hood, 11:18]

Equally bad is lying about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as he is reported to have said in the mutawatir hadith: “Whoever lies about me deliberately let him take his place in Hell.”

[Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud]

The basic rule with regard to lying is that it is not permitted, but there are certain circumstances in which Islam permits lying to serve a greater purpose or to prevent harm.

One of these situations is when a person mediates between two disputing parties in order to reconcile between them, if reconciliation cannot be achieved in any other way. Um Kalthum (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “He is not a liar who reconciles between people and conveys something good or says something good.”

[Reported by Al-Bukhari, 2495]

Another example is a man’s speaking to his wife, or a woman speaking to her husband, with regard to matters that will strengthen the ties of love between them, even if that is accompanied by exaggeration. Asma’ binti Yazid said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Lying is not permitted except in three cases: a man’s speaking to his wife to make her happy; lying at times of war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.’”

 [Reported by Al-Tirmidzi, 1862; he said: it is a hasan hadith. See also Sahih Muslim, 4717].

One of the most important forms of both being truthful and lying is in the area of promises and covenants. Being truthful in promises and covenants is one of the characteristics by which the believers are known. Both promises and covenants involve saying something about an issue to confirm that you will do it, especially with regard to one’s duties towards Allah. Allah says, praising some of His slaves:

“Those who are faithfully true to their amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts, etc.) and to their covenants.”

 [Al-Mu’minun, 23:8]

“… and who fulfil their covenant when they make it…”

[Al-Baqarah, 2:177]

“Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah [i.e., they have gone out for jihad (holy fighting), and showed not their backs to the disbelievers], of them some have fulfilled their obligations (i.e., have been martyred), and some of them are still waiting, but they have never changed [i.e., they never proved treacherous to their covenant which they concluded with Allah] in the least.”

[Al-Ahzab, 33:23]

We ask Allah to make us sincere and truthful in word and deed.

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted from the Islam Q&A]

God Increases His Blessings on Those Who Are Grateful

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

 

Allah the Exalted Says, “If you tried to quantify God’s blessings, you could never count them. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful “[Surah An-Nahl, 16:18]

By Harun Yahya

Every person is in need of God at every instant of life. It ranges from the air one breathes to the food he eats, from the ability to use one’s hands to the faculty of speech, from being sheltered to being in a joyful spirit, one lives completely in need of what God creates and grants him. Still, a vast majority of people do not perceive their weaknesses and those they are in need of God. They suppose that things develop spontaneously or that they acquire everything by their own efforts. This is an important error, as well as a serious ingratitude towards God. Ironically, people who render their thanks to a person for even an insignificant gift, spend all their lives ignoring the countless blessings that God gives them all through their lives. However, so great are the blessings granted to a person that one could never count them. God relates this fact in a verse as follows:

If you tried to quantify God’s blessings, you could never count them. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful [Surah An-Nahl, 16:18]

Despite this fact, most people fail to give thanks for any of the blessings they have. The reason for this is related in the Qur’an: Satan, who pledged to misguide people from God’s way, said that his ultimate aim is to make people be ungrateful to God. Satan’s defiant statements to God emphasize the importance of giving thanks to God:

‘Then I will come at them, from in front of them behind them, from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them thankful.’ He (God) said, ‘Get out of it, reviled and driven out. As for those of them (mankind) who follow you, I, will fill up Hell with every one of you.’[Surah Al-A`raf 7:17-18]

Believers, on the other hand, aware of their weaknesses and in humility before God, render their thanks to Him for every blessing granted. Wealth and possessions are not the only blessings for which believers render their thanks to God. Knowing that God is the Owner and Possessor of everything, believers express their inner gratefulness for good health, beauty, knowledge, wisdom, love of faith and hatred from disbelief, understanding, insight, foresight and for power. They are thankful for being rightly guided and for being in the company of believers. A beautiful landscape, easy handling of their affairs, fulfillment of their wishes, tidings of great joy, respectful conduct or any other blessings make believers immediately turn to God, express their gratefulness to Him and reflect on His mercy and compassion.

In return for good morals displayed, a reward awaits believers. This is another of the secrets revealed in the Qur’an; God increases His blessings on those who are grateful. For example, God grants even more health and power to those who render their thanks to God for the good health and strength they have. God bestows even more knowledge and property to those who are grateful for their knowledge or wealth. This is because they are sincere people who are contented with what God gives and are pleased with the blessings and who take God as their friend. God relates this secret in the Qur’an as follows:

And when your Lord announced: “If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe.”[Surah Ibrahim 14:7]

Being grateful is also a sign of one’s closeness to and loves of God. People who give thanks have the insight and capability to perceive the beauties and blessings that God creates. God’s Messenger, peace be upon him, also referred to this when he said:

When God gives you property, the bliss of God’s blessing and offering must be reflected on you. [Bukhari]

On the other hand, a disbelieving or ungrateful person will only see the imperfections and faults even in the most beautiful environment, and thus will be unhappy and discontented. Indeed, as a divine purpose in God’s creation, such people always come across with seemingly unfavorable events and unpleasant scenes. On the other hand, God displays more of His bounties and blessings to those who have a sincere and insightful outlook.

That God increases His blessings to those who are grateful is one of the secrets of the Qur’an. However, one needs to keep in mind that sincerity is a prerequisite for being grateful. No doubt, one’s way of showing his gratitude without turning sincerely to God and feeling the inner peace of God’s infinite mercy and compassion, which is solely intended to impress people, would be sheer insincerity. God knows what hearts harbor, and will bear witness to this insincerity. Those who have insincere inner intentions may conceal it from other people, but not from God. Such people may render their thanks with affected manners when there is no affliction, but at times of hardship, it is possible that they may readily lapse into ungratefulness.

It should be also noted that true believers remain grateful to God even under harshest conditions. Someone looking from outside may see the diminishing of some blessings believers enjoy. However, believers, who are able to perceive the good aspect of every event and situation, see goodness in this too. For example, God states that He will test people with fear, hunger and loss of wealth or life. In such a situation, believers rejoice and feel grateful, hoping that God will reward them with the gifts of paradise in return for the steadfastness they displayed in this test. They know that God does not impose on anyone more than he can bear. The steadfastness and submission of such awareness lead them to patience and gratitude. Therefore, it is an obvious attribute of believers to show unwavering dedication and submission and God promises to expand His blessings on His grateful servants both in the life of this world and in the hereafter.

[Via Harun Yahya]

Backbiting and Slander.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

 

Backbiting [gheebah] is to say something about people in their absence, even though if the things that were mentioned and said might be true or which  they would not like to hear about it themselves. While gossiping [nameemah] means passing on the news of people with the intention of causing them harm or gaining a desired reward from those to whom the news is conveyed. Slander [buhtan] is the vilest because it spread false information or lies about someone.

 Allah indicates how serious backbiting is. Allah also shows us how we may fall into the sinful acts. First, we become suspicious of others and begin to keep track of what they are doing and saying.

 Allah SWT says: “O you, who believe, avoid much suspicion, for some suspicion is a sin. Neither spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would detest it, [so similarly, avoid backbiting]. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Hujurat, 49:12]

 We tend to interpret someone actions and words in our own way, which often inaccurate because we do not know all of their motives and intentions. Then we start to talk about them in their absence, often saying things about them that are not true, and if they knew what we were saying about them, they would be upset a great deal, we run the risk of needlessly damaging their reputations. Sometimes our suspicions and interpretations are correct, but this does not mean that it is a good thing to talk these things to others so that they do not fall into sinful behavior and their reputation are not tarnished.

 The Prophet Muhammad SAW once asked his Companions: “Do you know what is backbiting?” His Companions said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” The Prophet SAW said: “Backbiting implies you’re talking about your brother in a manner that he does not like.” It was said to him, “What is your opinion about this if I actually find that shortcoming in my brother?” He said, “If what you assert (of a shortcoming) is actually in him, you have backbitten him; if it is not, you have slandered him” [Muslim].

  Rulings on Backbiting

 Islam attaches a great importance to preserving people’s honor and guarding them against any malicious defamation and slander. It is in this light  Islam prohibits backbiting and gives serious warning against it. Allah Says:

 “O you, who believe, avoid much suspicion, for some suspicion is a sin. Neither spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would detest it, [so similarly, avoid backbiting]. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Hujurat, 49:12]

 However, there are some exceptions for this ruling. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to show the faults of certain people to ward off a serious evil that may occur if they are covered. Elaborating on these exceptions Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, states:

 Although, indulging in backbiting is considered an atrocity and forbidden, in light of their detailed study of the sources, scholars have considered it permissible to state the negative aspects or traits of a person or persons in their absence in certain exceptional cases in order to protect the interests of the people. Here are the conditions where it has been considered permissible:

 1. It is not considered forbidden to mention the negative aspects of a marriage candidate in order to help the person who is planning to get married to formulate a sound opinion. In such a case, it becomes the religious duty of everyone who is asked about an individual to divulge any relevant information about him or her.

 2. A public figure that may be running as a candidate for a position is just like a marriage candidate. Since it is vital to protect the interests of the public, it is considered permissible to disclose such information about him, which may reflect negatively on his performance or eligibility to serve. Public office is a position of trust and, as such, only people of integrity should be appointed to such positions.

 3. It is allowed to mention the tyrants, despots, and rebellious persons who are role models of impiety, immorality, and rebellion against Allah in order to warn people against such behavior. It is in this spirit that we find the Qur’an narrates to us the stories of Pharaoh, Nimrod, Haman, and Qarun, and so on. Therefore, it is not considered sinful to speak negatively about personalities like Abu Lahab and Abu Jahal.

 4. It is also not considered sinful to mention a person who is openly violating the laws of Allah. It is said, “An immoral person has no honor to protect” since he has already tarnished his honor by openly flaunting the laws of Allah.

 5. If a person has been harmed or has been treated unjustly and unfairly by someone, he can speak about it to the proper authorities in order to seek justice or restore his legitimate rights. Included in this category are those who complain to the authorities about an abusive husband, or guardian, or leader, and so on.

 6. If a so-called leader, preacher, or scholar is known to be spreading corrupt ideas or heretical ideas it is considered permissible to forewarn people about him. However, in order for this to be permissible, one must have ascertained a fact that the ideas or opinions he is advocating are indeed heretical beyond a shadow of doubt. Otherwise, it would be a terrible sin, for it has been rightly stated by scholars, “The flesh of scholars is poisoned meat!

 Ways of Avoiding Backbiting.

 • More Listening and Less Talking

 We can avoid sinful of tongues by limiting the type of talking about things as much as possible. We should spend more time listening to others than we do talking about others and to not to abuse our two ears and the tongue.

 If we find ourselves in the company of those who we know to be the gossipy type, we should get them to change the topic of discussion. If we are not able to do so, we should leave before we get involved in gossip or talk about useless things.

 • Repentance and Forgiveness

 One who commits a sin, whatever it is, should have hope in Allah’s mercy. They must be sure that Allah will accept their repentance. We are told in the Qur’an:

 “Say: O My [Allah’s] slaves, who have been prodigal to their own hurt, despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgives all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Az-Zumur, 39:53]

 In order for repentance to be accepted, they must desist from the sin they have been doing, regret having done that sin, and make firm and sincere intention not to return to that bad deed.

 Scholars add that if the sin involves a human’s right, repentance requires a fourth condition: to be absolved from such a right. If it is a property, the sinner should return it to its rightful owner. If it is slandering or backbiting, the sinner should ask pardon of the offended.

 Therefore, we must try to seek the forgiveness of the person you have backbitten. However, some scholars say it is not necessary to go to the offended (especially if they do not know you have slandered or gossiped about them) and seek Allah’s forgiveness for causing harm and create hatred between them.

 • Controlling Words Once Spoken: Mission Impossible

 Once our words are spoken, they get bigger and beyond control. Even if we regret them and wish to take them back, we would not be able to do it. Once the word is out, it is not easily forgotten or forgiven by others. The damage is done. Therefore, it is crucial that we choose our words very carefully before we let them out into the public. We should ask forgiveness from Allah of those we hurt so that we can avoid a more difficult repayment of our sins in the hereafter. If they are not able to forgive us in this life, Allah will give them their rights on the Day of Judgment by taking from our good deeds and giving their value to those whom we wronged in this life.

 The Prophet SAW told us that whoever guarantees their tongue, the Prophet guarantees Paradise for them (Al-Bukhari).

 [Via muslims.ca]

Self-Criticism

By Dr.Yusuf Al-Qaradawi 

It is  necessary for individuals to always pause at the end of each day to assess themselves and run through their achievements, such as raising pertinent question like: What have they done in the course of the day? Why have they done it? What have they omitted? And why have they omitted it? More importantly, are we tread on the right path?

It would be excellent if this self-criticism or muhasabah were to be done consistantly, perhaps every day before retiring to bed. This period of self-criticism and appraisal should certainly be counted among one’s moments of progress; it is a moment when one impartially sits as a judge over oneself and reviews yearnings and motivations. It is a moment when the believer appoints, out of conscience, an investigator to probe his or her actions, and a judge to condemn or acquit. In this way, one progresses from the state of “the soul that incites to evil” to the state of “the self-reproaching soul,” which reproaches its owner whenever one plunge into sin or falls short of expectations.

It is narrated in one hadith that “it behooves any wise person to have four periods of time” and one of the four periods is “a period in which one engages in self-criticism.”

The Second Caliph, `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab said, “Criticize and appraise yourselves before you are criticized and appraised on the Day of Judgment, and weigh out your deeds, before they are weighed out for you.” He himself used to whip his foot at night and say to himself, “Tell me, what have you done today?”

Maimun Ibn Mahran, a famous Companion of the Prophet, used to say, “A pious person scrupulously examines and appraises himself more than he would a tyrant ruler and a tight-fisted partner!”

Al-Hasan said, “A believer polices his own self; he criticizes and appraises it for the sake of Allah. Actually, the final appraisal (on the Day of Judgment) may turn mild on some people simply because they were wont to appraise themselves in this life; on the other hand, it may turn out to be rigorous on people who took this life with levity, and thought they would not be called to account.” Al-Hasan went on, explaining how this self-criticism operates in practice.

“A tempting thought (or idea) may occur to the believer. He says to himself, ‘By Allah, this is a fascinating idea; I would like to do it! But no, never. Get lost! I am prohibited from executing you!’” This is self-criticism and appraisal before action.

And, “a believer may inadvertently do something. He would then turn to himself and say, ‘What did you mean by this? By Allah, I cannot find an excuse for this. I shall never repeat it, insha’ Allah!’” This is self-criticism and appraisal after action.

If a believer fails to observe this brief period of soul-checking daily, then that person should at least try to do so once every few days or once a week. In this way, people can draw up the balance sheets of their lives, depicting their spiritual assets and liabilities.

A believer should also have a longer period of this practice at the end of each month and an even longer period at the end of each year, when bidding farewell to one year and preparing for another. This is the time to critically review the past and plan for the future. This is the spiritual equivalent of one’s final accounts for the year.

One blameworthy innovation [bid’ah]initiated by the West and, unfortunately, imitated by some Muslims, is the annual birthday celebration, where people are invited to a party and served with delicious food and drink. They light a number of candles, each one representing a year in the lifetime of the celebrant. Gifts are presented and pleasantries exchanged on the occasion. Rather than this blind, useless imitation, it is better for a wise person to seize this occasion—which marks the expiry of one whole year of one’s lifetime—to reconsider and reflect upon his or her life.

At the end of every year, a careful trader applies the brakes in order to measure the past year’s performance and to establish his or her financial position at the end of it. The trader wants to know his or her profit, loss, assets, and liabilities. Likewise, believers ought to call themselves to account for one whole year of their lives that have expired and about which Allah will question them.

A year is not a short time. It is a period of twelve months: a month is, on average, thirty days, each day has twenty-four hours, each hour sixty minutes, and each minute sixty seconds. And every second should be counted as a blessing, a favor from Allah, and a trust in one’s hands.

Al-Basri,may Allah have mercy on Al-Hasan, when he said, “O son of Adam! You are but a bundle of days. As each day passes away, a portion of you vanishes away!”

Abu `Ali Ad-Daqqaq used to recite the following lines: Each day that passes, a portion of me it takes away, On the heart, a bitter taste it leaves, and then glides away.

Reference:

[I] Source: Time in the Life of a Muslim, Taha Publishers Ltd. 2000 , cited with some modifications from: http://islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=631

[2] Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), and the president of The International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS). He has been active in the field of da`wah and the Islamic Movement for more than half a century.

[Via Islam Online]

Humility and Humbleness

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All the praise is due to Allah, the Lord of Al-‘Alamin. And May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet SAW, his household and the companions.

The Character of humility or humbleness is one of the greatest blessings that Allah the Exalted could bestow upon His servant.

Allah the Exalted says:

•“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you” [Al-‘Imran, 3:159]

•“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character” [Al-Qalam, 68:4]

This refers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) being a true slave of Allah in many ways and his treating all people with the utmost kindness. His character was one of complete humility based on sincerity towards Allah and compassion towards the slave of Allah, which was the complete opposite of the characteristics of the proud and arrogant.

[Al-Majmu’ Al-Kaailah Li Mu’allafat Al-Shaikh Al-Sa’adi, 5/442, 443]

There are many possible ways of attaining humility, which not all Muslim have it but he will aspire to attain the characteristic. They were explained by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim as follows:

Humility comes from the knowing about Allah and His names and attributes, and His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and also from knowing about oneself and one’s faults, and weaknesses. From that may develop the attitude of humility, which means feeling helpless before Allah, and being humble and compassionate towards His slaves, so that the person does not feel superior towards anyone, or think that he has any rights over anyone else; rather he thinks that others are better than him, and that their rights come before his. This is a characteristic that Allah gives to those whom He loves, honors and draws close to Him. 

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

There are many Hadiths which speak of the reward of humility.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and Allah increases His slave in honour when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).”

[Muslim, 2588]

Al-Nawawi included it in a chapter entitled: “The Recommendation of Forgiveness and Humility.”

Al-Nawawi said: 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).” This is understood in two ways: the first is that He will raise him (in status) in this world, and give him status in people’s hearts because of his humility, and give him a high status in people’s eyes. The second is that what is meant is his reward in the Hereafter, where his status will be raised because of his humility in this world. 

The scholars said: It may be that both are meant (and that his status will be raised) both in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows best.

[Sharh Muslim, 16/142.]

Kinds of Humility and Humbleness.

The level of Humility and humbleness are seen in   various situations, such as the following:

1. A person humbling himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah SWT, doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbids.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

It is because a person may hesitate to obey His commands out of laziness, thus behaving reluctantly in an attempt to flee from the servitude towards Allah, and his soul may have the desire to commit haram actions, but once the person humbles himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, he will humble himself to the true submission to Allah [‘ubudiyyah].

[Al-Ruh p. 233]

2. Humbling oneself before the might, majestic and power of Allah.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: 

Every time he feels that he is great, he remembers the might of Allah and that might belongs to Him only, and he remembers His intense wrath against those who compete with Him in that, then he humbles himself before Him and submits to the might of Allah. This is the ultimate humility and inevitably includes the first type of humility mentioned above, but the converse can never apply (i.e., this type of humility inevitably leads to the first type, but a person may submit to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah but he does not humble himself before His might).

The one who is truly humble is the one who is blessed with both. And Allah is the One whose help we seek.

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

3. Humility in one’s dress and manner of walking [behavior and mannerism ].

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:

“Whilst a man was letting his garment drag out of pride, he was swallowed up by the earth and will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 3297]

It was also narrated by al-Bukhari [5452] and Muslim [2088] from the hadith of Abu Hurairah. According to the version narrated by Al-Bukhari:

“Whilst a man was walking in a garment admiring himself with his hair nicely combed, Allah caused (the earth) to swallow him up and he will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

4. Humility towards one who is of a lesser status and helping him 

It was narrated that Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib said: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was moving soil with us on The Day of Al-Ahzab, and I saw him with dust covering the whiteness of his stomach, and he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) was saying:

“(O Allah)! Without you, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So (O Allah!) send the tranquility (Sakinah) upon us as they (the chiefs of the enemy tribes) have rebelled against us. And if they intend afflictions (i.e. want to frighten us and fight against us) then we would not (flee but would withstand them).”

And he raised his voice whilst saying it. 

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 6809; Muslim, 1803]

5. Humility in interactions with one’s wife and helping her.

It was narrated that Al-Aswad said: I asked ‘Aishah what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do in his house and she said:

 He used to serve his family and when the time for prayer came he would go out and pray.

[Al-Bukhari, 644] 

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:

This shows that we are encouraged to be humble and not arrogant, and that a man should serve his family.

[Fath Al-Baari, 2/163]

6. Humility towards the young and gracious with them.

It was narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the best of people in character. I had a brother whose name was Abu ‘Umayr. He said, I think he was rather weaned, and when he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) came he would say, “O Abu Umayr, what happened to the nughair (a small bird that he kept as a pet)?”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 5850; Muslim, 2150]

Al-Nawawi said:

The term nughair is for a small bird.

This hadith teaches us many things, such as being kind to small children. This demonstrates the good character of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and how he was of noble character and humble.

[Sharh Muslim, 14/129]

7. Humility towards servants and slaves [employee].

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“If the servant of one of you brings his food and he does not want to make him sit and eat with him, then let him offer him a morsel or two, because he has prepared it and served it.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2418 and 5144; Muslim, 1663]

We therefore seek for Allah’s blessing and guidance to be among of those who humble themselves before His might.

Allah the Exalted Knows best.

 [Via Islam Q&A]