Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cast off anxiety

Do not be sad, for your Lord says:

Have we not opened your breast for you [O ' Muhammad]? (Qur'an 94: 1)

The message of this verse embraces all those who carry the truth, who see the light, and who tread the path of guidance.
1s he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from His Lord [as he who is non-Muslim]? So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah! (Qur'an 39: 22)

Therefore there is a truth that causes the heart to be opened and a falsehood that causes it to harden.

And whosoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam. (Qur'an 6: 125)

So the acceptance of and adherence to this Religion is a goal that cannot be achieved except by the one who is blessed.

Be not sad [or afraid], surely Allah is with us. (Qur'an 9: 4O)

All those that have faith in Allah's care, guardianship, and mercy speak the words that are related in this verse.

Those [i.e. believers] unto whom the people [hypocrites] said, `Verily, the people [pagans] have gathered against you [a great army], therefore, fear them'. But it [only] increased them in Faith, and they said: 'Allah [Alone] is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs [for us]. (Qur'an 3: 173)

His being Sufficient for us frees us from dependence upon others, and His Guardianship protects us.

‘Prophet [Muhammad]! Allah is Sufficient for you and for the believers who .follow you. (Qur 'an 8: 64)

And put your trust in the Ever-Living One Who dies not... (Qur'an 25: 58)

And endure you patiently [O' Muhammad]; your patience is not but .from Allah. And grieve not over them [polytheists and pagans, etc.], and be not distressed because of what they plot. Truly, Allah is with those who fear Him [keep their duty unto Him] and those who are good-doers. (Qur 'an 16: 127-128)

Allah being with them in this verse refers to a special blessing for his obedient worshippers, in terms of protection, care, support, and guardianship. This is in proportion to the level of their faith, actions, and efforts.

So do not become weak [against your enemy], nor be sad, and you will be superior [in victory] if you are indeed [true] believers. (Qur'an 3: 139)

They will do you no harm, barring a trifling annoyance; and if they fight against you, they will show you their backs, and they will not be helped. (Qur'an 3: 111)

Allah has decreed: `Verily! It is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious'. Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty. (Qur 'an 58: 21)

Verily, we will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism] in this world’s life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth [i.e. Day of Resurrection]. (Qur 'an 40: 51)

And my affair I leave it to Allah. Verily, Allah is the All-Seer of [His] slaves. So Allah saved him from the evils that they plotted [against him]. (Qur 'an 40: 44, 45)

And in Allah should the believers put their trust. (Qur'an 3: 122)

Don't be sad: live today as if it were the last day of your life. With this frame of mind and outlook towards life, you have no reason to allow sadness or anger to steal the little time you have. In a hadith, the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said:

"When the morning comes upon you, then do not expect to see the evening, and when you see the night, do not expect to see the morning."

In other words, live with heart, body, and soul for today only, without dwelling upon the past and without being anxious about the future. An Arab poet said:

"The past is lost forever, and that which is hoped for is from the unseen, so all that you have is the present hour."

Being preoccupied with the past and dragging past woes into the present - these are the signs of an unstable and unsound mind. A Chinese proverb reads:

"Do not cross the bridge until you reach it."

In other words, be anxious over events only when they come to pass. One of our pious predecessors said,

"O' son of Adam, verily, you have only three days: Yesterday, and it has forsaken you; tomorrow, and it has yet to arrive; and today, so fear Allah and obey Him in it."

How can he truly live who carries with him the concerns of the past, the present, and the future? How can one find peace, while constantly recollecting that which has already occurred? One plays a past event back in his mind, feels its pain, and yet benefits nothing from the process.

The meaning of, `when the morning comes, do not expect to see the evening, and when the evening comes, do not expect to see the morning,' is that we should not have lofty or long-term hopes for this world. Expect death and do your best in doing good deeds. Do not let your concerns and ambitions surpass the limit of that day in which you live, a code that will allow you to concentrate and spend all of your energies on being productive each day. Use time efficiently and concentrate all of your efforts on achieving something today, by improving your manners, taking care of your health, and improving your relations with others.

"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)[Sahih Muslim]
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Malé – Yesterday - By Mr. Ali Shareef H.Filigasdhoshuge Male Maldives.

Under the shade of trees people walk up and down,
Elegant ladies confined within the home,
Look-out over the high walls,
Wearing long dress - like gown.
Smooth sandy surface on the roads
Lit-up by the lanterns at night,
Some nights, washed by silvery moonlight.
Countless stars above, in the sky,
On the sea, boats with lateen sails,
Only with favourite wind can sail to reach destnation.
Calmness of the environment,
With clean air to breathe, to your heart's content,
No cars, no bikes, no noise on the street.
Smell of flowers spreading with the wind, so sweet.
Modest houses some with thatched roof,
A common sight but leak-proof.
Vast area without settlement,
For housing plots under the plan of government.
Many dine at home, no good restaurants.
No places to visit for entertainment.
That was Malé yesterday,
After fifty years, what a different picture today!

Copyright © alishareef

It Rains. By Mr. Ali Shareef H.Filigasdhoshuge Male Maldives.

Dark clouds over-cast the blue sky,
Short broken choppy waves on the sea.
Gale force winds-up-rooting trees,
Boats tossing and rolling on the waves.
Brave sailors struggling to save their vessels,
A storm is raging with heavy shower.
Couldn't see any distant object,
Strong chilly breezes, through the wet air.
Birds are flying hurriedly to find a shelter,
Those shivering with cold, seek a cozy corner.
Everything came to a stand-still.
After the rain, vegetation looks greener,
Flowers are refreshed and much cleaner.
The porous land gulps down the rainfall,
Precious water it is, the life line for all.

Copyright © alishareef

Welcoming the Arrival of Ramadan

The month of Ramadan has arrived again, the month of fasting and prayer. It is the month that provides an opportunity for forgiveness from Allah and emancipation from our sins. It is the month for performing good deeds and giving in charity. It is the month when the gates of the heavens are opened and the rewards for our deeds are magnified many times over. It is the month wherein prayers are answered and the status of the worshipper is elevated. It is the month wherein sins are forgiven.

Allah bestows so many blessings upon his servants in the month of Ramadan. This is the month of fasting that is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) fasted during this month and directed his followers to do the same. He told us that whoever fasts this month with faith, seeking Allah’s reward, will have all of his past sins forgiven. He likewise informed us that whoever stands in prayer throughout this month will have all of his past sins forgiven.

The month of Ramadan contains within it a night that is superior to a thousand months. Whoever is denied the goodness of that night is indeed deprived.

We should welcome this month and embrace it with happiness and joy. We should have the truest resolve to observe the fasts and the prayers and to compete in doing righteous deeds. During this month, we should ardently repent for all of our sins and encourage each other to engage in virtuous deeds and call to what is right and forbid what is wrong. In this way, we will succeed in attaining the blessings and the great rewards of Ramadan.

The fast provides us with many benefits and is full of wisdom. It purifies and strengthens our hearts. It rids us of our baser tendencies like exuberance, arrogance, and stinginess. It reinforces our good traits like fortitude, clemency, and generosity. It supports us in our inner struggle to please Allah and attain nearness to Him.

Fasting teaches us about ourselves and our needs. It shows us how weak we are and how truly dependent we are upon our Lord. It shows us how much Allah has blessed us. We are reminded of our brethren those who are less fortunate and are inspired to treat them well. We are compelled to thank Allah and to use the blessings He has provided us in obedience to Him.

Allah draws attention to these many benefits when he says: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those who were before you that you may learn self-restraint.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 183]

In this verse, Allah makes it clear that he prescribed fasting in order to purify us. Fasting is a means for us to learn self-restraint and cultivate our piety. Piety is to observe the commandments and prohibitions of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) sincerely out of our love and reverence for Allah, and to avoid His punishment and anger.

Fasting is a great act of piety in itself and a great means of increasing our piety in all aspects of our religious and worldly lives.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) pointed out one of the benefits of fasting when he said: “O young people, whoever among you has the wherewithal to marry should do so, because it assists us in lowering our gazes and safeguarding our private parts. Whoever cannot do so should fast, because fasting diminishes sexual power.”

The reason that fasting has this effect is because Satan flows like blood through our veins. Fasting constrains this flow while and acts as a reminder of Allah and His greatness, thereby reducing Satan’s influence over the fasting person while at the same time his faith strengthening. He naturally starts engaging in more acts of obedience and fewer acts of sin.

There are many other benefits of fasting that we can discover with a little thought and reflection. Fasting is good for bodily health. It gives the body a chance to purify itself of accumulated poisons, a fact which has been confirmed by numerous doctors.

The sacred texts speak quite extensively about the virtues of fasting in the month of Ramadan and about it being a duty upon the believers. Allah says: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those who were before you that you may learn self-restraint. Fasting for a fixed number of days… The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’ân was revealed, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and the criterion. So whoever witnesses the month should fast it. And whoever is sick or upon a journey should fast the same number of days (later on). Allah wishes ease for you and he does not wish hardship upon you. He wants that you should complete the period and that you should exalt Allah for that to which he has guided you that perhaps you may be thankful.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 183-185]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is built upon five things: testifying that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing prayer, paying Zakâh, fasting the month of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to the House. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

When the angel Gabriel asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about Islam, he replied: “Islam is to bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to pay charity, to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to the House if you are able to make the journey.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî]

Gabriel then said: “You have spoken the truth.” Then he said: “Tell me about faith.”

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) replied: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and divine decree, both the good and bad of it.”

He said: “You have spoken the truth. Tell me about excellence in faith.”

Allah’s Messenger replied: “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.”

He said: “You have spoken the truth. [Sahîh Muslim]

This hadîth is of considerable importance and deserves serious thought and consideration.

Once Mu`âdh b. Jabal said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Tell me about some deed that will admit me into Paradise and distance me from the Hellfire.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “You have asked about something great, yet it is very simple for one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him in worship. Establish prater, pay Zakâh, fast the month of Ramadan, and undertake the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.” Then the Prophet (peace be upon him added: “Should I not inform you about the gates of goodness? Fasting is Paradise. Charity extinguishes sins like water extinguishes fire.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî]

Fasting is a most virtuous act with a reward commensurate with its greatness. This is especially true in Ramadan, since Allah has made fasting therein an obligation upon the believers and a means of their attaining salvation.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Every deed of the human being is for himself and its reward is multiplied for him from ten to seven hundred times. Allah says: ‘Except for fasting, for truly it is for Me and I alone will reward it, for verily he abandoned his desires, his food, and his drink for my sake.’ The one who fasts experiences two joys, one upon breaking his fast and one when he meets his Lord. Surely the breath of the fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When Ramadan commences, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are bound in chains.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him said: “On the first night of Ramadan, the devils and rebellious jinn are bound in chains, The gates of Paradise are opened until not a single gate remains closed. The gates of Hell are bound shut until not a single gate remains open. Then a caller calls out: ‘O desirer of good, go forth! O desirer of evil, restrain yourself! Allah is emancipating people from the Fire every night’.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî]

On the eve of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a sermon and said: “O people! A great and blessed month is coming upon you, a month containing a night better than a thousand months. Allah has made fasting in its days an obligation and observing prayer in its nights a voluntary act. Anyone who seeks nearness to Allah in theis month through any virtuous act will be like one who carried out a religious obligation at another time, and anyone who performs an obligatory act of worship in this month will be like one who performed seventy such acts at another time. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise.” [Sahîh Ibn Khuzaymah]

We must seize the opportunity presented to us in this blessed month and appreciate the greatness of this time by engaging in all the worship that we can. We must hasten to perform good deeds. Allah has made this month a time for worship and for competing with one another in righteousness. We must increase our prayer and our spending in charity. We must busy ourselves with reading the Qur’ân. We must hasten to help the poor, the needy, and the orphans. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all people and he was even more generous in Ramadan. We must follow the good example of our Prophet (peace be upon him) by redoubling our efforts in this month.

We need to safeguard the blessings of our fasts from our sins and our shortcomings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever does not leave off false speech and false conduct, Allah has no need of his leaving off food and drink.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When any one of you is observing the fast for the day, he should neither indulge in obscene language nor raise his voice. If someone insults him or quarrels with him, he should say: ‘I am fasting’.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

We must beseech Allah for forgiveness in this month and do all that we can to take advantage of this precious time. We must avoid committing any offence against the fast that will diminish its blessings and invoke Allah’s anger. Therefore, we must not be negligent of our prayers or stingy with our Zakâh. We must not consume interest or the property of the orphans. We must not steal, oppress anyone, or disrespect our parents. We must not spurn our kinfolk. We must avoid backbiting, slander, lies, and falsehood. We must eschew false oaths and claims. We must not shave or trim our beards or leave our moustaches to grow. We must not listen to song and musical instruments. Women must not make a wanton display of themselves and men should not mix with them. These sins are forbidden throughout the year, but in Ramadan they are even more forbidden and more sinful.

We must fear Allah and avoid what Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have prohibited us. We must be upright in our obedience in Ramadan and throughout the rest of the year. We should call one another to this and by doing so attain the success and salvation that this month promises us.

By Sheikh `Abd al-`Azîz b. Bâz

"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)[Sahih Muslim]
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