“The nature of the Ahlullaah (friends of Allah) is like that of fragrance which floats in the atmosphere due to which all those around cannot help but be perfumed.”
Come, let us be seekers on the path of Tazkiyah (Purification of the heart) in the company of those with purified hearts, illuminated with the love of Allah ta’ala and His beloved Rasool sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
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Iqbal the poet said,
This one prostration which you deem too exacting liberates you from a thousand prostrations
If a person gives his/her full obedience to Allah, it will protect the person from a thousand different pulls from the creation.
أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ – Is Allah not sufficient for His slave? [Surah Zumar verse 36]
We would pass by this verse thinking that it is talking about a particular event that relates to the threats of disbelievers to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam for propagating the Oneness of Allah however there is guidance in it for us in our age. When people try to stop someone from doing the right thing according to the Deen by causing fear of loss of job, status, etc. then the person should remember, Is Allah not sufficient for His slave?
Aalimah S. Ahmed (Zaynab Institute)
The purpose for Allah ta‘ala creating man in this world is so that he acquires the recognition of Allah ta‘ala, and the purpose of all other creations is so that they may serve man.
As a Persian poet says:
ابر وباد ومہ وخورشيد وفلک درکارند تا تو نانے بکف آري وبغفلت نخوري
ہمہ از بہر تو سرگشتہ وفرماں بردار شرط انصاف نہ باشد کہ تو فرماں نبري
The clouds, the winds, the moon, the sun and the sky, all are constantly at work, so that you earn your living and do not eat in forgetfulness.
The whole creation is involved in working for you and in your obedience. The law of justice will not be fulfilled by you if you fail to obey (Allah ta‘ala)
In essence, the clouds, the winds, the moon, the sun, the sky and the earth – every creation is engaged in work for your sake so that you may fulfil all your needs through them. Man should ponder and reflect over how obedient and punctual these different creations are in serving him and fulfilling his needs.
Sometimes, Allah ta‘ala causes temporary changes in the functions of these creations as a warning for man. Hence, the rains and winds are withheld and similar changes are witnessed in the moon and the sun through their eclipses. In essence, everything is subject to some change for admonishing those who neglect their duty to their Creator.
How astonishing indeed that all these things be made subservient to fulfil man’s needs, yet their obedience does not lead man to realizing that he should be obedient to his Creator.
Shaikh Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahimahullah)
It is inhuman and impossible to retain a high level of spirituality, imaan and awareness of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and these things will naturally fluctuate in a person. The reason the heart is called ‘qalb‘ in Arabic is because qalb means ‘to flip and change’ and the condition of the heart is constantly flipping and changing. Even the Companions felt like this on occasions as is illustrated by an incident reported by Imam Muslim.
Once Sayyiduna Hanzalah رضى الله عنه was in the company of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم, but when he left and returned home he became preoccupied with his family. He thought he had become a hypocrite so he went to complain of his condition to Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم. On the way he was shouting ”Hanzalah has become a munafiq (hypocrite), Hanzalah has become a munafiq.” He met Sayyiduna Abu Bakr رضى الله عنه to whom he related that when he was with Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم it was as though Jannat and Jahannam were before him, but the moment he returned home he became preoccupied with his family, thus he feared hypocrisy for himself. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr رضى الله عنه replied that he also felt the same way so they both approached Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم who comforted and informed them that such levels of imaan and spirituality are momentary and they do not last and that if they were to last the angels would have descended from the heavens and met them.
This incident illustrates that imaan constantly fluctuates in a person. When a low level of imaan is experienced or one feels an attack on one’s spirituality and faith by shaytaan and other influences a person shouldn’t withdraw, but rather seek the remedy by adopting good company or entering into a pious environment where mention is made of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Rasul صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Even if this is not possible one can listen to a talk at home. As a consequence, due to the blessings, one’s heart and faith will be strengthened, insha’Allah. Even Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم would constantly pray, “O Transformer of the hearts,make my heart steadfast upon Your deen” [Reported by Tirmidhi].
[This short excerpt is based on a brothers’ majlis (gathering for spiritual training) held by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 18th April 1998]
According to Sufyan Ath-Thauri,
“Zuhd is to have limited amount of expectations (very few hopes), it doesn’t mean eating poor or inadequate food, as many may think, or wearing a cheap or inferior gown or cloak”
Ibn Ja’laal said,
“Zuhd is to know that this life is a temporary one that will pass away, it should not be magnified in one’s heart, nor should much focus be placed on it…”
Al Junayd said,
“Zuhd is to free the heart from wanting”
Imaam Ahmad said,
“Zuhd is not to have many expectations ”
So it simply implies living with less. It is the antidote of the consumerism culture
There should be a healthy balance between fear and hope. Ibn Al-Qayyim (Rahimahullah) explains this balance using the metaphor of the bird on its journey to Allah.
The heart on its journey towards Allah the Exalted is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator
It has been reported from Fudayl that following the revelation of the command to Dawood AS of showing gratitude (Surah Sabaa’: verse 13), he submitted before Allah ta’ala, “O my Lord, how could I show my gratitude to You fully and sufficiently while my gratitude too, be it oral or practical, is nothing but a blessing bestowed by You? On this too, a separate gratitude becomes due.”
Allah ta’ala said, “Now, O Dawood, you did thank Me”
The reason was that he had realized his inability to thank Him as was His due, and had made a confession to that effect. This was deep, intense gratitude.
Surah Takweer: verse 25
So where are you heading?
The verse in mentioned in context of the disbelievers doubting the Qur’an when it is not the word of any accursed Satan, nor a sooth-sayer, nor a madman, nor a poet, nor a person who has ulterior motives.
As for us who have wandered off the straight path into the wilderness of sin and disobedience,
So where are you heading?
Ustadhah Aisha Choudhry – Zaynab Institute
Allah ta’ala asks in Surah Naml, verse 60, if other Gods are better or that Being Who has created the heavens and the earth and has sent rain from the sky with which Allah ta’ala grows gardens of splendid beauty.
The earth has the potential to flourish into splendid beauty with the rain from the sky. Similarly,
The human heart, an element of the earth, has the potential to flourish into the splendid beauty of the Ma’rifat (Recognition) of Allah ta’ala with Wahy (Revelation)
From Qur’an Tafseer course with Zaynab Institute
Hadith: The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam used to stand by a tree or a date-palm on Fridays. Then an Ansari woman or man said. “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we make a pulpit for you?” He replied, “If you wish.” So they made a pulpit for him and when it was Friday, he proceeded towards the pulpit (for delivering the sermon). The date-palm cried like a child! The Prophet descended (the pulpit) and embraced it while it continued moaning like a child being quietened. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “It was crying for (missing) what it used to hear of religious knowledge given near to it.” [Bukhri]
An ordinary stump of a date palm tree, providing shade to the Holy Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam could not bear to be distant from him while we, his ummatis, with Aqal (Intellect) and Sha’oor (Conciousness), are far away from his teachings
Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed
Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahimahullah) related that once a person sat next to me to fan me (with a hand held fan presumably). With such love he continued his service however I was not happy as the fan kept coming so close to my face that I feared it would hit my face any time. My fear soon became a reality and the fan did indeed hit my face, and irritated, I told him to stop! The poor fellow stopped and sat down.
This incident brought a thought to my mind; I was not pleased with the man’s service to me as he was causing me discomfort. Yet he must have been so happy thinking he was rendering me a service and in so doing was pleasing me whereas in reality he was causing me to become irritable. Similarly we become so pleased when we perform any good deeds. We are so certain that Allah ta’ala must be very pleased with us. On reflection we will find that what is the reality of our worship???
We cannot even perform our Salaat in the correct manner and with presence of heart and mind, yet we are so proud of it believing that we are making Allah ta’ala pleased!
This was the state of our pious predecessors, what about us?