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Source: Provisions for the Hereafter (Mukhtasar Zad Al-Ma’ad) – By: Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Summarized by: Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab At-Tamimi  Pgs.457-459.
Allah the Most High says,

And certainly we shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say, “Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi raji’un(Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return).” They are those o­n whom are the Salawat ( i.e who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and ( they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided o­nes.” Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155-157

Then he (i.e. Ibn Al- Qayyim) mentioned the Hadeeth of Al-Istirja and then he said: This expression is o­ne of the most effective and most beneficial treatments for o­ne who is afflicted by calamities, because it contains two fundamental principles, which if they are realized, the slave will be consoled thereby from his calamity.(Al- Istirja’: saying the words: “Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi raji’un”) Verily, we are for Allah and to Him we shall return. This Hadeeth was narrated by Muslim and Ahmad, o­n the authority of Umm Salamah radi Allahu anhu.

The first of them is that the slave and his wealth belong to Allah and He has given it to him as a loan.

The second of them is that the return is to Allah and it is inevitable that he will leave the life of this world behind; so if this is his beginning and his end, then his thinking about them is o­ne of the greatest treatments for this illness and a part of his treatment is that he knows that what was ordained to afflict him cannot miss him and what was ordained to miss him cannot afflict him.And a part of it is that his Lord has set aside for him the like of that which he missed or better and He has stored up for him that which is many times better than the calamity and that if He had willed, He could have made the calamity greater than it was.
  • Another part of his extinguishing the fire of his misfortune by the coolness of comfort and consolation, so he should look to his right and to his left (i.e. at the world around him) and he should know that the pleasures of this life are an illusion, though they may cause him to laugh a little, they will cause him to weep much.
  • Also a part of it is the knowledge that discontent does not alleviate the misfortune; indeed , it increases it.
  • And another part of it is the knowledge that losing the reward which Allah has guaranteed for patience and Istirja’ is greater than it.
  • And another part of the treatment is the knowledge that discontent causes his enemy to take pleasure and grieves his friend and makes his Lord Angry.
  • Still another part of it is the knowledge that the pleasure which follows patient perseverance and the expectation of Allah’s Reward is many times greater than that which he would have experienced from the thing which he lost, if it had remained with him.
  • Another part of it is that he should sooth his heart by seeking recompense for it from Allah.
  • And a part of it is the knowledge that his reaction to the calamity will determine what happens to him, for whoever accepts( Allah’s Qadr), Allah will be pleased with him and whoever is angry at it, Allah will be angry with him.
  • Also a part of the treatment is the knowledge that even if he was patient sometime after the calamity struck, that being the patience of the o­ne who is resigned, that is not praiseworthy and it is not rewarded.
  • Another part of it is the knowledge that o­ne of the most effective medicines is the success granted by Allah in attaining that which He loves and which is pleasing to Him and that it is the essence of love.
  • Another part of it is for him to compare between the greater and the lesser of the two pleasures: between the pleasure which he enjoys due to (his acceptance of) the calamity which befell him and the pleasure which he enjoys due to the reward of Allah (which he receives due to his acceptance and patient perseverance).
  • And a part of it is the knowledge that the o­ne who put him to trial is the Best of judges and the Most Merciful of those who show mercy and that He has not subjected him to misfortune in order to destroy him, but in order to test him and to hear entreaties and see him prostrating at His door.
  • Another part of it is the knowledge that misfortunes are a means of preventing sickness which will cause his destruction, such as pride, arrogance, and hardness of the heart.
  • Still another part of it is the knowledge that the bitterness of this life is the sweetness of the afterlife and vice versa. And if this is not apparent to you, examine the words of the truthful o­ne, whose words are believed:“Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations.”(Narrated Muslim, At-Tirmidihi, Ahmad and Ad-Darimi, o­n the authority of Anas Ibn Malik radi Allahu anha).
And in this matter, the minds of mankind are at fault and the reality of men is made clear (i.e. that they prefer the temporary pleasures of this world to the everlasting pleasures of the Hereafter).
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It is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“A statement that does not begin with praise of Allah and blessing upon me, remains deficient and bereft of blessings.” (Abu Dawud, 13/184)

The same has been narrated about Bismillah also. 
The Arabic letter Baa in Bismillah stands for seeking help. From a syntactical point of view it relates to a noun or verb dropped by aphasia. The Quran contains examples of its relationship with both verb and noun. The example of verb is Iqra bism-e-rabbika (Read: “In the Name of your Lord…”) and the example of noun is Bismillah-e-majreha (In the Name of Allah will be its moving course).

Hamd means praising orally a grace regardless of being benefited by it, be it a favour or anything else, such as a statement that ‘I did Hamd of a certain person in connection with the prize he had been awarded or for his feat of boldness.’ Shukr (thanking) is that praise which is done orally or emotionally or by any other organ of the body in lieu of some favour. This shows that the word Hamd is commonly used in one situation and the Shukr in another situation.

Describing the mutual difference between Hamd and Madh (praise) Ibn Al-Qaiyim writes that Hamd denotes stating qualities with love and respect; and Madh denotes only declaration of the quality, it does not necessarily imply love and respect. That is why the connotation of Hamd is of a special nature and that of Madh a general.

In the word Al-Hamdu, the prefix Al has been used comprehensiveness meaning that it includes all forms of Hamd. Some people have described it as a generic noun and have maintained that perfect Hamd is affirmed only for Allah. This word shows that Allah has all the Attributes of perfection and beauty.
(Taken from AbdurRahman.org)

Rabbana innanā amanna, faghfir lana, dhunoobana wa-qinna ‘adhāāban-naar
(Our Lord! we have indeed believed: forgive us, then, our sins, and save us from the agony of the Fire)
[surah Ali’ Imran; 3:16]

 
سُبْحَنَ رَبِّنَآ إنَّا كُنَّا ظَلِمِينَ

Subhāna Rabbina inna kunna dhalimeen
(Glory to our Lord! Verily we have been doing wrong!)
[68:29]

لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

La illaha illa Anta Subhanak, inni kuntu min adh-dhalimeen
(There is no God but You; Glory be to You, Truly I have been one of the wrongdoers)
[Surah al-Anbiyah, 21: 87]

Sa’d ibn Waqas (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (salAllahu allayhi wasalam) said, “The supplication made by the Companion of the Fish (Prophet Yunus (as)) in the belly of the fish was (the above). If any Muslim supplicates in these words, his supplication will be accepted/responded to.”
In another report we read, “I know words that will cause Allah to remove one’s distress. These are the words (of supplication) of my brother Yunus, peace be upon him”
[at-Tirmidhi; 3500, an-Nisa’i in `Amal al-yawmi wa al-layla; #656, al-Hakim 1:505 and 2:383. The latter declared it sound (sahih) and Dhahabi confirmed him]

سُبْحَنَكَ تُبْتُ إلَيْكَ وَ أنَاْ أوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Subhānaka tubtu ilaiyka wa ‘ana awwal-ul mu’mineen
(Glory be to Thee! To Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe)
[surah al-A’raf, 7:143]

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي كُلَّهُ، دِقَّهُ وَجِلَّهُ، وَأَوَّلَهُ وَآخِرَهُ وَعَلَانِيَتَهُ وَسِرَّهُ

Allahumma-ghfir li dhanbi kullahu, diqqahu wa jillahu, wa awwalahu wa akhirahu, wa ‘ala niyatahu wa sirrahu
(O Allah! Forgive me all my sins, great and small, the first and the last, those that are apparent and those that are hidden)
[Muslim 1:350]

اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ يَا اللَّهُ بِأنَّكَ الْوَاحِدُّ الأحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَمْيَلِدْ وَ لَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُواً أحَدٌ، أنْ تَغْفِرَ لِي ذُنُوبِي إنَّكَ أنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الَّرحِيمُ
Allahumma inni asaluka ya Allahu bi annakal Wahidul Ahadus-Samadul ladhi, lam ya-lid wa lam youlad, wa lam yakullahu kufuwan Ahad, an taghfirali dhunoobi innaka Antal Ghafūūrur Raheem

(O Allah! I ask You, O Allah, You are the One, the Only, Self Sufficient Master, who was not begotten and begets not and non is equal to Him. Forgive me my sins, surely you are Forgiving, Merciful.)
[Abu Dawud, an Nasa’i, ibn Majah, at Tirmidhi]

أسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ وَ أتُوبُ إلَيْهِ

Astaghfirullaha wa atūūbu ilai(hi)
(I seek the Forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him.)
[to be reicted 100 times during the day]
[Sahih al Bukhari, Muslim 4:2075]

سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَ بِحَمْدِكَ، أشْهَدُ أنْ لا إلهَ إلَّا أنْتَ، أسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَ أتُوبُ إلَيْكَ
Subhanakal-Lahumma wa bihamdik, ash-hadu allaillaha illa ant, astaghfiruka wa’atoobu ilaiyk

(Glory be to You, O Allah, and all Praise, I testify that there is no deity but You, I seek Your Forgiveness and to You do I repent.)
[3 times] [recommended for at the end of meetings, atoning for infractions during it]
[at Tabari, an Nasa’i, al Hakim]

اللَّهُمَّ اِنّى اسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِذَنْبِى وَ اسْئَلُكَ رَحْمَتَكَ

Allahumma inni astaghfiruka li dhanbi wa as’aluka rahmatak
(O Allah! I ask You for Forgiveness for my sins, and for Your Mercy.)

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْلِى خَطَايَاىَ وَ ذُنُوْبِى كُلِّهَا

Allahummaghfirli khatāyaya wa dhunubi kullaha
(O Allah! Forgive all my sins and ommissions.)

رَبَّنَا لا تُؤَاخِذْنآ إِننَسِيَنآ أوْ أخْطَأْ نَا رَبَّنَا وَ لا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَه عَلَى اْلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا ج رَبَّنَا وَ لا تُحَمّلْنَا مَا لا طَاقَةَ لَنَابِهِ وَاْعْفُعَنَّا وَ اْغْفِرْلَنَا وَاْرْحَمْنَآ أنتَ مُوْلَنَا فَاْنصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَفِرِينَ
Rabbana la tu’a-khidhna in-nasina aw akta’na, Rabbana wa la tahmil ‘alaiyna isran kama hamaltahu ‘alal-ladheena min qablina. Rabbana wala tuham-milna mala taqata-lana beh. Wa’fu-‘anna, waghfir-lana war hamna, Anta maulana fansurna ‘alal qawmil kaafireen

(Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us, Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against Faith)
[surah al-Baqarah; 2:286]

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ
Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta, Anta Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana ‘ala ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu, A’udhu bika min Sharri ma sana’tu, abu’u Laka bini’matika ‘alaiya, wa Abu Laka bidhanbi faghfirli innahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta

(O Allah! You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You.)

Shaddad ibn Aws (radiAllahu anhu) relates that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said that he (Sayyid al-Istighfar) most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is to say (the above du’a). That “If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise.”
[sahih al-Bukhari; 8,75,318, at-Tirmidhi; 3393, an-Nasa’i; 5522, Ahmad; 16662]

أسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ الْعَظِيمَ الَّذِي لا إلَهَ إلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ، غَفَّارُ الذُّنُّوبِ ذُو الْجَلاَلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ، وَ أتُوبُ إَيْهِ مِنْ جَمِيعِ الْمَعَاصِي وَ الذُّنوبِ وَ الآثامِ، وَ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ أذْنَبْتُهُ عَمْدًا وَ خَطَأً، ظَاهِرًا وَبَاطِنًا، قَوْلًا وَفِعْلًا، فِى جَمِيع حَرَكَاتِي وَسَكَاتِي وَخَطَرَاتِي وأنْفَاسِي كُلِّهَا دَائِمًا أبَدًا سَرْمَدًا، مِنَ الذَّنْبِ الَّذِي أعْلَمُ، وَ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ الَّذِي لا أعْلَمُ، عَدَدَ مَا أحَاطَ بِهِ الْعِلْمُ وَ أحْصَاهُ الْكِتَابُ وَ خَطَّهُ الْقَلَمُ، وَ عَدَدَ مَا أوْ جَدَتْهُ الْقُدْرَةُ وَ خَصَّصَتْهُ الإرَادَةُ، وَمِدَادَ كَلِمَاتِ اللّهِ، وَ كَمَا يَنْبَغِي لِجَلالِ وَجْهِ رَبِّنَا وَ جَمَالِهِ وَ كَمَالِهِ، وَ كَمَا يُحِبُّ رَبِّنَا وَ يَرْضَى

اَللّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِكُلِّ ذَنْبٍ لِّيْ وَأَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَغْفِرَ لِيْ مَا أَحْصَيْتَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ مَّظَالِمِ الْعِبَادِ قِبَلِيْ فَإِنَّ لِعِبَادِكَ عَلَيَّ حُقُوْقًا وَّمَظَالِمَ وأَنَا بِهَا مُرْتَهِنٌ اَللّهُمَّ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ كَثِيْرَةً فَإِنَّهَا فِيْ جَنْبِ عَفْوِكَ يَسِيْرَةٌ اللّهُمَّ أَيُّمَا عَبْدٍ مِّنْ عِبَادِكَ أَوْ أَمَةٍ مِّنْ إِمَائِكَ كَانَتْ لَهُ مَظْلِمَةٌ عِنْدِيْ قَدْ غَصَبْتُهُ عَلَيْهَا فِيْ أَرْضِها أَوْ مَالِها أَوْ عِرْضِها أَوْ بَدَنِها أَوْ غَابَ أَوْ حَضَرَ هُوَ أَوْ خَصْمُهُ يُطَالِبُنِيْ بِهَا وَلَمْ أَسْتَطِعْ أَنْ أَرُدَّهَا إِلَيْهِ وَلَمْ أَسْتَحْلِلْهَا مِنْهُ فَأَسْأَلُكَ بِكَرَمِكَ وَجُوْدِكَ وَسِعَةِ مَا عِنْدَكَ أَنْ تُرْضِيَهُمْ عَنِّيْ وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ لَّهُمْ عَلَيَّ شَيْئًا مُّنَقِّصَةً مِّنْ حَسَنَاتِيْ فَإِنَّ عِنْدَكَ مَا يُرْضِيْهِمْ عَنِّيْ وَلَيْسَ عِنْدِيْ مَا يُرْضِيْهِمْ وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لِسَيِّئَاتِهِمْ عَلىٰ حَسَنَاتِيْ سَبِيْلاً.

Allahumma inni astaghfiruka li kulli dhambin,

(O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness for all my sins. I ask You to forgive me for all my wrongdoings [mazalim] against people that You have recorded, for there are many rights [huquq] and dues [mazalim] owed to Your servants that I am burdened with and for which I am hostage [murtahin]. O Allah, even if these (wrongdoings) are many they are insignificant in comparison with the magnitude of Your forgiveness. O Allah, any male or female servant of Yours who has rights upon me, in either that I have unjustly taken from him [ghasabtu] in regards to his land, possession, honor, body; whether he was absent or present; or he or his representatives demanded it from me and neither was I able to return it to him nor did I seek release of it from him. So I ask You through Your benevolence, generosity, and abundance of what You possess that You satisfy them on my behalf, and not give them a position over me that will decrease my good deeds; for You possess what You can satisfy them with on my behalf and I do not possess what to satisfy them with; and do not allow for their bad deeds to find a path over my good deeds on the Day of Judgment.)
[From ‘The Prayers of Forgiveness that Save from the Hellfire’ by Hasan al-Basri]

© Copyright 2000-2005 Mutmainaa. All Rights Reserved.

Black Magic

As I listened to NPR the other day, a routine statement triggered a memory.

The guest on the show was a novelist from a Muslim country. For one of the questions, the host began by stating: “Many concerned Americans are saying that Trump’s rhetoric is radicalizing Muslims who would otherwise be pro-America” – the implication being that either you’re pro-America (the proper term for this is ‘Americanism’) or something is wrong with you. The guest seemed intelligent and was well-spoken. But his response was the standard reassurance that non-pro-America radicals constitute “only a fringe minority” of Muslims, everyone else is a moderate, and so forth.

While routine, this particular exchange triggered in me the memory of a young man I once lived with in another prison. I’d watch as he robotically paced the unit – back & forth, all day & everyday. He’d go weeks without showering or changing his clothes. Each day, he’d recklessly consume massive amounts of sugar despite being predisposed to diabetes. Anytime I’d try to intervene & advise him to snap out of it, he’d stare back at me as if I was the crazy one. What made it all the more bizarre was that I also knew him to be very intelligent & well-educated. He had studied to become an engineer. In fact, he once spent five minutes reciting to me from memory a very eloquent poem that he’d heard just one time in one of his dreams. After a few conversations & attempts at reciting the Qur’an over him, I came to understand that he was suffering from the effects of black magic that he’d been afflicted with since childhood.

The scholars explain that the effects of black magic generally continue so long as the object through which the spell was cast remains intact. During that time, black magic can muddle your mind and rob you of reason, even if you’re otherwise intelligent. The NPR interview reminded me of that young man because this is exactly how many minds are affected by the dominance of a taghut. Once that dominance ends, the spell is broken. Example after example of this is scattered throughout the Qur’an, throughout history, and in the present day:

Read the story of Qarun to see how people’s view of him completely changed between one day & the next: {“Those who desired the life of this world said: “Ah! If only we had what Qarun has been given. Indeed, he owns a great fortune!” But those who were given knowledge said: “Woe to you! Allah’s reward is better for those who believe & perform good deeds…” So I caused the ground to swallow him & his home… And those who wanted to be in his place just the previous day now said: “Don’t you know that Allah widens & restricts provision for those of His servants He wills? If not for Allah’s grace, He would’ve caused the ground to swallow us! Don’t you know that the disbelievers will never prosper?””} (28:79-82)

So once the taghut vanished, his spell over people was broken and they suddenly snapped out of it.

And long before Qarun, only after Prophet Ibrahim smashed their idols to bits did people snap out of it long enough to hear him out, and they even {“turned to each other and said: “Indeed, you are the wrongdoers!””} (21:64)

And long after Qarun, only after he found his idol thrown headfirst into a pile of filth with a dead dog tied to it did ‘Amr bin al-Jamuh snap out of it and thank Allah for guiding him by composing poetry which included:

He is the One Who saved me * Before I could become imprisoned in the darkness of the grave…

And in modern history, only after the Soviet Union collapsed did many in the Ummah snap out of it and realize how delusional they’d been attempting to harmonize between Islam & socialism.

But today, many claimants to Islam don’t yet realize their delusion in attempting to harmonize between Islam & Americanism. And when the “fringe minority” points this out and advises them to snap out of it, they stare back at them as if they’re the crazy ones. As I mentioned above, the scholars explain that the effects of black magic generally continue so long as the object through which the spell was cast remains intact.

The scholars explain one more thing: the practitioners of black magic themselves realize that they’re only truly effective against people with weak hearts, not those whom Allah has fortified with knowledge & Iman. This is why while those who were deluded about Qarun did eventually snap out of it, it was “those who were given knowledge” who never had to snap out of anything. Why? Because their knowledge & Iman protected them from the magic, allowing them to see Qarun for what he was long before he was swallowed into the ground.

Written by: Tariq Mehanna
Sunday, the 13th of Jumada al-Akhirah 1438 (12th of March 2017)
United States Penitentiary – Marion

Opposing Forces

One theme which defines prison life is that of opposing forces.

From the moment they first slap on the handcuffs, you enter into what’s officially known in legal jargon as an ‘adversarial relationship’ with your captors. This continues in the courtroom, and onwards to prison. Here, guards oppose prisoners, prisoners oppose other prisoners, and guards sometimes oppose other guards.

This extends to societies, to governments, and to the entire planet. The world is a series of opposing forces against & amongst one another.

It extends to the sky above the planet, in which darkness & light incessantly repel one another at any given place & time.

It extends back in time to the moment Iblis first laid envious eyes on our father Adam.

It extends inwardly, as opposing forces incessantly battle one another within you. As you read this, just your blood is caught between opposing forces such as acidic & basic pH, systolic & diastolic pressure, glucose & insulin, and others – each hanging in a delicate balance precise enough to prevent disease.

And it extends all the way to your heart, as as-Sa’di wrote that “the sound heart is free of shirk, doubt, love of evil, and insistence on bid’ah & sin. Once you free your heart from these, you’ll automatically possess their opposite: sincere devotion, knowledge, certainty, love & attraction towards good, a love & longing consistent with the love of Allah, and a desire consistent with what has come from Allah.”

Ibn Muflih wrote that adversarial relationships are “from Allah’s wisdom. It’s known that when He tests you, He also helps you: He tests you with disease and helps you with the cure; He tests you with sin and helps you with tawbah; He tests you with filthy spirits (shayatin) and helps you with pure ones (Angels); He tests you with prohibitions and helps you by permitting their opposite.”

Your heart is constantly caught between these forces of disease & cure, as the Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that “Allah didn’t create a disease except that He created its cure along with it.” In one narration, he added: “Whoever knows it knows it, and whoever doesn’t doesn’t.”

Allah then scattered those cures about, leaving us to discover them in the most unlikely places: sunlight hits your skin, causing it to produce the vitamin D that metabolizes calcium; the vitamin K needed for your blood to properly clot is produced by bacteria in your intestines; there’s even a commercially available diabetes treatment originally extracted from the venom of a Gila monster.

The ruling on treating the body’s diseases has always been disputed over by scholars: some practically obligated it, some simply preferred it, some said it doesn’t matter either way, and some preferred avoiding it altogether in favor of patience. But because “if it’s corrupted, the entire body will be corrupted” in this world, and everyone is ruined {“except those who come to Allah with a sound heart”} (26:89) in the next, no such dispute exists regarding the heart.

So when Mu’adh bin Jabal was asked for advice on his deathbed, he asked to be sat up and then said three times: “Knowledge & Iman are in their places. Whoever seeks them will find them.” He was teaching them that like all cures, Allah scattered these about for them to seek. And they went to the ends of the Earth doing so, as Masruq once travelled to Basrah seeking the meaning of a single ayah of the Qur’an. When he arrived, he was told: “The one who knows it has gone to Sham.” So he rode from southern Iraq all the way north to Sham and learned it. And ‘Ikrimah said: “I spent fourteen years seeking the name of the man referred to in the ayah {“and whoever leaves his home migrating to Allah and His Messenger…”} (4:100) until I finally found it.”

These were the best generations of Islam, who saw jahiliyyah as a disease to eradicate from the world through the Qur’an, {“a cure for what is in the hearts…”} (10:57) Explaining this, as-Sa’di wrote that “the cure of the Qur’an means that it cures the heart of doubts, ignorance, corrupt ideas, terrible deviance, and despicable intentions. It contains knowledge that’s so certain that it sweeps away all doubt & ignorance. It contains lessons that sweep away every desire contradicting Allah’s commands. And it contains a cure for the body’s pains & ailments.”

Before him, ash-Shawkani wrote that it’s a cure “because from it, you obtain the proper beliefs while seeing how baseless the false ones are.” Elsewhere, he wrote that “the scholars have two opinions regarding how it cures. Some said that it cures the heart by sweeping away ignorance & doubt and uncovering the matters that teach us about Allah. Others said that it cures physical ailments as a ruqyah, a means of protection, etc. There’s no reason why we can’t accept both meanings.”

Before him, Ibn Kathir wrote that “it sweeps away the diseases of the heart such as doubt, nifaq, shirk, confusion, and inclination towards falsehood. The Qur’an cures all of that. It’s also a mercy from which you obtain Iman & wisdom & a desire for good. But this only applies to those who believe in & follow it – only for them is it a cure & mercy. As for the kafir who wrongs himself, listening to the Qur’an will only distance him and increase his kufr. The problem lies within the kafir, not the Qur’an.”

Many claimants to Islam today reverse that last sentence, showing a willingness to abrogate as much of the Qur’an as they think will satisfy their masters, who until today demand that we {“bring a Qur’an other than this, or alter it.”} (10:15)

Indeed, every cure is opposed by a disease. But despite the forces coalesced against it, the Qur’an will never be altered, Allah has scattered it into the most unlikely places, and He’s made it easier than ever to learn. The Salaf would spend years and travel up & down continents seeking out a single piece of knowledge you can now instantly access from your smartphone. Even in prison – in a land ‘Ikrimah didn’t know existed – it took me seconds to find in a book the answer he’d spent fourteen years seeking: Damrah bin Jundub. He was an elderly man living in Makkah when he heard the ayah threatening those who choose to live amongst the enemy. So he told his sons: “Carry me! I’m not weak, and I can find my way. I won’t spend another night in Makkah!” So they carried him and headed to Madinah. But on the way, he realized that he was about to die. So he grabbed one hand with the other while saying: “O Allah! This bay’ah is to You, and the other is to Your Messenger.” He died before he could reach the Dawlah in Madinah, but while trying his best to implement the Qur’an.

May Allah be pleased with him & everyone like him… Indeed, as one hadith states, “for the one who recites & implements the Qur’an, it’s like a pouch filled with musk that spreads its fragrance everywhere.”

Ibn al-Qayyim wrote that “fragrances nourish the soul, which is the vehicle of your energy. They expand this energy, benefit the head & internal organs, and bring joy to the heart & soul. They’re the best thing for the spirit and illuminate it more than anything else.” Anatomy & physiology confirm this, explaining that what you smell is directly connected to how you feel because olfactory receptors at the top of your nasal cavity absorb scents, then convert them into nerve impulses that are carried to the limbic system – the part of the brain governing your emotions.

This effect made fragrances one of few things of the dunya beloved to the Prophet. And like all cures, Allah scattered them about, such that musk is obtained from a musk deer’s abdomen, ‘ambar (ambergris) from a sperm whale’s intestines, ‘ud (aloe wood) & kafur (camphor) from their respective plants, and so on.

And because every cure is opposed by a disease, Ibn al-Qayyim wrote that “fragrances possess a special quality: they’re loved by the Angels and detested by the shayatin. The shayatin love repugnant odors more than anything else, as every soul inclines towards what suits it.” This is why prior to their contact with Muslims, the Crusaders had an aversion to smelling good. In a chapter on the Crusades in his ‘History of the World,’ J.M. Roberts wrote that “wherever they encountered Islam, whether in the crusading lands, Sicily or Spain, western Europeans found things to admire. Sometimes they took up luxuries not to be found at home: silk clothes, the use of perfumes and new dishes. One habit acquired by some crusaders was that of taking more frequent baths.”

Defeating the Crusaders in Sham was itself a cure that served to {“heal the chests of a believing people and remove the fury in their hearts…”} (9:14-15) Commenting on this, as-Sa’di wrote that “this is because their hearts are filled with fury & sadness from seeing these enemies wage war on Allah & His Messenger while striving to put out His light, and these are cured when they’re fought & killed. This shows how much Allah loves & cares for the believers, such that He made healing their hearts and removing their fury an objective of the Shari’ah.”

Just as this objective is met through bara’, it’s also met through wala’, as Imam Ahmad said that “I never heard anything that strengthened my heart & reassured me during the Mihnah more than what a poor, blind man said to me: “O Ahmad! If you die, you die as a shahid. If you live, you live worthy of praise.”” Allah has scattered such people throughout your life. Like every cure, you encounter them in the most unlikely of settings. They somehow float into your orbit, affect you, then vanish, as the Prophet said that “souls are conscripted soldiers: the similar attract one another, and the different repel one another.”

And like every cure, this wala’ is opposed by a disease that Ibn al-Jawzi warned about: “If you find yourself repelled by the righteous or attracted to the wicked, find the cause of this and remedy it so that you don’t end up in the wrong group of souls.”

The effects of the bonds you form in this life extend all the way to the next, as al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Befriend as many believers as you can, because they’ll be able to intercede on the Day of Resurrection.”

Only when you reach the Day of Resurrection will you appreciate this, as you watch everyone else turn on one another: {“Close friends will become enemies on that day, except the muttaqin.”} (43:67) Commenting on this, ash-Shawkani wrote that “close friends who loved each other in this life will become enemies once the Hour begins. Their bonds will be severed, and each will be worried about himself. This is because they’ll find that their friendships were based on what have now become causes of punishment, and this will turn them against one another. Allah then exempted the muttaqin, who are close friends in this life & the next. They’ll find their friendships to be a cause of good & reward, so these bonds will remain intact.”

Perhaps those who turn on one another in the next life will then grasp the lesson behind the pattern of opposing forces in this life, as Ibn al-Qayyim wrote that “when you ponder over the creation of opposing forces in this world – how they resist & repel & overpower one another – then Allah’s power, wisdom, and perfection in what He does become perfectly clear to you. You’ll realize that He’s unique in His Lordship & Oneness, that He dominates everything, and that anything can be resisted by an opposing force – except Him.”

All the while, those who grasped this from the start will be lined up to enter Jannah – with no opposition against or amongst them, free of disease, and displaying the very cures that gave them the sound hearts to make it to this point, as the Prophet said that “the first group to enter Jannah will resemble a full moon (i.e., in radiance).

They won’t spit, blow their noses, or defecate…

They’ll be burning ‘ud, and their sweat will consist of musk…

No dispute or animosity will exist between them.

Their hearts will be united as if they’re a single man.

And they’ll be glorifying Allah day & night…”

Written by: Tariq Mehanna
Saturday, the 1st of Ramadan 1438 (28th of May 2017)
Marion CMU

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

I will, by the Mercy of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala, starting posting again on my blog, after years of inactivity.

 

 

Shaykh ul –Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Taken from ‘Miftah dar as-Sa’ada’(key to the land of happiness)

Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

 

The saying of Allaah Ta’ala :   ((By Al-‘Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience.))

Ash-Shafiee – may Allaah be pleased with him – said: ‘If all the people reflected over this Soorah it would be sufficient for them.’

The explanation of this is that this Soorah has four levels, and by completing these, a person can achieve the highest goal in being complete.

The first is: Knowing the truth.

The second: his acting upon the truth.

The third: Him teaching the one who is deficient in the truth.

The fourth: Being patient in learning the truth, and acting upon it, and teaching it.

Allaah Ta’ala mentioned these four levels in this Soorah, and Allaah Subhanahu testified in this Soorah by al-Asr (the time) that everyone is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous, good deeds and they are those who knew the truth, and they testified to the truth. So the above is a level.

They did righteous, good deeds and they are those who performed worship with what they knew about the truth.

So this is a level. They advise with the truth; they advise one another, teaching and guiding each other.

So this is the third level. They advise with patience; they were patient with the truth, and they advised each other with patience upon the truth, and to be steadfast.

And this is the fourth level. This is the end of completeness; indeed completeness is that a person is complete in himself, and completes others.

His completeness is by correcting his two strengths, the strength of knowledge and the strength of actions.  Correction of the strength of knowledge is with Emaan, and correction of the strength of actions is by doing righteous deeds, and by completing people other than himself, and by learning this knowledge, and being patient upon it, and his recommending with patience upon knowledge and action.

So this Soorah, even though it is brief, is one of the most collective soorahs of the Qur’aan for goodness from all its different angles. Praise be to Allaah Who has made the Qur’aan sufficient for everything, a cure from every disease, a guidance to all that is good.