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Archive for the ‘Refining Character’ Category

1 – Bishr al-Haafi said: “That I seek the world with a wind instrument is more beloved to me than that I seek it with my Deen.”
2 – Ibraaheem an-Nakha’i said: “When Shaytaan comes to you while you are in prayer and says: ‘You are showing off,’ make it longer.”

3 – One of the Salaf said: “Direct me to an action by which I will never cease to be performing for Allaah the Exalted.” It was said to him: “Always intend good, because you will never cease to be performing even if you do not perform any actions. The intention is made even in the absence of any actions. Whoever intended to pray at night and then slept, the reward for what he intended will be written for him.”

4 – One of them said: “I love that I have an intention for every single thing; even my eat, drink and sleep.”

5 – It was said to Sahl: “What is the hardest thing for the soul (to achieve)?” He said: “Sincerity, when there is no other desire in it.”

6 – Ya’qoob al-Makfoof said: “The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds just like he hides his evil deeds.”

7 – One of them wrote to his brother: “Make your intention sincere in all of your actions, and little action will suffice you.”

8 – Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani said: “Purifying the intention is harder than all other actions for those who act.”

9 – Yahyaa bin Mu’aadh said: “Sincerity separates good actions from faults like the separation of milk from dung and blood.”

10 – as-Soosi said: “What Allaah desires from the actions of His creation is sincerity and nothing else.”

11 – al-Junayd said: “To Allaah belong servants who understand, and when they understand they act, and when they act they make their actions sincere. Their recalling of sincerity at the time of doing righteousness is what accumulates the greatest good for them.”

12 – Hawshab used to cry and say: “My name has reached the large Mosque (meaning, the people will know who I am)!”

13 – as-Soosi said: “Sincerity is to lose the vision of sincerity in oneself.”

14 – One of them said: “Whoever sees sincerity in his sincerity, his sincerity is itself in need of sincerity. The destruction of every sincere person lies in his sincerity to the extent that he sees sincerity in himself. When he abandons seeing sincerity in himself he will be sincere and purified.”

15 – Abu ‘Uthmaan said: “Sincerity is to forget about the creation by constantly looking at the Creator (in terms of gaining admiration for your deeds).”

16 – Ibraaheem bin Adham said: “The one who loves fame is not truthful to Allaah.”

17 – Sufyaan ath-Thawri said: “They (the Salaf) used to hate fame and reputation due to wearing nice garments because eyes would stretch towards them.”

18 – Na’eem bin Hammaad said: “‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak frequently used to sit in his house for long periods of time, so it was said to him: ‘Don’t you feel lonely and isolated?’ He said: ‘How can I feel isolated while I am with the Prophet (saw)?’.”

19 – Ja’far bin Hayyaan said: “The foundations of these actions are the intentions. Indeed a man reaches with his intentions a position he does not reach with his actions.”

20 – One of the people of wisdom used to say: “When a man is speaking in a gathering and his speech amazes him, let be silent. When he keeps silent and his silence amazes, him let him speak.”

21 – Mutraf bin ‘Abdullaah ash-Shakheer said: “That I spend the night sleeping and wake up remorseful is more loved to me than that I spend the night standing in prayer and wake up in admiration.”

22 – an-Nu’maan bin Qays said: “I never saw ‘Abeedah performing any voluntary prayers in the mosque of al-Hayy.”

23 – ‘Ali said: “The one who shows off has three charactersistics: he is lazy when by himself, he is lively and energetic when with others and he increases in his actions when he is praised and decreases in them when he is criticised.”

24 – al-Hasan said: “The one who shows off desires to overcome what Allaah has decreed for him. He is an evil person who desires to inform the people that he is righteous in order to hear what they would say. He has obtained a position of vileness and wickedness from his Lord. It is therefore essential for the hearts of the believers to recognise him.”

25 – Sahl bin ‘Abdullaah said: “There is nothing which is tougher upon the soul than acheiving sincerity. How many times have I tried to remove the inclination to show off from my heart except that it sprouted in a different colour?”

26 – Ibn Mas’ood said: “Do not learn knowledge for three reasons: to amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make people’s faces turn towards you. Rather, seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.”

27 – Abu Sulaymaan ad-Daarini said: “Glad tidings for the one who took a single step desiring nothing but the face of Allaah by it.”

28 – Some of the Salaf said: “Whoever had a single instance in his lifetime which was purely and sincerely for the sake of Allaah – the Exalted – will be saved, and this is due to the greatness of sincerity.”

29 – Abu Sulaymaan ad-Daarini said: “When the servant is sincere, the inclination to show off and the many whisperings (of the Devils) are cut off from him.”

30 – It has also been said: “Sincerity is that the servants inward and outward actions are equal. Riyaa’ is when the outward appearance is better than the inner self and truthfulness in one’s sincerity is when the inner self is better cultivated and more flourishing than the outward appearance.”

31 – Some of the Salaf have said: “Sincerity is that you do not seek a witness over your action besides Allaah or one who gives reward besides Him.”

32 – Makhool said: “Never does a servant maintain sincerity for forty days in succession except that the streams of wisdom from his heart appear on his tongue.”

33 – ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim said: “The people destined for the Fire will be ordered towards Paradise until they come close to it and smell its fragrance, see its palaces and what Allaah has prepared in it for its people. Then an announcement will be made that they be turned away from it. There will be no portion for them in it. They will return in loss and ruin just like the ones before them. Then they will say: ‘O our Lord! If you had entered us into the Fire before You showed us what You have shown us from Your reward and what You have prepared for your friends and allies, it would have been easier upon us.’ Then the Exalted will say: ‘This is what I intended with you. When you used to be alone you would combat me (or show boldness to Me) with grave sins and when you used to meet people you would meet them with humility. You would show to the people other than that which you used to give Me from your hearts. You feared people but you did not fear Me. You honored the people but you did not honor Me, you abandoned actions for the people but you did not abandon them for Me. This day, will I make you taste a tormenting punishment as well as prevent you from receiving that reward.”

34 – It has been said: “The damage caused to every servant lies in his being pleased with himself. Whoever looks at his soul and sees something in it which he deems to be good has caused its destruction. And whoever does not suspect his soul at every single moment is one who is deceived.”

35 – Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Sincerity is the unification of one’s wish and intent.”

[Collected by Shaykh Husayn al-‘Awaa’ishah from ‘Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom ud-Deen’ of al-Ghazaali, ‘Mukhtasar Minhaaj ul-Qaasideen’ of Ibn Qudaamah and ‘az-Zuhd’ of ‘Abdullaah Ibn al-Mubaarak]

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Dead Hearts

by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

While thousands of Muslims are killed all over the world, and while tens of thousands are imprisoned and tortured for calling to the path of Allah and for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, most Muslims remain remarkably silent and have no worry except for the material things of life. Their hearts have been filled with the love of this life and the forgetfulness of the Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur’an: “You will indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life, even more than those who do not believe in Resurrection. Each one of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from due punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do” (Al Baqarah, 2:96).

Many Muslims today have become so much attached to their life that their desire is to dwell among their family, house, money and commerce. They have forgotten that matters of the Hereafter should come before matters of this life and that we must strive to follow the orders of Allah, not just those we find easy and convenient to follow. Some Muslims today claim that it is better to perform extra prayers and extra fasting rather than enjoin the good and forbid the evil or defend the lives of weak Muslims. Such people would even blame the Muslims who strive to perform these obligations.

This is what Ibn al-Qayyim had to say about such people: ”The Shaitan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayers and voluntary fasting while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship such as enjoining the good and eradicating the evil, to the extent that they do not even make the intention of performing them whenever they are able to. Such people are considered by the scholars to be on the bottom of the scale of religion: For the essence of our religion is to perform what Allah ordered us to do. The one who does not perform his obligations is actually worse than the one who performs sins. Anyone having some knowledge about the revelation of Allah, the guidance of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and the life of the companions would conclude that those who are pointed at today as the most pious people are in fact the least pious. Indeed, what kind of piety is there in a person who witnesses Allah’s sanctities being violated, his religion abandoned, the Sunnah of His Messenger shunned, and yet remains still with a cold heart and a shut mouth’ Such a person is like a dumb Shaitan! In the same way the one who talks falsehood is a speaking Shaitan. Isn’t the misfortune of Islam due only to those who whenever their life and food are secure, would not care about what happens to the religion? The best among them would offer a sorry face. But if they were challenged in one of the things their heart is attached to like their money, they would spare no efforts to get it back. These people, besides deserving the anger of Allah, are afflicted with the greatest calamity without even knowing it: They have a dead heart. Indeed the more alive a person’s heart is, the stronger its anger for the sake of Allah and the more complete his support to Islam and Muslims.”

(A’alaam al-Muwaqqi’een, volume 2, page 176).

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I complained to Wakee`about my poor memory.
So he advised me to abandon disobedience.
and he said, ‘know that knowledge is light.
And the light of Allaah is not bestowed upon a disobedient’.

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Allah commanded His servants to use patience and prayer to acquire the good of this life and the Hereafter. Muqatil bin Hayan said that this Ayah means, “Utilize patience and the obligatory prayer in seeking the Hereafter. As for patience (here), they say that it means fasting.” There are similar texts reported from Mujahid. Al-Qurtubi and other scholars commented, “This is why Ramadan is called the month of patience,” as is mentioned in the Hadith literature. It was also said that `patience’ in the Ayah means, refraining from evil, and this is why `patience’ was mentioned along with practicing acts of worship, especially and foremost, the prayer. Also, Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “There are two types of patience: good patience when the disaster strikes, and a better patience while avoiding the prohibitions of Allah.” Ibn Abi Hatim said that Al-Hasan Al-Basri was reported to have said similarly.

Allah then said,

﴿والصَّلَوةِ﴾

(And As-Salah (the prayer).)

The prayer is one of the best means of assistance for firmly adhering to Allah’s orders, just as Allah said;

﴿اتْلُ مَا أُوْحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَوةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَآءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ﴾

(Recite (O Muhammad ) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’an), and perform As-Salah. Verily, As-Salah (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind), and Al-Munkar and the remembrance of (praising) of (you by) Allah is greater indeed) (29:45).

The personal pronoun in the Ayah,

﴿وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ﴾

(And truly, it is extremely heavy and hard) refers to prayer, as Mujahid is reported to have said, and it was also the choice of Ibn Jarir. It is possible that the pronoun might be referring to the advice – to observe patience and the prayer – mentioned in the same Ayah. Similarly, Allah said about Qarun (Korah),

﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنْ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً وَلاَ يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ الصَّـبِرُونَ ﴾

(But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this, none shall attain except As-Sabirun (the patient).”) (28:80).

Also, Allah said,

﴿وَلاَ تَسْتَوِى الْحَسَنَةُ وَلاَ السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِى بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ – وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ ذُو حَظِّ عَظِيمٍ ﴾

(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient ـ and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter and) in this world.) (41:34-35) meaning, this advice is only implemented by those who are patient and the fortunate. In any case, Allah’s statement here means, prayer is `heavy and burdensome’,

﴿إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَ﴾

(except for Al-Khashi`in.)

Ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, “They (Al-Khashi`in) are those who believe in what Allah has revealed.”

Allah’s statement,

﴿الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعُونَ ﴾

(They are those who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return.) continues the subject that was started in the previous Ayah. Therefore, the prayer, or the advice to observe it is heavy,

﴿إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَالَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ﴾

(except for Al-Khashi`in. (They are those) who are certain (Yazunnuna) that they are going to meet their Lord,) meaning, they know that they will be gathered and face their Lord on the Day of Resurrection,

﴿وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعُونَ﴾

(and that unto Him they are going to return.) meaning, their affairs are all subject to His will and He justly decides what He wills. Since they are certain that they will be returned to Allah and be reckoned, it is easy for them to perform the acts of obedience and refrain from the prohibitions. Ibn Jarir commented on Allah’s statement;

﴿يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ﴾

(Yazunnuna that they are going to meet their Lord)

Ibn Jarir said; “The Arabs call certainty as well as doubt, Zann. There are similar instances in the Arabic language where a subject as well as its opposite share the same name. For instance, Allah said,

﴿وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا﴾

(And the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners), shall see the Fire and Zannu (apprehend) that they have to fall therein)”(18:53).

It is recorded in the Sahih that on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will say to a servant, “Have I not allowed you to marry, honored you, made the horses and camels subservient to you and allowed you to become a chief and a master” He will say, “Yes.” Allah will say, “Did you have Zann (think) that you will meet Me” He will say, “No.” Allah will say, “This Day, I will forget you, just as you forgot Me.” If Allah wills, we will further elaborate on this subject when we explain Allah’s statement,

﴿نَسُواْ اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ﴾

(They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them) (9:67).

﴿يَـبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتِى الَّتِى أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّى فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(47. O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the `Alamin (nations))

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Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“Know that the greatest of losses is for you to be preoccupied with one who will bring you nothing but a loss in your time with Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – and being cut off from Him, a wasting your time with the person, a weakening of your energy, and the dispersing of your resolve. So, if you are tested with this – and you must be tested with this – deal with him according to how Allah would wish, and be patient with him as much as possible. Get closer to Allah and His Pleasure by way of this person, and make your getting together with him something to benefit from, not something to incur a loss from. Be with him as if you are a man who is on a road who was stopped by another man, who then asks you to take him on your journey. Make sure that you are the one who gives him a ride, and that he is not the one giving you the ride. If he refuses, and there is nothing to gain from travelling with him, do not stop for him, bid him farewell, and do not even turn back to look at him, as he is a highway robber, regardless of who he really is.

So, save your heart, be wary of how you spend your days and nights, and do not let the Sun set before you arrive at your destination.

[‘al-Wabil as-Sayyib’; p. 45]

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Ibn Mas`ûd relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Should I tell you what is a blatant lie? It is a rumor circulating among the people.” [Sahîh Muslim (2606)]
Here the Prophet (peace be upon him) is telling us how evil it is to spread rumors. The Arabic word for rumor here is namîmah. It is a kind of rumor that is meant to foster animosity between people. Al-Râghib al-Isfahânî defines the word namîmah as follows [al-Nihâyah (5/120)]:
It is to relate to people what others say about them in order to bring about problems. It is said that this rumor-mongering also includes divulging secrets and exposing about people what they wish to keep concealed.
It is a serious sin to go back and forth between people with rumors of what they are saying about each other and what they are scheming to do. Hudhayfah heard about a man who was spreading rumors and he said: “I heard Allah’s Messenger say: ‘A rumor-monger will not enter Paradise’.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6056) and Sahîh Muslim (105)]

Al-Ghazâlî states the following [al-Ihyâ’ (3/156)]:
Those who circulate rumors say things like: “So-and-so said this about you” or “So-and-so did this against you.” or they tell you that someone is plotting against you or encouraging your enemies or is working to worsen your circumstances.
He then goes on to make six excellent recommendations for dealing with such rumor-mongers and their rumors. These recommendations are as follows:

1. Do not believe him.

This is because a rumor-monger is a sinner. He is a malefactor whose testimony is unacceptable. Allah says: “O you who believe, if a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.” [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 6]

2. Tell him that he should not spread rumors.

It is good to advise the person who brings you a rumor that he is behaving wrongly. He should know that his conduct is unsavory. Allah tells us: “Enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.” [Sûrah Luqmân: 17]

3. Detest the rumor-monger for the sake of Allah.

A rumor-monger is detestable to Allah, so one must detest the person as well.

4. Do not allow yourself to think ill of the person who is the subject if the rumor.

It is wrong to thing ill of someone in his absence. Allah says: “O you who believe! avoid most suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin.” [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 12]

5. Do not try to verify the rumor by spying.

Do not let your suspicions cause you to spy on the person the rumor-monger told you about. Allah says: “And do not spy.” [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 12]

6. Do not fall into rumor-spreading yourself.

You should be vigilant not to convey the rumor-monger’s words to others. Ibn Mas`ûd relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Should I tell you what is a blatant lie? It is a rumor circulating among the people.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “A man will continue to tell the truth until he is recorded among the truthful,or he will continue to lie until he is recorded among the liars.” [Sahîh Muslim (2606)]

We can take a good lesson from how the eminent Caliph `Umar b. `Abd al-`Azîz handled a rumor-monger who came to him and told him something about someone else. The Caliph said: “If you wish, we can verify your story. If it turns out that you are lying, then you are one of those referreed to by the verse of the Qur’ân that reads: ‘If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth.’ Or if you wish, we could pardon you.”

The man replied: “I beg your pardon, O Commander of the Faithful! I will never return to such conduct again.”

Al-Hasan al-Basrî said: “Whoever brings rumors to you is surely also spreading rumors about you.”

We will close with the following verses of classical Arabic poetry:

Do not accept the rumors that reach your ears
And be vigilant against the one who tells them,

Whoever gives to you the gift of a rumor
Will give to others, about you, an equal gift

by Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

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Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: When `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) came out after visiting the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) during his last illness, the people asked: “How is Messenger of Allah (PBUH), O Abul-Hasan?” He replied: “Praise be to Allah, he (PBUH) is feeling better.”

[Al-Bukhari]

Commentary: This Hadith shows that if a patient is in a critical condition and people are advised not to visit him, it will be appropriate to enquire of his blood relatives about his health. The family members, too, are supposed to give an encouraging report about the patient’s condition to enquirers.

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه وبعد

It is of no secret to many in this time that the Muslims have become divided. One reason for this division is the lack of importance given to understanding the principles of Salafiyyah as they have been taught by the Salaf and our major scholars.
Another reason is the people not knowing their places. We find that many young students in their vigor and zeal have begun to involve themselves in matters that they have no knowledge of wisdom in handling. Likewise you find the commoner indulging in the same practice. This is indeed a form of oppression and is one of the main reasons for the division seen amongst the Salafees.

A primary reason for this is love of the dunya and love of being noticed. So as opposed to the student simply being patient he wants to be known as the most knowledgeable Salafee in America or wants to be seen as the great mountain of knowledge here to educate the masses…Allaahu Musti’aan!

The Salaf used to say:

– Whoever rushes a thing before its time – will be punished by its denial –

This impatience can also be seen in other realms such as those seeking to be Imaams and callers.  This is the affliction of some of the commoners who rush to be students and leaders without seeking knowledge from its proper channels.

We have long advised many of the brothers to beware of this mentality and impatience as well as cautioned them against those who fall into this trial.   If you want to be a student then do so from its proper channels.  Do so not to be seen rather do so to  purify your own soul.

In response to this sad trend that will only get worse before it gets better we present the following:

“Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:

And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” [51:56]

This is our purpose in life.

Do we attempt to purify ourselves, our hearts and souls, and attempt to gain knowledge in order to be glorified as leaders or “knowledgeable people” in the end? or do we do these things for the sole purpose of worshipping Allaah alone and pleasing Allaah alone so that we may be saved in the Hereafter?

These are important questions we need to ask ourselves to be aware of the dangers of falling into riyaa– meaning, to perform acts which are pleasing to Allaah, with the intention of pleasing other than Allaah.

Aboo Sa’eed reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) came to them while they were discussing Dajjaal and said:

“Should I not inform you of that which I fear for you even more than the dangers of Dajjaal? It is hidden shirk: RIYAA…”

[Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah vol.2 page 410 #3389]

It is also reported by Imaam Ahmed in his Musnad vol. 5 page 428-429 and al Baghawee in Sharhus Sunnah #4135, and Saleem al-Hilaali said it was a Saheeh chain of narrators namely- Ishaaq bin Isa, Abdur Rahmaan ibn Abi az-Zannad, Amr ibn Abi Amr]

It is reported from Ibn Mas’ood (radi Allaahu anhu) that he said:

“Do not learn knowledge for three (things): To amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make peoples faces turn towards you. (But) seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.”

Even if we liken ourselves to the level of Sheikh bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy on him] in knowledge– or the taqwa of the al-Ghamdi woman in one hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) — , the Shaytaan STILL promised to divert us from the straight path. Fostering riyaa (showing off)  is just but one ways the Shaytaan sets his traps.

In the Qur’aan Allaah tells us: “(Iblees) said:

Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” [7:16-17]

Life is a constant battle between truth and falsehood, we must never be caught off guard. Based on this, can we be so sure that we are not guilty of internal sins such as riyaa?

It is worth pointing out first and foremost that if a person refuses to admit being guilty of committing riyaa then it is futile to even try to achieve repentance. Individuals who suffer from DENYING their riyaa, usually EXTERNALIZE their faults- whatever they may be- and reflect it upon others. The one who suffers from riyaa, for instance, would believe that everyone else suffers from riyaa EXCEPT him or herself. We, every single one of us- bar none-, have been guilty of this act one way or another and if we do not recognize this in us, then unfortunately we have no starting point for repentance.

There is a grave danger in this denial because riyaa leads to hypocrisy. Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala warns us:

And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: “We believe in Allaah and the Last Day” while in fact they believe not. They (think to) deceive Allaah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not! In their hearts is a disease and Allaah has increased their disease.” [2:8-10]

Aboo Hurairah (radi Allaahu anhu) narrated that the the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) as saying

“Whoever gains any knowledge that should be learned for the sake of Allaah with the intention to benefit in this world will not even smell the fragrance of paradise on the day of judgment.” [Sunan Aboo Dawood vol.3 page 1039 #3656 & Sunan of Ibnu Maajah vol.1 page 144 #252 and Saheeh in Saheeh Sunan Aboo Dawood vol.2 page 697 #3112]

Aboo Moosa al-Ash’aree (radi Allaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) delivered a sermon to them one day and said “O people! Fear this shirk [meaning riyaa], for it is more inconspicuous than a crawling of an ant.” [Saheeh in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat Tarheeb #33]

Ibn Abbaas (radi Allaahu anhu) added “It is more inconspicuous than the crawling of an ant on a black rock in the middle of a moonless night!” [Tafseer ibn Katheer vol 1 page 62]

There should never be a comfort zone when it comes to purifying ourselves. We must always be on guard against the Shaytaan regarding his ways to divert us from true worship of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala said:

Who has created death and life, that HE MAY TEST YOU WHICH OF YOU IS BEST IN DEED. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving;” [67:2]

Fudayl ibn Iyaad [may Allaah have mercy on him] said in reference to this verse

“… if a deed is done sincerely and improperly, it will not be accepted, and likewise if a deed is done properly but insincerely, it will also be rejected. Only when a deed is done properly and sincerely will it be accepted. And “sincerity” means to perform a deed solely for the sake of Allaah, and “properly” means to perform it according to the Sunnah.”

Hence wither, it is of utmost importance to recognize thy faults in order to begin thy repentance ~
CAUSES:

The primary cause of riyaa is weak imaan. When a person does not have strong faith in Allaah– no matter how much they pretend to have it in the eyes of others– he or she will prefer the admiration of people, or of a certain person, over the pleasure of Allaah. There are three symptoms that are indicative of riyaa and it is important that a believer avoid all of them.

1 – The Love of Praise

Aboo Hurairah (radi Allaahu anhu) quoted the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) as saying

“Three things destroy: desires that are followed, greediness that is obeyed, and a person’s self-admiration and conceit: and this is the worst of the three!” [Saheeh in Mishkaat al Masaabih vol.2 #1061]

Allaah says:

Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about), and love to be praised for what they have not done,- think not you that they are rescued from the torment, and for them is a painful torment.” [3:188]

This is why the Companions radi Allaahu ‘anhum feared GREATLY to even be put in a situation where they would be praised. Abdur Rahmaan ibn Abi Laylee reported “I met over 120 of the Prophet’s companions from among the Ansaar. Whenever any of them was asked for a religious verdict, he wished that someone else would answer it for him.” [Sunan ad-Daarimi vol. 1 #53 and ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqat al Kubra, authenticated by al-Hilaali in ar-Riya]

It should be remembered that one of the characteristics of a true believer is feeling uneasy about being praised because he realizes the great danger that this presents to his intentions.

In Kitaab al Ikhlaas we find some scholars wrote: “It is possible that a worshipper tries to avoid riyaa, but when other people mention his deeds, and praise him, he does not react to such praise with uneasiness and dislike. Rather he feels happy and thinks that such praise will make his worship easier for him. This feeling is a very subtle manifestation of hidden SHIRK…. And it is also possible that person tries to hide his deeds, but when other people meet him, he expects that they will be first to greet him, and treat him in a nice manner. He hopes that they will be enthusiastic about helping him in his needs, and be gentle with him about their transactions, and give him space in a gathering. If they do not do this, he feels cheated, since he expects good treatment and respect for the act of worship that he is doing…” [page 60]

2 – Fear of Criticism

no one likes to be criticized. the fact that we can’t accept criticism has something to do with our pride, the shaytaan plays with this more than anything else because pride is something hidden in us and not as recognizable, as for instance, committing an outward physical act such as zina. To show the gravity of having pride, take from the following verses about Iblees.

And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, “Prostrate to Adam”, and they prostrated, except Iblees (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allaah) said: “What prevented you (O Iblees) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?” Iblees said: “I AM BETTER THAN HIM (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.” (Allaah) said: “(O Iblees) get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.” [7:11-13]

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) observed:

He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise. A person (amongst his hearers) said: Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine. He (the Prophet) remarked: Verily, Allaah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people. [Saheeh Muslim Book 1, Number 0164/Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ood]

Sufyan ibn Uyainah (rahimahullaah) said, “He whose sin is due to desires, then have hope for him. And he whose sin is due to PRIDE,
then fear for him — because Adam disobeyed due to desire and was forgiven, and Iblees sinned due to pride and was cursed.”

However, the true believer realizes that the criticism by created beings is NOTHING in comparison to criticism by the Creator. The believers are described in the Qur’aan as:

O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allaah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allaah, and NEVER AFRAID OF THE BLAME OF THE BLAMERS. That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allaah is All ­Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All Knower.” [5:54]

3 – Greed for people’s possessions

If a person covets what other people possess, whether it is rank, money or power, then he will wish to envy him similarly. For instance if he is jealous of a certain person in society, he will try every possible means to attain the same position. Such desires lead people to spend their lives putting a show for another person or people so that they may be admired like the other. Religious acts will most likely be incorporated into the show leading inevitably into riyaa.

Aboo Moosa (radi Allaahu anhu) related that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) was asked “A person fights to defend his honor [to avoid criticism], another to prove his bravery [to be praised for it], and a third to show off [so that his position can be seen]: of these three which one fights in the way of Allaah?” the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) answered: “Whoever fights to make the word of Allaah prevalent [ to bring honor to Islaam and establish it in the land], he is the one who fights in the way of Allaah.” [Bukhaaree/Muslim/Aboo Dawood]

Delaying the OBLIGATORY acts of worship, lacking the enthusiasm for worship, and public performance of good deeds are also warning signs of riyaa.

INFECTING OUR INTENTIONS BY ASPIRING TO BE “ELEVATED” IN THE END:

And be not like those who come out of their homes boastfully and to be seen of men, and hinder (men) from the Path of Allaah. and Allaah is Muhitoon (encircling and thoroughly comprehending) all that they do.” [8:47]

In a very lengthy hadeeth reported by Aboo Sa’eed al Khudri, the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) described how the believers will see Allaah on the day of judgment, and then said:

“Then Allaah will reveal His Shin, and He will allow all those who used to prostrate to Him sincerely [in this world] to prostrate, so that not a single one of them will be left [standing]. As for him who used to prostrate for the admiration of others, Allaah will make his back like a single piece [so that he cannot bend]. Every time he tries to prostrate, he will fall flat on his face…” [Saheeh Jaami, Bukhaaree/Muslim]

One should not even expect him or herself to be a famous person in the long run at all. When we do things for the sake of Allaah, it is only for the sake of Allaah IN THE ABSENCE of any expectation for fame and glory to follow us in the end. Abdullaah ibn Damrah related that Aboo Hurairah (radi Allaahu anhu) said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said “The whole earth is cursed; all that is in it is accursed, except those [actions] which are meant for the sake of Allaah.” [Saheeh in Saheeh at-Targheeb wa Tarheeb #7, Saheeh in Sunan at-Tirmidhi vol. 2 page 169 #189]

Imaam Shaafi’ee said “I have never learnt anything except that I wished THAT PEOPLE WOULD BENEFIT FROM THIS KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT IT BEING ATTRIBUTED TO ME.” [Talbees Iblees page 151]

On the commentaries on following the Sunnah of the Prophet, (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), and the statement of Allaah

And make us leaders for the righteous.” [25:74]

Mujaahid said: “Make us a community that follows the Muttaqoon (righteous) people who preceded us, and whom those succeeding may follow.” Ibn ‘Aun said: “There are three things which I love for myself and for my brothers; this Sunnah which they should learn and ask about, the Qur’aan which they should understand and ask people about, and that they should leave the people except when intending to do good (for them).” [Bukhaaree vol 9, ch 2, p 282]

“Remove the causes of riyaa from yourself by considering the opinion of people as IMPORTANT to you as animals and children. DO NOT DIFFERENTIATE in your worship between the presence of people or their absence, or between their knowledge of your actions and their ignorance. Rather, be conscious of the infinite knowledge of Allaah ALONE.” [al Ikhlas wa ash-Shirk al Asghar page 15]

And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytaan (Satan) then seek refuge with Allaah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower. Verily, those who are Al-Muttaqoon [the pious] when an evil thought comes to them from Shaytaan (Satan), they remember (Allaah), and (indeed) they then see (aright).” [7:201]

Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:

And of them there are some who believe therein, and of them there are some who believe not therein, and your Lord is All-Aware of the Mufsidoon (evil-doers, liars, etc.). And if they belie you, say: “For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds! You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do!” [10:40-41]

Amru ibnu Hafs narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ood once admonished someone who asked for advice : “Be content with what you have, be satisfied with your dwelling place space to accommodate your enterprise, restrain your tongue, and shed the tears of regret for your past sins you committed knowingly, and those you do not recognize.” [Aboo Na’eem]”

______________________________

A post taken from Sabeelul Mu’mineen

Source: Daru Ahlil Athar of NC

http://web.archive.org/web/20040505133627/www.daruahlilathar.com/tasfiyyah/theheartsi.htm

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A Simple Reminder

By Abu Talhah

as-Salaamo ‘Alaaykum war-Rahmatullaah,

This is a poem by the Shaheed Abu Zubayr al-Madani Rahimuhullaah entitled The Martyr Flew. Honestly, the words are amazing. I heard it again today and immediately remembered our discussion earlier. It also brought back to the front of my mind our true goal, and realized how the dunya and its difficulties make us lose sight of a goal so beautiful that one cannot help but choke on his tears. I also remembered that this gift and this lofty goal cannot be given to the weak. Allaah ta’alaa says “Surely we will reveal (hand down) upon you a heavy word (Islam)” in other words this religion is not for children but rather for men who can carry its weight in the face of the false-gods and their armies. This is why there are always two types of Muslims as brother Abu Sabaya put it; those upon the deen of the ‘Arab, and those upon the deen of the Muhajirin. When the verses of Hijrah and Qital were revealed many of those with the Prophet stayed back and Allah describes them in Surat al-Anfaal saying “As your Lord caused you (O Muhammad SAW) to go out from your home with the truth, and verily, a party among the believers disliked it; Arguing with you concerning the truth after it had become clear, as if they were being driven toward death while they were looking on.”. Ibn Rajab al-Hambali also in explaining the haadith about the Ghurabaa say that there are always two types of Muslims; the lower level who suffice themselves with practicing the individual acts of worship and hence strange in their appearence (have beards, proper hijaab, avoid the munkarat, etc) and the more lofty are those who call to the way of Allaah, make Hijraa, and Qitaal. The former are like dirt, it is pure but does not purify. The latter is like pure water for they are pure and purify that which is around them. We need to choose what camp we want to be from. I dont want to make you read more so I have one last thing to say. The battle today is not like that before where at-Tawheed was established and it was merely a battle with Christians, Jews, or Mongols. Today the battle is even more epic and blessed … imagine Allaah blessed us enough so that we can live in an age in which the battle is literally between those who want to revive at-Tawheed and those false-gods, their magicians (scholars) and scholars! Imagine, what an epic battle! The same battle fought by Musa, ‘Isa, Muhammad, and all the other Prophets. Millat Ibrahim at its finest.
This is why Ibn al-Qayyim says;
“O you of little resolve, where do you stand upon this path? Adam found it difficult and Nuh lamented because of it, while Allaah’s Khalil Ibraaheem was thrown into a pit of fire due to it. Isma’eel was laid upon his side ready to be sacrificed for its sake, and while upon it Yusuf was sold for a cheap price and then falsely cast into prison for many years. Zakariyah was sawed in half, and Yahya was slaughtered due to it. Ayyub suffered great distress, while Dawood cried copiously, and ‘Isaa cured the wretched poor of their diseases and walked with wild beasts due to it. And how many, how many forms of difficulty and hardship did the Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) face while proceeding upon it – yet you live through amusements and distractions!”

[al-Fawaaid: Page 41]
I read this a long time ago in arabic but found it on IA as well, the translation is bad. Remind me to give you a better translation insha Allaah.
We are living in a golden age, will we let it go to waste?! The Prophet Salallahu ‘Alaayhee wa-Salaam said that the greatest Jihaad is that against the unjust ruler …then imagine how great the one against the false-gods.
“If the inferno of this world is what I must plunge into,
To be worthy of glancing into the Face of my True King,
Then fought will be the false-gods, till I am ashes,
To Him we all belong, but He buys only me and those who plunge in along with me,
By the Lord! With my slavery to the True King I will remain, or let my bones turn to charcoal,
So away with these dates! I see Rivers and Gardens in these flames”

Anyways here is the video, you have probably seen it before;
That your sweet little boy, has fought in the battles of men, and the Holy Quds must know, what actions can do
This is just a naseehah as I know you are in need of one at the moment.
Disclaimer: I am referring to the intellectual Jihaad against the tyrannts and false-gods your government aids.

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The evidence for vows (an-nadhr) is the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.” [Al-Insaan 76:7]

An-Nadhr: This is to take any kind of oath, whether it relates to taking an oath to fast, or to perform Hajj, or i’tikaaf (circumambulation), or whether it concerns money.  Regardless of what the oath pertains to, it is worship and  it is not permissible to direct it to anyone other than Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.  An example of this is when a person says, ‘I have sworn by Allaah the Blessed and Exalted to fast three days,’ to draw closer to Allaah.  This must be an unrestricted oath, not a restricted one.  This is because the restricted oath is disliked (makrooh).  The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said about it, “Indeed, the oath does not bring goodness.  It only makes a stingy person spend some wealth.”

It is like when one says, ‘If Allaah cures this illness of mine, then I will do such and such for the sake of Allaah.’  ‘If Allaah allows me to attain such and such, then I will do such and such for the sake of Allaah,’ such  as giving a certain amount of wealth, or something similar from fasting, or performing Hajj or ’Umrah or whatever resembles that.  This is what the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) warned against, and it is considered the restricted oath.  Here the servant makes something binding upon himself, so he commits a sin by not carrying it out.  So it becomes obligatory upon him to carry it out.

And the example of the unrestricted oath is  when one takes an oath as a means from amongst the means of drawing closer to Allaah the Blessed and Exalted.  It is not done for a specific cause.  So the person takes an oath to fast for three days for example, or he takes an oath to slaughter an animal and spread it out amongst the impoverished and unfortunate.  So there is no other motive behind that except hoping for the forgiveness of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and His excellence.

So this is like the examples that the author – rahimahullaah – has previously mentioned.  And everything that takes the same ruling as the ruling of these aforementioned actions is considered an action of worship.

The following is taken from :A Gift For The Intellect In Explanation  Of The  Three Fundamental Principles  Of Islaam
By Sheikh Ubaid Al-Jaabiree (Hafizahullah)

“The evidence for vows (an-nadhr)” – Literally, ‘an-nadhr’ means: ‘to make something compulsory’.

In the sharee’ah, it is: ‘for a sane adult to make an act of worship, which has not originally been legislated as an obligation, compulsory upon himself.’

There are vows that are legislated and there are vows that are considered  shirk.

A legislated vow is that which is made solely for Allaah; and a vow that is considered shirk is if it is made for other than the sake of Allaah.

The legislated vow is divided into two categories:

  1. Conditional, this is a vow that is dependant upon the fulfilment of a chosen affair. For example, ‘If Allaah cures this sick family member of mine, I will fast for 10 days’ or ‘If Allaah returns my lost family member I will give such and such amount in charity.’
  2. Unconditional, which is a vow that isn’t restricted or dependant upon anything. An example is if someone said: ‘I vow to perform  ‘umrah this year’ or ‘I make a vow to Allaah that I will give 1000 dollars as charity’.

Some of the people of knowledge hold that vows are impermissible and use as a proof the hadeeth:
“Indeed, a vow does not bring good; it merely causes the miserly to spend.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

They state this is understood to show that this is a dispraise worthy act, and when an act is censured then this is a secondary sign of a prohibition; and initially a prohibition is understood to mean that this act is forbidden. However, the correct stance is that vows are not impermissible, but it is better to abstain from them; and whoever takes a vow then it is upon them to fulfil it, and the proof is His saying, the Most High: “They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.”

The conditions of a vow are:

  1. The person must be considered legitimately responsible; this requires puberty and sanity.
  2. The vow taken has to be to perform an act of obedience.
  3. The person making the vow must own and possess what he has vowed to give.
  4. He must have the ability.
  5. The condition that his vow depends upon must be fulfilled.

The first four apply to both the conditional and unconditional vow whereas the last one is specific to a conditional vow.

Two important matters regarding vows which need to be explained:

  1. Whoever is incapable of fulfilling a vow of obedience, has to free them self from this by offering the legislated expiation (kafaaratul yameen), which is to feed or clothe ten needy people, or emancipate a slave. If they are unable to do this then they should fast for three days.
  2. There is a unanimous consensus that it is impermissible to make  a vow of disobedience and that this kind of vow should not be fulfilled. However, a person still has to offer expiation for it based on the hadeeth: “A vow of disobedience has no validity and the expiation is the expiation for breaking an oath.” [Ahmad] (Authenticated by Al-Albaanee)

“is the saying of Allaah, the Most High: “They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.”” –
The verse prior to this is: “Verily the pious believers shall drink from a cup of wine mixed with water from a spring in paradise called kaafoor. A spring wherefrom the slaves of Allaah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly. They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.” [Al-Insaan 76:5-7]

This verse has come as a praise and commendation and therefore this verse is a proof that it is not haraam to make a vow, and that fulfilling a vow is from the characteristics of the pious believers.

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