Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lowering your Gaze

"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed Allaah is well acquainted with all that they do." [an-Nur (24):30]

How can they say that lowering one's gaze means that we simply don't look at nakedness and indecency? It is comprehensive, i.e. we don't look at the opposite gender, period. The eyes are the windows of the heart. You don't worry about what you look at, and you will be tested SEVERELY.

Whosoever lets his sight roam free will find that he is in a perpetual state of loss and anguish for sight gives birth to love (mahabbah) the starting point of which is the heart being devoted and dependant upon that which it beholds. This then intensifies to become fervent longing (sabaabah) whereby the heart becomes totally dependant and devoted to the (object of its desire). Then this further intensifies and becomes infatuation (gharaamah) which clings to the heart like the one seeking repayment of a debt clings firmly to the one who has to pay the debt. Then this intensifies and becomes passionate love (ishk) and this is a love that transgresses all bounds. Then this further intensifies and becomes crazed passion (shaghafa) and this a love that encompasses every tiny part of the heart. Then this intensifies and becomes worshipful love (tatayyuma). Tatayyum means worship and it is said: tayyama Allaah i.e. he worshipped Allaah.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Taweez? or Talisman?

I was making repairs to an upstairs door that leads to the roof today. Since we live on the ground floor and are separated from the roof by tenants, we usually don’t venture upstairs unless we want some occasional fresh air. Anyway, the door was quite dusty and as the handyman was removing the borders around the door frame, I noticed a piece of paper stuffed inside and rolled up.

I took it out and saw that the paper was wrapped in a piece of cardboard about the same size. Reading the Urdu printed on it, I realized that it was simply a newspaper cutting. On the right hand side, there was the following translated text “By the miraculous blessings (barakah) of Hazrat Khawaja Gharib Nawaz”. On the other side, was a nonsensical advertisement about opening a bank account at Habib Bank.

So could this small piece of paper have been used as a talisman, then forgotten? Possible. Khawaja Nawaz Gharib was one of those highly respected sufi saints that people believed to have extraordinary powers. Apparently, the person who stuffed the paper thought that the written form of his name on the piece of paper would grant him ‘miraculous blessings’. SubhanAllah. Apparent shirk.


How is it shirk? The word Shirk can be defined as attributing what is rightfully Allah (SWT)’s to other than Allah(SWT). Tabbaruk (barakah) is only from Allah (SWT), directly. In other words, only Allah grants a person barakah, no one else, not even an intermediary such Khawaja Nawaz Baig. By asking someone else for barakah (once again, even if you attribute that source of barakah initially from Allah), you are committing Shirk, the greatest sin.
There is a hadith in Tirmidhi and Imam Ahmad’s Musnad about talismans, stating they are Shirk.
“Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir reported that when a group of ten men came to the Prophet (SAW), he only accepted the oath of allegiance from nine. They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, why did you take the covenant from nine of us and refuse this man?” The Prophet(SAW) answered, “Verily, he has a talisman on him.” The man then put his hand in his cloak, pulled out the talisman and broke it. When the Prophet (SAW) finished taking the oath from him, he turned and said, “Whoever wears a talisman has committed Shirk!”

Who was it?

Well, I know this question pops into your mind and it did in mine as well. That’s why the first person I informed about the mysterious paper was my grandmother. She said that there were some old tenants who were into this ‘Shirk +Bid’ah stuff”. Their business was down and they felt that it was because of the doings of some Jinn or Black magic. (By the way, all magic is haraam, there is no such thing as white magic.) They wanted some counter effect to the bad influence they had upon them and it was possible they tried to gain blessing from this talisman. But that’s only speculation. The only fact is that they were inclined towards supernatural things and beliefs.

My guess is that it was probably a mason or carpenter (seemingly confused in his concept of Tawheed) who stuffed the piece of paper in the door. And since it was the door to the roof, did he expect that some angel would come from the heavens into the house through it?  Besides, as you can see from the picture below and the Habib bank advertisement, that newspaper clipping is way old. Most probably stuffed inside during construction. You would have to go through lengths to take the wood out, replace pebbles with paper and then nail the wood back on again. But once again since this house was built part-by-part over a long period of time, tenants could have been present while the doorway was being built. Allahu’Alam. What really matters is that none of my family members were involved in this Shirk, Alhumdulilah.

A Ta'weez?

This would not be considered a Ta’weez, which is a special kind of talisman with the Quranic words inscribed on it. A Ta'weez is permissible in the sense that you are ascribing barakah to Allah’s words(the Quran) or calling upon Allah (SWT)’s words (the Quran). Before I give the go-signal on all Ta’weez’s, it should be remembered that many, if not most ‘supposed Ta’weez’ in fact call upon not Allah (SWT) or his words but rather on a Jinn, saint or some other of Allah’s creation. In other words, what you perceive as a blessing from Allah (SWT) can in fact be a testimonial of Shirk, a means to run away from Allah(SWT).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Tribute to the Strangers

Narrated Abu Huraira(R): I heard Allah’s Messenger (SAW) saying, “The reward of a Salat (Prayer) in congregation is twenty-five times superior in degrees than that of a Salat(prayer) offered by a person alone. The angels of the night and the angels of the day gather at the time of Fajr prayer. (Bukhari)

The city had practically gone to sleep. Managers had closed their stores. The restaurants were empty. The late night TV shows had ended. Those that had stayed up well past midnight were drowsy in their beds.

And in the midst of this utter darkness and silence, lights flickered on in a house. The sounds of doors opening and closing and running water were heard. Not long after, a person, fully dressed, came out of his house and made his way to a strange building located advantageously in the middle of the neighborhood. A voice in a foreign language soon erupted from the building. As if on call, lights flickered on in a couple of houses. Soon they were joined by a dozen more. And once again the sounds of doors opening and closing and running water were heard. People made their way to their front gates, started the tedious process of unlocking and walked towards the strange building. Some walked a couple of feet. Others walked a quarter of a mile. But nonetheless, they all had the same anticipation in their footsteps: to reach the building quickly. And still others made the effort to start their cars, waste their precious petrol and set out towards the same destination.

At exactly 25 minutes past the time the strange voice was heard, the people in the building lined up in rows as if they were on the battlefield all behind a leader. Once they were all in place, the man in the front of the congregation rose up his arms and folded them across his chest. And the people behind him did exactly the same, exactly the same way he did it. He once again started in a foreign language unknown to the vast majority of his followers. Nevertheless they listened and followed his every movement. For the next 12 minutes, he made strange movements sitting down, bowing forward and getting up and prostrating towards an unknown being, his followers imitating him perfectly. And then finally, he turned his head towards the right and left. And once again, his followers followed in unison their director. And then he raised his hands up as if he was holding an invisible container from the bottom and once again started chanting in a strange language. When he finished, he wiped his hands on his face. His followers understood the rituals were over and made their way back to their houses.

Who were these people? They differed in clothing, height, hairstyle (some had beards, others didn’t), accent, and lifestyle. They consisted of the rich and poor, the millionaires and their servants, the businessmen and the garbage collectors. They consisted of the old and young, the teenagers and octogenarians, the grandparents and grandchildren, the children and the parents. They consisted of the senators and illegals, the mayors and simple citizens. But no matter what social class, political class or age group they were part of they all gathered in unison and formed straight rows so close to each other that the shoulders of one person would the shoulders of the other.
Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. (Surah Mu’minun: 1-2)
They were the strangers… Everyday they would follow the same procedure and then go back to their homes and wake up once again with the rest of the neighborhood to continue their lives as usual. They always came no matter what the circumstances were. They would come in summer and winter, spring and fall. They never relaxed. They would come when it was raining, when it was hot or cold. They would come in the midst of a flood or through the peak of a storm. They all recognized each other and knew who was of them and who wasn’t. They formed a group that transcended all mortally-drawn lines of society and felt a special feeling of brotherhood whenever they would meet each other. “Another stranger, just like me.”

"Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers." (Muslim)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The New ME!!!!

Finally, the moment I've been waiting for. 2 years of constant studying in Intermediate. May 19th, the last day of exams. Now insha'Allah the path will be easy from now on, at least in terms of academics (secular) . Insha'Allah, I'll finish a couple of Part 2's in the next week or so.

Oh yeah, I'm planning on making MAJOR changes in my life, my attitude, work schedule, personality, practically everything. And the changes will start today, insha'Allah. Bit by bit...

Friday, January 30, 2009

May Allah(SWT) Bless Erdogan

I'm not going to say much because the whole Gaza affair makes me EXTREMELY sick. But may Allah(SWT) bless Prime Minister Erdogan for speaking the truth.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Understanding Al-Qadr (The Pre-Decree) Part 1

A special thank you to Br. Wasif for recommending me the awesome book, "Sharh Thalathatul Usool-Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles" by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen which this series is based upon.

What is Al-Qadr?

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen gives the following definition:
"Allah, the Most High's ordainment of the creation, in accordance with his Knowledge that preceded everything, and in accordance with his Wisdom."
He further goes on to explain that Al-Qadr consists of four things:
  1. Allah(SWT) has knowledge of everything in the Universe
  2. That all this knowledge has been written in Al-Lawhul Mahfooz
  3. Everything that happens is by Allah(SWT)'s Will
  4. Everything happens is caused by Allah(SWT)
Allah(SWT) has knowledge of everything in the Universe

This is one of the four components of Qadr. It means that whatever happened, is happening or will happen, ALlah(SWT) has full knowledge of it. Every single detail whether minute or enormous Allah (SWT) knows about it. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:

"And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. "(6:59)
Allah(SWT) even refers to himself with this attribute many times in the Quran:

إِنَّ اللّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Truly, Allâh is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.
إِنَّ اللّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Surely! Allâh is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing.
إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا
Indeed Allâh is Ever All­-Knower, Well­-Acquainted with all things.

Effect of this Belief

Allah(SWT) has knowledge over everything, so what? What does it mean for me? How will knowledge of this belief help me or change me? If a person believes in this component of Qadr, what does it entail? What does it imply?

Belief in this component of Qadr entails that a Muslim knows whatever he did(past), is doing (present), and will do (future) is all known by Allah(SWT). So there is no way that any of his actions, big or small, hidden or apparent will be forgotten or neglected by Allah(SWT), Rabbul Alamin (Lord of the Universe).

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (99:7)

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (99:8)

Therefore, the Muslim should be wary of whatever he does because he knows that Allah (SWT) has knowledge about all of his actions. On the Day of Judgement, when all of mankind will be gathered together be judged for what they did in this life, Allah(SWT) will know every single action that they committed.