Thursday 16 April 2015

Tuesday 14 April 2015

The Need to become Real Muslims

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is’haq Saheb
Daamat Barakaatuhum

In nursery school or pre-school, little children are given pictures to colour in. If a child is given a picture of a lion, the child is not going to be afraid by the picture of the lion. …In fact, the little child may take a pair of scissors and poke the lion in its eye, cut off its tail or head – and may even squash or tear the picture of the lion – because it is just paper.

…This is only being presented as an analogy. It is not offering any concession for animate pictures, which we are forbidden to draw or take pictures of.

A picture of a lion does not create any fear or disturbance to the heart, because it is understood that that is just a picture.

Then we have the lion which is kept caged in the zoo. The authorities of the zoo keep a sign on the outside of the cage: “DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE LION.” This is because the lion is real, and if provoked, can become very aggressive and violent.

However, despite the lion being a real, living lion, there is not much fear because the lion is caged and cannot do anything much. Children are also not scared of such a lion. In fact, some children will even throw stones at the lion and say: ‘See, I’m so brave!’ …It matters little to them if the lion is annoyed, because the lion is behind bars, and locked up.

And then we have the lion who reigns as king of the jungle. The lion is known as the king of the jungle because he overpowers all other animals. …This lion moves freely, creating fear in animals and humans. His supremacy is accepted by all – uncontested and unchallenged. …No one dares to interfere or provoke this lion for fear of being the next meal of the lion!

Considering this example, we can draw similarities to what we Muslims have become today.

Today, we are “picture Muslims”:  Take a glance at the condition of the Ummah.

The land of Muslims is dyed with the blood of the Muslims.

The land of the Muslims carries the severe burden of the torture and suffering of the 

The tears of the Muslims have drenched their own land, whilst hundreds of thousands of slain Muslims lie in the belly of the earth.

The Muslim land has become a mass burial ground for the Muslims themselves – whether in Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Burma, Africa or elsewhere. 

…Lives are shattered and hearts weigh heavy with grief.

The enemies fearlessly persecute and imprison our brothers, rape our sisters, and merrily kill our innocent children – without care, concern or any conscience. There is oppression, repression and injustice which just increases and intensifies – and we are so helpless in the face of all these trials. …There is no escaping the sight of the suffering Ummah. We are living in a world filled with injustice and oppression.

However, this scenario which we are witnessing throughout the Muslim world is the consequence of our own actions. We are to be blamed. We moved away from Dien and we moved away from the noble Sunnah of our Beloved Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

There is no reality of Dien in our lives; rather there is just the pursuit of Dunya at the expense of Dien and Aakhirah. Hubbud Dunya (love of the world) has consumed us – has made us ghaafil (negligent) and has brought disgrace upon us. …Today, we are a feast for the enemies of Islam.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: "The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people, when eating, invite others to share their food."  

Someone asked, "Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?"

He replied, "No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you out from the hearts of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts."

Someone asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?" He replied, "Love of the world and dislike of death."[1]

Being a “picture Muslim” will not help us - because there is no reality. In fact, so many cannot even be recognized as “picture Muslims”. Many have forsaken the way of Islam and have adopted the culture of the non-Muslims: The culture of Hollywood and Bollywood. The affinity and resemblance is with our own enemies – but we don’t recognize our enemies. And if a person does not recognize his enemy, then what precaution will he take? …None.

Yet Allah Ta’ala has warned us, cautioned us and identified our enemies for us. ‘Fore-warned is fore-armed’. But our folly is that we see the mask of friendship, the guise of comradeship and we think these are friends.

We will not be able escape the stranglehold of the disbeliever’s oppression until we submit to Allah Ta’ala, until we conform to the teachings of Islam and we follow the way of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

This is the solution.

There is no other solution. 

We need the reality of Islam in our lives if we want positive change. We need to become real Muslims - in the real sense of the word.

…How often we read of our Muslim brothers and even sisters who are imprisoned? They are like the real lions that are caged. … So long as they are in captivity, they cannot wield the strength that they have been blessed with – that is, if they are obedient to Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Whilst our brothers languish in the prisons of this world, many of us languish in the prison of nafs and shaytaan – and the prisoner of nafs and shaytaan, is more helpless than the one who is imprisoned by the enemies of Islam.

The Muslim prisoners of Guantanamo Bay and other places are Mazloom (oppressed) – so they have Allah Ta’ala on their side, despite their outward helplessness. The one who is a prisoner of nafs and shaytaan, due to his sins, is deprived of Allah Ta’ala’s Mercy and assistance, until he makes sincere Taubah.

…By Allah, we can go and stand before the United Nations – over a billion Muslims - pleading and crying for help. Help will not come. …In fact, the United Nations is no comrade and no well-wisher of the Muslims. We can turn to the governments of the world for assistance and aid, but they cannot do anything to alleviate our plight. In fact, they desire the destruction of the Muslim Ummah even though they show a face of friendship and offer some superficial humanitarian aid. 

…We have enemies on the outside, we have enemies on the inside, and we have ourselves – and we cause more harm to ourselves than others.

The need is for us – the Muslim Ummah at large - to go and stand in the Court of Allah Ta’ala and plead to Him, cry before him and sincerely repent for all our sins. This will invite the mercy of Allah Ta’ala.

We have to turn to the government of Allah Ta’ala for aid and support - by becoming faithful and loyal to His Government. It will only be then, that the Muslims will find the support of Allah Ta’ala and will have with them, the force and the power and the might of Allah Ta’ala on their side. With such assistance, the Muslim Ummah will then be able to overcome all its enemies.

But we don’t want to change. We don’t want to mend our ways. We don’t want to submit. …And so as long as we remain aloof of Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala will remain aloof of us.

Then we have the real, living Muslim – free from the clutches of the Kuffaar, free from the prison of nafs and shaytaan, free from the prison of the love of this world. His connection is with the Creator of the universe – Allah Ta’ala!

He is the vicegerent of Allah Ta’ala on earth – a king without a throne and without a crown – living and breathing in the obedience of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). He moves in the protection of Allah Ta’ala, and he is assisted and supported by Allah Ta’ala – because he is the friend of Allah Ta’ala.

Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) related a Hadith-e-Qudsi, wherein Allah Ta’ala states:

“…And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawaafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) …."[2]

The enemies of Islam fear him because they know that he wields a power that lays waste to their efforts to destroy the Muslims – in fact, their efforts to destroy mankind.

He wields a power that subjugates hearts to Allah Ta’ala. He is a king of hearts, and wherever he goes, wherever he travels, the hearts of the creation connect with Allah Ta’ala. 

He walks with the light of Allah Ta’ala and brightens the hearts of the creation with the light that burns brightly in his heart – the light of Tauheed (Oneness of Allah Ta’ala).

Like moths drawn to a flame, hearts are drawn to the fire of Allah Ta’ala’s Love which burns strongly in his heart, and hearts are ignited with Divine Love.

The enemies fear him, whilst others love him. He benefits the creation and he guides them. He carries with him a key of unique composition – The key of Ma’rifat (recognition of Allah Ta’ala) and Ishq (Intense Love) - given by Allah Ta’ala – which unlocks the hearts, and which releases us from the prison of nafs and shaytaan, and makes us like the free, living lions in the jungles …

On a different level, if the real Muslim engages the enemy in battle, he comes forth fearless of death – seeking death. This is a lion. How many of us have this kind of spirit? How many of us have the lion's courage? …Look at the Mujahideen: Allahu Akbar! They seek the honour of martyrdom, because they understand the reality of this worldly life. They have certainty of the Aakhirah and they seek it.

We run away; we shy away – we want to escape because we are not real Muslims; rather we have become cowards. May Allah Ta’ala have mercy upon us and forgive us and guide us and make us true, real Muslims.

History bears testimony to such men who walked on the earth, free, and supported by Allah Ta’ala in every way: Hadhrat Hamza (Radiyallahu’anhu) was “Asadullah” (The lion of Allah Ta’ala), Hadhrat Khalid bin Waleed (Radiyallahu’anhu) was “Saifullah” (The Sword of Allah Ta’ala), Hadhrat Umar (Radiyallahu’anhu) was such a unique personality that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)  said: “O Ibn Khattaab, by the Divine Being in whose hand is my life, if shaytaan sees you walking on any road, he will leave that road and walk on another road.” 

It is narrated that on one occasion, the emperor Heraclius addressed a delegation of Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radiallahu’anhum) and asked them for a description of the character of the ruling Khalifah, Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu). A Sahabi – illiterate, simple in dress and demeanour, replied: “He neither deceives nor can he be deceived.”

SubhanAllah! …In one, single statement he presented the character of the Khalifah in the most befitting manner. The emperor was left awestruck upon this reply.

The emperor then addressed his courtiers and noblemen and said: “These two qualities in their leader have established his authority on the land: The entire world cannot oppose a man in whom these two qualities exist. That he does not deceive clearly indicates that he is a man of exceptional piety and piety is the crown of kingship. That he cannot be deceived clearly indicates that he is a man of great intelligence. A man blessed with such piety and intelligence will dominate and rule over all.”

Similarly, all the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radiallahu ’anhum) were like the lions who are free and they were people, whom Allah Ta’ala established as His vicegerents on earth. …Allah Ta’ala’s assistance was with the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radiallahu ’anhum) wherever they went – because they were obedient to Allah Ta’ala and His Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)

If the Ummah strives to be like the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radiallahu ’anhum), there would be a revolution in this world, success will follow the Muslims wherever they go, and the forces of Kufr will be subjugated for good.

However, we need to start with ourselves. We need to make this effort on ourselves – to free ourselves from the shackles of nafs and shaytaan, and this will only be so when we give up sins and strive in the obedience of Allah Ta’ala and bring alive, in our lives, the beautiful Sunnah.

…And it is by virtue of the Suhbat of the Friends of Allah Ta’ala, that we will be successful in this endeavour. We too will find freedom and we too will become the friends of Allah Ta’ala. We will become real Muslims. We will be a force to be reckoned with, Insha-Allah.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding, inspire us in His love, such that we give up all sins and we eagerly seek His pleasure, in His obedience.

[1] Abu Dawud and Ahmad
[2] Sahih Bukhari

Thursday 9 April 2015

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Becoming Mindful of the Unseen

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

When we read about the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (RA), the Tabieen, the Tabe-Tabieen, and thereafter our Akaabir, we find that their condition was one of awareness of Allah Ta’ala and consciousness of Aakhirah (the Hereafter). They were mindful and alert in respect to their actions, as well as cautious and vigilant against nafs and shaitaan.

Not only did this awareness create a strong barrier between them and sins, it inspired them in obedience, and it also created an understanding of the system of the Unseen – that nothing occurs except what is decreed by Allah Ta’ala. So we find, in their lives, spiritual progress.…Lapses in their relationship with Allah Ta’ala were negligible.

Whilst their condition was of a high level of Ihsaan, ours is of high level of ghaflat (negligence).  Whilst their condition was one of progress, ours seem to be one of retrogression. …Despite our extreme distance from the reality of being conscious of Aakhirah, it is not an impossible distance to cover, to reach that stage, where our gaze and focus is on the Hereafter, and where we too achieve the stage of Ihsaan, as described by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

In the Hadith of Jibraeel, we read that from amongst the questions Hadhrat Jibraeel (‘Alaihis Salaam) asked Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), he asked:  “What is Ihsaan?”

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and if you cannot see Him, then He sees you (anyway).”

This is the degree of Yaqeen that the Auliya Allah build up within themselves. They then have a conscious contact and connection with Allah Ta’ala and the Hereafter. …Of course, this is not suggesting they have Ilm (knowledge) of the Unseen, because only Allah Ta’ala is Aalimul Ghayb (Knower of the Unseen). This is His Exclusive Attribute and no one can share in that.

Allah Ta’ala states in Surah An-Naml

“Say, "None in the heavens and earth knows the Unseen except Allah…”
[Surah An-Naml 27 : 65]

Rather, our effort is to acquire a conscious awareness that there is Allah Ta’ala, Aakhirah, Accountability, Jannat and Jahannum.

Whilst, Alhamdulillah, our Mashaa`ik have presented different and effective formulas in developing this awareness, the following is a simple prescription which Allah Ta’ala put into my mind, and which Alhamdulillah, has proved beneficial for those who followed through with the advice.

Salaah, five times a day is an obligation upon all of us. We all know this, but how many of us are particular in fulfilling this obligation – whether during business hours, at family functions, on travel, holiday, when sick, weak, etc.? Allah Ta’ala has granted ease in the matters of Dien, and thus we find that the Salaah of the Musaafir is shortened, the Salaah of the sick person can be read in a sitting position or lying down, etc.

…Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) described Salaah like the head to the body: “There is no Islam in a person when there is no Salaah by him. The position of Salaah in Islam is as the position of the head in a body.”

Without a head, there is no life. Similarly, without Salaah, there is no spiritual life – Without this great Fardh in our lives, how will it be possible to achieve this desired state of Ihsaan?

Thus, if Salaah is not already our practice and habit, then the first step is to establish Salaah in our lives, being punctual in its performance, and for the men to read Salaah in Jamaat, in the Masjid. This is Waajib (obligatory).

Thereafter, to develop that conscious awareness of the Unseen and to increase our Imaan in the Unseen, as well as to improve the Khushoo (concentration) in Salaah, the following should be done as a start:

At the beginning of the Salaah, we should make a conscious intention of fulfilling the Command of Allah Ta’ala, seeking His Pleasure.

At the end of Salaah, when we make Salaam, we should do so, with the intention of Salaam to the Angel on the right shoulder – making Salaam, consciously and with conviction. We should also have the intention of Salaam to the Musallis and Jinn on our right; and if the Imaam is on the right, to the Imaam as well. Thereafter, we make Salaam, with conviction, to the angel on the left shoulder, the Musallis, the Jinn on our left side, and the Imaam, if he is on the left. Insha-Allah, in doing this continuously and inculcating this habit, we will be blessed with 2 gifts:  

We will become conscious of the unseen system of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu that is at work all the time, and will develop and increase in our Yaqeen on it. …Whilst we will make the required arrangements for our work of Dunya, we will have the Yaqeen that until Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu does not decree it, it will not happen.

“Insha-Allah” will be a natural word on our tongues, with Yaqeen, that until Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu does not wish something to happen, it will not happen. We will understand that this unseen system of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu is what supersedes and overrides our system of cause and effect.

The reality of Aakhirah will dawn upon us. We will become conscious, aware and have yaqeen of the life after death, of Qabr, Qiyaamat, and the final abode of Jannat – which we will now prepare for and look forward to. We will also have conviction that there is Jahannum, and will make every effort and endeavour to avoid those deeds which pave the way to Jahannum (May Allah Ta’ala protect).

By becoming conscious of the Malaaikah who are in our attendance, on our right and left side – Kiraaman Kaatibeen, we will be conscious of the fact that our deeds and our words are being written down… 

“But verily over you (are appointed angels) to protect you;
Kind and honourable, writing down (your deeds).
They know (and understand) all that you do.”
[Surah Infitaar 82 : 10 / 11 / 12]

And this, in turn, will prevent us from engaging in sins. We will restrain ourselves from whatever is displeasing to Allah Ta’ala. And abstinence from sins is Taqwa.   When the person has Taqwa, he is the friend of Allah Ta’ala. SubhanAllah.

“…Verily none are the Auliya except those who refrain from His disobedience…”
[Surah Al-Anfal 8 : 34]

Insha-Allah, if we concentrate on this simple prescription, many doors of spiritual goodness, progress and success will open for us. Our Salaah too will become ‘Mi`rajul Mu`mineen’ (the ascension of the Believers).

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding and Taufeeq

Sunday 5 April 2015

Comforming to Islam

By Hazrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

Bi Ismihi Ta’ala

Allah Ta’ala, out of His Infinite Grace and Kindness, gifted us with this beautiful Deen of Islam. It is unfortunate that we look at Deen today and see it to be something that does not fit our lifestyles, something which does not comply with our whims and fancies and something which needs to be amended because the societies of the world frown upon it…(Na uzu Billah)

Due to our weakness, we look towards “trimming” Islam down.

On an individual level, many say that the Sunnats are not important, the Mustahabbaat and Nawaafil can be left out. The thinking is : I can leave out Fajr because I find it too difficult to wake up for. But this is okay because I will still be a Muslim. I can leave out the beard and I can be a Muslim without a beard…  and I can leave off (this) and (that) and there should be no problem because I will still be a Muslim.

Many women also think along the same lines:  I can leave off the Hijaab, I can leave off the scarf, I can do (this) and (that). …As long as my heart is clean, I am still a Muslim …  (Inna Lillahi wa-inna ilayhi ra`jioon).

We have been granted the priceless gift of Islam. It is perfection. Allah Ta’ala says:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”

[Surah Maa`idah 5 : 3]

We cannot carve and chisel Islam to suit our nafs; rather it is for us to cut our nafs down to size, to humble ourselves before Allah Ta’ala – as slaves and servants, and conform and comply to Deen and Shariah.

Allah Ta’ala instructs us :

“O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] …”

[Surah Baqarah 2 : 208]

Furthermore, we cannot chop and chip Islam to fit into modern society. We cannot cut or trim Islam to fit into modern times. Let modern day fit into Islam!

To make society happy, to blend in with society, to be accepted by the society, we want to downsize Islam; whereas, there is nothing as fresh, beautiful, progressive and “up-to-date” as Islam.

What is the modern day of today?

It is immorality, adultery, pornography, drugs, rape, gambling, theft, deception and every kind of evil…  Must Islam fit into that kind of filthy society? Na`uzu Billahi min zaalik.

Let us value this beautiful religion by practising upon it entirely. Let us not subtract and divide, select and discard, as if we are authority over Islam.

Through the practical implementation of Deen and Shariah – as it is, in its pristine and pure form - the societies of the world will be left in admiration for Islamic teachings, they will be left in awe and wonder-struck at the beauty of the Sunnah, and this then will become the catalyst for thousands entering into the fold of Islam.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding, the appreciation and bless us to live by Islam, die by it and be resurrected by it.