Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Pen Wrote Everything

When he was dying, Ubadah ibnu as-Saamit (radi Allahu anhu) told his son: O son, you will not find the taste of Emaan until you know that whatever you receive, you would have never missed it; and whatever you have missed, you would have never received it. I heard Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: “The first thing which Allah created was the Pen. He commanded it to write. It asked: ‘What should I write?’ He said: ‘Write the Decree (Al-Qadr) of everything until the Day of Judgement.’” O son, I heard the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) say: “He who dies not believing in this is not one of my people.” [Abu Dawud – Jamu al-Fawaaid]

Where you will be born, where and when you will die, what you will receive, what you will miss, what joys or sorrows will come in your life – these are all written. This is the exam paper of life that you are presented with. How you will deal with these events will determine your rank before Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Pray to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to strengthen your Emaan, pour His tranquility over you and keep you steadfast in faith, whatever your circumstances.

Concerning the issue of Al-Qadar, the Sahabah, the Tabieen, and all Ahlus-Sunnah have agreed that everything which will be in existence until the Day of Judgement is written in Al-Lawh al-Mahfud (The Book of Decree).

Watching from a high tower you can see which cars are headed which way. You can see where there is construction going on and which cars will have to take a detour. It is in your knowledge but you are not causing the car to detour. Similarly, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) knows what we will do and it is the knowledge of all the events that will take place that is written down in The Book of Decree.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Smoking

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Let there be no harming, nor reciprocating harm.” [Sahih - Ibn Majah]
 
The meaning of this hadith is the prohibition of all forms of harmfulness, great or small, since the grammatical indefinite (of the words “harming” and “reciprocating harm”) in a negative context indicates generality. Thus, harming oneself or any other creature, without reason from the Shariah, is prohibited.  

Based on this hadith many contemporary scholars hold it to be unlawful to buy, sell, use, or grow tobacco, because of the unlawfulness of consuming what has been proven to be harmful. 

Epidemiological data link smoking and lung disease in the following ways:

1. Up to 50% of smokers may die of smoking-related diseases.
2. Smokers are three times more likely to die in middle age than are non-smokers.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
1. COPD is very rare in non-smokers.
2. 90% of deaths from COPD are attributed to smoking.
3. 98% of people with emphysema are smokers.
4. 20% of smokers suffer from emphysema.
5. Deaths from pneumonia and influenza are twice as high among smokers.

Lung Cancer:
1. Smokers are 18 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.
2. One-third of all cancer deaths are a direct result of cigarette smoking.
3. 25% of smokers die of lung cancer.
4. The risk of developing lung cancer increases if smokers inhale; start young; increase the number of cigarettes smoked per day; use high tar cigarettes; smoke for a long time (smoking one packet of cigarettes per day for forty years is eight times more hazardous than smoking two packets for twenty years).
5. The risk of developing lung cancer starts to decrease as soon as smoking is stopped, but it takes ten or more years to return to the same risk as a non-smoker.

Cigarette smoking is also a major cause of cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, and larynx. It is a cause of bladder cancer and a contributory factor in the development of cancers of the pancreas, kidney, and cervix.

Experimental evidence shows a direct causative link between smoking and lung cancer:

1. Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemical compounds. Chemical analysis has shown that at least 60 are carcinogens and 400 are other known toxins.
2. A study on 48 dogs made to smoke through machines showed that tumours similar to those found in humans develop in animals exposed to cigarette smoke.
3. When carcinogens from cigarette tar are painted on the skin of mice, cancerous growths develop.

Thus, the connection between cigarette smoking and disease is irrefutable. Therefore, is it considered Makruh (offensive) by some scholars and Haraam (forbidden) by other scholars to consume it, since Muslims are required to not harm themselves or others.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Repeated Time and Again

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There was never a Nabi that Allah raised amongst his Ummah before me except that he had in his Ummah some Hawaaryyoon (helpers) and Sahabah (companions) who held fast to his Sunnah (way) and followed his commands. They were then succeeded by a people who professed what they did not act upon and did that which they were not commanded to do. So he who makes Jihad against them with his hand is a believer, and the one who makes Jihad against them with his tongue is a believer, and one who makes Jihad against them with his heart is a believer, but beyond that there is not even a mustard seed (worth) of Emaan (faith).” [Sahih Muslim]

Innovation in religion is of two types. One is to innovate in actions, such as to celebrate the birth of Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). The other far more dangerous type of innovation is in matters of belief and Aqeedah; such as the doctrine introduced by the Mutazilah that the Quran was created and not eternal, or that human reason is superior to revelation. 

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal was pressurized with the threat of death to accept the doctrine of the “created” Quran but to the very end he kept asking for proof from the Quran or Sunnah in order to accept this innovation in belief. He was flogged so severely that his arms dislocated from his body. He was then jailed. But his persistence in faith and refusal to accept what he knew to be contrary to Islam quelled this Fitnah for all time.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Seventy-Three Sects

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Those evils which befell the Bani Israil shall befall my Ummah, so much so that if there were one amongst them that openly committed fornication with his mother there would be one among my Ummah who would do that too! And the Bani Israil split into seventy-two sects and my Ummah shall split into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in the Fire, except one group.” They (the Sahabah) said: “Which one is that O Rasul Allah?” Whereupon he said: “It is the one to which I and my Companions belong.” [Sahih – Narrated by At-Tirmidhi]

Only one group from the seventy odd groups will go to Jannah while the others will end up in Jahannum. This is precisely because they cast aside the Sunnah and consider it better to formulate and originate religious beliefs and novel ways of worshipping Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) -- as if they know better than the very people who surrounded the Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and about whom Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says, “The vanguard (of Islam) - of the Muhajireen and the Ansar, and also those who follow them in good deeds - well pleased is Allah with them, and well pleased are they with Him.” [Quran 9:100]

Throughout the history of Islam many such sects have arisen whose beliefs shake the foundations of Islam. A classical work on the misguidance of various sects, entitled “Talbees Iblees” (The Devil’s Deception), was written by the eminent scholar and perhaps most prolific author in Islamic history, Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (508-597 AH).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dead Man Revived

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A party of the Bani Israil set out on a journey. They came to one of their several graveyards in the course of their journey and said to one another, ‘If we should offer two Rakaat Salat and supplicate Allah, The One Full of Glory, perhaps He will revive one of the dead men for us and bring him out that we may ask him about death.’”

“They did what they had suggested. Meanwhile, from one of the graves, a man raised his head. He was wheat-coloured and between his eyes there was a mark of prostration. He addressed these people saying, ‘O you there! What do you intend with me? (Why have you gotten me revived?) I have been dead for the past one hundred years and the fever of death has not yet cooled on me. It is there till now! Pray to Allah, the Glorious, the Majestic, that He may return me to as I was.’” [Ahmad]

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is able to bring the dead to life anytime, but He has set the principle that He will not revive them before the Day of Resurrection. However, there have been instances of the dead being resurrected on the request of a Prophet or pious person so that the living may take a lesson from it. 

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) described the resurrected man as having the marks of prostration on his forehead. In other words, he was regular in offering Salat and obedient to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) when he lived on earth. When he was restored to life he expressed displeasure on being brought back to life for despite his having been dead for a hundred years the heat of death had not entirely cooled. This shows that the severity of death lasts for a long period of time. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) preserve all believers from the severity of death and the agony of the final moments of life! May He grant us comfort in this world and in the Hereafter and let out graves be gardens of Paradise for us. Aameen!
 
This hadith also tells us that before doing anything important we should offer two Rakaat Salat and make a supplication to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). This is Mustahabb and it will invite the mercy and blessings of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) on what we do. The blessings through Salat ensure goodness in all our affairs and they become accomplished easily. This is why Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) commands believers: “O you who believe! Seek help in perseverance and prayer.” [Quran 2:153]

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Mercy of Allah Looks for Pretext

Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) narrate this hadith – and he did not hear him say it once or twice or even seven times, but he heard it more frequently than that. He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Kifl was a man of Bani Israil. He never shied away from committing a sin. A woman (once) came to him (on an errand) and he coaxed her to let him perform the immoral act with her against sixty dinars which he gave her. Thus, when he sat down with her to perpetrate the immoral act, she began to tremble and shake violently in fear. He asked her why she was crying, did he not like her? She said that it was not (what he thought) but that she had never committed the sin before and her destitution had compelled her to do that (otherwise she would never have agreed).”

“He said that on the one hand she spoke thus and on the other she had committed herself (having taken the money). He added, ‘Go, go away from here! That money too belongs to you. No! I swear by Allah, after now, I will never disobey Allah.’”

“That night he died. In the morning there was an inscription at his door, ‘Surely, Allah has forgiven Kifl.’” [Sunan Tirmidhi]

This hadith tells us that if anyone repents sincerely he becomes innocent of sins, and becomes like one who has never committed a sin. Allah in His Mercy caused Kifl to die after his repentance to save him from accruing any new sins. When Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) shows mercy to anyone then he gains pardon through a sincere repentance.

This hadith also reveals Allah’s attribute of As-Samad – The Independent. He is independent of anyone else’s suggestion or permission. He does what He likes and no one may question Him about what He does. He Who is The Forgiving, The Merciful, does not need anyone to do any particular deeds in order to forgive them. He bestows His favours on anyone He likes and there is no one to stop Him from doing that. He is the One Who accepts a sincere repentance from the heart, which may leave everyone else in surprise.

This hadith also indicates that we should strive to save ourselves from dependency and destitution, and seek refuge with Allah from them. Poverty is a thing that can draw man towards the most detestable deed and compel him to do it.

Finally, we learn from this hadith that the Sahabah (radi Allahu anhum) were very careful in narrating a hadith. Abdullah ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said that if he had heard this hadith from the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) once, twice, three or four times, or even five times or six times, he would not have related it to other people, for he feared that he might ascribe to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) what he had not said, or he might make a mistake in narrating the hadith which would be a very grave sin. He had in fact heard the hadith more than seven times from the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). That is why he related it with full confidence and authority.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Password Please!

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He whose last words are, ‘La ilaha il Allah’ (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), will enter Paradise.” [Abu Dawud]

This hadith is like a password given away. Is it really this easy to enter the beautiful land of everlasting happiness? Sometimes death comes after an illness when it is anticipated, sometimes it comes unannounced. Regardless, a Momin is blessed with the ability to die on the kalima (La ilaha il Allah). This is because a Momin has lived his/her life on the kalima and the fact is that a person dies on the same that he/she has lived on.

A pious man was called to make dua for an old man on his deathbed. When the man entered the house of the dieing person he was surprised to hear loud music being played. He admonished the relatives, “Is this the time to be listening to the instruments of the Shaitaan? Why do you not recite the Quran and ask the dieing one to recite the kalima?” Accordingly, the music was turned off and a recording of the recitation of the Quran played instead. On hearing the Quran, the dieing man spoke up asking for it to be turned off saying it troubled him, and he insisted for the female singer’s cassette to be played again as it soothed his heart. Thus, the person died listening to what he had spent his life listening to.