Being an Example for others

Being an Example for others

Allaah says in the Qur'aan, "Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have an excellent example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) ...

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Belief in the Messengers

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The Disease Of Envy

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Being an Example for others

Allaah says in the Qur’aan,

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have an excellent example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much” [al-Ahzab, 21].

{لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا}
Transliteration: Laqad Kāna Lakum Fī Rasūli Allāhi ‘Uswatun Ĥasanatun Liman Kāna Yarjū Allāha Wa Al-Yawma Al-’Ākhira Wa Dhakara Allāha Kathīrāan

This is a very great blessing for this ummah. Allaah has given us a perfect example of how to apply this religion. In every aspect of our lives, we have a human example to look to. We can see how he behaved under different circumstances and we can know with certainty that the way he behaved was in accordance with the revelation of Allaah.

This is just one of the many blessings that we Muslims have received. In the other religions, such as Christianity or Judaism, they do not have such a wonderful example. They do not possess a detailed and authentic record of how their prophets lived. Hence, when it comes to day to day matters in their lives, they have no authentic reference that they can turn to that will give them the satisfaction of knowing what God wants from them in each and every moment of their lives.

If we look at how humans behave around us, it is common or normal for people to look at others and to take them as their examples. Indeed, for the majority of the people, it seems that they are in need of an example. Perhaps such examples give them guidance, hope and confidence.

al-Hamdulillaah, Allaah has provided us with the best possible example. We Muslims do not have to look to the kinds of people that the non-Muslims are looking at as examples and sources of guidance. We don’t have to look to movie actors, rock stars, athletes, or politicians as our sources of guidance. Believe it or not, this is who the disbelievers are looking at as their examples. This is why they always have such people give “public broadcasting announcements” about AIDS, drinking while drunk and so forth. These people are asked to give these announcements because they are the people that so many others look up to, admire and take as their role models. The saddest thing is when Muslims also start taking these people as their role models. Allaah has blessed us with the most excellent role model and yet we turn to people like this.

We must turn to the Messenger of Allaah (saw) as our role model. However, not everyone has access or the time to study the life of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Furthermore, the time that he lived was many years ago and something’s have changed since that time – some people cannot see that although things have seemed to change, in reality, they have not fundamentally changed since the time of the Prophet (saw).

For these and other reasons, even devout Muslims look to other people as, you could say, “supplementary” role models or examples. People who are closer to their own situation and environment. Many of us need to see examples and role models in front of us today who are reacting to the thing that are going on now. All Muslims probably realise that the Prophet (saw) is the best example but sometimes it is simply hard for them to figure out exactly how that example fits into their life today when they are, for example, living in a non-Muslim environment where haram things are all around them. How does one cope in such an environment? What does one do when faced with specific situations in this environment?

In these cases, who should we take as examples and role models? The answer is those people who are taking their example from the Prophet (saw) and through their knowledge and understanding of the Prophet (saw) are applying his teachings to today’s situation. That is, in essence, those people of knowledge and taqwaa. They are the heirs of the Prophet (saw) as he stated in the hadith,

“The scholars are the heirs of the Prophets” (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, and others, according to al-Albaani, it is sahih, Sahih al-Jami as-Sagheer, no.6297)

They have the knowledge to understand the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and see its guidance for today. And they have the taqwaa to apply that knowledge today. Knowledge without taqwaa is not sufficient, and taqwaa without knowledge is also not sufficient.

That is who we should be taking as examples for our own lives. But there is another very important aspect to this topic that I would like to stress. That is, whether you like it or not, whether you even realise it or not, virtually every single one of you is an example and a role model for somebody else. Again, you may not realise that fact but it is the case. The Messenger of Allaah (saw) was an example for the entire ummah, and this role has passed on to us with respect to certain individuals. Some reflection will make you realise that this is exactly the case.

Many of you have younger brothers or sisters. It is very common for younger brothers and sisters to look up to their older siblings. Many times their older siblings are much closer to them than their parents, with respect to age, lifestyle, environment, problems, concerns and so forth. Therefore, they may not look to their parents in issues that concern drugs, alcohol, sex, dating and so forth. There may be a generation gap and they feel that their parents are out of touch with what is going on now. Perhaps even more dangerous, there may be a cultural gap – wherein immigrant parents have children who grew up in this country and children are definitely Americans while the parents are still somewhat Pakistani, or Arab or Malaysian or whatever the case might be.

So they look up to their older brother or sister. They look to see how their older siblings are coping with their own problems. They take their example because of the love and mutual trust that usually exists among such siblings. What kind of example do you set for younger siblings? Are they memorising the Qur’aan because they have seen you memorising the Qur’aan and you have influenced them or encouraged them to memorise the Qur’aan? Or are they spending all of their time playing basketball and chasing after members of the opposite sex because that is the example you set for them?

One of the greatest influences on others is the set of friends that a person has. In fact, the Prophet (saw) said,

“The person follows the way of his dear friend”. (Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, al-Albaani calls it sahih, See Sahih al-Jami as-Sagheer, no. 3545)

People always want to impress their friends and fit in with the group that they hang around with. Just think about when you were growing up, didn’t you do many things just because your friends were doing them? If it was a fashion they were following, you wanted to follow the same fashion. If it was something dangerous or harmful, such as taking drugs or alcohol, it was your friends’ examples that gave you the courage to try or do the same thing. What kind of example do you set for your friends?

Many of you are also parents. Listening to one’s parents is something greatly stressed in Islaam. The Prophet (saw) called disobeyed parents one of the greatest sins one could commit.

Parents usually have a great deal of influence over their behaviour. There used to be an anti-smoking commercial in this country in which a father sits down and starts smoking and his small son sits next to him and picks up the cigarette package. Then the ad stated, “Like father, like son”. This is very true. One time I was visiting a Muslim family and they had a small child. The small child kept looking at my beard and finally said, “You should remove that beard. See, my father does not have a beard”.

It is very natural for children to have an extreme love for their parents. Love is one of the greatest factors in following a role model. One love them and therefore, wants to be like them. In fact, sometimes children take their parents as the standard by which they judge all other peoples and actions. Even to the point that if they are told something from the Qur’aan or Sunnah, they reply, “But my parents don’t do that and I believe that my parents are very good Muslims and therefore…”

There is a very important aspect concerning any role model but I want to mention it explicitly here while talking about parents as their children’s role models. You have to remember that, as the cliche goes, “Actions speak louder than words”. Many parents are very sincere and well-intended with respect to their children. They tell their children that they have to be Muslim and apply the laws of Islaam. They teach this to their children over and over. However, at the same time, their actions display something else. They are telling their children one thing and they are behaving in a different manner. Many times it is your actions that have a much greater effect on your children than the “thereotical teachings” that you are giving them. If you tell your children that they have to pray and you yourself do not pray, they may be more affected by your example than what you are telling them.

You have an obligation to protect your children from the Hellfire. Part of that protection is to teach and guide them properly. However, always remember, the example you set for them may have the greatest influence over them. If it is a good example, praise and thank Allaah. If it is an evil example, seek refuge in Allaah, repent and mend your ways.

Husbands and wives also can be very influential examples for one another. It is not a coincidence that many times you find couples having some of the same characteristics or tendencies. You can find many cases where both spouses are dedicated to Islaam or where both spouses are simply “marginal Muslims”. You can even see how many a man or woman changes after marriage because of the influence of the spouse.

Anyone who is in a position of authority may be taken as a role model by others. If you are teacher, for example, your students will be looking up to you and may admire you. They may wish to be like you and will look at you as their role model.

Those of you who come from overseas to study here may be in a very special situation. You may be from a country where the majority of the people are illiterate or where it is considered a great thing to go and study in the West. When you return to your country, your friends, colleagues and even people you hardly know may be looking up to you and respecting you. They may greatly admire this man who got his degree from the United States of America! What kind of example are you going to set for them? Are you going to show them, by your deeds and your statements, “Look, I studied in the United States and I saw what it had to offer and it only increased my conviction in Islaam and my realisation that I have to serve Allaah alone”. Or are you going to show them, by your deeds and your statements, “Look, I am a very educated person – educated in the West – and I know that it is not necessary to take religion that seriously and it is basically for the ignorant and backwards folk”. Allaah has given you the chance to be a very influential example and role model for your people back home. Make sure that you do not set the wrong example for them as that can be very disastrous for both you and the poor Muslims who take you as their role model.

Those people who are committee members of Islaamic Centres or Mosques also must consider their position as examples for other people. What kind of effect do you think it has when the President, Vice-President or any committee member of a mosque does not even attend the mosque? If the leaders of the mosque do not even care about attending the mosque, why should the others care about attending or looking after the affairs of the mosque? What kind of message is the President sending to others when the only time they see him in the mosque in on Friday, Eid and when there is a board meeting? This is a disease that has afflicted many of our communities and many people have come to me to personally complain about the example that these people are setting. I have actually heard Muslims – especially the youth – say, “Why should I attend the mosque when the leaders of the mosque itself do not even attend it?”

Any time we are put into positions of authority, we must consider that a great trust from Allaah. We must think about our behaviour and that effect it is having on others. We must do our best to set the right example for others as we never know who and how many people may be looking up to us and following our example.

Living here in this society, in particular, you are also an example – again, whether you realise it or not – for the non Muslims. In fact, you may be the only example of a Muslim that they may see. What kind of example are you setting for them? Are you setting an example that will lead them to want to know more about Islaam and perhaps eventually become Muslim? Or are you setting an example for them that makes them believe that a Muslim is no different from anyone else today and there is nothing special about Islaam, it is a weak or useless religion like all other religions today? Are you setting an example for them that makes them abhor Islaam by your un-Islaamic behaviour? Are you someone who is bringing people closer to Allaah or taking people further away from Allaah? The answer to that question may have a lot to do with the kind of example that you are setting for the non-Muslims who witness your behaviour.

As already being Muslims, you must realise that many newly converted Muslims may also take you as an example. When a person first becomes Muslim, he sees much variation in the practice of Islaam among their application of the teachings of Islaam. He will also see Muslims who practice to some extent but not to a great extent. And he will also see Muslim who virtually do not practice anything at all. He is a new Muslim. He does not have all the knowledge he needs to know which of these different groups is actually applying Islaam correctly. Which one of these different groups is he going to befriend and take as an example in Islaam? Suppose he takes you as his friend and he is looking to you to show him how he is supposed to behave as a Muslim. The example that you set for him may have a great deal of influence over how much he actually applies Islaam. Again, beware! Beware of that example you are setting for others even when you may not realise that you are setting an example for others!

There is one last group of people who are also role models that I would like to talk about. This last group, in fact, can have the greatest positive effect as a role model or it can have the greatest negative effect. These are those people who are known to be knowledgeable about Islaam. This group includes those who truly have knowledge and other Muslims recognise this fact. And this group also includes those who probably don’t have much knowledge but they claim to have a great deal of knowledge and some people might be fooled or misled by them.

One of the worst things that happens in some communities is that those people who are considered the people of knowledge set bad examples for the others in the community. They do not attend the mosque on a regular basis. Their public appearance is not one that reflects true Islaamic knowledge – for example, a man with his beard shaved off or a woman who does not wear hijab. They engage in things that are well-known not to be proper in Islaam.

What is the effect of people of this nature? People will look at them and say, “Look this is a person of knowledge and he doesn’t do this and that”, or, “and he does this and that”. They will conclude that there must not be anything wrong with those deeds as otherwise such a knowledgeable person would not be doing those things. Let us take the simple example of shaving the beard. A Muslim may look at a so-called learned Muslim and see that he has shaved his beard. Then he may say to himself, “I don’t have his level of knowledge and those who tell me that I have to grow a beard also do not have his level of knowledge. Therefore it must not really be necessary for me to grow a beard”.

Satan may use that bad example as a source of excuses for others. Even if they feel that something is wrong, they will say to themselves, “Ah, but so and so does it so it couldn’t really be that bad”, and therefore they do it.

At this point, someone might argue that he is not responsible for the example that others get from him. He is only responsible for his deeds and everybody else is responsible for their own deeds. In fact, Allaah says clearly in the Qur’aan in more than one place,

“No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another” [al-Anaam, 164].

{وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ}, Transliteration: Wa Lā Taziru Wāziratun Wizra ‘Ukhrá

However, that verse does not mean that you are not responsible for the kind of influence you assert over others. The effect you have over others is, in fact, the result of your own deeds and part of the burden that you must bear. This is made clear in a number of hadith of the Prophet (saw). For example, he said,

«No one is killed unjustly but a share of his blood will be upon the first son of Adam for he was the first to introduce killing» [al-Bukhaari, Muslim].

Obviously, that son of Adam did not teach or encourage the later murderers to commit murder. But he set the example for them and, therefore, he shares in the sin of all of those who commit murder after him.

Another hadith states, «Whoever introduces some good practice in Islaam which was followed after him (by people) would be assured of reward like the one who followed it without the reward of either fo them being diminished in anyway. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islaam which was followed by others would bear the burden like that of the one who followed this (evil practice), without the burden of either of them being diminished in any way» [Muslim].

This particular hadith shows us the positive result of setting a good example and the negative result of setting a bad example. The story behind the hadith, which was concerned with giving charity, was wherein one Muslim set a good example for the others and the others followed suit. It was not that he had introduced something new into Islaam as some people may mistakenly conclude from that hadith.

Therefore, the effect that you have on others and the examples that you set for others can very well be considered part of your deeds and part of what you earned. If it is a good example, you may receive great rewards for all of those people whom you influenced in a positive manner. If it is an evil example, you may be responsible for all of those people who followed your evil example.

Keep in mind, also, that you may not consider yourself an example or role model for anyone. In reality, as I tried to stress in this khutbah, whether you realise it or not and whether you like it or not, there is a great chance that you are a role model or example for some people around you. Think about your life and think about how you are influencing other people.

Look at the people close to you and see how they are behaving. Try to see if the mistakes they are making are the same mistakes that you make and that they, in fact, got them from you. Look to see if the good things they are doing are the same as the good things that you do and see if they actually got them from you.

Take the time to study this and take the time to think about it. The possibility of setting a good example is a wonderful opportunity to please Allaah. It is an opportunity to follow the Prophet (saw) – the Prophet (saw) set an excellent example and we are supposed to follow his example by also setting an excellent example ourselves.

Jamaal ud-Deen az-Zarabozo
From ‘The Friday Prayer: Part III’

Four Principles for a Noble Character

It is not imagined that one can have noble character except if it is founded upon four pillars:

The First: Sabr (Patience)
The Second: ‘Iffah (Chastity)
The Third: Shujaa’ah (Courage)
The Fourth: ‘Adl (Justice)

Patience inspires him to be tolerant, control his anger, endure the harms that he receives from others, to be forbearing and deliberate in his decisions. It motivates him to be gentle and not to be rash or hasty.

Chastity inspires him to avoid every imprudent characteristic, whether in statement or action, and encourages him to have a sense of modesty and integrity which is the epitome of all good. It prevents him from fornication, stinginess, lying, backbiting and spreading tales to cause separation and discord between the people.

Courage inspires him to have a sense of self esteem, to emphasize high and noble manners and to make it apart of his natural disposition. It also encourages him to exert himself and to be generous, which is in essence, true courage and it leads to strong will and self determination. It encourages him to distance himself from his ardent lowly desires, to control his anger, and to be forbearing because by such, he can control his temper, take it by the reins and curb his violent and destructive behavior just as the Messenger (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

“The Strong is not the one who can wrestle his opponent to the ground but rather the strong is the one who can control himself when he gets angry.” [Agreed upon]
«ليس الشديد بالصرعة ، إنما الشديد الذي يملك نفسه عند الغضب» متفق عليه

This is true genuine courage and it is the sole trait that the slave utilizes to conquer his opponent.

Justice encourages him to be impartial in his behavior with people and to be moderate between the two extremes of negligence and extremism. It motivates him to be generous and kind; which is the middle course between absolute degradation and arrogance, and to make this a part of his disposition and makeup. It encourages him to be courageous; which is the middle course between cowardice and imprudence, and to be forbearing; which is the middle course between extreme unnecessary anger and ignominy.

These four virtuous characteristics are the axis and provenance of all noble manners and the foundation of all repugnant and ignominious characteristics are built upon four pillars:

The First: Jahl (Ignorance)
The Second: Dhulm (Oppression)
The Third: Shahwah (following ones lowly desires)
The Fourth: Ghadab (Anger)

Ignorance allows him to view good in the form of evil and evil in the form of good, and to consider that which is complete to be incomplete and that which is incomplete to be complete.

Oppression causes him to put things in places which are not appropriate for them, so he gets angry when it’s time to be happy and he is happy when it’s time to be angry. He is ignorant and hasty when it’s time to be deliberate and deliberate when it’s time to be hasty, he is stingy when it is time to be generous and generous when it’s time to be stingy. He is weak when it is time to be courageous and assume responsibility, and he assumes responsibility when it is time to take a step back (and let someone else undertake the initiative). He is gentle and lenient when it is time to be harsh and firm and he is harsh and firm when it is time to be lenient. He is humble when it is time to be superior and arrogant when it is time to be humble.

Following (his) lowly desires encourages him to be diligent in obtaining that which the soul ardently desires, to be stingy and greedy. It encourages him to adorn himself with all types of despicable and imprudent characteristics.

Anger incites him to be arrogant, jealous, envious, to hold enmity of others and to be imprudent and shameless.

The foundation of these four repugnant and blameworthy characteristics; are two pillars:

Either extreme self ignominy,
Or extreme self pride.

Translator: Shadeed Muhammad, Abu Az-Zubayr
Reference: Madaarij ul Salikeen: Vol 2, P 308.

Belief in the Messengers

A Muslim is required to believe that Allah chose the finest amongst humanity to be Messengers whom He sent to His creation with specific legislation’s: to worship and obey Him and to establish His religion and His Oneness. Allah, the Almighty, says: And We did not send any Messenger before you [O Muhammad ()] but We inspired him [saying]: none has the right to be worshiped but I (Allah), so worship Me (Alone and none
else). [21:25]

The last of the divinely appointed messengers was Prophet Muhammad (). To him was conveyed the final and complete revelation from Allah. All the prophets preached the same basic message: the worship of Allah alone. In essence, they all preached Islam, which means willing, peaceful submission to Allah, the one true God; Creator of the universe.

The final prophet was sent by the Creator as a human model to be followed and obeyed. Prophet Muhammad () exemplified the principles laid down in the Qur’an, and true Muslims strive to follow his noble example. His biography has been recorded in minute detail and is easily accessible for study. There is a complete, authentically narrated documentation of his sayings and practices which is the second source of Islamic legislation.It is complementary to the Qur’an and supplements it with additional details and clarification of meanings.

This record contains the prophetic traditions referred to as the Sunnah. Scholars have carefully and painstakingly scrutinized the reliability of the transmitters of these traditions, and only those whose narrators are found to be completely reliable and sound are accepted.

The Disease Of Envy

  1. Envy is one of the major sins which is bound to destroy good deeds as fast as the fire burns the wood and dry grass to ashes. “Jealousy eats away at good deeds, just as fire eats away at firewood.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
  2. Envy was described as a sickness by the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam.
  3. Envy is hating that good happens to others.
  4. Envy is displeasure with Allah’s decree and His granting blessings upon others.
  5. “Faith and envy do not go together in the heart of a servant.” [Ibn Hibban, saheeh]
  6. “The people will be fine as long as they do not envy one another.” [At-Tabarani with trustworthy narrators]
  7. Envy is a characteristic the Jews displayed towards the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, causing them to inflict him harm.
  8. Envy leads to hatred.
  9. The Prophet, sallallahu `alahi w sallam, described envy as a shearer of the religion.
  10. Muslims are commanded in Soorah al-Falaq to seek refuge from the evil of the envier when he envies.
  11. Envy is worse than miserliness; this is because the miser only stops himself from having good but the envier dislikes the favours of Allah bestowed upon His servants.
  12. No one attains true belief until one loves for one’s brother what one loves for oneself.
  13. It is said that the people who have the greatest degree of restlessness are the envious. Such a person has no peace and is continuously grieved.
  14. The greatest harm from envy comes to the envier, who with one’s displeasure with Allah’s decree attains a great loss to oneself.

Al-Mubarrad recited the following lines:

The eye of the envier always sees scandal,
bringing out faults and hiding the good.

He meets you cheerfully, with a smiling face,
while his heart conceals his true feelings.

The envier’s enmity comes without provocation,
yet he accepts no excuses while he attacks.

The following is excerpted and adapted from Ibn Taymiyyah’s “Diseases of the Hearts and Their Cures” [©1998 Al-Hidaayah]

Strictly speaking, envy (hasad) is hatred and disliking the good condition of the envied one. This is of two types:

1) The blameworthy type of envy is unrestricted dislike of the blessings bestowed upon the envied. This is the type of jealousy that incurs blame, so when one hates something he is then hurt and grieved by the existence of what he hates, and this becomes a sickness in his heart such that he takes pleasure in the removal of the blessings from the envied even if this does not result in any benefit to him except the single benefit of having the pain that was in his soul removed. But this pain is not removed except as a result of his continuously watching the envied so that the jealous person finds relief when the blessing is removed, but then it becomes more severe as is the case of the one who is sick, for it is possible that this blessing, or one similar to it, returns to the envied. This is why the second group said: ‘It is a desire to have the blessings removed,’ for indeed the one who dislikes the blessings bestowed upon other than him desires them to see removed.

2) That he dislikes the superiority of that person over him, and he desires to be like him or better, so this is jealousy and has been called ghubta, and the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, called it hasad in the hadeeth reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim from the hadeeth of ibn Mas`ood and ibn `Umar, radiyallahu `anhumaa, that he, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, said, “There is no envy except in two cases: a person to whom Allah has granted wisdom, and he rules by this and teaches it to the people, and a person to whom Allah has granted wealth and property along with this the power to spend it in the cause of Truth.”

This being the wording of Ibn Mas`ood. The wording of Ibn `Umar is, “A person to whom Allah has given the Qur’an and he recites it night and day, and a person to whom Allah has granted wealth and property from which he gives in charity night and day.”

…So the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, forbade hasad, with the exception of two cases which are referred to as al-ghubta, meaning that a person love the condition of someone else and dislikes that this person be superior in this way (without his wishing that it be removed from that person).

So if it is asked: ‘Then why is this (ghubta) called envy when he loves only that Allah bestow these blessings upon him?’ It is said, ‘The starting point of this love is his looking towards the favors Allah has bestowed upon someone else and his disliking that this person be favored over him. So if this other person were not present then he would not have desired these blessings. So because the starting point of this love is this dislike that someone else be made superior to him, then this is called envy due to the love following the dislike. As for desiring that Allah bestows favors upon him without consideration of people’s material conditions then this is not envy at all.’

This is why the generality of mankind have been tried with this second type of envy that has also been called al-munaafasah (competition) because two people compete in a single desired matter, both of them trying to attain the same good. The reason for their trying to attain it is that one of them dislikes that the other be blessed with this matter over him just as any one of two competitors dislikes that the other beat him.

Competition is not considered blameworthy in general, rather it is considered to be praiseworthy when competing for righteousness. The Exalted said,

“Indeed the pious will be in delight. On thrones, looking on. You will recognize in their faces the brightness of delight. They will be given to drink pure sealed wine. The last thereof (that wine) will be the smell of Musk, and for this let those compete who want to compete.” [Al-Mutaffifeen (83):22-26]

So one is commanded to compete for these delights and not compete for the delight of this fleeting world.

…The souls do not envy the one who is in severe hardship and this is why the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, did not mention it even though the mujaahid, fighting in the Way of Allah, is superior to the one who is spending wealth…. Similarly, the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, did not mention the one who prays, fasts and performs the pilgrimage, because there is no tangible benefit attained from the people for these actions by which the person can be exalted or disgraced, as can be attained in teaching and spending.

Fundamentally, envy occurs when someone else attains power and authority; otherwise the one who is performing these actions is not normally envied, even if this person be blessed with far more food, drink and wives than others, as opposed to these two blessings of power and authority, for they cause a great deal of envy.


Allah praised the Ansaar with His saying, “And they have no jealously in their breasts for that which they have been given (the muhaajiroon), and give them preference over themselves even though they were in need of that.” [Al-Hashr (59):9]

As for the jealousy that is totally blameworthy then Allah has said with regards to the Jews, Many of the People of the Book wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their own selves even after the truth has become clear to them.” [Al-Baqarah (2):109]

‘They wish’ meaning that they hope to make you aspostisise from your religion out of jealousy. So jealousy was the deciding factor behind their wish even after the Truth had been made clear to them. This because when they saw you attain what you attained of blessings – in fact they saw you attain that which they themselves had never attained – they became jealous of you. Similarly this is mentioned in another verse, Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty? Then We have already given the family of Abraham the Book of Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom. Of them were (some) who believed in him (Muhammad) and of them were some who averted their faces from him and enough is Hell for burning (them)…” [An-Nisaa' (4): 54-55]

“Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak. From the evil of what He has created. And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness. And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [Al-Falaq (113):1-5]

…So the one who is jealous, hating the favours bestowed by Allah upon someone else is an oppressor, going beyond bounds due to this. As for the one who dislikes that someone else be blessed and wishes to be blessed in the same way, then this is forbidden for him except in that which will bring him closer to Allah. So if he were to wish for something that has been given to someone else which would help bring him closer to Allah then there is no problem in this. However, his wishing for it in his heart, without looking to the condition of someone else is better and more excellent.

Then if this person were to act, dictated by this jealousy, he would be an oppressor going beyond bounds, deserving of punishment unless he repents…

Jealousy is one of the sicknesses of the soul, and it is an illness that afflicts the generality of mankind and only a few are secure from it. This is why it is said, “The body is never free from jealousy, but debasement brings it out, and nobility hides it.” It was said to Al-Hasan Al-Basree, “Can a believer be envied?” He replied, “What has made you forget Yoosuf and his brothers, have you no father? But you should keep (this envy should it occur) blinded in your heart, for you cannot be harmed by that which you did not act upon in speech or action.”

So the one who finds that he harbours jealousy in his soul towards someone else, then it is upon him to treat it with patience and taqwaa of Allah, and dislike it being in his soul… As for the one who actually takes a stance against the envied, either with words or actions then he will be punished for this, and the one who fears Allah and is patient and does not become one of the oppressors – Allah will benefit him for his taqwa.

…In the hadeeth there occurs, “There are three sins from which no one can be saved: jealousy, suspicion and omens. Shall I tell you of what will remove you from this: When you envy do not hate, when you are suspicious then do not actualise your suspicions, and when you see omens then ignore them.” Reported by Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah.

In the Sunan from the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, “You have been afflicted with the illness of the nations that came before you – jealousy and hatred. They are the shearers, I do not mean the shearers of the hair, rather they are the shearers of the religion.” [At-Tirmidhi, at-Tabaranee and al-Hakim who said it was saheeh].

So he called jealousy an illness just as he called miserliness an illness in his saying, “And what illness is worse than miserliness.” [Ahmad, Hakim and others, saheeh]

…In the first hadeeth jealousy was mentioned along with hatred. This is because the envier, first of all dislikes the bounty bestowed by Allah upon the one who is envied, and then begins hating this person. This is because the hatred of the thing being bestowed leads to hatred of the one upon whom it is bestowed, for when the blessings of Allah are bestowed upon an individual, he would love that they go away, and they would not go away except by the one who is envied going away, therefore he hates him and loves that he not be there.

Jealousy necessarily leads to desire and hatred just as Allah informed us of those that came before us that they differed, After there came to them knowledge out of mutual hatred and desire.” [Aal `Imraan (3):19]

“Do not envy one another, do note hate each other, do not oppose each other…” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

“By the One in Whose Hands is my soul, none of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Greed is a sickness as is miserliness, and jealousy is worse than miserliness, as occurs in the hadeeth, “Jealousy eats away at good deeds, just as fire eats away at firewood.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

This is because the miser only stops himself from having good but the envier dislikes the favours of Allah bestowed upon His servants.

Paradise and Hell Have Already Been Created

“Paradise and Hell have already been created. They will never come to an end or cease to exist.
Allaah (swt) created Paradise and Hell before the rest of creation, and
He (swt) created inhabitants for each of them. Whoever He (swt) wishes (will enter)
Paradise by His grace and mercy, and whoever He (swt) wishes (will enter Hell)
as a result of His (swt) justice. Every person will behave according to that for which
he was created, and his destiny will be that for which he was created; good deeds and
evil deeds are foreordained for all men”.

Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abul-’Izz al-Hanafi remarked, in his commentary on
this text:

“With regard to his saying that Paradise and Hell have already been created,
Ahl as-Sunnah agree that Paradise and Hell have been created and are in
existence at the present moment. Ahlus-Sunnah continued to hold this view,
until some odd ideas of the Mu’tazilah and Qaadariyyah came along,
which denied that. These groups said: “Allaah will create them (ie Paradise and Hell)
on the Day of Resurrection.” They said this because of their false
arguments by means of which they seek to improve regulations on what
Allaah (swt) should do; (they say) it befits Allaah (swt) to do this, or it does not befit
Allaah (swt) to do that. They compare Him to His creation and their
actions. This is a kind of anthropomorphism with regard to deeds; they have allowed
the ideas of Jahmiyyah (a sect of Mu’tazilah named after the deviant, Jahm ibn Safwan)
to creep into their thinking, and have become mu’attalah
(those who deny that Allaah can see). They said, “It does not make sense for Paradise to
be created before the time of reward, because it will not be used or inhabited for a very
long time. They rejected the aayaat and reports that
contradict these false notions they seek to project onto Allaah (swt).
They misinterpreted the texts and accused those who disagreed with them of going
astray and concocting bid’ah”

Proofs from the Qur’aan and Hadeeth in support of this are, for example:

“Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord,
and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth,
prepared for those who believe in Allaah and His Messengers. That is the
Grace of Allaah, which He bestows on whom He is pleased with. And Allaah
is the Owner of Great Bounty”. (57:21)
“…for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for

al-Muttaqun” (3:133)
“And fear the fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers” (3:131)
“And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) at a second descent (ie another
time), near Sidrat al-Muntahaa (lote tree of the utmost boundary (beyond
which none can pass), near it is the Paradise of Abode” (53:13-15)

The Prophet (saw) saw Sidrat al-Muntahaa, a tree in Heaven, and near it,
Paradise, as is mention in al-Bukhaari, and Muslim in the hadith of Anas
(ra). At the end of this narrative of al-Israa, the Prophet (saw) said,
“Then Jibreel brought me to Sidrat al-Muntahaa which was veiled in colours
indescribable. Then I entered Paradise, and its lights were of pearls and
its soil was musk”.

uslim, Abu Dawud and Imaam Ahmad report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the
Messenger (saw) said, “When Allaah (swt) created Paradise and Hell, He sent
Jibreel to Paradise, saying “Go and look at it and at what I have prepared
therein for its inhabitants”. So he went and looked at it and at what Allaah
had prepared therein for its inhabitants…. then He sent him to Hellfire
saying, “Go and look at it and what I have prepared therein for its
inhabitants” So he looked at it and saw that it was in layers, one above the
Muslim reports from Aishah (ra) that there was a solar eclipse in the time of
the Messenger (saw) and he said, “Whilst I was standing here I saw everything
that you have been promised, I even saw myself picking some of the fruits of Paradise,
when you saw me stepping forward. And I saw Hellfire, parts of it consuming other parts,
when you saw me stepping backward”.

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Ibn ‘Abbas the same incident, “I saw
Paradise and I tried to take a bunch of its fruit. If I had managed to do
so, you would have eaten from it until the end of time. And I saw the Fire
of Hell, and I have never seen anything so horrific or terrifying. I saw
that the majority of its inhabitants are women.”

Muslim also reports from Anas that the Prophet (Saw) said, “By the One in
Whose Hand is my soul, if you had seen what I saw, you would laugh little and
cry much.” They said, “What did you see, O Messenger of Allaah?”, He said,
“I saw Paradise and Hell”.
The Prophet (saw) also ascended into jannah on the night of Mi’raj in his
‘Isra (night journey): for example -

* “…I saw four rivers flowing out from beneath Sidrat al-Muntahaa, two visible and two hidden.”
(Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, Baab al-’Israa, 1/150, no.164)

* “Whilst I was walking in Paradise I saw a river whose banks were domes of
hollow pearls and I asked, “What is this, O Jibreel?” He said, “This is
al-Kawthar which your Rabb has given to you”. (from Anas ibn Maalik, Sahih
al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab fil-Hawd, Fath al-Baari, 11/464)

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Jaabir that the Messenger of Allaah said,
“I entered Paradise where I saw ar-Rumaysa, the wife of Abu Talhah. And I
heard footsteps and asked, “Who is that?” He (Jibreel) said, “That is
Bilaal”. And I saw a palace with women in its courtyard. I asked, “Whose is
this?” They said, It is for ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab” (Mishkaat al-Masaabih,

Rights of Parents

1. You should not cause them any harm even if they commit any excesses.

2. Respect and honour them in your speech and dealings with them.

3. Obey them in permissible acts.

4. If they are in need of money, assist them even if they are kafirs.

5. The following rights are due to parents after their death:

(a) Continue making duas of forgiveness and mercy for them. Continue sending rewards to them in the form of optional acts of worship and charity on their behalf.

(b) Meet their friends and relatives in a friendly way and also assist them wherever possible.

(c) If you have the finances, fulfil their unpaid debts and the permissible bequests that they have made.

(d) When they pass away, abstain from crying and wailing aloud or else their souls will be troubled.

6. According to the Shariah, the rights of the paternal and maternal grandparents are similar to those of the parents and they should be regarded as such.

7. Similarly, the rights of the maternal and paternal uncles and aunts are similar to those of the parents. This has been deduced from certain Ahadith. (Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The maternal aunt has the status of one�s mother.” – Tirmidhi)

10 ways of developing love for Allah

10 ways of developing love for Allah
Adapted from Shaykh Ibn Qayyim’s (rah) Madarij-us-Saalikeen

Shaykh Ibn al-Qayyim (rah) says: “The reason which cause mahabbah (love) of Allaah to develop, are ten:

First: Reciting the Qur’aan, reflecting and understanding its meaning and its intent.

Second: Drawing closer to Allaah – the Most High – through optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.

Third: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah, with the tongue, the heart and the limbs – under all circumstances. The more continuant the dhikr, the more muhabbah develops and intensifies.

Fourth: Giving precedence to what Allaah loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.

Fifth: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allaah.

Sixth: Recognizing and remembering the favors and bounties of Allaah – both manifest and hidden.

Seventh: To be humble and submissive before Allaah – and this is the greatest matter.

Eighth: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur’aan, during that time in which Allaah descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allaah’s forgiveness and repenting to Him.

Ninth: To sit in the gatherings of the true and sincere lovers of Allaah, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefit others as well.

Tenth: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic.

So these are the ten reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allaah and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved.

It’s A Matter of Love

Ever been in love? Stayed up nights thinking about the object of your adoration? Ever felt the helplessness, the vulnerability of falling in love? Ever felt your life was on a standstill, revolving as though in a strange cacophony of thoughts, emotions and words around the one you love? The feeling that overpowers you, envelops you and controls you in such a way that defeat in its game is too unspeakable an option to even think about, for it can annihilate you thoroughly — almost without hope of a rebirth.

The above may not be an ideal opening paragraph, but you know why I felt compelled to begin this way? Well, because in all age-groups, especially in that of teenage and young adulthood, this phenomenon called ‘love’ creates waves. If we look at college life, the workplace, the TV-shows we follow, the movies we watch, to books we peruse we learn that love seems to be on everyone’s mind. So coming to my original question: Have you ever been in love?

If you have, you’ve probably been through profound grief as well. You know that the one thing that can bring pleasure and pain in equal quantities is in fact: love. Just about everyone around us seems to be yearning for ‘love’ yet few around us have found that proverbially ‘happy ending’.

I look to the perfect deen of Allah to find some answers. And then I realize the solution, the answer to my question, has been there all along – I just didn’t look hard enough.

It is narrated in Al-Bukhari in a Hadith Qudsi:

“When Allaah loves a slave, He says to Jibreel (Alayhis Salam)l, ‘I love so-and-so, so love him,’ so Jibreel (AS) loves him and then calls out to the people of heaven, ‘Allaah loves so-and-so, so love him,’ and the people of heaven love him, and then acceptance is placed in the Earth for him.”

Take a moment to read the last part again – ‘acceptance is placed in the Earth for him’. So that’s how it works! The acceptance, the love we sometimes crave from people comes from – Allah’s love? Does this mean that if Allah begins to love us, the whole world will follow suit? Actually, it means more than only that (although it does mean that too!).

When a believer is blessed by the love of Allah, life suddenly begins to look better – indeed the fixation with the love of others is finally given a rest. Imagine, a person who is so close to Allah that Allah becomes the eyes which he sees with, and the hand with which he strikes, and the tongue with which he speaks, wouldn’t the contentment of the entire universe be at his feet? Would a person so spiritually elevated even crave the recognition and love that we sometimes do from the dunya? To quote the words of another hadith qudsi:

“….When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.[Bukhari 6502]

But how does one get Allah’s love? This ayah of the Quran puts things in perspective:

“Say (O Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam to mankind): If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31]

As we are all aware, Prophet Muhammed (Sallallahu alayhi Wa Sallam) was the most perfect man ever to tread on the earth and by following him we are making Allah love us. It’s that simple! Following the sunnah of our blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alyhi wa Sallam) is not only good for us in deen, but also dunya. After all, who doesn’t like an honest, humble, trustworthy and pure person? Truly, like Ayesha (Radi Allahu Anha) once commented, his conduct was the Quran.

Remember Allah says in the first part of the above hadith al-qudsi:

My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him.

May Allah create love for Him and for His beloved Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) in our hearts, and may it grow therein forever.

Heart cleaner zikr of Allah

Zikr of Allah – the heart cleaner


Muadh Ibn Jabal

Muadh ibn Jabal was a young man growing up in Yathrib as the light of guidance and truth began to spread over the Arabian peninsula. He was a handsome and Imposing character with black eyes and curly hair and immediately impressed whoever he met. He was already distinguished for the sharpness of his intelligence among young men of his own age.

The young Muadh became a Muslim at the hands of Musiab ibn Umayr, the da’iy (missionary) whom the Prophet had sent to Yathrib before the hijrah. Muadh was among the seventy-two Yathribites who journeyed to Makkah, one year before the hijrah, and met the Prophet at his house and later again in the valley of Mina, outside Makkah, at Aqabah. Here the famous second Aqabah Pledge was made at which the new Muslims of Yathrib, including some women, vowed to support and defend the Prophet at any cost. Muadh was among those who enthusiastically clasped the hands of the blessed Prophet then and pledged allegiance to him.

As soon as Muadh returned to Madinah from Makkah, he and a few others of his age formed a group to remove and destroy idols from the houses of the mushrikeen in Yathrib. One of the effects of this campaign was that a prominent man of the city, Amr ibn al-Jumuh, became a Muslim .

When the noble Prophet reached Madinah, Muadh ibn Jabal stayed in his company as much as possible. He studied the Qur’an and the laws of Tslam until he became one of the most well-versed of all the companions in the religion of Islam.

Wherever Muadh went, people would refer to him for legal judgements on matters over which they differed. This is not strange since he was brought up in the school of the Prophet himself and learnt as much as he could from him. He was the best pupil of the best teacher. His knowledge bore the stamp of authenticity. The best certificate that he could have received came from the Prophet himself when he said:
“The most knowledgeable of my ummah in matters of halal and haram is Muadh ibn Jabal.”

One of the greatest of Muadh’s contributions to the ummah of Muhammad was that he was one of the group of six who collected the Qur’an during the lifetime of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Whenever a group of companions met and Muadh was among them, they would look at him with awe and respect on account of his knowledge. The Prophet and his two Khalifahs after him placed this unique gift and power in the service of Islam.

After the liberation of Makkah, the Quraysh became Muslims en masse. The Prophet immediately saw the need of the new Muslims for teachers to instruct them in the fundamentals of Islam and to make them truly understand the spirit and letter of its laws. He appointed Attab ibn Usay as his deputy in Makkah and he asked Muadh ibn Jabal to stay with him and teach people the Qur’an and instruct them in the religion.

Sometime after the Prophet had returned to Madinah, messengers of the kings of Yemen came to him announcing that they and the people of Yemen had become Muslims. They requested that some teachers should be with them to teach Islam to the people. For this task the Prophet commissioned a group of competent du’at (missionaries) and made Muadh ibn Jabal their amir. He then put the following question to Muadh:

“According to what will you judge?”

“According to the Book of God,” replied Muadh.

“And if you find nothing therein?”

“According to the Sunnah of the Prophet of God.”

“And if you find nothing therein?”

“Then I will exert myself (exercise ijtEhad) to form n own judgement.” The Prophet was pleased with this reply and said:

“Praise be to God Who has guided the messenger of the Prophet to that which pleases the Prophet.”

The Prophet personally bade farewell to this mission of guidance and light and walked for some distance alongside Muadh as he rode out of the city. Finally he said to him:

“O Muadh, perhaps you shall not meet me again after this year. Perhaps when you return you shall see only my mosque and my grave.”

Muadh wept. Those with him wept too. A feeling of sadness and desolation overtook him as he parted from his beloved Prophet, peace and blessings of God be on him.

The Prophet’s premonition was correct. The eyes of Muadh never beheld the Prophet after that moment. The Prophet died before Muadh returned from the Yemen. There is no doubt that Muadh wept when he returned to Madinah and found there was no longer the blessed company of the Prophet.

During the caliphate of Umar, Muadh was sent to the Banu Kilab to apportion their stipends and to distribute the sadaqah of their richer folk among the poor. When he had done his duty, he returned to his wife with his saddle blanket around his neck, empty handed, and she asked him:

“Where are the gifts which commissioners return with for their families?”

“I had an alert Supervisor who was checking over me,” he replied.

“You were a trusted person with the messenger of God and with Abu Bakr. Then Umar came and he sent a supervisor with you to check on you!” she exclaimed. She went on to talk about this to the women of Umar’s household and complained to them about it. The complaint eventually reached Umar, so he summoned Muadh and said:

“Did I send a supervisor with you to check on you?”

“No, Amir al-Mu’mineen,” he said, “But that was the only reason I could find to give her.” Umar laughed and then gave him a gift, saying, “I hope this pleases you.”

Also during the caliphate of Umar, the governor of Syria, Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan sent a message saying:

“O Amir al-Mu’mineen! The people of Syria are many. They fill the towns. They need people to teach them the Qur’an and instruct them in the religion.”

Umar thereupon summoned five persons who had collected the Qur’an in the lifetime of the Prophet, peace be upon him. They were Muadh ibn Jabal, ‘Ubadah ibn asSamit, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Abu adDardaa. He said to them:

“Your brothers in Syria have asked me to help them by sending those who can teach them the Qur’an and instruct them in the religion. Please appoint three among you for this task and may God bless you. I can select three of you myself if you do not want to put the matter to the vote.”

“Why should we vote?” they asked. “Abu Ayyub is quite old and Ubayy is a sick man. That leaves three of us.”

“All three of you go to Homs first of all. If you are satisfied with the condition of the people there, one of you should stay there, another should go to Damascus and the other to Palestine.”

So it was that ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit was left at Homs, Abu ad-Dardaa went to Damascus and Muadh went to Palestine. There Muadh fell ill with an infectious disease. As he was near to death, he turned in the direction of the Ka’bah and repeated this refrain:

“Welcome Death, Welcome. A visitor has come after a long absence . . .”

And looking up to heaven, he said:

“O Lord, You know that I did not desire the world and to prolong my stay in it . . . O Lord, accept my soul with goodness as you would accept a believing soul . . .”

He then passed away, far from his family and his clan, a da’iy in the service of God and a muhajEr in His path.