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Inspiration to keep Studying…

Some of the ‘Ulema of the past used to say that those who do not believe that the Talibul ‘Ilm, that the scholar is a warrior, is a Mujahid then he has no intellect. The scholar, the talibul ‘ilm, is defending the borders and the lines of Islam just like a Mujahid is fighting and defending Islam with his body and blood. He’s fighting it with his pen and lectures, his teachings and his classes. You know? That Mujahid wouldn’t be there unless he had a good teacher, right? So it’s tough to get up everyday and recite 10 pages of Quraan, and memorize, and review, and then study this. It’s tough! Those people don’t have the stomach to study or the discipline , or the humility to sit between somebody’s legs under their feet and study. They just want a fatwa. They, as the scholars say, want the taste of knowledge but they don’t want to eat the meal. They say the introduction is too long and the teacher is not getting to the point. But the introduction has its place. If they would stick to the first five lessons, they would get somewhere, you know?

– Ustadh

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Teaching to Love Abu Bakr RA and ‘Umar RA

It is reported that Imām Mālik (R) said:

The Salaf used to teach their children to love Abū Bakr and ʿUmar like they used to teach them a sūrah of the Qurān.

[Al-Lālakāʾī, Sharḥ ʾUsūl ʾIʿtiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah #2325.]

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Oh Yes, about Her…

Bismillah:

A warm, respectful flicker of an eye can fill you up with all that you need and more as compared to words served to you which are meant to nourish you but consume you instead. Words meant to clothe you but unclothe you. Words and actions that haunt you and not secure you.

We think what we say or do not say can be said and unsaid and not said at all, unlimitedly.But the reality is that everything has a time limit. Nothing is forever. Not love founded on need. Nor claims of love.

We nurture love and celebrate it not by words born in our sporadic moments of mood or when personal need wakes it up from slumber. We nurture it by embracing  actions that make love truly the focal point.

Her love is like a flower, capable of pleasing the senses; yet more important than the mere sensual pleasure, she reveals the promise of life. Of hope. Of birth and fertility. Of progress and reaching new heights…of so much more.

However, her love must be nurtured for her love is not a trophy that if once attained, it lives a forgotten, suffocated life in the cupboard, uncared-for and only boasted about. When you care about something’s longevity, you nurture it. Perhaps as easy as that sounds, it is as difficult as nurturing a positive attitude. Maybe even more.

For her strength in her unwavering love despite the grief she holds is deemed as her fickle-nature, you know utterly nonsensical because a moment ago she said she was angry. And her God-gifted femininity is used interchangeably with a woman’s weakness.

Only one man by His Mercy, Rasoolalah salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam taught the entire mankind the ways to love her. Value her, respect her when she was considered a commodity. Value her, respect her when she is still considered a commodity. Not a power tool: an easy political and domestic target. Not to unclothe her and increase your sales. Not to silence her by demonizing her and increasing your ego. Just to love her, her imperfect being. Not damage her beyond repair.

The West or the East. Both have monumentally and colossally failed in honoring the One in Whose Name she can lawfully be approached.

Where is she to exist then and live a life without dying a hundred deaths? Where is she to belong? Where is home? Where is security? Perhaps Aasiya AS never seemed closer to her than now. She can feel her cry for it is hers too:

jannah

Clothe me Ya Allah for I am unclothed.

Ameen.

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Hasan al Basri (R) on Real Reciters of the Quraan

Abu Muhammad Yahya b. Muhammad b. Sa’id narrated to us, he said: al-Husayn b.
al-Husayn al-Marwazi narrated to us, he said: Ibn al-Mubarak informed us, he said:
Ma’mar informed us, from Yahya b. al-Mukhtar, from al-Hasan [al-Basri] who said,
“Truly, this Qur’an is recited by slaves and children who have no knowledge of its
interpretation, for they have not followed the matter from its beginning. Allah, Mighty
and Majestic, said, ‘A book, We have sent it down to you, blessed, that they may ponder
its signs deeply.’Pondering its signs deeply is no more than following it, and Allah
knows best. But by Allah, it is not preserving its letters and wasting its limits! One of
them even says, ‘I have recited the whole Qur’an without missing a single letter of it,’
although by Allah, he has missed it all, for the Qur’an is not seen in him in any of his
character or deeds. Another even says, ‘Truly, I can recite a surah in one breath’! By
Allah, these are not reciters or people of knowledge or wisdom or spiritual caution!
When did real reciters ever say things like this? May Allah not make their like
widespread amongst the people!”
[The hadith is hasan, and was also transmitted by Ibn al-Mubarak in Al-Zuhd

and Muhammad b. Nasr in Qiyam al-Layl]
.
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“…for truly the Qur’an is in his interior.”

Abu Bakr ‘Abdullah b. Abi Dawud narratd to us, he said: Abu l-Tahir Ahmad b.
‘Amr narrated to us, he said: Ibn Wahb narrated to us, he said: Yahya b. Ayyub informed
us, from Khalid b. Yazid, from Tha’labah b. Abi l-Kunud, from Abu l-Kunud, from
‘Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘As, who said,
“He who collects the Qur’an has borne a great matter. Prophethood has been inserted between his shoulder-blades, except that he does not receive revelation. Thus, it does not befit the bearer of the Qur’an to show harshness with the one who shows harshness, or to show ignorance with the one who shows ignorance, for truly the Qur’an is in his interior.
[The narration is hasan. Transmitted also by Hakim, Bayhaqi and Ibn al-Mubarak.]
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Imam ibn al Qayyim (R) on Things that Increase and Decrease Rizq (Sustenance)

minaret
Bismillah:
Allah عزوجل said:

وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا ۖ لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ ۗ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ
“And enjoin prayer upon your family (and people) and be steadfast therein.
We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the (best) outcome is for those with piety.”
[TaHa, 132]

It’s noteworthy how in this Ayah, enjoining salah is connected to provision of rizq. More specifically, after making salient observations, Ibn al-Qayyim(R) said:

وأربعة تجلب الرزق : قيام الليل ، وكثرة الاستغفار بالأسحار ، وتعاهد الصدقة ، والذكر أول النهار وآخره
وأربعة تمنع الرزق : نوم الصبحة ، وقلة الصلاة ، والكسل ، والخيانة
“(There are) four things that bring about rizq: ‘Performing qiyamul layl, making abundant istighfar before dawn, giving regular sadaqah, making dhikr at the start and end of each day. And (there are) four things that prevent rizq: ‘Sleeping through the morning, slacking in salah, being lazy, and betraying (trusts).” [Zaad al-Ma’ad, 378]
***
There isn’t any reason why our next thirty nights and days can’t bring about lasting self-discipline in embracing means of increasing our rizq, and removing barriers that prevent it.
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Suwar Series: “…I have given up saying poetry…”

Bismillah:

Suwar Series: Unveiling the Beauty that Lies Within  – Part 2: Poetry

Those who love words and have a skill with them love the aroma of delicious poetry. They not only enjoy it, they consume it, devouring it hungrily as this is what they live on.

An expert on literature knows when he comes across a good piece of literature. It inspires him and grows his intellect. And when he comes across a type of literature which is unmatchable, his intellect is humbled. When you come across the beauty of Quraanic literature, then it is a totally different level of humility. You feel like submitting at the sheer awe of your Rabb’s beautiful selection of Words. Nothing seems as beautiful…

‘Umar RA, the second Khalifa, once asked the governor of Kufa, al Mugheerah ibn Sho’bah,  to hear some poetry of the Islamic period. When Labeed (the famous pre-Islamic poet who had embraced Islam) was asked to recite, he inquired, ‘Of what he has been forgiven?’ – meaning from Jahiliyah. He was told, ‘No of what you have composed since the coming of Islam.’

Labeed departed then wrote down Surat’l Baqarah (and Ale ‘Imraan) on a sheet of parchment and brought it saying, ‘God has given me this in place of poetry.’ Upon hearing this, ‘Umar RA raised Labeed’s stipend by 500 dirhams.

(Ibn Qutaybah, Al Shi’r wa al Shu’ara, p.149)

~

In another narration, Qurtubi reports from Ibn Abdul Barr’s “Al-Isti’ab” that when ‘Umar RA asked Labeed to recite for him some of his poetry, Labeed began to recite al-Baqarah. “This is not what I asked you,” ‘Umar remonstrated. Labeed replied: “Well, I have given up saying poetry after Allah gave me al-Baqarah and Ale ‘lmran.” The reply pleased ‘Umar so much that he increased his state-allowance.

Let’s celebrate Surat’l Baqarah or Ale ‘Imraan next time we read it. If we truly understood it, we would be awestruck, humbled and so in love. SubhanAllah that is how they, may Allah swt be pleased with them, cherished His Words. May we be like them. Ameen.

And Allah swt knows best.

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Gems Series from Imam ibn Al Qayyim (R)’s Book: Ad Daa-aa wad Dawaa

Bismillah: Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

The tazkiyah course that I had mentioned in my previous post is being delivered on one of the most beautiful books of Imam ibn al Qayyim Jowziyah (R)’s. It is called ‘ Ad-Daa-aa wad Dawaa: Al Jawaab al Kaafi Lee munn Saa-‘ala ‘Ann ad-Dawaa ash-Shaafi’ or The Ilness and the Medicine: A Sufficient Answer for the Ones who Sought Answers to the Healing Medicine. It can be also called as ‘Ad-Dawaa ash Shaafi’. Basically it is a whole treatise on the illnesses of the hearts and how to cure them.

It’s being taught in Urdu from the Urdu translated version of the book.

I thought I might share a few thought provoking gems in my blog posts. :)

***

Gem # 1

DS 1

DS 1bDS 1c

(Note: the words used display an imagery of duaa and difficulties dueling with each other)

A believer’s duaa has three levels at the time of difficulties and trials;

First (level):  Duaa is extremely strong and vicious against the Difficulty. Such a Duaa obliterates Difficulty and removes it completely.

Second (level): Duaa is weak compared to the Difficulty. In such a situation, Difficulty becomes stronger and a person is put in a position to tolerate Difficulty unecessarily. However, it is important to (notice) that no matter how weak Duaa is, it does make the impact of Difficulty lighter.

Third (level): Duaa and Difficulty are of equal power and they both fight against each other  like how it has been narrated from ‘Aisha RA that Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam has said:

‘It is not possible to escape from destiny. Duaa is effective in a situation of trial that one is currently going through as well as effective against a trial that is about to come. When a trial descends, duaa fights against it (such that) duaa and trial keep battling against each other until the Day of Judgement.’

[Dawaa ash Shaafi, ch. 1. pp. 33-34, translated version]

I want us to reflect regarding this.

We must not feel helpless no matter how strong the trial. Our duaas matter no matter how weak they are. Even the weakest of duaa helps bring relief. However, we must work on making our duaas strong. How do we make them strong? We have ample tips from the Quraan and Sunnah. The most important being: one’s proper focus.

So inshaa’Allah, don’t stop making duaas. They are like our weapons which will keep fighting against a calamity. A calamity which was destined to hit us but perhaps Allah swt has also destined for us to be saved from calamities only when we make duaa to be protected against them. Isn’t that an interesting thought?

I hope that you keep the gem I shared in your head the next time your resolve to make duaa weakens. We don’t know how many soldiers of Allah swt even our weakest of duaa conjures! :)

May Allah swt protect us all from the evils of our nafs and evils around us. Ameen!

Inshaa’Allah will continue posting whatever I learn from this course.

Many duaas,

Umm Ibraheem

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