The Humble I

Knowing, Doing, Becoming

Friday Reminder for Thoughtful Hearts: 2

WE READ IN THE Qur’an: And when the [Friday] prayer is ended, then disperse in the land and seek of Allah’s favour, and remember Allah much, that you may succeed. [Q.62:10] The shari‘ah combines between establishing Allah’s rights; like prayer, fasting and dhikr, and between securing benefits to oneself; such as the need to earn a living. This is clear from the above verse. What is also clear is that we should seek aid in earning our livelihood by fulfilling the rights we owe Allah.

THE PROPHET ﷺ SAID: ‘Whosoever makes the world his main concern, Allah will scatter his affairs, put poverty before him, and nothing of the world will come to him except what is written for him. Whosoever makes the Afterlife his main concern, Allah will gather his affairs, put contentment in his heart, and the world shall come to him even if he is averse to it.’ – Ibn Majah, Sunan, no.4105.

THOSE WHO PURSUE a life of greed, self-gratification or neglectfulness of God, choosing to expose themselves to inner darkness and a plague of inner demons, will ultimately be cast into perdition with hellish devils!

‘GREED INVITES YOU to rush blindly into sin; the loneliest are those who are conceited; and the best worldly detachment (zuhd) is to conceal one’s worldly detachment.’ – ‘Ali b. Abi Talib.

OURS IS AN AGE filled with two kinds of angst or anxiety. The first is an existential angst: an angst or despair born from falsely believing that life is devoid of meaning; everything is here by some cosmic “chance”; and that despite our freedom to choose, death is our ultimate end: thus life is pointless. The believer is shielded from such an angst because of knowing that life has a God-centred purpose; death isn’t the end; and the good we do, seeking God’s good pleasure – even if unappreciated by others – is known by God and is accepted by Him. In this way, the believer is known to God and loved by Him.

The other angst can afflict anyone – believer or unbeliever, saint or sinner – and is a part and parcel of the human drama. This is a clinical angst and is usually experienced in the context of a physical threat, a trauma, or a personal crisis. It can usually be treated with conventional medicine, professional therapy, meditative practices or spiritual healing, or a combination of them. And while some anxieties, like trauma brought on in childhood, is not the individual’s fault, it is their responsibility to try and remedy or cope with it.

SPIRITUAL MASTERS INSTRUCT that we Muslims, whatever we do or desire to accomplish in life, it must ultimately serve the glory of God.

ONE OF THE PITFALLS in the path of godliness is ‘ujb: vanity or self-conceit. ‘Ujb is when we fail to realise that the good acts we have done are not of our own doing, but are purely from God’s grace. Only if blinded to such a reality do we then see these works as being of our own accomplishment or doing. We then begin to be vain, egotistical and bask in our own self-glory, thereby nullifying our good deeds and ruining our spiritual heart.

THE QUR’AN WANTS marital life to be a life of mutual love, kindness and companionship. It says, addressing men: Live with them in kindness. [Q.4:19] And it insists: Give them their dowry in kindness. [Q.4:25] Allah also warns: House them in your own homes, according to your means. And do not harass them, so as to make life intolerable for them. [Q.65:6] So the affair is to be one of kindness. The mark of a real Muslim man is nothing less; all else just isn’t manliness in any true faith-based sense of the word. ‘Her vulnerabilities invite you to stand up for her, not stand up to her.’ – Abdal Hakim Murad, Contentions, 19/18

A SIGN OF God’s special concern for a person is His inspiring them to repent for their sins and to thankfully acknowledge the blessings they receive from Him. The former nurtures humility in the heart; the latter, a deep and abiding love for Allah.

AS SOCIAL MEDIA SITES are tweaked to get more and more addictive, and as social media companies are in a war for our  attention, where only the most addictive sites will survive, most people will be little more than lab rats in a huge social experiment. If we don’t learn to cultivate inner restraint or a sense of balance, most will continue to be manipulated by social media sites and content creators to waste far too much time in a way that benefits them, not us; unless we recall that we were created for a higher, more exalted Connectivity and a profounder friendship with the Content Creator of all creation. The choice, then, is ours: where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

‘RECITE WHATEVER IS EASY for you to do of the Glorious Qur’an, each day or night, in a slow, measured tone; with presence of heart; and by reflecting over it. Recite it in stages, starting at the beginning till you complete it … The secret is in [having] presence of heart and in reflection (tadabbur), not in reciting a lot of the Qur’an.’ – Imam al-Haddad

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4 thoughts on “Friday Reminder for Thoughtful Hearts: 2

  1. Farhan on said:

    Jazakallah brother for putting out a concise yet quite informative and relevant article especially for our youth. It’s always a pleasure reading your writing. May Allah bless you and your family, and guide us all, through his mercy, towards the right path.

  2. Khadijah on said:

    JazakAllah khair for this.

    Have you any words for someone who fears that life after death, even though one believes, is too frightening, as we have no assurances that our actions will lead to not facing punishments? My sister is really such a perfectionist so as to experience a loss of hope in any success in the next life where actions are concerned in this life…

    Muslims are not supposed to fear death, but she fears not being the best of Muslims and so shaytaan eats her mind and makes her day to day, one of misery and anxiety.

    Are here really any assurances, and is she right?

    • Abu Aaliyah on said:

      Thank you for your question. One of the core teachings of Islam is its insistence that rather than look at our own deeds – in terms of how well or bad we have performed them – we should lift our gaze to God, hoping in his kindness, generosity and acceptance.

      The truth is, we can never do an act perfectly, such that it would be deserving of Allah’s acceptance. Instead, we do our best, ask Allah’s forgiveness for our shortcomings, and put our heart’s hopes in His clemency and kindness.

      To focus on our deeds leads to one of two dire spiritual consequences: Either it makes us feel smug, self-satisfied and conceited due to how well we think we’ve performed the righteous deed. We become deluded in thinking that the good deed has come from us; whereas, in truth, the doing of good is actually a pure gift from God, and not something that we somehow deserved.The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘None of you shall be saved due to his deeds.’ It was asked: Not even you, O Prophet of God? He replied: ‘No, not even me, unless God covers me with His mercy and forgiveness.’ [Muslim, no.2816]

      Or, if we focus on our shortcomings, we can easily fall into despair.

      Thus, we the needy, must lift our gaze humbly to God for His acceptance. It’s always about Allah; never about us.

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