Monthly Archives: May 2012

Mother! My Best Friend


Aseer ibn Jaabir narrates: Whenever people would come from Yemen, Umar would ask them, “Is Uways Al-Qaranee amongst you?” until, one year, he met Uways. He said, “Are you Uways Al-Qaranee?” He said, “Yes.” Umar continued, “From Muraad, then Qaran?” He said, “Yes.” Umar then asked, “Were you once afflicted with leprosy and your skin healed except for a dirham’s area?” Uways said, “Yes.” Umar finally asked, “Do you have a mother (that is alive)?” He said, “Yes.” Umar then said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – say, “Uways ibn Aamir will come to you with the delegations from Yemen, from Muraad, then from Qaran. He was once afflicted with leprosy and his skin healed except for a dirham’s area. He has a mother, and he treats her kindly. If he was to ever swear by Allah (for something) Allah would fulfill his oath. If you can, request that he ask forgiveness for you.” Umar then requested from Uways, “Ask forgiveness for me.” And Uways Al-Qaranee did.

Allah – Ta’ala – commanded us,

And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your Parents. If one of them or both attain old age in your life, then do not say to them uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them, rather address them in terms of honour / And lower for them the wing of submission and humility through mercy. And say, “My Lord! Grant them Your Mercy as they brought me up when I was small.” [Qur’an – Al-Israa’ 17:23-24]

Ad-Daylami collected from Al-Husayn ibn Ali, that the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “If Allah knew any smaller than uff (tsk) to be disrespectful to parents, He would have decreed it to be Haram!” In Bukhari, a man came to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – seeking permission to go for Jihad. The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – asked him, “Are your Parents alive?” He said, “Yes.” He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Perform Jihad (in you kind treatment) of them.”

If someone came to you today and offered you a free lunch, what would be your response? No doubt you would smile, speak kindly to them, and reserve a special place in your heart for their memory. Why is it then that our parents receive only cold stares, harsh words and bitter treatment and they are who they are in our lives? For twenty or thirty years they fed us, clothed us, washed us, and showered their mercy on our soft skin. Their love for us never dies even if we do, love that goes even beyond us, to our children and even their children.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we all have parents – whether they are with us or not – and many have not understood the severity of their position in our lives and their right to be respected and revered. Today I want to remind you and I of the true position of our Parents, may Allah have mercy on them all.

Birr Al-Waalidayn is a characteristic of the Mu’min. Al-Hasan Al Basree defined it saying, “Al-Birr is to obey the parents in everything that they ask so long as it is not to disobey Allah. Uqooq is to disown your parents, denying them all of your goodness.”

By the Ijma’ of the Ulamaa’, being respectful and obedient to ones parents is Fard! Ibn Hazm said, “(Obeying ones parents) is Fard!” and he quoted the verse:

And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your Parents.

To better understand what is meant by Birr Al-Walidayn (kindness to parents), the scholars set the following conditions:

· One: He should place the pleasure of his parents above the pleasure of anyone else, including himself and his wife and kids. Everyone.

· Two: He should obey them in everything they command or forbid, whether it agrees with his desires or not, so long as they do not command the disobedience of Allah.

· Three: He should present them with everything he feels they desire, whether they ask for it or not. He should present it with kindness and mercy, understanding – no matter what he does – his shortcomings in fulfilling the true kindness that his parents deserve.

Allah’s love comes when our parents love us. And Allah’s anger comes when our parents are angry with us. Ibn Abbas raa said, “There are three things that will not be accepted if it’s mate is not fulfilled. (And he mentioned),

Thank Me (Allah) and your Parents… [Qur’an – Luqmaan 31:14]

Ibn Abbaas continued, “Thus whoever thanks Allah and is not thankful to his parents, Allah will not accept from him.”

The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “the Pleasure of Allah is from the pleasure of the parents, and the anger of Allah is from the anger of the parents.”

Let us think about how many of us treat our parents. We shy away from them when they may need something. We never visit if we are away from them. In fact, many people dispose of their parents in retirement homes. And when an argument ignites between our parents and us, many of us shout at them as if we were arguing with our evilest enemy, May Allah protect us all.

Compare this to those that came before us. Dhibyaan ibn Ali ath-Thowree (ra) used to travel with his mother to Makkah. There – in the scorching heat – he would dig a little pool and fill it with cool water. Then he would turn to his mother and say, “Ummi, sit in this water to cool yourself.”

For many of us, our friends are more precious to us than our Mother and Father. Forgetful we are of the time a man came to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – and asked him who is more worthy of his dear companionship. He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “your Mother!” The man asked again and again, and the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – replied, “Your Mother! Your Mother!” Until on the fourth time he – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Your Father.” Today, when the common question is asked, “Who is your best friend?” How many people would say, “my Mother!” But this is how the question should be answered and implemented.

What pleases our parents comes before everything, so long as it is not in disobedience of Allah. The scholars understood this and set the example for us. Haywah bin Shurayh (ra), one of the Imam’s of our Ummah, used to give classes in front of his home. During the class, his Mother would call him to feed the chickens. He would stand up, leave the Halaqah, and go feed the chickens.

We all want Allah to accept from us, we would all like to enter Paradise. Look down – dear brothers and sisters – and you will find paradise at the feet of your mother.

Narrated Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee, from Mu’aawiyah ibn Jaahimah As-Sulamee: My father, Jaahimah (raa) went to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – and asked, “O Messenger of Allah, I would like to go out and fight for the sake of Allah, and I have come to you for advice.” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – asked him, “Is your Mother alive?” He said, “Yes.” “Then stay near her,” advised the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam, “For at her feet is Jannah!”

On the other side, making our Parents sad or even making them cry is one of the many ways to earn Allah’s anger. Imam Ahmad narrates, from Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-Aas (raa): A man came to the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – to give him his pledge of Allegiance. He said, “I have come to pledge allegiance to you for Hijrah! And I have left both my parents behind crying” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – commanded him, “Go back,  and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.” Ibn Umar (raa) said, “Making ones parents cry is amongst the Uqooq, a major sin!”

Shaykh al-Qaasim once said, “Subhaan Allah! How can we leave our parents sobbing, tears that the throne of Allah shakes for, tears that unsettle the Angels in the heavens, and then we claim that we want to go for Jihad so that Allah will be pleased with us? Go back and make them happy with your visit as you made them sad by your departure. If they laugh and are pleased with you, Allah will be pleased.”

During the funeral of his mother, Al-Haarith Al-Aklee (ra) weeped. When asked for the reason of his tears he said, “Why should I not cry when one of my doors to Paradise has now closed?”

Part II: We reap what we Plant In a far away land, a long time ago, a boy was born blind. His widowed mother – the good Muslimah that she was – did not lose hope in her dua’ and pray she did, continuously. A few years later, the boy’s sight returned. Al-Hamdu lillaah.

She realized that her village was not befitting for her son to excel in Islamic education, so with her son in hand they migrated to Makkah. There she saw that he was being instructed in Quran and Hadith, the latter becoming the young man’s focus. He went out far and wide collecting Hadith and compiled a Hadith book that sits next to the Quran in authenticity, forgetting not his mother that had raised him well. His mother named him Muhammad ibn Isma’il, and many of us know him today as: Al-Ima, Al-Bukhari!

Dear brothers and sisters, how often is it that a farmer plants wheat and it comes out as a sunflower? You may say, never! For how can someone farm the seed of one plant and expect some other plant to grow. It just does not happen. Similarly, some parents leave their children waddling in the mud of television, music, movies, and disbelieving friends. Then when the child reaches grade 12 and asks to go to the final dance with a girlfriend, or when he enters University and stops praying, or when he gets married to a Kafir and himself becomes one, then the parents say, “What happened?”

Brothers and sisters, it is the harvest of what we planted. If we do not raise our children to be obedient, where do we expect them to learn? If we do not practice Islam ourselves, who will be our children’s example? How do you teach a child to wake up for Fajr, when he sees his own father and mother sleeping in, day after day? You may ask, how do I raise my children to be good Muslims, obedient to their parents? Consider the following:

Firstly: One should discipline their children throughout their youth. Hisham ibn Abd Al-Malik missed a son of his during Jumu’ah one week. When he met him later, he asked him, “Why did you miss Jumu’ah?” He son replied, “My donkey couldn’t make the trip.” His father then said, “Couldn’t you have walked!” For an entire year after that, Hisham ibn Abd Al-Malik made his son walk to Jumu’ah.

Secondly: The piety of the father and mother reaches the children. In the Qur’an, Allah recalls for us the story of Khidr, and how he rebuilt a wall for 2 orphans:

And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town. Under it was a treasure belonging to them and their father was a righteous man…[Qur’an – Al-Kahf 18:82]

Look at how Allah protected these orphans because of the piety of their father. In tafseer, it is said that it was their grandfather seven generations back! Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said, “I often lengthen my Salah for the sake of my son, perhaps Allah may protect him (because of it).”

In conclusion, let us reflect on the virtue of respecting our parents:

· It is one of the greatest things that we can do. In Bukhari and Muslim, from Abd Allah ibn Mas’ood (raa), a man asked the Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam, “What deed is most beloved by Allah?” He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Salah on time.” The man asked, “And then?” He – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Respecting and revering ones parents.” He said, “And then?” “Jihad for the sake of Allah.”

· It is a means by which our sins are forgiven. When Allah commanded in the Qur’an

And We enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents…

The next verse tells us:

They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evil deeds, (they shall be) amongst the dwellers of Paradise.[Qur’an – Al-Ahqaaf 46:15-16]

· Respecting our parents will lead us to Jannah! In Muslim, from Abu Hurayrah (raa): I heard the Messenger of Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – say, “May he perish! May he perish! May he perish!” It was asked, “Who, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “He whose parents attain old age in his life – one or both of them – and he does not enter Paradise (because of his goodness towards them).”

And when our parents are gone, the goodness towards them does not end.

Malik ibn Rabi’ah Al-Saa’idi narrated: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – when an Ansari man came and asked, “O Messenger of Allah, is there anything left from my Birr to my parents that I should present to them after their death?” The Prophet – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Yes, four things: Pray and ask forgiveness for them. Fulfill their pledges. Be kind to their friends. And maintain the ties of kinship that come from only their direction. That is what is left from your Birr to them after their death.”[Ahmad, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Maajah]

Aamir ibn Abd Allah ibn Az-Zubayr (ra) said, “My father died, and for an entire year I did not ask Allah for anything except that He forgive my Father.”

Remember dear brothers and sisters as you meet your parents today, the words of Rasul Allah – Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam – “Fa feehima fa Jaahid! Do Jihad in (your kind treatment of) your parents.”

O Allah, forgive us and our parents, and reward them with the finest reward. O Allah, elevate their position in the hereafter and this Dunya; make that which befalls them an expiation for their sins. O Allah, grant them residence in Firdows, the highest level of Jannah, with the Prophets, the Siddeeqeen, and the Martyrs.

Ameen.

Muhammad al-Shareef

The True Success


What is true success?

Some people say it’s to have huge amount of wealth, some say it’s to gain many friends, some say it is to achieve high status or authority over people. For the sick, health is success, for the poor, wealth is success. For the one that has health and wealth, power and authority over people is success.

But according to the Qur’an and Sunnah; all of that is not success in life at all. The true success has to be in both worlds, in this life and hereafter.

Why?

Because the sick when he’ll get health, he will want wealth. When he will get wealth, he will want to influence people and thereupon gain power over them. When he will achieve this, he will want to conquer the whole world. And when he’ll achieve this then he will want to be god and immortal! You have an example of this, in Cesar and Pharaoh.

A man with such belief that materialism is success, will never be satisfied or happy in life. He will always want more and more, nothing will please him enough, until death overcomes him. This is the moment when he will realize that actually he is a big loser, in this life and hereafter. He lost both worlds, due to his own endless whims and desires. He deceived his own self by following illusions which can never be reality. This is when he’ll realize that he was living in an illusion. This is but the nature of man, because he is created weak, and therefore easily giving up to his whims and desires. The only way to defeat these desires is to seek help and guidance from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

The reality is that man can never be bigger than Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Allah is the One and Only God, Allah has power over all things, and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the Rich and Self Sufficient. All the most beautiful names and attributes belong to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Success can never be achieved by going against Allah’s will, because His will is always done. His plan is always achieved, whether it is for or against you.

The true success is only with the help of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The success in this world and Hereafter is to live with correct understanding of the Deen-il Islam. Islam, this religion, this way of life, that Allah prescribed you to live by. This is your path to success indeed.

This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (way of life) [Quran 5:4]

Consequently, true success in both worlds is when one achieves true Taqwah (piety). The one who purifies himself spirituality is the successful one. And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:

They (the pious) are on (true) guidance from their Lord, and they are the successful. (Qur’an 2:5)

The one who purifies his own self succeeds and the one who corrupts his own self fails.  (Qur’an 91: 9-10)

“Successful are those who purify themselves.”  (Qur’an 87: 14)

Indeed successful are those who purify their souls. There is none, who will be granted more goodness than one who purifies his own soul with patience, and by commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and with Taqwa. Who is inwardly and outwardly submitting to Allah’s will. Means, one who lives according the Deen of Islam. The way of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). By the means of Qur’an and Sunnah.  The one, who truly comprehends this Deen of Islam, will purify his soul and truly worship Allah with the correct Taqwa that is gained upon knowledge along with understanding.

The believer, who has Taqwa, will be the winner in this world and hereafter. Finally, the true success is to gain the pleasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His Mercy. Yes! His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) pleasure, not yours.

The believer who worships Allah with the proper Taqwa, he will always be satisfied and thankful for what Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave him. He will always be happy and upon this he is the true winner in this world and the next life. He managed to purify his own soul from whims and desires, submitting to Allah’s will. While the one who doesn’t submit to Allah’s will, will never be satisfied, thankful or happy.

The one, who opposes to submit to Allah’s will, is a loser in both worlds and he has succeeded in nothing. But the one who submits to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) with his heart, mind and body will be a winner in both worlds.

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