This is a true story. The story of two very close friends. Or I should say closest friends. Distance never changed their friendship, neither did time or status. Nor the long years of disconnection or the brief periods of connection. One of them was a little more practicing than the other, though both were strong in faith. The more practicing friend now prayed day and night for the other friend, for his guidance.
Yet for years saw the friend indulged in wrong acts. Yes it was painful. So painful that questions came up in mind… “Am I making any mistake in my prayers? Why don’t I see any change”…. Imploring prayers came from the aching heart… “My lord, show me for once that you do care for my prayers.”…And one day, after a long time, they got to talk.
It was a pleasant moment to know that the not-so-practicing friend was now trying his best to understand. And it was that one weak moment when that friend admitted that at times of great hardship and hopelessness, he tried to commit suicide more than once over the years and each time got saved miraculously! And every return made him firmer, finally feeling the shelter lies in his Lord, not in giving up hope in Him.
And the other friend fell in prostration.
“Oh my Lord, when I asked you why you are not guiding him, correcting his ways, you were the only One to save him from a misguidance that would destroy everything! you saved him from the sin from which there could be no turning back! And I was thinking you didnt answer my prayers! Help me remember to never be ungrateful to you or never lose my faith. Because today I surely know you care for us the most. You will never leave us alone….you are up there, watching us, loving us, guiding us….we have no reason, absolutely no reason to despair!”
End of story. Beautiful, isn’t it?
No matter how ruthless the world turns and how silent He appears, He, our Ever Living Lord, One Lord, the Lord who responds to the prayers of the distressed heart is listening. He is helping. May be not in the way we wish to get the help, but in the way we perfectly need the help! He is there, He loves us. He is listening. And He will be there. Who else do we need to make us go on?
Often times when I ask this question I hear from people responding “I would never give up an eye for 1 million dollars or more.” This answer makes me think that one’s eye must be very precious to this individual, that they would not give it up for any amount of money. If this is the case then why is it that we Muslims are not thinking about what we will WANT to give up in the grave or on the Day of Judgment?
Allaah (subbhana Wa Tala) says in the Qur’aan:
“And fear a Day (of Judgment) when a person shall not avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from him nor will compensation be taken from him nor will they be helped.” [The Qur’aan Chapter 2, Verse 48]
You see while we love our bodies and our health so much in this life, then why aren’t we submitting to Allaah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) while we have the opportunity to do it? What are we waiting for? Think about it?
Many a time when I ask the question of when will you submit? I get the same old answers: “When I get old, when I go to hajj, when my spouse submits, when Allaah guides me, when I have a good job, etc”
SubhanAllaah! What if you don’t live that long, will you not reflect on the Ayat of the Qur’aan above? Since you would not give me 1 eye for 1 million dollars, then why is it that you not fear for your entire body and soul for a time when the pain will be millions of times worse than getting rid of only 1 eye?
Now is usually the time when people will slowly give excuses to leave. It begins to hurt, them, but not in a way that I had hoped for. It begins to hurt their ego’s. SubhanAllaah. They don’t want to be told or even think about that day. They want to imagine that somehow they are forgiven and the gates of Jannah are open for them. While hope is great, actions, sincerity, and mercy of Al Khaliq, will truly will determine where we will end up inshAllaah.
My dearest sisters and brothers, think for a moment and think really hard, where do you want to end up?
Just a few days ago Whitney Houston a famous R&B singer dies, and everyone is devastated. SubhanAllaah, all I keep thinking is what will her answers be in the grave, what will she be regretting. While everyone is mourning her life as a singer and actress, and she is selling millions of dollar’s worth music, I can only think what is she going through in her grave. Would she give up all of the money in the world for peace and happiness? I think we all know the answer to that one.
Now I want you to reflect on this next Ayat please:
“And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives) and they will abide therein forever. “ [The Qur’aan, Al-Baqara, Chapter 2 , Verse 25 ]
SubhanAllaah, glory be to Allaah, who is the most Generous. This Ayat shows us that Allaah will reward those believers who believe and do righteous good deeds. You know what is amazing is that the believer will be not only rewarded in dunya for believing and doing righteous good deeds, but also in the hereafter.
You may be asking how will he/she be rewarded in the dunya?
Well, those who are blessed to be believers, and are doing righteous good deeds, those are also the people who have sakina in their hearts. They are at peace in their lives and accept whatever Allaah (subhanahu wa Ta’ala) sends their way. It can’t get better than that! Alhamdullilah! So my dearest sisters and brothers, think about what your life is worth, and make a difference in your life by submitting today so that you may have a better tomorrow inshAllaah. I will leave you all to read a story to reflect on……
Shaitan called a world-wide Convention
Shaytan called a worldwide convention.
In his opening address to his evil Jinns, he said, “We can’t keep the Believers from going to Masjids. We can’t keep them from reading their Qur`an and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience with Allah”.
Once they gain that connection with Allah, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their Masjids; let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can’t gain that relationship with Allah.
This is what I want you to do Jinns. Distract them from gaining hold of their Lord and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day! “How shall we do this?” shouted his Jinns. “Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work!”
“Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-Qur`anic recitation constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Allah.”
“Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes. Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so their husbands will believe that external beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives. That will fragment those families quickly!”
“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming week. Don’t let them go out in nature to reflect on Allah’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, and busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions. Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning; but crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Allah.”
“Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!” It was quite a convention. The evil Jinns went eagerly to their assignments causing Believers everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there. I guess the question is; has the devil been successful at his scheme?”
And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh when she said: “My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise (al-Jannah), and save me from Pharaoh and his work, and save me from the people who are Dhaalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers, and disbelievers in Allah”[Soorah At-Tahreem 66:11]
This similitude is brought forth by Allah for the benefit of the believers affirming that they would not be harmed by their intermingling with the disbelievers if they were in need of them. As Allah stated: “The believers do not take the disbelievers as friends and protectors instead of the believers. Whosoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them…” [Soorah Aale ‘Imraan 3:28]
Qataadah stated: Pharaoh was among the haughtiest of the people of the earth and greatest in disbelief and by Allah his wife was not harmed by the disbelief of her husband when she obeyed her Rabb. This was so that people would realize that Allah judges with justice and takes no one to account except for his (own) sins.
Ibn Jareer stated (after mentioning a chain of narrators): “The wife of Pharaoh was tortured under the sun and when he would go away from her the angels would cover her with their wings. And she was shown her home in Al-Jannah.”
Ibn Jareer also narrates from another chain: “The wife of Pharaoh asked: Who was the victor? (i.e. between Pharaoh and his magicians and Musa and his brother) It was said: Musa and Haaroon. So she said, “I believe in the Lord (Rabb) of Musa and Haaroon.” So Pharaoh sent for her and ordered: “Look for the biggest boulder you can find and if she sticks to her words then cast her upon it. If she takes back her words then she will remain my wife.” When they went to her she raised her eyes to the sky and saw her home in Al-Jannah so she stuck by her words and her soul was taken from her so nothing was thrown onto the boulder except a soulless corpse.
Regarding her words, My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise (al-Jannah), the scholars said: “Aktaaratul-Jaar qabl ad-Daar (She chose the neighbour before the dwelling.)” A statement like this is related in a marfou’ hadeeth.
… and save me from Pharaoh and his work… That is ‘Rescue me from him and I am clear before You of his (evil) deeds’
… and save me from the people who are Dhaalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers, and disbelievers in Allah…
This woman was Aasiyah Bint Muzaahim (radiAllahu ‘anhaa).
Abu Ja’far Ar-Raazi relates that Abu ‘Aaliyah said: The Iman of the wife of Pharaoh came through the wife of the treasurer of Pharaoh. She (the wife of the treasurer) was sitting and combing the hair of Pharaoh’s daughter when the comb fell from her hand. She exclaimed: “Wretched is the one who disbelieves in Allah!” The daughter of Pharaoh said, “Do you have a Rabb (Lord) other than my father?” She replied, “My Rabb, your Rabb the Rabb of your father and the Rabb of all there is!“
So the daughter of Pharaoh slapped and beat her and told her father. Pharaoh sent for her and said, “Do you worship a Rabb other than me?” She replied, “Yes. My Rabb, your Rabb and the Rabb of all there is and He alone do I worship.”
So Pharaoh tortured her and had her bound to a stake, tightly tying her hands and legs and set vipers upon her and she was left in that state. He came to her one day and asked, “Do you give up?” She said to him, “My Rabb, your Rabb and the Rabb of everything is Allah!” So he said to her, “I will slaughter your son in front of you for your mouth (i.e. statement) if you don’t stop.” So she said to him, “Do what you will.“
So he slaughtered her son before her face and the soul of her son gave her good news saying: “Glad tidings my mother, you will have the reward of such-and-such from Allah.”
She then became patient and forbearing until Pharaoh again came to her one day and said the same as he had before. She replied as before, so he slaughtered another of her sons before her and his soul also gave her the good news, “Be patient my mother, for you will have the reward of such-and-such from Allah.”
The narrator continued: The wife of Pharaoh heard the speech of the eldest son’s soul and then the younger one as well. So the wife of Pharaoh believed and Allah took the soul of the wife of Pharaoh’s treasurer. The veil (of darkness and misguidance) was removed from the wife of Pharaoh until she could see her (i.e. the woman’s) reward, her station and her honor in Al-Jannah so her faith, surety, and absolute veracity and sincerity increased and Allah brought out her faith to Pharaoh.
He said to his cronies, “What do you know about Aasiyah Bint Muzaahim?” They proceeded to praise her so he said to them, “She worships other than me.” So they said to him, “Execute her!”
So she was put on a stake and her hands and feet tied tightly upon it and she called upon her Rabb. She said, My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise (al-Jannah) and this was accepted for her in Pharaoh’s presence so she laughed when she was shown her dwelling place in Al-Jannah.
Pharaoh said: Aren’t you astounded by her madness?! She laughs as I torture her!”
Thus Allah took her soul to Al-Jannah, radiAllahu ‘anhaa.
One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus station, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops – a few people got on, a few got off and things went generally well.
At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on, six foot eight, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” and sat down at the back.
Did I mention that the driver was five foot three, thin, and basically meek? Well, he was. Naturally, he didn’t argue with Big John, but he wasn’t happy about it. The next day the same thing happened – Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the next.
This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. Finally he could stand it no longer and so he signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff.
By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what’s more, he felt really good about himself.
So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” The driver stood up, glared back at the passenger and screamed, “And why not???!!!”
With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, “ Because Big John has a bus pass.”
MORAL / LESSON:
The moral of this incident/story is quite self evident. However, it is a lesson that many of us seem to overlook and disregard in the many activities and chores of our life.
We learn from this incident that a person should not be hasty in making assumptions and judging a situation or an individual from what seems to be the apparent.
It is essential that a Muslim assumes the best of his fellow being and gives him the benefit of the doubt. If possible, one should allow the fellow being to explain himself as to clear any doubts one may have.
Our Nabi صلى الله عليه و صلم has stated that being hasty is from Shaytaan whilst steady composure is from Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
In the same manner ‘Ulamaa have stated that if there is a single reason for doubt in a matter relating to a person then that doubt should have an effect on the decision that is made.
In conclusion, one should take all factors into consideration and avoid hastiness in judging an individual. Instead, one should try to make the matter clear as to avoid placing false accusations on anyone.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Asalaamu Alaiakum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu
Allah Azza wa Jal says: “…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”[2:216, al-Qur’an]
I wanted to share a beautiful quote and story with you all. Hope it benefits insha’Allah!
“Things aren’t always as they seem. The Mother of Musa (Alayhi Salam) Umm Musa was told to throw her son in the river, Yusuf (Alayhi Salam) was left for dead in a well, Maryam (radiallahu anha) delivered a child alone, Aisha (radiallahu anha) was accused of a terrible sin, Yunus (Alayhi Salam) was swallowed by a whale, Ibrahim (alayhi salam) was thrown in the fire, Muhammad (Salalahu Alayhi wa Salam) lost the love of his life Khadija (radiallahu anha), and Umm Salamah (radiallahu anha) thought no one could be better than Abu Salamah (radiallahu anhu); Yet look at how it turned out for them in the end.
So don’t worry, Allah has a plan for you.”
We want what we want, but Allah only brings about that which He wills
One of the former kings of the Children of Isreal had a number of sons. Whenever one of his sons would reach the age of manhood, he would attire himself in coarse clothing, join worshipers who live in mountains, and continue to worship Allah until death overtook him. The king did not prevent his sons from going; he recognized that it was Allah (SWT) who guided them to the truth and that he himself could do nothing to change their hearts.
But the king had a change of mind when, in his old age, he had his last son. Having gathered his ministers and close advisors for a meeting, the king said, “I indeed love this son (more than I do the others), and I feel that death is approaching me. I fear that, if he joins his brothers, those from outside of our family will then try to take over this kingdom. So take him while he is yet small and instill into him a love for this world and its pleasures. Perhaps he will then want to be your king after I die.”
The king’s advisors immediately came up with a plan and put it into action. They chose a huge chunk of land and enclosed it with a wall; inside, they surrounded the child with all of the luxuries they could gather. He lived within the bounds of the four walls until he became a man. Then one day, he looked around and said, “I deem there to be another world on the other side of this wall. Take me out of here, so that I can increase in knowledge and certainty.”
“There is nothing other than what you see,” his guardians said to him. He didn’t argue; instead, he continued to live there for another year; nonetheless, he spent a lot of his time riding his horse alongside the inner sides of the walls. He then repeated the same request that he made the previous year: “I deem there to be another world on the other side of this wall. Take me out of here, so that I can increase in knowledge and in certainity.” His guardians gave him the same reply that they gave the previous year.
But this time, the young man remained adamant and said, “I must leave.” His guardians could hold him back no longer, yet they could not simply allow him to leave, and so they took the matter to the king. The king said to them, “Take him out, for we want what we want, but Allah brings about only that which He wills.”
They returned to the king’s son and opened the gate of his sanctuary for him. For the very first time in his life, he stepped outside and had a look at the world. Yet he was not totally free of constraints, for the king’s advisors went where he went and supervised his every move. Though the king’s son had become a man, he knew nothing of the world save for the closed and limited life of luxury he led since he was a child. Thus the king’s advisors felt it necessary to accompany him and observe his reaction to what he was about to learn from the world; after all, they still nurtured hopes of him becoming their king.
While they were walking, they came across a man who was clearly afflicted with a serious illness. “What is the matter with him?” the young prince asked.
“He is afflicted with a serious sickness,” they said.
“Does every person become afflicted with his sickness,” asked the naive prince. “Or do only some people become afflicted with it?”
“It afflicts only a group of people, those upon whom Allah decreed for it to befall them,” said the king’s advisors.
“Oh, so those people know that it is coming and then prepare for it?” asked the prince. “Or is there no prior warning, so that everyone is afraid of being afflicted by it?”
“Actually, everyone is afraid of being afflicted by it,” they said.
“Even I, with all of the control I have (as a prince)?”
“Even you,” they answered.
“Therefore,” said the prince, “This life of yours is tainted and not pure.”
They continued to walk until they came across a man who was old, decrepit, and frail. Since he had no control whatsoever of his bodily functions, he drooled inadvertently, so that saliva flowed down onto his chest. Never having seen an old person before, the young prince asked, “What is this?”
“A man who is so advanced in his years that he has become decrepit,” they said.
“Does this afflict only some people, or is every person afraid that, if he reaches old age, he will be afflicted with the same frailty that this man is now afflicted with?”
“Actually, everyone is afraid of this eventuality,” they answered.
“Therefore, this life of yours is tainted and not pure,” said the young prince.
They continued to walk until they passed by a corpse that was being carried by a number of men. “What is this?” asked the prince, to whom the concept of death was completely foreign.
“A man who has died,” they answered.
“Ask him to sit up,” said the prince.
“He cannot sit.”
Then ask him to speak.”
“He cannot speak.”
“Does this condition afflict only certain people?” the prince asked. “Or is everyone afraid that it will befall them?”
“This is the end of every person, including both those who fear it and those who don’t fear it,” they said.
“Is this what you were hiding me and protecting me from?” the prince asked.
“No person can flee from this ending, and no person, no matter what the abilities are that he is endowed with, can ward it off.”
“(Had I not left to see the world,) I would have died upon a sudden without knowing what was happening to me,” said the prince, expressing his hurt at being deceived for such a long time. “Verily, you will have no control over me after this day.”
He tried to bolt from their company and run away, but they were too many, and soon they had him surrounded.
“We will not leave until you go to your father,” they said. When they met with the king, they recounted to him everything that had happened with the prince.
“Did I not tell you,” said the king resignedly, “We want what we want, but Allah brings about only that which He wills. Let him go, for you can no longer hold any sway over him.“
Source: Glimpses of the Lives of Righteous People
By Majdi Muhammad Ash-Shahawi
© Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2004
[Story can be found in such books like At-Taqrib (1/106), Hilyatul-Awliya’ (2/224), Al-Mawai’iz Wal-Majalis (pg. 17-18), among many others]
Insha’Allah we take benefit from the reminders,
Please share: sharing is caring. :)
Wa’Salaamu Alaiakum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu
Since last night my young son has been unwell. When I got back from Work this evening I decided to take him to hospital despite my exhaustion.
There were many waiting; perhaps we will be delayed by more than an hour. I took my number and sat down in the waiting room. There were many faces, young and old, but all silent. Some brothers made use of the many booklets available in the waiting room.Some of those waiting had their eyes closed, while others were looking around.. Most were bored. Once in a while the long silence was broken by a nurse calling out a number. Happiness appears on the one whose turn it is, and he gets up quickly; then silence returns.
A young man grabbed my attention. He was reading a pocket-sized Quran continuously; not raising his head even once. At first I did not think much about him. However, after one hour of waiting my casual glances turned into a deep reflection about his lifestyle and how he utilizes his time. One hour of life wasted! Instead of making benefit of that hour, it was just a boring wait. Then the call for prayer was made. We went to prayer in the hospital’s Masjid. I tried to pray close to the man who was reading the Quran earlier in the waiting room.
After the prayer I walked with him. I informed him of how impressed I was of him and how he tries to benefit from his time. He told me that most of our time is wasted without any benefit. These are days that go from our lives without being conscious of them or regretting their waste. He said that he started carrying the pocket-sized Quran around when a friend encouraged him to make full use of his time. He told me that in the time other people waste he gets to read much more of the Quran than he gets to read either at home or in the masjid. Moreover, besides the reward of reading the Quran, this habit saves him from boredom and stress.
He added that he has now been waiting for one and a half hours. Then he asked, when will you find one and a half hours to read the Quran? I reflected; How much time do we waste? How many moments of our lives pass by, and yet we do not account for how they passed by? Indeed, how many months pass by and we do not read the Quran? I came to respect my companion, and I discovered that I am to stand for account and that time is not in my hand; so what am I waiting for?
My thoughts were interrupted by the nurse calling out my number; I went to the doctor. But I want to achieve something now. After I left the hospital I quickly went to the bookshop and bought a pocket-sized Quran. I decided to be mindful of how I spend the time.
If this information is beneficial to you, then feel free to forward it to your friends and relatives.