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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

Blessing everywhere


The second of the five matters is, “your health, before you fall sick.”

The fact that one lives a normal life and is not afflicted with diseases and plagues, represents a person’s health. Take advantage of this before diseases and plagues come because we, as human beings, will fall sick. Everyone falls sick. If we did not fall sick, we would be divine.   There will come a time when we will fall sick. Some of these times the sicknesses will be severe. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reminding us that we do not know when that time may come. Therefore, take advantage of health before that time comes.   The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are two blessings in which many people are deluded:  health and free time.” [Bukhari: Book 8 Vol 76 Hadith 421]

Once a person came to Yunus Bin Ubayy, one of the scholars of the Salaf, and he complained of extreme poverty as he had not been blessed with much. Yunus Bin Ubayy asked him, “Would you be willing to give away your sight for a certain amount of money?”

The man said, “No, of course not.”  Then he asked him, “Would you be willing to give your hands away?” He said, “No, of course not.” He asked, “Your feet?” He said, “Of course not.”

When he finished he said “I see that you have hundreds of thousands of millions of blessings, yet you are complaining of poverty?”

We have our full faculties, we can see and hear. Look at someone who Allah has tested with blindness. It is a very severe test, and that is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said in an authentic Hadith: “There are two things if Allah takes them away from a person and he is patient, he is guaranteed Jannah. These two things are the two eyes.”

In other words, if a person is blind, and we seek Allah’s refuge from the physical and the spiritual blindness in this world and in the hereafter, then Allah is testing him. And if he is patient, then Allah will reward him with Jannah.

How about one who has been blessed not just with eyesight, but with hearing, health, arms, limbs, energy, vitality, enthusiasm, and many other things? Should he not appreciate the blessings from Allah?

Let’s realize how sweet health is. It can be used for the worship of Allah. When we have been blessed with these bodies, why not use them in worship?

The least we can do is the obligatory deeds such as five times prayer, fasting in Ramadan, paying Zakah, and going for the Haj. All of these require that we use our physical bodies. That is the least we can do, the bare minimum.

Be What You Want Your Child To Be


Be What You Want Your Child To BeThese are words that should be addressed to parents and mentors in order to achieve a general benefit: Whoever likes his child to be something, should first be that something.

Be a positive role model:

Dear parent, your child is attached to you. You are his role model and leader and the basic moral benchmark on which he depends in all that he does. So, be a positive role model for him to follow in your faith and worship of Allaah The Almighty; and be a positive role model for him in your morals, manners and good treatment. In other words, be a positive role model in the  complete sense of the word, through your practical treatment with your children, following the example of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ).

Be fair:

If you are not fair, in no way can you be able to judge between two opponents even in a trivial case. Being so, what do you think of the whose case occupies you throughout your entire life? You would not be able to direct your child in the manner you like if he feels you prefer his brother over him. That is the kind of injustice which the child never accepts, as the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), did not accept earlier.

Be with him part of his time

Dear parents, you have no valid excuse before Allaah The Almighty, nor any argument that is acceptable to the child to justify your failure to find a specific time to sit with him, which is his right over you and everyone should be given his due right. That is also the trust of responsibility, and Allaah The Almighty commands you to give back the trusts to those who are liable to them. O you who leave your child to others to bring him up on your behalf; do not weep on the morrow because you are held guilty (for his negligence of you) for as you waste him when he is a child, he shall waste you when you grow old.

Be tolerant:

Frequent blame and reproach for everything, whether or not it is significant, inevitably leads to adverse results, the child would neither follow the given advice, nor would he give up (the mistake). The result would be that you would lose your position of awe and reverence in the sight of your child, who, in turn, would leave you and refrain from listening to you. Anas may Allaah be pleased with him served the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) for ten years, during which time he never heard from him (any word of rebuke even as trivial as) ‘Uff’.

Be intelligent:

Utilize suitable opportunities and current events to implant all the values and morals you like in the heart of your child. What you give your child would then be imprinted in his heart, and become inerasable. The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, made Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allaah be pleased with him ride behind him on a donkey, and of course, he (Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allaah be pleased with him) was happy about riding behind the best of all creation on the same mount. He taught him words which remained not only in his memory but also in the memory of the whole Ummah (nation): “If you are mindful of Allaah, He will protect you, and if you are mindful of Allaah, you will find Him ever with you. When you ask for anything ask it from Allaah, and if you seek help seek help from Allaah. Know that if the people were to unite to do you some benefit, they could benefit you only with what Allaah had written for you, and that if they were to unite to do you some harm, they could harm you only with what Allaah had written against you. The pens (of writing the Divine decree) have been lifted and the pages have dried (of their ink).” [At-Tirmithi]

Similarly, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), rescued the boy before bad habits were inculcated in his breast, and said to him once he noticed any kind of bad behavior: “O boy! mention the Name of Allaah, and eat with your right hand and eat of what is nearer to you (in the dish).” [Al-Bukhaari] The boy then did not forget it, as shown in his comment, “Since then I have applied those instructions when eating.”

Be a storyteller:

A story has the influence of magic on the soul. It absorbs the child’s mind and makes him live with its heroes. So, it is due on you, father and mother in particular, to pay special attention to relating stories to children. One-third the Noble Quran consists of stories about ancient people. Moreover, the Prophetic Sunnah contains many authentic stories. Therefore, you should employ those stories to be a source of reflection and giving lessons, as stated by Allaah The Almighty when He Says (what means): {There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding.} [Quran 12:111]

Be patient:

Be patient when listening to the needs of your child, keeping in mind that you are talking to someone with limited mental faculties, so you should speak to him according to his understanding. Your perfect example, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), tolerated and was patient with ‘Aa’ishah may Allaah be pleased with her while she was reclining against his back, looking at the display of the Abyssinians. In this context, she said, “(I continued watching) till I was bored” So you may deduce from this event how a little girl (who had not reached the age of puberty) who is eager to enjoy amusement should be treated in this respect.”

Be a companion:

Dear parent, let each of you be a companion (to his child), so that you would attract him. No doubt, keeping company has a great impact on the child, and makes his heart like a blank page having all that the mother and father like to be imprinted on it. However, you are not the only companion of the child: there are evil friends who do their best to ruin what you build. So, occupy all the time of your child with your company, and be conscious before your child is stolen from you while you are heedless. Your company pleases him so much, and encourages him to relate his affairs to you and divulge his secrets. So, be his companion, encourage him and praise him a lot. Ibn ‘Umar may Allaah be pleased with him never left the night prayer after he heard the words of the beloved Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ): “What an excellent man ‘Abdullaah is! Were he to pray at night.” [Al-Bukhaari]

Be a watcher:

Dear parent, do not throw the seed (in the land) and then go and leave it, saying to yourself: I have been cultivating . However, you should wait for the harvest, otherwise, the blight of evil and corruption would come after you to eat your crop before you pluck its fruits. So, you should watch over your child in his morals, particularly truthfulness, for lying is the basis of all vices. When the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), liked to prevent a man from all kinds of evil, he said: “Do not lie.” Watch over him in his friends and peers. Watch over him in his physical constitution and seclusion. Be careful, lest there arise factors that try to ruin what you have been building throughout the years, seeking the help of Allaah The Almighty at all times.

The Bus Driver


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.

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