Archive | March 2012

A guide to a successful marriage relationship….

Bismillah Hirahman Niraheem

The young and excited bride-and-groom-to-be, ecstatic about the upcoming wedding and marriage, and the joy that it will bring. Three to six months later, reality sets in, and both spouses realize that marriage is no easy task, but one that takes a great deal of effort and patience.

The following are tips for both wives and husbands, to help make the task a little less daunting, and to increase the many rewards that are possible in such a marvellous and complex relationship.

Enter the Marriage with the Right Intention and Renew this Often

Both spouses should enter the marriage with the pure intention of pleasing Allah, (SWT), in order to receive His grace and blessings. The marriage itself, then, becomes an act of worship, and one for which both spouses will be rewarded. Allah (SWT) will be pleased with them, and this will be the most critical element in ensuring peace, stability and happiness throughout the marital life. Realize that when an act of worship is continued over a long period of time, it becomes necessary to renew one’s intention often to remain on the correct path and to obtain the most benefit.

Remember that Your Spouse is also Your Brother or Sister in Islam

Too often Muslims treat other people outside the home with kindness and sincerity, but then behave in a very different manner when it comes to their own spouses. Muslims should always remember that one’s spouse is also another brother or sister in Islam and that the rights and duties that apply to the general brotherhood (sisterhood) of Islam, should also form the basis of the marital relationship. Obviously, a spouse has rights beyond these, but there should be a clear understanding of the rights of brotherhood (sisterhood) and adherence to these principles.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: None of you are true believers until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. [Bukhari, 2/12] Subhanallah, how many marriages could this hadith alone save? It counters every kind of negative treatment and encourages every kind of good treatment!

Do Not Hold Unrealistic Expectations

Before marriage, people often have unrealistic ideas about their spouse-to-be, and expect perfection in all aspects. This rarely, if ever, plays out in reality, and can lead to unnecessary problems and concerns. We should recall that Allah (SWT) created humans as imperfect beings, which means that many mistakes will be made throughout a lifetime. By turning the table and expecting imperfection, we will be pleasantly surprised and pleased when we discover our spouse is much more than we ever hoped for. This, in turn, leads to contentment within the marriage.

Focus on the Best in Your Spouse

Since no one is endowed with all of the best qualities, emphasis should be placed on the positive qualities that a spouse possesses. Express encouragement, praise, and gratitude on a regular basis, to strengthen these qualities and to encourage developing others. Make an attempt to overlook or ignore negative characteristics, as the Prophet (saw) said, “A believing man should not have any malice against a believing woman. He may dislike one characteristic in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing.” [Muslim, 8/3469]

Be Your Mate’s Best Friend

Try to think of what a best friend means and be one to your spouse. This may mean sharing interests, experiences, dreams, failures and upsets. It may involve understanding a spouse’s likes and dislikes and attempting to please him or her in any way possible. A best friend is also usually someone that can be confided to trusted, and relied upon. A spouse should be the kind of friend that one would want to keep throughout life.

Spend Quality Time Together

It is not enough to share meals, chores and small talk together. Spouses should also find time to focus on strengthening the relationship. Often couples get busy with their own separate tasks and forget about working on one of the most important elements in life. Quality time may be anything from having a quiet, profound conversation to going for a nice long nature walk, to sharing a special hobby or project. Both spouses should enjoy the particular option they choose and distractions should be kept to a minimum.

The Prophet (saw) used to race with his wife, ‘Aisha (ra). Sometimes she won, and sometimes he won. Remember, he was in his fifties at the time!–how many of us think we are to “mature” to do something enjoyable that can also, with a proper intention, count as an act of worship and ring in piles of good deeds?

Express Feelings Often

This seems like a very “Western” concept and one that some people may struggle with, but it is important to be open and honest about one’s feelings, both positive and negative. The lines of communication should always be open and any concerns should be brought to the attention of the other spouse as soon as they arise. The rationale of this is that, what begins as a simple concern, may grow into a major problem if it is not addressed quickly and properly. The “silent treatment” never fixes anything in the long-term.

Admit to Mistakes and ask for Forgiveness

Just as we ask Allah to forgive us when we make mistakes, we should also ask our spouses to forgive us when we make mistakes. The stronger person is the one who can admit when he or she is wrong, request pardon from the other, and work hard to improve his/her aspects that are in need of change. When a person is unwilling to do this, there will be little growth and development in the marriage.

Never Bring Up Past Mistakes

It can be very hurting for another person to be reminded of past mistakes. In Islam, it is generally not recommended to dwell on the past. One may remember errors that were made so that they are not repeated, but this should not be done excessively. Certainly, as humans, we are not in the position to judge another person. Advice may be given, but in the proper manner and with the best of intentions and etiquettes.

Surprise Each Other at Times

This may entail bringing home a small gift or flowers, preparing a special meal, dressing up and beautifying oneself (this is not only for women), or sending a secret note in a lunch-box. A little imagination goes a long way here. The idea is to spice up the marriage and avoid getting into a dull routine that may negatively impact the marriage.

Cultivate a Sense of Humour

Joke with your spouse. This particular aspect goes a long way in preventing arguments and brightening the atmosphere of the home. Life is a constant stream of challenges and tests, and to approach it in a light-hearted manner helps make the journey smoother and more enjoyable. You may also find that your spouse enjoys this characteristic, and looks forward to spending time with you because of it.

In fact, the Prophet (saw) himself joked with his wives, as well as with companions (though without lying), and tolerated some companions who were known for being light-hearted and prankish.

Quick Tips for Discussions and Disagreements

Begin with the intention to resolve the issue. If both spouses have this intention and plan to consult together, it is more likely that there will be a successful resolution.

Remember that it takes two to quarrel. If only one person chooses not to argue, there will be no argument. Generally, the one who is wrong does most of the talking.

 Both spouses should not be angry at the same time. If one of the spouses becomes upset, it is best if the other tries to remain calm and collected.

Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire. Of course, house fires do not occur very frequently; yelling should occur at about the same rate.

Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. This is one of the worst things that can happen in a marriage and should be avoided as much as possible. This allows hurt feelings and thoughts to linger and generally exacerbates the problem.

If one spouse needs to win, let it be your mate. Do not focus on winning yourself; this is the main reason that discussions tend to become heated.

Remember your house in Paradise!

The Prophet (saw) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings [suburbs] of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good. [Abu Dawud, 41/4782]

Courtesy : facebook.com/Islam-is-the-way-of-life/

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Are you busy?

Bismillah Hirahman Niraheem

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil servants, he said, “We can’t keep the Muslims from going to Mosque. We can’t keep them from reading the Quran and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience with Allah. If they gain that connection with Allah, our power over them is broken.

So let them go to the mosques, 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, servants. Distract them from gaining hold of their Creator and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

“How shall we do this?” shouted his servants. “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 – 7 days a 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 homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-Islamic music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Allah.

“Fill the coffee table 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 catalogues, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and emotional offering of free products, services, and false hopes.

“Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so the husbands will believe that external beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives. Ha! 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 God’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead.

“Keep them busy, busy, 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. And the evil servants went eagerly to their assignments causing Muslims everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and to rush here and there.

I guess the question is: has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge!

Courtesy : The Quran foundation,Hyderabad


Abu Bakr Siddiq-Verbal Abuse

Bismillah Hirahaman Niraheem

Once, a person was verbally abusing Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) while the Prophet (peace be upon him) was curiously watching with a smile. After taking much abuse quietly, Abu Bakr responded to a few of his comments. At this, the Prophet exhibited his disapproval, got up and left. Abu Bakr caught up with the Prophet and wondered, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, he was abusing me and you remained sitting. When I responded to him, you disapproved and got up.’ The Messenger of Allaah responded,
‘There was an angel with you responding to him. When you responded to him, Satan took his place.’ He then said ..

‘O Abu Bakr, there are three solid truths: If a person is wronged and he forbears it (without seeking revenge) just for the sake of Allaah almighty, Allaah will honour him and give him the upper hand with His help; if a person opens a door of giving gifts for cementing relationships with relatives, Allaah will give him abundance; and, if a person opens a door of seeking charity for himself to increase his wealth, Allaah will further reduce his wealth.’

Reported from Abu Huraira in Mishkaah and Musnad Ahmad.

Courtesy: http://www.sahaba.net

An atom’s worth of kibr (Pride and Arrogance) a barrier to Paradise.

Bismillah Hirahaman Niraheem

ALLAH’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever has an atom’s worth of kibr (pride and arrogance) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So a man said: What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes? So he replied: “Indeed Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Kibr is to reject the truth, and to despise the people.” (Sahih Muslim, 1/65)

So Allah informs us that the Hellfire is the abode of those who have kibr (pride and arrogance). And we learn from the (above) hadith that:

“Whoever has on atom’s worth of kibr in his heart will not enter Paradise.”

So this is a proof that kibr necessitates entry into the Hellfire and prevents entry into Paradise. And this comprehensive explanation that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned has clarified the meaning of kibr in the dearest possible manner. So he divided kibr into two types:

1. Kibr against the truth : This is to reject truth and not accept it. So anyone who rejects the truth is proud and arrogant – in accordance with what he rejects. So it is obligatory upon everyone to humble themselves to the truth that Allah sent His Messenger with, and (the truth) He sent down in His Book.  Those who, out of pride and arrogance, do not comply with the Messengers (i.e. do not believe in them and their message) are disbelievers and they will eternally dwell in the Hellfire. This is because they rejected the truth that the Messengers brought to them with clear signs and proofs. They are prevented from accepting it because of the kibr they harbor in their hearts.

Allah said:

“Verily, those who dispute about the Signs of Allah, without any authority having come to them, there is nothing else in their breasts except pride.” (Qur’an, 40:56)

As for those who, out of kibr, do not comply with parts of truth, because it opposes their personal opinions or desires, are not disbelievers. But their action necessitates punishment in accordance to what they have of kibr.  This is why scholars have agreed that whenever a sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) has been explained to someone, it is not lawful for him to turn away from it giving preference to the saying of someone else – whoever the someone else may be.

Therefore, it is obligatory on students of knowledge to give complete and absolute precedence to the saying of Allah and the saying of His Messenger (peace be upon him) over and above the saying of anyone else.  He should make that the basis to which he returns, and the foundation upon which he builds. He must try his best to follow the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) inwardly and outwardly and strive hard to understand what is intended from it.

When a person conforms to this great principle, then he has indeed reached goodness and excellence. All his errors will be forgiven because his overall objective was to follow what was prescribed for him. So his errors are excused because he tried his best to recognize and comply with the truth. This is humbling oneself to the truth.

2. Kibr towards people : This type is to despise people and to look down upon them. This attitude develops when a person is amazed with his own self and considers himself greater and better than others.This leads him to kibr towards the creation. Such a person will despise, mock, and degrade others through both speech and action.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“It is enough evil for a person to despise his brother Muslim.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 2564)

This is why the man asked: “What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and shoes?” Because he feared this was kibr and hence punishable. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained to him otherwise. The questioner was one who complied with the truth and was humble towards people, and this is from the beauty that Allah loves. For indeed Allah is beautiful in His Dhaat (Self), Sifaat (Attributes) and Af’aal (Actions). He loves both outer and inner beauty. Outer beauty includes cleanliness of the body, clothes and place; inner beauty is beautifying the character.

This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) would make the du’a:

“O Allah! Guide me to having beautiful manners and characteristics; no one can guide me to beautifying them except You. And turn me away from all evil actions and characteristics; no one can turn them away from me except You.” (An-Nasa’i, no. 861, authenticated by Al-Albani)

– Bahjatul-Quloobul-Abraar, pp. 156-158- By Sheikh Abdur Rahman Bin Nasir As-Sa’dee

Courtesy : http://www.facebook.com/Islam-is-the-way-of-life/

My Questions and The Quran’s answers

Bismillah Hirahaman Niraheem

1) I said that I have committed a lot of sins. Allah answered through the Quran

“O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”[Surah Zumar 39:53]

2) I said that I have no peace of mind. Allah answered through the Quran

“Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.”[Surah Rad 13:28]

3) I said that I am very lonely. Allah answered through the Quran

“And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.”[Surah Qaf 50:16]

4) I said that no one remembers me. Allah answered through the Quran

“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.”[Surah Baqarah 2:152]

5)I said that my path is full of difficulties. Allah answered through the Quran

“And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out.”[Surah Talaq 65:2]

6)I said that I have lot of unfulfilled dreams. Allah answered through the Quran

“And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.””[Surah Ghafir 40:60]

7)I said Oh Lord how do I get Your help? Allah answered through the Quran

“And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ].”[Surah Baqarah 2:45]

Where is Allah-above or everywhere

Bismillah Hirahaman Niraheem

One of the major areas of shirk wherein people have gone astray in shirk is in the area of Al-Uloo or transcendence of Allah-the concept of Allah being above and beyond HIS creation. When asked the question “Where is Allah”, many muslims of today answer that Allah is everywhere. This is a wrong concept.

How the concept of Allah being everywhere started

When the philosophical books of India, Persia and Greece were translated during the Golden Age of the Abbaasid Empire, the concept of Allah being everywhere and in everything was introduced into philosophical circles and became a foundation principle in the creed of Sufi orders. Eventually it gave way to philosophical school known as the Mutazilah(the Rationalists) during administration of Abbaasid Caliph, Mamoon.  During the reign of Caliph al-Mutawakkil, the Mutazilah philosophy was officially condemned.

Clear Proof of The Prophet(SWS) Hadith

Mu’aawiyah ibn al-Hakam said, “ I had a servant girl who used to tend to my sheep in the area of Mount Uhud, near a place called al-Jawwaareeyah. One day I came to see them only to find that a wolf had made off with a sheep from her flock. Since I, like the rest of Aadam’s descandants, am prone to do regrettable acts, I gave her a terrible slap in her face. When I came to Allaah’s Messenger (SWS)with the story, he considered it a grave thing for me to have done. I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah (SWS) couldn’t I free her?’ He replied, ‘Bring her to me’, so I brought her. He (SWS) then asked her, ‘Where is Allah?’ and she replied, ‘Above the sky.’ Then He asked her, ‘Who am I?’ and she replied, ‘You are Allah’s Messenger.’ So he said, ‘Free her, for verily she is a true believer.’”[Sahih Muslim Vol.1,No.1094]

When testing the faith of others, the logical question to ask would be “Do you believe in Allah?” The Prophet (SWS) did not ask that question, because most people at that time believed in Allah. Because the pagan Makkans of that time believed that Allah was somehow present in their idols and thereby a part of creation, the Prophet (SWS) wanted to determine if her belief was confused and paganistic like other Makkans or clearly unitarian and according to the divine teachings. Hence, he asked a question which would determine whether she knew that Allah was not a part of His creation or whether she believed that God could be worshipped in creation.

Her answer that Allah is above the heavens has to be considered by true Muslims as the only valid answer to the question “Where is Allah?” because the Prophet (SWS) ruled that she was a true believer on the basis of it. If Allah is everywhere as some Muslims today still contend, the Prophet (SWS) would have had to correct her answer, “ Above the sky” , since whatever was said in his presence which he did not reject is considered, according to Islamic Law, Prophet (SWS) not only accepted her statement, but he also used it as a basis for judge her to be a true believer.

Courtesy : Islamic Studies Book1 by Bilal Phillips

The Reason behind allowing Tayammum

Bismillah Hirahaman Niraheem

Narrated Aisha(RTA): We set out with Allahs Messenger(SWS) on one of his journeys till we reached Al-Bayda or Dhatul-Jaysh, where a necklace of mine was broken (and lost). Allah’s Messenger(SWS) stayed there to search for it, and so did the people along with him. There was no water source or ant water with them at that place, so the people went to Abu- Bakr As-Siddiq and said, “Don’t you see what Aisha has done? She has made Allah’s Messenger(SWS) and the people stay where there is no source of water and they have no water with them.” Abu Bakr came while Allah’s Messenger(SWS) was sleeping with his head on my thigh. He said, to me: “You have detained Allah’s Apostle and the people where there is no source of water and they have no water with them. So he admonished me and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of pain) but the position of Allah’s Apostle on my thigh. Allah’s Apostle got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the verses of Tayammum and they all performed Tayammum. Usayd bin Hudair said, “O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours.” Then the camel on which I was riding was caused to move from its place and the necklace was found beneath it.

Source : Sahih Bukhari Book No.7, Hadith No.330 and Sahih Muslim Book No.3, Hadith No.714