Istiqaama: The Way of the Believer

True strength often does not lie in one’s physique or muscle-power, but is almost always an issue going much deeper. Many are those who seem strong-willed and distinguished amongst people until there occurs at hand something which exposes their true reality, showing a weak and brittle state. Then there are those few individuals who may remain unknown to society, but who hold a high rank with their Lord. They may be seen to be weak and insignificant, but their reality is such that when Mankind is wandering in darkness and heedlessness, they never lose their path. Were the people to be enveloped in fear and hardship, these individuals would not flinch. Such is the power of having Istiqamah.

So what is Istiqamah?

Istiqamah is often translated to mean ‘uprightness, correctness, integrity, soundness’ and so forth. It comes from the root word قام (qama) meaning ‘to rise’ or ‘to stand upright’ and it’s from this that we derive words like مستقيم(mustaqeem) as in ‘Sirat al-Mustaqeem’ (Straight Path).

For the believer, Istiqamah is a virtue and a caliber that cannot be done without. It’s a quality that we continually strive to attain although we may fail at times. In this age where fitan (tribulations) have become widespread and open sin is the norm, many people have lost the Istiqamah they once had in them – the strength to stay upon the straight path with firmness has escaped through their fingers.

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) mentions in Surah Fussilat,

“Verily, those who say ‘Our Lord is Allah’ and then they’ istaqamu’ (remain firm and straight), on them the Angels will descend (at time of death) saying: ‘Fear not, nor grieve! But receive glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!” [Fussilat: 30]
He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says,

“So stand you firm and straight as you are commanded – and those who turn in repentance with you, and transgress not. Verily, He is All-Seer of what you do.” [Surah Hud: 112]
The reward of Istiqamah in this world is nothing other than Jannah as is mentioned in the first of the two verses above. It comes next to our declaration of Iman in Allah, and it is what will aid and strengthen our Tawheed (belief in Allah).

In addition to uprightness and firmness, Istiqamah also entails leaving sin and avoiding transgression as Allah said in the previous verse, “and transgress not” – making it part of the command given in the above ayah. Our Istiqamah is not complete until and unless we stay within the boundaries set for us by Allah through the Shari’ah (Islamic Law).

In a beautiful hadith of the Prophet (s), it is related that Sufyan ibn ‘Abdullah (ra) came to him and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Tell me something about Islam which I can ask of no-one except you.” He (s) said, “Say: I believe in Allah and thereafter be upright” [Sahih Muslim]

As upholders of Islam, we have to realise that developing this Istiqamah within us, is a long-term process. It does not occur overnight or after listening to one lecture, but rather it’s a continuous struggle in which we may find ourselves failing more often than once.

Istiqamah is in our words, actions, intentions, and state (our condition). It is what our character builds upon and it is what determines our destiny on the Day of Judgment.

Throughout Islamic History, reflections of Istiqamah have shone from great figures. The Prophets being at the forefront leading this world under the guidance of Allah were truly upon Istiqamah. Calling a nation engrossed in disbelief and shirk is not easy when you are alone. How simple it must be for one to walk away at the first sign of rejection – but not the Prophets (`alayhim al-salam). Allah had kept them firm upon His path and established within them the Istiqamah they needed to carry out such testing tasks. The companions of the Prophet Muhammad (s) were nurtured by the Qur’an which not only changed them so drastically, but built them upon firmness and integrity. So great was their Istiqamah and patience that horrific ordeals poured out on them was not enough to shake them or make them utter false statements. They were the ones who stood like towering blocks against the current of what surrounded them.

Istiqamah is also needed during times of ease just as much as it would be needed during times of hardship. This is because when the heart begins to feel false security, ease and becomes arrogantly confident from the punishment of Allah then this is a heart that has been exposed to fitnah (test), and has subsequently failed. It is during these periods that the masses start to suffer from forgetfulness. Their vision shifts from the Akhirah to the Dunya and so their actions begin to be ones done solely for attaining and reaping worldly benefits at the expense of their religion. It is during these times that a person becomes blind to their sins, and therefore hardly sees a need for repentance – increasing one’s outstanding punishment. This is why the pious predecessors feared for themselves when they experienced prolonged periods of ease and comfort in their lives – they feared that any due punishment or atonement for sin had been delayed for the Hereafter, where every reward or punishment increases in magnitude and length. Istiqamah however, doesn’t allow a person to be as easily misled as that. It prevents a person from occupying such weakness in their Islam, and keeps their heart and feet planted firmly upon the Straight Path. It serves as the distinguishing factor which keeps them firm and focused whether in hardship or in ease.

Istiqamah of the Heart

Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) said, “The root of Istiqamah lies with the heart being firm upon Tawhid.”

Having correct Tawhid is essential in every minute and detailed aspect of a person’s Islam – recognizing Allah as our Lord and Creator. Dedicating all our worship to Him Alone and purifying our belief in Him. Learning to love Him, having fear of His punishment and having hope for His reward. Learning to have Tawakkul (reliance) upon Him and making sure to negate and reject all other false deities, as Abu Bakr (ra) was once asked, “What is Istiqamah?” He replied by saying, “It is to not associate partners with Allah” and by this he meant that one’s Istiqamah is based on sincere and correct Tawhid.

The heart being at the center of life is often the driving force for many of our actions. This is why the Prophet (s) said, “Verily, in the body is a morsel of flesh, were it to be upright, then the whole body would be upright and were it to be corrupt then the whole body would corrupt. Verily, it is the heart.” Therefore, it can only follow that a heart established upon Tawhid will order and call for righteous actions to be performed. Ibn Rajab (rh) called the heart ‘King of the body’ in that it is obeyed and naturally followed.

Some sayings of the Salaf regarding Istiqamah

Different scholars and righteous figures from Islamic History have given several statements and advise regarding Istiqamah.

Mujahid: “Be upright and stand firm on la ilaha illa-Allah until you meet Allah.’

Ali ibn Abi Talib and Ibn `Abbas (radi’Allahu ‘anhuma): “Istiqamah means to carry out the fara’idh (obligations in Islam).”

‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (ra): “It is to purify your actions for Allah,” i.e. to be sincere in deeds.

Al-Hasan al-Basri: “Be firm and upright upon the commands of Allah, work to His obedience and keep away from His disobedience”

Ibn al-Qayyim mentions that some knowledgeable people would say, “Be the companion of Istiqamah and not the seeker of respect and nobility [amongst the people], because your soul seeks this respect and nobility while Allah has called it to seek Istiqamah.” He (rahimahullah) also said, “I heard Ibn Taymiyyah say, “The greatest nobility lies in the presence and requirement of Istiqamah.””

To conclude, this is the Istiqamah that we so ardently need in order to safeguard our Deen, make it out of this Dunya and arrive safely in the Akhirah. It is what will aid us against our enemies, against Shaytan and his army and it is also what will help us make strong and wise decisions throughout our lives, and remain firm upon them.“Verily, those who say ‘Our Lord is Allah’ and thereafter remain firm and straight (istaqamu), on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Such shall be the dwellers of Paradise abiding therein – a reward for what they used to do.” [al-Ahqaf: 13-14]

We ask Allah to bestow upon us His Grace, forgive us of our sins and plant our hearts firmly upon the Word of Truth (the Shahadah).
May He give us the Istiqamah we need to face the challenges of life, and live up to the title of being Muslims. Ameen

Anything good I’ve said is from Allaah due to His never-ending Mercy and Grace. Anything wrong I’ve said is from me and Shaytan.

Source: http://www.islam21c.com

Please advise on the permissibility of engaging a non Muslim teacher to teach our children at home.

Q. Please advise on the permissibility of engaging a nonMuslim teacher to teach our children at home.

A. It is not permissible to have a non-Muslim to teach your children even at home. The kufr and spiritual rijs and najaasat of his/ her kufr will have a detrimental athar (effect) on the children. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) forbade breastfeeding by even a Muslim woman if she is ignorant. He said that her ignorance will be transferred to the baby via her milk. To a greater extent will kufr, rijs and najaasat of the non-Muslim be contagious.

Why Imitate Them?

Ebrahim (Alayhis Salaam) had made it clear to his people who were disbelievers that he is free from them and their ways. After all, the non Muslims don’t imitate us Muslims, so why should we imitate them. Imitating them and leaving our Islamic ways is a sign of suffering from an inferiority complex. When we begin following them then the following things happen:

  1. Our values will change
  2. Our clothing will change
  3. Hayaa and shame will be lost.
  4. Eventually we will feel that there is no problem and harm in marrying them.

Hence, we need to be totally different from them and they should not expect us to follow them. What we are required to do is to stay within the borders and parameters of Deen and not go beyond.

Source: Al Haaadi

Contagious Diseases


The notion that diseases are contagious is a result of our worship of the means. No matter what present day research may say, the
research of the Sharī‛at is that the One who caused the first person to fall ill has caused the second one to fall ill as well. It is possible that others in the same house may also succumb to that illness. However, if our gaze is on the Absolute Power, then is it not better to attribute that illness to divine will than to the means? Is the will of Allāh ta‛ālā not even equal to the effect of means? We seek refuge in Allāh ta‛ālā.
The fact of the matter is that every person who is weak in his faith will rationalize his worship of the means by saying: “I do not deny the power of Allāh ta‛ālā but it is His norm that when a contagious disease enters a house, it is also passed on to others in that house.” The tauhīd of a Muslim demands that he attributes every single thing to the will of Allāh ta‛ālā. When this is realized, the means will become inconsequential in his sight. And if he has been blessed with full confidence in Allāh ta‛ālā, then the mysteries behind the effects of the means will be fully exposed to him.
Hadrat Maulānā Badr ‛Ālam rahimahullāh As quoted from Aqwāl-e-Salaf, vol. 9, pp. 605-606.

The Shariah is the Quraan

The Shariah is the Quraan

REJECTING THE SHARIAH OF THE QUR’AAN — THE KUFR OF THE ZINDEEQ

In the conflict between Haqq and Baatil — Imaan and Kufr — which is being played out in this earthly realm, there is nothing surprising when Shaitaan every now and again fields his forces. After all, this world is the arena for this conflict which commenced with the appearance of Hadhrat Aadam (alayhis salaam). Shaitaan had on the occasion of his expulsion from the heavens sworn great oaths by the Greatness and Glory of Allah Ta’ala that he would leave no stone unturned in his conspiracy to deflect the Servants of Allah from Seeraatul Mustaqeem and lead them all into the bowels of Jahannum wherein he (Shaitaan) is destined to rot and suffer everlastingly.

HIS METHODS

Among the snares and methods of deflecting Muslims from the Straight and Divine Path (the Shariah of Allah), is the enlisting by Shaitaan of ignoramuses to present kufr and Baatil (Falsehood) in Islamic hues. By painting his kufr with ‘Islamic’ colour, Shaitaan plans to deviate uneducated Muslims from Seeraatul Mustaqeem. Shaitaan employs mainly those who have pursued western education and have been schooled, indoctrinated and brainwashed by tutors of incorrigible kufr.

A SHAITAANI AGENT

One such shaitaani agent writing in the Durban newspaper, Daily News, presented a synopsis of the type of kufrwhich Shaitaan fabricates to deviate uneducated and unsuspecting Muslims from Seeraatul Mustaqeem. A non-entity, one Yusuf Ismail, has mushroomed from nowhere and has gorged out in his evil article, nothing but pure kufr. This zindeeq states in his article of Kufr that Allah’s Shariah (The Qur’aan) is the fabrication of the Ulama whom this mulhid describes as ‘a truncated minority’. The zindeeq should open his ears and listen: Shaitaan has succeeded to truncate your Imaan. Lest his immature and truncated brains cannot comprehend the meaning of truncated imaan, we spell it out for him —Truncated imaan is an euphemistic representation for Plain Kufr. In case he does not understand what ‘Plain Kufr’ means, we say to him that it is such Kufr which expels a Muslim from the fold of Islam. It renders him a murtad. May Allah Ta’ala save us all from this ultimate calamity which seals the doom of those who have been decreed KAAFIR in Azal (in the Eternal Knowledge and Command of Allah Ta’ala).

The Shariah is the Quraan

The Repentant Sinner

Anas (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Every son of Ādam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.”[1]

Some of us sin a lot, and some of us sin a little, but this article is not about naming and shaming people or making anyone feel bad. If ever there were a person I should do that to, it would most certainly be me. This post is not even about going in-depth about the types of sins, or the severity of some compared to others, and other things like this.

I only want to discuss repentance, and how it—along with sinning—is one of the most fundamental aspects of our lives as Muslims. Obviously, repentance is a necessary part of life, but so too is sinning, because without the ability to sin, repentance would have no use to us.

We are born sinless, but did you know that for those of us who seek Allāh’s forgiveness after sinning, it is as though we have never sinned?

Abu ‘Ubaydah b. ‘Abdullāh b. Mas‘ūd narrated that his father (radiy Allāhu ‘anhumā) said: The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.”[2]

Isn’t it something quite profound how we can sin constantly, but as long as we sincerely repent, our sins will be forgiven and wiped from our list of deeds? It makes one wonder how sins can actually bring a person closer to Allāh through asking for forgiveness, because it might just be that He puts a particular test in someone’s life—be it a problem with lowering the gaze, or controlling one’s tongue, or being disobedient to one’s parents—to make or break that person; whether they respond the right way or not in trying to seek Allāh’s help and forgiveness, and not giving in under the pressure.

It makes sense because Allāh did not create us without the tendency to sin. The Father of Mankind, Ādam (‘alayhi al-Salām) and the Mother of Mankind, his wife Hawā (‘alayha al-Salām) lived in Paradise, but then Shaytān (the Devil) lured them into sinning, and Allāh took them out of Paradise and put them on Earth. Isn’t it something odd that all people, regardless of religious or non-religious background, have an urge to sin?

Look at the one who deceived Ādam and Hawā (‘alayhumā al-Salām). Shaytān sinned by disobeying Allāh, but unlike our Mother and Father, Shaytān did not repent.

“And We have certainly created you, [O Mankind], and given you [human] form. Then We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Ādam,” so they prostrated, except for Iblīs. He was not of those who prostrated:

[Allāh] said, “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” [Satan] said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.” [Allāh] said, “Descend from Paradise, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out, indeed, you are of the debased.” [Satan] said, “Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.” [Allāh] said, “Indeed, you are of those reprieved.” [Satan] said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].” [Allāh] said, “Get out of Paradise, reproached and expelled. Whoever follows you among them, I will surely fill Hell with you, all together.”
“O Ādam, dwell, you and your wife in Paradise, and eat from wherever you will, but do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.”

But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.” And he swore [by Allāh] to them, “Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.” So he made them fall, through deception, and when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?” They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” [Allāh] said, “Descend, being to one another enemies. For you on the Earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time.” He said, “Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.”

O children of Ādam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment, but the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allāh, perhaps they will remember.

O children of Ādam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he [Satan] sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.[3]

We cannot let ourselves go with sinning. Despite sinning being unavoidable, with even the very first of mankind having sinned, we cannot consider sins as small, because perhaps a sin in our eyes that we see as very unimportant is the opposite to Allāh. He might wish to make that one sin enormous, so who are we to judge whether one sin is bigger than another? This is not to do with minor and major sins, but that we should treat each sin as heavy, because that way, perhaps Allāh will look at it as something small.

It is reported that Abu Ayyūb al-Ansāri (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) said:

“A person might do a single good deed, rely on it, and forget sins that he regards insignificant, but then meet Allāh (on the Day of Judgment) with those sins surrounding him. (Another) man might commit a sin, but never stop fearing its consequences, until he meets Allāh safe and sound.”[4]

The act of repentance needs to be sincere. It is really important that we get repentance right, because if one of the following criteria are missed out, we can be certain that we were not sincere when we asked Allāh to forgive us:

– Giving up the sin
– Regretting having done the sin
– Making the firm intention to never go back to the sin
– Returning anything stolen from others, or seeking their forgiveness if we have hurt others, as this category of sin is not as simple as those between us and Allāh.[5]
I sometimes feel a sinking feeling in my stomach, and everything seems to affect me in the worst of ways. I ask myself if it is my sins overwhelming me, or if it is me taking it all too much to heart. In truth, it is the fact that I sin but do not seek repentance enough. When Shaytān comes, he clouds my vision of seeing how Allāh is ready and eager to forgive me. It is something we all need to help one another to fight. It does not matter what sin we have committed: Allāh is there for us as long as we truly seek His forgiveness, and He only wants to forgive His slave of their sins.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“If you were to commit sins until your sins reach the Heaven, then you repented, your repentance would be accepted.”[6]

What purpose would Paradise have if we were not created with a desire to sin? Would it not be questioning Allāh’s Wisdom? Everything has its role in this world. I know that at times when we give in and sin, we feel helpless, but we have to pick ourselves up and say to ourselves, “I am a servant of Allāh, so Who do I think is the One I need to go to for help?” Al-Ghafūr (the Most Forgiving), Al-Rahīm (the Most Merciful), so we should speak to Him, through du’ā (supplication) and through salāt (prayer), because what more do we really have in this life other than making du’ā, salāt, and tawbah (repentance)?

It is reported that Talq b. Habīb (rahimahu Allāh) said:

“The right of Allāh is too great and heavy for the creation to fulfill, and the blessings of Allāh are too many to enumerate, but you should remain repentant, morning and evening.”[7]

Know that the door of repentance only closes if you think it has. Shaytān is always hungry to make us feel like we are destitute, but it is our job to fight that. Otherwise, if we keep saying something to ourselves, we will believe it sooner or later, even if it is false. So what gives us the right to not fight Shaytān? What gives us the right to feel pathetic when Allāh is watching us constantly? What do we think He feels about us when we do not even pause to ask Him for help? How often do we just put Him to one side and try to talk to others about our sins, when He is the One who conceals them from the sight of people?

Abu Ayyūb al-Ansāri (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) reported that Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“If you were not to commit sins, Allāh would have swept you out of existence and would have replaced you with another people who have committed sin, and then asked forgiveness from Him, and He would have granted them pardon.”[8]

At times, we all feel our desires try to take us over, and we like to let our anger out instead of staying calm. We cannot control our tongues much of the time, and we all have a bad habit we constantly engage in. But no matter how much we sin, we have to understand that all is not lost. Nothing is lost permanently. Even if we have committed a really disgusting sin, what makes us feel so bad that we cannot ask Allāh for forgiveness?

It is only the evil in our souls and Shaytān that cause us to become depressed and feel down.

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair in the Mercy of Allāh. Indeed, Allāh forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”[9]

For those of us who say, “But I don’t feel like when I repent that it’s accepted,” there are signs that one can feel when our repentance truly is accepted. If we trust in Allāh and truly believe in Him, we will believe in His Qur’ān and His Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

So do not feel like this world is over. Instead, feel like wishing for blessings in life and for Allāh to accept our forgiveness, no matter how often we find ourselves sinning. It is only sincerity and the correct steps towards repentance that are really important.

Shaqīq al-Balkhi (rahimahu Allāh) was once asked: “What is the mark of [true] repentance?”

He replied: “Continued crying over past sins, deep fear of falling into them again, staying away from bad company, and keeping the company of good people.”[10]

It is narrated that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would seek Allāh’s forgiveness at least seventy times in a day. Another narration says that he would seek it a hundred times in a day, and in another, it is said that he would seek it over a hundred times in only one gathering. All this from a man who was sinless.

It was narrated that Ibn `Umar (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) said:

“We used to count that the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said one hundred times in a gathering:

‘Rabb ighfir lī wa tub `alayya innaka ant Al-Tawwāb Al-Rahīm’ (O Allāh, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are the Accepter of repentance, the Most Merciful).”[11]

Is it for ‘banter’ that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sought Allāh’s forgiveness in so many different situations and so often, every single day? He was free of sin, but he was perfectly humble. What do we even attempt to show? Why do we think it is that he said the following in prayer? This is something we say all the time.

It was narrated from Hudhayfah (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu), that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say between the two prostrations in prayer:

“Rabb ighfir lī, Rabb ighfir lī

“O Lord forgive me, O Lord forgive me”[12]

Sins may blacken the heart, but sincere repentance whitens it. Shaytān never repented, and never will do, but our Mother and Father (‘alayhumā al-Salām) did, so we have a choice.

Never lose hope. Remember, we have Allāh as long as we always try to turn to Him before we return to Him.

Source: http://www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Sunan Ibn Mājah 4251

[2] Sunan Ibn Mājah 4250

[3] Al-Qur’ān 17:11-28

[4] Ibn Hajar, Fatḥ Al-Bārī

[5] Acceptance of Repentance – islamqa.info/en/46683

[6] Sunan Ibn Mājah 4248

[7] Ibn Abī al-Dunya, Al-Tawbah 62

[8] Sahīh Muslim 2748

[9] Al-Qur’ān 39:53

[10] Abu Bakr al-Daynūri, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm 2645

[11] Sunan Ibn Mājah 3814

[12] Sunan Ibn Mājah 897

QILLAT-E-KALAAM

Q. I read in Shariat & Tasawwuf, that even one word spoken unnecessarily brings darkness to the heart. How do we achieve the goal of Qillat-eKalaam (Speaking less)?


A. Much speech is a destructive spiritual malady, hence the Qur’aan Majeed states:
“Not a word is uttered, but it is recorded by an ever ready guard.”
Every word that issues from the mouth is recorded by an Angel. No matter how insignificant the statement may appear to a person, it is recorded in a Clear Book, for which the utterer will be accountable on the Day of Qiyaamah. People have absolutely no idea of the spiritual harm they inflict on their Baatin (Rooh/spiritual heart) with the abundance of futile and haraam talk which they so unthinkingly disgorge. The manner of controlling this evil habit of futile talk is firstly to reduce contact with people. Meet them only when there is a need, and after the need has been accomplished, immediately terminate the meeting. Then of utmost importance its to briefly – for a couple of seconds – reflect before speaking. When about to speak, remind yourself that the Angel is in front of you ready to record your words as the Qur’aan states. Reflect on the statement you are about to utter – Is it permissible or not? Will it please Allah Ta’ala or displease Him? Will it hurt the feelings of the person? Is there any valid benefit in the statement or not? In the beginning such reflection will be onerous, but if you are constant in this exercise of brief reflection, then, InshaAllah, it will become a reflex action. Without any strain and effort, you will gain the propensity of immediately recognizing the category of the statements you intend to utter. Everything for success requires some effort. Minus effort there will be no achievement.

from the majlis vol 23 number 12

Acquiring the special assistance of Allah Ta‘ala

Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned the following:

When a person adopts taqwa (piety) and fears Allah Ta‘ala in his life by subjecting his desires to the command of Allah Ta‘ala, then Allah Ta‘ala removes his difficulties through unseen means, and assists him through avenues which he least expects. Allah Ta‘ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:

وَ مَنۡ یَّتَّقِ اللّٰهَ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّهُ مَخۡرَجًا ۙ﴿۲﴾

The one who fears Allah, He (Allah Ta’ala) will make a way out for him (from every difficulty). (Surah Talaaq v. 2)

A guaranteed way to acquire the special assistance of Allah Ta‘ala is for one to assist the deen of Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:

اِنۡ تَنۡصُرُوا اللّٰهَ یَنۡصُرۡکُمۡ

If you assist (the deen of) Allah, He will assist you. (Surah Muhammed v. 7)

If you make an effort to support the deen of Allah Ta‘ala, then Allah Ta‘ala will cause all systems of the world to work in your favor. The things that generally bring about harm and destruction, Allah Ta‘ala will transform them and make them a means of your ease and comfort. Look at the situation of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) when he supported the deen of Allah Ta‘ala with his heart and soul, Allah Ta‘ala transformed the blazing fire into a pleasant garden for him. In the same manner, when Nabi Musa (‘alaihis salaam) assisted the deen of Allah Ta‘ala, then the ocean, which is normally a means of drowning, Allah Ta‘ala caused it to split open for Nabi Musa (‘alaihis salaam) and his people, thereby allowing them to reach the shores with safety.

(Malfoozaat Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) pg. 99-100)

ISLAHUL KHIYAL

Islahul Khiyal

INTRODUCTION

Islahul Khiyal (Correction of Thoughts) has been compiled by Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh). This short compilation consisting of some correspondence between two relatives and a letter of a Shaikh to some of his Mureedeen who were adversely influenced by westernism, answers many baseless doubts created by westernism in the minds of Muslims who pursue western education. May Allah Ta’ala accept this humble effort and make it a means for eliminating the doubts of kufr which befuddle the minds of many Muslims nowadays.

PREFACE

Someone wrote to his relative a letter counselling (giving naseehat – Deeni advice) him with regard to obedience to the Shariah in matters of a’mal (righteous deeds) and the adoption of an Islamic appearance. Being strongly influenced by modern western concepts, the relative entertained some doubts and uncertainties in regard to the naseehat offered. This person wrote a reply in an endeavour to dispel his relative’s doubts and misgivings.

Since many people, under the impact of western modernity, are confronted with similar doubts, it has been felt that publication of these letters will be in the Deeni interests of the general Muslim public. Thus, the doubts and their answers are presented here in book-form which is named ISLAHUL KHIYAL (Correction of Thoughts).

In addition a Shaikh-e-Kamil  once wrote to some friends influenced by modern ideas, a letter of profound naseehat (Islamic Advice). However, the opportunity for despatching the letter did not arise. Some persons had copies of this letter. Since the subject matter of this letter pertains to our discussion, it is appropriate to include it at the end of this compilation.

Muhammad Ashraf Ali

THE DOUBTS

The conception of Islam which the Ulama of Hindustan entertain of the Shariat and their peculiar way of following it are, in my opinion, not of the making of Islam. By changing circumstances of time and by the Will of Allah, the British acquired domination over the land of Hindustan.

A glance at the history of the time when Muslim rule was first established in Hindustan will reveal that the general condition of other nations was worse than that of the Muslims.

For example, in England, the test of boiling water was used to establish the guilt or innocence of a suspected criminal. It was believed that the hand of an innocent person will not be scalded in this test. People were burnt alive at the stake. Comparatively speaking, the Arab nation (i.e. the pre-Islam Arabs) of that age was not lagging behind others. It was a nation on equal footing with other nations of the time. Islam came and reformed the Arabs during an epoch when other nations too were equal in degradation.

Islam imparted to them the lesson of Tauheed. Within a short while a new nation arose. With sword in hand, nation after nation was conquered by Muslims in the wake of Islam’s onward advance. Asia and a large section of Europe came under Arab domination.

Divine Aid and victory are confirmed by the Qur’an and Hadith. There can, therefore, be no denial of the fact that Divine Aid is available for a nation which has imbued in it the ability to follow the Laws of Allah. This fact is evidenced by the grand empire established by the Muslims. Its example cannot be found in history.

After the age of the Khulafa-e-Rashideen, mutual conflict developed among Muslims. The shameful episode of Karbala was enacted by the hands of Muslims. Until Qiyamah, Muslims will regret this event. The signs of the decline of the Muslim empire were thus initiated. However, since there existed no dominant civilized nation at the time, Muslims enjoyed peace in the lands they conquered. Later, conquest of lands had come to a halt and the empire was consolidated. In spite of this, the signs of Muslim decline were on the increase by the day. While living in peace and prosperity, Muslims failed to secure themselves against future attacks by other nations.

Islahul Khiyal

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