“Why me?”

By Maulana Khalid Dhorat

A sign of perfect belief is when one is happy with his Lord in good times, as well as bad times. Both these conditions should be equal to a true believer. If they are not, this is a sign of hypocrisy: hypocrisy in the sense of “when the going is good, we will worship you; but when the going gets rough, then we will shun You, O Lord!” Does the Almighty owe us any favours that we need to have such an attitude with Him?

Many people apply this type of thinking typically to their worldly relationships i.e.  when we can benefit from you, we’ll keep in contact with you, and when you cannot be milked anymore, we’ll look for an excuse to break off with you. We then extend this type of thinking to our Lord, which is totally ridiculous for two reasons:

1.       Relationships are meant to be a two-way thing, but our relationship with our Almighty can never follow this principle. This relationship is always a one-way street. We, human beings, have no right to demand things from the Almighty all the time, expect that He keeps us smiling 24-hours a day, and our pockets lined with gold all the time. He has given us all that we need, and much more, and now it is our time to give back. And give, give, give should be our motto. Whatever prayers of ours are answered thereafter, is a bonus for us. We do  not deserve it, it is only granted thorough His sheer mercy.

2.       Once we realise that our attitude in life should be of constant gratitude and indebtedness to the Almighty, then we need to realise that the Almighty will always be reminding us to show gratitude to Him and to turn to Him for help all the time. The Almighty will create tragic, unfortunate and undesirable situations in our life – as a mercy to us, – in order to teach us gratitude for our times of happiness, prosperity and health. It will also to tell us silently in our hearts: “You forget that I’m still in control. You took a wrong off-ramp on the highway. Now it’s time for you to get back on again.”

Let us read the above two points at least thrice, and let this philosophy of life drench our souls. In it lies the key to our eternal bliss in both the worlds. Accepting the fact that mishaps and problems in life is a sign of the Almighty’s mercy leads to strengthening our bond with Him. This is true happiness. True happiness is not possessing the temporary goods of the world, it’s having a relationship with the Only Eternal Power in this universe – and He is our Lord, the Almighty,

Western Philosophy

However, our typical western lifestyles and philosophy say otherwise. According to this bankrupt philosophy, the purpose of our lives is to “grab the limelight at any cost,” or “rake in the millions.” When this is not possible, or when obstacles arise in our ambitions, we become disheartened, depressed and even suicidal. On the other hand, when we do attain our goals, we become proud, arrogant and oppressive.

Both the situations of attaining worldly fame and success or meeting worldly failure in a secular framework have misery attached to it. But attaining true spiritual contentment with whatever situation we find ourselves in – good or bad, – is the key to everlasting bliss and happiness. The question of “Why me?” will never appear on our lips when we find ourselves in pricky situations, instead it will be replaced by: “Why not me?”

Today, psychiatrists make a lot of money out of merely listening to people’s problems. Yes, they only listen, just a tape-recorder merely listens, and they do not provide any solutions because the west has no solution to offer – other than profiting from your misery. If a solution is provided, it’s usually in the form of expensive pills that will empty your pocket that makes you more depressed and paranoid. This, dear readers, is a fact that none can dispute.

The School of Life

You see, all of human beings are enrolled, like it or not, in a worldwide school called “The Almighty’s School of Life.” Each day in this school, you will be presented with the opportunity to learn some lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them – but a lesson is what you must take for only the spiritually blind do not take a lesson. Further, these lessons will be unique to you, and will be different for everybody. This will force you to think hard and deep.

You will be presented with lessons in every circumstance that surface in your life. When you experience the pain of rejection, the agony of divorce,  the disgrace of grinding poverty, the betrayal of your parents, children and trusted ones, the oppressiveness of the higher authorities … you will learn a lesson. When you experience the joy of success, the feeling of satisfaction after a sumptuous meal, the exhilaration of winning a race or the satisfaction of a stable relationship, you learn another lesson. For every event in your life, there is a lesson that must be learnt. There is really no way of avoiding the lessons you are presented with, nor is there any chance that you will get away learning those lessons!!

Always remember that if the Almighty can take away something you never imagined losing, He can replace it with something you never imagined having. If the Almighty placed you in a certain situation in life, this is the best situation for you – even though it may seem otherwise. Your trust in the Almighty should be absolute at all times. The Almighty’s wisdom can never be fathomed, but our thinking always falters.

When you hear yourself saying: Why did this happen to me, not him,” or “Why am I here,” then you have asked the wrong question. You haven’t learnt the lesson of life, you have merely questioned it. Instead, you need to ask yourself “What is there for me to learn from this experience?” Learning these lessons is a key to discovering the meaning, purpose and relevance of your own life.

Always keep in mind that life will carry on throwing you the same lessons until you have learnt from it. Open the reflective capacity of your heart – not the limited thinking capacity of your brain, – and read the Qur’an and the Sunnah in order to find your answers.

Help for the Road

Remember that life is the only test where you get the questions already in this life for the afterlife. Your life needs to be in fulfilment of those three questions that will be asked of you in the grave and the five that will be asked of you on the plains of Reckoning. Remember the following to pass life’s tests:

1.       The most important step is to accept that everything happens according to the will and plan of the Almighty. He is the controller of all our affairs and always knows what is best for you. Half-heartedly accepting this reality will not allow you to move forward. You will remain stuck in one place. Remember that you did not come in to this world on your own will, and you will not leave this world on your own will. Then why live this live according to your own will?

2.       Always forget who and what pained you, but never forget the lesson it taught you. God will deal with the culprits in good time, but you need to move on. Bitter thoughts about people and events are like weeds. Pluck them out of your heart and its place will sprout the seeds of kindness and compassion.

3.       Always be thankful – rain or hail, sunshine or pain. Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Thank the Almighty in every situation, even if you see no reason to be thankful.

4.       Resort to intense prayers and adopt all physical means and strategies to overcome your difficulties. Don’t despair nor lose hope, for losing hope amounts to doubting the power of the Almighty. Remember that trials and difficulties that draw you closer to the Almighty is better than wealth, happiness and success that leads you to arrogance and pride.

5.       Lastly, keep your eye on the goal. Although all of us have some good times in our lives, we were ultimately not created to have a good time – eternal happiness is reserved for paradise.  Our purpose is merely to worship the Almighty, our Supreme Creator, and to trust Him solely for the direction our life takes.

Lastly, in order to understand the overwhelming mercy of the Almighty and the priceless gift which He has granted us called life, I end off by quoting a saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (May Peace be Upon Him) that every moment of a believer is indeed amazing; If he finds goodness, he expresses gratitude at it and he profits from it. If he experiences evil, he exercises patience at it and he profits from it. Every second is a second of profit for him.

Now go on, and drink up every second of your life in bliss and enjoyment.

Who are the Munaafiqeen today? AM I A MUNAAFIQ (HYPOCRITE)??

THE SIGNS OF A MUNAAFIQ

The Sahaabah-e-Kiraam were always alert. They were suspicious of their own nafs, never trusting it. They always took stock of their deeds, hence they felt very strongly the slightest weakness which developed in them. They always feared the contamination of nifaq(hypocrisy). Whenever they discerned any adverse conflict in their internal and external conditions, they would suspect themselves of having become the victims of nifaaq.

Bukhaari Shareef reports the following Hadith:

“Ibn Abi Maleekah said: I met thirty Sahaabah of Nabi [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] all of whom feared the affliction of nifaaq upon their nafs.”

In the commentary of this Hadith it is said:

“None of them regarded themselves free of nifaaq.”

Imam Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayhi) said:

“It is only the Mu’min who fears nifaaq and it is only the munaafiq who feels secure from it.”

Imam Ghazali (rahmatullah alayhi) said:

“A man said to Huzaifah: I fear Allah, for perhaps I become a munaafiq. Huzaifah replied: If you were a munaafiq you would not have feared nifaaq. Verily, a munaafiq does not fear nifaaq. Only a Mu’min fears nifaaq and only a munaafiq feels secure from it.”

The sign of true Imaan,

therefore, is the recognition of one’s own faults and weaknesses, so much so, that one fears for the safety of one’s Imaan. The true believer feels that his condition is like that of the munaafiqeen. An uncaring and self-assured attitude and indifference to ones faults and defects are ingredients of a hypocritical condition.

Imam Ghazali (rahmatullah alayhi) states in Ihya-ul Uloom:

“Huzaifah said: Today, there are more hypocrites than were in the time of Nabi [sallallahu alayhi wassallam]. During that time they concealed their nifaaq, but nowadays they exhibit it. Nifaaq is the opposite of truth and Imaan. It is a hidden condition.”

“When it was said to Hasan Basri that some claim that nowadays there is no longer nifaaq, he replied: 0 mybrother! [Today their number is so great] that if they all died [now] you will be overwhelmed with fear [because of the desolateness of the earth by virtue of silence in the roads. [In other words, the world will become almost empty and an eerie silence will permeate it as a result of this emptiness.”

Hasan Basri or some other saint also said:

“If the munaafiqeen had to grow tails, then we would not have been able to set our feet on the ground [because the whole earth would be covered by their tails. This expresses their abundance].”

A similar expression is given in Ruhul Maaani:

“The signs of a munaafiq are three. When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he violates it; and, when he is trusted, he abuses that trust.”

Another sign of nifaaq is also given in the authentic narrations of Ahadeeth. That sign is: when the munaafiq disputes, he becomes abusive. A doubt arises at this juncture. These traits mentioned in regard to nifaaq sometimes are found in such Muslims whose Islam is beyond reproach.

There is no doubt regarding their Imaan. In fact, nowadays a great many among even the Ulama are afflicted with these evils. The Hadith also corroborates this by saying:

“The majority of the munaafiqeen of this Ummah are its Qurraa.”

In this first epoch of Islam the term, qurraa (reciters) referred to the Ulama. The explanation of this doubt is: Since these evils are the characteristics of nifaaq, their presence in one creates resemblance with the munaafiqeen. In having these evil traits which are the special features of nifaaq one will be simulating the munaafiqeen in character. Thus the Hadith: “He in who there exist four traits is a total Munaafiq”, means that such a person has a very strong affinity and resemblance with the munaafiqeen. It does not mean that he is a munaafiq in the technical or actual sense – – a hidden kaafir.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) said:

“The signs of the munaafiq are three. When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he violates and when he is trusted, he abuses that trust.”

Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“He in who there are four qualities is a total munaafiq. He in who there is one of these qualities, has in him a quality of nifaaq. [This nifaaq remains in him] until he shuns it. When he is trusted, he misappropriates; when he speaks, he lies; when he pledges, he betrays and when he disputes, he becomes abusive.” [Bukhaari, Muslim]

In the Kitaab, Al-Adaabun Nabawi, in the commentary of the Hadith, “In who there are four qualities….”, it is said:

“In reality, these four qualities are major sins which bring spiritual destruction. They are such crimes which bring ruin in their wake. They do not emanate from a Mu’min whose heart is filled with Isnaaa. This Hadith is a great pillar among the pillars of moral character on which is based the honour and elevation of nations.”

In Surah Munaafiqoon, Tafseer Ibn Kathir presents a Hadith from the Musnad of Ahmad. In this Hadith eight factors of nifaaq are mentioned:

“Abu Hurairah narrates that Nabi: [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said: ‘Verily, the munaafiqeen have some signs by means of which they are recognised. [These are]: their greeting is curse [i.e. instead of greeting, they curse); their nourishment is by plundering; their booty is wealth which has been placed in their trust; they do not venture near to the Musjids, and if they do, they indulge in nonsensical talk; they come to Salaat the very last and in pride; they love none nor do others love them; and, during the night they lay sleeping [like logs] while during the day they wander around bellowing and screaming.’”

ln short, hypocrisy produces moral degeneration, pursuit of ulterior and baneful motives, misappropriation of trust and renunciation of the Deen. When mans moral fibre is destroyed, his tongue becomes abusive and noxious and his actions despicable and abhorrent. When the attribute of amaanat is annihilated, plundered wealth seems wholesome. Khiyaanat (misappropriation) then seems adorable. Affliction with pernicious motives makes one unconcerned with the rights of others. A man suffering from baneful motives recognizes nothing but his own desires. His heart is devoid of love and pity for others. People detest him. This is always the fate which overtakes a selfish person. When indifference to the Deen sets in the heart, there remains no life in Salaat.

A Musim is never neglectful nor indolent in his Salaat which is among the Huqooq (Rights) of Allah Ta’ala. He always presents himself in the Musjid in humility, with respect and on time. No vestige of abuse, vulgarity, misbehaviour and futility will be found in him.

The Hadith says: “Verily, these two [Fajr and Ishaa] are the most difficult on the munaafiqeen.”

Since these two Salaats entail sacrifice of sleep and comfort, they are most difficult on the hypocrites. If this difficulty is merely, a natural state then it will not be evil. In this natural state, one will not be prevented from attending the Salaat on time. One overcomes the difficulty. In fact, such striving (Mujaahada) against the natural propensities is the means of procuring higher spiritual states and reward. However, if this sleep and comfort have become so loveable that they overshadow Salaat and eliminate the very intention of Fajr and Ishaa Salaat, then this will be the condition of the munaafiqeen. Conscious and deliberate abstention from Salaat is undoubtedly resemblance with the practice of the hypocrites. The Hadith shareef says:

“This is the Salaat of the munaafiqhe sits waiting for the sun tobecome yellow until it settles between the two horns of shaitaan [i.e. veryclose to sunset]. He then stands up and makes four pecks in which he[barely] makes the thikr of Allah.” [Muslim]

According to this Hadith, deliberate procrastination of Salaat is evidence of the Salaat being considered insignificant, hence it being compared with pecks (the pecks of a fowl) to indicate the contempt in which Allah Ta’ala holds it. To consider Salaat to be insignificant is the attitude of the munaafiqeen. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Jamaat [Salaat] is of the ways of guidance. Only a munaafiq is negligent of it.”

“The munaafiq is contemptible because of his despicable acts.”

“Nonsensical, abusive and audacious talk are branches of nifaaq.”

About nonsensical conversation, another narration states:

“Verily, I fear for this Ummat every such munaafiq who will speak with wisdom and perpetrate, injustice.”

“The most fearsome object which I fear for my Ummat is every such munaafiq who has the ability of eloquent expression.”

Commenting on this Hadith, the authorities says that it means:

“One who has knowledge and whose tongue is glib with eloquence, but his heart and deeds are ignorant and his beliefs are corrupt. He misleads and deceives people with his evil and eloquence of speech.”
“His tongue operates glibly in knowledge and eloquence while his heart his corrupt and devoid of virtue. Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] feared such a munaafiq for his Ummat because he [the munaafiq] being versed in knowledge will obtain a following of people. People will follow him and he will lead them astray.”

Eloquence of speech and ability in oratory, be it for the masses or for academic discourse, minus virtuous moral character and perfection of Imaan, are not desirable by the Shariah. Far from being considered laudable, the Shariah brands as a munaafiq an eloquent orator bereft of Islamic moral character and perfected Imaan.

The three stages of Hypocrisy

Muhaddithul ‘Asr; ‘Allamah Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory (rahinahullah) writes:

‘In the terminology of Islam, atheism and hypocrisy have the same meaning. The contradiction of speech and action is called hypocrisy and it has three stages:

The belief of the heart is correct but actions claim to be contrary. This is hypocrisy in actions.
There is no belief at all in the words of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) but verbal claims of Iman and Islam are made for show. This is called hypocrisy in belief which is pure kufr and for it is warnings of the deepest part of Jahannam.
A person has kufr in his heart but outwardly does not reject Islam. Rather he apparently confesses to Islam and after interpreting and distorting the words of Quran and Hadith, applies it to his false beliefs. This is called atheism and heresy which stems from hypocrisy in interpretation and this is the most severe form of hypocrisy.
In these three stages of hypocrisy, the difference is that in the first stage (hypocrisy in actions), the Iman and belief remains and many branches of actions are present but there is hypocrisy in a specific branch of action. In the second stage (hypocrisy in belief), there is no Iman (‘Aqaaid) and no Islam (actions). There is only a claim which is purely for show i.e. despite having pure disbelief, one claims to be a Muslim. And the third stage is worse than this – together with hypocrisy in belief, it is coupled with distortion of the Quran and Hadith.

Today, the apparent common sin is that there is a claim of Islam by the tongue, but the actions are such that even a kafir feels ashamed. Hypocrisy in actions is something almost everyone is afflicted with, where Iman is claimed by the tongue but the actions are contrary. However, many people are actually suffering from worse; hypocrisy in belief i.e. they are only called Muslims because they have a link with Muslims, otherwise there is no Islam in their hearts, nor respect for the din of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), nor belief in the sayings of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). In the present age, heresy has developed into fashion. The gist of it is that Muslims are currently caught up in hypocrisy in actions and hypocrisy in belief. Today the disgrace and misfortune that we are experiencing is, in reality, the punishment of this hypocritical conduct.

(Extracted from Basair wa ‘ibar vol. 1 pg. 190)