Updates Galore

Bismillah,

Okay, so quite a few updates, inshaAllah.

1. I added quite a few blogs to my blogroll – I found these pretty interesting, so take a peek when you have the time inshaAllah. Shout out to Little Auntie who has an awesome Advice Blog mashaAllah.

2. I am trying to post regularly inshaAllah. Speaking of which, yes, I know, AlHuda posts still haven’t made it. I will do so inshaAllah. I’m just being lazy (they take a long time to put together) so I will fight off the laziness and do them inshaAllah. (I miss it too much as well!)

3. I feel Quotes and Pictures pages at the top are just blah. Any suggestions? For Names of Allah, we took Valley of the Seekers in May, alhamdulillah, so maybe starting to put up my notes there. For Qur’anic Du’aas, I need to refresh and go back and begin that again inshaAllah.

So yeah, that’s how it is going so far, alhamdulillah. Any feedback, comments, something you’d like to see, or suggestions would be much appreciated inshaAllah 🙂

*Edit:

4. I forgot this one – but if you’re logged in on your wordpress account, you can ‘Like’ the post you’re viewing from the top – and share it by reblogging it. I thought that was really cool mashaAllah 🙂

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Cool Quotes

I came across these quotes at work so I thought I’d share inshaAllah.

#1:

When you’re down to nothing,
God is up to something.
The faithful see the invisible,
Believe the incredible,
And then recieve the impossible.

#2:

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

– John Wooden

Welcome, Dear Guest

Shaykh Ahsan Hanif spoke on Friday, July 23rd, about welcoming Ramadan. SubhanAllah, Ramadan is fast approaching, so inshaAllah, this is of benefit.

He began with stating every year, we go over this topic. Every year, we hear about the fiqh of Ramadan, how to welcome it, the dos and the don’ts. So, going to that path is not what we did on Friday. Instead, Shaykh Ahsan spoke from a different perspective.

We weant to be able to live with Ramadan – to treat it as a guest whom we welcome into our homes, who we can see and hear. If you tell someone to pray 5 times a day, to spend in charity, to go to Hajj – they don’t really want to. Why? Acts of worship are seen as a chore. If we had the choice to worship, most Muslims would not do anything. Here’s the thing – we should be enjoying worship – we should be able to taste its sweetness.

The Prophet, sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had all his sins forgiven, yet he would still pray and cry from his heart in his worship. His famous statement in response to why he does so: “Should I not be a thankful slave?” SubhanAllah, how relevant is this statement to our every moment of being? In the end, the sweetest thing a person can do is come closer to Allah.

With Ramadan, we don’t treat it like that. We don’t come closer to it. We know all the virtues of it; of how we should be better Muslims, of the moments to take advantage of, we know it all. But Ramadan comes and goes and nothing changes.

Imagine Ramadan as a living, breathing guest. If something is living, you automatically treat it differently. For example, if a guest were to come over, you wouldn’t ignore them by just sticking them in a room and moving on with your life. You interact with them, treat them with respect, try to fufill their haqq as a guest upon you. We need to do the same with Ramadan – interact with it, treat it properly, and ultimately, benefit from it.

For over 1400 years, Ramadan has seen Muslims all over the world fasting. If Ramadan came to our city, what would Ramadan say about us? What would its thoughts be? Would it say we are like those from the verse ‘Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you can attain taqwa?’ How many years have you seen Ramadan come? Does this verse apply to us? Do we become better, increase in our Eman and Taqwa? Or do we fast and the only thing we gain is hunger, thirst, and fatigue. Are we only worried about the timing? Sleeping? Making food? Scheduling? Just want taraweeh to finish? Is this how you would treat a guest? This is why Ramadan comes and goes, and we gain nothing. What if it were to never come again?

The Sahabah would make du’aa for 6 months after Ramadan for Allah swt to accept their Ramadan. For the next 6 months, they would make du’aa for Allah to grant them the next Ramadan. This is the status of one who truly appreciates Ramadan. It should bring us together as a community, make us increase in our Eman.

One time, the Prophet sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ascended the mimbar and said Ameen 3 times. The people asked why he just said Ameen. He replied that Jibreel (as) came to hime and made 3 du’aas and told him to say ameen. One of the du’aas was for the one who gets Ramadan and doesn’t get his sins forgiven, to distance him from Allah’s mercy. SubhanAllah, are we of the people that the Prophet (S) made du’aa against? May Allah protect us.

How do we buy our freedom and salvation? What Eman and righteous actions do we use? If we were compared to previous nations, how would we fare?

The Scholars of hadith would close their books of Hadith in Ramadan and say this is the month of the Qur’an. These were people who would finish reciting the Qur’an in salah in 3, 5, 7, or 9 days. How do we treat the Qur’an in this month? For the first 3 days the mosque is full in taraweeh. Then it dwindles, as people complain that it’s too long. In the last three days (ie 27th on), the mosque is full again. SubhanAllah. Is that a way to treat a guest?

How would Ramadan compare us to the Prophet (S)? This shouldn’t sadden us – it should motivate us to do the same as him, as he was our role model. He (S) would give charity like the ‘wind-driven rain’ – no one was left from his kindness. What do we see in our homes? How is it different? Do we act differently in Ramadan? Do spouses encourage each other in the night prayer? Are parents emphasizing the Qur’an? Or is it like any other day, and you would find no difference in the actions. The Prophet (S) would be even more vigorous in his worship. How many of us use Ramadan to come closer to Allah? Do we think about the taraweeh and extra Qur’an reading? Why don’t we think the time between ‘Isha and Fajr will be so short so we can stay up for extra ‘ibaadah? We all know the virtues of the last third of the night, alhamdulillah.

Would it remind us of Laylatul Qadr, whose reward is equal to a thousand months? How many of us seek out this night (seeing as it is one of the odd nights of the last 10 days, not just the 27th)? Do we pray Fajr at the masjid, seeing as we are already awake (ie no excuses)? What would Ramadan say to you? Will you enter Jannah from the gate of Rayyan, the one reserved for the fasting? Ramadan is not just about stopping your eating and drinking. It is all of your limbs fasting from disobedience of Allah. Your mouth, eyes, ears, hand, feet, everything fasts. If we still lie or commit other sins, then Allah is in no need of our fasting. It is not to lose weight or just because everyone else is – it is to come closer to Allah.

From all acts of worship, what Allah wants is for us to attain taqwa, piety. Even to the point of slaughtering an animal to eat – we begin it in the name of Allah. All He wants is for us to attain Taqwa from any act of worship. He wants to see our Eman increase. And subhanAllah, He really does give us opportunity after the next for this!

What is your mindest? Prepare for this guest by fasting in Sha’baan. Read Qur’an. Pray at night. Teach yourself the rulings of fasting. Be well-equipped and prepared for this guest you know is coming, inshaAllah. This is the most important matter – our mindset. Ramadan should change our lives, give us more Eman, and bring us closer to Allah. None of this comes if we look at it negatively. If you want benefit, accept it as a noble guest – and treat it accordingly. We should be stronger, inshaAllah, on an EmanRush, longing for Ramadan. ‘Eid should be the day of the new beginning – not an open season for sin. We should be truly transformed into better Muslims.

Again, how do you interact with and treat Ramadan? Imagine it alive, with feelings. How will you treat this guest whom you may never see again?

Stuff On My Mind

Here are a few random things that have been on my mind.

1. Aunties and Food

Okay, with my mom not being around (I miss her!), my conversations with Aunties go something like this:

Auntie: “Salaam beti, how are you? How’s your mom?”
Moi: “Wa Salaam, alhamdulillah, we’re both well.”
A: “Oh, where is your mom? I don’t see her.”
M: “She’s not here, she had to go to —.”
A: “REALLY? I didn’t KNOW! Is everything okay?”
M: “Yes, alhamdulillah.” [explains situation]
A: “Okay, alhamdulillah… but… what do you EAT?”

Yes, the most important matter, it seems, is food. (Desis love food, right? As my Dad says, Desis live to eat.) I feel like they assume, without a mother in the household, the rest of the family members are going to sit and starve because no one can cook. Um, alhamdulillah, my Dad can cook, as well as the rest of us. Surprise, surprise. I mean, we are sad that our mom isn’t here, but we’re not going to starve ourselves – we’re not that sad :P.

The next logical thought for the Aunties is to send us food. And, alhamdulillah, we’re eternally grateful for all the people who have sent us food – may Allah swt reward each one of them for every second they put into making us some good old homemade delights. But, please, can you trust us when we say the fridge is literally stuffed because of food another Auntie sent, so if you send food, we won’t get to it for another week? As my mom was joking when we told her about the state of our poor fridge, can’t they coordinate as to when they should send the food? 😛 LOL

Alhamdulillah for everything. When my mom was leaving, I was thinking what we would do about cooking (as both my Dad and I would be working), and alhamdulillah, we figured out how to coordinate schedules (as well as make the boys do work at home :D). This just made me think of how Allah swt gives you your rizq, your sustenance, in ways you never imagined. Did we plan to eat some yummy spicy noodles from one Auntie? No, we we were in the process of cooking our own dinner. But Allah had written for us to eat that instead of what we had planned. Verily, Allah is the best of planners. Alhamdulillah. So, no, this was nothing against any of these Aunties (may Allah reward them again!) but just a nice little reminder that Allah sent our way.

2. The State of the Streets of Windsor

Okay, certain streets around here (*cough*Wyandotte*cough*) are absolutely terrible. I feel like I will have abs by the end of the summer just by driving on them (and I try to minimize my time drving on them too!). I also feel bad for our poor van, which is constantly being abused by the potholes and major indents of this wonderful street. The suspension must be suicidal by now.

That being said, I was thinking, in a state of annoyance, why the city doesn’t just fix all of Wyandotte? I mean, it is one of the few major streets of the city. But then my mind drifted to when there was construction on the major streets (remember the Dougall mess? Or E.C. Row?) and I had a subhanAllah moment. We want everything to be fixed and perfect but we don’t really want to be patient or endure during that time of hardship.

Like any construction site anywhere, when Dougall was under construction, remember the complaints? The annoyed drivers? Multiply that by a million for Wyandotte if they were to fix it. Now, I just drove down a good portion of Dougall the other day, and mashaAllah, smooth driving. Absolute ease. Say it together – ‘With hardship comes ease…’ So if we want to change something, or fix it, it necessitates hardship, patience, perserverance, and endurance. It’s not going to be smooth sailing all the way through – sometimes the water is choppy and difficult, sometimes it seems like it will never end, but when it does, and the sun is shining, and the sailing is smooth, it is absolutely worth it.

Now, someone needs to get them started on Wyandotte…

3. Excitement for The Dajjal?

No, not literally the Dajjal himself, but learning about the Dajjal from Shaykh Ashan Hanif. Shaykh Ahsan was supposed to give a lecture last night on this topic. Come Maghrib, the parking lot was packed before salah (impressive) and the Musallah was teeming with people, alhamdulillah. After salah comes the heart-breaking announcement – Shaykh Ahsan wasn’t feeling well (May Allah swt grant him shifaa) and so the lecture was cancelled. (No worries – Friday’s lecture is still on inshaAllah.)

Huh? So, all these people came and now they have to go back? No, alhamdulillah, they came, prayed at the mosque in jama’ah, with the intention to learn something about their deen – and inshaAllah, they will be rewarded for that. Isn’t that an awesome state of the believer? For the lecture, you would have been rewarded and with no lecture, but just the intention to learn, you are rewarded. SubhanAllah, it’s beautiful.

Again, Allah’s plans comes up. It was for the best – maybe we didn’t see it last night, maybe we won’t see it in a week. It may be that we realize in a few years, or ultimately, in the akhirah, why this lecture was cancelled. All the believer can do is say Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli haal – Allah is the best of planners, so praise be to Him in every situation. I was looking forward to posting notes about the Dajjal today 🙂 but maybe I was supposed to focus on something else. Allah knows best. It’s something for us to live by – when something doesn’t go according to our plan, it’s all good because as long as it’s going according to the best of plans, Allah’s plans, what could be better for us? 

The Strength of their Love

I came across this story a couple times on Sr. Heba AlShareef’s blog – IAmSheba.com and thought there must be something pretty awesome about it for her to mention it so many times. I’ve added some lessons I got from it below (including those I picked up from I Am Sheba) – please add if you have benefited in any way inshaAllah 🙂

Asma bint Abu Bakr is said to have narrated that when Al Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with them) married her, he had no land property, nor a slave, nor anything else, except a camel for ’work’ and a horse.
 
She said: “I would give fodder to his horse, draw the water, patch his water skin, knead the flour. I was not good at baking and preparing bread; but I had some sincere Ansar neighbour ladies who used to help me with the baking. I used to bring, on my head, fruit kernels from the land which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had given to Al Zubayr. That land was at a distance of three farsakhs (about ten miles).
 
One day I was on my way home with a load on my head when I met the Prophet with a number of Ansar. the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked me to ride, behind him on the camel, but I felt shy of joining the company of men.
 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) realised that I was feeling shy and, therefore, continued his journey without me. Later I came to Al Zubayr and told him how I met the Prophet (peace be upon him) with a company of Ansars, and how I declined his offer when he bade the camel to kneel so that I might ride behind him.
 
I told Al Zubayr I felt shy and remembered his jealousy, self-respect and honour. On hearing that account Al Zubayr said, ‘By God your heavy laboring is far more distressing for me than riding the camel with the Prophet’.
 
Later Abu Bakr sent me a servant to save me the trouble of looking after the horse and I felt as if I had been relieved of the bondage of slavery”. (Bukhari)
Lessons
  • I’m assuming this was early on in their marriage from the initial paragraph and you can see how Asma wasn’t expecting a free ride and constant pampering as a new bride – she was putting in effort right away to make sure her husband (and, in turn, her marriage!) would be happy. (Honeymoon’s over folks!) She would walk 10 miles! We complain about walking a few yards or cleaning our bedrooms or picking something off the ground. SubhanAllah.
  • She married a man who wasn’t extremely wealthy in the dunya sense – but in the deen, this man was rolling, mashaAllah. Talk about her priorities being set straight. (Zubayr, radhiaAllahu ‘anhu, was equated to being equal to 1000 men on the battlefield, he could fight with 2 of those hard-core swords, he was a Companion, and one of those guaranteed Jannah – uh, I think Asma hit the jackpot right there mashaAllah :))
  • She wasn’t good at making bread but she still tried – and she sought advice from those who could help her. It wasn’t ‘Oh, I can’t do this, so I’m not going to try.’ It was ‘Let me see how I can learn how to do this.’ Maybe she ‘failed’ at it a couple times, but afterwards, she knows how to make it for a lifetime inshaAllah!
  • The Ansar women are so sweet – may Allah reward them. They saw this newly married girl who needed some tips and help. Instead of acting like snobby aunties or annoying, competing, fellow newlyweds, they helped out their sister in Islam. Ansar rock, mashaAllah.
  • She’s not complaining anywhere… her life is hard, no doubt, but ‘With difficulty comes ease’ is probably something she lives by. Besides, how else will we get to Jannah if we don’t do anything that would entitle us to deserve it?
  • She cared about her husband and what he liked and disliked. It would’ve been easier to just take the free lift home (with the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, at that) but she knew that he wouldn’t like it. It didn’t matter how tired and exhausted she must have been. She still strove to please her husband.
  • Zubayr had gheerah – protective jealousy, but it wasn’t over-powering or destructive. He kept the needs and well-being of his wife in mind with this. His care for her well-being was strong and he arranged for a means to make sure she wouldn’t be labouring so hard. (Hey, doesn’t that sound like the cliche of the big, buff guy swooping in and taking care of the girl’s problems? ;))
  • True, Zubayr had gheerah, but he also had common sense. He prioritzed as well – to him, the labouring was worse than his wife riding a camel with the Prophet so he did something about it. Yes, he was a jealous man, but he was not a man who would be irrationally overtaken by his jealously.
  • Asma and Zubayr were able to properly communicate their daily dealings and come to a solution – Asma had a servant from her father so she wouldn’t have to labour so hard – making both happy. With hardship comes ease, does it not? A horse to help, a communicative relationship, and happy spouses…

Speaking of gheerah, where are the men of today with gheerah? I remember reading an article saying how some men enjoy seeing their women ‘flirting’ with other men because it makes them appreciate them more or want them more (because now some other guy also wants her) or some bakwaas like that. Um, that’s dumb. ‘Nuff said. If Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala blessed you with a spouse, appreciate them!

Also, I was thinking on a feminist side – of how some women get mad about having to always ‘please’ their husbands, but if you think about it, when the husband (or any person, in any relationship) is pleased, doesn’t that make you a happy person? So, it’s kind of a selfishly-good thing to do :). As well, Asma wasn’t the only one working on the pleasing – Zubayr did too (he looked to see how he could lessen the labour on her) – they had a give and take thing going on. Besides, the reward associated with pleasing your spouse kind of makes those ‘But I don’t want to because…’ factors seem obsolete. As Ali, radhiaAllahu ‘anhu would say, we need to set aside our pride and put down our arrogance.

May Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala be pleased with them.

Do you have any lessons to take?

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez

Shaykh Ahsan Hanif spoke about ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez last night. (Yes, I know I have other posts I said I would have up, but me thinks this one should totally go up first inshaAllah ;)). I loved his narrative style – he, may Allah preserve him, tells the story in such a way you feel like you are there and you can literally grab the practical lesson to take back with you into your life. Here it is:

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez, rahimahu Allah

In the Khilaafa of ‘Umar ibn AlKhattab, radhiaAllahu ‘anhu, ‘Umar would walk the alleyways of Madinah, every single night, checking on his ‘flock.’ One night, he came across a house in which he heard a woman telling her daughter to mix the milk with water, so they could sell more in the morning. The daughter replied saying that the Ameer ul Mu’mineen had forbidden doing so. The mother responded with ‘Where is he so that he can see us?’ The girl said if ‘Umar doesn’t know, then the Lord of ‘Umar does. Our religion is based upon what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says.

SubhanAllah, the only thing ‘Umar knew about this girl was that she had piety, a righteous upbringing. She had true taqwa. He went home and the next morning, sent one of his servants to find out more about her. The servant came back with one thing – that she had no father (he had passed away) so she lived alone with her mother and they were poor and needy.

‘Umar then gathered his sons, and upon the basis of ONE encounter, he asked which one of them wanted to get marred for he had found the most righteous woman of Madinah. SubhanAllah, ‘Umar could have married his sons to ANY woman – he was the Khalifaa! But no, he chose to have his sons marry this woman that he knew almost nothing about except the most important thing – that she had piety. One of his sons by the name of ‘Aasim married her. From their grandchildren, the great-grandson of ‘Umar ibn AlKhattab, came ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez.

Lessons:

  • The over-riding factor in this marriage was deen, piety. As the Khalifaa, ‘Umar could’ve gotten a girl who was beautiful, wealthy, and of great status for his sons but he chose to go for the best – deen.
  • True fear of Allah is behind closed doors – when no one is watching. This girl didn’t know ‘Umar was listening to her conversation. She said it as her first instinct – what she was taught to do.
  • The true power of piety – ‘Umar ibn AlKhattab was a pious man who sought a pious woman for his son. Neither him, nor his son or his daughter-in-law lived to see the reign of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez – but it is still massive sadaqah jariyah for them – righteous progeny.

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez was one of the greatest leaders and scholars of this time. He came at a time when the Ummah started to fall for the dunya – becoming attached to it rather than the deen. He grew up in Royalty as he was part of the Umayyid Dynasty, the Royal Family. His grandfather, Uncle, and brother-in-law were Khulafaa’ (which was based in Damscus at that time).

His father was the govenor of Egypt and in turn, extremely wealthy but he chose to send ‘Umar to Madinah to learn from the scholars there. A sign of a great scholar is that he teaches manners before ‘ilm – and ‘Umar quickly picked that up. Because he was a descendant of Mu’awiya (radhiaAllahu ‘anhu), his people would curse ‘Ali (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) so one day, ‘Umar did the same in front of his teacher. His teacher became angry and said ‘Wouldn’t it be better you remain silent about the man who the Prophet, sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said is like to him how Haroon (‘alayhis salaam) was to Musa (‘alayhis salaam).’ SubhanAllah, this lesson stayed wit him into his khilaafa, and it was during that time that people stopped this practice.

The fruit of knowledge is action. One day, at salah, one of ‘Umar’s teachers didn’t see him as the iqaamah was called out. After the first Takbeer was said, ‘Umar joined the Salah – just a few seconds late. After salah, his teacher asked him why he was late and ‘Umar replied that his servant took longer combing his hair so he was late. (He was of the Royal family!) The teacher, in turn, wrote a letter to his father, the governor of Eypt about this incident. His father sent his servant telling him say salaam to ‘Umar, tell him your father sent me, and then shave off his hair. After, say this is your punishment for coming late to salah. The servant went and did exactly this.

Lessons

  • Before ‘ilm is manners
  • It didn’t matter ‘Umar was of Royalty – his father sent him to learn deen because he knew the massive benefit associated with it. That is true investment.
  • ‘Umar was humble – when his teacher taught him something, he didn’t say ‘Oh, well my family does this.’ He used his intellect and thought about what his teacher said and applied it to his life
  • Way his father taught him a lesson –  he didn’t yell and scream at him. He taught him a practical lesson with hikmah – something he would remember for the rest of his life.
  • Fruit of knowledge is action
  • What is late for us in salah – how importantly do we take our salah? For us, making it before the salaam is early but is that really valuing and truly implementing our salah?
  • The immense hikmah in the father of ‘Umar and how he raised his son and how he taught him. His greatness came from his great upbringing.

In his time, the scholars would send people to ‘Umar, saying he knew more then them, subhanAllah. He eventually became the governor of Madinah and the people loved him. He loved justice and hated oppression – so Madinah flourished under his reign. Other governors became jealous from the fact the people loved him so much and hatched a plan to dispose of him.

Waleed ibn AbdulMaalik was his brother-in-law, the brother of his wife, Fatimah, and his cousin, as well as the current Khalifa. He was dying and asked his advisors for who he should appoint as his successor. His advisors said to appoint ‘Umar because of his justice, his family, and how the people loved him. Waleed knew his family wouldn’t like it because they were expecting a successor from them so the advisors said to also appoint the successor after ‘Umar to be from Waleed’s family, to make them happy. He put this in a letter and sealed it, and had his family give allegiance to this unknown person. When he died and the Khulafaa of ‘Umar was announced, his family was disappointed and ‘Umar would not accept it. He went to the people and said he was willing to step down – for them to appoint someone else. The people would not have it and ‘Umar was made Khalifaa.

He was Khalifaa for 30 months – from 99 Hijri to 101 Hijri but what he accomplished in 30 months, in his life of 40 years, is probably more than what we can accomplish in a life of 80 years. On his inaugaration, he rejected the riches of the palace and stuck with his donkey and his mud house. When foreign dignataries would come to visit him, they would find him with his hands in mud, fixing his house.

His wife, Fatima bint AbdulMaalik, was the daughter of a Khalifa, the sister of a Khalifa, and now became the wife of a Khalifa. When ‘Umar became Khalifa, he gave her two choices – to return all her jewels and riches (which came from the treasury) and stay with ‘Umar or to keep her wealth, and her way of living, and to divorce ‘Umar. She chose to stay. Some narrations say she returned everything except for two pairs of clothes. He then had his family also give back their wealth to the public treasury. Now, the royal family resembled normal, everyday people. His family went to his Aunt to have her talk some sense into him. She went to him with their complaint, asking for him to at least give back what they had. ‘Umar took a gold coin and threw it into the fire, waiting until it was red-hot. He took it out and asked her if he should put it on his cheek? She said of course not. He said, By Allah, if I let them keep it, on Yawm al Qiyaamah, Allah will burn me with it. His aunt understood after that.

Lessons

  • Just because he was a leader didn’t mean he ignored ‘ilm. Most scholars at that time would stay away from the rulers but ‘Umar was different.
  • The people loved ‘Umar – and that doesn’t come pleasing them. He pleased Allah by upholding justice and the laws of Allah, so the love of the people came.
  • A life of 40 years – a term of 30 months – and he accomplished so much. He was focused, he did it fee sabilillah, and he had his priorities set straight. We could do the same if we follow in his example.
  • Fatima, rahimahuAllah, was basically a Princess – she could have stayed with her life of luxury. For sure, other men would’ve wanted to marry her. But she chose ‘Umar, she chose the path that she felt would please Allah the most. (PS She was also a great scholar of her time!)
  • ‘Umar began with his family to eradicate oppression and injustice – it doesn’t work to tell others to do something you yourself do not do. He also explained it in such a way to his Aunt that was visual and totally understandable.

‘Umar would surround himself with scholars – and not poets like other Khulafaa (poets would just praise the Khalifa). He told the scholars to only speak aboout Islam and the hereafter – nothing about the dunya. One time he had a guest and the candle went out. The guest asked to call the servant but ‘Umar said he didn’t want to bother him, as he had fallen asleep. The guest said he would light the candle but ‘Umar said no, I am the host, you are the guest. ‘Umar got up and lit the candle and the guest said but you are Ameer ul Mu’mineen! ‘Umar replied with ‘When I stood, I was ‘Umar and when I sit, I’m still ‘Umar.’

He was a man of immsense worship. Fatima said he never spent a night peacefully because he was always checking on the people or in a state of prayer. She said the ground would be moist from his tears when he would get up. A scholar once said to him ‘Oh ‘Umar, you are one of the most powerful on Earth but remember, on the Day of Judgement, it only takes 1 or 2 men for Allah to throw you into Hell.’

One time, during Hajj, the people were racing back to their tents at Minnah. ‘Umar said, ‘Slow down, slow down, By Allah the one who wins today is not the one who would get to Minnah first but the one who is forgiven.’

He was so just during his khilaafa that the people wouldn’t accept Zakah – there were so much wealth for everyone that they didn’t need it. There was immense barakah in his reign.

This is one of my favourite stories. An army had been sent to conquer Mesapoor – which is a very mountainous region. The people were Christian, so the army should’ve have invited them to Islam and then given option of Jizyah. They didn’t because they feared the people running up into the mountains. They made a military decision and attacked and because of their sheer size, there was no actual battle, and Mesapoor was conquered. The Christian priests at that time knew this was not in accordance with Islamic teachings so they sent a messenger to ‘Umar. When he got the letter months later, he turned the letter over and wrote that the people have a valid complaint and for the governor to appoint a judge in this matter. When the reponse came a few more months later, the priests didn’t think anything would happen with a one-lined response. Immediately, action took place. A judge was appointed and he met with both sides, hearing their stories. He ruled in favour of the people of Mesapoor, saying ‘By Allah, we have not been sent to conquer land – we have been sent to spread Islam.’ The Muslims were commanded to leave by nightfall and to come again, with the invitation of Islam first. They did. The people of Mesapoor, overwehlmed at this, became Muslim because of their ettiquettes.

Lessons

  • Like ‘Umar ibn AlKhattab, he cared immensely about his people. He didn’t take a vacation or days off – he got right into his work and did it with ihsaan
  • How much are you to cry to make the ground *wet* from your tears?
  • He knew he was the leader and responsible for his people – the statement of the scholar sums it up nicely. ‘Umar lived his life in accordance to that because all it could take is for one act of oppression, one oppressed person, and ‘Umar is gone…
  • His immense hikmah in his speech and his dealings
  • From Valley of the Seekers, we saw the story of Mesapoor as living with ‘Al ‘Azeez and AlHaqq. ‘Umar based his Khulafaa’ on ‘izzah, on the haqq, and so it fluorished.
  • Actions speak louder than words!

‘Umar’s khulafaa was only 30 months because of the jealousy of the ruling family. They devised a plot to have his servant put poison in his food. When ‘Umar took a bite of that food, he knew immediately he was poisoned. He asked his servant why he had done so and his servant said because the family had payed him. ‘Umar forgave him and told him to go because the people would look to kill him. When he spoke to his advisors, they said he had left no inheritance for his children. He called his children to him and said he could have have given them the wealth from the treasury or he could have entrusted their affairs to Allah. He chose to entrust their affairs to Allah.

Some scholars call him the 5th rightly guided Khalifaa – after the likes of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar ibn AlKhattab, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali. There is a hadith mentioning that every 100 years or so, one man will come to revive the Ummah. Scholars say ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez was the first reviver of this Ummah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with him, accept his deeds, and grant him the highest level of Jannah. Ameen. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala grant us the tawfique to take lessons from his life and to implement them into our lives as actions! Ameen.

WaAllahu’alim.

A Sacred Conversation

Another amazing article… this time about Qiyaam.

A Sacred Conversation

by Yasmin Mogahed

4629988436_f32fec503a_bThere is a time of night when the whole world transforms. During the day, chaos often takes over our lives. The responsibilities of work, school, and family dominate much of our attention. Other than the time we take for the five daily prayers, it is hard to also take time out to reflect or even relax. Many of us live our lives at such a fast pace, we may not even realize what we’re missing.

But there is a time of night when work ends, traffic sleeps, and silence is the only sound. At that time—while the world around us sleeps—there is One who remains awake and waits for us to call on Him. We are told in the hadith qudsi: “Our Lord descends during the last third of each night to the lower heaven, and says: ‘Is there anyone who calls on Me that I may respond to him? Is there anyone who asks Me that I may give unto him? Is there anyone who requests My Forgiveness that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

One can only imagine what would happen if a king were to come to our door, offering to give us anything we want. One would think that any sane person would at least set their alarm for such a meeting. If we were told that at exactly one hour before dawn a check for $10,000,000 would be left at our doorstep, would we not wake up to take it?

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) has told us that at this time of night, just before dawn, He will come to His servants.  Imagine this. The Lord of the universe has offered us a sacred conversation with Him. That Lord waits for us to come speak with Him, and yet many of us leave Him waiting while we sleep in our beds. Allah (swt) comes to us and asks what we want from Him. The Creator of all things has told us that He will give us whatever we ask.

And yet we sleep.

There will come a day when this veil of deception will be lifted. The Qur’an says: “[It will be said], You were certainly in unmindfulness of this, and We have removed from you your cover, so your sight, this Day, is sharp.” (Qur’an 50:22).

On that Day, we will see the true reality. On that Day, we will realize that two rak`at (units) of prayer were greater than everything in the heavens and the earth. We will realize the priceless check that was left on our doorstep every night as we slept. There will come a day when we would give up everything under the sky just to come back and pray those two rak`at.

There will come a day when we would give up everything we ever loved in this life, everything that preoccupied our hearts and minds, every mirage we ran after, just to have that conversation with Allah. But on that Day, there will be some from whom Allah (swt) will turn away
 and forget, as they had once forgotten Him.

The Qur’an says: “He will say, ‘My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?’ [Allah] will say, ‘Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.’” (Qur’an, 20:125-126) In Surat al-Mu’minoon, Allah says: “Do not cry out today. Indeed, by Us you will not be helped.” (Qur’an, 23:65)

Can you imagine for a moment what these ayat (verses) are saying? This is not about being forgotten by an old friend or classmate. This is about being forgotten by the Lord of the worlds. Not hellfire. Not boiling water. Not scalded skin. There is no punishment greater than this.

And as there is no punishment greater than this, there is no reward greater than what the Prophet ï·ș describes in the following hadith:  

 

“When those deserving of Paradise would enter Paradise, the Blessed and the Exalted would ask: Do you wish Me to give you anything more? They would say: Hast Thou not brightened our faces? Hast Thou not made us enter Paradise and saved us from Fire? He would lift the veil, and of things given to them nothing would be dearer to them than the sight of their Lord, the Mighty and the Glorious.” [Sahih Muslim]

But one does not need to wait until that Day to know the result of this nighttime meeting with Allah (swt). The truth is, there are no words to describe the overwhelming peace in this life from such a conversation. One can only experience it to know. Its effect on one’s life is immeasurable. When you experience qiyam, the late night prayer the rest of your life transforms. Suddenly, the burdens that once crushed you become light. The problems that were irresolvable become solved. And that closeness to your Creator, which was once unreachable, becomes your only lifeline.

Originally Posted Here.