Author Archives: Mariam 3.36

Fear Allah’s Punishment but Hope for His Mercy

Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawzi (in Madarij As-Salikeen) said:

The heart in its journey towards Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) is like a bird; its head is love, and its two wings are hope and fear. When the head and the two wings are sound and healthy, then the bird will fly well. If the head of the bird is cut off, it immediately dies, and when either or both wings are deficient, the bird cannot fly properly and it may become the victim of a hunter that passes by.

From this analogy we learn that without love of Allah we cannot successfully “journey towards Him,” and without hope in Allah’s mercy or fear from His punishment, we may be easy victims for Shaytaan (أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم).

So the Muslim, then, with resolute love for Allah [1] (سبحانه وتعالى), lives between hope and fear. He “call[s] upon Allah out of fear and hope,” [2] and he “forsake[s] [his] bed, to invoke [his] Lord in fear and hope, and [he] spend[s] (charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them.” [3]

Fear

Imam Ahmad recorded from ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنها‏): I said: “O Messenger of Allah, ‘And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear, because they are sure to return to their Lord,’ [4] are these the ones who steal and commit zina and drink alcohol while fearing Allah?” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “No, O daughter of As-Siddiq, they are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity, while fearing that it will not be accepted from them,” (i.e. it is these who hasten in the good deeds.) At-Tirmidhi recorded something similar.

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه‏) said: If an angel had come down and announced that everyone would enter paradise except one person, I would fear that I would be that person. This is ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second khalifa, and one of the ten promised paradise! Subhanallah!

And how do we increase our fear of Allah’s punishment?

Ibn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه‏) said: “If a person has knowledge, he will fear Allah.” So we should increase our knowledge. And The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, as narrated by Anas (رضي الله عنه‏): “I swear by The One in Whose Hand my soul is, if you saw what I saw you would laugh little, and cry excessively.” The people said, “O Prophet of Allah! What did you see?” He (صلي الله عليه وسلم) replied, “I saw Paradise and Hell.” [Saheeh Muslim]. So we should reflect on the punishment of “him who ‘tagha’ (transgressed all bounds, in disbelief, oppression and evil deeds of disobedience to Allah), and preferred the life of this world. Verily, his abode will be Hellfire,” [5], the “Fire whose fuel is men and stones.” [6]

Hope

Anas reported that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) entered upon a young boy who was dying. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) asked: “How are you?” The boy replied: “O Messenger of Allah, I am in-between hoping in Allah and fearing for my sins.” The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “The like of these two qualities do not unite in the heart of a servant except that Allah gives him what he hopes for and protects him from what he feared.” [a hasan hadith – Collected by at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Maajah, and authenticated by Al-Albaanee in Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz (no. 2).]

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه‏) also said: and if the angel had come down and announced that everyone will enter Hellfire except for one person, I would hope to be that person.

And Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says:

وَلاَ تَيْأَسُواْ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

Translation: and never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy. Certainly, no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” [Surah Yusuf, verse 87]

And so “to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations.” [7] And ask yourself:

مَّا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًا

Translation: What is the matter with you, [that you don’t fear Allah (His punishment), and] you don’t hope for reward (from Allah, or you believe not in His Oneness)? [8]


[قُل لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُون [1
Translation: Say (O Muhammad): “Not equal are the filthy things with the wholesome, even though the abundance of evil filth may please you.” So fear Allah much [(abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], O men of understanding in order that you may be successful. [Suratul Ma’idah, verse 100]
[2] وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا [Suratul-A’raaf, verse 56]
[3] تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ [Suratus-Sajdah, verse 16]
[4] وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ [Suratul-Mu’minuun, verse 60]
[5] فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَى وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَى [Suratun-Nazi’at, verses 37-39]
[6] فَاتَّقُواْ النَّارَ الَّتِي وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ [Suratul-Baqarah, verse 24]
[7] وَإِلَى رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ [Surat-Ash-Sharh, verse 8]
[8] مَّا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًا [Surat-Nuh, verse 13]

References

Abdul-Bary Yahya. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Purification of the Heart: Love, Fear & Tears. Part 2: The Two Wings of the Believer.

Abu Iyaad As-Salafi. Salafipublications.com. On Eeman, Ibaadah and Tawheed: Their Link and Interrelation. Lesson 3: Love, Hope and Fear.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Where will they Flee when the One True God is the Pursuer?

Victory comes only by the decree and permission of Allah, and this is true whether the victory is a small personal victory (like meeting a personal goal), the victory of a nation (like winning a battle), or the victory of passing the tests of dunya (like overcoming temptation and lowering your gaze). The evidence that supports this rule is ample, and the quality of the evidence—subhaanAllah, the stories are amazing! One such story comes from Suratul-Fil (The Elephant), and even a moment of reflection upon the story resonates with a message about the Supreme Power of Allah.

Allah says, in Suratul-Fil:

أَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ كَيْدَهُمْ فِي تَضْلِيلٍ. وَأَرْسَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْراً أَبَابِيلَ. تَرْمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ. فَجَعَلَهُمْ كَعَصْفٍ مَّأْكُولٍ.

Translation: Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant? Did He not make their plan into misguidance? And He sent against them birds in flocks, striking them with stones of hard clay, and He made them like eaten straw. [Surah , verses 1-5]

In short, the conflict leading to the march of the Elephants began when the emperor of Yemen (Abrahah) decided to force the Arabs to make pilgrimage to a church he built for the King of Abyssinia. The Quraysh acted out in anger, so Abrahah took an army of elephants to destroy the House of Makkah (Ka’bah). Among these elephants was Mahmud, an elephant sent by the King of Abyssinia specifically to demolish the Ka’bah. Abrahah’s army defeated several troops on their way to Makkah and then captured the livestock of the Makkan people.

Before attacking the city, Abrahah told the Makkans that he would not fight them as long as they did not try to prevent him from destroying the Ka’bah. ‘Abdul-Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), replied by saying, “By Allah! We have no wish to fight him, nor are we in any position to do so. This is the Sacred House of Allah, and the house of His Khalil, Ibrahim, and if He wishes to prevent him (Abrahah) from (destroying) it, it is His House and His Sacred Place (to do so). And if He lets him approach it, by Allah, we have no means to defend it from him.”

Abrahah met ‘Abdul-Muttalib and they had a short but telling conversation. In it ‘Abdul-Muttalib only asked for the return of his 200 camels (which were among the livestock Abrahah’s army had captured). Abrahah (probably as surprised as you are) replied by saying, “I was impressed by you when I first saw you, but now I withdraw from you after you have spoken to me. You are asking me about 200 camels which I have taken from you, and you leave the matter of a house which is (the foundation of) religion and the religion of your fathers, which I have come to destroy and you do not speak to me about it.” But ‘Abdul-Muttalib said to him, “Verily, I am the lord of the camels. As for the House, it has its Lord who will defend it.”

Other Makkans tried to offer Abrahah money to withdraw, but he refused to accept. Before retreating for their safety, ‘Abdul-Muttalib (and other Quraysh) went to the door of the Ka’bah and asked Allah to give them victory over the approaching army and to defend His property saying, “Their cross and their cunning will not be victorious over your cunning by the time morning comes.” According to some accounts, the people also left camels near the Ka’bah, hoping that some of the army would steal the camels and thereby bring about the anger of Allah—SubhaanAllah look at the strategy of their battle!

Before Nufayl bin Habib (one of the Makkans) left, he took Mahmud by the ear and said, “Kneel Mahmud! Then turn around and return directly to where you came from, for verily, you are in the Sacred City of Allah.” The men of Abrahah’s army beat Mahmud with axes on its head and tried to trick it into moving, but Mahmud would not move toward the Ka’bah. Then Allah sent birds, flock after flock, carrying stones, one in each claw, and one in each beak. Those who were hit by the stones were destroyed utterly, while others fled in panic. As Nufayl watched he said, “Where will they flee when the One True God is the Pursuer?”

SubhaanAllah! Victory comes only by the decree and permission of Allah, and as you think about the battles of this life and the battles for the next, the words of Nufayl resonate with eternal truth. So next time you are tempted to sin or feel bad for those who are suffering defeat in this dunya, remember the words of Nufayl and make du’aa for those who are suffering, for where will the aggressors or the sinners flee when the One True God is the Pursuer?

I ask Allah to make us of those who are blessed with His favour and to spare us from being of those who have earned His wrath. Ameen.

All that correct in the above narration is from Allah, and any error is my own—May Allah forgive me—and Allah knows best.

Sources

Al-Mubarakpuri, Safiur-Rahman, ed. Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged). 1st ed. Vol. 10. Riyadh: Darussalam, 2000. 588-594.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Just Two More?!

In Suratul-Furqaan (Surah 25), ayah 63, Allah begins a description of what is translated as “the slaves of Ar-Rahmaan (Allah)…”

…عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ

In ayah 64, He describes these “slaves” by saying:

َالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّداً وَقِيَاماً …

This is translated as: those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrating (in sujood) and standing.

Tafsir ibn Kathir explains this ayah, and compares it to ayahs 17-18 from Suratuth-Thaariyaat (Surah 51):

كَانُوا قَلِيلاً مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

Translation: They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope]. And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness. [Surah Ath-Thaariyaat] (translated by Muhsin Khan).

Ibn Kathir explains that this is a “good act” that the Muhsinun (good-doers) perform. [1]

According to a footnote in the The Noble Qur’an: English Translation of the meanings and commentary, Tafsir Al-Qurtubi states:

Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه‏) said: “Whoever prayed two rak’at or more after the ‘Isha (night) prayer, will be considered like those mentioned in this verse [i.e. V.25:64].” And Al-Kalbi said: “Whosoever prayed two rak’at after the Maghrib (evening) prayer, and four rak’at after the ‘Isha (night) prayer will be considered like those mentioned in this verse.”

SubhanAllah, I imagine most people probably already pray at least two ruk’as after Maghrib and three after ‘Isha (two ruk’as sunnah and then one for witr), so all that remains is two more ruk’ah! Just two more ruk’ah to qualify under one of the acts performed by the muhsinoon? Under the criteria presented by Ibn ‘Abbas and Al-Kalbi (رضي الله عنهما‏) it seems the answer is YES, wallahu ta’aala a’alem (and Allah, exalted is He, knows best)!

Just two more ruk’ah every night—By the permission of Allah, let’s make it a habit for His sake!

May He make us of the Muhsinun and those with whom He is well pleased. Ameen!

References

Ibn Kathir. “Tafsir Ibn Kathir.” Quran Tafsir. 28 June 2008 <http://qtafsir.com/>.

Khan, Muhsin, trans. “Qur’an.” Islamic Network. 28 June 2008 <http://www.searchquran.net>.

Dr. Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhsin Khan. The Noble Qur’an: English Translation of the meanings and commentary.

Footnotes

[1] The “Muhsinun” are identified in ayahs 15-16 of the same surah (Surah 51). The ayahs are translated as: “Verily, the Muttaqun (pious – see V.2:2) will be in the midst of hardens and springs (in Paradise), taking joy in the things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before this Muhsinun (good-doers – see V.2:112).”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

“Do You Not Love that Allah Should Forgive You?”

SubhanAllah, we all know the story about the accusations that were forged against ‘Aishah (رضالله عنها), but in addition to that story, the tafsir for Surat An-Nur (Surah 24), ayah 22, reveals another story–a story of forgiveness, a story of compassion, a story demonstrating the superiority of those who act for the sake of Allah (may Allah make us of them).


Mistah was the cousin of As-Siddiq (رضالله عنه). He was the son of Abu Bakr’s maternal aunt, and a poor man with no wealth except whatever Abu Bakr spent on him. He was one of those who had migrated for the sake of Allah, and he invented the lies and the slander against ‘Aishah (رضالله عنها).

As-Siddiq (Abu Bakr) was known for his generosity, and he did favors for his relatives and strangers alike; but when Allah revealed the ayah to confirm ‘Aishah’s innocence (from the slander invented by Mistah), Abu Bakr (رضالله عنه) swore he would not help Mistah. In fact, he said, “By Allah, I will never spend on him,” (and in another version, “By Allah, I will never provide for Mistah anything after what he has said about ‘Aishah.”)

Then Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) revealed:

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُوْلُوا الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُوْلِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Translation: And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give to their kinsmen, al-Masaakeen [the poor], and those who left their homes for Allah’s Cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Al-Ghafuwr (the Most-Forgiving), Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful). [Surah Noor, verse 22]

This is part of the patience, generosity and kindness of Allah towards His creation, despite the fact that they wrong themselves. After Allah revealed the innocence of the Mother of the believers, ‘Aishah, the believers were happy and content with the outcome of the incident. Those believers who had talked about the matter repented, and the prescribed punishment had been carried out upon those on whom it was carried out. Then, Allah softened the heart of As-Siddiq towards his relative Mistah bin Uthathah.

When Allah revealed, “Do you not love that Allah should forgive you,”–which shows that the reward fits the action, and that if you forgive others, you will be forgiven,–then As-Siddiq (Abu Bakr) said, “Of course, by Allah, we love–o our Lord–that You should forgive us.” Then he resumed his spending on Mistah and said, “By Allah I will never stop spending on him.”


SubhanAllah, after everything his family and his daughter went through as a result of the slanderous tale, all it took was one ayah and a reminder about forgiveness and the Forgiveness of Allah. May Allah grant us the wisdom and ability to be stubborn and strong when stubbornness and strength are necessary, and to be gentle and forgiving when gentleness and forgiveness are appropriate. May He grant us the status of those who love for His sake and hate for His sake. Ameen!

Source: Much of this is quoted directly from Tafsir Ibn Katheer, though sections also come from Women Around the Messenger by Muhammad ‘Ali Qutb.

Any error is my own, and all that is good and correct is from Allah.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail