Just as hereditary disposition is hidden (1), “bad characteristics are [also] hidden;” (2) because character is transferable, and [first] impressions are major abductors of hearts, and people are like the flocks of birds, naturally disposed to imitating one another; so beware of associating with whosoever is to this liking; for it is indeed destruction, and “prevention is better than cure.”
Therefore, choose the best for companionship and friendship; someone who will help you in your quest, in drawing nearer to your Lord, and agrees with you in your noble objective and intention. Take [from me] the most precise gauge in categorizing friends: (3)
- A friend who befriends you [solely] for his welfare.
- A friend who befriends you [solely] for fun.
- A friend who befriends you for virtue.
As regards the first two [categories of friends], then their [relationship] with you is cut off when the necessitating reason [for which they befriended you] is fulfilled: the attainment of welfare in the first and fun in the second.
As for the third category, then this is the one we will concentrate on. He is the one who is driven into a friendship due to mutual benefit in the firm establishment of virtue in both people.
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Abu Nu’aym and others record on the authority of Kumayl ibn Ziyad, from ‘Ali (radiAllāhu ‘anhu) who said,
People are of three categories: the erudite and wise scholar; a student of knowledge traversing the path to salvation; and the confused rabble, following anyone, bending along with every wind, not enlightened by the light of knowledge and having no firm support.
Then after talking about the superiority of knowledge, he proceeded to say,
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Indeed a time has long passed upon the Ummah of Islām when people used to enter the religion of Allāh (i.e. Islām) in crowds and groups on the part of what they saw of the people of the religion (i.e. Muslims) from the completeness of their morals, the beauty of their social graces, and the goodness of their social interaction in all aspects.
I read a statement of the great scholar, ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Ibn Baaz, may Allāh have mercy upon him and give him a place in paradise, in which he swore by Allāh and said:
The Muslims today, rather the entire world, are in more intense need of a clarification of Allāh’s religion (i.e. Islām), a demonstration of its good qualities, and an explanation of its reality. I swear by Allāh, if the people and the world truly knew its reality today, indeed they would have entered it in multitudes, just like they entered it in multitudes after Allāh had granted victory to His Prophet salAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam over Makkah. 1
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Discontentment is a trait of an impatient individual whose very own intolerant disposition prevents them from receiving rewards from Allah. Moreover, their sinful behavior leads them to being overwhelmed by their difficulties. Consequently, they are besieged by two afflictions: problems in their religion caused by their unhappiness and the weight of the hardship that befell them in the first place.
To the contrary, the truly patient believer controls him or herself at the onset of their difficulty. Yes, they do not like that this calamity has happened to them, but they patiently control themselves. He or she refrains from uttering anything or doing anything that would anger Allah. Nor does this believer harbor ill-feelings in their heart towards the Most Wise. In spite of their trials and mishaps, this person is patient. The contented one is at ease and totally calm during their adversity as though nothing has occurred.
Patient and grateful believers express their gratitude to Allah for whatever befalls them. This was they way of the Messenger of Allah. Whenever he saw something that displeased him, he would say, “Praise belongs to Allah.”
Hence, displaying gratitude to Allah results in Allah giving this person a reward greater than the misery they suffered. Case in point, once there was a devout believing woman who possessed a serious ailment in her fingers. Despite the pain, she constantly praised Allah. “How is it that you praise Allah and you’re suffering great pain in your fingers?” she was asked. She replied, “The sweetness of its reward causes me to disregard the bitterness of patience.” Allah is the One who grants success.
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In solitude, there is sweetness.
In solitude, while intently pondering over your state and your situation, you chance upon thoughts that have gone unnoticed. Perhaps these thoughts were inactive, they lingered in your mind but were buried somewhere in the chaos that is life. Contemplation awakened these thoughts, made you conscious of them and acutely aware of their existence.
In the quietness in which your own thoughts are your company, you are made to reflect introspectively and ponder over weighty matters, at times arriving at profound conclusions. And what amazing – indeed essential – reflections one may arrive at, what meaningful ruminations one may engage in, when they are in the company of none save themselves, when their unadulterated voice shines through, when truth is brought to the fore and one may see situations as they truly are. For is it not the case that one must step away from a situation they are engrossed in to see the bigger picture? Is it not true that distance gives one perspective?
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Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim, rahimahullaah, said:
It is quite amazing how it can be easy upon a person to be cautious and wary with regards to [different impermissible acts such as]: eating from unlawful means, oppression, adultery and fornication, stealing, drinking intoxicants, looking at prohibited things and the likes, and yet quite difficult for him to be careful about the movement of his tongue. So bad that you find a person towards whom the people point to concerning his practice of the Religion, his asceticism, and worship, and despite this he says statements that anger Allaah greatly and he shows no concern about this, yet this statement will take him [to a Fire] that is farther than distance between east and west. (1)
How many people do you see from amongst those who have enough piety to abstain from lewd, indecent acts, oppression and wrong doing, but their tongues rip apart the honor of both the dead and the living and they show not a care in the least.
(1) Just as al-Bukhaaree (no. 6477) and Muslim (no. 2988) have collected on the authority of Aboo Hurayrah.
- Source: “al-Jawaabul-Kaafee/adDaa wad-Dawaa”.
- Transcribed from: The Appendix of “An Explanation of the Hadeeth: “Say, ‘I believe in Allah’, and then be upright and steadfast.” | Ibn Rajab
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- It is reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basri that a man said to him, “You have gossiped about me.” He (Al-Hasan) said, “You have not reached such a position that you can control my hasanaat!” 1
- Someone was told, “So-and-so has gossiped about you.” So he sent him a dish of dates with the message: “I heard that you had given me your hasanaat as a gift, and I want to return the favour; please excuse me for not being able to pay back in full.”
- It is reported from Ibn al-Mubarak (may Allah have mercy on him) that he said, “If I were to indulge in backbiting about anyone, I would gossip about my parents, for they have more right to my hasanaat.”
- Backbiting is the hospitality of the wrongdoer
- ‘Amr ibn al-’Aas (radiAllahu ‘anhu) narrated that he passed by a dead mule and said to some of his companions, “It would be better for a man to eat his fill from the meat of this than from the flesh of his fellow Muslims.” 2 Continue Reading »
Posted in fitnah | Tagged backbiting, gheebah | 5 Comments »