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Archive for April, 2010

Being Attentive in Prayer

al-Hasan, may Allāh mercy on him, said, ‘When you stand in prayer, stand in due obedience as Allāh has ordered you, beware of negligence and looking (here and there), beware that Allāh be looking at you while you are looking at something else, asking Allāh for Paradise and taking refuge with Him from the Fire, yet your heart is heedless, not knowing what the tongue is saying.’ It was recorded by Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi , may Allāh have mercy on him. (1)

Isam ibn Yusuf, may Allāh have mercy on him, passed by Hatim al-Asamm who was talking in his gathering . He asked, ‘Hatim, have you made your prayer good?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ He asked, ‘How do you pray?’ He replied, ‘I stand at the command, I walk in fear, I commence with the intention, I perform the takbir bearing in mind His greatness, I recite at a measured pace, carefully and with contemplation, I bow with khushu‘, I prostrate in meekness, I sit and read the whole tashahhud, and then I perform the salam in accordance to the Sunnah. I pray with sincerity to Allāh, Mighty and Magnificent, and yet I fear that it will not be accepted of me; however I will preserve it as much as I can until I die.’ He said, ‘Keep talking for you have indeed excelled in your prayer.’

Footnotes:

1. Marwazi, Ta’zim al-Qadr al-Salah # 140

  • Transcribed from: The Humility in Prayer | al-Khushu’ fi’l Salah | Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali
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The Many Guises of Backbiting

Shaykhul-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah, said that there are those from the people that backbite or listen to backbiting, and they do so to please the company they keep, with the awareness that the victim is likely to be innocent of some of the things that are uttered about him. Often such offenders feel that if they were to attempt to end such conversation in a gathering, their presence might become unwelcome or burdensome.

There are many methods and guises that are employed when one mentions another in a negative way. Under the pretense of being informative, one could say that it is not one’s habit to mention others, except for the sake of relating another’s condition to someone. Or one could state that by Allāh, indeed so-and-so is one to be pitied, thereby showing superiority over one who is to be rejected. Another method might be to say that so-and-so is a good person; however, he has such and such qualities. Again, one is justified in revealing another’s faults. One could also simply state that we should forget so-and-so, and make supplication for their forgiveness as well as our own, intending only to belittle the one that was mentioned. In reality, all these tactics are designed to try to deceive Allāh (the Exalted) and to please the creation; in reality, many that follow these methods only serve to deceive themselves.

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Consider a King

The scholars agree that Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) did not send from the heavens to the earth a better reminder or a stronger admonition than contemplation and knowledge. The human being should contemplate that Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala), the All-Mighty, the All-High is watching him, and that – praise be to Him (subhanahu wa ta’ala) – He knows everything that is hidden and which is disclosed. The scholars demonstrated that great admonition by an example which makes the conceivable as tangible – Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has the Most Superior example – they said:

If we suppose there is a king who never spares anybody from being killed, a king who is strong and firm, his executioner under his command, with blood shed on the floor, and the king has his daughters and wives around, can anybody think of seducing them or commit a crime at that moment while the king is looking at him? No, of course not. Every one of those present would be full of fright, with their eyes silently gazing, waiting for the moment to be far away from this place to safety.

No doubt Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) who is the Most Superior example is most highly Informed and All-Knowing, than that king. He would be more severe in punishment. His sacred boundaries on the earth are His Commands. If the residents of a village know that their governor would know in the morning of every single deed they committed during the night, they would be fearful and would commit no sins.

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