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Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

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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How easy it is to get caught up in this dunya, to become ensnared by its glitter, to become lured by its temptations, to become captivated by its fleeting enjoyments. A guise covers our eyes, such that we become immersed in this life and seemingly forget the Hereafter. And indeed, insaan (man) forgets of the eternal life that awaits, and the impending judgment that looms large. And insaan forgets death, even while the fact that others are dying while they themselves remain should serve as the ultimate reminder. And insaan forgets of the torment and torture of Hellfire and the eternal bliss and happiness of Paradise as so vividly described in the Qur’aan.

We forget – for if we were cognizant of these realities, aware of them with yaqeen (certainty) and a firm resolution, would we be in such a state of ghaflah (heedlessness) by which our hearts are attached to this world and forgetful of the Hereafter? Indeed it would not be so.

So awaken, oh sleepy ones, awaken from your heedlessness. The akhirah awaits us, death is coming, our graves are ready and our judgment is impending. Our destinations are unknown, so we must strive ever more so towards a good end and race towards the Pleasure of Allaah.

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Dr Saleh As Saleh Passes Away

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.

Shock overtook me upon hearing this news from a sister on Friday. Yet it later morphed into an uncertainty (of the validity of the news). I sought to confirm it – I thought perhaps it was a mistake, perhaps it was a miscommunication — or perhaps it was I, who didn’t want to accept such saddening news. And when the confirmation arrived, the inevitable reality set in: Dr Saleh As Saleh did indeed pass away.

Muhammad Al Jibaly stated as much (through his yahoo group) on Friday:

“I did not believe the news at first, but just called his phone, and his wife confirmed it to me, and said he was too exhausted, and this was the main cause of his death (at the young age of about 50). She said his body is now in al-Ansar hospital, and will be buried tomorrow morning in al-Baqee’.

His passing on Jumu’ah, and in the Prophet’s Masjid while performing ‘ibaadah, are indeed very good indicators. May Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) forgive him, augment his good deeds tremendously, and admit him to Jannah in the company of the prophets and the most righteous.”

He was a service to the ummah, the embodiment of humility and sincere dedication. SubhaanAllah, the time he gave to his students was awe-inspiring, both teaching the lessons and entertaining any questions we may have afterwards. It was easy to forget the time difference, subhaanAllah, but he would teach very late into the night, even in the event that he had to teach a class the very next morning. This alone, the consistency and dedication in conducting these classes, was itself enough for us to hold him in the highest esteem and make him one of the most influential of people in our lives, but by Allah, there was more, more that we benfitted from.

The classes were not such a far-removed experience, for it was not solely the words that were written that one took from the class, but the manner in which they were delivered and the circumstances by which they arrived. The humility and dedication, the sabr and the modesty, the beautiful akhlaaq and hikmah – this is what resonates for me when I think of him. SubhaanAllah, in the past, scholars would give lessons, and there would be those in the congregation that were diligently taking notes and others who were not, the latter were observers of the Shaykh’s mannerisms, etiquettes and akhlaaq. And while this benefit many say come from learning at ‘the feet of the Shaykh’, I can attest that even while his students weren’t physically in his presence, walhamdulillah, they benefitted greatly by way of observing his akhlaaq. That in itself has left an imprint on us all, subhaanAllah. But, by Allah, there was more, more that we benfitted from.

The precedence he gave to the NonMuslims was also admirable, sometimes interrupting the lesson to embark on yet another da’wah oppurtunity. And how many NonMuslims came to Islam because of the propagation of Islam in the room, I cannot say, but those who were given the opportunity to witness it, both the da’wah and the subsequent shahadah that followed know of the heart-softening experiences those opportunities provided, mashaAllah.

When you entered the room it was as if you were transported to a different reality, a congregation of knowledge, students eager for this ‘ilm, warm welcomes abound, this all, in the presence of one who had garnered immense respect from his students, rahimuhullah. It was as if a web of tranquilty and calm descended, but also a feeling of hope and bliss (for the larger Ummah, that is, that extended beyond these PalTalk room walls – for the students’ consistency and their love for their teacher, infused such happiness in those who witnessed it, and gave light to a new wave of the Muslimeen, eager to attain this knowledge, and inshaaAllah bring it to action). Undoubtedly this happiness too came from the personality of the Shaykh, his humor many a time brought a smile and laughter to our faces. But, by Allah, there was more that we benefitted from.

The in-depth nature of the ‘ilm distinguished the classes right away, subhaanAllah, how many ‘points of benefit’ we could derive from just one ayah, or just one hadeeth. I remember this very feeling of amazement upon my very first class, Tafseer Surah Yaseen, Ayah 23. Perhaps I was expecting a more general lesson on the surah itself, but when we finished I realized how many beneficial points were to be extracted from that one ayah alone, subhaanAllah. But, by Allah, there was more we benefitted from.

The accessibility of the Shaykh, mashaaAllah, was a familiar and constant reality. When Islaamic questions arose during the day, we knew we’d have the opportunity to ask them during the Q&A sessions after class (which were alhamdulillah, like another lesson in themselves). Yet, he did not only make himself available via his PalTalk classes, but would entertain questions via email as well. I received an answer to my question in a mere matter of hours, subhaanAllah. It’s a wonder he, rahimuhullah, had the time and effort to undertake all these responsibilites, but truly Allah ta’ala puts barakah in the time of those who are immersed in his worship and its propagation to the masses.

Yet while we may write of him, recounting our beautiful and fondest memories, the ultimate tribute does not lie in words, but in actions. That is, benefitting from his works, so that the ‘ilm remains even after his demise; so that his beneficial advice will not fall on deaf ears but that the ‘ilm translates to action – such that the naseeha that he presented, the wisdom that he exuded and the akhlaaq that he displayed is not lost, but that it resonates with the Muslimeen who truly loved him for the sake of Allaah ta’ala and those who will come to know of him for generations to come.

May Allah ta’ala engulf him in His Mercy, forgive his sins, accept his deeds, and admit him into the highest level of Jannah. Ameen.

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Relentless Excuses

Honesty – a prized and most commendable trait. Yet this very trait seems to leave us in the times we need it most. When we are faced with fitaan, it seems our morality is oft times thrown out the window. Instead our hawaa [desires] take over, as we delude ourselves into lessening the haraam act with the excuses, in order to appease our conscience. And this is done time and time again.

In many situations the haraam will not come except that it is accompanied by justifications, reasons, and excuses. For how could one with emaan ever feel secure and sound in falling into that which is prohibited? And let this feeling of guilt and the quick formulation of excuses be a sign, a warning of sorts, inciting ourselves to check our intentions and our actions – will this please Allah ‘azza wa jaal, or rather is it simply hawaa that may earn Allah’s anger? For indeed we fear a punishment, most great.

SubhaanAllah, when will we own up to our actions? When will we look in the mirror and realize our faults? For how does one change if they are blind to the reality, continuously making excuses for themselves? And wallahu ‘alam, it is these excuses that will prove most destructive. For perhaps the Muslim was once at a state where they committed the haraam, and while their desires took the best of them, that voice of reason was relentless, allowing them to feel guilt lowering their head, for the shame they felt. Yet with the consistent excuses, this voice – once strong – became smaller and smaller, and the whispers of Shaytaan began to take effect, such that the voice became nonexistent and the guilt slowly disappeared as the many excuses made the haraam more and more acceptable. While indeed that head, once lowered in shame, begins to rise higher and higher to a point where they feel no shame and now have no problem exposing their sins openly, for all to see.

Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The believer regards his sin as if he were sitting beneath a mountain which he fears may fall on him, whereas the sinner regards his sin as if a fly lands on his nose and he swipes it away.”

Tread carefully, lest you become the latter – one whose sins become insignificant such that one thinks them so small, so unrecognizable and ultimately, acceptable.

 

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وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ

And We have indeed made the Qur’ân easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)? (Al-Qamar 54:17)

 

Many set out on this journey, that of memorizing the Qur’aan. The intention is there, but the completion requires action, ikhlaas, a passion and desire to reach that end-goal, seeking the Pleasure of Allaah ‘azza wa jall. It requires sacrifice, it requires attention, and it requires time. Envisioning that end-goal keeps you going, and the sweetness of this reality becomes imminent after the completion of the next surah and the next juz successively.

But some may view the end-goal as a far off and distant reality, if you think of it as such, you won’t give the Qur’aan the precedence it deserves and will rather push off memorization. Setting the expectations with regards to the amount you will memorize in a certain time will make you accountable and increase the seriousness of this goal. And how easy it is for this goal to linger, without any commitment or action, having it remain stagnant. Indeed, we give ourselves excuses, that of school, work, family obligations, so on and so forth. Through it all, it is the Qur’aan that remains on our shelves, untouched and forgotten. But what if we were of those who gave precedence to this deen, precedence to the Qur’aan, viewing this as the ultimate priority, if we ‘gave our excuses a black eye’, if we sincerely sought the Pleasure of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala, set out to memorize His Book and worked fervently to do so. This goal of memorizing the Qur’aan perhaps would not waver in the balance, and being amongst the huffadh would become [inshaa’Allaah ta’ala] a forthcoming reality.

The following video is such a touching and moving one, an inspiration, mashaa’Allah, documenting an amazing accomplishment. The child has completed memorizing the Qur’aan, and what follows are tears of happiness, sujuud ash-shukr, and embrace. May Allah ta’ala allow him to be of those who recite the Qur’aan and act upon it, preserving the Qur’aan and its message. Aameen.

 

This is success; alhamdulillaah it is happiness on an entirely different level. It truly shows that sweetness of reaching your destination, of reaching the journey’s end, and completing your goal. But here I may be mistaken – for the journey never ends, like that of seeking knowledge, it is an endless endeavor. For even when you’ve memorized the Qur’aan, the revision process begins – that which will continue until death reaches you, inshaa’Allah, such that the words of the Qur’aan become easy for you to recite and you do so with conviction and understanding. May we give precedence to this deen and memorizing the Qur’aan. Allahumma Aameen.

A reminder to myself first and then my fellow Muslims inshaa’Allaah.

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