Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Abu ad-Dardaa' on Dunyaa

Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that someone asked Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, to advise him, he replied: "Remember Allaah when you are comfortable, He will remember you when you are in difficulty, and when you set your eyes upon something in this world, think about how it will end!"

Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, said: "It would not be my greatest pleasure to open a vending shop at the threshold of the mosque, and even if it were to bring me three hundred dinars of net business per day, or even if it would help me, by being there, not to miss a single congregational prayer at the mosque. I am not saying that Allaah, the Lord of majesty and glory, did not make trading permissible or that He did not forbid usury, I am only desiring to be among those, [Qur’aan, 24:37]"

Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, once said: "If only you knew what you will certainly see upon your death, you would never again eat a single bite out of a craving appetite, and you would never again drink an extra sip of water for the pleasure of unquenchable and insatiable thirst. Hence, you will remain outdoor in perpetuity, bewildered and awaiting the unexpected, and you will never again seek comfort in a shelter or seek a shade. You will wander aimlessly and climb the hilltops of every mountain, you will look up towards the heavens and beseech your Lord for mercy, and you will beat on your chest and cry endlessly, and you will wish that you were a little vegetable - a pant which is protected to grow, and then plucked to be eaten by a hungry person passing along."

Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, also narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, used to say, "Woe unto him, and what an agony is awaiting one who cares only about amassing money in this world! Woe unto him who opens his mouth agape and drools at hearing the sound of money, who looks aghast, just like an idiot when he thinks about it, who stares at what people have, and who does not see what he has; and if he could, he would pursue such an obsession by day and night. Woe unto him! What an austere reckoning and a grievous punishment are awaiting him!"

Wise sayings of al-Hasan al-Basri

Saleh Al Murri says, al-Hasan said: Son of Adam! You are nothing but a number of days, whenever each day passes then part of you has gone.

Mubarak Ibn Faddalah says: I heard al-Hasan say the following: Death has shown the reality of this worldly life. It did not leave any happiness for those who are wise.

Thabet quotes al-Hasan as saying: The laughter of a believer is a sign of the inadvertence of his heart.

Talha Ibn Sabeeh says: al-Hasan said: A believer believes in what God has said. He is the best of men in his deeds, but he fears God most, so that if he spends the size of a mountain of money, he would not be sure of his reward until he sees this with his own eyes. The more righteous and charitable the believer is, the more afraid of God he becomes. While the hypocirte says: Men are too many, I shall be forgiven. There is no harm on me. Thus he acts badly, but wishes many things from God.

Faith is not mere wishes but what you have in your heart which is confirmed by your deeds. This means that deeds are the real test of faith.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A story of a Father and his son

An old man was sitting in the courtyard of his house along with his son who had received a high education. Suddenly a crow perched on a wall of the house. The father asked the son: What is this? The son replied: It is a crow. After a little while the father again asked the son: What is this? The son said: It is a crow.

After a few minutes the father asked his son the third time: What is this? The son said: Father, I have just now told you that this is a crow. After a little while the old father again asked his son the fourth time: what is this? By this time some expression of irritation was felt in the son's tone when he rebuffed his father: Father! It is a crow, a crow. A little after the father again asked his son: What is this? This time the son replied to his father with a vein of temper. Father: You are always repeating the same question, although I have told you so many times that it is a crow. Are you not able to understand this?

The father went to his room and came back with an old diary. Opening a page he asked his son to read what was written. What the son read were the following words written in the diary:

' Today my little son was sitting with me in the courtyard, when a crow came there. My son asked me twenty-five times what it was and I told him twenty-five times that it was a crow and I did not at all feel irritated. I rather felt affection for my innocent child. '

The father then explained to his son the difference between a father's and a son's attitude. While you were a little child you asked me this question twenty-five times and I felt no irritation in replying to the question twenty-five times and when today I asked you the same question only five times, you felt irritated, annoyed and impatient with me.

"Thy Lord hath decreed That ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one Or both of them attain old age in thy life, Say not to them a word Of contempt, nor repel them, But address them In terms of honour. And, out of kindness, Lower them to the wing Of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they Cherished me in childhood."
Surah Bani-Israil (The Children of Israel) 17:23-24

The Story of Luqman(A.S.) and the Melon

Luqman(A.S.) had great love for the Almighty, that it created within him high moral character and exemplary habits. This was a clear sign of his nobility and nearness to Allah. The details of that is described in Surah(Chapter) Luqman in the Glorious Qur'an.

Luqman(A.S.) used to be in the employ of a rich man. The nobility of Luqman(A.S.)'s character had a great effect on his master, so much so that the master considered him as a great friend and a beloved companion. Although he was the master, yet in fact the master became like a slave to his employee.

It became the practice of the master that whenever he had something special to eat, he would first feed Luqman(A.S.) of it and after Luqman(A.S.) had filled himself, he would eat the left overs. Luqman(A.S.) would consider the love of the master and his habit, so he would eat moderately and send what was left over to the master.

One day, during the melon season, the master received a melon from somewhere. At that time Luqman(A.S.) was not present. The master sent one of his slaves to go and call him. When Luqman(A.S.) arrived, the master cut the melon into slices and slice by slice started giving thereof to Luqman(A.S.) to eat. As he ate the slices, the master inwardly became pleased at the effect his love was having upon Luqman(A.S.).

Luqman(A.S.) ate the slices with great PLEASURE and all the time expressed THANKS for the favour shown to him by the master. After having eaten the slices, when just one slice remained, the master said: "Let me eat this slice and see how sweet is this melon." Saying this, he put the slice into his mouth. Immediately, such bitterness spread from the tip of his tongue down to his throat, that as a result of the extreme bitterness of the meoln, he fell down unconscious and remained unconscious for a whole hour.

When he regained consciousness, he questioned Luqman(A.S.): " O Beloved one, How did you manage to, so heartily eat those slices of melon ? Just one slice of the melon had such an effect on me, then how did you manage to eat so many slices ?" Luqman(A.S.) replied: "O Friend, from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great, that my back has gone crooked. Hence, I felt ashamed that the hand that had granted me so much favours, if one day some distastefulness or bitterness should come, how can I turn away from it ? O Friend, the pleasure of knowing that it comes from your hands has changed the bitterness of the melon to sweetness."

points to ponder :

At every given moment there are numerous bounties and favours of Allah upon mankind. But if ever for a moment some such incident takes place which brings with it, a problem and outwardly causes some difficulty, man loses patience and fails to be grateful. On the other hand, there are those who are granted understanding, so that when sorrows and difficulties touches them, they remain happy, pleased and grateful to their Lord. At such times, they draw strength from their good understanding and realise that this world is like a hospital and we are like patients in it. There are times when the doctor gives the patient " sweet " medicine and at other times " bitter" medicine. However, in both these, there are beneficial results for the patient. Similarly, Allah is the "Al Hakeem", the All-Wise and at the same time is the " Haakim"- Ruler. He is also "Ar- Raheem", the Merciful One. Hence, whether it brings out comfort or discomfort, all these are for our benefit and interest.

You are from me and I am from you

There was a poor and weak person. He wore a torn garment with many patches on it. He was barefoot and hungry. Along with his having an obscure lineage, he possessed no status, wealth, or family. Without a roof to shelter him, he would steep in the mosque and drink from public fountains. His pillow was his own arm and his mattress was the uneven, rough ground beneath him. But he always remembered his Lord and he was constantly reciting the verses of Allah's book.

He would not be absent from the first row in prayer or the front lines of battle. One day he met the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him), who upon seeing him, called him by his name, "O' Julaybeeb, will you not marry?" "And who would give me their daughter? With a man without rich and without any position?" was his reply. He passed by two others who asked the same question, to which he gave a similar reply. The Messenger of Allah(Blessings and peace be upon him) said to him, "O' Jualaybeeb, go to so and so, the Ansari, and say to him, 'The Messenger of Allah(Blessings and peace be upon him) sends his greetings of peace to you and he requests you to marry me your daughter."' This particular Ansari was from a noble household with an esteemed family. When Julaybeeb carried out the Prophet(Blessings and peace be upon him)'s order, the Ansari replied, "And peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O' Julaybeeb, how can I marry you my daughter when you have neither wealth nor status?" His wife heard of the news, and she exclaimed in astonishment, "Julaybeeb! He who has neither wealth nor status!" But their believing daughter heard the words of Julaybeeb, words that to her, contained the message of the Messenger of Allah, and she said to her parents, "Do you turn down the request of the Messenger of Allah? By Allah, no! " Forthwith, the blessed wedding took place. When their first night came, a caller was in the streets announcing a forthcoming battle. Julaybeeb responded without delay and set out for the battleground. With his own hands, lie managed to kill seven disbelievers, and then he himself became martyred. He embraced death pleased with Allah and His Messenger, and pleased with the morals for which he sacrificed his own life. After the battle, the Messenger of Allah(Blessings and peace be upon him) was asking about those who were martyred. The people began to inform him of those who died, but they forgot to mention Julaybeeb because of his obscurity.

Nevertheless, the Messenger of Allah(Blessings and peace be upon him) remembered him, and he said, "But I have lost Julaybeeb. " He found Julaybeeb's corpse; dust covered his face. He shook off the dust from his face and said, "You killed seven and then you were killed! You are from me and I am from you..." And the Messenger of Allah(Blessings and peace be upon him) repeated the second part three times - "You are from me and I am from you..." This medal of distinction from the Messenger of Allah(Blessings and peace be upon him) is by itself an arnple reward and prize.

The value of Julaybeeb was his faith and his love for the Messenger of Allah(Blessings and peace be upon him), along with the principle for which he died. His humble circumstances and obscure family name did not prevent him from the great honour that was bestowed upon him. With his meagre resources he achieved martyrdom, contentment, and happiness for this world and the Hereafter.

A verse reads:
"They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind [not yet martyred] that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve." (Quran 3:1 70)

So remember, your value is determined by your principles and by your character. Poverty has never stood immovable in the way of distinction and the achievement of higher aims.

Courtesy : http://www.everymuslim.net

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Craving after wealth

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Two hungry wolves let loose amongst sheep will not cause more harm to them than a person’s craving after wealth and status will do to his Religion.

Source: Musnad Ahmad