"Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future." – Zig Ziglar
So what is OUR input? Well for the average person (myself included) it is the junk we watch on TV, the music we hear in our environment, the violence on we see on TV/streets, the negativity of those around us, the lure of scantily clad models on billboards, etc. How does all this affect our outlook/output? Given that our input is not pure, can we expect our output to be pure as well? And in the end, our future, which we all crave to be Jannah (Paradise), is severely affected by this pollution in our input. So should we not be looking to reduce the fitnah and the haram in our input in order to improve our deeds (output)?
The Prophet (SAW) warned us:
“Temptations are presented to the heart, one by one. Any heart that accepts them will be left with a black stain, but any heart that rejects them will be left with a mark of purity.” (Muslim)
And if not for the Grace of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing. (24:21)
May Allah (SWT) help us cleanse our input and make our deeds those which lead us to Jannah.
Originally posted 15/09/2009
Qari Muhammad Qayyam (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) related that a great deal of fighting and bloodshed had started prior to the Indo-Pakistan partition of 1947. He said that a very beautiful daughter of a very rich man in a certain community stepped out of her house to visit her aunt, who lived no more than a few streets away. Suddenly a riot erupted as she had gone halfway and she found herself trapped with apparently nowhere to go. She saw a mosque nearby and quickly went inside, sitting in the women’s section. The rioting continued late into the night and this girl did not know what to do.
The custodian of the masjid was a very young student there and late at night when he walked through the masjid before locking up he noticed this beautiful young lady. He was a respectful young man who feared Allah and so politely asked her to leave, saying that if she was found there then both would be dishonored and thrown out. She pleaded with him because of the extreme danger outside and so he agreed that she could spend the night, and sat down to study at the opposite end of the masjid.
The girl was unable to sleep with the events of the day in her mind and so watched the young man sitting studying by candle light at the opposite end of the masjid. She kept watching him and was very surprised at something she saw. From time to time this young man would extend his hand and keep it over the open flame, only withdrawing it when the flame obviously became unbearable. He then would resume his studies and continued this throughout the night until the dawn broke.
The young man called the adhan and asked the girl to leave before the congregation started coming to pray since now everything was calm outside. She agreed on the condition that he tell her why he was placing his hand on the candle flame throughout the night. The young man said that that was his own business and so the girl refused to leave until he told her what she wanted to know. The young man gave in and said, “I am at the age of youth and strong desire. We were alone and my desire was increasing, and although I was studying the shaytan would occasionally put temptation in my heart. Hence whenever I would feel any temptation I would put my hand on the flame and my fingers would burn. I would say to myself that this flame is nothing compared to the fire of Hell.”
The girl left the masjid and reached home, calming her parents’ fears as to what had happened to her. She also confided in her mother that she wanted to marry the custodian of the mosque near their house. She related the night’s events to her parents and said that only such a man with true fear of Allah in his heart can be true to his wife. Only such a man who truly fears Allah can fulfill a wife’s rights properly.
Hence the poor custodian of the mosque earned the daughter of a rich household in marriage. He received this honor not because of his looks but because of his character. Everything disintegrates and turns to dust but character remains strong. Honor is not bestowed because of handsome clothes or beautiful jewelry but because of what is in the heart. Knowledge is only beneficial when it is captured within the heart, and not merely written in books.
The above account was received via e-mail (from Tayyab Abid of Active Saturdays) with no source attributed to it. It highlights the importance of Taqwa which is a vital part of faith. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran (3:102):
Oh you who believe, fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except as Muslims.
Traditionally most translations of the Quran have an interpretation similar to the above. However, the real meaning of the Arabic word Taqwa can not be summed up as fear alone. It is a combination of fear, respect, love, and obedience. The concept of Taqwa is both a motivation factor to do good and a deterrent to stay away from all that is evil. Thus, it is best summarized as “Consciousness of Allah (SWT)”.
A person who has Taqwa has the firm belief that Allah (SWT) is watching all that he does. Thus, any and all actions are thus controlled and done from a conscious level of thought.
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may develop taqwa.
If one were to take the traditional translation of “fear” it would not make sense since fasting should not incite fear. However, fasting does help man attain consciousness of Allah and the things around him.
Ramadan is a month where taqwa of all muslims increase, as they fast and increase their prayers, their charity, and other forms of worship.
As Ramadan draws to a close and we enter the bottom of the ninth so to say, let us pray that Allah (SWT) makes us among the Muttaqun (those who have Taqwa). Aameen.
When I started turning towards Islam in university, I was faced with the question of abstaining for music. It was a hard decision but I eventually took the plunge and gave it up. It wasn’t an easy journey for me and I moved back to listening to music, then gave it up only to once again start it again. I finally gave it up completely Alhamdulillah over five years ago (May Allah help me stay on this path).
There are many who would argue that there is nothing wrong with music, it is just another gift of God, etc. The below just serves to confirm to me that my decision was indeed a wise one, an attempt to raise my level of Taqwa, an attribute that needs constant work from our part. As we enter the last ten days of Ramadan, we will need to start the struggle to continue the momentum of Ramadan. For indeed if we were to walk away from Ramadan without a positive change it would be a big travesty on our part. Your positive change could be giving up music. Insha’Allah I hope the below will help you towards this change.
Ramadan Kareem and may Allah (SWT) accept our deeds and have this month serve as time for our forgiveness and for the shower of His mercy.
A few months back, the following email sent to the list serve of Al-Huda Canada was forwarded to another list I am on. The content of the email (reproduced below) was amazing.
Few weeks ago my daughter, who is in first grade had a science fair at her school. We decided to do an interesting experiment. Our Hypothesis was that listening to Qur’an has physical effects just like listening to music has physically visible effects. To prove our point we took an apple which also has 60-70 percent water content like human bodies. We cut the apple into half, put each half in a zip lock bag and then for seven days played Qur’an for one half of the apple and music to another half of the apple .. Both apples were kept on room temperature. The results were amazing and so our hypothesis was accepted.
In Quran Surah Luqman Allah(s.a.w) says:
And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e.music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, or the Verses of the Qur’an) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).(6)
In surah Yunus Allah SWT says about Quran:
O mankind! There hath come to you a admonition from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe, a Guidance and a Mercy. (57)
Please look at the attached pictures. The first picture is of the apple when it was freshly cut. Second picture is after 3 weeks of the experiment.
Shared By: Quanita Rizvi
Al Huda Institute, Canada
The above account was amazing. Thus, the staff at Reflections, a school in Karachi repeated the experiment to verify it. Below is the email sent by Asim Ismail, the Islamic curriculum head of the school.
For two weeks the teacher played music in front of half of an apple for 10 mins daily. While qirat was played in front of the other half for the same duration…the pictures speak for themselves (original pictures)…the rotten half is the one which heard music, and the comparatively fresh one was made to listen to Quran’s recitation… SUBHANALLAH! one more amazing thing is the Quran apple has a good smell and the other one u can imagine.
(Surah ar’Ra’d 13:28)
Subhan’Allah. May Allah help us to protect our hearts from corruption and to heal it with the remembrance of Allah (SWT) and the recitation of the Quran. Aameen.