Tag Archives: Taqwa

Change your input, determine your future

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"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)

However, remember that at the end of the day it is the grace and mercy of Allah (SWT) that will enable us to protect ourselves, clean our input, and purify our output.

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.

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Taqwa – Consciousness of Allah

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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.

There are many parts of the Quran that talk of Taqwa and attaining Taqwa. For example Allah (SWT) says in verse 183 of Surah Baqarah regarding Ramadan and fasting:

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.

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The effect of music vs. the Quran on an apple | Imagine what it does to your heart

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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.

DiscoMaulvi


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.

Bismillah
Assalamoalaikum wrwb
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.
JazakAllah Khiaran

DSC00024DSC00027

Shared By: Quanita Rizvi

Wassalam,
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.

good applerotten apple

both apples

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”

(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.

Beards are not just for Terrorists | Express Tribune Blog – Views of DiscoMaulvi

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I came across an interesting blog post today on the Express Tribune web page by Syed Faiq Najeeb and started writing a comment there. It turned out that I wanted to preserve and highlight what I wrote, so I decided to just post it here and post a link there instead.

For years I lived any young adult’s dream; there was music, parties, banter, unorthodox festivities, substance abuse and a fair degree of foul play. Then things changed radically – it was nothing short of a revolution; I grew a beard.

After extensively studying and reading about both Islam and other religions, I started to pray five times a day and even encourage friends and colleagues towards the path of salvation. I have finally chosen spirituality over (supposed) rationality and have given up on worldly desires to pursue those of an eternal life.

Since I can’t post the entire article here, I would suggest you head over to the Express Tribune Blog to read it before reading my comments on it below.


Faiq and I are in the same boat; difference is I’ve been facing this "discrimination" for over 12 years (yes there was discrimination before 9/11 also!).

As I wrote in The Story of DiscoMaulvi, I too turned towards religion after a year of partying and living it up in college. Once I did start that journey, the decision to grow a beard came naturally. As Faiq pointed out in his post, “I no longer wished to be part of activities which I used to indulge in before”. In addition, the beard served as a reminder of my decision to turn towards religion and in times when I was tempted it often served to keep me in check.

The importance of the beard has been intentionally marginalized over the centuries. Whereby once the fact that you shaved meant that your testimony would not be accepted (in fact in the eyes of Imam Abu Hanifa, whose school of thought majority of the muslims in Pakistan claim to follow blindly, keeping a beard was obligatory), now we hear people claiming it is JUST A SUNNAH.

Regarding the issue of the bearded baddies, it is unfair to generalize the entire bearded population on the basis of the actions of some. It is like saying just because some Pakistanis are corrupt, all of them are. Bet that would cause most of the people to throw a hissy fit!

As for the "Dari Islam mein hai, Islam dari mein nahin" statement everyone loves to quote, that statement is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT YET COMPLETELY WRONG! By keeping a beard, you don’t become pious. But by not keeping a beard you can not be pious (if we take the position that the beard is obligatory as was the opinion of the 4 Imams whose schools of thought are widely followed or those of the numerous imams and scholars whose names most people never ever heard of).

May Allah give us the ability to understand Islam as understood by the sahaba (R) and the early generations. And may He make us obedient to His commands. Aameen.

Aly - Clean Shaven in August 1997

Aly B – August 1997, NCSU, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Aly B – May 2010, Pakistan Blog Awards, Karachi, Pakistan

15 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Earnings (with Proofs)

 

1. The Taqwa of Allah

And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). (2) And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things.
[Surah Al-Talq, Verse 2-3]
And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwâ (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes).
[ Surah Al-Araf, Verse 96]

2. Seeking forgiveness and repentance

“I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; (10) ‘He will send rain to you in abundance; (11) ‘And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’ ”
[Surah Nooh, Verses 10-12]
“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh).”
[Surah Hood, Verse 52]
And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).
[Surah Hood, Verse 3]

3. Tawakkul

‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab reported that Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“If you were to put trust in Allah (Tawakkul) the way that Allah deserves, then you would be provided for as birds are; they leave (in search of food) at the beginning of the day famished, and return at the end of the day full”
[Shaykah Al-Abani’s Silsilat Al-Sahihah, # 310]
And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things.
[Surah Al-Talq, Verse 2-3]
Would that they were contented with what Allâh and His Messenger (peace be upon him) gave them and had said: “Allâh is Sufficient for us. Allâh will give us of His Bounty, and so will His Messenger (from alms, etc.). We implore Allâh (to enrich us).”
[Surah Al-Tawba, Verse 59]

4. Constantly worshiping Allah

Abu Hurayrah stated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Allah says, ‘O son of Adam! Take time out to constantly worship me, I will fill your chest with richness , and remove your poverty. And if you do not do so. I will make your hands filled with occupation, and will not remove your poverty”
[Shaykh Al-Albani declared it to authentic in his Sunan Al-Tirmidhi]
Ma’qal Ibn Yasaar reported that Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Your Lord, all glory and honor be to Him says, ‘O Son of Adam! Take the time out to constantly worship Me, I will fill your chest with richness! O Son of Adam! Do not distance yourself from Me, or I will fill your chest with poverty, and fill your hands with work ”
[Shaykah Al-Abani’s Silsilat Al-Sahihah, # 1359]

5.Thanking Allah

And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshiping none but Allâh), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.”
[Surah Ibrahim, Verse 7]

6. Frequently performing Hajj and ‘Umrah

It has been reported by ‘abdullah Ibn Mas’ud that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
“Follow up between Hajj and ‘Umrah (i.e. continuously repeat the performance of Hajj and ‘Umrah) because they both eliminate poverty and sins just like a furnace eliminates the dirty impurities of iron, gold and silver. And an accepted Hajj has no reward less than paradise”
[ Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Al-Tirmidhi (1/245)]

7. Establishing the ties of kinship

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever is pleased with the fact that his Rizq be increased, and his life-span be extended, then let him establish the ties of kinship”
[Al-Bukari, # 5985]
Anas Ibn Malik reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever wishes to have his Rizq increased, and his life-span be extended, then let him establish the ties of kinship”
[Al-Bukari, # 5986]
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Learn enough of your lineage, so that you can establish the ties of kinship, for establish the ties of kinship increases the love amongst families and multiplies wealth and extends age”
[Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Al-Tirmidhi (2/190)]

8. Spending in the Way of Allah

Say: “Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allâh’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.”
[Surah Saba, Verse 39]
Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“ Allah has said: ‘O Son of Adam! Spend I will spend on you!”
[Sahih Muslim (2/690)]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“There is not a single day in which a servant wakes that two angels come down (from the Heavens). One of them says, O’ Allah! Give to the one that spends a substitute (for what he has spent). And the other one says, ‘O Allah! Give to the one that withhold some (his money) destruction!”
[Al-Bukhari #1442]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“While a person was in an open area of land, he heard voice in a cloud above him say. “water the garden of so-and-so!” So the cloud immediately departed, and started pouring its rain out on a rocky plain. A large crevice in the rocks collected all of this water. So the man followed the water (in its course), and he found a man standing in his garden, using an instrument to direct this water in different directions *(to irrigate his garden). He said to him, ‘O servant of Allah! What is your name?’ The man said ‘So-an-so,’ the same name that he had heard in the clouds! Then the man asked him, ‘O servant of Allah! Why are you asking me my name?’ So he responded. ‘I heard a voice in the clouds- the same clouds that this water came from- saying, “water the garden of so-and-so” with your name. What do you interpret this as (i.e. why do you think this happened )?’ So he said, ‘If you say this (i.e. if what you say occurred), then (the reason for this is that) I see what (crops) come out of it (this garden), and I give one third in charity, and I eat with my family one third of it, and I return one third of it (to cultivate more crops)”” and in another narration, it is reported that he said, …and I give one third of it to the poor, and the beggars, and the wayfarers.’
[Muslim (4/2288)]

9. Hijrah, Emigrating for the sake of Allah

He who emigrates (from his home) in the Cause of Allâh, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by. And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allâh and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon Allâh. And Allâh is Ever Oft¬Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Surah Al-Nisa, Verse 100]

10. Marriage

And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Sâlihûn (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allâh will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allâh is All-Sufficent for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).
[Surah Al-Nur, Verse 32]

11.Supporting students of Islamic knowledge

Anas Ibn Malik said,
“There were two brothers (that lived) at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). One of them would come to Prophet (peace be upon him), whereas the other one would seek his sustenance (by working). So the the one who used to seek his sustenance complained to the Prophet (peace be upon him) about his brother. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied,
‘It is possible that you are provided your rizq because of him’”
[Shaykh Al-Albani agreed it to be authentic, Saheeh Sunan Al-Tirmidhi(2/274)]

12. Showing kindness to the Poor

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“The only reason that you are aided in victory (against your enemies) and provided with sustainance due to your weak?”
[Al-Bukahri (14/179)]

13. Being honest in ones dealings

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“The two parties of a transaction have the right (to annul the contract) as long as they don’t separate (from each other). So, if they were truthful (to one another), and honest in explaining (the defects of an item), then they will be blessed in their transaction. But, if they lied, and hid (the defects of an item) then the blessings of their transaction are destroyed”
[Muslim, # 3836]

14.Making the Hereafter One’s main Concern

Once Zayd Bin Thabit wa with Marwan, the leader of the City, when he went to visit ‘Abd Al-Rahman Ibn ‘Uthman Bin ‘Affan, Abd Al-Rahman said, “Nothing caused him to come here, at this hour except a question that he wants to ask.” So he asked him (what the matter was). He replied, “He (meaning Marwan) asked us about matters that we heard the Prophet :saws: say”. I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say
“Whoever puts this world as his only (and primary) goal, them Allah will divide his affairs for him, and He will place poverty before his eyes, and nothing will come to him of this world except that which was already written (i.e. pre-destined) for him. But whoever made the Hereafter his goal, the Allah will gather his affairs for him, and he will place richness in his heart, and the world will come to him conquered and submissive”
[Al-Albani Silsila As-Saheehah, #950 ]

15. Striving to achieve the goal (for sustainance)

He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allâh’s Bounty; yet others fighting in Allâh’s Cause. So recite as much of the Qur’ân as may be easy (for you), and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât, and lend to Allâh a goodly loan, And whatever good you send before you for yourselves, (i.e. Nawâfil non-obligatory acts of worship: prayers, charity, fasting, Hajj and ‘Umrah), you will certainly find it with Allâh, better and greater in reward. And seek Forgiveness of Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful
[Surah Al-Muzammil, Verse 20]
And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayât (signs etc.). Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.
[Surah Al-Isra, Verse 20]

Taken from Shaykh Yasir Qadhi‘s book “15 Ways to increase your earnings from Quran and Sunnah”

Ramadan: Save and Continue

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Ramadan - Save & Continue

Nearly everyone in this age of modern technology has at some stage worked with a PC. We have used it to draft documents, amend these documents, copied and pasted onto documents, used the "undo" icon, edited documents, just to mention a few of the time saving operations that we find on this device.

After opening a document that we have worked upon previously and made the necessary changes and improvements a little box appears on the screen asking the question:
Do you want to save the changes you have made to this document?

You are then given the option of selecting the YES tab or the NO tab.

  • Selecting the YES tab will give you the desired results.
  • Selecting the NO tab literally takes you back to square one. All the effort made in editing, improving and shaping the document becomes an exercise in futility.

Don’t we all find ourselves in a similar predicament when the blessed month of Ramadan passes us? Just think of your book of deeds like a document on your PC.

During the month of Ramadan we have done amongst other things the following:

  • Increased our Ibaadah and acts of charity;
  • Took control of our feelings and emotion;
  • Responded with compassion and sensitivity to the needs of other;
  • Multiplied our good deeds;

At the same time we have spent many hours on the Musallah begging for Allah’s forgiveness for our sins, errors and transgressions.

The vital question that needs to be asked is:

Do we want to save the changes that we have made in the month of Ramadan? Are we going to press the YES tab or the No tab?

Pressing the YES tab will leave us with a new, improved version. A version of heightened spirituality, a version of righteousness, a version that is pleasing to our Creator.

Pressing the NO tab will take us back to square one; back to our old habits before Ramadan, back to the life of sin and immorality, back to a life of heedlessness and back to a life subjecting ourselves to the wrath of the Almighty.

How do we improve on this document

How do we improve on this document; the document of our lives, the document of our deeds, the document that we are going to present to Allah the Almighty on the Day of Reckoning? Here are some hints:

  • Copy and Paste from the life of our illustrious master Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam.
  • Use the "undo" icon by making Taubah immediately after any transgression as the Hadith states "The one who repents from sin is like one who has committed no sin at all"
  • There may not be a need to do a "spell check" but there is certainly a need to do a "sincerity check" and a "Shariah check"? Are we complying?

There may be files and folders that we want to keep while there could be some others we would not even want others to know exist.

Many of us begged Allah to "delete" our sins and dark deeds .We cried before Allah, shed tears of remorse and vowed not to commit those sins in future. Going back to the sins that we have asked Allah’s forgiveness for would be like making a visit to the "recycle bin".

What about viruses?

PC users are also very wary about e-mails they receive and the sites that they visit, fearing the admission of a virus that may pollute their system and cause it to malfunction.

Why do we then subject our minds and thoughts to immoral sites and dens of vice which would pollute our moral system and cause us to malfunction?

What anti-virus software have we installed to ward off the variety of Fitnahs that confront us everyday?

Fortunate is the person who has saved the changes. Extremely unfortunate is the person who has made no changes as he /she has nothing to save.

Source: The True Call e-mail list
Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications.

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Taqwa – Consciousness of Allah

 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.

There are many parts of the Quran that talk of Taqwa and attaining Taqwa. For example Allah (SWT) says in verse 183 of Surah Baqarah regarding Ramadan and fasting:

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.

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