Archive for June, 2010

Anger

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

As Allah swt says in the Quran Sharif in Sura Ar-Ra’d:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ

اللَّهِ أَلا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ013.028

Allatheena amanoo watatma-innu quloobuhum bithikri Allahi ala bithikri Allahi tatma-innu alquloobu

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.

And in a hadith reported by Muslim sahih hadith and narrated by Uqbar ibn Amir:

We were entrusted with the task of tending the camels. During my turn, when I came back in the evening after grazing them in the pastures, I found Allah’s Apostle peace be upon him standing and addressing the people. I heard these words of his: “If any Muslim performs ablution well, then stands and prays two rak’ahs thinking about them with his heart as well as his face, Paradise will be guaranteed for him.”

And in an other hadith Abdullah Ibn Abbas reports that

“He saw saw Allah swt with his heart”

The heart the core of our personality is the storage place for knowledge and wisdom, and it can guide us along the path towards God’s pleasure.

The heart however can be afflicted by disease that causes it to be preoccupied by the love of life and lust rather than the love of Allah. Each and every one of us needs to inspect his heart carefully to diagnose any affliction, and search for cures.

لا جَرَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ

مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ

إِنَّهُ لا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ016.023

La jarama anna Allaha y’’alamu ma yusirroona wama yu’Alinoona innahu la yuhibbu almustakbireena

Undoubtedly Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal: truly He loves not the arrogant.

And arrogance is but only one of these diseases that afflict the heart.

To clear our hearts of any afflictions we need two things:

l. Ask for God’s guidance – Everytime we pray we repeat the ayat In Surah Al Fatiha, “Ihdi nas sir’at al-mustaqeem,” “show us the straight path”. If we have sincerity in our heart and really request it this is the key to God’s acceptance of our request and, insha’allah granting it. Remember the hadith I spoke of just now said that we should be performing the rakahs not with our bodies but “thinking about them with your heart” this is an important message for us to heed it is a great blessing from Allah swt

2.Exert the effort to identify the ailments the diagnosis and the effort to avoid the deeds and sins that fill the heart with impurities the curse.

For it is narrated by An Numan bin Bashir that Rasul Allah SAW said:

Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good, the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoiled the whole body gets spoiled, and that is the heart.

Amongst these ailments that spoil the heart are: Anger rage, Envy, Stinginess, Ostentation, Love of position and power, Arrogance. We have to look at our intention in every act and struggle with our nafs to be clear of these ailments of the heart when we set out to do anything. When we set out for the day.

To understand the meanings of a deed we have to understand the intention that it was performed under:

Rasul Allah SAW said that “actions are known by their intentions” and those “intentions determine the nature and the reward or punishment that comes from a person’s deeds”

Intentions reside in the heart and are the sole determinant of the worth of one’s deeds – the same act can be judged as a sin or a good deed depending on intention.

If a person attempts murder and shoots at someone with the idea of killing them but misses it is as though he had killed that person, because he set out with that intention. However his crime would be judged by the secular authorities, in the end Allah SWT knew what intention was in his heart and would judge according to that intention. We cannot know what is in another person’s heart but Allah SWT knows all and sees all, even what we attempt to hide. So we must be aware of our intentions at every moment.

If a person were to decide to commit adultery but he or she repents before this happens and then refrains then the intention of the repentence is greater then the original because the person was able to turn back from that course. And it is reported in Bukhari and Muslim that Rasul Allah SAW said “He who is inclined towards an evil deed but does not carry it out is rewarded by Allah for one full measure of good deed.”

But in the same case if same person, just about to commit adultery, is interrupted from doing so. – and does not actually commit the sin, because he was prevented from doing so by an external factor, not out of any fear of Allah SWT. Therefore he has still earned himself a sin, as if he had actually completed his sinful deed, because the intention was never repented, just the act was never completed and Allah SWT knows best what is in our hearts.

Part 2

With Ramadhan coming up soon, insha’allah, we should begin to think about our intentions and our emotions and how we deal with them in our lives.

Anger/Rage – A minimum level of anger should exist to protect oneself and belongings, this anger should however be tempered. And our intention should always be moderate it.

A modest level of anger is acceptable in matters related to religion.

To succeed in moderating anger one should always be reminded of two points:

Train ourselves not to get too attached to worldly possessions and keep our necessities to a minimum.

Remember that Allah SWT is the boss. i.e. his will dominates. E.g. if you wanted a certain job, but was not successful, remember that this is God’s will and there must be a good reason for that, though it might not be obvious to you at the time, in any time frame, we only see a small part of a bigger picture.

If we do get anger we can moderate this anger physically by following the Rasul Allah’s advice SAW as narrated in Al Tirmithi & Al Bukhari:

If one feels anger becoming him he/she should:

If standing – sit down

If sitting – lie down

If lying – make abolution or have a shower

When anger afflicts a person, he/she tend to move forward – by supressing this motion you curb the anger.

We must remember to have Taqwa for Allah (SWT) at all times, to remember and to do justly to others.

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ

وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ

وَالأرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ003.133

Wasari’Aoo ila maghfiratin min rabbikum wajannatin ‘Aarduha alssamawatu waal-ardu o’Aiddat lilmuttaqeena

Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that of the whole of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for those who are conscious of Allah (SWT),-

الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ

عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ003.134

Allatheena yunfiqoona fee alssarra-i waalddarra-i waalka{th}imeena alghay{th}a waal’Aafeena ‘Aani alnnasi waAllahu yuhibbu almuhsineena

Those who spend freely, whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon all men, for Allah loves those who do good;-

Sayeed Ali Ibn Abu Talib asked a slave for warm water to wash his hands. The slave, who was young and inexperienced, poured boiling water onto his hands which burnt them. He got very angry and was about to strike the slave when he was reminded him of that ayat and said:

Those who restrain anger – I have restrained my anger

And pardon men – I have pardoned you

For God loves them who do good – go – I have granted you your freedom.

The Rasul Allah (SAW) said: “One who, in spite of having the ability to avenge, controls his anger, will be singled out, and called by Allah (SWT), over and above the multitude on the Day of Judgement …” Al-Boukhari

In another hadith a Bedouin came to Rasul Allah (SAW) from the desert and asked Rasul Allah (SAW) for advice on what it means to be a good Muslim. He was known for his hastiness and his anger and Rasul Allah (SAW) said “Do not be overpowered by anger”, the man repeated that three times and the prophet’s answer was the same each of the three times. Al Boukhari

Lastly we have a hadith which narrates the story of Abu Baker who was being insulted by a man – he kept quiet until he could no longer take it and finally answered back in anger.

At that moment Rasul Allah (SAW) left and when he was asked why he left he said: “When you were silent the angels answered on your behalf, but when you started answering the angels left and Satan came and I could not sit in the same place as Satan.”

Islam does not advocate turning the other cheek, but it strongly advocates the control of tempers and the cleansing the heart of anger.

So my fellow muslims I remind myself and you with the following advice:

Always look into your heart and inspect your real intention before performing an act.

May God help us restrain our anger and pardon people.

May God help us do good and be charitable.

May God help us forgive and overlook

Khutbah – Reading the Qur’an and Kinship

Friday, June 11th, 2010

The past weeks we have been looking into the inner meanings of Sura Ya Sin. But each line, each word, each letter in the Qur’an has deep meanings. When we are thinking about and trying to understand meanings of the Glorious Qur’an, which Allah (SWT) has sent down for us, His slaves, to clarify all things and as a Light that He gives to whom He wills among His slaves. Indeed, the Qur’an contains tremendous medicine for all ills of the heart, as Allah said,

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ

لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلا خَسَارًا017.082

Wanunazzilu mina alqur-ani ma huwa shifa’on warahmatun lilmu/mineena wala yazeedu a(l)thalimeena illa khasara(n)

” And We sent down from the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism).” (17/82)

The Qur’an contains the deen; Allah’s promises, warnings and commandments; stories of previous nations; and codes of the best conduct and behavior.

These various subjects in the Qur’an have different effects on the heart. Some Surahs (chapters) of the Qur’an are more frightening than others.

Rasul Allah (SAW) said,  “Hud and its sisters have brought me white hairs before their due time.” Hud and its sisters brought white hairs to the Messenger of Allah because of what they contain of matters of Iman. These Surahs, and the rest of the Qur’an, showed their effect on the Messenger of Allah and his companions, exactly as they were ordered in the Qur’an,

فَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ وَمَنْ تَابَ مَعَكَ

وَلا تَطْغَوْا إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ011.112

Fa(i)staqim kam[a] omirta waman t[a]ba maAAaka wal[a] ta[t]ghaw innahu bim[a] taAAmaloona ba[s]eer(un)

“So stand (ask Allah to make) you (Mohammad) firm and straight as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you.” (11/112)

The companions would also be deeply moved with emotions when they recited the Qur’an. Abu Bakr, for example, who was a soft-hearted man, used to cry while reciting the Qur’an when leading Muslims in prayer. Once, Umar became ill as a result of his reciting the Ayah,

On another occasion, Umar wept when he was reciting this Ayah,

قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَشْكُو بَثِّي وَحُزْنِي إِلَى

اللَّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لا تَعْلَمُونَ012.086

Q[a]la innam[a] ashkoo baththee wa[h]uznee il[a] All[a]hi waaAAlamu mina All[a]hi m[a] l[a] taAAlamoon(a)

“I (Prophet Jacob) only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah.” (12/86),

and he was clearly heard by those who were standing behind him.

Furthermore, Uthman Ibn Affan said, “If our hearts were pure, they will never have enough from reciting Allah’s Speech (the Qur’an).”

As for later generations, Ayyub said, “I heard Sad Ibn Jubayr recite the Ayah,

وَقَالُوا لَنْ يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلا مَنْ كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ

نَصَارَى تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ002.111

Waq[a]loo lan yadkhula aljannata ill[a] man k[a]na hoodan aw na[sa]r[a] tilka am[a]niyyuhum qul h[a]too burh[a]nakum in kuntum [sa]diqeen(a)

“And be afraid of a Day when you shall be brought back to Allah.” (2/281), repeating it more than twenty times.” This is the last Ayah that was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, and it ends with, “Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.” (2:281).

Also, Ibrahim Ibn Bashshar said, “If you could but see where they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say, ‘Would that we were but sent back (to the world).'” (6:27), was the Ayah that Ali Ibn al-Fudhayl died while reciting. I was among those who prayed the Janazah (funeral) prayer on him, may Allah grant him His Mercy.” Furthermore, when our Salaf would reach a portion of the Qur’an were Sujud (bowing down) is warranted, they treated this incident different than ordinary people. A man once recited, “And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility.” (17:109), and then fell in Sujud. Then, he said to himself, “Here you are, you do the Sujud, so where is the crying?”

Ibn Al-Qayyim said with regards to what one should do to cure his weak Iman using the Qur’an, “First you should remove your heart from the life of this world and settle it in the Last Life. Then, pay your full attention to pursuing the meanings of the Qur’an, and try to comprehend and understand them and what they were sent down to accomplish. Then, offer these meanings to the sickness that your heart feels, and when they touch the disease, they will cure the heart, Allah willing.”

Part 2

Narrated Abu Bakra

The Prophet said, “Time has taken its original shape which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth. The year is of twelve months, four of which are sacred, and out of these (four) three are in succession, i.e. Dhul-Qa’da, Dhul-Hijja and Al-Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab which is named after the Mudar tribe, between (the month of) Jumaida (ath-thania) and Sha’ban.” Then the Prophet asked, “Which is this month?” We said, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” On that the Prophet kept quiet so long that we thought that he might name it with another name. Then the Prophet said, “Isn’t it the month of Dhul-Hijja?” We replied, “Yes.” Then he said, “Which town is this?” We replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” On that he kept quiet so long that we thought that he might name it with another name. Then he said, “Isn’t it the town of Mecca?” We replied, “Yes,” Then he said, “Which day is today?” We replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” He kept quiet so long that we thought that he might name it with another name. Then he said, “Isn’t it the day of An-Nahr (i.e. sacrifice)?” We replied, “Yes.” He said, “So your blood, your properties, (the sub-narrator Muhammad said, ‘I think the Prophet also said: And your honor’) are sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this city of yours, in this month of yours; and surely, you will meet your Lord, and He will ask you about your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me, cutting the throats of one another. It is incumbent on those who are present to convey this message (of mine) to those who are absent. May be that some of those to whom it will be conveyed will understand it better than those who have actually heard it.” (The sub-narrator, Muhammad, on remembering that narration, used to say, “Muhammad spoke the truth!”) He (i.e. Prophet) then added twice, “No doubt! Haven’t I conveyed (Allah’s Message) to you?”

Brothers, this is a clear call, let us go from here willing to do this work, willing to act as Allah (SWT) and Rasul Allah (SAW) have asked us to. Act as muslims united, do not be afraid to correct each other and remind each other, remember that Rasul Allah (SAW), said to do so in a kindly voice. And be prepared to be reminded and corrected ourselves. We are not here to fight with each other nor to fight with others, we are here to do the work that Allah (SWT) has chosen for us.

و الله علم

Sweep Out the Chambers of Your Heart

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Two weeks until the upcoming seminar at the Abode of the Message. Please call to register. Click anywhere in the image for the fill size pdf flyer.

Date: June 25 – 27, 2010

Location: Abode of the Message, New Lebanon, NY 12125

Cost: Sliding scale $70 – $100 tuition plus room and board

Questions: For more information contact the Abode of the Message Programs office at 518-794-8095 extension 114 or email at programsoffice@theabode.net. You can also contact Imam Salim directly by email at salimchishti@imamsalim.com.

To view the flyer for this event go here.

Sufi sheikh who preached nonviolence laid to rest

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Sheikh Bukhari (on right) with Eliyahu McLean (left)

Sufi sheikh who preached nonviolence laid to rest.

It is with great sadness that I report the sudden passing of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari. Inna allahi wa inna allahi rajayun. May Allah approve of him and his work here on earth and raise his state in the afterlife.

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Sheikh Bukhari a few years ago while we both were attending the Urs of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan (ra) in Delhi. I found him to be a bright light of peace and friendship and a humble servant of Allah (swt). His immediate friendship and invitation to visit him in Jerusalem were well received by myself but unfortunately I was never able to go, leaving most of the news I heard from him to my all too infrequent meetings with Rabbi Eliyahu or other personal sources. All I ever heard was that he was one of the genuine players in the grassroots peace movement and a tireless worker despite the danger his activities put him in. The article at the link below says these tings far better than I can hope to at this point. His loss will be felt in many different communities. My sympathies go out to his family.

Sheikh Bukhari (Far Left) with Pir Rasheed-ul-Hassan Jili-ul-Kalimi and Pir Zia Inayat Khan at the Dargah of Nizamuddin Awlia for the Urs of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, 2004