Useful Means for Happy Life

Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman As-Sa’di (rahimahullah) said that inner peace of one’s heart is the goal that each person tries to achieve in life, because tranquility of the heart is the essential prerequisite for a peaceful life. Some top means to attain happiness:

🌸 1. Iman and righteous deeds are the most important and easiest means for happiness. Allah SWT says:

“Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a true believer, verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world) and We shall certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (Jannah in the Hereafter).”
[An-Nahl 16:97]

🌸2. Treating people and Allah’s creatures with kindness and benevolence. Allah SWT protects both believers and non-believers from worries for what they show of kindness and good manners to people (and His other creations). However, a believer is much more rewarded for this kindness.

🌸3. Realize that people’s bad treatment, particularly their annoying utterances, do not harm you in any way. Instead, such bad treatment will be recorded in their record of bad deeds. Therefore, it is better for you to train self-control and show the best conduct regardless of what others may do against you.

🌸4. One of the best means for removing worries is not to look for any reward from any person except for Allah.

“We only feed you for Allah’s sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.”
[Al-Insan 76.9]

🌸5. Accomplish your tasks on a daily basis, and never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Otherwise your tomorrow will be much tiring and exhausting.
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Reference:
Useful Means for Happy Life (abridged)
(extracted from a free Islamic book received at Makkah)

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Man’s Sense of Sinfulness and Purification of Soul

sinfulnessandpurificationofsoul

It is true that the nafs by its very nature is inclined towards freedom. However, religion restricts this ‘freedom’ in order to discipline the nafs. Without such restriction, we could lose all good values and the nafs might lose control and act in a completely irresponsible manner.

The nafs is constantly being tempted since what is alluring is always attractive. A person may enjoy listening to and taking part in gossips, deriving a vicarious pleasure in it because s/he feels s/he is better than the person whose weaknesses are being exposed. Or the nafs may find committing adultery an enjoyable way of satisfying its desires. But if we really think, we’ll find that this short-lived ‘freedom’ is not worth the trouble, because we will have to bear the consequences of our misdeeds for a long time.

If we think about all the sinful pleasures we might have enjoyed 10 years ago, and then ask whether we’re left with any of those pleasures now, what would be the answer? Nothing! The pleasures of sin have vanished, yet the punishment remains.

But think of fasting in Ramadhan 10 years ago. What effects are we feeling now from the suffering of thirst? What is left of that hunger pangs 10 years ago? The pain and suffering undergone for the sake of performing duties lillah have disappeared, but the reward stays with us.

You have been endowed by Allah SWT the power of reasoning and the will to choose which way is best.

So will you not utilize them before it’s too late?

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Reference:
Man’s Sense of Sinfulness and Purification of Soul (abridged)
(extracted from a free Islamic book received at Makkah)

Will we be punished for doing a “good” deed?

Imam Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyib rahimahullah once saw a man praying more than 2 raka’at after the beginning of Fajr (i.e. before the Fajr prayer), making many bows and prostrations, and so he forbade him.

The man said: “O Abu Muhammad, is Allah going to punish me for praying?”

Sa’eed said: “No, but He will punish you for contradicting the Sunnah.” [1]

Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyib rahimahullah was a tabi’ee (i.e. a student of the Companions), and his narrations are reported in both Bukhari and Muslim.

The point here is a lesson and a warning against doing bid’ah with the excuse of doing a good deed. For this ummah, there is absolutely no one else who knows ‘ibadah that is beloved and accepted by Allah s.w.t. than Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself. So adhere to the Sunnah as much and closely as possible, and leave the ones that contradict it.

قُلۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحۡبِبۡكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ ذُنُوبَكُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

Say (O Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to mankind):
If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah),
Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.
And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
[Ali Imran 3:31]

May Allah s.w.t. help us live upon the Sunnah and die upon the Sunnah.

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Reference:
Al-Bayhaqi in As-Sunan Al-Kubraa, graded as saheeh by Sheikh Al-Albani

To the one who chases his Dunya, but lazy for his Akhirah

We’re very calculative. We want the best phone, the best dress, the best sale bargain. We like to haggle persistently and if we only get a measly RM2 discount, we’d still feel happy about it.

But we’re not as calculative when it comes to matters of the unseen – our Akhirah.

We don’t see that praying on time as one of the best deeds [1] so we refuse to haggle with our nafs to choose the 5-10 minutes fardh prayer over that 30-60 minutes TV show.

We want the best house, we super love free things. But we don’t think of having that free amazing house in Jannah. [2]

If we only understand that the best investment is the investment for our Akhirah. Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah, when referring to good deeds, said that the merchandise of Ar-Rahman is really expensive for the one who is lazy. And Sheikh Ibn Al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah said that it is indeed expensive for the one who is lazy; yet for the one who has zeal, then it is cheap for him!

In this Deen of ours, laziness IS evil – and even more so for being lazy in regard for the Akhirah. This is why Ibn Al-Jawzi rahimahullah wrote:

“The span of lifetime in this world
is practically the life one is given to perform good deeds.
Therefore I wonder at he who prefers idleness in the sowing season,
and leaves yielding for the harvesting season.”

May Allah s.w.t. make us among those who work hard for our Akhirah, and grant us true success in the Hereafter. Allahumma ameen.
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[1] Sahih Muslim | http://sunnah.com/muslim/1/162
[2] Sahih Muslim | http://sunnah.com/muslim/6/125

[Hajj Tips] Are Sins done in Makkah multiplied?

Question: Are sins performed in Makkah multiplied? If so, how are they multiplied?

Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen rahimahullah answered:

“Sins are not multiplied in Makkah from the aspect of quantity; however they are multiplied from the aspect of its punishment being more severe and painful. The evidence that shows sins are not multiplied in quantity is the statement of Allah, the Most High:

مَن جَآءَ بِٱلۡحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ ۥ عَشۡرُ أَمۡثَالِهَا‌ۖ وَمَن جَآءَ بِٱلسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجۡزَىٰٓ إِلَّا مِثۡلَهَا وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ

“Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit,
and whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof,
and they will not be wronged.”
[Al-An’aam 6:160]

And this was a Makki ayah (i.e. revealed before the Hijra of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) because it is in the chapter al-An’aam. However performing sins in Makkah is as Allah s.w.t. said:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلۡنَـٰهُ لِلنَّاسِ سَوَآءً ٱلۡعَـٰكِفُ فِيهِ وَٱلۡبَادِ‌ۚ وَمَن يُرِدۡ فِيهِ بِإِلۡحَادِۭ بِظُلۡمٍ۬ نُّذِقۡهُ مِنۡ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ۬

“Verily! those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah,
and from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) which We have made (open) to (all) men,
the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there [as regards its sanctity and pilgrimage (Hajj and ‘Umrah)]. And whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, We shall cause him to taste from a painful torment.”
[Al-Hajj 22:25]

Meaning, the punishments for those who perform sins in Makkah are more severe than the punishments for those who perform sins outside of Makkah.

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Reference:
Silsilah Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh

Tawakkul Comes Hand-in-Hand With A Sincere Heart

Ibn Jawzi rahimahullah said tawakkul is to return all matters to Allah s.w.t. with the utmost trust in His way of handling our affairs.

We know personally that what we do or choose for ourselves is good. But more than that, we must believe that Allah governs our affairs far more better and far more perfect than any of our carefully laid-out plan. It is only with this firm conviction that, after exerting all efforts and avenues, we can let go our affairs entirely to Allah alone, and accept any decision made by Allah with a sincere and open heart.

This is why tawakkul is not just about returning our affairs to Allah, but it must go hand-in-hand with a sincere heart. When there is something that we really, desperately want, something that we have tried so hard and prayed for countless times, but what Allah has decreed upon us is something different than what we have hoped for – ask ourselves, at that precise moment – would we accept His decree and be contented? Or would we reject it out of disappointment and despair?

If we reject and complain, then this is not tawakkul. It has no value. And this is where we often fail.

So it is critical that our tawakkul upon Allah is accompanied with the sincerity and contentment of the heart. Blessed is the one who has tawakkul, because even if he doesn’t get what he prays for, he is still pleased with the outcome due to the certainty that Allah’s decision is always, without a doubt, THE BEST. It’s not easy to resist our emotions when things don’t go as what we’ve hoped for, and this is why the reward of tawakkul upon Allah is Jannah.

Jannah needs to be earned. So pave your way to Jannah with tawakkul upon your Rabb.

[Madaarij us-Saalikeen] Istighfar & Tawbah

What’s the difference between Istighfar & Tawbah?

According to Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah, Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) is mentioned in the Qur’an in 2 ways – either by itself, or coupled with Tawbah (repentance).

If Istighfar is mentioned by itself, then Istighfar IS Tawbah. And Istighfar is not merely covering up sins, as most people think, but it is total removal of sins. It fully removes the sin, undoes its effects and prevents its evil. The essence of istighfar is that it earns a person the prevention from the evil of that sin. It also saves one from the punishment of Allah.

When both Istighfar and Tawbah are used together (always Istighfar first, followed by Tawbah), then the first (Istighfar) means asking for safety from the evil and harm of what has occurred, and the second (Tawbah) means returning to Allah and begging for safety from the evil of what one fears in future.

So here we are concerned with two things:
– The sin that has already occurred, and Istighfar in its specific sense is to seek protection from its evil effects; and
– The repetition of the same sin in future which we fear, and Tawbah is the determination to not do it again.
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Reference:
Madaarij us-Saalikeen, by Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah